Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Invitation

What a crazy life we have.  Today I've found myself operating in "shock" mode and trying to snap out of it.  I don't feel crushed by the weight of my worries... God is with us and I have peace in my heart, but I'm a little bit on emotion overload.  Caleb is totally unaffected by what's going on around him... he is a cheerful little boy today and if you peeked in our windows and saw my boys running around in their p.j.'s and playing with their tractors, you would never guess that any kind of crisis exists.  

As you know, Caleb went to see his cardiologist last week and there was huge concern from his doctors about how his heart has gotten weaker.  That led them to schedule a heart catheterization on Thursday and an overnight stay at the hospital that night for him to recover.  A heart cath on a little guy is a big deal. The results from the heart cath will determine the next steps.  We are praying for a miracle.

What you probably don't know, and what I think I need to share so that you truly know how to pray for us right now, is that I have been experiencing health problems myself in the last month.  Four years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that is almost identical to rheumatoid arthritis.  When I got pregnant with Caleb, the disease went into remission and has never returned.  I believed that God chose to heal me of this, in light of the fact that only a few short weeks later, we found out about Caleb's heart defect.  Unfortunately, the arthritis returned last month and it is worse than ever.  Yesterday I sat at an appointment with my rheumatologist and she just looked at me with a face of almost disbelief and said, "I don't understand why all this would happen to one family."  I told her that I never ask the question of "why" because it doesn't lead to anything fruitful.  All I know is that life can be painful and disappointing and the only way we deal with it all is by believing in a God who loves us and who ultimately knows what is best for us.

I'm telling you this, not because I'm trying to steal Caleb's thunder, but because I want people to know just how big a mountain of struggle we are facing right now.  Daniel and I have come to the point where we not only have no reservations asking for prayer, we are actually begging you to remember to pray for us right now.  I want to see God display His power in a way that I've never witnessed with my own eyes, even though I read about His power and His miracles when I read my Bible.  We are praying without ceasing, not just because we want Him to spare our family from all this pain, but because we believe with all our hearts that this is no coincidence.  God wants to do something here.  He wants to get our attention, and others' attention, and He wants to show up in a way that no one can know our story and deny that God is real.  

Tonight Daniel and I and some friends are going to gather and pray and we want to invite you to join us. At 8:00 tonight at First Baptist, in the chapel, we are going to worship and pray and cry out to God to show up in power.  If you feel led to come and join us, we'd love to have you.  If you can't come in person but you want to join us in spirit, set an alarm on your phone and make a point to stop and pray at 8:00 tonight.  We welcome anyone to come and join us tonight who believes we still worship a God of miracles and a God who listens to the cries of His people.  Hopefully we'll see some of you tonight at First Baptist at 8:00!  Park on the north side of the building and we'll be in the chapel.  Let us know if you're coming... we can't wait to worship and pray with our brothers and sisters! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Difficult news

Oh, friends, we need your prayers.  I was going to wait and post a prayer request after we got through Jonah's birthday week, but I can't wait that long because our need for prayer is urgent.  For several days, Caleb has had a lot of swelling in his face and when we took him to the doctor, the initial guess was kidney problems.  We were sent to St Vincents today to see his heart doctor first, followed by a kidney specialist.  What they found is that his kidneys are fine, but his heart is not.  His puffy face is caused by several problems going on with his heart and cardiovascular system and the problems are very serious.  A heart catheterization has been scheduled for Thursday morning for Caleb and we will be spending the night there as the doctors determine the next steps.  The doctor was sincerely concerned and said that this is not a matter of Caleb simply needing his next surgery sooner... the situation they found when doing his echocardiogram (ultrasound of his heart) is that the next surgery may not even help him.  His heart has grown weaker.  There are additional problems that didn't exist before, and previous problems have worsened.  Today was the first day that Dr. Kumar put the idea of a heart transplant on the table and we have always known that is a last resort.  But we have to have the heart cath first to see exactly what's going on.  I knew things were serious when our cardiologist called Caleb's surgeon, and with another cardiologist, the three of them discussed what should happen next for a good 15 minutes before coming back into our room. 

Of course we are trying our best not to let fear overcome us.  As we drove home, it was difficult to know how we could get through the next 6 days.  And tomorrow is Jonah's birthday party...

Tonight we are spending the evening at Daniel's parents house and have put a moratorium on "heart talk" until after Jonah's birthday party tomorrow.  Please, if you are a person who prays, would you pray for us?  We are keeping our feelings of desperation at bay and asking everyone we know to come around us and pray for healing for our little boy.  We are determined to keep our eyes on Jesus, the only hope we've ever had, but our strength is limited.  I will update again this weekend, thanks for your love and prayers. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


A friend of mine recently described being a mom like this: the days are long but the years are short.  Somehow fall is rushing by and my sweet boys are getting bigger whether I want them to or not.  Caleb is walking and talking and Jonah is turning 4 this week and I guess that's what happens when you have kids.  

So I'm almost through my big transition of "stay-at-home mom" to "working mom" and it has been a whirlwind, to say the least.  This routine is starting to feel normal, and I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I don't win the award for Mom Who Can Do It All and Make It Look Easy.  Working moms, I'm on to you.  It's a total farce that women can work and be a mom and wife, and keep their house sparkling, and cook delicious, healthy meals and still have a social life, exercise and volunteer... unless you stop sleeping altogether.  Or clone yourself.  I'm learning that I just need to be ok with the state of my house.  When I have the choice of building a fort with my boys or washing the dishes, I'm gonna choose the fort every time.  Maybe this comes easier for some people.  I'm super hard on myself and it's been rough for me.  But it's settling down and we survived the first couple months and no one has suffered any catastrophe, unless you count almost having to wear a bathing suit for underwear when the laundry had piled up.  (And I didn't even have to because I found some old underwear in the back of my drawer that hadn't fit since before Caleb was born.  Victory all around!)  

The last few weeks have reminded me more than ever why I'm committed to being a transparent person, especially as a follower of Jesus.  I'll be honest, when people have asked me lately how I'm doing with my new job and routine, I have given the Super Mom answer sometimes ("It's great!") instead of being honest and saying that while I love my new job, and feel totally sure that this is what God has called me to do for this season of my life, I feel so overwhelmed sometimes.  I want to say it's a breeze, because I want to be a strong woman in everyone's eyes, including my own.  But God's been nudging me more and more when someone asks how I'm doing, reminding me how important it is to be truthful and real.  And I know why that's so important... because nobody feels like they can admit to being weak when everybody else seems tough.  I'm so not tough right now.  I feel weaker than I've ever been.  God keeps reminding me that it's when I am overwhelmed and weak that HIS strength is the most obvious.  If I was capable of handling everything on my plate, what room is there for God to come in and do His thing?  So it's been a great time for me, not because I'm seeing how strong and capable I am, but because I'm seeing how limited and weak I actually am.  Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you for helping me understand that it's so much better to be weak than to be strong.  And help me to be an encouragement to my friends, to encourage them that we aren't the strong, competent people we want to be, but that we're really helpless without You.  And that's a good thing.  So be encouraged with me, fellow weaklings.  Let's wear our weakness like a badge of honor, knowing that we are just pointing people to the ONE who is the Rock, our Strength and Shelter, Jesus!