It’s been a little over a month now since Mom went to be home with the Lord. I have gotten all the “make work” done that resulted from her death. I’ve shred all the personal records not needed, primed walls, turned in apartment keys, returned license plates, donated items that were not needed by anyone in the family, written thank you notes (well, I do still have a few of those, but not many), and incorporated those things of hers I wanted into my everyday life. There are still a few “estate” things to do, but my sister, Candy, is taking care of much/most of those.
I miss Mom being here. I am adjusting to not getting up every morning to head into Omaha to spend the day with her. After two years of doing that almost every weekday, it has been a huge adjustment for me. I greatly miss talking with her. I miss watching her rest. I miss smiling with her, and crying with her. Yes, I miss her physical presence in my life.
But I also praise her absence. In talking to Mom, God gave me insight into her salvation. Although she had bounced back and forth between the Methodist church and the Catholic church, I am assured she knew her salvation came through Christ and not the church. She did not fear dying, because she knew where she was going in death. And it wasn’t Purgatory to await people praying her into heaven. It was to be at the feet of Christ.
It’s where she is now that keeps me okay. It is knowing she is at home with the Lord that keeps me from wishing she was here with me now. Someday we will be together again, as saints praising the Lamb Who is Worthy to be praised. I can hardly wait!
From an add on Facebook:
1 Million 4 Jesus Christ
Tell the world you are for Jesus. Each shirt is serially numbered from 1 to 1,000,000. What is your number? Order now.
I always thought it would be better to show the world I am for Jesus in a biblical way – like doing His will, for His glory.
Matthew 5:16 (CJB)
In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
Who knew a T-shirt was a better option?
I’m just saying…
It has been a long time since I updated on my Mom’s battle with colon cancer. Since I took some pictures the other day, I thought I’d share.
I think my last report was regarding her liver surgery. While we really thought – from the initial scans – that we had beat the beast, it wasn’t long before another tumor was found to be forming on her liver. About three months after the surgery, Mom kept having a “soreness” at the top of her head… only in the mornings, just until she was up and moving. About a week after that feeling started, we started noticing a lump at the top of her head. The lump kept getting bigger, and it was determined that it was the colon cancer spreading. There was some concern – the colon cancer was not following its “normal” course.
(*oops, guess I did write about the head surgery – HERE)
The tumor was removed from the top of her head, and a series of radiation and chemo followed. During this time, Mom lost most of her hair. In an attempt to “stop shedding”, as she put it, we went to her favorite hairdresser and had her head buzzed. Not sure it will grow back, but we can hope.
We have had some bad days. Bad enough days that Mom took a “chemo vacation” from just before Thanksgiving to almost Christmas. During that break, Mom started developing more and more tumors that could be seen at the surface; not unlike a tumor removed from the top of her head back in August. Because of those new tumors, and the growth in size of existing tumors, it became evident we needed to start the chemo back up.
However, by the grace of God, during that break in chemo, Mom put about 5 pounds back on. This is not much, BUT it was something. She is currently down to about 116 pounds. Her mouth has been extremely sore and eating has not only been unappealing, but painful too. But God(!) has once again shown His grace. From the cancer battle of my cousin Ray, we learned of a mouth rinse exclusively used in Indiana. Cousin Brenda was able to call their pharmacy, talk to the compound pharmacist, and get his agreement to give the formula to our oncologist here in Omaha. I cannot tell you what a godsend this rinse has been to Mom. She now can eat without pain.
On a recent visit to the oncologist, we had a chance to speak to a dietician and gained some valuable information. Mom has had to forget everything she has learned about nutrition – the eat three squares and stay out of the kitchen inbetween mentality – and learn to graze constantly. She heard the golden words every woman dreams of hearing, “Don’t worry about the calories – just eat whatever sounds good to you.” Seems her food and thirst triggers aren’t working properly. The brain sends the signals, the body doesn’t respond to them. Because of that we have had several bouts of dehydration – several severe. But God(!), again, has used each of these things for His purpose.
I have had many interesting conversations about Christ and God with Mom in the past months. God has orchestrated a bevy of quality time for the two of us – time I might not otherwise have had. I truly believe it is God that stalled my attempts at employment these past six months – in order to make me available for the times Mom needs me. I am honored to be there for her.
Not only have I had opportunity to talk to Mom, I’ve had more than one chance to speak with both staff and patients at the oncology office about the grace and mercy provided by God through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This past weekend was a good weekend. Mom stayed hydrated, she ate well, and she has built up a bit of energy. We are praying that she will have white cell counts high enough to allow for her treatment this week.
Please continue to keep my mom, Venus, in your prayers. It is the one thing we can covet.
I’m just saying…
9 Don’t let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good. 10 Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect. 11 Don’t be lazy when hard work is needed, but serve the Lord with spiritual fervor. 12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in your troubles, and continue steadfastly in prayer. 13 Share what you have with God’s people, and practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you – bless them, don’t curse them! 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be sensitive to each others needs – don’t think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Don’t be conceited. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good. 18 If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people. 19 Never seek revenge, my friends; instead, leave that to God’s anger; for in the Tanakh it is written, “ADONAI says, ‘Vengeance is my responsibility; I will repay.'” 20 On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For by doing this, you will heap fiery coals [of shame] on his head.” 21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
When you think of evil conquering good, what do you imagine? Do you see a dark, imposing figure standing over a helpless figure of light? Do you see Hitler standing over the Jews? Do you see satan prodding one with his pitchfork?
I guess any of these could be true, but it is not what I see this passage as saying. You see, our adversary is knowledgable. He knows he cannot steal us from God. He knows we cannot be snatched from the Lord’s grasp. So, conquering of the believer is nothing more than robbing God of His deserved glory. And the best way to do that is to get us to forget His admonishment to us.
Just these few passages are ripe with admonishments to the believer.
1. Make sure your love is not just show.
2. Recoil from evil.
3. Cling to good.
4. Devoted love to each other.
5. Setting an example of respect.
6. Be not lazy.
7. Serve the Lord with fervor.
8. Rejoice in hope.
9. Be patient in troubles.
10. Steadfast in prayers.
11. Share with God’s people.
12. Be hospitable
13. Bless those who curse you.
14. Rejoice with the rejoicing.
15. Weep with the weeping.
16. Be sensitive to others needs.
17. Do not think yourself better than others.
18. Befriend the humble.
19. Do not repay evil with evil.
20. Do good.
21. Live in peace when possible.
22. Leave vengeance to the Lord – it is His to take.
23. Feed your enemy.
24. Give your enemy drink.
Any of these things that evil can negate becomes a conquering for satan over the believer. ANY OF THEM! Because to follow God’s word is to bring Him glory. To honor God’s will is to bring Him glory. To Him belongs the glory!!
So when someone does you wrong, and you want to run to evil – STOP, DROP, and PRAY. Renew your mind, removing the though of evil. Drop to your knees to the Lord. Pray for His strength to resist the devil. God’s word promises that the devil will flee from you, if you will only resist!
It is not easy in the flesh, it is a light burden when you are yoked to the Lord.
- 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being Rthe Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
In the not that distant past, I spent much of my time bemoaning how valueless my life was. My husband didn’t value me, my kids had no value or respect for me – I’m telling you I was a great person with senseless family.
::cue scratching of record and nails on chalkboard:: Continue reading
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It is a time to reflect on things in your life you are thankful for. Of course, as a believer, I try to make it a practice to reflect on things I am thankful for everyday. My job here, in this world, is to praise and glorify my Lord and Savior, to reflect Christ in my day-to-day life, and to tell the lost of this world the good news contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I am thankful for my salvation, bought and paid in full for by my Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ. The Bible says that without Christ, in my own flesh, I am nothing. When my focus is not on Him, I could be the official poster child for “NOTHING”.
I am thankful for my family. For my husband who completes me; my mother, Venus, who is a soon-to-be official colon cancer survivor; for my children – both those I gave birth to and those who God gave to me when I married my husband. I am thankful for my two granddaughters and I am thankful for the grandchild God will be blessing us with in May of next year.
I am thankful for the days that I recently spent in the wilderness – for God used those days to get my attention and to grow me in ways I cannot comprehend. I am thankful for the past fourty days, those days since God led me back from the wilderness and set me back on the right path. God is so good. His grace is sufficient, and His mercy is new every morning.
I am thankful for every waking moment God has given, and will give, to me. I pray I am closer to becoming all He has for me to be in Him. He’s not finished with me yet, but His words promises that ‘He who has begun a good work in me will complete it on the day of Christ Jesus.’ That is my hope, it is where my faith lay.
Father, you are gracious and merciful. Before you began the world, you knew me. You drew me to you, gave up your Son for payment of my sinfulness – punishable by my death but paid in full by His. You have walked with me as if I am sinless, because of His blood. You have protected me, blessed me abundantly, and given me more that I can ever deserve. For that I am thankful, and I give you all the praise and glory. Amen.
I remain in His care,
to smile the whole day. And you know something, it really did help my attitude. I actually believe it helped the attitude around me too!
After dropping “the son” off at work, I ran into the grocery store to buy a few things. Ninety-five dollars and oodles of bargins later, I went to check out. Spoke to a lovely Front End Manager, doubling as a cashier for the morning. We talked about Katrina, and how we found it interesting that the same people who were devastated by a natural disaster found the time, and money, to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Then we spoke about personal responsibility and how there is not enough of it – either at a personal, corporate, or governmental level. Smiled through the whole thing. In the end, I had a chance to bring the conversation around to God and the miracles around us. I don’t pretend to know where “Front End Manager Linda” is with God or the Kingdom – however, we talked about some things that I could see were going to give her food for thought. “God Food” is good food, don’t you agree?
This afternoon, I stopped by Sam’s Club…. and again was presented the same opportunity to smile and talk – two of my FAV things anyway!! No chance to bring up God’s wonders, but the cashier had been in a grumpy mood – and she thanked me for smiling and making her day seem a bit brighter.
Hmmm, there might just be something to this smiling thing! Tomorrow, I have lunch with dear friend, Kelly, which always makes me smile. So, I figure tomorrow can, and will, be a repeat of today.
Hubby is loving his experience in California. He cannot believe the blessing he is receiving from the fellowship of the other men from our church. He says that, alone, would be worth the trip – BUT he also gets to sit under some excellent teaching! Bonus!!
Well, off of here for now….. I think I’ll go smile at my kids for awhile. It will drive them crazy………………
The beautiful ladies in the picture are my mother and my grandmother. Mom will be 76 this year, and Grandma Renner will be 93. While both of them have had minor health problems, nothing has slowed them down much through the years. And those “nothings” include adversity – both of these women have had plenty of it. My grandmother had 14 children in her years on this earth… and not always in the best of circumstances. My mom, as the oldest, did alot of child rearing prior to having her own children (she, however, only had 2 children – wise woman that she is!) My mother was born during the depression, her father was killed in a train/car accident when she was just shy of three. There was a time in her life when she was raised by family other than her mother. And through all of that, they didn’t have two nickels to rub together. There’s been more adversity, but this is enough to make most people stop and look at their own lives differently.
My mom is involved in Sorority, New Friends, Red Hat Club, a golf league, two bridge clubs and a Mexican train club. She also co-heads the “Senior Group” at her apartment complex, along with her friend, Mary. My grandmother still grows vegetables in her garden and, with some help from a few of my aunts, still puts up tomatoes, corn relish and green beans each year. Amazing, isn’t it? While both women have retired from paying jobs, neither has retired from life. Suffice it to say, I come from “good stock”.
This is one of those times when I think I understand a part of God’s plan in my life. I am sure these women are a part of my life for a major reason. Those days that I’m ready to “chuck it all” because of some preceived injustice in my life, I look at these two ladies. Nothing I have gone through comes even close to the things they have. And I have never once heard either of them say “I give up!”, or heard them whine about the things that have happened in their lives. While I have done both whine and say “I give up!”, I still cling to that “boot strap” mentality that leads me to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. These women are my example of that. God’s grace allows me to see that example for what it is.
So today, as I thank God for the many blessings He abundantly pours on me, I will remember to include Mom and Grandma. He does give good gifts, doesn’t He?!