Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Life and Learning

Life is busy.
Life is complicated.
Life is so much fun.
Life is the unexpected.
Life is up and down.

I've been praying and trying to make a decision about what to do with this blog.  Do I keep it going? Do I take it off the radar? If I keep going, what in the world am I suppose to write or share?  After much prayer and pondering I believe that keeping it up is what He would have me to do.  I believe that I know what I'm suppose to be writing about but wanting to make absolutely sure, it may be a week or so before the first post appears.  I'm excited and can't wait to get started.

If you are new, please feel free to read the older post.
If you are still checking in and following, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me!!!!

I look forward to what the future may hold!  It's going to be great!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lessons Learned from My Overcomer

I realize that I wrote a post with the same exact title about a year ago.  At the same time, it was about a year/year and a half ago that things started happening.
I have also written a post about a friend named Lynn, that I nicknamed "Overcomer" after Mandisa's awesome song that means so much on so many levels.
You see, Lynn is the wife of my ex-husband and Step-Mom to my older children.  She was diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of Leukemia and the prognosis was not good and she was left with a choice.  FIGHT or NOT!!!  If you knew Lynn, you would know that "NOT" was NOT an option.  She was going to fight with everything in her!
As friends and family rallied around her, she fought.  She fought with grace, dignity, might, power, strength, love, concern for others, and a smile that would light up a room!  There were days I am sure that were gut wrenching and the nausea and fatigue and the discomfort would take over but to see her picture on Facebook or in a text or Instagram, you would never know.  Her husband, children, family and friends stood beside her.  Sent her cards, text messages and frogs!  Lynn loved her frogs!

She received a Bone Marrow Transplant on May 1, 2014.  That was her new "Birthday".  It was easy to remember and we counted each month as a "Birthday"!  Every day was a fight.  Every day was a victory and we all claimed it as such!  She had beaten her cancer!  We were all so ecstatic!  It was so amazing and we were all so thankful!

The side effects from the treatments, however were not so kind!  They were waging a war and then that day came.  The physician came in and said there was nothing else to do.  We were heart broken.  We didn't understand.  Lynn had fought so hard.  She had taught us so much in the past year.  I don't know that she will ever know the impact that she had on my life.

The last weekend in September, we made our way to North Carolina to a Farewell Service.  You see, it was not "Good Bye" for us.  It was "See you later".  There will be a day when we will see her again.  She will be beaming from ear to ear with her smile.  She will be FULLY HEALED!  She will be just a few minutes late meeting up with you and me but she WILL be there.  It was such a wonderful time of memories of her!  Things that we had all experienced with her!

So you may ask, what did I learn from Lynn?  I learned several things from her.
1. SMILE and smile a lot!
2. Take LOTS of pictures with yourself in them, whether you look wonderful or your hair is a mess or you have cake batter on your face.
3. Love your family no matter what the circumstances.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.
4. Love life!  Go Get It!
5. Most important, put the Lord first and give Him the Praise that He deserves!

I sent Lynn a million text!  I mean, she probably thought I was a nut!  I wanted to make her smile, to know that we loved her and that we NEVER stopped praying!  I have never lost a friend to a disease. This has been difficult but nothing compared to what her family is going through. Jim, Alexx and Kyle, we will continue praying for all of you in the days ahead!  We love ya'll!  I couldn't think of a better way to remember her than putting a post on my blog!

I love you Lynn-Marie and yes, I will see ya later!



Monday, September 15, 2014

Routine....What Routine??

Well, summer has come and gone and now it's back to a routine.  At our house there is NO ROUTINE during the summer.  Whatever we chose to do is mostly decided by the weather.  It  can beautiful one minute and the next it is pouring rain.  We have learned that there is ALWAYS a chance of rain OR it can look like the bottom is going to fall out and absolutely NOTHING happens.  Now that school is back in session and we are settling into our routine, it is a little difficult but it is all a good thing.

We have moved into our new house.  WE LOVE IT!!!!  We sometimes feel like we are our in the middle of nowhere as Kaleb would say.  We are actually only about 5 minutes from Wal-Mart and Bo is about 5-8 minutes from work.  We have a huge yard.  It is so NICE!!!  We have had our Life Groups from church out to the house on 2 occasions.  It was so great to have plenty of room outside for everyone to sit, relax, eat and fellowship!  Exactly what we wanted when we moved here!  Kaleb loves it because he has found a friend down the street and we don't life in the "hotel house" (apartment) anymore!!!

Do you have a routine?  When we lived in Mississippi, I had a sweet friend that had a folder and each day was a different color.  Depending on the color would determine what she is going to be doing that day.  One color for yard work or cleaning the house, or laundry etc.  We all thought it was humorous but guess what......I find myself doing something very similar especially since Kaleb is now back at school.  There is something about being able to mark off activities or seeing that you have accomplished something that day.

Routine will now include blogging!  I am super excited.  At present that is all that I know.  There is not an agenda, a theme, a topic or anything else.  I just know that this is what I am to be doing and so I will do whatever it is that He asks of me!

Let me hear from you!  Would love to know what has been going on in your life!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2 MORE DAYS!!!!!!

FINALLY!!!!!!!  Kaleb has only 2 more days of school!!!!!!  I know he is excited!!!!!  He hasn't figured out that he has been in school since the first of August.  That is what happens when you move in the middle of the year!!!  We have been so very busy but we have had so much fun in the process.  

We have been so excited about what the Lord is doing. Well, let's just share some pictures and you will see......
Kaleb has been playing Coach-Pitch Ball and LOVING IT!!!!!

Life Group Women!  Powerful Prayer Warriors!!!!

Went to NC and visit with my brother!!!!

Kaleb was able to see some of  his GREAT friends in NC!!

We got to visit with Dylan and Tonya!

Nick graduating from High School and visit with some GREAT FRIENDS!!!!

WE ARE MOVING!!!!  This is our new house!  We are SOOOO excited!!!!

Kaleb picked out his room!

Visit with KYLE!!!!!!  Not sure who had more fun!!!!

Bo and I are going to be teaching 3rd Grade at church in the FALL!!!!!


God has blessed us so richly!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summer is COMING!!!!!!!

Just wanted to stop in and give you an update.  God has been so very good!  I'm amazed and He just continues to blow me away!  I realize that I should not be shocked because He loves His children and blesses them continually. 

My brother was actually discharged today!  He went in about a week ago to be "put back together" after his major ordeal back in October.  What a few months it has been but as I said, the Lord has been gracious and blessed us!  His surgery went great and he is on the road to recovery!  He had no ill effects from the anesthesia this time and was up on the side of the bed that evening.  So very grateful!

My "Overcomer" Lynn has been through so much! She has fought such a battle and has never lost her faith.  She has been through extreme radiation, extreme chemotherapy and has received her Bone Marrow Transplant.  She has endured all of the side effects and has done so well.  Every week we have prayed for her during our Life Group Meetings.  It's been such a blessing!  

Life Group continues to be our high-light each week.  There is something so precious and yet so powerful about learning, growing, praying, fellowshipping and of course, eating with brothers and sisters in Christ!  We have grown as group so much we are getting ready to as Pastor Michael says, "Birth" into another group.  Our group will divide into 2 groups and then continue on.  It's just amazing!  It's such a blessing! 

Kaleb continues to blow our minds.  Of course there is never a dull moment in the house for sure!  He has received straight A's on his last report card and his progress report.  He finished out his season in the Youth Bowling Team.  He came home with 3 trophies, 1 patch and 2 plaques.  I'm not sure who was more excited, Kaleb , us, or my parents.  He and Bo are bowling in an Adult/Youth Summer League.  Kaleb bowled last night for the first time without bumpers.  He did so good and had such a great attitude about it!  Very proud of the Little Man! 

There are just a few more things to share about the Nine Arts and I will be getting to those n the next couple of days.  I am using them and they make such a huge difference.  The people that I don't know and the fact that I make eye contact with someone is just mind blowing to some of them.  I'm sure they think...."Obviously, she is not from here"......I just smile and keep going! 

My prayer life has grown by leaps and bounds since reading and studying and being in our Life Group.  It is something that can be so simple and yet we miss it.  We talk to others. We talk to family. We talk to friends. We even talk to our spouses.  We need to FIRST talk to HIM1!!!!  I'll share more on that later. 

Now that you are caught up, we will be sharing a lot this summer.  Please join in!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nine Arts- LOVING!!!!!

Do you love people?
Do you love your parents?
Do you love your Spouse?
Do you love your children?
Do you love your Family Members?
Do you love your friends?
Do you love your neighbors?
Do you love the waitress at the restaurant?
Do you love the teen that waited on you at the fast food restaurant?

Oh WOW!!!!!  It may be easy to go down the list and say YES to 95% of those.  Let me ask you another question....do you love them unconditionally?  Do you show your love to them?  If you do, how do you do that? 

Let's really think about that.  He loved us first!  He loved us unconditionally.  Scripture even says that "While we still sinners, Christ died for us."  He loved you even in your sin, so much that He was willing to die for you.  That really just takes me to my knees in gratitude!!!! 

Let's look at some other scripture to consider....
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (NIV) Zephaniah 3:17 " And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, through it is too great to understand fully." (NIV) Ephesians 3:18-19 "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"We love because he first loved us"(NIV) 1 John 4:19

Here is something for us to consider when we are going through this process of seeking those that are lost. 
"Musician Aaron Niequist explains it this way in his song "Changed" 
We have been blessed,
now we're gonna be a blessing.
We have been loved,
now we're gonna bring love,
We've been invited,
we're gonna share the invitation.
We have been changed, to bring change"

"God invites ordinary men and women in their every day lives to make an extraordinary impact with an extraordinary message.  What's the message?  God extravagantly loves ALL PEOPLE!!!!"

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nine Arts- Asking Questions????????

Ok, so let's recap.....
Noticing- looking and watching and noticing intentionally.  Looking a little deeper than just the superficial
Praying- Seeing people and their expressions or their circumstances that they are in and praying while you are noticing them as well.
Listening- Probably one of the hardest.  Listening to what they share directly or indirectly that tells you so much more about them.  More details means more specific ways to pray.
Now we come to the new one. 
--Asking Questions-  That doesn't seem very difficult.  It seems pretty straight forward.  So, let's say that you have found this person, that you have noticed, you have been praying for/about and you have listened to what they share directly and/or indirectly.  Now it's your turn to ask questions. 
-What are you going to say? 
-How are you going to start a conversation?
-Have they said something that interested you in your earlier conversations when you were just listening to them?

So why is it important to even ask questions?  Asking questions opens doors and starts conversations that can very well turn to spiritual matters.  Asking questions also takes the focus off of you and turns it to them and allows them to share their experiences which of course opens up for more questions. 

Let's think about this.  The Lord wants to have a relationship with us and we all know that a relationship is built on communication.  We also know that communication is a two way street.  It requires conversation with questions and answers.  One important thing to remember is to ask open ended questions and not yes-no questions. 
Let's take a look at one of my favorite passages of scriptures.  Starting in the beginning....
Genesis 3:8-13  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?".  He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"  The man said, "The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

Did you notice that the Lord asked questions that required an answer and not just a yes or a no.  Questions about where they were and what they were doing.  This gives us a jumping off point for our conversations and asking questions to those that we are learning about!

So, now you have another piece of the puzzle and you are ready to take another step.  We have just a few more to go.  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I have enjoyed sharing this!!!!! 
I would LOVE to hear from you!!!!!!