Friday, June 14, 2013

Hungry to Learn

I looked down in disbelief at my pants. They would barely button. I knew I'd been "cheating" a little bit in the food department but I didn't realize just how much weight I'd gained since I stopped breastfeeding Talitha in January. (And boy did I miss that extra 500 calories I could eat without guilt or weight gain!)

I stepped on the scale.

It read +30 pounds.

I stared at the number in shock.

I couldn't believe it.

I had been negligent.

A few nights ago, Ryan came downstairs after sleeping all day.

"What's for dinner?" he asked.

"Um, I didn't think you were coming downstairs, so I was planning to eat some cereal for dinner," I said.

He gave me that look down the end of his nose while tilting his chin to his chest.

I was busted!

"When are you going to start taking care of yourself?" he asked.

I knew it was wrong, but I had been very lazy when it came to making dinner for myself. I love eating with other people and it was hard for me to cook something when it was an order for only one.

I smiled in response to his question and thought about it. He has always asked me thought-provoking questions and this one was no exception. I thought of his Cancer and how many people keep telling me that Cancer is linked to a poor diet.

I thought about the few months when I'd cook really healthy, and we'd all start to lose weight and feel good in our own skin. Why couldn't I ever maintain that winning streak?

"I don't know," I answered him, honestly. I've received cooking lessons from a few people and a ton of recipes since Ryan has fallen ill. I own at least 25 cookbooks and only one of them has to do with cooking with chocolate. I really enjoy eating excellent food, but I am a "good" cook at best.

Practice makes perfect.

I thought about my quiet times with the Lord, how I would go through seasons of reading my Bible daily, sometimes for more than an hour, feeling great about my relationship with God just like when I eat right and exercise. Then, I'd go some months where I would only read daily for five minutes at a stretch, or every other day. Just like cooking, I know what to do and I enjoy the end product, but it's so hard to keep focused on maintaining a balance with my time.

That's when I started a schedule.

My friends looked at me as though I were nuts, but I read it in a book somewhere. As a former teacher, I used to lesson plan each block of time for the day, to know exactly what I'd teach and how I would need to prepare each lesson. I thought about when I always felt good about my teaching and it was when I was most prepared.

So, two weeks ago I pulled out a blank piece of paper and started writing. I even added meal planning like my sister-in-law so that I wouldn't have to pull a rabbit out of a hat (figuratively, of course) for dinner that night. It took a little less than an hour and I had my whole week mapped out.

It really worked!

But I've already failed because I'm already into the later part of Wednesday and it took me until today to write this week's plans.

I'm back to square one.

But God doesn't say He will turn His back on us if we mess up. When we are knocked down by over-eating, under-planning and general failings, we can get back up and God will help dust off the dirt from our imperfections to focus our attention on Him instead.

Psalm 19:7 says:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

and Psalm 138:8 says:

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lordendures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

I am an imperfect wife, struggling to do the best I can for my very sick husband and growing daughter. Thankfully I worship a perfect God who loves me in spite of my flaws, One who will help me through every attempt I make at doing the right thing.

That knowledge brings me comfort, and makes me hungry to learn more.

What makes you want to do the right thing and helps you to be motivated? Share in a comment below.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

v29 Editorial on the Latest and Greatest

As we lifted our intertwined hands over the yellow post, I noticed a miniature beetle scurrying along the top, happily enjoying the sun. Ryan and I have become more intentional about enjoying our time together, no matter where we are. It was nice to just hold his hand under the warmth of the sun near the gently swaying and beautifully blooming flowers.

We walked into City of Hope today unhappy but united. We often have a discussion about whether or not I should go with him because of the baby missing her normal routine, but I don't want him to go alone. He's always depressed being there, especially when he sees the patients being wheeled around in hospital beds. He says he sees himself in the beds he sees and that concerns him. He doesn't want to die that way. He doesn't want me to become a widow either. However...

We met several different patients, including a survivor of 27 years! At home, our next door neighbor had Stage 4 Lymphoma and has been alive five years, the past two years he has been completely Cancer free! One of Ryan's friends confided in me recently that he prays often for Ryan to be one of these people and shared a survival story of someone he knows personally. Hearing these survival stories definitely give me hope that Ryan can be one of those people, too!

Ryan's nurses, Eloise and Shavone gushed over the baby's cute clothing today. And Baby T was enamored by all the pink and purple she saw today on Shavone, Eloise and Dr. Lim! Talitha was dressed up in an outfit sent to us by a very generous person and I thanked them for their compliments. Both Eloise and Shavone have given the baby numerous cute outfits as well and I feel so blessed by the generosity and many kindnesses of his nurses and the other people God has brought into our lives.

There was no new news today, but Ryan and I talked to Dr. Lim about cutting Ryan's dose in an attempt to allow him to work more often during the week. Ryan doesn't want to change anything because it's working but he also wants to be able to work full time and only miss the two days a month he needs to go for chemo. I would like to explore the possibility of that happening. Dr. Lim said he wanted to see the results of the next CT scan and would talk to us at that point to see if any changes can be made, based on the protocol. His next CT scan is in two weeks.

Thanks for your prayers, dear friends.

Philippians 1:3-6
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;