Raising Children During Chaos

Raising children in the midst of chaos can seem like a task of responsibility and accountability because our hearts are filled with thoughts of logistics, plans, & overwhelmed by circumstances. 
Pressing into Jesus while I admonish our children has made me the most aware and humbled by the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
While their behavior is filled with selfishness, tantrums, questions, and the need for training, it isn’t abnormal. It can feel like the greatest inconvenience, though, when my heart is reeling and my thoughts aren’t captive to Christ. 
I’m overwhelmed by the grace and wisdom the Spirit speaks into me and through me when I’m gently talking through life with my children. When a directive, a calm answer, or wise training comes from the depths of my innermost heart. I’m overwhelmed because Jesus speaks to me even more than whatever I’m speaking to my children. 
When I’m speaking hope and understanding to them (through the Spirit’s leadership), it’s actually me He’s speaking to…filling up my heart and mind to prompt me towards steadfastness. I’ll never stop growing, and the inconveniences of nurturing and training my children insure this and though I don’t always thank God for it, I am today. 
So today when my heart is very aware of the circumstances today holds, as we travel to another town to meet with an oncologist to hear pet scan results and chemo treatment plans, I’m asking the Lord to calm my anxious heart with moments of truth shared with my children that are ultimately for us all. 
Grace so free, washes over me. 

Advertisements

a bum eye & the aftermath

i was finally in town and without scheduling conflicts to make it to the neurologist for the follow up appt to my lumbar puncture. I had to reschedule the original appt because we made an unplanned trip to Colorado for my grandfather’s funeral. I wasn’t all that worried. Call me too trusting, but if the results required immediate attention, I assumed (I know. Risky business) that I would have been notified immediately. 

 

Here’s  a quick summary. He was looking for 3 markers. Only one came back that “usually” indicates multiple sclerosis. and that indicator was negative in the blood work. 

So he’s planning to call UT Southwestern, where they have a neuro dept that specializes in MS, to ask about my eye manifestation as it might relate to MS and the markers in the spinal fluid.

He definitely does not want to diagnose MS with such little evidence and gave me the freedom without being offended to seek out UT South for a second opinion.

We’ll wait to hear about his consultation with them to decide if we’ll continue to investigate. There are a lot of avenues that could come from them or a simple wait and see if more symptoms appear.

I’m okay with this. If we’ve learned anything from our recent history, it’s that doctors can’t fix everything, we put too much hope in them, and prayer fixes everything (including our hearts). I’m confident with the doctors we have and will continue to pray for direction as they advise us and ultimately praying for healing.

Thank you for walking this journey with us!

Adventures in Healing::He speaks

I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalms 77:1-20 NKJV)

20130624-125114.jpg

This is a picture of our monitor. I pleaded with The Lord for a nap time for both boys, at the same time. Although I FEEL as though He hasn’t answered any of my prayers lately, I won’t stop asking or believing. I will choose to acknowledge that He answers…but I have to be honest in my prayer. I’ve asked Him for His will. That’s what He’s doing. Just because my flesh seeks to determine and control His will, doesn’t mean His will is not being done. I love how honest Ps 77 is and how raw it is. Asaph is plagued with doubt-yet he still takes his all to The Lord. Sometimes the pain, physical or emotional, seems too much for us all. But not depending on Him & not trusting Him is so much more painful. In this passage, though…he moves. He doesn’t stay in this place of hopelessness & despair. Verse 11::he remembers. He made a choice to remember & meditate. His will followed. (“A Deeper Kind of Calm-Linda Dillow)

It may seem small. But my pleas with The Lord for a nap time was my desperation for time with Him. I needed a word. I needed quiet. I needed to release. He may not have healed my husband today, but He is healing & redeeming my heart from the disappointment and hurt of watching him hurt. I know if He can do that, He’s still in the business of healing….in all ways. I will continue to believe. So, he was in control of a successful nap time that I committed to Him. I could have been cleaning or on Pinterest or sleeping. But I desperately needed moments with Him. Have you spent moments talking to Him (its okay to be honest with Him, He knows your heart anyway).

If we have difficult conversations with our loved ones, don’t we also love on each other after the fact? The Lord wants that too.

Adventures in Healing pt 2

20130623-102711.jpg

Today, while we are coping with disappointment, we turned to a bit of creativity and change. He is working through the pain, and trying to deal with no answers. If this is the new normal, the pain, he wants desperately to live in freedom and in a way that allows him to be himself.

This doesn’t mean we give up or stop believing. This means we continue walking, with hope greater than our comprehension, with a God who doesn’t do things the way we want, expect, or THINK we need. We walk with a hope and plea so desperate that we are needy for Him. He is the only healer, provider, and sufficiency. Even when our miracle doesn’t come in a timely way or in a tidy wrapped up packaged testimony that seems perfect & praiseworthy.

Provision. It never comes in expected ways. Sometimes it’s spiritual healing, growth, understanding, etc. Sometimes it’s financial. Sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s interpersonal. Sometimes it’s all of the above.

Today our provision came in the form of financial blessing & interpersonal. We received a monetary blessing and were poured over with texts and Facebook messages.

The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. (Proverbs 11:25 NKJV)

And just like Solomon, all we ask is for wisdom. Understanding is your greatest gift aside from salvation. Please pour it over us now. 1 Kings 3

I am praying daily, without ceasing, for healing. Whether it be by miracle, through modern medicine, or both. Lord give mercy in healing and grace in the wait.

Adventures in Healing

20130621-105225.jpg

My first love, before anyone else on this earth, is this man. I have never wanted so badly anything in my life, as much as I wanted to be with him forever. When he asked me to be his wife, he lit a fire deep in my heart to be his greatest source of joy, behind the The Lord. I fail at doing this multiple times a day and actually achieve quite the opposite when I’m a joy stealer. I want more than anything for him to be holy and happy. But sometimes those don’t go together. And sometimes that shatters my heart. I am biased, this I know. But I don’t know anyone who loves people more than he does. He loves to see them through mistakes, through experiences with false teaching, through disappointments from those who say they love….I could go on and on because his ability to love seems boundless. Truly a quality directly from The Lord. I don’t know anyone else who can speak straight the matter with biblical counsel like he does. Without bias or opinion, the Word does the cutting through his speech. And just like that, he is utilized to bring healing. He will be the first to admit fault and that if anything good has come from him, he will credit The Lord. He is anointed. I am beyond blessed to benefit from the character and integrity that are bound up in the heart of this man. He does not waiver in questions of ethics and morals. There are places in our hearts and lives that are “givens” and “absolutes” and we continue to walk. He has not tripped in leading me or leading our boys. He looks for progress and growth. He constantly thinks about, prays for, pushes forward in his job. Oh his “job”. Being in a bed for months at one time, he looked at me, “Melissa, I love my job. I want to be there and I want to be with people”. Given this description, you would expect no other “job” for him than ministry. He is not limited to his title in college ministry, though. That’s not how ministry works. We love students. We love their season. So much opportunity. The independence to make decisions. The new awareness of self and world. The hard theological questions. The challenge to serve and share. The excitement for justice. The love of food! Free food! That’s our motto. But he has this heart for people that takes us beyond college students. Nearly weds. Newlyweds. Hurting marriages. Confused fathers. Those called to the ministry but don’t know where to start. The list could go on and on. Yes, we are flawed. But it’s easy to see flaws. It’s not easy to see the wonder of a man’s honor and nobility when he does his work with grace and does his serving, leading, and admonishing with a gentle and bold approach. He doesn’t do it for grins and approval.

This “leg” of my blog regarding “wife” will speak of my journey in being his wife. Right now, that is wrapped up in serving him however I can at our home and in his ministry. At home, taking care of whatever I can so that he doesn’t have to and he can spend more time at his work–with people. At home–taking care of details that would otherwise cause him more pain. In our ministry–being available to have people in our home, preparing multiple facets in order to have bible studies in our home, making good plans and preparations so that our life is easy in the places where we do have control.

Wife to him in a season of hurting. Hugs and cuddling. An even more intense approach to praying healing over him and for him. Being more stubborn than he is to ensure he doesn’t hurt worse. Spending time pouring myself into Scripture so that I can always have Truth and a word to share with him when we’re discouraged.

We know Truth in this season of no answers and pain. We Trust in this season. We wait now. As we always have, for deliverance & provision.

I hesitate to share what happened this week as we traveled in hopes of answers and help. We received neither, and the experience is hard to describe without using harsh words. I’m not ready to measure that-so for now,know that we are disappointed & displeased with our journey and those who brought us there.

Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for hurting with us. Thank you for encouraging us.

At this point, we have no evidence that this pain is being caused by anything that is fatal, for that we praise Him. However, this debilitating pain is agony. We will walk by faith, knowing One suffered much more than this to bring us much more. Those are easier words for me as I’m not the one hurting physically.

We pray for healing. We believe Him for healing. However that comes.