March 1, 2016
Theo’s day at CHOP went well this month. His counts continue to be in a medium range which keeps him at a 75% dose of chemo. This is the first time that he has not been neutropenic for more than a short time. The word neutropenic refers to having an ANC below 500. When your ANC is below 500 doctors recommend that you avoid public areas because your immune system is too low to fight the common germ. I’m so thankful to say that Theo hasn’t been neutropenic for two months straight now. I’m also thankful to say we haven’t had any extra hospital days this month, to God be the Glory.
This is a picture from our chemo day, as you can see Theo is blocking the camera. He really shuts down on his chemo days. He gets very sad and quiet and he hates it when I take his picture. I always try to take at least one shot of him, just for memory’s sake. (Hopefully this doesn’t make me an insensitive mom.)
My personal theme for February was prayer. Back in college I lived in an on-campus apartment with 4 fantastic ladies. We had this odd-shaped coat closet where beyond the hanging coats was a slanted crawl space. As an introvert trying to find alone time, but also as a growing Christian trying to figure out prayer, I put down a carpet piece, ran an extension cord under the door to plug in a lamp, and staked out the space as a ‘prayer closet’. I had 3×5 cards, markers and wall putty to keep track of the things that weighed on my heart. There was one 3×5 card with one word on it written in a thick black sharpie marker. It read, “Scott.” Man, I couldn’t figure that guy out. 😉
Ever since college I have always had some sort of prayer closet, but as with everything in life my prayer life has changed through the seasons. During our early years of marriage I loved Stormie Omartian’s series called The Power of a Praying Wife (Mother, Woman, etc.) It’s a series worth reading and keeping nearby. It models how to use scripture to pray according to God’s will, not just for a new car or a great tan (not that I have ever prayed for those things, ahem).
A few years ago another resource that really shaped my view of prayer was Andy Stanley’s sermon on The Lord’s Prayer. It’s seriously worth an hour of your time. I can’t find the link, but I’m working on it.
Right before Theo was diagnosed I would say my prayer routine was consistent but really disorganized. I had an unused Christmas notepad and a pen and I would just jot down the things on my mind. Once I could write down my immediate thoughts and worries I was able to turn my thoughts to the Lord and the things that matter to Him. Crazy enough, I recently found the scrap from October 2014, the week Theo was diagnosed.
Last month Scott and I rented the movie, “War Room.” As corny as it may sound, I was really inspired to get back on my game when it came to prayer. I went up to my prayer closet and cleaned out all my scraps of random thoughts and verses. I thought and prayed and looked up some core Bible verses for our family. Here’s what I’ve come up with for the kids so far…
The left side of the page is all Bible verses. These are the things I know to be true. I know that these things line up with God’s heart and His will because these are His words, therefore I know He wants these things even more than I do. The right side of the page is blank. That’s where I write down some more specific, time sensitive things that are on my mind. It’s neat to see how God answers my concerns. It’s also interesting to see which concerns remain unanswered and get transferred to the new page as time goes on.
Prayer is just talking to God and building your relationship with Him, just as you would a friend here on Earth. Because we know that scripture is true, it’s a very handy practice to pray a Bible verse, especially when you don’t know what to say. I hope you get the chance to examine your prayer life sometime soon and take the next step of intent, whatever that may be. We know many of you are already praying for Theo. We see the end result of your prayers and we are grateful.
Theo’s next appointment is March 18th. This will be a spinal tap and IV chemo, always a big day for Theo and our family. We would love your prayers for safety, comfort, healing and peace as he undergoes sedation and receives chemo both via IV and in his spinal fluid.
Come On Spring
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.