Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Most of my thoughts for this blog come to me at night, just as I'm about to drift off to sleep (with the help of some marvelous pills).  The sentences sound great as they are forming in my head.  Unfortunately, that marvelous sleepy time medicine, must also be a mind eraser.  I can remember what I want to convey, but not the route I will take to get there.  Very frustrating! (side note: after having to search for the (!) I just used, it is frustrating that Ipad does not have the standard keyboard)

Anyway, this week marks the two year anniversary of the doctors telling us I was terminal and would not beat this cancer.  It was on a Wednesday.  I had already fought the cancer battle for a year and thought it was behind me.  Now they were saying I could keep fighting but I would not win.  When I asked how long he thought I might live, the doctor said 2 to 2 1/2 years.  You do the math.  I remember crying in the office.  I think Steve held it together until we got to the car.  We made it home and out to the deck.  We cried, prayed and talked, then we went to church.  The news had traveled fast, so folks were surprised to see us there.  I remember thinking, "where else were we suppose to go?"

I'm glad I chose to continue to fight.  It has not been an easy battle, at times the side effects have left me crumpled on the floor crying.  But the good days are so good and sweet, that each time the doc asks if I want to keep going, I say a resounding YES!  Last week I didn't make it out of bed.  But today I am on my deck, feeling the breeze, enjoying the view of all the flowers Steve has planted for me, hearing the birds sing...yep, it's a glorious day!

Darn it!  Three rambling paragraphs and I haven't even touched on what I wanted to say!  I guess I will have to start again tomorrow.

After thought:  When they told us 2 1/2 years we didn't circle a date on the calendar.  Each day is ordained by God, whether I live one more day, six more months or six more years.


Sunday, April 8, 2012


For the past 3 years I have been posting either here or on CaringBridge. I have posted things I think about, updates on my health and scripture that is meaningful to me. When diagnosed I wanted the fight and the outcome to be to the Glory of God. I've always believed it is the duty and priviledge of a Christian to share their faith not only through words, but with their life.

I am not perfect and I don't have it all figured out. But during my quiet time yesterday I read something that seemed to leap off the page at me. It was a passage out of book by Beth Moore. If you are not familiar with her studies, let me just say - they are awesome! She will pull the significant words from a scripture verse and give the Greek translation and it's meaning, which gives a deeper, better understanding of the Word. The following is how the Word came to life for me, I hope you get as much joy out of reading it as I did writing it.

"Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance". James 1:2

Definition of perseverance: "nerving up" or "heroic endurance".

Perseverance is not a passive thing. It is an action, a choice. James tells us that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. That does not mean that when our faith is tested, when we are going through trials we should run to a corner and cover our heads. We shouldn't cower, biding our time until the storm clouds depart. We should "nerve up", strap on our full armor of God and stand strong. A picture of Superman comes to mind. Standing strong, his feet planted firmly, hands on his hips and his chin held high.

I know during trials there are days that we feel like we can't go on. Perseverance is the furtherest thing from our mind. There are days I look for that corner to hide in, trying to wish away my disease. But then I will get a second wind, from a friend or a scripture verse that comes to mind. I take a deep breath, steady my feet and ask God to help me stand strong again. James 1:4 says perseverance must finish its work so you can be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. Wow, I must need a lot of work!

Psalm 34:18, "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit". So while our perseverance is being developed, we are not alone. God is right there with us, through the doubts, the fears and long, dark nights.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you". 1 Peter 5:7

Some days are hard. but remember the victory is ours!

Monday, April 2, 2012

She is perched high in her nest, looking over the last of the winter leaves swirling in the wind. The journey of this last evidence of winter is slowed only by the early shoots of spring, the tender blades are no match for the windblown leaves so their journey continues. The mama bird has been patiently caring for her soon-to-be hatchling. She has sat for hours on end with her body protecting her young child. The warmth of her body has shielded him from the cold winds and the curious looks from squirrels and other predators. As her wings wrap around him she coos to him softly to calm his fears.

As time passes, mama bird knows that it will soon be time for her little one to test his wings. She whispers to him softly, instilling courage and confidence as she teaches him the lessons he will need when he departs the only home he's ever known.

The day arrives and baby bird is trying to hide his trepidation and doesn't notice that mama bird is having the same feelings. She looks him over and fluffs his new feathers, reminding him of the lessons she has taught him. He climbs on the edge of the nest and looks at the ground far below then looks at the sky that beckons him. Mama keeps calming encouraging him, she tells him how strong and brave he has become. At her urging, he slowly steps of the ledge of his home. He begins spiraling downward, fearing he had forgotten everything he was taught. Mama looks nervously from the ledge and sees him getting closer to the ground. She is filled with self-doubt. Did she not teach the correct lessons, was she pushing him out too soon. Her instincts tell her to rush down, catch her son and bring him safely back to the nest. They could wait a few weeks and try again. But she kept her place, believing her son was well equipped for the journey.

Just a few feet from the ground, baby bird seemed to gather his courage. He began to flap his tiny wings and the faster he flapped the stronger he became. He began to rise higher and higher, growing stronger and stronger. Soon he was circling and showing off for his mom. She watched him, laughing and clapping, full of joy for him. He flew past the nest one more time, winked at his mom and started his new life on his own.

Mama had tears of joy! The lessons and encouragement had come to fruition. Her son was grown now. There will always be an empty spot in the nest where he rested his head. He no longer needs her protection and warmth, but the time they spent growing together will always keep their hearts connected.

As my days go by, I think of my children in a type of time capsules. I think of cute things they did as babies, their favorite books, favorite toys. I worked and was not able to spend the time I wanted with them when they were young. It seemed as if we spent most of our time traveling to ball games, ballet and music lessons. I always wanted to nurture their passions - the things they loved. I was sure Allie would find a vocation in music, but her love is the written word. I knew Andrew would be in the military, but I thought it would be his career. He has become the music lover in the family and wants to pursue that passion.

My intention was to raise my children with confidence to go out into the world. I wanted them to stand up for what they believe in, to love what is right and to hate what is wrong. I love what they have become. They are both incredibly independent. Allie is the woman I wish I had been at her age. Independent, hard working, involved in civic affairs and charities. When an interview panel asked her if she was an animal, what would she be, she surprised them by saying "a duck". That is a perfect description of her. She looks calm to those around her, but underneath she is always busy paddling.

Andrew is strong, courageous, and loyal. I am very proud of the man he has become. We share the "gift" of stubbornness, so we locked horns many times. You will always know what he thinks on any subject. Outspoken would be an understatement. When he was about 10 years old, a friend of mine witnessed him speaking his mind. She said, "once the Word gets a hold of him, he will be a strong witness for God". I believe we are beginning to see that transition for him and it fills my heart with joy.

I have been incredibly blessed with these children. I am humbled that God trusted me to care for them and love them with all my heart.

"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me."