Important Lessons….

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Here we are, 16 days into the new year, and I already feel like time is just flying by.  Maybe you can relate?

Not only that, but I feel as though nothing has gone the way I expected it to, which is often very frustrating for me.  (Yes, I am a control freak, and I am ok with that. :) )

We had a wonderful Christmas, as well as a great trip to visit extended family over New Years.  We then came back and had 4 days until my kids went to spend the weekend with friends of ours so that my hubby and I could have our annual “pre-busy season” retreat.  We try to have this retreat every year in early January before my husband begins his busy season, which consists of him working longer hours, as well as Saturday’s, January – April.

We had a wonderful time together, and enjoyed a couple of nice dinners out, as well as lots of movies by the fire, and lots of relaxation, which we both needed!

My plan then, was to get our school year up and running again, full force.  What I didn’t plan on, was that I’d end up getting sick the last night of our retreat, and still being sick 7 days later.  Not fun.

I caught a nasty upper-respiratory virus that has gotten worse with each day that goes by, and the sinus pain and pressure in my head and face has been so bad that I’m not sleeping well at night.  Of course, this is the week that my doctor is out of town, therefore, I went to a Take Care Clinic close by, in hopes of getting on antibiotics, because I know without a doubt that this has turned into a sinus infection gone bad.

Unfortunately, the physician’s assistant that I saw felt that since I’d only been sick for three days at the time that she saw me, that she shouldn’t give me any meds and let the virus take its course.  That was four days ago, and I have gotten much worse since then.  Thankfully, I was able to contact that same PA today, and when I told her how much worse I’d gotten, she agreed to call in an antibiotic for me.  Phew!  Here’s hoping it kicks in FAST!

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Needless to say, with being so sick this week, we haven’t done much school, and there have been moments when I’ve been frustrated that my plans had to change.  I’ve been anxious, fearing that we are going to get behind because of this extra time off, and worried that I’m failing my kids because we’re missing so much school.

Thankfully, the Lord finally brought me to my senses and reminded me that this sickness didn’t take Him by surprise and it didn’t change his plans at all.

He also reminded me that our home school belongs to him, and that it’s not mine to fret over.

And you know what?  My kids haven’t done a lot of academics this week, but they sure have excelled at serving others.  They have waited on me hand and foot, and have asked me numerous times if I need anything, or how am I feeling.

If you ask me, I’d say they’ve learned a lot this week and haven’t missed out on anything; some lessons are more important than others.

If I Knew What Kara Knows….

 

My heart has been heavy these past few days as I’ve pondered this life….and death. for months now, I have followed Kara Tippett’s blog, Mundane Faithfulness, which I’m sure some of you have heard of. You see, Kara has cancer. And she’s dying. She’s a 38-year old woman with four young children and a husband who loves her more than life. And yet, she’s dying.

As I’ve followed Kara’s blog these past few months, my heart has changed; my perspective on life and on mothering completely differents before. I’ve listened to Kara share openly of her love for Jesus, yet her desperate longing to stay here with her sweet babies and her man. I’ve listened to her share about the ugliness of this cancer, and yet heard her point her readers back to Jesus with each and every post.

I had the awesome privilege of meeting Kara this past November when she was at an event in Indiana. I remember well hugging her and thanking her for the awesome heart she has for people, and telling her how her story has changed my life. I told her how her words have brought so much healing to this broken heart of mine, and how much of an inspiration she is to me and so many others. She humbly listened to my words, hugged me back, and told me that everyone’s story is important, wether it’s cancer or not. I needed to hear those words more than she knows.

Recently, Kara has been sharing that these past few weeks have been filled with terrible pain and sickness for her, as well as a hospital stay to help manage the pain. Her prayer was that she’d be able to be home with her loves for Christmas, and thankfully she was able to go home, I believe, on Christmas Eve.

A few days ago, Kara shared on her blog that the cancer treatment was no longer working, and that the time had come for her to enter into hospice. As I read those words my heart just sank. I found myself crying and begging God to heal Kara, and to allow her more time with her precious loves. And yet, in my heart, I know that Kara’s dying is part of her story.

To be honest, I’m having a hard time swallowing the fact that Kara has entered hospice. It seems so final; the last step before she leaves this earth and goes to her eternal home in heaven. And when I think about it, it makes me angry. Angry that cancer is stealing this beautiful young mama away from her family and friends. And angry that life can be so painful and unfair.

And yet, I know that if I were to sit down and share these feelings with Kara, she would remind me that God is still good, even when pain is part of the plan. She would tell me that God will carry her husband and babies, as well as her extended family and friends, once she’s gone home to be with her Savior. And though I know all of this in my head, I can’t quite get it to register in my heart.

Since the time I started following Kara’s blog, I’ve often found myself wondering how differently I’d live my life if I knew I was dying. I mean, we all know we’re going to die eventually, but Kara knows that her time is coming soon; she knows that her days here are coming to an end. How does one process that?

I can’t imagine looking at my babies, knowing that I won’t be watching them grow up; nor can I imagine kissing my man, knowing that those kisses will soon be a thing of the past. I can’t imagine how extremely hard that must be. I don’t even want to imagine.

As I’ve gotten to know Kara through her blog, I have been blown away by her courage and her incredible way of pointing us to Jesus and his goodness, even in hard times. I’ve admired her openness and her humility in sharing her weaknesses and her struggle with accepting this cancer.

I hope that, as Kara faces her last days, she is aware of the many many lives she’s touched through her story. I pray that she knows that many women–myself included–parent differently as a result of Kara’s example of big love, and that many women love their husbands more deeply.

I hate what cancer has taken from Kara and her sweet family, and yet, I am so very thankful to Kara for using her story to point so many of us to Jesus, giving us a sweeter love and desire for him. I am so grateful that Kara knows her sweet Savior, and that soon, cancer will leave her body and she will be whole. She will see her Jesus face to face, and she will behold his glory for all eternity.

Kara’s story isn’t coming to an end; she’s about to behold the glory of her sweet Savior and experience joy forevermore!

 

 

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