Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

Praise the Lord, He is Risen!

I have a few favorite holidays and each one triggers a different emotional response. I think of Christmas and I feel happy, loved, warm and content. I think of Good Friday and I feel deeply humbled (and sad if I'm being honest). And then...there's Easter Sunday. Now, I'm not the most outwardly demonstrative type of person, but, I'm tellin' you, on Easter Sunday, on the inside I am dancin'!

I LOVE Easter! You see, if Jesus' story had stopped at His birth and the life He lived, then the other religions would be right where He is concerned. He'd have just been a prophet, a teacher, a good man and a good example of how to live. If it had stopped at his death, well, that would have made Him just like everybody else who's ever lived and died. But make no mistake, He was not and is not like ANYBODY else. He was and is fully God and fully man and by His own power, He resurrected from the dead. He is alive, alive, alive forevermore and seated at the right hand of the Father and currently interceding for you and for me.

I don't know about you, but I really need this wonderful holiday right now. From the depths of my soul, I need to remember that, because of THIS day, we, whose hope is in the Lord, have victory over EVERY trial, EVERY circumstance, EVERY temptation. Because of THIS day, we have reason to hope, the authority to pray, the power to believe. Because of THIS day we can know, that we know, that we know that we have the victory through Jesus Christ, the name above all names, the one who conquered death, Hell and the grave.

Praise the Lord! May you be exceedingly blessed beyond measure today.

Happy Resurrection Day! Here's some pics from our day. Hope you like.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Great Juggling Act

Oh my, whatta week!

Well, first an update. My daughter's been to the doctor and has had some tests taken which so far have come back normal. Which is good. Though, honestly, there was a part of me that was wishing something had shown up. At least we would then perhaps have a name to this mystery illness. But that's not the case. She had a very difficult week and stayed home from school through most of it. It's just so bizarre. The pains and the nausea seeme to come and go without rhyme or reason and nothing would help.

Not that it was all bad. There have been some pretty cool blessings in the midst of this trial that I pray leave a lasting impact on her. For instance, the amount of prayer going out for her, not to mention the sweetest, kindest emails that came in blessed her heart. She has no doubt whatsoever that she is loved. She and I had some wonderful moments to share about God and where He is through all of this too (which in case you're wondering, He's been very present and very active and she is becoming more and more aware of that). There have been some incredible lessons to be learned through this - for me as well.

Not only were we all trying to take care of her, but my son also celebrated his 8th birthday the other day. Somewhere between doctor appointments, work, phone calls to insurance companies/specialists and 2 near-trips to the emergency room, I had to find time to shop for birthday presents and prepare/present a birthday craft to my son's class. It was no easy task trying to comfort one child while celebrating the other at the same time. Both needing and deserving my complete attention and all of us being sleep deprived. My poor hubby had to work both his "real" job during the day and the pt one at night so he really was unable to do much more than that.

But the week is over at last and there's one more bright spot to share which leaves me cautiously optimistic. It's that my sweet, brave, precious daughter seems quite a bit better. She's had only 2 attacks today and they were minor. One early this morning and one around dinnertime. Neither lasted long and a hot-water bottle was enough to make her feel better.

Perhaps a good night sleep will do her - and all of us - quite a bit of good. Thank you all again for all your prayers, emails, phonecalls and cards. They have meant so much to us and given my sweet girl much to smile about.

Be blessed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Journey in the Dark

This journey in the dark we've been on for the last 2 months or so with my daughter continues on. The pain and nasea she's been experiencing since mid-January is becoming more severe and more frequent. Is it physical? Is it emotional? Both? Nothing seems to help.

In the beginning, we thought "oh, it was just something you ate - the tacos or a few too many pieces of candy on Valentines Day". Then she was diagnosed with a uti and we thought "well, that explains it." But it continues still.

We thought we saw a pattern. Didn't know what it meant, but it looked like a pattern - a piece to the puzzle. It was happening mostly at night and then a little first thing in the morning. Then it started happening before anxiety-producing times - before a test for example. So we thought ok, food and worries can trigger an attack. IBS, perhaps? We started cutting back on certain foods - no dairy, no spaghetti sauce, NO CHOCOLATE, no beef, nothing fried, no juice. At this point, she's down to chicken broth, saltines and water. And you know what? The attacks are still coming.

She doesn't like to be in the car for too long - motion sickness (never had that before). She's afraid to do too much activity, so she sat out of gym last week. She loves gym - they're learning gymnastics. She's afraid to go to kids club at chuch - something she's always looked forward to - because an attack may happen and did last week. I got a call to pick her up early. She's not sleeping well because they happen almost like clockwork around bedtime and can last at least an hour. Last night it woke her up from her sleep. That was a first. Another notch up on this ever-escalating mystery illness.

To give you an idea of how bad this is for her and what this is doing to her, read some of her comments in her own words usually said with tears coming down her cheeks:

"I wish I was in Heaven so this wouldn't be happening anymore."

Me: "Baby, I wish this was happening to me and not you." My daughter: "Mom, I wouldn't want this to happen to you."

"Mommy, will you ask the doctor to take some blood so they can figure out what's wrong with me and make it stop?"

"I just want this to stop"

She filled out a prayer request at church. It read: "Dear God, please make the pain stop."

We go back to the doctor today and I'm going to request (demand if necessary) some tests.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Lord, please lift this darkness and clear the path. Heal my baby.

To our friends and family: Thank you for your prayers. She has read many of your emails. Your kind words, prayers and encouragement have touched her - some to the point of tears. I thank God upon every remembrance of you. (Phil. 1:3)

Be blessed.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Strive to Thrive

Isn't this a nice picture? I like it a lot. It's just how I've been feeling the last couple of weeks. Everything was goin' fine, growing, feelin' good, then BAM. Stuff happens. Nothing major; not to me, personally, anyway. Just stuff - bumps-in-the-road, life stuff. I was going to say "nitty-gritty" stuff, but that would imply that what's been going on is not important or not worth the attention it required and that's not true.

There's been illness. My poor daughter has been having so much stomach pain over the last month - primarily at night. I finally took her to the doctor and walked out knowing absolutely nothing more then when we walked in, but with a recommendation to take her to a GI specialist and they don't have any openings 'till April. Joy. Let's pray we can figure this out and take care of it before then. And there was other stuff too - I'll just call them stresses to save time and keep myself from sounding too whiney.

But for two weeks, I've been concentrating on circumstances. Some things beyond my control and some things, like my daughter's stomach problems for example, I don't know how to control and am seeking answers. But I just started to feel so weighted down and isolated. Then I wonder if perhaps the "drama queen" in me is just making mountains out of mole hills.

Either way, I feel a bit like that flower - weighted down and cold. I know it's not just me. I imagine that some of this mood has to do with the end of winter doldrums. Spring is so close though and I'm determined to stand up straight and shake this heaviness off. I even got on my treadmill yesterday - now you know I've got to be desperate for change. Today promises to be a nice day weather-wise. High 50's and sunny. I've got the day off and I plan to get outside and enjoy some of it; gonna have some quiet time with the Lord and my Bible study, clean my house. Yep, by the end of this day I'm hoping to have built up some momentum again.

Gotta keep goin', keep striving, keep believing, keep hoping. As my father used to say "This too shall pass".

"Lord, since the day I saw You first,
My soul was satisfied;
And yet, because I see in part,
I'm searching more to find."

Matt Redman, "Intimacy"

Be blessed.