Choosing the Joy

"consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.." James 1:2

A couple of weeks ago Erik and I were asked to go speak with a new family who's 11 year old son was diagnosed with brain cancer.  It was such a raw, emotional experience.

We've spoken with several families and made friends with more over the past few years who were walking down the same path as us.  But there was something different about this family.  Something between us fused a relationship on a much deeper level than what should have been likely.  It was a level of intimacy that only a cancer family can share.  We laughed, we cried, we talked and then cried some more.

It was a surreal night and when we left after 2 hours, I was so sick.  I had a migraine, I was nauseated and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I had no clue that reliving such memories would make me so ill.  I'm so thankful for the friends we made and I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to face some of my worst memories.  It was like looking a monster in the face.

One thing I talked to my new friend about was allowing herself to find joy in each day.  Let me tell you, walking the halls of a cancer hospital with a dying child is pure hell.  Seriously, pure hell.  BUT, joy is there.  You have to look. You have to make a choice.  You have to choose joy.

And can I tell you what that joy is like?  The joy you can find, the joy I have found, during our darkest days is the joy that is with me now.  It's God's way of whispering "you can do this.  I will give you what it takes to make it through the hour, and I will reward you with a memory that you will cherish forever. "  Isn't it amazing how God chooses to bless us in the most unlikely ways and during the most unlikely times?  But you have to be aware.  You have to choose the joy.

My new friend, her 11 year old son and their family have a very hard fight ahead of them.  I believe in miracles and our new little friend Mason is a strong fighter.  When I talk to her, which is almost every day, I pray over our conversation.  I pray that something, one thing, will encourage her.  That God would speak through me to help her find her joy in that moment.

Life is so temporal.  So many of us run through life passing quickly through the minutes in search of the hour.  We let the opportunity to live in a moment slip by us while we search out the grander event.  How do we not realize that life is chock full of "moments"?  Many us only experience those truly grand events a few times in our lifetime, if we are lucky!  Just think of all the memories, smiles, laughs and tears we can miss if we aren't careful.  

For so long I was forced to live in a world where day by day was all I possibly had with my daughter.  I was given a choice.  I could have allowed myself to get lost in sorrow and miss the sweet moments with Lucy that presented themselves every single or I could choose joy.  I can honestly say there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't find something to be thankful for.  There was always one thing I  could smile about at the end of every day.  And you know what, there still is.

Today was hard.  A discouraging report from Lucy's teacher could have easily sabotage my attitude.  Instead, I am choosing to go to sleep thinking about how amazing, simply miraculous, it was watching Lucy practice with the school golf team.  Who would have ever thought this would be possible?

I don't know what trial you are facing right now.  I have no idea what monster you will fight tomorrow.  I just want to encourage you to seek out joy.  It's there, I promise.  You just have to make up your mind to find it.

"Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously..." James 1:3-5


Its a Tradition

In typical Krull style, Ella's birthday has dragged out an additional week.  Ella and her best friend, Gracen, celebrated their 11th birthdays with a movie/slumber party.  Amanda and I took 15 kids and 5 adults to see the movie "Dolphin Tale 2" and then followed that up with a wonderful slumber party.

Instead of going to the movie, Amanda's husband Nelson stayed home and, unbeknownst to us, planned and prepared about 7 games for the girls to play.  I about died, seeing as I usually just tell the girls to go upstairs to play.  Apparently I need to up my game.  He really went overboard making sure the girls were entertained.  I'm still laughing when I think about how proud he was of himself.  It was pretty impressive (but don't tell him I said that.)

Games like rump-shaker, cheez-it pile on, cracker-whistle and the obligatory line dancing (think cha-cha slide.)  I left the girls in good hands and for the first time in several years did not host a party at my house.  I went home and slept in my own bed while Nelson and Amanda tossed and turned to the sound of little girls giggles and whispers until 4:00am.

Ella had a soccer game at 9:00 and in a very obedient move she actually went to sleep at 11:00.  Oh, I remember the day of staying up all night....and then feeling like crap the next day.  I sure couldn't do it now.  Speaking of being old and tired....stayed tuned.  Jack's birthday party is tomorrow.  If I wasn't worn out yesterday I'm sure 15 little 4 year olds will do it tomorrow.


Team Lucy for LeBonheur

LeBonheur Children's Hospital hosts a 5k as an annual fundraiser every year.   Since Lucy is the Children's Miracle Network Champion for the state of Tennessee we thought it was more important than ever to have a Team Lucy.  We are doing a shirt for the runners/walkers, but also for anyone who wants to support Lucy and her continued fight.  If you are interested in purchasing on please email me at golucygofoundation(at)gmail(dot)com.  You need to list your name, size, short or long sleeve and whether or not you want to pick it up or have it shipped.  

**The short sleeve adult shirt will not be this dark.  The color is actually called heather navy.**

The short sleeve adult shirt is a Soft Style.  These are a little more fitted and are extremely comfy.  The long sleeve and all children's shirts are true to size.  Thanks as always!


Once Upon a Time

(Thank you all for your very encouraging words of support from my last post.  It meant so much to me. )

Once a Upon a Time....there was a princess that was born.  Her name was Ella.  She was the most beautiful baby in all the land and she was everyone's pride a joy (everyone being her parents and grandparents.)  And then, one day, she was 11.  How in the world did that happen?  When did it happen?  Was it really in the blink of an eye as it seemed to everyone?  Yes.   The answer had to be yes.

Overnight she became a young lady who asks for grown-up things like a Fitbit, cowboy boots and tickets to the Phantom of the Opera.  She became the young lady who is joining the cross country team and is in 5th grade.  It's still so hard for me to admit that she is growing up.  

Ella, I am so proud of you of sweet baby girl.  Thank you for making me a mommy, thank you for teaching me what loving unconditionally really means, thank you for proving to me that I can love one person more than humanly possible.  Thank you for being a rock in our family when things are hard.  Thank you for understanding when my attention is forced other places.  Thank you for setting an amazing example for your sister and brother.  You are the perfect big sister to them and I know that they love you with all their hearts.

The past 11 years have been an amazingly wonderful whirlwind and I can't wait to see what the next 11 years will hold.  Someone pointed out today that at 11, I only have you in my home for 7 more years.  Writing that makes me cry.  Tears of sadness stream as I think of you ever leaving me, yet my heart flutters as I think of the exciting adventure you have ahead of you.

May God hold you in His hand and protect you all the days of your life.


It's September...Go Gold

Is it just because we have a front row seat to the nightmare known as pediatric cancer or does it seem to be an epidemic?  I swear I am hearing of a new child almost weekly being diagnosed with cancer.  I don't understand nor can I even begin to wrap my head around the situation.  Is it the environment?  Is it what we put in our bodies in the form of drinks and food?  I fear it may be a little of all of it combined.  

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  More than 263,000 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year alone.  This has got to stop.  Federal funding of pediatric cancer research is a joke and most treatment options remain as harmful as the cancer itself.  We've got to put an end to this nasty, horrible disease.  

Everyday approximately 250 kids worldwide die from cancer.  This can no longer be acceptable.  

What can we do?  For starters, you can pray.  Pray for the children fighting, the parents supporting and the doctors who are searching for treatments and cures.  Second you can raise awareness by going gold this month.  Change you FB profile, post on Instagram, share on your blog or just wear gold.  Writing about it won't cure cancer, but the more awareness we can raise the greater emphasis will be placed on research.  This is VITAL to the lives of our children.  

Third, find a reputable charity and donate to them.  Make sure you do your research and that the majority of the money is going to actual research or support/awareness, not administrative fees.  Together we can make a difference.  Our family lives this life everyday and we are committed to seeing this nightmare come to an end.  

Would you please join us?  If you post to FB or Instagram, please use the hashtag #gogoldinseptember and #golucygo.