Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Single-Hearted Peace

Quiet solitude
“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.”~Amy Carmichael, missionary

I managed to make it through my son’s graduation last Friday with no tears, just overwhelming joy and pride for what he’s accomplished. His early life traveled a bumpy road, but he is an overcomer.

The whirlwind of senior activity finally came to a resounding end, and as Josh and I sat on the couch watching TV Sunday evening, I turned to him and said, “I almost asked if you had any homework.”

(As most of you with kids know, almost supernaturally homework has a tendency to be remembered at the end of the weekend, instead of at the beginning, despite promptings from Mom.) J

We shared a laugh and agreed this not-having-to-do-anything feeling we’re suddenly experiencing is weird. No more hurriedness. Maybe we’ll have a little more peace and quiet in our corner of the world. At least for a while.

Earlier in the evening, a small tornado came through our town in the midst of a severe thunderstorm. Josh went to the fire station (he’s a volunteer firefighter) to hang out in anticipation of calls. They had three.

With all the computers and televisions unplugged because of the lightning, I suggested the rest of us read. Reading has become such a luxury for me. So I seized the opportunity. About five minutes into our reading time, my daughter Lindsay started laughing. She said it was too quiet. I’ll admit it was pretty quiet without the hum of electronics or TV chatter.

I often wonder if the reason so many Christians struggle with finding God’s will for their lives—and thus their ability to impact others—is due to lack of “clearness of spirit which is life and peace.”

I thrive in quiet solitude. In that place, God speaks to me. He chips away at my human frailties, strengthens and sculpts me into a vessel to further His Kingdom. If you’re a hurried person who rarely experiences solitude with God, I pray for quiet stillness for you to experience our Lord in a way that will transform your Christian walk.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
(Carl Boberg, 1885)

“Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 KJV
Praise Reports and Updates:

Courtney, a young mother who’s battled brain cancer for the past couple of years, had another clean MRI. She’ll see an endocrinologist to address fatigue/glucose issues and evaluate her pituitary and thyroid glands. Please keep her in your prayers as she continues chemo. Her husband was deployed to Korea with the military in April. She has tremendous family support, but please keep all of them in your prayers.

Emily is a middle school young lady battling osteosarcoma, an aggressive and difficult to treat cancer. Her family update is a little long, but I felt compelled to share most of the e-mail I received.

Emily will be going through her quarterly tests on Thursday, June 6. Her lungs, heart, legs, and hearing will be evaluated. All of the tests are designed to look for cancer or side effects from the treatment. Prayers that Emily will remain cancer and side effect free forever are greatly appreciated! The weeks leading to these exams are filled with anxiety and stress.
On a positive note, Emily is walking without assistance and progressing in her physical therapy. The physical scars are continuing to heal. Her hair is growing quickly. She is not overly fond of the new post-chemo color or the new wavy style in which her hair has manifested. However, she is still happy to have a full head of hair that is lengthening daily.
On Friday, June 7th, Emily will be visiting Senate offices to increase awareness about orphan diseases, pediatric cancer, and harmful products. 
Below is my Debbie Downer Section: 
Middle School has been a roller-coaster. Emily's grades have been incredible considering the circumstances. She worked diligently to catch up and has received high marks. She rarely displayed sadness last year while missing 5th grade, not being able to walk, or participate in many activities. The thing she looked forward to the most was going back to school and being with her friends. Now she dreads going to school. She has been dismissed from social networks and forgotten in several previously close friendships. Classmates shy away from an interaction because she looks different, and she if often picked last as a partner. This has caused Emily to withdraw. It pains me to write this, but it is true. Cancer is difficult enough on a child, but imagine living in a city for only two months prior to diagnosis, losing your hair, experiencing 10 months of grueling therapy, and a double bone transplant...yet she is also trying to heal physically and mentally while experiencing the judgmental environment and drama associated with Middle School. I know most children do not realize how their actions impact others at this age...we have no anger, just sadness. Emily has been through so much, there is no need for this. It makes no sense. My heart aches for my daughter.
Although, this has been tough on her...Emily still remains true to herself, she is normally caring and responsible. Emily was invited to sit at a "popular" table during lunch several weeks ago, but declined. When I heard the story, I was shocked and asked why did you decline? She said that her friend, the only classmate that routinely sits with her at lunch, would have been alone! It is just the two of them. When she is asked again, we have coached her to say "yes" on the condition her friend can join. Hopefully, that will be an acceptable answer. 
We have received a tremendous amount of support, and we are extremely thankful. Our family would not have made it without the help we received. As always, prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated.  ~Steve, Emily’s father 
Please continue to pray for Courtney and Emily, as well as the others on the prayer list at the top of the blog. If you have a prayer request, please share in the comments section or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you! J


©Laura Hodges Poole


  1. Laura please let Emily's family know that the update was much appreciated. When a family takes the time to write out an update like this it gives us a better understanding of what they are going through and it helps us to know how to pray. I can't imagine going through middleschool again much less while battling cancer. We will be in prayer about every situation Emily's dad shared with us.

    The owner of the Christian web site I use to work for has started the site back and ask me to be administrator again. The site is up but not running very well - lots of bugs to work out. Do you think it would be okay to share Emily's update there and put her on the prayer list? God Bless!

    1. Yes, Betty, that would be fine. The more people praying, the better. God bless you for your faithful prayers.