Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

August & September 2014

 

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AUGUST                                                                                                                                                 So the month of August was pretty steady, we didn’t have really any updates to give, Jeff had still been adjusting to chemo, but he was feeling well for the most part. About the only thing that stuck out to me was I had been doing 2 fantasy football drafts in the same night.

So lets talk about football for a moment…. For those who do not know me or did not know Jeff… we were a household of 5 passions… God, Family, Game Nights with friends, Baseball and Football. Each year as football season would roll around, our house instantly got crazier and often filled with tension. You see, especially in the football world, Jeff and I had NOTHING in common. When it came to college, he was a die hard Texas A&M fan, and I am a die hard University of Texas fan, and though they are no longer still in the same conference, the rivalry still runs deep between these two teams. When it comes to NFL, He was an all out Green Bay Packers fan (just having to type that out made me feel a little yucky) & I am an all out Houston Texans fan as well as carry family loyalties to the Denver Broncos. Our high schools didn’t even like each other, but at least we could back the hometown team together. So for half the year in our home, there was always lots of trash talk, yelling at games, compromising with how to watch the games, many games watched separately, it was a madhouse!!! So as I was looking back at posts from August and seeing all the football excitement, there is a little bit of a relief, but also oh so many things I will miss. I for one am glad to have the stinkin’ Green Bay & A&M stickers off my car, out of my closet (don’t even get me started) & out of the constant conversations. Now let me say now, Jacob is free to choose whatever teams he wants to root for… however… I will not be supporting monetarily unless its for my teams & I will not bend over backward either. I will miss doing fantasy football together, I will miss just the enjoyment of the sport of football together, I will miss going to the local high school games together & just his excitement (sometimes I’ll miss it) for the game. Oh how he loved football.

SEPTEMBER                                                                                                                                            So one of the really cool things that happened was that as I got into my car (I think this was even back when we were still in the hospital if I recall), and on the radio was our local Christian station, I didn’t hear all of what they were saying, but I heard them ask people to call and tell their story about the peace the passes understanding. This phrase had been something Jeff & I had been saying over and over again. I felt the Lord spur my heart to call in and tell them about our journey with Jeff’s cancer & how we felt God’s hand on everything. So I did just that! Well as it turns out, it was a contest for tickets to see Big Daddy Weave!!! Fast forward to September  21st and it was time for the concert! We took our friends Sarah & Edmundo with us & let me just say, that was one of the most Spirit-filled amazing concerts I have ever been to! You felt the Holy Spirit just flood the room! It was amazing! And the fact that we were there all because I was faithful to follow the Lord in calling in and telling our testimony made it that much better! This has been something over the last 3 years that has been a life lesson! Listening to the Holy Spirit is so key for Christians y’all! Sometime He hits you in the face with what He wants you to do, and sometimes you have to be very quite and in tune with God to hear it.

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

The Day I Became A “Mom”

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the day I adopted my son. As I go through the more of the months, we will eventually come to this story, but I wanted to take a moment to celebrate!

I know that I was put in Jeff & Jacob’s life to be Jacob’s mom, as a stepmom I never felt like I didn’t have full responsibility to take care of, support (financially & emotionally) and love him… he was my son. But what this step meant to me, was no one could take him away from me (oh how that is such a beautiful picture of God), there no longer was an instinctive tug at Jacob’s heart that he didn’t have a “mom” in his life, he could now feel free to call me mom (& sometimes he does and sometimes he still calls me Mamie), and logistically with paperwork, insurances, etc. there was no need to put in the word “step”.

Happy Adoption Anniversary Jacob! I love you so much!!!

adopt

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Birthdays, VBS & Widow’s Emotions

What a crazy AWESOME weekend that just passed!!! With this being the first birthday without Jeff, I wasn’t sure what my emotions would do. As expected they’ve been nothing short of unpredictable since Jeff’s home going. Life has been crazy busy between prepping for Vacation Bible School and my birthday and just life in general, why would I expect this weekend to be anything less?

Let me start by saying, I have the BEST best friend a girl could ask for. Christina and I have known each other since we were little girls, but when my family moved, we lost touch (you know.. because this was before MySpace, Facebook, E-Mail, own phones, etc.), it wasn’t until after high school that we reconnected through Emily, and we picked right back up where we left off! I had the blessing of being her Maid of Honor & before my wedding date was ridiculously bumped up and we decided to forego a traditional wedding party & let Jacob & my mom walk the isle, Christina was going to be my Matron of Honor. She still was was, she planned the wedding with me & helped me get ready, and even though she wasn’t standing at my side in the church, she was still my MOH. I love you Christina!!!

Birthday                                                                                                                                             Jeff’s mom took Jacob out and got me birthday gifts during their alone time, and when I went to pick him up for birthday breakfast, they gave them to me! My son who knows me so well, picked out beautiful flowers, the movie The Sandlot (a shared favorite of ours), an Amazon gift card & a sweet card he picked out himself and signed! Jeff’s parents got me a sweet card and gift card as well. Then we headed off to breakfast which I was super excited for because for the last month I had been doing the Advocare 24 day challenge and had been eating super healthy.. but for my birthday, I splurged since the challenge was now over and we went out for pancakes and french toast! After breakfast he showed me how well he’s now riding his bike (he’s been working so hard on it & I couldn’t be more proud!) & then I left him with Jeff’s parents again and ran off to get things ready for my birthday celebration.

At 2:55 in the afternoon, my mom called me and talked about the story of my birth. One day I will likely share that because it has some really cool God stories in it!!!!

So several months ago, when we knew that there was no way Jeff would be up for throwing me a 30th birthday party, or if he even would still be with us, I tasked Christina with planning it. Let me just say… she did not disappoint! I was so blessed to have a wonderful group of friends come out to celebrate my life! I was totally expecting my emotions to possibly drag me down and miss Jeff incredibly in the midst of the party. It’s My Party by Leslie Gore comes to mind. HOWEVER, I was so overwhelmed by the love and fun we had that I did not once during the party get those feelings! It was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! Christina, Emily & Steven planned a video/picture scavenger hunt that was so much fun! (Your’s is coming next year Christina!) Oh the memories we made! The cake & cupcakes Katrina made were to die for! Still eating on it 🙂 One of my oldest friends Shannon even made it out, we aren’t even entirely sure when the last time we saw each other was, but its been at least 10 years! 

BIRTHDAY

After everyone had left, Christina helped me put stuff in my car and we ended up standing outside talking for 3 hours about everything under the sun (even baskets… bahahaaha)!! Oh how we needed that time together, its been at least a year since we got to talk like that! It was at this point that I finally had those emotions I was anticipating. We cried it out and talked about how we missed Jeff (and oh how he would have loved this party!!). I finally got to slow down and process and grieve the first birthday without Jeff, but rejoice in how wonderful it was anyhow!

When I got home, I discovered during my party my parents had come in town, TP-ed my apartment and left! At first, the exhausted mom in me thought “ugg, I’m going to have to clean this mess”, but then all I could do was laugh! It was the best birthday prank ever & it showed how much my parents love me more than any gift ever could! For those who don’t know, my dad was a youth pastor for 20 years when I was growing up. I’ve probably been doing TP pranks since I could walk! A good prank is a love language in our family!! BUT on top of it, they left 30 gorgeous roses, a sweet card & a box of old photos that have soooo many wonderful memories!!! Some of those will be coming!!!

TP

My 30s started off pretty dang well y’all!!!

VBS Rehearsal                                                                                                                                            Oh I am so sore, but so worth it & I’m just going to let God give me miracle healing, energy & endurance this week! VBS is going to be awesome!!! Running on little sleep and getting myself up to church, running to eat lunch and then back up to the church for final rehearsal yesterday was a bit tiring, but I survived!! I want to just stop for a moment and thank our fearless (and sometimes…. most of the time… crazy) director Lisa! It is my joy and privilege to to work/dance/praise alongside you on Sundays as well as for VBS! Your hard work is so appreciated and I love you to pieces!!! One of my friends and co-leaders Stefanie also shares my birthday, so it’s always fun to be sang to by our wonderful team each year! Because no matter what, our birthdays fall at VBS time and I love it!!! I am so ready for this week and can’t wait to share it with everyone!!!

More Birthday                                                                                                                                             So then I rushed home to clean up and cook lasagna because I had promised a friend I would make it for his birthday which is the day after mine. Oh how I love this sweet family & was so glad Ben, Leslie & the kids made it over! Plus it was extra motivation to do much needed clean up of the apartment. I even paid Jacob $2 for cleaning up all the TP from my parents! We laughed, we loved on each other, we ate & y’all!!! I couldn’t find the recipe card, but ended up making it from memory and it tasted so good! This is a huge thing for me, because it is one of the ways I honor Jeff’s memory… by making it to the best of my ability & keeping the recipe a secreteven from Jacob…. he won’t be getting that probably until he gets married… or at least turns 18. I still need more taste testers for those who want to come  have friend time and eat food!!!!

So THAT was my birthday weekend! I think I said in a previous blog that my 20s were not the best decade, I plan to make 30s the best ever! And it’s off to a great start!!!

 

God Bless,

-A

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Count It All Joy

Today is one of those days where I just kind of feel like things around me are swirling and it’s difficult just to keep up. I forgot to take important paperwork with me today so they could be sent off (some people know what I’m talking about, no need to go into detail… if you would like to pray for this unspoken request, I would love that!). I feel like I physically have just hit a wall (3 nights in a row of VBS praise team rehearsal on top of life will do that to you), but pressed on to get some things completed because the clutter and unfinished business is driving me nuts!!! So then I went to check the mail & got a notice that a bill payment did not go through (one I did not realized was linked to Jeff’s card that was cancelled… this is a bill that gets paid annually, so it’s just now coming up). BUT THEN… God IMMEDIATELY showed His mercy in the form of a note from my friend Andrea. Just a quick card in the mail wishing me a happy early birthday and telling me she was going to be praying extra hard for us this Father’s Day. As if I wasn’t already crying from the stress of seeing yet another hurdle to get over, now I’m crying tears of joy at the beauty of the Body of Christ.

So then as I’m working around my apartment, struggling to hold myself up to complete stuff, I just suddenly became overwhelmed… for no reason. (This is normal for widows if you didn’t know) I just started crying in my bathroom as I was trying to clean it up, wondering why I felt so helpless and needy and like I just couldn’t catch up no matter how hard I tried. It is such a crazy feeling to constantly be overwhelmed, because while Jeff was so sick and eventually on hospice, I didn’t feel this overwhelmed, I didn’t feel this helpless. Sure I had my moments, but it wasn’t just a constant feeling. Not like it is today. I realize now, it is because when in the midst of the craziness of the cancer battle at the end, we had constant help. Sometimes it was in the form of people dropping in, sometimes it was in the form of family & friends being just an emergency call away, at the end it was in the form of amazing nurses at our side, and in the immediate days after his passing, it was in the form of meals, visitors, prayers, loads of cards in the mail, calls, people offering to help, etc. And while I am still getting so much help, especially with places for Jacob to be this summer, you notice that you don’t get the daily check ups from many of people that were once there… and it’s not because they don’t love or care for us, it’s just easy to go back to normal life after a while. I guess I’ve done such a good job of handling life that people who are not immediately involved in it just don’t see it anymore.

This post is not for pity, nor is it begging for help (although if the Holy Spirit leads you to offer help, I will not turn it down), this is not to draw attention to my struggles, it is simply to be open and honest about what goes on in the life of a young widow, and to shed light on where the blessings from the Lord still come in the midst of the storm.

For ONE, the card I already mentioned previously.

TWO… on the facebook page of the singer Mandisa, she posted songs that speak to her in times of grief and asked others to share songs that speak to them in their time of grief. Some of mine are :

  1. I Am- Crowder
  2. Oceans- Hillsong UNITED
  3. Even If- MercyMe
  4. Thy Will- Hillary Scott
  5. Praise You In This Storm- Casting Crowns
  6. Good Good Father- Chris Tomlin

(Just to name a few)

Seeing the list from Mandisa and other people adding their favorites has greatly blessed me and of course God knew I would need these songs today!

THREE, family & friends who will let you just cry it out and tell them your struggles.

FOUR, the unconditional love of a dog (dogs are the best…especially my Tango).

FIVE, deacons who love on you and offer help in any way they can.

I could list many more, but these are the ways today in which the Lord has shown me that He is always here with me.

Yesterday a friend said she felt that because of all the prep with praise team, she felt like the devil was trying to get after her. So that’s when we are just going to praise harder, shine brighter for Jesus, show His love to everyone we meet, especially in this coming week at Vacation Bible School. We are an example of Christ’s love, and the devil hates that! So since he knows that he cannot pluck us from the Father’s hands (John 10:28), Satan tries to destroy our witness, he attacks us in hopes that it will rattle us and get us angry, make us doubt the goodness of God or the presence of God, anything he can do to make it look like we don’t believe what we know to be true.

So in a moment when I could just as easily go on facebook and blast about my horrible day, I choose joy and truth. Joy– no matter what life brings, I am saved by the grace of God, a God who will never leave me, nor forsake me, a God who sees all and knows the struggles I am dealing with. Truth– life is going to be hard at times, but I am still blessed and will always have the Holy Spirit to comfort me & will one day see the Heavenly Father face to face.

So if you are struggling, if you feel like you just can’t seem to get ahead, feeling like you keep running into brick wallsBrothers, Sisters, Friends… I feel you! Pray about it! Let people love on you! Let GOD love on you!

James 1:2-8
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

I’M COUNTING IT ALL JOY TODAY…. THE FATHER IS WORKING IN ME.

God Bless,

-A

 

 

 

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

Power of Prayer

So let me start by saying that dealing with post death paperwork and dealing with cancellations and changes of accounts is EXHAUSTING. I wish we had been more organized with paperwork, because with the military, even for veterans… it’s a lot!!! 

I have been trying to find and gather all the information I need for insurance and VA claims and it has about made me sick, the stress is ridiculous y’all. Because you know… life isn’t hectic enough with adjusting to new routines & then throw in 2 months later, summer rolls around so it’s time for different routines! I’m tired just thinking about it!! The other week, after failing to find everything I needed to take care of loose ends, I finally got a huge storage box and went through every nook and cranny of the apartment & putting anything that was paper with print on it in this box.

Yesterday I started to sort through & file every stinkin receipt, piece of paper, random ad, ect. in that box & praise God found several pieces of paperwork I needed. As I was doing my searching, I was continually in prayer, when I can’t find something I’m looking for the prayer usually sounds like this:

“Lord, I know you know all and see all, you know right where [insert item] is. I’m sure you’re looking at it right now. Please reveal to me where it is.”

And y’all…. this usually works! So the other day it was an award letter of Jeff’s & the Lord revealed to me (after speaking to Katrina who told me to look in everything that I wouldn’t think to look in) to open a totally random manila folder that only had my name on it (I still don’t know what my logic was on that one), yesterday it was the life insurance policy for Jeff, and I kid you not, I found it 10 minutes later! This morning it was birth certificates and marriage license. I had 10 minutes left before I absolutely had to be out the door for work, I found it in 3 minutes! This is a very tangible way I see on a regular basis the Lord answering prayers (I lose things a lot, so I see this a lot).

One thing I realized I left out from the Month of April post (and I can’t believe I forgot to mention it!!) was the story of the tube! So when we were in the hospital just a couple days, the doctors told us that Jeff had so much blockage from the tumors that his fluids were backing up and were septic. If we didn’t get drainage done, eventually the build up would go into his lungs and he would die (I’m trying to spare you as much of the gross detail as possible, but this is key y’all!)!!! Jeff at the time was going through some major PTSD and anger moments, a lot of questioning why this was happening to him (and rightfully so!), and so when he was told that the doctors needed to insert a tube in his nose and down into his stomach to drain the bile (again, sorry, I know it’s gross… hang in there with me! I’m coming to the good part!), Jeff went full on anger refusal mode! This was one of the hardest things I have had to go through in our marriage, to try to talk him down (with the help of our moms, doctors, nurses.. even the ones he loved, ministers, etc) and convince him that this needed to happen or he would die within days. One side note I need to mention is that at this point, Jacob’s birth mom still had parental rights, if Jeff had died at that time, I would have a very hard time fighting her for Jacob! That is a story you will see in the future… and it’s a good one y’all!!

So If I remember correctly, I believe I stepped out of the hospital and took a breather, I think I ran an errand, because I was about to explode over the fact that he was refusing what would be painful no doubt, but would save his life! So finally, while I was gone, after being talked down and presented the options, he finally agreed to have it put in. Once they got it in, everyone started praying that it would drain quickly (I don’t remember how long it was in in total). We also asked about speaking to a chaplain in the hospital as well as called the church and asked Rex (one of our church’s ministers & a dear friend of ours) to come anoint Jeff with oil. 

“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;” James 5:14

We did just what the Bible instructed us! So because the chaplain of the hospital was already on campus, he came first and anointed Jeff. Let me note, Jeff did not need to be anointed twice, this was simply a case of wanting to make sure someone could come quickly, and they both happened to come very quickly! Not long after the hospital chaplain left, our sweet Rex came. He too anointed Jeff with oil, sang and prayed over him, loved on us, and y’all… here’s the cool partyou ready?! It was about 20 minutes later that the pump and tube started draining the junk out of Jeff’s body! And it was a lot (sorry, gross again I know), it was about a gallon of septic fluid coming out of him (no wonder he was so sick!!! And sorry, that is my last mention of it!)!!!!

I tell you all the details of these 2 stories to say this…. THE POWER OF PRAYER IS REAL!!! MIRACLES HAPPEN IN OUR LIVES JUST AS THEY DID IN THE BIBLE! I have my own miracle stories, and maybe one day I will share those. I hope that through this journey of this blog that you will see clearly, just how AWESOME God is. The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, the God that is the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit, 3 yet also 1!), the God of the founders of the United States of America (oh how we have fallen away from our roots… this is a result of free will and choice given to us by God), the God of my family, my church & many of my friends. He is more than can ever be fully explained here on earth!

I haven’t posted this picture to facebook in a while, and will go do that when I am done here.

pray

If you need prayer, please reach out to me, I would love to pray for you in whatever way you need! God hears our prayers! Sometimes the answer is immediately yes, sometimes it’s no, sometime it’s wait, but He always hears our prayers! 

God Bless,

-A

 

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

June & July 2014

I don’t normally post blogs back to back, but the Lord is still speaking to me, so on to the months of June & July! I’m choosing to lump them together because as I looked back, I didn’t post much to Facebook, so it’s harder to recall. Life was so crazy & the summer kinda blew by!!

2014 was the first year I got to be on the praise team for VBS which eventually led me to become a worship leader on Sundays to 1st graders! Jeff was doing well enough by now, I felt comfortable leaving him and Jacob at home while I got to get away for rehearsal for praise team a couple nights a week. This was a break I so needed.

On the 3rd Sarah and I went out to see Mom’s Night Out after a long praise team rehearsal. Such a great movie if you haven’t seen it! Funny that the next year we would get to be working with Robert Amaya who was in the movie!

Jacob finished first grade on the 5th and oh how blessed we have been by his school! He was already growing so much in his learning & we were so blessed that Jeff got to see so much of it.

On the 9th we started VBS and Jeff was even able to be a 5th grade leader that year, and so many were amazed that he was up for it, but by now he had been on chemo about a month and was feeling much better (which is quite possibly why there weren’t many posts on my facebook about his cancer for some time). God’s hand in this the was not lost on us! He physically should not have been up for all he did!

2 weeks later we were playing softball with our Sunday school class!! Those who didn’t see the games found it hard to believe Jeff felt well enough to play, but he was!! What a gift that was! Even though we were terrible, we had the best time playing with friends!!

On July 29 we saw the oncologist for results of his CT scan. The chemo was working and the largest mass had shrunk! They hadn’t been able to get the iodine in his veins to see the others but we were so glad to see progress!

In July I had posted this message(try to ignore the typo):

IMG_4558

This has not changed, and will not change no matter what trials come our way. I would later lose my husband to a disgusting disease, yes, this is true! But because of His belief and faith in Jesus Christ, he is pain free! Pain free from the cancer, pain free from the PTSD, anxiety and physical aches he suffered because of serving in the Army, pain free from just daily life! And because of mine and Jacob’s faith in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit in us to comfort us when time is hard.

God Bless,

-A

 

 

 

 

Cancer · Joy · Life · Single Mom · Sorrow · Trials · Trusting God · Widow

May 2014

When leaving the hospital after our 10 days there, we stayed at Jeff’s parents’ house because it was just a few miles away and he still wasn’t ready to ride a car very far. On May 2nd, we finally got to go home to our apartment. My mom and friend Natalie had gone in and cleaned our apartment while we were gone, what a blessing that was to come home to a clean apartment!! Speaking of blessings, our sweet Sunday school class blessed us with meals and company when they would bring it!

On the 4th, Jeff got to make it to church and he actually walked more than he had while he was in the hospital! This was a huge deal and an answer to prayers!

On May 9th I had posted to facebook and ask friends to post encouraging messages and was flooded with love! It is so beautiful how the body of Christ comes together to support each other in good times and bad. This is something you will see me talk about a lot as I recall our journey (there’s some really amazing stories to come y’all!) and as I post about daily life, because it still happens so much!

Mother’s Day weekend Jeff’s mom took Jacob out to the store to buy me Mother’s Day gifts, and the boy did not disappoint. He knows me so well. Here is a picture of all he got me 🙂

Mothersday2014

I finally got to carve out some time with Jacob one on one. Jeff was still very weak, so he stayed with his mom & Jacob and I went out for lunch and just loved on each other. That sweet 7 year old even opened the door for me (he doesn’t do that as much anymore, need to get him back on track! Haha)!!

Then on actual Mother’s Day I got to go with my mom & Jacob to an Astros’ game! We had such a great time! I don’t remember the score or even who they played that day, but I remember the fun we had! 

may11-astros

One thing I didn’t mention in my April blog is just how awesome of bosses I have. I had just started a new job weeks before Jeff went in to the hospital, and they let me have time off to be in the hospital with him and take care of him at home while we awaited answers. One day in May my boss had seen just how exhausted I was and insisted I take extra time on my lunch break to lie down and rest, something I hadn’t been getting much of at the time because of tending to Jeff’s needs. Looking back, oh how I had no idea how the end would come full circle with the late nights and lack of sleep.

On the 14th, I posted this image…

may14

I needed to read that in that particular moment, and it is no accident that I needed to read it in this exact moment as well. I know you see me God! Thank you for the little things that show me you see me!

Later that day, my dear friend Sarah posted this to my wall

may14-Sarah

And once again, this is something I needed to see then AND right now. If you didn’t know the person I was before our cancer journey, you don’t fully know just how much the Lord has changed my heart over the years. I would not be the woman I am today had I not gone through the fire and learned many lessons in just letting go and letting God. As I walk through difficult circumstances right now that I would love to change, I know that this is a moment of God teaching me patience, trust, and increasing faith… Just like he did 3 years ago.

On the 17th Jacob and I went to the Strawberry Festival & had a day I will never forget! We got to ride in a helicopter, pigged out on strawberry shortcake (something he got to do this year, but I did not because I was being good on my 24 day challenge), Jacob ran around in this hamster wheel type ball on the water, but the best thing was, I was getting quality time with Jacob.

On the 20th, I posted this image

may20

I don’t like it when people tell me God won’t give me more than I can handle, because that is a lie of misquoted scripture! 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

“Beyond your ability”Philippians 4:13 tells us “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ALL things… but the key is that it is through the strength of Christ. If you are not using the strength of Christ to combat the trials & temptations, you will likely fail… I know I would if it weren’t for the strength from Christ.  If we simply believed that God would not give us more than we can handle on our own, then we start to question then why do people commit suicide, why do people end up homeless, why does depression happen? My friends, these are real things that happen every day (this is a result of a fallen, broken and sinful world), and to these I say that you can have hope in Jesus, that through the Holy Spirit, He will be with you. He can save you from committing suicide. If you become homeless, he will be with you on the street corner and even in those dark moments, you can find hope. If you fall into depression, cling to the Lord and pray for healing, which comes at different times & in all forms. Sometimes that’s healing without medication, sometimes it is with the aid of medication, therapy, etc., sometimes by simply being called home. One thing that is unchangeable in all circumstances is that the Lord will be with you through the Holy Spirit, and friends… I see it on a daily basis. I seriously get asked asked on a weekly basis how I get through these hard times. I will say it every time, it is not by my power, but by His! The verse also says the Lord will provide “the way of escape”, this comes in many forms as well, the Holy Spirit is one, sometimes it’s putting a person in your path in “the right place at the right time”, sometimes it’s a sign from the Lord (Oh the stories I have heard about people seeing the large cross at Sagemont church and how it has saved their lives… this is an example of a sign from the Lord), sometimes it is a song on the radio, it comes in many forms! There are escapes that the Lord provides! 

Also on the same day, I had posted a picture of these amazing waffle cinnamon rolls (which now I am currently craving and must make when my diet is less restricted):

may20-waffles

I wanted to share this little story because in the simplest way, its brought me joy. In that post I had made the joke that if anyone wanted to buy me a waffle iron I would appreciate that. My sweet friend Crystal offered up to me hers. Silly, I know, but it meant a lot to me then! And now my stomach is growling and I’m regretting looking at that picture. Moving on!

I don’t have it on my facebook to help me look back, but I’m pretty sure that sometime in the month of May was when we discovered that Jeff’s cancer was GIST, being told it was incurable and his life expectancy on increasing doses of chemo was about 15 more years was a very hard thing to take, being told that chemo would make us not be able to conceive, it hurt, but we trusted in God that He had a plan worked out. We decided that no matter what God’s plan was for our lives, we would do our best to live in a manor that would glorify God through the whole journey. I pray this is something those around us see happening. The next 3 years would be a roller coaster (that I can’t wait to share with you), and we just had to hold on for the ride.

And so ended the month of May.

God Bless,

-A