Dear God, WHY?

The cancer is back!?! Some of you will remember I ran a marathon in February of 2009 to raise money for Team Blake, my cousin’s son who was diagnosed with Pre B ALL Leukemia. He’s been in remission for two years but this past Wednesday the doctor’s found something and feared the worst, that the cancer was in his bones and he’d need a bone marrow transplant. As I sat down to tell my two girls, Kaylee asked me, “But mom, why would God give Blake cancer again?” To which I responded, “Honey, God doesn’t give people cancer.” And she goes, “But He allows it to happen, why?!?” I searched for answers . . . b/c we live in a fallen world with free will I guess. The truth is, at 31-years-old, I dunno. I do know His ways are not our ways and we can’t see the big picture like Him, but I have faith in His ways nonetheless and we need to trust Him whether in sickness or health.

 

And I know we have lots to be thankful for no matter what our circumstances. We can’t have it both ways: praising Him for the good but then blaming Him for the bad. He doesn’t will trouble, what good would He gain? We are His children, and no parent wants to see their children suffer. But fortunately, because we are children of the King, He can turn our bad around for His good. When we put our trust and hope in the God who cannot fail us, it produces a faith that endures the “unfair stuff” we’ll face in the race of life. Jesus understands our hurt, fears, and anger because he’s been there and is here to direct our steps. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

The Hulliberger Family at Give Kids the World Village in Orlando

Blake’s test results came back Friday and yes, the cancer’s back. The silver lining: it’s not as bad as they thought. They caught it early so it hasn’t spread to his bones. He will be readmitted to the hospital to start radiation on Tuesday, probably for two weeks, which still sucks but is much better than 3 months for a transplant. I pray God’s will for Blake Hulliberger will include a great healing and cancer will NEVER return again in Jesus name!!! And to my daughter Kaylee, I may not know why God has allowed Blake and his family to deal with this problem. But I’m thankful the Hulliberger’s know how to do more than just ‘deal.’ As Christ followers, we will pray in complete dependence to the God of all hope.

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My Bucket List

Last night I watched my friend Monique Whan shave her head with 45 other momma’s on the Stand Up To Cancer special. Her son, Caleb, was 4-years-old when he lost his battle to cancer.

Part of Caleb’s story provided inspiration for my young adult series, Sarah’s Road. In book #2, Sarah’s Yield, one of the main characters is diagnosed with leukemia and makes a bucket list of 21 Things To Do Before 21.  As I watched the special, I started contemplating my own 21 Things and here’s what I came up with:

Take the girls to Washington DC to show them the enormity of sacrifice for our freedom

Become fluent in another language

Go back to college

Run a mile in 7 minutes

Learn to play the piano

Help Dan make a movie (even if it only plays on YouTube:)

Move to a Stars Hallow equivalent

Camp out under the stars, no tent, just the sleeping bag and me

Be more patient

Go to Africa to meet Maculate

Sponsor another child

Own a paddle boat (yup, I’m small town country at heart;)

Run the Australian Outback Marathon (with Ayers Rock as its backdrop, how perfect!)

Take up rollerblading with Dan again

Go to the Harry Potter premiere in England for the last movie

Buy less, invest in people and causes more

Retire and become a full time cruiser!

Take more pictures!!! And actually print them for the scrapbook, LOL

Remember names

Help Kaylee and Ashley realize their dreams

GET A BOOK DEAL!!!

. . . So that’s all folks! What’s on your life list–inquiring minds want to know!!!

Mockingjay Review-NO spoilers:)

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

Let the Games begin!!! This week I read the conclusion to THE HUNGER GAMES series. And let me say: beware of the jabberwock! You’ll find this book much different from the other two in regards to Katniss and Peeta–Katniss isn’t the confident character we’ve come to know and love, and Peeta . . . well, I don’t wanna give anything away. Now I was kinda lucky in the respect I read the first 2 books in August after returning from my writer’s conference and hearing about the books in almost every workshop. Since the latest installment came out August 24th, I got it a few days later for my b-day & was very happy I didn’t have to wait long to read the last sequel. Mockingjay was similar to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire b/c all of them made me lay awake thinking about them, but this one for very different reasons. The first two installments made me think of Africa. I don’t know if anyone else made this connection, maybe it’s just me ( it often is;) Let me do a quick summary if you haven’t read these books (GASP, what’re u waiting 4?!) The setting is N. America in the future . . . but it’s not called the USA anymore. It’s the country of Panem with 13 outlying districts outside of the Capitol. You’re not free to leave your district, which are guarded by Capitol “Peacekeepers” and each district is responsible for a specific trade to support the Capitol (in Katniss’ District 12, they are miners). The farther you get from the Capitol, the poorer the districts become. B/c at one time in their history, there was a rebellion & the Capitol won, the President hosts a Hunger Game each year to remind the districts you don’t cross the government. Every kid aged between 12 and 18 has their names entered into their district’s lottery & one girl and one boy is chosen to compete in the annual Hunger Games, where the contestants must fight to the death in a Capitol designed arena and is aired on live TV 24/7. Only 1 is allowed to survive, until Katniss enters the arena (again, I don’t wanna give too much away).

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So why did I think of Africa when reading the first 2 books? I couldn’t help comparing the poverty of the districts to how people live in Africa. Esp when Katniss sees the Capitol for the first time with their “painted faces” and weird hairdos. We sponsor a child through World Vision from Uganda and I imagined her reaction to seeing how we live if she were to ever visit probably being similar to that of Katniss Everdeen. We’d look like aliens from another planet. It makes me want to cry when I look at our dog & realize she lives better than Maculate (our sponsored  child). But this 3rd book is more a story of violence than of a love story (GO Team Peeta, although I love Gale too). Yes, the first two were more bloody than any YA book I’ve read before. But this one made me really ponder war, how coincidental since Prez. Obama declared the war in Iraq over this past week. I thought of what it means to volunteer for active duty and still be a pawn for our government and how when our soldiers return messed up, we don’t know what to do with them. They no longer fit in and we don’t want to be reminded of what they went through. I don’t think I ever cried harder when reading pgs. 312 and 347 since p. 637 of HP & the Deathly Hallows. Cheers to Suzanne Collins for writing a YA book that every adult will want to read, and will want to make you run out & hug a soldier or sponsor a starving child:)