So today was my first day back to work.  I felt like a kid again going to my first day of school until I arrived back in the clinic.  I realized how much I missed my work friends but not so much working Monday through Friday or Saturday.  I really enjoyed being home with my kiddo and husband more and the blessing of having less stress in my life.  Believe me when I say that I love my job and am so blessed to have an amazing, Christian boss who cares so much about each of us, but I could be a stay-at-home mom.  Now if I could only win the lottery!  I guess you actually have to play to win, however.  Thank you God for my wonderful job and my co-workers who take such good care of me, laugh with me, and truly care about my life.  While I was off I actually enjoyed some "ME" time.  I went to a coffee shop one day to read my Bible, I sat out on the driveway in a camping chair to enjoy the fresh air, and I did some much needed things around the house while enjoying the peace of not having the tv on.  I have made some resolutions while I've been off.  I want to listen more and talk less.  I want to work with less complaining.  I want to be more thankful for the opportunities God gives me at work.  Lastly, I want to gossip less and try to bite my tongue more.  I'm at the end of the new testament and am realizing much more how often in the Bible God calls us to love one another.  This means no matter what they look like, how they act, how they live their lives, or what their beliefs are.  Who am I to judge?  I'm a sinner and can be ugly at times.  In the last days if I'm going to be judged and held accountable for everything I did on this Earth, I want my list to be narrowed down!  I fully believe in the fact that Jesus died for our sins and thank God for forgiveness, but this doesn't mean that I have a free pass.  That means that every day is a battle to be better, to do better, and to be more Christ-like.  I have many other things that I am working on as well, but these are at the top of my list.  I want to be an encourager and not a person who tears people down.  I want God to work through me daily to show people how much I love him and how wonderful a life centered around God can be.

I just started reading the book "Heaven is for Real", and I'm real excited about getting a glimpse into what heaven may be like through the eyes of a sweet, innocent child.  I've decided that this life is nice but is full of lots of evil and bad things that happen to good people every day.  When God calls my number some day, I will be sad to leave my friends and family, but "Don't cry for me Argentina".  I will be in a much better place free from medical problems, pain, stress, sorrow, and struggles.  I can't wait!  I have realized how precious each day of life is and how short life really is, but I have a promise of a paradise with my God where I will never die.  A place where we can spend our days not worried about the daily grind but where we can praise God with every thought and word.  Wow!  Thank you God for this promise if we just keep our faith in you and trust your will for our lives.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to talk to and hang out with some friends in my life that I really love and admire.  I want to take this opportunity to truly thank you girls (and you know who you are) for really stepping up to the plate when I needed you the most.  In the last year, I went through some of the hardest and worst days of my life.  I struggled at times to find the strength to just get through each day, but you picked me up.  From the frequent phone calls, texts, meals, and cards to driving from long distances to be by my side for those brutal surgeries, you showed me how much you care and love me.  I love you for that.  You have a special place in my heart always and are the true definition of a best friend and sister.  I thank God for you often.  Not only have I felt God's warm, loving arms around me more in the past year, but I have realized how blessed I am with amazing friends and family he has put in my life over the years.  I couldn't ask for more.  Thank you for caring about me and my family, for praying for us, and for being a wonderful support system.  You make a girl feel so good!

I called this blog "back to the grind" but I'm thankful to have a grind and the people in it.  I'm learning at this time to move on with my life without cancer in the picture and finding the new "ME".  I'm liking the changes so far and am hopeful that the future will be brighter and more fulfilling in more ways than one.  I liked my life before cancer, but I am so thankful for what cancer did for my life and how God is using it to change my heart.  As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!  God bless each of you and I love ya.  Shay