Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Passing of A Friend

Through this journal, I have made many friends...but there is one friend in particular that has touched my life for such a brief period of time, and now she is gone.  I stumbled upon Kim's journal, "I Shaved My Legs For This" as I was learning how to journal myself.  Kim had breast cancer.  At the time that we met, I thought that she would beat it because she had such a fighting spirit.  I posted her journal site on my blog so others could click on it and read what a wonderful woman she was. 

Unfortunately, Kimmie passed away yesterday...finally ending the horrendous battle with this relentless disease.  Kimmie is no longer having to take chemo, radiation and a slew of other so-called treatments.  She is out of pain.  Out of anguish.

I was blessed to get to know such an amazingly strong woman.  She inspired me in so many ways. 

For anyone fighting cancer or caring for someone fighting the cancer battle, please go to Kim's journal site and read her entries.  You'll be inspired in your own lives to make a difference.  I promise you that.

Rest in peace Kimmie.  You were loved in this life and will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

So it's the night before Thanksgiving and I have contemplated much.  I have been thinking about what I am thankful for.  There are a number of things that I can say that I am thankful my friends and family, love, the roof over my head, and on and on.  But, what I am most thankful for is cancer.  Now don't freak out on me...I'm not saying that I'm thankful that my honey has to deal with the highs and lows of cancer and what it does to him physically.  I AM saying that if it weren't for him having this cancer, we wouldn't be so keenly aware of time and just how precious it is.  We lived like everyone else before Jay got cancer.  We lived our own lives, going about our everyday business just barely making it from one day to the next.  He had his hobbies and his job and I had mine.  And for a moment on February 1, 2006, all time stopped...suddenly our lives would NEVER be the same. 

From that time until now, we have become so close to one another as well as our friends and families.  I think it's an amazing way for the Lord to get our attention.  God didn't do this to my husband, but He allowed it to happen in order that we may come together in a way that is indescribable unless you're going through it.  The bible tells us that we are to "count it all joy" in times of trial.  Not meaning that we should be happy that we are going through hard times, but merely that we should seek the blessing in the process.  And although I have not always been successful in doing this, today, I am able to see what a gift the Lord has given us.  Time...and the full awareness of it.  Everything looks, smells and feels completely different now.  Everything has become a treasure to me and Jay.  We don't take life for granted anymore.  We see the importance of making the most of every minute.  We are living life; not just existing in it now.  So, yes, I am thankful for cancer.  This cancer; our cancer; this moment, right now. 

I pray that your Thanksgiving will reveal much to you.  Cherish every moment.

God Bless.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Stretch Armstrong!

Do you remember the days of Stretch Armstrong? It was a doll for boys, mainly, but I played with my brother's Stretch Armstrong because I loved the fact that you could totally stretch his arms about four feet! As an adult now, and as a Christian adult, I feel like that crazy doll except that it is the Lord that stretches me and I know that it is for my own good. Really, I'm more like Silly Putty. The stuff that gets rolled up into a little ball and then pounded flat and stretched and molded into shape after shape. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. But mostly, I'm just thankful to be recreated and made new with each new challenge.

These days, life is just a matter of existing one minute to the next. Jay's short term disability finally ran out this past week and I'm on a new quest to get him on permanent disability. I'm taking on the State of California! It's just a matter of surviving the red tape. But, as this challenge has been set before me, the only thing I can think of is I am thankful that I still have a husband to fight for. The Lord is faithful to give me the strength I need to continue in this battle. I need not concern myself because He is my provision and I know for a fact that He has this under control. There is a peace in my heart. So, no matter how long it takes to wade through the red tape, I have the Lord's strength to just keep on paddling.

As for Jay, we just had an appointment with the oncologist and a PET/CT scan is set for next week and an MRI the following week. Jay had a headache when we went for the appointment so the doctor totally gravitated to that immediately. Jay has many sinus headaches from the Avastin he receives through his portacathiter, but the doctor isn't going to take any chances. Well, that and the fact that I pushed for the MRI. The doc doesn't seem worried at all about it and is convinced that there is nothing going on in Jay's head (LOL...nothing going on in his head! I knew it!) but I think if the doc is willing to authorize it, we are better off to rule out all possibility. So, we'll know more information just prior to our trip to Kauai. I'll keep you guys posted.

Life is one constant lesson....and I'm learning.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

20 Years Later

Me and the gang...20 years later!!  Look at those sexy girls!  And then Darin.  Darin was and is still a sweetheart.  This is a great group of people.  These are people that are going to change the world just by being as wonderful as they are.

Getting Ready - Me (in the middle) and then Julie (left) and Christine(a) (right).  None of us know if we should call her ChristinA or ChristinE.  In high school she went by Christina.  Now that she's a hotshot photographer, she's Christine.  So, take your pick.

Me and Tuesdee (Tues) - Friends since 4th grade.  First time we've seen each other in 11+ years.  No changes except that we all have "Woman Figures."


Okay, so me and my group of friends got together at Christina's house to get ready and then drive down together to Orange County.  The event was being held at the House of Blues in Anaheim.  Cut to the scene where we are all piled into the car and we're listening to old school rap...I mean OLD SCHOOL...well, 20 year old OLD SCHOOL.  Run DMC, etc.  It was great.  I haven't listened to that music since I was in high school so it was kind of neat to relive the days when I used to actually break dance.  Yes, ME, break dancing.  Then, not now...obviously.

So we get to the House of Blues and this is the scene...a bar with a bunch of drunk people and finger foods.  Pathetic!  I paid $90 for this??!  It was like the Desperate Housewives of Arlington High School, Class of 1987 decided that they needed a night away from the family so they used our reunion as an excuse to dress up in cocktail dresses cut down to "there" and short enough to see "there" and show off all of their goodies.  No thanks.  Ugh.

The music was so loud that people didn't feel free to mingle and see where classmates have been for the past 20 years.  So, just like in high school, the same groups of people hung out and no one else could feel comfortable joining their little click.  So, basically, my little group of friends and I could've saved our money and stayed in Riverside at Christina's house and talked about where we have been in our lives.  Thankfully, I have stayed in touch with this particular group of friends over the years so I felt at home with them. 

We eventually left the torture chamber that was the House of Blues and went to Denny's, just like we used to do in high school, and sat for hours and talked and laughed. 

I have made friendships for a lifetime and I am satisfied with that.  I never need to step foot in a reunion again.  I am content with where I am at and who I have surrounded myself with.  That's all that counts.

I am blessed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Going Back In Time

It's time to celebrate my 20 year high school reunion this weekend.  Ahhhh 20 years!! It seems like just yesterday that I was in school.  I'd like to say that I didn't have a care in the world back then, but that's not so.  My school days were filled with all of the anxious life questions that a young girl shouldn't have to think about.  Will I have friends?  Am I pretty enough?  Will I ever have a boyfriend?  Will I get good grades?  Am I smart enough?  Why don't my parents get along?  Will I ever do anything important in my life?  Can I make a difference? 

Throughout my high school career I was filled with such doubt about my ability to fit in and when I managed to mold myself to fit in to certain groups, I still felt so out of place.  I had friends who partied and got drunk every weekend...certainly didn't fit in to that group!  I had friends who were teachers...didn't fit into that group either.  I fit into the jock group as far as sports were concerned, but the jocks were the weekend partiers so I only fit in as far as having the talent to play the chosen sport of the moment.  I wasn't popular by any means.  I wasn't pretty enough to be a cheerleader or to be on the dance squad, I wasn't smart enough to be in the academic clubs, I wasn't a trouble maker, nor was I adventurous so I couldn't fit in with those who took chances at getting caught doing something stupid like ditching class to go and get wasted...I just simply didn't find my niche.  But amazingly I managed to come away with a few friends from each of those groups. 

Flash forward 20 years preparing for this reunion...I find myself wondering if I will fit in or if I will be able to relate to that small group of friends that I managed to keep in touch with sporadically over the years.  I also wonder what has happened to those few people who managed to make my life a living hell on the school campus.  Wondering if they have changed their ways or if they have any regret as to how they treated people who weren't just like them. 

But, the Lord is faithful to keep my eyes focused on Him and He is preparing me for a ministry opportunity.  I don't need to worry about fitting in. I don't fit in...not to worldly groups.  I fit in perfectly to God's eternal plan.  That's all I need to worry about.  I only need to show the Lord's love that has been extended to me and I will be able to relate to anyone with an open heart.  That's all I need to care about.  Praise the Lord for His love and acceptance.  It is all I need.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Hop On To The E-Ticket Ride

Do you all remember when Disneyland had tickets for each section of the park?  For those of us who are old enough to remember, the E-Tickets were for the fast rides that twisted and turned your stomach into knots.  Well, these days, my daily life has been filled with all of the ups and downs as those roller coasters of old.  With the news of Jay being on chemotherapy for the rest of his life, I have experienced many emotions...just about every emotion that I think anyone can experience.

There are days when I think, "Okay, no problem, Jay's not super sick right now so I don't need to worry about him."  And then there are the days when, well to be perfectly honest, I don't know how long I have on this earth with my honey, and that thought saddens and frightens me beyond any level of those emotions that I've ever experienced and it's all I can do to function as a normal human being.  I believe that I've been going through the stages of mourning, even though Jay is basically fine right now.  I think I'm mourning the life he thought he'd have, and the life I thought we'd share together for many many years. 

The only thing I know to do is to keep praying for healing for Jay, as well as for the Lord's strength for me.  I can't live this life without my faith in a Heavenly Father who created everything including Jay and I.  I trust that the Lord is guiding the both of us.  I am grateful that I need only get down on my knees and allow the Lord to do His work in us.  All praise and glory given to Him.

Many blessings have come about as a result of our struggles.  Relationships have been mended, new ones begun, and many friends and family have surrounded us with all the love one can handle. 

Jay expressed wanting to take a vacation several weeks ago.  I happened to tell a friend that we were in need of taking a vacation together and the next thing we knew, we were being given the gift of a condo on the island of Kauai.  Wow!!!  That was an answered prayer!  All we needed to come up with was airfare and food.  I shared this HUGE blessing with another friend and the next thing I knew, we had free flights!  I shared both of these AMAZING blessings with another friend and the next thing I knew...we had a gift card for food!  GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!  It is unbelievable to me that these people love Jay and I so much that they are willing to give up such wonderful gifts.  We didn't ask for it, but the Lord knew that we needed to share this special time together so He spoke to the hearts of our beautiful FAMILY...and used them so mightily to bless us.  It is overwhelming.

We are set to fly to Kauai on December 3rd...and let me tell cannot get here soon enough!  I am so eager to get away with my baby for a special time of togetherness that we've never experienced.  There is so much more meaning to this trip than any other time we've spent together.  I am so blessed to be able to do this with the absolute knowledge that we only have so much time on this earth and we are to make the best of every single second.

Don't take time for granted!  It is not guaranteed.

Precious Father, words alone will never express how much I love you for your love for us.  I can only say thank you with an overwhelmed heart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Latest Information on Jay

Hello All,

Just a quick update on my honey....sorry it has taken me so long to do a journal entry.

Well, first, let me tell you all that Jay is hanging in there and being the strong warrior we all know him to be.  Second, the tough part...we saw the oncologist a few weeks ago and Jay's cancer is back again.  The scan shows another tumor growing in his abdomen.  It's about an inch in diameter.  This prompted Jay to ask some very pointed questions and the doctor gave him very direct answers.  Jay asked what the likelihood was that the cancer would come back again even if the chemo were to kill this tumor.  The doctor's answer?  "100% probability.  Mr. Hare, there is no cure for this.  You will continue to be on chemotherapy to try to keep the cancer at bay for as long as we can."  Translation? Jay will be on chemotherapy for the rest of his life.  However long that is.  No prognosis or anything like that was given because people can live for years and years on chemotherapy.  It is known to prolong the life of many cancer patients.  The doctor told us that we should look into permanent disability because he won't be able to work while enduring several more rounds of chemotherapy.  A tough pill to swallow, but Jay handled it very well and he is doing everything he can to not allow negative thoughts to enter his mind.  As for me, well...we can say that my faith is being stretched, even tested, but I know that my God is in control and He will do something so wonderful with this seemingly terrifying situation.  I am grasping on tightly to that knowledge.

Jay is keeping busy with fishing trips being planned, days of golf under his belt and just new projects around the house.  We are looking at getting a new doggie too!  A beautiful six year old male Boxer named "TJ."  What a blessing that will be for Jay.  For both of us!  We need a rambunctious animal to keep us focused on having fun and staying active.  You should've seen Jay's face when he met TJ.  It was love at first sight.  We are going to take Sonny over to meet TJ tonight.  Provided Sonny doesn't try to kill TJ (LOL) we will bring TJ home on Saturday.  I can't wait!

Well, that's it for now.  I will write again soon with more updates and possibly a picture of Jay with TJ.

Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Update on Jay

Hi Everyone!

It has been a while since I've sent out an update on Jay and his progress through the chemotherapy treatments.  He is still doing very well.  We saw the oncologist today and we had to change the chemo regimen up a little. 

A couple of weeks ago Jay had a really bad reaction to one of the chemo drugs called, "Oxalyplatin."  It was causing him to have minor problems prior to this last treatment, but two weeks ago Jay had a very serious reaction that caused everyone to stand up and take notice.  Today, the doctor stated that we now have conclusive information that it was this particular drug causing the problems so we are now taking the Oxalyplatin (Oxaly for short) out of the mix.  In doing this, Jay's time in "the chair" has been narrowed down to a quick 30 minutes from 3 hours and 30 minutes.  Jay was quite pleased about that.  With this subtraction, comes an addition however, and Jay will now be taking more of his oral chemotherapy pills...Xeloda.  It just makes him a bit more tired, but doesn't make him sick to his stomach like the liquid chemo.  So, we increase the pills by one additional pill per day for three weeks, then off oral chemo for a week, and then back on for three...and on and on. 

Jay is eager to return to work before the end of the year, but I told him that I think he needs to wait until his next scan comes back clean before making any final decisions.  We have much to consider, and his health is the most important issue at this point and I don't want him going back to work earlier than he should.  

Jay has become the fishing guru, if you will, to a few friends and he has kept himself occupied by acting as a guide on some fishing expeditions and also accepting the role of teacher to another friend who has just discovered the joys of fishing.  This has been a real blessing because Jay loves it when he can do something that he is really passionate about and that is fishing, as well as teaching someone how to fish the right honoring the fish and their environment.  It is something that he takes pride in, and I'm proud of him for it. 

We are both doing just fine.  We just celebrated anniversary #15 which was a very important milestone for us, especially given the circumstances of his health.  What a blessing it was to be able to spend that time together.  He had chemotherapy the day before our actual anniversary so he spent the day in bed, but I was happy to be there with him, laying my head on his chest and listening to his heartbeat.  What a blessing.  We actually celebrated many days later when he was feeling better.  So special, the memories we are creating.  I am loving it.

So, my beloved friends and family, that is all for now.  Thank you for your prayers...they are felt.  Thank you for loving us.  We love you all.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary To My Love

To My One and Only True Love


Happy 15th Anniversary, Honey!!  I love you so very much!  I am so thankful to the Lord for giving you to me. 


Baby, since the moment I saw you 18 years ago, I knew in my heart that I would be with you for the rest of my life.  You made my heart skip a beat and butterflies flutter in my stomach.  All these years later I may not experience butterflies, but my heart overflows with the love that I have in my heart for you. 


I prayed several years ago and asked the Lord to make me fall deeper in love with you, all the while not thinking that it was possible, but He was so faithful to prove me wrong and I continue to fall deeper with each new day.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude that He has brought you closer to me and my love for you has grown beyond measure.  I cannot imagine my life without you in it. 


I walk through this life with you feeling so proud to be your wife and so relieved that you are the one God chose for me.  Things have never been perfect, but I have learned  that perfection is for God and God alone and that the imperfections and trials that we face together are what create our character and make us stronger in our love for one another. 


My Jaybird, 15 years ago I said, “I do,” and today I say, “I WILL.” 


  • I will walk with you through the good and the bad.
  • I will do all I can to be a good wife.
  • I will be by your side whenever you need me.
  • I will take care of you when you are not able.
  • I will treasure the coming seconds, minutes, hours, and years I have with you.
  • I will love you until the day that I die.


You are the love of my life.  Will you spend eternity with me?


Loving You Forever,





Friday, June 22, 2007

Brokenness Leads To His Glory

It has been quite a while since I have written in my journal and there is good reason for that.  I have been busy with work and day-to-day life.  Jay has had chemotherapy a couple of times in the past month and while the side effects are lingering a bit longer than past experiences, he is still fighting like the soldier that I have come to admire and love even more with each new day.


It amazes me that we’ve been battling this cancer for a year and a half now.  Where did the time go?  There are some days when it seems like this experience will never end but just when I start to feel battle weary, we are given some hope.  Jay still has about five more treatments to go over the next couple of months, but we have been able to discuss things and come to a collective decision that if his next scan comes out clean, we are going to request to stop treatment.  That would make two clean scans in a row and to continue taking the chemotherapy and having to deal with the side effects would just be too much for Jay to handle.  It would seem as though we are doing more harm than good at that time.  He could certainly use the break that’s for sure.


It has been really odd for me lately, even though Jay is doing well and things are progressing in a positive light, I have still been a bit battle-fatigued.  Being responsible to go to work everyday regardless of Jay’s health concerns, handling the finances, and trying to keep up with life circumstances as they are handed to us each and every day have all taken a toll on me.  I wish that I could escape from the pressure for just five minutes.  But, I know that the Lord is continuing to stretch me and I need to persevere so that I can receive the blessings that He has in mind for us.  I am holding on to that time because I know He will be faithful to deliver us from this situation.


I know that brokenness is where the Lord wants us to be so that He may show us His abilities.  Not what I think He can do, but what He can PROVE He can do on my behalf.  The state of brokenness is when we come to the end ourselves and are ready to surrender all.  The glory of the Lord is seen in the transformation of our souls at that very moment of brokenness.  It is a visible miracle we are gifted with as we witness Him physically, mentally, and spiritually change us from the inside out.


Check this out:


“Diamonds in the Dust” A devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada 


Joni speaks of finding some broken glass in her studio by the window and mentioned how the light was beautifully refracted off of the broken pieces.  She goes on to say, “What’s true of shattered glass is true of a broken life.  Shattered dreams.  A heart full of fissures.  Hopes that are splintered.  A life in pieces that appears to be ruined.  But given time and prayer, such a person’s life can shine more brightly than if the brokenness had never happened.  When the light of the Lord Jesus falls upon a shattered life, that believer’s hopes can be brightened. 


It’s the nature of things that catch the light: The color and dazzle of light sparkles best through things that are shattered.  Only our great God can reach down into what otherwise would be brokenness and produce something beautiful.  With Him, nothing is wasted.  Every broken dream and heart that hurts can be redeemed by His loving, warm touch.  Your life may be shattered by sorrow, pain, or sin, but God has in mind a kaleidoscope through which His light can shine more brilliantly.”


This gift of words from Joni Eareckson Tada gives me so much encouragement.  It helps me to remember that this experience with Jay’s cancer will be used to strengthen me and possibly others as I am able to minister to those who have been handed the same set of circumstances.  It is my prayer that the Lord’s light will shine through me giving others that small glimpse into what it is like to have Jesus take up residence in the hearts of those who believe.


Heavenly Father, I have struggled, worried and been fearful of the outcome of this whole experience, but You are the One who gives me the strength and courage I need each day to fulfill my responsibilities to You, my husband, my family and friends.  I thank You for that and ask that Your spirit continue to be filled afresh in me with each new day.  Thank You that in spite of my circumstances, I am able to smile and still feel Your joy.  In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Much Is Too Much

Is there such a thing as loving someone too much?  It's a question I ask the Lord all the time.  The bible mentions love hundreds, if not thousands of times.  I haven't counted, but I know it's in there a whole bunch.

The Word tells us that we are to love others as we would want to be thy neighbor...God so loved the world, He sent His only begotten son...Greater love has no one than this, that he lay his life down for his friends...and it goes on and on and on.  I used to think that I'd be in pretty good shape if I ever reached the point where I could have a love for people that I don't even know, and love the people that I do know with an intensity that the Lord has for us.  I am in that place right now. 

The love I have for people whether I know them or not is far greater than I could've ever imagined.  But, here's the catch that comes with a great love like hurts.  When someone cries, you may as well take a knife and stab me right in the heart.  It doesn't matter if those tears are out of joy or sorrow, I feel it to the core of my heart.  It can be so overwhelming at times.  I can only imagine (or maybe not) the magnitude at which the Lord must feel these same emotions.  It's too much for a human being.

So, how do I remedy that?  Do I stop looking people in the eyes so I don't feel emotion toward them?  Do I allow my heart to become hardened just enough to protect myself?  Do I just tell myself that no one cares as much as I do, so why bother?

The answers: all of the above.  The Lord sent Jesus to die for me.  The Lord loves me far more than I will ever love anyone.  Even when I turn away from Him, He continues to pursue me and love me. His love for me is unconditional.  The very least I can do is try to be more like Him each and every day and if my heart hurts a little due to growing pains, I need to give the pain to Him and allow Him to do a good work in me and stretch my heart to it's very limit and then stretch it some more.  I do not want to harden my heart, but rather, I want to grow from one experience and emotion to the next.  My heart is what makes me...well,ME.  I'm learning to love who that person is.

Father, I thank you for the gift of love.  What an incredible emotion.  I ask that you grow my heart to hold all of the love that You have given me to express outwardly.  Help me to see that I am not weaker because I have so much love to give.  Help me to see that it is Your love that I am expressing to others and not my own.  Thank You for Your love that is never ending.  Thank You that You meet me where I am at.  I praise You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Journey In This Life

Lost in this Life (for Jamie Hare)

With dawn as my heart begins again to beat

It seems that the path that each day holds

Is just another journey to being lost in this life


"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)  

It is then the Lord makes His presence known  

Through the love and heart of a friend  

The journey becomes His - seeking me: I am never


-Barbara Van Winkle

(Thank you to my very sweet friend Barbara, who wrote this poem for me.  I love you friend.)

These past several days have been overwhelmingly emotional because I have been witness to a miracle.  The Lord has given me the gift of my husband's life...whether the cancer is gone forever or just for a time, I refuse to take it for granted.  My husband has been granted time and I couldn't be more grateful. 


This past weekend, I was scheduled to sing in a choir performance at Calvary Chapel Big Bear.  I needed to be up the mountain on Saturday afternoon and we were set to spend the night and perform on Sunday morning.  Well, I got up the mountain and had a really bad migraine headache, but stuck it out for the evening as the choir fellowshiped.  By the end of the evening, I was homesick and missing my husband desperately.  I knew that I had to sleep in an unfamiliar bed without my honey beside me. 


I’m 37 years old and I still get home sick! That would just tickle my Grandmother’sfunny bone because there are many instances in my childhood of me going to her house to spend the night with her and she had to turn around and take me home because I changed my mind and cried my eyes out and made her take me home. Thankfully, I have gotten a little more refined in my adult years. Ha ha!  Now, I just cry and pout…but I stay where I’m at and don’t go home.  :0)


Anyway, the weekend was still fun.  The choir performance was a hit.  We had a blast on the stage and the congregation seemed to really enjoy themselves.  What a blessing.  My goal was to go and praise the Lord, literally, and thank Him for the blessing of Jay’s restored health.  I was battling internally for a little while, because I missed my honey so much, but I knew that I NEEDED to praise the Lord for His love and mercies.  So, praise the Lord I did…with my whole heart!  I just let the Holy Spirit take hold of me and I danced and worshiped and didn’t worry if I hit a bad note or two. (okay, I hit more than two bad notes, but I don’t care.)


At this time in this journey of Jay’s health, I am thankful for all of those that have been and continue to lift my guy up in prayer.  I would be lost without you!  I am grateful to the Lord for Karen, my Sister in the Lord, who has continually carried me in my weakness.  Yes, it was the Lord that carried me, but He used her to encourage me! I love you for your strength and beautiful heart, Karen.  I am also very thankful to mine and Jay’s parents, my Grandma, and my church family for all of the hugs and love that we’ve been given.  We are so abundantly blessed!


And, to my Jaybird, I love you so much that it hurts!  I am so proud of you for your strength and courage.  You inspire me.  You make me want to be a better wife…a better person altogether.  You are my hero!  You have my heart forever.  I will walk with you through whatever life throws our way!  It is a privilege being your partner, Baby.  I love you with every fiber of my being. 



Friday, May 18, 2007

His Healing Touch

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  (James 1:17 NIV)


"'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security." (Jeremiah 33:6 NIV)

Jay and I got some really wonderful news last night.  The oncologist called and told us that the PET/CT scans that Jay just had done on Friday came back clean.  It was so awesome to receive that news right as we were walking out the door to go and have dinner with my former staff that I lovingly refer to as "my kids."  Now we had a reason to make it a celebration dinner! 

Dinner was a always is.  My kids are such great human beings.  I love and adore them very much.  And my honey loves them too.  He really enjoys their company.  It was Joy, Ethel, Ron, Holly, Jay and myself.  We laughed and brought attention to ourselves because we were loud and having too much fun.  It was great! We decided that next month we will meet at Ethel and Joy's house so we can be as loud as we want.  We're going to play Nintendo Wii, Dance Dance Revolution, and sing Karaoke...well, they will sing karaoke, not me.  I am looking forward to it, no matter what we do.  My kids are great and they fill my heart with joy.

I think it finally hit me this morning that Jay's body is showing no signs of cancer.  That is a miracle to me.  A gift from God.  Only time will tell if the cancer will return or not, but right now I'm thinking that I received the miracle that I've been asking the Lord for.  It's an overwhelming thought.  The enemy wants to come in and take that thought away and fill my head with all of the "what ifs" and doubts that can come with this process, but I will rebuke him and his evil ways and instead, praise my Savior for what He has done which is take the cancer from Jay.

The plan is to continue with the chemotherapy treatments and then at the end of it the doc will do another set of tests.  For all of you who are praying for my guy, please pray that the cancer would not return, that Jay would not suffer the severe side effects from the chemotherapy, and that we would return to 100% restored health.  And above all else, please join me in praising the Lord for the miracle He has given to us...the miracle of no cancer, as well as the miracle of a stronger love for one another and for the Lord.  I never would've imagined that cancer could bring about so many positive circumstances.  That is a God-thing!

Abba Father, there are no words...just a swelling heart that overflows with happiness that You have given my honey such a gift.  Only You can bring about such a significant change in his body.  A simple 'thank you' is not enough for the miracle You have given to us, but it is what I have to offer.  I praise Your name.  I ask for Your continued protection over Jay's body, that the cancer would never return again.  But, I desire Your perfect will to be done in our lives, so I thank You even if this is only for a season.  You know what is best for our lives and Your plan is far greater, so I am trusting You to bring Your will to fruition.  I love You, Lord.  My heart sings because of YOU!  In Jesus' precious name.  Amen.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A New Day

"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" (Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV)

The past week has been pretty hectic for my Jaybird...and me too.  Jay received his first round of IV chemo last Friday.  He sat in the chair for 4 1/2 hours.  He was pretty drained when he got done.  Later that evening, he began to feel very nauseous.  We got through to Saturday afternoon and then the chemo really kicked in and he began to vomit.  Oh my gosh, it's so much worse than how they portray it in the movies.  I guess because I'm not connected to the people in the movies and it's not real, but I am totally connected to my honey and I love him and don't want to see him hurting or sick. 

Jay was such a trooper.  He kept trying to eat something because he thought that if he could get enough in his belly, that would make him feel better.  But every time I gave him something to eat, it came right back up.  It was just so sad.  I hated to see him so down.  He tried so hard not to show any fear or worry to me, but I know he was very concerned as we approached Saturday night and then Sunday and he was still getting sick.  I was so worried about him.  I didn't sleep much at all last weekend.

Monday morning I took him back to the doctor for IV fluids and anti-nausea meds so that he could recuperate fully.  It did the trick.  He finally stopped getting sick and was able to hold down some food.  Praise the Lord.

All weekend long, I prayed and prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to take the sickness from Jay, but He didn’t do it.  I knew that the Lord was with us, but it was difficult to understand that there was a purpose for this experience.  The purpose was to draw me closer to Him so that I will lean completely on Him and trust that He knows what is best and has a greater plan for us through this cancer. 

My heart was broken as I watched Jay make trip after trip to the bathroom, but with each time, we would come closer together as a couple because he knew that I was there to care for him and I knew that he needed me.  I praise God for the closeness that I feel to my husband.  This cancer has been a blessing and a curse.  My greatest desire is for the Lord to take the cancer away from my honey, but if He’s not willing to do that right now, I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with Jay and for the added dose of love that I feel for him.  Sometimes I feel the love overflowing in my heart, so much so that it is actually painful.  There is no greater gift that the Lord could have given me.

Jay is doing very well now.  Little to no nausea and he's able to eat real food now.  He actually went golfing yesterday!  I love his spirit.  He really is my hero.  His next round of chemo is next week so all of you who are praying, please pray that the nurses would get the dosage of anti-nausea medication right so that he won’t be sick, or at least AS SICK as he waslast weekend, as well as for strength and rest for him…and me too.

Heavenly Father, I pray Your hand of healing touch on my Jaybird.  Give him continued strength and courage as we journey down this uncertain road.  Give me a renewed energy as I minister to him through this treatment process.  I praise You, Father, for Your mercies that are new every morning.  Thank You for my husband.  Thank You for teaching me lessons daily through this experience.  I am begging for a miracle, that my husband would be spared from cancer, but Your will be done because I KNOW that Your plan is far greater for Jay's life and mine.  Thank You for Your love and comfort.  May You be glorified in my daily actions.  In Jesus Precious name.  Amen. 



Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Struggle - Keepin' It Real

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."  (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV)

Jay and I went to the oncologist today and he is still doing well.  His liver enzymes are still a bit elevated, but the numbers are improving slightly.  Praise the Lord for that!  He has a PET/CT scan Friday morning and then starts IV chemo on Friday afternoon.  Sessions will be 4 hours long, every other week.  In four weeks we go back to see the oncologist again.  "We are going to be playing it by ear," says the doc.  Meaning, we will do a few weeks of chemo and then see where that gets us. 

The doctor seemed very distracted today.  He was late getting to us in the examination room, and then he came in and tried to rush us along.  We kept asking him to clarify what he meant so we could write stuff down and understand what the plan was for Jay.  Then, once he was finally making some sense to us, he tried to rush us out without giving us the results of Jay's blood tests.  His liver enzymes were elevated last time around, so I was concerned with how the tests look now.  So, as the doc was closing Jay's ever thickening chart, he says, "Okay, so I'll see you in four weeks!" and proceeds toward the door.  "Oh NO!  I don't think so," I saidThe doc quickly turned around obviously caught off guard by my tone of voice.   

I said that I wanted him to tell us the results and he quickly said, "They're fine."  I said, "No, I want you to actually LOOK at the results and compare them to last time and tell me if the levels are the same, worse or better."  He seemed a little annoyed at this, but he obliged.  He said that the levels are better than last time, but are still elevated and that was why he was calling for a PET/CT scan so he could have a base line scan to see if the radiation/chemo combo helped.  Now, that made sense to me, but I wanted to hear him say it. 

The doc is not normally like this, so needless-to-say I was very shocked by his behavior and I am trying to chalk it up to the fact that he has lots of patients and he was just really busy.  But, I won't let anyone treat my husband like he is just another patient.  As if all cancer patients are the same or something.  Jay is different from everyone else, if for no other reason than he is my husband and I won't tolerate second rate care!

Jay told me today that he is ready to start going to all of his appointments on his own.  He doesn't need me to be with him.  I have mixed emotions about this because on one hand, I want to be there with him because I am walking through this trial with him and I have a need to know what's going on and want to hear it at the same time as Jay.  But, on the other hand, he feels as though he's got this under control and he doesn't need me to be there with him.  So, I need to be able to just let him do this on his own and not take it as a sign that he doesn't need me anymore. 

I've rather enjoyed the time he has been off work and at home.  I have felt more connected to him.  But,I want more than anything for him to have a normal life again and go back to work and do the things that he wants to do.  I think we're heading in that least my hope is for that anyway.  I'm praying for the Lord to heal him completely of this disease.  I don't know for sure what will happen but I am praying for the best results possible.  My honey deserves that. 

With all of the emotions that come with this whole treatment process, and the fact that I just lost a very dear loved one, I have been emotionally overwhelmed lately.  I have felt as though I were drowning.  But, the Lord has been faithful to keep reminding me that He is in control and that I need to TRUST Him. 

As I am typing this entry out, I am beginning to understand that I am getting in my own way by being so angry.  I need to lean on the Lord for His understanding of how and why things happen the way they do and not my own.  I know nothing, and can do absolutely nothing without my Lord, so why do I struggle?  I shouldn't bother, right? 

Well, I'm human.  I will struggle until the day that I die.  Some days I wish that would happen soon so I won't have to deal with heartache, but I know that the Lord has a plan for my life, Jay's life and the life of everyone around me and I need to honor God and allow Him to shine through all circumstances whether desired or not.  I have to allow Him to dig in, and dig up!

"Let Him plough, He purposeth a crop." - J. Oswald Sanders

Lord, I don't want You to just take my anger from me...I am handing it over to You.  Do with it whatever will glorify You.  None of what I am going through is easy, but I am trusting You to turn that which was meant for bad into something beautiful and brilliant as only You can do.  Help me to look inward and see what You see in me.  Renew me.  Revive me.  Mend my heart, Lord.  In my desperation, I cry out to You because I know You hear me.  Carry my burdens.  Carry me.  I love you. In Christ's name.  Amen.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Karen!!

"Greater love has no one than this , that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13-14 NIV)

Today is a special day for my best friend, Karen.  I won't say how old she is, but it is her birthday.  I celebrate the fact that, on this day sometime ago, the Lord created such a wonderful person.  I celebrate that He counted me worthy of being her friend.

If I had the best imagination in the world, I couldn't have ever imagined a better friend than this woman.  I prayed for years for the Lord to place a strong woman of God in my life, and in His perfect timing, AS ALWAYS, He was faithful to provide.  That poor thing, she had no clue what was comin' to her!  She didn't stand a chance!

I met her in a bible study group and by the end of the study, I knew that she was the woman that the Lord had in mind to be my friend.  On the last evening of the study, I went to Karen and said, "I think we're going to be friends."  And as she likes to tell people, she hasn't been able to get rid of me since.  I suppose that's true to a certain degree.

We share so much...laughter, love, clothes & jewelry, and most importantly, our love of the Lord.  It is a blessing to have a friendship where the Lord is the central focus.  She keeps me focused on the Lord when I begin to get lost.  She prays with me.  She prays for me.  She is not just my friend, she is my sister.  What greater blessing is there!

Karen, my friend, Happy Birthday to you.  I love you my sister and pray that we can celebrate birthdays together for years to come.  I pray the Lord's abundant blessings on you.



Saturday, May 5, 2007

Catching Up

Okay, so I apologize for not updating my blog for several days.  I've been very busy.  Jay is doing very well, so anyone who might be worried that I haven't entered anything into my journal because of him, rest easy...he is well.  As a matter of fact, we have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday to schedule the next round of tests to see where we are at, so I won't have anything to report on him for several weeks.  I am thankful for the period of rest that he gets from treatment so he can just go out and enjoy himself with his friends and brother.  He has continued to golf and fish every week regardless of any treatments he may have been receiving and I am grateful to the Lord that he has been able to do so. 

The past couple of weeks have been very difficult for me because I have been busy with work, bible study, choir rehearsals and performances.  In addition to that, I have been to three funerals in three weeks.  Two funerals were for the passing of loved ones of good friends and I was there to provide support to those friends.  This last one was mine to claim.  I lost a very dear friend and second mother.  It's official, I am in mourning. 

I loved Ginger very much and knew her from two years old.  The funeral was yesterday and the reality of her death hit me then.  I will not go on and on about how much I loved her because it is too hard right now.  But, I will say this...I will miss Ginger very much.  A piece of my heart is gone.  But, thankfully, as I found out yesterday, I will see Ginger again in heaven.  She was a believer in Jesus Christ.  So, not only was she my mother, but she was my sister in the Lord as well.  I couldn't have asked for a greater gift yesterday than finding out that I will see her again.

Anyway, in the coming days, I will be able to write more and more about my walk with the Lord and all the things that He is teaching me on a daily basis.  Bible study came to an end last Thursday and we have our last choir rehearsals and performance in May so that will free up a couple of days per week. 

I promise to write more as my mind begins to declutter.  I have allowed too much noise in and I am praying and giving it to the Lord so that I can begin the healing process.

My love to all who have written, asking about my blog and when I will update again.  Thank you for your interest in what I have to say.  Bless you.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Amen

The word AMEN solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, for ever is "the Amen" in all His promises.  Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection.  Jesus Christ said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  If you come to Him, He will say "Amen" in your soul; His promise shall be true to you.  He said in the days of his flesh, "The bruised reed I will not break."  O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to Him, He will say "Amen" to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul..."  - Evening by Evening - C.H. Spurgeon c. 1928

I have been feeling the need to write something in my journal, but was struggling to find something significant to say.  My heart has been heavy and I haven't really felt as though I could articulate any thoughts.  But, something happened today that helped me to put things into perspective so that I could formulate a coherent sentence.

I have a friend and former co-worker, Andrea, who has suffered a great loss.  The loss of a daughter and son-in-law to a very violent domestic crime, and this has left Andrea with three very traumatized grandsons because both of their parents are gone.  I don't have children, so I can't imagine the amount of grief she must be feeling, and my heart just breaks for this family situation.  The Lord is completely at work on behalf of Andrea and her family and I will report more on this in the coming days as I witness the Lord's goodness showered upon them.  

In the midst of searching for words, the Lord led a co-worker to show me a devotional book from 1928, written by C.H. Spurgeon called, "Evening by Evening."  Today's devotional was just what I needed. [See above.]  "The Lord will say 'Amen' in my soul."  In my soul, not to my soul.  "In," because He resides IN my heart and IN my soul.  "Amen," a solemn confirmation of His love and His promises to us.  What more comfort can I receive at a time when I don't understand this world at all. 

The Lord speaks to me daily, reminding me that it is He, and He alone, that I should be seeking for my dependence.  HE is my Provider.  HE is my purpose! 

We will experience trials.  We will experience sickness.  We will experience heartache.  The Lord has made allowances for these in our lives in order that we may see Him at work in us and through us.  These seemingly negative situations that we experience are a perfect way for us to show our dependence on, and love and devotion to Him. 

My Lord is right beside me, resides in me, holds me up, and carries me. 

My Precious Father, I praise You for all that You are to me and in me.  Thank You.  Thank You.  Thank You.  I lift my hands to You in praise and thanksgiving.  May You be glorified.  I lift Andrea and her family up to You.  Cover them.  Protect them.  Fill them afresh with Your Spirit that they may be able to witness all that You are doing, and have done, on their behalf.  Reside in them.  Carry them.  Comfort them.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

All is right with the world...

Forgive me...

Praise the Lord, Sanjaya is off American Idol!!

I think I will sleep well tonight. LOL


More Growing Pains

Yes, for those who are keeping track, it has been over a week since I have written in my journal.  There is good reason for that...

As the Lord leads.

Jay is doing well.  He is fishing and golfing like crazy.  I have been very busy with many other things.  The most important of which is the fact that the Lord is growing me up and stretching me more in my faith.  While it is painful at times, I am grateful that the Lord is walking beside me and guiding my steps.

I will write more about this process later when I can formulate words to describe what I am going through.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Song In My Heart

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV)

The one thing I know for sure is that my Lord, who resides in me, has put a song in my heart.  Even when I am disheartened and weary from this battle that Jay and I are in, I am still able to sing a song of praise to the Lord.  What an awesome gift. 

Now, I don't have a voice like that of Karen, my beloved friend, who sounds like an angel when she sings, but I know that my Lord loves me to sing to Him regardless of how I think I sound.  What is important to Him is that I sing...period.     
"Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." (Psalm 100:2 NIVHe is worthy of such praise.

Jay Update

My honey just finished his last radiation treatment today.  Praise the Lord!  Now we wait.  He can't get a PET scan for six weeks because the radiation will remain in his system for a while after today.  So, Jay gets a small break.  He still has to take oral chemo for a while until his oncologist sees him in a few weeks and makes a determination as to what the next step will be. 

For those who are praying for my honey, please pray that there would be no cancer in his system and that there would be no new growth at all in between stopping radiation and starting the IV chemo.  It's hard to get excited about stopping the radiation early because we stopped chemo early last year and the cancer came back almost right away.  But, I'm not going to give in to my flesh and I am going to trust that the Lord has it in His hands and His will be done. 

I am thankful that Jay still has energy and a will to live everyday very actively and not give in to the fatigue.  He's a fighter and I'm so proud of him.

I am thankful to the Lord for holding me up through each day, for my wonderful support system at work/church, for my best friend who prays with me and keeps me going, for family who is faithful to check in on us, and for the song that the Lord has placed in my heart.  I could not live without any of these.  I love you all very much.


Monday, April 9, 2007

A Time To Be Molded

"So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Then the word of the LORD came to me, "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" (Jeremiah 18:3-6 NIV)

I had some time to myself this weekend...something that I don't like because there is too much to think about.  Too many opportunities for the enemy to penetrate my brain.  I tried to keep myself busy enough that I wouldn't have time to be idle, but alas, yesterday it caught up with me. 

There wasn't much to do because it was Easter Sunday and the malls were closed and everyone else was busy with their families, which was to be expected.  Jay went golfing with his brother, and I am thankful that he felt well enough to do that.  But, that left me to go to church and then figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my day.

After spending the entire morning at church,  I made a trip to the grocery store and then went home where it was time to figure out what to do next.  Well, it occurred to me (duh) that "go, go, go" is the gear that I'm in all the time and I don't allow myself any real down time.  I work, take painting classes, give massages, go to bible study, and sing in a choir during the week.   No wonder I'm exhausted all the time! 

So, yesterday was a day that the Lord was trying to slow me down in order to get my attention.  I was really bugged because I didn't have any place to be and the Lord told me to 'sit quiet.'  Okay...sitting and being quiet is not how I'm used to being so this was a big struggle for me.  It took a while, but the Lord was finally able to quiet my spirit and I was able to handle being home alone.   

But, it wasn't until today that I realized what the Lord was really trying to do for me.  He was trying to show me that just because I was by myself, didn'tmean that I was alone.   

Ah, I get it, Lord.  I'm a little slow on the uptake, so forgive me. 

Okay, so now that I totally understand what the Lord was trying to accomplish with me...I see things a little differently and feel better about it.  This is all a part of my growth spiritually.  It is all about my leaning on the Lord for my comfort and companionship. 

He is the Potter and He is molding me.  When I refuse to "take shape" He is faithful to take me down to level ground and reshape me.  "The vessel was marred in the hand of the he made it again." (Jeremiah 18:4)

Father, I thank You for meeting me where I am at.  Your love never ceases to amaze me.  I pray that Your loving hands continue to mold me and shape me.  Even when I am resistant, I pray that Your efforts would continue.  Your vision for my life is far greater than my own.  I praise You.  In Your precious Son's name.  Amen.

Friday, April 6, 2007

No Greater Love Than His

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
(Matthew 27:50-54 NIV)

Today is especially difficult for me because I can't help how overwhelmingly ashamed I am of my selfish nature.  Jesus died on a cross 2000 years ago for my sins, my selfishness.  My sins were cast on Him and He was tortured, beaten and shred to pieces even before being nailed to a cross so He could suffer even more at my hands. 

Was I there 2000 years  But, my Father in heaven knew my sin nature and in order to save my soul, He sent His one and only Son to be executed in order that I may one day walk the streets of heaven with my Savior.  It is overwhelming, the amount of love my God has for me in order to do such a thing.

I just came from our Good Friday service at Harvest, and I have a wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ, so I totally understand what happened so long ago and that Jesus reigns to this very day, but it is on this day that my heart cries out to Him with desperate apologies for my iniquities, and promises that I will try to do better...all the while knowing that I will break my promises just seconds later. (if not sooner)

I absolutely love my faith because it is humbling, yet loving at the same time, and fulfilling, and such a great way to get to know who I really am in Him.  And for those who don't have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, some may read this entry and tell themselves, "She's just a 'Jesus Freak' and if her beliefs tell her that she's a failure, why would I want to join in that religion anyway?"  Well, I say to is not my God that tells me that I have fallen short, it is merely the grief I feel for not loving my Savior more and doing more to be like Him.  I strive to become who He desires me to be, who He had in mind when He created me, and I fall short a lot. 

But, I am the one who beats myself up and tells myself that I'm not good enough.  He gave His life for me, and my greatest desire is to be a servant to Him.  He tells me that He still loves me!  There is no greater love than His love for me and I am so unworthy, but oh so grateful!  And yes, I BELIEVE Him when He says that He loves me and will always be in my heart. 

If you don't know this kind of love, you only need to open your heart and ask for it.  He is willing to meet you where you are at.  Take a chance...let Him show You just Who He is.

Lord, on this day so many years ago, You hung on the cross and allowed my sin nature to murder You.  But, You have the victory because You rose again on the third day, just as You foretold.  I will be eternally grateful to You.  I love You with my whole being! I praise Your Holy name!!  Amen.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Practicing What I Preach...

An update on Jay...he is doing fine today.  He feels a bit tired, which is to be expected from the amount of radiation he is receiving in such a short time.  He will be done with radiation as of next Wednesday, but we knew that already.  When seeking to understand exactly why we're stopping radiation early, the doctor could only offer up this reason, "Because the organs and tissues have all received their maximum amount of dosage that they can receive."  Not, "Because he is doing so well..."  That was just something that we thought because it was our hope.  The doctor doesn't know anything about the tumor and whether or not it has gotten any smaller, or if the radiation has been effective at all.  The X-rays that they take every six days are not diagnostic at all...they merely tell them if they're hitting their target.  So, the answer is still a resounding, "We don't know."  Ahhh!

At first I was angry because we got our hopes up and the rug was pulled out from under us AGAIN.  But, through the process of prayer and casting my cares upon the Lord, I see now that it isn't bad news that we received.  It just wasn't any news at all, and I'm praising the Lord!  He is in complete control of this whole thing and I am going to continue to trust that.

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:22 NIV)

To the enemy who THINKS he's going to win this battle, you cannot have my mind!  Everything that I am and everything that I have belongs to the most powerful, the most wonderful and loving God who will kick you in the tail if you even try to take over!

To my Father in heaven, I love You and I'm Yours!  Carry me on Your big strong shoulders because it is You that I am completely dependent upon.  Guide and protect Jay and I.  Heal my husband, heal my heart.  In Your Holy Name, I pray.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Looking Forward...

"No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless AFTERWARD it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness." (Hebrews 12:11)

Trials are very difficult to go through, there's no doubt about that.  We don't ever ask for something terrible and tragic to happen in our lives, but one thing is sure to happen when that tough circumstance does come into play...we learn something about ourselves.  For those of us who are believers in a wonderful and loving God, we learn about where we are at in our spiritual walk.  It's a chance to GROW UP in our faith.

The Lord allows trials as a way to shape and form us into better, stronger Christians.  I'm learning all of this myself, so don't go thinking that I'm preaching to anyone.  It's the Lord that is disciplining me and guiding me along the way, and by me sharing these lessons with you, I'm hoping you'll be open to learning the lessons without actually having to go through these trials yourself, or at least you can be well equipped if you do have to walk the same road as me.

The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that I can go through a life changing event such as Jay's cancer, and the Lord is right by my side, and on most days, He carries me and, if I hold on tight to Him, He will take me all the way through to the other side of the trial.  Well, I'm no where near the end of this trial...but I see His hand on everything and I see that He allowed this to happen for me to grow closer to my husband, and more importantly, so I could grow closer to Him.  I'm sure He has a lesson in this circumstance for Jay too, but only Jay can answer to that so I won't speak for him. 

I was just telling my friend that it is amazing how much clarity you receive when you know you're in the will of the Lord...and you can trust Him completely.  Trust has always been an issue of mine because it has taken many years and many heart breaks to understand that I can't put everything that I have into people, because people are imperfect and will always let me down in some fashion or another, but the one constant that has always been in my life is the Lord. I CAN TRUST HIM WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING AND I KNOW THAT HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME OR FORSAKE ME!  Isn't that what we all need to know?  That there is Someone who will be there through it all?  I have separation anxiety with people, but not with God!  Praise the Lord. 

While I'm thankful for all that the Lord is teaching me, I still can't help but think about a time when I won't have to worry about trials any longer, or lessons that need to be learned.  A time when I can sit back and breathe and all the unknown things of the world will be answered for me.  I can't wait for such a day.

Read this poem that I read in a book called, "Christ Indwelling and Enthroned" by J. Oswald Sanders.


We may not see just here and now

With vision clear the why and how

Of all that God seems to allow,

       But “Afterward!”


We may not know how that or this

Which now we fain would gladly miss

Is working for our future bliss

      But “Afterward!”


We may not fully understand

How underneath God’s chastening hand

Pain is fulfilling love’s command

      But “Afterward!”


It may not be for us to know

What portion of the seed we sow

Shall into golden harvest grow

      But “Afterward!”


We may not know when torn with care

Why earnest and persistent prayer

Should seem to die upon the air,

      But “Afterward!”


It may not be for me to see

The meaning and the mystery

Of all that God has planned for me,

      But “Afterward!”


- Selected


Oh, how I long for my "Afterward."  Thank you, Karen, for following the Lord's leading and sharing this book with me!  What an awesome blessing it is!



Okay, onto the update on Jay's's the scoop:


Jay has done well with his radiation treatments, so much so that he only has five left!  He should be done next Wednesday.  We don't have all the details, but we know that they've narrowed the radiation field down to a small targeted spot in the middle of his belly.  They are no longer radiating his whole abdomen.  Praise the Lord!  I don't really know what all of this means, but Jay and I are encouraged by what we've heard so far.  We have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon and we will hopefully have a lot more information to share. 


As for further IV chemo treatment and the "when" and "how often" and "how much" questions, we will have to wait for Jay's oncologist to come back from vacation.  We have been told that there will most likely be a two week period before he starts his IV chemo though.


So, for all of you who are praying, please keep praying!!  The Lord is hearing thoseprayers and is answering loud and clear!