Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Millimeter A Day

When a nerve is lacerated and then surgically reconstructed, it grows back at a rate of about a millimeter a day. This is obviously a very slow process and there is nothing that can be done to expedite the healing. Nothing but time.

A year ago, I knew nothing of reconstructive nerve surgery. Our family was engulfed in the unexpected loss of my dear sister-in-law and precious friend. I was staying with my brother and nieces as they tried to figure out what was to be life without their wife and mother, and struggling to make sense of it all. I've never known such heavy grief and I've come to realize it is simply one of those things I will never fully understand this side of Heaven. After a couple of weeks away from my own lil' family I returned home and to my own role as wife and mother. We spent many hours discussing what had happened, how sad it made us and how thankful we were to have the love and peace of God surrounding us. We tried to put ourselves in my brother's and niece's positions, but the idea alone was overwhelming. We talked about how we simply couldn't imagine how family's cope without His grace and hope. . Then it happened.

I had a terrible accident in my home that resulted in a severe injury to my right arm, including a lacerated artery, median nerve, and several tendons and skin nerves, which completely debilitated the use of my hand. I had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance, where they determined I had lost an estimated 2-3 liters of blood and would need emergency surgery to repair the damage and hopefully return at least some function to my hand. I've never been more frightened in my life than I was the moment I realized what had happened. I knew it was bad, I knew the artery was severed, and I knew time was limited. I was terrified for my children who were all present, and knew the fear they must be experiencing from seeing all the blood I was loosing....not to mention the thoughts of just loosing their aunt that had to be running through their young minds. It seemed like forever before the ambulance arrived and I pleaded with the Lord during this time to let me stay with them for now. For whatever reason, He answered my plea and I am so very grateful.

You see, God had been working in our family for years. Preparing our hearts, testing, trying, challenging our walk with Him. We had been praying and praying that He would reveal His specific plan for our family, only to repeatedly receive the message of "Wait.". While at the time it was frustrating and confusing, we waited, watching for the moment to arrive when He would say "Go!". It seemed this injury was just another set back, keeping us from embarking on the romantic adventure of servitude I had all planned out in my head. I mean, I couldn't even button my own pants without the help of my 10 year old! BUT..... the presence of God ascended on our home and our family in a way that could be physically felt. Months of painful therapy went by, and while progress was evident, it seemed ever so slow. God used this forced stillness on my part to reach into my heart and reveal His love to me. True Love. Non-judging, ever-present and overwhelming love. A love full of compassion, not expectations. A love that showed me how to cling to Him, and how He really is enough! This time also brought about some very deep conversations for Andy & I as we discussed the "what ifs" and the "now whats". We came to the realization that it was time to fully give it all to God. To step out in faith, exercising our trust in Him and Him alone. Relying on Him to meet us there or fall. All or none. We prayed with each other, with our family and on our own. God slowly began opening small windows of opportunity and saying "Go", and when we did so faithfully, we were all incredibly blessed and awaiting the next window. Several opportunities presented themselves and we pursued each one joyfully. Then a bigger door opened. One we weren't so sure about at first. One we tried to say "it wasn't the right time" or "what if this prevents us from something else" we even tried to completely avoid I believe. The door.....foster care.

So here we are. Just over 2 weeks into the adventure of opening our home and our hearts to becoming a foster family. These 2 weeks have tried and tested us like never before. Our hearts have broken in ways we never imagined. We have had exhilarating moments of joy and excruciating moments of sorrow. It's a roller coaster of unpredictability and for every step forward there seems to be 5 back. Progress is being made at the steady rate of well, about a millimeter a day. But, we are learning even more to rely only on Him, we are learning that every step truly is a blind step of faith and we are finding strength and compassion that is undoubtedly supplied straight from His hand and heart. Please pray with us that we will carry this cup in a way that shines His light and brings Him glory and honor, and that the changes in our family will continue to bring us closer to one another and to Him and His will for our lives.

P.S. Thank you dear Robin for posting this scriptural reminder for me today, for this journey is not about me and my sacrifices, but about His compassion being lived out in my life....not just my words.
"But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just In Case You Ever Wonder...

This is absolutely one of my most favorite children's books of all time. has just moved waaaaay up on my list. We received our first foster placements a week ago, one of which is a precious toddler boy who doesn't understand why his world has been turned upside down.

Books are a daily commodity in our home, but he hasn't shown much interest....until today. We have a multitude of children's books in our home....really, HUNDREDS! Out of all these books, character books, sound books, touch and feel books, you name it, he brought this one to me to read to him. He sat affectionately close to me as I read it over and over and over to him. 

"Long, long ago God made a decision - a very important decision... one that I'm really glad He made. He made the decision to make you. 
The same hands that made the stars...canyons...trees...moon and sun made you. That's why you are so special. God made you.

If you looked all over the world - in every house - there would be no one else like you...
You are very, very special.

And since you are so special, God wanted to put you in just the right home...
where you would be warm when it's cold, 
where you'd be safe when you're afraid,
where you'd have fun and learn about heaven.
After lots of looking, God sent you to me.
And I'm so glad He did.

I'll never forget the first time I saw you...
I knew in my heart God had sent someone very wonderful for me to take care of.

Remember I'm here for you.
On dark nights when you hear noises in your closet, call on me.
When you see monsters in the shadows, call me.
On hard days when kids are mean and don't treat you like they should, come to me.
...cause I love you. And I always will, just in case you ever wonder.

I'll teach you about God.
He loves you
He protects you.
He and His angels always watch over you.

And God wants me to make sure you know about heaven. 
It's a wonderful place. 
There are no tears there. No monsters. No mean people.

In heaven you are so close to God that He will hug you, just like I hug you. It's going to be wonderful. I will be there, too. I promise.
We will be there together, forever.
Remember that...just in case you ever wonder."

At one point, about the third time through, I was so overwhelmed by the words and how they meant something so entirely different to me than ever before, and how certain I was that God had this book in my home for this very moment, that I began to cry. Trying not to upset him, I continued to read....but my voice was cracking and my tone had changed, and he had noticed. He leaned up and wrapped his arms around my head, pulling me to his chest and just held me as I finished reading. It was genuine, and it was a gift from God that my heart needed so badly. I am grateful beyond words and in complete awe of Christ's truly amazing grace. I have never experienced it so fully in all my life.
Praise God! His grace truly is ENOUGH!
And thank you Mr. Lucado for sharing this story that speaks God's love so clearly that this sweet boy understood.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I was made to find my refuge in only one place in this life...

Under the wings of God
is where I find my strength to rise

Cause I found favor in His eyes.
Somethin' I could never earn.

My shelter in this raging storm
Nothing can shake me when I'm under...
Under the wings of God.

Singer/Songwriter ~ Mandi Mapes

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Girly Stuff!

To cope with my girls being away at summer camp, I made some super girly surprises to welcome them when they came home. I had so much fun!!! Both the skirt and purse patterns are from Whimsy Couture, and the reversible purse pattern is FREE here! Can't beat that! And they have the cutest, whimsical style!

It was so wonderful to have them immediately shower and change into these and then say, "Ah! It feels so good to be a girly girl after a week of tomboy!". What more could a mama ask for??? :) 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So thankful for this timely, overwhelming and encouraging reminder!