Psalm 34:1
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

I was convicted of this as I sat waiting for Chandler to awake from his procedure. God had laid it on my heart several years ago to begin to write about our journey that God had ordained for us. I began, but then fear, lack of confidence, and excuse of “no time” got the better of me and I laid it aside.  Several times I had thought about picking it up again, but then Satan would place another fear or excuse in its place. I allowed, yes allowed, my battle to be lost to fear. God promises us in 2 Timothy 1:7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I chose to give in to fear of no one wanting to read what I wrote, or fear of what others would think, keep me from doing what God wanted me to do.  Then God used my son to remind me that God is bigger than my fear.  Chandler has a fear of talking to people, and is extremely shy.  Because of this fear, it takes him a very long time to make friends.  On top of that, we moved this past June to a different state, a new ministry, and church. We have been discussing with Him this verse in the Bible to help him overcome this fear that He has. As we were discussing it one night, God spoke to me. If God has not given him fear to talk to people, and my God is his God, then why do I allow fear to rule in this area of my life? God tells us He has given us the power to accomplish His will. If He has asked me to do something, He will give me everything I need to accomplish that task.  God has done many things in our life that we know only God has done, and I am supposed to praise Him continually for it. I am to tell of His goodness, love, grace, and miracles in our lives. Psalm 22:22 “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” I want to tell what God has done for us, taught us, and shown us through our lives. My prayer is that you see what an amazing God, Heavenly Father, and Creator I have.

Psalm 71:7-8 “I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.  Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.”

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I can’t be supermom all the time 

As a mom I have days that I feel I have accomplished everything as supermom and nothing can get me down. Then there are days that I feel I have failed at the mission God has given me – my children. Recently it has been the latter in a particular area. I have noticed with my boys that they are not using their beautiful mind God has given them as much as they should. Here is a scenario that will help you to see why I would think this way.

Brandon is 11 almost 12. He wears glasses and we had to buy him a new pair. We were on visitation one night, when I noticed he didn’t have them on. When I asked him, he said he had put them somewhere safe so he could throw the football. Why I thought that was a good answer I’m not sure! When we got home, he got out of the van and proceeded to look at the front outside of the van. Then turned to me and said did you take my glasses?!

 I wasn’t sure if I was more upset that he had lost the glasses; or the fact leaving them on the car while driving was a safe place!!!!!

That is just one of the many things that have taken place. Forgetting to turn water off, throwing a fry across the table to hit your brother but hitting a lady, wearing 2 different shoes because you didn’t want to look for the other one, seeing who could look over the balcony the farthest, putting clean clothes in the dirty hamper and dirty ones in the clean… The list could go on and on!! I know what some of you are thinking – they are boys!  These are things that eventually and hopefully they will learn not to do as they get older (I pray daily).

It’s the constantly need to call for me, and need me to figure things out for them that concerns me. As a mom I need to teach them and to train them the way God intended me to. The problem is a lot of times I micro manage them. I can’t be Supermom and come to the rescue every time. I need to let them be their own Heros sometimes. Even in the arguing, I am too quick to jump in and play referee, but the truth is they won’t have mommy there to get them out of situations. I can use the excuse I’m training them or they are still little. In reality, I am not supposed to be teaching them for that instant and moment in time. I am supposed to be training them for life. I am realizing more than ever they need to learn some independence, and how to work things out on their own. 

Jesus was an example to me in the way He led His disciples. He trained them and taught them. Then He left them on their own to do what He had trained them to do. Many times they failed, but through their mistakes they became stronger and learned from them. 

My boys need to learn to work different situations out on their own. When they can’t do something a certain way or the first time, I can’t let them give up, but encourage them to try it a different way. I can’t come running to the rescue every time they have a problem (except emergencies – I think that is a given! ) When the butter doesn’t go on as smooth, I can’t reach for it and say I’ll do it. When they bring me a math problem they can’t solve, I need to say – try a couple more minutes. When they are arguing over who gets to pick a game or ride a certain bike, I need to listen and let them figure it out. It’s tough to watch them struggle, especially when it would be nothing for me to help. It’s even more rewarding to see their face light up and be so proud of themselves doing it on their own. I am still teaching them, but allowing them to use the training I have taught them. All the while under my protection. 

The same way God does with me. He has taught me in His Word how to live, yet I still make mistakes. God doesn’t save me all the time from those mistakes, but wants me to use the training and teachings He has given me to “figure” it out. All the while under His protection.

Obedience in becoming “A Woman After God’s Own Heart”

I have been reading “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George. The book has been a great read with truths from the Bible and her experiences. She wrote that the one way to be a A Woman After God’s Own Heart is through Obedience. This was just one of her examples she wrote about. 

“On several occasions he (Saul) specifically disobeyed. Although he was very careful to offer prescribed sacrifices to God, Saul failed to offer God the ultimate sacrifice – obedience from a heart wholly devoted to Him.” 

( I Samuel 15:22)

If I don’t obey Him with my whole heart, are all the “sacrifices” I give Him really “sacrifices” or just scraps to make me feel better about not giving Him everything. How more Sweet my fellowship with Him would be if I obeyed Him with my whole heart. 

A thought that was convicting. I have given Him a lot, even my sons. Yet there are things I still know I hold back. I hold them back with many excuses – fear of failing, pride, uncertainty, or just plain do not want to. Holding back those things not only makes me disobedient, but keeps me from enjoying many more blessings He has for me. I pray that I will give Him everything and obey Him in every area of my life. Only then will I see the bountiful blessings He promises to give me.  

 

He gave me all of His heart, shouldn’t I give Him all of mine?

God is good

Chandler is now 10!!! He is doing really well and we are so blessed. We have definitely had our ups and downs, but can not complain! We had a scare a couple months ago with Chandler’s cf progressing. God once again and intervened and He is doing much better. He loves drawing, basketball, his new dog Tink and his brothers. I am so humbled by God’s goodness.  

 

The Journey

During the first weeks after making the decision was hard. It was hard not to think about where we would be in 6 months. I would go in at night when he was sleeping and just stare. I would cry in the middle of the day, I wanted to make plans to see all our family. The hardest part was starting to plan a funeral. I don’t know if it was right, but I knew that I would not be able to do it after the fact. Any cough or sickness would put us on edge.
We had not really explained our decision to Brandon but had told him we needed to pray more for Chandler.
One day after going to the grocery store, I had to call 911. Chandler was having trouble breathing and Brandon was very crucial in helping me hold his medicine over his face as I watched for the firefighters. After they left with Aaron and Chandler, Brandon was in my arms and asked “is Chandler going to die?” I completely lost it and began to think about Brandon losing his brother.
With all the medical emergencies we had gone through God had always given me a calmness and I didn’t panic. I felt I was losing that calmness and was panic at the smallest things. One time Chandler was having trouble breathing and we headed to the hospital. As we were driving, I could feel myself starting to panic, I began to cry and tell Aaron I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Aaron had to calm me down by reminding me God was in control. At the hospital we found he had come down with a virus, but after a week of antibiotics was much better and we took him home.
During these times, we had to rely on God’s strength and grace!! We had none from ourselves. There were sleepless nights, stress, and always on edge of where and when it was going to happen. We knew many prayers surrounded us and many showed us love from family and friends. The road was rough, hard on our marriage and hard to entirely let go and let God. We had given Chandler to God several times, but we weren’t giving Him our every day and our emotions.
We several times questioned if we had made the right decision. We were so grateful to God that He had given us His word as our anchor. It was a reminder that He was with us and we held onto Him. We knew He wouldn’t let us go in spite of our fear.

Proverbs 23:26 IMG_1831.JPG

Praising the Lord – contd

The road back to Ohio seemed longer and more exhausting. When we reached home, we decided to keep on with our plans for Thanksgiving.  My mom had come to watch Brandon during our time away and I had already planned to go with her down to Florida.  Aaron would come later to spend Thanksgiving with us.

During this time apart we both immursed ourselves in God’s Word and spent a lot of time in prayer. As we discussed what we thought would be best, we found we did not agree. One thought we should have the lung transplant, why wouldn’t we? The other thought the lung transplant would be trading one disease for another. We were torn as to the decision we should make and why we would have different opinions. I am so thankful that God has a personal relationship with each one of us. I did not have to wait for God to give my husband peace or vice versa. He promises to never leave me, and loves me as much as He loves my husband. A lot of tears were shed during this time and trying to not let it affect us having a great Thanksgiving with family.

Aaron came down the next week and it was amazing how God had already planned for Aaron’s parents to be in Florida at the same time. Our former Pastor who had been a huge blessing to us during Chandler’s previous time in the hospital was also back in Florida. We decided to have a time of praise and testimony with everyone at my parents. We would concentrate on all the things God had done in our lives through Chandler. My parents also allowed us to get away for a night on November 23 to relax and spend some time together. That night we were yearning to have peace from God, we needed something to soothe our souls. We decided to read Psalms 23 and Proverbs 23.  Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shephard; I shall not want.” vs 3 – He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me….” Comforting words to hear as we needed God to lead us. Then we came to Proverbs 23:26. As soon as we read this verse, we both began to sob. We both knew what our answer was supposed to be. God had shown us in His Word the path we needed to take. “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” God had shown us to not have the transplant. We needed to give our heart, Chandler, to Him and watch Him work. We didn’t know if God would heal him here on earth or would take him home to Him. We knew that God had a perfect plan and would be with us no matter the outcome. We shared this when we all came together that next night with our family and Pastor Schettler.  With tears, we rejoiced in the miracles of the past and hung onto the hope of the future. Even though they did not understand, family and friends surrounded us with love and support. We began a journey down a path with an unsure end, but we held the hand of the One who knew the end.

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Praising the Lord

Monday was Chandler’s followup appointment with his  pulmonologist.  Chandler had a cold last week so we were unsure how this appointment would go. We were pleased.  It had been 2 months since his last appointment and he had grown 1 inch and had gained 2 1/2 pounds!!! In the past it has taken Chandler a very long time to gain 2 pounds. A pound a month is very big for Chandler and we are ecstatic! He also had clear lungs, and had a very big improvement in his pulmonary lung function test. It was a great appointment.

We do not take it for granted all the prayers that go up for Chandler. We truly appreciate them more than anything. We are in amazement of all that God has done for Chandler. June 2006, we moved from Pensacola, FL away from our family to Milford, OH. God had called us to a new ministry and we were excited to apart of a new ministry. Then Chandler began to have more trouble breathing, we had to turn his oxygen up higher and noticed his strenghth draining. We entered the hospital to do a 2 week tune up, but God had other plans. After a x ray and a ct scan, we discovered Chandler’s CF had progressed and he needed a lung transplant. We traveled to St. Louis and began his lung transplant evaluation.  Chandler went through 3 days of non stop tests – CT scan, bone density, bloodwork, biopsy, x rays are few of the tests ran. It was exhausting and hard to watch the many pricks and things Chandler had to endure.  Then on the third night we sat down with 7 doctors, nurses, and pulmonologist in a conference room around a big table. They let us know all results of the tests and explained why those were done.  The next words we heard really hit us hard.  Chandler was a candidate for a lung transplant and needed it soon. The decision was ours, but if we decided to not have the transplant, he had 6-12 months before he would be on a ventilator.  As we drove back that night, we were both quiet; but as the shock wore off the tears began to flow. We pulled off to the side of the road and both began to sob.  We were physically and emotionally drained and faced a very big decision. We had to make a decision that would impact our son’s life and ours no matter which way we decided to go.  Thankfully we had a God who had a perfect plan and had everything under control.

Come back tomorrow to hear more of how God showed His power and goodness.

Psalm 18:30

 

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