Too Much Too Soon

June 24, 2015

I am the kind of person who is very content at home. I like to cook, I like to clean, I like to organize and re-organize, and I love to be with Scott and our kids. The hardest thing about our intense isolation this year was not going to church on Sunday morning. Scott really missed us. He’s on staff at our church so he has plenty of people to focus on and plenty to do while he’s there, but it just wasn’t the same to be apart on Sunday mornings.

Once we finished Phase 4 I thought it was time for us to go back to church as a family. I asked our Children’s Ministry if I could teach Theo’s class to help him re-acclimate to Sunday School. A few days after our first morning of Sunday School Cali came down with the hand-foot-mouth virus. A week later Theo broke out in sores. Ahh. Now for a normal healthy kid this isn’t a huge deal but it is the last thing a cancer kid needs. Not only does it delay chemo which is helping to kill the cancer, but it also takes twice as long for his body to conquer the virus and heal the sores.

We’ve now been to CHOP almost every other day this week so they can check on Theo’s progress. He’s starting to lose weight so they put him on Oxycodone to help with the pain. It is our prayer that he starts eating again and that he sleeps through the night (we are all a little sleep deprived).

On the bright side, this is the first year that Scott is officially off from school for the summer. Praise God. He normally works full-time for the school and part-time for the church. His school supervisor was very supportive when he requested off from the summer session and we are grateful. It has been really special for Scott to be able to take Theo to his appointments and it’s been a nice boost for me to take a break.

I think I pushed Sunday School a little too soon, but we’ll try again another day.

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.


Phase 5 Day 31


June 15, 2015

Theo did really well today. He had another spinal tap and he handled the sleepy medicine really well. His counts continue to be strong and so far he has only needed Zofran for his nausea. He is experiencing a lot of bone pain as a side effect from the chemo, so he often tells us his ‘ankles are broken’ or that his ‘legs don’t work’. He also cries a lot in his sleep, we presume because of the bone pain. It seems like this Phase is 5 days of awful, then 5 days of good, then repeat. The 5 good days are really good days, though, with full energy, full appetite and full laughter.

If Theo stays on schedule, his next appointment will be his very last ‘heavy’ dose of chemo.  Thank you for praying for Theo!

Jeremiah 29:11-13
“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”


June 4, 2015

geronimo (Interjection) – a cry before jumping out of or into something

A few weeks ago Kiana had a dance recital for school. A sweet friend babysat Theo and the gang, and Scott and I were off to the recital. It was the first time I had been out for the night with Scott in a long time. I sat in the dark auditorium with my mom, my dad, my dear friend and Scott. I cried almost the entire night. Safe in the dark, it was as if the music and dancing were a celebration of what we had just survived. The first performance and the theme of the night was Geronimo.  I was overwhelmed at the sight of 100 teenagers pounding their feet on stage and in the aisles. Their expression of unbridled joy and freedom was exactly what I was feeling.

The irony of having a relationship with Christ is that He asks us to lay down our lives in order to gain life in Him. Never before this year have I experienced this in such a real way. As I sat in a 10 by 12 foot room for days alone with our sick son, I was forced to lay everything down. First and foremost I had to lay down our son, not knowing his chances of survival. I had to lay down my husband and children as I was separated from them indefinitely. I laid down my passion for homeschooling; I had no idea what life would be like when we returned home. And I had to lay down the life of our unborn child, a particularly hard loss to handle alone. All that I loved, all that I lived for, was falling apart.

Nine months later, in the freedom of Theo’s health and happiness and recovery, I am looking back over our school year. I can’t believe we made it and I am overwhelmed at the life exploding all around me. Most importantly our son is stronger, healthier, happier, louder and hungrier than he’s ever been before. Life is just oozing out of him. Our marriage has greater life now as I look at my best friend and realize what we just survived, together. Our children are stronger as they forged lifelong friendships and gained greater independence during my time away. Our relationship with Scott’s parents has greater life as both Grandmom and Pop walk in our front door on a regular basis. Our homeschool time has greater life as I am even more grateful for the gift of one-on-one time with each of our children. I am full of life because He has given me life.

I don’t know where you are today with Christ. I do know, however, that you find yourself somewhere between Heaven and Earth. Christ died for you and He and the Father love you. Your body and your spirit are at war with each other, it’s like that for all of us. There are moments when Christ’s love is too heavy for us, and we just want what we want.

Whatever it is that you love most in life, whatever you hold dearest to your heart, whatever you are most scared of losing, lay it down before Him. Give it up, let it go, just long enough to yield to One greater than you.  Only He can give “it” life.  Only He can resurrect “it” with His eternal life so you can fully enjoy it in freedom and true happiness.

And by the way, there’s no guarantee that He’ll give everything back. I could list for you a few things I laid down that He hasn’t given back to me. There’s a mourning in that reality. But in the mourning I trust they weren’t meant to be.  And the things He has given back to me, I know they are meant to be. It’s the greatest sense of peace and joy and freedom.

Now when I hear the song Geronimo, I image myself jumping off a cliff hand-in-hand with the Father. I’ve never experienced greater life than life within Him. It wasn’t an easy year, but I can honestly say I’m ready for whatever is next.


Matthew 16:24-25
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”