Be still and know I am God ~Psalm 46:10
I am standing still, knee-deep in the flow of life and paying close attention. Everything around me feels like it is moving in slow motion and here I am, carefully yielding every part of myself … my body and spirit to the unpredictable flow of life around me. There are moments when I feel that I might be swept away, and then there are moments when I can’t catch my breath or find my footing. There are also times when I feel as if I might drown in my own tears – when raw emotion rages out of my body in the form of tears like a sudden thunderstorm. My tears flood my face and my throat … I cannot breathe or speak a word out loud. I cry out to God with my inner voice, He always hears me. Within minutes, the flow of energy surrounding me changes. I find myself calm, safe, warm, secure, and my feet are grounded. Happiness follows and an overwhelming sense of delight and joy overtake me. As this pattern continues I find myself increasingly aware and paying close attention to my inner self, my thoughts, my words, and my internal struggle to be absolutely still and know … God is God and He loves me.
By paying close attention I have come to realize a few things about myself, about the tears and about the joy. I am learning it all is about how I react to the “unknown” and what I chose to pay attention to.
When I think about all of the details that are unknown, when I leave the here and now, then I begin to be swept away. Fear flows in, stirs the waters, and I loose my footing. There have been a lot of unknown details in this situation and there will inevitably be a lot more. Unknown questions like, “How will I choose an oncologist?”, “Has the cancer spread to my chest wall?”, “Is there cancer in all my lymph nodes?”, “Is the cancer in my organs?”, and ultimately the real question that nobody on earth knows for sure, “Am I going to die?”
I know that there are details that I need to take care of, doctors to call, and questions to ask. I know God expects me to make the best decisions for myself.
Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight ~ Proverbs 3
I do the footwork and He leads me down the right path. Beyond that I feel that God is calling me into a deeper place in my relationship with Him. A place where there is only He and I, it is the place where happiness and joy reside … it feels like the most beautiful place I have ever been and I can only get there when I stop trying … and … I am just still. It feels like I’m in Heaven surrounded by love.
Know that the Lord Himself is God. It is He who made us and not we ourselves ~ Psalm 100:3
I know that nothing is unknown to God, He knows the answers before they call with the results. He knows if there is still cancer in my body. He alone knows the number of my days. My faith, certainty, and trust are in God – not the doctors and not in my own ability to make good decisions. Knowing this, really knowing this, allows me to pay attention to the beautiful things that are going on right here and right now.
Right here and right now, in Heaven with God, I am in perfect peace. I am recovering from surgery in the luxurious comfort of my bedroom. I am cozied up under all of my fluffy white blankets with Flapjack & Mr. Waffles. My incredible husband, tirelessly to the point of exhaustion, serves me night and day. He is my super hero & prince charming rolled into one. My children adore me and we lay in bed eating chocolates and watching old classic movies. My son watched his first episode of Leave it to Beaver and my daughters and I caught up on all of Marilyn Monroe’s movies. My favorite so far, “The Seven Year Itch”. I am surrounded by an unimaginable amount of flowers, gifts, and cards from you, my dear friends. Lavender scented candles burn all day making my bedroom smell like I am resting in the middle of a lush garden. Right next to my bed hangs one of these Valentine’s day banners that I made before my surgery. In the stillness of the day I pay attention. I notice that my tea tastes sweeter and warms my chest on the way down, I rave over the flavor of a simple sandwich from my favorite deli, and dinner every night from a different friend moves me to tears. I notice the sun shining in the window and I delight in seeing it’s rays dancing across the sheets. I never realized how lovely the neighbor’s orange tree is, always baring fruit in and out of season. In the here and now, in the stillness with God, everything is extraordinarily beautiful because I am in love, I am His and He is mine.
My surgeries went better than expected. My body is healing at an incredible rate and this has stunned my doctors. I am in very little pain at all and I must force myself to stay in bed to be still. I stand in awe of this everyday. The tumor (4.3 cm) was confirmed to be cancer and the cancer was in my lymph nodes. They have staged my cancer at a 3A. This is what we know; I will rest for another 3-4 weeks and during that time meet with a few oncologists. I will begin chemotherapy and receive scans to see if the cancer has spread to any place else in my body. I am spending little to no time thinking about any of these details, I have more delightful things to think about, like luscious strawberries with yogurt for lunch and what surprise meal is coming for dinner.
These simple Valentine’s day banners are so much fun to make for yourself or a friend. Since Valentine’s day is one of my favorite holidays, I hung these up weeks ago. It never feels too early to celebrate love. Here and now love is in the air – can you feel it?
DIY Valentine’s Day Banners
You will need
- Twine or ribbon (craft store)
- Colorful paper (craft store )
- Doilies in different shapes and sizes (99 cent store)
- Ribbon (craft store)
- Clothes pins (craft store)
- Deck of playing cards (try the 99cent store)
- Glue stick
- Hole punch
- Measure your twine to the desired length. Cut the hearts out of the paper and use your hole punch to make two small holes near the top or the side, depending on how you want your hearts to hang. (Making two holes will help your hearts to not swivel back and forth on the twine).
- Lay out the design of your banner onto the twine before assembling.
- Find the center of your twine and work from the inside out. Choose a heart or decoration to be in the center and then balance the rest of the hearts to the left and right.
- Get creative and crafty, nothing has to match or make sense. There is no right or wrong way, just choose the paper and any combinations you like and leave the rest to love…