Inspiration and Day 22

Good evening to all of Catie’s prayer warriors,

Three weeks ago today, we received the news that Catie’s tumor had not responded to treatment and were faced with decisions about her life and the time she had left. Much has happened in the short time between then and now, and my prayer is that most if not all of the intervening days have been good ones for Catie. She is still the vibrant 7 year old with the winning smile, wonderful faith and the beautiful singing voice. She has the ability to hear a song once and remember the melody and the lyrics. I have played songs for her, and she has started singing along before the song is even over. Why am I telling you all of this, cataloging her wonderful talents and abilities? This situation has brought Catie into focus and into the spotlight, and as such, we have examined and shared ALL of what makes her special in order to share who she is with all of you. The reality is that under the same scrutiny, the talents and unique qualities which make each of us special would come to the fore if we took the time to examine a life as closely as we have tried to examine Catie’s. On the flip side, under this microscopic examination, we can also clearly see all of the flaws in a person as well. Catie is not perfect, no human being is. But just like we look at Catie’s life, we need to examine and take an interest in all of the lives of the people we care about so that we know them and in knowing them can reach out to them.

Catie continues to make friends from strangers every where she goes. Today as Christine and Catie and I were shopping, she was approached by a man who felt the Spirit move him to go to Catie and pray with her. This has never happened to me in 27 years of retail. It has never happened to Christine and she has an Olympic Gold Medal in shopping. It has happened to Catie three times in the last 2 weeks. Why? I believe that the reason is simple. The people who approach her and take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit come away from the experience closer to God. What a legacy for a 7 year old. What a goal for the rest of us, that in every encounter we have with another one of our brothers and sisters in the Lord that they come away from the encounter closer to God. Isn’t that why we were sent to earth? Unfortunately I and many of us allow life to get in the way of living the life we are called to live. We allow small things to get in the way.

Many of the things we get upset about that are either done, not done, or done incorrectly or incompletely are admittedly little things. They may be important, they may even be critical, but they are in fact small. Mother Theresa reminds us each day that all we need to do are the little things with great love. Perhaps it is time to take the 30 seconds it would take at the beginning and end of each day and ask her for her intercession in our lives to help all of us do some small things with great love each day. We all play the hurry up and wait game every day. There are moments and hours that are jam packed with too much to accomplish, and other hours when we are unable to do any of the things that are nagging at the back of our minds to get done. I believe that is where faith plays such an important role. While we might organize the world so that there is a balance between time and workload that remains constant across all of the hours we are awake, we know that is not the case. That is why constant prayer is so important, it allows us to be prepared spiritually for the fires when they come into our day, and it allows us the process for refocusing when the fire has been extinguished so that we can quickly re-establish peace and calm. We sat with all of the kids tonight and talked about doing small things with great love. Maggie, our 11 year old is the most spiritual and generous of all of the children; however her attention to detail and ability to keep her “stuff” neat and organized approaches zero. She has a great deal of love in her. We challenged her to channel that love into a small chore that she might never do if left to her own devices. I challenge myself to “do the small things” for those I love. Something as simple as loading a dishwasher the way my spouse loads it or staying calm as the 4 year old comes for her 5th visit of the night can demonstrate my love for another. One of the best definitions of love was given to Christine and me on and Engaged Encounter weekend. Love is a decision, a decision to do something that you would not ordinarily do because of your relationship to another. Catie loves each one of you that take the time and the interest to stay current with her journey. In love she continues to follow the path that God has placed before her. It is not a path she would choose, but because of her love for you, she follows the path and invites you to join her.

Catie’s medical condition continues to be generally good with moments of “oh no!” Her pain is under control, however every once in a while, it breaks through and you remember that there is a tumor in her back that is pressing on nerves and without the medicine she is currently taking would have her in excruciating pain. Her legs and her ability to walk with the walker or even feel her legs continues to diminish and as we pray for a miracle, we also pray that with her cure comes a return of functionality. I do not know what the future holds for Catie, and at times, I feel selfish asking for her cure. That might sound strange. I do not want to see the expression of futility that comes across her as she realizes that one more ability has been lost. As much as I want her to live, I want her to live fully and freely. If God wants her back and feels as if she is ready for heaven, perhaps my loving decision is to let her go. She and I listened to a song last night called “I’m Gonna Smile” One of the lines hit me really hard. “I could hold on a little tighter I know, but when you love someone, you gotta let ‘em go.” I am not ready to let her go yet, we have too many good days ahead of us. Today was day 22, and we will keep going for as long as God wants to continue to keep gracing us with days to share.

Love and God bless,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

Praying for a miracle

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