Sunday, 13 April 2014

Today's update

Carlin continues on, somewhat weaker every day. But he is thinking constantly about all the stuff he wants to have done here at the cottage.

He reaches down somewhere (or up There) for the extra oomph he needs for certain things. Yesterday, Saturday, was another work day, as two friends, JP and Gerry came to clean the chimney for our wood stove, and so the in-living room part, is ready to take to the company where we
bought the stove 22 years ago. The company will then put together a new chimney and install it someday in the near future. Phew.

The lawn was mowed and edged, and other projects around the yard were tended to. Thank you, JP and Gerry!

Mind you, a dear neighbor had a wheelchair we could borrow so Carlin could be out there supervising the job. Cheri and Lyndi, our two oldest daughters came from Abbotsford and Duncan yesterday, too, to be of help, doing things around the house, and doing some much needed weeding in the back garden. Oh, what a blessing it is just to have family here for a while every now and then.

Last weekend, the 5th and 6th, was when all our children (except Brenna, Cheri's youngest, who was in Washington, DC for a music festival --
where they won five top prizes) were here with us. It was a precious and special time. Carlin then shared the things he wished to pass on the children/grandchildren, and his story about how he chose Colossians as a life book to go to whenever he needed encouragement, wisdom, direction for life.

It is interesting how people have responded to that. JP shared yesterday that the day, the 12th of April, 2013, exactly a year ago to the day, was when we had loaned the use of the cottage to him as a prayer retreat regarding his future, and on that very day he had focused on Colossians 3:1-11 and it had been so meaningful to him. What a blessing to Carlin to hear these stories of how God has used Colossians in other people's lives as well.

There are all kinds of blessings, like having two binders with growing numbers of photocopied email letters, just as a tangible thing to go back to and reread whenever we desire. I read them to Carlin at times.

Every night, when it's time for bed, I give Carlin a foot, lower leg rub, and then read a few pages from a book about Heaven, called In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn. We're almost finished, and perhaps will go on to Joni Erickson's Heaven.

He is now content that I pray over him, whereas up until three days ago he also wanted to pray. Carlin's spirit is still strong. I think if he voiced it, the hardest thing about what he's going through is the loss of body strength, having to be tended to, having to have a morphine pump and another med to quiet his stomach. He is so grateful, though, that he can swallow a few sips of water as a result of that med.

Carlin is most grateful to friends who have come to offer help with the yard, and his "projects." (He wants things to be easier for me, I know, when he is gone. It does put extra stress on us, when sometimes it would be nice to just have quiet rest.)

We have planned the graveside service and the Memorial Service, to be held on a Friday and a Saturday. Some folks have had problems with our having set the days of the services, misreading it to mean a specific Friday and Saturday. Of course, we can't know which Friday and Saturday these services will be. But we are grateful to have these planned in advance.

Praise the Lord for dear friends, helpers. Praise the Lord for His sustaining grace. Praise the Lord He has gone to prepare a place for us. Praise the Lord for our Glorious Hope!

Love to everyone,

Marcia and Carlin


  1. Hello Carlin and Marcia, I don't know if you remember me. I just heard about what's going on and I wanted to send my love and prayers. I always remember your care and love for me and your protective watching over this naive prairie girl whose adventurous nature could get her in a lot of trouble. I continue to pray for you both and the family.

    Just so you know, I am now the worship pastor of my church.

  2. Dear pastor Carlin and Marcia
    We are so grateful that you have some many people who loves you and cares for you, the same way you always do for others. It is hard to know that you are going through some pain with this illness. I just want to share with you a poem from a booklet of the same author you have been reading Randy Alcorn, which makes me want to go to heaven to meet the Lord. What a blessing to know that you are ready for your journey!
    I once scorned ev'ry fearful thought of death,
    When it was but the end of pulse and breath,
    But now my eyes have seen that past the pain
    There is a world that's waiting to be claimed.
    Earth maker, Holy, let me now depart,
    For living's such a temporary art.
    And dying is but getting dressed for God,
    our graves are merely doorways cut in sod.
    Calvin Miller
    We love you,
    Gabriela and Francisco Alvarenga