27 April 2010

a servant's heart

In recent months I have been touched that I need and want a servant's heart. When praying about when and where the Lord will move us, we pray for the opportunity to serve Him. In my mind's eye this means things outside of my family life.

Then, I read a book. (It is Christian Fiction - admittedly my preferred genre for the cleaner content). While I normally read for entertaining and "escape" purposes, this book began to draw me in a different way.

On Sparrow Hill, by Maureen Lang, is about serving. It merges a modern family with their history as they read letters written 150 years ago. They learn that some of their family genes carry Fragile X. You see how it affects part of the current family, and you see a deeply caring, serving woman from many years ago who was called to serve children who had this "curse." She understood so clearly that they are God's creation and need love and care, to be served.

I do not have anything so difficult to deal with in my life. But I do have children with their own unique needs and difficulties. And in reading this touching story, I began to see that I need to have a servant's heart with my children. Serving begins here. With the children the Lord gave me. Their special and high needs that He allowed require care and cherishing and compassion. Too often I find myself on the frustrated end of things, pushing and instead of pulling gently. Instead of serving them.

(Apparently this book is a sequel, but I didn't realize that until I had finished it.)

25 April 2010

potty talk

(also formerly posted at my crochet/knit blog 'got me in stitches' that has been neglected until my knitting friend picked up the slack recently)

I'm not potty training Baby J in earnest, only dabbling with it.

When his diaper stayed dry for several hours at a time and he asked to go potty between changes (his greatest joy), I bought him underpants. If he's wearing them he'll have small accidents frequently - I'm guessing it's because he doesn't empty his bladder on the potty no matter how many times I ask him if he has more, can make more, push more out...whatever the phraseology. I'm not in the mood for games, so I'm not pushing this.

My other two trained when they were ready to do it right and did it in roughly a week's time - different kids, different ages. Right now, Baby J's verbal skills are not as strong as theirs were (he can say "potty" but other things sound very much the same) and he's a bit more wiley which means more work.

This history leads me to last night...

Around midnight, Baby J woke up. And began to cry. As though in pain. Grabbing his diaper. I was alarmed and looked inside where all appeared normal. Except that he grabbed himself and cried some more. Yeah, uh, Urgent Care? ER? I noticed his diaper was almost totally dry - oh my, was he having trouble peeing??? Can we please freak a mom out a little more?

Then he started to pee. And stopped fast, grabbing himself, crying more. I considered a moment and asked if he needed to use the potty. He calmed down, saying yes. Nearly falling off in his groggy state, that boy peed more on the potty in one sitting than he has ever done. And went on to bed quite happily afterward.

But 12am is so not the time to work on this issue.

i’m a blogger dunce

You see, I posted my last two posts under my crochet blog….oops. I will repost last week's here, this week's above this one.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Today came at last. I had my pre-cancer cells carved off the upper right side of my back this morning. It didn't take long and the doctor and his assistant were wonderful.

But it's been about five hours. And the numbing stuff is wearing off. It itches like mad, people. Truly, if it was a normal spot I could scratch and be done, it wouldn't categorize as that big of an itch. But I can't scratch. I did take some ibuprofen because I can already tell a burning will follow as the itch gets worse.
(There will be a follow-up pathology report in 12 days when I get the stitches taken out.)

07 April 2010


(I mentioned last week that the Lord is doing some things in our lives right now....)

How difficult it is to have faith in God's timing sometimes. I've been in a very long season of waiting. For several things, really, but there is one specific thing that comes mind: our move.

It has been just shy of two years since the Lord began to work deep in my heart about moving closer to "College Town," over an hour from where we are. It took a long summer of my husband working there, the Lord prodding me, and my heart softening. We were ready to put our house on the market (and I told people we felt to move) when John was sent back to the main office which is not so close to College Town. But both of our hearts had been stirred for this change and that did not die down. We began waiting to see what the Lord wanted and when.

At that time the economy was dropping fast, which as I've said before was a direct hit on us since very few needed the services of a civil engineers - nobody could afford to build, the lots grew weeds and foreclosure/bank owned signs went up everywhere. Yes, we've suffered from this, but I know full well that so many others have, too. We're not alone.

In the meantime, we pondered what the Lord might be doing. Our desire to move was still strong, but no longer a practical thing as the commute would have become impractical. We waited. And waited. And prayed.

Acts 1:4
And as He met together with them, He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, You heard from me.

Last August we reached a point when we could no longer afford our home and the inevitable was foreclosure. So we attempted do do a short sell (where the mortgage company agrees to take less than what we owe.) Yes, we had a peace to go that direction. But by Christmas we needed to make some bigger decisions. We got an offer on our house the same day we decided not to sell. I believe this was all a ploy from the Lord to keep us waiting! As stressful as it has been, His peace has been there every step of the way. On Christmas Eve, we filed for bankruptcy. There was simply nothing else we could do. Thankfully, we own our cars outright. The house will go into foreclosure after all (as part of the bankruptcy). We'll know at least 60 days in advance...and per our attorney we should have heard something as early February, but guess what? We're still waiting.

While waiting, I've had some niggling thoughts within me, but never voiced them. Occasionally I'd bring them out to play and see how they fit, what it might be like. Then I'd tuck them back onto a shelf inside of me and move on with my day. A few weeks ago my husband voiced them - all I could do was sit in shock for a moment before asking, "You, too, huh?"

His words: "How would you feel if the Lord moved us out of state?"

He has been working at his uncle's company for just shy of 13 years now. I always assumed it would just keep going. And I was quite fine with that as I loved the security it brought. But it seems the Lord has different plans for us now. And one thing we both are sure of: we want to be where the Lord wants us, not in the wrong place.

So, we're branching out. He spent all weekend working on his resume and sending it off (and there are still only a few jobs in his field). One place in particular draws us both, though we're open to whatever the Lord might do. I suppose we'll just wait and see what He has planned. . .and when. Maybe all he's doing is asking for our heart and our willingness. But I think it's more.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

06 April 2010


The night before I got the call about my biopsy results I got a different phone call from someone whose voice I hear far too rarely. This person is a man I've known since we were bout 15. To this day I consider Eric one of my dearest friends - though we speak about twice a year and see each other even less. This is the friend who walked my mother down the aisle at my wedding because my brother didn't want to, whose last name is the same as Little B's first name, whose parents are our extended family, and whose wife laughed recently at his longing to find time to sit and read War and Peace when he saw it on a chair in a restaurant.

Eric and his wife are expecting their first baby and I confess a moment of trepidation when I saw his name on Caller ID. In recent years, a call from him often brings news, whether good or bad. We spoke of my children, my husband, his wife, our lives and plans in general. He asked the right questions, listening with his entire self as always, like the answers mattered very much him. And all the while I sat waiting for the bomb to drop. One year it was his mother's broken neck (she is fine now) and more recently it was the news of expecting a baby. So you can see how I was uncertain of what I would hear after the chit-chat came to a close.

But on this night, he was calling because his intelligent medieval lit-professor-self was on spring break, catching up on some work (oxymoron, thankyouverymuch!) and upon reaching a good point for a break, he was simply calling a few friends he had not spoken with for a while. I was blessed to be one of those.

As our conversation continued, I realized why he had really called, unbeknownst to either one of us at first: Because I needed him to pray. For the same reasons I asked you to pray. Because the timing of our God is always perfect. This is a friend I have always shown my heart to without reserve because he took care of it. And on this night of struggling for me, God provided yet another source of prayer to cover me.

I never cease to wonder at the multi-faceted ways our Father cares for us, like the timing of a friend's call.

05 April 2010

monday madness

After I posted about my severe pre-cancer cells on Thursday, I called the doctor's office like a good patient and scheduled my appointment for removing the mole on my back. At first, they had something at the end of April, I believe. Then I gave her my address to enter and she told me there was an office closer to me (which is actually where I thought I was scheduling already). And, by switching locations to the right one, they were able to see me Monday (which is now today).

Of course, this is also Miss C's regularly scheduled allergy treatment around dinner time, and now Baby J has a nasty cold on top of pollen allergies on top of 2 year old molars cutting in. Fun.

**Update: It was not removed today as he wants the biopsy to heal a bit more first, so we'll reschedule for next week. Also, the doctor was very kind and informative which is always a good thing.**

Thank you so much for your prayers for me this past week. I feel them at work in my being, literally. My heart is slowly easing and God is doing things in our lives right now that I will hopefully share very soon. . .

01 April 2010

thankful thursday - part 2

I got a call from my dermatologist earlier this morning. My biopsy came back abnormal and I will need to see a plastic surgeon to remove the mole entirely.

Since she was not forthcoming with what that meant, I plied the lady on the phone with a handful of questions and it seems that I have severe pre-cancer cells (versus mild or moderate). If left alone, it will turn into skin cancer.

I'll be making that call and scheduling that appointment today.
I'm thankful...

I do not have skin cancer.

thankful thursday - my tree

I mentioned several months back that we would be moving soon. And we fully expected to have moved by now, though that has not happened yet. We're still waiting on some things in the "paperwork" side of life.

At that time, I was saddened by a specific thing I would have to leave behind: my cherry tree. Every spring there is this amazing week when she graces the back of my yard in prominence and beauty, her blossoms whispering gently in the breeze.

I take scads of pictures of that tree during this one week - my poor kids don't know a camera the way that tree does. I hope to find time to pull out my film camera with manual settings before the blossoms drop by week's end so I can capture the real essence of what she is.

I am thankful for one more spring to see this tree in bloom.