Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Love Gift

I stare into his big blue eyes, those rosy cheeks and pink lips, his gaze never leaves mine. Only space between us, nothing can separate. Nestled in the warm embrace, arms tucked into my chest, he smiles big. He was a great surprise, this boy of mine. Unexpected, an unfathomable gift I wondered, I worried.

As the sun would climb, its brilliant rays stretching the spans of the earth, my 2nd born would frequent a sterile world filled with glaring lights, scan faces unrecognizable, his soft flesh poked and prodded. The loud clammer of machines and monitors, the hum drum of physicians and nurses.....this was the life he knew.

How could we be crowned with another gift? How would we pour ourselves into another precious baby? Would he live? Would he present with the same ailments as big brother? Worries that welled deep within. And so it was, we would open our hearts...... again.

Sickness enveloped, nearly claimed this being as I lay helpless, IV's infusing, my veins begging for hydration, my heart longing to be mommy and wife. That little green hospital room familiar, so familiar it became home to me on that day.... the day of little ones 2nd birthday. My soul was tested, my heart ached. I longed for birthday boy's embrace and to celebrate the miracle of his life....his life he was so laboriously fighting for. The tears flooded my face and soul. How God, is any good going to come of this? I desperately yearned to be home with my babies and be the wife I knew my husband needed. Oh if I could have seen in my desperation the work God was doing.

Yes, these boys would be just fine as they watched Daddy work and cook, and do laundry, and be mommy and take care of mommy. These boys would experience the pressure doing its work. This man of mine, fearlessly leading the bunch, would open his tender heart and a blueprint for keeping the fragile hearts of these all- too- soon - to - be men would be birthed.

Why is it so hard to accept God's gifts so freely and unreservedly? The veil covers my eyes and I see through my lens instead of His. Lord I want to see. I want to see the sacred in the everyday. I want to freely accept His unforced gifts and walk in gratitude for all He has blessed this undeserving heart. And so, I have embarked on a journey of gratitude.......

3 healthy little boys

my husband's walk with our Lord

prayers of my little boys

warm breezes

days full of sunshine

wind chimes chiming

birds singing



family devotions around the table

smiles from my blue eyed baby



good food

coke =)

smell of fresh baked cookies

innocence of children

I look over, his eyes meet mine, and laughter overtakes him. Oh what joy God has lavished on this momma.
I sit and rock this blue eyed wonder boy of mine, I am humbled that God would so graciously entrust this broken girl to a lifetime of love fulfilling, His love fulfilling.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.
1 John 3:1

holy experience

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Waiting....A Desert Experience

We beg, we plead, we bargain for God to answer our prayers. Does He really hear? Does He care? It appears there is no water in the desert, like the waiting will never end.
6 years ago.....I waited. There is no heartbeat. It was likely that I would miscarry my first baby. Scores of tests would follow.
2 1/2 years later we brought our little bundle of joy home from the hospital. He would soon have 8 specialists caring for him and undergo a battery of testing and procedures. 3 years we waited.
2 1/2 years later I was told that the tiny baby growing inside of me would not live. Again, I waited.
Why? I begged for answers. I knew God could work, "now"! Why the delay?
These were some of the most difficult times of my life. Loneliness enveloped. Fear gripped. Tears were unpredictable. Emotions wayward. My soul bled.
The uncertainty would require momentous amounts of faith. The waiting seemed endless...on all accounts.

I quickly realized how desperately I needed my Comforter. Circumstances required I lean into Him. He met me, hurting and broken. My soul laid bare as I began to know and experience trust in His Sovereignty. My how Abraham must have felt as he was about to sacrifice his precious son. Faith became a habitual practice as I claimed every scripture I could get my hands on. God knows our need to wander through the desert. Waiting is often our greatest time of growth as we rely on the One who has the answers. It is here that our relationship with our Almighty God becomes intimate.
It is during the drought that our roots begin to grow so fruit can be produced. Oftentimes, the water is right in front of us, we just have to immerse ourselves.
Perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God calls us to faith, trust, and persevere.

Perhaps these burdens were actually opportunities.
How awesome to know that our precious Lord always has our best interest at heart. His timing is always perfect, never late.
I look back at each experience and see Gods overwhelming faithfulness as He was growing and maturing my walk with Him. He walked alongside me and carried me when I could walk no more. He wiped away every tear that was shed and knew every worry before it surfaced.
I see the growth that has taken place and His soul desire that we lay our hearts at the altar and walk in obedience.
My miscarriage is now a healthy 5 1/2 year old little boy. My "sick" baby is now a healthy 3 yr old, and my baby boy that wasn't supposed to live is an exuberant 9 month old.

The waiting has come to an end. A tender appreciation for those wandering in the desert has arisen. If we could only see that God is loving us more than we could possibly imagine during painful situations, and remember to walk in gratitude as He is molding us into the likeness of His image. If we would just immerse in the water and surrender our hearts, how awesome to know that we are being made mature and complete on this journey headed home.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grace and Gratitude

A light rain falls. The leaves glisten, soft pink petals unfold, blooms wait to burst open. A brilliant ray of sunlight peers through gray clouds, each fragile flower stretching toward the warmth. I see God. I see his exquisite artistry and His desire that I soak in the warmth of His Son.

I want to see. I want to see God in the everyday, the mundane. When aggravation overtakes, sibling fights erupt, one mess follows another, then another, and the laundry piles grow never giving way to completion...I want to see. Chaos fills the atmosphere, stresses soar, and exhaustion encompasses, I must breathe the oxygen of Gods agape love. I want to speak only words that will build and let grace do its work.

I mull over the day..... have I used words today that have torn down or strengthened? Have I exercised His life giving compassion? Do my husband and little boys know and experience God's love everyday?
Selfishness exacerbates. I forget....and then I remember.... God's grace. Grace when the ugly pierces through the stains of sin scarred. Grace... the breath of life to soul.
Have I spoken grace when a harsh word surfaces, acted grace when forgiveness necessitates, and thought grace when plans come to a crossroad?

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

If I would just remember....... gratitude. Gratitude when "self" gets in the way. Gratitude in the monotony of day to day. Gratitude when I cannot muster up the strength to "keep on keeping on". It is when the blessing of everyday is stripped away that I remember the "gift" of the mundane and the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Grace extends and gratitude replaces "self".

I will choose to walk in God's grace, extend God's grace and praise Him on this journey headed home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Miracle

It was the night before our much anticipated doctors appointment. Weeks ago we were told that it was very possible our son was suffering from a rare syndrome that could seize his life. A syndrome that would cause heart failure and make our precious son a candidate for heart transplantation and extensive medical therapy. We purposely did not research this condition until......the night before our long awaited meeting.

Tears filled our eyes as we read the words that were set before us. Prognosis was poor, getting a young heart donor was a difficult and long process, and the average life span was decreased by 20 percent. These were but a few of the many conditions associated with this syndrome.

The news was overwhelming. We had been hit by a truck. Blind sighted....the information was beginning to sink in. Our lives were about to be changed....forever. We had already been on an emotional roller coaster and now this. My chest was heavy, I couldn't breathe. This is not the life I had envisioned for our son. Why my baby? How come he couldn't keep up with other kids? He is always so tired. I cried, I sobbed uncontrollably. I ran up the stairs and lay in the bed with my precious angel. I put my hand over his heart and cried out to God. I begged, pleaded, and wailed.....God PLEASE heal my baby. Please sow his heart back together. Mend him Lord, you have too. I can't live without him! I don't understand!
I heard footsteps approaching as Ryan entered our little boys room. He lay his hand over his tiny chest and together we mourned. We grieved, overcome with agony.
We left the room and sat on the porch. All was silent. We were left with anguishing thoughts that encompassed our very being. Tears filled both of our eyes.... again. The disparaging news was still sinking in. This was completely beyond our control and there was absolutely nothing we could do except trust God. Austin was after all..... His child.
Exhaustion took over and somehow sleep gave way.

The day had arrived.
We anxiously entered the brightly colored office. Our hearts beat rapidly while thoughts and fears flew wild.
The testing began. I sat beside our precious Austin, his little hand tucked in mine, staring at the images that lay before us. The tears began to well. He had been through so many specialists, tests, and procedures.
Our little man was so brave and such a "tough guy".
The battery of tests continued. We feared the absolute worst. Minutes turned into hours of waiting. What was about to be disclosed would change the course of our lives. NOTHING could have prepared us for what we were about to hear.
"We have repeated his tests and they are normal". "His heart is mildly enlarged", "There is no evidence of any risk factors for Barth syndrome". "I am not concerned, however we will continue to follow him". WHAT??? We repeated his statements over and over not sure if we heard correctly. The cardiac geneticist, unclear as to the urgency of our visit, offered reassurance that our little boy was overall healthy except for an iron deficient anemia. GOD IS AWESOME AND SO VERY FAITHFUL!!!!!

We were overjoyed and dumbfounded. Hurriedly, we walked down the street to our next appointment. Again, minutes turned into hours and hours of waiting. Once more, nothing could have prepared us for what was about to be reported.
Our son was not immunosuppressed. A simple injection would jump start the immune system. Some fine tuning was all that was needed. Again, unsure if we had heard correctly, the information was repeated. Yes, all he needs is an injection. There is no major concern and no need for medical therapy or intervention.

Emotion was rampant. As mommy and daddy looked into each others eyes, we COULD NOT believe that our God had so graciously answered our cries. He is so faithful to His promises and is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. Isn't it just like our our precious Father to give THE BEST mothers day gift? I stood and claimed Jeremiah 29:11....For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! God is true to his promise. He has given our precious little man hope and a future. There are no words to express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father. As we continue our journey through life, yet I will praise Him!

Thank you is an injustice in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have embarked on this journey with us. Those of you who have sent Scripture, meals, words of encouragement, and started prayer chains....we are deeply humbled and so very grateful. May God richly bless each and every one of you.

More blogs to follow