Thursday, April 28, 2011

"...hope does not disappoint us..."

" because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.....God demonstrated His love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:5,8...Hope has to be the most wonderful thing..a friend went into an oncology clinic and said how sad and desolate it seemed. I see it as a room of hope..where else will you find that many people who live only on hope!

We got a few things planted just before the monsoon we had this week. ...thankful every moment we were spared of the tornadoes.... Praying for those who lost so much! John put out 2 tomatoes and I put out a few peppers. I did not put cans around them and they may be eaten up already, as bugs seem bad this spring. We are supposed to get the dreaded cicadas in a week or so and they last about a month. They drive you crazy, buzzing and wanting to get all over you.

This week has been cooler and may get into low 40's tonight and my blackberries are blooming so this may be blackberry winter. I have not seen the wild ones blooming yet.

You know how you think of things long ago, when a memory just comes to you! I thought of Grandma with a wire whisk, flat like a long flat spoon, and she would whip cream or egg whites with this on a platter! Not a bowl, but a long, low platter and she would hold that whisk flat and whip these up just quick as another kind of beater. It's all in the wrist! I hope one of the grandchildren has this whisk because I don't!

John wants to go and do and plan, and I know he is afraid I will go back on chemo and not feel like doing things. He wants to do things while I feel good. He prays every day for God to keep me from the cancer growing back like it was. We both pray it would totally go away! God has been so good to us and we both claim the hope and love He promised.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"...and when you pray, go to your room..."

This being Wednesday, we went to church tonight and our lesson was on prayer, and as Matthew 6:8 says"..your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." The lesson centered on the fact that God wants us to pray, not just for asking for our needs, but to develop a closer relationship with Him. The more a person talks to a family member or friend, the closer they are with each other and the same applies even in our relationship with God. Matthew 6:6 tells us to go to our room to pray so this is a very special close "one on one" relationship with God. I am so thankful for answered prayer, for John's eyes being better (the hematoma is nearly well), and my being able to go without chemo, praying daily that I can continue to go a longer time as is. Life sure is so wonderful not going to the doctor every week, not having the "rat poison" every three weeks (and daily pill).

My daughter in law was reading some of my life "story" to one of the greats (her grandson) and he decided to write his biography! He is six. So he told his grandmother what to write.

"2004--I was born" "2005--I was one and wondering what I would be when I grow up" "2006-- I was two and waiting for my baby brother to be born and wondering what I would get for Christmas" "2007-- I can't remember what he said next, but he is so much fun and of course we think very smart!

Speaking of what he was hearing about my life, my friend in Texas, Cathy Messecar has written her third book, second devotional book--A STILL QUIET SOUL--Embracing Contentment" (published by Leafwood) and I am honored to be included in this book. She writes about a number of individuals who have faced disasters, illness, poor decisions, loss of faith and yet God has always been there for one who seeks Him. His word gives hope and through faith in Jesus our saviour and God our Father, we can arrive at contentment with whatever happens in our lives. His indwelling Spirit hears our cries and prays when we cannot. The Bible scriptures in each chapter of this book lead to deeper biblical understanding and solutions of painful times.

Cathy has been such a gift with her deep love for God and her special ability to write and interpret. She has led me to deeper searching in scriptures. She has also given me her wonderful gift of friendship.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Whoever has the Son has life..."

"This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life of His Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life..." I John 5...The Message

Our church service today was just awesome and so spiritually fulfilling. Our preacher appeared as a Roman soldier who helped nail Jesus to the cross. He ended the "sermon" with the words: "truly He was the Son of God". This was a time that brings one to tears, as I felt like I was actually at that scene and time. We have never had an"Easter" service like this. It was so moving and not "fluffy" but a Jesus who had been beaten almost to death who was then nailed to a cross.

God gave us His all, His Son... Jesus gave us His all, His life...I pray I can do His will always.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"He went out to the place of the Skull..."

John 19:17-18..."Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified Him, and with Him, two others--one on each side and Jesus in the middle."

Easter -- when we celebrate spring, and emphasize Jesus' dying on the cross, ...God is so patient with us humans as we try to show our love.

Our family always had a big Easter dinner, and Mama and Daddy always invited all our in laws and us three girls and our families of course. This was the first day of "summer" so to speak and we would always jump in the swimming pool in the afternoon, no matter how cold it was unless it was snowing or THAT cold. The men would always play shuffle board. We would always have a ham and "summer" food, like potato salad, and jello salad. Making ice cream would be saved for later in the summer.

Today, thinking about jello, I remembered a restaurant in town that we would always go to when Mama, Grandma and I would go in to Nashville ( a big event back then). I was probably 6-10 years old when we did this. We would walk 1/2 mile up to the corner of our lane, catch a bus and ride the 10 miles in to town. We would always eat lunch at Shackletts. This was a cafeteria like none other. There was an organ playing on the balcony and no matter what you got to eat, a waitress came around with a basket of sweet rolls! They were so special! I always got the same thing--creamed potatoes with gravy and red jello. Then Daddy was gone, my next sister was small and things changed. But this was a special time.

Any time family is together the memories are special. Unfortunately nothings ever stays the same, except family love and special love for God and Jesus. I pray for good Easter times for all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"...He bore the sins of many..."

Easter week...reminds me of new shoes always, even if the dress was not new. I remember an Easter that had a lot of snow and a winter coat over the Easter dress. John's Mother always went to a local cemetery that had a sunrise service.

I have told about being on top of Mt Sinai for sunrise--never to be forgotten moment! When we were in Jerusalem, and the Holy Land, we were in the Mount of Olives, and went to Golgotha (supposedly the location of Jesus' crucifixion. The high hill certainly looked like Golgotha because the front of the hill/mountain had the looks of a skull.
We saw the tomb where Jesus was lain and the rock that would have been pulled across the entry to seal it. Even if this is not the exact spot, it is close in resemblance and would let one see how it would have been.

Isaiah 53:12 "...because He poured our His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

" is by faith you stand firm..."

This is it, just these words from II Corinthians (1:24) that stood out tonight..."it is by faith you stand." Oh I hope so. I pray for faith to be strong and show God in my life. I pray for strength, physically and mentally, and emotionally.

I have times I feel so "strung out" and I wonder if I should feel that way. My nerves are on edge sometimes. But 7 years of cancer can get on your nerves!!! I am blessed to be physically able to do what I do. I can still dig in my flower beds with the grubbing hoe. My mental ability ? I think so many surgeries and so many chemo's have kind of made my brain like a wheel, running a little slower than it used to. Fun!

Our potatoes are nearly a foot tall and looking really good! John's green beans are up and 3-4 inches high. Many flowers are up and I am trying to find out what I have put out (several friends gave me starts from their flower beds) My hosta bed is the prettiest and growing so lush. A friend gave me lenten rose to put in between the hostas and this blooms in February. They will come along before the hostas next spring and fill up areas nicely. When I talk about our vegetable area, I am meaning "square foot gardening"! Very small 8x10 areas...

Well this week, after an 80 degree day comes a morning of about 38--the locust trees are blooming, only the white locust so far. The black locust blooms purple and I have not seen any of those yet. So this is locust winter. We have one more "winter"--blackberry when they bloom, which should be a little bit into May. That will be the last of our winters then summer!

I have had pain the past two nights which has kept me awake. It may be the wandering gall stone which pops up occasionally. I had one show up on a CT about 6 months ago and have had several times of unexplained pain. So I guess that is it. Wish it would go away! on its own! without surgery! Still no fingernails, but maybe a little white area showing at the bottom of the nail bed. Hair growing very slowly! I pray for stronger faith! I praise God every day for all blessings John and I have.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

" Pray in the spirit..."

Today was the last workshop day and I learned so much, not only methods but being aware of possibilities of use of colors. One fun process we did, was a musical chairs sort of painting...each person painted a small 6x6 canvas for 5 minutes, then everyone shifted to the right and we painted on the next canvas..each one was different pictures to paint. Each one used different techniques but when I came to the next painting, it was "mine". Amazing how "free" you can paint when you don't "claim" that canvas. Our teacher is so friendly and encouraging...someone you wish you could be with as a friend.

When I was getting ready to get up this morning. I was remembering Sunday mornings when I was growing up. Early summer, walking thru the grass, barefooted, to get the paper. I could hear a small church up the lane from where I grew up, with the bells ringing. We lived on a country lane and surrounding this church was a Black community that mostly was Civil war inherited land. Three ladies and their families used to come to our house and work for and with Mama and Grandma. Jessie was the best biscuit maker. She said the secret to good biscuits was to barely get enough flour that the biscuits would not totally stick to the other words, not too much flour. Ophelia was the main lady who came when one of us was sick or Mama needed help for spring cleaning . Her Father worked up at the highway and I used to walk to catch the bus and he was going to work and we walked together. She lived to be 100 and I loved her so much. Thelma was the third lady and she stayed with Mama some after Mama's stroke. They would just fuss about what to do and how to do it! They were so funny. We loved all these women and saw them grow old and one by one die. Thelma was the last one to pass. The Art College where I was this weekend is where their houses used to be. Time marches on! The church is long gone. I miss all these precious women and friends, the church bells, and times of growing up.

Grandma was my Sunday School teacher when I was 8..she taught 8 year old girls for about 40 years. This was such a blessing as was everything I did with her.

Ephesians 6:10 says "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. and verse 18, "..pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests..." Our daily prayers are for healing, for us and our friends and family who have needs. Thank you God for answered prayer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

" not be afraid..."

One of many passages in the Bible that says "do not be afraid" John 14:27 finishes with "do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Just think of all we fear..especially when cancer is involved. Not a day goes by without a tiny fear creeping in. I try not to fear and just give it all to God, but human nature.....

Tomorrow finishes up a three day art workshop and it is so fun and I am learning so much! All our night class when I go except one person is there and about 10 others. We are meeting at a local art college and it has great facilities. Now if I can just get so much better I can sell some art. Strangely, just painting is not enough, though it ought to be, satisfaction just for the creating, but I guess selling a creation makes you feel complete. I have sold a few but .......

While we ate dinner tonight John and I had a music station on the TV and Rosemary Clooney was on. We remembered when she came to my high school and performed. It was the year after I graduated and we went back for a Valentine party , ETC. and I don't know who had the pull to get Rosemary to sing there but she did., and she was great! Another memory of what famous person we have seen and heard.

It won't seem like Sunday to miss Church but this is when the workshop was scheduled. This spring we will go to Pepperdine University in California to a lectureship and that is always so uplifting. All the speakers are the best preachers, teachers and authors. Can't wait! Meantime, I feel good, fingernails might be growing a little and hair also...very slowly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"...The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you ..."

"...all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you..." John 14:26-27 as Jesus reminded us of whom would be here for us when He (Jesus) was no longer here. We do not have to be alone, but have this part of God to pray for us, to speak for us when we are so downtrodden and sorrowing we cannot pray or speak. In the past, many times when the CT was not good, or the chemo was doing all the bad things, I have been speechless, numb and could not say anything but "God" and He took over and carried my burden. I am so thankful!

As my hair is growing back (way too slowly!) I remembered how much I hated my straight hair as I grew up. I usually had braids, way down my back. Mama would have pretty plaid ribbon on the braids to match whatever I was wearing. I always wished for curls. One of our greats has unbelievable curls! anyway, in high school, many of us girls would arrive at school with curlers in our hair and a scarf on our heads. We would go to the rest room and brush our hair (there was no hair spray) and hope for a good hair day! When I was about 15 home perms came on the market! I got one and had the worst frizzy, too much curl, hair but I loved having this curl. Some boy saw me in church and called for a date. Mama and Daddy would not let me go as I was not 16 yet---the age at which car dating could begin. Most "nice girls" did not car date until 16. Can you imagine? in today's society? And we did not wear earrings either. No pierced ears, it was unheard of. Another of our greats who is about 4 1/2 came to see us in February and she had long braids and she looked so pretty and cute! Bless her heart, she has no curls either. Her sister is still too young to tell if she will have curls.

The first time I EVER had a coke, in a bottle, of my own, was when I was about 11 and I went home after school with a friend and she opened the fridge, and got out two cokes. I was so "did not know what to do, scared, embarrassed, you name it" so I just copied what she did. Can you imagine that either? The first time I ever had a steak to eat was when John and I were dating and he took me to a nice restaurant and that was a treat. We always ate good, but an individual steak was not on our menu at home! Growing us, John and I at both our homes, ate meat on Sundays and maybe once or twice during the week but never every night. We ate lots of vegetables and cornbread or biscuits.

Aren't memories fun? Isn't God wonderful to give us these times to remember and have joy in? The bad things fade away and we can dwell on the fun times. This is how I think God helps take care of us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Test me, O Lord, and try me..."

"...examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." Psalm 26:2-3 Verse 1 says "...I have led a blameless life..." which I could not in good conscience even write! so I felt verses 2-3 were more of the truth about me.

I have had so many, many friends and family emailing about my wonderful news. Another friend had good news, also. We are praising God for His goodness, every day.
Update on the potatoes: they are about 8 inches high! They are growing and looking so good, and we should have "new potatoes in about a month.

Many of John's family come from the Huntsville, AL. area called Madison. The earlier family land was in Whitesburg or Whites Landing. This area is now close to Madison, AL. The first time John took me there, it was mostly a train track, station and a few houses. John's uncle and his family were cotton farmers there. Much of their former land is now the Space center and government property. Their family moved to southern Alabama and farmed there. We visited them, there, and could see old share croppers' cabins, an old silo that held grain when they were dairy farming, and lots of old barns. John's uncle gave us the family Bible that belonged to the great grandparents and this dates from about 1870 and on to early 1900's. John's uncle died early but that aunt lived to 102. She loved baseball, and during the season, she watched it every day until she died.

John's eye is not much better, but hope it will be in a month or so. John prays for me at every meal and I am sure privately many other times. I pray for him likewise. Thank you God ,for answering our prayers. I pray we "walk continually in your truth."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"The Lord is my light and my salvation---"

I still can hardly believe the cancer is retreating, yet I KNOW God can do this! The "well" feeling is wonderful. I know some of the cancer is still there but maybe it will keep going away! I give it all to God and let His will be done.

Last night as I was going to sleep I remembered when I took piano lessons. There were two piano teachers at the elementary school I attended and I, like many kids, took piano , and when it was my time, I picked up my music and slipped out of the room and down to the music room. Can you imagine that today? I don't think any school except a private school would do this and give students freedom to leave the classroom and go to a piano lesson. I did this 4th thru 8th grade. My Mother was quite a pianist and hoped we girls would love it too. We all took piano for about this long.

Our family is fairly musical and enjoys music. Our daughter took piano and our son plays guitar, and several grandchildren play the piano and compose music.

Tonight we were talking about John not being in World War II and the army. When his brother was killed, it was just after the five Sullivan brothers were killed and congress passed a law that the sole surviving son did not have to go to war. Of course John's parents could not stand his going so he did not. When he was in college, many boys were coming back from war and would ask him when he was in and where, etc. He always felt kind of embarrassed for not going but he hated to go against his parents' wishes.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? .....I will sing and make music to the Lord." Psalm 27: 1,6

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Let us then approach the throne of grace..."

Last night for dinner I could only have protein (steak) and a green salad with a little vinegar/oil dressing. Nothing after midnight. We left home this morning at 5:45 without breakfast or much to drink--just a little water...for THE CT and there and drank the "lemonade" then sit an hour then blood work, IV in my arm, then the radioactive solution which contains sugar. Then I was in a dark room, soft music, blanket and pillow, for an hour....Almost made the early getting up worth it! Then in the machine which takes about 15 minutes for the PET, then dye in my vein and the CT which is about 5 minutes or so.

Then on to the oncologist a few hours later. He practically "bounced" into the room. He could not stop smiling. My chemo nurse came in and was just giddy with excitement. They told me the cancer , all but one tumor was about 1/3 the size of 3 months ago. All I could say was "praise God" I was so numb and could hardly believe it. I said,"do you know how many people are praying for me!" My doctor said "that is the reason you are better! are my miracle patient..."Oh my I am still just cannot get over the excitement and knowing how wonderful God can take care of us. I am in tears with joy and relief. This is the first backward step in the cancer in 5 years. I will go without chemo again for 3 more months and then have another CT in July. To be "normal" is just wonderful. Now if my hair will just grow-grow faster!

My doctor asked me if I would speak to the doctors and nurses in their weekly gathering. I said I would, don't know what he wants me to say, but he will do whatever he wants me to do. I saw 2 more doctors in the hall and they had heard about my good news also. Sarah Cannon is such a "people place" and everyone there is very special. John asks one of the nurses one day if they were chosen to work there according to their personality and they said yes. They are all, indeed, very special!

Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me..."

"...for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster is passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me." Psalm 57:1-2

Four of us (who know each other) will have CT or PET this week and two more will get results from earlier. Is this ALL we think about? Who is getting scanned and what did X find out this week? What will I do next? We humans are such frail a friend said, "how does anyone survive without God?"

This week I was with some "girl" friends and we laughed about how 40 years ago we were talking about what our children were doing, saying, wearing, and 20 years ago talking about first grandchildren and now we are discussing great grandchildren, and our funeral plans, what medicine are you on, do you wake up at night, do you have arthritis, etc...My how our outlook changes!

Throughout all our lives, God has had a plan for us, His wings are shading us, He cares for us, even when a disaster enfolds us and He sees that His purpose for us is fulfilled. I know we are depending on God's mercy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

"I have hidden your word in my heart..."

"...that I might not sin against you."Psalm 119:11 and in the Message, " I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart, so I won't sin myself bankrupt."...Knowing I sin everyday, still I pray God forgives me of all, especially the sins of omission, as I fail to do what I should do every day.

That verse actually has no direct bearing on this story, but I need to remind myself of what I should do. My sister's husband died about a year and a half ago and I was spending the night with her most of the time for a while. We had sewed all day, decided it was time for bed. She walked in the kitchen and screamed...blood curling! I could not imagine what had happened. Her diamond was gone--only the band--no diamond! We had been sewing upstairs with a carpet, so we lay on the floor and rubbed our hands over every square inch, then turned the lights off and shined a flash light over the floor, thinking a diamond would shine. Since we had been sewing on 120 inch long silk panels, we shook and examined all the curtains. We went over the down stairs, inch by inch, swiffered the floor, went over the floor with a wet rag, inch by inch. NO RING! We sat down and held hands and prayed. My sister walked back into the kitchen and the diamond was laying in the middle of the floor!!! She just knows God laid that ring there because He knew she could not stand that on top of her husband's death. That was really some experience!

Well our potatoes are all coming up and look so good (all 10 plants) I told you we have a small garden! John planted his green beans and carrots today. It is too early for tomatoes. We still have locust and blackberry winters to go through. Last week was dogwood winter and they are blooming so pretty. All my hostas are coming up and looking so good! I have starters of lots of things and looking forward to them coming up and seeing what is here.

When I have trouble getting to sleep, I try to think of Bible verses and say the Lord's Prayer and usually I am asleep before I get thru the entire recitation. I am about the same except one toe is cracked open on the end..really sore.Four days until my PET...nervous...trying to be assured of God's grace and care.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"we are the clay..."

"...O, Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8

I spent the day with my sister, and we sewed together. She also has a workroom for my daughter's shop, as I do. We talked about family things and about how Daddy said, "he and Mama had such fun and felt like it would just go on forever". That is how John and I feel sometime and know it won't. I have told how Mama and Daddy died 3 days apart. His doctor said , if he could, he would have put on his death certificate, "died of a broken heart".

We miss our sister every day. She has been gone ten years and we can laugh about things we did. She was the proverbial "middle child" and always felt like she was not like us two. I remember when Mama was expecting her and she would rest out in the shade on a cot, every afternoon and I would sit and talk to her. ( I was 9 when this sister was born) We were spread out and the sister I have now was born four years later. Because of this age difference, we were never close until we were grown and then we all three became inseparable and like a "matched set". We never fussed (after we grew up) and really were blessed with this closeness.

We were made by God's hands and He blessed us with each other, but it is lonely when you lose a sibling. I am so glad I still have my baby sister.

Now I have my toe nails ,not coming off, but still skin cracked at the edge of the nails and the nail itself, thick and strange . If I had know all these side effects, I would never have done this experimental. I bet the doctors stop this combination of drugs. We will see, anyway, I am thankful for feeling good as I do!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 8:28,31...."And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose....What then shall we say...? If God is for us who can be against us?"

The past two days our son and daughter in law have been here and it is so wonderful to have our two living "children" together--(we live with our daughter in an apartment)nothing like it!... We were in the bad storm that roared through here Saturday, knocking down light poles and putting out lights all around. But all is OK, with a few minor lights out here. My d-i-l and I sew for the granddaughters (my greats, her granddaughters) and have fun sharing patterns and ideas. My daughter and her shop will be in the Southern Women's Show in a week and I am busy-busy sewing for that getting items made for her booth. That is exciting.

I feel good and cannot believe what I went through all winter--nausea, throat on fire when I tried to eat, water tasting like "pond scum", the infected eczema all over, fingernails coming off, feet cracked open, not to mention diarrhea and taking 8 or more pills for that every day, and loss of hair (also eye brows and eye lashes). So you can see why it is so difficult to think about starting another chemo. Now, I am almost normal except I still have very little hair. I hope to come out of the wig by June. (unless another chemo takes my hair away again) I had a mammogram today but don't know the results yet. Can they make those things any more PAINFUL??? So one more week until the PET and CT. I know God is for us...I cannot fear!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Your faithfulness reaches to the skies"

This week I received an invitation to my annual high school reunion luncheon. I never go to these things, but used to go when we had just our class every five years reunion and banquet. That was so fun and nice to see our bunch. I went to the greatest high school back when they were neighborhood schools.The land for this school was old family land owned by the family for which it was named--Isaac Litton--and had a big front lawn with willow trees. We used to sit on the grass and eat lunch outside. And, seniors could sit out on the football bleachers at study hall time. The principal, Mr. Foster, knew everyone by name. He had Parkinson disease later and I went to see him--he still remembered my name. He always knew all the students. This school had the old wood floors and they were oiled/mopped every night..can you imagine what a tinder-box that place was? But it was there for nearly 50 years then torn down--too sad.

Today, John and I and our daughter went to see CATS for the third time (it has been around for 30 years) and loved it as usual. The song "Memories" is worth seeing the play. Every time I hear it sung, I can close my eyes (when she sings "the hard ,cold,smell of winter" in the middle of that song)and smell and feel I am in Grandma's attic. That is so weird. I played in that attic, even in the winter, because heat came up the stairs from the kitchen. That house had no insulation--in fact I could peep through a hole in the dining room floor and see Grandpa putting coal in the furnace in the basement.

So today I have been looking at memories in my mind. Same old-same-old with my hands and face.. not worth thinking about. There are many great memories that are worth thinking about. Also much thankfulness for God's care of us and our family each day.

In Psalm 57:9-10, "I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

Friday, April 1, 2011

" The length of our days is seventy --"

Psalm 90:10,12, 17 ..."The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength; ...teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."...."May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us..."

Two of us "girls" took another out for her 90th birthday lunch. What a dynamic person she is! God has certainly blessed her with a long life and energy. She goes everywhere, makes hundreds of small loaves of bread for friends, neighbors, church members, for anyone she knows and she baked several hundred last year. She and her husband have been married 70+ years...they are part of the camping buddies we went everywhere with all the years our children were small and growing up. "Happy Birthday, our friend!"

Two years ago John and I decided to go and get gun certified and a carrying permit. I don't have a gun, but it seemed like a good idea since this privilege could be lost someday. I have my card, like a driver's license card and show it as an ID for medical offices and hospital check in. They are always impressed with this ID card! Needless to say, it makes me look tough.

God has blessed my friends and He is blessing John and me as we enjoy our health (such as it is). I really feel pretty good. My fingernails are about half gone and except for the rash on my face, I have few complaints. I get nervous when I think about the PET in 12 days. I have to rest in God's FAVOR which He certainly is blessing us with...