Be Patient!

Today I have been meditating on Romans 12:12. It says, Be joyful in hope, PATIENT in affliction and faithful in prayer.

Being patient is not one of my best qualities. So today has been extra challenging as I am still waiting to find out test results that will determine my treatment plan. This result was supposed to be revealed on Friday but there was a delay so we had to push back my treatment start date till tomorrow. However, if I don’t hear something soon, I’m wondering if there will be another delay. So, I continue to TRY and patiently wait for the results to come in.

Romans 12:12 says to be joyful in hope. This weekend I was filled with so much joy and hope! My breathing has been improving. My coughing fits have been happening less. I had the energy to put some dishes away. Imagine that bringing me joy, but it did.

On Saturday, we have some friends we had not seen in over 30 years. they were here in Hawaii and we really wanted to get together with them. Since we were not sure how I’d be feeling, we asked them to stop by our home early in the day. I can’t believe how great I felt while they were there. It was so good to talk story and visit with the Barkema’s. We met them when we were a part of an organization called Youth With A Mission in the late 80’s. We all lived in Manoa Valley at the time where Dave, Gina and Derek were a part of the staff. I am thankful to God that he filled me with strength so that we were able to have a really nice time catching up with our friends from so long ago.

Visit with the Barkema’s

Visit with the Barkema’s

Later that day Derek and I went to visit the Cancer Center that I will be going to. I had an appointment to meet with a nurse to go over what treatment would be like. The Cancer Center was really nice. Everyone we met there was so kind. I felt peaceful and comfortable and READY to begin my treatment. Since we don’t know my plan yet, we went over both scenarios of what would happen regarding my treatment. I enjoyed the meeting and it was really helpful to get some questions answered and to see what it is going to be like when I begin treatment. I am thankful that I will be able to be in such a beautiful place surrounded by some very kind people.

On Sunday morning I came downstairs to find my family watching three different football games. Brett loves Green Bay and we love the SeaHawks. I love watching football and the fall season!!!

My favorite player of all time is SeaHawk Quarterback Russell Wilson whom I’ve thought of a lot as I’ve battled cancer because of his work with the Strong Against Cancer Organization. He visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital weekly to lift the spirits of the children hospitalized there. I can’t even imagine going through what I am going through as a child or being the parent of a child who has cancer. Praise God for people like Russell who give so much of themselves to make a difference.

Football Loving Family

Football Loving Family

Well, I am thankful that Russell and the SeaHawks won this weekend are are now 2-0 to begin the season. The Packers won too and have had a great start to their season as well. So, our football loving family had much to celebrate in our home that day!!!

Just after the game a group of our close family friends came by. Unbeknownst to me, a family meeting had organized that I was not allowed to attend. I went upstairs until they called me down to pray over me. I don’t really know what they talked about but it sounded like they were creating a plan to support me during treatment. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be surrounded by so much love and aloha.

Before she left my house, my friend Cindy gave me the most precious drawing that her son Andrew made for me. Andrew is 7 and when he was younger he used to love coming to my stamp studio to play with my punches. He is super smart and knew the name of every shape. The front of his drawing made me smile as I remembered that special season I shared with him punching shapes.

Andrew’s Shapes

Andrew’s Shapes

When I turned the paper over, Andrew had drawn me the Solar System (something this little 7 year old is passionate about) and it was surrounded by some very sweet and encouraging words. I loved his picture so much that I put it in the front of a binder that I will keep all my treatment information in. I’ll carry it with me to encourage me and give me hope!

Andrews Encouragement

Andrews Encouragement

After the meeting, Derek had to go to work, so I spent the afternoon and evening with Brett and Jess. In the early evening, we decided to borrow my Dad’s small wheelchair and go over to the Lagoons for a walk. It rarely rains in Kapolei but wouldn’t you know as soon as we picked up the chair it started to pour!!!

Rainy Walk at Koolina

Rainy Walk at Koolina

We didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits. We waited till it let up a little and then Brett pushed me through a couple of puddles and we had fun. It felt good to be outside and enjoy some fresh air. Also, it is so beautiful there as it was close to sunset.

Koolina Sunset

Koolina Sunset

Today, I woke up again without a lot of breathing problems. My breath is still short but I have been able to move around more without any major coughing fits. I’m still tired so I still spent most of my time sitting or laying down but I am so grateful because I know so many people are praying and I am feeling strengthend by those prayers.

I have kept my phone close to me all day, anticipating the phone call that will determine what my life will look like over the next few months. As the hours went by I grew more and more anxious. In times like these I knew I needed to get into God’s Word and take my mind off my circumstances. So I was led to read Romans 12:12.

Let me share it with you again but this time the Passion Bible Version.

Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing continual joy! Don’t give up in a time of trouble but commune with God at all times. Romans 12:12 (TPT)

As I reflected on this verse, I’ve focused on the joy I felt over the weekend as I’ve experienced the blessing of being able to breathe better and the joy of being surrounded by loved ones who are doing so much to care for me during this battle.

I’ve tried very hard to not grow impatient, to not complain, but to continue to put my hope in God knowing that his timing is perfect and I just needed to talk with him and tell him how I was feeling The more I grow closer to him, the more peace I feel. I trust that he has a plan so I just prayed that he would reveal it and then did my best to leave it in his hands.

I wanted to blog today but I thoughts I’d wait until I had an answer. However, as I prayed I felt God tell me to just start to write and share honestly how I was feeling. To let you know that I struggle with patience but that I also trust in God’s timing. God is so faithful, do you know what happened? Just minutes ago, in the midst of writing this post, I got the phone call. I have the answer and now I can share it with you.

Are you ready? Drum Roll please……. our prayers were answered. I do not have the gene so I can begin OUT PATIENT treatments starting tomorrow. This is what we hoped for as doing the more aggressive IN PATIENT treatments would have meant being hospitalized 6 different times over the next couple of months. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who prayed and believed with us for this result. We are rejoicing in this miracle and excited to get the party started tomorrow.

We don’t always understand God’s timing but that’s ok. All that matters is that we trust in His perfect plan and in Him. Since I struggle with being patient, being in this position gave me the opportunity to grow a little more in learning to be patient. This delay also gave me the opportunity to share with any of you who may also struggle with patience! That way, we can learn and grow together and encourage one another to never give up but to continually commune with God who is our every present help in time of need.

Thank you for your prayers. I hope you know that as I go in to begin my treatment I carry with me all of the love, support and prayers you have been sending my way. I feel joyful, strong and ready to take on this next step in my journey knowing God is with me and so are you!

With much love and a heart filled with gratitude,

Cindy

A Season for Growth

Many years ago I was a part of an organization called Youth With A Mission.  It was one of the most life changing experiences I have ever been through.  As I was reflecting on the card I am going to share with you today, I was reminded of a day back in 1987, when I was sitting in a Quonset hut in Manoa Valley. I was in a room full of students from all over the world. We were all a part of a school called a DTS or a Discipleship Training School.  Our leaders were all very young, energetic, passionate people who had a desire to know God and make Him known.  

One of the first things they did for each student was to have a time of prayer over them.  When it was my turn, I went to the front of the room and was surrounded by these young passionate leaders.  After they prayed for me, one of the gals said to me, "As I was praying for you, I saw a vision", she said, "I saw a beautiful rose, it was entangled with a bunch of other beautiful roses on this garden trellis. Then I saw a hand reach down and pick one single rose and plant it at the foot of the cross. Suddenly, the rose began to grow and blossom as it wrapped itself around the cross."  She went on to say, "I believe this means you were just in a very comfortable place in your life.  You were surrounded with good people, in a good environment, but you weren't growing.  So God reached His hand down and picked you up and planted you right where He wanted you and it is during this time that you will thrive and grow."

Those words spoke to me.  I not only believed she was right but through my experiences with YWAM that year, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was where I was supposed to be, doing what God had called me to do.  It was a season of growth, a season for change.  A season to learn about servanthood and making a difference.

The card I want to share with you today reminds me of that season of my life as well as the season I am in now.  I'll explain more in a minute but let me share the card first.

Graceful Garden Card

Graceful Garden Card

To make this card I used two stamp sets, Graceful Garden and Ribbon of Courage.  I stamped all the images in black ink and colored them in with an aqua painter.  The background texture of this card was made with our new Layered Leaves 3D Textured Embossing folder.  Besides using Very Vanilla Card Stock, I added a piece of gold patterned paper from the Bundle of Love Specialty DSP, a small strip of Fabulous Foil Acetate beneath the rose and a piece of Gold Foil under the sentiment.

The final touch was to add a jewel rhinestone in the "o" of the word possible and I used dimensionals on all the layers to build them up.

As I reflect upon that vision a young YWAM leader had for me many years ago, it makes me think of the season I am in today.  I know God is in control of my battle with breast cancer.  I am surrounded by prayer warriors who have been continually lifting me up.   I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is with me and I am where He wants me to be.

 That doesn't mean things are going to be easy. I have to admit yesterday was challenging for me.  I went in for the start of my radiation treatments and found that although I didn't experience a lot of physical pain, I did find it mentally and emotionally challenging.  However, even in the midst of the challenge, I remember these words that I learned in Sunday School and I began to recite them in my mind during treatment.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Today, I just want to remind each of you reading this that no matter what you are going through you are not alone.   God loves you so much and He has a perfect plan for your life.  You may not be in a comfortable place at the moment but thats okay, know that He is with you.  Talk to Him with an understanding that He hears you.  Ask for His help, strength, wisdom and direction.  Just as He is helping me through this journey, He will help you too.

 I am thankful that as I design cards, God uses them to bless others and in this case remind me of a vision that still speaks to me today.  I pray that this same vision would serve as much as an encouragement to you as it is to me.  

Now as I go off to my second treatment, I will do so relying on His help, His strength and the knowledge that today I'm going to grow a little more into the person He desires me to be.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.  Know that as you are praying for me, I am also praying for you.  May you find hope and strength today especially if you are facing challenging circumstances.   Let's continue to trust God and believe that He leads us exactly to where He wants us to be and let's do our best to continue to grow in Him.

With love and a grateful heart,

Cindy

Good News and God's Timing

On Tuesday, I had a full afternoon at the hospital.  I was there from 12:30 pm until 5:30 pm.  I had appointments to meet my two oncologists,  a genetics counselor,  a dietician and some other wonderful people who would be helping me navigate my journey to wellness over the next several weeks.  Although I was anxious to get the ball rolling with these appointments, I was also a little nervous about being at the hospital for so long because I've noticed after surgery that I get tired quickly and that seemed like a lot to do in one day.  To make matters worse, although my schedule had been quite free, this was also the day my monthly downline Inspiration Night was scheduled for.

Well, the day went great, better than anticipated!.  The staff at Queen's hospital were so loving and caring and each person I met was wonderful to talk with and provided me with so much guidance, care and information.   To be honest, I felt like a Queen at Queens! It was a day to learn about the next steps I would be taking and a day to find out and celebrate some very, very good news.

The first celebration was that I was given the official green light to go on the Stampin' Up! Incentive trip I had earned last year.  The trip is coming up in July and we have plans to go to Japan, Thailand and Korea.   This was a trip I've really been looking forward to and I thought for sure I'd have to give it up because I am still healing from surgery.  My doctors agreed that as long as I'm careful to follow some restrictions it would actually be a good idea for me to go and enjoy this time away before I start radiation at the end of July.  God's timing is PERFECT and I am so thankful I won't miss out on this trip that I worked so hard to earn.

The next good news is that I will only have to have radiation for four weeks.  That will begin at the end of July.  The other good news is that after radiation I will not have to go on any medications as long as I work hard at eating healthy, exercising and living a stress free life.  As I spoke with one of my oncologist he told me of a program where his patients took a hula class.  I joked with him and said, "Sign me up, I'll take Hula over Hormones any day".  Learning to dance Hula would be a wonderful thing to add to my plan for compete healing and I know plenty of talented hula dancer friends I could call to teach me!

Well, that is the latest update so please know that all of your prayers are being answered!   All is well and I am feeling so happy and blessed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and encouragement.   I hope you know how grateful I am for each one of you who have been so loving and supportive to me.

Two of the special people who have helped me with my journey are my downline Jodi and Norine.  Even though I told them I could probably do it, they insisted on taking over my monthly Inspiration Night this month.  It was a good thing they did because in hindsight I didn't realize I would have so many doctors appointments that day.  When I left my last appointment I realized that even getting to Inspiration Night on time was going to be a challenge.

When I arrived, the room was set up and everything was already running smoothly.  With them overseeing the design and prep work for all the projects I just had to take care of the recognition cards.  Jodi and Norine chose the stamp set Lots of Love for the featured set at Inspiration Night so I decided to make my recognition cards using that same set.  Here are the two cards I came up with.  These cards were given to anyone who promoted or was in my top ten for Sales in April or May.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I featured two new In- Colors on these recognition cards, Lemon Lime Twist and Berry Burst.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card was cut a little shorter on the top layer so the white strip of card stock adhered to the inside of the card was exposed.  Even putting these two cards together was a challenge because I'm still struggling with getting tired but God sent an angel over named Pat who helped me cut the card stock so I only had to stamp and assemble the pieces to have them ready in time to recognizing my downline achievers.

Lots of Love Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was so glad I was able to be at Inspiration Night.  It is always so fun to be with my wonderful downline.  They have been so encouraging and supportive of me and shown me an overwhelming amount of love.

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Well, speaking of love, the theme for Inspiration Night was Sending Love.  It was based on the stamp set Lots of Love and the beautiful Whole Lot of Lovely Designer Series Paper.

 Here are the cards Jodi and Norine designed for our June Stamped With Aloha Inspiration Night.

June 2017 Inspiration Night - www.stampediwthaloha.com

June 2017 Inspiration Night - www.stampediwthaloha.com

I love the colors of this designer series paper and I love the variety of cards Jodi and Norine were able to create with a single stamp set.  Let's take a closer look at each card.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This first card is so sweet.  Letting someone know how much you love them is always a good idea.  That is exactly how we feel about Ann.  Since Craig was traveling an unable to prepare our meal, Ann coordinated and picked up dinner for everyone.  That's just who Ann is, a very thoughtful person with an infectious laugh, who is definitely loved by us all.    

Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Another amazing person is Ralene who offered to make cards for Michelle who was unable to attend at the last minute.  When I asked for help she quickly raised her hand and said, "I can do it" and just like this card says, she was doing it with a heart that was thinking of others!   

Ralene and Jill at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ralene and Jill at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Here's a close up of the Thinking of You card.

Thinking of You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thinking of You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This next card has a very beautiful sentiment on it.  It says, "Live with passion, Laugh out loud and Love deeply."

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

There was a "laugh out loud" moment at Inspiration Night.  I'm not sure what was happening but I heard lots of laughter coming from one of the tables.  I ran over and snapped a photo and captured this moment.  I was just hoping to capture all the laughter and smiles.  However, do you see I captured something else?

Jodi and Roxy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jodi and Roxy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I still don't really know what they were laughing at but it could have been the fact that Roxy had a dimensional backing stuck to her face and didn't even know it.  It makes me happy to see my downline having such a great time as they are creating together building friendships along the way.

The next card uses my favorite piece of DSP in the pack.  I love the black and coral combination.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I love the large sentiment that comes in this set.  This card could be used for many different occasions so it is very versatile.  

I always save my favorite card for last.  

Punch Art Kokeshi Girl Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Punch Art Kokeshi Girl Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Isn't this card adorable?  The little Kokeshi girl was made with our new Lemon punch.  This was by far my favorite card of the bunch and almost as cute as these two below.  If you would learn how to make this punch art girl or any of these cards, you can go to Jodi's website called The Stamping Owl by clicking here.

Consider Yourself Hugged, Jodi and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Consider Yourself Hugged, Jodi and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I am so tremendously blessed by the all the love shown to me by Jodi and Norine.  I love the message of this card and the fact that they took over and ran such an amazing Inspiration night was like receiving the best hug ever!  They did an awesome job from start to finish and everyone who came had a really great time.

Terry and Joy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Terry and Joy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

A few days ago I was on the phone with someone at the Stampin' Up! home office sharing with them about how I was going to be able to go on the incentive trip to Thailand.  They told me, "oh I am so glad you won't miss going to such an amazingly beautiful place".  I paused for a moment and thought about what she said.  Although I know Thailand is a beautiful place and Thai food is my favorite food to eat, my excitement had nothing at all to do with the place.  After all, I live in an amazingly beautiful place!!!  However, going to Thailand had everything to do with the people I would see when I traveled there.  

You see one of the greatest blessings that comes with being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator these past 19 years has been the friendships I have formed with my downline, customers, and co-demonstrators from all over the world.  They have always been wonderful, but during these past several weeks I have felt and experienced the reality of how much I am loved and cared for by such an amazing group of people. These people are more than just friends, they are like family to me.

People like my friend Meg Loven from Illinois who learned I will have to wear a mask on the plane and didn't hesitate to mail me a variety of adorable masks so that I could be cautious and fashionable at the same time.

Cute Masks from Meg - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cute Masks from Meg - www.stampedwithaloha.com

People like Jodi, Norine, Ann and Pat who made sure Inspiration Night would a fun night for all.  

My heart is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving knowing that I can trust that God's timing is perfect!  He is in control and I am grateful to Him for the blessing of today and the hope for tomorrow!

With a grateful heart,

Cindy

 

 

 

 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

One Step At A Time

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017,  I officially began my battle with breast cancer.   Tuesday morning, I had surgery and now the waiting period beings to see if they got it all.  Once I learn the results, I will know what the next steps are.  I am someone who likes to know the plan.  Someone who wants to know what is going to happen on the road ahead but I am starting to learn that God desires for me to rest in Him trusting Him to lead and guide me through each day, one step at time.  No fear, no anxiousness, just an awareness of His presence and a heart filled with gratitude and love.  

One of the big lesson I have learned is that God prepares us for things.  Sometimes the challenges we face are actually God preparing us for something that we will soon face.   He is doing something in us to make us stronger, ready to battle what is ahead.  

I woke up a few days ago thinking about the Tour Du Mont Blanc hike that I did last July.  Then a few minutes later I got an email from a friend who said, "do you remember that hike you did last summer, don't you see how God was preparing you for what you are going through now?"  As I sit back and think about it,   I see that He was.

Tour Du Mont Blanc (Chamonix, France) Day 1

Tour Du Mont Blanc (Chamonix, France) Day 1

I remember this day vividly.  It was day one and we weren't that far into the trek and I was already feeling overwhelmed.  I felt like there was no way I was going to keep up.  As you can see the others are way ahead of me and I felt bad like I was slowing everyone down.  The weather was not good. We'd pass places where we were supposed to see something incredible, but all we saw was fog.  We climbed up to the snow and then a really steep decent brought us to a new town and hotel where we'd be staying the night.  Although that day was AMAZING it was also one of the most difficult struggles I've ever been through.  Although I felt a great sense of accomplishment, I had tears in my eyes thinking this was just day one and we had several more days to complete the over 80 mile hike.

My husband hugged me and encouraged me.  I knew he was in pain too.  It was clear that we were in this battle together.   So before we went to dinner,  I took some time to rest and grabbed my favorite devotional book called Jesus Calling.  It was July 14th, 2016 and this is what it said:

  "Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to my heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance light footed on the high peak; but for now your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you, It is truly the path of Life.  

Day two of the hike began with a lot of love and encouragement from my friend Lynsay who was the one responsible for inviting me on a "little hike" where I would enjoy drinking espresso and cappuccino's, eating gelato, sleeping in hotels, enjoying delicious French and Italian foods, etc.  She is a great sales person not only in the Stampin' Up! world but also on adventures, but this trip didn't turn out exactly as she proposed.  She left out all the hard parts and in hindsight I learned that she didn't realize how difficult this journey was going to be.  But it was worth the pain.

Lynsay and Cindy - Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Lynsay and Cindy - Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Derek was by my side every step of the way.  There were times I would say to him, "go on without me" and he would calmly say, "I'm not going to leave you".  He'd speak words of love and encouragement to me every step of the way.  He would affirm me and tell me "where almost there, you are doing amazing".  He is such a gift from God.  We made so many lasting memories on this amazing journey together.  

Derek and Cindy Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Derek and Cindy Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

The next day felt so much better.  Although we had another day of not so perfect weather my attitude about the challenge was different and I was ready for battle.  I knew that although it would be hard, I could make it.  I just needed to take it one step at a time and not worry about what was around the corner.  If I focused on the fact that around the corner was another steep path I would get discouraged and feel like giving up.  So I learned to pace myself and focus on continuing to move forward focused on just competing the battle no matter how long it took me.  I felt blessed to have such love and encouragement all around me, all along the journey.  

Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

One of the things that helped me a lot is that I would pray as I walked and I felt like God gently whispered to me and said, "I want to remind you of how much I love you".  So when things got hard, which was most of the time, I would look down at the ground and focus on finding heart shaped stones.  Each time I would see one I would be reminded of God's love and the fact that He was walking with me.  

Heart Shaped Reminders - Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Heart Shaped Reminders - Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

I was not alone on this journey, each day I would pass many people who were enduring the same pain but finding the peace and joy in it.   It makes me think that every day I pass people who I don't even realize are experiencing struggles in their own life.  Just as I greeted and encouraged those on the hike that I encountered, so I should be more aware of those God brings across my path today to speak words of life, hope and encouragement because they too could be experiencing difficulties.

Tour Du Mont Blan - July 2016

Tour Du Mont Blan - July 2016

This journey was a beautiful opportunity for me to set aside time to not worry about anything (which I tend to do quite often) but to take life one step at a time enjoying the journey.  It was an opportunity for me to learn that often things that are the hardest offer up the greatest rewards.

Final Day- Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Final Day- Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

As I turned the corner on the last day at one of the highest most picturesque parts of the hike I was reminded of those words I read in my devotion book on day one.   "Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you, It is truly the path of Life."   

Celebrating completing the Tour Du Mont Blanc - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Celebrating completing the Tour Du Mont Blanc - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was so glad I didn't give up.  I was so glad that I stayed on the path and kept walking, one step at a time.

In the same way we celebrated God's faithfulness to bring us to bring us to this point in a difficult journey, so we celebrate today.  We recognize that God has a plan that can be trusted and we know that in the end we will find victory in Him.

 Today I am on another journey.  This one is also difficult.  This one is also one I need to take one step at a time, not worrying about tomorrow but focusing on what I need to do today.   I can remember my hike and the lessons I learned and apply them to what I am going through now.  I see that God was preparing me as He so faithfully does.

I am encouraged to know that I am not alone.  God is with me and so are so many others.  More people than I ever could imagine have showered me with Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, flowers, gifts and cards.  I have witnessed people shedding tears upon hearing about my diagnosis, people who I don't even know that well and it made me feel so humbled to realize how much they loved and cared for me.  I was so blessed to hear friends say things like "WE are going to do this, and WE are going to do that" in helping me formulate a battle plan reminding me that I had a support system ready to battle with me.  They were reminding me that just like this hike, I was not doing it alone.  To say that I am glad that this happened to me seems kind of harsh but I can already see the good that is coming from it.  I can see how God is using it to draw me closer to Him.  I can see how God is showing me areas of my own life where I needed to slow down and learn the importance of rest and finding peace in His presence.  I am reminded of His great love for me and the importance of me sharing that love daily.

I know that there are those of you reading this who understand the battle you have been there and so bravely fought it or you know someone dear to you who has.  Thank you to so many of you who have shared your own journey as a way to encourage me.  To everyone else who is out there, your battle may not be cancer but it may be something else, relationship issues, the passing of a loved one, addiction, financial problems, etc.  Whatever it is know that God has not abandoned you and you are not alone.  He promises that when you seek Him with your whole heart you will find Him.  He is faithful.  As you allow Him to take control he will bless you with joy and a peace that passes all understanding.

Let me conclude todays post by sharing today's Jesus Calling devotion from today.  Once again it is a very timely message:

"The peace that I give you transcends your intellect.  When most of your mental energy goes into efforts to figure things out, you are unable to receive this glorious gift.  I look into your mind and see thoughts spinning around and round; going nowhere, accomplishing nothing.  All the while, My Peace hovers over you, searching for a place to land.  Be still in My Presence, inviting Me to control your thoughts.  Let My Light soak into your mind and heart until you are aglow with My very Being.  This is the most effective way to receive My Peace."  "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you".  II Thessalonians 3:16.

Thank you for standing with me and allowing me to share my journey with you.  May God bless you with a greater awareness of His presence and peace with each step that you take today.

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com