Saturday, June 27, 2015

Man Plans His Way, But . . . .

Well, the house we were supposed to close on in the Atlanta area on July 24th is out. After we did inspections, the sellers wouldn’t do some of the significant repairs that needed to be done. So, as seems to be our normal modus operandi, we have no idea where we’re going to live and need to be there in one month for the kids to start school on time.

Our Realtor/Friend is working tirelessly trying to figure something out for us, and we are considering putting offers on houses we haven’t even seen. We are also considering renting, but we have more pets than most landlords allow, and we don’t really want to rent for a year and then have to move yet again. (While I know it may be hard to believe, packing and unpacking are not our hobbies, although I realize they must appear to be.)

In the meantime, the cumulative effect of chemo continues to take a toll on me, so I’m not much use except to supervise pet naps in the family room and make sure the couch stays in place. I struggle with neuropathy, fuzzy brain, dizziness, exhaustion, and muscle and bone soreness. I walk like I’m about 95 years old, and I have to take breaks halfway through my journey from the parking lot to the door, when I go out . . . not exactly inconspicuous. Sometimes, it makes me sad. Other times, it makes me angry. Either way, I frequently shed a few tears each day.

Still, I am thankful; I know this could be much worse. My family is patient with me and continues to amaze me with positive attitudes through all of the turmoil; and family and friends continue to encourage me with cards, texts, emails, and offers to help. I know there are many who walk this road without such amazing support, and I thank God daily for His blessings to me.

At this part of our Summer of 2015 chapter, I am reminded of two Scripture passages that seem to fit our story:  
  • “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
  • “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15

I am keenly aware of the reality that all that happens is occurring within the ultimate sovereignty of God, and His ways are right and good. We are not in control, and He is not OUT of control. Our lives are a mist, and God is the one who breathed that mist into being. He is not surprised by any of the chaos we see from our vantage point. He is just weaving a tapestry that we see from the back side. Our view is not the right way of looking at the picture, but He knows what story He is creating.

So for now, we take one step at a time and pray that He will lead us to the right place to live, in the right timeframe, where our children will be in the best schools for them, and where we can live our lives walking in the paths He has paved for us to grow in our trust of Him.

In the meantime, the heart of this (wo)man is continuing to try to plan our way. :-/

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trudging Through Quicksand

I am happy to say that I am home from the hospital and officially two thirds of the way done with my chemo treatments! Thank you, Lord!

I was more patient while I was in the hospital this time. Although the process was no faster, I knew what to expect, so I think I dealt with it better. It also helped that my wonderful daughter stayed with me every night. She was the best at keeping me upbeat and supplied with whatever I needed, mostly just her delightful company!

Sadly, Eric didn’t have a very celebrated Father’s Day. At least when I was in the hospital for Mother’s Day, my family brought me gifts and balloons. With me in the hospital for Father’s Day, he got nothing! :-( He definitely gets a do-over someday. :-)

Now that I’m home, I feel exhausted, mentally dull, and like I’m trudging through quicksand. My mind and muscles don’t want to even work. I’m praying this will pass quickly, as we have much to do in the next month!

As some of you have read or heard, we are moving to Atlanta. Over the last couple of weeks, we did a bit of house-hunting, and we have a contract on a house there and are supposed to close on July 24th. In the meantime, we’re trying to get the kids’ school records transferred and get them signed up for the classes they need, which we’re finding to be challenging for Savannah as some of her classes are full. We’re also trying to get our current house ready to go on the market, having defective hardwoods replaced, and getting movers scheduled around my chemo treatments. It turns out that trudging through quicksand is not helpful with any of that.

Eric is working non-stop on everything that needs to get done, while I mostly sit and move in slow-motion. Of course, he doesn’t mind a bit. He reminds me that my job is to rest and get well. He is amazing! I truly have never seen a more hard-working, dedicated man, who loves his family more than Eric or who is a more diligent worker or boss at his job. He doesn’t complain or stop to have pity-parties. He just keeps a good attitude and keeps moving and doing what needs to be done. I cannot tell you how grateful and undeserving I feel of his love and devotion. (Just read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 for a full picture.)

Okay, I realize that might have been awkward, but I just had to get that out! He is AMAZING! All right, I’m done . . . for now.

I wish I had something creative and deep to end with, but I mostly just feel like we are in the middle of a whirlwind right now, and my hands are tied. I’m watching things get done around me, but I’m just spectating. It’s not a good feeling, but I know God is doing something even in the whirlwind. He doesn’t waste these moments of feeling helpless and tossed about. He still wants us to trust in Him, that He is in control, even when we don’t know what He’s doing. He will bring about good things in His time and for His purposes. 

Until then, I’ll be trudging my way through the quicksand and watching the whirlwind go by, if you need me.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Have You Seen This Woman?

After hibernating a bit too much recently, she has decided to come out and integrate a little more with others. However, she is often disguised.

If you see her in her red hair, approach with caution. She will try to be on her best behavior, but her Jersey girl might come out a bit more in this disguise.

You should be safe when you see her in her blonde disguise, although you might not get the most accurate answers to your questions. Her chemo brain tends to come out a little more when she’s blonde.

Most often, you may see her in her little gypsy cap disguise. While it is not the most attractive of her disguises, it is the most comfortable, especially in “Famously Hot” Columbia. She often wears this one when she’s tired, hot, lazy, and/or doesn’t mind being on the receiving end of children’s stares and adults’ sympathetic smiles and greetings. If she’s wearing big earrings, there’s a good chance she’s having a good day, so feel free to approach.

Actually, she’s pretty harmless in any of her disguises, so don’t be afraid to talk to her. She knows she has cancer; she knows her “hair” is not real; and she doesn’t mind your knowing. She is fully able to talk about her cancer, and she’s fully able to talk about what’s going on in your life. In fact, she wants to! Cancer is a subject that one can talk about only so much, so feel free to discuss what’s going on in your life, too. She wants to feel normal, and that will help her!