Monday, December 19, 2011

My new job!!!!

Kelley says....

I can't believe I haven't posted in a month. But I finally get to tell you about my awesome job. To start this post, I have to go back to earlier in the summer when we were looking for a house and I discovered that I was a victim of criminal identity theft. In the midst of all the stress involved trying to sort that all out, I knew without a doubt that God was letting this all be revealed and dealt with because the job I would get would require a background check. I just knew it.

Before moving to where we are now, I had a very strong sense that there was this perfect job waiting for me here. I felt that God had already prepared it for me. So I started to get a little confused when we moved here and no job was presenting itself. So, while I was here with nothing to do I decided I would keep in contact with my Life-Coach and mentor as I worked through it all. With everything that had gone on in my life in the last two years she just told me very frankly that I needed to work on "me". And she suggested that I quit "looking" for a job entirely because with everything that I was going through I would attract the wrong job to myself. So that is what I did. I quit looking and really dug deep into the word. I prayed, prayed, prayed!! I fasted and just snuggled up as close as I could get to God.

When I was looking for work, I was submitting my resume all over for admin positions in the corporate world. Mainly because I did not want to work in a church environment again. But I didn't want to work in the corporate environment either but really didn't think I had a choice. I wanted to work around believers and in a Christian environment but I just didn't know how that was going to be possible without working for a church. One day I was at my computer and just randomly decided to do a search on Craigslist for "Christian Ministry". Lo and behold one listing showed up. It didn't say what ministry but I met the majority of the requirements so I just sent my resume over and honestly didn't think much more about it.

As I kept thinking about how much I really did NOT want to go back to work for corporate America, I just came to the conclusion that I just had to apply at a church to work in the environment I was looking for. So, I went and gave my resume to the church where we attend. Within one hour of submitting my resume, I got an e-mail asking if I could come in for an interview somewhere else. I had applied at so many different places that I didn't even know who was asking for the interview!! Something in the e-mail jogged my memory about that Craigslist posting. I went back and searched for it and then discovered that it was in fact that job!!

And don't you know that the very moment I found out that they would be doing a background check that I KNEW I had the job. I knew that God had been preparing this position for me and that it was mine. I was pretty excited about it just by the research I was doing on the internet about the organization. But once I started interviewing and really finding out what I was about to be a part of, I am just still in total awe of God and how he went before me so long ago to get me to where I am at this very moment.

I am realizing that this awesome news cannot be posted in just one post. So I will at least tell you a little about what it is before wrapping up. It is for a non-profit organization who helps underprivileged families get back on their feet. The awesome thing is that they help those who help themselves. They are doing so many amazing things and there is so much more that I will have to post more later. But, I have to go to work! So I can't wait to share what all I "get" to do and be a part of at my job but every single day on my way in to work, I thank God for my job.

It is amazing and I think a complete miracle that not only would I get an awesome job in this economy but that I would get one that I absolutely love and cannot wait to get to every single day. I must say, I have never before had a job where I felt this way.

To be continued....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are you overlooking the miracles right in front of you?

Kelley says....

Okay, I think it is time to share some of the miracles that have happened this year, don't ya think? The first thing that comes to mind is when I discovered that my childhood friend had been arrested multiple times and had used my name. This prevented us from getting a house that was very close to Deryl's job. However, after the initial shock, I just knew in my heart that God allowed that to come up because he had a better house for us and that I would end up getting a job that would require a background check. We now live in the biggest house we have ever lived in and in the nicest area we have ever lived in for CHEAPER than we paid in Texas!

When I first found out about all the identity theft I called an attorney here in Georgia who proceeded to tell me that I would have to hire an attorney in Texas and that this was not going to be any sort of quick process. Basically he told me that getting identity theft cleared up is one of the hardest things to do especially since this was a criminal identity theft. Today, I got a notarized letter from the District Attorney in Texas that totally and completely expunged my name so I have a clean record now....with only GOD as my attorney. This is a miracle indeed!!

I started my new job on Oct 11, my mom's birthday. I cannot begin to put into words how much I love my job. I cannot wait to go to work every day. Actually, my weekends go by so slow now because I am longing to be back at work. I have NEVER felt that way about any job I have ever had. To see firsthand God at work each and every single day of the week is just amazing. My job really has meaning. What I do helps everyone else who works there do their job effectively. Salvation's happens all the time there on a regular basis. There are many more volunteers than there are staff and the volunteers are what is making it happen! These aren't your every day volunteers. These people come in many days a week like clock work each and every single week. They work like it is their real job. They work like it is their own organization and like they are being paid. I am amazed each and every day. They are all so very kind and so giving. I just stay in awe.

So, I found out that not only has a Monday prayer group been praying since early 2011 for the right person to fill my position  literally hundreds of people have been praying for this. During the worst time of my ENTIRE life....God had complete strangers praying for me. This just amazes me. I stay amazed at the goodness of God. To think that he truly has gone before me is so awesome. And what amazes me now is that I know that even now he is going before me for even greater things. My work needed me as much as I needed them and they don't even know it! Wow, we serve such a mighty God.

Secondly, one night during my whole interview process, Deryl and I went to a track to get some exercise. He ran and I walked. When you pull into this place there is a park and a library and a skate park. You drive past all of that down into the very back of the area where there is hardly any lighting and there is a football field and a track. It was just us and one other couple. When I was done, I went and sat in the car. While in Deryl's car I discovered yet another lie he had told me. He came to the car and all hell broke loose. At the same time, he started the car and it wouldn't start! Here we were with no one to call and had no idea what to do. The only other couple there didn't have jumper cables. Deryl wants to get the car started and I want to talk about what in the heck I had just found out.

We decide that we should walk up to the skate park since there were always a ton of people there. Literally, we walked up to 5 different cars which all had men in them by the way and every single one said they didn't have cables. I am sure we didn't look like the most friendly and honest people in the world. Here I was absolutely furious with Deryl and he had just finished a 30 minute run and was all sweaty. For some unknown reason I decide to walk up to a woman's mini-van. When I walked up, I saw in her lap a bible and a Beth Moore study and I knew she was my ticket home. She was so scared as I would have been as well. She barely cracked her window and to make a very long story short, it ends up that we lived about 10 houses from each other and attend the same church!!!! Not only that but she was Rachel's small group youth leader!

Now mind you, I was in the middle of interviewing for my current job. I think I had already had my second interview and was pretty convinced I had the job. So I was starting to get worried about the girls having to take the bus. Well don't you know that God let me become friends with this woman and her children go to the girls same schools. She offered to help us with the girls and had that not all happened at the exact time that it did, I would have never met her! We DO serve an on time GOD!!!!

Let us not forget that just because God doesn't answer our prayers the way WE want him to does not mean that he has not answered. Answers to our prayers are ALL around us. We just have to look for them and sometime get a new perspective. I hope this encourages you to know that it just does NOT matter how things look on the outside. God DOES work ALL THINGS together for HIS good!!!! ALL things, not just the things you can't handle! There are so many more miracles. I will post them as I remember them. I will also do a special post about my job soon. It is just amazing. I can't believe the work they do there. I think it is the world's best kept secret and should no longer be a secret! I want the world to know about the non-profit I work for because God is showing up every single day and I can't wait to see what he has in store for me and many others in the upcoming months!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Different, but better"

Kelley says.......

When I found out about what Deryl had been doing back in February, as you can imagine, I was in shock. I was completely devastated. From the very day that I called my sister and told her what was going on she told me that she knew how bad it was and what it looked like but in her spirit she saw Deryl and I married. She said she knew God had a calling on our lives and that God hasn't changed his mind. Each and every single time, she would claim this, speak this over me.

One of the things she told Deryl and then told me later was that God was going to work this all out and that it was going to be "Different, but better" Okay, great.....that is just wonderful I thought to myself. I don't like different but better. I didn't even like the sound of it. All I could think of was well, what in the world does different exactly mean? I'm sick of different and it doesn't seem better.

Let me explain. When she said this all I could think of was the following...

  • I lost my breasts and now they are all scarred up and far from perfect......yeah, I don't think I like different, but better.
  • When I lost my hair it grew back and now I at least have hair.......yeah, still not liking different, but better.
  • I got to get chemo and reduce my chance of a recurrence but I STILL have lingering side effects.....different, but better?
  • I left Texas and all my breast cancer support team.....DIFFERENT, BUT BETTER???????
I think you get the drift. I do NOT like different but better!! But after I was done thinking totally negative about this, I went back through my life and came up with the following...

  • My boobs may be scarred and they might not look like what I anticipated but I AM ALIVE!!!!
  • My hair was indeed long, thick and very pretty before cancer but now I wear it in a style I NEVER would have worn when I was the person I was before my cancer journey! And I get more compliments on it now than I ever in my life have had on my hair.
  • Chemo side effects just suck. No one should have to go through these things. But again, I AM ALIVE!!!! AND, it helps others know I am not perfect. For a very long time, because of my determination to do well at all I do, I would come across as "perfect" to others. This always broke my heart because if only they could know the life I have had and got to know "me" as a person, they would know differently. Now that I can't always think of words or phrases that anyone else can or I totally misunderstand a simple instruction, God has shown me that people get to see right away my imperfections which takes away from what has happened in the past. What a blessing!
  • I had three amazing support groups in Texas. I didn't think I would ever find a group here. The first one I went to here was all older women and not one was my age. But the second one I found was AMAZING. I was immediately drawn to these two women and the group was huge. After the group they BOTH came up to me and told me they felt a God connection to me and wanted my contact info!! I have become very good friends with one of them. The other one was one of 11 people in the entire world that had her kind of cancer. I knew the moment I heard her story she was going to die. I felt it in my spirit. We went to lunch together and shared our testimonies. I told her my whole testimony, something I have only told to maybe 2 people, EVER. She didn't judge me for one second. Then she needed a ride home after group one night and I got to spend a while talking to her. The next 3 weeks I wanted to go visit her and we were going to get together but each week something happened. One week, she had to go have fluid taken off her abdomen, the next week was the same thing, the next week she was hospitalized. She did come home towards the end of last week but she wasn't replying to my texts or FB messages. She was an admin assistant like myself and I knew it just wasn't like her to not get back with me. I called and left her a voice mail telling her I was really starting to get worried about her and to please call me. Finally, I decided I couldn't take it any longer so I drove to her house. I got about half way there and a number shows up on my phone that I did not recognize. If I don't recognize it, I don't answer. But something told me to answer it. I did and it was her husband calling to tell me she passed away Wednesday. 

 You may wonder how something like the last one could be different, but better. But this woman was amazing. She knew she wasn't going to make it. I never ONCE heard her complain. She cried a lot because she did worry about her husband and boys. But she was at complete peace with whatever God's will was. She would post FB statuses like "Lord, please take away this pain but I am so very blessed regardless". And she meant it! Her name was Angel and I truly wonder if she wasn't really one of those "Angel's in disguise" you can read about in the bible. Anyway, when her husband called me he went on and on about how much Angel thought of me and how much I meant to her. That meant the world to me because my heart is to touch the lives of many, many women. The fact that God allowed me, Kelley McElreath, to take part of some joy in the life of this precious lady amazes me and humbles me.

Now on to Deryl. Most of this year when I thought about that phrase "Different, but better" when it came to my marriage I just couldn't picture it. Deryl and I have always had a near perfect marriage. I don't think we had ever in our marriage had fights like we have had this year. Our kid's had actually never in their entire lives seen us fight. I can't tell you how many couple's came to us just to be near us because they longed to have a marriage like ours. I actually had a MINISTER tell me that if my children had never seen us fight then we just needed to learn how to fight!!!! WHAT?!?!? What terrible advice. God has blessed me with a wonderful, wonderful man. And just because others fight like crazy in their marriage does not make mine wrong!! I had to hold onto the Deryl I married. The Deryl I knew and loved even when I couldn't stand the sight of him. I HAD to force myself to see him through God's eyes and this was not always easy. But I KNEW what kind of marriage we had and I KNEW we were obviously meant to do great and mighty things for God's kingdom or the enemy wouldn't be so persistent in trying to take us down.

Now that we are finally on the other side of all our marital trials, Deryl is a better husband than I ever knew him to be. And I have always thought he was absolutely the most wonderful husband in the world!! But now he makes time to pray, meditate and get in the word every single morning. I see the fruits of all the prayers and fasting that was done on his behalf. It is beautiful, it is amazing, it is simply wonderful. I thank God every day that he had me in a place where I was financially unable to leave him. Yes, things are "Different but boy they are SO much better"

When you find yourself down, ask yourself what is "Different, but Better" in your life?

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Kelley's SHUT YO MOUTH Challenge!!

    Isn't it just like God to smack you upside your head with truth from the word that you NEVER even knew was there!?!?I spent last week fasting and praying about some different things going on right now in my life. One of the "words" I thought I was getting from the Lord was that I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Ouch! Don't you just love it when you are praying with all your heart for someone else and then God shows you how YOU need to change?! So, last week I started trying to put this into practice and I ended up having the best week I have had this entire year!

    Last year, I did a 30 day "Worry-free" challenge with a couple of my friends. So today I started thinking if I could do a "Shut My Mouth" challenge or not. Well, as I started thinking about how difficult it would be I really sensed the Holy Spirit telling me that for the challenge, if it is not something that absolutely builds up, encourages, edifies and uplifts the person I am speaking to then it just doesn't need to be said.

    You know how it is when you start always say you will start the next day or on Monday, right? So, I decided I will start tomorrow! But seriously, all throughout the day today I started not only thinking about what I say but also what I am "thinking" about saying. Whoa!! I think some not so nice things!! I really felt SO convicted! I started to know without a doubt that this was in fact what God was calling me to do.

    As a final confirmation, when I came home and was looking on Facebook, a friend of mine posted as his status the following scripture.

    Proverbs 17:28:

    Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

    SO...that was all I needed to go ahead and start the challenge this very day! Will you join me? I KNOW without a doubt that God is going to do a work in me throughout the next 30 days as I do this challenge. But I wonder how much it will effect OTHERS in my life and how much it will change my relationships. I have a feeling that at first, I won't be saying much!! But I expect BIG things from my GOD! I expect that HE will give me the words to edify each person I come into contact with and it will bless them tremendously and myself as well. I think I am going to make this a challenge to my children as well. I can't wait to see how it goes and what God does. ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE???? ARE YOU READY TO SHUT YO MOUTH????

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Pondering about FAITH

    I have been pondering some things this week. I am mostly interested in getting your feedback and hearing what everyone else thinks about this topic. The topic is FAITH. I think there are two schools of thought or I guess you could believe both.

    1. In order for your faith to work you must believe and put that faith into action.

    2. Someone else can stand in the gap for you and their faith can work in your circumstance.

    I myself tend to believe both scenarios are possible. In my experience it seems like the things I have struggled to believe for much of my life for example let's say "finances", that is where God wants me to step out and put my faith in action. But then on some things that come up that just seem totally impossible but someone else sees clearly that things are going to be okay, they can stand in the gap for you, pray and believe and put "their" faith into action on your behalf.

    For instance, when I was diagnosed, several women came up to me and said they just had a strong sense in their spirit that this was all going to be okay. That it might be a difficult road but in the end I would be cancer free. I trust the discernment of these women so it was so easy for me to resonate with what they were saying.

    So, what about when everything looks impossible? And maybe no one is standing in the gap for you or maybe you just do not fully trust everything is going to be okay because you yourself discern it? I think these questions trip believers up. Especially if you have had a particularly difficult life. Because I think if you have had terrible things happen to you it is so hard not to expect the worst from most situations. If you have had a fairly easy life, then it would be much easier to believe the best in every situation.

    However, on the flip side of this, if you have had a difficult life and the worst has happened to you then I am confident that there has also been many times God has come through for you. So we have to do what David did and that is to encourage OURSELVES in the Lord remembering all he has done for us.

    But is that enough? What if that isn't working? Then what do you do? What if you are a solid Christian and you love the Lord with ALL of your heart but your faith in a certain situation in wavering? The real question I am pondering is this.....If you do find yourself wavering, does that mean that no matter what you do it will not work out favorably? Simply because you don't believe??

    I am really ready for some good comments here so please let me know your thoughts!! If you can't figure out how to comment on my blog, you can e-mail me your thoughts or leave them on FB.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Prayer request!!!!!!!!

    Here is one of my very favorite quotes. "A person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse" Phillip Yancey

    Remember when I posted about my whole identity theft drama? If you didn't read it and are interested, the title is "Identity Theft" you can just scroll down on my blog and look for it. Anyway, when all that happened I was 100% sure that God had allowed that to happen because of something bigger. I thought to myself how what if I were to go volunteer or work for the American Caner Society (which is a dream of mine) and they did a background check. How EMBARRASSING! I might not have even got the job and might not have even known why!

    I just knew in my heart that as shocking as it was to find this out and especially to find out the work it was going to take me to get it worked out that somehow God was in it. My biggest thought was that wherever I did end up working or volunteering, they were going to do a background check and I needed to have that worked out in advance.

    Since moving to our house at the end of June I have been applying for admin jobs. Of course I was secretly hoping that I would not get an interview because I really wasn't sure I wanted to go back and work in the corporate environment. My vision is to fulfill my help women. If I had everything I dreamed of I would work directly with newly diagnosed Breast Cancer patients and I would coach women after their treatment ends.

    Well, early sometime this month I just decided totally random that I would do a search in the admin jobs section of Craigslist on "Christian Ministry". Can you believe that something came up titled exactly that in a city near where I live!?!?!?!? I go check it out and I meet all the requirements and have all the skill sets except for maybe one thing that I totally know I can learn very quickly. But the real kicker is that at the bottom it said you have to undergo a background check! WHOA...when I saw that, I just knew that this was for me.

    So early last week I went in for my 1st interview and it went great. I have my second interview on September 16th. I must say that I hated the fact that I had to tell them about the identity theft and then I had to give them a letter from the District Attorney in Dallas with all my fingerprints on it to make a copy of. I think the reason that part bothered me so much is that when people don't know you they really have no idea if you are telling the truth or not. But, I just was very honest about everything knowing that if it was meant for me to have this job, then it would be mine.

    The funny thing is that on Monday of this week I really started to pray for this organization that God would send the right person to them even if that person isn't me. Then today, I got the e-mail about my second interview! They are a non-profit that helps underprivileged people to get back on their feet. But one of the most incredible things is that they also have a ministry called "Ladies of the Light". These women have gone from being "Ladies of the Night" to "Ladies of the Light". They help them make jewelry so they can support themselves!! I just think this is so incredible!! What an amazing thing to do. Growing up in poverty myself I just couldn't believe every page I went to on their website brought tears to my eyes. I wondered how much my life might have been different if there was something like this for me and my mom.

    So anyway, I am asking for you to pray that I will do a good job at my second interview on Sept. 16th at 10:00 my time which is 9:00 Central. That God would speak through me and give me wisdom and that if I am the person for the job, it would be very evident to them. But that if I am not the person for the job that they would choose the perfect person that would be loyal to them for many years to come and do a great job. I do hope that it is me but I know that if it is not, God has something else that is perfect for me and my purpose.

    I just love that song that says "I don't want to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself. Oh, I could choose not to move but I refuse" What is God calling YOU to do????

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Just for today

    Last week I blogged about choosing to have a good day....deciding to. It has been 8 days today since I got up that morning and CHOSE to get ready and face the day. I am so pleased to report that the last 8 days have been the best 8 days of 2011.

    Today started out kind of shaky but I just did my routine of getting up, getting ready to face the day head on and then....I started to praise. Praise and pray. It is amazing how your day can get completely turned around if you will just praise God. Before I put on my worship music I caught myself starting to worry about things that are ALL out of my control. There wasn't one thing I was concerned about that I could control. The key is to catch yourself early on in the thought process. Many of the last 8 days including today, this has happened to me. But what I have done is just say to myself each day that every single one of those days have passed and here I am and everything is fine. Today, I did the same thing. I just said to myself that I am not going to let myself or my thoughts get out of control. I can just "be" in the moment today. And then you know what happens? I wake up tomorrow and it is day 9!!!!

    I used to do this very thing religiously. But when major events happen in our lives, it is easy to get out of our routines. But that is when we need to do it the most!! The word does say that the enemy is out to kill, steal and to destroy. So the moment we let our guard down, he will attack. He is on the prowl and always will be.

    Are YOU worried, concerned or stressed about some things in YOUR life? Then I challenge you everyday to do this. Just try it for one day and see how awesome it works. Right now, are you thinking worrisome thoughts? Give yourself today off. Just say that everything is going to be just fine and if you need to you can pick up that worry again tomorrow morning. Then when you wake up and see that all is well you can challenge yourself to do it for one more day.

    I am certain you will have an amazing day if you just stick to it. I would love to hear how it goes for you. I can't wait to hear from you saying you are on day 365!!!!!!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    TATA'S...fomerly known as Boobs, Breasts, Jugs and Knockers

    For all of my male Facebook friends who are visiting my blog for the first time because of the title of my post...WELCOME TO MY BLOG!!!! I knew it would get you here!

    Do you have any idea if the women in your life do self-breast exams and get regular mammograms? If not, you should ask them!! This saved my life!!!! Especially if you are married, you can make it fun! Ask your wife if she has been doing her monthly exams and if she says no, tell her YOU will do it FOR her if she doesn't. Isn't this fun?

    I send out a free monthly e-mail that reminds women to do their self-exams at the first of every month and then I send a second reminder on the 5th of the month to make sure they have done it. All you have to do is send them to my blog and have them go to the "Contact us" section and they can e-mail me and just let me know they want to be on the list. They will need to give me their e-mail address of course.

    I know it is weird, awkward, odd, and maybe even socially unacceptable for a man to talk to a woman about this. But you can tell these women my story. This is serious. We can make fun all day long but at the end of the day there are lives at stake and this includes your mother's, your sister's, your aunt's, your daughter's, your niece's and your friends. I think since men think about sex and women a whole heck of a lot more than we ever will, you could make a BIG difference in breast cancer awareness! You may be giggling but I think I am onto something. Men sure think about their wives breasts more than they do!! So put it on your iphone, your calendar, anything you can do to remind yourself to ask her if she is doing her self-exams and getting her annual mammograms. AND you can send her to my website to get on my e-mail blast.

    I hope this has grabbed your attention enough to go grab the boob of the appropriate person (your wife!) and get familiar with them!! Please have fun but yet know how serious this is. You could be the one to save your wife's life by doing this or save the life of someone you love by just sending them to my site, tell them my story, or just simply ask!!

    Thank you for visiting my site and I do hope you will return. And as always, if anyone you know is ever diagnosed with breast cancer you can send them my way. I will talk to anyone, at anytime by any means of communication for free.

    "Feel the Tata's"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Breaking through

    Well, I haven't posted in 6 weeks. That just isn't like me. Things have been really rough. I'm job searching. I have a job blogging which I love. Would love to do more of that or maybe something from home. Anyway, I had been really, really down in the dumps. Every day no matter how many prayers I said, how many scriptures I read or how many friends I called, nothing. I actually remember one other time in my life that this happened to me. I wasn't feeling down then, just wasn't feeling like I could find God anywhere. At that particular time I just told God I was going to grab hold of him and not let go until I could feel his presence again. I did and I got through it.

    But I haven't experienced anything that has lasted this long before. Some time ago I blogged about JOY. God let me experience several days in a row maybe even about a week long of pure joy. It was the most amazing thing I have ever in my life experienced. Nothing and no one could take my joy. It was really an unbelievable, incredible experience. I woke up Monday morning and thought about that time in my life when I had that joy. I got up, took a shower and just got ready for the day ahead. I did my regular routine of reading the word and doing some devotions and I prayed. THEN, I decided that I was going to CHOOSE to stop being down! CHOOSE to think the right thoughts, CHOOSE to have a different mindset. It was a really good day. Today, I woke up and did the same thing again. It has been a wonderful, wonderful day and nothing special has happened at all. I dropped Rachel off at school and came home to start cleaning. I walked up the stairs and just stopped there feeling like I should pray. I started praying. The more I prayed the louder I heard myself getting.

    I declared victory in my life, far and beyond favor over me and my family, I spoke life and complete restoration over us. I know it was God because so much poured out of me that I knew it was the holy spirit speaking through me. I raised my hands and I told Satan just where he could go! I claimed these things in Jesus name. I came downstairs and put on some upbeat worship music and ME, KELLEY started singing and dancing in my living room! If you know me you KNOW that is NOT me!! I was full of joy again. I have been SO happy today. I know victory is already mine. It isn't something I have to beg God for or hope I will have it. It is something I HAVE to claim and believe. THEN my faith can work!

    Are you down or feeling depressed or hard on yourself? Are you at a time in your life where you can't feel God anywhere? Do you think you will never get through what you are going through because it seems impossible? Well let yourself have the rest of the day to have a BIG pity party for yourself. Do it up real good. Tell God how awful everything is and just how stinkin' unfair it is. Write about it then throw it away or burn it. Get real mad or cry your eyes out or do both!!!! Go to bed and in the morning DECIDE this is it! CHOOSE to have a better day. Make a CHOICE to take action and do something different today because what you have been doing is NOT working. And know that I am praying very much for all of you who God is speaking to through this post!!

    Love you all!

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Warning Signs

    Heather will be getting her permit soon. So I decided that until she gets it, I would go ahead and start teaching her some things. I chose to start with the street signs and what they all mean. On the way to church, there is a really curvy road. Each time I drive down that road I end up having to run both stop signs because I always forget they are there. One morning I was thinking about that road because I knew I would be driving it later that day and I started thinking about road signs and how there should be some kind of warning sign that a stop sign was approaching on that road. 

    So I am with Heather and I'm telling her about this. Well, lo and behold, as we near the first stop sign there IS a warning sign that a stop sign was coming up. And then there was also one for the second stop sign as well!! As I started pointing out different signs, I realized that over half of these signs I had never even seen after driving these same roads for 2 months! I started to explain to her that since I am an experienced driver, I just know the roads and I guess I just ignored the signs. It is just something I didn't pay attention to. She however was noticing all the signs and asking lots of questions.

    I thought to myself that this is how we are as mature Christians. We go to church, we have our quite time, we live in community with others, we pray, so we're good right? Not so much. Not all the time anyway. I look back in my life over the last couple of years and if I take a really good look, I see SO many warning signs that I totally ignored. I see so many areas of compromise. And it doesn't matter if it is the wife or the husband, if one compromises it affects the entire family. I think compromise is such a lure of the enemy. It always starts out small. For example, viewing movies that you probably shouldn't watch but it only has that one tiny scene in it that is really bad so what is the harm, right?

    You start listening to music and as you really listen and discover what the lyrics are you realize that it is definitely NOT a good message to be focusing on but hey, you love the song and the beat. It really can't be that big of a is only a song. Next thing you know, you are making bigger and bigger compromises that end up destroying you and those you love. 

    Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I would be in the line to pick up Heather from school and I would be so tired and so sleepy that I would fall asleep and she would come to the car just not believing that I was asleep. Some days, I would be like this throughout the day but it didn't happen every day. Since having the cancer removed, I have not had one day like that. That is truly the only "sign" that I had. But maybe it was a warning sign. Maybe I should have realized that something didn't seem right and went to have it checked out. It all worked out in the end and I know God led me to do my own self-exam and here I am today but I just really wonder how many warning signs in our lives that we miss each and every single day. 

    I think we should pay a lot more attention to these warning signs. I truly feel that the warning signs are God speaking directly into our lives. I think that these warning signs are to let us know that something is approaching. God, speaking to us directly what we should be praying about. Let's ask God when we think we might be seeing one of those signs and ask him what he is trying to show us. Let's not compromise by just overlooking these signs. Because overlooking the small signs only lead to MAJOR, MAJOR problems in your future. If you see a sign, start to pray with all your heart about it. Whatever you do, don't ignore it!!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Identity Theft

    I am so excited that Blogger now has mobile settings so it is much easier to read blogs on your cell phone! YAY!......

    When I was 18 years old I discovered that a girl that I had gone to school with since the second grade had been arrested and used my name when she had been arrested. It was a pretty big ordeal and took a lot of effort on my part to clear my name. I had actually been pulled over for speeding in a school zone and was almost arrested because the officer thought I was her saying I was me. Luckily, I had a picture of my friend in my wallet and the officer who pulled me over just so happened to be the officer who had arrested her and new I was indeed not her. But it was still a lot of work for me to clear my name. 

    I really never thought another thing about it after that. Somehow over all the years, my path and this girls path have crossed many times. And I know for a fact that it was God each time. Just as an example, she left a note on my sons grave and who knows how long it had been there. I happen to go by there and get the note with her number on it. It was legible after rain, wind and who knows what. Then, when my mom died, her mom just so happened to read the obituaries and they came to the funeral. I mean, who reads the obituaries?!?!? Then, when we moved back to Texas from Georgia, my brother happens to see her mom outside of a store in a city that he didn't even live in! At that time, I discovered that she was in prison. So I started communicating with her and helping her out. I won't say all that I did for her because it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that my heart went out to her and I knew she needed a friend. I mean, I had known her since the 2nd grade. Longer than I had known really anyone.Unfortunately, she got out of prison and it wasn't long before she was back on the streets and living the same kind of life she has always known.

    Fast forward to now. We move to Georgia and we put in an application to rent a house. Fortunately, we didn't really like the house all that much but we loved the location and the school district. The next day, I get a call that due to my criminal history they would not let us live there. I was totally beside myself. But yet I knew this was all happening for a reason. And honestly, I really didn't think for a second it was my old friend from school. It was my best friend who mentioned that it had to be her. But I just still couldn't believe it. As the details started unfolding, it became clearer that it was her but I still didn't want to believe it. It wasn't until someone from the courthouse in Dallas said her name and started giving me details that I had to come to grips with the fact that she had done this to me again. And this all happened before she went to prison. So it was in 1986 and in 2001. 

    I would have to write a book to share all the details and drama of what has had to take place to clear my name and get this worked out and it is still a mess. But I just want to say that I am in no way angry with this girl at all. So many people, even church people have told me how upset they would be and all the things they would do to her if they were me. But ya know, the saddest thing of all to me is that she did this way back in 1986 the first time and here it is all these years later and she is still living the same lifestyle and is actually a homeless drug addict. This breaks my heart. Being mad at her and carrying around anger in my heart towards her would only hurt ME. I know that it is only by the grace of God that I can feel this way. And I am just so thankful that I have God and I have Hope. 

    My life is far from perfect and I actually ask you now to pray for my family and for me personally. I will blog more later but we finally did get a home and move on June 25th. Please pray for peace for us and that every single detail will work out perfectly and smoothly. There is so much to do with getting the girls enrolled and just over all with moving. Deryl's back has been really messed up for a while now and please pray God will protect his back and he will not injure it further as he moves us. 

    And I just want to say thank you for continuing to read my blog. It truly is therapeutic for me. For some reason, I haven't felt like I have been able to be as transparent as I have been in the past but I feel God tugging at my heart about that. I want this to be a place of encouragement but also a place where you know I am not perfect and YOU are not alone. And I want to know I am not alone too and that you are not perfect either!!

    And as always, you can send me your prayer requests to 

    Love you,


    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    What's it like to be _________?

    Since moving to Georgia, I have a lot more time on my hands. I have been completely aware of something that has been missing in my life and that is peace. Not just any peace but the peace that isn't like the world gives....but peace according to God's word....peace that passes ALL understanding. So I started downloading sermon podcasts. Wow, it has really helped me tremendously. I literally cannot go a day without listening to some kind of teaching. I feel like it is food for my soul. And I have been a complete sponge soaking it all in. Which really reveals to me how dry I have been. 

    Last week, I listened to a sermon and the lady said to ask yourself the question "What is it like to be married to me?" My first thought was why in the world would I ever ask myself such a question. Just kidding! But seriously, I thought to myself how many different ways I could ask myself that question. It could really be a fill in the blank question.

    • What is it like to be MY friend?
    • What is it like to be MY child?
    • What is it like to be MY boss?
    • What is it like to be MY parent?
    • What is it like to be MY co-worker?
    • What is it like to be MY sibling?
    When I asked myself these questions, it was truly a humbling experience. Being honest with myself regarding each one wasn't pretty. And it still isn't. But I have been asking God to search my heart and show me what I need to work on. I guess this shows that he was just being faithful. And I love that! I want to be better at all of these things. Sometimes it isn't easy searching within. Isn't it so much easier to look at everyone else and their flaws? Especially when you look at people whose lives are really a mess. Then we can say "Well, I am a lot better than that!" Not really. The more we look at "others" and use their mistakes and flaws to make ours seem better only reveal the wickedness in our own hearts. 

    I believe God will be faithful if we just finally come clean. If we would just ask God to search US. If we would stop pointing fingers at others and point them all back at ourselves. I have discovered in my own life that EVERY single thing I have judged someone else for has turned around and happened to me in my own life!! This is not fun. And I know God wants more for me and for you as well. Are you up for the challenge to ask God to search your OWN heart and reveal to you what YOU need to work on? I hope your answer is a BIG FAT YES!! But if it isn't, start small and just ask God to reveal to you why your answer is a no. I know this is no easy task. I know that it is scary. But I also know God is faithful and he only wants what is best for us. The things in life with the greatest rewards will always cost us something. Only it is never money.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011


    Can you love if you have never been loved?
    Can you forgive if you have never been forgiven?
    Can you give mercy if you have never been given mercy?
    Can you believe for healing if you have never been healed?

    Wouldn't it be great if we could do all these things first? Experience teaches so much. I remember my mom telling me so many times that she wished SO badly that I would learn from her mistakes instead of making my own. And you know, I wish that for my own children too. But then I wouldn't be me. It is kinda funny how life God works. It takes many people going through many things to reach many people. If only a few people got breast cancer I can assure you that my own experience would have been very different. The fact that SO many people have had it gave me such a wide range of people to talk to. People my age, people who were totally different than me, people who were very similar to me, people I could even reach and help, the list goes on and on.

    I don't quite think I will ever in my life understand why we have to go through the things that we go through. I don't understand why people in general have to suffer. I mean, if you look around you at others and in your own life, you are either just coming out of a difficult situation, are currently in one, or will be going in one shortly. I remember Dave Ramsey saying once that everyone has a MAJOR situation once every 10 years. If this is true, then I shouldn't have any more major events in my life for another 40 years. Because I have had 4 MAJOR events in the last 4 years. All of them literally back to back with only a month or so break in between.

    I'm not even sure what I have learned from this yet. I look at the events and still honestly don't understand. But then again I see all kinds of things all around me going on that I don't understand either. But as a friend said to me yesterday...the bible says that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Well let me just tell you...I'm sick of the forecast. Are you? I'm ready for some stinkin' sunshine. I'm tired of thinking my middle name must be Job. I'm tired of fighting for everything I have ever known. But I know one thing for sure and that is that I will ALWAYS get back up. I may get knocked down and it may appear that I am down for the count but that is always when I get up kicking and screaming.

    Sometimes you have to take life by the horns, look it square in the eye and say "I'm not giving up"!!!!!!! I think sometimes we so quickly forget what we are made of. We forget what is deep down inside of us and that is the power and strength to GET BACK UP! I don't know what you are going through right now but whatever you do, don't let it keep ya down. Sometimes we are going to get down. Sometimes it is going to "feel" like you will never get out of your current situation. Sometimes life just really does suck. But think about a time in your life when you DID get back up and you DID overcome a hard time. Then hold onto that. Never stop dreaming. And whatever you do...never, ever, ever give up.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Thoughts create

    Did you know that thoughts create? Anything that has ever been created started with a single thought. Anything good or bad that happens to us started with a thought. I don't know how guys are but I know for sure that in a woman's mind, we can destroy ourselves with just our thoughts. I blogged a few days ago about me waking up one morning in a complete panic. I think that I have had so many consecutive days where I have been totally focused on keeping my thoughts in line that the enemy is trying a new tactic. Because I woke up this morning and was in a total panic again. 

    I immediately just started saying over and over and over "Lord, let my thoughts, plans and ideas line up with your will and with your word" It didn't take long and I was fine. I left and went to drop the girls off at school. When I was alone by myself in the car, before I ever got back home, I caught myself 3 different times thinking bad thoughts. But you know what? When I caught myself thinking about lets say for of the thoughts was a memory, I just asked myself if that thought was going to move me closer to God or further away. I thought to myself..."What is this thought going to create in my life?" Now that I am sitting here writing about this, I realize that all three times were a memory of how someone has hurt me. And all three times I realized that thinking about those particular thoughts were only going to bring negativity into my life. To stay focused on those things would only cause me to have insecurities, and to not trust others. 

    By doing this, it brings so much peace. Honestly, it is peace I haven't been feeling for quite some time now. And we can ALL use some peace in our lives, right? I wonder how different our lives would be if we took EVERY thought captive? It amazes me how we can start out with a single thought and we can let those thoughts take us to some seriously ugly places before we even realize what we are doing to ourselves. So I challenge you as well as myself to try a 24 hour challenge. For the next 24 hours, catch yourself. When you think a thought that is NOT positive, ask yourself what that thought or those "thoughts" are going to create in your life or are currently creating. I think what we will learn together is that we have created a lot of our own stuff in our own lives. And that WE are responsible for a lot more than we want to admit to. But the only way to change it is to take personal responsibility and do something about it!! 

    You may be thinking "Okay, so now what?" Well, if the thoughts are not creating something that benefits you then you must change that!! Think about some of your fondest memories. Listen to music that lifts you up. Call a friend. Look at pictures of people who make you happy. Reflect on some of your greatest achievements. And while you are thinking about "those" things, ask yourself what you are creating in your life. I am convinced that there will be a huge shift. I am up for the challenge, are you?

    Saturday, May 7, 2011


    One of the things I have SO enjoyed being here in Georgia is that every time I go for a walk no matter where it is I am walking, I can smell and see Honeysuckle. I honestly don't have a lot of good memories from my childhood but boy when I smelled that smell it sure brought back some great childhood memories and I felt so blessed and so thankful. 

    Did you know that our beliefs are wired with emotion? My mentor explains it this you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Do you remember exactly what you were doing, who you were with, your reaction? The result for ALL Americans after that day because of all the deep emotions we felt was that we are no longer safe. I'm sure we can all think about some of our deepest fears and trace it back to when that belief was wired in. Just like someone who is terrified of dogs. Most likely they were scared by one at some point in their life or bitten by one or something like that. I'm sure you get the point. I can actually hear an 80s song and be instantly transported back to what I was doing when that song was playing. But the bad thing is that I wasn't saved then and didn't live a very good life at that time. So the memories aren't good. 

    A few days ago I was on a walk, smelling the Honeysuckle and I could also smell someone cooking out. smelled so good. You know what it is like when you smell something like maybe homemade rolls and it just reminds you of your momma's cooking. All of these things kinda relate, don't you think? I started thinking of the good smells, the good emotions, the good beliefs I have. The things that actually bring back GOOD memories. As I smelled that Honeysuckle I instantly thought to myself, I want to wire in a belief right now. So the next time I smell Honeysuckle this is what I will remember. I started praying for my husband and my marriage. I couldn't believe the things that started coming out of my mouth. I just said God I thank you for my marriage! I thank you for my husband! This is the husband YOU have given me! I commit my marriage to you! I ask you Lord that ALL my plans, thoughts and ideas line up with YOUR will....with YOUR word. Lord I pray you would draw my husband back to you. I pray that no matter where Deryl turns that he will bump into you!! Lord God I pray that you would bring scripture to his memory. Lord that you would put a hedge of protection around him so tight that any time he even attempts to get outside of your will that he would be pricked immediately by the thorns of that hedge and run back to you!! 

    I KNOW that was the Holy Spirit!! I know it! And you know what? Deryl and I went on a walk today at a different place and there was so much Honeysuckle everywhere!! Each time I smelled it, I remembered more and more of my prayer. I just kept praying it again over and over in my head. As we held hands, I just silently spoke that prayer over him. So it worked so mightily!! I know that each time in the future that I smell Honeysuckle, I will be reminded of that prayer. And you know what is SO awesome? That I am convinced that one day when my marriage is FULLY restored, I will smell Honeysuckle and see how far we have come. I will see how faithful God is. I will see HIM and HIS mercy and goodness. 

    I think the enemy would LOVE nothing more than for us to focus on all the negative beliefs we have. But isn't it so cool that WE have the power to wire in POSITIVE beliefs!?!? I just love that. I love that God gave me this revelation. I challenge you to pray and ask God to help you wire in a belief that HE has for you. And I KNOW He will give you some God size ideas on how to do it. Please let me know what you experience. God is SO awesome and so creative. I can't wait to hear how he blesses you in YOUR life with some awesome new beliefs!! Beliefs that are special and specific for YOU!!!!

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Through the Storm

    Last night when I was at church I was in such a grumpy and sad mood. I hate being like that but it was just one of those times where I couldn't snap out of it no matter what I tried. We started singing the song "Nothing is impossible". I started thinking to myself, am I going to praise God "when" I see him come through for me? Or am I going to stand on His word and praise him "UNTIL" he comes through? 

    I think it is definitely so much easier to wait to see if he will answer our prayers. But that mentality is not faith at all. It is really holding onto and believing that the worst will actually happen and there is only a slim chance God's word is true and that he will do what He says in His word he will do. 

    The only way for me or you to praise Him in the storm is to just do it. I decided that I wanted to praise him through it, during it and wait for the expected, promised results. This morning I woke up in a panic. I know that HAS to be the enemy. I immediately started quoting the word and praying and asking God to give me my hope for today. I went and looked at Facebook and a friend of mine had left this on my wall.
    May the God of all hope fill you with joy and peace in believing! Rom 15:13
    Is there anything that you are having a hard time believing God for? Maybe it is just me! But I think that we ALL have "something" we have been WAITING on God to come through for us on. Maybe some things are bigger than others but if it is what YOU are waiting on then it is important to YOU. If you are hoping God will heal your marriage or heal your body, they are both important to GOD. Let's start praising Him while we wait for His promises to be fulfilled in our lives!!

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Quick or right?

    Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    Probably one of the MOST quoted scriptures, right? I've been quoting this scripture so much over the last few months. Today, I was reading the word while I was waiting in line to pick up Rachel from school. I was really focused on Psalm 91. While I was reading, a few pieces of paper fell out of my bible. I picked them up and found that two of the papers were filled with things that I was grateful for all the way back to 1999. I wrote in 1999, 2001, 2006 on this random sheet of paper. In every single entry I wrote about how I am so grateful for our health and my perfect marriage. I started thinking about how God is so faithful and how it truly is all about perspective. 

    Someone might look at my situation and think I don't have a good marriage right now or how could I be thankful for my health after last year. But you know what? God is still God! I am still thankful for my health and so very thankful for my marriage. I still have one of the greatest marriages I know of and I am cancer free! The last sheet of paper that fell from my bible was a bunch of things that I used to speak out every single day and don't know why I stopped but will definitely start doing this again. I'll share what those things are at the end of this post.

    The word says that there is life AND death in the power of the tongue. Our words have POWER. I have been speaking out every day all the things God's word says about me and about my husband. Everything I wish he would be, I am speaking that out. Rather than focus on everything the enemy would have me focus on, I am focusing on the fact that he is a child of the most high God! Trying so hard to treat him in love. Sunday night, Deryl got super, super sick. He had some kind of 24 hour bug. He was asleep and I just started rubbing his head and silently speaking things over him. I just thanked God for him. I thanked God that Deryl is a good man, a godly man, the perfect husband and father, that he loves God with all his heart and desires to serve God and God alone, etc. After this, I just said to God..."God heal my marriage, please let this come to pass soon". Clear as day I heard God say..."Do you want this done quick or do you want this done right?". 

    Wow, this is what we really always want, right? When we get hurt physically we want it to go away! Who wants to be in pain?! It was kind of a hard pill to swallow because I realized that this just isn't something that is going to go away over night. But I am not going to focus on that. I am choosing to focus on the fact that God is doing something awesome in my life. God is going to make sure this is done right! How awesome is that? It truly is ALL about perspective. I don't want a band-aid on my marriage. I want God's complete restoration so we can take that journey and share it with others. I wish I could have just taken a pill and got through my cancer journey but then I wouldn't have the awesome, incredible story that I have!

    So I ask you about your own situation that you might be walking in right you want a band-aid? Do you want a quick fix? OR do you want it done right, fully restored, fully changed GOD's way? 

    Here is the list of things I had written down to speak over my life every day. Feel free to use or add to or just use as a starter of ideas for your own list.

    • Father, I'm excited about today. This is a day YOU have made; I'm going to rejoice and be glad in it. God I know you reward those who seek you so I thank you in advance for your blessings, favor, and victory in my life today.
    • I refuse to go backward. I am going forward with God in Jesus name. I'm going to be the person HE wants me to be. I AM going to fulfill my destiny.
    • Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.
    • NO weapon formed against me is going to prosper.
    • Everything I touch prospers & succeeds.
    • God, I know you are making something good out of all of this. I know you are a GOOD god and you have my best interest at heart. YOU promised in your word that ALL things work together for my good! God, I may not understand this, but I know YOU are in control. YOU said YOU would take this evil and turn it around & use it to my advantage. So Father, I thank you that you are going to bring us through this!
    • Your word promises you'll do MORE than I can ask or think.
    • We've done everything we know to do so according to your word I am going to keep standing firm.
    • I know at the perfect time, you are going to make things happen.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Dead Candles

    Last night, we went to church....on a Wednesday night! WOW, I can't even remember the last time we went to a church that had Wednesday night services. Anyway, it was really awesome. The pastor involved everyone in discussion and it was really cool. 

    While I was listening I imagined a room full of dead know, just used burned out candles. The service had started out with a song that said something like "no one can take me from you". I just couldn't stop thinking about that line in the song, how true it was. How it doesn't matter your current circumstance, your history, any tragedy or any mistake you have made, NO ONE and NOTHING can take you from God. We are HIS!! Even when we feel miles away from him, we are still his. 

    When thinking about the candles I imagined that this is God's people. We are like those candles at many times in our lives. We have the word of God that is active and alive inside us, we have what we need to live out our lives each and every single day right there inside of us. But what we don't do is do anything to light the wick! All it would take for those candles to come alive again is a match. But as long as they sit there, they remain dead...lifeless...useless to anyone. 

    I don't know about you but I don't want to be a dead candle. I don't want God's light to be burned out in me and the only thing people see is darkness. I want a fire burning so strong in me that people can't help but follow the light. I want to focus so fully on him that nothing else in this life matters. What will you do? Will you sit around and wait for someone else to light your candle or pick up the match yourself and do it now?

    I know some of you probably wonder how in the world you would light your own candle. I think so many of us, me included, expect others to light it for us. We go around expecting others to know we are dead on the inside and want them to bring life to us. But we remain the same because we can only get true life from God. Only God can truly meet our needs. As long as we expect to get our needs met from others, we will continue having to get our needs met that way and be disappointed. Some ways I use to light my own candle is reading the word, praying, doing daily devotions, I love listening to worship music, and I am sure there are many other ways as well. Pray, and God will surely reveal how to light yours!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Here is our moving story...FUN, FUN, FUN!! 

    Thursday, we went to go pick up the moving truck and trailer. We got back to the house and Deryl started moving the jack to get the trailer off the truck so we could start loading as soon as the guys came to help. Well, the jack totally broke and we hadn't even been home 5 minutes! We called Budget and they had someone come out to take a look at it. The guy had to drive from Grand Prairie to Grapevine to get a part then drive back to us to fix it. Luckily it all worked out because we were ready to go and he finished fixing the trailer at the same exact time. So that worked out perfect. We ended up not getting to leave the house to be on our way until 10:30. So we went ahead and drove to Shreveport and then stayed the night there. 

    We got up the next morning, ate breakfast and were on the road again. This was about 8:30 a.m. We were so excited because the GPS said we would arrive to our destination at 6:30 p.m. Around 11:30 a.m. I think it was, Heather and I heard some motorcycles speed by going the opposite way down the highway. Right after that we heard a noise again but couldn't figure out what it was. We rolled down the windows and it was tornado sirens!!!! We had been listening to CD's so we hadn't heard any of the alerts on the radio and it didn't look stormy. Anyway, we really didn't have any idea where we were other than the fact that we were in Mississippi. They kept mentioning on the radio different cities but we only knew what county we were in. 

    Now let me just say that when we ate breakfast, which none of us usually do, we decided to eat at IHOP instead of just running through and getting fast food. Also, when we stopped for gas after eating breakfast there was a big mix up when Deryl checked out. So between breakfast and the mix up, we ended up being delayed about 30 - 45 minutes before we headed out that morning. Well, by the time we ended up in Jackson, Mississippi a tornado had ripped through about 30 - 45 minutes prior!! So, the delay was a GOD delay and spared us from the tornado. There were 9 deaths because of this tornado. Trees were on top of houses, debris all over the roads, a semi-truck flipped over, and I-20 was completely shut down. The traffic from all of this delayed us for close to 3 hours. It was amazing to drive by seeing all the destruction and all that God had spared us from. But not so great for the people in that town.

    When we finally got through all the traffic mess and were on our way again, we hadn't been driving long and it started storming really bad....pouring rain. Literally, from Mississippi to Georgia it poured rain almost the entire time and every few minutes there were sirens on the radio and we were under tornado watches and warnings the entire rest of the trip. Finally, at around 11:45 p.m. we "think" we are in our friends neighborhood where we are going to be staying for a couple of months. I had been there once before and it just didn't look right. It looked like we were in the country but they live in a neighborhood. There was a road that said "no outlet" but that was where our GPS was telling us to go.

    SO, Deryl pulls up some thinking he could turn around but we decided for me to just go down the road and check it out first to make sure it was okay. Rachel & I drive down and it looked like it was right out of a scene from the Blair Witch Project!!!! OMG, it was really scary and really creepy. I knew then that we were definitely not in the right place. Some bird was making an awful noise and Rachel and I just knew it was going to fly down and attack us at any moment! We went back and told Deryl & Heather what was going on and Deryl realizes that he is not going to be able to back the truck and trailer up. So, there was a big field and he figured he could just turn around. Well, he backed up a little bit then turned around and the truck got MAJOR stuck in the mud!

    During the trip, Deryl drove the moving truck with the 4 runner on a trailer pulled behind it. I followed him and had spent the last who knows how many hours driving behind him in the pouring rain. Now, I just couldn't take it anymore and no more rational thoughts were in my mind!! There was no way to get out of this without help. Well, lo and behold some "good ole boys" who had obviously been doing some serious partying, stopped to see what was going on. They were driving a big dually. They tried pulling us out and the truck started sliding to the right WITH the trailer on the back. Yep, for those of you who know me....I started to PANIC, PANIC, PANIC!!!! Oh my goodness, it was so scary. By now, several of our friends showed up and I felt a little more at ease. The original guys that tried to help left and went to get another dually. In the mean time, everyone else unhooked the trailer and got the 4 runner off as well. 

    So, the drunks came back and believe me, this was definitely not their first time doing this. They knew exactly what they were doing. They got their first dually onto the road and put a chain on the end of it and hooked it up to a second dually. They put a chain on it and hooked it up to the moving truck. And within seconds, it was out of the mud. I don't really know what happened after that because as soon as I knew the truck was unstuck I left with my friend to go to their house. I couldn't stand the thought of watching them put the trailer back on the truck and it was starting to rain again. 

    So finally, after 1:00 a.m. we were finally at our destination. But the next morning after thinking over the whole trip, I realized that it had stormed all the way here to our new home. But when we got here the storms had stopped. The very next morning, it was so beautiful outside. And it has been so gorgeous...just absolutely perfect weather. I thought that was just so awesome. I think it was God showing us that although we have had several months of major storms in our lives, the sun is coming up. That something beautiful is on its way.

    This morning we got up and went to church and saw some of our old friends. It was really refreshing. Such an awesome time of worship and a great message as well. I was really concerned about the girls and how they were going to feel about it. They both loved it! And they get to go to church camp this summer for SO much cheaper than it would have been in Texas and it is in Gatlinburg. I am so excited for them. 

    I will be enrolling them in school tomorrow and they will hopefully start on Tuesday. So please keep us in your prayers and pray they will have NO problems in school whatsoever. I will be looking for a support group this week and Deryl starts his job tomorrow. 

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    The Reality of Breast Cancer

    Although very hard to view, especially if you are a survivor, these pictures are all of women I can truly admire. And all the more reason why you should do your monthly self-exams and get your mammograms done. These pictures show the reality of breast cancer. A side no one sees or can even begin to imagine or understand.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Breaking News...

    NO...I'm not pregnant! Ha, ha! On with the news....nine years ago, we lived in Atlanta, GA. We went to the most amazing church we had ever been a part of and we met our very best friends. After September 11th, the start-up company Deryl worked for went under. He searched so hard for work there were just no technology jobs available there. He ended up getting an offer here in Texas and we had no choice but to take it.

    We absolutely hated leaving Georgia, our church and our best friends. Deryl has attempted many times to look for a job back there over the years to no avail. Some of you may know that at the beginning of February, Deryl & I hit a very rough patch in our marriage. The roughest that we have ever faced. Facing the physical side of cancer was the easy part. The real challenge started when my treatment ended. It took its toll and the enemy used it in a major way against us in ways neither one of us could have ever anticipated.

    Last week out of the clear blue, Deryl got a phone call from an old boss. He was calling Deryl for prayer. Through that phone call it came up that they were looking for a sales manager and asked Deryl if he might be interested. Within a matter of days, he had two phone interviews and was offered the position. The day before, we found out that we would be losing a big chunk of our monthly income. Literally, within 24 hours the offer came in and it covered the amount we were going to lose! Oh God is so faithful!! 

    In my last post, I mentioned how things can appear so horrible, so tragic just before your breakthrough. And oh how prophetic that was!! The job is in Suwanee, GA just outside of Alpharetta. Deryl starts on April 19th and we leave NEXT FRIDAY!! We couldn't be more excited. God has opened doors, provided abundantly, my insurance will be covered with all my pre-existing cancer totally covered, and so much more. 

    Please forgive us for everyone who is having to hear this news here on our blog. But this has always been our way of keeping everyone "abreast" of what is going on in our lives. This has all happened so fast that we have not had any time to stop and contact our closest friends. I had surgery a week ago today, he got the offer last Friday and we leave next Friday. We are trying to get in visits to our family before we leave, pack, prepare for the move, get the kids ready for a new school and so much all at once as I am sure you can imagine. 

    No doubt, there are many we won't even be able to say goodbye to which truly breaks our hearts. But there is just no way for us to accomplish the proper good-byes everyone deserves. We will miss all the wonderful, wonderful friends we have made here. You will never, ever be forgotten and we owe you so much for all you have done for us the past 12 months. 

    We will keep doubt about it! When we get settled, we plan to start blogging about our lives after my treatment ended and what all God has and is doing in our lives. We both feel this is tremendously important and something that needs to be talked about. No one and I mean NO ONE prepares you or warns you about this side of the story and we promise to be as raw and candid as we always have been on our blog.

    Deryl & Kelley

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    I've been sitting here this morning spending my morning with the Lord. I try to do this most days but not like this morning. This morning has been different. Today I prayed over my home, my current battles in life, my children, my church, my leaders, and many others. Before getting into his word I asked "What do you want me to hear from you today". Not long after I felt lead to just worship him. 

    When I heard about the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, I was in Oklahoma with one of my very best friends in the whole world trying to comfort her for she had just lost her baby. A baby she spent years trying to conceive. And by years I mean YEARS. She has endured tests, procedures, medicine, waiting, and finally all the money it took to do In Vitro Fertilization. She got pregnant with a sweet baby boy named Zachary Aaron. For some reason, he went to be with Jesus when she was 6 months pregnant. 

    I too have had earthquakes in my life that have been followed by Tsunami's. Have you as well? Can you relate? You know, when an earthquake or any major disaster occurs, mass panic and chaos follow. We can't really think straight and can't see past what is happening at that moment. We might make some really poor choices mainly because we just don't know what to do but SOMETHING must be done. 

    I am finding in my own life that after the dust settles and we are still brokenhearted and still don't know what to do, we have to turn to God. Sometimes that can be so hard when the enemy wants so desperately for us to feel hopeless. No matter what you may be enduring today, just start to worship God and praise him. You might not be able to start out strong even. Just lift your hands in surrender to him and lay your burdens at his feet. God can take the truth, our sadness, our anger, our bitterness, our grief, our fears and turn them around. If we fill ourselves up with God, with praises that pour out to him, then when disaster strikes, God and praises are what will spill out of us instead of fear, anger, despair and such. 

    I don't know what your struggles are today. Maybe you were just diagnosed. Maybe you have no idea where your next meal is coming from. Maybe you just lost someone you love dearly. Maybe you have wondered far from the Lord. Maybe you have had a recurrence. Whatever it is, all you do know is that it makes absolutely no sense for it to be happening. I believe that God gives us friends to help carry our burdens. But I believe with all my heart that true healing can only come when we go to the true friend that is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). The one who knows our innermost being. God is the only one who KNOWS us. He made us! He loves us more than we can ever imagine. The love he has for us is something we will never be able to fathom. I know some days our circumstances might make it appear like how can God love me and yet let me go through this? I understand. I have felt like that many, many times.

    My friend, the midst of your storm, worship him. Talk to him. Let him wrap HIS arms around you and give you comfort. When you do this and you feel absolutely nothing, don't give up! You will be getting closer to the Father. Right when you feel like giving up is right when you are so close to your breakthrough!! I want to leave you with some links to my most favorite worship songs. They are the songs I turn to when I desperately need to feel God's presence.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    My Princess Warrior

    My Princess Warrior

    I just had to share my devotion from today out of "His Princess Warrior" by Sheri Rose Shepherd

    Praise Through the Pain

    My Princess Warrior
    I will not waste your pain, My beloved. I will
    use every tear you have cried to put a passion in your 
    heart to do something great for My
    Kingdom. You can find comfort in your darkest hour
    by praising Me through the painful place
    you are in. You will not remain in this
    painful place for long, My love. Soon you will see that,
    through it all, I carved something in
    your character that will draw you and others
    closer to Me. You are My precious Princess, and I will 
    shake the earth if that is what 
    it takes to see your chains fall to the ground.

    Your Lord who feels your pain.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Sewing for Tata's

    "Sewing for Tata's"

    Just wanted to update everyone on my "Sewing for Tata's" ministry. I now have 5 volunteers to sew and I have had 4 sewing machines donated!! We had our first sewing group last month and basically the majority of the time was trying to help me try to figure out how in the world to sew!! Everyone else are VERY experienced. They were so nice and patient with me. I just really enjoyed myself. 

    It takes 3 yards of material to make one gown. I put this info out to everyone and did not have a great response. SO, I started praying and talking to the rest of the group and here is what I have decided. This is basically my dream. I want to share it with you. Below is what I hope to grow this ministry into.
    1. I would LOVE for this ENTIRE ministry to be ran on 100% donations.
    2. I would like to make a website that has a link to my blog. On the website I would really like to offer pillows for women to use after mastectomies, bandanas/doo rags, hospital gowns with "" in the label as well as pockets on the inside and outside of the gown. The pockets on the inside will hold drain tube bulbs and you can't even begin to imagine how helpful this would be for patients!! 
    3. I would like to start something like TOMS. Anyone could go to the website and purchase a hospital gown. It would be a buy a gown give a gown to a breast cancer patient. Same on the bandanas.
    4. I would also sell Breast Cancer items. When I was diagnosed, I couldn't get enough pink or enough pink ribbon items!
    In order to do all this I am going to need some major help!! Do you feel led to help me in this endeavor? If so, PLEASE contact me!!!! Below are some things I need.

    1. Any advice on obtaining a copyright for...." and for "sewingfortatas"
    2. Any advice for obtaining a 5013C
    3. It will take 18" X 18" - 36" x 36" piece of fabric to make a perfect size bandana/doo rag.
    4. It will take, I am guessing about a 16"x 16" to make the pillows. I will give each patient two pillows.
    5. It takes 3 yards to make a hospital gown.
    6. We can always use extra off white thread.
    7. We use double fold bias tape or grosgrain ribbon. As much as we can get!
    8. I can also use extra sewing machines and extra sewers!!
    9. Any material donation we can get and as soon as possible would be a HUGE blessing!!!!!
    That is all I can think of for now. PLEASE e-mail me with any ideas you have or if you want to help out in any way. I would greatly, greatly appreciate it!!!!!

    Love to you all!! Sorry for the inconsistencies in blogging and keeping it updated. I am back on track!!!!


    Monday, February 21, 2011


    Kelley says.....

    The absolute BEST way to not judge is to have a different perspective. I mean.....really think about it. To judge someone is to selfishly think about things from you own perspective and "judge" that person accordingly. The word says that GOD and GOD alone is our vindicator. 

    Psalm 17: Jesus is our Vindicator

    Have people ever misjudged you? Have you ever felt betrayed by those who are in your very own family? God has been putting this on my heart lately for some reason: Jesus is our Vindicator. No matter how dark a situation may seem, know that God is there, and He will deliver those who trust in Him. If God be for you, who can be against you? Remember what happened to David? Saul kept persecuting Him, but the Lord was David's deliverer! Saul eventually died and David became King of Israel.
    God knows how to turn things around in your life.
    Here is the Psalm which I feel will give many comfort, knowing that whoever is against you -- there is a God who is for you!

    Jesus is my VINDICATOR!
    Confess that to others, and pray this prayer knowing that God will deliver you from those who have oppressed you!
    I have been hearing this in my Spirit over and over again so strongly that I just had to share this with you:

    Psalm 17 (New International Version)

    Psalm 17

    A prayer of David.
    1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea;
    listen to my cry.
    Give ear to my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.

    2 May my vindication come from you;

    may your eyes see what is right.

    3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night,

    though you test me, you will find nothing;
    I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

    4 As for the deeds of men—

    by the word of your lips
    I have kept myself
    from the ways of the violent.

    5 My steps have held to your paths;

    my feet have not slipped.

    6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;

    give ear to me and hear my prayer.

    7 Show the wonder of your great love,

    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.

    8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;

    hide me in the shadow of your wings

    9 from the wicked who assail me,

    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

    10 They close up their callous hearts,

    and their mouths speak with arrogance.

    11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,

    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.

    12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,

    like a great lion crouching in cover.

    13 Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down;

    rescue me from the wicked by your sword.

    14 O LORD, by your hand save me from such men,

    from men of this world whose reward is in this life.
    You still the hunger of those you cherish;
    their sons have plenty,
    and they store up wealth for their children.

    15 And I—in righteousness I will see your face;

    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. 

    In Isaiah 54:17, the Lord says the weapon will form, but it won’t prosper, and that EVERY tongue that rises up against us, WE will condemn.  Every tongue or every word means just that!  This includes every lying word, every derogatory word, every false rumor, every condemning word, every ridiculing statement, every bad name, and the list goes on.  Before I proceed, I just want to give a different translation to the same Scripture above:

    But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed.
    You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.
    These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
    Their vindication will come from me.
    I, the Lord, have spoken! Isaiah 54:17 (NLT)

    Without believing God's word, that it is the truth, we have no hope. I choose this day to believe the He and HE alone is my vindicator!!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    My new fave song- Dedicated to all of you

    Kelley says...........

    When I was younger, I would see other women in church who loved the Lord so much. They seemed so wise, so strong in the Lord, so "perfect". I wondered how in the world someone came to know the Lord in that way. I would worship God, I would pray, I would read the word and do devotions to no avail. I loved God. But I didn't have what they appeared to have. 

    I work on staff at a church. Now it seems I am on the other side of all that. I know people who don't know those of us on staff us have thoughts that we are untouchable, we are perfect and have it all figured out. I'm guessing there are people who like me wondered how you get to know God so well and love him so deeply. Let me just tell you that if you ever feel like this or have these thoughts that they are straight from hell. I look back at those ladies and the discovery I made about them is that they not only knew God so well but they also knew their enemy.

    I'm sure people love God. I'm sure there are "good" Christians. You know, go to church on Sunday's, don't commit murder, their "good" people so their good, right? Well, what I have discovered is that I am now the person who loves God SO deeply and that he is my everything. And the enemy has tried to take EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING from me in my 41 years of life. He has taken a child from me. He has taken a parent from me. He has tried to take my life and is now trying to take more. I thought after Deryl lost his job in 2009 that nothing could be worse than that. Then in 2010 when I got cancer I said to myself that I wouldn't dare say it couldn't get worse. As it turns out, it doesn't matter if you say it or not. If you are doing God's work and you are reaching out to others.....if you are seeking God with all your heart and being obedient to him, you better watch out. This isn't a game and definitely no walk in the park. If you truly want to be "ALL IN" for God you are going to HAVE to pay a price.

    I don't feel like I can go into what is going on in my life right now on a public forum but it looks like I put my boxing gloves up a little too soon. I feel like if you are a sold out believer, you better put those gloves on and KEEP them on. The enemy is out to kill, steal and completely destroy. And he will stop and absolutely NOTHING to accomplish it. So if you have ever looked at me or read my blog or felt those feelings about someone else and wished you could have their looks, job, kid's, marriage, their life because you have them on a pedestal, think again. Most likely they have been to hell and back many times. Most likely they are either currently IN the ring fighting or the bell has just rung and they took a quick breath and are right back to fighting the next round. If you see someone you aspire to be like, PRAY. PRAY with all your might for that person because they didn't become that overnight. Boy would it be so much easier to just live a life that was completely selfish. Just do whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it without any concern if I was living God's way. 

    Funny thing is, I have been studying the book of James every single day this year. Right from the start it says to count it all joy when you go through trials and that it is building character in you and making you able to handle anything that comes your way. I know it isn't by accident God lead me to read this chapter and commit to reading it all year. But come on already, when do I get a break. I think maybe it is selfish of me to want a break. Jesus didn't get one. Who am I to expect anything more than the one who paid the ultimate price. 

    I can't make it alone. I know people prayed for me regularly last year and maybe you thought all is well and haven't prayed anymore. Prayer warriors, I am asking you to pray for me and my family like you have never prayed for me before. I have had a recurrence. Not physically, but emotionally and an attack on my family like I have never endured before to this degree. Please pray for God to give us wisdom and for a hedge of protection around us. That God would give angels charge over us and that he would go before us as he says he will do in his word in Deuteronomy 31:8...."The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Clear vision

    Kelley says......................

    For most of my life I wore either contacts or glasses to see. About 6 years ago, I had Lasik surgery. My vision was so bad that I was right on the border of my eyes being too bad to even having the procedure done. They told me going into it that I could possibly have to get it done twice. Well, they were right. I had to have it done a second time 1 year later. It was great for about 2 more years and then I could tell my vision was no longer clear and sharp. 

    Last year I got glasses to wear at night because I could no longer drive at night. They worked great but I have always hated wearing glasses. The more I wore them, the more I realized how much I needed them. So last week, I decided to just go ahead and go get contacts. I found myself getting really bummed out. I mean, I have a really weak stomach and Lasik surgery is really gross. The thought that I had gone through this two times and here I am having to get my vision corrected with lenses was just really frustrating. 

    But as I looked for another perspective I thought of what a miracle it is that I "can" see. I may not see 20/20 but I can see. If there was an emergency in the middle of the night and I didn't have time to grab my glasses or put on my contacts, I "could" drive if I had to. I can go to the pool or the water park and not have to worry about glasses or contacts ever again. When I wake up, I can see my alarm clock. My vision was so bad before Lasik that I couldn't do any of these things before. What a blessing!

    As I started pondering these things I started thinking about this past year. How although I went through so much physically and emotionally, I am so radically changed spiritually. Someone told a breast cancer patient about me and we connected on the phone last night. Unfortunately, this ladies cancer has metastasized to her bones and it is just not a good situation. But I was able to talk to her for over an hour on the phone and hold it totally together. It was such a good feeling for me to actually be a support for someone else. When I first ever thought about helping other women I never saw myself reaching out to people who I know will die from this disease. But then God really convicted me that I could help any woman at any stage of this terrible disease  because if they have the Lord, they have hope. I just kept holding onto that during our conversation. 

    No matter what you might be facing, cancer or disease/sickness, divorce, debt, whatever it may be, if you have God......YOU HAVE HOPE!! Sometimes life can seem so overwhelming and sometimes like life would be so much easier on the "other side". Sometimes we get so stuck in the now that that is all we can focus on. It is during those times when we have let our thoughts take control of everything. If this is you, catch yourself.........STOP IT! And know that your hope can only be found in God.