Our baby boy turns FIVE today. I know this is cliche' but it's really hard to believe that just over five years ago he wasn't in our lives. He was a promise, a mystery. NOW...he's all over the place. Bram and I are so grateful to God for all of our kids, but Canon stole all of our hearts. Hook, line and sinker! We were smitten and still are.
This morning I spent about an hour and a half with three beautiful women of God. We prayed together. Just prayed. For our children and husbands that God would strengthen them for His calling in their lives. For our children to learn to listen to His voice as they navigate the waters of schoolwork and friendships.
We prayed for our local schools and teachers, administrators, volunteers, custodial workers, aids and parents. We prayed for protection from the attacks of the enemy on our children and that his plans would not come to fruit in our schools. We prayed for children in public schools to have a boldness of faith and courage to stand when called to stand for Christ.
We prayed for teachers called to teach on foreign soil. Called to make a difference where the resources are scarce and sometimes unavailable all together. Where, many times they are breaking the law to teach someone to read and write. We prayed for their safety and constant dependence on God. We also prayed for teachers here in the United States that are called to teach foreign students who have come here for a better life and education. People from other cultures and backgrounds. Teachers called to the world that has been brought to us.
It was a privilege to pray with these women. The first of many Saturdays we will spend together praying. Asking God to prick our hearts for the things He loves. Asking Him to change us in the process. To link our hearts with His - to bring Him glory.
A Zinnia has pushed its way up through the chaos and tangle of weeds that used to be a flower bed. I thought they were all gone - choked out by neglect. Yet, it was determined. That beautiful flower. Like a poignant reminder of God's grace. God's ever present grace that always pushes through the chaos and tangled mess we call our lives. His grace and beauty find their way up through the hard, neglected soil of our lives and then - life - real life - springs up. Reminding. Drawing. Loving. Making what once looked neglected have purpose. Making even the weeds around it look lovely.
There it stands. Defiant beauty. Surrounded by weeds. And I'm reminded (again) that is exactly how God sees me. Defiant beauty. Standing with weeds all around. Yet He is at work to cultivate that beauty - His beauty - in me. And I am grateful.
Our sweet little Windy Louise got bit (again) by a Rattlesnake last evening. What a heart wrenching time to watch her labor through the pain. We did all we could do for her short of taking her into an emergency vet clinic. We called a hot-line and the doctor on call told us how to take care of her and make her comfortable. So, we gave her Tylenol and Benadryl and waited. She couldn't out wait the venom this time. The snake was too big and she too little. We are heart broken. Skeeter, her best friend, is lost.
She came to us almost a year ago. Running down the country road in front of our house. She ran out of the cornfield. No bigger than my hand. Lyric jumped out of the car and ran to meet her. She ran to Lyric like she belonged to us - and she did. She jumped into Lyric's arms and into our hearts right away. What a cutey. We will miss her terribly.
I hate the feelings it brings up. I hate holding my kids while they cry and grieve. I hate the feeling of loss and sadness that will live with us now. I know my kids will be fine - and I will too...it just brings up the pain again. Re-opens the wounds of loss. I want to shield them from it, to make sure it doesn't affect them...but I can't. I can't keep them from what life brings us. My prayer is that God will use this loss to make them stronger and build their confidence in their ability to love unconditionally. The possibility is that they will choose not to love another pet...not to let themselves get too close. I don't want that to translate (or transfer over) to people. So, if you think about it, pray for our little family. Pray for our hearts to heal quickly.
This is Sophia Alvarado. The best minds at Dell Children's in Austin, TX still don't know precisely what is causing her nerve and muscle atrophy. Our home group prayed with her parents Jonathan and Jennifer last night, as our whole church prayed in concert. As of this morning she was breathing on her own, but they still were not able to remove the breathing tube. Would you join us in praying for a progressive, sustaining miracle on her behalf?
Little Sophia was born on August 30, 2012. The same day my brother, Freddie, went to be with Jesus. He would have been thrilled at her arrival. He loved babies and little ones.
It's been 8 months since Freddie died. I haven't been able to bring myself to write anything on my blog because I don't want his picture to move down the page. I still miss him just as much - maybe more than ever. As I write, I have a huge lump in my throat and my eyes seem a bit blurry. I have no idea what to say. God continues to give me strength daily, but it's just plain hard. It's just plain icky to lose someone you loved so much. I keep thinking I need to be over this, but I know from past experience that it doesn't happen that easily. I'm not sure I'll ever "get over" losing him. I haven't gotten over my Daddy's death and that was over 12 years ago.
I'm attending a Beth Moore Bible Study with some of the women from my church. It's called "Living Beyond Yourself". Last Monday night she talked about being still enough to allow the Lord the "bind up our wounds" - to heal the deep hurts within us. It occurred to me that I really don't think I've been letting God do that. For one thing, I'm really never "still". I'm too busy for that.(read a LOT of sarcasm in this statement). The other thing (and probably the most gripping) is that the wound is too fresh, too painful. I don't want ANYthing to touch it, much less clean it out. When I was a kid my mom used to cover us in Merthiolate. If you're familiar with the deeply staining red liquid you know how badly it hurts when a cut is doused with it. I don't want any part of that kind of pain. Yet, I know...if God will truly use me...if God will do His work in me...this pain will be to His glory and praise.
So there it is. No major revelations or big game changers. Just the the way it is, today. Tomorrow may be another story.
A special "thank you" to Donna. She doesn't know me and I don't know her, but God used her to prompt this post. She commented on my last post and it stirred my heart. Thank you for listening to God and acting.