Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year, Without Regret!




CJ had his treatments on Monday and Tuesday. And he experienced his first allergic reaction to the medications. It was completely unexpected since he has received these meds before. It gave us a little scare but we were able to manage it. It was a reaction to his double shots he received on Tuesday in his legs. He has to have the shots administered at the same time, so they have two nurses come in the room and do it simultaneously. CJ got two of his favorite nurses which was a blessing because it actually cuts his anxiety down quite a bit when he has someone he is comfortable with. They started teasing him by telling him they each do it better than the other. He thinks this is funny. They tell him to tell them which leg hurts less after they are done. Then Lotsy came and started playing the harmonica. Then his friend Jia came and started telling him silly ways to handle the shots. It was quite a sight as we were all crowded around as he got his shots...........here are some pictures.

Ready set go....



Daddy, Lotsy and Jia entertaining CJ while he gets his shots and Corey checking CJ's legs for swelling.
He did well receiving the shots and had no immediate reaction. He was a little nervous right before but whenever his friend Jia is around it is really impossible for any of us to feel sorry for
ourselves. He is a walking miracle and still has a huge battle ahead of him.

Lord God, I beg you to be with this boy and his mother. Help me to share your son with them regardless of language or culture barriers. Send your people to care for them and sustain them. Help me to do for them faithfully as others have done for me and my son.

CJ was held for an hour after the shot to see if there is any reaction before they let him leave. When we got home he was completely exhausted. For the first time since the treatments began, he fell asleep and took a 3 or 4 hour nap. When he woke up that evening we noticed the reaction. His lips were completely swollen. He looked like a he just got out of a boxing match. We knew he was having an allergic reaction but he said he felt fine, had no trouble breathing and his tongue was not swollen; only the lips. So we called the doctor who said to give him benedril and then take him to the Emergency Room. After administering the meds, praying, and watching we decided against going to the ER. The benedril worked quickly and we saw no other reaction. We are so thankful God allowed us to catch this reaction and avoid a trip back to the hospital. I realized CJ was asleep for the first few hours he was probably having the reaction and we would never have known if he was having a serious reaction or not. Thank you Lord for your presence and watchful eye on CJ even when ours are not available.
The next day was New Years Eve and we celebrated here at home. We let CJ request a new years dinner. He chose pizza and spaghetti. So pizza and spaghetti it was! We lit off fireworks in the back yard for the kids, sat around our fire pit and read letters we prepared for each other. We watched the ball drop at midnight and toasted with sparking cider! It was nothing extravagant, but we were together and I could not have asked for anything more.
As I look back over the year, I can not believe all that we have experienced. It began with us selling our land in Virginia and letting go of a dream to move to the mountains. I have heard the expression that when one door closes, God opens a window. But I think that is backwards. I think when you wait on God and seek His will, what appeared to be a door is actually the window. As the window closes, God throws open a door. He did that for us when that dream was replaced by the fulfillment of another. ....being baptized by immersion in the arms of my husband, after witnessing him be baptized in the lake in the back yard of our home. He also closed many other windows and opened many other doors for us. We grew and learned a lot as the year progressed. CJ's health and anxiety issues were our biggest battle throughout the year and yet we still never would have imagined we would end the year with a child battling cancer. It is an eye opening realization that as we begin this new year, none of us know where we will end up. Chris and I did not finish off this year like we planned. We did not end where we thought we were headed. But to have accomplished all our plans and yet be apart from God's plan for our lives, that would have been a total failure. We will still set goals and chart our course for this new year. We will make plans and we have hopes and dreams. But if it ends there, we fail. We must take those goals, charts, plans, hopes and dreams and lay them before our Father and surrender them to Him. Not our will, but His be done! That is the making of a successful year!

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3
We wish you all a happy new year fully surrendered to Him who determines our steps. We thank all of you who have come along beside of us during this time. So many of you have helped, encouraged and supported us in so many different ways. We thank everyone who has bowed their knee before the throne of grace to ask for mercy for CJ. These prayers have given us strength and I believe God has responded to the cries of His people and had mercy on CJ in return. Please continue to intercede for him in this new year. He is only 3 and a half months into a two year battle of chemotherapy. We have three more months of active chemotherapy and we are praying to enter the maintenance stage at the end of that on schedule in full remission! Pray God will continue to pour His mercy on CJ in healing physically and growth spiritually.

I will leave you with a quote from CJ. The other day he was playing and suddenly he said, "Mommy, you know what hell must be like?"
I said, " What?"
He said, "I think hell is like living in a world of regret."
I think that says it all! I am going to take CJ's advice. Not only for my place in eternity, but for here and now. I will not live in a world of regret thinking of all the things I did not accomplish this past year or all the mistakes I made over the course of it. I will chose to receive God's grace and mercy and look ahead to what His plans are for me in this coming year. Then I can truly say to you without regret.....Happy New Year.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen to God's mercy and no regrets. I think we all need to live that way. May God fill all the George family with favor, strength, health and healing. Thanks for always keeping us posted and being transparent in your walk; its such a blessing.

We love you and are praying for all of you daily!
Happy New Year 2009!

Viguie Family

Elena, Jessica and Emily Rodriguez said...

As we enter into 2009, we continue to pray for CJ's healing, his continued strength and Gods healing hands over your entire family. Short story comes to mind right now, today at Starbucks we met a 22 year young man.. He was leaving today to war in Afghanistan.. His name is Jose Rodriguez.. I teared up (right there in front of a stranger) at the thought of his mother and the fears she must be facing.. I pray she and Jose know Jesus the way you do.. I pray they have the strength in the face of adversity that you do.. I thank the Lord for your continued examples of faith in the face of adversity.

Love, Elena

Anonymous said...

What a sweet new year's eve celebration you all had. Those are memories that last a lifetime! Reading letters to and from the people you love the most. We pray the Lord continue to reveal Himself to and through you, and we also pray for healing, wisdom, strength and spiritual growth.

Love, Janet s

Enzo said...

CJ is so profound. Hell must be exactly like that. Living in a world of regret. I'll never forget that one. Also, in this life a lot of us find ourselves living in regret. Regretting that OUR wishes and dreams don't come true without acknowledging that isn't what God wants for us. Regretting that our marriages aren't what they could be without putting in our extra effort in bad times as well as good, regretting our jobs and resenting our co-workers instead of focusing on how if we just applied ourselves and didn't worry about the other guy we'd have a better day, regretting our finances yet we don't tithe or save money that we receive, continue to regret and feel ashamed of sins God has already forgiven us for, regretting broken relationships with our children without asking for forgiveness from them for our wrongdoings. The list goes on and on in my mind because I do it. Let us think on this and and as we start the New Year let's not live with Regret. Let's not have hell on earth.

Let us Pray for CJ's complete healing and it is hard to believe we are only 3 1/2 months in to a 2 year program. Sometimes it feels like a life time already but I won't REGRET that. I'll praise God for how amazing CJ is doing, Praise God for his limited side effects, Praise God that CJ has a Mom and Dad like Dawn and Chris who are seeking Him more every day, Praise God for each and every one of you that pray for my grandson. If any of you have prayer requests I promise I won't forget them.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate New Years. I know how wonderful it is to receive the letters from those children. I have a few myself. Praise God.

To all of my children please forgive me that I am not a better example for you and that you love me any way. I love you girls so much and I am so blessed to be your Mom.

Happy New Years
Mom

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

God is so amazing! I wanted to call you yesterday for some council on how to let Kevin do something that I wanted him to do, because I had immediately began with the what if's? You know how I can get. I think as parents we are called to weigh out situations and possible outcomes before allowing our children to do stuff. But, I caught myself going over and over a worst possible outcome in my mind. And I had that nervous feeling. But, I realized Kevin is God's child, not my own. And I prayed that God keeps him safe. And I realized that even if I did not pray that prayer, God would of still kept him safe, if that is His will, because Kevin belongs to Him. Thank you God for watching over CJ while he slept as you watch over Kevin more then I can even fathom! I know that there are hundreds if not thousands of times that my parenting and overseeing or lack of has not been enough to save Kevin from disaster, but the Lord alone protecting His son, Kevin. AS He does all of His children.

Dawn,
Thank you for laying it all down for us. You have NO IDEA how much your openess is still helping so many of us. It is like the Lord answers so many of my questions through you. I know I have come to you alot in the past with questions and experiences and you have always been my biblical council in helping me understand. But, it is pretty cool when God clearly answers some of my questions through your experiences without me even having to say anything to you!

Mom,

No regrets! You are an amazing women, mother and friend. You have so many amazing qualities and oh so many faults, just like the rest of us! Remember, God uses the broken pots for His Glory. But, we can't keep telling Him that, "no you can't use me, I'm broken, I have regret" we must say thank you Lord, use me, mold me, I am yours! Any time you catch yourself having a regret, from the past, tell yourself, "no regrets, I have been forgiven for all my sins". Move Forward. I love you, my sweet mom.

Jacks

Anonymous said...

Happy new year for you too!!, dear family.
They are really no profound thoughts at this moments just a heart full of thankfulness towards our father who has fept you and us in His Hands this past year...May we all keep trusting him and living in the abundance of His goodnes. We will continue to be by your side by His grace.
Love you, The Abeggs

Break the Mold said...

For those who struggle with regret..I would like to share this verse. 2 Cor7:10 "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but wordly sorrow brings death."

When we we are confronted with Godly sorrow for our sins, and confess and repent, we are forgiven and restored and this leaves no regret. But when we only experience wordly sorrow it leads to shame,despair, depression, self pity, and hopelessness.
So for those who are in Christ, there is no regret. We experienced the fruit of repentance which leads to life.
Priase be to God!
No Regrets,
Dawn

Martha Rivero said...

Dear Dawn,

Happy New Years for you, CJ and the family.

I am sorry I haven’t have the chance to write, I was in the hospital with my daughter sick with the horrible stomach virus that I told you in one of my emails the whole week , so we were in the hospital on New Year's Eve(my husband and I) sleeping by my daughter's side, and praying all the time for her healing, not only for hers but all the children that were spending their holyday week in the hospital, also I had CJ and my nephew in my mind all the time, so I pray for them, I spent my New Years Eve in the hospital, but I don’t regret any of it, God's will is perfect believe it or not I learned that from your testimonies, who am I to question God’s will? I felt that our Lord was with us all the time, and he was attentive to our prayers, I remember many times in the hospital, catching my self thinking don’t worry Martha everything is going to OK, you don’t know why this is happening, but God knows better than you, in that moment I realized that the Holy Spirit was guiding me in not to question, not to regret.
I am so happy to see that CJ is doing so well, he looks good, happy and loved, I am amazed how God is answering our prayers, how we are growing in Christ, how we are learning to deal with the turbulence without questioning and with out regrets. God bless you Dawn, God bless CJ, God bless your family, and we are still and will continue praying for complete remission for CJ.

Your sister in Christ,

Martha

Mitch said...

Hi CJ and family!
Wishing you all a year filled with renewed faith, hopes, and dreams. I count myself blessed to have met you this past year and am looking forward to hearing of CJ's progress and continued healing. We are starting a new season of running up here with Team in Training so you will be thought of very often and I will share your story and progress with the run group. More runners will be hearing about you and hopefully keeping you in their thoughts and prayers as they tackle a tough season of training for their TNT event. I am always reading your blog and saying a prayer for your health and safety each night. Keep your chin up CJ and remember there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Mitch

Anonymous said...

Hi,

We wish you all a very blessed new year. I read a poem the other day that reminded me of you Dawn. Here it is:
May you trust the highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be...
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you...
May you be content knowing you are a child of God...
Let His presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you...

We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers

Nicole, Alberto and Ana

Shannon said...

Dawn, CJ, and family,

Wow!! Again, CJ's wisdom astounds me and his words, though simple, speak volumes. Dawn, thank you again for sharing with us. Just wanted you to know our family will continually hold you all up in prayer and we are praying God's very best for you in this New Year.

Love,
The Helton Family

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year precious George family!
What a great way to bring in the New Year together. I pray this year brings you even closer to the Savior each day. May you be filled afresh with faith and hope through Christ's finished work. As for regrets ... praise God that his blood covers our past and we are no longer defined by it. I pray I too will live more for Him and with an eternal perspective. My mom and I will ask each other from time to time if something will really matter a million years from now. The answer is usually "no" in the way we are struggling at that time, yet, it does matter to God now and years from now if I respond in a way that brings Him glory or not. Thank you all for being a great example of knowing your life is not your own to live as you please and so joyfully receiving what God has for you. Each of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love, Vonda Gray

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year CJ,
Thank you for your words...we will try to live this year without regret and living for the Lord's will whatever it may be. You and your mom and your whole family are an encouragement to us! Thank you for thinking of others and serving others through your blog.
We are still wearing our bracelets, thinking of you and praying for you in 2009. In fact our New Year's prayers with friends before and after midnight was for you. Keep the Faith!
We love you,
The Behar Family

The Rugg Family said...

Thought I would let you know about this:
FREE Salad Day at Tossed Benefiting Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital

As January creeps closer, many Americans are already mapping out their plans for 2009. Whether it’s hitting the gym every day, recycling or reconnecting with past acquaintances, everyone has at least one thing they want to improve upon. Thankfully, Tossed – the Fort Lauderdale-based upscale, quick-casual restaurant focusing primarily on customizable green-leaf salads – has the answer for those who want to focus on healthier eating: From January 1st through March 1st, the chain will debut the Resolution Salad to start 2009 off on the right foot.

The Resolution Salad is comprised of a mix of romaine and baby rocket (arugula) lettuces, mandarin oranges, carrots, chopped tomatoes, jicama and sugar snap peas, all of which are topped with a strawberry balsamic dressing. According to Eric Clark, Tossed’s chief operating officer, the salad clocks in at 210 calories with nine grams of fat and is fresh, flavorful and the perfect addition to Tossed’s already extensive menu.

Tossed at The Shops at Pembroke Gardens – 14537 SW 5th St. in Pembroke Pines – will introduce the Resolution Salad with a bang: a Free Salad Day on Wednesday, January 7th. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Tossed will offer a full-size Resolution Salads to each customer who attends this event. Tossed will also be collecting donations for Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital throughout the day.

For more information, please visit www.tossed.com.

Raul said...

Happy New Year and God Bless you and your family.

mefea said...

No Regrets! No Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! What an amazing truth to start 2009 off with. Isn't is amazing that God came to seek and save the lost!...he DIES for us and now we can look at our circumstances so much differently.

CJ, Dawn, Chris, Allie, Brett...Baby Corey, thank you for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for allowing us to join you in this journey. We have all learned much from your trial and we are all encouraged to trust God more because of it. Thank you for your humility in sharing the ups and downs.

God has used your words/blogs/scriptures to beautify his bride, the church, by encouraging all of us to Love God and Trust Him more.

As I look back at this year I see God's hand work in my life through each person in your family and I am so blessed.

I love you guys more than you'll ever know and I pray for you ALL often.

your piano teacher, babysitter, friend, sister, and "daughter"....In Christ Alone,
Melinda p

Poppa Jerry said...

CJ is so profound. Hell must be exactly like that. Living in a world of regret. I'll never forget that one. Also, in this life a lot of us find ourselves living in regret. Regretting that OUR wishes and dreams don't come true without acknowledging that isn't what God wants for us. Regretting that our marriages aren't what they could be without putting in our extra effort in bad times as well as good, regretting our jobs and resenting our co-workers instead of focusing on how if we just applied ourselves and didn't worry about the other guy we'd have a better day, regretting our finances yet we don't tithe or save money that we receive, continue to regret and feel ashamed of sins God has already forgiven us for, regretting broken relationships with our children without asking for forgiveness from them for our wrongdoings. The list goes on and on in my mind because I do it. Let us think on this and and as we start the New Year let's not live with Regret. Let's not have hell on earth.

Let us Pray for CJ's complete healing and it is hard to believe we are only 3 1/2 months in to a 2 year program. Sometimes it feels like a life time already but I won't REGRET that. I'll praise God for how amazing CJ is doing, Praise God for his limited side effects, Praise God that CJ has a Mom and Dad like Dawn and Chris who are seeking Him more every day, Praise God for each and every one of you that pray for my grandson. If any of you have prayer requests I promise I won't forget them.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate New Years. I know how wonderful it is to receive the letters from those children. I have a few myself. Praise God.

To all of my children please forgive me that I am not a better example for you and that you love me any way. I love you girls so much and I am so blessed to be your Mom.

Happy New Years
Love Poppa

Poppa Jerry (Oops!) said...

Though some of my testimony was plagerized, I must make one correction....."I love you girls so much, I am proud to be you DAD."
Love, Poppa

PS to my girl's Mom - I couldn't have said it better.

@ndrea- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@ndrea- said...

Happy New year George's!
I love you all and continue to pray in the 09! :]
Cj, your quote really got me thinking, you are so right! no regrets! Its so amazing we don't have to think about it any longer thanks to HIM!
much love,

Andrea

Enzo said...

Jerry,

What a good post. I couldn't have said it better myself. I guess it is true it could have been written originally by either of us.

Best to you too and Happy New Year

Paula

Tammi said...

Gee Mom & Dad ~ as if Dawn's BLOG wasn't a tear jerker enough! Good Grief! Let me go get some tissues! You two are fine, you both were young and you didn't know any better. "If you only knew then what you know now things would have been different." Is that what you two think? Well, what I think is that GOD knew what He was doing with you two back then and He had a plan even then and you guys did what you did so Dawn and Jackie and I would be who we are today so that Allie, CJ, Brett, Travis, Kevin, Jerri-lyn, Corey & Kyle would be who they are today because of every single moment of every single day of your lives as our parents so far! So ~ I know I speak for Dawn and Jackie too when I say that you two did a great job and we love you very much and we wouldn't wish for different parents ever and we love you both more than any daughters ever loved any Mom or Dad, without regret.
Love, Tammi Jo

Enzo said...

Tammi-Jo,

Thanks.

Love Mom

Tammi said...

Yup!

Anonymous said...

Dawn it was such a joy and an answer to prayer for Rachel to see CJ at church. Thank you for your humbleness, how good is our Lord to allow us to "experience the other side" I cried reading about the church that came to sing at your house, how sweet that must have been. As was shared w/me recently, "don't look back like Lot's wife,or you'll miss Gods blessings that are up ahead." Lean on the Lord and soak up His love. We will continue lifting you up in our prayers. Love in Christ, The Cookes

Sonia said...

Happy New Year for all of you! specially for CJ. It is hard to wish happiness when you are in this situation, but for all I read in the blog, I have realized that the happiness can be to feel all the love and all the beautiful insighites you are sharing with each other. So Happy New Year with no regrets!!!!. And for CJ we prey for strength to keep in the battle with that wonderfull smile he shows in the pictures.
God bless you!
Sonia, Antonio, Ale y Andrea