Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thankful in Uncertainties

Tonight, I am thankful.

Life is quite a ride and has been especially eventful lately. I am too tired and my head is too full to write much tonight. But I just want to say how thankful I am for everything I have, for everyone in my life, for every moment God gives me here on this Earth.

I am thankful my moms cancer is getting smaller. Part of me is still so focused on the fact that it may take longer to go away or it may never go away. But I try to push that part away and focus on what we know today. Today, we know that it is getting smaller and that she is here with us on this Earth now. For that, I am very thankful.

I am thankful for good friends. I have been overwhelmed by support from some of my coworkers lately. Whether it's a heartfelt text of encouragement, willingness to help with the Running Club I'm doing, or simply a smile and a friendly greeting day after day, all of these things mean so much to me.

I am thankful to have a job and a house. I complain a lot about both and I shouldn't complain at all about anything but especially not these two blessings! I am so blessed to have a job in my career field. I am blessed to have a house with a roof that keeps me relatively warm and safe from nature. I am especially blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

I am so thankful for the kind people we have met in Sylva! I am thankful to be able to call on these friends anytime we need a place to stay or help with anything really. I am thankful to be staying in Sylva tonight in a beautiful house with wonderful people (and yummy food)!

I am thankful for the spiritual journey God has taken me on. At a recent women's retreat, I was a able to reflect on my journey, on how God has taken care of me before I even knew anything about Him. I was reminded of how many sweet, loving sisters in Christ I have that are constantly surrounding me in love and prayer. I am so thankful to be a child of the one true God, to be in constant communication with Him.

I am thankful for so many friends that I have! Even if we mostly 'talk' through texting, instagram, twitter or snapchat lately, I am so thankful to be able to use this social media to see what's going on in your life and to get a like or a comment from you on what's going on with my life. I am so blessed to have so many people in my life that care about me.

I want to celebrate life with gratitude every day. I want my prayers to be full of thanksgiving, not asking for more. I want to live a love of joy and thankfulness.

Have a great night! Thank you for reading this blog :)

--Nothing Without Him--

Sunday, March 2, 2014

No Hair November

As I mentioned in a previous blog, my mom was diagnosed with cancer in October. Many different things have happened since but I wanted to write a blog about something that impacted, and is still impacting, me so much!

Mom started her treatments pretty quickly. She started with chemo and the first thing I asked was, "Will you lose your hair?" I don't know what it is about losing your hair that makes cancer/chemo so real to me. I know that it is not cancer that makes your hair fall out. I know that losing hair isn't really physically painful and doesn't really have long term affects for your health. But for some reason, it just makes it seem so real.

She told me she would lose her hair. She said some people even lose leg hair, arm hair, eyebrows, eyelashes. I had never thought about this before! She said that my amazing dad would also shave his head.

Now, it is so wonderful and sweet that my dad would do this. But I told my mom that I would shave too. It just isn't the same to me for a guy to have a shaved head than for a girl to. It is still sweet, and I don't want to demean any of the guys who shaved. I just wanted my mom to have another girl alongside her, someone to wear hats and pick out scarves with, someone who really understood what it was like to lose that bit of feminine power that a head full of hair has. Hair is a tool, right ladies? :) We can use it to dress up or dress down. We can put pretty things in it, like flowers and hair clips. Well, that's about the extent of me and my hair power because I am not too girly!

My hair has been a big part of my life. Every couple of years since 5th grade, I have cut my hair for locks of love. This means that I was used to having long hair for probably about a year at a time, then having a year of short and medium length hair. I love my long hair stages, even though I don't do much with my hair. There is something about having all of that hair that makes me feel like a girl.

Alright, onto the shaving night! My brother and husband decided to shave as well, which was so sweet! We planned to shave the night before Thanksgiving. My husband and I would be staying with my parents because we didn't have school Thursday of course. We were also planning on running a 5K with my parents and brother on Thanksgiving morning--with shaved heads.

We prepared for the shave. I was very nervous! We took before pictures!

We took during pictures! I had lots of hair to cut off!

 This one is my favorite! You can see mom smiling!

And here too!

Ladies first! The husbands shaved their wives heads, then the wives shaved the husbands!

Then Matthew went last! He got a pretty cool hair do in the process!

All shaved!

The next day was race day! Pink scarves for breast cancer awareness.

We got to the race and my moms sweet friend Shannon had a huge surprise--he had shaved too!!!! It was so sweet!

We ran the race, came home, and ate a bunch of food! The pictures from the holidays were very different from other family photos :)

I love my family and I love how close we all are. I am so thankful as I've watched other people show support for my mom in the ways that they can. Everyone has a talent or something they can do to help others.

Everyday, my hair changes a little. It has gone through some interesting stages. I have been reminded how silly it is to put so much joy into something as simple as hair. Hair doesn't make you a better person, it doesn't even make you more beautiful than someone else. A loving heart is more important than a head of hair.

I am so proud of how my mom has dealt with everything she has been given these past few months. I know it is hard for her to watch our hair grow back while hers does not. But I feel certain that someday, this treatment can be stopped and her hair will grow back. Blonde and curly I think is how she wants it back :)

Thanks for reading and sharing with me on this journey!

Nothing Without Him