July 2, 2009

Good morning, all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I want to check in with everyone to celebrate a new “birthday.” One year ago today I got the news that the MRI was showing ugly things, and the process started. Well, I consider this my new birthday, because with love, support, prayers, and good care, I’m still here with you all.

It was a roller coaster of emotions when we first got the diagnosis. I honestly did not think I would be here today to share thoughts with you all.

While that was traumatic, I also reached a sense of peace in myself. I know I am loved, I know that God is good–all the time. The news may not have been great, but God is there to take care of you whatever that news may be, and to see you through it.

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? We’ve lost a wonderful friend, Ron Grabruck; we’ve prayed for our friends Wendy and Gene Weigel who are both suffering from cancer while trying to maintain their lives and their children; we’ve thought daily about our friends Rick and Susan Shreve. We’ve celebrated birthdays with dear friends (Elizabeth and Bill), and rejoiced at the birth of some precious new babies in the Birk and Womack households. And we’ve come to realize how precious each and every day is. Every day is a miracle. This year I’ve re-connected with high school friends and teaching friends from Martinsville, via Facebook. The memories it has brought back are dear and wonderful. But I’ve also learned how precious the present is. I have such wonderful friends, and I love you all.

A dear friend from Virginia has been here to visit twice, and I’ve been able to show off the great life we live here in Bowling Green. Mike and I are closer all the time. He has been my strength this year, always there for me, without complaint. And it’s not like his plate isn’t full–it is. He works non-stop, but always makes time to go and do with me. I am so thankful to have him in my life. Everything that I am able to do is because of his support.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that we’re marking this day as the day we started counting over again. I feel good and can say that this treatment is keeping things at bay and “managed.” We’ll take every day as it comes and pray for continued success. Meanwhile, we’re marching ahead with our lives as usual. I’ve accepted a position with Kiwanis, one that comes to fulfillment in three years. And I’ll continue a couple of other outside activities in moderation. Now, folks, that’s what we call thinking positively. Life on the edge! Life is good.

Everyone have a happy 4th of July. We’re off to spend time with Mike’s friend from high school days. Time and fellowship with friends–that’s what it’s all about.

Love to all, Anne

from the Upper Room daily devotional:

I love fireworks. I wait in the dark. BANG! A splatter of gold sparks fills the sky. They take my breath away. My face hurts from smiling. My ears ring from the noise. When the show is over, I picture in my mind the flashes of brilliance, and a twinkle of joy lingers.

When we do a good deed, it flashes a spark of pleasure in someone’s day. We shine God’s love into the lives of others. Good deeds are fleeting, though their memory lingers in the mind.

The flash of fireworks affects all those who see it. Love sparkles in the same way: we all feel the joy. Some “fireworks” are small and personal; opening the door for another and being courteous are like handheld sparklers. Some fireworks, such as publicly giving big donations to charity, get a lot of attention. The volunteer showing up every week to help is like fireworks that go on, explosion after explosion. When the annual fireworks show is over, planning begins for the next year.

We can each plan and be part of an explosion of good deeds. Today and every day, God can use us to shine the brilliance of love into the world.

Lisa Bogart (California, USA)