The “rabbit hole”

I couldn’t tell you the exact moment that my husband made that reference to me, but it has become a recurring theme between us.

In early 2015, our marriage took a sharp turn, straight south. We tried counseling, doing more things together but nothing seemed to change. Our marriage stayed that way until September 2016, when it completely blew apart, at that moment we had to make a decision ~ do we stay and fight for our marriage or do we walk away?

Obviously we chose to stay and fight for our marriage. My husband decided to delete all his social media accounts and I look a bit of time off from them to focus on not only my marriage, but myself as well.

We both realized that we had walked away from our Lord, were so unhappy in our marriage and pretty much living for the world, we were looking everywhere else for our happiness instead of each other. It was devastating to us how far we had let ourselves fall. Instead of loving and building each other up, we were nasty and tearing each other down with our words and our actions. We definitely were not acting like the Christians we had proclaimed to be back in the summer of 2006 when we were baptized by immersion after having accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Since then we have been working on putting the pieces of our marriage and our lives back together. 2 years later and I don’t feel like I am any further along than I was that September day in 2016. I have had my moments where I think I’m moving forward and my marriage is getting better but then something happens and I retreat, or in another word, I fall down the rabbit hole. Sometimes I fall way down that hole and I become bitter and angry, and I stay there for a really long time. My words and actions become my weapons and they are aimed at one person only….my husband. Unfortunately, my children get caught in the crossfire as well.

A couple of weeks ago I had a break. It seemed like EVERYTHING was coming down on me at once. Everywhere I turned, my life was crumbling around me. My family was falling apart and I was helpless. I woke the next day determined to do something about it. It was time to seriously work on myself, my marriage, my family, not only that but my anger and bitterness towards the past, the deep bone crushing hurts, the hurts that will forever leave scars.

I dived right in with the work. I knew it was gonna be hard and it was gonna hurt but I needed to do this in order to stay out of the rabbit hole, that hole I kept allowing the enemy of my soul to lead me down. Besides my daily bible readings (I’m reading thru the Bible in one year again), I have two devotionals I read every day, one by Oswald Chambers and the other by Paul David Tripp. But then I added a book I have had for quite some time that I have never read. It’s called Loving God with all your mind by Elizabeth George. Every day I tackle 2-3 chapters and take lots of notes. As I have read and absorbed what I was learning, I have also been applying them to my life. I have watched God move, I have felt the Holy Spirit and I have noticed changes in my thoughts and mindset. This book has given me tools and I have been using them, especially when I sense the enemy leading me towards the rabbit hole. There are days when I feel the enemy closing in, especially as the tears start to flow, but I straighten up, lift my chin and say “not today Satan. That is not true or real, I bind you in the name of Jesus”! When I focus on the moment, not the past, I keep myself from falling down the rabbit hole.

I have a new book I’m gonna start as soon as I’m done with this book. My pastor had it sent to me. It is Victory over the darkness by Neil T. Anderson. Excited to start that book and truly find the victory that I am needing and craving so desperately. After that is the new book by Lysa Terkeurst, It’s not suppose to be this way, that just released last week. Along with continuing to read scripture and applying them daily to my life, I will see victory. In the meantime I keep just plugging away one moment at a time because honestly that is all we have. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has worries of its own, so we have right here, right now, THIS moment! Make it count!!

Make it count!! How will you spend today? What will you do to make it count?

Again, if you want to chat feel free to contact me! I would love to connect with you!

Until then….

Make it count TODAY for Jesus!

His eternally,

Cathi

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9 years

Today marks a page in my story!!! Today my life and my family’s lives forever changed.

November 2, 2009

9 years.

I can still remember what I was doing that day, even where I was standing in my house when the phone started to ring. I didn’t even have time to process the news because I was getting ready to head to town to teach piano lessons. I don’t think it really hit me until I was done teaching and heading home. Even then I don’t think it really hit me. It was like when someone you love dies…..you go into shock. You’re numb and can’t really process anything. I was in a fog…disbelief.

50/50 shot at remission. Statistics said my life expectancy was 18-24 months……

Stage 4 breast cancer…..

I was terminal…..

The odds were stacked against me….

My children were only 14, 9, 6 1/2 and 5 1/2.

We had just started this exciting adventure of homeschooling….8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and kindergarten. I didn’t have time to be sick, let alone die.

I was only 35, my husband 33. We had only been married 11 years.

My hopes and dreams were shattered. I would never see my children grow up, watch them get married, I’d never get to meet my grandchildren or grow old with my husband. My heart was broken, not only for myself but for my family. My husband and children especially.

But after a period of grieving, I vowed I was gonna fight, I was gonna research like crazy and I wasn’t gonna back down until I had exhausted every last option out there.

My faith was so strong and so sure that God was gonna get me thru. And no matter what happened He was going to get all the glory. My one small plead from the start was this: “please let me raise my babies, just let me raise them until they graduate.”

We have been in the valley and on the mountain top. We have had good years and bad years. We have had jaw dropping scans and we have had heart stopping scans. We have seen treatments end, and drugs dropped. We have watched my body deteriorate from the harshness of the drugs. We have fought tooth and nail individually and with the oncologist to get the treatment I desperately needed. There were times we didn’t think I was gonna make it.

We have begged for certain treatments and we have pleaded for more time. God in His wisdom and love has given us both.

Today my children are 23, 18, 15 1/2 and 14 1/2. Two have graduated from high school, One has graduated from college and one is in college and my youngest two are in high school. I am 44, my husband 42 and we just celebrated 20 years of marriage last month.

My faith has been weakened by circumstances allowed into my story a couple of years ago, but I am working my way back and am determined to get my faith strong again. My relationship with Christ back to where it used to be and where I want it be again.

You know why??? Because He (Jesus) has been faithful, merciful, sovereign and loving when I have been unfaithful, ruthless and unloving towards Him. He has never left my side, never forsaken me, has never not answered my prayers. I want to return to my first love. Which means rededicating my life to Him. Surrendering MY will for HIS will.

Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

9 years!!!!

Medically speaking, I shouldn’t be here anymore. Spiritually speaking, I’m here until God says. He is the Great Physician. All my days were ordained before I was even born. He wrote this journey into my story. I am His vessel, He is my guide.

When the circumstances of life wear you down and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When another setback hits you and you cry out again “why me?!?!”

When your child turns away from the morals and values you instilled in them as a child and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When your marriage starts to crumble or your spouse walks away and you cry out “why me?!?!”

When you are standing on the edge of that precipice, looking down, crying out “why me?!?! What did I ever do to deserve this crap I’ve been given?!?!”

ask yourself this: Why not me?!?!?!

Why NOT you?!?!?

We all have heavy burdens we carry, but we were never meant to carry them alone. Jesus wants to help. Intertwined in our stories are cracks, those cracks have come from God breaking us so we will see our need for Him.

He has broken me more than I care to realize…..so I will work to take my focus off me and lean on Him and His will. He has brought circumstances into my life and marriage so that I will turn my focus back to Him, seek Him with all my heart, and allow Him to be glorified in the process.

So I’m learning to shift my focus from ” why me?” To “why not me?”

Why not me to endure stage 4 breast cancer the past 9 years?

Why not me to endure some gut wrenching troubles in my marriage?

Why not me to have a wayward child?

The list could go on and on, but perhaps these things were given to me so that one day I may be able to help that woman who was recently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer or even stage 4, or the wife who has a hurting marriage, or a mother who has a wayward child. Why not me?!?!?!

It is not for me to question, but it is for me to keep moving forward in faith, trusting the Lord for whatever tomorrow may hold and learning to let go of yesterday, because that can’t be changed. We can’t go back and rewrite history but we can learn from those mistakes or hurts and vow to never let them happen again.

My thoughts are not God’s thoughts and His ways are not my ways. He sees the bigger picture that I can’t. He knows what tomorrow will bring. I must trust Him with my past, present and future. Along with that, I must trust that my past was given to me by God for a specific purpose.  Some days it is very hard to let that past go and trust God for the future and all that He has planned for me.

My past has shaped me into who I am today, both in good and bad ways.  Some of those things in my past I wish had never happened to me, but I can’t change them.  Living in the “what if’s” or “if only’s” will never help me move forward, they will forever keep me stuck and struggling with today and the future!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~ Genesis 50:20 NIV

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV

So while I struggle with the circumstances of my life, I continually remember these two bible verses.  Nothing that I have ever gone through in my life is not a surprise to God.  It has all been used for His good and for His purposes.  What was intended for evil, God can and will turn it around for good! Because that is who He is!  He is good all the time and all the time He is good!!

So today I am grateful that God has blessed me with 9 years living with stage 4 breast cancer.  9 years to watch my children get older!  9 years to grow older with my husband!  9 years to watch a couple of kids graduate from high school! 9 years! 9 years!

Will I be here next year to celebrate 10 years?  I don’t know, but I do know the One who holds my future in His ever loving hands!  If it is His will, then YES, I will be here next year to celebrate a huge milestone!!!  God willing!!

So if you are struggling with circumstances and can’t seem to get past the “why me?” part, ask yourself “why NOT me?”

If you are struggling with something and want to connect with me, feel free to drop me an email.  Just click the contact me button on my blog!  I would love to talk to you!

Until my next blog post may you all be moved by mercy,

Forever His child,

Cathi

Great comfort…..

This was originally posted on my previous blog on Wednesday October 21, 2009.  

Today is the day. The “big” day. Today I get to go and get lit up a like a Christmas Tree. I am not looking forward to this PET/CT scan today, but I know that this is the next step in getting to the bottom of the pain I am experiencing. I have had great comfort the last couple of days. Yesterday I went in spurts. I was good, then I was down and crying, then I was good again, then I was crying again. In the midst of it, God always stepped in at the right moment. My Christian mentor, Pat, called at just the right time yesterday in the middle of a meltdown as my children were down for some “rest time”! I was reading my bible, my devotional and praying when the tears overcame me. The phone rang and it was Pat. It was 7 minutes of pure comfort. She told me to remember back to the day that I accepted Christ. Remember what I saw and how I felt. She told me to remember that God never gives us more than we can handle. She reminded me that there was a reason for this, and to keep my focus on Him. When I hung up, I went back to my room and laid down. I went back to that day in 2006 when I accepted Christ. I remembered what I saw and how I felt. I was overcome with peace. I could see Him standing there with His arms stretched out to me. He took me in His arms and I was comforted. I cried some more and all I kept hearing was “it will all be ok, I am here”. I was talking to Jason about my day as he made dinner last night and I started to cry again. He said to me “ya know, it is okay to cry”. That was helpful. I was talking to my best friend yesterday afternoon and I was telling her, “all I keep asking is why me? why not someone else? I don’t want this but not that I would wish this on anyone else either, but why me?” She response was “I understand that feeling, and I would say that also but I would also be saying “why not me?” So “why not me?”, God has something up His sleeve with all of this. My children are closer, as are Jason and I. We have had some great bonding time together these last several months. As another friend reminded me….this could be Him preparing us for such a time as this. We will get through this, we will survive no matter what the test shows. I am comforted knowing that God is in control and while I don’t want to endure this again, I have such a strong faith, that He will again see me through this too, if I indeed have cancer again. Some things I have been given by friends, have come across or read the last few days have helped me tremendously.

Daniel 10:19 says “and he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”(NKJV)

Psalm 91:2 says “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (NKJV)

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (NKJV)

There are many more, but for now that is all I have for you. I trust that the Lord will see me through this. I still have this above my computer “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!!!”. I had that above my computer when I was diagnosed the first time around. I have a stronger faith this time around and I know that no matter what, He is my constant and He will never fail me or my family. I will leave you with this last thing…..this was in my morning devotional today….very appropriate!

“Our unknown future is secure in the hands of our all-knowing God”

Take refuge loved ones in the hands of the Almighty! I have, even in the midst of the storm!!! I love you all deeply!

Cathi

A little background.  This post was around the time that I was beginning the testing to see what was going on inside my body and if my cancer was indeed back.  When I look back at this time and even during my “remission” period, I see what a strong faith I had, oh how great it was back then.  It was so strong and I was so determined to be God’s vessel and allow Him to use me in anyway He deemed fit.  While I still have my faith, I admit, it is not nearly as deep and more days than not I feel that God is far away from me. Even though Scripture tells me He will never leave me nor forsake me.  Life has been a struggle for me the past several years and so many days I want that strong, determined “born again” faith that I had then back.  It is up to me to get it back and work hard to get back to that mindset and heart set.  Some days it is just easier for me to be angry and bitter at all that has been thrown at me and wonder what did I do to deserve all that has happened to me during the course of my life.  It is something that I wrestle with DAILY!  Lately, in all honesty, I have pretty much thrown in the towel.  Given up….even when I hear the Lord speak to my weary soul….I still just continue to be stuck in the ruts of life.  In my selfishness and rebellion.  Thinking that life would be better this way….lost, broken and weary.  Writing this brings to mind a beautiful song by Casting Crowns that has really been an anthem to my broken heart many days. I won’t include the lyrics because they are part of the video.  I encourage you to click the link and take a listen to this beautiful song!  I know that I am not alone and that Jesus is catching every single one of my tears, He is carrying me when I am at my lowest and can’t take one more step and He is beckoning me to come back….oh how my soul longs for that deep intimate relationship once more!  Oh Lord….come quickly!  

Oh my soul by Casting Crowns

Until next time loved ones…..

Cathi

1 year…..

It never ceases to amaze me how fast life clicks along!  1 year ago today….we said goodbye to our house in the country and our animals (cats) and moved on to a new adventure in town.  This past year has been one of joy, struggles and juggling so many activities into each day!

We broke ground on our house July 3, 2017 and moved into it on February 1, 2018.  It was a long build, but one that I will never forget!  I am happy where I am and this season in my life!  I never thought that I would like living in town, don’t get me wrong, I miss the peacefulness of the country, but I am loving the convenience of things.  When I stand in a room or lay my head down at night, I don’t think about my other home any longer.  I love this new home and all that it will provide for us in the next 5 years while we raise the last of our children here. The memories that have already been created here and the news ones that will come!

Along with the move and all the changes that brought, this is also the 1 year anniversary of when I started this blog (which was technically July 2, 2017) and I have only had 21 posts over the past year!  While I would like that to be a lot larger number, it is not.  So I must figure out what to blog about or what to share!  So I thought for the remainder of the year (2018), I would share some old blog posts from my other blog site and from my caringbridge site too, along with new posts as well (I hope anyways).

So here’s to many more years of blogging and sharing my life and the life of those I hold near and dear to my heart!  Have a blessed Saturday evening!!!

Until next time and Lord willing,

Cathi

Broken and Beautiful 🙏🏻🎶

****I wrote this post on January 6, 2018 but never published it. Thought I would share it now, kind of falls in with my surrender post from the other day.****

There’s a song of that title by Mark Schultz. It is one of my many favorite Christian music songs and it so rings true to what I am feeling tonight.

Broken……

Oh how well I know that broken road, I have traveled it many times over the past 43 years of my life. But two of the most significant times that my world has been shattered or the rug was yanked right out from under me, it has been the only way God could get my attention. He broke me……completely broke me so that I would finally realize my need for Him. The first time was shortly before I came to Christ and was born again. The second time it was to again get my attention to who I was being, how I was treating my marriage and my children and to make me see how far off the narrow road I had truly fallen. It is when we get to the end of that rope, with nowhere left to go, that we truly surrender our own will, our own selfish desires, our own “it’s my way or the highway” behaviors. You let go of that rope, fall into the arms of Jesus, and surrender it all to Him. Does that mean that suddenly because you are “born again” or a “Christ follower” that you are perfect or that you will have an easy life??? Goodness no! We are all sinners saved by God’s amazing grace. We are a work in progress every single day. We will never achieve perfection this side of heaven. But we work hard every day to be the best version of Christ we can be. To allow His love and His mercy to flow thru us to others around us. He never said life would be easy but He did promise an eternal reward for our faithfulness, Heaven. During times of brokenness you need to find peace and forgiveness. Peace for yourself and forgiveness towards those who have hurt you in some way. You don’t have to verbally tell them you forgive them because there are many who don’t want your forgiveness because they feel they have done nothing wrong. Max Lucado said it best ” Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.” Anger, resentment and bitterness can all start to build up when you hold on to the things of the past, when you finally forgive someone, you are the one being set free!!!! You are free from that anger, resentment and bitterness. You wish the person well in their life and you are finally truly free!!!!

Beautiful……

With that brokenness comes something beautiful. God takes the most broken messes and makes an amazingly beautiful masterpiece. You see, no matter our past, the sins we have committed, our background or even the family we were born into, it doesn’t matter to Him. He came to save us all. From the high priest to the murderer in the prison system. But you have to come to that brokenness first and then accept His free gift of salvation, because that is when God can really do His best work. He came to turn us all white as snow. We are always beautiful in His eyes. ALWAYS!!!!

Here is the link to the music video. Broken and Beautiful I encourage you to click on it and listen to the message.

So what is the purpose of my post at 3am?!?!? Well nothing really. Just that I am feeling the after effects of my recent brokenness. I swear some days it is harder to bear and other days it doesn’t cross my mind until late in the day. I can’t say that there isn’t a day when something doesn’t trigger the memory, because it does. I am learning to lean into Christ more, say a little prayer and lay it at the cross. One moment at a time.

In service to Him,

Cathi

Surrender

Today’s post is about surrender.

Webster’s dictionary defines surrender as this:

transitive verb

1. a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or

demand * surrendered the fort

b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2. a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b : to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)

intransitive verb

: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield

This is a hard one for me because it means I must give up control. Control of my life, my husband, my marriage, my children, my family, my friends, the list could go on and on. I must give up control or that burden I’m carrying and surrender it at the foot of the cross. Every moment of every day, whatever is eating away at my mind, my soul, my heart, I must continue to surrender it.

This isn’t just a daily thing but a moment by moment thing. When the enemy comes at me and reminds me of something, I have 2 options.

1. I can dwell on it

2. I can surrender it

Sadly and to be honest, option 1. is what I choose. I can dwell on something for long periods of time, replaying all different scenarios to see if the ending would be different. Sadly, that is never the case because we can’t rewrite the past. I know this, my heart knows this but there is a constant battle with my mind to accept this reality.

I am having a difficult time with one of my children. For me it is hard because I DO NOT want them to have the kind of relationships that I have had all my life with my siblings. I DO NOT want to have that same kind of mother/child relationship with them that I had with Linda. I want my children to be there for each other, support each other and love each other no matter what has been said or done in the past. I also want that same kind of relationship with each one of my children. Unfortunately, it seems like history is repeating itself. So I am learning to surrender this child to the Lord. Every moment, of every day. My husband and I pray for this child every night before we go to sleep. We know God is in the miracle business, so we are asking Him daily for that miracle. Only He can change the hardest of hearts…..Jason and I would know….we have seen His grace and mercy over and over again in our own lives.

Another area I am struggling with surrender is in my marriage. We have seen our share of ups and downs over the years. We have experienced things that have torn us in two and would literally make others walk away, but grace and mercy have kept us together, that along with sheer determination to see thru the hard times. Still, there is one thing in my marriage that I struggle with. One thing that option 1. keeps me hanging on to. This one thing has been THE. BIGGEST. THING. I have ever had to deal with in my marriage. The enemy knows this and he uses it as his greatest weapon against me. He assaults me constantly every single day. The only way to defeat him is by surrendering it at the foot of the cross. Lifting this heavy burden off my shoulders and onto the Lord’s. Relinquishing control…..but I like control….but I don’t like this one area in my marriage. Which means that option 2. is the ONLY answer. I MUST surrender it. I must let it go. I must not dwell on it. Surrender…..yield, let go, give up. Again, I MUST SURRENDER it to the Lord.  Don’t get me wrong some days are the BEST days and some days are the WORST days.  I have been trying to have more of the BEST days than the worst days.  Satan knows where I am weakest and he uses any and all weapons in his arsenal to bring me down.  If I’m not careful, I can stay down for DAYS….yes DAYS and every so often it turns into WEEKS.  This is an area in my life I am NOT proud of and wish with all my heart that I didn’t have to deal with.  Those family chains have got me bound.  It is NOT an excuse, it just explains why I deal with things the way that I do.  I am good at playing games, I watched the best game player my whole life, my mother (I don’t even like referring to her as that, sad I know but that is how I feel about her).  She has even been quoted as saying “She is the best at it, so she WINS!”  So while I do my best to navigate the waters and learn to not given in to those old tactics, I do, unfortunately!  Ask my husband…..I still play those games to this day, even though I know better.  I just haven’t figured out a better way to get past those lies the enemy puts in my mind and how to deal with them in a better and more constructive way.  It is something that I am working on….ever so slowly.  I’m trying…..I really am.

Is there something you are struggling with every day?  Is there something that you need to surrender at the foot of the cross?  I know and believe with all my heart that God wants what is best for us and sometimes He throws in some pretty hard things to get our attention, and to teach us about surrender and letting go.  It does not do you or anyone else for that matter any good to dwell on things that can’t be changed. It is time to move forward….one step at a time….one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog tonight!  I will have another post coming soon, I promise.  I found a post in my drafts tonight that I wrote back in January.  After re-reading it a couple of days ago when I started this post (yes, it took me a couple of days to write this), I couldn’t understand why I never posted it.  So after a little editing this weekend, I am hoping to publish it by Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Until next time…..

Godspeed,

Cathi

Mother’s Day 2018

I have been quiet on here for some time. Life has been crazy busy and still is. Plus I haven’t really had the desire to sit down and pen a post. It is midnight, which means it is officially Mother’s Day. I am lying in bed, listening to my husband’s Cpap machine and his heavy breathing, and I find myself reflecting, actually I have been doing that a lot this week.

So many feelings and mixed emotions going in to this day. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my Creator, Jesus Christ, birthed by Linda and while I no longer have a relationship with her or even talk to her anymore, I am grateful that I was conceived and given life. But that is where it ends. I am not sad that I no longer have a mother, in fact I’m happy that she no longer has control or that hold over me. I am a much better person to myself and especially to those around me since removing her from my life. Those who have had dealings with a narcissist know those kinds of people, but for those that don’t PLEASE don’t judge. This is what’s best for me and my own emotional well being.

I have 4 lovely, beautiful, amazing, and talented children. They have made me a mom for almost 23 years now. They are the reason I get up and continue to fight every day. I love each one of them with every piece of my heart. I do not love one more than the other, I love them all equally. When they hurt, I hurt. When they cry, I cry. I want NOTHING but the best for them. I want them to succeed in life, to make goals and then go after them, work hard for what they have and to take pride in it. I want them to be happy, healthy, stable human beings that make a difference in this world. I want them to pursue what they love and never stop until they accomplish it. I want them to follow Jesus with every ounce of their being. I want them to NEVER settle.

These beautiful humans have been entrusted to me by God, to raise them in His Word, and to help them find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. I have failed Him miserably with this task. I have not been a good mother for many, many years. I have used my words as weapons more than I ever care to admit, and yes I even still do. I am NOT a perfect mother, but I know the One who is and each day I am striving to be better for Him and for my family. Where I am weakest He is strong. When I am down and defeated by the lies of the enemy, God is there whispering in my ear, TRUTH AND LOVE!!!!!! I am teaching myself to be still and listen for His voice. In the words of Samuel “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10).

So this Mother’s Day, I will celebrate my unique and wonderfully made being, love on my children and allow them to love on me as well. I will be thankful for what I have been given and yes I will even try to be thankful for all that has been taken away. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). While I struggle to understand the season I am currently in, Jesus is there reminding me of His grace and His mercy. It is sufficient for a time such as this. My husband reminded me today that what I am going thru and struggling with, Jesus endured it too but even more than me. He has the scars on His hands to prove it. He took my place, He died for me and every other human being he created. He loves me that much. He loves all of us that much.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and cherish even the little moments today. Even if it’s a small handprint left by sticky fingers on the wall. They grow up so quickly. I look at my 4 and still can’t believe how quickly the years have gone. Laugh lots today, love with all you got and allow God to fill every inch of your heart and heal every scar that is there. You were bought for a very high price. His gift is free….you just need to believe and accept His free gift.

I love you all! Happy Mother’s Day to every one of my beautiful extended family members and to my amazingly beautiful friends!!!!!

Until next time…..God be with you 😘😘

In Christ,

Cathi

My 4 beauties. Picture was taken October 2013, by far my favorite picture of them.

Goodbye 2017, hello 2018!!!!

First of all I am grateful for the outpouring of love and support on my last post. The comments, text messages, private messages and phone calls I received in response, reminded me that I am loved by many people and that the reflections of certain people does not and should not define me. So thank you all for coming alongside me and giving me some encouragement! I know who really does love me and support me.

Usually I have a post published on New Year’s Eve but that didn’t happen. I have been spending A LOT of time at the house painting that I didn’t have time for this. So here is my annual year in review and hopes for the new year!!!

2017 wasn’t nearly as bad as 2016, but then again I don’t think I will ever experience another year like 2016, well I pray I don’t anyway, that was awful and should never be experienced more than once in a lifetime!!! As I learned to navigate the ups and downs and wrestle with my demons, I watched certain things grow stronger. And while I am far from perfect in anything, I am learning to navigate the pitfalls that come my way one moment at a time!

Some of the highlights to 2017……Keara finished up her last season of dance. Which means the girls and I had our final all girls trip to the cities for a dance competition. We are talking about keeping the tradition up and still going for a weekend getaway and have some fun! We totally enjoyed our time together and created some awesome memories!!! We made the hard choice to sell our acreage and move back to city life. 😥😥 so on July 7th, we drove away from the home we had been at for 11 years.  With our memories in hand we embarked on a new adventure!!! We broke ground and started building our new home. We are still working on getting it done, but the end is near!!! I have removed some toxic relationships from my life and am focusing on the more positive ones and making them the best they can be. Namely my husband and my kids!!! Another highlight….I celebrated 8 years since my stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. That one STILL blows my mind!!!! I didn’t get my bible read all the way thru again in 2017 like I did in 2016, but am gonna try to do so in this new year. My son started high school, my daughter got homecoming queen and my youngest is trying her hand at basketball this winter instead of dance.

What are some of my hopes and goals for 2018? Well first and foremost is to work on my relationship with Christ, less time on social media and more time in His word. Read the Bible all the way thru this year. Lose the weight that I have put on with this house build, and focus more on my health than I have in the past year, better eating and running again. Chop will graduate from high school in may 😳 and then it will be off to college as a jackrabbit 🙄. We will once again take a family vacation to the destination of her choice before she spreads her wings and flies off into adulthood. My youngest, my baby, will enter high school in the fall, so my last two children at home will be in 9th and 10th grade 😭. My word, time needs to seriously slow down, my kids are growing up so fast. Jason and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this year on October 3rd. Trust me when I say….that in itself is a miracle. Only by God’s grace and mercy have we made it this far, because some of the things that we have been thru would have torn other couples apart but God has really seen us thru some dark valleys and honestly without Him and our dependence on Him we wouldn’t have made it.

Some personal goals for myself this new year? Take a few photography classes to learn how to work that fancy camera I have. Step out in faith and help those who are hurting and need a shoulder to lean on. Pour myself into my husband, kids, family and friends and become a better version of me than in the past. Heal some of the demons from my past, and perhaps start writing a book.

So many things I am wanting to do and some highlights that will be coming up this year. But for this month (January) I’m most focused on getting the house done and moved into before my son’s 15th birthday! I will try and get some pictures posted this week before the flooring guys come in and lay the tile and carpet.

I hope you all had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve! I pray that 2018 will be a year filled with many blessings for each of you reading this!!! May the God of peace surround you today and into the year! Here’s to an AWESOME 2018!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉

In Christ’s love,

Cathi

Exposing the wolf in sheep’s clothing

What a bizarre title for this post….but it is something that has stuck with me for the past 11 years since a huge fight divided my family and has stayed that way even to this day.

My brother, Mike, always said that our parents, especially our mother was the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  I tried to make the best of a bad situation and try to see my parents for who they were.  Flawed humans who did the best they could with the resources they had to raise us. But what he said always stuck with me.  In June of this year, that brother and I started to work on our relationship.  We hadn’t spoken in over 7 years but it has always been my hearts desire to reconcile with him before I died.  God has a way of making those things happen in HIS timing and not mine and I am grateful that He has opened that door for us to begin to rebuild and that is what we have been doing for the past 6 months.  Never have I held it against him, instead I just asked that God would allow us to have a relationship again some day, even though I knew that no one else would be as forgiving or wanting to make amends.  That’s fine, to each their own!

This summer, 4 days after we moved into the camper, I had a HUGE blowup fight with my mother, Linda.  I no longer call her mother, she may have given birth to me but that is where it ends.  She is no longer allowed in my life and my kids had the choice to stay in touch with her if they wanted, but after today, Jason and I BOTH decided that until our children are adults we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids from that woman, not that it matters anyway, she hasn’t had anything to do with them since the fight anyways.  She told my two oldest girls to leave her alone, so that is what they did.  They did as she asked, left her alone, but I will be blamed for her not seeing them or talking to them, sorry people, that was HER choice.  But now she doesn’t have that choice.  Until my younger 3 turn 18 they will have no contact with her.

After the blowup I read a book that completely opened my eyes, “Will I ever be good enough? Healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers” by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.  In every page I turned, everything I read was me and my “relationship” with her.  I realized who Linda was as a person and all the things that she has done to me my whole life.  Trust me when I say this is the BEST thing for me, mentally, emotionally and physically.  People see Linda as this wonderful woman who loves her family and would do anything and everything for them.  unfortunately that is NOT the case with me.  She is in fact the opposite.  If you cross her, don’t bow down to her demands or if you stand up to her, she will cut you off at the knees.  She is never wrong, she never does anything wrong and any fight or upset in the family is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS my fault.  I am the cause, period.  Here are a few things that maybe you didn’t know about (because I wanted to see the best of my mother even in her flaws and never talked about it)

~ after Briana was born (I wasn’t married and only 21) she told me that I should have my tubes tied so I couldn’t have any more kids.

~ when Briana was about 6 months old, in another fight with my mother, she accused me of child abuse.

~ when Keara was born and I called her to tell her, her response to me when she heard my voice on the other line was “please don’t tell me you had that baby already” (she had just gotten home from my sister’s house helping her with her son for the past two weeks).

~ when I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time, I had a bilateral mastectomy and couldn’t hold or pick up my kids for an extended period of time, the two youngest were only 1 and 2, kinda needed some help.  Well again, we got into a fight about non other than my parenting (she has never agreed with how I parent, and that is her prerogative, but it is NOT her place to butt in and tell me how and when to parent my children) and she left and went back to Colorado.  I was still restricted on lifting but that didn’t matter to her, she couldn’t stay because she was mad at me.

~ after I was diagnosed the second time and then my dad died and I started treatment in Sioux City, it was decided that she would take me because Jason couldn’t take all those days off, but after the first cycle of treatment she couldn’t do it anymore, it was “too hard” on her.  Nevermind that it was ME who getting the poisons pumped into my body to keep me alive, but it was too hard on her.  WHATEVER!

~ one Christmas I was super sick and spent a good chunk of my time in bed because I felt horrible and needed to rest.  I was accused of faking it and because my sister and I got in to a fight during that time as well (big surprise)and that she had to do EVERYTHING, cook, entertain etc.

~ I didn’t talk to her much this past winter while she was living in Arizona because I was dealing with my own family and getting our house ready, she was not a high priority, but I had called her about something and the first words out of her mouth when she picked up her phone was: “well if it isn’t my long-lost daughter”.  Hey, the phone lines go both ways, I didn’t see her making an attempt to call me either but again…I am wrong.

~ when asked if we could put some of our wall hangings in her spare bedroom closet, she got pissed about it and asked why I couldn’t find a place in my BIG house?  Nevermind, I will ask my mother and father in law because they will store some of our stuff for us and not ask any questions.  And then a month later, she suddenly had a change of heart, only because she saw all the stuff that the in-laws were taking for us.  She couldn’t be upped by them.

~then the straw that broke the camel’s back was the fight on July 10th, 2017.  Again she was pissed off about how I was handling the discipline of my children.  Again….NOT her place, but I was done.  All she had done since she had come back from Arizona was complain, complain, complain about anything and everything.  I had enough.  On that day, I decided enough was enough, it was time to cut the strings to the relationship.  That is exactly what I did.  I blocked her on everything, so she couldn’t contact me.

Today we met at the bank to get my name off her bank accounts and I told my husband that she was NOT to speak to me or try to have a conversation with me while we were there.  She told him that she hasn’t talked to me since the 10th and she wasn’t about to start.  It was going just fine until the banker started talking about fraud on her account because I at one time had access to her account numbers and she said that she didn’t think that it would be the case, but then the banker said “well sometimes when a divorce happens with people it gets ugly, but that is not the case here”.  I, guess I should have kept my mouth closed but I didn’t, told the banker that this was  a divorce of a relationship.  Well it just got ugly from there.  I have come to realize what a HATEFUL woman she really is.  She will do and say anything to paint herself as the saint.  Because she still is claiming that “she has done nothing wrong”.  Whatever.  Never step up and take responsibility for your part in the fight, blame someone else.  The final nail in the coffin for her was when she looked at me and with contempt in her voice said “I wish I had never given birth to you” which in turn I said to her “and I wish you had never been my mother”.  My last words to her when I left the bank was “have a nice life, Linda”

So what is the purpose of this post?  Well I am here to expose the wolf portraying herself as the sheep.  I have NEVER claimed to be perfect and I am a sinner saved by God’s grace alone.  Only God knows my heart and only He knows how hard this life has been for me.  I have made my own share of mistakes and horrible parenting decisions with my children and I haven’t been the kind of wife God expects me to be, but I have confessed that to my husband and children.  And I have sought forgiveness from them.  I know how to say those 3 really hard words “I am sorry”.  Linda doesn’t know how to say those words because she is NEVER in the wrong.

Linda Enright is a narcissistic woman and unfortunately I have picked up many of those traits from her but something I have realized that she never will…..I DON’T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON WHO IS ALWAYS MAD AT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ANYMORE!  I am working hard on breaking those family chains that bind me.  I am a much better person without her than I am with her.  I will NEVER regret this decision.

So what was my main purpose for exposing this truth?  Well because I am tired of hearing people tell me that “life is short”.  I know that life is short and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, now or ever!  I will leave the comments on for this post but just remember that I moderate all comments and will not publish any comments that are negative, so if you don’t have anything nice to say please don’t leave a comment about this.  Until you have lived this life that I live and have dealt with all that I have dealt with in my life, you have no place to judge me.  Besides the only one who has the right to judge me and my choices in this life is God and God alone!

I had a post, Random thoughts, about toxic relationships in my life and removing them, I was talking about Linda and my brother Larry.  Larry is also now blocked from contacting me anymore.  He believes that I am mentally ill and that he needs to come and rescue Jason and my children from my insanity.  Again…..when did he become an expert on mental illness?  Someone’s opinion of me is no bearing on what CHRIST thinks of me!  Because no matter what I have done, said or who I have been in the PAST or even currently doesn’t change the fact that I am LOVED, I am BEAUTIFUL, and I am ENOUGH.  My life has been redeemed by the ONE who can redeem even the darkest of souls!  I will NEVER be perfect and I will always fall down, make mistakes or hurt those around me, because I am human and I am a sinner.  But CHRIST will never leave me, never forsake me and will ALWAYS be there to pick me up and love me with an unconditional, never ending love!

We all have battles we fight every single day!  This is a battle I am done fighting, chasing after a relationship that will never be there or be what I need!!  I have a couple of older women in my church who have come alongside me over the years who have been a motherly type for me.  Those two women have loved on me, helped me work thru some dark times in my life and marriage, they have prayed for me and with me, they are truly what the hands and feet of Jesus do for the hurting and I couldn’t ask for a better match for my needs at this time in my life!  Pat and Mary, thank you both for being there for me in the good times and the bad!  I love you ladies as if you are my own mother, and some days how I long that it was you who had given birth to me, but that is not the case!!  It is time for me to fix me and make my life better for myself, my husband, my kids and others around me.  Right, wrong or indifferent, this is my decision and one I will stand by until I am dead in the grave.  I want people to know that I am by no means condoning my choices and behaviors in my life but to give a better understanding of why I do the things that I do sometimes.  We are great imitators of our parents.  Passed down from generation to generation until someone tries to break the chains that bind them and that is exactly what I am doing.

With that I am going to end this post!  Please refrain from your negative comments!  This is my blog, I am writing from my heart and being transparent about who I am as a person.  I like to be open and honest in my posts.  I like to share my life, my struggles and my victories!! This is the place where I feel safe to share!!!  Just be a loving community!

In God’s grace alone,

Cathi

Fall from grace…..

I’m not even sure how to title this post but it’s a start. It is 12:30am and I’m laying here processing my day and all that came at me today.

We live in a fallen world, filled with sin….envy, greed, lust, murder, selfishness….the list could go on and on. Everyday we battle our sinful natures….we have free choice….we could give in to that temptation. We could even tell ourselves…..”no one will ever find out”. But that’s the thing, God knows and the Bible even says that your sin will be exposed. One day….that sin will come to light. Never believe for one second that you can keep an ugly sin secret……one day when you least expect it that sin will be revealed.

You see, none of us is perfect. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin is all around us, inside us. We all live in darkness, until the light of the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. We have two choices…we can embrace that conviction and turn from our sin and allow the light to shine thru our darkness, or we can turn our back on that conviction and continue to live the sinful lifestyle.

Today was one of those days, as is everyday, when I struggle with sins I’ve committed or ones that have been done against me. Satan knows where I am weakest and he strikes. And he sucks all the joy out of me by reminding me of different things. My husband likes to call it “falling down the rabbit hole” of the past. I try to get past it but some days I give in and find myself sucked back into circumstances or events from the past.

Today I opened a letter received in the mail. As I read it my heart sank, then the gush of memories started pouring in, and then the tears started, they flowed freely for about a half hour. The contents of that letter have been heavy on my heart all day. Heavy because I know exactly how crushing it is when sin is revealed. But it also makes me realize that God has a plan and purpose for every circumstance, every wayward step we take out of His desired path for us.

It also makes me think more than ever that I am being called by God to step up and out in Faith….to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To come alongside those hurting, to be the listening ear, or the shoulder to cry on, even the encouragement to fight for what you believe in and want. To cry with you during the hard times but rejoice with you in the jaw dropping God moments, when you truly see the hand of God at work.

None of us will ever understand some of the broken roads we walk this side of eternity, but God knows, and His plans are ALWAYS better than my own. Some days it is hard for me to look up, take my heavenly daddy’s hand and trust Him with my next step. Human nature…..sin nature…..selfish nature. It’s always gotta be about me….me….me!!!!!!

But you know what I have learned this past year? It’s NOT about me. It’s about God and what can I do to best serve Him and fulfill His plan for my life. When I pour myself into my marriage or my children’s lives….when I make their needs first….it always, ALWAYS comes back to me ten fold. When I love on my husband or shower him with praise….it eventually comes back to me in a different way. When I more attentive and engaged in my children’s social and school life it comes back to me, because they feel safe sharing a heart struggle or relationship struggle with me, their mom. Selfishness is a trait I am working on A LOT right now. Learning to put my needs on the back burner and focus on the needs of those around me.

So as I wrap this up, because I am finally exhausted and will be able to go to sleep 😴, please think about some ways you can step out in faith and be the hands and feet of Jesus in 2018. Have you learned something from your past that could possibly help another with it right now. Perhaps there is a painful situation that you went thru that you could help another overcome.

No matter our past, we still have something to offer, we are all saved by AMAZING GRACE!! Your sin isn’t greater or less than my sin….God sees it all the same, sin is sin!!!! Let’s choose to live like we are suppose to….redeemed!

🎶 🎵 My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God my savior has ransomed me and like a flood His mercy reigns unending love, amazing grace 🎶 🎵

In His abiding love and never ending grace,

Cathi

Middle of the night thoughts….

It’s after 1am and like usual I am wide awake and deep inside my head. I’m listening to Jason snore next to me and reflecting on so many things.

Thanksgiving was nice. Spent it in Brookings at my in-laws house with my family, his parents and his sister and her family. When your own kids get older and more self sufficient, you forget how busy little people can be. But it’s fun and makes me realize that I can’t wait for grandkids of my own. I have much to be thankful for this year and when the storms of life rage in my head I have a tendency to forget the many things that are right in my life! So that is where my thoughts are tonight….stuck in the past, but also trying to remember the present and also the future. Trying to get my mind and my soul back on the narrow road instead of in the ruts.

I’m also trying to figure out what I want to pursue in the next year as far as a hobby or something that will make me feel like I have meaning and purpose. I’m thinking about perhaps writing a book based on my life and the ups and downs of it. My struggles and my triumphs. I also want to start a ministry of some sort but definitely one that I can help women who may be struggling with their marriage, their kids or just the storms of life. I want to help someone thru a struggle that maybe I have endured and also to be able to show them that no matter the storm they are going thru that there IS hope. Hope in the ONE who created all things. Hope that no matter what may have happened that ALL things are possible when you lean in to the ONE who created you to be all that He imagined you to be. A new creation. A tapestry weaved together because we are all BEAUTIFUL masterpieces knit together for a purpose. But before I can truly get down to business and really figure this out, I must focus on helping Jason get our house finished so we can get moved and settled into our new beautiful home.

So this thanksgiving, I hope you reflected on your blessings, spent time with the ones you love most in life and basked in that love around you.

You are LOVED

You are BEAUTIFUL

You are ENOUGH

Not because those around you think so but because HE says so. Dance and sing for that audience of One!!!

Many blessings,

Cathi

TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY AND PRAISE ❤️😘🙏🏻

Random thoughts

This is my blog where I like to share my life and what is going on with my family and for the most part I like to keep it upbeat and hopeful but sometimes it is just nice to write what I am feeling and what is on my heart.  So today…that is this post.  I will be turning the comments off, as I don’t want a negative backlash thrown at me.  Because again this is my blog and I can write what I want, when I want! And if you don’t like it then just don’t read it!

People have said to me lately “life is short”…..yes I know life is short, I live it every single day having stage 4 breast cancer for the past 8 years.  I have lost so many beautiful women I have met either in person or online over the years.  Survivor’s guilt is what it is called.  Why am I still here?  Why is my current treatment working so well for me but doesn’t work for others?  Why am I seeing my children grow up when others don’t get to see theirs?  I don’t know the answers to those questions but I hold on to the One who does.

So with that being said…yes life is short and yes recently I have withdrawn myself from a few toxic relationships in my life.  But it is because life IS short that I have chosen this for myself.  When you are constantly put down, belittled, bullied, made to feel like my thoughts and feelings aren’t important and called names by those who claim to love you, why would one choose to stay around those kind of people?

Negative people, when around them too long, turn you into a negative person.  It has been over 4 months since I last talked to these people and I have not missed them one single bit.  I have not missed the constant negativity, nagging and belittling that I would endure on a (almost) daily basis.  One of those people had the nerve to call me mentally ill.  UMMMMM…..EXCUSE ME?!?!?!  Who suddenly gave you a PhD in mental health issues?  That’s what I thought….you should really look in the mirror and exam yourself because there are 3 fingers pointing back at you along with the 1 you are pointing at me.  Do I have issues?  Absolutely, I do!  I have been seeing a counselor for myself, a marriage counselor for my marriage and am also on antidepressants and anti anxiety pills.  I am FAR from perfect but I certainly would NEVER go around telling people what I think of them and what I feel is wrong with them.  Since when have I been appointed judge and jury?  I am not….that is God’s job.  My job is to love people and point them to Christ.  But these certain people I will have to love from afar, there will never be a relationship with them again, because I just can’t take it, I don’t know how I did for all these years.  Is that sad?  Of course it is, but again it is reality! I don’t regret my decision nor will I ever regret it.  I have to do what is best for me and my own family.  My husband and children.  They need a mother who is not constantly negative because of the forces around her.  My children know of my stance….but I have also told them that the decision is theirs as to whether or not they want to have a relationship with these people.  BUT….under no circumstances do they have to have a relationship with them if it is going to be nothing but negative, belittling and bullying.  NO ONE EVER HAS TO CHOOSE THAT!!!!  I don’t care who it is….THAT is never called for!

I have made my fair share of poor choices over the years and I have hurt many close to me with my words and by my actions.  And that is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  There are many things that I have done or said to my husband and to my children that I literally HATE myself for and will hate myself for the rest of my life because of it.  But not only things I have said or done to my immediate family but to the rest of my family and my friends.  I am NOT proud of my behavior, but I recognize who I have been over the years and I have been making a conscious effort to change those things about me.  I have a little bit of narcissistic tendencies, that along with thinking everything needs to be about me!

I have learned A LOT about myself and those around me the last 4 months.  I have watched my relationships with my husband and my children flourish when I stop putting the focus on myself and my selfish needs but instead focus on their needs and what I can do for them.  It comes back to me tenfold.  The dynamics are so much better when I stop focusing on me and instead focus on them.  Like last week….my husband took the whole week off to work on the house.  I was there everyday by 9am working alongside him.  Not ONCE did we have an angry moment between us or a fight.  We got along so well and worked together as a team and got a TON of stuff done.  I don’t think a year ago we could have done that and certainly not even before then.  Our neighbor came over on Thursday and told us that he had enjoyed watching us work together and not once having a moment where one of us walked away in anger.  We just kind of laughed and said that we have really been having fun working together.  When he walked away, I looked at Jason and said, “if only he knew….life and circumstances have come our way and have made us into new and stronger people and as a couple.”

Some people know of those struggles and others do not.  We don’t let everyone know of things going on.  We limit those things to the ones who love and care about us deeply and are close to us and will help us in any way they can.  Close friends have walked some serious dark roads with us over the years, they have never judged either of us, instead that have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us.  Showing us grace and mercy.  Crying with us in the bad times and rejoicing with us in the good times.  I can honestly say that without Jesus and these godly Christian men and women, we would not have survived some of the valleys we have been through.  And trust me when I say….there have been MANY dark valleys.

Each day we learn to look to Jesus when the going gets tough and for me that has been no exception this week.  I have spent a better part of the last couple of days in tears, curled up on my bed in a puddle of tears asking Jesus to take the hurt of life away.  To take horrible memories away from my mind and to instead replace it with His love and mercy and grace.  And He does, He really does.  Some moments are easier than others, but I do my best to focus on today.  Yesterday is over and can’t be changed or rewritten, all we have is today.  I am trying my best to focus on today and only today!  Some days it is easier said than done!

One thing remains…..I love my husband and my kids with all my heart and I would die for them.  Literally, I would step in front of a bus for them.  They have been entrusted to me for a purpose and for many years I didn’t nurture those relationships, but now there is no time like the present to take care of and nurture those relationships!  They are my whole world and I will stop at nothing to keep things intact.

So with that being said….I think I end this post.  Life is short and when facing a serious illness it seems like it could be even shorter.  But I am still here 8 years later and obviously for a bigger purpose than I could ever dream or imagine!  One day everything that I have gone through in my whole life, from my crappy childhood, to why I got cancer not once but twice, the struggles in my marriage, my children rebelling, and everything else that has happened to me over the years, it will all make sense when I stand face to face with my Savior.  But by then it will no longer matter or even be relevant. Because I will be in a place where there will be no more sadness, heartache or tears!  I will be in the presence of my KING!  Oh how I long for that day!

Have an awesome Tuesday evening!  My love to all!

In HIS service,

Cathi

8 years and a house update

So 8 years ago today my life forever changed.  I still remember what I was doing when the call came in from my oncologist’s office.  The results of my bone biopsy were back.  And it was official.  My breast cancer had returned to my bones and surrounding lymph nodes.  It was a shock but yet I was prepared for it and I had been preparing my heart for the worse since the biopsy was done.  I prayed for a miracle, and I truly believed that a miracle was going to happen, but that was not a part of God’s plan for my life.  So my prayers instead shifted to finding a treatment that would work and to allow me the chance to raise my babies, who were only 14, 9, 6 and 5 at the time.  It was a long shot and my oncologist was only so hopeful, 50/50 shot at remission.  Even my current oncologist had told me in the beginning that we are only holding off the inevitable, death.  But she was willing to fight for me which my other oncologist was not.  And fight for me she did!  I truly believe that is why I am still here today.  She has fought for the treatments that have extended my life by leaps and bounds.  I truly am a walking miracle!  Never say that miracles don’t happen because I am proof that they do and that God does answer prayers!  I am here, I am well and my cancer is quiet, thanks in part to the trial drug that I am on and have been on for 3 1/2 years now.  God is good and He is merciful and full of grace!  He has answered so many of our prayers, not just mine and my families but my church family and the many extended family and friends we have.  Those babies of mine are now 22, 17, 14 and 13.  It is only because of God and His path for my life that I am still here, along with medical science of course, but His hand is in that as well because of the people that He has placed in my path along the way!  So today I celebrate my life and all the blessings that God has given me over the years!  I will take each setback, heartache and wrong turn with a little bit of grace because while this is not the path I would have chosen for myself, this is the path that God has given me!  I am His vessel and I will allow Him to use me in anyway He deems fit!  Even my stage 4 cancer.  So I will keep plugging on and I will keep praying that God will continue to allow me to raise the rest of my babies at home!  To HIM be all the glory and praise!

 

Now on to the house…..oye!  That is slowly coming along.  We have all our subs in there this week doing all their work.  Sheetrock will be dropped next Tuesday and then let the fun begin!!  We have been working like crazy on this house and some days it feels like we have accomplished a lot and other days it feels like we haven’t done squat.  Our goal is to be in by Christmas but that will remain to be seen.  By Thanksgiving we should have a good idea what our deadline will be.  We are hopeful but we will see.  It would be so amazing to spend Christmas day in our new home, but if not then I guess I will have to be okay with it!  We are spending all our free time at the house and all weekend.  There is really no time for a life right now but soon we will have all the time in the world to spend with each other.  We are getting by and are so thankful for this rental that we are in.  The weather is cold and dreary and I could only imagine what it would be like for us if we were still living in the camper.  Thankful that we aren’t but we sure are ready to have a place to call our own!  Anyway….I have included some pictures of the progress on our house!  it is starting to look like a home more and more every day!  Exciting times!!!!  Have a blessed Thursday and make today a GREAT one!  I love you all!

 

 

In His grace,

Cathi

19th wedding anniversary

19 years ago today….Jason and I said “I do”!  WOW!!!  We were just kids (or so it seemed and felt anyway).  Never did we think that life would throw some serious curve balls at us, but then again God never gives us more than we can handle!  Through each hard moment, each medical crisis, every death of a family member and even when we separated for a period of time in 2015, we have somehow, someway found our way back to each other and to our marriage.  Each crisis has brought us down into the deepest of pits, but each time we have resurfaced stronger than before.  And this is nothing short of God’s grace and mercy extended to both of us as we continue to ride the peaks and valleys of life and marriage.  But the one thing still remains all these years later….there is no one I would rather do life with than my husband (even in my darkest moments when all I want to do is run far, far away).  He is my best friend, my soul mate and an awesome father to our 4 children!!!  He has been there to laugh with, wipe my tears away, wrap me up in his arms with a gentle hug when chemo kept knocking me down and he has ALWAYS been there cheering me on and encouraging me to NEVER GIVE UP!  My husband is an AMAZING man and I try to remind him (and myself) of that often.  He works hard for his family.  He is a man who loves the Lord, his wife and his kids (in that order too).  He will do anything and everything for anyone, including giving the shirt off his back.  He has a gentle soul and loves deeply!  I am grateful that I get to call him MINE!!!  The pictures below are from our wedding day, our 10th anniversary!  How we have changed over the years and have grown up so much, not only as  individuals but also as a couple!

Happy Anniversary, babe!  I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever!!!  Here’s to many more years together!!!! You will forever be MY HERO!!  Thanks for choosing me so long ago and every single day since even in the peaks and valley of our marriage!

Tuesday

Last night ended up being by far the most amazing night EVER!  It was coronation and we were happy to just have a daughter as part of the royalty court never dreaming that she would win!  But she did and was crowned homecoming queen!  I got a little choked up and teary eyed!  I just couldn’t believe it!  I think it took her by surprise as well.  She told me before she left for coronation that she didn’t even prepare an acceptance speech because she was sure she wasn’t gonna win!  So she had to wing her speech last night!  Then it was off to power puff football where once again for the second year in a row the class were the champions beating the freshman and the sophomores!  What a great feeling for this class!  Today the dress up theme is “classic parent” day!  Keara dressed up as her dad, Colby chose not to dress up and Chop had early morning band this morning so I have no idea if she even dressed up or not!  Guess they didn’t want to dress up like their mom 😉 can’t say that I blame them, how do you dress up as a stay at home mom??? Along with this post are some of the highlights from last night!  Tonight we have a home soccer game so we will be watching some soccer tonight and then hopefully tomorrow night we will be working a little bit more on the house.  The house is kind of on the back burner this week while we get thru homecoming and soccer games!  Then it will be back at it full force by Saturday afternoon!  Anyway….that is all I have for today.  Enjoy the pictures!

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Monday

So I told you I would put up pictures from our weekend work on the house!  It looks AMAZING!!!!  Thanks to another carpenter who came and helped my hubby out all weekend long, along with his dad they got all the big trusses set there are just some little ones left to do that Jason can do himself and then all the sheeting on the roof and house and then we will be ready to shingle.  Which we will be hiring out for!  PHEW!  It is starting to look like we are doing something there finally!  It has been a long couple of months and it didn’t seem like we would EVER get to this part of the build but we did!  YIPPEE!!!!!

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Today is the start of homecoming week at GHS!  Today was color day: Seniors wore black, freshman wore pink and the 8th graders also wore black, high schoolers make their own class shirts each year with a different saying on them, which I think makes it fun for the kids in high school!!!  Also each class had it’s own color picked out, from preschool all the way up to seniors!  I love how our small town gets the whole school and town for that matter involved in this awesome week!!  Coronation and powder puff football is tonight so those pics will be tomorrow’s post!!!!

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scans, homecoming, life and the 1 year anniversary

OH MY GOSH!!!!! This has been a crazy and emotional week and it’s only Wednesday!  I hope the emotions will take a back seat soon, pull my head out of my backside and start being filled with joy!

I have A LOT to be happy and praiseworthy about this week but I am stuck in the past and the road I have traveled down this past year!  Am I glad that the 1 year anniversary is almost here, goodness NO, I wish I could skip over this day for the rest of my life.  It has been almost a year (Saturday the 9th it will be) since the landscape of my life changed.  The day that I learned that a “friend” (and I use that term loosely, as they never really were a friend to me after all) completely betrayed me and tried to destroy my happiness and my life!  While it has been a LONG and some days TOUGH road I have been on and it has shaped me into a different person, I am far from perfect but this has really made me step back and realize all I had been taking for granted in my life.  I am a different person than just a year ago….the hurt of my heart is still very, very deep, and I can still cry at the drop of a hat and memories that come flooding back still take my breath away.  BUT….I am determined to move past it each moment of each day and focus on here and now.  The past can’t be changed or rewritten but boy some days I do wish I could rewrite it, because I would go back and make sure that this “friend” had never entered my life.  But you just never know the true character of some people until it is too late!  Unfortunately I learned the hard way!  So I am trying to get thru the next several days with a little grace and a little mercy and just a little bit of my sanity left.  To that former “friend”….all I can say is THANK YOU!!! You may have hurt me and tried to destroy me but you didn’t win in the end!  I did!  You made me realize how lucky I am for the life I have been blessed with and for the people I have in my life!!!  Pretty sad that you are who you are and have no thoughts, feelings or regrets about your actions towards others you only think of yourself, that’s a pretty sad existence if you ask me!!!!  I, for one am glad that you are no longer in my life or anyone I care about either!

Thankful for our house building project to keep my mind occupied (as much as I will allow it anyway) along with GREAT scan results today AND that my daughter was nominated to the homecoming royalty court!

So with that I will add my GREAT news from today!  So I started on my cancer drug, Veliparib, for my stage 4 breast cancer, in April of 2014.  When I started this drug I was very, very sick.  Chemo was DESTROYING my body.  My platelets and hemoglobin were tanked out, my whites couldn’t really keep up anymore and I was battling a fierce cold/strep throat.  I took my last chemo infusion the end of February 2014.  I took a break the month of March while I prayed, asked questions and researched the snot out of this trial drug my oncologist wanted to start me on.  I still remember the day that I made the decision to go on the drug.  I was eating breakfast at my kitchen table and I was having a frank and hard conversation with God about all of this.  I heard Him tell me…..”Why are you NOT trusting me.  you have been begging me to open this door for you and now I have and you are wavering about whether or not to go on this drug”  “TRUST ME, I know what I am doing”.  I sat back and started to cry.  He was so right (but then again when isn’t God right?) Why was I questioning everything and not trusting HIM?????  I am so glad that God spoke to me that day.  So I started the drug, was scanned every 8 weeks until the one year mark and then we decided to bump scans out to every 12 weeks.  Then last October my oncologist wanted to bump scans out again to every 16 weeks.  Today….she decided that she wanted to bump my scans out to every 6 MONTHS!!!!!  For probably the past 2 1/2 – 3 years my scans have all been showing stable disease!  That liver lesion that is still there is not active and the radiologist thinks that it is just dead tumor.  It doesn’t grow and it hasn’t shrunk in probably 1 1/2 years now.  I really shouldn’t be here anymore.  Life span from diagnosis to death for stage 4 breast cancer is about 18 months.  I will celebrate 8 YEARS in November!  8 YEARS?!?!?!?!?!?!  Say what?  More and more women are living longer lives with this disease than ever before and I can say that I am ONE OF THEM!!!!  My GREAT PHYSICIAN has been watching over me and has been in control of this whole thing the whole time.  He has put people and drugs in my path for me to discover.  He has been answering all our prayers (mine, my family and my church family) over the past almost 8 years!  My BIGGEST prayer over the years has been and continues to be…..”let me raise my babies”.  Remember these babies were just 14, 9, 6 1/2 and 5 1/2.  They are now 22, 17, 14 1/2 and 13.  I saw my oldest graduate from high school AND vo-tech!  My second born is a senior this year so I will see her graduate as well.  My son is a freshman and my youngest is in 8th grade.  I PRAY I will get to see those last 2 graduate! God has been gracious, merciful and faithful all these years, I unfortunately have not been faithful to Him.  That makes me sad and I cry because of it.  As my BFF reminded me today…THAT is why we need Jesus!  He give us grace and mercy even tho we don’t deserve it!  He LOVES us unconditionally!  His mercies are new every morning, great is HIS faithfulness!!!  So I will keep trucking along on my study drug and see what March 2018 scans show!

Lastly my daughter, Mikayla, was nominated to the homecoming royalty court yesterday!  I am so EXCITED about this!  She tells me to call down, we don’t need to go shopping for a dress and that I need to stop making such a big deal out of it! BUT…..to me it IS a BIG DEAL!!!!  I am so excited for her!  What an honor to be nominated!  She may be in a small class, in a small town but to me that doesn’t matter, she was still given an honor!  So coronation will be Monday night!  I, for one, will be there with my big fancy camera taking a BAJILLION (I know it’s not a word but hey, I can make up whatever I want) pictures! And just soaking in the magical moment that I never thought I would get to see!  Even if she doesn’t win I am totally ok with that, just having her up there is enough for me to beam with a little bit of pride!!!!!

So that is where I am at.  Things are crazy busy with soccer season and house building.  I will try and get some pictures from the house build posted this coming weekend.  We have walls up and we are hoping to get some roof trusses put up this weekend as well!  We shall see!  It is slowly starting to look like a house, we are slowly getting out of the ground.  I have been trying to help my husband out as much as possible but I have been having some serious pain the last few weeks, yesterday scans showed what that pain was…..another fractured rib.  I swear…..this frozen shoulder of mine has been causing me all kinds of problems over the years!  So I am sidelined from helping for the time being so I am starting to look for some subs to hire out for some of the work so it will take some of the load off my husband, that way he can concentrate on other things with the house build. Hopefully Sunday night I will be able to get a post up with some pictures otherwise I will wait until Monday!  Next week I might be posting every day!  It is homecoming after all and the kids dress up, have powder puff games and the parade on Friday.  Plus coronation Monday night!  We also have 3, yes 3 soccer games next week as well!  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!  Thankfully they are all at home!  But it will be a crazy week for sure….add building a house to the mix and this mom might just lose her ever loving mind!!!!

That is all I have for now!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday evening!  To God be all the glory and praise!!!

In His service,

Cathi

 

Happy Birthday Jason!!! 🎉🎉

Happy 41st birthday to my one and only. The man God chose for me before I was even born! This man works hard every.single.day! He goes above and beyond what is needed! He provides not only steady income for this family but a shoulder to cry on, an ear for listening and offers advice when asked! He is an amazing husband, father, brother and son! 

But what I love most about my husband besides his big heart, warm smile and baby blue eyes, is his love for the Lord. He is a sinner saved by grace. Over the past 11 months I have watched the Lord transform my husbands anger, bitterness and resentment into joy, peace and happiness. When he was brought to his knees in humble regret, seeking forgiveness from Christ that is when I really started to see the changes. I am still seeing them. Is my husband perfect? Hardly….but none of us are. We all stumble and fall but we pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off and get back on the path. And that is what Jason does every day. He stumbles, he falls but ya know what?  He gets back up and keeps going and tries to do better. 

Babe, I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever!!! ❤️😘❤️😘

Happy Birthday to you my dear!!! 🎂🎁

Have an AWESOME day!!! 

One month 

It is laundry day so I am at the laundromat and thought this would be a great time to put up a new blog post.

We have been in the camper for one month now and while some days have been hard, others have been awesome! We have been learning to take it one day at a time and try not to sweat the small stuff. Again….some days we have weathered the storm better than others. Last Sunday we were approached by our kids’ former school bus driver. He has a rental that was recently vacated on August 1st, he heard we were living in a camper so he asked us if we would like to rent it while we build.  Naturally we jumped at the opportunity. We will move next week. A house, with a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom with running water. AND a washer and dryer in the basement, so tonight is my last trip to the laundromat. WOO-HOO!!! We are excited for this door God has opened for us. He ALWAYS takes care of His children. 

The house building is coming along slowly. Tomorrow we will be pouring our basement floors after it decided to rain on Wednesday. Hopefully by early to middle of next week we will be putting down floor trusses. Then watch out……things are gonna get EXCITING!!  This is my FAVORITE part of the build….watching the walls come up and the house start to take shape. Where I can actually start imagining my life there with my kids and hubby!!! Don’t get me wrong I do envision my life there with my family, creating new and exciting memories, it just hard to envision how the house will look. Just what the blueprint says it will look like, but there will be changes to the print of course. It’s an exciting time in our lives. 

Soccer season starts tomorrow night with our first game of the season! Excited and sad because this is our final soccer season unless our youngest decides to play next year as a freshman. We plan to make it to every single one of her games. Supporting and cheering her and the team on!!! Praying for an awesome season!

We will be trial running senior pics next week! I am excited to see how well my new camera takes pics. I am especially excited to see how well it does at the game tomorrow night. 

All in all….life is clicking along, we are getting stronger as a family. Sticking together in times of crisis, and yes there has been plenty of that lately. But we are choosing to stay positive, hold on tight to each other and remove negative influences from our lives, my life especially. Life is too short to continue to hold on to something that just isn’t there and never has been my whole life. My life is much calmer and pleasant now without those influences. Sad….but we all have to make hard choices in life to keep our own mind and heart safe and healthy. 

Hopefully next week I will get some pics up from the house. We also have a birthday celebration next week too! My amazing husband turns 41 😳! Say what?!?! Yep….hopefully we will get some celebrating done in between school meetings. 

Yes….school meetings, school starts 2 weeks from today. 😫😫😱 I’m ready but I’m not. It has been an amazing summer with my kids. It has been an adventure for sure. Memories to last a lifetime!!!! 

Anyway……that is all from me for now. Until next time……

In HIS service,

Cathi

Sometimes…..

Sometimes my thoughts run away with me…….

Sometimes I wish I were someone else……

Sometimes I just can’t help but wonder “why me?”…….

Sometimes I wonder “why wasn’t I good enough?”……

Sometimes I want to give up…….

Sometimes I think that God is punishing me for all my sins……

When the “sometimes” of life drag me down and I feel like I’m gonna drown in my sorrow, I remember this…..

My thoughts are not God’s thoughts…..

God made me for a purpose and this is my life….

Why not me?!?!……

In God’s eyes I will ALWAYS be good enough……

I can’t give up….I’m NOT a quitter……

God isn’t punishing me….He paid a heavy price for me. I am bought and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb……

As I lay here and listen to my husband sleep, I’m reminded of how lucky I really am. God has blessed my life with so many good things!!! Even in the midst of the hard and sometimes ugly moments, my life is FULL of blessings.

I am married to THE most amazing man. He is the diamond in the rough. He is a sinner saved by grace. He comes with flaws and baggage too, but he is MINE, hand chosen by God to walk thru this life with me. I’m blessed!!!

I have 4 healthy, strong and stubborn kids. Again they each have their own flaws and baggage, but they were given to me by God to raise, nurture and love thru this life, in the good times and bad. I’m blessed!!!

I was given a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, was told 50/50 shot at remission, stats said I wouldn’t live longer than 18 months, I’ve been at this for almost 8 years! 8 years!! I’m blessed!!!

So even in my woe is me moments and I’m having a hard time seeing the rainbow 🌈 thru the clouds, I am reminded how blessed I really am. God has a way of giving me a sign or bringing a memory to mind. Tonight that reminder was a small rainbow streak in the clouds, I smiled when I saw it and I thought of my dad. Why my dad I’ll never know but I am blessed! Beyond measure!!! 

One of my favorite songs…..read the lyrics and watch the video and you’ll see why. 

Who I am by Blanca

Another voice, another choice

To listen to words somebody said

Another day

I replay

One too many doubts inside my head

Am I strong, beautiful

Am I good enough

Do I belong, after all

That I’ve said and done

Is it real, when I feel

I don’t measure up

Am I loved

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands

I’m holding to the One who holds me

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure, I am Yours

Turning down

Tuning out

Every single word

That caused me pain

Unashamed

And unafraid

‘Cause I believe You mean it when You say

I am strong, beautiful

I am good enough

I belong after all

‘Cause of what You’ve done

This is real, what I feel

No one made it up

I am loved

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands

I’m holding to the One who holds me

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours

I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours

Fearfully

Wonderfully

Perfectly

You have made me

I’m running to the One who knows me, yeah

I’m holding to the One who holds me, holds me, holds me

I’m running to the One who knows me

Who made every part of me in His hands (You made me)

I’m holding to the One who holds me (I’m holding on to You)

‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours (I am Yours)

I am sure I am Yours

And I know who I am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1IvlRQ30Ibg

God’s grace is sufficient to cover all my sins. I am everything He created me to be and so much more! I am BLESSED!

By His grace alone,

Cathi

House pictures

Wanted to get some pictures up of the progress so far. It is slowly coming together.  We wish it was done but we also keep reminding ourselves that we are saving money in the long run by doing this. We will reap the benefits when we sell!!! A buddy of Jason’s has been helping us the last couple  of nights and that has been HUGE!!!! Many hands make for more work getting done! This will be a busy weekend getting the rest of the walls up and ready for mud hopefully on Monday! We are surviving camping life, one day at a time. Hard to believe tomorrow will be 2 weeks since we drove away from our house for the last time. Time sure is clipping by quickly! School is right around the corner and that should prove to be very interesting. 3 kids showering and getting ready every morning with one bathroom 😂 I laugh about it now but I’m sure I won’t be laughing much next month 😳 we will see! It’s all good and we will get thru this too! Happy Thursday! Have a great weekend!!!

In His grace,

Cathi

Day 5

We have been in the camper for 4 days now. It has been interesting to say the least.  Things kind of went south yesterday but I guess that was going to happen eventually. There is only so much a person can take before they blow.  And blow I did.

Was it a proud moment for me? Absolutely not and I know my words and actions disappointed God, He is the only one I need to get approval from and who I need to please. I realized yesterday that I have been chasing the approval of someone who no matter what I do will never be good enough.  So I am done.  Done chasing after things that just won’t be any different. The negativity is stifling and exhausting.  I just can’t do it anymore. My focus is on my marriage, my kids, the building of our house and most of all my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  And that’s the way it’s gonna be.

So today is a new day and my mind is better and my kids are slowly getting into a routine. It is hard and we are trying to remind them that this is not the most ideal situation and we wish it were different but that we all need to make the best of it and look at it as an adventure.  We MUST stick together and we MUST be kind to each other with our words and actions.  It will be hard some days but this is not a permanent situation, it is only temporary and we must look ahead to what we will get at the end.  A brand new house, to live in and make more amazing memories together. When things get tough we must remember to seek God for grace and mercy for the moment. When mountains seem unmovable, HE CAN MOVE THEM!!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

One day at a time, and one foot in front of the other.  We will get thru this small bump in the road.  One of these days I will share some photos of the progress on our house.  For now….I would covet your prayers for peace, grace and mercy for my husband, kids and myself. His grace is sufficient for me and my family.
Grace and peace to you today,

Cathi

And so it begins…..

It is after midnight and once again I find myself not able to sleep….which really isn’t anything new but so many things running through my mind tonight that makes it hard to sleep!

We will close on our house 15 hours from now. So many emotions going into this that it is even hard to begin to put them into words.  We have spent the last 11 years of our lives in this house.  We have seen our kids grow in this house.  The walls could tell some fascinating stories if they could talk.  We have had our fair share of hard times here but we have also had our share of good times as well.  I am ready to say goodbye to this house that means so much to me but yet I loathe for so many other reasons.

I am scared for this next chapter.  5 people, 3 of which are teenagers, living in a camper while we build our house from the ground up.  It will be interesting to say the least and hopefully it will be something that our kids will talk about for a very long time.  I hope that they will also look back on this time and say “hey, my parents were totally crazy for doing this but what a great memory!”

So today we will spend our last few hours in this house, we will say our goodbyes and we will walk into the future with our heads held high and hold tight to God as we venture forward.  Because with HIM all things are possible…even living in a camper for the next 5 months!

I know there is more I could write but words just fail me right now so I will end this post!

Until next time,

Cathi

4th of July!

This will be our very last 4th of July at our place in the country.  We close on our house this Friday and broke ground today on our new home that we are building!  It is very exciting and scary all wrapped into one!  Part of me is ready and the other part of me is SCARED out of my mind!

This is a new chapter in our lives.  A sort of “starting over” time.  Laying the past to rest and moving ahead into the future!  We are all different people now, molded and changed by circumstances in our lives!  So we see this as a new chapter, new beginning.  New home, new surroundings, city living again instead of country living.

I am stressed out right now and I am hoping after Friday I will relax a little bit.  I won’t have a camper, a house and a new house all at once to deal with.  My current house will no longer be on my long list of things to get done.  My camper is a small area and won’t need much cleaning and upkeep.  And my new home is just a hole in the ground right now!

So today we will celebrate our FREEDOM!  Celebrate our girls’ birthdays (their birthdays are 8 days apart) and have family over for fun, food, games and a little bit of fireworks!  We will be sure to make this year go out with a “bang”! LOL!!!

My prayer for the week: to keep everything in perspective and not let the little things get to me!  To allow God to work in my life and in the process of working in my life, reach others around me as well!  God works in mysterious ways!  And He is good all.the.time!

Happy 4th of July!  Celebrate in style but be safe as well!

With Grace,

Cathi

First blog post

I have been blogging since 2007.  This is my 3rd blogging site over the years.  I am curious to see if WordPress is better than blogger as far as posting and followers and such.

Why did I start a new blog?  Well I am still not sure.  I have had my other blogger site since 2008 and was blogging quite frequently until the last few years.  I have been thinking about my life, my relationship with the Lord, my family and grace.  Hence the reason for the title.  Because today…..(and everyday for that matter) we are given grace.

Webster’s dictionary defines grace as this:

       The divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.

God gives me grace every single day.  Grace when I don’t deserve it.  He also expects me to extend that same grace to others around me.  Even when I feel that they don’t deserve my grace, because they have done some sort of wrong to me or hurt me in some way, I am still to give them grace because Jesus gives me it when I don’t deserve it or when I have hurt Him or wronged Him.

I am still learning this every single day.  Grace for my husband, my kids and others around me.  It is hard for me and in my human frailty I am a very selfish person.  But I am also to extend myself grace as well.  I am not perfect and I never will be in this life.

For the last couple of years my life has been hard, really hard.  I have been a mess, my marriage has been a mess and my health well my health actually got better, crazy I know.  Life came crashing down in September 2016 and that is when I realized that life will never be the same, or perfect but I am foraging ahead and look to God for all sources of comfort and peace.

I have had my fair share of problems over the years but the one thing that has remained is that since turning my life over to Christ in February 2006, Christ has never left my side.  NONE of what I have been thru has not been known by Him first.  In each problem or storm that I have faced, I have come out of it stronger as a person and stronger in my faith.  This current storm is no different.  Some days are harder than others and some days I would love nothing more than to run away but somehow I push thru the hard moments and focus on Christ.

I am also learning that the past can’t be rewritten but we can certainly learn from it.  The mistakes we have made, the way we have treated others, the words we have said or even the way others have treated us. I try to press forward and do better than the past.  With God all things are possible!!! And He will carry me through each moment!  He will grow my little faith into some bigger than imaginable!  He can make unmovable mountains movable!

So my mantra and what I cling to most in times of trouble is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

He never promised me a rose garden in this life, but He did promise that it would be worth it in the end!

So this is my new blog!  The story of my life and the life of those closest to me!!!  The highs and the lows!  The good and the bad!  And everything in between!  So won’t you come along and see what kind of masterpiece the Lord is creating in me and those around me?  He is definitely NOT finished with me yet or my life!  He is still painting a beautiful masterpiece!

In His strength,

Cathi