Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving...

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Thanksgiving was this past weekend.  I love this holiday.  The simple act of giving thanks brings fulfillment and rest to my soul.. 

Craig said, “you have to write a simple update and let folks know how you’re doing.”  I want a big part of this update to be filled with gratefulness, because that’s what I’m filled with.  First of all I am thankful to the Lord. He is the giver of life and all good gifts.  He does all things well and that of course includes my battle with cancer.  Up to this point, I think the reason I have had a hard time writing about cancer is possibly similar to the way our veterans feel about writing or talking about their war experiences.  I once worked with a vietnam vet who couldn’t talk about his war experience.  I was always tempted to ask him to share, but I never pressed him.  At the same time, I don’t want anyone to think for one second that I am not grateful for the work of cancer that God has done in our lives. I am in awe because of the vivid presence of God throughout my cancer journey.  Many times I came away from treatment so lifted in the Lord that everything looked a different color.  The Scriptures jumped out at me and I wanted to stay there, in the presence of the Lord.  When many things were stripped away I was reminded of who God is and what He has done.  Just thinking about it brings tears afresh.  It was a wonderful time.

Secondly, I want to thank you...friends, family, brothers and sisters in Christ.  You also were bountiful gifts of our Jehovah Jireh.  Each and every thing you wrote, said and did was a great encouragement and I know He was using you.   Almost every day I went to the mailbox I received a Bible verse and warm note.  Thank you.  The meals were so wonderful.  It was such an outpouring of love...Craig said that one day at the end of a meal...”there is love in these meals.”  Thank you for that love.  The gifts left on the door handle of the house, when I was sleeping.  The cards with names of all the folks who knew and were praying.  Thank you.  The bags of groceries left at the church for Craig to pick up every week!  The house cleaning I came home to after every treatment.  I knew the Holy Spirit came with you...my home wasn’t just clean...it was filled with the joy of the Lord.  In this way God carried me.  All the times you wanted to visit with us.  The new phone and discount parking ticket at Mayo. The hospitality for me when our whole household got the stomach flu. Thank you!  Arriving at my first appointment at 7:30 am ready to encourage me with a wig, so I would be ready when I lost my hair.  When you came over and made scarves with the girls.  When you came and sat with me through chemotherapy, the distraction was wonderful.  When you visited and brought me books and sent books.  When you told me that I looked sick, but it was good I made the effort to go to church.  When you took the boys waterskiing.  When you drove hours many Saturdays to work at the Farmer’s Market for us.  When you came to visit from far away and stayed and cooked in our kitchen.  These all are sacred gifts.  The flowers when I came out of surgery.  They were the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.  All the guys who came and helped Craig build a road, so we could bring the pigs to market.  What an encouragement to Craig.  You all know who you are, but more importantly, God knows who you are. Thank you!  

I recently read an article about how to suffer well.  RC Sproul encourages us to watch others, visit sick people and learn from them and to practice suffering, because suffering is like a muscle that gets stronger as we do it more and then know our Bibles, so we know God is all powerful and loves us unchangeably.  Lastly he encourages us to “know well Jesus”, because He is acquainted with sorrow and “If we know Him, then we know that wherever He goes, we want nothing more than to follow”.  Go here for the full article.

About 3 1/2  weeks ago I had my last treatment of Herceptin.  I will go back in 3 months for a check up.  I have lingering neuropathy in my feet and dizziness, but it doesn’t stop me from gardening and doing everything I enjoy.  I also enjoy full range of motion in my arm that had the cording.  I have a lot of energy.  A few weeks ago, I even got to deliver a meal to another sweet lady going through cancer treatment.  It was wonderful and even more wonderful to tell her she would be able to serve others again!

May Jesus Bless Your Homes With His Presence Always and May You and Yours Know His Everlasting Love,
Karen

PS  One more thing to be thankful for...Charlie’s wrist healed very well and he’s working on the farm like before.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

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Some of you have mentioned an update would be appreciated... so read as you are interested. :o) We have been crazy busy over the last 6 weeks, setting the farm in motion and then launching attacks on weeds and overgrown pastures whenever the rain dries up for a bit, bringing the produce from our garden to farmer’s market, processing batches of Charlie’s chickens, celebrating Garrison’s graduation and spurring him on to continue in diligence for the cause of Christ, traveling to Florida for our cousin Caleb’s wedding, visiting and helping care for Mama’s mom in the Cities, studying the American War between the States of 1861 and reenacting, sallying out to engage culture at every turn, seeking our Master’s pleasure with ardent eagerness. Exhausting at times but thoroughly rewarding. I appreciate our friend John Moore’s quote: “Nobody looks back on their life and remembers the days they got plenty of sleep. Evil never sleeps, and our enemies rise early.”
At the same time, we are all trying to take care of Mama so she doesn’t over-stress her newly regained strength. She has been struggling a bit with spells of significant dizziness, so her oncologist ordered an MRI. Thankfully this came back clear and we celebrated. The oncologist attributes the dizziness to Herceptin, the chemotherapy drug Mama will receive through October. Mama has an appointment on Wednesday for another treatment and echocardiogram. We pray her heart continues strong enough to receive treatment and then as a side note that there would be no conflicts with insurance since Daddy is temporarily without a job during the government shutdown. May you all have blessed Independence Day celebrations remembering the wonderfully merciful providence of God in the history of our nation! 
Aubrey, for all the Lenz's