homesteading

Broken in Pieces

The truck pulled up around the spring and we heard a honk. My initial instinct was that something was in the roadway. Never did I think what was about to be revealed to me would happen…again.

Our daughter is a CNA at the hospital. So she was able to help!

The horn honked a few more times and I continued to look to see what was going on. Then I saw. There was my husband face down in the bed of the truck! All I could see were his boots sticking out of the truck bed. My mind immediately went to the worse thought, which was that he had a heart attack and died. Why did I think this? Well, we had a conversation just days before about death and what each one of us would do if the other one died.

Thank goodness I was very wrong. It turned out to be a broken leg and foot. He was working on the second story of the new cabin and the platform he was on gave way and he fell 10 feet. When I walked to the back of the truck my husband started speaking and asked us to get some things for the long ride to the hospital. At that point I knew he was alright, so we put blankets, pillows, a fan, and some other things in the bed of the truck to make the ride on the dirt road more comfortable.

Jay, who is part of the discipleship program at Cherith Brook, was working with Mark and saw the whole thing. He made a splint for my husband out of scrap 2X4’s and painter’s tape. It wasn’t pretty, but it stabilized the leg, which was the important thing.

It’s been quite the journey. He ended up having to go to a larger hospital that was 3 hours away and had surgery on his tibia. He broke the fibula also, but that will heal on its own.

Yesterday, he had surgery on the broken, crushed foot. They had to wait until swelling went down in order to operate. Almost a month later, he can truly start to heal.

Years ago, he fell from the roof of one of the cabins we were building and broke his wrist. Which is where my statement of “again” came from. He had to have a plate and nine screws put in. Now we joke that he should only build underground hobbit homes!

Our whole world has changed. He needs a walker and wheelchair to get around. The wheelchair is heavy and cumbersome, so picking it up into the truck is no easy task for me. My husband feels extremely bad watching me do all the things he normally does, not to mention all the new things that have been put on my plate. He wants to help, but is just unable to.

We were planning on moving into the new cabin soon and all of that has been put on hold. Luckily, the cabin is enclosed and once we get the wiring done, friends and family can help with insulation, sheet-rock, and paint.

It’s amazing the blessings that have come out of this. We have been poured into by others that we have spent our time pouring into. Our conversations with the nurses and doctors have been incredible. As we were leaving the hospital yesterday, two nurses came out to help Mark get into the truck and gave us both a hug. Which was so surprising in the midst of Covid. Another nurse was a Christian and said, “I have patients who claim Christ, but I have never met any like you two. You are different.”

Although the last month has had its challenges, we see God in the middle of it. He’s encouraging us and others through this. Our ministry has my husband and I surrounded by people consistently and it’s been nice to have a little bit of time with just the two of us, but even then we are spilling out love to those who are in front of us.

You never know what tomorrow may bring. But, I know the one who knows the number of hairs on my head and that is the most comforting thought I can think of right now.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

homesteading

A Heritage

I. Am. In. Love. We welcomed our first grand baby into the world! In the midst of this crazy time a new life has been born! A life that made everything stand still for a moment; when I didn’t worry about what the news report said, or cancer, or what was in my bank account. All that matters is this precious little girl that God put on this earth to share a little joy and to show our family just how big love can get! You were born for such a time as this!

Life has been busy and we had to take a detour from our building project as the heat was just unbearable and with the arrival of sweet baby Felicity we took a small break. But, we are back in full swing on the mountain and had some visitors come for an off-grid experience that left them wanting to come back for more.

The cabin is completely enclosed now, so inside work is going on. We are wiring, putting the insulation up, hanging sheet-rock, and doing finishing work.

We continue to work on my husband’s book called Grace in Plain Sight; The power of Agape. We are editing and working on the cover design. Lord willing this will be done by winter!

The smoke in our area has been extremely thick due to two wildfires that are blazing. Please pray for rain and that the firefighters can get it contained. Our air quality is really bad right now and many locals are having problems with asthma.

Thank you for the continued prayers!

“Children are a heritage from the Lord; They are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3

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

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