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 now...do 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 candles....you 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 blogging...no 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