a tiny nest in the doctor's officeIt’s taken over 2 years. Don’t get too excited. We haven’t arrived at a cure, yet. (Which sucks.) But, I have finally arrived at: thankful. At least I usually manage to visit the land of thankful, each day. If only for a few moments at a time. Apparently, I’m not holy enough (or maybe crazy enough) to be thankful for my husband’s cancer. (I’ve had several people encourage me to BE thankful for it…. so far? Not so much. Honestly? That sounds masochistic and sick. But hey- if it IS your experience- I’m glad for you. Just stop trying to push it on me, ok?)  I can, however- finally recognize my thankfulness IN cancer.

  • I’m thankful for the love and support of friends and family as we take this seemingly never ending Willie-Wonka- on- the psychelic -boat ride. A ride through diagnosis, surgery, treatments, appointments, emotions and trying to find a new normal that involves: cancer. Every single, day.
  • I’m thankful for the deepening of conversations and faith that this cancer battle has born like fruit on a thorny bush. I once heard that trees growing in harsh conditions where wind and rock make life difficult, dig deeper roots. I’m thankful the storm of cancer has caused our roots to deepen. (I’m feeling metaphoric- what can I say?)
  • I’m thankful for the daily reminder that life is short. Cancer puts a magnifying glass on the clock of life. There are no guarantees of tomorrow, and that loving people right now, where you are, is really the best anyone can do to honor God. This has always been true…. I was just oblivious of it. (Along with a lot of other things. Of course:P  Oblivious could be my middle name.)
  • I’m thankful that God has shown his presence in ways I recognize, at times I most desperately need it. He hasn’t DONE what I’ve been begging for- but he has shown up. We’ve not been, or felt alone. (We have however felt: angry, hurt, grief, fear, jealous of the healthy, frustrated with glib responses to our pain…. but not alone.)
  • I’m thankful for the strength of our family- birthed in love, is now being  forged in fire. Like steel hardened by a blacksmith- we’re becoming stronger- not weakened by the “stuff” we’ve been facing. (Cancer is just the tip of the iceberg….let’s just say if it COULD hit the fan? It has.) (You’re welcome- that was metaphor 3,002 for this post. I’m gong for a record.)
  • I’m thankful that life continues- even under threat.

I could go on…. But the point is- for the past few years I’ve entered each New Year hoping the next year would be better. I’ve been kicking years to the curb like the ripped wrapping paper and used paper plates currently filling my holiday infused trash. (I mean recycling. Yeah, that’s right- recycling.) I’ve been happy we survived them. But I’v not been thankful for them.

Last night, I felt different. I felt thankful. Finally. The cancer is still there. Life is still hitting us hard. We struggle. Like most people- it’s always something. Cars still break down and so do I.

But-I’m finally thankful. I’m thankful for what God accomplished last year. In spite of cancer. (And in spite of me.) Instead of kicking 2013 to the curb- I’m archiving it. I looked through this years “year in review” photo album with joy and thankfulness . Even the hospital pictures hold glimpses of humor and hope.

There was beauty amid  the mess and  I am thankful. As I look back- now I can see- I HAVE been thankful. As all the things above and so many more, unfolded this year, I felt thankful. Not every minute. And certainly not for cancer- but the thankfulness has been there. Sometimes so fleeting, I barely noticed. Like a butterfly- it momentarily landed in my heart- countless times.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been feeling guilty about my lack of thankfulness in this mess. I’ve had lots of people tell me how thankful they were for their experiences with cancer. That cancer has been “a gift in their life.” If it’s a gift, it’s been one I’d like to return. I’d even wait in the Walmart after Christmas return line for as long as it takes. (Walmart post Christmas return line? = a taste of hell on earth. Justsayin. It’s that bad.)

I’ve experienced magical thinking- “Maybe if I can make myself be thankful for the cancer- god will take it away… maybe thats the key.”  The problem is: I can’t be thankful FOR cancer. Besides- I highly doubt God falls for manipulation by emotion. I  can’t get rid of it. Not even with magical thinking. It’s not returnable or regiftable. (Even I have limits for re-gifitng.)

Cancer doesn’t come with a gift receipt. There are no returns. Not even for store credit. It just: sucks. It’s the gift that keeps on sucking.

However- I’ve been looking back- all the way to the beginning of this journey- and now I can see not just God- but my own footprints of thankfulness, in the cancer- if not for it. The truth is-I’ve been thankful all along.

I refuse to keep trying to believe that I have to be thankful FOR cancer. Jesus never met someone sick or in pain and said: “You should be thankful for this affliction. Go and enjoy it some more.” The bible says Jesus had compassion on the afflicted, the outcast, the pained. It also says he understands our weaknesses and our pain. We have a high priest (Jesus) who “gets it.” “Jesus wept.”  Is one of the most profound verses in the Bible. It shows God doesn’t expect or desire denial… he desires honesty of feelings. And that he can handle it.

Dear Lord- I’ve felt guilty for my lack of thankfulness in this cancerous mess. I’ve longed for it- I’ve even tried to manufacture it. Thank you Lord- for loving me even here. When I’m too blinded by pain to be thankful. And to messy to even recognize the thankfulness I have experienced. Thank you lord for being with us- everyday- in and through all this mess- And thank you lord for letting me off the hook of being thankful FOR cancer……. Thank you for 2013, and your presence in it. I’m not kicking it to the curb- but am gently archiving it in the story of our lives. Thank you for 2014. I’m looking forward to seeing where and how you’ll be showing up in this new year. Lord- this year I already hear you whispering to abide…..even here. Please Lord- help me to live fully- to remain- to abide- in this new year. I love you. But- I still hate cancer. Amen.

Dear Reader- I don’t know what you’re experiencing. Maybe it’s cancer- loss, divorce,job loss, financial struggles, sickness, chronic pain, relational struggles…. But if you’re like me and think you need to be thankful FOR it- and are feeling guilty and frustrated with yourself in addition to all you’re going through. I want you to know you’re not alone. I’ve been there. And: I don’t think you have to be thankful FOR whatever you’re going through. It sucks.  But maybe, just maybe if you look back- you may find you’ve been thankful IN it all along even if only for fleeting moments. If not- I promise- it will come. When it’s time. I don’t know how long it will take. It’s taken me a long time. Just keep breathing. Keep praying. (yes even ugly prayers… God can handle it.) Keep waiting. Stop heaping guilt on your already burdened heart. You’ll find thankful. If you let yourself.

“TICK. TOCK. TICK. TOCK: BOOM!”  

Butterfly-clock

The verdict is in. The cancer is still: somewhere.

Yup- instead of a field goal, yesterday’s appointment was a cancer grenade. (I’d say it was a cancer IED  but I doubt terrorists are involved. Even if there is a little element of terror. And Now I’m afraid I’m on some watch-list for even using the word IED. Grand)

I’ll be honest. I’m usually a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best ” kind of girl. I really thought that yesterdays appointment was going to have a happy outcome.

It didn’t. I was really caught off guard. (Why do we think we can be on guard and protect ourselves from this stuff- anyway? I’ll tell ya- it doesn’t always work.)

It wasn’t the worst news. (The worst would be: it’s too late he’s already dead.  In fact-the man you’re married to has become a bacon craving zombie. That would be the worst.)

So, like I said- it wasn’t the worst- but- it also isn’t good.

My husband’s battle with prostate cancer ain’t over. (I even tried singing before the appointment to assure the outcome. Apparently a fat-lady singing isn’t magic. Bummer. ) His PSA has crept up. Into a range that means we’re now being referred to an Oncologist.

The Dr. said we need to look at this as managing a chronic illness. This battle may never end. (Well eventually- we all DIE. Duh. But, we may have this as part of our journey for the rest of our lives. However long that is.)

That’s NOT, what I wanted to hear.

I wanted to hear: “YAY! it looks good- you beat the odds! “ I wanted to hear: “I just don’t understand- it looks like he’s never had cancer- it’s just: gone.”  (I keep asking trusting and believing that God could heal. He just: hasn’t. Not so far.) I wanted to hear: “Okay one year down- 4 more till we declare you “cancer free!”

So now what?

Well. I’m angry and scared and frustrated. I spent some time crying to and yelling at God. I took some time last night with friends. We took some time with our kids. We took some time together to talk about how we’re feeling.

Now- we take the next step. We wait for the oncology appointment and find out what’s next. Most likely it will be specialized hormone management. Which sucks- But not as much as many other cancer treatments. We’ve already done a couple rounds of that- so we know what to expect. It’s manageable. He can work.

All of which is good.

But this: sucks.

Over the course of this journey- I’ve had lots of people respond lots of ways…. my favorite? The one that’s helped the most, so far?

Carol Kuykendall during a series of emails said: that “Jesus Hates Cancer.”  I told Carol: that needs to be a book. (I still think it does.)

Those 3 words gave me permission to hate  cancer, too. I don’t have to be thankful for my husband’s cancer. (I tried to do that… it was just so WRONG.) I have LOADS to be thankful for IN this situation….. but for it? Not so much.

Those words communicated to me that while God is going to do good things in this- HE DOESN”T LIKE IT WHEN HIS CHILDREN HURT.

Those words gave me permission to feel. They helped me to stop trying to doctrinate myself out of feeling…..all the things I feel. it wasn’t helping….. it was exhausting me. It was making me feel like My husband’s LIfe was as precarious as my ability to BELIEVE enough and have faith enough to make him live. (Yeah- not going into the whole doctrinal thing rt now- but let’s just say: I was forgetting I’m not God. God, is God. He holds us. It’s not dependent on our strength- but His.)

Those words also remind me: He weeps when we weep. He knows this is hard. Scary. Sad. And real. He cares. He understands all that is involved in this struggle:

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:13-16

Funny. I may have a reminder of that verse tattooed on my back.

He is present. Even Here. I know and trust that. Even when I don’t like what I see or hear. Which if you haven’t figured it out yet: I don’t. I hate it.

And that’s Okay.

Jesus Hates Cancer, too.

“Dear Lord- I love you but I HATE cancer. Please God- continue to work in and through this whole mess. I ask you to heal- I ask you to be our strength and hope. Thank you for the mercy you show when we feel and grieve- and the grace you offer- by joining in our pain with love and understanding. We weep. But- I know you weep with us. We hope- because you are. Thank you Jesus- for hating cancer. Thank you for fighting through this journey WITH us. And with all who do. I love you Lord- Amen.”

Dear Reader- If you’re struggling- know you’re not alone. God hates the things that hurt us….. but promises to do good things in them and to be there with us. Even Here.

Confession: I was tempted to go barefoot to the cancer center. No, it wasn’t because I’d just gotten a fabulous pedi I wanted to show off…. (Hello, it’s fall, in Michigan, my toes are quietly entombed in shearling waiting for the thaw.) Nope. it was because I knew what shoes I had to wear: The Cancer shoes. (Okay that’s what I call them- but they’re actually- my awesome Movember Tom’s) I ordered matching Movember’s just about a year ago. Right after my husband’s diagnosis with prostate cancer. Shoes of solidarity- cause that’s how I roll. Well- that’s how I roll and as much as I love him- I’m not shaving my head if he loses his hair….But, I will wear matching shoes. (Trust me- I don’t do matchy… it’s a sacrifice for me.. ask my friends…) To every appointment.

 Movember is an organization devoted to mens’ health awareness.   Movember Tom’s are a partnership between Movember and Tom’s– to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues.

Of which Prostate Cancer is just one of many ….but- at my house? Prostate cancer dominates like the Tigers. (Rawr- go Tigs!)

The truth is- I love my Tom’s. They’ve carried us to every appointment from radiation appointments- to urologists. From physical therapy sessions to surgery and recovery. Every time I saw that little ‘stache on the side of my shoe- just below my inked reminder that God is with us even here…. I knew he was, and that we weren’t alone in walking these steps. Other’s care. Other’s have been here. Other’s have been cheering us on.

That is- they reminded me of that-until my big toe started poking through the end of my Toms. (I told you- I’ve been wearing them. A lot.)

When I saw that tango tangerine toenail polish- I felt a little panicked. cancer does weird things to your thought process’. To be honest? Somehow- over the course of that year of appointments- my shoes started to mean more than solidarity. They started to mean hope. That tiny hole in the toe-felt like a hole in our hope-balloon.

The thing is- we still need hope. The clock has been quietly ticking all summer. Radiation ended. Life continues and one of the most important appointments loomed.

The post radiation- PSA test. (If you hear ominous music in your head- you should. It’s scary. PSA is a blood test that can give a window into the body’s response to treatment. Or whether there is a risk of Prostate cancer- as an early detection screening. FYI? Don’t care what the government says about whether it’s economically viable—- an early PSA screen is what caught my husband’s cancer. Get your men checked. I said so. I’m more trust worthy than the government. duh.)

Anyway- I reprimanded myself that my hope is not in a pair of shoes. I know that my hope is in a God who loves us and carries us every step of the way- regardless of our circumstances. But, you know what?  Sometimes you need a reminder of that hope.  Which is what those shoes have become. I tried to tell myself they were now: holy (hole-y) hope. I didn’t believe myself. (I’m not a good liar.) I went online and tried to order another pair. OUT OF STOCK. (I cried. seriously- hope should never be out of stock. Just saying. However- Movember Tom’s are a limited edition collection each year- they sell out fast, buy more than one pair. You’re welcome.)  In desperation, I tweeted Tom’s about my plight. (more…)

My eyes drooped like last night’s crepe paper streamers.I kept trying to open them up- but sleep wanted to make a comeback. (It’s not exactly had starring role in my life lately.) I grabbed my Nook and started to read- hoping the distraction would help. It didn’t. I considered another cup of coffee- they always have coffee and saltines out at the Radiation center’s “comfort bar.”  (The first visit I thought the saltines were just odd- now I know- saltines= vomit control. Vomit control makes us all much more comfortable. Justsayin.)  I vetoed the coffee. If I drank any more I’d  a) be the non-patient bathroom hog at the cancer center. (That’s evil. Save the potty for the patients.) Or b) the shaking from too much caffeine- sleeping chick on the not so comfortable chair in the waiting room. (Which, could get me a nice escort to a whole different wing of the hospital….) Lose/lose if you ask me.

Instead I decided to tweet obnoxious things about my husband’s radio-oncologist looking like a guinea pig. (I may call him Dr Hamster in my head. I can’t help it.) (more…)

I’m known for my shoes. Or, rather- for my obsession with shoes.

A Mile in Her Shoes

I admit I’ve earned my notoriety. I have shoes for every occasion. And I’m not afraid to use them.

I have shoes for walking, running, barefoot running (it made sense at the time.) biking, water sports, beach wear, indoor wear, lounging, dancing, dinner, (Dinner shoes= shoes too uncomfortable to actually walk in but look cute peeking out from under a tablecloth.) shopping, speaking, snow.. the list is infinite. It’s not just a shoe collection, I wear them.

  • I bring an entire bag of shoes camping.  I see this as a practical necessity- due to the different climates and activities camping involves. However, friends tell me is evidence of my shoe obsession.  Something about camping and minimalism going together. To which I respond: I DON’t BRING ALL OF THEM- so it’s minimalistic. Duh.
  • When weighing my luggage at the airport- friends, family and the TSA know what put me over the (in my opinion: anorexic) weight limit. (I think my photo is on some watch list for luggage handler abuse) Travel= greater necessity for this right shoe to wear. A bad shoe choice on vacation, can ruin your  trip.)
  • I’ve occasionally taken up a sport because I found it’s footwear flattering. (Maybe. Once. Or, twice.)
I have a few reasons for my shoe affinity:
  • A good pair of platform pumps can change my BMI significantly. (BMI Height/weight math stuff taller+ same weight= thinner. In my head, f not my jeans.)
  • Shoes lead to adventures. (In my head dancing shoes mean i’ll dance, trekking shoes mean I’ll trek….whatever trek, means. You get the gist.)
  • Shoes don’t just make the man… they make the woman. (Or at least her outfit. Something like that.)

All of this is probably why I’ve been working on the “Mile in Her Shoes” writing project. I love stepping into the shoes of others and seeing life from their perspective. I’m passionate about helping women to connect with each other, breaking through their assumptions to intimacy- because I believe we are better- together.

I’ve delighted in wearing the shoes of a homeschool mom, a working mom, a work from home mom, a stay at home mom, a public school mom, a private school mom, a soccer mom etc. …..I’ve learned so much about the different types of women God has brought into my life- by simply living out what my mom always taught me: “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  As I’ve walked miles in the shoes of other mothers, I’ve learned that the desire to judge disappears. It’s been replaced with respect, understanding and compassion.

From iconic black heels to orthopedic comfort shoes and slippers- each pair I’ve walked in has brought me joy.

Until now.

Right now I’m wearing shoes I don’t like.I’m wearing.  Shoes I would never have chosen if Life (and God) hadn’t chosen them for me.
(more…)

We were 15 minutes late. Which- while it is  typical of being- well: me. Is  NOT what you want to be for your husband’s first appointment at radiation.  Talk about heaping extra stress on yourself when in an already stressful situation. Oy. However- you do your best when trying to get a kid to the bus and still manage to put on enough makeup to not scare the cancer patients.

Or maybe it was because we really just didn’t want to go.

Walking (like a ridiculous race-walker in pumps because the 12 seconds I saved running from the car to the oncology/radiation center’s doors makes the difference between living and dying. Forget the doctors. We have speed.) into the oncology/ radiation center is yet another slap in the face of cancer- denial. Even though it’s about getting well- it still stings.

Late or not- the staff was great and we only waited a bit for our appointment. (Weird- you never see doctors running in late cause they feel so bad…. yet- they are always: late. But- I digress.) It’s not necessary to go into medical jargon- but suffice to say we’re moving on to the next steps required to kick prostate cancer’s butt.  We’re ready to fight and are thankful we have a God who both “gets” us to our cores- and loves us- in addition to friends and family who love and support us.

However- a slap in the face of cancer denial- also makes you feel… well… a lot of stuff.

Like:

  • Moments of panic. Because while we know God is both good and in control and has the power to heal- he doesn’t always.
  • Moments of overwhelming sadness. Because talking to your kids about their Dad having cancer- just. sucks.
  • Moments of uncontrolled giggling because of the irony of a “siemans’ CT scan machine being used to detect prostate cancer….(Say it out loud. Think about it. I’ll give you a minute…;)
  • Moments of  being afraid to make a decision about care- because: DUH. We aren’t doctors. I Don’t WANT A CHOICE. Just tell us what will kill the cancer!!!
  • Moments of overwhelming love for the superhero-survivor that is my husband.

Sometimes all at once.

Especially when you walk out of yet another consult appointment, feeling like your head will explode due to fear/ stress and choice of treatment overload and have to wait while he gets his photo for his official “I’m a cancer patient” get out of everything free card. (Still don’t know what that was about- but seriously- they had to take his picture before we could leave.)

My neck and jaw and head felt like molten lead as I plopped into the nearest chair to wait for his glamour shot. I wondered if my brains could leak out through my ear for just a split second. For another second I kind of wished they would… cause the THINKING about cancer is almost as bad as the HAVING of cancer…. (i.e. the stress sucks. I’m not just talking about ME– I’m talking about my husband….we’d both like a lobotomy to help us cope- k? Thnx.)

Which is about when my glassy, overwhelmed eyes landed on this:

Which looks suspiciously like this:

My inked reminder that God is with us….

In pain. In beauty. In Peace. In fear.

Even Here.

And I knew he was.

Dear Lord- thank you for being with us in this cancer- I hate this.. but I love you— amen

It was a red and yellow plastic Balance Scale that I first fell in love with. I’d lay on my stomach on the beige, berber classroom carpet so I could see the balance point as I cautiously placed primary colored blocks on one end and then the other, trying to maintain balance while changing the weights.

If that was the whole of math, I not only would have liked it- I would have passed.

Alas- all good things must come to an end, and it was as inevitable as the math and physics I was learning-that my state of balance always ended as well. Sometimes with a teachers reminder that I had other work to do- but usually with that “mean kid” slamming a fist onto one end of the scale and sending my carefully balanced blocks sailing across the classroom.

I hated that kid. I also hated having to pick up the blocks front he four corners of the universe of my open classroom. (I plotted ways to avenge my lost balance on the see-saw…..I was angsty like that.)

I brought my love of balance into adulthood. The red and yellow plastic balance scale has been replaced by a calendar and life stacked just as carefully to balance:

  • A doctors appointment is balanced with some outside time.
  • Helping at the school is balanced by a little “me” time in the form of a nail appointment.
  • My love of all things girlie is balanced with a love of camping. (And s’mores.)
  • Cooking and laundry is balanced with creative activities that last longer than a meal… (Ok so it’s knitting- I call it creative activities. Whatever.)

Even my hobbies are carefully stacked for balance. Non-fiction reads with fiction, knitting for self and for others…. the list of ways I try to balance my life goes on.

At least it did, until the mean kid fist of cancer hit the balanced scale of my life and turned it once again, into a catapult.

First, I tried to re-coop balance: (Hint: It didn’t work)

  • Doctors appointments were balanced with trips to the bookstore. (In my mind- polar opposites. I’m weird.)
  • Cancer reading balanced with bible reading. (And maybe some lame- zombie novel reading for distraction.)
  • Non-profit work totters with family time…
  • Husband up-keep teeters to balance with self management,  kid management,  household management, and root-management. (Cancer or not- a girls gotta have her roots done.)….

You can probably see where this is heading. The number of blocks I have to balance is overwhelming.

The truth is: I can’t do the math.  I can’t get the scale to balance. It’s frustrating. Maddening. Annoying.

Whole days are eaten up by pac-man like doctors appointments and I get to their end wondering if I’ll ever get a break. Other days are over filled with laundry and catching up on-what are supposed to be-daily chores. (Both of which are oblivious of the fact that cancer has attacked my balance scale and insist on continuing to need to be done. The nerve!) Still other days are so filled with kid- stuff that I feel like I’m slacking in the supportive wife department. A water-color wash of guilt paints over my thoughts when I fall into bed and realize I didn’t pray for my husband or his cancer at all that day. And of course there are the days so filled with self-recovery that everything else falls behind.

In addition to feeling afraid, frustrated and struggling, I felt like a failure because I couldn’t get things to balance out. The blocks were flung to the edges of my universe and I could barely find them, let alone balance them.

It wasn’t the cancer that was making me nuts. It was my desire to maintain balance (Maybe a form of control?) that was doing it. Because: I can’t. This morning, I realized I shouldn’t.

So- I gave up balance for Lent. Kind of.

I feel better already. It’s no longer a careful game of placing one block at a time on each end of the scale.  Now, it’s about piling up what needs to be done, when it needs to be and going with it, balanced or not on the calendar and trusting it will balance out in the end.

Somedays I need to focus on my husband. Somedays on my kids. Some, on myself and ministry.

It’s ok. Our balanced scale has been turned into a catapult. Maybe, I just need to learn to use that as a tool.

Just like in that classroom so long ago.

 

How balanced is your life? 

Do you need to try to balance some things out, or have you been hit with a mean-kid fist that turns your balance into a catapult?  A child’s special needs? A sickness? Your own or a loved-ones? A new work schedule? School? New baby? Sometimes the fist that knocks our scale out of balance isn’t mean, but it is demanding….

Do you need to re-establish some balance or learn to go with the catapult and use it as a new tool? For me? I think I’m trading my balance for a clock…...

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die, 
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, 
   a time to tear down and a time to build, 
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
   a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 
 6 a time to search and a time to give up, 
   a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, 
   a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
 8 a time to love and a time to hate, 
   a time for war and a time for peace.

 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

 

Dear lord- Balance is a good thing. But it’s not something I should serve. And when it makes me crazy- it’s counter-productive. Please help me to be smart and honor you with my time. Help me to focus on what needs to be focused on and give up my idea of balance so I can embrace the life of un-balance that is mine right now. Help me to trade the scale for a clock…I love you lord, even here. amen.