In Margaret Feinberg’s Bible Study “Fight Back With Joy” – the participants were asked to write down 3 “joy bombs” everyday. “Joy-bombs” are defined as things that bring us joy (big or small). And things that…..when they happen…..you just KNOW it was God! I admit I have not done the Bible Study – I hope to someday soon – but I have read the book “Fight Back With Joy” that the study was based on (which was gifted me to shortly after my diagnosis from a sweet friend). I simply CANNOT say enough good things about this book, First of all, Margaret and I could be sisters from another mister. Our personalities seem to be a lot alike! I loved her spunk and her grit – and her refusal to let cancer steal her joy! If you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and want to do something for them……gift them this book and take them a milkshake! They will thank you!
Anyway……I received the text below on Sunday from a forever friend…..she’s been around as long as I have been alive! 🙂 We joke and kid a lot – but we can be serious every now and then. Here’s the text she sent me.
So we texted back and forth awhile and I smiled at her reference to “joy-bombs”.
Monday, I had a big “joy-bomb” – I had a friend offer to take me shopping for my “cranial prosthesis”. Google it. It is a thing. I wasn’t feeling 100% but I felt like I just needed to push through and let God take care of the rest. We had an amazing trip! We had the best time chatting on the ride to and from Raleigh and my shopping experience was fantastic. Like, it’s a real problem when you have a difficult time deciding WHICH cranial prosthesis you want to buy! I didn’t really think I’d want one – I’m more a baseball cap kinda girl……but my friend Dianne (who is a 2x breast cancer survivor) had a long talk with me a few weeks ago and asked me to reconsider. She said there would be many days that I felt like crap and could care less how I looked…….BUT…..she also said that there would be some really good days when I felt spunky and felt like going out and having fun and looking my best – and on THOSE days, there might be an occasion or an event that I would want to attend and I would WANT to look my best and quite simply – there were some things that a baseball cap just wasn’t appropriate attire for! As I left her condo that day – she said to me firmly “GET THE WIG”!!! So Dianne…….here you go! Here’s a sneak peak from behind!!
Don’t be jealous! And Shelly M – sorry to disappoint. No Katy Perry purple!
Clearly Joy-Bomb#1 was a successful shopping trip for my cranial prosthesis! I just love saying that!
So today……not feeling the worst, and not the best, but off to a slow start. Finally showered and headed to the pharmacy to pick up some meds. Literally while standing at the counter waiting on my meds, this message popped up on my phone.
Less than an hour later, I saw a sweet friend who spent some time with me catching up and gave me a sweet card about our friendship……and 2 thoughtful gifts! Joy-Bomb#3 for the day! Holy cow! Literally – all of these things occurred out of the blue – unexpectedly – and each a wonderful blessing from both the Lord and the giver.
Later tonight, I’m checking Instagram hoping maybe one of our youth has posted some pics of their trip (yeah, cause it’s awfully quiet around here without Hunter). Well, I didn’t find any pics but I did find a message sent to me from another friend that I had not heard from in years until just a week or so ago. Literally.
Are ya’ll hearing and seeing this? My wild and crazy friend on Sunday told me she was praying for a week filled with Joy-Bombs. Can I say it’s only Tuesday and I can hardly wait for the rest of the week??? Can you see how God is working in all of this. My friend prayed for this……..and God answered…….in ways unexpected and unimagined! Many have been praying for me and my family – and He is definitely hearing and answering those prayers.
The very idea that my name was put on someone one’s heart to think about me is so humbling……but then for them to ACT on that and in turn let me know that I crossed their mind brings so much comfort and joy to me. I love how God keeps letting me know that He is right on top of this and He is in this with me and He will NEVER EVER leave me nor forsake me! I know we’ve all had someone cross our mind in what may seem like a totally weird and crazy time. I’m learning to take those times to reach out to the person just to say – you were on my mind. I believe God has them cross our minds for a reason!
Does having cancer suck? Why, yes, indeed it does! But I would be lying if I didn’t say that since being diagnosed with cancer, I have seen and felt the amazing love of God more than I have at any time in my life. I have had people love on me and my family in ways I never imagined. I have felt His peace that passes all understanding literally from Day 1. I’d always heard about that peace – but I truthfully never really understood it until I FELT it myself. Do you have to have cancer to receive joy-bombs? Absolutely not! WE JUST HAVE TO LOOK FOR THEM! I think when life is good and things are going great – we all get so busy that we don’t take time to truly appreciate the small stuff. It gets all buried in the minutia of the day. Does having cancer give me a keener eye for joy-bombs. No doubt!! And you know what – even after the good Lord and these doctors evict this cancer from my body…..I pray that I will maintain that keen eye for joy-bombs!
And literally since I’ve been working on this blog post, I’ve received several other “joy-bombs”. I’d never wrap up this post if I detailed them all. And ya’ll, I’ve had so many people send me joy-bombs – please, please, don’t feel like your act of kindness was any less important if I didn’t highlight it here! That’s so not what this is about! These were just some quick and easy ones for me to use!
I was a little leary when starting this blog. You never know how something like this will be received. But in the short time I’ve been dong it, I have been encouraged by many of you taking time to send notes, comments, etc. Just today, in a conversation with someone about my blog – I shared my reasoning for doing this……
It’s therapy for me….and it’s selfish too in that I’m sure months from now some of this will be difficult to remember. I wanted a way to document the whole ordeal. Good And bad and be able to look back and see just how far I came and hopefully how it really wasn’t as bad as you imagine and most importantly to document the places God shoes up….in the midst of this….and just seeing how many people we have praying for all of us…..and how in crazy weird ways this may help somebody else….or force someone to get a mammogram….or send a card or text to someone when they cross their minds. I know God didn’t give me cancer. I didn’t want it but your kid didn’t ask for asthma either. We do the best we can with what we are given. I would like to think that if this cancer and this blog gives me a platform to encourage just a few then it will be worth it! I refuse to let this cancer be in vain. I need to make it count for something!! And sweet folks like you encouraging me are an added bonus!!!
So here’s the crazy thing. Many don’t know that my degree is in English with a concentration in Communications/Public Relations. It’s been a running joke I have never really had a job that “utilized” my degree to the full extent. Yeah – don’t go calling the grammar police – I know this blog is not grammatically correct and I kinda like it that way. But I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about the fact that here……at 50 years of age…..sooo many years after obtaining my degree……isn’t it kinda crazy to think that maybe this had been my purpose all along? That having cancer would give me the kick in the butt that I needed to just put myself out there and use that degree for something to make me feel better about my situation……and hopefully help or inspire a few folks……and be able to give God all the glory for it? Call me a late bloomer if you will – but I’ll take it! We need to bloom where we are planted, right?
Blessings……and praying that each of you take the time to stop and look for your “joy-bombs” each day! I’d love to hear from you when you receive them! 🙂
Psalm 139:16The Message (MSG)
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.