Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Prayers

Loved Ones,

Ray continues to struggle with fullness and vomiting. Thankfully, we were able to speak with his doctor this morning. We are going to move up our timetable a little bit. We'll have the scan on Monday at 6:30 am with a "gastric protocol" that will hopefully give a real good look at Ray's stomach. That will be followed by labs, an appointment with Ray's doctor, and any other steps that are necessary at that point (chemo, etc.) We are relieved that we can get on top of anything that is going on.

The highlight of our day was listening to Christmas carols this evening while the girls played barbies around us. Those times are so very dear.

We are so thankful for your prayers today and especially for Monday which will be a big (and long!) day.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35, 37-39

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Better Friday

Loved Ones,

It was a better day for Ray. He was able to go and visit with friends from his office this afternoon. The highlight of our day, however, was the girls and I racing Daddy home from picking up our other car at the shop. That was fun!

Ray is still fighting tiredness and fullness -- which of course makes it harder to eat. But he is doing his best.

We anticipate Ray's scan Monday, and we pray continually for God's hand upon him.

"Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope; Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually."
Psalm 119:116

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Prayers

Loved Ones,

It was a harder day for Ray with nausea and tiredness. But our spirits were lifted by Ray's sister and brother in law and my mom who visited. It is always so nice to be with our precious family!

We are praying for God's hand on Ray during this time leading up to his new chemo. It is so important for his body to be rested and recovered. And we pray for God's spirit to hold back the cancer as we wait.

We pray for good results on Monday with the scan. And for a restful weekend filled with family times.

We thank God for you. That our prayers are echoed by yours. The greatest possible gift.

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Message from Ray

Loved ones,

This is Ray, I figured it was time to write another email.

First, I am very lucky to have friends and family like you. The cards, the emails, the calls, the visits and, most importantly, the prayers are constant signs of God working to heal me and support us during our battle. We feel very blessed to have you all on our side.

There are definitely ups and downs during this battle. Good news one day can be met with not so good news the next day. But our Faith, our Family and our Friends keep us strong to continue our fight.

I think I have mentioned this before, but one of the postives in this battle has been the precious time spent with our three little girls. I feel it especially at night when we put them to bed. Singing songs with them, reading books, listening to their prayers, listening to them tell us about their day...all so special. And just to watch them as they sleep gives me comfort. I'll pray over them and wonder what the future has in store for them. I sometimes don't even want to leave their room, just sit there and listen to their little breaths. They are so precious.

So we continue to ask for your prayers for healing, for comfort and for strength. We know these prayers are being heard because we can see, and feel, God answering them.

"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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

not alone and not afraid --

ray and kristin

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Loved Ones,

It was another good day. We visited with friends and Ray continues to eat pretty well. Hooray!

We reflected today on how much prayer changes us. Our prayers for hope and joy and freedom from anxiety are being answered. Praise the Lord.

I prayed with our neighbors this evening and we read through the scriptures from our recent emails. Those words. They are such a comfort and a light. We are so grateful for the assurance of God's word.

Thank you for your part in all of this. Your prayers are powerful.

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken."
Psalm 62:5-6

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Better Day

Loved Ones,

It was a better day. Ray wasn't as tired and when he did lay down, he was able to sleep. And, he's eating! I was so proud of his grilled cheese for lunch and his organic tomato and turkey chili. Hooray!

Thank you for your love and prayers today. In so many, many ways, God answered our prayers for peace and hope in our day. And this is why I send the emails like I do. It helps! Sometimes our hearts are lifted simply by sharing our thoughts. More often, I believe that there is no other possibility but deliverance simply by the strength of all of your prayers.

And so, we thank you again, we renew our prayers for strength and healing for Ray, and we look toward two more weeks of growing energy and preparation for Ray's next treatments.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:8-10

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Silent Night

Loved Ones,

I just sang Lucy to sleep with Silent Night, to find my real night silent, with Ray, Nora and Maggie all snoring in the girls' room.

We had fun with friends today watching the Bears game. Thank goodness for Chicago sports. There is always something to root for, though not always the winning team!

We have got to fatten Ray up! Calling all calories! If you have a good recipe, send it to me. The holidays could not be coming at a better time!

We are learning new things. I remember reflecting when Ray was diagnosed that I saw the world with different eyes. When I went to the grocery store I wanted to say: My husband has cancer. When I drove in the parking lot I wanted to roll down my window and say: My husband has cancer. When I walked with my carefree little girls I wanted to say: We are not what we seem. And here's the new eyes part: I wondered who around me did the same. Who appeared to be the room mother or teacher or soccer coach that faced sadness, grief, or uncertainty. How unaware I had been of the invisible suffering.

When you face or in my case, when your husband faces a life-threatening illness, there is a whole world of thoughts and emotions that lie underneath the regular day. On the good days, the thoughts are fleeting. On the harder days, they are inescapable.

This week has been a more difficult week.

We are grateful for our faith which strengthens our resolve to win the battle of anxiety vs. hope. We are thankful for your prayers and God's answers which bolster our endurance. We look with gladness on the fact that this journey has opened windows of compassion for others that before now were simply unknown.

We strive to embrace the future, rejoicing in hope, made possible only by our trust in God.

A friend sent this verse, noting that the Hebrew translation speaks of the future with such certainty that it is written as if the future has already occurred. A good verse for tonight.

"But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:5-6

not alone and not afraid --

kristin and ray