Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Peace


"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Fellow Travelers



            So, who goes with me on this journey?  I am so blessed to have an amazing, strong husband of almost 42 years who loves me “through sickness and in health”.  He is sweet and kind, solicitous when needed, and backs away when he knows that I just need to be alone. We are also blessed with three children and two sons-in-law who are strong in their Christian faith and love their mama……what can I say? And then there are our seven “grand” children, 10, 8, 6,6,6, 3, and 3.  Their precious smiles, hugs, and kisses are what I live for.  My heart’s desire is to see them all graduate from high school and college, and walk down the aisle in their weddings.  Of course, there are my friends—dear, sweet, Christian sisters who bring me casseroles, chicken salad, cute “Life is Good” hat and T-shirt, Subway (like today), cry and laugh with me, pray for me, plan trips when I feel better, and help me decorate my shelves!  I have also had calls from the brave survivors, giving me encouragement and strength that I can beat it too! Our church and pastor fills our spiritual souls with prayer, beautiful praise music, sound teaching, and the belief that healing is in the future.  Added to all of this are my Facebook friends, the sisters at Bible CafĂ© for Women, and other sisters that I have met through their beautiful and inspiring blogs. Finally,  I can’t leave out my constant companions, Max and Ruby, my darling daschunds.  Like the beautiful song by Jamie Grace, I am “Not Alone”.
          My husband and I met my doctor this week.  I prayed that God would give me a doctor who cared………and He did!  She carefully and unhurriedly explained the process of chemo with its possible side effects and assured me that she would do everything that she could do to help me survive chemo ((or as my dear friend Ruth calls it—the healing drip into my body).  She went out of her way to order one last test so that I could begin chemo on Wednesday.  The fight has begun.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Packing for the Journey


 Your word is a lamp before my feet 
and a light for my journey.
Psalm 119: 105 CEB

Half the fun of taking a trip is planning it!  I love to pour over the brochures, peruse the websites, make lists, and pack my suitcase.  So, I’ve been thinking; what do I pack for this spiritual and healing journey?  Here’s my list so far:
  • God’s Word (This has already given me a lot of courage and strength.)  The Bible will be my travel guide and map.  When or if I get lost along the way, I have all the confidence in the world that He will be my GPS.  There may be a lot of “recalculating, recalculating,” but I trust that God knows where this journey ends, and He will get me there safely.
  • Prayer Journal--Over the years, I have kept a prayer journal during different times of my life.  It always amazes me to go back and read how God has intervened in the most wonderful ways!  Several years ago, I purchased a book called, Praying in Color by Sybil McBeth.  This book teaches even those of us who aren’t very artistic to doodle our prayers in a journal.  It’s fun and effective.
  • My “fight” songs.  I have created a playlist of my favorite songs on my IPod that are musical prayers for me.  Music is healing! When I wake at night, dark thoughts filling my head, I sing.  I often wake with one of these songs playing in my head
  • There are several books that I want to read along the way.  A dear friend just sent me The Meal that Heals, Enjoying Intimate Daily Communion with God by Perry Stone.  Anne Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is another book that will be packed away in a special place.  There are so many wonderful books out there that are just a click away on my IPad!
  •  Speaking of the IPad!  The YouVersion app at www.youversion.com/free-bible-apps is a free Bible App that allows you to take the Bible along on your IPad, IPhone, or laptop.  The App has multiple translations, Bible reading plans, a place to take notes, and other great options.  So, that will definitely be packed in my suitcase!
  • My camera.  Photography gets my creative juices flowing!  When there is an artist inside who can’t draw or paint, photography fills the void.  It’s fun to see God’s world through the lens of a camera.  It’s as if you have an intimate close-up look at His creation.  Scripture and photography just goes hand in hand.
  • My Pillow………OK, I don’t go anywhere without my pillow!

It’s going to be a miraculous journey; and I may have to pick up some things along the way, but I have all the faith in the world that God will provide.  Now, who will go on this journey with me…………



Monday, January 16, 2012

With God's help, I'm ready


It’s January 2012, a fresh new year full of fun and surprises.  I’m not supposed to get this call, “Mrs. Hamilton, it’s Dr. Hagans. You have breast cancer.”   No, this is not supposed to happen to me.  Except for one cousin, no one in my family has had breast cancer.  Where in the world did that come from?     
            For almost 60 years, God has held my life in his hands.  As a little four-year-old girl, I opened the door to my heart and accepted Jesus into my heart.  I will never forget the picture that the nice neighbor lady showed me….there was Jesus standing at the door inviting me in.   I walked right in and gave Jesus my hand.  He’s been holding it ever since.
            Jesus and I have been on an adventure together for the last 60 years.  He has introduced me to His Word, taught me that miracles can happen, chastened me when I strayed, sustained me when I went through spiritually dry times in my life, held me when I was afraid, challenged me when I was hesitant, laughed with me, smiled at me, met me every morning in my chair with my sweet dogs cuddled up along side and His word opened in my lap, went to work with me everyday, heard my pleas, and cries, and petitions……….He’s not going to abandon me now.
            This week when I begin this new journey, He will be right there with me each step of the way; and also with my sweet daughters, son, sons-in-laws, grandchildren, and precious husband.  He is Jehovah-Rapha, “The Lord who heals you.”  Exodus 15: 26.    I’m ready.
             This is where the God-Bumps come in……..Yesterday, I faced CT and Bone scans to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread.  I felt such a peace as I walked through the doors into the cavern of that big hospital.  This picture was taken a year ago walking up that same sidewalk into that same hospital.  I took it on a whim, and God brought it to my memory a couple of days ago.  As I brought it into Photoshop to add the scripture------I saw it!  There was the cross.  I was standing under the cross. God knew a year ago that I would need this picture, and it went with me into those dark scanning rooms.
            My husband and I met with the doctor late yesterday afternoon.  All my scans were clear!  Chemo follows, but with my sweet husband, family, and friends by one side and Jesus on the other, I will continue to fight this fight with the sword of the Spirit.  I know who wins.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday



On the sixth day God completed all the work that he had done, and on the seventh day  God rested from all the work 
that he had done.     
Genesis 2:2




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sometimes Life Needs A Push To Just Get Started

          A new year.........the hardest part of anything is "getting started".  I can think of several things in my life that I have had a difficult time getting started.
  • As a child---homework
  • As a wife and mother---housework
  • As a child of God---His work
     Once, however, you make that first step, it really does get easier.  Why is it that we (I) have so much trouble just getting started.  
     My church is kick starting this new year with 12 days set a part to help "get us started" on the new year.  They call it a "Solemn Assembly", a time of prayer, fasting, Bible reading, and coming together as the Body of Christ.  It has certainly helped me to focus on God's purpose for the year and start a new adventure.
         "Blow the trumpet in Jerusalem; call for a day when everyone fasts.  Tell everyone to stop work.  Bring the people together and make the meeting holy for the Lord."  Joel 2:15,16
     Now that's doing something---that's taking the first step---that's getting started in a holy way.