Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Best day ever...

Today was quite possible one of the best days I have had in a long time. Could it have been because I had a wonderful free lunch??? Maybe. I realized today (not for the first time) how much I absolutely love my job. It gives so much freedom to be creative, think, minister to people, accomplish something with an actual purpose, watch students grow, and the list could go on.................................. I know that I could do better and I'm definitely not perfect, but each and every day I get to go to work and do things that I enjoy. How sweet is that??? This morning I could not wait to get to work, cause I had a brilliant idea to share. My job beats the socks off an accounting job any day.

Rejoice! --Shawna

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The best place.

It's been 3 weeks to the day since we learned that my mom has cancer. How my life has changed in 3 weeks? I have realized that God has a lot of things to show me and maybe needed to get me out of my comfort zone and begin His work. My family has learned so much already and the journey continues.

My mind has been overtaken by this thought of being in the best place. Because of cancer, I have chosen to be with my mom over some of the daily/routine activities where I seem to find myself. I was encouraged to chose time with mom over a youth trip that had been planned for months. My time with mom was greater than any trip I could ever take. I chose to be available for some hurting friends; it was the best decision. I chose mom this past weekend instead of my usual fun-filled craziness. Mom was the best choice. Why has it taken cancer for me to realize how much I love her and enjoy my time with her. Even in her pain, she still gives so much to me. We had a blast and from time to time she would say, "I just needed my daughter." I experience such joy from hearing things like that. I want to be more open to being in the best place. It seems like I always have multiple options about where to be or what to be doing. I want to chose the best place... right now, I'm working on that!

Monday, March 26, 2007

This week...

My ultimate goal this week is to... cook a decent meal. My roommate and I have been suffering. We need good food. It's like being back in college again, although I pray I never eat ramen noodles again. I'm working on one of my best blogs ever. Look for it soon (like after I tackle my small mountain of schoolwork.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Bunch of Random

So much crazy stuff has been going on in my life, so I'm going to share as much as possible, hopefully in order of importance.

  • My mom started radiation this week. She is doing pretty good. The spot on her leg where they are doing the radiation is a little swollen, but she seems to be tolerating it quite well. My prayer is that this will completely kill the cancer. I'm going home to visit and take care of her this weekend. I'm kinda excited, I actually miss my mom and I know that she misses me!!
  • My best friend's grandfather passed away earlier this week. Today I get to go to a funeral for him. The greatest thing I have realized during this time: It's an incredible thing when you are able to say, "I'm here for you" and actually put those words into action.
  • My sis-in-law is having a boy. So that means I will have 2 nephews and 1 niece (exactly like my siblings and me). It will be wonderful... my niece is already so much like me, but probably cooler than I was at 3. I'm excited, and I have to wait till July before he actually arrives.
  • **This is not actually important to anyone but me.** I bruised my left leg bone by tripping over a speaker/monitor thingy. It has been a week and it is still quite painful. It's so not fun being a klutz.
  • I started my new Master's class for New Testament 2. We went through the book of Galatians on Tuesday night. It was incredible, gave me a whole new love for the book. My professor is so structured and presents things in the most wonderful way. I love it! I expect to learn a lot.
  • And last and certainly not least, we are making summer preparations within the ministries that I work with. I'm excited about what God has in store. Our first trip will be Beach Blast with the Middle School students. I absolutely love those kids. I enjoy the planning of these trips, but love when we actually go and get to see the results of all the planning/preparation. God is definitely working in the lives of students and I know that camp will be a life-changing time for some of them.

My randomness is out! My Memphis Tigers have made it to the Sweet 16. I will be cheering them on this evening!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Your life is not in danger...

After 2 weeks in the hospital, my mom finally received some answers. What was once thought to be a sciatic nerve problem is now a cancerous tumor. After multiple tests, scans, biopsys, etc. she was diagnosed with a cancer called carcinoma. She will undergo radiation for the next 6 weeks. The cancer has not been found anywhere else in her body and the doctors are hopeful that the radiation will shrink and destroy this tumor. My family was completely shocked to take in this news. Cancer always comes to other people and it is so different when it affects your family. We have been affected and by the grace of God we are continuing on. I'm going to use this blog as my outlet for discussing this. My family has been very open about this situation and we talk about it a lot. My parents have incredible faith and I have seen it put to the test in the last week or so. We keep saying that "God is bigger than cancer," and if we say it enough it starts to be a little more believeable. Personally, I have been down a tough road this week. Cancer completely robbed the joy in my life. I hated the thought, the words, and the diagnoses. It is so easy to say things like, "trust God," or "God is working," and it is so much harder to cling to these as your promise when reality is hard. My dad keeps telling me that we say we have this faith, but until it is put to the test does it become refined and strengthened. It goes without saying that my faith is being tested, some days are easier than others. I have chosen to be encouraged and optimistic about the situation, although sometimes my feelings prove to be the opposite. And the title of my post, the doctor said those words before my mom left the hospital last Friday, "Your life is not in danger..." We needed to hear that.

More to come.

Friday, March 02, 2007

What a Week!

I'm blogging from a hospital room. Not me, but my sweet mom is currently residing in the hospital. She has a tumor on her sciatic nerve and will be undergoing surgery early next week. I've spent time every single day at the hospital and I have come to hate being in the hospital. Although, I do appreciate good doctors and nurses. My mom is getting the best care one could imagine and I'm thankful for that.

I had no idea what an emotional wreck this week would make me. I've cried my eyes out more times than I care to count. As I sit here, I can only ponder what God is trying to show me through this time. I'm not sure I've learned it yet. I'm ever reminded of my dependency on God and my lack of control in all situations. I have seen the great faith of my mom and dad. I want to be more like them when it comes to trusting God. They look at this time as an answer to their months of prayer. I feel like I only see a small piece of what they see. I have prayed that God would strengthen and increase my faith. Maybe after this trial is complete, I will be able to look back and see how God was working. In the meantime, I'm still learning.

I met a new friend today. It was an interesting experience. I love meeting new people, especially when conversation comes easy and nothing seems forced. I enjoyed the short time we had a chance to chat. Hopefully, our conversation will continue in the future.

More blogging later. The hospital can get boring real fast. I'm also thankful for best friends, who realize I need some dinner and are more than willing to come and meet my need for food and friendship. My life is sweeter because of them.