When It Rains

I’ve just returned with Alan from the hospital, and he is safely tucked in to sleep and doing well. This has not been an easy week, however…just for the record. Besides having everything stolen out of our car on Sunday, the 18th, the electricity to our garage and outside freezer and refrigerator went out on about Tuesday, and we can’t get it repaired until next Thursday, so we have cords running from the garage into our house. Thursday I was throwing out some old flowers and stepped on a stump which had rotted such that it gave way and I lost my balance. I tried to grab on to a couple of saplings, both of which had died, and so the two trees and Jill tumbled down the hill. Thankfully, I landed on my right elbow and shoulder rather than my right hip, but my arm is pretty sore! Friday morning the stove died (while I was at the hospital with Alan). Alan’s surgery, which was supposed to last 3-5 hours, ended up lasting 7.5 hours, because just as the doctor was sewing up the incisions, the needle broke off (using the DaVinci Robotic techique) and disappeared into his dark abdomen. I believe it took Dr. Lane about 2 hours of white-knuckled searching to fish out the needle. Fortunately, he was able to find it without having to open Alan up the old-fashioned trauma surgery way, and the needle hadn’t punctured anything. Many thanks to all who prayed for him! At any rate, I arrived home only to find that the house was 60° and the furnace had died. Can you believe it? At any rate, dear old Frank, our faithful furnace man, was willing to make an emergency run and now has the furnace up and running again. He just left, so I’ll hop out to the store for Alan’s meds. and then start supper. You just have to ask, “Is it me, Lord??” May we be patient in tribulation, continuing in prayer. Things could be worse. I just read a letter from a missionary friend who had recently helped a woman who was driven out of her house and her town in Indonesia because she became a Christian. Every time I feel the sting of hardship, I say to myself, “I could be sitting in a Chinese prison.” Compared to how hard many people have it, I can only be thankful. I will soon have a warm house and food on the table, and my husband is alive and may even recover!!

Blessings to you!

State of the Union

Well, we’ re just about ready for bed. Some of our closest friends came over tonight to pray with us. Alan and I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am for the surgery, which will be about 5 hours, from 7:30 am-12:30pm. Since my computer was stolen, I won’t have internet access, and I plan to stay right at the hospital with Alan until he comes home on Saturday or Sunday, so it may be awhile before I post again, but I’ll try to let you know how things went as soon as I can. Thank you in advance for praying for us, and take it that “no news is good news!” In all things, may God be glorified and Jesus Christ be praised. Billy Graham said that the greatest thing in his whole life has been his fellowship with God. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to miss out on the best? We don’t have to be rich and famous to have “the best!” The best is knowing and loving God…belonging to Him and experiencing His great love for us!

Smiling Faces

You’ve probably all seen this from Octobers past, but I still love the thoughts. What a Savior!


Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin: God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff–including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.Of course, we always continue to be works in progress and still under construction, but praise the Lord for “all His wonderful works for the children of men.”

Celebrate Life

Well, I wrote a long blog yesterday but it all crashed and the net was down for most of the day. So, I will try again, although the post may sound a little less spontaneous this time! My birthday celebration was really a mixture of sorrow and joy. We found out that Alan will be having surgery on October 30th. He has cancer but a 68% chance that the surgery will be curative. If he can’t be cured outright (and that’s what we’re praying for), then he still has other treatment options and a 90% chance of survival for 10 or more years. That was very traumatic  news for us, who up until Friday knew that death was in our future but had never heard a time table beyond the generational “three score and ten” mentioned in Scripture.

Having already planned a wonderful weekend of celebration, we decided to go for it anyway. We spent the first night at our all-time favorite spot, where we spent the first two nights of our honeymoon. We had a “two for one” since it was my birthday, and so we really splurged and got “Surf and Turf.” I don’t think we’ve ever had their very “best of the best” dinner before, but it was really fabulous! We even split a piece of German chocolate cake for dessert (in honor of our German chocolate wedding cake from nearly 37 years ago)!

Bithday dinnerSaturday we spent meandering along the Huron River Drive, where we spent countless happy afternoon bicycling with our kids during the years of Alan’s residency and first practice. It was rainy, so we didn’t really bike, but we drove as slowly as we used to bike a enjoyed remembering all the fun we had!

Huron River Drive

On lazy summer days, we used to swim and boat on the river, which was shallow, slow-moving, and loving nicknamed by our family— “Stinking Clam National Park.”

Huron RiverOf course, we had to stop at the Dexter Cider Mill for donuts and cider…

Dexter Cider Mill

and then at the Dexter Bakery for donuts and tea…how DOES my husband keep so slender???

Dexter BakeryAnd finally ended up at Kathy and Carl’s for a joyous family birthday party. Kit even made my favorite cake!

Kathy's Birthday Cake for me

Birthday PartyTo top it all off, we visited Kathy and Carl’s church the next morning, and the message was on Belief Beyond our Fears.” Every time I hear Brad speak, I say to myself, “No wonder they have 20,000 members in their church!” The message was just perfect for us; it was entitled Belief Beyond Fear. Although last time I gave a wonderful synopsis, it’s almost time to make dinner now, so I will just recap the main idea. His message was on the idea that all of us have fears. They may differ, but fear is a fact of life. Good fears keep us from making foolish choices; unhealthy fears can paralyze us. In order to overcome fear, he encouraged us to:

Receive God’s salvation, reflect on His Word, rely on His Spirit, and refocus on God’s love. The “refocus of God’s love” has been especially good for me, since I have received God’s salvation and do already spend much time reflecting on His Word and relying on His spirit. But, in the midst of trial, I do often tend to focus on the problem more than the solution (which is always found in God), so I’ve been practicing refocusing on God’s love whenever I start to become anxious. God loves us. He intends good for us. His plan is ultimately for our happiness. We have a future in heaven with Him. What’s to fear? “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). So, even in the face of insecurity and sorrow, let’s celebrate life and all that is good! God is eternal life, and to know Him is life eternal!

Rain on our Faces

Neither Alan nor I slept well last night. In fact, Alan got up at 3:30 and headed in to work at 4:00 am. He’ll have his 8 hours in before our appointment with the doctor at noon! I have a cold, so I slept in until almost 8:00, took a lovely walk with Abby in a drizzling rain, and had Cocoa Puffs (of all things!) with Joel for breakfast. Jon came back from teaching his first class. He usually stays at his office until his second class is over, but this morning he came home, declaring he was in need of a glass of hot cider and to work on his presentation at Puritan Reformed for tonight.

What a wonderful life I enjoy! I opened my email and found so many warm, cheery birthday greetings from my beloved friends and family. Thank, thank you, thank you! With Alan having scary health issues, the temptation is to look down instead of up. May we all keep our heads up, praising God even when it’s raining. The rains of life bring much needed refreshment…make the soil of our heart soft again and able to soak up the words of life that bring us strength and hope! God is good…all the time! Rain on our faces is good.