Monthly Archives: December 2016

My Word for 2017

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God gave me my word for 2017 early this year.  Do any of you do that?  Ask God for a word to focus on … something to learn as we approach a new year?

It’s fun and scary and interesting all the same.  In 2014 He gave me the word Grace.  From January 1, I was astounded about how much I didn’t know about Grace.  It wasn’t about the grace He poured out on me.  God mainly taught me how to give grace to others.  I had to break down old ways of thinking and breakthrough stereotypical opinions and it was a tough lesson and an extremely rewarding year.

Last year God started me out with Joy.  How could I have known that that word would carry me through multiple trials and tribulations regarding my health?  But God knew.  I needed a whole new outlook on Joy – what it was – how to get it – and how to maintain it through dark and scary times.  It is to God’s glory alone that I was able to find my joy (which was truly HIS joy) and spread that joy to others while suffering through cancer and all the therapy’s to combat it.

While I normally spend the last week of the year grumbling and groveling and praying for God to give me a word – this year – it was just before Christmas when I thought that I oughta start the process so I could hear the word before New Year’s Day.  God decided not to wait.  Over the Christmas weekend I received the same word by three different people.

What is it?

Courage.

Courage.  Said like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.  Normally here I break into song with one finger vibrating my Adam’s apple … “If I were king of the foreeeeesssssttttt … not queen, not duke, not prince.”

I know why God has given me this word (and you will too very soon) and I’m going to embrace it.  And even though I know I’ve moved miles away from being fearful over the past year and a half; I’m ecstatic that God will teach me more.  That He cares.  That He will take the time to grow me.

So … will you ask God for a word for 2017?  If you do, please circle back here when you’ve received it and let us know in the comments!

Happy New Year everyone!  I’ll see you back here in 2017.

To Our Health!

Felecia

The Fog

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The Fog

When Paula came home from Atlanta the last time – she was in, as they say in Hospice, a very delicate condition.  In fact she came home in a private medical jet because the hospital believed she wouldn’t survive the 10-hour drive.  Her friends rallied together so her husband could continue to work and we took shifts caring for her.

When I initially walked into her home for my first shift and saw my beautiful friend laying on the couch it dawned on me that this might be the end and I bit back the tears that threatened.  You see, Paula has cancer.  If you’ve read me for a while you recognize her name.  She was diagnosed before me but was there for me through every step of my treatment, leading the way, plying me with ginger chews and bible verses and toasty socks and lotions, and a safe, godly ear for me to whisper into.

Walking through her door that first day was shocking. She was flat out on the couch under a pile of blankets and could not speak well, walk, or control the shaking in her hands that were puffy with steroids. She was on oxygen 24/7 and a regimen of oxycodone and other drugs and was only occasionally lucid.  As the weeks went on I continued to take my turns sitting with her, helping her eat, and perform other vital necessities.  Since she slept most of the time I busied myself with reading, writing, working on my book, and dozing off myself every once in a while.

We continued on like this for weeks and even though I prayed for healing a part of me was watching my friend sink further and further away from us and I asked God a few times if this wasn’t the end.

That was, until last week.

My ‘visiting’ day that week was Friday and I walked into Paula’s house to find the morning-shift friend smiling at me and Paula sitting up on the couch, her eyes bright, and a wide smile on her face.  I can tell you now, I was more than a little freaked out.  My friend was back to her perky self.

“It’s so good to see you.” She said.  A weird thing to say when I had just seen her the week before.

But as the day progressed I was to discover that Paula remembered nothing of the past eight weeks.  Nothing – save the constant ringing of the doorbell on Halloween.

She remembered going to Atlanta that last time and then … nothing until last Sunday when she, as she said, “Woke up from my fog.”

I was dumbfounded.  Had God spared her the mental anguish of the last eight weeks by closing her mind to what was happening to her physically?  No one had an answer for it but I wouldn’t put it past Him to do such a thing.  That’s how much He loves us.

But that wasn’t the half of the miracle – here was my lovely friend Paula.  Sitting up – and I mean UP (not propped up!) eating, talking, joking, laughing, with only a small shake in her hands to offer any lasting evidence.  Her legs and arms were still mighty weak but that first day she walked with her walker, crossed her legs on the sofa like any proper lady, and held lasting coherent conversations.  Even though she continued to freak me out as I watched her, I praised God for His miraculous healing.

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It’s been four weeks since that day and Paula’s now moving around without the walker, has been out of the house to shop and dine and go to a Christmas party, and continues to amaze.

God is truly astounding.

Never give up praying.  Never stop praising Him.

Never give up believing that God will intervene.  I know that many times He doesn’t, and we won’t ever know why this side of Heaven, but sometimes He does.  In both times, in all times, we must pray, and believe, and have faith, and praise Him continuously.

I’m learning that now, more than ever.

 

One Weird Thing

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Last Monday I talked about how happy a pretty bowl of hen-fresh eggs make me.  When I awoke Monday morning I realized (too late) that I should have asked you guys what weird thing made you happy.  But I didn’t, because sometimes I’m selfish.  Well, yes, sometimes I’m selfish, but honestly, I didn’t write that post until late Sunday night and my brain just wasn’t working on all cylinders.

But on Monday morning I wanted to know.

I wanted to know, like my former boyfriend and the curve of the chrome front fender on his Hog, what makes you happy like eggs and front fenders?

Because I truly have never looked at the front fender of any motorcycle the same way again.  Maybe your answer will help me see another everyday, ordinary thing in a new way.

That’s really the fun of it.

Hearing what makes each other happy may just open our eyes to all the little joys we miss in this world.

There may be no rhyme or reason for why the thing you’re thinking of sparks happiness, joy, fulfillment, contentment … whatever.  It just does.  And we’re not here to judge.

Another thing that popped into my mind after the eggs was the scent of ozone in the air after a rain.  Ooooo I could smell that odor all day long.  It just makes me smile and I have no idea why!

So, in the comments tell us … what one weird, ordinary, everyday thing makes you wildly happy?  Feel free to expound if you’d like, or just list the thing.  Let me experience that one weird thing through your eyes …

The Farmer’s Market

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What I Should Have Said

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Yesterday I embarrassed myself gushing on about farm fresh eggs and how happy they make me.

Yesterday I also woke up (too late to edit the post)  thinking that I should have entitled it “One Weird Thing” and that I’d missed my chance to ask you at the end of it – what one thing made you happy.

So I’m going to do that next Monday.  Please be thinking of what one weird thing makes you happy.  It may have come to your mind when you read yesterday’s post or it may have just popped into your mind when I asked the question just now but … let’s share.

I think it might be a little bit fascinating.

I dated a guy once who rode a Harley and loved the sight of the front fender when it was clean and polished and gleaming in the sunlight.  He tried to explain it to me (the curve, the glint off the chrome …) but where I saw a utilitarian piece of metal, he felt some deeply-rooted satisfaction that gave him joy.  The cool thing is that I’ve never looked at the front fender of a Harley in the same, boring, way again.

Like farm-fresh eggs or the curve of a sparkling fender, there may be no rhyme nor reason for why that thing triggers happiness, joy, fulfillment, or contentment in you … and I’m not here to try and figure it out.  Hey, I’m loopy for fresh eggs in a bowl, for heaven’s sake!  So no explanations will be necessary (unless you’d like to share one) but next Monday I’m going to share one other weird thing that makes me wildly happy and in the comments, I’ll be asking you to share yours too.

Who knows?  Hearing what makes each other happy may just open our eyes to all the little joys we take for granted in this world.

I want to experience that thing through your eyes.

Felecia

A Silly Monday Post

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There is something inherently beautiful about eggs straight from the farm and fresh from the chicken and I get all sorts of wonky when I have an opportunity to obtain some.

It may stem from growing up in Connecticut where we had farm-fresh eggs available to us within a mile or two in every direction.  It felt like a covert operation to drive to a farm, find the table with eggs set upon it, leave a dollar under the rock (it was always a rock), leave a used egg carton if you could, and make off with a carton of this delicious forbidden fruit.

When I was living in Arizona I, quite literally, hunted for the exceptional vessel that would be deemed worthy to hold my eggs.  With their blues, browns, ivories, and whites; they became a patchwork art that changed daily with use.   This berry bowl made the grade.  Is it very weird that padding out to the kitchen after a good night’s sleep and seeing this bowl full of eggs makes me so very happy?

If I know hen-fresh eggs are available somewhere, I’ll go through any sort of hurdle to obtain these beautiful little ovoid shells.  Such yummy goodness!  Surely, when God was leading the Israelite’s into paradise, He was talking about the land of milk and honey and farm-fresh eggs.

May God bless us all with His abundant provision.

Felecia