Monday, November 25, 2013

The Basket

          When faced with situations where the outcome is uncertain, unpredictable and out of our control, what is our response? 
            For weeks I have mulled over what to write, what to say to the hundreds of people I know are following our journey. Do I write about Anger, Fear or just complain about life and how tired I am? Until this morning I have had the clarity of a fog cloud. Not just about how to proceed with a blog post, but how to proceed with life in general.
            I have been reading a book by Angie Smith called Mended - pieces of life made whole. This morning the chapter I read really hit me. I was reminded of Moses and his infant story. At this time in history the nation of Israel lived as slaves in Egypt. They had been living under a law that all Hebrew male infants were to be taken and killed. Moses mother had kept in hiding and realized that she couldn't hide him much longer. She had to give up her precious time with him, she had to give up her control of him and the situation. I sit and imagine his mother weaving this water reed basket, tears streaming down her face, heart aching, begging God in some way to spare the life of her child. Weaving, unsure and afraid that this crafted, beautiful basket could be where her son would face a tragic end. A question comes to mind when sitting, thinking, and putting myself in her world. I am struck with may questions, but the one that stands out the most to me is this, "why would she choose to put him in an alligator infested Nile river, rather than allow him to be taken by the soldiers?" Wouldn't both be certain death? Didn't each have the same end result? 
             Sometimes I love reading a story where the unknown is left for you to figure out or rather come to your own thought of what the 'happily ever after' is. I admire Moses' mother. I feel her pain as I read this story. I vividly see her pleading for answers, answers to her "why?" As I sit and just let my mind fall into the story, I am confronted with some very challenging thoughts. This women put her complete trust in God, his power and his plan. Even if that meant she wouldn't get her way. Can you imagine the day that basket was finished? The day her faith was tested int the greatest way. Moses' mother was not just placing her child in the basket, she was giving his end, his future, her hopes, dreams concerns and control completely over to God.
              What is it right now that you have zero control over and are still holding on to? It may be anger, discontentment, fear. It could be frustrations with work, ministry or health. It could be a friend or family member struggling with sickness or perhaps even death. It may be infertility, baby loss or even the fear of losing a child. Together this morning let us place whatever our concerns our burdens and our aching hearts into the basket. Let us walk together to the river, cast it out from shore, pushing with whatever strength we have left. Pushing the basket into the hands of the God who loves you and cares so deeply for your hurts and heartache.
              Put it all into the basket.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Forming us

         With Your hands You formed us, and with our hands we serve You! 

 Little did I know 5 months ago what meaning this phrase would have in my life.  

  About 10 weeks ago, knowing that Lliam had a cystic hygroma I was honestly searching for something. Some phrase to keep me going, some verse, some.. something. My search ended with this verse
   " Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who alone spread out the earth by myself,  ...who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolishness."

 During this season of our lives as Lliam has continued to grow, continued to show signs to the Doctors that they couldn't explain; I have repeatedly gone back to this. It is God who formed him, and continues to form his very life. But really He is not only forming and knitting together this little life, He is forming me. Forming me into the person He desires me to be. On my own, I want to keep to myself, talk to no one about this and cope with denial. I have done that, and it doesn't work. It does not offer the peace that this realization does. The realization that the God who formed Lliam, who made all things, spoke them into existence,  it is my God who is forming me and if He is forming me like clay then guess where I am?? In the safest place, the palm of His hand. Wow... yes there will be times and has been times I loose the focus of that, but really think about that for a minute.  

I hate to alienate some of you from all of this with these statements, but know my heart. I am not trying to shove this down your throat I am just sharing how we are having peace, joy, hope in the midst of what seems hopeless. I love you all and hope that you will continue on this journey through this season of our lives.

 All of this comes together with the events of today. Our appointment. Darrell and I went into the ultrasound room, holding our breath as usual, wondering if today was going to be the day of great sorrow.  Well.. heart beat was even stronger today, our tech then looked at me and said.. "Do you see that? He doesn't have fluid around his heart, its completely gone!"  Then next she was looking at the abdominal wall,  "and do you see this? I cant believe it, but that looks so much better than it did even two weeks ago!" Me in my lack of faith and realist mindset asked "ok, are you sure; are you just trying to be positive?"  She looked at me knowingly and said "not at all, honey, it is improving."  
  Next was our visit with the Doctor, who also said that she could not believe how much he had improved over the course of 2 weeks. "Not wanting to raise up your hopes, but he is somehow doing much better. His heart is working well and seems even stronger."  Looking back at her with tears in my eyes, I said "it's prayer".

  We have a rough road still ahead, but right now nothing new is presenting itself as an added concern.  My heart is filled with gratitude for all of the prayers, encouragement, thoughts and love sent our way and on our behalf. Thank you all.

I will leave you with this...
     With his hands he formed us and with our hands we will serve him -
This is the phrase that was on my daughters class project at school. 2 weeks ago after our last appointment, I saw this canvas and longed to have it. The class project was for a fundraiser auction.. you guessed it, the silent kind where parents duke it out to see who can win the coveted piece of art.  I was outbid and honestly disappointed. To my surprise I was  given a sweet gift by a dear friend who knew what it meant to me. I am so humbled and grateful for her sweet act of love. May the message of this canvas inspire you as it has me.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Our month of Miracles - Week 18-22

               Our month of Miracles
         Week 18-22

I just don't even know where to begin. I have been blown away by the amount of prayers. love and thoughts that have been sent our way. I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. 
Week 18-19 proved to be a rough for us.We were told that Lliam's fluid had increased - actually doubled in a week. If it continued at this rate, we wouldn't be carrying him much longer. I was numb. I knew we then needed to make all of his condition known to friends, and family and our church family. 

Week 20
Ultrasounds have become a normal thing at Dr. visits.  At this ultrasound we were told by the tech that the fluid had appeared to be as it was 3 weeks prior. Meaning the doubled fluid and the extra fluid in his chest was no longer present. However, they were detecting a heart arrhythmia, which was not a distressing thing, just an adding concern.
Week 21
I had been pretty much laying down all week. 20 min to 1 hour up trying to clean, do some laundry, keep up with my 3 yr old (which if you knew her,  you would know she moves around like the Tasmanian devil) then needing to lay down for 2 hours. This is our daily rhythm. For about 2 weeks on and off I have dealt with braxton hicks and have been told to lay down and make sure they stop. (OK easier said than done, right?!)
This brings us to yesterday,
 21 weeks 5 days.
After taking Isabella (our 7 yr old) to school, I started having pretty painful contractions. I decided to call the doctor, ended up back in an ultrasound room with the uncertainty of the day looming in the air. It was a new tech this time. She had been running behind all day. I was a "work-in" so I figured it would be an in and out kind of thing. She asked what I was sent up for. I gave her all of the facts, she proceeded to do the ultrasound. Instantly, she found the baby, and I could see the heart beating (I am getting really good at looking for that BTW).  Then I noticed a lot of measuring taking place. She proceeded to take the time to give me the most detailed ultrasound I have had to date. Measuring fluids, head, she even measured growth for me! He is still growing according to chart and had a very strong heartbeat. She checked for the arrhythmia that was seen last time, and didn't find it!  
I left the ultrasound room with a full disk of pictures, printed pictures, 3d images of his face, and an overwhelmed heart of gratitude for this lady. She didn't have to take the time to go to such detail, but she did.  I just kept thanking her for the gift she was giving me, the gift of seeing my little boy. His hands, his feet, his cute little profile. He looks like our girls. All of their ultrasound profiles look identical. These are things that I didn't think that I would ever get to know about him. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. Gratitude for this day, for a tech that took time to care, for a God of miracles showing me yet again His Love for me and for my son.