Sunday, October 17, 2010

I have always been an avid reader. When the kids were younger and there was never enough time in the day to get everything done, I wouldn't allow myself to pick up a book. I knew that once I started reading all else would fall to the side. Just "one more chapter" would turn into another chapter and another chapter. I loved reading to Allie and Andrew when they were little. They both had favorite books that Steve and I read thousands of times. "Mickey and the Beanstalk" was Allie's first favorite and Little Hiawatha was Andrew's. Allie's love of books has continued to grow and her book collection is astonishing. Andrew didn't keep the love of books, but Little Hiawatha birthed a love of Indians in that little boy. As a 3 and 4 year old, this fair-skinned boy, with red hair, freckles and glasses refused to answer when called by any name other than "Silent Thunder" or "Dark Eagle". A friend made him an authentic looking Native American vest that he wore everywhere.

When I started my chemo treatments in 2009 I thought I would get a lot of reading done. Spending hours upon hours sitting in a chemo chair seemed like the perfect time to read. I had not bargained for the "chemo brain" that kept me from concentrating. By the time I finished a sentence, I couldn't remember what the book was about. I was given a book about fighting cancer. I could read that because it was one or two line quips about fighting cancer. Some of them were even funny - yes, there actually are funny moments when fighting cancer. I would read a page or two at a time until I happened to flip to the back of the book and realized the last chapter was on dying. I put the book down and didn't pick it up again for many months. I could not let that thought enter my mind. I was appalled! How could a book meant to help you even mention dying? I eventually got brave enough to read the last chapter and I did so even before we knew I was terminal. I had to face the scary monster in the closet.

Well, the chemo brain has subsided (for the most part) and I can read some again. It takes a little longer, I re-read sentences several times, but it helps me absorb. I wanted to mention a few books I've read and a little about how they touched me. I'm not going to issue a spoiler alert, because honestly I'm not sure I remember exactly how they end (yay chemo brain).

The Shack - I read this book after my first diagnosis but before I started treatment. The thing I enjoyed about the book was the very personal relationship between the main character and the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. This book brought me to a different place in my prayer time.

Hinds Feet on High Places - I had never heard of this book until a friend gave it to me. WOW! I cannot convey how deeply this book touched me. The story is based on the verse, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:19 This is a beautifully written book. At a major turning point in the book I gasped, put the book down and praised God right then and there for the work He performs in and through us.

and the book I am currently reading, A Million Ways to Die, The Only Way to Live -
That's a pretty far cry from my fear of the death chapter in the cancer book, huh? I'm only about six chapters into this book, so I can't talk of how it has affected me, but I can tell you it is making me think. This is not a book about the big D that we all fear, but the daily deaths to self so that we can have abundant life through Christ. Beware - it's a thinker!

I never want to miss an opportunity to thank you all for your prayers and your love as we travel this path. Steve and I pray for God's strength and grace for today. Not for next week or next month, but for today. We know that all things work for God's glory, and while we would love for God to take this cup from us, we are committed to Him and committed to His will.

Christ's love to you all,
through Him I am Free Indeed!

"At the moment of our birth God gave us a song to sing. It is we that must remember that it is not how long the song, but that we sing at all."

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