Friday, January 29, 2010

I don't know

If I had to give myself a grade on my behavior at the meeting I would say B- or C+.

I sat next to Caroline and basically observed.

The Dynavox machine is a marvel. It is also incredibly complex to learn.

Caroline's teachers will do most of the learning right now and then begin to guide her on how to use it. It will be difficult to bring this machine home until an extended school break. The machine itself is mounted to her wheelchair at school.

Our van does not currently have a wheelchair lift and one person cannot lift it. So transporting it is a hurdle right now.

I don't know why I still have a "gut feeling" that is negative about this. Maybe Caroline will surprise us all and be a whiz on it in no time. That could happen.

For me, as a busy wife and mother of 3 I just became a bit overwhelmed at the possibility of adding yet something else to my plate.

I can't imagine it. When I am at home I don't stop. You mothers know the deal. Everyone else and everything else comes first and HAS to get done. So to me, this seems like a huge time investment that I simply don't have. Not to mention...2 other children who will need attention from me.

I just don't know...
I don't know what to think...
I don't pretend to know the mind of God...
I don't understand why this seems so illogical....

What I do know is God told me to TRUST HIM.

So---that is that.

Trust and all comes back to that. Simple. The basics.

As one who is trying her best to do is hard. It hurts. I want to scream out and say, "Lord, haven't we had enough? Isn't our faith pleasing to you? Don't these past 7 and a half years mean anything?"

Instead of doing that.....I'll do this....I'll cling with all I have to His Word.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you TRUST in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That is a good swap, don't you think???

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

He sees

My Holy Spirit alarm clock woke me at 5 a.m. this morning. I laid there and did what I normally do when this occurs, I asked God who I was supposed to pray for and then I wait for people to come to mind.

There were a few names and I lifted them up, but what I felt God was saying to me was, "Get up out of these warm sheets and go to a place where I can speak and you can listen."

I did just that.

(Secretly, I didn't really want to get out of bed but I ask God all the time to speak to me, so my comfort doesn't really matter when I am being drawn by the King of the Universe. Ya think?? Lord, help me. How many times have I just stayed comfortable and in bed when He just wanted to meet with me?

Anyway, I started working on my Bible study and as I did I began to see God's point.

( Before I fill you in on my circumstance at hand, just know that some of you will judge my feelings. You will not understand my position. I would just say to be careful about casting a verdict on me when you haven't been there.)

Today, I am going to go do something that I dread. Everyone else is very excited but not me. Caroline's dynavox device is going to be delivered to her school today and so I am going to be trained in its use.

-I don't understand why she needs this very expensive device if God is going to heal her...
-I also somehow feel that if she gets this device then God won't heal her...

I don't defend these thoughts. They just stay in my head.

God showed me through his Word and the life of Hagar that "he sees me."

He knows I don't understand.
He knows I don't like it one bit.
He knows I don't want to do it.
He knows I dread it.

I think He is o.k. with all of that. But He is also urging me to trust Him in this.

This is a "do-over" for me.

The last time I was at her school discussing this device...I lost it! Her teachers could tell I was against it and by the time I got to my car I was bawling. This device makes me feel like I have given up hope of her healing.

My "do-over" is today. Guess what? My feelings haven't really changed. I still want to bawl when I think about it. I am still against it in my gut. I don't get it and I want to tell God how this doesn't fit in my plans.

El Roi...the God who sees knows all of this.

He says to me, "I know your feelings on this issue. I have heard your cry. I am telling you to focus on trusting me in the midst of it.

So, as I enter that school today, I will go in will a clear focus of trust in my Lord instead of dwelling on how I will feel.

Pray for me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Good Stuff

Last last entry was so precious to me!

She hasn't stopped, although the chocolate milk part has slowed down. She doesn't seem as interested in that now.

She is interested in fruit loops, mini-marshmallows, and ice cream. It is a wonderful change in our girl!

I am loving watching her WANT things....I wait in expectation at the things next to come!

I wanted to include some neat quotes that I have gotten to read in the past few days. They are short and sweet but thought provoking as well...

"Readiness and ability for any work is not given before the work, but only through the work." Andrew Murray

"Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation." Andrew Murray

"The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender." William Booth

"The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction." C.H. Spurgeon

"The best prayers have often more groans than words." John Bunyon

"The greatest fault is to be conscious of none." Thomas Carlyle

"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me." Martin Luther

I don't know about you but some of those quotes can actually bring tears to my eyes. It is like God is preaching a sermon in the midst of those words.

Our guest speaker spoke out of the passage in Revelation that deals with being "lukewarm".

That passage should scream to believers everywhere to stop and evaluate themselves according to God's standard.

When I am is ALL ABOUT ME.
If I am happy...or not.
If I am bored...or not.
If I am satisfied...or not.
If I am whatever....or not.

When I am in God's will....full of passion and is ALL ABOUT HIM.
He is my joy!
He is my life!
He satisfies me!
He fills in all the blanks in my life.

Lord thank you for being about NEWness. Set me apart God. Use me in your Kingdom. Don't let me become lukewarm like I am so prone to do. Keep me at your feet. Keep me in line. On my own, I am lazy and selfish....I hate that about myself. Help me cry out to you for satisfaction. Speak to me God I am listening. Show me my sin so I can repent and stay close to you. I love you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This mom turned to mush...

tonight as I held my 7 and a half year old girl in my arms and watched as she drank milk that was poured into her mouth.

The last time I witnessed success like this from Caroline was in the NICU. That was over 7 years ago. Back then she would actually take 70-80 cc's by mouth. (that wasn't much but it was something) was like she just shut down. It was like food became her enemy. My heart was broken because I felt like a failure to not be able to feed my baby.

She wanted nothing and I mean NOTHING to do with food or liquid being put in her mouth.

She has remained mostly this way until lately.

She has seemed incredibly interested in food.

Because of her poor head control, it is difficult for Caroline to keep food in her mouth. It often comes out as easily as it goes in.

Her g-tube is and always has been an absolute necessity because she has never been able to sustain life by eating. Most days these last 7 plus years, she hasn't allowed anything in her

Shep and I always offer her bits of what we are eating and sometimes we may have marginal success. What I mean by that is she may keep 4-6 tiny bits down.

These past days she is wanting more and more. She still struggles with keeping it in but the "want to"is huge.

This morning she kept looking over at the "left-over" of Ava's chocolate milk. I asked her if she would like to taste it and she smiled and began jumping with her legs over to the sippy cup. I held her in my lap at an angle and poured the milk in her mouth. (the sippy cup is so old the milk literally runs out now)

She didn't protest. She swallowed. She smiled.

When I pulled the cup away she wanted more.

I guess she drank 2+ ounces in all.

Well, tonight she wanted it again.

So, of course, I scooped her up and fed her in my lap with that sippy. She drank again. She smiled. She was really enjoying it.

I made Shep take pics with his phone and call our parents.

This may not be BIG to you but to us it is HUGE!

I leaned down to her pretty face and thanked her for this experience. I told her how proud I was of her trying and wanting to drink and eat. I told her how much I had longed to feed her over these years and she just smiled with pride. I told her that I treasured each second with her. I told her that it was worth it. I told her that I pray God is teaching her how to eat. I melted because she and I both know how many times we have attempted to do this and it would usually end in tears for both of us.

Not today.

Psalm 126:5 "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
So many times I have cried myself to sleep praying for this. Thank you for the joy of this experience. I have longed for the day to watch her want to eat AND enjoy the process. Today, I witnessed both. I witnessed a miracle and only You Lord really know what it meant to me. I rejoice in You. I rejoice in what has been and what is to come.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Could you.....Would you??

Our pastor preached about being filled and led by the Spirit yesterday.

He is going through the book of Romans in a verse by verse way and I really enjoy it.

He was finishing up Romans chapter 7 and preparing to dive into the first part of chapter 8. He began to compare the two chapters.

Chapter 7 uses the word "I" lots of times.
Chapter 8 uses the words "Holy Spirit" lots of times.

In chapter 7 Paul describes being at war with himself....wanting to do right but giving in to worldliness. Chapter 8 takes on a new describes one being filled and led by the Holy Spirit rather than always trying to do things in their own strength.

He asked us this question, "Which one are you...a chapter 7 christian or a chapter 8 christian?

Obviously I want to be led and filled by the Spirit, but am I?

I caught a glimpse of a picture of me 7 and a half years ago. Of course, time has done its thing and I look older. However, I noticed another subtle change. Years of sorrow and pain have taken away a lightness that I once had. I don't feel that I have that now.

That girl (the one in the picture 7 plus years ago) would have told you that she was spirit led. She would have told you that she loved Jesus and wanted to be full of His Spirit.

Now, I know better.

She didn't really want to be led by the Spirit or filled with the Spirit.

She wanted to be left alone. Her life was rocking along just fine.

My thoughts would have been something like, "Leave me alone God and let me get around to being full of You in my own way."

Yeah, see...that doesn't happen so much. Not that I see.

Do you really want it?
Do you really want to be full of Him and His will?
Do you really want to let go of what you want and say "yes" to what He wants for you?

-What if He takes away your dreams?
-What if He allows your heart to be broken repeatedly?
-What if He lets your faith be pushed to limits you didn't think you could take?

-Would you want Him then or would you just go your own way?

For me, I am understanding something today.

I am sure that I am an embarrassment to all special needs parents out there. I apologize to you. I struggle so much at this job. I get frustrated. I lose it (my cool) everyday. I grow tired of watching and wanting so much for my child.

Let me be very clear...I adore my girl.
I think she is gorgeous and perfect.
She is funny. She is smart. She is delightful in so many ways.

Let me also be clear about the pain that goes along with it....
it never ends.
It is an unexplainable ache.

Here I sit...
my dreams shattered...
my heart broken...
my faith shaken...

and somehow I do still want more of Him.

I don't really know how that is possible. All I know is that only now when I am forced to be desperate does that answer really seem sincere.

Could you?
Would you?

What if your child was stricken today?
What if you got a diagnosis that seemed hopeless?
What if you lost your spouse?

I am spent most days. I know (from trying so hard) that Andrea can't possibly make it. I know I need a Savior every single second of every single day. I know myself too well.

I am not really sure that one can sincerely choose to want more of God if you are living a comfortable and mostly happy life. You can't know that you want it...much less need it.

I have had to be forced into this....

I have only bent the knee when pain, sorrow, and brokenness has made me.

Romans 8:17 "Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Music moves me. It can speak to me in ways that other things don't. This is probably one reason I love to sing. I feel like I can be more expressive through song lyrics than speaking any day.

Well, today I was moved in just that way by a song in my laundry room. I was folding clothes and thinking and praying about the Haiti situation and many other people that I am praying for with seemingly impossible odds.

I had my cd player going and Martina McBride's song "Do It Anyway" was playing. I was singing at the top of my lungs when God spoke just those words to me.

We have thoughts like...

"My prayers won't change anything."
"Why should I pray for something that probably won't matter?"
"These people don't know me and will never know if I pray or not."
"It seems like I pray all the time and nothing happens."
"This situation is too big/bad for my little prayer to make a difference.

Well, I challenge you...just like God challenged me. DO IT ANYWAY.

Do it because it is right.
Do it because He tells us to.
Do it to build your faith.
Do it to learn to pray better.

Here are the amazing lyrics that God used to talk to me...


You can spend your whole life buildin
something from nothin
One storm can come and blow it all away (I thought about all the people in Haiti right now)

You can chase a dream
that seems so out of reach
And you know it may not ever come your way

God is great
but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
it doesn't always seem to work out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy
And it hard to believe
That tomorrow could be better than today

You can love someone with all your heart
for all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away

You can pour your soul out singin
a song you believe in
that tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang

Ps. 141:2 "May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thank you!

You never know when you are going to speak "hope" to someone.

I looked up "hope" online and these were a few of the results:

-something that is hoped for
-to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
-to believe, desire, or trust
-to feel that something desired may happen
-(my favorite) hope against hope; to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it.

Isn't that last one good?

I hope you have something that you are believing God for in that way. It will stretch you. It will push you. It will strengthen you. It will bless you. It will make you bend your will.

As many of you know....I am believing for God to heal my very handicapped little girl.
-I am hoping against hope.
-I am continuing to hope although the outlook doesn't warrant it.

I want to share with you and say thank you to a few people who have spoken "hope" to me.

Paren, thank you for being invested now. You are right. When He heals will rock your world too because of your time spent praying for it to happen.

Wendy, thank you for sharing with me what God showed you. Thank you for unlocking your mind to the fact that God is bigger that medical constraints. Thank you for admitting to me what you had always thought and what you think now.

Liz, thank you for simply saying...."When He heals won't always be this way" in one of our conversations. You don't know how many people just ignore the topic and never think to encourage me in that way. That little word, "when" lifted my spirits so much.

I don't know if these girls even read my blog. But, each one of them spoke hope to me in this last week. They ministered to me. They fought the enemy on my behalf without even knowing it I am sure.

Each day that passes is one more that I wonder if I have been wrong about it all. So, when someone speaks hope and shows me that they are standing with and beside me in my faith, it somehow lightens the load.

Ps. 62:5 "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him."

I would be incredibly rude if I did not say that God has provided a wall of people around me who tirelessly encourage me and speak "hope" on a continual basis. If I did not have these people I would be a mess. I see Christ in and through them all the time. They are His hands and feet and speak His truth to me constantly.


I love you so.......I can't wait to rejoice and party with you when our faith becomes sight!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Through Smoke

Exodus 19:17-19
Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God , and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and loud. Then Moses spoke and called out and the voice of God answered him.

I don't know how this passage of the Bible hits you but I am intrigued.

I was listening to a song I love called "Through Smoke". The group that sings it is Needtobreathe and they are amazing. I highly suggest you check them out.

We are taught to stay away from smoke and fire. We are taught to fear it...respect it...flee from it...and warn others to move away. We know it can damage and destroy.

But have you thought about the Consuming Fire that is your God?
Do you fear Him?
Do you respect Him?
Do you flee from Him?

I always love to focus on the lighter and more easy attributes of know the ones: grace, mercy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and love.

However, more equally important parts of Him are power, might, justice, holiness, and an awe-inspiring Creator who is a Consuming Fire.

My life is fraught with things I just don't understand.

I question my faith constantly.
I falter and doubt at any moment of weakness.
I read the Word and wonder where the God of the miraculous is hiding.

Could it be that He is the arsonist behind this raging fire of doubt and confusion that is my life?
Will I still seek Him through all of this smoke?

I want to run and hide. I want to cover my head and get away from it. I want to lay low until the smoke clears and I can see again. The haze and heaviness makes it so hard to see and my judgement is skewed.

If He is the fire....then there is no real danger.

If I remember it correctly there were a few fellas who were thrown in a fiery furnace and their clothes never even smelled of smoke.

Anyway, I am rambling but this is good for me. This song ministered to are some of the lyrics.....

Through Smoke

Before the truth will come to fill our lives
The wool comes down in the form of fire
And when the answers and the truth have cut their ties
Will you still find Me?
Will you still see Me---through smoke.

I was born in a house in a town just like your own
I was raised to believe in the power of the unknown
Cause when the answers and the truth take different sides
Will you still find me
Will you still see me---through smoke.

When their whispers have painted pictures that
Make you doubt what you once believed in
Paper stories that hide the glory
To keep us searching
Through smoke.

Who do you believe when you can't get through
When everything you know seems so untrue
When I'm lost in a place I thought I knew
Give me some way that I might find you.....through smoke.

Exodus 20:18-21
When the people saw the thunder and the lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled in fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I love the idea of "new".

I love getting new things...clothes, jewelry, books, make-up, and on and on.

I also love the idea of a new year.


So many possibilities lay out before us...

New chances to take...

New moments to experience...

New memories to make....

New choices to deliberate...

I have thought a great deal about making a resolution for this new year. I have listened to others' resolutions and I admire them a lot. However, I know me. I have wrestled in my mind of what to do. I think it is good for a person to make their will bend. So many people (including me) hear of something hard and say, "I can't do that" or "That would just be too hard". So we give up before we try. We don't even give the Holy Spirit within us a chance to show us what He can do through us.

Here is what I have come up with.....To be inspired by Christ and inspire others toward Christ.

As much as I want Caroline healed or our financial situation to be improved....I would still be left wanting if those two things were different.

Yes, life would be immeasurably easier but easy doesn't push me toward Christ. Easy makes me indifferent and lazy to Him. Hard and desperate are two things that I hate but appreciate because they push me (kicking and screaming) toward my God.

I pray that in 2010, no matter what may come, that I would wake up each day waiting to be inspired by my Lord and His Word. I pray that I would put off pride and fall before Him with baited breath just waiting to hear what He would say to me. I pray that I could face the day before me with joy, thanksgiving, and anticipate what He has in store. I pray others would know that I have been with Jesus by my countenance and a confidence in Him that is both lived and spoken. To be inspired and inspire others.....

A new year...
A new season....
A new chance....

Hopefully.....a new me.