Chapter Twenty-Three

I find it amazing as I look back and reflect upon the “happenings” of my life... of our lives. So many stories, so many miles, so much I wish to leave my children in the form of wisdom, yet knowing full well that wisdom comes from living life, from making mistakes, and then from getting up, dusting yourself off, and simply getting on with life.

That is what gives us the “stories” of our lives. It makes us unique and a one-of-a-kind masterpiece formed by the Master.

In 2013, Husband was having a bad run of it with his health. When he had an appointment with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, that meant that I would take a day off work to accompany him to his appointment. The trip was 125 miles one way and took one hour and 51 minutes of travel, which ends up being four hours of travel round trip. It seemed his health was declining. We discussed moving to Tucson where it would be closer for him to receive his health care. He was receiving disability benefits for his Agent Orange …

Chapter Twenty-Two

I began attending a weekly Cancer Support Group. I don't always make the meeting, but I am generally blessed when I do attend. I have learned that I am not alone in my depression, the over-whelming tiredness, being unsteady on my feet and the forgetfulness that I experience.

Along with mourning my cancer and its re-occurrence, I mourn the loss of my short-term memory. Something I did quite easily yesterday at work, is lost today... Then I spend too much time trying to "figure out" how to do it again. It is like the scene from the Pixar move "UP" when the dog is speaking and suddenly screams out "SQUIRREL" and his attention is diverted elsewhere.

Fortunately, I work in the church office and grace abounds! In this vicious cycle of cancer, I need to not be so harsh on myself and allow myself grace. It often seems to me that I offer grace to others, but withhold it from myself.
Colossians 1:2b - from the Voice
May grace and peace from God our Father [and …

Chapter Twenty-One

It was December 13th, and I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Kim, thoracic surgeon. We were both heading to reception when I saw her. She was walking ahead of me as we approached the Arizona Cancer Center - UMC. Dressed in the uniform of our culture – clothed in denim capris, a denim jacket covered with badges and logos. Her many tattoos added to the total tribal effect. She wore a multi-hued scarf twisted around her head in turban fashion, yet if one looked closely you could see the thinning hair and bald patches on her scalp. She held her head high and her bearing was that of a warrior. Indeed, a Tribal Warrior coming to do battle with Cancer.
I stood behind her waiting to check-in for my appointment. I couldn’t help but reach out and place my hand gently on her shoulder. When she turned to look at me, I merely said, “Keep fighting.” She smiled and turned back to the matter at hand. She went her way and I went mine to our various appointments.
Every single one of us has a story. …

Chapter Twenty

This was a tough weekend with the mass shooting in Orlando.
Was it a hate crime? Was it terrorist influenced? Was it due to homophobia? How many times during the course of yesterday's news updates and interviews did we hear, "We are America and we are better than that!" What we are is United States citizens and that is what binds us together. 

Indeed, U.S.A. is not America!
America is the name of a whole continent. United States of America means that the United States belongs to America and NOT that America belongs to the United States. So when you refer to yourself and an American, remember that the citizens of these countries are also Americans.

A List of the Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History 1. Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (June 12, 2016) Police say 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at the club that calls itself the city's hottest gay bar. He took hostages, and after a three-hour standoff, police moved in. The gunman was killed, but not before p…

Chapter Nineteen

Husband and I were asked to participate in a series of monologues for our church Good Friday service. We experienced the Passion story through Dr. Marcia McFee’s dramatic script, Poured Out for You. The service was rich with reflective imagery and music. It started with “oil” and the anointing of Christ’s feet, followed by “water” and the symbolic washing of hands, next was “wine” into which Christ dipped the bread for Judas, then “blood” as witnessed by the Roman soldier, Mary’s “tears” were next followed by “light” as one candle was extinguished and another picked up and we were quietly ushered out.
Husband did the monologue of Judas. My monologue was Mary, the mother of Christ, and the words of the monologue follow:
My son.  From the moment the angel said to me, “you will bear a son” my life was no longer my own.  And yet it was every bit mine.  Moments treasured, remembered in my heart alone.  Every moment he grew within me.  Every day of his youth.  Every movement of his ministr…

Chapter Eighteen

My last devotional of the year was entitled Wistful Words. It was all about trust. Trust, at least for me, is hard to come by... worldly or Godly. It is as if I've only ever been able to rely on or trust "me" - and when I fail myself, it's been ever so difficult. and trust issues. This past year with health issues... cancer and chemo, has taught me a bit about trusting God - and my NOT being in control. Then with Dennis' health issues.
A dear friend brought me to tears as she was sharing with our accountability group about her newest tattoo. I asked if it was in a place where we could see it. She removed her shoe and there is was in all its glory - "make it count" on the inside of her left foot. I cried. I cried because I created a "private" FaceBook Page to share with all my prayer warriors was was happening. It was a great way to let a number of persons know at one time what was happening and to provide prayer requests. It was name…

Chapter Seventeen

Life is wildly unpredictable. We never know what the twists and turns are ahead of us on life’s highway. We cannot control that. What we can control is the manner in how we react to it. Even when we find ourselves in a closet with tears streaming down our face, we can cling to grace and say through the tears, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;” (Job 13:15).
This year has been full of challenges for my husband and me. We are both looking forward to 2016 and what we pray will be healthier days.
I’ve been reading “The Way of St. Francis” by Murray Bodo. At the end of chapter six he proclaims the following:
“Whatever God deigns to give us is pure gift and not something we earn or deserve by becoming that ‘perfect’ person we think we should be. We are who we are, and any perfection, or completion, in us is the work of God responding freely to our honest prayer that God change in us what we previously thought we could only change ourselves.”
Amen to that! I always felt I could not …