Saturday, May 16, 2009

good results

So Florian saw the doctor on Thursday and heard once again, "no lumps or bumps". These are words that bring a sigh of relief. We are so very grateful to hear the wonderful news once again.

Yet, so many have heard different words and we wonder why we are the ones who are still in remission while these others have not been as fortunate?

Last night I attended the Gaither Homecoming Concert with 3 of our kids and at one point Bill Gaither commented how there probably was no one there who had not had cancer touch their lives in some way. One of the guests who sang had just last week received word that after 4 years she is cancer-free; another guest singer had just finished her rounds of chemo. Sitting with me was a dear friend whose father had recently been diagnosed with cancer and had surgery only a few weeks ago. Even in our family we have some who are still fighting the disease and we wonder about the outcome.

Cancer has truly invaded our world. It is an ugly disease. I dreaded it. I still hate it. But its presence cannot be denied for it has touched our lives in a very real way. Presently it is being held at bay but for how long we do not know. For others, it is a battle that continues to rage.

I want to walk beside these dear friends & family members and offer our support and encouragement. It is hard, though, because there is a certain guilt that we feel - one that makes us feel somewhat hypocritical or insincere. It seems impossible to rejoice in our remission and yet sorrow for those that are still struggling. We do care - we really do. We also feel guilty. At the same time we try to reconcile in our minds the fact that this is our path and the other is theirs - and somehow they are both God-ordained. . .

And so I pray. I pray that they would accept our feeble attempts of support and encouragement. I pray that our words would be few. I pray that we would each take our days - our moments - and live them to the fullest - making the most of each one so that we will have memories to cherish - so that we won't have so many regrets - that our lives would be a living testimony to the grace and mercy and love of Jesus that we have experienced - that we would bear fruit and bring about "good results" - God results.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

it's time again . . .

for Florian to have his 3-month check. I realized this morning that I'm a little nervous this time. We're closing in on 18 months of remission. Until now, I guess I've just assumed that there wouldn't be anything, but the longer we go... well, let's just say that I feel we're 'pushing the envelope' a little more each time.

My thoughts are a jumbled mess. I know God is in control. I know that today has enough troubles of its own without borrowing tomorrow's. I know that 90% of the things we worry about don't ever actually come to fruition. I know that whatever happens we will take it one step at a time.

and yet... I still ask, "What if . . . ?"

I am reminded of another woman's story I read yesterday. Friends of ours are very close to this family and I found her story online, "Death is Not Dying" .

If you pray. . . please pray for them. They are walking such a very difficult path - I cannot imagine how hard it must be for her. I cried as I read her letters. I cried as I tried to imagine having to say goodbye to my family. . . and I prayed for her . . . for her husband . . . for her children . . . for her family. . .

I have so much for which to be thankful. Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's visit, we will take the hand of our Father and He will walk with us. What comfort there is in knowing that He cares so much - not only for us and our family, but also for Rachel Barkey and her family.

And guess what? He cares about you too!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

what do you want to do . . .

. . . after high school?
what do you want to be when you grow up?
what do you plan to do with your life?

These are questions we often ask our children when they are young or approaching a major milestone in their lives.

I too have been asking these same questions.

Our youngest graduates from high school in 2 years. At that time, I will have spent the last 16 years devoted to my children & their schooling. What after that? What do I want my life to look like? What do I want to be when I grow up? How do I want to spend my time?
In what ways do I want to use the gifts God has given me?

Last Friday, my husband & I took the day to drive down to Montana. Although our purpose was to pick up a package that had been shipped to Eureka, it gave us the day together, uninterrupted. We had a wonderful time together. On the way home, I drove for several hours. To help keep me alert, I initiated this discussion with Florian. Although we didn't arrive at any earth-shattering conclusions, it was good to have the opportunity to discuss the things that I have been thinking.

I don't have an answer. I don't know that I need to have it all 'figured out'.

What I do know is that for today I have been asked to continue focusing on getting my daughters through high school - to care for my family - to make our home a place of refuge.

Above all, I want to love the Lord with all my heart, mind & soul. I want to serve Him today.