Wednesday, July 27, 2011
those of you who want to view Becca's funeral, but just aren't able to make it physically, here is the link to watch it live:
The website is www.saylorvillebaptist.com
Be forewarned, there will be commercials popping up that the church has no control over.
time: July 28th, 1:00 p.m. (central time)
*when you get to the website click "resources" then click "live."
Monday, July 25, 2011
Tribute: A gift, statement, testimonial, etc. that shows gratitude, respect, or honor. Praise.
This is my tribute to Rebecca Joy Rankin (Founder of The Cracked Pot) and the life that she enhanced all about her while she lived on this side of eternity.
Becca breathed her last, while holding her earthly Daddy's hand, on July 23rd at 12:50 p.m.. Honestly, it was just an exchange of Hands, because she entered right into the loving embrace of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There was no pain in that embrace. A full on hug. One that she hasn't been able to receive here for so long due to the pain that invaded her body. No pain. No sorrow. Just Joy.
This is a snippet of the last moments and jewels she gave us during her last day here. July 23rd was a rough morning for her. There was one moment, as I was holding her hand and helping get medication down, that I could count the seconds between a lengthly pause and breath. Almost as if she was already in another realm and just breathing in this one. She was soldiering on, but weary. I whispered to her that I knew she was tired, but to please press on until all the family was able to gather around. She fought and breathed on. Graciously allowing us to live out some memories that will forever be with us.
A little past eight, all the family was there in her room, around her bed, all watching Becca, a member that we love so dearly, breathing in life. One breath at a time. There is so much hope in breath....it's a symbol of life.
Growing up, my parents always made our birthdays special. We've never received extravagant presents, parties, etc., but we always knew we were valued, loved and treasured in our family. Simple traditions that grew in and up with us.
Mom made each of us a birthday sign with just our name in acronym form. That was displayed around the table as we ate the meal of the birthday one's choice. Rebecca's goes like this. (visualize bubble letters, all the colors of the rainbow, and on a laminated paper poster board as you read below.)
B estest Sister
C oncerned for others
A gift from God
Words speak life. Imagine yourself as a five year old. You see those words describing you and calling out something embedded inside you that is bigger and better. I do think that acronym was in Becca from the beginning, but I also know she took on the challenge of those words, grew into them, and made them uniquely her own.
One other special tradition is gathering around that person and speaking words of appreciation. Both traditions are a staple of every birthday to this day.
That is what we did as we were all surrounding Becca at her bedside Saturday morning. Each one of us was able to get up close and say the things we loved about her. The things that she had individually given each one of us by being Becca in our lives. Each one of us was able to give our blessing and say in individual words that, "I release you, Becca. It's ok to go and be with our Father."
All morning it was pouring rain. Aunt Donna mentioned that is was as if God was weeping along with us. I do not doubt that. That morning (really this whole month...really the entire past 33 years) was priceless with Becca. We sang hymns and prayed around her. The atmosphere was filled with Peace and in the midst of great sorrow, we were able to see a beauty that transcends pain and conquers death.
All your prayers carried us. Thank you.
As we've been talking about how to honor the life of Becca, we've come upon an idea that will need all of your participation. We need you, you, who have been faithful to this blog, or you, who have been apart of Becca's life by being family, friends, or just touched by a simple interaction with her life.
A tribute book.
It's going to be full of blank pages that need to be individually filled by you..... Please look for a picture of the two of you, a poem, a verse that's been apart of this journey, a note that you want to write, a word of appreciation for her life, lyrics, memories..... really, whatever you feel lead to give as your "tribute" of her life linked with yours.
With these, we will glue, write, and fill all the empty pages with.
This creation will be all of our tribute of Becca to hand over to her daughters later in life. Karis and Gabi are young and won't have all the beautiful memories that we all do of Becca. We want to create a book that they will be able to look over when their little hearts are sad about what they missed out on and have forgotten. Becca's life has touched too many people, and we want them to see the Joy she created while living here.
This book is only possible with all of your help and participation. Becca's life spread far beyond her own family. You, who are reading this, know just how far.
You can either bring your tribute to the viewing or the funeral.
Also, if you are not able to make either, please mail it to the address below before August 1st.
It's hard to be the last voice on "The Cracked Pot." It's difficult to finish a blog that I didn't start. Becca loved writing and sharing her heart here. Thank you for following and reading her words. It meant so much to her.
What would have been Becca's last words here? Psalm 63 says it so well.
"Because Your lovingkindness is BETTER than life, my lips shall praise You." -Psalm 63:3
I think in the final last breaths, He showed her a new glimpse of His love, and she entered into His gates with praise.
Yes, I think that she would have said, "Praise Him. He is my Joy. He is my life. Praise His name."
Writing this has been a great honor.
May His grace and love continue to cover us all today and in the days to come,
Viewing: Wednesday, July 27th 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Saylorville Baptist Church)
Funeral: Thursday, July 28th, 1:00 p.m. (Saylorville Baptist Church)
There will be a live feed on the computer for those of you who are far away but would like to watch the service.
The website is www.saylorvillebaptist.com Be forewarned, there will be commercials popping up that the church has no control over.
Address to send your tribute if unable to attend either:
440 NW 126th Ave
Slater, IA 50244
*We are ceasing from the 7pm prayer times. Also, the Monday worship nights are canceled. Thank you all for participating in this journey.
For those who can't make it to the funeral and want to watch the live feed, we're pasting on an insert to the bulletin explaining some of the choices for the memorial service.
Meanings for some of the choices for the Memorial Service *Cover page picture: Becca’s kept a blog since 2009 calling it a “A Cracked Pot” Letting God shine through regardless of my imperfections.” (beccarankin.blogspot.com) Ps. 18:30 was chosen because Becca had it engraved on a bracelet of one of her very dearest friends, Teresa Bair, as she left for Brazil, and it also conveys that although we don’t understand why Becca had to leave us so early, it somehow is perfect timing in God’s ultimate plan. *Processional song, Faith to Be Strong: Christie Bigelow, another dearest friend puts together songs on CD’s and gives them to people. Becca has been blessed many times by her thoughtfulness. On our Colorado trip, we played one of her CD’s, and Faith to Be Strong was one that “jumped out.” It ministered to all of us very much. *Blessings: Some other very dearest friends, Jess and Allison, are from Box T days (a horse and Bible camp where Becca counseled, cooked, you name it!) They all loved playing instruments and singing together. Jess, Allison, and Anna were able to visit Becca a few days before her home-going. We were all blessed as Jess sang this song to us. *Touch of the Master’s Hand: This is a poem that shouts “BECCA.” She and the other girls have done this countless times. (In fact, Faith, when she was too little to be a part of it, was sitting in church one day, and when the others were going to perform this, she put her hands over her ears and said, “Oh, no, not this again!) Even though they’ve done it so many times, we only could find one recording of it, at Noelle’s graduation program. *Hymn of Faith: Faith’s mom actually requested her to write a song based on Hab. 3:17-20 as it has ministered to her so much. The gist of it is, even if nothing is growing and we’re facing death “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my Salvation. The Lord God is my strength. He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” During Becca’s journey, Faith sang this to her, and it greatly blessed her. We’ve been praying that if God wanted Faith to sing this at the service, He’d give her a verse especially for Becca. He did! As confirmation to her, she was trying to think of a particular verse and Psalm 63 came to her mind. Even though it wasn’t the verse she was trying to find, the psalm was exactly what she was trying to convey in her song. Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard is a super allegory about the verses in Habakkuk and greatly blessed Becca. *Jesus Loves Me, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Be Thou My Vision: We were blessed as a family to be able to gather around Becca’s bed at night and sing and pray for her for about a week before her home-going. We’d ask Gabi what she wanted to sing, and it was always Jesus Loves Me. It was the last song we saw Becca trying to sing along with us on. We also discovered that one of Becca’s very favorite hymns is Great is Thy Faithfulness. The morning of her home-going was very special. We all gathered around as a family to each share what we appreciated about her and telling our last goodbyes and releasing her. We also prayed and sang around her. Then Pastor and Marilyn blessed us by coming. After they had a time with her, Dustin went with them and others into the living room to talk. Brian and Noelle stayed by the bedside. At first, Noelle sat on the side Becca was turned to and talked to her soothingly, but Becca was still restless and had labored breathing. Then Noelle and Brian changed places. Noelle would sing a song while Brian would talk with Becca. Noelle said you could just see Becca relaxing more and more as her dad talked with her. As she was singing Be Thou My Vision and Brian was saying “Jesus loves you,” Becca slipped away from her earthly father to her Heavenly Father. Christie had come into the room and took a picture at the end of the bed of Brian talking to Becca just seconds before she passed on. It was a very special and touching moment. We praise God for our 33 years with Becca. Though our hearts seem to ache unbearably already with missing her “Yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our Salvation. The Lord God is our strength.” Becca, we love you. We know our life is but a vapor, and we’ll be seeing you soon. Prepare an incredible party for us all when we see you next time!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head. He asked life from You, and You gave it to him--” Psalm 21:3-4
Life. That beautiful word holds more than Becca’s soul and spirit in it. Right now, it’s holding Dustin, two little Becca’s, immediate family (us), church body, friends, and those of you who are reading this entry. Becca’s life has weaved us all together by the unique relationship that each one of us have with her. Thank-you, Becca. Thank-you, God.
Before I attempt to answer some questions, I need to let everyone know, just in case there is any question, that I am not a blogger. You, who are faithful to this blog, are not the least bit surprised by this confession, seeing how long that is has been since my previous entry was posted. That said, I apologize for the silence that I created by not writing. This blog has been a precious part of Becca’s life over this season, and I am honored to voice a few words on it.
As I look at my last post, I realize that it was spontaneously put out there and never followed up on. I apologize for that and to catch you up during those three days we chose to not look just by sight, but with Faith, and with our Father's eyes at Becca's situation. We have been deeply encouraged by His words spoken through specific verses He showed different ones of us and many of you. We were also able to spend some time as a family in prayer and worship that left us with a deep peace and rest and knowing that He is GOOD. That might sound trite, but we feel that reality surrounding us daily.You presence during those 3 days of fasting was appreciated. Thank you all.
How is Becca....
Becca is not doing well in a physical sense. Her body is growing weaker and more frail. The past few days she’s only been able to get a few bites down, and is sipping on fluids. She has been on hospice for a week, and they have provided some helpful tools so that it’s easier for her to get in and out of bed. Time spent with Becca is precious. Bringing up names of people dear to her heart, ALWAYS makes her smile. always. Today her cravings were a lemonade icy, or a rasberry milkshake. Although her strict diet at the moment allows for neither of these ):.
It’s hard to know what to write. Looking through our physical eyes, I see a perfect opportunity for a miracle. God always delights to work in unimaginable ways for His glory and so that is how we feel led to pray.I was encouraged the other day by Streams in the Desert, it reads,“is the Lord being quiet with you? Nevertheless, He is attentive and still sees everything. He has His finger on your pulse and is extremely sensitive to even the slightest change. And He will come to save you when the perfect moment has arrived.”
Tonight, as we gathered around Becca as family for prayer, I got a tingle of excitement in my core. 2 Chron. 20:17,22 was being unveiled before my eyes. We, as humans, have come to an end of ideas, procedures, and plans. That’s where my tingle came in. As I thought that, another Voice whispered through, “Yes. That’s where I am.” That’s what He desires in every situation. Or as Jennifer Miller put it, unless He shows up, we’re dust, that the power may be of God and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7). We can’t DO anything except believe and trust our great God for miracles that only He can do. “Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17).
He IS at the end.
As we come more and more into that position of standing still, we desire to extend the strategy that He’s placed on our hearts to you as well. The past week as a family, we’ve gotten into the habit of gathering around Becca’s bed and praying before we end the day. Since Karis and Gabi go to bed earlier, we’ve decided to roughly put the time at 7 p.m.Physically you do not have to join us, but if we could all corporately set our eyes on Him at that time, I feel His pleasure in that.
-7p.m each night (until further notice) breathe a prayer and lift your eyes to Him.
Also, my parent’s want to open up the house every Monday night for a worship and prayer evening. Bring yourself, a prayer, song, note, poem, etc.
Time: 7 p.m. (6:45)
Place: Swanson’s house (440 NW 126th Ave, Slater, IA 50244.)
When: Every Monday evening until posted otherwise.
Lately, I have been challenged by the testimony, faith, and hope of David in 1 Samuel 12: 16-23. Contrary to even God’s word about the death of his son, he hoped. He knew that God is capable of ANYTHING. Even changing His mind.
Where there’s breath there’s life. Where there’s life there’s hope. Where there’s hope, there’s God.
He is always there at our end. It’s His beginning.
for His glory,
Monday, July 4, 2011
I apologize for my lack of communication this past week. Thank-you for the prayers and for how many of you have asked how to pray and what you can do. Just being concerned and caring.
Mom, Becca, Christie, and I just got back this past Saturday from Colorado where we met with a Specialist(ND). The week was rewarding in many ways and we all are believing in God's healing hand on Becca's body.
During our time out there, each one of us were prompted with verses and promises in scripture to claim from our Father for Becca. Throughout our time there we had some significant prayer times that confirmed to Christie and myself that God is asking for a time set apart for prayer, fasting, and worshiping. We want to find His promises, stand on them, and not let Him go for these things.
We are taking three days (July 5-7) in fasting. Many of you have shared in the fellowship of Becca's suffering these past couple years, and we want to invite you to participate as much as you feel led. We will be abstaining from all food, please feel free to modify as needed.
We want His strategy for Becca's healing. Here are a few promises the Lord has shown us to claim for her. Please join us in this, or if He is prompting you with something else, please share that and we'd like to join together in receiving those promises as well. We feel led to enter into praise and thanksgiving. CHOOSING to praise Him and thank Him despite what our human eyes see. "Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see." Heb. 11:1
We also want to stand against the enemy and his attacks on Becca's life. Satan came to kill, steal and destroy. Christ came that we might have life, and to have it more abundantly.
Promises to claim in scripture these next few days (July 5-7):
- 2 Chron.20:17,22 "You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you. Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people (disease)....and they (cancer, lymes, candida,and parasites) WERE DEFEATED."
-Ps. 27:13 "I am still confident in this. Becca will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
-Duet 34:7-Ps 90:10
Thank you all for walking in this journey with us all. I am sorry for the late notice. Please modify the fast/prayer/worship as the Lord leads you. We just wanted to extend and invite our "family" to participate and glimpse what the Lord is laying on our hearts.
His Kingdom come and will be done, in all our lives, on earth as it is in heaven.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
My shoulder had been in a lot of pain, and I couldn't deny that I had taken too many pain meds.
Not too many according to my prescription, but too many for my body.
Monday I paid for it.
My tummy was nauseous refusing any form of food or liquid.
By midnight I started throwing up and when it didn't look as if I was going to feel better anytime soon mom decided a trip to the Emergency Room was in order.
It was a miserable ride there and all through check in, but the nurses were so kind, and the doctor made sure I didn't have to wait long to get an i.v. going as well as some pain meds.
You see.... yet another pair of shoes I have gotten to try out. Addiction to pain meds - or rather identifying with an addiction to anything.
Not only was I weak from dehydration, but my body was going through withdrawal from my meds.
Finally I started to feel better (sweet relief), but they wanted to admit me for 24 hours of observation.
It took a bit to get settled, and by the time I saw my oncologist, I think I was almost relieved when he said they were going to keep me until the end of the week - a little shocked about the length, but everything had felt so rushed and crazy that I knew I wouldn't be able to handle going home yet.
His reason was just for observation to make sure we got the pain meds regulated and my electrolytes back up to where there were supposed to be.
I've never been in the hospital this long before and am discovering new things all the time.
For one, it really is nice to have everything at the push of a button. :-) The nurses are great here, and I haven't run into a grumpy one yet. (Watch, I'll get one tonight)
I have such a close relationship with my i.v. pole that I named him Fred. Fred is rather jealous of anyone else in my life and has to keep watch wherever I go - I mean wherever. My admiration for those who can steer a wheel chair and an i.v. pole at the same time has skyrocketed. These people are good! I have difficulty walking it down the hall by myself. In fact, I've given up after I almost tipped it and it has become the job of whoever is currently staying with me in the hospital. Someday soon I'm going to get rid of Him, believe me. He has helped cut down on the pain meds, though, so for this I am grateful.
The doctor put me back on "real" food again today, and as I am able to keep it down, I should be going home tomorrow.
For now I'm grateful that the reason I was in here was because of pain meds and dehydration - though serious, treatable.
It has been a little scary to spend the week on the cancer floor. Visitors get into the elevator and see "oncology" listed as the floor with my room on it.
I've had to talk to counselors about who will make decisions for me if it ever comes to a point where I can't - get a living will figured out - what I'm planning on doing to create memories for my girls if it ever comes to the point where I do have to leave them. That makes for some tearful conversations, let me tell you.
Tearful, but needed and good.
I'm planning on writing them each a birthday card until they are 21. I'm also planning on delivering each one of those myself. :-)
However, my plans are not Gods, so we will see if we are on the same page with this one.
There are a few other ideas, as well, such as giving them dating advice. You see... if they get it solely from their father they won't be dating, much less getting married until they are 45.
Though my week has been completely unexpected, I can see how the Lord planned it all out.
Things I needed done medically before I could go out to Colorado, and would have been complicated to do had I been out of the hospital, have been made easy by being admitted. Because of this we are able to go out a couple of weeks earlier than planned and I am excited.
Once again I have no idea where God is headed with all of this, but I'm choosing to trust.
We are following the direction He, as far as we can tell, is leading us. Where that will take us we will hopefully soon find out. I know I'm curious - especially about the new naturopath in Colorado.
A shout out of thanks to all my family and friends who are showing their support.
I love that it has been a tradition in my family to never leave a person alone in the hospital. I've observed this growing up with my Grandpa being there often.
Now that I am the recipient, I am so grateful.
It may be that they are just there to get that glass of ice for you, but they are there. And there is nothing like waking up in the night and knowing your mom is next to you on the cot.
And not having to worry about home and kids because of husband, sisters, and friends is amazing.
God is good! So many, many blessings in the midst of this storm of mine!
I love you all, and pray, pray, pray for wisdom in my treatment out in Co.
I will try to blog as I go because I know you are just as curious as me what is going to happen.
Well.... maybe not just as curious...