Five on Friday (June 23, 2017)

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35, 37

1. I've been home alone all week since Brian and both kids were off to camp. Remember I'm an introvert to the core and will never turn down a little quiet time (chemo recovery is so much easier when I can just be a grouch alone). But I am missing all 3 of my people. I know they're having a blast and not missing me one bit, but I'll be happy to have them home. I expect to welcome them home soon after lunch. They will talk over each other in their excitement, and then they will crash in their comfy beds for a much-needed nap.

I had all kinds of good intentions to do a whole lot of reading or binge watch something fun. Instead, I spent a whole lot of the night hours watching YouTube makeup videos. They are so addictive and I cannot stop.

2. Monday night I hosted a little going away party for 2 of our Friday morning Bible study group. I'm such a nervous host, but once everyone arrived I was all good, and we had a ton of fun spending a few hours chatting and eating (waaaayyyy too much food - I've been eating leftovers all week).

3. Wednesday was my regularly scheduled chemo day. Tina and Kathy met me for lunch at Farm Burger, and then I took a good long nap during infusion. My nurse this week was a floater and each step seemed to have a little hitch, but the appointment was otherwise uneventful. For only the second time since December, I have two weeks off before I return. Cue the choir singing, throw the confetti, eat the ice cream, do all things celebratory.



4. So I have two weeks off because we're taking a family road trip west! (I typically don't like to post ahead of time if we're going to be out of town, but we have family staying at our house while we're gone.) Brian has family in Utah, and we haven't been to visit since Camden was an itty baby. So, uh, THIRTEEN years ago.

Any recommendations for Utah or Colorado? When I told Dr. C. we were headed out west, her face lit up as she proclaimed her favorite memories from childhood to be the road trips with her family every summer. I have been more focused on anxiety about how the trip will wear me out or if I get sick while we're gone instead of focusing on what a great family adventure this trip can be. Adjusting my attitude stat.

We're traveling cheap so I'm taking a cooler full of food for most meals while on the road. There is a line item in the budget for ice cream and coffee, of course.  I have downloaded the app for help with touristy stops.

I would welcome your prayers for endurance, low fatigue, and good health. Most of all that I will able to be fully present for the trip.

5. I know this will be an abrupt change from the silly to the serious, but I've been lamenting this particular news story all week. As I'm sure you know, a jury handed out a not-guilty verdict to the police officer who killed Philandro Castile last summer. As these racially motivated tragedies occur, my first thought is to wonder if this will finally be the time that someone is held accountable. Clearly, not this time.

My second thought is to wonder if this will finally be the time that family, friends, the world will be unable to deny that life is very different for people of color. Our D6 Podcast interviewed a speaker recently who admitted his biggest fear in life is that his 3 teenage boys will be shot (Episode 58 with Jeff Wallace). While this is not news to me, it still took my breath away to hear these words from a leader I have spent time with, listened to his teaching, hugged. My doctor, who also happens to be a person of color, shared with us how his family chooses to drive straight through certain southern states instead of stopping for food or gas. I recently had someone (actually two someones) who I love dearly ask me if I actually thought racial tension still existed in our world.

I don't know why I'm sharing other than to acknowledge the racial injustice is still present and weighs heavily. Isaiah 1:17 says, "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed." Psalm 9 tells us the Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed. Let brotherly love continue - Hebrews 13:1. Rescue those that are taken away to death - Prov. 24:11. We are all one in Christ Jesus - Galatians 3:28. Russell Moore often connects the gospel and racial reconciliation by reminding us the New Testament message is clear that the gospel breaks down the dividing walls we have with each other. So this is my small way of saying that I care. That I seek forgiveness when ugly preconceived notions pop into my head. I  seek out books and entertainment (for myself and for the kids) that highlight people of color. I listen to different voices with unique perspectives. I encourage Camden and Rory to celebrate the beauty found in diversity. I pray for God to send me friends who are different than myself.


Weekend plans are scarce as the days will mostly consist of dealing with the piles of dirty, smelly laundry from camp, packing and organizing for our road trip, and a coffee date with Brian Saturday afternoon. Happy Friday, friends!


listgirl said…
Hi Melissa! I'm still reading your blog regularly. Your words always resonate with me. As an Asian I have experienced racism and discrimination (especially as a kid). But I'm not brown or black, so I can't begin to understand the magnitude of racism that occurs. This last year I've become much more aware of racism and racial divide. I've had arguments with in laws about how blind they are to racism because of their white privilege. This topic weighs heavily on my heart nowadays. And you're right. There's the people who recognize this as a problem, and there's the people who do not. And I'm always wondering, "How could you NOT see this???"
Catie.field said…
One of my co-workers is a black man from Alabama, married to a white woman from here in the northeast. They have two beautiful (now teenage) boys together. It killed me a little inside when he told us that they took all southern colleges off the table for their boys because neither would know how to "act" in the south and he's afraid they will be shot, harassed, arrested without reason, etc. How sad is that?

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