April 3, 2010

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house,  she brought an alabastar jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”  Luke 7:36

This verse came to me in a unique way as I was walking with my children. the smell of bread baking at the local elementary school, the spring air, and our home as I returned took my thoughts to my own childhood.  The security and comfort of those smells as a kid was so reasuuring that life was okay.  I was indeed blessed to have a loving home, the shelter of my family, the wonder and fun of school, and wonderful holiday celebrations.  I had a father and mother who sacrificed some of their dreams and worked everyday so that we would be secure. I am so grateful as my heart breaks for others who did not know this love as a child.   And even though we were “sheltered” my parents did an amazing job teaching and allowing us to “fly” and experience life through trips, spring breaks in Panama City(my pour mother), college, and marriage.

  Now as an adult there are days I crave that kind of security again.  When the pain comes and the waves feel over my head I wish I could walk in from playing outside and smell the sweetness of home and know all is well.  So I wonder about my own childern.  Have I given them that same sense that all is well?  They are with us for such a short amount of time and I want them to experience the sweetness of childhood.  I think they need to experience life and know there is heatache and reality but still taste security the of The Lord in our home.

The woman with the perfume….I am that woman…sinful to the core.  And the expensive bottle of perfume….my children.  That perfume was expensive- probably everything she possessed yet she did not count the cost.  Our children are costly and I do not mean financially…but emotionally, physically,spiritually, etc.(just as that woman’s decision beared all those cost)  And yet, I would never count the cost.  As that woman I desire to shelter our children in a God honoring way.   I want to bottle them up in a sense, open them to  Jesus, pour them out to Him, and let their frangrant aroma “fly” into the world.     Knowing my sin and need for a redeemer  I ask  him to forgive and bless me with His love.   I pray the same for our children.  That in this everchanging  world they will come to understand  their own desperation.    They will recoginze their need for a saviour  and the shelter that only HE truly can provide because of the shelter we provided.     They hopefully will one day wash his feet through tears with their own precious curls.  And the wonderful aroma of our children will be the sweetest tickle to the senses of our Saviour King.

P.S.  because their really isn’t a good segue I am adding this P.S.  My colonoscopy cam back normal…praise God.  WE will take a break from doctors for a little while but I  continue to have some issues.  I would covet anyones continued prayers.


I loved the perspective you shared on that verse. I look forward to reading your gospel centered posts. Praise the Lord for your test results!

By Heather Clark on April 5th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Love you Judith! Thanks for being real.

By Roxanne Raley Given on April 11th, 2010 at 11:40 am

Hi, I do not know you but we have lots on common (both of you and your hubby). I grew up Presbyterian in Montgomery, AL but I recently turned 51 so I am a good bit older. I was a Chi Omega at Auburn and was a War Eagle Girl.Graduated the Spring of 1981, right when they hired Pat Dye. Missed all the great winning football seasons and Bo Jackson! I have lived in Birmingham since 1982. I heard your husband speak at Covenant Presbyterian (where I attend) at our Christmas Ladies Dinner this December. I have several younger friends who grew up with your hubby. I am married and have 3 kids(just turned 19, 17 and almost 13). I did not get married until I was 27 (in 1986) and didn’t have my 1st child until I was 32. I had no problems with my first 2 pregnancies. Baby no. 3 was conceived easily but I miscarried at @ 12 weeks. It took me a year to get pregnant again and miscarried after @ 8 weeks. We had tests run through fertility drs. and I too had the blood clotting disorder. It took another year but I became pregnant (I had been taking Clomide for about 10 or 11 months and had just gotten off of it). Once I knew I was pregnant I took heparin shots in my stomach for 30 weeks. That baby is now almost 13 (April 17th). Like one of your sons, she had giardia 2 yrs ago and it took awhile to figure it out… The next thing I need to tell you is that I have had health issues since November (at least that is when I was diagnosed). My stomach kept getting bigger and I had been gaining weight everywhere for rhe alst few years. I had always been fairly slim. My mom had ovarian cancer between ages 75 and 80/1995-2000 (Jean Raley). So I had been very proactive about this disease since it can be hereditary. I was on the Pill for years because it lowers your chances of getting that disease. I also had a CA125 test and a vaginal sonar yearly and they always came back fine. I did have some cysts on my ovaries sometimes. Of course, I always had a yearly Pap Smear and Mammogram. The only thing I had not done was have a hysterectomy and when I turned 50 last year, I thought I would have one as soon as I could find 6 weeks in my life to recover from the surgery. This past August I had a BRCA test to see if I had the gene for ovarian or breast cancer. It came back negative. What a relief! But I was still gaining weight especially around my middle. I found out last summer I had gone through menopause plus I was not exercicing due to a recent back injury (fell and have a compressed vertebrae at T6). I thought I had “stubborn belly fat” like you see on the commericals due to lack of exercise and menopause. I had another CA-125 test in November and it was elevated. I also felt hard places around my stomach area. Went to a GYN-Oncologist and had a CAT Scan. Everything pointed to either ovarian or colon cancer. Had a lapraoscopy as well. Dr. saw malignant tumors. Also had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and they were clear. So the drs thought I had ovarian due to my elevated CA-125, my mom, and the colon test was clear. They did not do surgery bec. they wanted to shrink the tumors 1st. Started chemo in Dec. and had 3 rounds. My CA-125 went down to normal which I thought was great and meant I was responding. Thought I would be having a big surgery followed by more chemo. Instead, the new CAT Scan revealed I had not responded at all. My smart dr. knew something was not right. Went to MD Anderson in Houston in March to a GI Oncologist, not a GYN Oncologist. He said I did not have ovarian but that the cancer started in my appendix. Never heard of that. Had another CAT Scan. It had spread some more and too risky to do surgery. It is like I had I never done anything. So I am back in B’ham starting all over again and doing more chemo (using colon cancer drugs as there are no appendix chemo drugs). Appendix cancer is rare although in my small world I have now been told of several cases from various friends who knew people with it. Have had 2 rounds of chemo and 2 to go….Then back to Houston in early May to see if I have responded to this chemo. Hopefully they have gotten it right this time. They need to do surgery as the tumors are all around my organs but at this point, not in my organs. PTL! I just want it all to go away forever. It is so surreal that I am actually talking about myself. I have been eating much healthier and have lost a good bit of weight so now I am looking more like my old self. The weight loss has also probably been stress-related. I still have an extended tummy caused by the tumors. I am trying to stay positive and trust in the Lord. I am telling you all this bec. you might want to ask your drs to check your appendix, just to be on the safe side, and to not waste any more time. BTW- I never had an appendix attack. I will pray for your healing and some answers and I ask that you pray for my healing and health as well. I know our Lord loves us deeply and has us inscribed in the palm of His hand. He knows I want to live to be a healthy old lady and I’m sure you do too. I know you have your hands full, but if you have a moment to spare, I have a Caring Bridge page if you ever want more details. It is under http://www.caringbridge.org. Make up a password. Type my name as one word….roxannegiven….. It will give you my smart, cutting edge drs. names, what’s going on with my family and me, etc.

Blessings to you and yours (and War Eagle),
Roxanne Raley Given

So glad that your test results were good news…Praise God! Hang in there…hopefully you will be feeling better soon.


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