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Showing posts from 2008

It's Christmas!

We read His story this morning... my beautiful family sat in our living room with presents waiting under the tree. It was our eldest son, Brocc's turn to read the Christmas story from Luke as our five wonder-eyed grandbabies sat patiently listening to their favorite story. Baby Jesus is their hero in my olive wood Nativity set that I allow them to play with. My dad prayed a blessing upon our family and for those less fortunate... for our men and women serving on the battlefields in the middle east; while the children squeezed their eyes tightly shut - knowing that when they heard us all say "Amen" - they could rip into their stack of presents! I love this time of year, when family and friends gather and shower love. Its the one time of the year when you feel free to express gratitude and loving expressions to those you hold dear, without feeling you're being too mushy and sentimental. The leftovers are all stashed in the refrigerator and the wrapping paper and boxes h

A Grateful Heart

Its Thanksgiving week and I have loads of things to do - however, I've chosen to pause the preparations and voice my gratefulness. I am thankful for my family. My parents are my heroes and the best role models any girl could hope for. I am thankful they are still with us this holiday - maybe not in perfect health... but definitely "well" and in good spirits! If I can become half the person they believe I am... I'll be one awesome woman. They have always been my number one cheering section. They have helped me to believe that nothing is impossible for me if God is in it. My sisters and my brother are so precious to me. We will all be together this week and I feel like a little girl on my way to Grandma's house! We have so much fun together - especially with all of our wild and wonderful children and grandchildren. This year has been different. Storms have raged in my family's life. My sister's youngest daughter committed suicide; and yet peace reigns. Cance

Ribbons of Blue Day Conference 2008 Report

Saturday was our fourth annual Ribbons of Blue Day Conference. About 200 girls and ladies came - a little less than what we normally have - but a beautiful crowd. Normally, ROB is held in July, so this rainy, fall morning was quite a different setting. After a fired-up DOZ prayer time, we split up for our morning session (Ribbons and Fringes) - with ages 5-12 in the gym and the teens and adults in the sanctuary. In the gym the girls enjoyed a story-time re-enactment of my children's book; "Chloe's Ribbons of Blue"... music, games, relays and a wild-hair contest. We wanted them to see how fun it is to be holy, godly and seperate... and to realize that there are lots of other Apostolic girls - just like them - wearing their "Ribbons of Blue" with dignity and boldness! In the sanctuary we had small group discussion - and then eight attending pastor's wives gave their advice to the "real-life" scenarios we had just discussed. Ladies love giving ad

Spiritual Mammogram

I just returned from my Ladies' Prayer Retreat. This was our 21st annual retreat and it is always the highlight of my year. Thursday a tropical depression moved in and had us "rained in" all day - we had our Bible Study sessions, ate, sang and fellowshipped... and then we had a powerful time of prayer that night. We pulled out the old "Spring Lake Hot-Seat" and four hours later could not believe how long we had been at it! I would not give anything for these prayer meetings - when we pray each other "through" - walls come down - strongholds are broken - it takes us to new dimensions in our lives. But my very favorite part of the retreat is my "alone" time with the Lord. Friday night the weather cooperated and we walked out on the beach at around 9 pm. This setting always puts things in perspective for me. The waves roar ashore - and come to a screeching halt right where GOD tells them to. I always feel as if I am sitting in the lap of my mast

Life goes on

Wow. What a difference a month can make. Reading that last blog is a little uncomfortable - I almost want to delete it. I hate having negative posts - but thats just how it was. But God has been faithful once again. I'm not 100%, but I'm getting there. My strength is returning. My energy level is improving daily. In fact, I just returned last night from South Dakota; my first trip and first Ladies' Retreat since all this cancer business began. It is amazing how one dip in the road can change the whole course of things. My life seems so much richer and vibrant these days. During the past couple of months I have had a lot of time to think about my life - goals - dreams and accomplishments. One of the things I have wanted to do for years is to further my education. To make a long story short, I am now a student (having just completed the summer semester) at Everglades University in Boca Raton, FL. I am pursing my Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Alternative Medicine.

Radiation... this is therapy?

OK... I made it through. 33 days of radiation is not my idea of "therapy". At first, I'm thinking... "hey this isn't so bad. Just go in every day at 1:00 - lay down for a 10 minute break - get to know some really cool people - hey - this ain't so bad after all!" Around about the 20th day, and almost overnight, things changed. My skin broke down really fast and the fatigue set in. The last two weeks I've had to live on pain meds just to cope... I can hardly bear to wear clothes due to the soreness... and then I've never been so tired in all my life. No energy. No desire to do anything - go anywhere - see anyone. Just going to my treatment and to church has been all I can handle. Thank God I'm done. I know God is going to restore my health, strength and energy. I am so thankful for my family being so patient with me and allowing me the space and time to just rest and deal with this crud. I know I can make it... I've found the can in cancer
1975... Thirty-three years ago. I was just a child and he was barely a man. We were so in love we could barely breathe. Walking down the aisle, I was the happiest girl in the world! I remember the little shotgun house we rented for $40.00 a month. Love kept us alive - literally - we were so poor! But God has blessed us... and blessed and blessed. On so many levels. Financially. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. We have three wonderful children... two beautiful daughters-in-love; five amazing grandchildren. A loving extended family that we are close to. A dynamic church family. Precious friends both near and far. Best of all, we're still together. We have each other and we are more in love now than ever. As we were standing on the balcony of our cruise ship in Alaska last week, my husband asked me if I ever dreamed I would be sailing the Pacific in such luxury. I answered honestly, "No". I am living a life that I never even dreamed of. I didn't know how to imagine

What is "Normal"?

Well, life is getting back to "normal"... whatever that is. I'm feeling better - soreness is gone - energy is returning - and life goes on. My beautiful life... my hectic life... goes on. God has been so good to me and He is patiently teaching me strange and wonderful things. He has sent people into my life to encourage me - instruct me - pamper me... He is loving me through His people...through the body of Christ. The sad thing is, I never realized how uncomfortable I am with "receiving" until now. Allowing people to minister to me feels so awkward; but I'm learning. God is beyond genius - and while He has pulled me aside for a season - He is developing others that would have never stepped up if I had continued to be strong. I am learning that my independent spirit has a root of pride in it and it is not very becoming. My "I'll do it myself" attitude has little to do with humility and a lot to do with lack of patience. And so, I am being schoo

I'm finding The CAN in CANcer

Blessings continue in my life. Doctors say no chemotherapy is needed! I am so grateful. Seems my annual mammograms have paid off! Early detection made the difference in treatment! I do have to receive Radiation Treatments... about 33 of them. They are waiting to start me in June due to some important things on my calendar in May. Once I start radiation I will go five days a week until they're done. I leave for a week long cruise May 31st... so the doctor says there's no rush - by all means, go cruising! I also begin Hormone Therapy this weekend. Tamoxifen will block estrogen from attaching to other cells- since the cancer was estrogen receptor positive. The nurse took about 30 minutes to inform me of all known side effects. I'm praying for God to block all the bad and allow the good to do its job. It is amazing what knowledge these medical professionals have. I was also tested for a genetic gene that may predispose me to cancer. If that test is positive - they may do a hyst

My Faithful Friend!

No cancer in the lymph nodes! What a relief to hear those words yesterday from my doctor. Which reminds me of one of my favorite treasures. Words. The most powerful force on earth. A mere word can change your life. Your heart. A single word. Think about it. Cancer. Clear. Goodbye. Accepted. Declined. Words... I have such a respect for them. Words can transport you - deflate you - immerse you - deliver you. If all my words were taken from me and I could only have one word - one word alone... that word would be ... Jesus. Talk about a word changing the atmosphere... that one word can change situations - lives - people! Immediately! I know I'm one of the privileged. I not only know this word... I know the meaning of the word. I know Who owns this word as His name. Wow. Know what else? This Jesus... He's my best friend - my faithful friend. Clear. Clear nodes. Uh-huh... that's what I'm talking about!

It's All In Your Head!

I was not trying to be difficult - or super woman - or any of the many other egotistical things of which my friends and family accused me. I simply wanted to go to NC Ladies' Conference. Bottom line. I had carefully protected these dates on my calendar all year... a chance to be with my dear NC lady friends AND to hear two of my favorite women in the world... Nona Freeman and Vesta Mangun! So what if the lymph node biopsy was scheduled for Thursday... the first day of the conference. Surely, I could leave the hospital and sleep on the two and a half hour road trip... rest a bit in the hotel and take in as much of the conference as possible. It's only been 24 years since I've had general anesthesia... probably why I forgot that afterwards you pretty much don't know what planet you are on or from! My wise husband suggested (although my bags were packed and ready to roll) that we go home first and see how I felt after a couple of hours rest. Well, long story short - I slep

Another Day In Paradise

Peace... it still surrounds me; saturates me; empowers me. Bright and early tomorrow morning I go to the hospital for the lymph node mapping and biopsy. All is still well. I am wide-eyed and all ears; my heart and mind open to God. What will He show me? Where will He take me? How did He choose cancer? Will the healing come quickly - or will I pass through the fire? Questions that really don't need answers. Just anticipating the ride... praying that I bring Him glory. Honored that He trusts me. Grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life. My husband. My children. My parents. My siblings. My family. My Church. My wonderful friends. My grandbabies. I am so blessed - so loved - and totally amazed by it all. For the past two weeks it seems that time moves at a slower pace. In slow motion, I watch my husband work - preach - study - and I savor every moment together. Like a slow movie reel I watch my grandchildren play - sing - and fight over me (MawMaw), I watch my sons - study t

Up Close and Personal God

God is continuing to blow my mind. He gave me Jeremiah 29:11 as a promise from His Word... "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you... thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome" (Amplified) Knowing that I am in His thoughts every day comforts me. He has proved to me that He is not only going to be WITH me, but that He is taking pains to ensure that I am comfortable with every detail. If you know me well, you know that I am very interested in the natural homeopathic healing methods of supplements, essential oils and such. I won't take the time to give every detail - but God just allowed me to re-connect with a friend via email that I have been out of touch with for about 15 years. She is an RN and has been for nearly 40 years. She had no idea what was going on with me - and I had no idea that she was working with a team of doctors and researchers as a consultant to people (like me) that have been diagnos

He prepared me... He has a plan!

Well, the results are in. The surgeon called me in a day early for my appointment. (my first clue something was going on) There is bad news and good news. The mass was cancer. A non-aggressive (well-behaved) type the doctor says. He is sure he got it all and I am so glad I told them to take the mass out instead of just doing a biopsy of it. It is totally treatable and totally curable... but totally inconvenient! The surgeon is sure they will do radiation to that breast. They are still waiting for a couple tests to come in to determine if the cancer is estrogen driven. I'm scheduled for another biopsy on Thursday, the 17th. This time they will inject a nuclear dye and follow it to the first couple of lymph nodes - which they will remove and biopsy. If there is no cancer in the nodes - that will be great news. If any of them are cancerous, they will remove them all from that side... and probably recommend chemotherapy. I am more afraid of the treatment than the cancer. When they gath

Its a Win/Win/Win!

I was just doing what I always do... getting my annual check-ups. Life has been so busy with no signs of letting up. Although mammograms are no fun, I know it is imperative that I get checked out regularly. Mom has had breast cancer and now two of her sisters have died with breast cancer being a contributing factor. This year, I didn't feel any kind of premonition or warning. I just went to my regular appointment. The phone call came while I was in St. Louis... they found something. A mass. A mass which was surgically removed yesterday. I am still on some major pain meds and feel like my head is in a fog, but I wanted to write. I want to try to share my feelings. Everyone tells me not to be afraid. Funny... fear is not one of the emotions I'm feeling. Uncertainity maybe. Not knowing stinks. I will get my lab results on Wednesday. But I already know that I can handle whatever comes my way. God is my peace... my refuge... my ever present help in the time of need. I feel so much p

He Loves Me!

God continually amazes me. I pray daily for Him to order my steps, yet it still blows my mind when it becomes obvious to me that He IS! I arrived in St. Louis with my hubby on Monday. (Yes, I see that it has been over a year since I blogged - and the last time I blogged was in St. Louis. I'm still not good at this "blog" thing) My plans for the week were sparse. Only one official meeting to attend - a couple banquets with my husband - hang out with the other Home Missions Board wives and shop. My main attraction was to visit with my youngest son between his classes and work schedule. (Kyle is attending Gateway College of Ministries this year) Did God have a surprise for me? Shortly after arriving I saw advertisements for the Pentecostal Writer's Institute sponsored by UPCI Word Aflame Publishers. Only God knows that I have wanted to attend PWI since its inception in 2003; however, the dates have never jived with my schedule. I could not believe my eyes when I saw t