why not?

 

Fighting with my mother-in-law over who is going to cook! Good for some laughs! And I won!

Why not live life to the fullest?

Why not enjoy what is right before us?

Why not – NOT worry about cancer coming back?

On a sister trip last October. So fun to be with my sis!

Why not try something fun?

Why not do something different?

Isaiah’s fiancé! 😉 A friend’s little one.  He loves babies!!

Why not live as if we had a long life ahead of us?

Why not trust God with our future?

Why not sit and enjoy the sun today?

Why not pull in the wash since the thunder clouds are rolling in?

A funny sign on Oregon Trail!  Had to show our sons!

Why not simplify life in our house?

Why not get help from friends who are good at simplifying and organizing?

Why not follow a dream even if it seems a bit crazy?

Why not ask hard questions?

Caleb and Aunty Jo tangle over birthday candles!

Why not sit and have tea with a friend?

Why not sit outside and dig into God’s Word and let Him lead me?

Why not celebrate? Birthdays.  Clean houses.  Sobriety.  Mothers.

Celebrating Grandma’s birthday at Jolleen’s! So glad for how everyone is doing!

Why not praise God in the midst of easy and hard things in life?

things are not always what they seem

practicing some close up techniques while Caleb drove

I have blogging to catch up on.  First, I should tell you about the little 2mm tumor they found on my brain MRI in the end of March.  I talked to my oncologist, Dr. Chue, and he said he would call the radiation doctor, Dr. Vermeulen, and see what she wanted to do.  They work together, as I have said before, and have the best results in the world!  So I didn’t hear from her for a week or so and thought that she didn’t want to do treatment.  But just before the trip Caleb and I were going to leave for, Dr. Vermeulen’s office called.  Her staff wanted to set up the appointments to get the treatment going.  I asked if I could set them up for when I got back and they said they would ask Dr. V and she would let me know.  Would I have to cancel a trip we have put so much into because this tumor would grow?  I was running an errand for the trip and she called.  I climbed back into my van and sat while I talked with her.  She assured me that taking this trip would be fine. The tumor might double and we’d hit it when I got back.  She was taking a vacation too.  So that was a relief.  Not too bad to have one tumor and the treatment for it by Cyber Knife, hanging over my head as we took off on our trip.

On the road in Idaho

So we took off, enjoyed the families we stayed with, got settled into our longest stay, rested and fellowshipped.  Then Monday, we started a class, and on our way home from that I got a message from Dr. Vermeulen.  I was nervous as I started to listen to it…..

I should preface this and tell you that so many have been praying for me.  I send out regular updates to friends at church, family, friends of friends, and on it goes, and they pray.  I am the most prayed for patient at Dr. Chue’s!  And the family we stayed with during our class all gathered, all 13 of them, laid hands on me, even the children, and prayed for healing.  So sweet!

….. so the message from Dr. V was that she had looked at the scan again to get the plan ready for treatment.  And the tumor turns out not to be a tumor but a blood vessel!  What!!??  Wow!!!  PRAISE GOD!  I don’t know how it happened but it is not a metastatic tumor!   So the rest of the week was much freer not having anything hanging over my head!

Things are not always what they seem

So, as we drove home and I had some more practice with close ups while Caleb drove, I had fun trying to catch the reflection of things in my sunglasses.  So, things are not what they seem all the time.  And I am glad!  And we praised God with the host family and our family and friends at home!  We don’t presume on God to heal me.  He can do what He wants.  It is a nice reprieve from treatment.  And we continue to trust Him into our future.  It may be a long road and then again it may be a short one.  But the end, heaven, will be forever!!  And I look forward to that!

the roads were long and straight in the desert!

 

i’d choose to be a fool for Christ

In an Oregon Trail rut. It was interesting to think of all the people that went out West, and how strong they were.

I went down memory lane today.  I heard bad news.  A family at church lost their little 5 month old baby last night.  Heartbreaking.  Praying for them.  What do you say to one in that place?  They have other children who are heartbroken too.  So hard.  I can’t even imagine.

As I thought about them and prayed for them, I thought of others from old churches we have been part of.  I looked people up… first, I have to say, I gave up facebook since I took too much time on it, found it was a lot of fluff and it wasn’t a good medium to influence people in the Lord.  But one of our sons still has an account, so I used his to look up people and just see what they were up to.  I got out the old church directories and for about an hour I just snooped and mourned.  There were very few who appeared to be following the Lord with their lives… you know what I mean?  They looked like the world.  One young lady whom I had encouraged to dress more modestly and be pure had gone off the deep end.  So sad.  Anyways, you didn’t need to hear all about these families, my point isn’t what they are doing.

We had always felt like a fish swimming up stream, even in churches.  We felt like most folks thought of us as fools.  We’ve never been cool.  We’ve never been popular.  Just plain, ordinary folks…. whom God chose.  And for that we are ETERNALLY grateful!!  How can we thank God enough for saving us?  For redeeming our lives?  For restoring our marriage and family from the brink of divorce and disrepair?  For guiding us into homeschooling? And for guiding us along the whole homeschooling journey?  For leading us to our church now, where we swim with them not against them?  For good, solid Bible teaching from our Pastor?  For a body of believers that cared (and still do) for us while I went through cancer treatment?  For sweet young people that our boys (young men) can be friends with?  For mentors for our young men?   For mentors for me?   I know I could go on!  I have so much to be grateful for!  And I know my husband would echo me in this!

So as the title says, I would choose to be a fool for Christ any day!  Even though it is not easy to follow Christ.  Laying down my life.  Putting my flesh to death.  Loving others, especially my “enemies”.  Not complaining and being content.  Today’s jaunt down memory lane helped me to be content with our different life.  It may look kooky to most, but I’d rather be here, loving JESUS, than anywhere else!

Our youngest, Caleb, being silly!
Our oldest, Isaiah, and Papa goofing around at dinner!
The goal is to kiss Mom on the nose, but us sisters rarely can catch her!

See what I mean?  Silly family!  But here is where God has put us and let us enjoy, be content and faithfully follow the LORD ALL OUR DAYS!

mri results

Me, at a park in Lewiston, ID
First, thank you for the many prayers on my behalf! It really encouraged me this morning to think of so many people lovingly praying for me and our family!
I struggled more with this MRI than the last one.  Not sure why.  I was stressing and worrying more than last time.  I got into God’s Word this morning and found comfort there.  I also re-listened to the sermon I had heard last April after the brain mets were found.  Brian Borgman, preaching on Sunday, going in for a brain tumor removal the following Wednesday, and what he said about it and how he was trusting God, resting in Him, coming close to Him… it was very encouraging.  And the scriptures he read, like Psalm 61, and 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 say–  He is our refuge.  Your prayers make a difference.  He comforts us.  Our affliction is light and momentary compared to the glory in heaven.  It was so good to hear that sermon this morning!
So, as far as results on the MRI, the news is good, but not finished.  There was originally 9 tumors.  Oct 2016’s MRI said that 5 tumors were gone and the other 4 were shrinking.  This time the 4 that were left… 3 were shrinking a bit but one stayed the same.  That one may be scar tissue.  We’ll see after the next MRI.  The bummer was there is a new tumor.  It is 2mm.  Small.  My oncologist, Dr. Chue, called the doctor who did the Gamma knife to see if she wanted to do any treatment on that little one.  Dr. Chue said he wasn’t worried about it and that we would check it in 2-3 months, but we’ll wait to see what she says to him.  If I don’t hear from her, than she wants to wait too.  If I do then we’ll go from there.  So, it is better than 20 new ones, like I told a gal at the clinic today, who had that happen to her!  It just isn’t a perfect, clean bill.  But I guess life can be like that.  We don’t know the future.  Some things are unsettling.  We can trust the One Who holds all things in His hands.  He is in control.

Overlooking Lewiston, ID. Quite a view!!

grrrrr coffee withdrawls

Getting hair again!
Getting hair again!

Here’s me on coffee, happy, hair growing again.  Eating healthy but drinking a mocha every day.  Not as strong as my sons like.  I do half decaf.  But the doctor said the coffee was probably causing inflammation, so I should get off it.  So I didn’t have coffee yesterday or today.  Just tea.  Yesterday black and green, today, only green.  And now I am irritable!  Unlike my usual self.  Sigh.  Tempting to have a cup of coffee just to feel normal again because….coffee-withdrawl

sobering homelessness

Saw a homeless woman in front of the post office in downtown Everett this afternoon.  I didn’t get a photo of her but found this one online!  Funny!

homeless-woman

Seriously though, I had this woman on my heart as I left the post office and went to the health food store.  No Bible tracts on me to share with her.  As I hopped back into my son’s truck, I noticed a good Bible tract tucked under the seat.  Ok.  Lord, I prayed, I will go back and see if she is there.  I’d rather obey than sacrifice.  I’d rather do what He’s put on my heart than deal with the guilt feelings of justifying why I didn’t do it!

She was there.  I prayed again that He would help me know what to say.  I am not good at this.  We talked for a few minutes.  I asked why she was on the streets.  She told me her story.  I hope it’s true.  I gave her the tract.  Encouraged her to read her Bible and live a pure life to God. I told her that following Jesus doesn’t make life easy all of a sudden, if ever.  As soon as I started talking about sin she shut down.  I believe that 100% of the visible homeless are struggling with drug or alcohol addictions. The invisible homeless are trying to do better than asking for cash to fuel their addictions.  It is a hard thing to know how to help the visible homeless that are all around the Everett area.

What do you do?

Any ideas on how to reach out and make a difference in their lives?  How do you break through the toughness, lies, addictions?  Sobering and sad to leave her there.  The Gospel is good news no matter where you are, since we all have to die and face eternity.  I just wonder the best way to share the Truth with her?

Praying for wisdom, compassion and guidance.  Praying for her to know Jesus.

inspiring moravian missionaries

 

Saint Thomas Island

Inspired again.  These little known missionaries speak to me so many years later!  Two young men, Johann Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann, were the first Moravians to go to the mission field.  The first I heard of them was a couple years ago.  They were mentioned quite passionately in a sermon called, “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” —here is a link to it—

The story that I knew of them then was that they heard of a slave owner on the island of St. Thomas who would not allow Christians to come onto the island.  He would send them packing on the next ship!   This man had 3000 slaves that had no way of hearing the Gospel because of his atheistic ways.  These two men decided to sell themselves as slaves and with the money they bought passage on a ship. Their parting words to everyone was, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”  So off they go. Leaving all for the sake of the Gospel.  One of the men was married with children!  But he loved Jesus more than anything on this earth. 

The story was so inspiring to me!  It was one of the things that God used to turn my depression into trust.  I had just found out that my cancer had metastasized to my brain.  It was a death blow!  I was depressed and discouraged.  God used these missionaries so many years later!  I turned to trusting God instead of fussing.  He could use me any way He wanted.  I felt like He was sending me back to a mission field of my own- my chemo clinic.  Since I was going through a similar trial as many of the people at Lifespring Cancer Treatment Center, I could share the Gospel more meaningfully.  Does that make sense?  I listen to someone who has suffered and overcome through Christ much more readily than someone who talks in theory with no experience.  I can relate to someone who has suffered.  I can’t relate to someone who says what they would do IF they suffered.

WP_20160430_001Me talking to Paul

At the Homeschool Conference in April, Paul Washer was a speaker.  I have never met him but after hearing his talk where he mentioned the Moravian missionaries, I felt compelled to share with him.  That was now the third time God had brought them to my attention in the span of 2-3 weeks.  God wanted to tell me something.  So I met Paul Washer and told him how God used him in my life regarding these Moravians.  He sent Isaiah to get Mark and he prayed for me.  He told me that he had sensed God working in me while he was giving the talk.  He noticed me.  (I am not that noticeable either!)  God does work in some amazing ways!   He told me he would keep praying for me.

I praise God for the way He works in our lives.  He knows us.  He cares for us.  He can use a story of 2 brave missionaries to remove my depression and help me to trust Him again.  Even if I die, like I thought those Moravian missionaries had on the island.

The rest of the story…

The missionaries were not allowed to be slaves since they were white, I learned today.  Not only that, they returned to their community and went on to minister in other ways.  There was so much more to the story than what I heard earlier this year!  I was shocked!  I thought the last anyone heard of them was their quote as they sailed away.  I figured they died on the island.  But their statement became the “resonating heartbeat of the Moravian Missions.”  The rest of the history of the Moravian church was very inspiring.  Such devotion to the Lord and to one another is not seen today, nor back then!  It inspires me to pray more and love more.  To know God more and to make Him known.

Here is a link to the documentary I watched where I learned the rest of the story:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQNWCQbm4bc

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