God is Bigger than Handmade Coasters

One of my favorite things about Christmas are the gifts you didn’t see coming.  One year my precious daughter-in-law Cecilia gave me a set of handmade coasters with pictures of our family on them.  I was so over whelmed by the gift I cried- A LOT!  Why? Because she knew exactly what I would adore: a handmade gift with pictures of my family that I can see day in and day out.  She nailed it.

You know who is the master at giving the best gifts? God.  You have to admit that if anyone knows exactly what gift you would adore, it’s God.  So if God has a gift ready for you, you don’t want to miss it!

Mary, Mother of Jesus received a great gift from God. Continue reading

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Light of the World by Lauren Daigle

The true gifts of Christmas are not contingent on other people’s attitudes, beliefs, hospitality or cooperation.  The true gifts of Christmas are given directly from your heavenly Father to you His precious child.  The Light of the World rip away the darkness of even the burden of cancer.  Open yourself this Christmas to receiving each and every gift that comes from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to YOU.

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
And can you hear the angels singing
Glory to the light of the world
Glory, the light of the world is here
The drought breaks with the tears of a mother
A baby’s cry is the sound of love
Come down, come down, Emmanuel
He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah, the Prince of Peace has come
He has come, Emmanuel
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed
For all who wonder
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
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Excerpt: Celebrating Christmas in Your Cancer Journey.

I believe that celebrating Christmas in your cancer journey is sweeter with these 2 steps:

  1. Admitting things will change this Christmas.
  2. Sharing these changes with others.

Lots of people going through cancer walks say “I just want someone that get’s it.  And I think God places those people around us specifically so we can receive that comfort BUT we have to see the gift that’s right there waiting for us.

I believe God orchestrates these meeting for us much like He did for Mary and Elizabeth.  What’s the odds of Mary finding not just someone that’s pregnant the same time she is but someone MIRACULOUSLY pregnant?  That sounds to me like something God has orchestrated.

What do you think God has orchestrated for you this Christmas? Do you think that you sharing about your cancer walk could bring about that celebration for you?  That wonderful celebration of connecting with someone this Christmas?  I think it could be incredible.

One more thing.

God did not command Mary to go see Elizabeth.  She chose to go.  And God is not commanding you to share with anyone the differences that are happening for you this Christmas but, God can do powerful things through the comfort of others.  Did you hear that?  God can do POWERFUL things through the comfort of others.

So why not reach out and share some of the changes that have happened in your life and see how God can use that to bring a new celebration to you this Christmas.

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Cancer and Worry Except from Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey

So, another way to read these verses could be:
Throw all your worries of life on Jesus, because
Jesus cares for you. Be calm and collected; be
actively alert. Your adversary the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to
devour.
1 Peter 5:7-8
Read the above aloud.
From these verses, we can see…
Three Steps for Coping with the Worries of Life:
Step #1 Throw all your worries of life on Jesus.
Step #2 Be actively Alert.
Step #3 Be Calm and collected.

Step #1 Throw all your worries of life on Jesus.
Don’t hide your worries; name them.
Telling yourself not to worry and yet still
worrying is not giving your worries to Christ.
I know it can be scary to acknowledge your
worries, for fear that they will begin to steal
your focus and fill your head with negative
thoughts. But when you take the time to
identify your worries, and name them, then you
can focus on seeing Jesus with you in the midst
of your difficulties. This is what makes your
worries begin to shrink. Did you catch that?
Seeing Jesus with you in the midst of your
difficulties can put them in perspective and
help their influence shrink.
Common Physical Worries for Caregivers and
Survivors:
(Caregivers are exhausted, stressed, and often
unhealthy because they place their physical and
medical needs aside and focus on their loved
one in treatment. So, many of these statements
also apply to caregivers.)
Rate how often you are aware of these
concerns?
N               S                 F                     C
Never  Sometimes  Frequently  Consistently
____I am concerned about getting enough rest.
____ I can’t sleep during the day, even though at
times I feel I need to.
____Even when I am feeling rested, I am
concerned about staying rested.
____I’m concerned that I never know when the
fatigue will come.
____When I feel an ache, illness or lump I
become concerned that the cancer is growing
or has come back.
____I hold back from sharing concerns about
my physical difficulties with my medical staff.
____I hold back from sharing concerns about
my physical difficulties with my loved ones.
____I worry that the treatments drained me so
much I will never be energized again.
____I worry that my side effects will get worse,
or that new side effects will appear.
____I worry that the scan/test will have bad
news.
____I worry that since I haven’t had a test/scan
for a while the cancer could be back.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or is
back and my medical staff will not know it.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back and I will not know it.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back and my caregiver will not be able
to care for me.
____ Other:
Share your answers if you would like.
Look again at Step #1 for Coping with the
Worries of Life: Throw all your worries on
Jesus.
So how do we do that? How do we throw all

of our worries on Jesus? We pray. Prayer is a
priceless weapon for worries- all worries. Let’s
boldly lift our worries up in prayer.
Prayer #1 Please pray aloud with me:
Lord,
I know You are carrying me through my cancer.
You have lifted me out of the darkness and into
the light more times than I can count. Please
place cancer in my past. Rip away every cancer
cell from my body and the bodies of my loved ones
for now and for all time. I know all things are
possible through You. In all things, Your will, not
my will be done. In Your name I pray, AMEN.

Excerpts from Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey Bible Study.
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God is BIGGER than…always saying “Yes”

You know, I like saying “yes”.

I like it when someone asks me to do something for them and I can do it.  Could be taking a friend’s child home from baseball, helping on a committee or dropping off a meal to a sick friend, the result is me feeling blessed.

UNLESS…I’ve said “yes” too much.  Then it’s hard for me to get anything done and things slip through the cracks.  My to-do list begins to look like the impossible dream and I suddenly realize I have to say “no” to something.  I want to help everyone but that’s ridiculous.  But the problem is I never know how someone is going to react when I say “Sorry, I can’t help you.”

This makes me think of two imaginary ladies I talk about during my Time Management Seminars named Suzy and Judy.  Somewhere, a committee is putting together a list of possible volunteers for an event.  (You know there is probably a committee out there right now putting YOUR name on a list too!) One member says, “Let’s ask Judy.  She’d be great and maybe she has the time.”  Another member says “Let’s ask Suzy.  She’d be great and she never says no.”

So the committee goes to Judy and says “Would you help us with this event?  You’d be great!” and Judy says “I’d love to help but I’m too busy.  But please ask me again next time.”  The committee says, “That’s OK, we understand.

Now the committee’s disappointed but do you know what they’re thinking?  “Don’t worry, we still have Suzy and she always says ‘yes’.”   So they ask Suzy and do you know what she said?  “I’d love to help but I’m too busy.  But please ask me again next time.” She said the exact same thing that Judy said but the committee reacted VERY differently: “I can’t believe Suzy said ‘NO’!  Who does she think she is?” Why did the committee react so harshly?  Here’s glaring truth: Suzy had trained the people around her to expect her to always say “yes”.  It’s true.  It’s not right for the committee to expect less of Judy than Suzy but re-training people to have realistic expectations will take Suzy a lot of “no’s”.  It took a long time for Suzy to train people to expect too much of her and it’ll take a long time to re-train them to have realistic expectations.  Saying “no’ is harder than it looks.

But remember this: God has a lot to accomplish on this earth through His believers but God doesn’t expect anyone to do everything.  We are just supposed to accomplish our portion.  This is one of those things I have to always remind myself: “Karen, God wants you to say “no” to some things and “yes” to others.”  Ask God to show you the paths you are suppose to walk down as well as the paths He’s left open for someone else.  Trust me, the path He has for you has PLENTY to keep you busy!!!

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God’s Not Done with You by Tauren Wells

God can bring rebirth, renewal, and restoration right in the middle of your cancer story!  Tauren wells beautifully captures the wonder that God can bring to ANY struggle- even cancer.

Standing in your ruins, feels a lot like the end
So used to losing, you’re afraid to try again
Right now all you see are ashes
Where there was a flame
The truth is that you’re not forgotten
‘Cause Grace knows your name

God’s not done with you
Even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars
God’s not done with you
Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart
God’s not done with you
It’s not over, it’s only begun
So don’t hide, don’t run
‘Cause God’s not done with
You-ou-ou-ou-ou
You-ou-ou-ou-ou

There’s a light you don’t notice
Until you’re standing in the dark
And there’s a strength that’s growing
Inside your shattered heart
Woah-o-o-o-o-oah

God’s not done with you
Even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars
God’s not done with you
Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart
God’s not done with you
It’s not over, it’s only begun
So don’t hide, don’t run
‘Cause God’s not done with
You-ou-ou-ou-ou
You-ou-ou-ou-ou
He’s not done with you
You-ou-ou-ou-ou
You-ou-ou-ou-ou

He’s got a plan, this is part of it
He’s gonna finish what He started
He’s got a plan, this is part of it
He’s gonna finish what He started
He’s not done
God’s not done writing your story
No, He’s not done
God’s not done with you!
God’s not done with you

God’s not done with you
Even when you’re lost and it’s hard and you’re falling apart
God’s not done with you
It’s not over, it’s only begun
So don’t hide, don’t run
‘Cause God’s not done with
You, You (You-ou-ou-ou-ou)
You, You (You-ou-ou-ou-ou)
You, You
No, He’s not done
God’s not done with you

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Emily Lynn Weisband / Bernhard Herms / TAUREN G WELLS
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Caregiver Guilt: “Why were they diagnosed and not me?

I think it’s commonly agreed that watching your loved one struggle is one of the hardest  things on the planet. It’s no wonder that a caregiver may wish it was them with the cancer. This can easily lead to feelings of guilt that it was not them in treatment.

Caregiver guilt can be strong during and after treatment. Why?
· Because they are exhausted, and need a break from caregiving.
· Because it feels bad to wish the survivor was doing more around the house.
· Because they have not been able to share how hard the cancer is for them, since being a cancer caregiver is not as bad as having cancer.
· Because they are not able to “make” their loved one all right again. Cancer changes things.

➢ Circle how often you are aware of feeling caregiver guilt:
Never             Sometimes                  Frequently               Consistently

I believe that caregiving is a calling. To serve others is to serve Christ. This vital role teaches us TONS about how Jesus loves us.
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
➢ Do you believe that God can use the cancer in a survivor’s life to impact those around them? _____
➢ Do you believe that God can use the role of a caregiver to impact those around them? _____
➢ How have you seen these happen in your cancer journey?

Share your thoughts if you would like.

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God Made our Bodies to Move with Dr Karen Wonders

Contact Dr. Karen Wonders at Maple Tree Cancer Alliance https://www.mapletreecanceralliance.org/

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You Say by Lauren Daigle

Mirrors are sometimes our toughest critics.  On a cancer walk we can become too easily influenced to think less of ourselves instead of MORE!  Lauren Daigle does a beautiful job in this song of handing us the precious truth that God longs for us to hang on to.  Use this song to replenish your mind when times get tough.

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know
Ooh oh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
Ooh oh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God, You have every victory
Ooh oh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Oh, I believe
Yes I believe
What You say of me
I believe

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God is Bigger Than… Chasing Cars

Have I ever told you about Poochie?  Poochie was my dog growing up.  He was a total mutt that preferred lounging in the shade of the porch rather than doing any kind of activity except eating.  Other than food, the only thing that would get Poochie off the porch was the sound of a car with a broken muffler.  Then that dog would shoot off like a bullet chasing that car down the street barking up a storm.  But once by the street, Poochie would hear another car and tear off after that one in the opposite direction.  That dog would chase cars all afternoon leaving him exhausted and standing in the exact same place he started.

It frightens me how much I’m like Poochie.  I’m afraid I have the tendency to live my life like a dog chasing cars. I’m going through my day or my week right on track when suddenly something catches my eye and I am off in a totally new direction.  Continue reading

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