Friday, March 18, 2011

And the Packing Begins

We started packing yesterday, in light of the fact that we may be moving in a mere 3 weeks. The good thing is that we threw away bags and bags of old stuff that we just don't need anymore. That is such a good feeling! I love the 'new start' that a move provides. What a great excuse to go through all the closets and pantries and have a solid clean-out. It yields a fresh beginning, in what will soon be a few place, ready for a new season to begin.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Been a long time

It's been a long time since I've posted on here. Over a year to be exact. This mama has been busy running around after my now-20 month old who is absolutely delightful but into everything. I barely have time to accomplish the things that I want to in a day.

But one thing I've decided: one of the things I want to accomplish in my days is getting back into writing. I love writing. And I really miss it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Day of School

I decided this morning as I was reminicing about my own school days that the last day of school is always, always the funnest. Funny how parenting brings back so many memories of one's own childhood. And today was no different. I lived vicariously through Taylor, enjoying that "celebratory", "out-of-the-ordinary", "last-day-of-school" feeling that pervades every moment of the day from dawn til dusk. I picked up Tayolr mid-day and brought her to McDonald's for an ice cream to celebrate the day. (I decided that New Zealand could really use a Dairy Queen or Coldstone Creamery, or other ice cream parlor, but that's another post). Anyways, it's hard to believe that the little baby I held in my arms only a few years ago (well, maybe a bit more than that) is so grown-up now and has just finished her first year of school.

We're all looking forward to a bit of a break. Aaron and I have 3 weeks off from the prayer room, so for the next few weeks, the whole family is in "wind-down, put-the-feet up, enjoy long and lazy mornings" mode. It's a much-needed change after a very long year. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Samuel's First Rice Cereal

I'm not sure who enjoyed the concept of rice cereal more: Samuel eating it, or Taylor feeding it to him! But either way, it was a hit all around. Samuel did great with it!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quite a Week

Aaron left for a 16-day trip to the States about 17 days ago. About 3 days after he left, I developed an unusual limp and weakness/loss of range of motion in my right leg. Even though I had no pain, I thought I had just pulled something or done something weird to some muscles. After walking around for about a week with no improvement, I finally decided I should go to a physiotherapist to get it looked at.

So on Wednesday Oct. 28th, I headed to Physio (with a friend to help with Samuel). She looked at me with grave concern and told me to go to my GP (general practitioner) immediately. I got an appointment right away, and after seeing him, he looked at me with grave concern and told me to go to the ER immediately. I met a friend at the ER who graciously stayed with me to support me and help out with Samuel. I was examined at the ER, got X-rays, saw numerous doctors (one of whom I found out later is a strong Christian), and eventually the concensus was to admit me so I could get an MRI asap.

I waited all day Thursday, not sure where this thing was going. Was it a disc problem requiring back surgery, or a medical issue? The doctors weren't sure. Friday afternoon I had an MRI and a lumber puncture (which, the Lord graciously gave me a dream about the night before I ended up in hospital, so I was somewhat prepared for that procedure). The results confirmed what the doctors were thinking: My immediate condition was inflamation in my spinal cord, affecting the nerves and therefore motor ability in my leg. Unfortunately, the doctors have told me that the type of inflamation presenting itself is similar to what they see in patients with MS. However, a diagnosis of MS is only made if a 2nd neurological episode occurs, separated by time from the first, and in a different location in the body. Medically speaking, they have told me it is likely that such another episode will occur at some time in the future, though no one knows if, when, or where in my body it would happen. However, at the same time, they have also told me that it is medically possible that this was a one-off, fluke occurrence and this may never happen again.

So I ended up staying in the hospital for another 5 days to proceed with the treatment of IV steriods to clear up the inflamation. At this point in the story, I need to pause and brag on our incredible community and many friends from around the world who gathered around us this week. Nic took a week off work to care for Taylor full-time. Friends from Auckland drove down to be with us. Without even a thought, a schedule was arranged so I would have help with Samuel 12-14 hours a day in the hospital. I received so many cards, texts, and phonecalls with Scriptures and prayers. I was literally being carried on the prayers of the saints from around the world that week. I felt it, and it made such a difference. My normal reaction to these sorts of things is fear, worry, and anxiousness. But instead, I was being carried on supernatural grace. I had such peace, confidence, joy, and contentment that week in the hospital; I felt His presence so strongly, and was certain that He was so near. I would never ask for such suffering, however the beauty of intimacy and communion in the midst of such pain is a precious treasure not to be taken for granted.

In the hospital I learned in a very real way the wisdom of what we do in the prayer room: agreeing with who God is (worship) and agreeing with what He does (intercession). The wisdom of singing the Scripture in the time of trouble. The wisdom of storing His Word on the inside as a precious treasure, that it would be a sure foundation in the winds of testing. All the theories have been proven true. Angels and demons really move when we lift our voice and sing the Word in the darkest hour. The Word really does keep our hearts steady when all around us is shaken. I've never been more convinced of the wisdom of the prayer room as I am now.

So anyways, I was released from the hospital yesterday, the same day Aaron returned from the States. My body has responded incredibly quickly to the steriods (a very good sign), and I'm walking almost normally now (though still have weakness in the leg and need to work on exercises to improve balance, range of motion, strength, etc.)

Of course, I don't think it's at all by accident that this happened when it did. When I received my potential diagnosis, Aaron was en route to Redding, California to meet with Bill Johnson and others from Bethel to discuss plans for the establishing of a Supernatural School of Healing and Ministry here in Tauranga. Interestingly enough, the weekend Aaron was there, a woman who had MS for 30 years was instantly healed and left the healing rooms pushing her wheelchair. What a precious sign from Jesus to our family that His power is greater than any sickness, and nothing is impossible for Him to do!

So those are the facts. Now for the emotions. First of all, I know that God has been preparing me for this for about a month now. I won't go in to all the details, but He has been speaking to me for a while now, and I had a feeling that something like this was coming. He is so good to prepare our hearts and to whisper the plans and purposes of His heart to us ahead of time. As you may have read a few weeks ago, we've just passed 20 years since mom's death from cancer. And it's almost as if now the Lord is bringing me back to face 20-year old giants of fear, sickness, doubt, lack of faith, and mistrust so that I can deal with these issues. He is so jealous to remove all that hinders love, that in His kindness and mercy He has brought me back into the same "boxing ring" to battle with my greatest enemies face-to-face. He wants me to be free from these things once and for all. And so my greatest desire through all of this is to know Jesus as my Healer. Not only for the sake of being healed, but so that I will have experiential knowledge of Jesus in this way, that I will have a testimony to throw back in the face of my enemy, and that Jesus' power, ability, and desire to heal will never again have ground for accusation in my heart. I desire for the story of 20 years ago to be re-written. This time ending with healing instead of defeat. I want my children to have a testimony of God healing their Mommy, that they would know and experience His great power even from a young age. I'm asking for, believing for, and contending for a miracle!

This will be a journey for our THOP family, as we link arms and learn together how to contend for healing and pray for the sick, while remaining full of faith and without offence should He choose in His wisdom to tarry.

This will be a journey for my own heart and for our family as we walk into the uncertainties of the next several months and years. Medically we don't know what will happen, nor do the doctors. Spiritually, there are definitely battles to fight, giants to face, and the sweet communion of intimacy to be enjoyed in the crucible of suffering. Emotionally there are bound to be highs and lows. Practically, we have yet to discover if and how much life has really changed. There are many uncertainties. Good thing that He remains steady through it all. So I choose to lean into Him, to trust Him, and to make my confession: He is good and I love Him.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Isn't This a Comforting Thought?

Mt. Maunganui is the nation's 3rd most dangerous beach, based on the number of rescues lifeguards have made. Great.

(Not that I ever go swimming in the ocean, so I suppose this really doesn't affect me personally......)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Letting Go

I'm convinced that parenting is an 18+ year journey in letting go.

This week I've been working on moving Samuel from sleeping in the bassinet in our room to the crib in his own room. We've kept him in our room for a long time because his room is the coldest in the house, so we had to wait until the weather warmed up enough before making the transition.

He's had his naps in his crib this week, but tonight is his first night in his own room. And part of me is a bit sad. No longer will he be sleeping right at my side every night. It sounds a bit dramatic, but it really is the first of many times in his life in which we will have to let go.....someday it will be sending him off to pre-school, then to school, then driving, then the first date...... Some parents are still letting go of their children after they're grown and married, releasing their children and grandchildren to live in foreign lands. Loving and letting go. Simultaneously. It's not necessarily easy. But it's part of life and part of parenting. Truth be told, it's the point of parenting.

Of course, watching our son move up the hall to his own room really isn't a big deal at all. But maybe I'm just a bit more aware of every phase and transition with Samuel, with the lurking thought in the recesses of my mind that this very well may be the last time I get to enjoy each of these precious "baby" phases. So I hold onto every day, every smile and giggle and little cuddle, grateful for yet another day that I get to be a mom.