Archive for the ‘God Moments’ Category

A Birthday Wish

Posted: May 14, 2014 in Family, God Moments
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Today is my birthday. I celebrated the way most women with a hard working husband and three knee-high boys do – hello movie night! As I snuggled up with my three freshly washed boys, basking in the afterglow of the vanilla brownie sugar rush, I smiled in the simple reality that this had been the best birthday I had ever celebrated to date. 

No surprises. 

A simple card from my husband with the kids names sketched on the inside.

A homemade “Blondie” dessert my husband made for me before whisking off to work.

A quick stop at Taco Bell for my late lunch, in the drive-thru as my 1 year-old date finally crashed in the backseat. 

A kids movie that brought the entire clan from tears to cheers – “The Little Rascals Save The Day” right before bed. 

 

And you ask, “How in the world is this a birthday to remember?” 

Indeed, there were no big gifts and no breath-taking surprises. I enjoyed messes to clean-up and faces filled with endless sugar. But one very important detail of my normal birthday routine had changed…one very big desire had been met in an ultimately fulfilling way. 

For years I had silently struggled with my birthday. I would rise in the morning with my stomach twisted in knots, disappointed when others forgot to acknowledge my day, awkwardly trot through the failures of my previous year and of course vow to do better for the coming year. My birthday seemed to be more unwinding knots of confusion than enjoying a reason to celebrate. 

Until today. 

A passage that God has placed into my rooted foundation shouted in celebration all day today:

Even before I made the world, I loved you Bethany, and chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in My eyes. I decided in advance to adopt you into My family by bringing you to Myself through Jesus Christ. This is what I wanted to do, and it gives Me great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NLT)

From the moment my head lifted…slowly, off the pillow, God spoke this Truth to my heart. He indeed called me forth with a purpose and a plan. My life is never overlooked by Him and this day, indeed is for celebration by Him, with Him and through Him. Smiling throughout my day today I saw each token of celebration so rewarding, like a gift from my Abba Himself. 

I had no need to wonder if anyone remembered me because He already had. 

This day was no longer about a number, but instead reconciling a Father-daughter relationship.

 I am not looking for others to fill any emptiness – He already has that covered. 

My worth is found in a Him first…everything else indeed has become icing on the cake.

 

So, just in case someone hasn’t told you – God chose you before the world was formed. When He created the salvation plan, my friend, He had your face in mind. You are never overlooked by Him. May you find freedom in the Truth that your life has meaning through Him today. 

Listening

Posted: May 4, 2014 in God Moments, Health, Uncategorized

Silence is pure agony to the one that feels alone, yet to the child of God it is an ordained appointment with Abba.

God brought me into existence with the gift of severe hearing loss in both ears. My world has no lack of noise. I am a wife and mom to three young boys. Therefore, when God decides to grab my attention early one morning by short-circuiting my hearing-aid during the craziness of the carpool routine, it throws a static blow to this mom’s world.

Silence is gut wrenching abandonment. Suddenly, I lost the ability to truly connect with my husband. My mind spiraled trying to interpret his body language, his temperament and my satisfaction rating. My mind rushed through the endless possibilities like a puppy playing fetch with my emotions. My boys temporarily lost their over-communicative mommy. Not even abruptly invented gestures could ease the barrier of finding a fishing experiment gone bad in the toilet…again.  

I found myself in tears one night feeling incredibly alone, and unprotected while trying to stand for the ones I loved the most. As my heart shattered before His presence, I listened intently for a reply. What I received was far greater than what I had lost. I listened as I heard Him speak to me. His comforting hands held me in that moment in a way this orphan had never experienced. I needed to listen to His voice – filled with sounds of Truth, echoes of peace and resounding waterfalls of love. His Truth seemed to instantly put a soundproof barrier from my negative thoughts and I was overcome by the applause that He had chosen me as His child, dearly loved and cherished. Once you listen to that sweet song, life truly never sounds the same again. Silence is filled with a constant lullaby celebrating the end of loneliness. As His Child I took my place in His great symphony with confidence. 

God directed His music to allow my left ear to receive sound for the first time in my life and now I listen to the world around me in stereo. It seems so surreal that all of these events occurred in the order they did over the course of a month. God interrupted my life of hearing to show me the art of listening. 

Here I am Lord. I am waiting and listening. Use me today. 

Never Good Enough

Posted: November 6, 2013 in God Moments, Wisdom

A Thought 

We will NEVER be good enough for Him on our own.

We cannot make it without Him.

He simply just wants us. 

He wants us

   To quit trying do do life on our own

   To quit living by our terms

   To see Him for Who He really is.

   To allow Him to love us fully – our faults, hurts, failures included (but He doesn’t see that when He looks at His children). 

Picture Journey

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Family, God Moments

A few weeks ago I wrote about going through the past 12 months of pictures for the original purpose of creating a new photo book for our family (we add another book each summer of the past year’s photos…summer usually means SALE!). As I started going through these images,Ā I was brought to shock and awe, once again, of the journey God has brought me through these past 12 months.

So, I tried to create something worth sharing. I dont believe this is the greatest, but being my time with family is my new top prority right now, this will have to do for now. A friend watched the video and went, ‘Its okay..but it doesnt really describe the emotional roller coaster you went on…” but you, my blog readers get that. These are pictures…you friends know the background to these images. To YOU these will make more of an impact…to the stranger…not so much.

The background is me singing the be Strong And Courageous song to Josh…he recorded it by accident, but it was SO perfect being that this song kept me going through my many sleepless nights. Steve isnt in many pictures…what can I say? He really doesnt like to be photographed (dont worry…Im breaking him down slowly). But Josh…yep…he was my photo buddy! Encouragement comes through the most amazing places sometimes!

So, here is the first attempt at this…maybe Ill create a follow-up…maybe….It IS too long right now. but like I said, just sharing pictures! šŸ™‚

Love you all…

Just returned to the office after going on a field trip with Josh’s class to Play Plus (a huge indoor playground adventure for younger kids).

Ill be candid for a minute here…I was not feeling good this morning. A week from today, Ill be going through my first radiation treatment. I have so much I want to get done and the only thing rolling through my brain was “Why me God? Why now? Its not fair!” Though I believe I have every excuse in the book to have this attitude, it wrecks a persons day.
I didn’t want to get out of bed.
I didn’t want to face the day.
I didn’t want to deal with preparing for next week.
I was quite content, lying in my bed, dwelling on how bad my life seemed to be going.

Enter Josh crashing through tightly shut bedroom door. I knew what was coming. Josh flew mid-air over the bed and landed right next to me…literally, sharing my pillow. I looked over…somewhat annoyed, and he just smiled and laughed. Then he said “Who made the trees? God did! Who made me? God did! That’s awesome! Get up mom…lets go!”

God is Creator. God is the Beginning and the End. God is the Author of life…I’ve simply been invited into His story. I don’t get to choose my part, but I do know how the final chapter will end.
Yes…I got that from a 4 year-old…God speaks to me anywhere.

It could have stopped there…

After the field trip I told Josh we could swing by the park and eat lunch on the way to preschool. He was beyond excited…I was already exhausted from the CIDP and losing sleep last night.
We got to the park and started eating. Josh had a lunchable…I had a Sprite (its my lunch on most days). He started eating and the wind started moving his tray. I got annoyed…”Give me a break” I thought. “I’m trying to enjoy lunch with my son here!”
The wind blew harder…and I started getting frustrated. I went to grab Josh’s tray and he smiled and said “Look at this mom!” He had the one end of the tray in his mouth…holding it from the wind…smiling too.
I smiled. He was just laughing when I was getting frustrated by something so small.
I told him I wanted a picture…he told me to get in the picture too. He grabbed the cheese..I had the tray…and now I have a great memory too.

Just yesterday I was asking our elementary group what was the biggest thing they struggle with. One by one they whispered things like lying to my parents and fighting with my brother – into my ear. I gave each of them a heavy rock and wrote something that symbolized their struggle on it. I made a rock too…mine was worry. I told the kids that we carry these heavy struggles around with us all the time. They got it…it was great. After I told the story of the Prodigal Son, we talked about how God, like the father, will take us back…no matter how many rocks we have. I took a huge hammer and told the kids that just like when they nailed Jesus to the cross, God can smash any struggle you have…and that rock was dust. My boys were beyond glued! We ended with a small celebration for the son that came home…all my group had cake. It was great. They took their rocks home as a reminder of what God can do.
I came back and saw my rock, marked with a “W” for worry, sitting on my desk. I taught the lesson…but I missed the point, until now.

Funny how God speaks through kids, wind and rocks.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

Josh and mommy at the park!ļ»æ

Some of our kids showcasing their “rocks”ļ»æ

Our “Welcome Home” (referring to the Prodigal Son) “Rock Star” (God) Cake šŸ™‚ ļ»æ

My huge “Worry Rock” (We had a dad make these out of concrete…they turned out AMAZING!!! Thank you Chris!!!)ļ»æ

Patience

Posted: January 25, 2012 in God Moments, Health

I hate patience…especially if it is waiting on something I think I deserve. But, I guess God has a way of teaching us things when we need it most.

These last few days have been a whirlwind…some days feeling good (like today) andĀ then feeling completely overwhelmed and just ready to move to Hawaii (yesterday). There is just so much going on in my life right now, I feel like I’m spinning so many plates and just exhausted trying to keep everything going as it should…you know, the way I think life should go. Trying to spend time with my kids, trying to connect with Steve, trying to understand these strange things growing i my head, understanding CIDP and my limitations, recruiting more volunteers for our children’s ministry, preparing for a new Wednesday night program, trying to get the church website going again…doctors appointments, get-togethers, calls…cleaning the house (ummm…yea…)…you get the point.

I caught myself literally saying, “I can’t do it all.” At that moment, looking at my cluttered desk I saw a button that I received a year ago from a Children’s Pastors Conference…it read, “SDWSC” which means She Did What She Could. In other words, I AM not, but I know “I AM.” I am not God, but I know God…I can’t do everything, be everything, provide everything but I can do something for the Creator and Author of Everything. God didn’t create me to do everything…whew…that’s a relief!

My priorities are God, family, ministry….I get these reversed a lot. Its hard…its always been a struggle. But I’m working on it…

Today, my patience was restored. My meeting with my doctors got moved up to today. It was absolutely amazing. The peace and comfort I felt there today was just surreal…its like God was saying, “Its going to be okay.” Long story short, on February 6th I will have my first radiosurgical procedure to…are you ready for this…DESTROY both tumors! Not shrink…buddy, they are out to fry them suckers! The thing that blows my mind about this is that the center is the only one in Florida that has a specialist that has experience not only with meningioma, but with this procedure…and has 2 successful cases! This procedure lasts about 1 hour and involves the MRI-like machine where the doctors literally guide the radiation beams (gamma knife) in an through the tumor itself. I get to be fitted for a neat little head piece and I will be given IV (relaxing meds and dye). It will be disappointing that I can’t wear my hearing-aid…but they are working on a communication method. I am pretty good with reading lips, but this won’t help in this case. After each treatment, I will have IVIG and chemo the rest of the week. They were toying with the idea of offering it immediately after the procedure, but thought that would be a bit much for one day…I agree.

I will have the procedure itself done twice, followed by a round of chemo (equaling 2 weeks). Monday Feb. 20th will be an “off” day…but pending on how everything is goig, they might consider an alternative radiation method. The goal is to re-evaluate and re-group by Monday, Feb. 27th.

I’m told all of the side effects…tired, lack of eating, hair-loss…all of which I’ve already had. BUT to say that I’m thrilled wit going down this road again is…well…not true. In fact, the doctors warned me this time it will be worse being that I will have the full dose of chemo and ivig…both make me sick, and tired…and still bald (at this point I don’t mind being bald…I like my hats!). Its SO hard hearing Josh pray at night for “mommy to get better.” I guess that why I’ve been trying to do everything lately…I feel better…I just want Josh to know I’m trying.

So…I have the rest of this week and next week off of treatment (pre-meds, but no treatment). I’m so happy for these breaks in the storm. I have made so many calls lately…oh man, I love having the energy to reconnect again! I love feeling good…why can’t I just be healthy? Maybe its Gods way of rewarding my patience…knowing it will be tested again soon.

I’m getting off…too much I want to do and its so hard making myself update when I have energy…what can I get into…hmmm….UK WILDCAT BASKETBALL!!!! Go Cats!!!!!

Riding On His Shoulders

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Family, God Moments, Health, Songs

FIRST, a bit about my day. I was trying to figure out exactly how to follow-up from yesterdays post. I don’t think there is really any possible way to top it! AND…I’d like to say I’m still pain-free (a few of the doctors told me to not get excited if this was only a one day fluke). I’ve been walking slowly today (for those “the glass is half-empty” people…I emphasize WALK) and extremely exhausted.Ā I spent most of the day on our living room couch with – you guessed it, Sprite by my side! I did manage to get a few pretzels down, as well as part of a red velvet cupcake. OurĀ Palm Bay Christian ChurchĀ members love feeding my guys…butĀ I know if I can’t eat the red velvet cupcakes, they will disappear!

Quick funny story from my day. this morning Steve had to leave for worship practice at the church. I obviously wasn’t going anywhere, so the boys stayed home with me. At one point, I felt likeĀ I was going to get sick. I peeked in at the boys and they were both glued to Elmo’s World, so I took my opportunity. As everything concluded and I was just hanging my head over the toilet I hear, “Way to go mom! That was awesome” from Josh. Then I heard, “Yay” and clapping from our 18 month Caden. Then I felt the dog licking my ear. It was one of those moments I can truly say we have a very close family! Steve is the kind of guy that asks, ‘Did you get sick?” and wants nowhere near the actual scene…I guess my boys will be different!

The type of ivig I was on was extremely invasive and includes an element called “cytoxan” which is a form of chemo. This being said, I have the after effects of IVIG (headache, loss of appetite and exhaustion) with the blended joy of chemo effects (nausea, exhaustion, aches, hair-loss, etc). So, I’m a walking, dancing post-chemo-ivigĀ living for God gal, with a few side-effects. No big…I’ve been through worse.

I did do something fun today. I went to Walmart and I pushed the cart! It feels like it has been SO long since I have been able to do this…andĀ I really had a good time. I went by myself so I could get things ready for Josh’s birthday party next weekend. I made it through the party section, then took a break and then headed over to get groceries. I was exhausted, yet,Ā I felt likeĀ I was contributing to society.Ā I felt likeĀ I wasn’t “sick’ for an hour or so…there for a little whileĀ I simply blended-in with the crowd.

I think we all want to just blend-in sometimes, right? There are times where we all just want an escape from the reality of chaos that defines our everyday life. Why do you think TV and movies become such a part of our life…its an escape mentally and emotionally from our current chaotic lifeĀ situations.

When I was at my escape at Walmart,Ā I saw a dad holding his son on his shoulders. They were both laughing and the little boy shouted, ‘Daddy, I can see everything SO much better from up here!” Caden loves being on daddy’s shoulders too. I’m a bit too old to really recall what this felt like…but if there are any guys out there that want to offer a ride, let me know! Yet, for a second, I got the perfect message from my Abba Daddy about where I was right now…I was on His shoulders yelling, ‘Wow Daddy, I can see the world so much better from up here!”

Psalms 121 has always been a FAVORITE passage of mine, since my college days.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountainsā€”
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slipā€”
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over youā€”
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harmā€”
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

It’s just one of those passages you can read and be reassured that everything is going to be okay. I read it during my devotional time this morning…its kind of a celebration song to me now.

On my way home from Walmart I heard another song on the radio. Though it wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the “Falling Apart” episode, it did speak to me and its by one of my favorite bands – Kutless.

Carry Me To The Cross: By Kutless

LYRICS:
When the path is daunting
And every step exhausting
I’m not alone
I’m not alone, no, no
I feel you draw me closer
All these burdens on my shoulder
I’m not alone, I’m not alone
You pull me me from this place

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

How your love has moved me, yeah
To the foot of all your glory
I’m not alone, I’m not alone
I’m not alone

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

All of these cities you have built
And every cathedral you have filled
To all of creation you gave life with your hands
And with those hands you comfort me
You lift me up from my knees
And carry me
You carry me

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross
The cross
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

I heard this song as I was driving home from Walmart, back to my reality of dealing with sickness, somewhat uncertainty, confusion, questions…and the chaos of kids who were not ready for bed! Every step I was taking was exhausting (pain-free, but still exhausting). Its almost like He was saying, ‘Let me carry you through the reality of your little chaos…I’ll carry you everyday and I promise, you’ll like the view better from up there!”

From where I’m sitting, my path is still unclear. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Yet,Ā I cling tightly to the hands of my Abba Father as I sit on his shoulders. The view is better from up here because I’ve just been looking down at Him this entire day. Sometimes its not important about where you are going, but rather Who is getting you there.

So many of you blow me away with your stories! Don’t keep them to yourself…share what God is doing in your life so others may know that they too have a second chance for a ride on their Abba Father’s shoulders and seek out the incredible view!

Have an amazing day!!