Vera Is Safe In Romania And A Summary Of What This Blog Is About

19 07 2008

I received an email this morning from the man who will be directing the camps that Vera and her team will be working in.  Vera and her team have arrived safely in Romania.  I have really missed Vera a great deal.  She lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for two years and worked in a private institution that teaches English as a second language.  In December she learned that there was not enough money to renew her contract.  At the same time–I learned that I had breast cancer.  Vera decided on her own to come and help us.  I’m so grateful that she made that choice.  We have had a great deal of fun together.  Although I’ve been blessed to be very functional–I’ve struggled with fatigue.  It has only been in the last month that I haven’t felt the need for a nap each afternoon.  I don’t know how I would have made it without her help.  Together we shared the responsibility of taking care of my grandsons after school.  We would take turns going to pick John up and then getting Alex from his sitter.  This summer she has also helped me as much as she could because the boys have been with me two days a week.  She worked as a part time teacher but pitched in to help after she got home from work each day.  Vera has learned about a full time position of teaching ESL in Bulgaria.  When she arrives home from this short term mission trip–she will most likely investigate this next opportunity.  Thus, I’m going to have to get used to letting Vera travel the world.  For teaching overseas is her lifetime goal. 

I’ve had some new friends visiting my blog.  I just wanted to write a little about my goals as a blogger.  In October of 2007, I started my blog writing about my journey to the Christian Orthodox faith.  At the time I started my blog, I had no idea that I had cancer.  For 19 years I had screening for breast cancer because my mother died of breast cancer when I was just 33 years old.  All of my mammograms had always given me a clean bill of health until last fall.  I was shocked to the core to learn that I had cancer.  Thus, my blog became a source of fueling my shock.  I wrote of my journey starting in November all the way through January.  I rarely wrote about anything else.  I had great concerns about my future as I’m a 4th generation breast cancer patient.  I struggled throughout the winter trying to decide if I should have a mastectomy on my other breast.  It still haunts me but I’ve finally made up my mind to just trust my cancer doctor.  I get a check up and blood work every 3 months.  I also try to eat healthier and I take many vitamins and herbs. 

On my blog, I’ve also shared my intimate journey of raising my family.  Vera pushed me to write about our family before she left for Ukraine in 2001.  I wrote a book by hand and gave it to her to take to Ukraine. I also made a copy of it for our family.  I thought that by working through this book and editing it more carefully that it would be a good blog feature.  My desire is to help other families stay together through hard times.  Jim and I had tremendous pressures in raising our four children.  There were many dark times.  Thanks be to God –our marriage has survived.  We enjoy our marriage a great deal.Today, there are many fun and precious moments in our marriage. 

Sometimes I just like to write about herbs or more about eating correctly.  I’m not a real rigid person about anything that I believe.  I have the view that moderation always wins out.  Therefore, I still enjoy eating junk food in moderation.  I have treats to serve guests that are not always on my healthy list.  I know that I can’t expect all of my friends and family to eat the way I think is healthy.  So most of the time–I eat healthy but sometimes I don’t.  And that is okay.  I like studying about herbs and I take a great variety of them for my health. The study of herbs is not a subject that many of my friends and family are interested in–so again–I practice moderation.

I also write about music, baking breads and my enjoyment of family pets.  I have two dogs and two cats.  They can be a great deal of trouble but they also bring  much joy to our home. 

Sometimes I’m very open about my Orthodox faith.  At other times it is in the background.  However, my faith is not something I practice only on Sundays.  My faith is the backbone of every moment of my life.  When I bake bread–I bake it to the Glory of God.  When I clean my home –I clean to the Glory of God and so forth and so on.  I could not function without my faith.  Yes, I would like everyone to become an Orthodox Christian but I try not to be obnoxious in my sharing.  Christ commands us to love everyone and love does not bully.  I am not a priest or  an expert in theology.  I will leave the meaty topics to those who are.  There are some really great Orthodox Christian blogs by priests.  I will leave the deep and theological mysteries of God to them. 

Thus, I’m just an every day sort of person who most likely will try to work a little joy from ordinary living.  One day I will write about saving money.  Another day I will write about cooking or playing the piano.  My most popular series so far is the five part blog I wrote about working among the Mennonites.  Sometimes I write about my grandsons.  I have about 120 blogs now so there is plenty to choose from.  Soon I will continue my “Vera” stories.  I think I left off at chapter 22.  I also have a series about my Dad that I will finish.  Dad left our family in 1960.  My mother was left to raise four children. I didn’t have any contact with my dad until I was 27 years old. So I have a great deal more to write in that series. So thanks for visiting my blog and I hope each of you will enjoy my archives.

God bless each of you!




4 responses

27 07 2008

You are such an incredibly strong woman! I’ll pray for Vera. Thank you for sharing your journey and don’t worry my blog will not be commercialised 🙂

27 07 2008

Thanks for your prayers for Vera. I’m not a strong woman really–I couldn’t make it without the Grace of God. I’m so happy you are not going to go commercial on your blog.


30 07 2008

First of all thank you for letting us know Vera had reached Romania safely. I hope to be able to follow her mission there with prayerful interest.

It’s a joy to get to know you better through your blog- we are all just “mud pots” as Paul says, with a Treasure inside: He is manifested in and through us and this is one of the greatest mysteries of all.

We have a lot in common-for example I also have grandsons named John, and Alex. Today I started my own radiation treatments for cancer and have a very positive and view of how the Lord might use this in His wisdom to not only work His will in me and my family, but in His larger Kingdom-purpose in the world. Perfect love casts out fear, said the Apostle John, and I feel very little fear of the danger of cancer, though I have lost a brother to it. There are other things we could trade interest in -for example the people of faith known as the Menonites have been among my special communities of faith for almost 40 years. They have a great story and contribution/place in the history of the Church.

Always enjoy your writing and what you share so openly re.your family and how God has been faithful to guide you down through the years. May He continue to supply your every need through the riches that are in Christ our Lord.

Grace and Peace through Him who loves us so.
John Paul

30 07 2008

Dear John Paul,
What a lovely letter. I so appreciate your interest in Vera’s mission trip. Yes, we do seem to have much in common. I’m so very sorry that you have cancer and are having to take radiation. Please keep me up on your cancer journey.

Yes, I love the Mennonite folk. They are everywhere in our county and the surrounding counties. I appreciate them so much.

May God’s great bounty and grace be with you!

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