Thursday, December 29, 2011

The New Year

Here comes a New Year. 2012. I wonder at the possibilities. What will it hold? I have hope for new experiences and healing. I don't know if it will be, but I can hope.
I've been working today on tidying up from Christmas. It feels good to accomplish stuff and see my clean surfaces emerging from the pretty decorations.
I started my new medication yesterday. It did cause an upset stomach and made me tired yesterday and today. It wasn't unbearable and for that, I'm happy. We'll see what happens next Weds.
I hope that all those who read this will be blessed with joy and hope as we look into this next year. I know that God will be at work and we will all learn and grow through whatever He sends our way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Wow! Christmas! I feel it. I feel it in my heart--the hope, the peace, the joy and the Love of Christ. I finished wrapping a couple of gifts yesterday and enjoyed family time and worshipped with my church. I wasn't sure that Christmas would feel like Christmas. 
I realized something...
Maybe I'm so used to the over-the-top,
kind of Advent;
I can't feel Christmas excitement without it?

We didn't do that this year.
We simplified. My energy isn't up to more but our attitudes have changed, too.
We want Christmas to be more about Christ and less about us.

It's different. It takes some getting used to.
Today, I like it...
Today, we're relaxing, enjoying one another, really enjoying our new gifts.
My Dd loved her bike. Apparently, we've started a new tradition in our family. She's in 6th grade. I got my "big kid" 10 speed my 6th grade year. Hubby did, too. She was thrilled for the bike but it means even more now that she knows her dad and I had the same rite of passage. 
My SIL got my son a slingshot. I cringed. My brother got in BIG trouble with his when we were younger. She didn't know the story but it seems as if life is coming another big circle. Little son uses his to launch pompom angry birds at the stuffed pig she included with the gift. (Better than rocks at the mailbox. Right, D.R.)?

Full circle: It's my little son reminds us it's time to light the "big candle in the middle." The Christ candle, lit after hope, peace, joy and love. Thankfully, those things can burn bright in our hearts even though the candles are melted down to almost nothing.
Merry Christmas!
The waiting is over...
It's time to serve.

as always...
It's time....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I never learn...

Discouragement, no, despair sits heavy on my heart tonight. I'm trying to create joy in Advent. In celebrating the coming of Emanuel. It's not there. My heart is heavy, sad, and (time to admit it), despairing.

Into the despair comes these words:

"Just when Mary’s astonishment over meeting Gabriel calmed down, her heart took another cataclysmic leap. Pregnant?! If Gabriel had the message right, then God’s master plan for Mary was totally out of sync with what she had imagined. The good news was that God’s promise to put an heir on the throne of David would be fulfilled through Mary’s son. The bad news for Mary was that she was going to have to explain this pregnancy to her family. 

It was no easy road, but God faithfully guided Mary every step of the way; her faith never wavered. If Mary could trust God’s plans, then so can we. Maybe you know what it’s like to feel that a situation is the opposite of what you hoped for, but perhaps is all part of a bigger plan. It’s okay to doubt or be afraid or even a bit angry in that circumstance. Ultimately God asks us to let go of our own agendas and trust that the Master plan is ultimately in our best interests. Trust. That’s all God asks of you."(Tammy Wiens

My previous post was celebrating the comfort of knowing that God is with me. Today, He feels far away.

I feel guilty. 

My trust is wavering and anger and fear have reigned and caused doubt and despair. My life is not at all what I want it to be and I'm having a hard time trusting that all this pain is good for those who live with me and are getting less of the wife and mother that they need.

Honestly, it ISN'T good. 

This is a world of sin and bad things happen because of the broken world. God says He will work these bad things for the good of those who love Him. So, I have to trust He will. After all, He's fulfilled so many promises and worked so many miracles in my life. The bad has always been turned to good. I know He'll do it again.

Right now, though, my prayer is less of Mary's "May it be to me as you have said" and more of Jesus', "Father, let this cup pass from me..."

Help me, Lord, as I struggle with the "not my will, but thine be done" response. Please bring me to the point where I can wholeheartedly have Mary's attitude and trust even with the consequences of Your holy plan.

Advent is not just a time of joy. 

It's a time of pain. 

  • The pain of those who don't believe and gossip and turn away from an unwed pregnant teenager. 
  • The pain of family not giving a room to this young woman and her husband.
  • The pain of a husband's helplessness in finding a clean and healthy place for his young wife to give birth.
  • The pain of labor and the birth of a child.

It's a place of fear.

  • The fear of "What will people say?" 
  • The fear of a beloved being killed if things are made public.
  • The fear of traveling so far away from home.
  • The fear of not finding a place to stay.
  • The fear of angels appearing.
  • The fear of having your baby boy killed by a jealous king.
  • The fear of running away to a foreign land to save your baby.

In my season of waiting, I understand the story more deeply than ever before. This season of waiting for Christ is filled with pain and with fear. That's just an integral part of it.

The impossible irony is the pain and fear are needed for there to be trust. Trust that what we see and what we experience is all part of a greater and bigger and impossibly miraculous plan.

And Advent? It's all about the trust. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Waiting

I am just so blessed when God talks to me. I've been discouraged. Sunday, at church, I kept crying. Everything just spoke to me of His love and care of me. I was comforted. The message focused on the Hope of Christmas--Immanuel "God with us." I needed that. God is WITH me! Do you get it? When I'm frustrated with the stupid little annoying things my body is doing while I'm trying to recover--the canker sores, the skin irritations, the pain of the area that just won't heal--the Immense, Unfathomable Creator of EVERYTHING is WITH me. He's here. He knows. He understands. He helps. He does it all because He Loves Me! Amazing. Comforting. Humbling.
Then, a friend posts a link to an advent devotional. I followed the devotions at Lent this year and was blessed. Now, I'm reading the Advent ones. The message on Monday hit me like a ton of bricks. This God who loves me has good things for me. I need to face each day with expectant waiting. The sort of expectant and joyful waiting I felt as a child as Christmas approached. This is what they said,
"Let us begin Advent, waiting.
Not the “going back to sleep” kind of waiting.
Not the impatient pacing, or the wasted anxiety of waiting.
Not even the passive-aggressive waiting that says, “Really? We’ll see.”

Let us begin Advent, waiting.
Getting up and joining the adventure,
Even when we don’t know where it will take us.
Shifting the impatient waiting to expectant living.
Boldly claiming the Good News that we know will come.
Waiting with joy as we reach out with the grace of God that is so much more than amazing.

Let us begin Advent."
In a facebook post, I said this in response, "I love this idea of waiting--expectant and joyful. I'm really struck by the phrase, "Really? We'll see." That's the waiting I've felt lately over my possible healing. Praying that I can turn my focus to waiting for Jesus to just teach and touch me however he wants each and every day--not waiting for someday but ready for now."

I found another devotional blog. "A Holy Experience." She's focusing on waiting, too. The Lord making His message known to me. "Wait. Wait for me. Wait joyfully, expectantly, happily." 
"How, Lord?" is my question. 
Today, a start of the answer. Jesus came as a baby--a small thing in a big world. Yet this small miracle changed history, changes lives still. 
So, I'll look for the small miracles God works every day. I'll wait for them and look for them knowing that "Emmanuel" will perform them. And, I'll do my best to do the small kindnesses for those around me. I know it will require sacrifice and I may not always remember I'm performing miracles for Him but I'm wanting to try. Help me, Lord. 

My facebook post and comments today.
"Advent is an active waiting. And Christmas comes to those who wait for the whisper, who look for the little, who seek the small, scandalous signs of the every-where presence of God.
The only way to see the Savior this Advent is to see the small, and wise men find ways to slow the season down."

"All Advent, this pouring out in small acts of kindness: a hot cup of coffee, a sticky note on a mirror, a treat left on a seat. And for every small act, this planting of one small seed.
A seed that sprouts, a shoot out of the black earth, a small act of kindness that grows bold love straight up into the dark."
By Ana Voskamp

More info on waiting--active waiting. This goes along with the other message I received on "Expectant living." I've taken my focus off of the small seeds and acts of God's presence to ask for the "big" miracle. I can ask for that but need to remember to focus on Him--the enormous power packaged in a small baby. I must wait expectantly looking for the small miracles in the day and give thanks. Then, I need to be His love to others, joyfully performing small acts--little miracles in other's lives.
Ana likens Jesus to a seed and calls Him, "impossible power contained in the small." I love that image. We've been watching NOVA about quantum physics and theoretical science--impossible science in many ways. My God is even MORE unimaginable, unfathomable and impossible that that! Whew! I feel a seed of expectation starting to burst from it's seed coat in the still darkness of my discouragement.

Thank-you, Lord, for speaking and answering my prayer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

God's Speaking

I have been discouraged by lack of healing progress. I've been working on resigning myself to the thought that the healing will be surgical in nature. It wasn't what I wanted. I'm just trying to submit to the Lord's plan and will. It's tough.
Last night, my husband went to the Alpha group he's been helping with at church. The topic for the night was God's ability to heal. They studied a lot of passages and decided to pray with my hubby for my healing--kind of like the story in the Bible where the centurion just tells Jesus to speak and his servant would be healed (Luke 7:1-10). My husband was encouraged, I could see it in his face and hear it in his voice when he came home. He prayed for me. He also reminded me that we can keep asking for healing. The Lord knows we will accept a "no" and still trust but there are many examples in the Bible of people continuing to pray for healing--even Jesus prayed twice to heal someone completely. That brought peace to me. I can keep asking and don't have to give up. Then, this morning, my daughter (who's shy about sharing her prayers) came to me and told me that she prayed for me last night. She said she prayed that God would heal me completely so that I would no longer have to have the colostomy. She was so joyful about it all. I'm blessed that there are those who hold me up and help me, "when you have done everything, to stand." My family and friends are God's gift to me to help me through. They're "holding up my arms" as I seek God in this battle. Hallelujah!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Long and Busy two Months

Wow! I haven't posted since mid-August. I was amazed at the amount of busy my life had once school started back up. I just didn't have the strength to keep up through making my hubby's lunch every day as he heads off to his new job (started just after my last post). My DD started back to her charter school but as a middle schooler so there's been adjustments to more homework and managing different teachers. It's been an emotional time for her. I have been homeschooling my son and so I've been busy with that. The first full week of school held meetings every night for different ministries at my church. I just made it to one. That's all I could do. Along with all of this, I've started tutoring three boys in writing--one on Weds. and another two every other Friday. It's fun but it's taken time to build up strength for that. I've had people coming to my house almost every day of the week for schooling or play. It's been energizing and draining. I led a devotional at a Ladies' Retreat a few weekends ago--my first time. It went well but again, was energizing and draining.
Through all this, though, I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was managing "normal" mom/wife life again. It's been 18 months since I've been able to do my job fully. Yeah! I still have painful days or low energy days but they're fewer and my family is coming to rely on me again. Funny thing, I've resisted being relied upon. I don't want to fully go back to doing everything. I don't think it's good for my kids to be served so fully. They've learned life skills--emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, doing the laundry, making their own lunches...These things will continue though they are resisting as they see me feel better. Tough--I still need their help and they need to learn how to take care of themselves when they're adults. This illness has been good for me and for them.
I've been crafting and tidying my craft stuff in my closet so I can be more efficient. Supplies have built up so I need to get going and get them used for gifts and stuff to sell. I've used up three spools of ribbon yarn making some neat scarves. One is sold already! I've also used up several skeins of a bulky yarn to make myself a neat vest. Now, I just need to buy some long sleeved t-shirts to wear under it. :) I have a tunic in the works and am going to use some big fluffy white yarn (I have two skeins of a boucle) to make a bear to donate to a local school club that is collecting them for a children's hospital. That will help make more room to close the bins on my yarn stash. LOL
Hubby and I have some health decisions to make. The surgeon is recommending excising all the damaged tissue and giving me a permanent colostomy. It would be nice to be free of pain but I really, really, really do NOT like this ugly bag of stool attached to my belly. This would be permanent and life long. My skin has rejected the current bag so I hate to think of having this for the rest of my life. We have time to research and pray and make a wise decision. So that's a good thing.
All this still reminds me that I need to trust in the Lord. Every day requires more trust. It's a tough lesson but it's also very freeing.
That's all my thoughts for now. I'm going to get some pictures of items posted later. It's time I get more serious about this blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good Days

I've been getting stuff done lately. I've had good days with energy. I'm so glad. I'm being careful, too. I spent a few hours with some other moms at a park yesterday and my kids had fun. Today, I went to my local homeschool store and picked up some of my son's curriculum. Then, we had piano lessons and I picked up a gift bag I won from a local garden store. This afternoon, the kids played and I worked on more yearly lesson plans for homeschooling. Hubby came home early so we got to spend some time together before he went to help some friends with a video shoot. The weather is gorgeous, I have great friends and family and I know I'm finally getting better right now. God is good and I'm trusting for each day's measure of peace and energy.
How are you? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ahhhh! There's No Place Like Home!

The only thing better than a wonderful vacation is being back home, sleeping in my own bed, and back to my regular schedule. My great husband had last week off of work. We spontaneously decided to head out and visit a couple of National Monuments a few hours away. It was lovely. The Lava Beds were incredible and I felt honored to see some petroglyphs in a former lava tube. The kids enjoyed becoming Junior Rangers as they learned about the area. It was a long, hot and exhausting day that we all enjoyed. The next day was more low key as we played putt-putt golf and visited a museum. Both nights the kids completely enjoyed the pool and I was excited to see how well my son is doing in learning to swim. My health keeps me out of the pool for now so I was a bit envious of their fun.
On our way home, we visited Crater Lake and couldn't have had a better day. It was completely clear and sunny and every stop held God-given views of His creation. I'm awed. After we were home, we enjoyed a trip to the fair and an overnight camp out a block away (in our church's back yard) LOL!
My body is exhausted. I had to rest a couple of different days but I'm so glad that the trip and the walking and all didn't make me relapse as it has in the past. I'm definitely getting better and stronger. YEAH!!! 
Today, hubby's back to work. While I miss him and am looking forward to him being home, it's been nice to rest with the kids, doing a few chores, practicing my piano lesson, reading a book and resting. The rest of the week holds our regular events--craft morning with friends, a park playdate, some errands, etc. I look forward to it. Vacation was good and home is good, too.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Healing/Trust update

For those following my illness adventures, I am steadily gaining in energy and am healing. The hernia the doctor found and attempted to repair has reared its ugly head and I'm having to be careful with lifting and such. I met with the surgeon and he recommended wearing some support for the stoma to close the gap in the muscles. I found a temporary fix until I can meet with a nurse for a more formal one. It is helping and I'm in less pain by the end of the day. I was worried I might have to go in for more surgery but the doctor wants to wait. We're hoping it will be solved by the abscess cavity healing and closing up so that the stoma can be reversed. The last thing I need is extra surgery so hopefully we can roll it all together into one. 
In a past post on trust I commented on hubby's job search. He had been contacted by a few companies to apply for various positions. He did and interviewed. He has completed the interviewing process and has a new job. It took a lot of prayer and discussion on whether he should stay in his current position or move to the new one. The day after we decided to move on, his current company announced changes that would have made his job more difficult and set him up for failure. God was definitely working and I'm so grateful for the peace the Holy Spirit brought to help me through the uncertainty.


Summer is finally here. For this Pacific NW gal, that means mostly sunny days with highs in the 70's. For those that don't know me, I despise being hot. I get overheated easily--comes from my grandma's genetics. So, this below 90 degree summer is perfect in my mind. I go outside in the evenings and enjoy the wonderfully soothing shade under my huge dogwood tree. Resting, reading, healing...<sigh of complete contentment>

Friday, July 22, 2011

It All Comes Down to Trust

Again I'm worrying. There are decisions to be made, is my son over his pneumonia, my friend's hubby is job hunting, what sorts of things can we do to enjoy time with my FIL, my health, meal planning, etc. A still and small voice whispers to me, "Do you trust me? Can you let go and let me work? Haven't I always worked everything out?"
Yes, Lord. You have. Forgive me again. The peace comes to guard my heart and my mind. My breathing slows and I relax. I'll keep praying but I don't have to pray with anxiety. I can pray with trust. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Camping and Energy

I'm relieved and content. My body is taking a long time to recover from this illness. I'm still healing and will be for some time. I can live with that now. My energy levels are so much better this past week. We went to our yearly campout with our friends. Last year, my body failed me on the last day and I was so sick afterward. This year, I was able to prepare for camp and be at camp and actually help my hubby with the kids and with everything. I have not crashed and still have enough energy to work on the laundry this evening. Last week I couldn't do everything I did this week and I know that things will just keep improving.
I know that I'm feeling better and stronger and have more reserves. I'm interested in sewing with my DD this week. I want to go pick berries. I want to get planning on new lessons and units for my son in home schooling. I'm excited to start piano lessons in a couple of weeks. I want to cook and back and get in and really clean and declutter my home. All these wants are new ones. Before, I was too overwhelmed and tired to even be interested in wanting any of these. Wow!
That said, I know that I only have a limited number of "spoons" in any given day. I will continue to pace myself and use them as needed so that I monitor my health and don't overdo. (I recently read a blog where a woman with a chronic illness likened energy reserves to holding a certain amount of spoons in your hands. The image has stuck with me).
Thanks, Lord, for healing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Folks

My parents left today. I'm sad. I was brave and sent them home knowing it was time. I just miss 'em. I was starting to feel better and stronger and ready to play and they had to leave. We're all missing them. With being in the hospital for two weeks, I'm blessed they came to take care of my home and my hubby and my kids. Life ran more smoothly for us all because of their service.
Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. You are my heroes. I love you!

The "C" Word

Well, it's been an interesting month. I went in for an outpatient laparoscopic procedure which I kind of expected to be an overnight issue. Well, I spiked a fever and had a high heart rate that wouldn't resolve over the course of a day. The nurse called the surgeon in the evening and he ended up calling in a team to do an emergency surgery--they were worried that something had gone wrong with the other surgery. I was in surgery from midnight to 4 am. They found that somehow I had developed a kink in my small intestine (not involved in the first surgery) and part of it was dying. I had to have a resection. Pretty glad that I was in the hospital and they got in so very quickly.
The next day held the miracle and the "C" word. Everything removed from a person in surgery is tested in the lab at this hospital. The pathologist saw suspicious cells on the portion of intestine removed. My doctor came bounding into the room excited because the cancer would never have been found until it was big and a problem. He was thrilled. I was glad but a little worried. I was finally facing one of my worst fears--cancer--the "C" word. I spent my time in the hospital wondering about future tests and such. Last Thursday I finally got to ask more questions. I guess the cells in question weren't cancer. They were those that could become cancer in the future but aren't yet. So, I'm blessed and praising the Lord for the miracle. Bad cells removed before they could affect my health. Cells only found because of a different issue requiring they be removed. Thank-you, Lord. With all I've been through with my health this year, He has chosen to spare me this. I am blessed. I am loved. Hallelujah!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spoon Theory

A friend recently posted a link to a blog written by a lady with a chronic illness. She was sharing how she learned to explain what it's like to live with one. Her friend was curious so she gathered up all the spoons she could find and handed them to her friend. She told her to count them because it's important to know how many "spoons" you have at any given time. Then, she asked her friend to talk about the daily events of the day starting in the morning. As the friend recounted her different habits and tasks, she took a spoon. Her friend soon learned that even something as simple as just getting up out of bed took energy. Simple things that everyone does regularly take some planning when you have limited "spoons."
I cried when I read it. It explains so closely how I've lived for the last year. If I clean a bathroom, I may not have the energy to cut veggies to make dinner. I'm having another surgery on Tuesday--a revision of the colostomy. I hope it works so I can heal and have my energy back. I want to not have to plan everything so closely. If it doesn't work. I guess this is my new "normal" and I have to get used to it.
Right now, I'm happy that yesterday was a "many spoons day" and I got to tackle some long awaited chores. I went past my spoon amount, though. I knew I was. I did more after dinner. I borrowed from today and I've been tired and draggy all day. OH, well. I'll have plenty of rest time after my surgery.
I just have to ask a favor. Whenever you use a spoon, say a prayer for someone that's ill. The prayers really do make a difference.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Worship Cuddles

Over 11 years ago I became a mom. I held my baby while worshipping in the church service. In her toddler years, I kept cuddling her during worship. When my son was born, I held him and still cuddled my daughter. One Sunday, as I worshipped I realized that holding my children so close was a picture of what God does for us. He holds us close as we worship him. I decided to always try to touch and cuddle my children whenever they hear worship songs—whether they sing with us or not. My daughter is now a pre-teen and I still reach out to hold her hand or give her a hug or put my arm around her. I still often cuddle my 9-year-old son on my lap while praising Jesus. Through this touch, my hope is that when they are older and apart from me they will experience the peaceful feeling of being held in loving arms whenever they hear songs of worship. I pray worship will become a place of wholeness and refuge for their hearts—that they would almost physically feel God’s love. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Possible Goodbyes?

A friend of mine's husband is looking for a job. So many people are these days. I'm praying for them. He's had several interviews this week and I'm happy for them. I'm sad, too. The interviews are far away. If he's hired, they'll move. My friend and I have talked on the phone almost every day for years. We clean together while chatting. If they move so far away, it will be too expensive to do anymore. We can't drive to visit them. I'm sad and happy at the same time. They're excited at the possibility of the new adventure. I'm excited for them. I just don't want them to go. 

Friday, May 13, 2011


I've been dwelling on hope this week. My hope is lacking. I've been ill for over a year. I thought it would be done. I'm still a partial invalid and in pain. Is this my life for now on? Please, no!
I will be having surgery in a week and a half. There is a chance that the plan will change while I'm under anesthesia. I could wake up to bad news. Since nothing has gone according to plan through this whole illness, I'm expecting this to go wrong, too. Am I sinning? Is my hope in the wrong thing? 
The Bible says "hope in the Lord" over and over again. Hmmmm... I keep hoping in healing to happen. I thought the Lord assured me I would be healed. Since this hope has been delayed, my heart is sick and sad. I don't want that. I want to trust and have my Hope be solely placed in Jesus--not in medicines, surgeries or even miracles. How do I do that? 

I don't know.

I'm praying. 

Help me, Lord, to hope in you.

Starting Up

I have things to say--a little too private for Facebook but still wanting some way to share the musings in my mind. Maybe this will work as a journal. Maybe others will respond and I'll receive wisdom to continue to grow. Maybe it'll be a flop. I don't know but I'm starting.