Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carpe Diem or "Cancer Leverage"

There is so much I have been rattling around my brain lately that I am trying to make a list of topics to blog about and just pluck away at the list as we continue on this journey, adventure, trial, test, opportunity, what have you! One of the things I have been thinking about is that I have all of these crazy ideas and plans that I try to convince Nate are excellent all of the time. Poor guy! I know this husband/wife dynamic is probably present in most relationships whether it is mutual, husband to wife, or wife to husband, it is a major part of every coupling isn't it?

I loved a sermon our pastor did over the summer as part of a series discussing our psychological personas as compared with what the bible says and how it plays out in daily life. He talked about the four personality definitions: optimistic realist, optimistic dreamers, pessimistic realist, and pessimistic dreamers. He then went on to define each and what they might sound like. He said that his wife always had big plans for their home that involved very involved projects etc. and that she was an optimistic dreamer. He also said that he is a pessimistic realist because his answer is always "Nah- I am not sure we can do that." Well we were at church and Nate's mom, Jan, happened to be there with us and we were just cracking up because we had to look at our neighbor and tell them what they were, isn't amazing how we can totally peg our family members and friends but we might have a different interpretation of ourselves? See- I saw myself as an optimistic realist, but Nate and his mom couldn't say quickly enough that I was definitely an optimistic dreamer! I was a little thrown off, come on, I like to dream but I am realistic...right? As our pastor finished the sermon he ended by saying it isn't necessarily important what kind of personality you have, it is what you do with it. If you know you are a certain way and you can get the reigns on it, than you can use it for good in your life...or better yet God can! So what does this mean for us?

For me, breast cancer is fueling the flames of my hopes and dreams! I want to savor flavor of each experience and moment, I want to do things and enjoy life! I have always wanted to, but more so now. I have had some hopes and dreams in the recent past that I just toyed with, now I am feeling like we can DO these things, especially those things we feel God putting on our hearts. A sort of "kick in the pants" I always encourage only doing those things you can do in unity with your spouse.

One of the things that I would love to do someday is adopt whether it be local children or refugee children, it is something that has been on my heart and we are praying about. Of course we have our hands full now and so much going on, but it is nice to focus on the future and dream about how God is going to use it. My new and amazing "bosom buddy" (friend and breast cancer survivor) Laurie sent me some words to encourage me and I looked up some verses that support this optimistic dreamer vision of mine...

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

"A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

So that is my altruistic plan for our family. Here is where it gets a bit crazy and funny. My mom is way worse (or should I say better) than me, if I could categorize her it would be..."super ridiculously optimistic dreamer" which I am sure spurred me on. She is such an inspiration because she always sees the glass half full, but honestly keeps me in check. We keep each other in check. One of our dreams is to start a family commune involving anyone on either side of the family including dragging my sister and brother-in-law Jeremy back from Vermont, so that we can buy some land and build our houses next to each other, have a huge organic garden with chickens and other small farm animals running around, maybe having some business involving schooling little ones, or just simply following through with the adoption plan and continuing our homeschooling in said environment. Isn't that fantastic??!! My friend Hannah, sister Becky, mom, and of course our amazing neighbors who have adopted 7 children are the inspiration (you are awesome!) Check out Hannah's blog at Oh and a large greenhouse so I can continue growing kale (super for breast health) and other greens and herbs fresh through the winter months (if that is even possible here!) Nate entertains us with saying that would be great with the tone of "let's be realistic."

This is where I will introduce a concept that I have coined "the cancer pull" which is defined as:
"The advantage you have as a cancer patient to get your way." We were joking about it this morning as my sister was getting ready to go back to VT and she kindly informed me as I was looking for a cute term to coin the phrase "Allison, I am pretty sure that is just manipulation" Ha, ha. She is right, and of course I am joking about using my "cancer pull" (I say as I mischievously smile and tap my fingers together palms facing in...:-) ) Please comment if you have a better title for "cancer pull" because I think we can do better. So then what? Keep dreaming! I am going to make a list of these dreams that I have and bring them to the altar! God has amazing plans for our family and I get so excited to think about them and how we can advance His kingdom, whether it be by taking care of those orphans out there, volunteering for a young women's breast cancer group, going out there and paying it forward like Alissa has inspired in many through her blog, and continuing to do things to fight for social justice with our kids.

Carpe Diem! Use your gifts, have fun, get inspired!! Let me know if you want to join the commune!!

Oh and PS- Please encourage Nate to write some blog posts of his own. Afterall it is our family's journey. I think he is hesitant because of my writing prowess...LOL!! No seriously- he is an amazing writer and I am sure you would all enjoy it! I am hoping to get some segments in from the kids, but we aren't going into detail with them stay tuned!


  1. I love and look forward to your babbles! Thanks for the inspiring words this afternoon!

  2. That is so funny, it sounds just like my dad's optimistic dream for us to have a "family commune" so he can have us all together and stay close! It also included an organic farm and tons of animals running around... I think it's great that you're an optimistic dreamer, especially in times like this!! Stay positive! Sara

  3. We are definitely in on the family long as it doesn't involve killing any of these farm animals! And I want a barn dedicated soley to homeless kitties :) -Britt

  4. Using the "Cancer Leverage" should bring about a huge green-house in the neighborhood. Tell Nate that I challenge him to find excellent sites about green-houses in N.Y. and grab my boys to help make your dream come true. The perks of adoption are a number of willing helpers. I will always be thankful for the love and help you and Nate have given our big family. May your dreams grow and may you both be blessed!!!

  5. Sara- that is great! I know a few mamas out there who would think this would be a dream come true ;-)
    Brit- I think we can negotiate!
    Pat- you are so right! "Cancer Leverage" is a good one! The neighborhood green house and garden are a great idea too! The only problem is we'd need a major addition to fit all these people! That is a good problem to have though! We love our neighbors! You are the best, seriously couldn't ask for better and YOU have done so much for us!!

  6. We are SO much alike, Al! I am an optimistic dreamer in a BIG way, to the point that I take the burdens of the world on my shoulders and get really depressed when my plan to save the world can't happen right away! Bob is a pessimistic realist, which makes us clash often! Adoption and fostering has been an idea tucked into my heart for a long time on my mind a lot lately. I am totally down with the family commune, farm, group homeschooling, etc. - and since we hope to move to Caz someday it fits in nicely with my big plans! We have to hang out more ;) ;)

  7. Sarah- sounds good to me! It would be awesome to have you in the area. We could do our meal prep parties, harvest parties, etc, etc! I know we could do that now, but a commune would be better :-)

  8. After I had my stroke, I would pull out what we called "The Stroke Card". Like, "can you bring all the laundry baskets upstairs? I had a stroke." Humor heals!
    xoxo, Kara

  9. Your optimistic and I am so the opposite!!! Keep your spirits up, regardless of the craziness it takes......your attitude alone is going to beat this!!! Cancer Smancer ;)~

  10. Kara- I love it! Humor does heal!
    Dee- that shirt is awesome!! I can't wait to sport it with you!!
    Nichole- I can't believe you! A pessimist?? No way!

  11. Really I got good Cancer Support Group and found more information about cancer related so that according to me this is best and big cancer related Blog and there good contain info about cancer...

    Cancer Support Group