Monday, September 26, 2011

A Monday In Late September

Just ate a fresh tomato from the garden.  Ilove eating little tomatoes just picked from the plant. Coco is laying next to me while Jim and Scout run an errand.
Thanksgiving and pain run down the same river. A fisherman walks into the water, sets life bait on a hook and casts the reel.  The fisherman feels a strong tug on the line and begins reeling the fish in.  The fish doesn't lay there - that fish fights for its very life.  Sometimes he wins and works his way off the hook.  Other times the fish fights and loses the battle - winding up on the fisherman's table.  There is pain, there is thanksgiving.  We are standing in that river, feeling pain. Yes, we give thanks, but this thank you has a hook.  It comes at a very, very high price.  Not monetarily.  The cost of a soul.
 I am not Paul, I'm not at the point of uttering these words and and meaning them. "Count it all joy, my friends, when you encounter suffering"...  Perhaps I need to wade a bit farther into the river, out of the shaded areas, but not in the full sunshine as the glare of that is blinding on a river.  I need to find that place where shade and sun come together - the place of greatest clarity
I still believe there is hope. For the rest of my life I believe this.
Love kathryn

Monday, September 19, 2011

Looking Up

Most of you do not need another devotional posted on my blog.  You have your favorite authors and devotionals you read. I just wrote this passage to a friend.  
"Give full attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."  The Message/Matt 6
Storms come in many forms.  We are going to stand under the cross.
love kathryn

Standing Under the Cross

Standing erect, holding our heads high, is the attitude of spiritually mature people in face of the calamities of our world. The facts of everyday life are a rich source for doomsday thinking and feeling. But it is possible for us to resist this temptation and to stand with self-confidence in this world, never losing our spiritual ground, always aware that "sky and earth will pass away" but the words of Jesus will never pass away (see Luke 21:33).

Let us be like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who stood under the cross, trusting in God's faithfulness notwithstanding the death of his beloved Child.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good Evening Ladies & Gentlemen...We Have Really Good News This Evening

Jim went to a diagnostic group, Breathe A.S.A.P. There are many of these diagnostic centers around the country.  You fill our a complete medical history.  When they have done taken the necessary information and run any tests needed.  At the end of your visit, you are presented with a diagnosis and what is needed to correct the problem.  (I'm not suggesting this is for every medical disorder - my disclaimer here).
Jim has a sinus infection, deep inside his frontal sinus area.  He has had no symptoms of a sinus infection and brain MRIs indicated "white matter". Though Jim had some symptoms of M.S. that was clearly not the reason for the "white matter".  This was an indication of a sinus infection not detectable by normal means.
He also has an area in his head, where he has suffered with severe head pain.  No drug controlled the pain - it would suppress it somewhat, but it was never gone.
He was told he has an area in the frontal sinus area (where the pain has been emanating from) that needs to be opened up.  He was born with this and has just now presented itself.
Solution?  Angioplasty.  Yes, up his nose to the area right about eyebrow level.   The doctor said Jim's ENT surgeon (we have one...we have a Dr for everything and some we have multiples of) will do the surgery.  It is an "in and out" procedure.
Are we happy?  Nope, ecstatic!!!  All of this time - all of the tests including a trip to Phoenix....we have an answer.  Wow!
All of the pain Jim has and is still experiencing (but not for much longer); all of the doctors; all of the fears we have in our family of cancer - due to our journey through cancer - most humbling of all - our friends and family who have prayed for answers to this twisted mystery.  Yes!  Your prayers have been answered.  We THANK YOU God!  We thank you.  For cards, for calls, for thoughts, for your interest and love. Your love has been sustaining and is incredible.  Prayer, though a mystery is very humbling.  It is a great gift - because of Jesus, we speak directly to our Abba Father.
To Donna Estes for sharing your information re: Breathe ASAP.  Thank you, thank you! 
To Jim's doctor today - we are so grateful for his capabilities and for the technology available to help people.
We just could not be happier today.  We've needed a 'bit of good news' lately.
We're blessed.  God is good - God is good always.
From our hearts to yours, we thank you for caring for & loving us so.
Good night from a beautiful evening in Abq.
With love, kathryn and jim

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vacating Is Grand

We had a good time in Colorado.  The dogs were taken care of, Sophie had a cat sitter - who always does a great job of feeding her almost as much as I do.
We've enjoyed a cloudy day here in NM.  A harvest moon is due at 7:15pm.  I know those back east are already enjoying it.  A harvest moon is related to hayrides, pumpkins, apples, carmel apples, flannel shirts, boots, jeans, chili, hot dogs cooked outside and cold, crisp, clear skies.  Not quite here in NM...but other places are enjoying fall weather.
I found this quote today. Sometimes things come to you from the most unexpected places.  When going through times of crisis, whatever that means to you.  "Rather than think, I'll never survive this, try, I'm having the thought that I'll never survive this." You recognize that there is a problem - not avoiding it, you recognize there is a problem, but it is a thought.  All about reprogramming. Thoughts like feelings are something we deal with constantly.  God says, "Take every thought captive." 
I still believe the best way through a crisis (though I am not always successful at this) is laughter, tears and dear family and friends, who listen and make our load lighter. Learning to wait, listen, be still, pray and seek wisdom. 
We have such great examples of people who have been through crisis after crisis and never lost their grip on hope or on God.  "There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God."  We're relying on this.
Though we have every luxury of home in Colorado, it's nice to be home and have my ironing board again.  : )
Have a good evening.  Off to check out the moon.
     looking out the back door in Colorado...lovely mountain stream
love kathryn

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Really September...Savoring the Moments

Sophie sitting in the window on Labor Day.  She napped the rest of the day.  She knew it was a holiday and took advantage of it.
One should live everyday with thanksgiving, snow, sleet, rain, hail, tornadoes, floods, HEAT of seemingly epic proportions (I do remember those days in Kansas and Okla that were extremely hot and cold).  However, September fills me with deep joy.  I am forever a fall and winter girl. No matter how old I am, I love the changes - leaves changing and falling off the trees, the skies are bluer, the green chilies roasting on an occasional street corner or market, balloons rising in the cool morning air.  I remember so many September mornings of my childhood and early adulthood.
Though I really cannot explain these feelings of fall and winter, I do know,  I find myself aligning with God and digging deeper into his Word.   Longing for Him to shape me, mold me & add new interior wells deep within me.
  "Create in me a clean heart O! God".
Today, I am reading Psalms 71.
  "Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see trouble, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up."
"In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame."
Thank you God for David and others who spilled their hearts to you.  Never in fear - just pouring out their hearts.  You are a Big God.  I pour out my heart and use the Psalms daily to express how I feel.  God desires for us to be completely honest with Him.  He already knows our hearts and knows also that our desire to grow in faith, hope; our struggles and pain with fear,  anger, bitterness, opens the gates of our hearts and minds to joy and comfort; healing, a deeper faith and trust in Him - this God, Our Father who loves and knows us intimately.
Though there is a rumbling at the center of our lives - not just physical but in other ways, we know that God's promises are true.  I have many doubts and fears.  I know too that satan preys on every thought that creates doubt and fear.  Like a cat pouncing on a mouse...he tears into me.  So I ask God to "incline your ear to me and deliver me from my enemies." (paraphrase mine).
For the moment and this day - I am grateful.  The hummingbirds are moving in for their breakfast.  I glanced up and saw gold glimmering at the top of a neighbors tree.  Why the neighbor's trees? For we do not have a tree that changes color in our yard.
For those on the other side of the country, be thankful for those trees in your yards and those pesky leaves you rake every fall.  Don't ever take that for granted....go out and bring some in your house - make a garland of those leaves and hang them in your window.
love kathryn

Friday, September 2, 2011

Square One...

The MRI was clear.  They apologized to Jim, but found nothing wrong.  It's a weird are thrilled nothing is wrong and yet something IS wrong. 
We may never know what it is.
We would like to believe it will go away as quickly as it came.
We know there are many, many people who live with chronic pain and fatigue and have never found an answer to their "why".
Jim will continue to do as much as he can do physically and rest when he's not able.  We've stretched our imaginations pretty far with all of his symptoms - we've looked up extremely rare disorders and blamed everything on "just stress".  I will tell you, first hand, knowing what you have is a walk in the park.  Even if it's serious.  It's this "not knowing" that can drive you over the edge. 
What we do want to say is thank you for your kindness, your inquiries, your prayers, cards, calls and support. 
Happy Labor Day.  Breakfast with some dear friends tomorrow...then head to Sears for a vacuum cleaner belt.  I keep burning them up.  Vacuuming should not be this much of a challenge.
love and many, many thanks,