i hate cancer.

Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center

Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center

Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
— Galatians 6:2
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
— Philippians 4:6

 

Cancer sucks. I do not know anyone who has not been personally affected by cancer. There is always a family member or a friend who has it. With the help of social media our family has been able to pray for many people whom we have never met face-to-face but who have had cancer. I want to take a few minutes to share some stories of these families and would ask that you please pray for comfort and peace for these sweet people. 

God calls us to bear one another's burdens and to love our neighbors as ourselves. So with that I hope you will please come alongside these families. Also, please add in the comments anyone that you know who is battling cancer that we can pray for.

Pray for the LaSource Family

Last week sweet little Ryan died of cancer at the age of 3.5 years old. He had been diagnosed with AML at the age of 5.5 months and battled cancer four times. His bravery, sense of humor, and love for his family was so remarkable to watch on Facebook over these past few years. Please pray for his entire family but especially for his mom and dad Lauren and Austin who were by his side throughout his entire journey. Ryan is now in heaven where he will never shed a tear or suffer again and now his community, family, and friends will put his earthly body to rest this week. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, but to watch his parents faithfulness and trust in God despite all of these trials has truly encouraged me in every way possible. 

Picture from Ryan's Facebook Page 

Picture from Ryan's Facebook Page 


Pray for Martin Meyers

picture by inframesphotograpgy

picture by inframesphotograpgy

Emily blogs over at The Freckled Fox and is mom to 5 amazing little kids and the wife of Martin Meyers. Emily's blog covers a variety of topics from family to beauty to fitness. 

Around a year ago Emily found out that her husband Martin was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma. For months Emily has had to balance caring for their 5 kids and her sick husband. She posted here a few days ago that he may only have a few short weeks left to live and is in a lot of pain as the cancer has spread. Emily has stood by her husbands side through all of his treatments, ER visits, and has done so with love and patience. I cannot count how many times she has posted on Instagram a picture of her husband in bed sick and she would still find some ounce of joy or encouragement to share. Her strength through all of this is something you only read about in stories. 

This family is so beautiful and kind and needs our prayers. Pray that Martin's pain would be managed, that Emily would be comforted as she makes some hard decisions, for their 5 kids, and that they would make some sweet memories over the next few weeks. 

Picture by justin hackworth 

Picture by justin hackworth 

You can help support the Meyers family by donating to their YouCaring Page HERE


Pray for Kicker

Kicker was diagnosed at 2 years old with ALL in December of 2013. Kicker's mom Season Johnson has made it her mission to educate families on how to heal bodies with food, detoxing, chiropractic care, essential oils, and how to find the underlying causes of medical issues. Season is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and has started the KICKcancER movement to help bring awareness to families who have love ones suffering from cancer to kick cancer by coming alongside modern medicine with a healthy lifestyle. Her son has thrived through years of treatments and has amazed me with how well he lives life all the while receiving chemo therapy. 

Kicker is also the coolest kid around because he eats so so well. Follow their journey on Facebook and take a look at some of his favorite foods (fermented sauerkraut, organ meats, bone broth, berries, coconut oil, kale, root vegetables, you name it). This Paleo kid does not look like your typical cancer patient and he continues to thrive thanks to God. Please pray for full healing of his body and that he would continue to experience low side effects to his treatment.

You can see what his movement is all about HERE and learn how they incorporate a healthy lifestyle to their everyday regime with dealing with childhood cancer. 

Thank you for reading these stories and caring the burden of these sweet families. Is there a Facebook page or blog that you follow who is also battling cancer or another type of life-threatening disease? If so please comment below and let us know. 

[Pray also for Hope, Melissa, Ella, Gina S., Caleb, Dora R., Doug R.)

food for thought.

Guest Post by: Brooke Ventrua

Brooke Ventura is the associate editor at Modern Reformation magazine.  She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and daughter.  

As a first-time mother, I’d always thought that potty-training was going to be the war-to-end-all-childhood-wars—my own mother loves to tell stories of how she and my father were convinced I’d be going to my high school prom in diapers.  Apparently, only the promise of M&Ms or new books was going to get me to change my ways.  

Elizabeth may or may not take after me in that respect—at nine months, it’s anyone’s guess.  But if the struggle is even moderately like what we went through today, I’m ordering my Ambien now.  

According to the books, Elizabeth should have been feeding herself for a few months now.  There are reasons why I didn’t attempt it before, but I didn’t think a slight delay would be a problem—she sticks anything and everything in her mouth, so why should chopped up bananas be an issue?

Besides the fact that bananas are starchy and difficult to pick up, even for an adult—especially when you’re eating them off a slick plastic surface that provides no traction for chubby, inexperienced fingers—I think that it was hard because she’d never done it before.  The concept of feeding herself—instead of receiving food from me—was confusing and frightening.  The act of eating is elemental and intimate.  Adults take it for granted that when we eat, we’re nourishing our bodies and giving ourselves the ability to move, think, and work.  We forget that the food we eat has a significant impact on whether or not we flourish or falter as human beings.  It’s possible that a similar connection may be made between how we receive food as children, and how we relate to others as adults—to give food to another human being is to strengthen and sustain him in a profoundly emotional and physical way.  When that ritual is broken, and the one receiving the food is expected to give it to herself, what does it mean?

Whatever it meant to Elizabeth, it wasn’t good—the screams of frustration and the tears that poured over her anguished little cheeks was heartbreaking to see.  ‘Why aren’t you helping me?  Why can’t we use the spoon?  Why won’t you feed me?’  It took her anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes just to get the banana in her hand, and even then, it didn’t always make it in her mouth.  At one point, she simply face-planted onto the tray and sucked them up, like a little vacuum.  The hardest part was seeing the sense of betrayal and despair in her face.  My husband would say that I’m reading way too much into it—and he’d probably be right—but then, he also would have started feeding her himself two minutes after she began crying.  

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, St. Paul exhorted the fathers not to provoke their children in anger, but to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).  As one who has felt provoked by her own father, this is something I take seriously—my daughter isn’t my serf, but a fellow image-bearer and sister in Christ.  

Here’s the catch—my daughter didn’t come with an instruction manual.  There’s no booklet that says that when I introduce ‘feeding yourself’ at nine months instead of seven, Elizabeth is going to feel like there’s been a capricious change in the program and be provoked to anger.  There are no guidelines that give me insight into how God has made her that enable me to be careful and wise in my motherhood.  I’m literally making it up as I go along, watching her, learning about her, always praying for her and for myself, banking on the promise of salvation that is for me and for my child, and all who are far off, everyone whom Christ calls to himself (Acts 2:39).

Starting with bananas was a bad idea, but I persisted because I wanted the benefit of her increased development more than I wanted her temporary comfort.   There will probably be more scenes like this—where I’m trying to bring her up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, but where she feels like she’s being provoked to anger.  In an economy of sinners, the distinguishing line between provovation and instruction  is always blurred.  I’m never going to bring her up from purely pious motives, and she will feel provoked simply because she’s not getting her own way.  When those days come, I will remember that the promise of salvation is not just for me, but for my darling daughter, and that neither my best intentions nor my worst sin can change that.  

Ventura10WM.jpg



  

just like that.

Guest Post by: Joanna Hodges

When did you know you wanted to be a mom? I remember a sleepover in junior high with some of my friends. Everyone was going around the circle, telling what they hoped their husbands would be like and how many kids they wanted to have. When it was my turn, I looked at everyone and said, "But how do you know you're going to get married, and how do you know you will have kids?" Everyone stared at me for a few minutes as if I had two heads. Then one of the girls laughed and said, "Why would you ask that? Of course we'll do those things!" The other girls giggled and conversation turned to new topics, but the question in my mind still remained.

When I thought of my future, I didn't necessarily see myself as a wife, or even a mom. I don't know why, but I always thought even as a young girl that my life wouldn't take the traditional route. Fast forward a few more years, and I continued to wonder what God had in store as the doctor visits began to point to the fact that bearing children might not be in His plan. Then I met and married my amazing husband who has wanted to be a father from the age of 9, and he said he still wanted to spend the rest of his life with me even if I was infertile. What a guy. We put the whole idea on hold so we could finish seminary, but began to revisit the issues once we moved to a settled place and Ross became a pastor.

That was the beginning of poking, prodding, doctor visits, a lot of tears, and a lot of prayers. Although we considered fertility treatments, we never felt at peace about the decision. We prayed and prayed for God to give us direction, and then the idea of adoption continued to pop up on our radar. All along, I was very honest with Ross that I still didn't see myself as a mom, and that the desire for me wasn't strong even though the infertility diagnosis was tough. I was honest before the Lord about all of this. We prayed together that if God did want us to move forward with fertility treatments or adoption, he would change my heart.

And then I attended a baby shower for a fellow church member. Boom. Seeing all those tiny little outfits and blankets tapped into an area of my heart that had previously been closed up. In fact, I lost it. Thankfully in God's providence, I was sitting next to a dear woman who was going through her own grieving process. She saw me crying, and I whispered my pain in her ear. She held my hand throughout the rest of that shower. I don't think I could have made it through without her. I remember bursting through the door of our apartment afterwards, and crying, "Ross, I just completely lost it, and I'm so sad! But I'm so thankful because I want to be a mom!"

And so began our research. We met with a dear couple at our church who had adopted their three children, and hearing them talk about it got us so excited. For the first time, this felt right. When my husband and I finally made the formal decision to start the adoption process, I had been leading our women's group at church through the book of Ephesians. In the very first section of his letter, Paul breaks out in a doxology of praise to the Heavenly Father who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be His. Paul says that in love, God "predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (1:5)." Adoption is part of who we are as Christians. We knew that as our mentors explained to us, our children would have the benefit of being adopted twice! Our prayer regarding adoption was to our Father, "from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (3:15)".

Over the course of the next seven months, we went through seven situations with potential birth mothers that didn't work out for various reasons. The long wait for our child was probably the hardest and the best thing that could have ever happened to us as we relied on prayer and calling to mind God's promises to us through it all. Finally, the call from our lawyer came that we were chosen, and in fact we could pick up our son the next day! Words cannot describe the feeling of euphoria. It was time, God's appointed time, for our son to come into our lives.

You may wonder what it's like to adopt because it seems so very different from the way God brought your children into your life. Although I didn't go through nine months of pregnancy, I went through many aching months of waiting for our child. I went through my own kind of labor: paperwork, policies, plenty of sleepless nights, promoting ourselves through a photo book, pushing forward to the arrival of our son. Just like you, I waited and waited until that amazing moment when I held him in my arms for the first time and all the previous pain faded away. And just like that, I was Mom. What an unexpected and indescribable joy.