Wednesday, January 28, 2009

we are not alone

I received an encouring email this week from a friend through my moms group. She sends out weekly emails to the group leaders and this week's story was so good, I wanted to share it. I knew it could benefit others too. So, with her permission, I'm sharing it here:

When I was in elementary school, our family visited Mammoth Cave. Aside from the pool at the hotel and a horseback ride, I don’t carry many fond memories of the trip.

The decent down into the cave was unsettling, even terrifying for an eight year old. With each step, we found ourselves deeper into the bowels of the cave, complete with stalagmites and bats. (I never saw the bats, but I guarantee you they were there.)

The most traumatic moment came, however, when our guide warned us he was about to kill the lights. In just a moment, he said, we would find ourselves in complete darkness. True to his word, the lights snapped off, and all was black. We weren’t even able to see our hand just inches in front of our faces.

I found myself on the verge of panic, knowing the walls were closing in and the bats were coming for me.

But it was then, in the midst of my horror, that the strong, gentle hand of my dad came out of the darkness and rested on my shoulder. “I’m right here, Julie. It’s okay.”

And it was okay. We didn’t leave the darkness or the cave for what felt like hours, but the strength and comfort which blanketed over me at the assurance of Dad’s presence saw me through.

These days of uncertainty, many of us are finding ourselves in a pit. A pit which may have come suddenly as the lights snapped off, or one which we have been descending into slowly over time. And many of us can’t see a way out.

But just like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, even though we are in a pit, we are not in the pit alone.

"So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell down into the roaring flames. But suddenly, as he was watching, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, 'Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?' 'Yes,' they said, 'we did indeed, Your Majesty.' 'Look!' Nebuchadnezzar shouted. 'I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire. They aren't even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a divine being !'" (Daniel 3:23-25)

Oswald Chambers says…
In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that? (My Utmost for His Highest, 5/24)

As we navigate these uncertain times, even finding ourselves in a pit, may we be ever mindful of the unwavering presence of our Father beside us.

I love the message expressed in this story. I hope everyone knows the presence of the One who sustains all life. Thanks, Julie, for letting me share your story.

Friday, January 23, 2009

because i said so

It's true... I've become that mom.

Punkin: I don't want to wear a coat.
Me: You have to - it's cold outside.
P: Why?
M: Because it's winter.
P: Why?
M: Because that's the way the world works.
P: Why?
M: Because God made it that way.
P: Why?
M: Because I said so.

Who knew that was more powerful than God? Only it wasn't, because it's not like the next response wasn't once again, "Why?". But that's when I changed the subject...

So, is it wrong that I think if I start saying, "Because I said so." now while Punkin's 2, that he'll get used to it and start thinking that it's an acceptable response? Yeah, I didn't think so...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

sleep, glorious sleep

So hopefully writing this post won't jinx anything...

We have recently had several nights in a row of Punkin sleeping through the night. Yes, he's over two. Yes, he should have conquered sleeping through the night a long time ago. Actually, there was a time when he did... it's hard to remember though.

Every time we have had a successful few nights, Punkin would get sick or something and then I just had to go in and hold him. Unfortunately, that caused a pattern and soon Punkin was wanting to be held in the middle of the night every night. I was so tired that I didn't put up much of a fight - I figured we'd both get more sleep if I just picked him up and we fell asleep (thankfully our rocker is also a recliner). I've spent so many nights in that recliner, I don't even want to think about it.

Anyway, I know there are a lot of opinions about whether you should let your child cry himself to sleep. I was one who didn't want him to cry "too much" (whatever that means). Over the last couple of weeks, I was trying to pick him up less and just sit in the chair and tell him to sleep in his crib. I tried laying on the floor outside his room and assuring him from there. Nothing worked and I was exhausted. Anyway, to make a long story short, Friday night, the Hubs and I decided that we were not going to go back into Punkin's room until morning (with certain caveats). I have to admit, when Punkin woke up in the middle of the night, I really, really, really wanted to just go in and help him stop crying and help him get back to sleep. But I didn't. And you know, Punkin cried for a lot less time than I thought he would. The next morning, he was all smiles and hugs. He didn't hate me. He wasn't angry. The next few nights the awakenings were for less time.

And then, yup, he got a little cold and his cough came back (the cough is another long story). So, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. He did wake up a few more times in the middle of the night from coughing, but amazingly, he was only awake for about 5 minutes each time - he didn't work himself into a frenzy like he would have before and he was able to put himself back to sleep, even though he wasn't at 100% health. Amazing.

Last night, he didn't cry out at all from the minute he was put in his crib until this morning. I should probably "knock on wood", but I feel like we're finally getting there... I'm sure something else is right around the corner...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

sunday reflection

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold:
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.
Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1874.

We sang this hymn in church this morning and the words struck me -- I want this to be the song of my heart. May my life be consecrated to Him and may all I do be for His glory.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

where do they come up with these things?

So, Punkin is taking a bath when he decides that the letter "O" needs some time alone. Here's what the Hubs and I hear:

"You go over here in time-out. You are being a bad boy. Don't move."

Ummm... any ideas where he got that from??? (Though I don't really think I've ever said, "You're being a bad boy" in the midst of putting him in time-out.)

Yeah, so apparently, Punkin's quite familiar with time-out. So, does this mean he's too familiar with it? Is there a rule for this? I have no idea, but it seems to be an effective form of discipline to make Punkin stop what he's doing and to calm down for a few minutes. The majority of the time, the simple question, "Do you need a time-out?" causes Punkin to stop, think, and decide no, he doesn't, and do something else. Sometimes, he chooses to keep doing what he's doing and gets put in time-out. Afterwards, he's always apologetic and goes back and corrects the behavior. As long as it's working, I guess I shouldn't question it...

Monday, January 5, 2009

connect the dots

So, in response to my previous post "what does this mean?"...

It's still a guessing game. The Punkin has been through so many allergy tests and I really thought we'd have all the answers after today's visit... turns out we just got more conflicting information...

So, as a recap (of only the most recent tests):
Blood shows allergies to: peanuts, wheat, dairy, eggs
Skin prick test shows allergies to: eggs, corn, mustard seed, cats, but not to peanuts, wheat, or dairy
Skin patch test shows allergies to: peanuts, wheat (small reaction), dairy, corn, turkey(!), green beans, but not eggs

Yeah... anyone care to tell me what we're supposed to do with that information?

In addition to the food allergies, the other complex issue is that Punkin also has eosiniphilic espophagitis (ee). This basically means he has white spots/stripes (eosiniphils) in his esophagus. Normally you should have 0 eosiniphils in an esophagus; his last biopsy showed 60+ per area (anything over 15 is considered having ee). On the plus side, he doesn't have most of the symptoms of ee (vomiting, not thriving, difficulty swallowing, etc.).

The allergist is going to a conference in early March where he'd like to discuss Punkin's case with a few other doctors... that's always encouraging...
Off to send the photo of Punkin's back to the allergist so he has it for his files...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

what does this mean?

We'll find out in the morning...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

it's not about me

A great article on the pressure we put on our kids (and ourselves) to live up to certain expectations. Although Punkin is only 2, it's a good reminder that he is a unique individual and I need to let him be who he is and not push him to be who I want him to be. I know I'll need to come back to this many times in the future to remind myself to let go...

If I'm honest with myself, I know I need to apply this to my own life and be who I am and not let outside pressures/expectations try to force me into the world's ideas of who I should be.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

what goes bump in the night?

... a 2 year old who decides 4 am is the best time to try climbing out of his crib for the first time.

Ugh. Thankfully, he didn't hurt himself. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will have scared himself enough not to try that again. I really don't want to attempt the switch to the "big boy bed" yet. I'm just not ready for that. I know he can sleep in a big boy bed (he sleeps on a cot for naps 3 days a week), but I don't want the struggles that I know will ensue of him staying in his bed/room every night. I already don't get enough sleep as it is...

and so it begins...

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2009...

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