Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brain Cancer Is Lame, But God Is Good

Hi Mom. I love you.

This post is about my mom. She's awesome - she's fighting brain cancer and she never - NEVER - complains. Since May, she has had two surgeries on her brain, some major bacterial infections, 6 weeks of radiation and now chemotherapy.

I re-found this picture this morning and I really like it!
My parents were down in February to put new windows into our house,
and Micah got to spend a little time cuddling with his grandma.
 I mentioned Sunday morning that I was looking forward to church, and being reminded that God is in control. Why do I say things like that? It's like asking for trouble.

Milt gave a great message on Sunday morning - it was exactly what I needed to hear. It wasn't easy to hear, though. The series is on Stewardship and he was talking being content. Financially, I don't usually find contentment to be too difficult - sure there are things I'd like to have, but nothing I can't live without - and nothing I want to sacrifice greatly to own. Spiritually, emotionally, that's where I struggle more.

Like I mentioned, my mom has brain cancer. The future for our family is sort of uncertain - it's scary and we don't know what the next months will look like. I'm praying, and asking others to pray as well, that this cancer just disappears. That one day it's there, and the next it's gone. I know that God can do that. And He might not. I don't know.

What Milt was reminding us was to be content no matter what. To know that God has a purpose, a plan for these things that I don't understand. And to be honest, that's really difficult for me. I don't know how to be content with this cancer situation while at the same time praying that it'll go away.

One of the main passages Milt spoke out of was 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.  "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

It's an interesting section of Scripture, because just before this Paul is talking about the 'thorn' in his side - a terrible, constant pain that won't go away. He's asked Christ three different times to take it away and this is how Jesus responds - 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' He didn't just take his pain away, because Christ will be glorified through Paul's suffering.

I feel like I can begin to understand that. God will be glorified through the suffering and hard times that my mom and my family are going through. I don't know why it has to be this way, why this has to happen, or what's coming, but I know that God is good no matter what happens.

I think that's the key - knowing that God is good and that He's in control, even when it's difficult. In the meantime, I'll keep praying that this cancer will go away, that my family will be able to go back to our normal lives. And whatever His answer is, I pray that God will be glorified through our response to whatever comes our way.

Steph (my sister) and Mom at graduation - 2010.
 Did you notice I changed the background to my blog? It's gray - the color for brain cancer awareness. I actually found a background specifically for brain cancer awareness, but it didn't work with my settings. So, gray it is - let's get rid of brain cancer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few Things, Unrelated

We started school two weeks ago, and I feel like we've been in a whirlwind ever since. I'm struggling to get everything done I'd like to, like keep up on housework, take care of Micah without being exhausted, and have a little time to relax. Mix those up with some stressful goings-on in my family, and it's been a busy, tiring few weeks. I'm looking forward to church this morning - I need a good reminder that God is in control.

I keep thinking of this verse, which I know I've shared before: Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." I need to be reminded of that - that God is in control, and His plans will prevail. Not only that, but His plans are good - no matter what.

Anyway, that wasn't the goal of this post - that's just a thought I had. It's free. I wanted to share a little about what we've been up to - we've gotten to have a little bit of fun in the midst of the craziness lately.

David and I went to Seattle for a night last weekend - we went to the Seattle Sounders v. Real Salt Lake game, then went to dinner and a movie in Bellevue. We left Micah with his Gram-B and Papa for the night, and it was nice to have time away, but we really missed him! On Sunday morning, we woke up at about 7:30, and while we took our time getting up and going, we returned to Hermiston pretty early and got to spend the rest of the day with our little buddy.

Right after the Sounders scored their first (and only) goal. The fans went crazy and threw a bunch of these streamers.
 I love how they were flying in the wind.

We had pretty good seats, behind the south goal. Even though we were up a ways we could still see really well.
Plus, I only paid $15 for both tickets - getting a great deal makes any seats become good seats.

I really enjoyed the game - I thought I'd like it alright, but I REALLY liked it!
I hope we can go to a Portland game too, sometime soon!

Last night, David, Micah and I went to a wedding of my good friend Jennifer, to Kevin, a youth pastor in town. It was beautiful, so much fun, and one of the nicest weddings I've ever been to! The ceremony was at a neighbor's house and the reception was in her parents' backyard. They had a photo booth, with props, and the three of us had a series of photos which quickly have become my favorite family photos yet! I'm hoping to figure out a way to incorporate them into the header of this little blog sometime soon.

Micah wore a bow tie that I whipped up just before we ran out the door. He's getting cuter and cuter every day. And he's getting to be more and more fun! I love that little boy so much - can you tell?

Micah and Me with my beautiful friend Emilee (left) and Jen, the beautiful bride!
God has really blessed us with good friends and family - and I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful husband in David! We're so happy and thankful to be able to celebrate the marriage of our friends, and to know that God has many, many great blessings ahead for them! This is such an exciting time in a relationship, and it makes me so happy and reminiscent to think back to our wedding three and a half years ago.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little Cruiser

Micah has been playing off and on with the dune buggy my parents gave him for his birthday. I think his legs are a little too short still to do much walking and cruising around yet, but he's starting to really enjoy it!
I tried to get some good pictures of him on the dune buggy, but he kept bouncing all around on it, rocking and shaking around - a sure sign he's enjoying himself! Almost all of the pictures I took have a blurry face with a huge fuzzy smile!

Micah says thanks, Grandma and Papa! This toy is going to get a lot of use and a lot of love from this little cruiser!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Very Bad Word

Micah really has a mind of his own these days. He's all over the place - crawling wherever he can go, using Maverick's back as a footstool to climb onto the couch, and pulling anything he can reach off of anything he can reach. There are times when I'm exhausted after following him around for an hour, but this is such a fun time in his life!

He's starting to talk! He says 'dog', 'oof' (woof), 'yoww' (meow), 'hi', 'mama', and 'da' (dad). Those are only the words we can recognize. There are many many sounds in his vocabulary, a recent favorite is once again squealing, and I know he's trying to say more than we can understand. Laughs and smiles come so easily to this happy guy, and he's a real joy to us each day!

Here are two videos from this week - look how much he's changed, and so quickly!

One recent development is that Micah can recognize if he has done something wrong. He is such a sweet-hearted, and sensitive little boy, he hates when we tell him 'no' (and not like he's being rebellious - I think he's genuinely saddened) - but mostly he hates it when he has disappointed David. With the most gentle reprimand, almost a whispered 'no' from David, Micah dissolves into tears. He cries and cries, then wants to go to his Daddy to be consoled.

Usually when I tell him no, he doesn't really care. Most of the time he'll stop doing whatever it is I tell him not to, but there are no tears like with his Daddy. I sometimes get the guilty pout sequence. The other day, Micah was playing and climbing on Mav when he leaned down and bit the couch. All I said was, "No Micah, don't bite the couch."

Probably eating a tasty snack of dog hair - his favorite.
'No Micah, don't bite the couch." Head goes down immediately.

"I'm so ashamed of myself - I can't even look at you Mama."

Then face down on the floor for almost an entire minute. Unfortunately I missed the step where
he pressed his face into Maverick's back for 30 seconds.

And then, within minutes, back to playing like nothing happened.
Oh, he's so sweet. I'm going to bookmark this post so that someday I can come back to it and remember how obedient he was to David and Me!