Ode to Elizabeth

Elizabeth and Evan

On Thanksgiving Day 2016 Elizabeth was engaged to Evan, her boyfriend of 4 years. In December, shortly after Christmas, Elizabeth and her mother Jane set aside a day for wedding dress shopping. This event was to take place in October of this year, 2017. On Tuesday, January 10th Elizabeth reminded her mother to be sure to put money down on the venue for the nuptials. It was not to be, for on January 12, at 11:40 PM after a grueling battle with cancer, the Lord called Elizabeth  home.

Elizabeth was a beautiful 25- year- old woman whose  biggest worry was paying off her student loans from the University of Denver. She was planning her life, entering new chapters with her dreams coming true, and looking forward to marrying her Evan. Evan is in medical school and everything was great until the cancer came to destroy  the plans. Her surgery last Friday, to remove the cluster of tumor from her brain, was successful, but it was the other tumors throughout her body that she could not battle successfully that finally took her down.

Several months ago, Jane shared a story with me about Elizabeth and her father Jim. When Elizabeth was in high school Jim worked graveyard and many times, when he got home from work Elizabeth was up doing homework. They shared this special time together. It was Jim that God allowed to be in the room when she left this world, one last special time together. Elizabeth was a daddy’s girl and he was there to the very end.

We prayed and prayed for Elizabeth’s miracle, but it was not to be.  In Jane’s words, “I saw God in everything during this trial, witnessed His special graces but not in the cancer.” A mother always knows these things; Jane kept this in her heart.

In all this cloudy sadness God did manifest a miracle, several as a matter of fact. Elizabeth’s death will never be in vain. She brought many backslidden Christians to their knees. They will never forget how bravely beautiful Elizabeth struggled for her life, how she fought to her last breath, and how in the end gracefully surrendered. Rachael and Jacob will never forget how their older sister Elizabeth loved them and what a positive influence she was in their lives.

Please keep Jane, Jim, Rachael, Jacob and Evan in your prayers for their hearts are broken and in need of great repair.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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Carry Your Cross with Grace

Let’s face it we all have crosses to bear. We do not have a choice of the size of cross we are given but everyone has a cross. If you have an illness, children, a husband, siblings, parents, etc. one day they may become your cross. Some crosses are so big they become conspicuous and the world knows about them as you pass by. If you are constantly complaining about your situation in bearing your cross, you are not praying enough. Your positive attitude when carrying your cross will bring a new level of understanding of total dependence of God. We must grow from these experiences, to fulfill what God had intended for us.

Me, Alida and Jane on the Bosphorus in Istanbul

I have a dear friend Jane who had mastered the carrying of her crosses. About four years ago her husband of twenty-six years was diagnosed with stage two cancer. If this was not a big enough cross, around the same time God gave her another one when she suffered from a mild stroke.  Both Jane and her husband are on the road to recovery but in May she received an iron cross to bear. Her beautiful twenty-five year old daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with melanoma stage four. Things are not going well for her precious daughter and the cancer has gained the upper hand in this battle. From the beginning Elizabeth’s plight as been a field of hidden mines and grenades coming her way. Elizabeth’s cancer is too far advanced for her to participate in any experimental drugs therapy. She needed immediate radical treatment to slow down the growth of her malignancy. Through this, Jane has remained steadfast, truly grace under fire. Sadly, I see the wear on her heart and her forlorn eyes from the clandestine pleading with God.  I will never understand how but my friend is a true testament of how to carry a cross with grace. Nothing is worst than watching your child suffer like this and as a parent we will do what ever it take to make it better for them. Jane hold on to Scriptures like “Nothing is impossible with God” This is what keep my friend focused on interceding for Elizabeth. Jane received a call on January 2, 2017 that her daughter was back in the hospital with complication from the brain tumors affecting her speech and other tumor messing with her logic. With Elizabeth in Denver and Jane in California, this add to the already strained situation.  Nonetheless,  this is where God meets Jane and hold her through this grievous trial. January 6, 2017, Elizabeth is scheduled for surgery to remove the cluster of culprit tumors. We are believing that Elizabeth will agree to the procedure and that this will be the road to her miracle. Jane will be at her daughter’s side, as always her rock.

Why Lord must we suffer like this? I ask and the answer is always the same, so that we understand our vulnerability and when we allow God to take over our pain it become His as well. He will bear the cross for us, The Lord is our modern day Simon of Cyrene but He will carry the cross the entire way. We never give up because we are faithful and trusting Christians right? When you are given this type of cross emotions are attached. Anger, blaming, questioning why you? In the end we revert to what comes natural, what brings us back to the foot of the original cross and just humbly bow our heads and pray without ceasing. Please join me in prayer for Elizabeth, she is recently engaged and plans to get married in October of 2017.

Dear Heavenly Father we come to you in urgency on behalf of your daughter Elizabeth. We stand in the gap for Elizabeth and in unity plead her case to you. Lord you know everything and we are begging for a miracle to reverse these cancer cell and to restore Elizabeth’s body. May this surgery be the link to your miracle for Elizabeth, Lord it is  in  your power to manifest a healing for Elizabeth. We understand that from the beginning of this trial you are there holding Elizabeth to your heart. We continue to be before your holy throne for precious Elizabeth in believing for her miracle. Amen!

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Cold Turkey

It came to a screeching holt, then the epiphany, stop eating sweets! Cold turkey, that is the only thing that works in my case. See’s candy, homemade goodies from neighbors, extra rich desserts were dragging me down and even my afternoon nap did not revive my body, the sugar depleted all my energy. This over consumption of sweets was wearing on my mind and bringing me down spiritually. So on Tuesday, December 27th it stopped, no more sweets.

According to Maxwell Maltz, it takes 21 days to establish a good habit but Phillippa Lally, an English research psychologist says it takes more like 66 days.

Just say no!

We have to start somewhere so I started by omitting the sweet jelly on my Ezekiel toast and though it took on the taste of cardboard it was still satisfying. The rest of the day the See’s peanut brittle was calling my name but I ignored the voices and did not cave in.

My history with dieting is complicated, Weight Watcher is not for me because it requires too much planning. I still have all the literature from WW but after three attempts and no real results I abandoned the thought. The worst experience with WW was many years ago a friend and I joined together. It was Easter time and I was eating all the jelly beans and pastel colored M&M’s. On the days that she received her star for a 10 pound loss I got on the scale and gained 7 pounds! This sad true story confirmed my inability to follow a structured program. Jenny Criag and her other diet friends did not go over well with me either. Diet pills make me crazy and keep me up all night so that was out too. The battle is in my head, the mind, the self talk, the outa control, the in control, it’s all in the noggin. I would never go to the extreme of having my gut cut smaller because I understand how my mind works. So though it has only been four days without sugar I feel confident enough to write about it and with the grace of God He will see me through this journey.

This New Years resolution is to establish good eating  habits, no sugar.

I feel that this New Years resolution is an improvement from past ones. One year I decided not to put up with anyone’s antics, yeah that was not a good year and I suffered because of my arrogance. Another time I decided to go on a letter writing campaign if I experienced an injustice, I made money from that one. Then there was the be kinder to others, including my husband Mike. I love Mike but he can really make me break every rule when he upset me. Worst resolution was to speak my mind, unfiltered, hmmm that only lasted about a week and offended a few people. What ever your resolution is remember that it take an effort to change, give it at least 21 days and if you can 66 days. God has given all of us  a free will and he will be with you to see you through your resolution.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)

May this new year grant you the desires of your heart and direct your path to peace.

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