Saturday, March 8, 2014

sufficient grace



This past week has swirled in and around me.  Sheer fogginess consumed my brain more often than not.  My body racked with fits of coughing, fever, chills- both physically and emotionally I am spent.

I've heard there comes a time in this metastatic cancer journey, when the difficult days start to outnumber the good days.   When we start saying, no, more than we say yes.  I can only wonder.  


Rick arrived home and then left as promised with the boys for the State Hockey Tournament, and I had to say no, for the first time, I couldn't go.

The quiet has been both peaceful and stifling at times.  

And yet my prayers remain fervent.  My heart poured out.  

"Oh Lord, my heart is open to you, come sit in my heart."

And in the sheer foggy times?

"Oh Lord, I'm open."

"Your way, not mine."

"Your will, not mine." 

Every time I think I am surrendered, I discover you can surrender even more deeply.


Slowly, my cough has changed, loosening so it doesn't pain me as much.

The fever and chills diminished.

My goal for today was simply to get out of bed for a bit. 

And as I looked around?  All the moments of grace you sent my way were strung out before me.  Everywhere I looked- day brighteners of flowers, cards, offers of help, texts and food.  All these little bits of hope that glue themselves together and help build a bridge for me to climb right up out of the depths of where I have been.  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9








40 comments:

  1. "My heart is open to you, come and sit in my heart" - that is such a lovely, simple, perfect prayer.

    Grace and peace and strength to you, Vicky. I bless you in the name of Jesus. Love from over here.

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    1. Loving you right back Susan- all the way over there :)

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  2. So glad that your cough is loosening and it doesn't hurt you as much.
    Thank you for posting even though I know you feel so very rough and tough today.
    You are a sweetheart.
    My continued prayers are that your bronchitis is completely gone and that you have lots and lots more good days. Traveling prayers for your boys and Superman as they go to and from the State hockey tournament.
    Continued rest for you. Dr. J.'s orders.
    Love you Vicky....
    J.

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    1. Dr. J's orders are the best and I will truly adhere to those :) Love to you Dr. J :)

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  3. "Every time I think I am surrendered, I discover you can surrender even more deeply." Wow, just wow Vicky, and what a thought to reflect on during Lent. In fact, I think I will take this and go with it for these next 30-some days. It's all about surrender and yet that is not always so easy. But I want to try, too. XXOO, Roxane

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    1. I have been thinking of Lent too, Roxane. I'm completely surprised when I discover the tight grip of control I feel at times, when I think I am surrendered and then clearly realize I had somehow thought myself back in charge- oy. No wonder I have some work to do! We'll just keep trying together.

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  4. i hate to think of you in pain...hate to think you're missing anything with your boys….so i pray for you and with you…..and send out virtual hugs….xo

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    1. Thanks Beth- I appreciate those prayers and well wishes so much- they truly help. xxoo

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  5. Vicky, I can't help wondering about something, but I'm going to email you.

    Blessings, thoughts and prayers!

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    1. I am so, so glad you emailed. You are so insightful and have done so much research- its truly admirable and I will take what you've given me and see what transpires. Thanks for sharing with me- blessings and love back to you!

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  6. You have been on my mind and heart all week. Praying for you, thankful you were able to get out of bed for a bit. Praying for God's peace to continue in your heart.

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    1. Thank you so much Becky- those prayers have seen me through so much and I know they will continue to do so. Blessings and love to you~

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  7. Oh Bless your heart! Hang in there 'beautiful' Many prayers, hugs and love!

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    1. Thank you, Peggy Sue, thank you :) Much love back to you~

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  8. In my prayers always and hugging you so softly, your strength and your grace always amaze me sweet friend, sweet Vicky.

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    1. Anyes- I long to come and visit- soon- have loved your seeing your images on fb and instagram- such beautiful work. Thankful for your prayers and hugs- sending some right back to you.

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  9. Sweet Vicky you are in my prayers.

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    1. Thankful for you and your prayers Katie~

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  10. My sweet friend, rest all you can and continue to listen as God speaks to your heart. It is in these quiet moments that we hear His voice more clearly. And remember, as you start to feel better and are able to get out of bed more and more, take it one day at a time. Praying for you, Vicky. Sending love and hugs.

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    1. Truly- its been one day at a time- each one building on the other. Thanks for the support and encouraging words. Sending love and hugs back to you!

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  11. I'm so sorry this sickness has taken you down. I am hoping the extra rest and quietness will be healing for you Vicky. Blessings to you my friend.

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    1. Thank you Lisa- indeed- I think they were :) Blessings to you!

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  12. Every time I think I am surrendered, I discover you can surrender even more deeply.
    You teach me...but I'm so sad that you are having such a difficult time. That explains why you have been constantly on my heart over the past 4 or 5 days. I love you and I breathe in and out prayers for you...

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    1. Oh Robin- all of your words- but then that last bit just touches me even more deeply.Love to you honey~

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  13. It's really hard to read this sentence: "I've heard there comes a time in this metastatic cancer journey, when the difficult days start to outnumber the good days. When we start saying, no, more than we say yes. I can only wonder." I would not like to think that cancer... is taking over… Dear Vicky, God stay very near you in this time. God stay very near to your boy's hearts and for your man to be strong and Love. Much much love to you, which is all I can do…

    I pray that light shines this week.
    X

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    1. Maddy~ thankful for your sweet and encouraging words, sweet friend. This time- it seems my fragile immune system is what is making this bronchitis such a hard thing to overcome- but somehow it seems to relate back to cancer in the first place. Not sure- could still have bronchitis without cancer too :) Thankful for your prayers and light honey- so thankful- and pray that you are well too~

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  14. May God rain down showers of blessings on you this week.

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    1. Thankful for your sweet and blessed words Francis~ they encourage me so.

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  15. Hard to read today. I can only imagine the sadness that comes when you feel it is time to say no to this event or another instead of just choosing the no. I pray this weekend was renewing in ways and that this week you will find that you have turned the corner again. I do love this idea of God sitting in your heart to the point of deeper surrender still. I've had some revelations lately about living the Gospel and letting the Gospel live in me. I think I will remind myself of that as I ask God to sit more in my heart as well. Hugs, so many hugs sent your way and prayers that JOY will be your constant companion.

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    1. Jenny- so thankful that even through the hard to read, you faithfully show up and offer such lovely encouragement. Thank you friend. I do think I am rounding the corner- slowly- but rounding none-the-less. I love what you said about letting the Gospel live in you- such a great revelation and something I will take to heart as well. Hugs right back to you friend~

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  16. Dearest Vicky...you had to say no because you had bronchitis, not because you had cancer. That's normal! That could happen to any of us. Better days are still ahead! Praise the Lord Rick was well enough to take them. Grace, grace, I see God's grace all around you. His Grace truly is sufficient.

    "Every time I think I am surrendered, I discover you can surrender even more deeply."

    That is the truth for those who are willing to surrender, dear one. I surrender all includes more than we could ever imagine, but the true peace and blessings that come with it are so worth it. And I see Jesus in you, Vicky, the more you surrender, the more I see Jesus. You truly are an inspirational example of what God can do with a surrendered life.

    I've emailed you a few times, and finally made a google account, (I think anyway, we'll see if this works..lol) so I can comment. I check your blog daily and pray for you daily too.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Nina

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    1. Hi Nina- so great to see you pop up here. What you say is so true- thank you friend. Yes- its bronchitis instead of cancer and yes, its normal. So true. I sifted through a lot last week, both mentally and emotionally, and my heart and head weren't in the same place. But the fog is lifting, as are my spirits. Thank you for taking the time to make an account and showing up here friend- truly touches me. Hugs and prayers to you!

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  17. Dearest Vicky,
    And even when you are so sick and in bed, the Lord is using you in magnificent ways, my dear friend. "My heart is open to you Lord, come and sit in my heart." Truly, His invitation and your words so eloquently shared this invitation with us. That will be my mantra and prayer this next week, for you and for me.

    Tears flowed as I read between the lines of what it must have been like for you, for the first time, to not be able to go to the Hockey Tournament and feel left behind. Good silence and stifling silence. It left a question in your heart, dear one, about when does it happen that the difficult days start to outnumber the good days. How brave you are, dear Vicky, to ask that aloud. And God hears that whisper, that concern in your heart, and holds your hand as you ask it. We are NOT alone, you in bed with that awful cough, finally breaking up:), me this week, so unexpectedly, in the ER Heart Trauma Center. A hert racing that just wouldn't stop. All brave tossed to the floor as I hummed Jesus Loves Me, aloud, to Him, to the doctors, to the nurses, to my hurting heart. My beloved husband holding my feet, tears cascading down his cheeks. We are NOT alone. God Almighty who created this world is holding your hand, my hand, especially as we surrender deeper and deeper. We are NOT alone in this, whatever our "this" is.

    Isn't it amazing to be so, so LOVED! You have been in my prayers, sometimes minute-by- minute. I will never, ever, ever stop praying for your total healing.

    I love you Vicky, to the moon and back.
    Linda

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    1. Linda, there are simply times, I don't know what to ask of Him. I don't feel like asking him to change anything- because how do I in my very simple, human mind, know what would be best for me? So just asking him to be with me, in whatever capacity He deems best, is very reassuring to me.

      And you sweet friend, my goodness. How are you? My own heart stopped and I held my breath as I read your words about the tachychardia. I pray they found a resolution for you! For me it was Lopressor and it has definitely slowed my heart down. I can't wait to hear that you are well and doing okay.

      Yes friend- to the moon- and all the way back- loving you deeply and praying you are well.

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  18. The way you express your faith is beautiful.

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    1. Oh Kass, thank you friend- xxoo.

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  19. Vicky, all our best and love to you, Rick and the boys. I thought of you over the last two months. I had too many visits to the Sanford Heart hospital culminating in a stint being placed In one of my arteries. When I was feeling sad, sorry for myself and asking "why me" I would then think of you and your blog sharing with everyone. When I wanted to not share with anyone what I was going through I thought of you. I contacted friends and relatives around the country. I was amazed by the support I received and I thought of you. Thank you for sharing and allowing all of us to send you our strength.

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    1. Ken- so sorry to hear what a rough couple of months you have been through. Heart concerns are so scary and I can only imagine the worry and concern you felt. I'm so glad you courageously decided to reach out to others. We are so vulnerable when we are struggling with our health and often wonder if others will truly respond or not? I'm not surprised in the least that you were showered with support and love- it speaks to the kind of people you and Katherine are and I am so glad they helped see you through. I pray the stent continues to work and keep you well. Please say hello to the rest- the Bertolini family is missed around these parts! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a generous and kind comment.

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  20. You continue to be in my prayers dear heart. You must eat and drink plenty of fluids preferably citrus. I find using the blender helps a lot to put in everything you need into it and then drink it so the stomach doesnt have to work hard to digest.....
    and keep the faith as you are doing so extra ordinarily well. I always have hope the cure is around the corner so you have to hold on and continue to look forward.
    xoxox

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    1. Will do Vic- food is medicine and I do my best to put the most nutrition in as I can :) Thanks for the support~ xxoo

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