Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Future That Really Matters. . .Day #30 of Thankfulness

I walk out of the bedroom to start my coffee. There are sleeping bags all over the living room. I pick up the pot and plug it in the bathroom so not to disturb anyone. I have a blondie in my bed who had a headache in the middle of the night. I start the laundry and fold a load while I wait for the coffee. My phone is plugged in, in the middle of the sea of sleeping bags. I don't dare disturb them. I wander to the parlor, I open the door and there is another sea of sleeping bags. I head back to my room.
 I hope the blondie stays sleeping. 
There are sleeping bags in 2 of the rooms downstairs and the upstairs beds are full. It can mean only one thing;the teens are here. 
It is break. 
And with that comes lots of laughing, eating, music, and memories. 
And parts of this are so sad and hard. 
And just plain unbelievable.

Gary and the kids get the Christmas Tree. I stay home and hold the most precious of bundles. I can't help but walk the memory of years past and tree gathering. I can't tell you it was this utopic experience with peace and harmony. It was always energetic and loud and I am always picky about the tree. So, someone was always upset with me.  But the memories are what they are and they are beautiful. And each moment was what it should be. And I miss my son. I miss our family unit.
 I feel tired at the weight of the memories. 
I gaze at Lilah's sweet face. Such a promise, hope, future.
 And I think that that is part of the significance of the pain of losing a child. 
It is the future that is snatched from you. 
It is the future that gives you hope. 

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 hope and a future.

It is the future to which we look and make plans.

And all the dreams and hopes; dashed. Crystal holds Lilah and my heart lurches. 
And I don't finish my thoughts. I can't. But I feel robbed and sad. 
Oh, how we all miss him. 

I ponder this as I sit here between Black Friday and the beginning of Advent. 

The Messiah was the future.
The hope of the Jewish Nation. 

Matthew 12:21
In his name the nations will put their hope 

Yet he came not as conquering King; but as a babe. 
He came as a servant; meek and mild. Born in a stable. 
Yet the future of all mankind was fulfilled through this small child. 

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And yes, the future has been altered. 
The future here on this earth. 
But the future that really matters; the hope of all Nations, 
was fulfilled by the birth of that one small child. 
My future is in the palm of God's hand;
destined by that One child who came, lived, died and rose again, so that my future is
 full of hope. 

Day #30 of Thankfulness
I am thankful for:
The hope of the future because of the One who came
Christmas Trees
Time with family and friends
Alaria and Scott's wedding plans, which include our 2 girls
A sea of sleeping bags
Heat; I am still so grateful to be warm
the promise of the Advent Season
Snuggles with my little girls
Friends of the olders
30 days of Thankfulness

I am changed from this counting my thankfulness experience. My focus has turned to seeing the blessings in the midst of deep grief and the unknown. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Finding Contentment on Black Friday. . .Day #29 of Thankfulness

Philippians 4:12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, 
whether living in plenty or in want.

The farmhouse was filled to the brim with babies, toddlers, teens; friends, family, love and lots of food. The generations growing as the next have children. And what contentment that brings. Even in the midst of deep grief, the next generation brings hope. 
I didn't think the day would be hard. 
The agony comes unexpected; when you're not prepared. When you sit in the quiet, contemplating Black Friday, and the only Black Friday you know is when Jesus paid the price for your ransom. And that's when the grief rubs raw. In the early morning, while it is still dark and the season of Advent is about to begin. And your heart wants to break in two. Because no matter how thankful you are, you're son is not coming home. 

You will not be travelling in the next week to see him graduate from boot camp. 
Your travel will consist of radiation treatments and more unknown. 
And the practice of gratefulness will lead to contentment. I am not yet there. 
The skin of this journey uncomfortable, abrasive. But I am content with knowing that the Jesus of my Black Friday walks this journey with me. 

We will put away the Fall Decorations and make an effort to create a warm Christmas house. I can't help think of my mom and the magic she created at Christmas. The wonder of the Savior, come so that we might live, and the beauty as she transformed her log cabin into a magical wonderland. I never tired of sitting in front of the fire with her, drinking our tea, looking at the tree. The peace that memory brings is still powerful. I don't think it was the tree, or the lights.I think it was a time when I was quiet enough for the Holy Spirit to minister to my soul.
 To show me deep peace and contentment. 
I am looking forward to spending time with the family and getting the Christmas Tree.
I will continue to be grateful, and add contentment to the list.

Day #29 of Thankfulness
I am thankful for:
A large family and friend gathering
a love of cooking
deep breaths when all is overwhelming
SIL's and friends who enjoy cleaning
a quiet night holding the sweetest of babies
a warm bed (have I mentioned I love to go to bed)
flannel jammies
an abundance of food
a BIL who makes the best mashed potatoes and Squash
teens in the house
laughter and joy
17 Thanksgivings with my boy
memories that make us laugh
a candle on the table flickering throughout the meal in his honor
a Savior that died on the only Black Friday that really matters
Grace for the journey
a daughter who lets me know she's home

My farmer, husband loves this song. 
He is not a verbose man. This song sums up the beat of his heart. 
As you listen may thankfulness and contentment be your Companions.

When fears are stilled and striving ceased. . .

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's a Big, Deep Breath Kind Of A Day. . . Day #28 of Thankfulness

It's a big deep breath kind of a day.
It's been 4 months.
4 months since we were woken from our sleep with the news that our
  boy was in the presence of the King of Kings.
4 months since we placed our red headed, handsome, just graduated boy in the sod of this earth.

  How thoughts of that night still rock my world. 

And it's this day, that America celebrates all that we are thankful for.

The bounty and provision given in desperate times. 
Being thankful is a practice I have cultivated throughout the months and years of my life.
Seeking wholeheartedly all for that in which I am thankful.
Yet, being thankful for our son going home, so early, is beyond my earthly abilities.
 I don't think that is what God intends.
 I think being thankful for the life I had with him. Being thankful for those around us and all that we have, is what God desires. It is a deep understanding, that this is not our home. This is not where we belong. And one day we will be together, forever. I will walk each one of those steps still here on this earth wrapped in God's strength.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Our lives are to reflect His Glory, His promises, until the day He calls us home.
This journey is hard.

It's edges, rough. The fear of the unknown, lies at the door waiting to pounce.
 But our strength will remain in the LORD. We will find shelter in the palm of his hands.
So, on this Thanksgiving Morning, I surrender my life and my heart to
God's unfailing love and mercy.
It is to Him, be all the Glory.

Day #28 of Thankfulness
I am Thankful for;
Visits with a friend with little girls
Making cookies in the midst of a messy kitchen
a delivered meal that Ella actually ate
A new string of lights on the back porch
fresh snow-our sins will be made white as snow
fixed water at the barn
fixed circulator pumps in the house
a warm house in every room (the rooms that have heat)
the memories of wonderful Thanksgivings
friend who delivers a turkey to our freezer, and flowers to my kitchen
a delivery of flowers from other friends, delivered by one who too, has lost much
A day set aside to break bread with family and friends
this life, that no matter how tough it gets, our Savior is right there in the journey
my family, no matter how it has changed, I am still a blessed woman

“I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” 
― Elisabeth ElliotThrough Gates of Splendor

This is my desire. And there is no other rock on which to stand.
May your Thanksgiving be a gift today. May it be filled with the richness of God's amazing grace; whether you are in the midst of family and friends, or alone at your table; whether you are experiencing deep seeded grief or untold joy.

PSalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Lord I come, I confess, Bowing here, I find my rest. 
Without you. . .I'll fall apart, you're the One that guides my heart. 
Lord I need you, Oh I need, Every hour I need  you
My one defense my righteousness.
Oh How I need you. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Are Called By Name. . . Day #27 of Thankfulness

It is the day before Thanksgiving.
There are preparations to make. 
Much to do.
Lists to make.
Items to check off for completion.
The house echos with memories of years gone by. Tables moved around making room for the guests who will descend on the farm. Chairs gathered from all parts of the house to be sure all have a space. Name tags will be made. Each person will have a place.
Each name will be carefully placed with love. 
It reminds me of my name, which is written on His hand. 

Isaiah 49:16
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

He has called us by name. He knows who we are. He created us. 
Names are so important. We agonize over what to call our children. Significant thought goes into each naming. The Jewish tradition places much emphasis on naming. We see in Luke 1:60, that Elizabeth speaks up, "but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John." There was purpose and power for the name. In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is spoke of, it says, " For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" We sing this even today, in Handel's most powerful "Messiah". 

Elijah was going to be named Cedric, after Gary's Grandfather. A wise, honest, hardworking man. Yet, in the barn one day, very pregnant, I don't know if "I heard a voice", it was more a feeling. I knew I was to name him Elijah; the Lord is my Jehovah. And so we named our first boy. That boy who we so loved and now reigns on High with the King of Kings. 

Isaiah 43:1
But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

It is that sweet name of Jesus, the name above all names that brings healing to the hurt, peace to the troubled and joy to the afflicted. 

Today begins the festival of lights, Hanukkah, for the Jewish Nation. It is a reminder of the oil, needed to light the Menorah. On this night there was only enough for one night. 
Yet God provided enough for 8 nights. 
Though my tradition does not celebrate Hanukkah, my Jesus did. And I wonder at the power of the Son of God, as a child, celebrating the nights that God provided light, as He himself would become the light of the world. 
Light, Love, repentance, obedience, mercy and grace.

Day #27 of Thankfulness

I am thankful for:
This journey of Thankfulness, as my mind has focused on the goodness of God, my heart has followed
Even in the struggle, hope of Christ fills me
Strength for the moment, day by day
Kids snuggling together watching Christmas movies
Trading eggs for milk, as those silly chickens are on strike
My coffee, the word and a day filled with grace and love
A son who so desperately wants to spread manure (you laugh but it is so important)
A husband who is so busy, yet drops all to serve our Mighty God as a deacon
For heat in the bedroom (I know I like it cold, but not THAT cold)
Shelter in the storm
Memories, as life continues without mom and Elijah
Prayers of those around us, when the journey is too hard, they lift us up
Visitors throughout the afternoon and into the evening
Crystal, what joy she brings me
Her sister Alaria and fiance Scott
the anticipation of Chelsea coming home
A day of cooking
A day of remembering
coffee and time to sit and ponder God's goodness and mercy
His name which is above all other

"My name is written on His hands,
My name is written on His heart"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How To Have an Authentic Thanksgiving When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down. . .Day #26 of Thankfulness

I will cook my Turkey this Thanksgiving without my mother, without my son, without the cutest white fur ball at my feet, hoping I will drop something; and without asking my dad for advice. I might call him just for tradition sake.  But the thief of memory stormed his doors awhile ago. How do you continue to be Thankful when the pain runs deep and the ache so strong.

Elijah will never come home. No matter how I stare at the bed and picture him playing on his ipad. . .No matter how much I try to make him there. He's not. And never will be again. Oh, God, how this hurts. I want to make it all go away. I want my family back in tact. I want to hear his steps on the stairs, hear his car in the driveway. The relief that always came when he walked in the door.
Is that normal? Does everyone else have the same fear?
Each time he left,

I wondered if it would be his last.
I would search for his shoes by the bench or his keys hanging from the hook. Even at 11 pm the night he journeyed to meet Jesus. I looked.
Did my spirit know he was to walk this earth for such a short time?
If we had known, would we have done anything differently?
I don't think so.
We loved, we laughed, we fought.
We tried the best we could to live this life, this side of eternity with all the grace we could.
I am sure we could have done better.
But we did our best.
I can't have Elijah back.
I need to see with grace from heaven the future God has for us here. I will continue to seek for that which I am thankful. To dwell on the grief leaves me empty and worn. But to gaze on the One who gave His life as a ransom for our souls; that brings peace. Oh, such sweet peace in the midst of the torment, the unknown, the fear. To know that He has it all. That God will bring about,
His wonderful goodness, in His time, is a treasure to behold.
When I get the mail there is a package. 
It is from one of mom's dearest friends.
What is inside leaves me undone. I cry and a wail escapes, because this living without your son is hard stuff. Mom's friend was her Secret Pal once, and she gave mom Willow Tree figures. Oh, how mom loved them. Each one a symbol of a struggle she was going through, or a joy she had encountered. They still sit perched on her beautiful cabinet in the living room. Reminding us of the beautiful friendship and the joy mixed in the struggle. Now, it is my turn. The package is a Willow Tree figurine.
 I am not prepared for what's inside.

Elijah's life is through here on this earth. But I am convinced that God will continue to send people to minister to us in so many ways. He will not be forgotten. And we will continue to experience sweet grace through those around us.

Day #26 of Thankfulness

I am Thankful for:
Packages in the mail
a letter in the same mail, with a copy of a letter of recommendation a teacher wrote for Elijah
a mother whose lessons learned living with cancer are my treasure and example
A God who sees and loves us unconditionally
A tangible hug when I think I can't bear it anymore
A grain salesman that cares enough to be involved
other friends who are coming alongside this farm to buoy us through this harsh winter in our lives
the sunshine yesterday
another evening watching Christmas movies and just being together
the trip Chels, Adam and Lilah are making to be with us
meals that I don't have to think about
time to work on bookwork because someone else is cooking, even though I love to cook I am amazed at how much energy grieving takes. . .
this journey of intentionally being thankful, I am changed
prayer, and my quiet times with the Lord
my farmer who works so hard to make sure the animals are more comfortable than him

God is good, not because of what He does, but because of who He is.
       -Sheri Wolcott

I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” 
― Elisabeth ElliotPassion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control

Today, I will begin the preparations for Thanksgiving because I am Thankful. . .for oh so many things.
I will cry to Jesus and long for him to make all things right.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I almost missed it. . .Day #25 of Thankfulness

 I almost missed it.
I almost walked away without seeing. 
 Something caught my eye; something made me look again.

Someone had written love with leaves. 
I would have missed it, because I was so focused on the grief.
Because sometimes it takes all I have to breathe in, and out.
I would have missed it if I had gone a day later.
The bitter wind and snow falling.
I would have missed it, if I hadn't have taken another look. 
 I am reminded of how much we are all in this together. 
 The love of a son, brother, cousin, friend, nephew, grandchild, boy friend.
Silenced now.
Oh, how he is loved.
And oh, how he is missed.

I think we miss a lot of things if we're not careful. If we're so caught up in the doing and being.
If we're not quiet and still before the LORD, how can he speak to us?
How can he breathe life, deep into our hurting souls?
How can we be a forgiven people if we're not in His presence to confess?
To lay it all down at His feet.
And I ponder these things.
We will gather this week to give thanks, to share an elaborate meal together.
To celebrate the bounty of the season.

It feels strange to celebrate. 
But we are celebrating God's goodness.

Psalm 106:1
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, 
for he is good; his love endures forever.

His provision in the hard times.
His support when those early Americans were nearly spent and worn.
He provided for their needs.
So, I will be still as he pours soothing balm on my hurting heart.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches 
of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Day #25 of Thankfulness

I am Thankful for:
Messages at the Cemetery
Slow Sunday afternoons
a clean kitchen because I chatted with my cousin
quiet time with the kids
a warm house (really, its cold out there)
Warm blankets on cold nights
clean laundry
My farmer and his youngest, all snuggled, watching Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" -her choice and she can quote the movie and sing the songs, Nana would be so proud
a warm house (did I mention that? I still marvel at the concept of wood available)
our God who never leaves us or forsakes us-even when we don't feel like he's real close
the hope  we have no matter the journey

Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just Because. . .Day #24 of Thankfulness

I want to tell you something. 
Come closer.
Look deep into their eyes; memorize the color, every hue that changes with their mood, the lines on their face, the tilt of their grin. The beauty mark on the lip, that caused shaving casualties. . .Memorize the full eyebrows singed many times by the fire. Bathe them in prayer. Run your hand through their thick red hair, or over their nicely shaven one in preparation for boot camp. Hold their hand and run your fingers over the growing, over the stretched skin, now rough from mans' work. . . just because.
Remember. Don't ever forget.
Listen to their tales, watch endless you tube videos. And sit and play those dreaded x-box games. Make their bed and clean their room with love and notes to encourage them. Pray with them and over them.  Fill their tanks with gas. . .just because. Bring their books, lacrosse gear, lunch money, homework, projects, glasses, back pack, permission slips, wrestling shoes, mouth guard, socks etc. to school. . . just because. 
Because some day you won't anymore. Whether it is because they are grown and gone, or they are taken from you too soon. And those opportunities are to never be. . .ever again. 
Go to their games and sit in the car with many smelly boys. Breathe in deep. . .into your soul. . .just because someday you won't. 
 Take off work early and go. Be there with your kids. Spend time with them. Listen. Hear what they have to say. Their words do not always convey what their heart is really saying.
Be there. . . Just because.

Because. . .time marches on. . .

Just because, life can be unpredictable.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 
There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, 
for the old order of things has passed away."

Davy #24 of Thankfulness
I am thankful for:
Conversations with my boy
Blue eyes that changed with his mood
A messy room
Moments that left me wondering why I ever became a parent.
having the opportunity to watch him graduate
him saying goodbye and giving me a kiss before he left, one last time
the lessons learned through the struggle
that he won't have to watch his father go through chemo and radiation
the first snow
those who gave that we have heat,
 no endless trips to the woods to fit in between all the chores
food to eat
a warm house
Shelter from the wind
friends who love my little girls and let them make candy canes
chats with my step daughter, gosh I wish I were closer
the quiet of the farmhouse in the morning
knowing as Sunday morning dawns again without my boy, God is holding us in the Palm of his hand and this community of close friends, acquaintances and even strangers will not let us forget that.

On Christ the solid rock I stand. . .all other ground is sinking sand. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

When You Don't Feel Like Being Thankful. . . Day #23 Of Thankfulness

At times being Thankful is so hard. 
With all the grief and heartache, all the things that keep going wrong,

 it's hard to find the breath to be thankful. Inside burns; my whole world seems so fractured. 
Yet, I want to be thankful. I want to live the life God intended. 

I Thessolonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is a decision to be Thankful. It is a lifetime spent seeking for that in which to be grateful; even in  adversity. Even when your world comes crashing down, and for a moment in time your heart stops beating. And your son is abruptly taken from you. Your red headed, smart, fully alive boy, is gone. 
Yet there is still life. 
 God promises the eternal. 
And while we still have purpose on this earth. I want to live it. 
Once again, I breathe through the pain. 
I breathe in deep the promise of hope.
And I exhale the grief.
I meet the trials of this life with the strength given for the moment. 
Because thankfulness is not just a holiday. 

It is a life lived  surrendered to the One who gave. 
In that surrendering is great freedom.
In that surrendering is sweet peace. 

And when life gets hard, we put our knees to the ground in prayer, and lift our voices in praise. 
We set our hearts on things above. 

Colossians 3:1-3
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

I still do not like this journey. I still want to shake it all off. Yet, it is here to stay.

So, I will count my blessings and gifts. 
My farmer and I will plan, as best be can, for what's to come. 
And there really is sweet grace along the journey. 

Day #23 of Thankfulness

I am thankful for:
a movie night spent with the family, with laughter and peace
for folks much wiser than I coming alongside my farmer to offer support
For movie tickets in the mail from Florida, sent with love
Time with my sister in law
visits with my niece and step daughter and their 2 children, such sweetness
The sound of the farmers steps on the porch
the tough parts of marriage that change who you are
possible help out of the seemingly impossible trial of emptying the manure pit
sleep;such a gift through these trials
coffee; and those who know I like it 
the times I had with Elijah drinking coffee and being together
letters from Parris Island and the honor and privilege to write back

I hope this day, this week, will not be just about the holiday, but a life time of giving thanks; looking for  beauty in the midst of the storm.
Continue to open my eyes, to the wonder, Lord.
Please, never let me go. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Oh, How He Loves Us. . . Day # 22 of Thankfulness

How can you be gone?
I look at your picture, I want to see you so badly.
I want to turn back time, change anything I can.
I yearn for this to not be.

I long to hear you call me mom.
I walk into your room.
I just stand there looking around.
I remember your crib and then your big boy bed.
I remember when Cedric needed to share the room and how angry you were.
I think back to the time Caleb gave you your first Lacrosse stick.

I want to hear how things are and chat. 
You're my first born. 
My boy, my Lijy.
It's just so not fair. 
My heart just can't take it sometimes. 
How can this be?
The enormity of the missing; overpowering.
Sometimes the ache feels like it will swallow me whole. 
I want to claw my way out of the skin I am in. 
The LORD promises to walk with us through these trials.
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
 Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be 
with you wherever you go."

He knows the comings and goings of our lives. 
All this, has been sifted through his hands.

It is in those hands I want to stay.
I want to know and feel the peace that comes from a life surrendered to the
One who called us into being.
I want to live a life that reflects the glory of His face;
regardless of the circumstances of this world.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made;
For a reason with a purpose.
And loved.
Oh, how we are loved.
This love given,  so we might live.
I look at the picture I took as the night gave way to the dawn, on the morning of Elijah's home going.
I am still struck by the heart in the sky.

It is the mercy of the One who called Elijah home.
I don't like this path.
I don't want it this way.
Yet, I can't deny that God is in every moment of this painful journey.
And I can't deny that grace has accompanied us through.
And as I continue to wade through the cloud of grief, I swallow hard, I let the tears flow freely.
Much has been asked of me.
And much I will give.
I will stand strong on the promises.
And when I feel like I am going to fall and I can't stand any longer I will rely on all those around us. As Aaron and Hur held the arms of their beloved Moses as the battle raged around them, so too will
 I lean on the strength of those around me.
 Because this journey is wearing me down.
And so I lay it all down.
And I lift my voice in Praise.

Day #22 of Thankfulness
The sweetest of prayer times with 3 saints in the faith
Another saint who came to clean my bathrooms and
I am sure she prayed over every corner of this house
Kisses and snuggles with the 4 week old precious gift
Holding my daughter while she holds her niece-
2 generations in my lap; priceless gift
unexpected dinner delivered to the back door
A gift for Chelsea and Lilah at the front door and a fun conversation about books
A new (to us) refrigerator at the barn for milk, I can hear everyone saying yay
Thank you Becky for loving on us
 being able to run to the  High School to drop off something for my son-he still needs me
An evening of study in the word

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why Is Alternative Medicine So Frowned Upon? . . . Day #21 of Thankfulness

Alternative Medicine.
What do we know about it? 
Why is it so poo poo'd in the Medical Community? 
If there are advances made with less invasive practices,
why are we not applauding and supporting these wonderful insights? 
Why did my insurance coverage tell me that I could not give my son the prescribed medicine from the doctor; they would not cover it, it had to be a different medicine. The medicine made him dizzy and feel weird. This doesn't make sense. My doctor, who knows my son, knows what he needs, is not able to make the decisions of best care for my child. . .the insurance company is?

We sit in the doctors office. 
Gary approaches the subject of Alternative Medicine. 
It is heavy on his heart. 

Is there another way out of this nightmarish treatment?
He researches and find there are other practices available with success. 
Yet documentation is limited. 
Accredited Journals, minimal. 
Why is high end pharmaceuticals the only choice we have? 
I hesitate to be a nay sayer. 
For nine years, these high powered Pharmaceuticals keep mom alive. 
Living a full life. 
But could there have been another way? 

We ponder these things as we hang in the balance, of intense radiation, combined with chemotherapy. 
Radiation that will destroy salivary glands and hair follicles; leave possible teeth and gum issues,  mixed with a cocktail of lethal drugs given in small doses to eradicate the cancer 
that, in turn, may eradicate him. 
These things are hard. But when you're still dealing with the loss of a child, a year on the farm unlike any other, and cancer. It is hard to make a decision. 

Yet, all this is in the Palm of God's hand. 
And for a few moments yesterday I forgot that. 
I spewed to a sister in law. 
I spewed to friends that brought dinner. 
I left the well worn path of prayer and stepped for a moment into fear. 

Into a place where there was no hope. 
Sleep has a great way, for me, to wake with a fresh start. 
When I wake the heaviness is still there, yet I feel stronger. 
The reality that Elijah is no longer here, and my husband has cancer, comes rushing forward.
But the peace, that can only come through Christ, comes as well. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

We have no solutions at the moment. 
But God does.
He knows the path we'll take. 
As we gather more information, we will be better informed. And we will be better prepared. 

Day #21 of Thankfulness

I am Thankful for:
Lessons learned in quiet in the car
Chelsea and Lilah brightening our days
Watching Chelsea be a mom-such a beautiful thing 
Memories of the kids all playing together
times for my faith to grow
Hospitals and the research being done
Access to Medical Care
dinners delivered to the door after spending the afternoon in the hospital
A cold bedroom and snuggling under all the covers ( have I mentioned I love going to bed)
Little girls who send me texts while they are upstairs, saying "Hi" and "I love you"
A new friend stopping at the door with a hug. 
Notes and letters encouraging us on this journey and praying for complete healing
A new day

I will spend this day in prayer. I will rest this day in God's unfailing love and not look anywhere else for the comfort I seek. 

We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering
. . . what if your healing comes through tears. . . 
And what if trials of this life are Mercies in disguise. . .