April 27-29 – Last Sunday at church, my friend Leiah Greene asked me if I was planning to go to the Women’s Retreat at Camp Cascade in Lyons, OR this coming weekend. I said that I hadn’t planned on it, and because of everything going on, there was really no way for us to justify spending money on something “frivilous” like that. (As you might be able to tell, I’m not a big spender on things that aren’t absolute necessities.) Anyway, she asked if a scholarship was available, would I be interested in going? Um, let me think about that…Yes! By Community Group that night, she told me that I was good to go. That, of course, was before I knew how intense the Bone Marrow test procedure would be, and that I was going to have this port placement today.
Because of the surgery, I was really organized (I thought) and did all my packing last night, so that as soon as my friend Angela Miller (also the wife of our Pastor, Scott Miller) got here, I would be ready to go. We left my house around 4:15 pm, and then went to pick up 4 other ladies as well. Unfortunately, before we could leave town, we had to run back to the pharmacy and pick up the prescription that I had forgotten. And I don’t even have chemo brain yet to blame it on!
The camp was beautiful & I had such a relaxing time there. Our speaker was Carol Schaud from KHPE, a local Christian radio station. She spoke on the “Journey” we are all going through, and the challenges in those journeys, some of the things we go through, like fears, dreams, desires, forgiveness, etc. One thing she encouraged us to do was to identify when negative thoughts are coming into our minds & capture them immediately to replace them with good thoughts. For her, she would use the “goldfish crackers” jingle to help her stop the negative and start thinking something positive.
During the morning session on Saturday, she had us take one hour to be completely silent with God. During that time, we had an outline of things to read and direct our thoughts. It was nice to have the ideas, but I really could identify with the “fears” verses, and found some good encouragement in the psalms as I often do. My mom (who has also started a blog) has always said that when you don’t know what to read in the Bible, start at the Psalm for the day, and then add 30 to each number until you have 5 Psalms to read that day. For example: today is May 4, so you would read Psalm 4, 34, 64, 94, and 124. This method will get you through the Psalms in a month. Yikes, I’m getting off track…SQUIRREL!!! (Watch the movie UP if you don’t know what I’m talking about. 🙂 ) Anyway, I got distracted during the “best hour of the weekend” and just started reading the Psalms for that day. They were good, but what almost jumped off the page at me that Saturday was Psalm 118:17:
I shall not die, but live
and declare the works of the LORD.
I’m claiming that verse! It just made me cry when I read it. There was a ton of other verses that spoke to me, especially in that chapter, but this one was just so appropriate.
This was a great time to recover & rejuvenate after the crazy week I’ve had. By Saturday afternoon, I was so tired, but I managed to pull together enough energy to hang in there for the rest of the evening. I decided to turn in around 8:00 pm. The doctor had given me some meds to help with the pain, so I decided to take one of those to help me sleep too. The bad thing was that when everyone came in from the evening around 11:30 pm, I woke up and was completely disoriented. I thought it was morning – even after people told me it was night. Angela had some Advil PM (don’t worry I had already checked about medicine compatibility), and that helped me get back to sleep so for the rest of the night.
In the morning, I felt a lot better, but was looking forward to going home. Our last session had us take a small pearl bead, and discuss what our “pearl” was from the weekend. My pearl was that God is with me through all the difficult situations coming up this year, and I do not need to worry about fear.