Faith and Story, Story and Faith

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My parents tell me the first place they took each of us as babies was church.  Faith has played a central role in my story ever since.  Thanks to my parents, from the beginning of my life faith has been a part of my story.

I was recently asked to share my “story.”  But with the understanding that many who would read it were “of different backgrounds” and would not want to hear “faith”, only story.  They wanted to know how I coped with Maffucci Syndrome and chondrosarcoma without hearing that faith played a role.

I can’t separate the two.  I honestly don’t want to. I understand that not everyone is a person of faith, and that all still have a story.  However, without faith, my story would be totally different.  Without story, the peaks and the valleys , the gifts and the graces, my faith would look very different.  In the valleys of my life, I’ve leaned heavily on my faith.  It’s where I drew strength and hope.  During the peaks of life, I’ve celebrated the goodness of the Almighty God, who didn’t desert me at my darkest moments.  I cannot imagine my life without either.

Separating the two for me would be like trying to remove the oxygen from water.  Please don’t ask me to try.  My story, my faith, they are inseparable.  They make me who I am.

I am a child of God.  God has forgiven and redeemed.  When I have been empty, God has filled and refilled.  God’s been with me when I’ve struggled and when I’ve failed and when I’ve succeeded and achieved.  God has never left me in sickness or in health.  On the darkest days, God carries me and gives courage for tomorrow.  On the most beautiful days, God celebrates with us.  On the days we blow it and let sin and weakness have our hearts, God does not abandon us.  When we try to remove him from our story, He stays anyway.  He knows our griefs and burdens, our heartaches and sadness.  He’s ready to hold us again.  He’s ready and willing to be a part of our story again.  He waits for us.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

Be of good courage my friends.  You are loved by a faithful God.

Love, Cindy

 

It’s Complicated. (But)

Do you dislike that statement as much as I do?  Somehow to me “It’s Bethany ChristmasComplicated” says “It’s too hard or It’s too challenging or maybe It’s just too much.”  And then there is the statement “It is what it is.”  UGH!  I’ve had a lot of discussions about that statement too… Not everyone agrees with me, but what I hear is, “You just have to accept it.  It can’t be changed.”  Something rises up within me when I hear this and it fires me up.  I start thinking… “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…”

My heart is pricked when I allow myself to think I have to accept things as they are.  As my Mom would say, “It rubs me the wrong way.”  I don’t mean that we should deny truth.  I just don’t believe we have to be defeated by it.  I’m beginning to think that is one of the fine lines between faith and unbelief.  Accepting that circumstances are difficult is “truth.”  Believing God can enter those circumstances and turn them for good is faith.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Heb 11:1

We thought we had arrived at a place where we were going to be able to secure our girl a placement and start her on a life of independence.  The treatment team had worked months planning.  Then last week we got some news that rocked our world. She’s not eligible.  By the time Friday arrived and we had our last meeting for the week, it felt like we were spinning out of control, eyes crossed and glossed over and struggling to focus.  It’s how I imagine figure skaters feel when they do those dizzying spins at the end of their program.

The truth is:  Our girl is difficult to help.  She’s “complex.”  Her IQ is not quite low enough to make her appropriate for some services and not nearly high enough for others.  Her ability to safely function prevents her from living on her own and also from being appropriate for community services.   Her age makes her too old for some programs and too young for others.  Some programs only work with males and some with females.  Some accept insurance, some don’t.  Some will take a person in parental custody, some won’t.  She’ll be 18 in a few months and we have a lot to figure out.

One recommendation is to place her in state custody right before she turns 18, which would insure she would have an appropriate placement.  Well, maybe.  The state gets to choose what programs they are going to fund for which child.  This is called “The Devil’s Deal.”  Relinquishing custody of your child in order to get necessary medical services (you hope… it’s not a guarantee).  You would not believe how many people have to do this.  It’s wrong and we need to take a stand against it!  Her treatment team believes this will cause her to regress and it will be detrimental.

There is something called EPSDT funding, which is available through the federal government.  Children who have been through the foster/adopt system may have a better chance to access this funding, but if Medicaid bulks, it can require a federal lawsuit.  But it doesn’t require relinquishment of custody.  This we believe, is our best option.  Confused yet?

Then there is guardianship.  The waters even get muddier here.  Hopefully an attorney can help us sort this out.  We’ve been assured that we want to keep her in the “Child System” until she’s 21.  The “Adult  System” is “too dangerous and she’s too fragile.”  We believe we’ve gotten her extended in the child system until she’s 21 by virtue of the seriousness of her challenges.  But we’re far from being done.

So you see, “It IS Complicated.”  But.  I believe.  Only God can make a difference.  Only God can show us the way.  God has her best interests in mind.  He loves our girl and he loves us.  We believe God has “purpose” for each of us and that includes our very “complex and complicated” child.

Let me tell you about her strengths.  She’s hysterically funny.  She’s bold and courageous.  She is kind to the elderly.  She wants to make good choices and tries harder than anyone I know to “be good”.  She has amazingly good manners and is almost always the first in the room to say “Thank you.  Please.  Excuse me.”  She can be kind.  She is witty.  She is insightful.  She challenges you to be better.  She is our precious child and a precious child of God.  She loves and is loved.  Purpose… you see what I mean?

It is indeed complicated.  But we will not be defeated.  She is worth the fight.  Her life matters.  With God all things are possible and that includes doing what is right for her.

We are not the only one’s who face challenging things.  We know many other parents who are fighting for their special needs children, many facing “The Devil’s Deal.”  So many of our friends are struggling in their marriages, with personal finances, with illnesses, with addiction, with depression, with heartbreak.  Please be gentle with others.  And remember, it may be complicated, but you don’t have to be defeated.

Much love,
Cindy

Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.”  Jeremiah 32:17 NASB

 

 

Hand Mimi, Hand

Cindy AlexWritten Jan 3, 2014 12:02pm by Cindy McMurry

“Hand Mimi, Hand.”

Last year I had no idea how precious those words would be. I had no idea how much love and joy I would experience by one little hand grabbing onto mine and in his words asking to go marching along, singing a song… any ole song will do if you’re holding hands.  Did you know you could march to “Away in a Manger”?  Trust me, you can.  “Six Little Ducks,” “The BIBLE,” “Deep and Wide,” “Running Over,” “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”… they will all work just fine as long as you are holding the hand of a two year old.

Grasping hands in prayer
Building puzzles
Coloring
Holding a prized toy
Tickling
Wrapping gifts
Cooking meals
Tearing into gifts
Changing diapers
Driving
Playing cards
Playing on the piano
Holding a Book
Touching
Eating
Patting children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews
Washing dishes
Combing Hair
Petting our pets
Typing
Writing
Yes, even paying bills
Today I was able to unload the dishwasher.  If you could have seen John’s expression… it was priceless.  I was quick to point out that he shouldn’t get used to it.  😉

Each day is a gift.  Each new thing I’m able to accomplish is a beautiful thing.  We recognize how blessed and fortunate we are.  My physicians and physical therapists are pleased at how my mobility continues to increase.  Fatigue sets in very quickly and most jobs take much more time than what it would have in the past.  But, I’m doing them.  Strength is slow in rebuilding.  But, you did read that right, it IS rebuilding.

Physical therapy has been marvelous.  Yes, it hurts.  It’s time consuming (2-3 hours a day).  It’s exhausting.  It’s demanding.  We see increases and then declines, but I rebound quickly.  Pushing through the discomfort and pain is worth it.  Already my mobility far exceeds what was expected.  We are so grateful!!

Just imagine, only five months ago we were not sure I would have an arm.  Today, I unloaded the dishwasher.  A few weeks ago, I wrapped all of our Christmas gifts.  Two weeks ago I held and played with both of our grandchildren.  It’s been a precious season in our lives.  Many of the things that we didn’t know if I would ever do again… just the normal things… I’m doing.  And that my friends is a gift from the Lord.

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Our idea of “good gift” has changed.  It’s not so much about the big things or dollars falling from heaven.  It’s minutes, precious minutes.  It’s holding the hands of sweet children.  It’s playing.  It’s laughter.  It’s hearing the Word.  It’s grasping hands with loved one’s in prayer.  It whispering I love you’s.  It’s quiet moments… time with your friends… reading a good book…  Thank you Lord for loving us so by blessing us with so many gifts.

In the last few days we’ve heard from two more friends who are in the push and pull of cancer.  One is having surgery tomorrow and needs your prayers.  Several friends are pushing through chemo and radiation.  Some are waiting on reports and test results.  Others are battling through addiction and depression.  Many are very, very frightened.  Some are angry.  I pray that each of you would be find a quiet place and find joy in the precious minutes in your life.

Remember, you may not know what challenges another person may be facing.  Be gentle with one another.

We love you,
Cindy and John

ps. I forgot to tell you, I’m sorry for being so slow about writing.  I am setting up a blog.  It’s been a bit time consuming.  Eventually I plan to move the posts from here to it.  When established it will be called “It’s Another Day of Grace.” Stay tuned.  xoxo

Mom, I’m Scared…

Cindy Bethany SLC 3Written Nov 12, 2013 8:03am by Cindy McMurry

“I’m scared that your cancer will come back.  I’m scared that you will die.  Mom, even if you do live 30 more years, I won’t be 50 yet.  Who will take care of me?  Who will make sure that I’m going to be safe?  Who will fight for me?  …Mom, I lay in bed and worry about this at night.”

Cancer has threatened our girl’s already vulnerable security.  We have walked through this fiery furnace for years and years.  For her, the biggest, ugliest kind of scary, even worse than death …is being alone or abandoned.  My healing and recovery are going very well, but her fear is part of our journey with cancer too.  She needs assurance she’s not going to be left alone.  I expect we all crave that assurance, if truth be told.

I endeavor to respond to her with honesty, but I also feel the need to temper my words with as much grace as possible.  There are many people who love and cherish her, but none more than God.  I reminded her that my latest scans were clear and I would continue taking good care of myself and follow up with my physicians.  We have no promises that the cancer will not recur, but as believers, we have the assurance that we won’t go through any fiery trial alone.

John and I have been studying the book of Daniel.  God has amazing timing!   Chapter 3 of Daniel details the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.  He and I had been chewing on the scripture for days.

In case you don’t know the story, I’ll give you a quick synopsis. King Nebuchnezzar erected a golden statue of himself and demanded that all the people bow anytime music was played.  If they didn’t, he would put them to death.  The three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego refused.  The king got bent out of shape, but gave them another chance.  Again, they refused saying ” If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  The king was outraged by the audacity and ordered that the furnace be heated 7x it’s normal heat.  He had them bound and thrown into the furnace.  The guards who threw them in were killed by the intense heat.  The king was astonished when he looked into the furnace to see that they did not burn, they were walking around and there was a fourth man in the fire with them.  The king called them out.  All the witnesses saw that their hair was not singed, the ropes they had been bound with were burned off, but their clothes didn’t even smell of smoke. Nebuchadnezzar declares, “…there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

If you are going through a fiery furnace yourself let me tell you, you are not alone.  Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego experienced, you will not go through the fire by yourself.  Beth Moore teaches that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego had confidence that God was “able” to deliver them “from the fire, through the fire or by the fire.”  We hope to escape “from” the fire altogether.  But if we have to be in the fire we certainly want to be delivered “through” the fire.  If not that, then Lord let us be delivered “by” the fire.  Whichever way, let us keep our confidence that the “God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us” from the fiery furnace we face.

Bethany has struggled for years to feel safe in attachments to the people who love her the most.  It has been her lifelong fear that she will be alone.  The health crisis our family has faced has stoked the fire of fear of being left alone in a world that she is unable to negotiate without considerable help.  While we can’t fix this for her, we can encourage her that she is loved and cherished by others, that we have set a plan in motion for her if something should happens and that God will not abandon her.

So many folks are experiencing fiery trials today.  I can’t help but think of the folks in the Philippines.  There are those who are serving our country on foreign soil and are away from their families.  There are those who don’t know where their next meal will come from or where they will sleep  tonight.  There are those suffering from depression, addiction, isolation, fear and anxiety.  Some are watching their families collapse or face unexpected challenges.  There are those who are facing down life threatening illnesses.  Some are grieving the loss of security, health, family, income, dreams, jobs, relationships or home.

Let me remind you “…there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

Please pray for one another, be gentle with one another.  Remember, you never know what fiery trial someone else is facing.

We love you,
Cindy and John

Holy Ground

Written Oct 23, 2013 1:42pm by Cindy McMurry

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but not because I haven’t been thinking or busy.  Therapy is going well.  I’m starting to go from assisted to unassisted movement and lots of core work.  It’s important that I have enough core strength to manage balance and falls because I can’t really “catch” myself with my arms if I fall.  I’m also driving… just a little for now.  It’s a lot of work re-learning how to manage the steering wheel, but we are moving forward.  I’m so grateful!

John and I have been listening to a course on “Books that Changed History.”  One of the books the lecturer chose was “Exodus.”  I’ve been chewing on it every since.  I think sometimes we like to look for the easy answers to our challenges and wish the journey wasn’t so difficult.  Many in our family and several friends are facing painful and challenging journeys.  I’d like to share with you what has been an encouragement to me the last few weeks.

Moses was going about his business, doing his job when he saw the burning bush.  The Lord told him to remove his shoes, he was standing on Holy Ground.  And then the Lord proceeded to explain to Moses that he’d heard the cries of the Israelites and he was going to deliver them out of bondage.  And the journey began…

When thinking about this, it struck me that God could have just done it.  There did not need to be a process to the deliverance from bondage.  So, Why was there?

The journey was long.  It was complicated.  It was difficult.  It was frustrating.  It was painful.  It was draining.  It was work.  Even though the Israelites were desperate for deliverance, they also were uncomfortable going through the process.  Sound familiar?

I’m coming to realize that when we face difficulties or in this case, bondage; the journey, the deliverance shapes us.  It has purpose.  We move from one’s who are stuck in one place and hopefully arrive at a place where we become better, fuller, more gracious, with a clearer understanding, a more compassionate people.  If we allow it, this journey may be a holy journey, that leads to the promised land.

When I heard the news that I had a recurrence of cancer there was a part of me that just wanted to stand still and do nothing.  I mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G.  I was frightened.  Information seemed to coming at the speed of a bullet and yet I was moving in slow motion.  I did not want to change if change meant losing mobility… or even worse.  I had cancer and I was terrified.  If I did have it removed, I might lose my arm and mobility.  If I didn’t have it removed, I would eventually lose my life.  Fear became bondage for me… even if only briefly.  Then we had a burning bush moment, our friend Jerry spoke at church and we believed we could push onward.

In the past few weeks we’ve had many family and friends have unexpected journeys put before them.  Some of them are still in shock and are struggling to place one foot in front of the other.  Others are laboring and pushing against that which could consume them, fighting  against the pressure to give in.  Some are pressing forward through depression, some through grief, some through sickness, some through loss of relationships, some through loss of income, some through addiction, some through loss of identity, some through fear, some through demons that have tormented them for years.  But, for all of us, it can be a holy journey that shapes us and refines our character and our spirit.

It seems to me that part of the journey is also the decision about our attitude.  Will we allow bitterness, anger, regret and misery to rule us or will we choose to plow through those things and be further refined?  We also have a tendency to get frustrated with those who are wrestling with things that are destructive.  But as we would want for ourselves, they need us to extend to them grace and understanding.

In the past week, we had an event that took our breath away.  It completely caught us off guard and frankly broke the hearts of many.  But through that we learned a few things.  First: There but by the grace of God go I.  Second:  The journey ahead will be difficult, but taking the first step forward propels you toward deliverance and a holy journey it will be.  Third:  Pain, Grief, Loss, Bondage of any kind, is not exclusive to the person at the center of it.  Your family and friends will have the opportunity to be shaped by the journey as well.

When we reflect on our journey from the past few months, we’re in awe of how the Lord has used this time to shape us.  We pray for each of you as you walk your journey on holy ground.

We love you,
Cindy and John

The Best Surprise!

Derrick and AlexWritten Oct 3, 2013 9:18am by Cindy McMurry

Thank God for his mercy…

My son, Derrick arrived back on US soil about 15 days ago.  I had a lot of folks ask if he’d called or if I had seen him.  I kept responding that he needed to reunite with his wife and son and I didn’t expect him to call or come see me anytime soon.  I was enjoying the pictures they posted and just thankful they were with one another. They needed time together.

However, after about 5 days, I began thinking that he really ought to call.  I texted his wife and asked her to have him call when they had time.  Silence.  My flesh got in the way and I started to let my feelings get hurt.

John took me to NC to meet my sister, and brother in laws.  He acted a bit grumpy on the trip.  My exhaustion was getting the better of me and I thought he was annoyed that he had to help me so much.  In my head I was coming up with all kinds of ideas that made no sense… yada yada yada.  Does this ever happen to you?  My flesh was getting in the way, but I was trying hard to keep my frustration under control.  Thankfully, I did not stick my foot in my mouth.

When we got to NC, we met up with Betsy and Rich at a little Italian Restaurant.  John disappeared.  I was beginning to think he was sick or something.  We placed our order and just about that time, Rich and Betsy looked up in shock, I turned around, and there was my son, Tanya and Alex.  I still get teary eyed just thinking about it.

Tanya and John had worked out all of the details and made arrangements to surprise me.  It was so sweet and touched my heart.

I’m overwhelmed by the love of God and the love and support from our family.  This has not been an easy time in our lives and seeing the kids was just what I needed.  We had a lovely time together.  Betsy did a lot of the cooking (Thank you Bets) and Derrick spent time showing us pictures and telling us about his time in Afghanistan (he climbed a mountain that was like 10,000 ft folks, the pictures are amazing!).  We all enjoyed watching Alex play and bonding with him, he’s a lot of fun.  The sunsets were stunning and we were richly blessed just being together.

Betsy, John and I have all gotten a virus since the weekend that’s taken the wind out of our sails, but I’m still relishing the trip and the time we all had together.  Thanks to John, Tanya, Bill, Betsy and Rich for making this such a great time.  Especially thanks to Derrick not just for surprising me and supporting me through this time, but also for serving our country with honor and dignity.  Welcome home Bud, we are so grateful to have you back.

“When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord saying; ‘For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.’” 2 Chronicles 7:3

Please remember friends and family who face illness, heartbreak and difficult times, those serving in government, those serving in the military, our wounded veterans and those who are unemployed.  Many are facing difficult times and need to know that God is near.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We love you,
Cindy and John

“Wrestling with Alligators”

Written Sep 24, 2013 2:11pm by Cindy McMurry

“Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24b

My husband uses the term “Wrestling with Alligators”.  I always had some sense of what it meant, but these days it’s taken on a whole new meaning.  Have you noticed that with one significant challenge, there are many others that will  hitch a ride?  Some are easier to work through than others… but challenging they are.

This recurrence of chondrosarcoma has given us many opportunities to shout out to God, “Lord We believe!”  But help us when we our faith grows weak.  There are spiritual, emotional and physical battles.  I remember a book from years ago “Man on Three Dimensions” which addressed the body, spirit and soul.   This book helped me to see that wrestling in one area, affects all areas.  Overcoming a physical challenge requires the body, the spirit and the soul.  A spiritual or emotional battle also effects all three.  I don’t believe we can separate or divide that which God has made to work together.  But try we will… Lord help our unbelief.

Some days it feels like we’ve got it all together… Easy Peasy, no problem.  But then there are days when the alligators seem to be getting the best of us… and we cry out… “Lord, Help my unbelief.”

Our girl Bethany has had many struggles lately.  She’d been doing better, but me having another chondrosarcoma seems to have set her back a bit.  Trying to help her sort out her pain and be grounded is difficult in itself.  Add to that fear, loneliness and frustration and she becomes unhinged.  Wrestling this alligator never ends, for her or for us.  Sometimes it’s more difficult than others… Lord, help our unbelief.

Dressing, reaching, cooking, laundry… all are some big ole alligators.  I will wrestle them… yes I will.  I’ve learned that if I stand on my tip toes and brace my right arm with my left hand I can reach a bit.  I can dress myself, but wrestling into clothes has aggravated a hemangioma on my left elbow so I’m trying to only dress myself in a crunch and relying on John otherwise.  (He’s been wonderful, by the way.)   Thank the Lord for frozen meals… you may not call it cooking, but right now, it’s what I can do.  This is a huge departure from our normal… but we will survive it.  I can do laundry, yes I can.  Well, sort of.  I can wash and dry… it’s the folding and hanging that requires creativity, twisting, turning and using my tip toes.  Thank God for clothing that does not require ironing and for strong legs and feet.

We’ve hired a housekeeper.  Believe it or not, hiring someone to clean my home was very difficult.  Don’t misunderstand, she’s doing fine work.  It’s just hard to ask for help.  I’ve always adapted and managed in the past.  My parents are “Can Do” people and are not afraid to tackle jobs that seem bigger than them.  They taught us to be self sufficient, and to be “Can Do” people too.  Now, there are times I find myself saying “I can’t” and I don’t like it.  I feel less than whole… Less than able… Just less.   “Lord, Help my unbelief.”

In my adult life I’ve never had to be as physically dependent on others as I am now.  Trust me, it’s not easy.  When I had cancer before, I still had my right arm to cover everything I needed to do.  There was very little I didn’t work out someway.  Changing a ceiling light was one of the few things I could not do… now it’s a different story.  But how can that be?  It was just a couple inches of bone and cartilage, not much in the big scheme of things.  But that little bone being removed has added a lot of alligators to my daily routine.  Will it change, I sure hope so.  In the mean time, I’m committed to learning whatever it is that God will teach me through this.  And today it would seem that I need to learn to trust that God’s not too small, that God is able… that in my weakness God can strengthen my faith.  While “I believe”… it’s a great comfort to know that when I grow weak, God is willing to hear me when I say “Lord, help my unbelief.”

Many of you are wrestling alligators today too.  Some of you are facing health crisis, some are facing personal, financial, relationship and/or spiritual challenges.  God hears your cry, he knows.  He’s willing to hear your word… “Help my unbelief.”

We are lifting you up to God.  May the peace of God reign in your life.

We love you,
Cindy and John

Her Children Will Rise Up and Call Her Blessed

Mom Dad Nick Em 2Written Sep 20, 2013 9:40am by Cindy McMurry

My Mom left for home today.  John and I are so grateful for all she’s done to help us.  She’s covered the things that John didn’t have time to do and the things I simply couldn’t do.

Between helping with meals, dishes, laundry, cleaning, driving, watering plants, helping pack lunches, grocery shopping and so much more… her generosity goes unmatched.  My Dad might argue, since he thinks it was him who sacrificed by “loaning Mom” to us.  😉

Mom stayed with us for nearly 3 weeks and I know she was greatly missed by everyone at home.  Dad told her he was going to start cleaning yesterday at noon to prepare for her return.  🙂  Kevin will be anxious to eat her cooking again, I’m sure.  The great grandkids will LOVE having Grandma Melanie back home… she’s one of their favorite people.  Her friends have missed her and she’s missed them, I know they are anxious to be with her again. Everyone missed her presence, no doubt about it.  Mom is a Godly woman, one who is loving, generous and encouraging.  She makes herself available to those in need and often gives others a listening ear and words of encouragement.

Wherever she isn’t present, she is missed.  On some level my Dad is correct… it’s a sacrifice when my Mom is somewhere else.  We will miss her.  Her calmness, sweetness and selflessness continue to teach us to be better.

Mom, thank you!  Thank you!  THANK YOU!!  for everything you did to help us… and just for being willing to be with us during this time.  You sacrificed for us and we do not take your generosity lightly.  We are so grateful.  You are a Mom whose children are all quick to “Rise Up and Call Her Blessed.”  You exemplify to us this text…

Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:                                           “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.                           Proverbs 31:10-31

… But You excel them all Mom!

We love you,

John and Cindy

Good News!

Written Sep 17, 2013 8:50pm by Cindy McMurry

Just a brief note to check in and let you know Dr. Wurtz says everything looks really great.  I can s.l.o.w.l.y. and g.e.n.t.l.y. start physical therapy next week.  He said it will be at least a few weeks before I can drive, but I’m really better than expected.  The only glitch we seem to have hit, some nerve damage.  He’s hoping by my next appointment in 5 weeks that will be greatly improved.  If not, then we have to address that.  I also will get a baseline MRI in 5 weeks and sometime soon a new baseline PET Scan.We are all so thankful. Each day I am improving.  Only a few weeks ago in order to eat I had to take my mouth to the fork, or be fed, now my hand can reach my mouth and as long as I brace my arm, I can tip my cup to drink.

BTW… the best news we’ve gotten, Derrick is in Germany and will be home soon!   And, it’s Alex’s birthday.  Happy 2 Alex!

Thanking God for answered prayer and trusting that God is doing a good  work in your life today.

We love you,
Cindy and John

You’re Not Going to Believe It!

Written Sep 16, 2013 8:19pm by Cindy McMurry

Well, you might believe it and you might not think it quite as big a deal as I do, BUT…. (Drumroll please!). I was able to dress myself completely today, no assistance required.  Well, I did use powder to make my skin slick so clothes would slide AND I figured out a way to wiggle my shirt past my left elbow that won’t straighten and voila!  I was dressed!

I see my surgeon tomorrow.  Hopefully, I will get to start therapy soon… And driving will happen in the blink of an eye.  My grandchildren are calling my name, I’m sure I hear it everyday!  BTW, grandson Alex turns 2 tomorrow!

Please pray for all who are serve our country!  Life is fragile.  Our hearts broke over the base shootings today and we are so concerned about the folks in Syria.  There is much to pray for today… Our friends and family who are ill, struggling, marginalized, broken, lost… Our country and all in authority and leadership in our world.

We love you… Pray without ceasing,
Cindy and John

1 Thessalonians 5:17