Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good-Bye Summer...

Well, there’s only one day separating summer vacation from back to school.  Oh, how the time flew.  Our first two months were consumed by softball and baseball tournaments.  However, the last month of summer found us on the couch and by the pool.  We often ate breakfast for lunch and popcorn for dinner.  And in case you’re wondering, my feet never touched the sand.  Apparently, we’re not a big beach family.   And that’s OK by me.
My kids are actually ready to return to school.  And to my surprise, I’m not ready.   Again, another sign that cancer was good for me.  The old me would have been counting the days until I packed up their lunches and walked them to school.  The hours between 9 am and 
2 pm were gold to me.   This summer, my kids were the gold.  I enjoyed the heck out of them.  OK, there was one day in June and one day last week that I actually didn’t feel that way, but come on, two days out of three months -- amazing!
Though I look forward to having the freedom of exercising a lot this fall (again, another perk of cancer) and getting a little creative without interruption, I actually tear up when I think of returning home -- alone -- on the first day of school.  I can remember skipping home after they were settled into their classrooms.  Now, I think I’ll be skipping to pick them up.  
I do know that this school year won’t be a repeat of the last school year.  A little change is in order.  My kids’ days were all about them.  Lessons, practices, classes, etc.  This season, I hope to change that by focusing on others.   When their homework is done, I look forward to volunteering at two local, amazing ministries we connected with this summer.   
Life Without Limbs is a ministry founded by Nick Vujicic who was born without arms and legs.  I'll repeat that -- born without arms and legs.  But you’d never know it.  He surfs, golfs and gives the best hugs around.  His motto?  No limbs, no limits.  He travels all over the world sharing his heart for the Lord and his love for his life.  I’ve never met anyone more amazing than Nick.  In fact, he’s just written a book and is scheduled to be on Oprah!  Can you imagine how busy his office will be after Oprah gets a hold of him?  Wow.  But each time I see him, I am reassured that God does not make mistakes.  
And when we’re not at Nick’s ministry, I hope to help out at Joni and Friends.  Do you remember Joni Eareckson?  She dove into a lake when she was 17 and broke her neck, becoming a quadriplegic.  Did that stop her?  Nope.  Now 43 years later, she’s written over 40 books, paints as if she has no limitations and is in charge of a multitude of world-wide ministries.   When we toured her office last week and had the privilege of meeting her, all that kept running through my mind was, “When her accident happened, she thought her life was over... it had only just begun.”   Again, I am reassured that God does not make mistakes.

So if you can squeeze in a little “them time” instead of “me time” between homework and practice, we’d love you to join us!  I’ve included Nick and Joni's websites so you can arrange a time to be a part of two amazing ministries.  And if you don’t live near us or you feel inspired to serve in other ways, please let me know.  Leave a comment beneath this post and share with others what organizations your family volunteers for.  You might just inspire others to do the same.
So good-bye summer.  Good-bye blueberries.  Good-bye breakfast at noon.  Good-bye Jake and Rachel.  May you enjoy a new school year filled with good friends, good teachers and “good times” as Jake likes to say.  And before we know it, Christmas vacation 
will be here.  
What fun!


  1. Ruthie, I am just like you -- I have never, ever been happy to see my girl go back to school at any age. And like you, my stomach would just sink when I'd walk back in the door to the empty house. Ugh... so empty! I love being a mom -- every second of it. I loved my pregnancy, my labor (yep) and every second since she's been here with us.

    So, while I adore Fall and the coming Christmas season, I do miss my girl as her days become full with school.

    I adore your blogs -- I just finished looking through them and I am so happy we connected here, I just can't even tell you.

    Libby got her package from you and now, like me, she is smitten with you and how you allow God to radiate through your life.

    You, my dear, are a prism that casts off beams of His life in every direction. You are a human conduit for His caring touch.

    You are loved,

  2. My Dearest Ruthie (Best Friends Forever)

    As I read these blogs that you post every (2) weeks I can't help but "click" and read them with such a calm feeling to know that you my dear, are alright. I am so grateful to God for your presence and for the "present" that he has given to me nearly 38 years ago in Kindergarten. I am eternally grateful everyday for the cherished memories that we now take with us as each of us have now survived cancer and God has called our names to be with special people in our lives that need us. How wonderful it is to be asked "what is it that you do that keeps you here after cancer?" My first thought is PERSEVERANCE..Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty. Life is full of difficulties and we must not walk away from them until he calls our name. I am convinced that he has not called our name yet Ruthie as he knows that our work here on earth is not complete yet, I don't think it will be complete for a very long time. I Love You my friend.. until the day our time as come. OX Angela

  3. One more very important thing..

    The charities that we as a family part-take in are the following:
    Michael Hofflin Foundation
    Special Olympics
    Food Pantry - Santa Clarita Valley
    Light The Night
    The CaringBridge
    Avon Breast Cancer Walk
    Revlon Walk
    American Cancer Society

  4. Dear Ruthie: I am friend of your sister Robin. I enjoy your blog and thank you for sharing your journey. I am inspired by you and your family and am blessed by your blog posts. I've been following Joni & friends devotions for many years and Robin shared with us your visit to her organization. I want to visit her someday soon. I volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better-American Cancer Society. And love being part of something bigger than my own world. I'm praying for your upcoming surgery. God Bless you and your family, ~gladi~