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Faith – A Work In Progress

Update on the big decision:  I continue to tithe and I continue to have enough money.  God truly does bless us when we obey.

But the struggle to keep my faith intact is not nearly over.  2 weeks ago, after dinner, my mom told me and my sister that her cancer is back, and this time there is nothing that can be done.  She has been given a year or so to live.

I know that year to year the landscape of life changes, but that is one landscape, the one minus my mom, I am not at all ready to face.  The Diva Den as we call this great house we all live in, will never be the same.

The best way to strengthen faith is be in the Word of God, so I’m trying to daily get there.  I downloaded the First 5 app from Proverbs 31 Ministries and can say that this is going to be a huge help.  Work days are tough to make time and that app is going to be perfect.  I also signed up for their next online Bible study, and the book for that arrived today.  And I know that the best way to be in the Word is to simply DO it.  Pick up my bible and read a few verses or a chapter and contemplate on it. Pray my heart and mind are receptive to what God might be trying to convey to me.

My struggle is real, but my God, my Father In Heaven, is far bigger than any struggle I will endure.  Great is HIS faithfulness!

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Struggling To Hang On To The Faith

Some days are so tough to be a believer.  Those days when finding the desire to read the Word is just not there and rote obedience to Christ is the only thing that will bring me to take that 15-30 minutes in the Word and in prayer.  Today is one of those days.  One where I wonder if my prayers even get past the ceiling or go unheard.  Of course I know they DO make it the ears of my Savior, but there is a little voice trying to be heard that is all negative and trying to cut down my tree of faith.  No way, not letting that happen.

I have a big choice to make today, one that will impact my spending over the next few weeks until next payday.  That choice that says pay your 10% to the church and God will be there to hold you up.  I know He will.  I have seen it so many times before, it is just hard to do sometimes.  Today it is hard.  But I’ll do it, right now, while the Spirit still has hold of me good.

Finding My Nitch/Ministry

Recently I got myself through the classes and state testing to become a STNA/CNA (state tested nurse aide/certified nurse aide).  It was not what I really wanted to do, but everything pointed to my needing to find work of some kind (like unemployment ran out and I still hadn’t managed to find a job).  So, I busted my butt, managed to hold a 98% through the class and I was state tested and now I’m listed in the state registry.

I found a job very quickly, actually had several job offers, before taking one nearby.  Now, starting into my 8th week, I see that this is a job that is a calling, a true ministry.  The people that love it, are the best of the best. Those that don’t like it I have no idea why they do the job because it sure isn’t for the paycheck.  Barely above minimum wage in most cases.  I know aides, really good ones, who have done this for 15+ years and don’t make $15 an hour.  You do this job to make a difference in the lives of those who most need us.

The individuals are elderly, some are just older but not ‘old’, but all are there because on some level they cannot care for themselves.  Dementia or injury, or just the old age taking its toll has left the majority in wheel chairs and diapers.  They cannot dress themselves, feed themselves, use the bathroom, or shower themselves.  The amount of care varies but we don’t get much if any down time during our shifts.

When I first started school I prayed, a lot, about this career choice.  And in clinicals.  And every day since I started working I go in and pray on the way and often through the halls, that God would let me see these sweet souls as He sees them. That I could be a vessel to show His love to them, be hands and feet for Him to them.  I find I love them all, and really do love what I do.  Money is nice, but coming home at the end of a long day knowing I made a difference is worth more than anything I get paid.

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

Matthew 25:30-45

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideshis sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I wasnaked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

It Matters Whom You Marry

Oh how I wish in my early years as a believer I had read something like this. I will admit, hard as it is, if I could take what I know back 26 years, I would NOT have married the man I did on 8/13/88. I don’t regret it, but I know now that he was not the believer and leader I thought he was and I’ll carry the mental, spiritual and emotional scars for the rest of my life.

Heather, Lily, Mesothelioma and Beating The Odds

I fell in love with Heather’s  story and agreed to share her post.  Her button is in my side bar and I encourage you to read the various blog accounts of her journey. It will touch your heart without a doubt!

 

As an expectant mother excited to begin my parenting journey, I did everything I could to prepare for motherhood. I ate nutritious foods for my own health and for the health of my unborn child. I never missed an appointment with my doctor. I read every book I could get my hands on to prepare myself for anything that motherhood might throw at me. While my efforts helped me prepare to become a mother, nothing could have prepared me for what happened when my daughter, Lily, was just three months old.

As a young mother to a brand new baby girl, a woman in the prime of her life, I was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. The news came as a shock. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung. At the happiest time of my life, I found myself facing surgery in a city 1200 miles from home, chemotherapy and radiation.

Since no parenting books could tell me how to raise my baby girl while battling cancer, I had to rely on my instincts. Knowing that Lily would need consistent, loving care during both my treatment in a distant city and my recovery, I turned to the loving, supportive people in my life who could help me give Lily what she deserved.

I spent the entire first year of my daughter’s life undergoing treatment. My parents took Lily to live with them while I went through the surgery. During my recovery from surgery and subsequent treatment, I relied on loved ones to help care for Lily when I could not. Through it all, I did my best to make life as normal as possible for her. When I felt well, we had play dates, went to the park, and played outside. We spent much of our time, however, simply enjoying each other’s company in the comfort of our living room. Our time together was precious. I wanted Lily to understand that no matter how sick I was, she would always be the most important thing in the world to me.

As a mom, I wanted to do everything for my child. As a cancer patient, I needed to take care of myself first so that I could recover to watch Lily grow up. Finding a balance between my instincts as a mother and my needs as a patient was difficult. I’m grateful for my loving husband, who stood by my side and stepped in to care for Lily when I could not.

Six years later, my husband and I still support each other in parenting as we did during the first year of Lily’s life. We have chosen to be open with Lily about my cancer, talking to her about it without hiding anything. My cancer is as much a part of Lily’s history as it is a part of ours. Our struggles during her first year of life helped shape who she is today: a bright, happy first grader. Cancer brought a lot of good along with the bad. We choose to focus on the gifts.

 

Heather Von St James is a guest blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

At The Edge Of The Abyss…

She is sitting on the bridge, over the abyss, swinging her legs, talking out loud to herself and tossing stones into the darkness below…

“I know you are here, know that you come to look at me.”

“Are you sleeping?  I cannot sleep until the very early hours of the morning, and then it is a tormented sleep. The dreams so real I can hear the whisper in my ear, “heart, mind, body,  soul, all of you…”.  I feel the kiss on my temple.  I feel myself wrapped up in that safe place…and then I wake up.”

“there remain 3 bottles, you left them behind…I  came SO close to drinking them last night, so very close.  But then walked away…3  different times…they are still there but they finally stopped calling my name.”

“Yes, I still wear it.  Sometimes I touch it and think of you, pray for you.  I never take it off, never will.”

“Yes, the empty places are still there, they always will be, you have the missing pieces.”

“The gray hasn’t changed to blue again,  I don’t think it can anymore.”

“I tried so hard to close every door of every contact point, locked the doors tight, but your memory keeps getting past them.”

“I saw you found the one door I didn’t lock, and established that other ‘point of contact’ again. It makes me wonder…why?”

“I watch my tears  falling behind the stones, down into the  darkness….and wonder, if I let myself slip off this bridge and down into the abyss…how long will it feel like falling before sensation is gone and it feels like floating, like numbness?”

She goes back to swinging her legs, reaches for her Bible and reads and prays again….ever hoping…

“I miss you…so much….”  

My New Adventure

YEARS ago when my kids were very little, I was an Avon Representative. I admit back then I did it to get things at a discount.

I’m doing it again, with the goal of hopefully being able to supplement providing childcare in my home, and eventually being able to support myself on the income. Lofty goals? Perhaps, but I’ve ALWAYS loved to think big. And since I am totally into social media, I LOVE that I can represent this great company via my very own site! Anyone, anywhere can order from my site, and even have the items shipped directly to them.

Just click in the left side bar to go to the ebrochures and shop the actual current catalogs. Order, pay and it ships directly to you right from the convenience of your home. If you are local, I can come to you! Your choice, and don’t we all love choices!

Stop by and check it out, get on my mailing list through my site so that when there are sales, or I offer a special, you don’t miss out!

MARVI MARTI’S AVON PAGE