Late update!

I’m so sorry I didn’t update sooner! Lost track of the day and then we had a lovely dinner with our friend Margaret.

Elijah is ALL CLEAR! No new growth! This is fantastic! We are just at the six month mark with no new growth.  He has been here once before, but we are feeling so thankful!

We will come back in TEN weeks!!!!🎉🎉🎉

Thank you for all your prayers!!!!

Tummy love😂

Well, after my last post….

We got rear-ended on the way into the city by a big van (much like the one I drive).  It wasn’t bad-Elijah slept through it.  But after an hour or so, I started having pain down my left arm.  My good friend here in the city recommended a chiropractor and they were able to get me in right away.

Not only is:

1. The pain down my arm gone (do have a headache but took ibuprofen)

2. This guy was a believer!

3.  I had been too tired to go get food for Elijah and I, but since I had to go to the doctor, this amazing place was right around the corner and I am not kidding, I am feeling the love of God right in my tummy.❤😂

Trying to fill Elijah’s belly with gluten free pizza since he won’t be able to eat in the morning.

And I got this amazing salad: chopped kale, sweet potatoes (really, yams), apple, goat cheese, almonds, and roasted chicken in a light balsalmic vinegar.

It’s been a long day, but I’m feeling the love. Thank you for your prayers, and texts, and comments. They mean so much!  I know that God is near.  So I’m just going to let angels attend to me while I eat this yummy salad.😂😂😂😂😂

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Psalm 3:3

“So strong”….and wheels up!

I think it’s a comment that many parents of a child with cancer, or special needs, or even just parents of many children:

“You’re so strong!”

These last couple of weeks, I have felt anything but strong.  My own personal health has given me some unsolved mysteries and often saps my strength as I try to navigate life while managing pain.

And I think, if I’m honest, that even though Elijah has been doing well in the cancer department….it still becomes wearisome.  This weekend will mark two years that we have been traveling back and forth to New York.  After two years, the exams have not gotten much easier. You still feel the drop in your stomach when you hand your baby over, and even when you’re feeling pretty confident that things are just fine, you still have to sit and wait.  And even without the constant possibility of regrowth or new tumors, there’s just the logistics of daily life, and flights and airline representatives who may or may not be kind to you.

It’s letting go of the little wants and wishes….letting go of preferences.

I PREFER a certain airline. But that one was almost double the cost this trip.

I PREFER to have someone accompany me, but it means buying another ticket.😉

I PREFER to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, but due to the construction, they didn’t have room for us this time.

I PREFER when airline representatives are kind and understanding, and help with carrying luggage and car seats (especially when I call ahead to arrange for help), rather than when I carry all the stuff with a screaming toddler reluctantly following behind me because he wants me to pick him up.

But let’s face it-my preference would be to not be walking this road anyway, but if I were not, I would have also missed out on countless adventures, treasured friendships, and growth for our whole family in ways my words cannot express.  So, preferences aside, we move forward.  We step ahead even though it doesn’t match the *ideal* or even the “wouldn’t it be nice?”

It’s easy to wonder, when your heart becomes a little tired, if you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. If maybe you got on the wrong plane instead of the one with the nice attendants.😂. Today, I am crying out for God to pour His courage into my heart, to give me the kind of faith that sees beyond what is seen, to trust that I am on the right plane and He is with me every step of the way.  It may not be easy.  It may not go according to my preferences. But it’s time for “wheel’s up”, and I don’t want to miss the adventure.  My weak and wobbly heart can trust the God who goes before me and is guiding every step of the way.

And I’m happy to report that just when my little heart thought it would burst open with tears…..Elijah had his best flight ever.  Another reminder that the hard things also have blessings hidden in them.

So! While people often comment on how our family is “so strong”, I smile and think, “We are only as strong as we must be, and even then, it is God’s strength at work in us.”

We made it to NY.  I attracted more than a few glances and got a hefty workout pushing the stroller loaded down with the car seat and Elijah’s bag and pulling my roller bag… young man even pointed and said, “That’s cool!”  I think he thought that the car seat was supposed to be on top of the stroller.

I had to chuckle. I don’t feel so strong. I feel nothing but my painfully obvious weakness.  And sometimes your weaknesses become even more obvious as you press on. Today, I’ll admit….I was embarrassed.  It hurt my heart to have Elijah standing there crying because he wanted me to pick him up. In order to get to the plane, I needed him to walk–even if it meant an airport gate full of people thinking I was a mean mommy. It required me to be stretched and for Elijah to be a “big boy.”  I didn’t like it, but we made it. And my weakness just gives more room for Christ’s power to rest upon me. And boy, do I need it!

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

A special blessing

We never would have even thought of something like this.  A fellow cancer family nominated us for this very special trip to…Disneyland!

We would not have been able to afford a trip like this….well, probably ever! But not only did we all get into the park, but they VIP toured us all the way to the FastPass lane on every ride. We met Darth Vader (which wow! Those conversations were hilarious!), Chewbaca, and Mickey Mouse.❤

The boys did Jedi training, and I think we covered about 17 rides! We found little thrill seekers hiding in even our small ones, and Evelyn was “so brave” on many rides where she didn’t know what she was getting herself into!

Emma’s favorite was the California Screamin’ roller coaster-which only she and Daddy rode.☺. Everyone loved Cars! It was a cool ride and they did a fantastic job recreating Radiator Springs.  Judah loved Splash Mountain! And Evelyn liked the Matterhorn, and the “robot” that jumps out at you (Daddy explained that the snowman was just a robot).

But the biggest blessing….was just being together, all day, making memories. What an amazing day. Thank you to AC Pros, Mr. Quinn, Adriana Showalter, and Andrew Webb. This was such a special gift and our hearts overflow with thankfulness!!!!

At CA Adventure! Heading for the Cars ride. We also loved Soarin’ Around the World! Super fun!!!!!

The first of many snack/food breaks. Aside from lunch, however, we did most of our eating “on the go” so we could enjoy more! 

Elijah and I on a dancing Cars type of ride….momma felt kind of sick on that one.😂

Here’s Noah denouncing the dark side.😂

If our family Christmas card includes a Wookie, you’ll know why.😂. Even Emma, looking at this picture said, “Wow! There ARE a lot of us!”  All dressed in green. 

It was nice and sunny! Quite warm. But we had to at least try for the iconic castle picture.

Meeting Mickey was so special!

Mickey is Elijah’s favorite!❤

Such a fun day with our fabulous tour guide Dean.❤. What a special and unexpected blessing!!!!!!!

Looks Good!

After six+ hours at the hospital today….things are looking good! The brain and orbits look good. There is evidence of disease in his left eye, but they cannot tell from MRI if there has been any growth or not.  So, for now, we are rejoicing in the good news and we will find out more about what’s happening in his eye when we return to NY next month.

Treasures in the sand…

As I watched my beautiful girl stand with her toes in the ice-cold water, I heard the words of a meaningful worship song:

You call me out upon the water…..

And there I find You in the mystery.

I could see the place on the shore where the waves had crashed upon the sand….

And it left behind these beautiful ripples in the sand:

Walking along the beach with my girl in the early, quiet morning made me think about the last couple of years.

There are seasons in life where it feels like the waves are crashing–one right after the other and it seems like you can’t even catch your breath.  In many ways, our life still feels like that, even more than two years after Elijah was diagnosed with cancer.

But it is here, in the quiet, early morning (and sometimes in the watches of the night!) that I find respite from the waves.  Not that they aren’t still crashing and coming unexpectedly, but they leave more room for the shore to breathe.  For ME to breathe.

And the ripples in the sand–that is where the treasures are hidden. 

You see, every storm, every wave that crashes upon the shore of our souls leaves behind precious treasure for us.

Precious shells buried deep in the shore, found by those weary travelers who keep getting up and keep putting their toes in ice-cold water, who keep walking among the quiet ripples of early-morning sand in communion with the Father, and who are willing to hear the call to come out upon the water and find Him in the mystery.

I’m reminded of how often I look for Him in the answers. In the plan. 

And here He beckons me to come out upon the water and find Him in the mystery-and find the treasure the waves have left hidden in the sand.

Oh Lord, keep calling me out, further upon the water. I want to find you in the mystery. I want to mine for treasure in the sand and walk with you even when my toes are cold and my eyes are tired. I want You!❤