Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Photo by Pam Williams
“You can do it!”

“One. More. Time!”

“You got this!”

“You’re doing great!”

“Lookin’ good!”

With autumn come the sounds of cheering as football, soccer, cross country, field hockey, and other sports gear up. Yet, the comments I opened with weren’t heard at any sporting event—they have been said to me over the course of my chemotherapy treatments.

At some time or other we all need a cheerleader or two to encourage us as we face challenges in our lives. God has made sure I am surrounded by an extensive squad of enthusiastic individuals who are cheering me on. With five treatments down and one to go, He knows I have needed them—desperately.

There have been days—days of aches, odd pains, insomnia, nausea, startling glimpses in the mirror, weird tastes, itches, and mind-numbing fatigue—when I have said, “The heck with this.” “I can’t go another round.” “I want to quit.” But my Fearless Leader always sends a member of the squad to give me a pep talk—a friend, family member, Facebook acquaintance, co-worker, or fellow Christian,

I do have a favorite cheerleader—he’s the best and he is by my side as much as possible. Dick never makes me face an appointment alone. He listens patiently when I whine and grumble. He lets me cry on his shoulder. He puts his arms around me and tells me I am beautiful.

How could I possibly remain discouraged?

God’s Word says we are to encourage one another and build up one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Encouragement is the theme of my blog. Why? We live in a fallen, self-centered world where we face a myriad of challenges. We need an encouraging word, an uplifting prayer, a reassuring hug, an act of kindness—just so we can take the next step, and the next, and the next. One seemingly small and insignificant comment or action can make someone’s day and ultimately help them keep on keeping on. I know it works for me.

Who’s your favorite "cheerleader" in life?

Be encouraged!

 ©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blessed Beyond Measure

It all started with the white of his eye. A few months ago I starting noticing I could see the white above my husband, Dick’s left iris. How odd, I thought. I mentioned it to him and he admitted that eye had been feeling especially dry. So we made an appointment with the eye doctor.

With Dick’s history of Grave’s disease, the thyroid seemed the logical culprit, so he was referred to both our family physician and to an eye specialist. After multiple referrals, Dick ended up at the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, who, upon looking at the results of a CAT scan, uttered, “Hmmm. . . Whoa! What IS that?”

Not the words a patient wants to hear as a specialist reviews test results.

Long story short, Dick had surgery this week for an unknown type of mass in his sinus that was pressing on his eye, causing it to bulge forward and not close properly. Thankfully, it turned out to be a somewhat large mucocele, a benign type of cyst, that was easily removed and the healing process begun.

Following on the heels of my cancer diagnosis and subsequent chemotherapy treatments, we are especially thankful for a wonderful prognosis and no anticipation of any further treatment needed. As before, our family and friends have covered us with an outpouring of love, prayer, and support. It is humbling and inspiring to be the recipients of such generosity and genuine caring, shown in tangible and intangible ways.

My freezer has never been so crammed with food, nor our card basket stuffed so full! But most of all, our hearts overflow with thankfulness to God for His mercy and healing, and for each and every person He has nudged our way with their warm hugs, their  encouraging words, their thoughtful gifts, and their fervent prayers. We are truly blessed beyond measure.

Blessings to you and yours!

 ©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Motivated by Love

Photo by Pam Williams

What comes to mind when you hear the word “evangelism”? Pushy people accosting you on the street? Guilt for not saying enough about Jesus? People swarming down the aisles at a huge rally? Or, loving friends sharing spiritual good news?

For the Apostle Paul, evangelism was exciting and invigorating. He loved passing along the Good News. Paul could have made lots of excuses for not preaching or sharing his faith. He had been mistreated, insulted, and opposed in numerous places. In Acts 16 it says Paul had been beaten, whipped and imprisoned.

Most of us have not dealt with physical resistance. However, we face other forms of resistance. I remember trying to talk with a family member who responded by arguing with me. Another demanded explanations for seeming inconsistencies in the Bible, while another simply waved my words away and walked off.

What enabled Paul to continue evangelizing despite opposition? I think it was his motivation—Paul loved the people he shared with. Paul compares himself to both a mother and a father caring for their children. How did he demonstrate that? He fed them spiritually by preaching; he was excited about their spiritual growth; he willingly shared his life with them; he lived an exemplary life before them; he encouraged them; he comforted them; and he urged them to walk with God.

Over the years God has brought many spiritual mothers and fathers into my life. Lucy Armel invited me into her home and encouraged me as a new mother to lean on God and the church. Bill and Peggy Williams accepted me just as I was and lived out their faith even in how they cooked a meal or carried on a conversation. Most of all, it has been Christians pouring out their selfless love on me—through cards, conversations, companionship—that has encouraged and comforted and called me to live for Jesus.

The key to evangelism is motive—we must love the person with whom we are sharing our faith. Whether our efforts are embraced or rejected, we will continue to share because we truly care.

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Beach Button

Photo by Pam Williams
Buttons cover the tabletop in mounds. Searching for a replacement for one that was lost I hurriedly sweep my hand through the piles. A splash of aqua catches my eye. A typical round, flat button with two holes in the center, the small disc measures only a half inch across—ordinary in every way but one—its color.

With a feeling akin to homesickness, I reach over and pick up the button, holding it reverently in my hand. Almost translucent, the blue-green and eggshell pigment swirls across the surface. I notice a few grains of ecru. As I stare at the wave-like pattern, I am gradually transported back to my favorite vacation spot at the beach.

The turquoise water swells and spills its way to the sand in crystal clear waves edged with lacy white foam. Such tremendous power roars into shore and yet, bathes me in peace.

The soft, white sand massages my feet and the warm fingers of sunlight knead any tenseness from my shoulders. A gentle breeze cools my face and plays with the fine tendrils of my hair, tickling my neck. Tranquility floods my soul.

White puffy clouds in the distance hold no threat. Even rain showers are pleasant—warm droplets caress the skin one moment and are gone the next, lasting only long enough to water the myriad of beautiful flowers growing everywhere.

I lick my lips. Their salty, ocean-sprayed flavor simply adds to my thirst to take in as much as possible of the ambiance of this beautiful place. I inhale serenity with each breath of sea-scented air.

Gradually the memory fades. I clasp the button to my heart. Tilting my face upward, I whisper my heartfelt thanks to God for treasured moments re-lived by the glimpse of a mere button, memories especially sweet since chemotherapy is keeping me out of the sun this summer.

Do you have a button or some other object that unclasps a precious memory for you?


PS.:Four treatments down and two to go! I can see the finish line! Thank you for your prayers, and thank You, Jesus, for Your mercy!

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Growing Faith like Honeysuckle

photo by Pam Williams
I am so proud of myself! I transplanted a honeysuckle plant from my childhood neighbor’s yard and it has taken root and grown! Me, the one with no plant skills at all! Honeysuckle holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me so much of my Grandma Flasher. You can read all about hers in my post Honeysuckle: A Childhood Memory.

As I thought over what I had done to help my little honeysuckle plant to take root and grow, I realized that I faithfully cared for it in four ways:
  • I watered the plant so its roots would take hold.
  • I pulled out the weeds and grasses that encroached on the young plant.
  • I protected the honeysuckle from my husband’s overzealous weed whacking.
  • To lend it support, I gently entwined the tendrils around the decorative posts holding up our porch roof.

 Hmmm—I get the picture, Lord, This process sounds a lot like what I need in order for my faith to grow:
  • I must water my faith by immersing myself in God’s Word, digging down deep to grasp a better understanding and knowledge of God and what He expects of me.
  • I need to weed out those things in my life that hinder my faith by keeping me from spending time with God—checking Facebook or email too often, saying yes to unnecessary commitments, becoming a house-workaholic.
  • It is important for me to protect my faith from being cut down by those who disparage my beliefs or negatively influence my spiritual convictions. Though difficult, sometimes it requires severing the relationship.
  • I have to realize that other believers can help my faith grow. Weaving my life together with fellow members of my faith community in Sunday school classes, Bible studies, service projects, and fellowship groups provides me with a strong support system for my faith to grow.

 What spiritual lessons has God taught you through your plants?

The Lord will always lead you and satisfy your needs in dry lands.
He will give strength to your bones.
You will be like a garden that has plenty of water,
like a spring that never goes dry.
Isaiah 58:11


©2015 Pamela D. Williams