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Monday, March 26, 2012

Do You Spend Your Days Doing What Really Counts?

I'm now reading Randy Alcorn's 50 Days of Heaven Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light and am more inspired than ever that Christians must live every day with Eternity in mind.

I'm often asked why I keep writing so many books--seemingly back to back--and my answer is always: I have no idea how many days I have left, only the Lord knows that, and I want to spend every one of those days doing something that has Kingdom value.

My friend Grace did exactly that. She had many things on her calendar for the day, week, month... after she died, but she had done all the Lord required. She finished well. She had her spiritual account in order. That is what she wanted her tombstone to read and I know that is what the Lord said to her: You fought the good fight. You finished the race. Welcome to your Eternal home.

Since the death of my "Grace Abounds, I wake up often in the night thinking about her. Last week at 3 am I was doing just that when I "heard": "I'm fine Janet. I'm home. Let me go and I'll be waiting for you here in Heaven." I said, "Thank you Grace" and went back to sleep.

Lest you worry I'm losing it and talking to the dead, my morning devotional for  the next morning was We're Headed Home from Philippians 3:20 "Our citizenship is in heaven. " Don't you just LOVE it when God, who is alive, talks to you and confirms His presence. To those who don't think God talks to us today... they're just not listening.

Rejoice That Your  Names Are Written in Heaven--Luke 10:20! Who do you know whose names aren't written there that you could share the Good News with today. Approaching Easter is a perfect time to share from where your hope comes from.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Letter from a Mommy-in-Waiting


Dear Janet,

 I really want to thank you for being obedient in writing the book, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby. God really is using it to minister to my broken heart and encourages me to not give up for He is faithful. Thank you for your servant heart!

I would like to share with you my story and how I came across your book. I had a mighty plan that after I finish my MBA, my husband and I can start a family. At that point, I didn’t do much research; I just believed that we would conceive right away. Well, a year and one period later, we still didn’t have a baby. In that year I went through wanting a baby, hurting for a baby, being angry with God because everyone around was getting pregnant but us (facebook doesn’t help maters either ).

 I went to see a fertility specialist, who told me that I don’t ovulate on my own and that we can start taking pills to help me. I was so excited, only was disappointed when I found out at the beginning of our treatment that my husband was leaving for 4 month to AZ for officers military training. But the date was moved and I ovulated while he was still home. I was absolutely positively sure that the date was moved by God so we could conceive, yet when my period started on time I was crushed. I was angry, upset and depressed. How could God do that?! Why is He not giving us a baby?

My husband has been gone for a month now and I have my bad days and good days. I came to peace that my husband was gone and we would have to wait for 4 months. But the enemy started to throw seeds of doubt my way, when all people were suggesting adoption. That’s not quiet what I wanted to hear at that moment…considering we only had one chance to conceive. I know people meant well, but I just wanted them to pray with me and not give me every suggestion on what I should do.

 I was desperate to find a book on infertility, so I started to search. The story in the Bible that I absolutely love is story about Hannah.  So I thought that I would start searching for a book on Hannah.

I kept on searching and finally typed in infertility in the search box of a Christian Book store site. Your book came up and the title really captured my heart. After work I bought a copy and started to read. Right away I was crying and laughing as I could so relate to stories of many women, who shared their journey. I also love your encouragement in journaling. And after one chapter you suggested to try to write a poem. So I did and want to share with you.

Written by God and me! 

Dear God, I want a child so unbelievably bad,
Yet the doctor tells me that I have problems, which makes me so sad.
Why does it have to be this way that I must wait a while,
Don’t you see my broken heart that is longing for a child?

Dear God, I am hurting, when I look at facebook posts.
All my friends are showing baby pictures that’s when I am jealous the most.
Belly bump, a dirty diaper, crying baby all night long
Oh how much I long those moments but my hope is gone.

Dear God, I am angry as I wipe another tear
The pills are finally working, but the stress won’t disappear.
Anxiously I wait to test hoping to see a plus sign
Yet another disappointment breaks my heart for a hundredth time.

Dear God, I am hopeful as I am remembering Your sign today
That You’ll bless us with a child along the way.
Help me trust Your plan completely knowing that Your plan is best,
Because You promise us in the Bible that’s when we find rest.

Dear God, I am trusting as You tell me in Your Word
I am tired, weary, anxious, please give  me strength, Lord.
Give me joy to serve you humbly, loving others while I wait.
Use me fully for Your Kingdom believing Your plans are never late.

Dear God, I am peaceful and my mind can’t understand at all.
I am joyful while waiting for our miracle to hold.
Thank You, Father, for the baby You will bless us with one day
Help me keep my eyes on You through the sunshine’s ray.

The message that I am hearing lately through godly people, Christian radio station, Scripture and devotional is to TRUST and BELIEVE for He is FAITHFUL.

Mommy in waiting,
Oxana 

For tips on what not to say to an infertile couple and loving response for the couple check out the article I wrote in MTL Magazine:  http://www.mtlmagazine.com/mtlmagazine/departments/articles.php?cat=my_life
 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In Memory of My "Grace Abounds"

 
 I've lost my "Grace Abounds". Grace Marestaing mentored me through breast cancer and we became life-long friends & sisters-in-Christ. Grace was selfless and always there for me and others

My book Dear God, They Say It's Cancer is dedicated to my "Grace Abounds" and she wrote the "Dear God," for Single and Sick and the closing poem "Step by Step."

I gave Grace the nickname "Grace Abounds" after the Mentoring Game skit used in the Woman to Woman Mentoring training. There are three mentors vying for a mentee: SuperMom, I'm a Saint, and Grace Abounds.

I met Grace at the breast cancer center when I was first diagnosed. She was a patient advocate and I had written on my health application that my employer was "The Lord." She commented that was an interesting employer and I asked if He was hers too and she said "Absolutely!" 

On the way home from that appointment I called a friend and told her I had my own "Grace Abounds." I wrote a poem about Grace which I included in the book and I'll share with you here.


Grace is with Jesus whom she loved so dearly, but I miss her dearly too....


GRACE ABOUNDS
                                             Feelings flow.
                                                   Stories told.
                                                   Waiting answers.
                                                   Ah, it’s cancer.

                                                   Unshed tears.
                                                   Over years.
                                                   Held inside.
                                                   Ah, such pride!

                                                   Building, building.
                                                   Yielding, yielding.
                                                   Now release.
Ah, such peace.

Pain, sadness.
Grief, madness.
Not fair.
Ah, many care.

“I’m Grace.”
Kind face.
“Interesting employer.”
Ah, “I’ll mentor.”

“I cried.
But survived.”
Dr. West,
Ah, “the best.”

Life’s dear.
No fear.
God surrounds.
Ah, Grace abounds.
           
                            Janet Thompson    12/02