means God has used to grow me in Him

Through the years God has used many people and ways to grow me.

When I was first saved it was through a woman’s sacrifice, love, service and prayers.  She discipled me for a year or so while at the same church, then she left.  I sorrowed over her leaving!  How could I keep growing in the Lord without her to cling to?  But she reminded me that God is a jealous God and wants us to cling to Him.  I needed to hear and practice that.  She stayed in my life by phone and visits, so she was still able to pass on God’s wisdom to me, which was a blessing.

Different churches we have been in have grown me too.  There are people that spoke into my life and God used it to grow me closer to Him.  Sometimes a pastor, sometimes a fellow sheep.

Then cancer.  God used that huge trial to draw me closer to Him.  People that I didn’t even know passed on quotes that encouraged and fed me.  Others I knew but not super well, passed on books that taught me more of Who God is and grew me closer to Him.  In places I least expected it, God met me.

As I read through the Bible year after year, God met me there the most!  He still does, on a daily basis, but I remember sorrowing over something to do with the cancer and I was reading in Leviticus;  God comforted me in the middle of Leviticus!  His Word is alive and active!  And the Holy Spirit speaks to us.  Sometimes through the Bible and sometimes through people.

I would drive a friend to church and many times she would say something to me that the Holy Spirit put on her heart.  And every time it was something she didn’t know I needed to hear!  God is powerful and doesn’t fit inside a box, does He?

So grateful that He uses many means to speak to our hearts!  He is our Great God and King.  Our Father.  Our Champion.  Our Refuge in times of trouble.  Our Provider.  Mmmmmm….  I could keep going.  I love to meditate on Who He is!   The Puritans have been such great reading lately, and God is using them to grow me into more Christlikeness. I am far, far, far from being Christlike, yet God loves me, covers me in Christ’s righteousness, cherishes me, pursues me and shepherds me. I am SO GRATEFUL!

On Hwy 1 in N. California



puritan hope

A brother in Christ sent this quote to us a couple months ago. I have so enjoyed it and been encouraged by it.  Thanks Brother!

I cannot say anything better than what Thomas Boston said.
Amazing God!

A question I have asked many is, “What do you think Jesus was thinking when He turned and looked upon Peter, after his third denial?” ( Luke 22:61)

I would love to hear what you think, especially after reading the above quote!

doors and windows

I have a thing for doors.  I like them old, big, rustic, fancy.  I am just fascinated with them.  It makes me think…

Some doors are huge! Why does a door need to be this big?!  Makes me feel short!  Is it a pride thing, I wonder?

God’s ways are not my ways.  He has a door for me to walk through that may not look like one I want to enter.  It may be hard, painful, excruciating… yet I will trust Him.

It may be a locked door that I can’t get into.  Maybe there are things in there that are not for me.  So I will trust Him that if He wants me to go through that door, He’ll unlock it.  I only need to do what He puts before me.  Go through the unlocked door before me.

Sometimes there are windows to look out and see the surroundings.  Or I could crawl out the window when I can’t bear being in the room anymore…. Or I can be content with looking out the window and doing what God has put before me.

Some doors are in humble, hospitable homes.  Cozy and comfortable.  Wise and loving.  Such a gift to have a visit here!

Oh, to live a simple life…. looking forward to heaven when all my sins, troubles, pains, hurts and such will be gone and forgotten.

Some doors reflect…. this is Isaiah and I at a stop light.  Doors can bring a different perspective.

my visit to virginia to see our son

What a blessing to see God’s Word in the University of Virginia!
We watched the sunset up on a ridge- playing around!

A timed shot on my drive along Blue Ridge Parkway
A little (I mean Little) hike along the drive. But doable for me.

                   Thinking of seeds.  How a seed is so small and then it’s planted and starts to put down roots.  Then it starts to shoot up, grow, bud and bear fruit.  Sweet to see a ministry at Isaiah’s church, Jefferson Park Baptist, plant the seed and put down roots.  It was Ben’s hearts desire to see the Gospel go forth to the Mexicans living in a very poor neighborhood.  He started with just a seed. Now, five years later, there are around 100 youth being ministered to through soccer, weekly Bible study and relationships. There are many volunteers from the church who love on these youth. Such a blessing to see a ministry put down roots and begin to bud and bear a wee bit of fruit. Now we pray for more fruit.

A blessing to meet some of these youth.  Got to go into these guys’ (above) house and meet their family.  Such sweet hospitality.

It was a blessing to see how God is working across the country in Isaiah’s church, his life, his home, his jobs…. God has him in His hand and does so much better than we could!  So grateful for what God is doing in his life!  So many blessings!  The best part was to see Isaiah interacting with his new community and see them loving on him.  A balm for a mama’s heart!

Well, more later on that trip and so many other things happening here!  God is always good.  We still seek Him and trust Him.

natural pest control, lawn mowers and watch dogs

We have a Spring here on our McKinney farmstead.  Babies and more babies!  Of course we prefer the human kind of babies, so if you want to bring your littles over to see them, I’ll hold them while you play with baby animals!

rescued from abandonment at two weeks old, in Montana, on a junk haul job, with dear friends who are expecting a baby!

My hubby went with our friend’s son, Edwin, on a junk haul job while we were visiting them a couple weeks ago.  They get to haul all kinds of things off of people’s property and these guys were a fun find!  Since we had bottle fed kittens before, I enlisted and trained the children and Granmom on the task, but with baby due any day, I didn’t feel right about leaving them with the task.  Little abandoned kittens would not sell well in MT, so I thought I would bring them home and sell them.  Two reasons we still have them: we got attached and they would sell better if kept together and bottle fed rather than an individual kitten.  And we do hope they will be good pest control, if we keep them.  They are much more adventurous then any kittens we have had born here!

they love to nap in Mark’s slippers! 4 weeks old in this picture

Some friends took them for a few days as a project for their girls but they are also expecting a baby soon, so I took them back to remove the stress from their life.  And I like doing it.  I thought it might be a good way to see if I can adopt babies…. practice taking care of such needy animals…. they are not as needy as newborn children for sure… and not as sweet or satisfying as a baby, but it has been a good experience.  I guess one of the neatest things is that I have enough energy to take care of them which means I am healthier after dealing with cancer and since I do…..

Me, Abby, Peter and Susan on Peter’s sheep farm in Virginia

…My new friend in Virginia, Peter, inspired me to get the lawnmowers.  They eat the grass, then we eat them.  Sounded like a good idea!  So we did and here they are!

new lambs on the McKinney farmstead

Learning a new trade!  I will need help in solving some issues with them in the next week, so if you know anything about livestock, feel free to contact me.  Looking for some natural ways to treat things if possible.  Having done chemo to kill my cancer, I know that at times conventional meds are necessary!   Pray for me to not worry about health issues, but trust God to direct me.

Well, I want to go and do what this quote says…. so bye for now.  And later I will post on the guard dogs.


“The thorn is one of the most cursed, and angry, and crabbed weeds that the earth yieldeth, and yet out of it springeth the rose, one of the sweetest-smelled flowers, and most delightful to the eye, that the earth hath. Your Lord shall make joy and gladness out of your afflictions; for all His roses have a fragrant smell. Wait for the time when His own holy hand shall hold them to your nose; and if ye would have present comfort under the cross, be much in prayer, for at that time your faith kisseth Christ and He kisseth the soul” ― Samuel Rutherford, Letters of Samuel Rutherford

tidbit updates

Had a brain MRI a month ago.  It was clear. Two minutes was spent going over the MRI and then  Dr. Vermeulen spent an hour talking to us about things of God, the Bible and where He is working in her.  Such a blessing!  So nice to be cancer free!

My hubby and son went to the Shepherd’s Conference in Los Angeles, CA a couple weeks ago.  Hubby invited me and extended the trip to do the Oregon and N. CA coast.  We travelled for a week and a half and had a wonderfully full trip: beautiful coast,

On Hwy 1 in N. California

hospitable host homes,

a sweet family in N. CA near Redwoods

good Christian fellowship,

super coffee,

Ok, so I know this isn’t coffee, but they were behind the funnest and bestest coffee shop

quality family time,

uplifting conference,

Mark and Caleb right before entering the Shepherd’s Conference
last talk of conference I joined them

shared our story,

a pastor’s family in San Francisco area

encouraged others,

host family in LA

visited Mission Aviation Fellowship for Caleb’s future, (forgot the camera that day! Ugh!)

enjoyed all our days.

Came home and got a CT scan of the body and it is clear too!  Wow!  I am free  of cancer!  We don’t know how long we have.  We praise God for the time we have!  And we are grateful for all who have been praying for my health!

Next I go to Virginia to visit our oldest son, Isaiah.  I am so excited!!  Flying in, renting a car, sight seeing while he is at work, coming back to hang out with him in the evenings!  So looking forward to it!  I have been cooking to prepare my guys I leave at home, and now they are on their own!  They should survive okay.

I have been living life rather than blogging, so you get the quick version.  Have a blessed day!

hope with HER2/Neu positive breast cancer

HER-2  or HER2 Positive  or  Her2/Neu Positive… it goes by many names.

If you have been diagnosed with this metastatic disease you may benefit from reading my story on this blog.  If you have not had it metastasize then I recommend seeing your oncologist right away and doing surgery if possible.  I waited and tried all kinds of alternative therapies, and mine got to Stage IV.  Obviously none of the alternative therapies worked.  And it is the second hardest breast cancer to treat.  The good news is that Herceptin, a targeted drug works really well to keep it away, and if you can partner that with Perjeta you have an even better chance.  So it takes it from the second hardest breast cancer to treat to somewhere down the list.

Me (on the right) at Christmas 2017 – Jessica (on left) is a new friend!

As you can see, I am still alive, I have hair again, I feel pretty good and I enjoy my life!  I give praise to God for all of this!  And I highly recommend my oncologist to you; Dr. Ben Chue at Lifespring Cancer Treatment Center.   He is worth seeing.  There have been patients that have flown in every week to see him (Tennessee, Canada, Oregon).  Some drive for hours.  And he is worth researching.  He does truly low-dose chemo that is so much easier on the body.  Like I said, feel free to read more in my blog…. I have only good things to say about him!

Dr. Ben Chue