Friday, February 24, 2012

Solomon in all his Splendor

Yesterday the temps were in the warm 70s here in Nashville with a sunny, crystal clear blue sky - like spring come early. Jen, Matt, Mom, Travey and I soaked it all in with a picnic and a walk at a nearby park. You gotta love spring and all the life that comes with it. New growth on the trees, flowers pushing through the winterized earth, animals (and some people for that matter) coming out of a seasonal slumber. Spring is the glorious resurrection God gifts to His creation. One of the best parts of spring is its aforementioned flowers.... There are just a few beginning to pop out to give us an early taste of what's to come in the months ahead. They remind me of Jesus' words in the book of Luke:

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27

Solomon, by far one of the wealthiest men ever to walk the earth, in his finest regalia is humbled in his comparison to God's creation. God took time to work out the most intricate of details in this tiny flower. A flower who had nothing to give - no relationship, no love, no communion - yet God found important enough to masterfully craft. He found it worthy to speak of His glory.

And how much more important, how much more worthy does He find us. Like the lily, we are masterfully hand-crafted with the life-purpose of boldly proclaiming His glory. God cares about the lily - which holds a temporary role in His divine plan - cares enough to provide exquisite adornment for this perishing flower. How much more does He care, will He provide, for us? We, like the lily, come into this world perishing. Similar to the lily in its inability to spin, labor, or even clothe itself, we can do nothing of eternal significance on our own. But UNlike the lily, a part of creation which could never hope to enjoy relationship with the Father, we have the eternal promise of relishing in His goodness to us forever.

Spring reminds us - God still cares. God remembers. He hasn't forgotten to awaken the bear tucked snugly in her den. He hasn't forgotten to tell the sun to begin melting away the cold. He hasn't forgotten to call forth the bulbs buried deep within the earth. And in His caring remembrance of us He speaks hope and promise just when we think we've been forgotten and left to wonder if the 'winters' of life will go on forever. They won't. There will be life. And it is everlasting.

Prayerful Ponderings:
Jennifer had her bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday of this week. The procedure went well and quite routinely. She was expected to go in to clinic everyday but has enjoyed the blessing of being able to stay home and only go in every other day. Yesterday being an especially great day to not have to go in to clinic.

This morning Mom took Jen in to clinic where the results of the biopsy were divulged. Jen's marrow remains cancer-free but they won't know for several days the percentage of the donor's marrow that is present. We are praying it is 100% donor marrow. To quote the doc, all of Jennifer's cells are "doing what they should be doing." So, it is with hopeful hearts that we are seeing all of this playing out in a most gracious and merciful way.

Please pray, with thanksgiving, that Jennifer's marrow is cancer-free and will remain as such. Please pray that the biopsy will reveal all of the marrow engrafting is the donor's (i.e. cancer-free). Pray that Jennifer will keep her focus and that we will all be reminded this is a time of great opportunity to glorify the Lord - that we may have the grace to do so.

The Vandy Verse:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Broken Angels

A letter to Jennifer from Lindsey- too precious not to share:

I hope you like the angel I sent. If you didn't notice, she is broken (ha)...

I love this broken angel. She was one of five different angels I received after our accident. The angels have joyful or serene expressions, but this one is different because of her broken spot. She has been wounded and is different from the other angels but keeps her faith in God (you know how I have to personify and simplify everything).

After our accident, everything was broken into pieces. Everything changed. I was so different. I needed "accomodations" (a dreaded word!). I was no longer who I was and had to find my identity in I AM. Before, life was comfortable and manageable. I knew how to live my life. Then God changed it, upside-downed it, and even as I thought I was finding my way back to who I was, I wasn't! These words are getting tricky! I don't do grammar. Living in and for Him was all I could do. Living for myself didn't work anymore because I didn't even know myself. I guess that's one way God can take the "self sin" out of life!

I know that our experiences are completely different and our personalities are pretty different. We all wish we could do something to spare you pain, swelling, rashes, headaches, medicines, treatments.... While so many lives are indirectly affected through this, it's different being "the patient." You are going through the process of becoming a different kind of angel (I know we aren't angels but just go with it). I finally accepted that even though I was broken into pieces, God loved the pieces. I didn't know what to do with them but trusted God did.

I love you,


"And God said to Moses, ' I AM who I AM.' And he said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Exodus 3:14

Prayerful Ponderings:
As of last week, Jennifer's immune system was showing signs of strengthening and her white blood cell count was on the climb. One of the lead doctors commented that it looks as though her marrow is beginning to engraft. She is cautiously hopeful while remaining acutely aware that she is not out of the woods yet. Jen was sent home from the hospital on Monday, February 6. Mom felt that Jen made the transition remarkably well. She goes into clinic each morning to have lab work done to monitor her progress. This morning her cyclosporine levels were found to be low due to a prescription error. Cyclosporine is what will help her body fight graft vs. host disease. When the levels were found low the docs thought it best to readmit Jen. They are confident they can right the error and get her levels back up where they want them. She will be in the hospital for another couple days though. Please pray the cyclosporine levels come up, that her body continues to get stronger and that her immune system will sufficiently protect her from any potential infection she may come into contact with during another hospital visit. Pray that that she will physically, mentally and emotionally handle the strain of being jostled between hospital and home. Pray her heart will be ministered to by the Father during yet another trial. Thank you for your prayers.