Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Temple of the Lord - Thoughts on Tackling Struggles

This was another surprise on my foraging through the attic. It is a watercolor with pastel, 22x30, and the title on a little card on the back says, The Temple of the Lord. I don't remember if I used some sort of picture as a model, or if it is completely out of my imagination. Anyway about it, I am somewhat dumbfounded that I did it, and wonder if my talent has dried up. Not sure I could do this now. (If interested, make an offer.) (If you are on Facebook, you can see the full album of art for sale that is thus far down from my attic here. While you are at it, please "like" my author page at that link. It helps me. )

Some bad news on the cancer front. Because some of the tumors are right in the center of my breast, there will be no salvaging the nipple in the mastectomy. It was not a huge deal, but seemed to preserve at least some dignity. And the doc is pretty certain I will need chemo. Neither of those things thrill me, but it is what it is. He gave me the same advice I dish out to the mamas I work with who choose life over abortion: "Don't worry too much about the future, just focus on the next step. Like when I am going into a fifteen hour operation, I can't imagine how difficult it will be if I'm looking over the next 15 hours. It's impossible. I just focus on the next step. Is the area cleaned? Is the patient asleep..."

The advice was sound and I was very glad to hear he makes sure the patient is asleep before cutting into her. That had been one of my unvoiced fears.

Following the doctor's advice, I went kayaking. The next step is to stay upbeat and happy before the mastectomy on April 29th.

As I sat cooling off in the water, all alone on the lake, I chatted on my phone with a wonderful mama who I work with that I met months ago at the abortion center sidewalks. Her life is not easy, and she is often on the verge of giving up. But I gave her two pieces of advice. First I reminded her about what the doctor had just told me: don't look at your whole future. Focus on doing the next right thing.
Then I shared the advice that I have been learning most clearly since the cancer diagnosis.

Sometimes what feels bad is not really bad, not from an eternal perspective. Nothing we go through is a surprise to God and He uses all of it to refine and shape us for eternity. I have learned that God sometimes removes everything we think we need to show us what truly matters. When we have nothing left to rely on but God, we value God a whole lot more and the thought of eternity is much more compelling and comforting.

A blue heron flew overhead, the sun sparkled on the water, and the river rocked my boat. It is good, Lord. Thank you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”


  1. They can tattoo a new one on. In the right spot too. :) I never went that far cause I didn't care but they offered. I have great faith in our God that you will be fine too! And seriously!!Cool off? and a bathing suit? It's not quite 70 here and I am freezing!!!! Lucky you