Pause the Rushing Moment

Despite the fact that I want to soak up each and every second, the clock ticks on. “Enjoy these moments. She will grow up in the blink of an eye.”  I know!  I really do know because yesterday I held a tiny baby in my arms and now she is knocking on nine. And my coffee grows cold and I am not ready to move on. 

The morning was rushed with so many chores but they all got accomplished so I should count it a success. But I don’t. I don’t appreciate the rush. There is hard work to be done and I understand that, but could you keep the day from passing while I hurry about my chores?  I sat in the car and stared out the window. I am not one that can hold in my emotion. 

A bit surprised by my sadness at this joyous occasion, “What is the matter?”  He asked. 

“It is going by in fast forward!”  

And it did!  It was Thanksgiving Day yesterday and NOW IT IS NOT!

I sit in the morning. My mug of coffee is cold before I am ready for my morning alone to be over.  I want to sit in my jammies for hours without the day passing by, just pause the moment I am in. It is officially Christmas season, the best time of the year. These are the moments, the times that are memories, this is when I make who I am. And I want it to be good!  

But the company arrives and they are gone before I am ready. He is off work and returns before I am ready for him to go. She grows and she is one more step to grown and I want to snuggle just a bit longer. The Christmas song and the warm glow of the fire are a perfect moment that taunt me as they rush so quickly away. Cherishing the moment is not enough. I want to pause.  I want to have forever and eternity. 

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God’s Prayer

My Jesus, the King above all kings, even the mention of your name is to be worshiped. Your plans for this world will happen. I want you to rule in my life the same as you rule in heaven. I have what I need, thank you. Help me share, rather than being selfish. Forgive me for my past mistakes, I want to learn from them and change. Help me remember my mistakes and keep from judging other people. With your power in me, I choose not to give in to the temptations of this world that entice me. God Almighty is the Forever King. He will be praised forever!  Amen. 

  

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Thank You Cancer

As a child at the age of fifteen, I was not scared of the “could be.”  The fact that we were waiting on test results did not phase me. When surgery was scheduled, I actually found myself excited. I had lots of treats promised my way and I was going to be asleep. I thought I would wake up from surgery and walk away with my free surgery treasures. The pain I awoke to still haunts me. It was the first time that I felt true physical pain. 

I have now had six Cancer related surgeries. They all have their own story and their own pain. I know the pain of Cancer. 

I know what it feels like to hug my husband and cry because it is happening again. I know what it is like to write a letter to my miracle baby, praying that I will be there for her life. I know the physical torture of the side effects of medicine, exercising through cut muscles, another scar that can not be hidden, trying to explain my past to a new friend with a glazed look of no comprehension, and medical bills that keep piling up.

Cancer is NEVER what I would have chosen for myself!  James and I never sat at a fancy restaurant on a Saturday night date as I offered, “Ya know, I was thinking about getting cancer. What do you think?”

“Oh what a wonderful idea,” he enthusiastically responds, “I think we should do that right away.”

Uhhhh, NO!  I don’t think anyone has ever done that. So, why am I the complete freak, idiot, deranged person that would title this article “Thank you Cancer”?????

Because it was too long to write:  Thank you that I appreciate my life, that I know from experience that my husband loves me in sickness and health, that I never take my daughter for granted, that I have new priorities in my life, and most importantly that I know the presence of God intimately. 

I know that humans, especially western culture, especially me, run from pain and suffering at all costs as quickly as we can. However, some of the wisest people that I know are those that have suffered the most. Some of the life stories that impact us the most are those of deep pain and suffering. And Jesus, God himself, brought forgiveness and salvation through the most intimate pain ever experienced. 

Therefore, while it hurts, while I fight and do all that is possible to rid myself of any suffering, I have much to thank “cancer” for.  (Yes, I believe Cancer is an awful thing and who I am thanking is Jesus, that he used something bad to bring something good….just artistic liberty here.)

So, thank you Cancer that:

I appreciate my life. From the young age of fifteen, I learned to value life. Each and every single day is a blessing that almost did not happen. And I love life!

I know my husband loves me when I have nothing to offer, when he has to give everything and get nothing in return. I have so much security in the love of my husband. I know without a doubt that HE LOVES ME!  When I need him, he is there for the nights on the town and nights at the hospital. For shopping for summer clothes and paying medical bills. For living and loving this life that has become one. My friends, I love my man!

Thank you Cancer that I never take my daughter for granted!  We were in for the long bumpy road. Pregnancy was supposed to take try after painful try. I was supposed to cry over many miscarriages. And it was supposed to end with the huge possibility that there would be no baby to grow inside me. And then she was supposed to share my fate of cancer. JESUS SAID NO!  As quickly and easily as could happen, I have a healthy, brilliant, beautiful daughter growing into a world changer!  I hold my girl close and I soak up every single minute and I am so very thankful to God in heaven for a miracle that sleeps in the little girl room in my house and daily keeps me on my toes!

Thank you cancer that you help me keep my priorities straight. I am so thankful for my life, I could care less what the popularity club thinks.  I am so thankful for my daughter, I have decided my career will not go first.  I see what this world has to offer and I say, “Yeah, no thanks, I chose Jesus.”

And, most importantly, thank you cancer that when I lay in pain when all I can do is moan, I know the comforting touch of the only one that can calm my soul, I know the miracles of a loving Heavenly Father, I do not doubt the one that has spoken to me in my dreams, I would never walk away from the healer of diseases, I know personally my God and my Savior. The one who made everything, knows everything, can do anything, LOVES ME!  And if Cancer was the only way for God to take me by the shoulders and shake me and get my attention and the only way for me to know my God so personally, then I have a lot to thank Cancer for. And I know the intimacy of the verse that God works all things together for good for those who love him. 

I am Kinda a Big Deal

July 27, 2002, my heart swelled with joy and happiness as I held the hand of a man I never thought could be mine as he pledged his life, in every circumstance, to me me forever.  James Hendry is a freakin hot, godly man, that does not take lightly his responsibility to care for his wife. ME!  I am his wife!  I hold his hand and strut through town, “Hey. Look at me!  See me holding this man’s hand?  Yeah, you got that right.  He’s mine!”

A cold February morning, a miracle baby was born. My heart swelled with pride and love as I met my baby girl for the first time. She was the most gorgeous creation that I had ever laid my eyes on, and I could not take my eyes away!  Her beautiful baby blue eyes were an answer to prayers. Her teeny tiny finger wrapped around mine was a miracle living and breathing. Caring for her was a life’s dream come true. I have the privilidge of celebrating Mother’s Day, visiting a little cutie in her classroom, making healthy little lunches, planning birthday parties, and caressing the cheeks of a little beauty that is MINE!  What an honor to watch this little miracle grow into the amazing plans that God has for her!  I am Madison’s Mommy!

The King of King’s knows my name!  He thought of and planned for ME before the creation of time!  When I cry, he comforts me.  When I pray, he answers!  He doesn’t just SAY he would do anything for me, he has proven it!  He chose to endure the most pain than any human life has ever endured TO BE WITH ME!  He is God!  He could have thrown down fire and walked away and returned to heaven at any point, but he thought about ME!  If all the earth, and all I am, and all I long to be fades away, the God that rules it all takes my hand and proclaims, “My love, do you trust me?”  YES!  I trust you with my everything!  And now, right now, he is preparing a mansion for me!  It will have a huge swimming pool in the backyard and a massive kitchen stocked with fruits and veggies that never go bad. My floors will be gold.  (Hey, if the streets are, why not my floors?). And you are invited!  Come see me!  I will have parties allll the time!  Hey, I’m kinda big stuff!  I am the daughter of the King, not just a king, THE king!

No. I think you absolutely definitely shouldn’t. Go for it, not yet. 

I want answers. I want to know what to do to be healthy, make money, raise a successful citizen, be a stellar friend, and how clean my house should be!  

When I said, “I do.”  I really meant I did.  But sometimes, more often than I want you to know, I looked more like I didn’t. I was, am, grumpy, rude, self serving, and just plain done. But I loved him. I still do.  

And when the nurse laid that 7lb 9oz miracle on my instantly smaller tummy, I cried and smiled and instantly changed, because she was everything, and meaningful, and poetic, and beautiful, and soft as beautiful. But sometimes, more than I want you to know, I get frustrated with a messy room, and stepping on pink Legos, and a sassy attitude. But I love her. I always will, even through the teenage years. 

When should I scrub and when should I play?  How many cups of milk should I drink in a day?  Should I sit on the couch and watch a show with James or read “Bringing Up Girls,” that should have been checked off my reading list six years ago?  Should I call up a friend or spend the day at home?  Is this the year to save or enjoy?  A bush or a floral beside the house?  When and how and where? Why?

Daddy, Father God, will you please tell me?  

Because it matters completely. I want to do and accomplish. But I have made mistakes. And I hear you whisper that yesterday does not matter. Right here. Right now. This very. 

One thing is the objective:  accomplish, do, succeed, but the greatest of these is love. Love. 

Freezing Cold Warmth

Bare trees and gray skies, the wind howls and sends shivers through my body.  We have hit a record low and it is here to stay.  Colder and snowier than the norm.  My girl and I try to go for a walk but we can not endure the cold for more than a few minutes.  Packing on extra layers every morning and learning again to keep up with the mittens.  The cold reaches down to your bones.

Build a fire, pour a hot drink.  Sit and cover with a throw.  Crockpot dinners are more appreciated.  The winter menu is revisited.  Chili, Pot Roast, Turkey, and ham.  Bigger and hotter, the better.  Prepare the closets for new Christmas toys, begin the shopping browsing, give in to the Christmas music a little early this year.  Call up some family that you have not seen in a while.  Our hearts were not prepared to hibernate but to endure.

It is the freezing cold that makes me so appreciate the warmth.