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

Our 30th Anniversary

Derek and I have something in common with Stampin’ Up! We both celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. Our anniversary date is November 5th. However, as our anniversary drew near we realized that I would be in New York on that day, so we decided to plan a celebration in October. Derek and I love to travel the world. Since he works extremely long hours at work, especially in this season, we appreciate the quality time we get together when we travel. As we discussed where we wanted to do for our anniversary, the choice was easy when we heard that the Seahawks would be playing a game in London! I had been to London before but it was one of the places on Derek’s bucket list that he wanted to see.

So off we went to explore London. Here are some of the fun things we did while we were there.

We visited Buckingham Palace, London Bridge and the Tower of London.

Tower of London

Tower of London

We saw the Crown Jewels and met a few Beefeaters who had lots of interesting stories to tell.

Exploring London

Exploring London

The weather was gorgeous. There were blue skies almost every day and we enjoyed walking for miles every day, exploring the city.

Shopping at Harrods

Shopping at Harrods

We visited Harrods one evening. It was so beautiful at night with all the lights!

Victoria Palace Theater

Victoria Palace Theater

We went to see two Broadway shows, Les Miserables and Hamilton. Both were fabulous.

Fall in London

Fall in London

We walked through many beautiful parks and gardens. We especially enjoyed the leaves and seeing the changing colors that we don’t get to see in Hawaii.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

We visited Windsor Castle. There had been a Royal Wedding there the day before so we enjoyed seeing some of the remnants, such as beautiful flowers that were still in the chapel.

While I was there, I got a message from my friend Natalie asking me if I was going to shop at Cath Kinston. I asked her, “what is that”? She acted surprised and excited to tell me that it was her favorite store and she thought I would love it. So, we looked up the store and oh my, she was right! I loved this store. I loved it so much that I visited 4 locations all over the city over the next few days. I was so appreciative of this great travel tip.

Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston

I did quite a lot of Christmas Shopping while I was in there cause they had such cute things!

On game day we went to church at Hillsong London . These brothers from Germany sat by us, wearing SeaHawk jerseys. I asked them, “Are you hear to pray for a victory today”? It was fun to meet these young, enthusiastic, German fans.

Hillsong London

Hillsong London

After church as we got ready for the game, suddenly the weather shifted. It became cooler and a little rainy. It actually made the experience even better. So we got bundled up and headed to the train that would take us to Wembley stadium.

Train Ride to Wembley

Train Ride to Wembley

On the train we met a group of young girls that had Hawaii ties. They were SeaHawk fans too and they told us a story on how the day before they had met Marshawn Lynch at a department store and got to take a photo with him. How cool is that?

London Games at Wembley Stadium, London

London Games at Wembley Stadium, London

I love football and watching a team play live is so exciting. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to be at this game with Derek. We had SUCH a great time in this very exciting atmosphere!

Even though it was a Raiders home game, there were a lot more SeaHawk fans present. That meant that the cheering was very loud and the icing on the anniversary cake is that we won that game. It was my kind of game too!! The final score 27 to 3.

London Games, Wembley Stadium

London Games, Wembley Stadium

Since I was unable to be with Derek on our actual anniversary, I made him a card and left it with Jess to give to him on November 5th. Here is the card I made for him using the stamp set Peaceful Place.

Peaceful Place Anniversary Card

Peaceful Place Anniversary Card

I popped up a section on the inside to display a die cut #30.

Peaceful Place Anniversary Card

Peaceful Place Anniversary Card

Jessica texted me this photo of Derek moments after giving him his card. She took him out to lunch that day.

Happy 30th

Happy 30th

I am so thankful for Derek. He is truly an amazing husband, father and best friend.

War Museum

War Museum

Happy 30th Anniversary, I am so grateful to God for the blessing of having you by my side as we journey through life together.

Celebrating 30 years

Celebrating 30 years