They are the typical American next-door-neighbor family. They were high school sweethearts and married after college. They had a son and then a daughter. Now in their early forty’s, they are both successful in their own businesses—he is an entrepreneur, owning several companies and she loves doing interior design. They are active in their church, community and activities with their children. Over the years, their marriage has hit speed bumps, like any marriage, but they overcame them to forge a beautiful, loving relationship.

On Friday, August 16, 2013, Rob and Christi Estes faced the biggest obstacle they had ever faced in the twenty-seven years they have known each other. In a matter of minutes, their world slipped on its’ axis. After suffering headaches for several weeks that grew increasingly worse, Rob was diagnosed with a 5 cm mass in the front right lobe of his brain. Surgery was scheduled for the following Tuesday, August 20.

Shortly after the diagnosis, Christi started a page for Rob on CaringBridge.com. I encourage you to go and read all of the posts; from the very beginning this couple’s faith has been unshakable and inspiring. Did Christi and Rob have questions? Yes. Were there times of shaking faith? Absolutely. But never once did they doubt the wisdom of God or give up hope. I would find myself going to the site to offer encouragement and prayers, yet I would be the one encouraged. Christi wrote with vulnerable transparency, with grace and love, and with faith that could move a mountain. God’s healing mercies are revealed through their faith. Here’s the link: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mightytosave/journal/

Faith does move mountains and God does answer prayers. Each of Rob’s MRI’s looks better than the previous one. Life slowly is taking on a new “normal.”

Much of the new “normal” is focused on an organization they established before Rob had finished radiation and chemo. “Can’t Never Could, Inc.” is an organization started to raise funds for brain cancer research, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Newnan Ironmen mission’s projects and other worthy causes. Christi writes, “Our hope is that others who are struggling will find determination through Can’t Never Could and through Rob’s life verse:
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. 
I know that this verse has been a huge inspiration for Rob in the past and remains so today. Rob’s determination, fighting spirit and faith continue to amaze me every day.”

Visit the website  http://www.cantnevercouldinc.com to be encouraged and to learn how you can support this organization.









Happy Mother’s Day

Unless you live on a deserted island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, you must know that today is Mother’s Day. Retail stores and websites have advertised their Mother’s Day specials since the day after Valentine’s Day. In years past, I never paid attention to the hoop-la. I knew I had to buy a gift and card. This year, there is no purchase necessary. My mother passed in August of last year. This will be mine and my sister’s first Mother’s Day without her.

I’ve thought all week about what I want to do today and came up with several scenarios: 1) stay in bed all day reading, writing, maybe watching some old movies; 2) going away for the weekend with my sweet hubby; 3) going to the local bookstore with my laptop and writing all day, 4) having my kids come over and spending quality time with them. Anything to avoid the grief and pain that I know is coming. I know it’s coming because I saw my mother go through it when her mother passed.

The first year after my grandmother passed was very difficult for my mother, and it didn’t get much easier as the years went by. She would begin to dread Mother’s Day weeks in advance. She didn’t have to say much–the dread and sadness covered her like a blanket. She would stay depressed for several weeks after Mother’s Day. This went on for so many years that I wanted to say to her, “Mom, I understand your grief and pain. But you have two daughters who need you and love you and grandchildren that want your attention.” I am so glad I never made that stupid remark. I had no idea of the grief she was experiencing. Until now . . .

So for those of you who are blessed to still have your mother living, buy that special gift that she will probably put away for a rainy day. If she lives close, be with her today. Enjoy your time together. Love on her. If she lives too far away to be with her physically, call her and spend hours on the phone with her.

If your mother is no longer here, grieve. Grieve however you need to grieve to help you through the day. And know that there are two sisters grieving right along beside you. But most importantly, know that there is One Father who grieves with you. He bore your sorrows, your grief, on the cross when He was crucified. Isaiah 53:4 in the King James version says “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” Let Him carry you through this day!


“Surrender With Child, With Cancer” Book Review

It seems every time I get on a roll posting blogs (“a roll” being more than one every few weeks) life happens. And before I know it, weeks, even months, pass and not one blog has been written. So I have determined to try and keep a more consistent schedule. Thank you to all of you who faithfully wait for my musings!

This particular blog is definitely overdue. In March, I attended the Coffee and Quill Mini-Conference sponsored by the Christian 
Authors Guild (CAG).  (CAG) meets the first and third Mondays of each month at Prayer & Praise Christian Fellowship, 6409 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock, Georgia from 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Believe me, if they met any closer to my hometown, I’d be at their monthly meetings. Their website is http://www.christianauthorsguild.org/. Check out their website to find out more about the group and about the conference they sponsor each year, “Catch the Wave.”

At this year’s Coffee and Quill, the guest speaker was Amy Hanley. Amy has an amazing testimony and she has written about her testimony in a book titled “Surrender With Child, With Cancer.”  In case you can’t tell by the title, Amy was diagnosed with cancer while expecting her fourth child. But not just any cancer – she was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer – and was told she would need to abort her baby in order receive treatment to save her own life. Amy decided to trust God and this book chronicles the next two years of her – and her family’s – life. It is an amazing story of God’s grace, love and His healing power. 

This book is an absolute must-read for anyone who is or has battled cancer, for anyone who knows someone that’s in that battle, or if you just need a confirmation of the healing power of God.

You can purchase the book at : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Surrender-With-Child-With-Cancer?keyword=Surrender+With+Child+With+Cancer&store=book.

This is a book you will want to read more than one time as you glean lessons on trusting God and His interest in even the tiniest details of what concerns you. It is a wonderful reminder of how much God loves you and the lengths He will go to prove that love!