Thursday, April 14, 2016


Early Tuesday morning I woke up to the sound of James's snoring. That's a fairly uncommon occurrence around here, though whenever it happens, my immediate, extreme annoyance is the very common result. 

Not this week, however. 

After a few half-hearted attempts at flopping on the bed to "reset" my husband back to silent slumber (does that ever work for you? It does me!), I laid awake and felt...grateful. 

James is doing really, really well on the immunotherapy drug. In general, his hip pain is decreasing, his cough is decreasing, and his energy is way, way up. In fact, I am almost to the point of feeling embarrassed (the good ol' Chinese bu-hao-yisi variety) to use the valet parking at the hospital or to walk in to the cancer ward looking so good. I am guessing that most people in the waiting room at this point don't know which of us is sick.  

So there I was, lying in the (noisy) dark, offering up a simple prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving to God. Just a simple prayer of thanks that He has sustained James's life thus far, eased his suffering, and been gracious to us. 

And then I realized how long it had been since I had offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God. 

Does that ever happen to you? You're in the midst of going through a struggle, or grief, or pain, or fighting for your life, or actually just trying to make it through the line at the grocery without losing it...and in the midst of all that there are a lot of prayers for God's help and mercy. Lots of prayers that sound like a little kids' incessant demands for assistance. 

Show up. Now, please.
Give us favor. 
Heal this.  
Let this go the way we want, and may what we want & You want graciously align.
Please do something.
Make it stop.

I think all those prayers are really good prayers, and that God is honored in our childlike (or childish) asking for His help more than in our bullheaded determination to work things out on our own.  

But sometimes...certainly more often than I am prone to do...we should stop and just say Thanks. 

Thanks for showing up
For doing more than we ask or think
For strength
and grace
and life in the midst of all this.

And just for's a photo - a testament to how the Lord has truly carried us this far! James posted this to his WeChat account this week, and so I am reposting it here. We are thankful, and in awe of how God has done more than merely keep James alive. He has given him life, rich and full (and strong!). He has very graciously answered so many of our prayers! Let's continue on in expectant faith, looking forward to what God will yet do.



  1. Muscle man. Looking great James. So very thankful for you!

  2. Truly amazing! We give God the glory.

  3. Truly amazing! We give God the glory.

  4. I think about you all so often, but not when I'm by a device to tell you so. Then we got a G.O. Notice (too late to act on) saying that you two were doing some kind of workshop on business for missionaries. I may have gotten that a little off, but anyway! it seemed that James was doing well and I was so excited!! Any plans on returning to China? Gotta go...prayer group you guys!!!