Monday, November 30, 2009

My Story of Healing

At the end of February 2009 I was informed that I needed a hip replacement. Having known for a while this was likely, and hoping it would be a long way off, this news sent me into mild shock. My name went into the 'waiting for surgery pool' in mid March.

The following song challenged my thinking and began my healing journey:

When Desperation Meets Faith by The Pfeifers (chorus)

When desperation meets faith,
the curse is broken,
a closed mind is open,
words of healing are spoken.
When desperation meets faith,
Jesus moves with compassion,
something good starts to happen,
when desperation meets faith.

If God is no respecter of persons then can I too be healed? After reading the story, ‘Lisa’s Healing’ in CSC News, Spring 2009, I focused my attack on praying and meditating through healing scriptures.

June 11/09 – “God, how much longer must I deal with this pain,” I lamented in my journal. “Please direct me to some scriptures for encouragement.” Isaiah 43 came to mind so I read it.

"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Vs. 1,2

I was encouraged and grateful to know that at least I was on His radar screen. It's easy to wonder if God even knows we exist when we go through challenges. Does He really care about us? Pain, whether physical or mental/emotional, is so debilitating and sometimes makes us think crazy thoughts.

June 25/09 – “Hello, This is Dr. Miller’s office calling. Can you come for a surgery assessment appointment tomorrow? I realize this is very short notice. We’ve had a cancellation.” I immediately said, “Yes, I’ll be there.”

Dr. Miller agreed to do the surgery right away, within 2 weeks. Yikes, I wasn't ready mentally because I had been told many times by many sources it might be two years before I have this surgery. Plus, I had made summer plans with family whom I had seriously neglected during the years of caring for my father-in-law. Dr. Miller agreed to do the surgery when I was ready. Arrangements were made for Aug 21.

Then I began wrestling with “Do I not trust God for healing by accepting this surgery?” Several people quickly reminded me of the drowning man who refused all kinds of help saying “God will rescue me.” He drowned and when questioning God in heaven as to why he hadn’t been rescued, God responded, “I sent a row boat, a motor boat, and a helicopter, but you refused them all. What were you waiting for?” 

It is nothing short of a miracle that I had the surgery so quickly. I thank God for sending Dr. Miller to 'rescue' me from the debilitating pain.

Psalms 107 (paraphrased and personalized)
I was in serious trouble, terrible pain making my life miserable. I called out to the Lord, “How long, Oh Lord, must I fight with this pain?”
He heard my cries of despair and rescued me. By the power of His own word, He healed me and saved me by sending Dr. Miller to rescue me from debilitating pain.
I praise the Lord for His love and the wonderful things He has done for me.
I celebrate His goodness to me with thanksgiving and tell all the people of His wonderful deeds.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I say to the Lord, "You are my fortress, my place of safety; You are my God, and I trust You." The Lord will keep me safe from secret traps and deadly diseases. He will spread his wings over me and keep me secure.

His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall. I do not need to worry about dangers at night or arrows during the day. I do not fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon. I will not be harmed, though thousands fall all around me. The Lord Most High is my fortress. I run to Him for safety and no terrible disasters will strike me, my home or my family.

God will command His angels to protect me wherever I go. They will carry me in their arms. The Lord says, "If you love Me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you. You will live a long life and see My saving power." (Psalm 91)

Thank you Lord, for your powerful word that does amazing things when we declare it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It was Wednesday morning, September 9, 2009. A bright, sunny day with lots to be excited about and grateful for, but I felt blue. It hovered around me like the SAD blues I often get later in fall. The sun is definitely moving south and the lumins are diminishing rapidly but this did seem a bit early. Nevertheless, I felt blue. Not much energy or initiative to do anything. Sometimes these blues suffocate and immobilize but such was not the case today, just slow and dreary feeling.

Mid week and hubby was home for the day - huge plus. Today was the day his beloved train engine would be moved to it's final resting spot at the church playground. We had awaited this day for, shall I say, years. Actually, it was I who awaited this day. This special project had rested in our garage for what seemed like way too long. He had enjoyed building it immensely and perhaps he really was not all that excited about it leaving, but today it was departing. I should have been ecstatic, but I was blue.

My surgery recovery was nearing the three week mark and all was going well. Another reason to be delighted. Yet, I was getting quite tired of the ever present crutch. I just want to be done with all this invalid stuff and get back to 'normal', to walk without aides and without a limp. I'm weary of the constant, "Honey, should you be doing that? Here, let me do it." "Mom, what are you doing? I don't think you should be doing that?" And so I felt blue.

The train moving men (from Ironmen Ministry at CSC) arrived a half hour earlier than expected and rolled the engine out of the garage on some pipes and onto the driveway. Then we all waited for the picker truck to arrive, load it and transport it to the church. I made coffee and just happened to have some banana bread to accompany it. We sat around the driveway, chatted, laughed, and generally had a great time getting to know each other.

Then the truck arrived and started to work. I felt like a little kid watching as the operator attached safety belts around the structure and then hoisted it onto his flatbed and secured it in place for the trip. We all scurried into vehicles hoping to arrive at the destination before the truck did. Once there, the engine was again prepared for the unloading and positioning in the playground. It was pure delight to observe it all.

After returning home I felt almost euphoric. The blues were gone and I thanked God for sending his unsuspecting 'angels' to cheer me up. And they thought their job was to move the train.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Not Canda Day but oh....

It's not Canada Day but oh how blessed we are.

I took the car for a service appointment this morning and caught a shuttle ride home. The shuttle driver had a heavy accent so I asked what nationality he is. "Bosnian," came his reply. I asked lots of questions and discovered he has lived in CDN for a number of years but did experience some of the ethnic cleansing that we heard so much about.

I also noted that he had part of a digit missing on one hand and walked with an aid, though a relatively young man. He told me of being taken to a 'camp' for 8 months so I inquired if he had been torchered. "Many of us were beaten many times. Sometimes the beatings were so severe that a person became unrecognizable. When asked who it was, the person was unable to identify himself because his mouth was swollen so badly." He was guardedly cautious in his responses and I did not push for more details.

He told that he was of the 'wrong' kind so that's why he was taken to this camp. He had been betrayed by a school friend. When I queried if it was because he was a Christian he said, "Muslim. The Catholics and Muslims in our community were on the wrong side." His mental pain was obvious though quiet.

Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to bewilder me. We are so incredibly blessed to be living in a country that has a Christian heritage. Oh that it will continue for generations to come. May our children and grandchildren and their children be aware of the mercies of our God towards us and honor Him for it all. May our politicians acknowledge God's goodness to us and seek His guidance so that our country may continue strong and free and blessed by The Almighty One.

Monday, June 22, 2009

While I ponder something to be grateful for, I catch sight of movement in my back yard. Upon exploration I discover two young (teen?) robins, one on the fence, the other on my patio couch just outside the window. I take a closer look. The tummy area is speckled with hints of red, hence my thought they must been teens. The bird on the couch flew off and lightened his load before leaving....poop! grrrr ... so I'm still pondering gratitude.

Actually, I always have lots to be grateful for and today is no exception. It's very easy to let small things capture our mood, and once ingrained, the negativism can easily explode and splatter everyone within earshot.

Someone once said, "What you focus on grows." That applies to positive and negative emotions. It's our choice to make our lives positive by focusing on positives, especially during events that cause negative feelings.

I am so grateful to have discovered our reclining patio chairs to be the most comfortable chairs in our house. I can sit and rise without pain and they allow me to rest and even to accomplish various tasks. They will be used both inside and outside the house, all year long. What a wonderful discovery.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ah Yes, the Weather

Now that summer is here and we are thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and warmth, we are also subject to thunderstorms and occasional accompanying hail. But we have it good compared to other regions of our province and of our continent.

My son and his family live in Tennessee where they recently needed to take shelter in closets while horizontal winds of 100+ mph attacked their house. Fortunately they were spared damage to their property but numerous others were not. When the storms are not attacking their area high temperatures accompanied by high humidity are often the norm during the summer months. I'll try not to complain about -30 C this coming winter. Meanwhile I'll continue to pray for their safety through this stormy season.

I read the following comment recently in a gardening newsletter, posted by Jim Hole of Hole's Greenhouse near Edmonton: "It's so dry around here I saw two trees fighting over a dog the other day." He went on to give advice about water conservation while watering our lawns and gardens. While one part of the country is drowning with too much rain, another part is parched and begging for water.

Sometimes it's difficult to find something positive in our circumstances. Nevertheless, that is what we need to do in order to survive and thrive. What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer at Last

Summer has finally arrived in Calgary and wonderful it is to have some warmth. The plants are much happier too.

I have never considered worshipping the sun but I can certainly see how people could. In the mornings when I feel very groggy just sitting at the kitchen table with breakfast and a magazine while sunshine pours in through the east windows perks me up and sometimes keeps me there longer than it should.

I am so very grateful for summer sunshine and will soak up as much as I can while we have it. All too soon it will begin to slip away.

I am also grateful for the invention of Light Therapy and have found it to be very beneficial between October and February. When I start to feel blue and sluggish in October I know it's time to bring out the 'light' and let it cheer me up. As the sun moves south during the winter months, it's candle power in our part of the world is very diminished and our bodies sometimes react negatively to this lack of light. Just 30-60 minutes in the morning with my 'light' makes the rest of the day go much more smoothly.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

White Carpets

A beautiful white carpet of apple blossoms and S - N - O - W greeted us this morning.

I am grateful that not all my annuals are in the ground yet.

I am grateful that perennials generally withstand this sort of weather. It's not particularly cold, but the snow reminds us we live in Calgary and can expect it's visitation any time, all year. I'm converting my garden to more and more perennials, for obvious reasons. It's expensive and heartbreaking to lose so many flowering plants just after putting then into the ground.

I am grateful for a gardening concept I learned a few years ago called 'milk jug greenhouse'. Seeds are planted in specially prepared 4 litre milk jugs and then buried in the snow during the winter. When the plants begin to grow, they are very hardy because they have withstood the cold temperatures and grown in spite of it.

I am grateful for the quality of artificial plants and flowers which I have been know to purchase at the Dollar Store or Goodwill stores and strategically stick into the ground to give it the color I long for when real plants have not yet blessed me with their beauty.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cat Crap and Pigeon Poop

I'm not going to come across all nicey dicey this time. The neighbor's cats are crapping in my flower beds and making a mess. Very annoying. They are not supposed to be roaming away from their master's house but do anyways because their guardians basically don't care. We could have them collected by the city pound but have decided not to make the neighbors mad at us, so we put up with the nonsense.

Same neighbor has pigeons lodging in a nook on their roof. Their flight path is across our back yard which has become a depository for their extra weight. Our patio and patio furniture, the rockery and hubby's model train layout (complete with buildings, animals, people, and vehicles) all get christened from time to time.

Difficult to be positive sometimes.

I am reminded the principle is not 'to be thankful for all circumstances' but rather 'to be thankful in/through all circumstances'.

So, I'm thankful that hubby found me some very kool looking purple rubber gloves to use when I gardening.

As for the pigeons:

Birdie, birdie, in the sky,
I'm so glad that cows don't fly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Apple Blossoms and Owls

After spending a fabulous week in Edmonton with 4 grandchildren who were wonderfully good, I came home to discover that spring indeed had come to Calgary to stay. The trees in our front yard were covered in blossoms and I was very grateful that I got to see them dressed in their pretty colors (two trees, one pink, one white). These blossoms do not last long and are already dropping all over our driveway and front steps, messy but beautiful none the less.

Then we went for a walk in the neighborhood and were blessed with a sighting of the owls that have nested nearby for several years. We saw the parents and one baby but were informed by neighbors there are three babies this year. We hope to get a picture to post before they head off into the country.

My husband takes great delight in talking to animals (except pigeons) and started hooting. The baby was hunkering down for a nap and immediately stood up to see what was attempting to communicate. His mother, watched from a nearby rooftop and eventually convinced it to settled down again. They must have been preparing for their nightly hunt and junior needed some rest before heading out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Modern Day Technology

I did not know that I could run so fast, much less do so while managing stairs. Most often these days I look more like a cripple than an athlete.

At 5 a.m. the central sound system in my son's very modern home began blaring. Yikes! I jumped out of bed not exactly sure what to do. Questions tumbled through my mind..."Why is it on?" "Who turned it on?" "Did the grandchildren program it to come on so early as a prank?" "How do I turn it off???"

I found a control panel in the bedroom but for the life of me could not find the right buttons to either turn it off or decrease the incredible volume. The print is so small on stuff these days and when your heart is pounding and all you can think of is 'Turn it off!' finding glasses is not even on the radar.

I bolted down two flights of stairs to the kitchen and finally managed to find a volume control that worked. My granddaughter later showed me where the power button is to simply turn it off. I'm sure I hit the power button to no avail in the bedroom.

My heart still pounding I went back to bed, grateful that the children weren't all awake and either scared or laughing at me. Before falling asleep again questions plagued me..."Will it come on again?" "Who turned it on the first time?" "What's going on here?"

I also became aware that I had not experienced any pain during this workout. Adrenaline does wonders.

At the breakfast table a few hours later I questioned all the grandchildren about this incident. Thankfully only one had even heard it and they all assured me they had not set it to come on. The oldest of the four suggested perhaps there had been a power surge that triggered it and indeed there had been some flickering lights at bedtime.

Ah yes, modern technology. What would we do without electricity and all the modern gadgets we have become so blindly accustomed to using? Next time you use one of these modern day wonders, especially if it's frustrating you, be grateful for it all, and, perhaps ask a child to show you how to use it efficiently.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Half Way Around the World

Sometimes I curse modern technology, especially when I don't understand it, which seems to be a lot more often than I wish. At the moment I am in Edmonton looking after four grandchildren while their parents are in China picking up their new sibling.

The phone rings and when I answer it the line is dead. This has happened more than once so I think I'm doing something wrong and will have to ask the children to show me how to answer their telephone. Ridiculous! All these new telephones are different and claim to be very simple to use. Sometimes I long for the old fashioned telephone that you just picked up without having to push buttons.

On the other hand, I have discovered the amazing world of skype. We sit at the computer in Edmonton while my son and his wife are in China on their computer and we see each other clearly and talk to each other clearly. Wow! This is so amazing. And we are able to do this several times throughout the day. When we lived in Scotland 30+ years ago, we'd be fortunate to receive a hand written letter occasionally and telephone calls from family in Canada just a time or two a month.

Today I am very grateful for modern technology and will remember the day I met my newly adopted granddaughter the next time I feel like cursing all the gadgets and buttons that defy me.

See my new granddaughter

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And This Too Shall Pass

Amusement rides are intended to be fun, and they usually are for children and those who are children at heart with strong stomachs. I recall taking my son and another family of 3 to an amusement park. The boys were all about the same age, 8-10, while the lone girl was only 6. The boys often ran off without her, hopping on rides that she was unable to go on because of her size and age. She was a very good sport about it.

She did, however, strongly desire to go on one particular ride and the boys were nowhere to be found so I reluctantly agreed to accompany her. It seemed relatively harmless, just going round and round a bit of a distance off the ground.

We boarded and soon were off and spinning. I did not mind the first three times around but by then had had sufficient to suggest I was done now and would love to get off. The amusement park insists on giving patrons their money's worth so we kept going around and around and around. I was ready to scream, 'Enough already! Let me off!' but I resisted in order to save face with my little companion who was enjoying herself immensely.

I decided to sit back, relax, and focus on anything other than my intense desire to get off this ride realizing it would eventually stop. Watching my little companion revelling in delight helped. Thankfully, the ride did stop before I passed out or got sick.

This morning I was reminded of this incident while reflecting on the roller coaster ride I've been on with my health the past few months, wishing desperately to get off this ride. I enjoy coasting through the highs but dislike the plunges into the lows. Meanwhile this ride continues while I await surgery or healing by another means.

The other ride did eventually stop and so too will this one. I am determined to relax more through it and focus on my current companion through this ordeal, Jesus, who assures me He will never abandon me. I will look to Him for the good that is sure to come, and may even now be in view if I bother to seek out goodness instead of focusing on my pain.

Someone once said, 'What you focus on, grows.' "Pain, it's time you took a back seat so I can see past you to all the goodness around me." I am so very grateful for my current companions on the rides of my life... my husband, my family, my friends, and my Lord. I am also very grateful to know that 'this too shall pass'.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gratitude is a Discipline

Learning to think and express gratitude when life is throwing you 'crap' is a decided self discipline and, just like brushing your teeth, after consistent effort it becomes easier to do and eventually one can engage it without a second thought.

This morning I was very grateful that my husband was home when we discovered 2 of the neighbor's 3 friendly, rambunctious Husky dogs in our back yard. My husband loves dogs and makes friends with them almost immediately. I tolerate dogs but most of them know that I don't easily give them much affection. Instinctively they gravitate towards me, either to attempt to win my affection or to harass me (I'm guessing the latter!).

Somehow they entered our back yard from their back yard, possibly through a loose fence board. In the short while they enjoyed our premises, their signature was left on our lawn, in my flower beds, and on my glass patio doors. It's a good thing they were discovered by us and their owners in short order before any serious damage was done or I might have had to work harder at exercising amicable behaviour.

Hubby and their owners quickly guided them back to their pen and I surveyed the damage, which in reality was very minimal. Another reason to be grateful.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sunshine and Roses

Today I'm very grateful for the sunshine (after a few days of dreary, cold weather). My body doesn't deal well with the unsettled, cold, low atmospheric pressure days, so I plan to soak up as much sun as I can today.

A few years ago I struggled with growing roses. They were in my front flowerbed, on the south side of our house which is sunny when the sun cares to shine in our part of the world. I could not understand why they were doing so poorly. Eventually I realized that the two trees in my front yard were providing shade during the heat of the day, which was great for keeping my house cooler on hot days, but did nothing for my struggling roses. I moved them to a sunnier location and enjoyed their thriving beauty last summer.

Human roses, like me, and you (?) need lots of sunshine too so we can be at our best. Don't forget the sunscreen. I'm off to soak up some rays!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Gratitude Garden

When toxic weeds threaten to choke out and destroy
all the goodness you've planted in the garden of your life;

Apply a simple, cost effective, home-made solution.
Choke out those destructive weeds with a thick layer of gratitude.

The weeds' poisons will turn to tonic.
Weed stock will become fertilizing compost.

Shower your life with prayers of blessing;
Fragrant flowers will blossom to heal the wounds of your soul.

Pouring Lemons?

Today it poured. Rain, snow, sleet, hail...all at once, leaving piles of white stuff on the lawn and wherever the wind blew it.

This is May, for goodness sakes...we are supposed to have sunshine and flowers, so I was taught as a child. But then, I grew up in SE Alberta in near desert conditions during the summer so it probably doesn't apply to Calgary.

I grew up with the phrase, April showers bring May flowers.

I suppose in Calgary it's May showers bring June/July flowers.

I'm so glad I was taught to make lemonade when life gives me lemons.

I am grateful for flowers whenever they arrive.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thanks for Red Lights?

I never dreamed I'd be saying 'thanks' for red lights. Often I'm running late and red lights just add to my tardiness and frustration. Then I'm tempted to speed (but I don't) to make up lost time and hope to still arrive at my destination/appointment on time.

Recently I was once again just a tad later than I wished so decided to call my daughter to tell her I was running late to pick her up for a trip downtown. I grabbed my cell phone and began dialing her number, while I was driving...that's a no-no but I still do it on rare occasions. As I approached an intersection the light turned red and I breathed a sigh of relief, said 'Thank you!' and quickly passed along the information before the light turned green so I could put the phone down and drive with a clear conscience.