Thursday, May 28, 2015

God's Perfect timing

June 2014 Tom and I and Merry Ann Blanchard, our real estate agent and friend, sat in my studio writing up the listing for our business and property to be sold.  At that time we prayed and asked God to grant the sale to come in August of 2015.  Within two days we had an offer and we felt good about the people who would be buying Rosies and we set out to wait until they sold their property in Portland so the transaction could be completed, ever marching towards our desired and prayed for date of August 2015.

During the next few months we decided on the place we wanted to live, Lake Havasu City, Arizona having found an incredible church we want to belong to and green grass and crystal blue water
and we began liquidating unnecessary belongings.

In November 2014 we went in to the wait mode, trying not to be inpatient.  Well it didn't work and we decided to go head and buy a house in Lake Havasu, just planning ahead......ya know....right......

The first house which we both loved had a bad inspection report and we let it go........

Right after that house, the home equity I was going to use for the down payment disappeared instantly...right before our eyes....Money available....Money a blink of an eye.  The 10 year draw had come to an end which I didn't realize was coming and was gone.....

Then we found the next house and began the loan application using our business equity for the downpayment knowing that once we sold the property, we could clear all the temporary loans.
Everything progressed nicely and our application went to the underwriters for approval.

In the meantime our first buyer took second position because their property had not sold to close the deal.
We instantly got another buyer and began negotiations with them for the sale of our property.

During the loan application for our new house in Lake Havasu and the negotiations with the second buyer for our property,  a spot was found on my regular mammogram.  Repeat exams, sonogram, needle biopsy....The day before I got my results from the biopsy Tom calls me and says....."are you sitting down?"  instantly I thought about the biopsy nope that wasn't it at all.  The loan for our new house was denied due to the fact that we had a signed sale agreement on our business property.

The next day I got my biopsy....Cancer of the right breast with surgery and radiation and possible chemotherapy on the horizon.

I was hysterically happy the new house sale in Lake Havasu had failed, especially when I was finally....finally....finally....beginning to understand that Father Knows Best!

Then I contemplated the second offer on our property which would have required us to leave the property by September 1.  I would not be done with radiation in Portland until August....How were we going to be able to accomplish this???? God knew.....The second offer was withdrawn and we are back to square one with our first offer in the wings and the listing agreement running out June 30, 2015 which will release the first buyer.  I have time to breathe and take care of my cancer and think about my future and God's plan for my life.  He surely has plans in his perfect timing.

We prayed again, this time just Tom and I.  We know we are called to be in Lake Havasu City, for what we do not know, but we will know when we get there.  We began to appreciate the business and property we have here in Oregon.  It has been a blessing to us for many years.

We are now exploring keeping the business and property if it does not sell by June 30, 2015 and we have rented a house in Lake Havasu beginning June 15, 2015.  We will not be able to be in that house until August 2015 after my radiation and we will not be able to be full-time yet but with God's help and provision we will commute as needed and we will answer his call in Lake Havasu City and we will wait upon him to see how he wants us to serve him.  We have full confidence that God will work our life out perfectly!

We thank you Father for directing and guiding and correcting and moving in every step of this journey.  We have felt you intimately throughout this process which has been a lot of ups and downs, pain and sorrow, joy and laughing, praising and petitioning worth every minute and more of this nearly one year journey of timing........

your children.....Tom and Steph

Thank you Father for the gifts you just keep piling up and up and up on us!

excerpt from: 

God's Gonna Make You Laugh: Understanding God's Timing for Your Life

 By Noel JonesGod's Gonna Make You Laugh

God’s Time— The Fifth Dimension In the same way, Father knows what is best for your life. God is waiting for some things to die in you before He will show up with a miracle. There can be no resurrection until there is a death. That is part of the process. His delays are not denials. They are simply apart of the process of preparation so that you are ready to enjoy what God is going to bring into your life. 

Between the promise and the fulfillment you will walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The reason for this is that God will not reveal Himself in the season that you think is best. The God that lives above and beyond time is the one that understands the proper time for your rescue, your healing, your blessing, and your victory. God’s time is not our time, but it is the right time. Timing is a vision thing. 

We cannot see from His point of view. Our vision is obstructed by our placement in this time/space world. We live in a three- dimensional world including longitude, latitude, and altitude. We cannot exist in two places at the same time. Einstein defined time as the fourth dimension. 

God, however, lives in another dimension that is not controlled by longitude, latitude, or altitude and is unhindered by clocks and calendars. He lives outside of time but chooses to work within time. His time is the fifth dimension. It is another time that He controls. He can make the sun to shine in the middle of the winter, the snow to fall in spring, and rain to pour in the middle of autumn, and He can cause a good old nor’easter cold front to come blowing through the middle of a blistering hot August. 

The bottom line is, whenever He comes is the right time and the right season. When it’s time for Him to come through on your behalf, nothing in the world will be able to stop the success that He has chosen for your life.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Room with Feet

A moment in time has arrived.  I have evolved from the "Caregiver" to the "one" that is cared for.  First things first.....It's humbling and then embarrassing and then just a real pain and difficult getting use to....

I have come to understand that this is one of God's amazing tools that he uses to give us a deeper understanding of our complete dependence upon him.

Just a brief recap, mostly for me, cause I do not look back in life.....February 26, 2015  Mammogram done after a four year hiatus.....March 16, 2015 repeat mammogram and sonogram due to suspicious area.  April 7, 2015 Needle biopsy in radiology of suspicious area.  April 10, 2015 results positive for cancer.  Referrals to surgeon for surgical treatment.  

April 16, 2015 appointment with surgeon and surgery scheduled. 

On May 6, 2015 I had my radiation oncology visit and the five weeks of post op radiation therapy was explained.   

On May 13, 2015 at Providence Saint Vincent's Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. I had a right breast lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy.   

Insight gleaned from this experience.....many, many women walk in these shoes in one form or another.....actually 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. 

( and I think that is where the above collage came from focusing on shoes that passed by the pre-op room) 

After my diagnosis so many stepped up with their stories and insight.  The biggest story of all is that breast cancer is treatable and curable.  Finding it early helps......So please....please.....get yearly mammograms and do self breast exams.  It is the most important defense you have.

Why Providence you might ask???  Well, I know the hospital well.....This is where my first husband's 3 year journey took place.  This is where God talked to me and asked me to come to him and I yelled...."NO"  This is where my Mom had her lung cancer surgery and then her triple bypass surgery. 

I always knew I would be coming back one day and it would be my turn.....and 20 years later it was my turn.....The first thing I did when I returned to Providence was to go into the Chapel where I had told God "NO" and thank and praise him for never giving up on me and to affirm that I was his forever and forever.  

From the time my feet hit the halls of the hospital on May 13, 2015, from check in, to 2 failed attempts at starting the IV, to the radiologist, to the sonogram technician,  to the nuclear medicine, to the pre and post op nurses, to the residents, to the interns, to the IV specialist team, to the mammography technician to every person I came in contact with......I witnessed and shared the hope that is within me that surpasses all human knowledge.  

1 Peter 3:15New International Version (NIV)

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

This was the hardest part......the delay in surgery.....time to make up all kinds of bad things in your review the pictures of the surgery you looked at on the internet, time to let fear seep in....but God gave me an anesthesiologist whose second job is a stand-up comedian and just playing in the moment brought me to the OR, looking up at the big lights and saying.....I need to take a picture of that! and then sleep and turning my life over to the Great Physician and all those who he was guiding. 

God heals - and He is the great physician and He can heal anyone of any affliction, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional.  There are going to be times in your life when you'll need God to heal you or a loved one, so don't be afraid to pray to God for the healing that you need. 

The first gift God gave me years ago was my creativity and the ability to create beautiful wearable things with my hands.  That gift was given to me to use to share him with others.  

This additional gift, Cancer, was given to me in order to release all residual reluctance and doubt about the light that I have within me that needs to burn brightly without fear and without hesitancy.

"Here I am Lord"  Use me up for your glory......Your child.....Rosie

Thursday, May 07, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons.....Eat BBQ

May 6, 2015 brought our visit to the Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Stephen B. Bader at Providence Cancer Center located at Providence Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  The motto of the Center is: New Discoveries. New Treatments. New Hope.....As An Artist, I appreciated the wealth of art throughout the Center.

  As a former professional in the Medical Field, I appreciated the knowledge and competence and compassion of the staff.  I have been so blessed to meet and feel entirely at ease with first my surgeon, Dr. Cook and now my radiation oncologist, Dr. Bader.  

There is no excuse to not be informed.  Lots of information and support contacts in the book room as well as a detailed exam and explanations of the goals of the treatments.  After surgery on May 13, 2015 and two weeks of healing, radiation will begin with 5 weeks of 5 days a week 10 minute treatments.  

Again, grateful.....A motorhome that we can park at Tom's brother's house with a 25 minute commute each day and scheduling that allows early treatment on Fridays, late treatment on Mondays, giving us close to four days at home.  Again, grateful for the peace of mind that on the 3 days I am not home,  the caregivers will come in to help Mom.   God is GOOD all the TIME and ALL the time God is GOOD.  Again, grateful that I will be able to enjoy Portland in the summertime and make trips to the Rose Gardens and the Chinese Gardens, and the Pearl District and the yarn shops and the Goodwills....and many, many more sights and sounds I have not had the chance to experience in the 25 years of living in Oregon.  

Can a hospital be beautiful and soothe the soul?  Yes!!!! 

From the Art everywhere to......

 Giant sky lights that flood the radiation oncology center underground with glorious LIGHT........
 To outdoor gardens and places to eat outdoors.............................................

To Wonderful indoor fountains..............................................................

A book store that makes me feel that I am suppose to be here in this moment in time as it proclaims one of my favorite sayings...."Life is not measured by the number of breathes we take but by the moments that take our breath away" is where the story gets so very real and rich.....In 1993-94-95....I was at this hospital quite  abit.....My first husband was dying from Interstitial fibrosis which is a gradual death from your little air sacs being destroyed one by one until you can no longer breath.....The physicians hate this disease because there is no cure and it's MEAN!   One day walking by the Chapel.....I heard God say..."COME" and at that moment, I yelled at him in anger and hurt and said "NO WAY"  "You took my son, you are taking my husband,  I want nothing to do with YOU!!!!"

On May 6, 2015, I returned to that Chapel to thank God for NOT giving up on Me, for pursuing me and for showing me the way to true life.  I thanked God for making me stronger that I ever thought possible in my Faith and in my LOVE for him and I thanked him for everything he has given me since I returned to his arms!   

So.......When Life on this Earth gives you Lemons.....What else can you do but eat BBQ!

Would like to thank everyone for their continuing prayers.  I can feel the LOVE........Rosie

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sitting in the Hot Seat!

It's amazing how God weaves a tapestry intermingling our life as he moves the shuttle back and forth.

On March 12, 2015 this message arrived in my inbox from one of my high school classmates.  We are coming up on our 50th Reunion in 2016.  The Mighty Trojans of Lake Worth High School in Lake Worth, Florida.

Dear friends, 
As you know by now, last month I received some real bad news.  I was diagnosed with ALS.  It was a bitter pill to swallow that's for sure.  Finding positive things to say about this disease is sort of like trying to polish up a fresh lump of dog poop.  No matter how hard you's still a stinky mess.  
The good thing I want everyone to understand is that I am at peace with the new road I'm on.  I'm a Christian.  I understand that our Lord has a plan, much grander then our own feeble efforts, and I'm not second guessing his will.  Yes, I've prayed for his mercy , but always, always that his will be done.  
I reviewed the list of our deceased classmates Betsy recently sent out. That list didn't include one of my life's best friends....Good ol' Mike Bruguiere.  Thinking of him, and all those who we've lost, I can do no more then thank God for all the wonderful years he's given me to enjoy on earth  Friends, if I were to make a list of all the blessings I've received in my life, I'd be typing for days. Better just to say, my life has been great.  For this I rejoice.
I will leave you with this thought.  It's something good about this one way ticket I'm holding for the Jordan Ford........Right now I'm still strong and mobile, they tell me I've got 2-5 years before I'm finished.  That's a pretty good long time to say goodbye to those I love.  A blessing on it's own, when compared to the heartache associated with those of us who are taken suddenly.  Additionally, this crazy disease doesn't hurt, and although I'll lose my ability to move or talk, I'll still be able to feel everything and have my full mental functions.  I'll slowly turn into a baby, then one day go to sleep and be gone.  
This leads me to share with you the grandest gift God has blessed me with:  :  My wonderful wife, Gina Kaye.  One of these days she'll be my new Mommy.  She's a registered nurse.  She'll be taking care of me........and be loving me all the way to Glory.
BUT that's later, right now I ain't dead yet. I'll be setting my sights at our 50th reunion and hope to see everyone there.  Till then...................
Best wishes, your classmate and friend, Glenn Shelhamer

and then on March 22, 2015 Kara Tippetts left this world.  Through a post by Ann Voskamp I learned of Kara's book The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard which I purchased and read.  Just LOVE Kindle....

Looking back.....I can see that the stage was set by our perfect God and in his perfect timing on April 10, 2015 herevealed his current plan for me.  Not my plans but his!  I know this journey will be full of his grace and mercy and he will pull me closer and closer and refine me more and more.  I look forward to what God will reveal next.  

Meanwhile back to life on this Earth, the greatest human treasure God has given me is my wonderful, funny, loving, caring, faith-driven, God revering husband.  Just caught him preparing for our trip to Lake Havasu next week.  He has become a real clothes horse and a cook too.....Amazing huh.....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wait a minute!!!! What Am I doing here????

Wait a minute!!! What am I doing here??? 

A week ago I was sending in my loan application for the house we were buying in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  I was on Pinterest creating boards for Southwest Landscaping, Southwest architecture, Southwest decor, Southwest outdoor living.  I was on Houzz looking at remodeling ideas.  I was looking at pontoon boats and dune buggies.  Our business property here in Oregon was awaiting closing and I was really excited about the new adventure on the horizon.  

So let's take care of some loose ends like eye exams, pap smears, mammograms while we wait for everything to line up for our move.  The mammogram needed further views so back I go and by the way....let's just do a sonogram while we are at it.  The radiologist came in after the test and explained there was a shadow on the film that needed further investigation and needle biopsy.  So back I went on April 7th.  Now we wait for the results.  

On Thursday April 9th my sweetie calls me and I was a walking into Walmart at the time.  He said...."are you sitting down?"  Not thinking I would think it was about my test results.  The moment blurred and he said......our house loan was denied.  I started laughing uncontrollably.  

At that perfect moment in time.....number one.....I knew my results would be positive and number two....I felt the perfect timing hand of God on my shoulder.  On Friday April 10th, 2015 the radiologist called with my test results.  Invasive ductal carcinoma of the right breast.  

In one nano second.....everything I had been planning and hoping for took a backseat to what I was now facing.  I instantly started searching on the internet for information about my cancer.  Nothing sounded too great and couple that with my background of being in the medical field all sounded even less great.  I literally walked around in circles for a bit letting the news sink in and dissolve in my mind.  

On Sunday April 12, 2015, as I was leaving for church, I told my husband I needed to see a rainbow today.  
Anyone who knows me well, knows that rainbows are what God sends me when I need to know he is watching over me.  Tom said...there is not a cloud in the sky.....I don't think we will see a rainbow.  And then Pastor Brian preached about The Cross and in that message....he said...."and maybe God gives some people cancer so they can share God's love with others.  Instantly I knew this was my rainbow, my assurance that everything was okay and I now knew God's mission for me with this disease. gets better.  God lead me to a small book that one of my favorite pastors' wrote....Don't Waste your Cancer" by John Piper and everything just fell into place in my mind.

On Thursday April 16 I saw Dr. David Cook at The Oregon Clinic at Providence St Vincent Medical Center.  God could not have arranged a better physician for me. He was down to earth, honest, compassionate and thorough in his explanation of all the who-what-where and what ifs there were. 
I asked if it would be okay to take the trip we were planning  before the surgery and he laughed and said...."probably a good idea cause I'm going fishing in Mexico with my college buddies for the next week"  Yes....go and enjoy yourself and we will tend to this the early part of May. we are going to Lake Havasu City for some fun in the sun.  On May 13th 2015, I will have a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy as an outpatient.  Once this heals, I will have approximately 5 weeks of radiation therapy and depending on node involvement possibly chemotherapy.  Dr Cook called this moment in my life "a bump in the road".  

What do I call this moment in my life??? It's a time to share the light within me that shines brightly for my Jesus.  

It's a time to come up with a Mantra.....and that is...."God is good ALL the time" and ALL the time God is good. 

It's a time to look Cancer square in the face and say...."You are not the focus, you are a mere disease, you are not an idol and for too long you have caused fear in the hearts of man as some evil thing".... are NOT evil....SIN is evil and you are the result of SIN in this world and yes you bring death to our body but Jesus beat you and he brings LIFE in spirit and finally a new body on the new earth to all those who believe.  

So it's time to remember Matthew 6:25-27
Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifee ?

Forever your child......Stephanie (rosie)

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Summation!!!! 1988 God brought me to Oregon to escape my first husband's coccaine addition. We thought we were taking our savings and building a house in Depoe Bay overlooking the ocean.....God thought different. 

We bought 1.2 acres of land on Highway 101 with a shack on it. We built Aunt Rosies Discount Mall, a flea market and for the next 10 years had the time of our lives making a living doing what we loved to do....Buy and sell junk.....We became friends with a wonderful woman Linda Danna who owned Whale Cove Restaurant which had the BEST fish and chips, cinnamon buns and clam chowder in all of Oregon.

 Then Bob got sick and 3 years later died....Everything that has been dear and near to me has died.....My son, my husband....I have been left with nothing..... 

 and's God's turn.....through my best friend, Linda Danna, his first wife I am introduced to the man I will live the last 1/3 of my life with and we, together, will glorify God through it all!!!....

 So....let's cut to the legacy built has come to and end and daily since July 21, 2014 there has been a parade of people who know me come through the door and their questions echo in my ears. What are you going to do? where are you going? and it goes on and on. 

15 years ago I picked up the book "Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren. I opened it....and it said!!!! "Go to Church!" I slammed it shut and opened it again and it said...."Go to Church" I could do nothing less than obey....and so the journey began of my walk and relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...... 

 Yesterday, while sitting on the pot, my favorite place to talk to God......I picked up Rick Warren's book..."Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life " and here are the guidelines for the rest of my life!!!!! Everything below is from Rick's book and I thank him for the inspiration he has gotten from God to share with others.

 Living with Purpose: Many are the plans in a man's heart, but is the Lord's purpose that prevails...Proverbs 19:21 

 Living on purpose is the only way to REALLY live. Everything else is just existing. Unfortunately it's easy to get distracted and forget what is most important. To prevent this, you should develop a purpose statement for your life and review it regularly.

 What is a Life Purpose statement? It is a statement that summarizes God's purpose for your life. "Our purpose is to please God, not people. 1 Thessalonias 2:4

 It is a statement that points the direction of your life. Know where you are headed and you will stay on solid ground. Proverbs 4:26 

It's a statement that defines "success" for you. I want you to understand what really matters. Philipians 1:10

 It is a statement that clarifies your roles. You will have different roles at different stages in your life, but your purposes will never change. 

It is a statement that expresses your shape. It reflects the unique ways God made you to serve him. So I serve my God in Worship, in discipleship, in ministry, in mission, and in fellowship (the hardest for me)

My goal is to measure up to God's plan for me. and I know that the more I listen, the more I will hear what that plan is....So....the Rosie chapter ends and a new chapter is born and I look forward the journey......Rosie