Tuesday, October 1, 2019

My Just-for-Fun Birthday Poem

Oh, happy birthday fun!
Today I am seventy-one!
So thankful God gave me this race to run 
And allowed me the joy of being seventy-one.
I'll rise early with the sun
And celebrate 'til the day is done.
I'll start the day with a birthday bun
Knowing there's a birthday cake to come!
I'll spend the day golfing with my hon.
Thankful for my two daughters and a son.
Thirteen grandchildren I love a ton.
In this race called life I'd say I've won.
Another birthday I will not shun
Because God's plan for me it is not done.
Another book I've just begun!
Hooray! Leukemia has come undone!
Trusting targeted therapy will prevent a rerun!
So, I refuse to be happy birthday blue.
As I pray God gives me birthday seventy-two!

Happy Birthday Splashes of Serenity on me today!


Sunday, September 29, 2019

EVERYDAY BRAVE Blog Tour Giveaway. You Could Win This New Book!

And the winner is Rhonda Roemer-Stephani!!! Wow! Congratulations Rhonda. I prayed God would pick the right person, I mixed up all the entries, shut my eyes, and chose. There you were! Please private message me your address so the publisher can send the book to you.

When Waiting Takes Courage and Trust

It’s difficult waiting for anything—a medical test result, school grades, an acceptance letter, a prodigal returning, the sale of a home, a move, a job offer, a baby, family arriving safely on a wintery night, a phone call, a predicted storm, restored health, Christmas, or a birthday. I know you can think of more waits that are difficult. I’ve had them too.
When I was writing Everyday Brave and asked women to share the bravest thing God ever asked them to do, many answered “wait” and “trust God.” Who hasn’t waited and trusted God to answer a prayer request, but how many of us considered waiting as brave or courageous, even though there are many verses like,Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous” (Ps. 27:14 nlt).
We’ve all experienced times in our lives where it took sheer grit to wait on the Lord patiently, without impatiently taking matters into our own hands? Some women mentioned surrendering their will to God’s will as the bravest thing God ever asked them to do.

Waiting on God’s Timing

When we put our concerns and requests before God, we never know for sure how or when He is going to answer. It’s easy to say, “Trust in the Lord,” but when you’re on the waiting side of things it’s not so easy. Waiting requires stalwart courage and bravery to trust in the Lord’s perfect timing.
Waiting can fill us with anxiety, apprehension, angst, anger, and worry—or anticipation, awe, expectation, eagerness, hope, and trust. Depending on our personality, we might experience a combination of many of those emotions. I know I do. I don’t like waiting. I want answers now. The only way I calm an anxious heart is to pray about the situation, and then go about daily activities keeping my mind focused on other things, trying not to dwell on the looming object of my wait.
Don’t get me wrong, calm doesn’t come easy for me. I actually chose “Calm” as my word to focus on one year. My husband laughed when I told him my annual word because I’m not naturally a calm person. Descriptions more appropriate of my personality are excitable, energetic, eager, and enthusiastic—anything but calm!

Trusting God with the Wait

It’s hard to trust God to take care of everything for us while we wait, even though Jesus reminds us: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matt. 6:34 msg).
Elisabeth Elliot wrote about brave waiting in Passion and Purity,I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”
Still, we’ve all been there. Sometimes we feel brave and courageous and can flow with whatever the future brings. Other times, we feel weak and weepy like Hannah in the Bible when she waited to have a child. But when we read Hannah’s story, we see she was distraught before she gave her burden to God, and then she seemed willing to bravely accept whatever he decided was best for her, whether it was a child or not. She became peaceful and content in God’s waiting room. (1 Samuel 1:1-2:11)
Hannah trusted God and waited on him to decide whether she would become a mother.
We’re all waiting for something every day.
When you prayerfully and patiently wait on God, you’re braver than you know.
What helps you be brave in times of waiting?

*Any excerpts from Everyday Brave used with permission of Leafwood Publishers.

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books. Her passion is to mentor other women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Her new release is Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith.

Visit Janet and sign up for her weekly blog and free online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.
Join Janet:

About Everyday Brave: In Everyday Brave, Janet explores the extraordinary bravery of fifty ordinary women in the Bible. Twenty-eight women of today also give testimonies of realizing their strength and courage through God’s love. As Janet shares the stories of these women, she reminds us that the real heart and substance of bravery comes from unconditionally placing our hope in the only One who can give us the courage to stay the course.

Any who leave a comment will be entered to win a free copy of Everyday Brave! Give away ends and drawing will be announced Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. 

And the winner is Rhonda Roemer-Stephani!!! Wow! Congratulations Rhonda. I prayed God would pick the right person, I mixed up all the entries, shut my eyes, and chose. There you were! Please private message me your address so the publisher can send the book to you.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

I chuckled when I learned September was Blood Cancer Awareness month. Believe me, those of us with blood cancer are very aware — not just in September — but every moment of our lives. We are aware each time we see lymph nodes swollen on our necks or feel them in our groin or under our arms, when an ugly bruise appears and stays for  months, at every tiny mosquito bite that doesn't heal, when a miniscule paper cut bleeds and bleeds and bleeds, and every sneeze threatens to lead to pneumonia and death. We are aware when the night-time pains shoot through our bones. We are aware as we fight cancer's attack of our bodies and satan's attack of our minds.

We are aware.

Are you aware:

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the United States in 2019 approximately

 every three minutes one person is diagnosed with blood cancer,

176,200 people are expected to be diagnosed with blood cancer,

ten percent of new cancer cases diagnoses will be blood cancer,

1,3999,180 people are living with blood cancer,

Approximately every nine minutes someone dies of blood cancer,

156 people die each day from blood cancer,

six people die each hour,

56,770 people will die this year,

9.4 percent of cancer deaths this year will be from blood cancer.

I thank God  and prayers, and cancer research that with treatment and a daily targeted therapy pill, most of the symptoms I experienced in the first paragraph are gone. I now live a healthy and happy life. Thank you for your prayers for me. Please keep praying for all cancer patients every day and month of the year. They suffer. They endure. They conquer thanks to your prayers.

My cancer care costs approximately $350,000 a year. Thanks to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other grants, I am not hit with that financial burden. Won't you consider donating for cancer research and funding for grants to help patients like me? You can donate at www.lls.org.  Thank you. 

I was thinking of the money spent on Halloween candy. Perhaps giving the same amount  to www.lls.org will free children with leukemia from the fright of cancer.

To encourage cancer patients, I share the lessons God taught me on my cancer journey in my book Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo: A Hopeful Response to a Hard Reality. Do you know a cancer patient who needs encouraged? Available on this website, Amazon, and Walmart.

Splashes of Serenity to all my fellow cancer warriors and thank you again to all who prayed for my healing. God heard. God healed!  Praise the Lord!!!


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fifty Reasons Why We're Still Kissing Forty-nine Years Later

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God  has joined together, let no man separate."
Matthew 19:6 NIV

We didn't get it right all of the time. In fact, if you read my books, you'll understand there were times we almost threw our marriage away. I'm so glad we remained true to the vows we spoke through our happy tears forty-nine years ago. When the hurting tears came, our vows to God and to each other were the glue keeping our frayed marriage together.

As we celebrate forty-nine years, I jotted down fifty ways (in no particular order) we got it right. In  hopes one will touch your heart and bless your marriage, I share them with you.

     1. Read your wedding vows and repeat to each other often.

     2. Go to bed at the same time whenever possible. The late-night pillow talk was precious and sometimes the only time we were alone during a busy day.

     3. Make intimacy a priority.

     4. Our marriage took priority over our children. We cherished our daughters and son and they knew they were loved. They also knew mom and dad loved each other, which brought joy and balance to our family.

     5. Be polite. My husband opened the car door for me when we dated and on our wedding day. He still does today. Those little courtesies mean a lot and speak volumes to our children.

     6. Date frequently. Your children will survive and thrive knowing mommy and daddy are going out just the two of them. Your child's greatest fear is that their parents will divorce. Seeing the two of you leave to enjoy each other may bring tears in the short run, but smiles for a lifetime.

     7. Vacation as a family. When you vacation together, you bond as a family. When another family is included in your plans, the kids bond with the other kids and not with each other or to their parents. An occasional vacation with friends is fun, but not every year.

     8. Overnight as a couple. Dan set as a priority that two weekends a year we get away together. I once said, "We can't afford this." He replied, "It's cheaper than a divorce." Dan was right.

     9. Your friends should never be more important than your spouse.

    10. Serve together at church or in the community. Find something you can do to work as a team.

    11. Discover activities and fun you can enjoy as a couple. I learned to love golf.

    12. Go on dates alone. Don't always go with another couple.

    13. Read Christian books on marriage. 

    14. Keep going to marriage retreats. This can be one of your weekends away.

    15. Your bedroom is your love sanctuary. Keep it clean and tidy and beautiful.

    16. Play romantic music and light candles. Make your home and your bedroom a retreat you both want to escape to.

    17. Do chores together. Raking leaves and shoveling snow is more fun as a twosome or a family.

    18. Seek ways to make each other's life better. Ask yourself What can I do to make my honey happy today.

    19. Celebrate big! Birthdays, Anniversaries, holidays are memory creators and make life fun.

    20. Be flexible. A rigid spouse is not very huggable.

    21. Practice kindness. Please and thank you never grow old. Kind people smile. So, smile. A lot.

    22. Be patient. Spouses and marriages need time to grow up.

    23. Consider your spouse before you consider yourself.

    24. Romance never grows old! Be creative and romantic and fun!

    25. Be content. Be happy with the person you married.

    26. Build your spouse up. Don't push or nag.

    27. Show and tell your spouse they are the most important person in your world.

    28. Plan surprises!

    29. Look nice at home and in bed.

    30. Sit close.

    31. Be present for big events whether a sick bed or a job promotion.

    32. Pray for each other. Pray for your marriage.

    33. Hold on during the bad times.

    34. Disagree, but don't disrespect.

    35. Choose your battles. Let go of the little irritations that don't matter.

    36. Hold hands.

    37. Fight fair. Stick to the subject of the dispute and never attack the person.

    38. Forgive and forget. Remember, we all make mistakes.

    39. Your spouse is not God, so don't expect perfection.

    40. Encourage their dreams.

    41. Avoid immorality of all kinds by watching and reading only uplifting, pro-marriage movies and television.

    42. Choose your friends wisely.

    43. Seek advice and counselling from Bible-believing, Godly pastors and friends.

    44. Remember: This too will pass. What upsets you today may be forgotten tomorrow.

    45. Leave your parents and cleave to your spouse.

    46. Live, act, and speak like a married person. Leave your single life behind.

    47. Don't belittle your spouse in public or private.

    48. Our children knew our marriage bed was where mommy and daddy slept, not them. I know this is controversial, but it was important in our marriage.

    49. Buy a lock for your bedroom door. Especially necessary when living with teens (for their sake and yours!).

    50. Always seek to glorify God in your marriage! Your marriage is not about you, but about God's glory.

We're celebrating our 49th Anniversary big, by redoing our honeymoon through New England. I'm so glad we held on to each other when our marriage almost fell apart. Be blessed. Enduring love is the best!

Happy Anniversary to us! Remembering the splashes of serenity and forgetting the mud and muck, we press on!


Friday, July 26, 2019

A Message of Hope from a Mother Whose Child Lives in Heaven

My dear friend Susan Rau remembered her son Ian on his birthday today. She and Ian taught me much about loving and trusting God. Susan writes:
"July 26 – A very, very special day – God blessed our family with Ian-Michial born with determination and a sensitive spirit. 

Close to his second birthday, our only son was diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor entwined in his spinal cord. The prognosis was not good, and the cancer took his life 15 months later. As we watched our son struggle and fight for his life, we prayed that somehow, we could trade places with him; that we could take his cancer on ourselves so that he could live. 

That’s exactly what God did for us. 

He took our “cancer” - sin - and allowed His only son to die in our place. 
He so desires for us to spend eternity with Him that 
He willingly gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to make a way for us to come to Him. 
Jesus defeated death and rose again so that we would be able to dwell eternally with Him in heaven;
 we have only to trust and follow Him. 

Although young, Ian understood this with his child-like faith and 
now lives in the presence of the Almighty Holy God.
 If Ian could send a message to each of us, it would be only two words, 

“Be there!” 

Be there before the throne of our great God and King, 
where He will wipe away every tear, 
where there will be no more death, or mourning, or pain. 

Will you be there? 

'For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, 
that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.' John 3:16"

Thank you, Susan, for your words from God's heart and Ian's heart to ours. I remember when Ian was dying, you wrote me a letter saying God gave you peace when He wrote

"The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

Those words have calmed many a frantic heart. What joy knowing that whatever our battle, the Lord is fighting for us and He always wins! Hallelujah!

Without assurance of Heaven, there are no splashes of serenity,


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Book Give-Away in Memory of George Green, the Man Who Inspired Me to Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo

George Green loved baseball, cars, helping people, and cancer. Yes. Cancer. Why? Because his greatest love was Jesus and cancer gave him opportunity to tell people about his Savior.

When cancer hit me hard, I remembered George, his words, and his attitude. I, too, decided to praise the Lord and see cancer as a gift and not a curse. Thank you, George. You changed my life.

I write about George in Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo: A Hopeful Response to a Hard Reality. Enjoy this partial excerpt from my book:

"'I have a praise report! I have cancer!' George smiled wide as he announced his diagnosis to a group gathered for a Wednesday night of prayer.

'George! How is that a praise report?' The stunned assembly seemed to ask in unison.

'Can you imagine the people I'll meet and tell about Jesus? Doctors! Nurses! All kinds of medical staff! Why, I'm having chemotherapy every week with the same seven people in the same room. I'm going to tell all of them 'I know I'm going to Heaven. Do you? And they won't be able to leave because we're all having chemo.'

For George, cancer was a reason for thanksgiving. Telling people about Jesus was his passion. Cancer opened doors to share his faith with people he otherwise might never meet.

I would have loved being in the doctor's office when the oncologist tried to heal George, and George tried to heal the oncologist.

'George, this is serious. You are a sick man.'

'Doctor, if you don't know Jesus as your Savior, you are a lot sicker than I am!'

Remembering my God-loving friend, I determined — like George — to look at cancer as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. . . . 

I walked into the cancer center with joy in my step and a prayer in my heart.

Every six weeks I receive a five-hour infusion in a private room with one nurse — what an opportunity to make a friend I may have never met, except for cancer. On my first infusion day the nurse and I talked about Jesus. . . . 

'You must be tired of listening to me.' I smiled as the sedative kicked in. My eyes and tongue were heavy.

'Oh, no! I could listen to you all day.' She meant it. Without a hint of flattery or a nurse's bedside manners, she spoke with sincerity as the Holy Spirit worked in her heart.

Later, with a hop and I skip, I left the hospital thanking George for his example and God for allowing me to share Jesus and hope with a new friend. Exhilarated by all God did that day, I got into my car proclaiming, 'Well, praise the Lord and pass the chemo.'"

Ha! My next thought was Oh no! That sounds like a book title! And so was conceived Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo: A Hopeful Response to a Hard Reality. 

George was so excited to see the book! He bought multiple copies and passed them along to any in need. I remember his grin and excitement seeing God use him through this story.

George died July 7, 2019 at the age of sixty-six. I'm sure his smile is a mile wide and I suspect he's already asked Jesus if he wants a copy of my book. Thank you, George, for impacting this world and my life for Christ. I miss you. I rejoice that you are in Heaven with Jesus, the One you love most.

In memory of George, 
I am giving away one free copy of Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo. 
If you would like to enter the give-away,
 please leave a comment of any kind,
 a prayer for his family, 
or a memory of how you remember George. 
I will choose a name from a bowl
 on Thursday night, July 25, 2019 at 9:00 p.m. 

"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, 
that I might show you My power and 
that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
Exodus 9:16

And the winner of
 Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo is . . . 

Thank you for remembering George 
with your sweet words.
Thank you to all who remembered 
George Green. 
He blessed me, 
I pray he blessed you too.

Splashes of Serenity from George to you, because George knows the Christian life is the only life filled with serenity,


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Do You Want To Write A Book? Start with a Writers' Conference

Have you ever thought of writing a book, but you don't know where to start?

 Has God given you a message to write or to speak? 

Is your manuscript finished and you are looking for a publisher?

 Would you like to improve your communication skills?

Would you like to meet writers who become your life-long prayer warriors and friends? 

Would you like to spend a week with me? (Don't answer that.)

Would you enjoy a week of laughter and good ole Pennsylvania cooking?

Have you dreamed of dwelling at the historic farm of R. A. Torrey?

I've got a place for you!

 Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA
July 14-19, 2019
for more information and registration

Montrose Writers Conference 
is where my writing career began.

In the early 2,000's God called me to write a book, but I didn't know how. At Montrose Christian Writers Conference I learned the writing/publishing business and with God's blessing my first book was published.

Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms

A year later came
Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Wives  

Four years later 
We All Married Idiots: 
Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can 
was birthed in English, Spanish, and Bosnian.

A cancer diagnosis nudged me to write my new release
 Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo: A Hopeful Response to a Hard Reality. 

The specialness of Montrose Christian Writers Conference came to light as my Montrose friends (or odd ducks, as we call each other) walked with me and prayed me through my hard diagnosis. I am forever grateful for the prayers and love received from the folks who became friends at Montrose Bible Conference. With joy I am living a full life in good health. Thank you, odd ducks. You are the best!

This summer I am excited to return to Montrose Christian Writers Conference as a workshop leader teaching:

"A Writer Speaks to Touch Hearts"
 Speaking/Writing do's and don'ts that help us become writers/speakers who connect with our audiences, lead listeners into the heart of God, and motivate people toward action for the glory of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

"Our Most Essential Writing/Speaking Tool—A Pure Heart" 
 We can write great books and be articulate Bible scholars, but unless our audiences see Jesus in us, unless they see love in our lives, our words are resounding gongs. Let us examine our hearts for sin lurking within and keeping us from  becoming the writers/speakers God gifted us to be.

"Be My Guest"
 Being the guest on radio, television, or newspaper interviews takes more than just showing up. We must prepare.

A myriad of authors, editors, speakers, publishers, and agents will bless and challenge us to write for the generation to come so

"That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord." (Psalm 102:18).   

For more information please see WWW.MONTROSEBIBLE.ORG.

What started in a small town in Pennsylvania swelled to a world-wide ministry speaking in Russia, Bosnia, and across the USA. Who knew? Well, God did when He directed me to a sweet spot called Montrose Christian Writers Conference.  Is God directing you to write? If so, I hope to see you at Montrose!

Splashes of Serenity!