Sunday, March 15, 2009


This morning I woke with such a clear image in mind of a very happy barn swallow soaring straight into the sky with its wings tucked right up against its sides; every once in a while it would open it wings out to either side long enough to let a shower of rain wash them and its body clean. How the swallow was happy I do not know but in my mind the symbolism grew to mean preparing to leave this earth, cleaning off the dust as it were, for new life.
As my thoughts remained on what this dream might mean I wondered about those we prayed for just before sleep last night: our friend who has been given weeks to live, another friend who today is heading to M. D. Anderson miles away from her home for treatment for multiple myeloma that returned following a 3-year battle, and still another friend who is due for a 2nd chemotherapy infusion tomorrow if her blood count is up enough for her to take it.
My dreams are few and far between and the majority of the ones I do have are not easily remembered. This morning’s dream lingers and I am comforted to know that regardless of any intuitive meaning it might or might not have, Jesus cares about my dear friends whose ailments weight heavily on my mind. He cares about my anxious thoughts and me, too. In His teachings regarding anxieties Jesus even mentions the birds:
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26 (NASB)
Thank You, Lord, for being more dependable to dwell on than our dreams.
©Marilyn Sue Moore 3-15-09

Sunday, March 8, 2009

THE ROOT OF FRIENDSHIP (From A Woman’s Perspective)

Where do friendships begin? And where do friendships end? Generally it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment of a friendship’s start although we recall the planting of the seeds; however with a friendship’s end it seems there is a big bang. “A huge blow-up,” is often used as it’s descriptive phrase and we get the picture without the need for a thousand words.
Today this is on my mind because I have some pretty patient friends and what they tolerate from me makes the fact that some of them are medical patients currently undergoing serious severities seldom escapes my mind. Because of that I try to do what I can to lighten their load in little ways.
One of the first things we think about after hearing the words “cancer” and “chemotherapy” is “Will I lose my hair?” Frequently the answer is, “Yes.” My friends had seen me go through the loss of my hair a few years ago so they knew I would understand if they chose to speak openly with me about their feelings and we did have some conversations about those shared feelings. It may seem strange but it is amazing how attached to our hair we become! (And you thought it was the other way around, didn’t you?)
Do you remember when you were a bare-headed infant or were you one of the ones who came into the world fully-tressed? Either way your recall is probably only because of pictures, not actual memories, but even looking at those pictures won’t necessarily help prepare you for that day when chemo has its way and you look into the mirror to see, not yourself, but more than likely a person from an earlier generation looking back at you! So you cover your head with one of the scarves or close-fitting stretchy coverings and go about your days as best you can choosing to see this shiny head as another sign that the chemo is working.
So, in an effort to do one of those earlier mentioned “little things” I stopped by my friend’s house a few days ago around 9 a.m. with a couple of maple cake donuts, one for her, one for her husband, in the hopes she would be able to enjoy one of her favorite treats since it would be tasty, hopefully enough to help overcome the medicinal tastes with which she has to deal and soft in her mouth, therefore not hurting her mouth and throat sores…a little love.
When she answered the door, I immediately spotted the newly acquired closely-fitted soft head covering. As I passed her the donut bag and she started to look inside already knowing what was in there, I pointed towards her head and said, “Are you losing it?” She answered in the affirmative and invited me in but I was being careful to help her avoid germs I might be carrying that day so I declined and hurried home. It was after I got home that I realized what I had said to my friend. I was startled into laughter when I related the conversation to my husband realizing the double-meaning of what I had said!
Later in relaying this discovery to my friend, I said, “Do you realize what I asked you the other day? When I saw you were wearing a soft hat I asked you, ‘Are you losing it?’ You could have taken that either of two ways.” Maybe she was so overcome with the thought of a donut for breakfast she hadn’t even heard what I said, but I prefer to believe that because she is my friend she had listened with her heart and the root of our friendship goes far deeper than chemo can reach.

"…A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17a (NASB)
With loving thanks to my Inspiring,
Example-Setting Friends,
as you each gracefully deal with each difficult day.
© Marilyn Sue Moore 3-8-09

Friday, March 6, 2009


Have you ever had a perfect plan made only to have things go awry? It happened to my husband John a few days ago but as often happens, God had other plans with the situation well in hand.
On that day I had come close to the limit of my energy level before 11 a.m. so I had said as soon as I finished whatever the next thing was on my list I was planning to take a nap. I was aware that John was dressed up a bit more than usual for a day around the house but I figured he planned to go get some orange juice he’d seen on sale. I was getting ready to see him off before heading for my nap when he stopped me, looked directly into my eyes and said, “Now I know you said you were going to take a nap but would you like to go for a little ride with me?” How I hated to have to tell him I was just too tired. I probably have, but I can’t remember ever having said that to him before. He graciously accepted my need to nap and headed off alone, only to return later having had breakfast at a pancake place where he was seated at a table near friends who, when they saw him, said, “Come sit with us!” He did and told me they’d all had a wonderful conversation but missed me. With a grin, he added, “But I got a chance to talk!” (What could that comment have meant? Hm-m-m-m…) I was ready to laugh with him since I felt rested from my good nap.
I was surprised when he again was ready to “go for a ride” and asked for my company. This time I didn’t say, “No.” We ended up at a furniture store where I assumed we had come to get the long-needed new box spring and mattress set but that was not on my husband’s agenda that day. When he was out earlier he had been searching for and found a recliner for me not orange juice! Now we were here for my approval of his find.
For a long time now I have been using my husband’s old recliner, a long time being about 4 years. Let me set the scene for those of you who don’t know us personally. My husband is a big man. He stands 6’ 4” so is about a foot taller than I. It seems strange I never thought too much about how vast that difference must look to others until I started planning this writing. I have been forced to consider the weight difference from the start because clothiers would look at him then back at me and ask, “Where did you find him?” as they obviously wondered where on their racks they were going to find a suit to fit his massive hulk. Over the fifty-one plus years between then and now stores that cater to tall and big men have cropped up across the country so selections are better including furniture which is how we ended up with a recliner suited better to his size than mine.
When his health required the assistance of a lift-chair I inherited his recliner that had already seen a few years of wear and tear serving his needs. It wasn’t long before I put an old bed pillow under the seat for additional cushioning…then another over the footrest extension to balance it out. Thankfully I was able to place each of these pillows between layers of the chair’s cushioning so they were mostly hidden from view while providing comfort. Providing comfort that is, until I, being a foot shorter of stature than Daddy Long Legs had to half bounce my way with a little hop-jump to get my backside all the way to the back of the chair when I tried to sit down!
Then came the day when we had the discussion that perhaps we needed to do our part to help lift some of the economic woes of our nation and plan to purchase three things in the future, the second on the list (at least in my mind) being a recliner for me. Apparently it was not #2 on the list for Big John. His work of this day reminded me of …”Ask and ye shall receive…” but it also reminded me that while he was looking out for me God was providing him with the loving care of very special friends who gave him something for which he hadn’t thought or planned to ask!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 (ESV)
While I thank God for my husband who makes plans for my comfort I also thank God for His provisions for my husband’s comfort!

©Marilyn Sue Moore 3-6-09

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Ephesians 2:10 (NASB) states: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” What are these good works?
Are good works only those found while teaching Bible classes, being missionaries, doing the work of an evangelist? Or do good works also consist of making sure our pets are well cared for? Does it include bringing gifts, food, or books to our homebound friends? What about checking on the elderly by phone or perhaps a personal visit, sending cards or notes to sick and shut-ins, helping folks move, etc.?
Maybe you are unable for one reason or another to do the above mentioned things. If so, I suspect you have your own list of things you’ve found you are able to do. God has made each of us with unique gifts, talents, and built-in desires. A friend and I share a thorough understanding of each other’s pleasure in creating computer-generated greeting cards; however when it comes to our enjoyment of times spent with people, she leans towards the college age where I would more likely be found cradling babies or hugging the elderly. Would each of these be considered the good works God wants from His workmanship?
Who better to answer our question than Jesus Himself? Look what He says in John3:20-21 (NASB):
“Anyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Wow! “…that our deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God…”
So here we are, the opposite of evil, representing God on this earth through the good deeds He created us to do! What marvelous gifts He has given us when He created us to love and serve one another!
And we thought we were the ones doing the giving!
©Marilyn Sue Moore 3-5-09