Realities fall into lots of categories; some are welcome; some are not; some bring untold joy; some bring tears and disappointment. Some realities are interesting and sort of comical. Take, for instance, the writing and reading of blogs. I took over this blog from my children who were doing a great job of keeping friends and family informed of some rather serious health problems we were having. It has been a way that I can stay in touch with lots of special people who care about us and I share thoughts that God lays on my heart. The reality that there are those who care is why I write, but the comical and disappointing reality is anyone with access to the internet can read what I write and some who could care less about us read our words for ulterior motives. It makes me feel like I felt at one point in my life when we caught a peeping Tom at our window.
The stomach bug has been a reality in Tommy and Liz's house lately and she is the latest victim. Fortunately, it may prove to be a 24 hr. bug for her, but today she felt really bad. She called us about 7:30 a.m. to see if we could keep Elisa. Silly question! Of course, we could and would. We knew we had missed her since school has been out, but were struck with the reality today of just how much! Someone sent an e-mail about mothers not long ago that included a statement that said something like: "Anyone who asks a mother if she can love the fifth child as much as she loved the first never had five children." It reminded me of Liz and how she has this unending love that she pours our on their children. As a grandmother I know that as the grandchildren keep coming, God keeps giving us additional capacity to love each one. That's a welcome reality.
An unwelcome and disappointing reality came today with the report of the blood work I had done yesterday. The CA125 is inching up again. It's only up a point since last month, but the three previous ones each showed fractional increases. Besides the reality being unwelcome and disappointing, there is something else. I have become a student of ovarian cancer and I know the signs, what they mean and the usual prognosis. Those things are too real! "But God," as the apostle Paul would say, is the reality in my life. I know He is a God of miracles, a God of mercy, grace and compassion. The realities of the blessings in our marriage and our lives as followers of Jesus are too numerous to name.
I have been reading The Last Lecture, the book written by Randy Pausch, Carnegie-Mellon professor given months to live with pancreatic cancer. It is not a Christian testimony, but a wonderful read for anyone living with chronic illness. He writes (talking to his wife when they are in Houston for a follow-up appointment): Whatever news we get about the scans, I'm not going to die when I hear it. I won't die the next day, or the day after that. So today, right now, well this is a wonderful day. And I want you to know how much I'm enjoying it.
Today is reality. It is what we have. We ask God for today's needs and God not only provides, but provides abundantly. This is the greatest reality of my life--it is welcome and it brings joy beyond measure.