How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!

PSALM 36:7-10

Last year my good friend, Amy (@Backseatwriter) wrote her One Word 2011 post for New Year’s Day. I didn’t. I wrote a post, yes, reflecting on my year past and the things I hoped to change in Reflections: A Year Past and A Year Ahead. In my post I had hoped that my 2011 would be brighter and filled with less of the stress, anxiety, negativity, pain and bitterness that overshadowed 2010 .It seemed each day was filled with dread – dread of each day at work, more bad news, more ho hum days, grim, grey and faithless. Looking back on my 2010 reflections, I suppose “trust” should’ve been my One Word 2011.

Not that 2011 was uneventful, no it was filled with a lot of events. Unbelievable events, uncertainty, and many questions filled 2011.  I claimed faith and trust in my Savior at the beginning of the year:

“And though it seems cold and solitary – my Saviour walks with me.
This year, this journey – I have no idea what lies ahead on this road.
I have to take it and I have to rely on my faith and communion with my God to make the journey…

I know that I will look and I will see the miracles, the grace, the joys and the hope.
Through the hard times and the pain – I will still see Him and I will rejoice.
I know I won’t understand everything but I haven’t given up and I know I am not ready to.
During this “new year” I am determined to rely on my faith and my God to guide my steps.

I am hoping and praying for a better year or a better way to handle what comes.
I truly hope and pray for a blessed 2011!”

I had no idea that I would have to trust God – I said I would trust Him and He guided me through life changing emotional pain, emergency surgery, cancer, medical bills, more surgery, renewed faith, relationships and He is still holding my hand. As of December 19th – my health is still of concern to my doctors, I am ending 2011 with uncertainty, about my health and wellness.

So this year I am claiming my “health” – yes, my physical, emotional and spiritual health. I am claiming it in the name of God. I feel like my trust came with faith and my health will come with happiness and abundance. No matter how dark the days seem, I have this irrepressible hope that remains. So I claim my health and happiness and my faith, trust and hope shall remain as I enter this year of uncertainty.

I claim my health for 2012. What are you claiming for this coming year? What is your ONE WORD 2012?

Have a blessed New Year! In Jesus’ name! May He bless you always!

In this not so “Wordless Wednesday” – I am facing surgery. As most of you read this I will be in the hospital and possibly still in surgery. I know that I am very blessed and loved, to spite the circumstances before me. It has been a rough road since my initial surgery in April – which discovered a carcinoid tumor and cells. As I was refered to doctors and then eventually facing the treatment ahead – a right hemicolectomy to remove part of my colon, any remaining cells and lymph nodes – I have had a lot of time to think and pray. I have accepted my situation and I know I am not alone.  I have some wonderful friends and family.

Romans 8:26-28
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and thoughts and I will be home soon (I hope).

The month of June is filled with excitement and anticipation, worry and frenzy. There is so much to do; work, school, kids, vacation planning and finding the time to relax are all things that are crammed into the mix. One wonders how it will all get done. “Will I have the strength to get through it and still enjoy the blessings around me?”

The past few months have been quite turbulent – an emergency surgery and cancer diagnosis has affected my life and the lives of those around me. Strength to get through life’s trials and struggles with dignity, hope and courage is part of life in Christ. Being able to a real inspiration to those around me is a strength that comes from God alone. When I saw this plaque, I was in need of a reminder that through Christ I can beat these trials and endless worries.  I smiled. The colors and flowers were so cheery and bright. I thought about who I might be able to pass it along to – who could gain inspiration and joy from this reminder that we are not alone.  We can do “all things” through Christ our strength. He will make miracles and joy “possible”, no matter how dark the night and how dim the future looks.
There it sits, on my shelf – a daily reminder that strength will come. I will not be alone. I will have the courage to stand on my feet and fight. I will have the joy to share my journey with others through faith and inspiration. For more inspiration and more courage visit the Dayspring Online Store. And be sure to check out (In) Courage and the Inspired Daily Deals.

FTC Disclosure: I selected and was provided with the I Can Do All Things – Wooden Plaque from Dayspring, free of charge for review. These opinions are my own and do not reflect those of Dayspring in anyway.

This giveaway is now closed!

Now for the giveaway:
For a chance to win a $20 coupon code to Dayspring Online store, just do one of these things:

1) Comment below  – what are some words, verses or sayings that lead you to feel empowered through Christ.

2) Tweet this giveaway, be sure to stop by at the (in)courage site and remember to use the @ShariCakes so it will get back to me and you can be sure you’re entered.

All things are possible…#GIVEAWAY #Dayspring @incourage @ShariCakes

This giveaway will run from Tuesday, June 21st thru Friday, June 24th, 2011 . And the Dayspring Coupon code is good until August 13th.

Many Blessing and Hope that through Christ anything is possible,

I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been a jumble of nerves and busy with appointments, phone calls and finances. Funny, I never said work – work is where I feel most at ease and my mind is at rest.

 I went back to work earlier last week to spend time doing what I do best – working with children. I love my job. I love being part of the lives of little ones who have their whole life before them. I have the opportunity to be a part of that – a big part – and it’s an amazing opportunity. I lead and they follow – yet they are fearless at every opportunity and they live in the moment. I have spent the past 6 months so wrapped up in the busy-ness of the day, that I missed the joy, the meaning, the importance. I missed God and the blessings in it. I am so blessed to be back at work and I enjoy it more now than ever.

As far as my health goes – I feel that being part of my regular routine has helped – I feel good, a little tired but more normal and blessed. I know it seemed simple, I even took for granted that it was a routine health issue. But it isn’t the end – it is a beginning and I have to accept it. I have cancer. I said it. I’m not giving up nor am I  going to let it define me. The treatment, however, is kind of drastic and major. Yet I am less fearful….but not fearless.

Did I shut down? Yes. Did I and do I cry? Yes. I am human. Am I scared? Sure. I feel the surge of helplessness and hopelessness from time to time creep up and I know it will continue. I need all the faith I can muster and all the prayer that I can manage to get through this. I know it will be long and dark but I have to be ready to go this distance. I have to be ready to journey this dark road with my Savior.

Thanks Amy and Josh Wilson Music.

Thank you [everyone] for your prayers and thoughts,

So I am waiting…for answers, for options, for relief, for this all to be over. I can’t do anything because I feel like my options are do nothing or do something drastic. There is little research to help in any decision. I feel like and anomaly that no one can explain.

I can do nothing – I am waiting. The doctors are unsure what the next course of action should be. I am praying that God will intervene and tell them what to do.

I am in the potter’s hands – He is the one making the decisions on how this is to be done. I am just a broken piece of pottery in His hands. Waiting to be whole again.

I’m not going to lie, this past year was just dreadful. Nothing really in particular happened that was awful – but this past year was just full of negativity, pain and anxiety. I never remember ever feeling like I’ve wanted a year to be over as soon as 2010.

The year started off well – with hope or denial – I can’t decide which one yet. I refused to let the negative vibes enter as 2010 began. I turned 3o in February and thinking of the past I started to reminisce and reflect – I began to blog, kind of :-). I had hopes of making 2010 one to remember. Things started well. Then the spring set in with ALOT of work, stress and anxiety. I began to worry how I would juggle all that I  wanted to do. I admit, I bit off a little too much and I became bogged down with work and stress. I held in alot of my stress and became bitter, angry and regret set in.  With all the stresses in my work and personal life – I began to shut down and give up hope.

I became frozen – like a lone soul in the “bleak mid winter”. The summer was blazing hot and my heart was cold and frozen. I was so upset that it had taken me a year to come to terms with the previous year’s let down {Post on Sanctification} and here I was again in another funk and dreading the dawn of each day. Dreading work, family and personal stresses, finances, church, yes even – writing. And it had, and has,  been some time since I had seen my love and best friend, things were just not looking great. With stresses there and here I had been wearing thin – how was I supposed to hold everyone up when I felt so drained?

Through the summer I braved the heat, long hours at work, late nights, early mornings – trying to carve some time for myself and trying even harder to feel comfortable enough to go to church. The summer ended just as quickly as it began and the bite of fall set in. I managed to make it through my father’s open heart surgery, my uncle’s funeral and a new job prospect (which is one of the best things going right now 🙂 – I love it!!).

The anxiety and worry have still remained. The holidays were very hard – I love Christmas and forcing myself into the holiday was so unnatural to me. All I could do was hang on to what I knew best – faith. The faith that I have still remains even in the midst of this awful mess. God has been good even if I still feel so far from the “grip of His grace” – He knows that I am hurting, He knows that there are worries that I cannot easily relinquish.  Sometimes the cares and worries that I hold onto are my connection to God – I feel that if I were to stop worrying and caring that it would make me cold, numb and unsympathetic. I try to be and show my concern and conciousness of others needs – a lot of the time neglecting my own. My faith is all that I can hold on to get through, especially during times when I feel alone. So what is next? What is ahead? I don’t know.

The road is long. Scary. Uncertain. Uphill. Downhill. Twisting. Turning. Through bad weather and clear sunny days. I will have to take it one step at a time. One day at a time – sometimes minute by minute. And though it seems cold and solitary – my Saviour walks with me. This year, this journey – I have no idea what lies ahead on this road. I have to take it and I have to rely on my faith and communion with my God to make the journey.

I know that I will look and I will see the miracles, the grace, the joys and the hope. Through the hard times and the pain – I will still see Him and I will rejoice. I know I won’t understand everything but I haven’t given up and I know I am not ready to.
During this “new year” I am determined to rely on my faith and my God to guide my steps.

Where is your “road” leading you this new year? Is it certain or uncertain? I pray this year for your journey and mine. I pray that this year brings blessings even in the midst of the troubles and strife, they seem huge and unbearable at times. We must bear them and get through but they are never too big for the Lord to take.

May the New Year be a blessing to you and those you love.