Thursday, April 28, 2011

Though I Walk Through The Valley

How does one begin to tell your child that her life is going to change in a way that no parent wants to venture into.  Our job is to protect our children.  Yet you realize you are faced with a job you do not relish. We are faced with the job of telling our precious daughter Brooke that although she has lived 30 years with a painful, chronic, debilitating disease she now faces an even tougher enemy.

Though I walk through this valley, I must remember that when bringing the news to her it must be truthful. There will be tears, disbelief, confusion and many questions, ones I know I do not want to answer, we cannot deny her the truth.  She deserves to know in part what lies ahead even though I do not quite know all that is ahead.  She must prepare, do what she needs to do, say what she needs to say,partake of life to the fullest as this wretched diagnosis will allow her to.  She must make the choice even though every fiber in me says protect her,shield her, guard her every moment.  This is one time we must walk through that valley with her.

Brooke was just diagnosed with a severe case of pulmonary hypertension in both lungs.  There is no cure.  There is no medicine to take to improve it at this time.  She must be on oxygen 24/7 to bring her relief and make her life bearable for a time.  Only God knows any type of timetable, but the doctors, although extremely kind and considerate, know that the outcome does not look promising.  They will assist in allowing her to live as comfortably as possible while they scour the globe looking for something promising.  They will put in every effort to try to hold back the inevitable this unforgiving disease will bring.

There is no magic pill, no surgery to correct this except maybe a heart lung transplant, no exercise or diet that will take this disease away.  And so now we will wait, we will watch, we will hope, we will sing, we will laugh, we will enjoy each and every moment.

It came as such a surprise.  Those months and years of her complaining of her chest hurting and feeling heavy.  It is here and it comes with a vengeance.  As I watch her breathing so differently from just 7 days ago I am amazed at how quickly things have changed for her.  She is home, on oxygen.  We thought the wheelchair was cumbersome , now there will be an oxygen tank attached to it with tubing around her face to bring pure clean air.

We have told her this is severe, there is no cure.  We have told her this will not stop us from helping her to enjoy life to the fullest.  It will take more ingenuity, more strength, more stamina, more leaning on God for every minute of every day, more helping hands, but we will do it for her and with her.

I do not want to walk through this valley.  I want to flee from it.  As I write this, even the word "flee" does not express the mother urge in me that wants to whisk her away to that place of sugar and spice and all things nice.  But it is not to be.  So I will take her hand in mine,holding on to it tightly and step by step we will walk together through this valley.

Though we walk through the valley, we also remember the faithfulness of God.  We do not understand all this but we do know who holds us in the palm of His hand.  We do know where our hope comes from.  We do know His mercies are new every morning.  We are thankful we know HIM.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I wasn't planning on posting another blog but the Lord has other ideas.  This morning is a beautiful day with blue skies, wispy white clouds and a light breeze; and as I was sitting with the Lord He spoke so clearly to me.  He drew me to Isaiah 58 again!  Verses many of us are fasting and praying this week for the upcoming Easter services the Lord impressed upon me from verse 9 "If you remove the yoke from your midst"....what are my yokes?  Those things that keep me from a pure, true fellowship with God. Those yokes that hinder relationships, stop the fruitfulness in my life, restrict my ministries, allow confusion, discontent, mistrust, etc.   It was a time of digging deep - breaking up the fallow ground - and desiring to become more intimate with the Lord.  And as always, God was so faithful He began to show me those "yokes" in my life.

Then in verse 10 God showed me what should replace those yokes - serving others!  He says "give yourself to the hungry, satisfy the desire of the afflicted".  Ask yourself this question "Who has God put on my heart or in my life that is hungry (not just physically hungry) or afflicted?" How does God want me to help them?  And here comes the best part....

Verse 10 says "then our lights will rise in the darkness and your gloom will become like midday".  Those days of negative thoughts &, despondency will be dimmed and replaced with light from Him. "The Lord will continually guide us and satisfy our desire in scorched places.  All those areas in our lives that are dead because of our unbelief, lack of faith, sin, etc those areas will be alive again because He will give us strength to go forth in those areas!  And we will be like a watered garden - have you ever seen a garden that is so well maintained?  It teems with fruit and flowers, it is beautiful and alive ...God is saying this is how our lives will be once we get rid of those "yokes"!

Wow, just writing all that made me excited again. Those yokes keep us from living that abundant life God has for us!  Ask Him today "show me my yokes" and then get rid of them by repenting and leaving them at His feet!   Let's live our lives as those "watered gardens and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail".....until next time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Jesus Way

Many people think of Easter as colored eggs in baskets filled with chocolate candies all delivered by a big, white, fuzzy being called the Easter Bunny.  But for christians, Easter is one of the most significant and meaningful days of the year.  Our Lord & Savior laid down His life to atone for our sins so we could live with Him eternally in heaven.  Jesus went through much suffering before that first Easter morning.  Each step in His journey had meanings and messages for us.  One gift to us are the first words Jesus spoke as He hung on that cross.  Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". Forgive.  After suffering physical pain, emotional hurt, ridicule, falsely accused, rejection, being belittled, abandonment, public humiliation, and treated so unfairly, Jesus asks that God the Father forgive them!  In essence what He is showing us is that forgiving others, no matter what they have done to us, is essential.  It is the christian way, or what I like to call the Jesus Way.

Forgiveness is not something we can do on our own.  It takes holding firmly on to the hand of God, remembering His words on forgiveness and walking in obedience to what He is requiring of us.

I don't know about you but for me forgiving a non-believer isn't that difficult.  I merely say to myself "of course they behave like that they don't know Jesus"; and then I proceed to pray for them with much passion.  Feeling ever so pious, I pat myself on the back and say "That's the Jesus Way".

But how do I respond when it's another believer who has hurt me? How about when your husband, sibling or child hurts you?  I'd like to think that I would instantly forgive them, seek reconciliation, pray blessings upon them and then never think of the incident again.  That's the Jesus Way - He forgives me as soon as I repent, I then have complete fellowship with Him, He continues to bless me and He forgets my sins and never brings them up again.  They are immediately forgotten, I have a clean slate.

Why do I find it harder to forgive another believer?  David's words echo in my mind as I recall the last time I was in that situation.  Psalm 55:12-14 "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, than I could bear it, nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend; we who had sweet fellowship together, walked in the house of God in the throng".  Even David had a hard time and yes I could grab on to David's words and dwell there for quite a while - in fact I have!  But the One who suffered for me so I could live a life without fear, a life filled with hope and promises uttered "forgive them" as He hung on that cross.  He forgives so I must forgive.  Can I do anything less for Jesus?

It's not always an easy way but the Jesus Way is the best way.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Here it is a beautiful day with the skies a beautiful blue, white billowy clouds, warm sunshine and light tradewinds!  Beauty all around me.  Serenity too - it's quiet with only the breeze rustling through the trees.
Yet, my God has something to show me.  I told myself when I started this blog that I would be transparent. I would share the good, the bad and the ugly about me.  Ouch - am I ready for this?  Well here goes....

"It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death"  Judges 16:16.  Ever heard of Delilah?  No not the one in Tom Jones' song (am I dating myself) but the woman who was so instrumental in bringing ruin to Samson?  This scripture is talking about that Delilah and her relationship with Samson.

I am a woman of many words.  I love to talk - what woman doesn't!   When the Lord showed me this scripture I felt He was speaking about me.  I know you're saying "no way" - ha ha ha!  But truthfully, sometimes I can talk, talk and talk to my husband about finishing our on-going, unfinished projects that I truly believe, after reading Judges 16, that "his soul is annoyed to death".  UGH!

What possesses me to behave like this?  Is it my desire to control every and all situations?  Yes.  Is it because I feel I know what's best for us, for him?  Yes.  Is it that I feel I am justified in "pressing him daily" because some projects have been in the works for years and years?  Yes, yes, yes!  Don't you feel I'm right? Do you feel my pain?

Well God says I am like Delilah - ewwwwwh!  I don't want to have any characteristics like Delilah.  I want to be remembered for being a woman after God's own heart!  And so, after my time with the Lord, trying to justify my behavior, I finally got it.  God gives me these desires, these characteristics - like loving to talk, loving to be in charge, loving to make sure everyone's life is the way I want it to be; but He also gives me the Holy Spirit to guide me in the way to use these strengths.  When I go on my own fuel, then I sput, choke, rant and rave.  When I go on the Holy Spirits fuel/power, then I can take these strengths along with the fruit of the spirit (joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control) and walk in faithfulness with God.  Does that mean those projects will get done?  When it's  God's timing.   Well it took God 25 years before He gave Abraham and Sarah their child, and it took 40 years according to God's timing to take the Israelites out of the desert, it took hundreds of years of captivity before they returned to Jerusalem - so I guess I don't have anything to complain about!!!

God's timing, God's way.  Ever feel you're a Delilah?  Are you trying to control your husband's life, or maybe you've given up on him and you're working on the kids?  Let's run together from the Delilah in us!  See ya!