I have been battling Breast Cancer for nearly 4 years now, and I gotta tell ya, I get pretty tired of it. Sometimes, I have “words” for the Big Guy when I go to talk to Him. Sometimes, I get scared. Sometimes, I feeling like screaming. Other times, I cry. But my cries aren’t always because of the previously mentioned fears or angers. Naturally, I cry tears of fatigue and frustration of just not wanting to do this any more. However, at other moments, I’m overwhelmed by the blessings that seem to just pop up on that very day of the day after (literally), that I was melting down. God knows me. He gets my erratic prayers and emotions. He knows that, although I am extremely positive and seek Hope and signs of gratitude in as much as possible, I’m only human. And times are tough. He knows me, and He knows it comes in waves.
Much like the highs and lows of our relapses and great progress to each form of treatment… the waves come right at us, looking larger than life, then before we know it, they’ve disapated on the shore.
Isn’t that just life though?
I recently had the chance to sneak away to a weekend of prayer at the beach with a few other women and God was just speaking to my heart over and over again. He spoke through images, he spoke through our surroundings, He spoke through the “Bible roulette” game I like to play when I just say a little prayer and see where my finger lands in the Holy book. Over and over again, He reminded me that everything passes, He is always with me, and my main job is to continue to keep my gaze on him, trusting in Him always. So I spent my time that weekend, trying to be quiet (haha!) and just listen to the waves roll in and out, getting bigger, and then just slowly washing calmly over the shore. As each the waves appeared to rise faster and faster in the wind further out in the bay, getting bigger and cresting just feet off the shore, they always seemed to wear down to just a small rush of water gently washing over the sand once they reached shore. Mimicking much of what I feel of the waves in this season of my life, as I pray it’s only that. A season.
I also listened to the flicker of the candle the way it lit up the room with just the tiniest of flames, yet could be feared if I let the fire over take me. Instead, I felt it’s warmth. I felt God’s presence and thought over these past four years, recognizing the many blessings that have touched our lives amidst the many storms and typhoon size waves that seemed to be heading straight for us over and over again. But His answer? Stay in the gaze. I am watching over you like a shepherd keeps track of EVERY sheep. Fixate your eyes on me and you won’t lose your footing.
So I gaze at him.
I was given this picture by a dear spiritual leader and friend a few years back. She brought it up again over my weekend at the beach. I love the way Mary lays down on the uncomfortable hay, in the midst of her situation of discomfort and cold, having just delivered a baby, yet she’s so fixated on the gift of her son and the glory that’s coming in His life. She also knows the anguish that is to come, yet she says “Yes” and just gazes at him in love and awe.
Sometimes, I gaze at my kids when they sleep, praying I can always be here to gaze at the grandchildren just the same. I pray I can be here long enough to gaze at them as they walk down the aisle or see my son’s smiling face as he greets his bride at the altar. I make deals with God, begging for these moments. But for now, I am committed to this moment above. Resting in THIS moment. I know I’m still in the midst of the discomfort. I have a long road ahead. But I pray that I can always stay in the gaze and continue to trust in Him.
It’s never been MY STRENGTH that has gotten me this far. It’s always been HIS. It’s always been the grace from all of your prayers. Our prayers. All of the outstanding support of this village we call TEAM BUNA. I can’t thank you enough.
I know this isn’t a more mushy post of mine, but I don’t control what I write. I just write when I feel I can, and I write what’s there. And today, I’m writing what is on my heart.
I just have to thank you all. We still have so much ahead to get through. So much to navigate with my cancer to make it “go away and stay away!” while still figuring out this whole parenting thing and raising 5 kiddos in the midst of the chaos.
I always ask, pray for my family, pray for my kiddos.
This water bottle was given to me when I was first diagnosed. There’s a pic of all 5 of my kids on one side and This cool inspiration reminder on the other. I have had it with me for every infusion and surgery. It reminds me to keep going. They are my why! (And my hubby, of course!)
Just as our Buna’s Hope non-profit and ALL of YOU who got involved helped us to bless TWO FAMILIES to send them on trips of hope and memories with their families in time of struggle, a dear friend has stepped in to send our family on a trip of Hope ourselves! God shows up again!! (BUNA’S HOPE UPDATE: The Cards will be taking a Cruise to the Bahamas, while the Bayhii family will be heading to a DUDE RANCH! How cool is that?! Thank you, TEAM BUNA/BUNA’s HOPE!!)
Our family is being sent off to “the happiest place on Earth”, DisneyWorld, over Mardi Gras this year! The count down is on, fast passes booked, dinner reservations set, and kids practically holding their breath with excitement. I’m ready to go make some memories with my crew. Never want to miss a moment to see them smile and just be kids having fun!
Pray that I’m able to keep up for the trip. Pray that we can all stay healthy and well to make it happen. We just need a little pixie dust (Bibbity Bobbity Boo!) and whole lot of graces! 😉
And know that we keep you all in our hearts and thank you all for all of your support in prayer and love always.
God bless you and know I’m sending my love and graces and “BIBBITY BOBBITY BOO!” right back to you! Have a grace filled and magical day, as you get in the gaze with me.
Just like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus, it wasn’t until he took his eyes off of him that He sank. May we all have the strength to keep our eyes fixated on HIM no matter the waves that are crashing around us so our feet can keep firmly planted wherever He asks us to stand. And HIS STRENGTH will keep us upright, standing strong. I have no more strength in this body, but God continues to provide. There is no other explanation.
Prayers for Gods Graces and Protection as your beautiful family heads to Disney, for health, peace and abundance of JOY.
Your posts keep me focused on what a Blessing it is for every obstacle in my life. You are truly Beautiful inside and out. Cont prayers for healing!
How I would love to be with yall just watching the dynamics and lending a hand…
Please be willing to rest when you need to and play when you can.
I hope yourbtime together is ….
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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ The beach is my favorite place … Thinking of you and prayers for your continued strength and health for your Disney trip 🙏🏻 I see you hanging in there, and it’s beautiful … You are special… Your life and journey make other people’s lives around you better… Your purpose in all of this is so loud and clear…If you could only see yourself through the eyes of everyone around you ❤️
I feel really blessed just to know you and your family. You are in my prayers and I hope Disneyworld is nothing less than a glorious event!
Elise, You are in my rosary everyday, but extra prayers for a beautiful blessed trip with your family. Enjoy the magic!!! God is good!!! Love, Judy
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We love you so much. Those babes are gonna love Disney and I know you will too!!! Big BIG hugs from the Kritters to you!!xxoo😘
Elise , our family continues to unite our prayers to yours and we pray in a special way with expectant faith and hope that you stay strong and can experience Disney with your kiddos and husband. Thank-you as always for inspiring us with your words and faith . May the graces continue to flow!
Elise, praying always for you and your entire family each morning at Eucharist ( your family photo in Magnificat!) and every night by name when my husband and I pray our evening prayers! Thanks for your inspiring posts! Have a great trip!! 😘🙏🕯😇🙏💞
I love the Gaze reference and the scripture quote about Peter walking on water with Jesus! We just went through that one in Bible Study, but this really drives it home. 🙂 I hope you and your family have a blessed getaway and hope to hear many wonderful tales about your big adventure. Love and hugs to all!
Dearest angel girl, you and your family are in my daily thoughts and prayers! You are so special and generous with your precious time to offer-up prayers and give to others during their time of need! Dear Lord, and all of the angels and saints upon whose constant intercession we rely for help, please hear our prayers and grant our sweet, strong girl complete healing!
God bless you Elise and your beautiful family!
You, Jason, and kiddos are in my prayers..God is so good! Praying for a faithfilled, peaceful, joyful trip. Full of God’s blessings… much love, Theresa
My sweet Buna…I apologize in advance for the book I have read… lol. I need you to know that yesterday you were my guardian angel, God was using you to talk to my heart, to lift my chin and fixate my eyes on him… My waves have been coming one right after the other without me able to keep my footing, and I started to look down terrified and trying to control the next wave or at least try to spend my energy seeing when the next one would hit me and the truth is I just need to look at him, he will handle the rhythm and pace of the waves and I have to trust he will keep me standing. When I read your post I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I felt like this little girl being comforted by her father. It was you he chose to speak to me through. AMAZING!!! MIND BLOWING!!! He is choosing you to speak to people through your own journey and touch and sometimes save their lives. How brave of you to be vulnerable and say your truth, that it isn’t easy and you have been fighting for a long time and sometimes you let the big guy up there have it, and that you acknowledge this isn’t fair. Reading that made me feel human, so often I look at your posts and say I wish I could be like her. So much strength and positivity and light. And you do have all of those things, but you are human too and you don’t understand why. It’s what you chose to dwell on as you are the compass for all of your children. I have learned so often where I am emotionally effects where Austin is emotionally. How I react effects how he reacts. The picture you shared of Mary who having just endured such an emotional roller coaster and her staring at that beautiful baby who would change the world but also knowing the challenging road ahead and the crosses he would bear literally. How terrifying? I often look at Cade when he is home from school, come home, finally settled in to bed and I tip tie in his room and pull the covers down and just watch this man I raise breathe and sleeps. I think of his past, present and futur and I pray he has it. Austin is more regular where I watch him sleep, so peaceful, no pain, his skin so soft, he was perfectly and wonderfully made. But lastnight when I looked at Austin because of your post I cried in thanksgiving that because Mary sacrificed her only son I have the freedom and the strength through our lord to break the cycle of abuse, shame and guilt with my boys. Because he dies on that cross I can chose to pray and with his help change the direction of the lives of my boys. We aren’t lost sheep, as you reminded us God knows where each of us are. So thank you for bringing some light in my day that was dark and being vulnerable with us to know that it is normal sometimes to have, “A come to Jesus, with Jesus.”
Onto a lighter note I am so excited for your upcoming DisneyWorld trip. The kids must be counting down the days. What a magical place to go when you need some magic in your life! My heart says this trip is going to go down in the books for your family. I just know that so many incredible amazing memories are going to be made. Listen take it slow, and take it in. When we went for the Citrus Bowl they had a new system in aiding those that might need a little extra help in making it through. So call me about that. The other thing is reserve your energy, you can always rent a scooter wheelchair and make it your own Mardi Gras float, just to help you not tire out walking all around the park. I just know God is ready to bless you with this trip. I trust he will make it everything it needs to be for you guys, providing some individual attention and some much needed family time away from this town, as great as it can be. But get on Aladdin’s magic carpet and let God show you Disney and all the glory, happiness and smiles it can bring. I am so excited for you and you remind me so much of myself planning every detail, otherwise can you say nightmare… lol. So go be a big kid, and know I pray everyday for your strength to be able to be and participate in everything that will make this a momentous trip. I personally can’t wait for a coffee or glass of wine when you get back to see the pictures.
You have this my sweet girl. I know you are tired, but God has you on his lap and he is whispering in your ear go make it a magical day!!!! I love you!!!!
God’s timing is always right and just perfect, right?
I have YOU to thank for so much!!! And I’ll definitely be calling soon. Love you💕
So sorry for what you’re going through. Sending you lots of love – speak766
You are my hero! You don’t know me but we were both diagnosed around the same time. I have followed your amazing and inspiring posts ever since. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are in my prayers every day. And every day I thank God for my blessings and my burdens as he draws me closer to His Sacred Heart. Then I petition Him as I take my daily tamoxifen “please grant Elise a miracle of healing and may a cure for cancer be found, all according to your Holy Will.” God bless you and your beautiful family. Mother Mary pray for us.
Covering you in prayer and love and glory and stars, Elise! Lord Jesus, you are so good. I praise you for what you are doing in and through Elise and her family, never averting your eyes from their tender care. Thank you for pouring out your grace anew every day. And Jesus, we still beg you for a miracle healing of Elise’s body, that she may live to see her children’s children. Amen! Xo
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