Thursday, January 31, 2013

Results are in...

Waiting is so hard.  However, God has been so gracious and gave me a focused heart on Him.  I told God that if he did allow me to go down the road of cancer to bring others to Him or to refine my character, so be it.  Today, I was reminded about the strange story in the Bible when Jesus causes the unfruitful fig tree to wilt.  The disciples were amazed.  He responded, "if you have faith and do not doubt, ask."  I asked God to help me to have faith.  

So, it was ruled benign.  NO CANCER.  Just a follow up next year.  *insert dancing

Some interesting tidbits.  I have been teaching/facilitating a class called "Words that Hurt, Words that Heal" because of my mouth that can spurt out some unkind words to my dear children.  I hurt when I think of the damage that a word can bring.  Well, for the past 2 1/2 weeks since this "scare", my words have been kind, edifying, and sincere.  I am thankful for the way the Lord used this time to purify and remind me of the impact that my words have on the ones I love.

Thankful for others who have walked this journey ahead of me and the encouragement that many in our Church family has extended to our family and me.  

I am also (now) aware of those who are still in the cancer zone and I have a new realization of the  controlling and overwhelming aspect that cancer can bring to ones mind.  I might have escaped this one, but as a fellow sister in Christ, when one is hurting, we all hurt.  

Praise God, but continue to pray that others will see Victory in Him!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life dosen't stop

A little bit of a rewind...

During Christmas break, our family was attacked.  Not by a burglar but by the flu virus. It engulfed our bodies and made us all -be still.  When healthy, I often look at being sick and not going out a great time to read books or doing quiet things at home. However, when this hit our family. We did nothing.

Sadly, we got better right before school started on Monday.  Yes, I know that we homeschool and we could of skipped a few days.  However, I like doing school when it is dark and cold.  It takes all the will power in the world to do school when Alaska spring/summer comes.  I rather "play" then.

Feeling better, James and I picked out a "sassy" haircut.  I bought a $10 groupon and tried Sheer Fire Hair design in Palmer, AK.  She slowly took off many inches and over an hour later, I came out- sassy.:)

After James and I started to enjoy skate-skiing, we decided this year our kids should as well.  So they are signed up for Mat-Su Jr. Nordics with the amazing coach Dave.  So far, Max loves it. Bronwyn is liking it.  Hannah is loathing it.

Max & Bronwyn received patches from a great program called "Pioneer Clubs" at Lazy Mt. Bible Church.

Thankfully Linda Moyer and Laurie Dahms hosted a taco party for the sunday school girls.  It was easy to connect and meet the parents of Bronwyn's classmates.

Willow got mentioned in the valley Newspaper as she was skiing with me at Winter Trails Day at Hatcher Pass.  I was pictured, but they didn't know my name.

We ended off the week with a Family Outing to Anchorage.  It included some bookstores, shops, and concluded with a viewing of Wreck it Ralph at the infamous Bears Tooth.

using the FORCE

I spent the morning finishing up the study on Complaining from "Words that Hurt, Words that Heal".  I am so encouraged by the many women who have come to give control of their words to Jesus.  It has been a very interesting study and I plan on putting the notes and articles that supplement the study on this blog.

Need to go enjoy God's Creation with James and friends while we tackle the ski trails.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mind Running Wild

If you have ever been in a doctors office and they decide they need more tests because of some abnormality-you know the feeling that I have.  Yesterday, I was doing a precautionary exam and the radiologist recommends that I have a biopsy to rule out cancer.  I left the hospital singing songs of Praise.

I wasn't shocked.  Earlier, I had a dream (this week), that I did have cancer.  This could just be a false alarm which would be amazing, but the mind goes instantly to the end of life.  I love Jesus and to be with Him is my hearts desire.  Often, I talk about the greatness of leaving this world and being united with my Redeemer and Friend.  It is not me (the thought of death) that I am upset about, but I did cry once at the thought of not being here for my children at their various stages of life.

So, I think it would be good (because we never know when we get to meet our Maker) to write letters of advice and words of love for them at times when they need a mom to comfort or talk to.

Then, as I was working on my Bible Study, I was hit with the fact of how amazing my husband is.  He is the most humble man I know.  How I need and want to let him know how deep I love him.

I am thankful for this abnormality in my body because it gives me a chance to prioritize and reorder the life I do have!  In everything, I want to give praise to my Father who is walking with me.  He knows everything.  I trust Him!  *Just at the last second, they decided to add an additional test (that the doctor didn't order) which is where they found the mass, thank you Father for being in Control.

If you want to pray.
1) pray for my mind to be renewed on the truths of scripture
2) pray for a clear bill of health from the biopsy

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Power in words: Waiting, Patience

Today, I spent an hour in a waiting room.  I hate wasting time.  Actually, I do such a good job wasting time, I don't like it when OTHERS waste my time.

However, throughout the day I was able to work on my new bible study "Words that Hurt, Words that Heal" by Carol Mayhall.  It is about the tongue.  For one of the first time, I choose to give grace.  I just kindly let the receptionist know that I was going to need to reschedule because it was over an hours since my appointment and I needed to attend to my family.

"Oh no!" she exclaimed.  I had fallen through the paperwork loop.  I would have horns usually, but thankfully I was walking WITH Jesus.  He kept me calm.  I was able to talk with another person waiting and extend grace to all who heard.

May I continue to grow in areas when I am not in control and be kind to all who hear.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Dream...

Not often does this happen.  But, it happened.  I love the Lord and know He directs and guides.  However, this time a dream was used.

Before Africa in a little frozen town called Wasilla, I attended a church called Wasilla Bible Church.  Upon entering the foyer Adele Morgan came and told me that she needed to talk to me.  "Okay, whats up?" I replied. Adele was my volleyball coach in Jr. High School.

"I had a dream last night and you were in it."  
"Really? What was it about?" I asked.
"Well, there was this guy," Adele went on to explain.
"Go on," I being very single wanted to know.
"You were with James Embree.  You were MARRIED to James.  It was a perfect wedding with worship and everything. You were perfectly matched in my dream.  It was totally vivid.  I grew up with him in Alaska because our parents were missionaries together. So, I called my mother to tell her about the dream.  I asked her if she had seen James.  She answered, no, but his dad is sitting in our living room right now."
"Crazy,"  I said.
"James' father said that he is not seeing anyone.  He wants to go to seminary and is not interested in girls," Adele continued.

"Oh, that is strange.  I met him for the first time last night!" 

Yes, it is a true story.  I had never had anyone else ever tell me a dream.  After almost 15 years of marriage.  He is a gift from God to me. 

15 years and counting.

James makes life better.  He encourages me and is fun to be married too.

I wanted to write this story about our life and how we met and our courtship. I have seen a growing tendency in my mind to forget the little things. I don't want my children to forget the story of how two people from very different worlds meet, not fall in love, grow to love, then become twitterpatted.  Now, I am getting ahead of my story.

It is not for the faint or light hearted.  It is full of suspense and mystery.  Not really, but it is sweet.  Personally, I think it would be quite a cute novel to be set in a switch back and forth between my emotional high strung view of life to James' centered, fun and practical side of life.

It all begins with brokenness. You see, I was denied the immediate acceptance into a ministry called "Navigators".  One of the primary reasons was because of my status of a new Christian.  I had some wounds and needed to be discipled (that means to spend time with another Christian who pours into your life to help foster and grow spiritually).  I decided to go to Alaska and to help Wasilla Bible Church by starting a college ministry while I am discipled.

So, I drove my Honda Civic from Florida to Alaska and had even more adventures (that's another story).  When I arrived, I didn't know what I was going to do.  I worked summer camps and found out through the teaching of Dan and Becky Small, that I had no idea what was in the Bible.  I knew that I needed to have further Bible training if I were to go to full time ministry (more of that later).

It was during my time at camp, that I sought after someone to disciple me.  The first lady who agreed ended up pregnant with a huge case of sickness thrown in.  So, she recommended Donna who discipled her.  I called Donna and she agreed to meet.

One of the first meeting with Donna I explained about the Gap.  You see, I gathered a group of people from Wasilla Bible Church and we started the "Gap" for college aged folks.  We met every Wednesday night for Bible Study, then on the every other weekend we would have outings.  Some of our outings included, skiing, sledding, and game night.  Donna thought that was neat to see us getting together because at the time, there wasn't a ministry for those college aged people at her church -Lazy Mt. Bible Church, or any other church in the valley.  So, because "Gap" wasn't just for Wasilla Bible Church folks, I gladly took the phone numbers of people that age so that I could invite them to a variety of events.

So, every other week, I would go down the list of college-aged people and invite them to a variety of activities.  James Embree was on the list. He never came.  He was coaching cross-country races on the weekends and on Wednesday night he lead a youth group in Big Lake, AK.  However, one cold and snowy day in November, he came to soup 'n sled.

"Soup 'n Sled" first met at the church and then headed to Hatchers Pass for sled/skiing down the hill.  We had a van to load up people to the top again.  After a few hours we ended by having soup at the Hatcher's Pass Lodge.  James looked like Santa Clause with his full beard.  I resembled the Pillsbury dough boy because of all the oversized winter gear I had to borrow (I spent the past 4 years in Alabama).

However, that didn't stop our conversation.  We ended up riding and talking in the van the entire day.  I cannot remember what we talked about (specifically) but, I do remember asking him if he knew of a Bible School to go to.  He recommended Moody Graduate School.

The next day I run into Adele Morgan in the church foyer.  The Dream (You can click on the dream)
Crazy.  I know.

Then it turned out that James needed me.  I know your thinking, oh that is when you knew.  No. He needed me to be a chaperone for his Christmas Party at Faith Bible Fellowship.  Agreed to help, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I honesty can't remember much, but I ended up getting a twisted ankle in one of the first games.

We talked on the phone a few times when I had questions about the Bible. I loved talking with him.

Another Gap event we went skiing in Alyeska.  My friend Katie was up from Alabama and James ended up teaching both of us how to ski.  He was such a good teacher, I wanted to hit the larger slopes immediately.  So, I did and James went down some crazy way and ended up breaking the bindings off the borrowed skis  Ouch.  So, he was done for the day, as was Katie. I kept going and took a higher lift.  Which was my last one, ever!  I crashed because the skies got twisted and my knee did something wrong.  I ended up getting ski-evacuated from the Red Coat guys.

It was during 30 hour Famine for World Vision that James asked me to chaperone again.  I began to notice how the youth just adored him.  They would stay up and just want to hang out with him. I began to do my own investigating.  I had a blast serving alongside him in youth ministry. During the night they had the movie "Bambi".  During spring time the animals get "twitterpated".  I was there.

However, I still didn't know his feelings. It was a snowy Friday February 28th; I knew James' birthday was the following day.  He was going to be a North Star Bible Camp.  So, I called the camp and asked Linda Mitchell if I could help in the kitchen.  (What??- I burnt toast every time-never cooked)  But, she said yes. I drove up the mountain listening to Phantom of the Opera after receiving a ticket for failing to come to a stop at an intersection.  I remembered being spooked by the Opera scary scene as it was dark and a blizzard.

The next morning around 5 am as I was helping make Monkey Bread, I saw James sitting by the fire reading his Bible.  It was the most attractive thing to me.  I knew in my heart that I wanted a guy like that.  During the breakfast line James greeted me as I wished him a happy birthday.  Then as I was clearing the tables that he did the "stand in front of me side step dance so I can't pass" move.  Yep.  But, it get better.  He actually pulled my apron string.  I knew he liked me BIG TIME.

It wasn't until March 30, when Donna so kindly invited me to hear James preach at Faith Bible Fellowship and to eat Easter Dinner that we met again.  James was giving a compelling sermon, I have no idea what he said.  But, it was good.  I remembered thinking,  "all I wanted him to do was to finish the sermon and grab my hand as his wife and exited out of the Faith Bible. " (We weren't even dating) However, that day began our first date.  

6 months later, we were engaged.  Three months later we were married at Wasilla Bible Church walking through the same doors we did when we first met on the sledding trip.  

The adventure began and I am so thankful for James.