Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Missing Umbrella

This past weekend was rainy, days that required umbrellas if one was to venture out. Umbrellas tend to disappear at our house, I don't know where they go.

It hadn't been long since we had seen them, the weather had started to get rainy a couple of weeks ago and my husband had dug two out of the closet. What had happened to them? No children to blame, it's just the two of us.

We searched high and low, checked the closets and the cars. Each was sure the other had misplaced the needed umbrellas. I was convinced that my husband had put the umbrellas somewhere...after all I hadn't used an umbrella in months. I was very insistent that I was not the guilty party

Husband eventually found one of the umbrellas on a hanger with a coat over it...he remembered doing that..other one was still missing in action.

Well can you guess what happened when I went to work on Monday, there sitting right next to my desk was the missing umbrella...my husband was right, it was me!  When did I take it to work?

I could have just taken it home and he would never have known the difference but I knew I needed to tell him that I had found that umbrella and that it was indeed me who had misplaced it...lots of grace was given, his response when I told him...that's OK, we both forget things.

God graciously continues to show me things about myself that still need changing, this time using a lost umbrella

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Been a Year

Tomorrow will be an anniversary of sorts, it was one year ago that I began this blog. I was in the midst of my cancer diagnosis and my DIL suggested I start a journal to record my thoughts, she meant paper and pencil...blogging never crossed her mind, but that was the first thing I considered

Now if you knew me, you would know I am NOT the blogging type. I am not a writer, not really computer savvy, and not one who would be willing to have emotions out for display. In fact I was a closet blogger for several months, only giving out the link to a few trusted friends and family. I would visit other blogs but would never comment because I did not want to be found.

From the beginning of my diagnosis I believed God wanted to do something in my heart. I was influenced by the article written by John Piper  "Don't Waste Your Cancer" Wouldn't it be a terrible waste if I came out of this unchanged. Might I add, whatever trial God is using in your life, don't waste it, see it as an opportunity for God to grow you spiritually. Let him mold you and shape you according to his purposes. (note to self, remember what you just said)

Cancer put me face to face with my own mortality, again would I let him use this as an opportunity to change me. After some prayer I believed the Lord was leading me to be more transparent, more honest about what was going on in my heart. My blog was a great vehicle for that, but I knew it had to go further, it also had to include the people God had put in my day to day life....people that could ask me the hard questions.

I considered stopping the blog last spring, I didn't want a breast cancer blog anymore, but I was encouraged by several people to continue. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I  have blogs I follow of those that have battled cancer, I just knew if I was to continue this blog my direction needed to be different. So I tweaked the title a little, changed the focus and carried on. I also started commenting on different blogs and to my amazement got comments back. There was a whole community out there.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me in this endeavour. I remember when I pushed publish for the first time...my thoughts...what are you doing??!!

 A special thank you to my fellow bloggers, your support, encouragement and prayers have been overwhelming. There have been times when I may have had a particularly hard day and a comment would just bring me to tears. People I don't even know caring enough to encourage. Such is the body of Christ.

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay you are the potter; we are the work of your hand  Isaiah 64:8

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Attitude Change Needed

Fall is definitely beginning to take root here. Temperatures are beginning to cool down, there has been rain with more forecasted. My garden is looking a little "end of summer" leaves are turning yellow, not as many flowers. We have started, once again, to take our outdoor stuff in for winter storage (trial run was for Hurricane Irene)  and there is a festival at the oceanfront this weekend that will "officially" mark the end of the summer season.

I seem to be tying my peace and joy to my circumstances as of late and thought what I needed most right now was a big dose of gratitude. Change of focus is in order, gratitude can change an attitude. This is some of what I have to be thankful for (and honestly there is so much more, if I count the day to day stuff I take for granted)
-For friends near and far and for those I only know through your blogs. I am thankful to all who are so willing to pray and encourage and point to the Word of God

 -For cooler weather, and rain. We had our backyard dug up last spring to put some drains in and were never able to grow any grass back because of the heat.

-For my grandchildren, we are blessed to have them two evenings a week. The baby is a little colicky, but a swing found at a yard sale has been a huge help

-For the hummingbirds that are still sticking around, love watching them go feeder to feeder and their mid air acrobatics as they chase each other off, it always makes me smile

-For a job that allows flexibility. I only work twenty hours a week and they have been very flexible with my schedule. They allow me to choose the days I work and the hours.

-For my sweet husband who started to get up a little earlier so we could have some devotion time together before he goes to work

-For the bits and pieces having to do with Sweet Lady's care continuing to come together, God has shown us much grace. There is no doubt in my mind that she is happy she is living closer to us.

-and last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father, who despite my failings and fears continues to pour out new grace and mercies each day for the taking.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching   Hebrews 10:23-25

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summer Odditity

What you are looking at are two identical planters. Each planter holds the same three plants, a Mexican heather, a geranium and a sweet potato plant. Same dirt, same location, identical pots, and each plant was the same size when I planted it...so what's up with this?

The sweet potato plant has completely taken over and crowded everything else out,  it seems like it grows an inch a day and will soon be completely blocking the steps

 You can see more clearly what was planted in both pots.

So what happened with this one. If you move move the leaves around you can find the Mexican heather and geranium but they are real small in size. Worse part is this plant seems to be a haven for mosquito's. Any ideas on how this happened? More garden oddities, my gardenia bush is blooming again, it's never bloomed in the fall. The vegetable garden we had high hopes for, never produced much of anything but some basil and a few tomatoes, disappointing.

So how have your gardens done this year? Plagued by weather problems like we were? Thinking of some fall crops, maybe some greens? Any other suggestions? We do have cold frames we can use.
Hope you all have a productive Saturday, it's finally cool here, inside project underway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

His Plan

September is doctor month for me. I am still on an every three month schedule for my surgeon and oncologist. When the time rolls around for the appointments to happen we go through a little bit of anxiety in our house, is it because we don't trust God with our lives's? I do trust him, but with some things it's harder.  I know each one of you can relate to this on some level. We all have things in our life that are harder to trust God with than others.

So my two appointments are behind me, but I m not done yet. I have to have a repeat MRI, nothing new has been found, this was something they had recommended last June, I just didn't know about it, and it sounds like something I will be having done on a regular basis. Ironic because this was exactly what I was trying to avoid when I made treatment decisions last fall.

So meaning no disrespect, but the Lord and I have been having this conversation the last couple of days. I was down right honest about my fustration, dissappointment. What he has been speaking to me is this...You had your plan but this is the path I want you to walk. You still want control of this situation but I want you to trust in me.

So that's my life right now, oh and least I forget to mention they also want me to see an endocrinlogist and a gastroenterolgist sometime in the near future.

Like I said earlier we all have things in our live's that we find it harder to trust God with, mine just happens to be health issues. This blog won't dwell on what is going on with me physically, there is too much life happening that's far more interesting, but when he shows me something about myself as I walk this path I'll open the curtains to let you take a peek.

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord  Psalm 112:7

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yet Another Birthday

It's been birthday time at our house the last couple of weeks. It started with my oldest son, then my grand daughter and last weekend we celebrated my youngest son's, he is now twenty four.

The plan was for him to come back home over the holiday weekend to take another car load of stuff back to his place. We had friends visiting that weekend as well, add my other son and his family and you got a party.

Obviously I am a little late posting this, but, Happy Birthday to our youngest son, the Musician. We enjoyed having him home for a couple of weeks this summer and are happy that he will be living just a couple of hours away. Time for brothers to bond again, (they have already been to a football game together) and maybe more opportunities to see each other.

He is a man with many interests, there was rockets for awhile ( he built a rocket out of styrofoam cups that was as tall as our house, and yes he launched it) biking and of course music. As a graduate student he will be part of a wind quintet.  Maybe there will be a road trip or two to see him play. I could get used to that

Friday, September 9, 2011

More on Waiting

As I have mentioned before I am reading a terrific book called "Broken Down House...Living Productively in a World Gone Bad" by Paul David Tripp. I am about four more pages further than I was the last time I posted about it. I have been using it, as part of my devotions, there is so much of it I want to meditate on. I am still on the chapter about learning to wait, that should tell you something about my life. This section spoke volumes to me and is something I am really trying to look at honestly.

"Has your waiting produced in you a faith that is stronger or weaker? Has the manner of your waiting drawn you closer to God or further away? Has your approach to waiting helped remind you of all the blessings you have been showered with? Or has it tempted you to continually rehearse your list of unmet needs? Has your waiting served to teach you truths about yourself? Or has it made you more blind about yourself and angry about your circumstances? Has the way you wait enabled you to reach out and minister to others better, or has it simply drawn you deeper into the claustrophobic drama of your own waiting?
In each case, it's your choice. Take hold of the grace that God makes available. All of these outcomes are contingent on whether you chose God or self, fruitfulness or futility, his powerful grace or your feeble will. Always remember God is never separate from your wait"

Teach me your way, oh Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you O Lord my God with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave  Psalm 86:11-13

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Up For The Challenge

Last spring my husband bought me Photoshop Elements, it was a Mother's Day gift.  I excitedly installed it started watching some of the tutorials, then life started happening, then summer came, the outdoors held much more interest, so I never got back into learning how to use it.

After the family photos I decided it was time to start watching the tutorials again and learn how to use the software.  I have watched some of the same tutorials over and over again, trying to figure out how to navigate through this software...wasn't having much success. Brain just wasn't retaining, decided I needed something I could look at while I had Photoshop open.

I ordered a manual... wouldn't you think a manual would mean brightly colored pictures with step by step instructions? Well my manual arrived today and it's more like a textbook. This is gonna take some time, my not quite young brain doesn't operate like it used to but I am up for the challenge.

Came across a good word that might be an encouragement to some of you out there, I know it was for me
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:4  Pretty good promise, don't you think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Summers End

Today marks the end of summer for many. I am always a little sad when summer is over, have always been that way. When the children were home the end of summer meant school was about to begin and schedules were a little tighter. Since our nest is now empty, this time of year doesn't effect our schedules anymore, but it does mean the garden is changing, and while we have a few more weeks, I know we will be soon be spending more time indoors than outside.

When the hurricane blew through last week we had to prepare our yard. That meant the umbrellas went down, the hanging baskets, patio furniture, yard art...all of it had to be put away. You may think it's silly but I wasn't ready to see everything go. I enjoy hammock time, eating dinners on the patio and sitting watching the hummingbirds dance from feeder to feeder. I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to summer.

Thanks to my husband I didn't have to, he put every bit of that stuff back up, it still looks like summer here, at least for the time being.

Our holiday weekend was probably like most of yours. We had friends visiting, a needed project completed with their help. A picnic with our care group and yet another birthday celebration...more on that in a future post.

It was also a time my husband and I spent reflecting, something we will probably be doing a lot the next couple of weeks. I don't think it's a bad thing, we need to take time to remember what God has done in our life, to speak of his care and mercies, to remind each other of how needs were meet. That's one of the ways we can encourage each other as we walk this life together. If your not in the habit of doing this, might I suggest it. Recounting God's mercies and care is a great way to get an attitude change.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching  Hebrews 10:23-25

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss B

It's birthday time again, actually I'm a little late for this one. My oldest grand daughter just had a birthday, her party was last week. There was some concern that the hurricaine would cancel it but we never lost power so the party was on.

Since there has been nothing but guys in this home, it has been a real treat having another little lady to share some girl time with.

Our girl time has included making cookies and cupcakes, setting up tea parties, gardening and making flower arrangements. We even went to the ballet once, it was a performance of the Nutcracker, a  treat for me, I had never been. Sons never interested in the ballet, we did get to see a Monster Truck Show though.

She is the big sister to three other siblings. She loves to read, and is looking forward to school starting again. She helps me cook dinner when they come over and she knows just what the baby needs when she fusses. I told her she is in training for future baby sitting in a few more years. She also loves board games and tries to get one in whenever she comes to visit. Monopoly is her favorite game.

Birthday celebrations are so much fun, this was a big one, she was ten. Going in the fifth grade, turning out to be quite the lady. Thanking the Lord for this little blessing and wishing her a happy birthday she sure is a delight.