Keep On Keeping On!

Keep On Keeping On!

Thank you for your patience these last few months.  I’m sorry for being so quiet along the way to “recovery”.  Doctor visits sure can become a full-time job!

I actually started a chemo regimen six weeks ago.  The scan last Monday showed that things are going successfully on standard chemo.  But, we have recent and better news.  Praise God!  After much searching, a mutation was found in my cancer cells that allows for a targeted chemo pill rather than standard chemo treatments.

That means, the new drug will go after and destroy only my cancer cells and not my healthy ones.  No sickness or horrible side effects from here on out!  For those of you who were praying for me, thank you, thank you, thank you!  I will remain on the same pill until my body resists it, which in most cases means years rather than months. We are hopeful and still prayerful about it all, and the horizon looks good.

 

Keep On Keeping On!

I feel life can return to somewhat normalcy again.  Not totally, though, because the Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are with me each day still.  I’m eating to support my body’s healing and taking supplements to mend my damaged nerves.  It appears both conditions (lung cancer and MS) will be with me the rest of my life and will require regular check-ups and managing through lifestyle changes.  God is good!

I’ve learned to pace myself and take things easier.

During the last two months, I took some time to delete old posts that aren’t sewing related.  That should reduce the loading time when accessing my site.  It was sad to part with such a huge chunk of my life from the past five years, but it needed to be done.

God has shown me how to leave the courses open.  So, Curtain Queen Creates will remain as a support site for the sewing courses.  I plan to keep on keeping on, publishing sewing posts occasionally to spur you on with sewing inspiration!  Since my energy isn’t completely back to normal, I can’t promise new projects anytime soon, but the want-to is there, which is a beginning.  Right?

I’m excited to get rolling again, along with writing for the Embrace This Season website.  You can read about recent changes there in this post, The Hardest Seasons.

Blessings~

 

I’m Looking Up!

When writing my last post in October, I expected to be away for a little while.  I never dreamed it would take this long for me to get back to you!

After doctor visits and testing, Multiple Sclerosis was confirmed the week after Thanksgiving.  MS was a sobering diagnosis, but I viewed it as manageable.  Life would go on, and I began following an autoimmune diet.  But that’s not the end of the long trail of doctor visits and testing.

Romans 12.12

Three days before Christmas, a second diagnosis was official – non-small cell adenocarcinoma – lung cancer.  It was a surprising occurrence, given the fact that I have no risk factors (like smoking or living with second-hand smoke).  There is a wide range of treatment options available.

God brought peace as we were covered with prayer from friends and family, but peace didn’t come easy.  It’s been another lesson of trust.  Every anxious thought must be held captive.  Our God is bigger than any fear!

If you are in a trial of any type, I hope this song ministers to you as much as it did for me.

We’ve experienced blessings from the Lord each day on our journey since October.  Our Christmas wasn’t hurried or rushed.  It was a blessing to relish family time in a way like never before.   With a new perspective, it was one of our best Christmases yet!

As I look at the future of Curtain Queen Creates, I don’t plan to continue with even the sewing aspects.  I am extremely sad to let go of this fulfilling thing that has consumed much of my life these past five years.    (I’ve discovered that sickness x 2  can be a full-time job!)  If there are recipes you’d like to add to your file, print them now.  Over the next month or so, I expect to close this site.  😦

Embrace This Season (see today’s post) will continue as a place to write and reflect and share.  I never expected to be embracing a cancer season (or MS, either), but I fully believe God has this new assignment for me.  He may have a new ministry in mind.  I hope you’ll join me at Embrace This SeasonCancer won’t be a main topic there, but “fifty and over” health will be discussed quite often.  🙂

You all have blessed my life so much these past years.  I received far more from you than you received from me.  What a blessing you have been, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Blessings~

The Good News and the Bad News

I don’t know which part you’ll see as the good news and which part as the bad news.  I’ll just have to let you decide.  It was two weeks ago when I knew I couldn’t go on publishing posts.  I prepared the email to send out with Friday’s post and said I’d be out for a while due to a vision problem – and pretty much left it at that.

I had/have double vision, making it very hard to do anything much in a timely manner.  I’d published all of my pre-written posts during October – except one more tablescape remains.  When I published a post from scratch, it took three days.  Continuing wasn’t an option at that point.

The double vision is caused by a nerve palsy in one eye and is nothing serious.  It should repair itself within six weeks (which is today!) or months  and will heal on its own.  Randomly.  Unpredictably.  We just have to wait.

HH and I are at peace that God will take care of things in His timing.  Thank you all for your prayers!  You continue to be such a blessing to me!

faith-bible-verseImage Source

I do have other issues happening, so I’m trying to get rest, manage pain, and not stress over things while we investigate further (and wait some more).

Rest has been the best thing!  (OK, well, pain medicine can be pretty awesome, too.)  Without blog post schedules looming, I truly got rest.  Complete rest.  And, it was glorious!

As I prayed for God’s direction through the October and early November weeks, I thought maybe He was closing the door to blogging altogether.  I somehow sensed there would be no more tablescapes, diy projects, recipes, or gardening posts.

But, really, Lord…everything?

The thought of leaving you friends saddened me, of course, but I will do as the Lord directs.  I trust Him completely!  I’m committed to whatever He has for me in my fall season of life.  If God said for me to stop blogging, then so be it.  (Although, please know that I would miss you terribly!)

God knows my desire to help women with problems they sometimes face while sewing window treatments or other home decor items.  Immediately following a God session, I received two emails from readers asking for help.  I love that process of helping you work through those things!  God also knows I enjoy your post comments and our conversation most of all.

Then God brought fresh inspiration and promises – partly in a new direction.  And, He blew me away!

Psalm 37.4Image Source

Slow down.  Relax.  I’ve got this.
Keep Curtain Queen Creates, but make it a sewing-only site to support the sewing readers and course members.
Publish sewing posts occasionally when needed as your health improves.  Don’t stress.
Begin a new blog with the blog name I gave you three years ago.  Now’s the time.  Do it with My blessing.

I quickly took a pen to paper as He spilled blog post titles in a list of ten.  I instantly had new topics for this new blog with the title He inspired so long ago (and that I didn’t yet understand).

I painted these words on this old drawer a few years ago, and they stuck like glue!

DIY Drawer Tray

God laid it all out for me, and it was comforting… peaceful…and without time constraints. He placed one post per week  in my heart.  I realized I could do that even now with my eyesight askew.  It will be a slower, more restful pace, and I realize I need that  as I learn to manage my health in the proper way.

I have one final tablescape post for you tomorrow.  It’s a post I prepared in September for Thanksgiving.  🙂  Can it be our celebration of thankfulness for new beginnings?

Embrace This Season

The words that spill out of a paint brush occasionally stick with us for far longer.

I’m so happy for the time we’ve had here at CQC – and for the fun and blessings we’ve shared.  CQC’s future blog look will be leaner with the new focus on sewing home decor specifically.  I realize not everyone will stick around for that, and you shouldn’t if sewing isn’t your thing.  You won’t hurt my feelings if you unsubscribe after tomorrow’s tablescape post.  For those who choose to remain for the sewing posts, I’m very excited about our new streamlined focus.  I hope you are, too.

I’d like to give you all a huge (virtual) hug. – and wish I could for real!

My hope is that you’ll subscribe to receive posts through email at my new blog as we commit to Embrace This Season.  My first blog post there is similar to this post here today – sort of an opening and explanation of origin.  Future posts will include topics that support and encourage women in our fall and winter seasons of life.

I’m looking forward to it and hope you are, too.  Thank you all again.  Very much!  Until tomorrow then?

Blessings~

 

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Encouraging Others

Rocky Hernandez is a pastor I met on-line a few years ago.  He was so nice to offer Kindle books to us for free in the past!

Rocky offered to do the same freebie for us today, but I wanted him to get the funds from actual purchases.  In his new devotional book, Music from the Fire, Rocky encourages others who are in the heat of trials.

I won’t go into his personal information, but I happen to know Rocky and his family have had their fair share of trials – more-so, actually.  The fact that he keeps preaching and writing amazes me!  God is definitely in Rocky’s faithful work as he encourages others through God’s word!

Galations 6.9Image Source

It just so happened that when I went to grab the book link yesterday, the Kindle version was free.  Rocky must have had it set that way for other reasons because he didn’t know I was going to share his book today.

Rocky’s devotional book is very encouraging and uplifting as he shares some stories of others.  Sometimes we find a place of thankfulness when we hear of others facing trials worse than our own.  Don’t get me wrong.  The devotions aren’t all about hard stories.  There’s a smattering of all types of things to encourage you in your faith, including some stories from the Bible.

I’m halfway through the 45 days of devotions, and I didn’t have to complete it fully to recommend it to you.  I plan to leave a review on Amazon when I complete Rocky’s book.  He would appreciate any of us who would do that, so please leave your review, too!

Follow THIS LINK FOR ROCKY’S BOOK.  I will receive no payment if you decide to order the paperback version.  The  Kindle version should still be free if you grab it quickly.  Enjoy Rocky’s new read!

Blessings~

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When Jesus Doodled

Do you doodle on scraps of paper?  In mind-wandering creativity, do you draw fun and entertaining pictures – or sometimes write words fancily?

When reading The Book of John last week, it struck me that Jesus was doodling.  I’m sure you’ve read the passage or you’ve seen it played out in movies.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was
caught in the act of adultery.  The law of Moses says
to stone her.  What do you say?” (John 8:4-5)

Pharisees and teachers of religious law were trying to trap Jesus.  They wanted Him to say something that was worthy of His own stoning.  They wanted Jesus dead!

Notice they didn’t bring the man who was also caught in the adulterous act – only the woman.  They weren’t interested in punishment according to the law.  Their purpose was deeper than that, and Jesus knew it (of course).

That’s when it happened.

“…but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.”  (John 8:6b)

Jesus doodled!  There is only speculation over what  Jesus wrote, but scripture says just that He wrote.  Call it what it was.  That’s doodling, folks!  When you doodle, is your brain engaged with things happening around you?  No.

None are...

Your mind is on your doodling, and you ignore all else surrounding you.   What you portray to others is that you are on a mini brain vacation.  You are not paying attention to them.  Jesus was, in effect, dismissing the Pharisees and religious teachers.

Jesus was sending an “I’m not giving you the time of day” message.  But, they didn’t give up.

They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up
again and said, “All right , but let the one who has
never sinned throw the first stone!”  (John 8:7)

When your doodling is interrupted, you can hardly wait to return and finish it.  Right?  So, Jesus had to finish His doodle (and continue his message of ignoring)!

Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.  (John 8:8)

This is only what I imagine, not what Jesus actually wrote.  I imagine He was thinking of His up-coming sacrifice and how we don’t deserve it.  Never have, never will.

None are worthy to throw the first stone

Jesus was stalling…waiting for all accusers to leave.  And, then His point was made.  He didn’t ignore the harlot’s sin.  He simply pointed out that we all sin and should turn and sin no more. Jesus told the harlot to turn from her sin and leave the sinful life behind.  We are not to judge.  God does the judging.  Jesus does the forgiving.

Jesus gives grace when we don’t deserve it, and we need it most when we’ve done the worst!

Now.  Go to church and praise the Lord!  🙂

Blessings~

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So Many Questions…

Do you have questions you’d like to ask God?  Questions like, “God, how could You let the shooter in Las Vegas DO that?”  “Why?”  “Why didn’t You stop him?”

Did similar questions go through your mind as you heard the news last Sunday?

God’s question for us might be, “Why do you question Me, your Almighty God and Holy Father?”

Indeed!

It may not always seem like it, but God is  in control.  Evil is in our world, and we live and coexist among people who do evil.

If God controlled our actions, we would be robots.  If God forced us to love Him and honor Him with our behavior, that love would be meaningless.  Loving the Lord and obeying His word is our choice – our free will.  Those who don’t honor God wreak havoc on the rest of the world.  God provides for those who seek Him and loves us perfectly.

Jeremiah 29:13Image Source

We see a wonderful example of God’s provision after He took His people out of bondage in Egypt, performing miracle after miracle in their release from slavery.  Only weeks after their rescue, the nation of Israel complained to Moses.

“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt”,
they moaned.  “There we sat around pots
filled with meat and ate all the bread we
wanted.  But now you have brought us into
this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
(Exodus 16:3)

Really?  They wanted to return to slavery, the thing they’d begged God to release them from – their bondage for over 400 years?  Seriously?

Did they think God just willy-nilly  swooped them out of slavery with no plan in mind?  God always has a plan – His perfect plan.  He rained down quail in the evening and manna every morning, and that’s how he fed the estimated two to three and a half million Hebrews wandering the desert sands for forty plus years.  Can you imagine feeding such a large group?

The Bible speaks of boiling and roasting the quail.  Where did the firewood come from?  They were in the desert!

HH and I both taught this lesson in Sunday School last Sunday – he to our young couples class and me to a class of young teen girls where I substituted.  We marveled all week as we waited for parts to arrive for our stove and dishwasher – both broken within the past month. With such a reminder of God’s provision, how could we complain?

We have proof of His blessings all around us.  God provided our grill, remember?  Our stove still works.  And, He gave us plenty of soap and hot water for washing dishes until parts arrived.

The next time we start to complain about problems with this or that, we should thank God for all He HAS  provided.

I don’t understand why people go off the deep end and shoot people in crowds.  Yes, we live in a fallen world!  And, yes, God is still in control!  Since He managed to feed all of His people in the desert, I know God can repair hearts and lives of the brokenhearted family members of those who died.  We pray for them.

The Lord heals perfectly, in time, for those who seek Him.

Blessings~

 

 

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