Archived posts – 2007 to early 2013

Chemotherapy Day
February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 1 comment

Today is my first day without chemotherapy in a year! I had an MRI and visit with my neurologist at Duke, Dr. Peters today. The tumors are stable. And, as of today, I don’t
need to take a Temador before I go to bed!!! My doctor thinks the Temador has done what it’s going to do and we need to see what the tumor cells are going to do next. So, I
will still go for an MRI every two months and if I start having more symptoms (like last time when my left leg would not walk when my brain told it to walk) then I will
either go back on the chemotherapy or we will try something else.
So, I am hopeful that I will get some energy back and maybe the dizziness will dial down a bit. To God be the glory. He has shown me mercy. I pray that He would continue to
use my life for His purpose. Thank you for praying, don’t stop!

Latest Update
July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 1 comment

It”s been six months since the biopsy and everything is going well. My last MRI shows that the most aggressive cells are getting hit by the chemo. I haven’t been nauseous
after taking it either! Yeah God!!!
I have been having a problem with hearing, though. It started with an infection in my good ear. Isn’t that always the way it is? I found a wonderful ENT who will be doing
lots of tests to see how my hearing problems might have something to do with my balance problems. That is awesome news!!!
We took our vacation in June which was just wonderful! Now, I am relaxing and diving into a new book club and a Charlotte Mason project. Life is good!!!
My next MRI is scheduled for the middle of August. It is right I go to NYC on the economics class trip. I am expecting to get great news and be able to fly up to JFK and
tour Wall Street with a great group of teenage homeschoolers!

My good friend, Christine is having a tumor removed next week.  She has been fighting brain cancer longer than me and has been fighting with grace and hope every step of
the way.  Please pray for her, her husband and her three boys. God is able.



One Chapter Ends and Another Begins
January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

Craig and I spent a few hours at Duke yesterday. We have agreed with my doctors that the best thing to do is chemo. I will start this week. It’s a low dose pill that I will
take every day.  After two months, I will have an MRI. If the tumor is stable or shrinking, I will continue the chemo for 10-12 months. If the tumor has grown at all, I
will stop chemo and start radiation.
There are side effects. Nausea is most likely, though I will have other medication to help with that. I will fight fatigue and have to be very careful about catching
whatever bug is in the air, or on the faucet in the sink. It will be very important to avoid stress.
It’s an unusual  feeling to finally have a diagnosis. For six years, I’ve been able to say that I have a non-cancerous tumor.  As I look back, I think I took a lot of
comfort in that fact.
“Well, at least it’s not cancer.”  I could say.
This is definitely a  different door that has opened in my life and the life of my family. The room we find ourselves in feels like an enormous, dark cave. It’s cold and a
little lonely. The door closes behind us and then disappears. I sit down and squeeze my eyes shut and try to pretend this is not happening. I open my eyes and I am still
there. I run my hands along the walls thinking that there must be some way out, if I could just find it. There is none. I can hear my children crying. I find them and just
being able to hug them gives me hope. And I suddenly feel like someone else is in this room with us. I can’t see anything, but I know someone is there. And, I think, I hear
a voice say, “Follow me.”  We hold each other’s hands so we don’t get lost and we start walking. That’s how this feels.
I will post again when I start chemo. That story should be illuminating!



PS I was thinking of an old Carmen song that goes Fear not, my child, I’m with you always. I know how to care for what belongs to me.”

The Results Are In
January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

Dr. Peters called this evening.  The mass is definitely a tumor, not dead cells from radiation. It is classified as a low-grade astrocytoma. The fact that it is low grade
is very important. This means it is slow growing. It also means that it is definitely a cancer, something there that should not be there. Surgical removal is not an option
as the tumor is fully intertwined with the good cells.  Radiation and chemo are options. I have an appointment with Dr. Peters on Friday.
This is the best bad news that it could be. It’s bad because it’s definitely a cancer. For six years I’ve been able to say I did not have cancer because we couldn’t know
for sure and because it hadn’t grown at all, and maybe had shrunk a bit, it was not termed cancerous. I’ve taken a lot of solace because of that situation. Now I know.
It could be worse, though. It could be high grade, which is fast growing.
So, I am slowly digesting this information. One moment is calm, the next is like the outer rim of a tornado. I cry and then I laugh. And God is right here, laughing and
crying with me. His love knows no end. That doesn’t mean my life will be champagne and roses and there’s God running in front of me with a big shield, deflecting all bad
things that are coming my way. In this world we will have trouble, but I (God) have overcome the world.
I should have more information after my appointment on Friday.
My kids, my mom and my husband have been doing a yeoman’s job feeding and caring for me. And my friends have been bringing food and sending beautiful cards. Thanks so much!



Biopsy, Check. Recovering…
January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 1 comment


It was a nail bitter up until the last second. I went for another MRI on Thursday to check and double check that I could still have the biopsy. I was on steroids which had
a small possibility of changing the mass and making a biopsy too risky. I was sitting in pre-op convincing myself that I was going home when Dr. Freidman walked in and said
it was a go.  I cried a little before the drugs kicked in. I think I said something funny, too.
Next thing I know, I am in ICU with three IV’s. I was in ICU for 24 hours and then moved to a room and I came home on Sunday.  The surgeon said he got a really good sample
and the toxicology was already starting to come in. He said he doesn’t make any diagnoses until he gets a complete report.  So, we are waiting and I am recovering.
Recovering is a little more complicated than I had hoped it would be. I was thinking a few days of rest would be good enough. It’s taking a little bit more than that,
though. Now I am hoping that I can brush my hair on my own by Monday. The good news is that I can feed myself, which is terribly important! LOL There are no banned foods
for me, so I have been eating popcorn every night.

Right now, my left side is weaker than before the biopsy and my right side is more numb. But, that might change as I recover. Hopefully, the neurologist, Dr. Peters will
call with results this week.
I have been able to do school a little bit with the kids. Just being able to do that is a blessing to me.  The kids might even say it is a blessing for them! LOL
Thank you again for writing notes and praying. When I get a message, I try and think of a memory I have with that person and that brings me joy.

There is joy.


1 comment


Sharon La Scola on January 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I check into your blog often and pray for you each day. I do admit to having ‘issues’ with leaving a comment – so, today is a first. To hopefully bring you a joy, I
will leave you with one of my memories: The Crazy Cropper and your Book of Me class – a warm memory and joy for me!
Sharon La Scola

Pre-op Appointment Finally Finished
January 10, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

I am one day closer to to the Biopsy. It is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012. It will be a more involved than I had hoped. It will be a full blown surgery that will
last about 3.5 hours. I will be fully anesthetized, thankfully. I will spend some time in ICU until the threats of swelling and infection have passed. Then I will be moved
to a room for 1-3 days, “until Dr. Freidman says I can leave.”
I am so tired that I am having some trouble processing this. I won’t be able to see my kids right away, if at all, while I am there. This will probably be the hardest part.
I want to be able to look them in the eye and tell them how much I love them.  I don’t want them to be sad or worried and I know they will, if for no other reason than I
am not with them.

This is hard. And this is just the beginning. The results of the Biopsy will bring more decisions and adjustments. God will bless me with the strength and the peace I need
even though it feels so far away right now.
When I turn my face one way, I can feel a cold, bitter wind hitting my face, burning, piercing. When I look the other way there is a calm breeze that warms my cheeks and
calms my heart. I look straight ahead and I can feel both at the same time. I can ignore neither side.  But then I look up and I see, or at least feel, the presence of God.
The cold is still there and so is the warmth, and that is okay, because God is there. He is always there.

Thanks for your prayers. Please don’t stop.



January 4, 2012 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

I was finally able to speak with Dr. Peters, my neurologist, about the PET scan.  The good news: the tumor in my brain stem is completely inactive.  The bad news: the mass
in my spinal cord shows active cells, possibly cancerous cells. A biopsy is the only way to discover what kind of cells are accumulating in my cervical spinal cord. Since
my symptoms are increasing in intensity, I have started taking 8mg of steroids daily. The biopsy is scheduled for January 12th. It is an outpatient procedure, but the
doctor doesn’t guarantee a one day only experience.
Since the beginning of all of this, I have asked God to take this tumor away. I am so thankful for His many blessings; for His care and concern for me and my family.  He is
a Great God, a Good God, a Loving God. I believe His power will never lead me where His grace cannot keep me.  I do not waver, even now.
That is not to say that I am not struggling with fear and anxiety. I can start crying faster than you can say boohoo. I have found myself staring off into space more and
more often in the past few days. I have thought about signing an “advanced directive” (Google if this is an unfamiliar term). I am less and less patient with little
annoying things in life, like when someone leaves the garage door open.
My friend, Linda Talley, called herself  God’s little lamb constantly in His care. I understand what she meant. That little lamb was completely dependent on the Good
Shepherd. From being feed to having a place to sleep, to being protected against attack, the lamb’s entire existence depended on the ability of the shepherd to care for His
sheep. My Shepherd is strong and loving. He will guide, or if need be, carry me and my family through this land of peaks and valleys. He leads me up the hills to joy and
peace and He carries me through the valleys of fear and stress.

Please keep praying and sending messages. They might make me cry but I treasure every word.



PET scan today
December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 1 comment

I had my first PET scan ever today. I didn’t speak to my neurologist but I did speak with the neurosurgeon, Dr. Friedman. He said he can do a biopsy of the mass in my
spinal cord. There will be nerve damage, but Dr. Friedman expects it to be minimal. There is always a chance there will be paralysis with this procedure, but, more likely,
I will have permanent numbness on my right side. The procedure is scheduled for January 12th.
As usual, I am exhausted. As usual, I am happy and concerned. I am encouraged that a biopsy is even possible.  I want to know what is there that should not be.  But, there
is a part of me that doesn’t want to know.  I don’t want to hear what grade it is and the chances of it taking my life.  I am not thrilled to live with more restriction of
movement in my body.  I like to be the one helping other people out, not the other way around. There is a little bit of pride involved there, I know.
And, as usual, God is here. He is closer to me than the air that I breathe. He sees the tears  falling down my cheeks as I, slowly, put my hand in His. He knows me and the
weakness of my frame. He created me. He knows I am afraid, even as I remind myself of His mercy and His grace.  Still, He loves me.


1 comment

on January 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Praying for you, Elyse. I found your blog via
Please come visit my women’s group blog, if you like:

And the MRI says…
December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink


What a long day! An MRI followed by a long wait to see my neurologist equals a very tired momma!
The good news is that the brain tumor is stable. Dr. Peters said my brain looks good (but I already knew that LOL).
The bad news.  The mass in my spinal cord is growing.  From what I could tell from the pictures, the mass has gotten thicker.  Add to that, the weakness in my left arm and
we arrive at s0me concern.
Next step. I have to go for a PET scan and meet with Dr. Friedman about the possibility of a biopsy. A biopsy might tell us if this is radiation damage, cancerous tumor or
something else completely. Then we can look for the appropriate remedy.
So, my doctor is concerned, my mom is preparing to go to battle to fight whatever is attacking and I am somewhere in between pretending this isn’t happening and running
doomsday scenarios in my head.  But, it is written God knows the plans He has for my life. They are for good and not for disaster. They are plans that bring a future and a

I appreciate and covet your prayers.  God is good, all the time.  I really love the comments in this forum and on Facebook. I save them in my heart.



December Update
December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

I wrote a few months ago after my last MRI.  I am scheduled for another MRI this Thursday.
A new symptom has appeared and some old ones have increased in their intensity.  The muscles in my left arm do not want to work.  It has made eating and dressing a
challenge, indeed, since I am left-handed. It’s hard to lift or carry anything heavier than a bobby pin, or maybe the remote.  If I am trying to hold something heavier than
an ounce, my wrist just fails and hangs off my arm like a swinging door. This is new.
The old symptoms, dizziness and fatigue have increased.  They inch up, little by little. I can’t tell if they are actually getting worse or if I am tolerating them less and
less as the days go by.

It is hard, sometimes.  I feel bad for myself when I think about how long I have been dealing with these limitations. I don’t remember what it feels like to get out of bed
ready for the day. I get up and feel like I’ve been awake for twenty hours, every morning. Feeling bad for myself usually makes me grumpy and then I have no patience with
my children. They deserve the best I have to give, so I had better snap out of it.  And, God is still sitting on His throne. He has never failed me and He is not about to
do it now. Yet, it is hard sometimes.
It’s hard right now.

I appreciate your prayers.



Four month Update
August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink


I had an MRI yesterday. It took longer than it used to because they take pictures of my neck now, too.  Oh well. Anyway, there is no change in the size of the tumors. I
think I am going to call them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, for lack of a more clever moniker. As always, this is good news. And as always, I was hoping for better. It isn’t
easy to accept good news as good news when the good news you were looking for is not the same good news you heard. Follow?
The symptoms I am experiencing are not consistent with the location of the tumors, so Dr. Peters wants to make sure there aren’t any other parties going on that she should
know about. Being an overachiever, I was disappointed that I didn’t present the correct symptoms and thought for a moment that maybe I was making up the symptoms I had and missing the symptoms I should have been having.  This is the result of being a first born overachiever, even brain tumor symptoms have to be perfect. Anyway, I am going to
the nerve doctor to see what, if any nerve damage has occurred. That should be fun!
That’s all the news that’s fit to print!



The Latest Dish from “As the Tumor Turns”
April 12, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

I had an MRI on Monday night and a neurology visit today.  The “mass” (it may or may not be a tumor so there is no definite name to call it, though I am trying to think of
a clever nickname. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them) in my spinal cord has not changed at all. The tumor in my brain has not changed at all. My neurological
abilities seem to have improved slightly as per the 15 minute examination that was performed.  I remembered the three words I was given at the beginning of the exam and I
figured out how much 35 nickels equaled in dollars.  These are all good things and I am thankful to God that He has blessed me with a good report.

This good report is welcomed and celebrated, even if  it is not unadulterated happiness. There is still something wrong. There are things in my brain and spinal cord that
do not belong there (this reminds me of the Sesame Street song about one of those things does not belong here).  I struggle with hearing loss, dizziness, numbness on my
right side and frequent headaches. I am not boo-hooing and feeling sorry for myself, well maybe a little but I am trying not to be that person. Let’s say I am not only
feeling sorry for myself but I am also trying to adjust to this reality.  Into each life a little rain will fall. What I am trying to do now is decide what kind of umbrella
I need.
I am scheduled to have an MRI in two months and we’ll see what the “mass” is doing, if anything.  I’ll update then and post in between if there is any other news.

Signing off from beautiful, warm North Carolina!



Here it comes again – and here I go!
February 7, 2011 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | Permalink

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (cue music)!

I posted last week that I woke up with numbness on my right side. I went to the ER and was happy to find out that I was not having a stroke. But I did go for another MRI to
see if the tumor was progressing. You just don’t have numbness for no reason. For good measure, the doctor had my spine imaged also.
I got a call this morning that there is another tumor on my spinal cord. It is about 7 inches long.? I am waiting to find out if it can be biopsied and maybe even removed.
Or I may need more radiation – I wonder what will happen to my hair this time!
I am, well, I really don’t know what I am feeling right now.? I told my sister that I really didn’t have time for this right now. I am very busy, you know. I have been
teaching a civics class since September and I am loving it. Our class is planning a field trip to DC in May and I need to keep working on that. Then there is schooling. I
have everything pretty well scheduled but it doesn’t take much to get behind. Have you ever tried running behind and then jumping on the back of a galloping horse?
Of course there are the book clubs that I absolutely love doing. And, I was really planning on organizing my crafts this winter. I even bought a tote! I should know in the
next few days what might happen next.
But, I do know who knows what will happen next. God knows. He not only knows, He cares. He not only cares, He can do anything. I am His child.
So, I am emotional and I don’t know what tomorrow holds. But, I will do as my Nana says, to tie a knot in the end of my rope and hang on. Please hang on with me. I am so
thankful for your prayers and comforting words.
I’ll update as I find out more.

I love you!



posted an update: 2 years, 1 month ago

I woke up this morning and my arm felt like it had fallen asleep. I did not think this unusual. I went about my business and by the time I was walking the dogs, my entire
right side felt like it had fallen asleep. I got scared and called my nurse at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor center to see if I should be concerned about this or if
I could add it to the list of annoying symptoms that are part of everyday life. The nurse called and said I should go to the Emergency Room (do not pass go, do not collect
$200). So, that is what we did. I had blood work done and a CT scan. Everything came back normal. They were looking for a bleed or other serious problem, So, now I go for
an MRI ASAP. Hopefully, that will happen tomorrow. Right now, my whole right side from the tip of my head to the bottom of my feet feel like the last fifteen minutes of
Novacaine after getting a filling at the dentist (thanks, Dad, for that analogy). I have to admit I got pretty nervous, mostly because this was so sudden and it’s been such
a long time since my symptoms have changed. But, I will assert that God is in control and He loves me and my family more than I can imagine. The trusting is a little harder
today, but that’s okay with God.
”He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls. And He hears me when I call ” (that’s part of a song and I don’t know who wrote it but it wasn’t
me) It does express my feelings right now, though. Thanks for your prayers.

 posted an update: 2 years, 8 months ago

My last two scans have shown that the tumor has not grown, or shrunk. It’s just hanging out in my brain stem! My next MRI is in December. I am still dizzy and tire very
easily. But God is good all the time and I am grateful for His care and mercy for me.

On Line for the Roller Coaster
January 29, 2009 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 8 comments

I was going to title my entry “On the Great Roller Coaster Ride” but then I thought it overkill. Too melodramatic. So, I am just waiting to see if there is a seat waiting
for me on the roller coaster.
I went to the tumor center yesterday for an appointment with the neurologist. I have a preliminary report on the unwanted brain-guest but he was going to delve a bit
further with me. Dr. V. said the tumor is stable. It has not grown. It has not shrunk. He noticed some swelling and maybe some flares which indicate cell activity. But, he
said he was looking hard for it since I was having symptoms (headaches that won’t go away), he thinks something is happening that is too small to see on the MRI. He
compared the most recent scan with one over two years ago and said there is marked improvement. He called the 2006 scan “really ugly”.
He suggested I start chemotherapy. He said it might keep the tumor from growing but it is only a small chance. It’s not certain that the tumor is becoming active. Dr. V.
says my symptoms will announce future activity but it isn’t definite that the tumor is planning on growing because my headaches are increasing.
I have opted not to start chemo yet. I am saving that as the “Hail Mary” pass when we have exhausted all other options. Now, I am on a stronger pain medication. If that
doesn’t take care of the headaches, I will start steroids (yuck) and if that doesn’t help, then I will go to chemotherapy. I am praying that the pain will just go away.
Come to think of it, I am praying the same fate for the tumor!
The headaches are not incapacitating. My head feels like a big bruise (opening for a joke here). It fades and returns on and off but it never really goes away. This is
where the concern comes into play.
So, the outcome of all of this is that we really don’t know what is coming next. I am asking for more time with my wonderful children, my loving husband, my other
supportive family members. But even more than that, I am asking that God would accomplish His will in me and through me. Use me, Lord, in all my fears and failings.You are worthy, Father. Please show Yourself powerful in my life.
I’ll update as the news comes in.
It’s Late but Happy New Year!
January 22, 2009 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 2 comments

I had grand plans to write on New Year’s Day about my high aspirations for this new year. Title “This Year I’m Gonna” and I was going to elaborate on my fondest wishes and
best ideas. Well, that didn’t happen. Oh well, maybe next year!
Anyway, the muse didn’t offer enough for me to write about then. And I just can’t write until something hits me in the face to write about.
So, I have news that I can share. I have been getting headaches that will not go away. At first I thought it was the weather. Low pressure systems give me headaches. But,
Ibuprofen would not take it away as it usually does. We went to an MRI appointment last Friday at 10pm. That astounded me that they were still open that late but it is.
A neurologist gave an initial report that there was no growth of the tumor. He said there may be some swelling and he saw some cell activity but he said I did not have to
go on steroids (PRAISING GOD, here). I have an appointment with Dr. Friedman next week and I should know more. I am hoping I don’t need chemotherapy. I feel like that is
the “Hail Mary” pass of the tumor world and I would rather not go there. But, if it is what is necessary, then so be it.
The headache is like a bruise on my whole head. It occasionally flares up in certain spots. The drugs I have been using aren’t really touching it. The headache doesn’t land
me on my back in pain. It is just a constant thrum of pain. My dizziness, if this is possible, is gaining on me. But, I can still sit up and take nourishment, which my Nana
says is the greatest blessing when you aren’t feeling so good.
I will write again with something witty and clever when I think of something witty and clever to say. I hope it comes soon!

Almost Vacation Time
August 20, 2008 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 6 comments

Yes, it is the last week in August but there is still time to go on vacation! This Friday begins our summer vaction! It’s a much anticipated, much needed rest and I am so
thankful it’s finally here!
I had my biannual MRI and neurology appointment last week. Repeating a good idea from last time, I went to my MRI appointment with some girlfriends and then we went out for
dinner. It was lots of fun! The next morning, Craig and I went to the Tumor Center. My appointment was at 9am. I wasn’t seen until after 1pm. It may have been a matter of
bad scheduling but I think it was also that there are so many people coming in with tumors that need lots of time with the doctor.
I am always so affected by the number of people sitting with me in the waiting room. Lots of the patients are waiting with their families and friends. This kind of
appointment requires lots of support.  I always try to listen to other people talking while I wait. It isn’t any of my business, I know, but I like to find out where they
are in their journey. I feel like we’re like a fraternity and I am endlessly curious. Every time I am forced to spend a lot of time in the waiting room, I am overwhelmed by
the sadness, the hopelessness that seems to be part of this place. I want to hug each person who has tears falling down their faces. I want to tell them that there is hope.
Maybe there isn’t hope for a complete recovery of their lives before the tumor, but there is hope of eternity that is theirs for the taking. Someday, someday, I will figure
out a way to support these people. To show them the silver lining of this cloudy experience.
Well, finally, the doctor came in. He’s usually a smiley kind of person and this time his smile seemed a little bigger. He told us there is evidence of the tumor either
shrinking or becoming scar tissue. This is very good news! There was no evidence of the tumor being alive. There were no flares coming off of the tumor which says there is
no growth occurring. It will take more time and more MRI’s in the future to supplement this information but it’s a wonderful report anyway! Thank you so much, God!
My feelings are in flux right now and I don’t know how to explain them. So, I’ll just leave it here and give God all the glory for the great things He has done. Thank you,



Praying: It’s An Action Verb
July 18, 2008 in Update by Elfmom | 2 comments

I presented the ideas found in the book Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. I am posting the text that I gave at the Women’s Ministry Breakfast at Grace Community Church in
Angier, NC.
When my parents told their parents that they were pregnant for the first time, they all started praying. They prayed for a healthy pregnancy, for a safe delivery, for me to
know Jesus at a young age, for a mate who would be God’s perfect will for me and probably a thousand other things.
I was born on a Monday and the following Sunday my mother brought me to church. After the service, she laid me on the altar and said, “She is yours, Lord.”
When I was living a life far from fellowship with God, my mother prayed for me. I was on vacation in the Bahamas with my college friends. On our plane ride back, we hit
some stomach-churning turbulence. My best friend was convinced that this was it. I reassured her by saying, “Don’t worry, my mother prays for me. God won’t let anything
happen to me and since we’re on this plane together, we’ll be just fine.”
I prayed for a husband. I prayed for a job. I prayed for another child after I had a miscarriage. I have prayed for friends going through divorce. I have prayed when I
needed to find lost keys. When our dog ran out the door, I have prayed that He would bring her back alive. I have prayed for the salvation of my in-laws and for the safety
of my brother-in-law while he was in Iraq. I prayed for Linda and for the healing of my grandparents who are slowly succumbing to the difficulties of aging. Every night I
pray with each of my children and I try each time to pray for a different aspect of their lives and their relationship with the Almighty God.
Like many of you, I have prayed for big things and little things. I’ve prayed long, gut-wrenching prayers and the shortest one ever, “Jesus” when I think I’m about to get
into an accident or my child is falling out of some high place and headed for a broken bone. There is much to say, theologically, about prayer. How many times is it
mentioned? 109 times in the Old and New Testament of the King James version. What is the first mention of prayer? Genesis 4:26. Though mankind and God have been
communicating since God breathed life into Adam. What is the dictionary definition of praying? To ask earnestly; address or petition; ask with humility and reverence;
supplicate; to make supplication to God.
God speaks to us through the Bible. We speak to God through prayer. So what does God say about praying in the Bible?
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” We can go to our Father God with anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big thing
or a little thing. Those things in our lives which cause us anxiety are just the things to bring to the Lord in prayer. I pray with my children every time they lose a toy.
Then we praise the Lord together for answer to our prayers.
Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that
words cannot express.” When you don’t have any more words to say. When the pain is too great. When we don’t know what to say, God has us covered. He has sent the Holy
Spirit to intercede for us in a language beyond words.
James 5:16 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish
much.” Prayer is the key that will unlock the chains that keep us enslaved in sin. Prayer brings healing.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is not
something relegated to the dinner table or saved for the last seconds of consciousness each night. While we should pray at those times, prayer is more of a flowing river of
communication between us and God.
These are just a few times praying is mentioned. Prayer is like a many-sided diamond. Every time you study it, it reveals more of itself. It is a gem that doesn’t lose any
of its attraction, no matter how many times you look at it. You could spend a long time studying it and still there would be more to discover.
Right now we’ll focus on one facet of praying: our personal relationship to prayer. The benefits of a healthy prayer life are many. But even if our prayer life is on the
south side of healthy, there are still benefits. I can think of nothing more important than talking to the Creator of the universe, the lover of our souls, the beginning
and the end in my walk as a Christian.
But even so, sometimes there are roadblocks to prayer. Here are a few of those roadblocks. I think it is safe to say all of us have encountered one or more of these at one
time or another:
Your attention wanders after “Dear Jesus”
Your prayers feel like a Christmas list instead of a love letter to God
The right words escape you and you feel the effort is hopeless
Your prayers feel inadequate or self-centered or phony
You’re bored with the same old prayers
You forget who you promised to pray for
You can’t wait for prayer time to end
You start praying and realize you’re thinking about paying the bills
Prayer feels like checking off a to-do list
You fall asleep while praying
Prayer feels like an obligation and therefore a drudgery
You feel inferior to other Christians

Then, so many times, I resort to throwing prayer darts. “Hi God. Bye God”
Then, there is the responsibility we have to pray for others. When someone asks you to pray for them, it’s not an invitation to lunch. It’s a yellow flag that is yelling,
“Help” or “Danger”. That person is opening a door that leads into a room where vulnerability, sorrow and maybe fear is trying to set up residence.
And or course, there is always guilt. It hovers over us like a helicopter. It can land anywhere in our day with a swiftness that can take your breath away. Or, it can drive
stakes into our hearts and set up camp, fully expecting to make a home there. But worry slanders every promise in the Word of God. Why worry when you can pray? Worry should
be the checkered flag that starts us on a race to prayer. It’s a place to start, not a place to stay. Worry is a dead end. It takes us to the wrong side of tracks, to a
neighborhood full of self-indulgence, paralysis and emptiness. But prayer chauffeurs us out of that place and exposes worry for what it really is; inaction pretending to be

Praying is an action verb. And since the very first thing God did in this universe was to create, I think I can’t go wrong by imitating Him. My creation is not even in the
same galaxy at what God can do, but as I am made in His image, I don’t think it is wrong to bring the gift of creativity that He has given all of us into our prayer lives.
It’s called Praying in Color. It is the invention of Sybil MacBeth. Now, I can’t tell you what flavor of Christian she is. The book she wrote to explain this method is not
a theological treatise on praying. But, I think this is a wonderful idea.
All you need is a writing instrument and paper. You can use a lot of time or just a short time. This can be done morning, afternoon or night. And it can happen anywhere.
Take out your pens, markers, crayons or pencils and use the paper in the center of the table and let’s get started.
Here are the steps (draw on white board):
Draw a shape on paper
Inside that shape write the name of the person for whom you are praying.
Add detail: this is not an exercise in artistic drawing. It is the creation of a visual image to help heart and hand remember
Enhance the drawing: each stroke is time spent praying for that person
Keep drawing until you feel you’re finished
Add color
Start with a new request, person or verse
When you are finished, spend some time looking at your drawing to allow it to make an impression on your memory.
Now this method does not preclude distraction. If you get distracted, don’t start judging yourself and get discouraged. It’s okay to notice the distraction but refocus on
praying. If the distraction comes back write a word on your page that will help you remember it later and keep praying.
Here are some more applications for praying in color:
Compost prayers – everything and the kitchen sink prayers when we dump complaints, whining, complaining and misery; those heavy burdens that God has promised to take for
us. God turns our garbage into compost, but we have to throw it out first.
Thanksgivings – count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Amends – With whom do you need to make amends, to make apologies, ask for forgiveness. Write the names and the wrongs. Use the drawing as a dress rehearsal. It may not even
be possible to do this in person but if you invite God into the process of your confession clarity and cleansing can happen.
Spiritual journey – Make a map of your personal journey to God. Include the big things and the little things that happened along the way. One memory will trigger another
and you’ll remember or discover for the first time how God has been standing next to you all along.
Mentors – Who has helped you in your spiritual life? Sunday school teachers, parents, other relatives, pastors, friends may all be on that list. Are there less obvious
people who have helped you see how much God loves you?
Personal mission statement – Verbalize and visualize who you are, whose you are and what is important to you.
Healing of memories – Use praying in color to articulate old wounds, or even fresh ones, face them and then face them down.
Names for God – Let your drawing become a meditation on the way we understand and expand knowledge of God.
Scripture – Write the first verse or sentence of the verse you want to memorize. Repeat it while you add designs and color until you can say it with ease.
With a calendar – Use a blank calendar to record a prayer a day. Create an intercessory advent calendar and add a new person every day.
Let’s each choose at least one of these ideas and take 10-15 minutes to pray in color.
Praying is an action verb. Here is another way to put your prayers into action.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him
before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” Ephesians 1:3-4

An Anniversary of Sorts
July 18, 2008 in Update by Elfmom | 4 comments


I haven’t written in over four months. Linda’s passing affected me deeply and I didn’t have anything to say. As my dad says, “I’ve used all my words.” While her death has
made me sad because I don’t get to see her and speak to her, I am so excited that she is in heaven, talking to Jesus. It also affected me on another level, though.
My deepest sadness when I think about my own mortality is how it will affect my children. Even as I type, my eyes fill with tears when I think of being apart from them. I
watched Linda’s children at the funeral service and the gravesite and all I could think of was how my children would be handling this situation. Linda’s children are
adults, yes, but I couldn’t help but think about my own children. It made my heart hurt to think they may have to sit in the front of the church while I am eulogized, but
also reminded me how important every day that I am given is to the lives of my five children. I do miss you, Linda.
Three years ago today, I was given the news that I had an inoperable brain tumor. Two days prior, I had gotten an MRI because I was incredibly tired, I was having trouble
signing my name, dragging my left foot when I walked and having a terrible pain in my head when I bent over. I had gone to the emergency room at Rex Hospital at the
insistance of the radiology technician who had read my scan. He wouldn’t say what the problem was exactly, just that I needed to go to the emergency room, immediately.
I was transferred by ambulance early in the morning to Duke University Hospital because the neurologists at Rex didn’t have the capacity to deal with my case. I needed to
be seen by one of the best neurology oncologists in the world. That made me scared. I had a 10 week old baby and four other children waiting for me at home. I was a nursing
mom. I had a lot of wonderful work in front of me. This just couldn’t be the end of the road here on earth.
I was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma lodged in my brain stem. Talk about deer in the headlights! In a moment that brought great clarity, my neurosurgeon said, “We’re
dealing with shadows here. We really don’t know how dangerous the tumor is.” This is the same neurosurgeon who removed the brain tumor from Edward Kennedy a few months ago.
The immediate concern was the swelling around the tumor. My symptoms were largely a result of that swelling and a stroke was a clear and present danger. I got on a super
high dose of steroids and a 30-day round of radiation. The swelling went down and the tumor did not grow.
Now, it’s been three years. The tumor has not grown but neither has it shrunk. I have lost some hearing and my eyesight has declined. I am constantly dizzy, like I just got
off the Tilt-a-Whirl, all day. I could go back to bed for the day by 10am. And I am constantly fighting emotions that seem to be one step ahead of my thoughts and words.
Even so, it is well with my soul. Now that I am in the thick of living with these restrictions and shortcomings, I often question God. Three years ago, it was clear to me.
God is in control and He loves me more than I can imagine. He loves my children more than I do. He has a plan for me and it is perfect. All of those things are still true.
They have not changed one little bit.
What did change were my assumptions and expectations of what my life would be like as I grew older. I often get stuck in this vortex of wanting to wring every last bit of
life out of every day and being so tired that I can’t finish a sentence without stuttering. It’s aggravating, and tiring.
So what can I do? Bring it to the Lord in prayer. That is my recourse. It isn’t a magic wand that waves itself over my life and makes everything shiny and perfect.
Sometimes, He changes my circumstances, sometimes He gives me a different perspective. In either case, He shows me He loves me so much. I don’t go to the Lord every time, but I know I should. Sometimes, my sadness and fear takes me far from the arms of my Creator. But, when I finally bring the burden of this tumor to Him, He always answers with love and grace.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me more days than I was told to expect. Thank you for walking next to me every step of this experience. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for
reminding me that You have it all under control and nothing takes You by surprise. I love you, Lord.


Heaven Time
March 3, 2008 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 8 comments


March already! I have had a few people encourage me, in a nice way, to please update my blog more often. This problem has plagued me since I started this endeavor. I am a
good planner, but my follow through is so lacking. Please have mercy on me for that!
I am a writer, though, and my one explanation for taking so much time is that I need to hear the muse before I feel comfortable writing anything. The muse could rightly be
called inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
So, here goes: I had my regularly scheduled MRI in the beginning of February. I was driven in style to the MRI office by two of my friends and compatriots in homeschooling
and mothering. Jeanne, Cyndi and I then treated ourselves to dinner. Hey, it may be a little unorthodox to use an MRI appointment as an excuse for a mom’s night out, but,
if you have children, you know you’ll take whatever you can get!
The next day Craig and I went for my neurology appointment. The dr. said that the tumor had not changed and since there had not been a change since October, he didn’t think
chemo would be helpful. Yeah! I don’t need to make a decision! I am glad I don’t need chemo right now. God deserves the credit for that victory!
I do need to have my wisdom teeth removed along with another bad one. Since my teeth were jostled around when the tumor swelled, they have been cracking and breaking. I
hate to have to deal with it at all but they are giving me ogada (sp?) so out they go! But it’s a process to get the oral surgeon to talk with the radiologist and make
decisions about the procedure, etc. AH!
My pastor’s dear wife is declining in health. She is home but sleeps all the time. She has been asleep for two days without waking to eat or anything else. Pastor Brad
called it a coma. There doesn’t seem any other outcome now but that she will soon be home with her Creator, God. Of course, God could choose to raise her up and restore her
Lazarus, the centurion’s son, Jesus himself escaped from the grasp of death. It is not that God is not able, it is that He has a bigger perspective than I do. It is a hard
way, but I trust that love and capability even when it brings me sadness, great sadness. God loves Linda and Brad so much.
It sounds cliche but if she dies, she goes to a place so much better than here. A place where there is no death, no sorrow, no separation. And, in just a twinkling of an
eye, we’ll be there too. Not a place where we sit on a cloud and play harps all day. A place where there is no sin! No hatred! No corruption! The best way I can describe
what I think heaven will be like is that it will be just like living on earth, but only the best parts of it. The love, the joy, the friendships, the sunsets, sunrises.
Trees bursting forth with flowers. The smell of the air is so sweet and it never gets old. Never to have to leave the ones we love so much. And best of all, to be in the
presence of the One who knows me so well and loves me so much. To be with the One who created me. I want everyone I love to be there with me.
I love a lot of people. Many, I know, I will see in Paradise. But there are others about whom I am not sure. Please, please figure out if you know where you’re going when
the inevitable appoinment with death comes. A year ago, Linda could never have imagined she would be sleeping all day in a hospital bed as her loving husband stokes her
forehead and tells her he loves her. I don’t want to seem too preachy, but I am just pulled asunder by these events. I love you too much to lose you eternally.
I just got a phone call that Linda went home to be with Jesus this morning. I am so thankful I got to tell her I love her yesterday. It’ll be just a moment before I get to
see her again; this time in perfect paradise.



Advent Week Three – Joy
December 15, 2007 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 5 comments

Here is what I have written to say to my church family at Grace Community Church tomorrow as we light the third candle of advent.
David asked me to say a few words about Joy because I sign all of my emails with “Joyfully, Elyse”. So, I thought I would tell you the story behind my signature.
If you ever have the occasion to visit a psychologist he or she may give you list of stress inducers to try and gauge your level of stress and therefore know how to help
you. I think the list contains about 10-15 life experiences that cause stress in your life.
Over the course of about 18 to 24 months I experienced all but two of those situations, some at the same time and some one right after the other. My marriage was in crisis.
I lost two very close friendships. We put our house on the market to sell. My husband lost his job. I found out I was, unexpectedly, pregnant. We packed up our home and
moved in with relatives. My husband got another job. I had our fifth child. And then came the icing on the cake. I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when our new
baby was 10 weeks old. I think the only two things on the list that didn’t happen during that time was a death in the family and a natural disaster.
When the news of the brain tumor hit, I finally started signing my emails with “Joyfully”. Why in the world would joy become my signature when I had just been told my life
could be cut far too short? Before all of this upheaval in my life, I was living with relatively little distress. My children were all healthy, my husband had a well paying
job and I belonged to a great church and I had wonderful friendships. I had everything I needed and wanted. Shouldn’t joy have been my signature back then? It wasn’t like I
wasn’t joyful before, it was just that I hadn’t really experienced the true nature of joy.
The Greek root for the word rejoice or joy refers to leaping or springing up like a gush of water, like a huge fountain. There is some outside pressure holding the water in
until the inside pressure grows so much that it explodes. It can’t be held in any longer. The emotions I was feeling, sadness, despair, loneliness, anger was the outside
I underwent 30 treatments of radiation. My husband and I drove to the hospital every day at noon. And every day that I went into the radiation room, I knew that Jesus was
in the room with me. He sat down right above my head as the machine started to whir and laid His hands on me and told me that He was not going to leave me alone. He was
going to walk through all of this with me, before me and behind me.
Joy exploded in my life. You see, nothing but circumstances had changed. God still sat on His throne. He was not taken by surprise when the radiologist told me to buy an
oxygen tank and sign a living will. His love for me and my family had not changed one iota. My future is secure, I am joyful. His name is praised, I am joyful. He works all
things together for good, I am joyful.
Many, including myself, asked, “Why?” Why a youngish woman with five young children, Lord? Why have it work out this way? But why is not the question to ask. I don’t know
why and I don’t mind that. I don’t mind because while I don’t know why, I do know Who. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
So I sign my emails “Joyfully, Elyse” to remind myself that I will not find joy in my circumstances. I find joy because of who God is and what He has promised me. I also do
it to remind everyone who reads my emails that I am filled with joy because I know that my Redeemer lives.


Another Chapter
November 13, 2007 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 6 comments

Hi All,

I have been getting steadily dizzier over the past few weeks and I have begin getting headaches that were increasing in severity. The ibuprofen wasn’t really working
either. While I was at the supermarket two weeks ago I finally became overwhelmed with the dizziness. It was time to go to the hospital. Off we went.
A dose of morphine and a CAT scan later, we were on our way home. I would come back again for an MRI and then again for a consult with the neurologist. They could find no
swelling and no bleeding in the ER, which was good. But the symptoms suggested something going on.
The MRI showed no remarkable change in the tumor. But, because it occupies 80% of the space in my brain stem, any small movement will affect my ability to function. The
doctors have to go on my symptoms because the MRI doesn’t really catch the incredibly fine changes in the tumor. They did say there may be more “flares” coming off the
tumor which would indicate a change in the activity level or the grade of the tumor. Meaning, it may not be growing but it may be changing composition and becoming
The suggested treament is Temador, chemotherapy. I am currently on steroids to see if that helps my dizziness and headaches. I have up to a month to decide if I want to
take this route. I am also drinking lots of carrot juice to support my immune system.
I don’t know how I feel right now. Sad? Angry? Frustrated? I am dizzy like when you get off a spinning ride at a carnival, all the time. I’ve gone from forever buzzed to
drunk. My headaches come more often and are more painful than they have been and the ibuprofen doesn’t always get it done. I’ve had to stop drinking sweet tea. Am I whining
or what?
I am feeling down and sorry for myself. I know it is just temporary. I don’t want to have to think about going blind or losing even more abilities. BUT GOD. He is still in
control and I will not be afraid. He will never lead me where His grace cannot keep me. His hand is in this even though I cannot see it right now. Let’s watch together and
see what miraculous things God will do.
Looking for joy in the storm,

Sometimes I Wonder
July 21, 2007 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 4 comments

A few weeks ago a family in out church found out their 13 month old daughter had a brain tumor. We know the family fairly well since we’ve been in the same small group for
almost a year. The tumor was a quarter of the size of her brain. They operated on it and removed all of it. But, she has been in a coma since the operation and there is no
medical reason the doctors can see that she is in the coma. She looks like she is just sleeping, like you could shake her and she would open her eyes and smile and all
would be right with the world. That hasn’t happened yet and she has been dealing with infections from the surgery and the toll the tumor has taken on her. She is deep in
the woods still.
A normal first reaction is to get angry. Why this little girl? She hasn’t lived long enough to make any mistakes. She hasn’t eaten a poor diet. She hasn’t experienced so
many things. Why her? It just isn’t fair, is it. Why does her mother have to sit by her hospital bed day in and day out and wonder if she’s going to come home. If she does
come home will she be bedridden until her death? Will she be brain damaged? How long? How can God let this happen?
I don’t know the answer. The question is inevitable because God is supposed to be in control of everything. If He’s a loving God, how can He allow such misery, such
sadness, such loss? I don’t know how He does it. The only answer I have is that He is a loving God even when we can’t see that love. Little Cali’s life rests in the palm of
His hand whether I agree with what He is doing or not. My life rests in the same loving palm. I have to remind myself that He sees the picture of this life in the biggest
possible terms. He sees all sorts of things that I could never see. He has a reason. And it might make me mad, pound my fists into my pillow before I go to sleep. But, in
the end I know that He will work all things together for the good to those who are the called, to those who love Him. That doesn’t mean that everything that happens will be
good. It means that He weaves the good and bad into something that He calls good.
What is happening with my dear friends, the Moody family, is not good. It isn’t good no matter how you twist and turn it and try to make it shine. That dog won’t hunt. I am
praying that God will take this awful thing and work it out so that He can call it good. And I know He will.
I know that because He has never failed me yet, and there have been lots of times when He could have walked away from me. Things happen to me every day that are not good
but I want Him to have so much influence in my life that those things that are bad, awful, embarassing can be made good in His eyes.
I pray that God would be glorified through Cali’s illness. If I didn’t know that God is still in control, there would be no reason for hope in this situation. But He is and
He will move. I don’t know how He will heal Cali. He may choose to heal her completely and in a few years this will only be a very bad memory. He may choose to heal her
ultimately and bring her home to Himself. He may do something in between those two choices. He loves us more than we can understand.
So, please pray for a miracle for Cali and her mom and dad, Chad and Sarah, and big sister Bella. If you think God is capricious, a big, bad boogey man who moves us around
like pieces on a chess board, I challenge you to test Him. Ask him for a miracle and see what He does. He’s a big God and He can handle doubts and skepticism. I can’t wait
to share what He’s done, to praise the work of His hands.
The chorus of one of my favorite songs I sang at Grace the Church on the Mount in NJ is this:
Praise God, on high, all that’s wrong will be made right. How we long for the day every wounded soul would be made whole. So let’s worship Him with a mighty voice. Like
we’re already with Him in paradise. Praise God on high. praise God.
I hope to write again soon.



Driver’s license lesson
June 6, 2007 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 6 comments

Again, I have waited too long to update. I do have an explanation. My laptop went crazy and I couldn’t remember my blog password which was saved on said broken laptop. But
enough of my ‘splainin let’s get down to brass tacks.I am doing pretty well. I am getting a little dizzier over time. I don’t drive unless I absolutely have to get behind
the wheel and I don’t go anywhere where I need to use directions. I have been increasingly annoyed by this and I am happy for the day when I don’t have to deal with this. I
am in no pain, except the occasional headaches, but I have been limited in what I can do each day. I get tired just getting breakfast every morning feels like a 10 hour
waitress shift. So, you can see why I am frustrated by it.
I have a great story. I went to Walmart a few weeks ago to get some very important things. It was a routine trip. I drove there myself and I managed to get through the
store without hitting too many things with my cart. I paid with a credit card but I haven’t signed the back. So, the cashier asked for my license.
I stop here to let you know I got my license right after I finished radiation and was weaning off the steroids. Let’s say I don’t look picture ready. I show my license to
lots of people to give them an idea of how swollen my face was while on steroids. I look like a dowager from the old country and that is being kind.The cashier looked at
the picture and then at me, the picture and then at me. I started to smile because I knew what her next question would be. “Is that you?”
I guess it looks enough like me, which I am not sure is a compliment. So, I went into my story about why I look like I just ate a dozen sausages. I almost got to the part
where I say I want to get a new license but she started praising God. In the Walmart! She said she had bumps up and down her arms. We shared a brief moment of sweet
fellowship. We thanked God for His sovereignty. I left the store reminded that God is awesome and worthy of every bit of praise that ever falls from my lips.
I have decided not to change my license picture. It is a reminder of God’s goodness that I can touch and see. And, it is as powerful as any tract that I could pass out. How
effective it is to have that license to carry in my wallet. Thank you, Lord for the bad picture on my license! God is so faithful!
I need that reminder because I am, daily, frustrated and aggravated with these limitations. I want to run a 5K and I can barely get to the mailbox (I don’t run, ever, that
is just a metaphor). I want to start my scrapbooking minstry. I want to improve our school habits. I want to write for an online journal. I want to tell my testimony to
anyone who will listen.
God knows the desires of my heart. My prayer is that I would be able to do His will. I know His will includes some of the ideas He has given me. I just pray I would be able
to move forward soon.
God is Good
January 25, 2007 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 14 comments


I have good news and bad news. I always want to hear the bad news first so I’ll go there.
The bad news is that I have vestibulo ocular reflex problems and there is nothing that can be done about it, medically. I had to go to a super special ophthalmologist to
find this out. I hated doing the eye tests because I knew I wasn’t getting all the letters right and I am always embarrassed when I don’t accomplish something perfectly.
First born syndrome.
So, I will have to learn somehow to accommodate my dizziness. I don’t drive except when there is no other option. I can see where I’m going but I can’t go anywhere that is
unfamiliar to me and I need the car to be relatively calm. I can accomplish the first requirement fairly easily, but the second….. I don’t drive at night, except for my
monthly book club meeting. I love it so much and I am really careful, too. My angels are on high alert and all has gone well so far.
The good news is that my husband is going to start a new job the first Monday in February! He will be working for the government in Raleigh. I am excited for him and even
more excited to be able to praise the Lord for His provision. Yes, I know my husband is very good at all those computer things and he’d be able to find a job with or
without God’s help. But, we asked God to provide for us by February and He has answered our prayers with a “Yes”.
We accepted the offer because we believe that it is God’s leading and God’s appointment for my husband and for us. He has had His hand on us since the diagnosis. Actually,
He’s always had His hand on us. Sometimes we didn’t realize it, but in our finer moments, we acknowledge His care for us and humbly bow before His majesty.
It is going to be quite a transition for us. I am not sure who is going to have a harder time of it, my husband or the rest of us. He’ll have to get up considerably earlier
to get to work and that will be difficult for my late night loving husband. I am praying and believing that our children will rise to the higher level of expectation that I
will have when I am here without benefit of another adult. I also know many friends who will be there to support and help me get through each day.
This is the will of Go for us and it is good.  I am hoping to develop a scrapbook ministry at my church and even working on it little by very little. School is going pretty
well. This year has been our best so far. I know it is the effectual, fervent prayers of lots and lots of loving friends and family. God has ministered to me through you
and I am humbled by it.
I find it hard to be on the receiving end of support. I prefer to support others. But this situation has kept me in an uncomfortable place. This too is God’s plan and I
know He’ll make good use of it, for me and for His kingdom.
I am praising Him for His goodness to me. Thanks for joining me in that effort.




2006 Posts – Archived

On the Leaning Side  •  God is Good ›
He is worthy of ALL my praise

December 6, 2006 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 7 comments

Almost every day the thought of writing an update in this blog crawls into my consciousness. But then I think, oh I want to write all good news and maybe I’ll be able to
write it tomorrow. Tomorrow hasn’t come yet and I do have good news so I am not waiting for the perfect day. It’s my Type A personality at work with a healthy dose of
procrastination thrown in there.

The results of the MRI were good. The tumor is not growing and it hasn’t moved (if that’s even possible). There are no other tumors either. The blood work also came back
with no obvious problems. Praise God for His mercy.

I was diagnosed with an inner ear infection and given a good supply of antibiotics. But, the pills have been taken dutifully and the dizziness is slowly getting worse. I
have an appointment with a neuro-opthamalogist next week. I am praying that he can find the source of this problem and know of a way to solve it. But, if he isn’t
successful, there is still a God in heaven who is sovereign over all of these circumstances and His plans for me give me a future and a hope.

I would love to say my spirits are soaring in the stratosphere but the reality is that  they are bouncing near the ground like a kite that has lost its wind but is
desperately looking for where it has gone. I am still fighting with something like depression, though I hesitate to call it something so serious. Holiday blues, maybe?

I do have more, actually so much more, for which I can give thanks. My husband has been sick since we came back from our fall weekend getaway to New Jersey. He was
beginning to think he had something more serious than the pneumonia he had been trying to kick. We decided we needed a definitive diagnosis, whatever it may be, and spent a
lovely Saturday night at WakeMed emergency room. He was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. Now he knows that there is something affecting his health but it is manageable with
careful eating habits and exercise. That is a huge praise to the Lord because I was having a increasingly difficult time coping with my own problems and his also. Thank

You, Lord.

I’ve been participating in our women’s Bible study at church. We are doing Beth Moore’s study on Daniel. A few weeks ago we studied the passage about the Israelites in the
fiery furnace. Beth pointed out that there are three ways that God chooses to deliver us from the fiery furnace. He may deliver us from the furnace all together whic
increases our faith. He may deliver us through the fiery furnace and that refines our faith. He may choose to deliver us using the fire into His arms in heaven and that
perfects our faith. We all want the first thing to happen. That’s natural.

I think I am going through the second choice. I can see the flames and I can smell the smoke as it swirls around me. The cool thing was that Jesus stepped into that furnace
with them. He was closer to them than He had ever been before. What an answer to prayer! To have the Prince of Peace, Almighty God standing nect to the, And I don’t think
they just looked at each other. I bet they talked.

Lord, I ask that you would let me see, every day, that you are standing next to me. The sound of the flames hiss in my ears. The heat is intense but it hasn’t touched me,
and it won’t. Lord refine my faith. Make me more like You and show me how to proclaim your glory everywhere I go.

I love every comment I get. My email is if you want to talk privately, too.




Anonymous on January 23, 2007 at 10:20 pm


I loved reading your update….I am lifting you up in prayer…that He would carry you through this time. I’m so happy to hear the tumor hasn’t grown–praise God!! It’s also
so neat to see the things God is teaching you through the Beth Moore study..thanks always for sharing your heart…and your honesty. We will be lifting you up continually in
prayer…miss you!


Alisa in NJ

Patty from bayonne on January 7, 2007 at 1:29 pm
I pray that you find the health and peace that you deserve this year.

Beth in NC on December 25, 2006 at 7:53 pm

I’m so glad that you had good news from your MRI! I think about you often. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.

In His Love,


Liz in OK on December 8, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Elyse, I was so glad to (finally) see your update . . . I too check in periodically & pray often. I know about that medical limbo, where you keep thinking tomorrow/next
week/next month I will know SOMETHING & then I will report THAT . . . and we are kept waiting. Oh, the desire for control or understanding or a marked out pathway is just
so strong, isn’t it? And I am struggling here at the holiday season as well, wanting to do better for my kids but feeling like it’s just too hard this year (having faced
the loss of Mom & the need to pick up some of her myriad responsibilities) — and I think maybe I’m having a PMS mental-cyclone or maybe it’s just let-down now that I’ve
eaten an entire bag of Andes mint chips over the last two weeks rather than making the cookies we planned on!! (now THERE’S a run-on sentence worthy of the apostle Paul!)

Yesterday I picked up 2nd Corinthians again, having been reminded (through the book Joy of a Word-Filled Family) of the verse in ch 9 — God is able to make all grace
abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed — oh, what a delight! To think that through His abounding
grace, I CAN be sufficient and even ABUNDANT in the good works that He has for me, to His glory. I needed that this week & I prayed it over & over.
I am so glad that your MRI yielded positive news — and sorry that the dizziness is impairing you. I think it can be tricky to determine the source of dizziness, often a
matter of elimination & guesswork (yuck). I will be praying that a resolution is found or simply occurs.

Blessings upon you & your family this holiday, may the power of the Most High overshadow you and may you feel His quickening within your spirit over & over again!

Liz —

Robin on December 7, 2006 at 7:13 am

I have been checking back to see how the MRI went and I am so glad to read that the tumor hasn’t grown. THAT is a wonderful thing. Now to keep praying that they can
help you with the dizziness. So sorry about your husband being sick too. Thank you for relating the story about Daniel and being an example to all of us about what faith
really is.

Praying for you and yours…and will continue to do so.

Patty from Bayonne again on December 6, 2006 at 9:48 pm

do not know why my first post posted twice.

Who would have thought I would feel such a connection to you from when we scrapped together those few times? I do think of you so very often.

I am not sure if I am worthy of saying this but Praise the Lord for your good news.

Patty from bayonne on December 6, 2006 at 9:35 pm

I have been thinking of you each and every day. This site has become an obsession to me..checking reading re reading…elyse, I think you much have just posted this as I
checked 3 times already today.

Part of me was waiting to have more anger in God for keeping you ill. I guess I am trying Him in my reading of your post. If you can go through all of this and still
beleive than I should just stop being mad at Him for my own reasons.

I am so thrilled that the tumor is not growing. I have to admit that even I prayed for you. I am in tears now…sobbing actually..not sure why…but I feel at peace. Thank
you for your honesty and for helping me possibly find my way back in my own way.

On the Leaning Side

November 1, 2006 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 9 comments

Barely a month has gone by and I’m back!

I have been experiencing increased dizziness accompanied by vision problems while I am reading, which I do a lot. After almost a week of the dizziness getting worse, we
called the Brain Tumor Center and the neurologist prescribed 4mg of steroids a day. After 5 days on the steroids and no relief I have been scheduled for an MRI, tonight, at
Duke Hospital.

This attack has gotten right to the core of me. My physician thinks these problems are tumor related, though he doesn’t think it is because the tumor is growing. I am
scared as I have not been before. I am praying for that peace that has been my close companion for the past year and it seems to be eluding me. Perfect love casts out all
fear and I stand assured, knowing my heavenly Father loves me with a perfect love.

Here is what I fear. I write it down as a way of exposing the boogeyman. He isn’t all that scary in the light, you know. I am afriad the tumor is growing and I will have to
be admitted to the hospital. The tumor is growing and there is nothing they can do about it. There is another tumor growing somewhere. All of this is worst case scenario.
Of course I could also find out that the tumor is gone and the dizziness is just a factor of that miracle.

I have hope in one thing, God. He is able to to exceedlingly, abundantly more than I can ask or think.

Thanks for praying.





Rachael on November 30, 2006 at 12:16 am

Hi, Elyse. My sister directed me to your site last spring. I’m not sure how I happened upon it again tonight, but I’m taking it as a ‘hint’ from the Lord to pray for
you and your family. I’m also a hs mom; my 6 sleeping beauties are finally quiet for the night and my dh is trying to navigate all the snow & ice here in OK to get home, so
I’m working on some house stuff & will be praying for God’s peace and strength & magnificent hope to just overwhelm you on this hard road you are travelling, knowing that
nothing is impossible with Him and nothing is unbearable when He is your Burden-Bearer. You have glorified His name with each post I’ve read, confessing your human-ness to
all of us other fragile creatures, then fixing your eyes and your hope steadfastly on His Greatness and on His Love. That is the way to live each day, my friend, brain
tumor or no. Continue to trust His ways, dear sister, and know that His promises are sure. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Alisa Anderson on November 21, 2006 at 12:40 am

Hi Elyse-

Thanks so much for your post and updating us….I am really wondering how your appointment went…can you let us know as soon as possible? We miss you here in NJ…it was so good to see you in August at the firehouse in looked great and it was so good to see you, Craig and your little son! Please keep us posted…

Love and hugs,


Robin on November 20, 2006 at 7:19 am

It’s a chilly Monday morning here in New Jersey and I have been thinking about you. I wonder how you are doing since this post of Nov. 1st ? Praying that all is well
and that one of the fears you spoke of did not happen and that you are just too busy to post.

Keep the faith~~you aer a very special lady!

mamato2miracles on November 19, 2006 at 3:19 pm

Dear Elyse,

Hi! Let me introduce myself, I am a wife and HS mom in Oklahoma.
A friend of mine in co-op emailed me to tell me about your blog, so now I am here. She hadn’t told me anything about your blog. Now I understand why she thought I would
like to read it. You see, we also deal with tumors, though most of them are benign, but several family members have had to have emergency surgery because of the blasted
things. Anyway, the ones my in laws and my husband and children have are from Tuberous Sclerosis.

Reading your blog, I am struck by your strength of spirit, determination, especially to keep HS. What an encouragement. I cannot imagine what it is like personnally,
but to read your honest thoughts helps me to understand a little bit more.

Recently, a missionary spoke at our church explaining the work in Africa. At an area he was traveling through a woman was deathly sick with Aids. She was going to die.
She was in a tent and asked if he would come in and pray for her. He went in and layed hands on her and prayed. She thanked him and he then left. He found out later that
within a short time she regained strength, got up and was absolutely healed and went to her village to show all what God had done for her. Praise the Lord! I wonder at the
reaction of all who knew her and how many came to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

I say all that because I pray a miracle for you because with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!! I truely believe this. I may not understand why I don’t see the miracles in
our lives manifested yet, but the scripture says He heals all our diseases and He is not a liar…it’s impossible for Him to lie…so I walk by faith trusting that all His word
is true and speaking those scriptures aloud because whenever God was up to something in the Bible He spoke it into reality.

In Christ,


Scrapbookshop Patty on November 17, 2006 at 12:04 pm

I am so sorry to have missed you in August. My husband has been ill with his diabetes since May (he went into a diabetic coma than) and has had complications since.
I would love to have spent that time with you as you ahve been nothing but an inspiration to me. You have to understand that I do not have the faith that you do, and I
am not sure I am at a place in my life to accept it. Yet I find myself coming back here to see your faith and read your journey. Thank you for your honesty.

I await your next post.

May you find the peace and answers you need.

Anonymous on November 16, 2006 at 12:11 am

I have been keeping up with your posts since I learned of them from our church in Fayetteville, NC (Arran Lakes Baptist Church). I have never responded. Since then, I
have moved twice. You are such an inspiration! You, I’m sure have many struggles that we only hear the tips of, but what you seem to focus on are the strenghths, like Paul.
I pray that God heals you. However, I do know for a fact, that if he decides to take you home, (1) you will be missed greatly by not only your family, but everyone that is
following you, (2) you will have achieved in “doing good works” through your sufferings. He will receive many praises from your works. You will be one who points to Him and
gives Him all the glory. God Loves You! And He loves your family and is with them always. I am so thankful for your posts. Not only are they encouraging, but they have
helped me better relate to friends that are going through great, and similiar, struggles of their own. I look foward to reading your next post. May God continue to bless

you and your family.

Anonymous on November 7, 2006 at 2:37 am

Hey Sis…Praying that the news was good for you. Again I say, I’m in awe of your strength, courage and spirituality. You are truly blessed in so many ways. Sending you
virtual hugs. Miss you !!


Ringwood, NJ

Patty on November 3, 2006 at 7:53 pm

The Lord loves you even more than I do. You are brilliant and wonderful. You made me laugh so hard last Saturday I almost peed.


Jennifer on November 2, 2006 at 2:16 am

Thanks so much for the update Elyse. I pray that your appointment went well and you will start to feel better soon. I know God is smiling upon you and your family.


Happy Birthday to Me

October 2, 2006 in Update by Elfmom | 2 comments

Is it October already? I was planning on sending out a birthday missive but my birthday was exactly a month ago and I have written nothing!

I turned 38 years old on September 2nd. It was a birthday I was told not to expect to see this side of heaven. God, in His wisdom, has seen fit to let me celebrate another
year of blessings and joy. I am deeply thankful that I am still here to see my baby, Lachlan learning to talk, Conlan discovering about World War II, Hannah enjoying the
life of Ben Franklin, Aidan learning to read an liking it and Ethan experimenting with pieces of wood to make catapults. Every day is difficult but never is a day without
reward. Every day, God finds some way to remind me how much He loves my children; how much He loves me.

Now, just in case you think I run around in a billowy dress, smiling at the sky and smelling roses, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Into every life a little rain
must fall. I am still fighting with dizziness and a big helping of fatigue. It makes me more agitated than anything else. I can’t even remember what it was like to not be
tired and dizzy. Did I really go grocery shopping with all the kids, by myself, and then come home to make dinner? That couldn’t have been me, could it?

The neurologist told me that it could take 18 months after the end of my radiation for the symptoms to peak and then I will start to improve. That means I will start
improving in February of 2007. Hey, it’s not that long from now. I am just praying that God would show me what I need to do right now to be smack in the middle of His will.

“I want to be where you are. Dwelling in your presence. Feasting at Your table. Surrounded by Your glory.” I don’t know who wrote that worship song, but that is my prayer.

All in all, it was a happy birthday. Thirty-eight years. Loved by God. Surrounded by my children and awesome husband. Yeah, God is good.

My latest MRI shows no growth in the tumor. Now, we are seeking ways to improve my quality of life, so to speak. Trying to get rid of the dizziness and fatigue. Please pray
that God would remove this thorn or continue to supply me with mounds of His grace.

Stay tuned for more mind wanderings.





Anonymous on October 24, 2006 at 10:35 pm

…belated Happy Birthday! I look forward to your “mind wanderings.” Your narrative of God’s faithfulness in your lives is inspiring to me. Continue to share His light.

Robin on October 16, 2006 at 7:57 am

So glad to read your update. I will be praying for the dizziness to somehow be brought under control so that you can once again do the things you want to do for your



An Anniversary of Sorts

July 20, 2006 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 6 comments

It’s been one year since I found out that I would be traveling down a different road than I expected I’d be going down. A year ago I fancy I was more like a deer caught in
the headlights of an oncoming 18-wheeler. I was frozen to stillness with the  news of this abrupt change to my life, both in the immediate and long-term future.

Right away, I was led into the throne room of the Father and I knew that, no matter what, His love for me hadn’t changed on llittle bit. And, I saw how much He loved and
loves, my husband and my children; more than what I am capable of giving. I was reminded that God was not surprised by this turn of events. He wasn’t caught in the
headlights. I was still in the center of His will and He still had a purpose and a plan for my life.

I was told to get a wheelchair, to make a living will and to put my kids in school. I was given eight months to a year to enjoy the company of my family and friends and
then I the tumor would stop my life. It’s been a year and God has been merciful and mighty in my life. All that has happened, and not happened, has been because of His love
and power in my life. He could easily have let the medical expectation become a reality. He didn’t and I praise Him because of it.

My life has been changed. My perspective has changed. I always thought I had an eternal perspective but I think I may have been a little off the mark. I may still not be
right on target with that mindset but I know I am facing in the right direction. I pray that He would make me more like Him, to see through His eyes, to make decisions that
express His will.

I can’t help but praise Him. He is with me all day, during the times I am aggravated with my limitations and that makes me a not very nice person to my husband and my
children. He pokes me in the ribs when I start to think I am useless because of these limitations. He reminds me how much He loves me and that I will be with Him one day,

So, thank you, Lord, for this past year. I couldn’t have gotten through to this day without your mercy and your grace.





Chris Coslet on August 17, 2006 at 7:09 pm

I am so disappointed I was not able to see you when you were up last week. Linda and I talked about surprising you but I was unable to get off from work. I’m so happy
to hear that there has been no progression with the tumor, God works in mysterious ways. He has some special plans for you. You have always been a teacher to either your
children or those around you. Teaching us through scrapbooking how to let others know who we are, what we’re about and not just a person behind the camera. Now you are
teaching us strength and faith.

I want you to know I think of you often.

Much love and hugs,


Your sis!

Anonymous on August 11, 2006 at 12:40 pm


I have been thinking about you a lot lately and have been praying for you. Your faith is such an inspiration. God bless you and keep you.

With lots of Love,

Sarah Heidt

Robin on August 3, 2006 at 7:09 am

I was glad to see that you had updated your blog. One Praying for you here in Jersey. I’ve got my Sunday School table praying for you too. Your faith is such
an encouragement.

Edelweiss on July 28, 2006 at 10:29 am

I found your blog in a random search and am so blessed to read through your posts. The Lord truly has His hand on your heart and what He is allowing you to experience
is/will also touch other people for the sake of His kingdom. Bless you, sweet sister in Christ. I’ll visit you again soon.

Anonymous on July 22, 2006 at 10:31 am


You are an amazing woman of God. Your example is an encouragement to me.
I don’t know you personally, but I look forward to the day when I can meet you and your sweet family. Thank you for ministering to me and Rich.

God Bless you today and every day.

Karen Keller

Patty Hosmer on July 20, 2006 at 9:21 pm

I am sooo very much looking foward to seeing you in August!!!!
You have been an inspiration to me more than you know and I admire your strength…Looking foward to August!!!!!


Patty 🙂
Another Day Another MRI

July 11, 2006 in Update by Elfmom | 3 comments


I beat my record from last post! It’s been less than two months!

Well, I had another MRI and the results are good. There is no change in the size of the tumor. This is good news, medically at least. As you know, I want it to go away
completely and then I’ll say it’s good. But, I am going to agree with the doctor and be encouraged.

As it’s been from the beginning, if I’m going to have this problem, I want it to be worth something from an eternal perspective. I want to wring every ounce of meaning and
purpose from it that I can. I haven’t really figured out how this will happen, but that is my prayer request right now. I get tired faster than I can get out of bed many
days, so I have to learn to work in small bursts.

We are closing on a house on Friday! Pray, please pray that it will go off without a problem. This is the third house we’ve tried to purchase and it’s definitely the best
of the three! There are so many little things about the house that we just love and that seem perfectly made for us. We are praising God for His infinite care for us. I had
been praying that He would show us what we should do next and this house just popped up, and it had been on the market for almost a year!

The moving is going to be a huge undertaking and I am not sure how it’s going to go. It’s a source of some anxiety for me. I always shrink from things that will bring my
husband and children stress. But, since this is a necessary stress, we are going to march up to the challenge and tackle it. Please pray for this, too.

I have decided that I am not going to be tired indefinitely! I am trying to stay awake longer every day and to take my vitamins without fail. It’s been working well for the
past two days. I’ve taken only one nap each day! We’ll see how it goes.

We are going to be in NJ and NH in August! Email me and I’ll send you details. I am trying to organize a service project to do while I’m there. I am so excited to see my
friends and family!!!!

I’ll blog again soon!





Anonymous on July 18, 2006 at 10:23 am

Lisi, I am so thrilled that you are praising God thru this whole ordeal. I can only imagine what it must be like to go thru what you are dealing with on a daily basis.
We pray for you, Craig and your kids each day and know that God has His hand on you all. This prayer is for your move:
“Heavenly Father, you see Lisi and Craig and their children coming to a crossroads that You have provided for them. I ask that You make their burdens light and allow
the move to go smoothly and quickly. Continue to bless their lives during this time and let them feel Your hand of mercy and kindness now more than ever. We trust You, we
praise Your mighty name and are grateful for everything thing You do for us. Blessed be Your name! I pray this in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


Be blessed. I love you guys very much!


Liz on July 12, 2006 at 8:08 pm


I am so glad to hear that you are pressing on & determining to feel encouraged. I’ve been studying 2nd Cor this summer (should be doing that right NOW in fact) & I see
over & over that Paul is making the *choice* to not lose heart, but to praise God & seek His glory in the midst of the storms. When you write that you want this to count, I
thought immediately of Piper’s essay “Don’t Waste Your Cancer”

which I think would apply to all our “light momentary afflictions.” And when my sister sent me this essay recently, YOU are the one that came to mind, as an example of
someone whose heart is set on things above & so is not completely traumatized by these things below.

Praying for you & for your homeschooling efforts to be multiplied (& mine too, come to think of it!)

Anonymous on July 11, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Hey Elyse. I am so glad you are keeping your head high. You were such a blessing to me and my family when Keith was not doing well. Now you are so far away when I
should be helping you. I am glad you are coming up soon. Anything we could do for you? Anything you need? Please let me know.
I love you and will keep you in my prayers. Call me if you need anything.


Trish Brouhard


Springtime Renewal

May 22, 2006 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 5 comments

Well time has just been going by so fast. I know I need to post more often. It is on the top of m list of habits to form, really. Thanks to my father and Kenny Stearns for
pushing me to post.

I can’t say I have any news about my physical condition. The tumor is stable, though it’s still there. That is aggravating to me because I want to close the book on this
chapter of my life. I want this to be a memory, not a lifestyle for me. But, as usual, God has other plans.

The Bible is full of stories about people who thought their lives were going in one direction and then circumstances caused them to do an about face. Moses certainly didn’t
think his life was going to change so drastically. He was living in Pharoah’s court, one day after another, nothing remarkable and then circumstances changed and his life
wasn’t even remotely recognizable to what it had been.

Job was just going about his business, not bothering anyone. He didn’t think his life would change so much. But it did. I’ll bet he wished for the old times, too.

You see, God sees so much more than what we can see. We see through a microscope. He sees through a telescope. Nothing escapes His attention. And the really great thing is
that His eyes not only see all, they see through a lens of love, infinite love for each of us. So, what appears to be negative or even cataclysmic isn’t terminal. Even
death is not the end for those who love Him, the called according to His purpose.

My problems are life-changing to me. I am not enjoying this experience of being restricted. So many days I kick against this roadblock. I am aggravated that I can’t make it
through the day without spending half of it in bed. This means my husband can’t go back to work just yet. I can’t stand the loss of control. I struggle to maintain my
composure. Sometimes I am not in control of my emotions and I pace around my house, circling, looking for a place to land.

Many days I am just depressed, or borderline hopeless. I can’t see the next step. God knows I love to plan, to think about what I am going to do tomorrow. I love making
booklists and planning my children’s school schedules. The only thing that can reach in through the fog of my sadness and anxiety is the rock-solid knowledge that God loves
me, He’s in control and He has a plan.

The plan for us is slow in unfolding. I wonder how I will be able to continue to school our children at home. I wonder how I will be able to make it through Lachlan’s
toddler-hood. I just don’t see myself having the werewithal to go the distance. And I am right. I can’t make it. But God’s power is perfect in my weakness. So, I choose the
perfect route. And I try to accept all the weakness in me and the loss of control.

Craig is still contemplating what to do for work. We haven’t figured out how we’ll manage with him gone for many hours a day. But, he has to do something because we need
income. Something will come up.

I am still very tired, can’t hear out of my right ear, weakness on my left side and headaches almost daily. I am beginning to treat these problems as a way of life and not
as if I have a cold that will go away in time. It’s like trying to fit toys in a box. They’ll fit if you put them in just the right way. i just need to figure out how to
arrange them.

I’ve started forgetting things more easily; names, places, memories, words. It has been increasing slowly but increasing all the same. I am praying that God would restore
those things to me.

We are going to be in New Jersey and New Hampshire in August this summer. Email me and I’ll give you the specifics and maybe we can get together!

Please keep praying for us. The children are doing well. We struggle to get school done each day and many days we fail. They love having Daddy home but that needs to change
soon! Craig is doing well. He carries a big burden for all of us. Please pray that I would appreciate him first, before I criticize.

It seems this period is harder for me to handle than when I was diagnosed. That was like being in an accident.Deer in the headlights, stunned existence. Now, it’s like a
slow burn. So painful on some days and the future circumstances unknown. Praise God that He knows what will happen next.





Anonymous on May 25, 2006 at 9:23 am

Lisi, this is Rich, as in Keller. I noticed that my wife sent you a comment. I hope that wasn’t a problem. It was so excellent to see and get to talk to Craig at

You are a mighty blessing and encouragement to all who know you and read your blog. We pray for you, Craig and the children daily. Please feel free to pass along any
additional prayer requests at any time.
The next time you talk to your Dad, please tell him I said “Hi”. Thanks … I will stay in touch, if that would be alright.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Sarah on May 24, 2006 at 4:22 pm

Hello Elyse and the rest of the Fenerty family,

As it has been for a while, I am on the computer more often than Mom so she has not read the newest entry to your blog yet. It is so good to see that you continue to
stay strong during this period of time. You are in all of our prayers, and we can’t wait to see you guys this summer. :^)


Sarah and the Family in good old Northwood.

Edited by elfmom on May. 25, 2006 at 9:26 AM

Robin on May 24, 2006 at 7:12 am

It’s so good to hear from you! I’m praying for you, your family, and the right job for your husband. You are such a strong woman! God has something great in store for
you, right now you are in a valley. Know that prayers are being sent up for you, for God’s will to be done.

Thanks for posting your smiling face! You haven’t changed a bit!

Anonymous on May 23, 2006 at 2:06 pm

Singing at Christmas and Easter wasn’t the same without you. You were my singing/dancing partner. I miss your smile and joking around at rehearsal, we did get really
crazy at Easter. I think Jen was about ready to boot me, Lynn and Jamie out. We starting laughing about something and could not stop I had tears coming down my face (you
know with the little backup laugh). The Easter Sunday service turned out wonderful dispite us older children. I am glad you are still able to homeschool even though the
days are tough. You are tough a woman and not a quiter in anyway. I know something will work our for your honey for work, when you decide the time is right. How is the
FRY-MAN, I could use some homemade french fries with some brown gravy right now. Chuck got a motorcycle and we ride together. Did Grace Church have the motorcycle group (grace riders) when you all were still living here?.. Well I guess I should get back to work. I pray your health improves and that you are patient with your husband and


Love ya,

Patty Morse

Anonymous on May 23, 2006 at 1:22 pm


You do not know me, I am Rich’s wife. I cannot relate to your illness in any way, but I can relate to not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
Rich and I pray for you daily, and he speaks so highly of you and Craig.
May God continue to use you and we pray for your healing.



A Long Wait for an Update

March 15, 2006 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 9 comments


Has it really been almost three months since I’ve updated my blog? Yes it has and I apologize for that. It’s sort of like watching the first half of a movie and then having
to return it to the video store.
I haven’t written again because I’ve been waiting to be able to share some really good news. I feel like I’ve built this whole situation up, just waiting for a grand slam
announcement of miraculous healing and it hasn’t happened, yet. I am a woman of extremes, I suppose, and maybe God is directing me toward the middle of the road for a
while. I cannot yet say that the tumor is gone, but it still hasn’t grown. That in itself is a testimony of God’s care for me. I bless His name for it.
But, I still live in this fleshly body so I never stop wanting more. When this adventure started, I looked at it in black and white. I figured I was going to heaven any
day, or I was going to get news that the tumor was gone when the radiation was over. God has other plans. I know that the promises of God are yes and so be it. I do not
doubt, not even for a blink of an eye, that He can heal me instantly. What I do believe is that He plans on using this situation for his glory. His strength is perfected in
my weakness. Gosh is He strong in my life!
So, I am learning that there may be nuances to my healing. I may have to live, for however long, with the effects of this tumor affecting me. That is not my first choice. I
am tired of being tired, tired of limping, tired of thinking about how my family will get on without me. I want things to be like they were before. I had more (a little at
least) energy, more patience, then. My husband didn’t need to babysit me as he does now. I could take all the kids to Walmart, the grocery store and clean the house in one

But God can use this. I think of the tumor as my “thorn in the side”. His grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Do I really understand
all the ramifications of these words? No. Not yet. But I know I am on the road to understanding and applying these verses in my life.
What is exciting to me is the anticipation of the day when I can use this experience to help someone else. To come along side someone and being their Aaron; holding their
arms up when they can no longer go it alone. Others have been that for me and I an excited to be able to do that for even one other person. If I can use this experience to
help just one other person meet Jesus – isn’t it all worth it! What a treasure to store up in heaven!

For now, I feel like I am the fourth plane on the runway. Waiting. My job is to stay in touch with the tower because they can see what I can’t.
The tumor still hasn’t grown but I have had to go back on the steroids because of a nasty headache that could be caused by swelling around the tumor, or it could be my head
healing from the radiation. I consider that a setback and I am anxious for the time when I won’t have to think about steroids.
Please pray for me to handle my down days with grace. I want to use all of this experience for the encouragement of the body of Christ and as a witness of how much God
loves us. I want to write about and speak about this experience.
Please pray that God would lead us to a way to earn an income without DH having to be out of the house 40+ hours a week. We are looking for a home business to begin that
will use our talents.

Please pray that God would continue to be the friend who sticks closer than a brother to our children.

God is to be praised. He has blessed us with rich relationships and examples of faith in the people around us. We are rich in so many ways, especially the Love of God.
I hope to update again sooner than last time.
Please keep in touch with us. It means so much to hear from everyone.





Russell Jones on April 8, 2006 at 1:52 pm

If you need a good fight to get your mind off of your present/temporary situation, come back to Rockaway!! Us Christ Church folks miss you….

You are loved… blessings to ya’ll… bye4now….

Anonymous on March 25, 2006 at 7:29 am

I had never heard your name before yesterday but I have prayed for you countless times since then & will continue to carry you & your family in prayer before the very

throne of God Almighty!

I was surfing the web, looking for information yesterday in hopes of helping my mother who is suffering with a brain tumor (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which doesn’t usually
affect the brain). And thus God led me to your email loop & then to this blog site where I read your story of grace in suffering.
Oh, Elyse, I know how difficult the fatigue is & what a strain the steroids are since we have been walking a similar path with Mom for about 4 months now. And here’s an
amazing part that makes me feel bound to you — I am a 37yo homeschooling mom of a daughter & 4 sons who believes fully & firmly in the sovereign grace of a loving Lord and


I will be praying for you, both for healing & for an increasing knowledge & love of God within you & your family & all those that you love & even those you merely come
in contact with.
A friend set up a website that tells a bit about my mom at and I have just had him add my always-growing list of verses, songs, poems & hymns that have been a comfort to me over the past year — it is on the bottom right of the home page under the title Encouragement (which the volunteer friend misspelled,  which makes me – the hs mom – completely berserk!). He made it look sort of like a list of songs but it’s actually a huge (17pg) Word document of “psalms, hymns & spiritual songs” — and certainly if you or anyone else would like a copy of it I would be more than happy to email it to you — I answer the mail from that website or I am at

Elyse, you are in my prayers — and they are without ceasing!

Liz in OK

KMoteberg on March 22, 2006 at 5:46 pm

I surfed over to your blog thru the “Randon” button and just wanted to say how encouraging your posts are. I am going thru some health struggles right now, most likely
brought on by the ill manner in which I take care of myself. However, it is a blessing to me to see someone worse off than I am, taking all things to God!! May His healing
flow thru you and above all, bring His plan for your life into fruition.

Blessings to you.

Anonymous on March 21, 2006 at 10:07 am

Hi Elyse!!

I am so glad to read your update. I’ve been thinking of you, as I do all the time, and wish I could be closer. I miss you and pray for all of you everyday. You truly
are an inspiration to us all. I’ll call you to get more juicy details and to hear your beautiful laugh which I miss so much!



Anonymous on March 21, 2006 at 6:22 am


I think of you often. I pray that God watches over you and your babies. I am humbled by your faith. I believe that you are teaching us all a lesson. Maybe God is using
you as a tool for the rest of us to learn to have faith and believe. I look up to you and admire your strength and courage. I know God is at your side holding your hand
through this journey. I want you to know that though there are many miles between us I am here holding you in my arms as well.
I miss you.

My love always,

Your Sis Chris

Anonymous on March 20, 2006 at 9:47 pm


You are an inspiration. I miss you in NJ. I think of you especially in those places where we laughed and cropped together. God bless you and your family. Your strenth
continues to amaze and inspire me.



Anonymous on March 20, 2006 at 1:28 am

Elyse–Thank you for your beautiful witness. Your faithful obedience to Him is an inspiration to so many. You and your family are in my prayers. With love, Jennifer

Robin on March 17, 2006 at 7:25 am

I am so glad you were able to update us. I think about you often and pray for you always. How are your husband and kiddos holding up? How’s the baby doing?

Write when you can and keep us updated so we know how to pray more specifically.

Patty From The ScrappeBooke Shoppe on March 16, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Of your faith….I re-read it over and over again…Hoping that some of your faith will wear off on me

I don’t know where you find your faith in God…. But if you can find it with your situation…. I can find it with my life….

I pray for you every time I do pray….God will hear the prayers of us of little faith also….
I think about you daily and wish you the best of everything…
I loved the time we spent scrappin together and would love to do it again one day! It has been awhile since I scrapped…Time flies

Best of wishes to you….

Please update more frequently….Those of us out here want to know how you are!



2005 Posts – Archived

The Good News

December 20, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 8 comments

I had my second post-radiation MRI on Friday and went to Duke to get the results yesterday. The results show that there has been no change in the tumor. At first blush, it
seems that this isn’t very good news. Maybe, some would think, that God didn’t answer our prayers. We expected to hear that the miraculous had happened; that the tumor had
disappeared and the doctors had no explanation.

But it is good news. The doctors expected that the tumor would grow after radiation and the swelling would worsen. That has not happened and there is encouragement to be
found here. I was told that it takes time for a tumor to begin to die after radiation. It could take up to a year or even more. And then, even when it does die, it leaves
scar tissue. There will always be possibility of this tumor someday beginning to grow. The neuro-oncologist’s advice was to stay as healthy as possible as the best way to
fight the chance of the bad cells surviving. He would not guess at my life expectancy but he mentioned people living one year up to 20 years with this sort of illness.

Before I was born God knew the number of my days.

But there is better news, too. God is still in control. He is in control of my life, the life of my family and our circumstances. There is so much hope in those words. God
is not ignoring our prayers, our requests, our desires. He can see the forest for the trees so He knows more about timing than I do. He does what He does because He loves
me and my family. If this tumor means that His will be done, I say, “yeah and amen”. If just one person decides to put their faith in God because of what I have gone
through, it is more than worth it to me.

I have learned that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we expect Him to do it. Sometimes His answer is, “Wait” or even, “No”. But He is a loving parent. He sees
what I cannot and then He acts out of love for me.

I had been expecting one of two outcomes: complete healing or dying. I knew there were other options, but I focused on one of those two outcomes. I am learning to accept
another outcome: living with a brain tumor and some physical limitations. I am not saying God won’t remove the tumor miraculously at some point. I don’t rule out anything
God may do. He is, after all, God. But, I believe God plans for me to reach out to others going through tough times with the hope He has given me. He has a plan, a perfect
one and I want to be a part of it.

I will be getting MRI’s every two months for the forseeable future. Please pray that I would be able to see God’s plan clearly and have the grace to walk in that plan.

Write again soon.





Paula on March 15, 2006 at 6:07 pm

You are in my prayers! Sometimes it is when God brings difficulty upon us, and we handle it with His peace as we live in His grace, that we best communicate what our

faith means.

You are such an inspiration! Your posts exude confidence in our Savior!

May His peace be ever with you!


Patty Hosmer on March 7, 2006 at 9:51 pm

Just checking in to see how everything is…Your faith inspires me

Robin on March 1, 2006 at 4:54 pm

I just stopped by to see how you are doing. I wonder how you are these days. Praying that all is well.

quietcajun on February 2, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Your attitude is an inspiration to me… I am going through some minor health problems and feel discouraged. Your post was a blessing to me.

Kay in PA on January 4, 2006 at 2:52 pm

Praying for a miracle!

HomeschoolFREAKS on January 4, 2006 at 1:10 pm

I am blessed by your love and trust in God. God be praised! I am praying for you. God bless, Rhonda.

Robin on December 22, 2005 at 6:37 am

This is very good news! I will continue to pray for you and your family. I have many others praying too. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing. Keep the faith!

Col323 on December 20, 2005 at 3:49 pm

Your trust and joy in the midst of your
situation is amazing and God given.
Your outlook is Christlike and
a good reminder to us all.
God is in control, we are NOT!


November Update

November 28, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 5 comments

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Again, it’s been a month since I’ve sent an update. I am a bad blogger! LOL

An update:

I have been extraordinarily tired for almost three weeks now. After about two hours of sitting up and trying to do something, anything, I run (as well as I can) back to
bed, hardly able to hold my eyelids in the open position. I am also experiencing the type of headaches I was having when I was diagnosed, but they are centered behind my
left ear. It goes away when I lay down or if I take some Tylenol. So, is this good or bad news? I don’t know. I have another MRI scheduled for December 16th. I hope to get
a better picture then.

It’s been four months since this challenge began. It feels like a long time to me but, when put in perspective, it isn’t all that long when you look at it with eternity in view.

Dh and I are at a crossorads as we look to the future. I need Dh home with me just about all the time to help look after our children. And since my prognosis is nothing if not unpredictable, we need flexibility in his job. I feel God’s hand in this situation and I know that He will lead us to the right place. I would like to know right now what is coming down the pike but I have to keep reminding myself that He will open the door for us. I am praying that God will give us the grace to walk through that open door at the right time.

We are homeschooling in fits and starts. I have been sleeping much of my days these past three weeks. My two older children have taken to bringing their books to the bedroom and doing their learning on my bed. I feel as if we aren’t doing enough and, like many moms, I fret about their success in the future.

I feel my biggest battle right now is psychological. I am tired of dealing with this tumor problem. It shackles my energy and keeps me tied to my house and even my bedroom.

I am one who loves surprises but I can’t wait to find out what they are. I would love to know where this is going so I can plan my part. But God doesn’t reveal anything until we are ready to accept it, and when it is time. It just isn’t time. So, I’ll continue to fight against my frustration and look for ways to be about my Father’s business in my home.

I am not feeling profound so I will sign off here. I am planning another update after my next MRI reading on December 19th.





Anonymous on December 15, 2005 at 11:22 am

Elyse, don’t ever forget that GOD IS IN CONTROL. Kevin lived by that statement. You are in His hands. He will carry you through this most difficult time of being tired and worn down. You obviously have a loving, praying family that will carry you through when you cannot seem to carry yourself. Hang in there for the Master’s plan, friend!

You are continually in my prayers! You have the BEST doctors guided by the Lord!!!!! Love you, friend! Stacey

Robin on December 7, 2005 at 7:33 am


I have been wondering how you are doing. Many prayers are with you. Maybe your body needs some rest after all it’s been through. I’m sure you’d rather be up and around.

It’s amazing that you are still trying to school and from your bed at that! God Bless.

Robin in NJ

HolyExperience on December 5, 2005 at 7:53 pm

I will pray for a special touch of His grace and love and strength for the 16th. Wish I knew you and could bring a meal over, read to the kids, give you and your
husband time alone while the children and I played……but I don’t. So I will pray instead.

All *IS* well,

Ann V. HolyExperience

bwktbarr on December 2, 2005 at 11:25 am

I was looking at it the other day and wondering what was going on with you. We don’t know each other, but I have read your entries since the first, and pray for you


God bless you and I can’t wait to hear what the doctor says–

In Love,

Katie Barr

wendy on November 29, 2005 at 5:04 pm

hi elyse,

i read your blog and wanted to reply before next week as we go away for a month to visit with my mom and won’t be back until january 3rd.

my heart ached when i read your passage. to be strong all of the time is just not possible, but to be faith-full is, and you have faith to spare 🙂

your honesty is wonderful and refreshing in a cynical and often fake world, but i know you must be scared by what is happening; why the headaches and the tirednes

one thing that helps me sometimes is to write a list of truths……..i know you are tired, so if you don’t mind i will write one for you (the best i can)

– the truth is that you are near your family and they will always help you when you need it as best they can. pride may have to take a back seat at the moment as you
accept every ounce of help that you are offered.

– the truth is that this is a tremendous test of your marriage and to expect it to go smoothly is not realistic.

– the truth is you have always embraced your children with honesty, imagination and creativity and strength – by including them in this journey you are helping each
other to cope. a child is a powerful medicine.
– the truth is your children and husband are probably scared to death of what is happening to you.
– the truth is you are doing everything you can for you and your family at the moment. to continue trying to maintain a household and homeschool your children thoughout
this is more than admirable!!
– the truth is you have been through a lot; maybe your body needs to heal, and sleep is the best way it knows.
– the truth is its ok to be scared.
– the truth is your last test came back with good results. it is possible that the tumor is shrinking but may take a while to show up.
– the truth is you are so loved. you are in our hearts (and god’s heart) constantly – every minute of every day.

i will be thinking of you on december 16th.

with love


Here’s the happy and funny stuff

October 18, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 4 comments

I experienced a few things this weekend on the way to Duke:
My husband and I asked the elders of our church to anoint me with oil and pray for me as we are instructed in James 4. After church on Sunday, the elders gathered and, with
my family in attendance, they each prayed for me. That was a wonderful experience. (just a side note: God sovereignly led us to this church and I can hardly stop thanking

Him for it)

Then my Nana came over in the afternoon and said they were having a healing service at her church that night and she wanted me to come. Of Course! But here is the really

cool part. My other grandma came down from New Jersey with my Dad to come with me to hear my results. So, both my grandmas were with me at the healing service. They were
both praying for me. What an honor! My grandmas are godly women and have been for a very long time. They have been praying for me daily since they found out my mom was
pregnant. Talk about a spiritual heritage! Now you can see where my faith has developed. I have a long family history on which to look back and draw from. God has never
once failed my family and He has blessed all of us so much.

Anyway, I was so excited to have them both lay their hands on me and pray pray pray. The pastor also anointed me with oil and prayed. It was a great time with the Lord.  I
was anointed and prayed for both morning and evening so I consider it a double blessing, a double portion of God’s grace.

The other cool, sort of Twilight Zone thing that happened was that my mom, dad and sister spent the day together at the hospital. Not so uncommon, you say? Well, my parents
separated when I was 14 and divorced soon after and both are happily remarried.

But God has a sense of humor. The four of us, my grandma and my husband, sat in the waiting room and then in the little examining room for three hours. We laughed and

talked and, if you can believe it, had a really nice time. I wouldn’t want to meet like that every week, but I know God had a reason for doing that and I am thankful He did.

So, even in the midst of problems, God is up to something good. I don’t know why He is leading me through this and I may never know until I ask Him face to face. I guess if

He wantd me to know He’d tell me. But, I pray that He will continue to hold my hand while I’m walking.





Dawn ; ) on November 24, 2005 at 1:08 am

Have a blessed day and week!

Dawn ; )

MySmokyMtnHomeschool on November 20, 2005 at 11:14 pm

and came to your site. I noticed you haven’t posted in a while. How are you doing? I hope all is well. This is a great place to come for encouragment. I hope you will

join us again soon.


Amy Beth <><

wendy on October 30, 2005 at 2:58 pm

so glad to hear that your doctors appointment was positive, and that everything is so hopeful for you and your family.
you are loved and missed.


Teresa on October 18, 2005 at 6:01 am

God bless you Elyse. I miss you and pray for you daily.


The Good News!

October 18, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 3 comments


You heard it here first!

My husband, father, mother, sister and grandmother all traveled to Duke yesterday to hear the results of my MRI. I’ll get to that part later, about the experience of
spending the day with my family….

But on to the exciting stuff.

There was no obvious growth of the tumor, which, I guess, was a concern of the doctor’s from the beginning. So, if you define miracles as when something bad doesn’t happen
though it was expected, chalk up one miracle. (I am counting it as a miracle myself).

The swelling has decreased markedly around my stem even though my steroid dosage has decreased. If the tumor was thriving, the swelling would not decrease and I would have to stay on a high steroid dosage. But I have decreased my dosage by more than half and the swelling is minor right now. Another MIRACLE.

The tumor is still there and has not decreased in size,as far as the doctor’s can tell. It is possible (probable I think) that it is shrinking and will just take some time to show up on the scan.

I am going to consider this a MIRACLE on the way. I believe God has already healed me. Sometimes His answer is wait because He has a better plan in mind. There are still
lessons for me to learn through all of this. One thing I have learned is that if I rush ahead of where God is, I will miss what He has for me. And I may miss what He has
for me to give to those around me.

So, while I am sick to death of being impeded; not being able to drive, not being able to hear properly, having weakness when I walk, I am praying that I won’t run ahead of
where God is waiting to teach me something.

I am not too good at this. I like to plan ahead, be prepared for any situation. I get too caught up in my lists and I forget to look around me and learn from the present. I
guess God is giving me another chance to learn this lesson.

I will have a follow up MRI in two months to see what progress has been made. I’ll have an MRI every two months for a year to see what is happening. If my symptoms return
or if the MRI shows the tumor is growing, chemotherapy is the next option. I believe that won’t be necessary. I will also, God willing, be weaned off the steroids in a


So there is a lot to celebrate!!!!!

My faith has been bolstered by all the prayers that have been prayed on my behalf. It’s like there was a huge snowstorn, 20 inches fell in a day. I needed to walk through that snow to get to my house. So, hundreds of people came out with shovels and cleared a path for me. Some people I knew, some I didn’t, but everyone was united in a common goal, to shovel a path just for me so I could get home. I didn’t have to do anything except walk. And the path was completely clear as I walked home. I saw the snow piled high on each side of me. Sometimes it was so high I was afraid it would cave in on me, but there was always someone standing between me and the snow wall, protecting me from everything. It seems my part was the easiest. I just had to walk. God sent the shovelers and then He took my hand and led me through the valley.

I know this is not over yet, but God has been so good to me that I can’t help but know that His favor won’t stop now.

I’ll post my other mumblings about events that surrounded my doctor’s visit in another blog.

Tearfully joyous,




Anonymous on October 19, 2005 at 11:36 pm

a friend of mine, Judy G. has been keeping us up to date with your health concerns. From what she’s told us you have a wonderful gift of faith. It seems from your
postings that you know exactly who to call on for help. I’m so glad to hear that you are still keeping God in your sight even through all of this. It must be hard on your
family as well as you and I know that keeping faith will get you all thru this. My family deals with a daily medical problem with our 9 yr old daughter and I know that my
faith has grown tremendously because of her illness. God is good all the time and will help you thru. May God bless you and your family.

Lisa G.

Anonymous on October 18, 2005 at 7:08 am


You’ve got me in tears! I’ve been praying for you and I love your analogy of us shoveling a path for you. What a beautiful thing that your family was all there with you
to lift you up to the throne. May God continue to bless you in this walk you are on. Continue prayers for the miracle to continue…for the swelling to disappear completely…
for the tumor to continue to shrink…for strength for you and your husband and children.


Col323 on October 18, 2005 at 5:41 am

I just came across your blog and have
been blessed by your words. Thank you
for writing from the heart. I’ll be reading along
as you write about what God is leading you through.
Hope you have a peaceFULL and joyous day as you
rest in the Lord.



Why I’m Glad God Doesn’t Parent Like Me

October 6, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 2 comments
I wrote this during a morning devotion and thought it would be good place to write it out.
Why I’m Glad God Doesn’t Parent Like Me
He didn’t make mistakes with His firstborn and then over-correct with all the other one that come behind.
He doesn’t play favorites, ever.
He knows when to step in, when to let them fall but He’s always there to dust them off.
He doesn’t hover, trying to keep them from making mistakes.
He never says he has to finish cleaning the bathroom before He can sit and cuddle up with a favorite book.
He never yells, though He does get angry. But His anger instructs, never tears down or makes it a fearful thing to get close to Him.
He expects a lot but He never nags. He always leads by example.
And I made all those mistakes before lunch on Monday.





anita on October 16, 2005 at 11:09 pm

Together we prayed for you and your family tonight my sister and friend. We love you all very much and look forward to hearing about your miracle tomorrow. We miss you
a lot—-fall doesn’t seem much like fall without you. The Harvest Fest fries and aprons just won’t be the same and the fires in our back yard lack joyfull and highly skilled
dancers to prance around them. Please give the kids a hug and kiss for us and know that you are in our prayers.


Anita and Kenny

mischanne on October 13, 2005 at 10:40 pm

Praising Him for His grace and persistent patience with us as we mother our children. Blessings on your journey.


Getting Closer

October 6, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 5 comments

Hi again!

The countdown to the MRI miracle continues! I will be going to Duke on Tuesday, October 11th for an MRI. Then, on October 17th I will meet with Dr. Friedman, again at Duke
and he willl tell me the results and the next step.

We’re praying for a miracle. There have already been so many miracles and I have learned so much in these past three months that I almost think that healing will be
anticlimatic! Just kidding. God doesn’t do anything halfway or without perfection, so however He chooses to move in my life, I pray for the grace to accept it and go
forward making a difference for Him and His kingdom.

God has been busy answering our prayers, some sovereignly, some through other people. My NJ scrapbooking friends held two raffles and another dear homeschooling friend is
holding a yard sale for us and our NJ home church and NC home church (both named Grace) have blessed us. And my family, is right around the corner always ready to help out.

It is a humbling feeling to be on the receiving end of so many blessings. I almost want to say, “Gotcha! I was just kidding, I’m okay.” It’s a very odd feeling.

My faith is still strong, mostly because of all the prayers being prayed by friends, family, people I don’t know but hear my story. I know it must sound pitiful, “Thirty-
seven year old woman with five young children has an inoperable brain tumor. She’s been told she has a year to eight years to live.”

But I have a different story.

”Thirty -seven year old, vibrant, joyful woman with a devoted husband and five awesome gifts from the throne room of Heaven, has been given a chance to live her faith
before many people. She lived a pretty average, hum drum life before discovering a brain tumor. And, now, with no hope, but God, she is learning how to really live for Him.

She knows, no matter what, she is going to live forever.

So, God has been meeting our needs for everything from childcare to meals (a very important thing if you know me) to postage stamps coming in the mail when I had just run
out.  I cry every time the mail comes because I receive so many beautiful cards with so many beautiful words. Who has time to dwell on the negative. My glass is not only
totally full, it’s full of sweet nectar.

But I don’t want anyone to think it’s okay to stop praying! Please pray for wisdom for my doctors, wisdom for my family, for peace for my children (especially Conlan and

Hannah) and that I could be a witness to everyone with whom I speak.

I love everybody!





MommaMouse on October 13, 2005 at 11:42 pm

I am praying for you and your family. You are very brave and strong.

God is always with us.
Anonymous on October 8, 2005 at 11:43 pm


thank you for inspiring us all……..

i can’t believe you have had two little ones since i last saw you.

your children are luckier than you could ever imagine – you have always been an amazing and loving mother. i know this won’t stop you.

it must be so hard and scary for them, especially the older ones, to see you go through this.

give them extra hugs from me.

i will be thinking of you on the 11th and the 17th.

with love


Mark on October 7, 2005 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for the update, Elyse. You truly are an inspiration for us all.
The prayers will certainly still keep coming for you, Craig and the children.


Anonymous on October 7, 2005 at 7:04 am

I just thought I’d check to see if you had posted. Thanks for the update. I was wondering when the MRI was. Praying right along with you for that Miracle. I have people
at First Baptist in Rockaway, NJ praying for you and your family. Even in the midst of what you are going through, you are being used by the Lord to inspire people. God



writerip on October 6, 2005 at 7:49 pm

I will pray for your health and for the wonderful ministry you are accomplishing in your time of stress and illness. What an astonishing example you set for the rest of

us! God bless you and yours.


Almost Done and a Psalm

September 11, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 7 comments

September 11th

I just noticed the date and realized I should take a moment and remember how it felt that day four years ago. Scared, uncomprehending the hatred shown to us, then peaceful,
remembering that there is a plan and the Great Planner. And we read in the back of the Book who triumphs.

I salute and honor the many brave, selfless, incredibly hardworking servicemen and women who are doing something incedible to protect our freedom where it has been
attacked. I pray that God will bless you with safety and may you come home soon, victorious. And I pray for wisdom for our leader, President Bush. Continue, Lord, to guide

and counsel him in the decisions he must make.

I have only four more treatment left! The past two weeks have been the hardest yet but even then, it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. I look like a chipmunk
because my face is swollen, my ears ring, I wake up with a headache, my legs are weak and I have a hair trigger temper (it’s the steroids, really). Does it sound like I am
complaining? I’m not, it’s more like cataloging. Because…

I CAN think, see, hear, touch, smell, taste, laugh, walk, feed myself, read, teach my children, kiss my husband, breathe fresh air, sleep in my own bed, hug, speak, plan

for the future, brush my own hair, hold my baby and so many other things. The things that bother me, bother me, but the things I can do, exhilerate me.

My verse of the day is Psalm 27:13-14. The whole Psalm is worth memorizing but this one verse is especially poignant for me.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take

courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.”

I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. In fact, I am seeing it every day. People praying for me. Uplifing me with encouraging words,

cards, gifts. So many people I can touch. So, I am waiting and while I wait, I am praying that God would show me His goodness that is already here. Please join me in

praying that the other part of this Psalm would take residence in my heart, that of learning His way more intimately.

Please continue to pray for my dear husband. He gets the brunt of my bad moods and his plate is full of child loving.





JenIG on September 28, 2005 at 8:28 am

what a beautiful post. i just found you thru the Random Blog button. I am so sorry to hear of the trials you are facing. Your sweet post was a real encouragement to me


love jen

Lil on September 22, 2005 at 8:14 pm

You are truly an inspiration. ” A strong will, faith in God and a courageous spirit will help to speed recovery.” Good for you for all the blessed things you CAN do! I

am praying for you each day.


Anonymous on September 22, 2005 at 3:28 pm

Just wanted to drop you a comment to let you know that we’re thinking of you (NJScrappers)! Hope the treatments are going well…sounds like it. BIG HUGS to your kids and

esp. to DH (hang in there…love & faith will prevail!). Miss you, Elyse!!!! Sending good vibes your way from Chicago!! MargieH

Anonymous on September 19, 2005 at 3:46 pm

Elyse … you continue to inspire! You are a true blessing and we’re keeping you and your family in prayer.

bwktbarr on September 16, 2005 at 11:20 pm

I know you don’t know me, but I came across the first post you made on your blog and I was hooked. I think of you often and pray. God bless you and your family. Thank

you for continuing to tell of the mercies of God in your life.

Psalm 121 is a favorite of mine. “I will look unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer

my foot to be moved:

“He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep…”

My prayer for you tonight is thanksgiving that our God never sleeps, and a confident hope for His comfort and strength to you and your family.

In Love,

Katie Barr

Robin on September 12, 2005 at 3:44 pm

Thank you for taking the time to update us! I am so thankful for all the things that you CAN do. THIS is an answer to prayer! Keep us posted~~looking forward to more

good news. Tell your dear husband that this too shall pass and it’s only for a season. I used to have to remind myself of that when I had a cranky baby! AND~~what a

wonderful man he is to take care of you and the children.

Keep the faith,


wendy on September 11, 2005 at 6:30 pm

hi elyse.

i am sorry for the delay in replying. life has been a rollercoaster but i know i have no right to complain……..

i am glad you are almost finished the treatments and hope that the MRI gives a positive result after all of this strength that you and your family have shown.

your strength is amazing although i know the quite moments are the hardest, and as you said, the little things seem worse than the big things sometimes…….

so glad you are moved into your new home and near family that you can count on.

that makes all the difference.

will write more later

much love and a hug



Keeping the Faith

August 31, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 3 comments


It’s been too long since I updated my blog and much has happened.
My mother, step father, aunts and uncles worked, selflessly, long and hard for two weeks and moved us into a wonderful home in Fayetteville, NC on Saturday. We were so

blessed to move into a furnished home in the same neighborhood as my family.

My treatments are continuing without interruption which is another praise. I am fighting a little bit of bronchitis with antibiotic and we think it was caught in time and
won’t become a problem. Another praise. My radiologist, while not hopeful about the diagnosis is encouraged that I am tolerating radiation and the steroids so well. My side

effects are not enough to warrant concern which could mean the tumor has not grown (something that could happen because of the radiation). Another praise!
I have only two more weeks of radiation left. The time is going by quickly, which I attribute to the mercy of the Lord.  After that I will be waiting four weeks and then I
will have another MRI. Based on those results, the next step will be determined. I am expecting a miracle.

I continue to see God’s hand on my life in many little ways. I see a little hummingbird outside the window and it makes me think how creative God is to have thought of such
a precious little bird. When I am getting radiation, I can feel the presence of God come into the room and I relax and enjoy the moment.
I hope I am not painting a picture of the idyllic bliss of having a serious disease. I snap at my dear husband and children more than once a day, at least. I cry a couple
of times a day about inconsequential things like not having my shampoo in my shower, or when I overcooked my pancake. Small things seem big while I am trying to ignore the

big things that are big.

I am not able to finish school every day and that distresses me. But then I look at the bigger picture. We’re together. And we have the Lord.





Anonymous on September 1, 2005 at 11:35 pm

Elyse … it was such a blessing to read your update. You are a true testimony to the great healing balm that one can only experience when in a daily relationship with

their Lord. We continue to lift you up in our home and at church.


Ari Wertheimer on September 1, 2005 at 4:08 pm


Hopefully you remember me from our days at UNH and also being in the same fraternity as your husband. Cathy Demers told me about your health about two months ago and I
have been burdened ever since to pray for you individually and in my home-group or larger church settings. I have also been meaning to write you with some words of
encouragement, but I could not put it off any longer after hearing what I heard today. You may have heard of “healing rooms” before, but I am learning about them for the

first time today. It has always been on my heart to pray for people to be healed (Mark 16:18) so when I cam across a ?healing room? workshop hosted by a Vineyard Church in

the Boston area my interest was aroused. Part of their promotional material is a CD with 15-20+ testimonies of people being healed and I could not help but think of and
have faith for you. I immediately got on the web to learn more about these healing rooms and they are literally all over the country. If there is a Vineyard church nearby
you might want to inquire if they have one, but here is also a link to an association of healing rooms with a few listed in North Carolina:

If you would like more info, or if I could send you a copy of the CD please email or call me:, (617) 782-6835

God bless & heal you!


Robin on September 1, 2005 at 11:55 am

So glad to see the update. I’ve been thinking about you and wondered how it’s going. Don’t worry about not finishing school each day. In the grand scheme of things, it
won’t matter. You are doing what you can and the Lord knows that. Praying right along with you for that miracle!



God is Near

August 13, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 7 comments

Well, I’ve completed two weeks of radiation already. We are slowly settling into a routine of school in the morning, radiation at noon and a some more school in the
afternoon, though more relaxed because I am tired in the afternoons. I have had so much support from family and friends. I am sure this would not be going as smoothly if
not for all the help that has come our way.

The radiation doesn’t hurt and my side effects have been mild thus far. I am very tired, have frequent headaches, walk unbalanced and a little dizzy, dry mouth, insomnia
and very sensitive to hot and cold. But, all of those things are just a nuisance to deal with. I can walk under my own power, I can swallow, I can breathe on my own and I
have maintained my sight. All of these things remind me how my Heavenly Father is blessing me. I have so many reasons but to praise Him all the more because of His kind and tender mercy.

I mentioned to my pastor that it is almost a guilty pleasure to be feel so close to God. I feel like I have been chosen for this special thing and I don’t know why but I am
reveling in His grace. It’s like the feeling of joy when you first walk into the room with the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. The lights are twinkling, and
expectation courses through the air. For a moment you hold your breath and try and take in the scene, to savor it. I feel like I am standing in that doorway all day long
and I never tire of that joyful feeling.

Of course this is more than a feeling. It is a deep knowing, an abiding. I am aware of the possibilities. If the tumor grows, it could inhibit my breathing, walking or
sight. If the swelling grows, who knows. The life expectancy with my diagnosis is 5-8 years. I understand the possibilities and I choose to cling to something else. I cling
to the promise that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask of think. Before I even knew how to pray, He was sending an answer. His answer may not be
the tumor is gone, or it may be, but His answer is perfect and will come just in time. His plans for me are to give me a future and a hope and He works ALL things, even
tumors, together for good to Him who love God and are called according to His purpose.
I have known these verses all my life but they are real to me now. They are true. They are words, yes but they hold life in them, and hope.

We started school this Momday and, again, it is an answer to prayer. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do school. I have always believed that God called our family
to homeschool. Just a few months ago I was asking God if maybe I missed something and didn’t really hear his voice when we decided to start our homeschool journey. But,
wouldn’t you just know it, God has sent confirmation that we are supposed to be homeschooling.

The beginning of this year went more smoothly than any year before and my children are, slowly, adapting to our routine and even enjoying the discipline of school more than
they have in the past. God is truly good to me. Most of all, I have
been able to lay down some of that perfectionism that I infiused into our school life, making things more difficult than they need to be. I am experiencing more joy in the

school day now. Thanks go to God alone.

I have to say that the prayers of the righeous have been availing much. I can feel the support of so many voices lifted to the heavens on my behalf. It is a humbling and
heady feeling to be remembered by so many. I am constantly reminded how powerful prayer is and how the body of Christ is being united through this. Only a great God would
give us a way to unite, act, think and prepare through the powerful discipline of prayer.
God is providing for us materially, spiritually and emotionally through His people. I know the road ahead may be bumpy and long, but if the past is any indication of the

present, I know the future will be full of miracles and blessings.





Jean on August 27, 2005 at 11:48 am

Elyse, Your faith and strength are overwhelming to me. I will pray continually for your health to improve and for the tumor to disappear. As we know, with God, all
things are possible. I will also pray for your family. They say that something like this is harder for the family, than for the patient. I don’t know if that’s true or not,
because I’m sure that what you are going through is pretty tough. But, your family needs our prayers, too.

Good luck and God be with you!

Janet on August 24, 2005 at 10:26 pm

Thank you for this update. You have uplifted my heart and helped to strengthen my faith in Him. I will continue to pray for you.

Gena Suarez, The Old Schoolhouse Magazin on August 22, 2005 at 4:38 pm

I am so glad you are here at HSB, sharing with all of us. I am so very sorry about the things you are going thru…how difficult! God is with you throughout it all…please

know this. I pray that others in this community will lift you up in prayer.


In Christ,

Gena Suarez, Publisher

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC

Donna C on August 16, 2005 at 11:37 pm

Elyse, you wrote:

Before I even knew how to pray, He was sending an answer. His answer may not be the tumor is gone, or it may be, but His answer is perfect and will come just in time.

His plans for me are to give me a future and a hope and He works ALL things, even tumors, together for good to Him who love God and are called according to His purpose.


Oh, how true…

I heard of your story thru Donna-Jean’s blog (and thru an email list, D-J is also on). All I can say is Amen and Amen and AMEN!

I know that I know that you are exactly where you need to be. In Him. Resting in and following Him where ever He leads. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away —

BLESSED be the Name of the Lord — because He is and He is VERY good, ALL the time… as with the three in the furnace, it matters not what His answer is, but what OUR answer
Praying with so many others on your and your family’s behalf… Praising Him for your heart that is so strong after Him….. {{hugs & prayers}}

In Him,

Donna C

Wife to Glenn (23 years)

Mom to Mike (15 yrs) & to Richard (2 yrs w/us & eternity with Jesus)

Anonymous on August 16, 2005 at 2:51 pm

I read about your situation on Donna-Jean’s blog and wanted to post a note. I am blown away by your heart and spirit that you’ve expressed in your writing…
and you will be in my prayers and linked on my blog. God’s richest blessings for answered prayers on you and your family.

Most Sincerely,


a fellow Ambleside Online hs family

Anonymous on August 16, 2005 at 2:38 pm

Elyse, Many thoughts and prayers are coming your way from northern New Jersey. I was so sorry to read on Donna Jean’s blog about your brain tumor. I had been thinking
about you a couple weeks ago and wondered if you were still scrapbooking. I didn’t know that you had moved out of the area. Keep the faith Elyse. Robin Bleezarde

Anonymous on August 16, 2005 at 9:38 am

Elyse, I have read your blog about what’s happening in your life – and I want you to know I am praying for you. Your Christ-focused thoughts remind me of the Scriptures
‘we have the mind of Christ’ – and I pray that God will continue to give you His grace, and use you to embolden others to trust Him for their lives as well.
As I look at my youngest daughter, I’ll think of yours – her name-twin, and remember the kindness of your son to mine, too. My kids loved your gang, and were sad when
you moved. They’ll be praying for your family, too, now! I have linked your blog to mine.

Love in Him,

Archive – First Post – July 29, 2005 – Update on God’s goodness

Update on God’s goodness

July 29, 2005 in Uncategorized by Elfmom | 24 comments

Well, so much has happened since I first wrote to let my friends and family know about the tumor that was discovered in my brain stem. It really is all in my head.

I was diagnosed with a low grade glioma in my brain stem by one of the foremost neurologists and neuro-oncologists in the country. It is suspected to be benign but biopsy is not recommended because of it’s location almost directly in the center of my brain stem. Surgery is also medically unfeasible. I begin radiaton treatment on Monday and it will continue for the next 6-7 weeks.

Through all of this, God has been near to me and my family. He was not taken by surprise by this turn of events and He has not stepped off His throne for one second. He is there, ruling and reigning, everything, perfectly. Already, my cousin has led someone to the Lord through my story and my Dad, a prodigal of late, took the time to pray with me and told me he has gone to his knees every day to carry me with him to the throne of grace.

I have been favored with peace. It is as if I am sitting above the vortex, looking down as an interested spectator and then looking up into the eyes of my Father who intently stares at me with a smile on His face that tells me I am doing okay.

There is much praise on my lips as God takes my hand and walks me through the valley of the shadow.

We do have many needs. I will try and quantify them.

Prayer – Please continue to pray for all of us. My children are holding up well, but the strain wearing on them. Pray that God would strengthen my husband. He has taken a step higher in his walk with the Lord and I am humbled and amazed by how God is workng in his life.

Homeschooling – We are planning on starting school this Monday. I have been advised by my radiologist that this is not the wisest choice but I cannot stand to send my precious children away from me for so many hours of the day when they need the normalcy of our homeschool routine. We have homeschooled from the start five years ago and we use Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason’s methods. My mother is supportive and I will have help from family and friends, too. It will be a big undertaking, though. I also just ordered our yearly curriculum supplies which amounted to more this year than in years past.

Finances – My husband has been taken an unpaid leave of absence so he can help me and our children at home. We don’t know if he will have a position when this is all over, but, again, everything is in God’s hands and He will supply all of our needs.

Nursing – I have had to stop nursing because of the dyes used for the scans and preparation radiation therapy. This has caused my some discomfort and much sadness. I have nursed all five of my children and enjoyed the experience immensely. But now we have the additional cost of formula.

God has truly given me many blessings, every day, and I am amazed that He has chosen to take my family through this challenge.

Here is my original email if anyone needs a little catch-up

Please excuse the bit of formality of this email. I am writing to many people so as to save some time and energy.

As many of you know, we were blessed with our fifth child and fourth son in May. I had a normal pregnancy and delivery. The baby does have a congenital heart defect but the doctors are confident that it can be treated and will not shorten his life. For this, we are very thankful.

Since I delivered Lachlan, I have been having unusual syptoms, my jaw has shifted out of place, causing difficulty eating and speaking (not so awful if you ask the ones who have to listen to me talk all the time! LOL. In addition, I have experienced weakness on my left side, dizziness and terrible headaches.

Through the sovereign leading of God, we went to a great GP who ordered lots of blood tests and ultimately an MRI. At least I knew I wasn’t imagining all of these annoying syptoms. The MRI showed swelling in my brain and I was told to go immediately to the emergency room. I was transferred to Duke University Hospital where some of the best neurosurgeons in the world practice. After a another MRI (and lots of needles, ouch) I was told that I have a tumor in my brain stem. It is inoperable because of it’s location. It is small, but because it’s in a small place, it is doing damage to the functions housed in that area.

I am going to be under the care of a top notch neuro-oncologist. I am waiting to hear from her when I can come in to discuss treatment. It will probably start out with radiation and go from there.

I don’t expect this to be an easy time of my life but I do know that my Father, God, attends me and my family every step of the way. He loves me, my husband and my children and He will not let go of us.

Here are the praises I am singing:

I can continue nursing Lachlan for the forseeable future.

I have a brain and I have the pictures to prove it (that’s a joke)

I have beautiful cholestorol numbers (I can still eat my husband’s fries)

Lots of people are praying for me and that comforts me.

My husband and I have begun to make time to pray together and I love every moment of it.

I probably won’t have to clean my bathroom for a while because it hurts my head to bend over.

I can read, learn, do the bills and play with my children and continue to homeschool. It’s only my lower brain functions that are being affected.

I would still be so thankful for your prayers as we go forward. There are sure to be moments of fear and anxiety in the months ahead. Please pray for our children because it’s scary to go through this sort of thing.

I am praying for three things for myself:

That my life would make a difference

That my children would know me

That I would emerge from this stronger and healthier than I started.

Feel free to email me anytime to ask questions and send support. Talking is difficult for me so email is a godsend.




Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anonymous on January 29, 2007 at 3:46 pm

so glad to read an update and to hear that craig will be starting a new job.

i am heartened by your spirit and please be careful driving 🙂

i understand your reluctance to accept support from others. it is a tough lesson to get through but in the end it brings a multitude of blessings.


wendy (new jersey)
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Johna on August 15, 2005 at 1:45 pm


I saw your email on Ambleside and I have been thinking about you ever since. You are an encouragement to me. You have such an eternal perspective. God’s grace and love are all wrapped around you. I wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you and your family. Bless you for continuing to homeschool. God has called you to that and He will provide a way for you. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. If I lived anywhere near you I would love to help you out.

God Bless,

Johna in Tx
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Carol on August 14, 2005 at 7:44 pm

Dear Elyse,

Hi! You amaze and inspire me in my own walk with the Lord. Thank you for that. I will be praying for you and your family often.

It’s interesting how in times like this, one finally takes the time to share how someone has impacted them. I have always admired your strong faith and passion for Christ, wit, intelligence, and ability to see the humor in things. We served together on the M.O.P.S. steering committee 5 or 6 years ago. That should have been the time to share such thoughts. God’s timing is perfect, though.

If there is anything else I can do in addition to prayer, I will.

PS: Since we haven’t talked to each other in a couple of years, here’s an update:

Shawn and I and our five children are doing well in Michigan. We are about to start our 3rd year homeschooling…which has been fun and challenging at the same time. We will continue to press on as Christ leads.

Blessings in Christ,

Carol Busse for the Busse 7
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Janet on August 8, 2005 at 5:13 pm

Dear Elyse,

I’m adding you to my friends list and I will be praying for you. I’m so sorry you are facing these things, but your attitude really encourages me. You are a blessing to read!

Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Joyfully Home on August 5, 2005 at 7:24 pm

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Pat Gibbons on August 5, 2005 at 4:10 pm

Hi Elyse, Craig, and family. I heard from Mark Van Orman and Matt O’Connell about the tumor and wanted you guys to know that you are definitely in my family’s prayers. We’ve received many blessings from the prayers of others for my daughter Lucie. I don’t know if you have heard, but Lucie, born 10/8/03, has a lesion on her brain that causes her to have seizures. Thanks to God’s guidance to the right doctors and the prayers of many people–gloriously many of whom we don’t even know!–Lucie’s been seizue-free for about four months!

Of course we will all pray that the tumor goes away, but also for your continuted guidence to excellent doctors and treatments, as well as for the doctors themselves to help heal you.

God Bless you all!

Pat Gibbons
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Linda Crescenzo on August 5, 2005 at 3:28 pm

Hi Elyse,

I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through at this time. We will be keeping you and your family in our prayers. If there is anything we can do please feel to email me back directly at

All our love

Linda Crescenzo and family
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Ginou on August 3, 2005 at 11:30 pm

Elyse, just to let you know you are in my thoughts and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, okay?
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anissa on August 1, 2005 at 8:12 pm

I will be praying for you and your family!

Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anonymous on August 1, 2005 at 12:58 pm

Elyse and family –

You are in my thoughts and prayers and like everyone else up here in NJ – wish i were closer to help you, to be with you and just hang out!! You are missed very much by those that know you and now those that didn’t get a chance to meet you are now in awe of your resolution to face what has been put before you. We all want to help in anyway we can and are rallying to find ways in which we can via long distance.

My love to each and every one of you!!!

jill (romano)
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Jane on August 1, 2005 at 12:45 pm

Elyse and family,

I am praying for you and your family daily. Everyday miracles occur. You are definately a perfect person for a miracle, with your strong faith and sense of family values. I wish you well in all the long upcoming months and for everything your family has to endure. I am praying that things take a turn for the positive and that all your dreams are fulfilled.

Love always,

Jane, The Crazy Cropper
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Teresa on July 31, 2005 at 8:34 pm

Elyse, I wish you lived closer. I miss you tremendously in NJ. If you were here, you know that I would cook for you. However, at this distance, I will pray for all of you. Keep us posted and know that you are loved.
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anonymous on July 31, 2005 at 10:41 am

Elyse…having met you to do The Book of Me (In Wayne) before you moved, I am so touched with your story and my sincere prayers are with you. You are a strong person and I know that Go is on your side…be well…

Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Sharon on July 31, 2005 at 12:02 am

Hi Elyse, Craig, and Family,

I heard of your tumor from Ginou. I just read your blog, and am astounded at your peaceful demeanor and sense of security, love, and faith. God is blessing you as I write this, but I wanted you to know that a fellow scrapper who is from Texas is praying for you and agreeing with the prayer requests you listed. I only wish I could do more.

Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anonymous on July 30, 2005 at 8:36 pm

Hi Elyse & Craig-

I just wanted to send you hugs and prayers from NJ! I am so truly amazed at how strong your faith in the Lord is during this difficult time in your life…God’s strength and supernatural peace are radiating in your life…you are truly a testimony of God’s spirit working through you. What an encouragement you are to me and so many around you! I will be praying for you as you start your radiation treatments, homeschooling and your moving to a new home…may He give provide all you need financially as well. May God give you ALL you need…one day at a time.

Elyse, I want to share a poem with you that truly reminds me of you and your outstanding faith during this time:

Sweetbriar Rose

Beside my cottage door it grows,

The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows, a sweetbriar rose.

At dewy morn or twilight’s close

The rarest perfume from it flows, this strange wild rose.

But when the rain-drops on it beat,

Ah, then its odors grow more sweet, about my feet.

Oft times with loving tenderness,

Its soft green leaves I gently press. In sweet caress.

A still more wondrous fragrance flows

The more my fingers close, and crush the rose.

Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so

Its perfume when tempests blow, the sweeter flow.

And should it be Thy blessed will,

With crushing grief my soul to fill, press harder still.

And while its dying fragrance flows,

I’ll whisper low, “He loves and knows His crushed briar rose.”

Elyse, I wish I could be there to help you with your kids and meals (wish you weren’t so far away)…please know how much we all love you here and miss you…so many of us are lifting you & your family in prayers…praying that God would carry you through this time.

Love and hugs,

Alisa Anderson
Avatar of Blue Thistle – Hallie

Anonymous on July 30, 2005 at 8:36 pm

Hi Elyse & Craig-

I just wanted to send you hugs and prayers from NJ! I am so truly amazed at how strong your faith in the Lord is during this difficult time in your life…God’s strength and supernatural peace are radiating in your life…you are truly a testimony of God’s spirit working through you. What an encouragement you are to me and so many around you! I will be praying for you as you start your radiation treatments, homeschooling and your moving to a new home…may He give provide all you need financially as well. May God give you ALL you need…one day at a time.

Elyse, I want to share a poem with you that truly reminds me of you and your outstanding faith during this time:

Sweetbriar Rose

Beside my cottage door it grows,

The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows, a sweetbriar rose.

At dewy morn or twilight’s close

The rarest perfume from it flows, this strange wild rose.

But when the rain-drops on it beat,

Ah, then its odors grow more sweet, about my feet.

Oft times with loving tenderness,

Its soft green leaves I gently press. In sweet caress.

A still more wondrous fragrance flows

The more my fingers close, and crush the rose.

Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so

Its perfume when tempests blow, the sweeter flow.

And should it be Thy blessed will,

With crushing grief my soul to fill, press harder still.

And while its dying fragrance flows,

I’ll whisper low, “He loves and knows His crushed briar rose.”

Elyse, I wish I could be there to help you with your kids and meals (wish you weren’t so far away)…please know how much we all love you here and miss you…so many of us are lifting you & your family in prayers…praying that God would carry you through this time.

Love and hugs,

Alisa Anderson
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Jhana on July 30, 2005 at 4:13 pm

I’m not sure what to say. When I read your e-mail on NJScrappers it only made me realize how short our lives can be. When I was little I used to think there was no such thing as death, however through the mourning of a high-school friend, and my grandparents, I realized we are not put on this earth forever. Please don’t give up! Be strong and powerful for your husband and children, but most of all for yourself. I’m not a religious person, but I do feel prayer is a powerful thing. Pray, pray and pray and always talk to your guardian angel as he/she will help guide her to a peaceful life.

Love always,

Jhana 🙂
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Anonymous on July 30, 2005 at 12:37 pm

Elyse –

I am at such a loss for words – but please know that you are very close in my heart and I pray for you often. We have spoken of faith in the past and what it means to us for our families. You are truly an inspiration to us as you show us your strong faith when it comes to difficulties in life. I admire your outlook and can only learn and grow from it. Please know that we care about you here in NJ. You have many friends here…… we miss you and we love you.

Love, Eileen
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Tracy Veatch on July 30, 2005 at 8:38 am

After reading about you on Ambleside’s Yahoo! group I was very moved by your positive attitude. I will keep your entire family in my prayers.

Tracy near Omaha
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on July 30, 2005 at 2:36 am

I saw your post on Ambleside Online email loop. I have added you to my friends list here so that I can come back often and keep you and your family in prayer.

Praying for all of your requests.


Fellow AO Mom

Edited by DiscipleshipAcademy on Jul. 30, 2005 at 12:37 AM
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Anonymous on July 30, 2005 at 12:29 am

Hello all Fenertys! What a great way to keep up with progress and prayer requests – great idea!!

It is frustrating to be so far away at this time, but I can also see God’s divine intervention in your life in moving you near your family just prior to this difficult ordeal.

I am glad to hear that you are at peace as you rest in His hands. It’s a good place to be. It is the only place to be. You have been and will continue to be in all of our prayers. If you have any needs in NJ, please let us know.


The Weathers Clan
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Sheryl Stiemann on July 29, 2005 at 9:03 pm

First of all congratulations on the birth of your fifth child, I was actually wondering when you guys would get to that one LOL. Second, I am so sorry your family has to walk this difficult path, but so glad that you do seem to be handling it so well. The Lord is truly working in your life it is so clear to see. I only wish that I had your strength. Please do keep us posted, we will be praying for you.

Ted and Sheryl Stiemann and the Stiemann clan
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Anonymous on July 29, 2005 at 8:58 pm


All of your scrapper friends in the Garden state have you in our thoughts and prayers.

All of our love and support to you and your family.

Chrissy Guido
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Angie on July 29, 2005 at 8:45 pm

Elyse, I think of you and your family nearly every day. I wish I were closer so I could help with meals and childcare, but please know you are in my prayers.