Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

Friendship. When you hear that word, what comes to your mind? Or maybe a better question is, who comes to your mind? I love the verse above from Ecclesiastes. It talks about the importance of having someone by your side. Many of us would think of that person by our side and think of our spouses. But the verse is not just talking about having a spouse, it is talking about having friends that are there for you through everything. The third cord in this verse is referring to God...He is the one who ultimately brings strength to any relationship whether that be spouses or friends. I have been blessed with some amazing friends in my life. Many of us go through life and it is hard to name someone that we could really call our friend. I remember a lonely time when I first came home after having Abigail. It was a huge year of change for us. Wayne had finished up at Moody and all of our friends moved around the country, I was now home alone with Abigail all day after having a job for two years, and we had moved to a new area and were attending a new church. After many years of praying for friends, God brought some amazing friends into my life. These women have stuck by my side through homeschooling, raising my kids, and recently, Wayne's cancer. I am so thankful for these ladies that God has brought into my life.

The good friends are the kind of friends that you don't see for months or maybe even years, but when you get together it is like you just saw them yesterday. I love looking at the relationships in my life and seeing where some of these true friendships came from in my life. Many friends came at different seasons...college, Moody, homeschool, church, etc. I count each one as a special blessing in my life. Recently, a friend from college mailed me one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received. My friend Sarah does amazing work with old wood. She saw me comment on a friend's picture and she went out of her way to make this beautiful painting for me. If you can't see it, the picture has Wayne and my initials on it with the two love birds. The other two tree trunks have the initials of all of our girls. This is a gift that I will treasure forever, much like my friendship with Sarah!

I have now entered a new season of life where I am making friends. The crazy thing about these friends is that they are all around the United States and I've never met them in person. These friends all share something in common...they have a husband with brain cancer. After we found out that Wayne had cancer, it became our prayer that God would be glorified through this situation. After "surviving" the first few weeks of this diagnosis, I decided to reach out to others in my situation. I wanted to be able to help others at the beginning stages of their journey and to find others in my same situation. It is easier to talk to someone or ask a question when they are on the same journey as you. God has brought some amazing people into my life. I have to share one story how I met one friend. I used to read this one blog all the time, back when I had more spare time. I hadn't been on the blog for some time, but I saw something on Facebook that reminded me of the blog. I decided one day to log onto the blog. The theme of the blog post was prayer requests. I found my friend Mary on the blog. I know that God directed me to the blog that day to find Mary. It is a little weird to email a complete stranger and put yourself out there. But, I felt God calling me to contact her and encourage her. They were just starting their six week journey of treatment and we had just ended that phase. I'm glad God directed me to that blog that day. I find Mary's posts and friendship encouraging. There is nothing better then others who can keep pointing us to Christ in the midst of our journey.

It is unfortunate that it took these circumstances to find each other, but what a blessing these ladies have become to me. That random email or text asking how I am doing is such an encouragement. We have been able to encourage one another, pray for each other, and share insight on things that may help our spouses. It is my prayer that God uses me to help encourage others through this experience. Why wallow in "why me?" when you can help others and allow God to minister through you?

Another wonderful person I've met is a local woman fighting brain cancer. She is such a fighter and is a very sweet lady. She has three kids and has been struggling with recent treatments. I really don't know how she has been juggling all that she has: being a wife, a mom, a brain cancer patient. I was thrilled when it came to my attention that there was some ways we could help her out. Since I know how wonderful it is to have others surround you with support in the midst of your battle, I wanted to help out any way I could. I saw her post a picture of a cake she wanted to make her kids, but she couldn't. When I got the date for bringing a meal, I knew right away what I was going to bring those kids...the dessert their mom wanted to give them if she felt better. I pray that the meal and the dessert brought a bright moment into their lives. 

Lucky Charms Ice Cream Cake

Friendship...we all long for it, but not all of us have good friends. I discovered at one point that I needed to just be the one to reach out. I am super shy, so it took everything in me to reach out to people. I'm so glad that I did. It is still very hard for me to take this step, but when you find a friend, it is worth it. But even if you never have a friend on earth, everyone has the opportunity to have the best friend anyone could ask for...which is found in Jesus Christ. He never fails us, He never leaves us, He never disappoints us, He wants the best for us, He fights for us, He loves us...the list goes on. What better friend could we ask for in life? John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." Jesus showed us this ultimate love when He died for us on the cross...what friend do you have that has done that for you or would be willing to do that? 


Family Update: We are almost done with week 2 of school. This is the picture that I found one morning when I entered the school room to write on my white boards. The girls are trying to talk us into getting them a dog and told us that they would be sad without whon...I know a spelling word for next week!

Working hard on their school work

Sophia writing in her journal

Naomi testing her airplanes that she made for a science experiment. She is working through a science book on birds by Apologia. We love Apologia science. I assigned Naomi and Grace their own science books in addition to the science we do together. I wanted them to take on something on their own and take ownership. They are responsible for doing the experiments and all the work. So far they are loving this experience. They both love science, so this is a great fit for them.

Grace working on her science experiment. She is doing a book on land animals (Day 6 of creation by Apologia). She had been reading about habitats and camouflage. Her experiment was to dump M&Ms in the basket and see how many she could find. She didn't mind this experiment because they got to eat the M&Ms afterward.

I took advantage of having a bag of M&Ms in the house and broke out my M&M math book for Micaela and Joella. It teaches them colors, how to count, and beginning math. They both loved this book!

Wednesday morning (after getting up extra early to squeeze some school in), we headed to Brookfield Zoo. We met up with some friends at the zoo. It was a quick morning field trip, but we all had fun.

The girls were thrilled to see the baby gorilla out playing around. The baby even clapped at one point after all the kids had been clapping. 

Joella working hard.

Wednesday afternoon the girls started piano lessons again. I love hearing them practicing after school. 

Wayne finished his fourth cycle of chemo Monday night. This round was extra hard on Wayne. He was extremely fatigued (and is still fighting fatigue). He also experienced some nausea this time, which he has never had before during treatment. We met today with his radiologist for a follow up appointment. I had to snap a picture of one of our favorite doctors. He did neurology tests on Wayne. I have seen these done so many times that I think I could slip in and perform the test on Wayne myself. 

Please keep praying for Wayne. Pray that his body fully recovers from this last cycle of treatment and that his body is strong going into the last two cycles of chemo. One more week until our next MRI. Continue to keep our family in your prayers!


  1. I'm thankful that we have each other too! It's nice having a friend who gets what you are going through. Praying for Wayne.

  2. I finally got the time to read back through all your posts. I do love you my friend and am so glad I can stand beside you (all the way in California) to pray for you all and love on you. I think of you often. Love you tons!