Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Update, But...

No, I don't know the results of my scans yet.  Tomorrow 9 AM.  
But I realized that, on (NFL!) Sunday, I neglected to share something with you.  And, although I'm a bit hesitant to share it with you today  - because today is a day when our nation remembers a terribly, terribly difficult tragedy and this could, at first, seem a little out of place - I've decided to share it with you because...well...I guess because it is September 11. And perhaps there's not a better day than this to make this known to you all.
Last fall, as Laura's day-to-day life was getting harder and harder, I believe God was directing me to write a bible study.  Although I still don't fully understand why He would ask such a thing, out of obedience I did it.  And I began to take all that came from the many, many conversations Laura and I had about God - His promises, who we are in Him, the things we loved about Him, the things that we didn't understand about Him, our fears, frustrations, joys... - and used that to write the materials for my Tuesday morning bible study.  
So all throughout that semester, we spent each week pouring ourselves into studying 40 statements of promise that God makes to us. Statements that we need to know at any time. But especially when our circumstances are anything but easy.  Statements like:  Even now, I love you; I know what it feels like; I'm worth it; I am enough; I am good.  And we studied 10 people in the Bible who walked through some amazingly difficult circumstances and we imagined what it would have been like for them to trust God in the midst.  
Just like we were watching Laura trust God as she walked. 
Honestly.  With real emotions, real questions, real frustrations. 
Yet with real faith, real joy, and with real hope. 
Determined hope, as Laura would put it.  
This study isn't a study on on cancer.
It's not a study of Laura life and it's certainly not a study on Kristie's life.   
It's a study on better understanding a God who is worth trusting even when everything in our circumstances might tempt us to believe otherwise.
So perhaps that's why today, September 11th, is a good day to let you know that - after encouragement and prodding from a handful of people (and after making some very necessary edits to clean up the million and five typos and confusing questions) - I've finished up a second edition of this study and am now making it available to anyone who would like to have a copy.
Whether you knew Laura well and want to understand better the God in whom she believed, or whether you are in your own tough place and are asking God some pretty stinkin' hard questions yourself, I hope that the words that you read and study in it will be an encouragement to you, as it has been an encouragement to me.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of The View Beyond the Hill, you can order one on-line for $12.96 plus shipping.  All net proceeds will benefit the Ana Duo Charitable Fund in honor of Laura.  If you are unfamiliar with the purpose of Ana Duo, please visit www.anaduo.org to learn more.
Full Disclosure: This is a study geared for women!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Update #39 (For Real)

Can you feel the excitement? 
Is it as palpable in your house as it is in ours?

Oh yes...in barely 27 minutes...it's the start of NFL Sunday.

The joy of putting that flat screen to good use.
The giddiness of watching grown men hit each other with all their might and sweat profusely trying to either move a ball forward or stop it from moving forward.
The eager anticipation of a great season that must certainly be ahead, right?

(Notice I said the anticipation of a great season and not the promise of one!. In Buffalo, that has - historically - been a pretty big difference!)

I know today is a special, special day in the homes of many of those who are reading this email. And, as such, I won't take up much of your time.  

But I did want to give you all a heads-up that I'll be headed to Roswell for scans tomorrow and then I will hear the results of those scans on Wednesday.  Although for the past year my body has responded well to the daily chemo pills I've been taking (with minimal - thank God - side effects), my body has been sending me some signals that things might be changing in not-such-an-easy way. 

So, after your household either celebrates the win of your favorite team or mourns the loss and gears up for a "better next week", I would - once again - humbly ask for your prayers.  Specifically your prayers for:
(1)  Another explanation - beside the obvious explanation  - behind the aches in my back
(2) Protection of my mind and my spirit as I await the results. 
(3) My ability to know and trust and be fully satisfied by His presence
(4) Great joy to  be known in the midst of the unknown.

Thanks team...
With love and appreciation,