Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blessings & requests

I (Kip) have come home the past two nights to give Martha and Henri the chance to sleep in their own beds and feel a sense of normalcy.  I even brought Tobi, our pug, home from my parents' house last night where he's been experiencing spa-like life and enjoying air conditioned living since we went into the hospital just so that it would feel a bit more normal.

My sister-in-law, Tracey, has been spending her days and nights at the hospital allowing Christa and I chances to escape for a quick meal or a walk or me to come home the past two nights.  Tracey has been amazing supportive and helpful, spending her days in the quiet room down the hallway (working on her dissertation for her Ph. D.) and checking in from time to time to see how she can be helpful.

While being at home has been quite rejuvenating for the kids (Henri dropped his backpack just inside the back gate each night upon arriving home and headed for the swings.  I think his therapy is found in swinging right now.), it has been quite challenging for me.  Christa has been saying over and over the past few days how she feels like we're in a little bubble in the hospital--safe, protected, cared for, without the demands of maintaining a home.  Being home, I find myself surrounded by all of the makings of a life well lived--laundry in various stages, paperwork, kids' items here and there.

When I've arrived home each night it's been interesting to see how quickly I shift from "being" mode to "doing" mode.  At the hospital yesterday afternoon, I laid next to Chloe as we watched a movie and she napped.  In an effort not to wake her I stayed there for at least two hours, maybe three, without any inner rumblings to jump up and do something.  Being at home the past two nights, I've stayed up late and gotten up early just to get one more thing done. We have lots of people willing to help but knowing what to tell them to do is still challenging.

I'd appreciate prayer to help me to let go of getting things done and allow myself just to take care of family and myself.  The latter is tricky, I always ignore my own needs (like sleep the past two nights) and then that usually impacts those around me pretty quickly. 

Yet, amidst the stress of returning home for brief visits, there are so many blessings as I see and feel the love of friends in little words and deeds.  Upon returning home on Sunday our trash was already on the curb and Adriann was in our kitchen gathering laundry.  Yesterday as I rushed off to the hospital expecting news (hurry up and wait), I left a sink full of suds and dirty dishes.  They were in the drying rack when I got home last night.  I had also left the windows open hoping the house would cool off a little and thought it would be fine as I watched the first set of storm clouds blow north of us, not knowing there was larger storm coming in off the lake.  Ellen saved the day by mopping up the mess and washing Chloe's bedding that got soaked.

Over the past few days, the moments of tears have not been those times when discussing diagnoses and treatments.  They have been those times when reading well-wishes from friends and realizing how much we are surrounded by God's love. Yesterday morning while driving back to the hospital by myself, I tried listening to NPR.  It was just noise, I couldn't follow it.  So I turned on a CD.  I had been listening to At the Table by Ordinary Time, a gift from some friends.  The first song that came on was actually the last on the CD, a benediction, call May God Keep You.  As I listened to the words, the tears started flowing and wouldn't stop.  I'll close with those words as a blessing to us all...

May God Keep You (Psalm 150)

May God keep you on your road; Send blessings upon your head; May Jesus share your heavy load; And bring you peace and rest; May his face shine down upon you; May you feel His grace; May He never remove His steadfast love from you.

Let everything that has breath; Praise His holy name; Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him all that He creates; Praise Him in His sanctuary; Praise Him all the earth; Praise Him throughout all the ages for His faithfulness.

from At The Table, released 01 December 2009 Words and Music: Peter La Grand

[If you're reading an email version of this, you can listen to the song through the embedded player below on the blog.]

5 comments:

Krystal said...

Kip, Christa, Martha, Henri, and Chloe,
You are in our prayers! God will be with you through this, and I pray that you find comfort in Him. Krystal, Steve, Bethany, and Kaylyn

Jackie Frens said...

Just getting back from Korea and would love to be able to support you in any way that I can. You're in my thoughts and prayers during this perplexing time. Hope that you feel the warmth of family and friends in the middle of the storm.

Derek Emerson said...

Kip and Christa,

You continue to be in our prayers. I know you are being offered a great deal of support. That is God's loving embrace, and like God's embrace, it is often overwhelming. Being overwhelmed by love...not such a bad thing.

Lara Parent Photography said...

Thank you both, Christa & Kip for sharing your love, thoughts, and strength through this journey. Both of you are beautiful writers. I feel like I am right there, by your side as I read these posts. <3

Veronica said...

Kip, Christa, Martha, Henri, and Chloe - Dan and I and all 5 kids have added you to our prayers. I just heard your news this morning. You have a beautiful family and indeed God holds all of you in the palm of His hand. We pray for peace for you, health for Chloe, the needs of Martha and Henri to be met at this time, and that your close friends and family continue to surround and support you with the little things that make such a difference from day to day. You are all very much loved…
Veronica Bareman, Dan, Lexi, Hayden, Riley, Drake, and Tucker