As I sit down to write this, the song, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" came to my mind. The verse that has been on my heart is Psalms 66:16-20.
"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
I feel like I have so much to tell. The Lord has been so good to me that I just want to shout it out to the world. I hope that I don’t bore you with the wonderful ways the Lord has blessed me…but I just want to share some of those ways. Since I last blogged so much has happened. I know that Brady posted a few with little updates of what has happened, but I’ll share a little too.
The day after we moved into our house, some dear friends here in San Antonio gave me my first baby shower. It was a great night and I was so blessed by each of the ladies there. One of my biggest worries before leaving Japan was that I would have a harder time finding fellowship here with us moving to a place where everyone is much more spread out. How good our God is…after being here for less than two weeks, I was meeting 4 amazing ladies for lunch. This happened to be the day after my first round of chemo and I just remember leaving lunch that day and telling Brady how wonderful Jesus is. He took care of that desire for me and surrounded me with 4 sisters who have been so wonderful.
San Antonio Friends (they threw the shower)
Moms at the shower
I know Brady also mentioned all the visitors we had and I was so excited to spend time with each one of these dear friends, but he did forget that my mom and one of my best friend’s mom made the trip to San Antonio for the shower. It was a joy to have them both here as our first house guests. We did feel a little bad because after spending one night in our home, Brady and I woke up to a broken AC. By the time my mom and Rita made it here the house was 93 degrees and it was 103 degrees outside. Thankfully by the time we came home from the shower the AC was fixed and we have had no problems since.
The weekend of July 11th, Brady and I went to Austin for a wedding. One of the girls that I had the privilege of spending time with for her 4 years in high school got married. For those who don’t know, I was involved in a ministry called Young Life while in college and then went on staff for a year after I graduated. I was able to get to know a very special group of girls and walk through life with them from their freshman year until they graduated. I don’t have many Young Life memories that do not include these ladies. It’s hard to believe that they have all graduated college now and are young adults. I love these girls and thank God for the time he gave me to love them and share Jesus and my life with them.
Cori's Wedding (my YoungLife girls)
Last weekend we were back at the lake for a Woodview reunion. I lived in a house with 8 girls in college and six of us were able to get together for the first time in 3 years. Sadly two were unable to join us as Jill was in New York for a class and Meghan was with her family because her grandfather passed away. The six of us spent the weekend reminiscing over our time at Woodview and laughing as we remembered so many stories. This was truly a joy filled weekend that I am so thankful for. We decided we will not wait another 3 years…we are thinking sometime next spring.
On Monday I had my 4th and final round of chemo until after Chloe arrives. Brady and I both decided this was the worst one yet…but not because of my health or side effects. They put me in a smaller room this time with 2 different nurses. The ladies were nice, but they weren’t our dearly loved Jan. Nurse Jan has been so good to us that we were sad not to be with her. To make matters worse, as the small room became full, Brady was kicked out. He was told that he could come in and check on me as often as he wanted, but could not stay there with me. Normally we get to hang out the whole time and talk or watch the TV game show “Cash Cab”…this time it was so different, and not a different we want to repeat. We told Jan as we were leaving that when I come back we want to make sure we are in her room because we love her. Yesterday we had a surgery follow-up. It’s been a little over 3 months since the first surgery and the surgeon here wanted to just make sure everything is healing appropriately. After that appointment we had our OB appointment to check on our precious baby girl. Chloe is done with chemo and doing well…praise our mighty Savior! We were able to see her moving and get a couple of pictures of our girl. This is always a relief after a round of chemo, and we will do another growth scan in 3 weeks.
It’s Wednesday and I am still feeling great…how good our God is. We did have a bit of an episode last night…and this is not the first. So, shortly after moving in we realize we have neighbors with a dog that likes to bark…all night long. Last week he barked for an hour from 2-3:00am and Brady finally went out to yell at the dog and hopefully get the attention of the owners. Brady saw the back light come on and figured they were bringing him in. Last night we had a similar occurrence this time Smokey decided to start barking at midnight. By 1am I was frustrated and went out with the flashlight to try and shut him up. I thought it worked, but at 2am as I was just about to fall back asleep he barked again. I was waiting for the next bark so I could go and knock on the neighbor’s door, as I was so frustrated by this point. Well, he didn’t start barking again until 3:10am, then again at 3:30am, and lastly at 3:48am (I know all these times because I am keeping a record of them all). At 3:48am I had had enough and was on my way to the house and Brady told me I couldn’t go over there in the middle of the night…so I went back outside to yell at the dog that I have come to strongly dislike. I had my flashlight and may have shined it into a window or two (there was a light on in one window) and waited outside as I saw other lights turn on and off. From the front of the house I could tell someone was coming around back with a flashlight…it is our neighbor. I have not met these neighbors yet, so I hate that this was my first encounter with the husband. After he realized it was me and not an intruder I start talking. I, in the most loving and non-confrontational way, ask him to please keep his dog inside at night. I explain that we have been up since 12am and I am pregnant and going through chemo and really need some sleep. I again say it would be so helpful if you could just keep him in at night. From this conversation I got an, “Oh, okay.” So I go back into bed now at almost 4am and I am even more annoyed that there was no apology for the dog. I had to make every effort to take each thought captive to the Lord because I can tell you my thoughts were not the purest at the moment.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -- 2 Corinthians 10:5
So today, once Brady got home we decided we would go over there together and try and talk to them at a normal hour. We spend some time praying because we really want to reflect Christ and his love, but also let them know that this situation needs to be resolved. I can tell you that after our conversation with the wife I feel even more unsettled. She told us the dog stays outside to keep the coyotes and snakes from their yard. I replied back in what I hope was a loving way that I understood the concern, but we were being kept up and unable to sleep because of his barking. She said she would talk to her husband and they would maybe work something out. Maybe they would keep him in every other night. Inside I was thinking, “Do you think that is going to change things…he will still be keeping us up every other night.” We told her we did not want to seem like bad neighbors, but we need sleep and would love it if they could work with us on this. So I continue to have to take thoughts captive to my Savior and pray that He would change their heart in the situation…because I think they are set on not changing much now. I pray that this is the end of it, but I have a feeling we have a ways to go.
Other than the dog drama we are doing well. Brady has gotten back into the rhythm of work and has been spending his time studying. He apologizes for not updating everyone more frequently. Tomorrow, Brady’s dad is coming to visit and we are excited to see him and spend some time with him. We will keep you posted on the happenings in our life and how the situation with Smokey turns out. We are so blessed and thankful for all the Lord has given to us. We pray that each of you will experience the joy and peace that comes from knowing and trusting Jesus. I started this blog (last week) with a verse from a song…I will finish it with the same song. My heart is content in where my Lord has me and this song has been on my heart.
Over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me, and I will open up my heart and let the healer set me free. I’m happy to be in the truth, and I will daily lift my hands, and I will always sing of when your love came down.
I could sing of your love forever...
I could sing of your love forever…
I could sing of your love forever…