If you have your health…

I was standing in my office with several people talking about some tough situations that people were facing. Everyone’s eyes were focused on the floor, they were slightly shaking their heads contemplating the difficulties of our colleagues and friends, when someone said, “Well, at least we have our health because if you have your health, you have everything.” I guess he forgot I was standing in the group and currently wouldn’t be  in the category of ‘having my health.’ Cancer tends to remove one from the ‘good health group.’

No, no, no! Not at least we have our health… Health can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Health is good. I want health but that’s not the ‘at the very least’.  At the very least, I want something else. 

Have you heard this before?  “If you have your health, you have everything.”  Really?  I don’t believe that’s true. In fact, I know that’s not true. 

If you have your health, you have your health. It’s a great blessing. But it is not everything. If we believe that it is everything, then we will all die with nothing. I believe that I will die with everything. In fact, when I die, I GAIN. 

For to me, to live is Christ… Christ’s life was sacrifice, service, giving, humility, pain, suffering. The rest of the verse is … But to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21). 

Living is emptying of ourselves. Dying is new life. Perfect existence. Reward. Forever in his glorious presence. With Christ. Beauty. 

So what should go in the blank? What’s the truth?  If you have ____________, you have everything.  

Psalm 16:2 comes to mind.  

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

And verse 5, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;”

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Matthew 16:26

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him,” Philippians 3:7-9

That’s the truth. 

May God bless you with good health. But more than that…may you devote your life to Christ and be found in him. 

Have a great day!


Posted in faith, health, life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

My Soft White Carpet or The Psalm that Brings Me Strength and Comfort

via overstock.com

Our preacher is preaching through the Psalms. He knows that I rely heavily on the 16th chapter for strength and comfort during my current treatment for breast cancer so when he reached that chapter, he asked if I would be willing for him to interview me in front of the congregation. My first reaction was no. That would be too stressful but I remembered a message I had received from a wise and trusted friend just the week before. She had reminded me that people were watching me to see how one handles these hard and dark periods of life. I realized that I had an opportunity for influence during this time that I might not have again. But I kept thinking I’d like to wait till this is all behind me… Then I could articulate lessons learned so much better. But on the other hand, I believe there is power in living my life transparently before I have it nicely outlined with poignant examples for each point.  So I agreed and prayed that God would help me to be open and share how he has comforted and guided me through the twists and turns of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

To God be the glory. 

Thank you, Devin, for the opportunity.

Here is the link to a video of my conversation with Devin at Highway on Sunday. It’s 10 minutes.

I hope you have a great day!

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Church, faith, health, life | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Some Good News

It seems like there is so much bad news when you get a cancer diagnosis. 

Here is some good news that I received lately. No cancer anywhere else in my body and after 1 treatment, my tumor has changed a lot. “Remarkable,” said my doctor. She asked me a couple times about the number of treatments I had already had because my tumor had changed so much. It was surprising. An overwhelming response!  So we are using the right drugs!  It is attacking the specific cancer in my body. 

I’m so thankful. God has answered many prayers. I know that he is the great physician and he will heal me. But, like Daniel in the fiery furnace, if he doesn’t, I will continue to praise him. 

My life is not about eeking out as many days or years as I can on this earth. My life is about being faithful to my Father. My life is about honoring him and glorifying him with every ounce of my being. 

My prayer is to be found faithful. 

God has been so faithful to me. He has given me everything I have needed every step of the way. I have nothing to fear. He goes before me. He will not abandon me. His mercies are new every morning. He is working all things out for my good. 

I cry out to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep. I wake again because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear….

I will trust him with all my heart. 

He alone is my portion and my cup. 

The joy of the Lord is my strength!

I hope you have a great day!


Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, faith, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Move into the Journey

Scott and I were in the small exam room waiting to meet with our oncologist before my first chemo treatment. There were waiting room chairs and the patient exam bed but I couldn’t sit. I paced. Back and forth in that tiny room.  My tears wouldn’t stop. I tried to look at a magazine but my heart was just so sad. This is not what I wanted to be doing on this Monday. I wanted to go to work and talk to my students. I wanted to go to a meeting and take notes and try to contribute something meaningful. I wanted to fold clothes. Anything but sit in a chemo room with 20 cancer patients and receive toxic medicine into my body. But there I was. Out of control. At the mercy of the doctor and the nurses. 

Then the doctor came into that little room. She gave us the reports from my recent scans and tests. She answered our multitude of questions. 

And then she said,”This is hard. But we see miracles here all of the time. This is where the physical and the spiritual meet. You will see God’s mercies and grace all around you. Don’t miss this time. Move into the journey. Slow down and ask the big questions. Take this time to notice God’s gifts to you.”

That is what my oncologist told me on the day of my first treatment. Move into the journey. God’s mercies will be all around you.

Beautiful words. 

Praise God for Dr. Wilder. 

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, faith | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

My Version of a Super Duper Blueberry Smoothie

This smoothie is simply a concoction of the healthiest, tastiest items in my kitchen. We have had it as a smoothie AND as a frozen treat. Both ways are delicious. 

I put these all on the counter and then added them to the blender. 

I didn’t measure anything.. Just dumped stuff in. Here’s a rough estimate. We split it 3 ways and still had a little bit to freeze. 

1-2 cups of blueberries

2T of cashew butter

1-2 frozen or fresh bananas (I like the frozen because of the slushy factor)

1 cup Greek yogurt, (I used strawberry banana)

5 strawberries (stems and all), 

2-3 T of ground flaxseed

2-3 c of soy or almond milk (enough to cover and blend)

1-2 c of fresh spinach leaves (actually 1-2 handfuls 😊)

The first day I made this I went on a walk around the farm and Walker was very curious about my cup. 

I couldn’t resist…

I think he likes it!  I hope you do, too!

Have a great day!


Posted in health, Horses, Meals, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

An Overwhelming Response

“Just pull this cord, if you need anything.”  I was in a 6 x 8 room sitting in an oversized leather Lazy Boy type chair. The nurse had just injected me with radioactive material that would attach to the sugar molecules that they had put into my body. (I’m not sure if I drank the sugar or if it was a different injection.) The sugar molecules that are attached to the radio active material go directly to highly active parts of your body and light up under the PET CT scan machine. Amazing science! Highly active parts of my body are most likely cancer. So I followed a very strict diet the day before and did very little activity. Once I had the injection of radio active material, I was told to sit very still for an hour and a half. I couldn’t talk, text, read, or move. They brought a warmed blanket to me and dimmed the lights. 

I was drifting off to sleep and replaying my instructions over in my head, when I remembered the nurse asking me if I had any metal on my clothing like zippers or buttons. I told her no. I startled out of my half sleep when I realized I did have some metal on part of my clothing. I wondered what would happen if I went through the machine with this small bit of metal. Would I have to redo it next week?  Would the test not work?  Yikes!  There was so much preparation for this test. I did not want to have to do this again soon. 

I looked to my left at the little cord that the nurse told me to pull if I needed her and figured the sooner the better. I reached over and tugged on the cord. 

Immediately an excruciatingly loud buzzer like a fire alarm burst through the silence. Lights started flashing all around me and a young intern (surely he wasn’t the doctor) hurried into my room to see what was wrong. 

I was overwhelmed by the response I could hardly remember my question. Come to find out my supportive piece of metal would not interfere with the accuracy of the machine. Whew!

I felt like I should apologize and announce to the staff that I would not pull the cord again and that I would just sit here and drop off to sleep. But no one seemed interested. 

An overwhelming response to a need. I think God responds to us in overwhelming ways as if we have pulled the cord in that little waiting room. Psalm 20 says, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress, may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all of your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.”

I want to see God’s overwhelming response to my need. I want to recognize his display of love and faithfulness and care. Don’t you?

Just pull the cord, if you need anything. He will respond…overwhelmingly. 

Have a great day!


Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, faith, science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Stitch Fix #6

After all the commotion of the last few weeks, I had almost forgotten about my Stitch Fix box that was coming in the mail. It was quite a bright spot for me.  A pleasant interruption. 

It was a nice distraction yesterday. 

Brandy C sent me some fun pieces that included a pair of jeans that I can definitely use.  They are super soft and stretchy. 

I liked the tops but decided there wasn’t anything I couldn’t live without but, in case your curious, here they are. Excuse the horses in the background but I can’t seem to take a picture these days without a little equine action. 

She also sent this bracelet that is secured with a tie and I really like it. So I kept it along with the jeans. 

If you want to know more about Stitch Fix, you can read my first post about it here

Have a great day! 💕


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Cards from Precious Hearts

My husband surprised me Sunday morning with a stack of cards from children in Bible classes at church. I went to class Sunday morning but ran out of steam before worship started so I was home early. 

I love these cards from precious hearts learning who has the power in this world to heal, learning where our hope comes from, learning to care for those who are sick. 

God bless all of you who teach the children in our churches. 

Thank you, Rachel and Rachel! ….and all the children who lifted my name before our Heavenly Father.  I love you!

Just a sample of the most awesome cards ever!!



Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, children, Church, faith, family, friends, health, relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Not Alone

I hate watching TV shows like House or Grey’s Anatomy because the medical environment causes me so much anxiety. I seem to have at least 2 or 3 symptoms of every disease that they showcase. My heart beats fast and hard. I have to take deliberate deep breaths. I feel it. 

The nurse calls my name and takes me through the heavy unmarked wooden door to an exam room. She shows me the hospital gown to put on and leaves the room. I put on the gown and sit on the bed and wait for another nurse to come in and tell me what to do next. I wait and wait some more. I take a deep breath and let it slowly out. I go over Psalm 16 that I memorized several months ago. I get up and peek out the drawn blinds to get at least a glimpse of sunshine and blue skies. I lay back down on the hospital bed, recite Psalm 16 in my head and wonder if I should say it out loud. I let my mind drift and picture a hospital emergency with me as the center of attention. I shake my head to get that image out and instead picture my friends and family who I know are praying for me. My breathing calms down. I relax and pray for healing. I pray for God’s will to be accomplished in my life. I sing (totally in my head), “Have thine own way, Lord, Have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will. Till I am … molded? yielded? waiting? (I can’t remember the last words so I just start the verse over again) Have thine own way, Lord…”

I realize I am not alone. There is no one around. I think they may have forgotten me here in this little room but I am not alone. I am strengthened by this awareness. I am content to just be here in this medical space with beeps and buzzers sounding off, with people coming and going in the hall discussing colons and bleeding and “are you allergic to any medications?” And here I am immersed in this panic-inducing environment, relaxed and confident. I am not alone. God’s peace that is beyond understanding wraps around me and holds me tight. 

Thank you, God. 

Before my surgery on Friday, I knew many, many people were praying for me. They were praying for healing and peace. 

Thank you, friends and family.

I hope you have a great day!


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Volume Control


Words I’ve been hearing this week of August 14, 2015

War of the Words

I’ve heard so many words this past week that are frightening, ugly words that cause me to pause and catch my breath but I’ve also heard so many words of kindness and love. I have to make sure that I focus on the words of hope and life. I have to turn up the volume on those words that bring healing and comfort. The frightening words sometimes get so loud in my head that I can’t hear the other words. I need volume control. 



Love you

Call me

Love you

I’m coming

Your results

Do not be afraid

More tests

We are praying 




One step at a time

Have thine own way

Love you

Any questions?


In the Arms of Jesus


Love you

All things work together for good



I can be there in 5 minutes


Love you




Eyes always on the Lord

We don’t know


Love you 


Fasting for you



You are not alone

I’m here for you


Love you


Fear not 



Love you

What can I do


Cloud of Witnesses 

Heavy heart


Love you

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, faith, life, relationships | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments