Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The memory came,
transforming into liquid -
In hazel eyes,
on high-boned cheeks,
running down in rivers,
rushing into memory lane.

The memory came,
hovering in salty sweetness,
liquifying thoughts & pictures.
Happy-sweet ones,
melancholy ones,
poignant or silly ones.

The memory came,
setting into motion
a watery course,
an interval of pain,
a heightened tempo of love-laden sadness
over this girl, oh! this girl.

The memory came,
aqueous & sentimental
moving through the senses,
activating the emotions,
simultaneously breaking & mending
my core, my heart.

The memory came,
transposed into teardrop
Liquified beauty,
passionate essence of life,
intimate & safely mine,
liquid memories.

Photo by: Constanza

Sunday, October 26, 2014


They say ¨Life goes on¨ - and they´re right.
But not mine.
At least not in the way it used to.
There is supposed to be a ¨new normal¨ here somewhere...
But nothing is normal!
Nothing will EVER be the same again.

They say ¨Life goes on¨ - and they´re right.
But I don´t like it!
I feel like everything should stop with us,
Respectfully wait for us to be ready...
But they don´t.
Almost nothing waits for you.

They say ¨Life goes on¨- and they´re right.
And I can´t stop it.
I wish I could freeze myself in time...
And let all of us grieve & change & rest
Without falling behind,
Without missing so many things.

They say ¨Life goes on¨ - and they´re right.
But perhaps it´s ok...
Maybe it´s part of what gives you bits of momentum
to move forward, to keep you from becoming stuck.
Maybe its tension is actually secretly a part of the healing,
Mysteriously keeping you in the lifestream.

They say ¨Life goes on¨ - and they´re right.
Because the ONE who IS LIFE goes on forever.
He is Life itself and lives outside of time.
So excuse me while I hang outside of this life & its time for a while
And receive all I need from my True Life Giver.
Until I am ready to intersect once again with the ¨Life that goes on¨...

They say ¨Life goes on¨ - and they´re right.
But so will I.
In my own way and time.
The way that is right for me,
The time that is right for our family,
With the Life-Giver who makes ¨Life go on¨ within me...´s gonna be alright.

Photo by: Robert Hufstutter

Saturday, October 25, 2014


¨Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away...¨

Song of Songs 8:6,7

She is like a seal over my heart.
Death cannot take her away from me.
Not death, nor mighty flames nor raging waters
could take her from me.
Death and its friend, the enemy of our souls,
would like to think she is gone
and conquered - 
without a trace.
But she was victorious -
and she lives!
She lives eternally.
And she lives close to our hearts,
like a seal.

Oh God, let our memories
and her legacy
and our love
live on forever.
May she continue to impact & inspire,
to promote & impassion,
to bless & adorn,
despite this temporary parting.

Let this seal upon my heart
Burn like a fire and
Rage like the waters
A royal love stamp from above -
of belonging & identity & sonship.

Let this seal spread
with noble fury
with passionate determination
with devotion & zeal
to accomplish purposes beyond even her dreams
to overthrow injustice, to anoint other youth
to transmit love & beauty
to emanate truth & purity
to imitate her courage
to carry on the faith work
of this generation...

And yes! to change the world.

Death is going to really regret this!
For she is set like a seal upon our hearts...

Photo by:  Nova031

Thursday, October 23, 2014


This severe mercy* has come to our lives,
painful & overwhelming
surreal & outrageous.
A mixture of emotions,
and a numbness, too.
A bouncing back & forth
between needing to be held
& needing to be alone.

The severity of the illness,
the pain, the suffering
was way too real.
But the mercy in the midst of it
was real, too.

There is mercy for her -
no more suffering!
A perfect body &
walking with her Beloved
amidst celestial beauty
& eternal understanding.

There is mercy for us, too,
for He is with us.
Consoling, loving, holding
Blessing us through others
Filling our hearts with stories
that continue to trickle in 
Of her lovely life, of her impact.

We move away from the severe
and embrace the mercy.
Yet they still seem to find each other
like twins who have known togetherness
far too long.
We are faced with both...
and we weep, trying to accept 
This severity
and this mercy
which have come into our lives.

*“That death, so full of suffering for us both, suffering that still overwhelmed my life, was yet a severe mercy. A mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love.” 

Photo & artwork by:  Stephen B. Whatley

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Our beloved Jenna went peacefully to heaven and into the Savior's arms at 10:30 this morning.   We have been inundated with people and their love, help and support all day.  From 5-9:30pm we received visitors at a salon at the Málaga cemetery.  It was an absolute outpouring of love from all kinds of circles of friends.  Tomorrow we will receive people again from 2-6pm, finishing with a service in a chapel there.  We will give more details tomorrow.

THANK YOU for your tremendous loving support.

Monday, October 13, 2014


If I were God,
I would have been deeply moved by the prayers of those three children tonight.
If I were God,
I would be absolutely broken alongside that desperate father pleading for the life of his beloved firstborn.
If I were God,
I would so want to help that little brother in his struggle to believe in "the God of his parents" during this suffering and give him the desire of his heart.
If I were God,
I would live to give the soul-sister the longing of her heart to see her sister´s destiny fulfilled with her own eyes.
If I were God,
I would yearn to shower mercy on the mother who has known ¨sorrow upon sorrow.¨

If I were God,
I would love to give each child a reason beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt for their friends to believe in their God.
If I were God,
I would work to keep this one on earth who has earnestly desired to fulfill the prophetic word upon her life to be a ¨mother of nations.¨
If I were God,
I would honor the faith of the leader of this family in his desire to see the God of the New Testament today.
If I were God,
I would entrust this girl with a miracle because she would handle it with reverence & give Me the glory.
If I were God,
I would love to prove to that brother the power of his words, ¨Die, cancer!  Be dried up & stepped on like dust in Jesus´ name!¨
If I were God,
I would see the honest & genuine & full surrender in each of them and bless it.

If I were God,
I would be tired by now of all the people banging on heaven´s door!
If I were God,
I would be intoxicated with the incense of the prayers of the saints on this girl´s behalf.
If I were God,
I would have run out of bottles to store all the tears in.
If I were God,
I would be amazed at the unity & restoration that has been produced through this in Málaga.
If I were God,
I would be ever so proud of the body of Christ in more than 60 nations who have faithfully implored Me.
If I were God,
I would be certainly moved by the love & sacrifice of so many towards just one common family.
If I were God,
I would have noticed those people waking up in the middle of the night to pray, skipping lunch to pray, missing a class to pray, sacrificing untold things to pray.
If I were God,
I would be rewarding the tireless intercession of thousands around the globe.

If I were God,
I would realize how much is at stake.
If I were God,
I would have to relent.
If I were God,
I would have to show up.
If I were God,
I would have to even change my mind if my plans were different.

If I were God....

Photo by:  Indiana UMC


the place of open hands
the place of tears
the place of release
the place of the altar.

a laying down
a giving up
a giving to
a kneeling.

an abandonment
a relenting
a yielding
a resting.

sacred time of internal battle
intimate acquiescence
quiet mystery

There are many moments of surrender
with The One who is wiser and stronger.
Moments transformed into holy ground -
agonizing or peaceful,
heart wrenching or beautiful - 
God has seen all kinds.

Surrender can be
messy & emotional,
quiet & submissive,
angry & frustrated,
humble & broken.

Surrender can have different stages
 and different times. 
Some must be repeated
as understanding deepens
or there is a resurgence of
an internal battle
which must be revisited.

Whatever the stage, the moment,
the weight...
there is no greater joy than
the freedom of leaving it there.
Exchanging burden
for blessing & relief,
for cooperation with The Plan.

His ways are always best.
You never lose when you surrender
to the King of kings, 
to the One who loved you first.

the place of open hands
the place of tears
the place of release
the place of the altar.

Photo by: Mayr

Sunday, October 12, 2014


This has been a big week.  Our family is riding a roller coaster of emotions but being carried in so many ways by all of you.  THANK YOU for such an outpouring of love, support, prayers & kindnesses expressed en masse via every viable source: telephone, skype, texts, Facebook, e-mails, private messages and of course, face to face.  You are all AMAZING.  What would we do without you??!!

Our teammates here in Málaga have been providing hot food for us here and waiting in the wings for anything we might need.  They are angels.  Their prayers & practical love is such a comfort.  There are also extended ¨God´s Team¨ people here who have been such a blessing as well, especially our friends from the CRM team who are stepping up in counseling & spiritual direction at this difficult time.  There are so many other local friends who are caring for Jordan and for all of us in hundreds of little and not-so-little ways.  God knows, sees and will reward each one.

As far as VISITORS, we have been talking about that as a family and for now, this is what seems good to us:

We are requesting for Jenna´s well-being that all visitors call or text to make arrangements before coming.  We will be posting some general ¨visiting hours¨ since this hospital doesn´t have any as a way to protect her and reserve her best energy for healing and her immediate family.  Tomorrow it will be 12-13 and 18-19hs. This is very stressful for us to do, but she does not have strength to see everyone.

If you are more friends of Bruce & Pam, we need & want your support!  BUT you may not be able to see Jenna depending on how she is.  We know our kids are an extension of who we are but we ask that you respect her wishes & need to prioritize at this point. We will be happy to meet with you outside the room, talk & pray and receive you but we want to give HER the priority to decide who she most needs to see and say good-bye to.

Please understand that we wish YOU COULD ALL BE WITH HER AND US ALL THE TIME YOU WANT but it is just not humanly possible.  With the uncertainty of how much time we may have left with her - short of a miracle - we have this difficult task set before us of setting boundaries.  We so appreciate your love & support and respect of these wishes at this time - more than you know.  You show great love for us during this emotional time by honoring this.  Thank you.

We will continue to update you through the Pages: The Latest, Prayer Requests and Blessings as well as reflective posts on things we are thinking about and going through.

THANK YOU for your love for Jenna - and for her whole family.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Dearest Friends & Family,

How to put this day into words?

I don´t often do a ¨medical post¨; I usually keep it in The Latest page.  However, these last 2 days are too important to not post them...

Two nights ago, Jenna woke me up in intense pain.  I took her to the ER and they gave her pain meds and admitted her.  I was so disappointed because we were to go that next morning to Budwig Center (the alternative therapies center) and it seemed like we were really getting somewhere little by little.  But in the middle of the night, where can you go??  God knows our situation and He is in control.

The next day things began to unravel a little at a time...the critical piece of managing her pain is being resolved and she has been sleeping a lot, bits at a time.  I can´t tell you how wonderful it was to see her sleep!  It made me so happy.  In the late afternoon her oncologist came by and ordered a sonogram and they planned to drain both her J-tube and more from her abdomen if it´s necessary. Then the GI Dr that had helped us out last Thurs/Fri and did her paracentesis came by to see her and is ordering another med to stimulate her GI system.

This Dr (whom we like a lot) also commented that she looked jaundiced and I had already been in touch with her Endocrinologist about her most recent bloodwork which is showing that her liver is really overworked.  While the Endocrinologist says it´s common in patients with TPN (nutrition by vein) like Jenna, I still don´t like it and want to talk that over with her.  After her sonogram in the endoscopy area by Dr. Hernandez (the GI Dr), he determined there was not much  ¨free¨ liquid in her abdomen and that it was not necessary to do another paracentesis.  Phew!  He sent us down to Radiology to do a more extensive  sonogram of her abdomen and especially her liver.  We finished there about 9pm.  

Dr. Hernandez came out to speak with Dani and I and spoke very seriously about her condition.  He believes that the cancer has potentially spread to her liver, increasing her pain, distention and liver counts.  It was a discouraging conversation even though he delivered it compassionately.

I prayed over Dani before she left for home that God would guard our minds & hearts from fear, that we would have sweet trust in a loving God and that He would perfectly complete His plan birthed in goodness.  Dani is such a strength to me in Bruce´s absence.  

Today the oncologist wanted to talk with me in his office.  We all know what that means - not good. He said her situation is very complex and desperate.  She is very critical.  In spite of the PET scan and bloodwork for tumor levels being negative, the biopsy of the liquid taken from her abdomen came back positive.  The sky-high liver counts are due, they believe, to tumors.  Oh how I longed to have my husband by my side!

He believes she has 1-2 weeks to live.

Thank God our dear friends Alex and Amy were with me when this news was communicated.  They were with Jenna while I met with him and stayed on with us for quite a while.  Then our teammates started arriving...what would we do without Ivan y Lorena, Kory & Laura, Kyle and Nell?  They are all angels to me.  Later they communicated with Ted & Claudia who are currently traveling in Brazil and they called me, too.

I finally got a hold of Bruce who is 9 hrs behind us in Arizona.  What a relief!  He was as shocked as we had been.  We cried and prayed and talked.  He was thankfully able to change his ticket to leave today and so will be with us tomorrow midday.

I had the difficult task of communicating this with Dani and Jordan.  We are all broken hearted but trusting at the same time.  Jenna is so full of love for us and we can´t imagine life without her or our family unit without her...

We also spoke with the Endocrinologist since the oncologist said we needed to decide if we were to continue her nutrition or not...on the one hand, he feels that continuing to pour in nutrition is oversaturating an already compromised system and is prolonging her not continue it could increase her quality of life but not its length.  It didn´t take Jenna long to decide that she may not have control over cancer but she will not willingly die of starvation!  We proposed to the Endocrinologist that she adjust her nutrition to the lightest possible nutrition with fewer calories to tax her liver as little as possible but that we keep her hydrated and at least minimally nourished.  We can monitor the rest of the symptoms as we go.

I spent a lot of time today with people, my children, Drs & nurses and on the phone and I am just now getting to the blog to let all you dear ones know...How I wish I had better news for you who have been by our sides constantly in all these months!  I pray God will reward your love & sacrifice...

The kids and I are altogether tonight here at the hospital.  We will all spend the night and Dani & Jordan have both decided to go to school tomorrow...they feel it will be a good distraction and Jordan longs to be among his friends who understand him in ways perhaps we can't.  After we had broken the news to him, cried, prayed and loved on Jenna for quite a while, he was then on his cell all afternoon, talking & crying with a number of his classmates.  They will both come back here midday where we will reunite with Bruce.  Our family is so, so very precious to us.

There is perhaps more to say but that is enough for today.  We will keep you posted.

I have no words for all of you who have journeyed with us this year.  He is able!  Let us all enter into a sweet trust in His perfect goodness and plan, a rest in His love & power, a complete surrender to all He has - whatever the shape it takes.

So much love to you all,


for Bruce, Jenna, Daniela and Jordan

Monday, October 6, 2014


Thanks for understanding my humanity...
That tender, incomplete place of struggle.
I am trapped in it,
yet my spirit yearns to see things of another world, another realm.
I reach for it, read about it, dream about it,
pray for its reality in me.

In my humanity 
there are things I can´t see clearly.
I have limitations in my understanding,
I live under man-made structures and inherit finite ways of thinking.

Today I am frustrated to be trapped in it!
I want to be free to fly & dwell in greater truths -
To receive them fully,
to live them, to see them fully activated,
completely appropriated.

She is trapped in her humanity, too.
Our whole family is trapped, captive.
How can we live in two realms at once?
How can we be pilgrims here & citizens there?
Part of a kingdom on earth & of a kingdom of heaven?

Today I feel divided, schizophrenic,
stuck in between identities & responsibilities of each kingdom.
How do I live?
How can she live above or outside her physical realities?
She is imprisoned within her human body!
Oh to be free from this body & this earth!

But if it is to be, if this dual-reality must be so,
Please give our bodies heavenly eyes,
Spirit-filled hearts,
senses aware of otherly realities,
a belief system full of heaven-truths
and love for the Eternal Creator of all these things on heaven & on earth.

I don´t wish to be like some ¨so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good.¨
He has purposes for us here on earth; we have a destiny.
Yet nor do I wish to be so ¨earthly minded they are of no heavenly good.¨
He wants us to live with our divine realities present here and now.

Jesus, how did You do it?
Live heaven on earth?
Live eternity in a limited physical body?
Understand the will of heaven for Your every move?
Live joyfully surrendered to truths of the eternal while imprisoned in Your humanness?
How did You do that?
Will You teach me?

Oh help me to align my humanity to Your divinity.
Help Jenna to experience Spirit-vitality in the midst of 
physical illness, chronic pain, unending limitations.
Help those of us around her to help create the kind of atmosphere
where Spirit-life can flourish,
where the kingdom of heaven is more real each day,
where the physical lives in submission to the spiritual,
where every day we see heaven coming down -
to touch, to bless, to fill, to transform...

Thanks for understanding my humanity...
that tender, incomplete place I struggle.
Please invade it and make it more divine.
Please let heaven come down today.

Photo by:  Michiel S.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


(This week Dani started working and Bruce left on a trip.  It was a certain act of faith to ¨move on¨ despite the current discouraging, unchanging circumstances of Jenna´s health.  We pray He will bless it.)

By faith we move towards a new season.
Before we see any iota of improvement,
with emotion and a certain uneasiness,
we take a step.

Will He bless it?
Is He watching?
Has He been waiting for this?

And could it be that she needs
to see our faith, our movement, our baby steps,
in order to take heart & make her own?

Oh please let it be so.
Make us faithful.
Strengthen our bodies.
Give us trusting hearts.
Expand our capacity to believe.

Jesus said, ¨I´m going to wake Lazarus up.¨
I heard Him say it, I read it.
And it was for her...
He is coming!
Coming to wake up her GI system.

Jesus said, ¨Get up, take your mat and go home.¨
He said this to the paralytic when he saw the faith of his friends
when they brought him to Jesus.
This is for her.
Many friends have carried her with faith -
And He sees it.

Jesus said, ¨I will build you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with sapphires.¨
He has promised a time of rebuilding.
This is hers.
Her covenant truth with Him.
He will do it.

Oh please make her well enough 
that she can hear You through the pain,
trust You in this darkness,
receive in spite of the confusion,
respond in spite of the profound weariness.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Please come to her.

By faith we move towards a new season.
Before we see any iota of improvement,
with emotion and a certain uneasiness,
we take a step.

¨Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.¨ 

By Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet

Photo by:  certainwellness