Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A letter to my children

I started this post two months ago, when my own personal health crisis was looming over me like a dark cloud. It was put on the back burned, but as I reread it, I realized the truths in it that I do want my children to see. This is the "beginning" of this post. John is writing the portion to Josiah, and I will post it when he finishes.

Dear Grace and Josiah,
Over the past few weeks and months, I have thought long and hard about the people that I personally look up to and seek advice from in my daily life. I hope that in daily conversation, I talk about these people enough that you will know the impact they have had in my life. In case I have failed in that respect, I wanted to write about a few of them on here. There will be many people that I miss, but these are the people that I LOOK TO. Some of these people, don't even know that they are in my short list of "wise counsel", because they counsel me with their daily life.

For both of you,
Your Grandma and Grandpa. Grace, we have a long running joke that you love Grandma more than me. That used to bother me. It really got my goat, girly bug! It doesn't anymore, though. It's still a running joke, but just that. Your grandma is your best friend...and I can understand that , because she is also my own. She loves you, more than anyone else (besides Mommy and Daddy, of course). Josiah, there is no denying the bond that you share with Grandpa. As a 9 month old baby, you spent more time with him than anyone, as we spent our days in the hospital with Gracie. I'm so glad that you get to have this relationship with him now, I pray that you will always be able to remember that special love the two of you have.
 For Grace-

Everybody should have people that he or she looks up to, learns from, and especially that she can get Godly advice from. I hope that as you get older, you will be able to realize that Mommy does just this with these three ladies. There are so many others that I could put on here, but these three stand out for reasons I want to explain. I want you to learn to look for qualities in people, because it's not often you find it all in one person!!

 She was your very first Sunday School teacher and that right there says enough. You, my dear, were a pill even before the stroke!! For the first few weeks, she had to actually carry you around with her and teach the entire lesson with you on her lap. Mommy was in the nursery a lot at that time, and I would peek through the glass to see if you were ok. She would tell me to stay on my side and "be quiet! She can hear your voice, you know!" Then, when Daddy came to check on you, I'd say "Oh she's just fine!" as though I hadn't been staring at you all morning. Far beyond being your Sunday School teacher though, she has been MY teacher. This is the first quality that I pray you will seek when you look for your "people". Someone that you can easily learn from. A long time ago, I posted about someone who is always busy, yet never too busy. I want you to look for people like that. People that seem to always have their hands full with important projects ( and by important, I mean of importance to more than just that person)-yet will drop it all to help a friend. Look for people who will keep you accountable. Accountable to yourself, your Bible, your Lord. Over the past three years, through good and very bad times, she has done this for me.
The second person I am thinking of has not been "in" our lives much at all since you've been born. However, she has had such a great impact on my life that I still look to her often. A few years back, there was a slogan WWJD. Once it blew up, it became almost a joke, but in all reality, it was a good idea. As Christians, we should stop what we're doing from day to day and just ponder... What Would Jesus Do? The second trait that I am going to tell you to look for in a "friend" or "hero" is whether that person points you to Christ. With their lips, their attitude, and their everyday life. Does he or she make you stop what you're doing and wonder what Jesus would do in the situation you are in? I have watched this lady as she has completely surrendered her life to the will of God, and her willingness has changed me. Look for that-- that the way someone lives their own life makes you want to change yourself, for the better. There is something to be said for silent strength, and that is what I am able to get from this person. This lady gave a devotion at a bridal shower while I was pregnant for you, and words she said have stuck with me for the past 5 years. By writing them here, hopefully they will stick with me forever. She said, " (Insert bride's name),  (insert groom's name) will make mistakes. Love him more because of them. If you can do that one simple thing, love him more, you will be fine." I have lived for the past 5 years, trying to abide by that one simple rule. Look for people who love others. I don't mean that love the best dressed child at church...but the ones who easily will wrap her arms around the dirty bus kid. The people pictured below will never know this side of Heaven the lives they have touched. What's more important though, is the hearts they have helped change. Like ours.

The last person I will picture for you has probably taught me the most important lesson in my life. One that if we can get down, especially early on, will make our entire life happier. She has taught me how to GIVE. Over the years, she has given of herself, as she has FAITHFULLY prayed for our family. Though she can barely walk, she has spent hour upon hour upon her knees, talking to Jesus on our behalf. I want you to look for that- someone whom you KNOW has a prayer life. Someone who regularly goes to God for other people. Over the course of the last 5 years, I have learned what it means to give your all. The Bible tells the story of the widow who gave her two mites, and because it was ALL she had, she has been recorded as giving more than anyone else. Look for someone like that. Someone who gets her daily strength from the Lord, and then goes out and gives so much of herself that she has to go back the next day and the next day and the next day to get more.
Giving is NOT about money, but about love.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How we're doing

I am a bad blogger. A bad, bad blogger. It has been almost 2 months since I've posted!

Here's just a little snapshot of what's been going on-
-Grace has become addicted to Wonder Pets. And I am smiling about that. Yes, smiling. This is coming from the mom who was convinced that the TV was the devil and her kids would never watch it. I'm still on the fence about that, BUT it is huge that she can sit still and watch an episode of a cartoon. HUGE.
-She continues to do well in school, and has been approved to continue school straight through the summer. Kindergarten next fall looms over me like a huge black cloud. I had always planned to home school my kids, but I want her to get what she needs, especially for kindergarten and first grade. Unfortunately, what she needs includes a lot of individual attention and continuous physical, occupational, and speech therapy. So, it looks like she will have to go to school. It scares me. I mean if people that know exactly what is wrong with her and how injured her brain is don't always understand and have patience with her, how much harder will it be for an outsider?
- She had a seizure two weeks ago tomorrow. It was brought on by a UTI, and it was very scary. We were already in Rochester for a dental appointment, and when we arrived in the ER, they immediately treated it as shunt failure. That didn't even happen when she actually had shunt failure!! As a result, her seizure meds have been changed again. She is now on only Keppra and vitamin B6- just in higher doses. It's been almost 2 weeks since the switch, and to me, she seems happier. :)

- Josiah started big boy Sunday School! Since his tubes were placed in February, he has had a word explosion. I didn't even realize he might have been behind in speech, but now he talks all day! Love it! They continue to be the best of friends, although these days, he does like to try and tackle her.

***Please pray for Liam. He is the son of a friend, around Josiah's age. He is BaTTLING leukemia, and at this point has not walked in five days. His parents faith is strong, but they could really use our prayers.***
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