Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jesus forgave....can we?

When our Katie was diagnosed with Lymphoma I found myself, typically, crying out in prayer. My heart was so very heavy and I had a fear that I’ve never known before. The unknown is always scary but especially when it is not you going through it but your child.

In my prayers I started to see myself as the Lord might be seeing me and I must confess I didn’t like what I saw.

I knew then that if I was going to petition the Lord to heal my child I needed to do some serious praying.....and listening.
The first thing I saw was how I had held onto a hurt from a few months before.  Some things were said about me, they were very subtle but it was clear the intended target was me. I confronted the folks in this conversation (I’m all about getting things out in the open) and was told that it wasn't really about me.  I was hurt and didn't want to let this go.


Fast forward to the weekend we received the Lymphoma news:
In my prayers I saw myself as the one holding a grudge and realized what I had to do.
I wrote a long letter to the one saying the things,  absolving them  of all the blame, I took it on myself and said that I misunderstood what had been said. I asked for forgiveness and said it was all my fault.


Anyway, I mailed the letter and have never heard a word back, I'm sure it was received but I was told they would probably ignore it. 

They also have never called, sent cards or even asked about how Katie was doing, to this day they’ve still never acknowledged her Cancer.

So, the situation is no different from the standpoint of them and us. But, what’s most important is that I knew that I had to ask forgiveness for me, I needed to know that I could go to the Lord with as pure a heart as possible. I’m not perfect, I’m a sinner through and through but I’m also a Christian and I know that as a Christian I must be able to forgive and ask forgiveness, taking on the blame if the situation warrants it.
I tell you all this not because I think I’ve done a wonderful thing.....no, no, no, what I have done is to ensure that my heart is cleansed of anything that could keep me from Him. If I didn’t have Jesus I would simply cease to be, those aren’t just words, they’re the truth. Judy is nothing, Christ is everything.

I do challenge all of us to look closely into our hearts and undo any hurts that we possibly have caused or simply that others have caused but we’ve let those things fester until there is a separation from that person or just a silence, sadly I know there are those that I have hurt. We know that the Scriptures tell us not to harbor these things in our hearts, we are truly hurting ourselves much more than we could possibly hurt the other person. Below is a list of things that I felt led to pray about and clear up, I encourage you to do the same. I promise you it will ease your burdens, calm your spirit and lighten your heart but especially take away any stumbling blocks that would keep you from Him.
  • if others have hurt you and there has been no communication: open the wires of communication with a heartfelt ‘I’m sorry’, whether it be from a hurt you caused or simply because you’re sorry the situation escalated to the silence, I promise you they will be open to clearing things up.
  • if someone owes you money or made a promise they have not kept: forgive the debt or absolve them of their promise. This might be difficult, it might even be the biggest obstacle you could ever face and can’t imagine forgiving this. Do it anyway, not for the pride of being the bigger person but simply to keep the path to Christ clear for them and you. We do not ever want to be the stumbling block to someone else’s faith. Can you just imagine their surprise when you forgive this, it could be that they are really struggling financially or are simply not able to keep the promise, the relief they will feel will automatically cause them to thank Jesus and that’s exactly what we want.
  • if someone has slandered you: let it go and make sure they know that you have let it go. Tell them you’ve forgiven them, they may not accept the apology but your heart will be cleansed.
  • if I had 24 hours left to live and wanted to meet Jesus with a pure heart: who do I need to forgive, ask forgiveness from, apologize to or simply talk to so things can be cleared up? Maybe those folks have passed on, in that case we can do nothing but pray about it....but, I know that with most of us it is those closest to us, probably family...that we need to get things right with. The reason we have such strong feelings with family is because of the depth of emotion we feel with family, the hurts hurt worse and the love loves stronger, emotions just get put into overdrive.
I just want to encourage all of us to start the new year with a clean heart, knowing we don’t have to face these people and deal with awkwardness, silence or fighting. What a peaceful feeling we will have and when we pray, we’ll not have that nagging feeling inside knowing that we are holding on to things that we should not.
Most of you do not know this about me but I was married on my 18th birthday, the marriage ended after two disastrous years, most of that time we were separated. What you don’t know is that I was mentally, verbally and physically abused, I’m truly amazed I lived through it because a few times I was in pretty bad shape. Looking back I see that although I was not close to the Lord at the time, my sweet little Christian Mom was praying for me and I know that’s why I was not disabled or worse, thank you Jesus! 
Anyway, I’ve never had contact with him since the divorce but I have forgiven him. I cried, I was on my knees crying out to the Lord, asking Him to take away the burden of it all, I forgave and have never ever thought about holding a grudge since. Believe it or not I cannot remember those times if I try to, the memories are gone but I know it happened. I believe the Lord took away those memories so I could move on, isn’t He just so merciful?

Anyway, our Katie is now cancer free. She still has things to deal with for quite a while but basically the treatments are over and have done their job.
What a year this has been, I wouldn’t want to live it over....but....I’m a completely changed person because of it. I no longer sweat the small stuff and as I know that everything can be fixed but death, I understand that most of the things I worried about before were so very insignificant. Yep, God is so very good!
To God be the Glory!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The idea of no TV sounds wonderful to me!  Sadly, dh does not agree! LOL
I pray we all have a blessedly simple Thanksgiving.
Full of love, family, hope, joy, peace and blessings.
I'm thankful for so much:
  • Jesus
  • Family
  • Good Health
  • Good Christian Friends
  • Freedom (only made possible through our armed forces)
  • Good medical care (courtesy of all the Dr.'s, nurses, NA, paramedics, etc.)
  • Safety (courtesy of our police forces, firemen, etc.)
  • a warm home
  • a very sweet and loving husband
  • three incredible grown children
  • so much more!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook


To read more Daybooks and visit Peggy's blog click below:


FOR TODAY

Monday, November 21, 2011


Outside my window...Dark, very very dark.  It's 10pm.LOL  Without any city lights close for the ambient light, it is very dark outside.


I am thinking...about all the work we did today getting items together for the Vietnam Vets to pick up tomorrow, so nice to get rid of unnecessary items and to know others will be able to use them.

I am thankful...for the hope of tomorrow, and the next day and next day, etc....God is so good!


From the learning rooms...hoping to learn more about using my serger since we're moving it downstairs to my sewing space.

In the kitchen...roast beef sandwiches, onion rings, fries....yeah, we were thinking Arby's!!!

I am wearing...well, it's time for Pajamas.

I am creating...Have two jumpers to make this week, also a new purse for me.  I'm going to quilt some fabric and make me a quilted purse, made to my own specifications.  I cannot seem to find a purse anywhere that is exactly what I want and need.  Posted this last week and still need to make them.


I am going...tomorrow, we are going to a local knitting store.  Katie and I stopped in there a few weeks ago.  We chatted with the owners while shopping and they were starting a class to make hats for chemo patients, they chose Katie for their inspiration and tomorrow we go to pick up her hat.  Very nice folks.

I am wondering...if I will ever finish all my Christmas shopping....just kidding!!!LOL.  I actually have no shopping to do, the only gifts we're buying are for our three and they all wanted one item so that's what they're getting, the rest of our gifts will either be handmade or a bit of cash for the younger family members.  We've had a rough year with Katie's Cancer and decided that Christmas will be very, very peaceful.  It's all about Jesus.  No stress, no wasting money, no overabundance, no worries about who will like what. 

I am reading...Simplicity Primer excellent read, should be a must read for all of us!  Still in the midst of reading SP but also reading a series called the Potluck Club Catering, funny and lighthearted reading.

I am hoping...to finish packing the items for the Vets, it's 10:10pm and I still need to close up some bags.  Hate procrastinating!

I am looking forward to...Thanksgiving with our family.  Last thanksgiving day I was very sick so this will be my first thanksgiving meal in 2 years!


I am hearing...Hayley Westenra playing on Katie's Ipod while she does a few bedtime chores, of course it's Christmas songs!  Now, it's playing Andrea Bocelli, beautiful Christmas music!

Around the house...clearing, tidying...simplifying!!!


I am pondering...New ways of doing things, I really am trying to focus on simplifying everything down to the very basics.  Still working on the basics, need to get it on paper so I can review as needed and keep things from getting too busy.

One of my favorite things...visiting with my dear mother in love.  She's widowed now and doesn't get out much.  Dan sees her quite often because he runs errands as needed for her since she doesn't drive (never has) and she lives close to the airport so Dan can stop as needed.  Sadly we don't get over to her place as often as I would like, we'll be seeing her very soon though so we can put up her Christmas tree and deck those halls!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Thanksgiving with family.  Such joy!

  

A picture thought:
 my Tommy, oh how this mommy loves her babes!  Even though those 'babes' are 27, 25 and 21!!!  They'll always be my babes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five Rules to Be Happy

1. Free your heart from hatred.

2. Free your mind from worries.

3. Live simply.

4. Give more.

5. Expect Less.

Well now, how simple is that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Does Anyone Cook Anymore?



Katie and I had the opportunity to be treated to some nice meals last week.  Once to Outback on Wednesday and then Texas Roadhouse on Sunday.  It was a lot of fun and the food was good but we are so happy to be back to eating our homemade food. 
Last night before bed Katie made up a batch of bran flake muffin batter and this morning she baked them up for us.  Tonight for supper we are having Southern Greens soup with Iron Skillet Cornbread. 
I say all this because every restaurant in our area is packed every single night, it is unbelievable, not only could we never afford that but doesn’t that get old real quick?  When I say every restaurant I mean every one!  We live on the outskirts of a fairly large town and there is an overabundance of restaurants and more going up all the time…and still folks flock there constantly.
Growing up my sweet little mama fixed us meals every single night, these were good hearty meals made from basic ingredients.  Going out to eat was a huge luxury that might happen once every 6 months or so.  Actually I can’t even remember us having very many restaurants back then anyway.  Dan’s mother was the same way, they had the same basic meals over and over just like we did.  With the prices of food going up I know that groceries are very expensive but it is so simple to make up a meal that I cannot imagine having restaurant food every night.
I grew up in the 60’s, remember having some restaurants in the 70’s and by the 80’s there were some more.  By the 90’s we had drive thru’s everywhere and now it’s family style or high end restaurants on every corner.  When will it end?  I actually find the speed in which all this is happening to be kind of frightening, will there be any grass left in 100 years?  What will our children’s children have left of our beautiful earth?  I do think that the food network and others like it have brought folks back to the kitchen, maybe that will slow down this restaurant building trend.  I truly think we must look to the past to remedy some of the problems we’re making for the future. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook


To read more Daybooks and visit Peggy's blog click below:
FOR TODAY
Friday, November 14, 2011

Outside my window...Overcast, we're in for some storms.  The temp is around 70 but will drop after today.  Very windy, the trees are dropping the remainder of their leaves.

I am thinking...about our nice weekend, yesterday we were treated to dinner at Texas Roadhouse by my sweet parents.  It was a celebration for Katie since her cancer is gone.


I am thankful...for Jesus, what would I do without Christ every single minute of every single day of my life?  Too, too hard to even consider.
 
From the learning rooms...found a new recipe for homemade deodorant, can't wait to try it.


In the kitchen...Southern Greens Soup with cornbread.


I am wearing...comfy at home clothes.


I am creating...Have two jumpers to make this week, also a new purse for me.  I'm going to quilt some fabric and make me a quilted purse, made to my own specifications.  I cannot seem to find a purse anywhere that is exactly what I want and need.
 
I am going...today we are blessedly home with no errands to run!!!  This is wonderful after going every day for three weeks for radiation and Dr. appointments.


I am wondering...if I will ever forget this feeling of Katie now being cancer free.  This has been the most frightening thing we as parents have ever endured, but we have all learned so very much.  The small things are so very insignificant!


I am reading...Simplicity Primer
excellent read, should be a must read for all of us!  Still in the midst of reading SP but also just finished a fiction suspense by Erin Healy called Never Let you Go, I just finished it a few minutes ago so I'm not sure what to say about it.  I couldn't put it down but was 'curious' throughout, definitely know it will be on my mind for awhile, I'll need to analyze it some more.

I am hoping...to just enjoy this week with no pressing appointments, also to finish up a couple of Christmas gifts, the time is getting near!!!


I am looking forward to...EVERYTHING!!!  I refuse to dread anything ever again!  I look forward to each next moment with such anticipation!!!  This life of ours is such a wonderfully great journey!!!
 
I am hearing...the wind blowing through the windows, other than that it is very silent in our home.


Around the house...Purging of the old, making way for some empty spaces and less dust catchers! 

I am pondering...New ways of doing things, I really am trying to focus on simplifying everything down to the very basics.


One of my favorite things...talking to my sweet little mama on the phone.  Her and my daddy are so precious to us.  We cherish them and I love that they love our sweeties so much!  Family is everything to me!


A few plans for the rest of the week:
Putting away the old, starting anew!
  
A picture thought:
a quilt image I found at Google, hope to use it for ideas and inspiration for a quilted wall hanging I want to make.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homestead Blessings DVD's with the West Ladies


During these past few months of Katie needing lots of rest, her and I started a nightly ritual of watching the Homestead Blessings DVD's that I purchased a couple at a time.  We had always wanted to own them and this was the perfect time for us to enjoy them together.  The West family live 'off grid' I believe, at least it seems that way from some of their comments.  They are truly hands on people and love to make from scratch, make do, make naturally, etc.  Katie and I have decided that if we knew them their mama Vickie and I would be great friends as I am interested in so many of the things she is and Katie would be friends with Jasmine, Hannah and Cecelia because they all have much in common also!
Through watching these, we learned so many things and got some great tips on things that we've already been doing.  I learned a new method of making soap and Katie got some great ideas on making her own hand dipped candles from their soapmaking and candlemaking DVD's and we learned so much from all of the DVD's, they are such a wonderful resource and blessing!
I plan to review them one at a time in the near future but just wanted to share a bit of what has kept us 'occupied' in the times that busyness was not possible because of Katie's fatigue.  
Click on the pic or the words below to go to the Homestead Blessings website.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Frugality - Grocery Lists


I must admit that I have been a bit lax on my meal planning as of late.  Too often I find that we're heading to the store at 4pm to get supper ingredients for that night.  Well, I get very frustrated with this because I've always been one to stock up, we actually had a full pantry down in our basement that we kept well stocked.  Fast forward to today and I must admit that I do not have the stocked pantry anymore, it's all simply that I stopped planning and keeping up with it.  In the past few months I've been especially bad but intend to remedy that.
Truly, we have let so many things slide with having illness in our home, our kombucha sat untouched until it finally got mold on it and had to be thrown out.  This is very frustrating because I know the health benefits are so important, it's simply that Katie had no appetite so things we made very simply and spur of the moment.
My first step on getting back on track is having a grocery list to print out so we can mark it as needed.  I found this online list maker:  http://www.grocerylistmaker.com/ and it looks pretty good.  I know there are apps for Ipods and I will be using that soon (Katie has a 16gb Ipod touch and needs more gb so she's getting a new one for Christmas and I will get her old one!!!  I love technology and don't mind hand me downs at all!!!) but for now I need to just things organized and be ahead of things.
I'm going to go peruse through some of my favorite blogs and see what kind of frugal info I can glean from them.
Any tips will be appreciated!


Friday, November 11, 2011

The Devil's Beatitudes

I have been reading this book for awhile now and I believe it to be one of the best reads ever.  I've had only two other books I've felt this strongly about, one being the Bible and the other being Jackie Wellwood's A Busy Mom's Guide to Simply Living (this book was the catapult that plunged me into homeschooling....love this book!!!) and without a doubt The Simplicity Primer goes on my list as #3.
I want to review the book and will after I finish but I wanted to post one of the pages here today, this is a reminder for us Christians to make sure we are keeping our focus on Christ.
The Devil's Beatitudes
  • Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow believers-they are my best workers.
  • Blessed are those believers who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked-I can use them.
  • Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church-they are my missionaries.
  • Blessed are the troublemakers-they shall be called my children.
  • Blessed are the complainers-I'm all ears to them.
  • Blessed are those who are bored with the minister's mannerisms and mistakes-for they get nothing out of his sermons.
  • Blessed is the congregation member who expects to be invited to his own congregation-for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.
  • Blessed are those who gossip-for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.
  • Blessed are those who are easily offended-for they will soon get angry and quit.
  • Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God's work-for they are my helpers.
  • Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister-for he shall be with me forever.
  • Blessed are you who, when you read this, think it is about other people and not yourself-I've got you, too!

 While reading this I had to say 'ouch' a couple of times, obviously I need to work on some things.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Lymphoma Battle Has Been Won by Katie!

 
Katie had her last radiation treatment today. The cancer is gone from her body. We will have follow-up visits for quite awhile just to check things.
We will have an appointment soon with the oncologist to discuss removing the port, it will be surgery but will be much simpler than implanting it was.
The radiologist told us that there is a very miniscule chance this will ever return. How wonderful is that? She got a ‘diploma’ from her friends
in the radiology department, they all just loved her there, she kept them laughing. Yesterday she told them it took forever for her to fix her hair
and they messed it all up with the radiation mask!!!!LOL I actually found that most of the patients we saw just seemed to find humor in things and seemed
very positive, I think maybe they are able to put things into perspective a lot more clearly than we can. Truly, the weather, bickering with folks, traffic,
money problems, job issues, family problems, world problems, even day to day aggravations seem to be so trivial when you’re battling a life threatening
illness. Someday I hope to write down all that I have learned through this, I know my perspective is entirely different than Katie’s....I’m watching the
families go through it, she’s seeing fellow patients suffering. Life changing for both of us.
To say that we are thankful just doesn't seem to be enough.  We've been overwhelmed with the support we've had from family and friends.  This journey was very difficult, but it was certainly made easier having support from so many.  
We now return to our regularly schedule life...having been changed in so many ways.  Live every minute to it's fullest, we truly never know what tomorrow will bring.  The anticipation is so very exciting!!!!!  God has blessed us all beyond measure!!!  I give Him all the glory and honor.