Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections On 2014

This past year was one of changes for us, lots of them. A friend who was also going through some changes this year shared this quote with me from Corrie ten Boom

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open"

I have felt like the Lord has been prying my fingers one by one off of many of the things I've held onto tightly the last several months. Things like people, traditions, relationships, goals, different "things" and even a season of life.

There have been some painful moments, as those fingers have been pried open, but I'm not holding on as tightly to some of those things anymore, as I used to, and perhaps one day I will be able to hold all things with open hands. (and keep them open) It's a process for me, I tend to try to grab back things I have previously let go, but the sweet spirit of the Lord always gently reminds me to once again, open my hands and trust in him. He wants us to cling to him instead of the other things we hold so tightly.

It has been a year of challenges and disappointments but also one with opportunities, lots of opportunities. And lest I end this on a negative note, despite our difficult days, God has richly blessed us this year, we have much to be thankful for and are focusing on that today.

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in truth and teach me, for you God are my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.. Psalm 25:4

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Thoughts

I didn't mean to be away from this space for so long but Christmas preparations and activities kept us occupied and when we weren't busy it was hard for me to put into words what was going on in my heart.

Our "white space" in December tends to fill up pretty quickly and this year it seemed like it was busier than usual. I didn't realize till Christmas was almost upon us that our busyness was our way of filling up the void left by the absence of the grandchildren.

The busyness wasn't all bad. Getting together with friends for meals, Cookie Exchange and Care Group Party were all enjoyable activities. We sang Christmas carols at a retirement facility, participated in the Messiah sing along, and got together with extended family, we never seemed to say no to an opportunity.

I didn't realize what we were doing until a few days before Christmas. Some friends had declined a dinner invitation and I actually felt a little relieved. It was at that point that I realized what we had been doing for the last several weeks. By staying busy we didn't have to think about how much we missed the grands. I knew it was time to stop and enjoy the quietness of this new season we are in and reflect on what we, as Christians were celebrating. Actually one activity that we participated in helped my focus...it was the Messiah sing along. All those voices singing scripture based songs always bring a little chill when I hear it. I always feel like it's a little glimpse of what it may sound like in heaven as we sing before his throne (this will pale in comparison I am sure)

So it's been quiet the last couple of days and it's been okay. We celebrated with our young son and Sweet Lady and it was all good.

Is Jesus enough, if i everything was  gone tomorrow would Jesus be enough. He is the most precious gift we have been given

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9: 6-7

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Celebrating A Little Differently

It's a season of doing things a bit differently for us, and celebrating a bit differently. My grandson recently had a birthday. There has always been a party with the family the weekend before or the weekend after the birthday. Because they are so far away, this wasn't going to happen. This was the first time that we have not been part of a birthday celebration for a grandchild and I was a little sad.

We mailed our gifts and scheduled some *face time* and missed him a whole lot as the day came and went and wished him a Happy Birthday. From what we were told he had a nice day.

Our grandson has three sisters. He has a gentle spirit but is all boy. His favorite part of school is that he gets three recesses with some type of zip line they they get to play on. He loves to play with Lego's, and learned this year with the help from from an older Lego enthusiast not to get upset when your creation breaks because "you can always rebuild" He is a blessing to us and we are very thankful the Lord has put him into our lives. 

So because there was no birthday party to attend this year we decided to join some friends and "experience" Grand Illumination in Williamsburg. It was one of those things we always wanted to do someday. Colonial Williamsburg is decorated as it would have been back in the day, using the items that would have been available back them. Lots of garlands and wreaths made out of natural materials and dried flowers. Unfortunately not many  photos because we got there kind of late and the streets were only lit by torches

We laughed a little about the torches. It was a cold night and people were huddled around those torches trying to get warm. it reminded us of bugs flying around a bug zapper in the summer. With sparks flying out from the torches it could have had the same effect.

The night ended with fireworks, which we enjoyed despite the cold weather and we got know these friends a little better. I keep trying to see these changes as new opportunities that the Lord has given us. His purposes are always good.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

God's Faithfulness

There are times I need to remember what God has done, to help me when my memory falters and my faith fades. This is what this post is all about. It's a testimony of God's faithfulness, his kindness and an answer to prayer. I 'm writing this today because I know down the road I will need to be reminded because I tend to forget when life gets hard. We need to constantly be reminded of God's truth.

I had an appointment with my oncologist this week, one I always dread, but this time in particular because last June when I saw him he told me in December I was going to have to decide whether I wanted to go back on some type of anti-estrogen drug. These drugs are used to help prevent breast cancer recurrence in estrogen positive tumors. They like you to be on these drugs at least five years after diagnosis with some doctors now suggesting up to ten years (my doctor is in that camp) I have been on a "drug holiday" for about eighteen months because I didn't tolerate the drug they had me on very well. Lots of side effects.

The oncologist mentioned a different drug he wanted me to try when I came back to see him in December, but first he wanted me to get a little healthier. If I decided I didn't want to take the drug, there wouldn't be much else he could do for me so I would be discharged.

Did I mention I have been cancer free for four years, with no evidence of disease recurrence.

December got here really quickly. I hadn't much time to think about it.

There wasn't a right or wrong answer, which for me made it all the harder. I weighed opinions, researched, talked to my husband and prayed. As I was driving up to his office I still didn't know what I was going to do. My prayer all the way there was a simple, Lord help me

You want to do what you can to prevent recurrence, but I was finally feeling well again. (and it has taken months to get to this place)

As it turned out I didn't have to be make a decision at all, I wasn't even asked. After evaluating how things had gone in the last six months, he told me that he felt going back on the drugs would not be a good choice for me. I would most certainly have side effects that would cause some of the same problems I was experiencing in the past. ( a silent thank you Lord). He had a natural alternative he wanted me to try, a supplement that has shown to have a mild aromatase inhibitor effect (anti-estrogen) He wanted me to continue with my anti-inflammatory diet (another silent thank you Lord) and to follow up in six months.

So lets see, I didn't have to make the decision, I was given an alternative treatment, and he wanted me to followup in six months, an answer to prayer on many levels.

I don't always see obvious answer to prayer like this, there are lots of things I am praying for that I haven't seen answers to yet. But this was a faith builder for current prayer requests and future needs, a reminder that the Lord continues to work in my life. He is faithful