Monday, April 29, 2013

TRUTH IS...I WANTED TO DIE Chapter 2--by Sandi Rog

Christine here: Today we conclude with Chapter 2 of Sandi Rog's battle with cancer. Be encouraged with this amazing story of victory. And please check out her amazing novels at the end of this post.

Chapter 2 of Truth is...I wanted to Die--by Sandi Rog
As I watch my mother-in-law (who is a WONDERFUL woman, by the way; Did you know she came all the way from Holland to help us out? She’s a HUGE blessing!), I realize she can teach my kids some wonderful things, things that I fall short in, but she can’t be to them what I can be, what only a mother can be. 

Hmm . . . maybe I am of value?

Then I looked at my husband, he tells me all kinds of things about why he needs me and why he would never want to remarry if he lost me, but it wasn’t until the day he kissed me on my bald head (when he had to help me bathe), that I realized just how much this dear man DOES LOVE ME! That I, despite no longer (IMO, because he tells me I’m beautiful all the time) having any outside beauty, could inspire a man to feel such a deep passionate love that he would kiss me on my bald head . . . all I know is, I broke down in tears when he did that. And he didn’t think twice about kissing me there.

After that, I kept getting more prayers, and GIFTS, TONS of gifts, even from people I didn’t know! My ENTIRE FAMILY got gifts! And I found out my writing friends were promoting my book in ways that it never would have gotten promoted had I remained healthy (or as healthy as one could be with MS). Honestly, the pouring in of help and gifts has been utterly mindboggling. None of us (including my MIL) had ever seen anything like it.

Who were these gifts and help really from?


God worked through all of you to show me His LOVE, love I so desperately needed to see, to feel! Why I don’t feel valuable is another story, one that likely involves my father, but this isn’t about him.

Hubby keeps saying, “God must really love you! Look at everything He’s doing for you during this time!” My MIL (mother-in-law) has stood before us more than once with her mouth hanging open at the outpouring of love surrounding us. We’ve all shed tears over it!

It was as if God was shouting in my face, “YOU ARE LOVED!!!! YOU ARE VALUED!!!” And He’s continuing to SHOUT! He has put my book in magazines, newsletters, church announcements . . . in more places than I ever imagined it would get noticed. Not only that—SO MANY, a COUNTLESS MANY are PRAYING FOR ME. And so many of these people have never even MET ME!

“SANDI!” I hear God shouting because I tend to be deaf. “You are loved!”

One dear friend recently told me to ask what God thinks of me. Ask Him what He thinks, and listen to His still, soft voice.

He’s flooding me with His answer, bending my trunk over with His mighty wind, tossing His waves over me and pressing against me with such mighty passion, He can’t be ignored. I can no longer believe that I am unworthy.

So, on the day of my fortieth birthday, just before I blew out all those candles, I was surrounded by my giggling kids, my smiling husband, and my happy mother-in-law (this was after spending all night in the ER), and when I saw the joy on their faces, especially those of my kids and husband . . .

I knew I wanted to live.

So, just before I blew out those candles, I made my wish, only it was a prayer to my God, and . . .

For the first time, I really asked Him to please, LET ME LIVE.

I’m sorry to disappoint or discourage with my feelings of not wanting to be here. But I had to be honest with all of you. It’s been a rough road. From the time I was five, I’ve wanted to escape the pain of this world. But God has shown me the blessings, has taught me how to count them. It’s not that I was wanting to commit suicide or anything like that. I simply saw cancer as a way out.

So, now I’m fighting, and it’s only through His strength that I’m able to do it. So, it’s all up to Him. I now have the WILL, but only He has the POWER. And no matter what happens in the end, whether I live or die, He WAS, HE IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE my GOD, MY SAVIOR, and my LIVING LORD . . . the God and Master of ALL.

Dear Father God, forgive me for not seeing the good you have given me! Forgive me for allowing the world to wear me down. Forgive me for focusing on the negative. Help me to now focus on YOU, on Your light, on Your strength.

And please dear Lord, I beg You . . . let me LIVE.

Two years later, I’m still here. God let me live, and it was through His apricot kernels that He did it (you can read more about that story on my blog I’m now cancer free! God taught me my value. When I thought I was worth nothing and that my mother-in-law would do a much better job at raising my kids than me, He sat me down on the couch (literally) and forced me to watch my mother-in-law struggle to raise my kids without me. I was too sick to help, too sick to voice my opinion, too sick to do anything but just watch.

The Lord brought blessings upon blessings from my cancer experience, and I thank Him and praise Him for teaching me that I’m not only His precious child, but I am valuable. Gratitude fills my heart, and I will live my live in gratefulness to Him for His precious gift of life, both on this earth and in the next life to come.

Christine here: It has been a true joy to have Sandi as my guest these past two weeks on Monday Inspirations. Though we have not met in person...yet...Sandi is very dear to me. I've grown to love this sweet woman, and appreciate so much her incredible talent as an author. Please look below and buy some of her amazing novels. I can't wait for her to finish her next one. Blessings Sandi---I love you sis.

Drop by Sandi Rog's blog links and her blog on beating cancer

Take a look at Sandi's awesome books that are in my group of favorites. The purchase links are below. She's a historical, adventure-epic style writer, with strong spiritual threads, and deep romance. I highly recommend all her novels.

Purchase link for

Purchase link for The Master's Wall

Purchase link for Yahshua's Bridge

Friday, April 26, 2013


My heart aches with gladness today as I share the last section of Sheila Callanan's reunion story. For me this has been a dream come true to share such a story that has touched my heart to its depths. Thank you Sheila.  I always knew this much love was possible. And I am so thankful to God for bringing us together as friends. We too share something, and one day we will meet in person. Thank you, my friend. For I believe the Lord brings back the years the locusts have eaten, and our lives are bountful with His love and goodness.

and now . . . Sheila Callanan's final chapter in the Cape Town An Adoption Story

“I am not sure how one ever expresses gratitude to a person for making a sacrifice that brought the most unbelievable joy to a family.  All I can say is thank-you from the bottom of my heart ….. I believe that people have the capacity to love many people in different ways - not overlapping but side by side, each one having a different relationship.  Because of this belief I share Susan with you.  When I refer to you as Susan’s mother to people they do not always understand, they argue that I am her mother - I don’t expect them to understand.  For me, Susan has two mothers.”

This is part of a letter I wrote to Susan’s mother before she came to South Africa.    I wanted her to know that her coming here was fine with us.   In some ways we had prepared for this for 21 years.

Three months after we had met her we were also able to meet Susan’s biological father.  He flew to Cape Town from the USA.

Susan’s mother had made it as easy as possible for her to make contact with her father.   She made every effort to find out where he was - she never hesitated to do this or ever mentioned that it was hard for her - she only thought of Susan at that time.

As I write we have just purchased air tickets to once again visit America.  Are we visiting family?  Of course we are – a very unique one.  We have been five times.   Susan has been four – the last trip was in 2012 when she, her husband and three children were able to spend Christmas with them. 

On her second visit she went alone and was there when the 9/11 attack took place.  Quite an anxious time for us back in South Africa. Susan’s mother has been able to come out and visit them at their home in Durban where they now live.  (For overseas readers - Durban is on the East coast of South Africa and about a two hour flight from Cape Town.)  Susan’s husband, Jean-Ray is one of the Pastors at a large Baptist Church in Westville, Durban.
Forty years later our home is filled with the sounds of children.  Susan and her three children, Camilla age 10, Aren age 7 and Elissa age 6, are living with us for a year while she does her honours in psychology.  The cycle begins again as Susan’s son Aren is adopted.
Sheila's daughter Linda and her husband

Susan and Jean-Paul and their children
Sheila's husband with two of the grandchildren, Linda's kids.
 Thank you, to all those of have read these articles, for walking this path of sweet memories with me. 
To those who have read the story and remembered that they were part of it – you will always have a special place in my heart.

And from one mother to another – Vicki I love you more than words can tell.
Sheila Callanan, Cape Town, 2013


I never ever knew your name
I never knew from whence you came
But gazing down at the sleeping child
I thought of you and I ached inside.

I bore you up before our God
The sacrifice had been so hard.
One day somehow, somewhere, some place
Would God allow you to see her face.

I loved her, I cared for her she was my own,
We laughed, we cried she brought joy to our home.
I watched her skate, I heard her sing,
My heart was glad as she served the King.

Mother of my child, you were always in my heart,
I thought of you, I prayed for you, in my life you had a part.
Your eyes, your nose, the colour of your hair,
Your height, your walk what all did she share.

The Spring morning dawned, the sun shone bright
Today I would meet you – it seemed so right.
God had intervened in an unbelievable way,
Only He could have planned this miraculous day.

And now together we can join hands
As she and her husband go to far distant lands,
Prayed for much more than so many others
‘Cos God had planned she would have
Christine here again. I cannot see this photo often enough. Such a joy to see the combining of two familys into one through the birth and raising of one child--and Adoptive family and a birth family. 
Only God can weave such joy together as He looks down from on high to His children in this part of the world.

From this birthmom to Sheila and Vicki, again, thank you for sharing your story. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


 It was the Church Gift Day and we had put a sizeable sum into the collection for the Building Fund.

  “Why would you offer to the Lord your God something that costs you nothing.” 

The voice in my head was so clear that I almost looked over my shoulder to see who was speaking to me. But no one was looking in my direction, as the offering baskets were collected at the front.

“But Lord,“ I objected “ the cheque we wrote for this special offering was a large one. How can you say it was nothing?”

“That was the money you had put aside for My work” came the reply “You would never have spent it on yourself.”  I was mystified. I didn’t recognise that the words about a cost –free offering echoed words spoken by King David when he had sinned and wanted to make a sacrifice to put things right between him and God. [2 Samuel: 24:24] The owner of the threshing floor on which David intended to build the altar and offer an ox, wanted to donate everything  to the king. But David insisted on paying the price.

I heard little of the sermon that day, as I wrestled with what I’d heard in my heart. I went home totally confused. Two weeks later I was watching television, when God seemed to speak again.” 

“What about Robert?” he whispered. My heart lurched. This was taking me to more familiar territory. Austin, who had been a wife beater and a gambler, had come to faith in our church and changed completely. But his wife had left him with their three young children, and gone back to her alcoholic mother.

Members of the church had tried to help him, baby sitting and collecting 5 year old Robert from school, but this could only be a short term solution. When an appeal had been made for someone to take the two older children into their family, while attempts were made to heal the marriage, we hadn’t even considered it. Our children were 11, 13 and 15 and my career as a writer was beginning to blossom.  I had signed a 3 book contract. Now I had to write them.  Surely God couldn’t have us in mind for foster parents of a 4 and 5 year old? But it seemed that He did and I had a huge time challenge.

Faced with a pre-schooler and a family that had nearly doubled in size, I prayed despairingly ’Father, I can’t let the publisher down now. But I need to know if you really do want me to write these books .Please give me such an extraordinary sign, like Gideon’s fleece, that I can’t possibly argue it away.’ The sign came. Within weeks, a complete stranger offered me, a non- typist, enough money to buy 12 months worth of secretarial help. I invested the lump sum and it lasted for nearly ten years, and ten books.

Need a Mother’s Day Gift? Find ‘It’s Just You and me Lord’ by Marion Stroud in Sam’s Club and win a prize from

If people are not Sam’s Club members or don’t have a store in their area they can order at a discount from the publishers, quoting the Author code

The promotion code is: AUTH029
Marion Stroud's website 

Monday, April 22, 2013


Christine here: Today and next Monday, my dear friend and writing peer, Sandi Rog, will share her battle with cancer. You won't want to miss the telling of her inspirational victory, starting with chapter One today.

TRUTH IS . . . I WANTED TO DIE: by Sandi Rog

The following wasn’t easy to share, and it may not be easy to read, but I have to be honest. There’s always a lesson to be learned in life, and this was a powerful one for me.

Not sure how many read my Facebook, but there was a time I wrote: “Even if I wanted to die, you guys aren’t going to let me!” It was true. When the announcement of my cancer came out, prayer warriors sprang up from out of nowhere, and I knew I wasn’t going to have my way!

You see, when I found out I had a tumor on or near my brain, all I could think of was FINALLY I can be done with this life! I was exhausted (from already fighting MS and just the stresses of this planet). My life has been hard. I know, I know. I think most of us can say that. Some of you are probably familiar with my story of wanting to die at age five after getting a beating from my dad. I couldn’t wait to grow up to get out of the abuse and start running my own life, make my own choices. But I soon came to learn that you don’t always reap what you sow (not on earth anyway; it’s all waiting for us in heaven; Hebrews 4 talks about the believer’s rest).

Anyway, while I was sitting in the hospital and the doc told me that I had a good chance to “fight this thing,” my family cheered all around me (I had my mother, a couple aunts and my grandma there with me). But while they were cheering, . . .

I got ANGRY.

Heck, I was prepared to leave on a GRAND TRIP, something a million times better than going to Hawaii! I was going to HEAVEN to finally be with my Lord and Savior! I’d already written posts on my blog about what I think it’d be like to meet Him. But my doctor’s words made all those dreams of FREEDOM come to a screeching halt.

Now I had to FIGHT AGAIN?! I didn’t want to fight anymore! I was done FIGHTING! Please God, just let me DIE already, will ya? I was EXHAUSTED from the trials of this life.

Yes, I’m afraid that was my thinking.

I won’t name all the trials and heartache and crisis’s I’d faced up until that point. Let’s just say, MS was taking its final toll. It was the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Yes, I had FOUR children and a loving husband (still do), but I saw absolutely no value in myself. I figured, my mother-in-law would do a better job raising my kids than I would, so I could die and let her do it! And my hubby could easily remarry. He’s a great catch. Truth is, I was ready to throw in the towel.

But God had other plans.  

Many of you realize my diagnosis came on the very day my first book released. I didn’t even get to have the pleasure of fully enjoying that success, the type of success every writer dreams of experiencing. To me, it was just another disappointment that I would live with . . . story of my life. I wasn’t allowed to reap what I sowed. Not on this planet, anyway.

But . . . it was a blessing. Bittersweet, I might add. One of the greatest successes of my career was shared on a day I was told I might not have long to live. God managed to soften that blow. Interesting. Still, I was making my plans. I was going on a trip, a heavenly trip! Whooo, hooo! People on earth could enjoy my book (I’d just finished the second one), so my kids would have that part of me. I’d accomplished all my goals.

Or had I?

As the weeks of chemo went by, thoughts started penetrating my mind . . . .

Who would be able to sing to my kids the way that only their mother could? Who would prance in to Chelsea’s room in the morning (when Mom was feeling like herself and not like MS had her in its grip), and sing to her and kiss her ALL OVER? Who would teach my kids to laugh at life and their mistakes? Who would teach my son that God planned for him to grow bigger than his sisters so he can protect them, and protect those weaker than himself? Who would love them as deeply as only a mother can?   

~~~~Christine here: Please come back next Monday for the next chapter of Sandi's battle.

Drop by Sandi Rog's blog links

and her blog on beating cancer
And take a look at Sandi's awesome books that are in my group of favorites. She's a historical, adventure-epic style writer, with strong spiritual threads, and deep romance. I highly recommend all her novels.

Purchase link for

Purchase link for The Master's Wall

Purchase link for Yahshua's Bridge