Archive | October, 2012

Clinic update

31 Oct

This week has been so gloomy and rainy. I realized today that the sun has not shone since last Thursday. I am ready!

Monday mom and I ventured to Cleveland in the rain and wind. I had blood work and a appointment with Dr. Sobecks. Nothing new to report. My counts continue to climb slowly. I will return in a month as long as I continue with good health. I am thankful.

We visited with John, my friend from my stay in July. He is expected to start his transplant journey today. I pray he thrives and journeys this road with ease and strength.

Yesterday we enjoyed a day off with Adam and Paige home. It was great to have an extra day together. I think we should always have 3 day weekends. We would all be happier.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV)

20121031-162850.jpg
Hayleigh enjoying an apple slice

Soverign

28 Oct

Sovereign Over Us
Aaron Keys

There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust

CHORUS
Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
Youʼre the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory

I love music. It moves my soul to a deeper connection with my creator and Savior. These words resonate with me to my core. Faithful forever, perfect in love…even what the enemy means for evil…you turn it for our good, you turn it for your glory. These words all make a lot of sense and speak to my soul.

This week I was asked if I felt I would have dealt with my journey differently had it gone south. This is where the confidence of my future in Christ makes that answer seem basic and simple. I recall the moments of despair and fear creeped in when I focused on our girls and how their lives could change. But for me I felt an overwhelming amount of peace. This only comes from the giver of Life. His sovereignty is what I cling to today, tomorrow and even on November 6. Listen to this song. It talks all about the attributes of our sovereign Father.

Trick or treat

27 Oct

Halloween is such a lame, yet memorable celebration. Every year is full of memories that are easy to recall. I am certain even you can remember many of your costumes as a kid. Not only is it a conflicted holiday because there isn’t a meaningful purpose, it is also a holiday that supports something I don’t agree with, junk food! I am certain I would be blown away at the amount of money that is spent on candy for this holiday.
None the less we have cute pictures, fun memories, and loads of excess sugar. Our house was full of excitement as the cousins gathered for trick or treat. I was proud of how our girls costumes came together. They were tuckered out and ready for bed! Now it’s time for candy patrol.

20121027-221906.jpg

20121027-221915.jpg

Friday Night Light Debut with Family

27 Oct

Every Friday this fall has been cold, rainy and dreary. Not a perfect set up for this family to be at a football game. We are big fans of Papa, and he is a great coach, but we hadn’t made the plunge to endure the cold. It’s the final game of the season, and our cousins ( the Beemers) are here from Michigan. With a questionable forecast we ventured out to cheer on the Royals, and papa. An event like this is always more fun with more people!

The timing of our adventure was perfect! We enjoyed half of the game, and of course the cheerleaders, the band and a visit with coach papa and water boy Andrew. As we pulled away from the game the rain began to fall. We were very thankful for the timing of the rain and our arrival home. Along with that gratitude we are blessed by our visit this weekend with The Beemer gang. It will be a full house tonight full of many different creatures bundled up for some trick or treat fun. It’s refreshing to have multiple generations of family enjoying life together: Kura’s x2, Beemers, Armstrong’s x2.

20121027-090513.jpg

Falling leaves

25 Oct

Sometimes when we think about leaves it is negative. The added work, and time it takes to rake them can be a nuisance. As my mom mentioned today, you guys should rake these they are dirty, you don’t want that in your house. Only a mom thinks this way.

It was gorgeous today, sadly the end of the goodness (warm and sun). We raked and then played in the leaves. Do you remember those days? I have many fun memories of hurrying to get the leaves to the curb before the leaf pick up truck. These memories involve my brothers, my parents, the dog and tarps. WHen we were younger it was fun. As we aged I think it was mostly the boys who were grumpy ( or maybe me too) to get out of bed and beat the truck. I love the leaves. The colors are simply magnificent. The freedom to jump and play was a blessing to the girls today. Our bathtub showed the effects of that dirt mom mentioned. Thankful to experience the simple joys of today. Life could be so different.

20121025-225542.jpg

20121025-225549.jpg

20121025-225603.jpg

Pain

25 Oct

The days this week have been so gorgeous. Is it really October? The sun and its beauty has an effect on many of us. People are generally more alive when the sun beams and shines brightly. Yet for some reason this week I have been reminded again that there is pain and sadness all around us. It’s part of this world whether the sun shines or not. There is a need in this place for prayer seeking peace and joy that is beyond us. This week I have heard and been made aware of people’s pain around me. People I love and care for, and strangers that now come to mind when I pray.

After a fun night at the park with our three girls we stopped for some fro-yo (the new term for frozen yogurt). We were there with another family with 2 boys. The mother commented on our 3 girls. Her oldest son followed that comment with, “there used to be three of us, one died.” Painful! A friend of mine expecting her first baby texted, “went for ultrasound, I had a miscarriage.” Our church family prays over a new baby girl, Elleanna, who was born yesterday with serious birth defects, we are praying for healing and a miracle. My brother and his wife continue to learn why they struggle with infertility. Life is hard, yet it’s not how God intended it.

My friend John awaits the start of his transplant, but can’t seem to fight off an infection. When locked in a hospital it’s hard to see the light. Another friend battles leukemia as an out patient, because the big stuff just didn’t work. I am sure she wonders why all the suffering of intense chemo and still the leukemia wins. My friend Beth passed away 2 months ago, and her husband and daughters celebrate birthdays and homecomings without her, they miss her. You can’t miss the hurt and sorrow all around. But He offers joy in the midst of these. His word tells us of His promises. As we experience the sadness of the lives around us there seems to be nothing to offer. But we can offer His truth. These all seem too big for us and often the ways of God and what He allows seem impossible for us to understand. But no one and nothing is outside the sovereign grip of God. And for those who are His, nothing at all can separate us from the love of God. This promise is to be carried and it is true.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 ESV)

Holding hands

24 Oct

No matter who’s hand you are holding it generally feels good. It offers safety, comfort, love and familiarity. I am a snuggler, human touch is essential for me. I love that my girls still long to be held, snuggled and hold hands. I am all too aware that these days will end, although its very hard for me to fathom. More often than not I get to hear the words, ” momma hold me, or carry me.”

As I did my devotions this weekend I wrote these words in my journal.
“Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of my hand.”- Jesus calling.

I think this journey has allowed me to experience this concept, and to really hold tight to his hand. Being powerless and out of control of everything and knowing my life is in His hands. When we truly grasp this and believe that He never moves and that His love for us is deeper than anything we experience here on earth we should be overwhelmed and comforted. His hand is always extended waiting for us to grasp it. He never moves. Once we ask Him to be our center, to be our everything He stays there. We are the ones that move. What is even more amazing is He waits on us to return He will hold our hand. He longs to be familiar with you, he wants to be known. All around you things may be taken away or seem out of control, but He is still there. Don’t let go.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23, 24 ESV)

20121024-071300.jpg

Unveiled

22 Oct

Every once in awhile I force myself to remember and reflect on my emotions just six months ago. It’s easy to plow forward and try to forget. I realize that the process is a major part of being changed through the fire. It’s hard to recall the thoughts and emotions of such a rapid change of plans. I mostly remember embracing the reality. If you know me well, I am practical, and though nothing about this journey seemed practical, it actually was the most practical set up for me. The plans were laid out for me. I had to trust and follow.

I reference my remembering, because I feel like I am experiencing a whole new bald revealing. I am no longer bald, but I am sporting a very short and “fresh” do. I am not a fan, yet I embrace that there is less need of a scarf. I am grateful for hair, although the speediness and ease of being bald was very helpful. It is strange yet exciting that the hair loss part of the process is part of my past. I pray an encounter I might not meet again. I remember through people how those days were. I remember thinking maybe my hair won’t fall out… Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. I remember showering as I continually was rinsing my hair in the drain thinking surely I am bald now and getting out to see my reflection with still loads of hair. I remember wondering if God knew how many hairs I had even when they were falling out. The song that ran through my head as it fell out in the shower was one about making things beautiful. This was hard to imagine at the time.

Today I look back and realize these parts of the journey have a purpose. As I now walk unveiled I choose to embrace my new style and look forward to new looks. I am thankful for hair and for life.

Fall love

21 Oct

The fall season is amazing. The colors are simply breathtaking. Seeing the combination of His artwork around us, and his workmanship in our girls makes this heart radiant with joy. This afternoon we took full advantage of the sun and a day with no plans. All of us were happy to be together. It makes me realize we need more care free days, that are unplanned.

20121021-214649.jpg

20121021-214701.jpg

20121021-214712.jpg

20121021-214721.jpg

20121021-214732.jpg

Unexpected friends

19 Oct

It’s fun to tell a good story, and I have one to tell. I was diagnosed on a Wednesday. I was admitted to the hospital in Akron on Wednesday night. I met my nurse it was around 4, and she of course left around 7. We met, she was kind and gracious and loving. She smiled and made us feel safe. I of course requested her again. (A girl in the hospital should most definitely get what she wants). We became better acquainted over the next few days. She journeyed with me down this unknown road, yet familiar to her. The harder part was she knew there were many different outcomes, and this territory is all too familiar for her.

As we celebrated Hayleigh’s 4th birthday in the hospital she joined in the party. This is when we learned that our lives shared a great similarity, we both are raising girls. She with her two girls 6 and 4, and I with mine at 7, 4, 2. This fact made my story too close for comfort for her, yet she pushed through and cared for me well. We spent many days together over my three week stay and later one week. We became comfortable, yet she was still my nurse. I will tell you as a patient at times it is hard to understand and grasp how this person who is my care giver is merely doing her job. I am attached and need her, yet when the clock says 7 her family calls much like mine would while I was at work. It feels different, yet it is the same. I am relational and I cherish the many different people along my journey, both pre diagnosis and post. I encountered many nurses who were good at their jobs, but not many I would call friend. This dear woman is a friend. I can’t wait to see the stories we will have to tell in the years to come. Our girls love one another. Our friendship is one we would have never had, had we not taken this journey down an unknown never ending road. Blessings amidst the storm.

20121019-225023.jpg

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 ESV)