Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday - September 4, 2008

Iris over at Sting My Heart is hosting a wonderful "Thankful Thursday" and I just couldn't help but join in today with all the other wonderful people who have found so much to be thankful for. She had picked as her theme the following verse, and it just seemed so appropriate to what has been in my heart today, too.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: … a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

I've had so many "times" and "seasons" in my life. Sometimes it's a wonderful thing to reflect back and see the times of planting, the times of plucking, the times of things being born, and yes. . . even the times when loved ones, ideas and plans die. The sum of it all is . . . .ME! Who I am. Who I've become. The road I've traveled. What I've left behind. What I've picked up along the way. Who I've met. Who my friends are. Friends I've lost. What's important. What I've come to realize is not important at all.

Some of those seasons were wonderful --- I call them Springtime. Times when I looked forward to new places, new adventures. Some of those seasons were Summers of hot, toiling work, wondering if it was all worth it. Other seasons were Fall with harvest, colors, the fruit of labors (or realizing that it was all in vain). And then the season of Winter. . . .

I think Winter is where I am now. Cancer has a way of stripping you of all your outward defenses. No more plastic smiles and cheery phrases. No more looking strong and pretty. No more dress up to cover what's eating away at you. It's like the Lord has taken me like a seed and shoved me deep into the earth for the Winter season, and we're waiting to see what comes up in the Spring. No blooms right now. No song. No productive activity. No nest building. Just . . .Winter.

But even in the season of Winter there is hope, isn't there? The sun still shines, even on the darkest of days, and when I have no song, someone else has one to give me.

I wasn't very thankful yesterday. I whined a lot to God, my sister, my roommate and whoever else would listen. Yet, the Lord never said a harsh word to me, never put me down, and gently saw me through the day.

Today? In the midst of my "winter" season, I am so thankful for:

1. A new day to start over with more strength than yesterday.
2. A Dr. visit (that I almost cancelled!) with great news that the tumor has shrunk and the underarm cancer involvement is way down!!!!!
3. I lost 6 more pounds.
4. My sister who never gives up on me.
5. My neighbors who pray constantly for me.
6. My blogging friends who lift me up with encouragement and prayers.
7. And best of all for today. . . .

While walking into the Cancer Center today, my sister and I looked up and saw two eagles circling overhead! My all-time favorite bird, I think. I could not help at that moment but feel that I was rising up on wings of eagles, and that I WOULD walk and not be weary, and that I WOULD run and not faint!

The Lord sends encouragement just at the right time in the right way for each of us, doesn't He? Sometimes it's a phone call, sometimes it's a card, sometimes it's a slobbery, wet Buster kiss . . .and sometimes its a bird with a reminder that His promises are as good as His Word and will stand no matter what. . .even through the Winter seasons of our lives!


Juri said...

Cor...I would never give up on you, I love you! You can lean on me with your tears and rants all you want, but I am never going to let you give it up, you know that! As for the eagles today, that was so fantastic, wasn't it? Of course, you know me, I saw some humor in this, too. There were were, the two old sisters, me with my cane, you with your bald head...standing in the middle of the parking lot looking up in the sky, holding up the UPS truck (did you notice he was looking up too, to see what you and I were looking at?)...and there we stood until I decided I was going to faint in that position (looking up into the sun).

I think we have to work on the emotional aspect of cancer. We talk about it, you were open about it in your last post....and anyone who has been through it, like me, knows where you are coming from....remember I said, "I was forced to join a club, the cancer club, that I did not want to belong to" Cancer becomes everything in your mind, soul, and becomes "all about me and my cancer".....and you have to do what you did today....look up and see the eagles. Look down and see Buster begging for your love. Look over the fence and see me watching to see if you are up to coming over and chat with me. Look next to you and see your roommate waiting for your company. Look back and see your best friend waiting to help you in any way she can. Look over the miles and see your other sister wanting so much to say the right words to help you, loving you, and your brothers caring about your fight for your life. You have more than you know, have all these people that come to your blog, praying for you. Most of all, you have Jesus who really knows what you are going through! During your seven days of horror each three weeks, somehow, you have to pull on those things....and do it one thought, one breath, one moment at a time. I love you, Cor...


StitchinByTheLake said...

Eagles! What an awesome word from the Lord! Courage Cora - God is working. blessings, marlene

This simple Life said...

Good lord, you and your sister are trying to make me cry.
I am so sorry for all that cancer is doing to you but try to see all that it can not do to you. It can't take your spirit. God bless.

Jan and Tom's Place said...


We're praying for you...every day! And, you're included in our DAY of PRAYER post on our blog EVERY TUESDAY.


Raquel said...

Oh Cora! I have tears in my eyes. You may be in winter, but winter is one of my favorite seasons. yes, it can be destructive, but also so beautiful. What can match the beauty of a snow swept landscape? Or of snow falling in big, fat, fluffy flakes to pile softly in pillow-like clouds on tree branches? Or of ice, sparkling like diamonds in the weak rays of the winter sun? Beauty is where you find it! I am so happy to hear that the tumor has shrunk, We serve a MIGHTY GOD! Much love, Raquel XO

The Shabby Secret Garden said...

Oh Cora,
I'm so glad you saw thee eagles!
That is just awesome.
I think of you so often and I'm so glad you posted today. I'm thankful for YOU ya know!
Hugs, eagle wings, and crumbcake

Denise said...

This was beautiful, I really enjoyed it.

Linda said...

Shrinkage is not always good as Jerry Seinfeld once joked about, but this time it is WONDERFUL. Cora, I hope you write a book when you are through with this journey. You have a way with words and after what you went through this week, you still find so much positive. You amaze me!

hugs, Linda

Julie said...

What you wrote needs to be put in a newsletter or something for those dealing with cancer--that was so inspirational. So glad that your tumor has shrunk--yea!! Julie

Wanita said...

What a wonderful post Cora. You are an encouragement, even in your winter season.

So glad to hear the good news about the tumor shrinking.

You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Deborah said...

What a beautiful post, cora! I love your really should write a book!
When I was writing my book, I considered using the seasons of life as a theme, but decided not to...I thought, how can I write about winter, when I haven't experienced it yet? At the time, my dad was sick, and there were other struggles I was dealing with...but not enough to give me the wisdom of winter. You my friend are in that season...and you are such an encouragement and blessing in the honesty of your posts.
I'm so glad you got some good news!

Serendipity said...

What a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading it! And eagles! I've always experience that too whenever I'm discouraged. Somehow I'd spot one or two eagles soaring up in the sky. It's so comforting to know that God is near and watching over us.

Remain blessed!

Linda said...

Love your post! :)

Just remind yourself that most biblical figures had to go through a 'desert' at some point in life.. and usually right before something GREAT happened..

Moses had to go through the desert for 40 years.. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days.. there are much more examples which I do not recall this instance, but you get the idea ;)

greetings from holland!

2 Much Farm Primitives said...

Cora......for once I'm a lump in my throat........tears in my eyes......I love you girl. That's great news. Just keep on keepin' on ;)


Toni said...

Thanks for sharing your feelings with all of us. That`s great news about the tumor shrinking!!Yay!! Also,I love that God sent an Eagle to fly overhead at that very moment!! He always knows what we need:) Take care!!Love and blessings,Toni

Thia said...

I don't comment often, but I do read. I just wanted to send you some hugs.

Nen said...

definitely something i needed to hear today... thank you...

Renna said...

I loved your post, Cora, the beautiful and transparent way you shared your heart. I loved your sister, Juri's, response to it, too. You gals are such a shining example of true Christ-like love.

I know two different sets of sisters who are bitter toward each other, spiteful of each other, and jealous of each other. I see the beautiful and giving relationship with you two, and think how tragic that the other two sets of sisters are missing out on such an opportunity of friendship.

I got chills when I read about the eagles, not one, but two. What an awesome way God has of showing us we are in His heart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cora,
Sisters are wonderful, aren't they?
I can just see you two looking up at the eagles. Juri, really gave a vivid account of it.
I am still admiring your strength and faith.
Good thought and prayers sent your way from Georgia.
Take care in all the storms.

Debra said...

Cora, I can't think of a thing to say except how awesome you and Juri are. I'm all teary, but a GOOD teary.
Love, Debra

Kayb said...

Hi Cora,
Wow. That's some testimony you have! Thank you for your honesty and for letting us walk a little with you. The Lord is good.
I know what you mean about seeing the Eagles and how the Lord encouraged you by them. I feel the same way about "shooting stars". My vision is so poor -- years ago, once when "everyone" of the group was seeing them in the crisp Winter night, I seemed to be the only one who couldn't catch sight of even ONE.
Finally everybody was tired of seeing them and was going inside and here I was... still scanning the sky, shivering. "Please, Lord...?" I prayed. Just then, directly in front of my vision so I didn't even have to turn my eyes let alone my head, there was a little shooting star....... gliding right in my line of sight. The Lord has given much more dramatic answers to prayer than this... but this one, way back when, was tender and personal. He knew I'd always remember it and take the gesture personally too. Isn't that just like Him? The Creator has you in His Hands. But don't picture it like open palms side by side -- think of gently cupped Hands below and above -- like sheltering a baby bird. Taking personal care of you, and me too!
Thanks so much for all your blogs, Cora. You'll be in my prayers.

Cheryl said...

Eagles, what a great way to compare to life. I have watched eagles fly and felt a peacefulness at the beauty of their motions. I am sorry to hear you are sick but you have a good attitude. God is good. HE will comfort you. Sounds like HE is working through your family and friends to do just that! Lucky you, to have a wonderful bunch of people who love you!! God Bless~

A happy heart at home said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog. That's great about the tumor shrinking! (((Hugs)))


Kay said...

Cora - you are such an amazing person. Even in this Winter season of your life you are an encouragement to others!! God is using you and growing you during this time.

Praise the Lord that the tumor is shrinking. That is an answer to prayer.

Love and hugs,

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

I can't help but thinking that even in the often bleak darkness of winter, those little seeds are blanketed in warmth & protection while they wait to bloom again.

You will bloom! Joy cometh in the morning!

Warm hugs,