Monday, November 14, 2011

Nothing But Jesus

“As it began to dawn . . . came Mary Magdalene . . . to see the sepulchre.” (Matthew 28:1)

Let us learn from Mary Magdalene how to obtain fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Notice how she looked for Him. She sought the Savior very early in the morning. If you can wait for Christ and be patient in the hope of having fellowship with Him at some distant hour, you will never have fellowship at all. The heart that is prepared for communion is a hungering and thirsting heart. She sought Him with great boldness. Other disciples ran and hid, but Mary stood at the sepulcher. (See John 20:11) If you desire to have Christ with you, let nothing hold you back. Defy the world. Press on where others flee. She sought Christ faithfully – she stood at the sepulcher. Some find it hard to stand by a living Savior, but she stood by a dead one. Let us seek Christ in this way, remaining faithful though all others forsake Him. She sought Jesus earnestly. She stood weeping. Those tears led the Savior to come forth and show Himself to Her. If you desire Jesus’ presence, weep after it! If you cannot be happy unless He comes and says to you, “You are My beloved,” you will soon hear His voice. She sought the Savior only. She did not care for the angels. Her search was only for her Lord. If Christ is your one and only love, if your heart has cast out all rivals, you will not lack the comfort of His presence. Mary Magdalene sought Jesus because she loved much. Let us experience the same intensity of affection. Let our heart, like Mary’s, be full of Christ. Then our love, like hers, will be satisfied with nothing but Him.

Charles H. Spurgeon; Morning & Evening, July 14

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Emotional Roller-Coaster Continues

I’m trying to trust.

I’m trying to rest in the promises of Christ.

But the fatigue I’ve been battling lately gives away the fact that my emotions have been struggling to do so. Or maybe it’s just battle-weariness and to be expected. I don’t know.

It’s hard to be a parent and “know in your gut” that something isn’t right with one of your children, yet be unable to pin-point it or figure it out so that you can fix it.

Annie was “released” from CHOC – “There are no further tests to be done. She doesn’t seem to have CF.” That was GREAT news to us. Yet as we left the hospital that day, while waiting for Earl, I noticed her color was pale again and she just looked “different”/tired. I can’t really describe it. But sure enough, the next day while doing school, she kept sinking further and further into the couch. When I asked her how she was doing and if she felt ok, she always answered, “fine”.

Does this look like the picture of “fine”?

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I finally took her temperature and she had a low-grade fever (101). I gave her some Advil and had her read and rest on her bed. I fully thought she’d fall asleep, but she didn’t. Was this the beginning of the flu? I couldn’t tell. But by evening, she was fine – no fever – and was bouncing around with the others.

Thursday morning she said she felt fine and had no fever. She seemed a little tired maybe, but better than the day before. However, as we went to PE and I watched her during the class (I coach her class and we were doing soccer), she just wasn’t “on her game”. She fully participated but didn’t have the assertiveness that she normally has and she lacked that shine to her eyes. She looked like she didn’t feel well . . . that she was tired . . . her color was pale . . . but every time I tried to get information on how she DID feel, she’d say, “fine”. (You have NO IDEA how I’ve come to dread the word “fine”. I don’t know what to do with it. The visual and the verbal just don’t match up for me and the result is either incredible frustration or hopelessness . . . both of which I must fight.) By the time we got home, she was yawning, but had no fever. I had her in bed at the normal time.

Friday dawned with a normal temperature as well. Though she was yawning right after breakfast. We headed out for the morning for our Academy Day in Irvine. She seemed less perky than normal and her color still looked pale, but again, she was “fine” and there weren’t any real symptoms to treat. I gave her a protein smoothie before we left but she couldn’t finish it. When we got home though, about 1:30, I took her temperature and it was 102.0. Sigh. I had her rest on her bed, but decided to not give her any Advil and see what her temperature would do. Would it just go away on it’s own? However, by 3:30 pm it was up to 103.2. So, I put her in the bath, changed her into pjs and gave her some Advil, and sent her to read in bed. And guess what? By 6pm she was fine. Really FINE. No fever. Ate two pieces of pizza and bounced around with the others. I just don’t get it!

Am I over-reacting? Making something out of nothing? It doesn’t feel like it. Why doesn’t anything show up in all the tests we’ve had done? What are we to do next? These are the questions that swirl around in my head during my waking hours in addition to constantly making mental notes of how she “appears” and comparing and contrasting with 2 hours ago or with yesterday, etc.

I need wisdom to know how to balance living in the moment and fulfilling my responsibilities and yet trusting my Lord with the future. I can only deal with what is in front of me. And I can certainly trust my Lord to lead us in the direction we need to go – He has proven Himself faithful over and over again! He never promised me that my life would be pain-free, but He certainly promised to strengthen me for it and to be near me throughout it.

Yesterday, as our family was doing some painting, we were listening to an old Wayne Watson album and this line shouted out to me – “I’d rather walk in the dark with Jesus than in the light alone.” My whole being shouted, yes! Yet, the “darkness” is not dark to Him . . . only to me. He knows where we are going.

So, I begin this Sunday not knowing what the day will hold, anymore than I’ve known what any other day will hold. But I trust that my Lord knows where we are going. So, step by step, I will follow Him, come what may – laughter or tears, or both. (May God grant me the strength I lack!)

P.S. My sister has contacted a doctor she knows at Hoag Hospital who has agreed to look over Annie’s history and her test results and give us his opinion. So, our next step will be to send him our information.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Closing This Chapter


For those of you who have been following our story about Annie's health,
fear not . . .this is not another go at a sweat test.
This was Annie being silly this past Sunday morning when it began raining and we had
a little time before church.

But speaking of sweat tests,
we had our follow-up appointment with CHOC today
and it went as Earl and I had hoped.
Annie just doesn't fit into the Cystic Fibrosis category
and without doing the expensive genetic testing
there is no way of proving if she indeed has a CF gene mutation.

When asked how she could test positive and then negative two weeks later,
the doctor said that they questioned the lab on this and that the lab said they've only had 2-3 other cases like this within the past year and they have no explanation.

Since Annie is not exhibiting any symptoms and is well, we were told that we do not need to pursue any further CF testing and that we should go back to our referring doctor and continue exploring other GI possibilities.
However, for now we are taking a breather.
Annie has a well-check this month (she turns 9 on the 19th!) with her pediatrician,
and assuming that no one gets sick,
we are hoping to be done with doctor appointments for this year.

How grateful we are that Annie seems healthy right now.
How grateful we are that we have not been asked to walk down that difficult road.
How grateful we are for family and friends who have stormed the gates of heaven on our behalf.
How grateful we are to know that our God has been and is and will be faithful to lead and guide us, no matter how difficult the roads may be in the future.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

P.S. Not to be left out, Jonathan got all "gussied" up too.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

How Far We’ve Fallen!

That was what Earl said when I showed him the photos I took of Jonathan yesterday. And we both laughed.

How often did we let our oldest, or 2nd born, or 3rd born or 4th born STAND on the kitchen counter?? (I didn’t even realize he was doing this until I turned around and saw how “into” his work he had gotten.)

Jonathan is definitely the “baby” and we have definitely “lightened up” a bit as parents. It has given us all much more to smile about and laugh over. What’s a little counter cleaner when it’s all done? No big deal, Jan, and it made for some sweet memories.

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(I had cut the lid off of the pumpkin and Jonathan was given the job of scraping out the seeds so we could toast them yesterday. Yummm!)

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