Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Read an article about an amazingly talented little girl... check it out, and make sure you watch the video of her singing, "The Prayer". It's an amazing song... and the lyrics are below. Rhema lost her mom to ovarian cancer over a year ago... and she honors her mother by singing Gospel Music.

Article on Rhema:

Video of Rhema singing the Prayer:

The Prayer
(You have probably heard Josh Groban sing this...)
I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
La luce che to dai
I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore restero
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarchi che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita
La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E’il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child
Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
E la fede cheHai acceso in noiSento che ci salvera
Thanks Rhema... for being a strong example for the rest of us... I admire you.
Love Y'all,

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Road to Peace

You know those times when you feel like you have accomplished something, or made it to the next step... and then you totally digress? Well, I had one of those moments tonight. I looked at a picture of Daddy on facebook that Shane posted and just started weeping. Pure, unadulterated weeping. Sometimes I think I have done so well dealing with his death... and then there are nights like tonight... when I just want to see him, to hear his voice... I am desperate to touch him but I know I can't. If you have never felt this before it's just an indescribable and miserable feeling. I just sat on my couch crying for a minute, and immediately reached out for the thing that I feel brings me closest to Daddy... his Bible.

I started flipping through the pages, sniffing the pages even for some familiar scent of him which is long gone and simply touched the pages that he flipped and turned so many times. Of course, I was inadvertently looking for some kind of message for myself... because in the midst of all that is going on in my life... I desire more change. A change in scenery, a change of attitude, a message from God that He's listening and that He knows my heart (which yes, I know He does... but my earthly mind desires some sort of confirmation). Somewhere stacked in the Old Testament were a stack of papers, scrawled with his half cursive/half print left slanted lettering that caught my eye. I share it here with you (In Print and Photo)... maybe it will give us both something to think about:

Philippians 4: 4-7

- The Road to Peace-

1) Rejoice (in the Lord) relationship (remove guilt), again - REJOICE!!! (important)
2) Don't worry - (It's an insult to God's watch care)

In everything:
  • In Sorrow
  • In Success
  • In Peace
  • In Panic
  • In Failure
  • In Turmoil

Prayer (asking) ----------------------------------- Supplication (petition)

With Thanksgiving

(Thanksgiving = faith in results of Recognition of God's faithfulness)

make your requests


The Peace of God (Can't be understood - makes no sense)
Keep Your hearts (settle your Spirit)
Keep your mind (calm you fears, remove your doubt)
This is accomplished THROUGH Christ Jesus.

In his bible, beside these verses in Philippians he wrote, "Don't Worry Be Happy!", Also in the note he references the song Tell it to Jesus:
Tell it to Jesus
Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Sadly, I answered YES to the majority of the questions within this song because to be honest... no matter how hard I try or how much I pray I am anxious over things such as Pawpaw's health, my professional future... I cry unbidden tears and I grieve time lost with family and friends... this song just rings true for how I feel right now. As a Christian, though we have been found by God... I think it's fair to say that some times we feel lost even though we are not. When things aren't going our way (When God says "no") or when life changes because the people in it move or pass away... all of that leaves me feeling, well, a little lost... because I am searching for things that aren't necessary. I look for jobs, I look for stuff that reminds me of Daddy (I took a pic out of his guitar case this weekend), I look to friends for affirmation and comfort...but where should I be looking... to the God of it all... the One who promises that He knew me before I was born, the One who gave His Son for me, the One who says "Hey Kacey... let me know what you need, even though I already know (Philippians 4: 19)... but here's the kicker Kacey, I KNOW WHAT YOU NEED BETTER THAN YOU DO!!"
Well Hello Reality, how are you?
There are so many things to think about, grieve about, and learn about as we travel this Road of Life. We will go places, meet people, and do things we never expected... but God knew about it all along. He equips us for Peace even when we don't know that we need it or don't seek it. But Oh, when you feel it... it's perfect.
I pray that we will all find Peace as we go through the turmoil, success, panic and sorrow of our lives, and that we would Tell Him our troubles so that we get closer and closer to that Peace on a daily basis. It's available to us...but we have to remember our end of the bargain... don't just ask God for things... THANK HIM FOR THE BLESSINGS!
Love Y'all,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My place in this world...

Have you ever wondered why God put you in your particular life?

Why He allowed you to be born where you were... to the parents you were?

The reason I am thinking about this is because I heard some sad news today... evidently the orphanage I traveled to in Guatemala is no longer receiving the food donations they have long depended on... meaning, that the kids do not have the food that they need!!! I'm heartbroken that those sweet babies may be hungry... I don't know all the details, but just the thought bids me to pray for them, the people taking care of them, and that the food donors who have stopped their support will reconsider. One of the girls who traveled with me in January, Ryann Headley, is returning to Huehue on Thursday for a week... she is planning to go to work with the kids along with her boyfriend Chad Lashley. I told Ryann that if she will access the situation maybe we can do some fundraisers once school starts to help the kids...

So... Why was a born a Cole in Hattiesburg Mississippi instead of a Ramirez in Guatemala? Well, because it was God's plan of course... but still... you can't help but wonder what life would have been like if you were born into a family in Taiwan or Nigeria.... it was not by accident that I was put where I was. Daddy's motto answers this one for me... he lent it to me in the note from my family in my HS senior year book:

I am God’s creation, unique from all others.
I am what I am because God needed me like this.
I am better suited for my place in this world than anyone else in this world.
No one can take my place, Do what I can do, or be what I can be.
I actually said this to myself today... I am currently going through a situation in which I am frustrated with how some things were handled and the outcome of that situation, and where I am in that situation... but I thought to myself... "I'm better suited for my place in this world than anyone else in this world." That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly of "my place in this world." The frustration, the death, the burden for kids in Guatemala, ... that's my place in this world, and it's mine to deal with and learn from....

Liz said something to me the other day that I had never thought of. She was telling me about how she was spending some time in the Word as she was seeking guidance from God on a decision she has to make... and she told me how she was led to a verse that spoke so specifically to her and her situation... God guided her right to a verse which gave her peace and clarity about her decision... and her observation was that every single verse in the Bible was written for someone and sometime who would need it. I am sure that for you, whoever is reading this, there has been a time when a bible verse helped you through a situation... well, that one was for you and you place in this world...

The other day I read this verse randomly... and it reminded me of my blog.

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves have received from God.
(1 Corinthians 1:3-4)
At first If I Fly or if I Fall was just for me... to vent and write my thoughts on Daddy and missing him... but over the last 10 months I hope that some of my thoughts and experiences have helped others deal with things going on in their lives... or maybe given them a different perspective on things...
I started out talking about the kids... and I want to end with them... Please be in prayer for Fundacion Salvacion in Huehuetenango, Guatemala... that they will receive the resources that they need to care for the beautiful children that are in their care. Look at the pictures at the top and picture those faces as you pray... Pray for the administrators of the orphanage that they will be guided to seek help for the kids in the best way... and also be in prayer for Ryann and Chad as they travel to Guatemala on Thursday.
Good luck with your place in this world... own it. :)
Love Y'all,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cancer, Nurses, Death, Where's Kacey?, Changes...

The last 6 days have flown by in some ways and dragged on in others... there have been ups and downs and I left home with mixed emotions today... I cried when I said goodbye to Pawpaw, not knowing if I will have the opportunity to see him again because of his cancer, and cried on the way home as I listen to Daddy sing through my iPod. I listened to my best friend Liz preach it over speakerphone as she told me about the ways God is working in her life and praised the Lord with her for doing it...

So here are some thoughts from the week...

Cancer can go to Hell. I don't understand it... how your cells can just split and mutate or whatever the heck they do to make you sick. All I know is that (forms of) Cancer has taken away 4 important people in my life, and affected many others. Dear Cancer, I think I've met my quota... you can move on now, thanks.

There are good ones and bad ones. I reported a nurse to the patient care rep b/c I didn't feel like she was treating my grandfather with respect or truly caring for him... it seemed more like she was ticking things off her to do list than making sure he was okay. After I reported her, he was assigned to the nurse who won the award for best nurse in the hospital (or something like that)... and after that we had a good experience. As we were leaving today one of the nurses came in and prayed with us... and I was struck by the great ministry that nurses have. I have several sweet friends that are nurses... and I have heard the good and bad stories from them... but I have a new respect for what they do and how they care for people. Thank you friends for what you do...

So the prognosis for Pawpaw is grim. The stomach cancer he was diagnosed with in November has spread to his liver and lungs. The reason he has had no appetite is basically because his stomach is full of cancer. He has been sent on hospice care... which means that he will receive care at home for pain (which he has not experienced yet, thankfully), naseau, and he will be made comfortable until he passes away. The hospice nurse we met with today is predicting that time will come within the next 3 months. While my heart hurts at the thought of losing Pawpaw, my head hopes that he will not suffer, and will not starve... he still does not have much of an appetite and has lost 35-40 pounds over the last 3-4 months.

I feel like death is such a normal thing to me now... but I don't invite it around by any means. I keep thinking about the following verse... and though I know this verse is true for any Christian, I feel it is especially true for Pawpaw right now... and sometime soon, whenever his time comes, he will gain so much... he will gain health, he will gain Heaven, he will gain life...
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

A friend of our family recently posted a video of herself singing an original song on youtube, and she let me know that she originally wrote the song for my family, but that it has since applied to a lot of other people. I wanted to share it with whoever may be reading... hopefully the song will touch you as it has me...

Where's Kacey?
The highlight of my week was some time spent with Savannah... it was not much time... but it was good time. You see I have had this complex that she did not really know who I was or like me too much because I am only around once a month for a few hours... and to be honest she has always been a little antisocial around me... but this past week we played together for a while. At one point we were playing the "Where's ______" game. We were pointing to pictures in a book and things around the room. Kim (Savannah's mom) asked her "Where's Kacey?" and she pointed at me... that was one of those moments of pure joy. I put my hands in the air and clapped, and she smiled. She remembers me!

Savannah and I playing outside...

Changes: I have this feeling that a lot of things are going to change soon... and I just have to be ready for it... whether I like it or not. My prayer is that I will accept the change as His will and be open to the change. I also pray that my attitude will be positive and I will look at the changes as opportunities not obstacles.

Love Y'all,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Observations from a Hospital room...

I am having one of those moments when I wonder how God reacts to things...
I am sitting here in room 3325 at Forrest General watching Pawpaw Cole sleep. Literally, watching his chest rise and fall, and willing it to continue to do so...

Dramatic, yes I know... but it's true, and if my blog is nothing, it's honest.

Now he's snoring... that's good.

Sitting here watching him, (b/c I think it is impossible to sleep because I wake at every different noise he or something in this room makes,) I consider how God watches us. Granted, God can change any situation as He wills... and I can't fix Pawpaw. But I have to imagine that some times God sits and watches us willing us to continue to do something or to change and do something else. Wanting us to do something for ourselves or make the right decision. I imagine it is like what parents feel as they give their kids freedom to do (whatever you want to fill in this blank).

It also makes me wonder what God is thinking of me right now... He has given me a situation to deal with and sometimes I wonder if it is a test. Not that I am worthy of being tested by God... but you can't have read Job and not wonder sometimes! God allowed those things to happen to Job because he trusted the Job would stand strong... and he lived up to that expectation. So how reliable would we be with that test??
Something to think about as those trials come our way.

Well, his blood pressure and oxygen levels were good... so maybe the paranoia will go away and I can get some sleep.

Please keep us in your prayers friends... Comfort, Peace, and Understanding...

Love Y'all,

Prayers for Pawpaw Cole...

Dear friends, I would appreciate your prayers for my family as it appears another trial is coming our way. The stomach cancer that Pawpaw Cole was diagnosed with in November has spread to his liver and lungs and he will be going home from the hospital tomorrow on Hospice care... if you know him, you know he is a remarkable man, and while I know he is ready to go home to Heaven, it's a hard thing to think about again... but no matter what happens, I rejoice knowing that God has blessed me and no matter what happens I am called to praise Him.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (New International Version)
The God of All Comfort

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

I pray that I will be able to maintain this attitude of Praise.. God and I have had talks about Pawpaw... but the reality has come quickly... and that is a harsh reality to face (again). I want to continue to learn and grow in Him... and not have sadness take over or bitterness take a foot hold anywhere in my life...

Please keep us all in your prayers...

Love Y'all,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where's my Window??

Friends... I need some prayer.

I am frankly mad at myself for what I'm about to blog about... because I feel selfish, ungrateful, and impatient.

I also feel incredibly frustrated and confused.

I want change in my life, new experiences professionally. And while I have made efforts to change things... I feel as if doors have been slammed shut, or were locked from the beginning. There's that old saying where if God shuts a door, He will open a window... so frankly I'm wondering Where's my Window??

But how incredibly pompous is that of me?? To think that just because I want something, and feel as if I have worked hard to get it (and dare I say, deserve it!!)... that I should get it?? This is the aspect of all of this that makes me mad... I don't deserve anything... and I'm blessed to have whatever He decides to give me... everything I have can be taken away in an instance, and I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT!!! HE IS IN CONTROL... NOT ME!

So that's the selfish, ungrateful part of the post...

I feel frustrated because I do feel like I deserve some opportunities, but they are not coming my way... and at the same time I feel frustrated because I want Him to take me where He wants to go... but I am not seeing or hearing anything to point me in a direction... not anything that makes sense to me anyway... not anything that I comprehend. But I know He will take me where He wants to... but I want to have an active role in that process!! I am impatient for His plan... because I want to be in His will... and this is where I need prayers.

Finally, the confusion. I really feel like God is going to throw a HUGE hitch in my plans... and I want to say that I'm ready for it... I hope I am ready for it... I'm praying that I'll be ready for it... for whatever, wherever, whenever...

Friends, please pray for me and with me about these things... to be honest these thoughts are consuming me... to the point of having a negative effect on my attitude. I have noticed myself feeling bitter... not toward God, but toward those who may not see my potential for different professional positions. I have felt unappreciated (which is a pretty selfish thing to admit) professionally... and I want this attitude to change... I need this attitude to change. I want to remain the optimist... not observing only the unopened doors... but searching for the windows.

Love Y'all,

The confusion