Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fret not yourself

Through tears and panic I read the sweetest verse the other day. Luke 12:32...

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom"

I honestly don't know if I've ever read that before, though I've read Luke several times. It's one of those things where God reveals a verse to you like it's the first time and your heart really gets it. Anxiety has definitely been the unwanted guest in my heart lately....mainly due to a rash. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is in my family and I've noticed a rash that's come and gone pretty much since I've had Isaiah. I never thought much about it because it almost covered my whole body at one point and then went away. This one area is the last to leave and it was when I researched the symptoms of IBC that I freaked out. At the time, if felt like I had several symptoms and I was convinced I had breast cancer.

This is something I've battled for awhile now. Not just the fear of cancer but being convinced that I will have it eventually. I have no idea where this all started...probably too much reading and definitely too much idle thinking. I feared the diagnosis, treatment, more fear, prognosis, leaving Isaiah and Josh and anything else Satan brought to mind. All of this built up fear came to a head this past weekend. I have been battling a cold that feels like it's gone straight to the reasoning part of my brain. I was completely handicap. No matter how many scriptures and promises I read or how much I talked through it or prayed through it, this intense fear did not let up. I cried off and on all weekend out of sheer panic and had constant headaches. It would let up some then hit me hard again. Despite missing church because I didn't feel good (probably the worst decision) we had a very busy Sunday planned with my sister-in-law's birthday and a good family friend flying in from Norway for Christmas. I just couldn't wait to get to my in-law's house where hundreds of distractions would greet me. I didn't want to think anymore. On the way there it hit again...probably the hardest and as I was reading promises again. I truly felt like I couldn't control it and it wouldn't stop. I was crying and having trouble breathing, but in the midst I had the clearest thought from the Lord. "This is much more about what's going on in your mind than your body." I told to Josh to please pray for me and as he did it just completely lifted and peace came for the first time all weekend.

I am convinced that there is something uniquely powerful about having someone else intercede for you that didn't happen when I was just praying for myself. As Josh prayed against Satan's attack on my mind the fear and panic just left. I don't know if I had a panic attack or not, but it is abundantly clear that God is teaching me to put my trust in Him....and even more that He is able to cause my heart to trust Him when I clearly can't on my own. I was completely unable.

Through the whole journey, the verses I read sank deep in my heart calling it to once again stop trying to save itself....."Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." It's easy to call your life "rubbish" when things are fine, but at the very thought that things weren't fine my heart tightened it's grip like a little girl clutching the toy she didn't want to surrender and shouting "mine!" I'm not sure this ever gets any easier. I am sure that my heart desperately needed to go through it and will again over and over.

Update Friday morning 11:00am:

I am just returning from the doctor's office where a very kind woman looked me over and basically just said that it looked like an ordinary rash or skin irritation that may or may not be caused by yeast (who knew?) and gave me a prescription for a cream. I told her my family history and she offered an ultrasound later if I was still worried, but didn't see any need for it now. She did however tell me that the "mini pill" I have been on is known to cause anxiety and depression as well as weight gain. I nearly cried right there from relief. I just had no idea what was going on with my body. This confirms my previous feelings about birth control and makes future decisions much easier.

Thank you for this journey, Lord. Forgive me for not trusting You. You are the God of my mind, body and heart and have proven over and over to be for me....all of me. Thank you for your grace and kindness. Help me to continue to treasure you above health, family, the future and all the unknowns You will call me to. You are good.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My "brush" at the mall

I woke up with a great plan of beating the crowds to Concord Mills to pick up a few things. I didn't quite get there as early as I wanted but at 10:30am it still wasn't bad yet so I was able to run into Bed, Bath and Beyond to get what I needed without too much trouble.

Now, since I've been at home I've had a morning ritual of having my coffee with Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart, and someone had told me last night that Martha would be at Books A Million today signing her new housekeeping handbook. The book is like $50.00 or something and to be honest, Martha really gets on my nerves and seems to be quite full of herself on TV but I really like what she does so I just endure her.

Well, I thought that if I could buy the book and get her to sign it I could sell in on Ebay and make a little off of it (I know, I know). When I got to Books a Million needless to say there was a line winding through the ailes to the back of the store...definitely not worth it. But, her chair and TV cameras were set up by the front window so I stood outside trying to decide if a picture of her on my cell phone was worth it.

I had just finished discussing this with my friend Laura and was fidgeting with my phone when I heard, "And Martha, you're going to go right this way." I looked up to realize that she, a very tall woman, a very tall man and a tiny, little cop were directly beside me and I was completely in their way! I literally hopped out of the way to not get walked on. She had come in through an exit door that I was standing right beside, but I thought she would come through the back of Books A Million. Her handlers were escorting her to the store and weren't stopping for me....rather they were just looking at me like, "Uh, move." So I got a picture of the side of her head (not recognizable) and this adorable Hispanic woman came up to me and loudly asked me as Martha was walking by in earshot, "Who is here?!?" I point and say, "That's her right there." "Who?" "Martha" "Martha who?" "Martha Stewart" "Oh, I don't know." She was truly the highlight.

If Martha had walked in 5 seconds earlier she would have heard me talking about how much she annoys me and how not worth waiting for this picture was. But, despite my pride I have to admit, when it comes to a celebrity I get just as giddy and excited as most of the general public....then try to act like I don't care.

My impression? She's much taller and thinner than she appears on TV (of course) and she wears an incredible amount of makeup (of course).

Oh, and be sure to look for my thighs on channel 9 news. I was standing behind Martha looking through the window while they were interviewing her (she was sitting) and it didn't occur to me that the camera was rolling. Oh boy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Sick" day

I woke up at 5:00am yesterday morning to Josh running into our room from the computer, diving onto the bed and exclaiming, "I not go to school!" in his cute little boy voice. So that was that. Everything was already done. The sub was hired, plans were made and the day off was official. He did have a lot of work to do on his master's class but that didn't stop us from acting like it was any other Saturday. We layed around, had a big breakfast, played A LOT of Sudoku (addictive, don't start) and finally cranked up the Christmas music classics and put up the tree.

It really was a fun day, and even though he had to stay up late to get all his work done we fell asleep with the glow and sparkle of our first Christmas tree as a family of three.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lanier Update

For those of you who haven't heard, beautiful Karis Faye Lanier peeked her head into the world (rather she was pushed, pulled and everything else) at 2:08pm this afternoon. She was a whopping 9 lbs 7 oz and 21 1/2 inches long....big girl!!! She has cute curly brown hair and blue-gray eyes....she's going to be a heartbreaker.

Stacey was such a trooper and is doing fine.....exhausted but fine. It was really cool to watch her just so naturally transition into being a nurturing, loving mom. She was definitely made for this. I'll let them give the detailed update with pictures, but I am a proud aunt and couldn't help but share.

Thank you, Jesus for a beautiful, healthy, strong niece and godly, elated, sleep deprived parents.

Check their blog for updates here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Nativity Story

Has anyone seen this movie??? I haven't and admit to having low expectations, but this morning I was reading on "girl talk" (a blog by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters/in law) about their experience going to see it and it made me a bit curious. Here's an exerpt:

To borrow the words of Dr. Al Mohler from his review: “The movie faithfully presents the main thrust of the Christmas story. That is no small achievement. The movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, takes some liberties with the biblical accounts found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Nevertheless, the invented scenes and dialogue do not distract from the biblical storyline.”

The Nativity Story also proved to be very moving. It only took about thirty seconds before I was wiping my eyes. I found myself affected once again by the events surrounding my Savior’s birth. He entered this world with a glaring absence of celebration and fanfare: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) It’s a rare occasion when a movie provides such a sweet reminder.

Watch the trailor here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

First Christmas Practice

So I've decided that we will all wear reindeer antlers for our Christmas card this year (Josh is a little less than thrilled). I found these cute little head bands at the dollar store and thought how bad can it be...they were a buck! And Isaiah's light up!

I thought it might be good to get Isaiah used to the idea before we actually take the pictures and here's what I got. Hard to tell how he feels about it.

I probably should wait to tell Josh about the picture I saw of a family who had their kids all dress up in heavy coats, mittens and tobogans, and stick their tongues to a pole like Ralphie in The Christmas Story. I'll save that for next year.