Monday, December 7, 2015

Daily Grief - When Everyone Else Forgets (Part 7)

It happens often after someone passes away. Right at first, there are the meals, calls, visits, and support. There are the constant prayers of those who love you, and then the funeral takes place. Things go back to normal for everyone else, and you are left without your loved one, and everyone else forgets. You are not forgotten, but you would never expect those not related or a part of your everyday to continue at the rate they were supportive. It doesn't mean it's easy.

The same thing can happen to those who have a child with special needs or receive a major diagnosis. While in the hospital, there is tons of support. Go Fund me pages are often set up. There are 50 posts of encouragement on your Facebook wall perhaps, and this might continue for a while. In fact, as long as you post updates, then your closer friends will probably support you, but just like in the grief of a loved one, it's different. You now deal with the day-to-day struggles of a child with special needs, a spouse with traumatic brain injury, or perhaps the side effects that no one knows of that a cancer patient deals with. You are afraid to share things constantly for fear of pushing away friends. You might want desperately to leave the house as a family, but perhaps the difficulty of getting yourself or your family member with special needs together for a trip is more difficult than a trip out is worth. Or perhaps you do plan something only to have to change plans due to illness. So often is the life of those with daily grief over circumstances in life.

How do we handle this? How do we handle the grief over losing someone from this earth and the grief of not living life how we expected? They are really closer than we might think in their life effects. The common denominator is knowing God. That's how we make it. When all other support is gone, and you are left to your thoughts or the struggles of your situation. God is there.

Your God is There
When the tempest rages strong,
And your climb seems so long
Your God is there.

When you reach the mountain heights,
And your spirit feels so light,
Your God is there.

When it's time to climb back down,
And the clouds seem to surround,
Your God is there.

He is there to hold your hand.
He is there to help you stand.
He is there - you can depend.
Your God is there.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thoughts on Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6 is unfortunately one of those passages that we quote glibbly to ourselves or to someone struggling. The reality of this passage is much deeper, and in order to truly live this, we need to think it through.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

If you think about it, trust is all about leaning, but usually it is all about leaning on someone other than ourselves. We need to lean on the Lord, but how do we do this?

In all our ways, we need to acknowledge or know who God is, because that knowledge of him will lead us to see that He is trustworthy.

When we question a moral choice, we need to think about the attribute of holiness that is God, and knowing that attribute, we need to ask ourselves whether what we desire is something that God would want us to lean on him for. Or would He want nothing to do with it? With moral decisions, we need to remember the omnipresence and omniscience of God. He is always with you no matter where you are or what you are doing. He knows everything including your thoughts.

When we are anxious or fearful about something in life, we need to remind ourselves that God is first of all sovereign (in control of everything). He is omniscient (all knowing). He is omnipotent (all powerful). He is omnipresent (He is everywhere at the same time) This knowledge of God should help us to trust Him and not lean on our own understanding.

The knowledge of His love and mercy should assure us that He loves those who are unsaved and desires all to come to Him. This knowledge should help us to lean on Him when we are concerned about family who may not know the Lord.

The attributes of God are so many, and as the Word of God says, His ways are past our figuring them out (Romans 11:33). They are beyond us, but He lets us know Him through His Word and through the Spirit revealing the meaning of The Word, and that knowledge of Him needs to come into play with our every decision. As we acknowledge Him, He promises to straighten our path or make it right. We have no reason for worry or concern. We need to only lean on Him - acknowledging Him - knowing who He is. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Anticipatory Grief (Daily Grief Part 6)

I've seen a couple of blog posts recently about anticipatory grief. The definition has to do with grieving over something that is on the horizon, but you do not know when it is going to happen. Dealing with what might be is almost as difficult as dealing with what is. I remember this type of grief when we first learned that something was wrong with Trenton. I was around 32 weeks along at the time. The next 7 weeks seemed so long as I look back. By the time he was born though, somehow we were at peace about the situation, and we were hopeful that things would at least not be any worse than we expected. Anticipatory grief ends where actual grief begins.

Those who have cancer know anticipatory grief. Whether they are in remission or in the midst, the anxiety in the back of their minds is a type of grief. Those who have chronic illness know this. Those who have children with undiagnosed conditions know this grief. There is something about the ominous unknown that can bring about anticipatory grief.

As Christians, the way we deal with this grief should be different. Maybe that is why by the time Trenton was born, my husband and I were at peace about it. Anticipatory grief is basically anxiety, and God tells us to not be anxious about anything. He tells us that in everything by prayer and supplication- along with giving thanks to make our requests known to Him. In this, He promises peace. It does not really leave room for anticipatory anything other than hope. The God of hope doesn't want us to live in the what ifs. It's easy to do so, and I am not above it. I write with the full knowledge of this type of grief. May each of us strive to look ahead with hope in Christ rather than fear and dread of the future.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Joy in the Mourning (Daily Grief - Part 5)

Two posts ago, I shared the verse that mentions weeping enduring for a night but joy coming in the morning. I think there is more to be said about this verse. 

Grief is something that is difficult to describe. It's different in each individual circumstance and it varies by each individual as well. 

I remember being a young girl in college having broken up with my fiance. I remember that it felt like the end of the world. I truly was grieved over my circumstance. I sought the Lord continuously, and the His Word was the only thing that brought me joy. I wept many tears.

Fast-forward ten years, I was married, had a 3 year old, and gave birth to a new son for whom we had prayed. We had prayed for him to make it when we were fearful something was wrong. We prayed for him to be normal when we feared he was not. We prayed that the doctors were wrong. We had faith that all would be okay. He was born, and he wasn't okay, but he lived. There was a different grief then. At the time, I didn't see it at as grief, or I would not have called it that for fear of hurting those who have actually lost loved ones.

Today, I can call it grief. I see that it is the grief of disappointment over what we expected. Yes, we have our son, and he is wonderful in his own way, but before we saw anything hopeful, there was grief. The night of grief is not passed. Although we often have glimpses of the morning. 

Our joy comes in the mourning that we experience; for if we never experienced that night, we would never see the brightness of the dawn.

This verse as a whole uses opposites to emphasize a truth. The truth is that when we have known the worst - the opposite seems all the more beautiful. 

I had known a child who learned to play with toys and suddenly stopped playing, and now the joy of seeing him begin to play again is indescribably. The sorrow we experience when someone is disappointed in us is overwhelmed by the joy we experience at restitution. God does this in our grief. He gives us mourning, but He also brings the morning.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Grief of Mind (Daily Grief Part 4)

"And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemoth the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and Rebekah." Genesis 26:34-35

We grieve for many reasons. Isaac and Rebekah had a grief of mind over their son's choice of marriage. Esau was going against the God of Isaac and Rebekah when he married into these families. The Hebrew word for the phrase "grief of mind" is actually morah. The word can mean bitterness, trouble, grief, or sadness of spirit. This is all the passage says about their grief. We know that the next chapter begins with Isaac trying to give Esau the blessing, but Esau ends up selling his birthright to Jacob out of his lust for momentary satisfaction. Esau made some poor decisions. Prior to Esau's marriage, God had blessed Isaac, after Esau's marriage, and their grief, we see that there is an undertone of disunity in their lives. We see the deceit of Rebekah and Jacob against Isaac.

How we handle grief matters. The grief of mind that Isaac and Rebekah experienced over there oldest son seems to have changed them. Perhaps the grief was weighted heavily with bitterness that rooted and turned their hearts against each other. Whatever the case, the picture is not a good one when Jacob deceives Isaac, and Esau must leave.

Whether our grief is over our sin, someone else's, unfulfilled expectations, or health, we have to keep our mind where it needs to be. We must keep our minds stayed on Him. Isaiah 26:3 says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee."

Friday, July 24, 2015

Joy Comes in the Morning - (Daily Grief - Part 3)

Psalm 30:5
"For His anger endureth but for a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

I believe this verse emphasizes brevity. It is written in both a pattern and words that emphasizes this with one exception. That exception lies in the phrase, "favor is life." This means that His favor to those that are His is for a lifetime - forever. His chastisement is over quickly, our grief only for a night, but after this - there is joy for eternity.

Look at the verse in light of your present circumstance. Perhaps you have had sin struggles and have been chastised or have asked for forgiveness from Him. That anger of His at your sin was only momentary in comparison to the love He has for you. The weeping and grief you now experience over perhaps your sin, unfulfilled expectations, or loss is also only momentary in light of the joy that you will have forever "in the morning" when He comes and relieves of you of your earthly weight.

II Corinthians 4:16-17 reminds us of this as well - specifically verse 17, "For our light affliction, which is just for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

If it Brings You Glory

If it brings You glory - let it be so.
If change in life would honor You
Please answer with a "go."
Your wisdom - my heart's prayer,
Your glory-gain may mean my pain.
My desires may have to change.
Only eternity will show-
If it brings You glory - let it be so.

If it brings You glory - it is good.
Though my fears rage in Your face
My grief like a chisel on wood.
Hopes dashed but held by grace
Your mercy waiting for my prayer.
Boldly I come to you -
Your throne filled with my tears
If it brings You glory - it is good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Risen with Christ - from Colossians 3

Risen in Him, a new life to claim
Dying to things that bring earthly gain.
A new mind, a new heart, hidden in Him.
Failing to follow Him - only we are to blame.

Christ is my life, my heart yearns for Him.
Dying to self, until my eyes dim.
This is my mission, as long as I live-
Bring Him glory, His gospel to give.

Forebearing, forgiving- just as Christ did.
Loving and letting- peace rule my mind.
Singing and praising with His indwelling Word-
With all that my life and breath may give.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Call for Hope

Hear the call - a call for hope
Sure and steadfast.
Never fading- always firm
A hope that lasts.

Even in the midst of attack-
Hope from your Savior.
When satan would sift you
And tempt you to wane-
The Savior is with you
Your faith in His name.

Hope in your Savior eternal-
The cure from all ills.
Never another like Him
Will hold your hand-
Catching you when you would fall.
Your light when life grows dim.

At the heart of hope is Him.
His name your refuge strong.
Never give in-trusting in Him
Only eternally you belong.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Daily Grief part 2 -The Faces of Grief

There is probably one picture that enters your mind when you think of grief. Crying.

Sadness is definitely one of the faces of grief, and it is probably the first face. When something difficult happens, whether we lose a loved one or find out our life will never be the same due to some circumstance, there is sadness.

If we assume, however, that sadness is the only sign of grief, then we will not only misinterpret others, but we will also hurt ourselves by not understanding why we are feeling the way we are feeling.

When anyone holds in an emotion, it will probably still come out but as something else. many time holding back crying introduces another face of grief - anger.

Sadness is accepted. Anger often turns to depression and despair. Sadness is accepted because it is the only face of grief that is not sinful.

I have experienced every face of grief in raising our son. I had heart-wrenching sadness when I found out he was unhealthy in my womb. That sadness sunk down and stayed there until he was born at which time, I experienced happiness that he was okay. Then once again sadness rose to the surface when things did not go as expected.

Then came sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is the enemy of grief. If anything causes the face of grief to turn from sadness to anger and bitterness, it is sleep deprivation. God gave us night for a reason, and when we do not rest, we do not think correctly, and we can fall into the sins of anger, anxiety, bitterness, and depression.

Our own minds are another enemy of grief. Give your mind an inch and it will take a mile. Let yourself dwell on your problems or compare your life to someone else's and godly grief will turn sinful.

It's wonderful to know that God understands our grief. He grieved with tears. He wept for his friend and his friend's family. Even the knowledge that He would raise Lazarus to life again did not stop the tears of empathy he let flow for His friends who experienced loss. He grieved for His own life while He prayed in the garden. He did this having known all along that this was His purpose - to die. Yet He grieved with tears and sweat drops of blood because of His anguish. What we do not see in His grief however is the anger, anxiety, and depression that we often experience as humans in grief.

We are sinners. Just like in many areas, we fall into the sinful behaviors even though grief is not sinful. How do we stop the cycle? How do we not become anger and lash out at God and at others? I fall into this almost daily. I know what the Bible says. I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.

As you grieve, cry out to the Lord and leave your care and sadness with Him. Accept His plan as best even though you don't understand. When you fall into the sinful side of grief, confess it and move on. Confess the sinful aspects of grief. God knows that you will grieve over the loss of a loved one or over expectations left unfulfilled, but grieve the way Christ grieved. He did so while accepting His Father's plan as best.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Daily Grief - Part 1

When it first happens you might not realize you are grieving. You might not be, yet.

I remember the day Trenton was born. I wasn't grieving. There was anxiety that built on more anxiety with each bit of bad news from doctors. That is when the grief came. We believed God was in control, but I think the news that he was blind and deaf hit us the hardest. It was heart-wrenching to think that our son would never hear or see. Thankfully, they were at least wrong about seeing, but that I think was the beginning of daily grief for us.

Grief happens in the day-to-day. It happens when no one else is there to see you. It happens first thing in the morning simultaneous to the joy that fills you at your child's baby-like smile and excitement. It happens at meal time in a restaurant when you don't order for him because he's tube fed, or it happens at church when you think about the nursery that he has never been a part of.

It is daily grief over unfulfilled expectations. It is the "hope deferred" that the Proverbs speak of that "makes the heart sick." (Proverbs 13:12)

Those who have lost loved ones experience daily grief long after others have mourned with them. Those who have not lost their loved one but deal with the daily struggles with them also experience a daily grief. Both grieve over an unexpected change - expectations unfulfilled concerning life.

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in struggle."

Our grief is present but God's refuge and strength is as well.

Psalm 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah."

He daily bears our load. He does not load us with anything unless it is the goodness and strength of Himself - God.

Luke 9:23 "And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

Daily crosses are a part of following Christ. That sometimes means daily grief.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Human Nature

Some things have recently made me think about aspects of human nature. It's sad really how the sin that is a part of us even after we are saved can influence us to be unkind to those that are different than we are.

I've come to the realization that different is not a bad thing. As a child, I was emotional, so I got the reputation for crying a lot. I struggled with worry and perfectionism toward myself, and I got the reputation as the teacher's pet. I rarely got in trouble, and I hardly ever got angry. I would get sad. People picked on me because I was different. I worked hard in school. I got good grades. I was often the Citizen of the year in my class. I won awards in art. I was proud of that. I graduated with honors. Yet, I got picked on.

Fast forward 16 years. I have a 5 year old. He is amazing. He is artistic, intelligent, sensitive. He is not as fast as some kids his age, but he ran about 3 miles in an hour and walked another mile besides. He has endurance. Unfortunately, it's human nature not to focus on that. He gets teased sometimes for not being fast. Yet, he has all these wonderful traits and on top of that - he can run forever. It's our sinful nature that causes us to pick the one thing that we are better at than someone else and pick at it.

As an adult, I see the same tendency. It's not as obvious. It's actually pretty subtle. I meet people, I am excited and talk to them, but then I have the tendency to back off. It's probably the fact that my natural personality is an introvert even though I work on it. I find that wherever I am, I make a couple of good friends, and others are on just a hello basis. I find that I'm not the type of person that people go after as a friend. They are not eager to find out about me and who I am. It's human nature again. If we are a certain way, then we tend to be drawn to people that are like us. I have to work hard to get friends, and sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it if that is the way it is.

It's hard to be different, but it's important for us to remember that each of us are different. I know the importance of showing yourself friendly to get friends. At this time in my life, sometimes that's hard. With two kids - one with special needs, I say "no" a lot. Maybe sometimes too much. Then there are times when I can do things, and maybe there's nothing to do. The ups and downs of life are hard, but we need to keep in mind the lessons in them.

God made each of us, and each of us have a gift that someone else needs. That is not to say that we should go around saying, "you need me, so be my friend." That would be a little odd. Take the time though to see the people around you. Where are they at in life? How can I be their friend. They might have a different personality than you do, but nothing makes us into a well-rounded person than to get to know people who are different than us. Sometimes it takes work, and sometimes it might not feel like it's worth it, because it might not be as fun as hanging out with the people who are just like you.

Kids today call it bullying when someone is picked on for being different. As adults, sometimes we do the same thing, but we avoid giving it a name. Let's love one another as Christ loved us. That means even with our differences, sin problems, etc. That's the way he loved us and died for us to show that love. He spent time with the outsiders and those who didn't have a friend in the world. May we be the same way.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Back Seat Driving

I've often been guilty of back seat driving. Even if I used no words (which I usually do), the white knuckle grip and right foot on the imaginary brake said it all.

I also find that spiritually I'm a back seat driver.

God is the one who is driving our lives. He has the wheel, the brake, and the GPS. He is the one in control. So often though I sit in the back seat or passenger seat worrying about the job He is doing. Fretting about the things ahead or the problem that we "just" missed. Meditating on all of the things that are out of my hands.

Instead, I could be resting. In life, I've learned it is the better way. Let my husband drive, take care of the boys, and rest. With him, I also check once in a while to make sure he's not sleepy.

With God, we never need to check on Him. He does like us to talk to Him. We can share our concerns about the road ahead but then leave it with Him. He wants to do the driving. He is the one who has the best perspective. He is trustworthy.

Don't be a back seat driver in your spiritual life.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The End of Our Faith (I Peter 1:9)

When we cannot see
The path set before.
The darkness
Hides the day.
On the darkest path -
The bumpy road,
Faith will lead the way.

When we cannot see
The light of day-
His Word and Spirit,
They will light our way.
We have the light of life
By our side today.

On the rough road,
He holds our hands.
By faith we walk
This earthly path-
Until we reach
The Promised land.

Then we will see-
What no one could.
The salvation of our souls-
Our fleshly selves dissolved.
The sins that hold us back today-
Will no more have their hold.

And there we will stand
Restored - forgiven.
May all who see our lives today-
See the truth that holds-
The end of our faith
Is better than the beginning.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Glorify Today

The One who created all
The earth, the skies, the sea
He knew before my birth
The plan He had for me.

From the water that covered the earth,
The mountains that He made.
The purpose He had then -
Is the same He has today.

Glorify My name.
Show forth My praise.
That is Your mission -
From your birth to the grave.
Glorify by living -
The life I lead you to.
Glorify by dying
A death that points to me.

In the suffering of Job
The sorrow of David.
Each story that He tells
Has one glorious goal.

In the plagues of Egypt
With the death of first born sons.
Each of these great Histories
Point to just One.

Glorify My name.
Show forth My praise
That is the mission
Of My Word in you today.
Glorify by telling.
These stories I have told
Each one with a purpose
You may never behold.

One thing we will behold
That will be His face.
When all things past and present
Come together by His grace.
In Heaven's glory
We will glorify.
On streets of gold
Where we no longer die.

We will Glorify His name
Show forth His praise.
That will be our forever mission
No more sin - no mistakes.]
But glorify today.
Imperfect it may be.
It is still the mission
He has for me.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I Never Knew You

I came for you.
My, gift-my lifeblood.
I died for you.
Destroying sin.
Dying and rising
My mercy and grace-
The gift from my Father
Is yours to embrace.

"I never knew you"
May these never be
Words I speak to thee.
I never knew you.
You never knew me.
It's not the words you say.
It's not the prayers you pray.
It's really all about -
What I did for you that day.

I came for you.
So come to me.
The weight you carry
Is not meant to be.
Trust my blood shed
Trust that I'm no longer dead.
Lean on me-
From sin you will be free.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Birthday Moments

I recently read a blog about how to handle birthdays when your child has special needs. It was a good read. It is difficult to know how to handle a birthday when your child does not seem to really care. Our son is deaf (likely) and delayed as well as tube fed. Cake and ice cream do not mean much to him. He cannot open presents, and if he does, he probably will refuse to touch them other than to push them away due to sensory issues. I did buy him two toys. They light up, and I think he will enjoy looking at them.

It's difficult, because birthdays are not really about anyone but the one who is having the birthday usually, and if they do not care, should we? This year, we had cake, and we did it for Trenton's sibling. For a 5 year old, birthdays are a big deal, and he wanted to experience Trenton's birthday. I was happy with the outcome. Trenton liked the lit candle, and my 5 year old enjoyed blowing it out for him.

I have a sweet picture to remember Trenton's 3rd birthday. Eventually, I hope that he will care. For now, we will do something every year if not just for his brother.

For us, unfortunately birthdays can bring back a time that was very difficult. It can remind us that he is not where other 3 year olds are when it comes to milestones or really anything. It's a faith-testing day as we have to remember that all of this is for a reason even though we wish that Trenton could do the things that other 3 year olds do and enjoy his birthday.

I was thankful though that this year, Trenton looked at the candle. He was able to sit up in his special chair and enjoy that moment. His sickness from last week ended - an answer to prayer. It's the moments that matter, I suppose. If we look back or forward to much with our children with special needs, we could get discouraged, but God gives us mercy and grace in each moment, positive or not.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Do me a Favor

Do me a favor-
Lend me your ears
Do me a favor-
Comfort my fears
What were the chances
I would not hear?
Do me a favor
Always be near.

Do me a favor-
Help them to see
I'm just like them.
I may not hear or speak
But I speak to you-
With smiles and tears
Wiggles and even jeers.
My actions speak louder than words.

Do me a favor-
Listen with your eyes.
Love me with your heart.
God made me with a purpose
I have a part.
Do me a favor.
Lend me your voice
Speak out for me.
Give me a choice.


Brings us to our knees.
With humility - hope renewed .
We now can see-
His mercy holds us,
Compassion fails not.
New every morning-
We can go on living.

One day at a time,
Each moment it takes-
To hold on to the promises
The promises He makes.

Recalling, the pain.
Rejoicing in the hope-
That all will soon be plain.
His mercy holds us.
Compassion fails not
New every morning
We can run the race

One day at a time,
Each moment it takes-
To hold on to the promises
The promises He makes.

The race is not for winning.
The race is to the finish-
Finish strong in Him.
His mercy holds us.
Compassion fails not.
New every morning
We can finish strong.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Mother's Heart

My baby's born, oh what bliss!
Hold him close
Give him a kiss.
I know He's different.
Born of man and not -

All who see Him
All who see Him
See a King -
I see my baby boy.

I hold these thoughts inside.
I ponder what will be.
The Son of God, the Christ,
My - baby
How can these things be?

I believe, and I know
I am scared yet joy-ful.
Such a mix of fears and tears these are!

The words come back to me-
"Highly favored - the Lord is with thee."
My words echo in my mind
"May it be."

My pondering thoughts
Don't doubt His sovereignty
My motherly thoughts
have some anxiety.

Yet He's the Christ
My son.
When will these things be?
How will it happen?
So many questions.
I will bear with silence.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Another Mountain

Another mountain, stands before me.
Another hurdle blocks my way.
Where the future seemed so great-
Now rocks - have tumbled and quaked.

Where is God in this?
What is His plan? 
His way is perfect, this I know,
But my mind is mounting an attack- on my soul.

This mountain, it's different.
I want to reach the top.
I hear the voices of angels
of those who went before.

Why am I here?
What is His plan?
His way is perfect, this I know,
But now I'm vying for control.

The voice that shook the heavens.
The voice that shakes me now.
Is not the voice of an angry god
but the One who loves me so.

What is Your plan?
Where should I go?
What I do, belongs to You.
I hand it over now.

This mountain - not a roadblock
Just the way that I should take.
Sometimes the mountains 
Are His - amazing grace.

-Sometimes God brings us mountains in life where we thought a certain path had been. The mountains might seem as devastating as an avalanche. We might feel like it's not even worth it to get through it. The heavenly mountain might seem better, but in those thoughts where your fleshly mind is attacking your God-filled soul - listen to that voice that loves you. Surrender the way to Him. You will reach that heavenly mountain with the innumerable company of angels and those that you hold dear, but for now, work hard, remove the rocks from the path with God's help, and climb the mountain. His grace is taking you that way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Have You ever Wondered Why

Have you ever wondered why
Beauty turns to ashes?
Have you ever wondered why
Some hopes and dreams are dashed?
The eternal God our Refuge
Has a plan - not surpassed.

Have you ever wondered why
Some will suffer frequent losses?
Have you ever wondered why
Others only gain?
On His everlasting arms we rest
All these questions they address.

Have you ever wondered why
Some are born it seems to die?
Have you ever wondered why
Some are destined for the sky?
The sting of death is lost -
When our eyes seek out the cross.

Let not your heart be troubled
When these questions flood your mind.
He created you for a glory
That will stand the test of time.
With each question that arises -
He will draw you closer still
As He burns the dross and purifies -
Even ashes - will - be - beautiful

Have you ever wondered why?
Someday you'll know.
Have you ever wondered why?
The pain that you know.
Have you ever wondered why?
Trust Him still.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Team Anderson

We have become out-of-the-box parents.

It's a necessity when you have a child with special needs.

The norm when a child is born is that the mom does most of the baby stuff.

She cares for the baby's needs - food, diaper, health, etc.

Having a child like Trenton was different. All of our abilities had to come into play.

My husband had been a pharmacy technician. He had no worries about measuring propranolol correctly, but me, if I were doing it would have to double check five times before giving it to him. Ryan gave the meds at first. I do it now too, but God knew my husband would need that experience to help care for Trenton.

Sometimes diapering with Trenton is a two person job. If one of us is not available. There is definitely a dance to keep your sanity by the time you're done.

Feeding is probably the most different. He is tube fed. We both feed him. We take turns.

Bathing is turning into a two person job. He is going to start doing the lifting in and out of the tub. 30 lbs of unsupported weight feels more like 60 lbs at times.

Trips to the doctor. Ryan has always been better with these even with Braydon. He doesn't get nervous like I do, and he does well with informing the doctors without talking their ear off during examination.

I say all of this for those who might not realize how different our lives might be compared to the norm. Trenton will probably always be with us. We pray he will walk, but it will be hard for him. There will be lifting and caring for him in every way for a long time. It's not the norm, but it's the way it has to be.

My husband is the leader and I am the keeper of home, but we are a team. All parenting really should be to some degree, but for us it came of necessity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's so Amazing About Us?

Social media triggered a question in my mind today.

What's so amazing about individuals?

So often people are described as amazing for what they do. 

One person makes treasures from trash.

Another travels the world.

Another has overcome huge obstacles.

Another has raised a child with huge obstacles.

I feel at liberty to question these things, because sometimes people think that I must be some special person, just because God is having my husband and I raise a son with severe developmental disabilities. 

I've had doctors say that it takes a special person to raise kids like Trenton. No, it takes an amazing God to give us the grace.

Sometimes I think I'm too special. We all love ourselves. The Bible says that we are our own favorite person no matter how much we try to "humbly" say the opposite. 

What makes us amazing? 

It's the amazing God who created us. He put within each of us the desire to create something, because we are in the image of the Creator. 

What we create may be something simple yet complex. It might be a life. If that is the only thing you create in this life - you are doing something that God created you to do - you are like Him. 

Maybe you create poetry or write novels or essays. I love to write. God put that desire within me. Unfortunately, those who do not know Him use that gift He has given to do anything but glorify Him.

I love to draw, learn, and research. He put all of that within me. 

Sometimes people describe those who are in movies as amazing. Some of them do have an amazing talent. I can't imagine becoming a different person every year. I can't imagine memorizing so much material. Even though many do not use their ability for His glory, God put that ability within them for that purpose. 

What is so amazing about us?

We are in the image of an amazing God.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How do Trials Make us Better?

How do trials make us better?

We read in God's Word that trials make us better and that all things work for our good. Sometimes it is hard to see this.

This Christmas was one of those times. 

The Thursday before Christmas we picked up our SUV and put around 2200 on our credit card to pay for repairs. Thankfully, someone picked up 2000 of that, so this was not too painful at the time. 

Friday, I was called to my son's classroom because he was crying. The Wednesday before he had run his head into a post in the gym, and in the back of my mind I was still concerned that it was more serious than it looked. He was in the bathroom crying because of a belly ache. He rarely gets stomach aches, and when he does, he doesn't cry. We thought maybe it was nerves for the upcoming program because he seemed to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day. He mentioned his belly again after school, and checking his temp, I found it was high for him. The doctor's office had us have him jump to see if his stomach hurt worse, but the the fever was making him wacky, so we couldn't tell. They told us to go to the ER. We took our first trip in Buffalo to the ER for women and children. We had to bring our youngest who has special needs. We spent several hours there, and they finally just said it was a virus. We had assumed this by that point, but it's better to be safe I suppose. I wondered why? Why the extra stress? Why the extra exposure to germs?

Saturday, our son seemed pretty good. He didn't really have a fever, but in the night once again it spiked and his belly hurt. We figured out that is just what happens when he gets fever. Sunday morning, we were leaving for Michigan. His fever was mostly down, so we decided to go. The trip went wonderfully. The boys were great. The ride flew by. 

We got there, and unfortunately, Braydon's germs quickly passed to his daddy, grandma, and grandpa. His brother spiked a fever, but that is all that happened. This is a miracle as he is the one who usually gets things the worst. I prayed that it was nothing, and in the morning it almost nothing. 

We made it through Christmas even though many were under the weather. The Friday after Christmas we headed out on an almost 10 hour drive to Ryan's family. First, our youngest was struggling. He was uncomfortable and inconsolable. We stopped and helped him to get comfortable adjusting his seat etc. He seemed good. Five minutes later on the road, our oldest had to go to the bathroom. We were around the Mentor, OH area at this point. We stopped and took him, and at that point the newly repaired SUV started making a terrible sound. (heart sinks, worry, panic, etc) The sound gets better, so we headed out again. We then decided to stop for dinner in Cuba, NY. Why Cuba? I'm not really sure. I think we had stopped there once, but it's a pretty small town. The car once again starts to make an awful sound, and this time, we know we have to stop for the night. The only hotel is an Econolodge. These are not known for being great, but this one was newly remodeled. Our oldest just wanted to get to his grandparent's house as did we. I told him this was an adventure, and once we brought in an couple of toys, he seemed to agree. I told the hostess about our car and asked about area mechanics. She was going to give me the number of the one down the road when she remembered that her future son in law was a car mechanic. She called him, he came right out, and he diagnosed the car to have an alternator problem. The alternator was one thing we just replaced! We felt this was probably a good thing, as it should be under warranty. What are the odds that we would run into a mechanic!  We were within the AAA mile limit for towing, so our car got towed back to Buffalo the next morning. My father in law drove the 2 1/2 hours to come and get us, and we arrived a day later than planned.

By the time we arrived and got settled, I now had the flu pretty bad, so I spent the next 2 days in bed. It was the worst flu I have ever had.

Why did all this happen on our Christmas break? Why did we have to be inconvenienced and sick? How do trials make us better? Well, thankfully these trials were insignificant compared to some others experience every day.

What can trials teach us about God? They teach us about His grace. In trials we see His grace at its height. When we experience His mercy as we did when Trenton only spiked a fever and did not get the flu - we glorify God. It was a direct answer to prayer. I prayed that night for God to help my unbelief because I was that sure he had the flu, and yet - He showed mercy. I told Him I would give Him glory, and I do that now. It was God's doing.

His mercy could be seen throughout our trip when we the part we needed happened to be the one just replaced. The hostess happened to know a mechanic. We happened to be in the 100 mile range for AAA. These were not coincidences. They were God's mercy in action.

His grace was what brought us through the inconvenience of the car issues and the pain of the flu.

Once again, my blog brings me to these two traits of God that are so often interchanged, but in reality are so different. May we be better in our trials learning more about God and His Grace and Mercy.