Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Somehow I've let life get pretty crazy once again.  As Christmas was barreling toward us, one of my dear friends said, "Why don't you skip doing Christmas cards this year?"  Gasp!  Imagine my surprise as I considered the possibility.  Actually, I think it took me about 2 minutes to decide that was exactly what I needed, permission to let something go.  With the release of that responsibility I felt freedom to plan some other family activities.  Below are some of our highlights from December.









Our Annual Christmas Luncheon at church.
Journey to Bethlehem, living nativity in Auburn.   One of my favorite moments with Simeon and Anna.


On the hunt for the perfect tree.

Julia is a little closer to what we have in mind.

Dave couldn't quite do all the sawing so the kids helped!  Way to go kids!


Wouldn't be complete without my path picture.
Mr. Whiskers enjoying the new tree.
 
Some friends from church put on a family Christmas Nativity Party,
complete with carols, children in costumes acting out the nativity, and of course
cookies and hot cocoa!  Definitely a highlight.
Daniel was a wise man, Julia an angel and this is our friend Sophie who
just couldn't leave baby Jesus' side.


Here is a short video of the singing...hope you can see it.  
 
Last year we made a Christmas Ornament out of some of Dave's hospital bracelets he collected over the previous few months.  Having the cancer removed at the beginning of December, and then just making it home a few days before Christmas, we made the ornament as a statement of faith that this Christmas Dave would be cancer free.  Praise God, He has answered our request.

 
It has been a very long road and we are not clear of the effects of the chemo, that is still a daily battle.  We will choose to trust Him for this coming year and His tender care over us as we continue down this road, following His lead...praise God His name is Emmanuel, God with us.
 
May you know and trust also, this One that is called,
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
 
Merry Christmas!
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Valleys

On August 2 I really wanted to write a "One Year Since Diagnosis" post.  Dave's birthday 2012, one year since we sat with the doctor confirming our fear that yes, it was Colon Cancer that had sent us to the ER two night earlier.  I expected to have great wisdom and insight that day.  We had experienced so much, surely there would be a great post flowing from my fingertips. 

Just days ago I wanted to write a "One Year Since Surgery" post...one year since the day Dr. Klatt removed the deadly disease.  Yet it didn't seem I had any grand thought to post, no way to sum up the year.

Last spring someone gave me the idea to put this blog in book form for Dave for a Christmas present.  It sounded like a good idea until I realized I was waiting for the "happy ending" to include in the last page of the book.  Well, the happy ending hasn't happened yet and Christmas is coming soon!   Like a good movie, everything should culminate in an ending that brings all the pieces of the puzzle together in a neat little package.  Everything finally makes sense, and they all live happily ever after.  Yet it seems like most of the pieces of our puzzle are missing and nothing makes sense, in fact someone threw in a few pieces that don't even belong to us!

Dave is still struggling, one of the common side effects of chemo is depression, even long after your last dose.  He has been trying to be strong and battle through it, but it takes a toll and even the best get weary of chronic pain/depression.

I went to our annual Christmas Luncheon last weekend with Julia and our speaker was phenomenal.  She spoke straight to my heart.  She shared a puritan prayer called, Valley of Vision and I am sure it was written for me to pray daily.  Here it is:

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

Our path seems to have woven it's way down into the Valley of the Unexpected, but isn't that so often where we see the Lord more clearly?  In a burning bush, in a lion's den, in the belly of a great fish, in a manger, in a cancer diagnosis.  These are not places we seek, but where we find ourselves...or where we find our God. 

While we don't have a "storybook ending" to this chapter of our lives (as I actually posted months ago), we do trust the Author of our story.  And instead of feeling "stuck" in this Valley of the Unexpected, I will choose to see this as The Valley of Vision.  From the title of this blog...this is not the end, but it is the road.  So our story will continue, I won't be able to yell, "That's a wrap!"  Instead I will choose to rejoice, even in the valleys and trust the Lord to lead us through in His time, in His way for this is His story.