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The next scene that takes place

The next scene that takes place is found in Luke 2.
The census was taken throughout the Roman Empire and Joseph needed to go and be counted.
Because he was a descendant of King David he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea.
While they were there Mary gave birth to Jesus.
Now let’s back up and imagine a journey on country roads that were not easy to travel, and Mary was very round and riding a donkey.
I’m sure she was very tired and worn out from the riding and maybe she walked too we are not told that information.
It was a hard journey, but it was necessary.
When they got to Bethlehem there was no room anywhere for her to rest.
Joseph had relatives there but apparently, they were not open to him staying there, and the census would mean many people would be in that area.
I can’t imagine what Mary thought. Any new mom is fearful of what is to come.
The unknown is hard to deal with and here she was giving birth to a baby.
Perhaps she was alone? We are not told, maybe someone in the town helped her?
Joseph didn’t know what HE was doing or what was expected to do.
It says she wrapped the baby in strips of cloth and laid him in the manger.
There were no diapers, no soft baby blankets, nothing that we would think of when a new baby is born.
YET the baby arrived and the angels too and they were singing GLORY TO GOD…
out in the field where the shepherds were keeping watch at night.
The sky would be bright, and clear and if you have ever looked up in a night sky it is amazing and marvelous….to see the constellation of stars and beauty.
The next scene that takes place is found in Luke 2.

In the book of Luke

In the book of Luke, it tells us that Mary hurried to the country of Judea to the town where Zechariah and Elizabeth lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth and at the sound of her voice the baby Elizabeth was carrying leaped within her, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth said to Mary, “why am I so honored that the mother of my Lord should visit me?”
Now we have to remember Mary and Elizabeth were relatives.
They knew each other very well in fact Mary was at her house to tell her ‘About her baby and the angel visiting her’ and also to see what the angel had said about Elizabeth, for everyone knew she was barren with no child.
Mary responded to Elizabeth with a song of acceptance, the magnificat a song of praise. Found in Luke 1:40-56
It says she stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and I wonder if she was there when Elizabeth gave birth. The next scene we read about is the birth of John.
There is so much to the story of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus.
Joseph was warned by the angel Gabriel to take Mary as his wife.
It was a customary thing in that time to divorce her quietly in this situation, but he was told not to do that. Marry her and don’t become husband and wife until after the baby was to be born. We are not told much about other children, in this story, but there were others that were related to Jesus later.
I wonder if the time Mary spent with Elizabeth was for Joseph to figure out what he was going to do with the life changing decisions ahead of him.
The story of Mary and Joseph and all that had to change for them, gives me great hope and amazement. How they accepted and followed through with the news of their changing lives together, not knowing or fully understanding what the future would be for them.
There is more to the story as we continue on to read what was written.
In the book of Luke

An angel met with Mary

When Elizabeth was six months along with John, an angel met with Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Gabriel appeared to her in Luke 1:28 and he said,
“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Now we must stop for a second and remember she was only 16, not quite a woman; but God knew.
It said she was, confused and disturbed as she thought about what the angel had said to her.
Wouldn’t that be the normal response when hearing a greeting like that?
The other thing to remember; women who were pregnant and not married were often stoned to death.
It was a serious issue not only for her, for Joseph and their families involved.
She must have had many questions and concerns.
Then the angel said,
“Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So, the baby to be born will be holy, and will be called the Son of God.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age!
People used to say she was barren, but now she is in her sixth month.
For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary’s response to the angel was,
“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true,”
Then the angel left her.
{I truly think the angel brought the news about Elizabeth to Mary, so she would believe more intensely and with more reality.
She knew Elizabeth was old and barren. She also knew she must go see her and see for herself what the angel had said.}
An angel met with Mary and told her the good news..

When I think of the Christmas story

When I think of the Christmas story; I am in awe and in amazement of the number of players that were used to create the scenes.
It is orchestrated like a screen play with everyone doing every little part, to make the whole, story complete.
God was so wise to use a simple teenager, and a humble man.
Of course, HE was wise, He is God the Almighty Father.
It was perhaps a love story; that would be tested from the moment the angel met with Mary.
She was a teen, so young and being told. “You are to be the chosen one.”
She had a tender heart full of acceptance and honor.
Can you even imagine how it started? Being startled by an angel in the room?
“Don’t be afraid.” (Of course, he would have to say that!) I would be terrified.
I have always been amazed over the fact that the angel spoke in a language Mary could understand.
We don’t think of angels having language or sound other than singing.
I wonder if sometimes WE get an angel among us telling us things that we hear, but not realizing Who was telling us?
Mary was the chosen one to be the mother of Jesus.
In Luke 1: The story is written and played out and it unravels with each and every character.
The beginning of it began with Zechariah and Elizabeth who were relatives of Mary.
It was the miracle before the miracle.
Their son, John would be born before Jesus.
Elizabeth was barren for many years and then Zechariah was told they would have a son.
He didn’t believe the angel and so the angel told him to be quiet until the birth took place.
I don’t blame him for doubting, that would be the reaction of many in the same situation.
But God… can do miracles.
A miracle before the miracle.
When I think of the Christmas story I am always in awe of the details and the obedience.

Thanksgiving will be here soon

Thanksgiving will be here soon. Fast approaching, the shopping not really done.
We are going to our son’s house, so it is not the big ‘drag out the china’ day for us and that is OK.
We welcome the invitation.
November is also our anniversary month.
This year it was our 50th.
Hard to believe that we have been living in the same house for that long.
Well not same physical house, but ‘us’ together.
We were young. We grew up together.
Had our children, watched them grow up into wonderful adults with children of their own. We have six amazing grand children. Life is good.
We have really lived through the richer, poorer, in sickness and in health, and it has been a learning process for both of us.
He out did himself this year by purchasing 50 Yellow roses.
LONG stem in one bouquet. The vase was huge.
I was surprised and not sure what to think. The bouquet was massive in size.
We went to the beach for a few days with our trailer and had wonderful meals out.
We planned it simple and cozy.
I think it matters most when we do things that are comfortable and not overly stressful.
Next week is Thanksgiving and then we head into the Christmas season.
I can decorate and set up lights and enjoy the season with a holiday movie or two.
It is a special time of year.
I also have a birthday. I thank God I made it this far to enjoy it.
We give thanks for all things small and large.
For family and for memories.
For friends who are near and dear to us.
We give thanks for a church that we can go to in freedom and without worry.
We give thanks that our Pastor is a man of integrity and knowledge.
Thanksgiving will be here soon, and we give thanks with our whole heart.
Our wedding day so many years ago.

Part of the experience part two

Part of the experience was entering into the radiation room.
Pretty overwhelming at first.
The machine was big and even though they do what they can to make you comfortable, it is a setting you don’t really want to be a part of for very long. I didn’t have to have this very long or very intense, and I do have three little tattoo’s to mark where the radiation beam was to go, it’s pretty life changing to arrive every day to this room with the hope and prayer that it will work, and nothing will be found ever again.
The actual radiation part takes about 5-7 minutes. It took us longer to drive there than the actual treatment.
Then I met with an oncologist there at that clinic who would determine how long and how intense of radiation I would receive.
I honestly have to say, the experience was good. Yes I know that sounds funny, but I have heard of others who come out with major burns, and I didn’t.
I didn’t have any residual problems from the treatment, and I passed with a good amount of energy and willingness to fight this.
I did do something that was not the best idea, in the afternoon the fatigue would hit me and rather than lay down for a nap, I made a pot of coffee.
I was emotional at times, but I think that is part of the process too.
The 16 sessions were life altering, and part of the experience is being willing to learn and accept what must take place.
I have a new understanding of cancer and the process of healing.
Part of the experience part two.



October is breast cancer awareness month

October is breast cancer awareness month.
I have always gone into the hospital for routine mammograms because of the need to watch a few spots.
I went every six months.
Till everything changed the end of 2019.
One mammogram looked suspicious, and I was to go in and get checked on a more intense level.
December of 2019 I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma stage zero.
The plan was set in place for treatment.
My surgeon, oncologist and I set the plan in motion.
December 29th I had an ultrasound.
I had a biopsy after Christmas, and then I had surgery.
A lumpectomy where they remove a portion of the tissue and surrounding areas.
Then I had to heal from that experience.
I had stitches from a very good surgeon, and I had to be careful of tight things around my site.
In a short amount of time, I had consultation, mammogram, ultrasound, consultation again, and scheduled surgery.
The biopsy was difficult as it was a stand up, mammogram biopsy I told the guy doing it, “can you numb me down to my toes?”
Whatever he did, it was done well as I had minimal pain during the process.
The biopsy actually removed the cancer cells and after that I was scheduled to receive 16 sessions of radiation instead of the 20 that were scheduled for me.
February 5th I had a CT scan on the 3rd and a bone scan on the 5th. I also had an MRI in December of 2019
Radiation began February 10th for four weeks every day with a consult with that oncology doctor in the process of treatment.
I did not have to take chemotherapy which was such a blessing.
I remember walking past the room where those getting treatment rested as the tubes ran through their veins.
Surgery day was actually January 7th followed by 4-6 weeks of radiation. On the 16th doctors office called with a clear report.
Radiation to begin February 10th.
January I started a new medication to prevent cancer recurrence.
As you can tell by reading this, every diagnosis is a major thing.
They don’t waste time on the treatment plan.
It is still a little jumbled as to what we did, how we did and how we coped.
All I know is every mammogram can be life changing.
I was able to ring the bell after treatment and I pray I don’t ever have to do it again.
For those who fight the fight, I pray for you. Remain strong and remain steady.
October is breast cancer awareness month. If you haven’t scheduled one, please do. 

No matter how busy our lives

No matter how busy our lives, there are ways to make sure neither distance nor every day demands.
keep us from friends we don’t want to lose.
I care about my friends and value the time it took for us to become friends and to stay that way.
Two of my special friends live far away from me. It takes effort to see them.
We treasure the time when we can plan a day or weekend.
It is very important to make it a priority.
Also, the phone calls or texts make a difference too.
Not the same as having a hot cup of tea together, but it is a small compromise when we can’t ‘be together’.
Jesus had friends, he spent time teaching them and preparing them.
Wanting them to be watchful and aware.
I think that is important too.
A real friendship builds up the confidence in each other and the ability to pray for and with each other is a blessing.
My life changed when my friends moved away but I knew in my heart it was a good move for both of them.
We can be happy and be a little sad at the same time.
Our lives are here to nurture the ones who give us time and value.
If I could go over and drop in and say “HI” I would, but for now, I must be happy with texts and calls.
My sister just made a lovely luncheon for her ‘good’ friends.
It was not only a gift of her time and talent but a sincere effort to get to know them better.
It takes time, and it takes choice to go out of your way to do something nice.
We all can do that. It is just a matter of deciding what are we trying to build up and nurture.
No matter how busy our lives, there are ways to make sure neither distance nor everyday demands.
keep us from the friends we don’t want to lose.

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
When I read this quote on my bulletin board, I am reminded of the many friends who have enriched our lives.
I can remember back when I was a young mom in the hospital having her very first baby.
Down the hall and later in the room was another mom having her first.
We have a common ground of friendship.
Our boys are the same age. I was young and she was ten years older, but we have stayed in contact all these years.
Later I had a daughter, and she did too.
It’s been 48 years of getting together a few times a year.
We are in our late 60’s they are in their late 70’s.
The years have been good, and our friendship not forgotten.
Then I remember other friends who have walked this life path of kids, and church activities and illnesses and bible studies.
Friends who have stood the test of time with us.
When I think of each one, they all helped in a certain point in time.
Some friends have dropped away, and I have not heard from them, but the ‘real’ ones are here to stay.
I know at any point I can call them and ask for prayer.
I know at any point I can call them and go over to their house for fellowship.
I know at any point I can reach out to them and just thank them.
Saying thank you is a gift we can give to others.
Saying I appreciate you and miss you is also a gift.
Those friendships that have stood the test of time. That is what I value.
When it’s time for me to go, someday, I want those friends to remember, it was good and sweet.
We had God to bind us together, we had friendships to help us nurture what is refreshing to our soul.
I don’t take light thoughts about those special ones who have held a special place within my heart.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul, always and have some tea too..

Our family went on a camping trip.

Our family went on a camping trip.
It was not anything to share about, just took our trailer to Bend area and it was good weather.
In fact, it was SO hot I tried not to complain.
We had very little hook ups and with a trailer that is a major inconvenience.
At one point in time, we went over to Lava Lake area and walked around the lake.
I had knee length shorts on, and I thought I was OK.
Not true.
Somehow, I had gotten bit by a tick and never knew it.
I wonder where it went.
We were home after about 4-5 days and my knee was rather swollen and not happy.
We ended up in urgent care and that doctor thought I had cellulitis.
Which is serious.
She gave me antibiotics and told me to watch my knee.
After the next week I went back to another doctor, and she said I had a Lyme ring from a tick.
The antibiotics really helped but I did have this virus in my system and will have to deal with it.
I don’t mind being unique but out of 47 people I was the only one with symptoms.
I guess I am special.
Camping is always a risk, there are lots of bugs and creatures to watch out for.
I did not feel pain, nor did I feel fatigue, other than today because I am fighting something.
I like our trailer and I like the many feelings of home, but you still have the chance to get bit by something.
The season is almost over.
We have one more outing planned at the coast then we will put the trailer away.
Our family went on a camping trip, and I was the one to find a rare tick in the pacific northwest.