It's Going to Be a Blast!

Hello to all from the Go Lucy Go Foundation.  Thank you for being such great supporters of the work that we do for LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and families in medical crisis.  We wanted to share with you some of the exciting auction items up for grabs at this year’s event. 

For those of you who have bought your tickets, we can’t wait to see you there.  If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/go-lucy-go-dinner-and-auction-2015-tickets-18597425400 today to reserve your seat.

Live Auction items include:

6-Night Stay in Winter Park, Colorado        
·      This home located in the beautiful Fraser Valley in Fraser, Colorado. It is located only 2 miles from Winter Park Ski Resort, 10 miles to Granby, and 18 miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Denver International Airport is approximately a one and a half hour drive along Highway I-70.    
·      4 bedrooms—sleeps 13
·      check out its webpage at VRBO.com listing #298647

Large Big Green Egg with Nesting Table

Memphis Night Out on the Town
·      2 lower-level tickets to a Memphis Grizzlies Game
·      Dinner at The Majestic Grille
·      Accomodations at The Peabody Hotel
Silent Auction items include:
 4 Night Cancun Coastal Adventure (includes:)
·      Round trip airfare for 2
·      4 nights at the Westin Resort and Spa Cancun (deluxe ocean view room)
·      Sightseeing and snorkeling Catamaron Cruise with open bar
·      Parasailing for 2

4 or 5 Night Royal Caribbean Cruise
·      Bermuda, Bahamas or Caribbean
·      Balcony Stateroom for 2

Ultimate Pro Sports Fan Getaway
·      Choose from up to 5,000 games in 50 markets nationwide.
  • 2 lower level seats to your chosen regular season MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL game, or 2 grounds passes to a non-major PGA golf tournament1
  • 2-night weekend stay in a standard room in deluxe accommodations such as Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton, Wyndham or comparable
  • Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 to participating locations within the 48 contiguous U.S.

Churchill Downs VIP Experience
  • VIP Private Jockey Club Suite for 2 at Churchill Downs during the Spring, September or Fall Meets
  • Race Named in Your Honor & Trophy Presentation
  • 3-night stay in a standard guest room at the Hyatt Regency Louisville
  • Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 to Louisville, KY1

Other items of interest:
     American Girl Doll- Maryellen doll and book
     Week's vacation at Water's Edge Condominium (May 7-14) Ft. Walton Beach
·      Yeti Cooler 65 oz
·      Commercial Grade refrigerator
·      Restaurant Gift Certificates
·      Art from local artists
·      Fine wine
·      Phillip Ashley Chocolate tasting for 4
·      Costa Sunglasses

And many more items that you will just have to see! 

Remember, it’s not too late to purchase your ticket.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/go-lucy-go-dinner-and-auction-2015-tickets-18597425400  today to reserve your seat.

We can’t wait to see you there!


Weaknesses and Upcoming Scans

This past week Jack has been sick.  He fought a nasty virus which caused him to spike high fevers that brought along vomiting.

Did I mention that I have to host a Dinner and Auction on November 12th?  You know, that Go Lucy Go Dinner that I spend months preparing?

I think I spent as many hours praying for protection for my family as I did cleaning up puke messes.  Admittedly, this prayer was completely selfish because I don't have "time" for anyone else to get sick.  Not now.  

In between the vomiting, the cleaning and the precious time holding my sweet boy I battled the defeated feeling that was slowly encroaching its way over my soul.  "How in the world would I ever be ready for the event?"  "I lost a whole week--I'm doomed."   "Maybe its just not supposed to happen."  My poor husband---there were lots of tears shed this week and I'm sure I was more than pleasant to be around.

I tried to get work done when I wasn't caring for Jack.  I tried to make phone calls, plan menus and  secure auction items.  It seemed that the harder I fought to make the Dinner a priority over Jack the more the pieces would unravel.

And then I stopped.  I just quit.  And this is why:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  2 Cor 12:9

At the moment I admitted my defeat and stopped trying to rescue myself God sent some amazing friends to start picking up the broken pieces and began restoring my heart and faith.  Friends that jumped to the rescue getting auction items, a team of friends that will be handling huge assignments at the Dinner, sweet friends who began sending encouragement over the phone.  And there were even larger possible answered prayers that seemed to come from absolutely nowhere that ignited a spark in me like I haven't felt in a long time.  God is so very good.  

I am so thankful for God's promises to hear and answer our prayers.  I am also thankful for the burden that He placed on our heart for the Go Lucy Go Foundation.  In my devotional this morning I read the following 

"Oh the burdens we lovingly bear but cannot understand! Oh, the inexpressible longings of our hearts for things we cannot comprehend! Yes we know they are an echo from the throne of God, and a whisper from His heart. "  Cowman

We didn't go searching for an opportunity to create a non-profit organization.  Before Lucy got sick I didn't even know that there were families suffering that needed the help we could provide.  But God, through Lucy's cancer, placed on our hearts a groaning, an echo, greater than anything we could have ever dreamed or imagined.  Its the greatest blessing we could have received through her sickness.  

Last week we received a "random" call (God doesn't do random) from a hospice organization in Memphis.  There was a family in need of a lot of assistance.  The child needs to come home on hospice; the hospital has done all it can.  Because of her cancer she is very immune compromised and the single mom's house is not in any kind of condition to bring her home.  The carpets are molded and mildewed and the utilities had been turned off for several months.  

Because of the work of the Foundation and the generous donations from you we were able to have their utilities turned back on and we are having all the flooring replaced in this child's home.  There is nothing we can do to save this child's life.  Other than a miracle from our creator, this child will die soon.  But we are able to give the gift of "normal" and "family" to this mom so that the child can come home and die surrounded by her brothers and sisters.  

THAT--that is a burden, an echo, that I am willing to not comprehend but bear for the rest of my life if God wills.  

Blessings upon blessings have come my way since Lucy was diagnosed.  The honor of using your donations to help this family is one of the greatest yet.  

So, there is a Dinner and Auction on November 12th that we would be honored for your attend.  You donations help make sure that this kind of work is able to continue.  Can't come to the dinner but want to make a donation?  We would be grateful for that too.  Or maybe you have an item that you would like to donate to the auction?  Just let me know and we would be honored to have it.  You can go to www.golucygo.org to find out more.  

Also, as you are saying your prayers the next few days we sure would appreciate one for Lucy.  She has scans on Monday morning.  We are asking for clean scans and we continue to pray for complete healing for her brain and body.  

Many blessings to you!


A State of Worship

For all accounts, today was a crappy day.  I woke up before the kids, a prerequisite for a good day, and drank coffee while chatting with the hubby.  Lucy was sleeping well so I hated to wake her for Sunday School.  Why?  Two reasons: 1. She is still a recovering cancer patient and when I tell you "she's going great, thanks for asking" I'm usually lying.  She gets tired, her brain shuts down and she needs sleep.  Lots and lots of sleep.  2. My kids get 5 days of Sunday School every week.  I am so grateful for the amount of Biblical emphasis our school places in curriculum.

So, there's that.  I totally justified letting Lucy and Ella sleep through the Sunday School hour.

Ella wakes up, we take showers and get fully dressed--makeup included for me.  Erik and Jack are at church, because a good Lutheran never misses a Southern Baptist Sunday School lesson.  No really, they went on fully expecting us to follow right behind.  When Ella and I are completely ready to walk  out of the door, I realize that Lucy has no intention of waking up anytime soon.  After a disappointing text message conversation with the hubs I realize it's just not going to happen for me today.

I wanted to go to church, I needed to go to church.  I give, give and give all week.  Sunday morning is my time to recharge.  I love the music most of all.  When our choir sings, the special music, the worship through instruments.  Music is my spiritual animal.

For about 3 hours I sulked and pouted.  I was literally mad that I didn't get to go to church.  I begrudgingly fed my family lunch, lounged around in my sweats and read books to Lucy.  We played golf outside in the backyard and then worked with Jack hitting a baseball.  Ella played with neighborhood friends and we had family pizza night--everyone made their favorite.  After that we colored in Jack's coloring book while the other two snuggled on the couch watching TV.

For all accounts, it was the perfect day.  It only took me until 3pm to figure it out, what with the whole missing church and me being a big baby about it.

Somewhere along the way, though, I allowed the legalism of being at church get in the way of my real opportunity to worship.  I have been devouring books lately.  Jen Hatmaker is shaking my world upside down.  She is piling onto the work God started in me 4 years ago.  I am simultaneously uncomfortable and totally hungry for more.

Everyday I am recognizing the gift of religious freedom that came with cancer.  38 years of religiosity has taken on a new life---and I love it.  God is surely stiring a spirit within me yearning for more, for so much more.  The greatest gift I have been given is the desire to read His word.  All my life I knew about the Bible but its only been recently that I've known the Word.  And let me tell you, It.  Is.  AMAZING.

Trying to reclaim my wasted opportunity, I sat outside for a long time this afternoon reading some challenging perspectives on life, I spent some time in prayer and then allowed myself forgiveness for the way I behaved this morning.  I think I'll always fight the urge to follow the "rules" of church.  It's who I am (type A super-pleaser).  My prayer is that I will continue to find God each day of my life;  in the small moments, in the rush of motherhood and in the trials of marriage.  And when I find Him there, and He will always be there, I want to worship Him then.  Right there where He is.  

I am learning that I don't have to wait until Sunday.


Moments that Sustain

Yesterday I cried (a lot).  3 kids and 3 sets of activities.  Homework, dinner, laundry, more homework.  I'm too busy, but not any busier than you dear reader.  

Some days it's just hard to move forward.  

Today as I drove to Memphis for a special meeting at St. Jude I scolded myself for agreeing to be on a council that I honestly didn't have time for.  It was a huge honor to be asked and not just anyone gets this distinction.  Erik and I discussed it and we agreed it was the right thing to do.  Still, this morning I was all but mad I had to go.  

I want to shared with you the letter I wrote to the director when I got home:

    " My daughter, Lucy, is the reason we came to St. Jude.  She is 9 now and its been 4 years since her diagnosis.  She has recently been having severe digestive issues and we have been struggling to get the answers we need.  After seeing several doctors she has finally been diagnosed with GI migraines.  The solution is a low dose of Amitriptyline.  

Today during the pharmacy talk on the genetics program this very drug was discussed.  As they were talking, my memory was searching through the past letters I had received from the study.  When I got home I realized my hunches were correct.  Lucy was one of the 16% percent who is considered an ultra-rapid metabolizer for the drug.  

If I had not been there today I would have never remembered to check the letters that had been sent to me.  She would have been taking medicine that was ineffective and still suffering through the migraines....."  

I know it might not seem like much but this God whisper, this God affirming interaction, reassured me that God will continue to sustain me on even the hardest of days.  I needed to be reminded that my life will never fit the normal ideal of a stay-at-home mom.  My job description is different than I ever imagined it would be.  Whether its splitting my time between XC matches, soccer games and swim meets or going to meetings at the hospital where I hear about future protocols that may one day save Lucy's life.  

That incredibly busy day yesterday saw two amazing moments that I have to share.  First, Lucy participated in her first golf match.  She had so much fun and even asked to go back today.  It's such a wonderful gift watching her play.  She's not the strongest on the course but she is steady and consistent.  Besides, she's super cute in her little skirt.  

At the same time (thank goodness for grandparents), an hour away, Ella was setting personal bests at her XC meet.  She placed 14th (adjusted time accounted last night) out of 160.  I was so nervous before she ran I almost got sick.  When she runs I thank God for the health legs and lungs she was given.  

Although I am going to bed tonight with a tired body I am sure to wake up with a renewed spirit.  I was brought out of a dark place today I am very thankful.  Had I not listened and been willing to step out in faith I would have missed a very important revelation.  Sometimes our moments and days may not make sense but I choose to believe they are all necessary pieces of an amazing puzzle God is creating with our lives.  


Grace-It's That Simple

The last 4 years have been nothing it not a long season of self reflection.  There is still so much I don't understand and there are so many questions to which I don't have answers.  I've spent lots of time talking to God, yelling at God, doubting God and then falling flat on my face totally in awe of grace.  

One thing I can say for sure is I never once asked "Why me."  Now, lots of times I asked "why Lucy," but never "why me."  I guess a part of me always struggled with my relationship with God enough that I just assumed I deserved something like this to happen.  I never was able to live up to the self-imposed ideal of what a God-fearing, Bible-believing Christian should look like.  Isn't it funny how we create these images of what God wants when really all we have to do is ask Him?

I have yet to find the Bible verse that mandates we be in church every single time the door is open.  I can't seem to find the verse that says you are forbidden from drinking alcohol.  I'm still looking for that verse that says my sins are greater than yours.  Funny how there seems to be no "formula" for salvation.  Seriously, people.  It's not that hard.  Why do we make God's love and mercy so darn unattainable?

Here is what I've figured out.  I am a sinner.  Yep (jaw drop) every.  single.  day.

You know what else?  Every day I find a bit of God's mercy just dripping down on me like a summer shower.  It is glorious.  And it's enough to get me through the next day, when I am more than confident I will fall in utter disgrace once again.  This grace thing.  You should find it.  And then when you do, why don't you try to live it.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

So, how does this relate to Lucy and cancer and my life now?  I won't pretend to understand why Lucy got cancer.  Honestly, it still hurts my heart to think about it.  I'm sure, though, that if she hadn't I would have continued on with life so unaware of real people and real problems and would have been continually frustrated trying to live out my very disjointed relationship with Christ.  Through cancer I was able to come face to face with the fact that there was nothing I could do or not do to deserve God's grace.  The relationship I was striving so hard to create was always there for me since the beginning of my life.  Faith is all it took.  The same faith that allowed me to place my child in God's hands is the same faith that grants us eternal life through Christ.

I am completely convinced that if we all walked through life with a little more propensity for love we would be much happier people.  Why don't we try it?  Let's be a little less critical, a little less judgmental and let's be a little slower to anger.  Today I allowed myself to be disappointed and hurt by my frustration with some issues in my town.  Why do we work so hard to keep each other down?  I can sincerely be happy for you--your successes makes me proud for you.  And your failures, well they make me sad.  I promise I won't kick you when you are down.

I found myself saying "I just don't understand" one too many times today.  It's got to stop.  I know this is crazy talk, but what if we tried?  Even for a week!  Let's give it a shot.  I can promise you this, being a person of forgiveness, grace and happiness is NOT going to hurt you.  You have nothing to lose.

For it is by GRACE that you have been saved..nothing you did got you God's favor.  You can't earn it, you can't demand it and you can't guilt Him into it.  If that doesn't for God then why do we expect it from our friends, our family or our children?

God's grace is sufficient for me.  Is it for you?