Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

Lamentations 3: 22-24  ​​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!”

2012 - What a year, but as I reflect I am thankful for the Lord's mercies in so many ways.

Thinking back over the year.....

January -We are just past our 30th anniversary in Dec and we begin the new year with Glenn going to the doctor to find out why he wasn't feeling well, thought maybe it was gallbladder or an ulcer, decided we'd eliminate the ulcer by trying a few weeks of Previcid. We put down a small deposit, planning to go on the bi-annual cruise with everybody from church and  finally I flew to Alaska to spend time with Whitney while Jeremy was deployed, that was a wonderful trip!! Alaska was beautiful, covered with more snow that they had seen in a very long time, I loved it... in spite of the very short daylight hours, lol. The time with Whitney was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting to know my newest bonus child better. Came back home just in time for Cecilia to turn 2. 
February - A bit mellower month, A couple big things but a bit more indirect than direct... Jeremy got home early from his deployment to Kuwait and at the end of the month, Crystle and Andrew let us know that they were expecting baby number three.
    Glenn went back in to the doctor at the very end of the month and they set him up for an ultrasound. He had dropped about 15 pounds since the start of the year

March - What a month!  We found out the 14th of March that our new journey in life was about to begin, Glenn had been diagnosed with cancer, and on the 30th the full battle began. We had the upper hand though, God is on our side and we are following His direction. (weight at this time 207.)
       On the lighter side, shortly after her 24th birthday, Amber got to go on the missions trip to Romania- on the surface some people may have thought the timing off- but we know that with God in charge there isn't any such thing, He knew what we were going to be facing long before we did, and He even had someone over there that would be a blessing to our little Faith Warrior while she was there... my little girl loves that country.
April - A busy month, adjusting to the new normal in our lives, (which I didn't know at the time would be changing constantly for quite a while.) A normal, that was including weekly visits to the local oncology clinic for Glenn's doctor appointments, and chemo treatments. Glenn's weight continued to drop.
       April also brought with it, Easter, with all it's activities, the church program and candy hunt for the  kids and of course it also meant the grandkids coming and having an Easter Egg Hunt in Grandma and Papa's front yard. 
      Toward the end of the month was Presbytery at church, and that was a good time, we were very blessed by it, and able to attend most of the services. It helped us gear up for the path ahead on the immediate, and also help remind us that God has a future for US. We continued forward in the battle and trusting the Lord that Glenn's healing is coming.
     A good report here- Glenn prayed for his dad's bladder cancer to be gone, and when they did his check... it was!! (and has stayed that way!)
         Crystle turned 29... is it possible that we are now the parents of a child that old?? LOL yep.

 May - We had seen some positive things in Glenn's bloodwork that were good signs, but there were still some things that were bothering the doctor about the numbers, so at the end of the month he orders Glenn's next CT for June.
          Our baby boy Jacob, turned 20 in May, not only do we have a 29 year old but now we are parents of all 20-somethings, time has flown by. 
        Jeremy and Whitney came down to visit, we really enjoyed it, but it was a tough time as Glenn's energy was waning badly at this time. We all went over to the coast for a day and had a lot of fun. Glenn's being more tired made room for Jake and Jeremy to spend some time together while they were here, it gave them some bonding time that was good.

June - We got to see Olivia dance in her first recital and then a couple weeks later- her 4th birthday, she's getting so big!
        Glenn had his CT and the doctor made an abrupt change to his Chemo, the 1st type had ceased working, and by the end of the month Glenn was down to 154 pounds. In spite of how weak he was feeling a lot of the time, he only missed 2 or 3 church services. In May, to make sure he got to attend service we would go upstairs when we got there, so he could lay down, but still be in church to hear the word. 

July - July had a bumpy start, Glenn was at his lowest point and it was rough! But again, the Lord knew the timing of everything... The annual family campout was the week of July 4th, and thanks to Glenn's family, and Siskiyou RV letting us use a 5th wheel, we got to attend. That week was a turning point for Glenn, we needed the change of scenery- it allowed us time to be alone or with all the family. The alone time was spent, listening to the Word, praying and having many hours of heart to heart talks. It was also when the Lord gave us the next step in getting Glenn better, we started tracking his eating, every morsel! By the end of the month he had gained 10-12 pounds and was feeling better.

August - August was a good month, we saw Glenn regaining weight and energy. The end of the month we went to the coast for a couple days to celebrate our birthdays... Glenn had hit his and in March I don't know that the doctor would have put any bets on his getting to it. Glenn committed to being back up on worship twice a month, victories!

September - Glenn is looking better on all levels, and the doctor has ordered the next CT... it was a fantastic report! The cancer retreated in a big way!!! Glenn's strength is returning, enough so, that he was able to do some golfing with Jake... and some really exciting news- grandbaby #4 is on the way!! Jeremy and Whitney announced that they are expecting!! Yep, it was a very good month.

October - God is faithful! Glenn is feeling good enough to go with the kids and grandkids to the Pumpkin Patch... something that didn't happen last year, because he didn't feel good. We were blessed by some very special friends with tickets to the Newsboys Concert, fun!! To top it all off, at the end of the month we were signing papers on a new home, that is perfect for our needs. We are thankful at how the Lord is sustaining us through this battle!!  

November - We are so blessed! The whole family that is here in the area came together at Glenn's parents for Thanksgiving Dinner, Glenn ate 2 plates and thought about a 3rd... that's way more than last year! We moved into our new home, thank you oodles to the friends from church that helped with the furniture! When the music meeting for Candlelight was held... Glenn was there, he was making sure that he was a part of it. Walk by faith and take back ground. More victories. 

December - Christmas decorations went up, Glenn put some lights up but couldn't go all "Clark Griswold" like he would have liked to, but they did go up. (I insisted that Jake be the one on the ladder though.) We all got together at our old house (Amber's place at the moment.) Glenn got a bonus week between Chemo treatments so he was off of Chemo on Christmas week, yeah!! We had a family dinner with the whole family that was at Thanksgiving plus a couple more of our nephews. Glenn did his usual and took over in the kitchen, the good side, he felt up to it, the bad side... he wasn't supposed to take over, just make the gravy... he just can't help himself, lol. It was a wonderful day with the family.
     We quietly celebrated our 31st anniversary and are planning with the Lord's help to see many more.
     Today, New Years Day it was back to Chemo... and when he stepped on the scale there it was also back to 207 pounds... where we were 9 and a half months ago- Praise God!!

It's been an amazing year, challenging, stretching, growing, and yet very blessed! We continue to press into the full healing for Glenn, and along the way facing the challenges that arrive and celebrating the victories. Most of all we have learned to thank God for every day, enjoying each one for the blessing that it is.

Heading into 2013- Glenn is taking a big step to what the Lord has called him to do, he will begin teaching the 'Biblical Healing' class at church January 13th.

To you and yours... A Very Happy and Blessed 2013!!!

If you want more details on the cancer battle can read my earlier blogs where I go more in depth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

31 years....... is that all?

31 years ago, yep, it was Dec 27th 1981 that I married my best friend...

I was just thinking back over the last 3 decades... I am very blessed! We have been walking with the Lord for 30+ years of our 31 together, my family and friends are amazing... yes I am blessed.

Have the last 3+ decades been easy... no, lol. We like most everyone have had our ups and downs over the years, but have I ever regretted the decision I made on July 10, 1981 when I accepted Glenn's proposal? Absolutely not.

We have run the gambit on our adventures... maybe not so adventurous to some, but they are our life and experiences together. Once we made it through the first year, I think we both knew that we could get through anything together.

There were those that thought that this 'Pollyanna' from 'Leave it to Beaver' land was a complete misfit in a relationship with a long haired rock and roll drummer. I was a conservative kid from a conservative traditional 1950's style family (mom home, dad working and both involved in the community). Then there was Glenn, a musician (drummer no less), a wild child (who had gotten busted with my brother at a DeMolay campout for alcohol)... basically as Rush Limbaugh would have dubbed him "a pot smoking hippie" type. Fortunately my parents took the time to get to know this skinny kid that kept showing up at their door almost every day, and they trusted my judgement. My brother wasn't so sure he wanted me dating this guy, after all he knew him better than I did at that point... and since Brad had gotten saved, he didn't want 'that' kind of influence around his sister. But, he kept his mouth shut. My parents watched carefully how we acted around each other, and more importantly how Glenn treated me, and they knew from his actions how he felt. They were so sure that they delayed a big decision in their own lives until after Glenn and I were married, because it was to involve a move and they didn't want to do that to me at that point. I am forever grateful to them. It isn't until we have children of our own that we really understand what it is to sacrifice.

We have been blessed with 4 amazing kids... perfect, lol- no, but amazing, yes. Over the years they have brought us joy, smiles, laughter, pride of their accomplishments... all mixed with a bit of frustrations, angry moments, and those times that it took all not to wring their darling necks. But I look at them now, and I can say that I am very proud of the adults they have become, they all love the Lord and are serving Him. They have honestly made me look at them and think- yeah, it was all worth it, no matter how hard it got. I am thankful everyday that the Lord trusted us to raise them, children really are a gift and a responsibility- they are a challenge, but if you rise to meet it, discipline with love and consistency, raise them in the house of the Lord, and live what you speak... it is worth it all!  I have snippet memories of conversations with each of my children from over the years that I believe will always stay with me, I cherish them in my heart!

Over the years of our marriage, we have traveled some... not as extensively as some but we have had the opportunity to go to New York (my first plane ride, lol), Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, 2 cruises to Mexico, Disneyland with kids twice, quite a few trips to Las Vegas and many getaways to the Reno/Tahoe area (only one of our favorite places in the world), plus lots of trips to Washington, camping with the family in various places and then we've both been to Alaska at separate times- the plan at this time is that we go up there together in June for the arrival of the next grandbaby. And then next fall another trip to San Antonio since Jacob is planning on following Jeremy into the Air Force and we will want to be there for BMT Graduation.

Like so many we faced the typical challenges of life, the ups and downs in the family income, moving, job changes, family things (including the loss of my mom)...  but all that was nothing to what 2012 brought. The last year has probably been more challenging than any of our marriage, but through it, we have grown closer in our walk with the Lord and in our life with each other. We appreciate each day in a way like never before, and we appreciate each other more... I am so thankful for the gift that the Lord gave me when He brought Glenn into my life.

Who we are is the sum of our life experiences, and most of the time, I'm good with that... are there some things I wish I'd done different? Yes don't we all? What I can say is that through it all, we have done our best, with the Lord's help to live up to the vows we took 31 years ago tomorrow. 

To each one that reads this, cherish your spouse, your children, your friends, and if He isn't already a part of your life... add God into the picture, trust me, giving your life to Him is the best decision you could ever make. With out Him, I know my life would have a very different look to it at this point.  Make the most of your life and don't ever waste precious time on regrets.

Have a wonderful rest of 2012 and a very blessed 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What Are You Pondering This Christmas?

Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them  in her heart.

Pondering... the definition of the word is; To weigh in the mind with thoroughness and care.

I think we all ponder things, our lives, marriages, jobs, and of course our children... but think about, ponder if you will, what Mary had to ponder on...

Imagine, giving birth to a child, in a stable- a cave really and then to have the events that followed soon after take place. Shepherds coming in from out in the fields... taking time off of work to go to the Christ Child. Then these shepherds told her how the angels had come to them and told them the Savior of the world had been born. Then the Wise Men, who had traveled from from very far away, show up. They, being guided only by a Star and the and a Prophesy about the Messiah- Matt 2:6 ‘​But you, Bethlehem,in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; ​For out of you shall come a Ruler ​Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ... They, who were used to receiving honor, show up at this very humble place you are staying, and worship this tiny baby. Wow, that's intense! The Bible tells us that Mary pondered all the things spoken to her about her newborn son. Yeah, I can see where you might do that, ponder those things, that is... 

At this time of year especially, with lives that are hectic and crazy with preparations of celebration, do we take time to ponder the Christ Child? This child that was born so long ago for one purpose... to take upon Him the sins of the world. He came to this earth, small, helpless, and of humble beginnings. His parents had to seek the Lord's direction on where to go, what to do and how to train him... Just as we all should for our children. Thankfully they lived surrendered lives, not necessarily perfect, because they like us were born with a fallen nature, but Jesus, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit was not, His was a life that though it started with a birth like any of us, was significantly different.

None of us are parenting a child with the call that Jesus had, but we should all be pondering the call that is on our children's lives. We need to take to heart what it says in Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. We need to be willing to take the time to hear the voice of the Lord and follow His guiding in the rearing of our children, and teaching them to listen for His voice. Teaching them to ponder the Christ Child and to learn from His life, teachings and examples.

Instilling within them the "Follow me as I follow Christ" heart. Showing them that consistency that comes from being the same no matter where we are; work, home, church. Or what we find ourselves facing, good times or not so good... God is still God, He is there for us at all times... through that we can have peace in our lives no matter what is going on. 

So take a moment from the craziness, and ponder the Child that we should be honoring with this holiday. Reflect the gift of our Heavenly Father to those around us... when you give a gift, think of His. Enjoy your Christmas, the family, the presents, the love... spread the heart of the season in all you do.

And remember to ponder...................

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Christmas Gift

Matthew 2:11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Those gifts, brought to a small child so long ago were brought to bless the child who would grow to become the Savior of the world. The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas today, for many of us, reflects the gifts of the Magi to Jesus.

As a result of this, at this time of year a big question, hmmm, what can I give to ________? (fill in the blank) I asked Glenn a little while back what he wanted for Christmas, his comment... I don't need material things. Just being here is enough. 

You know, we've both said this kind of thing over the years, many people who have children have done with out at least one Christmas and for some it's been many-- this year though it's not said out of the need to spend elsewhere, but from the heart of a man who simply is thankful to be here. I am so blessed to have this man in my life, he was my 2 day late Christmas present 31 years ago. (Yep our anniversary is Dec 27th)

This year has been one that has truly given us reason to reflect on many things. When you are facing something like cancer, you really do re-prioritize things... you really don't sweat the small stuff any more.  A couple years back when Glenn's dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer he showed us a medallion that he wears, it has three letters IDM... it doesn't matter. That's where the small stuff rates, it doesn't matter.

This is something we've come to understand more fully this year, the small stuff will be what it's gonna be, no point in wasting the energy of stressing it. Focus on the important things, family, friends and most importantly for us, doing what the Lord wants us to do. In the midst of all of this, we want to be found doing, being good and faithful servants... that is our gift of worship to the Lord. He cared enough for us to send His son, whose birth we are celebrating, to become the sacrifice upon the cross for our sins, sicknesses and infirmities.

It is through that gift, that I have my Christmas present, my husband, the man I have loved for over 3 decades, and whom I believe that I will have for years to come, through the healing that God is working in Him. We have a lot of things we still want to do, both in working for the Lord,  and fun stuff too, so we continue to press and praise and be thankful for the gift of each day together.

May the Lord bless you all with an amazing Christmas!! I know ours will be the best ever!

...... and yes, I still want to get him something to put under the tree. :) 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bumpy Days

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.' "

Bumpy Days, that's what I call them because they remind me of driving over bumps in the road. They are those days that for one reason or another have bumpy patches in them. Sometimes it's as simple as my thoughts running the wrong direction and overtaking my emotions-- it doesn't even have to be for a long period, just 5 minutes of dropped focus can wreck havoc on me.

Other days it may be something quite major... such as last March, or June when things were very dark. Often it may be just one of those days when things are just a tad off, maybe Glenn is feeling more tired or tasks to get done begin to overwhelm me. 

They aren't always related to the current battle we are in, I think we all have bumpy days and most of the time we all get through them and move on without issue- that's a good thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, custom for each of us-- A bad day at work, or for a young mom it may be a day that the kids are all going crazy and taking you with them.

Every once in a while one hits that knocks us, as I said, maybe not a slam down, but hard enough that we feel it, we know we've hit a personal bump! If you find yourself having one of those days then remember- take a moment, pause, draw a deep breath and BREATHE! Remember the Lord is there, when you are His child, in Hebrews 13:5 we are reminded that He has said:  "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

I am thankful that I can turn to the Lord for all things, and yes, especially on the bumpy days. We are blessed to live in a day and age that we can be immersed into high quality worship at the push of a button. I love that I can bath my spirit in this and pour my heart out to God in prayer, praise and worship... and through that, I see things change. The bumps will always show up, but through God, the biggest mountain, followed by a deep canyon can become just a small speed bump, that we can get over by giving them to Him.

I remember the first time I heard the song; The Warrior Is a Child... I loved it then and it is dear to me now, because it speaks to the heart of this... in the heat of the battle we have a place we can go... Home to our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Perspective Is Everything

Matt 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I started going through a Christmas devotional this week, and the beginning days of it are talking of Zacharias and Elizabeth-- if you ever need an example of how to be patient before the Lord, well these two are good ones!! 

Am I the only one that struggles with the 'please, NOW' issue? I think a part of present day society is the "I want it now!" attitude. No matter how fast the processor is on our computer- it's too slow; If we have to wait 5 minutes to check out at the store, we get grumpy. (Worse still when we are waiting for coffee or food.)

Sometimes we need to look at our lives, be thankful for the things we have been blessed with. To be honest I want Glenn to see his full healing now, but that doesn't change the fact that I am thankful for where he is right now!! 6 months -it is such a short time, and yet at the same time, in our world it is a lifetime ago, Glenn was at such a low point, that even now to look back at it is strange. We appreciate each day of life we have together like never before. That being said, I have to verbally, yes out loud, remind myself... trust, have faith, it's God's timing not mine, and in the meantime, work the field that we find ourselves in. Showing His love and our joy in living lives in Him. All in all, it's not a long time... if you put things in perspective.

Consider this... the children of Israel had been waiting 400 years for God to begin speaking to them again,  imagine, 400 years!! Then, Zacharias was the one blessed with being the first one to hear from Him, and better yet, it was regarding his own family- he was going to be a dad!! Amazing, awesome, wonderful... and oh yeah, then he couldn't speak for like 9-12 months.

Add to that his wife Elizabeth, barren for all the years of their marriage. Imagine wanting a child and unable to conceive, and in that society that valued children, that was something that people longed for. Imagine the great joy upon the fulfillment of that miracle, a child born and a son! At last, and a child that was to grow up to have his own amazing role in history... declaring to the people of Israel the coming of the Messiah.

What struck me in looking at these two today was that when we are seeking an answer to a prayer- be patient! The Lord is Good! He loves us, we need to know that He will answer our prayers, and we then need to trust in the answer He gives, and even in the timing of receiving that answer... He knows what we are to learn in the wait, we don't. What parent gives their small child the hot chocolate as soon as it's ready, with out waiting for it to cool a bit- so the little one won't be scalded. We let our child know, they will get it as soon as it is time, they are learning to wait, there is a reason for the waiting, and they may not understand it at the time, but as they grow they will.

In saying all this, I am reminded once again to be thankful and patient, that is a sign of faith and trust in God... and that's a good thing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Christmas Heart

A few days ago, this picture came through my feed on Facebook and it instantly took me back to my childhood. Honestly I think this is the first Bible verse I memorized, all because I loved A Charlie Brown Christmas, but really it is at the heart of the season we are now in... Jesus, his birth specifically, is the reason for the celebration... sometimes when we are out in the craziness at the store or mall we might forget that-- try not to.

The meaning of Christmas has never changed, but some years I think we as people (and most definitely me personally) allow the business, that we all get wrapped up in, to overshadow, at some level, the heart of things. I'm not saying we forget that Jesus is the reason, what I am saying is that maybe that becomes an 'aside.' It's not done intentionally, maybe it's when we have small children and they are so excited about the whole dynamic of the world around them (which is very enrapturing to watch); lights, Christmas decorations, tree hunting, decorating, Santa... everything, it's new to them year after year and their little eyes just become saucers catching every moment of it. I have wonderful memories of my own children enjoying the season.

This however is one of those years that Christmas, and the heart of the season are truly at the center of it. Yes, we will still decorate, and enjoy the holiday, but in the season of life that we are currently walking through, we remember each and every day is about Jesus- in a way like never before. Each day is a gift from the Lord, enjoy the present, it's new every morning.

Last week on Thanksgiving, as Glenn was finishing his second plate of food and making himself stop from loading up a third we both had the same thought-- it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we had ever had, not necessarily because it was the best food ever (but it was really good!) but because there we all were, enjoying it together, by the Grace of God. 

My heart for everyone I know, is that you have a wonderful Christmas season, doing all the things that you enjoy with your families, making memories... they will bring you smiles for decades! But in all the activities, remember the Reason for the Season, and impart the Love that the Lord showed for each of us, into someone else's life- the love He showed when He sent His Only Son, as our Christmas gift so long ago. This can be as simple as a smile to the harried mom shopping with her kids (letting her know you understand), or offering that elderly man a cut in line; or it can become as elaborate as you want to make it. Just remember the greatest gift you can give at this time of year, or anytime, is from your heart, it doesn't require money.

Material things will pass away, but a heart full of memories of sharing God's Love will always remain with you. For those of you with children at home- take the oppertunity to teach them about the heart of the season and show them how to go beyond their sphere and become a blessing to another. Even if it's just giving them change for the Salvation Army Kettle, that change can be the difference in a less fortunate families whole Christmas.

Many blessings and prayers for a very Merry CHRISTmas Season! 

This video of The Christmas Shoes by Newsong speaks to much of my heart...
 remember it's about the giving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do You Trust Me?

Psa 25:2 NKJV - O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.

Psa 25:20 NKJV - Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.

Psa 31:14 NKJV - But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."

I was talking to someone recently that is going through some things in her life, and as I was talking to her; praying with, and for her, I heard something loud and clear that I was to share with her... 4 simple words from the Lord, simply- "Do you trust Me?"

In the days since that, those 4 words have rung in my spirit and mind a lot. Yes for me in what we are walking, but much more, I believe that the Lord is speaking this to all those that call upon His Name. As Christians we say we trust in Him, but sometimes it's not til the 'rubber meets the road', so to speak that we find out if we really do. Even then we need to remind ourselves to put our trust in Him along the journey.

As human beings living in the 21st century, trust, is an interesting word. Webster's first listed definitions are:
  • A: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
  • B: one in which confidence is placed
The interesting part is that we don't think about the things we 'trust' in, we just accept that they will happen- we flip a switch and the light comes on. We turn the key and the car starts or the lock opens. Turn the facet on and we get water.... we just accept that when we do these things or many more like them, we will get the result that we are anticipating. Why is it that with God we don't accept that He is there at all times.

I mean, I know that we think we do, but really, do we? From what I can see we trust inanimate, or mechanically animated things far more that we trust the one who gives each of us life. He cares for us, for each detail in our lives, we are told that in Matthew 6:25-34 that we are not to worry about things, He has our lives in His hand.

We need to remember that God isn't a person, He won't fail us like people do, so we need to trust Him no matter what we see with our eyes- He sees beyond the moment, to what He has for us. He is a Father that loves His children and wants the best for them. Am I saying that life is going to be carefree, easygoing and have no challenges? No.

Look at a baby beginning to walk, do they just get up and walk perfect the first time, no, there are falls along the way, but something deep inside tells them they can do it, so they get up and try again, trusting that they will conquer the new skill and move forward. The things we go through make us who we are and help us to grow closer to Him, if we let them.

Let go, let God and Trust in Him!

Monday, November 19, 2012

You Touched My Heart Today

Prov 15:2 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

You may never realize, what you said, or when you said it, but it touched my heart. To you, maybe it was just a sentence or two, just something you shared... but it really touched me and made me smile; cry even, in a good way.

Each day of our lives, we just go about doing whatever it is that we do, just looking to get to the end of another day. This journey has caused me to be more reflective on each day, and today, another thing hit me like a lightening bolt, 'A word spoken in due season, how good it is!' I believe most people like to say kind things, but you never know when you say something to someone, it may just be- that God is moving through you to bring a smile to someone's heart.

Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." 

Whether we are speaking of our own life or into others... choose life, no matter what the situation. When storms are brewing, be a light, be the thing that you want to see. Remember we ultimately get back what we are showing. If you are at a store and annoyed (as can happen when shopping this time of year) take a moment, breath, smile and be pleasant... it may surprise you how the attitudes of many people around you may change.

We can choose what to speak in all circumstances, my heart; to speak things that will bring life and joy to those around me. We can choose to be a blessing or a curse in this life, why not choose to be a blessing? This goes not just for the 'spoken' word, but for those words we 'speak' in all areas- Facebook, Twitter... where ever, remember a word spoken in due time........

And to you, the one who touched my heart-- Thank you!

Help someone step from a grey day into color...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8 Months- Praise God!!

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.

That's right 8 months have now passed since Glenn's diagnosis, and I am happy to say that he had a great week this week!! Usually Chemo weeks are down because the chemo wears him out, but thanks to the strength of the Lord, he has had a good week, and a productive one too! We have even begun preparing to move to our new home, took a couple misc loads over and started painting.

I haven't written in a couple weeks because I've been busy, which is a good thing, lol. However, I wanted to share today what's going on. On the Nov 12th, Glenn had the 12th in the Chemo series of Flurfloxinil, this treatment has 4 drugs given in 5 parts- 4 at the infusion lab, and one in a pack that Glenn is attached to for 2 days. It's an intense therapy that is very hard on the body, however, God has had Glenn's back on that, as He told us He would. In reality, Glenn only had 4 parts during the first 2 treatments of this because of how sick he was in June- but from what we have been told, this is a treatment that many people can't even take all 12 treatments of it, because of how rough it is. For Glenn, the tiredness has been the primary side effect with it becoming lesser each week, the secondary effect is neuropathy, this is numbing in his hands and feet, and we need prayer for this- it hasn't gotten bad and we don't want it to.

Monday is a big day, Glenn has his next CT, we are praying for a clear report- after all, we are believing for full healing; why not now? As I said, the CT is set for Monday and we will get the report the following Monday, and then see where the doctor directs us from there. A couple months ago, he had said that even if Glenn had a clear CT, we would still continue the course he is on, maybe stretching it at some point to every 3 weeks instead of every other... so we will see. What we do know is that our faith rests in the Lord and ultimately our decisions, and the direction we follow, all rest in what He leads. This far He has directed us on the Chemo treatment route ,(though we considered several routes) and until He directs different, we stay the course.

Walking this path has increased our faith, and it has also given us a greater appreciation for each and every day. Every day we walk on this earth is a gift from the Lord on High, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and do what the Lord has told us to do... living our life as He directs.

We want to be a delight in His eyes, doing the things that He wants us to do. Remember, God is faithful, no matter what storm or peaceful surrounding you find yourself in, God is with you and He loves you and wants the best for you.

Be Blessed Friends!! And if I don't get back on before Thanksgiving... Happy Thanksgiving, stay thankful, it's a great way to live!!

I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but if you don't know the Lord please visit the page on this site; Meet My Best Friend to learn about making Jesus the Lord of your life. Through Him is found the peace that passes all understanding and a joy that overrides the worst storm of life.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Season of Thankfulness

Psa 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

November 1 through Thanksgiving is generally thought of as a season of thanks, but I want to encourage you to be thankful everyday. The last 8 months have been a season of learning-- learning to let our whole lives be lived in a 'Season of Thankfulness."  

As a general rule throughout my adult life, I have tried to appreciate and be thankful for things. But admittedly I am sure I have come very short of that. I think that we all simply become so wrapped up in the cares of life, to remember the fact that we have life, and that is something in itself to be thankful for. This has never been so apparent as it became this year. 

Life is a truly precious gift, not one of us knows the exact number of days that we will have on this big blue marble, so what we need to do is to take a moment each day, and give God thanks that we are here to enjoy the day. Take a moment, reflect, there is so much to be thankful for, even on those days that it doesn't seem like it... the day to day things. We are blessed in this country with so much. We have food on the table, our family, our friends and a roof over our head, for this I am grateful. The smile on a child's face should remind anyone that there is joy to be found! 

Yes this year has taught us much, we have learned to appreciate the day to day, the little things and the big things. We have much to be thankful for in spite of our circumstances... we are thankful. We have children that love and serve the Lord, we have beautiful granddaughters and another grandchild coming in late spring. God has faithfully kept our bills paid and made a way for us to purchase a new home, and it is in beautiful shape, new heat pump, carpets, flooring, dishwasher and stove and a layout that is perfect for us. We are thankful for the fact that Glenn is doing well... the battle rages on, but through Christ we have the victory. Day to day victories remind us of that too... this year we got to go to the pumpkin patch with the kids and watch the girls pick out their pumpkins... a year ago Glenn was to sick to go, he was in a lot of pain and we didn't have a clue why, now we know the cause, and thanks to the Lords guidance (and following the path He has given us) we are seeing improvement in Glenn's health. I am more thankful than ever before for our friends and family, the prayers and support in all forms has been overwhelming and humbling. I really do love you guys so much!

I think that if I could impress anything to you today is is simply this.... Be thankful. What does the song say? "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."

Enjoy this, the 'Season of Thankfulness', but more importantly learn to keep it in your heart all year long, for whey you are thankful then you will also find joy inside... no matter what is happening. My thought is that thankfulness to the Lord is a way of refueling His strength within us. Col 3:15 says  "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." 

Be blessed friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Every Other Monday

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Yep, every other Monday, that's when we are up at the Oncology clinic. Our life segments no longer run in weeks, but in bi-weekly increments that begin on 'every other Monday' with the Oncologist visit and end with the Sunday of the 'good week' which is the Sunday night before Chemo... at least we have a routine at this point. Seven and a half months ago we were not so settled. I am praising God for the victories we are seeing. Glenn is feeling much better now than a year ago, last year he was not feeling good and in a lot of pain, and wasn't even able to go to the Pumpkin Patch with the grandkids. (Of course at this time we didn't even know then that he was sick.)  This past weekend Glenn worked on the garage Friday, went to the pumpkin patch Saturday, Church on Sunday morning and Connect Group Bible study on Sunday night... That's a good end to our 'good week.'

Today at Oncology I was talking with a lady that we met up here a while back. She is battling breast cancer and had a large tumor on her left side. We have chatted and prayed and enjoyed each other's company several times on our "Other Monday's." Today she was given some very good news from her doctor, the doctor can't feel the tumor at all!! She has one more chemo treatment, then it's surgery and radiation, and we are all trusting the Lord that after that will come a long life. She is thankful for the doctor but gives the Glory for the progress to the Lord. 

Since we started coming to chemo we have met a lot of people- all in various stages of the battle, some have lost the fight against it, but others have left with a smile and lighter step, thankful to move forward with a good report. On the personal side, one such good report is Glenn's dad, he just got his 3rd all clear scan on the cancer he's spent time battling, now he and Glenn's mom are getting ready to go on a Panama Canal cruise. I can't think of a better way to celebrate!! 

As we continue to move forward into whatever lies ahead for us, we will continue to pray with, empathize with and rejoice with those in our sphere, whether it's at church, the store, even facebook, or here; in our 'Other Monday' world.


Have a blessed day, and take the time to be a blessing to someone.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What I love about kids...

Mark 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Mark 10:15 "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

This last weekend was our annual Children's Encounter Weekend at church. When you have the opportunity to be involved with Kid's Church you begin to really see the truth of Mark 10:15.  I wasn't able to be there as much this year as in years past but I know that God was doing big things there. Nothing is quite as amazing as watching young children begin to grab hold of God's truth's and start to move forward in the call He has on their lives. 

The Encounter is a time where kids ages 6-12 get to encounter God... this isn't a playtime 'retreat,' it is way past that. Yes there are some short playtimes for the kids, but primarily it is a time of focused learning, to grow in the things of God at a level they can understand. Where adults go to an encounter only once, the kids generally come every year, and for good reason-- children have different levels of understanding, what they understand at 6 is different than the work the Lord does in them at 12. It all works together as building blocks for the rest of their lives. What I can tell you is that these kids are changed, the basics are the same each year but each year is also different as the Lord gives the children's pastors a different focus for the Encounter. This year the focus was "Givin' it all." 

Through the course of the lessons the children all determined what they wanted to give away so that they could give it all for the Lord. Toward the end of the weekend the kids all wrote on balloons what they were going to give away, then they released them. Giving those things away that get in the way of their relationship with the Lord, so that they could grow closer to to Him. The thing they choose is different for each child.

We can learn from this...  what things do we need to release to the Lord so that we can grow closer? During my brief time there this year, the Lord touched me... yes, we adults can be touched during a time that teaching is 'for kids' if we have the heart of a child, the willingness to receive when God is giving-- Learning to trust God completely, trusting our Heavenly Father. 

Years ago when Crystle, our oldest, was only 8 months old she fell sound asleep in Glenn's arms. We were in the middle of a busy room and there she slept, oblivious to the goings on around her. And Glenn looked at me and said simply... this is the faith of a child, and what God calls us to, the ability to trust the Lord and rest in Him, no matter what is going on. During the brief period I was at the Kid's Encounter the Lord reminded me of this... I had been struggling with some fear recently, and during the session as the kid's were being prayed over, to give their fear to the Lord-- God touched me, He reminded me that I needed to release it, to give it to Him... I could quit holding onto it, so I did, I let it go... I wish I could have been at the balloon release because I think I might have grabbed one and written 'fear' on it because that is what I released. I have let it go before but this time at a new level... I am so excited that as I was giving to the kids that God loves me so much that He touched me, reminding me yet again that He is always present and there for me.

The beautiful thing about the Lord, He is the perfect Father... I have a wonderful dad, he loves me and always has, he's been supportive of me for as long as I remember, he also disciplined me as I grew up. All in all I was blessed with a dad that reflected to me the Love of  my Father in heaven. I know that there are many who are not as fortunate, but the Lord is accessible to everyone. He is a Father that is always there; 24/7, He cares about every aspect of our lives. 

We simply need to ask Him into our lives, we need to be like children-- trusting our Heavenly Father to care for us and let us rest in His arms like Crystle rested in Glenn's arms so long ago.

If you don't already know  Jesus as your Lord and would like to know more then click here to learn more on how you can have a relationship with Him, and begin to know and understand God as your Father.

Then understand what it means to release and Give It All!!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Psalms 121--  I will lift up my eyes to the hills— ​​From whence comes my help?
​​My help comes from the LORD, ​​Who made heaven and earth.
​​​He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel ​​Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
​​The LORD is your keeper; ​​The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
​​The sun shall not strike you by day, ​​Nor the moon by night.
​​​The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; ​​He shall preserve your soul.
​​The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in ​​From this time forth, and even forevermore.

This was my mom's favorite Bible passage, I always liked it, but I think at this point I have a greater appreciation for the depth of it's meaning... at least in my life.

We passed the 7 month mark last week, Praise to God on High! It's odd to walk in a world where things are truly day to day but that is the world Glenn and I live in, in many ways. The challenges of the last 7 months have taught us to appreciate each day and deal with that days issues as they arise... another verse that really hits here...Matt 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is it's own trouble. Fortunately this doesn't mean everyday is bad... not at all, it simply reminds us that there is no benefit to stressing about what may happen, simply live in the day you are in. Does this mean don't think about the future? No.

Through the ups and downs of the last 7 months the Lord has been there. He has always been there, and in this fight He has made His presence known in a strong way, even before the diagnosis. The night shortly before the diagnosis when God told Glenn that a battle was coming, the day we got the official news-when He gave us the strategy for the fight, and also through every up and down He has been with us in the victories, and comforted us on the dark moments. He was also there when Glenn was having a great time last week golfing with Jake on the 7 month anniversary. When we take the time to be thankful for all that we have in God it helps us to rest in Him in the midst of the storms as much as in the quiet, easy times, it allows us to look to the future with joy and and anticipation -- not fear and trepidation.

God is there for each and everyone of us, He is our heavenly Father that is there to root us on and hold us tight... The kind of father that wants the best for His children. He knows that we all have trials to face, but He also wants us to remember that He is with us every step of the way.

We still have dreams and plans that we have had and new ones too, so we plan toward those. Things we want to do in ministry and just things we want to do and enjoy together. Together we plan to enjoy the blessings of our children and grandchildren, and all that is ahead. None of us know the number of days we have, so I just say... Rejoice in the Lord Always!!

Have an amazing day and make it count!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Importance of Family and Friends

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Websters defines adversity as; a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty

Proverbs 18:24  A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Throughout the different stages in life we see friendships and relationships (yes even with family) change and grow. When my kids were small I had friends that I could call if I needed the kids watched for a bit... and they could call me for the same. I knew there were some people that I could go to for anything, from a cup of sugar to a deep heart to heart talk. Though many of the names of those in my closest circle have changed over the years-- though there are a few that, have been in that most intimate level for decades, whether I see them every week or once every few years; there is just something in our relationship that never changes. Some friends we aren't necessarily as close to as those in the smaller circle, yet without them our lives would have some serious voids. I have found that there are some people that only touched my life for a short period but without them, there are things I would never have learned. I am thankful for each and every person that is a part of my life, each one is a gift from God.

Each of us has seen those around us at moments, where someone we care about has hit a crisis point in life- these points vary for all of us. Sometimes it may be a rough patch at work, maybe with a child or spouse or like in our case they are facing a truly life and death situation. I think that most of us have a heart to reach out when we see things happen to those that we care about. I have tried through the years to reach out and be there for others when they needed support, and probably better at some times than others. But until recently I really never understood just how much those gestures meant. Since we entered the cancer battle, I can honestly say that, now I know how much it means when someone reaches out.

We have been blessed by an amazing outpouring of support in this battle, and it all-- and I mean ALL, has touched me in ways I can't even express. Sometimes my response to a question may seem kinda low key, due at times to my being in kind of a, 'I just have to get through this day on an even keel' mode. Other times more enthusiasm may be shown, honestly please know this... regardless of what you see on the outside, know this, it all matters! The support of family and friends- those we see in person, and the more extended base of friends on Facebook has been a blessing and a strengthening to us.

In the early part of this battle a friend of ours referred to the prayer support of those around us in a way that really stuck with me. He correlated it to the support that Moses got when he grew tired.  Exodus 17:12 But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. The prayers of those around, encouraged and strengthened us when we were so tired that it was a challenge to press on.

We continue to trust in the Lord daily walking by faith. We know that it is only through the Grace of God and the prayers of those around us that Glenn is here today, so thank you, each one that has prayed for us, spoken a word of encouragement, been there to listen or reached out to us... Thank You!

We have learned a lot through this walk and one of those things is the importance of those around us, and being there for others. When we are asked for prayer, hear of a prayer need or see a prayer request on Facebook we don't wait, we pray immediately. We know the importance of that, no longer do we put it off... it's too easy to forget.

We really do know that each day truly is a gift from the Lord, remember, no one knows the number of days that they have been given to live on this big blue marble so ENJOY life! Don't sweat the small things, remember 90% of the stress you feel today will be irrelevant in a week or two. So reach out and be there for your family and friends, both intimate and acquaintances. A word of encouragement at the right time can literally change a life. Be a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

In closing, on this one, if you need prayer, reach out! If you ask, we will pray!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Forward in Faith and Celebration

Psa 108:2 I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations

We serve an amazing God, His love and mercies are unending. It is through Him that we live and move and have our being! Each day that we live is a gift from Him... never take it for granted.

August was truly amazing! We have been blessed by the forward gains that have been made in this battle, and Praise God, September has been a good month also!

We finished August with a wonderful trip to the coast and then after the Holiday weekend it was back to chemo. A part of Chemo days is bloodwork, well the bloodwork on Sept 4th showed more positive news. The tumor marker that had been so close to 'normal' in August had moved into that 'normal' range! We were now looking ahead to Glenn's CT on Sept 10th. This time we were believing for big changes, changes reflecting what the numbers were saying, and what we were (and are) believing for in the spiritual. I won't say that there weren't moments of anxiety just before- and until we got the results on the 17th, there were... the enemy likes to try to play head games, but I remember the words of Christ - John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The Wednesday between the CT scan and our appointment, Glenn got to teach the Wednesday night service, this is another victory in the battle, because on top of sharing the Goodness of the Lord, he was able to speak the whole service and not have to use the stool they had up there for him. This was right about the 6 month anniversary of the diagnosis, a time for celebration- 75% of those diagnosed with this cancer do not see this mark. We hold to the promise of the Lord for many more months and years in Glenn's life, celebrating each day along the way.

The CT went well, the tech even commented on Glenn's outward appearance, how much better he looked, now 20 pounds heavier and good color to his complexion. A week later, September 17th was a wonderful day!! It started with a text, that our son Jeremy and his lovely Whitney are expecting and we were back at the doctor's for Glenn's usual chemo appointment and to get the results of the CT... A CT that showed that the tumor on the pancreas was now well less than half the size that it had been in June! And to top it all off, our newest granddaughter was due anytime, yep it was a great day!

The month has been a good one, Glenn was back on the bass for worship on the 26th, and is returning to his previous worship schedule! His strength is returning and we rejoice in everyday victories. God is faithful and we do as is spoken in Phil 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We press forward in to the call of God in our lives, where ever that will lead.

Shortly after I started writing this today, and before I posted, (yes I exited for a bit) another victory, our newest grandchild has arrived, another blessing to celebrate... we look forward to more victories to come. 

These first 7 entries have given a compressed look at the last 7 months, I will continue to post about the battle, I have some more reflections to share, but I also look forward to sharing more victories. 

Here is the link for Glenn's teaching on "What Make's Good Soil Good."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Amazing August

Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Learning to fully lean on the Lord is an amazing thing... we always want to be in control, but when we learn to release it to Him we begin to really understand that He is Faithful and we never had control to begin with.

August really was an amazing month, as I said the month of July held a key turning point in this battle. It was at the darkest hour that the Lord flipped a switch and the fog began clearing. Getting Glenn's nutrition back on track was crucial. If he wasn't eating then his body had nothing to draw on for the physical part of the battle. I give thanks to the Lord for the clarity, vision and plan that we began to implement during that month.

As I mentioned, we created a spreadsheet and tracked everything he took in, when he reached a steady 2000 plus, calorie intake, I quit tracking things like Gatorade and 2am PB and cracker snacks. He was gaining weight steadily now, and with it, he was gaining energy. We began taking walks, and he began doing light exercises to regain the lost muscle. (One of the Physician Assistants had told him that he more than likely wouldn't be able to gain much weight back and probably never regain muscle.) I am so glad that our faith is in the Lord, the doctors do what they can, with the knowledge they have... and we are thankful for that. But what we know, is that our Lord is the Great Physician, and He knows far more!! So our minds were continuing trusting in the Promise and aiming for the goal.

Goals, that is something that we were told are good to have, even from the natural standpoint. Well our first immediate goal was Glenn's birthday... Aug 24th. I don't know what kind of odds the medical community would have given him of reaching it back in June, but now the doctors were certain he would make it, no problem, and the next CT scan was set for a couple weeks after. It's nice to know that they are seeing what the Lord is doing. Glenn made his birthday, and his health continued to improve through out the month. He was also feeling good enough that he was able to play bass on one of the Wed services at church in August.

We both really saw in July, it is important that periodically, we find a way to get away, to get a break from the house and a change of scenery.  It helps to refresh us, and help fight becoming stir crazy... so we booked a delayed birthday trip. We were celebrating both our birthdays because my birthday falls about a week before Glenn's. We decided to head to the coast.

We both love the coast and Glenn's folks were camping over near Gold Beach and spending the days at a park that we really enjoy over there, Arizona Beach. Mind you, I love the Oregon Coast but I hate the canyon on 199 that you go through to get there, a steep cliff to the river on one side of the road and a mountain wall on the other side. However, since we had another victory in August, and Glenn had begun driving again. (Not very much but sometimes, something he hadn't done since March.) He was able to drive from the tunnel all the rest of the way to the beach. Yeah, I didn't have too!! 
We spent the day hanging out with them and Glenn's sister, and some of the cousins--we just chilled. I took my camera and spent some time snapping pix,  We had booked a room in the older part of a hotel and it turned out to be perfect for us. It was a corner room and we could see AND hear the ocean, so we opened our windows a bit and enjoyed the air and the sounds of the ocean. The next day we found a little restaurant to have breakfast at... turns out we used to square dance with the owners, lol. Then we began our wandering trip home, stopping along the way to look at the beaches, take some pictures and we even went to the Aquarium in Crescent City before heading back inland.

During the month of August we saw the cancer numbers continue to drop, and by the end of the month we were looking at only 2 above "normal"- and one was within a gnat's breath of it. The other had dropped from a high of 1027 down to under 300! We were happy, Glenn was feeling good, the next CT was set for Sept 10th. We were anticipating the goals ahead. Those immediate goals, by dates, were 1st- the CT to reflect what we were seeing. 2nd- Glenn was going to be speaking at church on a Wednesday night, and 3rd- He was set to play bass again. There was one more but it was more of a Sept-Oct thing not goal... we have another grandbaby set to arrive... in her own timing.

Yes, August was amazing, thanks be to the Lord on High!! Through this journey that we are on, we have learned better how to rest in His peace... it is always a learning process. We have a greater appreciation of the Lord, of life, and I think of each other; for this I am glad. No, I'm not glad that it's coming this way, but I hold to the promise of God and the scripture in Romans that tells us: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28 NKJV).

Here are a few more of the pics from the trip......
Dad and Mom
Debbie and Russ
Arizona Beach locals

Sunset from the hotel beach