Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Sleepless Night, A Birthday Celebration, and a Walk through Psalm 33

I have not had much trouble sleeping in the past six months . . . until last night. There have been some strange, apparently chemo-induced, dreams - like waking up every few fours to different companies bidding to transport me to the bathroom - but no insomnia. Last night, I slept for about an hour, but woke up at 12:30 this morning. And I could not go back to sleep. I reasoned that I had three choices at that time: just lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, have my wife bring my laptop up to me, or to go downstairs and do something productive. I decided to go downstairs. With my wife's help.

For a few hours, I worked on my commencement address for the Academy graduation ceremony. Then, I worked on a project for my son's graduation present. Then I read the Bible and prayed. By 4:30 am, I was still not tired, so I worked on a NT Times crossword puzzle - a great chemo-brain buster! By 5:00 or 5:15, I felt drowsy and nodded off. The next thing I remember is my wife standing over me at 6:15 this morning.

It is her birthday. We started out the day with bagels from the local shop and cappuccinos from Turkey Hill. My wife opened her cards and gifts - we always do that after breakfast on the morning of the birthday - before our two older children left for school. Our younger son stayed home because he had a fever.

At 9:30 this morning, I had my first consult with a physical therapist to help increase the range of motion in my knee. He reviewed my history, took some baseline measurements, and ran me through a series of exercises that I can do at home. There are three exercises that I can do alone, ten times a day. There are two others that require my wife's assistance, and need to be done three times a day. He also showed me how to walk with my crutches using both feet, but only putting twenty pounds of pressure on my right leg.

After the appointment, we took our son to McDonalds (What other restaurant would a four-year-old choose?), shopped for some flowers to plant in our porch and window boxes - in lieu of flowers sent to the hospital, we received a check in the mail to purchase flowers for our home, picked up some new fish at pet store, and had a $1 ice cream cone at Gravity in Honesdale. Ice cream is a great finish to any outing!

We are now at home, resting - well, my son and I are resting. My wife is doing her best rendition of the Energizer Bunny - until the phase of the birthday celebration: a special dinner (marinated London Broil, potatoes, corn on the cob, and green beans) and a fun dessert (chocolate fondue with apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, and Angel Food cake).

We try to make birthday celebrations last all day.

In all the busy-ness of the day, I managed to find some time to open my Bible and let God's Word refresh my soul. In Psalm 33, I read about the sovereignty of God (I cannot escape this great doctrine!). The psalmist praises God for His righteousness, justice, and goodness (vv. 1-5) and describes how God created all things by His breath (vv. 6-9). In verses 10-12, he describes the fact that God has called a special people to Himself to be blessed by Him (and to be a blessing to others, if we consult other passages of Scripture). In verses 13-15, the psalmist reminds us that this same sovereign God who created all things is looking down from heaven, knows each one of our hearts, and considers our works. In verses 16-17, we see that we as men can find no safety apart from this sovereign God. The psalmist concludes, in verses 18-22, by reminding us that God is watching over all who fear Him, all who have placed their hope in His mercy. It is He who saves men from eternal death and provides what His people need. As we wait upon Him, we find that He is our help and our shield. As believers, we can rejoice because we have placed our trust in Him. In Him, we have hope and mercy.

The sun is peeking out on an otherwise cloudy, rainy day. I feel a nap coming on as I anticipate the next phase of our birthday celebration.

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