Friday, May 6, 2011

How I Have Changed

Everyone says Cancer changes you. 

I don't think it is the Cancer so much that changes you but God changes your heart as you go through Cancer.

So I want to journal how I think I have changed and I will look back on this in a year and see if I have kept these changed qualities or if my sinful nature has taken back over these positive changes.  (I sure hope it doesn't because I like this 'me' much better.)

I lost a lot of my prideful nature.  I am no longer wearing hats to cover my very short hair.  I HAVE hair which is more than I had a few months ago.  I've never been 'model' beautiful but I could cover up the lack of beauty before with hair.  8-)  I'm not so concerned with being 'beautiful' anymore.  I am now concerned with being 'alive'.  8-)

I find myself wanting to talk to people, to get to know them...I was more of a loner before Cancer.

I find myself being more tolerant of others.  So people aren't perfect...I am over caring whether they are perfect or not.  I am learning to look beyond their flaws and see more of the inner person that God created for me to enjoy.

I no longer look to other people for 'acceptance'...I think because of my own father's rejection of me as a child (in my mind...probably not in reality) I was always looking for others to accept me and if they accepted me then I was 'ok'.  I now realize more than ever that it doesn't matter if others accept me or not, God accepted me just as I am (sinful nature and all) and because of this, I can accept myself. 

I have always been thankful for my time with my husband but it has become even more precious since going through Cancer because we never know when one of us might be taken away to be with God.  (Which would obviously be more glorious than being together but one of us would be left to wait for the time when we would be together again in heaven.)

I am more relaxed about 'stuff' than I used to be.  I can remember a time when I could not stand to go to bed if anything in the house was out of place.  No problem now.   Things around me don't have to be 'perfect'.  Don't get me wrong...I like clean and organized, but the world won't end if it isn't.   (Of course, the effexor may be part of the reason for this change...HA!)

Those are some of the most obvious changes in myself.  It will definitely be interesting to look back on this in a year and see what 'took' and whether or not I reverted back to my basic nature.  8-)

By Grace Alone -


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God's Not Done with Me Yet...

As you all have heard by now, several tornadoes ripped through the part of Alabama that I live in last Wednesday.  I got into work on Wednesday at 6:10 in the morning and was ushered into the shelter area in our building for 20 minutes.  I went back to my desk and 6 minutes later they were ushering us back into the shelter area in our building.  About a half an hour later, I got to return to my office again. 

The next time the announcement went off telling us to report to the shelter area, I ignored it and shut the door to my office and continued to work.  I had too much to do to stop every few minutes and sit in the auditorium and do nothing.  I wasn't taking that silly tornado business too seriously.  I'd survived hurricanes over and over in Florida, how bad could tornadoes be? 

We left work around 3:30 at the urging of management to get us home before the really 'bad' tornadoes hit.  As soon as we got home, our power went out.  We stood looking out the kitchen window as a tornado was strolling by about a half a mile away.  Again, we didn't take it too seriously...I fixed us some cold sandwiches out of the left over roast beef from the night before and we sat around reading on our iPads until it was bedtime and dark. 

We went to bed and slept the night away and decided the next morning that it was time to drag out the generator.  We got everything hooked up (I wish I had taken a picture of the living room while all those extension cords were snaking through it for your amusement but alas, I did not.) 

After we got the generator going we decided that we would need some fuel to power it if we were going to run it for any length of time.  We proceeded to get gasoline, some lunch, and some groceries to tide us through the next day or so.  (This was Thursday)  The wait in line for gasoline was like a flash back to the 1973 gas wars.  We waited in line for a little over two hours to fill up 3 five gallon containers and the truck's gas tank.  Here are some of the sights that we saw in the aftermath of the storm.

The picture below is of people searching through the remains of their home after it was hit by a tornado.  It broke my heart to watch them searching for anything that might be left.

This picture is of a church that was taken down by the tornadoes.

This is a picture of a new lake in the area.  This used to be a farmer's field.   We Christened this one Lake Tom.

Another view of the church that was flattened.

Still another view of the church.  (I was pretty astonished by this one...)

If you look in the horizon, you can see where the power pole is broken and leaning over.

This is a local furniture store.  See the sign that was uprooted and is now leaning on the truck?

 LARGE tree totally uprooted.

 Power line damage...
 Another new lake that used to be a farmer's field.  We christened this one Lake Hammond.

House, tree and power line damage...

I have more pictures, but I think you will get the idea from all of these.  We were more than blessed since the only thing that we lost was a large 96 gallon trash can that was sitting out in the street waiting for the trash people to pick up the trash out of.  I was pretty sure that since God didn't see fit to take me out with Cancer that he wasn't going to take me out with a Tornado.  I really don't believe that God is done with me yet, but I will be a bit more cautious during the next storm.  I have learned a healthy respect for tornadoes after this one.  8-)

By Grace Alone -