Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A change in leadership

Over three years ago, we had the distinct privilege of being asked to lead Athletes in Action’s Global Family. We were humbled at this amazing opportunity and responsibility, and we have grown to love - more and more each year - the men and women who make up our team. This role of global leadership has strengthened our marriage, reinforced our heart for the world, stoked the passion in our hearts to see the gospel spread.

As we look back on these three years, we can say that the Lord has led us well. In Joshua 21:43-45, Joshua recounts that every promise made to the people of Israel was fulfilled, not one of them failed.  As we look back today, we can say that this has been true for Susie and me.  

As Susie finished her initial stages of treatment and we look forward to the future, there are a few things that we are certain of:
  • God is with us.  He will go before us and lead the way, just as He has. 
  • “Bless the Lord O my soul” will remain our theme. 
  • We are now in a season of life where caring and investing into our family requires much more than it used to.
After seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the counsel of others, and times of prayer, we have recognized that we will no longer be able to lead the global family of Athletes in Action.  Our confidence that this is the right decision does not in any way take away from the sadness we feel in making it. In so many ways, this has been our “dream job,” and it hurts that it is one of the things that cancer is taking away from us.

As we face reality and make necessary adjustments, we also recognize that our commitment to see the gospel change the world has not changed. We will remain on staff with Athletes in Action and Cru. We will spend the next several months transitioning leadership to Larry & Debby Thompson who we believe God has provided “for such a time as this.” We have confidence in their leadership and are excited to see the direction in which they will take Athletes in Action around the world.

We will also begin the process of figuring out what specific role is next for us. We want to be purposeful as to how we live the next few years of our life together. We ask you to pray for us as we determine our next steps and ask God to open and close doors for us. 

We thank you so much for your continued love and support during a difficult time.

You can also view a video of the announcement by clicking on this link:

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I finished radiation today. We had quite the little plan. I'd bought gifts and written cards for my therapists. Our sweet neighbor was taking the middle kids for the morning. Megan, my mom, and Annie were going to join us at the hospital to witness the ceremonial bell-ringing. Then we were going to have a sweet celebration with friends and be home in time to nap before Talya made me carrot cake (her random idea).

And, really, it all seemed a bit ridiculous to me. Because, really, I haven't done a dang thing to be proud of except for take a snooze every morning on an uncomfortable table with lasers pointed at my head. But these things are important to Ben, and I love him for it. It's like when he forced me to go to my college graduation even though I'd finished school a semester ago because he thought I should do the diploma/shake hands with Jay thing. Well, I'm right about most of our things, but he's right about these ones. It does feel good to gather with those who know you well enough to know what you're celebrating and what you're not and ring a bell and shake some hands and give some hugs and be given a piece of paper that says "you did it."

But the machine broke. It's happened once before. It's not a comforting thought to think that the machine that aims damaging light rays into your brain can malfunction so easily, but it can and it does. And, for me, that meant our little plan got derailed and we spent most of the day waiting for them to tell us we could come in.

Our celebration shrunk, but it did include Dairy Queen. And 6 really loud kids. And two friends who turned their days inside out to be with me. One friend who knows too well that you can celebrate treatment ending even when you know that it doesn't mean anything is over.

So, it was anti-climactic. Charlie rang the bell for me. I signed the board, joining my name with hundreds of others to say, "I was here. I walked this walk and even though I'm tired and half-bald, I've come out of these past 7 weeks a little better than the broken machine."

And that horrible, horrible mask? I got to bring it home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick hi!

My word, I am tired! Just wanted to say a quick hi and thank you to all of you praying for us. For sure, the fatigue that is supposed to come with radiation has hit. And Ben and I have each caught some sort of bug. Ben's about done, just in time to give me a break as it hits me hard. We've been blessed by friends who have helped/are helping us get through. My good friend Adrianne is in town for the next few days and will take super good care of all of us while I hide in my room and sleep.

Annie is a gem. Really, such a sweet, easy-going little one. I am praying, praying, praying that she will start sleeping all night long. Ben has taken over the night time feedings, and while he swears he doesn't mind, I know he could use the extra energy. He's got some busy days ahead with work, and his wife is pretty needy :)

It's weird, at radiation. We see the same people every day, and don't know each other well, but still share a little bond. A couple patients have celebrated the end of their treatment, and I just feel such a mixture of sadness that we won't be seeing them anymore, but still "I hope I never see you again!" because I want this treatment to be the end of their journey with cancer.

Ahhh. Time for bed. Love!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

9 more to go!

Today was a special day.  Sy's 7th birthday.  What a great kid!  What a blessing the Lord has given us with him.  This weekend was fun as we celebrated him.  Star Wars themed everything - party, cupcakes, gifts, etc.  He is so much fun to celebrate!

It was also a reminder of God's goodness, as Susie was able to fully participate in what she loves to do - planning the birthday parties, making them so creative, and giving her creativity to her children.  As we started the process of treatment, one of the things we were sad about the most was the thought of Susie being completely out of it, when Sy's birthday came around.

Well, the Lord has sustained her, helped her and allowed her to enjoy the richest blessings in her life over the last 5 weeks - her kids.  She's been able to love on Annie, Talya, Charlie and Sy and it's been a joy to see.  She's still a great mom and uses whatever energy she has to love on them. 

We have 9 more treatments to go.  5 days this week and 4 next week.  Thanks for your continued prayers for Susie and our family.  We are praying that she finishes well.  The treatments do what they are supposed to do, and the Lord brings a total and complete healing to her. 

Going to treatment every day has been a blessing.  We see the same people each day and it's been a very loving community.  The fellow patients, technicians, doctors and support staff.  Susie does an incredible job of letting her light shine through her.  She brings a smile to each of their faces.  Please keep our treatment community in your prayers especially as we finish.  

As you pray, please also keep our family in your prayers.  The last few days, I've been battling a cold, and am hoping it stays away from Susie and the kids.  Praying that this goes away fast, even though its already been a few days. 

Thanks again for praying for us, caring for us and loving us.  We continue to be amazed at how many people are praying and reaching out to us all over the world.  God's love, grace and mercy are new each day and we continue to be awed, thankful and humbled by Him and each of you.