Michael has a soccer tournament in Davis over Memorial Day weekend, so the entire family is going to cheer him on. His team remains undefeated, although this tournament will be a true test of the team's skills. They will be playing in a higher bracket so the push is on.
Rachel will be co-captain of her junior varsity cheer squad, with the option to cheer with the varsity team as well. She is excited about learning leadership skills, as well as continuing on with cheer. She has taken up running and manages to get out several times a week for a 5K or so.
We have a full, yet relaxing summer ahead. In addition to sport-related camps (one per child), there are also church activities and day trips with friends on the calendar. Lots of sleeping in as well. We are planning a family vacation to Mississippi to see my dad and other family members, and then on to the Florida Keys for some snorkeling and relaxing.
I am continuing on the current cancer treatments, daily chemo (one week on/one week off) and a bone-strengthening shot every six weeks. My tumor markers continue to rise, so we know the cancer is increasing somewhere. I will have scans on June 9 to see if anything shows up. My oncologist and I have already discussed varioius treatment options available (there are several) and we are also considering some clinical trials. Of course, the next step all depends upon where the new cancer activity is located.
Overall, I've been feeling fine, although, I have started physical therapy for back issues. There is pressure on back nerves, resulting in cramping and spasms.
I have more toe infections as well and have started antibiotics to deal with that. I'm hoping against hope that I do not have to have a surgical procedure to clean the infection out. In the meantime, my foot is sore, blisters are forming as a result of the chemo and between that and my back ... I'm limping around!
I'm pressing on through the book of Judges and so far, a point that stands out to me, is that no matter how strong we appear to others in our walk with God, we are always susceptible to sin and failure. For example, when most people who are a part of the Christian church think of the story of Gideon, we tend to think of his willingness to ask God for a sign; for his asking God to direct him how to pare down his army from 20,000 to 300 (so that the victory would be God's and not the army's); and for his victory over the Midianites.
Lesser known facts: Following the victory over Midian, Gideon refused an offer to rule over Israel, but accepted 43 pounds of gold earrings as spoils of war, in addition to other trinkets and jewels. He melted the gold and made an ephod (a priestly garment) that was kept in his home and pretty much became an idol that all of Israel paid homage to (and perhaps increased the economy of the town due to all those who came to see it). This ephod became a snare to Gideon and his family, removing focus from God to the the temporary trappings of this world.
Another lesser known fact: Gideon had many, many wives, at least one concubine and had 71 sons (and no telling how many daughters as they weren't counted). I can only imagine that this had an incredible amount to do with expanding his influence through having sons, but little did he know that after Gideon's death, the son of the known concubine would kill 69 of his sons by his wives and the son of the concubine would end up being killed by the sole surviving son of one of his wives! What an incredible mess.
Why does this impact me? Several reasons, but the one that stands out the most is that living a life of Christ is a daily action, not an "achievement" action. Flaws may well taint any achievements of yester-year. Also, just because everyone knows about the good stuff doesn't mean that flaws aren't real and evident to those around you, even if general society isn't aware of them. In other words, one's legacy has a longer reach than can be imagined!
So much to learn ... so little time! It doesn't matter how long I live, there just isn't enough time to understand it all. However, I know God's pleasure in my growth process.