Kindred Spirits

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Faith Rocks On

Simple pleasures.  Sitting in a rocking chair.  The gentle motion. Soothing.  Calming emotions. Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.
The world seems gentler.  No jarring.  Restlessness finds relief.  Breathing settles.  Heartbeat returns to a peaceful pulse.  A deep sigh escapes, not from distress, but a sense that for just this moment, time stands still and all is at rest.
There is something so precious about being enfolded in the arms of a rocking chair.  Protected.  Secure.  Safe.  A beverage by your side…sipping hot on a cooler day, or racing a determined sun that threatens to melt iced liquid on a warmer afternoon.
Senses seem more acute. The chirp of the cricket.  The distant bark of a dog.  Laughter.  A wisp of hair tickles the forehead.  An ant runs over a barefoot toe.  I smile.  Closing eyes.  Inhaling slowly.  Savouring summer’s scent, while tasting autumn’s approach.
I remember rocking my newborn son.  The unmatched joy of motherhood. Seated in dressing gown.  The early hours of the morning.  A fresh-from-heaven precious bundle cradled in my arms.  Humming.  Quietly humming.  Wanting these sacred seconds to be captured for all eternity.  Serenity held while baby sleeps.
Is the motion so familiar because of nine months in the womb?  Is that why we gravitate toward rockers and swings?  Do they awake memories of comfort?  A rocking chair was home to our first nurturing.  Held in mother’s arms we were cradled in care.  How often our hearts return to that longing.  To be held.  The gift and tenderness of touch. 
There is something that mesmerizes and holds a heart captive in the gentle sway.  Pain released.  Peace received.  The steady rhythm.  The uninterrupted flow.  Movement to and fro.  Past behind.  Promises ahead.
There is One who offers eternal comfort.  A Father whose arms enfold us and safely rocks us in His embrace.  I catch my breath and breathe again.  Breathe in life.  Breathe in hope.  Worries are forgotten.
A refuge from the storm as Faith rocks on.

(OK...have to share the inspiration for this post.  As many of you know I just celebrated a birthday.  The beautiful "Faith" rocking chair was my gift from "Hope", Diane.  She took a couple of older rockers and refinished them.  She stripped the wood, sanded them down and repainted them.  They are still at her home right now, but I saw them via Skype, and I can't wait to visit and sit on her porch, side-by-side, and allow the healing of God's peace and presence to continue.  I have been overwhelmed again by her love for me...a love that would spend countless hours, and endure such effort on my behalf.  The chair is a gift of heart. Thank you again my precious friend for ministering to me in ways that leave me speechless.  May God return the blessings abundantly.  Hugging you.)

Thought you all might enjoy a few more pictures.  Some before and after.  Don't y'all wish she was your best friend?  :-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Joy!!!

Happy Birthday Joy! ! !
You are so beautiful, my friend!

I know this is the one I made you last year. It will have to do until I can make you one in person.

May all the physical and mental challenges of these past few months be far from you today.
Wishing you a peaceful and wonderful birthday my sweetest of friends!
Love you,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Round 4 Chemo Is Done! ! !

Praising Jesus for His mercies and love shone on Joy though out the day.Now home, safely tucked in, with her jammies on ,where she can finally rest. Continue to pray over the next 3-5 days as the chemo works through her body. Praying for her to feel as well as possible by Sunday the 14th, her birthday. (wink, wink)

Japhia made 3 chemo caps and finished a pray shawl today. I am touched by the ministry God is doing through her hands and heart. It shows me how we can be a testimony where ever we are in life. Thank you Japhia for your willingness to minister to others.

Now that 4 treatments are behind and only 2 more to go, it is easier to see the end of treatment. Joy and I have been talking about what 5 and 6 would look like. How 5 would be a bit easier knowing there was but 1 remaining. Then 6 is the end and what a day of celebration that will be!!!

Thank you for praying and sending Joy such encouragement today. There is no doubt the Jesus heard the name "Joy Brown" many times over today. It was wonderful to visit with her tonight via Skype. I just wanted to reach through the computer and hug her neck, but He knows this as well.

Blessed to be standing in the gap with "Faith." Joy
Diane "Hope"

Update on Chemo #4

Good Afternoon Friends,

I have gotten several emails this morning from our princess. (smile) Despite being chilled and not wanting to go through with this she is doing well. Prayers are reaching our Most High and I plead with you not to stop!

They brought her some soup but I wish I could get her some Brunswick Stew, I just know that would do wonders. (She love that stuff, Canadians don't know how to make it) Japhia is making Chemo caps hand over fist as her way of ministering to others there at the cancer center. Joy has one for every color in the rainbow, go Japh. What a wonderful way Japh has turned something awful into something beautiful! Hugs Japh!

Just a few more hours and Joy will be down to 2 more treatments! Praise Jesus!
Keep storming the gates of heaven friends.

Thanks Leah, Elaine and Renee and to all those who haven't written in but are praying. Joy is able to get some email at the center. Light up her mailbox!

Standing in the gap with "Faith," Joy,
Diane "Hope"

Today is Chemo Number 4

Friends right now more than ever Joy needs prayer. This chemo treatment is the hardest one to date. At 9:30 she was just getting settled into her much smaller room and feeling very anxious. Please join me and pray her through this today.

 Specific prayers:
* Pray for God's peace and comfort to wash over her all day like waves in the ocean.
* Pray this treatment take and there be no side effects.
* Pray for her mind, let it not wander in Satan's playground, staying focused on what is good and true.
* Pray for her sister Japhia who is beside her today. That she will anticipate Joy's needs before she speaks    them. Praying strength and mercy for Japhia through out the day.
* Finally as Joy finishes this treatment and heads home pray there would be a shorter, if not painless recovery time with this treatment in the coming days.

I will update you through out the day as she touches base. Let's stand in the gap for "Faith, sisters, holding her so high that nothing but the hand of Jesus can touch her today.

Blessings and love to all as I stand in the gap with "Faith," Joy.
Diane "Hope"

Monday, August 8, 2011


Halfway is defined as a point of progression. So if you are halfway through a difficult task, it's a good thing. However, if you are halfway through something fun and enjoyable it might start to upset you because the end is soon near. Halfway is relevant. For me it can get very tricky. I find once I arrive at "halfway", I tend to rest. Do you do that? It is as though I feel a break needs to be taken. Maybe to reflect on where I have been or perhaps where I am headed. However for me resting often leads to sitting. Sitting can lead me to staying. Staying can get me stuck. Then when I get stuck that is where it gets tricky. It is then when things tend to fall apart  Sometimes I  question all that I know to be real and true, even when I know better. Do any of you do that?

I feel like that is where I have been. "Stopped." Here we are a full week into August and I feel like time has stopped since June 16. That is the day I was laughing and ending my wonderful visit with Joy in Canada. We were on our way to Toronto where I would catch an evening flight, when my cell phone rang. It was the phone call I had dreaded. The voice on the other end said my mom wasn't going to make it through the night and I should come home as soon as possible. "Halfway" between Joy's home and the airport a phone call changed my life and now things would never be the same. To make a long story short, mama passed into the arms of Jesus about an hour before I was able to reach her. Since then, I will be honest, I just haven't caught my breath. Life has taken on such a different view for me. I can't put into words how yet, I only know that it has changed. It has been a month since I have updated the blog and I know your prayers and thoughts have been with Joy and with me. Please know they are so deeply appreciated and welcomed. Please continue your prayers as I move out of this time of grieving and into a time of healing and peace. Jesus never promised life would be easy, He did promise He would never leave us. I know He is with me always.

So now you're up to date on me, so let me tell you about Joy. Girls have you seen our precious friend lately! Let me tell you this girl is working the color coordination of a head scarf. Two Snaps and A Whistle for Joy!!! WOOT, WOOT!! Yes, she has her bad days, but mercy sakes I don't even know what she is going to do next!!! I mean one day she is laying on her bed after chemo sick as a puppy and the next she is posting Facebook pics of herself behind the wheel of a new Camero Convertible! Mercy! LOL

Seriously loved the pictures she shared with us about going to their trailer at Muskoka Bible Conference Center. Glad she is able to get a change of view for a couple days now and then. (If you aren't already Facebook friends, you should be.  That's where Joy posts all her pics.) I was also celebrating with her being able to go there without her "hair"!!! What courage that took!!! Amazing is simply not enough of a word to describe Joy. Beautiful is another word to describe her. At a time when she doesn't feel her best and senses all eyes upon her, what strength it took for her to sit outside on her porch without her wig, 'al natural'. I have only seen her beautiful bald head through video and pictures, but long for the day I'll kiss the top of it in person.

This week we find Joy "Halfway":
Halfway through her chemo treatments. Number four will be this week. Each treatment has made her sicker than the last. The good news is Jesus gives her enough strength to handle it and she comes out of it just a bit stronger than she went in. Her numbers look good and doctors are saying good things at this point. However please do not let up with your prayers. We are still far from over with this fight. We are not "Halfway" through the cancer battle by any means. Joy will have her blood work done on Wednesday and a consultation with the oncologist, and then all being well, chemo will be early Thursday morning.  Please remember to pray for her blood pressure to be good on this trip as last time those numbers were elevated somewhat.  Praying all reports will be in the "normal" range this time.

Since last week Joy's husband has been battling a nasty cold. Joy has been trying everything, except living in a germ free bubble, to stay healthy. So far she is succeeding, but she has to stay healthy or chemo gets pushed back.

Next week (14th) is Joy's birthday and please pray her day will be filled with health and happiness. Usually the 5-7 days following chemo are not good for her, so pray really hard this month.  A day of bed rest would even be fine as long as it wasn't accompanied by the expected joint pain and upset tummy.  We know God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.

Chris, her son, will be going back to University over Labor day weekend. Joy will not be able to make that trip with him because of her next treatment. Pray as things get prepared for his return to school.

Finally, pray for God's hand and provision for my hopeful trip back to Canada in September.

"Halfway" is defined as a point of progression. Whether you are moving on or towards something, halfway is still better than not moving at all. Because when you are "halfway" you have made progress.

Standing in the gap with "Faith", Joy,
Diane, "Hope"