Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A reprieve

Such peace early this morning
 as I pray and thank God
 for His timing,
 and for setting the pace
 on my journey.

He has slowed me down.
He has stopped me from running headlong.

He has given me
a reprieve.

Good news from the doctors.
They have consulted and decided to
wait and watch.

A decision for further treatment
 has been put on hold.

It seems that cancerous tumors of this type
 tend to take a long time to dissipate,
even up to twelve months.

 Mine could very well be doing just that.

So they will wait and watch
 to see if in three months there is any change.

Any treatment at this time has been determined
 “too aggressive”

I can relate to this term, aggressive,
as I have been forceful in my unbelief,
allowing my mind to run ahead to presumed disaster.

Given a time-out,
I have returned to practicing trust,
and patience
 and hanging on
to faith,

thus keeping myself in His peace.
(from my devotion ~ Sarah Young ~)

Oh, Lord, how often have you had to pull me back
 to my ‘Terebinth tree’;
to that place of strength and protection
from my tendency
 to allow fear and trepidation
 to sneak in?

Dear Lord,
As I continue in a state of thankfulness,
trust and patience,
Help me to keep my focus on
Your loving presence and Your faithfull promises.

Thank you dear ones, for all your precious prayers.
I am so grateful

 beyond measure.

Psalm 62: 5-7  "  I wait quietly before God,
My hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
My fortress where I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. "(NLT)
(Thank you, Marie)

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Terebinth tree at Mamre

Terebinth Tree of Mamre

It’s where the Lord appeared to Abraham.

The Terebinth is an oak tree, made of sturdy wood and is a strong representation of mighty strength and power.

 It also has an extensive root system and therefore remains green
 even in years of drought.

In our Bible reading in Genesis today, Joe and I came across the scripture where the Lord appeared to Abraham by this tree.  He was sitting near there in the heat of the day, probably still sore from the circumcision rite a few days earlier. He’s almost 100 years old and has been waiting on the Lord and His promise of a son for a very long time.

God met him there and told him he would finally have his son in a year’s time.
His wife, Sarah was listening to the conversation from inside their tent.

She laughed, doubting the ability of God...
in spite of His promise.

How often have I doubted the promises of God?  There have been times where I have allowed my mind to become un-tethered from the assurance of His presence, allowing it to wander to and fro with uncertainty and fear.

I want to rest and wait under the terbinth tree I have placed in my mind,

where the roots run deep and are firmly established in living water.

It will be my special place where I meet with God,
believing in an encounter with Him

It is here that I will experience His love,
security and await the fulfilling of His promises.

It will be a place of great significance in my life
 for such a time as this,
for this season in which I find myself.

If I sit there long enough, tied to Him,
I will find that my roots will be entwined with His,
 deep in Christ and will extend and expand from here.

Blossoms will develop on my tree
 representing his insights to me.

They will represent the growth of my love
and committed faithfulness
 and trust in Him.

I am at peace today in my journey with Him. 

 His mercy is new to me each morning.

Thank you for your many heartfelt responses...
your prayers and your encouraging words.

 I already see the blossoms spreading out on the branches.

“Look at us,” said the violets blooming at her feet,
 “all last winter we slept in the seeming death
 but at the right time
God awakened us,
and here we are to comfort you.

~ Edward Payson Rod ~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The next right thing...

I received the phone call today.

I was lying on the bed snoozing a little,
as I was fatigued from my efforts at the gym this morning. 

A sweet woman, Kathleen Rhodes, helped me through
 yoga stretching exercises and then on for a round of beginners Pilates.

 I’ve never tried either before,
and quickly discovered just how out of shape I really am muscle tone or strength
whatsoever it seems. 

Could it be from months of lying around doing nothing?

‘Dr. Harry Lieberman’ displayed across my phone screen
 and I knew it was the phone call we have been waiting for.

I expected him to tell me that all was well
and that the Mayo Clinic was sure,

beyond a reasonable doubt,

that the remaining cells were certainly dead.

However, it is unclear to them as to whether the
 FEW remaining residual cancer cells
 are or will be active. 

There are two foreseeable options;

1) Irreversible resection surgery resulting in a colostomy bag
(Colostomy - a surefire way of eradicating the problem))
2) A dose of radiation beads placed directly on the remaining tumor
 (Brachytherapy - hopefuly killing off the remaining cells)

Dr Lieberman has been in contact with my oncologists,
Dr. Manfredi and Dr. Barnes,

and they all agree;

Dr Lieberman will present my case to a board of doctors
 (experts in their field)
who will look over the culture reports and hopefully come
 to a unanimous recommendation for
 option number two.

Of course having the resection operation, and wearing a colostomy bag


will do away with the problem...but there are just a few
undetermined cancerous cells left.

I think the radiation beads should work and scare off these guys!

Without me having know......wear a bag.

At either this point...

I’m feeling a little numb and apprehensive. 

You see the mind is quick to run, and pick up speed going full throttle towards the unknown future and all the terrors it may bring.


Lord, bring me back to this present moment...

where You help me decide to do the next right thing...

as I pray and seek Your guidance...trusting in You, my Savior,

clinging tightly to Your legs, so that You may carry me.

Please join with me and pray that I choose to do the next right thing.

It will help me get unstuck and  stop feeling sorry for myself.

I HATE to admit’s an emotion that plagues me sometimes

“Every day the choices just keep on comin’ up
And I know it all comes down to fear, oh Lord
And I surrender myself to what the future may bring.
Well...I’m just trying to do the next right thing.”

- T. Graham Brown -

"...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2Corinthians 10:5

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another opportunity to get it right!

Give thanks for this New Year and “another opportunity to get it right”
(as some of my dear family members and friends have stated on FaceBook...albeit, in their own words)

I’ve given it a lot of thought, the only way to get it right is
 to keep my focus on Him in all things...great and small,
no matter what comes my way.

 Proclaiming once again;

I am letting go and holding out my hand....once again.
Depending upon You, Lord, for every little thing.
Here I this state of uncertainty
and placing my trust in You,
where it belongs.

I pray you had a wonderful Christmas and that this year will be an opportunity to ‘get it right’...with His help, with His guidance. It’s an ongoing journey, for sure, with missteps along the way. 

But He is faithful! He will reach down His hand and pick us up, dust us off and set us back on the path...

’His grace reaches lower than your worst mistake’ (Phillips, Craig & Dean)

Joe and I have experienced the importance of prayer, trust and standing together firmly hand in hand when facing tribulation and trials.

I want to share with you this one story about Joe and I that is dear to my heart.
I will pass it on to my children and their children’s children.

It’s an example of how close we can be.

I wanted to buy something for Joe this Christmas that represented my love and gratefulness for all that he has done for me, for all that he has been through in my illness and for his steadfast support and devotion through it all. 

I picked out a beautiful bracelet and had it it engraved with a word that expresses all that he has meant to me...especially with what we have endured and I came across this

Is it not beautiful?!  Also, very masculine. 
The word I chose was ‘PROTECTOR’
which aptly expresses what he has been for me. 

He has been my strong prayer warrior and protector,
always by my side through this whole ordeal.
If you’ll notice, the bracelet is shaped like a handcuff
which represents his willing attachment to me.  
He’s been at every doctor’s appointment, hospital stay,
and my every ‘meltdown’.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I eagerly pushed it in front of him just after our devotion early Christmas morning.  As he opened it his expression showed a little more curious emotion than I had anticipated as he inspected it running his fingers over the word...
“I love it”, he said slowly as he smiled at me.
I kissed him and poured out my heart telling him how grateful I am and how fitting I thought the word was and how much he means to me.

The answer came later when I opened my present from him, a beautiful silver bracelet with several charms...lovely!

There was one charm in particular, however,
that holds so much meaning to me.

...a little firefighter with the title

How precious this bracelet is to me.  
We don’t always meld together like that, but when we’s *magical*

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Glory to God and on earth...Peace

Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright...

It’s been about two months since I’ve much has happened.
My friend, Dana Nelson, is in heaven...
celebrating Christmas in a way I can only enviously imagine.

Thanksgiving was celebrated with great joy and in the company of many people in our barn....about 60 family members and friends. We took turns giving joyous praise reports, expressing our deep love for one another and for the Lord.

In October we had the distinct pleasure of participating in a colon cancer event, the Undy 5000, thanks to my daughters, Ange and Nicole, who worked diligently in forming our team together....Linda’s Fanny Pack. It was awesome!  Thanks again to those of you who supported us.  We raised over $2500 for the cause.

 But the news that has me on my knees again is...
 my cancer has reared its ugly head.

I’m afraid I ‘jumped the gun’ so to speak (offsides it’s called in football) when proclaiming “Cancer Free” in big letters across my entry. A final check-up was needed  before such a bold proclamation could be announced.

After an internal examination by my surgeon, who didn’t like the wording in my cat scan, (I understood it to mean that “it looks good!” meant no cancer) a small nodule was discovered...left over from my chemo/radiation assault.

It seems I may be in the 20% of people where this type of treatment may not be as effective. A biopsy was ordered and it didn’t look good. He mentioned a possible re-section may be necessary....ostomy.

I went silent, all was not calm and someone turned out the light.

Unable to express my thoughts on this board... I abandoned it.

My peace had been shaken

You see, I struggled.  I struggled with the belief that I had been healed, that the treatment was successful and that I could put this nightmare behind me.

 But it was not to be.  I seems I have not yet finished this faith walk after all.

Another biopsy has been ordered by a specialist in Marietta who seemed hopeful after his internal examination and perusing of the last biopsy report, which left him “unimpressed”...and we are waiting for the results. We should know something this Friday.
We have a follow-up appointment with him in Marietta.

So, you see...I am not finished yet with this burden. I pray that He will open my eyes and heart to see what more He has to accomplish through this difficulty.

It is my hope that you will forgive me for the abrupt lapse in correspondence and that you will continue accompanying me on this journey.

Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty us to Thy perfect light.

Guide me Lord, closer and closer to perfect light.

Merry Christmas

to you and yours!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wiggin out!

Me and Sue!

Little bit of peach fuzz going on.....
that’s what’s on top of my head now.
My younger brothers have salt and pepper
hair a top their heads.....

so it only made sense, that since I can no longer dye my hair...
the color coming in is just that,

salt and pepper.

It was decided...a trip to the wig shop
was in order.
  after all, it'll be
months before
I get a decent head of my own hair.

Betsy in the mirror..I didn't get this one

My sweet, Betsy and a friend, Sue, volunteered
to bring me down to the Mall of Georgia.

We had a blast!!

Spent the whole morning trying on beautiful
wigs of many different styles and colors.

Betsy was such a dear, taking
photos of each prospect and texting
the pics to my daughters and

”This one?”
“How about this one?”

I got this one!

I finally decided on two and left
the mall with a new spring in my step.

It feels so good to have hair!

Joe and I spent a great weekend down in Woodstock
with our daughters and grandchildren.

We celebrated Nicole’s birthday, went shopping,
attended the Fall Festival my daughter organized
at her work, Trickum Animal Hospital, with all the little pets.

Chester as Batman

(It was a good deal of fun!)

We attended church and generally had a great
time with family.


Thank you, Jesus, for my healing.
Thank you, Jesus, for a renewed faith
Thank you, Jesus, for your love...

“For all that you’ve done, I will thank You,
For all that You’re going to do,
For all that You’ve promised,
And all that You are
Is all that has carried me through,

And Jesus, I thank You.”

~ Hillsong ~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heightened Senses

Crunch and crackle are the sounds
the leaves make beneath our feet as we walk
hand and hand around the lake at
Vogel State Park.

What a beautiful and glorious morning!
Joe promised me a walk in the fresh
Fall air...I’m needing the exercise and
it was a perfect morning for it.

It is exactly one mile around the lake.
We took our time stopping to check out
 the different leaf patterns and colors,
basking in His glorious creation.

Chester loved it....he was so excited
to be out of the house for a change.

If you live in Blairsville, or at least,
close by, I encourage you to
take time out from whatever you are doing,
get in your car and get to Vogel before
the season ends! 

It will be so good for your soul!
Rays of sun from heaven
shine through the trees and
brighten the yellow, orange, pink,
 burgundy and red foliage to
a fever pitch.

When one comes out of a very dark place
in life and into the light, everything, all your
senses are heightened.   

All of sudden, what I have taken
for granted...becomes important,
and so meaningful. 

The beauty God created for our enjoyment
is so inspiring and uplifting.
The awareness of God’s presence in
everything is so wonderful
to behold.

It reminds me of the song “How Great Thou Art” ;

“When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art!
How great Thou art! Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

My timely devotion today;

“Go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on Me.
I will open up the way before you, as you take
Steps of trust along your path.”

~ Jesus Calling ~

by Sarah Young