I had chemo on Friday--the fifth of many weekly “maintenance” chemo sessions. I had to gear up for it because my session two weeks ago left me sick and tired for up to four days. I wasn’t emotionally or physically prepared to go the next week, so I played hooky and ditched it. But I know this chemo is necessary, so I prepped myself physically, mentally, and spiritually and went in. Who wants to do chemo on Fridays—I mean it is the beginning of the weekend! But I went in and they were behind schedule and I told my infusion nurse to hurry it up because I had no time for this and no time for nausea because I had to get to my son’s soccer game! We were playing our cross town rival and I wasn’t going to miss a minute of his game. I headed out of there in Friday rush hour traffic with a little drizzle of rain (which makes San Diegans terrible drivers), and needed to get to that game. Greg had a carne asada burrito waiting for me (what a guy) and my beast of a boy played a great game with his team beating our rivals 3-0. Got home—no nausea, no fatigue, and ready to head into a busy weekend.
Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day and I met my friends Rita and Debbie for an amazing 4.5 mile hike at Torrey Pines State Beach-one of my favorite happy places. That night we went to see a movie with one of our “bestie” couple friends Bill and Dani and had a great meal at our local haunt, the Brigantine, with laughter and fun conversation after the movie…..no fatigue, no nausea….just an amazing Saturday filled with the beauty of San Diego and incredible friendships.
I was on a roll—no side effects from the chemo, and headed into a busy Sunday--can’t beat 75 degree weather in January, with church in the morning, a pick up soccer game, my mom in town, and a thrown together gathering at my house. We had originally talked about having a church wide Super Bowl Party, but since we are a “church in a box”, we had no location. So, I offered to have our staff/leadership team over about a week ago, with the caveat that everyone had to bring everything and I would just have my house available (at the time I wasn’t sure how I would be feeling after chemo).
Well, our party grew just a bit, and people invited a few other people (of course being polite, and asking us first) and we had “kids” and grown ups of all generations all through the house. The upstairs media room was full with people on the couch, the floor, on big fluffy throw pillows, and bar stools. The downstairs great room was full with people watching the game, in the kitchen, at the dining table. The patio was full with little kids running around twirling and saying they were at “Cinderella’s castle”—credit to little Ellie. The backyard was full with the ping pong table out. There was an abundance of food and beer and talk and laughter and joy. And oh yeah, there was a big football game going on at the same time.
So what compels me to share about this? I mean everyone and their brother was probably at some type of Super Bowl Party celebrating with too much food and boring commercials and lots of beer. And oh yeah, terrible coaching at the end of a pretty competitive and decent game. What compels me is that this group of people gathering at my home are family-- a family of people who love Jesus and who shine His light in all they say and do. We were eating and drinking and talking and sharing and cheering on the game, and it was all full of grace and love and friendship that is all connected by Jesus. I had three generations in my house of “kids” I have mentored over the years. I had THEIR little ones running around like princesses and running into my arms calling me Lola Kiri (Lola means grandma in Filipino) and Kiri is my nick/pet name from my “first gen” of Young Life kids. And this “first gen” are now the leaders of our little church plant that is growing each month and my former seventh grade student is on the pastoral team and preaches straight up gospel on Sundays. I get to spend my Sundays with these precious people who are humble and patient and kind and generous and all those things the Bible talks about—and they truly LIVE it out. At one point in the evening when I had a baby on my lap and a toddler at my feet and these KIDS who are now adults all talking and laughing-- I looked out and I said to myself, “I am PROUD”. Proud and honored to be surrounded by kids I saw grow up (in the trenches with them) into amazing women and men of God. Proud to be LOLA to so many precious ones. Proud to serve alongside these friends. Proud to proclaim the gospel of Jesus with each of them.
It was a weekend filled with joy and laughter and love and friendship and I would have to say it was a pretty awesome Super Sunday! In fact , it was a super weekend all around. Despite cancer and chemo and all that, I am blessed beyond belief. And I have to thank God for that. Every. Day.
My heart is full.
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