5 Friday Faves – Recovering from Surgery: Cheerleaders & Caregivers, Glimpses of Beauty, Words Fitly Spoken, Comfort Foods, and Sports Movie Speeches

Blog - Friday Faves

10 days ago was the last time I posted a blog until right now. It was the day of my surgery. My surgeon decided the time had come to lay to rest exactly what was this little nodule – this incidental finding that has persisted now 6 months. He assured me that it is either “nothing or early”.  Hours later I would discover that it wasn’t nothing but it was early. Stage 1 cancer. He did that “gold standard” surgery to remove what was necessary to lead to cure. Now my job is to heal…from the reality of the diagnosis and the protracted recovery time (from days originally to weeks/months now).

This week’s Friday Faves relate to these days of recovery thus far. It’s an open letter of thanks for the great and many graces of God through all those He brings across our paths in times of pain and weakness. I have been much changed by this experience and by the kindnesses given to one unable to give back. Thank God. Thank God for you.

1) Cheerleaders and Caregivers – What would we do without those persons in our lives who step in, extend a hand, share a truth, or just steady our particular rocking boat? My close nurse friend, Kathy Visneski, coached me through this recovery business, from her vacation on the beach. She didn’t have to…that’s just who she is and what she does. Over the last 10 days, I have had so many strangers, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members come near in this experience with me. It’s reminded me of Kara Tippetts‘ book Just Show Up. We all bring different giftings, different strengths into this arena. In particular, Dave, this husband of mine, has juggled well his work, his chores and mine at home, and all the many extra demands that recovery has made on both of us. Thank you, Dave. Thanks, Kathy. Thank you all.Dave April 2016

2) Glimpses of Beauty Beyond the Pain – I’m not a “cut flower” kind of woman. They seem so extravagant…that is, until the day comes, when pain stabs you through the chest and you don’t want to get out of bed. Then a bouquet of irises, roses, and hydrangea show up from a friend states away. She said, in the card, that she knew the irises would remind me of my mom and would be an added comfort. She was right. Other flower arrangements would follow and would turn our living room into a quiet garden where I would begin healing. Beauty to rest my eyes.Blog - Hospital - Irises

3) Words Fitly Spoken – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11 We sometimes silence ourselves for fear of not saying the right thing or not knowing what to say. My bias is that lots of grace should be given those who try to fill the awkward places between people with whatever words they can find. For me, words haven’t come so easily in these days of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, even caught in the earliest of stages. I’ve had some of the kindest words spoken over me in these days. One friend, visiting shortly after I came home, said something like, “Debbie Mills down?! No way!” It was my sentiment and confusion exactly. I’m fairly tough, resilient. This surgery and aftermath have humbled me in such a way as to remember that “when I am weak, God is strong in me”. We want to be able to say that to others in need…living it is a whole other thing. I’m discovering the faithfulness of God in a way I would never have sought out before.

 Along with all the voiced encouragements, I’ve received some beautiful cards. How kind of people to still go out and search for an appropriate card and either take the time to drop it by or send it in the mail to arrive providentially. The card below came on a hard day when recovery seemed to be going very slowly. It was perfect.

2016 June - Greeting Card - Turtle after surgery - Getting There 0012016 June - Greeting Card - Turtle after surgery - Getting There 002

4) Comfort Foods – A side effect of the pain and weakness seems to be this loss of appetite. Never before have I just not wanted to eat anything… Nothing sounded good. Not even my daily cup of coffee delight in the morning. I’ve lost 8 pounds since surgery. Then one night this week a friend brought over a chicken almond casserole. I ate some in a little bowl, nestled in my “sickbed”, and it was actually very good. Since that night, my appetite has been coming around.

Unforgettable Chicken CasserolePhoto Credit: Mr. Food

Yesterday, something made me think of Biscoff cookies, a crisp spice cookie offered to travelers on Delta Airlines. I told my daughter and she remembered some she had in her cupboard, a gift from her mom-in-law. She brought them over, and this morning, I had my first full cup of coffee with two of these lovely cookies. Returning to normal.
Blog - Comfort food - coffee and Biskoff Cookies

5) Sports Movie Speeches –
My normally short attention span is even worse in these days since surgery. Reading the briefest of passages in the Bible or a book is about all I can handle. Except for TV. It is definitely a medium that can be taken in completely passively (not that I recommend it because of that). In these days of moving from loveseat to sofa to recliner, with my phone and TV remote tucked under my pillow, watching movies has helped me to be occasionally distracted from my situation. This week, I saw the 2004 football film Friday Night Lights. Near the end of the film, Coach Gaines, gives the most inspiring half-time speech to his weary, busted-up team, two quarters away from winning or losing their state championship. See the clip here. Blog - Friday Night Lights - sports movie speech - fanspeakPhoto Credit: FanSpeak

There is another YouTube video of the Top 10 Sports Movie Speeches. Sure these speeches aren’t always full of truth and all are colored by the pop culture of that film setting. Still, when you are down and not sure what it will take to get up again, inspiration is a very good thing. [Honestly the most inspirational, deeply resonate “speeches” were spoken by Jesus to his followers in strange and stretching situations. I am one of those…inspired by Him now.].

Well…that’s my Friday Faves – being posted on a Saturday. The first time I’ve written since before the surgery 10 days ago. I hope to write more about what this surgery and diagnosis are teaching me but all that is in process right now.  If you have any stories, links to inspiring speeches, recipes for comfort foods, or whatever you’re stirred to share, please do so below in the comments. ,Thank you for showing up here…in this time of my life. You encourage me…and one day, maybe I will have the opportunity to encourage you. It is my desire…Blog - Debbie - Home from the Hospital

One day….the beach.

Blog - Ocean, Sky, Sun - Kathryn VisneskiPhoto Credit: Kathryn Visneski

30 thoughts on “5 Friday Faves – Recovering from Surgery: Cheerleaders & Caregivers, Glimpses of Beauty, Words Fitly Spoken, Comfort Foods, and Sports Movie Speeches”

  1. Oh my goodness, Debbie! Still inspiring and moving and warm and HOME, even when you’ve been “down”. You are still spurring us on, welcoming us in, evoking smiles, peace and comfort…even from a place of “weakness”, even from a recovery bed/couch/recliner! And above all, you bring Him glory. Though you’ve been in my heart and mind all these days, I’m just now catching up on the details. I’m so thankful God’s got you in such capable and loving hands…and that you were up to coffee and biscuits today. I love you and am lifting you up. Thanks for the gift of your words and thoughts today. I’ll take on of your Friday Faves any day of the week!

    1. Blythe! Thanks for commenting. In the last week, I’ve been meditating on 2 Corinthians 12:9 a lot – “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” How in my weakness is His strength magnified? Something your comment brought some clarity in that…. Maybe it’s in such ways as how love is lavished in hard places…and when I seek to encourage and am abundantly more encouraged by others in the process. His strength. Love you.

  2. OH, Debbie, I have been praying and will continue to do so for your complete recovery. Wish my words would come to say those encouraging, loving words like you do even from your bed of recovery. All I can say at this point is that I am so thankful for your medical team that decided not to “wait and watch” any longer. Their wisdom was from above, I am sure. Am looking forward to hearing more of how the Father is leading you through this journey, my friend.

    1. I agree, dear Lyda. I agree! Looking forward to seeing you before too long, and your “baby girl” in just a few days.

  3. Thanks for sharing and inspiring and letting us love on you as you so graciously have loved on us since we met you!! Continue your healing. That’s right, it is your job so do it well!! Love Annie

    1. I am on it. 🙂 Thanks for your generous encouragement, Annie, and that peach-strawberry cobbler. See you soon.

  4. Love you so much Sis, prayers for complete healing, never to have to hear that C word again. you always have words of kindness, encouragement ,and prayers for all, so it’s our turn to give them back to you, rest and heal , we are praying for you and waiting for your sweet visits to Ga.?

  5. I can’t figure out how to post it here, but you can go to you tube and type in “death crawl scene from facing the Giants” . I can picture God as the coach saying , “I know it hurts. Keep going!”
    Thank you for sharing this morning. I look forward to more.

  6. This is inspiring for all of us to become better friends to those in distress. Debbie never ceases to amaze me with her strength, compassion and faith. Thank you praying for you and your family.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. You are such a bright shining star in my life. Thanks for supper…and all the prayers and check-ins. I can only hope to be a friend to you like you are to me.

    1. Same here, Beth. Want to hear as many stories as you want to tell. Good goodbyes and safe travels home.

    1. Love you, Kelli. Thanks for commenting. Made me smile to see your name pop up. Blessings to you, Dear One.

  7. Sweet, sweet, sweet words to share how you’ve experienced the goodness of our God during this new experience of living in our fallen world. Love you dear friend, and am praying for you as you continue to press on in patient waiting on His healing hands in your recovery. Keep writing.

    1. Thanks, Carol. Great to hear from you with all you have gone through in the last year. You are a picture of the great grace of God.

  8. Debbie, You are always such an encourager, even when you may not feel that way or mean to. It is such a gift from God! Dear friend we will continue to pray that your recovery comes quickly and complete! Love you!

  9. Debbie Mills… you are loved ! I would love to drop in and have a cup of coffee with you … but with my cup of tea this morning I want you to know that while you are sleeping, prayers are lifted from afar. Post when you can and in the meantime, know you have a band of friends and family standing with you … present or not.

    1. I would love that cup of coffee together. So thankful for friends and family, praying, all over the world…and grateful to be a part of that network as well, to pray for you as well.

  10. Sweet lady, I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been through and pray that you will gain strength and feel better every day! I can still see your lovely, lovely heart shining through your words and I’m so glad that you have so many lovely people helping you to get better! I love Biscoff cookies too! 🙂

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