I have been thinking about the verse in James 1:2 where it says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." This is a verse that I have heard several times, but it is so amazing when God uses circumstances in your life to make His word fresh and alive again. I know that God is good and does good, and everything that happens in my life is for my good and his glory. But, I do have to say that in the back of my mind, I pictured this trial being over at the end of David's treatments, and that life would go back to normal. Not that that means I don't have to trust in God anymore, but that there would be an ending date to this season in our lives. I was hoping it would be in about two months. I don't think this is how God wants me to think, where I decide how much I can handle and set an ending date for it. God wants me to consider it joy. Joy is not a natural response to losing a dad and having a husband with cancer, but it is something I can choose to have. Why would I choose joy or consider this as joyful? Because the testing of my faith produces endurance. And enduring faith will have a perfect result. One day, I will be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. When I have been looking at the other people's Hodgkin's blogs, it seems like there is a pattern of everyone being cancer free after the first treatment, then several of them got a recurrence at some point. (This is what happened with David's cousin too.) We asked the doctor how common it is to get cancer again, (we aren't relying on statistics, but it is nice to know) he said about 30% will get cancer again in the first 2 years. If you get a recurrence in the first 2 years, then you have to get a stem cell transplant, because it is too soon to do the ABVD treatment again. ( I'm not a doctor, but this is how I understood it) Anyway, it hit home that we are in this for longer than I expected, and I can either choose to learn how to trust God, consider it joy, and submit to his will now, or accomplish nothing and worry, stress and be anxious every time David has a PET scan or feels sick for the next 2 plus years. That would seem like a miserable life to me. So, I would like to choose to set my heart to God for the long run, and be able to say like the psalmist in Psalm 57:1,10, "My heart is steadfast, O God, My heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes I will sing praises! Awake my glory! Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens, And Your truth to the clouds. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
I am happily married to my beloved and my friend, David, and I am a mom to my precious children, Avrielle and Chandler. I started this blog in January,2008 as a way to keep our friends and family updated when my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Little did I know that my dad, a non smoker, would be diagnosed with lung cancer also only two weeks later. My dad passed away on March 22, 2008, only 2 1/2 months after his diagnosis. These last few months have been a trial, but God has been good and faithful, and kept us in His hands.
We added a guest book at the bottom of the blog page. Please sign it and add a picture if you would like. It is really easy, I promise! We would love to see who is out there reading. Love, The Smith Family
Chandler: "Mom, could I just marry my sister? That way I don't have to kiss anybody new."
Avrielle: As we are trying to find my car in the crowded parking lot, "There it is mom, I memorized your licence placemat."
Mom to Avrielle: "It's time to brush your teeth." Avrielle: "May I appeal, I need to defrost more from waking up."
Mom to Chandler: "If you're not thankful for your dinner, maybe I should take it away, and all you will have to eat is some bread." Chandler: "Sounds great!" Mom: " Ok, since that didn't work, How about if we take away all your toys too, so you will see how much you have to be thankful for..." Chandler: "I'll just play with my bread!"
Chandler as he is trying to throw a dirty kleenex into the trashcan. "He shoots, (it lands on top of Avrielle's head) He SCORES!!!
Wow Avrielle, that was a quick shower. Did you wash your hair? "I only put conditioner on it, because I washed it last night and I just needed to remind it that it had been washed already so it will obey me this morning."
Chandler: "Dad, could you please make sure you take the right sandwich to work tomorrow? I don't wan't you to leave the healthy one for me by mistake."
Chandler: Can you not put gel in my hair this morning? If I get it cut later, it will hurt because it will be like they are cutting through a wall of steel!
Chandler at Trader Joes: Why does nanny have to take so long reading every label in the freezer aisle? Can't it be the "try out" aisle instead???
Chandler telling a story at dinner: "Not yesterday, but the yesterday before..."
Mom to Chandler: Your closet is a mess. Yeah, I know, it's always an adventure because I get to find new undiscovered sightings. Mom: What kind of undiscovered sightings? Well, you know, like, I'll put something in there when I'm seven and then discover it again when I'm fourteen.
Mom to Chandler: What is the most important thing you learned from Papa? He taught me never to hit people with the golf ball when I'm chipping.
Mom to Avrielle: What is your favorite memory with Papa? He took me to the American Girl Store, and walked all around with me explaining the history of all the dolls until I found the one I wanted.
Chandler, What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it's like God has cubbies for each person, and when you do something that pleases Him, He puts a trophy in your cubby."
Chandler after hearing the bedtime story of Corderoy. "Mom, some stories are so good, I feel like I want to cry inside when I hear them."
How do you like the pistachio Chandler? It's sort of medium low on the scale of goodness.
Chandler while looking at a pre -cancer picture of David, "Wow Dad, I don't remember that you used to have an afro!"
Chandler, you need to wipe the chocolate off your face! Do I have to mom? If I leave it on, I can taste it again later!
Avrielle while watching Taming of the Shrew in the park: "I love the play mom, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
Chandler: Mom, can you please buy some more string cheese? It really puts you to work! Mom: I thought you don't like doing hard work. I love hard work when it comes to my food!
Chandler to mom: "Do I have to open my Christmas presents? I want to warm up to the day first."
Avrielle watching Taming of the Shrew in Hart Park. "Mom, I like the play, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
"Avrielle, You have been really quiet since the debate has been on, do you have any questions about what is going on or what they are talking about?" She look over to us very seriously, and said,"Mom, I think I understand what they are saying, but I only have one question. How can they stand there and talk so long without having to pee?"