Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's moon.

What is it?

I purchased this a few weeks ago at Goodwill. Isn't it cute? Such a darn shame I have no clue what it is. Ü

3 reasons why I bought it:

1.) It's white.
2.) It's from Crate & Barrel.
3.) It was only $1.50.

Dimensions: Approx. 3 1/2" wide by approx. 3" tall. Or vise versa if you flip it a little. Ü

But what is it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How God works.

Wow! I haven't blogged in quite some time. So much going on here, but something incredible happened a few days ago & I've decided to share.

First let me say, if you don't believe in God, if you don't believe in Jesus, you are missing out. There is no abundant life without Jesus. We are nothing without Jesus. You are not living a full, happy, content, blessed life without Jesus. I didn't get to know Jesus until later in life. I was 30 years old when I realized my life was spiraling out of control (mainly due to my childhood), knew that there was something I was missing & that I needed help, & made the decision to accept Jesus into my heart. The ultimate, most important decision I will ever make in my lifetime.

All that to say, even though I was surrounded by Christians, not one single person ever told me about Jesus or attempted to help me. I'm not placing blame on them because at any given time, I could have popped my tush into a church & found out about Jesus on my own. But I didn't. If you find yourself in a similar situation, please let me help you (email below). I don't care who you are, I don't care if I don't know you. Jesus does know you & I'll do my best to point you in the right direction so you too can learn about Jesus & live a worthwhile life He has designed just for you.

Now don't worry, I'm not turning into some maniac Bible thumper. Ü But I do love Jesus, I look around & see all that He has done for me/given me/continues to do for me & I just have no desire to stay silent. I am so thankful.

Last week, I made a post on Facebook about how I lost a very dear friend due to an unfortunate misunderstanding. I learned a very valuable lesson after losing that friendship & I was just encouraging others to examine & let others explain before making the difficult decision to end a relationship.

This friend that I speak of I have not seen in 2 1/2 years. I hoped that one day our paths would cross again but even if that didn't happen, I would always love her just the same. My husband & myself were recently made aware that her husband was battling cancer. My husband & myself have been praying like crazy for him & his family.

Fast forward to last Sunday. We attended church & decided to hop over to one of favorite mexican food restaurants to grab lunch. As we were eating & chatting, you'll never believe who walked up to our table to say hello. Enter goosebumps & a loud OH MY GOSH!!! here. Yes it was my friend, her husband & their kids. We chatted for a few minutes before they went on to their table for lunch.

Below, will give you an example of just how God works. My husband & I had nothing to do with it - we did what we felt in our hearts at the time for a family we love dearly, but now know God had the entire reconnection orchestrated. This is an entry Brant (who is one of the most amazing, hilarious, completely selfless, always 'glass half full', we-can-learn-from-him Christian I have ever met) posted on his CaringBridge journal.


Good evening!

Feeling well today and now in a holding pattern. Everything seems to be in place to start chemo and radiation at the early part of next week. Despite my internal desire to get things going, God has chosen to slow me down.

I wanted to share something that happened last Sunday after church that reinforced how remarkable God continues to provide for us through wonderful people like all of you who share your encouraging words on the website.

After church, our family stopped by one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Frescos, for lunch. Upon entry, we ran into some old friends of ours, Mason and Melissa. I don't think we had seen each other in nearly three years, so it was good to see them and see how their kids had grown. They had heard about the cancer and were already praying, much like many of you. We talked for about 10 minutes and then left each other promising to keep in touch.

As we settled into our booth, I leaned over to the kids before the waiter came and declared that we would all be drinking water today.

Over the past week, Starr and I had discussed how cancer would affect us financially. We have very good health insurance, but even with 90% being paid, I have known enough cancer patients to know that even with great coverage, the bills stack up.

So I implemented one of my first cost cutting measures. If we all drink water we'll save a little green and that will be the beginning of my slush fund for medical bills.

After gaining buy in and closing them on the deal like a good sales person, I decided to see if I could go for more.

"Gabe what would you like to eat?" I said.

"I just want chips and tortillas," he said.

This is what he always says at every Mexican restaurant, and usually we go through the motions of explaining that he must have some form of protein and a vegetable in order to maintain adequate nourishment. But today, we were cutting costs, and I found the request something easy to accommodate.

"Sounds good," I declared.

" about you? I see a delicious quesadilla you could split. What do you think?"

"Okay," they said in unison.

In a matter of 30 seconds, I had negotiated a cut in cost by two meals and so far everyone was happy.

"I think I just covered a co-pay to my oncologist!" I thought to myself.

I was quite proud of myself. I had gained control over the situation and began my quest to take care of all future costs associated with my cancer treatment. I was confident that given a little brainstorming time in the recliner after the meal, I could concoct additional plans to create my own healthcare spending account gleaned from discount coupons, eliminated desserts, and home Flo-Bee haircuts.

As the meal came to an end, everyone seemed to get their fill, and I sought out the waiter for the check.

"We're ready when you are," I said as my waiter passed by.

"Oh, I've got your check right here," he said. "You've got a special check."

T.J. the waiter reached into his apron, pulled out the standard black American Express folder every restaurant brings to the table, and presented a small piece of notebook paper folded in the middle. He laid it on the table and walked away.

Confused, I opened the folded piece of paper.

It read:

"We miss you. We love you, and we're praying for you. - Mason and Melissa"

I wasn't ready for that.

Meals had already started showing up at our house, and I had been concerned about accepting them, because, quite frankly, I feel fine. It would be later that we would need the meals, when I was drained from the chemo and radiation. But friends insisted, and we couldn't turn down their generosity.

And here again, was God showing up through such a kind gesture.

I had worried about the expenses, and so like many other situations in my life, I tried to gain control. I would solve this problem myself.

I'm not saying spending more responsibly is not a smart thing to do, especially in a situation like this. I believe it is. But you have to understand my how I'm wired, and that I am one to feel that I shouldn't bother God with the small stuff.

"Let me take care of that, God. That's what you gave me a brain and hard working hands for."

The problem with this is that the mentality is completely backward from what God tells us.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:25-33

I had been proud of my accomplishment. But in his own remarkable way, God took care of something I could have never negotiated on my own. I've never walked into a restaurant and been able to convince the manager upon arrival that my family should be able to eat for the amazingly low cost of zero.

But God, working through wonderful and generous people like each of you, find ways to stop me in my seemingly self-sufficient tracks and show me that He can do anything.

Mason and Melissa, we love and miss you too. And I prayed for you too that day. That God would bless you in a mighty way.

So many of you have done so many great things. Your words of encouragement, texts, emails, calls, and posts. Meals, hugs, tears, and prayers. Not one gone unnoticed.

Thanks for helping me realize that despite the upcoming trial, God will provide. I'm learning so much as each of you step out unselfishly and bless our family. Please know that we are praying that He will bless each of you many times beyond the way you have blessed us.


*actual names (except for mine) altered for privacy.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Year's Eve.

They asked if they could stay up late. It was Audi's birthday & Jaguar's birthday the next day. So, I complied. Thought it was so cute when I discovered them checking out Audi's new Nintendo. ♥