Friday, February 26, 2010

Tummy Bug

We are not feeling so good around here today. There is a tummy bug going around and we have definitely caught it. So, since smiles are pretty scarce around here today I thought I would post some pictures of a happier day.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The verse that God has continually brought to me over and over is this...

2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their WICKED ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

The Holy Spirit spoke this verse to me in my kitchen not to long ago.

It was confirmed again when my mom was given the same verse the same day.

Now I am even seeing it on church signs less than a mile from my home.

I hear you, Lord.

I am learning to be humble before Him. (literally taking the posture of going face down)
I am learning how to really pray. (this takes a lot of time for me)
I am learning to seek Him through His Word. (no easy task to search scripture)

But am I turning from my WICKED ways?
-jealousy( we like to blow it off but to God it is sin and it is WICKED)
-pride (we don't want to lose face but to God it is sin and therefore WICKED)
-unbelief (we act like we believe God but when push comes to shove we don't and that is WICKED)
-vanity (wanting to look a certain way and thinking about it too much....WICKED)

We somehow reserve the term WICKED for the biggies like murder, abuse, rape, and theft.

I have to remind myself that sin is sin. Sin is wickedness even if it is glossed over by my lip gloss and cute shoes.

Truthfully, I don't want to turn from my wicked ways...and most other beleivers I know have a hard time with it too. Pursuing godliness calls us higher, it feels a lot harder, and points out our sin. It requires some time on our knees and studying (not just a devotional) of His Word.

It makes us different.

Especially from other believers. That may be more uncomfortable to me than being different from the world. We look at those seriously pursuing God like they have some type of disease. We make them the outcasts instead of encouraging them and wanting what they have.


The gumption to do right. To say yes to God and no the this world.

Lord I am eat up with wickedness. I can cover it with the best of them but You and I both know it is there. It brews under the surface at a low simmer. I am judgemental, arrogant, selfish, jealous, self-righteous, and full of doubt. Give me gumption to see my own wickedness and call it what it is. Help me not to make excuses for myself or my sin. Help me not to compare myself to others but to see You as my standard. I don't have a clue where to study in Your Word so I am just reading whatever I land on. Guide me. Speak to me. Help me pray more and claim the power that You died to give me. I accept Your grace and mercy and again I say thank you for saving me.

I started out with the verse from 2 Chronicles and I have camped out on our obligation to God....the good news is what He says He will do once we have done our part....

"then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land."

I want to take Him up on that offer.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fighting for every inch....

seems hopeless when it seems there are miles and miles and miles to go.

I haven't written because I have been shaking my fists at God.

I have declared praise to God for Caroline's desire to eat. She loves it. She wants it. Each day we try new things and watch as she either likes or dislikes it.

Yes, God has given her the "want to" but He has not chosen to give her the ability to eat. By ability I mean allowing her to feed herself or help us. She is still completely dependant on us to feed her.

Feeding her is and continues to be work...hard work.

She eats best lying down. Yes, I said lying down.

Why? Because she has very bad head control....meaning she can't hold her head up for very long periods of time and so if you put food in and her head falls....guess where the food goes. Yep. It falls out of her mouth and onto her clothes, the floor, and her hair mostly. We average going through about 3 dish towels and countless paper towels while trying to feed her one meal.

Now if she is lying down she doesn't have to fight for head control and she can simply focus on eating.

(Back to raising my fists at God)

Going through this every day and several times a day is tiresome and frustrating at best.

So, I have gotten angry.

Why would He give her the desire and not the capability?
Have we waited seven and a half years for this....the "want to"?
What is the miracle in this?
When He healed people in the Word, He did it instantly. Is every little advancement Caroline has going to be a fight for us?

Lord, I am ashamed. I know that You alone have awakened this desire in Caroline to eat. I am grateful to watch her enjoy the new tastes of things. But, what now? Nothing else has changed. If you are going to heal her in a progression...just how slow is it going to be? I feel like I fight for faith each day. I fight for any hope I have. I am tired of fighting. It seems I only gain an inch at a time and still I feel beat.
I am only writing these horrible thoughts on this blog because I feel You desire for me to be real. You remind me all the time that faith isn't pretty. Well, here it is. Mine is a wreck. I am stubbornly holding on to what You have told us while looking for physical proof that You are working to make it happen. I am utterly confused at what you are doing. I know that doesn't stop or change Your plan but I just need to get it out.

I feel a little bit teased like the kid who got to put one foot inside the candy store only to be told he couldn't go on inside. He just had to stay where he was....

That is how I feel. It felt like something was happening. Something was changing in her...she is beginning to eat. The excitement the anticipation day after day...wanting to see more...just knowing that we would. Only no....nothing more. Just more working to try to feed her so that food will stay in. Lord, I want to run in full blast to that candy store and taste all that there is to taste.

I know I can only see this from my pitiful view. I am sure You smile as You allow me to throw a fit like a 2 year old. Your patience is unbelievable. I know I have no right to ask anything of You. I am reminded of how you put Job in his place real quick. Thank you for tearing the veil so that Your children can run to Your throne and throw themselves on Your mercy.

"If you need wisdom- if you want to know what God wants you to do-ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking." James 1:5

Fighting for every inch....

Monday, February 15, 2010

A rare treat for us Georgia folks...

If you want to see if you are still a child at heart...let it snow a few inches and that will be a good test for you.

I I hope these pictures give you some indication of the pure fun we had at a friend's house this past weekend. They have some land, with great slopes for sledding and a creek that was gorgeous draped in the snowfall.

We all took turns on the sleds. We went belly down, bottom down, standing up, and a few of us paid for it later. How is that wrist, Mande??
The kids loved it. We loved it. We wanted to just play, fall, run, and soak in all the fun that we could before it slowly melted away.

Sometimes it is such a fun change to see smiles on everyone's faces for no reason other than the weather. A beautiful and rare snow to bless us. I firmly believe God loves watching His kids make fool's of themselves and having a ball.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a FIRST for me...

As I blogged before, we are amazed at the change Caroline has taken in her "want to" for eating.

She has been completely g-tube fed for her entire life. She has NEVER shown much of an interest in food. We have always offered her what we had to eat, but she would shut down.

This transition is a bit surreal for me...and this morning it got even better.

Caroline over heard me talking to her little sister about preparing her lunch to take to school. She immediately began to kick and make noises to indicate that she too would like to be included in that deal.

So----there it was-----something so simple. She wanted me to make her a lunch to take to school.

You can't imagine how it felt.

I couldn't wait! I was getting to do this for her for the first time ever.

It was surreal.

I look forward with eager anticipation for many more "first times."

a first word
a first step
a first hug
a first kiss
a first dance
a first question
a first answer
a first time hearing her pitter-patter through out the house
a first time playing "dress up" with her sister
a first prayer

I am in awe of YOU tonight. Lord, I don't know what else to say. Words fail me but you know how full my heart is. Today was so special. I will never forget what it felt like. Thank you for that. You already know I am so ready for more....more....more....but again I ask for patience and peace during your time line. Help me savor each moment...we want to remember it all. Every bit of thankfulness I have belongs to You. I am humbled to be her mother and Your child.

a FIRST for me...

a FIRST for me...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shout to the Lord!!

We are having to make wonderful adjustments at our house.

A switch has been flipped and Caroline has become my little piggy.

She eats all the time. She wants it all the time. It is like a part of her has awakened and she is ready to make up for lost time.

I must praise Him!
I am in awe of His works!
I am blessed to witness the wonder of this miracle in the making!

I have just been giddy with God and telling him how awesome this He doesn't know?!?

If the rest of her healing comes like her appetite has then it will be a sight to behold.

The "was not" now "is".
The "could not" is now "can do".

He is doing the impossible right before us.

Hallelujah! Praise You Lord!

I want to also add that these are probably the hardest days that Shep and I have had to endure. We have been facing financial, spiritual, and emotional giants that seemed to loom over us and brag of their victory.

He is doing a "new" thing in the face of these giants. The giants are still there. Nothing has really changed in our circumstances...they still look dire. But, in His sovereignty, he has chosen this time to bless us beyond the natural realm.

No amount of money could buy us the hope and joy that He has begun to show us in Caroline.

Of course, I want to jump way ahead of Him (like always) and begin thinking that this is the beginning of her healing. I want to just sit, wait, and watch.

Oh God help me not to get ahead of you. Help me to follow where you lead. You know how long we have waited and how much we want this. You've seen each tear and heard each plea. Give me strength for each day as needed. Fill me with Your Spirit so I won't allow the old Andrea to take over and do her own thing. I am so excited to see her so adamant about eating. Continue to work in her little body. Strengthen her head control so eating will be even better. We desire to see her frail frame fill out, her weak limbs to become strong and functioning, her mouth to speak and sing but most of all for YOU to be glorified above everything else. Your time is best. Help me rest in that.

"Our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever."

Friday, February 5, 2010


I just wanted to quickly send out a note. I confessed to our ladies Bible study group that I had not written on my blog this week because I didn't want to write my thoughts.

Actually, I am a bit cautious about sharing my thoughts.

Caroline's appetite is unbelievable! She wants to eat all the time. Her head control is still bad (which makes eating very difficult) but she WANTS it.

She has been eating popcorn, cereal, chips, ice cream, and anything else we offer her.

She has also been more interested in drinking from a sippy cup. She actually took 2 oz by mouth at two separate feedings the other day totaling 4 oz in all. She has NEVER done that!

Here is where I am cautious....I don't want to get too excited. That may sound crazy to you, but Caroline has done this before where she has had seasons of success only to regress later. That has happened so many times that Shep and I have become somewhat guarded about allowing ourselves to be too excited.

This is where I have come on this.

I praise Him.
My soul delights in Him.
I will honor and praise Him for what we have seen.
I am not going to get ahead of myself and try not to focus on what has happened before.

Today is today. We are seeing progress.
Praise God!

I ask for more.
I pray the complete healing is close at hand.
No matter what...I praise my God and Savior for all He has done!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pretty is as pretty does...

Ava and I went to a little friend's birthday party. It was a lot of fun and she enjoyed herself immensely, other than wanting every gift the little girl got. (surely that is an age thing)
The party's theme allowed the girls to dress up in their fancy dresses. Ava had picked her dress out and she even wanted me to put her hair up in a bun, with a tiara completing her look.
After we had been there a while, she came toward me with a sad face and plopped down into my lap. When I asked her what was wrong, she whispered.."I don't look as pretty as________."
Oh my Lord, are you kidding me?
Are we already dealing with insecurity at 4 years old?
I had not been prepared for that one. I tried to re-group and think quickly to give her a response.
I told her that every girl in the room was beautiful. I explained to her that none of them even compared to her in my eyes because she is mine. I will always think she is beautiful.
I pray I will live out the old adage that says, "pretty is as pretty does."
Right now, Ava can really only comprehend outward beauty. I try to take opportunities to point out kindness, gentleness, obedience, sharing, integrity, and patience are also characteristics of beauty.
She doesn't get it, yet. It is my job to show her through my life..
how I handle things...
do I forgive easily...
am I giving...
am I patience...kind...gentle...truthful.
These are traits that I want her to say are true about me. They will make me beautiful once the hair color and smooth skin have been replaced by wrinkles and gray.
True beauty lasts.....
This scares me to death and it should. Lord, help me in this. You know better than anyone how selfish and mean I can be in my flesh. I hate those things about me. I ask you for the power of the Holy Spirit to show me those places that need Your attention. Make me beautiful in the truest sense of the word. Give my daughters a picture through me....