Thursday, January 31, 2013

On This Day 4 Years Ago....

my true story began.
   January 31st 2009 was the beginning of a journey that I am still on today. A journey to find joy in this hopeless and lost world. I can very clearly remember my feelings on that morning. As every young bride is, I was nervous, excited and full of hope for the future. I had dreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl. What female doesn't? If I would have known ahead of time what that night was going to bring, my life would not be the same today.
   Often I have been asked, "If you could go back and change things, would you?" My answer to that would look something very similar to the article I am about to share. The author, Lesha Myers, was one of our beloved authors for the Institute for Excellence in Writing. She was an amazing woman. This is her story titled, "Cancer Blessings."

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)
The gals at the Look Good...Feel Better seminar I attended were talking about how cancer had changed their lives, and I mentioned how cancer has been a huge blessing to me. All of a sudden the room got very quiet and everyone stared at me. I felt compelled to continue and said how it had taught me a lot about myself and my family, increased my faith, taught me what is important in life, and brought me greater clarity and focus. The room was still deadly quite, and then one of the cosmologists changed the subject.
Afterwards, I got to thinking about this awkward moment and the truth of what I blurted out. Cancer has blessed me tremendously. It's not something I've enjoyed, suffering never is, and it's definitely something I never want to go through again, Still, it's taught me lessons that I don't think I could have learned in any other way. The verse at the top says to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials"; not if, when. All of us will suffer at some point in our lives; it's what we receive or take from the suffering that matters.
Apparently we commemorate John Calvin's 500th birthday this month, and I've read a couple of bios about him in various Christian magazines. I never realized how much the man suffered. His only child died at 22 days, his beloved wife died after only 8 1/2 years of marriage, he had malaria, migraine headaches (think—no aspirin), kidney stones (whoa!), hemorrhoids (in the days before cars—he had to ride a horse), stomach pains, insomnia, and the article says "and much besides."
When people experience severe suffering, like my cancer or Calvin's maladies, it's tempting to ask Why? or Why me? Calvin said this is the wrong question, and a better one is What for? What lesson does the Lord want us to learn? What part of our selfish character does He wish to chip away? What kind of empathy does He want us to develop (2 Cor. 1:4)? Suffering builds character. Even the Perfect Man had to learn obedience through suffering (Heb. 5:8). Why should we expect anything less?
Suffering isn't a punishment from God; it just is. It's a result of a fallen world, a consequence of sin. Yes, God can relieve suffering, and yes, He never gives us more than we can handle (1 Cor 10:13), but He is not unjust to allow us to suffer. Think of it this way: Imagine all of us running as fast as we can towards a cliff with a sheer drop-off onto a rocky ocean. When we get there, we're through—a symbol of our life and the eventual end of it. If God reaches down and changes the direction of a runner, He's not being unjust to the rest, is He? No. He's being merciful to the one, but the others are experiencing normality—at least the normality of this world since the Fall (Genesis 3)...
Suffering is a great mystery and not a lot of fun. But it is our lot (Job 5:7). That being the case, let's not waste it.
   My "cancer" came in the form of a man. A man who walked in to my life, took my hand and asked me for my future. Through the trials that followed, when this man turned around and walked away, I learned to trust the Lord more than I ever have in my life. These lessons have been tough, so very tough. Would I change them? No way!

On this day 4 years ago, I entered in to what I thought was a pretty predictable future.
On this day 4 years ago, my world became a different place.
On this day 4 years ago, my trust in the Lord began to be rocked.
On this day 4 years ago, I made a choice and a promise.
On this day 4 years ago, my life changed forever!  

For that, I am grateful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Voice of Truth

   Lately I have really been thinking about listening to the lies of Satan. He really knows my weaknesses and likes to hold them against me, let me tell you! "You are not pretty enough. No one will ever want you again." "What are you thinking trying to live on your own and take care of yourself financially? You WILL fail!" "You are never going to amount to anything since you never went to school." blah blah blah and on it goes. Try as I might to ignore those lies, they really creep in and get right to my heart.
   On my way to work this morning, I was rockin' out to my good old "Jesus tunes" (aka, worship music) and the song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns came on. I have heard this song a MILLION times but the words never truly sank in, until this morning. "But the Voice of Truth tells me a DIFFERENT story. The Voice of Truth says, 'Do not be afraid.' The Voice of truth says, 'This is for my glory.' I will CHOSE to listen and BELIEVE the Voice of Truth. AMEN!

Monday, January 28, 2013


    Sometimes I wonder, "what did I do to deserve a heavenly daddy like I have?" Gosh, he sure knows how to take care of his little girl! I was just pondering with a friend last night about how I can't seem to shake financial worry. It's the one thing that gets me EVERY stinkin' time! I leave it at the thrown and five seconds later, here I am, sneaking back over to the feet of Jesus, trying to take it back. I'm mean, REALLY?!?! What is wrong with me?! He never gives up though.
    Lately, my car has been nothing but a worry. In November, I hit a deer. Oh joy, $500 for the deductible, that I don't have. In Jan, a huge crack showed up on my windshield, randomly. I chose to ignore it because I don't have $250 to replace it. Later in Jan my battery dies, completely. Gosh, another $250? Sure, let me go get that off my money tree. Oh wait, I DON'T HAVE ONE! seems like the never ending battle!
   Well, in dealing with this never ending battle, while getting my battery changed, I happened to mention that my windows haven't been rolling up properly. After being rolled down with the drivers pannel they refuse to go back up without finagling. A week after mentioning the problem, I got a call from Hyundai. They said, "your part is in." "Excuse me? I didn't order any parts." "Yeah, for your window." "Um, is that covered by the warranty?" "Yep, it's covered for full parts and labor until 60,000." The day I took it in (only a few days later), my car was at 59,000 and something odd miles. God is good.
   Due to all of these issues as of late, I have been looking for ANY way to make my monthly budget lower. One of the things I was looking at was a cheaper insurance company. After about 4 months of research I finally pulled the trigger on Saturday and changed to a cheaper option. During that process, I noticed that my current policy (which effectively won't end until a month from now) said something about "full glass" on it. I had never noticed this before. After emailing and asking what the heck that meant, they told me to call their "glass claims department." Soooo, I have a $0 deductible and a company coming to my doorstep to replace my windshield on Thursday. God is good.
   I seriously can't believe how good he is. If I could just STOP DOUBTING and start TRUSTING, all would be well with the world. So continues the humbling saga......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thankful for the Little Things

When I got home from work today, there was a Target gift card in my mail box. It's for ten dollars. Right about now....that is crucial. I'm blessed.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


   Recently I have been presented with many opportunities to reflect on how blessed I am to have the parents that I do. Most often in life, children tend to rebel against, reject and insult their parents. Me, well, I did all of that A LOT. As I've grown, I've learned that they are a fountain flowing with a wealth of knowledge. I need to draw near to that, not push away from it. It's funny the things you start to appreciate more when you don't have them standing right in front of you.
    You know the saying, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder?" That is probably one of the most true statements I have ever heard in my life! However, I hate being so far away from them. The thought that there is a 99.9% chance that we will never live in the same state again, kills me! But, I know that God has a plan for us all and this seems to be in His cards right now.
   Their move has had more of an effect on me than I thought it would. It has been horribly difficult to picture them living somewhere other than home. But, our family has been through a lot in the last few years and this is just another hurdle to jump over. It seems like, through the trials, we have learned to appreciate each other more than we normally would. Heaven help us to keep seeing Jesus through the good times and the bad while holding tightly to the memories that we share.
   This is the end of an era.

Friday, January 4, 2013


I just found a totally adorable blog back round site! It's called Loving it!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


   Ok, I'll say it. It STINKS that "home" is changing! I am MORE THAN excited for my parents to be following the will of God and moving to Washington! I really am! Buuuut, I already miss home (CA), A LOT. Knowing that they won't be there anymore makes this girl's heart heavy. They were keeping my connection with home alive. It was still realistic to tell people, "See you when I come home to visit." Now I don't know what to tell people. When I vacation, I will want to go see my family. Especially now that Kai, Seth, Jefri and my parents are all in the same state. This is a good thing. No more immediate family in CA, however, is not.
   I know I will be able to stay with friends and/or extended family when I come to CA. Having a place to put my suitcase is not really the issue. I don't get much vacation time and like I said, Washington will be vying for my time. Also, it won't be the same knowing that someone (strangers) is going to be living in MY HOUSE! I grew up in that house. There are countless memories that will forever live in that house. I know everyone feels this way at some time or another in their life. It's just....weird.
   I have been keeping this to myself. Partially because I didn't know it was bothering me this much. Partially because I didn't want to make it harder for my parents than it already is. God is in control. He knows what's best. These are the things I keep telling myself.