Update On Laura Black’s Cancer

As I write about Faith, Hope, and Love, other people have begun reading my blogs and leaving comments. This leads to conversations online and offline. And this leads to stories like this one…

Dear David & Jeannie Balentine,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wanted to share with you the good news that my cousin Laura recently received. For those of you that may not know about Laura, she was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant with her 3rd child. It has been quite a journey and at this time she is receiving experimental treatment in Nashville Tn. I couldn’t help but think about how at times when all seems lost, we can receive a ray of hope or in Laura’s case a rainbow.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4

Laura writes:

Today is my birthday! For different people birthdays represent different things. For some, they are a time of remembering and reflection. For others, they are a time of looking forward. For me, they are a time to testify to the goodness of the Lord. When you are 32 years old and diagnosed with cancer, and 33 years old and diagnosed with metastatic cancer, a 36th birthday seems a near impossibility. But I am here! By God’s goodness, grace, mercy, and healing, I am here. I am here to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done!

In August, my largest tumor was 7 centimeters. You have to remember that a tumor is a spherical mass, not a flat one. 7 centimeters is about the size of an orange. The results of my last scan show that the largest tumor is now just over 1 centimeter. That’s about the size of the tip of your index finger. I’m here to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power and the wonders He has done!

Yesterday morning, I wasn’t feeling well (no worries – totally not cancer related!) so I stayed home while Bill took the children to church. I was behind in my Read-through-the-Bible in a year, so I had some sweet time just catching up and being quiet with the Lord. Right now I’m reading in Exodus. Of course, Exodus is one of the places where you see a cluster of miracles. No matter how many times you read Exodus, it’s still amazing to see those miracles!

As I was reading through, I came across one of my favorite verses, Exodus 15:26 which ends with, ‘for I am the LORD, who heals you.’ The quiet, the Word, that verse, it all just made for some sweet, quality, close time communing with the Lord. As I began to pray, I was thinking about the fact that me even having another birthday is a tribute to His show of grace and mercy. So I told the Lord that for my birthday, I just wanted to feel especially close to Him. I asked that in some way, He would do something to make me feel like He was holding me close.

This morning I woke up and my sweet husband had prepared a birthday breakfast. The dining room table was set with a vase of red roses. My breakfast was on the red ‘You Are Special Today’ plate. My coffee was in the red, ‘You Are Special Today’ mug. There was a card and my favorite Dove dark chocolates at my place setting. We all sat down to breakfast and were just about finished when Caroline said, “Mommy! There’s a rainbow on you!” All of my family got excited as they looked at the rainbow that was across my forehead — my birthday present from God. I can’t imagine anything else that would make me feel more like I was especially close to Him. Bill took a picture, but he said, “It looks a lot better in real life.” I’m here to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power and the wonders He has done!

Copy & Paste

Matthew 6:5-18
5) And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7) And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their man words. 8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9) Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11) Give us this day our daily bread; 12) And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13) And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. 14) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15) but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16) And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17) But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18) that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Happy Friday

It’s been a GREAT week. How was it for you?

But it wasn’t easy this week. In fact, it was an extremely tough week, for a variety of reasons. Some personal. Some professional. One of the toughest in the past year. Not the toughest, but in the top ten.

And so it goes. Life is good. Life is hard.

I try to find the joy in the multitude of blessings that surround us everyday. Wisdom is a blessing, isn’t it? Click here on WISDOM, to see a short video to make you think. If you don’t like to think, don’t do it. Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂

Little Crosses

When driving through Frankenmuth, Michigan, I’m

always intrigued with the many simple little crosses

I see in the front yards of the homes we pass by.

Those crosses are a statement of support for the

Frankenmuth’s Christian foundation.

Two years ago an atheist living there complained

about two crosses on a bridge in town. He

requested that they be removed, and so the town

removed them.

Then he decided that since he was so successful

with that, the city shield should also be changed

since it had on it, along with other symbols, a

heart with a cross inside signifying the city’s

Lutheran beginnings.

At that point, the residents decided they had had

enough. Hundreds of residents made their

opinions known by placing small crosses in their

front yards.

Seeing this quiet but powerful statement from

the community, the man removed his complaint.

Those simple crosses remain in those front yards





In The Blink Of An Eye, Life Will Never Be The Same

From a friend:

The precious 3-year old had a cold, which was nothing out of the ordinary for her. Seemed to be doing better, but then was awake all last night. Mom rocked her and gave her juice and then around 5 AM Mom noticed that Alice’s breathing was off. She and her husband were getting ready to take her to the hospital when she stopped breathing and went limp in Mom’s arms. She was gone when the ambulance got there.

On one hand, it’s so extraordinary that she lived for three years, as most trisomy 18 babies don’t live to be born, and of those who are (born), the vast majority don’t live past a few days or weeks. On the other hand, I cannot imagine loving and bonding with a child who you know is dying, and having them with you for three years. They just spent last week in Ocean City. It seems so horribly cruel. The poor little thing struggled every day of her life. She was never able to speak, sit up, crawl……. developmentally she was stuck at two months old. Compared to what Mom and Dad have been through and are feeling right now, any pain in my life seems to pale in comparison