christianity

Near to the Broken-hearted

Why is it easier to pray for healing for other people rather than for yourself? Recently I had to come face to face with this when I received the cancer diagnosis. We put out a call for prayer and I knew I had several prayer warriors praying for me.

As the days wore on and emotions were raging, I felt like I should pray for myself. Sounds simple enough. I’ve often prayed for things in my life. But, this time was different. I struggled. I couldn’t find the words. I had fears and doubts. Thoughts crept in, “What if I pray and God doesn’t heal me?” Is it because of sin in my life? Is it lack of faith? Or the hard truth that maybe my time on this earth is finished?

I didn’t know where to even begin. So, I cried out. The tears flowed. How many times have I prayed for people with cancer without a second thought that God could heal them? So many times…but this time I lacked the strength. The desire was there but I was fumbling.

As I cried verses began to come to mind, “Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. “ Psalm 34:18…

And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Matthew 9:24

Then the reality hit me. God was just waiting for my true heart to shine through. It wasn’t about a grandiose prayer full of scripture and flowery words. He wanted the tears. He wanted my anger. He wanted my thoughts-the good and the bad. He wanted to exchange my fear and anxiety for life.

The words began to pour out of me. Yes, I prayed for healing. But, just like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I ended it with “Not my will Father, but Your will be done,” Matthew 26:39

A few weeks ago I went in for another test to see where we were at with the cancer. I had my surgery back in October and this was the first glimpse of my left breast since then. Did I have scanxiety? (Its a real thing.) Yes, but somehow I knew the results were going to be good.

Sure enough, there is no more cancer! I am cancer free! Some would say it’s because of the surgery, or changing my eating habits. I believe God healed me as a result from everyone praying. And I give all glory to Him!!!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

homesteading

Rest is a Weapon…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

We had a beautiful day up here on the mountain so my husband and I went for a much needed walk. My naturopath said that vitamin D is an essential part of health and building up the immune system.

Stopping to take some time in nature and to see the near future build site of another cabin was a blessing (even after trudging through a foot of snow in some places).

Every day I am amazed at what God has done and is doing up here. This has been a dream for so long and although we saw some of the dream as a reality that started many years ago, now we are seeing Him actually finish what He started. Which is exactly what He said He would do when we left Mexico.

In the midst of this crazy last year with COVID, cancer, and even death, people are coming to the property and finding the peace and rest they have longed for and sometimes didn’t even know they were missing.

God’s timing is awe striking and when I reflect back and see a family or guest leave and another one comes an hour later (sometimes unannounced) we always, somehow have room. Not only that, but when we are on the brink of feeling exhausted, we get a break in the schedule and have time to rejuvenate.

Our little cabin in the woods.

I am also learning to take time out and just rest. There are always things to be done on the property, but with “Doctor’s orders” just finding time to meditate and do deep breathing exercises has helped my stress levels tremendously. Not only that but, it helps get the lymph system moving and brings oxygen to cancer cells, which cancer cells hate, and end up dying. One of our pastor’s tells us that rest is weapon. I am beginning to believe that.

I am learning so much on this cancer journey. God gave our bodies the ability to heal themselves with proper nutrition and rest. I am seeing areas of my life where I struggled and had made bad decisions and started bad habits.

I am So thankful that God did not leave me where I was and that He has placed the proper people and information at my fingertips to blaze ahead and leave the old self behind.

christianity

I Will Never Leave You or Forsake You!

My dad was going through some of my mom’s things and found something she wrote awhile ago. (She loved to write.) She had these made into cards and he handed me one and said, “Interesting timing. I think you might need one of these.” I cried when I read it. Once again, God’s timing is perfect. I discovered the lump on my breast in early August, my mom passed away at the end of August. I hadn’t seen a doctor yet when she died, so she never knew I had cancer. And yet, its as if she reached down from heaven and said, “God’s got this!”

It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions these passed few months. However, good things have come from it all. Once again, appreciation and gratitude flood in when the reality that life is not forever fills your mind.

I think everyone I know just wants this year of 2020 to be over. But when I stop and look at all the good that has come from it, I wonder if it’s exactly what we’ve needed. I’ve seen families actually spending time together, mom’s who were teetering on homeschooling their kids take the step of faith and dive in with both feet! I’ve seen a slower pace of life that I think our country needed. People are excited when they get toilet paper! Again, thankfulness for the things we take for granted daily.

Even in the midst of my cancer diagnosis we have had visitors come to our little cabin the woods. It’s been so fun and we have enjoyed continuing to build on our daughter’s vertical (stockade style) log cabin.

Windows are in!

Enjoying every moment of being with friends and family. I had a partial mastectomy on October 27th, so I was all rested and mostly healed by the time Thanksgiving came. We had bought nutcrackers to paint, thinking it would be fun to work on them after our Thanksgiving Neal. We were right! Our friends and family had a great time painting them and it was fun to see how different each one turned out.

In this holiday season, as strange as it may be, keep focused on what’s truly important…loving the one in front of you.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5,6

christianity

Will I Praise Him in the Storm?

What a couple of months it has been! My mom passed away and just before that I found a lump on my breast, but I put that on hold while dealing with the grief of my mother.

Once we were settled and I could think clearly I pursued getting care in our little town. I had to get medical records transferred and approvals etc. Which was not fun.

Finally I went in for a mammogram and ultrasound. The doctor definitely could tell something was on my breast so he ordered a biopsy. Two days later I had the results. I had an invasive form of breast cancer.

My mind went reeling. How can this be? I breastfed all my kids. Wasn’t that supposed to ward off breast cancer? My thoughts immediately began to spin out of control. Breast cancer runs in the family and I have had two aunts die from it. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was pounding and I was trying to fight back tears. (That didn’t last long.) I clung to my husband.

As we were waiting to tell our kids more thoughts came to mind. Will I have to do chemo? Will they recommend a mastectomy? Is it even curable? So many questions and very little answers at the time.

When we told our kids they were super supportive and offered encouragement in a way I never expected. They rocked it!

After a few days of processing it, I found that I needed to lay it at Jesus’ feet. I had to take it one moment at a time. It felt like a grieving process where the final stage is acceptance.

When we were meeting with the oncologist to hear what the next few steps would be, a flood of emotions swept through me. I didn’t want to be in this exam room – the room for cancer patients. I had no desire to answer all the questions they were throwing at me. I wish I could have lived in denial and not acknowledged that this was part of my life.

But, here we are. Tomb moments. Where there seems like there is no hope. The grave has been closed and there is nothing I can do…BUT GOD!!!

This is where the real testing of my faith comes in. I can speak about faith and saying “All things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:28) But do I truly believe that?

Again, tomb moments. Do I believe and trust that God will take this foul thing inside me away? Will I praise Him regardless of the outcome? My prayer is that I will praise Him through the hard times. That regardless of what happens He is still in control. He is on the throne and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

The Bible has been my anchor through this. I love to read but I just couldn’t read any other book except the Bible. I wasn’t able to focus on any printed page except God’s Word. Which is just amazing to me. His Word is life.

We have received some good news of my diagnosis. As of today, I don’t have to do chemo. I just had a lumpectomy and they took some of my lymph nodes to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread. I will get those test results soon. I am sore from the surgery and my throat hurts from the breathing tube. But, I am relieved because the doctor thinks he was able to get the tumor out completely. In about four weeks I will start radiation therapy.

I have so much to be thankful for. In the words of my dad – I get to experience God in a whole new way. Which has been so true. He is close to the broken hearted. He is the God who sees. The God who heals. The God who comforts and gives peace.

Do I wish there was a different path? Sure, but then I wouldn’t be refined into a beautiful vessel. If I can help one person through their fight against cancer then I believe it is all worth it. And yes, I will praise Him in the storm!

Thank you for the prayers and support. It’s been quite the journey.

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19

homesteading

Why a Vertical Log Cabin?

It has begun! What a few weeks it has been. After my mother’s passing, I needed something to cheer me up and this certainly has done the trick.

We started work on a cabin for our youngest daughter and her husband, which will also serve as a guest cabin! This has been a project my husband and I have thought long and hard about because it is not a normal log cabin with horizontal logs-it is a vertical log cabin otherwise called stockade style.

Why build vertical instead of the traditional way? We have had this question asked numerous times in the past week, so I decided to explain our thinking behind it. There are many reasons why we wanted to build a cabin like this. Here are some of the reasons:

  • The need for large or heavy equipment is reduced or not needed at all because of the length of the logs.
  • Vertical log shells can be built in half the time as horizontal shells.
  • The logs we are using are 10 feet to go from floor to ceiling verses having to use 24 foot logs for the whole length of the cabin. Two people can easily carry the 10 foot logs. (Which is great for us who aren’t as young as we used to be!)
  • Due to the direction of the cracks that may form in a log, virtually none of the cracks in a vertical log home will direct water infiltration back into the home which can happen with a horizontal log home.
  • Windows and doors can be installed directly to the logs with no worries about settling or shrinkage of the walls since logs do not shrink vertically.
  • Wiring can be installed easily between the logs where as with a horizontal log wall, each log has to be drilled to allow the wire to pass through.
  • Last but not least I like to think outside the box and I really like the look of the vertical logs.

I’m sure I will be posting more photos of our journey through this process. It has been great seeing everyone come together and share their strengths in working on this project.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9