HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Living Life After Death-5 Minutes @ a Time: [day 1]


It’s October again and time for 31 days of writing. This year I’m only linking up with my FMF sisters. Trying once again to get back to my first creative lote, writing. It’s been a long 3 and a half years. I only know that from looking back on it. Because it sure feels like a lifetime has passed. And actually, two lifetimes did. [insert sigh]

So … about the 5 minutes at a time. FMF =Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate, where my sister writers and I take one day to free write, un-rushed, for 5 minutes each Friday. Throwing punctuation and grammar to the wind [quite the feat for a grammarista!]. No spell check. No corrections.

::I’m updating here to let you know that this post/page will serve as my landing page.  A landing page or table of contents page is where you, my dear readers, can find a link to each of my 31 Day writes. So down at the bottom of this, my [day 1] post I will link each of my posts for you to find easily.::

The theme for my FMF 31 Day Write is … Living Life After Death. I know that sounds daunting, right? Well, not as daunting as getting here, today from there. Where’s there you ask … that’s a tough question to answer, and yet I’ve spent 3 years feeling as though I’ve had to explain the where to justify the here and now, to some. So I will try to fill you in on my Story in five minutes!

Story is the prompt…GO!

No rush, right. [insert smile].

Three years ago my husband died from cancer after a 19-month battle. When I say battle I mean the disease’s toll on us as a family. My husband lived ,to the fullest, all but one week of those 19 months. He never gave up until he was finally called home to the Lord.

Sixteen months later my youngest son passed away due to fentanyl poisoning. He was an addict for 17 years. Another battle that took a toll on all of us as a family. He tried. He fought it in the end and things were looking up but …. STOP.

Heroin addiction is a disease and while cancer’s existence within my husband’s body wore his body down, heroin has a voice and a hunger that wears down the person’s mind while the sickness of not giving in wears down the body just as much as giving in and using the drug.

So in 16 months, my little family was cut in half. My oldest son and I move forward in faith, learning to live this life after death.

So if you’d like, I’d enjoy your company on this 31-day journey to wherever God will take us.

                                                                1. story. [you are here]

    2.  afraid 

3. believe

4. why

5. FMF – Share

6. belong

7. hope

8. comfort

9. inspire

10. how

11. door

12. FMF –

13. talk

14. ask

15. when

16. pray

17. pause

18. search

19. FMF – 

20. Audience

21. start

22. help

23. common

24. brief

25. capture

26. FMF – 

27. whole

28. song

29. together

30. voice

31. close

Thanks so much for stopping by and coming with me on this journey of mine. God bless.

1Andrea

 

 

 

 

 


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Dear Sorrow,


I’m a little late to the party over at Kate Motaung’s blog ;but at the time of the link up I hadn’t completed my journey into grief.

The Hubs battling cancer and the boy battling heroin addiction takes up a lot of one’s time and mind space. Not to mention battling heart ache and depression. All at that same time. You see Grief has not managed to settle in here in Hutchland … but her cousin Sorrow has come to visit.

Dear Sorrow,

There are so many things you want from me here today. You entered quietly and sit pretty and dainty in the corner just waiting on Grief to arrive.

You arrived just before midnight on New Years eve; determined to begin 2015 with our family; and you did. Like a quiet breeze of numbness after the phone call. My boy, in custody, again. Ending the festive and peaceful Christmas season wrapping your cool, almost light, arms around my shoulders. Lowering yourself, snug at my side, whispering your sweet lies into my ear. But you are simply at my side. You can only whisper, hoping I will give in to your almost warm and comfortable dark.

I realize you are a part of life. You visit in times of loss and hardship and stay for awhile. Lingering too long over a cooling cup of tea and hardly nibbled sandwich in a lonely, quiet living room. Sitting a touch too close on the sofa of a darkened, quietly sleeping home in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems I must face you; but I refuse to believe that I must allow you to reside here, in my heart of hearts, in my spirit.

Sorrow, you are not meant to reside. You are not meant to remain.

Life adjusts and it changes as God, Himself is put in charge of this home. This heart of our family.

Somethings need to be so that Joy can move in and reside.

The battle with cancer continues; definitely on the path of healing.

The battle with heroin continues, now, hopefully, on a path of healing. Definitely on a path of repentance.

Life continues and I, Sorrow, continue forward with a goal of self-discipline in mind.

So, Sorrow, I don’t believe you have a place here in the heart of our home, yet. There may come a time for you to visit a while, but it is not today.

Today I seek a deepening of my relationship and dependence upon God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today I seek a deepening of my trust in Jesus for all areas of my life. I say: “I trust You, Jesus.”

So I bid you farewell today, Sorrow, you have no place here.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34:17-18

Today's Prayer

Today’s Prayer

Thank you, dear Reader Friends, for stopping by. Be blessed.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 27: 6


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Dear Lord …


Dear Lord …

Me ... PrayerIt’s me again. Andrea. Here to present my petitions and desires. I know I don’t have to present or ask. I know you are already on these things, but I needed to talk. And I know you already knew that too.

So why do I pray? Speak these epistles of my life to you. Spoken letters of request. Verbal thank you notes for all the blessings in this mess of a life of mine.

I pray because Dear, Sweet Jesus, it’s how I get to talk to you. I pray because it brings me closer to you. Brings me knowledge of you. Prayer is the intimacy of our relationship.

I guess I need to remind myself why I pray sometimes. In this storm it gets confusing and sometimes feels like I keep repeating myself in a desperate beg for some relief.

I pray, because I need answers and only You, Dear Lord, hold these precious treasures of knowing.

I need comfort in this storm that’s been blowing through our lives for the last 15 months. Yet, even as the storm rages and the emotions win their hostile takeover, if I remember and begin to pray my heart is calmed and my mind is cleared. I know this calm is mine in prayer, I just need to remember in the chaos to begin  …

I try to sit still in your presence, but when I cannot, and attempt in my own power to enact some fleshly understanding, you wait patiently for me to surrender to the quiet of Your Spirit. And then you envelope me in Your Mighty Shadow, where I finally rest from my futile efforts, pressing my heart as close to yours as I can.

I sense You in my darkest moments. I hear Your whisper in the swirling chaotic thoughts of those moments; though Your Word says You are not in the storm. And You’re not, but yet, there You are and …

You whisper in my ear … I have not left You child. I AM right here, by your side, My Dearest One. Where I have been since I created you.

And then I can rest, when I’ve heard your voice, and know that in my alone-ness, I am never truly alone.

Love,

ASignature

 

Amen.

STOP!

 

This has been a Five Minute Friday Post … Check out how it works here …


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Trying to Be Still in Overwhelming Circumstances |Few Words Thursday


christmas box

Just this week I participated in a word prompt exercise on Fear, you can read it {here}, if you haven’t already. That was Tuesday. It’s Thursday and what I began knowing was going to be an over full week has become more full! Isn’t it just the way of the enemy to attack just as you think you’ve come to a place of rest. Well as versed as I am in fear, and how I handle, it a whole new version of an old foe has reared it’s ugly head.

Anxiety.

Anxiety about the holiday. Anxiety about the clinical trial. And anxiety about this illness getting in the way of our family’s happiness and joy, especially at this time of year. It’s The Hubs’ favorite season, Christmas!

The research doctor at RCI called about needing The Hubs to have another CAT scan; the original biopsy was not big enough to get what they needed, so they need to start with a CT scan. Well that said, he had a CT scan a week after we saw her, so they used that. This morning the research nurse called about scheduling the biopsy. Next week is out due to his work schedule, so that leaves the week before Christmas.

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I HAVE ABSOLUTELY “0” DONE!

Now anyone who knows me knows that the hoopla around the Christmas Holiday doesn’t usually appeal to me. I’ve never liked the music or the decorations. I do, however, LOVE the meaning, the family and the togetherness with people we love. But all the hoopla … I always preferred to avoid, as in “I” didn’t touch the tree and things like that, the decorating, lighting and background music of the holiday. Let’s just say that the holidays were always  a source of chaos and anxiety, or worse, when I was a child.

The last couple of years (and I mean like 2) I’ve been feeling more “into” the celebration and decorations part of the holiday.

This year I’ve actually been feeling quite festive. Albeit a very new feeling for me.

I know it’s because I am so grateful for my time with The Hubs and our little family here in Hutchland. =)

And who deserves the honor and glory for that “new” feeling? Jesus. Yes, he does.

Then the calls … We were in a holding pattern of perpetual waiting with this clinical trial possibility, and it’s still only a possibility! The holding pattern was frustrating, I was going to call them Monday about where we were; then they called.

Now I’m feeling like that chaos and anxiety are invading again. All of a sudden I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get this Christmas up, festive and complete with all this going on in the only two weeks we have to do it all in!

Anxiety makes being Still very hard. I have to force myself to pray and trust God. For some odd reason my heart and head are spinning again and I’m having issues getting it under control.

So what to do?

I’m praying in tongues, in my head and out loud. I am thanking God for His hand on and plan for our lives and resisting the urge to beg Him to fix all this.

He will. He is. I know this, but right this very moment I just need something concrete to know that my world isn’t rushing off on some chaotic run away roller coaster!

So I’ll read the bible. I’ll study for the Bible Lesson I’m giving tonight at bible study. I’ll continue to pray and hopefully I’ll be able to get something constructive done today.

I wish, I pray for answers, to know why I’m feeling like this. Why the anxiety after all this time (15 months).

I have a sound mind … I have power and love; everything to conquer this unfounded fear. Now I just need to remember how to use them.

So first, here, I’ll work on my memory verse and meditate on what it means when God is my fortress and stronghold!

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

Psalm 27:1-3 (with the Productivity501 tool in front of me.) While praying in tongues. The red is where I had to check the psalm for the right word and the cross outs are self explanatory. (Got that word, or run, incorrect.) The purple is my “commentary”. 😉

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2. When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (Thank you Lord! feeling better now.)

3. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this (God, God’s Word) I will be confident.

{Psalm 27 is such an amazing Scripture to be memorizing at this time in my life. I thank God that I stumbled upon it in my blog hopping!}

In this circumstance of our lives cancer and addiction are certainly our enemies and foes; but I need not be afraid, If God is with me of whom or what shall I be afraid?

Romans 8:28-32

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

After writing this diary-esque post, I feel better. I think I am just overwhelmed with all of the hubbub around the holiday and this clinical trial. I am purposefully going to keep my mind on the REASON FOR THE SEASON and try to not be overwhelmed by getting it all perfect. Because frankly, this girl has NEVER been perfect, especially around the holidays, nor have I ever striven for such a thing.

I’m going to remind myself that God perfects what concerns me … and I am going to be confident in Him and what His Word says about all of this hoopla!

Psalm 138:7-9

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Christmas is about celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All the rest of it is just frills that we created to make us happy. I’m going to sit in the hay with my pups and rejoice that Jesus came to save me and that He is working with Father God, right now, to bring about the perfect results for our lives here in Hutchland.

joy

I know my words weren’t exactly few (but I did add full scripture)!

Thanks for reading my diary of woe. It’s wonderful to know you’re here listening (reading, ha.)

ASignature


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A Relationship with God * His Grace.


GraceGrace:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:4-5

Grace is a huge subject and one I am very careful with. Why, you ask?

Because right now Grace is the “BIG, NEW” thing in Christian “revelation”; and I am concerned about how the message of Grace is being taught in some circles.

Quite frankly there is NOTHING new about God’s grace and God’s grace is BIG! Grace holds the same tremendous message as it did when Jesus came here as man, and so much more!

Jesus was God’s grace. Jesus is Grace. Jesus extends Grace.

We were extended God’s grace in the man of Jesus. We are to extend God’s grace to others. We are to show God’s grace in the fruit of our lives.

See … there is so much more than we can fathom in one small and beautiful word.

Grace is about Relationship.

{for this post I was lead to the relationship with God that we receive through grace}

Like I said Grace is so many things. Such a broad canvas, but it began with God and His desire for relationship … with us.

RelationshipGrace was sent and Grace chose us before the creation of the world! Do you realize what that means? God created this world for us. So we would have a place to live and be with Him! By His Grace, and for His pleasure and will He created us to be Sons of God! And to secure that in it’s most pure and holy form God sent His only Son for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

That’s it. That’s the Grace we are all talking about. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it. It’s simply that God loves us.

ALL.OF.US.EVERYONE.

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

THAT.NONE.SHOULD.PERISH.

You see, I’m a Christian. A follower of Christ on a mission to do what Jesus did and more. I’m here to show you grace. To give you grace. And to point you to the person Grace, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am no longer lost. I have attained grace and the eternal life Jesus extended to me. It is now my job to let you know this …

By God’s grace He loves you. Right where you are. And too much to leave you there!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been. He chooses YOU. Right Now. Right Here.

Have you accepted the gift of Grace? Have you accepted the Grace that is Jesus Christ? Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and sickness? Do you believe that He rose again to reconcile God’s relationship with you and for you?

If your answer, today, is YES, then you’ve entered into the Grace.

The Grace that is the Love of God. Jesus.

Welcome to the journey, there is much to do and learn, and you are not alone. There are many of us here with you … come let us walk with Jesus.

If you have any questions, please, I would be happy to share this truth with you personally. You can contact me through the comments or personally at: romans826-28@comcast.net

Thanks for reading my friends. And blessings to you all.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


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I Tell YOU the Truth |Tues. @ 10


Happy Tuesday … Where we, a growing group of creatives get a prompt word meant to spark creativity in the heart of the writer, or the photographer, or artist, in them. Just about a week is given for the creator to create from this word and all that is asked is that you share and check out what your neighbor in the link up list did with the prompt. You’ll be surprised at how often we are all led on the same path!

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 

Today’s Tuesday Prompt is …. Truth.

“I tell you the truth …”

Jesus is quoted as saying that phrase 78 times in the New Testament! 78 … that’s a lot of truth, but that is part of why he came to earth as a man. To testify to the Truth of God. More interesting: 30 of those truths were recorded just in the book of Matthew.

To tell you the truth, we need healing in our house. A lot of healing. And today I am having a very hard time with the information we got from the doctors at The Hubs’ last two visits. In  my head, and usually in my heart, I know and cannot be moved away from the knowledge that we WERE healed by Jesus’ sacrifice, for US, on the cross. This is knowledge in our home.

It is Truth in our home.

Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24 (my prayer, taken from the same story but in the book of Mark.)

Matthew 17:14-23

The Healing of a Boy with a demon: also — Mk 9:14-28; Lk 9:37-42

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
*****
 This causes me concern about my faith. And if I’m having a crisis of faith right now, it’s not my faith in God’s promise of healing! It’s about my level of faith being hammered at almost daily for over a year. I thank God that it is His faith that works in and through me and not a faith that I must maintain on my own!
I said to my husband last night, in heartbroken, absolute truth, that it is so hard to hear these things and look at him vibrantly himself. It rocks me that he can be virtually well yet this thing can be inside of him trying to kill him! I told him that I wouldn’t be having such a hard time with his decision to NOT do anything about what they were telling us (he’s decided to refuse anymore chemo; but is willing to consider clinical trials for experimental drugs.) if he were ill and suffering. Somehow it would be easier to just quietly sit back in my sorrow about his refusal.
But, like he says, the chemo doesn’t seem to be doing anything (reminder to self: chemo is poison, not medicine!) can doing nothing really be worse?
And my wife/mother screams in my head … WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Yet, the truthful questions is: Do we? or Does God?
The amazing truth is he looks great! He feels and functions almost at his norm, except for some fatigue.
It’s amazing, as much as the schedule and the chemo stressed him and fatigued him, I’ll say it again, he did not experience what we all hear about and see on TV, or what others seem to have experienced with their loved ones.
No days of pain and suffering. No horrible, wasting illness. No vomiting and not being able to eat. None of that.
And it is for those very “NOs” that we remain faithful to God’s assurances of The Hubs’ healing.
And then the doctors tell us “their” truth. So when we were told what we were told yesterday their truth rocked my truth. So to decided to do nothing is beyond my scope right now.
The truth is, though, that it is ultimately my husband’s, and God’s, decision. Though I did honestly tell him that while I support his decision he needs to keep in mind that he [they] is making life altering decisions for both our lives.
Truthfully. I believe God. The Hubs looks and feels great, though right now, today, he is angry and frustrated that all this year’s work and treatments seem to have been for naught. We believe, we know, that God has healed him. That God is bigger than the doctors reports and tests and protocols.
Yet today’s Truth is that I am spent. I posted for all our loved ones and friends in the faith and prayer that we were home and were moving forward for the possibility of the clinical trial, and most took that as the good news that it is. But like the chemo (which isn’t curative or even really a medicine) the trial medications are unproved and may be non-curative either. It’s a clinical trial. The doctors and manufacturers have high hopes and so do we.
The truth is …. I am ready for the manifestation of healing in Hutchland. I am ready to stop feeling like I have to be waiting for the next report.
I am ready for the doctors and the world to understand the Truth, that …
Only God heals. Jesus is the only cure.
Like The Hubs says and stands by: The doctors are not curing him, God is. The doctors cannot heal him, only God can.
So today I will continue to recite that … Only God. Only Jesus. He is our cure. He is our doctor. He is our healer.
Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart I’m going to add here today’s attempt at my memorization of Psalm 27: 1 & 2 … here goes!
1. The Lord is my light and my strength; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2.When the wicked came against me The to eat up my flesh, My enemies all fell  and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Not too bad for the second day of adding verse two!
I thought that Psalm 27 fit this post, truthfully. These two verses are a big part of what I am and will be focusing on in regard to our current circumstances here in Hutchland.
I refuse to allow the enemy to kill my two men (the second being my youngest. I wrote a post on Sunday about my son’s struggle here.)
Quite frankly it’s been a very trying couple of weeks for this wife and mother.
Thanks for reading. Blessings to you, all.
ASignature


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Still … In Five Minutes |FMF


Welcome to my FMF post. Where I join Kate and the others in blogging from my heart for 5 minutes; unhindered by the need to edit or corrections. Just my heart to yours on this fine Friday. You can either follow the FMF link in the sentence above or hop on over to how it works from the button on my side bar! Join us!

His Laughter - My Favorite Sound.

His Laughter – My Favorite Sound.

Today’s Prompt is: Still. So lets ….

GoToday I honor this man, The Hubs.

If you’ve frequented my blog you know who he is because I mention him often! ❤ Today is his birthday!

So today I honor the most honest man I’ve ever known. He changed my life almost 26 years ago! Wow … 26 years. I actually met him when I was 19 (and thought he was old.) but our worlds would become one when I was 24.

This man’s honesty, integrity and character are evident in him everyday, without fail. It thank God that He made me discerning enough to choose the man He sent for me, and me for him.

I am awed by this man’s strength and dignity in all things, and I could not love him more. That is until tomorrow comes and I realize a new and wonderful thing in him.

Copyright © AHutchinsonPhotography™ 2007 - 2014- All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from the writer/photographer is strictly prohibited.

O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

 

I count our years together as blessings, having realized that our successful marriage and relationship was God’s plan . How much more wonderful can a life be, than to live the life that God unites between the two people he built for one another?

With all my heart and soul, I love this man STILL and always.

I will honor him for eternity times infinity.

So Happy Birthday to the Love of my life. ❤  And … stop

ASignature.