Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moments of Grace

"All moments are key moments and life itself is grace." -Frederick Beuchner (HT: Dawn H.) 

Yesterday temperatures soared to nearly 70 degrees. This is very unusual in early March for people who live in Chicago. Although Kim is still feeling physically weak and is neutropenic getting outside is okay as long as there aren't lots of people around. So we found a secluded park near our home and had some unscheduled "family time". 

When you realize that a new day is never promised to you  - you quickly learn to savor the small moments each day has to offer. The little things you used to take for granted become big gifts from God....
The presence of sunshine. 
The absence of pain. 
The laughter of children. 
The breeze on your face. 
All gifts of grace from the Giver of every good and perfect gift. (James 1:17)

I've been sharing with many of my friends that it seems like every prayer request we have ever prayed in the last five years has been answered through this cancer. In so many countless ways the Lord is transforming this curse into a myriad of blessings. (see end of old post HERE). One of the prayer requests that have been answered is that we would grow closer together as a family. To provide some context - the second half of last year was one of the busiest times of my life. I was working a ton of hours at my full-time job at GE, taking three seminary classes at Moody, and trying to be faithful with my responsibilities at church in addition to the home. I was stretched incredibly thin and I told Kim around November of last year that this was the most stressed I had been in my life and I felt like I had taken on way more than I could handle. Kim rarely complained even though she was basically a single parent from Sept-Dec of last year, but she and the kids hardly saw me at all. 

Before the cancer hit in early January, I told Kim that I was not going to do that to myself and to her again and vowed to be home more. Well, God honored that desire and I've spent more time with Kim and the kids in the last two months then I have spent in the last two years. Selah has always favored mommy over me, always insisting that mommy put her down to bed, but that is beginning to change now. We're getting tight. I remember in July of last year I got this voicemail from Selah at work when I got into my office in the morning. I made a little video out of it and posted it on Facebook. Reflecting upon it now I realize how much she really wanted to spend more time with her daddy and now I'm pretty sure she's getting more of daddy than she could possibly want. I've embedded the video (with very melodramatic background music) below: 

About a month or so ago, Kim and I were driving down Northwest Highway on our way to a doctor's appointment. It was about 7:45am and as we were driving I looked over to my right and noticed a Metra commuter train running right next to us, keeping perfect pace with our car. I glanced at the clock and exclaimed to Kim, "Hey, that's my train!". The train traveling next to us was literally the same train I've been taking every morning for the last 12 years. If Kim didn't have cancer I would be sitting on that exact train, reading a paper, checking my blackberry, living life as I had always lived it. It then dawned on me at that moment just how much our lives had changed. But instead of longing for healthier or happier days I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. Cancer sucks, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I would never trade my life on that train going to work over my life in that car going to the hospital - because I would have forfeited all the miracles God has shown along the way and all the blessings He has lavished on us.

Don't get me wrong - I still have moments where the kids drive me nuts (I don't know how you moms do it!) but I am learning to treasure this season in our lives and all the time we are enjoying together. I'm learning that each new day is a gift from God. I'm learning to appreciate things I used to take for granted. I'm learning that "all moments are key moments and life itself is grace". Thank you Jesus.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24

In His Grace,
Peter & Kim


  1. Perpective sure does change, huh? I mentioned on Andrew's blog about how little things are big things when going through the trials of cancer. The victory of not being nauseous. Blood counts going up. The color coming back to Andrew's face after 4 units of blood. You are absolutely right Peter, I would never trade what I am going through now, because I am seeing God's grace in another light and He is helping grow into the man I need to be today, for my family and Andrew especially.
    God has given your family a unique perspective on life and I pray that you continue to bless us with your testimony! Love you guys!
    Joe, Jennifer and the Park Kids!

    1. Amen Joe. You guys are an inspiration to us. Can't imagine fighting this battle as long as you have. Came across this quote today - hope it ministers to you!

      "To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God's Will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God's will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not....We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is." -Oswald Chambers

  2. Amen and amen. Thanks for being an inspiration. May God continue to show Himself even more.

  3. Phenomenal. This brought great comfort this morning to my noisy soul.

  4. Oswald Chambers is the bomb. I was kind of thinking along these lines (of your post) yesterday, very similarly, in fact. Mike isn't able to see that yet but it is a gift that I am treasuring. Thanks for continually pointing all us readers to Him. We are also thankful for your moments of grace to treasure.