Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Faithful!




"This is not good." I heard a familiar voice remark in the distance. As I opened my eyes, my vision was blurred. I could barely make out the outlines of people standing all around me. When the objects came into focus, I recognized the faces to be those of my husband and oncologist and sister.

"What is going on? Where are we?" I frantically questioned as my wits returned.

"We're at the hospital, Lindsey. You've been having seizures. An ambulance brought you to the ER," my husband, Brian, answered.

It was almost as if I could feel my brain filtering through bits and pieces of information, in order to make sense of the situation. The doctors kept asking me questions about who I was, and where I was, and the date, and the president's name. I could recall it all, but it took some effort.

The ER doctor questioned my husband about my behavior the night before. "Did she drink too much? Did she use drugs?" he asked, grasping for some sort of explanation.

"No, but she is a cancer patient."

A cancer patient. That's a title that you never want to earn, and a club that you never hope to join.

The results of a brain MRI were not what we'd hoped - a brain tumor. The 3rd cancer diagnosis in 3 years. All breast cancer. Each recurrence a little worse than the last.

Those times were rough. I heard many hard things. I had many unanswerable questions. I had many sleepless nights and worrisome days.

But...

But God has been so faithful. I can't let today, my 5th cancer-versary, pass by without proclaiming the healing power of God Almighty.

By the grace of God Most High, I am sitting cancer free today. Only because of the intervention of Jehovah Rapha (God the Healer).

He has rescued me. He has restored my health. Praise God from whom all blessings and power flow.

And so, trust the word of my testimony - God is able. He is sufficient. He is powerful in hopeless situations. He restores, renews, and redeems.

May we proclaim His glory always!

Lindsey Pond

Friday, August 23, 2013

Retreat


Jesus said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Mark 6:31


My handsome husband was forever losing his keys, wallet, or cell phone. Several times a month, we would kick off our morning with a great hunt for one of those items that you simply can't leave your house without. And although Easter eggs and buried treasure are fun to search for, this junk was NOT! 

We  divided and conquered as we turned the house upside down, searching through furniture, closets, pockets, and cars until we finally found them. Usually, exactly where he left them. We did this whole dog and pony show over and over again, always ending up stressed and mad at each other for one reason or another. You know the routine - Why did you move it? I moved it because it looked ugly there. If you'd left it, I'd know where it is. Why can't you remember where you put it? I'm certain we aren't the only married couple that sometimes turns on each other in petty stressful situations. BIg stuff that actually matters?  Oh yeah, we're bound together with glue. But, the silly little stuff?  it's every man for himself. :)

Obviously, this system wasn't working. We kept doing the same thing, over and over, expecting different results. Isn't that the definition of insanity or something? Finally, I designated A place for his stuff. "If you'll always put that stuff here as soon as you get home, you'll always know where it is," I very eloquently stated the extremely obvious.  

And, for the most part, I'd like to report that our new system worked! Stress alleviated! Mornings are more calm!

So many stressful moments in our lives can be easily avoided. But some, well, they just can't. In those moments when the stress and busyness of life is greater than our peace and energy, we MUST retreat. Jesus said to His disciples, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

Precious Ones, make the choice to not live a stressed life. The only way to avoid the stress and busyness plague of our century is to make it a priority to regularly retreat with Jesus. Stay in His Word. Meditate on it day and night. It is our only hope for living abundantly in a culture that will drain us dry. 

May the God of Rest draw you to retreat with Him today. 

Lindsey Pond

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Let The Good Times Roll!

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


Typically, families fall into one of two categories: those who celebrate everything and those who don't celebrate anything. When my husband, Brian, and I became a family, I made the very intentional decision to be the former. I like a party, a to-do, an event, a congratulatory gift, or even just a word of affirmation. It's what keeps us thankful. 

This summer is a particularly joyful time in our life! We are celebrating several momentous occasions - 5-year wedding anniversary, my 30th birthday, and 5-year cancer anniversary all wrapped up into one season! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 

To celebrate God's favor in our lives, we took a trip to Boston. The picture above is of Brian and me on the Boston Harbor on my 30th birthday. We decided that the best way to commemorate such a glorious time was to get the heck out of the blazing West Texas heat for a week. It was a trip we'll never forget!

At this point in my life, after having the chance to face my own mortality through a very critical battle with breast cancer, I'm finding even more opportunities for celebration. We pop open a bottle of champagne and swish around the patio as we listen to Frank Sinatra to commemorate even the smallest of things. The birthdays, the wedding anniversaries, the cancer anniversaries, the raises, the bonuses, the new jobs, the new homes. All of it is a call for us to pause and remember that these blessings come straight from the hand of God, and the very least we can do is live in a moment of gratefulness. 

Ladies, these are the days the Lord has made. Some are good, some are not. We are to find a reason to rejoice and be glad in all of them. I've not mastered this skill. And, this side of heaven, I'm not sure that I ever will. But one thing I know for sure, I want to be a praising person. I want to live my life in a state of gladness and celebration because of what God has done for me. 

Will you join me?

Lindsey Pond




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'll Do It For Mine, WIll I Do It For His?


Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40

"Aunt Liiiinnnnddssseeeeyyyy, it's mooorrrnnninng!" I heard a cheery little voice sing. I forced one eye open to a tiny slit, and saw a darling face framed in a mass of curly hair staring back at me. It was my 4-year-old niece, Hensley Grace.

"Can we go get in the trailer?" she sweetly asked.

At the beginning of this month, I had the great privilege of going on a beach vacation with my older sister and her sweet family. We chose a beach town that is known for its charming biking opportunities. Something about riding a bike to dinner or to the store or to the beach is so nostalgic and adds a sense of leisure and relaxation.  We love it!

And, although my sister and I love it, we don't love the idea of putting young children on bikes amidst crowded streets. So, like any good aunt, I rented a bike trailer to haul around my darling niece and nephew. They'd never been in a bike trailer before, and my word, it was an instant love affair! The whole week, they opted to go everywhere they could in the trailer. 

At first, I thought, "Oh, it's no big deal to pull the extra weight of a full trailer! I'm getting a good workout! Yay, I can eat more!" (That's the logic of every woman, right? Or, maybe just those of us who LOVE to eat, especially on vacation! But, I digress.....)

But, on one particular multi-mile jaunt, I was pouring sweat by the time we were halfway to our spectacular seaside dining destination. My sister kept asking if I wanted to switch bikes, so that I could have a break. But I, being the martyr that I am, and knowing that I was more of a powerhouse than she could ever possibly hope to be (wink, wink), continued the journey.  By the time we got there, I was so worn out and hot, and the HUMIDITY at the ocean! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!  It caused the kind of eternal sweat that MUST'VE been birthed in the pits of hell because it came on with a righteous vengeance!  Food was the last thing on my mind!

So, I ordered dinner and I sat. I sat until the perspiring commenced. And eventually, I ate. And, I liked it. In fact, I liked it so much that, by the end of the meal, I could hardly remember the beast of the trek I'd just survived. My sister pulled the trailer on the way home, but the next morning when I heard the familiar song, "Aunt Liiiinnnnddddssseeyyy, it's mooorrrnnnninnng! Can we go get in the trailer?" I sat up with a smile, and said, "Sure." I'd do anything for those kids. Anything. 

I know that you must be able to recall a time when you did do or would've done ANYTHING in your power for yours. You know who those people are for you. Maybe they're your children, your spouse, your sister, or your very dearest friend. You'd carry them on your back a million miles if they needed it, just because you love them. 

But, Dear Ones, God's been wrecking me in a new way. I'll gladly do it for mine, but will I joyfully do it for His? My people love me back. My people don't stink. My people are gracious. My people are kind. So, I'll serve them all day long. 

But, what about His people? 

God, teach me to serve well. 

Lindsey Pond

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dress For Success


Those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:31


My darling dog, Jethro, has more energy than a kindergartener in a candy store. He is always ready for fetch, a ride in the car, or a run through the neighborhood. Unfortunately, he has the laziest owners this side of the Mississippi River, and, who am I kidding, he's never been on a run with my husband and me! Not yet, and not ever. Running just isn't our scene. We've tried it and hated it in every possible capacity. We want to be healthy, but running is just never going to be a part of God's plan for us; I'm convinced. :)

When the poor pooch had barked one too many barks one recent morning, I tied him up to my bike and determined to wear him smack out, no matter the cost to me and my laziness. I'd ride into the sunset if it meant the result would be a tired dog who would leave me the heck alone. I was done with him!


Finally! The dog was panting as if he'd run a marathon in 10 minutes! And, he was seemingly out of my business! Success!!!! I won! "I'll win every time, you just hide and watch!" I boasted to the poor little guy sprawled out on my tile floor, struggling to catch his breath.


I made it a point to take the delinquent dog on a ride every day, for several days in a row. It was the only way we could stand to live in a house with him. We wanted to watch TV and play Candy Crush in peace. Is that too much to ask? :) He wouldn't go down without a fight, but I was determined to win, and I did... or so, I thought.

After a few days of hard running alongside my bike, poor Jethro started limping around the house, with an obvious injury. He hobbled from one room to the next, picking up his front right leg with every step.  I stopped him on one of his thousand trips from one end of the house to the other and examined his paws. I immediately noticed a big, nasty blister on one of his front paws. Ouch! He needed tennis shoes! He wasn't equipped to do so much running! My husband quickly got online and ordered our baby dog some shoes, so that his feet wouldn't wear out on his journey.

You know, I've had the same experience as sweet Jethro as I've journeyed through life. Sometimes, I'll prematurely set out on a path. Maybe God hasn't fully opened a door, but I barge through it anyway. Or, maybe I set out on a journey, but don't seek God to outfit me appropriately. Then, I end up wounded because I'm racing without the proper gear.

Jethro has taught me to wait. Wait until God says "GO"! Wait until God says, "It's time!" Wait until God does the equipping! Even if I feel confident in my ability to run, even if I feel particularly talented, I'm doomed for injury if I don't operate in God's timing and equipping, and you are, too. Let's wait upon the Lord to show us the way, equip us in His purpose, and outfit us in His truth.

May God equip you with every good gift, according to His sovereign purpose for your life!

Lindsey Pond






Friday, June 7, 2013

Life Is But A Dream



5 years ago this very day, my life forever changed. I married my soulmate, my Prince Charming, my warrior, my advocate, my very best friend, and my one true love. I married Brian Pond.

I was thrilled to keep my monogram, since my maiden name, Poston, also started with a P, and elated that my new name would now include 2 bodies of water: Lindsey Brooke Pond. Oh, the things that delight us! :)

I cannot imagine walking through the last 5 years with anyone other than Brian. There is no man, the earth over, who has the perfect mix of compassion, love, humor, gentleness, guts, strength, and just sheer wisdom and integrity, like Brian.

In 5 years, we have been through...

  • 3 cancer diagnoses
  • 8 surgeries
  • 6 homes
  • 5 dogs
  • 11 cars
  • 5 jobs
  • 1 relocation
  • loss of fertility, breasts, and hair
  • and, i'm sure I'm forgetting some other biggies
Brian, you have loved me in sickness and in health. You have given yourself up for me. You have carried me when I couldn't take another step. You've motivated me, pushed me, inspired me, and comforted me when I've failed. You are the one my heart deeply desires. 

I will love you forever and always!



Friday, May 31, 2013

Lessons from Preschool: Don't Wait To Be Rescued

 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation
1 Peter 5:10



I'd had it! 

"For the last time, leave. me. ALONE!" I screamed at my obnoxious classmate, Ricky Hulhouser as he kicked my desk chair with his cowboy boot. 

For days in a row, Ricky would sit in his chair, put his foot on the back of my chair, and push me into my desk as tightly as he could. NO MORE! I was angry now!

When I yelled at him, he immediately burst into enormous crocodile tears. Apparently, the little tyke was trying to get my attention and show that he liked me. Boy, did he have a thing or two to learn about wooing women! 

Try pulling the chair out for the next lady you set your sights on, Ricky! See where that gets you!

Looking back on that preschool puppy love, I suppose Ricky taught me a thing or two, also. 

His goal was to get my attention. And, the best method he knew was to put me in a painful situation. 

Unfortunately, there have been countless times in my life where it took a painful situation to get my attention. 

Did God cause these moments of suffering? No. Absolutely not. Suffering is a consequence of this sinful world. 

But does God allow suffering and use suffering to bring us closer to holiness? Without a doubt, He certainly does!

In a really elementary way, Ricky's shenanigans answered the age old question for me, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Well, because we live in a sinful world with sinful people. But, luckily we have a graceful God with a merciful plan who is able to redeem every bad thing. The Bible says, "He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation." 

What about you? Do you need to be rescued from a painful situation today? If you do, you can find a Rescuer here.

May the God of all hope overwhelm you with peace today.

Lindsey Pond