Happy New Year to all of you. I am ready to tackle 2017 like a champ. I know God has good things in store for me, for my family, and all of you. I will praise him in the storm and in the sunshine. I'm ready to get my book
out there and need to find a good content & copy editor before I submit it for publication. When I re-read parts this morning, I realized I really have been through a lot and I have a story worth sharing. A story of hope and strength. I want this story
to be a blessing to others.
I have started my exercise program again after taking a week off for the flu. Yesterday and today I walked three miles on the treadmill. I have plans to continue that every day. I can feel the strength returning to my body.
I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to writing 2017. Any year that ends in a 7 is a big year for me. I turned 30 in 1997, 40 in 2007, and turn 50 in 2017. Wow, 50! It sounds so..... OLD! I used to freak out about my age and I
never would disclose how old I was. Look at me now. I am putting it here for everyone to read it. I suppose when one faces death head-on, one feels fortunate just to be alive and worries less about people raising their eyebrows at the ancient age one is. I
simply don't care anymore. But that's not to say I still don't work out to look good, fix my hair and put jewelry on when I leave the house... I shall not let myself go! I just have a little bit more humbleness for sure. Don't even get me started on the things
I don't like on my body.
I am more interested in talking about the fantastic Opioid Task Force meeting last night. There must have been 50 plus people there wanting to help the people in the Valley who have an opioid addiction. There are people from
all walks of life; professionals of many sorts as well as community members and recovering addicts. These people just don't talk the talk, they really walk the walk. They love on addicts and facilitate services for positive change. I'm thrilled to be a small
part of this group.
There is a remembrance ceremony on January 10th at Nunley Park. This service will honor Kelsie Green, a 24 year old woman who died in Anchorage Jail 1/10/16 from a heroin overdose. But it's not just to honor Kelsie, it's to honor
ALL who have died from a drug overdose and to encourage those in recovery. It's time to take the stigma out of having a family member with addiction problems. The Mayor of Wasilla spoke last night and said the Mayor of Fairbanks disclosed his daughter was
a heroin addict and a prostitute. That took some courage to admit, didn't it?! A trooper admitted his son is serving life in prison for a drug related crime. That also took courage. Good parents have good children who make terrible choices. Who are we to blame
to the parents and mock the afflicted? We need to stand beside those with addictions and help them find lifetime recovery.
I spoke with a friend last night who shared that her son has been clean for 18 months. Before he relapsed, he had been clean for
six years. SIX YEARS and then he went back to that lifestyle. He lost everything, including the custody of his children. It's enough to make me want to just sit and cry. I want to fix it all, but I can't. But I can certainly be involved in groups and task
forces and spread the word.
There are many meetings in the next few weeks and I am excited about being part of the change. I plan on going to the Prisoner Reentry Meeting next week, I will be helping with the Homeless Connection in a couple of weeks,
and in February will be attending "Mental First Aid for Adults." In February I will also be coordinating a blood and bone marrow drive at Church on the Rock. I am excited to have a purpose!
I got to read Raggedy Ann & Andy to Olivienne yesterday
on Face Time. It was so fun to see her and her expressions. She held Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy while I read to her. I may have purchased those dolls for a Christmas present...... She kept getting distracted by her parents talking to her and would
say, "We can keep Face Timing, Grammie, Dad just said something to me." She is so mature for three years old. They are having the time of their lives traveling across California. They are headed to Kirk's next job site: San Diego. In six weeks we will be joining
them in Hawaii to fulfill our difficult duties of being nannies. Yippee!!!!!
I have procrastinated long enough. This has ben a lazy morning for me. I slept in because I was tired after being woken up all night with bad dreams. Now it's time to buck
up and get on the treadmill and do my three miles. Then, some heavy duty housecleaning will follow. Be grateful for every minute of your day. That's my new goal. Every moment...
This morning I listened to Joyce Meyer while doing my stretching.
I could just sit there in front of the TV, but why not do a few sit-ups, leg lifts, and stretch my tight muscles? Not tight as in firm or lovely, but tight in "they haven't been stretched in awhile". Back to Joyce.... She is doing a study on Ephesians and
one thing she said resonated well with my soul. Basically she was saying to enjoy the ride. I may not be where I want to be, but thank goodness I am not where I used to be. Enjoy the journey that God is leading me on. When I went to the book of Ephesians
myself, I read in Ephesians 1:9-10: " And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. To be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven
and on earth together under one head, even Christ." I glean an understanding that God is in control of my journey and of yours. There IS a greater plan that he has laid out for us. We may not understand it, want it, or have asked for it, but it's there and
it's up to us to follow along. God tells us that we are to give thanks in all circumstances. That doesn't mean we have to enjoy every horrible thing we go through. But in all bad things, there can be good. Sometimes the only good thing we can get out of a
terrible situation is knowing that God is here for us and he does care about us and someday every tear shall be wiped away.
I thought about all of this while doing my praying on my treadmill. Thank goodness my brother and SIL loaned me this treadmill.
I do my best praying on it! I'm sure that's not what they thought about when they loaned it to me, but I think of it as a dual purpose. I can't do one single activity at a time. I do believe I have ADHD. I can't just sit and pray. But I can walk at 4.1 mph,
stare at the cross of Jesus in front of me, listen to my praise music, and pray my heart out. This morning I was especially burdened for my friend John who had a six hour surgery yesterday. They removed part of his esophagus and part of his stomach. He has
cancer of the esophagus. They already did six weeks of chemo and radiation. Now he has a six week healing period, and then will have six more weeks of chemo. I prayed for Katie who is having surgery this very moment. Katie has been diagnosed with both AML
and ALL, plus she has an abscess in her stomach. This morning they are removing that abscess and possibly part of her stomach. I thought of Ingrid who is in the hospital with unbearable bone pain from her cancer that continues to grow despite the chemo. Oh
how my heart weeps for my friends who have such pain. There is a purpose to it all and God has not abandoned them in their journey. All things will be brought together to glorify our Lord. I know it, but when the pain is overwhelming it is hard to be happy
and content in all of our circumstances. "When the darkness closes in, still I will say: Blessed be the Name of the Lord."
Yesterday I ran some errands and then volunteered at Thrifters Rock for three hours. I may have made a few purchases too. I love
volunteering and I get $1 an hour towards merchandise! Yesterday I was able to get exactly what Patrick and I were trying to find; hooks to hang his steins on. Mom noticed them and pointed them out. I was thrilled to find them. I paid about the same price
for four of them as one costs at Lowes. Yay for thrift stores! I also got a brand new toilet seat for $2.50. (don't laugh, we needed one!) I also picked up our blood/bone marrow posters advertsing the next drive I am coordinating on February 12th. Today
I am volunteering for an hour at the thrift store and an hour at the library. I just love it when I can give my time to others.
Last night I got to visit with a friend I hadn't seen in years. Michelle and I met at Children's Hospital in
Seattle. Her son, Christopher, was diagnosed with ALL a short time before Logan. Chris was very, very ill and died on Mother's Day, just a few months after being diagnosed. It was a devestating loss for the Johnson Family and for all who knew and loved Chris.
Logan was so sad about losing his friend and I am sure he was afraid for himself. It was good to catch up with Michelle again. Those of us who have lost our children can empathize with one another. We truly "get it" and can support each other on the
One of the girls who also had ALL at the same time, just had her second baby last night! Ariel was about 2-3 when she was diagnosed and she loved Logan. Ariel was a cute little girl and had a lot of spunk. I am so thankful that she survived
and is now a mom of two little ones. What a blessing it is to see children survive leukemia. There is hope in all things. Ariel's legacy will continue through her children, and Logan and Chris will continue living on in our memories and the stories we
share with their siblings, nieces, and nephews.
Sometimes the grief is overwhelming. Reliving memories with friends can be difficult. In my reading of "Jesus Calling" today, the author shares how important it is to have a cheerful heart. She says, "A
joyful heart will improve your health-spritually, emotionally, and physically. So fill your mind with thankful thoughts until your heart overflows with joy." Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
I don't know about you, but I don't want dry bones. I want a cheerful heart that feeds my mind good and positive things about myself and my circumstances. Each day I am going to focus on being cheerful and happy. I will be kind to myself as well as think
kindly of others. Today's sermon at church was about loving God, then others, and then ourselves. When we focus on God first, we are filled with peace and cheerfulness. I challenge you to try it!
A couple of weeks ago, I had a mammogram.
A week later, I got a notice in the mail that there was an area of concern. I went in last Friday for an ultrasound. The radiologist relayed to the technician that she's sure it's benign and just to follow up in six months. I let Mayo know, because I would
rather have the re-check there. Dr. Spencer just called me and said she wants me to see a breast surgeon just to make sure. So, add another doctor visit for me. I'm sure everything is fine.
This morning I found out Renee is doing fairly well at 79 day
post-transplant. She's having quite a bit of stomach issues, but overall seemed very positive and encouraged. I shared with her I heard from Terri, who is having all sorts of issues with her AML/chemo side effects. Renee prayed for Terri while on the phone
with me. I was astounded that she sat aside her own issues and worries and prayed for someone else. What an amazing Christian lady. Terri will be having surgery tomorrow on her knee. She has a bacterial infection in the fluid around her knee and in her blood
stream. She also has fluid around her heart. Things are scary for her right now.
I heard from John's wife, and she said he had to go back into surgery. I am awaiting news and praying hard for him and all my friends.
I went over to Granny's today
for a sewing lesson. If you know me well, you know crafty things are not my forte........ I can't even cut a straight line. I was doing fairly well until I wasn't.... We bagged it for the day. I'll finish it up another time. Poor Granny didn't feel well. She
was very patient, but I'm sure frustrated with me.
Last night I went to my nephew Kyle's basketball game. I had a really good time with my family. I hadn't seen my brother and SIL since September. That's pretty sad when we live six miles
apart. It was a fun time together and I'm so glad I went. I looked at Kyle out on the court and I couldn't help but feel some sadness. He wears 24 just like Logan did. Logan loved basketball and played it since he was very young. Kyle even looks a bit like
Logan. Seeing him out there, brought back both good and sad memories. Logan's last basketball game was the first indication something wasn't quite right with him. He was very anemic (we didn't know that at the time) and struggled during his game. We all gave
him a hard time for not playing better. My poor son.
Logan also loved baseball. That's another sport he played from the time he was old enough for T-Ball. He had a friend named Tyler whose father coached Logan the last couple years of his playing. At
Logan's service, I gave Tyler a new testament that was inscribed as a memorial for Logan. Out of the blue- 17 years later, Tyler sent me a private FB message and asked me if I remembered him. He shared that he just came across the Bible and thought of Logan
and wanted to reach out to me. I appreciated that so much. I don't think Tyler had any idea how much that meant to me to know that my son is still remembered fondly by his friends. They have not forgotten you, Logan! You were and are still so important to
your family and your friends. What a blessing Tyler bestowed upon me when he reached out and shared his memories of his friendship with Logan.
As I am writing, I am looking at all the pictures next to my computer of my children. They were so beautiful
and innocent. I wish I could go back and be a mom of young children again. I would do so many things differently. I would love them better. I would be more patient and tolerant. I would be less selfish and impatient. How I wish I could go back.
and changes happen everyday. I try to enjoy each moment and not regret what has happened. I always had the philosopy of enjoying every moment of my childrens' growth and not mourn them getting older. I always have told that to friends/family who have dreaded
their kids getting older. I say, "Each moment of age has it's advantages. Don't be sad they aren't babies anymore. Enjoy each second with them for each age is fun." But here I am with grown-up children wishing my kids were little again..... I guess it would
be more helpful if I saw my kids and grandkids more often. I miss them!
Yesterday I invited myself out to see Casey and Kelsey's new house. It's so beautiful and I'm so proud of them for working so hard on it. When Casey showed me the garage with his
tools, kayak, etc. I beamed with pride. He has his own garage for his own things! I think for a man, that's the realization of "I did it!" Kelsey has the house decorated so beautifully. Finally, she has a home of her own. I'm very happy for them.
thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 136:1-3
love is forever and this mother's love is forever. One day, I will be reunited in Heaven with all my three children and there will be no mourning or disappointment. We will be together forever and it will be amazing.
Friday the 13th....
I have never been superstitious so this day doesn't bother me at all. I have been awake since 0400. It's not even 11:00 and I've done three miles on the treadmill, checked my e-mail, did more revisions in my book, and showered. Yay for me. Not...I think about
all the people who have been at work for hours and feel like such a slacker.
I'm meeting a friend for coffee, dropping a box off at the post office to mail to Meghan, and then volunteering at the library for an hour. It's been a good week and things
are going well. Yesterday I volunteered at Thrifters Rock and it was a lot of fun. It's great to see the many volunteers who take the time to come help set up. Life is fun and life is good. As long as I stay busy helping people, I am satisfied.
I am busy alright... I"m trying to coordinate the Blood/Bone Marrow Drive and it's stressing me out. I love it though. I need about 10 volunteers and I have to arrange the training too. I'm limited in what I can advertise at the church itself, so that makes
it a little bit difficult. I need people to donate blood and I need people to get on the registry. I love these drives, but they are always a bit emotionally draining. Logan would love this though and I'm glad to do it so children like him can find a match.
Church was great today. The pastor talked about the importance of discipling people. It sure made me think about who I am helping to become a stronger Christian. I know he meant it to inspire us and it sure did inspire me to reach a little further than
my comfort zone.
Yesterday was a GORGEOUS sunny and warm day. It was at least 20 and we had about 6 inches of snow. It was so beautiful. I shoveled the deck and three sets of stairs. I felt invigorated and accomplished. I took Ringo on a VERY short
walk. I met a neighbor who lives just two houses down from me. She seemed very nice. I was embarrassed to learn she has lived there for 11 years and I had never met her. That is pathetic. What kind of neighbor am I!!! That in itself was a lesson to me.
I have nothing on my calendar tomorrow, so I plan on doing some housework and giving my book one last look before I submit my manuscript on Wednesday. Wow! The time has come. I am sure the editors will be making many suggestions of change, so it's going
to be awhile before it's in print. But a book will be coming to you soon!
Martin Luther King Jr's birthday is being celebrated today. He truly was a great man. Thankfully I wasn't alive when people were forced to segregate according
to race. I can't imagine witnessing blacks sitting in sections "with their own kind", unable to mingle with white people. I can't imagine being on a bus where blacks would have to either sit in the back, or give their seat to a white people. Discrimination
and racism is a horrible thing and I want no part of it. I know that there are still racial tensions around the world and it saddens me that we can't all accept one another no matter the color of our skin is. Today I am thankful that Mr. King stood
up for civil rights. He deserves to be honored.
My heart was happy this morning when I saw a video on FB of young college girls dressing up as Disney characters and visiting sick children in the hospital. How wonderful that is! I am fed up with seeing
the news portraying all the movie stars and rich people. Who cares what they are doing? What matters most is what WE are doing to help our fellow man. Life isn't about how much jewelry we have. I saw that Kim Kardashian had millions of dollars in jewelry
stolen. Who needs that much jewelry? It's stupid and ridiculous and I don't care. I care about people all over the world who are starving to death. I care about people who don't have homes. I care about people who are sick, who are dying, who are missing.
I ask myself daily how I can help the less fortunate. THIS is what is important. We need to refocus our priorities.
We got snow dumped on us again. I am happily going to shovel this morning. I am thankful I am alive and well enough to do it. I am grateful.
I need a nap. I'm so tired today. Yesterday I kicked butt though! I walked three miles on the treadmill, vacuumed the whole house, cleaned two bathrooms, dusted the whole house, and shoveled two decks and three flights of stairs and then
made dinner. Today I'm feeling it..... I still volunteered at Thrifters Rock, shoveled one deck, one flight of stairs, and attended two meetings. But, I am exhausted and need to nap badly.
God is good and faithful. Because of HIM, I coud do this.
Yesterday I got to go to Bible Study- "Connect" and really had a fantastic time. I have gotten to know more people since volunteering at Thrifters Rock so I feel more like I belong. Our church is so large that it makes it difficult to feel
a part of "the group" unless you get involved in smaller groups. I suppose that's why Life Groups are recommended. I'm looking forward to getting to know even more people. Having a relationship with another Christian woman is so important to me. I like
knowing I will be held accountable for my words and actions. I want to be discipled and I want to disciple others. God's been such a tremendous blessing in my life and I want to share my story so others can be blessed.
Today is my appointment with the
breast surgeon. I am SURE everything is just fine, but it will be good to hear those words, "Nothing to worry about" from the expert. After my appointment, I will be visiting both John and Ingrid in separate hospitals. I can't wait to see them both.
I know John is finally doing better. I believe Ingrid is having a rough time. My heart hurts for them both. I got a text from Terrie and she described her chemo as five hours of Hell. She needs prayers. She said her blasts have greatly increased. That is not
This morning I watched Joyce Meyer and she had Dr. Osteen on the program. (Joel's brother) He is a surgeon and he spoke about miracles he has witnessed. He said medicine and God go hand in hand. Sometmes God uses medicine to heal people, but God
is always a part of it. I totally believe that. God can do instant miracles, but sometimes there is a lesson or reason why we are not instantly healed. He and Joyce both emphasized the need to pray to God to find out what God's plan is for us. I prayed that
prayer when I was diagnosed in Idaho. God showed me that being in Idaho was the right place for me. The doors also opened for me at Mayo Clinic. God orchastrated the whole process. We must open our hearts and our minds to hear him as he directs us.
do I sum up my day without writing an entire book? Before I drove to Anchorage for my appointment, I met Paula and Lisa for coffee. I hadn't met Lisa before, but Paula wanted us to meet. Lisa was diagnosed with AML in 1997, the same year Logan was diagnosed
with ALL. Lisa's story was crazy! She was sick for months before they figured out what was wrong with her. What that poor lady went through, is unbelievable. It's a complete miracle she is alive. She acknowledged God was a huge part of her outcome. She was
wonderful to talk to and she really blessed me with her story. It was SO good to see someone doing so well after all these years. Wow!
Finding parking and the breast surgeon's office was difficult. I drove around and around and around the parking lot
before I found a spot. Finally, I parked and began walking. Some parking attendant came over and said, "you can't park here, its for valet parking only." So back in my car I went. Finally, I found a spot. There were no clear signs showing the door to get into
the clinic. I walked into one area, only to find it went nowhere. At last I found my way into the building. I was freezing! While it was minus 17 at my house, it was only minus two in Anchorage,but I was still cold! I had to cross a sky bridge, take an elevator
up to the fourth floor, walk some more, and then presented my ID and insurance card at the desk. After sitting there for 20 minutes, I was ushered into the doctor's office. She asked all the background information she could think of. She was astounded at the
history of cancer on my mother's side. I was then directed into an exam room. She didn't find anything during the exam that concerned her. But she did not like the radiology report from our local hospital. There were contradictions in the report. She asked
me if I would be okay repeating the ultrasound with a technician she knew and trusted. I still felt it was overkill, but knew I should probably see this through. They got me scheduled right away. I asked for directions and was told I could either drive or
take the sky bridge. I chose to walk. After what seemed forever, I finally go to the desk to check in.
I was told I was at the wrong department.... so I kept walking despite my frustration. Finally! I was in the right place. They took my slides
and reports and asked me to wait while they uploaded them. Twenty minutes later, I was told it would be another ten minutes or so. By this time it was 1:00 and I hadn't eaten since 0700 and my blood sugar was crashing. I went to get a sandwich. I was able
to finish it before they called me back.
I was told to take off "everything from the waist up" and put on the lovely gown with the opening in the front and have a seat in the semi-private waiting room. There was one lady sitting there. I thought, "should
I make a joke, or just sit here awkwardly?" I could have said, "oh, we shopped at the same store! Or don't you just love these designer gowns?" I chose to sit in awkward silence instead. I hid my embarrassment when maintenance men walked through the
room with their eyes diverted. I'm sure they were just as uncomfortable. Soon, I was called out of the uncomfortable waiting room and my ultrasound was performed. I was again directed to sit in the waiting area. I was called into another room where
I was given the good news that everything was normal. Thank you, God!
It was time to go through the maze to find my car. I retraced my steps, went up the D elevators, crossed over the sky bridge and turned right. I was a bit confused so I stopped. An
employee asked if he could help me. I told him I was trying to find the parking garage. He told me to go the other way, take the B elevator and I will find the garage. I followed his directions to a T. I found the parking garage, but it wasn't the parking
garage I had parked at. I was back at the main hospital. I retraced my steps again. I asked a different person who had me turn the way I was originally going to go. Finally, success was mine. I found my car. I was close to crying because I was so frustrated
with myself. Normally I have a good sense of direction. Not today! Parking garages do tend to throw me off though. Mom and I got lost in the parking garage at AK Regional the first time we went. We made the mistake of not looking at the floor we were on. I
swear they could really use better sineage than they do.
Ingrid had her sister send me a text to tell me she was in too much pain to visit with me. I was disappointed I couldn't visit her, but I certainly understood. I went to see John. He was in good
spirits and was told he might be released this weekend! I'm so glad he's doing better. His wife and I went on a walk around the floor Did THAT ever bring back memories! Good grief.
Snow, snow, snow..... I shoveled two decks and three
flights of stairs again. Maybe I can finally get some muscles in my floppy skinny arms. I shoveled Granny's deck yesterday and of course it snowed again. Hopefully someone will take care of it as I'm not sure when I can get back over there.
are having friends over tonight and I'm happy that we can visit with people. Not many people come over and I get pretty darn lonely. I have the table all set and most of the food prepared. Patrick nicely agreed to mop the floors for me so that was a lifesaver
It is 0430 and I have been awake since 0330. I am tired of being tired. I am fed up with not sleeping. I finally fell asleep last night about 11:30 p.m. and slept sporadically until 0330. It has got to be the Prednisone. I sent
Dr. Hogan a message this morning, begging to be tapered off of it. My joints are feeling so much better. I really, really need to sleep!
We had a nice time with our friends on Saturday night. I love visiting with people and I was happy to host the dinner
party. I talked everyone into playing a game called, "Spousology". Basically, it is questions and answers for each couple. It was an easy game for we three couples and we all tied. It's a good way to know if you really know your spouse! I could also see how
this game could get some couples in trouble......It's interesting how we look at things differently, isn't it!
Later this morning I will be going to stuff "goody bags" for the homeless in our community. Tomorrow is Homeless Connect and I will be volunteering
for that most of the day. We got many donations and I am so excited to be a part of this great event. It's the 7th year United Way has headed this project. People don't realize how many homeless people there are in Alaska. Many of them just "couch surf" from
house to house. The lucky ones do anyway. Others are forced to live in tents or broken down cabins or in doorways of buildings. It's incredible how many teenagers don't have homes. It's heartbreaking for sure. There are many reasons why people are homeless.
Some have lost jobs, some may be mentally ill, some on drugs and some struggle with alcoholism. No matter the reason, it is our responsibility as a community (especially Christians) to assist those in need.
"Then he will say to those on his left, Depart
from me, you who are cursed into the enternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed
clothes and you did not clothe me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or in prison and did not help you?" He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever
you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:41-45)
My prayer for today, "Lord, help those in our communities who do not have food, clothing, or shelter. It's cold outside and I can't imagine what it would
be like not to have a warm house and a refrigerator full of food. Parents are desperate right now because they don't have enough food for their children. Their kids are hungry and they don't have enough warm clothes. These children get made fun of at school
because they don't have nice clothes like their classmates. Both parents and children are feeling desperate right now because they need a warm place to sleep in. They need beds, food, and clothing, and they don't see a way out of the poverty. Help us
be good stewards. Help us to be mindful of other's situations. Open our eyes to the people around us who need to be loved and helped. Help us to become selfless rather than selfish. Help ME focus on others before myself. I pray that many will be
served tomorrow and the community will see the love of Jesus in all of us. Thank you for providing for my needs."
IT IS DONE! I submitted my manuscript yesterday. Oh my goodness, I am so excited!!! Of course I know I will have editing
to do and there are still things to finalize, but the hardest part is over. Thank you, Jesus!
Yesterday, many of us gathered together to stuff "goody bags" for the homeless. We had donated canvas bags and we put shampoo, soap, laundry detergent,
snacks, toilet paper, etc. in each one. We did 300 bags. Today is the big event and I will be there. Since I can't be around crowds, I am in charge of monitoring the volunteer food. I will tell you that I would much rather be in the midst of the needy and
ministering to them. I would love to hear their stories and offer them hope and encouragment. But I have to be smart about my health and remain upstairs away from the main crowd. Some day I will be "fully operational" again.
I spoke with Terrie this
morning. She was told that she does indeed need a bone marrow transplant. She sounded completely confused about the whole process. I feel bad for her. I know how overwhelming it can be. I went into my treatment with a deep understanding because of Logan's
experience. I can't imagine how I would have coped if I didn't have a grasp of the process. My heart hurts for her.
I heard from Rebecca, who is taking care of her mom, Linn, who also has AML. Linn will be having her transplant next week. Rebecca
told me about another lady from Wasilla who just had a transplant for AML. I feel the need to do something. I truly wish I could start a non-profit to help others with cancer. I planned to after Logan died, but I just never had the energy to start it up. I
really don't have the knowledge either. I wish I had someone to walk me through the process because I really would like to start the Logan J. Marre Foundation to assist others with cancer expenses.
God is good and I pray he shows me how I can help others.
My day started off a little depressing. I learned about the death of a woman's son from a drug overdose. I then learned about the daughter of a friend who is being treated for heroin use. But then I learned that one of the men I've been praying
for, the son of another friend, is doing fantastic and thriving in his walk with God, but he is in prison for five years. He needs this time to be sober and grow in the Lord so he may be able to resist the drugs when he is released. Another friend told me
about someone she thinks of as a son, who was just sentenced to two years in prison for drug use. This was all in one day!
But my day got more inspiring as I saw on the volunteers who came to help with Homeless Connect. There were more volunteers
than there were clients! Not a bad thing for sure. What I loved most was all the teens that were there to help. They were absolutely adorable and so willing to assist us in any way we needed. When things look grim and you see all the bad stories about teens,
just think about our little town in Wasilla, Alaska and know that there are good teens in our community!
I was utterly exhausted by 1:30 p.m. I finally left at 2:00. I hit the wall. I crashed for an hour, but felt "weird" all night. I think I'm just
super tired. The nights without sleeping and my volunteer duties are wearing me out. I don't have much on my schedule today except for bible study and then a teleconference for training for the upcoming bone marrow drive.
lost everything I had written while in my ocologist's office. It's such a frustrating thing to have happen, but the good news I got overshadowed my disappointment. All my blood tests were absolutely perfect. Leuk has definitely been destroyed. I believe
I am completely healed and I give God all the credit for that. I never cease to be amazed by him. I still am not sure why "I" made it and so many didn't, but God has a plan for my life and I guarantee you, I am going to follow his plan. On my way home, I finally
had a revelation about my life. Remember how I have struggled trying to figure out my purpose? Honestly, I'm still not sure what exactly my life is going to look like, but I finally realized that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. God knew 30 years ago
that I was going to be diagnosed with leukemia. He KNEW! That means that everything is planned out with his timing, his goals for me, HIS purpose. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Wow! What a revelation
that is. I am where I am supposed to be.......But there is still one problem. I am continually searching for what I'm supposed to be doing in the future. I thought there was nothing wrong with planning ahead, afterall, I have always been a planner. But last
night, I was looking at a scholarship applicaton and told Patrick that maybe I should get my graduate degree in social work afterall. He shocked me when he honestly and openly shared that he is so frustrated with me beccause I can't just let things happen-
I'm always trying to do more than I should. He said, "Why can't you just be happy being home and volunteering to help others? Why do you think you have to do more?" Wow! I thanked him for sharing that with me. He usually keeps his thoughts to himself. I shared
my revelation earlier that day with him. He looked at me like he thought I was nuts because I believed my revelation, but was still looking at jobs, returning to school, etc. I'll be honest with you- I am CONFUSED!!!! I know I am where I'm supposed to be,
but does that mean I shouldn't look ahead and plan for the future? Just when I thought I had it all figured out, he pointed out I am still striving for more. I'm seriously confused. There's a purpose in everything and I want to obey God's purpose for me..
Someone help me! :)
The current bible study I am attending is helping me figure things out. Obviously, due to my struggle, I am going to need to attend ALL sessions.....Anita Keagy has quite a story. She was a good Christian girl, the daughter of a
preacher. She followed Godly principles without argument. She did everything right until prom night. That night, she let the wordly desires take over, and she became pregnant the first time she allowed herself to be compromised. Anita knew that she was in
no position to raise a child. She did the most loving thing she could do, she gave her baby girl up for adoption. She knew many people could not have children and she sacrificed her desire to raise the baby herself so that her daughter could be in a
two parent home and loved unconditionally. She mourned her decision for years. She wanted a relationship with that baby girl. At last, she received a letter from her daughter. She treasured that letter and she devoured it continuously She couldn't wait
for a more in depth relationship with her daughter. Soon, God spoke to her and told her he wanted her to feel that way about HIS letters. What a wake-up call to me. If we were that enthusiastic about GOD'S letters and we devoured HIS words, what a difference
it would make in our lives, right?
We tend to go to God when things get bad, right? We cry out, "Where are you God?" Why did you leave me? Why aren't you fixing this? Why did my loved one die?" What if we went to God ALL the time? What if we would seek
him when things are going well too? What if we read his letters to us every day and meditated on his words? Would our thoughts and lives be changed? Would our relationships with others improve and mature? Would we start sharing God's love with others more?
Would we be kinder to others and ourselves? I think we would. What if we treated God like our best friend? What if we went to him when we feel lonely and scared?
There have been many, many times since I have been sick that I have felt lonely. Many of
my friends work or they are just too busy to entertain me all the time. I have Ringo and he's great to hang out with, but he doesn't talk because he's a dog. Many times I have cried because I was lonely and had no one to visit with. (Sounds pathetic, doesn't
it!) I didn't use God to feel the voids. I just whined about how lonely I was. I didn't hear his voice saying, "Kelly, I am here. Want to go on a walk with ME?" Nope, I just whined and felt sorry for myself because I felt "friendless" at times. He was there
all along wanting to have a deeper relationship with me. If I had read his "letters" to me, I would have felt fulfilled rather than empty. When we surround ourselves with other Christians (like at bible study) or just spend time alone with God, our moods greatly
I was able to share my revelations with someone I care about this morning. He is someone my family has known for years. This person has had a lot of problems over the past several years because of his drug addiction. I have prayed for
him and many, many others for years. This morning Cam called me and shared with me that his wife has put her foot down and demanded he treat her with respect. I had to hold my tongue while he shared his heart. I asked him if I could speak the truth in love
to him. My spirit prayed that my tongue would speak the words of truth without making him feel bad. I told him I was happy his wife put her foot down and it was about time she stood up for herself. I told him that even though he has never physically hit her,
his anger, his emotions, his words, and his actions have been very emotionally abusive and it is considered domestic violence. I told him that he has to get his heart right with God before healing could take place. I don't know details, but I know he's done
awful, awful things because of his addiction. I know he has self-hatred. I know he was raised in a Christian home, but has not allowed God into his heart for years, mostly because he feels he is unlovable and unworthy. He said he desires a deeper relationship
with God, but when he prays, he is overcome with doubt because he hears a voice that tells him he doesn't deserve to be free from sin. You know how God puts things in front of us to help us? Sometimes we wonder why we choose to watch a certain program, listen
to lyrics of a song, attend a bible study, or listen to someone speak. Well I have figured it out. God puts things in our lives so we may share our revelations with others. This week I was watching Joyce Meyer. I was a bit annoyed because I had seen the same
program several times. But Joyce was talking about rebuking that bad thoughts that come into our minds and keep us from praying and really listening to God. I told Cam that when those thoughts come into his mind, he audibly say, "Get away from me Satan! You
are slime and I despise you", then to just say, "Sorry, God, I got temporarilly distracted. Back to you- what were you saying?" He laughed and said he thought that was a good idea. I asked him what he thought "praying without ceasing" meant. Being the intelligent
and intuitive person he is, he answered wisely. But then I took it a step further and shared with him how I talk to God all day long. God is my best friend! I don't do anything without running it by God first. (yes sometimes I don't listen well) I encouraged
him to ask God to give him words everytime he speaks to his wife. Where the was anger and bitterness, give him love and kindness. Where there was hopelessness, give them hope. I also shared with him that God has been giving me visions of he and his wife for
years. Visions of them standing in front of hundreds, with their arms wrapped around each other, sharing their story of how God healed their marriage and healed Cam from addiction. Their story is a powerful one, because it's a story of God's faithfulness,
and they can use it to save marriages and save lives. I believe Cam is alive only because God has a purposeful plan for his life and for their marriage. God's amazing and I wish everyone knew how amazing he is.
Patrick and I had a wonderful
time at the cabin. It was very relaxing and we got a couple walks in. The weather was fantastic and we took advantage of the 30 degrees and went for a nice walk across frozen Johnson Lake. While we were basking in the balmy weather in Kasilof, our home in
Wasilla was getting pounded with snow. We came home to about 6-8 inches which meant Patrick had to plow the drive and I shoveled decks and stairs. I didn't mind though. It's great exercise and the snow looks so pretty.
On the way through Anchorage,
I saw a sign at Brown's Electric that read, "Be the kind of person you needed when you were a child." I pondered that for awhile and came up with many different scenarios. For some, it could mean be a mother or a father, a brother or a sister, a teacher, a
confident, a friend, a mentor, a disciple, etc. So many things. Basically, think of it this way, many had sad childhoods and a good influence was needed. BE THAT PERSON! Give back in areas you lacked assistance. You might know how it feels to be hungry, unloved,
not cared for, not listened to.....Give a child the gift you didn't have. Change a generation! Make a difference in the life of one, and you will make a difference in the lives of many.
Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Lisa, who is 19 years
post-transplant. Lisa and I were sharing our appreciation for being alive and healthy. She said she still feels amazement for surviving. She had an awful time while going through AML treatment and her bone marrow transplant. She greatly suffered from GVHD.
We talked about how we really do want to make a difference in the life of another. I shared with her my dream of opening the Logan J. Marre Foundation. She encouraged me to do it. I have had this desire since we lost Logan. I want to raise money so that cancer
patients in the Mat-Su Valley can be blessed by his foundation. Honestly, I just don't know where to start so I havent started it! Maybe now is the time. Perhaps I can sell lots of my books and use the money to start this foundation. I wish I had someone to
guide me on the path. If God wants me to do this he will send the right people my way.
The last day of January. I have enjoyed this month, but I have to admit, I am exhausted. I have really hit the wall the past several days. I am beyond
fatigued. I am no longer frustrated with my limitations. I accept them and know I am right where I am supposed to be. I am still volunteering, I am still spending time with my husband, I am still involved in various activities, and I'm still keeping up with
my household duties. I am thankful! I am thankful I have a house, food to eat, clothes to wear, and people in my life who love me.
God's timing is his timing. He has blessed me tremendously and I am grateful and humbled.