Do something you’ve never done before!!

What is one thing that you’ve never done before?  Think about that for a minute.  

For some it’s very easy to come up with something and for others, they may have had lots of life experiences. For me, I’ve done a lot of things in life.  But over the course of the past year,  I’ve experienced more scary events than I thought I’d have in my lifetime and wouldn’t wish them on anyone.  My morning devotion today was about “Doing Something You’ve Never Done Before” and by doing this you’ll find new things to praise God for.  And I guess I can say that this Thursday, I’ll do just that.  Chemo, radiation, a bilateral mastectomy, and more oral chemo were all things I’d never before experienced, and since ovarian and breast cancer go hand in hand, and my grandmother had ovarian cancer, a hysterectomy was another piece of this puzzle that we’ve been putting together since July 12, 2017.  And I’m hoping that it’s the final piece to place.  The one that completes it.  A hysterectomy certainly isn’t a fun event or one that is super easy but I know that it will help to hopefully keep cancer away from my body.   So with this new adventure, I also will praise Him once again for giving me a peace as I prepare for this day and afterwards, as I know he’ll be with me all the way.

So if you’ll pray for all of us this Thursday at 1, we’d appreciate it.  

December is the most wonderful time of the year and right now, in this moment of this very day, I feel great.

Looking back at where I was last year at this time, finishing up my last chemo treatment, I can’t help but thank God over and over and over for bringing me so far through the hardest days of my life.  This month has been crazy busy as we’ve prepared for the holidays with our little guy-visits with Santa, Christmas programs, decorating cookies, riding the Polar Express, wrapping presents, and more.

But then throw in an amazing trip to Vegas in the midst of it for mommy and daddy!  WOW!  Jeremy and I went three years ago when Jett was 2 and had a ball so after all we’ve been through these last 18 months, we decided to make the trip again to attend the National Finals Rodeo. Many have asked if Jeremy participated and sadly, no he didn’t.  This is like the Super Bowl for rodeo like they have for football. We started making our plans in January, planning to stay one extra day so that we could go see our favorite musician, George Strait, while there.  Little did we know that we’d have bad winter weather in the south that would allow us to extend our stay.  When making the original vacation reservations, I saw that “TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK” night was for round 5 and that we would miss it, as we would be coming home on Monday.  But when our flight was changed and another night was reserved at our hotel, we were able to purchase tickets to this round.  I was so excited that we could attend and rock our pink with 14,000 other rodeo fans.  The tickets for this round were pricy due to our last minute purchase but we both knew that it was something we wanted to do.  J immediately put them in his vest pocket and we continued our shopping adventure for the day.  About 2 hours later, he realized that they were missing and must have fallen out of his vest.  We both panicked and didn’t know what to do.  I called the ticket office and they recommended for us call the MGM hotel lost and found.  I did just that and guess what?  They were there!  A precious lady from California found them and turned them in on her way to the airport.  I seriously cried like a baby and thanked the Lord for this miracle.  

I mean think about it!  Vegas…the MGM GRAND HOTEL casino…TONS OF PEOPLE…and an honest soul found them and turned them in!  Unbelievable!  
So our trip was absolutely wonderful.  Our trip to the cactus garden on our first morning there was a sweet time.  Each cactus that I looked at reminded me of the one that pricked me, but also looking at the thousands of cacti in that garden, reminded me of y’all…my tribe that prayed me through this time like no other.  The next time we go, we’ll go at night to see the beauty of them lit during the Christmas season. 

 The rodeo itself each night was perfection in my guy’s eyes…strolling through the gorgeous hotels filled with beautiful Christmas decorations made me giddy, shopping literally until we dropped, singing at the top of our lungs to George Strait, meals that left us wanting to lick our plates clean, worshipping our Lord and Savior on Sunday morning with many cowboys, and just being together after my cancer journey. 

 J has been by my side for now over 23 years but he’s truly outdone himself over these last 18 months, being my number one caretaker and the best daddy to Jett.  He’s done just what he said he would as we vowed to each other our love.  For better, for worse, in sickness, and in health…I thank Jesus for him many times a day, as He blessed me with a wonderful man.  And this trip as Vegas turned into “COWBOY TOWN” was one he deserved, more than anything.  

I can’t help but think about the love I have for Jeremy and how much bigger God’s love is for us all.  He’s been so good throughout this ongoing journey and my faith has grown so much.  I’ve also seen Jett’s love for Jesus blossom like crazy lately.  He is constantly talking about God and his awesomeness.  Questions about the crucifixion are always being asked and he told us just this week that he wanted Jesus to live in his heart.  Talk about crumbling to our knees with happiness!  He’s almost 5 and we’re having many conversations with him about what that means but I’m so thankful for all those who have poured the knowledge of God’s word into our little boy, teaching him about our Savior.  What a wonderful foundation for him to grow on at such a young age.
I’m constantly in awe of how God’s timing is absolutely perfect.  After a rough morning of our “getting ready for school” routine, I got the most precious text from a friend who also battled breast cancer.  Jesus Calling is one of my all time favorite devotional books and she sent me today’s devotion that said “Your difficulty can be seen as a slight temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!” And what a difficult time we had this morning and what a difficult year it’s been.  Whew!  So focus on the blessings and not what difficult things can take away, is just what I’ll do.  
I thank Him daily for healing my body and for using me to share hope with others.  Trusting in Him is what we HAVE to do during big storms in our life, as He will calm them, bring healing, transformation, freedom, and hope to all.  Place all your worries into His hands.  He has a way beyond what you and I can see.   

So as the new year is approaching, do something that you’ve never done before!  Going back to my devotion from this morning, French nuns were asked their secret to longevity and they had two responses:  
1.  read and learn continually to keep your mind active 
2.  do something you’ve never done each month

I plan on doing lots of new things in the new year when I am feeling better.  

Here’s a few things on my 2019 LIFE list:
-read more of God’s word and continue to grow closer to Him
-start a cancer support group for those in our community
-teach Jett to read
-join the church choir
-travel with J more to ropings/rodeos 
-go on my first cruise
-take my parents to Vegas in December
-go to the Dallas Market in March for Swanky Steer
-and many more!

I can’t wait to hear of your new adventures, as I know they’ll enlarge you, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, helping you to praise God. 

“How precious is Your loving kindness O God!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.  They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  For with You is the fountain of life;  In Your light we see light.”  Psalm 36:  7-9

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the Earth.”  Isaiah 42:10


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