Saturday, January 20, 2018

On Things Learned from a Country Preacher

It would take just over half an hour to get there...
and was usually a pleasant drive through small English villages, fields and pastures.

Unless it was one of the days that I was on my own...

On those days it always felt like I'd run the whole way!

By the time I got the children dressed,
and made the drive in a vehicle that spent more time in the shop than out of it?

I was exhausted! 

But just being there gave me a chance to catch my breath (and restore my soul)
before it was time to go home
and do it all over again in reverse.

Our little group of believers was made up of American and English Christians
and we recently were offered the use of a very special building
We had church in an old English independent chapel.  
Really old.

This building had witnessed Christians in worship consistently for years...
Even before there was such a thing as the United States of America!
There was a stone plaque inside that said as much.

One Sunday, a pastor was visiting from "home".
I'd gotten there early and while I sat on the pew to catch my breath,
he walked around and pointed out the plaque to me while
admiring the unique architecture inside this old chapel.

"This is exactly the type of church where Spurgeon could have preached!"

It was a familiar place to me. 
It was my church. 

Amazing things happened there!

But I'd never taken the time to imagine someone like Spurgeon standing in the pulpit.  

Spurgeon was not a name I was familiar with until that Sunday.

The pastor said Spurgeon started his ministry preaching in small independent chapels all over this part of England since he was living in the area around Cambridge at the time.
And he was only in his teens! 

I didn't give it much more thought, but then...
 as I was reading a book about the history of lacemaking in this area, 
there was a note that caught my attention.  
It said that said the mother of Charles Haddon Spurgeon had been a lacemaker.

Each time, he became more endearing, this country preacher.

Back in the states, I read his book, "All of Grace" and became a fan.

It wasn't until years later when I had access to the internet that I was able to discover more about him.

For instance, he read Pilgrim's Progress at the age of 6!

His mother, the lacemaker, had 17 children; not even half survived their baby years.

Life came with hardships and Spurgeon would know many.

He became a very popular preacher.
At the age of 19, was invited to move from this quiet countryside
to be the pastor of the largest Baptist congregation in London.

Sounds like exciting times, but they were hard days.

 During his first year in London, 20,000 people died from cholera.
England became involved in the Crimean War.
It was 1854.

His popularity only increased.
And this when he was only 22.

In 1856 he married.  Before they celebrated their first anniversary, they were parents to twin boys.
And one day short of the twins 1st month birthday, Spurgeon would face something that would have an effect on him for the rest of his life... 

Remember he was in the midst of major adjustments at home...
a new wife and two new babies!
His church had grown to thousands and had to move to a new building to accommodate the crowds.  

In his first sermon in this new place, someone shouted "fire".

You can probably imagine the confusion as 10,000 people tried to leave the building 
while an unsuspecting 12,000 outside still tried to get in. 
When it was over, there were 7 people who had died and 28 badly injured.

Spurgeon was never the same, and dealt with depression the rest of his days.

It doesn't take much to imagine the depths of depression that he experienced in the years following.
It probably doesn't surprise you to know that he never again used the same text.

or that it is said he almost quit preaching altogether.

Yet he still preached.

Still shared the gospel message.

Still recommended the grace of God.

And still pursued hope.

He did not walk away from God.

This kind of life will always have my attention.

A life depending on God can face hardship with faith
 by hanging on, by leaning hard, by taking one step at a time...

Depending on God who proves faithful again and again.

This is how I want to live my life.

For too long I thought that depression had no place in the life of a Christian.

I was wrong.

 Spurgeon is now a regular part of my devotional reading; 
Morning & Evening, his devotional classic.
Even having read it for years now,
 I still find fresh encouragement that I'd not seen before, 

 I highly recommend it.

Every day and every page he points to Jesus.

Why wouldn't he?  
Jesus is the only one who knows our every struggle.  
And who else sees every tear?
Does He not know?
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was"
(Isaiah 53:3)

"Doubt not his grace because of thy tribulation, 
but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. "  
CH Spurgeon

After all that Charles Haddon Spurgeon went through, 
I think he is a perfect spokesman to share the news 
that no matter what you face... Jesus knows.
And Jesus cares. 


I have been able to make many connections to lacemakers and Christians who lived in this part of England.  
For instance, you can find old bobbins that are inscribed with the name "John Bunyan",
 the author of Pilgrim's Progress.  
The  woman who first taught me had one of these special bobbins. 

The author of the book I spoke of earlier, "Romance of the Lace Pillow" shared that there would have been many bobbins inscribed this way 
because there were few of the lacemakers in this area that had more books than their copy of the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress.

This makes it even more interesting to me that the book Pilgrim's Progress would have been a favorite of his (he read it over 100 times), seeing how his mother was a lacemaker.


If you are interested in reading more, let me recommend a book
"Spurgeon's Sorrows"
by Zack Eswine

He has researched Spurgeon's many sermons and writings to bring us encouragement for those who suffer and those who love them.
And he does it in a wonderful way.

One of my very most favorite books ever.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

On the Ending of a Year

Every year the same thing.

It won't matter if we wanted it to or not.

It ends.

December 31 comes and goes and another year is gone.

It passes too fast.
Each year is done quicker than the last one.

And the months.

It seems like it was only yesterday that my children were running through the house 
laughing and yelling...
Now it is theirs.

And while I yearned for quiet in the "parenting" days... 
the quiet we live with now can be deafening in the absence of the noise.
I crave the noise.

I miss the yesterdays.

So the years ends and we look back.

Psalm 103 is a reminder to consider the past... to not forget His benefits.

I have been looking over some of these benefits in my own life.  

My gratitude list is now seven years old, 8 books full, and over 10,000 gifts recorded.
This is not said as an attempt to brag.
I am still in awe... 


the way sunlight peeks through the blinds in the morning 

the singing (oh my, the singing) 

His promises made and kept

 a baby giraffe

Irmas reminding...You are and OF the storm

music that makes it to my heart

trash pick up!

a glimpse of glory around the edges of dark ominous clouds

Holy Spirit prayers for us in groans we don't know...but You get it!

free limes!

cardinal perched in the willow

You have tomorrow in the palm of Your hand...You know what it holds

that when things are more than I can handle, you remind me I was never meant to

Loquacious... :)... the word

You are still God of the "what-ifs", and you have this.  Really.

Naomi's bitter cry in Ruth 1:20-21, echoed by Job in Job 27:1-2
(this is not their heart is their heart crying in pain.)

for Your untold mercies that have put me in this place 
(never safe, but finding refuge in You)

stained glass and plastic suncatchers painted by grands

Sometimes a life verse can change...sometimes daily.

for a friend who is teaching me by her faith in the face of a Cat. 5 storm.
(disturbing truths of trust and not running... planted for a purpose)

brokenness.  mine.

You know my needs, and tell me "No Fear"

Hope showing up - not yet, but anticipated


Looking back, time and again, I have seen His faithfulness to us.  
to me.

In big ways and in small ways.  
In obvious ways
In subtle quiet ways.

He wants me to remember them.
To "not forget" them.
His benefits.

So I keep this list.
And praise His goodness.
To me.

And you?

"My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits.
He forgives all your sin;
He heals all your diseases.
He redeems your life from the Pit;
He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
He satisfies you with goodness;
your youth is renewed like the eagle,
The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He revealed His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in faithful love.
He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.
He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve
or repaid us according to our offenses
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him."
Psalm 103:2-13

How has God shown you His goodness in 2017?

In the closing days of this year... I need to remember.
And to praise Him!

"Don't cry because it's over... smile because it happened"
Dr. Seuss

Saturday, December 9, 2017



How I love that word! 

It always makes me think of Christmas and angels!

Who doesn't like Christmas?

Or angels?
Especially when they are delivering glad tidings of great joy!

It is a word that shows up a lot in the Bible.

Possibly because whatever is happening is so far out of the ordinary, 
so unexpected,
that God  has to direct our attention to it

 or we might just miss it altogether!

(...cue angels)

Luke tells us about the old priest who can't speak about the miracle baby that his wife will carry.
Until she gives birth to a son, and he names him John.

...Mary, just a young girl, a virgin who is given the message that she will be
 the mother of the Messiah!

Shepherds are told that the Savior, the Messiah, has been born...
and by the way...
He can be found lying in a manger...
a King wrapped in poverty and swaddling cloths.

Simeon... an old man waiting with a great purpose.
To see God's Deliverance.
Simeon who would embrace the baby Who had embraced him all along.

Each time, the word "Behold" makes an appearance.

Each person, going about the day like always.
No idea that what was about to happen to them would shake the world.

This world that they knew was about to change in a huge way!

Sometimes though, like Job, we may discover that God often speaks in a still small voice.

There are no angels to speak "behold"

Just something that stops you in your steps
and demands your whole attention.

Beth Moore calls them God STOPS...
Savoring The Observable Presence.

Beholding the God who is invisible... 
seeing Him move in your life in a very visible way.

Consider the stars...
There is so much out there to take your breath away.
At least for a moment.

Christmas brings a special assortment of behold moments.

Like the decorations on a Christmas tree.

The twinkle in the eyes of children as they portray an angel or a shepherd in the nativity

old memories made new all over again... in traditions.

shiny wrapping paper.

Tinsel that glitters away with the slightest breeze.

The wonder that comes with the first snow falling.

So many lights!

Lights and Christmas belong together.

Lights are part of a favorite memory of mine when I was a child, 
One that we passed on to our children.
Now our grandchildren!
Those special night drives to see the lights.

One neighborhood display is very close to where we live.
Close enough to walk.
Which is a good thing, because some nights there are so many visitors 
that the traffic slows to a crawl!

If you were to find yourself in that traffic crawl, 
the best way to drive through this area is with an open sunroof,
and be sure to turn on the Christmas music..

It all feels magical.

It seems like worries are miles away
and they are.  
For a short drive anyway.

The people who live in this neighborhood 
offer those of us who drive through it at Christmas a great gift.

Like many of us, they have had a tough couple of years.

Just a few months ago, there were quite a number of houses there that had tarps on their roofs.
(there still are)
They could have decided they had enough to worry about with all the clean up from the storms.

But just before Thanksgiving, I noticed the homeowners  were already busy at work...
 hanging up lights.

Dealing with the damage that a major storm can bring...
does not mean the celebrations stop.

The lights will shine...

Because in this hard place
these dark days?

We all need the light.
We need it to shine in the darkness
We need it to burst through the shadows.
and we really need it to
Deliver the dawn.

Jesus tells us that He is the Light of the World.
In John 1 it says,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.
In Him was life,
and that life was the light of men.

That light shines in the darkness
and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

this baby!

Laid in a manger

Defeating darkness; delivering Dawn

Don't miss it...

Don't miss Him.


Sometimes songs have a way of getting our attention.
This song did that one Christmas for me.

At an especially hard time.  A time of loss and uncertainty, I heard this sung.
A reminder that there is a light in every dark place.
 His name is Jesus.

I remember one thing about the first Christmas I had as a Christian.

The message in Christmas carols.
Things that had somehow slipped right by me when I was younger.
But with a changed heart, 
I now saw these songs of the Christ child in a new way.
with new eyes.

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Let earth receive her King
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God. Love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord at the birth
Shepherds in the fields abiding
watching over your flocks by night
God with man is now residing...

Yonder shines the infant Light!!


Sunday, December 3, 2017




My dad used to say that no one listens anymore.

It may have been the way he said it that got my attention.  


As though a real gift was slipping past us.

Now that I'm a little older and wiser, I think I understand.

Right now, for instance, I hear people talking, television shows, music...

But I have to stop and pay attention to the sounds to be able to name them.  

Otherwise, they blend into the background 
as if they were one sound while I focus my attention other places.

Background noise.

What am I missing when I don't listen?

I have a lace bobbin that is painted with an inscription that says, 
"the first duty of love is to listen".

It is often a matter of choice, and too often I have made the wrong choice.

I'm trying.

There are still many times I could use a hark.
Something to grab my attention and help me focus on what I need to.

The word means stop what you are doing...and listen!

Stop where you are and put the value of your time on this thing instead!!

Because listening is closely linked to the value we place on a thing or person.  

 The opposite of Hark is ignore or tune out.  
Which is what happens if you don't hark.

So if I'm listening to this...
What does that mean I am tuning out?


It is only to be expected that such a word shows up during Christmas celebrations.

A time that is full of busy.  

By the way...
What do you think an angel's voice sounds like?

I imagine if an angel spoke to you, you would have no problem listening!

And herald angels showing up on a midnight clear...
In a field where shepherds watched their flocks by night...
All seated on the ground?

That's  such a beautiful way to get somebody's attention!

When they appear like that... do their wings make noise?

There are so many sounds we associate with Christmas.

Sounds that bring joy to our heart just thinking of them.  

A newborn baby cries
His mother and father speak
Sounds of typical stable life
And a tired donkey 

Airport speakers announce the flight you are waiting for has arrived.
Joyful chatter as family gathers.
Clicking timers when the lights come on.
Carolers and children's choirs. 
Sleigh Bells and Jingle Bells,
and of course, Salvation Army bells!
Hark how the bells!

Our first Christmas in England was a White Christmas.

It was what I'd hoped for!
But there were a lot of things that made me feel more lonely than I expected.  

Little details that wore on me. 
Big details that left me with not so little worries. 

And to top it off, we were not getting a tree.

I tried other things, like drawing a tree on paper and hanging it on the wall, 
but truth be told, it just wasn't the same.  
So I took it down.

Yet celebrating Christmas still happened.
We still celebrated well.  
Still loved on people.  
Still did as many traditional things as we could.

...and it's one of my favorite Christmases of all time.

At some point early that morning, I opened our front door,
and was greeted with a very special kind of hark.

It was loud and clear and full of joy!  
I still remember how it lifted my spirits... 
and I stood there at the door for the longest time, just listening.

 in an ancient old house of worship somewhere
was ringing the church bells!

Longfellow was at his best when he wrote, 
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep..."

Bells ringing a message that could not be ignored or over looked!
A message that can't be quenched or erased!

Rejoice!  Good News!  Glad Tidings!
Christ has come!!

Hope! Joy! Peace!

Whatever you may be facing, don't let the hard steal your attention right now...

Hark the herald angels sing... Glory to the newborn king!!

Hear ye!  Hear ye!

God in a manger.  

Don't miss this.


We have a God who is moved by His love for us...

And He IS listening.

The Coventry Cathedral Bells

This building was built in the 14th Century.
That's the same time that the word "hark" first was used!

The cathedral was bombed in WWII, but the bells still ring out!


Casting Crowns 
"I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day"

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thoughts on Winter

I read an article recently about a generation overlap that includes my children.

The author introduced a new name for these young adults as they grew up during two completely different ways of life.  The analog days and the digital days of Millennials and Generation X.  

Those born between 1977 and 1983 are  familiar with them both since they lived in both.

I thought about them when I started writing this morning.  My children not only grew up in different technical times, but also on different continents.  Their early childhood spent in England, and then coming back home to the South, and Florida for the next period of their growing up years.

Florida.  Sunshine State.  Even in winter.
where the gray skies are reflected in the gray uniforms of the palace guards in winter.

The place that prompted CS Lewis to pen,
"Narnia was always winter...".

Winter in England was a shock for us at first. 
But we learned to cope.

For instance, the minute you come in from the cold, the most important thing to do is find the source of heat and stand as close to it as you can!  

Actually, the MOST important thing may be to put the kettle on.  
Then while you wait for it to heat up, stand somewhere very warm.  

Our house there had a radiator heating system and there were these ugly pipes that ran up and down the walls to deliver the hot water from the boiler to the radiators.  Big white metal things that took up part of a wall in each room in the house.

They were so ugly to me when we moved in...
in June.

But within a few months we all agreed,
the radiator was our favorite place to hang out in the winter! 

We learned to tape up windows with big sheets of thick plastic.  
It still bulged no matter how tight we sealed it, 
so we always dressed inside in much the same way we dress for outside in Florida.
Boots, socks, sweaters, thermal undies and lots of thick comfy blankets!

With some knowledge and experience under our belts we finally got to the point where we did not dread the approach of winter because we had learned how to deal with the cold.

But how do you deal with the gray? 

I really missed seeing the sun. 

But Winter in England gave us much to enjoy as well.

Gentle snow fall created a magical place and always brought a sense of awe to  it watch it happen.
Building a perfect snowman. 

Christmas in England!
Chestnuts roasting on open fires.  
Mince pies and other unique holiday sweets.  

But most memorable, the joy of cozying up to a warm radiator or snuggling up with a warm cup of hot tea with socks on and under a warm comfy blanket....

I remember taking a picture of my favorite landmarks in London,
 Big Ben.

Because it was during winter, there were no leaves on the branches that would have blocked this particular view, and I was able to take the picture that became my favorite.

It helped me remember to look for all of the good things that you will miss when winter comes to a close, and to enjoy them while you have them.

Because winter does come to an end.  

 Just about the point that you think you cannot handle another day of winter, there it would be.

A green shoot poking up through days old crunchy hard snow.  Spring was on its way.

And I would fall in love with England all over again.

Spurgeon wrote, 
"while it's easy to think of all that is missed when the winter comes, it (winter) is still a gift".   

Psalm 74:17 says "Thou has made summer and winter".  

There is that. 

Sometimes God gives his gifts to us wrapped in the chill of winter.  

They are still gifts.

Spurgeon  also described another winter.  
"Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it is on you just now, it will be very painful to you. But there is this comfort; namely, the Lord makes it."

Five years ago, we entered into a similar winter.  It started with a phone call.

"Debbie, I've had an accident"

It could have ended differently.

But in the early hours just past midnight, we left the trauma ward and I was able to bring my sweetheart home.

To sleep in his own house. 

I do not ever plan to take that for granted.  We know too many who did not have that.

And I do not hesitate to call what happened to him that night a miracle. 

Everyone who talked to me at the hospital emphasized what an impact his body had taken, colliding on the interstate with an immovable object like he did. His vehicle was destroyed and yet with a broken arm and clavicle,  he undid his own seatbelt and walked away.

The next day while we went over everything and wondered  how we would cope with our new situation, it dawned on me that somehow he still had all of his limbs, and I think that was when I became aware of how God really wrapped me up close to Him 
and gave me His peace. 

So many "what if" questions came to mind, 
and it soon became obvious that if God had wanted to, 
He could have prevented the whole thing, so this had to be from Him.  

But He also could have allowed things to happen that would have made it much worse, so His care for us IN this was very real.

Going through all of that together, we became more and more aware of how each circumstance that night fit together and were reminded that God is always at work in our lives.

But these were still hard days.

We made it through each day by leaning on God, on family and friends.
And we leaned hard!  

We are both so thankful for each encouragement that came our way, and for the care that was shown to us during this time.

Because I had kept a gratitude journal, 
making a point to look for God's involvement in our lives was a habit by that time. 

This habit became not just something that I enjoyed, but something necessary to keep our eyes on Him when it would have been easy to focus on our circumstances.

My gratitude journals were kind of like that big comfy chair and fluffy blanket.  

The other thing we leaned on was His promises.  
We depended on Him at that time like we didn't need to before.  
And His Word became dearer than we ever thought it could.  
We drew near to Him.  He drew near to us.  
That relationship I would not trade anything for!

One of my sisters shared a sticker in a message recently of Sully, from Monsters, Inc. 
wrapping Boo up in a big monster hug.  
We felt that during these days. 
Completely cared for and loved and protected.

Even in a hard winter.

And now?  

He has made summer again. 

And while winter is always just on the horizon, 
we can rejoice that God does not give us winter without including the comforts only He can give. There is joy knowing that we do not have to live like it is
 "always winter, but never Christmas".


Sunday, October 8, 2017

On Being Aware in October

My times are in Thy hand
Psalm 31:15


"It's" out there.

You know it is.

It is October, and the Pink reminders are everywhere.


You don't think "it" will ever happen to you.

Honestly, you may not think about it much at all!

You know it exists... but it exists somewhere out there.

Not here.  Not in your house.  Not in your family.

Not in your body.

Until it does.

And now they call you a fighter. But you don't feel like a fighter.

And they say you are brave.  But you don't feel brave.

You just get up every morning and like everyone else, you tackle the things that are ahead of you.

Things a lot like every one else before...

But now those things may include surgery, chemo, or radiation.  It may involve losing your hair.

The days of innocent ignorance are over,

and you can't ignore it anymore.


No one wants to think that this could happen to them.

So I am asking you to do this one thing.

Think it.

Think for a moment... how would I live today if I knew tomorrow I would be told that I had cancer or some other hard thing that could show up and change your life in big ways.

Believe me, I know that you don't want to think about this, but truth is you are not immune to hard.

So,  just in case.


And ask others.  Others who have walked this journey with grace.
You can learn a lot from some people who have gone through this.

Ask how they handled it...
the diagnosis, the fear, the way they face an unknown tomorrow.

When I was diagnosed, these were the things I wanted to know ...

I wanted to know what it looked like to walk through this ...faithfully trusting God.

And fully trusting that my God is good even if the story is not.

I wanted to know on the days that I felt harsh, how to still be kind.

I wanted information to help me deal with this new way of living in my day to day interactions with others, when the medicines affect your sleep and pain is the new normal of treatment.

I wanted to know how having this disease would impact my family; my husband, my adult children and my grandchildren.

I wanted to know how to make the most of each day.
Even knowing things like this are out there, and they do affect people we love.

Thankfully, I found people who shared their stories honestly and with vulnerability.

Some of their stories were a lot like mine,
but some of them did not end like mine.

In both cases, I learned so much from their words... their gracious discourse.

For instance...

Make a habit of memorizing scripture now so that when you are too tired or weak to get through the day, the rich promises of God that will get you through are already ingrained in your mind.

Writing down prayer requests builds your faith as you see the answers recorded. This is a habit to start before the needs are heavy...

And it is equally important to gather in your heart the songs that hold the truths that will carry you through the long nights.

If you haven't started keeping a gratitude journal, now would be a great time for that as well.
When there are dreary days, it helps keep your focus on the things that matter.

Like finding out that you are not immortal, or immune to hard stories?  That realization is gift.

Learning to live "not in control"?  Gift.

That your strength is not enough for this?  And that is ok because His is?  Great gift!

Maybe most important...
You will need to learn to view time in a different way.
Time is not guaranteed.

And walking through this story means that there is never enough time to spend a moment of it by being impatient with others...

Or unforgiving or unkind.

I wonder... is there really a time that is good for being like that?

And those big little things we take for granted?

The things we think we can always do some other time?

Time for hugs, for friends and for loved ones.

Time for walks in parks, for sunrises on the ocean and for curling up with that good book you've been putting off for another time.

For that extra good night kiss

And  listening to birds

Time for a quick text, just to tell someone you love them.

Because you see the people in your life as your true treasures, there is even enough time to make a trip to spend a day with a longtime friend who lives an ocean away.

There is time be still and listen.

The best things.  The things you really want to be doing...

Now is the time.

... Think about it.


How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
It means that we need to join together and fight this.
Fight all cancer really... if there is a cure, we need to find it!

But it does not mean that only people with breast cancer are facing hard things this month...
or next month.

Pray for them...


The words of Kara Tippetts are such a gift for anyone in this story.
Her books, "The Hardest Peace" and "And it was Beautiful"
are highly recommended.
Wise counsel from a precious sister indeed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

On Life After Treatment

I can see it in your eyes when you ask if the cancer is gone.

You are so hopeful.

I know that what you want to hear me say is that it is gone.

That it is gone forever

and that it will never ever ever come back again.

So I tell you what I know.

I tell you I am well now.

But as far as the cancer coming back?
I don't know.

Even the doctor's don't.

That is why I have to keep seeing them.  
That is why there are so many appointments these days.

All of those appointments don't help you feel like I am well.
I understand that.

But try to remember.
These doctors have done a good job of taking care of me in this.
And I know they are keeping a good eye on me now. 

 Just in case.

But for now, let's not dwell on the "just in case".

There aren't enough moments in our lives to waste a single one of them that way.

We can leave that up to the doctors to think about.

We need to think about getting back to living life like we used to.

Before everything changed.

Things are different since the cancer.

And sometimes we just really miss the way things used to be.

I understand that and it makes me sad too.

I get tired a lot faster.
My feet feel weird and my brain doesn't work so well.
There are some who say this brain of mine always has been a little odd..even before chemo!
(Remember where we found my phone that time? In the fridge?)

I wish it wasn't like that.
I wish life could be exactly as it was before all of the hard things happened.

But life doesn't always stay the same for anybody.

And the fact is that our life is different and will probably never be the way we remember it again.

But guess what.

I can still be happy because it is still life.
And I am so thrilled to be living it with you.

There are too many courageous women I know of who aren't here 
even though they did the very same things I did ...
for the very same reasons!

 They did them in order to be able to be here.

No one can say why it didn't work for them.

It makes it more important to me now.
To get this right..

I may not be able to do things like I did before cancer, 
but there are so many things that I can do!

The main thing for me is that I can still enjoy you.

I can watch with amazement as I see the person you are becoming.
And be so thankful to see you trusting God in your life.

I can always love you

I can have long chats with you and I can sit with you and read to you.
I can even listen with amazement while you read to me.
I can laugh with you.
And be sad with you.

I love seeing your excitement at watching lizards race and finding rainbows on the hallway floor!

And what could possibly take the place of sharing your excitement over a lost tooth!

I simply adore the twinkle in your eyes and dimples on your cheeks.
And those freckles sprinkled across your nose?  


My heart gets happy to hear you explain everything that I need to know
about Doctor Who and Pokemon.

I love that I get to watch you put that really tough Lego set together 
and celebrate with you when it is complete..
You make me so proud to be able to marvel at your creativity.

And cheer for you in your soccer games.

I love that I can still be your biggest admirer 
(though there are others who insist that role belongs to them).

I am delighted that I can answer your silly texts in the middle of the night.
While my eyelids fight to close again.
Even when you say I'm a corndog. 

( I can imagine you at the other end giggling away. )

Never doubt that I consider it an honor to be able to pray for you.
And that I do pray for you.

  Even though this life is not happening the way we would have is life.

And I am thankful for every moment!

Every wonderful moment of this amazing grace filled life that I get to live with you.

Looking forward to more of the moments.  Years full of them!

Ready to enjoy life no matter what is ahead.  

Because this life is a gift.