Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Hardest Kind Of Prayer To Pray

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If someone were to ask you if praying is hard for you, what would you say? I don’t know about you, but sometimes prayer time is hard for me. It is, simply because I’m learning that my will and God’s will don’t always coincide. The things I want sometimes aren’t what is His will. So, for me at least, I’ve identify one of the hardest kinds of prayers to pray as the UNSELFISH prayer – the one where you ask for God’s will to be done, and actually mean it.

I have a “for instance” example, as a carry over from yesterday’s post really. My daughter is fighting a rare and aggressive cancer. We are about to go to the hospital where she will be admitted for chemo therapy. She is four. I don’t get it, and certainly don’t understand why. When I pray, my prayer has been for her healing. For her to be cancer free, and not live with any amount of cancer in her body. None. However, I have also been praying all this is according to God’s will. A service at church, in combination with some sweet heartfelt words from a friend, made me dig deeper and realize that His will and mine aren’t always the same. Well, no kidding. However, if I pray for His will, I better accept and understand that it may not go the way I want. In this particular case, that may mean that my child may not live to adulthood. That is a heartbreaking and sobering thought on the one hand. However, on the other hand, there is great joy in realizing that she’ll get to commune with Jesus – that she would get to lay her head on His lap, and rest in the arms of Jesus. Something purely peaceful and joyous about that. I DO NOT want this as our story, BUT if it is to happen, I’ve realized that it’s best to not live in dread or fear of it.

I encourage you to pray with diligence. Ask and believe for God’s will to be done. There is nothing wrong with hoping that His will DOES match up with yours, but understand that it may not always. During the times that His will and yours aren’t the same, take a moment and pray for peace in the process. It won’t always be easy, but it will be rewarding. It is hard to see peace or joy when your situation seems hopeless, but I assure you – it is possible.

I encourage you to surround yourself with people who care about you, and who are willing to walk through life with you – through whatever you are facing. When you are struggling, or just don’t know how to handle the situation, pray. Ask others for help. Never be afraid to reach out. Help is there. Hope is real.

Please feel free to connect with me. You can send me a message via the “contact me” link, or by leaving a comment below. I monitor all methods of contact.

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Denial – That Land That Leads To Hurting And Hope

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Recently, I have had much time to thing. Ponder things. One such thing includes the much sought after question – WHY!?

The other day, I was having a particularly emotional day. I talked with several people – just because I have found the value in both connecting as well as asking for help. The help, in this case, was pretty much in the form of prayer. Nothing would change the exact scenario at hand, but prayer would bring the peace and courage to face it.

As I was chatting with a friend, I was speaking about my daughter. A friend of ours is also young (she’s 10) and fighting a battle with cancer. She is losing that battle, and has only been given a short time of life left this side of Heaven. That was particularly hard for me. I looked at the similarities with my daughter’s cancer and it got to me. My heart was broken, realizing the possibility that lies ahead with us. As I was chatting with my friend, it was noted that when I spoke about this, I simply could not talk about the possibility of her dying. I would mention it and say that “things might not go how we want” or “if one day she doesn’t make it” but it was pointed out that I didn’t seem able to face it head on and talk about it. My friend asked what I thought would help to get to the point where I could look at her situation, see similarities in other situations that might not be going well, and not get upset. How could I watch a friend with a daughter who is dying, and not let it bring me down to the point that it’s depressing because I liken it to our own situation.

It was a hard thing to ponder, much less identify. I did come to the realization that I was attempting to live in a land of denial. In my head, I realized that the cancer she is dealing with does not hold a good prognosis. She may or may not live and have the opportunity to grow up. However, I never have really dwelt on that. Nor had I ever allowed it go to from my head to my heart. I only saw it as a possibility. What I did not see it as was a possible reality. I had some pretty in depth conversations. Just looking at the facts, and realizing there is a possibility she could die was extremely hard. However, it has been helpful in that way to not live in denial. To not think and dwell on it to a point it brings me down is hard, but necessary. Well, it’s not necessary to dwell, so much as realize the possibility.

One huge thing for me to realize – even though I knew it – was that just because another child is dying (or even that seven or more children die every single day) as a result of childhood cancer, does not mean that will be the end of our story. Yes, my four year old daughter could die. However, having cancer is NOT an automatic death sentence.

The hardest part is to realize that death is a possibility. It is hard to fathom, and impossible to understand. However, just because it is possible doesn’t make it probable. We will pray for God’s will. I seriously hope His will includes her being completely healed – from the inside out. I hope His will includes her living, not dying – and going on to grow up and live a long life. I will not, however, live in fear and dread of the opposite. If, for whatever reason, my daughter does not “win” this battle with cancer the way we want to see it won, it does not mean God isn’t in control. My faith and prayer is for her healing. I pray that healing takes place while she is on earth. If not, my joy will come from knowing she beat me to Heaven, and will be able to spend time and be in the arms of Jesus. That’s actually a sweet and heartwarming thought. No, I don’t want it to happen, and I’m certainly not rushing to get there myself. It’s just a beautiful thought when you are able to look at death as not the final goodbye, and instead as the next segment of a beautiful journey in a different place.

If you are facing this, or any other similar medical diagnosis and just don’t know how to handle it, please feel free to connect with me. I have, by no means, got this all figured out. What I do have is peace. I have peace knowing that the outcome isn’t guaranteed – good or bad. I have peace knowing that my life, the life of every member of my family, is in His hands. The maker of the entire universe has us in His hands.

Regardless of your situation, I pray you can come to know the same peace. May the God of all creation hold you today.

An Internal Look At Why I Write What I Do

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Lately, I have talked a great deal about – even in the midst of life’s storms – seeing the good things, and enjoying life. No matter what situation you’re in, and what path of life you’re walking, I want you to have joy. I don’t want you to walk through it alone. In fact, I consider it an honor to walk through life with you.

That said, I’d like to take another internal look at the “why” behind the things I write. I feel like being authentic with an added layer of transparency is the only way to go. Those of you who know me, know I’ve struggled with this concept for a long time. It is a concept that makes me wonder what you will think if you know the truth. If you really know ME, would you still like me? Of course you would, because I’m awesome.

While I joke, I’m absolutely serious. That’s just the thing. It had been a long time struggle. To a degree, it still is. The point in my life I’m at right now, though, is how I react to said insecurities. Right now, I have learned to love myself. I have learned to see myself as a much loved child of the creator of the Heavens and the earth. I am a child of God, and thus what you think will not change who I am. As a side note, I DO care what you think, but I will not let it dictate my character.

NOW, that was a little bunny trail. I’m writing to you today to simply be real. To let you know a few things about what makes me tick. I have written a decent deal about fighting this rare, aggressive cancer with my four year old daughter lately. It’s been a huge part of my life, and the lives of those close to us. That said, I want to also stress that just because our daughter is the center of the universe right now, and that everything does seem to center around her care, it’s not all that exists. Good and bad. Everything that was there prior to her diagnosis is still there. Her siblings are still there, loving as always. I am still struggling with the roller coaster ride that accompanies bipolar disorder. I’m dealing with taking care of that while I take care of her too. As a side note, that is actually under control well right now. It became an issue where I learned that it’s okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to need help sometimes. It’s okay for me, and it’s okay for you. If I’m able to take care of me, I can take care of the children as well. Even though cancer hit our family, everything else we deal with didn’t just magically disappear.

Those are physical and mental struggles and things I deal with. I’d also like to talk a little bit about my faith. Without regard to any situation (cancer or otherwise) that I find myself walking, I maintain a faith in a God larger than life. It is through Him that I have strength – even in the midst of some of life’s darkest storms. I live by the following thoughts: God is still God. God is still good, and He IS in control. No matter what the outcome is, and no matter where the varied paths lead, my trust is in Him.

Things that can, are put on the virtual back burner. There are things, however, that just don’t wait – even if life is crazy or centers around hospitals, doctors, chemo, cancer, etc. What will NOT happen, however, is it will not win. Cancer will not destroy our family. What I will do, though, is ask for your continued support and prayers. They absolutely mean the world. PLEASE do not hesitate to ask how I am, or how any other member of my family is. We all enjoy connecting, and don’t want to let this whole situation put who we are on hold…well, on hold for longer than it needs to be.

I’m pretty sure this blog post is pointless. It says nothing of real substance, but it will give you an inside look at me, and the “why” behind much of what I write. With that said, more of it will make sense on upcoming days, as I sort through all that is on my heart and in my mind to share.

Thanks for standing with me on this and all the different paths I walk. If you have any questions, or would like to make any comments, please feel free to post below in comment, or send a message via my “contact me” link. I look forward to connecting.

Don’t Allow Life To Become Too Busy

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Is your life hectic – a day to day compilation of so many things life throws at you?  Do you often feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in any given day? Yes, me too!  You’re certainly not alone.  What I’d like to do here today is challenge how you handle this situation in your own life.

I’d like to encourage (more like implore) you to slow down.  Learn to take joy in things again. Make the most of however many moments you’re given. Take time to just enjoy life.  No matter what your story is, or what journey you’re walking, take the time to find the good.  Celebrate it.  Make it last.  Treasure the memory.

To those of you new to my blog, welcome.  Please allow me to share a little bit about my story, and why this is so heavy on my heart.

My four year old daughter is currently fighting a rare and aggressive cancer. We honestly do not know what the future holds, though we proclaim by faith that she is healed and is (and remains) completely cancer free.  She had a brain tumor surgically removed, and has had six weeks of daily radiation therapy and will be starting chemo this week.  I do not share that with you to beg for sympathy,  but instead to share my thoughts – and the validity of why I’m saying what I do.

Having a critically ill child has had quite an impact on our family.  It hasn’t all been negative though.  Please don’t think that I’m saying I’m happy with a brain tumor/cancer diagnosis with my child.  Far from it.  However, I have been able to take a step back and realize that good can be found in the midst of any storm, this included.

What I’d further like to share are my convicting thoughts here.  It shouldn’t take something of this magnitude to make you (collective you, with myself in mind) appreciate life.  It shouldn’t take a bald little girl with a smile that melts your heart to make you realize just how precious life truly is.  Take time to enjoy life, and don’t allow yourself to become so busy that you don’t enjoy life.  Let those who you love know it.  Tell them.  Hug them.  Spend time with them as you’re able.  Make time. Love like tomorrow won’t come. Have fun. Be you and allow others to be themselves.  Be authentic.

If you take nothing else away from my words here today, take this thought with you: life is precious. Make the most of it. You never truly know when tomorrow may not come. Live life.

Never Doubt The Power Of A Spoken Word

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I just wanted to take a moment to share something that has become very important in my life.  People.  More specifically, connecting with people.

I want to share something with you because I feel that the entire universe needs to take this to heart.  Your words matter.  Words carry so much weight.  Something you may not think twice about may change the entire trajectory of a persons day.

Let me take you into the wonderful world of my life recently.  Things have  not been awesome.  To be honest, I have been pretty exhausted – all the way around.  But, it has been through connecting with people that I have been truly blessed.  Let’s take today, for example.

The past 24 hours or so just have not been the stuff dreams are made of.  There has been stress, hurt, heartbreak, unsolicited drama, etc.  But, there has also been peace, love, hope, healing, forgiveness and grace.  The fact that I had a not so awesome day is not what I am trying to spotlight here. What I am trying to explain is how the people in my life made a difference.

At one point, I reached out to a friend and just chatted.  I explained how my day had gone, and I was simply real and honest.  In return, I did not get a “oh, don’t worry sweetie, everything will be okay” response.  Instead, I got a “talk to me.  I don’t personally understand what you’re going through, but I am here to listen” sort of reply.  I was encouraged, and I was blessed.  

Through the kind words of friends just taking the time to be there, God infused peace, strength and joy where it was severely lacking previously.

The one thing I hope you take away from this is that your words – what you choose to say to someone – really matter.  Take the time to speak life.  Share love.  Be the friend you would like to have. Give the gift of yourself as a friend.  The blessing cannot be measured!