Thursday, May 31, 2012


No pictures yet, but she's here! All 7+ pounds, 21" of this beautiful baby with a head of blond hair! We don't know any relative who looks like Hannah, so it will be very fun to watch her morph out of newbornishness and into herself! Alyssa is doing well, although very tired. Pitosin is useful, but makes for a rough labor. She handled it really well! Mike is sleeping soundly in his own bed now, I'm sure, after he picked up his BIG 17 month old Gracie from their neighbor-friends tonight. I've managed to lock myself out of my laptop, where I post photos on my blog. I hope I can figure it out by the time I get pictures of Hannah, which will probably be tomorrow or Friday. Wow. Another blessing of a grandbaby girl, I love being an Oma! I got to facetime with Michelle and see Marisa today too. Being a grandma IS all its said to be! Now to get these hands and wrists in good baby-holding-order!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I am learning what to do when on a longer road than expected, when I must wait.  I thought my current pain-journey would be over a few months ago. Or at the least, I would have seen that I was almost there. There - in the perfect solution. There - in the results I want. There - in the life I want to live. 

Maybe it's in the "there" that I fall short of understanding God's best for me.

What is "there?" There is - 

an end destination
a desired location
a hoped for spot
a planned arrival point
a prepared for end-of-the-journey
a chosen path ending

We have a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas which we (foolishly) bought with my grandma's inheritance $ years ago. Now, that sounds like a "there" where I would love to go right now. I love Depoe Bay, and really enjoy going "there." When we get to visit Gracie in VA, it's a joy to visit "there." And now to get to drive to Creswell to see Marisa...another favorite "there" spot. 

But we love living "here" and have a hard time leaving, even to go to our favorite there spots. We are content here....don't necessarily want to leave here, even if we'd love to be there. It's nice here at home. And it's comfy to be content when things are nice.

If only I could be content in all things, whether full or hungry, in hardship or not, like Paul. I wouldn't want most of Paul's life, but to be content no matter what.....before arriving "there..." that's a destination to pursue. To be content, I must wait. Yet I want to get to my "there" of health, like really soon, this week, today, now, yesterday!

We have a beautiful framed calligraphy of Psalm 37 in our family room. When I notice it, I'm reminded of what I must do..."Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." I must seek...I will seek to find the pocket of peace to rest in while I wait, in this land which is not so comfy....the parking lot that looks like kids dropped off to go to camp, full of loads of people doing the same thing I am doing. Waiting in expectation, bags packed, and aiming to bunk in with trust and peace.

Could my praise of Jesus' healing touch in my life speak as loudly as my struggles to obey in contentment now?

I think I know the answer. I don't like the answer very much, but I know Jesus has me hedged in - back, front, sides, top, bottom. He has His best for me in mind, and I have great hope I am not set aside out of the fruit-bearing life, regardless of what it looks like to me. 

So I will wait...for Patiently. Breathing in deeply the fragrance of life today, here. Grateful for so many many blessings, here, today. Happy for the journey-partners God's given me, right here and right now. I'll wait. Patiently, as the unknown demands. Here. Now. Waiting for Him.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012


What a treasure to get to participate in welcoming Marisa Milne into this world, and participating in her first 6 days of life in this world! Michelle and Rich are such cute parents, calm and adoring of their little gift!

Now to await the next call from Mike and Alyssa, that Hannah is on her way! Soon, very soon!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Rick Warren said something brilliant a few years ago when his wife was going through cancer treatment. He said that life isn't up OR down, joyful OR sad, good OR bad. That it's some of both all the time, like having each hand on a handrail. One's a rail of joy, and one's a rail of sadness or difficulty. They are both always present in varying degrees.

I thought that was a deep and meaningful statement, one which I've quoted a number of times since.

But you know, when one's life really is just that, both joyful and sad, good and difficult at the same time, I don't like it that much! It's not quite as brilliant to live it as to speak it! I like seeing the good in everything and staying there! Brush over the difficulties with prayer and patience, and go on creating joy.

So as I muse today, I'm tired of complaining. Aren't you glad? I mean I could complain if you egged me on....just kidding. Really, I want to be done. Paul was right in saying that we are to do everything without grumbling or disputing, that we may show ourselves as children of light in the midst of a dark generation. What a breath of fresh air to be with people who are grateful in the midst of real life. I like to be with them.

I HAVE SO MUCH JOY....oh, and yes, a little difficulty. But don't we all?
We're sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for "that call," as Michelle goes into a slow warm-up to labor...
Greg serving me by getting all the goodies to plant a multiple number of outdoor pots
Disappointment that my sweetness goes into remission when I'm an observer and opinion-lender vs. an active participant in the pot project
The stunning beauty of a walk along the Deschutes River at Tumalo Park this morning
The realization that afternoons are when my pumpkin turns into a carriage and I can spin my wheels, not the mornings
Mountains...the Sisters mountains are just stunning! Still mostly covered with snow, they shine brightly reflecting the sun.
Asher gobbling a rabbit in our courtyard before we could reverse the scenario (don't know which category this falls into, but he thought it was sheer joy)
The gift of a sweet woman to clean our house
The sort-of disappointment that it's not me
Watching my body heal - forward, backward, better, not so much better, different
Settling into the new diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I don't even like the word rheumatoid. It brings up pictures in my mind of witches in movies with gnarled hands and creepy faces. But alas, it is what it is.
Wishing I could write like Loralei Friesen (I'm thankful for Laura's gift of her book)
Great medical support about eventual remission and relief from issues through an ultra-healthy, plant-based diet. May it be so Lord!
Sitting with the fact that Dr. Silva was "practicing medicine" as they all do, and her diagnosis was incorrect. Still think I'm better off for those 12 treatments.
Mountains....they just keep taking my breath away. Solid, stately, beautiful snow-covered rock.

Which reminds me of THE Rock of Ages. Cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Sometimes one can be too honest in the space of a blog. I think I found that space in my last entry. Thanks for loving me anyway, even when I....complain! I listened to a CD Kathy mailed me later the same day I wrote the last entry. This hit a spot with me and is reshaping my thinking. And maybe it will with one of you too.

THE LAND the land between Egypt and the Israelite's promised land of milk & honey. This Land In-Between is fertile ground....

For Complaint....."Manna again?" Or I hear my grumble saying, "Pain again this morning?"

Fertile ground for.... Emotional Meltdown...."If you will treat me like this, kill me at once," Moses cried out to God. Or me, "God, I don't like this and don't want to handle it again...."

Fertile experience God's God telling Moses to call 70 elders to help him carry the responsibility for the Israelites. (If I open my hands to release my fear and anxiety, and then keep them open in trust to receive God's provision, maybe I'll too experience His goodness, graciousness, and provision.) "Is the Lord's arm too short?", God asked Moses in Numbers. Of course not. I look at the family and friends God has given me to help me carry my tiny load, physically & emotionally. It overwhelms me with gratitude.

And the Land In-Between is fertile ground for....transformational growth. Here's where the real work comes in, where the opportunity shows up, where the choice is to be made. This Land In-Between is the best soil in our lives to trust our heavenly Father. For the Israelites, it was their time to become trusting, God-fearing people. For me, it's my place to learn to pray, to trust God, to surrender again and perhaps over & over.

Yet my heart is in danger in this Land In-Between. My faith can die or grow. And only I choose. Complaint doesn't want to leave and demands to come back if I send it away. I deter complaint's return by inviting trust and gratitude into my house, help it unpack it's bags, and settle it into my thoughts and emotions, my mind and heart, my prayers and cries of my after day after day.

The space in my life which I most resent is the very soil where God wants to produce what I so desperately desire, where God does some of His richest and deepest work. 

God help me guard my heart. May my trust in You grow.

Willow Creek Conference speaker, Jeff Manion. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


"Sometimes all we can do is endure," my dear friend Kathy wisely said to me months ago.

So in this enduring time, that's what I'm again striving for. I upped (with my MD/ND's permission) the dosage of prednisone hoping for relief and the stop of the return of issues, and the hope to then drop it more slowly beginning in a couple of weeks.

I hear on one medical side from two MD's to be patient and wait, that the great foods and diet I am on will work in time. And on the other medical side, that I need to get myself all lined up with a better rheumatologist for the heavy hitter biologic drugs, in case my plan #1 doesn't work before I start to see deformities happening. (My aversion to those drugs is their reported 400% increase in cancer cases with those on them for a while, as well as the shot-in-the-dark with which one might work.)

So I am enduring with God's help. I am seeking an attitude of gratitude, which is in hiding a lot of the time. I am aiming at a focus on others and joy, in spite of the throbs and other random joint issues. I am learning to live a new way. (Can I say I don't particularly like it? This is hard!)

Yet there's always joy to be mined out in the sorrow, Henry Nouwan says. So again I ...take Jesus' yoke on me to learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart, and I will find rest for my soul. His perfect love casts out all fear....