Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Blessing of the Body During This Trial

All who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings, and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Acts 2:44-45

I've been spending a lot of time in the last two weeks in hospital waiting areas.  As I wait for my dear man to be cut on, repaired, or examined, I am watching, listening, and experiencing trauma right alongside pure strangers as they wait for loved ones to return from various procedures.  The one thing that has hit me like a ton of bricks is that most people wait alone without the hope of my Savior.  While I walk through this trial with an amazing army of believers by my side, who have been a picture of the new testament fellowship, most don't know this kind of support.

My church, my amazing church, has been such a picture of the new testament.  
Right now, we have need, and every one continues to be met through the body.  

We have need for encouragement..we get cards, texts, emails, and phone calls every single day sharing the truths of God's word and assuring us that we are prayed for and loved.  These things come at just the right time and say exactly what we need.  

We need nourishment.  Each night for the last two weeks (and continuing for the next two weeks), someone from our church takes the time to serve us by sharing a meal that they have prepared for us.  Single mommas, mommas with small children, those who are sick themselves, ones who work full time...take the time from their own lives to serve us during this blip in the road.  I can't tell you how it has ministered to my soul to go to the door each night, and be given a meal that I can sit around the table with my family and share.  Eating dinner together feels so normal, and it is so comforting to be able to continue to have this routine with my clan each night while everything else in life seems so out of control.  

We have need for fellowship.  I have never been alone.  This has probably been the one thing that I have noticed the most as I have waited in hospitals.  There are many who wait without the comfort of company.  Though we live in this state far away from most of our blood family, I never wait alone.  I always have people beside me to pray with us, talk with me, and just be.  The precious gift of time, even spending the entire night in the hospital waiting area with me, that so many have given me during this trial is priceless.   

We have physical needs too.  Dear friends from the body have bought groceries, picked up our children, run for prescriptions, offered their services for laundry, and shared their resources with us!  Two days into this, my dishwasher went out.  I will admit that with all I have to do caring for everyone my dishwasher going out was a huge blow.  Silly I know, but within two days I had a new dishwasher installed and running because a few in the body stepped in answering my need.  Yesterday, our ipad broke.  Again, it sent me into how can this be?  Our daughter with special needs can't be without this piece of technology!  I don't have time for this! We don't have the funds to replace it!  Then a card was delivered with a check that will just about cover the cost of a new one.  While this person couldn't have possibly known of our need before bringing the check, God knew.  God has been so faithful, and our dear church has been so willing to be used by Him to meet our every need during this time.  

If you are believer, and you don't have a consistent, deep connection with a body, you are missing out on one of the greatest blessings God has given us here on Earth.  The church is a place that we can care for others, and be cared for.  The Lord created it to be His hands and feet here.  This has been such an illustration of the importance of that to my oldest babe during this time as she is about to leave me for college.  I love, love that I have been able to say to her..this is the church.  Don't leave me and not get plugged in to a body where ever you are dear girl because we so need each other.

Praising God in my prayers for the blessing of the body of believer here on this Earth to be His hands and feet.  It is a privilege indeed to serve among such a special place as Cedar Valley Bible Church. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Surgery..Update

Yesterday, we headed to the U to have another surgery to remove Sean's right eye.  It went as expected.  There was an implant put in so that the prosthetic, which is a bit like a huge contact lens, will have a round eye shape.  We came into contact with many whom we were able to share our faith. My prayer is that our story glorified God.   It was a hard day as Sean just doesn't come out of anesthesia well.  It is never easy to see someone you love so very much experience so much pain and fear, but throughout this I am reminded of the blessing of marriage and family.  God made me to be a helper for this amazing man whom I am put together with.  My purpose in this life is to care for him, love him the best I can, and through that bring glory to my creator.  It continues to blow me away to fathom that.  God made me for this very purpose, for these days of caring for Sean as they are no surprise to Him, and He continues to be all I need.  When your husband is so helpless, vulnerable, and begging you not to leave his side, it causes you to pause and just thank God for this relationship that He has given us.  It is such a tremendous and miraculous blessing that God would allow us to experience something as special as marriage on this earth.  Just like most everyone, I am sure that I tend to take this special gift of marriage for granted when things are going well, but through this I have been reminded again and again of just what a precious gift that it truly is to have a God loving man to lead my family.  As usual, the sunrise is bringing a new day filled with hope and sunshine.  Sean is resting more comfortably and the anesthesia is wearing off so he seems less anxious.  Praising God this morning for His care for us and that He is with us each and every step of the way.  Thank you for prayers for pain relief in the next few days as Sean is uncomfortable.  Pray as well for rest, peace, and healing.   

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Memorial Post

I desperately want to record the events of this last week and half well.  I love the book of Joshua and I am a huge believer in building a memorial for my children just as the Israelites did after crossing the Jordan.  This blog, and my prayer journals throughout the years, are my memorial for them.  It is a way for them to see all that the Lord has done, and, continues to do, in my life.  This week and half has had lots of time for reflection, and has brought so much beauty from the Lord.  I was thinking in the car that the one thing that I want my girls to not miss is the beauty of following Jesus in this life. Following the Lord is about so much more than just accepting Him.   I don't want them to waste even a second of their lives chasing after the things of this world, but want them to fully embrace the plans that God would have for them as this has been the greatest adventure! I could have never imagined a life so full of joy, peace, happiness, and love, even amidst such trial as this week and half has been, as I was a young person planning out what I wanted as I grew.  Yet, here I am living the greatest adventure with such blessings as I follow my Savior...

Wednesday evening my husband was involved in an accident at youth group.  They were playing a sports game which is common before they dig into God's word for the evening.  About 7:00, my teenager called with a very shaky voice to tell me there was an accident, Daddy was hurt, and they were calling an ambulance for him.  She couldn't give me any details about anything.  I am sure it was traumatic for her to see it happen.  I was home alone with the littles, but had spent the entire night memorizing scripture about fear (for my friend as mentioned in my last post) so instantly Joshua 1:9 kept playing again and again in my head.  I wasn't frantic.  I wasn't afraid.  I waited until someone arrived which seemed like a long time though it wasn't.  Then, I assured them I was able to drive myself to the ER to meet my husband as I really was feeling the Lord so close.  I recited audibly Joshua 1:9 the entire way to the hospital.  Again and again I said, Do not be terrified for the Lord your God goes with you where ever you go.  I felt Him with me.  It was a long night involving an second ambulance ride to a specialty hospital about 45 minutes away, a five hour emergency surgery in the middle of the night, and a good week of laying in bed to recover.  My dear man lost his right eye last week because of this accident, but what we have gained far outweighs this loss.  There has been so much good that has come from this already.  I am praying for some quiet to continue to process this week, and to add to my memorial for my girls because I want this to change to them.  I want them to grow even deeper in their walk with the Lord because of what we have seen and experienced through this blip in the road.

We have another surgery, and recovery, this coming week as we will remove his blind eye all together.  The globe was ruptured, and it just is too risky to keep it in there as the immune system tends to attack eye tissue that has been leaking which puts his good eye at risk.  Please pray for his recovery, and that I will carry this story well.  I don't ever want to waste the lessons the Lord is teaching me.  He is so abundantly good to allow me the chance to stretch and grow through this.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Lord Goes Before Us

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous, Do not be terrified: do not be discouraged for the Lord you God goes with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

I spent most of early Wednesday evening brushing up on verses about fear.  I have a friend who is battling fear as she begins another adoption.  I was planning on meeting with her on Thursday morning so I opened scripture to refresh my memory so that I could encourage her as we met.  This verse above was one I memorized when going to pick up my Anna Mei.  I read it again and again on Wednesday evening.  I even recorded it on a give my friend.  I never imagined that I would be the one using these words to remind myself of this truth as I was gonna need a big dose of the Lord come about 7:00 PM.  I had no idea that this promise, made to Joshua by the Lord, would be so very important to me again so soon, but my Lord knew and was already preparing me to walk through what would be coming next.  Oh, how He love us.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I Would Have Never Dreamed

Wednesday morning at 5:30 AM, I woke my six year old treasure from a very deep sleep so that she could have a minor surgery at the U.  Daddy had to tend to the needs of the other girls at home as getting them up and off to school, as well as caring for Molly Kate, is a task that is hard to pass off to anyone else.  As a result, I headed by myself with Jillian to the U for her procedure.  Never, never did I imagine almost five years ago now when we were first home that I could ever, ever do this alone with this girl.  When we were first home, my Jilly was so completely broken that she was unable to handle anything, anywhere outside of our home without an army of us to handle her.  Seriously, Sean would consult with doctors while I ran with a screaming baby to the car after an exam.  The screaming and out of control thrashing would last long after the exam ended because of our poor baby's fear and inability to trust anyone.  
Those months were so beyond hard because of our girls condition and how she was not cared for before coming home.  Still, we were so filled with joy as we cared for her and we didn't give up hope that she would be able to learn to feel safe and trust.  Today, was such an example of how very far we have come.  She walked calmly into the big hospital holding my hand, drank the happy juice from her special cup when it was given to her, and rocked this medical procedure.  They always let me stay with her in the OR until she is asleep.  This time, she didn't fight the doctors one bit.  She calmly breathed in the medication and drifted off to sleep without additional meds or any fighting.  This girl has a huge fight response and that is probably what kept her alive all those years when she was institutionalized, but her brain is overcoming the need to fight as she feels safer and safer with us.  When she woke in recovery, she was peaceful and trusting.  She laid in my arms safe and happy.  AMAZING!  God has certainly shown us His power to turn ashes into something beautiful because of this babe's life!  She is an incredible and miraculous little one who has all my heart!  I am so beyond blessed to call her my daughter.  I am grateful to God for the chance to walk beside her because I have seen the impossible done by the Lord in her life!  I just kept thinking on the way home that I could have given up the hope that she would be healed so fully in those long months when we were first home.  It was well over a year before she could function at church.  It was just over a year before she made her first sign to communicate that she wanted that water turned on.  It was well over a year before she let me comfort her at night, signed that she loved me, and took a drink from a cup.  While there were times that first year that felt so hopeless, I am grateful for the hope and peace that comes only from trusting my Savior as it kept us going and loving our girl on the hardest of those days.  Today, I couldn't imagine life without her and I truly marvel at the miracle that she is living with such joy!  How I love her so much more than I could ever type!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow Painting..

 The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we played outside all morning.  Don't you just love this smile?  That smile makes me want to run to China and claim more of these precious treasures as that joy is miraculous.
 We decided to take some watercolors outside and paint the snow.  I also added some kitchen tools to the snow table.
 The pastry brushes that I picked up for a dollar at the dollar store were a huge hit painting.  The salad tongs I got for a dollar scooped a perfect size snowball too.  It was great for scooping colored snow.
 This one was super busy all morning.  She took a great nap after playing in the fresh air.
 This one flung snow at me causing the blurry spot on my lens.  She is a flinger I tell ya.  She doesn't care what the substance is.. she needs to fling it!
 This girl painted and painted!  She is my creative spirit.
Isn't she just darling in her glasses?  I can't wait to shed the coats and get some sand and water back in this table, but today we are getting more snow.  Thankful for a day at home, but longing for a warm sunny day.