Suffering

Wilson is getting a lot of blog press this week!   😉  He is two weeks away from graduating so there will be more fun to report soon but this is a packed season for him both literally and emotionally as he turns the page on this very special chapter in his life at APU and transitions to the next.

Thanks to technology, we got to tune into a livestream of Wilson’s last chapel on campus and his worship team led the students in one of my favorite hymns.  How special!  Wilson’s prayer after the song ministered to me specifically when he prayed “may we be reminded of the visceral reality of the crucifixion”.  More on that in a minute but here is the hymn and prayer filmed from the comforts of home…;)

I led worship at our church on Palm Sunday and got a little weepy missing Rudy as the children paraded around the sanctuary with their palm fronds…

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Palm Sunday 2017

Through my tears, I shared an insight that came to light for me the day before while reading the gospel accounts of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (what we commemorate on Palm Sunday).  I always considered Jesus’ suffering beginning in the garden of Gethsemane right before He was arrested when he asked God to take away what was to come and cried tears of blood…such a vivid image of his anguish.  When I read Luke’s account, however, it’s clear that Jesus was heartbroken even before entering the city days earlier.  He knew what was coming and wept for Jerusalem.  What a sad and lonely few days that must have been for Jesus.

Although I’ve spent lots of time thinking about it,  I’ve never really been able to identify with Christ’s suffering.  I don’t know why…maybe it’s because of my Protestant upbringing where we can sometimes rush past the sorrow of Good Friday to indulge in the much more fun truths of Easter morning…or maybe it’s just how I’m wired but because I have the benefit of knowing Christ’s amazing victory, the depth of His suffering is hard for me to grasp and I think that’s okay…maybe the practical take away and value of pondering the Passion is not that I identify with Christ’s suffering but rather that I know that Christ is able to identify with my suffering…particularly comforting to me now.  So, for me, today, to be reminded “of the visceral reality of the crucifixion” is to be reminded that my God, my humble Savior, the One who conquered the consequences of sin for me understands what it means to suffer and therefore understands my deepest heart cries.  Thank you Jesus!  Thank you for your empathetic love in the here and now and for the gift of eternal life to come…your journey of suffering gives me both!!!

In other news:

Olivia is TWO goals away from reaching her 100th varsity goal…we’re hoping she’ll reach this LAX milestone at Tuesday’s home game against San Marcos.  If you’re local, you’re welcome to join us at DPs football field at 6pm.  No individual athlete reaches these kinds of milestones alone…it’s a reflection of the whole team working well together and it’s such a delight to watch these girls play!

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Thanks to Greg Lawler we got some fun shots of last Tuesday’s exciting win against Cate!
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Not a bad backdrop for lax!
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Brooke battling for Olivia’s draw.
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GOAL!!!

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Cutest fans ever!
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Celebratory dinner at Kyles with Coach Sam!!

The MOHD Squad is excited to have the boys home this weekend.  ‘Wishing you a blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter dear ones!!!!

Life Lessons

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Our biggest boy turned 22 on Tuesday and he spent a good bit of his birthday preparing for and sharing at an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meeting on his campus.  Luckily a friend taped it so we could enjoy it too.  I’m so grateful for Wilson’s willingness to share and glimpses like this into the kids’ lives whether it be them sharing from the heart or their musical performances or athletic competitions because it’s all evidence of life being fully lived – especially important to me right now.  Being able to process and finding healthy outlets are key to navigating life’s challenges and I’m grateful the kids are learning these important life lessons early.  We’re also learning that we process differently (i.e Olivia’s art, Rolf’s poems, Max’s songs, Wilson’s testimonies, my blog posts to name a few)….and that’s not only okay but is something I cherish because the variety makes the collective experience so much richer.

Wilson, thank you for your loving tribute, for the reminder of all the goodness in Psalm 23 and the challenge to “maximize God”…well done!

 

Speaking of healthy outlets, here’s some more…

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Fun with friends at Switchfoot!!!
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Max rockin’ the scoober in some fierce Ultimate Frisbee fun at Loma!

The DP Lady Laxers are on a fun winning streak as they near the end of their regular season…

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Celebrating at Kyles Kitchen

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Cheered on by Gma Jo and Aunt Michelle!!

 

Rolf’s latest poem:

Put down the scalpel
Take off the apron
no need for the broom or the gloves

Too many words only bring more confusion 
The deepest mining won’t unearth a reason
Or uncover any satisfactory solution

The suggestions were all obvious
before they were made
None would be as welcome 
as some company in the helplessness
Another to simply marvel at the mess

Yearning to draw close enough to feel the fire’s warmth against my cheeks
Yet primed to leap back into darkness 
Your eyes know 
Your touch welcomes me where a grab will scare me off

Let me hear your small talk
Let me chuckle at your jokes
Not looking to be fixed
Just to be OK for a moment

No right thing to say
Words don’t bring the comfort
Of a companion in the quiet

Disclaimer #2

It’s time for another disclaimer.  The weakness in my arms and hands is making it harder to write and type and so I’m falling behind in my correspondence.  Rather than fret over it, let me say I read everything whether it be a card or comment or email or text or IM and I appreciate EVERY communication that comes my way.  So please, keep ’em coming and know that if my responses are delayed or curt or whittled down to an expressive emoji, it isn’t due to a lack of interest or gratitude…simply a matter of mechanics.  😉

It’s getting hard friends.  The growing number of limitations and the practical implications can be crazy-making.  After a super fun day with my dear friend from high school Annie & her daughter Sara visiting from Indianapolis and a fun win for the DP lady laxers, I had an unsettling choking incident at dinner on Tuesday night which wore me out and led to difficult transfers once we got home and a fitful night’s rest.  I admit the sequence of events left me feeling defeated & desperate.  Then, Rolf & I went to my neurology check-in the following day and we crossed paths with another patient farther along in the journey.  I looked at Rolf and cried tears of gratitude for where I am and panic about where I’m headed all at the same time.  Up, down, up, down…the roller coaster is real and it’s a constant challenge to live in the moment and not lose sight of all the goodness in my life…so much that is good!!!  Lessons in perspective regarding the physical, emotional and spiritual experience in this journey are reiterated over and over…with increasing depth and meaning as time goes on.

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Shortly after my diagnosis a year and a half ago, I mentioned how I felt God was telling me that my ALS journey was going to be just as much (if not more) a spiritual one as a physical one.  How very true that is turning out to be.  Ironically, it is taking me being stripped of everything…systematically…little by little to show me how integrated AND how uniquely separate my spiritual journey is to/from my physical existence.  ‘Sounds kind of mystical and I’m sorry about that because I don’t want to lose you.  I think what I’m trying to say is my faith experience isn’t about “being spiritual” but rather recognizing that I am spiritual, aligning myself with what God is doing all around me and choosing to spend as much time on my spiritual needs as I do on my physical needs…making the day to day not only purposeful but full of life…especially now.  As a Christian, I believe that God put this all in motion, Christ reconciled me to God in relationship and the Holy Spirit exists to empower and guide.  I have such a greater appreciation for the triune as time goes on…a multi-layered expression of love in a multi-layered life experience…especially now.

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Harley and her hooman!
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The California wildflowers are in full bloom after all the rain we’ve gotten…

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I love this combination of poppies and lupine…
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…reminds me of my favorite Rudy school art project!!

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