JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Monday, January 19, 2015

Every good and perfect gift . . . James 1:17

It's been a SEASON of gifts -- each and every one special and significant . . .

A special plate and Brownie mix from Keilah -- bought with her own money from her first job -- Aaah! sweet!

Hats and headgear from Pam and Cassie.  These girls not only cover my head but all sorts of other needs.

Last Friday at my low point -- a gift box arrived from Gay  -- who's been coaching and talking me through this -- it was full of  specialties -- like teas for the tummy -- cute caps for my head and GINGER SNAPS -- Each one had special significance for this journey

Saturday afternoon -- Bethany asked her Daddy to come babysit while she ran to Whole Foods -- I quickly realized the reason she had him babysit (Mat was on call) was so she could go shop for and get us our meals for the next few days -- she sent flowers from Campbell and a beautiful scarf  for my head.

Sunday's reception for our transition in ministry was a precious occasion.  I still felt weak and overwhelmed -- but  touched by the  tributes I heard --so many talked of Terry's guiding the Church like a father during these 15 years.

There was a treasure chest of cards from former members remembering special times in ministry. 
 Mary Lou Heneger worked so hard to connect with people we have known for many years.  She's been a gift to us through all our years of ministry at ETCC and Life Park.  Life Park gave us a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast of our choice. 
A friend of Linda Barr's who had gotten a breast cancer diagnosis the same week as I, gave me a book by a Tulsa author of facing this challenge.

There was a silver bracelet  from Augenae, Arissa and Bubba, three of our  KU kids and their mom, a beautiful frame from Kim Beard's ladies class  -- Tatanisha and several other ladies gifted as well.  Tasha's family a wonderful plaque -- all Mom's of our KU kids.Those gifts were especially touching

Sweet Amy kept me in journaling supplies!

We've received gift cards to help with meals -- a real help with mealtimes on those tired days. 

After my Sunday afternoon nap-- I started to feel like my old self  for about two hours--  I thought "hey maybe I don't have to feel so crummy the whole 22 weeks" --  I slowly did a few things and worked myself up into a big sweat with panting hard to breathe.  But I felt like I was coming back! I have my 2nd treatment in a few days and have seen what the cycle can be like -- that after the LOW -- then you build slowly back.  That in itself was a gift -- the unknown isn't so scary.

Monday I'd been craving tomato soup and I slowly made my way through Owasso's Neighborhood Mkt. --  --I'm opting for the markets -- not as many germs and a whole lot less walking --I was starved for tomato soup -- I passed on the Campbell's( not enough of the herbs and spices) -- I came home to find that  Pam Bandy left three of the most delicious soups -- and the best TOMATO soup in the world. To say I devoured it is an understatement --
I now have several soups in the freezer -- perfect for lunch when that's all I can get down.  (finding I can't eat nearly as much -- maybe that's a gift, too)

Cards from my YA kids on Tuesday -- 3 of our leadership team shopped at Sam's for me for my YA snack fundraiser -- that's huge

About that time more energy -- I developed a new view of the whole thing-- (through Chuck Swindoll and other of my morning devos- I kept hearing :God sends, God directs, God guides and GOD IS IN CONTROL  -- He said --it's about your perception of the situation).  So I decided I needed  new one --

I'm not someone who's got cancer --- GOD AND I ARE KILLING CANCER.  (I'm His work in progress)

   That's empowering!  That gift was a turning for me when fatigue was catching me. 

Melonie, one of my former students,  gave me a dream catcher.She  was one of students last year who also helped us alot at KU and she stops by my room to check on me quite often.

My brother Allen came for a visit on his way to A Medical Mission conference in Ft. Worth late Wed. night --   My sister-in-law, Sandy sent a quilt from my great grandmother Severns -- saying she felt like I needed to be wrapped in family,   That's staying on the couch where I grade and write
 All that catching up was pure joy --FAMILY  is good RX. 

Our babies are an energy gift!!!

Donna and Josh Rother gave Charlie (our Maltese) a new pink dog bed!  He's taken over.  He doesn't get very far from me!

What an overwhelming surprise when I came to school Friday morning-- One of my former students, Bella Loffer brought me a quilt she had her grandmother's church in Bakersfield, California make for me. They stitched it with prayers for my healing and sent accompanying verses. I'm speechless when I think of people everywhere praying and what a beautiful gift from this precious girl and her grandmother. She's a treasure!

Each of these gifts are significant,  The quilt b/c I've helped more than a dozen students make these lap quilts for Sterling House residents across the street from our school -- and told them that they'll never know what their gifts mean. little did I know that in a few weeks I'd receive treasured blankets and quilts

This past weekend I had to be in b/c of an infection and low cells --
Leeca sent a sweet note and peppermint tea, which right now is the 
go-to beverage at our house.

Our kids keep us connected to bigger and busier life than ours is right now -- with their fun texts and pictures) 

I've been able to be at school 5 out of the last 6 days since my treatment!  I enjoy the gift of energy more than ever!

My friend, Jeanna came by yesterday to tell me she will come in to help my teaching load - at any time.  WHAT A HUGE GIFT!  Special thanks for her generous gift cards!

Right now after my second treatment, Bethany's close friends took it upon themselves to bring in meals for the next few days. I insisted we're fine - but these girls are determined.
                    I STILL HAVE MY HAIR -- WHAT A GIFT!!!

Every good and perfect gifts comes down from the Father -- the verse says --

His gifts are good.  They're from HIM to each of us. They're perfect. and THEY'RE SPECIFIC to each of us.  I am forever grateful to HIM and to each of my family and friends.

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