Friday, November 30, 2007

Romance and Imperfect Marriages


Couples in love, especially those who are novices at it, need to learn a few secrets.

Kristy has as few vices as any one you would ever meet. Her heart is a pure heart--not vengeful, or haughty, or high minded, or covetous. She is hospitable and generous. She has given her very last ounce of strength more times than I can tell you for her family and for others. Now she isn't or never has been perfect, but she has been diligent in striving to honor God all her life. Now this is some holy gal.

Most people would say that I have been a good guy. Didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't spit or chew, didn't go to bad movies, lie, steal, or cheat. Can quote lots of Scripture. Known to be a prayer intercessor. Honored God...Helped people go to heaven. Not perfect...but a nice fellow.

Now these two lilly whites meet, fall in love, and walla... you have a perfect marriage.

Wrong....bad wrong...

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. It is impossible to have two people in marriage that have minds and wills of their own without having some differences--sometimes big differences.

Here is part of the secret you must know in marriage: YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE AND NOT NECESSARILY BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME. Did you read it? Do you get it? Sweet romance will overcome the storms of inevitable difference, if you're willing.

Boy, have we had some dozy of arguments!!??!! We didn't cuss. Didn't throw things. Didn't go home to Momma or Daddy. But we did have some very, fantastic arguments. And, I suspect there might be a few more to come.


Do you remember Ruth Bell Graham's famous quote of whether she had thought of divorcing her famous, world evangelist husband, Dr. Billy Graham? She said, I never thought of divorcing him......but murder!!!"

But here is the good news. You can have a life of romance and sweet lovin' even with some exciting or difficult moments of difference along the way.

Our biggest argument??? I don't remember. Maybe Kristy will remember when she gets her thinking back. Or maybe better, maybe when she gets her memory in full function then she won't remember it either.

Here's three points to help with arguments and differences: 1. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath. Don't stay mad over twenty four hours. It isn't worth it. 2. Don't let the little things bug you. Give it up. Move on. Learn to compromise and give and take. I can tell you as one whose spouse has a serious, deadly brain tumor that little things don't matter much. 3. No one's opinion is more important than a person. Opinions don't trump people. Don't fight for right and kill your mate.

Clean up the mess. Forgive and forget and let the make up lovin' begin.

Now, I have counseled long enough to know that some couples have messed up so badly that other steps might need to be taken, but you would be surprised how much can be corrected and erased by these few small steps.

Learn these important phrases:

YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT. (Not to be said with sarcasm)

or
I AM SORRY. I WAS WRONG. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

Now repeat them again.

YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT.

or
I AM SORRY. I WAS WRONG. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

If you don't have them memorized now, repeat them twice more.


How is Kristy?

I woke in the middle of the night with Kristy wanting to get something. She tried to communicate but the words wouldn't come out right. Sometimes she communicates as clear as a bell, but at other times its real fuzzy. Finally, we went into the kitchen, Kristy's kitchen, and she found her heart's desire for the moment and asked me, "What's this?"

I said, "An apple". There we were with her sitting in the bed, in the middle of the night, with her eating an apple. It was kinda cute and touching. When she finished, she snuggled up close and told me what a good man I am. I told her how much I loved her....and the night continued.

She is slowly weaning off the pain drugs....She had a good afternoon and evening. Praise God for His goodness.

Keep praying for Kristy....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

PS. The picture was taken a couple months back in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where our daughter, Jennifer, lives.

When Life Isn't Fair....


We got home before noon from the oncologist consultation. Kristy wasn't feeling well and was very weak and sick.

I stood by her sister in our kitchen after we gotten Kristy in a more restful mode, and it couldn't help but slip out. I told Rebeca, "It just isn't fair."

But that is the way life is sometimes. Kristy has given her life for the good, for our Lord, and will continue that way. We both will. We have been blessed by spending our lives to help others.

Now the flesh cries out; "Why this? Why now? Why Kristy?"

I'll comment in a future blog on this "why" question.

I have learned through these years of service for our Lord that praise to God during the rough times does more in "us" than it does probably in any other way or place. Praise lifts our spirits. Praise points us to faith. Praise is an activation point for future blessings. Praise affects the spirit, heart, and eventual outcome in every dimension of our lives.

Last night Kristy walked slowly through the house giving thanks for God's goodness. We have lifted our hands together in worship and danced slowly and quietly together before our Lord. You could feel His sweet presence in our home. It was touching and powerful. The included picture is of Kristy playing the piano in worship to God in our home the night before her surgery.


Our home is a place of worship in the good times and in the bad.

We have learned that when life isn't fair....God is still good. He is still Lord. We offer Him praise.

How is Kristy?

She had another great day yesterday and a great night. Praise God!

The consultation went good and she goes Tuesday for another consultation and to have a mask made of her face. The mask is to be used in the radiation process so that she will not have to have marks put on her for every radiation treatment.

We do not know if she will recover from her word displacement and confusion problem. Time and God will tell how that will go.

Thanks for all your prayers, comments, and love. From all I have heard this blog has reached out into some most unusual places and touched lives in miraculous ways. May God be glorified.

Keep praying for Kristy....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So Many Stories.....


The stories are pushing out my fingers. So many of them I can't focus on which ones to share. Some so funny you would bust your side laughing. Some theological and provoking. Others entertaining. Some inspiring and romantic to the bone. Others merely whimsical...leading no where but yet meaningful.

I have been like I've heard Kristy share in her writing courses: "An I like to have written kind of writer." I guess you caught that past tense verb usage. Not enjoying the process so much, but really glowingly proud of what I have written.

Its not that way anymore. I have mystically through osmosis or spiritual form captured Kristy's passion to write. It is pouring out of me--like a fountain, one of those deep ones with gusher like force.

Will you pray that God will help me write from His heart with Holy Spirit guidance?


*******************************************

A clarification is in order for my manhood. I am not a panty, waisted, sissy preacher with a sorry limp wrist ed, lip lisping, sweety pie manner.

I'm a football swaggering, butt kickin' (oops, sorry, not in my preacher dictionary), tell it like it is kind of guy.

I guess I got just a little insecure for a brief moment with all this mushiness oozing out of me. Just needed to set the record straight.

**********************************************

Last night I was typing a blog at Kristy's computer and she came strolling in for a moment. Here I was writing some of this mushy stuff and I wondered if she would peek into the screen. She did, but I realized she couldn't read it.

Then, she leaned against the right side of the desk asking me some names of writer friends and was struggling to get them out. She paused and got a paper and pen and attempted to write. "Help me," she asked. I tried, but I realized she couldn't write.

I held back the tears, not wanting her to be disturbed or discouraged by my hurt for her.

Then, she sweetly, just above her breath, said, "God is so good. God is so good to me."

Wow, what faith and what confidence in our God's ways.

****************************************

Later we were deep into the night. She had slept well. I had not slept. She awakened and needed more pain medication and so I got it for her.

We lay down again and a long while later she realized I was still awake. She took my hand and we laid there holding hands the longest.

Finally, she said, "Milton, I love you sooo much. You are so good to me."

I acted like I was now asleep. It was a selfish moment. I didn't respond. I just let it soak in.


***********************************

How is Kristy?

She dressed yesterday in regular clothes for the first time at home. Turquoise blouse and black pants. Dolled up hair and make up. Ear rings... The works. No "break out" pain. Her eyesight is not as good and she has word displacement and confusion, but God is so good.

Keep praying for Kristy....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Huggin' and Kissin' and.....




Our first kiss led to other things--wonderful things far beyond what a young buck could imagine.

We dated in church, attended a christian Bible college (now Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL), spent our extra time going on witnessing outreaches, sang in the college traveling choir, and did more spiritual things than most could list. Its true that we did some kissin' and huggin' in the mean time before our wedding night, but we were committed with grit and determination to sexual purity and a greater future together.

We were virgins the night we said our vows. Lots of kissin' and huggin' had gone on, but all hands were kept where they should be and our virtue was without question. The romance before marriage was filled with fun, laughter, church goin', and wholesome things that make the heart and soul fill good when you're done. It was a dance of learning and laughing. This led to a lifetime of no regrets and great blessing in our marriage bed .

Why choose to remain a virgin until marriage? The reasons are many, but here are a few that have meant so much to me.

Because we maintained our purity we have had total trust in each other in our marriage. Kristy knew she could trust me for I had honored her before marriage. I knew I could trust Kristy because I knew she had kept herself pure for me. This bond of loving trust has kept us all these years.

The exploration of marriage love was heightened because we shared its mystery together. She has been my lover, my only lover, and this glorious commitment outshines any promiscuous, casual, or sensual relationship a foolish one would choose. The anticipation and excitment of our wedding night outshined any temporary or casual initmacy. This sacred union has blessed us all these years.

Our restraint before marriage turned into unmatched release in marriage. We were so determined to honor God and each other before marriage that our passion to fulfill each other in marriage has been worth more than a thousand, million illicit bonds with unworthy ones. This sexual discipline has delighted us all these years.

I heard a country song's lyrics that sadly expresses the world's view. It goes:

Before we said we do,
We did,
But now we don't...

In our marriage it has been ....

Before we said we do,
We didn't,
But now we do....

Personally, I like the sound of the last version better.

Now if my words and thoughts make you blush just turn to the Bible and read....

Song of Solomon 4. Read it all. It ends...

"Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."

Huggin' and kissin'..... and a lifetime of wonderful lovin'.

Well Now....

How Is Kristy?

She had her best day yesterday and her best night last night. She has not had a "breakout" pain in over 35 hours. Praise God!!! She is not recovering enough to blog yet but we are still believing for that to happen soon.
She has an oncologist consultation on Friday. Radiation will follow soon. Doctors say we must wait a brief time after surgery for the brain to heal to best receive the radiation and chemotherapy.

Keep praying for Kristy.... for us.


Her Husband, Milton


PS: I felt compelled to share this blog in hopes someone could use our story and my thoughts to inspire younger ones to a better way. If you failed or if you are yet failing in your personal life in this area, don't be condemned. Give it to Jesus. Let Him cleanse you and free you, and begin a life of blessing today.

The Emotions of Romance




Our office at home as two desks--one for Kristy and to her back, one for me. I have a very nice office at church, but all along we have found ourselves working back to back in our home office. When we bought and remodeled our home, I made the office as nice as we could especially for Kristy.

Not long ago we were working back to back, and I heard some sniffles. I was focused on my work and at first didn't pay much attention, but the sniffles got a little louder and so I asked Kristy, "Are you OK?"

She responded as she continued to type her novel on her computer, "This story is getting me. Its so sweet, so good."

Her romantic, deep feelings could not be constrained. Later she was laughing about the story and then later on she was quieter.

Our romance has been like that... with laughter, joy, tears, some dancing, and reflection. The emotions of romance have spilled over into our hearts and has made life full, significant, and exciting. Filled with lots of fireworks....look at Kristy's past posts on fireworks.

I encourage you to let the emotions of romance flow over and out of your heart. It will make life fuller, enjoyable, richer.

How is Kristy?

She had a very tough beginning of the night, but thankfully finally fell into sleep and rested well. She gets confused but is a trooper...a very classy trooper.

Please keep praying for Kristy...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Monday, November 26, 2007

Faith from a Child....


The prayers of God's people around the world have lifted Kristy and me up during the last days. When I was told that Kristy had no more than a hand full of weeks to live without treatment or a miracle, I literally fell backwards and breath left my body. Her brother, Terry, grabbed me and held me up. I could not have stood without his arms holding me up.

Yet, in an even greater way, God's mighty, strong arms have held Kristy and me up and kept us as we walked through these waters. Your prayers...all of your prayers...have been felt in our spirits and bodies. We can never say thank you enough.

Claudia, our three year old granddaughter, was walking with me down the resort hotel hallway last summer and with great animation and talking hands said to me, "Papa, Jesus is strong. Jesus is verrry stronggg."

"I know, " I responded.

She said again, "But Papa, Jesus is very, very strong!"

I was touched by these amazing insightful words from a mere three year old. Where did she get such theology this young?

So I asked her, "How do you know Jesus is strong?"

She sang her answer:

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tell me so
Little to ones to Him belong
They are weak....BUT HE IS STRONG!!!


I melted over her childlike faith and enthusiasm.

Yes, we are weak. We have been weak, but He has been so strong for us.

Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty
waters,
though your footprints were not
seen-- Psalm 77:19


How Is Kristy?

She had a better night. Some pain around 9:30 PM but slept almost all night. Some nausea, but a better night.

Again, may God bless you for all your thoughts, love, and prayers. Keep praying for Kristy...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

PS: Your comments have been such a comfort. They made us feel you were here with us.






Sunday, November 25, 2007

Please Read It Again...


Please read the previous post again.


I have not blogged a new post as I have not felt that those words should be passed over so quickly. Several at church today shared with tears how much they or others they knew had been touched by these thoughts from my heart.


Would you share with someone today about the last post?


I feel that God has some healing and help for marriages through it.



Our Wedding Kiss...How sweet to remember.


How Is Kristy?

She has had two very rough nights and then decent days. She has been getting very sick around 1:30 AM through around 7-8 AM then would get OK for the day. Pray that God will release this intense pain and nausea in the night.

I will share other thoughts soon and Kristy may blog tomorrow.

Keep praying for Kristy...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tough Men and Tender Romance

This last week as I have been home for a few moments at different times while Kristy has been in the hospital dealing with a deadly tumor, some things have been very different for me. I don't think I can explain but I'll try.

I walked through the house filled with visiting family, but oh, it was sooo empty:

a kitchen...but no cook

a family room...but no family

a bedroom...but no lover

a back porch...but no one to share it's view

a dining room...but no one to dine with....

I would return to the hospital to hold the hand of my dearest, most precious friend only to wonder if after the surgery would she, could she ever see me, hear me, touch me, talk with me, share life with me again? The pain and horror of those thoughts are haunting and more terrible than you could imagine.

So what does a man who has faced such possibilities have to say to other husbands?

Hold her while you can. Hold her tightly. Hold her hand. Listen to her heart. Look into her eyes. Look at her across the room with that longing, I love you look. Kiss her more often. Be completed by her wonderful differences. Capture the magic and share the thrill of it all. Let the little things go by the board--I promise they don't matter even as much as the largest hill of beans.

Put some Cologne on and smell good for her. Take her to her favorite place to dine more often. Give a hand written, card with sweet words in it. Find out her favorite movie and share it with her. Turn football off and turn HG TV on. Let her hold the remote.

Grow up and get rid of some of your insecure, male ego. Get smarter and learn from her. Cook her a meal. Make up your bed. Wash some dishes. Do a little vacuuming. Repair something broken in the home without her asking. Let her buy a new dress without griping. You buy her a new dress without her knowing it.

Surprise her with something good.

Be male enough, strong enough, determined enough, to find your tender side. Find a few new, nice words and say them to her. Say them often. Say them sweetly and with quiet, moving, passion.

Share the moment...it might not last long.

Read her the Bible and pray with her. Pray over her heart's desire in your private prayer moments.

Let God do something fresh in your lives together.

Thankfully, many of these things have been a part of our lives for some time...but some of these thoughts are in need of my attention. Some of them I have never done.

I could quote a ton of Scripture, but this is from a hurting, tendered heart.

No wife is perfect and there is a long list of things women need to know about men, but I can tell you from a fresh wound and hurt in my being that you don't want to live and build a pile of massive regrets.

We will continue our romance. It will be sweeter, more precious, and it will have new sparkle....I promise!!

What will you do?

Ladies Listen Up:

I am asking you to put this in the hand of your husband. Tell him a man with new insight about life told you to give it to him. Print this and give to a friend whose husband might need some help.

How Is Kristy?

She had a wonderful day at home. She is weak, but relatively pain free. There is so much to deal with for her to get well, but our trust is in God. One of her doctors prayed for her yesterday while she was still in the hospital. God answers prayer. He is a miracle working God.

Keep praying for Kristy.....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

My Sweetheart Is Home!!!




After over a week of seemingly unending trials, Kristy is home again. Thank you for your continued prayers. We have uncharted waters ahead, but the Lord is with us. We will update news and continue blogging this journey.

I have something to say to a few men and I will write later today.

Kristy will blog again as she is able.

Keep praying for Kristy...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Thousand Words.....



Thanksgiving Dinner 7 PM 11/22/07 at Baptist Hospital

O Give Thanks--for God Is Good...

Singing In The Shower

After several really difficult days, Kristy was ready to shower and shampoo her "red hair". The nurse's aide and I helped her to the shower and she sat in a chair because she is still so weak. As she was shampooing her hair for the first time since surgery, I heard her begin to sing..."Peace, peace, wonderful peace coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love..." Then, she continued with another chorus.

I quickly called Milton and held the phone next to the shower so that he could hear his sweetheart sing. How wonderful to hear Kristy sing again. I remember countless times when she would begin to sing or encourage friends or family to join her in a song she remembered. The day before her surgery she sat at her piano and played several songs of worship. I could hear the faith and love she has for Jesus as she sang to Him.

Milton has gone to the hospital to see if he can bring her home for Thanksgiving. If not, then we will take the Thanksgiving meal to her!

Enjoy your family today and give them an extra hug and sing a song with Kristy today.

Written by Norma, Kristy's sister-in-law.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Where Is It?

Red hair has always gotten my attention. Before Kristy and our romance, I noticed some other red heads--but she has been my true love. I guess part of the reason for my love for redheads is that I heard my father talking about how redheads were special when I was a boy. Then as a teenager when my eyes turned toward the girls, it just seemed that the redheads stood out more.

Kristy has beautiful hair that is thick and eye catching. She has always dressed with the right colors to show it off. The greens and turquoises line her closet. Her hair is always styled and stunning when she steps out the door.

When this terrible ordeal began, we wondered about the hair--obviously not the most important thought but yet a thought and concern.

The neurosurgeon, Dr. Wallace, said not to worry for you won't lose much hair.

After the surgery on Thursday, the on call neurosurgeon (another Dr. whose name fails me right now) for this past weekend checked her on Saturday morning. He begin with a few questions and then said, "Let me look at your incision."

I had already seen it and knew what was about to happen.

He looked...and looked... and looked again. And said, "Where is it?" Then he said, "There it is. Boy did Wallace do a good job!"

Kristy lost no hair and the incision is closed so tightly you literally have to hunt to find it. When I saw it, I thought if Dr. Wallace did that good on the outside so that we had to hunt to find the incision then surely he did a good job on the inside too. I believe a sign for good things to come.

Today, Kristy was more herself and got her hair washed and made up. What a doll...What a doll.
And Ohhhh...what beautiful red hair!!!

How is Kristy?

She had her best day yet. She had a major sodium imbalance, drug reaction issues, severe headaches, and confusion these last days. However, on Monday afternoon she made a significant turn for the good. We weren't certain if some of these issues were tumor related or trauma from the surgery, but thankfully these are not her problems for now.

She is talking clearly. Very focused and has good memory recall. She may come home on Thursday or Friday. Pray that the headaches can be controlled and that the sodium levels stay balanced. Pray the remaining tumor traces will dry up and disappear.

It is Coming Friday...

What does a man who is facing the doctors news that his wife has weeks or at the most a few months to live say to other men? Find out Friday. It might change your marriage.

We'll Write Together Again!

Years ago God spoke to me and said that He would use Kristy in writing and that we would write together. I kept this to myself. Unbeknown to me, God had spoken to Kristy also about writing. Some years past before we shared what God had put into our hearts.

Most of you know about Kristy's books and over 600 hundred published articles, but we have also written together and enjoyed it so much.

I look forward to her coming home and writing with her. Also helping her fulfill her dreams whatever time God gives her and us.

We're believing and we're trusting. Keep praying for Kristy...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cookin' in Kristy's Kitchen

She is a flash in her kitchen. Gourmet meals ordered up in minutes. I've come home these last days for a few moments rest and walked through Kristy's kitchen reflecting on and smelling the aroma of past meals. Meals served with love, laughter, and lavish passion. Her kitchen has been open to people of all strata's. Everything always scrumptious and pleasingly presented.

Some time back she wrote a cooking column for a New York Times subsidiary that was printed in a weekly column. It was called "Kristy's Kitchen" and had a vast audience who loved her delicious recipes and warm, homey stories of life. The editor told her that she got more mail response than anyone at the paper. Those columns would make a great book.

We moved into a new home several years ago in Leesburg, Florida, and two days after moving the boxes and furniture into the house she entertained our district officials, some pastor friends, and Dr. George Wood and his wife Jewel, now the General Superintendent of The General Council of the Assemblies of God. The house was immaculate and the serving in Kristy's Kitchen was fit for kings. If I had not been there, I would not believe it myself. She pulled it off in grand style. That's just her way. Kristy's kitchen was ready for business.

Her kitchen is a place of warmth and of a welcoming spirit. Everything in its place and ready to turn out the most delectable meals, but not a place that made people uncomfortable to be.

But the thing that is best about Kristy's Kitchen is that she has always served her man well. She has cooked lovingly with her hero husband in mind. Each meal presented beautifullly and deliciously.

This is part of her romance. Her love of life. Her lovin' her man.

When you walk into your kitchen today--look around and let the aroma of family living touch you again. Catch the passion of Kristy's kitchen and let the cookin' (and lovin') begin.

How is Kristy?

She had a much better day. Meds are beginning to level out more. Her sodium level has been low and the trauma of the surgery has taken of tough toll. But she's headed the right way. In a day or so we hope to be home. We're praying and believing for a miracle.

I Haven't Forgotten

I saw a parishioner tonight that told me that these blogs have touched her heart. She said she had called her husband who is out of town to be his cheerleader. I pray that some of the romantic sparks from our lives will yet touch others to bless and strengthen couples.

My thoughts to the men are yet brewing. There is something for a few men to learn through this unusual journey of Kristy and me. I haven't forgotten. It is coming...so get them ready.


I feel the love and prayers of thousands across our Nation and other parts of the world. From Australia to Austria, people have sent commitments of prayer. Surely a miracle is on the way.

Keep praying for Kristy....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Holy, Redheaded Cheerleader...

Two bits

Four bits

Six bits

A dollar

All for Milton, stand up and holler.....

And Kristy did.

Over and over through the years she stood up and cheered me on.

After every sermon preached, church service led, wedding performed, funeral preached, church building built and dedicated, seminar presentation given, article written, business meeting led, banquet planned and held, revival preached, missions convention planned or preached, church quarrel arbitrated, trouble water smoothed, district event planned and implemented....this listed could go on.

She stood up and cheered me on. She picked me up when I flopped or fouled up. She carried me when I otherwise could not go on. When others went out...she came in. She has been my holy redheaded cheerleader.

Often when I was preaching and looked her way, I could see into her mind and heart and feel her support. What an amazing and exuberant cheerleader this lady is.

Now this may sound carnal and not so holy what I about to write, but as they say... so be it. Really, what I'm about to write is the way it ought to be in holy marriage for spouses. A God consecrated marriage.

She would tell me every now and then, "I'm so proud you're my husband. I really get turned on when I see you doing your work as a minister. You're mine. All mine..." She is a romantic to the core and it has been lived out in our relationship in special, loving ways.

Wow, what a partner. What a cheerleader. A holy one. Believe me. She loved and loves her man and sees to his ego and other needs. Now remember God created sexuality so don't get a religious spirit on me and miss my point.Marriage partners need to stand behind their spouses and see to their partner's needs.

Thank you, Kristy, for your faithful, committed, life to help your husband be the best he could be. Thank you for being my holy, redheaded cheerleader.

Forgive me for sounding so preachy and mushy.

How is Kristy?

Kristy is doing some better. A brain CAT scan done Sunday evening showed that there is no bleeding or increased swelling in the brain. She had a crisis early Sunday morning in which we weren't sure what was going on in her brain, but thankfully all is well there for now. She needs to get her meds leveled out so she can go home hopefully in a day or so.

She needs a miracle to live, but we serve a God of miracles.


Listen Up Ladies!

Get your guys ready, ladies. I have something to say to them. It is coming...

Won't it be great in a few days to read Kristy's blogs again! And see some pictures too.


Thank you for all your love, prayers, and kind words. It encourages us more than you know. Our church family has stood by us with their prayers and support. May God bless them all. You would be touched to know all they have done for us. I'll write about that in time.

Keep praying for Kristy....for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Do You Love Me?

Kristy is a true romantic. I guess that is the obvious. I am a kind of football guy. But she has been winning me over to her side. Now I still love football--my team got embarrassed this weekend, but Kristy's tenderness has touched me heart.

All you have to do is read the top of this blog and see her heart for me. She has expressed her love in ways I could not think imaginable. I will write about some of those ways later.

Her favorite romantic verse is: When I found the one I love, I held him, and would not let him go." Song of Solomon 3:4 See it above in her blog title. She calls me her hero husband. So romantic sounding to her...I guess to me too.

She has held me. She has held me so tight. I can feel her grasp even now--though I am not with her.

It was late in the night and I needed to hear her tell me she loved me. I knew the answer but I needed to hear it from her sweet mouth.

So I asked her, "Do you love me?" I'll never lose the memory of her voice inflection. So passionate. So resolved.

"Mannn...Do I love you!!!" She is so dramatic and energized and that is how it came out.

It comforted me and we continued the night.

Yesterday was a confusing day with meds clouding her mind and speech. She had a better night and now it is a new day. I believe a better day.

Now, ladies listen up! I have a word for some men. Get them ready. They must hear what I have to say. It is coming.

Keep praying for her...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Kristy looked around the hospital room---a room filled with love and faith and said, "We have a great cloud of witnesses around us. Look." There they were and out into the hallway. Dear family members. Precious family members of faith.

I thought yes you're right and the cloud of witnesses reaches into her beloved Jacksonville and on around the world. It encompasses the glory world. The saints of heaven are taking note. More importantly it reaches even to the Throne. I can see and I can feel the eyes and hand of my Lord toward her...and me.

Isaiah 41:13 says it all for me, "I am the Lord, your God, I will take your right hand. Fear not, for I will help you."

He has and is taking my right hand--Kristy's right hand. He is our God. I will fear no evil. He is helping me...and Kristy.

We have stood by hundreds and even more and quoted Words from our Lord. I have watched the mercy of God strengthen and comfort others. Now its our turn.

Kristy had a very rough night. Very tough to describe. Pain, nausea, disorientation. Things so hard for a spouse to watch in the one dearest to them. Yet God helps.

I have spent the last three nights and days with her. So many memories flood my mind during the late hours. She instructed me to blog for her...and I will by God's grace. There is so much to tell about this red headed wonder. The stories will flow. Please bear with me. She will share in the blog again--though this past night makes it so hard to believe she could.

She is a trooper--a very classy trooper. We will make it. Keep praying for her...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cherish the Moments

Our family is the greatest. They are all believers living with eternal purpose. We have, as Kristy has written, almost 30 ministers and spouses in our family--the Levite Tribe. We gather to share our love, faith, and joy of life.

Now they have gathered around Kristy and me to hold us up and carry us. They all are hurting with my girls and me for they all love Kristy so dearly. She has blessed each of their lives in most unusual ways as a peer in ministry, friend in relationship, helper in need. She has been there at one time or other in a big way for all of us.

Today at lunch we went down to the first floor and found a place to eat delicious food that my brother Max and his wife, Darlene, provided. We sat together, blessed our food, and begin to eat...and then it hit me. All their spouses were there...mine was not. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt alone more in that crowd than ever in my life.

I had to leave the table...quickly. Tears flowed, emotions poured out, my spirit ached. This is too hard. I can't stand it.

But then Sis came to my side, my brother, and I felt the gentle comforting presence of the Holy Spirit. The hurt eased and I was able to return to the family. My family. A godly family.

Kristy has shared a lifetime of joy, love, and laughter with me. There is more to come. We're not done.

She called me early this morning before anyone came and said, "Quickly get the train case. I need something."

I brought it to her and she began to go through a large baggy she packs all kinds of stuff. I asked if I could help, but she wouldn't respond. Finally she had what she was looking for in hand. There she had a tube of red hair dye. I smiled...what a classy lady. She was about to get her hair washed and every red hair had to look its best.

That is Kristy. Everything has to be the best.

She has had a good day, but tired and sometimes not thinking and talking the best. But her sweetness shines and the glow still radiates. She is just weaker...much weaker.

Cherish the moments. I promise they're all special. Keep praying for her.... for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Thank You

I want to say thank you to everyone who is has commented to my family on my mother's blog and who is praying for my mother and father. Your sweet thoughts and comments have meant so much to us.
My mother is such a special lady. She is a remarkable woman and I love her so much.
Thank you to my parents' precious church members and friends who have looked out for them, brought us sustaining food, and most importantly prayed for us. Your care for my family has touched me.
I am so blessed to be a part of this family. And how special it is to have all of you out there praying for us and thinking of us.
This news is shocking. I'm heart broken. But I thank God for this support system he has provided.
Please know that the love and thoughts you all have shared truly mean a lot to each one of us.

Kristy's daughter,
Julie

Sweet Kisses....Gentle Kisses

Many years ago Kristy and I agreed the first one to leave the beginning of each day would go find the other and kiss them goodbye. When we returned the one who came in last at the end of the day would find the other and give them a kiss. We have done this for years.

Kristy read that men who received kisses before leaving for work each day lived longer, were healthier and made more money. I thought all of these were worthy reasons to join her in this practice.

Last night I was away for a few moments, I cleaned up, showered and returned to stay the night with her. When I came in the first kiss was sweet...throughout the night when the nurses came in for medications, we briefly kissed--sweet and gently. They were more precious than words can express.

Today there will be another MRI with decisions to follow. Kristy has a cloud of peace over her and is resting in a chair of strength.

All who have sent comments have comforted and encouraged our hearts. Please keep praying for her...for us.

Her husband,

Milton

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Rest of the News

The other shoe fell this afternoon. The pathology report shows a malignant primary tumor that has crossed over into the right side of the brain. Doctors and medical folks must look at the matters of health as they factually see them. How else can they treat us if they act as if in naivety that nothing is wrong? Yet wise doctors know their skills come from a higher source Who has the final say.

Kristy asked the doctor after he communicated what he knew and what he saw, "How long does a person live who has this type tumor?"

The doctor responded and I paraphrase...On the average with some living longer and others living shorter, that one suffering with this type tumor lives about 9 months.

And then I shared the rest of the news with him in humility yet with faith, "But we believe in miracles and if we don't get a miracle of healing we yet live forever-- for heaven is real." The doctor agreed with me...

Hearing such news about my sweetheart is more than I could bear except by the help of the Lord. We wept, hugged, wept some more. Discussed our faith. Confessed our trust in a God of grace and glory, and , yes, we wept some more.

Kristy is so vibrant. So energetic. Such a get it done now kind of person. She has everything organized beyond what you can imagine. As I write on her computer in our office, I can see life and passion on every book shelf and in every file. This office looks like Kristy. So perfect...so beautiful.

How could such a illness befall her?

Yet, down deep I know part of the answer.

My girls asked me while we were alone for a moment, "What is God's will in all this?"

I reminded them of our dear grandchild, Claudia, when she asked me on vacation this past summer, "Where is God, Papa? I've been trying to find him. I've been looking and looking. Where is He?"

As a three year old, she was honestly and earnestly trying to find this Being we talk about all the time.

I responded, "God is everywhere, Claudia."

Now she is shaking her hands and talking with them. She pauses and then thinks out loud, "God is everywhere (with exclamation), but nobody can find Him!"

That is how we all feel sometimes. Where is God? We can't find Him. What is His will?

I told our girls that right now we are like travelers who sometimes find themselves in a fog. We can't see everything and we don't understand everything. We're in a fog. When in a fog, a person travels cautiously and sometimes has to wait.

But fogs don't last forever. The sun burns the fog away.

God's Son burns fog away too. We will will wait and trust in Him.

I kissed Kristy again after this news after everyone stepped out. She calls me her hero husband and I said to her that I will try harder to fulfill her loving description of me.

The rest of the news is that we are all going to live forever. Life doe not end on this earth. It transitions to a life more glorious and exciting than we can imagine.

Kristy has a cloud of sweet peace over her and she is resting in a chair of unspeakable strength. I know you who read this are praying for I feel your prayers and God's love. Keep praying for her... for us.

Her Husband, Milton

A Sweet Song In The Night

I held her hand in the night and sang sweet songs of praise to our Lord. I quoted scripture, kissed her forehead and then held her hands. We are strong in the Lord for we are one in Him.

Kristy wanted me to blog last night on my portable mobile phone these words: private room in ICU. Kristy--frisky. But I can't blog that!

I am dictating this to my sis by phone from the hospital over the beautiful St. John's river.

It's a new day--a day of wonderful opportunity. Use it for God's glory to love someone special to you.

We should hear the pathologist report today. The surgeon has shared that this is quite serious. Please pray. We are in God's hands.

By husband, Milton

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Love Story Continues

4:30 PM

I enjoyed my best kiss ever from Kristy today. It was in recovery when I gently pressed my lips to hers. She could see me, hear me, smell me, and speak to me. I was overjoyed to know that the surgery deep into her brain had not taken these most needed senses of life. I could hold her hand and tell her I loved her and hear her express her love for me.

We have lived our lives together with eternal purpose--joined together as one. She compliments me and completes me.

Now through unexected events we stand together to face whatever the future holds--as one. One is spirit, faith, and love.

She came out of surgery singing "How Great Thou Art" and offering to bake a cake for the nurses. I would not expect any less from her.

I told her Monday in our two hour date that I have looked with love, with gratitude, and awe at her sweet and precious hands. They are most beautiful to me. Hand of mercy. Hands of unusual helps, hands to hold others up, hands to help people to the right way. Organized Hands. Busy hands. Hands that are quick to the touch and quick to the task. Her hands are most beautiful and precious to me.

She instructed me to blog....I am honoring her wish. She is so sweet. So special. So super woman.

Please keep praying for her...for us.

Her Husband, Milton

Update from Milton

11:30am

Kristy came through the surgery fine. Her spirits were very strong before surgery. She was unusually comforted and confident, and had a glow of the glory and grace of God on her countenance.

The doctors were pleased with the results. They did find and remove a "primary" tumor. They will not know definitively whether the tumor is malignant. They will run tests on the tumor over the next couple of days. If it is malignant, then additional treatments will start in 1-2 weeks.

Thank you for all your continued prayers, love and many kindnesses. God is at work in our lives and through this He will be glorified. I will followup with future blogs and some pictures as per Kristy's strict instructions. :^) You will really like the cute jewelry they put on her forehead. (One of her favorite colors is green.)

And by the way, last night was glorious.
Milton Dykes

HEADING FOR THE HOSPITAL




I really do have to go. But I'm waiting for a few more photos to load.


God is so good,

God is so good,

God is so good,

He's so good to me.


An old

song goes. Wish I had more time to load the photos from last night's...gala?, shall we call it? I'm stil basking in all that happened and all we did. My bro and sis Terry and Sandra sang, and my friend Sandra, and my sis in law Janet, and Music Pastor Dana, and Pastor Mike, and then we six siblings sanging acapello Happiness Is to Know the Savior. And then we sang scads as a group.

Man, it was good.

Really gotta' jump in the shower.

Someday I wanna write a book about mine and Milton's love story. It's sweet. It's special.

Go up to your spouse today, hug him or her, and say, "I love you."

***

Don't know why I published Milton on his sis's Tricia' s horse, Gonzo. Maybe in anticipation of our gala day at Tricia's house on Thanksgiving Day, just a week away. If I'm able, I'm plannign to come. We have a grand day on her gorgeous five acres near Leesburg. The kiddies ride Nellie,the shetland pony, and sometimes bro in law Tim flies above the treetops on his flying machine, and the other kiddies are turning flips on the trampoline, and we're sitting around getting fat on luscious food, or telling jokes. We're a joke telling family.

We're a blessed family.

We all serve the Lord and put Him first in our lives.

It's the best way.

Lord, save more souls. Bring them to the knowledge of Christ, so that their lives will be enriched like ours are. Thank you for this magnificent heritage this family of ours has.

***

Now, I really have to go. Have to jump in the shower. One of the bad things about this is I won't be up to my old self to wear all my makeup and jewelry and fix up my hair. Oh, well, in a few days, this will be over, and I can get pretty again!

God bless you all. Draw close to the Lord. And your spouses.

FIREWORKS, ETC.

Well, the fireworks last night were...sweeter than our honeymoon night all those years ago. We "saved ourselves" for marriage. That's our belief system. So there we were, as fresh as the driven snow (what an old cliche for a writer to use), and it was as sweet as sugar (another cliche; sorry; gotta' hop in the shower in minutes and head to the hospital for brain surgery).

Everybody left, finally, last night. They just had the best time, no one wanted to leave. I was feeling really bad. I'd caught a bug from my beautiful three year old Claudia (we'd shared water bottles and lipstick all week), and my throat was killing me, and my head was hurting, and the doc said if I caught ANYTHING, he would cancel the surgery, and here all these people had arrived, PLUS the fact that I'm on Prezzies and antiseizures, and so a little of the time everybody was singing and dancing, I just held my head, worried, worried, worried.

And then the prayers bgan...we're a Levite family, meaning we got tons of preachers...and we always have so much fun...and we can pray like crazy, so I expressed my concern about the "flu" bug I'd contracted, and they prayed and prayed, and different ones prayed in different ways, and...

and...

and...

and...

the flu bug is gone.

the flu bug is gone!

the flu bug is gone!

No more tickle in my throat...no more singus drip...no more slight sniffle.

I'm well...

and I believe this is just a precurosor to what's going to come today.

I'm not scared.

I'm confident.

It's the cloud and the chair. One's over me, the other one's beneath me.

***

P.S. What I wrote about yesterday, the physical relations, see, Milton and I have taught marriage seminars for a long time. Of course we do it in private settings, but you know, I figured a long time ago, that if people can see all they see on TV, etc., why not see and hear about a Christian husband madly in love with his wife, and vice versa.

Renew your relationship with your spouse TODAY! Put down your rifts.

***

My writing yesterday gave Milton, and all of us, lots of laughter, and that's so healthy. Preachers were calling Milton from all over the nation, ribbing him, and he laughed and laughed, and we did, too.

***

I can't tell you how wonderful our evening was, with wonderful food and lots of singing and piano playing and dancing and laughing and praying. It was like a foretaste of heaven.

***

As we Southerners say, y'all come back now, ya year?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

GET 'ER DONE!

Norma said that redneck comedien who's a friend of Jeff Foxworthy is always saying, "Get 'er done." Well, I'm gonna' get 'er done. I'm relying on good doctors to get this thing out of my head and for God to guide their hands and heal me.

God bless you all!

Perhaps during my convalescence, some of my family will post to keep you updated. But I know they'll be very busy. If you don't hear anything for a little while, that's okay. KNOW THAT EVERYTHING IS OKAY. I KNOW THAT WITH A SURETY!

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A CLOUD ABOVE, A CHAIR BELOW




God's got this supernatural cloud of peace above me and a chair below me. The chair thought comes from missionary John Peyton and how he taught the natives to believe in God. It's a powerful story. Scroll down and find it on a previous post. I need to take my Prezzie and Ambien and get to bed, after Milton and I have some time together.


These two pictures show a couple of my favorite chairs. Milton says I have a chair fetish (meaning, I love them). I have lots of them, slipper chairs, Queen Anne ones, etc. Poo. He has a briefcase fetish. He has all kinds, soft sides, hard sides, compact, large, etc.
God is going to hold me up through this ordeal. He is GOING to see me through. My cloud of peace is above me, and God's chair to hold me is beneath me.
Thanks for your prayers tomorrow--Thursday at 5:30 a.m. for a high tech MRI to map out my surgery and at 7:30 for the surgery itself.

A NIGHT OF REJOICING






Everyone's just left. We had over 30, family from all over the Southeast and some dear church members serving us delish food. We sang the hymns of the church, and during the old-timey fast ones like Victory in Jesus, some of us jumped up and danced out of pure joy. We sang slow ones, too, and because we are a family of Levits :) (meaning we have lots of ministers and wives, we all sing), so it was a wonderful evening. My two siblings and I and our spouses sang a special, Happiness Is To Know the Savior, and then others sang specials, including Pastor Mike and Dana. Powerful, just powefulKNowI'm too tired to think coherently right now, but I can't tell you how much it comforted me to have them all here. Tomorrow, they'll all be at the hospital. My sister is bringing Texas cake to the hospital for everyone to enjoy during the long wait, and also homemade cookies. She's just like me. We're a chip off the old block. Before Pastor Mike played, I sat down and played several numbers and had them join in singing. We cried, we prayed, and we laughed, especially when Pastor Mike did his Johnny Cash and Elvis impressions. Then they took my trusty bottle of roll-on anointing oil inherited from my sweet little Aunt Tine, and they anointed my forehead with oil, according to James 5:14.

GOOD TO KNOW

Max, Milton's brother from St. Mary's, just called. He said he's glad to know somebody's getting some sex (see last post). His wife has the flu right now.'

Okay, Milton says no more posts on sex.

Ay yi, sir.

DOUBLE FIREWORKS IN BED


Milton wants double fireworks in bed tonight (see last post). He's gonna' kill me for saying that. But sis in law Norma says I can't be responsible for what I say! Our city has double fireworks and then when they reflect in our river and our tall skyscrapers, and it's like four sets. Magnificent. Or, we can ride down to the beach and sit int he middle of two beaches, and look back and forth and see two sets.
Milton just walked in here and read the above paragraph, and about freaked out!
This IS a website labeled "Christian Love Stories."
Norma just walked in here and said we may have to give Kristy more drugs. Milton said Norma, you may have to give ME some. I don't want people to think I'm taking advance of her.
Shoot! We're married and God created and ordained married love.
Norma just said, Is the part of the brain that deals with discernment attached to the optic nerve (where my surgery is).
Haha.
I may have to get Milton a concubine. King Solomon had 700. He only needs one. Just kidding! I've always taken care of my man, and now he says he's gonna' take care of me.
He is my delight, my lover, my all in all, my sweet one. I love reading the book of the Bible called The Song of Songs. Talk about x-rated stuff. No, it's NOT x-rated. As I said, married love is created by God.
Okay. I'm done.


Ya just can't get any sleep around here (my play on comedian Rodney Dangerfield's "respect.") Haha. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and have to get up at 6 to take a Prezzie, and THAT'S AFTER AN AMBIEN! No wonder I have bags under my eyes.

I heard this maxim in high school, when we were studying Benjamin Franklin's maxims.

"Late to bed,
Early to rise,
Dulls the brain,
And bags the eyes."

Haha.

Though I woke up early this a.m., I'm not down or depressed. I'm just keyed up and wide awake. Oh well. I'll write.

Last night, though, I was down and a little depressed. After the fireworks in bed. Haha. (Can't believe I said that, but when you have a brain tumor, as Norma says, you'll say anything.)

Right before I dozed off, I had what's called a "sundowner effect." I know the term from my father's doctors. I was his caregiver for three years before he died, and he would get down at bedtime. Doc said it can happen to anyone, and it happens when the day's activities are over, and you're all alone and thinking.

Last night, as I hugged sweet little three-year-old Claudia before bedtime (pronounced "Claw – dee- uh," the Spanish way; she lives in San Juan), I noticed she had a slight sniffle, and I got REAL WORRIED. Doc says the surgery is canceled Thurs. morning if I have a sniffle or a cough. ALL WEEK, CLAUDIA AND I HAVE PUT ON MAKEUP TOGETHER EVERY MORNING and DRANK OUT OF THE SAME WATER BOTTLES! My mind ran away with me, and all of a sudden, I was sniffling and telling Milton I might be getting her cold, and he was reassuring me that, that wasn't going to happen, and my two new tubes of lipstick grew into gigantic proportions, and I could see her cold germs all over the tops of them…writers DO have imaginations. That's why we can write stories! And Milton kept reassuring me that was not going to happen. The surgery doesn't need to be postponed, not because we've got around 25 family members coming for dinner tonight and will be here through the surgery, but because I've been on Prezzie for nearly a week, and also anti-seizures, so my system is loaded, and the plans have to take place.

But then finally Milton's arms and the Ambien kicked in, and I dozed off. But here I am wide awake.

The pic is of my three oldest grands last Christmas. Milton and I ate at TV chef's Emeril's restaurant in Orlando and bought the kiddies Emeril chef hats and aprons. We made cookies at Christmas time with them decked out in their delightful garb, and then we made gingerbreadhouses and had a contest. What fun!

God is so good to me. I hope…no, I BELIEVE I WILL HAVE MANY MORE CHRISTMASES with my kddies making gingerbread houses and SINGING with them. I love to sing and especially with them.

Florence, my 83 year old second cousin called me last night. She lives in our city, and she's the one who gave me the name of my neurosurgery group. Six years ago, at age 77, she had sinusitis, and they discovered she had a benign brain tumor, and they removed it, and she's doing great. She had to take radiation afterward, even though it was benign. Challengingly, not long after her tumor removal, she came down with breast cancer, successfully fought it, and is plugging away, doing fine. She's a travel agent and travels all over the world. It was an encouraging word to me. We have German blood in us, and I believe it's the strong German stock in us that helps us be determined. Her mother, Great Aunt Eva, lived to be 108, and was a delightful person. Our family has great longevity. For a kick, visit Great Aunt Eva's website. She went to Israel, I believe on her LAST trip (there were several) at 99, and even rode a camel! Wow!

Thanks, Florence, for an encouraging word last night. The next time I go to Israel, I think I’m going to ride a camel, too. I turned down the offer last time. They stink.

P.S. I'm not responsible for typos. Laugh.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A NIGHT-NIGHT EMAIL FROM MY HERO HUSBAND

Sweetheart, You are my joy. You are my heart's desire. You are my cause. Milton

IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?


Milton's Note: I wrote this article before the neuroradiologist diagnosed Kristy’s brain tumor on Nov. 6. It appeared in our Sunday bulletin this past Sunday, Nov. 11. These words are more true and real now.



Is There Not a Cause?
By Milton Dykes



When David saw the fear of King Saul and the Israelites before Goliath and the Philistines, he was filled with indignation. It was unthinkable that even this giant could stand God’s people down and make them cower in fear. Without thinking, David was ready to pursue the giant and end the standoff. At first, his eldest brother and others accused David of pride and arrogance as David boldly confronted the giant. Yet David had a great vision and commitment that would not allow him to shrink from the battle.

David’s words ring clear in my mind and heart. “Is there not a cause,” he asked? His question got to the point of the matter. He was focused on the purpose and reason for confronting the enemy, Goliath. To David, the fight to end the giant’s attack on God’s people was clearly one that had to be fought and won.

Today, there is a cause worth our highest efforts. There is a cause that merits our most earnest prayers, our highest sacrificial giving, and our most untiring labors. That cause is the fight for the souls of our loved ones and family members. It is the fight for the lost people of our city. It is the struggled for the moral core of our nation and even for the world.

We are in a fight and the cause is worthy. The goliath that comes against your home and family must be defeated. With God’s help through the power of the Holy Spirit, your battle with your goliath will be won. Is there not a cause? Yes! Believe me and more importantly believe the report of the Lord. Your giant will fall today. Face him in the name of the Lord, and he will be defeated.

WHAT DID HE SAY?


Today, Milton brought me down to a beautiful restaurant on the St. John's River for our date. He told me yesterday he wanted us to go somewhere alone today for a couple of hours. He said he wanted to talk to me. What is he going to say? What is he going to say?

***

First, he said he didn't want me to record our conversation, but then he said, "Okay." I had told him I wouldn't be able to remember all his sweet words.

"I want you to know how much I love you, Kristy," he said. "We're going to make it through this.

"I told your brother this morning," Milton continued, "she has have helped people. She's encouraged people and blessed and touched them in all manner and facets of life. Wherever you've gone, Kristy, you've honored Christ and ministered to people, from church work, to secular work, to writing, to speaking, to teaching and training, you've modeled a life that is Christ-honoring that people can follow. You have chosen to use your gifts in a manner that is God-honoring, and it will not return void. I told your brother, "She's not perfect, and I've lived with her all these years, and her time has been used to bring glory to the Lord and to do what she does in the most excellent manner that could be done. She's helped trained pastors' wives and done all kinds of things that nobody will ever know about. She's been willing to work behind the scenes in places nobody ever saw and has been placed in the forefront and touched people in public and mass manner, and I'm very grateful to have a wife I can be proud of like that.

"I love you, Kristy. I'm very proud and thankful to the Lord for you. I believe God's going to fulfill your dreams and God's dreams. This is a test but we want God to be glorified in our lives, and we've chosen to honor Him when our prayers were answered and when they were delayed or not answered in the ways we wanted, and we're determined we are going to honor Christ, and that 's what we're going to do in this."

"I remember when we had our first church service as husband and wife, and how you were so shy, you couldn't even greet the people. You could only say, 'Hi,' and I remember when you've spoken at Calvin Theological Seminary and other prestigious places, and you've been an excellent teacher and presenter and speaker and writer and have blessed literally hundreds of thousands of people, and God's going to honor your faithfulness and bless you with many more things to come.

"We have laughed, we've loved, and we've lived life to the fullest, and you're a wonderful mother, and a wonderful wife, and the best minister's wife a man could have, and you've helped me, and I'm very grateful to the Lord.

"Seems like yesterday when I asked you to marry me."

Kristy: "We were sitting on the water, then, too, on Lake Parker in Lakeland, Florida, when we were students at Southeastern Univeristy. The place was called Sertoma Park – Ser To Ma – Service to Mankind Park, and that's been how we've lived…" (crying profusely, so broken up I could barely speak) "…with service to mankind and to God."

***


"What do you want to say to me," he asked.





I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!

One of the songs I've sung multitudinous times with my grandboys, and now my three-year-old "grandgirl" is Only A Boy Named David.

Only a boy named David
Only a little sling
Only a boy named David
But he could pray and sing
Only a boy named David
Only a babbling brook,
Only a boy named David,
But five little stones he took.
And one little stone went in the sling,
And the sling went round and round,
And one little stone went in the sling,
And the sling went round and round.
And around and around and around and around,
And around and around and around.
And one little stone went up in the air,
And the giant came tumbling down!

Maybe I should fill a whole tape with the songs I've always enjoyed singing with my grandchildren and my children's church kids because the doc says when I wake up from surgery, I might not be able to talk or hear. HOWEVER, and that's a big HOWEVER, he hopes that won't happen, and if it does, he says it will be temporary.

I'm facing a giant like David did, but David said, "I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!" shouting this. And that's how I'm facing this giant in my life.

SADNESS

I feel so sad. Daughter Jennifer's getting her babies bedded down (not quite 2 and note quite 4), and sister-in-law Norma's got her feet up for the first time today, and Milton's at a special-called prayer meeting at church, and I've just bathed and am writing. The sadness came over me after everything quitened down. Church people had been here bringing in the most luscious food in the South (thanks, Sonja and Emmett and Martha and Stanfields) plus writer friend Lavada from American Christian Fiction Writers, plus neighbors (Cheryl, Erma, . And everything was hectic and joyful, and the children were noisy and the eating was good.

Now it's quiet.

But tomorrow, the family is coming back I in full force. The church ladies are bringing the food, and Pastor Mike will be on hand to play on my Yamaha piano hymns of the church, and then, knowing him, he'll do his Elvis impression and others, and we'll laugh and have a big time.

When this sadness descended tonight, I started praying and praying, and now the cloud of peace has descended.

Thank You, Lord!

WHAT DOES A HUSBAND SAY?

The girls and the kiddies ran down to the mall for about an hour before lunch is delivered--a hot lunch coming to the house--so it's noon (I taped this on a minicassette recorder, and am transcribing now) just looking and windowshopping. Just might buy me a turquoise shirt.

***
Milton said last night he wants to spend two hours with me this afternoon, and so we're going to get the kids settled and he and I are going to go off somehwere, maybe a park. We love outdoor settings. We're going to sit down and talk. What is he going to say to me? WHAT IS HE GOING TO SAY, KNOWING HIS WIFE IS FACING BRAIN SUGERY?>?

***

I've decided I'm going to tape record what he says, and I might share some of it with you.

***

I'm shopping and starting to tear up thinking about Milton and what he's going to say to me, because the name of this website is Christian Love Stories, and, um, we live a true love story (crying now, right here in Belk's), not a perfect one, but we're committed.

***

Man, it's so funny when you go in a mall facing brain surgery. Everything pales in comparison. Schedules have now...I don't even look at my calender any more, and I couldn't go a day without looking at my calendar! But...it doesn't matter anymore. It's not important. All that's important is family, and relationships, and God (crying up again; getting a couple of compassionate AND curious stares from shoppers).

***

Been feeling light headed all morning, but I don't think it's the meds. I think it's from losing so much sleep. Ya just can't get any sleep around here, a play on what comedien Rodney Dangerfield used to say (he said "respect" haha).

***

I ended up buying three pairs of earrings and two shirts. I guess when you're facing brain surgery, you just kinda' go a little shopping crazy. And then we were walking out of the store, and I saw this real pretty emerald green and black dress. It has three quarter length sleeves, a v-neck, and a flounced hem, and I couldn't resist. I tried it on real quick, liked it, and it's really cute. I probably shouldn't've bought all that because our insurance doesn't cover medications, but we'll be okay. Norma called all the pharmacies and comparison shopped. She got them fora good deal. Thank You, Jesus.

***

The docs last Fri. and also yesterday said they really don't know what's in my head until they get in there. They showed us the filmes, and they said it's golf-ball sized. The doc at Mayo last Wed. said it was the size of an orange, but this doc says he doesn't like food comparisons. Doesn't matter to me! This doc said it could be a primary brain cancer which is incurable; he said it could even be cellulitis. Google that! I came down with cellulitis June 29 following oral surgery to remove uipper impacted, troubling wisdom teeth, and my jaws locked for two weeks, necessitating a second surgery the same week under anesthesia again. It was awful. Left cheek (left side is where this THING is) swelled up bigger than a golf ball. I googled it during that time, and it said cellulitis can go to the brain. That's interesting. Whatever it is, the Lord knows. I'm in His hands, and I KNOW He's going to see me through.

***

Norma just found a Sag Harbor jacket, and by the time they take the sale discounts off, I think they're going to have to pay HER to take it out of the store.

TURQUOISE HOSPITAL GOWNS!



Yesterday at pre-ops stuff, I learned I'll be wearing turquoise gowns in the hospital. The nurse said, "I notice you're wearing turquoise jewelry and clothing, and that's the color of our gowns." Norma said, "That's Kristy's signature color. She wears it a lot."


Turquoise is a universal color for all women. It brightens your face. But it's especially good for redheads, and so I love to wear it. Today, I'm in an aqua shirt. I even decorate with it, in spots.


I had to touch my toenails this morning, for the doctors and nurses. Haha. They won't even see them.


***


I love unloading and loading the dishwasher. I love washing and folding clothes. I love keeping the bathrooms and kitchen clean. I love tidying up the house and turning on all my pretty little lamps around the house.


It's a gene I inherited from my darling mother. I joke that I don't have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I have OCO (obsessive compulsive ORDER)! So this is hard to not do all this stuff, but Norma says she doesn't want me having a stroke or seizure. Poo. No more poo. No negative words. From now, whatever I have to endure, it's "Thank You, Lord."


So, "Thank You, Lord" even I can't do all I wanna' do.

HE IS MY REFUGE


I woke up this morning (one of the times I woke up) with this song on my mind:

I will say of the Lo –o - - rd
He is my refuge!
I will say of the Lo – o – rd,
He is my tower!I will say of the Lo – o – rd,
He is my refuge,
What a mighty God
What a strong tower,
In Him will I put my trust!

(I may have interchanged the lyrics; don't have time to look them up.) But the song ministered to me. Last night, as Milton and I were lying in bed with our arms around each other, holding onto each other, this terrible fear came on me.

I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't crawl into that narrow tunnel on Thurs. morning and then lay face down on that operating table afterward, and then go through untold MRIs and possible treatments for months to come.

And then!
And then!
And then!
The verse my darling mother Grace raised me on came to me:

"I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME." Philippians 4:13

That’s been my mantra for life. When I get afraid or lonely, or whatever, I repeat it, and I forge ahead and make it.

When I was in high school, I wanted to run for county office for a large club but was too timid to make my speech in front of the 400 delegates. Mother said, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME," and made me repeat it over and over. She helped me write my speech, memorize, and I delivered it and was voted in!

My whole life, she poured Scriptures into her children's heart, and they're helping me now.

Thank You, Lord.

I CAN FACE THIS THING THURSDAY MORNING. GOD IS BIGGER THAN IT IS.

Have to run. Always in a run, it seems. The girls are running to the mall. Jennifer needs some shirts from The Limited. Living in San Juan, everything she has is hot weather stuff, and we're having a light Florida nip in the air.

I'm still trying to load the doctor's "anointing oil." It was such a hoot when Jennifer picked it up (see previous post) and made a joke about it being the doc's anointing oil like the roll-on bottle I carry in my purse, then realized it might be a urine specimen, and she about freaked out.

I think it's brain fluid.

A FEW MORE ZZZZZZS, PLEASE!


For crying out loud, a body just cain't get no rest around here…the alarm just went off at 4:30 a.m.--mistakenly--for me to take my Prednisone, which wasn't supposed to happen until 6 a.m., and now I'm wide awake. Oh, well, might as well write.

Last night after we arrived home from our trip down the state, we were all exhausted. The kiddies had gotten tired on the trip and wouldn't go to sleep and fussed instead J. Just kidding. When I crawled into the back seat and sat between their carseats and sang to them for forever, they were fine from that point on, until the three-year-old finally fell asleep, and the night-quite-two-year-old got hyper from the ice cream we felt them. J

So I wrote on this site, and Milton sat in the family room watching a show to wind down from four hours of driving while also eating somebody's homemade dessert (banana pudding? luscious peanut butter pie?; the food around here is to die for (oh, wait, I shouldn't say that statement; yikes; you can laugh; I am! haha; God knows; that's not a lack of faith; it's just an old statement).

And so we crawled into bed and just clung to each other. I kept saying, "What are we doing to do? What are we doing to do? What are we doing to do?" And he said, "We're going to make it, Kristy." And then he fell asleep, but I hadn't taken my Ambien. So I did, and it was kicking in, and I remembered I forget to set the alarm to get up for Prezzie, so I tried setting the alarm, and the LCD screen was dead. Evidently, Milton had unplugged it yesterday when he put in our pretty new black phone system. He's too groggy to get up and replug it behind our mammoth twin nightstands, and so I try and can't succeed, so I get out our travel alarm and set it, and wouldn't you know, this morning, the electric one goes up at 4 a.m. and wakes me up? Sheesh! It's battery must've kicked in.

So Milton's now cutting zzzzs, and I'm lying there, and my body starts shaking. Thighs. Trunk. Chest. Won't quit. I wake him up. "Milton, I'm shaking. I know I'm not having a seizure, but this is miserable. It could be exhaustion. Or it could be a side effect of one of these drugs I'm on, and I start thinking, Am I going to do this in that big ol' specialized MRI Thursday morning before the surgery when they stick silver snaps all over my head and map out surgery plans? What about on the operating room table? My fears and concerns take hole of me. So he says, "Here, let me hold you," and scoot over to him, and we hold each other like we're never going to let each other go. And then, the Ambien kicks in.

Then I wake up sweating sometime in the middle of the night. Bad. Pillow is drenched. Back of hair is wed. Started to say, "Sheesh!" (Yesterday in the van, Norma read aloud from the doctor's big book on brain cancer, that this is a side effect.) But I'm changing to all positive thought and thinking. "Praise, You, Lord, for this. Praise You, Lord, for everything, even night sweats and cuckoo alarm clocks."

"Now, Father, give me a few more zzzzzs until my day starts. Amen and amen."
Warning: I have a brain turmo and am not responsible for typos, which I normally can't stand. That's what my family keeps joking, about anything I do almost! We have to laugh. The Bible says a merry heart does good like a medicine. So laugh with me!

Monday, November 12, 2007

SINGING WE GO






After we left the hospital at 5 p.m. today, we drove in Pastor Mike and Dana's luxury van two hours down the state for The Last Supper. Cancel that last thought. For a sweet meal with my other two grands. Julie wanted her 8 and 5 year-old boys to see me before the surgery. We were going to meet at Mom and Dad Dykes's house, and Milton's other siblings were going to join us, but Mom got the flu Sunday with a high fever, so we met at a big travel center and had fast food together. We were a lively party, the four grands together, jumping and shouting and holding up curly fries, and saying, "Look, Nana, look!" Jennifer and her two little ones live in Puerto Rico, and the kiddies love to be together with their cousins. Fortunately, we've been able to arrange for that to happen fairly often.

We finally parted after spending about an hour together, and in the van I started bawling and bawling. Jennifer reached across the wide aisle and patted and patted me. I was thinking about that old movie where the beautiful young mother dies and leaves a legacy of a homemade movie for her little baby. Someshine, On My Shoulders, Makes Me Happy was a lyric of the song accompanying the movie, I think. I started thinking about, oh, I don't know, missing my grandchildren, and my family, and wondering what was going to happen to me. I started thinking about having to crawl into that narrow MRI on Thursday morning for them to map out my surgery, and then…never mind.

Then I mopped my tears away and put on a happy face, and crawled into the backseat between the two carseats and started singing to Jennifer's kiddies. I love singing with my grandchildren. And little Claudia sang with me. I sang every kids' song I could think of. Then I called the other two grandkids on my cell phone, who were making their way back home, and I put it on speaker, and we were all singing together, except little Lorenzo who's not two yet, so he just blabbered along. It was such a sweet moment.

Adios. It's after 11. I have to go take my steroid.

ANOINTING OIL...OR SOMETHING ELSE??


Picture of "anointing oil" tomorrow. My site won't load it now.


We were at the doctor's office and hospital today for four hours, learning stuff about brains and getting pre-surgery labs done. I can't believe how small a female brain is! Dr. C. held it in his hands and showed us where my problem is. He talked in detail about what they're going to do to me, come Thursday at 5:30 a.m., and I got kinda' green around the gills. No, I didn't, really. That supernatural cloud of peace (heart-shaped?; see previous post) was hanging over me heavily.

A funny. We were all in the doc's examining room, and he stepped out to check on something, and Jennifer sees a little vial of liquid on his counter, and she picks it up and says, "Hey, Mom, you reckon (Southern term) he's gonna' anoint you with oil?" I said, "I hope so!" Since my ordeal began, I started carrying in my purse a bottle of anointing oil from Israel I inherited from my dear little Aunt Tine, and I have people anoint me all the time, according to James 5:14, 15 in the Bible: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up." Then Jennifer quickly puts the little bottle down and goes, "Oh, yuck, what if this is a urine specimen?" and we all got the giggles and had to get composed when the doc came back in.


OVERSIZED ZEBRA PRINT PURSE


This is my new zebra print purse my darling daughters Jennifer and Julie gave me for my birthday (August). I was with Jennifer in September in Puerto Rico and found it there. It's oversized, not the size I normally carry, but boy is it coming in handy now. I'm carrying my digital camera to photojournal this saga, and my tape recorder, and my Prednisone steroids, and my envelope labeled "Words from the Lord" that people are giving me, and my infernal cell phone that I'm so thankful for its ringing right now. Normally, I'm glued to my computer chair most week days writing novels, and so people contact me through my land line, and I rarely use the cell. I'm just now memorizing the number. Now, I'm thankful for it..
Thanks, girls, for the love purse that's coming in so handy.
When Julie found out I had to start taking steroids, as an exercise and weight lifter who's in excellent shape, she said, "Wow, Mom, now, if you'll start lifting weights, you can get some good muscles on you!" I just stared at her then laughed.
When Julie found out