Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chemo Care Packages

Abby's grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.  She is very fortunate, and although this will be a challenging year of treatment, her prognosis is very good.  Her outlook on life is amazing and inspiring.   Her birthday came after her first round of chemo, and she emailed out her birthday list.  Her list didn't include gifts but asked that her family and friends put together chemo care packages to give to local cancer treatment centers.  I put Abby in charge of this project.  Abby and I reviewed the list that her "Lala" sent out of suggested items to put in the bags.  We wrote down each item we wanted to include and the two of us went to the store.

She picked out the items, she pushed the cart, and she scanned them on the self scanner.

She then put the bags together.  She decided that purple should be the color of the bags because purple is Lala's all time favorite color.  She drew a very special picture (and she spent hours on each one) for each bag.

We wrote up a letter to put in each bag explaining why we were giving out purple bags, that we were praying for the person who received this bag, and that we hoped they felt better soon.  

We decided the perfect day to deliver the bags would be the day of Lala's next chemo treatment.  We drove to the VA hospital of Las Vegas.  This hospital is where Abby's teacher's husband received treatment last year.  Abby and her class spent all last year praying for him.  We decided that we wanted to give back to a place that took good care of someone important to us.  

It was an honor to deliver bags to this special place.  The oncology nursing staff was incredible.  They were so kind and grateful.  They were excited to meet Abby and hear why we were doing this.  We were so blessed to deliver the chemo bags that we received so much more than we ever could have given.  As a mom, this experience was more than I could have ever expected or hoped for.  This day, it didn't matter if she ate junk food, watched too much tv, went to bed late, or finished her homework.  This day, I wasn't holding myself to any of the parenting standards I used to believe mattered.  This day I did something right.  This day my daughter served others and served Jesus.  And as a mom, I couldn't have been more proud.

And on the way home, do you know what Abby said to me?  She asked if we could deliver more bags.  And so a mission began.  We decided to deliver chemo care packages every time Lala received treatment. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My goals

I was recently taking a parenting class that was a dvd series by Dr. Kevin Leman: Have a New Kid by Friday.  (I really don't want a new kid.  I've grown quite fond of the one already living in my house, but I want to make sure it stays that way.)  I gained  several useful tips how to be a better parent and all of them concrete, easy-to-implement advice.  I really notice a difference.  What stuck out to me the most was something Dr. Leman said the very first class.  What are your goals for your children?  What do you want them to look like when they move out of your house?
Here is my list:

  • love Jesus with all their heart
  • to be kind to others (friends and strangers)
  • to be a servant to others
  • a hard worker
  • someone who finds joy in little things
  • compassionate
  • someone who wants to make the world a better place
  • someone who is not scared to get their hands dirty
  • a cheerful heart

I looked at my list and boy did it give me a truck-full of perspective.  Suddenly, this battle of Kindergarten homework didn't seem to be quite so important.  My list didn't include being smart or getting good grades.  From that day on, I decided as a parent to put our focus (our parenting blood, sweat, and tears) into the things that MATTER.  That was the start to figuring out how to raise a servant heart in selfish world.