Monthly Archives: December 2010

Smother With Love

Smother People With Love

     As the year end approaches and I look back, I wonder how I got through the family problems, church problems, and health problems.  There’s been many in 2010, but time, prayer, and love took care of lots of them.  If we try to accept each other as we are and give merit to all opinions, than we can move forward no matter what trials we encounter.

     Total acceptance is not easy for some people.  The next best thing is prayer for strength to accept everyone just as they are.  I noticed that if I smother people with love and kind words, eventually they come around.

     One thing though, it must be sincere and it must be from the heart as our Lord would expect of us.  As a Christian I try to think, "WWJD" (What would Jesus do) in every awkward situation.

     My New Year’s Resolution will be to go the extra mile with kindness and love, try not to take myself to seriously, and not think my ideas or opinions are any better than anyone else’s ideas or opinions.  I will try harder to give more, love more, and pray more in 2011 than any other year.

     HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love in Christ,                   Claire xoxo

John 13: 34 &35, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."


A Story To Work Day

Another Journal Entry from September 2010

     Yesterday on my morning walk I felt the Lord impressing on my mind to take one of my stories to work with me.  So I quickly printed out a half dozen copies of the story I wrote about my 1976 4th of July trauma with the fireworks.  (I wrote it on another blog).  Then I prayed, "Ok Lord, give me the courage and the people You want me to read this to, amen."

     I walked in to my part-time job as a volunteer at our local hospital and thought to myself, here goes!  I was a bit anxious because I’m not sure if I am supposed to witness to people there, so I really wanted the Holy Spirit to take total control this day.

     My work consists of bringing donated items, like magazines, sundries, paperbacks, crayons, etc. to the patients and give them out as a good will jesture from the hospital.  I push a cart from room to room covering every patient I am allowed to see.  It is restricted, so the on-duty nurses keep me out of contagious rooms, and rooms where the patient is to ill for visitors.  I love going first to the children’s rooms especially if I have some stuffed animals and packs of crayons and coloring papers.

     At first I was nervous and forgot to mention my story.  But then, when I asked an elderly woman if she wanted anything to read she said, "Oh honey, I can’t see well enough to read anymore!"   Suddenly I felt overwhelmed to mention my article, "Would you like me to read you a story?"   She hesitated and asked, "What kind of a story?"  I continued, "It’s a Christian story I wrote and it is a true incident that happened to me."

     "You wrote it?  Ok, I would like to hear it!"  she added.  She lay all curled up in pain as I pulled up a chair and read the entire narrative uninterrupted, which is unusual in a hospital.  Someone is always coming or going.  She was engrossed.

     Afterwards she seemed to forget about her pain and got quite excited, "You wrote that?  It’s good enough to be published!"  Then she paid me the nicest compliment ever, "I could see the whole trauma happening as you read it.  Can I take a copy back to the nursing home with me to share with my friends?"   I was so pleased that my article gave her pleasure for a few minutes, that I left some copies in her bureau drawer.

     The funny thing is, I came away with encouragement about my writing.  I expected to witness to her, not to be witnessed to!  It felt like we were instant friends.  I hated to leave, but had to get my rounds done.  I left telling her she would be in my prayers all day.

     I moved on to a few more patient rooms and came to a woman preparing for surgery.  Again, she also had poor eyesight and couldn’t read either.  I asked if she would like to hear my story but she surprised me, "Claire, would it be ok if I told you my testimony?" 

     "Sure," I told her as I pulled up a chair.  She proceeded to tell me a beautiful experience of how she didn’t believe she would make it through this "7th surgery in the last 6 years," but that she was ready to meet the Lord.  At 82 years old she said one day recently she was struck with a powerful feeling of joy, comfort, and peace and she knew it was the Holy Spirit reassuring her the time was near and He was preparing her.    Normally I don’t write other people’s testimonies, but I was amazed at how she witnessed to me instead of me witnessing to her.  I never did hear how she made out after her surgery.

     I didn’t expect to receive yesterday, I expected to give.  I expected to fulfill someone and instead I was fulfilled.  What a pleasant surprise.  God turned the whole day around on me.

     1 Thess. 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."                         Love in Christ,           Claire  xoxo



God’s Close Presence

     This blog is a journal entry I made last January 2010:

     As I watch Sunday night television and listen to Dr. Stanley he says, "When is the last time you felt the strong presence of the Lord, I mean the very strong presence of Him?"  He went on, "I can be shaving in my bathroom and break into tears as I feel His strong presence.  Think about it.  When was the last time you felt Him?  God is looking for people who will be aware of Him and be obedient to Him."

     So I began to think deeply about these times:

     The time I was sitting in my volunteer job at the hospital trying to console a very young mother who couldn’t stop crying.  God told me right then to pray with her and gave me beautiful words to say at the same time.  Usually, I never feel like my verbal prayers are adequate.

     Another time for me when I sensed His closeness was 35 years ago when on my knees saying my prayers at midnight in my bedroom and the presence of the Holy Spirit filled my room.

     Another time was when I was reading a book praising Him and recognizing Him as our Lord and Savior.  Tears came out of nowhere.

     On my two-mile walks most times I break out in prayer and then quietly listen for His direction.  Regularly, He tells me to go home and write, or call, or put something in my journal, or go to someone and give them a message.

     When I layed in congestive heart failure after cancer surgery and radiation had done a number on my body I begged Him, "Please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me."  He seemed like He was in the empty room but I was still in a lot of pain.  The next thing I knew my sweet little brother came through the door.

     And again when I was alone in my livingroom and tears fell down my face that I couldn’t figure out why.  I realized I was travailing for the millions of abortions in America today which comes out of nowhere when I hear of yet another aborted child.

     Another time the Lord’s presence was strong in me was Sunday School when my friend Beth was frightened about an illness and she was waiting for test results and hated finding out early about this.  God had me interrupt and tell her, "No Beth, you are wrong!  It’s good to find out things early.  Thank God for finding illness early, and don’t be frightened of it."

     Dr Stanley went on, " We must acknowledge God’s power and might and His answers.  We must give Him total control of the world.  We must question.  Read the bible with a pencil in hand.  Jot down what He says to you while reading the Word.  And remember that your relationship with God is just for you, and noone else.  A special one just for you (Claire Ellen).  Our personal God will show up differently to every person.  Look at all the ways He showed Himself to different people in the bible."

     The doctor continued, "When you are aware of His presence you can see things through His eyes.  Learn to live aware of His presence.  Be alert to His presence at all times.  Communicate with Him through His Spirit."          Dr. Stanley-  In Touch Ministries

     And so I pray, "Lord make Yourself known to me!  Tell me what You want from me, and then give me the courage to do what You want!"        Love In Christ,       Claire    xoxo

     "We have the mind of Christ."   (1Cor. 2:16)




Good Out Of Bad

     The Lord tells us good things can come out of bad things.  Disasters that hurt you and your family can make other events happen.  My story today is about exactly that.

     The bad is, a close relative in our family is very ill with a serious disease.  I pray for her daily and ask my Lord and Savior to watch over her, and take total control over this illness.  The good is, my youngest daughter is also quite worried about our relative’s illness and we are communicating and praying together over this like we haven’t spoken together for years.  I’ll explain….

     My daughter Shelley and I were pretty much attached at the hip until she graduated from high school.  Then when she went off to college we began to grow apart.  She quickly fell in love with a young man who was nothing like any other guy she ever dated.  I was opposed to the union from the start, mainly because I viewed them as unevenly yoked.  Her being a born-again Christian and him not being a believer, was enough for me.  I imagined all kinds of things from him, like taking her away from her God, to her ending up unhappy, to whatever…

     So she withdrew from being close to me after 18 years of being by my side.  It was difficult at first, and I didn’t help by constantly reminding her of what God expected of her, of constantly telling her how different they were, of constantly objecting to everything about him.  One time they even broke up for awhile and I was elated, while she was devastated.  But, eventually love won over and they got back together to my dismay.

     Time passed with me praying daily for God to stop their plans of an upcoming marriage.  But they married, quickly bought an old house, and fixed it up beautifully.  Both of them worked hard at their careers, and he proved to be her best friend, and a hard-working devoted husband as well.

     They have been together 15 years now and she loves him more than ever.  He’s still not a Christian, but I have finally given that to the Lord.  After all, it took years for my other in-law children to come to Christ, and it is not up to me to decide when or where, just to keep praying.

     So here is the good.  After 15 years this relative’s illness is drawing my Shelley and I close together again.  We are both so worried about her that we talk on the phone or on the internet constantly.  Shell is sharing things about herself like never before.  She is also trusting in me again, and helping me to understand why this tragic event is in our lives.   My daughter is opening up to me like she hasn’t since she was in high school and we were so close, telling me stuff about herself that I never knew.

     It is awful to have an ill relative, but at the same time, that illness brought back a closeness that I have missed so very much from my own child.  Who would have ever guessed that this would happen?

     "When He heard this Jesus said,’This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it."  (John 11:4 NIV)   Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo



The Dove

     I volunteer at our local hospital once a week along with my dear friend Judy.  The poor girl gets to listen to all my stories week after week.  Last visit she said to me after politely listening to one of them, "Why don’t you blog a story about your illness?"  So I went home and prayed about it and the words poured into my head.  So, if you are reading this Judy, here goes….

     After about a month of unusual pain in my left breast, I decided to get a check-up.  "No need to worry," the doctor told me, "I think it’s just another cyst."  And he set up an appointment to get it removed. 

     Before I knew it I was lying on the table with a long needle being stuck in my body.  As I waited for it to be over, after inserting the needle several times, the specialist said, "Something is wrong Claire.  This cyst won’t aspirate.  I’m going to consult with another doctor.  I will be right back, " and he left me there.

     Fear set in.  Wondering what could be different this time than past cyst removals, I imagined the worst.  The doctor returned and told me, "We are going to take you down and get an ultrasound right now to see what is going on.  It won’t take long."

     They wheeled me into the xray room and I watched the screen while they took the pictures.  I was amazed at what I saw!  At the same time the technician spoke to me, "That looks like a bird!" he said looking at the ultrasound screen.

     "That’s not a bird," I told him, "That’s a dove!" 

     "Is that a good thing?" the tech asked me.

     "It’s a very good thing!"  I told him, "A dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.  That tells me everything will be all right."

     Within a few days I was scheduled for a biopsy and my worst fears came true.  It was a malignant tumor.  Next, I was directed to an oncologist and she told me I would need surgery and then radiation if I was only in stage one as they suspected I was.

     I went down to the cafeteria and sat with a cup of tea and broke down in tears.  I was so frightened, but the picture of the dove kept taking my fear away.  I knew that was a sign that the Lord was in control and I had to trust Him.

     The next several months were difficult.  Two surgeries and 28 radiation treatments later, I ended up in the hospital emergency room with congestive heart failure.  Fear set in again as I lay in the bed begging God with the only words I could seem to muster, "Please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me!"  After all this treatment I seemed to be getting worse not better.

     I decided to change doctors and have a bunch more tests done.  This time bad scar tissue from top to bottom, was discovered on my left lung from the radiation treatments.  Several doses of steroids, another surgery from complications, and a couple more emergency trips to the hospital later, and I was finally on the road to recovery. 

     Four or five months passed and I was pretty much my old self again.  I still have a few breathing problems, but over the years even that has healed up surprisingly well.  I was told that when Cancer hits, you put your life on hold for about a year.   And, if you are blessed, that year is all you lose.

     I still thank God for the dove on the ultrasound screen.  I clung to that image the whole time I was going through the big C.  I know that is silly, but the picture of the dove gave me the comfort I needed to get through a difficult time in my life.                 Love in Christ,         Claire    xoxo