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It's a Love Story!

Funny thing, I wanted to journal about Love yesterday with it being Valentine's Day. As I sat at the computer, it was late, because that is usually when I get time to sit and journal, I realized I was to tired. So I decided I would journal today. This morning at church Pastor Allen gave a fantastic word on LOVE! Are you kidding me, this is exactly what I wanted to journal about. So I decided he gave me things I felt I needed to share, along with what I wanted to say from my heart. Once again, remember some of the reasons I journal is for myself, for me to have for the future. Valentine's Day, it is usually another day for Doug and I. I have always told him, I do not like going out on this day, there is always to many people. Restaraunts are packed, movie theaters are full. I always tell him, don't get me flowers, they just die way to fast, waste of money! This year was a bit different for me, a bit harder, see my Valentine was in Seattle, away from me. As I looked at all the great posts on Facebook and Instagram, beautiful beautiful bouquets of flowers from loved ones, amazing date nights, coffee with that one, hikes to the top of hills, creative gifts from little ones, and awesome gifts of jewelry, spa treatments, and fun get a ways, I was brought to tears. My heart hurt, today I would not be wrapping my arms around my Valentine, no kisses, no hugs, not a card or a bouquet of flowers from him.This is not a pitty party, because I was quickly reminded, in 4 days I would be getting to kiss, hug, hold, smell, and kiss some more of my sweet sweet love. There are many that have lost their Valentine and would not be getting the chance. See we quickly take for granted the very small moments of our lives. I was wakened this morning by my phone ringing fairly early. As I grabbed my phone I see it is Doug calling, hmmmmm a bit early, I hope all is okay. I said Hi honey! He replies, sorry to wake you so early. I told him it was fine, i asked him if he was okay. He tells me, he couldn't sleep, up since 2:00 am. He goes on to tell me, Jack I am tired, tired of everything. I quickly said babe, we are in this for the long haul. He proceeded to tell me things, in which I said, Douglas you are all worked up over things you can not control, or change. A waste of energy babe, you need to not allow the fear of things you can not control to control your thoughts, go take some calcium gluconate it will help you relax. As he cried on the other end of the phone, I said honey let me tell you I believe a lot of this is the fact we have been a part from each other, a very soft yeah comes from his end. I continue, babe we are on this journey together, the Lord has big plans for us. We are not stopping, we are fighting and going to do whatever we need to do, and we need to believe he will be with us every step of the way. A sniffle comes from his end. I said are you okay, a long pause, I said Douglas. He says, I'm okay. I told him I missed his guts, He replied I miss you too Jack, a lot. That is where I wanted to bawl on my end of the line. He said I am so sorry, I asked, sorry for what. For everything I am putting you through. Oh honey, you are not putting me through anything that I didn't choose to go through with you. More sniffles and a long pause, then he says, did you call your mom! See as I was on the phone with him, I woke up Bentli told her to call Grammy and tell her Doug had walked to Ihop and was really upset. So technically I did not call her! See I am not sure how she knew he was at Ihop! I said Douglas, I will tell you I love your guts, you mean more to me than you will ever know, this journey called life we are doing, I am grateful to be doing it with you. Douglas, God knows what he is doing with us, he above all things, loves us and knows exactly where we are suppose to be. And right now he needs you in Seattle and me in Idaho. I guess Jack. I said that is true babe, promise. He says Jack and pauses, I said yeah, what. A long pause and he says, I love you so much, you know I love you. I said yes babe, I know you love me, but not as much as I love you, followed by a small giggle. He apologized for waking me, I told him to stop, I needed to get ready for church. He said he would be fine, I said seriously go take some calcium gluconate it will help relax you. And we hung up.

15 years old, that is the age I was when I told Doug I loved him for the first time. Trust me I will never forget it, because the night I said it, he looked at me and said, "Thanks!" We joke about it still to this day. This is my short version of our love story. I was a young 15 year old Sophomore,when this "older" boy came into my life. Older as 21! We won't even start with that, it could be its own story! Yes, I'm sure the town we grew up in everyone was talking about how crazy my parents were, how crazy Doug was, how crazy the whole situation was. But it was what it was. We went on a few dates, there was a connection I look back on and can't explain. I knew I just wanted to be with him, now my parents thought differently. They thought I needed to be enjoying my high school years, not out with a guy that had already graduated. But of course like any typical 15 year old, your parents don't understand you, don't see what you see, don't have a clue about life. I remember saying my prayers at night, Lord guide me to the one I am suppose to be with. Guide me lord to the one that I am to give my heart to. If my parents are right, show me the way to the one. As a 41 year old woman, I now ask myself, what in the world at 15 were you asking the lord to guide you to the one you were suppose to be with. We continued to date through my junior year, during my Senior year we had a difficult time, I wanted to do what my parents were telling me, enjoy that last year of my high school years. We broke up, got back together, broke up and by the end of my senior year we were back together. Somewhere in those 2 years Doug did tell me he loved me, not just Thanks! After graduation, Doug did something that to this day I thank him for. He told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, but would not ask me to marry him until I got some sort of schooling behind me. I knew I wanted to be a Stylist, so I enrolled in beauty school in the fall. When they said they had a program that you went to school 6 days a week and would get done in 10 months, I jumped at it. 10 months later I graduated from Beauty school, a week after graduation Doug proposed to me on the beach in Seaside, Oregon at sunset. 8 months later at the ripe age of 19 I married my best friend. It was not always the fairy tale that you always hope for. We had many trials, while we dated and during the first lets say 7 years of marriage. See in January 1993 Doug opened the Burger Den in Eagle, March 1993 we were married. New business and a new marriage was a lot to handle for both of us, so why not add a baby to make it all better. In 1994 baby #1 came, in our 4th year of marriage baby #2 and right after our 7th Anniversary baby #3 was here. I was 26, Doug was 32. We had a 5 year old, 2 year old, and our new baby was born with extreme medical issues. There is a huge part of our love story I am going to skip and fast forward to about January 2013, we were looking at being married 20 years in March and our first born would be graduating from High School. I will never forget Doug and I were driving home from dinner, and I said to him in 6 years we won't have any kids at home. I paused and said, are you going to still like me. He looked and me and said, no I will still love you. I had no idea a year later we would get the most horrific news. I remember sitting by Doug in the ER when they walked in and said there is a spot/lesion on his brain, and leaning into him and saying, I love you and we are going to fight like hell. We have been through way to much to let this destroy us. From there I have been writing in my journal as much as I can. I believe God knew what he was doing in a very young 15 year old when she prayed for him to guide her to the one she was suppose to be with. He knew there would be a love story to be told. One that would include the love of the Lord, the blessings of his miracles, the power of prayer, the joy of his forgiveness, and the glory of the good fight. I knew I loved Doug, but I had no idea how much more I could love him until, you are shown things that could be gone in a blink of an eye. We all think we are living our lives full of love. i would really ask you to re think that. Are you living your life with love in it. See living a life full of love is not just saying "i love you". saying the words is the easy part. It is loving with your thoughts. It is taking on a challenge to love that one person that bothers you, that one co worker that annoys you, the family member that drives you crazy, and loving them in your thoughts. Don't focus on the actions that drive you crazy, focus your thoughts on things that are good about that person. Focus on positive things about these people, love them in your thoughts. I challenge each of you, pick one person to love all week through your thoughts. I have my person picked, who are you picking. Love with your words, this is not just saying the 3 words I love you. I mean speak with love in your words, In the world today, especially our young people, so much hate in our tone, words and actions. Let us speak with love in our tone, speak love with our words, speak love with our actions. There is crazy power in our words when done right.

Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I would say to parents, stop and think are you using the words you want your kids to feel, not hear, feel. See we think words are just spoken when in all actuality words are felt so much. Are you using loving words around your co workers, are you loving family members with gracious words or are you using words that if were recorded and played back to you, you would cringe. Young people what kind of words are you using? Now re read that last question and take out the "of". I am serious, ask yourself are you using kind words. Society has allowed such strong, unkind words to be used towards each other. Young people reading this, I challenge you to use kind words this week, not only to those you hold dear, use them on those not so close to you. Take notice in the change you see in people just by using kind words. This is loving by using your words. Something to think about. Love with what you have. Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

Oh my Cada family this bible verse is what my Grammy and Papa Cada raised us on, without even sharing the verse with us. It struck my heart very strongly.That was the love they showed us. I ask you all reading this are you a steward or an owner. This was huge for me today in church, when Pastor Allen asked. Steward: a person who looks after the passengers on a ship, aircraft, or train and brings them meals. Owner: a person who owns something Sometimes we need to let go of ownership, and become better stewards in our life. Wow, this brought tears to my eyes. Through this last few days with Doug gone, I felt out of control, not with Doug, doing all for him, taking care of him, talking to doctors, knowing everything they had to say, he was mine and I needed to be doing all for him. Today, I realized I need to release all that to our father God to handle all the details, I need to be a better steward, looking after Doug, not owning him or his illness. I realized as hard as I wanted to own this, it is not mine to own. So I will be a better steward from here on out. Love by using what you have to love others. Isn't it funny, that is kind of what we teach our kids when they are little, by having them share their toys with others. Maybe a bit different but the same as well. Love by giving, I love this type of loving. It can be so simple, but we don't use it enough.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also real generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. I knew at 15 there was something with this love story, for the Lord kept taking me back to Doug. I didn't think I could love him more than I loved him that day I said the words for the first time. I have been proven wrong, my love for him has grown to be bigger than I could have ever imagined. Yep, I will be the first to tell you, it took cancer to make me realize how much I love this guy. It took cancer to open my eyes to a love story, I had no idea i was writing. It took cancer for me to say I love cancer, for what cancer has shown me, taught me, provided me, and continues to give to me! My advice to every person reading this, don't wait for cancer to open your eyes and hearts to love! Love and Blessings to all!

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