Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘cancer’

Trust & Step Out


In joy you step out
Trusting every step you take
Listening for His Word

Guided by scripture,
And not your understanding,
You can Walk the Talk!

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.”

Listen for His Leading

In my Daily Guideposts 2020 devotional today, Kim Taylor Henry told us about her trip to the Holy Land. God took away her fear of traveling to that part of the Middle East. She listened to His prompting when an invitation showed up on social media. Signing up for the trip was a leap of faith.

Is there a place you would like to visit, a spot you’d like to go, but for whatever reason, you are hesitating? Take it to the Lord in prayer, and listen for His leading.

I have had Maine and Nova Scotia on my “Bucket list” for about a decade now. I am not sure why that part of the world is calling me. Is it the lobster? The ocean? The farm stays? A cruise opportunity? In my 80 years on earth, I have never taken a cruise. Many (if not most) of my friends have. I can die happy without ever going on a cruise, but I feel God calling me to that part of the world. I wonder why?

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Maybe It’s the Lighthouses

I have had a long-standing love of lighthouses. I wrote about them back in November of 2018

https://janbeek.blog/2018/11/16/synchronicity/

Lead with Your Heart

God places in our hearts other reasons to have certain places on our Bucket List. Usually for me, the places I want to travel have little to do with the place. They have everything to do with the people. (That’s why we have traveled to Switzerland so many times… our daughter and her family are there!)

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will recognize these people below as my cousin, Janine, and her husband, Cliff. I posted about Cliff’s battle with esophageal cancer last November 9th. Since that time he has been through Hell and back… and is a determined survivor.

https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/09/prayers-for-cliff/

Janine and Cliff moved a year or so ago from the Seattle, Washington home where we last saw them – about 5 years ago, I think – to Clinton, north of Seattle on Whidbey Island. Wikipedia tells me Clinton is on this 3.7 sq. mi. piece of land whose total population back in 2010 was less than 1,000. I am sure it grew by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Wikipedia has a few delightful pictures of it on their website:

But, it is not the scenery that draws me to this place. As I said, my motivation is the people I love. As I listen for God’s leading, God calls me to the love.

Faith Step

What is the next step you’re ready to take? Are you leaning on your own understanding?

Ask God to make your path straight. Listen for His leading. Then step out in faith.

2020 is a year for 20/20 CLARITY.
It is a time for New Beginnings.
What will they be?

THESE DAYS,
Daily Devotions for Living in Faith,
ended its 2019 entries with this prayer:

“God of all our beginnings,
plant your hope so deeply within us
that we never lose it.
Show us the beauty of small beginnings
and nurture Your life within our own lives.”

Walk in faith and TRUST

Where will you STEP OUT toward today?
Tell me!!

See ya tomorrow.

Prayers for Cliff


Prayers Requested

A couple days ago I asked you to pray for my cousin, Cliff, who had esophageal cancer and had his esophagus removed. I know some of you are praying people who take requests like mine to heart and actually add CLIFF HURN to your prayer list. I want you to know how much I and his family appreciate it!

Prayers Answered

Today I received the following news from Cliff’s daughter, Heidi:

“You can see from the smiles that Cliff had a great day… and of course it helps that he’s surrounded by his favorite ladies 😉 The nasal tube is gone – good news since that means he can wear his CPAP and get some sleep, he has a new feeding tube installed near his tummy, and he finally gets to eat ice chips! Who knew these milestones would be so exciting!?”

Cliff with wife, Janine, on the right –
flanked by his beautiful daughters

Continued Prayers

Continue those prayers, please.
We are hoping Cliff can go home on Monday.
His wife, Janine is a nurse.
Between his daughters, spouse, and God, he is in good hands.

I’m grateful for answered prayers.
See ya tomorrow.

Music Increases Intelligence


Music increases
Intelligence, I am sure;
Especially strings!

Science bears it out!
Or is it that violins
Attract the wise ones?

Does music enhance natural intelligence?
Just look at these bright youngsters!

Today at our Madison Valley Woman’s Club, there were about 75 women present to enjoy a variety of homemade soups for lunch while being entertained by Katie Coyle’s violin students.

These seven students were delightful!

Teacher, Katie, said she was not a trained teacher, but no one else in our little town of less than 1,000 residents was teaching violin. So, when Katie (who to played the fiddle when she was a youngster) was asked, she stepped up to the plate. There is no way you would agree with her when she says, “I don’t know how to teach violin.”

The students giggled when told they should play kneeling.
They squealed with joy when told to play lying down!

Katie obviously knows how to teach violin in a way that brings the students back each week clambering for more.

Smart to begin with; smarter still with music lessons!
Bright eyes, open minds, and ready smiles!

Our MVWC donates money annually to Katie’s Music and Art Academy. Our donation made it possible for 3 families to attend Fiddlers’ Camp last summer. Next summer Katie hopes 6 families can attend.

We have 150 members!

Our “Collect” or “pledge” that we resign together each month at the start of our meeting tells you a little about our mission:

We put into action our better impulses!

Today I was one of about 8 ladies who provided the crock pots of soup for the lunch. Each month a different volunteer committee provides the meal and decorates the tables with seasonal themes.

This wasn’t the one I made, but it was my choice for lunch.
It was yummy!
There were about 8 choices of soup
plus cornbread and yummy desserts.
The desserts were gone
by the time the serving committee
got to that part of the meal.
Oh well… I didn’t need the calories!
Happy November, my friends.

Do you play an instrument?
Is it your conviction that music enhances intelligence?
I may be a little prejudiced in that regard!

I hope you can access this gorgeous music.
I found it by Googling it on YouTube.

Just listening to beautiful violin music makes me feel smarter!
How about you?

My cousin, Cliff, who had surgery yesterday to remove his esophagus (due to cancer) loves sending me jokes about my instrument of choice: the accordion. I ask you to pray today for Cliff’s recovery and return to strength and humor. I think of him as I listen to this beautiful music.

One of the jokes Cliff sent me was a picture of St. Peter welcoming someone to Heaven saying, “Here is your harp.”
And Satan welcoming someone to Hell saying, “Here’s your accordion.”

Thanks, Cliff!! In spite of your sarcastic humor, I love you!! (Maybe it’s because of your humor??) Even in your strapped down, hooked up, post surgery posture, I can see that devilish smirk and the twinkle in your eyes!

Please pray for Cliff!

Listen to music. It’ll make you smarter.
And bee sure your kids get music lessons!

Bee well!
Always Bee Grateful for your health!!
See ya tomorrow, my friends.

A Beautiful Day (in spite of the “Big C”)


Visible Beauty

My friend, Gloria, and her husband Bob Wilson, are in Hawaii right now. I may not have had a beautiful sunset last night here in gray, cold Montana, nor a gorgeous sunrise this morning, but the Wilsons did. Thanks to the internet, their generosity, answered prayer, and miraculous cancer treatments, I could enjoy these scenes with them.

Gloria Wilson’s Hawaiian sunset
Gloria Wilson’s Hawaiian sunrise

The Physical Beauty of Health

So, as I thank God for another visually beautiful day, I also Thank the Lord for the beauty of health. Gloria is experiencing miraculous cancer treatments (it was in her lungs and brain and lymph system). The amazing treatments have given back her life and her ability to travel and enjoy such beautiful scenes as these.

Praying for Others’ Beautiful Day

Do you have friends/family who have “Beat the Big C” or are in the process now of treatments? My cousin, Cliff, has scheduled surgery for esophageal cancer this week… and Bob’s sister, Bonnie, is seeing the doctor today about continued radiation and chemo related to breast cancer.

Thanks to our many medical advances, the “Big C” does not have to mean a death sentence these days. My husband, Bob, is an 12 year survivor of prostate cancer. He had it frozen. There are so many options for people who are diagnosed with the disease these days. We can pray and ask God for His mercy and healing, but God also expects us to do our part by becoming educated.

Educating Ourselves

After Bob’s diagnosis, we called another cousin of mine who is the “Prostate Cancer Survivor Poster Child” and we asked for his advice. He sent us to YANA.org (at that time it was a website called “You Are Not Alone” where men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer could go to learn about other men’s journey toward wellness). Now, trying to Google it, I discovered lots of YANA sites… but not the one Bob spent days where he read histories of others and learned about their treatment options, choices, and successes. There are so many places to go to get ideas. You don’t have to take the first idea the oncologist throws out at you! Be your own best advocate!

Photo by Andri on Pexels.com
Don’t let alarming horror stories scare you.
Look for the solutions others have found.
Be persistent!
Be a positive role model!
Send this smile on to others who need it!
I’m headed to work
at the Food Bank.
Thanks for visiting…
And sharing your Beautiful day with others.

See ya later.

Finding Strength


Finding Strength

  This morning I received an e-mail from a dear cousin. Her husband has esophageal cancer. The chemo and radiation treatments are making him feel tired, gaunt, and bored with the required liquid diet. Swallowing is painful. He’s lost 30 pounds. .  

In the midst of life’s struggles, we need strength, courage, and assurance. Where do we find it?

Joshua 1:5-9 “No one will be able stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous… Be strong and very courageous… Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

In my morning devotional today

from In Touch Ministries,

this very scripture and topic were discussed.

 
 

Yes, obstacles are faith’s fertilizer!

As the devotional said,

“Obstacles are one way our faith can grow.”

    What obstacles are you facing today? They may not be as serious as cancer of the esophagus, but every challenge we face is an opportunity to lean on our faith and allow the obstacle to grow us. Use them as stepping stones. Know that God is with you. Be assured by that cross that hangs in my sanctuary and reminds me daily to remember what our Creator tells me: “Be Still and know that I AM God.” .  

My cousin’s husband is Jehovah’s Witness. I have sent him a couple of inspirational cards wishing him well and reminding him that I have him in my daily prayers.

 

My cousin told me in her e-mail today, “While he may not agree with all your theology… he most certainly believes in God and appreciates your prayers.”

.

I am reminded that God is soooo much bigger than religion. God is the Creator of us all. God loves and cares for us all. We may not practice our religious beliefs the same way, but our faith in God binds us together as one.

    As Christians, we say we are “One in Christ.” We believe in the Trinity – that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Who am I to say that those who say we are “One in God, our Creator” are wrong? God is Omnipotent. He sees into the heart of us all. When He promises, “I am with you,” he’s talking to you … each of you! .  

What obtacles are fertilizing YOUR faith today? Be still and know God is with you.

blur bracelet conceptual female

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, go in peace.

Believe

Let your obstacles become stepping stones.

See ya tomorrow.

Fear of Death?


Are you afraid of death?

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“Nope!” my friend answered with assurance.

Then yesterday, I had an ultrasound. The radiologist not only took a million pictures, but then she called in her senior partner and asked for her assistance.

Oh my! What were they seeing? How many angles did the image need?

By the way, it was my kidneys and bladder areas, not something less complicated – like my hand.

Later in the afternoon I received a call from the medical center. It didn’t surprise me when they asked me to schedule an appointment ASAP for an MRI. They needed a more definitive picture of whatever is in there. Something that’s not supposed to be, of course.

skeleton body

Would your mind do what my mind did under the circumstances?

Would the big “C” word enter your mind? And would you contemplate your own mortality?

I did – and I am!

When I go to the medical center tomorrow and they receive the MRI results, and they say, “Your days are numbered. You are full of cancer,” would I panic?

No!

Why not? Well, all our days are numbered, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to get out of here alive.

Heavenly Sky

 

But, would I like to live a healthy 100 years
and then die peacefully and unexpectedly
in my sleep one night?

Sleeping couple

You bet!!

But, what are the chances? Pretty slim!

However, in today’s world, a person who has enjoyed good health and is living a healthy life style should expect to live at least into his/her 80’s. Don’t you agree?

Old Lady

After all, my parents lived into their late 80s, and so did both my in-laws. Genetically and socially, I expect to do the same. Wait, though…  I’m not quite 80 yet.

How would I feel about an eminent death sentence?

How would YOU feel? Have you faced such a challenge and overcome it?

My husband, Bob, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a dozen years ago.

First step: We called my older cousin who is a Prostate Cancer Survivor “Poster Child.” We received tips from him. He recommended we get on line and learn everything we could about the disease and the treatment options. Go to renowned specialists (he named two). Get a second opinion. Keep a positive outlook. Pray. Share. Ask friends and family to pray with you. Seek professional advice. Research your options. Be your own best advocate. Remain positive.”

Second step: We did all those things, and Bob chose cryotherapy – he had his prostate frozen – and he is “in remission.” Cancer free – and living the “Golden Years” with me!

If I should learn that my days are short, I would miss my loved ones here on earth, of course. But would I be afraid of dying? As my friend said when I asked him that question, I can emphatically say, “Nope!”

I know where I’m going. I know my Redeemer lives and has a place reserved for me in Heaven. And, I pray you BELIEVE, too. Then, we can be assured we will see each other in Paradise and we will enjoy eternal joy together.

Beautiful sky

Flying High

See you there someday …

Hopefully not too soon!

A Love Affair with Bostons


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Do you have a dog who has captured your heart?

TazE is our little Tasmanian Devil with an E for Ears. When she was a puppy in her kennel in Indiana, the folks there named her “Ears” because that part of her anatomy seemed to overpower everything else. All you saw were those enormous appendages sticking up on this wiggly little Boston Terrier. Living in a remote part of Montana, Boston Terrier puppies are nowhere to be found. So, I searched on-line and saw a picture of a batch of five sparkly, bright little pups all lined up in a row. The middle one had ears that stood up like antennae while the two pups on each side of her had the typical floppy puppy ears. It was love at first sight. We needed another Boston. We had just lost our five year old pup to cancer.

Following a long and grueling battle with cancer, Angela joined our Buster and Benjamin in the clover fields of heaven. She left a hole in our family that only another Boston might partially fill. If you’ve ever owned one of these little American ladies (or gentlemen), you’ll understand what I mean.

There is a part of my husband’s personality that only emerges when he has a playful black and white (or brindle and white) terrier to play with. He thinks Bostons are the only dogs that count. He wouldn’t consider another breed! When he was in high school, his girlfriend’s family had one. He remembers the dog always had a ball in his mouth, asking to play catch whenever Bob went to visit. That’s when his love affair with this breed began.

Before TazE, we had owned four Bostons in the 54 years of our marriage.  Each time one of our little angels died, that playful part of Bob died with them.

The first one, Buster, lived 13 years. His face was the kind only a mother could love: one eye surrounded by white hair was constantly bloodshot. The other eye, surrounded by black hair looked off to the side rather than straight ahead. His typical Boston nose, pushed in, looked like he’d been hit head-on by a truck. But, our son, Ty, and daughter, DeAna, loved him as much as Bob and I did. He was the family’s little king – and grew to a husky, muscular, strong little gentleman. He ruled the roost on Yale Drive in San Mateo, California.

At about the age of eight, Buster moved with us from the mild temperatures of the San Francisco Bay area back to our roots in California’s San Joaquin valley. To go for a swim, he didn’t even need the prompting of a tennis ball thrown in the pool. He had his own doggie door, so he’d exit the house into the fenced-in back yard and dive into the pool to cool off during the triple digit summer weather. Whoever was pool-side then endured his splashes because he insisted on coming right near the sunbathers to shake off!

We had a black and white cat to match our Buster. Tootsie and Buster usually played beautifully together, but sometimes Buster would get a bit too frisky or play a tad longer than Tootsie wanted. So she would tell him, “Enough’s enough” in no uncertain terms. Once her claws caught Buster’s blood-shot eye. It wasn’t healed yet when he walked into a rosebush and the eye was damaged further by a thorn. It got infected and wouldn’t heal. The vet finally decided to remove it. Having only one-eye didn’t slow him down, however. Buster and Tootsie were quite a pair! I think she died of a broken heart less than six months after the September morning when he dug under our fence, tried to follow our kids to school, and was hit by a car.

Our second Boston was Benjamin. He was brindle and white, with a lot of brown showing through the places on his torso where Buster had been a pure shiny black. His eyes were marked perfectly with black around each and a “monk’s cap” of white on his forehead. He loved to go with Bob out to our Bee Farm and ride with him on the truck to locations where the hives were placed in fields or orchards to pollinate the crops and gather nectar and pollen. I was teaching full time, Ty and DeAna were preoccupied with their high school activities, and Bob was busy as a beekeeper, so no one took the time to properly train Benjamin. “Come” was not in his vocabulary, nor was “Sit” or “Stay.” In spite of a collar and leash, he would somehow wiggle out of them to jump out the truck window if he saw a jack rabbit or something else he wanted to chase. More than one summer afternoon while Bob was working the hives, Benjamin would manage to free himself to chase something. Usually, he’d come back to where Bob was. Other times, however, he did not return. It seemed like Bob spent half his late afternoons looking for the dog before coming home dog tired. One time he came home without Benjamin. The next day he put up posters and put an ad offering a reward in the local newspaper near the spot where Benjamin had disappeared. He made the hundred mile round trip on the third day to look some more. No luck!

We always have our dogs spayed or neutered and have a chip inserted in case they should ever get lost. Our hope was that Benjamin was still alive and whoever found him would go to a vet who would check that chip. Sure enough, three days later we got a call. A farm family had found Benjamin, brought him to their local vet who read the chip and called us. The vet had seen the ad in the newspaper. The family wanted to keep Benjamin rather than receive the reward. No, we weren’t ready to give our pup away! In retrospect, however, maybe he would have been better off. He needed to be in some wide-open spaces where he could run and chase squirrels and rabbits to his heart’s content. He needed that young family with children who’d tussle with him daily. He met his demise one afternoon when a pack of stray dogs ran through our orchard. They were savvy. He wasn’t. They ran across the busy country highway avoiding the truck traffic. Benjamin didn’t. He was only three years old.

I knew we should not get another dog before I was free to go to Obedience School with the pup. It was unfair to have one if you didn’t have time to train him properly. Bob had said, “No more dogs… I can’t go through this agony of losing them anymore,” but I knew he missed having one as much as I did. Once you’ve had a Boston, life is incomplete without one. So, when summer came and I had three months when I could devote time to proper training, I found Angelo in a newspaper ad. It said there were Boston puppies six weeks old, born on a farm less than twenty miles from us, ready for adoption. I picked the friendliest one. He came bounding over to me, licked my face, and captured my heart.

Angelo had a long and happy life. He lived through many transitions, including our retirement. He died a natural death of old age. After Angelo came Angela, the one who died of cancer. But, like I said, if you have a part of your happiness wrapped up in your relationship with your dog, it won’t be long before you have to find another.

TazE came via U-Ship.com from Indiana. She’s was a wild and crazy, frisky puppy. I was determined to have an Angel. That was what I called her after I bought her on-line, before she arrived here. As soon as I met her, though, I knew she was no angel! She’s a little ball of energy and has a mind of her own. Taz for the Tasmanian Devil… that’s her! At eight years of age, TazE has calmed down some. She stops jumping with excitement about ten minutes after she receives company. Come visit! You’ll see. And she’ll capture your heart, too.

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Sharing Your Faith Journey


Sharing Your Faith Journey with

Yesterday I met Lois Olmstead. She shared her faith journey with me and a group of my friends who are Senior Companions in my part of Montana. I was so inspired by her and her message that I checked out her website today and ordered a couple more copies of her book, EnJOYing the Journey. She is a humorous, genuine, authentic, inspiring Christian lady who has survived breast cancer and has lived to tell her faith story. The sub-title of this one (of three) of her books is, “90 spirit-lifters for the potholes of life.” Check out this link and fall in love with our Lord all over again as you fall in love with “Time Out With Lois.” She has a gift – – – and she shares it so beautifully!

Realizing Limitations


“I don’t understand why people can’t admit their faults; if I had any, I sure would!” I love that quote. It’s all about the log in my eye while I’m pointing out the sliver in someone else’s eye. That log gets in the way of my clear vision. It prevents me from realizing my own limitations.

Limitations? Do  I  have limitations? One of my favorite scriptures is, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” ALL things? Jump tall buildings in a single bound? End war forever? Cure cancer? Well, those are limitations that are easily recognized and admitted. What realistically do I see and acknowledge? What are the slivers in my eye? Do others see the speck that I choose to ignore?

The ophthalmologist calls those specks “floaters.” They are shadows caused by the floating cell particles at the back of my retina. Too remote to be seen without the use of high-powered instruments  –  or ever-discerning, fault-finding friends. Those friends are treasures! They care. They take the time to really observe. Most people don’t, you know. We’d all worry less about our faults and who sees them if we realized how few people care enough to really LOOK at us that closely! YOU are the one who holds the mirror, stands in front of it, and stares.

Limitations? Sometimes the most obvious ones are the ones we actually DO see – – – and we may be the only one who does. After all, who cares more about you than you do? Do all faults have to be limitations?

Go ahead – – – scale that tall building! Find a cure for cancer! Someone will someday, you know. Might as well be you!

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