Every day I’ve had a plan for the day and a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Every day something has happened to thwart my plans and mock my list. Some of the detours were better than what I had on my list (retail therapy at Ross Dress for Less with my mom; Chick-Fil-A and the library with my friend; a good visit with a friend) while others were less pleasant (an all-nighter with a sick boy). The end result is that I need to spend some catch-up time today to get back on top of my schedule.
I’ve also realized that I’m behind on a few matters here at the blog. First, I need to update you on Mike, the friend who has the same type tumor that Dad had. Mike’s MRI revealed that the spot on his earlier MRI was indeed new cancer growth. His oncologist, who was also Dad’s doctor, added a new chemotherapy drug and now we wait. The side effects of this new drug are a little harsher than the ones Mike has had in the past. Mom and I had a chance to visit with Mike Tuesday afternoon. As we talked we were all struck by the similarities in the lessons we’d learned and are continuing to learn on this journey. It’s a tough road and Mike, his wife Suzonne, and their college-aged son are all feeling the effects of it in different ways. Please pray for Mike and his family.
I told you that I started a Bible Reading program with a few computer friends. I am currently up-to-date with my daily readings. I’m not going to lie to you. Many days I read the assigned pages and they might as well be written in another language. I find that it’s hard for my brain to absorb much of anything of any real substance. I’ve always been one who likes to process and think through tough places, but words and thoughts just bounce around in my head. I think I need more time. Look, I haven’t deceived myself to think that “going through the motions” of a reading plan is magical or that checking off my boxes on my reading assignment sheet brings me closer to healing. Right now, I’m disciplining myself to show up for my appointments with God. I will keep reading His Word and I fully expect to meet Him somewhere in these pages. I have questions….not even about why bad things happen to good people. I have questions about prayer and faith and the mind of God and what my life is supposed to look like. I don’t know that I’ll get answers to all my questions, but I’m going to keep reading and searching and asking. I don’t know what else I can do because doing nothing just isn’t an option for me.
Sometimes a passage does chip away at my heart. I’m reading The Message because I’m hoping that looking at familiar passages in a new way will make the words fresh. I wholeheartedly agree with Meredith and Tanya who were struck by The Message’s version of Matthew 5. These verses in particular jumped off the page and into my heart: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of the rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when You’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. ”
The rest of that passage gave me plenty of food for thought. Especially the end of the chapter. Listen to this: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Wow. I needed that.
I’m also flirting with a study that my computer friend His Girl Amber wrote on the book of Daniel. Did you hear me? She wrote it. I can barely complete one and she sat herself down, studied, and wrote a Bible study. And she didn’t pick one of the easy books. She wrote a study on DANIEL! I don’t know if you’ve ever read past the lions and the fiery furnace, but Daniel saw some trippy stuff in his time. I told Amber that I haven’t been in a very group Bible study place lately and she graciously invited me to come and do what I could. And I am. Thanks, Amber.
I’m just now finally getting all of the Fiesta of Fabulous Forty-ness gifts sent to the proper people and places. Thanks, gift recipients for being patient with me. Everyone should have her prize by the first part of next week at the latest. It’s a good thing I won’t be turning forty again until….ever!
One last thing….Monday was an emotional day. I was trying to help my mom get some financial stuff situated and we had some life-with-Dad-not-here business to handle. We have a couple of personal family matters we’re going to have to get through in the next couple of months and just thinking about it is exhausting. When I got home, I found a box of books I’d ordered from my computer friend Marla and she’d tucked a note inside. Marla loves Scrabble letters and makes cute decorations with them. My card had a handful of Scrabble letters with magnets on the back of them:
I saw a “Z” and a “W” so I figured that maybe she’d given me the letters to spell out “Whimzie.” I was right, but that’s not all:
Thanks, Marla. What a sweet and thoughtful gift that came just when I needed it. You are precious to me and I’m thankful for your presence in my life.