Monthly Archives: November 2011

Six Month Cancer Check-Up

For new readers or readers who have forgotten the details
of my thyroid cancer journey,
(that’s OK, it’s been over 7 years,
my own family has a hard time keeping track of the details)
I’ll give a brief history.
(according to Wikipedia, this is what papillary thyroid cancer looks like)
Living with cancer isn’t quiet as pretty.
June 2005 thyroid and lymph nodes removed
August 2005 Radio-active iodine treatment
April 2009 surgery to remove two more tumors
May 2009 three tumors grew back,
RAI and surgery no longer an option,
increased thyroid medication to fight cancer.
I’ve been HYPERthyroid for awhile.
Doctors often use the line,
“Thyroid cancer is the BEST cancer to have.”
Some days I don’t believe it.
However, after losing three friends to cancer in the past year,
I started to believe it.
The faith is seasoned with Survivor’s Guilt,
but I now believe it.
I’ve been told I will never be cured,
that I won’t die from my cancer,
I will die with it.
Which means, apart from a miracle,
my sure cure will be death.
It makes me so thankful I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!
For those of you who also suffer in your earthly tent
you may be longing, like me, for that new body.
You may be longing to claim that
 promise of no more sorrow and no more pain
and to have those final tears wiped away with nail-scarred Hands.
But, today, my tears are of thankfulness and joy.
My six month lab work shows,
for the second time in a row,
no thyroid antibodies in my blood.
When cancer is active,
your body naturally produces antibodies to fight it.
My three tumors haven’t grown, according to the previous sonogram,
so things are being held at bay.
Through seven years of cancer, He’s never failed me.
I have failed to believe Him,
but He hasn’t failed me.
He is faithful.

Light the Fire!

It’s that time of the year when the house is getting nippy,
the kids are fussing about being cold,
I’m nagging them to put on sweaters,
and we all love to crank the heat
or light a fire in the fireplace.
 
There’s nothing like sitting in front of a crackling fire,
sipping a cup of hot coffee
and reading a good book.
In our case, usually a school book.
 
It was a Presto log,
so kinda’ a tiny, lame fire,
but was the first fire of the season,
so had to be commemorated with a picture.
We snuggled in front of the meager flame,
enjoying the sound, sight and smell of fire.
When I add logs, huffing and puffing to get the embers to ignite,
I’m reminded of this spiritual admonition:
2 Timothy 1:6
For this reason I remind you to
fan into flame
the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
I’m also reminded of this song,
a favorite for older campers at Story Book Lodge Christian Camp.
(this isn’t our camp, just a youtube video)
Listening to 100+ teenagers sing out with passion for Jesus
every summer does fan my faith into fire.
Reading God’s Word is another way to turn smoldering
embers into useful, warming flames.
Cold house?
Cold heart?
The answer is the same.
Light the fire!
What are ways you use to light the fire of faith in your life?

Thanksgiving is Never Really Over

Thanksgiving is never really over.
I don’t mean because of the pounds of dry turkey
you’ll be eating for months and months and months.

Turkey soup,
turkey sandwiches,
turkey and rice,
turkey cheddar broccoli casserole,
turkey and cranberry casserole
are ways we try to get rid of the poultry.
We should never try to get rid of the
spirit of Thanksgiving
we’ve been feasting on for the past week.

We’ve discussed it’s the Lord’s will that

Give Thanks.
 
Easy to say,
hard to do.
The spirit is willing,
but the flesh is weak.
 
 
(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)
 
 
As parents, we understand
thank you.
More than a bajillion times in our parenting history
we’ll remind, instruct and downright nag our kids to use these
two very lovely words.
They’re two words that mean so much.
 
But giving thanks is more than just vocalizing the right words,
it’s to be grateful or to feel thankful.
It’s an act that encompasses body, soul and spirit.
It isn’t true thanksgiving without this trinity of our humanity.
 
When someone has given us a gift that we 
couldn’t afford,
didn’t expect,
don’t deserve and
couldn’t provide for ourselves,
we feel indebted to them.
 
In fact, sometimes our words seem lame,
compared to the gratitude welling up within our hearts,
but we say them anyway,
hoping, in our weakness, to convey the depths of our thanksgiving. 
 
The Lord has given us a great gift that we
couldn’t afford,
didn’t expect,
don’t deserve and
couldn’t provide for ourselves.
It’s right that we feel indebted to Him.
It’s right that we go through life
thankful for our beautiful Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
 

Long after you’ve eaten the last turkey leftovers,
may you still be consumed with thanksgiving,
because Christians understand thanksgiving isn’t a holiday,
it’s the Lord’s will for our lives.

In
everything
give
thanks.
 
‘Cuz, ya’ know,
thanksgiving is never really over.
 

Thankful to the LORD~
1 Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks unto the LORD;
for He is good;
for His mercy endureth for ever.



Psalms 97:12
Rejoice in the LORD,
ye righteous;
and give thanks
 at the remembrance of His holiness.
Thankful for YOU~
1 Thessalonians 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you
all, making mention of you in our prayers;
May my dear friends, family members
and followers continue to enjoy
the holiday weekend.
Blessings!

Really, Lord? Thankful in EVERYTHING?

First, we learned being thankful is the Lord’s will.
Then, we learned that we are to give thanks
(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)
The second word of the verse can be just as challenging as the first.
See, we’re two words into the verse, and we’re under serious conviction.
In
everything.
Everything?
Everything!
We might doubt the wisdom and expected execution
of our dear Heavenly Father.
Really?  Everything?
Christmas is coming up.
If you’re like me, you’ll make sure there are several gifts
for each family member under the tree.
Do you expect your children to thank you for every gift?
Really?
Even the socks?
Even the underwear?
Even the chia pet from the auntie?
Give thanks for every gift?
If we can expect this of our children,
our Heavenly Father can expect this of us.
Wait a minute, I hear you protesting,
trials aren’t the same as gifts!
That’s not a fair comparison!
It isn’t?
We only think of these situations as trials
because we can’t see the Lord’s big picture.
We got a flat tire once.
Friday rush hour traffic on I-5.
It was raining.
Bumper to bumper traffic trying to escape Seattle.
We could have complained
and fussed and moaned.
We thanked the Lord and changed the tire.
We missed a 10+ car pile-up.
I know you what know what everything means,
but let’s just spell it out anyway.
each
every
any
all
the whole
everyone
all things
It’s easy to give thanks to the Lord when we  buy a new house,
have a new baby, get our income tax refund back,
make a new friend, get a front row parking place,
enjoy a family vacation.
These good things from the Lord should cause our hearts
to overflow with thanksgiving.
He is the giver of all good gifts.
But, giving thanks in everything has to include cancer.
It has to include losing friends to cancer.
It has to include moving.
It has to include accidents.
It has to include trials.
It has to, because it’s the Lord’s will.
And if it’s the Lord’s will,
then it’s the right thing to do.
We give thanks in everything
because we don’t know every part of God’s plan.
We don’t know every person He’s trying to touch through our situation.
We don’t know every blessing the Lord wants to give us.
We can’t pick and choose when we want to trust the Lord.
We either trust Him or we don’t.
To trust Him it means giving thanks in
everything,
because nothing is out of His care or His plan.

Give Thanks IN…

Being thankful is not just a suggestion…
not just a holy hint…
not just a good idea for a good life.
Yesterday we learned it’s God’s will that we’re thankful.
(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)
The Lord even gives us a few guidelines for abiding in His will.
Today we’re going to talk about one simple word.
Just one.
One eensy, weensy, little word that should cause us all
to quake in our boots.
IN
The verse begins by telling us when to be thankful.
A simple two letter preposition gives serious time parameters.
It means being thankful
“in the midst, in the middle, in that time.”
OK, you’re waiting for a great revelation
because you know what in means.
Let’s talk about what it doesn’t mean.
It doesn’t mean being thankful underneath the trial,
hiding out from the circumstances in quaking disbelief and fear.
It doesn’t mean being thankful beside a situation,
sidestepping spiritual responsibility and the work of the Potter’s Hands.
 
It doesn’t mean being thankful after a situation,
when you’ve seen the outcome and understand God’s purpose.
It means being thankful right
in
the
middle
before you know the outcome, the purpose or the fruit.
Right
in
that
time
when the flames are the hottest,
the loneliness is the deepest,
the pain is the greatest,
the tears are the saltiest.
That’s when we’re to give thanks.

Do you believe that whatever you are
in 
the
middle
of God is there?
Do you believe it’s His plan for you to be there?
There is a simple way I can test my heart
in the midst of a trial or hardship.
Can I lift my head and heart to the Heavens
and honestly thank the Lord?
Right when I’m
in
the
middle?
**********
Feel like crafting to show your thankful heart?
There’s still a few days left to Thanksgiving.
Summit Street Joy is offering this free printable.
Isn’t it perfect?
If you use this, please stop by Lauren’s blog
and thank her, since we’re talking about being thankful.
 I know you’ll appreciate her creativity.
 Myra at My Blessed Life
is highlighting many beautiful, free printables for Thanksgiving.
Myra also has a wonderful list of fall projects and decorating.
Stop by for some last minute inspiration.
Just remember to
give
thanks.



What’s God’s Will?

(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)
It’s easy to sail amiss in our Christian lives,
 like ships without rudders,
trying to find the center of God’s perfect will for our lives.
We pray, seek counsel, pray, seek more counsel,
but sometimes an evident answer from Heaven isn’t heard.
It’s never that God isn’t listening,
I think we’re looking for the wrong thing.
In the Scriptures, God’s will is not a carefully architected
blueprint of where we’ll go to school,
where we’ll live, which car we’ll buy or who we’ll marry.
Before you think I’ve gone all apostate on you,
think about this.
Look up some verses.
God’s will in the Scriptures is His moral and spiritual will for your life.
It’s how he wants you to walk the path of life,
 not merely the actually stones in the path.
So, I’m saying God doesn’t care about those things?
No, I’m not saying that.
He guides and directs and longs to be the center
of all these decisions.
But, blessing doesn’t come from choosing the right college,
although the Lord may bless you at the college you choose.
Blessing comes from obedience.
Joy doesn’t come from having the right job,
although there could be joy in your job.
Joy comes from our salvation.

Thanksgiving is not a one day holiday,
nor is it only a nicety of the Christian life.
It’s an absolute, expected way of living,
the act of a heart grateful to a holy and mighty God.
It’s God’s will.
It’s that mysterious plan for your life you’ve been seeking.

If you’re seeking answers for decisions in your life,
look at how you’re defining God’s will.
Once you start living according to God’s will,
you might have more answers and guidance from Heaven.
This week we’ll be looking more at
giving thanks
because we all want to be in
God’s will.

How do I know?
The rest of the verse inscribed on the stone above is
for this is the will of God
 in Christ Jesus for you.