Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is the first week of school for my youngest son. It has been a pretty good week so far. Drop off and goodbye's have been positive and smooth. Then today happened....:) We walked in on time and in good spirits....and then "wham" all of a sudden everything changed. My very confident and layed back son became nervous and apprehensive as I felt him reach out and grab (maybe desperately clutch is a better description :) hold of my legs. I leaned down and with my face next to his asked what was wrong. He responded with a very calm and serious explanation..."I like school mom, but I've decided I'm going to stay home with you now."
It didn't take me long to realize what he had been "confronted" with. It was at his eye level, about 2 inches from his face and his eyes were locked onto "the target". Due to all of the commotion of drop off time at a preschool classroom, I didn't notice right off the bat, but Koty couldn't miss it. The "it" was a cute little girl, whose eyes were full of tears, lips were quivering with emotion and snot was strung across her face. (Don't you just love preschool kids...ha..they just live out loud...they don't give a rip what they look like...they are only consumed with how they feel in moments like these!:) When I looked at her and gave her a comforting smile, she opened her mouth to let out a big wail. Koty's grip tightened around my neck and I heard him whisper, "I'm ready when you are mom."
As one of the teachers came around the little girl with a face full of kindess and reassurance, I turned Koty to look at me and reminded him that everything was going to be ok and he was going to have a great day. He closed his eyes and threw his arms around me. I squeezed him tight and said,
"I love you Koty, and I promise I will be back in just a little while to get you." He opened his eyes and looked up at me. Doubt clouded his expression as he turned to look again at the little girl. I reached out and pulled him close and gave him another reassuring hug. When I stood up and looked around the room, it was easy for me to have a birds eye view of the room. I could see what was on the other side of the "distraction". So I firmly pressed Koty's hand into mine, winked at him and said,"I love you me." Then I pulled him over to another area away from "the distraction". Immediatedly he saw a couple of other little boys sitting down and playing and having fun. A smile slowly crept across his face. He looked up and said, "Ok mom, but I'll miss you alot today," glancing back over his shoulder. As I agreed that I would miss him "loads" too, we said our goodbyes.
As I walked out, I was reminded of my own doubting moments. When all I can see (and feel) is what is right in front of me. I don't have the strength or understanding to look around the chaos of the moment to see what is on the other side. I'm simply "frozen" by my surroundings. How many times does God ask me to trust Him and I look at Him, wanting to believe, but have a hard time of shrugging off the doubt. The vital thing is that I not let go of Him, even when I am tempted to doubt. To follow His lead and stay close to Him...and in the process He will show me the other side and I am once again humbled, because I know that He can see things and places I cannot. He WILL lead me and guide me...I simply have to choose to trust.
I don't know what I would do without my kids....God uses them to teach me lessons about myself everyday. I'm still a work in progress.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I got to meet a new friend this morning in treatment. Though we were from completely different generations and backgrounds, his story reminded me of so many of my own thoughts and struggles on this journey. Wondering why me, why this, why now? His story is one of great tragedy and yet I wonder ..and know...that God is simply calling Him to Himself. God loves us...(more than I have ever known before until now)...and will go to ANY lengths for us to know His love, even if it means struggle for us. Sometimes that is the only place we will give Him thought or attention. He desires us to wrestle with Him, if that's what it takes, so that we will know, without a shadow of a doubt, of His love for us and in turn, give us a love for Him that is so passionate...that we will not be able desire or pursue anything else, but His presence.

If you have not known a desire like that for Him in awhile....I challenge you to ask Him for is what He longs to give each one of us. He is the only thing that can fill the holes that we so desperately try to fill with anything that we can get our hands or minds on. We try everything but Christ himself until we have no more options. Only then do we look to Him. How God's heart aches for us...for us to be restored to a relationship with Himself. He gave all that He had..his only Son, to die the worst death, for us...people who want nothing to do with Him...and He did it before we even existed.
It amazes me that sometimes only the loss of precious things: our lives, our abilties, our desires and dreams etc. will get us to pursue God...and even is only to get what we manipulate and control Him, like a genie in a bottle. If I do this....go to church, stop bad language, be nice to people, etc....then God will....._______.
We have such a screwed up view of love... We have expectations, and expect God to show up just how we want Him to show up...and when He doesn't...well, we reject Him, question Him, or just walk away from Him. Wow...the things we miss out on! and simply because WE get in the way. Why does God tell us to "die to ourselves"? Because He knows that He is the only one who can fill our "hole" and until we do that...we can never see Him...our ego, profile, etc. is just way too big! :)
Why does suffering and difficult cirmcumstances happen to good, bad or indifferent people? Maybe it's a consequence to a poor choice, maybe it's because God is more concerned with developing your character rather than being concerned with your comfort or maybe it is simply because He is trying to give you what you are truly longing for without realizing it....Himself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This morning I was reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness. It has been a crazy week filled with lots of activity...mentally, emotionally and physically....lots of moments to wonder, "God what are you up to..What's going on? So many people I dearly care about in dire circumstances..." and then I read this...

Ps. 66: 9-10&12b "Our lives are in His hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver melted in a cruicible.....We went through fire and flood. But you brought us to a place of great abundance."

I know the "melting" and "purifying" process is not fun..and it can be very stressful and unrelenting, exhausting and overwhelming and defeating. But I know, and continue to find, that through that process we find beauty and purpose.

Through whatever we may be going through...we must remember
" God doesn't build skyscrapers; men build skyscrapers. And they all have a touch of genius, human genius. But you cannot find a man who can make a star. And when God steps in, His working is like the difference between a skyscraper and a star." (Chuck Swindol)

I have to continue to remind myself to wait on the designer...because in the midst of my chaos there sometimes seems no purpose, no understanding, and every reason to give up hope,....but I have to remember the truth....God's timing is perfect..and when I wait for it and put my trust in Him...He will take my breath away with what only He can do!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I have been having problems sleeping for the last 2 weeks. I wake up with severe night sweats and burning sensations. Lots of feeling of swelling in hands and feet. Sometimes I even wake from "inner" trembling. It feels like my whole body is shaking uncontrollably on the inside, but on the outside it is unnoticeable. Severe stomach pains can happen too, usually in the middle of the night and it is hard to get back to sleep. So I have spent alot of a.m time reading and listening to podcasts or praying. I was a kinda sad when i showed up at the doc's and realized I have gained 20 lbs.! ugh! (I think my body has had an easier time with digestion, so I have been eating some things i haven't been able to before.:) ...I'm choosing to look at this as a good thing! haha

Anyway..I went to the Dr. and he asked me if I was noticing any difference. I felt like I have had less pain overall and have been more flexible and have a wider range of motion. (Honestly, I was kind of nervous as I was talking...hoping I wasn't just "thinking postively", or even desperately..but rather hoping that my body was actually responding to the treatment.)

He let me know that was good news and wanted to ask before he gave me the bloodwork results, just to make sure I was seeing the results as well. The bloodwork showed that the inflamation and infection has gone down somewhat...not too much and not too quickly, but something seems to be happening. (Yeah!!!) I literally choked back the tears and tried not to just start bawling! ..It was a good thing! :) i guess in that moment, I felt like God allowed me to be assured of His presence in a small but mighty way (that His hand is in fact entwined with mine), by simply showing me a glimpse of light and hope. His direction is revealed that way many times in my life. Though I feel like I walk in the dark for so long, wondering where exactly He is, or feeling myself groping around just trying to find my way in the right direction or a direction at all..the truth of the matter is, matter how I FEEL...He IS always there. He waits for me to set patterns in my life, determining in my heart to stay close to Him and to trust Him matter matter if plans go my way...or not. Usually then and only then, He steps in to show me a "light" by revealing Himself, His ways, or His direction. That's what I recieved the other of those moments of truth, which gives me the strength to carry on, even when all the details are not yet figured out.
I love this statement from Chuck Swindol, " God has entrusted to us a great deal. He knows that we can do all things by His grace, so He's trusting in us to trust in Him." I pray I will continue to prove myself faithful in that as I continue on my journey.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I have been praying lately that God would continue to stretch my vision and my heart for people and needs all around me and to somehow transfer that passion along to my children.  Today I was in the grocery store with my daughter Annie, 6 and my son Koty 4.  I was just thanking God for the gift of being able to push the cart and walk around the store ( It's amazing how that "drudgery" can become such a joy when it has been taken away from you!:) when I rounded the corner to find such a moment.  My heart was crushed when I glanced down an aisle to find an elderly woman in a wheelchair trying to look for an item.  She had an old wheelchair which she was scooting along in, with the use of one leg. ( The other leg had been amputated above the knee.)  She was holding a shopping basket with her hands as she scanned the aisle for her purchases.  There were many people passing her on the aisle and standing beside her.  Yet, no one was offering assistance in any way and were actually huffing with annoyance that she would have' the audacity' to get in their way as they continued to steam roll through the aisle.  I glanced at my kids, realizing that this was one of those teachable the same time turning my cart around to go down the aisle to see if we could assist her.   I hobbled up to her with my cane, at the same time trying to put out of my mind how comical this scene must look like (here I've got my own limitations..haha).  When I reached her I simply asked, "Is there something I could help you find?"  She was taken aback and so I repeated the question.  After locating the cocktail sauce that was at the very top of the shelf and having a quick interchange, I asked if there was anything else she needed help with.  "No," she answered still a little dumbfounded.  I was so surprised and thankful when my kids responded kindly and loving to her as we turned to go.  Annie gave her a winning and very authentic smile and simply told her 'Thank you for letting us help you, I hope you have a good day."  Koty smiled too, and chimed in, "You are special."  Where they got it, I'm not quite sure, but I turned quickly trying to hold back the tears.  I was thankful that God had allowed a moment for my kids to see and experience the meaning of 'love your neighbor'.  A little while later,  we spotted her again in the frozen section trying to manhandle the door and balance on one leg to reach for the chicken nuggets.  Annie responded quickly and ran to hold the door open for her.  Koty followed suite by asking, How can we help?"  by the time I caught up with them, I reached in to grab the nuggets and we were able to talk  a bit.  She was a single grandmother whose daughter had just come down with a sickness and now she would be raising her grandchildren.  She just wanted to be able to pick up a few treats for there arrival. My heart was so heavy...why do we live not seeing the needs around us.  Now that I've been sick, I am overwhelmed with the need... everyday that surrounds us..yet most of the time we are simply too busy to do anything about it.
 We went our way and then , just as we were checking out, she scooted up behind us.  She wanted to thank us for noticing her need and helping her.  The kids faces were shining! They were more excited than ever to know that they had been a blessing.  That started more dialogue on the way home between the three of us.  They were so energized to be of help to someone they couldn't wait to find the next need!  
How exciting is that?!  It is what I long for in my children.  To have a selfless that they act on , not just talk about.  That their lives will be lived in a way that honors and values others.  Especially those in need.
 What are we doing on a daily basis to help those around us?  Most of the time we are so consumed with our schedules and plans, that we are just like the rest of the people on that aisle... frustrated with interruptions or delays, rather than recognizing opportunities to live out generosity, kindness and love.
If for no other reason...this sickness of mine has been an instrument used from God to open my eyes.  To see the vital, rather than the urgent.  Those are the things I want to be intentional about.. every day.

"And you must the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.....equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  no other commandment is greater than these."  Mark 12:30-31