Welcome to my “growing” place. “What can He grow?” In my 45 years of life, I have been given a rare opportunity for growth and personal refinement in my three-time fight with cancer. My battles began as a teen (13) when doctors discovered ovarian cancer and I underwent treatments and a surgery that took away my ability and blessing to create life. Currently, I am celebrating two and a half years of thriving following treatments and surgeries for small-cell lung cancer (stage 3A – nonsmoker), skin cancer (melanoma) and a non-cancerous liver tumor (hepatic adenoma). Yes, all in the same year! For me, 1984 and 2014 were the most barren, numbing, cold winters of my life.
Jumping forward, today is the first week of March 2017 and as we are also about to come out of a winter of numbing cold, I’m launching this website. We can have confidence that spring will follow winter. She is already near. I know this because my tulip bulbs are a quarter of the way up. Hooray!
In November 2014 I was just starting my second round of chemotherapy. Though very sick, I insisted on going outside to plant bulbs for the spring. As a lung cancer patient, I had been told to avoid gardening because I was not supposed to be around dirt. But on that day my mental health could not handle being inside any longer! My goal was to plant as many bulbs as possible, for when spring arrived I would be finishing my last round of chemotherapy. I needed the hope that my life’s most difficult winter would end, and new life would again begin. Although my plans were not God’s (more about this later) the spring of 2016 did arrive and my house was surrounded in brilliant colors as if in celebration!
Life has returned back to me, but slowly. It has not been so easy as it was for the tulips in bloom that spring. Scars have healed and my physical health has returned. While I feel better and better every day, I am aware that these health challenges did not just rob me of my full reproductive system, a lobe of my right lung, a dozen or so lymph nodes, a chunk of my leg, and a third of my liver–they also stole my joy for a time.
This new website, “What can He grow?” is all about…what else? Growing! Bright spring is returning to my heart, but only through a lot of growth, change, and by seeking for needed help. Above all, my pleadings for help are to God. As I have recognized parallels and metaphors connecting my efforts to grow new life in the garden with the growth and blessings I have received from God, I have been reminded that God is the master gardener of my growth. He is growing me and you to become more than we are today or yesterday. My site is a way for me to share my growth experiences and my love of gardens, to connect with you, and more!
The key section of my site are my own stories of how God has helped me to grow. There are also sections about our gardens, favorite recipes highlighting the garden’s bounty, and gardening advice from The Midnight Gardener (my husband). In time I hope to add other information from my experience as a licensed Social Worker and mother of four children, ages 10-18, with growing thoughts and stories for parents of teens and children through all the stages.
Please visit my site as often as you like and see what’s growing.