The Things I Cannot Change…

Advent CandlesGod, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is;
Not as I would have it;

Trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
AMEN

–Reinhold Niebuhr

I love written prayers.  They often provide me words when I can’t find them for myself.  But I will also admit, sometimes they make me cringe inwardly because they make me face my truths.  You know, the things you don’t like to own about yourself?  The things that mean you aren’t perfect.  Before you know it, that one line just pops out of your mouth and you think to yourself, “Did I just ask God to help me with that?”  And then you wonder if you can take it back?  Not you?  Maybe I’m just projecting.  🙂

The first time I read the Serenity Prayer, the line “to accept the things I cannot change” was out of my mouth before I knew it was happening.  And honestly, I was annoyed and a little undone.  Why would anyone write a prayer asking God to help us accept the things we cannot change?  Seriously?  I don’t even like thinking about the things I cannot change.  Do you?  And accept them?  ARGH!  The thought makes me shudder.

As a parent, we’ve spent most of our time loving, nurturing, teaching, molding and shaping our children.  Praying over them, trusting the Lord will guide them, protect them, fill them, use them.  Playing with them so they know how to interact with others.  Training them to live safely in our society.  Helping them find ways to grow, explore, mature and stretch themselves to find purpose and satisfaction in life.

And then… there are the things you, I mean, I cannot change.  Sometimes as children become adults they make decisions that don’t go well.  Sometimes they face heartaches we cannot change.  Sometimes they have burdens that we cannot lift.  Sometimes they have hurts and illnesses that our kisses will not heal.  Sometimes they stray far from the things we’ve taught them.  Sometimes there is a brokenness in their hearts that only God can change.  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things ‘I’ cannot change.”

The prayer does not say that God cannot change it.  So herein lies another challenge for us, I mean, me.  We have to accept there are things we cannot change, but our God can.  That means we have to let God have it, place those “unchangeable” things on the altar of God and allow Him to work His wondrous love, healing and restoration.  His time, his way, Him… all Him.

Am I the only one who lays things on the altar of God only to pick them back up and try to fix them again and again… and again?  Why is this so hard??  Is it because we don’t trust God enough?  We trust ourselves too much, because we think we are able?  Do we believe we just have to be busy?  Do we struggle to quiet our hearts and spirits instead of allowing God’s peace to quiet us?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7

God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change…

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is;
Not as I would have it;

Trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will…

May we all be like the boy’s Father in the Bible who cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24

Love, Cindy and John

You Know What They Say About the Apple…

DerrickAlexdrinking“It don’t fall far from the tree.”

When Derrick decided to join the Navy Reserves, my husband excitedly told me, “He’s going to do great!  This is a good choice for Derrick.”  I was not thrilled.  What in the world did he mean??  “He’s going to do great because he’s just like his Mother.”  I sarcastically thought  sweetly responded, “What do you mean!?”  “He’s a rule follower, just like his Mother.  This is a great fit for him.”

A few years ago I was visiting Derrick when he scratched his head.  Just a simple head scratch.  But I felt like I was in the room with my Grandpa Herb, who died when Derrick was about 1 1/2.  How could that be?  It was exactly how Grandpa held his hand, his fingers, everything.  When our grandson began walking and playing, he would squat down to play with something.  I felt like I was looking at Derrick, who played exactly the same way at his age.  “There’s a dinosaur in there Mimi!”  That one phrase took me back nearly 30 years and I was listening to Derrick talk about things that were only real in his imagination.  My grandson reflects his Daddy in many ways.

Bethany does not like surprises.  Every year she begs and pleads for us to tell her exactly what she is getting for Christmas and her birthday.  She frets over her gifts for weeks months, years.  (She’s made a list for me up through 2016 to make sure there are no surprises.)  My husband complains claims that I’m difficult to buy a gift for because I don’t like surprises and am hyper-vigilant when I think he might be getting me something.  I tend to check the bank account more often.  When I see a debit to Canon, is it my fault that I know I’m getting a camera?  My Dad obviously figured this out years ago and about a week before Christmas would take me for “a ride” and then “weedle” out of me what his Christmas gifts were because he just couldn’t wait for the surprise.  It drove my Mom crazy!  Do you see a trend here?

Some characteristics that we share are fun and some are more serious.  Some are genetic, some are learned behaviors, but all are based on relationship.  There is a connection.

The older I get the more often I hear my Mom or my Dad when I begin talking.  I see characteristics and physical traits in each of my siblings that remind me of my parents and grandparents.  We reflect our family to the world.  We are very different individuals and we certainly have our own identity, but in many ways, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

When thinking of this, I found myself considering our relationship with God… how do we reflect his love?  His character?  His traits?  When we face a challenge do we respond in a way God would have us respond?  If we face a moral dilemma, do we consider what the Bible says?  When we are wrongly accused or our character is attacked are we able to love as God loves us?  In the best of times do we reflect God’s grace and mercy to those who may be going through the worst of times?  In the worst of times do we reflect strength and behave honorably?  When the world around us is crumbling are we faithful in the small and large things?  Do we remember that even as he faced death on the cross, Jesus took the time to teach, to heal, to forgive, to restore, to love?  Jesus was always focused on valuing and loving others rather than himself.  Do we even try to go there?

On several occasions I’ve heard folks speak about my parents being good, strong, hard working, generous, and loving, but they had never met them.  These folks knew something about my parents by knowing their children and grandchildren.

When folks meet you do they know something about our heavenly Father?  Do they know that we’ve been redeemed, that we are in relationship with God?  When other’s see or hear you, do they see or hear our Father?  I was struck by this text today, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Cor 2:15 NAS

Is our relationship with God so obvious that everyone around us recognize it?

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Col 3:17

You are in my prayers.  I love you,

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

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