Tag Archives: God

Sometimes…bad metaphors happen on bad days

I’ve mentioned before that life before knowing about the tumor had had it’s incredible challenges this past almost 2 years. We’ve been through some “stuff” and it’s been a roller coaster. Today, life outside the tumor had some hard news. I am not sure how to process how tough life actually is, with and without tumor issues.

Life is hard sometimes.

And sometimes its amazing.

Sometimes it’s all mixed together in a salad. The salad of life. Ok, so weird metaphor.

Mostly, it’s the hardest things in life that give us the most health in the end.

Like Kale. Some people love it. Don’t be offended if you do. But seriously, it’s a bad weed. A bad weed with a lot of nutrients. (By the way I know it’s not a weed) Not all healthy foods can be rock stars like blueberries.

I had a juice yesterday where I shoved about 4 cups of kale into the juicer and went to town. Then 6 apples. I had to get it down somehow.

Exercise. Now that’s another painful thing that brings us health. I hate it. Truly. Especially in the winter. Yet, I became more healthy when I pushed to run the 5 km. Dang!

So the hard times in life also bring health, if we let them.

It’s a balance to deal with the salad of life.

Today brought the kale of life, and it tasted awful.

So, to round out this salad, I bring to the table a hearty dose of protein (ok, another bad metaphor). The protein of the Word of God, who is the Life Giver. My Strength.

This was the verse of the day for me.

Psalm 22:19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

 

 

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You’ve been dealt a lousy hand

some people may think this of my life. In a nutshell, it’s had it’s losses and heartaches…I’ve lost a brother, a son, a brother in law. We have kids with special issues, church challenges…then there is this tumour…

Ok, now tell me who DOESN’T have things in their life that stretch and challenge them and I will show you a person who hasn’t really lived.

Let’s face it we are ALL dying. You, me, my kids, my friends…every human that has ever lived has ceased to live at some point. We are born, we die and in between we live life. It’s in how we live it…now there’s the trick!

I love living! I love facing a challenge head on. Ok, except when I’m in pain and tired. Then I just want to go to bed.

My son asked “Why us?” I said “Why not?” There are people dying every day, dealing with terrible disease and poverty and we live in a country where we get fairly decent medical care. We are safe, warm and loved. Why NOT us? Maybe it’s in a bigger plan, a bigger picture. God has more going on than just me, just us. There is something much bigger at work here.

I haven’t been dealt a lousy hand at all. I had parents that loved me, thought I was beautiful. They gave me love, a stable home and lived in the sunny Shuswap where I grew up loving water and beaches.

Then I got to marry the man of my dreams. He treats me with respect, kindness, love and tenderness. After a lot of hardship and tragedy, I got to be a mom to four amazing little blessings that some days make me crazy and other days build character in me.

I get to live in the best province EVER…Alberta. It rocks. Alberta has mountains, it has rivers, it has oil and it has great people. It has lots and lots of open spaces that look so great in the summer. In the winter, well, in the winter I wish I was born in the tropics…but I got to go to the tropics TWICE in my life. TWICE and that is pretty darn cool.

We have family here. My inlaws have made our lives rich and beautiful in ways I never imagined. We get to spend time with them now and again. I love me my inlaws!!

I have friends. Really, really awesome friends. Friends who make me laugh, friends who listen to me whine about the hard days and friends who come and hang pictures etc for me because I haven’t learned how to drill holes yet. I have friends that let me bunk in their home when I have to drive to the city and they make me feel like I’m at home.

We live in a pretty terrific community. One that rallies around people in distress and fixes things and feeds you things and makes you feel special and loved.

We have a small but loving church family. They shine Jesus to us. They warm us with their special-ness. We live in a warm and tiny home where we are free to make our chaos and let people come in and see it.

We have a far away family that we can skype and love. We travel every single year to Manitoba so we can enjoy the prairies for days without end from a van and then pile out and have fun with the rest of the extended family.

We have the internet in this day and age and I can communicate with people I had long since lost contact with. Now I can text my best bud from high school. How great is that? I sure do miss her though!

I haven’t been dealt a lousy hand. It’s been a fantastic life. And it’s not over yet. I am prepared to enjoy all the moments I can, and medicate the moments that are painful (like actually physically painful). I love my life. Oh, it has it’s challenges…but don’t we all? Every one of us?

If you have no trouble or no challenge then how are you growing as a person?

See it’s in the choices we make. It’s in the paths we choose when the challenges come before us. Do we face it head on or do we skirt around it and avoid it by pretending it’s not there. Do we let God in and make it beautiful, even joyful?Taking joy in the moments that are beautiful and sacred. That’s what I’m hoping I keep doing. It’s what I hope my kids see, on this bumpy road we are on.

We have a terrific life. It’s going to get a little crazy here and there, but that’s life.

James 1:2 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Romans 12:12 ESV 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Oh the places I’ve seen

Through the last few months I have had a lot of blog posts percolating in this mind of mine. The problem is that they stay up there and rattle around too long and then they are gone.

Truth is, I’ve been going downhill for a long time now, and I didn’t really recognize it until I couldn’t balance when I walked, couldn’t focus on what I was reading and what I wanted to say seemed just out of reach. The words…just not coming. I thought it was something…something big. I’ve been told for a lot of my life that it’s probably nothing. It gets into the mind and rattles around and gets the old thought processes making no big deal about having spells that disorient me or falling into a wall or forgetting what I was going to say…a lot. It makes me think it’s all my fault for not being organized enough in my thoughts that I can’t pull this house together. I mean, it’s always a battle, but lately a real BATTLE. Chaos has been blooming and growing for 2.5 years and I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was nothing…just me being a failure. Now there are some answers for all of that. Awful answers but answers nonetheless.

The thing is, I was getting really amazing things going on in my life. Tea business was taking off like a slow but powerful rocket. I LOVED it. My kids were learning even if my teaching wasn’t perfect. We held down out chaotic fort. Our non existent youth group burgeoned up to 16 kids one night at youth. Wow! We are on the edge of miracles here. I was all kinds of busy and feeling like I was really on FIRE!!

Then God happened. Since Dr’s had been ignoring my pleas to check into my migraines and “spells”, for years and God wasn’t having it, he saw a way to get me into a pediatric neurologist in Edmonton. A friend of mine was seeing him with her daughter. She told him about me and said “sure, you can send her to me!” Really? Wow! cool. Funniest Dr. I’ve ever had. Maybe I get him because I am childish (in a humor sort of way) and short, and he deals with children most times. It’s a good relationship. He got me into an MRI but wasn’t very worried about it. When Dr’s tell you “it’s probably nothing” it’s most likely SOMETHING. Lesson learned.

Shoot, a week later we found out I have a big ol’ tumour on my brain. Freaked my GP out, Freaked the Neurologist, it freaked US OUT!!!! and didn’t FAZE the really-difficult-to-communicate with Neuro surgeon a bit. Not a bit. He wanted to wait and see what changes happened in a few months. We changed neuro surgeons for a second opinion in Saskatoon and I believe God moved for that to happen too. We will not be waiting around to see if this blob on my brain is growing, he’s going into my Marcy brain and taking bits out of the ugly sucker to test it out and see whats up in my head. We will find out what we are dealing with after that and possibly commence treatment and whatever else they recommend.

We were in shock. The week that we found out, we thought I was dying within a moment’s notice and it was nothing I can describe. I was a mess, My big strong guy, the Reverend was a mess. My kids were messes in their own ways. We didn’t know what was facing us. The fact that he thought it was an astrocytoma means he thinks it’s been there quite a few years, maybe decades. No rush for a possibly slow growing monster on the brain. No sweat. WHAT? We knew enough that a biopsy would be helpful. The original Neurosurgeon didn’t think any of our questions were relevant. What we took from that was that I was not immediately dying and Christmas would not have that hanging over us. We can celebrate Christmas together!! Yay! Enjoy the moments we have. The normal crazy moments. And we would wait for a second opinion and wait some more for a biopsy.

I had friends help me in ways I didn’t know I would need, and I did need it. I needed it so much. I have spent a lot of time crying about how people have touched our lives with the way they’ve loved on us this last 6 weeks. Incredible! We’ve had our freezer stocked, a few times, gas cards, grocery cards, gifts given, money handed off secretively…floors washed, cupboards organized, moments with people I’d never take back. Free hair cuts… We were entered for a Christmas Wish from a friend and we WON a few sweet prizes like a housekeeper, a bunch of gifts, money for groceries, and money for a TRIP of a lifetime!! I really want to go now. But we’ve been loved by so many in so many ways and it’s humbling and amazing. We found out just how truly great our little community is in a crisis.

This has been a wild ride already but in the end I know it will ALL BE WORTH IT. During my quiet, resting moments, Jesus has given me some incredible times with him. Times I have felt him close, speaking to me in hushed tones. Comforting me. He has covered me with his peace…the kind that is impossible to understand unless you are lying underneath his beautiful wings of protection and love and you KNOW it. He was there all along, I just KNEW it in those moments.

I’ve already  had an ER visit due to bad meds reacting with my heart. Scary moments. And yet He was there. In the form of people who didn’t know me well, running to my house to see if I was ok, through really deep snow. People wiped the feet of snow off of their trucks to bring me a blood pressure cuff and gave me really good medical advice. People who care but don’t know me well…they cared.. That touches me in places that make me tear up every time. That God loves me that much to provide in ways that mystify me. I love that he’s so near. Working in ways, behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to.

In the ER room that night the Internal Dr who saw me and when I heard that my husband was a pastor, he said “Well, since you mentioned it first, I’m a Christian too!” He proceeded to pray with me, give me a prescription of scripture and was generally very compassionate. One lonely night in the small and noisy ER God heard my cry and answered it with a beautiful African Dr.

And I know it’s what I prayed for, way before this all went down. I prayed that God would move in an incredible way in this church, in this town….in our FAMILY. I prayed that it would have an eternal impact. That others would know his incredible love. I didn’t want it to be me possibly dying or having a tumor…but I knew as soon as we heard it, that this was what he gave me life for. For others to know him. And I am blessed to be used in such an incredible and difficult way. If what happens in my house and in my family and in my church furthers the Good News of Christ then I am a willing vessel.

Some people may ask…why you? Why NOT me? Don’t I feel like I’ve had enough in my life? Well, yes. and no. I live to love Jesus. As LONG AS I HAVE BREATH. Lord give me the grace and strength to do it all as you would have me do it. People are having tumors and cancer every day. Why not me? It’s ok. It happens. It sucks but it happens. My kids will go through things many kids won’t. My husband is going through things that no husband should go through but he’ll be ok. Because I know Jesus holds them too. He goes before us. He’s been there with us back there in the other places. He’s going ahead of me, to make a way.

And I am looking Forward to seeing what he does. Because it’s going to be AMAZING!! No matter if I live or die…it’s going to be down right INCREDIBLE!670313088

Does God answer prayer?

What do you think?

I used to think that most of my prayers were getting lost somewhere in the atmosphere and scattering about in the wind. I would pray all day long as I went about my activities but never stopped to get on my knees. I would hear of people needing prayer and prayed for them as I went about my day. I have seen many prayers get answered, but in some cases I never found out what happened. There were many of the big “Wow” prayers that I felt weren’t answered in a “Wow” way.

This past year, I’ve been encouraged and taught by spiritually mature friends how to communicate with God. God is not just some being that looks at us every once in a while from his perch on high, fairly disinterested in his creation. He’s not a wish-giver who magically says “Sure” every time we pray. It’s more about the relationship than a “Can you do this for me…now?” thing.

He wants to communicate with us. It’s personal, this relationship. I haven’t taken part of the relationship and truly communicating with my God seriously enough. This past year has been one of growth and insight into prayer.

Challenged to pray in the spirit and specifically, I prayed for a few certain situations the other day. My hands raised in the air as I worshipped the Creator of all, from my bed, I talked with my Friend. It’s amazing that the Creator is mindful of little ol’ me. He’s not only my Creator, but Savior and FRIEND. He is waiting to hear my prayers so he can release his answers. The answers were not always what I thought they would be, but they were always answered. The answers to my prayers are ones that draw me or others into a closer bond with him. He wants to walk with me and I with him.

He desires relationship where we are familiar with him and seek a closer walk. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Ps. 119:11 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Ps.19:14 These verses have been my prayer for the last week.

There have been specific prayers I have prayed. Some for issues in my children’s lives and some in our own personal lives. I was trusting for God to move and answer as he saw fit. I could imagine several things happening or not depending on circumstances. I saw two specific prayers answered today and it was fairly clear that it was not ME that instigated the outcome but it was God himself. And, I was not expecting to see answers this quickly.

HE has his own timetable because he is the one with the Big Picture and the Big Plan. He sees what is going on and wants to give good things to us. I think he chooses to release things when we pray. It’s not that he can’t do anything to resolve situations until we pray, he may just wait until we ask…kind of like a parent, right? He’s not a genie in the bottle that we control. Rather he waits until his loved children pray and then releases things to be so. Sometimes it looks way different than what we want, but it is still GOOD.

I am not sure if I’m making sense because I am so tired but I wanted to tell you that…

HE answers prayer.

My journey to writing

Writing on my blog has been on my mind for a while. Why has it taken so long for me to write? I think that God has been working on my heart in regards to my next post and my words were not coming together to make it a cohesive thought.

As a new-ish writer and a hope-to-be speaker and possible humorist (I have some big impossible looking goals, I know) I think to myself, “What could God possibly have to say through me?”  What have I got that others, around the globe or even in my province, don’t have? The big question is “Why would God use ME?”

I mean, he has so many other capable people. There are people that actually carry out the things they set out to do. I am not the most goal-oriented person ever. The fact that I have a story to tell, some of it funny and some of it tragic, does not mean I have to tell it. Everyone has a story. Why ME? Why should I write my story when there are so many other stories that are so incredibly moving and inspired by God. He doesn’t need me to write another story of how he has deepened someone’s faith through struggles and triumphs. There are so many great authors who have told their God stories. And just how do I morph the stories of tragedy in my life into the humor that God has given as a gift to lighten the load of the loss I’ve experienced?

I have an inherent problem of thinking I’m not that special. Out of the billions on the globe I will only know a few and only a few will know me. I will live my life for Jesus, I will die, and the world will exist and move on without really knowing I ever came here to make a difference. In the past few years, I have listened to some fantastic speakers and think “Now there’s a gal who has been called by God to speak, has a story to tell and she does it with such grace and wisdom.  I don’t know why God thinks I could do that? It’s just me. Little ol’ Marcy.”

I am currently writing my story and have thought, “Wow, there are so many talented authors who actually went to University to learn how to write well. I can barely spell the word thorough (Nope couldn’t do it. Spell check is my best writing buddy).” I can see why these authors have been chosen to tell stories and write articles and do all the beautiful things they do with words, but me? Why me? Why is he pushing my heart in this direction. Doesn’t he know I only have a couple of years in college? And it wasn’t about writing. I look back on my college papers and cringe, slightly impressed I got the grade that I did.

I’ve said this before….I hated writing. In elementary and high school I couldn’t get my thoughts out quickly enough with pen and paper and often forgot my original thought by the time I had some words written out. I didn’t think I was very good at it, and most of all, I didn’t enjoy it. Enter, the digital age. I didn’t consider writing consistently until my sister said I should write out the crazy antics of my kids into a book. Sure, I kept her in stitches, but write them down? Well, I thought, it can’t hurt to try. I’ll blog. And blog I did. I wrote badly. My technique and grammar was fairly pathetic and my spelling? Whew!  I didn’t edit, I just hit “publish” and there I was, PUBLISHED. Ha!

The thing is, I started to LOVE writing my stories. People liked reading what I was writing. At the very least, my relatives thought I was a hoot. They thought it was entertaining. That was a new thought to me. People actually wanted to read my next post? Who knew?

The next crazy thought, a few years later, was that maybe I should write a book and try to get it published. How hard could it be? Then I went and took a Writing Course at Breakforth in Edmonton, AB where NJ Lindquist was teaching. She was realistic but didn’t crush hopeful writing dreams. I liked her immensely and learned so very much in that one day. She said that 2 out of 100 people who write ever get published.  I calculated how many of us in that class would probably ever get published. About 2 of us. I was sitting with one of my dearest friends who writes beautifully, and thought “She’s definitely in, so that leave number 2 spot for me.” So strong was my conviction.

This girl, who thought she was TERRIBLE at the art of words and who could barely put two sentences together in front of a crowd, was being called out by God to do the things she wasn’t qualified to do. Why me? Why insignificant little ol’ me?

I have four children, some of whom have special needs. These special issues take up a lot of my energy. And what do you know? I also have Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. Just life, as a whole, takes up most of my energy. Just where is God going to pull from to make anything of significance happen with all those roadblocks? Oh, then there is the ministry part. My husband is a pastor and that is an amazing and often demanding job. I just don’t have time or energy for God to have something more for me to do.

It turns out that, a couple of years back, I was sitting in a crowd of 10,000 people at a Breakforth  conference. In the middle of all the noise, people and darkness, God said something directly into my soul. “I see you. I see YOU. You are not insignificant. I the God of the Universe, see YOU in this crowd.” I realized that I was not just one more of those human beings walking around on the planet and who was lost in the middle of a huge crowd. Yes, I was going to squish my way through the crowd and go back home to life as usual., but was it going to be going home to life as usual… really? No, he had something planned for ME. It startled me. Made me weep. The God who formed the UNIVERSE has bigger plans for me? I thought that I was livin’ the dream. I was doing what he had called me to do. I knew that I was. And yet…

I don’t know how he’ll do it. After all, I still can’t seem to get to the computer to write out my thoughts when I want to. My book is taking way more time (that I don’t have) than I thought it would take. I found out I should probably get an agent at some point and then find an editor or two…and I may have to wait for miraculous funds to do all that. That only touches a small part of what it will mean to publish a book and get things rolling.

I still don’t have any large or small crowds that want to hear what I have to share. My church was gracious enough to let me speak last year. They were kind.

Some days I can not get out of bed because my body aches so badly or it needs a break from the strenuous life I lead. It can put me on survival mode for several days to a week. There are days I can barely get out of my pajamas to home school my two kids and see my other two kids off to school.

I don’t know WHAT he’ll do. And maybe by the small steps I am taking now, I am working toward the goal that he has for me. I hope it is so.

I have come to realize this… that it doesn’t matter what I think the timing should be or the venue it should take place at or when I get the book done, it’s WHO am I doing it for? If he plans things for me then he is in charge of the details. He is the One who called me to this strange and unexpected thing called writing. Even if I never did anything else, perhaps his plans for me have been already accomplished.

I know that the God of the Universe sees ME (along with really seeing and caring for each person in this world) and I am humbled and honored and I worship him at the thought of him caring about little ol’ me.

Have you ever felt insignificant? If you do, then know that you are being noticed. You are loved. You are LOVED!!

That is fairly mind-blowing stuff.

My goals? Sure I have some!

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My Goals for 2014
1.  Kiss my man more.
2. Train for a 5K again and hopefully run with my family in an event.
3. Spend less time online and more time writing. I have some writing goals this year.
4. Organize my bedroom and keep it that way. The rest of the house…well, I will work on it but no promises.
5. See if a short-term mission/humanitarian trip is feasible for me THIS YEAR.
6. Be more involved in playing with the kids and not just let them play without me. I should have fun too!!
7. Memorize a chapter of the Bible and spend regular prayer times with my Best Friend.
8. Deepen my friendships and spend more time with them. Call my long-distance friends once per month, at least!
9. Plan a date with my man every month and be creative (it’s really difficult where I live, but there’s gotta be something!!)
10. Sing more. Laugh more. Enjoy life and all the blessings all that much more than I do right now.
11. Invite my neighbors for a BBQ and see if they come.
12. Live the life Christ has set out for me with enthusiasm, direction,  and joy.

Miss me?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh my how time flies when your life has been filled with blessings and chaos! Amazing that those two things can coexist at the same time. I will not regale you with tales from our nuthouse but suffice to say they are always good, sometimes lame and never boring. Unless you ask my kids. then there are definitely times where they are bored.

We are surviving Home Schooling the older two and the younger two are LOVING public school. I am definitely liking the mixture of both worlds most days.

My health has been better than last year but not as good as I want it. I am flopping at the exercise part but that’s no surprise. Eating healthily is coming but Christmastime has thrown me off my game.  But overall I am feeling better than my “in my bed, helpless” last year.

The Revered, otherwise known as my dear husband, has worked hard and ministering to hearts around these parts as well as preaching the truth at our church. I admire him for all the time he puts in and his dedication towards seeing that his time is spent in ways that fulfill his purpose for being a Follower of Christ.

there is so much I could tell you about our lives right now, but I’ll leave it at that. It is the time of year to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and remember that we serve the God who made the Universe and how he came down to live among us. His entry to the world was quiet, humble and without fanfare. He ministered amongst man and healed and restored. He continues to do that to these days through his believers who follow in his footsteps.

Happy birthday, To Jesus, who is my friend, my Savior, the One my life is dedicated to. May I love as he loved, pray as he prayed, and see His purposes lived in and through me.

Blessings to you all through this Christmas time and see you safe, warm and surrounded by people who love you.

(((HUGS))) from our family to yours.

Marcy