Monday, January 23, 2017

More Prayers Needed and an Update

I really appreciate those of you who keep reading my blog.  If you've stuck with me this long, you must love Jesus tremendously.  And I hope you do, 'cause I have more prayer requests.

Sadly, tragedy has struck again in our area.  A family we know lost their 9 year old son last week in a tractor accident.  I won't go into the details, they aren't important.  What is important is that parents have lost a son.  Two sets of grandparents have lost a grandson.  Where there were three brothers, now there are two.  This family is devastated.  I wonder why on earth this happened, and there is no answer.  The funeral was yesterday.  Please lift the Rush family before the throne of grace.  They need comfort and they need peace.  The entire community is heartbroken.  

A lady in our community lost her battle with breast cancer last week.  Her funeral was this morning.  She was 62 years old.  I don't know her well.  I hope she knew Jesus.  Please keep the Horton family in your prayers as they need comfort.  No matter how old you are, losing a parent is hard.

Speaking of parents, I'll update you on my mom.  After having really a pretty great week last week, Saturday morning we took her to the emergency room with severe stomach pain.  The ER physician ran all sorts of blood tests and everything came back normal (praise the Lord)!    But knowing her diagnosis he wanted to do a CT scan of her abdomen just to make certain there wasn't something there that would have caused such sharp pain.  He came into the room after the scan and said "Good news, the CT scan didn't show any abnormalities in her abdomen.  And by the way, those tumors in her liver, THEY ARE SMALLER!"  The chemotherapy (she has taken 7 of 12 treatments) IS WORKING AND SHRINKING THE TUMORS!!!!  So while we still have no idea why her stomach was hurting (she has felt fine ever since!!!) and I have no idea why God wanted us to spend HOURS at the emergency room on Saturday, WE ARE PRAISING THE LORD THAT THE TUMORS ARE SMALLER!!!!!

We are heading to MD Anderson in Houston tomorrow.  Mom has blood work and a CT scan on Wednesday, and we meet with her oncologist Thursday morning to hear the results of the scan and see where we go from here.  If you recall, they are hoping the chemo has shrunk the tumors to the point they can operate and remove the part of the liver where the tumors are located.  THAT IS OUR PRAYER.  If the tumors are small enough, they we meet with the surgeon Friday morning to discuss the details of surgery.  If surgery isn't an option, then we are praying there are other treatments available that can help.

If you're still with me after another pretty heavy post, then I ask that you agree with me in prayer for God's perfect will for my mom.  We are asking for healing and we are believing for healing in Jesus name.  We know that God is a loving God and I don't believe He brings sickness upon His children.  But we also know that we live in a sinful, fallen world.  And bad things happen to good people every single day.  We believe that God has allowed this to come into her life, and my family's life, and we want Him to use this for His glory.  We want others to see Jesus in us.  This is not an easy path to walk.  As I've said before, we want this "cup" to pass over us.  But in the meantime we want to serve Him and ask that He uses us.  We want to be His light shining in Houston, Texas 'cause nobody is at MD Anderson because they have a sore throat.  It is full of people with a very serious disease.  They all need Jesus.  Praying that we can be His hands and His feet and His voice while we are there.

Thank you thank you thank you for your prayers.  We feel them.   We ask for safe travels down there and back, and a good report. We ask for strength to walk down this road in peace.

Please remember the Rush family and the Horton family.  They need prayers.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus.  I hope you do the same.
He is the only way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

So Many Need Prayer

First off I want to say to everyone that I'm really sorry I don't post much on here anymore.  And I'm sorry that when I do post it seems to be rather "heavy."  It's been awhile since I posted something that was light and happy, and this post is gonna be pretty heavy too.

On Saturday a dear blogging friend of mine lost her husband in an accident on their farm in North Central Missouri.  In an effort to maintain her privacy, I won't link you to her blog, or give the name of her blog.  However, as I am a person that likes to pray for others by name, I will share that her name is Tammy and she needs your prayers.  I've been married for 31 years, and the thought of losing my husband, well, my mind won't let that thought take hold.  Her husband's death was sudden.  There was no warning.  No way to know that the words they spoke to each other that morning before he left the house would be their last.  I know that Tammy is a Christian.  And as Christians we don't mourn as those who have no hope.  We have the hope of eternal life in heaven with Jesus.  

A week and a half ago a girl that I went to high school with was in Southern Missouri celebrating Christmas with her husband's family.  She got up that Saturday morning to walk her dog and somehow fell down an embankment and broke her neck.  She was 56 years old and left a 15 year old son and a husband.  I hadn't seen this girl in years, and we weren't really friends in high school as she was a few years older than me.  I don't know if she knew Jesus.  I hope she did.  If she didn't, well, the Bible is clear what happens to those who leave this world without Jesus as their Lord.  Heaven is real, but so is hell.  And there is no end to either.

If you're reading this, and you don't know Jesus, and I don't mean know ABOUT Jesus, I urge you to give your life to Him.  Knowing Him means serving Him. It means you live your life trying to keep His commandments.  It means the fruits of the Spirit are alive and well and EVIDENT in your life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control).  It doesn't have anything to do with attending church, although if you love Jesus attending church is near and dear to your heart.  It doesn't have anything to do with being baptized.  Baptism without repentance just means you got wet one time.  It means being a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.  It means your life is changed.  Old things have passed away.

If you don't know Jesus, read the book of Luke.  Read the book of Acts.  This will tell you Who Jesus is, and show you how those who live for Him are to conduct themselves.  Knowing Jesus isn't about praying the "sinners prayer" and then going back to the way you were.  It isn't about just "accepting Him," but about forsaking the world and forsaking sin.  It's about trusting Him.  

We never know how or when our lives will end and I've just given you two examples of people I know who have left this world unexpectedly in a 7 day time frame.  If you don't know that you know that you know that if this morning was your last sunrise, you would spend eternity in heaven, then this is the most important thing you will read. I urge you to make Jesus the Lord of your life TODAY.

If you do know Jesus, then please keep Tammy and her son and her extended family in your prayers.  They need a touch from Jesus.  They need peace and comfort for the days ahead.  

I have so many friends who are hurting.  So many friends whose parents are suffering with cancer.  These people need healing.

My mom will take her 7th chemotherapy treatment tomorrow, the last treatment before we head back to MD Anderson the end of this month for another CT Scan.  We are praying for a GREAT REPORT and we are believing for healing.  My mom has done her best, but chemo is rough.  She continues to feel weak and sick and she continues to lose weight.  She needs your prayers, too.

Thank you all for hanging in there with Down On the Farm.  I know I don't post cute pictures of exciting DIY projects much anymore.  Or send you pictures of cows and turkeys.  But with all the tragedy and sickness surrounding so many people I know, and all the evil in this world, my heart just can't seem to do anything else but ask for you to agree with me in prayer for all of those who are sick and hurting.  Pray for our country, and for our new administration.  THEY NEED THE GUIDANCE OF GOD.  God is the only thing that will make America great again.

God bless you all and God bless America.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016

I know everyone is saying this . . . but how can today be December 20th??  I mean, seriously.  Where has 2016 gone?? 

My year started out pretty great.  I got to see my beautiful daughter in February and April, and then in May she came back to stay with us for 5 months while our son-in-law was deployed overseas.  We were thrilled to get to have her back home for awhile.

Our son and daughter-in-law bought a "fixer upper" house in the spring, and then another one!!  They flipped one, sold the house they had been living in, and then moved to the third house. We are so excited for them.

We had our great big amazing family reunion in June.  We had over 100 relatives at our house for a hog roast.  It was wonderful.  I love family, and this reunion was just spectacular.

In July I celebrated my birthday, and just as summer was in full swing my beautiful mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Our world stopped, and it hasn't been the same since.  And I'm just being brutally honest.

Sadly, the news just kept getting worse.  Following a successful surgery to remove the part of her colon where the tumor was we discovered that the cancer had spread to my mom's liver and that the 7 tumors there were inoperable.  

Mom is currently taking chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumors to the point they can operate.  We head back to MD Anderson the end of January for another CT scan that will tell us whether or not surgery is an option.

Chemotherapy is just no fun.  While my mom, thankfully, hasn't been as sick as some people who take chemo, she is in a constant state of just not feeling good.  She is tired most of the time.  She has no energy.  While she doesn't throw up, she is nauseous most of the time.  My mom weighs 97 pounds and she has no weight to lose, so trying to get her to eat is our focus.

A couple of weeks ago we spent the night in the emergency room because her blood pressure was 209/98.  Last week we found out she had a blood clot in each leg, so she's been on blood thinners to try to dissolve the clots.  Thankfully her blood "thickness" is back to normal so I don't have to continue giving her daily shots in the stomach.  Praise the Lord!

Sometimes between chemo treatments she has to get shots to boost her white count so they can continue the chemo.  Those shots cause a lot of pain in her bones.  She goes back to the doctor tomorrow for blood work to determine if the shots will be necessary this time.  She takes her 6th chemo one week from today.  She has 6 more to go.

We took our beautiful daughter back to California in October just before her husband got back from deployment. Sadly they won't be home for Christmas.  They are saving money for a down payment on a house when they move back here for good next fall, and airline tickets are crazy expensive at Christmas time.  So we Facetime, and we text, and we tell ourselves that this is the last Christmas that they won't be here.

It has been a tough year for me.  My mom's diagnosis has been overwhelming.  It is the first thing I think of in the morning, and the last thing I think of before I go to bed.  My mom is in pretty good spirits some days, and then other days it is very hard to stay positive just being honest.  It seems as if it is one thing after another.  We just can't seem to get much good news.

I said all that to say that while this year has been the hardest of my life, I am still trusting Jesus.  Yes, there are times (many times) I have asked "why."  I pray for my mom constantly.   I pray for God to heal her.  I pray for the side effects of the chemo to be minimal.  I pray for God to encourage her.  And sometimes it seems that my prayers are not answered and I don't understand.  And that is hard.

But I will not lose faith.  No matter what, I will trust in the Lord.  

I pray for you and your families at this time of year.  I know there are many people who are in much worse situations.  And some people are on the mountaintop and all is right in their worlds.  No matter where this December 20th finds you, I ask for God to meet your every need.  And to send you His peace when His plans are different from your prayers. 

Please remember that Christmas is about one thing, and that is the birth of Jesus, our Savior.  He sits at the right hand of God at this very moment, interceding for us.  I know I say this a lot, and even though there are many things I do not understand I can still say with confidence that He never fails.

I would sure appreciate your prayers for my mom, Donna.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This Christian Has Already Voted!!!

I ask that each of you please take just a moment to go visit my friend Dayle's blog, A Collection of Days, and read her thoughts on today's election.

You can find her latest post by
clicking HERE.

She expresses my feelings in a much better way than I ever could.  I agree with her 100%!!
I am sharing this post with her permission.

God bless America!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Happy November!!

I can't believe it's already November 7th.  I mean, what happened to September and October?? 

The weather here in Missouri has been strangely warm for fall.  This past week it has cooled down a little, but it is still unseasonably warm.  Last week I mowed my yard in shorts and a t-shirt.  Who does that in November in Missouri??

We made it back from California (IT WAS A LONG DRIVE OUT THERE AND A SHORT FLIGHT HOME).  Stopped at the Grand Canyon which, I have to say, is one of the most absolutely breathtaking things I have ever seen.  If you've not been there, you need to put it on your "bucket list."  It is spectacular.  Thank you all for the prayers, everything went very smoothly while we were out there.  Got Alex all settled into her apartment.  Please pray for our son-in-law's safe return from his overseas deployment.

My mom had a very rough second chemo treatment two weeks ago today.  Lots of nausea, lots of tiredness, lots of just plain old not feeling good.  This morning she went back for her third round of chemo and her white count was too low so they wouldn't give her the treatment today.  She goes back on Wednesday for more blood work.  Hopefully the blood count will have improved.  If not, then they will start giving her injections to jump start her body making white blood cells.  The plan is to only have to put the chemo off for one week, which would put her back for a treatment one week from today.  I ask for your prayers for her, that the blood count will return to normal and they can resume the chemotherapy.  And for her NOT to get any kind of illness. 

We continue to pray daily for God to move in my mother's body and kill that cancer.  We curse it at the root and command it to die in Jesus name.  We believe Jesus is the Healer.

Please pray for our country.  Tomorrow is the election and, if you're like me, you're ready for it to be over.  I encourage EVERYONE TO VOTE.  But my hope isn't in Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, although I will be voting for one of them.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.  "If my people, who are called by My name, will HUMBLE THEMSELVES and PRAY and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."  Wake up America.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Away We Go Again!!!

Tomorrow we are heading back to California with our beautiful daughter!!  These past five months have flown by and it's time for us to get her settled out in California again as her husband is due to return from deployment in just a few weeks.  To say having her home these last five months has been a huge blessing is an understatement.

We're going to stop and see the Grand Canyon on our way out there.  We've never seen the Grand Canyon and may never be that close again, so we're going to take a brief detour and check it out.  So I'll be checking off that bucket list item and standing in awe of God's beautiful creation.  And for those of you from the 1970s era, we'll be "Standing On the Corner in Winslow, Arizona!"  Another bucket list item!!!  

Thank you to all the mighty prayer warriors out there lifting my mom before the Lord.  She came through her first chemo treatment with flying colors.  Her side effects have been minimal and manageable and we are praising God for that.  She has another treatment this Monday, and they are adding in another chemo drug that is to cut off the blood supply to the tumors in her liver.  We are standing on the Word that says the same power that conquered the grave lives in us.  We have access to that same power through prayer and we are rebuking the enemy and cancer off of my mom in the name of Jesus.  My Bible tells me the enemy has no authority over the children of God.  I know none of us will live forever on this earth, but I will pray for healing until God either heals my mom or calls her home.  THE SAME POWER THAT CONQUERED THE GRAVE LIVES IN US AND WE SPEAK HEALING IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!

Please pray for safe travels for us (my husband and I and our daughter) as we make the loooooooonnnnngggg drive across county to California.  Pray that all goes smoothly in getting the apartment, moving their things, and setting up utilities, internet, etc.  Pray that God continues to watch over our son-in-law and brings him (and all of our military men and women) home safely.  Pray that God will bless our time together out there, and give my husband and I a safe flight home next Wednesday.  This will only be the second time my husband and I have flown on an airplane without our kids.  The last time was in October of 1989!  

Keep thanking God for the healing He is performing in my mom's body.  I appreciate so much your agreeing with us in prayer.  We are keeping our eyes fixed on Him and trusting Him.  God is good no matter what.

I'm reading the book  Crazy Love by Francis Chan for the second time.  If you haven't read it, I urge you to get a copy.  It is a short book, and a fast read.  What a reminder that Jesus desires that we fall completely in love with Him.  He gave His life for us.  When I think of it . . .well, it's indescribable.

One last prayer request . . . pray for our country and our leaders!!

I'll have pictures from our trip next week!