What is your Legacy? 

My world was changed when I was a 12 year old girl, because someone chose to invest time in me.  I mourn the loss of that special lady this week, and it has made me stop and consider all she gave to not only me, but many many more over decades. 

I sat as a 12 year old girl in Maxines lounge room and dedicated my life to following Jesus Christ, I accepted his grace and forgiveness, and experienced a love like no other, the love of a Heavenly Father. 

I watched Maxine walk her journey as a wife and mother and friend, and learnt so much about how to live as a Christian woman. 

I am who I am today, because of her love, acceptance and teaching through my teenage years. 


So what now that she’s gone, I know she’s celebrating an eternity in heaven, but that means she’s no longer here to invest into the lives of those she came into contact with, but what she has left is an amazing legacy for us all to follow … 

Take time, invest in people and show unfailing love. 

If we who have been so impacted by Maxine over the years just invest in one more person, thousands of lives can be changed.  

What will my legacy be, what will your legacy be … Thank you Maxine, I pray I can carry on your legacy of investment in people. 

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A New Year to be Bold

   

As the clocks counts down to 12:00am, 1st January, we await with baited breath to declare ‘Happy New Year’ to all those around … Is it a celebration of making it through another year, or a declaration of hope for the new year?

This change of the calendar is filled with a little trepidation … I remember posting last New Years that 2015 was going to be the journey back to wellness … 2015 was a year filled with many blessings, a new house and family holidays, it was also filled with sickness and pain, sadness and worry … and as I look at 2016 I wonder what this year will look like. 

I have great hope in a new specialist who is watching my blood levels closely to get the ‘perfect’ level for me, not too high, not too low, so I feel like I can be living as close to normal as possible while keeping the cancer cells away!!   

There were lots of posts about New Years resolutions, but one in particular stood out to me, it was talking about picking 5 things in your life that you wanted to be different in 2016 … And then instead of just saying it, or thinking it, you set yourself into action to PRAY BOLDLY for those changes, a daily dedication, a deep commitment to seeing Gods touch in our lives through fervent prayer.  

So … a new year  … with no idea what it will bring, the good the bad the ugly … the only thing we can do is throw it at the feet of God.  This year I choose to BELIEVE BOLDLY that God has my future in his hands, he has a purpose and I need just rest in that. 
 

In 2015 I felt like I was in a holding pattern, not doing much of what my life had included prior to my cancer diagnosis, just waiting to ‘feel better’ again, you begin to feel like you’re not really part of anything.  So this year regardless of ‘how I’m feeling’, I am going to STEP OUT BOLDLY and try new things, or attempt things I once did without fear of failing. 

 
I know I’m not the only one who wonders what this new year will bring … So my encouragement for you, is the source of the strength I have to walk this journey, that God is with us, God is for us, He will never leave us or forsake us … And that is ENOUGH at all times. 

Butterfly Kisses, Amanda xx

Through Hypo Hell …

  
I have just completed 6 weeks off my thyroid meds, I can say with conviction that that’s 6 weeks I don’t want to do again in a very long time.  Oh little butterfly gland I do miss you at times. 

But you know, I often got up, got dressed, disguised how I was really looking under the cover of makeup, it’s amazing what mascara can do, and kept on living, when all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and stay.

And staying in bed was really nice for a little longer of a morning, my kiddies all started coming back and snuggling in with me for a bit, oh how I miss those years, they are growing so fast, nothing was sweeter than having my 9, 13 & 17 year old snuggling and giggling together one morning until I prompted them to get ready for school/work.

One such afternoon when I was exhausted and Miss 9 was tired and not feeling well, we were lying on my bed chatting and she asked me what it was like to be ‘off my meds’ (the kids had a joke about mum being off meds) … I came up with this analogy for her … It’s like mummy is your iPod … And my tablets are like recharging the iPod, but right now I can’t recharge the iPod.  I told her I needed to be careful not to do too much, you know how playing lots of games run your battery flat quick. ‘What happens when your battery goes flat’ she asks (oops, bad mummy moment) ‘I would die, we can’t live without our thyroid and mummy can’t live without her medication now … Her horrified face quickly had me reassuring her I wasn’t going to go completely flat, I’d be back on meds long before that happened to which she replied ‘that’s good, we don’t even know how to use the washing machine yet’.  I got a very big laugh from that, and I wasn’t allowed to walk unassisted when I got out of bed, she would push each leg to help me walk to help save my battery power.  Gee kids are cute!!  Her 15 year old brother did reassure her it was ok, he in fact did know how to use the washing machine.

The words of encouragement from my 5 beautiful kiddies and husband have been really special through this time, and constant checks from my bestie every day about how I was doing each day.  Some days my eyes were swollen and my brain didn’t want to work, some days my feet swelled and my legs ached, some days the fatigue was so overwhelming I would just stand in the shower and cry because I felt like it.  And some days I would be surprised, some days I would be OK, but I could go from good to bad in 60 minutes and vice versa, no rhyme or reason. 

Looks can really be deceiving, I don’t know how many times during my 6 weeks  somebody said to me, you look really good, you must be doing well now, but that’s ok, I’m sure I’ve said the same thing too at one stage or another.  It made me think about how much we cover up at times, and there are people you would share with and people you wouldn’t, but I also looked at it like it was my courage shining through, my strength from God, because without that, I’m sure I would have stayed in bed and on the couch a lot more.  But there was so much LIFE going on, and they were moments I just didn’t want to miss.

I got to thinking about hypo hell (as thyroid patients call it), and what else I know about the hell named in the bible.  Eternal suffering and pain, no thanks, 6 weeks of suffering was nothing in comparison to what it would be like, a never ending pain, never ending tears.   I choose Heaven, no more tears, no more sickness, no more pain, streets paved with gold and precious gems, colours so spectacular that the names we have for them just wouldn’t describe their brilliance. And light that comes from the glory of God.  Yes, I choose heaven, this time here on earth is only like a spec of sand on a desert.

  
So now I wait some more, for my next lot of test results to come back … 

Butterfly kisses,

Amanda xx 

Is your glass beautiful?

  
What do we think of the life we are living, do we want more, more money, more things, more love, more children, more work, more friends??? 

We hear the phrase, ‘they are a glass half empty person, or glass half full’ … Are we optimistic or pessimistic?  I watched a YouTube clip where a grandfather and grandson were talking about this after the grandmother had passed away, and the grandfather commented ‘oh, but isn’t the glass beautiful’.
How do we view our lives, how do we respond to being able to live those lives.

Sometimes our glass may be filled with something we don’t like, in my case black currant juice, I would much prefer raspberry juice, how do we respond to that?  Are we negative?  Do we drink the juice and get on with life? 

I’m reminded back quite a few years when taking communion, and as I hate blackcurrant I would cringe and pull faces (where did the port go???).  One such Sunday, I was given a gentle reminder from above that I was being negative about a thimble full of juice, when it was a reminder of the blood Christ poured out, the pain he suffered to be an offering for my sins on the cross.  I changed my mindset that day, I still don’t like the juice, but I remind myself each week that Christ did so much more for me without any negativity at all.

My glass hasn’t always been filled with things I like, and I may look at other glasses and wish I had one that looked more like theirs, but maybe other people look at my glass and wish they had mine??

Through my life, my glass has been dropped, it’s felt at times that it has cracked and chipped, sometimes it has felt like it has shattered, but through it all, I pick it back up, I trust Christ to be the glue, to do the repairs, and my glass grows stronger.  It may not look the same as when it was first made, but you know how you put two pieces of glass together, and the sun catches it, and it throws rainbow colours, so it is true of our lives as we continue on, allowing the rainbows to touch other people and give then hope for their cracked glasses. 

I’m thankful for my life and I look past the ugliness in it to find the beauty that God sees there. 

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin … 1 John 1:7

Butterfly Kisses, Amanda xx

  

Feeling Below Average

I was asked the other day how I was feeling now … Post surgery/cancer diagnosis/treatment … As I had a chance to think about it we came up with a scale, it started at excellent, no … above average, no … average, no … As I thought about it I had to say below average.  Then I felt guilty that I complained about not feeling the best …  My excuses 1/ I’m tired a lot 2/ my body aches 3/ I can’t do everything I want to do.

This morning I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video shared by a friend about a girl in NZ who had suffered a horrific accident … which included a brain injury, but she believed that Gods plan for her life wasn’t changed because of this accident, that although she trusted in the care given to her by her doctors, she trusted God more.  This little phrase ‘Trust God More’ … hit me right in the faith bullseye, what was I trusting God for, yes for a safe operation, yes that the doctors removed all the cancer, yes that treatment went well … But as for day to day living, I am just taking for granted that I am undergoing suppression therapy, and therefore I am going to feel … Less than Average. 

But Gods plan for my life isn’t to live average, let alone less than that … Do I trust in that, do I claim that for my life … So tonight as I write this, I pray for more, i pray for more energy and less aches.  But more than anything I pray that this life I am living is not defined by sickness, I pray my responses are filled with hope for others,  I pray that my faith will fill others with faith and hope. 

I Trust God More!!! I know he has a plan and a purpose, I know he provides all that I need, I need only ask … What area of your life do you need to Trust God more with, he is trustworthy.

Butterfly Kisses, Amanda xx

  

Butterfly Kisses

Butterfly Kisses is the name we have given to our Relay for Life team … 2016 will be our first year, and we look forward to raising money for much needed research and help within our community.

The butterfly is of significance for a couple of reasons in my journey … the thyroid is the shape of a butterfly, but the butterfly has been special to me for quite a few years, my mum loved butterfly’s, and collected them, she had them  all over her fridge.  When I was in high school I did a copper etching of a butterfly for her.  Not long after her tragic passing in a car accident 6 years ago, we were driving along and there were white butterfly’s everywhere on the sides of the road, I was reminded that although she was gone, her mothers love would always be with me.

During my cancer journey I have had many what I lovingly refer to as my butterfly kisses from heaven, like a hug from my mum.

When I was driving up the coast for the biopsy on my nodule, I was anxious, I stopped and bought a bottle of water, and as I took the lid off, I noticed it had an etched butterfly on it.  I had never noticed this before. 

The night before my surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid, I had the most vivid dream, I don’t know where we were, but someone was walking towards me from the distance, I couldn’t tell who it was, as she got closer I couldn’t believe it was mum, but she came up to me a gave me the biggest hug and said ‘I just wanted to give you a hug’, it felt so real, as I woke up I could still feel the sensation.

The day after my surgery, I was in a lot of pain, I was very nauseous … I felt awful and you know how sometimes you just want your mum, well I did … My husband was sitting beside my bed, feeling quite helpless when all of a sudden we both smelt mums perfume (she always wore the same one), Ken looked at me and said, ‘can you smell that’ … It put a smile on my face.  (N.B. It was the lady in the bed beside me getting dressed.)

In preparation for RAI treatment and isolation, my prayer warriors organised a prayer circle for me, this was a wonderful time of thanksgiving and crying to the Lord for healing.  At the end of the night, one of the ladies came up to tell me of a vision she had during the prayer time, she didn’t know any of my ‘butterfly’ stories, her vision was of me walking through a dry grass paddock towards a lush green paddock, and all the way, I had a butterfly flying around my head and it stayed with me all the way.  

I thank God for my butterfly kisses, he knows what we need and when we need it … How much love must He have for us to not only give us heavenly strength, but to give us heavenly touches of an earthly love we have lost.  Blessed beyond words. 



Countdown

1 day to going off my Thyroxine

1 day to starting low iodine diet

3 days to CT scan

7 days to 1st Thyrogen injection

9 days to Radioactive Iodine Treatment 

11 days to full body scan 

I feel like I have been waiting for this fortnight to be here for an eternity, it has only been 2 months really.

There’s so much uncertainty, but there’s so much to be found out!!! 

How will I be without my medication? What will they find on the CT scan? Will I be RAI resistant?  Has the cancer spread???

So many questions and sometimes the answers just can’t be answered in a timeframe that suits us.

Fast forward a few days … Started a post and then got caught up in the busyness of life … I’ve now been off my thyroxine for 4 days and I don’t like it very much, but thankfully it won’t last long.  CT scan results are back this afternoon. 

I’ve had so many thoughts running through my head, and I love it when a favourite song from long ago pops up again, and all of a sudden it has so much meaning.  

It is Mia Fields ‘There’s a Reason’ ..  http://youtu.be/QaNUktzsBmA

‘Our hope will be the singer, your word the song within us, As we believe we know the chains will surely break, our faith will be the dancer, to trample fear and cancer, we’ll dance on every lie, injustice, doubt and shame … Till we are changed, we are moved, we are healed and we are free’

2 Corinthians 4:8-10,18

‘We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.  We fix our eyes on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal’

I will keep my eyes fixed firmly on God … Through the years past, He has been faithful, and through the future years, He will be faithful … And in the present, HE IS FAITHFUL!!! 

Butterfly Kisses, Amanda xx