Monday, September 15, 2014

Refresh my Soul

How do you refresh your soul?  Is there only ONE way of doing it?  I personally don't think so.  I find that my soul feels refreshed with a variety of things.  To name a few; spending time with Jesus, reading my Bible, praying, listening to worship music (praising Jesus), exercise, organizing, spending time with family or a friend, sometimes even watching a movie.

Last Thursday I had planned to spend some time with one of my best friends (I have several BFFs :) ).  We have both been so busy with getting ready for school & school starting that we had not had the time to just hang out together.  But we had worked a time into our schedules and Thursday was it!  And when I left from the few hours we spent talking together, I felt refreshed.  I knew that I wanted to share this with all of you because it is very important to make sure to take time to refresh your soul.  We are made of 3 parts; 1.) Body 2.) Soul and 3.) Spirit.  Our soul is also made up of 3 parts, our a.) mind b.) will  and c.) emotions  And the condition of our soul is connected to our level of peace.  A recent sermon I was listening to talked about our soul and when the soul is healed & refreshed, you'll have peace.  I was fortunate enough that I also had a scheduled best friends time on Friday evening and when I left from my friends, I was even more refreshed.

I find it so unbelievably cool that God knows exactly what we need and His timing is amazing!

"Thank you Lord for refreshing my soul.  Please guide others to learn how to put you first and learn how to refresh their soul as well.  It makes for more peace and joy in our lives. And when we have you at the top of the priority list, everything else seems to fall into place so much better!  Jesus, send true, loyal, loving friends to each of those reading this blog, so they can know how wonderful it is to have a friend that helps make them better because that is a blessing.  Help us to choose friendships that sharpen us and to recognize when friendships do the opposite. If we have the latter kind of friendships, guide us to know what you would have us do about that friendship. We long to follow your will and your plan. In Jesus' name, Amen."

God's word says he will refresh our soul.
Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
HE refreshes my soul. HE guides me along the right paths for HIS name's sake.

Here is more of Psalm 23. It is a Psalm that is known by many and states right in it that he will refresh our soul.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

With God I will triumph!

Had the tumor marker drawn yesterday. Result should be in by next week sometime.  I have been feeling stronger. Praise GOD!  I'm pleased that I am able to do more of the things I used to do. Still have to try not to overdo it though. But I TRUST God and know that He is healing me!

The doctor said that since I've received 12 shots of the bone strengthening meds he wants to drop it down to once every 3 months instead of every month.  Apparently there aren't any good studies to show the very best way to give this drug so he's airing on the side of caution and starting to spread the shots out.  That means that I have to go in to have the port flushed each month by the nurse but won't have any labs drawn until I go back at the beginning of December.  I guess this is what one would call a holding pattern & seems to be the norm to check every 3 months when things are appearing good. Can I hear a Praise GOD! again? Lol

We talked about what the timing of breast surgery might look like and I was told that I don't have to rush to make a decision whether to have it done or not done.  If I go and do it now, it will require a full mastectomy and then reconstruction which seems more complicated & painful than I had originally thought before obtaining information from the plastic surgeon.  Since they don't know how this will all play out because of the breast cancer metastasized into my bones, they don't want me to be in pain or to have to have several surgeries.  They want to be sure that I can spend as much time with my family as possible & have a good value of life.  Both the breast & plastic surgeon are very skilled and seem to be looking for the best way to take care of me that they know how.  I feel as though the tumor is still shrinking some so when Adam & I met with the plastic surgeon last month, we had decided to just wait for at least a month to make a decision about surgery.  It's a pretty permanent decision and we want to follow God's will for this journey and Adam & I both felt comfortable postponing for at least 1 month.  That month is nearly up now and though we aren't being told we need to make a decision right now, we need to talk about it again & keep seeking God's plan for whether surgery is in my future or whether the healing will come in another avenue.  Surgery would require 1-2 nights in the hospital. No doing ANYTHING for like a week. Followed by another full week of very little activity.  Probably no driving for 2 weeks from surgery and then a total of 6 weeks to a full recovery from the date of surgery if no complications arise.  Not my favorite option but we are fully considering it & as I have said before, we know that God's path of healing can mean surgery or perhaps supernatural ways or something in between.

I have started trying to juice at least 1 day a week right now so as to get more vitamins & minerals into my body to help my immune system.  I am looking to juice about 3 days a week because I think that is the path God has for me.  I don't think that I will solely juice all my meals but I am trying to cut or limit certain foods, (like dairy & sugar).  I still drink my Shakeology.  Sometimes it's what helps me get some of the not so tasty supplements down because I really like the flavor of my Vegan chocolate Shakeology, thankfully I can hide other stuff in my smoothie each morning.  I really have to just make the time to get the juicing done (it's actually fun with the juicer that I'm borrowing from my parents) but it can take some time to prep the veggies.  And I must say that I am bummed about the cheese but I'm sure I'll get over that after awhile.  Well... maybe. lol  Whatever the case may be, I feel that God wants me to use the information I learned in college as I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, my love for food & research to help fuel my body as much as I can to beat this disease!  I am trying to be proactive in my care & what I put into my body.  Prior to being diagnosed last year, we had switched to using a lot of Melaleuca products to cut down on the amount of chemicals in our house.  I was trying to go with a more natural way of doing things but no matter how much I use vinegar, it still smells not so good with my sensitive nose & I have a hard time getting over that so Melaleuca products is the way we went.  And then I was diagnosed in Oct 2013 and we still use Melaleuca products.  I have actually stopped using some of the hair products I had initially purchased because I found that the more natural shampoo, an herbal blend, is better for us.

Finding balance, it's something I always seem to struggle with.  I'm sure if I would go back & re-read blog posts from the last few years there would be this theme of trying to be more organized and consistent, as well as finding balance for everything.

My days are filled with waking kids up EARLY, getting them ready & out the door, dropping them off at school & then getting some chores done that the kids used to help me with.  The dishes still need put away. The laundry still needs washed, dried, & put away & Sadie still needs to have time with mommy & grocery shopping as well as all sorts of other things need to get done.  I give working moms a TON of credit for working outside your home as well as all the mom stuff at home.  And moms staying at home, it's not easy to send your kiddos off to school & still be home to get all those things done. Time management is essential & if I plan to teach my children good time management, I need to get better at it myself.  And then there are the moms who stay at home but school their kids too as well as all the other mom/wife stuff.  WOW!  Talk about a lot of work!  Great job to all the moms, no matter what your situation is.  Loving your kids & teaching them how to do things the right way is a lot of work!  I can't say it the same way for dads as I'm not a dad but dads do an amazing job as well.  Keep up the great work parents, it's hard work but will be well worth it to see our children grow up to be great people, loving, caring, kind, owning their own faith (that's super important to me), and so much more!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Overcoming Doubt

I may have written about this in the past (pretty sure I did but I'm not taking the time to verify) and that's okay. It's worth revisiting because it is something everyone deals with and it is something that I have had stirred up in the past few weeks. Doubt.  Wondering whether I will receive a supernatural healing so I don't have to have a mastectomy. Wondering whether I will finally get a clean bill of health instead of being told that this Stage 4 disease is not curable but treatable, etc.

I was talking with a friend on Sunday who was encouraging me (she thinks I was the one encouraging her but little does she know God had it working BOTH ways). Anyway, I was telling her that the reason that my faith is where it is at is because I have seen God do some amazing things in my life & in those near me.  Because I have journaled about several experiences, I was able to recall these acts of compassion from God.  With the talk about the mastectomy surgery lately, I have had feelings of doubt stirred up and I don't like them. in fact, I HATE them.  But instead of allowing them to debilitate me so that I can't function or feel helpless, I have turned to my faith in God, my savior Jesus Christ to dissipate all the junk...the doubt.

I reread "How to Overcome Doubt" by Andrew Wommack because I had it printed out. You can read it here.  And I had to laugh because I remembered a lot of it but there were parts that really jumped out at me and helped me grasp hold of the doubt, the fear, & I'm happy to say that God is helping me kick it out.  Even John the Baptist, a man who studied God's word, dedicated his life to preparing the way for God's Son Jesus to come and do his work, even John had doubt.  Anyone can doubt but the change of getting rid of the doubt happens when we put our eyes back in God's word, back on the one who can change things & who makes a difference.

Wommack states, "Overcoming doubt isn't just about feeling better; it's about getting back into faith that only comes from the Word of God (Romans 10:17)."
Romans 10:17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

I am reminded that I must "come back to the place where God's Word is more real to me that anything I can see, taste, hear, smell, or even feel.  When in doubt, I must refer back to the Word of God just the way Jesus told John the Baptist to do.  And I must get my faith so rooted in God's Word alone that I can withstand a hurricane (which this disease feels like at times.)

God has sustained me before, he has shared with me, some of the promises I believe he has for my life and he is not a liar. He is and will continue to take care of me.  This doubt has to leave, the fear that I may never get a clean bill of health has to leave. God has not given me a spirit of fear but rather of love, power, and a sound mind.  His word says these things & I trust his word as TRUTH.  So I stand, firm in his arms, I stand against this disease. I stand!

I had some time to myself with no one around yesterday and I took the opportunity to pray, to cry out to God, to YELL a little and cry a little and then once I had that out, I was able to fix my eyes on the cross again.  I am so grateful that God can handle my crazy emotions and not only can he handle them but he can help me to get focused again.  Praise to the One true God, his love endures forever!
Psalm 136:1-26

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.
13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.
17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

God has a relentless love for me (and you too!)  Read the definition and realize how awesome that is!


 adjective \-ləs\
: continuing without becoming weaker, less severe, etc.

Monday, August 4, 2014

surgery recommendation & I Will Trust in the Lord my GOD!

On Thursday, we made the trip to Green Bay to see the breast specialist and she said that the tumor has definitely gotten smaller, however, it is not small enough to do just a lumpectomy so she would recommend a mastectomy as well as taking out the axillary lymph-nodes that are involved.  Since I was the third person in her office to need a referral to the plastic surgeon, I didn't make it over there on Wednesday. Instead I have to wait to see him on August 13th to find out his recommendations.  Then we regroup with the breast specialist and make a plan for the surgery, probably early September is when both surgeons will be available to tag team so that it can all be done at once.  That may change depending on what the plastic surgeon recommends though.

With that being said, I had a little bit of a hard time with hearing that a mastectomy is recommended.  The hysterectomy recommendation didn't bother me like this one has but I am standing on God's word and his promises that he's shared with  me and I just keep reminding myself of them.

Today as I was reading this jumped out at me from Psalm 119:49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. 50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Psalm 119:38  Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.

Like I've said before, I know that God can remove all cancer cells from my entire body and do it supernaturally. I'm not sure when he showed me that I would be cleansed whiter than snow whether it would be before or after surgery. But I do know this, that is a promise I feel he has given to me and I plan on keeping that close to my heart.  God has never lied and he is faithful!  So I am holding onto my HOPE in Christ Jesus!  And I repeatedly say, "I TRUST you Lord!" especially when I don't understand and I don't know his timing. I still trust in him!  Without Him, I'm sure I'd be a basketcase through all of this and I that won't help me so I'm glad to have Him to lean on & trust.

Proverbs 18:14 A man's spirit sustains him in sickness but a crushed spirit who can bear?

So as I keep giving this all to God & trusting him & keeping my spirit up, that will help me. If I am in despair and have a crushed spirit, it will not help me heal.  I trust the one who made me, who saved me, who loves me, & knows what is best for me!  Do you trust him for the situation you are going through?  You can....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

Do you ever feel like you are just go, go, going from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed?  I have sort of felt that way this week but it isn't totally the truth, it's just been my perception.  In reality, I've had some good times with my family (with Adam being off this week), got a lot of stuff accomplished and are sort of ahead of the game with regards to getting Braly's 10th birthday party ready as well as helping with the Taco Benefit that takes place this Friday from 4-7 or 8ish.

I have helped put baskets together for the benefit, I have now baked 6 cakes to make a 3 tier cake for Braly's party.  I have a feeling we're going to be eating cake for awhile. lol  But oh well.  He is one very special boy (I don't know if I'm allowed to say little anymore since he'll be double digits).  And I am honestly really excited for the things that we've planned for his party.  I am hoping to share pics after the event but may need to take some down time after to relax a bit.  I have a few more things to prep for his party tonight & tomorrow and I am hoping to have everything but the last few things done so Friday can be spent setting up at the church for the benefit as well as spending some extra time with family that has come to visit.

In case you didn't realize it, I see the Oncologist once a month.  I could use some extra prayers for the pain in my back & hip. They feel sort of stiff and it hurts to bend down & then stand up.  The thing I'm trying to figure out is whether to take any pain meds for it because it isn't like it hurts all the time but when I am in a position for any length of time, I have a hard time when I first move. Kinda like being old. Lol.  Part of it is from being out of shape from not being able to do any exercising after the hysterectomy, some may be from the damage the cancer did to the bones, some is probably from the car injury I had when I was just 16, and some is probably due to aging.  No matter what contributes to it, I am praising God that I am able to do all the things I get to do & I am praising him for removing ALL the pain. Just trusting HIM for it all!

I am sad that in this week, I've fallen a bit behind on my Bible Reading.  And today I am feeling it. When I do my daily readings & spend some quiet time with God, I feel so much better & focused.  I can say that it is more difficult for me to share from God's word when I have not spent my time with Him.  However, I just taught a lesson in kids' church that was about Self-Confidence and we were learning about how each of us are special because God created us in His image.  We are working on a great verse that EVERYONE should memorize and say as a reminder of just how special we are.

Psalm 139:14 I Praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful I know that full well.

It seems to always come down to Praising God for all he's done!  And here is a great, upbeat song that reminds us to give it all back to God!

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the FREE email updates.  It's a great way to not miss out when I actually write new posts.  On the Right side of the page. You type your email & I think that it sends you a confirmation email that you have to open & click the link. If you are like me, you will have to do it RIGHT NOW or you'll forget. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

S*** my 4 Letter Word, not what you think!

Yesterday morning I was working on some things for Braly's 10th birthday party.  We don't invite our kids' friends over every year to celebrate with us but there are certain years that I think should be celebrated with a bigger party & turning double digits is one of them.

So I was in the basement sewing a project for the party and started singing Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith.
For the Lord God Almighty reigns

For the Lord God Almighty reigns

Holy are You Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

You are holy
Holy are you Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
The problem was, as I was singing, my voice started to crack because I was choking back some tears.  I kept singing because I wanted to show God my praise despite this stupid disease.  I blurted out a prayer & said something like "Lord, I trust you, and I trust your timing.  It is difficult to wait sometimes but I know that you know what's best for me & my family & I am trusting you to please give us some good news next week."  (I saw the Oncologist on Tuesday & he said that the estrogen number was less than 10 which is where we wanted it to be & where he expected it to be months ago by using the shots.  He said that if the tumor marker came down again & since the size of the tumor decreased that he would be referring me to the breast specialist for a consultation to find out about surgery)

Just as I finished praying & asking God for some good news next week, the phone rang and the caller ID showed GB Oncology.  I pressed the talk button and immediately heard my doctor's voice.  For a split second I was a little nervous at what he was about to tell me because I don't recall him calling me with good news, usually he delivers any bad news himself & lets the nurses call for the good news.  I reminded myself of the things God has showed & told me & quickly said in my head "I trust you God!"  My doctor continued to tell me that last month the tumor marker number was 148 and this month it is down to 98.  I said, "that's great!"  and I'm not sure if I said it aloud but I at least thought PRAISE GOD!!!!

I am now scheduled to the see the breast surgeon on July 31st in Green Bay.  This is a huge thing for me to share with all of you but I am praying, asking, believing, & expecting that when the doctor examines me, that there won't be anything to even remove.  That's right, I'm asking LARGLY.  I believe that I will be completely healed of cancer one day, I'm not sure if it will be completely supernatural or if it will be aided with more medical procedures but the other day when I was praying, I told God that I know he told me that he removed the root of the problem & that he'd take care of the rest but I wasn't sure what that meant exactly and I didn't know his timing.

I dreamed last week (and I hadn't been dreaming a lot lately), of piles & piles (I'm talking about an obnoxious amount) of beautiful, glistening, crystal white snow.  You know the kind where the light hits it & it just shimmers as the light reflects off of it.  It can be so breathtaking.  When I woke up that morning, I thought, whoa, what was with ALL that SNOW?  I'm soooooo not ready for that yet (After the winter we had, I think some people started to say it was a swear to say snow. Lol.  Well, I forgot that I had dreamed of that until I was praying and I felt that God told me that he'd cleanse me as white as snow. That's when I remembered my dream.

Psalm 51:7  NIV  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

The neat thing about this verse is that after this dream a day had passed, after my prayer time & this revelation another day had passed and then my reading plan had me read Psalm 51. That's what you call a "God thing." And I LOVE it when God shares with me like that!  So I am holding onto these different things that the Holy Spirit has revealed to me in my quiet time and I am trusting God.  Some days it is harder because I feel stiff or have more low back & hip pain.  But God's name will be glorified & I remind myself that God has given me strength, healing, he's made me whole, & he keeps right on taking care of me so I just need to hang in there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Good News!

Gotta keep this super short. So many things to catch up on since we traveled to Pennsylvania for Adam's Grandma's funeral last week.  We returned home late Sunday & I am so proud of the kids. They did an amazing job in the van for the majority of the trip. So now that we've returned home, we need to get all the stuff put away. Ya know the suitcases (or in our house it was the Thirty-One bags), the laundry done & put away, the toys & other 'to do' things unpacked & put away. Wow, what a chore it is to pack & then return back to normal. But I wouldn't change it for anything. We had a wonderful time with our family, learned a lot of family history which was really cool & celebrated a very special, fun, loving lady that was nearly 103 years old.  Miss you Grandma! We will cherish the time we had with her as well as the time we had with our other Pierce family this past week.  Too short of time but super special!

The day before we left, I had my appointment & labs drawn. The nurse called me on Monday from the oncology office to tell me that the tumor marker number had dropped significantly again from 275 down to 148. I remember the doctor told us that the closer the number is to 0, the better. We are PRAISING God in all of this, and this is obviously no exception.  The crazy thing is that I am only taking 1 medication that helps battle the cancer.  Everything else is from the hysterectomy surgery which helped removed the hormones AND the BIGGEST and BEST thing....GOD, our ultimate physician and healer working on my body.  He is soooooo amazing. Thank you Lord for healing me!

I know that you  might feel discouraged in your life at times. It happens to all of us. When you feel that way, turn your eyes to God.  He is always there to help you through. He may not do things in your timing, but he knows what's best for you & wants the best for you.  Allow him to lead you to the place he wants you and follow his will.  One of the verses I pray over my body is Proverbs 15:30 because my bones were affected by the cancer.

Proverbs 15:30  NIV 

Light in a messenger's eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Look, it's even on a t-shirt. :)  That's cool!

And if you need some healing verses, here are a few places that I have used. Joyce Meyer has a pdf that you can print. Someone actually sent me a pamphlet of these verses that I keep in my purse and read when I am waiting or need some extra God time because I am hurting or needing to get my eyes on him.  The pamphlet has the same verses on the FREE pdf. Print it out & read them each morning as your daily vitamins.  Andrew Wommack has several of the same verses in an audio file with some soft background music that you can listen to and learn yourself. God's word is what you need. His word is LIFE and TRUTH!

Have a blessed, joyful, & grateful day!

P.S. Don't forget to check out my friend Katie's Psalms Series by clicking on the link that is in purple. It's worth the time.  My guest blog post will be featured on Monday June 30th. So head on over and start reading the others today.  I'm posting a badge on the side of my page that you can also click to visit the Psalm Series.