I shot this this morning while Judah's PT was here. Love it!!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
It's hard to believe all the progress Judah's made in a relatively short amount of time! His strength continues to improve and increase, and that makes a huge difference all around. Even cognitively he's taken some great steps lately! He's added new words to his list of what he understands. My favorite? "No." Why, you ask? Because whenever I say no he stops what he's doing, thinks about it for just a second, and then starts flailing his arms and kicking his legs and yelling! It's the cutest, most comical little tantrum I've ever seen. It only lasts a few seconds, because cuddling and/or distraction work like a charm:) He's also consistently signing "more" and "all done" without getting them confused with each other anymore, and he's added "eat" which is a huge accomplishment! This is the child that never cued me that he was hungry...until just last week when he finally started getting mad when he wanted to eat. A few days later he started signing to eat, so this one I'm super excited about! He's eating a ton these days, even exceeding his recommended calorie intake. You'd never know it by looking at his little chicken legs, but he's doing great! He's sooo close to crawling. Any day now he'll finally "get" what to do with his arms. In the meantime, he's getting in and out of sitting like a pro (except that he doesn't do it the "right" way. He walks himself forward and backward with his hands, so he ends up doing the splits every time he sits up or gets back down), and he's scooting EVERYWHERE! He loves scooting into the Boys' room and looking around. He's doing much, much better on his feet! He had therapy this morning, and those little legs got a great workout. It's such a tremendous joy to see him on his feet rocking, bouncing, and working so hard to take tiny steps! Before long he'll be pulling himself up to stand. Hopefully by his birthday. He still has such a sweet, laid back, cuddly, jolly personality, and I genuinely love working and playing with him. I'm pretty sure his team of therapists feels the same way! I'm so proud of him. I love watching him explore. It's so fun to see his curiosity! And he's growing! I'm going downstairs to get out the size 12 bin this week. His shirts are getting tight and the sleeves are getting too short:) He's just doing so well! I believe that the growth hormone drug is helping to improve his muscle tone, and that all the water/fluids he gets keeps him very well-hydrated and healthy. It's hard to believe that just over 2 years ago I was devastated that we were having another baby. And then just under 2 years ago we didn't know if he was going to live. This kid is a champ. A lion. I can't help but praise our Lion of Judah for His good and perfect gift to us: our little Judah.
Judah watching Curious George:)
Standing w/ his PT this morning
Sittin' like a big boy
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Since writing my last post and receiving some feedback, I have been dealing with a lot of fear, uncertainty, and stress over our possible build. I've been going over and over and over everything in my mind, questioning, doubting, re-questioning and then battling discouragement. Today the Lord very clearly reminded me that He does not give us a spirit of fear! OK. So. I don't really know what to do with that at the moment, except to recognize that these feelings are not from or of Him. I don't know how that changes our current situation, or any upcoming decisions, but I know intellectually that I need not be afraid. Emotionally...well, I'm always a little behind my brain there. I have found myself wanting to act or think or do good these days, because then maybe God will do... Fill in the blank. I know that's not at all how God works. His will will absolutely be accomplished regardless of how I act, think, or what I do. Funny how my own flesh plays games with me at times like this. Not funny ha ha, but funny...infuriating. I've also realized that the house stuff is inconsequential. I mean, really, any time we're faced with a major decision, the details are not what's hugely important. Yes, there are consequences to every decision that can be life-changing and lasting. What I'm getting at is the fact that when the rubber meets the road, God wants my heart and my obedience. Which, to me, makes the house stuff just...stuff. I want to follow Him. I want to serve Him. I want to give and share for Him. I want to minister and encourage for Him. I want His glory. I want His will. My prayer continues to be that God will sell our house quickly; but more importantly that His will alone will be done, and that His glory would be known to all those involved. I'm reminded again that this isn't really about me. Or us. Or our family. It's about HIM. About living and loving for Him. About being obedient to His will and whatever He wants to accomplish for His glory. A couple weeks ago we heard a message on a short passage in Romans. One of the best and most practical messages I've heard in a long time actually. Anyway, what sticks out to me is that one of the main points of the message was this: when making decisions and trying to find God's will, do whatever it is that will allow you to love God and people more and better. I wonder how that will fit into all this... I know where my heart lies on the issue, but I don't know God's yet....... I'm going to stop being afraid. I'm going to enjoy this time of intense prayer and seeking after the Lord. I'm going to revel in whatever He chooses to do. I'm going to be continually thankful. I'm going to trust Him. Completely. All in the name and power of Jesus, because I certainly can't do any of that on my own!
Friday, February 18, 2011
When I look back over my wonderful, amazing, adventurous, thrilling marriage to Jared I can pinpoint several times when God led us to a cliff and asked us to jump. And trust Him. At least, it felt that way. Like we were taking this huge leap into a great unknown, not at all sure what the outcome would be. Would we crash and burn or would we glide gracefully, landing on both feet? Regardless of the unknown outcome, however, we learned early on that trusting God was totally worth whatever the jump brought. We have a core belief that whatever He does is good, and His plan is perfect. He doesn't play games with us or tease us. He is faithful and He delights in us. He never leaves us, but guides us each step of the way (and only one step at a time). He is ridiculously trustworthy...even when the circumstances and possible outcomes are scary and don't make any sense to our finite minds. And, believe it or not, even in the times when we've "crashed and burned", we have seen His goodness and faithfulness, and He has taught us and changed us through those experiences. And, if I really believe that His ways and purposes are good and perfect, then there is no "crash and burn". It might feel like it. And the fear of that possibility is very real. But with Christ there is only Hope and Victory. Just not always according to my definition.
This morning we find ourselves coming to the edge of another cliff. Approaching another opportunity to take that great leap of faith, or to shrink back in fear and miss the opportunity to see Him provide in some pretty amazing ways. Our house officially went back on the market yesterday. Exciting, yes. But the really exciting part - the part that contains a huge element of scared-to-death - is that we are also in the very beginning phase of building a home. We haven't signed any papers or made any commitment yet, but we are quickly approaching the time for that. Enter the jump. My practical, safe side tells me that it's ludicrous to enter into a contract to buy a new home before you have sold your existing home. My faith-tested, walk-with-Jesus side reminds me that God can be trusted and His outcomes are only good. I learned a looong time ago that patterning my decision-making after Abraham's wife Sarah is a smart move. When her husband told her that God wanted them to pack up and move somewhere completely unknown to them, she trusted God and followed her husband. I find myself in that place with this decision to move forward to build. I'm fearful of the unknown (and I can only imagine that Sarah felt the same way), and the possibility that God's good includes not selling our house for some reason; but I can't help but be compelled to TRUST GOD and follow my husband. I might not be 100% confident that this is the move to make, but I know that God AND my husband are both trustworthy. And I believe that if God is leading my husband, then I can be confident in his decisions. So, I guess that means that when it comes time to hand over that first deposit, and then enter into that contract (should God continue to lead in that direction) I will do so confidently. I will take that great leap of faith - with that wonderful, amazing, adventurous, thrill-producing husband of mine - and anticipate eagerly what God will do. I believe that I will see Him do great things. I believe that I will have the privilege of seeing Him provide. I also believe that through this experience, this next great opportunity to trust God so hugely, I will see Him at work in our lives, and we will be better for it when we land. Safely.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I've been missing this space. This one little corner of the universe that is only mine. This place where I find peace and joy and comfort and God. Well, I find these things more easily here than anywhere else. I have been writing posts in my head for days and craving a time when I could just sit down and write. I've become desperate to the point of letting Judah just lay in his crib and play his music. And I really have to pee right now, but I fear that if I get up and go, something will happen before I can get back here, and my chance to write will escape me. Enter interruption #1. Lydia just came out of her room to ask me to put her hat back in the hat drawer. She's in down time. That little stinker will come up with anything to interact with me while she's supposed to be playing quietly in her room! Some days are better than others. Anyway, what I miss...
I've been in a time of transition. Major. Some of the transition is tangible, but most is spiritual. Mental and emotional, too. But primarily "life with God" kind of stuff. Over the last few months we've very gradually transitioned (there's that word again) in day-to-day Judah stuff. Far fewer doctors' appointments, fewer questions (I think more and more it just doesn't matter what he "has"), more progress in general, and more and more distance between us and crisis mode. We lived in that place of fear, crisis, and uncertainty for so long, that I almost don't know what to feel in this place of "normal". It's weird. But what has come from these last several months of moving away from that place is a sense of missing...something. It's been extremely difficult to put my finger on something that has felt ambiguous and vague. God finally moved in my heart a couple months ago and pointed my finger at Himself...so to speak. I miss Him. HIM. The overwhelming intimacy - that indescribable sense of His presence - that I experienced with HIM all those months leading up to and after Judah's birth is gone. That almost tangible feeling of His arms around me, holding me up, carrying me, that led me to truly desiring Him more than a healthy child or an escape from the pain - that's what I'm missing. HIM. I don't want more pain. But I want more of Him. I want to experience that intimacy...and I think I'm almost desperate enough to ask for the pain if that's what it's going to take to finally get deeper and closer and more, more, more again. That's where I've been these last months.
Today I realized something pretty huge. Besides desiring Him in this way, I've been going through a lot of other heart changes, too. Growing, stretching, being challenged and pushed, questioning and straining, trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to do. All good things, but hard. Really hard sometimes. Making progress and really growing in one area, and then failing - MISERABLY - in others. Trying so hard to measure up, but then remembering who I am because of Who He is. "Beautiful agony" comes to mind. Here's the cool part though. In my search for more of Him, I actually missed the simple truth that He has been intimately involved in my life, effecting positive change. He's been moving and touching and healing and challenging and disciplining and grace-ing and loving me, like, UBER [Can I use that word like that? Ya, I like it there.] and I didn't even make the connection until today. Until He used an incredible woman and friend to speak incredible truth into my life. And I think I'm finally starting to get it...a little bit. I'm in a great place right now. What better place is there to be but at the feet of Jesus begging for more of Him? But on the flip side of that, I think that I'm in process. I've had a vague sense of being on the verge of something. Something great I think. Now, because of my friend (who literally gets more beautiful every time I see her...seriously, you do) I believe that God is refining me and teaching me because He really does have a specific plan and purpose for ME. To think that He would invest in me and then use me for His design and purpose is so humbling; but I think that's where He's going with all of this. Sitting here right now, in this moment, I almost feel like a new person! And I think I even have a little clarity.
Years ago my mentor told me that whatever it is that makes me love God more is what I need to do. Whatever it is, do that. More. For me, it's writing. God speaks to me through my own fingers. I feel "His pleasure" when I write. (I love that phrase, Christy!) Writing for me is often an intimate act of worship. It's deeply personal, and I do it because I love God and He drives me to it. But I think... I think. I think that He's going to ask me to move beyond that. I think that He's going to ask me to pursue writing that is not just for me & Him. I think... I'm supposed to be a writer.
Actually... It's so scary to say this. I have butterflies in my stomach right now. But, I think I need to accept and embrace who He has made me to be...for Him. So...
I'm a writer.
Oh, God, You are so good. And Your'e here! Thank you for meeting me here. Right now. Thank you for giving me this sense of Your presence. Thank you for giving me this outlet, this gift, that I can worship You with. You are amazing and I am awed and humbled that You have chosen to speak to my heart and breathe Your Life into me. I'm scared about what You might ask me to do with this gift that You gave me. But, God, I don't want to be afraid. And regardless, I want to obey You. Whatever that looks like.
I'm a writer.
But I'm YOUR writer.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
After reviewing the calendar this morning, I realized that aside from our in-home therapy visits every week, Judah doesn't have a single doctor's appointment scheduled for this month! The whooole month! Not ONE! That is a wonderful 1st for him:)
*Lord, please keep Judah healthy this month so we can hang on to this 1st.*
I'm also extremely happy to report that Judah is actually bearing more and more weight on his own! He's not nearly as difficult about doing it, and he'll stand on his feet (with help) for several minutes at a time. He's even started taking (much-much-supported) steps!!! I'm so behind on uploading videos, but I'll get there. It's so awesome to watch him move those little feet:)
We're meeting with his IFSP team next week for a 6 month review. I'm really excited about some of his new goals we're adding, especially CRAWLING! He'll be there by his birthday, I just know it!
This Little Lion is on the move!!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I just got off the phone with Chris at Walgreen's Infusion. She's one of the people on Judah's team that I really like and appreciate for her persistence and tenacity. She called to tell me that Medicaid finally re-approved his Growth Hormone drug - thank You, Jesus!!! After being on the phone several times with several different offices I have come to realize that I need to keep better documentation of phone calls and other details that pertain to stuff like this. So, before I forget, I must close this post, and go document this call in Judah's book:)
Praise the LORD!
God has changed me. My thinking, my perspective, my priorities, my desires. He's still in process - I am by no means even close to the end result of who He wants me to be - but I think I've figured out where He's taking me. Maybe. God does tend to surprise me...good surprise. I think that in all the change He's brought about in my life, even going all the way back to my pregnancy with Judah & opening a whole new world of contacts and medical relationships, God is teaching me that the most important things in this life are to know Him and make Him known. I get the "to know Him part". It's the 2nd half of that I've lost sight of. Practically speaking, in my day-to-day, how I relate to others and raise my children, how I honor Jared and show respect for his work, his passion...I was waaay off the mark. I lived under the misconception that I really was following God, because I loved Him and sought to obey Him, and was trying to raise my kids to do the same. Obviously there's a little more to my life than that, but that's a good nutshell version. I was only half right, though. I was missing such a huuuge element of this journey with Jesus! I think I "got it" back in Bible school when Jared and I were passionate about cross-cultural missions and were headed overseas. But somewhere along the line...maybe when I became a mom...my thinking started to shift and I lost sight of God's passion for others. As I look back I can see that I caught glimpses of it when I was pregnant with Judah. He reminded me that His glory is more important than anything on this earth. He created Judah for His glory, and I had the opportunity to share that with others. I think what catapulted me into an accelerated course on this subject, though, was when I finally became down right adamant - ornery even - and said "NO". When it came time to put our house on the market for the first time just 8 months ago, I was unwilling to move outside of Ralston. It wasn't even an option I would consider. Then, in less than 6 months time, God moved in my heart in such a way that I finally understood that making Him known was far more important than...anything else. More important than where I live, more important than having a husband with a 9-5 schedule, even more important than my children. This shift back into right thinking changes everything! I want my kids to understand this and develop a love for God and others that will drive them to make sacrifices for Him so that others might know Him. Like...the evenings and weekend time with Dad they sacrifice so that he can build relationships with students who don't yet know God. I want them to understand that their "job" to support Dad and have the right attitude is just as important as Dad's work, just different. Their obedience is as crucial as Dad's obedience to make Him known. I want to be involved with these students. I want to know them and pray for them. I want to spend time with them. I just got involved in the girls' life group on Tuesday nights, and it's amazing! I want to live close to these students and be accessible to them. I want to minister to my neighbors. I want to be a light to Judah's ladies and all the other people on his team.
I have a long way to go. I still struggle with so many things. I still make mistakes all the time. But I'm truly amazed at how God is changing me and how He finds me to be worth it. He wants to use me for His plans and purposes. He desires intimacy with me, but wants that to spill over into my thinking about and love for others. He's patient with me. He. Loves. Me. My response should be a no-brainer. To show that love to others in an effort to make Him known.