Check You Out!!!

Aloha Friends! I am just “checking in” and hope that this post finds you doing great and having a blessed and beautiful day! Today has been a quiet day of rest for me. I am on a restricted diet because tomorrow I will be going in for a PET Scan once again. The PET scan was ordered because over the weekend some of my symptoms began to resurface! The doctors are still suspecting I may have Lymphoma, so I am hopeful that the scan I’ll have tomorrow will produce some insight.

As I sit here today, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to be surrounded by a loving family and wonderful friends who are supporting me in this season. The thing that blesses me most is that I know so many are fervently praying for me and I believe that God not only hears our prayers, but he answers them too! It’s not always answered the way we want, or in our timing, but he is faithful and we can trust that He knows best!

It has been an incredible blessing to have the support of my team leaders who have stepped up to help me run so many of our larger group functions such as my monthly downline gathering called Inspiration Night!

Today, I want to share with you the projects my friend Jodi taught us at last months gathering. All of these projects are from the stamp set called Check You Out!

Check You Out Cards

Check You Out Cards

Let’s take a closer look at each card. Did you notice these were all made with our new Scallop Edged Note Cards?

Check You Out Birthday Card

Check You Out Birthday Card

This little worm is so cute. I love his big smile and bow tie.

Check You Out Card

Check You Out Card

Wouldn’t this card be a sweet one to send to your school librarian?

Check You Out Thank You Card

Check You Out Thank You Card

Here is the happy little book work once again. This time the image is stamped on top of a pile of books. These book stamps are individual so you can create a stack of books as high as you want!!

Check You Out Congrats Card

Check You Out Congrats Card

This wise owl is so cute, I love the glasses!!. Since owls are Jodi’s favorite, every time I see one I think of her. This one in particular is great because it totally matches Jodi’’s signature cutesy style.

I am so thankful to Jodi for taking the time to not only share these projects at our meeting but she prepped all the supplies as well. If you want to check out more of her fun creations you can visit her blog its called The Stamping Owl. Today she is featuring a “sneak peek” at her August Back To School class.

Although these cards don’t feature it, one of the sentiments in the stamp set Check You Out says, “just checking on you”. I know that in this season I have been so blessed by so many who continue to call, text, send cards, etc, to ask me how I am doing. There are so many who ask, how can I help, what can I do.

Well, I have one request that comes to my mind at the moment. Tonight at 6:30 pm HST, I will be going to my church to have a special prayer time over me. I would love for you to join by lifting up prayers for my miraculous healing during that time. Prayers would also be appreciated during my early morning scan at 8:30am HST. Don’t worry if you read this post after those times! God knows and will always hear your prayers! Thank you so much!

So for now, I have been working on turing my fears into prayers and my prayers into declarations of faith!

At the end of Psalm 77 in verse 19 it says, Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters, a pathway no one knew was there. This is talking about the Israelites who had left Egypt and were being pursued by Pharaoh and his great army. There were a lot of roads of escape they could have taken that would have made sense. The closest road, the widest road, etc. However they took at path that led them to a dead end. While they were there some of them got discouraged and thought, why are we here!!! However, It was in that place, a place that didn’t make sense, where God performed a great and mighty miracle. He created a path through the sea that no one knew was there. It was only in this place that they had the opportunity to see all of their enemies that had come after them destroyed before their very eyes.

This story was shared to me by my son at the start of this journey. I am thankful that God brought it to my mind again today so that I can be encouraged by being reminded of the miraculous power of God.

Thank you again for checking out today’s post and for your love, support and prayers!

Believing with you for a miracle,

Cindy

Happy Dance

The weekend is here and I am so glad it is. I am grateful that I have done really well physically, spiritually and emotionally this week despite the high’s and low’s I’ve encountered as I continue to deal with a mystery illness..

A low point of this week was during a consultation with an oncologist. While meeting with him, I became aware that I have all the symptoms of Hodgkins Lymphoma. It’s not that I’ve been diagnosed with that, but it was clear that it was one of the things they are looking for.

As for high points, there were several. First, I contacted a local environmental company to come and test the air at our home. This was to eliminate the possibility that I had been poisoned with mold. The testing costs between $600 to $1,000. Although the cost was high we knew we needed to do the service. When I called to schedule the service, the owner told me that they would be coming out the next day and that they would be doing the work at no cost. I was stunned. I don’t usually cry a lot, but upon hearing this news, I burst into tears of joy and I probably cried for 30 minutes straight. When I asked him why they were doing this for me, he said, “It’s good to do some good every once in a while, its why we started this business”. Their act of kindness not only blessed me but it inspired me. The testing was done the next day and everything came out clear. No mold.

Another high point was when I went over my most recent CT Scan with my doctor. My lungs looked SO much better. Of course the assumption is that this improvement is due to the medication I am taking. However, I am believing with all my heart that these results are because of the answered prayers of so many who have been praying for me. I know that includes many of your reading this right now,. If that’s you, I just want to say, Thank You SO Much!!!! I am so grateful for you.

This week I downloaded this awesome Bible Memory Ap and have have been working on memorizing the book of James, chapter one. Here is the first few verses of that passage:

Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials or many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and compete, not lacking anything. James 1:1-4

As I read this I am reminded that we all will face trials in life. This doesn’t say “IF” you face a trial but it says “WHENEVER” you face trial(s) with an “S” which means you will likely face more than one during your lifetime!!! These trials will be challenging but we can look at them as opportunities to grow our faith and develop perseverance. I know for me there are areas of my walk with Christ that I have been praying for to be strengthened. I am thankful that this situation is providing an opportunity for me to grow more into who God has created me to be.

So, today I am standing on God’s promises and claiming victory over this illness. So many of you have prayed and believed for my healing, I think it’s about time I stop focusing on my symptoms and instead focus on the fact that I know God is my healer and there is nothing too difficult for him. Knowing this, comforts me and fills me with hope and a great deal of peace.

I know that some of you reading this are going through challenges right now. There have been many of you who have written me privately or pulled me to the side at a meeting or class to share your story. My heart goes out to you as my situation pales in comparison to many of the struggles you are facing today. Please know that I am praying for you and that I hope that no matter how difficult your circumstances are, you will remember that God is near and desires to help you!

Here is one of my favorite Bible promises to encourage you:

Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Speaking of help and strength, one of the persons who has really blessed me this week is my downline and friend Jodi Hashimoto. She along with several others from the Stamped With Aloha family have stepped in to run our monthly Inspiration Nights in my place. I was so thankful that a few days ago I was able to attend our Inspiration Night. Jodi did a great job designing adorable projects as she always does!!! I’ll share those projects in a future post but for today, I want to show you a card that she designed for one of her recent classes.

Now I must warn you, before you scroll down to see it, you might want to clear some space around you because it is so stinkin’ cute, it may cause you to jump up and start doing a happy dance!!!

Are you ready…….

Got your dancing shoes on…….

You better stretch a little……

Wait for it…….

Ok……

Here……

It……

Is…….

This Little Piggy Card

This Little Piggy Card

Jodi created this adorable card with the sets, This Little Piggy and Tropical Chic. She hand cut the grass skirt with a piece of Old Olive Card Stock and Paper Snips. I love how Jodi took one of our Frosted Flower Embellishments and colored it to match the card with a Stampin’ Blends Marker.

If you want to see all the cute critter cards Jodi designed for her “on the farm” class, you can click this link to go to her blog: The Stamping Owl.

When a new catalog comes out, I am always looking for ways to add a little Hawaiian flair to my creations. So I used Jodi’s card my inspiration and I got out my new Dino Days stamp set and created this.

Happy Hula Dinosaur

Happy Hula Dinosaur

This little dinosaur is so adorable. There are other dinosaurs to choose from, but this is my favorite and I think the sentiment is so perfect! The coordinating Dinosaur Designer Series Paper is so amazing too. I can’t wait to play around with this set and make more fun creations.

Here is another way I laid out the same card idea.

Dino Days - Hula Dinosaur

Dino Days - Hula Dinosaur

The hula skirt was created with the Dino Dies that are a part of the Dinosaur Suite. All I had to do was to snip a little of each end of the Old Olive Card stock to create a fun mini hula skirt for this adorable dinosaur.

As you can see I also followed Jodi’s idea of coloring the Frosted Floral Embellishments in with a Stampin’ Blends Marker.

Dino Day’s Hula Dinosaur Cards

Dino Day’s Hula Dinosaur Cards

I chose a Lovely Lipstick Stampin’ Blends Marker, to color in the Frosted Flower Embellishment so that the flower would match the little speckles in the Dinosaur Designer Series Paper.

Well, I’m off to yet another doctors appointment!!! I better take a moment to catch my breath from all that dancing!

As I go, I will continue to walk in faith and victory believing that He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

Cindy

Looking Up

I don’t know if it’s jet lag or the medicines I’m taking but my sleep schedule has been way off since returning from Europe. It’s been okay though, since most of my time in recent weeks has been spent home where I am resting and waiting for a diagnosis or miraculous recovery!

On Saturday morning, I woke up feeling strong and I just wanted to go for a walk. So Derek and I jumped out of bed, threw on our workout clothes and drove less than 10 minutes to the Lagoons in Ko’Olina. One of my favorite places on the island.

It was a BEAUTIFUL morning. As we walked, I tried to just take deep breaths and appreciate the fresh oxygen flowing through my lungs. When we passed this corner on the trail, I stopped to take a picture. You would think I was a tourist because I always stop and pull out my phone to capture the beauty I see around me here in Hawaii. I have probably taken this same photo 100 times before, it never grows old.

Ko’Olina Lagoons

Ko’Olina Lagoons

I felt peace as we walked. Earlier that morning I had been reading the Bible and was reminded of God’s miraculous power. I was filled with hope and confidence in Him that in his timing, He can heal me of this sickness, if it is a part of his plan for me. Until then, I am grateful that my situation causes me to have a greater dependance on Him and focus on being still to hear what He wants me to do.

We picked up breakfast at our favorite little local restuarant in Kapolei called My Cafe and came home to eat and then went for a swim in our pool. It was such a relaxing morning!

One thing that has been on my mind is stamping. Since I haven’t felt myself, its been tough to do the work I normally do to design cards for classes and events. I also am having an issue with the ac unit in my studio so I only work out there during the cooler parts of the day. Since Derek was going to wash his car and I was enjoying spending time with him, I decided to open up the garage door on my studio and let the fresh air in. That way I could stamp and talk to Derek while he worked.

Saturday Stamping

Saturday Stamping

I recently purchased our brand new all inclusive card kit called, Looking Up. It was sitting on my counter and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to open it up and sae what was inside!

I opened up the cute box to reveal everything I needed to make 15 cards. This kit is all inclusive and it is AWESOME!!!. It has the stamp set, the ink pad, pretty printed cards with adorable matching envelopes, shiny embellishments and a clear block. It also has glue dots and dimensionals. You don’t need anything else. This makes a perfect gift for a new stamper or for someone who loves to create without having to come up with designs.

Looking Up! Card Kit by Stampin’ Up!

Looking Up! Card Kit by Stampin’ Up!

Let’s take a closer look at the cards.

The first is a birthday hot air balloon card.

Looking Up! Card

Looking Up! Card

To assemble this card you just add the shiny metallic strip of circles above the pre printed black and white stripe line. There are three balloons pre printed on the card. I then punched out the same images from a separate sheet and added a dimensional on two of the balloons. I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment on a small tag and adhered it to the card with a dimensional.

The next card is a favorite of many who have seen it here in my studio. I think its because of the Palm trees that remind us of home, here in Hawaii.

Looking Up Card

Looking Up Card

This card has a fun metallic triangle strip you adhere and extra palm trees you can use to add dimension. I placed two palm trees to the side of the tag so they would frame the Thankful sentiment.

This next card is really different. I love the city skyline and the park.

Looking Up Card

Looking Up Card

There is a really pretty metallic frame with leaves that I adhered to the bottom right corner of the card. I also added a little punched out tree image with a dimensional. The black and white ribbon looks like it was glued on but it is actually pre printed on the card along with the park and buildings scene.

The next card is a Get Well card. I actually received this very card from some thoughtful people at the Stampin’ Up! Home office a few weeks ago. They had heard I wasn’t feeling well and sent this card to me. That was such a pleasant surprise!!

Looking Up Card

Looking Up Card

This card has a really pretty shiny piece with leaves that frames the circle with the sentiment, “Feel Better Soon”. I know receiving a pretty card like this did make me feel better!

I think this last card is my favorite. I LOVE the airplane.

Looking Up Card

Looking Up Card

I can just imagine a plane writing a message of congratulations in the sky! As you can see this card has a square shiny strip that is added under the sentiment. The shiny copper elements in this kit give each card just the perfect amount of bling that really makes them stand out!

Speaking of standing out! JUST LOOK AT THE ENVELOPE! Isn’t it adorable? Each card has a matching envelope that is so cute!

Looking Up Card Kit

Looking Up Card Kit

This kit makes a great gift for a friend, or even just for yourself. I know for me it was a gift to have time to sit and stamp on Saturday and just take a break to do something creative and fun for myself.

Looking Up Card Kit

Looking Up Card Kit

It took me less than an hour to make all 15 cards. This would also be a fun kit to purchase and have a get together with five of your besties. You can open up one kit and each make a set of cards while enjoying quality time together!

I will have these samples on display at my house this weekend as I am having a special THREE FOR FREE event. This event will take place on Saturday, July 27th from 10 am till 12pm OR on Sunday, July 28th from 10 am til 12pm. Drop by my house and you can create 3 cards for FREE using the latest products from Stampin’ Up! In addition you can pick up a copy of our newest catalog, see over 50 new card samples from my recent incentive trip swaps and you can see other things on display such as this adorable Looking Up Kit.

This FREE event will take the place of my July Stamp A Stack class. I am doing this for two reasons. One, I am still going through some health issues that is making it difficult for me to prep for a larger class at this time. Second, on July 19th I celebrated 20 years with Stampin’ Up! so I plan on having several specials from now till the end of the year as a part of my celebrating reaching this milestone! This is a milestone I wouldn’t have reached without so many of you, which is why I chose to offer this event for FREE this month.

If you would like to help me by placing an order for this kit or any other supplies you need, you can do so using hostess code P2R2T7FD. Anyone placing an order of any size from now till the end of the month will receive my THREE FOR FREE cards in the mail as a THANK YOU! Just make sure I have your name and address!

I think with all I’ve been going through this kit was a great distraction. It provided me with a really fun creative break and even the name of the kit reminds me of what I need to do during this season and always and that is to not look down but to Keep Looking Up!

On To Adventure

Over the past few months it has become quite apparent that life has changed a lot for me. I am learning a new normal of taking life “one day at a time”. My “health” struggle is new for me. One that brings unexpected rushes of emotions and can sometimes cause me to get discouraged easily. Yet, there is so much to be thankful for. So, I need to work on focusing on the positive things happening in my life rather than on the negative!.

As I write this, I am filled with gratitude over the incredible travel adventure I just experienced with my family. Being able to travel was such a huge gift! I am so thankful!!!

I earned the 2019 Stampin’ Up! Greek Isles Grand Vacation and our path to get there led us from Hawaii to New York, New York to Paris, Paris to Florence, Florence to Rome where the Greek Isles cruise began!

Because of my recent respitotry challenges, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to travel. However, as the days led up to the trip, I started to get well (with no treatment). My immflamuation numbers came down, my breathing improved the only question was whether or not I still had a mass of “something” in my lungs. I believed with all my heart that the answer to that question would be no… but we had to wait and see. I met with my doctor and I was feeling great so he gave me the green light to go.

Since the decision was last minute, I had only a few days to work on swap cards. I guess since I was about to go on an adventure I was drawn to our new set called, On To Adventure!

On To Adventure Card

On To Adventure Card

I created this “inside outside panel card” that highlighted two of my favorite images from this adorable stamp set. To create this type of card, you create a window in the card and put a piece of card stock in it that is stamped on both sides. Here is what the card looks like on the inside.

On To Adventure Card

On To Adventure Card

Today, I want to share a few highlights of the trip as well as give you an update on my health situation which continues to be quite an adventure!

Our trip got off to a great start.

Our Adventure Begins

Our Adventure Begins

We boarded our flight in Honolulu and headed straight to New York City. New York is like a second home to me, I love going there because it gives me an opportunity to visit my big brother.

My Big Brother

My Big Brother

The visit to the city was brief. It was actually just a long layover but we had a chance to show my son in law, Brett, some of the highlights of the city because he had never been there before.

We ate breakfast in the East Village and then took the subway to the Top of the Rock,

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock

We visited Grand Central Station and tried out the whispering walls in front of the Oyster Bar.,

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

We passed through Times Square and saw all the bright lights by day.

Times Square

Times Square

Our final stop was Kat’z deli! Brett said it was the best Pastrami Sandwich he had ever ate! I agree. Even though its a big tourist spot, I love going there!

Kat’z Deli

Kat’z Deli

Next top was Paris. We were only there for two days but we packed in a lot of adventure.

Welcome To Paris

Welcome To Paris

I loved seeing the kids experience Paris for the first time.

Locks of Love

Locks of Love

The girls especially loved the chocolate croissants!

Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate Croissants

Our visit to the city of love was brief but we had enough time to take them to some of our favorite places. One really amazing thing that happened is that I ran into two friends outside of the Louve. First, was my friend Anna, whom I knew was in Paris but we just happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Anna and Cindy

Anna and Cindy

The second was my college BFF Kari who I saw was in Paris only after I got there from an instagram post. We also just happened to be in the same place at the same time! I was so grateful to God for the blessing of running into her not once but twice that day! Paris is a big place so the chances of that happening are pretty unreal.

Cindy and Kari Kay

Cindy and Kari Kay

Our next flight took us to Florence, Italy. At the end of all our travels the kids agreed that this was their favorite city. I feel the same way. It was my third visit to Florence and if I could be there again tomorrow, I would be.

I love Florence

I love Florence

There are so many placed in Italy I want to visit. I really can’t wait to get back there again! Our first stop was Pizza and Gelato of course.

First stop Pizza!!!

First stop Pizza!!!

In Florence, there is a gelato shop on almost every corner!

Gelato and Sorbet Time

Gelato and Sorbet Time

Florence was unusually hot on the day we arrived. The heat normally doesn’t bother me but after a full day of exploring the city I started to feel a little fatigued. After the first day in Florence I noticed that my breathing was heavy again and I began to cough a bit. The next day, things got worse and I was forced to come back to our house to rest while the others explored the city. That didn’t keep us from having some fun “take out” Italian dinners together at the end of the day in the comfort of our amazing apartment! Here is the view from our rooftop terrace.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

I started to take cough meds but that didn’t seem to do the trick. I began to get concerned as I noticed my oxygen level was dropping a bit too.

We prayed together and felt peace about continuing our journey via train to Rome. Our last stop before boarding the ship.

Train Ride to Rome

Train Ride to Rome

On the train to Rome

On the train to Rome

Once in Rome, I couldn’t wait to get to the Trevi Fountain. Again, I just wanted to experience it through the eyes of my kids who would be seeing it for the first time.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

After the Trevi Fountain we walked over to the Pantheon. That day as we traveled through the city I could feel a heaviness in my lungs, fatigue was setting in and it was quickly becoming apparent that my symptoms had returned. You see a smile on my face in this picture but there is also a growing concern happening within because I could feel my respiratory challenges returning.

Pantheon

Pantheon

Just moments after taking this photo Derek and I returned to our apartment while the kids continued to explore the city. After a short time it became apparent that I needed medical attention. Things got so bad that I ended up having to go to the hospital. This experience was rather traumatic for me and definitely eye opening. I hope and pray that I will never have to be hospitalized over seas like that ever again. After one long traumatizing night at the hospital it was confirmed that all my symptoms had returned. A CT scan also showed that my lungs still had a mass and were covered with nodules. I was released with medication and we had a decision to make. Should I return home, or should I go on the cruise? I got in touch with my wonderful doctor who gave us wise advice but let us know the choice was up to us. We knew that continuing on would be a risk because if I needed medical assistance my options would not be great moving forward. I sat on our terrace in Rome hand in hand with Derek, praying for wisdom. I didn’t want the kids to know that if they weren’t with us, we would have probably went home. I could feel their excitement to board the ship and continue our adventure and I wanted to be a part of it too. I also however, wanted to do what was best for my overall health. I waited till morning to make a decision!

The next day, I woke up feeling great and had such peace about moving forward, so we did.

Stampin’ Up! worked hard to find me a wheel chair at the last minute and that was the thing that really helped me my first few days on the ship when my medicine was still kicking in.

We had an incredible time on the ship as a family and when I say family I mean not only my immediate family but my Stampin’ Up! family too.

Kim and Cindy

Kim and Cindy

I was surrounded by so much love, support and prayers. How could i not feel better?

BaughMahons

BaughMahons

Seeing my Stampin’ Up! friends filled me with such joy, it was the best medicine and just what I needed.

At our advisory board reunion, these ladies surprised me by forming a prayer circle around me. I was brought to tears by their beautiful heartfelt prayers for my complete healing and restoration.

SU Advisory Board Reunion

SU Advisory Board Reunion

I was glad I made the decision to go and each day I felt a little stronger. I even stopped using the wheel chair the last few days but continued to be careful not to do anything that would cause me to lose my breath.

The Greek Isles were amazing to see! My favorite port was Mykonos. I loved exploring through the maze of cobblestone streets filled with cute shops and restaurants.

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

Derek certainly got his workout carrying the chair around. I was glad I didn’t need it on this day but sorry that we didn’t know that in advance cause he had to push is on the cobblestones all day! What a trooper!

Wheel Chairs are a challenge in Mykonos, Greece

Wheel Chairs are a challenge in Mykonos, Greece

After a little bit of shopping we walked over to the shore and jumped into the sea!

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

We all agreed that this was our favorite port because of the fun day we had there.

Beach Time

Beach Time

Mykonos also was where we enjoyed some family bonding over lunch.

Derek and Brett

Derek and Brett

As well as finding the best gelato in Greece at a place called Ninnolo. I think we went back inside the shop about 5 times to try new flavors.

Ninnolo Gelato in Mykonos, Greece

Ninnolo Gelato in Mykonos, Greece

Santorini was great too. I’d love to go back when I have the ability to explore more without a wheel chair.

Maneuvering the cobble stone streets was a bit tricky but I had a great helper all along the way. There was one big steep hill that Kalani had to push me up, good thing he is strong.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

We found a place in Oia where we ate the best Greek Salad I have ever eaten.

Brett’s reaction to the salad

Brett’s reaction to the salad

Can you tell by Brett’s reaction, how good it was? Seriously, it was the BEST greek salad with the most amazing view.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

In our short time on this island we did manage to find some really delicious food. Thanks to Brett and his research for the best Gyros!

Gryos in Santorini

Gryos in Santorini

We loved this place and wish we had more time to explore.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Hopefully I can return again one day when I am in better health!

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

My favorite thing about the trip was just the quality time we shared as a family. We managed to meet for breakfast and dinner on the ship every day and even in between found time to do fun things together like playing mini golf.

Family Golf Tournament

Family Golf Tournament

We also enjoyed meeting to watch the beautiful sunsets before dinner each night.

Sunset on the Jewel of the Sea

Sunset on the Jewel of the Sea

On our final night we had a Stampin’ Up! farewell party. It is always bittersweet because we know our time together is coming to an end.

Stampin’ UpT Farewell Party

Stampin’ UpT Farewell Party

I am so grateful that Shelli started this company so many years ago! In just a couple of days I will celebrate my 20th anniversary and I am SO grateful that I have been blessed to be a part of this amazing company filled with the most loving, incredible people!

Lunch with Sterling and Shelli

Lunch with Sterling and Shelli

After the party we went to our final dinner together. Gathering for dinner at the end of a long day is always my favorite part of the cruise. At this dinner we surprised Jessica with a cake as her birthday is this week and we knew she would be away at camp, so we wanted to celebrate as a family.

We loved our servers and they brought us this amazing chocolate cake and sang a very out of tune Happy Birthday song to her.

Jessica’s Birthday Celebration

Jessica’s Birthday Celebration

However, they did it with such passion and we will never forget it. It was a fun memory to have on our last night at sea!

Celebrating Jess

Celebrating Jess

We are home now and the first few days back have been a challenge for me. I was feeling very overwhelmed with life which can happen after traveling so far and feeling jet lagged! Right now, there are so many unanswered questions as to what is going to happen next. I know that as my meds wear off, my symptoms may return. How will this affect my classes and business?. I am concerned about my monthly sales so I will stay on track to keep my annual goals. There are things at my house that are in need of repair. My Dad hasn’t been in the best health and my Mom needs my help so I need to stay well. And overall, the biggest concern is, “what is my diagnosis”? I wonder, will they ever find something that they can treat so I can feel normal again?

This morning I woke up and felt as if God was reminding me to walk in victory and not defeat. I read Psalm 23:4 and felt encouraged where it says, “even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave, I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me”.

I need to remember that life is an adventure. Today if a gift. I am thankful that I woke up, that I have breath in my lungs and I have the ability to sit and share with you how thankful I am for a new day just to be alive. I trust in God’s purpose and plan for me. We are not promised that life will be easy but we are promised that we don’t have to walk through it alone!

I don’t fully understand God’s plan at the moment but I am grateful that His plan allowed me to spend this precious, unforgettable adventure with my family. One that I will not soon forget.

Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not alone! I pray you will find strength in knowing that God is with you and He is able. Put your hope and strength in him and allow Him to lead and direct your path. It’s not always easy, especially when we face obstacles but when we find our way back to Him, we can rest in the assurance that He is our peace and is by our side through all of life’s adventures!