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.
Alleluia
Alleluia
For the Lord God Almighty reigns

Alleluia
Alleluia
For the Lord God Almighty reigns

Alleluia
Holy
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
Amen
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.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Update on numbers!

I saw the oncologist on May 20th and they checked the tumor marker number as well as the estrogen level.  With the holiday last week I gave them some extra time to get in touch with me but didn't hear back from them. (figured it was a good sign, and besides, both the oncologist and I were sure that the numbers had gone down since the tumor size had actually decreased as well.)  God is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

I finally called to ask what the actual results were.  PRAISE GOD!!! we were right!  The last tumor marker # just before the hysterectomy surgery for April was 402.  The one for May was 275. Whoot whoot!  And the estrogen level was down below 10 which is also good! :)

Since being diagnosed at the end of Oct 2013 I have changed how I get out of bed in the morning.  Our bed frame is high so when I sit up, I can't touch the floor.  So before I set my feet on the floor, I pray to God thanking him that he has healed me, that he has taken any pain away, that I will allow him to guide my day, to make the day purposeful, and I've added for him to help me have grace for others.  This prayer changes a little each day as I grow in Jesus but I like that even if I am running a little behind schedule, I have not allowed it to be an option to skip this muy importante (that's very important) part of my day!  It sets the rest of my day in the right direction.  You should try it if you don't already.  It's worth it to fix one's eyes on Jesus.

Living with purpose and grace.

Can it really be that 3 weeks have gone by since my post?  I am having a hard time believing that has happened.  I am thankful that school will be out soon and my children will be home with me to help with chores and to have fun & make memories.  I do enjoy being with them & am looking forward to a new daily schedule.  One where I can sleep in until 7am but able to get my kiddos to do their chores & me do mine so we can have fun.  Explaining to them that if each of us do 30 mins of chores each day (might not even take that long) we will have 2 hours of work done each morning, which leaves us the rest of the day to do other things.  I have pinned a lot of fun looking things on Pinterest for some Summer Fun.  And I purchased the e-book 100 Days of Summer from List Plan It.  You can check it out for yourself.  They have not sponsored anything on my blog but I like to share things that are neat & that work & make life easier, simpler, more organized, purposeful and fun!  Every year I have these dreams of making a summer to remember for my family.  Do you know what happens?  We fly by the seat of our pants because I feel bad scheduling stuff but then we don't get to do as many of the things we were hoping to do.  The days fly by so quickly & before we know it, school is starting back up again & I have less time to spend playing & teaching my kids.  Well, this year will be different, because I am taking the steps and actions to make it actually happen & not just be a dream.  I don't want to turn around and have summer a third gone like I did when I saw that my lost post was already 3 weeks ago.   Does this ever happen to you for anything?  Yes?!  Glad I'm not the only one, however, perhaps you want to join us in making your days purposeful & count.  Leave us a comment & share what you want to do & what you think you could do to make it happen.  We'd love to hear!!!

Thankful Thursday: Thank you God for....
I am thankful that Adam has been on vacation this week.  It is nice having him home!  I kinda wish it had been next week though so that we could enjoy some time together as a family without the daily school schedule.  At least we've had the evenings. :)

I am thankful for family to hang out with this week.  We sure enjoyed spending some time with the Beams.  And for a mother in law willing to come over & help me finish catching up on the basement sorting I had in progress since October.  So thankful for the help & company.

Thankful that Adam was home to grill some super yummy steaks & make dinner while we worked on the basement Monday.

Thankful for friends & family willing to work to put together a benefit for us.  It just amazes me what the cost of medical stuff is even with insurance that is pretty good.  It will be scheduled for Friday, July 25th from 4-7pm Eastern at New Life Assembly of God church.  There will be food, face painting, a Thirty One Gifts consultant, silent auction, and I think we are having a bake sale as well as some balloon animals if we can get some people to do them.  It is not easy for me to ask for help or donations but in order to keep things going in the right direction, I am humbling myself & doing what needs to be done.  So if you can help out, donate something for the auction, can come & serve, set up , clean up, or anything like that, let me know.  I will put you in contact with the ladies putting the benefit together.

On Sunday, it became apparent that God wanted me to work on grace with others this week.  And reminded me of the grace that he's so willingly given me. 

Tuesdays verse of the day from my Bible app went right along with several songs I heard on Sunday & what the Holy Spirit was telling me that I needed to work on. Grace.

Romans 12:3  "For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."

Here are more verses about grace:
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

John 1:15-17 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when  I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'") 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

Proverbs 22:11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.

Romans 5:20-21 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased,  grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I know that I need to have grace for others, and myself just as God had grace for me.  Grace is being given something I don't deserve.  Here's my prayer. Feel free to use it for yourself too.

Dear Lord, Thank you  for giving me grace in so many areas of my life.  Help me to remember to have grace for others, even when I don't necessarily feel like it.  I know that having grace for others will speak Life and healing into others lives as well as mine.  Thank you for always loving me, even though I do things wrong (sin) more often than I'd like.  I'm sorry.  Help me to follow your will for my life and to love and help others as you call me to, especially my amazing husband and children.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankful Thursday


If someone asked me what day of the week is my favorite, I might say Friday like most people since it's the weekend.  But to me, it means a little more than just the weekend being free from work, Friday means I get to spend  more time with my whole family together. Sometimes we watch a family movie, or occasionally play a board game. Sometimes we don't all do something together; but just having all 6 of us (and sometimes friends too) under the same roof makes me happy. Even though Friday's are cool because we get more family time, I'd have to pick Thursdays. I like Thankful Thursdays because I can take the time to sit down & think of all the things I am thankful for and blessed with.

I am thankful that in less than a week, I can start lifting Sadie & carrying her around more.  I will try not to overdo it, but I have had to stoop down to love on her when she's gotten hurt or go to the couch when she'd like to snuggle.  She's even gotten into the habit of asking me "follow me mom" when she wants to snuggle or wants me to lift her up. She'll grab me by the hand & take me to the couch so she can climb into my lap.  It's so sweet and special. I just love that she's okay with that for now. But it will be nice when I can just scoop her up and give her a squeezy hug because she got a bump or needs a quick "Everything is okay" kind of lovins.

I am thankful that some creative mom decided to blog about her point system for grounding her kids when they were late for school & gave them a list of chores worth points in order to earn their way out of trouble.  I put that to work today by typing up my own list and handing it to my older 2 because they were fighting yesterday & other disciplinary actions didn't seem to be working.  They just weren't getting it.  Our list is a work in progress but it seemed to get the point across to them that I am serious about not putting up with their arguing.  After some whining, crying (mostly forced), statements like "I'm not ever doing any of the things on that list." etc  they finally got their points earned and were able to move on with the night.  If you are wondering what my response was to that statement, it went something like this, "I'm sorry to hear that you will be sitting in the corner doing nothing for a long time if that's the choice you make."  And anyone that knows me, knows that I would not have given in very easily.

I am thankful that we were able to attend Braly's Spring Singing concert tonight as a family.  The 4th graders even played a song with their recorders that they've been practicing on for the last few months.  School is quickly coming to a close in the next few weeks and soon, summer will be here.  Well, maybe not weather wise, as it was snowing/sleeting as we walked into the school for the program.  As I waited for Braly to put his recorder away, I laughingly made the comment that it was nice to hear the Summer songs the kids sang but I don't think the weather is agreeing very much. lol  Grateful that after the concert we took the opportunity to get some frostys as a treat. Yes, we are crazy & despite the snow/sleet, we enjoyed them in our warm house (which I am extremely grateful for!).  The best thing about the ice cream was that the kids were sitting at the table and said thank you for the frosty and they also talked so nicely to each other.  Braly received a compliment that he looked very sharp in his dress clothes he picked out.  Which of course he really did look sharp and I don't think I got a good close up of him. oh well. May have to stage that one tomorrow.  I really <3 that they were so loving to each other!  It filled my heart with such joy and gave us an opportunity to have some fun watching and singing The Cup Song!  With much laughter from the girls as one thought they say Taco instead of talk, oh.  We had a good laugh at that.  And then another one was dancing or something and slipped and nearly did the splits and laughed so hard she went running to the bathroom.  Brought back great memories of my cousins & sisters and I putting on concerts for our family or just each other as we sang to background music tapes (Karaoke stuff wasn't as available as it is now and was far too expensive). We used to use the knobs off of Gram's bed or hair brushes, or flashlights as our microphones. And I think Gram & our Aunts were sorry when there were 'real' microphones in the house because that's when we begged them to come listen to our concert. hahaha

I am thankful that in a few weeks, I get to spend more time with my children because school will be done for the summer.  We can make some lists of things we'd like to try to do this summer and make a plan in order to make as many of them happen as we can.

I am thankful that I am healing nicely and that I have been able to drive and get around to get errands and things done.  It is taking me a little longer to do things, but I am so pleased that I can actually do them myself.  That is a nice feeling. Praise God for healing me!

I almost got my desk cleared off again!  That always makes me thankful because I like looking at clean things and that means that my mind won't feel so cluttered so I'll be able to get things done because I can concentrate.  Do you know that feeling?

I found some pieces at the St. Vincent store and with some paint I had in the basement, my drill, some screws and some determination, I was able to put together a tiered tray for the bathroom.  I'll take some more pics tomorrow and perhaps be able to type up my own tutorial.  I got the idea from Pinterest. Yes, I have done a few Pinterest projects lately because I am determined to not allow myself to miss out on creating things like I would if I didn't have a diagnosis like I do.

I have been doing great with my Bible readings which is soooooooo cool to me because I used to have such a hard time being consistent with spending time with God on a regular basis. Out of my desperation of seeking God and healing, I have drawn closer to Him and am learning so much. I am also finding that I crave time with God and really look forward to reading the Bible and seeing how God keeps connecting things that I've read in my chronological Bible plan with my everyday life and with lessons I've listened to, either Sunday's sermon, in a recording that I've downloaded or in talking with others.  I find it so neat how God uses the time I spend with him and then expounds on it even more. :)  Makes me so joyful!

I really have been doing fabulous.  I have a little bit of pain in my hip & back but not even worth taking medicine for. I am thankful for that.  I have been learning about praise and what it can do to just take the time to really Praise God.  It's so wonderful!  And it goes great with my Bible readings right now because I am reading about King David in 1 Samuel and then it jumps to different Psalms that he wrote and it is wonderful to just read those praises and meditate on them as they were coming from my lips to God.  Beautiful. Just beautiful!  Which reminds me...I was asked to guest blog for my friend's blog in June about a Psalm.  For the month of June she'll be featuring guest bloggers that will each share about a Psalm.  I know it's going to be good so I'll share a link for you to check out her blog now and be sure not to miss any days in June.  She is a phenomanal writer and has wonderful insight from God on life as He molds her and works on her, just like he does to anyone that is willing.  My friend Katie is so sweet, encouraging, and a delight to have as a friend.  I am truly blessed to know her.  She's got several great talents. She took the pics of us on the couch and the one that Sadie is pouting on the floor when she & her family came to visit us.  http://www.echoesofmyheart.com/blog

It's great to have an attitude of gratitude.  The 4th graders even sang a song about that tonight & several kids shared what they are thankful for during the song. Some were amusing such as "living in an age of technology" and others were very heart felt and sweet like their parents, siblings, their pets, etc.  I encourage you to have an attitude of gratitude. It makes having a positive attitude a lot easier which helps you have a better day and gives you more opportunities to be a blessing to others. :)

I don't think that I've shared all of Psalm 139 so that's what I'm going to share tonight. I think it is wonderful. I've shared a few verses but here is the whole thing.  It brings me comfort to read this, to know that no matter where I am, God is there with me. That he goes before me and behind me.  He knows me intimately and loves me anyway. With all my baggage (and we all have something), He loves me beyond what I could possibly imagine!  His love is so beautiful to me.  And the neat thing is that he loves you!. Yes, you, no matter what. He loves you just the way you are but what's even more amazing is that He loves you so much that He doesn't want you to stay how you are, but he wants to mold and make you even better with His love, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, and so much more.  Lean in to Him and let him press you into the diamond he knows that you are.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand
    when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Follow up from surgery is tomorrow.


I can't even believe that it has been nearly 2 weeks since I had the hysterectomy surgery done.  Time really has passed by quickly.  I thought, okay, I'm unable to do a bunch of stuff because of restrictions of lifting or pushing, and I really need to heal so I'll behave & take it easy & even be able to post a few updates on the blog."  Haha what a funny joke.  Even with my mom here to help out & so many friends dropping off meals for us (which was sooooooooo helpful, thank you from our happy bellies), I was unable to find the time to sit at my computer to share an update.  And I really am not a fan of trying to update via my phone so that was why you haven't heard much from me lately.  I am up & moving about quite nicely.  I still have to be careful with lifting anything too heavy or pushing things and bending (good thing my parents bought me a grabber nabber as Braly calls it to help me pick things off the floor without bending much.)  I showed it to you all months ago & it was sitting in the closet for awhile but has resurfaced for the time being.  Tomorrow Adam will take me to Green Bay for my 2 week check up and I am fully prepared to hear that I can drive again & that everything looks great.  I feel great.  I actually couldn't believe how tired I was for the first several days.  I mean, I would get up & help get the kids ready for school (that just really means that I woke them up most days & then bossed them around from my place on the couch & then kissed them good bye.)  I am feeling quite good right now & will keep this very short compared to most of my posts as I really am in need of some sleep in order to be ready to leave for GB on time tomorrow.

BTW, I am still doing pretty good with my daily Bible reading of the chronological plan.  Did you start a plan this year?  How's it going?  I'm so pleased that I'm only a few days behind but should be able to make that up tomorrow with 4 hours in the van.  It is amazing how God has used this time in my life to make good out of what was meant to be evil.  He is teaching me so much and I am learning something every day just by setting aside time to spend with Him.  And I am trying to encourage my children to do the same.  Being consistent can be hard so until something becomes a habit, you just have to start where you're at and do your best to go from there.  Keeping in mind that there will be slip-ups but no need to not get right back where you left off.  God is full of mercy & grace.  So give it a whirl!  Start with just 5 minutes if you feel you don't think you could possibly fit one more thing into your schedule and before you know it, you will be craving the time with God & reading his word.  At least that's how I've felt.  Just like I tell people when it comes to exercising, "Just press Play!"  Just open your Bible or your app (which you can set a reminder with) and read.  A few options are to start by reading the book of Luke.  Or you could start a plan of some sort. Like the chronological one I'm doing.  Buy maybe that seems overwhelming and reading just 1 chapter a day would be your cup of tea. Well then read 1 chapter of Proverbs, it's the book of wisdom.  Or the Psalms are great.  My friend Katie is going to be featuring a chapter of Psalms on her blog each day in June.  I'll share the link when she's got it up so you can check it out.  I actually

just read part of Joshua and wanted to share a verse that is stated several times in Joshua when the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan and were securing the land that the Lord had said he'd give to them.

Joshua 1:9 
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."