Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

It seems like an eternity that you've been gone....but I know for you it probably just seems like a few moments. I have so many things I wish I could tell you. So many things I wish you could see.

I do believe you would be happy with the man I married. I wish you could have known him. He takes good care of me and loves me as a Godly man should love his wife. You have three precious grandsons who inherited some of your genetic features courtesy of the Wilsons. Stubbornness seems to move closer to perfection with each generation. Your great grandchildren should be very interesting.

There are a few things I think about quite often.
What is He like? What was it like to see Jesus face to face?
Are you proud of me? I know. You have better stuff to think about now but, if you were still here, would you be proud of me? How am I measuring up to what you dreamed for me?
Did you know how badly I missed you? When I graduated from college? Oh, how I wanted to take a picture with you.
When I got married, I wanted you there to straighten my veil. I wanted you there so that I could fuss at you for not doing things my every other bride.
I want you here to see my sweet boys. To hug them, feed them candy, and remind me that it all goes by too quickly.
I want your sister to be able to go shopping with you and brag on her grandkids, because they're pretty incredible.
I wish you could see your granddaughter. She's as pretty as her mom, and acts just like her, too.
I want you to call you when I get scared about an upcoming scan or bloodwork. Lets face it, you were a pro at handling those things.
All this is selfish. I know that it's for the best. I have amazing women in my life that support me every step of the way.

I wish you could write in the sky and let me know what you think.

More than 20 years have gone by. Pain doesn't go away, but I have managed to deal. Patsy and Junior take care of Grandmother better than anyone could. Kelly and Emily keep her entertained so she's not too lonely. Fact is, we are all ok. But my heart has a hole that will never be filled. One more moment to talk with you wouldn't be enough. There's too much I want you to know. I want to see you, but also want to stay here, raise my boys, and grow old with this man God gave me. Until that day, I love you, and always will.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My thoughts on the recent ruling probably won't matter to many, but here it is. My constitutional right is now being used. You, just like me, have rights. I urge you to exercise them. I am well aware that by putting my feelings and beliefs on the web make me a target. If you think Christians are not persecuted in this country, you are wrong. It's not as severe as some places in this world, but it DOES take place.
In our small town, there are Christians who attend work every day. I know of one who does a very good job. We'll call this individual Joe USA. Joe is a hard worker. Never expects a handout, works hard for everything he gets. Joe has conservative views and does not vote for a particular party. Instead, Joe chooses the candidate most aligned with the standards God gives us in His word, the Bible. Joe helps others in need. Joe respects his employers. Yet, anytime Joe mentions God or religious beliefs - just in conversation, not beating people over the head with it - he is chastised and made fun of. In meetings, others ridicule Christians and make fun of them. Christians are basically ripped to shreds with the snide, rude, intolerant comments. Yet, these same individuals fail to ever help someone in need. They call others stingy, but refuse to share mere coins with someone who is in true desperate need of assistance. So, if you call me intolerant, I want you to take just ONE moment and tell me that Joe and many like him are not being discriminated against. In your mind, if you are completely honest, you must acknowledge that Joe is being treated unfairly. While, always standing by his beliefs, he is respectful and loves people just as our SAVIOR wants us to love others.
With that said, the Supreme Court has recognized who may receive benefits. I know there's a lot more to it, but for the sake of time and kiddos that will need my attention shortly, we are just gonna' go for the nutshell this time. The ruling does not anger me as much as the people who think they can rewrite what God defined as marriage even before the foundation of the Earth. And yes. I do believe He created it. I do believe He is the only God. I do believe that Jesus put on flesh and bore the ultimate punishment for our sin. Just so you know where I'm coming from. If it offends you, I'm not sorry. I've not been overbearing, I've not harmed you in any way. God decided what marriage is. He defined it. You can say what you want, but that does not make it true. I can stand on a street in the busiest city and declare that whales live in the middle of the Sahara. Does that make it true? Absurd, you say? That's not the same. Well, yes it is. I will not treat others hatefully because of life choices. However, I will NOT allow you to push your way into my home, the lives of my children and try to influence them that this is okay. It is not right. So, as I'm disgusted by the ruling, angered at people thinking they are higher than my God, I'm also frightened.
Yes. Frightened. Not so much for me, but for their soul. I know what God thinks of marriage. I know He values it as a precious institution that He ordained. He is protective of marriage - the way HE defined it. The way HE established it. The way HE created it. I don't believe I can even imagine the feeling these individuals will have when one day, facing The GOD of the universe, they must answer for violating His law, then also for trying to promote themselves to a higher level than Him. My wish for you is to now fall on your face and recognize His holiness, righteousness and saving grace before you must face Him after you life here is finished. This is not the end. We will see Him face to face. He will pass judgment on us. None of us are guaranteed another second on this Earth. We only have this moment. Don't waste it. Seek the face of God. You are not equal to Him. You are not better than Him. You are not beyond His reach.

For us as Christians, I believe He said......
If MY people which are called by MY name,
You know the rest.

Thank you for you incredible mercy and grace. Even though many seem to continually spit in your face and disregard your truth, you pour out compassion and mercy. You love us. You do not love our sin. Thank you for loving me and reaching down to me. You pulled me out of the reach of death and hell. I love you and worship your Holy Name. No one on this Earth can change Your truth and I am grateful that it will never change. Everything else could be removed from existence, but YOUR truth, YOUR holiness, YOUR righteousness, YOUR faithfulness is never changing.
Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dearest Mikayla,

There are a few things I need to share with you so that you understand why I think you are so incredibly amazing. I know for me to tell you that I love you dearly and I adore you may seem just like words. However, I want for you to understand what I really mean when I tell you those things.

To begin with, if I ever had a daughter, I do believe that I would want her to be pretty much like you -- completely you, exactly just as you are right now in this moment in time. You have - and always will - a special place in my heart. There is no banner, no crown, no title that could make you any more special and amazing in my eyes.

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
You are a beautiful young lady, both inside and out. However, I know that in your heart you seek to honor God, because you know that is the one thing that matters most. Stick with it! You are encouraging every one you meet to seek Him. Along with the guidance from two precious Christian parents, you are a shining example of a beautiful young lady dressing and acting respectfully towards others and yourself. You are taking the things they have taught you and coupling it with a desire to honor God. I wish that all young ladies had the spiritual encouragement and desire to please our Creator as you have experienced.

Philippians 1:3 & 6
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Being confident of this very thing, that He that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Our Father has begun a good work in you. I am sure, with every fiber of my being, that He will remain faithful and complete what he has begun. The Almighty Creator fulfills His most perfect plan when He works in the lives of His children. Sometimes, seeing where His plan will take us proves difficult. Especially when we think we know what is best for us or when our heart desires something that is not in His will for our lives. Those desires are not always a sick, horrible, sinful thing -- but if it's not in His plan, it's not what is best for us. I want you to know that no matter what disappointments may come your way, He always has something better in store.
If what you believe would be an incredible experience does not work out, your heart may experience some pain and sorrow. However, He has something even more amazing in store and our desires would not touch the content our heart will feel when He pours out His blessings.
When I think about how God will use you to accomplish work for His kingdom, it is an exciting moment. Just as He had a particular plan for Esther, Ruth, and Mary, He has an intricate plan for your life.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I'm sure you are aware that this is a directive given by our Savior to His disciples. Not many people can really handle this. Honestly, I don't do an adequate job with this command. It's not because I don't want to....just have a hard time doing it well. Many of us tend to define our role in this command rather than letting God define our role. Keep trusting Him. He will guide you. It may be the far corners of the Earth, but it could just be a unique "out of the box" kind of situation that He places you in. It's all in His time, and He will help you spread the sweet gospel message. When others around you back down, when others around you fail to proclaim His message of salvation, continue what you are doing now. Keep sharing the sweet news of our loving God and His amazing grace.

Zechariah 9:16
The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.
My sister brought my attention to this verse, and it has become one of my favorites. I can't help but think of you.
Jewels. Rare. Precious. Valuable.
These words all describe you. You are like a jewel. Your family treats you as a jewel. They care for you, protect you, help polish you so you may shine. You are a rare young woman. There are not many like you. Your value can not be measured. A perfect God became man and dwelt here on this planet. He lived wth sinners, but never sinned. Yet, you are so precious to Him, that He died a cruel death on a horrible, wretched cross. Those who love you, truly love you with a genuine love from God, will treat you in a manner that shows they recognize how valuable you are.
A crown is worn by royalty. Only the most perfect, beautiful stones are chosen to place on a crown. Those jewels must be perfect and shine brightly. Continue deepening your relationship with your Savior. You will continue to become even more beautiful and shine brightly for Him.
A crown is also worn on the head, which makes it more special. Our head is considered the part of the body that controls everything. We also usually don't wear valuable things on the bottom of our feet. We wear durable, hard, non-valued materials on the bottoms of our shoes. I think you know why we do that. However, a crown is worn on the head. It is there for all to see. The crown holds the precious, valuable jewels. Think of yourself as the beautiful, precious jewel that adorns the crown worn by our precious Savior. He delights in you and wants others to see the value and worth He sees in you.

As I watch you grow and mature, you are becoming a woman after God's heart. Know that you are dearly loved. You are adored. You are precious and have great value. With amazing gifts and a genuine love for others, you enrich the lives of people every day. I pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to you in ways you never imagined possible. May His grace pour down onto your life.

Randall & Kristi,
You have influenced my life in ways I will never be able to put into words. I count it an honor to know your family. I often tell people that when I "grow up" I want to be parents like you guys. With three beautiful children who love God, you exhibit what it is to parent with grace and love. May God continue to bless you and may He guide you down a path full of His grace and blessings.

With gratitude for all you do and stand for,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My heart hurts, but there is peace

In November 2010, my diagnosis of cancer came. It seems that since then, everything in my life is connected to that somehow. Every thought. Every event. Every doctor's appointment. Every decision. Everything. It doesn't run my life, just understand that it is now a part of our life. It will never go away. Cancer is something you have to experience. Until you experience it....and I pray you never won't understand. And I know that you are probably perfectly fine with not understanding. I don't blame you. There are many things I do not want to understand. There are many tragic events in the lives of others that can only be understood after an experience. Thank you. I'm fine to live without that experience. Anybody out there with me?

Sara.   Savor.     Sweet.    Still.    Soothing.
Sara was soothing in some of my most anxious moments
Sara taught me the importance of savoring each day.
Sara's had a sweeter spirit than most of us will only dream of.
Sara would dare to sit still and just wait for God.

I didn't know what I was getting into when introduced to this stranger through a Caring Bridge blog. One of my sister's childhood friends told me about Sara. Her story had some similarities to mine. When I read the first entry to her blog, I had no idea of the bond that would form. That bond is the reason my heart feels as if there is a hole. Several hours ago, Sara left this world to be with Jesus. Part of me is so peaceful to know this. Another part of me feels torn, shattered, broken. It's as if a war is raging within me. I am 100% convinced that life beyond here with Jesus must be more incredible than I can imagine. His glory, His righteousness, His perfection. There is nothing better. No other reward can surpass living eternally with the Creator of Life. He's not just the Creator of Life, but also the Sustainer of Life. So, why the feeling of brokenness? Why do I feel my heart has been torn to shreds?

A couple of weeks ago, I thought that when Sara's time came to leave this Earth, I would be okay with it. Not happy....just not devestated. After all, the hardest part was knowing the physical pain and terror she was experiencing. A few days ago, I convinced myself that God was going to heal her. What better way for Him to receive glory than to heal a woman who had experienced just about any weapon the cancer world had to defeat this dreaded disease? That's the way my eyes saw it, anyway. I don't know God's plan, but I tried to convince myself that Sara's physical healing was the way it was all going to happen. Why do I continually keep trying to humanize God? Why don't I learn? I really wasn't trying to be stubborn this time. The thought of a precious, Godly man having to say goodbye to his young wife.....grieves my heart. The thought of two amazing little boys hearing that their mom won't be here to tie their shoes, pack their lunch, kiss them goodnight - it's almost more than I can bear.
I thought I would be okay when she was better. I was wrong.
I'm not okay. Eventually I will be.

I'm better because of her.
God used her to show me how to be a better wife, mom, sister, daughter.
She taught me how to savor each day.

Peace comes from knowing that Sara is a daughter of the King. She now is in His care.
Heartache comes from knowing the pain that a child feels at the loss of a mom. I walked through that. Maybe that's why I hurt so badly for these little guys. I hope and pray that I can be the kind of mom Sara was. Savoring. Sitting still and listening for God. A sweet spirit.

Thank you Sara. You shared with me. You taught me. I am forever grateful.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Don't ever say....

First of all, know that this post is not intended with a negative attitude. The past 18 months have taught me to laugh about a lot of things. Yes, some of these things have actually been said to me, many of them on more than one occasion. It's either laugh or cry, and I try to choose laughter.

Things you should never, ever, ever, ever, ever say to a cancer patient or survivor:

1. Chemo is not near as bad now as it used to be.
Reason: It is still horrible. Yes, some chemo treatments ARE easier than they used to be. However, many of the treatments are quite horrible. The ER visits from the effects of chemo are not a planned adventure in search of fun. The local ER with the local oncologist is not my idea of a dream vacation.

2. Phenergan is a narcotic and highly addictive. You might want to think about that.
Reason: The phenergan in my body is keeping the saltine crackers in my system from ending up on your shoes. Yes, someone actually said that to me. I think they need to research their drugs before sharing inaccurate information with the general public.

3. You had a year off work. You must be so relieved.
Response: Hmmmm. I don't think being in a chemo clinic counts as vacation, at least not in my book.

4. You might want to be careful and not take too many different medications. I hear that stuff can cause a lot of problems such as addiction.
Response: You might need some of these medications to help with the bodily injury you are about to experience.

5. When referring to effects of my surgery:  I know exactly how you feel. I had my tonsils out when I was 13 and it was terrible. The ice cream they gave me was really horrible.
Response: Yes. Your tonsil surgery is on the same level as a 15 cm tumor in my COLON!

I just have to wonder about some people.

This has been an eventful week in our household. All 3 boys received awards this week at school. Andrew finished up his soccer season. Sadly, Coach Mike was not there. That effected the entire team. However, they played a well coached and well disciplined team. I was extremely impressed with the other team. The players were quite talented.
We are getting ready to close out this school year, and I must say that i am more than ready. I'm anxious to spend some quality time with my kiddos. I just hope they can hold off on the fighting. I'm not holding my breath on that one. ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I should not read facebook.

Considering how opinionated I am, considering I know that I am opinionated, considering that ridiculous junk tends to tick me off, would lead someone to believe that I would not read stupid posts on facebook. WRONG! Usually, people try to stay away from things that increase their blood pressure to unsafe levels. Not me, why no, I just jump right into stuff like that. Not smart, you say? Yeah. I know. It's one of those many shortcomings that I'm working on.
The first is when individuals post all this junk about judging others and how it so very wrong and how it offends them and how the ones who judge will be judged themselves and on and on and on. I do agree that we should not wake up each morning in an attempt to toss out harsh judgements on others. I also think that most of these posts don't come from someone being judged unfairly. From what I've observed, these comments are usually random and targeted at some individual or group, it's just that none of us can figure out who the statement is targeting. For example, I responded to a post that contained quite a bit of profanity. I simply stated that I didn't think it was worth including all of the language. My point was, a story can be just as funny without the profanity. I'm not a saint. I'm not claiming to be. I just think that the language was uncalled for. (I also thought that coming from someone who claims to be a Christian, this language was completely inappropriate and a poor witness.) My statement was met with quite a bit of hostility, then I was confronted with a statement about judging others. I wasn't judging, just stating an opinion. So...let the drama begin. The list of complaints about me began. I once said that living with someone to whom you're not married (not just a roommate, you see where I'm going) is wrong. Yes, I did say that. Not judging. It's wrong. I believe the Bible is our guide to how life should be lived. In that book, it says that this is wrong. Judging and stating right from wrong are two TOTALLY different things. Some people are quick to throw up the fact that they should not be "judged" when they are not being judged necessarily. Many times, it boils down to the fact that someone has pointed out something that is not right in that individual's life. Now, there is a proper way to do this. It is intended to be done out of love, with compassion. So, all that to say this. Judging someone and vocally expressing belief in what is right are not the same things. I have come to believe that people who want to cry, "Quit judging me!" are usually the ones who just don't want to admit they are engaging in some behavior that is not in line with what it should be. Maybe I'm just tired of reading the "woe is me" and "look how hard I have it" posts. Maybe those who post statements about judging then follow it with, "I know some people who should think about this," should take their own advice and stop judging the people they claim are judging everyone else.
On the other hand, maybe I should read facebook. This is what I can get out of it:
I learn what all my kids will do as teenagers, so I can prepare myself with strategies to handle them.
I learn that my husband ROCKS.
I learn that some people only communicate with their spouse through facebook and that is annoying, so I don't use it that way.
I see what awesome friends I have.
I get see pictures of my niece in Arkansas.
I am entertained by stories of Parker and Reese.
I read things then call my cousin to talk about how funny they are because we don't text about everything that happens to us.
I DISCOVERED PINTEREST! and became addicted.
I have lots of e-friends.
I get to laugh at the fact when people post every event of their day and think that the world cares. (To one of my bestest friends --- girl, you KNOW I'm talking about you =0)
I get to keep a watch on my Weaver kiddos and make sure some of them are behaving.
I have something to keep me busy when I can't sleep and am tired of focusing on lesson plans.

Hmmmmm, I think I kind of like my life.
Much love - have a shamrockin' good weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why not me?

Sometimes we ask the question, "Why me?" I know that I've probably allowed this question to linger in my mind much more than I am willing to admit. Sometimes we ask the question, "Why not me?" -- mostly when we something good happen to someone else. Again, this has happened more than I would like to admit.
Lately, I've asked this question. However, it is not because I'm witnessing something good happen in the life of someone else. Some of you know that I keep up with Sara Walker. Sara was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer (metastic in her liver) at the age of 33. She has endured chemo in all of its fury, but the cancer is not responding.
Sara seems to be running out of options. There are a couple of other things the doctors can try. Some of these are still in the "trial" phase. I know we serve a God of miracles. He is just as capable today as He was at the beginning of time. However, He doesn't always choose to heal in the time and manner that the human brain views as the best option.
When I think of Sara, which is often, I can't help but wonder -- why not me...
I guess you might think I'm crazy. I guess that after my miracle I should just be dancing in the street with overwhelming joy. I am thankful, but some days, my heart is just stricken with guilt. I could have easily been in Sara's shoes. (That is another miracle -- the fact that cancer had not set up all over my body.)As I read her updates, as she factors in death, I feel as if my heart is being ripped into pieces. Sara has by no means given up. She will fight as long as she is allowed to fight. God could step in and heal her earthly body, but even Sara admits that earthly healing might not be part of His plan.
Coming to a realization that death is a possiblity after you are diagnosed with cancer, realizing that you could (very soon) leave behind an amazing husband and precious little guys, that is heart breaking. Actually having to walk down that road...another story. I know that in heaven, I wouldn't be worried about earthly things. I would not want to come back for anyone. However, in this flesh I am subject to the pain and emotional part of life. Knowing that Sara thinks of these things, well, it's like having a knife rip through my chest.
I've been told that losing a child is one of the worst emotional pains one can experience. I don't know, and honestly, I hope I never know. However, I do know that losing a parent when you are young is a truly horrific experience. I don't know how it compares to losing others in your life, but I am here to tell you that it is horribly painful. I guess that's what I hate most about this whole situation...cancer is taking away the ability of a loving mother to do all the things she wants to for her children. The fact that two precious little guys are watching their mom suffer through some horrible circumstances. Now, they are witnessing an amazing woman show them how to handle tough times with grace that can only be provided by our heavenly Father.
 I hate to think that any child or teenager would have to bid an earthly goodbye to a parent. Not that losing a parent is easy at any point, but being a typical girl, there was always that gaping hole. I had a wonderful family that attempted to fill in every gap possible. However, when picking out a wedding dress, holding your child for the first time..those are all moments that you long for YOUR mom to be there. For years, Mother's Day wreaked havoc within my heart. I completely hated the entire month of May. Hearing of others participating in activities with their mom, was plain hard sometimes. I didn't dislike people for this, I just always wished that my mom was still around to do those things. In my head, I knew she was perfectly content walking the streets of gold. Knowing this in my heart took much longer -- lots of pain during that time, also. There are still days that I long for my mom. One day, we'll sit and chat again, that is if I ever get over being in the presence of my Jesus (and I'm hoping I never get over that.)
For Sara, her husband and her boys, I pray for God's healing hand to touch her body and rid it of any cancer cells. I pray that if this is not God's plan, He will hold their hearts close and provide the love and comfort that only He can provide.
If you know a mom or dad with young children, and they are battling cancer, break out the medal of honor my friend. I've met several on this journey, each are much braver than me, and fight a battle much harder than mine. These are true warriors.
To those kiddos who've lost a parent, hang on. The sun does shine again. I'm living proof of that.

I'm thankful and honored that God saw fit to leave me here. We all know I need a whole lot more work before I spend eternity in the presence of the Almighty One. I'm blessed to have witnessed a brave mom who fought with such courage. I'm eternally grateful to have witnessed some of the bravest warriors who happen to be the youngest ones - those who battle childhood cancer. There are no words to express my feelings for the 4 guys that put up with me every day. Most importantly, my Savior who saved me and keeps loving me no matter how badly I mess up.

Please pray for sweet Sara. Also, Zach Howard and Freida Oliver. Bayleigh Phillips has more courage in her little finger than I will ever have in my entire body, pray that God will continue to provide her with good days.

Much love and thank you for reading,