Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I was praying and meditating over Joel, when God showed me a picture of myself being taken by the arm and guided over to a line on the floor where Jesus told me to stand right behind the line~~ just the way Pat Sajak does when he takes the winner of Wheel of Fortune over to the line to stand for the final puzzle.  After positioning myself behind the line,  I looked up and saw that the letters on the board spelled “transitioning”.  That was all I saw and all I heard, but it spoke clearly and firmly to our present circumstances.

We are in a place of transition, and being challenged with becoming who God is calling us to be in this “senior season” of our lives.  It has at times been amazing and at other times it has been very difficult.  As I pondered what Holy Spirit had shown me, I heard the words that have come to me for Joel so often this year ~ “For such a time as this you have been created”.  (Esther 14).  It is helpful for us as we walk the "road less traveled".

We have been struggling a great deal with feeling like we don’t completely fit into the faith communities we are a part of.  We have found ourselves responding or reacting to the need to define or defend who we are.  This need to defend has distracted us from where God has placed us and what He is doing in us.  It took us awhile to realize that this is not about other people and their thoughts or beliefs, it is about us.  It is about a transition and new birth under the Master’s hands.  When you surrender all to God and ask for “more” He takes that seriously.
When I thought about the word transition I went immediately back in my mind to the Gospel Tabernacle in Duluth Minnesota.  The year was 1972 and Joel was forecasting weather for the pilots at the Duluth Air Force Base.  During this time we went to a Lutheran church Sunday mornings, and often with friends on Sunday night to the Tabernacle, a church connected to the Assembly of God denomination.  From there my mind jumped to the Philippines where we attended an inter-denominational church and were part of the Baptist Serviceman’s club off base from 1974-76.  I also belonged to a beautiful group of around 40 women during that time who came together once a week to worship, share, and pray.  There were women from many denominations and I know now that many had their own prayer language and believed in healing. It was there that I experienced my first healing through prayer.  Through that group of women, I saw prayers answered in powerful ways.  For others and for ourselves.  

Looking back I could see the path we had followed and how all those experiences had been quietly and firmly guided by God as He shaped us.  They came together in 2012, 40 years after God instilled in us the desire for something more, when we were healed through prayer from Lyme, and given our own prayer languages.  Our lives were shaken to the core, and it sent us on a quest for all that is offered by our God.   The quest has brought us to yet another season of transition for “such a time as this” now in 2016, 40 years after leaving the women's prayer group behind in The Philippines.

One friend mentioned to me that 40 is a significant number in the Bible. I had not thought of that, but I am receiving it as we wait with expectation and to be honest, some weariness for God to guide our next step. 

It has been a tough year that came together into a perfect storm.  Searching for God's guidance in the midst of it has had Joel saying no to several opportunities, and also has me stepping down from The Knee Team prayer group that I have facilitated for several years.  Some things seem to be ending for us and today I realized that these endings are opportunities for new beginnings.  

"What we call the beginning
is often the end
And to make an end is to
make a beginning
The end is where we start from
T.S. Eliot

We need to focus on hearing God's voice and trust Him in the process.  We need to rest in His hands and let Him "fight for us".  Let Him close doors, and open others while be willing to let go and start anew.

We all go through times of transition in our lives. Our hope is to come through stronger, wiser, and closer to God.  It is not often easy, it is not always fun.  It is, however, necessary as we lean into God and transition into who He calls us to be.  


Thursday, June 16, 2016


i wanted to apologize for the half written post that somehow was posted here to the public.  It was a work in progress.  I'm so sorry.

A blogation is definitely needed........

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Time Of Silence

I have decided to take a vacation from blogging.  A Blogation, if you will.  I have been writing quite a bit lately for just myself, expressing in words emotions from deep in my soul as we navigate the season we are finding ourselves in.

The past 10 months have brought with it a storm of emotions as we walked through an interruption in moving, cancer, treatments, surgeries, physical challenges, purposes delayed or denied, seeking where we belong in a faith community, and so much more.  We have managed it pretty darn well, as God sustained us throughout, but it all seems to have come to a head now with a "perfect storm" of circumstances joining forces over the past couple of weeks.  It is bringing us to God's feet in rest.  Right where we need to be.


We have found ourselves weary.  Weary of the physical battles that continue.  Weary of feeling the need to define or defend our beliefs no matter where we find ourselves on Sunday morning. Weary of the crap being thrown on the political front.  Weary of the judgement and hate Christians toss out in the name of Jesus or the evil that is flooding our world in the name of a vindictive god that does not exist. We are weary of not seeing Christ's love expressed around us, at us, in us, or by us.    Yeah, weary may be an understatement.

We have begun asking the hard questions of our loving Papa God.  We expect His wisdom as we wait.  He is a good good Father.  We are resting in His promises and still seeking His purpose and plan as we do life in this season.  Silencing my blog and the social media for a period of time will be helpful..  

Blessings friends. Blessings.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Persistent Bumblebee

I was sitting outside Saturday morning, enjoying my favorite beverage....a cup of hot water....yeah, just one of many questionable things I find comforting......Anyway, I was sitting outside listening to a teaching from Bethel church on my iPad, hoping to take in some natural Vitamin D before the rising temperatures and dew points drove me inside.

Suddenly a huge bumblebee was in front of my face.  I jumped up and moved away and it followed me.....I moved again and it followed me again....everywhere I moved it followed. Seriously?  I quickly went inside and shut the glass storm door.  The over-sized bee hit the door trying to get to me.  Then it hit the door again..........and yet again.  Finally it moved away and I could no longer see it.  I went back outside and sat down and there it was again.....following me around until I went back inside.  Not the smartest bee on the planet but certainly persistent, it once again hit the glass over and over trying to get inside.

I spoke to the bee.  Yes, it is a bit the the west of weird, but I spoke to the bee commanding it leave.  Maybe it was the fear it heard in my voice that caused it to ignore me.  Ha!  After a few minutes of chatter I went and got our always handy spray bottle of vinegar and water....threatening to spray it.  Evidently my words did not scare the bee, but my bottle of vinegar did.  It took off, never to return.

When I told Joel about the "killer bee" that drove me out of my place of resting, he had a good laugh. Together we wondered why the bee was so interested in me.........was it my magnetic personality or was it the coconut oil that I had lathered on my skin that morning.....obviously it was the sweet smell of the oil.  You can eat it, cook with it, do "oil pulling" with it, use it as a lotion, and for its healing properties.  Evidently bees are also aware of how good it is.

Back to persistence.  That big ol' bee persisted in its quest and I was reminded of my own "quests" and the need to be persistent.  Persistence in believing that our world can be a better place to live.  Persistence that love will be our first choice when connecting with others.  Persistence in erasing the us or them mentality that permeates every part of our society.  Persistence in my quest for full healing, in my desire to know more about the Word, in my need to have a closer relationship with the Three in One and His purpose for my life and all that involves.

I hope to never encounter the over-sized bumblebee again, but I also hope to never forget the lesson in persistence he showed me.  If God can use others to send us a message He can certainly use a bumblebee to remind me to be persistent.  So, most of me is grateful for the persistent bumblebee that invaded my porch that morning.  The rest of me is keeping my trusty vinegar bottle at my side just in case.......

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday morning here in our corner of "greenhouse Iowa"....it is soooo hot and humid! It was around 96 yesterday with a dew point of 68, but strong storms and heavy rain cooled it off around 8 pm.  Today we will head to a high of 92 or so, with dew points in the 70''s....ugh.....I don't mind the temperatures........we just don't like the high humidity and dew points.  It is not Georgia, I know, but we long for dryer weather up here, while so grateful for our air-conditioned home.

View from the Porch

We have been walking and Joel has been riding.  Joel has done a lot of outdoor work, and we have taken in some porch sitting.  We have had a few good laughs watching our neighborhood squirrels dragging corn cobs around.  Our neighbor across the street puts them out for the deer, raccoons and squirrels and the empty cobs often end up in our yard.  We enjoy the antics of one particular squirrel as he dragged a cob almost as big as him across the yard, street, and our yard to his "home".  Comical.

It was a quiet week of revelations (see former posts) and resting.  On Thursday we had a fun visit with Joel's cousin Luther who drove down from SE Minnesota to see us.  He lives up north in Joel's home town now after years of making his home in SE and then NW MN as a principal.  It was so fun to share a meal and catch up with him.

Joel is off to meetings for the Synod.  Friday night, all day and evening today and tomorrow morning he will be gone.  He is coming home to sleep, which makes me happy!  This is actually the first time we have spent so much time apart in a long while.....like months and months!

Next week is our grandson Eli's 14th birthday!  His mom sent us a picture of Eli with his dad Ivan. He looks so much like our son, Kevin who is his birth dad.  Kevin died almost 12 years ago when a virus attacked his heart.  We are so thankful that Eli has good parents, a loving sister, and a healthy life.  Thank you Jesus.

I watched some of Mohammad Ali's funeral this week.  I could not figure out why, but I think I was looking for understanding in how much this man's death affected our world, and how much this man's life affected our world.  And more understanding came and my perceptions shifted somewhat.........

I finished a fiction book by Lauraine Snelling this week.  We have watched a few teachings using our Roku device, began studying the book of Luke, continue to read "The Prayer of Jabez" and reading more in our Sunday night Bible Study book by John Ortberg.  What are you reading?

Until next time.............

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Update: "Cancer-related Fatigue"

About 10 days ago I started to see an big increase in my energy.  I was washing windows, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning the house, and going places.  Ahhhhh  I thought.  I'm finally back to normal. And then I crashed.  Big.  Say, what??

After a week of struggling again with weakness, major fatigue, shaking and pain, we were in need of some heavy duty talking with Holy Spirit.  Pushing was not helping, speaking against the symptoms brought little relief.  I was beginning to worry that I  was being hounded by past sicknesses.

Holy Spirit set us straight.  He told Joel again that the weakness, fatigue, and shaking were the effects of the radiation.  Still.  Nearly 6 months later?  I wanted confirmation on what God was saying to Joel so I did some google research and was astounded to find some studies by the National Institute of Health, info from MedMD and the cancer sites, and message boards that said the same thing.  The fact is, like so many others, radiation is still limiting my life 6 months after I had my last treatment.

Many people were still feeling what was called, "cancer-related fatigue" for not only months after treatments ended, but years. It is really more like cancer treatment related fatigue.  The more research I did the more it was confirmed, not only was the affects of radiation still causing rib cage and breastbone tenderness and discolored skin, it was causing fatigue.  Major fatigue.  Fatigue "not diminished by rest or sleep".

The more I pushed the weaker I got.  The weaker I got the more my whole body vibrated and shook.  The more I shook the more anxious I got, the more anxious I got the harder I pushed, going in a circle like a dog chasing it's own tail.

This heaviness I feel is a reminder of the years I spent trying to function.  What I need to remember is that I am not that person anymore.  I can still do 3x what I could do then.  I just can't do what I have been doing the past couple of years.  I am walking 1/2 mile instead of 1 1/2.......I'm cooking, I'm going places, etc. BUT I have to rest a lot.  And the fatigue comes and goes on a moment's notice!  I found that information, too, while searching.  It was a relief to read about what I was experiencing and put a name to it.

I have shared the breast cancer journey with you all since the beginning.  I have learned quite a bit about myself along the way.  Joel and I both have as we put the pieces back together after facing a breast cancer diagnosis in the midst of moving to AZ.

Looking back we can see how God was beside us, ahead of us, and behind us every step of the way.  With His deep unfathomable love.........as always.  Every doctor and every nurse were caring and very skilled as I made my way through 3 surgeries and 31 radiation treatments.   So many praying.  And so many words from our Lord whispered in our ears, spoken by His children, and found in His Word.  A journey of trust and obedience even when, no, especially when it was hard to comprehend or understand.  A time to draw nearer to our Papa God.

So, what about our beliefs on healing?  What the Bible says about healing does not change because of my journey.  It does not change when God uses doctors and treatments instead of His healing power.  We have watched and listened to many healed by prayer alone.  We have been healed by Jesus through prayer and watched Jesus heal others as we prayed for them.  No, the truth about healing and our beliefs have not changed.  Jesus died for us.....salvation and healing are both connected to the cross and His sacrifice.  My recent experiences do not change that.  Knowing what is happening right now gives us a stronger sense of what to pray for.  It makes it easier to move away from telling God how BIG my problem is and move into telling my problem how BIG my God is!

So I am resting more and pushing myself less.  I  figure with time to sit, I have more time to read, study, pray and speak His Word,  and balance that out with a good fiction book or two, TV,  porch sitting, and coloring in my coloring book. I discovered I really like it.  Coloring,, that is.  Not resting.

Back to the trust and obedience thing.  Every one of us have our own stories worth sharing.  All our faith stories lead us back to our Lord.  They include words like trust, obedience, love, forgiveness, and so much more.  There are times where we can just "see" God walking with us. These are stories that others need to hear.  Our stories encourage, stretch, comfort, and inspire. And most importantly, they keep us focused on God.  Our Healer, our Provider, our Protector, our Savior.

As this saga continues to ebb and flow, I hope you find encouragement for your own journeys with what life throws your way.  We are stronger than we think and when we are not, God is!  In the midst of it all, God is.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you all from our beautiful corner of the world where we are enjoying the many shades of green from lawns, bushes and trees, and the bright colors of tulips, irises, planted flowers, and lilacs.  Even with the rain we have had on and off nearly every day, it is dryer than normal and we like that.  It was 86 yesterday but you would not have known it due to the low humidity and dew point.  We have walked daily around the association avoiding the wet and muddy river road.  It has been fun to see all the yards decked out in their finery.  We make the most of our short season here in the Midwest.

Speaking of making the most of things, Joel has been able to ride his bike a lot.  Yesterday he went around Clear Lake which he enjoys.  It takes longer and he has to drive there so he does not do it very often. Walking has been slow and steady.......with a couple of mile walks adding in to mostly 3/4 to 1/2 mile jaunts.  I hate still having to share that my energy is still not steady at what it was, and the week of good energy dissolved into pushing myself daily for now.   I am also having some issues with the right rib which has been sore since radiation.  We keep praying over it.  Radiation is the gift that unfortunately keeps on giving.

This morning we headed to a small town about 1/2 hour from here for their "Treasures Fest" which is mostly just someone else's junk that you may want.  We found an old window decoration for the entrance wall to the porch and another sign we thought was cute.

Window frame decoration

Only $4.95 on clearance

On Sunday night we went to a BBQ at the Praise Church lead pastor's house.  It was a nice gathering with good food and fellowship.

On Monday a couple drove 85 miles to come see us.  They both have Lyme along with 3 of their 4 children.  They are strong Christians who love the Lord, and so young......in their late 30's.  We talked for hours and prayed for each other before they headed home.  We were so impressed by their faith journey in such difficult circumstances, as they stand in their faith for healing and walk out their gift from God of raising 4 young kids.

On Wednesday we stopped at the HyVee grocery greenhouse and found all their hanging plants on sale for $5.99!!!!!  I had been telling Joel about the one yellow black-eyed Susan type ivy we had purchased for the front garden two years ago, wishing we could find one............and there it was! The only one of it's kind and the young man in charge told me it was the same price as the others.  What?? It is huge. So we bought it on the spot, along with two other lovely hanging baskets to enjoy.
Can you believe this huge planter with 
the yellow ivy and purple and red
flowers was only $5.99??  
And just what I was
looking for.  

Variegated climbing petunias

Thursday night we went to the library and I picked up three fiction books to read.  We have a nice library here in town. As a kid I remember going to the library to get books.  They were my escape. I loved Trixie Beldon and Nancy Drew books.  Guess I have always enjoyed mysteries.  I loved The Borrowers and The Borrowers Afloat too.  What did you read as a kid?

Yesterday we went to farmer's market and found some strawberries...yum......We have been eating salads for supper for a couple of months now, and cutting out sweets (maple syrup sweetened) mostly.  Once a week we have something sweet we enjoy except for this week when I made Joel a rhubarb pie to enjoy.  Joel has lost probably 13 lbs now and I have lost.......2lbs.  Yep.  Enough said on that depressing topic.  So, we love pancakes and have them every two weeks on Saturday night.  Seriously, such a routine~~~are we old or what??  Tonight is pancake night which means almond flour pancakes with almond butter, fresh strawberries and blueberries and coconut whipped cream.  Life is just to short to not enjoy a few tasty treats and believe it or not, pancakes is one of ours (mine).

We watched the movie, Bridge of Spies last Saturday night.  It was really, really good!  One of the best we have seen in awhile.  We listened to and watched a few teachings online, and tuned in to the show 500 Questions. Wow......such smart people and such hard questions.  Gets our brains working which is all good.  So how was your week?

Until next time..........

Thursday, June 2, 2016

So, What Are You Doing Child?

I was listening to a pastor speak about forgiveness and how he had a difficult time forgiving himself for things in his past or bad choices he makes in his life.  One day as he was talking with God, God asked him what he was doing.  The conversation went something like this.....

GOD:  "What are you doing, Chris?" 

CHRIS:  "What do you mean, God?"

GOD:  What are you doing Chris?

CHRIS: "I know, I know.....I am not forgiving myself for what I have done wrong".

GOD:  "You need to forgive not only others, but yourself."

CHRIS:  "I know, but it is hard when I remember what I have done....I feel the need to punish myself."

GOD:  "So, my Son suffering and dying on the cross wasn't enough for you?"

Forgiving others is sometimes easy and sometimes not, depending on the situation.  Jesus helps us forgive others through Holy Spirit living in us.  Amen.  When I look back in my own life, I can tell you exactly where I have struggled with forgiving myself.  It is during those times I was not a good mom.  Yeah.  I have given it to Jesus and received forgiveness and I know that.  But it does not take much to bring shame or sadness to the surface for those times I did not meet my own expectations or was not who I needed to be for my kids. Just being honest here.......

So, is God asking me the same question?  "What are you doing, Renee?  Was my Son, (your Savior) suffering and dying on the cross not enough for you?" 

We are quick to blame in our society.  In the secular or Christian world.  I think of the recent drama that unfolded on our TV over and over again.  The little boy that got over the barrier and into the domain of that huge gorilla.  The zoo officials felt they had to shoot the animal to protect the boy. Very quickly people went crazy with criticism for the parents....the mom.....the zoo.......Everyone had an opinion.  It is still a topic of news and opinions vary.  I could not help but think about this mom and wonder how she will forgive herself for what happened whether it was from her neglect or the fact she has an inquisitive boy who impulsively acted in a way that brought him harm.  Either way, as a mom I can imagine what she is going through. 

As Chris Gore continued his teaching that day, he mentioned that unforgiveness can get in the way of our relationship with God.  It can get in the way of receiving from God....whether it is His love or His healing.  Unforgiveness can get in the way of all God has for us, because of Jesus. Yeah...

Are their areas in your life where you hold unforgiveness against others or yourself?  Is God asking you the same question?  "What are you doing, child?  So, my Son suffering and dying on the cross was not enough for you?"