Seeking the Kingdom on Earth

Hydrangeas

I know that Christ asked people to seek the kingdom of God. Seeking is a process I need to adhere to in order to be a follower of His Way.  Just like his twelve disciples were people that lived with him, ate with him, walked with him and watched the Master to learn how he approached situations, how he gave comfort and healing to others, and how he served, I need to read and pray and most of all listen. James 1:19 nails it, “Be Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak, Slow to get angry.”

I am struggling with habits destructive to change, however, I keep running into myself. A few weeks ago, I was journaling and heard a speaker on Focus on the Family that was the author of a book called “The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk.” Her name is Shelly Beach. She stated how she realized how so many of her underlying thoughts, below the surface of her consciousness were directly opposed to becoming healthy or passionate for God, even though she was busy living for him, even in full ministry. I struggle with thoughts and habits that are directly opposed to life-affirming responses to God’s promises and that are opposed to seeking His Kingdom.

Grace is unmerited favor that we can never deserve. God uses grace in acting in our life to do what we can’t do on our own and I need to own that, breathe it in deep and get real in it.  Living Life with Jesus day by day and shutting up to listen are such hard and yet vital things for me to take on this year. Practicing the meditation of listening for God whenever I am breathing and being still while still living in the day to day are where I am stumbling forward. We are commanded to be still, but I judge myself when I don’t get enough done or feel misunderstood or called lazy. Still I must look ahead or I will fall behind.

I wish so much that there were a magic bullet or pretty sparkly pill that could fix me in all my messiness or craziness but God doesn’t make the journey that way. In humans, we have an intense desire to achieve and yet our self-will, fallen since Adam, wants the easy way and quick fixes.

There is no quick fix and no easy way. After cancer, I feel even more mixed up and lost than before, and with more issues, but God is with me, I do know that. And…. I am not the only one. This woman’s article that my niece posted is so much of what I have seen, even down to the post chemo issues medically.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2015/03/16/lost-in-transition-after-cancer/?EXIT_URI=http://mobile.nytimes.com/loginReturn?url=/blogs/well/2015/03/16/lost-in-transition-after-cancer/

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Hair – Three Weeks Into Chemo

Well… I think it’s starting to happen. I could just be imagining it, but,I don’t think so. Was super tired this morning,and had the worse headache so far.

I slept longer, had a quieter day with friends, but tonight, after dinner, my scalp started tingling and as I ran my fingers through my hair, I could feel some strands coming out. Oh well, it is what it is, I am not super freaked but, i really had rather hoped and prayed to avoid this particular side effect. Later on, it is more definite, it is happening, ugh.

Tomorrow is 3 weeks out from Chemo and Dr. Ram told me it might happen around this time. My DH’s ideal response was “I will love you no matter what”; he makes life so much easier. Besides Jesus,Douglas is my rock.

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Friends

Thank God for my dear friends.

Today I went to my District Office. I found out my donated sick leave runs out on April 29th, 2013. This necessitated filling out the official paperwork for Medical Leave (without pay) that will begin April 30th, 2013, and goes for the rest of this school year. That will take me out of my current school and classroom placement. This means I will need to go and clean out my things from the classroom probably before the end of the school year. It’s hard to think about, but when I start Medical Leave, it will probably be time. That may mean a small storage unit or something until the future is clearer. Chemo will not end until well after the end of the school year and I have other health issues to deal with, as well. I did complete my intent form today, for next year, so at least that is out of the way, too.

The reason I mention friends is that my dear friend Laura met with me, knowing this whole situation is anxiety causing, and basically held my hand and walked me through it with the lovely lady in the medical leave department. Jacki in the leave department has been exceptionally helpful, and Laura has, herself, dealt with going on Personal Leave to take care of her ill father after he fell and broke his hip. I admit, I teared up and cried today while feeling overwhelmed with the whole work anxiety/fear thing. BUT, once again, God is in control and I MUST let Him be in charge and TRUST that He has better things in store for my future.

I have teacher friends that are willing to come and give their precious time to help me get things packed up and out of the classroom, and that means so very much to me. Teachers understand how much the pressure has been increasing over the past few years. I pray for my other teacher friends who also have had health issues or who are just feeling the strain, no matter what state they are in.

For me, in the past year especially, friends from all over have come out of the woodwork. Friends I haven’t seen much since childhood, ones that I have only known in the past year, and ones that have been there all along, or are only a phone call away. They have encouraged and reminded me of how they love me, just as I am, with all my quirks and lifelong foibles. I am blessed to be able to have friends that, even though we may not connect often, whenever we talk, it is like we had just spoken yesterday. I am blessed to know so many good people. I am thankful for my friends.

As far as how I am feeling, I am now trying another med that may help with the ADD and sleep. I have been very tired, and have been dealing with what I have come to call my Chemo headache. I don’t know if anyone has felt it quite this way, but it is like at the edges of my head and neck, like the trace of a headache, but not like a full blown one. My head is just kinda achy in spots. Maybe that has to do with the brain swelling that chemo can cause. I also heard from my doc to not take too many herbal things because they might interact and actually lessen the effects of the Chemo, which, obviously, wouldn’t be good. I want this be the one and only time, God willing, that I ever have to go through the Chemo process.

Right now, it is time to enjoy the rest of the day with my husband. Doctor’s and other appointments are done for the week hooray!

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The funny thing is how life happens…

While you are making plans. I wanted to be out on my 2012 Street Glide with at least 10 thousand miles on it by this time of the year. Instead, I am starting chemo on Scarlett’s birthday. One year ago, my beloved CVO was born (built). She was built on March 13th, 2012, and I start chemo on 3-13-13. Weird, huh? Cancer is seriously annoying me, I have too much to be do with trying to get healthy physically, mentally (see post below) and emotionally (ditto). I am hoping chemo won’t slow me down too much, there is too much to do, and being so ADD, I get distracted all the time! God is with me, I know, and I am thankful for the many miracles He has done so far.Image