Archive | May, 2012

Sabika-Zumba: double blessings

31 May

Tonight was fun to spend time doing jewels with friends. Thank you for spending time with us. We are grateful for your support. Tomorrow we dance. Zumba is at 6:30. Should be a great time. I am falling asleep while typing. To bed now

Binder

30 May

Today I received a binder in the mail from the clinic. I was instructed to read as much as I can prior to going for my appointments next week. It is very thorough. The front page says welcome, as if I am joining a club. It looked quite daunting. I will be interested to find out what lies within the binder. Today I crossed of the first of may to do’s before this process. I went to the dentist to be sure I do not have any risk for infection in my mouth during the next two months. I needed a filling! I don’t have many of these, I was disappointed. The days have been flying. I feel I need more time each day. I did get to see Dr. Petrus today. Aunt tara was able to meet him, and see why I have such respect for him. My counts were good! Thankful for that. He helped me work through some questions I have and allowed me to process some of the harder things that come with this journey. Keep praying for continued strength and courage. Pray I can focus daily on His purpose. I long to be peaceful even amidst uncertain moments.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)

Officially Summertime

29 May

Today was Adams’ first official day of summer. I love summertime, this is one of he greatest perks of being married to a school teacher. I will never forget the start to our first summer after Adam had completed his first year of teaching, 5 years ago. I had a long list of things we needed to do, and I was ready to tackle the world. I was thrilled to have my favorite person around to do things with, and as I said cross things of that long list. He on the other hand, was not prepared my gung-ho approach to summertime. Since then we have talked and worked through our agendas each summer. Today, I felt as though somehow I had rubbed off on him…after dropping Paige at school, he started in on some of his tasks, on the first day of summer. Have I mentioned how much I love this man? Not for the tasks, but his strength, courage, love and gentleness. He loves our girls and myself so well. As his wife and his friend he has constantly allowed me to feel free, loved, cherished and safe.

This summer feels different. Not much or any of me looks forward to sharing the later part of summer with the Cleveland Clinic. It is a season, and hopefully this allows me to have many more care free summers ahead. I love the change of seasons, and I am thankful for the chance to embrace the beginnings of summertime and all that it means to us and our girls. The excitement of summer has never died for me.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can pick him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one man keep warm alone? Though one man may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Family

28 May

As I look at my life, all 31 years of it, I realize family has always been at the top of my priority list, the A team. I look back at my childhood and remember fondly of our winter ski trips, and our annual summer vacations to the owls nest (this is the secret vacation spot that most Ohioans don’t know of). Many Midwestern people believe they must go south for a fabulous getaway, but little do they know that a peaceful, salt free, and quaint location exists in Holland, Michigan. My parents created many environments for fond memories. My grandma was my best friend for many years, until she went to be with Jesus 3 days after Hayleigh was born in 2008. I think about how my mom has always been my left hand, (since she is left handed) and always been my partner in crime. I don’t think I came to truly appreciate what mom did for me all those years until I could step back and see the love behind all her actions. In adulthood I know we have truly embraced what mom daughter can be. I pray my girls can one day embrace the love that their mom has for them now and in the days and years ahead. I know my dad has always been my biggest fan and my worst critic. Always longing for successes and pushing me to be far more than status quo. It is good to know He believes in me and wants me to be the best I can be. My big brother Jonathan, the athlete and the boy I so longed to spend time with. I remember how he dreaded dropping his little sister off at the ball field and how excited and I would be to spend a minute or two with him. I remember the many Friday nights I spent in the stands cheering him on at his basketball games, hoping one day I would be as hardworking as he was. I ponder the years David and I went to high school together, playing in the band together and attending awkward dances with mutual friends. Today as we watched the band march by at the parade we had to laugh thinking back to those far off memories. We spent our college years just miles apart, randomly stealing chances to see each other when we were missing home.

These memories come as a result of a family filled weekend. We had fun. We laughed and cried, because goodbye is always hard, and thank God for yet another day that was not guaranteed. I never dreamt I would one day need one of my teammates to give me life, but I am thankful that He has chosen to give me more healthy life through the gift of a healthy marrow from my back-up teammate. Thank you Lord and thank you Jonathan. The weekend brought more memories. My kids cherish their aunts and uncles, and most defiantly their cousins!

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Running buddy

27 May

This morning started early due to an unexpected visitor in my bed at 5 am. Paige and I snuggled; I would sleep in five minute increments. I am certain many of you know this sleep I speak of. Finally I relented and came downstairs. I cherish and love the mornings when all is still and life seems peaceful. I always look forward to my cup of coffee and time with my Savior. Today I had done all of this and had time to spare before church, so I decided to go for a run and enjoy the stillness even more. Paige had mastered riding her two wheeler this weekend and perked up at the thought of riding along. I hesitated thinking my peace and stillness would be long gone. But the effects of the disease and the consideration of limited time made me rethink my thoughts, and I said sure. We headed out on our adventure and we had a blast. She even conquered a fear while on our ride. She was timid with her breaks and afraid of hills. Once she accomplished one minor downward slant we were smooth sailing. This was by far the highlight to my day. She rode, I ran, we talked about rules of riding, traffic laws and a little bit of life. I hope that we have many more days like this to come. I know she too had fun as she asked if we could do it everyday. I am once again thankful for the gifts he gives us; children, time, decisions and joy. A morning well spent for both of us.

We enjoyed more family time today. Our first outing at the pool. I definitely think the kids in line with me at the diving board were quite confused by the two piece bathing suit, bald head and female voice. It’s funny to see their minds working hard to figured it all out. Yet even funnier that my baldness is completely normal to our family.

Psalms 40:8
“I desire to do your will, o my God, your law is in my heat.”

Family wedding celebrations

26 May

I have the fondest memories of our wedding day almost 8 years ago. Today we celebrated with family, my cousin Ryan’s wedding. When I sit at a wedding I find that I ponder my memories of the planning and the process of making that day special. I reflect the joy that I embraced on that day and the gratitude I have for what “marriage” truly entails. Today as I sat and listened to their vows; for better or for worse, and in sickness and in health, they really resonated deeply in my heart….what does that really look like. Here we go…

My wedding advise to the couple has always been to keep Christ first, above each other. And to the bride don’t stop asking questions, desire to be open and in communication with your hubby. I love to think back and embrace the joy of staring life with Adam, and how God has orchestrated our lives and allowed us a closer glimpse of Him. My love tank is full.

We had a lot of fun with family. Adam got in the car tonight and said, “that was fun we laughed a lot with your family”. It was the debut of my wig tonight. I tell you the truth, in the bathroom I was washing my hands and the girl next to me said, ” I love your hair, that is the perfect haircut for you!” I had to laugh. As you can see from our pictures the siblings enjoyed. Memories are great to tuck away. Congrats Ryan and Alex Wells!

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:31-33 ESV)

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Dress up

25 May

This weekend is a full one; full of fun, family, work, celebration and togetherness. We started off the weekend with some out door work. The kids helped me wash the car while Adam and Matt continued full speed ahead on deck prep for tomorrow. The goal was to have all the foundation work done so that tomorrow when they have more hands they can start laying and drilling the top boards. After finishing up we headed to Mimi and papa’s for some family time. Meal time is always crazy and fun with 7 kids. Jon and gina arrived with their crew for the weekend. We enjoyed a pasta dish prepared by a new friend and fellow prayer warrior maria. The meals have been a huge relief for me. You may have noticed that on the take them a meal site, there are several weeks where it says no meal. I plan to cook and prepare meals for the family until I head to the clinic. We are grateful for all the meals that have been graciously and lovingly made. We will again be ” needy” as we begin this next part of the journey on June 25.

Dress up by far is one of our girls favorite activities. I heard Adam just the other night tell our girls that he felt they were in dress up clothes more frequently than real clothes. This is most likely not an understatement. Tonight they enjoyed dress up with cousins. Yes that is Austin, in his crown and tutu. He is Jon and Gina’s miracle born at 25 weeks and completely normal, besides the tutu and princess crown. My kids love their time spent with their cousins; we had a battle coming home tonight because they desperately wanted a sleep over. We cannot wait to hug aunt Jess and uncle david tomorrow. Family is so precious. We are thankful for all our loved ones both near and far.

Tomorrow we will celebrate a finished deck and my cousins wedding.

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Emotions

24 May

It interesting when and how my emotions hit me. I notice it in others and I recognize it in me. In “normal life” I only felt my emotions could change on a dime with my kids, ( you know normal to extreme frustration, or to complete joy from being proud). I am learning that my emotions are connected to me in other ways. Sometimes someone will be emotional when talking to me and I feel strong and certain, and other times i notice I can’t talk because my emotions have caught me by surprise. One thing I continue to learn about myself through this process is that I desire control, yet have none. He is teaching me that He is in control of all things ; even my emotions. It is ok to be sad, or to be overwhelmed by this journey, but I find most often when those thoughts come i ponder His greatness and His faithfulness and I rest in His embrace. Lack of control in and through this journey has allowed me to truly rest with Him and His purpose. So when emotions come, I try to let them come, much to my dismay. Unless of course it is pure joy.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 ” rejoice evermore”

Today we ended our day with some of our favorites, gracie and Quinn…mom’s played while daddy’s worked on deck!

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Update

23 May

Without my brothers love and willingness to move forward with the bone marrow transplant I would be starting another round of chemo this next week. But, because of God’s faithfulness and gift of a sibling match we have a different plan. I am not sure if you grasp the greatness of this “gift” or “blessing” that one of my two brothers is a match. It was not a guarantee, that I would be given a perfect match. The doctor said 1/3 chance. I have heard many stories where there could be 4 siblings and no match. I also heard that male matches are better than female, because they are minus the hormones. Do men realize how good they have it? Seriously? As I have let the news sink in that Jonathan and I are on a new journey towards a bone marrow transplant; We seek information and trust these new doctors with the days ahead.. I know that the Lord foreknew these days and months.

I will share with you the general game plan as I know it today. Going forward from today, we will enjoy family time the next month. I will have a few days at the clinic for testing and prep work, but will not be admitted until June 25. I will then have 7 days of chemo, much like my initial induction chemo in March upon diagnosis. I will have one day off and then transplant on July 3. We will then wait and trust and pray that as the Lord has given to us with a perfect match He will also allow that marrow to take root in my body and produce new healthy blood to fight off any cancer cells. Generally people that transplant are at the clinic for 4-6 weeks. We continue to be thankful for all the love and support around us. The prayers being lifted up are an inspiration.

A picture from today of Hayleigh as we spent the later part of our day working on riding a 2 wheeler! she is so proud.

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Love

22 May

I am letting you into my heart tonight. This is a dear letter from the man God has shared with me. I am blessed beyond words. We continue to take this journey one day at a time together. I am loved by my Creator, and He has used this man in my life to show me more love than deserved. ( this is old, obviously from day 38….)

>;;My beloved bride, Day 38
>;; It has been awkward to start this whole chemo thing over. I think I understand more and more what the Bible means by the two becoming one. I am so used to your presence, your voice, your humor, and your love that your absence reveals to me just how much of me is tied into you. It is both amazing and scary to think that marriage is meant to be a metaphor for how we relate to God. It seems like the same thing is happening between believers and God. More and more of our lives are intertwined with God, we are the branches and He is the vine. This is the mystery of Christ in us and us in Him. And while you are away I find I am drawn more and more towards Him out of need and desire. May our marriage continue to be a reflection of the divine as we are supernaturally taken into God and becoming one with Him and one with each other.
>;;
>;; I found some comfort in this passage yesterday. Psalm 16:5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
>;;
>;; When I think about God holding our Lot our destiny I am more at peace than any other time. That is no guarantee of what will happen in the near future for us but it is incredibly comforting to me. It seems like Job believed this truth but it was not necessarily a sweet reality to Him because of all he endured. I pray that you and I would always see the sovereignty of God as a glorious reality, a comforting and hopeful idea. The same seems to fit with the idea of God as our portion and cup. May we eat and drink the life he sets for us with a sense of joy and thankfulness no matter the actual course. Jesus depicts Himself as the bread of life and the living water basically replacing all our daily needs with Himself. May we eat from this bread daily and even as we endure and struggle during this season we will find more of His life emerging in us.
>;;
>;; Keep your head and courage up. You are not alone. We don’t need strength for tomorrow or for bone marrow today. We only need strength for today. And we find it in Him. May you as the branch continue to let his fruit grow in you.
>;;

I also got to spend some time today with tracy, I cherish our times. It is so nice to have extra eyes on my kids and adult conversation. Although in this picture you may wonder who the adult is and who the kids are? We had fun!

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