Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 3 R’s of Seasonal Living.

The 3 R’s of Seasonal Living.

In recent months God has been dealing with me about the seasons of my life, and how best to recognize, respect and respond to the season He has me in. Sometimes I do not see or understand what exactly I am supposed to be doing and when it should begin and end. Fortunately I serve a very patient God and He is gracious in giving me time, wisdom and discernment with which to figure the seasons out.

He has been schooling me in the 3 R’s of seasonal living. [Sounds like a furniture store advertisement, doesn’t it?] Recognize [a skill], respect [a mindset] and respond [an action] to the seasons as God changes them throughout our lives.

First, I need to recognize the season I am in. Just as I would not wear winter clothes in July, nor a bathing suit in February, I need to pay attention to the signs of my seasons. [Although this IS Florida and our seasons are so messed up we could swim in Feb. and freeze in July sometimes, but--for the purposes of this blog we will pretend Florida has normal weather. AS IF, lol.] Recognition comes from being informed, being informed comes from paying attention to myself, the people around me, and most importantly, the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The seasons of life and living are not always as obvious as leaves falling off of the trees or flowers blooming. Am I in a season of rest or a season of heavy work? What am I doing that bears fruit and what seems to be chaff on the altar? Am I effective in this season or ineffective? However this applies to you, take it, pray about it, and listen for God’s answer.

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;” --Daniel 2:21 ESV

Second, respect the season I am in. Live in the moment as it happens, because we are not promised tomorrow. Look for the “Jesus,” in the harder seasons because He is always there. Respect what God is doing in this season in the here and now. If I get too focused on the seasons past or the seasons yet to come, I can miss entirely what God is trying to do in my season here and now. I can slow down my own growing up process both spiritually and in the natural. Embrace the now, right here, today. Respect that God is trying to rework us into something way more beautiful and valuable than we were in the season prior, even if it doesn’t feel good, look good or sound good. Respect what God’s plan is for us and we cannot go wrong.

“8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah” --Psalm 62:8

Last but not least is respond to the season I am in. This is the most active part of seasonal living under God’s hand. Respond promptly and trust God! If He is telling us to lay something down, lay it down. If He is saying start something new, do it. Pray, and pray a lot! Then trust God wholeheartedly. Dance if it’s the season, mourn if it’s the season, sow seeds into the lives of others in due season and harvest when the season comes as well. God is faithful. He will honor your response to the season He has you in.

A Time for Everything
 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
“2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
--Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, English Standard Version (ESV)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Today I got to thank the doctor who recently saved my husband’s life.

Face to face–Because melanoma is no joke and not to be trifled with.

And Bill was diagnosed with melanoma 3 weeks ago.

Our family doctor, Dr. Heather Shaffer, is one of the most thorough and attentive doctors I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She has been our regular family practice physician for close to 3 years now. During routine visits she always asks if we have had this exam, or that test done due to our age/jobs/medical history etc. She does a skin exam once a year, and during her October 30th exam of Bill she found a suspicious looking mole on his shoulder. She removed it and sent it off for testing.

On November 8th I received a phone call on my cell from a number I did not recognize. I was at work and normally do not answer calls from numbers I don’t know but something said to take it. Dr. Shaffer’s voice sounded a bit shaky as she told me Bill had to come in right away for surgery as his results came back melanoma, a fast moving, aggressive form of skin cancer. She calmly told me he could not wait 28 days to get back from work; he had to have surgery NOW.  As it happened, everything lined up perfectly because Bill was transitioning to a new boat so it wasn’t hard to get a relief.  He was home within 24hrs.

On Veterans Day we went in for a consultation with the surgeon, Dr. Mockler. He gave us a thorough education on melanoma. If caught in time it can be cut out of the body. If not, there is nothing to do but get your affairs in order. Dr. Mockler explained to us that there are several layers of skin and below that is fat. Within the fat is blood vessels, veins etc. Once melanoma has developed on the skin it moves molecularly deeper into the skin layers. There is good treatment for that. He advised us that there was very little to no effective treatment for it once it reaches the fat layer. When it hits that layer of fat, it immediately spreads via the bloodstream to organs, the brain, it goes everywhere, creating tumors and death.  It is impossible to tell by the naked eye how far it has gone. It requires incisions and flesh samples. The labs test the outer edges of biopsy and if it tests positive for melanoma the dr. does a larger sample, hoping the next sample will contain all of the cancer. If the edges test positive then another is done.  He said the results of his biopsy would mean one of 3 options for Bill, either another surgery, a clean bill of health, or a directive to get our affairs in order. We were stunned and pretty shaken up.

On Nov. 12th the procedure was done and the sample sent off. Nothing to do but pray and wait. Bill is an extraordinarily private person and decided that the situation would be kept between us and very few prayer partners/our pastor until we knew for sure what the outcome was. He was adamant that our families would not be in a state of worry and upset until we had a “for sure” answer. During that week’s wait we did a lot of examining of our affairs, and our lives up to that point. We’ve always prayed together about various things but we prayed more often and with more urgency. I laid my hands on my husband several times every day and off and on throughout each night and just prayed for his health and peace of mind. It was hard not to worry but we felt the presence and peace of Jesus throughout this entire time. We decided that regardless of the outcome we were going to begin taking vacations, and doing the stuff we had put off for so long. A lot of things changed last week. All for the better.

On November 18th, Dr. Mockler gave us the good news that Bill was cancer free. He also told us that once a patient tests positive for it, there is a great increased risk of it coming back so we have to stay vigilant about moles and our skin. He also said to go back to Dr. Shaffer and thank her for saving Bill’s life. We immediately took her a card and flower arrangement, too. We were so grateful for her insistence on managing our total health, from skin to within. And today I got to tell her that.

Life is short.

Live it to the fullest, now, today, for we are not promised tomorrow.

My blog has moved BACK! a.k.a., OK, I changed my mind. ;]

I'm going to maintain blogs at this location and http://kingdomforming.com/category/woman-typing-badly/

I've missed having this site and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of a larger group of writers at Kingdom Forming, too.

I feel like the Lord is bringing me into a new season of writing and blogging and I am preparing myself for that.

Let's catch up!

Blessings, y'all,