Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Faith in Stickers

Our house has been dealing with sickness for like 3 weeks now. So not fun. We've been to the doctor more in the past few weeks than we had in Bella's first 2 years of life! Ear infections, runny noses, and now I have a cough that hurts my whole body! Just not fun.

One of our recent doctor visits was for Bella's foot. Last Friday when she woke up, she didn't want me to put her down. Not unusual...she has thrown some major fits in the past because I put her down too soon after she woke up. So, I sat her on the couch with me and Brennan. After about 10 minutes, she got off of the couch and started crying. She limped to what she wanted, and then began holding her knee in pain. I sat on the floor with her, and a few other times when she got up, the same thing happened. She grabbed her knee and started crying.

As I began to investigate, I began to freak out. I knew she was in pain. I had given her enough time that if her foot had fallen asleep it should have been back to normal. I took her jammies off and looked at her knee and I didn't notice anything. I briefly looked at her feet, but I was more concerned with her knee. The panic inside of me rose. We have a friend whose little girl has spent the past year at St. Jude's in Memphis because she had a tumor behind her knee, and the way that they found it was because she started complaining that her knee hurt. They have been through all kinds of chemo and radiation treatments for too long. Thankfully she is better, but it has been so hard on their family. I couldn't imagine going through that with my happy, healthy baby girl. I also know young families who have lost their 4 year old daughter to cancer.
Yes, at this point, I was thinking the worst.

I called Lee. He also began to think the worst. He had a lot to do at Chi Alpha that day, but thankfully the interns were able to cover it for him. He came home and waited with me for our 2:15 pm doctor's appointment. He began investigating Bella's little leg, knee and ankle. By the time he had gotten home, Bella's ankle was swelling and bruised looking. He would try to get her to walk on it, and she just screamed and cried. It was so sad. What was even sadder is that she crawled all over the house to get to what she wanted. Even when she went outside to get in the car, she crawled in the yard. That's serious for her.

It took forever at the doctor's office. When he came in, he looked intently at her hip, leg, knee and foot. She cried and cried. When I asked her to walk for him, she just cried. Then he said the magic words, "Do you like stickers?"

I told Bella she had to walk to get them (she knows exactly where to go). I set her down, and she held onto the door frame for a few seconds. She limped a couple of steps and then walked perfectly down the hall. We asked for a sticker, and she asked for a sucker (because you can't have one without the other)...and then she limped for the first few steps back, and then walked perfectly down the hall. Then she even got chatty with the doctor, which hasn't happened yet. So, he told us that if it was still bad, we should have it x-rayed on Monday.

She limped a few times on Friday night, but she's definitely better!

So, here's the faith struggle. Do I believe that she was not really that hurt??? or, Do I believe that she was hurt, and God answered our prayers to heal her???

I choose to believe that God healed my baby girl. She was hurting. She was in pain. Her ankle was swollen and God took it all away.

My faith is not as strong as I would like for it to be. I don't want to always assume the worst. I don't want to believe that God isn't going to do what I know that He can do. I want to be stronger in my faith. I want to believe that God can use a sticker to heal my little girl.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Me and My Non-Conversational Self

"If you do all the talking when you pray, how will you ever hear God's answers?" AW Tozer

I don't like to talk a lot. I keep a lot of things to myself. When I was teaching, I would come home, unload my day to Lee in about 15 minutes or less, and then I would officially be done. No more talking after that for like 2 hours.

Now that I'm the only adult in my house for most of the day, that has changed a little. I find myself wanting to talk more when Lee comes home. But by then, he's used up most of his words. Good for me! I can do all the talking that I want.

I've been told that I'm a good listener. It's easier when you don't like to talk a lot! I enjoy listening to people. Sometimes a person with a problem will come to the conclusion on her own because she talked through it herself. Just needed someone to listen.

I also don't like starting conversations. That is one of the most painful, dreaded moments for me! Chi Alpha has helped me with that a whole lot...I mean a whole lot. I would run through a scenario of things to say in my head, and they all sounded stupid. So, I'd just sit in a room like a bump on a log. Now, once I got started in a conversation, it could be fine...but getting it going was the worst. I've always rode on the coat tails of others when it comes to starting a conversation...they can start it, then I will jump in. Once it gets going, I'm good. Until then...

My conversations with God are different. I seem to talk a lot, but I'm not so great at listening. My personal faith is to believe that God is always talking, always communicating with me. I just don't always hear Him clearly, or even at all. Sometimes there are some major distractions in my life that keep me from hearing Him. Sometimes there is a major attitude in my life that is keeping me from hearing Him. I believe in those moments He's still speaking. So, when I do have the time to pray, I need to make sure that my heart is quiet enough to hear Him because I know He's answering me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Made It Through the Sickness

It has been a rough 2 weeks. A bacterial virus and the flu hit our house hard. Antibiotics, breathing treatments, other medicines, vitamins, anything to make things better. Thankfully I didn't get sick. My new friend (via internet through the women's ministry at Crossroads) Carlie, told me that the sickness hit her house, but she didn't get sick. So, with that boost of faith, I believed it too. Now, I did have some congestion issues and my voice sounded like Tyren Snyder's (imagine James Earl Jones) one or two days, but that was the worst of it for me.

Bella doesn't do sick well. She's a high maintenance girl. She cried when she had to take her medicine. She didn't want to take a bath, which is very unusual for her. All she wanted was to be held. That's hard when there is also a 5 month old who likes to be held because he's not feeling good...and a husband who likes to be held too when he doesn't feel good.

We managed it, though. We made it. This stage of life is quite difficult at times. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting used to it, and then I realize that I'm not. It's hard having 2 little babies at home. When people ask if we want to have any more kids, I want to look at them like they are crazy. Of course I don't want to have any more kids right now. I feel like I'm barely making it as a mom right now with 2 much less with anything else to take care of. I think it would be different even 2 years from now...Bella could be in school. Brennan would be 2. Much different.

Right now, I'm working on taking care of this family of 4. We made it through our first series of major sickness everyone going to the doctor. I stayed healthy - major miracle there. I am thankful that it hasn't been worse. Every night we pray for happy, healthy babies. So far, God has really answered that prayer beyond my expectations. Sometimes I feel like I should have more faith. I am surprised when God answers my prayers. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Fireplace

It's so cold outside! And the sky is gray, so there's no sunshine to look like it's warming things up. And we live in a drafty, old house. I do love this house, though. It's still an answer to prayer. I'm so thankful that we live here.

Since it's cold, we're getting to use one of the answered prayers for our house - our fireplace. I love it. I can remember 1 house in my hometown having a real, wood burning fireplace. I'm sure there were more, but I never saw them. My aunt had a gas fireplace, and it was nice, but I love having a real one. I love the sound of the wood popping and crackling. That sound alone can make me feel warm!

And with a fireplace (for me) comes smores. I love smores! melty chocolate...toasted marshmallows...and crunchy graham crackers. YUMMY! I love being able to sit in the warmth of my home and eat this delish treat!

I'm a very blessed girl! I believe with all my heart that God cares about the details of our lives. In the book of Psalms in the Bible, the writer says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." He did for me...he gave me a fireplace in my house.