Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome to My Table

During my time with cancer I have come to realize the important things I wanted in my life. Some of them I missed - like staying home to raise my children. Those are days I can't get back. I wanted to learn to can or freeze vegetables grown on my land. A throwback to seeing my grandmothers do those things. To live a more simple life, with less THINGS and more TIME. To live a life more focused on God, more focus on helping the hurting, reaching out to the lost.

When I was young my mother's kitchen seemed to be the place where ladies of the neighborhood would gather. I remembered it to be almost every morning, but that may just be my memories version of the truth. They would gather around the kitchen table and drink coffee and talk. I don't know what they talked about - I was too young to care or notice. But I knew they were there and each of these women became a large part of my childhood. Today, during my quiet time with God, I realized that I long for that in my life right now. I long for my lady friends to come to my kitchen table, drink coffee and talk about our lives. I know my friends, I know that we would talk about God and our lives with Him, we would pray for each other and the things going on in each of our lives.

So today I decided I would share my morning devotion with you, my friends. I will share the scripture I read and the songs I listened to during this time. I would love for you to share with me your thoughts on these things or maybe the scripture you've read or songs you've heard that have touched you today...I know with today's technology you can easily access the songs and scripture.

Songs: "Come to Jesus", sung by Chris Rice and, "It is Well with My Soul" Selah

Scripture that I meditated on today: David's Prayer of Praise to God. 1 Chronicles 29:10-19. Read this prayer, then pray this prayer...It is beautiful!

The verse I'm concentrating on this week: "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12

My thoughts on this verse: Each day is filled with opportunities, challenges and choices. The choice to put God first in each day. The choice to not let daily demands and struggles take our focus off God. Why is this the busiest time of year? This should be a peaceful time of reflection and adoration of our Savior?

"I urge you now to live the life to which God called you" Ephesians 4:1.

Thank you for joining me in my morning devotion. I hope your day is one where you gain a heart of wisdom and that you live the life to which God has called you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

By Invitation Only

If you have spent even just a little bit of time in church or bible studies, you have no doubt heard the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding. If you have not read it, you can find it in John chapter two.

Many lessons can be taught from this passage and I have read it a zillion times. I was tempted to just zip through it a few weeks back. I resisted that temptation and read each word carefully. You see, the Holy Spirit can reveal new things to you even when your bible is falling apart from years of use.

On this particular day John 2:2 jumped off the page and into my heart. "and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding". It sounds simple enough, but as I thought of that verse throughout the day it became clear what God was saying to me.

Jesus was INVITED to the wedding. He didn't storm the gates and insist on attending, he didn't sneak in the back entrance and he didn't show up as a "plus 1" on someone else's invitation. HE. WAS. INVITED.

My point...Jesus will not take over your life by force. He won't sneak in your house and teach moral standards to your children. He won't crawl through a window and save your marriage, or steal your password and bless your finances. You have to invite Him in and give him full access.

As Christians we are to become increasingly Christ like. I'm not there yet. You are not there yet. The only way we can get there is to invite him in to be an active part of our whole life.  When we invite guests into our home, we clean or straighten so they will be comfortable in our home. On occasion I have been guilty of hiding toys in the closet and closing doors to messy bedrooms when company is coming. That was my attempt of trying to make it look like I had my house under control when I didn't. We try to do the same thing in our spiritual lives. We clean up the part of our lives that people can see and close the doors to the troubles, doubts and fears that we don't want to reveal. But because of God's grace and mercy we don't have to close any doors. We can fling open the door to our heart and invite Jesus into our messed up lives. He will come in and love us as we are and will give us the strength and the courage to clean up those hidden places.

The thought that Jesus can love me right here, right now in the middle of my mess just blows my socks off!

Extend the invitation to Jesus. He is waiting to come into your life!

Peace out!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Rest for the Weary - Part 2

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me" - Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)

YOKE - (noun) a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or the cart they are to pull.

I love how Jesus used illustrations while teaching. It is so much easier to understand a concept when it is explained in terms which you are familiar. Back in the day, it was common for mules, or beasts of burden, to pull heavy loads. These animals were yoked together, not only to share the burden but to keep them going the same direction.

Jesus wants to be yoked with me. **Mind blown**. He not only wants to carry my burden, he wants me to walk beside him and learn from him. This is an incredible offer than none of us should pass up!

First, when Jesus and I are yoked together,he is shouldering my burden along with me. When things seem to be overwhelming, he is there to help me through it. So many things in this earthly life are burdensome - finances, sickness, relationships - but through prayer and SEARCHING THE WORD, he provides direction.

Also, when we are yoked we are side by side. To me that means he is always there...during treatments, sickness, sleepless nights, and self-doubting days. Always. Not when it is convenient, but always. My chemo treatments now come with a side order of reaction. The first day of each treatment I have a time where every muscle in me seems to twist and contract and my head feels on the brink of explosion. I can assure you I am quite the sight during these reactions. I'm sure I look like a monkey on a jungle gym. I'm hooked up to IVs so my movement is limited, but I try standing and swaying, sitting on the floor, I have even sat backward in my chair with my arms and head hanging over the back of the chair. My body is against me, but my Jesus is for me, so when these pains start, I think of scripture verses that remind me that He is with me, walking on the water and through the fire.

We spend so much time trying to find a person to be "yoked" with - business partners, friends, spouses. When really the most important yoke is with Jesus. Some spend more energy looking for a dance partner than they do getting to know The One that matters for all eternity.

The football games aren't going to be that great this weekend and we are suppose to have some rain, so spend some quiet, indoor time getting yoked up with Jesus!

Love and peace from my deck,


Monday, September 23, 2013

Rest for the Weary

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Our lives seem to be filled with many burdens. Everywhere we turn we see the homeless, the hungry and the abused. We see broken marriages, broken bodies and broken spirits. We live in a broken world. It was broken long ago by sin. We weren't meant to live a burdensome life - that's sin's fault. Jesus wants our lives to be lived in peace and in communion with Him. He invites all the weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest (vs 28). He invites ALL who are weary and burdened. No matter the burden or what caused your weariness, He wants you to find rest in Him.

The rest that Jesus wants for us is not a temporary respite from our hectic lives. It is how He wants us to live our lives amid the busyness. This doesn't give us permission to kick up our feet and sit on the sidelines of life. There is work to be done! But it can be done with a restful spirit.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

Come - the invitation
to me - God wants you
ALL - that includes you
who are weary and burdened - that's you again
and I - God
will give you rest - ahhh, sweet peace

Our physical body becomes weary from too much activity, or sleepless nights worrying, or maybe an illness. I have come to understand physical weariness in a way I never had BC (before cancer). Rest for the body requires us to break away from our activities and physically rest. The kind of rest God is offering to those who come to him is rest for the soul. That deep down release of anguish, confusion and fear. I hope this week you will allow yourself some time to rest in the Lord. He is waiting for you and He is wanting you to find peace in Him.

Peace in Him,


FUN FACT: I wrote this blog a week ago. My body was so weary than when I finished typing I laid my head on my desk rather than his the "publish" button.

P.S. If it is the Lord's will this post is part 1 of a short series.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Monday was nine hours of grueling chemotherapy along with two painful allergic reactions. It was a long day and I was so happy to crawl into my own bed and relax. While the day was unpleasant and I know the next five to six days could be worse, there are also bright spots in my days.

The hours at the cancer center are filled with bright spots right there in the middle of all the unpleasantness. As i lay in my bed I reflect on those bright spots. Most of these pleasant memories are clad in scrubs and funky looking shoes. The nurses are compassionate, loving, and concerned. But best of all, they know that I don't take things too seriously, so they joke around with me. The laughs are not only helping me, but it helps them too.

I also have friends and family that brighten my days. Each in a different ways, but all just as bright.

This is not a fancy blog post as I'm still in bed. But I wanted to let everyone know how thankful I am that God has given me the gift of days and the gift of friends to share them with.


Monday, August 19, 2013


It's over. Another week of chemo behind me. While I spend a week in Chemoland I worry that I will not return. To those who have never visited ChemoLand, you won't understand, and that's ok. Chemotherapy takes me to a place where even the bravest fear to tread. It is dark, gloomy and inescapable. The minutes seem to be hours, the days an eternity.

I plead with God to take this away from me, then I think of others that have battled cancer and how many we have lost in just the past year. I don't want it taken from just me, but everyone. Cancer is hard, the treatments are horrible and death is agony. It is a tough road diminished only by the promise of glory in Heaven.

People ask how I have done it for so long. My glib answer is "stubbornness". The ture answer seems cliche' here, deep in the bible belt. I am here because of God's grace and mercy. I don't understand it, I guess I'm not suppose to understand. I don't know why I am here and others are not. I don't know why I'm preparing my heart to say goodbye to another friend.

My friend and I have spent hours talking...talking as only two terminally ill sisters in Christ can talk. That, dear ones, is where the rubber meets the road. We have hashed out cancer, Heaven, God's will for our lives and His grace and mercy. We've compared side effects and our desires to impact this world for God's kingdom. We've confessed our fear in the midst of our Trust in God.

I will miss my sweet friend. I know that when she is seated at God's throne, she will hear, "well done, my precious child". I also know that we will be together again basking in the glory that is so much greater than our present sufferings.

I don't understand The Plan. All I know is that God is faithful. He loves me and will never abandon me. Even in ChemoLand. All He asks is that I love HIM and join HIM in loving others as HE does...not because HE needs my help, but because in doing His work I grow to be more like Him, so that His glory can be complete.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

My body is committing treason!

Those things it should do, sometimes it does not.  Those things it shouldn't do, sometimes it does.  It is shirking its duties.  Chemo and cancer likes to play tricks like that.  

My heart is still beating and I am grateful.

My tumor-riddled lungs are still breathing at full capacity, which is a miracle.

Then there are other parts of me that seem to be on a long lunch break.  Those are the parts that frustrate me.  Those are the parts that keep me from operating at maximum capacity.

All parts of our body are in important, with a job to do.  Just like the church (the people, not the steeple) is all a part of the body of Christ.  Each with a specific purpose to advance the Kingdom of God.  If you're not living out a purpose for Christ it is not because you don't have a purpose.  You have a purpose, you're just not doing it.  Whoa!  How was that for being direct?  I have had to face the reality that I was taking a long lunch break and not serving my Lord.  

You see, I wanted to travel to remote places, feed the hungry, give them clean water and tell them about Jesus.  My disease has made that impossible.  I was frustrated.  I was spiritually sitting before God with my lip stuck out and my arms crossed.  I wasn't getting to do what I wanted to do for Jesus.  I prayed for those I know that have been on mission trips, but I also envied them. Envy is not of God.  I was so disappointed that I was allowing Satan to enter into my heart regarding God's will for my life. 

"Have Thine Own Way Lord, Have Thine Own Way.  You are the Potter, I am the clay."

I have asked God to forgive me and have set my heart and mind on the things I CAN do.  My heart aches for those in desperation.  Those desperate for a chance, desperate for another chance, desperate for a way out.  That encompasses a large segment of the Earth's population.  

Several opportunities to serve have landed in my lap...which is where my Ipad sits and where I get most of my information.  My hope is to share with you what I'm involved in.  Please know this is not an attempt to "show off" or brag.  My desire is that it may help you think of ways to serve your Heavenly Father or move you to help me. 

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend and two attacked by one would be safe, and three cords twisted together are not quickly broken" Ecclesiastes 4:12

To be continued...Lord willing....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In Season


I can't think of anything much better than the taste of a fresh, ripe, red tomato.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I love to add them to a sandwich, but prefer that it flies solo (with a tad of mayo) and they adorn my plate along side other fresh veggies of the season.  Yep!  I love tomatoes.  There.  I said it.

But it is so disappointing to bite into a tomato expecting all that goodness to explode on your taste buds and get...nothing.  Those bland imported type - ugh.  It may look pretty but it just wasn't ready or maybe it was forced into its bloom, growth and color before it's time.

Which, by the way boys and girls, brings me to a verse of scripture I want to share.

"He (a blessed man) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit IN SEASON and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers"  Psalm 1:3

I have read Psalm 1 a billion...well, a bunch of times.  But this morning and two words jumped at me, which sounds kinda scary, but it's not.  It's exciting when the Holy Spirit does that - it's like He is saying, "YO!  Those words are for you today."

IN SEASON - I try to rush God.  I want things right now.  I want to run ahead and get things done.  I want things straightened out yesterday, if not sooner.  Those that have heard my testimony know that at one time I was begging God for my mission field.  I was not ready yet, it was not my season, not my time. So God kept telling me to wait. I believe He prepares our heart, mind and soul before revealing things to us.

Like the tree, "planted by streams of water", I am planted in the word of God and the more nourishment I receive, the clearer God's plans become.  If I stay rooted in His word I will not wither.  My desire is to seek His will for me.  Not just for my life, but for my day, for this minute.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.  Now go grab a tomato sandwich and your Bible and get filled up!

Living through His grace,

p.s.  Speaking of seasons, my most recent Cancer Center Bulletin Board is posted under the tab The Blue Cancer.  Go check it out.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Good and The Bad

Chemo always results in bad days, some worse than others.  Folks have asked me how I do it or even why I do it.  To answer the question of "how" it is purely because of the strength God gives me each day.  It is hard, it is no fun, it is beyond any description I can come up with (really encouraging, huh?), but somehow because of God's mercy and grace, I come out on the other side with a hope of better days.  Which brings me to the "why".  

To answer the "why"...

the enjoyment of listening to the stories my children tell of their lives, their very grown up lives.  Marriage and career for one, serving our great country for the other.  I'm so honored they want to share their stories with me.  

Also, breathing in the intoxicating scent of honeysuckles

the feel of a cool breeze

the tranquility of our backyard: sparkling waters and blooming flowers.

Be assured, these are only a few of the things I love about my life.  The point to this rambling is this: yes, I have bad days, but by God's grace the good days out weigh the bad by a long shot!

No, wait a second, that wasn't the point of my rambling...this is...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"

All things...the good, the bad and the ugly...God works for the good of me because I love Him...and goodness, that is good enough for me!  By the way, that is Romans 8:28.

I hope your week is a blessed one!


p.s.  I'm trying a larger font and would love feedback from you.  I'm thinking if I was having a hard time reading what I typed that you may be having a hard time reading it too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

To Blog or Not To Blog?

To blog or not to blog?  That seems to be my question of late.  So many things I want to say, so many things that need to be said.  So what stops me?  Some days the laptop stays quiet because I'm too sick to transfer thoughts into words.  Still other days are silent because I don't want pity from my kind-hearted readers.  And lastly, the good days, when I can enjoy God and all His splendid gifts, I am still silent.  This last silence comes from a fear of not showing the true, heart-wrenching, two sides of my story.  I love making jokes and showing the positive side of my life, but honestly, there is much more to learn from the darkness...or at least the bursting forth from the darkness.

I read the book of Esther in my bible time today.  Probably to most familiar verse in the story of this Jewish orphan becoming a queen is 4:14

  "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arrive from another place, but you and your family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this."

Who knows?

Esther's rise to queen could be straight from a fairy tale.  But it is not.  It is only one of many stories of how God puts people in specific places, for specific duties at "such a time".  Of course, we have the choice to carry out God's will or turn our back on His plan.  I hope that I always choose God's plan.

Esther was a beautiful queen. I'm a cancer patient.  Worlds apart, centuries apart, but still each one in a "position for such a time as this."  Ester's obedience saved the lives of many, many Jews.  I only hope my obedience will shed God's light of hope to a dying and desperate world.

What position are you in for God's glory?
His plan will happen, will it happen with you or with you?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jelly Beans and Jesus

I'm baaack...that is the message I always text to my sisters when the chemo fog has cleared from my brain and I begin the waking up process.  It always feels like I've taken a long trip but have no souvenirs or pictures or fun memories to validate.  I have two and half days of chemo and by the afternoon of day three I am in the bed.  I sleep for about four days.  I vaguely remember people coming in and out.  Mostly Steve, checking on me, bringing me water because I can't stand the taste of anything else.  He tries various foods, some I eat, some I don't.  Bless him.

I think of these days as 'jelly beans and Jesus' days.

The chemo, along with meds I take to help with side effects, leaves a taste in my mouth that compares to the "back side of a billy goat".  No, I don't actually know what a back side of a billy goat tastes like, but I can imagine it is really bad and this taste is really bad...see how my brain works?

Anywho, the only thing that helps is jelly beans and lots of them.  I wake up at all hours, day and night, reaching for the beans.  Sometimes falling asleep again before finishing a handful.  This antidote has produced some comical moments.  Once, I was sure I had developed some horrible rash on my hand only to realize the candy coating had stained my hands as I slept. (Cancer patients get a little jumpy about strange rashes).  The best happened when Gracie woke me up being very friendly with dog kisses all over my neck.  It turns out she wasn't that happy to see me, she had found where I dropped the jelly beans the night before!

The candy may soothe my mouth, but Jesus is the only thing that can soothe my soul.  Those days of sleep are very dark.  Satan takes the opportunity to whisper lies of weakness, insufficiency and hopelessness.  I pray for God to hold my thoughts captive, to not let Satan gain one inch.  I have prayer warriors committed to pray the same when I am too weak.  There are times when I repeat "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" or think of words to hymns I grew up singing.

On this day, the day of awakening, I feel light, full of joy and promise...maybe it is all the jelly bean sugar, but I believe it is Jesus guiding me out of the dark forest and into His light.

Dear friend, hold tight to Jesus' hand in the darkness.  He is as close as a whisper.

Today I wish you the sweetness that only Jesus can give. Today, would you buy a bag of jelly beans?   Today, would you share the sweetness of Jesus?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ending, Beginning or Middle - Part 2

Yesterday's post ended with verse 7 of Psalm 116.  "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you"

That is quickly becoming a favorite verse for me.  Breathe it in deep, let it feel every cell of your being.  It feels like being served warm cocoa with extra marshmallows.

I'm so excited to share these thoughts with you.  God's word is so alive and I just get all revved up to talk about Him.  So, here we go!

March 7, 2013
Psalm 116: 8

8. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,   Until Christ's triumphant return we will all have a physical death.  But Jesus has delivered us from the death of our soul.  The body is temporary - the really important part is the soul.  my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. As my body weakens there are so many tears and stumblings, but God is faithful.. He will not abandon me, He is always there to steady my step.

12.  How can I repay the Lord for the goodness He has shown to me? His peace, strength and provision through this struggle has never wavered.  Even when my faith faltered He remained faithful.   It is a debt I could never repay.  

 13. I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.  14.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.  As an answer to the question in verse 12, this is how God wants to be "repaid" for His goodness to me.  He wants me to worship Him, praise Him and speak of Him to all people. It is my hope that I fulfill the vows that I made as a new Christian.  God desires my worship and praise.  I will speak His name to all people!

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.  Ok, I had to do some thinking on this verse.  I had to look up several commentaries.  According to my study notes it means the death of his saints are "carefully watched over".  Barnes' commentary says "the act of removing a servant from the world is an act of deep deliberation on the part of God and not taken lightly."  Woo! Does that hit anybody else like it does me?  I guess I've always thought since God is all knowing that our death was really no big deal to him.  It happens so often, every day, all over the world.  I kind of pictured it like the check out at a grocery store.  As we leave earth we are put on the conveyor belt thing and roll our way to the front where we get scanned.
beep...beep...beep...beep.  Sorry, if that was insensitive.  Does anybody thing about things the same way I do?  

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my devotional journal.  It is my intention to post as often as I can.  There will be days that I will not feel up to the task.  Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Blessings abound, just look around!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ending, Beginning or Middle?

Is it the beginning of an end or the end of a beginning or maybe the middle of neither.

I have been literally fighting for my life for almost four and one half years.  My doc has thrown every drug at me that has a chance of slowing this speeding train called cancer.  Some have worked, some have not.   Once a treatment stops working or is found to not work at all it is marked off the list.  I'm at the bottom of my list.

Cancer and the attempt to demolish it has taken a toll on my physical being.  I don't recognize myself and some of the side effects I have endured have made me think my body has been taken over by aliens.  I am thankful that God gave me a sense of humor to help me get through some of these very odd occurrences.

While my physical being is becoming a stranger to me, I find myself spending more time in my soul.

I have been promising (or threatening) to share the writings from my personal devotion time.  God spoke volumes to me through Psalm 116 for several days in early March.  Since that time I have returned to these verses time and again.  In sharing this with you, I hope it will encourage and bless you.  I will break it down into separate days.  So, today is installment one.  Scripture is in bold, my thoughts in italics.

March 6, 2013
Psalm 116: 1-7

1. I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.  I cried out to God during my cancer diagnosis and again even louder and more desperate when I was diagnosed as terminal.

3.  The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by my trouble and sorrow.  4.. Then I called on the name of the Lord; "O Lord, save me!"  When I sought out His face and  cried out to Him, He heard me.  The Almighty God of the Universe heard me...a sinner, someone with no power, fame or great talent...He heard me.  

5. The Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion.  6.  The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me.  God is ALL gracious, ALL righteous and ALL compassion, only God can be ALL of those ALL the time.  In my time of need he is there to scoop me up, dust me off and stand me upright again.

7.  Be at rest, once more, O my soul for the Lord has been good to you.  Even though I know God is with me, sometimes my human nature rears its ugly head and I feel that I am falling back into desperation.  Daily I need to recall vs 7.

Be at rest, once more, O my soul for the Lord has been good to you.

Today, I pray that you know the gracious, righteous, compassionate King of Kings.



Friday, April 5, 2013

I See the Moon, the Moon Sees Me

God's faithfulness - pure joy for those who believe His word and rely on His promises, despair for those who doubt His word and defy His warnings.

One evening while traveling back home from a visit with my daughter, God gave me an object lesson on His faithfulness.

 I had noticed how the moon was big and bright.  I commented on it as we left my daughter's driveway.  I attributed it's brightness to the rural area where she and my son-in-law live.  As my husband and I made it on to the interstate the moon was framed perfectly in my passenger side window.  I was totally mesmerized!  It was relaxing to lean back and stare at the moon.  For a while I was lost in my thoughts, just me and the moon.  Suddenly an embankment came between me and the moon.  Like a child playing peek-a-boo I was startled that my moon had disappeared and then delighted at it's reappearance as we passed the hill.  Admittedly, I felt a little foolish about this, but my moon was back so I just kept starting...literally staring into space.  Soon we came upon another hill, this time I knew the moon would reappear when we passed the hill.  I'm a quick learner.  :-)  As the landscape changed more things came between me and my moon.  Sometimes it was partially hidden, sometimes I was watching through trees and then BAM it was back in clear view.

Slowly a sweet feeling came into my spirit.  Just like the moon was ushering me home that night, the presence and love of God is ushering me home.  Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by His presence that I can't take my eyes away.  Other times I let earthly things block my view.  I let doubts and insecurities block out the love and steadfastness of God.  He gently leads me away from those earthly woes and my soul claps with delight when I see that He is still there - big and bright and beautiful, more than able to see me through to His Promised Land.

Thank you God for your faithfulness!

Numbers 23:19

"God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?  (American Standard)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's All Small Potatoes

I sit here this morning with amazement at how God moves in all things.  The big, fat, hairy, scary things and the little bitty things.  He is in all of them.  In preparation to post I gathered the necessities.  My bible, laptop, iPad (because truthfully, I can't do anything without my iPad), cup of coffee, my $5 reading glasses and the notes I had written several days ago.  Those notes were going to become today's post.  But God has other plans for today.  I believe the notes are still relevant and God willing, I will share them another day.

A couple of verses jumped in my lap this morning and decided to sit awhile.  They are familiar verses and I have become friendly with them over the past four years.  Today they changed their tone a little and came at me from The Message translation.  I have made a hobby out of comparing translations and it is quite the eye opening activity.  Anywho, I'm going to save you the trouble of finding The Message translation and share it with you right down here....

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

"So we're not giving up.  How could we!  Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.  These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.  There's far more here than meets the eye.  The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.  But the things we can't see now will last forever."

We all have problems, issues, situations...crises!  No matter the size of the problem, if we have allowed God to come into our life, He is doing a mighty work through our issues. If you are going through something, God is making something new in your life.  Life on earth is hard.  Eternal life is glorious.

I read the book, "Heaven is For Real", about the little boy who went to heaven and then came back to his earthly home.  He described how everything was better and how the colors were brighter.   Imagine the most beautiful day you've experienced here and then magnify it by eternity!  Think of the brightest birds in red, yellow and blue and then turn up the volume.  Think of the worst heartache you have ever experienced and remember that eternity with God will make that pain fill like small potatoes compared to His glory!

Today I hope you find God's grace and mercy in all the big and small potatoes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Words of My Mouth

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, o Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" Psalm 19:14

A verse I said "by heart" growing up.  We said it every Sunday. These words can roll off my tongue like " The Pledge of Allegiance" or the Big Mac song (two all beef patties, special sauce....)  But when I read the verse slowly and think about it, it becomes more...dare I say...important.  As a child I thought "words of my mouth" meant don't say dirty words or call your sister stupid. Now I know that the words of my mouth are more critical. My words should edify God, spread love and joy to a hurting person, be an encouragement. My words...and your words...may be the only glimpse of Jesus that a person may see.

I have a sharp tongue and sarcasm comes too easily for me. This is something I struggle with daily. It rips at my heart to think of things I have said in the past.  Words I have spoken to my own children that weren't kind, uplifting and certainly not edifying to God. If my life were the only evidence of God that my children were exposed to they would have surely given up on God. What a terrible and sobering thought.  Now I strive everyday to speak encouragingly to people and speak some Jesus into their life.

Meditations of my thoughts not of just my brain but my heart - those are desires.  What are the desires of my heart?  I desire for God to fill my heart with His love and joy and compassion so much that it just spills over and just gets all over people!  Wouldn't it be great if people could say of us, "every time I see them they just spill God's love everywhere!" Or "Man, that guy is just reeking with compassion this morning!"  I know that when the meditations of my heart are pleasing to God , then I must be traveling on the road he wants me to travel. I must be in step with Him.

I know that the desires of my heart have not always been pleasing to God. Selfish ambition and the game of getting more stuff crowded Him out of my heart.  But even when getting more stuff I was still empty.  God was probably say, "child, forget the stuff and chase after me". When life hit hard and the stuff couldn't save me, couldn't redeem me my heart finally learned what my mouth had been saying.  The Lord, He is my Rock and Redeemer.

This Holy Week I hope that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are pleasing to the One that sacrificed His only son as a payment of my debts. He is my Rock and my Redeemer.

Friday, March 8, 2013

An Abundantly Good Week

I sit here in the quiet of my home, looking out the window and not really seeing.  My heart and mind and soul is overwhelmed with the thoughts of gifts God has graciously showered on me just this week.  Graciously gifted. Abundantly showered. It sounds so jazzed up when seen on my screen. Like I'm trying to make it seem bigger than it is, when in truth it is just the opposite. My words seem shallow and insignificant.

I don't deserve even a small portion of one gift from God but through his grace he just keeps pouring them on.

The first two weeks of this new chemo plan have gone amazingly well for me.  We've joked that the pharmacy may have switched and given me vitamins instead of chemo.  I know that this feeling of normalcy may not last long so I am enjoying it.

I have had a wonderful time going through Psalm 116 this week.  I plan to blog about it soon.   If you have  scripture that is really speaking to you right now I would love for you to share it with me.

For now...

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hey, What's Your Name?

My son gave me a leather patch he asked his friends to make for me.  I am more "military" than he is.  I've never been in the service so I can still think of it as it was portrayed in the old black and white movies, the ones with Bing Crosby singing and dancing. Andrew says it is nothing like that - can you imagine that Hollywood steered us wrong?

Anyway, back to the leather patch.

It has my name, my title, and my branch.

A.H. Ellis

I turned it over in my hands feeling the soft leather and the indention of my name. The scent of it, warm and safe.  I am more intentional about taking in such things now. I don't just stop and smell the roses. I inspect their color, shape and the thorns that go along with them.  But that night I was drawn to my name on that patch.  My name, a name that I have had for many years, looked different to me.
I saw it, not as something I'm called, but as something I am.  It occurred to me that my name resembles my life. Parts of different people that make me the whole of who I am. Just as friends contribute to the experiences in a life, my name is also the result of contributions.

A.  Amy, the birth name given to me by my mother.
H.  Huguley, the family name given to me by my father.
Ellis, the name given to me by my husband, almost 30 years ago.

And finally,
Mom, the name given to me by my children.

I have been called many things (let's don't go there!  LOL), but my name reflects who I am.  There is only one name sweeter to me. That name doesn't reflect who I am, but Whose I am. I believe that name is Child.  I try to imagine the scene of when I enter into Heaven. It's much easier to focus on where you are going opposed to where you are leaving. I imagine God smiling and saying, "welcome home, Child".  I am a child of the Most High God!

My pathway to being His child began when Jesus sacrificed His life for mine.  Matthew 20:28

I am proud of my earthly name and all that it means, but I am ETERNALLY grateful to be His child!

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Just Me

Hey!  Long time no blog!  The winter months have been long and gray for me.  I dared not blog because I had nothing profound, inspiring or funny to share.  I have spent most of my time knitting, cross stitching and overdosing on the Game Show Network.

During my absence from the blogging world we faced one of the days we knew would come but hoped would be later than sooner. I moved to the next phase of treatment.  Xeloda is a chemo in pill form that I take at home. No more weekly trips to the center. No more getting up early to sit in a chemo hair for hours. That probably sounds like good news, but it made me very sad. Over these four years I have grown close to the nurses and staff at the center that I couldn't imagine weeks going by before I would see them again.

Okay, enough melancholy!  This day is too beautiful to spend it moping around. Which, dear ones, is the subject of today's post.

The sky is a beautiful blue, the birds are singing their different little songs - the original tweeting (no app required).  The air is a little chilly but I refuse to stay inside. I've found a corner of my deck where the sun shines through the trees this time of day so I'm warm...and I'm wearing a jacket and boggan.

I have cracked open the binocular case to get a good look at the feathered creatures visiting my earthly paradise. There are some beauties!  From far away I would describe them as red or brown or black - I'm real descriptive like that. But through the binoculars I can see the different shades, the designs on their wings and tail feathers. Breathtaking. I'm sure there is a devotion in that somewhere. I will think about that later.

I realized last fall that the birds sometimes watch me too and I caught one looking in my window last week!  I can imagine this morning the birds are tweeting each other. "Hey, that woman with binoculars is back!  #creepy"

All this bird talk reminds me of a friend. We became friends through an online bible study.  She lives several states away, we've never met or spoken. We only talked through Facebook. She is passionate about The Lord and loved watching birds. Most of our conversations centered around those two subjects. She has some sort of disease that was stealing her eyesight. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas it worsened to the point that she can't even used the computer designed for the vision impaired. We haven't been able to communicate.

I think the moral of this story is don't wait for the conditions to be perfect to do something. It's a little chilly, but go look at the birds. Your desk may be piled high with papers or your laundry room may be overflowing, but go have lunch with a friend.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today...unless its cooking. The pizza man can you cover you on that one.

Gonna fly now,