Monday, June 27, 2011
“Lord, I don't know why YOU want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what YOU want me to do; I’ll carry it for YOU – The Ant”
Wow! Does GOD have awesome timing AGAIN!
It is no secret that I have missed Mike terribly during this time he has been gone, but I know he is in GREAT hands and surrounded by people who love him and are taking complete care of him, BUT we have never spent this much time away from each other, so it has been different. Another thing that has been affected is my sleeping. Mike and I have shared a bed for 4 ½ years now and it has been quite lonely falling asleep with out him laying next to me and waking up with me. Well I have been doing alright, but Sunday night I fell asleep early and around 2AM something startled me and woke me up from a good sleep. I had fallen asleep with the TV on and waking up at this time, there is nothing on but infomercials. I cannot stand the sound of chipper commercial voices when I am trying to go back to sleep, so I started flipping just praying I could easily fall back asleep, well GOD had other plans for me.
As I flipped, I did doze off for what felt like a good 4 hours, but nope it was only 30 minutes – I was woke up by a bad dream and so I once again just laid there. This time the channel had landed on a Christian channel and Joyce Meyers was speaking. I rolled over and closed my eyes as I drifted off; the topic she was speaking on was about Giving it ALL to GOD. Not a little, not just part but it ALL! As you know, I have over the course of this journey given it ALL, taken a little bit back, become overwhelmed and given it back and then maybe just try to take a little bit on then give it all back! I was able to doze off and with those thoughts in my head; I felt comfort and slept great! Just as I think I was entering a nice dream, the alarm clock went off and I just laid there almost in tears – I was still tired,(BUT I have been blessed with gift of a great job) and that reinstilled my happiness - I was ready to face the day. As I was getting ready to roll out of bed, TBN was still on and just as Dr. Creflo Dollar was starting his program. I have always loved his speaking and decided to cuddle a bit longer the wet-nosed kiddos and watch. Immediately I knew I had woke up, and NOT pushed snooze for a reason – GOD had a message for me. Dollar spoke of this AM about being chosen for a reason to be on the journeys we are on. To take these opportunities whatever the journey endures, to make sure that you continue to praise GOD, speak of him and all he has done – this will please him and your journey will continue to be blessed. Use this as an outlet to speak to and reach ALL you can with this journey you are on. WOW! I felt this was just for me, and as I have been using my blog and emails to reach others across the states and countries, I know by doing this I AM pleasing GOD and doing what he wants of me. As my day continues, I get to work check emails and there is one from my “Daily Word with Joel and Victoria” their message held this verse “Come close to God, and God will come close to you - James 4:8”. After reading this I continued to know that by coming closer to GOD through this journey, that we ARE doing exactly as he wants us to do.
After receiving all these messages within hours of each other I was feeling quite well about all that I have been sharing with everyone and continuing to maintain the “Attitude of Grattitude” (< ---- Thanks Shamra!) throughout this time. Just as I was about to start my day, I received a message in my inbox from a lady with whom I work with through PM, and she has been on this wild ride with us since day one. It was the most amazing short story I have read and I wanted to share with you today – it goes on to read:
The Ant and The Contact Lense
“Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. “Great”, she thought, “Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry.” She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn’t there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys…Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn’t end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, “Lord, I don’t know why YOU want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what YOU want me to do; I’ll carry it for You.”
I think this statement would do us all good to say often. For anytime in our life we feel we have been given a load and do not feel we can bare the weight. No matter what your circumstance is, it may be Family burdens, it may be financial troubles, it may even be troubles at work --- stop in the midst of your day and say this “God, I don’t know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if YOU want me to carry it, I will”.
I stopped and said this today and I feel so much better. Daily I am shown why this load was given to us and with all the good that continues to happen and the people we touch everyday, I am thankful for my load and will not feel defeated again – GOD has a plan as always and it is shown to me daily, piece by piece rather than days ahead – which ensures that my faith stays strong and me on my toes!!
In closing, I apologize for this long of an email, but the way that it all happened today, just when I needed to hear it, I couldn’t help but share --- I know GOD wouldn’t want it any other way!
Friday, June 24, 2011
So, it is OFFICIALLY Summer now (as you can feel) and it is not slowing down! Our temperatures have reached record highs in Houston and at this moment we are Praising GOD for the rains we have received, that seem to have helped a great deal in putting this wildfires out. Granted there are still some places burning, we will continue to pray!
SO, you know how I am always sending pics of Mike and I along with Family and Friends enjoying our Sunny days on the water – and a lot of that time is spent on The Trinity River. Now I know this county is not near us BUT it is the Trinity and things DO swim. I have seen plenty of these guys (not this big) BUT oh wee – I am REALLY Never Ever getting in this water again after reading this article: http://www.leoncountytoday.com/news/2011-06-21/Front_Page/880_pound_gator_killed_on_Trinity_River_in_Leon_Co.html Ouchie wah wah!!
I am sure for the avid adventure seeker this would be an exciting article and the hunts will ensue, but not for this gal!
On a very exciting note, I received a call from our local Christian radio station here in Houston. I had a little while ago sent them an email with my blog address in hopes that they would add Mike to their prayer list, and you know me and detail, I wanted them to have the full grasp of how GOD has worked in our lives since his diagnosis and that we just are simply blessed. I suppose it struck a cord with one of the employees and I received a phone call letting me know they want to meet with Mike and I and share our story with everyone! WOW! How awesome is this? When I started the blog and even when I make my entries, I hope that I am touching others and offering inspiration for what they are going through in their lives. I hope to send the message that there IS a GOD and it is as simple as REALLY giving it all to him in all times! I do not know all the details of this yet, but the phone call made my day! The thought of reaching out to the city and over the internet with our message, I know is ONLY something GOD can make happen. All we do is to glorify him and what better way to continue to spread the word!
I wish you all a great weekend! Mike is still in FL having so much fun! He has been able to see all the family and spend quality time with each and everyone and I believe this was not “Just what the Dr Ordered”, but defiantly what GOD ordered!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
“Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about His mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains - Colossians 4:3”
I just got word Mike has landed in Florida and his “Trip of Complete Rejuvenation” has begun! I encouraged him to take this time and relax, enjoy the time allowed with family and DO NOT THINK ABOUT CANCER – I hope it is as easy as it sounds and with the views of the beautiful Ocean views and being miles away from MD Anderson, he will be able to accomplish this! As for me, he has instructed me to do the same – unfortunately I will not have gorgeous beaches to look at, so I will use my imagination ;)
I woke up this AM with an email I had mentioned a few emails back from a friend referencing the scriptures of Paul when he was in prison. He chose to use this circumstance and speak of GOD, continue to praise him and spread the word to ALL that would listen. As I went through emails this morning, I received a daily scripture speaking of the same exact message that my girlfriend had heard at church a couple of weeks ago.
As I write today, I cannot express how amazingly blessed Mike and I are. As we approach THE month. The month that we simply thought Mike was overcoming an infection of a Spider Bite. The month he visits his Doctor for a routine physical. The month that he was sent to get an MRI then boom – Cancer Diagnosis. As we approach this month with such mixed emotions, I am deciding to focus on ALL the good that has come from this journey in the short time we have been on it versus dwelling on the negative.
I feel in my heart, just as Paul that the praises we continue to give GOD and every opportunity we allow ourselves to speak of him and all he has done, does and continues to do he in return continues to bless us beyond belief and I know in my heart it is the reason Mike continues to do so well. On this journey, do not get me wrong, I have cussed my share at this disease, cried, screamed and allowed myself to get into a “funk”, but by doing this, I not only was depriving myself of GOD’s good graces, I deprived Mike as well as all others that continue to follow our journey and have an abundance of faith instilled for the journeys they have been placed on.
Each day, take the time to find the silver-lining of those dark clouds. I bet more than none that there is SOMETHING to be thankful for. I always giggle, because in the midst of any storm, I do strive to find that lining and in most cases – if you are familiar with the weather we have here in Houston, TX ---- I am thankful for a Good Hair Day! Find a reason for the good to surely outweigh the bad!
In closing, I know how tremendously hard GOD is working in our lives and I pray he is working just as hard in yours – before you seek out the negative, seek out the good and Praise GOD – even for the smallest, for I know MY GOD, he ALWAYS has something bigger and better in store!
PS – Please keep ALL that are being affected at this time with the raging wild fires here in Texas – It is so dry! Homes, land and businesses are being destroyed. We continue to pray for rain daily!
Monday, June 20, 2011
I JUST Had to share --- Mike's Claim to fame with our Wet-Nosed Kiddos is that he has taught them How to Shake and Sit --- WELL I upped the anti and Taught Dukers How to Kart-Wheel (Sort of) Hahaha! He TRULY is My Kiddo ;)
Enjoy His You Tube Debut:
XO Lyndie & Mike
“I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich - M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter”
*** This Entry Dedicated to ALL Mom's On Father's Day That Are Putting in Double-Time ***
I know it was just yesterday that I was writing my entry to consist of my tribute to my Mom for Mother’s Day – and now we are here and for Father’s Day, I have only one person to dedicate this day to – My Mom as well.
A lot of people are fortunate to have a Mother and Father present in their every day lives, as for me, I was fortunate to have my Mother, who held the strength of Mother and Father in one casing. I admit, growing up I was a little envious to visit friends houses were both parents where there. Dad would always be working in the garage on his next project and when we bolted out into the yard, their Dad came running behind us, lifting us up way above his head swinging us all around. Or the times when something broke, because we may not have had the money right at that moment to have it fixed and with no Daddy around as a “handy-man”, we had to wait.
As I write that above, I cant add anymore things that I missed out on not having my Father in my life, my Mom did an amazing job of wearing all the hats in our small family. Growing up, my mom never complained about the fact we didn’t have a Daddy in our dynamic. I never was told anything negative about my Father through the years, she left this up to me to create my own opinions and develop my relationship with my Father. That within itself takes a lot of strength --- when Mom and Dad don’t get along and either one leaves the picture it takes a huge person to not influence the child either way – My mom was great at that and to this day I do not have a relationship with my father because of him.
My mom raised me alone (really since I was born) but physically alone since I was 2 years old. She overcame many obstacles as a single-mother. Working a full-time job starting off at 6.00/Hour, ensuring I was fed, dressed and well taken care of. If you ever here me speak of my mom, I never thought I went without. You will hear her say that she wishes she could have done more, but I never knew I went without – in my eyes and mind, I had a GREAT upbringing. Another obstacle my mom overcame on her own was raising a teenager girl into a young woman. Granted, I have never ever claimed to have been the perfect daughter (I was a hell-raiser at times) but I reassure my mom, it was nothing to do with how she raised me. I was a teenager, ran with the wrong crowds and made some stupid decisions. My mom ALWAYS had my back, never abandoned me and though I was disciplined (many times ;) she stayed strong though her punishments and stood close to her rules with me growing up and living under her roof --- for that I admire you mom for the strength and courage it took to raise me on your own.
In closing, I have nothing bad to say about my father, just that I simply do not know him. My mom is all I have ever known and all I know now. My mom sacrificed her own personal time throughout the years to ensure that it was about me…I feel guilty at times that my mom didn’t have more of an adult life through the years of raising me, but selfishly I am thankful --- she raised a true woman (though I have walked down some dark paths and made A LOT of wrong decisions) she raised a genuine woman who is true to myself and my morals.
Mom, you are a true gem. I don’t tell you enough, but I am so thankful GOD chose you as my Mom and Dad – I am thankful daily that he instilled you with all he did to ensure that I always was protected never harmed (except for some of those spankings ;) haha! You are rare mom in these days and times, and I am so blessed to have you!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
“UP & Filled with MUCH Confidence for The Path Mike & I Continue to Be On --- We Are ALL Chosen By GOD To Journey Down OUR Chosen Path, & For The Times I Was Nervous For My Ability, I Am SO VERY Grateful That EACH Day I Am Instilled w/EXACTLY What I Need To Overcome Each & Every Day Given To Us – Lyndie Charnock (Face Book Status 6/15/2011)”
It has been a little while since I have really felt what I have felt after reading “Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria”. Don’t misunderstand, I get my daily email, but some days you just receive that one that hits home. Today’s reads:
“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours - (Isaiah 61:7, NIV).”
It goes on to read; “Are you going through a difficult time today? Let this word bring you encouragement, too. We serve a God who goes above and beyond our expectations. He wants to give you double for your trouble. He wants to bring you restoration and make things even better than before. If you are facing challenges today or going through a time of adversity, remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. Your days are destined to shine brighter because God is faithful. As you stay in faith and are obedient to His Word, you’ll receive double for your trouble and see God go above and beyond in every area of your life!”
I know and trust EVERY day that Mike and I were chosen to be on this path. Not only were we chosen to be on this path, but I believe with all my heart the two of us were brought together to travel down this path together. I had a friend email me the other day which reads the following:
“On Sunday, I was at church, and my pastor preached from the first chapter of Philippians. The subject of his sermon was “Opportunities that Overcome Obstacles”. The story was when Paul was under house arrest, for being a follower of Christ. In the 12th verse, Paul said that the things that had happened to him has helped him spread the Good News…and for that, he was grateful. I thought about you in a major way…this journey that you are sharing with Mike…my gosh Lyndie…has totally helped you spread the Good News. You could have very easily used it as an excuse to be bitter, but it would have been a mere obstacle. However, you chose to use this as a tool of opportunity, and it’s soooo beautiful. You have allowed your opportunity to overcome your obstacle. There is no doubt that you and Mike are, and will continue to be ok. Paul said that he was imprisoned because of Christ, and that people became more bold and gained confidence in telling others about Christ because of his imprisonment….the same is true here. God chose you and Mike for this journey, because He knew that it would be to the glorification of His Kingdom. Reading your blogs has helped me gain a confidence that I didn’t know I had.”
I was so touched by this email and again it just reconfirmed that Mike and I WERE chosen to be on this journey. I receive emails daily from Family, friends and people that I have never met who have been touched and inspired by Mike and myself. As in the email above, I could have easily chosen to take this obstacle as a chance to be bitter and dwell upon the negative of the hand we have been dealt, but I believe that GOD has bigger plans for Mike and myself. During our journey, people are giving their lives to Christ, they are reconfirming their faith and in the midst of the adversity they are going through, I have confidence they see through us that if you truly give it ALL to GOD and must praise him for ALL good and bad.
Many times I have tried to take it back from GOD and handle it myself and with doing that I felt that I had some sort of control of the future or I could even change what has already happened…well by doing that I found I brought on more stress and distress, and after all as I have said before “Mike and I are TOO Blessed to Be Stressed!”
As it reads in this daily entry from Joel, he reassures us that for the troubles we are going through now, we are sure to come out with many rewards, because that is what GOD wants and has planned for us. I trust with all my heart as long as we continue to give it ALL to him, stay faithful, I know he will grace us with many blessings and beyond which WILL include Mike’s healing from Cancer!
Today you may be facing adversity – not from disease, but from anything in your life that you feel you do not have control of and your peace has subsided at the moment – don’t be selfish, Give it to GOD – he wants IT and as I always say, He will ALWAYS have YOUR back!
In closing, I wish you all continued days, weeks, months and years of peace and many hopes for your faith to stay strong and focused on GOD above!
Monday, June 13, 2011
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how - Friedrich Nietzsche”
Well it has been an emotional past few days. Kade Kothman, a friend of Mike’s who he met a little while ago at MD Anderson (in fact his very first Friend at MD) has passed and went onto walk the streets of Heaven. As I had reported Kade left MD Anderson with Hospice to be home with his family. It was heartbreaking, but his family remained and still remains faithful in knowing that GOD used Kade here on Earth to touch and inspire many (including Mike and I) and he will be greatly missed, but know he is watching down on us all from behind those pearly gates. RIP Kade – The TRUE Urban Cowboy!
With Mike’s delay in getting his MRIs complete, we did not have the results at the usual time when we met with Dr. Groves, so we had to wait just a little while. Well it was worth the wait, because just today it is reported that not ONLY does Mike’s Spinal Fluid and Brain remain Cancer Free – But the lesions he had on his Spinal Bone (in previous emails and reports) is shrinking and healing as well! There are SURE signs of the Treatment working and the Cancer shrinking along with his Bones healing --- PRAISE GOD!
He will undergo his Mega-Chemo this Wednesday. We pray for continue minimal side effects and for the usually effects that take place a few days after treatment to subside and he continue to feel good as he heads off to Florida for 12 Days! As I mentioned in previous emails, I am going to miss the mess out of him, I know this trip will be so therapeutic for him and offer complete soul rejuvenation! For me, I know the break will be good for me also but it will not make it any easier – BUT I will have COMPLETE control of the TV and ALL my Shows – ha-ha!
Mike and I spent the weekend laying low and just relaxing with the dogs and even hit the neighborhood pool! As we were sitting there soaking in the rays, he looked over at me and said “Lyndie, I feel GREAT! I just am feeling so good!” Hearing this makes my heart soar with excitement and brings such joy! We have good days and bad days BUT because of GOD our good days have FAR Outweighed the bad!
As always to you ALL, we continue to thank you for all your prayers – we feel them daily and -because of them Mike continues to stay strong and confident that he WILL be Cancer FREE! He has claimed it along with Me and many others! GOD continues to grace us daily in so many ways and though this journey isn’t over, we have much peace.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time - Mark Twain"
And Living Fully is what Kade Kotman Did. Kade Kothman Went To Be With The LORD Today - Mike & I Are Greatly Saddened, BUT Know He Is In A Better Place. Please Keep His Family & Friends In Your Prayers -- Thank You.
Ending With This Prayer From Mike & I:
"Dear LORD - As The Faith We Have In You Remains, We MUST Know That Kade's Departure to Heaven IS What You Have Planned. As He Embarks On His New Journey Through The Golden Streets of Heaven & Greets You At The Heavenly Gates, We Must Have Confidence & Be Joyful That He Is No Longer In Pain & Will Watch Down Upon Us As Our Heavenly A...ngel. Thank you For The Time You Have Allowed Us w/Kade & All The Joy He Has Brought To All He Knows. Please Be With His Family, Lisa Antoinette Kothman, Kyann Kothman, Sheba Kothman & Friends To Provide Peace During This Time of Transition. In JESUS Name Amen!"
Thursday, June 2, 2011
"Trust In The LORD With ALL Your Heart, And Lean Not On YOUR Own Understanding; In ALL Your Ways Acknowledge Him, And He WILL Direct OUR Paths - Proverbs 3:5-6"
This verse gave me much comfort this AM and reminded me as always that this journey we have been chosen to be on is not for us to question – we must as the verse says NOT lean on our OWN understanding.
As always I am a nervous wreck before result days and with our last visit not being a bad one, but not as good as all others, I of course was nervous of this visit as well --- but I knew it was and continues to be in GOD’s hands and I must have complete faith. We have been very grateful in the times that we have been to MD, but last night was not all so great. Mike is generally in quickly when he has procedures such as MRIs and PET scans but last night arriving at 7:00PM at our scheduled time and still waiting to get in at almost 10PM – Mike became a little frustrated (as anyone would I imagine) and when they told us that we had another 1 ½ wait and then a 2 Hour scan to follow (putting us at home after mid-night) Mike as kindly as he could, declined the appointment and off to the house we went. He had to return bright and early today for the other part of his scan which went off without a hitch.
I was nervous because Mike being on the clinical trial we were under the impression that he must have the MRI results before they administer the chemo, but Praise GOD we were wrong and he is able to receive the chemo this afternoon. A huge thank you to MD Anderson for working with an overloaded schedule and getting Mike in tomorrow for his Spine MRI. Now don’t get me wrong, as his wife I was super upset for the fact that he had to wait that long last night and equally upset when he decided to leave, but Mike is a grown-man and there are times that I just don’t have a say so…this was one of them. I thank GOD everyday that we live only 15 minutes away from the hospital because when I get upset of the long waits, I immediately become humbled by all that are so far away from home, not getting to rest in their own beds or even in the comfort of a family or friends home. Mike feels this way as well and promises not to walk out on anymore appointments – haha! We shall see!
Moving on, we proceeded with Mike’s visit with Dr. Groves (Brain / Spine) Doctor and as usual Mike remains Cancer-Free in those areas! He passed all his Brain tests and Dr. Groves left the visit with all smiles! He was even a fan of Mike’s new tattoo representing his Brain / Lung Cancer --- He is STILL trying to get Mike to do a tattoo that will incorporate his “Shark” Bite scar on his head --- ha! No time soon Mike says!!
In the coming weeks, Mike will remain to receive the Mega-Chemo for the lungs and because he remains to do so well with the Brain / Spine (and due to him being a part of the clinical trial) he will continue to receive the chemo for that as well. No other MRIs or Scans scheduled for this month, but as always I will keep you posted of all!
As I stated in my last email, Mike will be heading to FL at the end of June --- I am going to miss the mess out of him, but know this trip will be so good for his soul and it is well deserved!! Mike and I continue to thank you ALL for ALL you do! Making us a part of your everyday by prayer, messages, emails, phone calls or just thoughts is so extremely important to us and we are forever grateful! Because of all of you, Mike stays so strong and courageous through this journey, and though we have tough days and it feels so hard to face the day, we know that we have such an amazing support team routing for us all the way and every day --- it instantly gives us the strength to get right back up and continue to journey this path GOD has put us on.
In closing, as Summer fast approaches I always ask myself --- why did we want to badly to be grown-ups? HaHa! I sure would love to be spending our days pool side or riding bikes around the neighborhood all day and making lemon-aide stands – how about you? The days seem to be going by us so fast as each year comes and goes, and with it already being June, one month away from Mike being diagnosed a whole year, I am reminded to take time for eachother. Don’t let any unnecessary time go by that you can’t get back. Family and Friends have always been so very important to Mike and I and now more than ever since his diagnosis and we remain so thankful for the bonds we have created with each of you.
Wanted to end with this quote I find to be oh so true --- “The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you - Kendall Hailey”