Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Hey there folks! Today, the weather here in Missouri is absolutely gorgeous!! The sun is shinning, the fall colors are popping, and the temps are mild. Yesterday it got up to 75 degrees, and it was nice to get to sit outside with my mom in her swing. Those days are few and far between these days, and getting fewer. It was nice to take advantage of the nice weather with my mom. I have passed the half way mark with my radiation treatments!! Woohoo!! I am still making the daily trip to Barnes/Siteman Cancer Center. My time slot is 11:40, but I try and switch it, on a day by day basis. Some days they give me a later slot in the afternoon, and I try and get the next day as an early morning slot. That way, it seems I have more time at home with my kiddos. They have been so good about not having mommy around very much these days. They are such troopers. Jessica has stepped up and become the number one chef. She does the cooking, without me even having to come up with an idea for her, or a menu for her to work from. These days, I am feeling so very un-organized. I used to be Executive Assistant to the Managing Partner of a well known accounting firm. I went to college. I had my files in order at home. I could, at any moment, find whatever I was looking for, even if it was the receipt for some piece of equipment we have had for 10 years!! These days?? Ha! A totally different story. My desk stays piled up with papers that need to be filed. My books are a couple months behind, teehee. Not to mention everything else that is on my plate these days. When I got the chance to spend some time with some friends from our rodeo days recently, we talked about how your life can change in a phone call. How events that come up in your life, can alter your future plans, whether you want it to or not. My life in 2007 changed. Things were put on hold, such as our rodeo activities. The kids back then, were very good about it all, very understanding. Then, again in 2008, things were put on hold for different reasons, in order to help others adjust to a new and different lifestyle. And yes, again, things were put on hold because I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We keep saying, someday, we will once again go and do like we used to go and do. We will once again be "normal". We will once again participate in the sport that my kids had grown up in, and come to love. We will once again get to rub shoulders with friends that we were once as close, or even closer than family, friends we rarely see anymore. But I keep telling myself, through all of this, my kids are learning things that are way more important than reading, writing and math. Yes, those things are important. And, yes, they are still learning all their academics. Yes, we are behind where we should be, but we are daily, one step at a time, walking this path the Lord has put before us. God has plans for us, as a family. When He put me on this path, He didn't just me on this path. He knew, that because I would be walking this path, it would also affect my family, my kids, my husband. It would change our perspective on many things as a result of this path. Things we use to take for granted, now, seem trivial. Other things, seem so much more important. Relationships, traditions, and memories have been moved to the top of the list of "goals". When people get older, they tend to look back on their memories and their relationships. Those things are what brings smiles to their faces. These are the life lessons that my kids are learning these days. The sacrifices we can make, the ones we get to make, in order to make someone else happy. These are hugely important. Teaching important lessons like, making changes in your plans, your goals, in order that someone else can be happy. "It's all about me!" seems to be the message that saturates our society in today's world. When it comes to making sacrifices for others, serving someone else's wants or needs, that is hard to do. Especially if it is hard. Especially if it will cost us something. Like the song on one of my favorite CD's...."deep water faith, in the shallow end." If our faith is stretched to the point of pain, or past where we can actually see the results, then, well, life gets harder, and we lose our focus. If we are forced to make decisions "in the heat of the moment", and those decisions are not popular, then we begin to re-think them, question whether or not we made the right choices. It is getting harder and harder to maintain focus these days. But, thankfully, God knows our motives, and God looks at our hearts. If I can do nothing else, I want to keep that thought in my mind. No matter what I do, wrong or right, I want to please God. God knows that, in my heart of hearts, I don't want to do anything that would bring him shame. So, even when I screw up, God picks me up, dusts me off, and sets my feet back on the path, and gives me the help I need to walk this path. This path that is so full of snares and distractions, that on any given day, it is hard to remember where I am supposed to be, much less what time. I am going to be finishing up my last radiation treatment the first week of November. I am grateful, that so far, I have only slight pinkness and itchiness. I am rubbing the lotion and the Aloe Vera gel daily, twice a day. Even when I stay at my mom's house. I have asked her to rub it on my back shoulder blade that is getting pink and itchy as well. Pray that I will finish this path, without blistering. I sooo don't want to deal with blisters and peeling!!! But, like the rest of this path, I will deal with whatever comes up. I will try and deal with it in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. But, when I fall short of that goal....forgive me. I heard one of the radio preachers this week, talking about being a hypocrite. He said, as Christians, we have goals and standards we want to be able to live up to. And the only way to not be a hypocrite, is to NOT have goals and standards! We fall short of our goals and standards, and others label us a hypocrite. But, because we are not willing to give up those goals and standards, we keep on trying, day after day. So, yea, there are days I fall short. I don't act like the godly Christian woman I want to be, I strive to be. But, I am not going to throw out my goals and standards, because I fail. I will continue to hold them up, as the goal. I will continue to give it my best, despite all the distractions and painful things that come into my life these days. Despite all the frustrations and disappointments, I will continue to try and respond in a manner that says I have something different in my life, something different in my heart. My daddy used to say, that was a true test of a Christian. When life gets hard, and we are forced to respond to something hard, painful, or disappointing, what comes spilling out?? It is "easy to be a Christian", when life is easy. When the bumps in the road come along, how do we respond? We should respond differently. We should respond in a manner that would make someone stop and go....wow. That would make my cheese slide off my cracker, and my cracker slide off my plate!! I fail in that occasionally. I do have melt downs. But, when I do, I cry out to my Lord, ask HIS forgiveness, and He always picks me up, and sets me back on the right path, refreshed and renewed. Thank God for his mercy!!!! Without God's mercy, I know I could not walk this path I am on. I don't know how those that don't have a relationship, a faith in God, get through one minute of their day!! Praise God! Thank you for this day!! Every day is a gift!!