Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Gift Worth Keeping: It Goes with My Décor!

I wrote a book! Friends, I am so excited to say that my book, A Gift Worth Keeping: It Goes with My Décor! is finally off my computer and into print! I wrote this book in 2007 and have been slowly editing and working on it through the years. This is my story of surviving hardships, and I pray it might encourage others.

My prayer is that one would walk away with at least two things: (1) a different way to view hardships and (2) a real course of action to take to survive them victoriously.

I was blessed to speak on my book to my wonderful San Angelo church family years back. I will never forget a precious lady coming up to me afterwards ... she wanted me to know that she had lost three children. Horrible tragedy. Yet, she was encouraged by this message. Though tragic, I cannot relay how my heart leapt with joy knowing God had used this simple message to encourage. To encourage her.

Please keep this little work in your prayers. I can't tell you how much I have prayed on my face over this work. And know this is no money-maker; I have a ton invested in it. But I am asking God to use it, and my heart's one desire is that God be glorified through it.

It is out on Amazon. If you find it worthy, I ask you to please pass it on to anyone you know struggling through hardships and needing encouragement (this would make an endearing Christmas gift with Jesus' birthday just around the corner).

Most of you know I went through infertility, the adoption process, a miscarriage (tubal pregnancy), and our youngest baby girl surviving a Wilms tumor (cancer, chemo, the works) at only 13 months old. This book describes how I personally survived, and how anyone else can survive hardships. One doesn't have to have gone through the exact hardships as I to be encouraged by this message.

Writing this book was the most amazing journey with God I have experienced to this point in my life. This work has my heart and my tears all over it. And it is girly in every way (sorry guys!)!

Blessed by you, and there is no way to relay what your support would mean to me.


ps. If you read this book and are blessed in any way, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Finicky for the Good Life

Aslan and Lucy when they were babies.
This last week, our calico cat Lucy became ill. We had her tested. The blood work revealed she either had a parasite, heartworms, or an allergy. Boy, are those extremely different possibilities, or what? I was praying she didn't have heartworms because there is no treatment for cats, and I knew my daughters would be devastated. Praise God, no heartworms! We had recently put a liquid flea/tick medication on her ... she had an allergic reaction ... and I fully believe this all stems from that ... and that was about a month ago. At first, I thought she was sick because I was feeding her a different brand of canned food. She quit eating the Salmon flavor in the brand/box I was buying ... so I thought I'd try a different kind. She is so finicky.

Years ago, I had a hair-brained idea to buy a cheaper cat food for our two cats. I had always heard that cats could be finicky, but that had never been my experience. I had previously had a male cat for some thirteen years, and he would eat anything. We have two cats now, and our male cat will eat anything, as well. But I learned that female cats are a whole different breed! I'm not a veterinarian, and I'm not an animal professional, but from my experience, it is female cats that can be finicky. So, my "save money on cat food" experience was some 2-3 years ago, and it almost cost us Lucy's life (our female cat). She stopped eating. We had noticed that suddenly she was getting into any food we left out on the counter. She had never done this before. But she had stopped eating the dry cat food, and she was starving herself. Determined not to eat the dry food, she tried to get her teeth on anything we left out on the kitchen counter. When we noticed her getting thin, I tried going back to the normal dry food, but she wouldn't have it. Then, I tried wet, canned food. She loved it. Since that time, she has trained me and my girls to feed her breakfast, lunch, supper, and a midnight snack. It is so strange that she'll eat dry "treats," but she won't eat the dry food left out in their bowl. The little boy does, but she won't. She wants the canned food. And without the canned food, she would probably starve. And ironically, she almost starved to death as a baby because someone dropped them off at the "back" of the humane society building, and because it was Christmas time, no one found them for days. Three kittens became two, and these two almost didn't survive.

Because I was mistakingly the first to feed her the canned food in her time of starvation, she is totally enamored by me. She sleeps by me now. When she is hungry, she comes looking for me and cries to me. Non-stop, I might add. If I lie down on the couch, she will come try to lie on my tummy, faces me, and gazes deep into my eyes. It is the strangest thing. And the funny thing is that these cats are our girls' cats. I have no real attachment to them. They slept by the girls. They played with the girls.  And now, I have a shadow. A few minutes ago, I was working on the computer ... got to wondering where Lucy might be ... and turned around and saw that she was sleeping on the stool beside me. She is going to be near me, one way or another.

In the morning, when she is ready for breakfast, but I'm not ready to get up ... she'll come lie down on my side. Seriously. My husband thought that was so crazy. He said there is no way he'd let her do that to him. (In my defense, I'm half asleep, so it is really hard to find the strength to make her get off me, and she'd just come right back even if I made her move.) But my husband made the mistake of giving her a little food when he got up one morning for work, and now she has him trained, too! She goes from lying on my side, to lying on his side ... waiting for one of us to get up in the morning because she just knows we live to feed her.

Lucy's example reminds me of how finicky we need to be for Jesus. When we really realize His sacrifice for us ... when we really grasp the cost ... we won't want anyone or anything else. Without Jesus, we are slowly starving ourselves. And when we allow Him to meet that need in our lives ... we'll never be able to get enough of Him. We'll want to crawl up in His lap and gaze into His eyes daily because He met our desperate need. Don't grab anything. Don't grab just anything because you are starving. Don't grab what the world has to offer for comfort and life. Choose Jesus. Be finicky for the "good life."

Lucy and the good life.