Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Pat!

Happy Birthday Dad!
December 31st....the end of 2011, the last day of my Jesus Calling devotional, the last day of my devotional, Streams in the Desert, and the last day of the scripture in my 365 day Bible.  Just this week I wrote in the last page of my journal that I began in August of this year.

As I finished reading the last chapter of my Bible, Revelations this morning, I came upon my summary of the year which I wrote on the blank page beside the scripture. This is what I read:

2008:  What a year 2008 was.  Lord, it was hard, but you changed us.  Pat's cancer was a gift although a difficult journey! May we grow closer to you even more in 2009.  Your presence has been felt and your blessings abundant. Thank you for enriching my faith and blessing me by knowing you better.  Teach me more, Lord. Teach me to trust you more!  I love you.  John 13:7

2009:  Pat resigned from Kinro on a leap of faith just after you placed me at FBC after 16 years of being a SAHM (stay at home mom).  You taught us how to trust and extend our faith.  We opened Clear Choice, a huge puzzle piece coming together.

2010:  A year of surprise and change. Clear Choice one year old. Pat diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage IV.  A life that now causes to see what we can't so we see you Father.  Living on faith.

So, this is what I added for 2011:  A year that unfolded with God's grace, faithfulness, goodness and provisions. A year I saw my husband fight with everything he had until November 26th and you took him home and said "Well done my good and faithful servant".  I trust you even more now as face a year of unknown.  But, I love you, trust you and surrender it all to you.

On August 25th I opened my bright yellow journal covered in purple, green and pink flowers and made my first entry..."Fresh book, fresh page, fresh new day. I have so much to praise you for. You are everything to me and I am devoted and desire to surrender all of me. I just think of what these pages will hold in the next months. We will see a lot of you, Lord!

On December 20th, I opened my journal and had only one page left to write in. It had been four months of prayer and life written on those yellow pages.  I started to cry as I knew that when I wrote in that last page and closed the journal, my new journal will not have my Pat within it's pages.  As I looked at that blank page, I was thinking what would the Lord have me to write.  I started reading my Bible and devotionals to find out.  He led me to Haggai 1:1 - 2:23.  This is what I read and wrote in my journal on the 20th: "I am with you says the Lord. vs 2:4  Be strong all you people still left in the land. Now get to work for I am with you says the Lord of Heaven's armies. My spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid. The future glory of this Temple will be greater than it's past glory. And in this place I will bring peace.  I the Lord of Heaven's Armies, has spoken.  Haggai 2:19, "I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you." The last sentence was written up the side of my page.  Through my tears I sat in awe of these intimate words. 

I was instantly reminded of Exodus 14:13 (Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.) that he gave me on October 5, 2010 and the verse Habakkuk 3:17 that the Lord had given me months ago that covered me with His peace.  Fast forward to my daily reading on December 25th.  Zechariah 8:11, "For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew." 

This was a lot to absorb in one week.  I felt His Words were for me.  I always question myself? Who am I that the Lord would speak to me?

On December 29th I read the following from my Streams in the Desert:  "We need to have appropriating faith when it comes to God's promises and should make His Word our own personal possession. A child was once asked what appropriating faith was, and he answered, "It is taking a pencil and underlining every 'me', 'my' and 'mine' in the Bible."  Pick any word you want that He has spoken and say, 'That word is my word.' Put your finger on a promise and say, 'It is mine.'  The last sentence was, "When faith goes to the market, it always takes a basket."

Happy Birthday my sweet Pat!  I am hoping you are enjoying some fabulous chocolate pie....your favorite!  I know that all things in Heaven are beyond anything I could ever me a place right beside you."

Happy New Year!


PS  I will be moving my journal to my personal blog in the days to come.  I will put a link on CB for awhile in case you want to catch up with us.  I have been blessed by you more than you will ever know.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Matt

I can't thank my friends and family enough! It has been one month today that my dad went to be with the Lord at 6:39pm. To be honest this month in my head has been a living nightmare without my old man around. But when all of these thoughts of my dad randomly pop in my head, I can't help but think of what comfort God has given me. He hasn't just dumped all of the grief on me at once, but instead he's given me no more then I can bare. People have asked how I've been since all of this and I haven't really shared my true answer because it's very hard to not get emotional....

When God told me to get up on stage at dad's funeral, I didn't think I could do it. I prayed and prayed for comfort through this entire journey. And when I got up there I received it. It was as if when I was up there I had someone pointing out who to look at. The only people I could see we're people who have mentored me in my walk with Christ. That is when I knew I wasn't alone! People say Dad is watching over me, but honestly I believe he can see me but I also believe he is having to much fun in heaven to care as much as he did while he was here on earth. I struggle the most when I think I can call dad just to ask for some advice or share something really cool. God can I just at least send a text message to him? Lol.

To everyone who has walked this journey with my family and I, THANK YOU! Please continue to be by our sides! But to those watching this journey and seen the man my dad was, I ask that you just please give Jesus Christ a chance to be your Savior as my dad did. An intimate relationship with him will amaze you!! As the Bible says in Revelations 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Jesus is at the door of your heart and is waiting on you to open the door and experience a relationship with him!

I pray God has blessed y'all with a good Christmas and Happy New Year!


You Are Not Reading This By Accident

You're Not Reading This by Accident
by Rick Warren

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus.” (Romans 5:1 MSG)

You’re not reading this by accident.

No, God knew before you were born that you would be here in this moment. He planned to get your attention for just a few seconds so he could say this to you: “I’ve seen every hurt in your life, and I’ve never stopped loving you. You matter to me. I love you more than you will ever know. I made you to love you, and I’ve been waiting for you to love me back.”

God is saying, “I want the rest of your life to be the best of your life. I’m with you, and I’m for you. I want to save you from your past. I want to save you for the purpose for which I made you. And I want to save you by my grace. If you’ll let me do that, I will give you peace with me, peace of me, and peace with other people. But you have to open the door and receive the Christmas gift.”

If you gave me a Christmas gift and I never opened it, you would be disappointed. And it would be a worthless gift, because I don’t receive the benefit of a gift I never opened.

Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to you. Yet some of us have gone Christmas after Christmas and never opened the best gift of all: God’s gift of salvation. Why even celebrate Christmas if you’re not going to open the biggest gift? It doesn’t make sense to leave unwrapped the gift of your past forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in Heaven.

Jesus Christ says to you, “I can replace the frustration in your heart with peace. I can replace the guilt, resentment, shame, and grudges with forgiveness. I can replace the worry and anxiety with confidence and faith. I can replace depression or despair with hope. I can replace emptiness with meaning and purpose. I can replace confusion with clarity. But I’m not going to break down the door of your heart. You have to invite me in.

“It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from. If you want me and you are ready to do as I say, the door is open.”

It doesn’t matter what your religious background is – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, Baptist, Hindu, or no religion. This is not about religion. God didn’t send Jesus to give you religion. He sent him so you could have a personal relationship with God. It’s all about relationship.

Below is a prayer I prayed years ago when I stepped across the line and became a friend of God’s. It’s a pretty simple prayer. If these words express the desire in your heart, read them as if you are talking to God.


Dear God, I’m scared, but I want to get to know you. I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you were with me even when I didn’t recognize it. I thank you that you are for me, that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.

I admit I never even realized I needed a Savior, but today I want to receive the Christmas gift of your Son. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. Save me from myself.

I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and have a relationship with you.

I need peace with you, God, and I need you to put your peace in my heart. I need you to take away the stress and fill me with your love. Help me be a peacemaker and help others find peace with you and each other. In your name I pray, amen.

(from Purpose Driven Life Devotional)

Merry Christmas!

Love and miss you, Dad
Xoxo Photobucket

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Gift!

Christmas Eve Gift! My grandmother McNatt made sure she said it first each Christmas Eve. Now my cousins and I try to say it first. I beat them all this year...Tanya and David, haven't heard from you!

We had a good time at Kelly and Brian's. We had great laughs playing Catch Phrase late last night.

Hank is adjusting pretty well. Garrett says he is exhausted!! Kelly has two boxers, so that was fun to watch them interact.

We are headed to the Easterling Christmas now and will be there by dinner.

We are missing dad. I keep thinking he is in the other room. We love you and miss you. Photobucket

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Headed to Oklahoma

We four are on the road headed to Oklahoma to spend a couple of days with my sis and family. The car is packed to the roof. Thank you to my house sitter and Cash sitter.

We have a new addition to the family and that is Hank. Hank is Garrett's new boxer that his sweet, maybe crazy, mom gave him for Christmas. He is going to be spoiled rotten. Cash is still checking him out and Loco loves his new pal.

I love, love, love my Christmas cards and get so excited when I get them. Your sympathy cards have touched me and have been such an encouragement. Thank you.

What a birthday party they must have on the 25th in celebrating Jesus' birth. I wonder if Pat gets a party favor for his first party? Wow!

Missing you my big guy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pat's CaringBridge Post on February 17, 2011

I wanted to hear from Pat this morning and I did in his CB post dated February 17, 2011. I thought you would too. Oh, the first part is mushy, but I need that right now. What a reminder of what we had together and what his family and friends meant to him.

My prayer for you is that you be reminded today how precious life is, but most of all how life is so much sweeter when you know Jesus Christ as your Savior! Do you?

Pat February 17, 2011

Howdy! Ya, it's me...... She has finally got me to write. I gotta tell ya though, it's hard to do. I have to be focused in the evening, when in the evening my mind is mush! I don't know how she does it every night. Oh, wait a minute! Yes I do! I am married to the most remarkable woman in the world! She can do anything! I got to be honest though. When I married her in 1984, I had no ideal what I was in for. I not only have 3 of the greatest kids but more importantly she introduced me to my Lord and Savior. I owe her everything. She has loved me through some of the best days and some of the worst days. I did not deserve her then and I do not deserve her now. She is my best friend and I love her with all my heart. In 2008, when I was battling my first bout with cancer, I had to spend 2 weeks in the hospital. When I closed my eyes to go to sleep, she was the last thing I saw and when I woke up, she was the first thing I saw. It was for the entire two weeks, she never left my side. This thing we are going through now, there have been days when I am miserable and very agitated. She's always there for me. I have expressed that due to financial reasons, she may not be able to go to Tulsa with me when I go for treatment every time. Well, you can imagine the response. I can tell you, other than Christ, I never knew you could love someone more than the day before but you can. Paige, I love you and cannot imagine my life without you. Thank you for tolerating me........ I'm sorry for the length of this but I've had nothing to say until now.........As for my L D Bell classmates, it so good to hear from you. You all mean so much and I do hope we can have another get together soon. Phil, thank you for the 8th grade basketball DVD. Great memories! I do hope there are more. I did hear from my favorite basketball coach a couple of weeks ago. Rolf Kuhlow, who lives in Louisiana. I always thought he was related to all time great coach John Wooden from UCLA. Great hearing from him and I hope to see him soon.......It's always good to hear from my friends from Kinro, where I worked for so long. We were all a part of building a very good company for so long. It's sad to see what we worked so hard to build, to see it all go away. I miss you guys very much......I also want to take this opportunity to tell everyone how thankful we are for your love and prayers. It's very humbling to me, to know so many care for us.......Thanks to my extended family in Hico for all that you do for us. A big thanks to Brian and Lecia. They would give you the shirt off their back. We love you guys! ............EY and LaNette, your cards and phone calls mean so much! We love you........To our life group, you were the first at the hospital, almost the minute I was diagnosed. We love you guys! My favorite two pictures are one, with us in a circle praying in my hospital room, and the other is all of us in my front yard. You guys are the best and I'm enjoying doing life with you...... Again, I'm sorry for the length..........(just about done) Let me also take this opportunity to remind my kids how proud we are of them. You continue to be very tolerant of me. You continue to do outstanding in school! My favorite daughter graduated from UNT! Kids even when the cards were dealt, your faith never wavered. WE ARE SO PROUD! Every day I wake up, I'm so thankful that I have a Father that loves me, no matter what! Kids, my love for you compares to the love Christ has for all of us. His love does not discriminate and is constant..........In closing to all this rambling, I would like to say thanks to all of you and God bless to all of you. I am so thankful for you in our lives and I do pray your lives are as fulfilling as mine. I thank God every day. As for me my days are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but mostly good. I have felt really good since Sunday and then all of a sudden today my back started hurting so I came home and soaked in the tub filled with epson salt. So each day is a different day. One thing I think about often is that there are so many people that are inflicted with this disease and that is pretty overwhelming when you think about how many. Cancer does not discriminate. I appreciate the prayers, but there are so many other folks who are suffering and need your prayers also. We need a cure. I know that Paige gave you an update on a bill that we are encouraging our congressmen to support, Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, which was introduced Wednesday in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Thank you to those who have taken the time to write. This disease needs a higher priority.

Until next time,
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wisdom, please

I was just taking my make-up off and listening to KLTY radio.  Andrea, the night-time DJ asked, "If you could have anything for Christmas that didn't cost a thing, what would it be?"  I thought for a moment and my first thought isn't possible and that is an easy one to guess.  So, my answer would be that I would like the gift of wisdom right now.  I have God's peace and joy, but I need wisdom.   James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." I am wearing Him out.

"When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart.  Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.  When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. " ~Jesus Calling  

The past few days have been very busy for all four of us as we are trying to wrap up Christmas shopping, Christmas plans, basketball games (tonight and tomorrow), and work.  Matt and I are really busy at ABC (America's Best Choice Windows) trying to familiarize ourselves with operations and create a business plan for 2012.  I have been submerged in a new world and trying to get a game plan together before I return to work at the church on January 3rd.  I guess it is official now since I have my business card that says Paige Easterling, Owner.  Yikes! This is why I am praying for wisdom. 

Many of you have asked me if I am going to continue to update CaringBridge.  I plan to transition to my personal blog after the first of the year as I feel that our CB Journal was to be written around Pat and his daily battle against pancreatic cancer. Our personal life, trials, victories and happenings naturally were woven together these past 14 months, but I feel I need to phase out CB because this site was created for the purpose of those who are facing a significant health challenge.  I created in 2007 and have been updating it simultaneously with CaringBridge.  In 2008 when Pat was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, my blog was used then as CB is being used now.

We are missing Pat so much and some days are easier than others.  Thank you for continuing to walk alongside us as we greet the Christmas season and Pat's birthday, New Year's Eve. 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainy Day

Rainy day.  We need the rain, but I am missing the sunshine. 

Today my sweet friend, Brenda Ashlock, had neck surgery, so I stopped by the hospital this morning and stayed with her a couple of hours tonight.  She is in the Plaza Medical hospital but I don't think she is going to stay there long enough to earn the Plaza points as Pat did.  I went to the 6th floor to say hello to our sweet nurses, but only one I knew was working.  Walking into the hospital was hard and I was flooded with memories, but I want to remember the great nurses and staff.

I went to the mall to Christmas shop, but I wasn't very successful.  I did buy one gift.  Christmas shopping is one my favorite things to do to get in the Christmas spirit, but I don't think that will work this year.  I am not trying to be ba-hum-bug, but I wish we could skip the holidays this year.  We will get through it thanks to family and friends.

Garrett's arm is healing nicely, so I am relieved.  He has a game this weekend in Frisco.  Watching basketball makes me happy!

Thank you for sending us your sweet cards, messages and texts.  We read every single one of them and they give us great comfort.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

His Encouragement

God has been so faithful to encourage me every morning.  This is what I read yesterday: "I am taking care of you. Feel the warmth and security of being enveloped in My loving Presence. Every detail of your life is under My control.  Submerged beneath the surface of the invisible world are mysteries too vast for you to comprehend. If you could only see how close I am to you and how constantly I work on your behalf, you would never again doubt that I am wonderfully caring for you.  This is why you must live by faith, not by sight; trusting in My mysterious, majestic Presence."  ~Jesus Calling

This morning I read, "Sometimes the darkness in our lives is worse, because we cannot even see the web we are weaving or understand what we are doing.  Therefore, we are unable to see any beauty and or possible good arising from our experience.  Yet if we are faithful to forge ahead and 'if we do not give up' (Gal 6:9), someday we will know that the most exquisite work of our lives was done during those days when it was the darkest. He is watching and will bring goodness and beauty from all of your pain and tears."  ~Streams in the Desert

These are promises in which I cling to so that I can trust Him to get me through each day.  I am asking God each morning to wrap His loving arms around my kids as they continue to go about their daily routines. Elizabeth and Matt have to concentrate on work and Garrett has school.  The past few days have been rough on them emotionally as well as physically.  We covet your prayers.

We are In His Grip,

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This weekend was a nice weekend full of basketball. Garrett's team finished third in the tournament this weekend.  They played really good against some tough teams and Garrett was presented an All Tournament trophy.  Yesterday Brian, Kelly and the kids came yesterday and spent the night with us.  We always have a great time together. 

For the past six months, Pat and I were making plans to downsize and sell our house.  We had already started driving the neighborhoods to see what our next move might be.  I will continue that plan by putting my house up for sale very soon, so I asked Brian and Kelly to help me begin that process by looking at all of my options.  So, I now want you, my friends and family, to know that my house is for sale and you can help me by putting the word out.   It is not listed right now as it would be much better for me if I could sell it without listing it as showing the house just stresses me out.  What I do know is that God has a plan for the kids and I, so I am waiting for direction.   

Today the kids and I went to the McNatt Christmas in Denton.  It is always fun being around the kinfolk, but it didn't quite feel the same with Uncle Mark or Pat not there.  Earlier tonight Garrett had to return to the ER due to a skin infection which is now a staph along with pain. Matt took him last night about 11.  As soon as we walked into the door from Denton, Matt had a migraine that continued to get worse.

If you have read many of my posts, you know that Sundays are my favorite days.  I was just thinking about that today after a friend wished me "sweet peace on your favorite day". My Sundays were my favorite day because it always began with waking up about 8 AM and walking into the living room and seeing Pat in his recliner, drinking coffee, reading the paper and watching the CBS Early Morning show. Just before the show ended, we left for church.  The afternoons were spent hanging out with the kids or just he and I.  Life Group began at 5:30 with hugs, wonderful food and great fellowship.  Many times during our drive home we would share deep thoughts that were initiated by our study or discussions. I don't know if Sundays will be my favorite day least for a while.

Have a blessed week!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Purple Tree of Course!

I had to do it! I turned our Christmas tree to purple of course. The decor in my house is black, brown, red and golds so we are just a bit flashy!

I am sitting at the Centennial Basketball Tournament collecting money at the door for my appointed hour. The tournament will end on Saturday. The Spartans won tonight so they will play tomorrow night.

It has been a very busy week trying to get paper work done and do all the running around required since Pat was promoted. I am a bit overwhelmed with all there is to do and the fact I now have a window company to run. They say when you eat an elephant you take just one bite a time...I am chewing slowly.

Cash is missing Pat and knows that things are not normal around our house, so he has been misbehaving. He is lost too.

Please keep praying for us as we tackle each day. It still does not seem real. We miss you, Dad.

 xoxo Photobucket

Monday, December 5, 2011

Missing Him

I have missed checking in here on CB, but my internet has been down.  Thank you for every message, sweet card, words of encouragement and hugs you have sent our way. We need them.

I can't wrap my brain around the fact that Pat is gone.  I have tremendous peace, but I am missing him so much, particularly today.  I had a crying spell a bit ago and what scares me about that is I am afraid if I start,  I will not stop.  But, I did and I feel better now.  Garrett just got home from practice and it was good to see his handsome face and talk about his day.  I don't think his day was much better and he has ton of homework to make up.  Please pray for him as he goes back to school, settles into a routine and deal with his emotions too. Last night at bedtime, I got two texts from Elizabeth and Matt five minutes a part.  They both wrote:  Missing Dad so much. 

Books are a comfort to me and I found one that is helping me, "Getting to the Other Side of Grief".  Today the author explained it so well.  I lost my kindship last Saturday.  My kindred spirit...the person who cared about the little things in my life. He is the one I finished his sentences and many times we both had the same idea at the same time. I am lost.

In glancing in my Jesus Calling Devotional I ran across the following that I underlined on April 18th:  Peace is my continual gift to you.  It flows abundantly from My throne of grace.  Just as the Israelites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My Peace.  The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me.  Similarly, I give you sufficient Peace for the present, when you come to me by prayer and petition with thanksgiving.  If I gave you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall in toe the trap of self-sufficiency. I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. As your awareness of your neediness increases, so does your realization of My abundant sufficiency.   Approach My throne of grace with bold confidence receiving My Peace with a thankful heart.

God has been so sweet and gentle with me by giving me His word each day. I find my favorite part of the day is when I sit in my chair every morning and seek His face.  He meets me every time.

A perfect prayer: "Lord Jesus, I am alone. Yet I am not alone, for you are with me and are my Friend. Now, Lord, please comfort me, strengthen me and give to Your poor servant everything that You see I need. ~Streams in the Desert