Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vic and Eli headed to the game. Eli decided in
Memphis that he wanted to be a Memphis fan.
 I'm actually kind of glad so he can avoid the
drama of the SEC... and blue looks good on him.
Tonight I changed my “profile picture” on Facebook. Not really a big deal, people change the picture they use to represent themselves all the time for fun. But, my picture, I installed just over a year ago after Eli was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was his football picture from that past fall. It was the most recent picture I had where he didn’t look pale or disheveled. He was not a football star or even a significant participant, but I always thought he looked so sweet and yet so strong in that little uniform. He will never play football again, which is fine with him, but it kind of represented a line in the sand, or a chapter’s end, something that said from here, things are different. Even though as the months passed his physical appearance dramatically changed, I could not bring myself to update the picture, change the image that represented me. Today, I was talking with a couple of friends about the holidays coming to an end and school starting back, and Melissa said, “Well, I, for one, will be glad to see 2012 gone. What about you, Kristie?” And, yes, I have said in another post, that I am glad to have 2012 behind me. While reviewing posts from those first few days as the calendar flipped, I was so afraid of 2012. I was often terrified to the point of physical sickness,
His first bball game, I think.
 and the entire year was horrific torture with a lingering pain even today that is a reminder we are not done. But, now, on the other end, I want to make sure I do not give the impression that I question God’s plan for us as He guided (continues to guide) us along the ridgeline of the valley with Eli. I hope that I have not said, will ever say or write that I regret 2012. We have received endless and immeasurable blessings from the events of 2012 beyond what most can fathom or will experience or, really, that I even know how to express in words. We are all destined to walk a path, so how could I ever be anything but thankful for the knowledge and maturity that was forced upon me during 2012 so that I am better armed to continue this walk and face whatever else lies ahead – because there will be more, even for us. You will have your own trials, and I do fear sometimes more what my friends are being groomed to face as they grow from their own participation in our journey. I have thought about that a lot lately as with opened eyes I notice evil in all forms “prowling about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” I Peter 5:8. He’s looking at one of my friends or family members and it might be Eli’s journey that God is using to help prepare that person or family for their own fight. I am naturally a protector, and that makes me furiously angry and riles my soul. How can I be anything less than humbly honored to lift the lantern? God has asked less of me than he Himself willingly allowed to happen in His own household. I watched my son robbed by evil of his right to a healthy life on earth, as He watched His Son willingly give up His right and come to earth. He watched the hatred for His Son build to the point where he was shamed, beaten and horrifically killed. I watched a love for my son grow to the point where the heavens were saturated with righteous prayers for him. Eli was attentively watched after, cared for and then healed (though, I remind again, we continue on). A day does not end that Eli has not been shown love in some way by a friend or stranger. Yet God’s Son, who willingly sacrificed Himself, continues to be hated, beaten and mocked as is evident in almost any current event story in the news. I am glad that 2012 is over, yes, because of the physical severity of the event, the stress of the unknown, and the upheaval of our family life. But please pray that I never regret 2012, and I will pray that you do not either. Vic and Eli went to Knoxville Friday to catch the Tennessee vs. Memphis basketball game. Santa gave them tickets to it, and set them up in a hotel for the night. Eli got invited to stand in the tunnel as the team took the court, but traffic and parking slowed them down so much that they were late and missed the opportunity. The athletic department did give him a T-shirt and wristbands like the team wears, plus a man sitting next to them bought him cotton candy. He is currently fighting cancer himself, and showed love toward Eli for their bond. Cal went to my sister’s house for the night Friday, and I was able to make good on a long-time
The "big girls" sleeping well into the morning. I love to see
them just all thrown around on each other.
 promise that the girls could have a couple of friends spend the night. Since Vic was gone, I invited the moms to spend the night and had such a fun weekend of just hanging out – I so badly needed it. Sunday we will prepare for Eli to go back to school on Monday, and I dare not get too excited that I might even be able to get back to exercising, playing tennis, golfing and riding my bike!! I am hesitant to even think it, but that is my goal as well as figuring out a way to get my mom more active. I’ve had a couple of guests hosts already submit something for the blog, so I’m hoping to get that started next week. Those posts will be sprinkled in along the way over the next several months. Lastly, I want to ask that you continue to include some special kids in prayer. Brittany, the teen that was, basically, infested with cancer has been told the chemo is not working and there is nothing else they can do for her. Ryan’s pain has escalated, but controllable by meds. Ayden finished his chemo, so pray
The girls discovered Wii Just Dance 4 at their sleepover.
for his recovery. Jack prepares for his last chemo in a couple of weeks and an MRI to follow to check on the treatment of his relapse. Little Gabbi, that her complications subside, and just so many, many more. I can’t really keep up, so please don’t be offended if I didn’t mention anyone specifically, but I would need to update a data sheet multiple times a day to keep up with all the victims of childhood cancer. Thank you all for your efforts for all of these children. Please, also remember that I am selling Girl Scout cookies if you would like to buy a box (or two or three or sixteen) to be taken to the nurses and staff at St. Jude. After my daughters meet their minimum of sales, I will purchase from other scouts and troops, especially the troops that seem to fall short of their minimum, until the money runs out. It is $3.50 a box, and you can mail me a check made
It is a great workout for them, and they still wanted to do it
after only a few hours sleep.
 out to Girl Scouts USA or you can send money in my Paypal account under the address Thank you all for helping us with a surprise for the nurses and charity for the girl scouts so that they can take a trip in the summer.

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