Saturday, January 12, 2013

Remember Not to Forget

   I've been forgetting a lot lately. I will be talking and in the middle of a sentence totally lose the word I want to use. I usually am able to describe the word I want and my friends are becoming good at playing guessing games. It's really frustrating because I know I'm doing it; I am thankful it isn't permanent. It's a lovely irritation known as "chemo brain." Some of my friends have been exhibiting some of the symptoms...I'm thinking they are having "sympathy chemo brain." (Wow, that could be a study!)
  I had to smile this week when I saw the title of one of my devotions, "Don't Forget." I thought, "That's easier said than done." The scripture for the passage was Numbers 9:1-23, where God gives instruction on how to celebrate Passover to remember all God orchestrated to bring the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land. This act of celebrating Passover served to "jog" their them to remember not to forget.
   "As humans, we are forgetful people, and as forgetful people we need tangible reminders- symbols- of who God is and what He's done." (Eugene Peterson, The Message//Remix: Solo An Uncommon Devotional) Yes, I resemble that remark. The devotion goes on to suggest you create symbol to remind you of God's faithfulness.
   I got to thinking, I already employ that method. I haven't really "made" symbols, but have picked them up or received them as gifts. Not only do I use these symbols to remind me of God's faithfulness, but to remember specific prayer requests. Here are some of my "symbols" and their meanings:
  • Hope Trinity Cross necklace (3 parts that form 1 cross)-the certainty of God's promises
  • Star of David with a cross in the center-God's covenants and the fulness of the New Covenant completed in Christ
  • Silver Survivor Ribbon- God's faithfulness as I survived breast cancer and will survive leukemia 
  • Puzzle piece (from camp)- I am a piece of God's grand design; I have a purpose.
  • Rock from the shore of the Baltic Sea- Pray for Estonia: Camp Gideon and The Lighthouse
  • A rock from Mable Ha Creek, Belize- Pray for the pastors, churches, Sunday schools and  people of Belize
  •  A piece of barbed wire- Pray for my brothers and sisters of the suffering church
   Okay, I didn't realize I used so many memory aids. I'm glad I do remember all these things and more,  because each of these memories are an important part of who I am and  am becoming.
   What are some of the symbols you use to remind you of God's faithfulness and provision?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


   Before this day is over, I wanted to do my first blog post of the new year. It seems like this is the time everyone reflects over the past year and makes plans for the coming year.
   Last year was a roller coaster kind of year for me. I had a blast celebrating my 50th birthday with a trip on Route 66. I got ready to celebrate being 5 years cancer free from breast cancer. Got diagnosed with leukemia. JOY became my word! God proved Himself faithful over and over. Family, friends, and my healthcare team cared for me and loved me through some not-so-fun times.Had a four week stay in the hospital. Blogging helped me work through a lot of emotions. I had an article featured in Heart Magazine, an online Christian woman's magazine. Started a second round of arsenic. Enjoyed Christmas with family and friends. (For more details, you can check out my previous posts.)
   This year my word seems to be HOPE. A few weeks ago during my weekly Bible study, I got a new perspective on HOPE (see previous post). Since then, HOPE has been showing up a lot. My sis shared the following quote by Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD prolific Christian author)- "Hope is patience with the lamp lit." Jeremiah 29:11-13 has crossed my path several times.  Because I see HOPE as a "sure thing" instead of "wishful thinking," I am more encouraged and assured of my place in God's hands. 
   I enjoyed bringing in the new year with family and friends. Today was my first official day of retirement from 28 years of teaching. I will go to day 5 of round 2 of chemo tomorrow, even though I would rather be lying in a hammock on a beach in Belize. I will be tired and take lots of naps. I will continue to be blessed by family and friends who love me well. God will continue to be faithful and my HOPE will be in His love for me!