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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Brokenness Attending & Anticipated

The days leading up to surgery were some of the most trying we have experienced in this house.  After multiple trips to the doctor, breathing treatments for two babies every four hours, and much needed fluids, meds, and humidifier fill-ups, everyone was ok enough for me to leave... and be put to sleep, completely unaware of the world... then wonder around in a medication-induced stupor for a few days.  I can't say it was easy.  Actually, it was quite heart-wrenching and difficult.  It was a good reminder to me again that God takes care of my children.  Showing Himself faithful, trustworthy, and loving is merciful to a controlling soul.  I am thankful that on normal days, He most always uses my hands.  I am thankful for the hands of others who fed and cared for the boys, the babies, Micah, and me when I was incapacitated. 

I am looking forward to living without some of the physical problems that have followed me for more than a decade.  Of course, hope is not found in the temporal alleviation of symptoms but in the Eternal Healer, Redeemer.  I do look forward to enjoying a small portion of healing for years to come by way of this procedure.  There is a part of my heart that is wounded by the brokenness that accompanies physical and emotional suffering.  It may never fully heal here.  Brokenness, like scars, will mark part of the story God is writing in my life.  However, and most gloriously, it speaks of beauty promised.  Brokenness does not ultimately define who I am because of Whose I am.     

And now, a story of how this relates to reality.

I was determined to get a good Christmas card picture.  Last year, we didn't send out card because I was resting and unable to coordinate such a thing.  We took many, many pictures.  After one evening of trying to get a family picture plus another afternoon of kiddos only pics (yes, I tried casual, funny, serious, you name it...) the babies and boys had had it with me.  Responding to the incessant, exhausted crying, Micah and I fed them and laid them all down as quickly as possible. 

I had felt their diapers earlier in the evening and they felt like if I take these off now, I will not get good use of them so we left them on.  This morning, I awoke to three, soaked babies and three soaked beds.  It was horrendous.  Needless to say, I now decree that all diapers are to be changed at bedtime, no matter how lightly damp they seem. 

Now you may see why in our family, we have instituted this:

From now on as you read, you may see a {clink} on the page.  It is because of days like these ~ when I take hundreds of pictures of the children (particularly the boys), make them change clothes, fix hair, smile like you mean it (not how you really feel), and then allow the babies to spend I don't know how long lying in their own waste ~ the Future Therapy Jar is equally if not surpassingly more important than their college fund.  I didn't have one of these growing up so I now inflict part of my therapy on you, as I send my thoughts out into the world via internet.  Thanks for the therapy, y'all:)

We all deal with varying degrees of brokenness and I figure it may honor God all the more to just plan on it as we ask for His help.  I started to calculate for past failures, but it was a little depressing.  The number of times I want my children to make me look like a good mother plus the number of forgotten Tooth Fairy visits alone are enough for me to have to take out a small loan.  God help me.  In all honesty, whatever the broken thing and however they have opportunity to reconcile it, I pray they are always led to the feet of Jesus.  He is our only hope and in Him, all my failures big and small are hidden ~thankful~.

FYI ~ Our Christmas card will be a little different this year:)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sick Babies!

This time of year, colds can easily turn into bronchiolitis, bronchiolitis can cause wheezing, and mommies and daddies of preemie babies thank God for the ability to have meds to treat such things.  Isaac and Eliana have been very sick this past week, and got worse last night.  Thankfully, their doctor has a weekend clinic and saw them right away this morning.  In addition to the issues listed above, Eliana has the addition of an ear infection.  On a positive note, they both tested negative for RSV which is a major concern in preemies this time of year.  After beginning medications today, there is already some improvement.  Isabella has fared well with no issues other than a stuffy nose.  Andrew and Elijah have had colds but they have been extremely short lived.  Please pray by Monday morning when they are seen by the pediatrician for a recheck, this mama can feel better about all that will transpire on Tuesday.

For the reminder of the weekend, we will be visiting with the two wheezers every four hours around the clock. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Rejoicing in Tomorrow

I am many days calmed by those encouragements in the Bible that look beyond this time and space to the future. There are a few that come to mind, but this chapter in the bible, particularly this verse, have been on my mind today:

But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a
new earth in which righteousness dwells.
~2 Peter 3:13~
Sometimes there is nothing more to say when addressing the brokenness of our humanity than to say, "This is how it is now but there is an eternal hope".  I think (or would hope) most of the country felt a temporal verses eternal tension in some way last night irregardless of the victory or defeat of his chosen candidate. And the more I live this life, the more those times eagerly present themselves. Everything falls into the needing redemption category. Even joy only causes longing for more joy. Pain is a sure signpost. When I cause someone else to suffer, the need is undeniable. Nothing here is perfect. Nothing is complete.

Next week, I will confront just one of those broken situations. Since age 19, I have had four surgeries to treat endometriosis. It has wreaked havoc on my body. I prayed that after the babies were born, my symptoms would be better, however they have presented much worse. I have exhausted all options for treatments and after the last visit to my doctor, I was on a "call when you are ready to schedule surgery" basis. On November 13, I will have a subtotal hysterectomy. There are still unknowns post-surgery. I would ask you to pray and consider each of these things.

As I balance the sufferings, I also am perceptibly aware of the way God has allowed my broken body to carry our children. Despite the endo, this womb has been used to full capacity ~ in ways that are humbling and astounding. The finality of this procedure does make a gal sentimental, thankful, and sad as I remember years of pain and the contrasting moments of joy. As many hyster-sisters before me, I will grieve the loss of part of me that God built so I would experience the wonder and beauty (and cursedness) of womanhood.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
~2 Corinthians 4:16~
One day, I am going to breathe deeply in a body that is no longer dying, hurting, or wearing out. And on that day, I will know redemption. There is a lovely song by a group called Gungor that rejoices in this and you can hear it here.

Until then, life here is what it is... Yet it is not all. Tolkien says it well through Sam who asks, "Is everything sad going to come untrue?" In this nonfictional land and for those who are found in Christ, praise God, one day it will!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Follow Up Post ~ from March 2012

Since it has been cooler outside, I have been working on a few projects inside the house. I finally got "Welcome to This Story, Little Ones" printed and many names added. It makes the nursery feel complete, along with the addition of a third crib since the girls so longer share.

I love seeing these names and having a visual representation of all those God moved to pray on behalf of our family.  I pray in the timeliness of God's plan for their lives, Isaac, Eliana, and Isabella are encouraged by it as well. 

Season of Joy

My, how time flies.   I get so busy in the day to day, November 1 mentally brought me to a halt and began to herald the beginning of the closing of the year and the holiday extravaganza to come. 

In the course of the last month, babies are continuing to grow and develop new skills and aspects of their personalities.  Everyone is talking.  Isabella continues to expand her vocabulary to include "Bye-Bye".  In fact, all the babies can say "Bye-Bye", "BuhBuh" (which I think may mean brother), "MaMa", and "DaDa".  Eliana has a unique contribution to the jabbering chorus.  I can't believe this is part of her first words... but she says "poop"...  Thank you big brothers!!!  I can't wait to write that one in the baby book.  Andrew and Elijah continue to learn, grow, and teach me simultaneously.  We are moving through our school curriculum at a slow but steady pace.  I thought I would share a few pictures from around our home, as the days grow shorter, yet more full. 

 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;
 a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
 a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
 a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
 a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
 a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
 a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
 a time for war, and a time for peace.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot
find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8;11 ESV

Life moves from season to season, one time to another, always changing.  God teaches me (many times forcefully) through times and seasons to appreciate the variances in tasting the bitterness of tears and hearing sweetness of laughter.  This Thanksgiving season and in this time and space, I am grateful for merciful, discernible joys.