Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Don't Want to Die

I’ve never asked any of the doctors what they think my long-term outcome will be of this cancer.   In fact, it took until half way through my treatments to find out I was probably stage 2.   I think I was afraid if the diagnosis was worse, or if they weren’t 100% I’d beat this that I’d focus on dying more than living this year.   For the most part, it’s worked.   There have been a few fleeting moments that I’ve “gone there.”    Today I had one of those moments.   I was sharing with Rusty how sometimes well-meaning people, usually strangers, tell me their story dealing with the same cancer and about half the time they let me know it ends well and sometimes they let me know their family members didn’t make it.   It’s kind of like when you are 9 months pregnant and instead of hearing all the good birth stories you seem to hear every painful, long, drawn-out, horror, labor and delivery story.   Rusty and I have never really talked about the “what if”.    He said he knew, and that even he had done research on the internet.   Now the shocking part of that is that he rarely gets on the computer, nor has he ever desired to be computer savvy.  This carpenter, deputy police officer of mine, just got an e-mail address this past year and rarely even used it.  He doesn’t even remember his password.  So as we both walked arm and arm through the store early this morning, I realized he even had to at least temporarily “go there”.     For a brief moment, as we are looking for the proper wire and beads for a craft I’m working on, I feel myself getting teary-eyed thinking “I don’t want to die.   I really don’t want to die.   I want to grow old with this man of mine.   I want to watch my children grow up, get married, and have some more grandchildren.”   I gather myself together and once again preach to myself.   At first it was just quiet thoughts as I really didn’t want to visit this place in my mind, but then I had to choose to fight.  My time is in His hands.   He knows the desires of my heart and He knows what’s best for me and my family.   I pray it’s to live and not die young.   However, I’ll have to make the choice to live each day whether I get one year or forty more.   I mean really live.   Until you’ve ever faced death, those songs that tell you to live like you were dying sound like pretty good advice.   But after you have had to face your mortality head on, they take on a whole new meaning.    What would I do THIS DAY differently if I knew it was my last.   We never really know, do we?  Would I worry as much about the dirty floors or the unfinished construction in my home that visitors are seeing every time they bring us food?   I definitely wouldn’t worry about stretch marks, gray hair, or wrinkles.  I’d still want to teach my children to love to learn, to want to work hard and well at whatever their hands may do, to be disciplined about nutrition and exercise (but not above all else), to think about what influences they put into their hearts and minds, to serve others, to trust the Lord with all their hearts, and to be thankful in ALL things.   I'd want my husband to know it was worth all the hard times we made it through over the years and that I’d do it again.   I'd want my children to know they were always a blessing to us.   I don’t want to always wish I had done things better.   I don’t want to keep working to be the wife, mom, teacher, etc. that I wish I was and live like tomorrow I may have it more together.   But I want to live with the realization I’ll NEVER be all that I want to be for the Lord, myself, or my family.   However, I can choose to be thankful and find joy in this life despite myself, and try to spill His love wherever I go and on whatever I find my hands busy with.  With all my warts and failures, maybe just maybe, my family will see I know He loved me, really loved me, just as I am and that they too can walk in that freedom throughout their lives.   So today, once again, I’m choosing to thank the Lord for this journey He has me on.   Although, I still really love the school days that go smooth, seeing the laundry floor, and falling into bed with a good bit of my to dos done and done well in a happy, peaceful home.   It’s made me appreciate the birds singing this spring even more than usual; the heavens He’s painted for me sky blue pink are more beautiful; my husband’s company is more satisfying; my children and grandchildren’s laughter is more wonderful; His grace I find even more amazing; His love more abundant; and my joy so much more full.   

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He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. (His thoughts on Luke 16:9)


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