Sunday, February 24, 2013

6 Days (Really 5.5) To Go

So, we had our last team meeting today after church where we were prayed for by our pastors and agreed upon with the entire congregation.  It’s been kind of an amazing day to clear out the crazy week that I’ve had.
Some updates:  Evie is completely healed from her ear infection last weekend.  Praise the Lord!  EJ has been testing us a little more than usual since his sister was sick and we’ve had to be a little harsher with our discipline, but he has responded so well.  Don received the results from the other 3 pieces of skin biopsied and 1 came back cancerous just like the spot on his leg and the other 2 are pre-cancerous.  He has an appointment set for March 25 to have the cancerous sport removed and the other 2 pre-cancerous spots frozen so as to kill the cells before they can cause harm.
As for me, I have been trying to physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare for my upcoming trip.  I guess I’ll only know how successful my preparations have been once I’m down there.  We began a team blog that we will be updating (hopefully) once a day while in Nicaragua.  In the meantime, I’ll be utilizing that forum to introduce our team as we count down the days until departure.
Praying that this finds you well and ready for the upcoming week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

So, I heard it's Lent...

Looking back to a year ago at the beginning of this precious and reflective time, I find myself a completely different person and in a completely different place in my life although many things have stayed the same (actually, gotten better).  In no particular order…I’m in a position at work that I love, my marriage is fun, our kids are crazy and interactive and I’m ecstatic about the way my faith is going!  I mean, I leave for a 3rd world country for my very first missions’ trip in 13 days.  WHOA.  
That reminds me that I need to still get another vaccine and a $90 prescription filled.  Oh, and clothes.  Goodwill, here I come!
It’s so funny how satan thinks that he can stop someone with this kind of momentum and great things going on.  They always say that bad things happen in 3’s.  Well, I think that is a stupid saying.  It’s asking for more bad stuff to happen if you haven’t gotten to 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. yet.  Here’s my list of ‘bad’ things that have gone on since I’ve been re-baptized (Jan 1, 2013).  As of Thursday (Valentine’s) I have lost a total of 3 family members, my abdominal pain has increased to level 4 constant, 7/8 spikes, Don’s leg (which is now infected AGAIN), and now Evie is under the weather fighting a fever and puking mucus. 
How have I dealt with all of this in the past 48 days?  Well…on an emotional roller coaster, honestly.  I have been upset and down and frustrated and crabby, but at the end of the day I know that Jesus is my savior and God has me (and the whole wide world) in His hands.  It is so sad to lose those that we love, but 1 Corinthians 15:55 challenges death… “Where O death is your victory?  Where is your sting?!”  How amazing is my welcome stadium in heaven going to be with all of those that go before me? 

Rest in peace, Uncle George.  I love you.  Give Aunt Mary a kiss for me and send some extra angels to guard Evie through this current sickness.

Of everything else on my naughty list, I think the same way.  What’s the point of pain?  I mean, really?  I live with it by choice so that I can be coherent and present in life.  If I am in pain, I am ALIVE.  And if I place my pain at the foot of the cross, I am comforted fully.
Speaking of the foot of the cross…Lent started 5 days ago.  Our church has challenged everyone to give up sodas, coffees, wines, beers, whatever you’d spend money on and drink water instead and send the money to Africa to build clean drinking water wells.  $35 provides clean drinking water for 1 person for 1 year.  What could you give up to make that possible for someone?  Check out Blood Water Mission and get involved if you feel so led!
On top of that, I’m giving up my vanity for Lent.  Some people say that my idea is a little silly, but I opt for contacts on days when I want to look better and wear makeup.  That takes about 5 – 10 minutes a day depending on how in depth I want to go on eye shadow or red lipstick.  I’ll be working on spending that time with my Lord or my family.  There was also this great blog that a friend shared about a woman who is “skirting up” for Lent to try and take femininity back to its roots for her logic.  It really made me think about my addition to this world’s sex culture.  So, this is my way of taking a stand for that.  No makeup, no contacts, no paying attention to my hair other than basic necessity, no Pinterest or catalog perusing. 
I’ll have more information about my not making it fair for skinny people once I’m home from Nica!
Praying this finds you and your family well and ready for the week ahead.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Day Before… & Yesterday.

Without making this post completely about death, I want to give a brief explanation of what I blogged about yesterday… 
One of my husband’s coworkers found the body of a man who committed suicide in his car in front of their church Sunday morning. 
Please join me in praying for the family, the church and all of its members and the community.

Hubs told me about it yesterday and I was already agitated about some things and that news just sent me over the edge.  I guess you all know now my version of anger management.  I was really so upset because I am an over-empathizer.  Some people love me just because of this fact.  Sometimes I hate it.  Not that I wish to be anything other than what God made me, but when I hear a story that involves heartache to any degree, my sympathy goes into hyper-drive.  Like… I’ve sent sympathy cards to people on America’s Extreme Home Makeover.  This is something that has always been really hard on me.  I often struggle with boundaries for myself and my family, how much and what to share with people, and who to trust and what to trust them with.  My brain is always on analyze mode.  I think about what has happened, what is happening and what could happen all the time…over & over again.  While having a conversation, I’m trying to pay attention while working out each discussed scenario and laughing or being upset about how the conversation COULD go.  On top of all of this, I happen to be an extrovert.  Yep, I’m an energy vampire.  I thrive on people and social occasions.  I’m stuck in my own perpetual catch 22.


So, remember that positive Nicaragua update I had for you guys?!  Well, I had a little bird tell me that I have had MORE turned in even after my last cry for help to bridge the gap last week!  I’m not sure yet what happens with that extra, but I am so looking forward to what God has in store!  To everyone who prayed… who gave…. who asked questions… showed support:  THANK YOU!  You all are SO amazing and I am so blessed to have you all in my life! 

Also, if you don’t already have plans next weekend, come on out to Hub City Vineyard for a prime rib Valentines Dinner WITH childcare provided on site!  Proceeds will go to the Nicaragua team!  Check out the Facebook event for details!

In work news, my company launched a new website this week and asked for blog submittals in preparation.  How surprised and honored was I to see that one of mine was picked to publish?!  Feel free to check out my very first work blog post and check out our new website while you're there!
I’m determined to finish this week well and I hope you do so too.  I’ve kind of been stressing about what I’ll write about when I’m all out of Nicaragua news.  Maybe next week you’ll see something new! 
Have an amazing week and give someone an extra hug or high five to let them know you care.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm going to kill myself...

How many parents, friends, pastors, family members of those who have committed suicide begged that they had heard that phrase from their lost loved one? 
Over 80 people today decided to commit suicide and their ‘attempt’ was a “success”. 
I am FURIOUS about this.  How dare anyone decide that they are greater than God and that their life is no longer meaningful?  When there are parents and wives and loved ones dreading to not receive a Skype call from overseas?  When tragic accidents LEACH life and spread mourning?!  HOW!?
Another mind boggling question:  How on earth can there be over 3,000 abortions performed here in the United States of America every single day when there are willing, loving, AMAZING people who LONG to hold a baby in their arms?!  HOW!??!
I feel utterly helpless & futile sometimes in this world...  In my personal opinion, EVERY single person on this earth has a purpose.  Whether they were here for a mere & precious 2 hours so that their parents could example faithfulness through sorrow or that they lived to be 106 and mentor and speak LIFE into countless families by teaching them to play a simple game called football.
I guess that’s why I can’t really focus on THIS WORLD…crazy talk, right?  WRONG.  Philippians 4:13 says that I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.  Matthew 7:7 states to ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.  Well Lord, this is me…loud, crazy, Chandra; your humble princess…just ASKING…SHOUTING…BEGGING, God…Please use me.  Use my words and my actions and my love for others to change their mind.  To seek you.  That’s really all I want, Lord.  Please.  In Jesus’ Name.
Pleading that this finds you all well and thankful for life, love and family…
PS – I have a positive Nicaragua update to share with you guys…this just isn’t the place for it tonight.  XOXO.