My Cancer Blog

Friday, May 24, 2013

God's grace shines all around us

 John 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
The sun is shining!  Memorial weekend has come to our neck of the woods, and our little town has doubled in population ...We are thankful that last week's rain has made it safe for people to enjoy their campfires...and our flowers survived the cold night.
The weather is perfect~ cool with clear blue skies...Everything looks so lush and green now.

Garage sale signs are on every corner, but we are staying home and enjoying the long weekend. My low energy level keeps me from doing much walking, but it is good medicine for now to just sit in the sunlight and be nourished.

...He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.

 God's grace shines all around us...

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17
I pray you all enjoy a peaceful weekend...
And To my friends in the US:  ~Happy Memorial Day~
Stay safe, and God bless everybody! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Praying for sunshine!

Update on Baby Ally:
She continues to improve...Thanks to our prayers, God is giving her strength every day!

Please continue to pray for her and her Mama~ Sarah~...She is having a hard time with the c-section.

Also, I just returned from the doctor's office. He wanted to discuss my lab results from last week.

It is nothing too serious, but needs some attention.

I am having a lot of trouble with my balance, as well as fatigue and weakness in my arms and legs...

The problem is a vitamin D deficiency as well as low iron.

The scale for vitamin D ranges from 30- 55...Mine is 13!

So I am taking a suppliment to bring that number up...It would sure be nice if the sun would shine a bit more here in Michigan...That is the best way to get vitamin D.

Well, the SON is always shining, and I am thankful that our medical care is very good where we live...And I am glad that no matter what the outcome of those results...I was feeling secure in knowing Jesus is our helper, our protector and our friend....

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

Psalm 27:1..

I carry this scripture in my pocket, and in my heart.

Thank you for praying!

~Blessings and love~

Monday, May 20, 2013

God’s Springtime Garden


Wild blooms grow amongst the ones that I have planted.

Have you ever felt like this flower?


Trying to survive in a rocky place? Reaching down in a narrow crevice searching for fertile soil in which to grab ahold of in order to survive and grow?


Matthew 13...

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

13 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Where we live it is difficult to grow many things. Trees dominate the skyline, blocking much of the sunlight.
Rocks dominate the ground, and with the roots from the trees they pretty much choke everything else out.
So, when I see these wild violets popping up each spring in every crevice around the yard, as well as on the woodland trails…I am encouraged by their tenacity!

19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

The above parable explains the idea of what good soil is. I believe that good soil can be found even amongst the rocks and thorns and other difficult things that grow in our world...It just takes a bit more care in order for those seeds to survive...but it can be done...
with a lot of weeding, and digging, and heavy lifting!
God proves that he is able to do what seems difficult or even impossible...he shows us that there is good soil everywhere he plants a seed and it grows fruit...For Him it is an easy task.

The value of the Word of God...
Many people consider these flowers weeds…because they grow so vigorously, often taking up space where some people would rather plant more “cultivated” flowerbeds…But I like the wild flowers the best!…They are free and they are abundant, and are completely given to us from God himself!
But because they are free and abundant, should they lose their value?
I don’t think so!
But don’t we sometimes devalue the Word of God, His everyday blessings and even the gift of Jesus because they are free and abundant also?
Sadly, we sometimes do.
I remember a time when the church was praying for the provision of Bibles to the former Soviet Union when the Berlin wall was torn down…The people did not have many, because for decades they had been forbidden  to own a Bible…The people were hungry…starving for the Word of God…Those Bibles became the most valuable possession for many people.
At the same time, through the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU) the United states was developing legislature against the personal use of Bibles in public schools as well as forbidding prayer (not only corporate prayer,but personal prayer, like one that might be included in a graduation speech.) There were also cases popping up and continuing today, where symbols of our Christian faith are no longer allowed because an individual might feel offended by a Nativity display in their town, or even the sight of a steeple with a cross, which was the case in a Michigan town recently!..The church removed the steeple.

Here is the shocking story that made headlines around the world 3 years ago:
Unfortunately, 3 years later this is not so shocking anymore as this started a trend that continues to grow today. Soon it may be commonplace.

but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
(1 Cor. 1:23)

So, where am I going with this? I am encouraging all my fellow Christians to do something right where you are…Grow!
Let the Word of God allow you to thrive amidst the rocks!
Branch out in spite of the deep roots that have overtaken the soil of your heart…And let the SONshine nourish and sustain you even though there seems to be nothing but dark clouds on the horizon lately!
Dig deeper into the Word of God, and even though it is free and abundant…value it as though it might be taken away from you at any time…First, hide His Holy Word deep within the fertile soil of your heart, and weed out whatever may try to intrude upon it’s growth. But don't allow it to stay hidden there.
And if there is anyone reading this today who has not made the decision to accept Jesus into their heart yet…Jesus is calling you to walk with Him through the garden of your heart…
Just like the angel rolled away the heavy stone sealing the tomb where Jesus' body once laid…Roll away those rocks that keep your spirit entombed in a state of death and decay…for on the other side is LIFE and healing.
And remember this: Just like with the seeds in the garden, In order for there to be growth…something in you must first die…The seed of God’s Word is Jesus. His death and burial was necessary in order for your spirit to come to life with Him in His resurrection…
Your old self, (what the Bible calls the 'old man’ ) will be changed into something new…A new creation in Christ. But first, you must lay down your pride, humble yourself and admit that you have sinned…
We are all born with a sinful nature, a nature that would rather pursue selfish pleasure instead of learning and living the way that God teaches us to live…This began in that first garden long ago, when the first man and woman disobeyed God and chose to listen to the lies of the enemy of God (Satan) instead of their Creator.
The only way this transformation can take place for you is if you accept the free gift that Jesus is offering you…His payment for your sins was death upon a cross…he did that so that you could live for all eternity in God’s heaven, instead of in the torment of hell…
The fact that he rose from the grave…was proof of His claim to be the Son of God…He is seated at God’s right hand now, but He has given each Christian the gift of the Holy Spirit…This indwelling Spirit is what transforms us from mere mortals, into the Children of God.
Springtime is a good time for believers to grow, and for unbelievers to consider renewal. It is a time for lives to begin, and blossoms to be seen everywhere…
So, now that you have been cultivating the Word growing and thriving within your heart...It will soon be harvest time!
Take the Word of God and display it in and around your home, or on your car or at your desk or workplace. Write it on your outgoing mail…include it in your everyday conversations…But most importantly live it…Let others see the beauty of a Christ centered life displayed in your daily conduct…your attitude, the way you react to those hard things around you…Shine the light of God’s Word into the overshadowed corners of your world and watch as new blooms start to appear where only emptiness was before.
Even if you are already doing these things...look for ways to do even more...

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

DSC02129 - Copy
This geranium plant represents all stages of life...The dried blooms, the new buds, as well as the full bloom, even the seeds are hidden inside the plant...They guarantee future growth.
Even when death is all around us…We can focus on the beauty of life and the hope of a resurrection day!

~God Bless, and remember, we are…

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Real Lovebirds…A bittersweet story of love and devotion

Ecclesiastes3:1-4 – To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance

Corinthians 4:7-8  “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Jeff was cleaning the dog enclosure and was startled by this Ruby Throated Grosbeak…He did not move because he had been injured. I went out there to take this picture, realizing that he was badly injured. The poor fellow was breathing heavily, holding his head low. My human instinct wanted to reach out and comfort the poor creature, but experience has taught me that doing so usually only succeeds in stressing them more…And then I saw her through the camera lens…
Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Staying nearby, yet on the other side of the fence…His faithful mate. At one point she turned her eyes away from him to look at me…She blinked her eyes as if telling me of her sadness. I told her I was sorry that I could not help.
Jeff and I went back into the house, careful to keep the dogs inside. We kept our eye on them…she remained outside the fence, vulnerable to the neighbor’s cat and other animals…but he was safely inside the fence where the animals cannot get in easily. I wonder if that was her plan…to guard over him as he lay within safety as well as comfort him?
(Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV) “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

 It also was not lost on me the irony that she was on the one side of a he lay dying on the opposite side...together yet seperated. This is how a person feels when they lose a loved one through death.
What was also ironic about this morning’s encounter was that just minutes before  Jeff went outside to clean the yard, we had been looking through these two bird guides, and discussing many birds, including the Ruby Throated Grosbeak.   Specifically, we were wondering what the female looked like (up close)…as we had seen another similar bird, but with larger eyes the previous day... As it turned out…we were about to get a real life lesson in bird identification…up close and personal.
Mercifully it was not too long after when I looked out the window to see that the female Grosbeak was no longer there…Her mate had died. I brought him inside for a minute to get a good look at his beautiful markings before I carefully buried him. I was so sad, yet I knew that he must have felt very loved and comforted to have his mate with him right until the end…

On the day when I faced disaster, they confronted me, but the LORD came to my defense...Psalm 18:18

 …We have our loved ones, family, friends, our spouse with us to comfort us here, but there will come a time when we will have to say goodbye to them for a time.

But Jesus promised us a comforter who will NEVER leave our side…One who will walk with us into eternity…

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.  John 14

I wonder how she is, the mate who stayed so close until the very end. I imagine she is tending to her nest alone now, protecting the precious little eggs that lie within… The sharp edge of her sadness softened a bit with hope for her babies…It is a bitter sweet story playing out here at the cottage on this Snowy mother’s Day…I challenge anyone who would try to convince this silly woman that animals do not feel love towards one another, as someone once tried to so many years ago…
…to remember the little bird that stayed by her dying mate even when it meant placing herself within danger…even remaining there while two big humans came to sit within mere inches of them both...…It is so obvious to anyone who has eyes to see. God speaks through His Holy Word and also through His creation!
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Though we may not be facing eminent death today, there may be many other difficulties that have us worried. Do not be afraid…you are not alone, my friend!

2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV) But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In Memory

This is the necklace that my Mama gave me before she died. I have been wearing it to remember her throughout the whole month of May, not only because of Mother’s Day, but also because she died on May 28th, 2000. She was 74.
It has a little dried violet inside…my favorite flower and color too. My Mama loved gold and silver jewelry, and she loved diamonds as well as other precious gems…But this necklace she saved just for me, because she knew how much I loved violets and other ‘free’ treasures from nature more than all the gold, or diamonds and other more ‘valuable’ things.
I know my Mama is walking streets of Gold with her Lord and Savior now…and in my imagination I see her carrying a small bouquet of violets just for me.
I will see you again someday Mama!

I woke up fearful this morning. I have been dealing with a health issue and will be seeing a new doctor next Thursday.
I visited a few blogs early this morning and found just exactly the scripture that I needed to drive away all the fear from my mind.

I demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ….Thanks Brenda

I also received encouragement from a sweet sister in Christ in an email this morning. The Lord must have told her I needed it, because I hadn’t said anything about the upcoming appointment…Thanks Denise O.

Yesterday at the feeder:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Mt.10:29-31

  • A Ruby Breasted Grosbeak
  • A very angry Oriole “Where’s my food?” he was asking as he flew up to the kitchen window twice!
  • Blue Jays
  • Doves (feeding on the ground)
  • an assortment of Woodpeckers (did not see the pileated…But I heard him in the woods.)
  • Also heard in the swamps the Whippoorwill.
  • An assortment of sparrows and wrens
  • Cardinals
  • Chickadees
  • Oh, and we mustn’t forget our confused little Robin friend is still peeking into the window everyday…(much to Sasha’s frustration)!

Some other visitors to the yard included :

  • A neighbors cat who loves to sit underneath our shed in the backyard and taunt the dogs.
  • A myriad of squirrels and chipmunks who like to taunt the dogs.
  • The meter reader who woke Bud up and made him freak out…Sorry he scared you too! (She nearly ran down the sidewalk)!
  • A UPS delivery guy who made Buddy howl!

So as you can see we had quite a colorful crowd. Now I need to get into the shed out back and find the Hummingbird and Oriole feeders before I get into more trouble, LOL!


~Blessings and love~

& remember, we are…



Monday, May 6, 2013


Fear and Frustration…

The family arrived a bit late. As the joyful youngsters flooded into the house anticipating ‘Fun’…Fun was delayed at the door; pushed aside, as the uninvited visitor forced his way inside instead. ‘Fear’ stepped into the little home followed closely by his friend and comrade… ‘Frustration’.

The phone had just rang…

On the other end of the phone was the anxious voice of the youngest daughter:

“Mom, we don’t know what we are supposed to do!”

Our Son in Law who is a veteran suffering from PTSD, as well as type 1 diabetes, with neuropathy in both hands, feet, and stomach… along with a myriad of other health problems had ran out of insulin because of a UPS delivery mistake. The delivery would not come until Monday.

Josh has his insulin injected by a pump, and struggles to keep his levels stabilized from day to day. He could not wait until Monday.

They had been going around and around with the VA about this, and the frustration of waiting for his VA physician to help had him entangled in a lot of red tape. He had been on hold with the VA on the other phone line for a long time, so Sarah called me, fearful that Josh might not get insulin before he went into a crisis situation. They had been told that the prescription would not be released to any pharmacy outside of the VA approved one, which was a hundred miles away, and would be closed within the hour.

I took the phone into my bedroom away from the noise of the rest of the family, and told my daughter not to worry…I then called our local hospital. They could treat him, but the VA insurance would not pay for it…They would have to make the long drive to the VA hospital instead. The last time he was treated at a local hospital it was very, very expensive!

So fear gave way to frustration…This young man is a veteran for goodness sakes! Why could they not just fax his script to our local hospital 5 minutes away from where they live!

Father God…We need faith!

 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

I took a few minutes to calm down and pray to the Father for peace, provision, and protection…and then I went out into the living room and opened the door and let Faith usher in ‘Fun’ for the rest of the evening.

Although they were unable to visit with us Saturday evening, Josh was able to get the insulin he needed before becoming sick.

Because of a schedule change, the kids could not spend the night, and had to go home the same evening. But thanks to ‘Faith…we were able to squeeze in lots of ‘Fun’ anyway!

As many of you know we were so excited to have this chance to visit with our family…and the enemy sure did try to destroy it all by sending two of his best thugs in to crash our party!

Aside from Sarah missing out on seeing her nieces (whom she hadn’t seen in 2 yrs.) We had a very fun time with the kids while they were here…


What is not pictured here is the short hike we all took at night down an old trail off of a country road nearby…This was something our kids always loved to do when they were young…We walked with a flashlight…I reassured the kids that no animal in their right mind would bother the ten of us…Surely we had scared off any within a mile, except for the one lone deer that the kids were excited to see up close just before exiting the truck.

The kids had a blast! This is something they will be talking about for a while…and remembering always!

Thank you, dear friends for your prayers for Jeff’s BP…He had such anxiety when he first got to his appointment, that his BP was quite high when the nurse took it! She actually had to turn off the light, close the door, and leave him to lie down and relax a bit before attempting to take it again. It was normal…Praise God! This test is needed every few years in order to keep his CDL licenses…and his job!… (hence the anxiety)

Please keep Josh in your prayers as his medical condition continues to worsen; and it is very hard for them to have to always deal with the Veterans Administration…I hate to complain, but after witnessing their struggles, as well as other local veterans…You would think that after combat in the war, they would not have to face their biggest battle for the basic necessities in life once they come home!

And please pray for Sarah…She has a lot more stress at work since nearly everyone in the deli where she works has quit…she is one of only 3 left. She has been there for over 3 years, and really needs the job.

Thanks again for your love and prayers!

~ Blessings and love ~
& remember, we are...


Thursday, May 2, 2013


This post is a bit different than most of my posts have been.
This post is to all of my friends. I just want you all to know that I consider each one of you a gift from God, and I really do love you all very much!
Sometimes I just take a day to read through your blogs, and sometimes I spend some time reading through (past posts and all) of a particular blog. I am so thankful for the variety of personalities that God has created in you all! I feel truly blessed to be able to share in your joys and your sorrows…to join with you in laughter and tears.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
In all of our differences, we all have this one thing in common…
Anticipation of an upcoming family visit has had me really focused on family these last few days. I will be honest here…
I have not been much of a family participant these past years. I have been judgmental, and I have been angry for much of the time. You have all heard the saying “hurt people, hurt people.”, well, that has been true in my life. I have professed to being a Christian for nearly 30 years now, yet I have never really been able to fully forgive people. I have listened too often to the voice of the enemy saying that my anger was justified, and that I was not worthy to give or receive love and forgiveness from friends and family.
I feel like there has been a major shift in my life recently. It has been gradual…a movement deep within my spirit. I sensed it, yet ignored it. Well, just like a fault line deep within the earth may go unnoticed for a time…the cracks start to appear upon the surface after a while; and as the shifting continues down deep, the cracks become bigger and wider until it can no longer be ignored.
So, what is going on…Glad you asked…My heart of stone is finally breaking free, revealing a heart that can only be the heart of Jesus underneath!! (Yes, this is worth two exclamations)
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” Mark 8:17-19

And while I can feel the beat of a new heart I can also feel something else falling away with the old pieces of stone…
All fear is gone…You see, I have always loved my Jesus, but I was so wrapped up in fear that fear was what either motivated or paralyzed me. And through wrong motivation and fear of doing things…I have lost much joy and hope…and worse…family members, and friends both!
And though I still do not believe I am worthy of your love and friendship…I want you to know that I treasure it!
Whew! Now that I have shared a piece of my heart with you, let me share a few photos…
I had a bit of anxiety about my granddaughters and my daughter’s boyfriend’s 3 daughters coming for a visit…You see, last Christmas Jeff and I took gifts to the grandkids, and did not take anything for the other three girls (we didn't know they would be there)…I told the girls I would give them a video game that I had at home…Well, after looking at the game a bit closer (it was a multi-game pack)…some of the games did not look age appropriate, and looked kind of ‘dark’, so I bought them the Bible stories DVD shown above.
And yesterday Jeff and I went to the dollar store and picked up some activity books, crayons, and for the older girls: journals and colorful pens. And for a last minute thing…I noticed the little plush animals…and since they were only $2 each, I said that if there were 6 varieties I would buy them…Well, there were exactly 6 different ones (Gotta love the dollar store!) So I am hoping everyone will be happy with the gifts, and will have a good time here…The weather is perfect and should be for the weekend too…Thank the Lord!
So the spare room is all set up for the kids.
That last picture is of a painting I did of our youngest daughter Sarah when she was a teen, and the smaller one is a painting I did with Sarah when she was only 10.
Well, I pray that you are all having a good week, and something to look forward to this weekend as well!
I will be back, Lord willing, to post some pictures of the granddaughters, and if their Dad gives me permission... of the 3 other little (adopted granddaughters).

~God bless~

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reflections on solitude

This was taken one week ago at a state park nearby where we do our shopping. It was a nice quiet wooded trail.
Although I enjoyed the serenity and silence. I remembered that this is the time of year when there may be bears out and about with their cubs, so we had to make a little noise to make sure the mama bears knew we were out there in plenty of time to avoid crossing paths. This land is about 40 miles north of us and a prime bear hunting area in Michigan.
Black Bear Cubs
We once followed a truck which had a bear splayed across it’s bed on its way to the DNR tagging station here, and I could not stop crying because the bear looked just like my Sasha laying on there.
Doesn’t this old log look like some prehistoric creature rising up from the marsh?
me at the dam
This is me watching the water come out from the dam nearby.
There is a lot of fish here. We really do not like fish. Except for salmon once in awhile. We used to take our girls fishing when they were kids, but we now only fish on the free fishing weekend in the beginning of June…Just to stay in practice.
This is me last year (on my birthday) fishing from a dock nearby where we live. I didn’t catch anything, but we watched an eagle soaring over the lake for quite awhile. I think it was fishing too. It sure had no competition from me!

There was an eagle that followed overhead while we were on our boat a few years ago. It was also on my birthday, so I believe that God sends me a birthday gift delivered on the wings of an eagle! The gift is joy and serenity wrapped up in hope for another year.
I am filled with gratitude towards my heavenly Father for giving me such gifts!
We will be trading in our silence and solitude for a weekend filled with grandchildren and grand-dogs as we will be dog-sitting tomorrow through Friday, and then will have our three granddaughters, along with our daughter and her boyfriend and his three daughters…yes… you counted right…6 little girls! It will be a blessing and such a change around here for these two old hermits!

Well, I had better go now and fill up on some energy food…something tells me I’m gonna need it!
Oh, and cookies...lots and lots of cookies!

~God bless~

Choosing Life!

I thought it was time to dust off the old blog! I gave 'Facebook' a good try there for awhile, but I'm afraid I jus...