Tuesday, April 17, 2012

heart mending

This is my friend, Andrea. You may remember Andrea of Abigail fame from about this time last year. Last year, we were raising money for Abigail to have a tumor removed from her leg. The good news is that today, Abigail's check-up revealed a "normal 3-year-old." This is news worth celebrating!

Unfortunately, this wonderfully uneventful visit to the doctor is under the shadow of her sister's extended hospital stay.

This is Shilo, Abigail's sister. She is five months old. All told, I think she has spent something like three of those months in the hospital, mostly in some form of an ICU. This particular stay has lasted since February, brought on by a typical-in-other-people virus. But Shilo is little. And she has a heart defect. The virus required her to go on all kinds of equipment, including a ventilator. After quite a while, it became evident she would not be able to get off the ventilator without undergoing open heart surgery. The surgery was expected...a little on down the road, perhaps, but expected. As it is, though, things keep happening that destabilize Shilo just enough to where they cannot go through with the surgery. The surgery should alleviate all kinds of health issues, so as scary as open heart surgery on an infant sounds, it is welcome. All Shilo needs for the surgery is some stable days in a row -- days free of fevers, with clear lungs. Those have been hard to come by lately.

Could you join us in praying for Shilo and her family? They have been separated from each other for most of the last 8 weeks. That is a long time, and a great percentage of Shilo's life and Abigail's recent memory. Or anyone's recent memory. Even if the surgery goes through quickly, there will be at least a few more weeks apart before Shilo and Abigail can be together in the same house with both of their parents at the same time. Until then, the scene is Andrea and Shilo sitting in a small room full of medical equipment all day without snuggling each other while Jason is at work and Abigail stays with various friends. Therefore, prayers for "in the meantime" are greatly appreciated as well. I'm not going to say that this is a super-family or anything, because I know Andrea would hate that. But their normal days require more stamina than most of our normal days. We trust God's grace can cover us all and each of them even as the answers we wait for are slow in coming. Please join us in entrusting each of them to the care of their Father and asking that He would speedily mend Shilo's heart...and everyone else's.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Earlier I posted snapshots of things that are good about the yard next door. Here are some "snapshots" of things that are good about my kids. These "pictures" were taken today. :)


First thing this morning, Israel lets us know he figured out to pray for Jesus not to let Satan in anyone's hearts. Two days before, he showed up inches from my face to wake me up: "Mom, I asked Jesus and he got rid of all my sin. I'm not going to sin anymore!" Tonight, it was praying for Jesus to heal everyone who was sick: very sick, not very sick, and in car accidents. He will be so happy for Jesus's second coming. I hope it's not too rough for him in this in-between time.


Before we could eat breakfast this morning, the kids had to go have blood drawn. (Nothing alarming, just checking cholesterol, since high cholesterol runs in the family.) Israel was frantically trying to talk us out of it: "I'm growing good!" He responded quite like I expect most kids respond, though he calmed down just in time for the needle, a point on which I congratulated him. But not Eden. Eden was happy! Last time she had a doctor's appointment, she stated that getting the flu shot had "made her happy." She liked it! I thought surely such parenting bliss would be short-lived. But, no!
"They're going to take blood out of you and give you a shot. Do you want to climb in the chair by yourself?"
"Yes!" She climbed up and plopped both her arms out in the right place, veins up, like she had done this a million times. (It was her first time for a blood draw like this.) She didn't say anything else.
"Okay." The two nurses (I guess they routinely call for back-up with small children) looked at each other, astonished. I just laughed. "They're going to give you your shot now and we'll see your blood. Do you think it's polka-dotted?"
"Well, we'll see." I sat by her to prop her up and make her tall enough to do this on her own. She watched them stick the needle in and watched the vile fill up. "What color is it?" I asked.
"Pink!" She said, still watching. She did the whole thing without wincing once, hopped down, and said she liked it...again.


We went to exchange a duplicate birthday present this morning, too. I told Eden she could choose what she wanted to get. In addition to wanting pretty much every greatest-thing-ever they had, she wanted to use some of the money to get a particular airplane for Israel. I let her, admiring her generosity. When we got to the check-out, the total was a few cents over the money we had from the exchange, so I told Israel to give the clerk his quarter. (A nice old stranger had given each of the kids a quarter at the grocery store earlier, which was also pretty cool.) In return, he got two dimes. He was pretty amazed at the apparent 2-for-1 deal. "I'm going to save these for college!" he said.


Tonight at dinner, the kids both ate really well. Israel asked for one of the two "extra" corn muffins. Pat checked with me. I said I would like to have one of them later. He gave Israel the other.
After dinner, I half-heard Eden say something about wanting another corn muffin, too. I mostly disregarded her, because she never asks for seconds and she wasn't actually talking to any of us, anyway. She went in the kitchen, brought out the last muffin, and put it in front of me. "You can have it," she said.
"Don't you want a muffin?" I asked.
"You can eat it," she said, pointing to it again.
"But don't you want some?"
"We can all have some of it!"
She and I shared the muffin. I can't believe that she was willing to give me all of it when she wanted some, too!


I love seeing the generous side of my daughter. I love the thoughtful side of my son. I love watching them learn how to interact with the world and with faith. I love when they succeed. Just like me, they often don't, but we celebrate when these things happen.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I posted a new entry, but I started trying to write it so long ago, it's several entries down. You can click here to go see it or scroll down until you see the one titled "till we lay these weapons at your feet."