Monday, December 23, 2013

a week from today

A week from today.

A week from today we should know something. SOMETHING!!  at least more than what we know now.

A week from today Wren has her eye appointment with her ophthalmologist.

A week from today I'm hoping to stop constantly wondering.

A week from today I am hoping to stop doing my own "what can she see" tests.

A week from today we might rejoice and high five.
or
A week from today we might mourn.

Its scary how a day can have the potential to change your life and the life of your children. (I say children because it affects all of them.)

We've been here before. We've sat waiting for an appointment. For news. For something. For more than we know now.

And we've mourned.

This time is different though because we are holding Wren. When we found out about Tobys Spina Bifida he was only in my tummy for 20 weeks. We still had 20 weeks to adjust, to mourn and to let life stop a little.

I wish life could just stop right now. I wish I had the time and space to mourn. I know we dont know yet, but honestly I feel like I do. I could be so wrong. I could come back in 8 days and go, WOW I was so wrong. She can see fine. But really I dont think that will be the case. I see her next to other babies and just know.

But oh I will happily eat those words.

Just pray. As your life moves on and our life moves on. I'm asking you to pray. I dont want to hear how she will be fine. How God will heal her. How we shouldnt worry. I just ask you to pray.

This is the scary place. This is the terrifying place. This is the place of constant wonders, what ifs and what will we dos.  We will be past this place in a week.

We will be in a new place. But right now that place is scary because that place in unknown. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Desperation

We are a desperate bunch.

Us Christian Moms. We try so hard to do it all and be it all.

At least I am. Join me in the description or not but good grief I know there are times when I reach the point of pure desperation.

Most of the time I'm desperate for fixes or something that will make me feel not so alone in my struggle. How to fix this? How to help this kid do? How to help be a better wife? How can I be a better mother? How can I stop yelling? How can I be more grace filled? How can I home school better? How can I point my kids to the true meaning of Christmas? How can I be a fun mom? How can I ____________________ fill in your blank.

I sit in there in pure desperation and I read and I read. I find blogs, articles, videos and anything I can get my hands on and I read it. How to pray for your husband. How to not yell. How to be a hand-free non cell phone loving mama . (being read on my cell phone and loving it) How to have strength through hard times. How to have grace when your kids spill one more thing. Its all out there. And its just waiting for my desperate little heart to read.

And oh us Christian Moms how we love to hit the "share" button. We love to share our wisdom. Our newest article. Our latest video. Our newest lesson that we have learned from all we have gleaned on the internet. Which isnt bad because really when you find some HOPE you want to hold it and SHOW it to OTHERs who might just need it too.

But when was the last time we sat and truly studied the Bible? When did we get so excited about wisdom gleaned from Gods word? When did I share a verse that God specifically spoke to me about? Oh we will quote John Piper and Ann Voskamp to each other and feel so good and about ourselves. We might even pat ourselves on the back for our utterly deep theology. But when did we get excited about the true study of the Word. Not someone telling us what it means and why it means it. But US studying it out and really finding out what it means. Not an app, not a devotional, not a quick check off our list. But true study and worship.

Because really we are a desperate group. We are constantly searching, finding, sharing, talking and discussing. But when our we going to be desperate enough for the WORD?

Recently and I mean very recently. I got desperate. Truly desperate. Overwhelmed and no way out desperate.  I set down my dumb devotional that focused on things like the holy spirit literally looking like a dove. (say what!?? it says "like a dove") and threw down all my beautiful freedom in Christ to do whatever I wanted book. I set down my phone with all my pretty little apps and distractions (because really instagram was calling to me the whole time I read anything in my Bible) and picked up my Bible. And to be perfectly honest picked up a light green crayon. (cause crayons actually highlite beautifully in the Bible) and started to read. Desperately reading and searching for the answer to my questions because yes some blogs out there are good, some articles out there are great and there are plenty of videos to get me to shed a bunch of tears, but I can now scream from personal experience THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE BIBLE!!! 

So next time you are feeling desperate, can I ask you to get even more desperate? Bypass the blogs, the articles, the videos and the books. And pick up the ONE BOOK. The only Book that really truly has the answers. And then SHARE it. Maybe its not the awesome article that everyone will go oooooooh and awwww. Maybe you wont get multiple comments. But maybe just maybe you might encourage someone else to get desperate enough for their Bible. And maybe just maybe they will share it. And maybe we will see less of John Piper and Ann Voskamp and more of Jesus Christ.

Because Jesus Christ is in the business of changing lives. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Got Grace?

Two blogs in Two days???  My kids must be really well behaved lately or my house must really be a mess.  Ill let you use your imagination of how I have time for this.

Yesterday a dear friend of mine posted an article about breastfeeding.  I'll sum it up for you. Sometimes breast feeding doesn't work out for everyone, sometimes you have reasons for not choosing to nurse. and that's okay. The whole point of the article is that's okay.

This sweet friend posted this article with me in mind. And Ill tell you why. Ill share my secret.

Ready.....

I'm not nursing Wren.

After trying and trying and trying for weeks. After her landing in the hospital with jaundice because she wasn't eating and her bilirubin was sky rocketing I decided to give her a bottle. With much sadness I stuck that bottle in her mouth in a gloomy hospital room with a nurse standing over me. It was lonely, sad, devastating, and depressing. I had lactation consultant after lactation consultant talk to me on the phone, come see me and even a doula try to help with nursing. I did it all and well she just wouldn't nurse. I was seriously fighting depression and would cry at every mention of it.  This is after nursing all of my kids (none of which smoothly in which I fought for months of bleeding and crying and in horrible pain) but we fought through. (toby was the only other one I didn't nurse long and that was again because of the hospital, but again after 4 weeks of driving to the NICU trying to nurse him as much as I could)

So here comes the whole point.....remember the word rambling is in the blog title.

This sweet friend posted this article to encourage me. And what happened? Well to be honest this sweet friend tried to shield me from the remarks, but sometimes that doesn't always happen.

A woman, A believer of Jesus. A follower of Christ. A mom.

Lacked Grace

With no thought of circumstance, with no thought of the pain she might cause, we no thought of any belief but her own, with no thought of anyone but herself she typed words and commented and well

Lacked Grace

A lady who has no idea that my daughter and I have been in the hospital 3xs counting her birth. That this was after having 2 hospitals stays with my son just months before. That I'm trying to balance ministry, homeschooling, being a wife, a  mom and a friend all while trying to nurse. AND that I tried. I did. tried and tried and tried. That I sat with person after person trying to make it work.

And ya know. It just made me sad. Ill be honest. It made me sad for me. Because every time I bring out her bottle I struggle with feeling ashamed. I struggle with wanting to explain our story to people when I put the formula in my grocery cart. Im not even being dramatic. Its humiliating to me. It makes me feel like less of a mom to Wren. It makes me feel vulnerable and like everyone is judging. I hate it.  And guess who did that? Guess who has made moms feel like that (not just me) MOMS!!

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms.

This situation. Yes, made me sad for me. But then it also made me sad for her and for other times that Ive been in her shoes.

Where is our Grace for each other? When did we begin to take our beliefs and decide they were the only way? When did we decide what people should discipline for? How much tv every child should or shouldn't watch? How fits and tantrums should be dealt with? What children should or shouldn't eat?

When did it become okay to snub our noses at the moms who drive through McDonalds? To roll our eyes when we see a child screaming in a store?

Where is our grace for one other?

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms

John 13:34  I John 4:7-8 I Corinthians 16:14 I Peter 4:8

Is the Bible unclear? Have we become unaware of what love is and what it looks like?

I don't think so. We've chosen. And together we've made it okay. 

We've all lacked grace, myself included.

Us. Together.

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms.

We've lacked grace for one another. We've snubbed our noses. Rolled our eyes. Shared articles pointedly. Made comments pointedly. Tried to "teach" those who "just don't get it."  And what have we done.
We've shown our hearts. We've shown what we think of Jesus said.
That is unimportant. unnecessary. or doesn't apply to this situation.

So after this long ramble. I've had to ask myself and I hope you will ask yourself.

Got Grace?
Truly take a deep look and step back from your interactions with other women and ask yourself.
 Do you have Grace?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Broken Babies

Its interesting to me that you can say you have the right view of situations and honestly feel like you do but then a moment something passes through your lips you are kind of stopped with what you really think. Sometimes it just slips right out.

The other day I was telling a friend that had experience the sadness of multiple miscarriages that I had considered offering to be a surrogate mother for her before but then knew she probably wouldn't want me to considering I make "Broken Babies" We laughed about it and at the time it truly wasn't a big deal but I kept thinking about that term.
"Broken Babies"
And that was how I was describing two of my children. Broken.

Was that how I viewed them? Was that how I saw what God had allowed? Brokenness. Not quite right. Not whole.

The definition exactly is
Broken adjective: broken having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. synonyms: smashed, shattered, fragmented, splintered, crushed, snapped; antonyms: whole

Ouch.

And how do you even come away from that. how do you fix that.

Every time I look at Wren and her eyes are shaking and shes trying to focus... that word pops into my head and I see it..
Broken
And I struggle with the thought.

I made a broken baby.

Its a process people. A long hard process.
Its seeing my children as God sees them and continually seeing them that way. 
 Cause no of course I don't look at them and think "broken" all the time, but the thought does cross my mind, it does stick and its hard to throw away.

Its seeing my life and my story as God sees it and continually seeing it that way.

Seeing the story God is writing for me and my children.....
             and knowing its not a story of brokenness its a story of Grace and love, a story filled with beauty. A story I wouldn't have written for myself or my children, but a story My Savior has given us. My Children aren't broken. My children are beautifully whole. I will fight that thought of brokenness and I will fight the guilt that can follow so closely behind that thought.

I believe that there are mommies out there that might also struggle with this and that is why I'm writing this because its a lonely, isolating thought and well its just not truth.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Its Complicated

Tomorrow has come and gone. Im thankful I took the time to write beforehand because now we are here. Yes, we got the amazing news of no tumor. The urine came back with no elevated levels which means there is no tumor anywhere in her body. I do not think this is a light or little thing. I absolutely praise God for this. He is a good God who is allowing my child be spared surgeries, chemo and all kinds of other things that only a mommy that has a child with cancer knows about. But will you give me the grace to say something.... To be 100% honest without judging or thinking me ungrateful? Its complicated. It is. Without a tumor we know that we are dealing with an eye issue. We know we have the potential to be dealing with a significant vision impairment. And you know what? That's hard. That stinks. And its straight up scary. We still have a baby with the same symptoms. Yesterday I praised God for no tumor but I also mourned possibilities. I am a big believer of crying no tears over possibilities but to be honest its hard this time. It could take years for us to know if her vision will be significantly affected or not and that's tough. We are looking at a lifelong condition. We are looking at more special needs. Yes these are possibilities and not for certains. but I have to wrap my mind around that. The doctor mentioned ocular albinism and congenital nystagmus. He's not 100% on either one of these. And we go back in 6 weeks to have a better look. But both aren't fantastic. His encouragement to me was honestly a little scary. "These kids learn to read without braille, they use magnifiers and other things and some do drive." Ummmmmm Doctor your encouragement stinks! It has potential to be surgeries, therapies and glasses galore. I adore Wren, I love her and don't want any of that for her. There is a chance that her vision will be barely affected and we are definitely praying that way but as we pray we know that it might not be God's plan. We pray for healing, we pray for protection of her eyes but we also know from experience healing is not always Gods answer. So as I say, Praise God. I also say, It's Complicated. But know that in the complication I am praising. Confusing? Well yea in my head and heart its confusing. Resting in the knowledge of who God is and how much he loves Wren.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Before tomorrow comes

Its 10:30pm and I should be either sleeping or getting the diaper bag ready for tomorrow but I wanted to post before tomorrow. Tomorrow I am hopeful to walk away with some answers. Possibly tentative answers, but still much more than I have now. So I wanted to write before tomorrow happened. If you aren't friends with me on facebook then you have no idea what I'm talking about...the long and short of it. Wren (baby girl 2 months old) started having shaky eye movements on Friday afternoon. By Friday evening she was barely focusing on us at all. By Saturay afternoon she couldn't stop her eyes from moving at all. It was like she couldn't control them and she couldn't see us. After 5 nights in the hospital, multiples tests (with one test still pending) we went home. The problem is what she is doing can mean some really serious things, specifically a tumor or some smaller things like a problem she will outgrow by age 3. The issue is they have to test for every serious thing FIRST! A week before this happened I talked to two different friends. And Ill be honest here I have no idea what brought me to say what I did except just a whole lot of honesty. One of those things that maybe you don't say aloud even if you think it. To one friend I said something like, "So much crazy good is going on it makes me wonder if a trial is coming." To another friend I said, "Sometimes I feel immune to any of my other kids being sick like with cancer or something big because God already gave us our big health trial with Toby. He knows I couldn't handle more." And now the silence. Ooops. ummmmm.....just kidding.....for real. Do you know Ive had to remind myself of who God is once they reminded me of those things I had said. I thought, "Oh no is God proving me wrong. Is God doing this because I said that." But no that's not who my God is. He is my loving Father who quite honestly has brought us through so much that I have no business saying He couldn't give us more. But He doesn't sit up in heaven waiting for us to slip up so that HE can show us whats what. But sometimes I think we think that way. We so have to watch our view of who God is and base it on what the Bible says no matter what. Which really...if we aren't in the Bible then how can we know what the Bible says. How can we have a foundation to fall on when something like this stares us in the face. So I made it through that thought process. Dealing with Spina Bifida with Toby has made the medical community part of my regular life. Its just kind of second nature now. I know how things go and how to deal so its very easy for me to become self reliant through things like this. a "ive got this" attitude. The thing that has clearly thrown me off is the lack of diagnosis. I don't have any plan of action. I cant research, schedule therapies, surgeries or anything. I'm stuck. I look at my baby and don't know if her vision is being affected, I don't know if there is a tumor in her body somewhere that they cant find. I just don't know. My usual way to "deal" has been stripped with this. I have to sit back and wait. I have to pray and trust. And you know its been good for me. I cant get blinded by the busy work of a diagnosis. Im left on my knees trusting, asking and praising God. Because what else more can I do. God really has shown me so much of His power, strength and grace through this. Almost more so than some of the stuff in Tobys life. Just because I have to wait on Him. I cant even have faith in the medical community. All of my faith is wrapped up in what God is going to do or is doing. The really neat part of all of it is. He is doing so much. He has given me this crazy calmness. This spirit of trust. This spirit of faith that can absolutely only come from Him. Because people, I don't have it in me. Im not there in my walk with God yet. But He's brought me there right when I needed it. And I am oh so thankful. Oh so grateful. That is why I wanted to post before tomorrow. Because tomorrow I might be tried in a new one. God might be taking me down a different path. We might not have answers but we might. And just in case we do I want to make sure I remember what its life to not have those answers. To hold Wren and just trust that God has her and that HE knows and that He loves her. Because He does. As He does me.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blinded by Walking

There has been so much going on in our home that Im not even sure what thing to blog about. But I think Im going to stick to the most recent instead of the obvious thing that people think I will be blogging about. : ) I will definitely be going back to that one though. We've had an interesting year to say the least and the person who has gone through the most has hands down been Toby. Tethered cord surgery is no joke people. Its crazy. Insane. One of the hardest things Ive seen Toby go through. Not to scare all the moms of SB babies out there. But it doesn't get easier. Its hard. Its hard to explain to a child whats going on. Its hard to tell them its worth it. Its hard for them to understand and be consumed with fear and pain and yet for part of them to totally not get it. Shoooo I hardly understood all of it and the whys behind it. Then the derotation osteotomy is no joke either. It was almost harder than the TC surgery. Casts and weeks and weeks and weeks of casts. not being able to crawl. having his legs propped up. INSANITY. No bathing....well that was just gross. Toby didn't care. Anyway, at the end of it all there was one big thing that happened. Toby tasted independence. Which I know seems weird after I said how hard they were. But picture a child who has never been able to do for himself. Never gotten his own water. Never helped set the table. Never gotten food, pushed in his chair, never done lots of things totally by himself. Never been able to carry toys to another room, never been able to pick up a ball and play. IF you are wondering why. Picture doing all those things in arm crutches. When ever drop of your energy and focus goes to walking. Think of where your hands would be and how much balance it would take. Most people don't realize that toby is paralyzed, little to no feeling in his legs at all. Imagine walking like that. Then imagine yourself in a wheelchair. Your hands are free or basically free. You can do things, get things, move things and help. MAJOR difference. He was happier. A lot happier. Yes we had our sad moments. Yes we avoided parks and playplaces. But during the day he was happier. Now imagine taking all that away from a 7 year old. Putting the wheelchair away and handing him those arm crutches again. Saying, no more. no more independence. no more getting things yourself, no more playing easily. everything will now be harder. You will get fussed at, you will get told no, you will get told to work harder. When you mess with the spinal cord everything is affected. He started stuttering, He started struggling more with hand strength. And yet we pushed and pushed and pushed. Therapy 6xs a week. Hes done with school and instead of playing he's doing more work. And yet for weeks I couldn't see it for what it was. I was blinded by "walking" I was blinded by my dream for him. My goal for him. His life just never doesn't have a goal. He was a mess. Emotional, obstinate, acting out, refusing to play, fighting the therapists every chance he got. And yet I couldn't see his life for what it was. Kinda a mess. A mess I helped create. Here I was trying to do whats best for him and making his life miserable in the process. Last night I started thinking what if we lost him. What if he died. It can happen. Its happened to plenty of parents before me and will continue to happy. What if I knew I only had a couple more years with him? I would say, FORGET THERAPY. FORGET WALKING! LOVE LIFE. PLAY. HAVE FUN. I would stop fussing, I would stop saying, "GET UP", "TRY HARDER" I would stop demanding so much from my 7 year old little boy that most adults couldn't handle. Even as I type this I'm embarrassed to admit how blinded I was. But I type it hopefully to help other moms not let it happen to them and their child. Nate and I were at our wits end with him. Honestly I was ready to send his hiney to a boarding school. Anything. I was ready to check into CHINA! But then Nate and I prayed. We stayed up and prayed and begged God for wisdom. Because I honestly HAD ZERO. Even after 7 and a half years of raising a special needs child I was about as lost as the first year with him. God answered so quickly and clearly. He used different people, different circumstances for me to take those blinders off. For me to go, "whoa hold it!! what are we doing here?" And ya know I'm thankful. SO thankful. Now don't get me wrong am I bringing out his wheelchair now and saying no more walking. You don't have to do anything. All I want is for you to be happy nothing hard will ever be asked of you. Ummmmmm NO!!! because that's not healthy either. But Im letting him breathe. I'm letting me breathe. I'm saying, "Hold the show people. Lets give this kid a break. Lets let him be a kid some." You know when we watch him play wheelchair basketball he is talented. Like really talented. Hes fast and you know he's happy. He loves it. I cant imagine living a life where everything I do his hard. Where everyone is telling me to work harder. Where nothing I do feels like enough. Where everyone picks my goals for me and then I do all the work. Praise God its not how our HEAVENLY FATHER works. Praise God He doesn't ask that of us. So who am I to ask that of Toby. We got to find balance. Pray for balance. Pray for us as we figure this out. God has shown Nate and I we need to back off some. We need to change some things. Now how that is going to look in real life and still trying to do what is best for him....you know I'm not 100% sure. But we are still praying. We are still begging for wisdom. And we will continue. Because if anything Ive learned as much as I am an "expert" on Toby and he's condition. I absolutely still need the Lord. I NEED GRACE!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Honesty

COME ON! You knew it was coming didn't you?? I couldn't do a week like this past one with out a blog post! That would be practically sinful! The problem is there is no starting point. Not really. Its kind of all mushed together in a series of events. But with the Summer being what it has been, like I said, It feels like there is no beginning to start the story. Most of you know from Facebook posts, and The pray for Toby page all the fun...so Ill spare you the long of it. Between Toby's surgery, Nate leaving for Guatemala, Air conditioners breaking, wheelchair delivered unusable, Cell phones getting lost and found in a busy parking lot and miraculously not smashed, a very discouraged Toby, major contractions with a call to the doctor, and the normal life of having 4 kids and being pregnant. ...its been a few days. Ill admit to some Whys coming into my mind. Why one more thing? Why this? Why now? Why why why why why??? Don't you think we've all learned enough Lord? Don't you think we've had enough teaching for a few months? Obviously not : ) I didn't have time to even process everything enough to sit down and cry. The hard part for me personally is this....here comes some brutal honesty. My husband, being the Assistant Pastor just gets back from a week of teen camp. Spending time with old college friends that are in the ministry, studying, watching kids make decisions, listening to preaching, watching prayers get answered. MOUNTAIN TOP (don't get me wrong I know there are hard parts too, like the bus drive, and the heat, and the lack of sleep) Then he comes home and leaves again for Guatemala. Feeding orphans, building an orphanage, watching teens life change, singing, spending time with people in ministry, hiking up a Volcano, seeing the world. MOUNTAIN TOP (again obviously there are hard part too, I'm not oblivious to this fact)
But here it seems that this is life for a pastors wife. Her husband goes off and gets these Mountaintop experiences. Pastor's conferences, England, Guatemala, Philippines, Camps, Lives being changed, encouragement being had, things being worked through. He gets to go through these mountaintop experiences with other people from our church. Teens, helpers, adults, pastors. He gets closer, He knows them, He learns about them, He prays for them. And then there is me through these experiences. He's on Mount Amazing Spiritual land and where I am.... The Valley of Diapers and Discipline. (and broken air, and sad kids, and wheelchairs that don't work, therapy, lesson plans, screaming toddlers) He comes back exhausted, but excited, encouraged, revived. He comes home to exhausted, overwhelmed, depleted Me. I think if us Pastors wife would be honest. THIS IS HARD. Its a hard pill to swallow. Especially if for years all you dreamed of was being in ministry. And then ministry looks not much different then the walls of your home. I think this is why Pastors wives get burned out maybe more than even Pastors. Its hard to do the leaving, but I think its even harder to be the one left behind. How do I keep from being that Pastors wife? I have to stay focused on Who I am serving, How I am serving and Why I am serving. I have to remind myself that THIS is my ministry. This is where God placed me. This is the disciples He has given me. This is His will. His way. His plan. And it is Beautiful. And it is meaningful. And it has purpose. And yet those mountaintops sure do look nice sometimes. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Ephesians 6:7 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ITS ALL ABOUT ME

So I've been reading a book, "When life is hard." And Ive been talking a lot about trials and other things. And I'm sure from the outside most would assume they know all my trials, they assume I'm talking about Toby and things going on with the house. The thing is there are trials that people go through that I'm reminded are "secret trials." The things that are too big, too personal, too private to put out there on a blog, facebook or prayer sheet even. Its been a reminder to me that there are hurting people everywhere. That there are things going on in homes and hearts of people we consider friends that we might never know about or understand. We might should be more understanding towards people For me as a Pastors wife I take a kind of pride in sharing my trials. To open up and be honest when things get hard because I think there is such beauty and healing in that. But in this past month Ive come to realize that can not always be the case. I have also come to realize that it doesn't mean I'm "fake" or not being "honest" It means there are certain parts of life that are hard and are meant for us alone. So here's my big rambling today....I know that WAS ONLY the INTRODUCTION!! So many times in my circles since the time I was a very very young teenager I was taught a simple truth about trials. One that Ive heard come out of so many Christians mouths. God may, might, is, could be, putting me through this trial to help someone going through something similar or WILL be going through a similar trial. I tell ya, Ive thought this. Been there. Said that. Ive said it well into my adult life. Ive said it about Toby. Ive sought comfort and solace from that thought. Tobys disability is so that I can help others with their childrens disabilities. Nate lost his eye so he can help people as an adult go through bla bla bla. I went through this as a child so I can better counsel young girls who fill in the blank. And is that TRUE? Well yea. Of course to a degree it is. But when you get down to the nitty gritty and really think about this mindset. How do you view a God who puts you through something (or allows something) so you can help someone else that HE has allowed to go through something so that they in turn can help someone else whom HE ALLOWS to go through something. How do you work out that reasoning in your mind? How can a powerful, mighty, loving God kinda of seem uncaring in that way? Where is the end to the cycle, because heaven knows there has got to be an end. I went through cancer, so I can help this person with cancer, I lost a baby to miscarriage so I can help this lady who had a miscarriage. It kind of in the end seems all for naught in a weird sort of way. Hear me out. Don't burn me at the stake yet. What I'm coming to realize is.....HOW MUCH WE ARE LOSING WITH THAT MINDSET!!! My focus has been on what God is allowing in my life as way to help, show, teach, instruct, encourage others.. The focus is always on others. But maybe...maybe just this once. God doesn't want it to be about others. Maybe he wants it to be ALL ABOUT ME! Maybe in the midst of the storm I'm missing truly what God is teaching me, showing me, growing me, molding me, because I'm focus on how I'm going to help others. Think about James 1:3 Its not about testing and trials so I can give a smoking awesome testimony and someone will be able to learn from it. Nope its for ME. For my faith. There so much more out there in verse and in principle. So maybe next time you go to tell someone they are going through something so they can help someone, or maybe the next time you go to tell yourself that...maybe stop. and think what does God want to do with me. What is God showing, teaching, molding and growing me through this. Its actually harder to do this. Its more work to do this. Its easier to write off trials for others. But it makes it bigger harder tougher this way, but I think its the way God intended. Just my thoughts as we go through some dark times....It cant be always about ministry. It cant be about the next devotional or the next soul I'll meet. Sometimes it needs to be ALL ABOUT ME. Heaven knows I don't want to go through all this and miss out on something God might be wanting to do FOR ME!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big and Little

So today has been a doozy. And Im sitting down to type only during rest time. There is much more day left What must the rest of the day hold!?? Today started with a trip to the skate park as we try to find ways to get outside with Toby’s wheelchair. It’s challenging to find something for 3 very active kids and 1 kid who wants to be active but cant right now. I’m starting this process of getting out more with lots of fear. Well, off to the park where Grace chips her tooth in the first 5 minutes of being there. Not just any tooth. The front permanent one. Oh JOY! Then a promise to the library. The library is closed till 12. Uh oh. Then off to Walmart with the process of a new awesome craft staring me in the face just waiting to be made with the write crafting products. That’s when it hit me. The sharp, double over, make you want to die, not sure what end its going to be. Right at the check out line. I literally ran for it. Shamefully ran the bathroom down with 3 kids in a buggy and one running behind me with a chipped tooth. And there we were. All shoved into a nasty walmart bathroom, waiting for the sickness of doom to pass. At least I’m pregnant so people were a little more sympathetic. I finally drag myself out just to run right back in. Oh the shame. And I was dressed the part too. Pony tail, no makeup, cargo capri pants, t shirt and ratty flip flops. Shame isn’t a strong enough word. We rush home to see the Occupational Therapist walking away from our front door! Oops we had therapy today. I remembered this morning but sometime through the tooth, library and walmart ordeal I had forgotten. Luckily She stayed and was understanding. Wheelchair adjuster shows up to readjust Tobys wheelchair which has been tipping backward every time he pushes. Right as he comes in to the living room I hear glass crashing. Nates favorite water glass, (which he just informed me last night was his favorite) has spread through 2 rooms along with the water that was in it. In the midst a stunned face Grace pulling her own glass from the mountain of dishes on the counter. So I ask myself through all this. Where is the GRACE? Where is the strength to keep going on days like today? Just so stinky rotten, nothing end of the world, but lots going wrong type days. Sometimes these are the hardest days to see Gods face. In the BIG storms its easy to see Him. Its easy to find Him working and providing and comforting. It’s the little things, the over and over, or one thing on top of another that make my vision cloudy for Him. Put my kid in a hospital bed and I can see Him everywhere. Make it where we desperately need money for something and I watch Him provide. The BIG storms grab my attention and force me to see Him, to find Him. So what’s the difference? Why is it that the little every day trials are the time its hardest to keep our eyes on Christ? To see His Grace, His Goodness and His love. Why can I say, God you are good and you are soverign when I watch my child beg the nurses not to do another IV? And yet I struggle to say that in a Walmart bathroom or with glass around my feet.?? This has struck me this afternoon. Because how am I supposed to say I know who God is and He doesn’t change, but my reactions show that I might just believe otherwise. Maybe I believe that God is there for the BIG things but cant be concerned for the little, daily, mundane things…… I’m realizing that maybe I need to reevaluate my view of My God. Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; It doesn’t say just in the hard times. Just in the BIG TRIALS. Engraved on someone’s hands truly gives the picture of permanency. I like that. I’m gonna think on that.

Monday, May 27, 2013

changes

Its been long past time to do this. For a while this blog was called, "Raising Toby." I loved it. It was all about raising Toby. It was my spot to spill out hardships, victories, fears and joys. However, I stopped writing for a while. One reason being there wasnt much to write. We were at a stand still. We were just in cruise control with Toby. And it felt really weird to be writing only about one child when I have four children and another on the way. There was so much more to our life then Spina Bifida and Toby's special needs. So why now? Well, honestly there has been so much on my mind and my heart. So many things I want to say, to respond to, to just straight up talk about. And sometimes there's no time and sometimes there just isnt an ear right there to be available. And well my poor husbands ears could probably use a break. So this post is purely introduction. Purely hey here I am, but it might look a little different, sound a little different and be a little different. I hope that if you read this you will, 1. allow me the space to be honest. 2. allow me the benefit of the doubt if you think something negative. 3. feel free to comment or question. As a Pastors wife its not always easy or best to 'Put yourself out there' But honestly I never wanted to be that type of pastors wife. So here I am in all my glory, all my shame, all my thoughts, all my wonderings and mutterings. Take it for what it is. Hopefully the one thing it will always be is straight up honest. Kari