Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How To Walk On Water

Have you ever felt like you are standing still and moving in slow motion while the world around you seems to be on fast forward? Lately, I have just been struggling to put one foot in front of the other. Who knows, maybe it's all the allergy medication? Or maybe it is the chaotic schedules? Or my husband's health?


Maybe it is me!!! Just ME!!!

Times like these....the "brussel sprouts" times, that I think about Peter. Ahhhhhhh, Peter, the greatest apostle. Jesus loved Peter just as He loves me! Something I have been pondering lately, while my world is in slow motion, is that Peter was a human sinner just like ME!! He was not a perfect man. He had faults. In fact, my favorite story is about Peter feeling a little like I do right now....
The disciples were in a boat and they saw a figure on the shoreline. After some debate, Peter realized that the figure on shore was Jesus. He locked his gaze on Jesus and he WALKED ON WATER!!!!! Peter did the impossible because he was so fixated and focused on Jesus! So that means I can do the impossible when I am fixated and focused on Jesus! WOW! "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

The rest of the story with Peter is that he sank into the water. The seas were rough that day. The swells all around him were tossing the boat about, yet there he was walking on water. When he started to focus on those swells and tried under his own authority to get to Jesus as fast as he could to save himself from the swells all around him....HE SANK!! WOW!! So this fast moving world all around me that I am trying to keep up with and saying to Jesus..."hold on, I gotta come up for air and I'll be right there" are the swells all around me that are causing me to sink!

Jesus, let my eyes focus on you and not the fast forwarding world (swells) all around me. I trust you to enable me to WALK ON WATER TOO!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Has It Really Been 4 Years?

I went to a dinner at the church tonight to honor all the graduating seniors. Crystal is graduating!!! This is really starting to become, well, REAL! I have watched this immature, lost, scared, loveable, distant, unique girl of 14 blossom into this dynamic, beautiful, self assured, Christ follower, young woman of 18.


I listened to the youth pastor talk and I felt sorry for myself. I felt like it wasn't fair that all these other parents in the room had time....time that I didn't get, time that she didn't get. Would that extra "time"have made a difference in the relationship we now have? Would extra "time" have allowed me to instill more into this beautiful young woman?

At the same time I feel so proud. Proud to the point of tears. I may not have gotten to experience her first smile, her first steps, her first lost tooth, her first day of school, oh, I could go on and on.....BUT, God has allowed me to be the Mom that sends her off to a Christ centered college on a full ride scholarship trusting her to HIM! How lucky I am. How greatful I am. How humbled I am. To witness the true miracle of who she has become despite the circumstances that she has had to endure.

She is a conqueror. Most people would have given up after going through all she has been through at her young age, but she, SHE STANDS TALL, SHE STANDS PROUD!!! As she should. To each and every person that has said to her and about her that she will become a "product of the system", I say..."LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE"!

And I say to my beautiful blessing of a daughter.....You have challenged me in many ways to become a better person. I thank you for just being you. I pray that you take your faith with you as you go so far away. And NEVER, EVER, forget what God has given us in our relationship!!!

I love you, my sweet Crystal Rose :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Well Everyone Else Is......

So some one told me that blogging might help with keeping people posted on Rob, the kids, life.
Now here I am typing away wanting to say so much, yet not knowing really where to start. Lately, life seems to have crashed all around us to form this pile of bricks and leaving us dazed and confused.
I guess I'll start at the beginning....Rob and I have been married for 11 years. We knew that he was diabetic (Type I) or juvenile. Rob's health started to spiral out of control in 2005 when his kidney's started to fail. We knew that dialysis was going to be inevitable unless he got a kidney transplant. So we went to doctor after doctor after doctor to a point where the word copay and mortgage payment sounded the same to us:-)

Through this time into 2006, God blessed us with 3 beautiful children and we had one foster son living with us as well. The kids gave both of us reason to go on. We knew God had a purpose and a plan for all of us.

That summer, we had the best vacation anyone could ask for. We went camping for a week in a tent with 4 kids. It was by far, the most relaxing time of our lives.

After that, Rob's health continued to spiral out of control. We went through the long arduous process of getting the required tests done in order to be placed on the kidney/pancreas transplant list. One of the final tests was a stress test. Rob's results were not good at all. He needed a heart cath because it looked as though the bottom of his heart was not working much at all.

We have a tremendous faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus and we knew/know that He was/is in control and we just need to sit back and go for the ride.

In February, Rob went through an experimental heart cath procedure where they cool your body before doing the heart cath to keep the dye from damaging the kidneys any more than what they are. PRAISE GOD!!!! This heart doc told us that he has never seen a heart so strong in a diabetic as bad as Rob...EVER!!! Our only response was...well the heart is where Jesus resides so how can it not be strong? The doc said "Well, maybe I'll have to meet this Jesus". So at that point we realized that God has a purpose and a plan for us to plant seeds to those we come in contact with.

Rob started dialysis in November of 2007 and I must say I am the first one to stare when there is any kind of medical procedure done. I am just facinated with the bodies that God has created!
Dialysis, however, was the hardest thing for me to watch Rob have to endure. I never cried so much in all my life. That song we sing at church "This is the air I breathe; Your Holy Presence; living in me; And I am DESPARATE for You...." was all I could repeat to myself. At that moment, when I saw them draining his blood and running it through a machine, then putting it back in him was the most desparate moment of my entire being. I begged...take this cup from us....NEVERTHELESS...not my will, but THINE be done.

Some more months past and the kids and I became used to Rob going to dialysis, then sleeping, then getting up for an hour or so then sleeping again until the next bout of dialysis.... this became our "normal". People will say, "How do you handle all that is on your plate?" I prayed about the answer to that question for weeks before God revealed to me "My precious daughter, each plate that sits in front of those dining at my table has just the right portion for that person. Your plate may look overflowing to some one else, however, it is just the perfect portion for you. Some days you will eat chocolate cake all day and enjoy the rich delicious flavor of life, but other days, you may have to choke down brussel sprouts...but my dear daughter, it is when you are eating the brussel sprouts that you are well nourished and can grow" There you have it...plain as day that was the most precious words straight from my Heavenly Father. I thank Him daily for that wisdom.

2008 rolled around and we had a great start to the year. Then, in September, I found out that my health insurance was going to change and that the hospital in Pittsburgh was not covered by the new insurance. I called the transplant coordinator to find out how all of this worked. This is where the story gets really good......

She said to us that she knows we are faithful people and that we really needed to start praying that we got the transplant phone call and were admitted to the hospital by midnight on New Year's Eve.
So pray we did along with hundreds of others praying with and for us :-)

Rob and I decided to try our luck deer hunting in the back yard that year, that way, if Rob needed to come in and rest he could. We got out there...it was December 1, 2008...I could see that Rob was shivering really bad so I convinced him that I was cold and I needed to go in :-)
When we got in the house I started a fire and then realized that Rob was burning up. I got him some tylenol to bring down his fever, then went back out hunting with my brother. It made sense being the good wife I was. Our daughter texted me and said that Rob was not doing well and so I went in and by 8pm his fever had reached 105. Rob ended up taking an ambulance ride and staying in the hospital. On December 3rd, I finally convinced the doctors that the source of the infection was his right big toe which we had been doctoring at the wound clinic. One consult at 1pm with the surgeon and then by 7pm the toe was amputated. After all what other choice did we have, we were on a deadline to get that transplant by midnight new years eve!!!

Doc said at the Christmas Eve follow up appointment "I don't know why you are so gung ho to get released, you only have 7 days to get the call for the transplant" To which we replied "God is bigger than all of this and if He wants this transplant to happen, it will" Doc then said, "I'll believe in God if you get that call" We said "OK, we'll see you in Church after the new year"

New Year's Eve 2008....I pleaded with God " You know God, tonight is the last night that we can get this done in Pittsburgh, I don't mind having to leave our wings and root beer floats tonight"
GOD SHOWED UP AT 9:38PM!!!!! We were admitted by midnight and the new kidney installed at 8am on 1/1/09!!!! I got a new man....Rob was the old, healthy Rob again.

We have had the best year in a long time. I thank God! Rob was finally ready to tackle getting back on the transplant list for the pancreas since he only received the kidney. So he recently had a stress test done for routine.

I was in a staff meeting in pittsburgh when I get the text from Rob..."heart no good...need cath...call the coordinator and ask questions"
I felt like a bathtub full of water that had the drain pulled and the water drained out. I called the coordinator and she told me that Rob needs a heart cath and probably a stint put in, but they will do everything they can to protect the new kidney so it does not fail from the dye.
Then, Rob found a wound on his foot that needs to heal before the cath can be done. So here I sit, dazed and confused. The "new normal" world we were living in for the past year just had a hurricane come through and blow everything apart.

All I can think to say is "Thank you, God, for the order of brussel sprouts. Help us to be nourished and grow to be in Your perfect will"