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Faith over Cancer!

Positive Attitude over Cancer!

I have been adding posts about my friend, Tarah.

This morning she so inspired me …this was her facebook post this morning after a long day of tests yesterday:

On my way to MD Anderson to see how much cancer is left and to get my last chemo. I’m not gonna pray that the cancer be gone. I pray that, no matter what, God’s will be done. If it’s His will that all the cancer be gone, that’s the awesomest thing!! If it’s His Will that I continue to fight, I’m in.

Tarah

Would you take some time to pray for this young mother, Tarah, today? 

You may follow Tarah’s story here:

Read Part 1: A PINK CHRISTMAS here…

Read Part 2: Round 1 of Her Fight here…

Read Part 3: A Few Bad Days here…

Read Part 4: My Perfect Life here…

Read Part 5: My Life, The Sermon here…

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg gave a talk at the popular TED Conference about why women are still having a hard time reaching the top of their professions, and offered them three realistic pieces of advice.

It’s baseball season …and well, it’s no secret that I’m not a BIG sports fan!

…at least not watching it on TV …BORING

but I do love going to the games …people watching, the junk food, I guess I’m more of an experience kinda girl …really don’t care too much about the game.

My Michael and I love to go to the Springfield Cardinals games. We do so every chance we get. The stadium if fabulous (it’s where we are standing in the pict on the banner of my blog) and the fun and games between innings is so much fun …and yes, I do get one of those really fattening and unhealthy hotdogs with the grilled onions ~ every time.

Yes, every time.

In fact, we are going tonight with all the Convoy of Hope families …and yes, I will eat one of those hotdogs.

So when my brother posted my great-nephews first T-ball picts and I saw he was a Cardinal …it  made my heart skip a beat.

I love this kid, this little Mason, oh he’s not little ~ he’s BIG – he let’s you know that right away.

…and he is definitely the cutest ever to wear a Cardinals uniform.

…and to that there is no denying.

Cardboard Testimonies

…every time I watch one of these presentations of Cardboard Testimonies my eyes fill with tears.

…tears of gratitude

…tears of hope

…tears of thankfulness

God has taken my life and turned it upside down

…and even when I fail …by the way is QUITE often

Oh How He Loves Me!

I am continuing to share Tarah’s testimony as she fighing BREAST CANCER…

Her words, her attitude, her love for her family and dependence of her Saviour inspires me:

If God isn’t in your life, you need to find Him.  And, if God IS in your life, you need to make sure that he is the center of your life.  When we make God the Center of our lives that means that we do nothing, get nothing, give nothing, want nothing, see nothing, produce nothing and say nothing without talking to Him first.  Believe me; I know that this is easier said than done. 

Think about it: most of us, at one time or another, have made a boy/girlfriend, spouse, mom/dad….someone the center of our lives.  Don’t deny it.  I know that it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis and usually don’t even realize I am.  God has blessed me with a fantastic husband.  He is absolutely perfect for me and I’m SO lucky to have him….especially in regards to his cooking skills. 🙂  I’m thankful to say that we have a pretty great marriage.  We hardly ever fight, we play together, we laugh together, we pray together.  His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa, so we balance out pretty well.  He’s my best friend, and I rely on him for almost everything.  He can, and does, make everything that’s happening to me easier.  He can make me laugh when I’m crying, he can calm me down when I’m upset.  He can love me, support me and stand by me as we face everything that Satan throws our way together.  But he can’t heal me.  He can’t do miracles and ease my pain, help me sleep, soothe my depressed states, or tell me what my purpose is in life.  And he can’t physically be there with me, on a daily basis, 24/7, to listen to my inner cries, dry my tears that I hide from my family, comfort my worries that I’m scared to vocalize, or give me wisdom and strength that I don’t know I need.  God can…..ONLY God can. 

That is what it means to make God the center of your life.  To know, accept and glory in the fact that HE is the only One that I can count on for any-and-everything unconditionally…..forever!  He is carrying me through this.  I certainly couldn’t do it myself; not even with Justin standing beside me.  Not even with my parents, sister & brother, other family, friends, or the hundreds (literally) of churches around the world (my parents are missionaries) that are constantly praying for and supporting me.  It’s hard to admit when we can’t do something, but honestly, there’s not much that we can do without Him. 

Like I said, it’s easier said than done.  Like the saying goes: “When you’re at rock bottom, the only way to look is up.”  Often, God will let us get ourselves into a position where we have no choice but to put everything in His hands.  And that’s what I’m learning to do (or try to) every day.

Three weeks ago, I started my new chemo regimen at MD Anderson.  As I explained in my last note, I had a treatment via IV with one drug, and then took 7 pills daily for 14 days of another drug.  Each of these new drugs, individually, are at least as strong as, if not stronger than, my first round of chemo, so combined, they are that much stronger.  Naturally, the last few weeks have been harder than anything my family and I have faced so far.  Aside from the ever-present pain, the nausea and dizziness has worsened and comes in completely random waves.  The fatigue is borderline intolerable.  For a person who’s relatively active, hates to nap and loves to work, this has been pretty miserable.  Some sort of extremely irritating rash appeared shortly after the treatment and we are still unsure as to what caused it.  We are waiting to see if it happens again after my next treatment.  After taking even more pills for several days, I started to get some relief.  While my rash healed, I had a couple of extremely strong pains in my chest that completely doubled me over and lasted several minutes.  Thank God that my brother and sister were here because I was practically incapacitated.  The doctors say that pains like that aren’t unheard of with large tumors, but they’re not sure what causes them.  Then Noah got a cold, which was followed by Pink Eye.  The Pink Eye passed to Justin and the cold passed on to both of us.  The cold led to my blood pressure dropping and I became severely dehydrated.  I slept over 40 hours in a 48-hour period, while Justin (with a nasty goopy eye and a cold) took care of Noah.  Since then, I’ve been chugging Gatorade and water as if I were Jillian Michaels, just to be able to function. And, as we expected, my hair started falling out again a few days ago.

That was all in the last 3 weeks, and I start it all over again tomorrow, with another treatment.  I think it’s safe to say that Satan has increased his efforts to bring me and my family down.  But, you know what?  It makes me so proud that Satan is so scared of me and what God is doing through me that he’s working overtime trying to destroy it.  Well, we can all rest assured that it’s not working and it’s not going  to work.  I imagine that he’ll try harder, so things may get even tougher here and there, but we know that God is stronger.  And I have God in my corner, so I am stronger.  I’M NOT SCARED.

God gave me a Scripture last week that has become my “Words to Live By”.  It’s Romans 5:3-5: “…We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint…”  In other words, our tribulations (or struggles), and how we deal with them, forms our character.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to have strong, godly character.  I want people to look at me and see God’s kindness, and mercy, and faithfulness, and strength, and His Light in everything I do and say.  Like every other person in the World, I’m not perfect….far from it!  But I like to think that God is proud of the effort I’m making on a daily basis.  And, I know that I will continue to make that effort every day of my life.

So, in summary, cancer sucks.  🙂  But, like every other trial we all face in life, it is making me and my family stronger.  It’s bringing us closer to God and closer to each other.  My entire family that is spread all over Texas (and a cousin in Hawaii) is doing everything they can to help me, Justin and Noah through this seemingly endless uphill battle.  My parents, brother, sister, and even my Granny, have been taking turns coming down every few days to babysit me, and make sure that I’m not alone with Noah while Justin’s at work.  I’ve had a few bouts with temporary depression because the pain and fatigue can come on so suddenly and so strongly that I’m not able to take care of him.  It makes me sad to know that, but God has helped me accept it and I know that He would protect Noah at all costs. 

I say it every time…I am so blessed with my family, as well as my work family and my community in general.  Together they are holding numerous fund-raisers to help us with the kazillions of medical bills that we’ve already received, not even halfway through my treatment. I love getting cards from friends and family in the mail, but I love even more that I only seem to get them when God knows that I need a little emotional pick-me-up.  Or I have to pay for a prescription, and someone sends us a gift card for that amount!  His timing is awesome and perfect!   I thank God every day for all of them and all the ways that He is supplying for our needs. But, mainly, I thank God for making it really easy to find things in my life to be thankful for. 🙂

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all and pray abundant blessings on you and your families.

With Love,

Tarah

Read Part 1: A PINK CHRISTMAS here…

Read Part 2: Round 1 of Her Fight here…

Read Part 3: A Few Bad Days here…

Read Part 4: My Perfect Life here…

Each March 17th we sport our green attire and decorate with shamrocks. We tell stories of leprechauns and pots of gold. We kiss the Blarney Stone, have big parades, and color the river green. But what is this holiday we celebrate all about? Who was this Patrick? How much is truth and how much is crazy folklore?  

Image by ‘bass nroll’ from the Flickr Creative Commons

It is said that Patrick was born to a wealthy strong Christian family in Brittain. At the age of sixteen he was abducted by pagans and taken to Ireland for a life of slavery. As a slave, he attended a flock of sheep belonging to a king. While attending the sheep he would quote the Lord’s Prayer that his Grandfather had taught him as a child. After several years of living in slavery Patrick said that He heard a divine voice telling him to flee back to his homeland. He escaped and boarded a ship and eventually made it back to Brittain.  

After a time, he knew he must return to Ireland, a land gripped with paganism, to share the message of salvation and freedom through Jesus Christ. He battled demonic forces; danger and hardship surrounded him. He wrote “Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promise of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere.”  

His steadfast, faith and excitement won over kings. The king of Armagh gave him a site to build a church and a pot of gold to do so. Patrick’s response was “Thanks be to God.” This infuriated the king and he demanded the return of the gold…in which Patrick responded “Thanks be to God.” The king was amazed by this humble attitude and with that he gave him a more suited place to build his church and to share the gospel.  

Patrick ministered in Ireland for over 30 years. He baptized thousands and planted hundreds of churches across the land. Throughout the coming years the once pagan land called Ireland, would become predominately Christian.  

St. Patrick, which he is now lovingly referred to, died in Ireland on March 17th, 460 A.D. Thus, the reason we celebrate this special day each year.  

There is much legend that goes along with St. Patrick but not much is actually substantiated.  Some believe that he raised people from the dead and others say he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  

Image by ‘pirate johnny’ from the Flickr Creative Commons

The icon that surrounds the holiday is the shamrock. This three-leaf clover, representing the Trinity of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit – the message so strongly preached by the missionary.  The Leprechaun is a mythical character stemming from the Celtic belief in tiny fairies that were cranky and endowed magical powers for good and evil. The cute and cheerful leprechaun of today was introduced in a 1950’s Walt Disney film called Darby O’Gill and the Little People and evolved quickly into a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day.  

Image by ‘discopalace’ from the Flickr Creative Commons

In America we celebrate with parades such as the famous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago. During this time the Chicago River is dyed green, a tradition started back in 1962.  

 

So on this March 17th, as I don my green, I’ll plan for a fun-filled day of pinching those not in dressed in the correct attire and take the fun, traditional folklore and marry it with the remembrance of this faithful missionary called Patrick …and I may even fix some corned beef and cabbage to round out the day.  

Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Luke 18:16 (MSG)