Taking Care of the Temple

I will never forget the conversation that took place several years ago now and since that day, I have watched several friends walk through breast cancer, three this year alone, including a fellow Café writer who is currently on the mission field. This post has been re-posted for several years, and until there is no more breast cancer, it will continue to appear every October. This year alone another friend lost her battle with cancer that began in her breast. I have friends who are terrified to have a mammogram.

CALL a friend.

TAKE her with you.

I’ve scheduled mine for next month. PLEASE JUST DO IT.

If this reminder causes just one woman who joins us at the Cafe, to make that appointment, then we just may save a life.

One precious life.

Flashback to October 2010…

We sat at breakfast and I reminded everyone that I had a doctor’s appointment.

“For what?” asked my 9 year old at the time.

“I have to have a test done that detects breast cancer, a mammogram.” “Oh yeah, I saw the NFL players all wearing pink shoes and helmets because it’s breast cancer month. It was cool.” He dumped his cereal milk in the sink and he was off.

The girls lingered. “What exactly do they do at a mammogram?

I described the procedure and they looked with twisted faces and giggled, “Have fun!”

I laughed at them and quipped, “Just taking care of the temple.” The older one smiled and they were off.

It was certainly NOT the way I’d choose to spend a glorious October afternoon. You KNOW what I mean! Truth was that insurance issues at the time and the fact that I would have to go through the tangled loop of interstates that run across Atlanta, tempted me to just “skip” it this year. The insurance hassle that I had gone through nearly had me throwing up my hands and saying, “I don’t have time for this.” And then the subtle voice that recalls a verse at the right time….the Holy Spirit whispering.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

1 Corinthians 6:19

“I know, I know, blah, blah, blah… I do take care of my body. I eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, (usually),” I chatted back. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Your grandmother had cancer and you need to do this”

I knew what I needed to do.

I called, fought with insurance and made the appointment. It REALLY isn’t that bad. A bit awkward, comical really, but necessary. It is October and we SEE the reminders everywhere this month. If you haven’t made your appointment for your yearly exam, and you’re over 40, and you know who you are, it’s time. It’s all part of taking care of the Temple. A dear friend has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and she too had done everything right. She nursed 4 boys. Surely, that was preventative. Not so. She is undergoing chemo as I type. Hers was caught early enough and she’ll be with us for a long time to come, but had she not gone, it would have spread, the doctors are certain.

We’ve all got a temple.

We’ve all got to take care of it, from the inside out.

It’s also time that we pray, warrior style, for those sisters who are fighting the fight, and for the families and loved ones of those who valiantly fought the fight. They encourage and inspire us.  If you are a breast cancer survivor or have someone in your life who is,  please leave a comment or link to your story so that we can pray for you.  If you have lost a mom, friend, neighbor or loved one to this horrific disease, let us know as well. Those women were courageous and we want to keep their legacies alive. Your stories of survival inspire us and encourage so many of us. This month as the world turns  pink, may  it be a reminder to each of us to send up a prayer for a fellow sister, and at the same time nudging us “take care of OUR temples.”

Lori MacMath

Lori's daily mantra includes praying, "I will take it Lord, ALL you have to give," and a commitment to live out Colossians 3:17 daily. It's her prayer that the energy that fills her spirit be with her till her dying breath! Nearly two years ago, Lori traded the sauna of the Deep South, for the snow of Chicago. After 19 years in Atlanta, Lori has bought herself a coat and some winter boots and is ready for the NEXT adventure at Harvest Bible Chapel / Chicago West. She navigates this road with her husband of 26 years and they have 3 children, ranging in age from 17 - 22. She seeks daily to be creative and use the gifts the Lord has given her. With the heart of an artist and a spirit to live intentionally missional, Lori strives daily to see Him in all that surrounds her. Encouraging women on their daily walk with the Lord is her passion! She has recently stepped out into NEW territory with her husband in the inner city of Chicago. She is on staff at Harvest Chicago West, in the Austin neighborhood, where the Lord is opening her eyes to Urban Ministry and Discipleship. Lori and her husband also have a Business as Missions endeavor that helps empower women and missionaries around the world. She would be HONORED if you'd visit Hope Products International where providing HOPE to the world through fair trade and sustainable products. Lori has served in a number of roles over the years, ranging from Camp/Leadership Adventure Coordinator, a mid week Bible club for elementary and upper elementary students in a local public elementary school as well as being on staff at her church. She is excited in this season to watch the Lord unfold HIS plans for the next step on the journey. Helping others, loving others where they are and seeing the transforming power of Jesus is at the heart of all she does. Her heart for children, women and all those on the broken road is at the core of everything she does. She LOVES playing graphically and encouraging others through visual arts, and her passion for Discipleship is at the heart of all she does. It truly inspires her and fills her spirit.

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  1. I am a 34 mother of 3 who is fighting breast cancer. I can’t tell you how great it was to read this post. Thank you for the awareness you are bringing.

    My story can be found here at my blog:

    Here is a post/poem on what it feels like to know there is cancer in your body, and to experience all the testing it entails:

    Here is a link to my Caring Bridge site, a daily health journal, if anyone is interested:

  2. Wow, Amy, you are going through so much, but I’m glad that you’re letting God carry you!

    We are so blessed to even have such things as mammograms, even if they are uncomfortable and awkward.

    I often think it’s the equivalent of opening the refrigerator door, while standing buck naked, placing one breast just inside the door, and then asking a complete stranger to slam the door as hard as she can. That’s what it feels like for me.

    On the upside, it’s one of the few times I’m grateful I’m only an A cup!

    But after my mother had it at 42, I’m very careful of my temple. God has a lot to do with me yet, I believe, and I had better do what I can to make sure I’m ready!

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

  3. I have nothing but great big mad love for you for posting this…thank you thank you thank you! We can get so “used” to October being Breast Cancer awareness month but unless we have been slapped in the face by this harsh reality we can tend to breeze right on by it.

    This time last year we were celebrating my mom’s final round of radiation…in March of 2009 she found a lump which turned out to be Breast Cancer. She had surgery to remove the lump and a few lymph nodes, started chemo immediately then had 8 weeks of radiation. It was absolutely one of the most frightening times in our family life but here we are a year later celebrating the journey He took us on.

    Would we have picked this journey, never in a million years, but the lives that were impacted, the marriage of my parents (married 42 years) grew stronger, our family bonds were stronger and for a season every single one of us united in our purpose…to take care of mom, to not take for granted the love of a good family, and to take better care of ourselves (for me and my little sister that means regular visits to the “girl” doctor).

    Breast Cancer stinks…but thankfully they have made so many incredible strides in the treatments!

    Bunches of Hugs,
    Melissa 🙂

  4. EVERY woman needs to get their mamograms regularly! I was 35 when I was diagnosed,I have just had my 10 year anniversaryof being cancer free. Without that mamogram, I would not have probably found the actual tumor, it was in my milk ducts. I went in for a lump under my are where my bra wire hits.My Dr. didn’t think it was anything but a fibercistic change, just get a mamogram when they can get you , just to get a baseline……2 months later I went in and had my mamogram and because there were some suspicious places I had a sonogram.2″ over from the fibercistic change was a tumor that was very, very small….about the size of half of your pink finger nail. Needless to say I was so shocked, the Dr. said it was nothing.We were blesssed to have connections to MD Anderson and got in within 2 days!I got there and my Dr’s said I was barely a stage 1 and on the borderline of how to treat me. They went ahead and treated me agressively, since I was so young. I had 4 rounds of taxol and 4 rounds of FAC, a cobonation, then 6 weeks of radiation. It was very hard, our children had just started new schools, I had a new job…..I couldn’t help out at school or I would get sick and have to go to the emergency room. It also meant I had to quit my job, I was a lead pre-school teacher. It was ALL WORTH IT! I have a great prognosis and the hope of hanging out with my grandchildren (when I have them). God really blessed us during this time….sending the right friends, financially making it (a little debt)even though we went out of network…..I can’t even name all of the blessings. Now go and get your mamoggrams! By the way MD ANderson still says that after 40 you should get a mamogram yearly.

  5. I forgot to say that I had a lumpectomy and they took 3 nodes that lookes suspicious. I was only in 1 microscopic slice of 1 node.

  6. I love your take on this month! We are to take care of our temple. I’m due next month for my annual so thanks for the reminder.

    I have way too many friends who have had breast cancer. And one of my friends died from this disease. She had been a bridesmaid in my wedding many years ago. Let’s educate women to get checked.

    Blessings and love,

  7. Amen sis.

  8. God is indeed telling me to take care of my body so I could be His instrument. I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and I’m praying it doesn’t get to me.

  9. Thank you for this timely reminder and beautiful devotion. I had a great-grandmother, and cousin die from breast cancer. I also have several cousins and friends who are breast cancer survivors. My best friend lost her battle ten years ago to breast cancer. This truly is a disease that I would love to find a cure.

  10. This is a powerful post. THANK YOU for sharing and the reminders. Just this past week I found out my birth mother is very ill with the return of breast cancer. My heart aches for her.

    I have posted on this on my blog as well. I hope you do not mind my linking to your post and also sharing your pink ribbon logo. http://wp.me/p97XK-24V


  11. So loved this.

  12. Great post on Breast Cancer Awareness and taking care of the temple that God gave us.
    Hope it went well.

  13. Thank you Lori!
    I imagine that most all of us have been touched by breast cancer. My precious friend and mentor was diagnosed last year, at 84, the month after we buried her husband. She is a trooper, had a mastectomy and is still here to try and help me grow into the woman God intends for me to be. A teacher at my little one’s school is battling it now. The sweet lady who leads our children at church is 5 years this side of it.
    Early detection is our best defense. Thank you for this post. You are a blessing to us!
    Much love,


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