Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Will Continue to Praise the Lord ... no matter what!

Making this post before the energy level bottoms out ...

The devil has no place in my life.  Honestly, sometimes I feel he continues to try drive me in the ground.  I will not allow it.  No sir-re!  Monday morning found be writhing in pain at 2:15am in my back around my shoulder blade.  It hurt so bad I could not lay in the bed.  I got up to get an ice pack and the heating pad - all the while thinking I had over done it on Sunday with some menial tasks around the house.  I went to the den with the ice and the heat and sat down in my recliner and tried to lean back to use the 'cures' I had gathered.  The pain was not having any part of the 'cures'.  I got up after about five minutes and hit the medicine cabinet to take two Advil.  I tried getting back in bed to get comfortable ... not happening.  Finally at 3:00am I called my sister who lives across the street and as you know is a nurse (by the way she was up watching the Olympics - sleep is not of great importance in her life).  She came over and I explained my issues and she rubbed the affected muscle (or so we thought) and got it to ease up.  Then I told her that I couldn't breath very well so she brought me my inhaler.  That opened up my bronchial tubes.  She went back home about 4:15am which was now time for me to get up and get ready for work.  Now my day is started.

I got ready for work and by the time I got there at 6:15am, the left side of my chest began hurting really bad.  OK, now I'm thinking I really strained myself on Sunday.  At 8:30am I called The Center and ask to speak directly to my sista, Fred, who is one of the great ladies who takes care of me.  She told me to come on in so a co-worker took me (thank you again Mary Beth).  They roomed me right away and Helena was in there before long.  I gave her all the details from my weekend, especially Sunday and then she listened to my lungs.  She thought she was hearing a gurgle in the bottom part of my left lung and told me she needed x-rays to see what was going on.

Fred walked me over to the other corner of the building (she's such a blessing) and they got me right in for the x-rays.  The first x-rays were standing up and of course that's painless ... the third one however, was laying on that hard table on my left side (that's where the 'muscle' issue was). After she got me positioned, we had to wait for everything to settle for a minute.  The x-ray lady gave me my instruction for the third time - take a deep breath and hold it - I wanted to say lady - you take a deep breath and hold it a long time (not really but remember I was in excruciating pain).  She finally took that last x-ray and I was able to get up.  Oh and since I had on a blouse with little beads on it, I had to put on a scrub top for these x-rays.  Putting it on was not an issue but taking it off was another story.  I was hurting so bad, I had the x-ray lady to ... oh you know ... do skin the possum .. you know like you did with your kids, ok, well may be you didn't say that but I do.  You hold your arms up over your head and someone pulls the shirt off <smile>  She helped me get the scrub top off and I was able to get my blouse with the beads on by myself.  She took the x-rays, Mary Beth and I back over to the doctor office, once again Fred roomed me right away.

Helena and Dr. Young were doing a preliminary on the 'films' and determined I had either a touch of pneumonia or pneumonitis (inflammation in the lung tissue which sounds like the same thing as pneumonia to me) in the bottom part of my left lung where the radiation got it.  I was given a pack of steroids ... the gradual pack ... take six the first day, five the next, etc until you are down to one.  She also gave me a 10 day prescription for Levaquin antibiotic.  Praising the Lord this morning the steroids have started working on the inflammation and my pain level went from 49 (that was on a scale of 1 to 10) down to about 1 ... that's when I take a deep breath.  I was not able to lay flat yesterday at all due to the pain in my chest so I was sleeping sitting at an angle and I don't sleep real well that way but I took what I could get.

Fred kept telling me that they would 'fix me' and all would be OK.  She is one of the sweetest.  In the picture below, Fred aka Yvonne, is in the middle.
In the picture below, Helena is on the left.  She is the sweet lady I see when I don't see
Dr. Young at The Center.  Pam, on the right, also works at The Center in an administrative position.
I feel extremely blessed that God brought all these women in to my life during this journey.  They are amazing.

Thankful this morning that I am no longer having that horrible pain in my left chest and am able to get up more easily.  I am home for the remainder of the week, taking it easy and letting this thing clear up.

The devil thinks he can take me down, thinks he can make me not Praise my Lord but he is so wrong.  He is trying ... as he tries on all of us ... I am not going to let him.  Several people told me yesterday that it seemed I couldn't catch a break but I know it's the devil trying to break me and he will NOT win.  1 Peter 5:8-9 Be alert and of somber mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  
I know that I will get over this hurdle and continue moving forward, even when the devil raises the hurdle, I may be short but I can overcome.

Before all this started, I was able to go to the 90th birthday party of a lady I have known for many years.  We played softball together back in the day.  I was blessed to be part of the celebration.

Above:  These were the ladies from our softball team years and years ago.
Great group of friends and Godly women.  The birthday girl
is in the middle on the front row.  Tootsie pitched for us for
many many years.  

Above:  Friends for many years.  Left to right:
Susan, me, Mike (wife Karin not pictured but is one of the
kindest women I know) and Sherri.  

*  Knowing and believing more than ever that God is in control.  He is always with me, no matter how hard the devil tries to knock me down.
*  Wonderful medical people who take such good care of me.
*  Family who always comes through for me, no matter what time of the night it is.  Thank you all.
*  My co-worker/friend, Mary Beth, who took her personal leave to take me to The Center and brought me home.  Mary Beth, again, thank you.
*  Thankful that when I was hurting so bad and thinking I was having a heart attack that it was merely an inflammed lung and this morning is much better.
*  An understanding group of folks I work with who want me to get better.  They are always there to pick up the pieces when I have to be out.  To all of you ... thank you.

Prayer Requests:
*  Continued prayers for my friends and all the people that I do not know personally but who are walking the cancer journey and in the throws of either surgery or chemo or radiation.  Keep praying for those.
*  My continued healing.

Jeremiah 29:11 ... "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".  

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cup of Coffee and It Is 98 Degrees...

It's Friday afternoon and I'm home ... for the weekend ... yea, no work.  This week I thought and voiced my concerns over how things seemed to be going.  Everyone was having a bad week ... grumpy, grumpier and grumpiest seemed to all be in one place at once.  The Federal Building.  It was not just my agency but every time I got on an elevator someone was saying ... Oh, is it Friday yet? ... Oh, I'm so glad it's Friday?  .... What a week!!!  Well I gotta tell you ... it's been a week.  I said I wasn't going to complain when I got to go back to work and I tried not to but REALLY!  BUT now ... it's Friday, I'm home and of all things having a cup of coffee and it's 98 degree on my patio IN the SHADE.  Coffee sounded good so I loaded up the Keurig with my favorite blend and pushed the button.  Here I sit finally getting to write and have a cup of coffee with Channel 5 in the background filling me in on the Olympics.

I know I have been so bad about not blogging this week. In September 2011, when I started this blog, I forever wanted to Praise my Lord and pray that I could point others to my Lord and Saviour with all the little and big  issues of life thrown in for good measure. Somehow this past week somewhere along the way, I, like the weather here in Texas, have been dry lately~ like a juice box sucked in with no air left inside. I think all the life has been sucked right out of me. Do you ever feel like that?

I follow several blogs myself and on one of them this morning one posted exacting how I have been feeling ...  here's a snippet from her posting  ... I heard a message this morning and the teacher said sometimes God test His people to see if they are what they say they are. You know like when you go buy a new sofa and you sit on it and try it out. Sometimes it is easy when hard times come one at a time~ well not easy~ but do-able. Yet~ when trials and tests come right after another you can't do anything but realize that without God you are nothing. I am confessing~ I am nothing without God. I repeat what she said ... I am absolutely nothing without God.  When I lose communication with Him, I'm lost in every way.  I have not liked this feeling this week at all.  I have cried out and I haven't heard anything.  As I continued listening ... there He was in the midst of a bad evening one day this week.  Remember my recent post when I included the July 17 devotional ... Come walk with me for a while.  I guess somewhere along the path this week, we got separated and I can assure you that God didn't leave the path ... I did.  I allowed the busyness, grumpers, conference calls, countless emails drag me down the wrong path.  Hearing His words again at bedtime Wednesday night ... Come walk with me for a while ... I knew I had found my way back to where I needed to be.

I had allowed the busyness of my world to get in the way of where He wants me to be.  When all the meetings, conferences, grumps and gripes entered this week, I stepped off the path with my awesome Lord.  I fell in behind the 'busyness' ... big mistake.  I am writing today to say that I am thankful that I didn't get far from the path, realized what I had done and got back on the right path again.
I mentioned recently I was going to write a post titled ... There Will Come a Day ... I decided I am going to include it in this post.  There is a song sung by Jeremy Camp titled There Will Come A Day which is beautiful ... here's a link to listen ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TipLsmZgjI   This song is about a different 'day' than what I am speaking about BUT ... the day in the song will be a glorious day.

Today I am writing about the 'day' ... a day when I started my breast cancer journey, I wasn't sure if it would ever come.  The 'day' and I'm not sure if it's really a day or week or month ... but there comes a day (or time)  that a person who has had cancer and been through treatments doesn't want the cancer and treatments to define them anymore.  I do not want to be - Gena with cancer - you know what I want?  I want to be - Gena, the vivacious, love of life, hyper Type A personality, make you laugh, make you cry (I hope not), fun loving - Gena.  I don't want to be labeled with cancer anymore.  I want to move on ... I want to be 'normal' however and whatever  my new normal will be ... I want that.  I am certainly not in denial about the cancer ... I mean after all I live with all that has gone on in my life for the last nine months ...  and it is a well known fact that cancer invaded my body.  Since October 18, 2011, I have held on to the words my Oncologist told me after my surgery  ... We consider you cancer free after your surgery.   Praise the Lord.

 I could never have gotten through these nine months without all my family and friends, old and new, supporting me every step of the way.  I am not sure I could have gotten through the months without my blog ... my outlet ... writing my blog allowed me to type the words on the screen ... let me spill my guts ... let me cry while I wrote ... let me laugh while I wrote.  I am so blessed that so many have read my blog over the last nine months ... I am truly humbled.  As of today, there have been 13,350 hits on my blog ... Praise the Lord.  It is truly my prayer that everyone who has read this blog knows that I have a love for the Lord like no other love.  I praise His name ... in the good and the not so good and in the down right bad times.  I want everyone to know Him.

So ... there you have it ... my 'day' has come ... my blog will take a different path now.  I know God has a plan for me and I pray that He opens many more doors for me to share my cancer journey but most of all that I will be able to share His love for me and you.  So once again, as I typed these words ... thanking all of you - I cried.  You mean more to me than my words can ever express.

Let me tell you now about my sister and my shopping trip last weekend.  My sister has lost over 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and needed new clothes ... yes, here she is ... (NOTE:  If I come up missing, call the police because she's probably going to kill me... <laughing>)  and by the way ... my sister is my hero.  She's awesome ... she's smart ... she has walked every step of this journey with me and I know has felt my pain deep in her soul.  She makes me laugh, she aggrivates me, she's OCD and works hard.  She's the friend YOU want to have.  The picture below was taken at Penney's after our first stop at Kohl's ... read on!

Our first stop was at our local Kohl's.  She pulled a pair of khaki capris out of the rack and showed me and I was appalled ... they had been worn ... literally it looked like someone had worn them and returned them.  Of course I couldn't let it go ... I was like REALLY!  Check them out for yourself below and please let me know what you think ... worn or not?  These are so worn ... I could not believe it.  Looking at these pictures reminds me again about how I could NOT believe it.  I guess, buy them, tuck the tag in the waste band, WEAR THEM and then take them back.  R-E-A-L-L-Y ???

You know when life is getting back to normal because I'm ready to get out to the antique shops/malls, etc.  I don't have any money to buy much (if anything), but oh boy, how I do like to look.  Last Sunday afternoon, my sister and I got our happy hour Sonic half and half ice tea and headed to the new antique store here in North Richland Hills.  There he was ... in a corner on a shelf with some of his chicken friends, all puffed out with his wings around the salt and pepper shakers ... I couldn't resist ... He said ... BUY ME, BUY ME, I will look good in your kitchen/dining area.  So I made a small purchase.... and here he is ..

The heat is ferocious as you all know if you live here in Texas.  I think I could live in a cooler temperature but I've been in Texas my entire 56 years and I ain't going anywhere now.  <smile>  I love my Texas.

So today I leave you with a faith filled heart and a praise on my lips for the many many people and opportunities that God has brought into my life during my cancer journey.  I will continue to update you on the doctor appointments ahead, as well as ... always have prayer requests for the many who have been and/or will be diagnosed with this dreadful disease and other dreadful diseases.

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)  Now faith is the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.  


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Busy Week ...

I am still here ... I haven't left.  This has been an extremely busy week.  I'll be back ... may be this weekend but I'll be back.  Stay tuned.  Lots to share.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday ... Pictures from Friday!

Matthew 19:13-15

The Little Children and Jesus

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

I have the cutest, sweetest grandbabies ever.  Below are a few pictures from Friday.  Chaos, tears, laughter, puzzles, animals and Grammy time.  I love it all.  

Grammy got to spend some more time with baby Brooklyn.
We talked and cooed at each other for a long while.

Above:  Everyone was in another room and
Brooklyn needed a diaper change.  I looked in
the diaper bag and could find a small diaper
(size 1) so I grabbed what I could find.  It was
one of Braxton's size 4 or 5.  It did the job.

Above:  Grammy's little boy.  For now he calls
his grandma's ... Mama.

Above:  Madelyn calls me Mammy ... on
occasion we can squeeze a Grammy out of her.

The 'real' Mama and her baby boy.

The rain finally made it to North Richland
Hills.  Enjoying the cooler temps and watching
the rain.  

Above:  Madelyn didn't enjoy the thunder.
Safe in the arms of Grammy.

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.


Friday, July 20, 2012

On Being Different ...

I think most of my life I have always felt different.  Different in that I was 'less' than most of my friends.  As a young child I felt like the house I grew up in was not as good as my friends.  It was a house built from love by my Daddy when he and my Mom were married, however, sometimes love comes with difficulties.  For most of my early growing up years, my Daddy was an alcoholic which caused much tension between he and my Mother.  Praise God the last 5-6 years of his life, he let the alcohol go and we had the peaceful home life for which I had always yearned.  He passed away when I was 19 years old.  In my mind, my Daddy's alcoholism made me different.  As a child/teenager, I was quite sure that none of my friends lived the life I lived at home.  My friend, Janice, was the only friend I allowed in my house and felt comfortable with during those difficult years.  She was my calm in the midst of my storm.

Today I know that I wasn't as different as I always thought.  I've reunited with some of my high school friends and have learned that some of their growing up years were as difficult as mine.  As a matter of fact, some of their lives seemed worse than mine.  Looking at us now ... we are obviously grown ... most of us decided we didn't want our growing up years to define us or allow us to be a person that says ... oh whoa is me, I had such a crummy life growing up.  We have dealt with our past and moved on ... making our children's lives better than what we grew up in.

My Jesus calling devotional today says ... Do not be afraid to be different from other people.  The path I have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you.  The more closely you follow My leading, the more fully I can develop your gifts.  To follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your desire to please other people.  However, your closeness to Me will bless others by enabling you to shine brightly in this dark world.   ***Today it doesn't bother me to be different.  I am different.  I believe my cancer made me different ... it made me realize a lot of things about myself but most importantly it has brought me closer to my precious Lord and that is an amazing 'different'.  Let me be the person described in Philippians 2:15 ... that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.  I want to be different, I want people to see Jesus in me.  My prayer is that I have a heart that reaches out to others.  I want to shine brightly in the dark world that surrounds us.  Today I am different ... and ... today I am perfectly at peace with my difference.

Have you ever misplaced something that you just had yesterday?  Yea, you have.  Have you ever found that something in the weirdest place?  Yea, probably so.  Years ago one of my girls opened the top door on the pantry to discover a very swollen gallon jug of milk.  There was absolutely no telling how long that milk had been in there.  Obviously we were not really big milk fans because no one had looked for it or even wanted.  The jug literally looked like it was about to explode.  Oh how we laughed.  I reached for the jug just hoping it didn't explode ... I was as careful as a bomb squad.  I got it out of the house before it detonated.  <smile>  Well last night I was cooking bacon because we were going to have BLT sandwiches.  I had a canister of those cherub tomatoes just the night before that I leave sitting on the counter and they were missing.  We couldn't find them.  Alicia was in the kitchen with me and the first thing I told her was ... check in the cabinets.  They were no where to be found.  I just chalked it up that for some strange reason they must have been thrown away ... however, it was a brand new canister of those little jewels and we had enjoyed some on our salad the night before.  They were gone.  So, I did what I always do, starting putting clean dishes up and pulled one of the pan drawers out and guess what ....

There they were ... nestled down in the the pan drawer.  I couldn't believe it ... Alicia and I looked at each other and she of course said ... I didn't put them there.  It was probably me ... but gosh I sure didn't remember doing it.  It didn't matter who put them there ... they were found before they rotted and Madelyn got to have her tomatoes.  <laughing>

On another note, yesterday morning I was got my wallet out to get my money for my special breakfast (bagel and two pieces of bacon ... I treat myself with my special breakfast the day before I have a day off---weird --- but I have oatmeal every other day)  I pulled the stuff out of that side of my wallet and much to my surprise ... there was $150 in the mix.  There they were ... three $50 bills.  Praise the Lord.  You make call it luck ... I call it 'blessed.

* My friend, Patti, came through her surgery yesterday very well.  I think it took about two hours.  I ran by the hospital on my way home from work and she was a little groggy after having just woke up from a nap.  She was ready to eat and was getting a full meal for dinner.  Lucky her ... I had to have liquids.  <smile>  She will get to go home today (unless something happened over night).  They call this a 23 hours surgery ... in and out.  Thank goodness they have not perfected this to be a 'drive thru' surgery yet.  UPDATE:  Patti has already text me this morning and she is doing good.  Praise the Lord.
*  My survivor sisters who were just after me with their treatments are doing well.  All of us have our hair growing back and feeling good.
*  The yard guy was here yesterday and my yard looks so good.  Was able to water the front last night and will work on giving the back yard a drink.  The heat is so scorching.
*  Praising God for the job I have with the National Weather Service.  I so enjoy working with the people there.  They bless my life.
*  Many praises ...

Prayer Requests:
*  The people in Colorado who were involved with the gunman who opened fire in the theater, killing 15 and injuring many others.
*  Pray that Patti continues to heal and gets through the weeks to come without incidence.
*  My long time friends have positive results today that involve a baby.
*  The current mosquito issue and all the West Nile Virus cases.  It truly makes me afraid for my grand babies to be outside without being sprayed down with mosquito repellent.
*  All those recently diagnosed with a dreadful disease.
*  All those currently going through treatment for a dreadful disease.
*  My a/c unit hangs on for one more summer.  Ohhhh Greta and Kristi !!!  <smile>

John 14:27  "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

I live in peace ... I am good with being 'different' ... I know who my Father is and I know He is with me always.

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mary and Martha ... and more!

COME AWAY WITH ME for a while.  Hmmmm sounds like a romantic love story, doesn't it?  It is ... it's the best love story there ever will be.  It's the love story that God has with you and me.  This was the opening sentence from my Jesus Calling devotional book for July 17...  Here's the full text and I pray that as you read, it has as much meaning to you as it did to me.

     COME AWAY WITH ME for a while.  The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold.  Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on Me.  But the longer people push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find me.
*** Just curious did these words kinda slap anyone else up beside the head besides me?  The opening line is so incredibly sweet.  Have you ever thought about putting the world on hold?  I guess I probably have but did I ... NO!  Have you ever put God on hold and said "I'll get back to you, Lord".  Yea buddy... we all have.  And how true is the last sentence?  The longer you push someone away, the harder it is to go back.  
     You live among people who glorify busyness; they have made time a tyrant that controls their lives.  Even those who know Me as Savior tend to march to the tempo of the world.  They have bought into the illusion that more is always better; more meetings, more programs, more activities.
***  Why do we like to be so busy?  Why do we think more is better?  If we are busy, we do not have to spend time alone with ourselves much less our awesome God.  Busyness takes over our lives and that is such a detriment to where we should be.  
     I have called you to follow Me on a solitary path, making time alone with Me your highest priority and deepest Joy.  It is a pathway largely unappreciated and often despised.  However, you have chosen the better then, which  will never be taken away from you.  Moreover, as you walk close to Me, I can bless others through you.
***  Today as I hit the door to go to my car after work ... I remembered the first sentence of this devotional ... COME AWAY WITH ME for a while ... and I smiled.  I let the day that was full of busyness go and I went away with my God.  I got in my car and had my beautiful KLTY Christian music station on and as I drove home the day melted away and I know God was smiling.  I let go of my busyness and spent time with Him.  I challenge you tomorrow and the many days to come ... as the world tries to wrap you in busyness, listen and God will say ... Come away with me for a while.  

The scripture I left you with this morning Luke 10:38-42 describes Mary and Martha.  Martha was always busy and even busy when Jesus stopped in, however, her sister, Mary was listening to Jesus.  Of course Martha gets upset with Mary because she doesn't feel like her sister is pulling her share of the load ... cooking and preparing a meal for Jesus.  I can imagine Jesus sweet voice as He said ... "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."   He was pretty much saying ... 'so sit down and listen.  All that you are doing doesn't make one bit of difference.  Hearing what I say and spending time in my presence should be your priority'.  *** Now I have to tell you that pre-September 15, 2011, I was an extreme Martha ... I probably put the capital M in the name.  Since that date ... I try desperately to be a Mary.  I pray that for us all.


Quick jury duty update ... Yesterday was my jury duty day and I went.  It was for the City of North Richland Hills ... and the cases turned out to be traffic tickets.  You know those people that get speeding tickets BUT they didn't deserve them?  Those people ... two of them.  Two men ... one was cited for going 72 in a 50 mph zone.  HELLO!  That's 22 mph over the speed limit.  AND the other man was cited for going 55 in a 30mph zone.  I do not think either one of these men could possibly come up with a good enough excuse to make me vote NOT to make them pay a fine.

Now, let me interject a little something about myself here ... after my last moving violation I got from a State Trooper for speeding (82 in a 70 and if I had been going much faster I would have been taken to court right then ... small town Texas)  I took me a Defensive Driving course which proved to be very informative ... I try never to go over the speed limit but about 2 mph and those people that get on your bumper when you're in the left lane going as fast as possible ... just pull over and let them go around you so they get on someone else's bumper ... it is not worth the aggrevation of watching someone ride your bumper.

So on with my jury duty story ... The State prosecutor got up in front of us 22 people who were off work listening to all this talk about driving and it became blah blah blah you know what I'm talking about, don't you?  And then we were going to have to hear why both of these men were going so fast and didn't think they deserved a ticket.  The prosecutor was at least nice looking and had a good sense of humor.  After he chatted about .... uh uh uh I don't remember ... he ask some kind of question about being biased ... something like ... do any of you feel like you are biased for any reason and would not be able to give these two men a fair trial.  I looked down my row of 11 people and down row number 2 behind me that also had 11 people and no hands were up ... I gulped and slid my hand up.  Well let me tell you that Mr. Prosecutor guy was down at the other end of the row and he came swiftly to where I was sitting ... bent over the rail to get a look at my name tag and said ... Yes, Ms. Morrison, can you share why you feel you would be biased?  Well heck yea I can ... and I told him my story about my last moving violation and defensive driving and that I set my cruise control in my car even when I am in a 30 mph zone.  I told him that he could call any of my family to verify that I was telling the truth and not just trying to get out of jury duty.  He didn't think that was necessary to contact my family ... and then I said ... If you do the crime then you need to pay the fine.

Please know that I love this jury duty thing ... I think it's because I'm nosey (at least I admit it) ... not really nosey- ok maybe just a little, but I do find the law and not so smart people interesting ... so I really wasn't trying to get dismissed.  If I wanted to be dismissed, I would have gone in front of the judge after he had given us all the reasons we could be dismissed (which did not include anything that fit the bill for me) and I would have told him that I was three weeks post op from a complete hysterectomy and my bladder has a tendency to fill up really quick and when it gets really full,  I have to sing that song .... 'Gotta go gotta go gotta go right now'.  Remember that commercial about women's incontinence medicine?  Well I do and I'm singing that song right now  <smile>  Anyway I chose to not go in front of the judge and tell him about my 'gotta go gotta go' bladder ... one reason I was already about to wet my pants and the other reason was ... I don't think I talk quiet enough so all those other 21 people and the guard guy, court reporter and the two helper women couldn't hear me.

So to make this jury story even longer ... not really ... After Mr. Prosecutor talked for 12 hours, ok maybe only about 35-40 minutes -- keep in mind that I was getting ready to burst out in verse of 'gotta go gotta go ....' I got dismissed along with two other verbal ladies.  I wonder what happened to the men who were exceeding the speed limit by so much ... but I guess I'll never know.  Good luck guys .. you probably should use your cruise control.

Coming soon ... a post titled ... There Will Come A Day ...

*  I'm feeling really good.  Thankful that surgery is behind me ... I'm moving forward.
*  My grand babies are growing by leaps and bounds.
*  My girls are such good Mommies.

Prayer Request:
*  My friend, Patti, is having surgery tomorrow.
*  Friends who are going through rushing troubled waters involving a sweet newborn baby.  Pray hard for this situation, please.
*  All my survivor sisters who are continuing through treatment.
*  Anyone recently diagnosed with a dreadful disease.

Blessed and praying blessings for you.


Are you a Mary or Martha?

More to come on this question ... Are you a Mary or Martha?  My story tonight ....  In the meantime, read Luke 10:38-42.

Have a blessed day .... see you tonight.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finding Humor ...

A couple weeks ago I got in the mail ... a jury summons.  I laughed... yep, I stood down at my mailbox and laughed ... that would be after I opened and knew it was not a red light ticket <smile>.  I laughed because it seems like all I do is have to take off work <smile>.  It's a jury summons for my city ... North Richland Hills ... and it's today.  I have to report at 9:00am so that gives me a couple of hours at the office and if I get released, I will go back to the office.  I am happy to do my city civil duty and  this provides a new audience to share my God.  I praise God for these opportunities ... all of them.

Grandbaby Update:
Madelyn called me GRAMMY yesterday.  We were eating Sonic ice and she said Grammy about four times as she fed me the ice. <smile>  Braxton is beginning to talk and it is so cute.  He loves animals and pronounces their species so cute.  Brooklyn is looking so much like her Mommy.  She's an angel.  God has blessed me with three of the most precious grandbabies.

I've been thinking ... you know there's an anniversary coming up for me.  Yep, that would be my one year survival ... October 18.  I am forming in my head my own celebration ... perhaps a 'come and go' here at the house.  Birthdays are milestones ... cancer survival anniversaries are BIG milestones.  Praising the Lord.

Philippians 1:3-5

Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,

Blessed and praying blessings for you this beautiful day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musings ...

Good morning ... Praise God ... get up ... smile ... cup of coffee and get on with your day.

Prayer should be the key in the morning and the lock at night.

If you want to know where you will be in five years listen to what you talk about most now.  "Your tongue is a rudder".  James 3:4

Don't think about how much everyone else needs to change, but pray today that God does a good work in you.  - Joyce Meyer

Prayer changes everything because it releases God's wisdom into your circumstances.

God sees people as His own treasures, so be careful how you treat them

You put yourself in prison when you don't forgive. - Joyce Meyer

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. —Psalm 9:1

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our God's Not Dead ...

Yesterday it hit me ... I cannot say it slapped me in the face but let's say 'it dawned on me' that my necklace that I wear with my cross and breast cancer support ribbon were out of proportion.  Years ago I received a cross that I love (it was just like the one my sister had) and I wore it pretty much all the time.  The weekend after my diagnosis, we made a trip to James Avery and all of us got the breast cancer ribbon to add to whatever - necklace or bracelet - that we wear.  I chose my necklace to share  with my cross.  The 'it' in yesterday is about the breast cancer ribbon being much larger than my cross.  Now this may sound weird to you but stay with me here.  There is nothing bigger than my God.  Breast cancer or any other disease is NOT bigger than my God.  I had to go to James Avery and fix this.  I found another beautiful cross that when I wear with the breast cancer ribbon, the cross over powers it.  This is exactly what our God does ... He over powers anything that comes in our life.

Jeremiah 32:17

17 ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

When I looked at the wounds in my life, I never questioned if God could heal me.  God's word tells me there is nothing larger than He ... my beliefs tell me there is nothing larger than my God.  There is nothing in my life that with God I cannot get through.  To say that your problems are too big for God is literally to be puffed up with pride.  God is aware of all of our situations and He promises to bring healing and to restore us.  God does not promise that we will never experience adversity or suffer grief or face a terrible disease such as cancer, He does promise He will be here for us if we do.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

So with my thoughts yesterday came a change I had to make ... now this may seem strange to you but it has full meaning to me.

Above:  This was the original cross.
'It' hit me ... there is nothing larger
than my God.  

Above:  My God is greater
than anything including
breast cancer.
Above:  Breast cancer get
behind my God.  You will
not win. 

As the lyrics of the song "Like a Lion" says ....  My God's not dead, He's surely alive, He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion ....   Here's the link to the song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghC3gqNQJPQ ... 

take a listen and remember our God's not dead and He is here to conquer anything ... absolutely anything that we may be going through.  Praise Him even when you are down in the dark valley for He will surely have you looking up and reaching for that mountain top soon.  

This post was put on my heart yesterday because yet again my awesome God keeps showing me and teaching me ... yep, even this ole hard headed gal continues getting taught.  I praise Him for speaking to me through my Jarrod verses, through all the wonderful music out there and through His comforting words ... my Bible.  Thank you Father God for conquering anything that comes my way.  

Blessed and praying blessings for you all.  


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Memory Shared ...

Grab a cup of coffee and sit a while and prayerfully I hope you glean something from this rather long post ... <smile>  First thing I want to say is .... I had to get a little hair cut yesterday ... OK, so it was just a little clean up on my neck in the back but it was still a hair cut.  Hey ... when you've been where I've been ... you get to celebrate the small things.  Praising the Lord for my hair lady, Tamisha, and all the ladies I get to see when I go to Hightower Salons.  We laugh and chat and receive blessings from each other.

On Monday when I went to The Center to pick up a prescription and I ran into the husband of one of my survivor sisters.  If you held a gun to my head, I could not tell you his name.  He is such a wonderful support to his sweet wife who is going through her second bout with this mean old breast cancer.  He shared with me they had found lesions on her brain.  They have changed the treatment now.  Our job is to pray ... pray for this beautiful sweet lady who is going through the rushing troubled waters and pray for her hubby and their two sons (ages 9 and 11).  Breast cancer attacks one member of the family but it has a high impact of all the members.  My dear sweet friends name is Rena ... please lift her up in your prayers as well as her hubby and sons.

I also visited with my friend, Carolyn, who has been through breast cancer and is a volunteer at The Center.  She's the sweetest and always has a smile.  I told her to expect me there volunteering right along side her in three years when I can retire.  I absolutely know that God wants me there to volunteer and be with those who are going through troubled waters.

When I got to my car I must admit ... and I do it with my head held high ... I burst out in tears for my friend.  My heart hurt so bad.  All I could do was sit in my car with tears streaming down my face and pray.  I prayed for peace, healing and most of all ... with the knowledge that God has everything under control.  I gathered myself, wiped my face and headed on to work praising God for all He has done for me and my survivor sisters ... all of us.

I was sitting at the intersection of Rosedale and Hemphill waiting in the left turn lane to turn toward downtown.  The light changed to green for the lanes heading west (I was facing east) and the few cars took off.  All of a sudden I could see things dropping out of this SUV headed west and there were things rolling around the intersection.  Lo and behold the flip up trunk door in the back of the SUV had evidently not locked close when the lady had put her groceries in her car and it had flipped up and two or three bags of her groceries fell out.  She realized what had happened when she got across the intersection and stopped to close it BUT she left a full bag of groceries laying in the lane ... I could understand her leaving the onions and other produce that had escaped one of the bags as they were here there and everywhere.  I grabbed my phone and took pictures from my side of the intersection to give you an idea of the produce rolling around.

Above:  See the white vehicle ... look to the left
as those were the groceries that escaped.

Above:  See the onion by the stripped line?
Well as I sat there ... my once crying eyes dried up and laughter hit.  It was not laughter due to this women's unfortunate incident but rather an incident that happened to me and my bestest friend when I was growing up ... Janice T.  

Janice and I were bestest friends for years and years.  We lived within a stones throw of each other on different streets.  If we weren't at her house, we were at mine.  We spent the nights at each others house and were pretty much inseparable for many many years.  When we were about 13 and 14 (she's a year younger than me) we were at her house and her Mom was not feeling well but needed a few things from the grocery store (key word here - few).  There was absolutely nothing Janice and I would not try ... most of the time succeeding one way or the other so we told her Mom that we would walk to Safeway (at the corner of Beach St and Belknap at that time) and we would get the groceries that was needed... after all her Mom didn't feel well so how much could she want?  We got the list for the grocery store and also the order for Kentucky Fried Chicken which was across Belknap from Safeway and the money and away we went.  I'm guessing it was about a half mile to Safeway from Janice's house and we decided to walk.  On other occasions we might have taken my bike but today we felt we better walk. NOTE:  We shared the bike ... she would pump me and I would sit in the middle of those high rise handlebars.  (Yes, my fanny did fit in there at one time <smile>,
That bike was our transportation for many years.  Anyway ... back to the story ... we got to Safeway and got our basket aka shopping cart ... the one with wheels.  At this point I'm beginning to think that we have bit off more than we could chew ... a push basket with wheels, two teenage girls and another stop to make at KFC before we head back down Parrish Rd. for a half mile to get home.  Hmmmm oh well ... we had many adventures and I knew we could do this.  We are acting so big and pushing the cart around gathering Ginger's groceries from her list ... get to the check out line and start checking out and the sack boy begins sacking our groceries and the bags of groceries were multiplying.  Thoughts .. Uh Oh how are we gonna get this home?  We probably looked at each other and laughed at that point because that's just what we did - we laughed - and at many inappropriate times.  Once she paid for our purchases we had to decide who was going to carry which sack(s)... yes, there were several and I think we had to buy a gallon of milk so that was one sack all by itself and it was heavy.  We did it ... we each got our many bags and headed out the door ... and of course, we were tickled and laughing which did not help our current situation.  We get through the parking lot of Safeway and head to the intersection to cross Belknap to get to that dag gone KFC because we had to get the chicken.  If we were really talented we could have balanced that bucket of chicken on our head but we weren't and besides I'm sure it would not balance well because all we could do is laugh.  So now we get the light where we can cross Belknap ... we head out across the intersection and I think Janice was walking a little head of me and it starts happening .... my bags begin to break open and there are lemons, lettuce, onions and other stuff rolling round in the middle of the intersection and in the case of the loaf of bread, it was just plopped there in the middle of Belknap.  I'm sure I yelled ... JANICE ... and when she looked back, she got tickled and started laughing and she began dropping her bags which busted them open too.  We couldn't quit laughing ... and we were blocking both west bound lanes of Belknap .. running around trying to gather our groceries that had escaped.  A man got out of his car and helped us gather the run away produce and get us to the side of the street where that stupid KFC was ... and we just laughed, looked around and wondered what we were going to do with these groceries.  My grocery bags were broken open so she runs in to the KFC to get some sacks ... they were not as big as the grocery bags so now we had more bags.  We gather up our produce and other groceries in those bags and get in to the KFC to get the chicken. Now keep in mind ... there were NO cell phones ... and we were independent and determined we were going to help her Mom so we didn't call anyone to come get us.  After we got that stupid chicken (laughing out loud) we head back to the infamous intersection to trudge that half mile back home.  Praise the Lord we got back across Belknap without incidence and headed home.  We were laughing and holding on to our prized purchases ... and a car pulled up.  It was Janice's grandmother who lived down the street from her and she ask if we wanted a ride ... DID we want a ride ... YEP ... we loaded the groceries and chicken in the car (that always smelled of oil paint and cigarette smoke) and got carried back home.  We shared our story with her grandmother who probably didn't find as much humor in it as Janice and I ... but as we were telling it, Janice and I laughed.  Janice, if you are reading this ... I know you are sitting there laughing as much as I have while remembering this incident ... one of many that we experienced in our long time friendship.  Memories I will never forget ... Thank you sweet friend for all the memories.  

Hang on to your memories, continue to laugh about them... no one can take those from us.  I'm blessed to have many good memories that outweigh the many not so good ones.

I receive a weekly email from Sherree, the nurse navigator at Baylor All Saints.  I get so much from her emails each week and she is such a blessing to many.  Sherree is a survivor sister and helped me when I met with her when my journey began.  Please take the time to read the following information that Sherree shared in her email this week ... it's much food for thought.

Sherree wrote:  I recently received this message from a palliative care nurse.  Palliative care is a transition program similar to Hospice.  This is her story:

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chi, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?  Now, that is a loaded question isn’t it?  We don’t know when we are going to die  do we?  So, we need to work on the changes now for whatever the future may hold.  De-stress, detangle our lives and live, love, and laugh!  We cannot always change the circumstances we are in but we can change our reaction!!  I can think of several women whom I consider my heroes who are personally treading in tremendous physical and/or emotional pain and upheaval!  However, each of these continue to love, work, smile, and don’t let their current circumstances control their every day!  They have cancer or other tragedy, but it doesn’t have them!!  We all have the choice  to love, to serve, to smile, to give, no matter what our circumstances are!

Cancer may take your hair, it may change your physical appearance, it may change your everyday world, but it cannot have your spirit!!  Find the light and walk in love!  It will make a difference!!

This is a much longer post than usual and I hope you stayed with a cup of coffee and read the entire writing.  Life is good ... find the positive ... slap the negative out of the way ... smile ... a smile lightens your heart.  Praise God ... always Praise Him.  

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.