Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Surrender

This has been a weird week. It's been emotionally unsettling and draining and confusing and sad and just...weird. A lot of this surrounds Trevor's accident. I think God is using his accident in my life to bring clarity and a refined sense of purpose. Maybe more. I know He's using Trevor's circumstances to touch numerous lives in myriad ways, like only God can. I'm just speaking for me here. And if I ever come across as selfish in the next several minutes, forgive me. That is certainly not my heart. Although, my flesh is often a very real and obnoxiously loud interruption in my heart's intentions. Anyway...

The turning point for me was Sunday. Jake decided to change up the service a bit for Trevor. I was eager to be a part of that, and was so thankful that God brought Judah and I home so we could be there. But the emotions started before we even got to church! I had a moment - just a moment - where I was...I don't even know what to call it. I was ashamed to even say it out loud. I'm not sure why I did. But I told Jared how awesome it is that the A's have so much support right now; that everyone is coming together to hold them up and walk through this with them. But it's temporary. This won't last forever. Our challenges and ups-n-downs with Judah will. I feel awful even writing that down. But that's where I was for that moment in time. And Jared let me feel that...grief, frustration, whatever it was for that moment, and then we moved on. [Part of my motivation for writing things like this down is thinking about the off chance that sometime someone will read that, and they'll need to know they're not alone when they think that, or they need to have permission to feel that way, or to at least be honest about how they're feeling. So, that's that. Moving on...] The morning at church was amazing. Best service I have been to since...I don't know when. Well, it's at least up there with Eli's baptism service:) It was an emotional and moving service that was in honor of Trevor; but it was so God-honoring and Christ-centered that Trevor became a beautiful vessel of God's grace and glory, rather than the point of the service. The truth statement was "My life is not about me". The crux of the message was: Surrender. I have understood for a long time that we are made to bring glory to God. Our purpose in life is to glorify Him and build His Kingdom. Over the last 2 1/2 years I have struggled to grasp the truth that this life and what happens in it is not really about me, or us, but about and for and because of Him. But that's really kind of an end. His glory is a goal. It's something we strive for and desire - living a life that brings Him glory. It's something we want others to see - His glory. But the beginning is surrender. Surrender. Laying down. Giving up. Face-planting before God. Now I see. I really see this. When I think back to the last 2 1/2 years of writing, I see an undercurrent that I never before noticed. And I understand now what God was speaking to my heart in the hospital. It's the message of surrender. God has been walking with me, holding my hand; but with every step I believe He's been teaching me how to surrender. He's been pursuing my heart. It's like every other lesson He's taught me is a just a sub-point under the heading "Surrender". I see now that even my most recent encounter with Him revolves around this. Choosing to rejoice, to pray, to thank - each one requires surrender. I have to lay self down to focus solely on Him. I have to give up what I want or think is best to truly thank Him and rejoice. I will be looking at things much differently from now on. I'm so, so thankful for His work in my heart! But not gonna lie. I'm a little apprehensive about what a lifestyle of consciously choosing to surrender requires. And, frankly, it sounds exhausting.

The last few days have also been difficult because of the weight I feel for Trevor and his parents. The things they're texting, or writing on CaringBridge (www.caringbridge.org/visit/trevorandersen.); what they're experiencing right now resonates deeply with me. I no longer have the luxury of merely feeling sympathy; full blown empathy has taken residence in my heart. I'm extremely thankful that God has given me a heart of compassion borne from our own experiences with Judah; but it's heavy. My heart is very heavy.

I guess that's it. I'm just in this weird place right now; right in the middle of this process, this work that God is doing. What a fabulous and awkward place to be. I feel like I'm just on the brink of seeing greatness in many ways. Not just in my own heart, but in the lives of Trevor and his family, in our Campus Life kids, in our Millard West community...and the hearts of my own kiddos. Speaking of which...

It has been so fun for me to see Lydia notice God more and more since she got her Jesus heart:) She is talking to her babies about Jesus A LOT! The other morning as we were cuddling in bed, she randomly said, "But there's no queen in Heaven." So, we had a little talk about how we get to be princes and princesses because we're children of the King. "And even Daddy is a children." My favorite is her new awareness of whose she is. She still loves her "Princess Lydia" stories that revolve around Princess Lydia, King Daddy, & Queen Mommy. She used to tell Daddy that he was her best King Daddy. Now she says, "Well...Jesus is my King Daddy..." Melts my heart.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Big Boy Stuff

Judah has been transitioning at meal time. He has decided that he wants to eat different textures, eat more snacks, and do it himself! Meals have gotten a little messier around here, but it's so worth it!!!

video

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Throw it Out There

Judah is doing so well, that I decided to ask ID if there was any possibility we could go home tonight. I just wanted to throw it out there, knowing full well they could say no. I had my "arguments" all ready, and ID agreed with me! So... We're going home tonight!!! First time I've ever given one of his doctors a hug:)

We'll be back here in less than 3 weeks for Judah's next surgery. I appreciate everyone continuing to pray for him and the rest of our family as October 10 and recovery approaches. Praise Jesus that my folks will be here for this one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jesus Heart

Get ready to do a happy dance...

On September 16 I welcomed a new little sister into "the Family" - my own Little Merry Sunshine, Lydia. Coolest thing I have ever been a part of! It went something like this:

Wednesday morning the Boys had a chapel speaker that used a black rubber rat to illustrate our hearts before Jesus. He emphasized our need for what he called a "Jesus heart". Fast forward to Thursday night devotions. Jared usually does devos, but Lydia asked for me; so the 3 kids and I packed onto the playroom love seat and settled in. We read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and how He was going to take our sin upon Himself. I decided to reiterate what the Boys had heard in chapel the day before. I talked about Jesus getting a black rat heart so that He could give us His Jesus heart. We started talking about how our hearts are black with sin until Jesus comes to live in there. Lydia started asking questions, and I could see her just starting to connect the dots. The light was coming on! She asked with round eyes and concern in her voice if she had a black heart. I asked her if she had ever asked Jesus to come live in her heart. She sadly said no. I can still see the look on her face as understanding dawned in her heart. She was genuinely upset. I had to tell her then that she had a black heart, because of her sin. She wanted to ask Jesus for a Jesus heart right then, and was going to go to her room; but I asked her if she wanted to pray with me. I took her hand, and she said, "God, will You please come live inside me and give me a Jesus heart?" Then she looked up at me with a light in her eyes and joy written all over her precious little face! I will never forget that face! I told her that when we ask God to do that HE DOES! She started jumping all around the room laughing, and ran to tell Daddy...who was in the shower. That was kinda funny. She was so excited he couldn't even understand her! I have loved hearing her tell people since then. She has the sweetest tone when she says that she has a new Jesus heart. I am thrilled that the Boys got to be a part of this, too. They have both professed faith, but I didn't get to be a part of their life-changing moments. How awesome of God to allow us all to share in Lydia's.

Post-Op...#13

I'm pretty sure Judah's been anesthetized 13 times. We have a small village of bears. What a champ. Anyway, he's having another good day. The procedure this morning went quickly and smoothly, and Judah was back in my arms shortly after 8:00. I'm excited, because this was the first time he wasn't intubated! And he handled it like a pro. He bounced back quickly once he got some food in his belly, and he's finally taking a nice nap:) Lydia is with us again. We took Judah for a walk outside, and then explored some. We're having some down time now, watching WALL-E. I'm hoping to sneak in a little nap. Last night Judah's IV alarmed several times, because it was kinking. Praise Jesus that he was able to keep it until his morning antibiotics and then into the OR where he got a new one...WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING! We are all done with pokes this time around! All that to say, that after not much sleep and having to be up at 6:30, I'm sleeeeepyyy...

We're still on track to leave Sunday. Judah is still fever-free, holding down everything, happy:)

I'm super disappointed about losing another weekend with my family and having to cancel the camping plans we had made. But...I know God is at work in my heart, and my sob fest with Him
yesterday was...productive. This isn't easy, this whole choosing to rejoice and give thanks. The praying part comes more easily to me, but the rest will be a work in progress. For a long time I fear.

Comforting himself w/ Grandma's voice from his "Grandma book"

Best part of any procedure

He "stole" the Charge Nurse's phone & didn't appreciate having to give it back. He actually called "Miss" Joy at the front desk!

5 min. later Joy brought him his own. Little charmer...


Walkin' on sunshine



Thursday, September 22, 2011

New News

The results are in. There is an oral drug that will kill this bug! YAY! This comes with a slight change of plans however. Surgery is tomorrow at 7 (thankyou, Lord, for the early time!!!), and then ID wants to keep him here for observation on IV meds until Sunday. Boo. I understand the reasoning behind this decision, but I miss church. I've missed so much. This is the part where I allow God to move in my heart to choose joy, prayer, and thankfulness while I give Him my disappointment. This is not easy.

Thanks for praying everyone. Judah is doing really well!

*swear word*

**Disclaimer
This one will be ugly. Sometimes these posts are for everyone, to keep you informed about Judah and what's going on. Sometimes...honestly, they're for me. A way to process what's happening. A way to work through grief, frustration, anger, fear, or whatever else is battling for prominence in my heart. This is one of those. I fear that if I don't write down these angry feelings I'm dealing, I won't be able to process and work through this. I don't mind you reading it. Maybe God will do something here. Actually, that's what I'm counting on. Just wanted you to know what this was up front.

I'm angry. I'm really just plain mad. When I think about all the things that I could be or want to be mad at, I can't help but trace it back to God, because He's the One in control. Which means that I'm really just mad at God. As I say that, I'm reminded of verses that say something to the effect of "I'M GOD! Who are you?". I know. You are God; I am not. But You created me to feel deeply. To be passionate. And You called me to a life that You were going to fill with these emotions! My emotional make-up mirrors Yours! Not perfectly, obviously, but You are deeply emotional and overwhelmingly passionate. So, I need to feel! I don't want to be angry with You! That's why I'm here. I'm expecting You to show up. I can't live with this anger. I can't be who You want me to be when I feel frustrated with You. This isn't just about me. This involves my husband, my children, those within my sphere of influence, and those without. That's a lot of people. And I don't want to be that wife or mom or friend or stranger or whomever that totally ruins Your image and Name because of how I behave or what I say. Or how I say it. Blech!

So here's what I don't get. Why can't our plans just happen? We have made so many good plans for our family - small things, big things, in the middle things - and every one has fallen through since the end of June. Our anniversary. A trip to WI. Lunch dates. Labor Day weekend plans. Camping. Time with friends. Even littler things, but there's always something. It's mostly been hospital stays that have intruded. A couple times it's been another kiddo that comes down with something. But, seriously, it's always something. My kids have had to give up so much this summer. They've been thrust into uncomfortable, unpredictable situations; they've lost out on fun; they've given up Mom and normal routine and family stuff; they've lost security. I can hear bitterness. I don't want to be bitter. That's why I knew I had to get here. The Word has been hugely encouraging to me throughout the summer; but somehow, it just hasn't been enough to deal with this. Unless I'm doing something wrong. I feel like I'm not even thinking super clearly. If I try to get to the root of the problem, I know it's something in my heart. Selfishness? Pride? Bitterness? I can't nail it down. God, You see my heart. You know what it is.

I desire to be like Paul. I want to be so singularly focused on God's glory and His Kingdom that my circumstances - whatever they may be - aren't devastating. That everything isn't such a big deal. I don't want to survive, just getting through the day, waiting for the next ball to drop. Feeling anxious about when the next hospitalization is going to be. Not being able to look forward to plans we have in the near future, because I don't really believe they're going to happen. I want to see Judah suffer, see my kids hurt, make sacrifices, yet be so consumed with Christ that it doesn't hurt so much. That I'm more concerned about Kingdom-building than I am with these other things. But I just don't know if that's possible. Maybe He consumes us with Himself, changes our attitudes and perspectives, gives us an overwhelming desire for His glory and His Kingdom...but still lets it hurt the same. Because that keeps us running to Him and longing for Heaven. Life is so unfair. Maybe I've been looking too much at what this life supposedly has to offer, and have taken my eyes off the Prize. God, I don't know how to get over this summer. And the things we are still having to give up. I can't do it. I'm broken. I need You to do it...but You're just not coming to the rescue fast enough.

I want my children to see joyful living. I want them to see victory, living above the circumstances, joy that defies pain. I want them to see life that goes beyond just surviving. A life that is lived in complete dependency on a Sovereign, Compassionate Father, finding contentment and completeness in Him alone, regardless of what He does or allows. Because of what He does or allows! How do I show this to my kids when I fail so completely? When they see the tears and hear the questions? I want an attitude of dependency and joy and trust that is genuine and transparent. I want to be authentic, allowing those around me to see my struggles; but I also want them to see joy in the midst of that, and victory on the other side. I come into contact with dozens of medical staff and students here at Children's on a daily basis. I feel a weight of responsibility to be an accurate representation of who Christ is. I can fake my attitudes and gloss over my emotions; but then I'm doing an injustice to God's grace and rescue in my life. I just don't know how to balance authenticity with caution or respect for where others are in their lives. I don't even know if that makes sense. It does in my head. And, thankfully, I have the Holy Spirit to translate. God, You get it.

Would You give me something? A verse? A word? A passage? Something to take away from here? I need to know that You're going to get me out of here. That You're going to heal my heart and move me past this summer and beginning of fall without the anger and bitterness. That You're going to enable me to let. it. go.

Are You kidding me? I just opened my Bible to look around a little bit, and the Book opened to Thess. 5:16-18. I don't usually buy into that whole I-just-opened-my-Bible-and-God-told-me-what-to-do-right-there mentality, but...are You serious? "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Fine. If that's how it's going to be, then let's unpack this a little bit. I see a choice here. I have to choose to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. It doesn't just come naturally. Especially in the midst of trials. But why rejoice first? It makes more sense to pray first, asking for help to rejoice. Because choosing to rejoice first allows me to approach You with a humble, willing, teachable heart? Because a heart that rejoices doesn't have room for bitterness? Because our outward appearance and behavior is a reflection of what's in our hearts, and that's what the world sees? Hmmm... Pray. And not just those one or two word "Lord, help" kinds of prayers. An attitude of prayer. A constant awareness that our hearts are in the very presence of the Throne of Grace. A lifestyle of dependence that defines our thoughts and attitudes. Right? Praying without ceasing would require total transparency with our Creator, recognizing who we are and Who He is. But it also requires self-sacrifice and a heart for others. Surely this kind of prayer life is others-centered. Hmmm... Give thanks. IN everything. #3 conscious choice. I know from experience that being thankful, even when I don't feel like it, changes my perspective, my attitude, how I relate to others. A thankful heart is powerful. Pursuing genuine thanksgiving will lead to humility and a transformed heart. And this kind of lifestyle will speak volumes to the world! This is God's will for me. This is what He wants for me. At the center of it is this: He wants my heart. I thought He had it, but I realize now that I have been holding onto things outside of my control, allowing seeds of bitterness to grow and choke my heart. I have been squeezing the life out of my own heart. I need to relinquish that illusion of control, and give Him my whole heart. Every part of it. OK, so... Here.

Lord, You have my heart. All of it. I surrender. You are better than...anything and everything. I'm sorry for holding so tightly to my own wants and what I think is best. I'm sorry for holding onto my anger. I choose You over my anger. I choose Your best over what I think is best. I choose Your will for my children over mine. I choose Your Life over a pleasant life. I choose Your plan for Judah over what I want for him. I choose to trust You. I choose to praise and thank You. And I choose to rejoice. HELP! It will only be You in me. God, I'm so glad that You're good, and that Your definition of "good" is so much more than I can comprehend. I'm so glad You see the big picture. And yet You choose to sit with me and hold my hand.

God, You showed up. You never disappoint.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Bug

It's official. Judah is growing a new-to-him bug in his urine culture. Ew. The good news is that it's a pretty common one this time, and is usually sensitive to the antibiotics he's already on. Sensitivities will be in tomorrow. I also heard from the Urology office today. They put him on the schedule for Friday afternoon to have the stent removed. This should prevent further infection...at least, that's the hope. He was on track to be released Friday, so that means probably Saturday at the earliest now. I'm hoping to actually talk to the urologist later today.

Judah had a good night, and has been without fever since yesterday! He's doing so much better today than he was yesterday - thank the Lord!


I have Lydia here for the afternoon! We're currently sitting in the hallway just outside of Judah's
door. At 2 this afternoon there was a game of Hospital BINGO that broadcast on the TV, and Lydia won! They're bringing the prize cart around soon, and she wants to see them coming...hence our current location:) She's so funny. She's become my personal advocate. When the family comes to visit Judah in the hospital she makes sure that Jared changes his diapers; and when we come home, for the 1st couple days --

[Insert day-long interruptions here. It is now Thursday morning. Sheesh!]

As I was saying... Lydia insists that Daddy take care of the diapers and the feeding and whatever else she thinks he should be doing since I've been at the hospital with Judah doing it all. It's really adorable and I love it! She didn't have to wait in the hall forever. Eventually the prize cart did come and she picked a package of tattoos - candy and sweets. Silly girl. We had a good afternoon together.

Judah lost his IV in the afternoon, so he's on #2. I'm praying this one stays in place for as long as he needs it. I'm eager to get the sensitivities back so we know how to plan in the meds department. If it's something that's sensitive to an oral med., great! If not, we're looking at another PICC line attempt and IV meds at home for a week or so.

Family night wasn't exactly what we were going for last night. We had planned on dinner and a movie together, but late in the afternoon we found out that one of our students - a kid we've become pretty attached to - got in a serious car accident. His name is Trevor and I would ask that you pray for him as well. His injuries are extensive, and he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. He was already a great kid, so I wonder who God will mold him to be throughout these next several months. Jared was able to see him last night, spending time in prayer with his parents. I wish my time with the kids had gone a little more smoothly, and I missed Jared. It was a weird, emotional evening.

Today should be a quiet one for us. Nothing but labs on the schedule. Hopefully some results from the ultrasound and a viral panel they ran to check for anything upper respiratory. The IV drip will get turned off this morning, so no more tower! We're heading outside:) And we'll actually have visitors today! A girlfriend this morning, and 4 more this evening. Can't wait!

Judah is doing better and better, feeling more like himself; but that makes the stays harder. He gets bored and I get bored and there's not much to do around here all the time. I get crabby the longer we have to stay here, and I just want to be home. Pray for my heart. And my attitude. I realized that over time I have developed a good reputation here, and I don't want to blow that in a moment of selfishness or frustration or...whatever. My heart wants Kingdom-building to happen here, but sometimes my emotions, etc. get in the way of that.

A Family Night Funny:
We were telling the kids that Trevor was going to be brought to Children's, but they were full, so he was taken somewhere else. Ezra asked, "Does Trevor usually go to Children's?" I said, "Well...normal people don't usually go to hospitals!" I just had to laugh...and got another good laugh outta that when I told Mom. My kids are definitely growing up with different perspectives and assumptions from other kids!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome "Home"

The 4th floor has become somewhat of a second home to Judah and me over these last few weeks. While it totally sucks that we're back here, it is always nice to here that the Charge Nurse said "Yay Judah!" when she saw that he was coming; or to see the familiar face of a Care Partner waiting for you in your room; or to be able to have conversations and actual relationship with the Hospitalist because of positive history here.

Judah was doing fine, but this morning woke up with a temp of 103.5. We were at the pediatrician's office before 10, and admitted at Children's around 11:30. The afternoon is kind of a blur. His fever had gone down with Tylenol earlier in the day, but crept up quickly after noon. He became lethargic, sleeping through everything: straight cath., IV, blood draws. I was sad that he was obviously so sick with a fever, but thankful that he didn't really know what was going on. Finally his bloodwork came back, and the docs had a scare when they saw that his blood sugar had almost bottomed out at 31. They got glucose from the crash cart, gave him another stress dose of his steroids, and waited. He responded quickly. At the same time, his blood pressure was dropping a little. There was some concern that he might end up downstairs in the PICU, but he pulled through. He's not completely out of the woods yet, but so far so good.

The blood and urine cultures aren't back yet, but we know it's bacterial, and the suspicion is that we're dealing with another kidney infection. He has another renal ultrasound tomorrow, and he's started on 2 IV antibiotics. We'll be here through the week...possibly into next week. It just depends on how he does and what happens.

Emotionally...I'm doing OK. Right now. I was close to tears a couple times today, but when I look back on the day I see how faithful the Lord was to gently carry me through. This is silly, but I almost cried on the way to the hospital when I realized that I was going to miss lunch. Enter Jared. He met Lydia, Judah, and me at check-in carrying 2 McDonald's bags. One with a burger and fries, the other with a caramel frappe. He thoroughly impressed all the ladies behind the desks! And his tenderness and thoughtfulness spoke to my heart.

I also had the opportunity to tell the Hospitalist that one of my core beliefs about God is that He is always good, He only does good, and somehow this is part of His perfect plan for Judah. Even though I don't understand it. Sharing that was such a cool moment for me, because my words usually fail me. Or they come out all wrong and awkward. This moment was so the Lord. It was a very cool conversation. It was real, and I appreciated the fact that the dr. talked to me on a personal level, sharing his own frustration on Judah's behalf.

Spiritually, I'm stretching. God has been using His Word, girlfriends, and circumstances to remind me over and over that my life, this life and what happens in it - everything - is for His glory. I've been thinking about Paul lately. I can't understand how he so thoroughly grasped this truth! His attitude throughout his various trials and sufferings always pointed to Christ, and he was humbled to be able to suffer for Him! I'm not walking nearly the same road, and yet I don't come close to mirroring this attitude. It's definitely difficult to watch your child suffer - I so want it to be me instead - but there still has to be a way to get to the place of humbly accepting every trial that comes, thanking Him, seeking His glory, and not allowing it to devastate you every time. I just don't know how to get there. I believe that God guides our steps and ordains our days according to His plans and purposes, and for His glory. I just don't know how to reconcile that with my very human, very strong emotions.

Ya, so...we're here again, and I don't know if I can do this again. But I'm keeping Psalm 103:1-5, 13-14 and Jeremiah 31:3 at the forefront of my mind. I'm cuddling with Judah A LOT. I'm trying to let go of my pride as we ask friends for help...again; and trying to somehow maintain a praise-filled, thankful attitude.

Just got off the phone with my mom. We had some awesome church! I'm so thankful for that woman and how God has chosen to knit our hearts together. She is such a huge encouragement to me, and I'm so proud of the woman that she is and is becoming!

This post feels very discombobulated, but I guess that's just how I'm kinda feeling. I have all kinds of thoughts flying around in my brain, along with new medical information, and another loss of good plans for me and my family. I should probably go to bed. Lab will be here by 6:30 tomorrow morning, and 6:30 is just around the corner.

Please pray for:

Judah's health, and wisdom for the docs as they treat him.
My heart, and wisdom for me as I advocate and ask questions.
Jared as he holds down the fort.
The kids as they adjust to another bump in the road. Lydia is struggling the most, wanting to cling to Mommy, but settling for clinging to Daddy. And Daddy has to get some work done!

GOD.IS.GOOD.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Prayer Request II

I am relieved to tell you that for right now Judah is just going back on the anti-fungal medication. I'll re-evaluate with Infectious Disease on Monday, but this will get us through the weekend. At this point, the thing that could complicate this situation is the stent in Judah's kidney. Stents and yeast do not get along. If the yeast continues to a problem, the stent may need to be removed earlier than October 10.

Keep praying for these details, and for wisdom for Jared & I and all the doctors & specialists involved. THANK YOU!!!

Prayer Request

Judah had a post-treatment urine sample/culture done on Thursday. I got a call from his nurse this morning who told me that there is still yeast in his urine. Yeast infections are pretty common. What I didn't fully realize until this week is that yeast in the bladder and urinary tract are extremely uncommon. The fact that he still has yeast in the urine is bad...to say the least. I am very anxious right now about what this means. My mind is struggling to focus on Christ rather than the worst case scenario. Judah is a-symptomatic, showing no signs of any infection! That's not really that unusual for him, though. My first prayer is obviously for complete healing and treatment at home. My second prayer is for my heart. My third, that I will be a strong advocate for Judah whatever the treatment plan may be.

Thanks for praying. I'll keep you posted...hopefully from the living room.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Since the 5th Floor...

I apologize for getting this out so many days after discharge. I can't believe how crazy life gets sometimes, and how quickly time gets away from me...

Judah has been doing OK since being released on Monday, but not awesome. He's still not 100%, but I think that's because he's still battling congestion and a somewhat scratchy throat. I decided to take him to his pulmonologist today - before the weekend hits - to make sure there's nothing more serious going on. I'm expecting to hear something about an upper airway infection, or upper respiratory virus; nothing serious.

As far as the fungal infection... The yeast that Judah grew is in an uncommon one. Shocking. They sent him home on an oral drug different from the one they were planning on. He seems to be handling it fine; but we have 2 follow-ups early next week to make sure everything's OK for real. They'll know what the yeast is sensitive to by then, and will make any drug changes they find necessary. The one he's on appears to be doing the trick, so hopefully no changes.

I'll keep everyone posted. Probably...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

August 28, 2011

This is a Sunday that will always be special to me. We publicly dedicated Judah to the Lord with our family, Omaha family, and church family all present (minus "Granny" whom we dearly missed) and Jared baptized Eli! It was one of the coolest church services ever! Our church (Finding Life Church, www.findinglifechurch.com) meets at an old school, so we had our baptism service at some one's home in Elkhorn. I loved, loved, loved the feeling of community as we all sat around the pool listening to several adults and children tell us how God drew them to Himself.

We got to start the service with Judah's dedication, sharing with everyone why we named him Judah, and then reading 4 passages of Scripture that are meaningful to us for Judah.

Exodus 15:2-3, 11
"The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God and I will extol Him. The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name. Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?"

1 Chronicles 16:8-12
Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek
His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments of His mouth.

Psalm 13:5-6
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

My other kids' dedications were very special and meaningful; but there was a depth to Judah's that superseded any other dedication I've been to. I had no problem giving my other kids back
to the Lord, committing to let them go whenever He called them home. But when I had to affirm
that in Judah's ceremony... I paused and couldn't say yes right away. We've actually been there with Judah already, more than once. That statement is very real to me, because I have already had to let him go several times. It was...powerful to know what I was saying when I said "Yes, God can have him back at any moment that He chooses." That sounds weird, but there it is. I guess this time around I'm just more aware of what God is asking of me. To let go and trust Him. Anyway...

It was the coolest baptism I've ever been to, too! Not only did I get to watch my oldest son publicly affirm that he loves and follows Jesus; but I got to watch his dad stand next to him, speak words of encouragement to him, and then baptize him! One of the best moments EVER!
On top of it all my parents and my brother and his family were there to share this with us; as well as are best friends and our favorite neighbor! God has really assembled an amazing group of people - family - that surround us here in Omaha.

I can't wait to get these pictures in our family summer book! There have been a lot of things that have happened this summer that I don't really want to remember; but this day is one that I will cherish, and will come back to many times through our book.



Psalm 31:3
For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.

While reading that Psalm this morning, I was struck by the statement in that verse. God doesn't do what He does in my life for my sake, but for His. I have the privilege of being the recipient of much because of what He does and allows; but it's really for His sake, His glory. And that others might know Him. I needed that this morning, because yesterday I was angry with Him, questioning Him. I nailed the whole "Why me" mentality...and a wide range of other emotions.

Backing up a little...

Judah had been a little "off" for a few days. Nothing I was concerned about until he got a low grade fever on Thursday. We were in the ER Thursday evening, at the pediatrician's Friday morning, and finally admitted Saturday morning. Judah has some kind of fungal infection. When he was admitted they were talking 5-7 days and an anti-fungal medication that would make him really sick. Instead, Infectious Disease decided to use the drug with a lesser potency and are talking a couple days. Judah is doing well, even having improved since yesterday. He was never very sick - praise Jesus - but he's definitely doing better since starting the IV medication. Knowing his body's "aversion" to IVs, the ID doctor has a plan for when he loses this IV, and he'll be able to start oral drugs. So, what I thought was going to be a long, horrible week is turning out
to be...not. I'm so beyond thankful. I really struggled yesterday. Discouragement, anger, frustration, defeat, sadness, all vying for the upper hand in my heart that was desperately trying to hear and feel Truth.

This stay has been different. There were no open rooms on the 4th floor. I seriously almost lost it on the elevator when the admit person hit "5". Seriously. In that moment I did not think I could emotionally handle that change. Somehow God held me together and I managed to get off on 5th floor in one dry-eyed piece. They didn't have a room ready for us yet, so we had to wait in the treatment room...for 5 hours. So not my idea of a good time. This time the IV only took 2 pokes. They called in a couple PICU nurses for the 2nd one. Judah knows. He's on edge when
we're here, and anytime they make him lie down now he freaks out. He's angry and scared and hurting, and it's extremely difficult to watch. I feel so helpless to comfort him in those times. He's jolly and flirty and darling in between times, but he knows...

I would appreciate prayer for a few specific things:

- That Judah will be well and discharged by Tuesday.
- That he will remain healthy between now and October 10, the day of his next scheduled super-surgery.
-That he will recover completely and quickly from that surgery, and that he can stay far away from here for a long, long, time!


As an aside...

I have to mention that this post is the very first one on my new computer!!! We have been having some problems with our other computer, and Jared finally decided that the best thing was to buy a brand new one. He surprised me with it this morning! It's a sleek little laptop and I love it! And I love that computers are not nearly as expensive as they were the last time we bought a brand new one in December of '01. I'm so, so, so thankful!!! I can't wait to surprise Grandma & Grandpa with a call on Skype later today now that we have a webcam...assuming they don't see this first. Well, just in case... SURPRISE!!!


We got orders to leave the floor and went outside right away this morning.

Dr. D. just left the room. He's been by to see Judah twice this weekend. I appreciate and respect and admire that doctor more and more. Our professional relationship has gotten better and better, but we've also added a personal side to it that continues to develop. It's built on mutual respect and admiration, but also some humor and lightheartedness. I told him that sometimes being in the hospital with Judah is almost vacation-esque because of all the quiet and the time I have to think and read and write. On his way out he told me when I get published to let him know. That made me laugh. I told him he might not want to know because he's in it! That made him laugh, and he said he's sure it's all good things. Ha! I assured him that it is all good:)