Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More pictures from the beach!

Front porch of our house

The water was perfect. In the mornings it was calm so you could just float and then in the afternoons we rode the waves on the boogie boards!

We rented one of the blue umbrellas with chairs each day, and the 2 boys that set them out each day were very cute and happened to be my age!! We would talk to them a lot during the day!

Start of the boardwalk to the beach

Entrance to the pool

The pool by the beach. We never actually went to the pool because we loved the beach too much.

The golf cart was great!

My aunt, me, and my mom
The walk to the beach from where we parked the golf carts was so pretty

Boardwalk over part of the wildlife refuge 

They had lights on the palm trees around the pool!

"Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas?
give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet,
with a love so strong he'll never let you go, oh you're not alone
you will be safe in His arms, you will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
this is the promise He made, He will be with You always, when everything is falling apart
you will be safe in His arms"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surprise! The beach!

I haven't posted much because I've been at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama! My dad and brother are in Africa right now, and my mom, aunt, and I decided to go to the beach! The only way we were able to go is that we got a good price on the beach house since it's not technically summer yet and most schools were still in session!

I know what you're thinking... How was I able to travel when I've been hurting so much and not feeling great? The answer is pain medicine and lots of it. So thankful for that allowing me to go! 

We had never been to Gulf Shores before. We drove, and thought it would be about a 13-14 hour drive. Relay for Life was Friday (5-18-12) night, and we left for the beach at 6am the next morning. I got home from Relay for Life around midnight so I didn't get much sleep that night. But I was so excited for the trip so it didn't really matter!

This was the sunrise when we left on Saturday morning. It was gorgeous.

We took our Suburban, so I had the whole back two rows to myself. I was in charge of directions and we only got turned around once but I caught it early so it wasn't bad at all. I don't know what we did before Iphones! It was so helpful to be able to see us moving on the map on my phone so I could see exactly where we were.

We stopped several times throughout the day, but didn't stop for long. The longest we stopped was for lunch, but it was only about 20 or 30 minutes. 

Remember how I said we thought it would be a 13-14 hour drive? That was according to google. 

SEVENTEEN hours later, we arrived at our beach house. We had been listening to the Thunder/Lakers game in the car, and we had been behind the whole game. Between it taking forever to get to our house, and thinking we were going lose the game, we were not very happy. I was in tears because I was in a lot of pain from the long car ride. We pulled up to our house around midnight as the game was ending and found out that they gave us the wrong keys to the house. Once we finally got the right keys, we turned on the tv to find out that the Thunder won!!!!!!! We quickly forgot the long drive and started looking around the beautiful house while watching the last part of the Thunder game! Winning the game and seeing how beautiful our house was made up for the long trip. 

We all slept in Sunday morning and slept very well. We then headed to the beach!! 

Here are some pictures from the first day. The place we stayed, Martinique on the Gulf, is on a wildlife refuge. The property is so gorgeous. Each house comes with a golf cart to drive to the beach. 

Our house! 
Our house was called "Limelight". How crazy is that?! One of my friends' blog who has Lyme is called Lymelight. When we pulled up and saw the name it made me laugh so much. The house was also a pretty green color.

View from the front door. The house was decorated so beautifully 

Looking from the living room to the kitchen

Screened in porch in the back of the house overlooking part of the wildlife refuge. 
The golf cart was huge!

Me in the golf cart

License plate on the golf cart

Looking from the kitchen to the screened in porch

Turtle steppingstones in the back yard.

Palm tree in the back yard

My room! So pretty
The boardwalk to the beach. One of the two pools on the property is right behind me in this picture

Boardwalk again

Of course we brought our Thunder flag to the beach! We put it out every day!

Here are a couple collages that I made from the first day. 

I will post more pictures soon! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Relay for Life

 Relay for Life was last Friday night!

Hannah and I

Katherine, Hannah, me, Lauren, Tonda

The luminaria we made in memory of Rebecca

Me, Katherine, and Hannah with our bracelets 

Lots of bubbles! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So sorry that I haven't posted in so long! I will post very soon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

1 Corinthians 1:3-4 (How God works through terrible situations)

It's incredible how God works through terrible situations.

I have listed three versions of this verse because I like how they are all translated.

It's from 1 Corinthians 1:3-4.

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (NLT)

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (NIV)

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us." (The Message)

This is my friend Allison and her brother Matt. 

Allison and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. We became friends in a unique way. She and her family live about four and half hours from where I live, but her grandparents go to church with us. She, her parents, and brother would always come up for holidays, and some over the summer. I don't really remember how we became friends, but every time she came up here, we would hang out. We have the best talks because we are very similar and are in about the same place spiritually. It's almost freaky how similar we are. I've always known that God has been blessing our friendship. Even though we live hours away, we would always just pick up where we left off every time we saw each other. We've always stayed in touch even when we don't see each other. 

Sunday, January 29th, 2012, Rebecca was admitted to the hospital to get the pain under control. It was pain from the tumors, but at that time we didn't know for sure what was causing the pain. That was when everything started. She had had scans that previous week, but they didn't have the results yet. We knew something was wrong, but we didn't know how serious it was.

That same Sunday night, January 29th, 2012, Allison's younger brother passed away unexpectedly.

I found out the next day, Monday, that Matt had gone to be with Jesus. When I heard, my heart immediately broke for them. I wasn't close to Matt, but Allison and I have a special bond and I just hurt for her. I couldn't even imagine what they were going through.

We texted a few times that week. I tried to let her know everyday that I was praying for her. I hope it brought even just a second of comfort. 

Later that week on Thursday, Rebecca asked if my family could go over to her house because they needed to talk to us. They told us that the cancer was everywhere, and that they were going to do everything they could to make her comfortable. 

Just five short weeks later, Rebecca went to be with Jesus. 

The first time I saw Allison since Matt passed away was the day after Rebecca's funeral. She and her parents came up here to visit family for spring break. We went  to a coffee and tea place and spent hours talking. We were there for hours, but it went by so fast. We talked about everything. We talked about the days that Matt and Rebecca went to be with Jesus. We talked about Heaven and wondered if they had met yet. We talked about what people have said to us that really shouldn't be said to someone after losing a loved one. We talked about the different phases of grieving. We talked about how we can't see why this happened yet. We talked about all the things that grief does to us, no matter how much we trust in God and His plan. We still grieve. We talked about our frustrations, but also how we are so thankful for the promises of God and how we don't know how you could go through this without Him.

She was also able to tell me what was to come. When she was here it had been almost six weeks since Matt went to be with Jesus, and only almost a week since Rebecca went to be with Jesus. 

It still seems crazy to me that we both lost someone very close to us within 6 weeks of each other. Even though losing a sibling and friend is totally different, God has used her to encourage and comfort me. I pray that I am able to encourage and comfort her too. We still text a lot and just talking to her is comforting.

I am so thankful for our friendship. God is working through these two terrible events. Please keep Allison and her family in her prayers. They are faithfully trusting in God, but it is still very hard.

Here is the link to her blog if you would like to leave an encouraging comment! I know she would love that.