Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Not Even Christmas Yet

Days are flying by during this Christmas season.  Cards and gifts have been piling in, with one of the best gifts of all,  Matt being home from the hospital.  Today is Ivy's birthday and the celebrating started well before 7am.  As the girls and I were running out the door to meet friends for a birthday brunch,  there were loads of presents by our front door and a birthday present for Ivy, all without a card.  When we got to brunch,  my friend Kelli handed me an anonymous  card with money in it for our family.  We had breakfast that I didn't even pay for, we met with friends this afternoon who spoiled my family. I got the mail and there was an anonymous gift card to the grocery store in my mailbox. We have more presents tomorrow than what we would have had if Matt was healthy and working.

 As we were driving home this afternoon, I started praying, feeling so overwhelmed at the love and blessings being given to our family.  It feels so undeserved.  I talked to the girls about reasons why we think the Lord has been giving over and abundantly to us, explaining to them that we don't deserve any of it.  There are people whose family members are sick,  people who work so hard for their money and never get ahead, who struggle and stress about how to provide a present for their kids.

 Then I started thinking about all of the things that Jesus does for us on a daily basis.  He came to earth as a baby, sinless and died on the cross for my sin.  He offers forgiveness to me on a daily basis.  He cares, protects, and is faithful.  He works things for my good all the time, some things I notice and some I don't and take for granted.  He takes my anger and frustration when I am overwhelmed and gives me blessing in return.

My husband here, living, home for Christmas was more than enough.  The rest is icing.  Honestly,  I still don't know what to do with it all.  I am overwhelmed.  God is gracious, loving and  kind.  I am coming out of the hardest week and a half that I've had since the beginning of this trial and He helped me make it through.  I told Ivy that sometimes Jesus gives us the things that we dread to show us that He is with us,  we can make it.  We will overcome.  Today I sit overwhelmed by His kindness and the kindness of others.  Thank you for loving my family.  Thank you Father for not only Your provision but the abundance of it.  We don't deserve it, don't deserve You.  I'm feeling blessed and it's not even Christmas yet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Thanksgiving 2013

I might be late to the party.  We are in the middle of December, but I have been walking around so thankful today that I had to sit down and write.  I wanted to start a thankfulness post so many times last month but, Friend, I've had things to do.  As far as how I'm doing, I am taking things one day at a time.  I get such encouraging texts and notes, "I don't know how you do it." "You're amazing." " You always have a smile."….Truth is, I am hanging on for dear life! Holding on by my fingertips at times.  Learning to call on Jesus…literally…out loud….even saying "Jesus, take the wheel."  Haha  I am serious!  I am learning that I don't have to do it alone.  He is waiting to help me, even if it is to encourage my heart.  He has been so faithful to do that so many times.

Before I get into anything else I will update you on Matt.  He is feeling OK.  He has been in the hospital 3 times since his initial release.  He gets admitted every time his temperature is 100 degrees or more. I always knew my husband was hot (wink)  but they do need to monitor him.  It could be fatal if he lets his fever stay high.  So…the goal is always to reduce the fever and check for viruses.  Matt and I both talk about how hard it is for him to be there and away from us (it is especially hard on Ivy)  but we both feel really safe when he is there.  They catch everything that is going on with him and that makes us both feel secure.  But…we want him home!

He has started to get sick from the chemo.  He has lost over 30 pounds and eats about a 1/3 of what he used to.  He reads a lot but lays down most of the day.  That has been hard on him.  His spirits.  I encourage him almost daily to just focus on the day, get through the day.  I try hard to let him deal with things the way he does without preaching as I am not in his shoes.  I have found myself starting to tell him how he should be looking at things, then stop myself.  I have no idea what he is going through, so I just pray him through it.  

And me….. I guess I can start by sharing a story to illustrate how the Lord has been blessing my life.  I  have been very overwhelmed.  My schedule is fuller than a full time job.  I never have a day at home anymore and when I do it is filled with "to do's" that I have been forced to neglect.  I never know how long I will be in Nashville with Matt on a given day, people need things from me, I have to clean ( I am failing at this) because Matt can't be around germs since he doesn't even have one white blood cell in his body, I'm in the middle of studying for an upcoming lecture…(not complaining but painting the picture) anyways, I was at work (Preschool 2 days a week) and I was thinking about Ivy's upcoming birthday, deciding on the day that I could carve out to bring treats to her class, what the treats would be, I always add a candy cane since her birthday is Christmas Eve…..I had made tags for the candy canes and a mom in my class asked about Matt (I had just told her the week before about his leukemia).  She asked how I was doing and I might have poured my heart out about Ivy's birthday.  Didn't mean to, just verbally vomited the words when she asked.  She ended it by asking what she could do.  I said I would let her know, knowing full well I would never ask her for help in something like this.  I went through out the day praying about it and telling myself that there is only so much I can do in a day and let it go.  She showed up at the end of the day with party bags filled with treats for Ivy's class.  Tied with a candy cane.  I almost cried.  I did.  What a blessing she was from the Lord.

Here are others that I am thankful for….

All the people who have given to us financially.  From the Paypal account, individual cards, gift cards….Especially with the Paypal, I don't always know who donated and how to send a thank you.  Matt and I are blown away!  Thank you doesn't even begin to describe it.  If you would have seen me at the beginning of Matt's diagnosis, I was gripped with fear on how Matt and I were going to live and make it through this.  I still don't know the future on that but the Lord has definitely shown us that He is providing for us, through you!  Please accept my sincerest thank you.  Words don't seem enough but it's all I have.

I have a friend who I am so thankful for.  The Lord has used her to change our lives in this trial.  Our situation would look very different if it wasn't for her.  I could tell you countless ways in which the Lord has used her to help with hospital bills, food, Christmas presents….so many things, I could fill a book.  I don't use her name because she would not like that and she gives all glory to the Lord.  All I know is when I am talking to the Lord about her, it brings tears to my eyes.  She is a treasure.

Blessing from the Lord.  I stopped my car yesterday at the front desk of our storage unit place.  The man who owns the units had given us 6 months of free storage when he heard about Matt.  Since I am hardly there, I haven't had a chance to talk to him.  I went in and told him who I was, I could tell that he knew immediately.  I told him how thankful Matt and I were for him.  He was uncomfortable and kept looking at his computer, and he was really uncomfortable when I started to get choked up.  I started to laugh telling him it had been a long day but I wanted to say Merry Christmas.  I am thankful for the storage owner.  

I am thankful for my parents coming last week.  My dad has not been in the greatest health and it was nice to have them here.  My mom did homework with Ivy, played cards, did laundry,etc.  They stayed with my girls while I rushed Matt to the ER on this latest hospital visit.  My mom asked Matt if he was in the hospital to avoid a visit with his in laws. I am so thankful that I finally got to see my parents.  

Surprises in the mail.  We have gotten some fun packages from friends and I am so thankful.  It really makes a difference in our lives.  I told Matt that it feels like the Lord is saying, " I am not going to take this trial from you.  Matt is still going to have cancer for the time being, but here is something to make you feel loved, special, thought of, cared for."  It truly does.  Thank you so much!  We keep every card in a box that Ivy decorated at the beginning of Matt's diagnosis.  If there was a gift included, I write it in the card to remember.  We will keep it forever.

The countless friends who have my girls over for playmates when I need it, my friend Lisa who picks up Ivy from the bus more than I do.  I could not do any of this without you.  That is a true statement.  My girls love each and every one of you!  Thank you for allowing me to focus on Matt while you have my girls.

I know I have talked about my church family, the Iversons, and how much they have meant to us.  Our love runs deep for them all.  I have now more than ever seen this blessing from the Lord that He created to encourage our hearts together in Him while we are here on earth.  Life is hard, God is good and He knits us together.  Such a blessing.

My girls.  I have one who is my sensitive helper.  She knows when I need her, when I need help, when dad needs to rest, one who I can cry with at times (not as much as in the beginning).  Then my other one who wants to snuggle, kiss, laugh, dance.  God gave me the best of both worlds in these two.

Those who constantly text me and write me notes of encouragement.  Even if I don't answer every text or note, I LOVE them all and it keeps me going.

I tell Matt to just get through the day, sometimes I tell myself the exact same thing for different reasons, but the Lord is definitely using this trial to mold me into something I was not (another post, another time).  Today, I'm just thankful.