Today is March 30th and we are in the middle of a pandemic. Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about the Coronavirus. The real tragedy to me, is the fear that has gripped the world.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!!
But a better festival for today is to celebrate Ryan’s birthday! In 2009, when he was 16yrs old, he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. We were surprised to find a mass located behind his nose.
The treatment instructions included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Ryan decided he would have the surgery, but said, “NO” to chemo or radiation. His grandmother went through adverse effects, during her treatments. He didn’t want any part of that.
The team of doctors did not agree with Ryan’s choices of no chemo or radiation, fearing for his life. With extreme, sternness the doctor pointed his finger in Ryan’s face and said, “if you do not have chemo and radiation, you will be dead within 2 year!” I was shocked at the boldness of this doctor.
FEAR IS A KILLER
I was angry at his brashness, but never once succumbed to fear. We walked out of the room and Ryan said, “don’t worry, Mom. He obviously doesn’t know God.” At his words, my annoyance immediately faded. I replied, “well Ryan, you are absolutely correct.”
The meeting that day encouraged me to do my own research. It is always important to be an informed patient and it helps to make the best possible decisions for one’s self and care. I found that no matter the treatment options, the prognosis was approximately 2yrs and that was being generous.
The Lord whispered in my spirit ever so sweetly, HE asked me, “who’s report will you believe?” The passage of scripture from Isaiah 53, that I memorized at 10 years old, welled up inside me. From deep within my spirit, I said out loud, “Your report, Lord and it says Ryan is healed!” There was no other alternative.
That day, I made a large banner to put up in our home. It flowed around the living room and was bold enough to be the first thing noticed upon walking through the front door. The headline read:
I SHALL NOT DIE, BUT LIVE, AND DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD! —– PSALM 118:17
I refused to give in to fear! I told Brad that I wanted him to help me police our home! There was to be NOTHING negative in regards to this diagnosis and giving up was NEVER an option.
Ryan did have the surgery and there were a couple of hurdles to overcome regarding the surgical procedure. The team of doctors continued to voice their concerns, but chemo and radiation remained out of the question. After my exploration of the prognosis, I decided that Ryan was capable of making an adult choice for himself and I would stand by his preferences.
Fast forward to today, 11 years later and in the middle of a pandemic, we are still celebrating the goodness of God! We are passionate that HE is still the healer! The Bible says that “the thief (the devil) comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I (Jesus) have come to give life more abundantly and filled to the full!” (John 10:10)
The words FEAR NOT are mentioned in the Bible over 90 times. Jesus knew that fear was real, but wanted to keep reminding us to put our trust in Him. Jesus heals cancer and coronavirus!
Whenever my mom walked into her house, she would always say, “home again, home again, jiggity, jig, jig!” She enjoyed her home. It didn’t matter how far she might wander, this was her safe haven.
I have come to appreciate the same. We returned a few days ago from our annual family vacation. As many of you may already know, we take a yearly excursion to the ONE MARRIAGE CONFERENCE at FreeChapel, in Gainesville, Georgia.
Our family takes this time to reconnect with one another. This year we had 11 adults, 2 toddlers, and one 3-month old all under one roof! Y’all may call it chaos, we call it family (and FUN).
It comes complete with it’s challenges, but tell me another tribe that doesn’t.
I adore my clan AND I cherish the time we spend together! But just like Dorothy said, in The Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home!”
Today is Brande and Tim’s anniversary! Our middle daughter and son-in-love. Sometimes love finds you in unexpected ways.
Not too many years ago, it wasn’t easy to enter the world of dating. But now, all it takes is a click. That’s it! Break out the computer and you enter a whole new world!
With Internet sites like Farmers Only Dot Com (yes I spelled it out on purpose, and now you’re singing the commercial, lol! Don’t worry, I hate it too), eHarmony, and plethora of others, finding a significant other is literally at your fingertips.
Today I am thankful that some of these exist, although I realize the dangers involved as well. This is how these two favorites of mine met! God can use any tool HE chooses to formulate the plans HE has for us!
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
On February 24, 2020 our family visited Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill. This has become a favorite on our yearly vacation. There have been times when the food has been better than others.
This trip, we already had great expectations and they were all surpassed!
Between the 11 adults present, we tried a bit of everything from the beloved Cuban sandwich to the Churrasco steak. (Side note: ‘churrasco’ means steak in Spanish and is the word used for “grilled beef”.)
David is fluent in Spanish, so we were able to order without the language barrier. He had questions thrown at him from all sides, but we all know he enjoys that environment.
WHERE ARE THE MARIQUITAS?
We had to get Mariquitas, but no one could find them on the menu. David came to the rescue and soon we had 5 plates on the way.
I had the Palomilla Steak Salad. I was keeping it partly keto, but admittedly the mariquitas are not on the list. Hey don’t judge! It’s only one time per year and I have NOT been the most strict recently. (More on that later.)
Oh my it was very good! I tried a little bit of everyone’s food. (Again, don’t judge, this is something we do in our family.) The Cuban sandwich was “melt in your mouth”.
The Churrasco came with chimichurri sauce. It has lime which I am not a fan of. However, the lime was not overpowering and added a nice touch.
A couple of the kids got ‘Masitas De Puerco’, which is a pork dish. I have been moving away from pork, but this was cooked and seasoned ever so nicely.
DID YOU SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT?
We even splurged for dessert this trip. Have you ever tried Mango Cheesecake and did you even know there was such a thing? What?
Ok, I’m going to stop right there and say the cheesecake was interesting. It wasn’t bad at all, but I don’t know if I would order it again. The mango twist was different.
All in all, Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill was a huge hit with our tribe and we would highly recommend it, if you happen to be in the Lawrenceville, Georgia area.
The Lord has been putting on my heart the importance of prayer and being specific. Many times I find myself in situations where I don’t know what to pray for a person. Almost every single time, I realize that the following scripture applies. So I pray the Word.
It is impossible to go wrong when praying the Word of God! If you find yourself in this same dilemma, I challenge you to see how this fits for yourself.
Father God, I thank you for (insert your specific person’s name here), and I pray that You grant them a spirit of wisdom and revelation of insight into mysteries and secrets in the deep and intimate knowledge of Jesus. Flood their heart with light, that they may know and understand the hope to which You have called them and how rich Your glorious inheritance is. May they come to know and understand what is the immeasurable, unlimited, and surpassing greatness of Your power in and for us who believe! In Jesus name!
Taken from Ephesians 1:17-19
It’s been a few weeks and we are in full blown vacation mode! Have you ever been close to that “day”, ready for those designated days off and just – BAM! – your mind is mush? Or at the very least that is the way it feels.
I need a little angel to run around with me to make sure everything gets accomplished accordingly or a note with step by step instructions, that God-forbid, I would have to remember to actually read.
This is how the end of my January month plays out and has been for the last 10+ years and wouldn’t you know it?! We are there again! It is that time of year!
February is right around the corner! And what that means for us, is that annual family vacation time! I was out with the girls and Dalton last night and we were talking about how we get in that mindset – January is here and we all start talking it up. Then the chatter fades, but only for a moment.
So today, the countdown begins as there are SO many things that must be accomplished before checking out!