Three years ago, I starting blogging again to keep myself sane in a cramped PICU room. Three years ago, cancer become our reality. Three years ago, I learned that I can endure anything with the strength that Jesus gives me. Three years ago, I learned the power of strangers. Three years ago, I was changed.
I look around the house now...Noah doing a school project, SG pretending to take a nap, and Lulah walking around looking for more food and dancing, and it just seems like regular life. You look on the walls you see pictures of four amazing children, on the table you see textbooks of Richard's and of course toys and dog hair everywhere. Again, it looks and actually often feels pretty normal, this is our life and I am content.
But there are these moments...where I think I can feel the hole in my heart, where you cry so hard and when you take a breath, if feels like your stomach touches your back. Where you think....what in the world is going on in my life...how did I get here....how do I keep going....how do I keep it together today for the sake of my kids....and once you get through that moment, you realize the answer to every one of those questions is "God".
Three years ago, I knew St. Jude existed....I think. I mean I'm sure I saw them on TV or heard a radioathon or something. I knew cancer existed, but mostly in older people. I knew kids got sick, but surely there were cures or at least is wasn't my problem. However it quickly became my problem, and its a huge problem for a lot of other families out there. There aren't cures for so many of these kids, however it doesn't really seem to be a priority for anyone, except those families affected by pediatric cancer. Three years ago, I never imagined I would be sharing anything about my family with other people, never imagined God would use my crazy life to try to help other families and to help raise funds for a charity. But there I go, thinking again.
I'm procrastinating two different speeches...well story sharing experiences. I know what I want to say, but sometimes its so hard to put it all in one little speech because I want to share everything about my Ellie, I want to tell every one what the Lord has done and provided and how he has carried us through. I know people aren't concerned with my every little detail, but when I cut things out, I feel like I'm taking away from her or Him. I know it will all come together....I'm just a little distracted by the many memories of this time in our lives.
I mentioned two St. Jude events this week...both brand new to me...and new makes me so nervous! The first is the Gourmet Gala in Washington DC. When this opportunity was first presented to me and I started reading about the 500 people that would be there, Noah told me I just had to do it, he would hold my hand the whole time! I decided to leave it in God's hands, and said only if Richard will come with me, thinking he wouldn't really want to go...he said yes! So we head to DC, Noah will not be there to hold my hand, but he says he will still be proud of me! The second event is a St. Jude Teen Gala in Fredericksburg. Richard and I will once again be getting dressed up and heading to this event, headed up by a group of teenagers with a passion! I get the honor of speaking to them as well, an age group I have never presented to before, but I am excited about! These teens have a goal of $10,000, and are currently only $1400 away from their goal! If you'd like to make a donation or you have a teen that would like to attend, you can visit their event page here for more information. Thanks to a generous donation, any teen can attend for free, if they raise $100 they will be entered into raffles.
Now that I've wasted enough time and I need to start dinner...SG I think is really asleep now, and Lulah hasn't found any food!
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea" Psalm 46:1-2
"I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8
Giving it all to God in this upcoming week