Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've joined the twilight craze (4/30/9

I joined the twilight craze. I read Twilight about a month ago and requested New Moon from the library. Well, I ran out of patience in waiting and am no where near the top of the hold list so I spontaneously purchased the book at Target. I stayed up all night on Monday night reading it. By Tuesday afternoon, I had purchased the rest of the series on I have been stalking my account waiting patiently and it shipped today.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What do turtles and masks have in common?

I once had a very close friend who gave me a turtle necklace and told me "You are like a turtle.  Soft on the inside, tough on the outside."  That friend was absolutely correct.  I hide behind my shell.  Often I think of it as a mask.   We can put on our happy face and hide behind a mask at any time.

So often, I hide my true feelings from the world.  I put on my happy face and act as if all is right in the world.  Typically, that is when I appear to most people to be tremendously high strung and scattered because I am working so hard to be cheerful that I can barely function or cope.  I chatter and ramble and giggle and jump from subject to subject.  Then, when the mask falls off, I am so physically exhausted, I can barely manage.  

That is how I feel right now. I faked it today and now I am drained.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.   I can't even say more about this I am so tired.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Runners - are you a Mary or Martha?

As I lay out my running clothes for the morning, I thought. . . runners . . . we're all runners.  We're all running the human race.  We all get the same amount of time each day.  Sixty seconds a minute, sixty minutes an hour, twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty five minutes a year.  How are you using your time?

Are you sitting at Jesus feet or are you rushing around doing His work? 

My friend and I are studying the Book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, and I am convicted.  After sitting at Jesus feet, we become equipped to do His work.  But what do I do?  I just rush out and do the work.  That's who I am - Jodi, the impulsive.  I am always in a hurry and I figit almost constantly.  So many times, I imagine Jesus is beckoning me but my nose is to the grindstone and I don't even notice.   I want to slow down.  One of the ways I am going to slow down is by USING my planner.  Using my todo list.  When my brain starts to spin, I am going to WRITE IT DOWN and FORGET IT.   

I want so badly to spent plenty of time sitting at Jesus feet and soaking in HIS presence.  Resting in His glory, casting my burdens upon Him. Unfortunately, many mornings lately, the time I spend with my Bible and in prayer is just something to check off and say "I did it"-- I read the Bible and prayed today.     I am going to make a conscious effort to have a Mary Heart!


The Calling of Emily Evans and SonshineMama

The Calling of Emily Evans by Janette Oke is a favored novel of mine.  It reminds me always that when we are obedient to Jesus, that we can find true contentment.

When I was a young girl, I felt a call to be a missionary.   After that, it seemed the call diminished and I felt pressed to pray for those in full time ministry but not to go myself.  In supporting several missionaries with prayer, I realized how the importance of a prayer ministry.  As the years flew by, life moved a direction that wasn't particularly expected for me.  But in recent years, the Lord has placed us in a position of ministry.  I have had so many people tell me that our journey through childhood cancer has impacted their lives.    I have begun to realize that we have an amazing opportunity to share our faith with people through Luke's journey.  We can choose to use it for Jesus' glory or we can walk away.  

Yesterday at church, our Pastor talked about employment and said we work for Jesus.  That no matter what we do, it's for the glory of God.   It's a great reminder to us that we ALL are in full time ministry.  Whom will you serve day in day out at your job?   Whether you are a SAHM, a WAHM, a full time minister, a carpenter,  in HR, or in transportation, GOD is your employer.  

Joshua 24:15  "choose this day whom you will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Everytime I breathe

Today I heard this song for the first time in a few months, and I felt myself instantly transported into the presence of the Lord.  One minute, I was thinking about SkaterSurvivor Boy's headaches and the next I felt I was sitting at the feet of Jesus'.   Instantaneously, the troubles of this world evaporated as I imagined breathing in the scent of our Savior.  

16 months and 9 days ago, I called Shawn from the hospital after an ultrasound confirmed our baby had died in utero.  His ring tone at the time was Big Daddy Weave's Everytime I Breathe.  In the moments before he answered, I listened to the refrain and began to weep.  I felt instantly as if the Lover of my Soul had reached down and touched me.   Today for the first time while listening to that song, I told Shawn how much his ring tone had meant to me that day.  

Now, every time I hear this song, I remember!  It will forever be a reminder to me that Jesus loves us more than we can fathom even when it seems like times are tough.  

If you watch the You Tube I linked to above, you will see that Big Daddy Weave is not performing for us but performing for Jesus.  That is what I want my life to be - not a performance for those around me but for an Audience of One.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Funk

 Lately, I have been very testy with my children.  Somehow I cannot manage to get out of a spring funk :(  and everything they do (or don't do) is annoying me.  

Ironically, I woke up at 4:30am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep and in those wee hours of the morning, I realized that it's ME that is the problem not them.  It's important for me to remember my supplements and my homeopathy for anxiety and I've not been doing that.  BUT it's more important for me to be constantly putting my feelings of anger onto the shoulders of Jesus.    And I haven't been doing that either.  

As a parent, I have been convicted to NOT discipline if it causes me to sin.  What do I mean by that?  What I mean is that if I can't correct my child  without sinning myself, I ignore their behavior.  BUT that doesn't always happen.  There are times lately, I have been ranting and raving about their behavior, not realizing that how I am acting is WAY worse than what they did.    And I HATE the whole "you made me feel angry" or worse "if you hadn't done X, I wouldn't have to be yelling at you".  I am constantly reminding my children that no one Makes you feel or behave a certain way.  Emotions are feelings and they happen but we CHOOSE how we react to them.    We don't have to get angry.  And if I were really resting in the spirit, I would respond to all of their actions in kindness or gentleness.  I don't see anywhere in Galations that anger is a fruit of the spirit.  So, my conviction:  If I can't be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle or self controlled, don't do it.  Of course, not being perfect, I struggle mightily with this.  

Galations 5:22-23  "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is NO LAW.  (emphasis mine ;P )  What is love?  I don't buy the tough love thing.  I go to the Bible and 1 Corinthians 13.  
Truly, though, I am heartbroken to think that my sin has hurt them.  Yet I am reminded, life is what you make of it.  (and yes, I made a link to Hannah Montana for my sweet RainbowGirl who loves her music).  How does this apply to life being what you make of it-- I am going to take the opportunity to show my children what true repentance and restitution means.   What a great lesson for them to learn that when someone is repentant for their actions, they often find a way to make restitution.  This concept has been mostly lost in modern life but we practice it at home a lot.  My kids probably have no clue what restitution is but they know it as "when you are ready to make it right".  

I am also going to start discussing more in detail the fruits of the spirit and what they look like after Easter.  I want to finish up the life of Jesus readings we have been doing before moving into that.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who am I?

Last night, we watched Marley and Me -- we liked it a lot.  I suppose you must be a parent of small children and a dog lover/owner to enjoy it.   The one scene that keeps echoing in my soul is when  Jennifer Aniston was at the end of her rope and stressed with being a SAHM -- she talks about suddenly waking up in the midst of raising your children wondering who you've become.  It's a question that keeps raising its head on me since watching The bucket list a few weeks ago.    Warning:  spoiler -- In this movie, Morgan Freeman is diagnosed terminal cancer.  In one scene he talks about how after decades of marriage, when his children were grown, he suddenly looked at his spouse and wonder where the person is that you married and then looked to himself and wondered who he was.

In both movies, the similar  scene shouted at me a reminder. . .people get so busy with life and the daily grind that they forget who they were and how they got where they were!  Usually, our passions and our beliefs drive us through life; we make decisions based on what we like, what we believe and who we are.  But often, in our quest to fulfill our passions and beliefs, we get lost in the shuffle and go through each day on autopilot doing what we need to do to "get things done".  

I don't want to do that. This blog was opened partially to remember the person I am.  Not the wife, the mother, the daughter, the sister, the granddaugher, but JODI.   God has blessed me with so many gifts and passions, yet I don't talk about them.  Thankfully, I still do many of them.  Yet I don't celebrate them.  I do them and move on.  I want to remember . . . I want to go through mid life without crisis.  I want to have a "midlife celebration".  I want to celebrate who God made me. . . my warts, my wrinkles. . . my passions, my talents.

I want to be sure to be careful not to focus so much on my family that I forget who I am.  I don't want to wake up 50 and ask myself "where did Jodi Go?"  And quite honestly, our life has been a blur the past 4 years.  

Tonight, on the way home, Shawn and I were alone in my dad's car.  The kids were shopping with my parents, and we were talking about how we'd love to have never experienced childhood cancer.  But then we were talking and would we?  We are so different.  the people we have become are the people we prefer to be.   I don't want to be the person I was 4 years ago.  We are so much more God focused, so much more focused on living. . . LIVING . . . LIVING!  
What I mean is that we live with this cliche in mind.  "Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift that is why we call it the PRESENT."  However, I would change that to say, we appreciate the gift of today while living with our EYE on the future. . . planning, hoping, preparing for tomorrow.  While we remember yesterday and try to learn from it.   

So that is what I will do. . . LIVE for today, remember yesterday, plan for tomorrow and celebrate my family and myself. . . today's thought is. . . God made me Jodi. . . what are my gifts?  What are my thoughts?  I want to be the best Jodi I can be.  God help me.

Third day's revelation is very helpful right now to me  "Give me revelation, show me what to do, I've been trying to find my way, but I haven't got a clue".  That is how I often feel. . . I haven't got a clue.  Guide me, mold me make me!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sonshine, Rain and Rainbows! (about the name of this blog)

This blog will be a place for me to process life.  I am finding lately that I am struggling to manage my feelings about things and to get them out in a healthy way.  Life gets to be heavy and I wanted a reminder that life is all about  Sonshine, Rain and Rainbows!

Sonshine - no that is not a typo - shining Jesus' love which continues to be my primary goal in life!  

Rain. . . yes, it's there, it comes, it sometimes hurts . . . .

Rainbow is the promise that we won't be destroyed - that God is always there and will never leave us or forsake us.

You may be asking yourself - what does she know about Rain?  Well, I know some.  Not as much as others but more than many. . . I have experienced death and death of dreams, health problems in our children . . .  . I recently read that sometimes the death of a dream is one of the most painful deaths you can experience -- almost as difficult as the death of a loved one or more. . Not sure about that yet. . that may be a blog in inself.  

I am willing to share a few of the specific times of rain I have gone through.  I don't want to share too much in my first entry ;) . . . the first difficult really time my hubby and I faced (that I am willing to blog about that is LOL) was when our beautiful sweet firstborn was diagnosed with a heart defect.  We thought the world had ended.  Sometimes I chuckle at this though. . . A's heart defect is benign right now - a bicuspid aortic valve.  It will eventually need repairing but it could be anytime now or in the next few decades. .. . 

I would say the most difficult time my little family has gone through was when our precious 3.5 year old son was diagnosed with cancer in 2005.   Almost 4 years ago he was diagnosed and as of today, he has been in full remission AND OFF CHEMO for 16 months! Praise God.

Right now, we are past the rain and in the rainbow phase of cancer.  But we are still clinging to the rainbow because life after cancer hasn't been all peaches and cream.  Nope, it's been tough in some ways but not all bad.  But we always have the reminder of God's promise and prescence.  When life gets tough, I just look up and remember that Jesus, lover of my soul is there and holding me tight in his hands.

Through the rain and the rainbows, one of my favorite sayings has become-- When life hands you lemons, don't just make lemonade, make lemon bars!