Wednesday, March 18, 2009

chemo day reminders

Today is chemo day. I've been dreading this day more than usual, I think, because I was feeling so good the last few days and don't want to go back to feeling bad. But dealing with that dread the last few days has reminded me of a few things:

1)The importance of rest and fun. Casey, the kids and I got a chance to get out of town for a few days for Spring Break, and I was surprised at how good it was to get away for a little bit. Being in a different setting, away from the daily grind, was so good. It was good to do things that refresh my soul - be outside, have a little adventure, have fun with the family... Please pray that Casey and the kids will continue to experience refreshment as I begin chemo.

2) The importance of friendship. Yesterday I left Casey and the kids in Tyler to come back for chemo today and picked up my best friend/brother Mike at the airport in Dallas. I was reminded how much I (and we all) need people to encourage me in the journey and keep pointing me to my ultimate hope - Jesus. This morning Mike sat in on the morning Bible study I have with some good friends each week and we talked about a man named Jairus whose account is found in Mark chapter 5. In his most depsperate hour his friends told him not to bother Jesus anymore because it was hopeless. I am so thankful I have friends who say the opposite - don't stop looking at Jesus, put your hope in HIm because He is the only one worthy of it.

3) The importance of trying times. In that same passage in the gospel of Mark, both Jairus and another woman are brought to their knees because of their desparate circumstances. It was in the risky posture of desperate dependence precipitated by these dire circumstances that produced a life changing encounter with Jesus. I can identify with them in that I have experienced the grace and love of God's powerful presence so much more deeply these days precisely because I am in touch with my desperate condition. I am actually thankful for trying times like this one because it helps me realize how much more I could experience Him (and therefore the life for which He made me).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the space between

The third week of the chemo cycle is the best, and I am noticing that this "third week" is better than the ones before. Just a few twinges of chest pain here and there, but overall I feel almost normal. As I've come out the fog this time around, I've noticed a couple of things. First, I am really aware of the wear and tear on the family. Accommodating me and taking care of me has been an added stress that is taking its toll on both Casey and the kids. They do so much to take up the slack when I don't feel good and they don't complain. Needless to say, we are all looking forward to getting out of town this weekend. I'll leave them with Casey's parents midweek to come back for chemo, and I am really glad for Casey and the kids that they will have a little break from the chemo "drill" this time.

Finally, I continue to learn from many of you what love looks like. Our small group recently did a parenting study in which the author, Dr. Tim Kimmel, defines love as "the commitment of my will to your best interests, regardless of the cost." It is in this season, after the initial surge of shock and attention has passed when I am really amazed to see people doing this to us - continuing to pray for us, spending their time and energy on our behalf. We have received yard work and meals and financial assistance and childcare and prayers and words of encouragement. Friends continue to do life with us, even when we are a mess, and love us so extravagently that they are sending Casey and I on a weekend getaway in a few weeks. It is definitely extrememly humbling and sustaining at the same time...

Monday, March 9, 2009

lost and found

We have the best friends. Today, the guys from our small group came over and searched our yard and alley for Adam's wedding ring. They FOUND IT!! Isn't that great?! As one of them said, it's like the parable of the lost coin. It's also another example of God caring about the little stuff because He loves us. In addition, it's a great example of the blessings of living in community. It is a treasure. So, thanks guys for taking time to help us and to your wives for giving you up at a difficult time of day. We love you...
Adam thankfully got through the stomach bug unscathed with the exception of the fever. It was a rough week last week and we were both definitely "sick and tired of being sick and tired". It is amazing how discouraging it can be when you feel so at the end of your rope. On the upside, it is really true that lately as we are coming to the end of ourselves we have experienced God's presence - and that is the unexpected gift, perhaps lost in easier times, that we have found in God's grace expressed through friends in these days.


Friday, March 6, 2009

deep breath

The night after my last blog I ended up very sick with a stomach bug. We were hoping it would just stay with me, but it appears to have snagged Adam as well. He is sick with a fever and nauseous but stable so far. We've been hit pretty hard this week. Adam lost his wedding ring yesterday because his fingers are so skinny now. Honestly, I'm incredibly frustrated at the moment. Enough already. So, please lift us up as you think of it. We know that many of you have your own crazy stuff going on and we are grateful for your prayers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Today I was watching a little bit of Shadowlands and was reminded of something C. S. Lewis said: "I don't believe God necessarily cares if we are happy. He wants us to love and be loved. He wants us to grow up....Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." It was good to be reminded that He uses our pain to draw us back to himself. He aches for us and He longs for us to depend on Him, find refuge in Him, draw strength and courage from Him. I/we are learning so much about loving and being loved. My hope in addition to Adam being completely healed is that at the end of this season I will have learned to love more like He does: selflessly, graciously, generously and without fear. On another note, Adam is doing well. He doesn't feel great. The pain is often dull but uncomfortable and he has noticed how mentally taxing it has been. He is also aware of how well he is loved by our community of friends here and all of you out there lifting us up. The kids are well and ready for Spring Break as am I. I can't help but say thank you everytime I blog. We are so grateful for all of you...