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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blessings Above & Beyond

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind. I really started feeling like my old self on Wednesday. Since then, I have been running around like the mother and wife I was before this whole mess. All the energy I used up in the past couple of days must have finally caught up with me, because today I was pooped. This afternoon I actually laid down for a 2 hour first since last Tuesday! It's hard to believe that in just two more days I will be on my back up to St. Louis. I don't know what's worse; the first treatment because I didn't know what to expect, or the second treatment because I know what to expect. My prayer is that God will bring me out of "chemo world" a little faster than last time. Feeling great the past couple of days has been such a blessing. I am faithful that God will restore my strength after each chemo treatment and give me the opportunity to play wife and mother before getting zapped again. After next week I will have only 6 more treatments. I am looking forward to when I can count down my treatments on one hand.

This past week God not only brought me much needed strength, but He used a number of people to bless our family. These are just a few of the ways God has continued to show Himself to us:

1. We continue to receive wonderful meals from people. I love to cook, but due to my lack of energy, it is not something I feel up to. Having a meal provided twice a week has been such a blessing.

2. My parent's Sunday school class took up a collection for our family to help cover travel expenses to and from St. Louis. Although my insurance pays for my treatment at the Siteman Cancer Center, the expense of traveling back and forth is not covered. What a blessing to be able to apply that towards hotel and gas costs.

3. My friend Mary from New York sent me a generous check to also help cover the cost of travel. Mary is a wonderful wife and mother who is also going through chemotherapy. She and I are actually on the same chemo schedule so we correspond by email frequently to discuss our side effects and offer each other support. What is so incredible about Mary is that she found my blog by googling "faith during breast cancer." After keeping up with my blog for several weeks, she sent me an email and we became instant friends. Despite never having met me, God used her to be a blessing to me. I would ask that you all pray for Mary just as you all pray for me.

4. God used my sister-in-law Kristen to help provide a way for Charley to still be able to attend preschool this fall. She really went above and beyond and once again, God blessed us in a unimaginable way .

5. I received an email from a local Spa letting me know that I had been chosen for a free massage for the month of August. My good friend Kristen (yes, another Kristen) nominated me for a massage that is given away once a month to someone extra deserving. I was chosen as that person and have to admit that I am looking forward to little extra pampering. God had already blessed my life through my friendship with Kristen. He is a God that just keeps giving.

When I was first diagnosed, Ryan and I did the only thing we knew to do and that was to totally turn the situation over to God. We knew that any hardship we faced in the coming months would be battled by our glorious God. I just don't think we could have ever imagined what that would mean. Just as God has used so many people to bless me, I pray that He continues to use me to bless others. I don't have much to offer right now other than my faith in Him. I will continue to honor and glorify Him and I pray that the lives of others would be strengthened as they read of the ways He continues to be a blessing to my family. Our faith continues to grow and despite the hard days that are ahead, we continually look forward to all that God has to offer us. I pray that you and your family would see God's blessings and hear God's whispers as you live each day.

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