Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Hair in The Hoover

December 29, 2011

There appears to be a pattern to the days following chemo. The first four days after chemo Keith does very well, the fifth day through the ninth day he hardly gets out of bed, because his blood levels are at their lowest, but then on the tenth day he starts to rebound and continues gaining strength each day leading up to his next infusion. That means there will be ten or eleven days where he will feel fairly well before he gets the next chemo. Add to that the four days following the treatment when he feels normal and it totals fifteen or sixteen days out of each month when he will be able to participate in life. This first round was very rough, because neither of us knew what to expect, but now that we have some idea of what may occur, hopefully, we will be able to cope better with the next round. However, nothing about cancer is guaranteed. January third he goes for his second infusion of chemotherapy and then we will see if this round follows the pattern. 

It started coming out about a week ago and with each day the pace picked up until there was no longer any reason to keep what  remained on his head. He was fighting a battle he couldn't win and when it becomes necessary to follow your sweetie around with a vacuum cleaner it is time to get out the clippers. His beautiful, soft, white hair is now contained within the Hoover bag less upright. The hair remaining, on his head, is very short, fuzzy and soft. After forty five years of seeing him with a full head of hair, seeing him practically bald, isn't as odd as I would have expected. He's still my sweetie and I just want him to be cured of this cancer so we can get back to the business of living without this Spector hanging over us. 

With everything going on in our lives this will prove to be a trying beginning to the new year but with God close by we will come out on the other side ready to resume our lives. I am convinced there are dark forces at work seeking to destroy my relationship with God by throwing one problem after another in my path in hopes that I will turn away from the Lord. I am trusting in him to protect me and keep me from destruction. There are times I want to run away from some of the issues, they are just too painful, but I will stay the course knowing God is at the helm. There will be times I will scream or cry at the injustice yet still I will praise God for giving me the strength to deal with whatever comes my way. I'll not give in to the evil one, I am a cool weather girl and his abode is way too hot for me.

Fuel To The Fire

Satan gets pleasure when he causes pain.
His motives are hateful and only for gain.

To keep you from God, his greatest desire.
One less for God's kingdom one more for the fire.

He'll feed you deception by filling your head
with thoughts of self doubt, lies, fear and dread.

His mission is clearly to get you alone,
away from God's children, to his hellish zone.

For once he's convinced you that you are no good,
he's kept you from God and added more wood.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Target and I Don't Mean The Store

December 22, 2011

The good news is, Keith seems to be feeling the slightest bit better today. The bad news is, I am not doing so well. I am trying very hard to keep my head above water but pretty soon my nose will be the only thing sticking up. The past few days I have cried buckets of tears. There are three separate challenges facing me and I am trying with every ounce of strength to hold it all together but I have to admit I am growing so weary of being strong. My main focus is to help Keith through this battle with cancer. I need prayer for all of the other issues choking the life out of me so that I can focus on Keith. Life can be very cruel, very cruel. That being said I do know that God is at the helm and pray that he will be glorified when all is said and done.

I called the oncologist yesterday because I was very concerned over the fact that Keith was not getting out of bed, for the last six days, except for necessary reasons. This is so not like him. I know that chemo is rough on the body but even knowing that doesn't make it easy to witness. Before this happened he would spend at least eight hours, of every day, in his office on the computer but since last Thursday he hasn't been on it at all. I feel bad for him because I know that it is his comfort zone, where he feels most natural. These last few weeks have been difficult to say the least and I have had moments where I thought I couldn't go on but I am still here so God must be very near. That keeps me going along with the prayers of family and friends. Thank you all.

There is something going on, of which I cannot speak, that could be serious, so please don't slow down on the prayers. This morning I was so distraught I couldn't seem to get it together, I cried in bed, in the shower, out of the shower and back in After an hour or so of this I finally realized that what has me so upset is something I have no control over and therefore I was not going to let it interfere with caring for Keith. God loves me and will not leave me in this dark hour. When oh when, will I stop trying to gain control. I really don't want it. I am powerless and know that God can turn this mess into something beautiful, so someone PLEASE, just kick me in the butt and tell me to get over it. That might be far less painful and more productive.

December 23, 2011

Another day, another dilemma. Do I get out of bed or do I stay put? I would love to stay put but that's not happening, dilemma solved. Every move I make is an effort lately and it is tiresome, hence the not wanting to get out of bed, but duty calls and people depend on me.  

I feel like I have been thrown in a bull ring and the red cape has been plastered to my body. I'm trying to get the thing off but have discovered it is not a cape at all but a big target, which has been painted dead center, front and back, so no matter which way I turn the bull will like what he sees. As I dance around, trying to slough this thing off the bull just looks at me, steam coming from his nostrils, hooves scraping the ground and prepares to charge. Suddenly, there is movement, and it isn't the bull, it's me running towards the big black, saliva dripping antagonist, waving my hands frantically and screaming at the top of my voice, "get out of my way you don't scared me anymore, God has removed the targets and you, giant mass of muscle, can huff and puff, scrape and drip but my dance card is full and you are not on it! 

I listen for his tender voice
to soothe my troubled soul
and then I hear, "you have a choice,
no need for such a toll.

Give me all that weighs you down
or try to carry the load
I'll give you a smile to replace the frown
and strength to walk the road

Get out of the ring, the battles won
no need to prove a thing
I'll walk with you until it's done
great peace to you, I'll bring

So if the storm clouds gather strength
remember I am stronger
For you I'll go to any length
so worry child no longer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Moles, Mine Fields and Mazes

December 18, 2011
  Have you ever played Whack A Mole at a carnival? A mole pops its head up out of a hole and you try to whack it with a paddle but there are many holes and many moles and as soon as you whack one another takes its place. You just can't seem to ever get ahead of the game. Well, that is kind of like my life at the moment. One invasive mole after another, popping up and mocking me, go ahead whack me they say but I'll just call for reinforcements. I guess life is full of such menaces and I am sure we are not the only people to be subjected to their intrusive antics, it just seems that way. Okay, time to leave the fairgrounds and get back into the game of life. 
  Keith is having a very good day, still tiring easily but seeming much more like himself. I overheard him on the phone today and for the first time since his surgery the quality and timbre of his voice was normal. No breathlessness or sounding like he is on the brink of laryngitis. Perhaps this is a fluke and tomorrow his voice will slip back into a bronchial whisper but for now he's good.

December 19, 2011
  What was that I said, yesterday, about a fluke? He is not having such a good day today. We had to go to the WCI for blood work, routine for chemo patients, and the results showed his levels were quite low. His Oncologist put him on an anti-biotic to ward off any chance of infection. We headed home and he got into his recliner and promptly fell asleep while I set off for the pharmacy to pick up his prescription. After a few hours of rest, some liquids and his medicine he now seems to be feeling much better. I can tell you one thing none of this has affected his appetite, at all, and that's a good thing because who knows what the coming weeks may bring. 

  Time to check on my mom, who as you may or may not know, has Alzheimer's, be back shortly. Well, I just made sure all of her Christmas cards were filled out and stuffed with the gift cards she wanted me to pick up for her, so now she won't fret about that again, until tomorrow when she'll get that frazzled expression and ask me what she is going to do about Living with a parent with this disease is like trying to walk across a mine field, wearing a blindfold, at night. Emotions run the gamut from giddy to angry in a matter of seconds and sometimes there is very little that can be done other than to wend your way through the obstacle course of explosives and pray you make it out safely. Tonight, my poor mom was feeling very sad about Christmas and the fact that all of her children won't be together, it was heart breaking. She seems to be more childlike everyday and it is becoming evident that she is slipping deeper into this disease and that the pace is picking up speed. For the first time since we found out she had Alzheimer's, a little over eighteen months ago, I felt totally and absolutely helpless. I've felt frustrated, angry, disturbed and resentful but never helpless. How very sad that this woman who raised seven children and just celebrated her eighty sixth birthday is fading away before my eyes. She said she was going to get in bed and cry because it might make her feel better. I couldn't argue with that, so I kissed her good night and said I'd see her in the morning. A little while later I started back down the stairs to see if she'd fallen asleep but heard no crying and decided it might be best to just leave her alone. So back upstairs I went to check on my other patient. It isn't funny but at the same time, it is! If I don't find some humor in this situation my mom won't be the only one crying.
  Keith has gone to bed. He was still feeling drained and had a temperature of 99.7. We were told that if it gets to 100.4 to call the oncologist immediately. He was feeling sick to his stomach and took one of the anti-nausea pills, which were prescribed before his first chemo and about an hour later he looked and felt better. Before he started feeling better I was becoming quite concerned yet somehow I managed to remain calm, not exactly easy under the circumstances, but I thought it best that at least one person in this house tonight remain functional. 
  Well it is time to get some rest, tomorrow is another day, and hopefully one a little less stressful for all of us. As Keith and I travel through this maze of uncertainty there are two things we can count on, everything will remain unpredictable but more importantly, God will have his hand on us, keeping us steady no matter how mercurial the road ahead. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

No White Flags

December 15, 2011

There are days when I should just stay in bed, this was one of them. Unfortunately, that isn't even a possibility right now.  Pause

December 18, 2011

The past couple of days have been very trying for several reasons none with which I will bore you. I was simply unable to focus on one thing long enough to post anything, however, I didn't want to go too long without journaling an update.

Keith is doing pretty well, all things considered. He suffered none of the nausea for which I am so grateful as I'm sure he is as well. I can tell he is not up to going hiking but then again he doesn't normally hike so that isn't a He may not admit it but he is weaker and gets winded pretty easily. He is getting lots of rest and each day he seems just a bit better. This first week after chemo has been enlightening and fairly uneventful, hopefully it is a harbinger of things to come. I realize, however, that chemo is cumulative  and therefore, things will be in a state of flux but I am praying for his sake, that the next chemo will not be any harder on him than it was this time. That is in God's hands and since his hands have crafted all of creation there is no better place to be.

As I understand it he will start feeling most like himself just about the time he is scheduled for his next treatment. That doesn't seem fair somehow, but cancer is a monster, which is by definition frightening and cruel and no where in its meaning is the word fair. We aren't going to play fair either, this monster is going down. Keep us in your prayers as we fight this foe. 

There are other battles being waged against us but by comparison they are mere skirmishes. I would like to hide in the trenches, to avoid the enemies altogether but I know there is no escaping these invaders. They seek to unsettle and destroy our peace of mind and I admit I am an easier target than Keith, more given to waving the white flag, but because God gave me this man I will not surrender. He carries me through this field, crawling with adversaries, and encourages me to be strong and remember who is in control. My husband is a very special man, a soldier for God, and a man of courage. I may shed a few buckets of tears across this battlefield but NO white flags will be waving anytime soon. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Promise Of Spring

December 12, 2011

Keith is having his first chemo session and HE sends ME an e-card. What a guy! He is so used to caring about how things affect me that even during HIS health crisis he thinks of me. I've always known he was unselfish and now it is even more obvious. I am a fortunate woman.

We arrived at The Weinberg Cancer Institute at 8:00, registered and were taken back for Keith to begin the first of six treatments. The schedule, at this time, is one treatment every three weeks. According to how his body reacts to the chemicals this could change. Hopefully, there will be no set backs and he will finish sometime near the end of March. 

 As usual, he started joking with the nurse, exhibiting his typical persona,  the minute we were shown into the chemo area. His particular nurse was pleasant enough but it seemed she was not one to appreciate his sense of humor. Perhaps it's because of the seriousness of her job but if I had to work with people who were fighting for their lives I would think a sense of humor would be a very good asset. Laughter is contagious and in an atmosphere where one's immune system is not functioning at its highest level, it is the only thing you would want to catch. I don't mean to sound like I'm judging her, after all chemo is serious business, I guess I need laughter so much right now that I figure everyone else does also. Any way, after Keith was seated in his chair the nurse proceeded to ask him the standard plethora of questions one is asked while being prepared for a procedure, have you ever had this, are you allergic to that, do you have a cold, did you ever......yada, yada, yada? After the third degree was over she attached the line to his Port and gave him the anti-nausea medicine that is supposed to head off any bouts of the heaves. He then told me, in so many words, to get I was ready to camp out for a while but he insisted I leave, so with my feelings crushed (just kidding) I kissed him good bye and left to run some errands. Around 1:30pm after some shopping and a stop at Panera for a cup of coffee and a bear claw (yum) I called to see how he was holding up. He answered in his typical cheery voice and said he was good but would still be a couple of hours. So, off I went to try to get a little more accomplished while the opportunity presented itself. Christmas presents may not be high on my list of priorities this year but there are some things that need to be done and I decided to take advantage of the moment. When three thirty rolled around I found myself back at the Weinberg Cancer Institute where Keith was finishing up his last round of chemo for the day. He seemed fine, but tired, and ready to go home, which is exactly what we did. The remaining hours of 'Chemo- Day One' are a blur but suffice it to say much of the evening, aside from preparing the meal provided by one of the caring ladies from church (Carol Williams we thank you) was spent doing as little as possible and that felt  very good, very good indeed.

Oddly enough the whole day seemed fairly normal, at least from my perspective, partly due, I'm sure, to Keith's ability to treat the day like any other. I was almost able to forget that this day was only the beginning of this journey and that it will have to be repeated five more times.

I am grateful for the tiniest of blessings these days. Things that would have rattled me two weeks ago are, today, not even worth mentioning. God has a way of clarifying what is and is not important. There were moments, over the past few years, when my problems seemed to loom like Mt. Everest, plunging me into total darkness, but now those same issues cast a much smaller shadow. No more looming Mt. Everest for me the mountain has turned into the proverbial mole hill. How great is our God!

Winter will turn into Spring, by the time Keith's treatments are finished. That seems, somehow, very appropriate. Out with the old in the new. Each year I reach a point where I am sick of shivering and get antsy for the promise of Spring. I look forward to seeing the trees and the grass turning green and the flowers popping up from their winter slumber. The idea of throwing open the windows and breathing in the fresh Spring air thrills me down to my shivering toes. Witnessing new life, in all its forms, is a miracle. This year I am hoping to witness our own miracle, the new life Keith and I get to begin when he is free of this thing called cancer. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Battle Is Yours

December 10, 2011

Thirty five hours until the first chemo treatment. I think I am experiencing the calm before the storm. Keith is prepared and is approaching this challenge like he approaches just about everything, it has to be done and therefore, he will do it. I am feeling fairly calm but still would like nothing better than to stop this ride, let Keith off and steer the thing back to Pre-lymphoma days. I pray that God gives us both an extra measure of peace as we head out the door on Monday morning. Mostly though, I pray that Keith is one of those people who do not experience nausea. But whatever happens, after the chemo, we will come home and get on with the business of living. This will be a completely new experience for both of us. Certainly it is one we’d rather not go through, but God has brought it into our lives for a purpose. I’m not sure we will ever know why but in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter. Sitting around trying to figure out why is a waste of time and time, I have learned very quickly, is too precious.

Sunday December 11th

Church is where the Lord lives. I can see him in the faces of those who love him. I can hear him in the voice of everyone who says they are praying for us. Every time someone wraps me in a hug I can feel his presence. I have to admit there have been times, in the past four years, that I wasn’t so sure that church was his dwelling place. Was God really there? Did he really care that I was hurting so much? In my heart I always knew he had never forsaken me but the evil one was waging a war for my soul, of that I am convinced. Isn’t that what Satan does, try to steal us away from the one who created us, the God who loves us so much…“that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)? After years of being a lukewarm Christian and running from what I know to be true I feel as though Jesus whispered in my ear “My precious, precious child, I have always been here, loving you through your doubts and fears. I will walk with you through your husband’s illness. I will be holding your hand while you are holding his. I love you, I died for you. Trust in me. I AM GOD.” This experience has renewed my faith. God forgive me for not giving you my all. This battle is yours and we will cling to that knowledge in the hope that whatever the outcome we will be able to say “Thank you Father for drawing us closer to you and for giving us the strength to get through this journey.”

God knows you never asked for this
but He’s there to help you through,
and even when you feel alone
He still is there with you.

There is no heartache, pain or fear,
unfamiliar to the one,
who sacrificed for all mankind
His only begotten Son.

He sees the valley you’re walking,
and the mountain in your way
and He knows the path’s not easy
but He’ll help you through each day.

He knows all that there is to know
and what you’re going through
and though you cannot see Him
He’s walking close to you.

Fear not what the future holds,
our God can see it all
and He is more then able
to catch you when you fall.

Trust in Him as you face this foe,
there is nothing He can’t do.
Let the creator of all mankind
give His lasting peace to you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Life Goes On Whether You're Crying Or Laughing

December 8, 2011

Yea, no cancer in the spinal fluid so no need to be concerned about what is going on in his head. Keith said he told the doctor he wasn't worried there was nothing up Gotta love someone who can still see the humor even in the worst of situations. He has had a positive attitude since day one. This is who he is and I feel blessed to know that God put him in my life. The way he treated all of the staff at the hospital was not only fun to watch but truly reflected his philosophy of life as well. He was the epitome of the Boy Scout code with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure. I am very proud to be his wife, I only wish it hadn't taken something like this for me to tell him. 

As I write this he is sleeping, worn out from a very long day at the oncologist's office. It was a day filled with questions and answers, which Keith processed and compartmentalized allowing him to separate, catalogue and store all the bits of information so that he can find it when needed. While I, on the other hand, was left feeling like it was all loose in my brain, bouncing around the basal ganglia, which was simply not able to coordinate all the info. Men are able to pick and choose what to think about and deal with and are capable of putting anything, which is unnecessary at that particular moment, away in a neat little box in their head to be dealt with later. Sometimes I wish I was a man, not often, but sometimes.

He is lying beside me sleeping like a baby. How, oh how, does he do that? I am glad he is able to rest, though, because he needs to recharge his batteries after this past week and a half. I will remain awake until my eyes start to cross and focusing becomes a problem at which time my finger will fall on any given key stringing out an endless row of that particular letter. That is the point where I surrender to the rejuvenating power of sleep. This has been my routine for quite some time and even more so over the past four weeks. But it's okay, I have always been a late night person, and at times like this it is a blessing. The cross eyed moment I referred to has arrived so before my words turn into dddddddd or yyyyyyyy I guess I'll stop for now and finish this tomorrow. Good night all!

Here it is December 9th and we have just returned from a short trip to the store for some 'Chemo clothes', which translates into something comfortable to sit around in for hours at a time. So, anyway we conquered that task and then found ourselves at The Olive Garden enjoying a wonderful meal. It was a welcome respite from a bone wearying week. For the first time since Keith's diagnosis, life seemed normal, albeit briefly. After spending the previous day at the Weinberg Cancer Center this was definitely a better day. By four o'clock we were home, tired and ready for a nap. I had decorated the house before any of this happened so I plugged in the tree and the garlands and we settled into our living room chairs, kicked back and dosed off for a little while. By six fifteen we were awake and on our way to pick up my mom from my sister's house. As much as I love her not having to think about her needs, for a change, was a huge relief. 

My mom is in bed, Keith is asleep and I am, well it's obvious what I am Keeping this journal helps me to cope with the unknown and right now there is a lot of unknown with which to cope. We are trying to take this one day at a time and praying for God to give us the strength to do whatever is necessary for Keith to be free of this disease. So, I will continue to record our journey knowing that some who read it will keep us lifted in prayer, some will follow sheerly out of curiosity and still others may lose interest entirely. But which ever you may be I pray that this will open your eyes to just how unpredictable life can be and that you will see the true value of your loved ones without having to go through something like this in order to  come to that realization.

Time to turn out the lights cause the eyes are crossing and my brain is shutting down for the night, tomorrow is another day. We will wake up, put our feet on the floor and move forward one step at a time. Life goes on whether you're crying or laughing. I'm sure I'll do both but I'm hoping to laugh more than cry. I'm good at both, how about you? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Better Arms

December 7, 2011

Wait, wait and wait some more. We are certain Keith is going home today but the doctor has not written the release yet. His porte cath was inserted today so he is ready (as ready as one can be for this kind of thing) for his first chemo on Monday. He has been pretty tired all day, leftover effects of his twilight sleep, I suppose. At one point he was talking in his sleep and making all kinds of faces. Unfortunately, I couldn't make out a word he said, rats! You never know what little nuggets of information you might garner from a sleep talker. Blackmail comes to mind, lol!

We are both so ready to go home and try to resume some sort of normalcy. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep knowing he is back where he belongs. Then, tomorrow, we head to the oncologist for a  discussion with the doctor, a chemo education class and a bone marrow test. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we get to relax, well he does, I still have my mom to tend to but that will be changing in the near future. 

My sister is looking into places for her at the advice of her doctor. She needs more care then we are able to provide any longer. Though I feel sad for her I also know my efforts need to be concentrated on Keith and my mom can be very difficult at times due to her advanced stage of Alzheimer's. It won't be easy for any of us because we were hoping to keep her at home. Things change though and now we have to try to make the transition as easy as possible for her. I fear she will give up and lose any will to live, so prayers for her are much appreciated. 

It is 4:15 as I write this and we are hoping to be out of here no later than six or seven. We shall see! Keith is reminding me that they have been saying he is going home since Monday. As far as I know there is no reason to keep him here any longer. 

Keith is doing well. His sense of humor has not diminished, which is comforting, and it makes this an easier issue with which to deal. He seems ready to do what it takes to send this disease packing. Tomorrow we may learn a little more about what is going on in his body and find out if his course of treatment will be what the doctor told us it would be, on Monday, or if perhaps because of the pathology and lumbar puncture the treatment may be changed. At this time we have no reason to think it will change.

Tomorrow is a new day and we are going to face it together. God has given us this journey for a reason. On this side of the pearly gates it will remain a mystery but on the other side we will understand. God knows what he is doing and when we get to the place where it all makes sense it won't matter anyway because we will be home. For now, my prayer is that we can both be witnesses to the power of God and the fortitude of the human spirit. We will cast our cares upon the Lord and leave the outcome to the one who created us. He is carrying us through this, of that I am sure. There are no better arms in which to rest.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Let's Do This!

December 5, 2011

We are still at the hospital but after Keith gets an echo cardiogram and a lumbar puncture, sometime tomorrow, we will be going home. Wednesday he will have his chemo port inserted, Thursday we meet with the oncologist for further discussion, chemo treatment education class, bone marrow test and Monday will be his first chemo treatment. Sounds like he and I will be rather busy for the foreseeable future.  

When we met with the oncologist earlier today, I found him to be very informative, personable and he did not rush through our meeting. Keith and I have total confidence in his ability to determine the best course of action and we feel comforted by his willingness to spend time with us without making us feel rushed. I like knowing no question is too minor. He leaves me with the impression that he truly cares about helping his patients and not simply about making the almighty dollar. No one wants to go through this experience but if it is necessary it sure is nice to feel like you count as a person rather than a  statistic.

Keith is moving around better everyday and his sense of humor is still in tact. We know we will be needing our sense of humor in the coming months but we are also aware that there will be moments, more than we'll probably like, that will not seem so laugh worthy. For now, we are trying to digest all of the information we were given pertaining to his diagnosis and treatment plan. Wow, overwhelming comes to mind but we will forge ahead and do what we have to do in order to get him well. We are taking a positive approach to this knowing that with God all things are possible. For now, I myself feel ready to do battle, to stay strong when my knees get weak and to be here for Keith. He has always been a fighter and I expect no less from him in the face of this challenge. Judging by the way he has handled this from the time he awoke from surgery, he expects no less from himself. God has been good to us throughout our marriage and we will continue to trust in him as we walk this road. 

I can feel the prayers of so many lifting us up and it is that and God's love which keeps both of us going. There will be some tough times ahead, I'm sure of that, but I hope to help my husband, to support him in any way I can, to be his strength when he feels weak and to be the wife God has called me to be since the day we were married forty four years ago. I haven't always been the best wife but I always meant to be. I guess God is giving me another chance to be the wife Keith deserves. The commitment I made all those years ago remains as strong as ever, for better or worse, for richer for poorer and in SICKNESS and in health, this is my solemn vow. I am looking forward to many more years with him by my side. So sweetie, I know you will read this and I say let's do this! 

Trust in me, even when you hurt and my grace will see you through
far beyond the stormy skies that overshadow you.
I’ll bring you to that sunny day that you have longed to see
when in your pain you call my name and place your faith in me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What A Team

Update: December 3, 2011

Three days after surgery Keith is doing pretty well. He is the Keith we all know, the one who always puts others first, makes it his business to put a smile on the face of anyone in his field of vision, is waiting for his next meal, although he has just finished his last one, and wants to be sure that he is caught up on any business in which he is involved. Every day brings improvement but he has a way to go before he is moving normally again. That's okay because I know he will give it his all. That is who he is!

I am, as usual, amazed at his ability to focus on the task before him, even though it may be daunting, with a positive attitude. He inspires me to dig deeper into myself to find that part of me where strength resides. Keith is a glass half full kind of guy where as I am, sad to say, a glass half empty type of gal. Not proud of that believe me. However, I am beginning to see that that is not the best approach to take. 

There have been many times when I thought I couldn't handle one more setback and wondered why God would not give me a break only to have still another trial come along, as if God was saying, 'How dare you question what I am doing in your life and because you still don't get it here is one more trial'. The reality is God can do whatever he chooses and in his time the reason will be revealed. Well, I THINK I FINALLY GET IT GOD. You were preparing me to confront this latest and most difficult trial with an inner strength born from the labor pains of the past few years. Just as labor, though very painful at the time, gives birth to a new life full of promise and potential, the trials I have endured with heartache and tears have given birth to a new and stronger me. God knows what he is doing and I am determined to be the child he has called me to be. I will face this latest trial unafraid of traveling the bumpy road ahead, armed with the knowledge that he is able to keep me from stumbling, that he will be with me every step of the way and that he has given me a new found courage, which would not have been possible but for the lessons learned over the past few years. So, I will praise God through the storm and lock arms with my love as we face the foe together. Three against one. God, Keith and me. What a team.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Give God A Giggle, Make Plans

Wednesday November 30, 2011.

If you want to make God laugh, make a plan. We've probably all heard that before and the fact is it seems to be true. 

Keith was supposed to go for his biopsy on Monday December 5th but his condition deteriorated so quickly we found ourselves in the emergency room Tuesday afternoon. Since then he has undergone six hours of surgery on his back and it was discovered that he has lymphoma. We don't know the type or magnitude of involvement in his body, yet, but by Monday we should be much more informed. After we find out what we are dealing with we will make a plan of action with his oncologist. We are optimistic but realistic. For now, if the lymphoma is contained in the area of the tumor it is entirely possible it can be radiated and destroyed. This is our prayer.

Ordinarily, I would be ringing my hands and pacing the floor, in general an all out wreck. But I am at peace with this because I know that God is carrying us and this load of care we presently bear. There is no other explanation for the peace that has settled over me. Keith, is a pragmatic kind of guy, everything is black and white and he doesn't worry or fret. Instead he feels the best way to approach any issue is to deal with whatever comes up head on, focused and determined to do whatever is necessary.  

The 'C' word, is one of those words you hope to never use in connection with yourself or your loved ones. This only happens to other people, right? Well obviously that is incorrect. So here we are getting prepared to fight the fight of our lives. God is our commander, he has laid out the battle plan and we will follow his orders because he has already determined the outcome. We are putting on the full armor of God. 

No matter what the outcome of this fight we both rest in the knowledge that we have a heavenly Father who loves us and will be with us every step of the way. A God of love and compassion who will never leave us or forsake us. There is nothing  in this mortal life that can even come close to the love of our Father in heaven. 

The Great Physician
With human hands the doctor works, to heal his patient’s pain
but God performs the miracles no doctor can explain.
No mortal in this earthly realm will ever find the cure
for all the ills that plague the world, of that we can be sure.

But God can make a cripple walk and make a blind man see
and He can heal the deepest hurt that touches you or me.
How awesome is the God we serve whose power far outweighs
the knowledge learned by mortal men and only He displays.
A man may study medicine to benefit mankind
but God is the Physician and healing His design.
This vessel is not who we are, it’s but an outer shell
and doctored men of medicine cannot make all things well.
True healing is in God alone for He can touch the soul
and it is there that He begins to make the body whole.
So when you feel like giving up, and all you’ve tried has failed
cast your cares upon the cross, where Jesus love was nailed.
He loves you with a lasting love and waits for you to call
to ask Him to live in your heart, to catch you when you fall.
Once invited in your life, He’ll never leave your side
and when your time on earth is through with Him you will abide.
Jesus suffered on the cross to open Heaven’s door
to break the bond of sin and death so man would fear no more
Trials and sorrows you will face, but with you He will stay,
God promised to meet all your needs, on Resurrection day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sun Is Going To Shine Through Any Day Now

Trials, life is full of them, I can't avoid them and so I just have to get through them. Do I know God has the right to put me through trials? Yes, I realize that it is from trials in my life that I grow. Do I have to like it? No, but I believe God wants what is best for me. I know God loves me, I am his child, and just as my earthly parents disciplined me so also does my heavenly Father. After all parents discipline because they care. If I keep that in mind it helps a great deal but that doesn't mean it's painless. When I was a child discipline hurt and I'm finding out that as an adult it sometimes hurts even more.

Lately the trials are coming at me fast and furious and I'd simply like to get through one before getting hit  with another. Don't get me wrong, I am blessed in so many ways, of this I am very much aware and I am grateful, I truly am. It is just that every time I think I can finally relax and take a deep breath I get the wind knocked out of me again. I remember, as a kid, the inflatable punching bags that were weighted on the bottom and sat on the floor, when you punched them they just came right back up, well, that's sort of how I feel. As soon as I'm up I'm knocked down again, it is getting tiresome. God tells us, however, in Galatians 6:9 bfor at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. And so I am trying to be strong but this body of mine isn't cooperating. It seems that I'm sick a lot more lately and I can't afford to be sick, there are too many things to do.

Prayer is the answer, this I feel certain of, and yet I am so weary in mind, body and spirit that praying is difficult. Thank our God that the Holy Spirit intervenes at times like this or I would be without comfort. So I will place my faith and trust in God to see me through and that will be enough. I'm waiting for the storm clouds to roll away because I know the sun is shining on the other side.

Trust in me, even when you hurt and my grace will see you through
far beyond the stormy skies that overshadow you.
I’ll bring you to that sunny day that you have longed to see
when in your pain you call my name and place your faith in me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal..At Least It Does With God

When I awoke this morning I was prepared for more of the same old, same old, as they say. I don't know who they are but I've heard they say thisI rolled over, snuggled into my comforter and prepared to allow myself a few more moments to fully awaken, while thinking of what I needed to do today. My first thought was I needed to grab my IPad and check my mail because I was waiting for an answer to a rather urgent question I had asked of an Attorney friend of mine. So I jumped out of bed, grabbed the aforementioned device, dove right back under the covers, plumped up the pillows and settled in to see if I had received a reply. I had not, but I wasn't concerned because I trusted this person would get back to me as soon as he was able and so I moved on to check the rest of my mail. While in the midst of going through my email I received a text from my granddaughter and in that moment things went from same old, same old to "Oh happy day, oh happy day".

I saw the hand of God in action. The power of prayer is a mighty thing and the text I received made me want to shout to the heavens "Thank you God" but I don't think I did. So, though it may be late, "Thank you God"! Forgive me for always wanting your help and when you give it, forgetting to give you the thanks and praise you so richly deserve. Before I did another thing this morning I should have thanked you. I was so excited by the news in this particular text that I lost all track of priority. Once again Father, forgive me for slighting you, for as Paul said, in Romans 7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. The very thing I hate, in this case, was that I did not show my gratitude immediately. But, let something go wrong in my life and I am very quick to show my displeasure. God, you deserve better from me.

It seems that after months and months of agonizing over issues with my first granddaughter, whom I lovingly refer to as 'Pumpkin', the Lord saw fit, in His timing, to give me a sign of hope. Just a couple of weeks ago I gave it over to God because all of my efforts were for naught and I needed to find peace. I should have done this long ago but as usual I wanted to fix it myself. Why,when that never seems to work do I continue to think I know better than God? Why, why, why? I've been praying for something, anything, that would be a clear sign that God was going to bring her through this particularly rough stage in her life and that I would feel a peace, the peace that passes all understanding and I believe today that is exactly what He did. God is so good!

I've been praying that God would bring a Christian into her life, someone she would respect and in whom she might feel comfortable enough to confide. Well, I'm praying that today he did just that. Her text to me was so upbeat that I could almost see her smiling. Understand that in most of her texts she comes across as angry and very depressed. I know there will be ups and downs but for me this is a clear sign of hope for the future of this child I hold so very, very dear.

It feels like God has reached down from above, lifted up my chin ever so gently with his hand, stared into my eyes and said, "My dear child, I have been waiting for you to trust me with all of your heart so that I could bless you, for you see I love you, I created you and I know what is best for you. I know you have been hurting but I have been with you during your darkest moments waiting for you to just "be still and know that I am God".  

Years ago I saw a miracle happen in my daughter's life. I am sure that what happened to her was a miracle, so I've always known that with God all things are possible and yet doubt, another of Satan's tools, kept me from receiving the answer to my prayer. Time for this woman to put doubt away.

Ephesians 3:20-21
20  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Satan, He's A Tricky Devil

I’ve been praying the last few nights, just not using the blog as my way of doing so. I managed to keep focused or at least when I lost focus I sensed it and got back on track. That Satan is a tricky devil! He will try his best to keep me from talking to my heavenly Father. If I let down my guard for one second I get distracted and go off on a tangent that has nothing whatsoever to do with my prayer concerns. Yes indeed, he is a tricky devil. That shouldn’t be surprising though, since, it is his desire to steal me away from God. If Satan sees the slightest opening he will try to persuade me that he is the better option by tempting me in ways that appeal to me, specifically.

Temptation is an evil tool of the evil one. I remind myself, Satan is the father of lies, evil to the core and not at all interested in my well being.

I am not fooled. He tries to present himself as an angel of light, but God’s light out shines his every time and keeps me from straying. God’s light is likened to the brightness of the sun while Satan’s is like that of a flashlight just as it is dying. The two do not compare.

God is my fortress to whom I run for protection. He is my anchor who keeps me in place. He is my strength when I am weak, my sight when I am blind, he is my comfort when I am anxious, he shines a light on the path before me and wipes my tears when I am inconsolable. He is all I need.

I don’t always remember who God is in the midst of a crisis, that is not something I am proud of but nevertheless it is true. Why do I forget that he is there for me? I think it may be a weakness of mine, a specific weakness that Satan uses to keep me away from my only true source of comfort, hope and help. I try to fix everything on my own, first, and when that fails, which it almost always does, I then turn to God. Leaving God as a last resort is definitely the wrong course of action.

Many people may not believe in God or Satan, some believe in God but not Satan (I don’t get that), but I believe in both of them. So I will continue to pray for guidance from the Lord in my daily walk and for the ability to see when I am being tempted by Satan or one of his minions, for they are legion. Evil exists, we all see it everyday, but we don’t all believe there is demonic power at work, I do. Look around you, think about what is happening all around the world, ask others who have traveled extensively to parts of the world where Christianity is not allowed, you will learn things you wish you didn’t know. I will not name specific places (do not want to offend, not the purpose of this post) but I know someone who visited one particular Country where he said the evil was palpable. This is a person regarded very highly by many people not some charlatan, who arbitrarily spouts off just to be heard. This is a man of true humility and honor whom I would trust implicitly. Evil likes the dark, it does not want to be found out, it likes to hide, it is a coward and if the light is shined on it, it sinks back into the depths from which it crawled.

So, though evil will try to prevail, it cannot where the light of God is shining. Remember when you were little and the lights went out, it was then you imagined all kinds of horrors, but when the light was turned back on your fears vanished? Well, perhaps there was something to that after all. I’m not saying there are boogiemen in the closet but children have open, pliable minds, a perfect pathway for the evil one to use, he doesn’t care if you are just a child, as a matter of fact that probably suits him just fine. He will take the easiest road every time to lead a person away from God.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

I said it before and I’ll say it again, that Satan, he’s a tricky devil!!!! I do not say this as a joke but with all sincerity.
Fuel To The Fire
Satan gets pleasure when he causes pain.
His motives are hateful and only for gain.
To keep you from God his greatest desire.
One less for God's kingdom one more for the fire.
He'll feed you deception by filling your head
with thoughts of self doubt, lies, fear and dread.
His mission is clearly to get you alone,
away from God's children, to his hellish zone.
For once he's convinced you that you are no good,
he's kept you from God and added more wood.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Watching them as their lives unfold
I know from experience,
there will be sorrow along the way.
Life will not always make sense.
If giving my life could spare them pain,
I would do it instantly.
Their happiness is what I desire,
but it isn't up to me.
It is said we learn from our mistakes,
as painful as they may be.
Yet still we wish to spare loved ones
from the trials they cannot flee.
What would be gained by a life of ease?
It seems such a simple request.
Although God could make it happen,
He knows it's not for our best.
Knowing I cannot keep them safe
from the battles they will face,
I turn to God who is in control,
and seek His infinite grace.

Hey, Memory Thief..Leave My Mother Alone

The light cascades through the blinds, falls across my bed, another new day beckons. I'm not ready to get up so I roll over, turning away from the window, yank the covers up a little closer to my chin and lie their thinking about what this day will entail. I know that it will consist of the usual chores, duties and time spent with my mom but I wonder what else might make its way into my day, just to shake me up. Feeling rather comfy, I cannot bring myself to throw off the covers just yet, so I say a quick prayer that God will watch over my granddaughter (teenage years can be so horrible), ask God to keep my daughter and her family in Canada safe and give me the ability to care for my mom with patience because I know she isn't quite herself anymore.
Well, I can linger no longer so I slide off the bed and head for the kitchen to get my coffee then down to visit my mom while she has her breakfast. She is still somewhat independent and manages to fix her own coffee, although I could do it, I think it's important for her to do as much as possible for herself. We talk about mundane things while she fixes herself breakfast. I have stocked her kitchen with easy to fix meals, toaster sandwiches, pastries, cereal, muffins, French toast, all of which she seems to have no trouble preparing. So as she fixes her meal we discuss how she slept, what to expect of the weather for the day, her medications and what’s on TV today. TV has become a huge part of her life since she doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend anything that requires concentration. Add to that the fact that she wears a brace on her leg, which gives her balance issues and you might understand why what’s on the telly is important to her.
So, for the next two hours, we watch television, this has become our routine, after which I go back upstairs while she takes her shower, makes her bed and gets dressed. Soon enough I’ll be back in her living room but only after I am able to get a few things accomplished myself. Such is the life of a full time caregiver whose mom is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Each day it seems she is slipping deeper into this disease that is stealing her memories, making her more childlike, and making me the mother figure. How, did this happen and where is my mother? Where's the woman who raised me, the woman who stayed up with me nights when I had the croup, chased me with a broom for mimicking her, as children like to do, and when she caught me we would burst out laughing because we both knew she wasn't really going to hit me. My mom, the woman who raised seven children on a very small income, the beautiful young mother who never looked her age or like she had given birth to so many babies, where is she? Where's the mom who would let me sneak downstairs to watch The Fugitive with her after the rest of the kids were in bed? That was our special memory, ours alone. I will always cherish that, though it may not seem like much to some, to me it meant for a little while I had my mom all to myself. Once a week, Tuesday night, The Fugitive starring David Jansen, that was our night, our special night.

The last few weeks she seems to be having episodes of confusion a bit more often. It is sad to see and at times causes quite a strain on both of us but we get through it, we get through it, with love. I know at eighty five this disease will probably take her sooner then I would like but until then I’ll be her mom for awhile. I’ll sit up with her if she needs me and, yes, I will mimic her because it still makes her laugh. I will always be her daughter even when she can no longer remember my name. For now she knows me and that is good enough.

Father, you are omniscient. Your purposes are not our own nor can we understand why our loved ones have to suffer or why we have to watch their slow decline but we trust in you and your plan for their lives. You are a merciful God, loving and full of grace. We honor, praise and glorify your holy name. Lord, forgive me for the sin in my life, I fail you every day. In my mind, my words or my actions I let you down daily and I need your grace renewed in me everyday, everyday. On my own I am helpless, hopeless and on a course of destruction, only you can keep me on the straight and narrow path. Prone to wander, yes that’s me Lord, I need you to help me, to guide and direct me. Your name is above all names; there is no one like you. Thank you for your goodness and mercy, it is so much more then I deserve. Help me to take the plank out of my own eye before pointing out the splinter in someone else’s. Father, you know the heavy burdens in my heart for my family, for Taylor, for Chris, for Caterina, for Laura, for my siblings and the situation there, work in all of their lives to bring about healing. Work in mine so that I would forgive those who have wronged me and seek forgiveness from those I have wronged.

Give us wisdom in trying times
to know which path to take
Give us hope in time of need
a reason for to wake
Guide us with a gentle hand
when at times we go astray
and keep us from destruction
when pride gets in our way
Give us clear direction, Lord
when we know not what to do
so that even when we falter
we’ll turn right back to you.
Give us not what we deserve
Hold back your wrath, I pray
and let your love and mercy
descend on us today

In the name of your precious Son I pray, AMEN

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Searching For The Humor By Way Of Idioms...I Don't Think God Will Mind

When it rains it pours and lately I’m soaking wet. I cannot seem to get out from under this black cloud but perhaps if I just hang in there I’ll see that, indeed, every cloud has a silver lining.

If it’s not one thing it’s another and sometimes I try everything in my power to do what’s right, where my family is concerned, but a house divided against itself cannot stand. I bend over backwards, biting off more than I can chew, while at the same time biting my tongue, I find myself between a rock and a hard place because the person I’ve been communicating with is, a loose cannon. I have been drawn into a web of lies forgetting that a leopard can’t change its spots, I go out on a limb, going the extra mile only to find this particular leopard may have cried wolf, once again.

I feel like I’m fighting against the clock. Always the Good Samaritan I try to keep my chin up and avoid a knee jerk reaction because the welfare of one of the apples of my eye is at stake.

Since blood is thicker than water and a person very dear to me is at the heart of this situation my gut feeling is telling me that not everything I’ve been told, by the leopard, is the truth. However, being the doubting Thomas that I am and also trying to remain impartial until I know the whole truth, I cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that my loved one has a huge chip on her shoulder, and therefore, is not off the hook completely when it comes to the truth, either. My inclination is to believe her. I want to believe the best about her, to not be barking up the wrong tree.

Okay, I’ve learned some interesting little tidbits recently, now what do I do? In this scenario I am not the new kid on the block and it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Make no bones about it; the time has come to level the playing field. I am tired of being on pins and needles every time the phone rings. The phone, an inanimate object, has become my worst enemy. When it rings I could cross my fingers (if I was the superstitious type) or in my case say a quick prayer that it isn’t the leopard ready to throw everything but the kitchen sink at me. I can no longer subject myself to the angst this person creates in my life so where she is concerned, Elvis has left the building!

I have made a decision; I want to be off the hook. My flesh and blood knows I am here for her, as her granddad is also and now I have to get over it.

Moving on is not so easy but with God I can do it. I wish I could say without a doubt that everything will turn out the way I hope but only God knows the outcome of this drama.

Father, God of all creation, the one who made us in His image, to you is all glory, honor and praise. You alone are holy and worthy of praise. Thank you for your goodness and mercy shown to us everyday. This earth is an ugly place at times but Lord the beauty of your creation overshadows any ugliness that man creates. Never will I forget the cross and what Jesus did for me. The agony of his crucifixion is beyond what he should have had to bear and yet he died an excruciating death so that I and anyone who calls upon him can be with him in eternity.

I would ask Father that the two people living in the midst of this difficulty would somehow find a way to truly love each other, the way a mother and daughter should. If I could snap my fingers and make it all right, I’d do it in an instant but it isn’t up to me. That has been the hardest part of this ordeal to grasp. When it comes to those I love my tendency is to try to fix everything, as if you didn’t know this Lord, and I know that’s not the way it works.  I have faith, that you Lord God in your infinite wisdom, have the answer but whether or not I will see the result is not for me to say. I pray You would continue to bless my family in ways to numerous to count and watch over those too young to fend for themselves. Once again I seek Your forgiveness for the sin in my life, be it in thought, mind or deed. Renew a clean spirit in me. I ask this in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus the Christ. AMEN

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trusting, Believing and Being Still

God wants us to trust him, believe he will answer our prayers and be still and wait. Sounds ever so easy but it is not, it is something that needs prayer in and of itself. Everytime I think I'm there, I get knocked flat on my back and have to start all over again.
Isn't that what being a Christian is all about, trusting in Jesus for everything? Up until three years ago, for the most part, I did okay in this area. Don't get me wrong, I faltered, but I'd pull myself out of it and accept that I had to try again. God knows we are imperfect creatures and I am grateful. But these past few years have been very hard, for many reasons, and although I know God is in control I keep wanting to take control myself, as if I could do a better job! Why, I ask myself, is it so difficult to just let go and let God? I think it is, BECAUSE I LIKE TO BE IN CONTROL, don't most of us? If, however, I am going to trust, believe, be still, and wait I need to get out of my own way. MY OWN WAY, there it is in a nutshell, I want what I want when I want it! Being in control, having my own way, they're the same thing so now I must ask myself, do I really trust God? Well, do I? Do I trust God, the omnipotent, omniscient, infallible creator who knows all there is to know about me, who has a plan for my life and knows how to impliment this plan (without my help) or do I trust myself, a mortal human being who procrastinates at every turn and is unable to make a decision without stressing over every little aspect? Just who do I think I am?
Okay, I know who I'm not -GOD- now it's time to take a good look at who I am -a mortal being- and decide whether or not to relinquish control, the control I never really had. Well, since I never really had the control to begin with I suppose it's time to let go and let God.
Will I fall flat again, probably, but I am determined to keep getting back up, knowing that God will never give up on me.
Trusting, believing and being still, that's the decision I've made. Keep me in your prayers because deciding is one thing, doing is another.

Father, teach me how to be still, to simply trust in you. You tell us in your word that we must ask, believing that you will answer because if we doubt at all then we are not trusting you. As we all know, a relationship cannot survive without trust.
You know my burden Lord and how my heart is breaking, but I also know you can lift my burden and mend my heart. I want the peace that passeth all understanding, the peace that only comes through knowing your Son, Jesus. You Father, can do all things, you who created the heavens and the earth are capable of unspeakable wonders. When I look around at the beauty of this planet I stand in awe and sometimes gasp at the wonder of it all. How awesome is your creation.

The vastness of the universe
our sight cannot contain.
His infinite expansive realm
mere mortals can't explain.
This body He has given us,
its intricate design,
is far beyond the scope of man's
conception to define.
We're given eyes with which to see
all that He has conceived,
yet walk through life with blinders on,
sightless and deceived.
We shut our eyes to His design,
and claim it's happenstance.
We say that life, in all its forms,
crawled from the soup by chance.
How can we gaze at star filled skies
that show no end in sight
and not believe there is a God
who sent to us the Light?

Forgive me for the sin in my life. Though I try not to sin I am a weak earthly vessel. Each day I need to be cleansed anew and filled with the purity of grace that only you can supply.

Help me to see the need in others so that my own doesn't take over my life. Give me the insight to recognize when there is a lost soul searching for purpose and the ability to reach out and help in someway. I have been too focused on my own sorrow to see that others are in need. I want to be more selfless and less selfish.

Lord, be with my family, I love them so much and the idea of knowing you can be saved is not something they believe but you can open their eyes to this truth. I try to live as an example of what a Christian should be but Father I fail more then not. All these years and I am still the only one, out of all the siblings in my family, who believes a person can know they are going to heaven. I'm pretty sure they all believe that Jesus is your Son but they don't believe that they can have a personal relationship with him. I know you can speak to all of their hearts and that is my prayer. I ask this for other members of my family also, not just my siblings.

Father, today was not a good one for my mom. She was terribly confused. I pray that she gets a good night's sleep and wakes up tomorrow refreshed and more like herself. For my granddaughter, Lord you know the anquish I have suffered but I am trying so very hard to just be still and let you work in her life. We are ready to help if that is your desire, for all of us, but Father we need it to be made clear. Until that time I would just ask you to watch over her in her rebellious state and keep her safe from harm. Lord I pray she would not be exposed to any predators while she is searching so hard to fill the void in her life. We will fill that void but we are waiting on you Lord, to guide and direct.

I pray for the people from LRPC who have surgery scheduled this week, that each one woud be successful and that the doctors performing the operations would be guided by you. Comfort them and their families both now and during their recoveries. I would ask also that the situation at our church be settled once and for all for the good of everyone. Lord, my prayer is that the discussion that took place in church today brought the facts out and led to a resolution, which will please us all.

Father, I pray for Hannah, a young woman who has strayed from you and whose parents and grandparents are concerned for her well being. Turn her life around 180 degrees. Give peace to her family as you would to ours. Keep her safe while she trys to figure out her life and her purpose on this earth and if it be your will guide her quickly back to your open arms. So many of us have prodigals in our families who we hope will return someday - SOON! Give each of us the ability to trust and be still.
For it is in the name of your precious Son that I ask these things. AMEN

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love For A Lifetime, It Is Possible if.......

In honor of Lovefest 2011.

It's quite common in this day for people to go through relationships like they go through clothing.
We usually buy an article of clothing, that one special piece, because we like the style and it appeals to us. We might believe that it will make us look good but we fail to look at the label to determine how much it is going to cost and how time consuming its upkeep will be. Regardless, we take out our cash, or plastic, plop it on the counter and say "I'll take this". Once home we try it on, look in the mirror and inevitably say "It looked better on me in the store" or "What was I thinking, this is all wrong"? "All the money I spent and now I'm not even sure if I like it, plus I didn't notice this thing is - Dry Clean Only". Well, it seems to me we do the same thing in our relationships, we see something we like, we go after it but once we get it we're not so sure we want to keep it because we realize the cost and care might be too high. 

I remember when I met Keith, in high school, I was initially drawn to him because I thought he was just so cute. He had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen, even though one was green and one was blue (that made him unique, I liked that). As I got to know him what appealed to me was his leadership quality, that was evident even then, and I hadn't had any male examples in my life who displayed this characteristic. Keith was and still is a take charge kind of guy. He always gave me the impression I was safe with him. He made me feel important, like I was the only female on the planet who made his heart beat a little faster and he still makes me feel that way. We have now been married 43 years, YES HE DID ROB THE, and it hasn't always been easy, but divorce has never been an option. He and I started our journey together all those years ago and we will travel this path till death do us part. A commitment was made before God and with Him in control IT IS possible to Love for A Lifetime.

Today we finished up a program at Church entitled 'Lovefest 2011'. It was a time of teaching, learning, fellowship and discovery. Yes we can be married forever! Love can last a lifetime! IT IS POSSIBLE IF WE ALLOW GOD TO TAKE CENTER STAGE and learn to MAKE LOVE...a verb.

 Marriage Of Three

Not so very long ago
you stood before the Lord
and pledged your solemn marriage vows
to live in one accord
What once was two becomes now one
Inseparable for life
To grow in love more every day
and cleave in times of strife
Ecstatically your lives begin
awash in golden beams
So in love it's hard to see
real life beyond the dreams
As time goes by the vale will fall
The truth shall be revealed
Then will the vows pledged on that day
remain as tightly sealed
Do not leave God at the church
He's waiting there for you
Invite him to your marriage
when the ceremony's through

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My mind is on overload tonight so I am only going to post this short poem. It is what I needed to read and perhaps someone else will benefit from it as well. God bless you.

People all through out the earth
wander aimlessly
searching where they should not go,
ignoring HIStory
Looking for a way to fill
the void within their souls
but nothing ever seems to help them
fill the empty holes.
Headed down life’s road alone,
no purpose or direction
hoping that around the bend
awaits for them perfection
The perfect mate, the perfect house,
the perfect job and more
not knowing that perfection
has been knocking on their door
Material possessions
will not fill their emptiness
nor will the load of things they own
bring them peace or rest.
Destruction, shame and misery
await them on their course
for there is nothing they can do
until they feel remorse.
It is then when they repent
of all the sin they bear
that Jesus Christ will come to them
and lift their load of care
No longer plagued by emptiness
their searching days will end
when hearts that once were empty
on Christ learn to depend

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did You Ever Think.......

Did you ever think there are somethings that could never happen to you? Without going into detail something occured in my life today, which affected me in such a way, that I no longer feel as invisible as I once did. Invisible in the sense that I would never show up on anyone's radar because, in my estimation, I lead a pretty average life, boring by some standards and if not boring at least pretty low key in comparison to many. A party animal I am not. My idea of fun, aside from being with family, traveling, or being with friends is staying home and watching a good movie.
Honest, trustworthy, loyal, compassionate, loving, dependable, these are all characteristics of the kind of person I strive to be and although at times I falter (I am not perfect) these are still a big part of who I hope I am and how I pray others think of me. I felt that certain aspects of this person I try so hard to be were being called into question and I have to say it was not a pleasant feeling, as a matter of fact it left me quite sick to my stomach. It was unsettling to say the least. I know who I am, I know my heart, but it is a terrible feeling to have someone think differently of me when they really don't even know me, at all.

So I had to ask myself, how did this happen, how did I ever wind up in this position and when all is said and done how is this going to impact my life?

I've been telling myself all day that I'm fine but in reality I am rather shaken up. I did not ever think this would happen to me. Perhaps it is a wake up call from God letting me know that sometimes I am a little too naive for my own good.

Father, I am so grateful that during this time of extreme stress I know you are there. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Thank you Jesus for going to the cross, for shedding you blood, for taking my pain upon yourself so that I could oneday see you face to face. No greater love then this has ever been shown since the day you died on Calvary's hill. Thank you, Lord, thank you.

You have been active in my life for so many years that to not rely on you would be foolish. You are the author of truth, you alone know what is best for me and my family. What would my life be like without you? If it would be anything like this past Sunday morning I would just throw in the towel, the fight would be over, so hopeless and helpless would I be. The author of lies tried to get a foothold in my mind and I left myself wide open. How empty I felt, how frightened I was and all because I would not just be still and listen for your voice. I had thrown open the door to my mind and put up an open house sign, which is a dangerous thing to do, you just don't know who might come walking through that door. That was a feeling I pray I never experience again.

So Father, first I am asking that you forgive this sinner once again. Do I deserve such kindness, I think not, but thankfully I am not you who is able to cast my sins into the depths of the sea and remember them no more. I am asking for the strength and insight to do what is right whenever I am tested, to speak the truth in all things and to trust you to steady me when I am shaken.

Lord, you know my heartfelt prayers for my son and my granddaughter, you know their needs, I rest them in your care trusting that you will work your perfect will in their lives in your time, not mine. I have asked for big changes in their lives, for their good, for their welfare and most of all for their salvation.

 I pray for my daughter and her family, they have all been very sick this week with colds and fevers so I ask that they be healed quickly. Thank you Father for the way you have been working in Tracy's life for so many years, this is proof to me that miracles still happen. I saw how you changed her, almost instantly from the troubled woman she was into this confident, intelligent, loving wife and mother she is today. I am more grateful than words can express.

I ask that you would be with Caterina as she goes through her life. Be by her side guiding and directing her. Let her feel your presence in an unmistakeable way so that she too comes to have a more personal relationship with your Son. I have not been a very good example even though I wanted to be. Help me to do better, to not be a hindrance but to be a witness to the power of Christ in a person's life.

I lift up Laura to you Father. To say this situation has not been difficult would be a lie, you know that, but she is your child also and you love her. Touch her life, let her feel you near. I pray that she and Chris would desire to have Taylor back in their lives and that they would do what is good for her regardless of how it affects their life as a couple. Taylor will be eighteen in15 months and able to be on her own, if that is her desire, but for now she needs a family and to feel loved without limits. Mostly, I pray Taylor truly wants to come home for all of the right reasons.

Be with Denise and Curt, give them a wonderful time of rest on their anniversary cruise and bring them back safe and ready to go about their daily routine.

Now Lord before I close I would lift up Bob Fagan. Bring him back to full health and be with his family as they go back and forth to the hospital to visit with him. Be with the session and Rev. Lou as they try to work out the issues that are plaguing them so that we can get on about the business of being a church family again, with Rev. Lou as our T.E. We would all miss him and do not want to see him and his family go. For all of those, in the church body, who have recently lost loved ones I pray for your peace to settle over them during these difficult times.

Be with Elaine as she undergoes cataract surgery this week. Guide the doctor's hands and give her good results.
Thank you Father for listening to my prayers, over and over, and not giving up on me.
I ask these things according to your will in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus Christ. AMEN

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Where Was My Faith?

Two days ago I shut down my blog because I couldn't even pray and after telling everyone that prayer was my most valuable tool I did not want to be a hypocrite. These past two days have been an extremely stressful time. The thoughts that have gone through my head I would not ever post on here, I am too ashamed. Where was my faith? I knew I still believed but I felt abandoned, hurt, angry and simply could not understand why I felt this way. Where was my faith? My mind was a raging battlefield, leaving me emotionally bruised and battered. Where was my faith? How could this be happening to me, how much more could I stand, was this ever going to end? All questions I asked myself over and over again. Where was my faith?

I am going to make this a short entry because I feel emotionally drained and do not want to inflict my issues on anyone else. Mostly, I wanted to thank God for not giving up on me although I let myself believe He had left me alone to flounder about in an ocean of doubt. God tells us He will never leave us or forsake us but I allowed my mind to be open to the enemy and that was a huge mistake.

My prayer is simple tonight. Father, to you who gave life to all, who created everything, be praise, honor, glory and majesty for ever. I am humbled just to know that I am loved by you.
Thank you for your Son's redeeming blood, for your love and mercy flowing down so unreserved, for blessing me in too many ways to count, for a husband who puts up with me, for the caring people you have placed in my life and for family to love even when it's painful. Lord forgive my doubt, forgive my unbelief, forgive my attitude at church today and if I offended anyone I pray they will also forgive me. Guide me in the coming days to make the right decisions in the matters concerning Taylor. Watch over her and if it is your will at this time put her in the path of a Christian peer who would have a positive influence on her. I pray she would choose to make wise decisions and get her life back on track. Be with Tracy and her family, bless them as they follow your plan for their lives, keep them safe as they go about there day tomorrow. Lord, be with Chris, bring him back to you. I would love to be here to witness it but if not that's okay because your timing is everything.
Thank you for your precious Son in whose name I pray. AMEN

Dear Father, we know not your ways, nor do we understand
the reason for the suffering that falls within Your plan.
This ache we feel is fierce and deep, it reaches to our core.
No pain that we've experienced has ever hurt us more.
At times when shadows block the sun and tears obscure our view,
give us clearer vision Lord that we'd see only You.
Our suffering is known to You, our anguish is Your own,
Lord, gird us now with grace and peace more then we've ever known.
Lead us from this shadow-land into a brighter day,
for we will feel your peace again, because You made The Way

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just When I Thought......

Another day, another crisis. My plate is getting quite full and I just can't eat this much.

Hint - when you think your drifting along on a sea of calm get ready to grab the boat and hang on for dear life, because the water is about to get mighty choppy. I didn't plan to go out on the water today but somehow I wound up afloat and wondering how I got there. Surely, the Lord knows I am not a water lover, afterall he knows everything about me. Anyhow, after arriving at the shore no worse for the wear, I went about the rest of my day just trying to regain my sea legs. Once able to move about without the wobbles I began to research the whys and wherefores which led to my ride on the high seas. I discovered, that if suddenly nothing seems to make sense, the body can react in some very odd ways, one of which is that the ground beneath no longer feels solid and a person could be fooled into believing they are no longer on dry land. This is the case with me. So, the mystery of the non-existent boat ride has been solved, but the problems which led me to believe I had set sail for uncharted territory have not gone away. With that in mind, I turn my thoughts to dealing with the issues and finding a way to solve the problems because I do not want to resort to using my motion sickness patches - I might need them if I ever go on another cruise.

After spending quite some time looking for a solution I still have no answers but my stomach has stopped rebelling and the sea, so to speak, is calm.

That was all just a preface to my prayer. A way of sharing why I am  asking God to intervene in my life once again.

Lord, you know the issues confronting me tonight, you know why my heart is troubled and why I am calling on you for help. Father, you who are the great I AM, you who made the heavens and the earth, you are the creator, redeemer and King and I offer you all praise and honor and glory. Thank you for the many blessings you have given me through out my life. Thank you for the trials and the tears, though tough at the time, they teach me how to live my life relying on you. Without you I am lost. So Father, I ask that you would forgive me, teach me to remain calm in the midst of this latest storm and give me the strength to do what is right in this situation. Help me to not lose heart as I seek to do what is best for Taylor. Keep me open to those suggestions that may be best for her but not necessarily best for me. All I want is to help her and I am lost in this sea of doubt. I fear for her safety and pray that you will be near her always even during these times that she is making terrible choices. I know you can turn her around 180 degrees, that is my prayer. I cannot abandon her so show me what to do. Lord I pray these things in the name of the one who died for me, Jesus Christ. Amen