Friday, January 29, 2010

Today is a Pink Day

Today is Friday, a pink day here in our household. Our good friend, J, is getting chemo today. To show her support, the Curtis girls will wear something pink every Friday on her treatment day.

Please pray for her!

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!
(Psalm 102:1)

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
(Psalm 103:1-5)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ten Indicators we are not in Texas anymore...

1. We can drive for miles and miles and not see one cow.

2. When we hear someone say "y'all", an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia sets in.

3. When the ground is covered with snow and ice, school's open!

4. When we get a hankerin' for guacamole, we head to the grocery store for the ingredients.

5. A snowplow service becomes part of the household budget six months of the year.

6. The kids arrive at summer camp wearing fleece.

7. People don't say hankerin' here.

8. Cowboy boots have been replaced with snow boots.

9. We live in a house that is almost 90 years old.

10. When ordering a Coke, we actually get a Coke.

Monday, January 25, 2010

When the dreaded hits close to home...

If you are like me, one of the greatest fears that lurks in the back of my mind is one day being diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm sure I don't need to explain much further the reasons why, especially if you are female reading this post. I've pretty much put myself in the category (out of defense and denial) that I will never have this dreaded disease. I mean, no one in my family has had breast cancer, so it surely won't happen to me. And, to take it a step further, it's not going to happen to anyone I personally know either. As long as I can float along in this fantasy world, life is just fine.

Well, insert reality here.

My very first friend I made in Cleveland, one of the nicest gals one could ever know, shared with me this weekend the horrible news that she's been diagnosed with breast cancer. This cancer, in particular, is a very aggressive form of cancer. To spare you all the details, I'll just give you a glimpse of her 5-day journey last week. From Day 1, going to the doctor with a suspected breast infection to Day 5, being pumped with her first treatment of chemotherapy, I'm sure I don't have to fill in the details of Days 2, 3 & 4.

My mind has been consumed with her and her family. The "fixer" in me wants to find the magical thing that I can do that will fix this problem and make everything just fine. And yet, here I sit feeling so helpless. I googled "what to do when your friend has cancer" and came across some ideas. If you have a friend who has cancer or has been through cancer, hopefully these ideas will help you. And, if you have some ideas to share, please post them.

A few years ago, I learned a valuable lesson. I was at a point in my life when I absolutely couldn't do it all. I had a newborn baby at home, a 3-year-old preschooler, and my husband went into the hospital with MRSA. It was the longest week of my life. He was there for 6 nights/7 days and we were on the day-to-day "wait and see" plan. I was so torn, wanting to be with my new baby and 3-year-old and needing to be right by my husband's side. I learned in that week what it means to be blessed by others. Our friends and family lined up to bring meals, babysit, run errands, visit Jason, etc. I had a hard time at first allowing them to help me as I didn't want to feel like an imposition or pitied. I wanted to be able to throw on my cape and conquer it all! But, a friend told me that allowing others to help me is also allowing them to be blessed. This is what the church was intended to be and I needed to let the church be the church. Isn't this true? Don't you always feel blessed when you have helped someone else? They receive the blessing of your help and you receive the blessing of knowing you have helped someone in need.

My friend has so many people who love and care for her. I pray she will quickly let go of wanting to be Super Girl and allow her friends and family to pick up the slack. I pray that God will show me the best way to be her friend and to walk by her side through this journey. For now, I will start with some of these...

Send a card or email just to let her know you are thinking about her.
Don't expect a response, know that she's read it and your contact is for her to know you care.

Volunteer to run some errands for her family:
carpooling, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.

Cook dinner for the family.

Go a step further and arrange for meals to be delivered on a regular basis for a certain period of time.
Enlist family and friends to sign up.
(Make sure you gather any nutritional information, such as allergies, dislikes, etc.)

Take her to get a mani/pedi.

Buy her some new earrings or a new piece of jewelry.
As she begins to lose her hair, this will boost her spirits some.

Offer to accompany her to the wig shop.
This may be a very private task for your friend, but at the same time, she may appreciate another female's feedback.

Offer to communicate updates for her so she doesn't have to repeat herself several times.
No doubt, she will have many friends who want to know the latest news. Compose an address book that will allow this information to be sent once and reach many people.

Bring flowers.
Who doesn't love a vase of fresh flowers?

This is a great website I've found that offers advice for the time your friend is diagnosed and through the chemo and radiation treatment.

For now, I will be in constant prayer for my friend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Training those little minds & hearts!

Our family enjoyed the Advent devotionals so much that we decided we would continue with some family devotional time. We're using this book and it's great to use at the dinner table, first thing in the morning, or at bedtime. I like this book because it speaks to all three of my children, despite the span of their ages, and each devotional takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on the depth of your conversation. Each reading ends with a fact from "our amazing world". The kids have enjoyed these as well. This book has 100 devotionals, so we don't feel pressured to do one every day. I'd say we're keeping up with a pace of about three a week.

(Click on the image to link to Amazon's website.)

Emily and I are enjoying going through this book together. This book is written with 365 "sticky situations", so there's one for each day of the year. We spend some time at bedtime reading one together. The reading starts with a small story ("situation") and then gives 4-5 choices as to how to handle the situation ("what would you do?"). This has triggered some great conversations, mainly that many times, the easy way out is not always the right thing to do. Each day gives a reference to a Bible verse to back up the virtue and Emily's doing a great job finding these verses in the Bible with minimal help from me.

(Click on the image to link to Amazon's website.)

So, check these books out.
I recommend both of them!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

When I Grow Up...

Here's a random conversation that took place today...

Emily: When I grow up, I want to work at Sea World
and swim with the dolphins and whales.

Ben: When I grow up, I want to be a musketeer.
Are there still musketeers?
Jason: In France. Ben: Hmm.

Mommy: Abby, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Abby: I just want to be a kid.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

We serve a God of new beginnings.
May this day be the best new beginning for you and yours!