Thursday, March 22, 2012

15 Minutes...

I received a smidgeon of bad news today.  Just a smidgeon.  Some people wouldn’t even consider it bad news, but to me, it wasn’t good news.   So, therefore, it must be bad news.  Kinda.  Maybe.  
Regardless, I drove to our nearby lake to read and write and enjoy the morning sun.  With those few words of “bad news” still ringing in my ears, I placed my chair onto the grass and could feel the tears beginning to fill my eyes.   Looking around and making sure no one was nearby, I began to cry.  And I told myself, “I’ll give you 15 minutes to cry.  Get it all out.  Because then you’re giving your worries to God.  Where they belong." 
Easier said than done, huh?  But I know better.  
I know better because I do trust God.  And on the road I’ve been on these last two years, I continue to feel His peace.  And I guarantee you, this road would be so uphill it’s not even funny if I didn’t trust in Him.  Occasionally, I slip.  Which I did today.
This morning in Jesus Calling, I read a sentence that I wanted to re-read a few times.  I read each and every word very slowly:
“Trust is the channel through which My Peace flows into you.”   
I actually met a guy today at my son’s baseball game who can back me up on this.  I told him I would be blogging tonight about trust and knowing God's peace.  He then told me his story.  It’s rough.  So rough that, without God in his life, he didn’t know if he could get through it.  But he is.  Is he struggling?  Are some days harder than others?  You bet.  But he does his best to place his trust in God and continues to lean on Him for strength, patience and courage.  And by trusting Him, which he is, he continues to receive God’s blessings.  And His peace.   
“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 minds in Christ Jesus.”  
Phillipians 4:6-7.  
Transcends all understanding.  
But true.

Friday, March 16, 2012

His Dreams...

Most every day I wake up and say, “Lord, what are we gonna do today?  Because I’ve got nothing on my calendar.  All I see is a big, blank space under Tuesday.  Yeck.   And you know me, I need something on my calendar.  So how can you use me today?”
So on those days when I have no Target runs or chemo appointments scheduled, I pray, “Please use me.  Use my words or my hands.  Put me where you want me to be.  Allow me to say what you want me to say.  Put my feet on your path, not mine.”  And then I see where the day takes me. 
 I mean takes us.
I prayed this prayer Tuesday morning as I dropped my daughter off at school.  I then ran a few errands, and decided to text a friend and ask her to meet me for lunch.  While we were eating, she said, “You have no idea how much I needed this today.”  She went on to tell me how challenging her life has been lately.  And just by listening to that little voice inside me that said, “text her and invite her to lunch,” I feel God truly showed up at our lunch table.   The three of us shared a great meal.  
I told her I’m reading a wonderful book titled, “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels.  I loved what I had just read.
Hybels writes about a man in the Bible who had a withered, deformed hand and is brought before Jesus for healing.  Without any hesitation, Jesus heals him.  
He writes, “I envision Jesus saying to the good-as-new man, ‘Listen, now that you have two good hands, what are your plans?  Juggling?  Piano?  What is it that you dream of doing, my friend?’  In my imagination, they chat about this man’s long-awaited passion pursuits.  And possibly the man then turns to Jesus and says, ‘Well, what are your dreams?’”  
Hybels goes onto explain the rest of the story, but that question got me thinking.  What if I added the words, “for me.”  What are your dreams for me, Lord?
Do we ever stop and ask God what His dreams are for us?  Or do we just run out ahead of Him and plan everything ourselves?  
I know that’s what I did.
For the majority of my life, I have always had dreams.  In fact, I probably thought about my dreams more than I thought about my reality.  I had dreams of opening a store, of owning a bed and breakfast, of being a writer.  Yada yada yada.  And yada again. And then a thing called cancer entered my life, and I realized that none of those dreams hold any value to me anymore.  
My new dreams pretty much center around eternal, not temporary pursuits.  I now dream of raising my kids into adults who love and trust Jesus, of introducing anyone I know or will ever know to the Lord who I cherish, and of one day sporting gray hair and a face full of wrinkles while using the gifts He has given me to honor His name.  By the way, I mean a lot of gray hair and wrinkles -- way more than I already have.  I'm talkin' grandma gray and wrinkles!
But I love the concept of being healed, or forgiven, or given a second chance, and giving it right back to Jesus by asking, “What do you want to do with my newly healed life?  What amazing things can we do together?  What do you want my Tuesday afternoon to look like next week?
It just might be as simple as lunch with a friend.  Or a lot more challenging, like stepping out of your comfort zone for a day.  Or for the rest of your life.  
  Who knows.  

All I know is that His dreams are now my dreams.  I seek His will above mine.   And I can guarantee you, His dreams are so much grander than mine.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The $1,100 Bone

Please let this post serve as a Public Service Announcement.
Do not give your dog beef bones.

Our guy Tucker was treated to his first beef bone.  And last.
The next morning he started choking up what looked like little Indian arrowheads, or slivers of the bone.  And soon after, he began coughing and spitting up.  And not eating.

After two x-rays, a barium scan, blood work and three medications, we think he'll be fine.  

My husband said he grew up feeding beef bones to his dogs.  So did our vet.  But all it takes is one bone to go down the wrong way and cause irreparable damage. Or worse.

So as our boy lays in the warm sun today and recuperates, we are grateful that all it cost us was money (a lot of it!) and not his life.  

Milkbones for everyone!