Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Lifetime of Thankfulness

November starts the 30 Days of Thankfulness posts on Facebook - and one year I posted something I was thankful for each day (Days 1-11 and Days 12-30). I always enjoying reading what my friends post, but after an emotional day, this year I want to focus on how thankful I am for the HOPE we have in Christ - not just for 30 days, but for a lifetime!

Some days it hits me harder than others when my cancer junk is at the front of my thoughts. I can't even begin to imagine what veterans go through with PTSD. 

A graphic popped up on Facebook this morning stating November is National Caregivers Month (in addition to many other awareness issues). So on the way to church I'm thinking about how well my husband and family took care of me - and still do - during my treatment and the emotional roller coaster that is still a daily ride.

Now I begin reflecting on my journey...

While waiting for our service to start, I read an update about a little boy in our church who has neuroblastoma (Coltrane the Courageous). The honesty shared by Coltrane's dad is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It makes my emotional roller coaster look like a kiddie ride.

Now I begin feeling survivor's guilt...

Then we sing Great I Am (Phillips, Craig & Dean) and tears begin flowing as I reflect on the powerful words...

Hallelujah, holy, holy
God Almighty, the great I Am
Who is worthy, none beside Thee
God Almighty, the great I Am

I pull myself together for the sermon, but during offering we sing 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman). That last verse always gets me...

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Now I'm just a blubbering mess...

And tonight I read that Fred Thompson died - after a relapse of indolent lymphoma - which just brings up more emotions... and maybe a few fears...

I can't imagine getting through life - especially the tough things of life - without the promise of eternity in God's presence.
So, I'm going to keep my eye on the prize and pursue a lifetime of thankfulness for the HOPE I have in Christ - firm and secure!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Most Unlikely

Do you ever feel insignificant? Or as if you're the most unlikely to make a difference? Welcome to my world.

I’m still trying to figure out what comes next in this crazy journey I’ve been on for almost three years. It's so easy to slip back into old habits when life isn't as tough as it had been. 

I want to dream big and do significant things for God, but I’m not sure what that looks like. And honestly, I feel a bit like the most unlikely to do great things. 

But I know that God didn’t bring me through the most wonderfully difficult experience of my life for me to return to complacency or remain stagnant.

So... what does God want me to do? How does He want me to encourage others?? To glorify Him???

I know fear and my own insecurities are big stumbling blocks. Talking about my cancer was easy. It was so tangible. It was there for the world to see, bald head and all. But knowing what to do now is scary and intimidating because it's not so in-your-face obvious. 

Wouldn't it be great if God painted a message in the sky that said, "Terri, I want you to ____________."

For now, I need to trust God while I continue...
  • blogging... and trying to expand my writing - especially since it's good therapy.
  • reading and learning... from God's Word, spiritual mentors, and inspirational authors.
  • praying... for friends who are on a hard journey and for God's revelation of how He wants to use me. 

I just listened to a snippet from Patsy Clairmont that is exactly what I need to hear:
"God chooses to use the most unlikely to accomplish things far beyond what they believe they can do... When we get our eyes off of what we're not and focus on who He is, it will make all the difference."

Linked to:


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello, I'm Terri...

...and I'm a procrastinator!

There, I said it. I've always known it but usually blame it on something else. I'm too busy... I have four kids... I have too much going through my head to keep it all straight... I work full-time... I have chemo brain...

Glynnis Whitwer's new book Taming the To-Do List has helped me recognize some issues in my procrastination, or what I like to call my organized chaos! Understanding some reasons why I don't accomplish everything is helping me see what I need to change in my thinking and implementation of my to-do list. This book is very practical, and while reading it, I felt like it was describing ME!

I appreciate the personal examples which also give practical tips for improvement. Glynnis Whitwer includes an application at the end of each chapter for two areas the reader identifies at the beginning of the book: a regular task - I'm working on our budget - and a personal goal - I'm dreaming about ways to use my cancer experience.

I'm grateful to Revell for sending me this book for review. It is easy to read, completely relevant, and gives tangible tools to help us all tame our to-do lists!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Season of Leaves

I hate leaves... the dead leaves that make a home in my gutters and pile up all over my yard, porch, yard, flower beds, yard, patio... and did I mention yard??? I hate cleaning them out of all those places. I hate the smell of damp leaves that have been snoozing in the gutters and on the ground. I hate the critters that are hiding in the smelly wet leaves.

I was thinking about how much I hate those dead leaves today as I was scooping out the slime that was growing miniature trees in the gutters. And for an instant I wondered why we even have to mess with leaves in the fall. But then I was quickly reminded of Ecclesiastes chapter 3...  

There is a time for everything, 
and a SEASON for every activity under heaven. 

What if there were no leaves to clean up in the fall? 

I would miss out on the sweet flowers that appear on the trees as we welcome spring.

I would miss out on the new leaves and their sea of green that provide an umbrella of shade in the summer.

I would miss out on the miracle of the changing colors of the leaves that announce fall.

I would miss out on the bare branches that seem to strike a pose against the winter backdrop.

And I would miss out on recognizing how God's amazing creation changes with each SESAON! 

I turned my griping into rejoicing as I scooped leaves out of the gutters and raked them out of the garden. I actually found myself thankful for the smelly wet leaves. Thankful for the opportunity to be outside soaking up some sunshine and vitamin D. Thankful for getting a work-out while checking off an item on my to-do list. And thankful that my collection of leaves made the silly chickens so happy.

Yes, I am thankful for the season of leaves!

Linking to:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why We Walk

It's time for another Light the Night Walk, and we need your support!!!

There's always confusion and mixed feelings when it comes to fundraising. I hate asking for money, and people want to know where their money is going. So, let me explain...

TEAM TERRI's participation in the Light the Night Walk is NOT a fundraiser for us personally. All proceeds from the Light the Night Walk go to the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help advance their mission:  to CURE leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Here's a graphic showing how funds are used by LLS.

As a blood cancer patient, LLS has personally been a benefit to me through:

Educational Materials

LLS has materials for each specific type of blood cancer. It's been my "go-to" place for information on my two types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In fact, it's where I learned my Stage 3 diagnosis didn't necessarily mean the same as other Stage 3 cancers. Whew! The internet can be a scary place when looking up cancer. LLS is a reputable source with helpful information for my specific type of cancer. They also offer seminars (on-line and locally), forums, and on-line chats and webinars.

Co-Pay Assistance Program

I was able to qualify for the Co-Pay Assistance Program that reimburses me for co-pays during treatment and follow-up. It also reimburses part of my insurance premiums. That has been a huge help considering we drive 150 miles round trip for each appointment, port flush, and scan... not to mention paying for those appointments and scans :)

Government Advocacy

LLS has an advocacy group that works on behalf of cancer patients from the local to national level. They make it easy for others to be involved by providing links with e-mails already composed ready for us to hit send.

Light the Night Walk

The Light the Night Walk is a special evening that honors patients and survivors, caregivers, and those who have lost their battle to blood cancer. Our family represents all three groups - me as a survivor (white lantern), my family as excellent caregivers (red lantern), and in memory of my husband's grandmother who passed away from lymphoma before targeted therapies were developed (gold lantern). We're also walking in honor of my father-in-law who was recently diagnosed with multiple myleoma. The walk is very personal for our family!


I love the truth of this picture...

The outcome of my therapy may have been totally different if not for the development of Rituxan - a targeted therapy that has been available for only 20 years. Without funding, there is no research. Without research, there aren't as many survival stories. In fact, 40 years ago, there was only a 3% chance of surviving childhood leukemia. Today, 90% of children with leukemia survive! Amazing!

So... that's why we participate in the Light the Night Walk and give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We'd love for you to support TEAM TERRI as we walk to the end of blood cancer.

Join our team or donate here!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Goodness... it's been four months since I updated my blog.

Today was a routine four month check up with labs, a port flush, AND finally meeting my new doctor. The verdict? We liked him!!! He had obviously studied my file and even sounded like he had been my doctor from the beginning. 

He changed the schedule of my port flushes to coincide better with my check ups, so now I'll go every two months for that and then every four months for labs and visits with him or the NP. And he said we'd wait until it's been a year to do another CT scan (which will be February)!

He also said if I'd only had the diffuse large B cell lymphoma (aggressive), I'd be good to go with no more scans. But... I don't... and the follicular lymphoma (indolent) is a bit trickier. Part of the trick is finding a balance between staying on top of a recurrence/relapse without exposing me to unnecessary radiation that could cause another kind of malignancy down the road. 

As we were walking to the car, Daryl laughed and said, "You just had to have the follicular, didn't you!" Thanks, Hon!

Besides cancer, there are a lot of aspects to life that require balance. I seem to have been off balance the last few months not only with my blogging, but with my exercising and even my quiet time (not to mention cleaning, organizing, appointments, budget, etc). It's all been a little random and hit-and-miss. 

After seeing some very frail patients at the clinic today, I decided I need to get serious about toning my body and building physical strength. And more importantly, I need to make my quiet time with God a priority and build my spiritual strength. It's time to find balance!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Perfectly Normal

I've waited almost two years to hear words confirming I'm in least as much in remission as I can be. This week my oncology Nurse Practitioner (Julie) told me my labs were good, my scans were good, and I was perfectly normal. WOO HOO!!! Of course, I chuckled knowing my family would be cracking up to hear me described as any kind of normal. Then she clarified, "On paper, you are normal." HA!

I went to my appointment with a couple of questions on my mind. First, since I had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (aggressive) along with Follicular Lymphoma (indolent), where do I fit when reading articles, listening to webinars, and attending seminars? I haven't found much that addresses aggressive and slow growing lymphomas at once. Julie explained I had two separate types of lymphoma and it will be hard to find information that applies to me having them together. So I'll just keep learning about BOTH.

The good news is the DLBCL (aggressive) is considered cured, and getting to the five year mark will be a relief. The not-as-good news is the FL (indolent) is not curable and could some day "rear it's ugly head." So, I'll be monitored for life - also known as watch and wait. Yep, for life... But it's comforting to know my doctor will be continually observing me.

The second question I had was if a CT scan will pick up bone cancer. Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but information is power, right?!?! My last couple of scans, as well as a bone scan after I cracked a rib, show degenerative arthritis and osteopenia, which I'm sure is the cause of my neck pain. Since pain is also a symptom of something more, I don't want to dismiss it just because nothing else showed up on my scan. Julie said a CT scan will show if cancer has spread to the bone. She also assured me that it is not common for lymphoma to metastasize to the bone like some other cancers. 

While cancer (and lime green) will always be a part of my life, it's becoming less and less the seemingly BIGGEST part of my life. I'm moving past the surviving stage and on to the thriving stage. I'm looking for ways to make the most of what I've learned and experienced. Life changing events force a new normal, and I'm becoming more comfortable with my new perfectly normal.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Believe 2.3 and 2.4

Since I'm behind with my Documented Faith verses after going on vacation, I'm combining the last two BELIEVE verses - Psalm 46:10a and 2 Corinthians 4:18.

These passages compliment each other very well. Psalm 46:10a tells us to be still and know that God is God. We need to be quiet before Him and BELIEVE that He is in control. We posted this verse around the house during my cancer journey to remind us to relax, breathe, and trust God. Today it's a reminder that no matter what is happening (health, kids, life), God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do!

While going through a difficult situation, it's so easy to get caught up in the here and now. Paul encourages us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 to keep our eyes on the big picture - eternity! Whatever we may experience on earth is nothing compared to heaven! We need to look to our eternal glory and know that it outweighs any trial here on earth.

The things we usually focus on - the things that are seen - are fleeting. Let's look to heaven and remember that the unseen of eternity is our end goal.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
~ 2 Corinthians 4:18

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cruising - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Daryl and I went on another great cruise - an all-inclusive vacation where we didn't have to worry about a thing... except driving home in the ice...

Last year I posted some travel tips that we learned after our first cruise (here). This year, a list noting the good, the bad, and the ugly seems appropriate.

SMALLER CLASS SHIP (Serenade of the Seas)
  • The Good 
    • Less expensive
  • The Bad
    • Less space and activities on board
  • The Ugly
    • You can feel the ocean a lot... a LOT... I didn't get nauseous, but it sure messed with my head.

  • The Good
    • Lots of delicious food and fancy desserts to sample!
  • The Bad
    • Eating LOTS of delicious food and fancy desserts
  • The Ugly
    • Stepping on the scale when returning home 

  • The Good
    • Relaxing on the beach and gazing at the incredibly beautiful ocean
  • The Bad
    • Forgetting to put sunscreen on the tops of our feet
  • The Ugly
    • Thong bikinis. OH.MY.WORD. Either these gals didn't have mirrors in their staterooms, didn't have friends to tell them NOT to go in public so under-dressed, or just didn't care. Ewwww!

  • The Good
    • Cream perfume in a cute little compact
  • The Bad
    • Possible allergic reaction
  • The Ugly 
    • Hives on my neck - Next cruise will include regular perfume and hydrocortisone cream! Thankfully I had some allergy medicine!

We still packed too much and didn't have all the right clothes (like a dressy sweater for the freezing dining room), but at least ALL of our bags this year had wheels! We're anxiously awaiting Royal Carribean's 2017 schedule so we can plan our next cruise!

Video highlights will be in another post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Believe 2.2 --- Matthew 21:22

When I saw the second verse for our month of BELIEVE in my Documented Faith group, I was a little disappointed. I thought, "Great! Now everyone will think praying is like a shopping list and you'll get whatever you want."

It brought to mind a Larry Bryant song - Shopping List - along with good memories from being in a choir where he directed us with his own music! Here's the chorus:
Give me this, I want that
Bless me, Lord, I pray
Grant me what I think I need
To make it through the day
Make me wealthy, keep me healthy
Fill in what I missed
On my never-ending shopping list
I took another look at Matthew 21:22 and my attention went to the end of the verse " prayer." It doesn't say we'll get anything and everything we ask for. First of all, we have to BELIEVE! Then, what we ask for is done in prayer. So I started looking at verses that talk about what prayer means.

For instance, God answered the prayers of those who trusted Him (I Chronicles 5:20). In Acts 1:14 the believers joined together constantly in prayer. We are told to be faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12), pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), and offer our prayers in faith (James 5:15). James goes on to say, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Jesus explains in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit in order to receive whatever we ask in His name.

We are also told our prayers should be without anger or disputing (I Timothy 2:8). And Peter warns husbands how to treat their wives so that nothing would hinder their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When looking at other references to prayer, it's clear that Matthew 21:22 is NOT a license to give God our shopping lists.  If we go back to our first verse this year (Jeremiah 29:11), we know that God only wants to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future.

There's no better request than what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10...Your will be done!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Beauty of Grace - Book Review

Sometimes - a lot of times - less is more. The Beauty of Grace is full of short stories with big impact. I've met many great writers without having to read that same number of books. Think of it as "The Best of..."

Dawn Camp has organized the book into the topics of Purpose, The Big Picture, Surrender, Trust, Lessons Learned, Hope and Encouragement, and Worship with 6-8 stories under each topic. It has a variety of writing styles from authors who are all in different stages of life with different experiences. Some of the stories seemed to be written just for me! It has introduced me to new writers while featuring some of my favorites. But more importantly, it is a reminder of God's love for me and the beauty of His grace!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Believe 2.1 --- James 1:5-6

BELIEVE is the word for February in my Documented Faith group, and the first verse is James 1:5-6...

The beginning of James gives us the formula for dealing with trials. And isn't it funny when you study it right before a life-changing trial??? I went through Beth Moore's study on James (Mercy Triumphs) just a couple of months before being diagnosed with cancer. Talk about putting it into action!!! And you know what? It IS possible to experience joy during trials!

Trials test our faith... which develops perseverance... which makes us complete... 

However, if/when we need widsom - or spiritual discernment - to find the joy in our trials, all we need to do is ask God for help. And, oh, how He helps us! He will generously give us that wisdom if we only BELIEVE that He will do what he says He will do!!!

Linked to Coffee for your Heart

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fun Times with the CT Scan

As long as I'm journaling this whole journey for the world to read, I might as well include today's CT scan adventure. So I drive 70+ miles to Tulsa, take the wrong exit, but thankfully find my way to the hospital. I finally find a parking space, get to the right floor, and find where I check in. Already I've accomplished a lot!!!

I was prepared to pay my whole deductible and 20%, but insurance shows almost half of my deductible has been met. I'm not sure how, but I'm not arguing! Then I go to the radiology waiting room, fill out papers, and wait for the yummy drink. But the drink never comes... When the guy called me back, I asked if I was supposed to drink something. He said they quit doing that about a month ago and found it saved about an hour per patient. I hate to break it to them, but it did NOT make my visit any shorter.

I get the IV needle placed in my arm and sit and wait with a nice warm blanket (the best part). They call me back to the CT room and tell me I need to take off my bra if it has an underwire. Hmmmm. That's never been an issue with all my previous scans. No biggie, except I have an IV needle sticking out of my arm with my shirt and sweater sleeves pushed up above my elbow!!! Why couldn't they mention that BEFORE the IV?

The scan started with the same ol' instructions: take a breath and hold... breathe... take a breath and hold... breathe... I lost count. Then it was time for the contrast - nasty metallic taste and a warmth that spreads across my chest and downward until it feels like I've wet my pants. Seriously! It's the weirdest thing! And now you'll be prepared when it's your turn.

Finally, it's done and a different guy unhooks me and leads me out... without giving me the opportunity to put a certain article of clothing back on... Fun times!

The humor takes away some of the "scanxiety" - so it's all good. Just making memories!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Truth 1.4 --- John 14:6

I love that the last verse for the January word of TRUTH is John 14:6. Jesus is the truth! This verse doesn't need an explanation... instead, it IS the explanation.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..."
 John 14:6

Can you imagine the disciples' confusion before Jesus was crucified? He tells them not to worry and to trust in God. He explains He's going to His Father's house to prepare a place for them - and us who believe in Him. The disciples still didn't understand how they would know the way to where Jesus was going. That's when Jesus answered, "I AM the way..."

Jesus is the only way to the Father who is the Great I AM (Exodus 3:14), and that's a wonderful TRUTH!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Cancerversary" is a Word!

Yep - it's a real word and now part of my vocabulary! Two years ago today I heard the diagnosis, "You have lymphoma." In some ways it all seems surreal. Did I really have cancer? The dreaded "c" word? Well, I did... and I'm better because of it. 

Isn't it crazy how God orchestrates even the tiniest details of reading a particular devotion on a particular day to impact the meaning? I'm reading through Blackaby's Experiencing God Day by Day, and two readings this week focused on Hebrews 5:7-9 and suffering.  
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...

Jesus prayed "with loud cries and tears" to be spared from death.
  • Been there, done that. 

Jesus "learned obedience from what he suffered."
  • Still learning.

Jesus' suffering made Him perfect.
  • Am I willing to suffer to become like Christ?

I'm sure I've read these verses many times, but I've never paid attention to how they guide my response to suffering - (the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship). And to be clear, I don't consider my journey as much suffering as just a "bump in the road" (to quote my sweet friend Linda Shedd). All in all, I've had it fairly easy.

My devotion explained that "God will always relate to me out of the context of His love for a lost world." It's not all about me. It's about God and His kingdom. I'm thankful for what I've learned and how my faith has grown during the past two years. 

With mixed emotions I welcome my "cancerversary" as an opportunity to reflect on how God is refining me and giving me purpose! I pray I will be a powerful testimony for Him.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Truth 1.3 --- Psalm 86:11

It's neat to see how others in our Documented Faith group pick out different aspects of the same verse to focus on and illustrate in their journals. 

Our verse this past week was Psalm 86:11.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in Your truth;
give me an undivided heart
that I may fear Your name. 

Not only did David pray to be saved from his enemies throughout the Psalms, but he prayed that God would keep him on the right path. This reminds me that physical safety and healing is not the most important thing in life.

It seems like there are so many distractions that make it hard to give my full allegience to God... you know, life... and this verse is a wonderful prayer for God's guidance.

May I have an undivided heart and walk in God's TRUTH.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Truth 1.2 --- Psalm 25:4-5

This past week's verses for my Documented Faith group were Psalm 25:4-5. My Facebook friends know I love the Psalms and post a verse almost every day! Reading a chapter a day for most of the last two years (since starting my cancer journey) has been the best encouragement! So I was especially excited to see these verses!

Just a little bit of background information on Psalm 25 from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon. (This might be my new favorite book!)

This Psalm is an acrostic in the original Hebrew language. Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. Wouldn't it be great to know Hebrew and see the alphabetical song?!?!

David was probably older when he wrote this Psalm as he pleads that God not remember the sins of his youth. He most likely wrote it during a time when Absalom was against him.

I love that David is still asking God to guide and teach him. May the desire of my heart be for God to show me His ways and teach me His paths... to guide me in His TRUTH and teach me... because He is my God, and my hope is in Him. 

Send forth Your light and truth
let them guide me; 
let them bring me to Your holy mountain, 
to the place where You dwell.
Psalm 43:3

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, 
He will guide you into all truth.
John 16:13

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Truth 1.1 --- Jeremiah 29:11

In a previous post I talked about a group called Documented Faith where we are challenged with a word each month and then a verse each week to go along with the monthly word. It's designed as a way to artistically journal or "document" your faith journey for the year. While I love seeing everyone's artwork, I don't have the time - or the talent - to do all the drawing, coloring, painting, etc like some others. But, I'm going to try to be FAITHFUL (read about my year word here) in my Bible study of the verses!

The word for January is TRUTH, and the first verse is Jeremiah 29:11. 

This has been a favorite verse of mine since college. In fact, it was read at my candlelight - they way our dorm announced an engagement! I admit I just liked the verse without really knowing anything about it. I mean, who doesn't like knowing there's a plan for our GOOD!!! This past week I've been looking at the verse in context, and I like it even more!

It's part of Jeremiah's letter to the exiles in Babylon basically encouraging them to "keep on keeping on." To get the whole impact of verse 11, you have to back to verse 10.

This is what the LORD says: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.

70 years!!! Not tomorrow or the next day, but 70 years for the gracious promise to be fulfilled! That's longer than some people's lifetime!

Suddenly, verse 11 is a big picture kind of verse. God knows the plan for His people. It's His plan, and it's for our good... to give us HOPE and a future.

Don't you love that!!!

It doesn't mean we'll be healthy, wealthy, and wise. It doesn't mean we won't have hard times. In fact, maybe it won't be until eternity for the fulfillment of His gracious promise, but it WILL be fulfilled! That is an awesome TRUTH!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


One of my goals since cancer is finding ways to use it for good... finding my purpose. So if I can educate, encourage, and glorify God, I'm on board. And there are things about me now that are so much better than before.

Yesterday I had an appointment to have my port flushed. I would love to be a volunteer at Tulsa Cancer Institute, but living 70+ miles away makes that impossible. Sometimes I feel like I'm not DOING anything. But while walking across the parking lot, it hit me that maybe my role is to encourage those with whom I have some kind of personal connection. I don't have to be part of an organized group to have a purpose.

Before cancer, I had little desire to visit anyone in the hospital. I felt like I didn't know what to say, what to do, or how to act. I would be terrified and do whatever I could to avoid uncomfortable situations. But after my appointment yesterday, I visited a friend in the hospital who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. And I went all by myself! That may not seem like much, but the fact that I wasn't intimidated, apprehensive, or a nervous wreck is huge! 

I realized I don't have to worry about saying the right words or not saying the wrong words. I just need to be available when and where God wants me. He will show me how to...

"...comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:4

Thursday, January 1, 2015


My word for 2015 is FAITHFUL.

A lot of people choose one word to focus on for the year as inspiration for their quiet time, scrapbooking, journaling, etc. I'm part of an on-line group (Documented Faith) that has challenged me to think about a word for the year to go along with the words the moderator has chosen for each month and verses for each week. I wasn't going to pick a word, because really, how do you decide? It's funny how God decided for me!

I want to be FAITHFUL... my Walk with God my relationships my work/ministry

...with my money/time/home

Through my cancer journey, I've never doubted that God is faithful to me. Now I want to show myself as faithful to Him. I tend to start strong (resolutions, projects, pretty much anything) and then gradually fade without finishing. So if you hear me chanting my 5K mantra - slow and steady wins the race - you'll know why! I hope to regularly blog about this new kind of journey as God teaches me how to be faithful in all I do.

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him FAITHFULLY with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
~ I Samuel 12:24