Monday’s word is Home.

And Tracie Miles had her blog hopping Friday with these prompts.

  • Peace is not a matter of life or circumstances, it’s a matter of the heart
  • Whether we want to admit it or not, we need God. We simply cannot do it alone.
  • The disease of stress cannot be ignored, because in the worst case scenario, doing so could have fatal consequences.
  • He gives strength to those who grow tired and increases the strength of those who are weak. Isaiah 40:29 (GW)

I love this week’s prompts. My favorite topic is self-sufficiency. Because I suffer from it, BIG TIME. I always take off full speed ahead on my own schedule because I think I’m self-sufficient. I found a word in The Marrow last year, non-sufficiency. Not only am I insufficient, which I struggle with as it is. But I actually come with deficits, deficiencies, weaknesses, that make me non-sufficient. I need Him just to exist. He gives me my every single breath. And I screw things up with my sin every time, even when I get it right I didn’t get it perfect.

So get your heart right, realize you can’t do anything on your own. And realize, too, that He wants you to turn to Him. To depend on Him for everything! Pray without ceasing is a good clue that He is fine with our calling on Him all the time.

As for stress, it is a disease and can get out of control. But if you rest in Christ and rely on Him to handle events while you just go about your duties, being obedient, then you will have much less stress. And that’s what Tracie’s book is about, the stressed-less life. We should all strive for that.

He will give you strength when you are tired and weary. In fact, sometimes, He may just tell you to get some sleep or get away for some rest.

I have some rest coming up.. Our annual women’s beach retreat for church is coming up. I have two high school friends coming, too! And I’m working on the Bible Study. It will be such a wonderful time of rest and recuperation, even if I do have to work the TPN bag every night. (Leigh will be there, she’s a nurse and can take care of some of the steps if I need her to.)  When will you get some rest and what can you say No to and what should you say Yes to? Reduce your stress, increase your dependence!

What does any of this have to do with home? Well, I think we are our most self-sufficient in the home or doing home chores and duties. And I know that I’ve spent a lot of time in my home the past few months and He has dealt very well with my self-sufficiency. Cancer and the things that come with it are BIG. Bigger than anything I can deal with. I’ve had to turn the event of my death over to Him. Whatever His timing is. Same with Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability. I fill out the forms and send them in, He controls what happens next. All while sitting at my kitchen table at home.

(I’m publishing this one early o I can get on Tracie’s blog hopping links)

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Untitled design-3Today’s word is Embrace. I’ve been reading my Bible using he Dr. Horton’s plan, which is a chapter in ten different books every day. One of the books we started with was Job. I admit I’ve always struggled with Job. We talk about the patience of Job, but he wasn’t all that patient. He had some pretty hard words for God and his predicament. Now his friends were worse, but even they had some truth in their theology.

The main principle, per the commentary I’m reading to help me grasp this book, is the Retribution Principle. Which implies that God only punishes the wicked, which is why his friends seem so intent on telling him he has sinned somehow and needs to repent.  But with that as the controlling angle of their argument, they aren’t facing reality. Job quickly points out how many wicked people have prospered, and good people have suffered. Obviously the Retribution Principle doesn’t hold up.

But Job figures something is wrong for him to be suffering as much as he is. The universe has gone wrong somehow and he wants a chance to point that out to God. The good thing that Job does is his only concern is to restore his relationship with God. He isn’t worried about the physical benefits of following God. This is what the accuser actually raised in the first part of the book. “Of course Job loves you, you have protected him and showered him with children and riches.” But Job proves God right, he doesn’t care about all that, he just wants to know what went sideways in his relationship with God.

That is restored in the end, and Job admits he must be silent in the face of God. He has no case to argue. God can do what He wills and we have no business complaining. This gets down to two different aspects of God. We have to trust Hhe is sovereign, He really is in control of all things and we can trust all events to His providence. But we also have to trust that He is good. We have to know that the way He orchestrates events is really for our good. Now we may differ on what our “good” is. We think ease and safety. He thinks transformation and recreation to reflect His glory and be like His Son who died for us.

We should be content in all things, because God has it all under control and He is good.  I have spoken some about lament and when it is proper. I’ll hopefully speak more about that as the month progresses. For now, trust God. He is faithful!

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Untitled design-2Today’s word is Capture. My heart has been captured by God. He pursues and seeks and woos until the heart turns to Him, and mine has. The devotion book I’ve been reading lately, Voices From the Past, has been talking about God being my portion. Being captured by God is a good thing and puts e in a good place. I have access to God and Christ, to the riches of the covenant of grace, to His grace and mercy. What more could I want?

I may have questions about where He is taking me and how long I have, but He comforts me, He convinces me I don’t need to know all the answers to be content. I can be content in trusting Him. As one of the devotions said, we do the duties, Christ controls the events.

I am captured, and this cancer has brought me closer to Christ than anything else in my life. My prayers are richer and truer. My devotions and reading are more focused. I am more content in all things. I still have my moments, but they pass much quicker and leave me grateful and leaning on Him. He is changing me and I am so excited to see the changes. I am becoming more like Him, that’s all I want anyway!

May you be captured by our mighty God! He is pursuing you, don’t rebel too long, dear one.

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No five minute free-writes prompt for today. Let’s see what I pick to write about. :-)

WUntitled designe were supposed to go see a friend yesterday, but she had a fever and I’m avoiding sick people while I’m on chemo, which will be forever.

That gave me a day to get started on the write31days project since I had done nothing up until then. It was nice to start creating graphics and thinking about future blog posts. And to think about how to track and follow all the cool blogs coming out of this. And it is fun to be challenged to remember how my blog works. I haven’t updated it since last year until driven to write again.

Ah, my topic for today is “hesed” love.  Which auto correct despises, by the way. It much prefers “heed” which doesn’t mean the same thing. :-)

We started a Bible study at church using Paul Miler’s book A Loving Life about the book of Ruth in the Bible. He pulls out the details of how “hesed” love is demonstrated throughout the book. Hesed is sacrificial love, with no expectation of anything in return. It is the best kind of love, and things work well when we demonstrate that kind of love. For example, when my husband leaves his trash all over the counter (because he is incapable of putting it in the trash), I can either berate him,resent him, or just throw away the trash and move on as if it isn’t a big deal. Because, really, it’s just trash on the counter.

(As always, this is not to encourage physically or emotionally abusive relationships. Run away and stay away from those!)

Where do we see this kind of love in the book of Ruth. There is Ruth’s initial plea that she will follow Naomi wherever she goes. And Naomi is speechless, not even a thank you at this point. Then when they return to Bethlehem, the women are all over Naomi but Ruth seems to get ignored, which she has no problem with. It isn’t about her, it’s about Naomi/Mara

Then Ruth gets up the next morning (or sometime soon after they arrived) and heads out to get food for them. She takes Naomi’s advice, but it’s assumed she has to be the one bringing home the bread (literally).  Naomi’s advice is sound and Ruth finds a good field. Naomi is thrilled when she finds out who Ruth met. Naomi is slowly transformed by Ruth’s hesed love. She gets over her bitterness. Maybe she even realizes God is not against her, I read a poem I found in a cancer article the other day, the middle stanza seems to speak to Naomi’s position and my own these days.

the guesthouse












Even if they are a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

Something to think about. And another form of “hesed” love. Blessings dear ones!

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IMG_2217My calling, lately, has been to live with this cancer and figure out what to do next. Like Long Term Disability, Social Security Disability, using 401(k) funds for medical expenses. Hair thinning, fatigue after chemo, encumbered by chemo and feed and fluid bags,. Many many more trips to the bathroom, living with an ileostomy bag. Letting others love on me and help me. Findings ways for others to help me. Finding ways to help others feel they have done enough.

I admit when this first started, I only told two friends. One of them had gone through breast cancer herself and said be prepared to be loved on. It was a minor remark to her as she was actually focusing on another point. But I shuddered when I heard that. I’m an introvert at heart and I’m uncomfortable with attention and love (apparently).

But I have found that by God’s grace I relish the signs of love that I get. I have gotten a TON of cards from 70 individual people. I have comments all over my caringbridge journal entries. I have hugs and encouragement from people at church and high school friends, and college friends. It has been wonderful and I know it is only by the grace of God that I have been able to accept the love in all the many ways it has been shown to me.

For those who have loved on me since this all started, thank you so much! It means the world to me. I know God loves me, and He is using many of you to demonstrate that during this fairly dark and scary time. He is holding me up and I can only rest in Him.

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