Sunday, August 17, 2014

Church does a weary soul good....

As I ran around the house this morning trying to get the kids ready; superDaddy working on accounting for his business, Jojo screaming, the kids smearing Cheetos all over their freshly clean church clothes;I thought "why try, why do I even bother to go to Church."  But I'm so glad I did! We made it today, we finally made it to church and it has blessed this weary mama tenfold.  Living in chaos day in and day out is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting! We were in Milwaukee for a month with JoJo, home for 2 weeks,  just in time for my home to be ripped apart, extensive mold exposed, homeless for 2 weeks, to now-leaving in the middle of construction with my roof half done. We have experienced chaos after chaos. JoJo still cannot eat by mouth.  He received a Mic-key button 3 weeks ago. It wasn't working so we tried a mini-one button, didn't work either.  Now we are using a foley catheter, which seems to be working and his body is tolerating his feeds this way best.  We hope to get a ballon tube soon from his home medical supply company.  He cries out often for no explainable reason.  He puts everything, and I mean everything, in his mouth and chocks on most of it.  I have a baby, 11 months old, my fourth child, JoJo's chewing is not "normal," it is excessive and would be wearing on any mamma, but for sure, this one!  Especially since we are living in a construction zone, not much one can do about things being out of place and JoJo is not easy to care for in such circumstances. But alas, we can be thankful that he is alive and with us. Back to this morning, we made it, we finally made it to church!! I put the kids all in their classrooms and told JoJo's teachers to page me if they need anything.  I was finally,  after a year, going to sit down and hear a sermon!  I sat down, sang a Hymn and off went the pager! I almost burst into tears at that very moment, but It took everything I had to hold it all together.  I calmly went to his classroom, I could hear him screaming the moment I opened the sanctuary doors.  I went to get him, absolutely nothing wrong except he wouldn't stop screaming.  And I don't mean, a little cry that normal kids do when left in their classrooms.  It was loud, piercing, and down right scary for the rest of his class.  I totally understand why his teachers paged me.  But now what was this mama to do, who simply struggled enough to get out the door this morning; longing for a break, a break to hear a sermon, a break to hear God's word; what was I going to do now? I took him into the sanctuary, didn't work-too loud and he started screaming.  Went and checked out the nursery to see if that room would work out better-nope tons of babies would set him off too.  So I just sat there in the hallway trying to hold it all together, but all I wanted was to sit down next to my husband and listen to the sermon, however; this little creature wouldn't let me! He started screaming again, no reason, most of the time there is no reason.  I picked him up, even though I didn't want to, and started walking the Halls with him.  A sweet sister in Christ stopped me because she saw a feeding tube on him.  (We haven't been to church all summer, before his feeding tube, was the last time she saw us.) "when did he get that?" She asked.  I filled her in and held back tears.  She then said, "could I hold him for you and you go listen to the sermon?" I said absolutely! And took off before she could change her mind.  And I'm so glad I did.  The sermon was exactly what I needed.  By the end of the sermon I was in tears because of my selfish heart! My attitude has been horrible lately and ungodly to say the least.  And for those of you who would like to respond and say something like, but yeah, look at your circumstance. No, that is not an excuse for my heart and attitude.  Today's sermon changed me. God cares about the internal not the external.  He hates hypocrisy!  The truth is, I've been at my end for a very long time.  I'm exhausted, tired, hate where we are at, can't stand the level of responsibility I have to uphold. I hate not having a safe place for my kids.  I can't stand the amount of disobedience and disrespect from my kids.  I am so threw with fighting with my husband about every little thing! I don't even care about the house anymore! I just want to be done with the chaos! At least that is where I was at this morning before church.  I was so angry at God for putting these circumstances in my life, and I wanted out! The sermon this morning was on the beatitudes found in Mathew 5. Bottom line, it comes down to attitude and where my heart is at that matters to God, not my life or my actions.  I'm not good enough and I don't have to be.  But in the struggles and circumstances in my life I can allow HIM to mold me more like him; To take my broken-ness, my weaknesses, the sinful person I am, and use it for HIS glory! I must stop demanding things to be my way, choose Joy, and deny myself and follow Christ!! In every area of my life-even in the chaos!! Lord, please change my heart to be more like yours! Thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for the sermon this morning and thank you for my dear sister in Christ caring for JoJo this morning so I could hear your words!!

This morning I cried to my Lord and he heard me! God will never leave us nor forsake us. It was very humbling when the very one that helped me with JoJo this morning said to me, "thank you for ministering to me this morning, knowing your circumstance and what you are facing shows me where my heart is at and I should be more content and patient with my kids." Wow!! Never would have thought that my broken-ness could be used to minister to another one. Thank you Lord for your goodness and your ways. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What is life...

I'm struggling with the idea of Life since being in the ICU at children's hospital in Milwaukee.  As one could guess. Milwaukee isn't a safe place for young kids.  Gangs and gang fights everywhere. Not to mention, our weak human bodies sometimes just give way as well. I saw so many children die before my eyes, I became numb to it.  I stuffed it away in my head to survive the chaos we are living. But every night as I try to fall asleep I start pondering life again.  What is life? Life can leave a body and the body is still be there, but the person is gone.  As my son struggled for his life one night, a little girl, just 17 months old, two beds down, passed away from complications from a surgery my son WAS going to have done in May, but it was canceled.  Wow! So scary.  How reality hits you like a ton of bricks! It only takes a moment to change that. Life after death is so real when you see death in the face.  I still look at our Angel baby and wonder why God kept him alive that night of June 20.  He could have taken the life out of him, but he chose to save his life instead, why? I'm incredibly thankful for it most days.  But when I think of all that my little boy will suffer from, as he ages, I can't help but think, why God?  Why did you save him?" He has a plan and I trust Him.  What is life? My brain is so overloaded, it is hard to ponder what life is.  Life is but a moment and we can lose it at any given time.  Life is precious and even if you lay in your hospital bed completely alone or if the hallway is packed with family members as your lifelines are unplugged, God values both!  I saw so much when I was there.  An abondoned abused little boy completely alone, a twelve year old girl shot in the crossfire of a gang fight with all her family by her side.  What makes one kid loved by many and the next one abandoned? My brain tries to make sense of this unfair world.  But that is exactly it, a fallen world. Christ tells us in John 16:13 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  My life has been forever changed from our stay in ICU.  I may be confused and try to make sense of it all for many years to come, but I can find peace in Christ because he has overcome it all! Lord, please help me make sense of my feelings and thoughts about life and death since our stay in ICU. Life is precious. Life is breathed by God. Life is irreplaceable.  Please use our little boy to strengthen us, to grow us closer to you and together, may his little life bring you glory! Amen. 

Our house :(

Here are some pictures of our house being ripped apart. Slowly it will be some our home again! What a relief having the mold gone and the leaks fixed!!! God is good in all things!!! 

Overloaded..try again later

My brain is on overload.  Can't take anymore input.  Need to dump contents and reset!! This summer has been one of the most intense times of our lives!! We spent a month in Milwaukee children's hospital, almost lost our precious boy.  Spent the first two weeks of July getting the family back on a normal routine only to have it ripped apart.  We were thrown out of our home because of mold.  We camped in our backyard for almost a week, in tents, yes with four tiny kiddos! Then the construction began! Our backyard was no longer safe, so we moved our family to grandma and grandpa's backyard in their pop up camper. Life is a Constant go go.  I long for the day my home is done so that I can get back to our normal chaos!!! Life with four tiny kiddos, one with special needs, and one exhausted mommy with no home and space to call her home, is beyond hard!  As I sit here in this chaos and take a step back, I am reminded how "hard" I thought it was with two kiddos. Running Isaiah back and forth to Milwaukee every 2 months for his PWS. Running him to Madison for his asthma, and dealing with his failure to thrive.  Yes it was hard. No doubt. But looking back and comparing our lives today, to then, man, I would take that over this any day! But that isn't the point.  The point is, I can whollow in self-pity, cry, and complain that life isn't fair, or I can take up my cross and follow Christ.  It is very easy to allow satan to grab us in our weakness and spiral downward on the depression cycle. But my Lord reminded me to resist the devil and he will flee from you. I love it when he whispers scripture in my heart and I don't even know where the verses are found.  I love google too.  After my Lord whispered this truth to me, I googled it and found it truly was my Lord speaking to me.  James 4:7 states, " Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  Isn't our God awesome!? He not only tells us to resist the devil he tells us to submit ourselves to HIM!!!  I've been learning to submit myself to Christ, desire him, and my circumstance begins to fade away.  Yes, I have no roof on my house right now, yes, I'm staying in a camper, yes I have four tiny kiddos, yes one has special needs that overwhelm me, yes my life is chaotic, yes my kiddos disobey, yes my husband and I actually fight these days,yes I long to be In our house, yes, I'm purely exhausted mentally and physically. But CHRIST is not!!!!  2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  Read that again, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."   Christ is suffiecinet for me and HIS power is made perfect in my weakness!!! Wow so profound!! My greatest prayer for the last 10 years has been to be content in all circumstances. (It's the theme of my blog) As my life becomes more and more chaotic, the lights are out, and I'm clueless on how to go on until my Lord softly whispers to me, "resist the devil and he will flee from you". Those words have changed my perspective on this chaos we are living.  No matter where we are, no matter what we have, no matter what we don't have, all we need is Christ!  Paul knew that secret, he shares that in Philippians. But what does it really mean to be content in all circumstances? "I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.…"   Despite my circumstance we only need Christ! If you would like to fully comprehend what that truly means, ask God to show you!  I did, I'm still learning, and it's been hard but I'm glad my God is showing me how to walk by faith not by sight.  For to be content in all circumstances, one must walk by faith, which is so much easier to do with the lights on, when you know where your kids will sleep tomorrow, when your schedule is predictable. But that is not truly walking by faith.  When the lights are on, I'm in control, I see, and I plan, and predict what we do and where we go.  The lights of my life went out and I have been holding on to it, Fumbling around trying to turn that light back on because it is so much "easier" and less fulfilling to walk by sight.  I'm so thankful Christ changed my heart, I'm thankful that I put out my hand and asked Christ to guide me through the darkness,I will stop looking for the light switch.   I would never wish ill unto anyone or any family;  however, when one goes through endless chaos, that is when the realization of God's power and love, mercy, and grace overtake you!   Be careful what you pray for.  I've been asking for contentment and patience. God is teaching me!  I am so thankful for his promises. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  I am the worst of sinners, I fail everyday, I am not enough, I complain, and I am the least patient women I know.  But I find my my comfort knowing that I don't need to be perfect because Chirst IS for me!  For a profound revelation!! I don't have to be enough because Christ is enough!!!  In this chaos, I chose Christ.  Life is hard but so full of Joy with Christ in control!