Besides the blessing of hosting missionaries and ministry leaders at The Haven over the past 12 months, we (Bob and Ann) hit personal milestones. We both celebrated 75 years of life. 75 doesn’t sound too old until you realize that it means three-quarters of a century! As 2024 has progressed, we have surely felt the effects of the aging process on our bodies.

In March it became apparent that an injury Bob sustained a couple years ago from chopping (and tossing) logs had damaged his right rotator cuff. His arthroscopic procedure to repair it was April 25th. Although there was more repair needed than at first thought, he is recuperating well.

Since we had so many jaunts to OrthoEast in Greenville NC this year for Bob (about 1.5 hour’s drive south), I decided to make an appointment for myself to check out why my knees and lower back were bothering me so much. I learned that I needed patellofemoral resurfacing arthroplasty. Interpretation: the cartilage under both my kneecaps has totally degenerated and needs to be surgically “cleaned out”, and a “button” planted as a cushion so bone doesn’t scrape against bone. (Good news: my knee joints themselves are in good shape!) In May I received the diagnosis of a herniated lumbar disk that was not surgically correctible. My doctor ordered a lumbar support, which has really helped.

With the doctor’s recommendation, Bob had his surgery first. About 10 weeks later (after Bob had recuperated sufficiently), I'll begin my own surgical “season.” Surgery on my right knee is scheduled for July 10, with the left knee scheduled 8-10 weeks later, depending on initial recovery time.

As we begin the second half of 2024, all of this has been rather daunting, especially as we thought we were aging rather gracefully. Nevertheless, we praise the Lord for His amazing Word that continually comforts and encourages us no matter what we are experiencing in the physical. Which is one of the reasons I decided to take the month of July to read through the Psalms and Proverbs.

My daily devotion regimen is to meditate on five psalms in the morning and one proverb (corresponding to the day of the month) in the evening. This schedule allows time to reflect on the rich beauty and instruction of the Lord found in these precious books.

Psalm 92 is quite uplifting to me at this point, especially verses 12-15 (NLT): “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

Though this season is difficult for us physically, the Lord continues to assure us that He is not finished with us! We are thankful for the great and precious promises God gives us throughout His powerful Word. We are grateful for your powerful prayers during this season of our lives. Praise the Lord! God is not finished with us, yet.