fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl


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Happy Easter! {day 234}

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Today I am grateful for sunshine, family, hope that comes from death being defeated, and for good gifts from sweet Riley, like rocks he brought me from his house.

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healthy {day 233} (late)

This week has been a doozy. It started, as you may remember, with a call from my mom early last Sunday saying that my dad had been taken to the hospital by ambulance because of bad pain in his chest and left shoulder. I know you don’t all know my dad, but he’s pretty tough/stubborn about pain, and does not really ever complain. This made it unbelievably alarming to hear him continue to say his pain was rising from a 5 to a 6 to an 8. Thankfully by midday Monday they had identified and diagnosed pericarditis. My dad had an infection in the lining of his heart, but they had caught it early and he was going to be fine. Finally, we could breathe again.
And then Wednesday came. I got a text from my friend Jamie. Hoping it was news about my sweet friend Harlow ‘s Kindergarten, I eagerly opened the message. I started shaking as I read the words I never wanted to hear and that no parent should ever have to say about their child: “They did an ultrasound yesterday and they think they saw a mass. They think Harlow’s cancer is back.” Devastating, heart-breaking words. I’ve struggled to process this since then-both big and little things…will she get to go to kindergarten? how does a just-5-year-old understand that she has cancer? again. how do you comfort her when she feels fine, but is going to have to get sick to get better? how do you comfort a young family facing the worst news a parent could ever imagine, and for the second time? so many hard questions. so few answers. On Thursday Harlow had a ct scan which confirmed the feared-there is a mass in her abdomen. She will have a cystoscopy and a biopsy on Wednesday and they will place a port for chemo in case she needs it. The last few days I’ve struggled to come to some kind of peace with God about all if this, but it just feels so wrong. I don’t know that I’ll ever get it, so I have to learn to just trust what I know- God is good. Even in the darkest moments when it feels the least true, there is something in me that cannot and will not stop knowing this. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit reminds me of this when my head and my heart can’t quite reconcile the world to that truth. I also know that God made Harlow and Jamie and Ben and that He loves them more than I ever could. I know that He is with and goes before Harlow every single day. I also believe that prayer is powerful and that God does not ignore the cries of His children.
That being said, will you please join me in praying for my precious friend Harlow? Pray for healing, for peace for her family, that God would somehow give Ben and Jamie the impossible words to give their sweet girl, for wisdom and skill for the doctors, that they found this mass early and that it is treatable, that Harlow would be treated and healed quickly and effectively so that she can experience normal 5-year-old things like first days of kindergarten.

Yesterday my mom and I went to visit my aunt in a rehabilitation program. She’s doing great, and after just three weeks she looks the healthiest I have ever seen. I am grateful for this, both for her and for the reminder to me that what seems impossible (she has struggled with addiction longer than I’ve been alive) is not impossible to God.
He saves. He defeats death. He heals hard hearts and infected hearts and recurrences of terrifying cancer
Thank you, Jesus.

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much less important, but something I was also grateful for yesterday, was spring temperatures and sunshine. It’s refreshing to my body and soul to breathe in some warm(er) fresh air and soak up a few rays. I am thankful that winter does not last forever.


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Friday {day 232}

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Good Friday.
I’ve always struggled with that name.
I KNOW what’s good about it. Jesus chose me. He chose separation from God (for a time) so that I didn’t have to live life apart from God. He took my punishment. He gave me life.
But today is dark. We crucified our Savior. We jeered and poked and laughed as He died. And he asked forgiveness on our behalf. How dark is sin that we could ridicule the One who chose our lives over His, even knowing that we would choose other things over Him…maybe every other thing over Him. On Good Friday I always feel overwhelmed with gratitude, but also deep sadness at how dark this world was (and is) to crucify the One who loves us most.
Today felt especially not good. People that I love got unimaginably hard news. As I tried to process through pieces of this news today, I just kept thinking the same things over and over. “This isn’t right. It isn’t fair.” And then I realized that God, who knit these people together and loves them enough to give His Son, He might be feeling that same way. He, who created perfection, knows what He intended for us to experience, and (I believe) feels an even deeper sadness for the darkness we experience.
I am thankful for Jesus’s suffering- I could never earn that gift.
I am also grateful that His grace, mercy and care are abundant in our suffering. Some days it’s all that gets me through.


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early bird {day 230}

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for those of you who know me, you may know that I’m not really a morning person. and by “not really” I mean”not at all.”
this morning I woke up early. this would usually be followed by an immediate retreat back into dreamland, but this morning I got up and spent some quality time snuggling with the moj.
So today I am grateful for good snuggles. I didn’t know it yet, but I needed those snuggles to get me through the news I was about to get.
please pray for a sweet friend of mine who has some very important medical tests in the morning. Jesus, heal my friend and be very near to them.


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healthy and safe {day 229}

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I am so grateful for my dad, who is home and safe and healing. we had quite a scare Sunday when my dad had a chauffeured ride (by ambulance) to the ER. He was having pain in his chest and left shoulder. we were pretty sure by midday Sunday that he had not had a heart attack, but didn’t really have any answers about what was wrong. his pain was increasing (for those who know my dad, he does NOT complain about pain) and he spiked a fever. Finally by mid-morning yesterday, they had noticed a slight abnormality in his EKG that indicated pericarditis- a viral infection of the lining of the heart. It is treatable and was found very early before fluid built up and caused damage to the heart. he is home and almost pain free now. I am so thankful that he’s home and quickly recovering. this girl needs her dad still. love you, dad!


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happy birthday, sweet hubs! {day 228} (late)

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I am beyond grateful for my best friend and an extra chance to celebrate him. he had to work, but we still made a pretty good day of it. I found a gluten free bakery near his office, so I grabbed some cupcakes and lunch and visited him at the office. after he got home we had some wine, made dinner, ate our first gluten free cake, opened presents and hung out together. it was wonderful to have a day set aside to remind sweet hubs how special he is and how glad I am to have him!

do you have any birthday traditions? I want to hear them!