Today was only a quick OT appointment...but in true St. Jude fashion there was something else going on! St. Jude has a group called the "Volunteens" and after a little research I found out it's run by St. Jude and they take 15 teenagers...they have to go through an application process and everything...and there's only 2 sessions each summer. These teenagers serve at the hospital twice a week for a month, planning different activities. Today was their last day and wow...the stuff they had for the kids! Ellie got a new watch, some books, a blanket, and a build a bear gift card! They had it set up where each station was a planet...with an activity to go along with it. Of course Ellie's favorite activities included coloring...and they gave her a sticker every time she completed an activity, so you know she was on cloud 9!
So as we are enjoying these activities...a moment I've been waiting for happens...in walks a little girl and her mom wearing one of the hats I donated at the front desk. My insides jumped with joy! Every bone in my body wanted to go say, "hey I made that hat, it looks so cute on you!"...but God says "no Carly, sit still". Really...he's gonna make me be still again! So I sit still thinking they will walk on by and the moment will be lost anyway...NOT. They get right in front of us...ahhhh. And I hear, "enjoy it" (how I heard anything in this loud area is amazing....but He was loud and clear). So I did, I watched this sweet girl play games with her mom and get cool prizes...all while my hat was covering up her falling out hair. Holy Spirit sent goose bumps all over me.
We finished up all our stations, got our build a bear gift card and I watched that little girl and her mom walk away...IV pole in tow, never saying a word to them. After we finally got all our loot in the car (I think St. Jude has wagons for all the stuff you go home with...not the kids!) I began to wonder why God had stopped me, why didn't he want me to say anything. Then I began to ask myself, "why did you make those hats?" Did I make them so that other people could say "wow Carly, these are great, how nice of you, you did a great job!" Or was it because I know the joy in having a bright colored hat on your child's head? Because I know how Ellie glows every time someone tells her how much they like her hat and because I know how cold it is in those hospital rooms and bald heads need to be covered? God have given me a gift and I needed to use it for those around me. I am used to going to craft shows and people telling me how great my hats are, telling me what a good job I do, making me feel good. I get so excited when someone sends me a picture of my hat on a child...but that's all about making me feel good. Before Ellie got sick, I only made hats for profit and gifts to others, every once in a while I would donate one for something, but it was usually to my benefit. Today was a new experience for me...no one knew I made that hat, no one praised me for its cute colors, all they knew was that someone took the time to donate that hat. It was a hard pill to swallow at first, but as I sat with the idea for a while, it kinda made me feel better. I knew there were verses that went along with what I experienced today, here is what I found...
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4
I realize that I am now telling all of you that I made that hat...but I'm not doing that to say "look how great I am". I'm just sharing an awesome experience of just sitting still and enjoying something good I did, without any external praise. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea of doing something good, because it looks good, or once we do it, everyone will say just how great we are for doing it...and who doesn't like to hear, nice job! In fact I can remember "arguments" with Richard where I just wanted him to say "good job Carly" (I bet he is nodding his head in agreement right now!) But as good as it is to hear nice job from a friend or a spouse...its going to be really great to hear "Well done good and faithful servant." Again I'm brought back to, it doesn't matter what others think, it matters what God thinks of my actions, and whether or not those actions bring glory to Him.
We are working on getting Ellie's weight back up again now that we've finished the last of the harsh inpatient chemos! Yeah!! We just keep on moving forward from here, praying for a healing, praising God for everything he blesses us with daily, and of course wearing a little pink here and there!
Next MRI and lumbar puncture is July 10th!
We thank you in advance for all the prayers that will be lifted!