Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Restoring What Was Hidden

My children had decided to replenish my "Sunshine Basket". One morning when I awoke I found a framed photograph sitting on a chair in my living room. It is a photograph of me as a 16 year old performing a liturgical dance with two other dancers.

Last night I was thinking about the photograph. That picture was "hidden away" in an old photo album for over thirty years. My ability to dance and my love of dance was also "hidden away" for thirty years, but God restored it. Just as the photograph is now beautifully displayed in a lovely frame, so too I have been on display using the gift and ability that God has given me. God was able to restore that dream and desire and ability to dance after thirty years, so I know that He is able to restore it anew after my cancer. God is a God of restoration. He takes what is hidden and makes it known.

Friday, 26 October 2007

My Psalm of Praise

"Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name."
I do praise You Lord, with my whole heart; with my very being I praise You.
"Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me."
I will never forget all that You have done for me; help me to remember whenever I forget.
"He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases."
Thank you Lord for forgiving all my sins. Thank you Lord that You are healing me from cancer.
"He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies."
Thank you for the times You have rescued me from death and for preserving my life. Thank you that I am surrounded by Your love towards me.
"He fills my life with good things; My youth is renewed like the eagles!" Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)
Thank you Lord for all the good things, including people that You fill my life with. I am truly being renewed in my mind and spirit.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Living in Hope

I am living in hope. I am not living in despair. I have not even entertained the question "Why me, God?"

On to God
Expecting answers

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Heb. 11:1 (NIV)

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Heb. 10:23 (NIV)

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Sunday Morning

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1 (KJV)

This morning I went to church for the first time since Labour Day Weekend. I was greeted warmly by everyone. It was so good to worship corporately with the rest of the body of Christ. I sat for most of the worship time as I got tired when standing. There were a couple of times that my spirit was dancing within me. After the announcements, Carol said "I see Debbie is here today" and many in the congregation responded by clapping. It is so good to belong to a body of believers who love and care for each other. After the service several of the women gathered around me. Each one hugged me and assured me of their prayers.

I will only be able to attend corporate worship about once every three weeks. I have my next chemo treatment this week and so I will not feel up to attending church the following Sunday. The next Sunday will be in the time period that I will have very little immunity and cannot be around crowds or anyone with colds. I am looking forward to the third Sunday after chemo when I again will be able to worship corporately with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore." Psalm 133:1-3 (NIV)

Monday, 8 October 2007

Sunshine Basket

"Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created." James 1: 16 -18 (NIV)

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven, give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:9-13 (NIV)

My two sisters have given me a "Sunshine Basket". It is a large white wicker basket that is decorated with paper flowers and tropical fruit. There is even a colourful lei on the handle of the basket. Inside the basket are gifts of all different sizes and shapes; each one is wrapped in colourful tissue paper in warm hues. It looks very tropical and fun.

On the first day I opened up the tissue paper and found a candle in the shape of a cupcake. It looks just like a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing, my favorite.

On the second day I felt some of the packages and I was intrigued by the bumps on this package. When I opened the tissue paper I found a package of 12 scented lip balms - Icebreakers Sours. These will help keep my lips moist as chemo has a drying effect.

On the third day I decided to open a package that was large and soft. I was thinking it might be a top or a blanket. When I opened the tissue paper I found a pair of black fleece lounge pants. They had an elastic waist, as well as a drawstring. The word "me" was printed in a pattern on one of the legs. At times it is easy to forget about "me". I enjoy doing things for others; these pants are a reminder to also make time for "me".

Today is the fourth day and I again decided to open a package, whose shape intrigued me. Inside I discovered a box that contains "Pink Grapefruit Moisturizing Soap". This is part of the description on the box - "Slip away into a tropical paradise! We use only the finest ingredients in our products, and to ensure quality we mix them in small quantities. The addition of super rich Shea Butter seals the deal! Your skin will thank you and so will your senses!"

I look forward each day to opening up a new gift. I can have confidence that my sisters will give me only things that are good because I know that they love me. That is the same with God. I know that God loves me and He will only give me gifts that are good for me. God can be trusted. I have come to know Him more intimately in the last several years. I know that I can trust my heavenly Father. Aside from salvation, God's greatest gift, I have been given God's Holy Spirit to live in me. He empowers me; guides me; and encourages me. I am so thankful for all of God's gifts.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Anxious Thoughts

Last night I couldn't sleep. This is what I wrote in my journal at 3:30 am:

I cannot sleep. I am thinking about losing my hair. I know that it will be rather traumatic when it all falls out and I am bald. I will not only lose my hair from my head, but probably every other strand of hair that is on any part of my body, from the top of my head to my feet. The one benefit is that I won't need to shave my legs; armpits; or pluck my eyebrows; or any lone hair that seems to suddenly appear on my chin.

I will be very much like I was when I was born. I was a bald baby and didn't get hair for several months. My children, on the other hand, were all born with hair, some more than others.

What brought on this recent anxiety is that I tried on some wigs yesterday. I wanted to pick out a wig before I lost my hair. Most of the wigs were "pouffy" and I don't wear my natural hair like that. I was getting a bit discouraged, then the salesperson said that there is a wig that is very similar to my hair texture and not "pouffy". It is a "bob" that is parted on the side and the hair is layered. We needed to order this wig and it won't be in until next week. The name of the style is "Peace".

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for you Father knows what you need before you ask him". Mtt. 6:5-8 (NIV)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

When God Seems Silent

I had been wanting to know what my passion or purpose was. I was wanting to have a specific focus or area that I would be burdened and passionate about. There were areas that I could serve. I could possibly volunteer at Mercy House, but every time I went to fill out the form I couldn't get anywhere; my heart wasn't in it and I didn't feel that this was "it". The Bible Studies were starting up at the Hub and I was going to be able to attend one during the day. There was the opportunity to be a discussion leader for the study. I started to make inquiries, but I was not excited about it.

I found this all strange, here were two opportunities I could use my gifts, talents, abilities and passions and yet I didn't sense a "go forward" from God. It seemed as if God was silent.

I received the answer to the reason for God's silence on these cries of my heart. They were not the things He wanted to answer right now. I needed to focus my attention on healing, health and wholeness and not doing anything ministry wise.

When I received my diagnosis of ovarian cancer I was thankful that God had not answered those cries for a passion and purpose for ministry. I was in no state to even consider such ministry as my time would be focused on undergoing treatment and coming through this time victoriously.

God's word to me during this whole time has been "Wait and Trust". I know that God has good plans plans for my life. I have been encouraged through His word and other people.

"I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done". Psalm 118: 17 (NIV)
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