June 2016

We went out to the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Festival held here in Weiser a few days ago.  There is a few concentrated areas of festivalishness scattered around our small  town.  All gather to celebrate the music of the fiddle, it’s friends, and there is a legit contest held in our high school auditorium every summer.  The third full week of June turns our two-stoplight town into a bit of a flurry.

We went down one night to enjoy the annual splurge of carnival food, good friends, and explore the vendors set up.  “We” being me, mom, and the kids.  It was a good night.  One of those warm, memorable, simple, and easy nights that we often take for granted.  I am so thankful I was able to slow down and enjoy the evening.  An intention to treasure this up in my heart.

Tomorrow I take mama over to get her first scan since having the surgery to remove her cancer and the HIPEC (chemotherapy) treatment May 4th.  We scan here in Idaho,  thankfully.  However, as luck would have it, her follow-up appointment is the following week in San Diego.  The very same week God planned our church’s youth group mission.  I stepped down from going on this trip when I knew mom would need me this summer.  It hurt at the time, but I now see how God orchestrated all of this for a reason, even the decision not to go on the mission all those months ago.

Here we are: Toby and Quincy are going to San Francisco to work in homeless shelters, after-school programs, and more.  They are travelling with three adults and eight more middle school aged girls.  Pray for those adults!!!  This mission trip will hopefully guide these kids into a mindset of universal suffering and reaching out wherever they are.

Mom, the two little’s, Tate and Tripp, and I will travel to San Diego during the time Toby and Q will be in SF.  My sister, D’Ann, was promoted within her company and will be travelling to and from Portland during this chaos, to  boot!  The flower shop seems to be working itself out.

The MRI mom gets tomorrow weighs heavy on my mind.  Did the treatment work?  What do we do with the answers?  Preparing for outcomes.  Constant.

I’ve really struggled beyond the cancer, beyond San Diego, beyond the results.  I’ve recently unplugged from Facebook and more, furiously wrestling in my mind to numbness in my spirit.  Me and God.  So, sometimes we don’t see eye to eye on things.

After seeing this *miracle* opportunity for my mom.  This opportunity for her to be cured, I began doing more research on my own health problems.  Unfortunately, the findings were discouraging and I find myself completely at the mercy of God.  To be in this place with this ongoing pain, deep pain in my legs and arms, and to know that He is not going to allow it to be taken away for now, for today, and maybe not until heaven, makes me sad.  I know what the Bible says and I know what my response ought to be, but I cannot quite connect my heart and my head right now.  There are more struggles.  More.

Five days late and a notice to turn off the utilities.  We’re running a yard sale to get money to head to San Diego for this big cancer journey and we get messengers sent into the store reminding us that we are five days late and our power will get shut off.  In front of my family and friends.  Awesome.  Humility is my favorite.

Turns out, they were not actually going to shut off the power as printed on the paper.  They just use it to serve you a “notice.”  Thankful about that.  However, you still have to pay the $40 fee that would have turned your power off and back on.  And, this is mercy and this is grace and this is a tough day.

And, I’m so thankful the phone company is patient.

The week before last, I made the last of a tax payment due for all of the past due taxes to the State.  The store was just so slow.  I couldn’t make up the gap.  You get the last of one portion paid, and it takes all you have, and you just need grace.

Sometimes, my brain can’t distinguish these moments from how God directly feels about you.  You tried your best and it wasn’t good enough and it will take so much more to make it right.  And, at the end of the day there is still pain and there is still cancer to deal with and there is still another day to face.  And, why can’t I just choose peace like everyone else?

Here I am and here we are.  Hanging in there as best we can with what we have.  Thanks for being patient with us as we continue to figure this life out.  Patient with ‘me,’ would be more apt.  Mostly me.  Everyone else seems to have it super together!

Mom is still healing and thriving.  Moving a bit slow, but getting up and about more and more.  Inspiring people wherever she goes.  It’s such a blessing to see this unfold around you and at the same time hard to comprehend because you are in it.



Dana the Discipler’ish

Yesterday, after several weeks of missing them, I met with my two girls.  Not my girl’s, but God’s girl’s.  Two girl’s I chose, with divine appointment, to enter deeper into His presence by studying, reading, and actively pursuing the word of God and it’s application as a human person.  Discipleship.  Not the first time I’ve done it.  A new season.

Ironically enough, the study guide I chose for us to work on this summer is entitled, “A Daughter’s Worth” by Ava Sturgeon.  I wanted to work on Joyce Meyer’s “Battlefield of the Mind for Teens” but, this other book somehow elevated itself in the last minute ordering, well over a month ago.  I selected this for the girl’s and now here I am wondering if it was actually chosen for me.  Ha.  I see what you did there, Jesus.  Clever.

With my latest state of mind, and the ever-increasing shadows I find inside of me, I wasn’t sure that I was the right person for this job.  I wrestled with it.  “I do believe!  Please help me with my disbelief!”   (Mark Chapter 9)  I pray words written in His book.  Still no words of my own at times.

Instead of starting this series, the books happened to be stuck in a car in Boise – surely by His design- so, I chose to just to get real.  Not too real, but real.  We did our usual start, prayer, a chapter of the New Testament, journaling…  and then, I shared my heart.

Basically, I just cried.

I told the girls a few of my specific struggles and my confusion about God as my “Abba” Father, my provider, and my healer.  I shared how tired and how much pain I was in.  I confessed that I didn’t want to screw them up or cause them to stumble.  And, finally, I asked them for help.

They both insisted that I wouldn’t mess them up.  Ye of little faith.  One shared that when she thought, “Christian,” she thought of me.  Oh mercy.  Let’s lower the bar, here, sister.  No pressure, right?

They each offered encouragement.  “Don’t give up.  God still cares about you.  Don’t give up on Him.”

And the other, “This sounds like Job and God restored everything to Him, like, double.”

As a mother, I have found one of the safest places to be is wrapped in an embrace with my children.  Their innocent hugs come without judgement, no other motives, and no pain – unless Tate is running toward you, then you naturally post a defensive position to receive her fierce love.  God’s arms.


As a mentor of two beautiful young ladies, I see how God has also provided me the seat of a student.  God’s extension of love and wisdom.  In the presence of two innocent minds full of wonder, love, and awe of God, it is hard not to be refreshed with their hope.