Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Please forgive my absence.....

it happened unintentionally. There has been a lot of living happening since radiation ended back in February and somehow the calendar now displays April 20th. Not quite sure where all the time went, but here is a sampling of my last month.

 Certain subjects are beginning to wind down. End of year projects underway. 
A little over a month left in the school year. It truly has been by God's grace that we have made it through the year with success and progress!

Our Thursday Women in Christ Bible study has been going through the book of Daniel for the Spring semester.....We meet every Thursday morning at church for worship, teaching and small group discussion time. I share the teaching with one other woman as we trade off each week. Oh my, the study has been so rich with God's truth and application as we've looked at Daniel's life and Godly example, and also looked through the lens of Biblical prophecy. 

I have had to study more than ever before in preparation to teach every other week. I've never taken Bible College classes, but this semester feels like I might have a glimpse as to what those classes entail. All good....but very time consuming! I teach on Daniel 10 next week. Our study concludes for the year on May 12th.

As the Women's Ministry Coordinator at our church, I have the privilege of planning and organizing our annual Women's Retreat each year, with the help of many hands along the way. 
This year, we held our retreat at our church as a 1 and a half day Seminar. The theme was taken from Romans 6:22 "But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your FRUIT to HOLINESS, and the end, everlasting life." The seminar was held April 8 & 9th. It was glorious. God moved mightily and once again I am in awe of His faithfulness. 

As "Fruit to Holiness" was the theme, we took the ladies through 5 sessions on living lives that bear  fruit to Christ's holiness. We began Friday night with "Plowing and breaking up the fallow ground," and then Saturday took us through "Planting God's Word in our hearts," "Cultivating and weeding out sin," "Pruning," and then "The Harvest." I taught the session on Pruning, and shared with the ladies much of what God did in my heart this past year as He pruned me and walked me through breast cancer. It was very poignant & personal for me, as it was at our previous year's women's retreat that I found my lump. What a year of pruning, but what a year of growth! God is truly amazing.  His ways so much higher than our own. 

We had the privilege of having Debbi Bryson come and be our main speaker. She shared for three of the sessions. If you've never heard her teach, she is a gem and a treasure and shares powerfully from God's Word.  She is from Calvary Chapel Vista in California and her husband is the director of Calvary Chapel Church Plant Missions in Russia. It was such a treat having her with us for the weekend. Her precious assistant, Barbara traveled with her, and they both stayed at my house. 
Again, another treat for me to spend that time with them. They were here last year, as well. The work He began in our hearts last year, He added to it this year in powerful ways. 

On Monday, April 11th, we all traveled to North East, MD, to attend the East Coast Pastor's Wives conference at the Sandy Cove Retreat Center. It was three days of sitting under wonderful Bible teachers and allowing God to wash over me and rejuvenate me. The theme was from Psalm 103, "Blessed," and blessed I was to be there. God had much He needed to tell me during those three days. 

And then onto racing.....the boy's Harescramble racing season has begun! Their 2nd race was this past weekend. After days of rain, the weather cleared for raceday, but as you can see, the track was pretty muddy. At the end of their races, they were all covered in mud, a boy's dream, right!?! 

And finally, the Betties, have been the topic of much discussion and doctor's appointments this past month. Following radiation, I had to start seeing my plastic surgeon again as preparation was needed for my breast revision/reconstruction surgery. Yesterday, I went in for one of my final surgeries of this breast cancer journey. I had the temporary tissue expanders removed and replaced with my permanent silicone implants. It was a 2 hour surgery done under general anesthesia, but I was able to come home afterwards without having to spend the night in the hospital. 

I am bound tightly around my chest and will remain that way until Thursday, when my two drains are removed along with the dressings. The pain is significant, but manageable. Yesterday afternoon was pretty rough, as I had a lot of nausea from the anesthesia and my stomach didn't agree with all that went in.  Praising God, though,  that the surgery went well according to my plastic surgeon. I am anxious to see the final result! Please keep me in prayer the next few days as I move through this recovery phase. 

So, there you have it. A little bit of what my last month has looked like. I had no intentions of being away from blogging for so long and apologize that I haven't kept you all updated as to how I have been doing. Thank you to those of you who have checked in on me. It really has meant a lot! I hope to get around in the next few days and say hi, now that I have some down time in bed as my body heals and God continues the restoration and rebuilding process within. 

"I will do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.....I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it and I will do it." Ezekiel 36:11, 36

The rebuilding process is underway. As my friend, Elisa, said to me this weekend, "Stacy, you have moved from deconstruction to reconstruction!" God is good, always and the restorer of all things. 

Much love,