Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rest with me

I have never been a big "oh my goodness I love that devotional" girl.  They just don't seem to have enough depth or they don't connect with me.  But this one is hitting me EVERYDAY.  Jesus Calling.  Yes, the new fad Christian gotta have it book.  Well let me tell you, you gotta have it.
For June 27th it said:
 Rest with me a while.  You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days.  The way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty.  Look neither behind you nor before you.  Instead, focus your attention on Me, your constant Companion.  Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey.
I designed time to be a PROTECTION for you. You couldn't bear to see all your life at once. Though I am unlimited by time, it is in the present moment that I meet you.  Refresh yourself in My company, breathing deep draughts of My Presence. The highest level of trust is to enjoy Me moment by moment. I am with you, watching over you wherever you go.
Ps 143:8  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Genesis 28:15  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
I have my Bible Promises book right in front of my and there are a lot of promises in that bible we live by and love.  I think it comes down to this: we are promised to be given, as a gift, eternal life.  In return we are to believe, be baptized and live a life worthy of Christ.  Nothing about being healthy.  Nothing about never having a heavy burden.  Nothing about perfect children, family, spouses.  Really we are promised troubles.  Our hope is in Christ and his healing love for us.  He will decide how to heal: instantly and miraculously, thru a journey of pain and suffering, or thru bringing us to Him where we are whole once again.

On this journey of mine, one full of downs.... just downs.  Nothing easy, nothing healed, nothing fixed.  My heart feels so low at times.  But I am not fearful really, I am unwilling to be ok with having more chemo, more cancer.  It confuses me a bit.  This time has been very difficult emotionally.  Not by stealing my hope but by adding cynicism and a critical spirit.  It's mostly in my head. not shared out loud.  I don't want to be labeled hypocritical- but I am hanging on by a string to the hope of being cured or healed.

A string is a string, and it's stronger than a thread.  And my string is getting thicker with the news today that my CA 125 is 35 and I won't have to have my chemo that was scheduled for Monday.  I have had such a bad attitude about this 3rd treatment-so unlike me.  It zaps me of everything I have- energy, humor, rest, enthusiasm, and sometimes will to try.  Being Zapped is more that hard for me.  I am finally feeling like myself.  Gutting the storeroom so that I can have half for an office for my business.  I am geared up and ready to go!  I am so thrilled that I do not have to get zapped again.  I can complete the project.  Even if I only get a 2 week reprieve I will be happy.  Actually I lie..... I won't be happy to have more chemo.  That's impossible.  But I do think my attitude will be better.

On Sunday we sang 'You never let go' and I heard it differently that day.  I know he has me in the palm of his righteous right hand.  He never lets go.  He never lets go.  So how do we get to despair and hopelessness?  Because we let go.  We let go of His hand, his promises, his hope, his joy.  All these gifts he has given to us.  We get too wrapped up in the human aspect, the human feelings about our steep rugged path.  Paths so different from each other.  Heart problems, anxiety, finances, children, surgery, pain, illness, allergies.  There are many bad paths.  When we start to compare them we do an injustice to the person we are comparing ourselves to.  If you tell me "ah man but that is nothing like what you have to go thru".  I usually say you cannot compare.  Hard is hard.  Don't diminish yours and don't magnify mine.  Hard is hard.

I am taking that statement of time to heart.  I have a gift of time right now.  It may be weeks or months. It may be forever.  But mostly I've learned that I cannot let go of his righteous right hand.  Why on earth would I do that?

So here's to some time, and to a string that is getting stronger while it learns to keep holding on.

Much love,

Vicki

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hearing

We have a graduate next year!  And to know me- or mom- is to know that I have already begun to get a little ready for it.  My gardens are what I have been tackling.  Weeding, transplanting, mulching, and keeping the deer from eating the hosta's before they even have leaves.  Why are they doing that?  ARG.  They are beginning to make me upset.  But, that isn't going to stop me.  The latest project for me is the front of the house.  Many years ago we pulled the bushes out because, well, I hate bushes.  I like pretty things.  My front landscaping has been barren for years now.  So I have been transplanting hosta's since I know they are hardy and can survive anything, some Iris and intend to get a few flowering perennials as well as just garden art.  I just put in a bird bath that has a solar light in it and I am looking forward to seeing it with birds, and glowing at night.  New small table and 2 chairs, and couple decorations and I am almost feeling at home out here.  That's where I am right now, writing, listening to music, birds and crickets.


Preparing: I don't think I'm crazy to start this year.  I won't be able to handle it all next year.  Next year I can focus on theme and food. The ceremonies, and all the little extras.  She already has her varsity letter in Cross Country and an Academic letter as well.  


Yesterday I was driving home from taking Austin somewhere and a song came on, one I haven't heard before.  I should have known that I would get my 'back talk' from God thru song.  Dah.  I would credit the band, but I can't remember their name.  These were the lyrics, or a close version of them:


Let my life be the proof
the proof of your love . 
Let my love look like you 
and what you're made of.



I felt like that just solidifies my 'cease striving' from last time.  I do not believe that we need to cease striving with our relationships with our peeps and families, but we got so busy with doing things, so many activities with the children, so much busy work that I am not sure we take time to let our lives be different- to show Gods love in what we do.  I don't know if we love with the truth of our Jesus.  I'm not sure what that even looks like really. Right now my life is preparing for a party that is happening in a year so that this body, that isn't normal and can't handle all the stress at one time, can have time to recuperate, rest, and learn to live in the proof of Jesus love.  Quite the challenge, both taking time to make a new 'to do ' schedule for myself, and living in the proof of Jesus love, to love with His truth.

Truth is we all need to work on this.

So I am listening.  God has always spoken to me more thru music than anything else.  My new devotional has His voice seemingly saying, hey, Vicki, this one is for you.  EVERYDAY!  Which is good.  Right now christian music and that devotional and blogging is about all I have to give and all I can take in.

I have a yearning to be looked at, for my life to be lived as proof of Jesus and his love for us.  I know my appearance to others makes it look like he doesn't love me-and that's too bad.  My attitude rarely reflects that even when I am down for 4-5 days and a bit whiny.  I have people I can go to that help me get out of my pits of despair.  It is difficult to show I feel loved when the thoughts in people's head are so uncontrolled and so worldly thinking.  So with a smile on my face and a conversation and a giggle or two, I hope I show them some little bit of the love I do feel and the love I have to give.  I keep saying, morbid as it may be- this is not the 'one' that is going to get me.  This may be the last fight.  I don't know, I don't understand, I don't like it, but it's mine.  Mine and God's.

Good luck.  Spread some loving truth, by living and loving as Jesus would.

Love you my friends.

Vicki


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Feeling

That was the longest 4 days of feeling totally exhausted and yucky ever.  Stuck on a couch, watching TV (which I really do like to do), and fall into and out of sleep.  But, I didn't like them.  Weakness, indecision, inability to do, just total sloth material.  Not so much a part of who I am and how I operate is it?

I was reading and came across this phrase 'cease striving'.  Interesting isn't it.  Just take a second and think about it.  What do we strive for?  Others.  OTHERS!  We strive to be better parents, spouses, leaders, employees, volunteers, kids, gardeners, cooks...... We have issues- or at least I do.

I've spent so much of my journey striving to make sure people knew what was going on with me, what my journey was, and bringing them along with me if they so choose.  I believe very strongly that God compelled me to do this thru my writing, or my talking, or my being present and fighting thru cancer, even for the 3rd time.  And I don't feel relieved of this task.  I feel I have an additional task to perform.

Cease striving..... Just really got me thinking.  Am I striving to be closer with you or with God?  I mean I know what I want the answer to be.... but that isn't always what it is.  Sometimes the writing I post is all God- I don't even remember writing some completely.  But not always (like the previous one).  It's so much easier to talk to you because you talk directly back to me.  I don't get those got 'back talks' from God.  I am working on it tho.

The reading continues to explain that  God wants to spend time with us, often more time than we want to spend with him.  He still speaks to those who will listen to him.  And I'll be so brutal right now- I don't know if I am able to listen because my mind never seems clear.  It is so hard to take time and be still and listen.  And I am not sure I want to hear the answer. I don't want to hear you'll be ok, no matter what.  All that means is even if I were to loose this battle, I still win when I get to Heaven.  And I understand that.  I am just not in such a hurry to get there.  I want to hear you're going to be ok and have another 40 years here to enjoy your grandchildren and family.  But do I want to be here in constant suffering. Um that answer is no in case you didn't know.

So I cease striving to make this all about 'our' journey and more about my journey with God and wrestling with him over cancer, over earthly life and over health and fear and death and faith and whatever else comes to mind.  At least I'm not afraid to wrestle with him.  Did you know you can ask questions and wrestle with God.  It's actually allowed.

And so I will practice listening to God.  That takes time which means I will have to figure out how to take the time to concentrate and hear him.  I really do not know how to stop and take time.  I just don't. I think I have my 'place' to go and listen but now I need the ears and the heart to hear.

So here's to learning to change.  And continuing to strive to hear God's still small voice thru the bullfrogs and the crickets and the bats..... That's where I'm going to find it.  I just know it.

Love to all.  Feeling better so I am refusing to do too much.  So HARD but so necessary!  One reason I was so tired is my WBC count was low, one portion in particular, and rest is really all you can do for it.  So hopefully I rested it away for a bit, can do a few things, then continue to rest each day.  With school being out it does make it so much easier.

Love,
Vicki

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why I shouldn't blog on a bad day

I guess I don't get to choose too much in life, but I did get to choose to go to Chile with my two oldest children.  That was a good choice.  Of course God was totally in charge of it, allowing us to raise the $5000 needed for the 3 of us to go.  So many people to thank, so many people who used my business to help us get there too.

I would like to go back now.

My devotion said to give God control of my thoughts and he will give me life and peace.  Peace is but a faint light around the moon right now, and life seems, well, unlovely.  It's is funny tho how when you  are holed up in a place you don't want to be your mind stays focused on the reasons you are there.  All I can manage is a possible shower, sit on the couch and watch TV, falling into and out of sleep the whole day.  No baseball.  Did you hear that.  That one is killing me.  But my counts are quite low and I am trying to be a good girl.  And I  have been- just not with my thoughts.  But my thoughts are being held captive right now and the real, true and loving ones are just stuck underneath the rubble that is....

They'll be back soon....


Thursday, June 7, 2012

What Cancer Cannot Do

That is what my newest t-shirt is about.

Cancer is so limited......
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot destroy confidence, 
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Isn't that just an awesome way to say so much about cancer?  Whether you've had it or loved someone who has, these little sayings are they things we grasp on to.  Because these are the things we can control a bit.

But my heart is not there this time, even tho I KNOW that this is for but a minute, that the cancer is microscopic, that this is not the time it is going to 'get' me, my heart is just lying and lying and lying to me.

God has been so full of blessings for us.  He has kept me so busy with scanning that it is remarkable.  Almost too busy if there is such a thing.  And that is because I still have trouble taking time to rest.  Shocking I know.  But I also know that I HAVE to.  I have to yet I don't.  Familiar theme.

Singing "Mighty to Save" on Sunday was really hard.  All things I know about God, yet all things my heart is just not feeling.  My mountain isn't going away.  It's getting bigger.  My anxiety isn't going away, it's getting worse.

And then there is 'Jesus Calling' today that says:
I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light.  My Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me.  Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry.  My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life.  However, worry is a form of unbelief, it is anathema to Me.
Who is in charge of you life?  If it is you, then you have good reason to worry.  But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and  counterproductive.  When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me.  Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me.  I will either take care of the problem Myself of show you how to handle it.  In the world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me. 
There has yet to be a day when this devotional hasn't called me out or slapped me up!  I love it.  I just don't know how to get to the place I need to be this time.  I'm wandering.  Not flailing in my faith or belief I don't think.  Just so tired of fighting, of hurting, of not exercising and or not being able to do the things I wish to do, like garden, or walk, or play physically with the kids (I'm a rough houser by nature. Oldest of 3 daughters I've had to assert my dominance since forever because my sisters are tough nuts.)

Chemo number 2 is today.  But my CA125 is 59, down from 107 so that is very good news.  Maybe this one will knock it out of the body- for good.  Ovarian Cancer is just so scary.  All cancers are, but this cancer is aggressive and often doesn't let it's victims free from its grip.  I want freedom- body, mind, spirit.  I need and covet your prayers for me and my family.  Thank you.

So that is how I feel.  Glad you asked, right?  It will get better, this I know.  Yes, I do know.  I'll let God wash over me today as I sit, all day, with healing poison rushing thru my body killing the cancer cells that are there.  Lord, let it flow to every place that a cancer cell lives and may it kill them forever.

Onward we fight, LB,

Vicki