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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Be strong...




Dream. Struggle. Create. Prevail.
We can all find ourselves somewhere here in the midst...
Are you dreaming? Or Struggling?
Creating? Prevailing...

May Grace give the strength to reach for that which dares our souls.

You are Strong.  You are Brave.
You are so very Loved.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Fear No More...

Sometimes a song can just speak the words we can't find.

Building 429 has nailed it with one of their newest releases, Fear No More... the lyrics stopped me in my tracks the other day.  Speaking a genuine hope over the pain of our cancer journey. We have it on replay here at the lake.


It means even more after hearing the story behind the song...



Those lyrics, the reason this one song has rung truth for me... Cancer has a way of stripping away all the superficial, the inconsequential and trivial things in our lives and makes us face the hard questions... each verse is a glimpse of our struggle, the answers to our cry when it was all out of our hands...

VERSE 1

I'm wishing I could see the finish line
Where this ends, where it lands
Guess I lost my vision when the pain set in.

PRE-CHORUS

Can I believe
When I don't see
Can I really let it be
Out of my hands
When it's out of my hands

CHORUS

This isn't what I'd choose
But it's where I'm finding you
When I'm broken and undone
Your mercy's just begun
You overcome my doubt
Your hands are reaching out
You hold me through the storm
And I will fear no more.

VERSE 2

Can't look into the future but
I know where you have been
Before me, after and always within

PRE-CHORUS

Can I believe
When I don't see
Can I really let it be
Out of my hands
When it's out of my hands

CHORUS

This isn't what I'd choose
But it's where I'm finding you
When I'm broken and undone
Your mercy's just begun
You overcome my doubt
Your hands are reaching out
You hold me through the storm
And I will fear no more.

BRIDGE

I'm not giving up
I'm giving in
To what You've planned
For Your Glory

CHORUS

This isn't what I'd choose
But it's where I'm finding you
When I'm broken and undone
Your mercy's just begun
You overcome my doubt
Your hands are reaching out
You hold me through the storm
And I will fear no more.

Might you be encouraged this night, for it is true... when we are broken and undone, His mercy has just begun... we need fear no more.

All My Love, Always,
Jane

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Finding Grace in the Shadow Valley

How do you even breathe after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis?

The mind and heart can shut right down when this cancer comes to shatter your life.  We know.  It can be a living nightmare... an all-consuming darkness that threatens to extinguish any light of hope. 

If pancreatic cancer has touched your life in some way, then perhaps our book, Finding Grace in the Shadow Valley, will offer hope as you journey.

It is the story of our walk into the dark pit of a terminal cancer diagnosis and the Grace that carried us through...



In November of 2010, cancer interrupted our very comfortable, extremely ordinary lives with a vengeance when our mom was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  I believe it was the moment our Shadow Valley walk began.



Finding Grace is written as a diary of sorts… the day to day battles, the difficult decisions, the roller-coaster ride of a cancer treatment… we share our heart, the emotional questions, the hard answers.

We also recount the joy and grace that surrounded us in the midst of the terrifying darkness.


This is the story of Finding Grace in the midst of a cancer diagnosis and the way it changes how we live out our stories.

If you are wondering what it is like to walk this valley road, if you are desperate to find hope for yourself or a loved one, we pray this book will offer a light for your path.

We are humbled to know that mom’s story has resonated with so many.  Perhaps it is as one reader so aptly put, “It is good to know that I am not alone.”







Yes, It is good to know we are not alone.   We are walking hand in hand, taking a journey together that none of us wish to take.  Never doubt that Grace walks that road too, each and every step, right alongside us.

Finding Grace… it is what makes facing those horrific days possible.

And it brings Hope to the Shadow Valley every. single. time.



Available Now



Saturday, June 8, 2019

Protect Life or Pursue It?

When mom embarked on her journey with pancreatic cancer, I'll be honest... Our primary, and only, objective was to protect
and preserve her life in any way possible. 

The end goal was always full healing... finding the cure to beat the detestable disease that had her in its cruel grip.

We lived, breathed, and slept with the belief that if we just searched long enough, and prayed hard enough, we'd be able to keep mom safe from harm, wholly protected.

It was a hard fall, that awakening to the reality of our losing battle.  Mom accepted the terminal prognosis long before any of us could see the truth behind the solemn words of her diagnosis:

You have inoperable pancreatic cancer... 

And I can't say that we really ever accepted it.  Until her last breath we prayed for a miracle.

It has taken time to give perspective to the fight.  Our pastor shared a message several weeks ago that profoundly changed my outlook on the way we live life well.

{Spoiler Alert:  Mom figured it out much more quickly than we did!}

The passage came from a familiar scripture:

"Whoever finds their life will lose it,
and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."
~ Matthew 10:39

Here in the gospel account, we find Jesus sending out the Twelve disciples, and we can almost hear the authority in his voice, the heaviness in his instruction. These 12 were, for the most part, uneducated commoners, a ragtag bunch of men, called out for a life they surely felt ill-prepared to handle.  

And yet Jesus sent them out with a paradox.  Perplexed, yes, I imagine they were.

Finding our Life... only to lose it?   Losing our Life...to find it? 

We see now in hindsight, Christ's redeeming plan... we understand through the prism of a cross, an empty tomb, a risen Savior.  But these Twelve?  The riddle must have been confounding...

It never occurred to me that we struggle with the paradox still today.

Searching in panic for treatments, cures, a way out of the pancreatic cancer nightmare.  We sought Life, wanted to protect what we held in our arms.

Our pastor asked a pointed question:

Do you seek to protect Life or pursue it?



Maybe there is a glimmer of truth breaking through...

The Passion translation speaks it plain:

"All who seek to live apart from me will lose it all.  But those who let go of their lives for my sake and surrender it all to me will discover true life!"
~ Matthew 10:39



There are two ways to view life, there are those who protect it, and those who pursue it.

On which camp do we stand?

Protecting life at all costs
or
Pursing it with abandon for His sake?

Mom chose well.  In choosing Christ, she was freed from the meaningless chase of  finding life to the satisfying walk of  living an Abundant Life.



Yes, she still sought treatment, and yes, still prayed for a cure, but was at peace with the truth that she could let go of this life, knowing full well that the riches of eternity far out-weighed anything we were trying to protect in the here and now.

For Christ's sake those who lose their lives will find it...
Abundant Treasure!



And that's Grace enough for this day,
Always,
      Jane