Sunday, November 30, 2008

Road Trip

What do the 405, 101,126, 5, 60, 710, 110 & 10 freways all have in common? I was on all of them in the last four days!! This thanksgiving I decided to spend with some pretty amazing people. So I traveled to Santa Maria. For those who have never been it is where my love and fascination of farms meets my love of beaches. The O'Roarks opened their home to me and let me stay in the worlds most comfortable bed for two nights. It is so quiet i sleep really well! It only took me about 5 hours to get there with the insane amount of traffic, but it was God's timing. It took me three hours to get to Ventura where I got off the freway for a pit stop and some much needed food after the bumper to bumper three hour tour of the405! As soon as I pulled into a parking spot Whit called me to tell me that Grandpa had passed away. I had the same reaction that I had when they told me grandma died two years prior, and that was one of nothing. I couldn't talk, couldn't breathe for a moment, couldn't really think. I just sat. Then I went into panic mode, do I drive back, push ahead, I continued on not knowing how Thanksgiving would be. Holidays are not my favorate days lately, mainly because my crazy busy life stop and I have time to think and thinking only brings tears and those who know me know that me and expressing emotion are not real good friends. Thanksgiving thursday was here and so was great food, starting with my favorite jacks!! Then Dini made the thanksgiving feast. Turkey-which was totally juicy and looked like the pictures in magazines, cranberry sauce cut with this amazing cranberry wavy cutter thing (Leilani you need to put that on your registry) it looked all professional, stuffing, yams piled high with marshmellows-YUM!! and potatoes-which Kevin helped peel. It was a ton of food!! I think Kevin and Dini will be having thanksgiving well into next week! We then just sat around and relaxed which I never do and it was so nice not to have to think- Ihope they weren't board! Friday Kevin took me to the new train depot and talked about trains and town history as we traveled it was so interesting. He is so excited about it it is contagous. I got to meet his good friend Rob and Lea who were also fun to talk with. We then traveled to Pismo to look at the butterflies. 1000s of them. Words cannot describe the beauty of them. We then walked down this cool little path to the beach which agian was amazing. It was a perfect day to be at the beach. After a while we walked back up and listened to a lady talk about the butterflies and of course there was a railroad tie- Eucalyptus was planted originally to be used on the railroad, but it wasn't good wood for that, so the groves stayed, butterflies came and the rest is history..... I then got to go to Dini's work-Glad a Way farms. They sell beautiful gladiolas . It was cool to see how many millions of bulbs and how they sort and organize it all. We also got to eat Orkuit Burger-really good!!! Athough I really wanted to stay another day or two I thought I should probably make my way back to reality. I then headed to my brothers in Ventura. I haven't seen him since August so it was a good visit. He got a new german shepard puppy who at 5 months is about as big as copper and about as hyper as sam!! So much fun!!! Not wanting to go home I decided at the last minute about 9:30pm to stay at Leilani's so we could maybe get some wedding stuff done. So Saturday we spent together which was really fun and productive. 54 days till she is a wife! (she will be a good one) I decided to stay and play a little longer with yet another puppy Rubi!! very fun. I stayed and went to church with Ed and Jodi today. It was really nice to be with family in church. I can't explain it. It was just what I needed. I then finally came home. My dogs super excited to see me, only I worked on homework and yep I got it finished!! before the day it's due. So now I will prepare to go back to VA for grandpas funeral. God has interesting timing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

things Im learning

I have been MIA for a couple weeks now due to emotional unstableness. Over the past month I have stopped doing anything. I stoped excersizing due to being sick at first, then just being lazy, I stoped eating right, agian being lazy and finding comfort in fatty foods, so now I have put back on all the weight I had worked so hard to get rid of and that just makes you more depressed and leads to cookies and french fries anyways....this past week though, decided that I needed to get back up and out of my funky mood, but rather than get up to work out, I opened the Bible. Wow the difference. I am going through Phil. 4 (been here a while, but it is full of great things you should read it!!) All week what I read in the morning I thought about all day and most days needed what I read to make better decisions than what I would have made if I did not have scripture on my mind. Friday I read Phil 4:11 Paul states that he LEARNED to be content. GAP girls I know that we talked about this in 2007 but being content takes constant work. I asked myself "am I really content?" I wasn't sure. Being content is not being happy but am I content even if I am sad? Then I wrote a list of what I am not content with on my "bad days" (I will save you the long list) everything on the list dealt with temporal things that the world values and all of them will pass away soon enough. I should not be content with the amount of time I spend in God's word, prayer, the amount of time I witness, my limited knowledge of the Bible, the fact that I am surrounded by people going to hell yet those things I am content most days to do nothing about. Last week I prayed for a renewed desire to read God's word and this week I have been awake at least 15 minutes before my alarm (which was set a 1/2 hour early anyways to not have any excuses) and I could not go back to sleep despite what time I went to bed (this week I am back to no sleep- but functioning alright) This was just a huge reminder that God does answer prayer. I have not felt that way for a while b/c I have not felt like He has answered my prayers. I found my journal that I started a year ago almost exactly (I don't write in it much) but the same things I was thinking and asking God then I am asking now. In fact the journal entries in it almost mirror the things that are in my Bible reading journal. I went to visit Chris' parents last Feb. and I wrote about being content and listening to a song titled "ENOUGH" my prayer then is the same that I wrote on Friday with the same song quoted agian I want to honestly say that I am content in every circumstance b/c God is enough for me. " All of you is more than enough for all of me for every thirst and every need you satisfy me with your love and all I have in you is more than enough" so next time you hear me complain remind me that God is enough. It doesn't mean I can't be sad but it does mean that in the sadness I look to God for comfort not food, or keeping busy, or meaningless things, but God and reading his word to know Him more and how amazing He is and all the wonderful promises He has given me. He didn't promise an easy life or even a happy one, but He did promise me love, peace, comfort, joy, salvation, and so much more. And if you know Christ (really know Him personally, not just head knowledge) you are promised these things too! Be content!! Paul learned and so can we!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Copper update

I promised to keep you (not sure who really reads this blog but) informed so here is what has happened in the last 2 weeks. I took Copper to the cancer specialist who really wanted to give him Chemo that day. I asked her the details of the procedure, side effects, and cost. The first 9 weeks of treatment for a dog his size (I like the big dogs!) would be around $3,000. Then there would be maintanance every few weeks after that for an indefinate amount of time, the most expensive drugs drop off but it would still be a couple hundred each time. This would give Copper about 13 months more of life. After many tears and about a half an hour of going back and forth I told the doctor I was in no shape to make a decision. I have learned from my mistakes that when money is involved I have to be in a good emotional place, or at least a stable one. So after much thought and a baking of several desserts I came to terms that financially I cannot afford the chemo. The other option is to treat the enlarged lymphnodes with a hormone. This would reduce the size of the lymphnodes but do nothing for the cancer.(it basically gives Copper comfort while the cancer continues to spread) giving him about 2 months. So last Monday I took him for a blood test to see if he was alright to do the hormones, when the doctor called with the results I explained that I wanted just to do the hormone therapy, he said he might have an additional treatment I could try. So on Wed. I met with him and there is a Chemo pill that I can give Copper but the side effects are much more like human Chemo than the full Chemo treatment would have given him. This would extend his life possibly 6 months. However after thinking about the side effects (which Copper may or may not get) if he did have side effects he would probably be sick for the remainder of his life. Right now he is himself, chasing cats, small dogs, he cleared a very high wall on Saturday morning hunting something, and he continues to be my cuddle dog. So after much thought I think in Copper's best intrest for quality of life I am just going to let the hormones make him comfortable. I feel aweful b/c I am not doing all that I can, but i don't want to risk him getting sick either. I can't imagine what parents of kids with cancer go through. As of today the lymphnodes are smaller so he is responding to them, but it isn't a cure and the prediction from the vet is about 2 months. So for now we are going on walks on days when I don't have class and I am trying to enjoy him while I have him, so I don't have regrets when he's not here. As I sat on the beach last Sunday, I tried to put things into perspective. I lost my best friend, pastor, the person who loved me more than I ever deserved, my dreamer, accountablity partner, encourager, and so many more roles that Mike filled, and God brought me, well is bringing me through, so surely he will help me cope with this. It doesn't feel any better, but God has been faithful and He will continue to be. It is another part of Mike I will be loosing but well Im not even sure what to say about it. It is my reality as death is everyones reality and it is unavoidable for every living thing. It serves as a reminder that we are a vapor and that even nature is waiting for Christ's return when it too will be made perfect and new. Mike had already explained to me that all dogs don't go to Heaven. But they are here and they do bring joy and I think they like the rest of creation can point to God. So maybe Copper licking my tears is really a gift from God to remind me that as alone as I feel, God still cares and is catching all my tears. Thanks for praying!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

convicting words

"If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail" (Isaiah 58:10-11).

I was convicted by this verse today. I want nothing more lately than to shut the world out & be alone. I don't want to talk to anyone, I really have fought hard to get up each morning this past week, I would like just to sleep which is a wierd thing for me. But this verse says that we are to give ourselves to those who need us. If we do then our light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday-not only will my darkness be made light, God will guide me and satisfy my desire in the burned places and give me strength not only that He will make me like a watered garden (no cactus here). So perhaps this last month has been so incredibly hard and dark because I have closed off and not been tending to others. As hard as it is for me right now pray that God will bring me people to give myself to, that I would see them, and know how to minister to them. May this also encourage you to do the same! We all should be like well watered gardens and bring some beauty to this barren world around us. So give (or continue to give) yourself to others!!