Thursday, March 27, 2014

For the Paper

For the Paper

Wayne Adam Burlison was born on October 2, 1977.  He went to worship, run, and play music with Jesus, on March 26, 2014.

Wayne was diagnosed with cancer in December 2013.  On the day he was diagnosed, he said that God would use this journey for a greater purpose, and we have seen that.  Wayne continued to work and spread light, loving his family, and persevering during that time.

Wayne was a man with a beautiful heart; a heart that follows God.  He was a man of integrity, with a passion for music; a teacher and guide, with a gentle disposition.

His involvement with a multitude of musical groups, in worship, conducting, playing, and teaching, allowed Wayne to share his passion, gift, and love of and for music.

Wayne also developed a passion for running.  He ran a marathon, and many other races, teaching, inspiring, and leading others to run.  He often ran back to help and encourage others to cross the finish line.

Wayne is a much loved man, father, son, best friend, and brother in Christ; setting an example that will forever be inspirational in our hearts.  We will continue to tell Wayne's story.  It is a story of hope, love, and grace.  His story will continue to be told by his wife: Lisa (Scherff) Burlison; son: Adam; Mother: Sara Burlison; Brother; William Burlison, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and all those that have shared in his gift of music, love for running, and fellowship in conversation.  Wayne is predeceased by his sister Lisa (Burlison) Lella; and his father; LeRoy Burlison.

Wayne now has crossed the finish line into eternity; playing music in perfect harmonious pitch, running barefoot; a healed and renewed soul. 

Wayne's desire for you is that you live a life of integrity with a heart for God, and a love for all, appreciating the blessings of each precious moment.  John 10: 27 (NIV): "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."  2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (NLT):  'But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.'

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Never Ending

Never Ending

3/26/14; evening

Dear Friends & Loved Ones,

It is time to say good bye for now. 

Wayne, my husband - a father, brother, and friend - has gone home to be with his Creator, where he now can enjoy the promise of eternal life in Heaven.  

He will be deeply missed here on Earth, but my memories of him are forever in my heart.  When we married, we became one, and Wayne's impact of and in my life has changed me forever.  

Though my heart hurts at moving forward without him physically by my side, I press on so that I can continue his work; continue living like and sharing about Jesus; sharing the hope that perseveres; the grace that abounds; and the promise of eternal life.

This is also not the end of this blogging.  I feel called to write, to share, to express.  For now, I will pause and mourn and rest.  But, I will come back because there is more to tell; more to share; more; immeasurably more.

I love you.  Never ending.  Everlasting.

Reflection Verses:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:23 NLT)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV)

Monday, March 24, 2014



This has been a difficult couple of weeks.  We have been in the hospital 16 days.  My husband has made some miraculous gains and we have had some time to communicate.  However, Wayne's physical body is still weak, and an "emotional roller coaster" is the best way to describe this journey.

Our focus has been comfort and healing. Please forgive me for not sharing all information.  I felt it was in the best interest of our family's privacy, and we truly have not known what to expect each day.  Wayne has surprised the doctors, and each day here has had a very distinct purpose or memory that will be remembered and cherished.  Wayne has shared God, even without the use of words.  

The past few days Wayne has slept most of the time.  He barely communicates, if at all.  His lungs still have fluid in them, his kidneys are not working so fluids build up in his body, his stomach does not digest food, and the cancer (which is not treatable anymore) is growing.  Wayne does not want you to see him this way.  I know he wants you to remember him running, conducting, playing, praising, and showing that smirky smile that we all love.

The hospital is a very noisy place.  It is hard to rest and to feel at peace.  People are in and out of the room day and night. Wayne was told that he could not go home because of the ventilator, so we brought home to him in the hospital.  

After talk with the care team, we decided to try and see if Wayne could breathe on his own off of the ventilator.  (He had shown this capability during short tests.)  If he could do this well enough, then we could take the chance of moving to a quieter location, so that Wayne's body could let go according to God's timing, and not ours.  
The hospital family has become our extended family.  Nurses and doctors from other floors came to see us, kiss and hug us, and send us off in the ambulance.  They brought us juice, coffee, and treats.  This is a special moment because we can celebrate our forever bond and memories of these 16 days together.  We can celebrate Wayne and the journey.

By the Grace of God, we have been able to transport Wayne to a hospice location, and so far he is maintaining his breath.  From this point on we do not know how much of this precious time we have left. 

The past 16 days have been so busy that we have not had peaceful rest or family time.  It is for this reason that we ask to have no visitors.  We know you love us and want to help.  So, we ask you to pray for comfort and rest.  Pray that our family time is quiet and special.  Pray for the hospice staff that cares for us, and that they too see God's work in all of this.

For now, I will be quiet.  No blogging, no writing, no phone calls, no texts. I am with my husband and son; for this is precious time.  I will come back when there is more to tell.

Goodnight and love to you all.

Reflection Verses:

After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. (Mark 6:46 NIV)

...who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV)

Sunday, March 23, 2014



Wayne had the opportunity to go outside a second time.  So, the hospital staff again organized and gathered people together to make this happen.  This time portable heaters were added.  And again, the sun came out from behind the clouds during our visit to the Healing Garden.  

While we stood in and breathed in the crisp air, my son walked around with the child life specialist, reading all of the signs for the plants that Spring promises.  Hidden seeds and bulbs of treasures yet to bloom.  During this exploration he found a golden dollar coin.  Then, when we returned to the room, the respiratory therapist (who wears green scrubs) "magically" doubles the coin for him.  My son ponders if this man could indeed be a leprechaun.  He is excited about this treasure, and makes plans for these two coins on where and how to treasure them.

This experience at the hospital is something to treasure too.  I treasure the time our family spends together here. Every moment is precious.  The nurses have brought me things - coffee, home cooked food, access to the staff locker room so I can shower, hugs, compassion.  And, I treasure these people.  They have become my friends, and will always be a part of my heart.  

It is my hope that our time here has also planted seeds in the hearts of many; bringing forth more treasures to come.

Reflection Verses:

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2, 3 NLT)

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:21 NLT)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mountains and Valleys

Mountains and Valleys

Mountains and valleys have come up in Scripture quite often in my devotions and readings over the past few months.  We traveled through them on our trip to Florida, but we do not have any in the area where we live.  My husband is originally from an area that is mountainous, and I have enjoyed traveling there in the Fall, with the slopes covered in oranges, reds, and yellows.  I have one particular memory where I was there in the winter and my station wagon struggled to get up a hillside.

I have never climbed a mountain, but I have climbed steep hills.  On the way up you lean forward, maybe grabbing the earth for support, your legs pushing the weight of you forward and up.  You exert yourself, taking deep breaths.  Once you get to the top you can look around and see more.  You can see what you have overcome and accomplished.  You can also see the valley.  This valley is nourished by the rain water that has washed down the side of the mountain and it has caused growth of various lush vegetation.

If the land was flat perhaps the journey would be easier.  But, because the mountain nourishes the valley; when the mountain is climbed, growth, perspective, and change occur.  The mountain and valley work together and it is good.  The mountain is a way out of the valley, even if the climb is difficult.  If I tried to take a short cut going through the mountain, the required journey won't take place and growth might not happen as it should.  The mountain is necessary to the journey.  It provides that essential water, nourishment, and growth.

There are mountains and valleys of life, of emotions, of relationships, of health, of days.  My husband's journey with cancer has certainly been filled with mountains and valleys.  My husband, myself, and our son are climbing this difficult mountain, but we can look back and see that it is good; that God provides what we need in order to grow; He nourishes us.

Reflection Verses:

Psalm 104 (NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.
He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.
24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.

Friday, March 21, 2014



"Mamma you are done growing [taller] but still God-growing", says my son a few weeks back.  My child certainly has the ability to make statements that make me take a step back, pause, and reflect.

Part of my life has been "I want to be like that!"  I saw the faith of others through their words and actions.  I heard stories of hope and miracles, and longed for that close relationship with Jesus.  But, how? What do I need to do?

In reflection, I have been taking those steps, and God has been moving and shaping me, even though I may not have consciously realized it.  It has happened through my husband's love and steadfastness in his relationship with God in our life together, Church, those around me and in my life, events that occur, and daily bible study.

This current journey of life has seemed to speed up the process, exponentially.  It has been incredibly difficult to be honest, but I have also felt moments of being at peace.   I just let go of the control, the me-focus, because I realized that I did not have control over this anyways.  I focused on prayer; talking to God.  Prayer has changed me, creating that deeper relationship that I so desired.

Yesterday, my husband tried a speaking valve through the tracheotomy.  I heard 6 beautiful words: "Hello, Hello, I Love you, Good-bye" (He said "Good-bye" instead of "Talk to you later" - it was less words!).  The respiratory therapist was impressed that Wayne created a real voice, instead of the usual robotic-sounding tone that can come out the first few times (It's those strong music lungs...).  The force required to create these words however, caused some bleeding to occur at a rate that I was not expecting to see.  As the doctor and nurses worked to get the bleeding to stop, the doctor explained what was going on.  It was not an emergency situation yet, but he asked Wayne if he was scared, and Wayne just shrugged his shoulders.  And, so did I.  This was not a time to panic, but to just pray and rest in God.  We both felt at peace.  The bleeding did slow, but we will wait for more healing to occur before trying the speaking valve again.

This journey is not easy, and my heart hurts sometimes.  I am tired and weary at moments, however each and every moment is precious and there are blessings in them.  I pray that you see the hope that always abounds, the blessings that are always there, and the tender comfort that is there, holding up, lifting you up, and creating peace.

Reflection Verses:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Feels Like Home

Feels Like Home

Some things seem to carry more value to people than other things.  Would you agree?  Maybe it is your car, a trinket, jewelry, a hand written letter, a favorite blanket, and so on.

During this journey, I have found that seemingly simplistic things are taken for granted.  A shower.  Sunshine.  Fresh air.  The ability to walk or talk.  Conversation and company.

Patients in hospitals may lose that sense of being at home.  The nurses call it "hospital delirium" because patients become confused from pain medications and everything is unfamiliar.  Many in the ICU are intubated, meaning that they can't eat or taste anything, and cannot talk.  They stare at the ceiling or the TV, and the rooms are dark.  They are awakened at all hours, being touched and tested for vitals and blood work, changes of linens, and monitoring of alarms that go off.

What is home?  Is home stuff like TVs, computers, food, your own bed?  Or, is it how you feel?  Surrounding Wayne with people that love him, his family, feels like home.  Being here with him, sharing my love, talking to him, sharing my heart and my prayers with him, feels like home.  I hope he feels it too.  It is a reason why I stay by his side.

A tracheotomy was put in so Wayne could be more comfortable.  I can kiss his lips, and even though he cannot eat or speak by his mouth, I can lip read.  It is our hope to try a speaking valve soon, so he can again share his voice.  Hearing and using his voice will feel like home.

We have put some Lemon Italian Ice in his mouth, let it sit on his tongue, and then suctioned it out.  This is his favorite treat and I hope it tasted like home.

There are pictures and signs hanging up in the hospital room, showing your love of Wayne.  It feels like home.

Through the coordinated efforts of many people here at the hospital, Wayne got to go outside.  Security unlocked the closed Healing Garden and shoveled the sidewalks, privacy blinds were put up to block the windows looking out, managers coordinated people to push the hospital bed and machines.  As we rolled down to the garden, with my son helping push the bed, the sun came out from behind the clouds.  As we opened the doors to the garden, the sun continued to shine brightly, and we turned Wayne in the bed so that the sun shone on his face.  We breathed in the fresh air, saw the sky, and appreciated the beauty of outside.  We took pictures together, and it felt like home.

Home really is where the heart is, not in our possessions.  Having Jesus in your heart feels like home.  Someday, we all will rejoice in the perfection of a beautiful, eternal home in heaven.

Reflection Verses:

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  Luke 12:15 NIV

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’  1 Chronicles 16:31 NIV

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  John 6:47 NIV

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Choice?

What Choice?

Life is full of choices to be made.  We may base choices on emotions, other's opinions, internal motivations, temptations, Biblical truths, or a combination of factors.

During this journey, some choices have been uncertain, and they are usually related to the next step of care for the physical body.  Even though cancer seems common, each person is still a unique individual.  This is another opportunity for prayer, where the choice to make becomes clear.

When Wayne was diagnosed with cancer, it was clear to him that this journey would continue to be one of following Christ, spreading the light and hope of Jesus.  He felt that was the ONLY choice, and I agree.  Sure, it is hard to accept that your physical body is in harm, that there is a hard road ahead, and that you may feel angry, sad, or depressed.  But, underneath it all, the hope of eternal life exists.  Choosing Jesus is choosing eternal life that will lead to joy, praise, and healing.  Forever.

As Wayne's wife, I also have choices.  My emotions and reactions in this situation may differ from yours.  I have moments of clarity and peace, and I have moments of emotional distress, with what seems to be a neverending fountain of tears.  Does that mean I waver in decisions or am weak?  No.  Do I do what others think I should do?  Not necessarily ... But, I consult with God and I consult with Wayne.  I have made the choice to follow God's guidance, and to support Wayne in whatever choice is made, in whatever needs to be done.  This is not about what I want, but it is part of my life and my journey.  You may think, "If I was in this situation, I would do this or that".  My story, however, will differ from yours, my reactions and choices will differ from yours, and that is okay.  There is purpose here.  And, it is my choice to follow God on this path, however it may lead me.

God has chosen each of us; He has a specific plan for us, and each one of us is different.  All of it will be used to glorify Him.

Reflection Verses: 

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’  Genesis 18:9 NIV

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.  Deuteronomy 7:6 NIV

‘Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.  Nehemiah 9:19 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude

On one of the first days our son came to visit Wayne, the floor doctor and support staff were in the room.  Our son said to them, unprompted, "Thank you for taking care of my Dadda."

Unknown to me, until recently, this statement made the doctor shed tears.  Several nurses shared this with me, and it was my impression that perhaps this was an uncommon reaction.  The sincere thankfulness of a child touched another's heart.  Perhaps it also reminded the doctor of the importance and purpose of his work, knowing that what he does extends beyond the patient.

Shouldn't we live our lives with a sincere and thankful heart?  Expressing with innocent, self-less, heart-felt, and pure, expressions of gratitude.  How might your day be different if you thanked those around you?

I am making sure to express my gratitude to those caring for Wayne.  Whether it is custodial staff, a respiratory therapist, a kidney doctor, a nurse, visitors, a patient care technician, social workers, chaplains, or the floor doctor.  It is my hope that my gratitude is enough to tell these people that their work is noticed and important and that they can make a difference in other's lives.

And, thank you to you as well, your prayers, encouraging words, kindness, and love make a difference.  Above all else, thank you God for your love, grace, mercy, comfort, and promise of eternal life.

Reflection Verses:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, (1 Timothy 1:12 NLT)

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.  Psalm 69:30 NIV

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect

Our actions and choices can have a ripple effect, extending beyond our own understanding, planting seeds into the hearts of many.

I share these few, of many, examples with you here because I want you to know that there is purpose here.  And, that you are also spreading the love of God.


When we left home to come to the ER and hospital, even though Wayne was incredibly weak, he indicated that he wanted his devotional to come with him.  I have read it to him each day.  Often staff comes into the room during devotions or prayers and they hear the words.  


A friend that works here at the hospital brought in a chalkboard easel where we write Scripture of the day.  We write verses that have been sent to us by you, dear friends.  Your shared words are read by others here.  On one day, the floor doctor comes in with many people and says "What is the Scripture today?"  There was "no reason" for that many people to be in the room, yet here they were hearing God's Word.


Another nurse came by and asked if he could share something with me.  He said that he had a difficult childhood and that the verse of the day was one that he clung to, and that facilitated, his relationship with Jesus Christ.  This nurse, and several others, come into the room often to help, even though they are not assigned to my husband that day.


We have signs in the room that you have created for Wayne; and Wayne's room has become infamous.  People purposely walk by peaking through the doorway to see these encouraging displays of love.


On one occasion, Wayne indicated to me to pray about the ventilator discomfort, and wanted me to include the nurse that was in the room with us.  God gave me the words, Wayne gave me the push to do it, and a spirit filled prayer comes out. I do not remember the exact words said but we did pray for comfort and peace. The nurse was emotional and had to leave to compose himself, and we talked more later.


I have crossed paths with other staff here, from other times we have been in this hospital, and they remember us.  I tell them about Wayne, I ask for prayers, I thank them for their compassion, and we hug.


People have said that they want to have a faith like, or to be like, Wayne.  He would say that you need to be who God wants you to be.  That you need to be like Jesus, not him.  That you need to be intentional in your choices in this life.  That is glory to God.


Our son and I are changed too, for the better, I believe.  We will all forever be changed.  My heart and my faith are stronger; my love deeper; God is with us; there is purpose here.  We will continue to tell about this journey to others.  It is our hope that you will too; rippling this testimony of God's love through yourself and in sharing with others.

We do this because we love God and each other and you.  It is who we are because we have chosen to have a relationship with Jesus; the source of love, grace, and hope.

Reflection Verses:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 NLT)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seeing His Eyes

Seeing His Eyes

My husband's eyes have been closed.  I find that I long for that connection that I feel when our eyes lock.

I think of the times when my husband's gentle sideways smile makes his eyes sparkle when they connect with mine.  When he is right next to me, when he is on stage, when he is across the room, and our eyes connect, I feel our love.

I sit here in a folding chair or recliner, watching my husband's chest rise and fall, watching numbers on machines, studying his face for signs that he knows I am here by his side.  Wayne's eyes closed and stayed that way when he was intubated.  Along with the ventilator came more than what I can seem to count of "bags of help", that were hooked up to him, ranging from antibiotics to pain medicine to blood pressure medicines.  He has the flu, dehydration, and 2 strains of pneumonia, with practically no immune system.  And then there are complications as well as from the cancer.  

Wayne's spirit, faith, and determination are strong, but his body is incredibly weak and sick.  It is hard to be a bystander, but I hope my presence provides comfort. The presence of your prayers seem to be unending as well, and I read your messages to him in quiet comfort.

So, here I sit and wait for my husband's eyes to connect with mine.

Over the days, the number of meds have been reduced including the pain medicine that makes Wayne sleepy.  His liver processes this medicine slowly so I wait for it to wear off, and on day 5 Wayne's eyes opened briefly as they prepared him for a pic line.  

And, on day 6, Wayne's eyes opened in the early morning and we talked. We talked with nods of the head and I looked at his eyes.   My eyes and heart swell with emotion for there he is; my husband; my best friend.  I missed his eyes.

His alertness is a blessing.  However, now that he is alert, he is frustrated.  He cannot speak and he cannot eat via his mouth.  The feeding tube and a letter chart help, but he is still frustrated.  We are still glad that he can now communicate, even if limited.

My eyes connect to his and I explain the best that I can.  My heart and eyes swell with emotion again.  He asks for prayer and so we pray; praying for peace, comfort, rest, for full breaths, and for healing.  We turn our eyes to Jesus, looking at Him, the source of mercy, comfort, and grace.

Reflection Verses:

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. (Psalm 123:1 NIV)

Then at last the people will look to their Creator and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7 NLT)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

Before we came to the hospital, I was looking out at the drifts of snow in the backyard.   I saw little paths of footprints showing evidence that something was there.  We try to figure out what made the footprints.  We certainly have an abundance of bunnies, but maybe it was a fox, squirrel, or farm cat.

We also have a stray cat that likes to huddle on our front porch, sleeping under the porch on cold days.  We do not interact with the cat, but we call her (?) "Fuzzball".  I see her path of prints that travel to under the porch, and around back to the shed.  I am sure she is one of the reasons we do not have a mouse problem.

On this day of this blogging, there is a blizzard.  Schools are closed, businesses closed early, and travel advisories are issued.  Footprints in the snow are blown away as the wind whisks the snow around.  People's footprints as they press into the sidewalks are covered.  Snow plows scrape away the tire tracks along with the snow.  It is harder to see the evidence that someone was there.

However, it is not necessary to see the evidence to know that something was there.

God is ALWAYS with us... we may see His presence in the gentle footprints of progress in my husband's health.  When blizzards of illness storms into the ICU all around, God is here.  We feel His presence and love, and your love, in this room and hospital, and feel the love pour out onto not only Wayne, but onto the people that are here with us, staff and patients.  I find myself speaking for Wayne, since he cannot, and I hope I am sharing the Hope.   I have seen tears in eyes, shared hugs, and cried with others, and it is okay to show such evidence of emotion.  It brings us together, united, and on common ground, even if it is snow covered and swirling around.

Reflection Verses:

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. John 14:11 NIV

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ John 20:29 NIV

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are You Following Me?

Are You Following Me?

In college, when I met Wayne, he would often appear outside my classes, waiting to walk and talk with me.  He knew my schedule and wanted to see me as much as he could.  He would show up and surprise me with a treat and conversation when I worked my work-study job.  He would call me and we would talk for hours on the phone.  We still have this kind of relationship.  Wayne was then and still is an every day presence in my life.

As I sit by his side here in the hospital, I think about how much I just enjoying being near him.  I wish we could talk so I could hear his voice, but for now I talk to him through my mask, and hold his hand, rub his arm, or caress his head.  I know he can hear me, and I want to always be near.

Several people have admitted to me that they "stalk" my blog or updates so that they know what is going on.  Originally, I had left Facebook because I felt that I was addicted to it; watching who liked what I had to say or did not say.

Now, I find Facebook and blogging to be another source of comfort... I do not obsess over who responds or does not respond, but I do appreciate the prayers and words of encouragement.  I do not necessarily write for your feedback, but I do write for my outpouring of emotions, for prayer requests, and for the hope that perhaps you too, can see the light and hope that God still promises among all of this.

Just as I desire to be near Wayne, I desire to be near God, always.  God is always with us, following us, knowing the comfort we need and the desires of our hearts.  We are followers of Christ, and I pray that you are one too.  When you follow Christ, you will find comfort, forgiveness, peace, mercy, and grace.

Reflection Verses:

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1, 2 NIV)

Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:2-4 NIV)

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. (2 Thessalonians 1:2, 3 NIV)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Love...

I Love ...

When you open a bottle for me

That you make sure I have eaten

That you tie my shoes when my back or hands hurt

When you buy me little thoughtful things, just because

That you care about my tears

When you ask me what I need

When you rub my back

That you tell me to rest even when you are tired

When you hold my hand

When you tell me you love me

That you listen to me always

That you need me too

That you cook me breakfast

That you play with our child so I can take a nap

That you take care of the house and us

That you are an awesome father and husband; humble, patient, gentle, loving, inspiring.

That you know me for who I truly am, and still love me at my worst and my best


You are my best friend.

It is my honor to know you and it fills my heart with love and joy that you chose me to be your wife.


Note:  This blog post was also written while my husband is being treated in an intensive care unit.  We have had close friends and family visiting, and these are some of the things I have shared with them about my best friend, Wayne.

Reflection Verses;

Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourageone another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV

The Couch

The Couch

I sit with my best friend and favorite kid on the couch.

We talk about the day, watch TV, eat dinner, sleep, snuggle, hold hands, and pray on the couch.

Our living room is central in the house, and it is where we spend a large majority of our time.
Our child often brings toys from the back room into the living room, and will create imaginative stories around us as we sit on the couch.  Kids shows, science fiction adventures, or food shows play on the TV.  Sometimes we listen to music through the TV.

When at home, the couch has been our place of comfort.  Wayne has slept sitting up on the couch, with a heating pad on his back, a comfortable position for him.  Prayer blankets and shawls surround and support him.  I sit next to him and hold his hand or rub his back.

When people visit, our seats surround the couch as we talk.

If the sun is shining, I open the curtains behind the couch, and let the warm sunshine in on us.
At night, our son sits on the couch with us and we say our prayers and give goodnight hugs and kisses.

Now, as I sit here with my husband in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, I think fondly of the couch.  The chairs here are uncomfortable, and my husband is showing that he is uncomfortable in the hospital bed.  It is hard to rest.  It does not feel like home here.  My husband is intubated so he cannot talk to me.  Yet, I still hold his hand, pray with him, and offer as much comfort as I can.  I am exhausted, and long to just snuggle and lean against him, finding that warm comfortable spot, like we have at home.

God is our central place of comfort too.  Resting in Him brings true comfort and peace.  I close my eyes, try to find some rest, and pray for rest that brings comfort, healing, and peace, like the kind that feels like home.

Note:  This blog post was written in the hospital.  My husband was recently admitted to intensive care, for dehydration and related complications, along with an extremely suppressed immune system, as well as testing positive for the flu.  Thank you for your prayers.

Reflection Verses:

Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.  Genesis 18:4 NIV

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blue Is ...

Blue Is ...

The first Friday of March is dedicated to awareness about colon cancer.

One of Wayne's goals is to advocate that you need to get checked out, especially if you have a family history, or are noticing negative changes in your body ... please talk to your doctor.

People at the place where we work are wearing blue in support of colon cancer awareness, fighters, and survivors.  They are united in their support of us.  We feel so loved, and have felt that way before this "official" day too.  We received several pictures today of staff members and friends wearing blue, with great big smiles on their faces.  One set of pictures had a signed "Go Team Wayne" sign, and others with signs that said "Blue For You Dad", and "Go Mr. B.".  It is incredibly touching to see a visual representation of their support.  And, it is true, we are all a team.  We are blessed to be united with a wonderful group of people.  Thank you ...

So, on this beautiful day, even though it is cold, the sun shines brightly, and the cloudless sky is a beautiful blue.  The blue reminds me of the deep and vast blues of the ocean and sky, of which God's love for us is also vastly deep and unending.

Blue is ...

Deep Ocean Waters
Brilliant Blue Sky
Midnight Sky
Jazzy Music
A Rainbow Color
Nourishing Fruit
Comfy Sweatpants

Reflection Verses:

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Genesis 9:13 NIV

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV