Saturday, January 24, 2009

Polly

It's a somewhat quiet morning with some boys playing Wii, laundry being washed, and no other noise. No TV, can't hear the radio over the washer....
So I want to tell you a picture story a dear friend gave me. You've seen it on my face book but here's what it is about.
She came up with it when I was having a 'pit' moment or two. She said Vicki, think of yourself as a Polly Pocket, place her in your hand and hold it up, or close it. That is just like what God is doing for you. You are safe in his hands, you are His.
Isn't that a great visual for us all? I envision Target being bought our of their Polly Pockets all of a sudden!!
I've needed to be reminded a few times that we are just so small compared to God's mighty power, his strong hands full of compassion and love for us- for me. Sometimes my Polly is curled up into the fetal position, trying to make it thru the day. But often she is standing straight up, holding up her hands and praising God for the day ahead. I know I don't need a sickness to act either of those ways. We curl up so easily sometimes, over such silly and truly unimportant things. We loose our perspective of the importance of relying on God for our everything. I am not sure we are even willing to do that. Maybe we aren't even able. I don't know. I'm not anyway. I have, however, decided to try a day of completely following Phil 4:6 and to pray every time I have some anxiety or bad thoughts or want to holler at the kids instead of taking the time to explain the problem.... What a challenge that will be. I already failed this morning, but it's early and I have the whole day ahead of me, to feel God at every corner, every turn this day might bring.
Be anxious for nothing but in everything pray.....
Ok, I'm gonna try.
Three prayer requests from me:
  1. I have a surgical hernia- doesn't hurt, no blockage.... but potential is there for my colon to get stuck in there (not good) and to have to have it taken care of surgically. I don't like that word any more! Doc hasn't seen it yet as I just noticed it 2 days ago.
  2. My sister Sarah's divorce court date is Tuesday. It is very overwhelmingly stressful for her. Not to mention that the ex is a bit unstable and we are worried.... Pray for her and the children's safety and for his heart to soften and understand that what is important is what is right and best for the children.
  3. No more CA 125 climbing fests in this body.
Much love to you all,
Polly Pocket

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Problems

I was talking with a friend earlier this week. I love my friends and family.
We humans have a serious problem. We ALL have problems. And we all want to diminish ours by comparing our problem to others. We say things like 'I shouldn't complain because so and so is so sick' or 'I am so sick and they only...' But mostly I think we tend to not talk to people who are in the middle of a huge problem and I think it is a mistake. Even those of us who are fighting an illness need to know what is going on. Maybe especially us- so we can focus on something other than ourselves. That is what loving is about, focusing on others and trying to help if possible. Some of us thrive on helping, even if we can't physically do anything. It's called loving on....
If God doesn't compare our sins I wonder if he compares our situations? Maybe in the way we handle them, or ask Him to handle them. Maybe in the way we love on despite our own circumstances. I don't know. I do know that there are things worse than cancer. Like not knowing what is wrong with you and having no answers. Or, in my opinion, a job/career loss and the no income and complete stress that creates. That's the type of stuff that leaves people without homes, desperate... Something I don't know that I could handle very well. Hence the verse in
1Cor. 10:13 'No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.'
Tempted is an interesting word, isn't it. Who is tempted to be sick, or unemployed, or drug addicted or abused?? No one wishes to live that way. The temptation is in what we do with our circumstance. Fight or flight as we might call it. We need always to remember that no matter what our circumstance Jesus is with us, Jesus loves us, and Jesus is in control. What we don't know is the why, or how, or when. In his time, in his way. Now that is difficult to swallow when you actually have to demonstrate and live that way. But I've come to a conclusion, whether the circumstance is big or small in our human eyes, Jesus is still there to help us thru- we only need to accept that and ask for it. Another free gift to us when we humble ourselves and actually seek his face in the middle of our pit, our mud puddle, our darkness.
It's ok to flee from our pits- flee indeed- into the capable hands of God. It's also ok to fight our pits- fight with God's word, with God's hands. His hands lift us up and protects us, no matter what the outcome of our darkness and despair, whether big or small whether life or death. We've all been thru something, and we all will be tested thru our circumstances. Remember, this is only a test. Get at least a C and run to God, if not at first, (which would earn us an A) when you realize you need to! C (see) God in the middle? C him loving and caring for you? If you don't, try harder. He's there. MOVE YOURSELF to Him.
Thank you Jesus, for already conquering our pits for us. May we rejoice in your sacrifice and your gift of grace and life for us, no matter what we do, no matter what we face. Help us to know you are here, right here with us. And thank you for a beautiful day.
Vicki

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Worry

Matt 6:27 You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.
Wow. I mean I've heard that before, but at this point in life I sure wish you could add time- I'd be alive for a really long time. So would many of you!
Worry just adds to our problems: anxiety, stomach aches, head aches, sleeplessness- have I mentioned I don't sleep well? It's just so easy to worry. We worry about our children most of all. That is what I worry about most. How this journey I am on, facing cancer, chemo, mortality, terror, miracles, friendships renewed,- not all bad- but I worry about how it will affect them. I hope I've faced it well in their point of view. I hope they have seen me lean on God and not just scared. I hope that they have noticed how much people reach out to others in a time of dire need. I hope they see the importance of that kind of compassion and life giving/changing effects it has on others. I hope they learn to love more.
Worry only had a hold on me occasionally now- better than before so I suppose any improvement is good. What is funny is that when I want to find out some information about anything to do with ovarian cancer they always talk about how it is the deadliest of gynecological cancers. NIce, huh. Like we don't already know that and need that reminder. I was reading about a future/possible vaccine for OC and that is how they started it- Why I ask you? Just talk about the vaccine and how good it is and how it's going to eliminate the cancer itself. ARG!! Then they go on to talk about a study with the vaccine- but you have to have a recurrance, a second round of treatments intraperenially- meaning in your belly- which greatly diminishes the quality of life for the patient during treatments. For me, finding out that chemo was not as bad as I thought it would be is part of what got me thru it- knowing I'd only feel yucky for a couple days. I know I was fortunate in that. It's just strange that one would have to go thru so much before getting the vaccine- I know it's because it is only a trial thing, but......
And no, I am not in a bad place or anything- just annoyed at how things are worded sometimes. I want to be more informed about my cancer but I really don't need to be reminded of how treatments haven't really advanced much compared to others, and how rotten it is, what the mortality rates are... blah blah blah.
Some information is better only once.
Thanks for the venting session.
Love to you all.
Vicki

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blooming


Rise up oh God, compel us to move, as we wait on you, our faith is in bloom...
Did you sing it with me. I couldn't help but start to write in my head during the service today.
Compel us to move. I'd have to say He has compelled me to move alright. Out of my comfort zone of being the listener, confider, and encourager to being the comforted. Compelled to move into a healthier life style. Compelled to be so vocal about what God is doing in my life, in my heart. I would never admit to being quiet, but compelled to share- I'd say that is a stretch for my faith walk. God has compelled me to write for Him. To write my heart. To write this journey. To put my thoughts and feelings out there. That is NOT me. It must be him because there are times I re read what I wrote and have little memory of writing it- and no, it's not the medications!!
As we wait on you... Well you already know how I feel about waiting. I don't much like it. But I must be getting a little better at it since I didn't fall apart before my last CA 125. 'I'm waiting on you, I'm waiting on you, to show yourself true, to make all things new, My faith is in bloom....' Waiting makes your faith bloom since there is nothing else that you can do. Waiting forces you into a panic or a quiet place of refuge. I lean toward the panic end most of the time, but cancer does that for you. I am finding a quietness, though. I'm not sure I was prone to panic before cancer.... more growth. But I also know I have that human side where the panic begins, but it always seems to end in the hands of God and my panic subsides, if but for a moment.
My faith is in bloom.... Every event, every situation, every change, every good moment and every bad brings us to a place of growing our faith. I am living a constant growth factor right now. Each new phase, new test, new stupid number gives me the opportunity to grow, to bloom in His word. His word, His love, His divine ordinance over us, now matter how good or bad the circumstance brings us all to the same place. Bloom where you are planted. Our faith doesn't just bloom during the good, in fact I would argue it blooms when we are faced with adversity. But each glimmer of hope, each kind word, each time someone speaks truth to you (even hard truth) brings us closer to God. Every time we get closer to God our faith becomes more real, bigger, a sunflower instead of a crocus.
Although our journeys are different, our God is not. He is there to carry us if we choose to let him. Everyday a chance to choose is handed to us. Everyday is fresh and new and full of wonderful God moments we should all start recording. Everyday has it's own little miracle, it's own words from God for us. But we need to take the time to see and hear them. We need to come up out of the snow, like the crocus, and be only 4 inches tall, but a beautiful blossom in the middle of a season of hard weather. And once the hardship becomes lessened, or even if it doesn't and it is our hears that become less burdened we need to continue to reach up to Him, and to grow, like the sunflower, continually reaching upward, continually facing the 'son'.
No matter how much faith we have there are daily opportunities to make it bloom into something a little more. By giving, by receiving, by studying, by talking, by writing, by singing... the possibilities of growing are as endless as the miracles and the everyday life he breathes into us. Grab your day by God's yoke. Take your moment of peace and spend it with him.
He will rise up within us, compel us to move, continue to make us wait until our faith is in bloom. Listen to your inner flower. Me? I'm a tulip. Rising up thru the newly warmed earth, in different hues of pinks (of course) only to be eaten by the stinking deer I love so much. What I mean by that is even though tulips are so beautiful, so new to the season of spring, they are put to the test by harsh weather, and animals. I have yet to see my tulips because the deer eat them every year. As my tulip is food to another- so hopefully my story can be food for your soul, thru Christ. Not my story, but his be told thru me and my journey with cancer.
Thank you for coming along with me. I pray we won't have to do it again.
All my love,
Vicki

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thriving

I love the Holiday season, from Thanksgiving to the New Year. It is full of family, shopping, school concerts, and complete chaos at times. So many of us thrive on this type of activity. I do in bursts, but not as a constant way of life. We've been staying at my parents with my 2 sisters and all the grandkids, and it has been fun. My grandma is there, too. And to call it complete chaos actually fits. My poor brother in law has something going on with his eye, my sister has to work today, grandma can't hear well, Jayson has a birthday party, tomorrow is the first basketball games for the boys... Is this vacation? The volume at my parents is many decibels more than I can handle. So last night I came home so I could sleep without keeping people awake with my snoring. How embarrassing. Tim took Jay to the BD party and I have some silence, some time to clean up the house (even tho the kids and I have not been here-hmmm) and some time to reflect.
I think that just because we thrive on chaos or busyness does not mean it is always good for us. We forget to take some time each day to re-energize- to just clear your head of all the stuff moving around it. I needed to come home to do that, even tho I was having a blast. All the stories we tell. Like, can you even believe that I used to be very bossy? I wouldn't let my sisters even look in my room, and I could tell when they did come in because of their foot prints. Now, the did steal my clothes sometimes and tried not to get caught.... but I was so mean. They say once I went to college I became nice to them. Ah, I'm so sorry my sisters. They can't believe I am nice now. So funny. We've just been laughing and laughing, which is some good medicine for both me and my sisters. Nothing like picking on family.
So I am taking this little window of time to sit, in quiet, and write and reflect and to thank God for today and blood tests, and medicines, and prayer, and for Jesus who makes it all possible. Whom without we couldn't talk to God and pray for our friends, family and self. I feel so blessed to be able to be with my whole family in one house, for the complete chaos, and for my being able to enjoy it- at least most of it!! I feel blessed that we could have Willey Christmas here and that sister Sue could stay with us a few days. It's just so nice to get caught up with everyone, to see the new baby, Johnny, and the 4 month old Ryan and just snuggle them. Yummy babies.
And Monday brings the return of life before cancer. Jerzie is coming back! Now that is exciting. And with Jerzie comes a new baby in April. Hurray. I'm so glad they decided to have another baby for me!! haha
So take some time to slow down today and count your blessings. I count you all, and thank God for you each day.
Vicki