Thankfullness

When we were in the states we talked with a Pastor friend of ours and out of that time came 3 things we wanted to ask the Lord for this year to help my experience of being here. 1 of them was a new house that was more condusive to all of us getting outside without having to brave the crowded parks, and a little more room.

I knew this was a big prayer request, basically requiring a miracle, cause houses are so difficult to find available, especially if you have requirements in the home. And now that we have been here a month I have begun to feel like it may take us all year before we find something.

God has given me reminders here and there to trust him. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I take it back up and stress or get frustrated about it.

But today I read this in “Jesus Calling” and it was perfect for today. Just like Yesterdays was perfect for yesterday.

“I am God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me, you are surprised you are surprised by how thoroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing our prayers, so feel free to bring me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.

Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I AM. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need- and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on my beloved children. Come to Me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.”

Things I love about being here…

So many nice and refreshing things about being in America. I never payed much attention to or fully appreciated until leaving it.

Getting good chocolate anywhere, everywhere.

Breathing nice clean air, even in LA.

Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, in LA, cars remain in there lanes, no honking, all is quiet and serene.

Visiting friends and walking to parks together.

Buying anything my heart desires at ONE grocery store.

Driving to the grocery store.

Taking all 4 kids and having a good time, in the grocery store.

Beautiful trees.

Clean streets.

AWESOME beaches.

Mexican restaraunts.

Hearing any conversation around me and understanding it all without having to think about it.

Seeing LOTS of people on a daily basis that not only KNOW me but CARE about me.

Thrift stores, bargains, and GOODWILL in the OC.

Crockpot meals.

Kids screaming and playing in a yard with falling trees.

Wearing jeans, EVERDAY.

Actually being motivated to do my hair and make up cause it will show for all to see.

Central Heating.

Music in the car.

Not needing to dust and sweep everyday.

Going out at night, as a woman, with whomever I want, or nobody if I want.

Going out on dates with J. To fun places and not worrying about the kids.

Christmas music out in the world, not just my home.

Electricity all day and all night.

Taking hot showers and not freezing when I get out.

The hum of the dishwasher.

The wonderful feeling of slipping into clothes just fresh from the dryer.

Renting a movie from Redbox and it not being in a foriegn language or skipping all the way through.

Getting text love more often.

Getting more fruits and veggies.

Not having to soak them for an hour before I eat them.

Salad.

Getting real live hugs from friends and family.

I could probably go on and on. And as difficult as this last year has been I find myself having hope for the years ahead to only get better in India. True some things need to change and others need to fall into place for that to happen. But I believe it can. And when I looked at some photos tonight of  “home” the thought that came to mind was ” Wow! We are sure living an adventure!”

… and I like that.

Buying other supplies

Shopping at the lil store across the street with my helper.

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Homeschool moment.

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A neighbors doorway, I hope to go in someday. (this is the doorway I mentioned in the alley with the smiling lady.)

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In the lift, love those dimples.

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Playing music in our living room

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Going to visit a friend 2 stories down.

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A view from our Balcony, just after monsoon ends.

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M skateboarding in our courtyard below.

A day in the life of me

Honestly  I could do these every day of the week and they would look quite different, there is no typical day. Today is especially unique here because all our friends are celebrating “Buckra Eid” . This is the first time we have not joined in the festivities of buying a new outfit and going to friends houses to eat. Josiah is in Delhi for a few days and I am holding down the fort with the kids.

Maybe its because I know I am leaving the country in just over a week and its like “senior -itus”, my mind has checked out, along with my patience for certain cultural encounters. But good or bad its a day nonetheless and I will share it.

I started off sleeping in till 9, which was nice because all the kids, except the baby (go figure) came in waking me up throughout the night.

I ended up with two extras in my bed this morning. I got up and made us all oatmeal and then talked to J for a few minutes. T went down for his morning nap shortly after while the kids played in the family room. I think I had to yell at them “STOP YELLING!” about 10 times while I prepared food and accessories for our picnic to the park later on. And I wonder why they don’t listen to me….

Vange came in 3 different times swearing that she didn’t have to use the restroom but holding herself as she danced around. She ended up changing her underwear 3 times before we left for our outing. She also collected two spankings for saying ” bad mommy!” as she walked away from me telling her she couldn’t do something she wanted to do.

Once I prepped our outing I sat down for a rest and heard a bang at the door. This was the fourth visitor since 7 o’clock this morning coming to ask for “eidy”. This time I decided to answer. It was the little boy that buys me basic grocery items daily, coming to show off his new outfit and ask for his gift of money (eidy). I greeted him ” Eid Mubarack!”, told him he looked nice and explained that my husband was out of town with all our money. I would give it to him later.

As I headed back toward my room another person knocked. I had never seen this man before so I asked “con he?” (who are you?) and he explained he was the new trash collector. “Muje opki pas pese nahee” (I don’t have any money) I said and smiled and shut the door.

2 more people knocked but I didn’t not answer, I contemplated putting a lock outside one door to signal that I was not home, to have a little peace and quiet but I was leaving soon so I decided not to.

I have a few minutes to read from aholyexperience.com , because I feel myself needing some inspiration in order to tackle the day ahead of me in a grace filled way. I watch a video of Ann and I am encouraged that she didn’t start seeing a big difference in her ability to rise above the baggage of her childhood and pass a legacy of joy onto her kids, until her youngest was a toddler. It’s not too late for me. I haven’t lost my chance to teach them grace and peace yet. I have a few years to get my act together, I am a long way off.

I herded us all, except T, in and out of showers and clothes and we headed out the door. As we exited the lift of our building I saw my husband’s friend and neighbor with his brother in law and two others cutting up the goat that they had just sacrificed and were about to cook. Wishing I had my camera to show you all what kinds of things we witness around the holidays we stayed and stared as I answered kids questions about stomachs and hooves, and sharp butcher knives. Fun!

We headed out to the street to catch a rickshaw and I tried two till I found one that knew where I wanted to go.

Once we got past all the speed bumps on our street we enjoyed the breeze, cool weather and non crowded streets. Only the sea of “white men”, men in traditional white kurta shirts for the day, were out finishing up the sacrifice duties and mingling.

It was great to be out of the house and I was looking forward to this adventure. Too bad we are leaving for the US in the best weather of the year. (Note to self: go back in the mid summer next time.)

We stop at a roadside place to buy some sour cream and onion chips, a little taste of home and 2 bottles of water. All the regular shops are closed for the holiday.

We arrive and I leave extra change with the Rickshaw wallah as a gift for Eid. He was grateful and friendly.

We walked quite aways to the open field area intentionally not going to the playground area as not to get mobbed by kids.  To no avail!

As we sat in the shade eating our lunch, kids came and stood 3 feet away just staring. About 20 men came and sat on the grass just a few feet away quietely watching us eat and talk. When the young boys rode their bike right up to us and were falling all over the place trying to fit 4 on, but nearly falling on Arwyn, they were so close, I  hollered at them to leave. I was starting to get annoyed as man after man came and sat by us and the mob of kids grew larger. How do celebs handle fame with grace? I couldn’t even handle it on a much smaller scale.

10 minutes of failed attempts to send people away and I knew we just needed to leave. We packed up and walked back to the exit. The mass of people dispersed and went to something else exciting. Now I know what my friend felt like when she came to this park.

I headed to our usual park hoping that it was quite deserted. I suggested we all pray that we can have peace and quiet at the park, as I was trying to leave behind the negative feelings of the last encounter and switch all our gears. I got lost in thought about wanting a surprise from God in this way when I realized Vange, sitting next to me was praying for our time ahead, and I was touched.

It was great to see our spot with only 3 or four groups of men all spread out over the place. I headed to a remote spot on the back side of the park and noticed a guy on his phone walking along with us. As soon as we sat down he stopped and sat and within minutes his whole group of men were sitting feet away from us! As they tried to be sly about taking pictures,  I had the kids all turn around so all our backs were to them, hoping to send the message that we wanted privacy. They didn’t care.

So I packed us up and headed to the back side of the park, I hadn’t ventured there before. There was a nice square of lawn, enough trees here and there to hide us from the entrance and people roaming around. I was thankful. For nearly an hour we enjoyed ourselves playing frisbee, and paddleball with no people in sight but green all around.

T got nice and dirty in the sparse grass and once when I was on the phone with a friend I had to rush off because I saw him standing against a cement block wiping aggrivatedly at his face. When I looked closer I saw he was swarming with ants from head to toe. It took me a good 5 minutes to wipe them all off. Good thing they weren’t the biting ones!

We thanked God for our fun time to play and get out and then we headed to CCD (Cafe Coffee Day). It was now way past afternoon nap time but things were going quite well as we sipped our chocolate drinks and Malachi mingled with most of the people in the shop. I heard him telling a joke to a young girl that had the same exact Goa shirt on as him.

“Nice shirt!” he said

she smiled.

“knock- knock.”

I am assuming she responded accordingly, cause I only saw him say,

” elephant.”

no answer, “your supposed to say elephant who?”

Elephant who?

“elephant on your shirt and mine.”

We finished up our drinks and T threw a big fit over being done with his brownie. What is it about Chocolate that makes people angry when they run out? I distracted him with a straw and he toddled about the shop.

We hopped on our rickshaw and I enjoyed the evening breeze rustling through the euciliptus trees that hung over the street.

On our ride home I noticed all the roadside piles of goatskins and wondered what they do with them now. I started snapping pictures of things with my phone as we rode along.

Vange says ” I don’t want to eat live goats that are killed mom.” I don’t blame her. It was a little disturbing. I  wondered if it was bad to be thankful that Jesus paid the sacrifice for me so now I don’t have to mess with sacrificing for myself. Quite messy.

We roll into our neighborhood and the kids remind me that we need diapers and milk. As we pick up the diapers, forgetting the milk we greet the shopkeeper and head back to our place.

We take the shortcut trough the alley and I pass the woman I have smiled to many times, and wonder when I will be invited in or just invite myself. I contemplated asking her for a picture but quickly remembered my invasive afternoon.

Once in our home I remind the kids of the same thing I usually do, shoes in the shoe rack and wash hands. I head to the kitchen with T giving him a much needed bath in the sink. After many attempts to escape I get him washed nice and good despite the floaters he leaves behind in the water.

I wrestle a diaper on him and rub him down with lotion to which he giggles uncontrollably. And I get him to lay still in his bed with a bottle of milk so I can clip his nails. Meanwhile I give instructions to all three to get their reading books and use the restroom before I put T down for a late nap and we all have rest time.

As I walk into my bedroom it’s just sunset, my fav time of day to be in my room, for the way the sun shines through the windows. I am thankful that I get to enjoy it alone.

My day was mixed with good and bad experiences but I give myself a pat on the back to just get us all out and back, and clean.

T ends rest time an hour later with his cries in the dark. I switch on the light and find Vange asleep, eyes wide open. I wave my hand in front of her and she doesn’t budge. Malachi has fallen asleep in the living room while reading. I give T to Arwyn who was reading in the family room to watch while I finish up some typing. I jump up once to soothe the crying from a good bump on T’s noggin from flipping over a chair.Then I head to the kitchen to start dinner.

I am thankful to just have yummy tacos to reheat from last night. I grab T on the way to come play with the little kitchen while I cook. He starts out good but is soon crying on the floor desperate for some food.

I wake Malachi and set the table. Arwyn is using her 30 minutes of earned computer time to email her grandma. Vange has woken and started playing in the family room with her “bucket of beans.”

I ring the dinner bell and we all chat about our highs and lows of the day while eating scrumptious tacos.

Malachi: my low was leaving the trees at the park, my high was going to CCD

Arwyn: My high was going to CCD, and my low was everyone staring at us.

Vange: my low was everyone staring too. My high was playing at the other park and having privacy.

I say my low was leaving the trees as well, and my high was talking to daddy on the phone.

We all agree T’s high was getting outside, cause he laughed and clapped when we headed out on our adventure.

T refuses food, asking for a second bottle. His new tooth coming through has made him a picky eater lately and he would much rather drink those all day long, despite his constipation that I have tried combating for a week now.

Arwyn clears the table and wipes it down, I send the other two to brush teeth and use the bathroom. Then we all straighten up the house a bit before we settle down to read Uncle Wiggley’s storybook. I pick our nightly song tonight and kiss them all goodnight.

Vange comes out 3 times while I am hanging clothes on the line and sweeping up.

I settle in to my room for the evening of quiet and Malachi comes in to tell me he has stuffy nose.

Whew! A packed but rich day and I look forward to our sabbath tomorrow. Pancakes, games, and a new movie. And J comes back to me, the best part.

Come to me

This last Saturday was an amazing day! I needed to get out of the house so I rented a taxi to take me and all the kids to the park. A friend of mine here in the city who is pregnant and has 2 young boys has also been feeling pent up. So we swung by and picked her up too that’s 3 adults and 6 kids in a lil hatchback car. Isn’t India amazing!

I was just expecting to survive the day. Going out here is exhausting. You can only do it at best, once a day. At least that’s my experience with 4 kids. And usually if I had the freedom in my schedule to go out as much as I want I probably would do it every other day, giving me one day in between to recoup.

But God had surprises for me along the way. When I was just wanting to get out and get back in one day without crying. God wanted me to get out and back laughing with joy and gratitude. And that he did.

About a year ago I was at a all time low. My thoughts of flying home and giving up were regular, Like everyday. Even multiple times a day. Life here is stressful, much more than I ever experienced in the states. Independence is important to me. Life as a mom here greatly limits your independence. Having four, and all the work that comes with that, and homeschooling keeps me home every day. It would take half a day to get out and go grocery shopping with the kids for just a few days of groceries, so Id have to do that about every other day. Who has the time for that, and here, who has the energy? Minus shopping carts and clean isles, who has the patience?

Not me. So Josiah does all our shopping pretty much daily he is bringing home all my grocery and household needs. Which I am very thankful for. But that means I can’t ever have a look for myself what new products there are and just feel the accomplishment of getting my own groceries.

Since having Taron I also haven’t been out to visit many local friends. Or been out with the kids in situations where I can meet new friends. I have been here two years and still don’t have any deep relationships.

One year ago I was wrestling so much with the Lord. I told him that if I didn’t make any local friends that I looked forward to spending time with, that last phrase being the clintcher. Then I was sure I couldn’t stay here. Life was too stressful and I was too lonely for it to be worth it. I feel like it is coming at a cost to my kids and my marriage too. Why pay that cost if I was not even in local relationships? I could do this at home and be a nicer person to be around.

Well its about a year past that point and I haven’t made any new friends. And I am a connector, its EASY for me to make friends. But my life just doesn’t have space for that in the margin.

Saturday we were having a typical mom type picnic. Toddlers running around dumping our buckets of bubbles over. Kids getting muddy and hurt and hot. But I didn’t mind. I was outside enjoying my space and freedom. Just getting us outside was a success.

A group of young ladies who are studying art at the university were there painting on canvases. My kids were visiting with them. And finally there teacher came over and introduced her and her daughter. They were so friendly and sweet. I discovered she lived close to me. They both were taken with the kids. Even though I was distracted here and there, only asking questions in between many demands of mommy-hood. They stayed and chatted. In the conversation at one point they said they wanted me to come to there house. I said I’d love to.

Indian women tend to be shy when it comes to asking for numbers and expressing there interest. So I have gotten in the habit of being more forward and getting contact info before we have to go, so that we can have a chance to meet again. But the Spirit checked me when I went to go ask. So I waited to see if they were serious about wanting me to come. Before leaving, the daughter, who spoke more English came and sat by me and said  “We want to see you again, can I get your mobile?”

“Of course!”

My heart was wanting to sit and talk and get to know these 2 ladies more. But my attention just couldn’t focus on conversation at all. Its not often I meet women that are gentle and soft spirited that also initiate in relationships. Usually the initiators are also colder and more critical. Which is a hard thing to adjust to in friendships. Or in my case even want to be around. Since I don’t have many friendships, I don’t want the ones I do have to be life draining and hard for me to even work up the motivation to go visit.

This is was all Gods doing, I didn’t even see it coming.

Then after the park we had the Taxi driver drop us at Coffee Day, to get the kids a treat. I decided to let him go and that we would take rickshaws home.

It was my first time on a rickshaw with all 4 kids. Plus a big container of bubble mix and 3 bags full of picnic and park activity stuff. I needed a good massage at the end but I made it!

That was the icing on the cake to me. But not God’s. He had more.

On the ride home a beautiful women in a burka and niqab was smiling through her blackness. Her and her son kept riding past me and smiling and waving to my kids. Finally she just rode right along next to me and we started talking. She wanted me to come to her house and visit her. So she got my number. She seemed bubbly and welcoming.

Interesting that was 3 weeks before I go back to a place I have been longing to be and wondering if my heart will make it back to India, not bitter. e puts He puts two women in my path that I was not looking for. It was not in my own strength.

He has been showing me. I strive. I strive hard. To reach expectations I put on myself. Rediculously high expectations. And I weigh my worth against my performance of these things.

He has been stripping this in me. And yet he does things for me. When I am longing but not asking.

This song I found on my friends blog, has been awesome to me. Go ahead listen.

yes mam

Time for the mammomgram. Just got into Delhi and went straight to my 10 o’clock appointment. Made my $40 payment and miracle of miracles actually got in and out by the time my appointment was actually scheduled  for. But it was sure packed full of entertaining and memorable things.
For starters, I had to convince the technician that I actually was indeed supposed to be having this procedure, since I was only 32 (funny that my OB said when I was pregnant with T that I needed to get the genetic testing cause I was ALREADY 31… ) When she asked if my mother or grandmother had cancer I could answer yes to both. “What age?” she asks. Mother 50, Grandmother 35.
(Now, I wasn’t lying but I know that Grandma died at 42 from a slow growing cancer so its very  likely that she did have it at that age, but I didn’t know for sure when she actually got it, and I knew that it would increase my chances of getting my procedure over with instead of drawing it out by getting written permission from  my oncologist and then coming back)

So she took me back to the room where the Dr’s were reviewing other Mam results. I found myself in a semicircle room looking at different pairs of breast from women in Delhi. It was weird, not in the creepy way you might think like I was peeping or something. But to me as I looked, I saw live verdicts. Life changing news not given, or relief that all was clear. Big news either way, to so many precious women. And I knew mine would be next up in the screen in an hour or two. Weird, and heavy.
The Dr. asked me for my referral which I left at home, in my city 3 hours away (way to go Heidi!) SO I told her that I was getting 4 tests today and tomorrow all for cancer screening because I am positive for Lynch. ” Do you know what that is?” not sure why I asked cause in India the answer is always YES, in order to save face. She nods yes and asks me to email her my test results for lynch. I agree knowing that she actually is just really saying it not meaning it, cause its of no use to her, but this is her way of pushing me through to get the procedure.

It occurs to me on the walk back that they meant “did my  mom or grandma have breast cancer?” to which I would have to say no. So I lied, unknowingly, whoops. Don’t worry I wouldn’t ever lie to just get my way, that doesn’t show any character. Jesus can do anything on my behalf, why should I need to manipulate and lie to get things done? But he did use my honest mistake to push things along, which was nice.
Once I step in the room, she switches to HIndi and I stare for a minute trying to f igure out what she just said, she repeats in broken english, ” take off your tops.”
WELCOME TO INDIA!

No sense of privacy here weather your getting a massage or going for a routine OB check one is expected to drop the drawers or fully undress in the presence of other people. Pretty awkward when you are not given a robe to have on,  just left naked… scared… and alone.

Just kidding, only naked, well you may be scared depending on your precedure, and even alone cause… well… you ARE the only naked one in the office. As I satnd there waiting for some further instruction feeling a bit bare with my pants and flip flops and bangles on, I hear the the door knob jiggle and I jump. “Don’t worry” she chuckles.

She sets me up for my first side but has to adjust her machine, I ask her if her job is fun. Which I have to translate cause she doesn’t understand “fun” or “job”,  when she does she chuckles again and says “not really most women cry, from the pain”. Why was I asking her this?
Then she adds, “and lots of women want me to meet them.” I look confused so she comes and says, grabbing my right one in her hand and shaking it ” hello nice to meet you”. Did that really just happen to me? Did an Indian women really just “shake hands” with my breast? It did.
Moving on as I am trying to block out the pain from being squished, which is painful mind you, I look down at the machine on the top portion of me and there are two live bugs crawling around in it. It’s in this moment where I remember I AM in India and I recall all the signals thus far that tried to show that.

We finish the right side and then the power goes out. ” 2 minutes to wait” she says. So what do we do? What else, we stand there facing eajother, maybe 5 inches part. Me stil topless, and she stares at me. Not just me, but my “upper half’, thats right folks, its ok here, to stare unashamedly at whatever you would like to stare at. (unless you are a woman staring at a man which is in fact an invitation for a bed buddy. But if you are a man staring at a woman in the same way, its fine. unnerving but fine. THIS my friends, is the main reason women here wear Dupata and Niqab. not the common belief that its because of the oppression of women.) but I digress.

So yes, she is staring. I am waiting. Then she is curious about some freckles on  my chest, so she makes contact with her object of observation and says, “whats this?” Luckily, as I am racking my brain if I should even try to explain in another language this absurd and uncomfortable request for knowledge, the power comes back on.

Yes, I know she has already made contact with them when positioning them in the machine, but this my friends was off the clock. Those times were necessary, these were just plain wrong.

We get rolling again and she gets a phone call. which she answers, in case I haven’t forgotten, i am reminded again we are in fact in India. You can answer the phone whenever and wherever you please, there is no such thing as unnprofessional. Relationships and connections are always justified. Even when keeping a woman half naked waiting in a procedure she cant wait to be over from. She answers the phone to say “Im busy” and returns to me.

“You are from?”

“America.”

“oh, India is better than America. In America all family and friends kill each other. It is so dangerous.”

Wondering with what extensive experience of America did she come by this knowledge I resist the urge to laugh, or ask ” did you watch that on TV?” instead I say, “No, that’s not true. crime is all over the world, evil is all over. America is no different than India.” I am thinking “other than its billion people” so technicaly, just because of population reasons there are more killings in India than America, but technically there are many more reasons. And technically why am having a political debate with an Hollywood rumor fed woman in the dim lighting of a mammogram room, half naked?

We finish up and I get dressed and as I am slipping my shirt over my head, she answers another jiggle from the door,  a man is there waiting to come in. I bet this room is many a staff men’s dream to be in. But I am done and there will be no more viewing today.

“do you like India? she asks,

“oh yes, I love India”.

I’ve got it…

Back in May I finally did something that’s been on my shoulders for awhile. I got tested.  Mom’s got it, her mom had it. Do I? That was the big question looming in the air for almost 2 years. Various reasons came up at different times about why I couldn’t get it at the moment. But finally I did. And I’m positive.

Me and many in my mom’s side of the family have Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC). It’s a genetic mutation in a gene that predisposes you to getting certain types of cancer. Of all the stuff you read about it they all really come down to “it’s a matter of when you get cancer not if”. We didn’t find out our family had it till about 2 years ago when my mom got in touch with some long lost cousins and in catching up they shared that one of the young men in the family got colon cancer and they screened him for HNPCC and he was positive. Slowly all the family started getting screened and they found out that many people in the family had it.

So mom got screened and she was positive. Then she started the process of testing for uterine and colon cancer (the two main manifestations of our strain of HNPCC). Because ultrasounds and biopsy’s aren’t 100% accurate (there are many layers in your uterus and the biopsy only takes tissue from the innermost layer) her biopsy didn’t detect that she had it. But God led her gyno to encourage her to get a hysterectomy because she wasn’t having a typical journey into menopause.

So she did and they found her cancer in between layers in her uterous. If she hadn’t gotten it taken out, she would probably be fighting for her life right now, and it would be too late. Just like her mom’s journey.

So Iv’e got it. And there was a small relief that at least now I knew, there was no looming question. It’s fair to say that I just traded one question for an even bigger one. Do I currently have any cancer? And later the question becomes : When will I get cancer?

This past weekend we were in Delhi for so many wonderful reasons. Malachi turned 6. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Devon had their baby. I got 5 out of 7 tests done.

The mammogram I wrote about, cause it was just comical. But instead of “save” I pressed publish when I wasn’t quite done writing it up, and also I hadn’t gone public with my HNCP. So if you are amoung some of the ones that read the partial story and were left wondering about it, this is what it was all about. You might want to go back and re-read it cause I finished it and grammar checked it.

My colonoscopy checked out great. And it wasn’t as bad as I’d heard. My IVC (uterean ultrasound) turned out great too. My mammogram needs further tests, most likely because of my size I have denser tissue and my age contributes to that too. We are still waiting on results from my uteran papsmere and culture. And in early November right before we fly out for the states I will get a blood test and a breast ultrasound, possibly a biopsy as well.

So I am almost done answering the second question, “do I have cancer now?”  And yah! I know that third one is more stuck with you. When will I get it? But I really don’t feel like this is a death sentence. Something that I have to let rule my life, or even define me.

What it is, is God’s grace on our family. Bringing something dark, that has “taken out” so many people, into the light.

We have knowledge, and power. We can fight this. I can get tested regularly. Eat wise, exercise, and previve.

It’s really huge that we know about this. Estimates say that 1 in 35 people diagnosed with colon cancer have HNPCC. 600,000 people are predicted to have HNPCC in the US alone. Can you imagine how steps to get tested and previve can dramatically impact our cancer deaths each year? HUGE. God’s grace.

I predict that as the awareness spreads in the coming years that not many people in the world will not know what Lynch is. It is not racially bound. My Indian Oncologist practiced in London when he first learned about HNPCC from a string of arabian muslim brothers that all had colon cancer. They discovered that they too had HNPCC.

Because I am so grateful to know what we are up against and to have a fighting chance, it makes me want to dance, like this. Maybe when I get to the states I will get to participate in spreading awareness in this way. Arwyn can’t wait to do one. My mom’s gonna get roped into it. And maybe some of you too! Especially if you have loved ones that died or survived cancer, I am comin for you. You know you want to dance with me!

Maybe I can get J to wear this shirt as well 🙂 An indian man was wearing it a couple sities over in our friends city. He doesn’t speak english. Nor read it.

on visas, God’s love, and numbness

I am so aware that MANY people are praying for us. That alone is encouraging, and humbling. That all of you would deem me and the goings on in my life worth fretting before the Lord for. Yeah, humbling.

I used to think that if we had enough people praying that God would act. As if there were a magic number. 20 maybe.

Or if we prayed long enough. an hour. 3 hours. half the day, every day. Fast even. Bottom line to both of these, if we perform well enough, God will grant. We will earn our worthiness of a gift from the Holy One.

I know you are waiting for the “but” since I said “used to”. And you might be poised with the question ” what about the verse, wherever 2 or 3 are gathered?”. But what about when 200 or 300 are gathered asking for healing, asking for deliverance, asking for a miracle, asking for a child to live? And God does not give, what you want anyway?

It’s not a magic formula. Yeah, it’s a promise, but for EVERYTHING. More than two or tree were gathered praying for life for my baby. Not just one baby. Two. and still He took. It’s not a formula. It’s not a guarantee.

His plans are not my plans. His  thoughts are not my thoughts.

This last week while sitting by and watching Josiah do everything he can possibly do to get T’s visa, my heart has grown still. I’m still not sure if it’s God’s peace that I can handle what he gives me, regardless of what it is. Or if I am just growing numb. You can only shake your fist in anger so long. It’s exhausting. You can only go down with a fight so many times. You burn out. You grow apathetic.

No wonder people in this country are fatalistic. It’s exhausting to be anything else.

I want to believe this verse. ” The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14) But will He? Or will he allow this time?

Will I have to learn contentment in what I consider plan B? Do I need to learn joy in whatever he hands me?

I have been thinking a lot about if I am a spoiled brat in need of learning some delayed gratification, or joy in all circumstances. Not just joy from getting what I want whenever I want.

I think I am. Not because that’s how my parents raised me. Even as an only child, though I did get what I needed always, and often what I wanted. They didn’t raise me to be a demanding child who felt entitled to all and received all.

But America did. “Do what feels good to you.” ” Whatever you want to believe is your truth.” ” You are entitled to get what you want.” ” If you get tired of it, leave, walk away.” ” If you want it, take it.” ” Don’t except no for an answer”. ” Just do it” ” Your way right away.”

What you want, fast, or go find it somewhere else. If you’re not “feelin it” do what you have to so that you are. It’s all about feelings.

This makes for a very immature believer in the area of patience, longsuffering, and endurance. I haven’t met too many people with these qualities actually. At least not in the US. People aren’t feeling it and they change, leave, move. We pray for God to take away all our unpleasant circumstances.

It’s been said that the American church doesn’t know Joy. I think it’s true. Myself included. C.S. Lewis said you can’t know joy until you’ve known pain. The two are inseparable.

But when all you do is pray for the removal of any form of pain, or keep yourself busy ” escaping” from it. Whether that’s in service to the church. Service to other’s. Feeding an addiction. Spending money you don’t have. Having an affair. Emotional or otherwise. Reading trashy romance novels. Eating, eating, and eating some more. Staying so busy you don’t allow solitude, reflection, or rest into your life. When you let these things let up, the pain comes back to the edges of your periphery and you don’t know how to handle it.

In America all kinds of ways are available to self medicate our pain. To get what we think we want exactly when we want it.

I am a child of this.

It’s been my sneaking suspicion as I grapple with this un-satisfaction in my life, that it’s  time.

God is teaching me to joyfully except what He gives. To be open to “plan B” and choose gratitude.

I’m not there yet. It might be a long journey. Good thing God is patient.

UPDATE: J visited the FRO today and they hadn’t received the email from Delhi. So he will take a taxi to Delhi again tomorrow to “push” things along. He said ” I will stay in the office till they get the email sent. ” As I gave a weak, not very hopeful smile, he said ” I will fight for you!” Please pray with us that a miracle happens and they practice compassion and efficiency tomorrow.

holy experience