Saturday, September 20, 2014

BMC 2014

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 
 Psalm 119:105


Friday, September 19, 2014

She is...I am

capecodma

She's the places that she has a desire to visit.
She's the pieces of quotes that are splattered in ink in her favorite books.
She's the road trips she hopes to go on.
She's the beautiful characters that mesmerized her in her favorite books.
She's full of dreams, and I hope they one day come true.
~Alexa Evangelista



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

salt water therapy

saltwatertherapy You will keep the mind that is dependent on You
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in You.
Isaiah 26:3

Some days I awaken from dreams that are simply of the "good ole days" kind. Friends and family and I enjoying life together. Sometimes crazy things; others believable. Yesterday morning, however, I awoke with lingering thoughts of the dream I had throughout the night. You know, the one that begins, wakes you up in a cold sweat, and then resumes where it left off as soon as you fall back to sleep.  It seemed so real. It was so believable.  It was so incredibly frightening.  It was also directly related to my morning's appointment taking place at 9:30 AM.
This does not often happen.  Most of my dreams are of the ridiculous kind...people and places intermingling in random situations.  When I do have a dream related to reality, I know my mind is consumed with whatever it is that is happening.
I knew this first appointment back at the women's imaging clinic would be tough.  My first screening since last October 16th's screening led to further screenings, a needle biopsy, my first ever MRI, and finally surgery.  With each procedure, my body had some interesting and increasingly painful reactions to the stress of the journey I was taking.
Interestingly enough, the results of the screening were not a concern of mine.  God has a plan.  He will take care of me.  It was getting through the procedure that caused me the most anxiety.  Not because it would be painful, but rather because I did not want to be "that" patient who passed out {again} or the person who had a panic attack while otherwise occupied, unable to move or breathe.  The reality that either [or both] of those things could happen hit hard on the drive over, resulting in me falling apart in the parking lot outside of the office.  While it was not a full blown panic attack (thankfully!), it was enough of one that it shook me to the core.  I was most likely the only person walking into the imaging center with puffy red eyes from crying.  At least I saw none other as I walked in and sat there awaiting my turn.
A song had come to mind as I was driving to my appointment and the anxiousness levels were rising. "Forever Reign" lyrics were a soothing balm as I sat in the parking lot and played it off of YouTube on my phone.
"You are peace. You are peace when my fear is crippling." begins one stanza.  Jesus is indeed my peace.  There is no other that can calm me like the name of Jesus whispered from my lips.  My situation did not change, but my awareness of His presence with me did.  It is no wonder in my mind why we sang this song in church on Sunday.  I needed these words, this truth.
Anxiety longs to steal my thoughts away from all else.  It is a struggle, in the moment, to do anything but breathe.  It is a learning process I am in to remain calm and keep my thoughts centered on Jesus when I am under attack by anxiety.  Thankfully, it is less often now that I experience panic attacks than back in the winter months.  With each appointment and each anniversary date that comes and goes, and with continued support from my amazing team of family, friends, and doctors, this, too, shall pass.
As the morning turned into the afternoon, I completed the salt water therapy trio.  Following the morning tears, was a good sweat session of plyometrics; completing the trio was a dip in our pool.
“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.” ~Isak Dinesen

beyond the church walls

in this togetherEarlier this summer, our church had an opportunity to help a smaller church in Atlanta with a VBS for their community.  We met in a school every evening for a week.  The boys and I missed going the first night due to being out of town, but we joined in the second evening in order to answer a plea for help mowing the grass at the location.
Little did we know that God used that to draw us in that night and keep us returning for the remainder of the week.  You see, having missed that first night, I felt a disconnect, not sure it was our place to jump into after it had already begun. He showed me differently.
The boys and I had chosen to ride the church bus with everyone else. We were there to help mow the grass, but remained there for the VBS in order to catch a ride back on the bus.
The boys were given tasks in which they could help serve. I took a seat in the assembly area, not for sure of what I would be doing, until...
A young girl comes in, in tears, and has a confrontation with her older sisters right in front of where I am sitting.  I stand up and talk to the younger girl to try and figure out what the problem was.  She attaches herself to me in a matter of seconds and becomes my insta-shadow.  It is now apparent that I am going to be helping in the 3rd & 4th grade class. All week. :)
opening assembly
Overall, the week went well. Kids were loved on and we were loved on in return.  Serving outside of my comfort zone reminded me that I need to get out of my zone more often.
being crafty
The photo below is one of my favorites from the week. As we bowed for prayer at the end of music, I saw this happening before me...so sweet!
a lesson in prayer
My little shadow drew a picture of us together on the very first night. How could I not come back and see her?
she and I
After a trying day 4 on Thursday, we all made it through to enjoy the closing program on Friday night. Some of these children went to school here, but had never been on the stage in front of a crowd of people. It was sweet to get to see them perform our VBS songs for their parents and such.
younger kids closing ceremony closing assembly