Monday, June 29, 2009

gardening gloves...

I was so tired this past week from VBS I could hardly think about anything. It also was so hot here, I was hibernating inside as much as I could, in the air conditioning. When I did go outside, I was in the sun, and managed to give myself a really good sunburn. I finally started feeling less pain from it 4 days later!

I have barely been able to keep up with a few blogs, and with some writing I need to do on my speeches for She Speaks.

But this past Friday I was able to get together with my friend Cindy. We talked through the chapter of the book we are on, and then talked. A lot.

It was a wonderful time of sharing for both of us. We didn't have any time constraints or anything, so we were able to just relax and not feel rushed. I was able to share a song I was doing for special music at church... talk about our family's of origin... go out to lunch together and do a bit of shopping... and I was also able to share what I already have done with my talks. It helped to talk to her, because it gave me some good constructive feedback, and gave me an idea of what I have to work on.

Just being with her got my brain working and processing again. I mean, I could hardly string two thoughts together prior to Friday!

I was all worked up about church on Sunday, because our Wednesday night worship rehearsal didn't seem to go very well to me, and I felt like I really hadn't been together with the band very well, and I was the team leader. I also hadn't been practicing my music for special music very long, and didn't have that worked out well either.

Cindy reminded me that God is the one who fills me and will enable me to do all things.

Our VBS director came in on the third day of VBS and said that she had nothing left to give for the week. She was tired and done. She had been poking around in her garage before leaving the house, and found an old gardening glove and brought it in with her.

She said that she was that glove. The glove could do nothing on its own. It couldn't garden, it couldn't pull weeds, nothing. It wasn't until she put her hand inside, that it could do anything. She reminded us that we are all gloves. We can't do anything on our own. It's the Holy Spirit filling us that enables us to move or do anything.

When Cindy reminded me that Sunday was in God's hands, I told her about that glove analogy. It just fit right in with what we were talking about.

So, here is a question for you.

What makes you feel like an empty glove today?

Is there something that you are facing, that is coming up (like She Speaks, or any "one time" event) that you are feeling less than capable of? Is there something in your life, or the life of your family that is more than overwhelming?

God has given us His most precious gift in His Son, and in His Spirit, indwelling us. Whether you feel it or not, He is there. He is an untapped power source. The very power that raised Jesus from the dead is given to us.

Tap into that power. Tell God that you can't do this. That is all He is waiting for. For you, and me, to admit that we can't do it. Then He asks us to step aside and watch Him work.

When I was in VBS and said to Him that I couldn't do it. I couldn't possibly teach these children any music, God stepped in. His Spirit filled me to overflowing, and taught those kids the music, intervening with discipline as needed. I remember almost watching myself from a 3rd person perspective on Thursday and Friday, realizing that there was no way that was me doing that.

I realized this past week, as my brain finally started to function again, that God had totally blown apart a box I had put myself, and Him, in.

I said to myself that there was no way I could teach kids music, especially in a classroom setting. Even though I feel more freed up than ever about using my abilities in the area of music, I didn't even realize just how much of a strangle hold this lie had on me. I didn't even think it was a lie. It almost kept me from doing VBS at all... because up to this year, I didn't have to teach music in a classroom setting, I just had to teach the music in the openings and closings of VBS. This time I had a music rotation I was in charge of.

Now that VBS is done, and I saw what God did for me, and through me, something is radically different. That box, that LIE "I can't teach music to kids, and discipline and do the classroom thing," has been show false.... Well, and true in a way. By myself, no I can't teach music, etc. But through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, trusting in His strength, not just trying to make it on my own, I can.

I did.

When I realized that truth... that I am free to teach music, or do anything with music, I could hardly believe it.

I tried to share it with my small group this past week, and had a hard time putting it into words.

The best I have come up with yet is this.

The box is gone, and I am suddenly standing in this bright, open, sunny field. The sun is on my face, the wind in my hair, and I am waiting for God to show me which direction to start to walk. I know He has a specific ministry for me, beyond what I do now. I don't know what it is, or what it will look like. But I know that waiting in this place is good. I know He will continue to equip me for whatever it is. I know that He will continue to uproot the lies that are still buried deep.

Best of all, I know He is in me, with me, filling me with His Holy Spirit. It won't be me doing it, it will be Him.

So again, I ask you.

What makes you feel like an empty glove today?
Can you imagine yourself in that open field with me?
A world of possibilities before you?

Tell Him you can't do it. Verbalize it. Out loud. Then ask Him specifically to help you. He will. He will answer that prayer. He is answering it even now, though you may not know it or feel it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

poured out...

If this is what it feels like to be poured out, I think I like it and want to feel this way again, more often.

I emptied myself last week at VBS. It was hard work. Stretching work for me, to teach and really lead as much as I did. It was hard for me to move beyond my comfort zone, and really try to connect with the kids as I taught them.

My comfort zone in this area was imposed upon me by a belief in a set lies. Lies that were embedded early on in my life as a believer.... lies that I couldn't teach, that I had no right to be up in front of kids, and worst yet, that my musical skills weren't and never would be strong enough to do anything with in the realm of teaching.

But last week, I pushed those aside, begged God to fill me and be more than enough for me, and I taught. I helped the kids learn music that was based around the themes of the days teachings. I taught them some sign language and such to go along with the songs to help them remember them. I led them in the closing celebration for their parents and friends. Then Sunday morning, the kids who were at church who had been in VBS, came up front and we sang and signed our theme song for the week for the church.

God met me. God filled me. God enabled me.

Instead of holding back when I felt God calling, I stepped out of my normal comfort zone and pushed through and did what He asked me to do.

This Sunday, after church was done, we all headed to Sunday school. Peter in particular was pushing to go to the farm right after the service. Earlier he had wanted to go to Sunday school, but when he realized that he was going to have to wait longer to go to the farm, he got fed up with me and started to melt down because I was making him stay.

We sat in the back of the adult class until I saw his teacher come through, and then I moved with Peter and Marina, and took them into their classroom. Once they were in there, Peter settled in. When they came out, all Peter could talk about was how much fun he had. Marina enjoyed it too.

I was proud of myself for having pushed through on something else that was uncomfortable for me. Taking the kids to church on my own, taking them to Sunday school for the first time, rather than giving into their demands of leaving right away.

But talking about being poured out...

This whole past weekend I could hardly string two thoughts together. I couldn't relax at the coffee shop. I couldn't unwind at the farm. After some sleep Saturday night, I was able to relax some on Sunday, and think a bit more clearly. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap at the farm Sunday afternoon. Came home and slept a full night last night too.

But woke up just drained again today. Drained and crabby!!! Yuck. I hate it when I wake up that way.

And sick. I have a wicked sore throat, that won't seem to go away.

But this usually happens to me when I really stress myself and give all I have got. I found it always happened in collage at the semesters end. I would come home for Christmas break or summer break and immediately get sick. It never failed.

So I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I remember someone saying that they wanted to be one of the ones who left all they had out on the field.

I think I left it all out on the field last week.

I am tired and done in and toasted... mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually too. I just haven't been able to focus on God much since then. I want to, and I attempt to pray, but a few words come out, (or get journaled) and then I drift off. I can't seem to keep my mind on task.

So, now that I think Marina is finally asleep... (she has been fighting sleep all week.. staying up later each night... even when she doesn't have a nap and has been running all day) ...I am going to try to spend even a few quiet minutes with God here at the end of my day, and go get some sleep too.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind comments. This has been a week to remember, and if I can remember it long enough I will journal about it so that I don't forget what I have learned. Of course, maybe that is what this post, and the last one are about...

A reminder of what it is like to pour myself out, to follow God, to push out the boundaries of my comfort zone, and to expand and grow and find new confidence in God to equip me for what He is calling me to.

That's what it is all about.

He called me, I answered.
He equipped me, I poured myself out.

He did the work through me, I just obeyed and did what He told me. We make a good team that way. Much better than when I try to tell Him what He is supposed to be doing.

(Hmm. I do that way too much!)

Pouring out.

That is what God is about. As our theme song for the VBS week said:

"This is the way of the Kingdom of God!"

P.S. If I get the time, I will put up a post with a few pictures from VBS, so you can see a few of the things that happened at our church this past week... I am too tired now to do it, so hopefully tomorrow it will happen as I try to survive the heat!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VBS, conviction, prayer...

I happen to have a few minutes right now, before I am due to sing with the kids. I thought I would grab them to come say hi.

This week with VBS has been really good. I have gotten over my nervousness for the most part, and have found the kids very responsive to the songs, to the actions I am doing with them (mostly doing sign language... easy ones, so the little kids can do it too...).

We have about 45 kids or so (our average) and it has been so neat to see them responding to the learning, and responding to the videos, the verses. I have noticed Peter and Marina just soaking this up.

Peter has started to make friends with a few kids his own age. Maybe this Sunday I will be able to take them both into their Sunday school room, because some of the kids in the Sunday school classes are the same ones who are in his VBS group. He hasn't wanted to before, so we will see what this Sunday holds.

And, it is walking out into new territory for me as well. I mean, normally when Dave works, his mom and dad take the kids on Saturday night so I don't have to worry about trying to get both kids out the door on time, or dealing with the distractions in church. When she offers, typically, I let her have the kids. This past week, I unexpectedly had to take them to church with me, because Dave had to work. It wasn't planned so Karen didn't know I was doing that. After church we did some errands and I think eventually ended out at the farm. But I handled the kids just fine on my own.

So this morning, Karen called and asked what I had planned for the weekend, and if I wanted her to take the kids at all. She left the night up to me. I think that I will ask her if she wants them Friday night, and we will spend the day out there Saturday. But, the kids are coming home with me Saturday night, and they are going to church with me the next morning, and they are going to go to Sunday school as well.

They need this connection with our church, with their peers. They need to know that going to church means more than just going to church on Sundays. They need to know its more than just "playing" at religion. I want them to make it their own.

Peter has started praying at night with us before bed. He is learning and growing and wanting to know more.

I have wondered and prayed about a job. So far, I might get 15 hours at the local McDonald's, but is that what God wants me to do? I don't know. All I do know is that I am trying to listen, but this week has been so hard.

Maybe I will get some time this weekend, after VBS is all done. Friday morning, to prep for the last day, or Saturday morning before I go out to the farm.

I want quiet. Away from kids. For some reason, I guess I didn't realize just how much I needed it, until this week with kids around me all the time. And I didn't realize just how much I do have a flexible schedule when not working with VBS or other things like that.

God is so good. I am feeling better this week. Maybe it is having something to do that I know makes a difference in people's lives.

I wonder if God could lead me to a job like that. Ok, I know He could.

God, would you lead me to something where I feel that I make a difference and can't just be "replaced" by another face. Show me clearly what Your will is. Show me how to make a difference in the life of my family, my friends, my church, my community. Give me the courage to step out in ways that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar to me. Grant me grace, and patience, and humility, and the willingness to do whatever it is you want me to do. Thank you for giving me the courage to do the right things for my kids, and thank you for convicting me of what I should do, what is right. Thank you for being more than enough for me in everything and anything I am going through and doing. Amen

Sunday, June 14, 2009

VBS here I come!!!!

Well, here comes life this week... full force!

It could be very much a life overload this week!!

Our church is starting their Vacation Bible School this week. Yours truly is leading all the music. I am not only leading up front for opening and closing as in previous years, but also running the music center, that the kids will rotate through.

That in and of itself is different. Add to that, both of my kids are old enough to participate! My daughter Marina will be in the pre-school group, in the nursery classroom, so she won't be "out" rotating through, so won't really see me except for the opening and closing sessions. However, Peter will be rotating through the stations, including mine... as a matter of fact, the first station he will come to, after his bible time, in his class room is mine.

I am praying that he won't get to clingy or insecure. He expressed concern that he and Marina were not going to be in the same age groups during it... I think more for himself than for her. He is nervous to move out into new things, that are unfamiliar to him (hmmm, wonder where he gets that one from!!! )

I also am praying that God will let me just be able to teach the kids the songs, the actions/sign language to go with them, and remind them of the bible verses and theme of the day... and well, just relax enough to have fun.

I want to let the past be the past, and not work myself up, fearful that I can't teach the kids. Because though I can't teach them anything in my own strength, with God I can do all things. In His strength and power. Not by my own might.

So I am heading to bed... way later than I intended, and way exhausted. But I had to make sure I had everything prepared, because once I am up at the church early, with both kids, I won't be able to run back and forth if I forgot something!

If I don't get back here too soon to write, know that I am thinking of you all, and praying. I will be back as soon as I can.... if nothing else but to post my new scripture memory verse for the 15th!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Choose to praise...

"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. "
Psalm 103:1-5

These verses spoke to me this week, as a reminder to my soul to trust in Him at all times.

The whole psalm was so good. I read through it last night before I went to bed. I prayed through it, and praised God through it.

A conscious decision to praise Him.

It's amazing what it does for my heart and soul.

I am wondering if some of what is going on is because I am consciously working on my marriage. I am consciously trying to do what I can for my part to connect better with my husband, rather than not talk. I mean, it got to the point where I felt like we were co-existing, not really relating.

It has really troubled me, so Cindy started praying specifically for us. She also challenged me to try to share something, anything with him... even small. As I have started doing this, it has opened up the lines of communication between us again. I have been concentrating on not shutting down with him as I have been struggling the past couple of weeks or so. It feels so much better.

One thought is that there is spiritual attack (duh) because the last thing the enemy wants is us to have a strong marriage.

Something I noticed today, as I reflected back over a conversation with Cindy, bothered me. I realized that she was nearly dancing up and down at the answer to prayers upon prayers. I mean, God is answering our prayers for a stronger marriage! He is! Shouldn't I be dancing up and down too? Where were my dancing shoes when I realized what God was doing?

What I end up focusing on is the depression that I feel, the other things that just don't seem right, the problems, etc... rather than praising God for who He is and what He has done.

So, today... even if it is only right now... even if it is on and off, not constant... I am going to choose to praise.

The Choice to Praise

I am going to choose.
Choose to praise.
Praise my God
God my Father

My Father who has worked
Worked through His Spirit
His Spirit in my heart
My heart that has been changed.

Changed and healed
Healed, felt or not
Not because I must praise
Praise because I have the choice.

By Heather Kudla, 06-11-09

Will you choose to praise with me?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cindy home again

Cindy is home. Extremely tired, but home safely.

Thank you, thank you all who have been praying for me. Today is better. I am still tired. The fog is lifting some, though it is still dark.

I just wanted to add this update for all you. My dear friend Cindy just called me. She is on her way home from Tennessee!

Thank you so much for praying for her. She said that atmosphere there was just oppressive and was really hard to deal with. Her mom was very demanding, and just the family dynamics there were so difficult for her. She said she spent a lot of time in confession because she just got so angry.

She is exhausted, so pray that she will be able make it home safely. She said that she was up almost every hour during the night with her mom. She needs filling and renewing by God on her way home. I know she is enjoying her time in solitude driving.

Thank you for praying. She should be home around dinner time.
I will let you know when she gets home.

Monday, June 8, 2009

i'm tired... i need to be still...

"Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.' "
Exodus 14:13-14

I am so tired. I really am. I am wiped out. I haven't slept well the last couple of days. I am worn out.

I am also dealing with a lot of anxiety that my medication hasn't helped.

Still struggling. Of course. surprise, surprise...

But I read this verse today from my devotional. It just struck me. I am tired. I don't have any energy to do anything. I don't have to.

The Lord will fight for me. I just need to be still.

Be still in the Lord. Let Him take care of me.

Being still. Sometimes when you are stirred up, it's hard to be still. But I choose to rest in the Lord.

My question from my devotional today was basically asking how the words "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still" apply to me today.

I am too tired to do anything else, but to stay still and let Him fight for me.
Please pray that I have the energy to do even that.

I have a VBS meeting tonight, and I have to teach a couple of songs there to the adult volunteers. I am praying for energy, stamina and the ability to go out in public without breaking down.

Thanks for your prayers for me. I am so praying the sun will come out soon and shine some light into the darkness.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

curling up...

I wrote in my journal today that I just don't know what is going on.

I suppose that's ok.
I don't need to know.
I want to know.

It's a cool, rainy, dark day. It is one of those days that you just want to curl up. It doesn't help my mood any. I just want to curl up under a blanket in a safe place, with a safe person. I want to cry.

I did a little crying at the coffee shop. I need comfort. Comforting. I need a sense of safety and peace. I need God. I need more and more of Him.

"Every mistake, sin, and detour we take in the journey of life is taken by God and becomes his gift for a future of blessing when we surrender ourselves to him."

"What would it look like for you to surrender the pains of your past to God today?"

I can see where God has taken the pains in my past, as I have worked through them, and surrendered them to him, and worked them for a blessing in my life. I have seen how surrendering all of me to him has made such a difference in my life. I have caught a brief glimpse of his blessing amidst my pain, and because of it... working it for good.

Can I answer that question today? What pains of my past am I still holding on to? I thought I had surrendered that to him already. I mean, wasn't that what this past year was all about? He brought me to a point of surrender and healing. But like the quotes in my last post, he brings us back to some of the same things again, on a newer, more profound level, to a deeper level of healing and change.

I don't know what is causing the pain, sorrow in my heart. I don't know what is causing the depression that is making me fold inwards to protect myself. I don't know what is making me want to curl up and hide and cry. I don't even know what all my emotions are...

All I do know is I am desperate for comfort, for healing, for filling of the Holy Spirit.
All I do know is I want to run and hide.

I can't.
I want to.

I have a family to take care of.

If you see this, please pray for me. I don't quite know what to ask for. I need God. I need Him to do something powerful. I want to rest in with His arms enfolding me... and I need that rest so badly.

Sorry for the jumbledness of this post. It's just all pouring out of me. Thanks for your prayers.

Quotes taken from "Complete guide to the Daily Office," by Peter Scazzero

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stuffing and running...

Oh I have had so many words and thoughts and emotions the past few days. I don't even know what to say.

God has been working on me.
On my heart.

As I have been reading "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Peter Scazzero, as well as using his "Daily Office" as my devotionals, God has been using them in my life.

What have I been doing?
I have been running.

I have used a myriad of ways. But no matter what I have been doing, I have been running.

These two books have been talking about dealing with inner pain.

Get this quote from "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality."
"Rather than keeping busy to avoid my inner pain and disappointments, I needed space to explore my feelings and wrestle with anger, shame, bitterness, grief, jealousy, fear or depression - in an open contemplative way before God."

I have been keeping busy, I have been using other escapes to keep from feeling my emotions. I have been successfully stuffing them.

Just like I used to do. Just as I have always been well practiced up on.

Stuffing emotions. Don't let them overflow.
Don't allow them out, because if you do:
you can't control them, they control you.

Stuffing and running.
Running and stuffing.

Yesterday, I couldn't even identify what I was feeling. I felt numb, for the most part, but I did recognize depression too. We had our small group to our house for a cook out by the fire. We worshiped outside around the fire before the mosquitoes drove us inside. We prayed inside then, and broke up.

Later, one of my girlfriends from the small group and I went back out to the fire and sat and talked. Dave came and joined us for some of the time. We had a really good conversation, and she shared how God was really breaking through some things for her, and helping her into some major healing. It was so good to hear.

There is something about a fire at night, maybe its the warmth of the flames, the feeling of anonymity, I don't know. It prompts being honest and open. I was able to share with my girlfriend the feelings of stuffing my emotions, the questions from my devotional that have set me thinking, and the avoiding I have been doing.

I was able to share that much. I don't know if I have more words now; to describe what is going on.

I don't think I have been feeling I have been going backwards, per se, but I have definitely been having a harder time dealing with my emotions. And my old nature, old habit coping mechanisms come in yet again. I fight them, and sometimes I win, but not all the time.

I have this feeling of emptiness at times, and a disconnect, and this longing to be filled. Sometimes I am able to lean on God for that filling, and He helps me through. Sometimes I pray and ask for that filling and it seems like He isn't listening and doesn't answer. That's when I tend to go to coping mechanisms... and not healthy ones. Sometimes, especially if I am disillusioned, I don't even bother going to Him. Also, not a good, nor recommended choice.

There was a quote from my devotional today;
"As we go back to go forward, we find that it is a never ending process. We go back, breaking some destructive power of the past. The later, on a deeper level, God has us return to the same issue on a more profound level."

And another one talking about how the Holy Spirit investigates our whole life, digging away layer by layer, eventually getting down to the bedrock, our earliest emotional life.
"Hence, as we progress toward the center where God is actually waiting for us, we are naturally going to feel that we are getting worse."

Maybe I am revisiting some old things I thought were done with... or old habits... or old parts of myself that I thought were surrendered.

I believe it is God directed, not self induced. Spirit led, not emotions based on chemical imbalances. Maybe chemical imbalances have something to do with how I am handling the emotions, and the heightened scrutiny of my emotional life, but I believe that this is all held, guided, led by God.

The other day I was sitting, trying to figure out what was going on. I remembered at church this past Sunday, a friend sang special music, talking about Jesus hands being open, reaching out to us. I just got this sense of Him reaching out to me and as I put my hands in His, He pulled me up, and into His embrace. I looked out the window, and across the road was this huge tree. I just got the sense that I was clinging to the trunk of that tree. It swayed in the wind, bent with the storms, but never broke or faltered. It gave shade in the heat, shelter in the rain, and stood through the winters harsh gale, only to bud and flourish the coming spring.

Now I know the analogy breaks down, because trees do die, they do fail, and if the wind and storm is strong enough, they will uproot.

But not only am I clinging to the tree (the cross) He is clinging to me. His arms are wrapped around me. I don't know what that means. I mean I KNOW in my head. But my heart, it just doesn't get it right now. It does to a certain extent, but maybe this is God's move to help my heart understand it on a deeper, more profound level.

God is moving. He is. He gave me just a glimpse into what my marriage could be, if I can break free of my inhibitions, and fears of confrontation, and fears of not being heard or understood... and showed me how freeing, and strengthening it could be. Oh, have I been praying for Him to bless our marriage. How I have been praying for Him to break me free of the past enough to really embrace my present and future.

God is moving. He has used me to help my girlfriend, who has gone through some similar things I have in the past, and done some of the same things I have done. She went through the Steps to Freedom by Neil T. Anderson with a couple in our small group. And the change in her countenance was amazing yesterday.

God is moving. He gave my husband and I a date night. One of the first in a really, really long time. Where it was truly just us out. No kids, no other commitments, no stealing time together when he was working a slide show for a wedding or anything like that. Us, dinner and a movie.

I know in my head God is moving. I can see it with my eyes. I hear the wind of His Spirit sweeping down over me, and I get fearful. Even when I know He is using His cleansing fire to purify me and burn away the dross, it is painful. To die to the old and live for the new is painful, because something DOES have to die!

Maybe when I can sort things out, when I am not so tired, I will be able to write more. I have had more insights today, but right now, this is all I can write.

I am praying that God will give me words. I am praying that God will yet again show Himself glorified through me. I feel frustrated that I am writing again, of struggles and emotional ups and downs. I am frustrated that I am struggling with depression some too.

It's just, well, not what I wanted... not where I planned myself to be, when I am less than 2 months out from going to She Speaks, and needing to have 2 talks prepared. When I am supposed to be getting ready the music for VBS. When I am supposed to be looking for some sort of job. When I am supposed to be enjoying my summer with my husband and kids. When I am supposed to be preparing my son for Kindergarten.

This is not in my plans God!!!!
But it isn't about me or my plans, is it?

This is something that really hit me as I read the book, and as I am out of words, I am going to close with this prayer that Scazzero wrote for the end of Chapter 3, in "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality."
"O Lord, slow me down that I might pay attention to you through this day, that I might meet you even as I read these pages. It is safe to walk with you whether I feel like it today. You are a secure place. Anchor me to you today, O Lord, amidst the storms and trials going on around me. Break me free from all thoughts and ideas about you that are not true. Unleash a spiritual revolution in my interior, Lord Jesus. Set me truly free, O Lord, that I may be a gift to those around me. In Jesus name, amen."
(emphasis mine)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Update below

Those of you following my blog for the last week or so, know that I have requested prayer for my friend, Cindy. She has been with me through so much the past couple of years. And she has gone through so much herself.

This past week has been especially tough on her.

She is now down in the Nashville area, taking care of her mother, while her sister, Cher, takes care of her own son, Timothy.

Cindy is not the nurse type. She threw up when her kids threw up and were sick. She just isn't gifted in this area. However, now she is taking care of her mom, who has a colostomy and is going through chemo treatments for an in-operable cancer, ovarian. Her mom is not a believer so, though the chemo will only give her at most 6 more months, she is trying it.

The chemo is making her extremely sick, and now that she has just had surgery to put in the colostomy, she is going back in for chemo tomorrow.

Cindy took her in for some doctor appointments today. She is going to spend most of the day tomorrow at doctor offices, and then Thursday her mom gets her first bout of chemo since her surgery for the colostomy. The she has to take her mom, sick from the chemo, through a bunch of doctor visits on Friday.

My biggest prayer request is for her rest. When I talked to her today, Cindy just sounded exhausted. She is wiped. She said she hasn't been sleeping well. She goes to bed when her mom does, and gets up when she does. But last night alone, she went to bed just after 10pm, and was up by 5:30am. Now that wouldn't be so bad if she were sleeping straight through the night and waking rested. But she isn't sleeping through the night. I know that she has been waking up several times, at least. She also has been dealing with a steady headache for about 8 weeks now.

All day.
Every day.
Non stop.

Nothing touches it. Nothing stops it. Nothing even lessens the pain.

I can't describe what my heart did when I heard her voice today. She just sounded to me like she was talking so carefully, just because she couldn't hardly move. You know the feeling. When you are barely hanging onto consciousness because you are so tired. She sounded so exhausted, and it was just about noon.

Please. Please pray for her. I know you don't know Cindy. I know you don't know her family. But even a brief prayer on her behalf, I know God will hear.

Her mom, Janie, and her sister Cher, do not know Jesus. I doubt her nephew Timothy does either. Please pray for their salvation. They so need to rest in the arms of Jesus, and have an assurance and strength that passes all understanding. They need, most of all, HOPE. Just by the things Cindy has described, they have none. They are clinging with desperation, to this life.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I know that Cindy appreciates them... more than you can know. When I told her I was posting here on my blog for her, she was so grateful to know others were praying.

Soon, I will be able to get back to regular posts, but for now, please keep Cindy and her family in your prayers.

Here is a direct update from Cindy... Her words, not mine. I am copying and pasting from an email that I got from her today.

Thanks so much for praying!
Today was chemo day and we are at back at Mom's now and she is sleeping. I have had some quiet time to read and pray both during her chemo and over the last hour as she sleeps...God is giving me everything I need and I am so very thankful I have Him and so many people praying.

Additional prayer request is for my Dad, who is struggling right now with his health...I don't know exactly what is going on, but a gal who works for a home health care group will be visiting his house tomorrow and said she would call me and let me know how he is doing.

The phone calls have been nonstop today between my brother, sister and dad. But, still God is giving me peace and I know He will give me wisdom in all the situations I find myself in with the family.

Prayer for their salvation and peace in their souls and hearts still is my greatest prayer.

As you can tell, the prayers are needed and well appreciated. I am glad that she emailed me and let me know how she was doing, and how things went today... and that now you have her words, not just mine! I had emailed her on the off chance that she would have email... wasn't sure she had her computer with her or internet access.

Thank you again!
Love you all,