Monday, October 25, 2010

Away lately

So I haven't been blogging much with everything going on I feel like I'm missing words.

I don't feel worried but part of me feels like I don't feel anything. Which I know isn't good. But at the same time is it better than worrying?

I can't tell. I'm trying to get into the Word more. And all that goes with it. And I feel very what ever it is it is.
Plus I'm still running which helps with the stress. But I just feel so blah!

I've got all these weekend plans a 5k Saturday morning, a wedding Saturday afternoon, a Halloween party that night. Plus Sunday activities and tons of photos to edit. But all I want to do is cancel on all of it.
Which isn't me. I take my commitments seriously. And to cancel isn't usually an option. But blah.

Sigh. I'm sure I'll buck up and get it all done. That's just how I am.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Does Your Faith Connect To Your Happiness?

Faith Barista Jam Thursday Topic

Sometimes I just almost laugh at how "ON" these topics can be. 

Today’s topic: How Does Your Faith Connect To Your Happiness?

Today's "Wisdom Hunters" Devo was also on Sorrow Removed...

“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces: he will remove the disgrace of the people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 25:8

On earth sorrow is ever present to pester people—no one is immune from it. Sorrow created by sin. Sorrow created by death. Sorrow created by divorce. Sorrow created by selfishness. Sorrow created by poverty. Sorrow created by rejection. Sorrow created by loss. Sorrow created by fear. But, in all cases, Jesus Christ is the Savior of our sorrows.- WHD

Crazy isn't it how things tie together,  because honestly I can't say that since I've been having the health struggles going on that I've been super happy. 

It's hard to keep the happiness going with everything else going on. 
Not only did the health stuff start this month but I had to have a root canal, found out after the crown was put on that my dental insurance maxes out at $1000 a year (FYI it's much more than that to have the root canal, cap, xrays and etc.) and October has been a month with 3 weddings, tons of photo opportunities, bachlorette parties, family stuff and so on. 
It seems like it just won't stop.

And it can be a little overwhelming. 
It's hard not to let the thoughts over take my mind.
The what ifs and all of that.

The thoughts that this is my fault that my body is doing this,
the thoughts that this has been such a rough year already,
the thoughts of how am I going to do this,
get through all of this.

His word tells me that I don't need to get through all this myself
that I need to let my grasp on all this go
that I need to lay my burdens down. (1Peter 5:7)
HE is WAITING and WANTING to take them away.
To CARRY them for me.
To WRAP me in HIS ARMS and HOLD me tight.

He isn't promising me a life with out "issues" or problems. 
He isn't promising NO STORMS
He IS promising me that He will never leave me during those issues or problems
That he will stay with me, even holding me, through the storms of life

That he will work all things for His good.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Personally- I'm not sure I believe in always being happy.
I believe that "the JOY of the LORD is my strength" (Neh 8:10)
And I believe that where we do not always have happiness we can always have joy.
Just like when we have raging storms we may not have calm but we can have peace.

I do not have to have happiness in my life to know that God is there, giving me strength, giving me peace, giving me hope. 
That he will work all things out.
And that no matter what the result of these things going on are,
He will be there with me every step of the way
He will make a way for me,
He does have a plan.
And it all will be ok,
Even if it's not what I have planned for my life.
In fact with Him in charge I'm pretty sure it will be better than ok. 
And more than I could have probably imagined anyhow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The News...

So last Thursday I had my follow up doctor's appointment. 

The 3rd Thursday in a row that I'd been sitting in that waiting room. 

I was very nervous last week, waiting for the results from the week before.

And then when I finally saw my doctor, she told me that my test results weren't good.

It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears right then. 

But I held it together and they sent me over to get blood drawn for more tests right away.

Which lead to waiting until Monday to find out if it was bad news or worse news.

Good thing is- it was only bad news.

The worse news would have been that it was Cancer.  However the numbers are low so she is pretty sure its not cancer.  You know how that is though, they can't 100% tell you its not because then you could probably sue them if it ended up that way.  At least that's my theory.

So just what is going on? 

I have a cyst on my left ovary.  One that has fluid and all that around it. 
One that causes some pretty constant pain.  No it's not horrible most of the time but it's almost always there.
Something I could probably live with.

But it could be an Endometrioma or possibly Hemorrhagic or Dermoid cyst.

So my options are  1. Do a scope to find out more  2. wait and have another ultrasound in 3 months (and keep having them every 3 months till its gone or 3. have the laparocopy done

But with out doing the scope  I won't know really what it is in terms of what it could be- just that its not cancer. 

And while I'm SO HAPPY it's not the Big C I don't like not knowing. 

So I decided to do the scope, if for no other reason than all this could end up causing other issues (like infertility, the pain could worsen etc.) and I don't want to wait and find out later that maybe waiting wasn't the best idea. 

So Monday I go in for the scope, my doc also mentioned that if it's the endometrioma and it's possible to get it out easily or if they find other clusters they will go ahead and burn them out.  Which I'm not so fond of considering that could mean losing the ovary completely (that's one thing she has mentioned).  But knowing that I had a cyst on my uterus the first check up and then I've also had pain on the right side I think that something is going on in there that I'm not a big fan of.  

And while I don't think I ever want to have my own children (I've wanted to adopt for a LONG time) I'm stubborn enough as well to know that I want to keep my options if I can.  Plus I'd hate to neglect my health and lose something that might possibly be important to my future husband (whoever that may be).   

But I think even though there are risks involved in the procedure that this is the right route to go.

I do know that no matter what happens God IS in control.  He will bring me through all this and all will work out to His good. 

Thank you all for praying for me and for all your encouragement this past week.  Life seems more than crazy right now with everything going on but even though I haven't met most of you, your community fellowship means the world to me. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Choosing and casting...

So I had a doctor's appointment today,  actually it was a follow up appointment from last week which was a follow up appointment for testing from the week before.

Today I didn't get very good news from the doctor. 

Not that I expected good news,  you know sometimes you something is wrong even when you don't know what that something is.

And I had a feeling.

I don't fully know what the outcome will be, since today's test results well, resulted in more tests, that I won't get the answers to till Monday after noon but I'm hanging in there.

Even though I'm scared.  I'm choosing to have faith and believe that God will work all things out to His good.  Even if I don't understand it. 
Even if I don't end up liking the results. 

I know he has a plan.

And his ways are good and true. 

So I'll keep praying, keep my Kleenex handy and hold onto the following verses.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.

Matthew 11:30
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

the only other option is giving up and I'm to stubborn for that. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sometimes its all I can do...

Not to smile....but just to keep from frowning

To keep moving...instread of standing still

To hang on...instead of letting go

To hold back the tears....when all I want to do is cry

To admit that I was hurt...when fear wants me to keep it in

To remind myself that I'm worth more....instead of allowing my thoughts to say otherwise

Life can be hard, and a struggle to keep walking.
I'll admit I've fallen a lot this year and it's taken it's toll on me.
On my heart. 
But I know that things can get better and they will eventually.
That the wounds will heal.  That He will heal me.

He knows
Even though I may not be smiling....I will smile again

That even if I stand still...there will be another time of movement

That it's ok to cry....he's counting my tears

That I'm not to fear....he's my loving father who is holding me safe.

He whispers to me, "you're  royalty, my daughter, I love you & you are worth the greatest treasure...even if I don't feel that way.

Bonnie from Faith Barista let me know that the Jam session for Thursday will be how does your faith affect your personality?

I think that my faith is so deeply intertwined with who I am it can't not affect my personality.
It gives me hope and peace.  Joy in struggles.
While things aren't always good,  or easy there is  still a foundation at the core of who I am. 
My faith helps me to think too.
Before I speak (though honestly this isn't ALWAYS, I am human) it helps me to think, how will it be taken.  How it could be perceived.
It changes how things affect me because I long to have a heart that longs for the things that He longs for. 
It affects how I think of and forgive others, even if they don't ask for it.  Even when I think they should. 
But over all it helps me to just be relax and know I am ...flaws and all...the person He created me to be.
He loves me as I am.  He loved me where I was in the dirt and grime before I knew Him.  When I still stumble and fall in the pig sty and get dirty again, He lets me know that He still loves me and will pick me up and brush off the dirt and hold me close again.  He rejoices in the steps I take toward him, even in the littlest ones, because He loves me.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing i desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms 73:25-I6

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I wanted to change...

My back ground for fall.

And I just loved this cute little owl, and all the words saying I love autumn.

I hope you enjoy the change, it won't be long before Thanksgiving is here and before Christmas.

Since I'm talking about changes, I thought I'd chat about a few more.  There are a few changes I'm not sure I want. 

So many changes are taking place this season, aside from the changing of leaves and temperatures.

Soon there will be a new little one in our family (December 8th) then a few months later a bigger one will be joining the family officially. (My sister's fiance)

I wish I could say all these changes brought excitement. But really truly and honestly they don't.

In many ways they bring a sense of dread. Let's face it change isn't easy and big changes always seem that much harder.

These changes, bring so many thoughts to my mind.

Like, my one sister is already so busy with one child and a husband as it is, imagine what it will be like with a 2nd.

Not that I can't wait for my new niece to be here, I've gotten so much enjoyment from O in the last 2 years that I'm sure it will be the same with the other one.

But I still know its going to be a big change in her life and time.

And with the addition of the newer "bigger" member comes even more changes.
Like location changes. I've decided to move out, as soon as I find something.
In fact I've decided to buy a house, which is a scary undertaking all on it's own.

Since it will be just me to pay all those bills and pay for anything if it breaks.
Many people have told me just to rent, but I'm currently of the mind set that I feel like I'm throwing my money away doing that.
Why pay as much or more than a mortgage payment and get nothing back from it.
Even if I decide to go into missions full time it will still be a good investment to have, something that I will have to come home to or to retire with.
Something that will be there for me in the future...
Yes it scares the crap out of me....what if I pick a dud so to speak, that really worries me.
And I worry that I'll get lonely and then be stuck in a house on my own.
What if I can't do this on my own like I think, what if, what if, what if, ...

The list could go on forever. But I should stop think about the positives, what if by owning my own home I'm able to help someone who needs a place to stay, like a teenager who just graduated who's parents kicked her out? Or a friend who needs a break for a weekend, or just to be able to entertain when ever I want, to open my home as a haven for all.

There are good what ifs out there. I just need to focus on those and work on my budget.

It will probably mean less shoes :o( Which yes REALLY saddens me but I currently have enough shoes and I can always sell some of them so I can buy a new pair right? :o)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thank you for Praying...

Thank you all so much for praying for me this weekend for my speaking engagement.

Your prayers made a difference, they always do. 
And thank you for the wonderful comments on the message as well. 
I'm posting it below so you can see what I spoke on. 

Just know this isn't everything I said, since I'm a much better extemporaneous speaker than I am a planner, but this is the general idea.

Our Faith is not an easy path.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Mathew 7:13

I feel that for most of us many times our faith can be an uphill climb. I know it’s been that way for me at times, sometimes even daily. But I cling to the hope that is in Christ. And I work at it. Even in my struggles in my feelings of not being good enough. Even on the days where I mess up big time. I work to get back up. Often it’s not easy but more often than not it’s the things that we work hard for that we value the most.

And sometimes our lives are just like that field that the pioneers planted. We feel we have plowed and plowed, planted and planted, watered and weeded. We’ve tended our crops but still we work and wait for the harvest.

Our faith is like the harvest we are waiting on. But to get that harvest we must tend our crops.

We must cultivate our faith- EVERY DAY.

For like the pioneer women who couldn’t stop or they, their families, their farms would face ruin. We too will do the same. Our faith will wither if not tended.

“Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.  But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mathew 13:3-8

I’ve always loved this parable. Maybe because I have a heart for missions and so often the leading of others to the Lord is talked about with this scripture. In the way that Christ is referencing the planting of seeds as we plant the seeds of Christ in others.

But I also looked at it in another way this time. There is faith involved in the entire parable. See I think that Faith and Seeds go hand in hand just in the simple planting of the seed.

Just like the actual seed the pioneer woman planted in her field or garden there is faith in the seeds we plant today.

Faith for the sower who is sowing the seed. Faith that the seed is good- that it will “take” or be absorbed in the ground. Faith that there is life in the seed that it will grow. Faith that the rain will come and water it. And even Faith that the weeds and sun will not choke it out or burn it up.

When it comes to our faith we don’t want to be like the seed that fell by the wayside, that the birds came and devoured Or have the faith that fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and immediately sprang up because they had no depth – We want our faith to have DEPTH. And not become scorched when the sun comes up because they had no root they withered away.  Or have the faith of some that fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them out.

We need to have active faith- Faith God will guide us and lead us. Faith that he does want and know what’s best for us. Faith that he will speak to us and through us. Faith that he wants to use us.

But we must do our part- our “work” in all of our faith- our faith does take work. Work to just plant the seeds and work to tend it.

Weeding our gardens of bad things- like bad attitudes or thoughts –weather they are towards others or ourselves.

Tending to & watering our faith by staying in the word, in prayer and in church.
Sometimes it takes faith to just put things in his hands. To trust him with our burdens, fears, trials and to allow him to take care of things for us. Faith to allow him to carry our burdens.
And while it is work we are rewarded at the end. When in the tough times the work we have put in will allow us to stand firm.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Mathew 13: 31-32

No matter how large or small our faith may be, when we tend to it God can take it from something small and grow it into something beyond what we can imagine when we first plant it. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why God-Sized Dreams Embrace Awkwardness & Joy (Faith Barista Jam)

God-Sized Dreams Embrace Awkardness & Joy

Really if you haven't checked out Faith Barista you really need to.
Not just to join in on today's jam session but because she does some really great writing & sharing.

Now on to today's jam....
Bonnie wrote about the Awkardness & Joy in birthing God Sized Dreams. 
And even though I've never had kids, nor been in the room when one was being born
(and really I can say I don't really want to) I think that birthing and awkardness & joy go hand in hand.

Really, think of the struggle (more often then not) that a woman goes through when giving birth -after all it is called labor- and then the joy that comes from that process. 

I won't go into a lot of detail on that one since it could get messy.  :o)

But I think it's so very true.  It's work....birthing, and hard, and that's just what God sized stuff is.

This weekend we have our ladies retreat for our church.

This year I was asked to speak.  I think I may have mentioned that before- and the fact that I have to speak for 40 minutes. 
Not something that I was thrilled to find out.
40 minutes is a LOT of time.

But I said I would do it so tomorrow...that's what I'll be doing. 

I still have a few things to work out, so I'm refining that today.  But the retreat theme is Pioneer Women...and I wasn't thrilled about that either to be honest. 

It seems kinda silly to me and I just wasn't into it. 
My specific topic was "pioneer women work hard and accomplish much"
Again I wasn't too thrilled. 

Yes I work hard, and yes I accomplish much but at the same time I also think I sometimes work too much, and accomplish things that could be left alone. 

And as one who is working to scale back...this makes it hard.

But as I was planning what to say I started to write about Faith.  And how faith is something that takes work.

At least for me.

It's not that one can just say I believe and be done.  Not when it comes to our faith. 
It's an active and growing thing. 
Something to be nutured and developed. 
Something to be tended too. 
It can be choked out if one doesn't rip away weeds.
It will fail if we don't water it.

Otherwise, just like a flower that goes unattended, it will wither and die if left alone. 

So take the time to nuture your faith, and keep in mind that it is something that is active, not something that's just there. 
It will grow if you tend it.