Friday, February 29, 2008

I DON'T HAVE A FIREWORKS FAITH


I don't have a fireworks faith.

It doesn't need pizzazz.

It doesn't need panache.

It only needs trust.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

CHATTING WITH AUTHOR CHARLES MARTIN


Milton and I had the privilege of meeting author Charles Martin at Christian Booksellers Association convention. He writes for Random House, and I enjoy his novels. Not only is he a brilliant writer, he reminds me of authors Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, The Wedding) and Richard Paul Evans in The Excellent Writing Deparment and The Handsome Department.

Don't worry. Milton was with me. Haha. Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you can't read the menu.

So--not!

I feel the "preach" coming on.

I don't believe in that menu and diet statement for a minute. Remember that archaic song: "Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will drink with mine"? In marriage, we have eyes only for each other.

For some laughter, go to YouTube.com and search for TV Psychologist Bob Newhart for a great laugh.

Dr. Newhart tells the patient she has five minutes with him. She starts telling him her
problems, and he leans across the desk, raises his voice, and says, "Just stop it!"

"But Dr. Newhart, you don't understand---"

"Yes, I do." (Cups his hands around his mouth.) "Just stop it!"

She starts again, about another problem.

"Just stop it!" Dr. Newhart yells.

The audience is howling.

If you ever feel an attraction to someone besides your spouse, flee like Joseph did in the Bible. (And he wasn't the one who was attracted; she pursued him.) If those feelings come (not an uncommon thing), resist them--"Just stop it!" ("Resist the devil and he will flee from you," the Bible says.) Then, flirt with your spouse.

My philosophy is, if you said "I do," you're stuck, so flirt with him/her not others. Plan it. Study marriage books. Enjoy each other. That's how God intended it.

Caveat: I also believe marriages and people sometimes have deep problems, and sometimes divorce happens, and then we ask God to help us through. And He does.

***

Some of Charles Martin's novels:

Chasing Fireflies
Maggie
When Crickets Cry
Wrapped in Rain
The Dead Don't Dance

They're intriguing. They touch your soul.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A BABY'S FUNERAL


I'm having a good week. No more pain, nausea, and more stuff. More strength is flowing through me. I'm steadier on my feet. I'm going to church and church activities. I'm in my office producing work, which pleases me. As Aunt Bea always said, "You better give God the glory!" Aunt Bea is in her 90s and was a missionary evangelist who traveled the world. She's praying for me, too.
"Lord, thank You for all You're doing for me. You are such a good God!"

***

Several Sundays ago, I awakened early. No chills, no fever, no pain. I'll go to church this morning!

Two hours later…I'll go next Sunday. Too weak. Must rest.

Later, Milton comes home. I find out the funeral for the three-month-old baby is this afternoon. Pain akin to the physical grips my heart for this family. Not only has this happened, they've faced other sadnesses recently.

I'm going to the funeral. I want to hug them, cry with them, tell them I'm praying for them.

Will the church have steps? Will I have to walk far?

***

I knew Milton would hold my hand to steady me.

He did.

***

"Lord, sustain this family. Wrap Your loving arms around them. Please give them that supernatural cloud of peace You gave me when I learned I had GBM brain cancer, stage 4. Comfort them, Lord. Holy Spirit, You are the Comforter, according to what Jesus said. Your name in Greek means, "the One who walks along beside us." Walk beside this precious family. The parents. The grandparents. The rest of the family. Their friends--all who are affected by this tragedy. Oh, God, we don't understand why. Our hearts are hurting. But You are the God of comfort, and I'm asking You--as are my readers--to heal their hearts. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen."

***

In my recuperation, I watched TV because reading was laborious for me. I "overdosed" on House and Garden TV. Could such a thing happen? Haha.
One program I enjoyed that I never had time to watch is Joyce Meyer. She delivers practical truths in punchy ways.

One day, she said a man said, "God, where were you when my son died?"

"The same place I was when my son died," God replied.

That doesn't ease the pain of two young parents and grandparents seeing their baby die. It doesn't take away their despair. It won't bring the little fellow back. But family, I can say with confidence, that God will hold your hand in your grief. He held mine.
***
The photo is of our grandson at the Christmas Candlelight Communion service. He was praying so fervently. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much," the Bible says in James 5:16, NKJV. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A LETTER TO MILTON

DEAR MILTON,

It seems like yesterday that you asked me to marry you. We were sitting on Lake Parker. The place was called Sertoma Park. Ser To Ma Park. Service to Mankind. That's how we've lived our lives.


We were students at Southeastern University, enjoying a romantic, pure evening.

I love you so much. I've loved you since I was 19. Thank you for your input into my life. We're a good balance. While you did your thing in church work, you helped me to develop in many areas of my life. You asked me to teach—most age levels. You asked me to be children's director, then youth director, yada, yada, yada. I was timid and unconfident, and those things stretched me and developed me, and I'm thankful for that. You've been a good man, Milton. You've been faithful to me. You've been a good father, a good husband.

I love you. I remember falling in love with you. I never loved another man. You are my one true love.

I'm hoping we can do more writing together. We've done articles together. When we were in our twenties, one day you were praying and felt the Lord impressing you that I would be a writer, and also, that we would write together. At the same time, the Lord was whispering those same things into my heart. We didn't tell each other for several years. One day, we told each other and realized the Lord had spoken to us at the same time. Right after that, the Lord developed me in writing. I got training and learned how to write and soon saw several hundred articles published in magazines and newspapers. Then I went back to college and earned my degree in mass communications/journalism. You and I have written together. One article is entitled "Affair-Proofing Your Marriage."

I want to write with you, Milton. I want to see the novels of my heart published. Four long-length novels are completed. A new novel I'm working on is the one I call the story of my heart, and it's about one-third completed.

We have a future and a hope, Milton, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11. There's a hope here. There's a future, and I see it.


With love, Kristy

MILTON: I've often looked at your hands, Kristy, and I've thought how much I love your hands because they are helping hands. They are hands that reach out to many and help them. They are comforting hands, loving hands, giving hands, hands of mercy, hands of love. I love your hands.

KRISTY: I remember when you said, "I love your hands." I put those lines in a novel ("pre-published" long-length Florida historical novel). The male protagonist says these same lines to the female protagonist because he felt the way you do. You and I have had the most wonderful times, Milton, doing all kinds of things, You were chosen for a denominational position, and we traveled all over, ministering in churches, even the Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands. We pastored, had a mobile ministry where we spoke in hundreds of churches, were honored many times.

MILTON: The thing that gives me comfort and peace, Kristy, is that we have lived our lives not just for today, but in the light of eternity, in the light of a higher place of understanding. It hasn't been lived for the temporal or immediate, but we've chosen to live our lives for an eternal purpose. One day we're all going to leave this world. Whenever that is, we chose a long time ago to live in a way that would honor Christ so that we would have no regrets. That gives me comfort and peace, that live or die, you are the Lord's, we are the Lord's. I know God's going to honor that.

KRISTY: You say things so eloquently, Milton. You have such an eloquence with words and are a fabulous writer. You have pearls of wisdom, and the eloquence pours out of your fingertips. Your pastor-brothers-in-law say what a great writer you are. You have a gift, and I want you to do something more with it.

OUR PASTOR FRIEND Steve in Clearwater jokingly said, when learning of my brain cancer: "Milton, you're going to be in trouble when they get Kristy's brain fixed. She's going to be able to think more clearly, and she's going to have you all figured out. And then what are you going to do." We got a good laugh.

THANK YOU, READERS for your prayers. God is using my unusual journey: peace in the midst of storm. Hearts have been touched and healed. Email, snail mail, cards, calls—every kind of communication—are all evidence. The hits at this site astound us. God is doing something…excellent!

MILTON: In our marriage as in any marriage, there are things we've had to work through. But those have been small in relationship to the many years of fruitful and blessed living.

KRISTY: It's important to sit down and work through your differences, whatever relationship it is, marriage, parents, family, friendship,work colleagues. In our marriage, we have to sit down and work them out. The Bible says, "Come now, let us reason together," and I know this isn't in context, but it's a powerful truth nevertheless. We have reasoned them out. We've laid everything on the table. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, but underlying it all is the bedrock love and respect. That's what we've had in our marriage.

ADVICE FROM A 50-YEAR-MARRIED COUPLE A parishioner and his wife celebrated their 50th anniversary. Milton asked them to stand then asked them, "What is the secret of longevity in marriage?" "Compromise," he said quickly, and she agreed. "It's all about compromise and respect for each other and their opinions.." That is so true.

MILTON JUST PUT HIS HAND on my cheek. "You've always been there for me, and I'm going to be there for you. You're going to come through this, Sweetheart. You're very precious to me, very sweet."

"What is your highest dream?" he asks, "and what can I do to help turn it into reality?"

"I don't know, Milton," I said. "You ask such deep philosophical questions. I want to see my writings published. I want to see a lot of souls saved through our church. I want our lives to count for Christ."

"What do you want to see, Milton?" I ask him.

"I want to see you whole and well and blessed. I want you to fulfill your life destiny."

Monday, February 25, 2008

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

SISTER REBECCA AND BROTHER TERRY came to see me, and we had a great time. Rebecca is a little taller than me, but she had on flats, and I had on skinny-heeled tall boots. No more. Sometimes my footing isn't sure. Rats. It's sturdy shoes from now on, for the most part. Wink.




GIRL TIME Cousin Anita, sister Rebecca, aunt Jo, and I had lunch together then walked through SteinMart for 30 minutes. Good exercise for me, and I found another turquoise shirt. It's my signature color. It's also a universal color for all women no matter what their coloring. It brightens every face.

PLEASANT TIMES These were tucked into rounds of doctors' appointments, unpleasant side effects of medications, and an 8-day flu bug with chills and fevers. I'm feeling good now. "Lord, You are so good to me!" I say that all the time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

YOU HAVE ABOUT THREE MONTHS TO LIVE?

SUNDAY EVENING It was a magnificent day. Went to church this morning. Went to Film Night tonight and saw Amazing Grace with the congregation.

MAKE THEM LAUGH, MAKE THEM CRY, MAKE THEM WAIT Author Charles Dickens, who wrote A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and other classics, said, "Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait." He said those were the components of good writing. Those components have certainly filled my writing as I've photojournaled this unique story: "A Christian fiction author comes down with brain cancer and hopes to continue to publish her stories." According to comments in the Comments Section, emails, snail mail, phone calls, and other forms of communication, I have done those things: make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait.

"I found you as I searched for comfort on the 20th anniversary of my son's death. I began to read through your blog and spent the last two days reading each post. I’ve cried and laughed as I read. As your neighbor said, the presence of God is flowing out of your home, and His presence is also flowing off the posts on this blog! Praise God!"

I've made you laugh, made you cry, and made you wait. Two weeks ago, after the latest MRI, the doctor said, "I think you have a few months left." It didn't make me nervous or sad or fearful. Conversely, I was filled with peace—overshadowed by the cloud that descended on me in November at the diagnosis of GBM brain cancer. As soon as the cloud descended, a sturdy chair came behind me, and I sat in it, and it has held me and sustained me. It's Jesus.

TUMOR GROWING I started this journey telling my numerous doctors and other professionals that we are people of faith, meaning Christians, and that God is helping us every step of the way. I also told them I have no fear, only peace. They seemed very…impressed? Touched? They seemed to marvel. I left out churchese and jargon as I told them these things.

Two weeks ago, after looking at the latest MRI, Dr. S. said, (1) "The 30 radiation treatments didn't shrink your tumor which is bad." (2) "The tumor is growing. This is not a good thing."

"How long do you think I have?" I asked, not blinking, sitting there with a smile on my face.

Glancing at the floor then back at me, she said, "Several months is my guess." Then she said it's time for hospice because they are good with pain management. (I haven't felt the need to sign with them yet.) As the doctor was delivering her dire prognosis, suddenly there came that peace like a cloud enveloping me, and, then the sturdy chair sliding in under me.

Then the doctor said, "But you are people of faith. Every case is different."

She delivered a word of faith to me!

Every doctor we saw that week said, "But you are people of faith. Every case is different"

Amazing! The doctors now tell us, "You are people of faith." I've said from the beginning, "My prayer is, 'Lord, let my life count for You. Use me for Your kingdom as you see fit.'" It's happening, as I said earlier, from the tens of thousands of people we're hearing from.

MY ANGELS My vision serves me fairly well despite the loss of 50 percent of my right peripheral vision in both eyes. I can't drive any more, a bummer, and my reading is laborious, me a speed reader. My fingers fly over the keyboard.

Anomalies. Last night, I was flipping through a magazine when a "woman" came in the bedroom and gave me a big sweeping wave. I call these "floaters" or, my angels, my favorite nomenclature. I glanced at the ceiling, saw the fan, and knew my eyes had replicated the last image I'd seen. My creative writer's mind had transformed it into a "her." The other day, the floor lamp in the family room waved at me. Then "she" extended her hand and touched my head. Last night, a short person made his way down the space between the wall and the bed. Glancing at the magazine, I saw a man, the same man won ho was in my bedroom.

Another strange man in my boudoir! Haha.

GETTING BACK MY STRENGTH Author Brandilyn Collins has inspired me. Last spring, she and her family were snowmobiling. Her snowmobile overturned, and she broke her ankle. It required numerous surgeries, pins, therapy, and more. A five-mile-a-day jogger, she was in top shape when it happened. Her strong determination got her back in top shape. She literally kept up her jogging—she worked out an amazing routine on her stairs and jogged on her bottom. An inspiring story. "Lord, help me regain my strength," I'm praying, "so I may write for You."

AS I'VE SAID MANY TIMES I have no fear, no doubt, no worries about my future. This is one of the many miracles in this unique story.

Another miracle is when God snatched my claustrophobia away. Our daughter Jennifer lives in a 22-floor condo in San Juan. I wouldn't ride up alone. I had to have her by my side. (Clue: she's gotten stuck a few times and waited quite a while to get rescued.) At large conventions we attend, I always scan the auditorium looking for a floor-level seat and an uncrowded one. A rare find. Sometimes I've headed for the handicapped seating (after the meeting started).

Now, I crawl into that narrow MRI tube and feel like I'm getting a spa treatment. Peace, peace, peace. A real miracle! Calgon, take me away…I mean…Jesus…for He's the One who took away my claustrophobia and gave me the incomprehendable descent of peace.

I also didn't have claustrophobia during the 30 radiation treatments when I was locked into a helmet which was locked into an acrylic "pillow."

ANOTHER WOMAN JUST CAME IN She raised up her arm and waved at me. Vigorously. A ceiling fan replication. Sometimes my angels wear unusual clothing. This woman is wearing a fancy, Kentucky Derby-style hat. A couple of days ago, a woman rode a ski lift to the top—it ended in our bathroom. The bathroom door was the last image I saw as I lay on the bed resting. Dr. T. said these images might be from the radiation. Or they might not.

I'M KEEPING THE FAITH One of my prayers has been, "Lord, please extend my life." That already occurred. He has extended my life. And I believe He's going to extend it some more. I'm getting my strength back, and I can't wait to plunge into the "story of my heart" and hopefully tweak the four long-length novels I've already completed.

GOOD NEWS I'm attending church today! First time in a long time. The headaches, nausea, and 8-day flu with chills and fever prevented me. I'm raring to go. I attended Wednesday night service and wept the first 30 minutes. Tears of joy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

ROLLIN' ON THE RIVER



Milton, here:

By now you know that I think Kristy is a pretty smart gal. She is pretty and she is smart. But oh, has she made some hilarious statements!

Kristyism: an unbelievably hilarious statement, too funny not to share. (By the way, we all say them. We just need to laugh through them and not take life so serious. I have made some real bloopers too.)

A Kristyism Illustrated:

Years ago we were sitting in a restaurant in Wilmington, N.C., in an outdoor dining area on the Cape Fear River. This is a favorite eating spot where Norma and Ron, my sister and her husband, enjoy eating.

The river is such a calming relaxing place to dine and we were all having a great time. As the dinner progressed a fireboat maneuvered straight across the river from us and began to shoot huge sprays of water. The sprays from several fire hoses filled the view. Water was going in all directions, and this went on for most of the time we were there. It added to the river experience.

Just before we left, Kristy spoke up and said, "Wow, I never knew those riverboats could hold sooo much water."

We laughed and laughed until we were rollin' on the river. (That sounds like a good tune.)

Kristy begged Ron to never tell that story, but it's just too good not to repeat. He says that he always tells this story to guests who dine with him on the river.

Kristyisms have kept us in stitches throughout our journey.

What fun.

Don't worry. I'll tell one on me later.

How Is Kristy?

She woke up not feeling so good Friday morning, but as usual, she put a smile on her face and a praise in her heart. Thankfully, she began feeling better as the day progressed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

WRITING IS WORTH THE EFFORT...

Milton, here:


Writing is cold, hard, solitary work.

Kristy has slugged it out all these years to bless others. She has spent untold lonely hours punching keys that have turned into hundreds of published articles, 9 published works of fiction and four completed novels yet to be published as well as several hundred blog posts.

All the many comments that people have shared have encouraged us in this journey to victory. The comments reinforce the truth that that writing is worth the effort. Here is one that reminded us again that God is being glorified.

Bonnie said...

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday. I’d done a searching for something to cheer me up, as it’s the 20th anniversary of the death of my son. And I came upon a post written back in the summer on laughing clubs.

I began to read through the blog, and spent the last two days reading each post, catching up to today. I’ve cried and laughed as I read. As your neighbor said that the presence of God is flowing out of your home, His presence is also flowing off the posts on this blog! Praise God!

I’m praying for your healing. And I just wanted to suggest that perhaps if Kristy is up to it, she might find it enjoyable to fill some time talking out her book, on tape. And then she could type it up later. I’m looking forward to reading it!

In Christ's precious grace, Bonnie


***

Thanks, Bonnie for taking the time to share with us and also for your prayers and encouragement. God bless you.

It was interesting to me that you came to Kristy's blog to read a post she has written long before she was diagnoised with GBM. It is indicative of her many years of ministering love and hope to others. This is what makes this blog so special to me. It is a written reflection of Kristy's heart.

***

Thursday Kristy was able go to the church office and enjoy lunch with me and a couple from our church. It was a special time. She loves church work and loves to be with people.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A LUNAR KISS...

Milton, here:

Did you see the lunar eclipse Wednesday night?

We did and boy did we enjoy it!

A kiss under the big bright moon will make any redhead's spirits soar.

It was a spectacular sight to watch the glory of God's creation in all its beauty.

I held the camera in one hand and my redhead in the other to take this picture with the moon far above us.

The bottom right picture was taken with my camera through my binoculars. No, I'm not crazy. I just wondered what kind of picture I'd get.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

THE MOLE'S IN THE MALL


Milton, here:

If you read the last blog post by Kristy, then you know that she is battling being shut in and has been feeling blue. But she doesn't stay in blue moods.

What can improve a woman's spirits?

Prayer--good choice.

Read the Word--another good choice.

Attend church--every pastor would check this one off.

Sing a new song to the Lord--definitely a positive mood builder.

Laughter--does good like a medicine.

A hug and a kiss--sweet....

Flowers--smart move for a husband.

Cards--sweet words always help.

A romantic dinner date--she loves that.

But....dare I say it. OK, I will.

A trip to the mall helps big time too. It really should be much higher on this list.

Kristy and I headed to the mall for a light lunch today and to stroll down the mall for exercise for her. We walked right by Dillards, and wouldn't you know it, the exercise trail turns right into the Dillard's fitting room. After about an hour or so, the trail leads back out to the mall corridor with an added weight in my arms to maximize the workout.

It was great to see the the mole, her words not mine, enjoying a spree even if only a short one. I honestly can't remember when we were able to go to the mall together.

She is feeling better--We give Him praise!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'M A MOLE

I'M A MOLE...

I'm a mole popping up after a long winter. Tonight, I'm going to a church event. I want to see our people. I want to greet them and hug them. I've missed them. They tell me they've miss me.

"Lord, please give me back my strength so I can have useful, meaningful days. Let me accomplish the writing You've planned for me. Give me stamina and brain power. '...if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them' (Matthew 18:19, 20, NIV)."

"Dear Lord, there are a lot of people praying that I will gain some strength, far more than two or three. Thank You, Lord, for granting this prayer. Show me ways I can get stronger. When I feel low, please lift my spirits, like You did November, December, and January, when I faced brain cancer diagnosis, surgery, and radiation."

My spirits are lifting. I can feel it.

LOVE AND HANDICAP PARKING SPACES...

Milton, here:

Kristy's illness has changed our lives. She needs me more than ever. An energetic and creative lady is now weak and is looking to me for strength.

I have wiped hot tears as I have comforted and soothed her during intense bouts of "break out" pain and all the recent issues. Thankfully, those subsided and we are working through other effects of this cancer. She has had some good days recently, and we are believing for better days are ahead.

She taught me the honor, the duty, the patience of faithful, loving care.

I saw it in her attention to her elderly father, whom she served as his care provider the last years of his life. Kristy's mother, Grace, died several years back and Kristy became his caregiver. During that time, Dad Roberts lost a leg and needed so much love and care which Kristy provided. She went far, far, beyond the call of duty. The list of care provision by Kristy for her father is too long to enumerate. But anyone who has shared in the role knows it well.

It was during Kristy's care of her father that I learned about the true value and need for handicap parking spaces and love's faithfulness. Of course being 91 and in a wheelchair meant that her father needed handicap parking wherever she took him. She would pull the wheelchair out of the trunk and help slide him into the chair, and then take him to see doctors or whatever was needed.

What love. What duty. What honor.

Often when I pass a handicap space, I think of her duty and her love for her father. I never dreamed I would fill similar shoes in her care--at least not at this stage in our lives. She doesn't need a wheel chair but there are many other limitations.

I have been impacted by her example of love's duty and honor. It changed me long before now.

True, romantic love reaches far beyond fleeting moments of tingly affection. It reaches out in sickness ....and in health. We have enjoyed the health together. We now face the sickness together.

She showed me how to do it.

How Is Kristy?

She is feeling imprisoned by her weakness and limitations and longs for the day she will be back to normal writing and energized.

Today was a good day, but she is struggling to regain strength. She is a redheaded fighter and has so many dreams and desires.

We are praying, believing, expecting.

Thanks for your prayers for her and for us.

Monday, February 18, 2008

TELL ME. DID GOD ANSWER ?

This past Saturday evening Ron McGee, my brother-in-law who pastors in Wilmington, NC, shared a remarkable story with me. I included it this Sunday in my sermon series Nothing Is Too Hard For God. Please read all of it.

One of his members called him and told the following which I'm paraphasing.

The church member, a grandfather, received a phone call one evening this past week from his granddaughter who was sick and asked for prayer. The godly grandfather prayed and prayed in faith for healing. But she got worse in the night.

Early the next morning she called her granddad again for prayer, and he prayed the Word of God and prayed earnestly for healing. She had a class she couldn't afford to miss as there was a big test she had to take.

But she got worse and couldn't go.

The grandfather was downcast over his unanswered prayers. He was upset as he had prayed and prayed believing for his grandchild's healing and that she could be present to take her exam.
Why didn't God answer?

God didn't answer, he thought.

Or, did He?

Later that day he found that his granddaughter, a college student a Northern Illinois University, would have been in the classroom taking a test where the terrible shooting occured killing 6 students. She could have been one of those killed if she had been well enough to attend class.

Maybe, God knew more. Of course, God knew more. He knows all.

We don't understand all of God's ways. We don't understand why her life was spared and others were killed.

We do know we need to trust God through it all.

We must pray and pray in faith when sick or facing other challenging needs. But isn't it wonderful to know that we have victory in Jesus regardless how things may appear. We win, if we are on His side.

We have found unusual peace through Kristy's trial knowing that Jesus is Lord over all. He doesn't fail. Nothing is too hard for God. We praise Him when we get answers, and we praise Him when we wait. When He doesn't answer in the way we have asked, we can be assured He has something better for us.

***

How Is Kristy?

She had a great day even though she wasn't able to attend church. She has gone through the house all day prasing God for His goodness. Julie is home and Kristy is enjoying sweet moments with her. God is good. Give Him thanks.

***
Isn't that a great picture of Ron and my sister, Norma? But, can someone tell me what she is thinking as she looks at Ron? I bet it's something real good.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CULTIVATING ROMANCE...

Milton, here:

Kristy could have been a romantic horticulturist. Is there such a person? Well if so, she is. She loves to work in the yard and is a whiz at most any task she tackles. But one of her primary life's passion is to grow godly, blessed, romantic lifestyles.

When we first married, I loved her dearly and tried to show it in the ways she desired. But, being the manly kind of guy I am (Just a nice way to say stupid.), I will have to admit some of what I did in showing her love on special days was more dutiful than not. Well, ok, maybe more than some, or, uh, maybe much of it was done dutifully. (Confession is good for the soul.)

But, through the years Kristy has drawn more and more of the feminine romantic side out of me. I can't believe I just wrote that and put it on this blog. She planted, watered, fertilized, picked out the weeds, and kept at it until the natural romantic buds began blooming to their fuller flower.

Nagging doesn't cut it. Pushing won't move it. Comparing to others adds resentment. But, believing, complimenting, showing not telling, setting the mood, and enhancing the environment will cause the smallest of seeds of romance to flourish into full maturity (Fireworks help too.). This is a life learning curve and I have much to discover. She just keeps placing the signs along the way so they can be easily followed.

The picture of Kristy and me kissing at our wedding juxtaposed against Rhett and Scarlet with our carved names in between is just one example of Kristy's cultivating romance in our home.

Life is better when things are sweet. Brawn melts when romance shines bright.

Behind our names and the picture of Kristy winking at the camera is a faded love note from me from long ago. It is more true now than ever with much more passion and understanding.

I think Kristy put it there for several reasons beyond decor. She writes romance, no, she lives romance. This note is part of her romance and she wants it up front and center.

It's part of the mood.

The love note reads:

Kristy,

You are indeed a
very special person. Smart
talented, creative, industrious,
pure, beautiful, faithful, generous,
and kind are only a
few words that describe you.
I am very fortunate to have
you as my wife, friend,
helper, and lover.
I do love you now
more than ever.

Milton










How is Kristy?


She is planning on attending church Sunday! She is weak in body but strong in heart and spirit.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

TRAVELING TOGETHER---INCREDIBLE KINDNESS...

Milton, here:

Hard journeys are made harder when you have to travel alone.

***

When we got home from our Valentine date Thursday evening, Kristy pulled all of the beautiful cards she has received these last three months and spread the on the kitchen table. She looked long and hard and with tears.

The dearest kindness words have come from far and wide and have comforted us. Every card represents loving care and intense prayer. We have felt the presence and support of dear friends, old friends. Did I say "old" friends? Erase that, I'm not old. Kristy doen't like me to use that "old" word.

We have found so many new friends as people have read Kristy's blog and reached out to us through gracious, loving comments. What comfort. What blessing. What encouragement. Words cannot describe.

It has been so touching to read the comments of Kristy's writing buddies who have stuck right in here with us. Over and over they have written. Daily they have found new wonderful ways to write the right words of incredible kindness—words that make you feel like going one more step.

Some of Kristy's writing friends I have never had the opportunity to meet, but I feel I know them up close and personal as we have traveled together these last weeks.

Our dear relatives and our precious church family have hung close and hard. They have proven their faith by their works. I guess they have all read what Brother James had to say about that. Their loving acts could fill a dozen blogs or more.

All of you have prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

You are helping bear our burdens so we don't have to walk alone. God bless you for being there even at a distance—we feel your love and it helps.

There is much more to write as we move forward in this journey to victory. Thanks again for going with us. Your incredible kindness makes the travel easier.

How is Kristy?

She has had a great week. This has been a major turn around for her. She is weak and it is so hard for her to be unable to move at her ususal breakneck speed. She wants to write. She wants to live. She wants to love. This is one amazing woman.

Keep praying for her and for us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

WE HAD A DATE!!!

Milton, here:

Last night Kristy was able to go on a Valentine date with me. Except for doctor visits, she hasn't been able to go anywhere with me for several weeks. It was a super special night.

My Valentine card to her reads:

The last thing I expected
was to find a woman like you.
But here you are,
sharing life with me,
waking up my heart
with your sweetness,
filling my world with a love
more tender
than I ever dreamed of.

Being with you brings
a sense of contentment
that only you can give.
And in return, all I can do
is love you the best I can,
with the heart of a man
who knows how blessed he is.

Happy
Valentines Day

With all my love, Milton

***

Dear Milton:

Thank you for a romantic date last night. I reminisced about our dating days, and it was a lovely, nostalgic-filled evening. I wore the tiny diamond necklace you gave when we couldn't afford very much and it's now one of the most treasured pieces of jewelry I have.

You are my hero husband. You are my champion. You are my support. You are my all in all, and I love you so much that, as a writer, words fail me. Our love is deeper than the ocean and wider than the sea. It's timeless, it's precious, it's endless.

Last night was a reflection of so many previous romantic times we've shared. I love you now more than ever.

With all my love, Kristy

***

As we finished our dinner, I took several pictures of Kristy and the server took a picture of us together. Later, Kristy went to the powder room. As she left, a woman sitting right next to us leaned over to me and said, "That is one special lady. I felt something radiating from her. She is so pretty. She is like an angel."

Wow, if this stranger only knew!

Kristy returned, and we drove home—my angel sitting next to me.

***

How Is Kristy?

Just look up!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A PREACHER'S STRUGGLE: PART II

Milton, here:

My struggle over preparing to preach a series of sermons during February on the topic Nothing Is Too Hard for God dealt with several conflicting questions. I will not cover them all, but there is one question that I feel I should offer comment.

It is the question if there is nothing too hard for God, then why are some prayers seemingly left unanswered? Why doesn't everyone who prays in faith get healed? Why do some suffer and face hardships that seem to have no end. God heals, but faith-filled believers die. What's the answer?

Our oldest daughter, Julie, cried my over the phone last Saturday evening asking, "Dad, doesn't God heal? Why is Mom going through this?"

She needed some honest answers, and frankly I had to have some answers to faithfully preach on God's power and Lordship with this trial looming larger every day. One of the most critical aspects of preaching is that people need to know and feel that the preacher really believes what he or she is preaching. I needed God to help me work through these struggles to preach boldly and with confidence--truly believing what I was preaching.

The Lord led me to Hebrews 11 which is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I turn there frequently to read it—it is so inspiring. It is the "Hall of Faith". You have to read all of the chapter to understand God's full plan. It is a chapter of victory. The words "by faith" are recorded throughout the chapter as many received glorious promises, but we need to learn that God still has victory for us even when we don't get the answers we desire.

Hebrews 11 teaches us that some with unusual faith failed to get what was promised them. They believed they would receive the promise but didn't receive what had been promised—God had something better for them.

That's the key—God had something better. (Read Hebrews 11:39-40)

I have taught my congregation that when we pray and pray in faith yet not receiving the promise, then God has something better for us.

It is not that some things are too hard for God—FOR THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR GOD. There are some things we pray for that God has a higher will and purpose to accomplish. That takes a trusting faith that yields to Him.

It is important to note that those who didn't receive the promise yet lived their faith out with proactive, intentional action. They didn't turn passive in their praying or believing. We are told by our Lord to ask, seek, and knock. They didn't quit praying or believing, and neither should we quit praying.

We believe in miracles and we are believing for healing for Kristy as well as many others who have needs. We are praying and standing on His promises knowing that He is the Sovereign Lord over all—there is nothing too hard for God.

Sometimes the answer comes right at the midnight hour.

(Please forgive the "preacher" coming out in me. At least I haven't taken an offering—at least not yet. Ha!)

How Is Kristy?

She is improving and was able to go out to lunch on Wednesday with her sister, Rebecca, Cousin Anita, and Aunt Jo. God is good. Thank God for His healing, strengthening hand.

***


Tomorrow Kristy plans on posting again. It will be good. She said it would be about me. A little humor there--very little.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A PREACHER'S STRUGGLE

Milton, here:

I struggled over the new sermon series I was preparing to preach during February entitled Nothing Is Too Hard For God from Jeremiah 32. The enemy of our souls kept whispering in my ear, "How do you dare preach such a word when your own wife is suffering so badly. If nothing is too hard for God, then why is she suffering? God isn't with you."

The ultimate goal of Satan is to steal, kill, and destroy. He desires to kill our faith, trust, and commitment to serve God. That is what the Devil was attempting to do to me. He was further attempting to keep the Word of God from those who desperately need it.

But he loses.

Something unique happened Friday at noon on February 1 that helped me. Our doorbell rang and a neighbor down the street was standing on the porch. She stopped to check on Kristy and tell us she was praying for her. She said, "Every day when I walked past your house I pray for Kristy and you, Milton." She said that earlier this morning when she walked by that she prayed and prayed for both of us.

Actually, I was working in our office at my desk which faces a window with a view of our front yard. I saw her as she passed our house. I noticed that she turned her head toward our house as she walked by and it seemed that something was happening to her. I didn't know what but I thought, "Something has just happened to that lady."

As she stood at my door at noon, she said, "I've got to tell you the presence of the Lord is pouring out of your house. I feel God's peace and I feel His presence so strong. There is a strong presence of God pouring out of your house."

Then she said, "Before I leave, I must tell you something else. As I was walking by your house earlier this morning something miraculous happened. I was praying for Kristy. All of a sudden I couldn't pray in English anymore and I started praying for her in the Holy Spirit and in a language I didn't know. I know I was praying for Kristy but it wasn't in my language. It was the language of the Holy Spirit. This has never happened to me before today."

Get this right. One of our neighbors was walking in the front of our house and feeling God's power radiating out of our house. She received a supernatural prayer language standing in the street.

I told her I saw her out there as she walked by our house earlier, and I thought, "Something just happened to her."

Now some may wonder how this could happen and that's ok. If you could have seen this precious lady share what God had done, there wouldn't be any doubts of God's marvelous love and work.

God was speaking to me through this experience. He was letting me know that He was with us regardless of the lying whispers of Satan. Right out there in the front of our house and in the street she received a glorious empowering of the Holy Spirit. Can you believe it? Yes, God is good.

Before she left, she said again, "You must know that the presence of God is flowing out of your house. His presence is touching your neighbors and He is touching me."

To be honest I don't understand all the "why's" of what we are going through, but I know One who holds the keys to every issue of life. This unusual, supernatural experience affirmed again that God is at work and is with us. Through our deepest struggles He is there to comfort and help us.

I was able to go to church two days later and begin preaching the series Nothing Is Too Hard for God with a holy boldness and confidence that He is Lord over all.

God wins again!

***

Dear Lord,

Please let your presence pour out of our lives and out of our house to others. Thank you for being close and real. Thank you for moving in you holy ways and in your holy will.

Amen.

***

How Is Kristy?

She has had two great days with no pain, fever, nausea. She is getting stronger and better. Her brightness is returning as God gives her healing and health. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SOFT CARESSES AT A FUNERAL

Milton, here:

Sunday after I got home from ministering at church, I told Kristy that I needed to attend a funeral that afternoon for a 3 month old infant, a grandchild of members of our congregation. Kristy had physically not been able to go anywhere except to doctors appointments for some time, but she said to me that she wanted to go with me. She loved this family and had great concern and compassion for them. Her passion as a pastor's wife and her love for people were calling her.
She was feeling better but it was a real stretch for her to go. She got dressed, but she was worn out in the process. As we traveled some 35 minutes to the funeral service, she recovered.


Noah, the little infant, was the very life of this family. As the service began, everyone was weeping and the pain of this tragedy was beyond description. We sat through the funeral listening, praying, and hurting for these dear church members. God’s love was reaching out to them in gently waves of tender compassion. Our Lord is the Holy Comforter.

As the service progressed, Kristy began to experience a chill and asked for me to put my arm around her, and I did. After a few moments, I instinctively began to rub and softly caress her arm.

Then I noticed it. Her tears began to trickle down the sides of her cheeks with greater intensity. She didn’t have to speak. She didn’t have to express a word. But I could feel her thoughts as we sat side by side--my arm around her.

She was remembering all the times that I had sat with my arm around her in so many different settings. The times she has told me how proud she was to be seen with me are beyond counting. The feelings and thoughts were piercing—knowing that except for a miracle our times like this are numbered.


Tears were streaming down the faces of everyone present. It was a tough but touching service of remembering and looking to our blessed hope in Jesus Christ.

But the tears flowing down our cheeks were added. They were added with hot tears realizing how priceless soft caresses really are.





How Is Kristy?






Today was her best day in well over two weeks. She is doing so much better. Her brother and sister, Terry and Rebecca, came in last night and Rebecca is staying until Thursday. Kristy is getting stronger and is not suffering with headaches or nausea.




Praise God for His goodness!




Thank you for your continued prayers for her and for us.

Monday, February 11, 2008

FAULTS AND FLAWS...

Milton, here:


Kristy and I watched an old black and white movie recently entitled The Enchanted Cottage. It was a romantic story about a man and woman who had severe physical flaws. His face was scared from war and he had a maimed arm and hand. She was very homely looking. They both were lonely and he was dealing with inner hurts.


When they fell in love, something miraculous happened. They saw each other as handsome and beautiful. Others could see their serious flaws, but their love healed all physical flaws in their eyes as they viewed each other.

That is what love does. It covers a multitude of sins. When you look at your mate through eyes of love, the flaws and faults get lost in all the rapturous emotions and even deeper commitment. We have issues and differences. We have had to work through troubles like all couples do. But she loves me. I love her. Love covers.

Does Kristy have flaws? If you've been reading my posts, you would think she must not only be a super servant but some kind of super saint. Well, she is a super saint, but she and I both have faults and flaws. Our love covers them and carries us when the inevitable issues arise.

Well, what are our faults? Here goes…

Milton's Faults--from my view:

1. Too trusting sometimes. Maybe naïve.
2. Not as fast as I would like to be.
3. Too blunt when I could speak with a softer tone.
4. ##!!!*@@***
5. **$@##!!!!##

Kristy's Faults--from my view:

1. Likes to help me drive—a back seat driver.
2. ##!!***@###
3. **!@##@!@#!
4. Sometimes her passion for excellence in the details gets aggravating to me.
5. #@%&&@#@!

Now you really didn't think I was going to let too many secrets out did you? We have way more than 10 flaws, but you get the point. (By the way, Kristy approved this message. I mean list.)

We stand together through the good, bad, and ugly. We haven't and don't live in an enchanted cottage. But our love and vows have helped us see each other with eyes which veil our faults—at least most of the time. Ha!

How Is Kristy?

She had a better day Saturday and she was even better on Sunday. Her spirits are good. She still walks through the house praising God for His goodness and telling me over and over how much she loves me.

We are still praying, believing, and expecting.
***

The #@#!!!*** 's are none of your business.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

HOSPICE CAME

"It's time to call Hospice." The radiation oncologist told me this with solemnity.

Just as I received the diagnosis of stage 4 brain cancer on November 7 2oo7, so I received this news: with no shakes, no nervousness, no fear. A cloud of peace enveloped me like a Florida fog as I envisioned the Israelites wandering the dessert, peace surrounding them, God' cloud guiding them.

That's the way it's been for this entire journey, except for a few crying bouts, and one time when I asked God "Why?" then quickly moved on because the question never nagged again.

Is this persona of peace my natural nature? No, a thousand times, no. I'm The Worry Wart. Not now.

And it's God's supernatural power that has infused me with this .

Does God heal? He does. Having been in church work for years, I've witnessed it with my own eyes. I think we all have. I like to give God credit for every act if goodness.

My father had a bowed-out arthritic knee, and one day he rubbed it and said, "I think that new salve is helped this old knee," and dear little Aunt Bea, a missionary evangelist now in her mid-90s, wagged her finger in him and said, "Udell, you better give God the glory."

She always said we need to give God credit for the good things that happened to us.

Throughout this three-plus-month-brain-cancer-saga, God has been good to me. It's been tormenting, too, the many things I've walked through. But He's been there beside me, like a cloud enveloping me.

And the cloud is going to get thicker. And more powerful. And it's going to envelop Milton and the girls and all who care about me.

***

Hospice gave us information. If the need arises, we are informed.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

SO SOFTLY HE SINGS

Milton, here:

Torn and torn again
Torn into a thousand little pieces.
Pain, heartache, wounded, spent
With questions and queries
Well knowing He is there.

How to handle
Handle sweet wonderful memories
Fears, frustration, future.
Fogginess and memory lapses in the one so loved
Pain and more pain
Yet, His peace sustains.

Never would you think
Never would you imagine
Never would you expect
Never
Never could it happen here.

But it did.
He allowed it
He works through it
Touching, changing, cleansing, releasing

Perfecting
Doing new things
Sovereignly accomplishing eternal purpose
Going deep and deeper within the soul.

He knows
He wills
He refines
He fulfills

All our heart's needs
All our heart's dreams
All our heart's hopes
In His higher most precious way.

For He is in the shadows
Following closely
His footprints not seen.
His voice speaks softly
So softly He sings—
His grace and His greatness
Most sufficient for me.

How Is Kristy?

She has had an up and down couple of days. The report of the MRI as read by the radiation oncologist was not good news. The tumor has grown and is causing swelling to the brain. She struggles for rest, but her faith is sweet and strong.

Thank you for praying for Kristy and for us.

Friday, February 08, 2008

HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT

For almost two weeks…doctors, doctors, doctors.

Eyes. More vision loss.

Dentist. Watching for tooth decay caused by radiation to the head.

Internist's assistant. Fevers attack in the night. Shakes rock the bed.

MRI.

Neurosurgeon.

Internist.

Neurologist put on board.

Radiation oncologist.

Me, the woman who had to be dragged to the doctor.

Now…now…

***

Constant togetherness is not a good thing. Misunderstandings occur. Frustrations mount. Tempers flare. Eyes roll.

We leave the doctor's office.
Elevators bing.
A cell phone emerges.
Information given.
Conversation flows.

We're in the parking garage.

Next call.
Information given.
Conversation flows.

Headed home. We're minutes from home.

Next call comes in…

"Milton." I point to my heart. Can I talk to you a moment?

Call ends.

"Can't you talk to me?" I ask.

Dial tone starts.

Call connects.

Long conversation.

I touch his arm.

Does he not realize I'm sitting here beside him, longing for conversation, to hear his take on what we're facing?

***

Then we're home and to the recliner or bed to recoup the night's loss.

***

A nap for two sleep-deprived people brings new perspective. We hug, kiss, say "I love you."

But a willingness to forgive, forget, and move on brought relief. And joy.

***

Steroids…
Steroids…
Steroids…
How I hate you.

***

He Just Doesn't Get It.....

He Had It.....all along.

It's a Christian love story.

***

"Lord, thank You for giving me this good man. A tower of strength. A support unparalleled. A walker through the fire.

I don't deserve him. Reward him, Lord, for his lovingkindness."

***

Milton, here:


This is Milton Dykes, and I approve this message.

***

MORE WRITING VAUX PAS

Get Thesaurus.

Where is hurricane in thesaurus?

Flip pages. There it is.

Hupla.

Keep looking.

A long time later.

Hurricane.

And it wasn't the right word.

***

Picture: Taken on a day get away at Jekyll Island this past summer.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

HERE I SIT SO WEAK AND WEARY

Here I sit so weak and weary,
Plans dismantled
Fever's raging,
Fever's raging, fever's raging
As if kindling, lit, consumes me.

Try to write, must stop and layer
Shivers shake me
Shivers shake me.

***

A coolness comes.

***

Discard layers
Fly to writing,
Time is wasting,
Time is wasting.

Need a word.
Cohesive thoughts.
Nothing works, nothing works.

Gradation?
Seaching, searching.
Pages fly.
Cannot find it, cannot find it.

Time, time, there's little time
When weariness controls the mind.

More searching.

***

A writer's shame,
No word comes through.
What to do?
What to do?

Struggle, struggle.

***

Ah...

***
Cannot write without a struggle.
Cannot read with fluidation.

***

This article/post took seven hours at the computer.

No more marathons.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

FAITH FACES FACTS

Milton, here:

Wow, some of Kristy's recent posts and titles have really been raw and to the point. Isn't that how life is? She has been writing from her heart and descriptively stating her case.

Some people fear sharing facts because they fear it hinders faith. Isn't there just a little contradiction going on there. People of faith shouldn't be fearful to share facts. I believe there is a better way to excercise our faith than to deny the facts.

We must stand on God's Word and let the power and anointing of the Word flow through us. The just must live by faith. Yet, faith can withstand the facts. God is bigger than than all the giants we could ever face.

Kristy has strong faith in our Lord's abiding love. She is sharing her journey of faith that includes stark in your face facts. She has aptly described her journey and she faithfully proclaims the power of His healing and sustaining grace. Her faith is so strong and so simple in trust. She sincerely trusts Jesus and His faithful care.

Didn't David often state the facts of the enemies and ills he was facing? Then he would remember the goodness and greatness of God, and the victory would come.

What about Paul? He didn't deny the facts. He was troubled, perplexed, persecuted, cast down, and delivered unto death. Those were the facts. Now here is the faith--yet not distressed, not in despair, not forsaken, not destroyed, life made manifest. (Read II Corinthians 4:8-18)

Faith faces facts then looks at God's Word and wins! Feelings face facts then looks at the doubts and lose!

***

Kristy, I am so thankful to have such a faith filled wife who has simple, sincere, supernatural faith that stands no matter the test.

By His grace, we win.

How Is Kristy?

She is feeling stronger and has high spirits. We will get the MRI read Wednesday. Thanks for all you prayers for her and for us.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SHE'S FEELING BETTER...

Milton, here: 5:53 PM, EST

We just got home from her MRI at Mayo. We won't know the results until tomorrow, but the good news is that she is feeling better and more human.

No fever, headache, or nausea. Praise God!

It has been a rough few days, but our faith and trust in Jesus is strong and sweet. Just read the past posts by Kristy and hum the songs she's singing. You'll feel better too.

WHAT'S GOING ON?

What's going on inside my head? Will an MRI today reveal it? The MRI was scheduled for one month following radiation treatments. That's 12 more days. But brain swelling is making the doctors want an MRI today. I hope to know something by tonight.

***

I can't bear the pain and the nausea. Why is this happening? Steroids prevent these problmes. And now I'm running fever. Have been since last Friday.


The doctors re-prescribed steroids last Thursday. I had been on them since early November except for when the doctor weaned me off of them three weeks ago. Why am I suffering? The steroids reduce your swelling and brain not cause it, right?


Shaking head.


Crying out for relief.


***


"Beam Me On Up, Scotty"


"I'm Coming, 'Lizbeth!"


"Movin' On Up, To the Eastside..."


-- Expressions from TV whoss...I mean, shows.


***


Keep reading. This is not morbid. It's truth.



***


"By Design"


"A Place to Call Home"


"Above It All"


"Fresh Flair"


"Hanging Our"


"Best Seat In the House"


"The Root of Happiness"


-- Articles from Coastal Living magazine--apply them to Heaven

MY TOES ARE FROZEN PEGS

My toes are frozen pegs in an outdoor laundry.
Hard shakes jerk my body.
The fever is back.

Scalp--itching--rivals…?
I order my hands: do not touch.
Sleep? Little. Ambien fights the steroids.

The birds sing—a cacophony of sound greeting the day.

But even that doesn't lull me to sleep.

Pressure mounts in my brain.

***

Itching, itching, itching.
Will I scratch?
Torment.
Scratch.
Jerk hand away.
For good.

***

Turn on light.
Coconut flakes on red sheets.
Agast.

***

How can a giant fried marble hurt so much?

***

I choose to sing.
I choose to sing.
I choose to sing.

***

A song from childhood comes…

***

"There's within my heart a melody,
Jesus whispers sweet and low.
'Fear not, I am with you, Peace! Be still!
In all of life's ebb and flow.'

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.

"Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way.
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go."

***

At the top, "fever" reads "fabak. Then I slide my chair to the left, come in close, sweep over the words, and I can read. Not speed reading like before. But still, reading.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT YOU

SATURDAY EVENING
Chills and fever.
Miserable.
Crying bouts.

SUNDAY
Chills and fever.
Nausea.
Bed.
Nausea.
Cessation of nausea, 4 p.m.
Car ride.
Sunshine. Four days waiting to embrace it.
Nausea.
Chills and fever.
Nausea.
Bed.

***

DOCTOR'S APPT. MONDAY

***

CAN'T FIND "STAR BUTTON" ON KEYBOARD
Normal brain fog?
Mistake?
Found it.

***

THE BOTTOM LINE
I'm weeping. But my tears are joy tears. I willingly gave my heart to Christ when I was about three years old. He's a faithful friend. He won't let you down. He won't fail you. He looks out for you; you can rely on Him.

He will never leave you or forsake you.

RE-TYPE SONG; WORDS MIXED UP
"I'm so glad, I learned to trust You,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that You are with me,
Will me with me to the end.

"Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You,
How I've proved You over and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust You more!

''It's so sweet, To trust in Jesus,
Just to take You at Your word,
Just to rest upon Your promise,
Just to know 'Thus says the Lord.'

"Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You,
How I've proved You o'er (over) and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust You more."

***

"O FOR GRACE TO TRUST YOU MORE"
The songwriter wrote a magnificent song. But my trust is so deep, my love so great, I couldn't trust Him any more if I tried.

"I feel the same way about you, Kristy," Jesus just whispered.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

HOW IS KRISTY?

It's Sunday evening and the Super Bowl is about to begin.

Kristy and I just returned home from a short car ride. She hasn't been out of the house since this past Wednesday.

She had a rough night with fever and nausea, but is better this afternoon.

Her words in her last post came from a heart of faith that is honest and trusting.

She sang the old hymn Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus to me this afternoon. With tears flowing down her face, she said this is where my faith and trust lies--in Jesus from Whom she lives.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

EARTH-WEARY AND HEAVEN HUNGRY?

After four hours of sleep, I decided to write. My doctor re-prescribed steroids, and they steal my sleep, and that's after an Ambien send-off to La La Land. But they keep the brain swelling at bay—which causes unbearable pain and nausea. You wake up thinking, As soon as my fireworks-mind shuts off, maybe I can get a nap. It rarely happens.

Early this morning as I lay in bed sleepless, I formulated the order of this article/post. But they vamoosed. I have recall of magnificent words, don't you think? I'm winging it...

NOT TALKING MUCH

Milton says I don't talk much. When pain is hammering your head, what is there to say? Or, when your days are spent in bed or on the recliner? Or, when you go to a plethora of doctors' appointments and see that universal, pitiful, carefully masked look in their eyes, knowing what I'm facing? (There's also compassion.)

MY HAIR AND HEAD

My hair is still falling out, a nuisance to deal with. Another physical problem has joined the myriad. Radiation to the head fries/burns the scalp. Pencil-eraser-sized flakes gather on my shoulders. Stars in a velvet sky. Awful for someone of a my persnikityness.

Radiation to the head can cause tooth decay. Milton took me to the dentist this week. Fortunately, the problem had already cleared up. The dentist looked at me through compassion-filled eyes as he examined me. He said to postpone my long-held February appointment to start replacing several old fillings. Is he thinking I won't be here too long, a natural feeling for people, given my circumstances? At the receptionist's desk, the receptionist told me the dentist said there would be no charge.

CAN'T DRIVE

The neurosurgeon had a gripping way to give this instruction: if a little old lady is crossing the street and you don't see her due to your vision loss, you could kill her. And that was before the new vision loss.

MORE VISION LOSS

Monday, January 28, was my red-letter day. I was going to work on "the story of my heart" after the interruption of 30 daily radiation treatments and brain surgery for GBM brain cancer. But I struggled to read (and study) that day. I knew it was an eye problem and called the eye doctor. A field vision test revealed I've lost more vision--now 1/2 in both eyes. (Keep reading for what this entails.) I always had the idea peripheral meant "extra" or "not needed." Not so. Cover your left eye. Stare at an object in front of you. Slowly bring your right hand to your nose, counting your fingers as you do so. On the right side, I am seeing the width of the computer screen with the addition of a few inches, in the right portion on both eyes. It's a blank after that, unless I turn my head. "Is it a blackness?" my brother Terry asked me. "Is it tunnel vision?" I said, "No, it's just not there."

However, when I bring my head out of just the periphereal vision (where it was for the test), I can see better. But that part of your vision is so important. I almost walked into a woman the other day. I didn't see her. When I pick up a knife to slice an apple (or whatever), I sometimes cut with the flat edge rather than the serrated one.

My eyes have "floaters," what I dubbed "my angels." People-sized. Kitty-cat-sized. Chair-sized. I've discovered "angels" are what my eyes last see as they sweep across the right side of both eyes. Perhaps I "see" them that way because I'm a writer with descriptives ways. The vase of roses waved at me yesterday. The stack of books by my computer twirled and doci-doed like the dancers at my line dancing class. My kitchen cabinets hang open wanting to smack me the in the head.

WORD MIX-UP

Sometimes my words won't come out right, or they come out slower, which frustrates this tornado woman. As Milton drove me to the doctor, I pointed out a new neighborhood. "They have a lot of enemas," I said, then quickly added, "I mean, amenities." We got a chuckle.

Sometimes I see a "b" for a "p" or vice versa, as well as other letter mix-ups. Makes for some interesting reading!

SCRABBLE

Milton and I played Scrabble last night, one of my favorite games. After 15 minutes, I said, "Let's finish this later." It was too mind-wearying.

CHURCH

I want to go to church Sunday. Headaches and nausea kept me away for two weeks. I sit on the front pew. Will the congregation see the skin flakes on my clothes? Will they notice how thin my hair is? Will they notice my raccoon eyes?

THE MOST LOVING CONGREGATION

They won't notice those things. They are the most loving, gentle, caring congregation on the face of the earth. They have brought evening meals to us for three months. Their offers of help and acts of lovingkindness are unparalleled. Their prayers strengthen and sustain me.

MY BRAIN GROWS WEARY

As I write, it's the wee hours of the night. Will I catch some more ZZZs if I lie down? I already tried that for two boring hours. Or will I be wide awake for four hours, like last night, again? And now my head is feeling "tight."

SOME GOOD NEWS

The doctor said my best time will be one month from the end of the radiation treatments. That's the end of February. I hope to get a streak of writing done, and I will keep attempting until then.

Friday, February 01, 2008

SUPER STAR OR SUPER SERVANT

Milton, here:

Which would you rather marry--a super star or a super servent? The answer to that one in today's culture may not be so quickly answered. Big bucks, good looks, fancy talking, and exaggerated living seem to be the passions of the day. Regrettably, all the glamour of TV personalities and excitment of large entourages leave the idea of servanthood living way behind.


I've had a running joke with Kristy that she could be famous if one day she made me rich. "Fame" never has been her goal and to be honest the "rich" as never been my highest aim. Kristy's name has appeared in lots of places, but she has never let that keep her from helping others. Oh, and I'm not rich yet either.

Thursday morning I counseled a mother about a matter with her daughter. Her daugher turned herself into the law for crimes committed years ago. The young woman wanted to make things right so she went back to her home state and surrendered to the authorities to pay her dues. I would call that real repentance.

When I mentioned this to Kristy, she wanted the phone number to try to call the mother to pray and share comfort with her. Kristy looked beyond on her own physical hurt to help someone in serious need.

Throughout this ordeal Kristy's thoughts have constantly been toward others, but this is how she has lived all these years. She has lived to help and bless people in need. I wrote a couple of posts ago about her creativity, but I can tell you all that creative energy has been used to be a blessing and help.

(I put the picture of Claudia because it is cute! The red nose on the embarressed Impala was put there by Kristy.)


Kristy is an "extra miler" or one who always goes beyond the call of duty. How blessed I am to be married to such a pure hearted woman. I married a super servant who is my super star.


How Is Kristy?


She has experienced lots of pain Thursday, but now as I write she is resting better. Thanks for all your prayers for her and for us.
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Tomorrow I will list some of Kristy's faults and maybe some of my faults. Tune in for the scoop!