Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Journey to Tithe

God has been tugging at me lately.  More so than usual and I have to laugh at myself when I actually put this in writing for all to see, how absolutely ridiculous this may sound to most.  By writing, I can usually see a change in my attitude or in the way I'm responding or reacting to whatever it is on my the end of the post. 

You know? Its not really that hard to trust God with things we can't control.  Such as...."Lord keep me safe from this tornado."   Or "Lord, Let us arrive safely."  Or "Lord,  cure me of cancer."  Ya get the drift.  What is hard for us "control freaks" is turning the reigns over to Him on things we CAN control.  That's when I look at God and say...."Ok, you're meddlin now!"  Case in point?  Money.

The love of money is the root of all evil.  And I believe that money separates us from God more than almost anything. And in many ways, I believe it trickles in between and tears many relationships between us as believers.   I've had an enlightening say the least.   And its only Tuesday. 

Take off your "judgment pants"....because I need prayers and support in carrying out my new (ok...old, because I've always known this....just never lived it!) epiphany.  I don't tithe.  Yes, I give.  I place a few bucks in the offering plate on Sunday.  I donate to charities.... i.e, girl scout cookies, cookie dough sales, even the Komen Foundation, etc.  But I am not a fruitful giver. 

Even more history.  I am organized to a fault.  With a Bachelors in Accounting, and the majority of my career spent in Bank Audit and Lending, I know how to balance a checkbook.  I know how to budget.  I am a whiz with numbers.  Your classic "bean counter" with a side of social skills.  That's me.  So what I'm about to reveal is absolutely nuts.  I can no longer balance my own household budget if it kills me!  Since my diagnosis, I've been behind on most everything.  Not "living on the street" bind....or "re-possession" type bind....but for the most part? "Paycheck to Paycheck" stress.....biggie stuff on the back-burner that shouldn't be....and one emergency away from being in a real dangerous position.  I really don't have an excuse....I just "rob Peter to pay Paul" then Peter comes a-callin.  I would venture to say, that there are others much like me. 

I pay my bills.  Right before they are to be disconnected.  I run about a week late on my home....sometimes 2.  I am dead on with my car (because its auto-drafted).  Then the kiddos need this or that.  I'm like an ATM.  I no longer have health insurance, because I can't afford it.  I had a gas leak 2 months ago, and my Centerpoint bill is $1,450 and even though they've given me a couple of extensions (after I provided them with a medical certificate) and is due to be disconnected ummm.....July 24 (6 days ago).  The only thing I can say is?  Its summer time, and we can live without hot water if we have to!  :)   I am still trying to raise the money to pay the sales tax on my vehicle because like a dummy, I thought it was financed in....and it wasn't.  And here it is August.  If you have two in school?  August expenses are worse than December.  Not to mention, medical bills out the wazoo, having to let my health insurance go because they raised my premiums, added to the already hole I was digging out of from the failure of my marriage.

Those are the immediate my "not so far off" future, I have college times 2, I want to buy my home, retirement, and God forbid the fight of another illness.  Oh to know years ago, what I know now.

By definition, I am a single mom.  I've been corrected more than once because I do have David in my life, for which I am grateful.  But, I assure you.....when it comes to finances, he has four..... 1,2,3,4!!! children to support.  So, yes, he is gracious to help.  He gives us more than we deserve.  But I'm an independent woman, with a job, and two children, who depend on me. And me only.  Poor David...I'm quite a catch, huh?

That said, I've gone back and forth in my heart.....on paper......on a calculator....on my budget can I possibly afford to tithe???  I have caught myself making deals with God...."As soon as I get this caught up....or pay that....or get ahead...blah blah blah" I'll stick to my offering plan.  Guess what?  I'm 42.  I'm not ahead yet.  In fact....things are probably more dire now, than they ever have been with me.

My brother has been begging me for years to just trust in the Lord.  To give God what is already His.  It's like I've been stealing from God. Let me re-phrase....I've been stealing from God.  That first 10% is HIS!!!  Anything above that? Is my offering to Him.  I asked my brother to direct me to some scripture.  As I dug into the Word, and prayed over what is told to us in both the Old AND New Testaments....I am finally relinquishing my control.
Here are a few:

Malachi 3:8-10

New International Version (NIV)
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

New International Version (NIV)

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

Proverbs 3:9-10

New International Version (NIV)
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.


I realized that what's been laying heavily on me....and what I've been struggling with for YEARS, is that lying, deceptive devil trying to tell me that I can't afford it.  He makes the numbers not add up.  He makes me spend foolishly.  He makes me afraid to trust.  He keeps me from being a cheerful giver. 

I have been very blessed to always have a good job.  To have children who are happy with what I can provide.  To have all of what we need, and even most of what we want.  God has blessed me for years, even without giving the best of my "fruits" to Him.  I have been selfish in my struggles. 

I know that God is up to something.  Starting this Sunday.  I will be giving in excess of my 10%.  And I'm excited!  Please pray for me in my decision to change my life.  Please know that I will share the fruits of my decision.  Know that I don't expect the blessings to pour down on me with a greedy I have been.  My church will continue its ministry with or without my "measly" 10% I know.  The last three weeks....I put $20 bills in the plate.  (Even last Sunday which left me $12 to last until payday.) I thought I was doing good because I nearly gave "all I had."  God spoke to me like a bullet.  I've been robbing HIM. 

Luke 6:38

New International Version (NIV)

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”


Keep me accountable friends.  When I became saved, and was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  I promised to honor him with my prayers, my presence, my GIFTS, and my service.  In re-working my budget for income is showing a bit less.  And I've been a bit worried.  But as a friend posted on Facebook yesterday..."Faith is that bridge between where we are and where God wants us to be."  So I trust Him to guide me in making sound financial decisions for my children and I. 

I'm so angry with myself for my choices placing us where we are today.  Not prepared.  Always on the defensive.  Thankfully, God is reaching down to much further than I can reach up.  I plan to share my journey.  I may need others to show me the fruits of my decision.  Truth is....I'm giddy.  And can not wait until Sunday.  My trust is completely and totally with Him. And I'm at peace.  All will be ok. 

James 1:17

New International Version (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

In Him,

PS:  My new favorite song...... LOVE IT! 


Monday, July 29, 2013

My spin on "Daring to be Different"

I'm sort of pirating a great list of things I want my kids to live by....and putting my own spin on it.  My mother could have been the author. 

List of wise words:

1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.  (Or any plans.)  Texting is becoming too easy.  TALK to each other.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.  OR....Granny shots.  :)

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.  People aren't coming out as "with it" as they went in.

13. Don't play on people's emotions.  Or use hardships to your advantage.

 14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.  If they can't live up....most likely they don't need to be your hero.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.  I've learned this throughout the years!

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.  They are ruining the world.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25.  When folks reach out to ya.  Always soon as possibly.  Even if its to say...."I'll holla later!"

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.  :)

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.  What happens there....may not always "stay" there.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.  Ever.

34. Don’t pose with booze.  Tacky.

35. If you have the right of way, take it.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Be kind. Even in anger.  Practice kindness.

 39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in good luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.  You are never the "only one" with your "limp."  We all got problems!

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done. should always offer help.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.  And that ref is human.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do, not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.  Yep, its important enough to list this one twice!

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.  This one made me chuckle!  :)  I guess there ARE exceptions.  But for the general female population?  Wear a bra.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.

BONUS:  Love the Lord your God.....and your neighbor as yourself!  Love always extends grace.

While I didn't write these....only added and "took from" a few.  I agree with them all and felt it worth the share!

In Him,

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 20

This darn day comes every single year.  Saturday, July 20th, the day my precious mother gained her angel wings.  I've talked about her so many times in my blog postings, on facebook, and in my conversations with friends, that I've had so many people tell me that they feel like they know her.  Since I moved to Benton, 11 years ago, right after her death, not a soul in my "day to day" life actually knew her.  While I still have so many connections to those that did.....I sometimes feel lonely in my thoughts and memories.  I just love it when someone posts something about her.....nice words, a memory, anything to do with my mom.  I hang on those words.
While I know I am biased.....I know for a fact that you could search the world over for something bad to say about her....and you'd come up short.  She was a Godly woman, a wonderful mother, a loving daughter, my best friend, and the glue that held our family together.  I know I will see her again someday.  So I find the ultimate comfort in knowing that my salvation will lead me back to her.
I have a friend that has gone through the death of a parent, as recently as tonight.  She and I have talked at length about her father's final days....what to to feel.....etc.  I just don't have the words to comfort her.  Much like that day....11 years ago....that I had to let go of my mom....her earthly existence to move on to prepare a place for me in heaven.....there are no words.  It never gets easier being here without her. 
Got me to thinking about that day.  I've written about her battle.  I've shared memories and lessons she taught me.  I've shared photos and about my love for her.  But I've never written about the day she left us to go on to eternity. 
That's a toughie...
A little history:  Mom battled breast cancer for 5 years.  Diagnosed at age 44.  She immediately had a single mastectomy and chemo.  Her lymph nodes showed it to be in 3 of 9.  I don't think they had "stages" back then....or if so, I don't know what it was.  But her prognosis at the time was good.  She went over 2 years being "cancer free".  One evening, I was hosting a "circle meeting" (A ladies group at the Methodist Church we attended) at my home.  She came in, helped me with refreshments, ran the meeting and after everyone left, she informed me the cancer was back.  This time in the lung.
Surgery followed.  A very intensive surgery that was very hard on her.  Followed by more chemo.  Months and months of chemo.  I remember each visit with the doc.....our "guideline" was...."chemo?  or no more chemo?"  Never really "life or death".  Mom never complained.  In fact, she kept so much from us.  She kept a journal throughout her illness.....a very detailed journal....that for us, her children, is sometimes very hard to read.  She shielded us from her hurts.  Her fears.  Her worries.  She thought of us....her children.....first.  Always.
I am fuzzy on the exact timeline, but I know that the chemo wasn't successful for a complete cure.  The cancer ended up in her brain.  She went through months of radiation and at the time.....we were told that if that wasn't successful, she would be a candidate for the Gamma Knife surgery that was fairly new at that point in time.  Mom was just happy that she didn't have more chemo!  Those are the victories that we counted.
Mom's childhood best friend, who was also a nurse, accompanied her to her doctor visits.....for love, support, and deciphering the medical "mumbo jumbo".  To this day, if I need to feel close to mom....I think of Judy.  Sometimes call her or send her a text.  She is the person in this world who knew her better than anyone.....and loved her.  A true friend for her entire life.  She stood by mom through every major life event, and many, many small ones.  God placed Judy in our lives. 
In late May, 2001, mom called me at work and asked if we could come by the house that night, and not bring the kids.  I got a funny feeling because it was almost a CRIME to show up at her house with the grands.  lol  She loved her babies.  I got there, and Jay was there too.  She informed us that her oncologist had informed her that the radiation had failed. The cancer was in her brain stem.  The surgery was too dangerous and was no longer an option.  He basically told her to "get her affairs in order" that they had exhausted all known efforts. 
She told us she was quitting her job.  I was devastated.  Honestly, I acted a fool.  I had been in denial that this cancer would ever really take her life.  I knew it was hard on her....but never really expected this.  It had also spread into her liver.  They could treat that with chemo....and given her maybe a few more months.  But it would have been aggressive, invasive, and so severe that her quality of life would be awful.  Hence, she elected to stop treatment.  To me?  that was giving up.  I ranted and raved.  Second opinions?  Let's go to Little Rock or Memphis instead of Jonesboro?  Blah Blah Blah.  My mom.....quietly touched my hand and said "I'm tired."   I'll never forget that. 
My brother led prayer....and I left there that night like I'd just took a bullet.  Both sides of my family "upped" their annual family reunions to earlier in the year so that my mom could attend.  She insisted on a last vacation with us and took us to Branson.  I remember how quickly she began to leave us. She insisted that we pre-arrange her funeral.  Again, I was aggravated and not willing to give up.  Hospice was called in to help us......and in two shorts months, we were there....this day.  July 20, 2001.
Funny how God worked with my mom...."to plan her own death."
I was on week 1 of my 2-week vacation.  I always chose these weeks for two reasons.....As youth director, I led the youth VBS, which was a big job.  And it was also the Newport Country Club 4-ball Invitational, that was a huge weekend for golf and fellowship.  (I didn't have to take off work.  At all....I was already off.)  I spent most of that week with my mom during the day.  My mamaw and papaw were there that week, as was Judy popping in and out.  My dad, hospice, etc.  I am so grateful for that time I had with her.
On this Friday, I arrived early that morning so that my mamaw and papaw could head home for a bit to check on things.  He could not miss opening the church and making the coffee!  haha  Hospice came in and we bathed her, shaved her legs, and just sat with her a bit.  She had begun sleeping most of the time.  Her color was a bit jaundiced and her nail beds showed the slowdown of circulation.  The nurse asked me..."When are your grandparents coming back?"  I answered that most likely it would be Sunday evening.  She gently told me that I might want to get them to come on back.  I could see in her eyes that it was close. 
I called them, I called Judy, I called my brother and they all started trickling in.  Her brother was working in the area (another God thing!) and he had planned to stop in anyway.  So he was there.  My Mamaw Ethel, aunts and uncles....everyone was there in a matter of hours.  John (my husband then) got off work about 5 and headed over.  After "everyone" was there.  She opened her eyes, just before taking her last breath.
Noone had to be contacted.  Noone had to make calls to loved ones.  Noone had to travel under distress.  She waited until everyone was present.  And with her.  It wasn't until much later that I realized what a cherished gift she had given us.
Her service was standing room only.  In and out of the chapel.  500+ people.  My brother and I spoke, Leah sang.  And it was a beautiful tribute to her life.  We had no idea how we were going to get through our duties without tears.  We, as a family, prayed over her Emmaus cross, and each of us held it while giving our tributes.  No doubt, she was holding us up and God was speaking through us.   I still have the cross.  :)
I'd never seen so many flowers, cards, and people who loved her.  She was adamant that she didn't want her service at the church.  The church where she was at every time the doors opened.  Where she taught the pre-schoolers up until about 2 months before.  Where bulletin boards still held her artwork and decorations in the children's department even months later......She didn't want her service there.  I couldn't understand.  Her reason?  She never wanted us to ever have a reason not to go to church.  She didn't want our last memories of her at church, lying in a casket.  She wanted us to remember her there....lively and happy.  What a gift?  Still thinking of us....
I still have her last letter to me.  Written on hot pink stationery.  Her last words were "Continue to raise your children in the company of Christian friends."  You got it mom!  <3
Every memory of my happy times throughout my childhood include my Mom.  I only hope she knows how much I love her. 
Here are a few pics I dug up.  She was usually the one BEHIND the camera!  :)  But here are some good ones....
Have NO idea who's cat.  lol
Mom and Judy.  Blessed BFFs!  <3 

This was the day we brought Sam home from Children's!

My graduation  1989

Our last vacation to Branson at the Dixie Stampede.   

This is how I remember her....being silly!  My favorite pic ever!

Fishin with my dad!

Her engagement picture from the Newspaper, 1970  She was beautiful!

One of the last one's with my babies.  They loved "Mamaw Patsy"

My wedding, May 22, 1993  Some of the most beautiful memories with my mom. 

Senior Night, 1989

Love this....<3

July 11, 1970
 I love you mom!
Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme
Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife and mother
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me
Don`t worry 'bout me

Friday, July 12, 2013

Story Behind MY Ribbon....

Another night of insomnia!  So I find myself here again.  Imagine that!  :)  Watched my Sammy play a lot of baseball the last few days.  11 games in a 5 day span.  Lots of baseball. Which allowed me lots of needed catchup time with my baseball friends.  I've missed them!

Tonight, Sam played and during his second game, I worked the concession stand.  Muggy and hot.....uggggg.  Gotta love this Arkansas weather!  While I was a sweaty mess, I enjoyed visiting with some friends.  We got to reminiscing over the last year....talked about our vacations.....the team....just good ole girl talks!  One of them hugged me....and said...."Boy hard to believe all you have been through this year."  How true.  As I come upon my 9 month checkup after chemo....I find myself thinking about it more often than not.  Which is normal I guess. 

So it got me to digging through pictures......and thought I'd post a "pictoral recap" of my journey.  I remember each one as if it were yesterday.  So many fought the fight with me.  There is a true story behind every ribbon......And here are a bunch of favorites!  :)

March 2012 - Spring Break Cruise -- Yep, Ladies....He is mine!  1 month BC!  (Before Cancer)

March, 2012 -- My every breath.  Sam, Sydney Clare and I.  1 month BC.
March, 2012 Spring Break Cruise -- Cozymel, 1 month BC.

 March, 2012 - Spring break cruise -- Formal  Pic - 1 month BC

Easter - 4-8-2012 -- 15 days BC

 5-3-2012 Family Pic Session by Tia Wind -- Last ones with Boobies and Hair!

Another Fundraiser.  I am so blessed with my baseball family!  <3

5-6-2012  The kiddos, David and friends before the band started at our Just Sayin' Benefit at Gino's!
I love you JC!  <3


5-8-2012 My Sweet friends took me to dinner the day before my surgery and had designed a special Tshirt for the occasion!  "Real Women Don't Need a Second Base"  Love these girls! <3
5-11-2012  Rebecca and the girls had these bracelets made for family and friends showing their support for me!  Here they are at 312!

6-11-2012  My Sam put his on immediately........

One of MANY pics I received from friends all over showing their support!

 6-15-2013 -- Sam still wearing his a year later!  <3
Just one of the MANY flower bouquets I received. These were grown by my sweet friend Karen!  <3

Little Emme baked me a Ribbon Cake....We had so many meals and yummy desserts.  I blame my friends for the 30 lbs I've gained!  :)
Still found time to be a Panther Mom!  <3
6-10-2012  Kiddos and I participated in the Cardboard Testimony at church.  Very honored to be a part of this. (My cardboards still hang proudly in my den!)
6-14-2012  Girls took me to dinner before my first treatment!  Laughs were Doctor Ordered!  <3

6-15-2012  Tweegram from Sambo.  I love this child!  <3
6-15-2012  My precious Deb with me at my first treatment.  We even shared fun at chemo!  Love her!
The "Red Devil" aka "The Blood of Jesus".  This was my cocktail at this "Chemo Bar".  Hangover was horrible!  :)
6-27-2012  Becca and Deb took me to dinner to cheer me up.  I began losing my hair today.  :((
6-28-2012 -- Shaved my head!  First bald pic! 

6-28-2012 Correction!  WE shaved OUR heads!  God gave me David....
Very emotional day.  I never realized how "sick" I looked.  bleh....
6-28-2012  Treatment 2....Shane was my chemo buddy today!  Love her!  <3

Sonya crashed every treatment! So grateful for her company. We had fun at our chemo parties!  :) 

Chemo Nurses / Angels / Friends -- Carolyn and Linda  <3

6-28-2012  See these girls?  They DRUUGGGGG me kickin and screamin to the premier of "Magic Mike"!  :)

6-29-2012 -- A little hat shoppin before the meds hit.  Deb dawned her "doo rag" in my honor.  Precious friend!  <3 

7-13-2012  Lunch date with kiddos before 3rd treatment! 

Dance Camp 2012!!

7-27-2012  Sonya was my Chemo Buddy again!  Love love love her.  <3
What in the HECK was I wearin????   lol
She always came bearing "chocolate".....Can't have chemo without it! 

7-21-2012 -- Newport visited Bryant and I came to cheer!  Few of my Class of 89 Buds!  Love these girls!
Laughter truly IS the best meds.....more girl time.  They made SURE I didn't stay home feeling sorry for myself!  :)

When momma was in bed....they piled up with me.  Here is one of them acting silly! 

Snuggle Time.....:)
Lots of ugly days....:(

My fur babies took care of me too!  Lots of joy from these three crazies!  I really needed a king size bed!  haha
8-10-2012  The day before my 5th treatment I lost my Papaw.  This is an old picture.  But I didn't get a pic of me at chemo that day.  Sad one....:(

8-11-2012  My niece Hannah and I right before Papaw's funeral.  This was my first treatment of the Taxol.  I was thrilled that I didn't feel too bad yet! 
8-14-2012  More Laughs with the gang.  These crazies kept me sooooo sane!  <3

8-17-2012 -- School Orientations -- Sam's Sophomore Year.  Sydney's 8th grade year!

8-17-2012  Maroon/Grey Game.  Syd first time to dance.  Sam first time on High School team.  Big day!  And hotter than blue blazes!!

8-20-2013 -- Kiddos first day of school.
8-24-2012 -- Chemo Buddy Karen!  Love my sweet friend!  <3

Wig Fun w/Josh......:)
9-5-2012 -- Text from this sweet child.....this is the good stuff!!

9-7-2012 -- 7th treatment with my Sonya.  (Supportin my Panthers -- Game day!)

More Chemo Chocolate!

9-8-2012  Tailgate'n w/Deb!  <3

My precious sweet Annie!  Precious child.....

Woo Pig Sooiieeee!  Go Hogs! 

A couple of Besties!  <3
Me and my D!  WPS!
Sammy and Madison....great kiddos!

David's gift -- remind me to "believe"!  <3

9-21-2012 "NO MO CHEMO" Party! 
Yes...I'm aware this pic is sideways.  Hard to format from my ipad! my ugly cry as the gang surprised me on my last treatment.

It was a party!

One of TWO cakes!  :)

I was the queen that day!  :)

My fridge message from Syd!  <3

Mastermind behind the party!  I love her so very much.

Graduation Day!  I rang the bell!  <3

I put on my boobs to call the hogs!  hehe  Another graduation celebration!

Dinner fun! 
More wig fun!  That is a LOTTTT of pink!  :)

Jack?  with hair????  heheh

See the resemblance?   lol

Love this lady!  Great nurse....better friend! 

Couple of great things that Cancer brought into my life right here!  <3

My Clinic BF!  :)

My precious Shane.  God placed her in my life for a big ole reason!

MORE Wig fun!  :)
Dr. Sneed.  "We're gonna be friends a LONG time."  :)

Salt Bowl Fun!  Love these ladies!
10-4-2012  Got the call!  Cancer Free!  Remission starts now!  <3

Couple of reminders on my computer from my Syd.  We were celebratin'!  <3

Thanks to the efforts of a precious friend...Panthers wore Pink socks in October for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Very touched.

I'm a Survivor! 

Team Terri Rocked!
Was blessed to be honored by another team!  Cool!
Invite to the wonderful Pre-Race Party.  I am so grateful to these ladies!

My friend and sister, Jana.  She worked so hard on making "Team Terri" a reality.  The race, the party, our team....everything.  Love you Jana! <3


Chi-O's at my Team Terri Party -- Race for the Cure "Eve"

Benton Buddies!  <3

Ang and Debra!  <3


We are the Chi Omegas and ya better beware......:)

Fat Bottomed Girls Cup Cakes.  Sinful!

Newport Friends!  Love these girls!!!!

Sweet girlies...
Another with my Newport friends!  Love them so very much!

Real Men wear Pink!  Go Jon!

So many goodies!  Simply Beautiful!

New friends...
Who IIIII ran for!  <3


Leah, Hannah and Jacob.  So happy they were a part of my team!

My beautiful survivor friend!!!

With Shane Broadway and Gov. Beebe!  Friends in high places! :)

Jon & Holly!

Race is Serious Bidness....

My mom's very best friend!  I love Judy and was so happy to see her!

Love Kimmie and Susan!

I got to see Lonna and NOT on a baseball field!  <3

My heart....My love!  <3

Traci and Lori....precious friends.

More sister love....Marsha and Jana

I got


Sweet kiddos!

Shane, Sonya and kiddos.  Of COURSE, they were there!  My "heart"!

Man....I look like I was hosed down in Pepto Bismal!  <3  Lot of pink! :)


Team Terri.  This was our best effort at a group pic.  And this wasn't even everyone!  Blessed....

Back of Shirt....

Front of shirt.  Thank you Jana....
One of my trinkets from the day!  :)

Love my Sambo....

10-21-2012  Sam's Birthday at Casting Crowns.

Tia blessed us with Fall pics...

Toboggan Fun....Thanks to my Aunt Tootie for multiples!!<3

Puppies and Christmas!

1-27-2013  Hair is growing.  (No that is NOT gray!  hehe)
Jackson County Relay for Life.  I was next to my momma!  <3
First time to go without a hat.  Church.
Junior Auxiliary Benefit.  So blessed to attend and be a part of this evening with those who have helped us so much!  <3
FINALLY got a new-to-me vehicle!  The lemon is dead!
March 10, 2013  My Baptism


2/2013  Panther Baseball Family Day!
I love my Hannah!  <3


One of my FAVORITE Gifts!  Sweet Shelley....<3


David and Billy Idol at Dinner!  ha

5-2013  Mudding Fun! 

Yes, We had cold baseball in May!  <3

"I can only Imagine" -- My sweet Hannah before her recital!  Aunt Terri was so proud!
Chemo has my body temps forever messed up!  In my office sits a fan AND a heater!  Both are used daily!
Honored to be a part of my Gina's big day!  <3  I so love these girls!

More hat fun!  <3

Love this pic. 

Back porch time with the unibomber!  :)  Love my little brother!

Beach Cancer.
And a few more vacation pics.....




He needs to frame this!!!   I love this pic of my brother!

My sweet man....


Love the pic AND the sunset.  Thank you God for my brother!

This is worth the fight!!!!
This is my progression.  I've changed much more on the inside than out!  <3

Every Ribbon Has a Story....
It has taken me several days, combing through pictures.  One thing never changes....the love of my children, my place as a mom, my lasting friendships, my love of and for David, my family, my church and most of all my GOD....never left my side.  Cancer changed me.  But through God, it didn't define me.  It brought far more goodness to me than I even remembered. It also made me realize the goodness and blessings I already had. 
While the effects of my illness are still very real and lasting, I am equipped with faith and a newfound relationship with my Lord and Savior.  I have a village to hold me up when I am broken.  I have two of the best kids EVER.  I have a best friend in David and also in my brother, Jay.  Two men that I can count on always.  I have precious friends who are so dear to me....many faces you see on here....and many aren't.  I am blessed.  Even through cancer.....the world needs to see ya smile!  <3
In Him,