Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Psalm 19: It's Obvious!

photo by Pam Williams

Have you seen God lately? Do you hear His message? Can you read His story? I agree with the psalmist—His presence is obvious, His message is spoken loud and clear, and His story is revealed in each new day!

The sky here above Trucksville echoes God’s power. From the peaceful, cerulean expanse of a hot summer day to the ominous rumblings from voluminous thunderclouds, the presence of a Creator and Coordinator are undeniable.

The dainty steps of a doe and buck emerging from the tall grasses, the lumbering gait of a winter-ready black bear trampling the undergrowth, and the agility of the determined little grey squirrel expertly climbing our apple tree, proclaim the brilliance of God’s imagination.

The bluish purple and pearly pink of balloon flowers, the proliferation of basil, parsley, and chocolate mint in my herb garden, and frothy ferns lining our yard speak love and beauty to my soul, especially during this season of physical challenge. God knows I needed the reassurance that He provides abundantly and at just the right time.

Where have you seen Him? What has spoken His message to your heart? How have you heard a bit more of His story?

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.” from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë


Update: On the upswing after a few days of fatigue following my second chemotherapy treatment. God is seeing us through. So thankful for all your prayers on my behalf. May God bless each one of you.

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Less to Count

Photo by Pam Williams
Hair—Exit, stage right! The literature on chemotherapy says hair loss usually occurs two weeks after starting treatment. In my case, they nailed it! This week my hair has been rapidly transferring from my head to the trash can. God has lots less hairs to count on my head these days!

I have to admit I am not taking it too well. I’m into hats these days! However, in the grand scheme of life-saving treatment, hair loss seems so trivial. So, why does it bother me so much?

It boils down to thinking my acceptance by others, my value in their eyes, is based on looks—which is a falsehood perpetrated by the world. The Open Bible lists 53 verses on our worth in God’s eyes!

So many wonderful, encouraging verses! Here are just a few of my favorites:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

For God loved us so much, that he gave his only Son. . . John 3:16

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you . . . Isaiah 43:4

In light of my own situation, 1 Samuel 16:7 stood out to me: “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

While cancer and its treatment may change my outward appearance, it cannot change my heart. And that is what matters to God—and to those people in my life who love me scars, bald head, and all! So I will keep on striving to obey God with all my heart and let the chips hairs fall as they may! J

Blessings to you all!

P.S. I had my second chemotherapy treatment on Tuesday, July 21st. Things went very well! So thankful for all your prayers!©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Overcoming Grumpiness

Recognize this face? Yep! It’s “Grumpy Cat”. Lately, I have worn this look a bit too often.

What makes me grumpy? Mostly it is having to endure things I can’t change—needing chemotherapy, altered plans, distance from family, age-related difficulties—those infernally frustrating things in life I can do nothing about. You know what I’m talking about here?

The problem is, my grumpiness pokes its boney finger into those I love most. I find myself being short-tempered and hard to please. I am not so nice to people. So, what do I do when grumpiness hits?

For me, grumpiness usually stems from being too focused on myself, holding little internal pity parties for poor Pam. I have found a couple of Biblical steps I can take:

  • Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit (Proverbs 15:4) I try to quickly and calmly warn my loved ones when I am in a grumpy mood. This helps them to steer clear of me for a bit, giving me the space I need to process and get to the root of my grumpiness.
  • Let us examine our ways. (Lamentations 3:40) I look for the underlying cause of my grumpiness. Is it a fear, a frustration, an irritation? Does it stem from something physically, emotionally, or spiritually out of whack?
  • In everything give thanks. (1Thessalonians 5:18) I play Pollyanna’s Glad Game, in which the goal is to "find something about everything to be glad about," whether it's a disappointing Christmas gift or a life-long illness.
  • Smiling faces make you happy. (Proverbs 15:30) I spend time with people who laugh easily—even if it is just virtually. I watch something funny—an episode of my favorite sitcom or a video of Simon’s Cat.
  • Do for others what you would want them to do for you. (Matthew 7:12) Reaching out in kindness to someone else helps take my focus off myself.

 What makes you grumpy? How do you overcome your grumpiness?


 ©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Praying for You

It’s happening again. I have experienced this feeling before. In the midst of scary, life-changing events, the prayers of God’s people have carried me above the fray.

It happened during the seven years we fostered our daughter before parental rights were finally terminated and we could adopt her. During those years I never thought losing her. I just lived life like she was already mine—and she was. We have been joined at the heart since the moment the case worker placed her in my arms. God’s people were praying.

It happened again when our son’s kidney ruptured after a sledding accident. He spent 18 days in the hospital, most of it in ICU. During surgery, the doctors discovered it was the result of a birth defect and could have happened at any time. During a post surgery visit I was shocked to hear the doctor say, “Well, Seth, I am glad to see you doing so well. There were a couple of times there that I thought we were going to lose you.”
God’s people were praying.

And now I can feel the prayers from hundreds of people holding me up during this battle with breast cancer. Nothing I have been warned about has been as bad as I was told it could be. Why? Because God’s people are praying!

Sometimes when we are in the midst of a challenge our own prayers seem to be fragmented and ineffectual. I for one depend on the prayers of others during those times.

It reminds me of the paralyzed man whose friends carried him to Jesus for healing. Remember how they tore a hole in the roof and lowered him down on a pallet? (Mark 2:1-12) That’s how it feels to be carried along on the prayers of my family and friends. It’s a feeling of being loved and cared for in a way that infuses God’s supernatural power into my life. What a huge blessing this is!

Is someone you know facing a struggle right now? Have you told them you would pray for them? Are you keeping that promise? I KNOW your prayers make a difference.

Thanks so much!


P.S. I've been feeling really good. I get tired quickly in the evenings so I go to bed early. Had blood work today. My white count is low but no fever. Everything else is good. By next week the WC should be coming back up. So far so good! Thanks for your prayers! Thank you, Jesus, for holding me close!

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Mantra

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by. . .
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
(Psalm 57:1, 9-11)

Today I start my chemotherapy treatments. For me, that qualifies as one of those “calamities” that the psalmist speaks of in Psalms 57. I am hiding in the shadow of God’s wings, counting on Him as my refuge. After all, He’s done it before. . .

. . . When our son’s kidney ruptured and he spent 18 days in ICU
. . . When we fostered our daughter through seven long years of uncertainty
. . . When my husband resigned from his job with no other job lined up
. . . When my mother almost died from complications related to chemotherapy

My list could go on for quite a while. Over and over again God has seen ourfamily through troubles. As the psalm says, we can find refuge in the shadow of His wings for His mercy reaches to the heavens.

So, in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by will be my mantra for the next few months as I find protection beneath God’s wings and wait for the storm of cancer treatment to pass by.

When have you seen God work through things that made you run to Him for refuge? It is in remembering these past acts of His mercy that our faith stretches to cover our present challenges.