Category Archives: Living

What is Good About Cancer?

So, the cancer is there, big time.  PET Scan found it has spread to liver, lungs, bone, possible more including the brain.  Very late stage.  Technically my wife has Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer that has spread to multiple locations and is not curable.  Surgeon who did this last surgery saw much and though couldn’t tell me how long she had…said kindly, “months, not years”…after telling me what he saw was “as bad as it gets”.
But, we also see something wonderfully different.  30 years ago, when they found a large tumor in her breast, and that it had spread into her lymph system, we were given at best 50% chance of 5 years.  We asked the Lord for time to raise our sons, aged 4 and 6.  We asked for 5, maybe 10 years.  While we waited, her friend diagnosed with similar breast cancer died within 6 months.  Linda didn’t.
What we see now, is that God answered our prayers.  He gave abundantly, not 5, not 10, not even 15 or even 20 years…HE gave us 30 wonderful amazing years of cancer free healthy LIFE.  What an amazing answer to prayer!!!  She saw her sons grow up, graduate, marry, and now has seen 4 wonderful grandchildren…and played with them.  She has loved having two amazing daughters (in law).  We couldn’t have more children due to the first cancer and she desperately wanted a daughter.  She got two!  and now she has three grand daughters as well.  So much GRACE!
We weep with gratitude for those amazing years, freely given by such a Loving and Generous Heavenly Father.   Now, when that time freely given has come to an end, He further blessed us by letting it be unknown till now.  Letting her LIVE without the pall of cancer hanging over her head.  We were able to LIVE joyously and fully.  Now, as her time is up, and He has called her to soon be with Him, how can we not be overwhelmed with gratitude for those 30 years??  Yes, of course we weep.  I can barely see the screen thru my tears right now…but they are a sweet mixture of powerful gratitude as well as the tears of sorrow for how I know we’ll desperately miss each other.  The more intense the grief, the more wonderful must have been the gift He gave us.  And, we weep intensely.  Just one more example of His Love and Grace…

Why Are We Doing This?

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As I looked at an article on Hillary mentioning so many appearances in the past 6 weeks and the toll it takes…I wondered why?  All this work, all these years of working toward something…for what?  To be president?  Is it worth it to wake up with even more pressure in your life?  And when do you stop to enjoy all that you already have?

I saw a headline for Taylor Swift’s success the same day.  She’s doing well, running hard, seems to have a good head on her shoulders…at least for a media star.  I asked again why?  Why is she working so hard each and every day to build her career?  More money?  She has so much already.  More fame?  She’s one of the best and most famous.  So why?  To be remembered?  To be …what…?  Why is she doing this?  I wonder if she can answer that question.  Does she realize all that she is giving up for it?  Time with family, time with friends, time to even have a family or close friends…I have to shake my head and wonder.

It also reminds me to ask myself the same question.  My answer comes quick, maybe to quick.  Why am I doing this?  To grow, to be ready for eternity with my Heavenly Father, to encourage my family to do the same, and…well, I want to enjoy my remaining time in this body.  To enjoy time with my amazing wife.  To enjoy my sons and their wives (more like daughters).  To enjoy every moment possible with my grandchildren.  Not just to get somewhere or build something…but to revel in all the amazing stuff I ALREADY have…and I have soooo much!

If all we have is our earthly success then it makes sense to spend every waking moment building or growing your political career or your fame as an entertainer.  And you may even succeed.    But to spend so much of our time, and give up so many opportunities to enjoy these moments that will never again be ours, just doesn’t seem worth it.  President or most famous singer ever or most successful businessman–what was the overall quality of your time on earth?  And for a believer, how effectively did you use your time and talents to “grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” or “become conformed to the image of His Son”?

It really struck me hard as i pondered Hillary and Taylor– I felt so empty for them!  And I felt so good for the warmth and good of living for growth and enjoyment of God’s Grace.  No presidency, no fame, little money/status.  But, so much Grace and Growth to literally fill me with Joy!  It was a nice reminder today.

Losing the Moment

 

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Sometimes we do flow into those special moments of intimacy. Of being flooded with gratitude from realization of God’s hand in our lives. Seeing His activity, or maybe strongly suspecting it. Wow…wonderful feelings. Often, we find our hearts speaking out in emotional thanks and amazement. Emotions that are strange but wonderful. So special…

Then, a stray thought shocks us to reality. “It is late, I better get ready for work…” or something else…just a slight jab of reality gently nudging. But that is all it takes. The moment of intimacy and emotion and wonder starts to slip away. We have to fight to keep in it. Sometimes we can, sometimes those “I better…” thoughts are just too strong. Too late, they are gone. Too late…Too late…

Intimate Moments

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Our intimate times with our wives are often like such times with the Lord.   We share moments together with our wives…closeness that is more than just sight and touch but feelings and emotions.,..and that delightful sense of being “in the moment” …and experiencing intimacy to its fullest.

We also share such moments with the Lord.  We sit and recall the Lord’s Grace, think of recent lovingkindness, past things He’s done…we find ourselves in the moment experiencing intimacy and gratefulness to the fullest.  Such times are bathed with emotion, flow into prayer,  even a sense of worship…

Structured services like in church try to assist with this process.  Songs, prayer, preaching.  Though sincere and well meant they aren’t as effective as that relaxed flow of our spirit into such moments.  Orchestration is well meant, but such intimate moments  can’t be forced.  Intimacy with our wives can’t be forced just by certain steps or mechanically doing certain things.  It is difficult to force ourselves to feel in the moment…

Both kinds of intimacy require a more relaxed mode  with no sense of being forced or of time being limited.  There are no precise steps to be taken, instead its a gradual flow and a relaxed sense of awareness.  Certain things are helpful leading to these times of being in the moment…

Sitting outside I can have such moments in the morning.   I want these moments but they don’t happen automatically.  I set up the circumstances and move in that direction.   AS with such times with my wife, the circumstances need to be conducive.  When they are…such moments often take place…and, whether with my wife or with the Lord, they are sweet.  I can be in the moment, hold on to that delight, and savor that enveloping awareness of closeness and intimacy… and feel so much gratitude.

They are indeed wonderful moments… but…they slip away so fast.

Once the moment is over we seem to slip back into a routine or get caught up in the steps of life itself.  The moments, though special, recede into foggy memories…though pleasant they fade with  the hours and the days.  Life aggressively reasserts itself–the calls to be made, the cries of children, even the thoughts of the tasks we put on just hold to have these moments…