My Heart is Lighter

November 21, 2015

To say that the past two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster would not even cover it. There aren’t enough hours in the day or hours of sleep. I am drained.

But my heart is lighter. My father is doing well. The surgeon finished early and feels she got it all. There are a lot of details but things look to be in his favor… Size, time frame, hopefully clear lymphnodes. God is good.

My parents of course drove me crazy by not having any clear game plan. “Pray for me to have more patience.” “Why?” “Because I will kill him!”¬†oh, you mean he’s acting like an emotional drama queen? I have no idea where I’ve seen that before.

The next night I pretty much got asked to drop everything just in case he got released early. Let me clearly state, I would have dropped everything for an emergency but I couldn’t wrap my head around why this was being asked of me when my older sister lived in their town, does not have two busy teens, and her husband is home to watch her children. When I checked in with my sister I almost blew a gasket when she said she hadn’t been asked!

Thankfully other family members insisted on being there to help and logic prevailed and we actually got a schedule firmly in place about who was doing what and when.

I took my mother to the VA hospital the day after the surgery. He was not as disfigured as I was expecting. He has a lisp but when the swelling goes down and with a little speech therapy it should not be noticeable. The side of the neck where all the lymphnodes were removed is sunken in but that may flesh out.

It was a good day with my parents. We talked about the every day things of life continuing on. My children are their first grandchildren. Many firsts coming up…concert solos, driving permits, the beginning of the college and scholarship search, and the youngest applying for a special high school. We talked about the Chief and his ever changing schedule. Yes, even would he be home for Christmas and for once I didn’t mind the question even if I had no answer. It took two hours to get mom home and another hour for me to get home, but I didn’t mind. Not with a lighter heart.

Mom took a day off and my sister went to see him at lunch. We got word early in the day that he would be released on Saturday. My sister’s schedule was more open so she is taking mom to get him discharged as per the schedule we came up with. God is so good.

There have been other things come up in these two weeks that have left me saying “I seriously do not need this right now!” and “What now?!” that I can’t go into. I am barely treading water and struggle with sinking into depression. The Chief has been supportive and open with me when I discussed considering antidepressants for a short period. Hopefully the crisis of dad’s illness passing will ease the burden not only on my heart but my head.

But for now my heart is lighter and I know that God is so good.


Honor the Merchant Marine on Veterans Day

November 11, 2015

While observing this federal holiday today, please take time to remember ALL who have served in defense of this country.

Veterans Day: Honoring the U.S. Merchant Marine


10,000 Reasons

November 9, 2015

Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Read more: Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sammie gave me permission so here goes.

I’m going to look over here so I don’t look at my daughters.

OK, kids, I know you think these teen events and summer camp are all about you and what you get out of it, but I know what God has done for me at these events. If you’ve been at camp W over the years and you’ve been in my class you’ve heard the story of my tough relationship with my father. Just to summarize, it was bad. And one day at camp I had a talk with God and I said, “I’m done. I’m laying it all at your feet.” You see I had spent 10 years resisting Him–to the point that I developed a chronic illness. And God answered and I got to hear my father say the words I never thought he’d say. “I was wrong and I am sorry.” I can’t begin to describe what that was like! I still get goose bumps. That IS the peace the passes understanding. A burden lifted. God restored me to Him, restored me to my father. My relationship with my father is so much better. He even insisted on being the one to take care of me this summer when I had back surgery and my husband was at sea. If you want the long version of the story just ask T1 or Tess or anyone who was at camp. I made three out of five classes cry–I don’t know if that was some kind of record but it was intense.

So what does this have to do with this weekend? I didn’t want to come. You see, when your husband is at sea and you see an opportunity to send your children away you really want to jump at the chance to do that and to sleep in! I was very tired but at 2 PM I got an email with last minute housing instructions for this weekend. And I saw the email address of someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was excited to see him and I thought, “ok, I’ll go even if I’m tired.”

Last night was great. Got to see my Brother, the singing was great, my daughters were enjoying themselves. Not too bad. Sammie asked us to think about why we are here this weekend. Well I found out this morning.

I got a call from my mother. My father has cancer.

You know the first thing I wanted was to hear my husband’s voice telling me it was going to be ok. While we were driving over here and I was trying to figure out how to tell my daughters their grandfather was sick, a text message came through. Just a simple, “Love you.” Let me tell you that after almost 20 years of marriage there have been too many times to deny that God has made sure my husband knew by the Holy Spirit when I needed to hear from him!

One of the first people I saw this morning was my Brother. He asked me how I was doing and I said, “Not good. My dad has cancer.” And he was like “Wow.” And he stopped and we talked and before¬†we came in here he said, “Let’s pray.” If you have never had Brother A pray with you, you are missing out! When we were in youth group together, he was the cement of our group. I even texted my mom, “A prayed for us!”

And then the singing. Oh, the singing! I may have been standing there with tears streaming down my face, but they were tears of faith. Every song was about declaring the mighty power of God. I even took a picture of the screen “Our God is a God who Saves”. He is! And while I hope and pray for physical saving, I know even greater is the spiritual healing. He’s got this. I will follow Him.

I am here this weekend because God did not want me home crying alone. He wanted me here among all of you beautiful teens, with our youth volunteers, with my daughters who are surrounded by their friends. Singing songs of praise and worship.

So I am asking you to pray for my father and his surgery on Nov. 18th.

Sammie and Brother A came down the aisle toward me. “Oh Sammie, no!” “You said, pray. What did you think we were going to do?” A Sister who I hadn’t seen in years ran up and joined our circle for the prayer. God is so good.

And God continues to work: the girls and I were on our way home from the event. I was trying to figure when we could see my father…I offered the choice of swinging by that very day or trying to arrange to go the next week. My girls said stop now. It was the right decision. (Though going up next Sunday is still not off the table…)

Last night I got a FB private message from, again, friends we hadn’t seen in a while. He asked me what was my secret to not changing in 17 years and that he was going to tease my BIL about his NY Giants. And then he asked how was my family. I replied, “God must have been working on your heart. My father has cancer.” His response was, “Wow, I was thinking and praying for your family and I decided to reach out to you!” I think I will call this and all these experiences a “God work”, kind of a sighting/example of how God is actively working.

I really want the Chief home so badly but I have trust and faith in God. I am scared but God has this. My dad is ready to fight. It seems so different from my mother’s breast cancer. Her’s was caught so early–praise God. There is a chance he’s had this for over 3 years. So in the moments when the tears are too great, I let my soul sing like never before.


Month of Thankfulness

November 3, 2015

Somehow November snuck up on me. I saw a friend’s FB post about how she was changing things up this year from our usual tradition of posting daily who or what she was thankful for. Instead, as she posted, she was thankful for each of us but this year she would randomly pick someone from her friend list and spend the day in prayer for them–anonymously. I thought that was a refreshing idea.

I always have mixed feelings about the tradition to begin with. Last year I got through the month without losing steam or feeling guilty for being so thankful…not just of material things (out of 30 days those were just a fraction, things like my wonderful Chief or the house to keep us warm and dry) but of the everyday things not to be taken for granted (a beautiful sunset or even the music sung at church).

While I am still and always will be thankful for all the Lord’s blessings, I am choosing not to share them this year. Instead I looked up how many times the phrase “give thanks” is used in the Bible. 57 times. A few in Chronicles and Nehemiah are very specific to the situation or individuals, but the rest are to encourage us to remember to praise the one from whom all blessings flow.

Maybe by not focusing on me, this month will go better. Hopefully I will encourage others…I often felt my thankfulness reminded others of what they didn’t have even if bragging wasn’t the intention. After all, no one owns a sunset and everyone is capable of being thankful for it.

Will the daily dose of Jesus be an affront to my friends of different faiths or non faith? I had a friend I was rather surprised by post one of those “FB challenge to declare Jesus and if you don’t repost this Jesus will deny you too” memes. I never would have expected this friend to succumb to that because it is quite evident how strong her faith is…she declares him all the time in her words and actions. I guess I am hoping people see my “declaration” without such a blatant illogical meme. If some are offended (even you precious readers of this blog) then so be it. I have too much going on right now not to be spending this month really focusing on giving thanks where thanks is due.

At the end of the month I will post a list of the verses out of 57 that I use.

%d bloggers like this: