Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Loving His Son

Thank you so much for praying for my daughter and loving her. It brings me great comfort to know each of you are praying for my daughter, encouraging her and showing your great love for her. Many prayers have been said for her since before she was born. Being premature and staying in the NICU for six weeks, many emotions were felt. When the doctors gave her a 50-50 chance of survival, my emotions were indescribable. I didn't know how to pray or what to ask for except, "Lord, give her LIFE." The doctors kept saying, "She is a fighter." And she fought for every heart beat and every breath.

The same feelings have overcome me again, 39 years later when the doctors at SWHP gave her a 50-50 chance of survival. (By going to MDACC, her survival rate increased to 80-20.) Again, she is fighting and my prayer is "Lord, give her LIFE." As a mother, it is heart-warming to know there are so many who will go to the One Who Answers Prayer on her behalf. So I thank you with all my heart. My gratitude is immeasurable. May blessings flow upon you.

I was thinking about how grateful I was that others loved and cared about my daughter and the thought occurred to me that maybe that is how God feels about His Son. He must feel truly honored and proud that others love His Son as much as He does. Think about it!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Afraid yet filled with Great Joy

During Easter, I was meditating on the resurrection passage, “the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with great joy.” It occurred to me that when the women heard the news that Jesus had risen they had mixed emotions.

Traveling through this unknown valley of cancer with my daughter, there have been many times we have been "afraid yet filled with great joy." It is only natural that our emotions react to disturbing news because of the endorphins that our brain releases. How we react to or respond to these emotions depends on the foundation we have based our life on. You can choose to react in anger and hopelessness or you can respond to the truth of what God's Word promises.

The women were afraid when the angel appeared to them but they were filled with great joy because Jesus was alive not dead. This seems to be exactly what we have experienced. Cancer is bad. The news is bad. It is like getting gut-punched. You can’t eat or sleep, your brain goes crazy with “what if”. Then you remember “Jesus is alive.” He created us. He loves us. He died for us. He was resurrected for us. When we trust Him, we remember He has a plan for us. Cancer is bad but God is good. That is our foundation. When you trust in what you know and believe to be the truth then you are filled with great joy. In your fear you can also be filled with great joy.

What are you afraid of today? Finances. Health. Being alone. Sad. Depressed. Your dreams shattered. Addictions. Angry. Whether your fear is for yourself or for someone else, there is reason to have great joy. The women went to tell everyone Jesus is risen. What He said is true.

So when you see or hear frightening news, remember the hope we have in Jesus. He is never going to leave us. He knows. He has a plan.

May your day be filled with the same kind of joy these women experienced after they were afraid.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God of All Comfort

One of my favorite verses I use in counseling, is II Corinthians 1:3 - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

I first heard of Proverbs 31 Ministries http://proverbs31.org/ from my daughter, Lisa, http://lisasmithblog.com/. She entered the She Speaks contest shespeaksconference.com last year. Her hopes and dreams are to speak and write. From a very young age, it was obvious she had a talent to write and speak. Words flow from her lips and pen. She says they whir around in her head all day and night. I believe that is truly remarkable and have watched how the Lord has promoted her to have a voice in the last couple of years. She has shared many of her favorite Proverbs 31 ladies' blogs with me and what they have meant to her and also chosen the ones she thought I will like. I love the words, the zest for life and the freedom these younger women have found in the Lord. Many times I am encouraged by these younger women even though my gift is encouraging.

Coming from a generation of pretending everything is fine, I have often wondered what different choices I would have made in my life if I had like-minded friends like these women. My message is "it is never too late to seek HIM even when you are old and gray."

It is said our greatest trial is our greatest ministry. Working as a counselor, I have many opportunities to share my greatest trials and to comfort others. My desire is to mentor younger women (even the "baby boomers") with the same comfort I have received. The pain among women is universal. We are all created from the same seed having the same thoughts. Choices and consequences manifest differently in different people.

Lysa TerKerust's scholarship sparked my hope and desire to minister with my daughter and these very wise younger women. Visit Lysa's blog http://lysaterkeurst.com/ to find out how you can enter for a scholarship.

*She Speaks conferences For Speakers teach you how "to develop a great message from start to finish" and "how to motivate your audience to make life changes."

*She Speaks conferences For Writers teaches "how to connect with your readers through blogging."

*She Speaks conferences For Women's Ministry Leaders encourage and train you "to distinguish God's direction for your ministry with confidence."

Again this year, my daughter is entering the She Speaks Contest. I encourage her and then she encourages me, "Mom, enter the She Speaks contest too. It will be fun." Ephesians 5:16 mentions "making the most of every opportunity." It is a wonderful opportunity for me to enter the She Speaks contest and to share my daughter's vision along with the other younger women in the Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Grace = unmerited divine assistance given to woman for her regeneration or sanctification. Grace is a virtue, act of kindness, special favor, a privilege, a musical trill, a title. I never thought much about "grace" until I learned that my name in Hebrew means "grace." "Sense" I have been growing older my prayer has been that I would:

grace in grace and knowledge
that my lips would be anointed with grace,
speak the word of his grace
a garland of grace would be on my head,
an ornament of grace would be around my neck,
the spirit of grace would be upon me,
be full of grace,
have grace and truth and power and apostleship and peace would reign in my life,
understand the grace of giving

I, like Lisa http://lisasmithblog.com, was pleasantly surprised to learn the Calvary Ladies Retreat http://calvaryhouston.com is on "Grace". He arranged this Retreat just for me. May each lady attending the retreat understand the incomparable riches of his grace. May they each look up and smile at God as He anoints them with grace and know that this retreat is just for them.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


One of my favorite verses I use in counseling, is II Corinthians 1:3 - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Our greatest trial (pain, tribulation) is our greatest ministry. We have found this to be so true. So many ladies have e-mailed, facebooked, blogged of their experiences with breast cancer or sarcoma. God has used them to comfort Lisa with the comfort they themselves received from the Lord and their friends. The ministry has been a source of comfort and encouragement to us.

We adopted a saying from the very beginning when Lisa was first diagnosed with sarcoma of the breast. "Look at what God is doing, not at what is actually happening." We are keeping our eyes focused on the One who created my daughter, the One who knows the plans He has for her, the One who loves her more than life, the One who died and rose again and lives today. Thanks be to God for the victory. (I Cor. 15:3, 57)

Thank you so much for comforting us. Because of you we have had opportunities to encourage and comfort others also. We give praise to the God of ALL comfort.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Organizer

I Corinthians 14:40- But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

I went back to McKinney this weekend taking Alyssa with me. We had a great weekend together. While packing the car, I realized I had stuff at Lisa's house, stuff at Cindy's house (where I have been staying), stuff in the trunk of the car, stuff in McKinney. I packed my favorite pillow. I am feeling a little disorganized. My thoughts took me back to Africa (where I have been on 2 mission trips) and realized the African women carry their suitcases with their "stuff" on their head with their blanket wrapped around them plus they carry their mattress, if they are lucky to have one when they come to Children' s Bible Camp. The Lord has given me such a heart for these women who are so much like us in so many ways. They experience the same emotions and relational issues that we American women feel. Well, Africa is another story. Again, in the midst of the disorganization, I am feeling, I am blessed that I have a car to travel in instead of a flatbed truck.

God is beginning to put order back into my life, as I have witnessed the great organizational skills of our Lord. Help with the 4 children, carpooling the 3 school age children, meals, visitors, doctor appointments, tests, coming in and going out, trips to Houston, multiple family members, rest, cleaning the house, washing the clothes, lunches, school supplies, spring clothes, the need, whatever it is has been met, the timing has been perfect. Even though at times it seems like disorderliness and confusion are about to take over, we always turn to our God and remember that He is a God of Order.

We trust in what we know not what we are feeling or what it looks like. We praise Him for turning the feeling of disorganization into a feeling of organization. We know that God is Good and He is a God of Order.


In reading II Corinthians 7:5 (NIV) the other morning, I realized the importance of relationships...with our friends, our family, our extended family, peers, even those we have not met yet. But more importantly it is our relationship with the Living Savior.

When Paul came to Macedonia, he was met with conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

When we have relationships with others, we truly feel their emotions. Whether it be fear, doubt, hurt, pain, or anger. We avoid relationships because of the pain it causes us. If we stay emotionally unavailable, it is less painful. We are removed from what is happening. When we build relationships with each other, we can stand with them in prayer believing that the "conflicts on the outside, fears within" are conquered by the love of God. Many friends have stood with Lisa and our family, comforted us and shed tears with us with your ardent concern. We had a wonderful lunch time, prayer time, share time with special ladies yesterday. Ladies we have relationships with. Your care, concern and comfort have brought our family much JOY. And there is strength in JOY.

God loves Lisa. God loves me. He knows the conflicts on the outside, fears within and they have been conquered by HIS love. He has comforted us and collected our tears, He is concerned. And there is JOY in the Lord because we know that we know that God is Love. The Lord reminded me that I have a relationship with the Lord and He knows the conflicts on the outside and the fears within and He is walking through this with me. He knows my heart, my pain without me having to tell Him. His comfort, care, concern and even the Lord's tears are with me and I receive His great love for me. Neh. 8:10 (NIV) - "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Thank you so much for walking through the valley of cancer with us.