Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the "Martin" family

Since the beginning of 2012, each week could easily be described as "crazy."

I started my Spring semester of my Junior year!  Woopwoop!  My stubbornness might come to bite me in the butt this semester.  I'm determined to finish school in a prompt manner and come out debt free.  This means taking around 18 credit hours each semester.  Up till now, I thought, "No big deal."  Ha...this time around I might be regretting this life choice.  But, it's all good.  I have some really quality professors this time which makes a world of difference.

Also, I'm back at work!  Oh my goodness, praise GOD!  I flippin' love my job and all my little kiddos so much.  Makes me happy.

Things with dad have been a whirlwind these past few weeks.  To catch up:
- Did another CT scan and found out the cancer has spread to his liver & bones. 
- The bump on his stomach that we thought was a torn muscle is a tumor
- There is a tumor pressing against his heart
- He is still on oxygen
- Had more fluid removed from his lungs (less than two weeks after the last operation) and there was more fluid than before.
- My parents will be heading down to Texas for a few weeks to get treatment from a guy down there. 

So, all this news is for sure not "good" news.  I think that's pretty obvious.  And yes, it really stinks.  But at the same time, I firmly believe God holds us when everything is spinning out of control.  He picks us up when we've fallen to our knees.  He provides in the nick of time.  And he speaks tenderly when the worries of the world are screaming.  But most of all, He is a God of healing.  He is a God of miracles.  

Blake flew in town the weekend we found this out.  Along with my uncle.  It was great having them here.  It's always so nice to have family close.

This past weekend all my aunts, uncles and some cousins from my dad's side came in town.  Talk about a family reunion!  The last time I saw them I was like 7 years old.  So, I basically met them all for the first time.  Haha, it was odd to introduce myself to someone that I'm blood related to...but the awkwardness quickly disappeared.  We went from strangers to family in just one weekend.  There was laughing, joking, story telling, picture showing, tears shed, food eaten and pictures taken.  They are all awesome and I can officially claim them as mine :)

I'm working my way through reading the Bible in a year and I couldn't be loving it more.  Check out CCV's program to read it in a year.  It's so easy to keep up with and it's awesome.

I STARTED A PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG!  Oh my goodness, so pumped about it!!  Go follow it to keep up my some of my pictures!

Anyways, I guess that's a summary of what's happenin'.  Please keep my parents in your prayers as they travel and get treatment.  We are praying in faith that this will be a turn around point for dad.  And pray for my sanity this semester ;)

P.S. God blessed me with money from a house sitting job this weekend.  So, looks like I'm ditching school and work for a few days to venture off to the Lone Star State with the parents!  I wanted to help them with travel and get them settled.  Anyone have any tips, advice, or know anything/anyone in Houston?!?

This perfectly describes school:
-the lightrail
-and lots of cigarettes

Got to watch these beautiful babies.  Love them so much!

Some "Martin" family

Sunday, January 8, 2012

looking back to go forward

Happy 2012!

Can you believe it's a new year...already?  As always, it seems like just yesterday I was sitting down praying and thinking about goals and aspirations for the new year.  Yet, here we are again.

Some major points of 2011 include:

-Chaperone for missions trip in South Dakota & Costa Rica
-Summer Youth Intern at church
-One brother married, and another engaged
-Dad diagnosed with cancer for the second time
-Month of July living in Arizona
-Long weekend with my sis-in-law, Ky, in Seattle & Spokane, WA
-Got back into running
-Mourned the death of Tom & Steph.
-Road tripped across Colorado with my girl, Irene
-Bought a new camera/got more into photography
-Over half way done with college 

Every year has it's ups and downs.  It's challenges and it's victories.

Looking back on 2011 I am reminded of the awesome places God allowed me to go and how he used me.  Mmm makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  However, I am also reminded of the long, trying nights.  If I'm being honest with myself, and you, 2011 was by far one of the hardest years I can remember.  There were many trying times.  Lots of late, stressful nights.  And way too many tears shed.

But I can't complain. 

I got the chance to live another year.  I grew in ways I can't even begin to explain.  I realized things about myself that I never knew before.  I came to a point in my life that I felt like everything was spinning out of control, but God held it together for me. In 2011 I arrived at my breaking point multiple times.  But looking back I can see God was faithful in getting me through it all. And now that is something to be thankful for.

Okay, so that was 2011.
But now it's 2012, a new year.

Some of my goals include:
-Read the Bible in a year
-Run over 8 miles
-Get paid for my photography 
-Love/bless people through their love language(s)
-Be overly generous 

I'm excited to see what God will do in this next year.  As the saying goes:
"I don't know what my future holds.  But I know who holds my future."

Dad Update:
I know many of you are wondering what on earth happened this week.  Well, let's just say this week has been anything but good and relaxing.  Dad was in severe pain with constriction in his chest, making it very hard to breathe.  When his fingers started going numb, we called 911.  The paramedics were unable to take us to the right hospital so around midnight I drove my parents to the ER.  That night they controlled the pain and ran some tests.  We ended up staying two nights in the ICU because the hospital was full.  They did a procedure where they extracted fluid that was around his lungs (around 1 and a half liters of fluid).  They sent us home with many pain meds and an oxygen tank.  Apparently his oxygen levels were/are very low so he now has to always be hooked up to oxygen.  Therefore, the newest addition to our house is a huge oxygen machine with two portable tanks.  The pain meds have helped reduce the pain greatly but he is very...ummm...well, drugged while taking them.  He is very weak and low on energy.

I think that sums it up for the most part.  It was a really hard, emotional, and stressful week for everyone.  I'm just praying things will settle down in the week to come and God will give clear guidance on what to do next.  Thanks so much for all your continued love, prayers & support! 

"The LORD sits enthroned over the flood" (Psalm 29:10).
I love the visual of God sitting above the floods of our lives.  When the storms are raging He pulls us up out of the waters and sits us with Him.

In this new year I hold onto this promise:

"I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD."
-Psalm 27:13-14 

some pictures of the week: