It seemed unusual at the time. Now it's become normative.
In late August, a week before Ron's diagnosis, I was journaling and talking with the Lord, and had the distinct impression that our evening routine was about to change. Instead of eating a late supper and staying current on national politics via TV, I sensed we would be reading the Bible and other books together.
I shared it with Ron, and he said something like, "Hmmm... can't quite picture it." And admittedly, it was hard to picture. Luxuries like that--long amounts of time to read together--were usually reserved for vacations.
But here we are, four months into our journey through cancer, spending lots of time in the Word and in wonderful books.
The latest is Birds of Pray, an account of the spiritual renewal among the Philadelphia Eagles last year. It's fascinating on several levels--because of our many sideline conversations triggered by Ron's storehouse of football knowledge, because of the genuineness of the team members' devotion to Jesus and each other, and because of the way God helped them through adversity.
When Jordan Hicks experienced a season-ending injury, he explained how it strengthened his identity in Christ. "God doesn't care about what we do for a living. He's concerned with what we do for the kingdom and who we are as people," said Hicks. He continued, "When you go from one hundred (miles an hour) to nothing... we were able to see some things that guys who are playing aren't able to see, and I think I led in a different way and grew in a bunch of different areas of life."
We're finding that to be true.
In this bubble, cocoon, sanctuary with the Lord, life becomes crystallized into a few very pure focuses:
His Word, and other great books.
Talking to Him.
Praying for others.
Worship and praise.
Receiving from and sharing our journey with others.
There's a serenity that is uncharacteristic of "normal" life. We're growing together in Jesus. And we're quietly building His kingdom as we pray for and reach out to others.
Not that that's the only part of the journey. There are still treatments, fatigue, potential side effects, and radical changes to our daily routine. Not to mention the unknowns.
But I'm thinking that the God who knew our evening routine would be changing, knew why it would be changing, and the course it will take. And so... we seek Him for His very best for our lives and for His glory to be evident as we live each day.
Please pray with us for:
1) Maximum effectiveness and minimal side effects as Ron restarts oral chemo tomorrow. It'll be 5 days on, 23 days off for 6 months. Ron is also receiving bi-weekly IV infusions to address inflammation and swelling in his brain.
2) Continued good nights of sleep for both of us, and plenty of rest for Ron during the next 6 months. For complete healing.
3) For our times with Jesus to be strengthening, encouraging, faith-building, and inspiring.
4) For us to continue to hear from the Lord regarding each step of this journey.
5) For God to move through us as we pray for and reach out to others -- our new kingdom assignment.
Thank you for caring, for carrying some of our burden as you lift us to the Father, and for seeking God's very best for our lives, for His glory.
Lisa, for Ron too
P.S. Christmas highlights:
-the indescribably meaningful gift of Jesus into this world, into our lives
-watching our church's Christmas service online
-taking walks outside on warm days
-sitting outside on our deck steps with the sun shining on our faces
-throwing frisbee with our dog
-another walk at Speedwell Forge
-friends who are also spotting eagles
-lots of birthday cards and well wishes for Ron (thanks, everyone!)
-friends, special visits, special times of prayer