Friday, December 31, 2010


As we say goodbye to 2010 tonight, I look back on the year and realize it can be summed up in a few words ... "Getting back on your feet" ... again and again and again.  A year ago I knew I needed to hang on tight and get ready for the ride, but I don't think I realized quite what was ahead!

As 2009 closed my job changed at work, well not quite a complete change - more like an increase, promotion, etc ... its best said by the fact that I took on more responsibilities at work.  While it was a good thing, it knocked my "rhythm" completely out of whack and I spent the first few months of 2010 trying to re-find that rhythm.  It wouldn't be easy though as we moved into a new building, hosted 2 grand opening services, and had a large volunteer event during Easter Weekend.  And suddenly the first few months became the first half of the year re-finding that rhythm I desperately longed for.

Summer came and went quickly this year.  It was hot!  I got a dog ... seriously a dog that I might have asked God to provide a few times over the years.  She's an English Bullie - the only type of dog I've ever wanted, but also one of my most expensive types of dogs you can ever own.   She was given to me after her old family had to relocate.  Not only is she an answer to prayer, she has been the best thing about this past year!  But, once again I found myself refinding a routine at home now that there was a dog to take out, run home at lunch for and spend time playing with.

June brought a move to a brand new apartment, which turned out to be cool looking, but has its own set of issues.  12 more months and I will be re-looking at where I'm living - its been a little ridiculous!

By the time school started, I finally felt like things were coming together, I was finding a routine, and life seemed to be calming down. 

I had no idea that the upcoming holiday season would be one of the worst ever.  I've found myself in a lot of hospitals lately, and not just hospitals - cancer units at the children's hospital.  It is a sobering sight as you watch children fighting for their lives and parents worn down, yet hoping that the next treatment will be the one.  We have two families there now with children fighting for their lives - it is a reminder daily to pray and not just for those you know, but for all the families affected.  Then, my grandpa (basically the "dad" figure in my life) fell ill just before Thanksgiving this past year - from nearly perfect health to a very frail state in just a matter of weeks.  Just before Christmas things looked like they were finally headed in the right direction as he was moved to a rehab center to prepare for him to go home - we had no idea it would be his Heavenly Homegoing.  It was just days later that he began to lose consciousness.  A week later we were saying goodbye, four days before Christmas.  I still can't believe it.  Services were on the 23rd and then we proceeded to get through the holidays - numb.

The past year has been nothing short of a roller coaster - with extreme highs and extreme lows.  It is a year that will stick in my mind for many reasons, but as this year passes I am left with a numb feeling, yet hopeful for what lays ahead.  There will no doubt be moments in 2011 that will be hard as well, but it is a new year and a new beginning and God is there just as He always has been.  He's gone before us into this new year and already knows what lies ahead and I'm trusting in Him to lean on, to be loved by, and to know that He already knows the year ahead.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowstorm #1

This has been our first true "snow" of the season ... complete with schools closed, high winds, and nasty driving conditions.  It was also my bulldog's first real experience in a lot of snow and she LOVED it!  She's spent the past few years in the snow-less area of Phoenix, Arizona - so I totally had fears of having to shovel her somewhere to go to the bathroom, or worse her refusing to go outside!

Here she is insisting that she walk through the deepest part of the 2ft drift outside the apt ... yes it comes all the way over her legs!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Through A Child's Eyes

***NOTE: Somehow this never got published and I just found it from the spring!***
(NO we weren't playing outside in 5 degree weather!)

My friends are adopting, in fact, I have several friends who are adopting, fostering, or talking about adopting.  The other night I was watching my friends' kids ... there's four of them now and they're at the age where I can sit back and watch them play ... they can negotiate their own issues, stay in the backyard, ride bikes, etc.  Their yard is also a "kid magnet" ... all the neighbor kids like to be at their house.

So, last week as I was watching them, a couple neighbor kids were over and I couldn't help but notice what they wanted to play.  To you or me it looked like a pretend game of house on the swingset ... complete with the youngest being the family "dog", but instead of house ... their game was called "orphan".  There was a "dog", a "lady in charge", a "sister", and an "orphan".

Like I said, it looked like just another game of "house", but it was so much more.  It was an example of children playing out what they are familiar with in their home - lives lived outside of themselves and focused on others.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 5th Floor

I made my first trip to the child oncology floor at Riley today.  It was like nothing you can ever prepare yourself for.  Driving down I kept picturing in my head what I thought it would look like.  But, once you're there there's no "mental picture" that can prepare you for what you see.

Ultimately, childhood cancer became real. 

No longer something you read about on someone's blog or you see in the mall on tv or the internet - its not a prayer request or someone you heard of - it's your friend and their child that you're now looking at - and its real - and it sucks.

The past few weeks in life group we've been studying Habbakuk - a book that's all about questioning God, which lately I've found myself asking God why people have to suffer, why kids get cancer, and babies unexplainable tumors - ultimately I "know" the answers - the sin, the curse, its all part of it - but it doesn't help the "why" that the human brain just can't wrap around.

I sat in the "family" room spending time with a friend just talking about life, the hospital, and the trials that they are facing.  My heart broke - yet I am thankful that they are able to be there and that they are close so that others can be there with them too.  So many kids come from out of state and don't have family there with them which makes things even harder.

So, would you join me in praying for them and all the kids on a very full and very large floor at Riley ... and if you ever need some perspective on life, just take a stroll through the hospital.