sometimes it’s hard to understand

In my life, I have not been immune to personal tragedy.  Somehow through it all I have managed to come through with a positive outlook (although in some cases it took time… a lot of time).  Today I received notice of another person’s personal story, and my heart is breaking for them.

Last spring I was in a Bible study with a lovely lady I will call Mary.  She was one of the older ladies in our small group, and every week she had some bit of wisdom or advice that really blessed my personal walk with God.  During the course of the study she shared with us a prayer request, for her precious granddaughter who was not even one yet.  This sweet baby had been diagnosed with sagittal craniosynostotis right before her first birthday.  She was taken to Children’s Hospital in Chicago to undergo further testing because the drs. thought there might be more, and there was.  She was diagnosed with MPS type I.   This is a rare genetic recessive disorder in which the body cannot break down saccarides.  They build up in all of the bodies cells, and cause serious damage, and usually premature fatality.  For more details on MPS (Hurler Syndrome) see www.mpssociety.org

So, “Mary’s” granddaughter began a long series of treatments in Chicago including enzyme replacement therapy (which did not work the first time around), and chemo. to kill off the cells in her body that would fight the new enzymes.   Although the first treatment did not work, this sweet baby has been progressing fairly well.  Physical therapy, and her mom’s ability to be with her constantly had helped out a lot.  Recently though, she has not been doing so well.  She’s been running a high temperature (not below 104 degrees), has a ferocious diaper rash (causing so much pain that she had to be put on a morphine pump), she had to be given a feeding tube, and as of this morning, she stopped breathing and has been put on a ventilator.

When I read the email concerning this newest update, I just started to cry, like I am now just thinking about it.  I have two children, one of whom is not that much younger that this baby.  Although I do believe firmly in Romans 8:28 that God works all things for the best for those who love him, I was having a difficult time understanding how this chain of events could possibly be for the best, for anyone.  Then, after being quiet before the Lord and listening, I realized, that when He is working things for our best, it is because it is HIS best.  I many not understand everything that goes on in this world, and there may be times when I question God’s motivation for letting certain events happen. But ultimately I know that His BEST will WILL be accomplished. 

Now, does all of this mean that I think that God ALLOWS evil in the world, and that He’s okay with it?  Or does it mean that since God’s got everything under control that I have to role in His plan?  Nope, in both cases.

I believe that God’s heart breaks for the world He sees now.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this in the beginning, but, that’s what sin has done to it.  I do believe that He is able to accomplish His purposes even with sin in the world, it just doesn’t look like what it would have before.  I also believe that he has called us as His created to act in the world to help accomplish His plan.  Does God NEED me to do anything?  Heck no!  He breathed life into Adam, He can take care of things however and whenever He wants to.  But, He chose  to allow me to participate… and how amazing is that!  How do I do that?  By praying, by being still before Him and listening for His voice, by acting according to His will. 

So, where does that leave me with this heartbreaking story about an innocent child?  It leaves me on my knees.  I hope, and I pray that healing will come to her.  But I know that if earthly healing is not for her, eternal healing is, and I will look forward to meeting her when I receive my inheritance as well.

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who knew poop was so exciting?

We have recently been trying to potty train our almost 2 and a half year old daughter.  It definitely ebbs and flows, some weeks are good, others she claims “it’s not working”.  She has been pretty good about making poop in the potty, but the peepee thing, it’s a work in process. 

With the poop, well, she tends to hold on to things for a couple of days, and then have a big traumatic experience in which her “bottom is hurting” and we have to rush to the toilet and “squeeze it out”  while she is crying.  Very sad thing to observe.  Yesterday was just such a day, and so I was not expecting to have another poop experience for another couple of days.  Needless to say, I was very surprised to hear her calling out today “I gotta squeeze it out, I gotta squeeze it out”!!!  I ran to find her, and she had already hopped the gate to the bathroom (which I had to put up yesterday because our 1 year old figured out how to flush the toilet) and was standing in the dark bathroom with her pull-up down, clutching her hiney.  I sat her on the toilet, but it was too late, her little hand came around… she had made her poop in her hand.  So there she is, clutching her little log, and I am totally grossed out.    We washed, take that back, we scrubbed her hands, and mine too, and went about our morning.

I took my shower, dried my hair, and then, came out to find her leaning over the ottoman saying “oh man, oh man”  I asked what was wrong, and she said, “I gotta squeeze again!”.  So, we went back to the toilet, where she proceeded to push out an adult sized poop. 

After yesterday’s and today’s poops, I’m seriously wondering if she had ANY room left in her colon… was it totally full all the way up to her stomach???  Is that possible???

Ah, the excitement of poop… who would have thunk it?

The Initial Post

Warning:  the following is EXTREMELY random… no thought went into the layout or editing…

Ha, I don’t have any aspirations of this newest idea of mine lasting for very long, ’cause, I do have a pretty hard time sticking to something like this.  Hopefully, it will serve to meet my current need to clear my head, and who knows, maybe even last a while. 

This is not the first blog I’ve attempted.  My first was to focus on my 2 beautiful children.  And, it had a nice little run.  But I have other things I do to track their progress and quirks, and I like doing those things more.  Scrapbooking is my favorite, but it’s been a while since I’ve done that too. 

So, why try again.  Well, I guess I have to do a little background thinking first. 

I was brought up in a Christian home.  My parents both became believers later in life, but I made the decision to accept Christ as my Savior when I was seven.  Of course, at that age, I didn’t really understand what it meant to fully “die to self”, but I do believe that God has protected me in my life from circumstances because of that early decision.  I grew up (aged, anyways) and was in a youth group at my church that focused on beliving because it was the logical choice.  And, that’s true.  There was a huge emphasis on study, and knowledge, and being “intellectually Christian”.   And, I bought into the whole thing… to the point that the knowledge about Jesus became more important that a relationship with Jesus.  Then, my dad retired from the military, and our whole family picked up and moved the summer before my senior year of high school.  Thus began the “dark year”.  It was awful.  I lost a lot of weight because I’m now convinced I was depressed.  And, to make things worse, I felt like my depression was my fault because I wasn’t leaning on God enough.  How could I?  I didn’t have a relationship with Him.  I mean, I acknowledged that He was my Savior, but I didn’t actually “practice” leaning on Him during the tough times, or the good times either.  The dark year ended only because I graduated and went to college.

The College Years:

They were great!  It was the first time I had been at the same school for 4 years in a row (remember… military family).  I joined organizations, made friends, loved my classes (most of them), and graduated with honors.  Along the way I continued to grow in my Christian walk a little at a time.  There were definite times when I was walking closer to God then others, but looking back I wonder if they were just in effort to change things myself, or to make changes based on what other people said or suggested.

So, graduation, marriage, and a move halfway across the country all happened within a 2 month period.  Crazy, but incredibly fun.  My husband (who is an amazing Christian man) and I joined a little start-up church that didn’t even have it’s own building yet.  I think I was partly attracted to it because of that.  I’d always been at the “First Baptist” type of church, the type that was big on appearances, not so big on fostering personal growth. **this is not meant to be a stereotype, just a comment made for lack of a better term**  This church was small, and I knew everyone, but as time passed the church grew smaller and smaller until it was no longer in existence. 

At this point, we visited other churches.  But, I was veeery pregnant at the time with our first child, and honestly, visiting other places just made the hormones rage.  I didn’t want to visit other places, so we ended up taking a break from church attendance for about 2 months.  After our daughter was born we started visiting again, and I strongly felt God calling us to be at the church we are currently at.  It was strange, because it’s another start up, that actually started after the one we had been in did, but this one was growing, and quickly.  I was curious about it, and why I felt the Holy Spirit moving when I was there. 

I think that’s going to be it for now.  There are many, many things that I would like to write about, but I also need to not neglect my children.  So, that’s all for now.