Sunday, January 13, 2019

Bridging the Gap

Hello my dear friends!
I do hope that your journey into 2019 has gotten off to a good start. As for mine...well, let me just say it looks like there will very well be a few twists and turns...even a pothole or two...or a huge chasm in need of a bridge.

Remember I said I'd share with you some recent progress on the Tennessee property? Well, that is what this post was supposed to be about...yes, we have a bridge! I started to write this post before Christmas with the intent of sharing just that...and here it is...no more wading across or riding the four-wheeler across the creek...unless you want to, that is.


But sometimes, just when we think we have a good handle on the plan God has for us, well...
we just don't!

For the past couple of months, I have been feeling a little not-so-great...episodes of nausea, mid-back pain, chills...more often than not it seemed. There were also some other choice symptoms that we don't need to go into. 😒 A couple of weeks ago I experienced what I thought could be a kidney stone. The episode was short-lived but I had already made an appointment with my doctor so I kept it. All lab work was normal and my pain was gone but she wanted me to get a CT of my kidney and abdomen ASAP. I left her office and went straight to the hospital for the scan. The next day after the results were read, I was scheduled for an MRI, ordered STAT...that's more than a little bit scary on it's own. The CT had shown a spot on my pancreas that wasn't on a previous CT that I had at the end of last October, only two months earlier. So earlier this week, I met with my GI doctor to explain the results to me. The news hit me like a brick up the side of my head. I apparently have a tumor growing on the outside of the back side of my pancreas, thus the back pain. And not the typical place for pancreatic cancer to grow. The chance of malignancy is quite great, but there is a slight chance it is not. The blood test for a certain cancer marker rated only a 1...which could have been in the 100s or even 1000s! It is possible that what is growing could be an abscess which could also be detected by the cancer marker test. So that is what I'm clinging to until I hear the results of the biopsy that I will be having this coming Wednesday. Because the tumor is growing around the two main arteries that go up into the liver, it is not in a place that is operable and could only be treated with chemo if it is indeed cancerous.

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.
~Proverbs 3:5-6 

Telling Jim, our boys and the rest of the family and loved ones has been a surreal experience. Were those words really coming out of my mouth? There is no real way to describe the feeling. So the past few days have been a whirlwind of meeting with the oncologist, ordering more tests and trying to let the reality of whatever this thing is sink in. Of course I don't have all of the information yet, but if it is malignant, I will most like start chemo by the end of the month.

So why am I telling you all my business anyway? Because I think that many of us here in Blogland are connected at the heart...maybe even kindred spirits if you will...and we care deeply for each other. Many of you have prayed for me and my son, Aaron, and those prayers have been felt...God has done and is still doing wondrous things! I have prayed for many of you as well. That's what friends who put their faith in the Lord do, right? We intercede for each other when it's hard to even mouth the words, ourselves.


So how does all of this relate to a post about the bridge? What is the purpose of a bridge and why do we build them? Because of gaps! There is land here and land there and a gap in between. The gap can be a small one like the little bridge over the creek or maybe even a middle-sized one.


Or it may be a really big one to accommodate a mighty river or a huge canyon. My friends, I am rarely one to ask for prayers for myself but I am now asking for those of you that will, help to be my bridge over the troubled waters that are awaiting me.

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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, 
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” 
~Psalm 46

It's that fear thing that I'm having trouble with. I know my God can heal me if it is in His will to do so.  And I thought that we were really being very careful to not push our plan too hard...but to patiently wait on God to see how He was leading the way. It really seemed like everything was coming together and we would soon be moving to Tennessee and building that farmhouse. Just like that, our hopes for the future were dashed! To say that we are confused by it all would be an understatement. I know that somewhere buried under all of this confusion, God has all of the answers.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. 
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; 
the flames will not set you ablaze.
~Isaiah 43:2

As I began writing this post, the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkle came to mind right away. I'm not sure what Paul Simon was going through when he penned the lyrics but I read somewhere that it was inspired by a single line from an old black gospel song...‘I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name.’ It wouldn't take much to change out a few words and the song could be like reading one of the Psalms or a heartfelt song of worship.

When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all
I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down


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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9
I have already seen God working through these circumstances and have been overwhelmingly blessed by many...and I do know that He has a plan...I just wish He'd let me in on it! I'm impatient like that, are you? So I will keep writing on my little blog and update my situation as it goes along. As I stated earlier, I will have a biopsy on Wednesday and many more fun things later, I'm sure. But for now, tomorrow is Monday and off I will go to work as usual! Thank you so much for your prayers!

Like a bridge over troubled waters, God will ease your MY mind.

Much love,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Year...a New Medley



Wow...I can hardly wrap my brain around the fact that yet another year has passed so quickly!
It surely must be true that somehow, as we get older, time has a way of moving faster.
I have just finished getting the tree taken down and packed away.
I took the other decorations down over the weekend but wanted to enjoy the tree a while longer.
Now that it's all out of here, it does feel kinda good to get back to normal, whatever that is.
But my new normal is about to become a bit different from anything I'm used to.
Remember that little song I was singing a year ago... One Room at a Time, Sweet Jesus?
Well, it's time to finally stop my lollygagging!
Did I happen to mention that I work best under pressure?
The. Pressure. Is. On. Folks!

After several months of taking care of some medical issues in 2018, we are trying this again!
I am now one year closer to getting that certain little red, white and blue card in the mail.
It should be in my possession in a few months but of course can't use it until September.
Barring any more unforeseen obstacles, we are hoping to sell in the late spring to early summer.
Jim and I both will continue working until we have a buyer.
And there has been significant progress on the Tennessee property,
which I will be sharing with you very soon!
~
So today I'm joining Terri, for the Wednesday Medley after a couple of weeks of missing it.


Just head on over to her blog, copy the questions, paste them to yours and join the fun!
Here we go...

Today is  NATIONAL SCIENCE FICTION DAY

National Science Fiction Day is celebrated annually on January 2nd by millions of science fiction fans across the United States.  The date of January 2 was chosen for National Science Fiction Day as it corresponds with the birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.   National Science Fiction Day is recognized by the Hallmark Channel and the Scholastic Corporation
HOW TO OBSERVE
Watch some classic science fiction t.v. shows or movies.  Start reading a science fiction novel. Use #ScienceFictionDay to post on social media.

1.  Will you observe National Science Fiction Day as recommended above?  Do you even like science fiction?

Sorry, I will not be doing any of these things...I could not care less about science fiction. I have never been a fan either in book or movie form. The only thing I can remember ever sparking my interest was "The Twilight Zone" way back when I was a kid. I guess in among shows like "I Love Lucy" and "Leave it to Beaver", it was sorta "edgy" and out of the usual.

2.  Have you chosen a "word" for 2019?  Many people do. THIS QUIZ might help you find your word.

I have not chosen a word for the new year, in fact, I have never done the "word of the year" thing...not saying that I shouldn't have. I guess I thought that picking a word was kind of just following the crowd and doing what others were doing. There are many wonderful words out there to live our lives by and so far, I seem to be able to find them in whatever situation I might be going through. I did, however, take the test just for fun. My list of words were under the heading of GRATITUDE. Funny thing is, that would have been my word if I had chosen one. It must be God thing.

3.  Did you stay up to see the new year in?  Are you happy or sad to see 2018 go?

I did not stay up 'til midnight and probably haven't in a few years. Jim was working away but there's no way he could have stayed up even if he hadn't been! I had dozed off on the couch earlier in the evening and when I woke up, it was 10 PM, my regular bedtime. So I let the doggies out, turned off the lights and to bed I went! I'm sure there was plenty of noise in the neighborhood at midnight but I didn't hear a thing! I am neither happy or sad to see 2018 go...it's impossible to re-live the past anyway, no matter how good it could have been! Good things and the not-so-good things happen in any given year and 2018 held many good things. I am not one to lump everything together in the "good year" or the "bad year" pile because I know that God is with me through the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly.

4.  I really enjoy the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's Day but rarely get to sit and enjoy the entire parade because I am cooking.  Did you watch the parade?  Did you cook/eat the traditional foods (pork, black-eyed peas, kraut, greens...) to begin the new year?

I would not be one who makes a deliberate decision to tune in...but since Jim came home for lunch on New Year's Day, he was watching it for a bit. I however, was trying to write this post. Since the hubby is never off on a Monday or Tuesday (unless he is taking vacation), he had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. It has always been our tradition to eat pork and sauerkraut...that's what we folks from Ohio do...but since I'm not cooking today just for me, I will be warming up some frozen cabbage rolls that I made a few weeks ago. I layer them with sauerkraut so I will be getting that part of our traditional meal, although they contain no pork, only beef...oh well. Now here in NC, it's all about the black-eyed peas, greens and hog jowl. You could not get Jim to even try that but I think I could handle it!

5.  I have to ask... Resolutions.  Did you make any or set some new goals for 2019?  Or do you even think about it?

My pastor was talking about this in his message on Sunday and according to these statistics, unfortunately, about 22% of resolutions fail after about a week, 40% after a month, 50% after 3 months and 60% after 6 months. I don't know how they are able to calculate things like this so I'm only quoting what the article stated. I used to be one to make resolutions every year and almost every time they included losing weight and getting in better shape, among other things. Then it got to be all about the resolution, itself...not really what I wanted to change, but the guilt trip associated with not being able to keep it up. Now don't get me wrong, there are an abundance of things that I need to improve on, Lord knows...more than there is room on this page to write about. But here is what I have discovered...it's a daily thing.


But let me also say that if you are a New Year's resolution maker, I hope you are successful in keeping every single one of them! 

May this brand new year be overflowing with God's grace, love and peace!

Blessings,

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