The Past Few Months

Many things have been happening in life, though I haven’t wanted to make time to write. Now I finally feel like catching up! Since the last post, my mom has had all of her radiation treatments and an appointment with her oncologist. The radiation seemed to be a much better experience for my mom than chemo. She had MUCH less anxiety and even got to meet and get to know several nurses and other patients in the radiation wing. Whenever I met any of them, they always mentioned how sweet mom is…it was neat to see her touch the lives of others at the hospital. Her appointment with the oncologist went smoothly as well. The doctor had to get a new baseline to reference back to in future exams, since radiation can change the presentation of the lymph node. Radiation (if it’s doing its job) should continue to work after treatments; so the hope is that there will be progressive shrinking with each future appointment! Please continue to pray for that! She goes for a CT Scan and an appointment with the radiation oncologist on August 14th and her regular oncologist on November 12th.

Many other things have happened in life as well…our family celebrated Mother’s Day with our annual picnic (Mom’s request every year)

we got to have it in my back yard this year!

we got to have it in my back yard this year!

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us girls being silly!

The whole family!

The whole family!

The whole family went to Virginia for Memorial Day weekend

waiting for our table at Surf Rider

waiting for our table at Surf Rider

My high school girls from Colonial officially graduated, so I am officially at Summit Church on Sundays. Praying for the ministry opportunities that the Lord will have for me there as I plan to join the church, join a small group, and get involved in student ministries.

Such wonderful students that I had the blessing of serving

Such wonderful students that I had the blessing of serving

On another note, my little friends graduated from my class last month!

The photo booth we made for the kids out of a LARGE cardboard box...it was so cute. They could stick their little heads through the windows of the bus!

The photo booth we made for the kids out of a LARGE cardboard box…it was so cute. They could stick their little heads through the windows of the bus!

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Me and my awesome co-teacher (Toshia)

It is so hard to believe how much they all grew up and I can’t believe they are already headed to Kindergarten. I pray God gets a hold of each of their hearts and uses them to change lives in the future! What a privilege to have been a small part of their lives! I miss my kids already as they are slowly filtering out of my class this summer and new ones are filtering in. Praying that I will make a lasting impact on the families and children that join my class this coming year! I pray that I will point them to Christ with the way that I teach, speak, and live!

Okay, a few more fun things and then a few thoughts. Fourth of July was a BLAST this year! We had our Virginia folks join us again for food, fun, swimming, lots of sun, fireworks, an outdoor movie night, and the 1st annual Andre Games (our version of the Olympics). It’s such a blessing to have such a close and loving family and I can’t wait to hang out with all of them again (plus our Arizona folks!!! :)) at the beach in August.

love my little sisters

love my little sisters

two of my sweet aunts

two of my sweet aunts

shooting off fireworks

shooting off fireworks

backyard outdoor movie time!

backyard outdoor movie time!

Dygestive ;) doing their synchronized swimming routine

Dygestive 😉 doing their synchronized swimming routine

LAMA Land doing synchronized swimming

LAMA Land doing synchronized swimming

we called this "breaking free"...only in our family would we do swim dance competitions

we called this “breaking free”…only in our family would we do swim dance competitions

we couldn't even get through our routine without laughing...

we couldn’t even get through our routine without laughing…

Speaking of August…my best friend is getting MARRIED that wonderful month!!!! I could not be more excited for Callie and Lucas and can’t wait to celebrate their love and the covenant they are making to each other next month. Oh yeah, and they will be living less than 20 minutes from me once they get married! 🙂 I went to a bridal shower for Callie last month and then held one for her at my place this past weekend.

maids of honor with the bride-to-be

maids of honor with the bride-to-be

the future Mrs. Doty :)

the future Mrs. Doty 🙂

the dessert spread

the dessert spread

punch, tea, water with lemon and lime, and coffee

punch, tea, water with lemon and lime, and coffee

I’m getting tired now, so I’m gonna wrap this up with something the Lord has been teaching me, or rather re-teaching me. I am learning over and over again how much I need to recognize His grace and His goodness. I need to trust His plans for my life and recognize the blessing that He is. There is so much joy in knowing Him and truly being satisfied in Him. There are moments when I really am living this way and then so many that I am not. I am praying to be close to Him and love His will above my own. Only when much is made of Him in my life will I be living and making a difference in the lives of those around me. I am praying my focus would shift from myself and remain on Him, that I would see Him in everything and recognize not only the gifts that He gives, but most importantly how they point back to the Gift-Giver! The other thing I have been thinking through a while now is how I live my everyday life. The Founder and Author of our faith died on a cross for the sins of the world, not a single one of which He was guilty of. Why do we so often say we will follow Him, but not expect to follow His example? Why do we gripe at the moment of discomfort or inconvenience? Why do we avoid at all costs going out of our way for someone else? Christ suffered for the glory of God and the good of others…and so should we, His people! I know I need to be more about what He was and is about. And I am so utterly aware of how impossible it would be for me to seek the good of others above my own, to allow myself to basically be taken advantage of for the better of another without my Saviors help. Everything in me naturally wants to live according to the flesh, serving myself as lord, but with Christ in me, I am free to live for the only One who is worthy! And because He came and served and loved others perfectly and because He did humble Himself to death on that cross, I am absolutely able to follow His example with the Holy Spirit within me. I am praying that I would yield myself fully to Him so that I may be used, and I mean USED UP, for His glory. I surrender all of me to Him, because He is worthy of nothing less than that. It is my desire to be His hands and feet in this world, to deliver the good news of the gospel, to be an instrument of grace in the Redeemer’s hands, and to lavish the undeserved grace and love that He has poured out on me on everyone He puts in my path. Praying for the power to really do this and for the endurance to run this race well to the finish!

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