Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Firm Convictions In Changing Circumstances



     I am very excited to be a part of something I feel is SO great. I am on a Launch Team for Candace Cameron Bure's new book Dancing Through Life.  Although she has done Hallmark movies and other acting projects, most everyone knows her as DJ Tanner from Full House.  She is a very talented actress, wonderful wife and mother, and above all a devoted Christian. She is also known for being on Dancing With The Stars.  Her new book is about her time on the show and how she held onto her faith and convictions on a reality show that is known for its sexy dances and skimpy costumes.
 
     I am thrilled to be on this team launching her new book because I am such a fan of hers, but on a personal level it is challenging me to think about my own convictions and how I express them. My son is the Youth Leader at our church and he goes over his lesson for Wednesday nights with me beforehand. I love the time with him and the excitement in his eyes about what he is going to discuss with the youth group. I love to see his love for the Lord and how much his faith means to him. I was struggling a little about how to get my words out for this post and his lesson gave me a clearer vision of what I was trying to say.

These are his verses for tonight:

Romans 12:9-13

9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;  10  love one another with mutual affection, outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.  12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.  13. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Conviction:  a firmly held belief or opinion

Circumstances:  conditions at a certain time or place

     Going through my dad's illness the past two years has really put things in perspective.  I have to remind myself I am not in control. It is hard, but little insignificant stressors like not finding my car keys, or someone cutting me off in traffic, I try to let go. Gosh, you have to let the traffic thing go for safety, you could get shot, but I also have a better understanding that I might not know what someone else is dealing with.  With the car keys, maybe I was meant to get delayed a few minutes.  Not swearing while looking for them would be good also! The biggest thing comes from the verses above. We are supposed to show love, not hate. We should outdo each other in honor not on Facebook with what appears to be a perfect life, and to be good to strangers.  When you are good to a stranger it is genuine because you don't know enough about the person to have expectations of something in return.

     Our circumstances are constantly changing. We have control of some situations and no control over others.  Our convictions aren't supposed to be changing.  We should handle or react to our circumstances based on our firm foundation of convictions.

I am loving this book.  I have never been on a Launch Team before.  I saw Candace on The View recently where she firmly stood her ground and held onto her convictions in a tough situation.  When I saw she had this book and was getting together a team to help her launch it I couldn't apply fast enough!  I love hearing about the Dancing With The Stars experience, it is one of my favorite shows, but the Bible verses she uses while explaining how she not only got through the competition, but did very well while keeping true to herself is so very inspiring. 

What about you? How do you hold onto and express your convictions in this crazy, chaotic and ever changing world?


We can't always control our circumstances, but we can choose our response! ‪#‎ChooseJoy‬ ‪#‎DancingThroughLife‬ by Candace Cameron Bure

Dancing Through Life   (click on title to find on Amazon)







    


     
     

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What A Difference A Year Makes

    What a difference a year makes!  July 3rd, last year, my dad had his stem cell transplant.  He and my mom had weeks ahead of them of travelling to Atlanta first thing in the morning even on weekends to get him checked.  My dad is strong, no doubt, but my mom is too.  She got him up and left every morning with him and I know there were days he felt horrible and she was exhausted but she got him there.  He just had his year scan and appointment with the stem cell doctor and he is still in remission!  We know this stuff likes to be unpredictable and has a mind of its own, but we are so thankful this year they have a much different routine than this time last year.


    Last week, we celebrated my mom’s birthday and my brotherin law’s birthday.  I have scratched out the in law part because me and my sister and brother grew up with her husband and brother so he is more like my brother than in law.  He has stepped in for my kids and is a great uncle but has been there for them in any way they need him.  He and my sister have 5 kids ages 4-13 so any time he takes with mine is more than appreciated! Harrison and my mom have shared years of birthdays but there was something very sweet about this one!

My beautiful mom!  She is sitting next to her mom and dad.





 


My handsome brother in law!



 
    Life is hard. The ONLY way I can imagine getting through it is with my faith in God. There simply is no other way for me.  When things happen to people, they either grow in their faith or go away from God.  I look at it this way, take a rubber band and pull it.  The further away you pull the weaker it gets, ends become frayed, and eventually it breaks.  The further you pull away from God the weaker you become, your “being” is frayed and eventually you break.  The closer we stay to God the fuller our lives are, the stronger we are, and we are so useful in so many ways.

    I know my family isn’t in the clear, we will have to face many things, but our growth in our faith and as a family has us much better prepared.

    My sister did a great job getting the cake!  My mom wanted to be called grandmother.  My youngest, he is 16, started calling her GaGa until he could say grandmother.  It kind of stuck and the 8 kids after him have called her that and Grandmother.  It is funny because my son started it way before Lady Gaga!  



 
 
 
 
This is my idea of the icing on top of the cake.  My sweet dad laughing with my nieces.  He calls them Thelma and Louise.  That isn't their names but that is another post!
 
It is his "new" birthday too. His original birthday is in August.  He just started his childhood vaccinations all over again, so I think he deserves 2 birthdays a year!
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Love You A Bushel and A Peck and A Hug Around the Neck

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Things have been anything but boring, but I haven't been able to find the words so I took a break. 

My dad had just started treatments preparing him for his stem cell transplant the last time I posted.  He had been in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma, but we found out it had returned when they did his 3 month scan. These last few months have been hard.  The worst thing about cancer is watching those you love go through so much in an effort to get better.  I have always known my dad is strong, but he has shown so much faith and courage these last two years that are simply inspiring.  My mom has never been anything but a strong woman in my eyes.  She is the one who keeps things going.  She isn't one to sit around, she gets out there and just does what needs to be done.  My older son gets that from her and it is an amazing gift. My younger son has my dad's sense of humor, which he has kept throughout his treatments.  My daughter has my mom's nurturing and my dad's sensitive heart.

Dad had his stem cell transplant, using his own cells, July 3rd.  I am not going to lie, it was very hard.  He was a complete trooper, but it is definitely a process that takes a lot of time to recover from. I don't say that to discourage anyone, nothing about cancer is easy. My mom kept him going.  He spent some time in the hospital, but they had to make about a 30 mile trip every morning for weeks for him to get checked. On weekends and holidays, no break. They were making sure he didn't have a fever, sometimes he needed blood and platelets, and just monitoring him for any side effects.  Mom made sure he did everything he was supposed to even when I know he had to feel terrible.

I wasn't going to say anything about his progress here or on Facebook.  Recently, I have had friends lose parents or find that loved ones are sick.  Out of respect and consideration, I didn't want to post anything but at the same time I feel like giving a BIG shout out of thanks to God.  Dad had his 3 month scan last Friday and we found out this Tuesday he is in remission.  We were so scared, this was the scan last time that we found out it was back.  We knew he had gotten back into remission before the transplant and that the transplant itself was a success, but we had no idea what it did to the cancer.  I feel very guilty announcing great news while so many people I know and care about have gotten bad news, but I do feel like I need to give God all the glory any way I can.  I have so many friends and family members on Facebook that have kept up with Dad, prayed for him, and because of the prayers God gave us good news.  As much as I appreciate his medical team, I owe all of my thankfulness to God. We don't know what the next 3 month scan will bring, we have learned a lot can happen in 3 months, but I am so thankful that for now he is well and has somewhat of a break. His immunity is still extremely low so we have to be careful while he is still building his body back up from the transplant.  All Dad could say after he got the news was that is was good news because of all the prayers and God's hand on his healing.  I feel like I have to acknowledge the power of prayer and faith. My kids and nieces and nephews have a very strong faith, but my Dad made sure they knew who was responsible for a clear scan.

There is a lot going on in the world today. We all have everyday things we pray about.  It is important Now, more than ever , we desperately need to stand up and demand our right to pray whenever and wherever we want to.


This was my Facebook post:


I live on the same street with my family and see them everyday.  Although I see him and talk to him I got to hug my dad this Tuesday for the first time in months.  It is easy to take for granted human contact and something as simple and powerful as a hug.  Especially when you need them most.


I wasn't going to say anything on Facebook or on my blog.  I have friends that have recently lost a parent or loved ones and others who have loved ones fighting for their lives or getting a very difficult diagnosis.  Out of respect and consideration I didn't want to post.  We don't know what the future holds and we have learned that a lot can happen in 3 months, but my dad just had his 3 month scan after the stem cell transplant and for now he is in remission. He goes back in 3 months and we are prepared for options if it comes back again but for right now we are just so thankful he is well and has a break.  Like I said, I feel guilty posting when I see others hurting, but I feel like I need to shout out and give God all the glory. The only thing my dad kept saying the day he got the good news was it was because of God and all the prayers everyone has said for him. He says it is unreal the feeling knowing he has so many people praying for him and that care about him.  So many of you have asked me about him and if you are one of the poor people I have broken down crying on, you have probably been afraid to ask.  I just want us to be able to openly thank God and everyone for the prayers (and shoulders!).  I also want those of you mourning and/or hurting for a loved one to know you are in my prayers. There is a lot going on in this world right now and we need to stand up and keep our rights to pray wherever and whenever we want to. We also need to be good to each other. There is enough meanness coming our way without us being ugly to each other especially for no reason.  In the end, it is all up to God and we need faith and prayer now more than ever.  I honestly don't know how people make it in this world without Him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Freaky Friday?... Nah! Fantastic Friday!




     I am changing it up today.  I love my Freaky Friday, but today is more of a Fantastic Friday so I am going with that!

     I have not felt good all week.  All of my health issues decided to flare at once and I have just felt awful.  I just rested and rode it out and after going to bed early last night I woke up feeling so much better.  I have learned when I have those bad days I have to just stop and drink tons of water and eat healthy and it will pass.  I am so glad it did because we have a lot of fun things going on this weekend and I don't want to miss any of it.

     My boys are having friends over and that is always fun.  They have the sweetest, most polite friends and it is always a good weekend when they have them over.  I let them take over the house and they eat, play video games, eat, play basketball, eat, ride the golf cart, and did I mention eat?!  I love watching growing boys eat.  It is almost a sport, but I like to see them eat.  They always do enough to work it off so it evens out.  In a few weeks my mom's pool next door will be ready so they can add swimming to their activity list!

     My dad had his second series of treatment this week so I am sure part of my feeling better is knowing he has this past week behind him.  It may hit him today and tomorrow and he may feel really bad like last time, but we know he will be better next week before he has to do it again the week after next.  They put him in the hospital for the 24 hour treatment, but they are very close to home and I think it really helps keeping him checked on and getting fluids during those hard hours.  It takes some off of my mom knowing he is being carefully watched while getting that heavy dose.  It just hopefully gets us one step closer to having him in remission for the stem cell transplant.  That is going to be hard, but every day is hopefully one step closer to having him healed.

     I love my Facebook. It is fun and I love being connected with so many family members and friends.  I am on there probably too much, but for some reason I looked at it not long after I woke up. I hardly ever do that.  When I feel that urge to look there is usually something I see that is important so I figure it is my intuition and I just go with it!  That was the case this morning!

     I have a dear, dear friend I love very much.  Our families have been friends for years.  Her dad delivered me, my sister and brother.  Her brother and my aunt were best friends in high school and still very close and I babysat her children and nephew.  There is just a friendship and love between our families that has been there for years.  She has so bravely fought ovarian cancer and recently had a recurrence in a lymph node.  She has fought this so hard and the treatments have definitely been a test.  But cancer messed with the wrong lady!  Right there on top of my newsfeed very first thing this morning I read she is in remission!  I felt such a relief for her and her sweet family.  She has been such a source of strength for many people going through their own battle.  As a lifelong educator, she is still educating, God is just using the gift He gave her of educating and encouraging others in such a special way.  During her own fight she has been a constant comfort to me while watching my dad fight.  I love this woman and her courage and I am very proud of her!  I know how happy her sweet family has to be right now.

     I guess I better get off my computer and get on with this Fantastic, Blessed Friday!  I am so thankful for every day with family and friends.  Things are not always easy but God is always there.  I have always heard that God doesn't give us more than we can handle and "if He brings us to it, He can bring us through it."  I have recently seen or heard many times something different that makes more sense.  God does give us more than we can handle because He doesn't want us to handle it ourselves but depend on Him.  I think this makes perfect sense.  The more I let go and let God, the more things just fall into place.  Not only is it better than me trying to make things work out, it is so much more peaceful.  Try it.  Let go and let God.  It is so freeing and has so much better results!

Happy, Happy Friday and I hope you have a great, blessed weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cancer Symptoms Women Might Miss



Cancer Symptoms Women Might Miss



     I just happened to see this article today and it has a lot of really good information.  Parents stay so busy and often times don't notice things we might should about our health or if we do happen to notice something we might pass it off as something else or be afraid to address it.  When my dad found his lump in the collarbone area it was last January and our family had passed around a cold.  He thought the nodes were swollen because of being sick but when they were still there a few weeks later he brought it up at a regular doctor visit. 

     A lot of times we notice things that don't feel right.  It is scary when we do, but many times it is something bothersome but not serious.  This article did a good job of listing other health issues that could cause the problems. My kids know my favorite saying is "better safe than sorry."  We should always get things checked out just to be safe.  If it is serious, the sooner the better and if it isn't serious it is still something that might prevent you from enjoying all the things around you that make life worth living.

     I was diagnosed a few months ago with Interstitial Cystitis.  It is a very painful bladder condition.  The pain feels like pelvic pain and is often hard to diagnose.  My doctor that is treating me for it told me it can take some women 3-5 years of living with it before they find out it is IC.  I thought mine was ovarian cysts. It definitely affects my quality of life, but I am being treated now that I know what it is and I have greatly improved.  Some health issues aren't fun to talk about, but sometimes sharing information is helpful to someone else suffering.  This is the best link for IC:  http://www.ichelp.org/
There are many foods and drinks that affect this condition.

     If you are interested, just click on the title or the highlighted word article above and it will take you to the article.


     A little humor never hurt anyone.




 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Freaky Friday..... Scary Kids




     I found this today and it fits in with creepy kids and things they say that freak me out.

When You See What These Kids Said, You'll Want To Run. Number 5 Is Horrifying.







...

           m.tickld.com




     Just in this last week one of my kids, I won't say which one asked me, "How much money does a hit man make?"  I am not joking.  I don't even remember what I said but, I haven't slept really good since.  I am sure it was just a hypothetical question.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Ring!




     It's not what you think.  Most girls dream about their proposal and wedding from as early as they know what a proposal and wedding are.  The ring I am talking about is what most boys dream about.  Especially high school boys.  Especially football players.  AND, their dads from the moment they know they are having a son.

     I am not talking about the NFL, but my 17 year old son's high school football team won the state championship and they got their rings last night.  This is a great group of young men and it was a lot of fun watching their excitement as they saw their ring for the first time.  It is also a proud moment for parents.  I am proud of my son in a lot of ways, but he had a great season.

     He was so much fun to watch play this past season because of his love and heart for the game.  He is a great player, but most importantly, he is a team player.  He is one of those that gets everyone pumped up when they need it.  He plays offensive guard so his position doesn't get much attention.  They are crucial for scoring, but don't always get a lot of credit.  He had a game during the season that was on a public tv channel and we got texts at the game from people at home watching because his name was announced a few times.  It happened again during the state championship game. That was really great for him because sometimes the linemen don't get a lot of praise.  He works hard, though.  He doesn't miss a practice and won't tell you most of the time if he is hurting.  He had an ankle sprain during the season and I knew he was hurting because he normally just sucks it up and keeps going.

     He is just a junior so he has another high school season.  My best advice to him is to enjoy every minute of the next year.  He has a huge heart for the sport, but he has an even bigger heart for the Lord. I am proud of him for so many things, but he wants to be a youth minister and that goal is what I am most proud of.  He is a great kid and I am sure God has some really great things ahead for him.  I always joke about his appetite.  Because he is so active, he eats A LOT.  It doesn't matter where he is and what meal it is, he is going to pray before he eats.

      All three of my kids are practically grown and so much taller than me.  I love when I get a glimpse of their childhood faces and ways.  I still know when he is in deep thought.  I was in his truck with him the other day and I saw that little boy for a second.  He did something that he used to do all the time when he was little with his ear and it was like he was 5 again for just a couple of sweet seconds.  It is always so sweet when he sits down in the den to eat a meal or snack.  I try not to let him see me watching, but he sits down and closes his eyes and prays before he eats.

     He has very strong convictions and a very strong faith and it is what makes him Shane.  I have been watching him the last couple of years and I am not surprised at all in what he wants to do when he is older.  He is an amazing role model to his little cousins and his whole family couldn't be more proud of him.  He was holding my brother's little girl one day and she was so funny.  He was holding and hugging her and she kept saying, "Stop" while all the time grinning and leaning into him. She loved it, but didn't want to act like it.  He knew and just smiled back and kept hugging her!


This was taken right after the game.  He was so excited.  He was in a daze the rest of the night.  He
played a great game!  When we got home we watched the game on tv. I had recorded it and was so glad I did.  We got to see and hear the announcer replaying the play he was praised for. 











This was taken last night at the ring ceremony.  They showed a highlight video, the head coach spoke, and it was just a great night for all of the boys.  He wore his ring from last year, but this year's ring 
has a whole different meaning for him.




Pretty handsome, huh?

I am so proud of you and love you very much, Shane.  You are going to be such a positive influence and greatly impact the lives of the kids you will mentor in the future.  You have heard God calling you to minister to young kids and I can't imagine you doing anything you would be better at or more rewarding.








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