International

International
Kindred Spirits

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beauty Mark or Battle Scar

"Our suffering may not be a punishment, but a battle scar that demonstrates our loyalty."

When does a battle scar transform into a beauty mark? Battle scars can take on many shapes and sizes and if we allow them to, they can hold us hostage for many years. The darkness of emotional scars can set into motion a lifetime of mental torture that our society has deemed "the silent killer." Physical scars can leave us visibly changed on the outside making us look and feel outcast from the "normal" way of life. Having such scars can make one retreat into a world of solemness, feeling different because a physical affliction altered appearance. So how does one ever get to the point of looking at a "battle scar" as a "beauty mark"?

"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.  You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again."  Psalm 71:20-21

Oh, the promises of victory.  The hope of restoration.  Everyone of us has been through trials of transformations and valleys of shadows. None of us have escaped them without scars. These battle scars, big and little form throughout our lives and as we mend they can  turn into beauty marks. Scars are formed after a difficult event happens in our life. Healing comes as a result of time and the touch of God's hand.  It is a process. The painful reality is you can not have a beauty mark without first having a battle scar. From the ashes God creates a masterpiece.  I used to think it would be so awesome not to have any scars at all, but then it dawned on me.  I would have to live such a protected life. Think about it, all the things you would have to do to ensure you would never be hurt. No thank you, I will take the scars because I know that Jesus has them too. (smile) There is great beauty in battle scars.

As my battle continues, the past chemo treatment went well with no adverse reactions.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  The following day was also wonderful and I had strength to accomplish some small tasks around the home.  The third day hit like a ton of bricks, and I found myself in bed all day.  As sick as I felt, I didn't want to be alone, and Diane sensed my longing for company.  I set my computer on the bed and we skyped a couple of times during the day.  I didn't speak, and neither did she.  We just were there for one another.  Silent presence.  She worked around in her home while I slept, content to know that each other were close by.

Saturday my "boys" wanted to head to the trailer so I had a precious friend come and stay with me during the day and my sister relieved her around the supper hour.  I know I pushed myself a little too hard that day.  I should have listened to my body and stayed in bed.  Sunday I took a step backwards and had to listen to it's demands. 

Over the past week I have felt strength return daily and I've been amazed at some of the things I've been able to accomplish.  Yesterday morning before noon I had enjoyed a quiet time with the Lord, done some writing, almost completed three loads of laundry, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, viewed a 60 minute Beth Moore DVD teaching, and gone for a 45 minute walk.  I had great plans for the afternoon as well, until suddenly everything within me crashed around 2pm and I surrendered to the couch where I slept until almost 5:30pm.

Today was exciting as I was able to go to church this morning.  A precious friend who is also going through her own battle with cancer, invited me to join her at the little country church she attends.  This fellowship of believers is smaller in number, and perfect during this time when my immune system is compromised.  We sat up in the sound booth where she greeted me with bottled water and candy, welcoming me with open arms.  My heart rejoiced at being with His people in His presence.

The Lord has blessed me in other ways recently as well.  An article I wrote for Proverbs 31 Ministry was printed on their Everday Life web page.  You can read it here: The Middle of a Miracle.  The Lord gave me the gift of yet more words, as I shared my heart about Front Porch Courage.  My son was awarded the Willemina Blom Scholarship from Redeemer University for being the best all-around student in their music program. "You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me!"  Psalm 92:4

I so appreciate your continued prayers.  This past week I also had a head-on collision with Dr's assessments, lab reports, blood levels, ovarian cancer statistics and it all became very overwhelming.  The Lord used the wounds of a friend to quickly reign in my thoughts of panic and He has since settled me in His Word as I seek Him to free me from the lies of the enemy.  Please continue to pray for Diane as well.  Along with her deep concern for me, she is still grieving the loss of her mother, as well as struggling through some concerns where she is seeking divine guidance.  Please pray she will have clarity in direction and peace as confirmation.

As we close this post, why don't you take inventory of your battle scars, and thank the Lord for the beauty He has restored.

We both love you all and thank the Lord for the hope and faith He gives.
Blessings,
Diane, aka "Hope"
Joy, aka "Faith"

**This post was exciting to write.  The edits went back and forth as together we shared our thoughts.  I think this might be the first combined post we've written.  Isn't technology fun.  :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bubble Therapy

What is it about bubbles that captivates us? Is it the crystal circles of air that glisten in the sun? Or the carefree nature in which they float through the air?  From the time we are small children we are exposed to the magic of bubbles. They are almost seductive after the first puff through the simple plastic circle dipped in a soapy solution. As youngsters we are convinced the store bought version is far superior to the homemade one. I for one could not be swayed. Mom's version didn't have the "wow factor"; that peel off the foil top, brand new smell and slime on your fingers stuff you can't mix up in a sink factor. Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about! There is something about bubbles that is intoxicating at any age. Bubbles make you just forget about your worries. Those crystal circles of air catch the wind and they float away, no destination, no time, they just float and POP. You dip, blow and more bubbles appear.  It is that simple. If a child is crying, bubbles make them laugh. If an person is sad, bubbles make them happy. Bubbles are a win-win situation, they are cheap and fun. 

When was the last time you and a friend bought a bottle of bubbles and shared a laugh? 
Maybe you need some "Bubble Therapy". 
Watch the following video and see what happens when Joy and I shared some "Bubble Therapy."
video