Well, here we are again with weeks between blog posts. I need to get on a better schedule! At least once a week…I’ll try.
So a couple of days after I started my new job at ECC, my friend who I share an office with received some horrible news…a parent’s worst nightmare. Her 2 year-old daughter, Naomi, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. They found out when they took her to the doctor for a cough. What?! A few days after that she had surgery to remove the mass, not knowing what the future would hold in terms of treatment. I was privileged to step in and help with my friend’s job responsibilities while she was caring for her daughter, and I was even more privileged to read her heart on her blog as she processed the journey. What seems like millions of people prayed for Naomi’s situation, and you know what? God healed her! The tumor was 95% removed and it turned out to be mostly benign! No further treatment is needed, and Naomi is home now, playing and dancing and singing like before. A beautiful picture of grace. Will you read my friends’ blog? And will you praise God with us for His grace and mercy in Naomi’s life?
What else? We’ve been at the park a lot lately, and Zeke and his buddy, Sophie, have so much fun together. She says she doesn’t like boys, except for Zeke. I love it! Zeke also visited the dentist for the first time this week. He loved it! Especially the new toothbrush and the prize at the end. And, well, I’ve been officiating many bike and running races on our driveway after school. It’s quite the competition!
Speaking of neighbors. The whole situation with our new neighbors really threw me for a loop after we moved in here. How do I love them? What boundaries do we set? How many more snacks do I buy? Do I let the boys play outside with neighbors unsupervised? Do I have space in my mind and schedule to let more people in? Do I let Cole go to the bus stop alone? I was stuck in the practical, forgetting about anything relational. Now, though, with God’s help I’ve realized a few things. One, the more the boys play with the neighbor kids, the more they learn how to love each other. They know that hitting a neighbor friend isn’t okay, so they may think twice before hitting a brother. Two, I’ve been able to find a better rhythm for my days so I can be outside during the after school hours and get to know my neighbors better, kids and parents. Three, I’m realizing that these moments for our kids are too valuable to push aside. They aren’t asking for TV. They are playing and imagining and creating. Playing pirates. Playing tennis. Racing bikes. Flying kites. Being kids. And the best part is that they’re doing it in community. It’s a beautiful picture for me of living life with the people God has put in my path. I know my neighbors’ schedules now, their bedtimes and dinner habits, what they like and don’t like about their jobs. I know the big events happening in their families, and more and more pieces of their life stories. It takes sacrifice, that’s for sure, to turn off productive mode and turn on being selfless and rearranging my day to be available. Our kids win, I win, and my heart is growing and stretching. A gift, to be sure.
Last thing. The house next door to us is for sale! Do you want to move in? We’d be neighbors, we can hang out. We’ll have popsicles and bus stop chats. Here’s the link: