Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Small Things

The season turns colds. 

The harsh winter winds blow in slowly, yet steadily, calling for its companion. 

Snow falls blanketing the hard, frozen ground underneath. 

It lingers.


Beautiful white, yet barren.


The life that existed before, is no longer. 

The vibrant green, turned a rustic orange and red. 


Then gone. 

Leaving a stark piece of wood in its place. 

The dead of winter. Literally and figuratively.

Resting. Waiting. Hopeful. Tired.

The hour unknown. But expectation looms.

And then, a teeny, tiny glimpse of what lies ahead. 

Maybe only a glimpse. But it is there. 






The work of the hand of the all mighty Creator.


"Don't despair. I'm working behind the scenes."

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is NEW creation; old things have passed away, behold, ALL things have become NEW." 2 Corinthians 5:17

"And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey." Joshua 9:13

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, That if may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater." Isaiah 55:10

The snow lays even still. 

But the bud, it is trying to peak forth. 

Yeah, but the small things in which I will rejoice. 

From two sparse lashes, to enough to curl. Yes, the small, but oh so significant. 

You see on the outside the work being done on the inside. 

Blessed be HIS name. 

And thank you Aunt Kay, for the "Miracle Grow!" You are a gift.

Much love,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A different point of view

"But from God's point of view....." Romans 4:2 (NLT)

A few weekends ago, I asked my husband if he would kindly use his mighty strong arms and help me change the master bedroom around. This was not an unusual request, as moving furniture around is a commonplace at our home. It began in my childhood, as my mother would come into my "shared" bedroom and just sigh as the bed moved from location to location. It didn't go over well, when I made a line of demarcation down the center of my bedroom, separating my side from my little sister's. The furniture line that yelled, "Do not cross." Not a highlight of my furniture moving days, but one that is laughed about now.

But you see the point. I like change and sometimes that change comes in just moving around the furniture. My husband has grown to appreciate this love of mine, as it saves us lots of money. A piece of furniture becomes completely new when it is moved from one corner to the next or from room to room. No new furniture is needed, just a repositioning of the old. A new vantage point to take in the surroundings.

And new vantage points are good, for they give us a different point of view. A new perspective. New appreciation.

As I was vacuuming our bedroom earlier this week, I looked around the room, taking in the new bed placement. Scanning the long wall that once held our bed and now stands tall behind the dresser. The pictures were repositioned and the room seems so much larger. I smiled to myself, pleased with the new arrangement. The old became new once more. My eyes took in a whole new surrounding. New possibilities were opened up.

And it got me thinking about God, as much of life does. That often in our walk with Him, we can have a one track, never tested, never tried point of view. A selfish, "Me" point of view. Saying this is just how I was raised. I believe this or that about God because that is what I've been told. But we don't go to His Word, open it and dig into Him ourselves allowing Him to change our thinking with His Truths.  We settle for the arrangement of the furniture and constantly buy new things to fill the open spaces of our hearts. We put Him in a box and put our lives in the box with Him, saying this is as good as it is going to get. This is all He has for me.  There is no hope. And sometimes,  through a particular "arrangement", all we see is fog. We settle, looking inward, instead of outward and upward, instead of living fully the life God has planned for us.

Often our point of view is what needs to be changed. God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We need to change and sometimes, the surroundings need to change for the heart to be opened and able to receive. For the eyes to be focused on something different. Ultimately on Him and not ourselves.

Moses needed this. Born in Egypt and raised as an Egyptian Prince, he fled to Midian where he spent 40 years as a shepherd in the desert. Yes, the Arabian desert was where God needed him so He could  do some major heart surgery. Where Moses' grand vision of helping his people faded into a distant memory as he grows more humbled by the passage of time and the harshness of the desert. It is where God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. Where God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Where Moses accepted God's call. God was there. And from here, Moses went back to Egypt, seeing a scene completely different after his encounter with God. Moses becomes a deliverer.

God did the same with Paul. As Paul traveled to Damascus, there he was met on that road, by God. His scene was greatly interrupted. Paul planned on going to Damascus and dragging the believing Jews back to Jerusalem and persecuting them for their faith in Christ.  God had different plans. Instead, God was going to move around some furniture and change perspective. Do some major heart work. Blinded by God, Paul was taken to Damascus, and as the veil of lies fell off his eyes and heart by the hand of God,  he would go on and preach Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, but first he, too, spent a few years in the Arabian Desert. (Gal. 1:17,18). A new point of view. Paul became a writer and missionary sold out for Christ.

We all need our vantage points changed from time to time. A new point from which we take in the view.  And from that new point, often comes a new, deeper perspective. Clarity. Focus. Movement. Direction.

And it is that point that we view from that often needs rearranging. The interior furniture. From an "it's all about me point of view" to "it's all about Him and for Him point of view."

Sometimes that change has to come about in the desert. Sometimes along the road. Sometimes in suffering. If we are lucky, it happens on the mountain....or maybe a combination of them all. Right now, for me, it has been through cancer where God is doing some rearranging.

Either way, the point of view affects all tentacles of life. It makes us useful, or useless. It impacts relationships. It impacts our faith. It impacts marriage. It impacts parenthood. It impacts life. But most importantly, it impacts our relationship with Jesus Christ.

And it opens up new possibilities. Moses lead the Israelites to freedom. Paul saw thousands of lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Suffering becomes joy. Ashes become beauty. Bondage becomes freedom.

And in my little corner of my bedroom.....a little nook was found that always was there, yet undiscovered. That nook now holds a chair (from the family room) and a small side table (again, from the family room), and has become my spot to curl up and be quiet before the Lord.  And the room has taken on a whole new appearance with new uses. A whole new point of view.

May we all yield to God's rearranging. Knowing that with the rearranging comes whole new possibilities!

Much love,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

We played hooky.... of the beauties that blanket homeschooling. I love the flexibility it affords. And some much needed family time.

Early in the week, the weatherman was forecasting some snow for our area. Not a lot, but enough to get us excited about hitting the slopes, once again. To add to that beauty, a good friend blessed us with a handful of free lift tickets to a new favorite ski spot close by. We played the wait and see game, waiting to see it the snow would actually come (you know those weatherman have been known to be wrong), and to see if my husband's calendar stayed open for that day. It did.

The only hiccup was my scheduled radiation. You can't easily play hooky from cancer. It has a way of showing up and staying around, and permeating every aspect of life. As the week wore on, I discussed this with my radiation nurses, whom I might add, I have grown to love. We joke. We laugh together each day. Our lives are becoming connected. Cancer does that. A beauty of the disease. A beauty that I love, as I am a connected person. I actually look forward to seeing them everyday. Crazy, I know.

Ok, I digress. Too many thoughts stirred up in my head.

I asked the nurses if I could change my time on Friday from 1:45 to early morning, telling them that we were going to try to take the kids skiing. They willingly obliged. On Thursday, as the snow seemed imminent, we discussed through Friday morning's treatment, as the snow was due to arrive overnight. It would make for a slippery ride to the Radiation Oncology Dept. in the early morning hours.  Testing the waters, I asked what would happen if I missed a day? Would that be ok? And they said the day would just get added on to the end. With that information, and the above pieces creating a beautiful picture..... I did in fact play hooky and off to the slopes we went.

I have a lot of momma guilt that I have been dealing with lately. That I should be doing more. Being more present when I can. More engaged. And the daily stress of leaving each day for treatment, begins to wear on us all. It is hard. This round of treatment presses in on all fronts of daily home life, unlike chemo, where you got a "normal week" between bi-weekly treatments. Both sides are beasts with different names. And then I come home from treatment and just feel tired. And the selfish me rears its ugly head, as all I want to do is crawl into bed and shut everything out for just a little while and rest, decompress, close my eyes.

I haven't found the balance just yet.

And so, Friday, I put it all aside, and off to the slopes we went. Not that I'll make a habit of doing this, but yesterday, it felt good and the kids thanked us as we drove home at the end of the day.

On a side note, midway into the day, Seth came back to the ski lodge saying his head hurt, his body ached and his belly wasn't quite right. He put two chairs together and laid in the lodge for the afternoon. We left early in the evening because he just wasn't feeling well. He awoke in the night and thankfully made it to the bathroom just in time.  The stomach bug has officially invited itself into our home. I pray no one else gets hit with it.

Our little snow bunny. She has finally mastered skiing independently after hours of snowplowing alongside daddy. 

Jed and I spent most of the morning skiing together. Well he snowboards. I ski. He is quite good  I might add and many an adult snowboarder stopped us yesterday asking how old he was.
And one even said, "Wow, he boards better than I do!"

Me and my little boy riding to the top. 

Getting in line to do it all again. 

Ben, Luke and daddy riding up the lift. So much fun!!

Much love,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In an Instant....

Last night, I was reading the updates on a mother, wife and sister in Christ, Joanne. Somehow, I ended up on her blog, having never been introduced to her before, I lingered for awhile reading of all that she has endured these last 8 days.  She needs our prayers. On Jan. 12th, this 38 year old woman, suffered a massive stroke. She is in the ICU in a medicated-induced coma, following brain surgery to release the pressure that built up in her brain. Her future uncertain.

And it all happened in an instant.....

One minute she was fine and the next...found by her daughter on the floor shaking violently. 911 called and life forever changed.

In an instant.

Her story runs deep to my core for many reasons. You see, that was my mother, 36 years ago and the girls who were with her when her stroke occurred: Me, age 3 and my older sister, age 6 1/2. My memory is fuzzy because I was a wee little one. But I remember spilling the milk. I remember my mom was waiting for my dad to come home from work. I remember the room. I remember mom on the couch, I remember my dad walking in the door.....and then from there......nothing. A blank screen.

My mother was pregnant with my little sister, at the time of her stroke. My mom was taken to the hospital suffering a massive brain aneurysm. My sister, Tasha,  delivered by c-section, a healthy woman today. I was sent to live with my Aunt Kay who became my mother for that year, and in many ways has filled that role in the years since.

Life as we knew it changed an instant. 

A family of 4 changed to a family of 5....geographically split for the 6+ months that my mother was in the hospital. When she came home, nurses frequented the house, an aunt lived with us and then a nanny took over many of the mothering duties. Mom was in a wheelchair for a long time having been left with left side paralysis and diminished brain function.  Those memories of my childhood are framed by pictures and photographs, stories told and retold. They aren't my own.

Those days gone from my memorybank. 

And then our family of 5 went back to a family of 4, as my parents divorced and my mother went on to raise us girls by herself. She fought the uphill battle, beating the odds. She walked, when doctors said she wouldn't. Many years later, she drove, when again, doctor's said it wouldn't happen. And she sacrificed everything for us girls, doing the best that she knew how.

I don't know what Joanne's story will be. Only God does. I pray her recovery defies the odds and she is healed and restored. God can do that, and more.

But what I know is that we are not promised tomorrow.

"All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as a the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the Word of the LORD endures forever." 1 Peter 1:24-25

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

In an instant.....
life can be changed......

....a son is born prematurely as his mother's life hangs in the balance.

....the doctor tells you your son has a random, fatal genetic condition and he will either die while still growing within or may live for hours following his birth, at most. sister's husband of 20 years, shares that his interests lie in others areas....areas that don't include her. mother goes for a walk and gets hit by a car from behind, suffering another brain injury.

.....the doctor calls and says, "the pathology came back showing cancer."

And the lens is polished and shined as you come to look at the future differently, and look at each moment as a gift because life as you know it, can change in an instant.

We all have our "instants."

So, how are you living your todays?

Are you loving deeply..... telling those around you that they matter?

Are you investing in people or in things?

Are you harboring unforgiveness and bitterness or are you pursuing peace and reconciliation?

Are you saying you'll do it tomorrow......or embracing your today?

Are you living for your self, or living for God, the very one who put that breath in your lungs?

And if that instant of change comes along your you have a hope outside of this life? A faith in He who endures forever?

Do you know that Christ came to give you life.....eternal inheritance that is incorruptible?

An inheritance that waits for you, as does He. He won't push Himself on you. He isn't that way.

But He waits. As a patient Father. As a loving Father. As your Redeemer.....for you.....

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..." Acts 16:31

May we all live as if today is our last day. No regrets. Secure in the arms of our Lord and Savior. 

Please pray for Joanne and her family, that God would give them many, many tomorrows. 

Much love,

Monday, January 17, 2011

Radiation Update - 1st Vlog - 2 Timothy 4:17

Last week proved to be a busy week as I adjusted to adding radiation treatments to my daily schedule. So, sorry for the silence this last week. A lot of newness and change was added, not just for me, but my husband and children.  This is my first attempt at posting a vlog, and that too, proved to be a learning curve and a test of my patience as I learned how to upload it!! I am not a technical person, and we don't have a video camera, so I attempted using my laptop's webcam....I don't think I'll do this very often, but thought it would be a quick and more personal way to let you all know how my new treatment was going....and you get to see my new hair....probably more exciting for me than you...but thought I'd share!

Thanks so much for your ongoing prayers! God is faithful and continues to carry us each step of the way. Much love to you all!

Here we go.....:)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Battle Cry

8 months into the battle and herein lies my cry.

When the battle had just begun I remember sitting in worship one Sunday morning as this song rang through the sanctuary. Voices and hands raised, together.

It was new to me that day. A worship song I had never heard before but the words so alive and real. I've been on the battleground before.  The words flooded through my mind and ran to the deepest parts of my heart.  My voice lifted with the rest.

The battle field laid before me and the opposing army was coming....the diagnosis still fresh, as a wound that has just been afflicted dripping drops of bright red blood. Breast cancer thronged in my ears. My surgery on the horizon and over that hill the landscape was unknown, but there was the enemy charging forth.

I stood. Armed in the power of His might ready to declare His name.

I remember many a Sunday the pull in my heart to be among God's people, worshipping together. Maybe, you too, can relate to this draw. As an army stands against the enemy collectively and yet, you too, stand individually. And together the power of God blankets His people and possess you.

The power is so strong. You can't deny it and are brought to your knees in a posture of praise and worship.

He alone is worthy. He alone is God. And because of Him, no weapon on this earth or in the hands of the enemy can be used to defeat the power that God possess.

Oh, the battle ensues and Satan tries to take us down bringing defeat to our minds. But in Him, there is no defeat. We are conquerors and co-heirs with Christ.

So we stand. We worship. And we fight in the power of His Truth. For Truth always defeats the lie.

This cancer will not have me because God does. That is the truth.  May this cancer be used to refine me that more of His Truth may be seen through me.

That is my battle cry.

And on this battlefield, when the landscape is uncertain and the terrain unknown. I stand strong in my God who knows the hills and the valleys. Trusting that He will guide me through.

He has done that and more.

And this Sunday, as I sat surrounded by God's people, this battle cry rang out once again. The next phase of the battle dawning. Radiation begins tomorrow. My emotions laid just under the surface, ready to spring forth. They were hidden even from me. As the words spilled forth from my heart to my lips to the throne of God, so too, the tears came. Not tears of pain. Not tears of sorrow. Tears of triumph. Triumph for what He has already overcome and triumph for what is to come.

And I will bring praise. For no weapon formed against will prevail.

I will rejoice. I will declare.

God is my victory and He is here.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might." Eph. 6:10

(pause the songs at the bottom of the blog so that you can listen to this song. 
There are a couple seconds of silence in the beginning.)

This is my prayer in the desert
when all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord, through the flame.
And I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand
I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
All of my life in every season you are still God 
I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.
I will bring praise. I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice. I will declare.
God is my victory and He is here.
This is my prayer in the harvest
when favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
the seed I’ve received I will sow. 

Much love,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stillness - Appointment #2 - Beauty

My final pre-radiation appointment went so well yesterday....I'll get to that in a minute....

Last night a couple of inches blanketed our area. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about waking up to snow covered surroundings. Surroundings yet untouched by the hand of man. 

White, clean, pure, graceful, intricate beauty. 

The hand of God. His beauty. His perfection laid out before us for our eyes and hands to behold. 

The children quickly took to the hands part. 

Not really enough snow to snow to the shovels they went....

shoveling the driveway....

stopping for a rest....

and a photo opp........

a little bit of fun.....

some breakfast....(just kidding, we had pancakes just before)...

and one last line-up of smiles.....have I told you I love being a mother!
The kids are back in now. School underway. A quiet day lays before us....

I'm thankful for the quiet, even if but for a day.

Yesterday, God was indeed gracious and compassionate.

My same nurse greeted me in the radiation oncology waiting room with smiles, joking with me as she saw me in my wig (previously I've been in my winter hat - no wig), saying that I was trying to really confuse her this time.

We were off to a good start.  A light hearted mood took over the somewhat restlessness going on within.

The now familiar path from the lockers to the cabinet holding the gowns, to the dressing room and then waiting room quickly fell into my steps. No sooner had I turned the corner to the waiting room, and she was there bringing me back to the treatment room.

Monica met me upon entrance. She too, was joking with me about the long blond hair that had adorned my head just moments earlier and how it had changed my removed,  the quickly growing peach fuzz told a different story. The story that I am living.  I told her it was my "I really don't have cancer" wig with a smile.

A hat and a wig tell a much different story. Some days, I just don't want to be the "cancer patient" to the world and the wig gives me that option. There is much more behind that statement, as you can imagine.

The room was warm today. The chill that had occupied the room, now gone. Their touch was gentle, as both ladies helped me up to the treatment table, assisting me as my body was positioned just right. One on either side of me. As my head laid back into the body mold, they were attentive to my comfort, asking me if I was comfortable and how they could help. They grabbed for a folded sheet that they rested my head against, in the hopes that today, there would be no pain for the duration.

I felt like a person, not just a patient. Their words were kind. Their movements more relaxed.

My arms went overhead, my body grew still and once again, the headphones filtered praise music into my soul. My eyelids fell closed and peace washed over my body.

Ever so quietly, the nurse laid some towels over my arms, as previously, I had told them how cold I had become. Again, so attentive this time to my needs.

And as their job began, the filming, and imaging, as the lights went on and off and footsteps came and went....they did their best to keep me covered, under a thin sheet bringing warmth and shelter from the eyes that peered down.

I didn't feel exposed this time, I felt covered. Covered in God's love and grace. A blanket like no other.

The time passed more quickly. Pain, once again, began to permeate my arms, and this time my neck, as my head was held to the side. Tension would creep up through my body and at once I recognized it, I released it, allowing my body to relax in spite of the discomfort.

And I prayed. Asking God to bring me through. Thanking Him. Just sitting in His presence. Praying for a few sisters and friends that were that day in the midst of their own trials.

And it was at the foot of the cross that my current situation became insignificant and all that mattered was Him.

Worship and prayer have a way of doing just that. Putting our eyes and our hearts on what really matters most, Jesus Christ.

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3,4   

It is a favorite of mine. But in those words are strength, peace and power because in those words rests my Father. His heart and the very essence of who He is. Perfect peace and power. 

The imaging session came to a close. The right side of my chest had been marked and marked some more during those two sessions. Black sharpie marks mapped my body. 

The nurses came back in and once again, their words were coated with compassion. A few quick digital pictures had to be taken of the map they had drawn on me and then a few of those marks needed to become permanent....more tattoos....I think 5 or 6 of them this time. They wanted to put one up close to my neck, but I asked it there was an that would forever be seen in the future for eyes other than my own. They agreed. For now, I get to wear this for the next 4 weeks. The dot is a painted on mark covered by a circular clear adhesive. We'll see how my skin does through treatment. If it gets irritated, a tattoo will be needed.  

Tuesday will begin the next leg of my breast cancer journey, the next door's threshold ready to be crossed. 28 days will mark this part of the journey. Monday through Friday treatments ending February 17th, if all goes well. Please pray as God brings me to mind, that my skin will be able to withstand the daily radiation dose with minimal side effects. That my body will remain strong and that God would use the radiation to accomplish His purposes in me. Thank you. I am more grateful than words can express.

Just as the snow this morning blanketed God's creation, so too, He blanketed me yesterday. I am rejoicing in His goodness today and the beauty that surrounds His hand.

Much love,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The appointments begin again.

Just as the calendar flips over to January and routine begins, work, piano lessons, basketball too, do my cancer appointments creep back into my daily calendar activities.

Today, I was off to the 2nd radiation imaging appointment. The second appointment that maps out my body so to pinpoint the radiation to the exact spots.

The day didn't get off to a great start. I thought the appointment was at 10:30. Off I went traveling the 30 minutes to the hospital radiation oncology department. The appointment time had been changed in December, after there was a  hiccup in my first appointment. As I waited in the waiting room for my name to be called, my nurse emerged questioning why I was there......her book said I was suppose to be there at 2:00.

Oops.  Not sure what happened. But back I went retracing the steps that lead me there only minutes before, only to retrace them once again in the afternoon.

Back home to teach Jed math and reading. Answer Science questions and photocopy Latin grammar forms so drill work could be completed. Worked through questions on couplet poetry with Luke. Corrected a writing paper. Made some lunch. Answered some emails. Talked with my oncologist's billing department to work through some bookkeeping errors....which worked in our favor...thank you Lord!

A day in the life of me.

1:30 and off I went again to the radiation office.

How quickly the patient hat comes back on and there I was laying yet again on the imaging table. This time in the treatment room. A room much colder than the cat scan room. My body lay upon the mold, holding my head to the side and my arms crossed and laid overhead, headphones nestled in my ears ready to whisk me to the throne of my Jesus, as the nurses and technicians milled around, adjusting the equipment, positioning and marking my body, instructing me not to move.

And in the stillness, eyes closed, they worked and I worshipped Jesus as the lyrics permeated my heart, bringing peace to my Spirit and a posture of praise and thanksgiving within....reminding me once again of God's sovereignty and love.

The lights went on and off as they worked, coming and going from the treatment room, behind closed doors, only to quickly sweep back in making adjustments to the machine that hung staring at me from the side. More positioning, more pointing, more whispers about what needed to be done.

My eyes would open to take in what was happening, only to quickly close and be transported back to the feet of Jesus. The surrounding were too much for me. I felt like an experiment that laid upon a table as 8 eyes peered over me, exposed once again. Nothing sacred or off limits.

It was cold and sterile, while the music filtering my years brought warmth and comfort. I needed to stay in that place.

My head began hurting as the mold wasn't holding me quite right. The hard cast was hitting the back of my skull. An ache set in. My arms had gone from tingling numbness to pain as they stayed clasp overhead.

I laid stationary knowing that movement would only hinder the progress.

Many songs into the imaging and I couldn't take it anymore. I quietly asked if I could just lift my head for a minute to alleviate the pressure.

They agreed, but said we would have to start over, from the beginning.

Relief, but for a few moments. Songs continued counting the minutes that ticked by.

And then she came back in, standing alongside the treatment table, next to the machine hanging from the ceiling. I asked if she would take the headphone out of my ear for a minute.....and then asked if we were almost done.

She began talking, then stopped to introduce herself, realizing that all along she had been working without even an introduction. I was just another patient in a time slot whose body came upon her screen. She said that we had some technical issues and for today, the process was complete, but I would need to return later in the week and redo all that had been done today.

Disbelief? Really.....we have to do it again? Today was for nothing. All the back and forth, an hour and a half on the treatment table and on Thursday afternoon I have to come back to lay through it once again?

I saw compassion fill her eyes as her demeanor softened and she helped me down from the table. She assisted me as I dressed and walked me out of the room.

We'll meet again in two days. I'm not looking forward to it.

It isn't a place I enjoy being. So much different than the chemo lounge. A more isolated atmosphere. A more lonely leg of the journey.

And maybe that is where God needs me right now. Alone. Hearing from Him in the stillness. Being quiet, so as to hear His whispers gently bring me along. Teaching this restless heart.

Going deeper, still. Building upon the foundation. The seed of His Word being richly and deeply planted within.....may the soil of my heart receive what he has for me in this season of tilling and sowing.

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the work of Your hands." Psalm 138:8

"....and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son in all the way that you went until you came to this place."  Deuteronomy 1:31

I will not grow weary or despair.....I will press on, I will press in, I will look up.  I will let Him carry me to the place I need to be....trusting Him along the way, knowing He is always with me. I will be still.

Much love,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Power Displayed

The roads and countryside of Galilee were marked heavily by the footsteps of Jesus. He walked. He taught. He healed. He prayed. He slept only to awake and do it all again.

He travelled extensively.  With one draw glorify His Father, and display God's power.

The power that rested upon Him.

A display more brilliant than the most beautiful sunset. More magical than the most spectacular fireworks.

No where to lay His head....from His lowly entrance into this world, in a manager, to His earthly earthly home to call His own.

His home was found as He rested in the love of His Father.

The love that would proclaim a kingdom yet to come. A life lived with hope, with healing, showered in grace and abundant in mercy. A looking forward, not looking behind.

With expectancy.  With urgency.  With purpose.

And as He travelled He demonstrated this power for all to see. Often in healing the sick and making them well. The blind. The lame. The dead. The demon-possessed. The mute. The deaf. The sick.

A display. 

The multitudes traveled with Him. Watching. Waiting. Leaning in to learn more. Seeing a glimpse of the power beholden to this man Jesus...the Son of God.

They were challenged. They were encouraged. They were convicted.  Their hearts softened. And for some, their faith grew.

There was something different about this man. Something their minds could not grasp hold of.

And the sick knew that if only they could come close to Him, if only He would touch them, they would be made well.


Two blind men followed Jesus.

Without physical eyesight, but knowing the voice of Jesus.

Following as He performed miracle after miracle.

Finally, calling out to Him, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" (Matt. 9:27)

And Jesus, knowing the secrets of their hearts. Knowing the healing that they desired. That they needed, asked them a poignant question....

"Do you believe that I am able to do this?"  (Matt. 9:28)

It is a question that God has been asking of me from the moment I read these few short verses this summer.

In this journey through breast cancer,  along the road, in my moments of weakness and frailty, in uncertainty, in my heart has cried out to Him as these blind men did....God has been answering me...and growing my faith with this same question.

"Do you believe, Stacy, in who I am? That I am able to heal you? That I, ALONE, can do that which no one else can?"

It is a two part question.

Do you believe?

Is your faith so grounded in Me, Jesus, that you know with absolute confidence of my love for you. Of my grace. Of my forgiveness. Of my power.

Will you waiver in your faith based on your circumstances or will you trust Me and the power that I possess, that I desire to display in and through you as you journey?

And two......."Do you believe that I am able?"

Do you know that I can move the mountains and calm the sea? That I can make the lame walk and the blind see? That I can heal the diseased marriage and make well the diseased body? That I can put food in your pantry and bring forth money to pay the bills?

Do you believe that I am able to do all this and more? Is your faith in me that strong?

He desires our response to be, as it was with these two blind men...."Yes, Lord."  (Matt. 9:28)

No hesitation. A posture of trust in the almighty God, above all else.

Is that my posture today?

This last week was one marked again with uncertainty for us.

The plan played out in the physical was not the plan that was formulated in my mind.

We were able to get away for a couple of days to the Pocono Mts. here in Pennsylvania. My husband's brother and his wife had a timeshare they had reserved for the week. They invited us all to join them at the beginning of the week, with plans to ski on Tuesday.

For Christmas, my in-laws so generously and graciously helped lease all of our children's ski equipment for the season. A sport that we have just recently ventured back into as a family, was going to be a reality for us again this year.

On Tuesday, we spent the day at a local ski resort. Strength has been returning to my body and I was able to enjoy the day with the family. It was glorious, until around 4:30.

My oldest two sons, Ben and Seth, were snowboarding at the terrain park on the mountain. We received a call around 4:30, that Ben had fallen while on a snowboarding rail. He was loaded in an ambulance and needed to be taken to the local hospital.

What was certain, became uncertain.

Snowmobile came and brought me to the ambulance. Seth was there, having witnessed the whole event. Barclay had to stay back with the smaller children, load them all up and hand them off to my brother in law, then making his way to the hospital.

The ambulance pulled away and I became numb. Ben wasn't himself. He was strapped to a board, laying in the back of the ambulance. Oxygen to his nose. Unable to remember what happened or any details from the last 30 days. The extent of the brain injury unknown in those moments.

We spent the next 5 hours in the ER with Ben asking questions, answers given, and then 30 seconds later, the question asked again as the answers weren't remembered. Ben scared, not remembering facts that he should have know. Not knowing his age. Not knowing we just celebrated Christmas. Not knowing what he received.

The shock from the last 5 hours settled in. And around 10:30PM, after Ben was transferred to Pediatrics, my husband staying behind to stay with Ben, I got in the car alone, traveling back to the house where we were staying.

And I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my son. I cried out for physical healing. For his memory to be restored. I cried out in fear, not knowing what laid ahead. I asked for His power to be made known.

And God whispered to me the same question he has for months, "Stacy, do you believe I am able to do this? Do you trust Me? Do you believe that I am able to heal your son?" Do you trust me and the plans that I have for you and your family?"

And I responded, "Yes, Lord." No matter what you have, I trust you and know that you will walk us through. Please be gracious and merciful."

I slept fitfully Tuesday night, waking up continually. Praying. Falling back to sleep. Waiting for answers to come. My faith on the edge of belief and unbelief.

Ending 2010 with yet another hospital, another unknown. Another test of my faith. A strengthening. I was tired and weary and God knew, but still took me deeper.

Wednesday, Ben awoke, restored. He still doesn't remember the accident, but the rest of His memory
has returned.

As I continue to meditate on those few verses in Matthew and the question that Jesus asked of those blind men, and has been asking of me this year......I see how weak my faith can be. That I often desire an outward manifestation of the power of God.

I want healing. I wanted it for my son. And I desire it for me.

I know He is able. I believe in His character. But I want the tangible. I want to define the terms.

God doesn't work that way. Sometimes the tangible is not what will make us stronger. We are too quick to give the power to something or someone else. To give the glory to another.

As Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, He often displayed His power through healing.

But even in physical healing, He was after more. He was after the heart of each person He healed.

He desired to bring healing to the inner places. He is more concerned with the inside than the outside.

“to show that the Son of Man has power on earth of forgive sins.” (Matt. 9:6)

“Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?”

When Jesus healed the paralytic.....He not only said ‘Your sins are forgiven, but in His grace and love, He said, ‘Arise and Walk.”

That is the God we serve.

He desires to increase our faith. And He will do so at all costs, because our faith to Him, is more precious than gold. (1 Peter 1:7) Sometimes He grows it by displaying His power through the physical, but sometimes, it goes much deeper to the deep places of our hearts.

We are often more concerned with the outside than the inside. We are the ones who have it backward.

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, Thomas doubted that He was alive. Thomas proclaimed that until he put his hands in Jesus side and saw his nail pierced hands, he wouldn’t believe. He needed to see it for himself.

Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows when we waiver. He stood before Thomas displaying His scars. Thomas believed.

But Jesus went on to say, “blessed are those who believe without seeing.”

As 2010 closed out, I reflected on how Jesus met me in my weaknesses this past year. How in my weakness, He was strong. He was powerful. That as I believed in HIM, that power was made manifest in my weakness.

It is that power that we are held by.

Sometimes that power is declared through physical healing. The grand display. The fireworks. The miracle.

Other times, His power is displayed in the confines of our hearts and lived out in the midst of our physical disease: a diseased marriage, a diseased bank account, a diseased body.

That in the midst of these circumstances, physical healing isn’t brought forth, but instead a life built on Jesus Christ, displaying His glory, displaying His power. Displaying His spite of the physical.

That is healing. That is power.

In 2011, may we expect God to work without a whirlwind or a grand display announcing His power.

May we expect God to work because we know He is more than able - because we know HIM!

And as He opened the eyes of those two blind men.....may He open our eyes, as well.

Much love to you today and into 2011,