Friday, June 29, 2012


The days are racing by; our summer is almost half over. For 10 months every year, we look forward to the lake life that we love and then it passes in a flash. We are attacking our long list of projects and  find their completion (and subsequent crossing-off the list) quite satisfying.

My parents have taught me myriad lessons over my lifetime. Most of the teaching has been verbal, but the lesson I value right now is the one they are teaching me without words. Both of them live with daily pain, and yet they press on, push through it, live their lives. I watch them and as their daughter, I feel like I can do no less. The standard they have set is high. And so I live my life. If I have to wince, I do. But I will not let the devil steal my life with pain. So, in spite of leg and back pain, I do all I can.

This week, I replaced the rotting deck down by the fire pit. I just have the new railing to put up to finish it off. My back needed lots of breaks, but I got the base done. I love using the power screwdriver.....I feel like a real carpenter!! As hard as berry picking is on my back, it is tradition out here, and we went out and got 10 quarts yesterday! We also went canoeing up the creek behind our woods for the first time this summer. Pushing through....
I am most excited about our Monday night home group studying divine healing. Having our friends Lee and James and Penny and Bob be of one mind in the belief that God still heals through His promises and through faith has bolstered Dick’s and my faith by leaps and bounds. We three couples are passionate about praying for the sick, and we expect miracles because God is still a miracle maker.

I have had a strong faith that I am being healed of cancer for a long time. And these fellow believers have made it even stronger. With a certainty based on God’s will that all be healed, I believe my healing is accomplished. (Faith is the evidence of things not yet seen. Heb 11:1) I only await “proof” that men’s eyes can see. The day is close at hand. The Holy Spirit is at work in this home, in our group, and we hope, in the lives of many sick people in our community and church up here. This is what Dick, Sam and I think about lung cancer:

Sam was able to come home last weekend and we are grateful to him for making the long drive from the Twin Cities. We fished and he skied and we played games and watched old sitcoms. I know cooking for himself this summer makes Mom’s home-cooked meals extra appreciated too! It was so good to have him home!
I had my first oncology appointment today. This new oncologist really only had to OK my labs, order my Xgeva shot and send me on my way. Best moment: He said, "Heck, you are doing so well, I don't really need to see you next month. Come in and get your shot in July and get back to the lake." I was doing mental dances!!  You have no idea how nice it is NOT to need infusions any more!! No more 4-needle stick nightmares!!

The beavers had a productive spring on the creek bed.

NO fish!!

Demo of the old railings

Screwing down the new planks
Happy July 4th!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I am quite sure that my blog will be primarily on hiatus this summer. Using our rural dial-up is almost intolerable. For instance, to attach a picture to an email and send it…..a 20 second process with high-speed internet…..takes us about 35 minutes. Every click of the mouse is a 5-15 minute wait. You can understand why we are not using the computer very much.
Sam is thoroughly enjoying his internship in Minneapolis, though discouraged with the job market. Seasonal part-time jobs are not easy to snag, but he continues to look. In the meantime, sitting in the press box at Twins’ games, going to Gardy’s press conferences, learning the ropes at KFAN radio, and being able to meet some of the big names in Minnesota sports broadcasting has been exciting for him.
I am learning to live with 24/7 pain in both legs now. My radiated leg has always been the one giving me pain, but I now am dealing with it in my left leg as well. We really don’t understand why. It could be a chemo side effect. OTC drugs do nothing to alleviate it. For 30 years I have taught gerontology and have spoken very objectively about chronic pain in the lives of elderly people. If only I had known all those years what it really was like. Pain changes you. I find myself not as energetic, not as sociable, not the “me” that I have been. For the long haul, it is just another problem that I need to have faith that God will heal. If divine healing is for all infirmities and illnesses, then this qualifies, and I will hang in there until my healing is complete. Waiting on God’s timing, persevering while wanting to say, “WHEN, Lord??” has kept me very humbled.
Dick and I are in a Bible study on Monday nights with 2 other couples and we are studying divine healing. It is so awesome to have 4 people to come alongside of us who know God’s promises in scripture about healing, and who are on the exact same page as we are in terms of having faith for healing. We are grateful that God has provided this rich time for us with these great lake friends.
We have our annual mile-long list of TO DO’s around here. Upkeep on this place is continual, and the work never seems to lighten up. We came up to a war zone this year. A late spring heavy blizzard downed hundreds of trees on our 26 acres and left many others bent at 90 degrees and needing to be cut down. With my back pain, I can’t help with any of that work like I used to, so Dick has been going it alone and it is back-breaking work. There is a great deal more to do, but he is daily making dents in the carnage. I owe him! That said, we love every minute in the woods. Love falling asleep to the loons' cries. Love the breezes off the lake while laying on the dock. Love the campfires under the stars. It is soul-renewing here in the "quiet deep."
Blessings to all of you who are still peeking in on my blog to check up on me. I will try to keep up a little more frequently. In the meantime, I hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There is the healing story in the Bible that never fails to remind me how far I had fallen from trusting God before I had cancer. It is found in John 4:40-54, and I read it again this week.

A royal official in Cana had a sick son back in Capernaum. When the man heard Jesus was back in Cana, the official went to Him and begged Him to come and heal his son who was close to death. “Come before my child dies,” he begs Jesus.

Jesus answers him, “Go back home. Your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at His word and departed. His servants met him on his way home, reporting the boy was alive and well.

Seven words. THE MAN TOOK JESUS AT HIS WORD. Why don’t we take Jesus at His word? Why do we question the creator of the universe who cannot lie?

If my husband promises me to pick up milk and bread before he comes home, his word is good. I do not spend one more minute wondering if he is going to keep his promise. There are many people in my life whose promises are golden…..people I NEVER doubt when they tell me they will do something, that it’s as good as done. But I never used to treat God’s word like that. Until now.

I think of all the wasted years of divine promises I should have waited for. For instance, I would pray for wisdom about a big decision, and then, because I just didn’t “feel” it, I would jump in and make unwise decisions. God promises liberal amounts of wisdom in the book of James (“If you need wisdom, ask Him for it and He will give it.” James 1:5) but says you have to believe you will receive it or you won’t. Again, I didn’t have enough faith that He would follow through. Why couldn’t I take Him at His word?

God promises peace all over Scripture. Philippians 4: 7 tells us that if we pray with thanksgiving instead of anxiety, God’s peace, which passes human understanding, will be ours. How many times have I prayed for inner peace, and when my body wasn’t just flooded with divine calm in X number of days or hours, I would take back my mantle of anxiety. Why couldn’t I take Him at His word and wait for it?

I think of all His promises: help, peace, support, wisdom, healing, eternal life, righteousness through Christ, power over the devil in the name of Jesus, discernment, his presence……just to name a very few. God has given us a treasure chest full of amazing promises. But our timelines are not His, and in our fast-paced culture of today, we want and expect answers immediately. No place in the Bible, attached to any promises, is WHEN it will happen. I know now that if God had put time limits on when His promises would be fulfilled, none of us would need faith.

Faith in healing has taught me this great truth. God’s promises are His iron-clad intent. God’s word is Himself. He cannot lie. If He says something in Scripture, He means it. I have learned that I must just take God at His word and, like the royal official, “depart.” I must leave it alone, believe it is happening even if I don’t see or feel it, and wait on God until that promise manifests itself in my life. I cannot have timelines with God’s promises. He is sovereign over the time frame, not me.

Why did I have to live a half-century to learn this? The royal official “got it” right away. He heard Jesus promise healing and he turned and left without another word, assured that what His Lord said, He meant.

I have been waiting 22 months for healing. But I believe it is happening because there are too many promises about healing in the Bible not to believe it. But this time, with this promise, I am doing it the right way. I have “walked away.” Finally. I have been able to take Jesus at His word, disregard my own timeline desires, and wait in faith.

          Every year I live, in fact, nearly every day, I seem to see more clearly how all   the peace, happiness, and power of the Christian life hinges on one thing. That one thing is taking God at His word, believing He really means exactly what He says.
                                                            Frances Ridley Havergal

          Faith is not conjuring up a sense of certainty that something is going to happen. No, it is recognizing God’s promise as an actual fact, believing it is true, rejoicing in the knowledge of that truth, and then simply resting because God said it.
                                                         Streams in the Desert devotional                 

Monday, June 4, 2012


Oskar Robert Mills, born to my niece Kate and her husband Dylan, was born yesterday morning. I cannot wait to meet him and snuggle him. It makes me smile to think that from our family of 5....Mom, Dad, and my 2 brothers and me.....we are now a family of 23. What a blessing we have had in every person who has joined our family. Precious Oskar, so fresh from God, you are loved by so many! Welcome to the world!

Just born!

Kate and Dylan with Oskar

My brother Mike (Oskar's grandpa) happened to be working a shift at the
hospital yesterday which was pretty cool. Sitting behind big brother Hendrik
is grandma Kathy Mills, Dylan's mom, holding the peanut.
Photos compliments of Shirleen Hieb, official birth photographer and Oskar's Nana!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Text from my financially struggling, job-seeking son who just moved to Minneapolis: "Mom, found a great cheap place to shop. Patrick's (his roommate) girlfriend introduced me to it. They have security guards in the parking lot. Pretty ghetto. But, mom, I can save so much money."

Cancer is not going to kill me. But parenting might.