Easter 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating our RISEN Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I realize I've been pretty quiet lately on the blog front, but there's a reason for that, and one day soon I'll be able to share it. :)

What I can share right now is that we are officially on vacation for the next week! We left TX right after the morning service today and are headed to Burnsville, NC, where we will spend the week relaxing in the mountains! SO excited! And to top it off, my parents are meeting us there, so Riley will get to see 'Anma' and 'Anpa' (as he calls them)! I'll be sure to update more next week when we're back home.



Music Man

Riley LOVES music! This doesn't surprise me because both of his parents do too, but since Day 1 of his time on this earth, music has always been able to calm him down. Just recently he has shown us his skills in directing music. :) I stay for choir practice on Wednesday nights, so our usual routine is when prayer meeting is over, I pick up Riley from the nursery. I then take him into the sanctuary (where the choir practices) where his daddy can be found talking, talking, talking. Choir usually starts before Daniel finishes talking, so Riley gets to hear some of our music. The past two weeks he has climbed the stairs to the stage and given our music minister, Lee, a run for his money! We all can't help but laugh while we're attempting to sing because Riley, very seriously, moves around the stage "directing" the music. It is hilarious!

Last night I was playing some music in the kitchen while getting dinner ready, and Riley began his "directing." I grabbed the camera real quick and below you'll get a small taste of what we very often see when any song begins to play.


Long overdue update

Do you remember several months ago when I wrote about my friend J.M. who we found out had cancer? If you need a little memory "jogger," click here. I promised then that I would keep you updated as to how she was doing, and I have been horrible about keeping my promise. A lady in our church recently began an email devotional ministry, and this week Jenny is writing the emails. I wanted to share yesterday's with you because it explains very clearly the journey she and her family have been on since December. I pray it encourages you and reminds you of the POWER of our Holy God!

"1 Peter 2:24 – “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

This is the third part of my story. We already know there is cancer, but are just beginning the journey…

We went to M D Anderson, in Houston, and saw an oncologist. I was diagnosed as Stage IV breast cancer and recommended to begin hormone treatment, instead of chemotherapy, because I was really still in excellent health in spite of being Stage IV. I had a PET scan, which shows where the cancer is in your body, and was very discouraged when I saw the scan. The cancer shows up as black spots in the scan and they were everywhere in my bones. The doctor’s report said there were “innumerable” metastases throughout my bones. We already knew it was in my bones, because I had broken ribs and a fracture in my spine from the cancer already, but still we weren’t quite prepared to see what we saw that day.

Steve and I returned home, with discouragement threatening to cloud our hearts and minds. A couple of nights later, I was lying in bed, thinking and praying about all this. It was like I heard the Father say, “You didn’t want M D Anderson to get the glory for healing you, so what better way? When that PET scan is clear, they will know it was My hand!” I told Steve the next morning what God had spoken to my heart and said, “We wanted God to do something big, where there would be no doubt it was Him, and He is preparing the way for that to happen!” It’s amazing how that changed a circumstance that was threatening discouragement in our lives into anticipation of what He was going to do! (We have to be careful to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on circumstances!)

Let’s fast forward to March. We went back to Houston for a three month evaluation of treatment. They scheduled a mammogram, ultra sound, MRI of the breast and a PET scan. The first news we received was from the doctor who comes in after ultrasounds and she told us that the big news was that my lymph node was smaller. We were excited and called the kids and sent out text messages. Then the second thing that happened was the MRI of my breast got cancelled. This was very exciting to me because I dreaded that test more than anything and had asked several people to pray specifically for me when I was supposed to be having it. I was already in scrubs, with an I V in my arm when the nurse came and asked why I was having it again so soon after one in December. I told her we were evaluating my treatment. She said they were paging the doctor because they didn’t believe I needed this test (how often does that happen?). The MRI tech came back in and reported she had spoken with my doctor and we weren’t doing the test. Let me tell you that was a wonderful blessing! (Once again, I was reminded that God cared about all my concerns… “Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7)

The best thing that happened was after the PET scan. I saw my doctor on Friday and his PA came in and was telling me how wonderful my test results were. The PET scan that had been summarized as “innumerable” metastases now said that there was “complete or near complete metabolic response.” I asked the PA, “So that means it’s not any worse, maybe even slightly better?” She said, “No, it means it almost all gone!” Praise the Lord! Psalm 103:2 – 3 says, “Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Within three months, God had almost completely removed all the cancer from my body! There were spots on my liver that were now gone and bones that had looked like Dalmatians, now just had a few places left with cancer in them.

Did God do this because I’m worthy? No, He did this because He is faithful to His Word. I still have to go for treatments and my bones need to be strengthened where the cancer is leaving them, but God is honoring His Word! By His wounds you have been healed. Blessed be His Name!!

O Lord God, we honor You for all that You have done! We praise Your name that You have chosen us and You love us, even though in ourselves we are nothing. We thank You for Your faithfulness and ask You to be glorified in our lives. We pray that the Body of Christ will be built up and glorified because of what You have done and all people will be drawn to You! Blessed be Your Name! It’s in the name of Jesus, Your Son, we pray. Amen.