Fear, faith, and foundation


It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  A new season is slowly approaching and we’ve been going strong with school starting back, celebrating August birthdays, buying a trailer to hit the road with Swanky Steer, and just living our busy lives. After 7 days of school, my Giddy-Ups are learning the routines and doing so well.  We’ve begun curriculum and I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching and not having to constantly prepare to be out for chemotherapy like last year. I feel great, tired at night, of course, but God has given me the energy to make it through the day.  Now prayers for us to stay healthy as I just heard the first flu case has hit our school. 

After a trip to see the doctor last week, we got good news that my bilirubin counts had significantly dropped. This means that the dosage for the oral chemo is spot on, and not damaging my liver as much.  This is an answer to prayer, as I was so worried that by lowering the dose, it wouldn’t be as effective, preventing reoccurrence, but would continue to damage my liver.  This was frightening.  But God always prevails and prayers work.  While at the cancer center, the sweet nurses that take blood each time had a super difficult time getting my port to cooperate.  They tried for at least 15 minutes with no luck.  That’s when they flipped me upside down and the blood finally started flowing.  Feeling super weak and queasy, a wheelchair was needed to go to see the doctor.  

My daddy rescued me and chauffeured me in style right up to the room.  I’m just so thankful that my parents can help when J has to work.  I’m on my 5th out of 6 doses of the Xeloda and can’t wait to celebrate being done with the oral chemo.  Right now that date looks to around the end of September.  YEEHAW!!!  I’m so thankful that the side effects have been minimal. 

As for our Swanky Steer business, we’ve been looking for a trailer to start traveling with our guys.  Our first idea was transforming a horse trailer into a showroom, but we were just concerned with leaks and the space.  So we quickly shifted our mindset and started looking for an enclosed trailer.  

We looked all over locally and on the internet, until J found a man in Boiling Springs who sold them out of his home.  I called him and knew within the first minute I talked with him that he was going to get our business.  He was just the kindest soul.  We went and met him the very next day.  He wasn’t in great health and told us that he spent much of his day on oxygen, but that God allowed him more time on this Earth so he intended to make each day count.  We settled on a trailer, closed the deal with payment, and as I was handing him the money, he teased me and said “girl…quit biting your fingernails.”  You see I’ve lost fingernails and toenails due to the Taxol that I took and so my hands and feet aren’t pretty.  My eyes immediately filled with tears and words wouldn’t come out of my mouth to explain my situation to him.  J quickly jumped in and explained that I didn’t bite my fingernails, that I was currently fighting breast cancer and the medicine had caused me to lose them.  This precious man just cried and apologized.  I was finally able to talk and tell him my story.  He listened and agreed with just how good and faithful God is and has been to him.  When we walked away from him, I hugged J, and thanked the Lord for leading us to this place and to this man.  Our God is mighty and magnificent in every single way and this was just another indication that this man’s business was a part of the plan the whole time.  Work begins on the trailer soon as we “swankify” it and have it ready for our local hometown rodeo on September 21-22. 

Another event is taking place very soon that I’m super excited about.  This summer I felt the Lord tugging at my heart, and leading me down the path to share my testimony publically with others concerning my battle with breast cancer.  I’ve prayed about this and asked for God to open the doors if this should happen.  And He has.  

On Thursday, October 4, at our church, we’ll kick off our 1st annual fundraiser, “Give Cancer the Boot”, with a silent auction, special music, amazing food, my personal testimony, and some other very special guests.  It’s sure to be an awesome time as we fellowship and give back to The Pearlie Harris Breast Health Center in Greenville.  Mrs. Pearlie Harris will be in attendance and is just an amazing woman.  A former educator for Greenville County Schools and now a local “she-ro”, Mrs. Harris shares a passion for helping others.  The Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health was named in her honor for her endless dedication to making a difference and extending her personal mission of faith, hope, and help to those in need. 

We’ll also have the Bon Secours St. Francis mammography bus on site for tours, along with “Pinky”, Ray Walker Trucking’s pink dump truck, and the “On fire for a cure” firetruck.  More than 75 silent auction items will be up for purchase, a table competition to see which table can raise the most money by stuffing a boot.  We’ll also have a memory/celebration wall to honor those who have lost their battle, those currently fighting, and those who are survivors.  This is sure to be an event that helps to bring breast health awareness to our community and provide an opportunity for those who need help.  Tickets are available through myself or at the church. 

We’d love to have you!

So as this new season approaches in my life, I constantly am reflecting on my journey this past year.  It was one of fear, faith, and foundation.  I spent many days fearful of the way I’d feel after chemo and then scared about the surgery and radiation.  I had to lean on my Heavenly Father each second of the day and have faith in Him that He’d take care of me all the way.  And through this season, I can honestly say the foundation that I stand on is so much stronger.  He’s helped me develop greater faith and more appreciation for each season that passes.  He designs each season for us specifically, and in this current one of my life,  I choose to live like there is no tomorrow and embrace it all. As Lysa TerKeurst says it best, do these things.

“Say yes to the Lord’s assignments.”

“Engage with life and the people in it.”

“Unrush me as I set my schedule today.  I want to step out of the rush so that I can embrace Your best for me.” 


“Stand moment by moment and let God overwhelm your soul.”  (Taken from her book, Embraced)

Prayer requests: 

Please pray for my friend Brooke Turner as she’s battling breast cancer and just lost her husband

Pray for my aunt who is having some health problems

Pray for the teachers as they are teaching these precious children and for our students 

Pray for the upcoming Give Cancer the Boot event and that we can glorify Him in every single way


 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11



Soaring like an eagle...

After 17 years of teaching, I still get excited about setting up my classroom each year for a precious new group of students. 

The unpacking process is usually a chore, as we have to pack it all up, but this year, thanks to my awesome long term sub, the unpacking part was so organized and easy.  Bulletin boards were still in tact, and all items on the wall looked like they did at the beginning of the year, and not faded.  I forgot to leave a map for the custodians of furniture arrangement at the end of the year and thankfully, our school secretary called me while I was at the beach to ask for this.  I immediately sketched it out and sent it to her via email.  Every single piece of furniture was placed back in the correct spot.  Never has this happened.  It was almost like God came in before I did and made this job as easy as He could for me.  So the finishing touches just had to be done and prep for meet the teacher. 

 My niece that will be 9 soon, came and helped me, along with Jett and my best friend’s daughter. 

 The help of little friends makes it more fun and shows them the work that goes into making a classroom a home.   
Now I can enjoy the last few days of summer with my little guy before we start back with the daily routine of busy weekdays.   We’ve got a few more fun things planned and I’m trying to soak up every second of my time with him, as he’s growing and changing every day.

 I also want to end this summer thanking God for a wonderful time of rest.  I had an extended spring/summer break, after my surgery, but that time was so needed and I truly feel as if it prepared my heart for this fall.  I’ve been  praying for my future class of students, their parents, and our school. 
I’ve prayed for God to give me the strength to be 100% for my kiddos.  I have missed being in the classroom and I know that it’s going to take awhile for me to get back in the swing of things.  But He’s good like that, and I know that He’ll continue to hold me up and surround me with precious people to help each day.

BCES is home to me, after being there all but one of my 17 years of teaching.  The staff loved on me like no other last year during my battle and they’ve truly become like family.  

The morning before we went to work at school, I read from a devotion my mom gave me by Billy Graham’s daughter called “Why?”

  In the chapter about “trusting God’s purpose”, she wrote about how we can either be like a turkey or an eagle when faced with a storm.  A turkey usually runs and hides, hoping the storm will go away.  And for the eagle-he leaves the nest, spreads his wings to ride out the storm, trusting that they’ll carry him higher in the sky than he could soaring on his own.  As I read this, I knew I was going to work in my classroom and it just spoke to me so much.  Our school mascot is an eagle and that’s exactly what I’ve had to do during this scary time in my life... spread my wings of faith, fly harder than I’ve ever done so, embrace the wind, and trust in Jesus.  So for this upcoming year, I plan to soar a little higher each day, thankful for another year of life.  I feel rested, healthy, and ready to do just what I love, 
teach the children of tomorrow.  

Today’s appointment went well.  My little sidekick went with me and let’s just say it’s really hard for a 4 year old
to be good for 2 hours, waiting.  He did his best, and he liked seeing my doctor, which he’s heard a lot about.  
So the ultrasound showed that I have something called a “fatty liver”, which is fairly common, and after taking the oral chemo for three cycles, my bilirubin numbers went up significantly.  My doctor feels that it is safe for me to continue 3-4 more rounds of the chemo, to hopefully prevent reoccurrence, and we will just monitor my liver constantly throughout this time.  He reduced the dosage even more so I’m praying that the side effects will be minimal.  A hysterectomy is planned for late December, and then Arimidex,  a hormone replacement chemotherapy will be taken for 5-10 years.  Dr. Dyar had been wonderful and I truly believe that his plan aligns with God’s plan.  

So now, I’m ready to soar.  

I’ll be flying high this year with my sweet students daily, 
and then I’ll land at home (or most likely crash)
 in our nest each afternoon, and spend time with my guys.

 Each day is a journey in itself.
  I can’t wait to travel alongside each individual student and help them soar too.
  And this mama eagle is super excited for
Jett this year. 
 His love for learning is contagious and he’s going to have a great time in K4.

I hope that you’ll be like an eagle too.  

Fly high each day, take it ALL in,
 and trust in our precious Savior.  

Thanks for all of your prayers.  We love you all and constantly thank God for our tribe.  

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge.”  Psalms 91:4


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