The Lord has called me to be many things on this earth! What an exciting prospect that is, yet a bit overwhelming at times! His hand has always been upon me, as I have never known life without Him. I chose to call Him my Savior when I was seven years old. While I have endured many circumstances, He's always been there . . . most of those times "carrying" me. And, while the days ahead may be a bit uncertain, I remain faith-filled that He'll be with me as well!
As a wife, I am the chosen one for my dear husband of now 18 years. He is an incredible provider for our home, loving on each of us so very much! Being an only, adopted child, he has learned much as our family has grown larger than anything he expected!
As a mother, our home has been fabulously blessed with three sons and two daughters! We also have two precious boys already with the Lord . . . an existence that comforts our hearts. Perhaps I should share further here. We became parents in early 1994 to our firstborn, James. What a fabulous day that was! James has touched our lives in ways too many to explain. He is so much a firstborn bearing greatly the characteristics of that role . . . a role specially designed by God for what was ahead. Late in 1995, we welcomed another precious son, Jacob. Again, another fabulous day! Jacob quickly became that little dude that longed to keep up with James, yet rather easy-going as well. Days were busy with two little boys so close together . . . a busy that was wonderful! We felt at that time that our family had become complete . . . however, we had not consulted God on this issue. He had different plans . . . much different in fact! Late 1996 brought the news that another baby was on the way. How could this be? How would we handle this? Pregnancy was a very difficult time for me with sickness and pre-term labor. We weren't planning for this. Mid 1997 held another fabulous day as we welcomed a third son! By this time, God had been working tremendously in our home preparing for the arrival of this precious Jared. He is a gift of treasure having such intense love to share. Okay, now our family is complete . . . right? Well, while we had incredibly seen God's hand in bringing Jared, we were still uncertain about releasing this huge area of trust to Him. Time marched on and as our family of five grew, we outgrew our home and could no longer fit three boys in one room!
In late 2000, we moved to a larger home to fit a bit better. It is a beautiful home where we have "room to stretch". Since we began homeschooling in the fall of 1999, we "use" our space to the fullest, so this larger home was just right! Three months after moving in, another baby was on the way. That pregnancy was filled with the worst morning sickness and plagued with such fear of how to make this new addition fit. I will admit that my trust was wavering. Our life was full and I was nervous of all that was yet ahead of me. God gave me nineteen weeks to fall in love with this life . . . and then He called that little life home to Him. That little life was another dear boy. On this same day, God saw fit to remove my mother from my life. That relationship was becoming more dangerous and had become ahead of the Lord and that of my husband. My mother's absence was a good thing, yet so very hard as I had lived to please her since my earliest of days. During this painful season, God worked and worked and loved and loved on me and our family. We were filled and growing. Within a couple of months, another baby was on the way. We were thrilled! That special life was with us for just 13 weeks and was also another dear boy. Wow, five boys . . . what a gift! This second loss seemed to intensify the sting of the first loss, yet again, there was certainty of God's working in our home. Our boys became so aware of Heaven's "real-ness" and often talked of what their brothers might be doing, and where they were sitting . . . at the feet of Jesus! How could we question God's perfect plan?
Life continued on with the busy-ness of being a wife, mother to our three sons, taking care of our home as well as schooling. In early 2002, we were elated to find that we were expecting another baby! What happiness filled our home! The months of pregnancy were challenging as Satan tried to thwart the joy we had. We tried to keep our focus upon the Lord regardless of the outcome of this pregnancy. Just a week before my birthday, late in 2002, we welcomed a . . . daughter -- a precious little bundle of PINK!! Mind you, I was very settled in the "all boys club", but adapted instantly upon setting eyes on this little Hannah. (We chose to not find out whether our babies were boys or girls until their arrival, so you understand the surprise we had with this pink!) What a breath of relief overcame us. The baby was here . . . another fabulous day! We cruised along taking care of the daily routine, albeit a busy one! Eight months into Hannah's life, we were, again, expecting. By this time, we had three students at home, a rather young baby, and one on the way. Our home was buzzing! Early in 2004, we brought home sweet Sarah . . . another daughter! That was another . . . fabulous day! We now had sons and daughters, boys and girls, brothers and sisters. We now had three of one kind and two of another . . . a "fullhouse" as we realized one night while playing Yahtzee! And, that my friends, is how I became the "fullhousemama"!
While we were in seventh heaven with our now fuller home and larger family, we were equally movin' and groovin' with all that was going on. When I was five years old, I had open heart surgery to repair a defect that was discovered shortly after my birth. This made me a weaker individual with a slight lack of energy to keep up, something that always worried my gramma as more babies came along. The first year of Sarah's life, now having five children, was a lot of work, but one I felt I could get through. As she turned 13 months old, I could no longer cope with my very difficult physical state. I had been to the doctor several times over the year, but was dismissed with a myriad of poor excuses. On an April morning in 2005, I made my final trip to the doctor for help. He sent me away stating I had too many children and needed to put an ad in the newspaper to get some help. Later that afternoon, my husband could no longer watch as I was doubled over in pain. Off to the emergency room we went after leaving our children with a friend. I returned home eight days later with a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer . . . stage 3c. Thus began a long season as I recovered from surgery and endured six months of chemotherapy. We were well taken care of by the Lord who worked through many many wonderful people who provided meals, childcare, and helping me with the house. Yet, my heart ached as I wanted to be the one caring for my family and their needs. Testing said there was no cancer in my body for which we were most grateful. Further testing eight months later, however, revealed the recurrence of this same cancer. A year of chemotherapy was recommended, following the surgery to remove this new mass. While I had the surgery, chemotherapy was not to be as I was convinced of the Lord's leading to refuse such treatment. The precious Lord confirmed this by impressing the same certainty upon my husband.
As we began this new season of battling cancer naturally, we were in for much change on all fronts. I became completely convinced that God had given us this opportunity to improve the well-being of our family, regardless of the time I might have here with them. The doctors, of course, were not in favor of my choice and made me aware of the medical percentages that were severely not in my favor. But, you know, God doesn't work in percentages. He is the Almighty, the Great Physician and that is pure comfort to me! I was told that as a result of my heart condition at birth, I'd never have a womanly cycle and never be able to bear a child. Those are statistics I like to remember as I have five precious babies here that I have carried! God chose to work outside the "percentages"! This became truth in my life and a great source of hope for our family.
That was three years ago! What an accomplishment . . . a medical miracle . . . stage 4 and cancer-free for three years! Well, that has now changed and this week we received the news that routine testing has confirmed the recurrence of cancer for a third time. Disappointing and perhaps a bit devastating, yet not faith-shaking. Surgery will happen, though the radiation and chemotherapy that is being recommended is not certain. Currently, we are deep in prayer regarding God's perfect plan on this new challenge in our life.
As I have said many times, it is not what I haven't done on this earth that burdens my heart regarding death . . . it's the very deep love for the place I have of being wife and mother. We continue to walk, trust, have faith and lean on Him. In this, there is no better place to be!
(~ October 9,2009 ~)
"The faith that can't be shaken is the faith that has been shaken."
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