To be writing this post after a bit of an absence (I’ve been lurking but not contributing much) is difficult. The previous post from some time ago was a post of celebration. The celebration of accomplishment for our little Whit who had worked so hard and was making some physical gains.
Alas, time has gone by and God has different plans for Whit, for our family.
A bit of time after the previous post Whit’s health began to become more fragile. It has become painfully clear that Whit isn’t getting better but is in fact declining. That was confirmed today after a consult with some wonderful servants from a pediatric hospice center in Indianapolis. Whit has been accepted into their program and they are going to be walking closely with Jeremy and Anna and the kids as they travel this difficult road.
It is hard to describe the state of my heart. It is a jumble of feelings, the two most prominent are sadness and excitement. Sadness for those of us that will be left behind and excitement for Whit. He gets to go to paradise! His sweet little body that by earth’s standards was ‘broken’ is going to a place where he will be free! Free from that broken little body!!
My imagination can just see him now. If there are meadows in paradise, he is going to be running thru them. If there are trees, he will be climbing. Rocks, he’ll be jumping. His faulty eyesight, not a problem there. And it almost makes me giggle to think about what he will do with words. I can just see him talking up a storm with everyone. (sigh)
What’s most wonderful is Whit is going to a place of ultimate comfort.
Please keep our entire family in your prayers as we travel a road no one wants to travel willingly, but travel we must.
So thankful to have a Saviour’s hand to curl up in for comfort along the way.
Forgive us if we have a smile on our face and tears in our eyes. Because I love Whit deeply, I am genuinely excited for his ‘homecoming’. Now if only my eyes would catch up to my mouth.
As some of you may know, one of our grandsons suffered a brain injury at some point in his development and is therefore developmentally delayed. For some time now, Jeremy and Anna have been working very diligently doing therapy to help him as he grows and develops. Some of his therapy requires three people to accomplish and I occasionally travel up to help them with that. Very humbling, very rewarding, very "God" reminding. ("God" reminding---brings to mind how awesome HE is, how fearfully and wonderfully HE made us, etc).
This past week while doing one of his patterns (this one requires one person on each side moving his arms and legs and one person moving his head) I had a front row seat to a quiet miracle. Yes. I know. In no way am I trying to be disrespectful. Please just hear me out. This pattern requires him to move his head from side to side as his arms and legs are doing their thing. Well, as we began to get ready Whit decided he WAS ready and began to turn his head from side to side so Anna and I went along with him. For the first time in his four years, under his own physical power Whitaker Troy moved his head from side to side allllllll by himself for twenty times!!!!! ( pause at this moment to reflect on the utter amazing-ness of that last sentence and weep, it's ok) This little guy was unable to move any part of himself for his entire first year of life.
When God brings you the gift of a child you readily, humbly, graciously, and thankfully accept. You don't get to order your "blessings" where you can hand pick everything about them, hair color, eye color, height, athletic ability and so on. Let's go further, you can't special order their ability to walk, speak, run, laugh at something funny, and for some the ability to reach out and give you a simple hug. No. When you stand at the feet of your God and say, "I am your servant, I will take whatever child you choose to give me and be so grateful and happy to love it and cherish it and do whatever I can to make it strong and healthy, happy and kind, and most importantly to figure out how to be a reflection of YOU to him/her. I am yours God and I will serve you.
Based on his diagnosis, he may fully recover, never recover or somewhere in between. For too many, he has little hope. Not for me. :) In this earthly realm, according to the earthly rules, expectations, limited vision---what we witnessed was an incredible miracle. By all accounts, it shouldn't have happened. Physically, it shouldn't have been possible. But in the realm where my home lies. The land where my "retirement property" is located, the King who owns and governs that land is able to move mountains, to manage the seas and to help a four year old turn his head from side to side alllll by himself. :)
God never wastes a moment of our time. He uses the journey of recovery to teach us as many lessons as our humble spirits can take. While He is working in one corner of our lives we sometimes don't realize the growth that is happening in another corner. Is it hard? Is it time consuming? Can we get weary in doing good? Will there be moments of discouragement? Frustration? :) :) Any or all of the above can be experienced during times of trial with our children or any other difficult area of our lives.
I am so proud of our little Whit who has worked harder than we have to get where he is.
You go Whit!!! You go as far and as hard as you can! We will try to keep up with you!
Thank you, God. We look forward to all the other "miracles" You have in store for us just around 'the bend in the road'. :)
Looking back in my memories at all the work involved in managing a household while "growing" a family, I find an interesting phenomenon.
I can remember some days struggling to find the joy in never ending dishes or Mt. Clothesmore in the laundry room. Using cloth diapers I remember the ever full diaper pail, carpets that needed vacuuming, floors that needed sweeping/mopping and oh yes, the high chair that always seemed to need a full and complete wash down after every meal. Whew!! Sometimes it occasionally felt like I would literally "come up" for air from time to time and take a breath to look around and just enjoy a moment in time. Taking delight in watching the kids play well together, or share a laugh with them. :) They were such fun...and a LOT of work! :)
Fast forward 30-some years later, they're all on their own. Managing their own lives, physically and spiritually, learning to master the "worlds" the Lord has placed them in. And every so often, when the planets align themselves, we experience the excitement and joy of them migrating back to our home to spend time with us and each other and to make some more, some different memories. :) What fun!!
This past weekend was our annual Labor day tradition. God was so very good to us and allowed all the kids to make the trek to Louisville, Ky and spend a couple of days with good ole' mom and dad. :) What fun it was to have an overflowing home. 10 kids (our original six plus four spouses), four grandkids (and one still cooking :) ) and several friends who feel like family to us. Total for this year...26...and it was fabulous! Everybody pitched in and helped things to run smoothly. Yummy meals were churned out thrice daily, evening campfire chats, roasting marshmallows, singing around the campfire on straw bales, airsoft activities, Sumo wrestling, Jousting, volleyball, laughing, many showers, drinks of water, crawling and smiling babies, (sigh :) ) It. Was. Wonderful! :)
But what was equally fun was the aftermath. :) Strange, I know. After everyone gathered their belongings and did their upmost to not forget anything ( it is inevitable :) ) then Bruce and I spend some time cleaning and putting things back in their proper places. As we go about this task it is impossible to do so without a smile and some chuckles. :) You see, as I straightened up the dining room I couldn't help but flash back to our happy crowd filing thru it at mealtime, :) or when we put the firepit away remembering our time around it while everyone was here. :) Washing the towels makes me smile thinking about everyone filing in and out of the one and only shower ( usually preferred over baths).
This morning something made me chuckle. We have an area down in the basement with a foosball table and an air hockey table and some of the kids were down there playing. As I went down there to straighten up I ran across our big yellow mop bucket (industrial sized, which by the way was referred to as a wagon most of the weekend) that has wheels and inside of it was a container of brio trains and some sidewalk chalk. :) I looked around the floor and there were marks from the sidewalk chalk all over. :) It just made me smile to think about who was having all that fun!
It got me to thinking. Interesting how years ago, straightening up, cleaning up, tidying up was more often than not, looked upon as a chore...not a delight. Whereas now, it is delightful for me as it allows me to relive the happy times that caused the messes in the first place. Funny, isn't it!?! I guess it's one of those if "only we knew then, what we know now" moments. :) To be able to serve the ones we love that we can't see all the time anymore as God has other plans and other places in mind for them makes serving very joyful indeed.
If there were any way to impart the "realness" and preciousness of that to young wives and frazzled young moms I would put it in a bottle and hand it out liberally. :) Alas, there is an element of needing to travel the road your self to fully appreciate the "truism" of the moment. So, take it or leave it, the choice is yours. :)
As for me, I need to go "relive" some wonderfully, delightful memories and wash up some bedding. :) :) Be thankful, let it show and enjoy others along the way. :)
This past Sunday I learned something about myself. It put a big smile on my face and made me chuckle for a couple of days. ;) It made me remember how much I enjoyed my kids as they came into our lives and how thankful I am to God for each and every one of them.
As many of you know, Bruce is preaching here at Oak Grove in Louisville, Kentucky. We LOVE it here. The 'spiritual siblings' we have here are wonderful. I am so enjoying getting to know them and working with them on our journeys toward heaven. In addition to that, they take such loving care of us. We live here right next to the building, which I also very much love. :) Hence my moment Sunday morning.
I came out of our home and went be-boppin' down our front steps. As I began to turn the corner of our sidewalk towards the building my pinkie toe got caught on the corner of the flower bed which sent me flying...literally. :)
It was at this moment I had an emotional flashback. :) A deliriously, happy flashback. :) I always felt that part of the reason the Lord saw fit to bless us with five sons (and a sweet daughter who is loved beyond measure) was because I was always such a tomboy. As such, climbing trees, walking the creek, tubing down the river, rough camping, playing football at the local park, building forts, legos, blocks, etc were a complete joy for me (thanks guys! ). So as I'm 'flying' thru the air it was total instinct for me to throw my arms out in front of me, just like Superman. And as I did that I was thinking, "Hmmmm...how funny that I somehow think that "flying like superman" might somehow make this better." :) Well...it didn't save me, however, I did land on my tummy (yes, in my dress clothes) with my arms out front and slid thru the grass approx. 18 inches or so (thanks to the dew) until I came to a stop. (giggle :) ) It sure felt like I was flying. :) Can you picture this? :) I'm laying on the ground on my tummy in perfect Superman pose! :) :)
For some nutzy reason, I thought this was hysterical. I began to chuckle, then laugh...for quite some time. :) :) I'm fine. Nothing's broken, not even a bruise.
Oh... I forgot to mention that people were arriving for services at this time so I even had a bit of an audience. :) I'm not even kidding. :)
The emotional flashback I was talking about...in that flash of time I was "flying" the sweet little voice in my head was goin', "Yes!! Superman!!! I can fly!! No!!! Actually, I can't!! :) ) In that moment, I could feel all the warm and fuzzy, fun feelings I experienced thru the years of enjoying our sons. It's not that my life flashed before my eyes :) but that happy, yummy times flooded thru my heart. The first thing out of my mouth as Eric (one of our young people) came over to see if I was ok and hand me my shoes (yes, :) I 'flew' out of my sandals) was "My kids would have loved that! Once they knew I was ok, of course. :) "
So, Jeremy, Jeff, Darren, Kurt and Craig, thanks so much for teaching me how to "fly" like Superman. :) It came in handy this past Sunday morning. My 'stumble' wouldn't have looked as cool. :) Linds, the gifts you've given me will have to wait for another post. :) Please don't feel left out, I could pen a fun book from our escapades. :)
After returning to the house and changing my skirt (laughing the whole time) I finally made it into the building to relive my moment with 'loved ones'. :)
Sunday, August 22nd, I learned that while we as parents are working so diligently to impart wisdom to our children, they in turn can be teaching us how to "fly". :) :) :) :)
Looking forward to Labor day. We will have a full house of yummy kids, grandkids and dear friends! May God be with them as they all travel to gather under our roof and bring us such joy. :)
If you have spent any amount of time around young people, sometimes you can begin to witness something missing.
The belief, the trust, the hopeful expectation that God, the omnipotent, amazing creator of all, could actually bring them that special someone. That God would even actually care about who they might "date" or how they might go about "dating". That the amazing creator of all would want to be involved in someone finding their "mate for life"?
Yep. HE does. That's what I believe. :)
We tried very hard to encourage and to nurture in our own kids that principle. We also tried to encourage other people's kids too. :)
Sometimes, as a young person, it can be a bit discouraging, disheartening really to wait...and wait...and wait. Especially if those around you seem to be having no problem "coupling up". Especially if "looking down your road" you just don't seem to "see" anyone coming. (sigh) God must have forgotten. HE must be busy elsewhere. HE must not really care. Lies...all of them. HE does care, HE hasn't forgotten and HE's never too busy for his children and their good. Trust.
We have been so blessed to watch God bring just the right ones into four of our children's lives. After May 8th, four of our children will be married. Holy mates. God's most precious blessing. :)
Sometimes I think the older generation can be doing a better job in this arena. Encouraging and praying for those who are diligently waiting, reassuring them that if God can create the color red for our enjoyment, a soft summer breeze for us to enjoy and soft, fuzzy kittens to cuddle--He can absolutely take care of his children and bring them their heart's desire.
If God can make the mountains HE can certainly make sure that you are in the right place at the right time to meet Mr/Miss Right. :)
If God can part the Red Sea he can work things out for you to have something worth while to occupy yourself with while you're waiting. :)
If God can cause Mary to be with child HE can see to it that you have people in your life to love you and for you to work on demonstrating Godly love towards while you're waiting so when that special someone comes...you'll be ready to "love" them the God healthy way. :)
A challenge...think of all the amazing things God has done and recorded for us in scripture and with each one think of what HE does for you or for your young person while they "wait on HIM".
And the God I know always likes to wait until the last possible moment to bring something incredible, something soooo wonderful, something above and beyond into our lives. It always makes me smile to thing about what lies in store for those that I love. :) :)
God's power...we need to remind ourselves daily that is it there and it is real...oh my!! is it ever real!!! :)
Please pray for our teens, our college kids, our young adults who may be waiting on their God. They need to know they're not forgotten by God or by us. :)
:) :) :) Sooo exciting...knowing God has HIS hands in our lives. :) :) :)
Enjoy this beautiful weather.