Archive | October, 2012

Contagious Smile

18 Oct

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As I post these pictures I am smiling. There are several reasons I can’t keep my happiness contained. First because the joy that is evident on Hayleighs face is contagious. When she is playing she is genuinely happy! I think about the things in my life that make me smile so much that others see my joy. A child’s joy is so innocent and evident to those around them. The joy/gift of life is ours its all around us in the simple and complex things. For Hayleigh it’s the fun of the game, for us it looks different. Yet it’s an option and up for the taking.

Secondly I smile as I feel privileged to be a part of others lives doing this same journey of life. Our kids reap the benefits of having a community of their own as a result of ours. It’s rare that life brings along people that you desire to journey with. I have a feeling these kids are in for some fun times and loads of stories. Soccer and dance are the start to a lifetime of pictures and memories. I love the privilege of watching this kiddos grow up. It’s just going too darn fast!

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11 ESV)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:4 ESV)

E.O.B

18 Oct

It is amazing how what we don’t know can be so helpful, yet the obvious and the known information guides us to make decisions with more awareness. First, and most important to know is that I do not like politics at all, much to my dads chagrin. As the presidential campaign nears the end it makes me think more about these families lives and the known and the unknown. I personally cannot imagine ever desiring to lead this country. I am thankful the Creator of this place is sovereign and is above all of the campaigning. He is done campaigning and sitting on His throne.

All these thoughts steam from a simple E.O.B. while reading through all of the different charges and procedures I noticed that on a Wednesday In september i had a chest X-ray here in Akron, it cost $37. Two days later that same week, on Friday I had another chest X-ray in Cleveland, and it cost $97. I think to myself, same machinery, that is already paid off. Why the inflation? My mind only likes the obvious, this is why I don’t like political things. Too much unknown.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 ESV)

Letter day +39

16 Oct

My joyful friend,

I was listening to a talk while I cut the grass yesterday and he said something that stuck with me. He said the cross is beautiful but it is not pretty. He was worried that some of us recoil from the unpleasant things of the Christian life. It is beautiful because of what it accomplishes, what it means for us- atonement. Yet the means are brutal and inhuman. The same could be said of sanctification by cancer. Honey, this is awful and ugly and unpleasant. Yet, in you and out of you is spilling the beauty of a heart and mind submitted to The Lord. Jesus’ submission to the father and his will is what can make the ugly beautiful and meaningful. He is using this cancer to glorify himself through your conduct, your courage, your faith and kindness. You are beautiful even though it is not pretty. It is just like God to do that. Even in your baldness your beauty shines. ‘The imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.’ It is imperishable because you are a child of God forever. Keep shining beautiful.

Love adam

*****
So one of my faithful readers, oh ok Adam, felt my blog post yesterday lead the reader to believe he is never in the kitchen. The statement was that he cooked dinner for our family…this is rare. But his help in the kitchen is frequent! I loved and meant it as a compliment that he was willing and able to cook last night!Thanks babe.

Squash and talk

15 Oct

When adam and I married almost nine years ago, we discussed as many couples do our roles. Back then adam talked of cooking dinner once a week. Now eight plus years later I think he can count the number of meals he has prepared on both hands. This is not a complaint, but a compliment for his dinner tonight. I took the girls to dance and left him with a recipe and a cooked butternut squash. He turned this into a delightful dinner. I love squash season. Dinner was great.

Other note worthy random things in life. I filed for social security disability, this again seems odd, yet these past six months have left me by definition disabled. I am now labeled. It’s always fun taking a kiddo to the federal building. Kids seriously make most people smile, I love that! Even in places like the federal building.

Hope you try this meal.

Browned butter, butternut squash, and sage help to flavor this simple pasta dish. This is a delicious way to enjoy butternut squash, or use another winter squash or pumpkin in this dish. I love it just the way it is, but feel free to add some cooked white beans or baby lima beans for extra protein. Use rombi pasta, farfalle, or a similar flat or ruffled pasta.
Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces rombi, farfalle, or similar flat or ruffled pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 dozen sage leaves
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Preparation:

Heat oven to 375°.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Combine squash, chopped onion, and 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out in a large jelly roll pan or roasting pan.

Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned, turning about halfway through the roasting time.

Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on the package; drain and rinse with hot water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat, cook butter and sage leaves until the butter begins to brown. When the sediment turns medium brown, add the garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Do not let the butter burn. Remove from heat and remove the sage with a slotted spoon; use a spoon to crumble. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the butter mixture, along with the crumbled sage and roasted butternut squash and onions. Put back on the heat and continue cooking stirring, until pasta and squash are hot. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Toss with the 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese just before serving. Garnish with more Parmesan.
Serves 4 to 6.

The wiles of Screwtape

14 Oct

On Saturday night Allie and I attended a one man play (though there is a second actor who plays a sort of demonic secretary & mime) based on C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters. The basis is a demon in management exchanging letters and giving advice to a demon charged with one human, or patient. It creates a world where everything bad is good and everything unwise is recommended. It is an excellent book and the show reminds us of the myriad of ways we humans are so easily led astray and how good we are at justifying our sins. Screwtape the demon describes a woman as a glutton who never over eats. But what is gluttony but the inability to say enough or no to your own desires. So she moves from one desire to the next, from an egg to a good tea to a little peace and quiet. She would never think of herself as a glutton, yet she is slowly becoming mastered by her increasingly impossible to control desires, all the while justifying her actions as harmless. In this sense it is an awful show, unless you like a long evening of repentance. One line and theme stood out to me. The demons press their advantage by the fact us humans cannot see them or the spiritual world, so they try to keep us distracted on the mundane things of life and keep our focus off God and our mortality. Screwtape was describing the experience of seeing Christ for a person, getting a true glimpse of Christ and he described Jesus as “Perfect clarity in the form of a man.” I thought that an excellent description about how all the loose threads of our lives find their place when tied to Jesus. This demon reminded me of the importance of walking by faith not by sight, of walking by the reality of the invisible God and His often invisible truth not merely by sight and instinct. Yet, when Jesus enters the world it was God made visible. It is too easy to order my steps by my feelings or my desires or my fears, instead I need to be reminded to live by the Gospel truth, in the Gospel power for the glory of God. There is a moment in the show when the sound of amazing grace invades the hallways of hell and it causes Screwtape considerable pain, it made me long for a life that would rattle hell, but it also made me wonder if I am doing anything that scares hell at all?
Lewis was incredibly clever and wise and the quality and wisdom of his words still stand today. I wholeheartedly recommend both the book and the show.

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:16-18 ESV)

Reasons to fight

13 Oct

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Many people would tell me you have three good reasons to fight this disease. There are many reasons that this disease was one I wanted to beat. But you can guess that three of the main reasons are these girls that I have the privilege of loving, guiding and caring for. I had the opportunity to join Hayleigh on her first field trip on Friday. We learned more about the Beaver Marsh and Gods Creations. Today we celebrated with many of their friends at Playground World. We were given a party from the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. There was fun had by all. These three gifts are added purpose to living each day to its fullest and remembering each day is a gift.

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Arbonne

12 Oct

I am blessed to have friends in many circles that represent many different ways to help us on our journey. Most recently my friend Jamie, who is an Arbonne rep, is running a special on Arbonne products as a fund raiser. The specials are posted off to the right of the blog.

We continue to be thankful for all the ways you have cared for us and provided facets for others to love us in this place.

At the close of day 101 I am exhausted and beginning to get a cold. Please pray for a quick recovery. Thankful for the weekend albeit busy it’s still the weekend!

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, (2 Corinthians 8:1-3 ESV)

Day +100

11 Oct

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Day +100, what does this mean? I made it to a BIG mile marker. I survived the first hurdle and have passed the first goal. It means less drugs. It means monthly visit to clinic versus every other week. It’s a blessing, and we have so much to be thankful for. As I reflect I praise Him for showing me how He loves me through many of you. I praise Him for my support system that carried us physically and emotionally. I am thankful for Dr. Petrus and his practice and the wisdom and discernment provided by him. I have life today because of my brother and his many sacrifices. I am glad to have the Cleveland Clinic within driving distance for their expertise with transplant. I have been well taken care of with love, prayers, food and support. His body has carried us well.

Today many celebrated with us. I feel cherished and loved. Thank you for joining our journey. He doesn’t promise that our road will not have turns and speed bumps and possibly major road blocks, but He does promise to be there and walk with you, even carry you if need be. Tomorrow is a new day, and I need Him.

Celebrations…

10 Oct

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The celebrations of life and day 100 have begun. I am so thankful that these hundred days have passed with some feelings of ease and simplicity. I think back to the days of discussing transplant and the talk of day 100 and its significance. Here we are broaching the day. There is much to be thankful for and give praise to the Giver of life.

Tonight our friends that started out as “24″ Jack Bauer friends, and have now become fishbowl (a game) friends, celebrated with and for us. We always have fun together and have created irreplaceable memories. We laugh a lot. This celebration included party hats, candles, balloons and cake. They even managed to surprise me!

Day 100 we welcome you tomorrow. We pray for continued success with new bone marrow. May His hand be our guide in the days ahead.

and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 22:10 ESV)

I feel like we have conquered Goliath! Be done leukemia. The analogy works in my mind. My theologian is asleep to redirect me. I will keep it.

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Like mom

9 Oct

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My girls make me smile, a lot. They tucker me out but they fill me up! Today Paige and I were preparing for a trip back to the dentist. As I dressed I of course included my lovely accessory for head cover ( this will not be necessary soon!). Both girls wanted to join me in my accessorizing. It was too cute. Paige wanted to wear it to the dentist, and as we pulled in she said, “I wonder if people will laugh?” I thought to myself I hope not, but ok if they do! There is nothing to laugh at when as cute as her! It was endearing to see them want to be ” like” me. I loved how Paige had an awareness of this not being normal, yet it was ok! This is life. We are living it. It was yet another beautiful fall day.

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