Friday, January 30, 2015

"Our Family" according to Bellen

I love preschooler art work! Bellen did a portrait of the 6 of us. She is the one on the top left.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Trusting Deep

Have you ever driven by a bad accident and wanted to look, wondering what was going on, who was hurt, so curious...but, at the same time, you don't want to look, afraid of what you might see, picturing yourself or a loved one in that situation. 
This was me today. 
I have read Kara Tippett's blog mundanefaithfulness from time to time. It had been awhile since I'd checked it and decided to do so today. You see, even though we are strangers, Kara and I have much in common. We are both married to Jason (different ones Ofcourse;). Both of these Jasons are pastors. We both have 4 children. We both love Jesus. We both have metastatic breast cancer. The difference between us is that she has just ended treatment. Ended, not finished. Ended because there is no longer anything medicine can do for her. She is beginning hospice care. She gracefully, honestly and with great faith, is living her final days.
It hits very close to home. 
How deep does our commonality go? 
I could really let my mind roll quickly down that steep, slippery slope of despair. And we all know how quickly momentum is picked up once we start the fall. It's not called the "snowball effect" for nothing!
However, I recalled a conversation I had yesterday with a friend...she was sharing how she was learning to trust God in ALL things, for the long haul. And it really resonated with me. It's only been just 8 months since the re-diagnosis. It could be 8 more years...or 18...or 80! The Lord only knows. And I'm going to choose to trust Him each day, each week, each month. I will trust Him in the good news, the sketchy news and the super crappy news. I'm going to trust Him deep. And through the trusting I'll see more clearly how this isn't my real life, it's just the precursor to my eternal life.
Trusting Him deep, Into the great unknown.

Psalm 56:3
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

 Romans 12:12
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer..

Kara's blog: mundanefaithfulness 
She also has a book, The Hardest Peace, that I own but have yet to read because I'm not ready.

Monday, January 26, 2015

This morning....

Today's devotion on Our Daily Bread App had this quote...

Life’s challenges are designed not to break us but to bend us toward God.

So true.

The scripture reading was in Nehemiah and Exodus...I love when God uses His word, written in a time I wasn't a part of, to speak to me today! Only God! Here is the link if you don't have the app's a great way to start your day!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Humility Lesson

Webster's definition of Humility-the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people:the quality or state of being humble.

Since June, I, along with our whole family, have been the recipients of the selfless giving of others. From meals, to money for my oxygen therapy, gift cards, a car (Dad, wow, still blown away by this), and several fundraisers, both in the past and near future, along with so much more...
It can feel so uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of these generous gifts. The Lord is teaching me so many lessons as we journey down this road. The most recent one I'm still trying to work through is humility. Please don't mistake this challenge I'm having with digesting this lesson for ungratefulness! I'm often made speechless by the generosity of others. It's just so odd to be on this receiving end...still! Not odd that cancer is a thread of our families everyday fibers so much, but the fact that so many, even those we don't know me, would be so gracious and generous. Sometimes I feel unworthy. Sometimes I feel embarrassed. Sometimes it feels awkward. But I know that it is God's provision and His loving hand taking care of us through others. And when I remember that, I get over myself, and rest in the place of humility and gratefulness.
Recently, my wise-beyond-her-years-12-year-old-daughter helped me gain insight. She said, maybe God was sometimes using the giving in those who gave, to teach them too. We are receiving the material blessing, but perhaps God was blessing the giver also. I'll never know until I'm face to face with the Lord and can ask Him. But honestly it doesn't matter. It's just a gentle reminder that God loves me and He is with us through this every step. And I mean life, not just cancer.

Last week I started to feel some familiar twinges of pain that I hadn't felt in awhile. I was also feeling tired. I started to think perhaps the fluid was back, surrounding the left lung. I went for a chest X-ray Friday and it came back clear! Also I had my 'in between chemo cycles' bloodwork and my tumor marker is down a 1/2 point....I'll take it!!:)
I'll meet with my oncologist Monday to go over the bloodwork. Guessing the tiredness is just from being on the oral chemo for 5 cycles now. It's funny how, once I started to feel so good and " normal", it was easy to push the fact that I have cancer to the back of my brain...and tuck it away in a box. But, it's still there (thankfully much smaller then before!) and the scare last week snapped me back into reality, reminding me how quickly things can change. So, I'll cling on to the gratitude of feeling good and keeping "it" at bay. 
Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness.

Here's what we did this weekend...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend update

Remember on Saturday Night Live, the "weekend update" portion of the show? That was funny. I religiously watched Saturday Night Live back in my 20's...especially in my college years. You know, back when I could stay up til 1 am and not pay for it all day long the next day. No biggie. It was "no biggie" perhaps, because I had no one else to take care of and my days were my own. I like to call that time period "the selfish years". (Snicker-snicker)
I digress. Anyway, back to this weekend. This "weekend update" isn't funny, but our weekend was sooo relaxing and enjoyable. We had a night out for Jason's work party, spent time with dear friends and got to stay at home a lot...that's a real treat:). We ended the weekend today at the beach, visiting the Pacific Beach Tidepools. Any weekend ending with the beach is pretty fab in my eyes. ;)

                                      Too Tall;)

                                           Too short!

                          Baby Bad-guys

                       Old friends...all grown up

Monday, January 5, 2015

Kicking off 2015 with Good News

I had my Tri-weekly appointment and bloodwork today. My tumor marker is down another 10 points! I'm sooo thankful and in awe that God has done this for me. My heart swelled up with joy tonight, when at dinner, the kids shared their best & worst part of their day (we try to do this every night at dinner). A month ago we added a 3rd thing to you see God in your day.
Meran & Jameson both shared that they saw God in their day through my good test results and that the cancer is shrinking. (I could have cried watching that 9 year old boy's face when he shared that). 
Thank you Lord for these sweet teachable moments & times of growth through uncertain times!

I'm excited to kick off this new year with this great news. My heart is full of joy and gratitude.

We wrapped up 2014 visiting both our families on a 10 day road trip...Hume lake to San Francisco to Visalia, back to San Diego. 10 full days filled with family, fun and making great memories!


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