Beauty In Pain – update

I realized the other day that after writing this post, I never gave another update about how things are going.

My sister has since had surgery and has pretty much fully recovered from it. The doctors were going to test for cancer during the surgery just to make sure that that’s what it was–but as soon as they started the surgery, they could tell it was definitely cancer and just went ahead with the complete procedure. Praise the Lord, they were able to guarantee that the cancer had not spread to any further in her body, and after a radiation treatment coming up in September, the prognosis is that she will be completely cancer free. And that doesn’t just mean that the cancer will be in remission–it will be completely eradicated from her body. Thank You, Jesus!

There’s still a journey ahead with the radiation treatment, though–possibly the hardest part of the journey yet. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. It’s been a beautiful time, and I know that what is to come will be beautiful because it will draw us all closer to the feet of Jesus–and that is beauty. But it’s also been a journey that none of us ever thought we would be walking through . . .

And it’s hard when a mama has to be separated for even a short period of time from children who are too young to understand.

Thank you all for your sweet care and love!

Happy Things.

  • I live in a house again! After living in a dorm for a year and a half, I live in a house again! There are all sorts of luxuries here–things like . . . a kitchen! And a bathtub! And free laundry! Such a luxurious life I lead these days.
  • This one feeds off the one above it, but . . . now that we have a house again, it’s been lovely to listen to Mom play the piano. She plays so beautifully, and I haven’t heard it for so long! She’s playing right now as I’m typing, and it is the cause of the big smile I have on my face right now.
  • I’ve been convicted lately about the need to be faithful even in the little things (expect a more in-depth blog post about this later), and thus I have taken to doing things such as getting up much earlier than I had been, keeping my room much cleaner, eating much better, and working out. In the past three days I have walked a total of 6 miles and biked a total 0f 10 miles. I’m loving it!
  • It has been drizzling and rainy all day today. A slow, British sort of rain. The most lovely kind of rain.
  • I don’t know that this is a “happy thing”, necessarily, but . . . I have been eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast for four days in a row. I can’t stand oatmeal, but I know it’s good for me, so . . . I’ve been forcing myself. I still can’t stand the stuff, but I can barely tolerate it with cinnamon, nuts, yogurt, blueberries, and strawberries added in. Mom and I sit out on our back deck (we have a back deck now!!) in the lovely morning sun, and discuss all manner of things while we eat our oatmeal. I’m loving this tradition.
  • Something that happened yesterday with the guys at the tire shop I used to live by. Roomies, ask me about this later. ;)
  • Morning singing/worship at Ellerslie.
  • Blue walls! Yellow walls! Gray walls! Yes, I have all three colors on the walls in my room. *happy*
  • Experiencing the sweet peace that comes only from a life hid in Christ.
  • Hearing the news that the doctors are fairly certain that they will be able to entirely get rid of my sister’s cancer. Not just get it into remission, but entirely rid her body of it! She has thyroid cancer, and thyroid cells are different than other cells in that they’re the only ones that accept iodine. So, once she gets her thyroid out and does a round of radioactive iodine, there shouldn’t, Lord willing, be anymore cancer left at all! And most types of thyroid cancer aren’t the type of cancer that spreads anywhere else in the body. Thank you, Jesus!
  • Babysitting my 2 nieces and 5 nephews (the 7 older of my sister’s 8 children). We had a picnic, road bikes up and down ramps, told stories, chased each other around, and hollered at the cow. Fun times, for sure.
  • Realizing that the summer semester of Ellerslie is only one month away! How can that be!? Such news definitely fits in the “happy things” category, because I love new semesters at Ellerslie, but . . . at the same time: one month!?
  • Surprises.
  • Sunrises.
  • Strawberry Shortcake.
  • Time spent hidden away in the secret place with nothing but my Bible and a deep love for Jesus.

Beauty In Pain

Sometimes there just aren’t words. This isn’t the case very often at all, I grant you. But, sometimes there just aren’t words.

But what I’m here to say right now is that my God is an awesome God.

What more really needs to be said?

The Lamb who was slain is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering!

He is worthy of praise, glory, and adoration.

Do you remember my post on finding beauty in that which drives me to the feet of my Saviour?

Beauty in pain.

I’ve had another experience of beauty in pain. Beauty because it did indeed drive me closer to my Jesus. Pain because news like we had is never easy.

My sister was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago.

It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been fun. We’re looking at a surgery date looming in front of us. Radiation. Separation during radiation. Loving on kiddos who aren’t old enough to understand.

But through it all, there has been an overwhelming peace. A peace that passes understanding. A peace that can only come from the knowledge that our God is mighty!

Beauty in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of sorrow. Giving thanks in less-than-desirable circumstances. Watching God use this to touch the hearts of those around us.

Jesus, You are our all in all!

My Sister

I’m just going to preface this post with the fact that you all should be jealous. Veeeewy jealous.

And, with that out of the way, let me begin.

I have an awesome big older sister. Seriously, I just look at her and her life, and am amazed.

My sister is expecting her 8th child. What? You didn’t catch that? Let me repeat. My sister is expecting her 8th child. Yes. And her oldest child is . . . 8. Her house is peaceful and sweet. No, that does not mean that it is always quiet–she has 5 little boys, and the oldest boy is 6–her house is definitely not quiet. But it always strikes me when I walk into her house, that her house is peaceful. I’m not sure how she does it. There is always laundry hanging around, toys on the floor, books strewn on the couch, sewing projects in the recliner, diapers on the stairs, dollies stuck upside down in the dirty laundry piles, and dishes to be done. But . . .

. . . there are children learning to read and being excited to learn about the world they live in, there are girlies who are learning to sew, there is a mom who is doing her own cross-stitch project right along with the girls (her’s says “Pray Without Ceasing” . . . how very apt. ;) ), there is always fresh bread in the bread maker, there are little boys outside finding out what it means to be a boy, there is music playing in the background. There is peace and beauty.

My sister is an amazing woman.

The joy she finds in the little things in life . . . the love she pours out to her children . . . the sweet spark in her eyes when she sees her husband . . . her laughter . . . her failures to make the perfect loaf of french bread . . . her love of house-plants . . . her extreme desire to own a cow . . . her willingness to learn how to shoot a rattlesnake . . . her 15 passenger van she goes toddling around town in full of car-seats . . . the adventures she has in home-schooling her children . . . the ingenuity it takes to live on a budget the size of theirs . . . the projects she does with her children . . . the sheer joy she finds in snuggling a baby . . . the cast-iron skillets she has hanging on her dining room wall against a backdrop of sweet french-style wall paper . . . the fruit of the Spirit she painted over the doors in her house . . . her desire to see the truth of God imparted into the hearts of her children . . . her desire to adopt . . . her love of making up new words . . . the random phone calls we have with each other throughout the week . . . her experiments . . . her love of life.

I love you, Jani, and I’m so glad you’re my big sister. (Even though I was a brat and you were bossy when we were younger.)

(Also, as an aside, I intend to do more posts about my sister and my three brothers . . . the relationship I have with all my siblings is one of quick-wittedness, good-natured humor, hilarious inside jokes, and a jolly good time–mixed with some amazingly good conversations. This will probably come out in my posts about them. None of us have a sappy relationship with each other, so this post about my sister is probably the sweetest thing she’s heard out of me in a long time. ;) )

(As you are reading this post, I am out of town at MMI. My sister took this course ten years ago. She met her husband there.
No. Do not even start down that path of thinking. Stop those thoughts in their tracks.
The fact that my sister met her husband at this class 10 years ago has absolutely nothing to do with why I am now taking this same class. Honest.)