Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Little Angel

Today was the Celebration of Life for my Auntie Sandi.

It was sad; but there was a spirit of joy, as well. And it was a blessing to me.

After the memorial service, it was like a fountain of water spurted forth and I was able to get a lot of my pent-up emotions out and I was able to talk to my mom and share my struggles. A burden lifted and my heart felt lighter.

And now I have a little bit of peace.

Plus, God sent a little angel to me this morning. We were in the car, driving to the church where the service would be held, and I was feeling depressed. My little sister, who is eight turning nine very soon, was drawing in a little notepad.

Next thing I know my sister looks at me, smiles, and hands me her own little drawing of two horses in their stalls, and above the little barn she wrote: You will have peace Izzy.

How did she know that's what I needed?

It seems simple, but it said a lot and I felt a little bit of my burden of struggles lift.

What she wrote is true.

No matter what you're going through, God will give you peace, someway, through someone, something, a scripture, a book, or through a little angel of a sister like I had (and have) today.

I pray that the struggles any of you are going through right now will find a way to sort itself out. I pray that you will find someone to pour your heart out with. I pray you will find the bravery to pour your heart out. I also pray that you will find God's Peace, God's Love, God's Grace.

Because I know our God knows our sorrows and hurts. He weeps with us; He hates to see us suffer.

So He'll be there . . . for you . . . just cry out to Him.

I have to be truthful: I haven't felt God a few times in this journey. But today? I felt Him, and saw Him; I saw Him in people's faces today; I saw Him in Nikki's little note; I saw and felt Him in the peace that washed over me when I talked to my mom.

I pray that the same thing will happen to anyone out there that is struggling, because He's there. Sometimes we can't feel Him but He's always, always there, waiting for you to find Him. He will not let you go! He wants you so much. He Loves You All!!!

Just a little bit of my heart :)


Saturday, January 12, 2019

I'm Home!

Hello, everybody! 

Good news! I'm home! I am very worn out and drained, but I am very glad to be home. 

I don't know when the next chapter of Lord I Need You will be posted; I am exhausted and emotionally spent. 

I also have seemed to have writer's block considering making up fictional stories. The emotional struggle and physical exhaustion sometimes wipes away my ability to write fictional books, and then everything comes back in a matter of time and the stories flow from me again. But for now, I think I am going to take a little break from posting fictional stories. 

If I do post, it will be books I'm reading, or touching songs I've heard, or simple real-life, non-fictional stories that I don't have to make up, usually of something funny or touching that happened here at my house or in my life. 

Just wanted to give everybody a heads up :) :D 

A Song to Go Along with My "Happy Dancing." 

(I love the music video! I laugh every time!! It gives me joy, and I hope it cheers you too!
Happy Dance by MercyMe (click here)
It's hilarious! 

P.S. have any of you email subscribed? If you have, does it work? Just wondering :) 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tears of Joy

This round of treatment has been kind of a struggle. IVs had to be changed three times, instead of only twice, and my heart has been filled with agony, fear, and anger. 

Now my heart is filled with joy, hope, and THANKS. I still have a little fear mixed in, but I love my God, my Jesus Christ, because He is so good!!!!! He is so loving!!! 

Guys, today I found out something amazing. 

ALL MY CANCER IS GONE BUT ONE SPOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm crying tears of joy, just SO THANKFUL FOR A GOD WHO CARES AND WHO LOVES ME, AND YOU!!! 

Thank you all for the prayers. I am so thankful for people like you; I'm so blessed that you guys have showed up in my life; I cannot express my thanks for ALL OF YOU. 

Thank you for the prayers for Uncle Doug and Aunt Sandi. 

The prayers for my family and me. 

And now, I need to ask another request. Most likely radiation will not be needed since my tumor is so small, but it still is a possibility. Radiation, for me, and in the spot where the last tumor is, radiation might cause breast cancer in my future. 

That's the prayers we need now: for no radiation. For these last rounds of chemotherapy to get in there and KILL THAT CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMEN, right? And also that my low-grade fever (99.1) will vanish, and not get worse. At 100.4 I'd have to stay in the hospital :( 


Sorry, I am just filled with joy right now and the good news. 

Thank you, thank you all. πŸ’•❤πŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ™and thank You, thank You, thank You, God!!!! 

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyways" ~ John Wayne

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. 

He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 

You anoint my head with oil' my cup overflows. 

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." ~ Psalm 23 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." ~ Joshua 1:9 

 One of my favorite songs: click here ;) It goes along with Joshua 1:9

~Izzy West

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Week Ahead

Hey, guys! 

I want to say another huge thank you for the prayers; you guys are so amazing. The prayers everyday are giving me the strength I need. 

I am going into another 3-day in-patient round of chemo tomorrow, so unless I feel up to writing and posting in the hospital, there will be no new chapters of Lord I Need You. I will hopefully get to posting after the hospital, but I might be feeling sick, and so it might not happen then either. 

I will try to post as soon as I can again, though, so I don't keep you guys hanging. 

I have decided to change my posting schedule a little, by posting the chapter every other day, rather than every day. If I do that, then I can have a day to prepare the chapter, and then a day so I can just post. 

So, there will be no posting today, tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, unless I feel up to it, and then we'll see about the rest of the week when we get there. If I do feel up to posting, you guys will be seeing a chapter tomorrow, and then on Friday, and then a post on Sunday, and then on Tuesday (like so, throughout the whole week  πŸ˜‰) 

Hope you guys have a wonderful week! See you guys sometime soon!! 😊


Monday, January 7, 2019

Chapter Three of Lord I Need You

Good morning, afternoon, or evening, everyone! 

Today I'll be posting Chapter Three of Lord I Need You. This chapter starts out in Mark's POV, and then switches back to Brody's at the very end. 

Hope you all like it! 

Chapter Three

Mark watched Brody’s lifeless face, hoping that he’d wake up. The blow to his head he hoped had made no internal bleeding or permanent damage.
Oh, please, Lord, keep Brody safe. He cast a glance at the burly thieves crowded around the fire. And please keep us both safe from those men. He carefully scooted to a more comfortable position. It was almost impossible, as he and his brother were both tied up to the trees, ropes wrapped around their bodies. They had both awoken in thick crowding of trees; not a forest, but something man-made, abandoned years ago. The trees and underbrush had just grown and grown and now it made an excellent hideout for outlaws.
Brody stirred, eyes fluttering. Mark gasped and wished he could be free so he could tend to his big brother. “Brody!” he cried. “Brody!”
The boy’s lips parted and an awful moan slipped out. He groaned again and his eyes flew open. “M-Mark?”
“Hey.” Mark’s eyebrows furrowed in worry. “You okay?”
“I hurt all over,” Brody rasped. He groaned again. “Oh, Mark,” he moaned, “where are we?”
“An outlaw’s camp,” Mark growled, glaring at the turned backs of the bandits. “We’re kidnapped.”
Brody moaned. He looked horrible; his arms were crusted with dried blood, his torn shirt showed cuts and scrapes, and the cut on his head from Reckless’ hoof had dripped blood, now dried on Brody’s cheek and temple. His lips were cracked and bloody from his teeth biting them and his eyes red after being irritated by dirt. Mark turned back to the men. “Hey!” he shouted, perhaps unwise. “My brother’s really hurtin’. Aren’t you gonna do anything?”
The biggest, the one who had grabbed Brody, turned around. Spotting Brody’s battered body and cuts, he stood up. “Sure. There’s a stream down there; ya two can go wash up, and ya” – He pointed at Mark – “can wash his wounds with this.” He tossed Mark a heavy bottle of whiskey. Mark’s stomach lurched. I don’t want anything to do with alcohol. But when he looked at Brody, and the dirty, bloody wounds, his heart skipped a beat. But Brody needs me. If he doesn’t get washed, then he could get infection.
And die. Mark shuddered as the huge bandit cut away their binds. His eyes flashed fire and he growled loudly, “An’ if ya try t’ run away, I’ll kill yer whole ranch, steal everythin’, and take yer family, too.”  
Mark gulped. That was a dire threat, and one the man could easily carry out. The outlaw handed him a clean rag. Mark grabbed Brody’s hand and slowly made his way to the gully. Supporting Brody with his entire body, Mark eased himself down into the gully, helping Brody’s limp body all the way. When reaching the stream cutting the valley in half, Brody peeled his shirt off and stepped into the water. It was only waist high, so he lowered himself to his knees and dunked.
Mark drenched the rag in whiskey. “Okay, Brody,this is gonna hurt – a lot. Can you take it?”
Brody’s face went white, and his eyes showed his fear, but he nodded. “If it will help me live, yes.”
“We’ll start on this cuts on your chest.” Mark waded into the stream after his brother, took a deep breath, and said, “Here we go.” He stuck the smelly, whiskey-drenched rag onto one of the bloody slashes, then dabbed. Brody screamed and jumped back, his eyes flashing with pain.
Tears sprang to Mark’s eyes. “I’m so sorry, Brody. I – I . . .” Fear engulfed him; his heart ached for his parents, for his brother, and he wished he were home. He was so scared. So, so scared.
Brody took a shuddering breath, eyes locked on Mark’s teary ones. “It’s not your fault, Markie. I’m sorry. You come do it; now. If I scream, keep going.”
Mark drenched the rag again and cleaned all the wounds on Brody’s chest. By the time they were done, Brody was clenching his teeth, clenching his fists, and tears were in his eyes. “My arms,” he rasped.
Mark drenched the rag, then worked on his arms. Brody’s breath quickened and his moaned. “Oh, it hurts!”
Mark didn’t stop, but his heart thumped fast. When he was done, Brody dunked in the cool water. When he came up, Mark poured the whiskey over the wounds. Brody yelled nonsense, then stopped. “Okay,” he huffed, his breathing fast, his chest heaving. “Now my head.”
Mark cleaned his head wound, then Brody dunked his head. Finally, he tipped his head to the side and let Mark dribbled the whiskey onto the wound.
“They look fine,” Mark at last announced. Tears streaked his cheeks. “Oh, Brody.” His shoulders shook with sobs.
“Hey, hey, I’m fine.” Brody managed a hug. “Don’t cry, little brother. We’ll get outta this mess; I promise.”
Mark swiped at the tears, ashamed of them. “Okay.” Then with fury, he chucked the whiskey and rag into the bushes. Then he grinned sheepishly at Brody. “Sorry.”
Brody coaxed a laugh up and was surprised to find it felt good. So he laughed again, this time for real. “It’s fine.”
The two brothers hurried back up the gully’s walls, then back into camp. Without speaking, the huge outlaw tossed both boys a new set of clothes. They changed, and when the outlaw came with ropes, Mark stepped in front of Brody, eyes flashing with fury. “No. We won’t be tied up; especially with the condition Brody is in. We’ll stay; we won’t run away. We know what you’ll do if we run.”
An evil smile split the outlaw’s face. “Fine.” He stalked off, lit a cigar, and motioned for the boys to come to the fire. Dry johnnycake was passed out. Mark bit into it hungrily, then welcomed the tough chicken the outlaw’s offered him.
“You two are gonna help me an’ me buddies with stealin’ yer own cattle,” the outlaw laughed, glad to have their attention. Brody’s jaw tightened.
The outlaw went on. “Ya two can call me Andy. This is Eddy and Cook.” He motioned to the other two. “Eddy’s a ranch hand who was cheated on, and Cook’s a ranch cook who hated his job. I’m a born rustler.” He roared his laughter. “You two seem t’ have guts, so ya both will be a big help in rustlin’.”
Mark wanted to speak, but he knew he’d flip if he did. The bandit’s words shoved daggers into his gut. Steal my own cattle! I can’t do that to Pa.
“If yer thinkin’ ya could stop me, ya can’t,” the outlaw growled, glaring at Mark. “I have a great plan, and ya will carry it out, if ya want yer family t’ live.”
Mark swallowed a scream.
“First, ya two will ride back to yer ranch, but ya won’t stay. Ya both’ll go to the west flats an’ tell them cowboys ya have orders from yer pa t’ drive the cattle to the prairie. Instead o’ goin’ t’ the prairie, ya both are gonna head that way, then turn and meet me in the gully – with the cattle.” He chuckled wickedly. “Nobody’ll ’spect it. They’ll jes’ think it’s ya two, wantin’ t’ follow orders from yer pa.”
It was indeed clever, but Mark saw no joke in it. “This is awful,” he snapped. “You’re just a stupid outlaw with no brains. How could you do this to us? My brother’s injured, I’m scared half out of my wits, and you want us to steal our own branded cattle?” His voice rose. “I hate this! Let us go back home! I –” He got no further. With a curse, Andy sprang up and cuffed his head – hard. Mark howled and clutched his ear.
“You don’t sass me, boy,” Andy shouted. “If ya do, I’ll beat ya!”
Brody shot to his feet. “Leave my brother alone.”
Andy swore. “Ya two?” He raised his hand for a blow, but Mark jumped up. Fury swallowed him. He was so mad. With a screaming yell, he launched at Andy, slammed into the outlaw, and gave a mighty push. Andy staggered backwards. Eddy and Cook roared with laughter.
Andy didn’t see anything funny about it. He charged at the boys, teeth bared.
“Run!” screamed Brody. He took Mark’s hand and the boys crashed through the bushes, far, far away, the promise of not running forgotten.
They kept running. Brody’s wounds altered his steps, but he gave the pain not a second thought. He kept running, dragging Mark behind him. We need to get away and tell Pa! his mind screamed. But when they were finally hidden in a circle of scraggly bushes, his brain told him to go back. You can stop him yourself. Andy said you couldn't, but I bet you could. Mark knocked him over. Brody glanced at Mark, who cowered against a tree trunk, eyes roving every bush. Poor Mark. Poor me. Poor us! Brody looked at his chapped hands. Yeah, we can't go home. I heard Andy’s threat. He’ll waste no time going home and hurting Pa, Ma, and the girls.
Go back! He glanced behind his shoulder. Say you’re sorry, then find some witty way to stop Andy, Eddy, and Cook. It sounded stupid, but the more Brody thought about it, the more he was able to get his thoughts wittier and wittier. He forgot about a sorry, but instead thought that perhaps the two could go back and admit they were stupid to run, accept whatever punishment (if it wasn't too horrible), and that they were stuck for sure and wouldn't try running again. They would act like silly little boys.
And so his plan began to unfold, starting with a return to their enemy's nest.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Teensy Post


Today I am sad to say I have no new chapters for Lord I Need You, and today we are leaving for the rest of the day (perhaps, we're going out to lunch and then may go see Uncle Doug) and I have no time to write. 

So today there will be no "real" post, I'm sorry. 

Tomorrow I'll see what I can do, but my life is very busy lately and posting can be a little hard to fit in. 

See y'all tomorrow! 

Izzy West

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Chapter Two, a Little Late

Sorry for bein' late! My sister was baptized today, and then we had an celebration party afterwards, and then my cuz came over, so I've had a busy day and totally forgot to post! LOL! 

Chapter Four 

Supper was a very quiet meal. Bertha sat in her chair, swirling her mashed potatoes around with her fork, then nibbling a little, and then setting her fork down, sighing, and then repeating. Dan slouched in his seat, stewing over the rustlers and thieves, a hint of anger flashing in his eyes; plate neglected. Abby sat tight-lipped and straight-backed, finishing her supper only to pick at her berry crisp. Mark teased Maggie a bit, then got frustrated and pulled her braid. When Maggie howled and kicked him under the table, Bertha snapped at them to “Be quiet an’ eat yer supper!”
Brody sighed and stabbed the crisp. It was delicious – Bertha’s specialty – but he had no will to eat. His brain turned the subject of thieves over and over in his mind, and before long it started to drive him nuts. He stuck a bite of crisp in his mouth, swallowed with a bit of a struggle, and stood up suddenly, pushing his chair back.
“Brody?” Bertha glanced at him questioningly. “Are ya okay? Ya look a mite pale.”
Brody shrugged. “I – I’m fine. It’s just – I feel horrible about the thieves and the missing cattle and horses, and I – I need to go see Sunny.” It sounded pathetic, but it was his heart’s wish and he mournfully gazed at his father. “Really, Pa, I’m terribly sorry. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Dan simply shrugged and shoved his veggies into a pile of potatoes. He grunted.
Pa’s out of sorts, Brody thought, watching his pa waste food he’d never waste. I guess I am,
too. I usually eat faster than Mark and – He turned to where the younger boy was devouring his second helping of crisp – and Mark eats fast, and he also eats a lot. Brody shook his head and discouraged his thoughts of food. Quickly, he skirted the edge of the table and broke out of the dining room. Lengthening his stride, Brody burst outside and broke into a run.
After reaching the barn, the boy hurried to Sunny’s stall. He stroked the sturdy neck. Whatever shall I do for Pa? He’s so worn out already just thinking of the missing Mustangs and cattle.
The next thought that broke into his head startled him.
No, I can’t do that, Brody argued with the thought. That’s too dangerous.
Really? he argued back. You could try. It would help your pa lots.
Brody stared at Sunny, maybe hoping the mare could help him decide. The horse just grabbed more food and closed her eyes. The boy sighed. Sure. I’ll do it.
Brody stepped out of Sunny’s stall, rushed to the barn door, and stuck his head outside. Daylight was fading fast. If he wanted to follow his plan, he’d need to saddle the buckskin quickly and hurry down to the Mustangs canyon before darkness fell.
So he turned to grab Reckless’ – the buckskin – saddle and then ran to tack his gelding up, not knowing what he was getting himself into.


The whole time Reckless was trotting down the steep trail leading into the canyon corralling the Mustangs, Brody’s mind chanted Stop the thieves, stop the thieves. That was what this was all about: he’d stop the thieves from stealing more animals, and in doing so relieve his pa of the work that came with catching rustlers.
Many questions had filtered into Brody’s mind as he rode his buckskin towards the large herd, now minused in size. Like, are the horse thieves cohorting with the rustlers, or are they both loners striking at the same time? And, are the horse thieves and rustlers the same people, striking out for both animals so they can start a good ranch? He remembered the suspicious family that moved onto the barren ranch neighboring the border of the Sharps’ ranch. Could they be stealing? Mr. Grey seemed odd enough, and very quiet, sneaky-eyed, and sly. Mrs. Grey was gossipy some days and tighter lipped than a stone-statue on others. Their kids?
Bullies, Brody thought, reining Reckless in. He sat ride by the lead mare of the herd. She was a dark brown, Roman nosed mare and when Reckless nickered, the horse gaze him a ruthless glare. She snorted and pawed, blowing fire from her nostrils.
At her restless pawing, the herd shifted as one. Then a horse –a sturdy, majestic pinto – leaped from the other side and thundered up to Reckless. It was the stallion. It reared up and screamed at the gelding. Brody yelped and Reckless sidestepped.
When the stallion at last realized Reckless wasn’t here to steal his mares – that were remaining – and the lead mare saw Reckless as friend, not foe, Brody was finally able to lead his mount calmly to a bush, tie him up, and settle himself quietly under a rocky overhang. He leaned back, pulled his knees up to his chest, and wrapped his arms around them, his head relaxed back on the rock, eyes watching the moon. It was a peaceful night.
And it stayed peaceful. No riders came into view, no new horses; not even a bird or owl or bat flew about. A coyote howled once, then all was still. Brody drifted off to sleep.
He work with a start. The sun peeked over the eastern horizon, just saying its first small hello. Brody didn’t know what had woken him, but all he knew was that he’d somehow gotten from his curled-up position on the wall, to a sprawled position under the massive stomach of Reckless.
Brody groaned and rolled out from under the gelding. The horse looked at him, shocked that this obnoxious human being had come out from under him. Brody glared back and stood up, brushing the dust from his clothes. “I think, since there’s no horses stolen, that –”
Brody yelped and flung himself at Reckless. The horse’s head jerked up and he neighed in fright. Suddenly, a loud “YAHOO!” split the air. Close to stampeding, the Mustang herd tensed, but then relaxed when a very rambunctious Mark Sharp appeared.
“There you are!” Mark shouted, waving. He straddled his horse bareback, in overalls, and
all the horse wore for a bridle was a rope halter with a rope fastened to the nose piece. “I’ve been lookin’ all over for you. Ma’s worried sick.”
“Great. Ma found out.” Brody peered towards the east, hand over eyebrows. “It’s late early already?”
“It’s six o’clock. Ma’s been up for an hour already. So’s Pa. He’s wondering why you aren’t getting up to help herd the Mustangs back to the prairie and the cattle back onto the flat.”
Brody moaned.
Mark continued. “Looks like you’re already with the Mustangs. I’ll go tell Pa.”
“Oh.” Brody unwound Reckless’ reins from the bush. “Okay. Well, I could always ride back with you. No biggy. I –”
Another sharp crack echoed about the canyon. It was a louder one, more like a gunshot. It only took moments for Brody to realize the sound was a gunshot. He shouted to Mark and quickened with his work on Reckless’ saddle.
Too late. Another deep explosion closer made the canyon’s loose rocks shake and drop. A few small rockslides dropped from the walls, the rocks thudding against the ground. Then shouts rose, coming from the entrance to the canyon: course laughs, hoarse voices, and words that made Brody’s mind flip to his folks and Mark’s eyes widen. “Are they cussin’?” he asked.
Brody made no comment. The chaos around him continued and then, in a split second, the Mustangs screamed, whirled, and stampeded, manes and tails flying. Reckless watched in awe, wondering why he wasn’t joining in. Then, with a whinny, Reckless kicked up his heels and bolted. Brody’s arms yanked hard, his shoulders feeling torn from the sockets. Mark shouted, Brody felt sharp, horrible pain radiate through his body as Reckless dragged him over sharp rocks and pointy branches. Shirt and skin were torn away, leaving a bloody mess. Brody watched as his arms became redder and redder with blood, and then he started to shout. “Mark! HELP!!” He was cut out when Reckless’ hoof pounded into his elbow, and then his rib cage. His fingers slipped on the leather rein and then somehow he got caught under Reckless’ hooves again, the reins were so short.
Crunch. Blood was left on the ground when the gelding stepped on Brody’s fingers. He caught a glimpse of the crushed, helpless fingers – he couldn’t move them, he couldn’t feel anything there except for pain – and then Reckless’ hoof hit his head.
He screamed.
And then all was still. Reckless broke away and ran far, far away, disappearing with the herd.
Brody lay still, trying to breath (he couldn’t), trying to control the pain. It was so great: his fingers were demolished, gone, hurting so much he couldn’t bear it; his rib cage screamed; his limbs protested with every move; his head pounded, throbbed, ached, screamed, stung, and bled and bled and bled. At last he staggered to his feet, aching. He groaned, bent over, hands on knees, weaving back and forth. Dizziness engulfed him. The irony stench of blood filled his nostrils, his eyes were gritty with dirt.
Mark shouted again, this time his voice filled with fear. Suddenly, his voice was muffled and he made sounds of struggling. A curse erupted, followed by more scuffling and grunts. Brody straightened up fast, but that was a mistake. Very, very dizzy and in lots of pain, Brody tried to gather his wits. I’m gonna faint, he realized with disappointment, his stomach turning over. Gagging, Brody blinked against the brightening sun, his world spinning.
Before he blacked out, a rough hand wrapped around his mouth. “Wonderin’ why ya two boys are out ’ere, lad.” A rough chuckle cracked in his ear. “Too late t’ make an escape, though. I gotcha and yer brother, and ya never are gonna get away. I know ya both are the sons of Mr. Dan Sharp, and ya both are gonna help get the cattle and horses t’ be ours; all ours.”
Brody fainted, the pain, dizziness, and shock too much for his brain to handle.

Thank y'all for praying!