Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So long '08

This has been a bittersweet year. The first half was positively wonderful! My Sweet Hubby and I kicked off the year with another K-LOVE Friends and Family cruise. We traveled, visited family and friends at will...We joined a wonderful new church that gave new meaning to the term "church family." I was focusing on my esthetics business and we were just enjoying life in general.

I truly understand now what it means to have your life - everything you know - change in a heartbeat. On July 10th, our world turned upside down when the reality of "Stage IV pancreatic cancer with mets to the liver" entered the picture.

The second half of 2008 was filled with illness, hospitalizations, blood transfusions, oncology appointments, chemo and briefly, hospice. And then a funeral as we said goodbye to our husband/father/grandfather/son-in-law/brother/brother-in-law/best friend/co-worker. My Sweet Hubby slipped ever so quietly away.

And then, as I was trying to come to terms with Christmas and our anniversary without my Sweet Hubby, my Mom was hospitalized. Critically ill with an internal injury that has a tremendously high mortality rate. Suddenly, all thoughts of Christmas are gone and my days and nights are filled with life in the intensive care unit.

But God is good all the time...it looks like my Mom will be going home tomorrow. We met with the palliative care team this morning and there is nothing more they can do here that I can't do for my Mom at home. And hopefully, she will recover better and faster in her normal environment.

So tomorrow night, New Year's Eve, I hope to be in my own home preparing to sleep in my own bed for the first time in a week and a half.

My son-in-law left for a job assignment out of state on Friday. Today, my daughter and grandsons left to join him. Matthew will return to Richmond tomorrow to spend New Year's Eve with his girlfriend and their best friends.

And I will experience another "first." Alone...

Somehow, it seems fitting.

I pray that 2009 brings God's blessings of peace, laughter, love and much happiness to you all. Thank you for sharing this "journey" with me.

"And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry." Genesis 8:13

Monday, December 29, 2008

There will be a day...

Well, let me tell you ~ this has been a week.

My Mom is still in the ICU and I am staying with her. Some days I am able to run home for a quick shower and change of clothes. Other days not...

So I need this song today for Music Monday...I hope it ministers to you too. **Remember to scroll down and pause my player before clicking the link!**














There Will Be A Day ~ Jeremy Camp


And something extra straight from Jeremy...



One other thing...should you have a friend or family member that loses a spouse and you don't know if you should acknowledge "special days" like an anniversary or birthday - I can tell you YES, please do. Your card or call may cause tears, but they will be tears of remembrance. More bitter are the tears from feeling that the special day is forgotten or no longer important...

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Friday, December 26, 2008

Forever...then Rome


Today is my anniversary. I have no words for how I'm feeling. Raw and broken aren't even close. Somehow I keep getting up in the morning and putting one foot in front of the other.

No, not "somehow." God.

I loved being married to my Sweet Hubby; loved it (and him!!) every single day. He was honestly and truly my bestest buddy...there was no one I'd rather spend time with - be with - just hang out with! We talked, we laughed, we enjoyed each other's company above all others. So unusual in this day and time when so many couples lead independent lives while living under the guise of "marriage."

He almost never called me by name. He called me "sweetheart." He called me "princess." He called me "true." When he spoke of me to others, he said "my sweetheart" or "my wife." It was something quite a few people mentioned at the visitation and the reception after my Sweet Hubby's funeral. They loved how he spoke of me - always with love and respect. I had my storybook love with him. He was my Prince...

We took our vows seriously; we meant them when we said them. If I live to be 100 years old, I will never know that kind of love again. Ever.

I wish we were celebrating our anniversary together today. My Sweet Hubby always planned our special day...it was a surprise for me. A gift. How many husbands do that?

Instead, at some point today, I'll leave my Mom's room in the ICU and head to the cemetery to sit at my Sweet Hubby's grave. I still don't know how this happened...how can he be gone?

Happy Anniversary sweetheart. I love you so much. I miss you more than I can bear.

Forever...then Rome.

"What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Mark 10:9

Thursday, December 25, 2008

From me, to you...

May you all be richly blessed with love, laughter, good health and peace this Christmas Day and through the New Year.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

My Sweet Hubby, Christmas 2007
I love you honey. Merry Christmas...
Always, Your True
xo

Monday, December 22, 2008

Held

I heard this song again the other day...I've loved it since it first came out. The artist was onboard for the last K-LOVE cruise this past January and my Sweet Hubby and I looked forward to hearing her in person. She didn't disappoint!

As I listened to the words, I was reminded once again how the Lord is holding me right now. How He continues to use the music I love so much to minister to me. Thank you, Father.

I hope you enjoy today's Music Monday selection...have a blessed week! **Remember to scroll down to pause my player before watching and listening**









Held ~ Natalie Grant

"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his hand." Psalm 37:24

**Just a quick note to add that my Mom is in the hospital...admitted in the wee hours of Sunday morning. She is in the cardiac intensive care unit. Please keep her in your prayers if you would...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally...

I have been counting down the days until Matthew comes home for the holidays...

Today is the day! Finally!

The upcoming week will be hard - of that I have no doubt. But with the help of the Lord, we'll get through it together.

And I'll have my 'baby boy' home with me as we celebrate the birth of God's own Son.

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, " which translated means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What do a hot water bottle and a dolly have in common?

The answer is found in Isaiah 65:24...
"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

My Sunday school class meets one Monday a month to have an extra prayer service in addition to the weekly prayer service at Church on Wednesday evenings. Last night was "the" Monday for December.

I can't tell you what a blessing this group was to my Sweet Hubby and I. And what a comfort they continue to be for me. Before we knew we would need a Sunday school class, the Lord was lining this one up for us. So I can claim that verse in Isaiah for myself. But that's not the reason for this post...

I want to share an email I received from my Sunday School teacher's wife shortly after I returned home from the prayer service. We serve such an awesome God!! Read on...

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa:

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).

And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.

They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large
cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!' Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?' 'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'

'Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)

When you receive this, say the prayer. That's all you have to do. No strings attached. Just send it on to whomever you want - but do send it on.

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let's continue praying for one another.

This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal Your love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around them and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name. Amen

P. S. Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do.


So, what do a hot water bottle and a dolly have in common?

Answer: Comfort. Courtesy of a Sunday school class. Like mine.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for providing for our every need long before we know they exist.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Feeling the love

I have such awesome friends! Today I traveled to Williamsburg to receive a facial from a fellow Master Esthetician friend. She pampered me to the max and I felt like a new woman when I got up from the table.

When I got home, a package was awaiting me from another friend (also an Esthetician) in Ireland. Inside I found this:


I can't wait to read it and listen to the CD. The card accompanying it brought me to tears...

"My dearest Gigi,
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and look forward to a wonderful New Year full of hope, happiness and love. Thank you for being such an inspirational friend and for truly being a mirror of God to me."

I am so richly blessed...

"Dear friends, we are now God's children, but what we are to be in the future has not yet been fully revealed. We know that if Christ reappears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Always ~ Never ~ All

I awoke this morning with a hunger for God's Word.

So, I tended to LuLu, made my coffee and then settled in to pray, read and seek the Lord. I felt the overwhelming need to lift up the pastoral staff of my church, especially Pastor Tommy. What great responsibilities he has - caring for this flock so faithfully...

As I turned to His Word, I asked that I find all I needed for today within its pages. I get by a day at a time right now. And some days it is literally a "moment to moment" existence. But that's OK as long as I make it through.

I read something not long ago about giving thanks to God for everything. Everything. Good, bad, happy, sad, joyful, tragic...everything. That has been on my mind quite a bit lately. This morning, the Lord helped me.
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The message is very clear; the language is strong: Always. Never. All. God's Will.

Wow. You have to love a passage that requires no deep thought for there can be no misinterpretation here!

If you've ever read anything regarding grief, then you know it's widely accepted that there are five stages in the grieving process - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - and that the process of moving through them is fluid. There is no order to them and a person may experience more than one at any given time for any length of time, many times over.

Since I lost my Sweet Hubby, I have heard a number people refer to the "anger" stage. And each time, I reflect on my own circumstances...this path I've walked that ultimately led to my Sweet Hubby going to be with the Lord. I have felt many emotions - the main one being profound sadness. My heart is broken. But never anger. Never, not once. How can I possibly be angry that God relieved my Sweet Hubby's suffering and called him to Paradise?

Which leads me back to those verses in 1 Thessalonians. If I am to always be joyful and give thanks in all circumstances because I belong to Jesus, then there is no room - no place - for anger. And I'm glad, because that means I can stop looking over my shoulder, like it's going to creep up on me from behind and catch me unaware. From the moment we received his diagnosis, my Sweet Hubby and I vowed we would find some way to honor and glorify the Lord while dealing with his illness and all it brought. We had no anger then and I hope to continue living that way now.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.

Sounds like a wonderful way to live. To God be all the glory...always.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This one's for you Sweetheart...

My Sweet Hubby loved (and I do mean LOVED!!) the holiday snowmen offered each year by Hallmark. He had to get the new one each and every year and would get the biggest kick out of making them sing/dance or whatever...I can sit here and remember his joy, his wide-eyed smile as he watched them. And it's a great memory!

So when I walked into Hallmark a couple of weeks ago to pick up some cards, it just about broke my heart to see this year's snowman offering there on the shelf. Yet one more thing...I walked out and cried all the way home.

Fast forward a few days and I'm back in Hallmark for gift bags and tissue paper. At the register, I'm once again face to face with - you guessed it. The snowmen. But this time, I decided that instead of leaving the store in tears, I would leave the store smiling. Because that day the snowmen came home with me. Did I say how much pleasure they gave my Sweet Hubby?

So honey - this is for you. How can something so cute make me miss you even more?


"You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth." Luke 1:14

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The suspense is over...meet Fat Albert!

"Fat Albert" Colorado Blue Spruce, that is!

Christmas was my Sweet Hubby's favorite time of year. He loved it all...the sights, sounds, decorations. And most of all, the reason behind it all ~ Jesus.

I hadn't planned on decorating in any form or fashion this year. It would just be a hard reminder of all that is forever different now. But one thing that I took away from the GriefShare seminar on December 1st was to not forget the true meaning of Christmas, to not let the holiday pass by without taking time to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

Still, I knew that there was no way I could put up the two trees we always had - one live 12 footer in our living room and one artificial 7 footer in the family room. No way I could unpack all of our ornaments lovingly collected through the years. No way I could break out all the decorations we loved to have throughout the house for the holidays. All of that would break my heart right now; tear off the scab that is trying to form.

So I decided that I would do something different this year. And that's where Fat Albert comes in. He is a living variety of Colorado Blue Spruce and once Christmas is over with, he will be planted in our yard as a memorial to my Sweet Hubby. I look forward to watching him grow over the years and know that every December I will decorate him in honor of the man I love and miss so terribly.

This year, Fat Albert is my reminder of a Savior that willingly gave up His Godhood to walk among us knowing that He would eventually lay down His life for all of us. No greater love...
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people...'" Luke 2:10


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I have plans

I'm not going to post any details right now, but hopefully tomorrow everything will have come to fruition. We'll see...
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 8, 2008

I got the real thing!

It's Monday, so you know what that means! What song shall it be today?

This is a new song, from this artist's latest CD. I hope you enjoy it! **Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!**

One True God ~ Mark Harris

And here are the lyrics:

One True God

I don't have a God I can put on a stand
Or a God I hold in the palm of my hand
I have a God that's holding me
And I don't have a God that I can create
In the place I live with the money I make
I have a God, He made everything
So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

He's the Lord of all the earth
The maker of all things
He alone is the one true God
Kingdoms rise and fall
But even through it all
He remains
The one true God

I don't have a thing that I got on my own
I don't have a care that I carry alone
But I have a God who's carrying me
I don't have sin that He doesn't forgive
And I don't have a heart that is worthy of His
But I have a God who still loves me
So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
Who is this King of Glory

Great song, yes? Just makes you smile and want to tap your feet...perfect for a Monday!

Yesterday was the one month mark of my Sweet Hubby's Homegoing. It feels like forever, so I really need a God Who's carrying me right now...and He is. Thankfully.

I hope you all have a blessed week.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30

Friday, December 5, 2008

My girl

I thought maybe it was time for a Marloo update...I can't believe I've only had Miss LuLu for 3 weeks - it's as if she's been here forever!

Our days are quiet, nights even more so. She is so laid back and ever at my side. I'm grateful to have her in my life.

And then there's this one that melts my heart every time I see it...


"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A little devotion time with Beth

This afternoon I sat in our living room re-reading some of the daily entries in my Beth Moore Praying God's Word Day by Day devotional. I started from the day my Sweet Hubby went to be with the Lord, November 9th. The following is the devotion for that day. Amazing, isn't it?

"When our hearts are hemorrhaging, never forget that Christ binds and compresses them with a nail-scarred hand."
"You, Lord God, are with me, You are mighty to save. You will take great delight in me. you will quiet me with Your love, You will rejoice over me with singing!" Zephaniah 3:17
And November 15th:

"Completely surrender your hurt to Him, withholding nothing, and invite Him to work miracles from your misery."
"Lord God, I am hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. I always carry around in my body the death of Your Son, Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in my mortal body." 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
And the very next day, November 16th:

"Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something we thought would kill us."
"Father, help me to be confident of this, that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
November 19th:

"Christ never allows the hearts of His own to be shattered without excellent reasons and eternal purposes."
"Glorious Lord God, one day I will hear a loud voice from Your throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.' We will be your people, and You Yourself will be with us and be our God. You will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away. You who are seated on the throne will say, 'I am making everything new!' These words are trustworthy and true!" Revelation 21:3-5
"Lord God, help me presently believe, then one day see, that my present sufferings cannot be compared to the glory that You will reveal in me." Romans 8:18
And then this on November 24th:

"If God has allowed something difficult to happen to one of His children, He plans to use it mightily, if the child lets Him."
"Praise You, my God! Let the sound of Your praise be heard; You have preserved my life and kept my feet from slipping. For You, O God, tested me; You refined me like silver." Psalm 66:8-10

I'm clinging to the Rock...my God and my salvation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've decided.

There is no "W" in Mrs. I was my Sweet Hubby's wife and that did not end on November 9th.

Period.

The End.

Thank you all for your uplifting comments to yesterday's post. Each one made me feel better and I'm grateful to you all...
"Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:3

And by the way - Jennifer loved her newest Santa!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The "W" word

Last night I attended a special one night seminar held at our church. It was conducted by the GriefShare facilitators and entitled "Surviving the Holidays." The purpose was to give those mourning the loss of a loved one tools to get through the Christmas season - a time wrought with so many memories and family traditions.

And it was during that class that someone referred to me as the "W" word.

WIDOW

Oh no...they couldn't have been referring to me, could they?

I can't quite get there in my mind. I don't want to be a "widow." Oh sweet Jesus...sometimes it's almost more than I can bear.

"Then she got up and went away and took off her veil and put on her widow's clothing." Genesis 38:19

Monday, December 1, 2008

What to do?

I've heard so often over the past 4+ months these words or some variation thereof:

"Let us know if there's anything you need."

People truly want to help...they really do.

My Sweet Hubby and I always told them that prayer was the best "thing" they could offer us and we were very, very grateful for every prayer offered up.

I am still asked that same question. So, in response, I would like to offer this Music Monday song: **remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening**

Love Them Like Jesus ~ Casting Crowns

My Sweet Hubby and I loved this group...we saw them in concert many, many times. Good memories.

So, the next time you have someone in your life where you feel the need to ask, "What can I do for you?" Just know that the BEST thing you can do is to love them...like Jesus.

God bless.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34

Friday, November 28, 2008

In search of Santa

On our daughter's 16th birthday, my Sweet Hubby and I started her on a "Santa collection." We only shopped for those "one of a kind, crafted by American artists" pieces and each year since then, she's received a new Santa on her birthday. To say she eagerly awaits her new addition is an understatement! Her 31st birthday is this Tuesday...and with everything that has happened the latter half of this year, no Santa shopping took place.

The Virginia Beach Christmas Market opened this morning at the Pavilion. This craft show runs all weekend long and is a longstanding tradition here. I say "craft show" but over the last few years, there's less and less "crafts" and more food/specialty items. Either way - a good time.

And something my Sweet Hubby and I did together every year. We looked forward to it...wandering around, checking things out. Picking up a little something here and there if it caught our fancy...sometimes coming away empty-handed. It didn't matter - we loved it! So many memories!

I knew I had to go because it was my opportunity to find a Santa for our daughter. No way could I disappoint her this year. So..another "first" for me today. I went with my friend Kimberly. She did a wonderful job of keeping me occupied and it wasn't as hard as it certainly could have been.

And look what I found:



I think she'll like him...what do you think? And I had the artist sign and date his "bottom" (sorry Santa!). Mission accomplished. And I think my Sweet Hubby is smiling...
"Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'" John 11:40
Thank you, Father, for continuing to meet my every need.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give Thanks

"For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 4:15

To God be ALL the glory, honor and praise. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving ~ from my home to yours...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Help for the day

I think you all know how important music is to me. How it ministers to my soul...how vital it has been in my healing process (and I'm speaking about our Catholic Church debacle here). And I know the Lord will continue using music in a mighty way in my life even now...

So this morning I was going through my Itunes music on my computer. Sometime a few months ago, I had read a blog by Todd Agnew promoting a musician named JJ Heller. She had a new CD out and for a time, she was offering it as a free download. Well, no need to ask me twice to check out some new contemporary Christian music, especially if it's a fave on Todd's playlist!

I guess it was no surprise that I loved it too. As a matter of fact, when my Sweet Hubby and I listened to it, we commented on how similar her style is to Norah Jones - another artist we both enjoyed.

I decided to listen to JJ's CD again as I drank my coffee this morning. And the Lord used one of her songs to speak to me and encourage me today. I found a little snippet of it on YouTube, so I can share it here...**remember to scroll down and pause my player before viewing**










Your Hands ~ JJ Heller

The CD is no longer available as a free download, but if you like her music, please visit her website...with a new baby on the way, I'm sure she and her husband would appreciate it! And it looks like she has some great deals on her music...I plan on doing a little shopping myself! (Thanks Todd!)

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

Monday, November 24, 2008

It is no secret

What a beautiful worship service we had yesterday...our Pastor delivered such a powerful message as we continue on in (and near the end of) the Book of Acts.

If you'd like to hear yesterday's sermon, you may do so by clicking the link: Click on "Podcasts" on the left hand side, scroll down and select November 23rd to listen. (Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!)

Sermon, November 23, 2008

I loved the story that Pastor Tommy pulled into the sermon about Stuart Hamblen. I had never heard the story before, although I've certainly heard the song! (If you want to know the story, I guess you'll just have to listen to the sermon!)

So, it's only fitting that I've chosen this song for Music Monday. The words are especially meaningful to me as I struggle to get used to life without my Sweet Hubby. I will not lie. It is hard and many, many times I do not think that I can do this. "This" being learn to live without him. I don't want to. But I've been given no choice. For reasons only the Lord knows, my Sweet Hubby has been called Home and I am left here. So I just pray to get through another day...and then another.

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player before watching the video** The lyrics are posted below...

It Is No Secret ~ Stuart Hamblen/Billy Graham Crusade circa 1963

The chimes of time ring out the news,
Another day is through.
Someone slipped and fell.
Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength,
Your courage to renew.
Do not be disheartened,
For I have news for you.

It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.

There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone.
Always feel at home,
Wherever you may go.

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side.
Take Him at His promise,
Don't run away and hide.

It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.

"That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light to the people, and to the Gentiles." Acts 26:23

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lunch and a visit

Our oldest son, James, arrived from Washington state the other day. We had dinner last night along with my daughter and her family. Today, James and I had a date to go to the cemetery and then to lunch.

James told me that he felt at peace at the cemetery; that he knows his Dad is happy and still with us in spirit. It is peaceful at my Sweet Hubby's grave...how could it not be? He was such a loving man.

Over lunch, we had the best conversation. It was a mixture of memories and talk about the Lord! It just doesn't get any better than to hear your child talk about Jesus and how much he loves Him! Even if that "child" is 32!

Matthew will be home tomorrow...all three of my children here at the same time. Nice.

I'll leave you with the Scripture verse I gave James as I dropped him off at his sister's house:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am being held up...

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Thank you all...for your care, concern and kind comments.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My first "first"

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I don't post on Sundays. Last Sunday was the first exception, today will be the second.

I've often heard it said that the first year after losing a loved one is the hardest...a year of "firsts" if you will. All the holidays, birthdays, anniversary and so forth will come and go for the first time without that special someone.

Today was my first "first." The first time I attended church and Sunday School without my Sweet Hubby. I found that I could hold myself together as long as people didn't hug me. When they hugged me, I fell apart. And they all wanted to hug me...God bless them, they so lovingly represent the Body of Christ.

After Sunday School, I took my little garden seat, went behind the church to the cemetery and sat in the sunshine at my Sweet Hubby's grave. Oh, I still can't believe I'm typing that. I couldn't believe I was sitting there today. It just doesn't seem possible that he's gone. It just doesn't seem possible that a week ago I was holding his hand as he slipped away from me...

I don't think I'll be posting tomorrow. But tonight I wanted to share with you one of the songs they played at my Sweet Hubby's funeral on Wednesday. Now, he asked that two songs be sung - Ave Maria and Bring the Rain. Two members of our church choir sang those solos and they sang them so beautifully...

But I requested a third song be played. It's one by Todd Agnew and not that well known. But from the first moment that I heard it, I fell in love with it. My Sweet Hubby and I used to love listening to Todd's music and this song was a favorite of ours. It is meant to be listened to as the Lord singing to us...so picture that as you listen. I hope it touches your heart as much as it always did ours. **Remember to scroll down and pause my player before clicking the link**

The Martyr's Song ~ Todd Agnew

And because I like you to know exactly what you're hearing, here are the lyrics as well:

Sing o son of Zion, shout o child of mine
Rejoice with all your heart and soul and mind

I’ve been waiting to dance with you in fields full of colors you've never seen
And I’ve been waiting to show you beauty you've never dreamed that's always been in you
And I’ve been waiting to see you tremble as you’re embraced by a world saturated with my love
And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say
My child you are finally home

Sing o son of Zion, shout o child of mine
Rejoice with all your heart and soul and mind
For you are finally home

I’ve been waiting to watch you realize what all your longing was for
I’ve been waiting to show you the thread of grace that ran through all your pain
And I’ve been waiting to let you drink the water of which your greatest joy on earth was just a taste
And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say
My child you are finally home

Sing o son of Zion, shout o child of mine
Rejoice with all your heart and soul and mind
Sing o daughter of Zion; cry out o child of mine
Dance with all the strength that you can find
For you are finally home

Every tear you cry dried in the palm of my hand
Every lonely hour was by my side
Every loved one lost, every river crossed
Every moment, every hour was pointing to this day
I’ve been longing for this day

I’ve been waiting to dance with you in fields full of colors you've never seen
And I’ve been waiting to show you beauty you've never dreamed that's always been in you
And I’ve been waiting to see you tremble as you’re embraced by a world saturated with my love
And I’ve been waiting for the day when at last I get to say
My child you are finally home

Sing o son of Zion, shout o child of mine
Rejoice with all your heart and soul and mind
Sing o daughter of Zion; cry out o child of mine
Dance with all the strength that you can find
For you are finally home

Sing of son of Zion, shout o child of mine
Rejoice with all your heart and soul and mind
And sing of daughter of Zion; cry out o child of mine
Dance with all the strength that you can find
For you are finally home
For you are finally home

Child of mine

Finally home

For you are finally home

I love you sweetheart...oh dear Lord I miss you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A girl named Marloo

Matthew left Thursday afternoon to head back to Richmond in order to prepare for a neuroscience convention in D.C. beginning yesterday. After he left, the quiet in the house was almost palpable. Now, I love silence...I really do enjoy the quiet, but this was different. And lonely.

Thursday night, I climbed the stairs to sleep in our bed for the first time in almost a month. I managed to sleep for an hour, from 11 to midnight. That was it for the night...

Last night, I climbed those same stairs around midnight. And slept until 9:30 this morning. Granted, I woke up many times during the night, but always fell right back to sleep.

What changed you ask? A girl named Marloo.


Thursday, before he left, Matthew and I visited our local SPCA. And found Marloo waiting for me. Our eyes met, her tail wagged and that was it. You are not allowed to take pets home same day from our shelter - a preventative against "impulse buying" - but I returned yesterday complete with "Princess" collar in hand to bring her home. Marloo is a Schnauzer/probably Pit Bull mix, 6 years old and impeccably mannered. I think it was meant for us to love each other. They told me yesterday that she arrived at the SPCA on Sunday, the 9th. The day my Sweet Hubby went to be with the Lord.

So last night at midnight, Marloo and I climbed the stairs to my bedroom. She fell in love with her new bed (not mine!) and we both slept the night away.

My house is still quiet, but no longer lonely. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for once again meeting my needs.
"For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion." Ecclesiastes 9:4

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Amazing grace

Today was my Sweet Hubby's funeral. This morning I honestly wondered how I was going to make it through. I said, "Lord, this is just too hard...I don't think I can do it."

Last night was the visitation at the funeral home. On the way there, Matthew and I listened to K-LOVE on the radio. I felt shored up by the time we arrived. It was wonderful. Truly a celebration of my Sweet Hubby's life. No tears, just happiness, shared stories and joy. I told Matthew that if I had the power to bring him back, I wouldn't...not into that sick body. Today, my Sweet Hubby is healthy and whole. No pain, no cancer. But oh...every breath is so hard without him.

The limo was picking us up at 12:20 today. I spent some time with the Lord and asked that He please give me grace and strength for the day. For me alone, that would have been impossible. I knew I needed the Lord. And oh - He is so good and faithful!

My Sweet Hubby's funeral was just beautiful...it really, really was. He was so well loved and it came through in every word from Pastors Greg and Tom.

And God's amazing grace got me through. Thank you Lord.
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:3
I'd also just like to take a moment to thank everyone who left a comment over the past few days...I haven't responded individually to them because I don't think I'd stop crying if I did. So, please just know how grateful I am to each of you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sleep well my darling...


My Prince, my best friend.
My Sweet Hubby

Stephen John
September 3, 1948 ~ November 9, 2008

Sleeping in the arms of the Lord...

I love you sweetheart.

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

Yes Lord...I do, with all my heart and soul. Please take care of my Sweet Hubby until I am reunited with him. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is where we are...

Hospice: A program that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients at an inpatient facility or at the patient's home.
We are at home. My Sweet Hubby is preparing for his "homegoing." Our church's pastors have been here multiple times. We are surrounded by family and friends. My Sweet Hubby knows that I am by his side, holding his hand as he begins his journey.

This morning, Pastor Tommy came by. This is the Scripture he shared:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.'" John 14:1-6

These are the words of eternal life...

I will share with you one of the things my Sweet Hubby said to me this morning...
"You and I know Jesus. I am sad for those who don't. I am praying for them and I will forever pray for them."
Please keep my Sweet Hubby blanketed in prayer. To God be the glory...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A mini miracle AND a day brightener!

When we arrived home late this afternoon, there was a tag hanging on our front door that a delivery had been attempted and the "surprise" had been left with our next door neighbors..

Well, Rita and little Phoebe just left and look what they brought:

This was the cherry on top of our day! Don't you just feel all the tension leave you when you see something so lovely? Thank you, Cissa (and P, J and C!) for thinking of us and sending us this "day brightener!" Love you guys!

Know what these represent??

A mini miracle, that's what!!

It was not a good night...no sleep for my Sweet Hubby despite medication. No relief from pain...

Up every hour, repositioning, a drink of water for a parched mouth...this disease is so cruel.

So it was with a heavy heart that I reconciled myself to the fact that we would not be voting today. But the Lord had other plans for us!

An email from my Sweet Hubby's oncologist's nurse told me that they had stronger pain medication prescriptions waiting for us, as well as an order for an ultrasound of his liver later this week. Because the medications are narcotics, they cannot be called in. That meant we were going to have to travel...

OK, not an easy feat for someone who is basically bedbound now. But, God is good and we managed. We had to go to two different pharmacies in order to fill the two prescriptions and the second pharmacy had a 1-1 1/2 hour wait. Hmmm.....what to do, what to do. It didn't make sense to go home as we'd just have to venture out again.

Guess how we passed a little time? That's right - WE VOTED!!!! We were blessed - no line, no rain (it's a rainy day here) and even the temperature cooperated - a nice 65 degrees. As we approached the polling place they told us we had picked the perfect time as just a bit earlier the lines were wrapped down the sidewalk. No surprise there...God's timing is PERFECT!!

I can't tell you how happy we were as we drove away. Yep, I'd call it our mini-miracle of the day! To God be ALL the glory!

Oh ~ and God bless America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It means "Hail Maria"

Today's Music Monday song is one very near and dear to my heart. It holds a special place in the history of my family. It was sung at my Mom and Dad's wedding and my Sweet Hubby and I, in honor of my parents, had it sung at ours. It was a surprise and my Mom cried through the whole song...I can't hear it today without crying myself. It is so beautiful, so powerful, so meaningful.

A little bit of history first...

In 1825 a young composer wrote a song called “Ellen’s Song Number Three”. The song was a prayer to Mary and so well received, the young composer wrote to his parents:

“My new songs…..especially had much success. They also wondered greatly at my piety, which I expressed in a hymn to the Holy Virgin and which, it appears, grips every soul and turns it to devotion."

The composer died young at the age of 31. After his death Latin lyrics were replaced on the song for performance in a liturgical setting. The composer’s name was Franz Schubert, and “Ellen’s Song Number Three” is known to us today as “Ave Maria”.

The Latin translated reads as follows:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus [Christ].
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

(Source: ConradAskland.com)


Coming from a Roman Catholic background, my Sweet Hubby and I have a great reverence for the Blessed Mother. I know most protestant faiths feel that Catholics are obsessed with Mary and that she is sinfully venerated. I will not enter that argument...instead I look to God's Word:

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.' And Mary said, 'My soul exalts the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave. For behold, from this time on all generations shall count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and Holy is His name.'" Luke 1:41-49


And now, on to this beautiful song...which will one day carry another memory for me. This weekend my Sweet Hubby asked that it be sung at his funeral. I'm crying already...

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening**

Ave Maria ~ Josh Groban

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just curious...

Today is Halloween. Do you participate in Trick or Treating? Or do you consider today "evil" in some fashion?

Handing out candy and seeing the little ones all dressed up has always been one of my Sweet Hubby's favorite things! He would banter with the kids...act scared by the creepy costumes...ooh and ahh appropriately at the many little "princesses."

Tonight my Sweet Hubby lay in our family room, in the hospital bed that was delivered this morning, while I did "door duty." I would have gladly left our porch light off this year and just spent my time with him, but he wouldn't hear of it. Can't not pass out the treats! But I'll be honest, I was glad when 8:00 rolled around!

What did you do tonight? Just curious...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thank you Beth Moore!

My Sweet Hubby and I just finished watching the Beth Moore segment on Life Today with James Robison. She had such a powerful message today and it was one I needed to hear.

It was all about praising...no matter what our circumstance, no matter what our mood. If our mouths begin, our minds and hearts follow.

We have been studying the Book of Acts all year in church. Beth's talk today was based on the following Scripture:
"Having received these orders, he put them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in leg irons. Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." Acts 16:24-25
Now prior to being imprisoned, Paul and Silas had been severely beaten. Yet they still offered praise and worship to the Lord! Imagine! I loved this part of Acts when our Pastor taught on it earlier this year...SO powerful.

And today's lesson by Beth gave me a new perspective on it as well. Isn't that the beauty of God's Word? Always something to learn! Thanks Beth!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The mediport is in the building

It was bound to happen eventually...During my Sweet Hubby's appointment on Friday, Dr. Lee mentioned that it was probably time to get a mediport placed. Up until a month or so ago, my Sweet Hubby's veins were thick and rope-like. Ahh...a nurse's dream stick!

But they're not like that anymore. In fact, they're basically non-existent from all the poking and prodding, especially since this last hospitalization. After today, peripheral needle sticks are a thing of the past as everything can now be done via the port.

For those of you unfamiliar with mediports, I'm attaching a link...

Check out my Sweet Hubby's new port here

He's sleeping like a baby now and I'm thankful. It was a rough morning for him as they had a bit of trouble getting the guidewire in at the right angle. He's gonna have one HECK of a bruise...

Tomorrow it's back to the lymphedema clinic for an 8 a.m. appointment. Ugh...no rest for the very weary.
"But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm feeling...

Too tired to do a full post - I'm sorry...

Let's just say today's Music Monday song sums it up perfectly.

I'm feeling...










Sweetly Broken ~ Jeremy Riddle

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!**

Saturday, October 25, 2008

10 days and counting...

I hear the countdown in my head. 10 * 9 * 8 * 7...

10 days remain between now and election day on November 4th. Are you praying?

Here's today's prayer from James Robison's website The Soul of a Nation:

God, You set a standard of holiness for us in Your Word that includes a respect for life, marriage, family, and freedom. Those of us in America who love and follow You want to keep these values central to our society. But there is a strong pull on us to abandon morality and embrace depravity. Lord, keep our hearts strong as we resist the constant pressure. Allow us to be a light to those choosing darkness. Do not let us be led astray by the voices of worldly logic. Hold us true to Your path.

In Jesus' name...Amen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One word...WOW

I have no words (other than WOW!) for just how well our appointment with Dr. Mike Lee went this morning. Thank you Jesus!! From start to finish, we were blown away. Really.

It would appear that a lot will be happening in the next few weeks...As Dr. Lee said, "We need to strike NOW because our window of opportunity is so small with this disease..." Yes. NOW!

So for all of you who prayed about our "doctor situation" - THANK YOU! Today, if you would, send up a quick prayer of thanksgiving for Dr. Lee. This man is a Godsend ~ truly an answer to prayer!

My Sweet Hubby's new oncologist ~ Dr. Mike Lee

"Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'" John 11:40

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The best of friends

My Sweet Hubby and I are richly blessed in the friendship department. Our best friends are J and T. In fact, J and I just celebrated the 25th anniversary of our friendship, which was brought about via a small group New Testament study we had both signed up for through the Catholic church we attended in upstate New York. It was a nice group of people, but there was something "special" about J...still is! I tell her she is the sister that God forgot to give me. We can't choose our family, but we sure can choose our friends and I am fortunate indeed that a quarter century ago God saw fit to have our paths intersect.

And of course, because we are friends our hubbies had to come along for the ride, right?! But as much as J and I enjoy spending time together, our guys feel the same way about each other. They are best buddies.

Last week, J and T traveled the 6 hours that now separates us to spend the week with us. Now while they have a standing invitation to stay here, and in fact we refer to that guest room as J and T's room, they made reservations to stay just a few minutes away. They felt that given the circumstances, we needed a little privacy. That's the thing with best friends...no explanations are necessary. They just intrinsically "know" what to do and when to do it. I am so thankful that while they were here, my Sweet Hubby had one really good day. We all remarked how it seemed "just like old times."

While they were here, T and Matthew dismantled my studio. No easy task. Lots of heavy furniture and cabinetry up and down stairs. Another morning, T arrived to help me bring my Sweet Hubby downstairs (there's safety in numbers!) and then he carried my Sweet Hubby's recliner downstairs from our sitting room to our family room as at the time, that was the only comfortable way he could sleep. My Sweet Hubby and I drove away shortly thereafter for an appointment. As a surprise while we were gone, T weeded our flower beds and planted some sunshine in the form of yellow pansies. What a treat to see when we pulled into the driveway! They still make us smile every time we look at them...

And J? She was my emotional support. She listened. She held my hand as I cried and she cried with me. She made me laugh...it wasn't all sadness!! She spent hours alone at the resort while T did the various and sundry things he did for us - including that all day move of my studio. Ugh. She was available and present. A perfect best friend.

Long, long ago this couple passed from the realm of "friendship" and crossed over into the world of "family." Like I said...my Sweet Hubby and I are richly blessed.

"J" and I...25 years and going strong!

"T" and my Sweet Hubby...best buddies!
"He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" Matthew 12:48-50

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Into the looking glass

As I was studying God's Word today, I saw myself. It wasn't pretty or flattering; some of it was downright hard to own. But it was honest and true.
"Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant--I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." Psalm 73:21-28
But in my reading, I took such great comfort from the fact that even though I felt out of control, God was very much in control! He was holding my right hand!! Patiently waiting for me to come back to my senses!

Here I am Lord!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1930 was a very good year!

Quite a few notable events happened in 1930...among them:
  • January 13th ~ Mickey Mouse comic strip made its first appearance.
  • January 31st ~ 3M markets Scotch tape.
  • May 1st ~ the planet Pluto is officially named as such.
  • July 7th ~ construction began on the Boulder Dam (now known as the Hoover dam).
  • August 8th ~ Betty Boop premieres in the animated film "Dizzy Dishes."
And most importantly, to me...
  • October 19th ~ my Dad was born!
Oh wow - what do I say about my Dad? Well, he's awesome, for starters! He's kind, generous, loving, thoughtful, wise, handsome, loyal, and hysterically funny! He can make me laugh like nobody's business! My Dad...how I love him...

Check out my Mom's "Sassy" sweatshirt...I cracked up when I saw that!

Happy Birthday Daddy from your daughter who just loves you sooooo much....
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you." Exodus 20:12

Monday, October 20, 2008

Deep cleansing breath

OK - confession time. I have been in a deep, dark place for the past few days. I really feel that I have been waging war and am sadly beaten down. BUT...

My God has equipped me with every good thing that I need; every piece of armament to don to protect me. So, this morning I am renewing myself in the Lord. I have asked His forgiveness for falling away rather than drawing nearer. I have drawn in a deep cleansing breath!

I have been looking forward to Music Monday and wondering what song I would choose as none had come to mind. Until today. The words of this song mean something to me...especially the word "sacrifice." There is much sacrifice in my home right now. My Sweet Hubby has sacrificed all to this terrible disease called pancreatic cancer. I am sacrificing my life as I care for him 24/7. Even still, both of our sacrifices amount to nothing when laid at the foot of the Cross. That is the standard and none of us will ever come close.

Still, there is much that can be done...by all of us.
"...From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."
Luke 12:48
This will be a very busy week for us. I hope to post daily, but please forgive me if I don't!

And now ~ here's today's music selection...one of our favorite artists. Such a humble man as well; truly loves the Lord and hates the limelight. What a predicament to be in given his profession! **Remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening!**











Mercy In Me ~ Todd Agnew

And because this video didn't have lyrics, here they are:

A poor man on the corner
I could give to You by buying him lunch
But I rarely think about it
‘Cause I got a little but it’s not that much

And I pray Lord won’t You help me
Give me a little bit more for myself
And You say Child won’t you let me
Take all that you got and give you a little real wealth

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

A young girl in an old house
Three kids and another on the way
She’s in desperate need of some new clothes
But I keep my old ones and tell her I’ll pray for her

But Your heart breaks for those kids
And that child of a mom who’s one of Your own
When a few gifts and a little time
Is another crown I could lay at the feet of Your throne

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

CHORUS
And I don’t know what You want, what You see in my life
And I don’t know what You mean, how You could be glorified
And I’m not too sure about this idea of sacrifice
What You mean by mercy, mercy, mercy in me
Your mercy in me

Please Lord, today let all that I do glorify You. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Encouraging news!

Today my Sweet Hubby had an appointment at a local hospital's lymphedema clinic. His physical therapist was a wonderfully kind woman. During the course of the evaluation, we disclosed that we had an appointment with another oncologist next Friday. She asked who we would be seeing. We told her "Dr. Mike Lee." When she heard the name, her face lit up, she threw her hands up in the air and said "yessssssss!"

Seems Dr. Lee had been her mother's oncologist some years ago and that he is just wonderful. And yes, as we had been told by Dr. Jansen, he's a Christian. Hallelujah!!

She said, "He FIGHTS for his patients."

Yesssssss! We are encouraged!
"In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And then he smiled at me...

Oh what a night we had! Mixed feelings to some extent because it involved my Sweet Hubby starting on morphine last night...

BUT! My Sweet Hubby SLEPT all night long. And I do mean ALL night long. 10 hours of blessed, restorative sleep for him. (Me? Not so much! I kept popping up wondering why HE wasn't up!!)

And at 7:01 this morning (that's right!) as I tiptoed over to check on him, he opened his beautiful eyes and then he smiled at me! Oh, my heart...how I have missed that smile. And not only that, he was full of spirit - laughing and chatting! What a wonderful day it's been! Our best friends were over and it was like old times, sitting and reminiscing - albeit in our bedroom!

Tomorrow is the appointment at the lymphedema clinic. Please pray that they are able to provide some relief!

Thank you Lord for the lovely day...oh thank you!
"Strength and self-respect are her clothing; she is facing the future with a smile." Proverbs 31:25

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

What would I do, where would I be, without all the wonderful friends I have in my life?

People I know...our best friends J & T - who are here so lovingly to support us this week. My girlfriends who call, text, im, email every day just to "check in and see if you need anything." Our church friends who support us spiritually and emotionally. The people I have met via online pancreatic cancer support groups who "walk the walk" with me and understand exactly...

I know God has a plan for me and my Sweet Hubby and all of them factor into it. Thank you Lord for tending to our every need.
"Two sparrows are sold for a penny, aren't they? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's permission. Indeed, even the hairs on your head have all been counted! So stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not much to say today...

It's been quite a day following a rough night. Here's hoping for a better night tonight...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The end of Blue Willow, for now...


Today was a sad day...I started packing up my studio for closure. Our best friends arrive from out of state tomorrow afternoon. On Monday, Matthew and T will empty out the rest of my furniture and equipment and Blue Willow Skin Care will be no more.

My lease is up at the end of the month and with circumstances what they are, I am not able to see clients at this time. So I made the oh-so-hard decision to close...for now.

Today was a sad day.





Friday, October 10, 2008

Not quite Siskel and Ebert, but...



Well, we made it to the movie yesterday!! My Sweet Hubby wanted to get out for a little bit yesterday, so we used the opportunity to see the movie Fireproof.

Now, as I confessed in my last post, I'm no movie fan and I'm certainly not Siskel and Ebert! But I know what I like and I LOVED this movie!

If you've seen it, I'd be willing to bet you're like me and want to see it again! If you haven't seen it - what are you waiting for?? Go NOW!!

It's got something for everyone's tastes...humor, drama, romance and it's all wrapped up in the love of God! Some great music too!

It's rated PG, and totally appropriate for your "tweens" and up...One of my friends told me it opened a dialogue between she and her young daughter as to God's plan for marriage! How awesome is that?

It was just a special day...we were able to witness a tender moment as a son helped his elderly, wheelchair bound mother into their car - such great compassion... When we commented to him on his love and care for her he said, "It's nothing but the Lord!" Oh amen! Isn't it so?!

I'll close today as the movie closed yesterday...
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A little late...

On Friday, September 26th, the movie Fireproof premiered at several local theaters. Our church had bought out one of the premiere showings so that we could all attend together. My Sweet Hubby and I had our tickets weeks in advance and were eagerly looking forward to this film.

Now - a little history...I do not like movies. Hard to believe, I know, but it's the truth! Something about sitting still that long, usually in a too-cold theater. Not for me. And my enjoyment factor does not go up with a DVD for home viewing. Movies just aren't my "thing." But, this movie was different and I was actually counting down the days!

Finally, the BIG day arrived! September 26th...my Sweet Hubby had an oncology appointment in the morning. And by noon, he was hospitalized. We offered our tickets to friends, who thankfully were able to go and enjoy the movie in our place.

But we were so sad to have to miss the premiere and the opportunity to watch it with our church family. We have talked often about going to the theater and seeing this film as soon as my Sweet Hubby felt up to it.

Well, it looks like we'll be going either today or tomorrow! I'll let you know what we think of it! For now, here's a sneak peek for you - enjoy!! (**Remember to scroll down and pause my player first!)



Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A whole new ballgame

Please keep my Sweet Hubby extra close in prayer, if you would...He began his new chemo regimen today. The meeting with the oncologist was, hmmmmm, shall we say - futile?

On October 24th, my Sweet Hubby has an appointment to meet with a new oncologist. This is the one originally recommended to us by the GI doc back in July. He is a Christian. We hope he's an aggressive, go to the wall for his patients, won't roll over to cancer kind of oncologist. We're prayerful.

We have church tonight...looks like we might miss it. They medicated my Sweet Hubby pretty heavily today as this chemo regimen causes nausea. He slept through most of the infusion and is passed out now. Sleep is good. Restorative. Tomorrow will be a better day.
"The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." John 11:12

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blessed beyond measure

That's how my Sweet Hubby and I are feeling right now.

You see, only a handful of my Sweet Hubby's coworkers knew of his illness. And they've obviously been doing a darn fine job of keeping the info on the QT! Yesterday, we sent out an email to all of his coworkers letting them know why he is no longer at work...

This evening, my Sweet Hubby turned on his work laptop and there waiting for him was email after email...offering prayers, blood donations, vacation time donations and anything else he might need. I kid you not when I say we sat there in tears as we read them. It's no surprise to me that my Sweet Hubby is well loved by all who know him...he's such a wonderful, kind, caring man. But it sure touched his heart to see the outpouring of affection for him! Wonderful medicine, I can tell you that!

His office is trying to coordinate an on-site blood drive utilizing the Red Cross bloodmobile with all donations being made in my Sweet Hubby's name. How awesome!

The best part is that my Sweet Hubby is now on so many more prayer chains! Hallelujah! Because we all know that the Lord is always listening...

We are blessed.
"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38

Monday, October 6, 2008

Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow

The past few Mondays have gotten away from me due to my Sweet Hubby's hospitalizations. But I'm here today with a selection for Music Monday! I've missed this...

Did the title of today's post give it away? I love today's song...I know - surprise, surprise! I'll get to it in a minute, but first I want to share what a wonderful Sunday School class we have!

This great group has been keeping us close in prayer. Asking healing for my Sweet Hubby and strength and comfort for me. Cards, visits and offers of help flow our way. But by far, the best and most powerful "thing" they do for us is pray.

Yesterday, at the end of our Sunday School lesson, everyone gathered around my Sweet Hubby and laying our hands on him everyone prayed as they felt led. What an incredible blessing to us...Even now I'm so moved by their words and compassion. We are so thankful to God for bringing these people into our lives...
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16
And now for today's song! I hope you enjoy it...remember to scroll down and pause my player first!!










Great is Thy Faithfulness ~ Selah

I usually like to post videos that have the lyrics, but I really like Selah and Todd sings this song with such feeling. I'm posting the lyrics separately below...powerful, wonderful words!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

All I have needed, thy hand hath provided!! Thank you Lord!