Just Me

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quite the week...

This has been an "interesting" week! It has had some very challenging, stretching moments and some very good, reassuring moments! I guess when you are walking through what we are currently walking through, that is the expected "norm". 

Sarah was on Spring Break all week, Kaitlyn and Trevor's last day was Thursday...3 kids, 2 different vacations makes things interesting as it is. I decided to take each of my kids out for a one-on-one day with mom. I know all this with Dave is taking it's toll on them and they are processing it and observing it in their own ways. And I think it is harder on them than I realize. Dave and I have been together over 8 years now. Trevor was 3, Kaitlyn was 7, and Sarah was 10...so hard to believe. Dave has been the only "dad" they have really had. I took Sarah out on Thursday, and Friday was Trevor's day. (Kaitlyn gets her day next week) I was able to talk to them both and answer some of their questions about things with Dave and just let them know they can ask questions and talk to me or other adults they trust about this. We have also had some issues with their dad this week, so that has been another tough topic for us. Thankful we have an Abba Father!  

Another "adventure" for us this week was that last Saturday, Trevor started feeling sick. I finally took him to the doctor on Wednesday and they said that he had the stomach bug. He was doing better Thursday and Friday, but at 3:00 this morning, he woke up in pain again and ended up vomiting and it smelled like sulfur. YUCK!!! I was concerned about his gall bladder. So we got up and went to the ER at Dayton Children's. They were so good to us there, worth the drive!! Poor kid had to get stuck twice for his IV, had an x-ray and an ultra sound. Everything was ok with his tests and they said he had a stomach bug and was a little dehydrated. BIG relief to this momma!!! Especially with the very busy week ahead.

Dave goes to OSU on Tuesday for what may be a pivotal day for us. He has a long day ahead with hydration, a CT Scan, labs for continuing the trial and possibly getting the drugs. He has stated that if the news is not good with this scan, he is stopping the trials. I have watched such a change in the last 30 days. I do not anticipate continuing... Hard decisions... This has stirred a lot of thinking in me lately... 

Tonight, after a long day in the ER with my very brave, mannerly boy (I was so proud of him!!!), I got news of hope! I had a "divine appointment" a few weeks ago when I met a friend for coffee and ran into one of her friends while we were there. We all sat and chatted and talked about our Jesus. She let us know she had tickets to Women of Faith this year that she purchased and she had some still available if we wanted to buy them. She messaged me on facebook about it, but I can not spend that kind of money right now with what we are facing, so I declined...but wasn't too happy about it. She messaged me tonight and someone is paying for me to attend AND paying for my hotel as well!!! The theme this year- "Believe That God Can Do Anything!" So timely with what we are facing! It is SO refreshing to have the HOPE of something so good in the future. I already anticipate it being a life changing event! God is going to show up and speak to my heart! I know it! THANK YOU to whomever has blessed me with this gift!!! 

It is Easter weekend. I love being on Facebook this weekend...so much focus on Christ's sacrifice, his love, and resurrection. It stirs a lot of thinking in me...I am in no way comparing what we are going through to what Christ did for us, he is the Savior who chose to die for us. But I see SOME similarities...

He was facing death...we are facing death. He was looking it square in the eyes. I am watching it every day in my husband's eyes.

Jesus cried, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Dave and I have the same prayer. We still pray, and many are still praying for healing. But we also willingly submit to what God has planned and trust his hand in this time for us. Dave has said, "He is still praying for healing, but heaven is a whole lot more appealing!" Sometime God heals our earthly bodies and sometimes he heals permanently and we get our eternal bodies. We are trusting God's plan for us. Cancer is a bitter cup, God could remove it, but if he doesn't we trust him! And I will continue to say, "God is Good, All the time, No matter what!!"

Jesus died. He chose to die. He died FOR me! Because he CHOSE to die for us, Dave KNOWS when he breathes his last breath, he will see the face of his Savior!! And someday, I will see him again! 3 days after Jesus said, "It is Finished", he ROSE! He defeated death for all of humanity! Truthfully, Dave's resurrection occurs as soon as he leaves this earth! Death hasn't won at all! Satan is forever defeated in his life! Redemption has been completed! And I pray and hope, I can stand by his bed and rejoice FOR him! 

Yes, it is Easter weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Take a Seat with Me

I woke up this morning thinking of the seats I would sit in today. And there was quite a variety...

The first Seat I took today was at the Department of Job and Family Services office. I sat in the exact same chair last week on my birthday and actually "aged a year" in that seat. I fought tears in that seat. I sat for 3 hours only to be told that our income was $54 too high to qualify this month. Of course if the income changed at all I could go back and report it and then maybe I could get some help. I left VERY disappointed. But, since I did not babysit this week, my income was not as high as I reported so we should be eligible. So, I sat again. But with different feelings and results! I left with money on my EBT card for March and April! Much more than I thought I would get! BUT, the best news was that our entire household qualifies for Medicaid at this point. And it goes back to the first of the month. March 1. The day Dave went to the ER! They pay for prescriptions, co-pays, EVERYTHING our insurance does not cover. This means we will have NO MORE medical bills! Everything from here on out for the next year is covered! PRAISE YOU JESUS!!! I could have danced a jig on my way out. I was thankful I sat in that seat today. Jehovah Jirah met me there.

Seat #2, My next seat I sat in, was the seat in the attorney's office. I walked in with Dave to sign his will and make his desires official. It was a sobering seat to sit in. It brought peace to my mind to know this is taken care of. But it also brought ache to my heart to watch him at this point, signing that paper. I am thankful we had a very compassionate attorney. I just sat in that same seat last week on my birthday and sobbed, sharing where we are right now. He was so understanding and you could see the compassion in his eyes. I am thankful for an attorney that handled this the way he did. 

Seat #3-The next seat was in the title department. We went in to put our vehicles in my name. Another step in preparing for the days, weeks, months, ahead. You are allowed by state law to transfer 2 vehicles upon death. We actually own 4 at this time. BUT, the Lord took care of things and all 4 are taken care of with minimal cost today. The Lord also allowed us to run into 2 people we know that reassured us of their prayers. One is one of my mom's best friends who I have known my whole life. Her husband died on Easter Sunday 4 years ago from cancer. She knows....Thank you Jesus for a sweet moment in a tough situation. 

Seat #4, We left and Dave suggested we go to Verizon to see how our contract would work when he passes away. This has been one of the things on my mind and I had actually planned on talking to them in the next few days, but I wasn't going to say anything to Dave, I was wanting more peace of mind and to make better decisions now. So we sat in the tall seat in the Verizon store together, and it was his idea. Thank you Jesus! Thankfully, upon death, I can show the death certificate and they let you out of the contract immediately. Thankful. Reassuring. I have watched all that is involved in a death. It isn't over when it is over...there is a LOT to do after the funeral. 

Seat #5-I sat in my van seat and let Dave know that I know this process is hard for him, but I am so thankful he is willing to do this for me. It is bringing such peace to my mind knowing things are set up in the simplest way they can be for me because it will not be easy!

Seat #6 was my chair at Kairos Coffee with my friends Abby and Katie. Some of our talk was serious, but more of it was light hearted and fun!  I laughed SO hard, and so much! Honestly, my face hurt when I left! What a gift! In the midst of all this craziness, hurting, aching, stress, heartache, there is a glimmer of normalcy. I got to enjoy some of my favorite things- Jesus, Friends, Coffee, Laughter, Sarcasm, More Laughter, and Love! I am so thankful for good friends! 

This was a day with enough range in emotion, that it could make you feel like you need medication! Joy and sorrow...But there is another seat and it is a seat that we all have the opportunity each and every day to sit in...it's the seat at the feet of Jesus. I don't know about you, but I sit there frequently and in many ways. I sat in it this morning when I did my quiet time. I sat there when I was at the DJFS office and did some praying. I sat in it when my thoughts drifted to what He has for my future. I sat there when I cranked up my worship music on the way home tonight from laughing with my friends...

My thoughts this morning went to "Be still and know"...I am in a place of busyness in my life. LOTS to get done and take care of...a huge load that is more than 1 person can bear for long. How do you "Be still" when you truly can't? You take those moments and wait on the Lord. His timing is good...as these thoughts are going through my head this morning, my friend sent me the following reference:

Ex 14:13&14
"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid.
Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.
The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I am not in this battle alone. 
When I sit beside a hospital bed...The LORD will fight for me. 
When I sit in the attorneys office. The LORD will fight for me. 
When I sit and hold his hand in the end...The LORD will fight for me.
When I sit and am planning a funeral, The LORD will fight for me. 
When I face my future, I do not need to be afraid...The LORD will fight for me. 

I am thankful that He is with me, in every seat. Today could have been very different. I felt his presence. I had his peace. He showed up and provided. He is giving the strength to help make my future a little more bearable. Pull up a chair, and take a seat with me at the feet of Jesus!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Day Filled with Thinking...

Today has been one of those days...I was able to go to church and worship and focus on my God...SO good as always! I left encouraged and focused. 

Came home and got the house ready for guests, my mom had planned a meal to celebrate my birthday. My brother and his family were here and also my aunt and cousin. I wasn't myself and felt a little guilty for not being more chipper at my birthday meal. I didn't sleep well last night and I know when I am running low on sleep, it flows over into everything else...EHSR! (Extra Holy Spirit Required) 

But there was something about today...

The last time we sat for a family meal, Dave was healthier. He wasn't at his best, but he was far from where he is now. And it really wasn't that long ago. He ate a little and sat longer than he felt like sitting. I sat with thoughts I wish I wasn't thinking...is this my last birthday with him?? How many more family meals will I have with my husband?? I wonder what everyone is thinking?? and so on...

It was a week ago yesterday that he had his surgery and it feels like an eternity. I knew it was a long week for me, but wow, looking back, I didn't realize HOW LONG...the week ahead is jam packed and I really don't know how I will get everything done that I need to. We have more to deal with this week that is HARD to deal with-finalizing his will, DJFS (hoping to qualify this month after all), labs and a dr appt that may tell us we can not go on with treatments...and of course normal life on top of it all. 

I am starting to think about the road ahead...what this means for my kids, how will they handle it when he is gone? My kids have been through a lot because of divorce, and now this?? If you ask, they will tell you Dave is the closest thing to a dad they have had...now we face losing him. More pain. More heartache. We need a whole lot more Jesus! 

I am getting out of the house tomorrow. I would like to say it is all pleasure, but it isn't. Checking off some things on the to do list. But I will enjoy a drive alone, some worship music, some praying, and probably some tears. There have been a lot of them lately. I think I am already starting to mourn...

I'm 41 years old. I am facing things I never thought I would face at this point in my life. I am packing away some of my dreams and hopes. I am just beginning the most difficult part of this journey. 

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. Or at times angry. Or incredibly sad. When I went through my divorce 11 years ago, I was determined to "do it right". I didn't allow myself to feel what I should have and as a result, I was in the bondage of bitterness for 8 years! Praise God, he freed me from that! 

But, I am walking this path differently. I AM feeling and I am feeling deeply. I have found such comfort in 2 little words in the Bible- "Jesus wept!" He knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet he mourned his loss. I know when Dave's last breath is taken, the sadness will be great, but I also know he is forever with Jesus-NOTHING to mourn about there! Maybe even something to be a little envious about! So thankful for that assurance! 

I firmly believe that God has a purpose in this, far bigger than I can imagine at this point. One of my concerns is that I "survive" this journey. I don't want to just survive it, I want to learn in it. I want to grow in it. I want to experience Jesus like never before. I want to share what He is doing in my life through this process. I don't want to miss a thing that God is doing...

My life, by earthly standards, is hopeless. Dave provides for us, his income has already cut in half. I stay at home, which was a dream of mine, and now, might have to go. I might have to get a job. I have no skills for this world. Before I stayed home, I was a preschool teacher, but I do not have  a degree, I was just blessed with a job that saw I had the ability to do it. I have 3 kids I have to provide for, will we lose our home?? So much is going on in my head that I am processing...

BUT, that is the earthly standard...God's standards are different. When you put on the "eternity glasses" your outlook changes...my life gives incredible opportunity for God to do miraculous things. I have been called to minister to women, I will have a whole new group that I can relate to and encourage and share how God got me through. I have a story to tell. I want to be able to say that with God's help, I didn't just survive this process, but I thrived in it! I am counting on  a hope, a good future, and God's plan for me. 

Would I have written my story this way, if the pen were in my hand?? NO! But when we give God the pen, and trust him with it, and let him write the book, the ending is beautiful...and I am counting on that!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Love Notes from the Lover of my Soul

I feel like it has been days since I last wrote. So much has happened. Life seems to be changing in front of my eyes. But to keep this from being REALLY L-O-N-G, thought I would share what the Lord has done for me today...

Dave had to have a transfusion this morning at OSU. He is still unable to drive, since his right foot is the one affected by the blood clot. So, I am the chauffeur for the time being. Well, our appointment time took us to Columbus during rush hour, and it brought us home during rush hour. I HATE driving in rush hour, big city, Friday night traffic. As we got into the heavy traffic this morning, I jokingly (but not so jokingly) said, "Jesus part the red sea-tail lights-for me"...I am not kidding when I say, every time we merged into traffic on our way over, there was a huge opening for me!! I was thankful and praised him each time. Could I be so blessed on the way home too??? YES!!! Every single time I merged into traffic today, it was wide open. This may not be a big thing for some of you, but for me, it said, "He sees the little things in this life that matter. If He sees them and meets those little requests, then He also sees the big ones and can meet those needs!" Just a little "love note" from my Jesus! WOW!

It has been 2 weeks today since this all started with the blood clot and it feels like a month. Days fly and yet they creep. I have been on an emotional roller coaster ride. I am usually pretty on top of things, and yesterday I went to Wal-Mart, did all my shopping then realized my wallet was at home, thankfully it wasn't on of those days in the last two weeks that I would have bawled right then and there. My brain has been spinning. We are making decisions that are hard to make when a person is healthy, let alone facing what we are right now. I really can't put into words, what all I have experienced in this "Foggy" 2 week period! 

God is really good at giving me visuals. I am sure as I blog, you will get a little glimpse into the very simple, yet so profound ways, he works in my life. I knew he would give me the visual for this time...and he did today...

I am the infamous Push Puppet...remember these? I am flailing all over the place, a little wind seems to knock me over. At times it is the enemy "pushing" all the wrong buttons in my life. I'm leaning left, falling right, you get the picture. 

But do you see what never changes?? What isn't moving?? The foundation. Through all of this emotion, physical stress and fatigue, the mental craziness, my feet are on the solid rock. They never move. I might fall down, but I get back up again. Life is full of demands-paperwork, appointments, trying to get financial help (more paperwork) kids, emotions, paperwork, forgetting your wallet and making a return trip to Wal-mart, falling in the mud at 6:15 am on your way to an appointment and having to run in and clean up, and did I mention, paperwork...?  But the foundation is sure. I am holding on to the truth that Jer 29:11 offers me...I have a hope...a future...and God has a wonderful plan for my life. 

God has not let me go. He sees me. ME! The God of this universe is collecting every one of my tears in a bottle (and there have been a LOT of them this week). He loves me. I believe as he watches this chapter in my life book, his heart aches for me, but at the same time, he knows the end of the story. He knows how this will be redeemed, how these ashes will become something amazingly beautiful!

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, on Christ, the solid rock I stand!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biting the Blog Bullet

Well, I did it. I have been contemplating for a long time...like over a year...as to whether or not I should start a blog. For one thing, getting real for the world to see is not something I really want to do. And, who would read it?? Also, I am computer D-U-M-B...it better be simple or it aint happnin! So, what pushed me over the edge and made me do this...

First, my husband is sick. He has non-curable cancer. I have a caring bridge page for him: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidszalla and I am finding myself not only telling those that read it, what is going on with him, but how I am processing things...not sure that is what needs to be on there. 

Second, I have been told by a few people recently that I have a gift with writing...now I am just hoping they knew what they were talking about. 

Third, and the real reason...I have a story to tell. God has transformed my life in the last 3+ years and honestly, there have been many times that I wanted to tell everyone I ran into, what he was doing...and didn't get the opportunity like I wanted. So, why not tell the "world"?? God has made it clear that He has a plan for me in ministry. I am taking steps through the doors he is opening and I believe he is slowly revealing the extent of this plan in my life. He has allowed me the incredible privilege of leading a Bible study at my church on Friday mornings. I LOVE my friends and look forward to each week with them. I know that my calling is with women and pointing them to the hope of Jesus. I am at a point of continuing in the present role and waiting on the next step...could it be writing?? I don't know. Speaking?? I don't know. I just figure this is a great way to put myself out there and see where He leads me and what doors he might open!  A couple of weeks ago, one of my pastors brought a sermon on telling our story...yup...time to start. And ironically, it was right after I posted on facebook that I was considering starting a blog and wanted directed to an easy site...(this girl needs all the help she can get!)

So here I am, on my 41st birthday, starting to put into words, the story that God is writing for my life. I know, some days I will laugh...some days I will cry. But my main goal is that you see Jesus! In all honesty, today was full of tears. I had a lot of "in my face, this is where you are in life" situations today. I might talk about it later...I just wanted to make entry #1 more positive. 

So, on that note...the verse I am clinging to through this season of my life: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

I hope you enjoy this journey of "life with a Jesus girl"!