Monday, February 28, 2011

It was good while it lasted

Prior to surgery in December, I did not sleep very well or very often.  But since surgery, I have actually been getting lots of sleep.  My friend Rene says that I've been making up for all of my lost sleep.  Well, I must finally be caught up because I've started waking up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep.

I woke up this morning at 1:42 a.m. after only about 4 hours of sleep.  Since I can't go back to sleep, I'm up doing laundry and blogging.  And for some reason, I felt like turning on the TV - which I hardly ever do.  Guess what is on?  A show about AFRICA!!!  God is preparing my heart for His plans.
My fantastic friends are still bringing us meals!  This past week, Tonia brought us homemade chicken and dumplings with salad & derby pie.  YUMMY!!!  THANK YOU TONIA!  THANK YOU VERY MUCH! 

My friends Rene and Catherine teamed up to bring us wings, fries, salad and brownies.  Rene and my daughter Faith are buddies so when she called to see what we wanted to eat, she asked Faith.  Ask and ye shall receive!  THANK YOU LADIES!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!   

We are so blessed!  We are so grateful!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I got a boost today....

of radiation, not energy - definitely NOT engery. 

Because I have one week of radiation left, my treatment changed today.  Now, only my scar area from surgery will receive radiation, and this is called a boost.

I could really tell a difference today.  Let's just say before I even walked out of the radiology office this afternoon, I was already yawning.  I could feel the effects that quickly.  I.Am.Exhausted.

Good Night.

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,



All you have to do is ASK

Every evening during dinner, my family and I go around the table and share something (nice) we did for someone else that day.  It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone.  It's not hard, but it is intentional.  It helps us to be mindful of the needs around us and actually DO SOMETHING about them.

Yesterday, I went to radiation early so I could get finished early and run an errand.  As I was getting out of my car, I gathered up some trash from my cupholder so I could throw it away in the trash can by the front door.  As I walked through the parking area, I saw a large piece of trash on the ground.  My first thought was "if I pick that up and throw it away with my trash, I can tell my family that's what I did for someone today.  I would be saving the grounds keeper from having to pick it up."

But, my next thought was "God, I want to do more than that today.  I want to interact with someone.  I finish radiation next Thursday, and I know You still have people You want me to reach out to.  Use me, Lord."

Well, I did not have to wait long at all for God to answer my prayer!!!  About 30 seconds later as I approached the front door, I saw an elderly man sitting in a wheelchair waiting to be picked up.  So, I spoke to him.  He told me he was waiting for his ride, but she had never been there before and did not know how to find him.  He explained that she had parked at the front of the hospital, and he was now on the far side of the campus.

I asked him if he wanted me to walk around to the front to find her.  He said "YES!"  So, I had him describe the car to me so I would know what I was looking for.  Then he said, "You will see a young lady with a purple blouse on."  I naturally assumed his granddaughter must be the one picking him up.

As I headed around the building, I saw an elderly lady trying to step from the parking lot up onto the sidewalk.  She was having some trouble.  So, I asked her if I could help, and she used me to pull herself up onto the sidewalk.

I then continued on my quest to find a young lady driving a 2007 silver Honda.  I actually made it all the way to the front of the hospital before I spotted a car that fit the description.  But, there were 2 people inside.  Huh, must not be the right car.  Then, I saw the purple blouse in the driver's seat, and a security guard in the passenger's seat!  The young lady I had been told to look for was completely white headed!!!!!  HOW SWEET!  It was his wife!  I hope my husband refers to me as a YOUNG lady when we are in our 70s and 80s! 

Anyway, "the young lady" had gotten the security guard to ride with her to help her find her husband.  I flagged the car down and told the security guard exactly where his driver was trying to go.  I then headed back to the elderly gentleman to tell him his ride was on her way.  He was so thankful and said "I don't know what I would have done.  I was lost but now I'm found!"  What a perfect segue for me to talk about God and give Him the glory for putting us in each other's path.

I finally made it into radiation only to learn they were running behind.  So, I actually had a chance to meet someone new and talk to 3 other ladies I already knew while I waited!  That has not happened in awhile.    

After my treatment, I walked out of the building and started heading towards my car and guess who I saw?  The same elderly lady who I had helped onto the sidewalk!!!  Now, she needed help getting off the sidewalk and onto the parking lot.  So, I ran to catch up with her and asked if I could help again.  She graciously accepted my offer.  Once she was safely in her car, she looked at me and said "You are an angel!"  I'm thinking, "And you are an answer to my prayer!"

We ended up talking in the parking lot for over 30 minutes!!!  She even gave me her phone number so we can get together in the future!  And she let me pray for her before she left! 

Needless to say, that errand I was suppose to run yesterday is still on my To Do list today, but God gave me a new 83 year old friend instead!!!

Talk about a Divine Interruption!  ONLY GOD!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

God's Provision UPDATE

My husband put on his detective hat yesterday to find out why I was not listed on the computer under our new insurance plan.  Here's what he found out.....

Because I am one of his dependents and over the age of 18, my information is private and he cannot have access to it unless I give him permission!  Interesting.  As a parent, this is good to know.  I won't go into all of the different scenerios here.  Just be aware and make sure you have access to your child's health care information if you are paying for it when they are over 18.

So, I am covered, it's just undercover.   What a relief!

But guess what God did through all of this??!!!  He allowed me to discover that we actually have some orthodontic insurance coverage - a week BEFORE Tanner gets braces!!!  YAY GOD!!!  We have been told that both of our children will need braces, so when Tanner started seeing the orthodontist 3 years ago, we started saving money for braces then.

If the insurance works out like it should, our remaining balance will be EXACTLY the amount we have saved for Tanner!!!  ONLY GOD!!!

And just in case you have been praying for my poor husband who had to listen to the exhausted, ranting and raving love of his life the other night, God took care of that too.  Let me fill you in...

Yesterday after Shawn spoke with the insurance company and I was given specific instructions on how to find myself under our insurance policy on the computer, my husband & I exchanged the following texts:

Shawn:  "Are you stressing me for nothing???? Lol!"

Me:  "It's not for nothing.  It's for character building!!!  God is working on you THROUGH me!  Whatever I can do to help out!!!"

Can't you just feel the love??!!!  Well, right after that, my mom asked me to check something on her computer at work.  That's when I saw an article on YAHOO! about 10 natural ways to mellow out if you are stressed out!  Perfect.  I forwarded it to my husband.  Another answered prayer!  God has such a sense of humor!!!

Just in case you are stressing out too, here's the article:  

Doesn't God just make you smile??!!!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Monday, February 21, 2011

God's Got My Mascara Running! The Insurance Co.'s Got Me Screaming!

I'm just going to say it...I TOLD YOU SO!

Yes sir, right here on January 25  I told you that God was setting the stage to do some things only He could do.

Since that day, I've been keeping a little list of God's provisions regarding our finances.  Here are a few of them.....

1)  God impressed upon the heart of my dear friend Tina to line up more meals for me & my family.  When Tina first mentioned it, I told her the ladies at MOPS were already bringing food 2 nights a week.  We were fine.  Tina's response - "Sounds like we need to add some more meals!"  By the end of that night, she had meals lined up for 2 more nights each week during radiation!  THANK YOU FOR BEING OBEDIENT TINA!!! (There is more to this story but I'm saving it for another post coming soon!)

This is my "sneaky" friend Sheri who brought us a FABULOUS dinner on Thursday.  She also brought us 2 more dinners to be frozen for later that she didn't tell me were coming.  She just showed up with them!  THANK YOU SHERI!!!   One of those dinners was eaten for Sunday lunch as a matter of fact!  WHAT A BLESSING! 

Here is my friend Karin and her daughter Keely.  They brought dinner Friday night and Karin was even wearing her "Fight Like a Girl" shirt!  Dinner was WONDERFUL, and we had just enough leftovers for lunch Saturday.  THANK YOU KARIN!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I can't tell you how thankful I am not to have to cook after radiation every day and what a HUGE DIFFERENCE these meals have made in our grocery bill!  H-U-G-E.  I am extra grateful of this savings because...

2)  During the month of January, there was a mistake on my husband's paychecks.  Money was being taken out for the old insurance plan (that we no longer have) AND the new insurance plan we now have.  The new plan is expensive enough by itself without paying for a 2nd plan we don't have!!!  Anyway, after tithing, paying our mortgage and then our regular household bills, there was no money left over for our usual grocery budget.  BUT, GOD PROVIDED FOR US THROUGH THE MEALS PEOPLE BROUGHT AND THROUGH GIFT CARDS PEOPLE GAVE US!!!!!  ONLY GOD!  

My husband's paycheck has since been corrected, and he has been reimbursed by the corporate office for his overpayments.  THANK YOU LORD!  But while we waited several weeks for these corrections to take place, God provided for my family!  And YOU were a big part of His provision!!!  THANK YOU!

3)  At a Children's Ministry training we had recently at church, I won a door prize.  It was a gift card to a local restaurant.  We used it for Valentine's Day.  So, we did not pay any money out of our pocket for our dinner.  We used coupons to grab the kids' dinner at Chick-fil-a.  We also had a special code for Red Box that night and were able to get a free movie!!!  Talk about a cheap date!!!  And to think people spend lots and lots of money on Valentine's! 

4)  My daughter brought home a notice from chorus at school about a spring musical she will be singing in soon.  It stated that she would need to wear a bright colored polo shirt.  She of course didn't already have one.  Then I received a spend $10 get $10 off coupon in the mail from JCPenney.  So, I stopped by JCPenney last week.  They had lots of colorful polo shirts and they were on sale for $10!!!!!!  With my coupon, no money came out of my pocket to buy the shirt Faith needed!!!  God just makes me SMILE!!!  

5)  Then, God decided to blow our minds this past week by answering a prayer we thought was only a loooooooong shot.  Remember the $16,000+ hospital bill I told you about.  Well, my husband has spoken to the billing department at the hospital on several occasions.  Before they would consider working with us, they have certain steps they wanted us to take. 

The first step is applying for Medicaid.  There is a special short-term Medicaid program designed for people diagnosed with Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer who either do not have insurance or whose insurance will not pay for cancer treatment. 

The second step is applying for financial aid through CMC hospital just like you would at a college.  The hospital tries to find assistance for you through cancer organizations etc.

After reviewing the 2 applications & their criteria, it appeared I would not qualify for Medicaid or for very much financial aid.  But, I had to apply to satisfy the hospital.  So, last Sunday afternoon, my sweet husband sat down with me for hours as I filled out these applications and gathered all of the info. they wanted.  I was so tired I went to bed as soon as I was finished.  My vision was blurred and I was exhausted.

The hospital application was put in the mail.  The Medicaid application was faxed - all 23 pages of it!!!  Only two of the pages were the actual application form.  The other 21 pages were all personal info they requested.

Due to fax machine issues, I had to call and speak directly to the Medicaid person.  She told me she would need to talk with our old insurance company about the type of policy we had.  Then she would let me know if I was even eligible to apply for assistance.

She called me back on Friday afternoon to tell me.....

My old insurance policy qualifies me to be considered AND she decided to APPROVED ME FOR ASSISTANCE!!!!!!  I asked her if she was joking and she said no.  I asked her if she was sure I was not being watched by hidden cameras for my reaction when she told me "Just Kidding!"  She laughed and assured me again she was telling me the truth.

Through tears and running mascara, I told her how good God is and how He had just used her to answer prayer!  

So, what this means is that Medicaid will pay for my treatment from October 2010 to December 2010 - my biopsy, MRI, & surgery.  We have already paid some bills, and it will be our responsibility to get them to reimburse us (fun times!)  Since we changed insurance companies in January 2011, our new policy is responsible for radiation etc.  WOW!!! What an answered prayer!!!  

I was feeling quite emotional and undeserving.  So I asked God why He did this for me.  He brought 2 things to mind: 

1) My friend Leann sent me a text message on Jan. 30 that said "Not sure what is going on in your world but I have been praying last night and this morning for you.  Praying Nehemiah 13:31 "Remember me (Nancy) with favor, my God."  Leann had been praying for me to have FAVOR with God!!!  God chose to have favor on me all because my precious friend asked Him too.  He was answering her specific prayer!!! 

2) At MOPS on Friday morning, my prayer warrior friend Faye told me "You are being prayed for more than you know!" 



God was answering your prayers!  I can't tell you what that means to me.  THANK YOU!

Keep your seat belts on because GOD IS JUST GETTING STARTED!!! 


And the next adventure starts NOW.....

Satan is after my joy again!  Last night right before I went to bed, I was looking to see if a particular doctor was covered under our new insurance.  When I pulled up our account on the computer, I was NOT listed on the plan!  Only Shawn and the 2 children were listed.  I have an insurance card but apparently, I never made it into the computer!!! 

I was not happy.  I was exhausted.  I got a little upset and started ranting about not having enough energy to do my own job much less someone else's! ETC. ETC. ETC.  My poor husband.  Yall need to pray for him!  Anyway, it just seems that we are constantly finding mistakes with our medical bills and now with the new insurance company.  ALWAYS DOUBLE AND TRIPLE CHECK YOUR MEDICAL BILLS!!!!!

Well, now that I've gotten a little rest and can see clearly again, I'm excited to see what God is up to with all of this.  His ways are not our ways!  Thankfully His ways are perfect!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You Must Have the Wrong Number...

A few weeks ago, I received a recorded message from one of the high school assistant principals inviting parents of rising 9th graders to a meeting at the high school. 

My first thought, "Uhhh, why are you calling me?  You must have the wrong number."

Then I received an e-mail and a flyer about the same meeting.  What's up with that?

Surely this sweet little boy of mine canNOT be going to high school next year!!!
I mean it was just yesterday that he was born 2 months early and had to spend 5 weeks in the hospital before coming home on a breathing/heart monitor.

There is NO WAY I am  he is old enough for him  to be in high school!!!

To make matters worse, the very next day (after receiving the phone call from the high school assistant principal the night before) I'm in the carpool line at Tanner's school and look what I see...

Drivers??!!!  As in driver's license??!!!  My son - almost old enough to drive - the nerve of these people!  What are they trying to do, give a poor mama a heart attack??!!!  What are they thinking??!!!

Why, it was just yesterday that he was standing in the front seat of the car turning the steering wheel while he pretended to be driving.  He used his "studying voice" for sound effects too.  And he didn't even need a job to afford the gas or insurance either. 

Huh.  They act like Tanner will be able to drive a "real" car in 10 months or something.  What is the deal here??!!!

The next thing you know, I'll be getting a phone call telling me Tanner has an appointment to get braces when it was just yesterday that he cut his first tooth!

WARNING TO ALL PARENTS:  Be intentional.  Invest in your children's lives today because tomorrow they will be grown. 

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  
 Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up. 
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." 
Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ouch! That Brick Wall Hurts!

About 10 days ago (Wed. 2/9/11 to be exact), I hit a mental brick wall.  My fatigue got the best of me.  I did not know what to do, so I just cried!  Honestly, I was too tired to do anything else.

I've never experienced fatigue like this before.  It's not like being tired and needing a nap or a good night's sleep.  It is cumulative.  It keeps adding to itself every day. 

My friend Shawn Lee explained it by using the "spoon theory."  She said it's like waking up in the morning and having 7 spoons to give out during the day.  The spoons represent your energy.  Once all of your spoons have been used or given away, there are no more!  You are done for the day!  You have to wait until the next day to get more spoons.


People look at you on the outside and think you are fine, especially the people closest to you who really want you to be fine.  But, they have no idea what is taking place on the inside.  The battle with fatigue is real and it is fierce!

I strongly believe I am experiencing such fatigue as an answer to one of my prayers - "God  break my heart for what breaks Your heart."  He is allowing me to have this encounter with fatigue so I can relate to many others who are engaged in the same battle.  He is giving me new insight and compassion.  He is broadening my ability to understand and sympathize.

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Satan wants nothing more than for us to isolate ourselves when we are struggling.  He wants us to put on our masks and pretend everything is okay when it's not.  We tend to isolate when we feel no one will understand.  Or when we believe we are in this all alone.  Or when we think we are the only person going through this situation.  Along with numerous other lies we convince ourselves are true. 

Isolation can lead to depression which can lead to hopelessness, etc.  God's heart breaks for people caught in the web of satan's lies.   We were not put on this earth to be alone!!!!  We were made to be in relationships - first with Jesus Christ our Savior and then with other people.  We were made to reach out to one another and help each other - in good times and in bad.

The numerous and creative ways that YOU have ministered to me and my family during my season of cancer are exactly what God had in mind.  YOU ARE A LIVING TESTIMONY TO GOD'S WORD!!!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

Now, if I can just stay far, far away from that brick wall, I will be fine!  The other day, it was waiting for me on the freezer aisle at Wal-Mart, and I ran smack dab into it face first!  Not pretty.  Hopefully, I won't do that again!  I am learning my limits.  Please pray that I will stay within my limits withOUT feeling guilty.

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Perfect Place for Perfectionists

Every Monday at radiation is "picture" day.  X-rays are taken to ensure nothing has changed, and everything is still lining up correctly.  They want to make certain the radiation is going to the right place!

Picture day takes longer and requires me to lay still on the table until they have made any necessary adjustments.  This past Monday, something wasn't lining up the way they wanted it to so I had to remain motionless for about 30 minutes until they figured it out.  Normally, I am only on the table for 5 minutes or less.

When I arrived on Tuesday, I was told Dr. Bobo, my radiologist, wanted one more picture.  It ended up taking over 30 minutes this time, and Dr. Bobo even came in to make sure I was set up correctly.  Two pictures were exactly right, but the third one was off.  So, they were making all kinds of adjustments to correct it.

The staff is absolutely wonderful!  They were apologizing for the delay and constantly checking on me.  I told them not to worry about me.  Radiation is the ONLY place I can go and hear these words... "You just relax and let us do ALL the work." 

I have to go to radiation everyday just to get some rest!  

Anyway, once I was finally adjusted, "art class" began.  All of my markings were updated and covered with new stickers.  The staff explained that the adjustments they have to make are all in MILLIMETERS - tiny, tiny, tiny.  They apologized again for being so picky.  I thanked them for it.

FINALLY, THE PERFECT PLACE FOR PERFECTIONISTS!!!  Maybe I should consider changing careers... 

Note to self - don't assume that Monday is the only long day on the table at radiation.  If you have been drinking water all day and think you may need the little girl's room then go BEFORE your treatment.  Don't think "I can wait 5 more minutes."  Five minutes just may turn into 35 minutes!  I'm just saying... 

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You know you are having a good day when...

Battling fatigue from radiation is tougher than I thought it would be.  I've been so mentally drained lately that it has literally brought me to tears!  Being a task-oriented person does not help much either!

But, God's presence and strength are sustaining me.  He is taking care of everything, and He has plans to use it all for His glory!  

So, I thought it would be good to do a little reflecting on some of the things God has done to help me keep things in perspective.  And this verse keeps playing over and over in my mind...    "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

You know you are having a good day when...

* You get to witness God answering prayers - MY BROTHER SHANE CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL YESTERDAY - VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  Talk about LOVE!  YAY GOD!!! 

* You dash out of the house without grabbing anything for lunch only to get to work and be told by your cousin Allyson, "We are having lunch at the office today for Valentine's at noon.  I just ordered Chick-fil-a nuggets and chicken salad sandwiches from your husband."  Talk about GOD'S PROVISION!!!

* You muster up enough courage to check your mailbox (after a few days) and are delighted to find NO MEDICAL BILLS!
Instead, you find a precious card from a praying friend who has been asking God to give you exactly what you need - STRENGTH!!!  And she added an extra treat inside.  Talk about A BLESSING!


And why would someone be afraid to check their mail, you ask.  Well, maybe because the last time she did, she received 6 MEDICAL BILLS in one day!!!  Talk about OVERWHELMING!
Just a little free advice - anytime you receive a medical bill, you should call the billing department to make sure everything is correct.  We have found that some claims were not filed with the insurance company by mistake, were not coded correctly (which ended up cutting our bill in half!), could be negotiated, etc.  Make the call.  It is worth it!

* You are soooo tired you can't see straight and someone shows up at your door with dinner for you and your family.  Talk about BEING THE HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS!

* You conspire to surprise and kidnap your friend on her birthday and it works!  Talk about BEING A GOOD SPORT!  Cindy had gotten all comfy thinking she was in for the night! NOT!!

* Your friend leaves you homemade chicken noodle soup in her mailbox so you can pick it up during your early morning walk through her neighborhood.  Talk about being a TRUE FRIEND! 

And these are only a few things that God has done!  When we keep our focus on Him, He helps us keep our perspective - even in the midst of our difficult circumstances. 



Loving HIM with all  my heart & soul,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Being Prayerful, Thankful, and Stuck in the Mud

For the past week, I've had this little sticky note posted beside the gear shift in my van.
Smith is my friend Angela's 2 year old son who is having surgery tomorrow to remove his tonsils and adnoids, do some ear reconstruction, and put tubes in his ears.  WOW!  That is a lot for a little fellow.  And it is quite a lot for his mama!  Please join me in praying for both of them.  I've been praying Philippians 4:6-7...

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I am so thankful for the very kind people who brought dinner to me and my family this past week.  THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!  Proverbs 11:25 says, "The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped."

My friend Tina took care of us last Friday with a 3 course meal!  THANK YOU TINA!!! Thank you also for always checking on me and for not taking NO for an answer!!! 

Shawna Lee and her daughter Katie blessed us with this delicious meal!  YUMMY!!!  THANK YOU!   The card was sweet too.  **Shawna Lee, please tell your neighbor we said thank you for the cookies!

Look at this beautiful smile!  Lucia brought by a fabulous meal on Tuesday along with a touching gift that brought tears to my eyes - I'll share the details soon.  THANK YOU LUCIA!  And to think this was the first time Lucia and I met each other!  Talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus!  God has special plans for you Lucia....follow Him.

Tonight, Muriel baked us a chicken pot pie (which we completely wiped out!)  She also made us a healthy salad with apples in it.  Why is this a big deal you ask?  Well, I eat a lot of salads now because it's an easy way to get my veggies, and I've been wanting some crispy apples in my salad!!!  I even took an apple to work yesterday for my salad, but did not get a chance to chop it up.  So, today God used Muriel to put apples in my salad!!!  He takes such good care of us, doesn't He??!!!  THANK YOU MURIEL!!!

When I was in elementary school, my friends and I would put on our rubber boots and slosh through the ditches in our neighborhood when it rained (in the summertime only, of course.)   We would drudge through the mud and water until we wore ourselves out.  We had to use a lot of energy to move forward because the mud and water were trying to hold us back.

That is the best way I know how to describe the fatigue caused by radiation.  Only now, I feel like I am standing in thick red mud up past my knees while trying to move forward at a normal pace.  It is nearly impossible.  The weight of the mud is tremendous, and it wins sometimes.  But, I consider it a victory when I am able to stand, without moving backwards or forwards! 

Lately, God has been teaching me how to let myself off the hook, especially when it comes to trying to move forward at a NORMAL pace.  Life is not normal right now, and it is okay if I say NO to some things.  As long as I continue to say YES to God, I will be just fine.  My next lesson... learning how to do this withOUT feeling guilty.

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quality Time With God

I absolutely love football.  I am a huge fan.  Fall is my favorite time of year mainly because it is the beginning of football season.  And tonight is the biggest football game of the year.  My family is watching it at a Sunday School Super Bowl party, but I am at home. 

When I told my husband and children I had decided to stay home, I thought they were going to need medical assistance! 

"Honey, are you REALLY not going?" 
"No, Sweetie, I'm REALLY not going." 
"Are you SURE?"
"Yes, I'm SURE."

"Mom, you ARE going to watch the game at home, right?" 
"Well, no Son.  Our cableless TV does not get the Super Bowl channel." 
"Mom, get my IPod so you can keep up with the score."

After they decided I was serious and after I reassured them several times that I was okay, they left in their team colors to cheer for the Packers.  Go Pack Go!

So, why did I stay at home?  Well, as much as I love football, I love my God more.  And He invited me to spend some time with Him tonight processing everything He revealed to me today.  He knows I'm a sucker for some quality time since it's my primary love language!

I don't know where to begin.  And I don't know if I will actually publish this post or just keep it for myself.  We'll see what God says when we're done.  But, I do know I have to put today's events and my thoughts into writing.

I guess I'll start at the beginning.  This morning, I got up a little early to have my quiet time with God and to review my Sunday School lesson (I teach 4th grade.)  We are focusing on kindness this month, and the Golden Rule - "Do to others what you want them to do to you." Luke 6:31 - is our memory verse.  The monthly challenge is to get the children to do random acts of kindness.  That's right - DO SOMETHING!!!

Anyway, part of the lesson included me sharing an unexpected act of kindness I had done for someone.  The first thing that came to mind was something that happened in Haiti.  Which led me to think about the people I met there and the poverty.  Which led me to think about another poverty-stricken part of the world God has burdened my heart for.  Which led me to think about what God is prompting me to do about it, etc.

Excuse me while I read a text from my husband.....Okay, I'm back (4 6 8 texts later.)  He was just checking to make sure I'm listening to the game on the radio!  See, I told you my family is concerned about me.  They are probably thinking I've had too much radiation, especially when I replied "No.  All quiet here.  Just me and God!" 

Anyway, when it was time for me to get ready for church this morning, I headed upstairs.  My husband had turned on the cableless TV to a nature show on PBS.  Jack Hannah was on an adventure in South Africa.  You guessed it, God has put AFRICA heavy on my heart.  So heavy at times that I think my heart is going to explode!

Side note:  Africa has never been on my radar.  Brazil has always been the country I've wanted to go to on a mission trip.  But, shortly after returning from Ecuador last October, I read a post at about an upcoming mission trip to Africa and something was triggered in my heart.  Then, God began putting Africa in my path more and more until I literally see or hear at least one thing about Africa EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING!  I could not in my wildest dreams come up with some of the ways God shows Africa to me either!  I will share some specifics with you later on a different post.  I already feel like I'm writing the Great American Novel once again!!!

Just before we needed to leave for church this morning, my husband went to warm up the van.  While he was waiting for us, he heard a lady on the radio mention people being called to Africa!!!  See, Africa twice before 9:15 a.m.!!! 

And while my family has become sensitive to references of Africa due to me sharing what God has laid on my heart, this morning was different.  It was so overwhelmingly obvious that God was speaking personally to my husband about Africa!!!  It's hard to describe.

Oh, my husband has been ready to pack his bags for Africa for a while now because he has repeatedly seen confirmation of what God has laid on my heart about Africa.  My husband has been so supportive.  But today, God called my husband too!!!  Personally.  Individually.  WOW!!!

My friend Jamie at church has an Africa connection, and I have sensed for about 2 months now that it is Jamie's connection we are suppose to help in Africa.  I'll explain all of these details soon too, along with an opportunity for you to help as well.  Anyway, after this morning's events, I told my husband that I needed to talk to Jamie.  We no sooner got out of the van at church that guess who pulled in right across from us??!!!  JAMIE!!!  God brought her to me without me even having to look!  Jamie was able to provide me with some helpful information too.  

Interestingly, in worship today, Jamie's husband sang Chris Tomlin's new song that says...."Where You go, I'll go.  Where You stay, I'll stay.  Where You move, I'll move.  I WILL FOLLOW YOU." 

The pastor preached on trust, and so many of his key points were exactly the things God has been teaching me - including one of my favorite TREE verses....

 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Then during large group in Uptown, which is our children's Sunday morning program, we sang a song about being Jesus' hands and feet and going where He sends us.  The words were on a screen with a rotating globe on it.  When the song came on, the globe was on Africa, and when it ended, it was on Africa!  I was in tears!   

I honestly believe that one of the reasons I have breast cancer now is to slow me down just enough so God can prepare me for Africa.  Without cancer, I would probably be on a plane to Africa right now.  Seriously.  I can't handle many more days like today without DOING SOMETHING IMMEDIATELY.  God knows that I'm willing, but not quite ready.  His plans and timing are perfect.  But waiting is so doggone hard!!!

Oh, excuse me again - another text.  Sorry, my husband is not accustomed to watching the Super Bowl without me!   It appears that the 4th quarter is starting.  That means my time alone with God is limited tonight.  And I've done most of the talking.  So, let me go and be still and listen to God. 

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Your Prayers Are Needed Again

UPDATE:  Shane's surgery went well this morning!  PRAISE!  His gall bladder was definitely in bad shape.  PRAY he recovers quickly!  THANK YOU! 

My brother Shane is doing better, but HE WILL BE HAVING HIS GALL BLADDER REMOVED THURSDAY MORNING AROUND 8 a.m.  Please pray for him to be able to tolerate this procedure and recover really quickly.

Shane's gall bladder has been aggravated for a while - most likely as a result of being sick for 3 months.  But today, an ultrasound showed that it needed to be removed now.


Thank you.  I will keep you updated.

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

More and More Blessings

It is tough being a night person and trying to learn to be a morning person!  I have so much I want to get done in the morning, but time runs out.  In the evenings, I am so tired I have to go to sleep.  Please pray that I am able to get the important things done and able to let the other things go until radiation is finished.  IT IS HARD!

Also, for the first time since I started radiation, I actually got tired at work yesterday.  At about 11:30am I started yawning every few minutes and needed a nap.  Prior to this, I only got tired after radiation in the afternoons.  I am praying that yesterday was only a one time thing and not the new trend!  I do bookkeeping and it is the first of the month (BUSY BUSY BUSY) so I can't be tired at work right now!

But God is so faithful and takes such good care of me!  When I got home yesterday, I had a little surprise waiting for me....

THANK YOU SHARON and FAMILY!!!!!  What a peace of mind to have a meal in the freezer for whenever we need it most!  And how did you know that we were already out of oranges??!!!  Not to mention the gorgeous flowers - a sign of new life.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  Your surprise blessed me more than you will ever know.

Then, dinner arrived from these 3 beautiful young ladies!  THANK YOU!!!


Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Blessings

Update on my brother Shane

Huge praise!  Shane went for 3 days without getting sick!  YAY GOD!  The doctors also think they have FINALLY discovered the problem: his vagus nerve was disturbed during surgery.  Here is a little something I read about the vagus nerve which is a nerve that extends from the brain to the abdomen:
"The vagus nerve helps to regulate the heart beat, control muscle movement, keep a person breathing, and to transmit a variety of chemicals through the body. It is also responsible for keeping the digestive tract in working order, contracting the muscles of the stomach and intestines to help process food, and sending back information about what is being digested and what the body is getting out of it."

Shane has started eating broth, jello,  etc.  On Sunday, he started getting nauseous again and got a little sick.  Yesterday, he only got sick once.  This is HUGE!  God gets ALL the glory!  PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR PROGRESS! 

On Sunday morning as we were leaving for church, my next door neighbor came running out of his house with a bag in his hand.  He handed my husband the bag and said, "Someone left this on our door last night at midnight, and it has a card with Nancy's name on it."  My husband graciously accepted the bag and explained to my neighbor that I had breast cancer and people like to bring things by to help me.

Here is what was in the bag....

Talk about a TRUE friend!  Making sure I eat my fruits and vegetables!  You made my mom proud (& yours too!)

And the fact that the bag was left on my neighbor's door was a God thing!  You see, about 2 days before this, I heard something on the radio about "How well do you know your neighbors?"  I thought to myself, I'm dealing with cancer and most of them are unaware.  So what are my neighbors dealing with that I'm clueless about?  What opportunities am I missing to be able to reach out to them?

The neighbors who came to my mind first were the ones who got my bag.  They have a 2 year old and are expecting their 2nd child soon.  The 2 year old has been sick so I honestly haven't seen her or her mom in weeks.  I've been so caught up in making sure I do not get sick during radiation that I've neglected an opportunity to minister to my neighbors.

What about you?  Do you know your neighbors?  Do you REALLY know what is happening in their lives?  Are you reaching out to them? 

And to cap it all off, I heard the story of the Good Samaritan on the radio yesterday.  God is definitely speaking!  It's time to TAKE ACTION!  DO SOMETHING for your neighbors! 

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

Speaking of doing something, last night Kristin from MOPS brought us dinner!  THANK YOU KRISTIN!!!  We literally wiped it out in no time flat!  I am not kidding.  No leftovers for lunch today :(

THANK YOU ALL FOR LOVING ME AND MY FAMILY!  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for your e-mails.  Thank you for your cards.  Thank you for the meals.  Thank you for the phone calls.  Thank you for your sincere offers to help in any way you can.  Thank you for your surprises.  Thank you for everything.  THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  You are the hands and feet of Jesus to us.

"A generous person will prosper;
   whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
Proverbs 11:25

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,