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Our Family


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"He Fights My Battles"

I am so thankful for God's amazing grace, blessings, strength, love, goodness and so much more over my life.  I saw my oncologist today and received good news that my cancer markers have gone down.  My numbers have been going up since March, so to get a report that they have gone the other direction was music to my ears.  The CA 125 (cancer markers) is one of the ways my oncologist determines if the current treatment is working.  I had a great friend send me scripture last night that encouraged me to keep my eyes on Jesus and to continue to trust Him in this journey.  2Chronicles 20:12b "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."  vs. 15b "Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's" vs. 17 "You will not need to fight in this battle.  Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. (Janet) Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed.  Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you."  It is such a peace knowing that no matter what happens in my life, good or bad, I don't have to fight the battle.  God has already gone before me and stands behind me and is fighting for me.  I am thankful to have a family that supports me and is always by my side whether that be physically or far away.  Tony, Jenna and Rhett went with me to the doctor today.  I also do not want to take for granted the power of prayer from so many that continue to pray for me daily or whenever God puts me on their minds.  I do not believe in coincidences when someone comes to your mind, to either pray for them or call.  God is into every detail of our lives and I believe the power of prayer is the key to His mercies over us.  I can't say enough Thank You's to those that pray for me.  I am truly grateful for ALL God is doing in my life. 

Me, Rhett & GPa waiting on doctor-Jenna took the picture
We were there for over an hour and when we came out, my friend Theresa was there waiting to see how everything went.  She and Tony both stayed with me during chemo, and everything went very smooth and quick.  Theresa gave me a plaque that reads "Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see".  If it weren't for faith and my trust in Jesus, I'm not sure where my life would be today.  I am thankful I can't see what tomorrow has in store for me and that I don't even have to worry or be consumed with it.  I was able to enjoy health and life today and will continue to trust Him for my tomorrow. 


"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Jordan and I went in late this afternoon for manicures and pedicures.  I didn't realize it until after I got there, I had another free pedicure waiting on me.  Thank you Elaine for spoiling me.  The blessings continue to fall upon me and I am so grateful for God's amazing love and grace shown through others.  As I was sitting in the chair getting my nails done, John the owner told me I looked "chunky".  I had to laugh knowing that he didn't mean anything bad by saying that, he was giving me a compliment.  Over the past several months I have been able to put on some weight and for that I am so thankful.  When the food tastes good, I make sure to enjoy every bite and love that I can swallow water in gulps! 

Tony has been out of town for the past two days and hasn't had a chance to go visit his mom, aka "Grandma".  I asked Bryan, Jenna, Jordan and David if they would like to go and see her.  The saddest part about us seeing her tonight is the fact that we have neglected our visits with her.  She sits day in and out in a very small room and we live less than 20 minutes away and have chosen not to be better family members.  We have church members that have spent more time with Grandma than any of us have, except for Tony.  I used to be over our Women's ministry visitation program and loved visiting the elderly.  I never understood why people that had family in town never had visits from their own family members and  felt so lonely.  James 1:27 "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."  I wish there was a better excuse for not visiting Grandma other than selfishness, but there isn't one.  I am not patting myself on the back at all for going out to see her tonight, I shamefully admit that I am sorry for the lost time that has been wasted. 

Hudson was happy to see her and wanted to help Uncle David push her in the wheelchair.  A funny story while we were in the lobby visiting, an elderly couple came and sat on some chairs, and out of no where Grandma said "look at them smooching on each other."  I thought she was seeing things, but Jenna saw the couple smooching too.  We had to laugh that Grandma called them out.  It always amazes me that old people have no problem stating the fact out loud whether you want to hear it or not. 

Hudson helping Uncle Dave push Grandma

Bryan,Hudson,Jenna, Grandma, Jordan, Rhett & David
I am thankful for the time spent with my family tonight and thankful that we have a forgiving God. 

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Lord I Need You"

After a week off from chemo, I went in today for another treatment.  The previous two times of treatment the nurses have had problems accessing my port.  I am so thankful to say that today everything went very smooth and there were no issues.  I am so grateful for the grace of each new day and knowing that God continues to hold me in His arms and gives me peace in knowing Him.  I pray I never get to a point that I don't realize that I need Jesus every hour of my life.  He's always there waiting for me to acknowledge Him and I'm afraid I have many days where I skim over seeing that He is working all things out for my good and His glory.  Every time I go in for treatment, I see how each day is a precious gift from Him. 

The month of July is a blessed month for me.  Both of my brothers and my two kids celebrate their birthdays along with a grandson and niece.  I am so grateful God has allowed me to have another blessed year with my kids and for the many blessings and favor He has shown to our family. 

Bryan's birthday dinner
 I did not take a picture at Jordan's birthday dinner last night.  Sorry Jordo! :(
Hudson used to be mean to Jordan but now he loves her.  She wanted to be called Aunt Jordo but Hudson has shortened her name to "Doe". 
Aunt "Doe" giving Hudson a ride on his "dig"
 On my way home today after chemo the song below was playing in my car and there is so much truth to this song.


I find my rest in Him and without Him, I would fall apart.  He truly guides my heart!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"Mission Arlington"

I am safely home and so thankful for an amazing week.  I was able to leave Saturday a week ago to travel to Arlington, Texas for our youth's mission trip.  There was so much that took place that I will miss blogging everything.  I am so grateful that God gave me so much grace to feel good and have a great week.  On Monday of our trip, I left for the day with my brother and we drove 2 1/2 hours to surprise our parents.  I had not seen them since February and it was good seeing them again.  We were able to spend the whole day with them.

Me and my parents

David, Me & Mike (my brothers)

We even had time for some Yahtzee
Texas heat is usually unbearable, especially in July, but God brought a lot of rain and cooler weather for most of the week.  Our group worked with Mission Arlington all week.  On Sunday we were divided into teams of 3 and 4 paired with their organization and went all over Arlington taking church to apartment complexes.  Monday through Thursday our students worked at 8 different apartments having back yard bible clubs/VBS.  I am so proud of our students and the time they invested in children and teenager's lives all week. 

Surprise trip to Medieval Times
On Friday our group had a choice to go to Hurricane Harbor or Six Flags.  It was the hottest day of the week and I knew my body wouldn't last long walking around and standing in long lines waiting to ride roller coasters.  Jordan and I love the thrill of riding roller coasters together.  My oncologist gave me a note to get a wheelchair to help make things easier for me to get around without over heating.  I took an umbrella with me to protect my body from the sun.  I have to admit, it was the best day I have ever had at Six Flags and I felt like a VIP.  I was able to take 3 people with me on the rides and Randy and Linda Cameron rode the rides with us.  I never once got hot and had plenty of energy.  I can't say the same for Jordan or the Cameron's since they were pushing me around.  We never had to wait in lines and by 3pm we had ridden all the rides that we wanted and even had about an hour to relax for lunch. 

Jordan was a trooper pushing me around all day

Jordan, Randy, Linda and me
A storm was coming in to Arlington so we left both parks an hour early to head home.  Around 8:30pm we found out a lady was killed on the Texas Giant roller coaster soon after we had left Six Flags.  The news was overwhelming and devastating to hear.  The fact that many of us had ridden that ride hours earlier and to know that something went wrong for someone to have died.  We had prayer for the family and friends.  The thrill of our day was shaken and my heart is very sad for this family.  Life is so frail and we never know what our today or tomorrow holds, but I am thankful to know Who holds it all together for me. 

God continues to carry me and show me so much grace.  I know a lot of people prayed for me to have a good week and I am thankful those prayers were answered.  I couldn't have asked for a better week to spend with our students and the bonus to see my parents when that wasn't even part of the schedule for me.  He provided great weather, gave me daily strength and all around blessed me with joy in my heart to be able to attend the trip.  The pictures below do not do justice, but they were His reminders that He was watching over me. 

A rainbow stretching over the highway

A beautiful sunset
"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"He Gives Me 10,000 Reasons to Worship"

My friend Theresa and I were able to go to Steak & Shake before chemo today for lunch.  This is the first time I have eaten at this location and the food tasted perfect, just like a burger and fries should taste.  I even got a chocolate milkshake to go.  Oh the joy of enjoying a good American meal before treatment.  I ate every bite on my plate!  I told myself that when food and water tasted good again, I would appreciate it and not take it for granted.

Me & Theresa (we color coordinated without knowing it-great minds think alike!)
 Today was the second week in a row the nurses had trouble getting blood return from my port.  They had to use "Draino" (there's a medical term but this is what it does, unclogs) both weeks to open up the blood flow.  This adds about 2 extra hours to my treatment by the time we wait for everything to open up and for the procedures to take place.  I know God has a purpose for all things and I am thankful that He has given Theresa and I a mission as we wait together to meet others and hear their stories, then God always allows us to pray with them and their families.  We met several new patients today and my heart was so grieved for them.  We see and hear so many sad stories.  My heart becomes overwhelmed and sometimes it's hard to have words to say to encourage others.  For now, God continues to carry me in His arms and shows me such grace and compassion that I in turn want to share it with those I meet.  I don't understand the mercy He is giving to me, but I humbly accept it and know that any good in my life is being poured out from Him.  After Theresa dropped me back off at work, I got in my car and the song "10,000 Reasons" was on and all I could do was sing and give praises back to my Creator for opening my eyes to all the goodness He is giving to me.  We can choose to grumble and complain or we can choose to worship His Holy Name.  I'm not sure about my tomorrow, but I can worship Him today for 10,000 reasons and more He gives me everyday. 


"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, July 8, 2013

"I Will Believe"

Psalms 91:14-16 "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."

How blessed I am to know that I can believe and keep my eyes on Jesus and no matter what storms come my way, He will deliver me and protect me.  I've had a good week from my last chemo and so thankful for all that God continues to do for me daily.  Each new day is truly a precious gift from Him and it is because of His grace and strength I sit here tonight writing these words and so thankful I can worship Him for His goodness.  Tomorrow I go in for another round of chemo and trust that my lab work will be good for treatment and that this will be a great week.  Our youth group leaves Saturday for a mission trip to Arlington, Texas and I am looking forward to getting on the charter bus and going with them. 

May the words from this song below minister to someone as it does to me and may you believe in Him for your strength and salvation.  He shows us so much through His everyday creation that all our eyes need to do is to be opened up to see Him.


"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Happy 4th Of July"

I have to admit, next to Halloween, the 4th of July is my least favorite holiday to celebrate.  I've never been a fan of setting off bottle rockets, firecrackers or any other dangerous explosion that involves the hands of my children or people I know well.  I don't mind the big show that the city or big organizations put on, but the "street" fireworks make me a little nervous.  I am always so thankful when it is all over and no one has been injured.  The Kufahl family had us out to their home tonight with many other families and friends and it was a great cool evening to sit outside and try to stay calm through all the craziness. 

My Family

Summer Interns and friends

Hudson, Me & Kampbell

Keith & Katy

Cody & Megan

"Iron Man with his sparkler"

Hudson giving Aunt Doe a ride in the Barbie car
Thankful for the freedom we have here in America and for the price that has been paid by so many.  Thankful for all those that are serving our country now.  May we never forget the freedom we have in Christ and for ALL that He did and continues to do for us.  God Bless America!!!

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Results Of CT Scan"

How blessed I am by God's love being poured out over me daily.  I had a perfect peace last night and this morning about seeing my oncologist and getting test results back.  I woke up this morning with an out pour of messages from people from all over the world and near by that were praying for me.  How could I ever doubt His great love for me?  Tony and I went in together this morning and there was very little waiting involved with my appointment and when she and the nurse came in, they did not have the results of my CT scan from yesterday.  Within a few minutes someone brought the paper work in, so she had to stop and read through the report.  From what she could read, the original lymph nodes in my neck have decreased and appear to be dying, great news.  The lymph nodes in my abdomen have slightly increased but very minimal.  There is a little concern with new spots found on my lungs that were not there on my scan in December but they are very tiny at this time and we will continue to monitor them.  My CA125 (cancer markers) are slightly up but that doesn't seem to be an issue with the fact that I am feeling so good.  Nothing showed up on the CT scan that alarms them to my chest pain.  She said they could do some more testing but since I don't seem to be having other issues, like shortness of breath and it seems to only be at certain times, she feels it is more likely a pulled muscle.  I will be having an ultra-sound tomorrow to rule out blood clots and checking the other newly swollen lymph node in my neck.  The new swollen lymph node in my neck has even gotten smaller through out the day, thank you Jesus!  My happy, happy, happy news is that I get to go on Mission trip and Six Flags!!!!  She told me to be extra careful with the heat and not let my body over do anything.  I was concerned about riding roller coasters and it stirring up the lymph nodes in my stomach.  I know it is a silly concern and the nurse even laughed at me.  She reminded me that the caution signs on the rides say "do not ride if you are pregnant, have heart or back issues" they do not say anything about lymph nodes in your stomach being an issue.  With that great news I am praying selfishly for an amazing cool weather day, July 19th at Six Flags over Texas.  There are plenty of air conditioned restaurants and shows I can go to and stayed cooled off.   

So thankful for this day of hope that God has given me and for all the prayers that have been offered on my behalf.  God gave me so much grace and continues to show me that this journey is not about me but about bringing glory to Him and making His name known. 

"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Already All I Need"

I sit here tonight with mixed emotions.  It's like the cartoon we've all seen where there is a little devil on one shoulder filling your head with lies and the other shoulder sits the angel telling you everything will be okay.  I haven't discussed with anyone except for Tony some pain I've been having in my chest.  It's hard to describe.  It's in my left upper chest and the only time it hurts is when I bend over, cough or try and sleep on my right side.  It feels like an electrical shock going through my body and is very uncomfortable.  It was worse over the weekend so I called my doctor today.  I also have a swollen, tender lymph node on my neck.  I already had a doctor's appointment and chemo scheduled for tomorrow morning.  My oncologist had me go in today to have a CT scan of my neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis.  I will know the results before noon tomorrow.  One phone call or one day can change your life in minutes.  I have no idea what the results will be tomorrow.  My prayer is that the doctor would be amazed and see a miracle in my body and the cancer is gone completely or at least decreasing.   Our youth group leaves for mission trip in less than two weeks and I would really love to be able to go.  Six Flags is on the schedule for the end of the trip and roller coasters are such a thrill to me.  It would make me and Jordan sad if I can't go because we love hanging out together and she would be there without me riding the rides.   I will listen to my doctor and do as I'm told.  I know tomorrow's news could go in different directions.  No matter the outcome, I will chose to praise and worship my Savior.  He continues to remind me that He is on His throne and that He has ALL things worked out for my good and for His glory.  He's already all I need.

I went to a wedding reception at our church Saturday night for a couple that had a destination wedding, then I went to a different wedding for another friend's son afterwards.  I had several people at both places telling me they pray for me everyday.  I even met a man that didn't even know me tell me he had been praying for me.  Sunday after church I had a friend tell me her 3rd grade daughter came to our house the 2nd time people came over to pray over us.  She said her daughter prays for me every night before she goes to bed.  How can I doubt God's sovereignty and grace when so many continue to pray for me. 

I met a lady today that was at Highlands with her 24 year old son.  He's the same age as Jordan my daughter.  He had a double lung transplant several years ago and has now been diagnosed with lung cancer and they also found a spot on his liver.  He was there for a CT and PET scan.  God always puts people in our paths that need prayer and shows me how blessed my life really is.  Through this journey I feel like the most blessed wife, mom. GMa, daughter and sister.  God has richly blessed me with an amazing family. 


 "Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."