Saturday, August 29, 2015

Raw Courage...

        Courage doesn't always roar.
        sometimes courage is the quiet
        voice at the end of the day 
                      "I will try
                        again tomorrow."
                                                                              - m. a hershey raddamaker

I am back home after ten wonderful days of helping
out with grandchildren while their Mom was away.

I loved all of it, yet my 68 year old body is just a little exhausted. At the end of each day I have fallen into bed and then the next morning started the journey again.

I wouldn't trade a minute of those ten days for anything.

However, this Saturday morning I awoke and smiled at the chance for my usual morning rituals. 

* Making coffee and remembering  Pastor Heim's sermon 
  "Let Jesus Be Your First Cup of Coffee."

* Opening Jesus Calling and letting His wisdom
   soak into my mind and heart.

* Getting out my prayer list and asking God's grace and love 
   for each of the special people in my beloved husband 
  Bert, my daughters and sons and their precious families, my
  wonderful friends, my church family, my students past and
  present...the list goes on and on.       

And then, if there is time, I check the blogs of my 
"Dear Hearts"...those folks so close to my heart that
when they ache, I ache.

And there it was. Vicky Westra's post about 

"Fleeting Normal." If you have read my blog you know about Vicky and her battle with stage four breast cancer. 

She is in the midst of a fight for her life...for more days and weeks and months and years to be here and love her family and those around her.

More years to be Rick's wife. More years to be Nolan and Colton's Momma. More years to cherish ever memory of hockey and school and being a family.

More years to give love and joy to others and soak in their love and joy in the process.

Vicky doesn't want to waste a minute of this amazing life she has been given.

As Vicky shares her journey so authentically, and with such grace and gratitude, she is a constant reminder to me to not take a moment of my life for granted.

Vicky is one of the greatest teachers in my life. 


And when I read her words this morning, as she described the impact the latest round of chemo drugs has had on her life, my eyes filled with tears and I had to work on breathing.

It hit hard to see how much pain she is in.

How much suffering she is going through.

Yet even in this hard of hards...Vicky keeps writing. She keeps sharing. She keeps telling her story, a story that has been chronicled with authenticity

and a quiet courage that changes lives.

My life is changed for the better because I know and love Vicky Westra.

When the world seems a bit crazy and mad men go into TV stations and shoot people they have a grudge

with...I remember how Vicky is fighting to stay alive.

I remember her humanness, her willingness to be real.

When forest fires rage in my beloved Washington state and the smoke fills the skies and people are

told not to exercise outside...I remember Vicky and
how brave she is in the face of such adversity.

When one of my dearly beloveds does something and I choose to be irritated...I remember how much each day means to Vicky and how choosing irritation about something so small is a waste of my God-given hours.

When I think of courage, quiet, raw courage in the face of huge obstacles, I think of Vicky. 

And if you are reading this, dear Vicky, may you know how much God loves you. He holds you in the

palm of His almighty hand.

May you know how much I love you, precious soul-sis! 

May you know for certain that you are teaching your precious Nolan and Colton and Rick, and all of us who cherish you, about what it means to live with joy and courage and authenticity.

I am so, so blessed to have you  in my life and count you as one of my "dear hearts."

God Bless!

Love, Linda



Peggy Sue said...

All I can say to this post, is a very Authentic Amen! for you wrote what was in my mind and heart as well! love you Linda

Vicky said...

Ohhh myyyy... as my eyes fill with tears, each sentence, each word, so meaningful to me- in ways that are hard to express. I still have to check myself- looking over my shoulder for the person you refer to- because how could that be me?

Sometimes- in my very own writing- I am giving myself a pep-talk. I've needed it more as of late. So I always pray, that the words I NEED to say, that I need to read and absorb, will perhaps speak to someone who might be feeling the same as me. I know we all carry burdens, and mine don't diminish others- they feel equally heavy, to each of us, despite what we call them.

I think one of the purest, highest gifts, you can give- is to let someone know that their life matters. You, friend, have more than done that for me. You've truly loved me, unconditionally, and its the biggest gift to me right now. So much love to you- wrapping my arms all the way round and holding tight! I pray the blessing is multiplied back to you!!

Thank you for this gift!

So much love~

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