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Archive for December, 2013

Frankly, you don’t!  No, really…you don’t!  Why? Because you can’t!  And there is no need to try.  Then there is only an explosion.  All you can do is let it all out.  But the kicker is when, where, and with whom?

When? As soon as you can, preferably before you explode and you are scattered all over

Where? In the Presence of God, preferably sitting on His lap with His arms wrapped around you

With Whom? With God, preferably with no one else, YOU need to hear His voice strengthen you, feel His arms wrapped around you, and receive His power of grace to move the mountain before you

I guess I always knew there would be an interruption during our two weeks together, but still I prayed each day hoping this cup would pass from me.  I am so grateful for the week with Abigail and Josiah, spending Christmas as a complete family.  Truly wonderful.  Not our traditional Christmas celebrating with extended family but a Christmas filled with love, appreciation for each other and the gifts we received, and reuniting as one.

The closer we got to Lydia’s weekly appointment I became more intense in my prayers but it was like watching a freight train come at an uncontrollable speed and the only way to keep from getting hurt was to stop it.  But this morning I found another way, instead of trying to stop it, I thanked it for coming and jumped on.  I chose to trust God as the conductor, completely in control even in the difficult times.

It is hard to follow God to places you don’t want to go.  I don’t want to be away from my family.  But for some reason God settled my heart this morning during the drive to Charleston.  I packed a bag for Lydia and one for myself.  I knew we would not be coming home from today’s appointment without being admitted.  But I hoped…I hoped God would have a way out, a different plan, maybe if I just prayed again.  And that is how our trip started early this morning.  I prayed, then sang praises to God from my heart and then He spoke and peace was released.  I could drink from this cup and jump on the train.  I had told Him just 4 hours earlier that I needed His grace, His grace was sufficient for me.  His grace would move mountains.  At that time, I didn’t feel like I had it, but on the drive as I prayed with passion for my daughter, for my children to have the full two weeks together, for our family to be united again, all I could do was sing praises to God and an amazing thing happened.  The peace of God filled my heart.  I could do this and not be like a cat in a cage, I could release Jesus into the hospital each day we occupied a room, I could accomplish the will of God and not be angry.  I was amazed as I heard my lips utter words of thankfulness for the week we had as a family, for the safety of Abigail and Josiah’s return, for the wonderful overflow of celebrating Christmas with all 7 of us, for sickness being silenced in our presence, and for the peace I now had about going in to the appointment.  I no longer feared having Lydia get admitted and how long they would hold us this time.  I no longer feared missing this time with Abigail and Josiah.  God would show Himself faithful to them just as He had to me.

Do I want to be here? Absolutely NOT!!!  But I will not embrace a bad attitude and think this will help Lydia,  Abigail, Josiah, Selah, Charis or Scott and it won’t help me.  But I will pray for Lydia’s appetite to return, sickness to be gone, and our family to be reunited again very soon.

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Miracle by way of Sue at US Air

We have been working on a way to get Abigail and Josiah home for Christmas for nearly a week. I couldn’t find any non-stop flights anywhere near us.  Every flight plan wanted to stop no less than 3 times before getting my children home.  Just couldn’t book the tickets.  They don’t have cell phones and it is winter time.  Too many of the stops were in Northern states.  What if flights were closed.  I know the airline would be “responsible” for them but…who would be in the hotel room with them if airports were closed down.  I didn’t even want to think about all the other scenarios.

My Dad and I talked every day about the new plan I was to work on. We were going to have to meet on the road somewhere.  The best plan was for me to drive through the night with Selah and Charis while Scott would take Lydia to her appointment on Thursday.  He and Mom would bring Abigail and Josiah to St. Louis.  I was getting a little stressed with the plans changing every day.  You know, ‘Mama ain’t happy until all her chicks are home for the holidays’ and this is a scenario I didn’t think I would have to face for several more years, but God…  Then someone told my Dad that there was a direct flight from Cedar Rapids, IA to Atlanta, GA.  My assignment…find that flight and book two seats.

Well, you can’t book two seats for children under 18 over the internet.  So when I called the airline they jacked the price up nearly $250 a ticket and then added another $100 for an escort on and off the plane.  My insides just couldn’t book the flight.  I asked why the price they quoted me was so much higher than the price I was looking at on their website.  She said, “This is the price I have in front of me…” and proceeded to read me the price again.  “Thank you, I can’t do this right now.”  God would have to make a better way than this but I wasn’t going to just throw money away, I could drive the trip, paying for all gas and food for my trip and my Dad’s for nearly a third of the price they quoted me.  So I turned to God, put it in His hands.  He would have to make a way or I would drive but one way or another we were going to have our family together for two weeks.

We skyped Abigail and Josiah after their Christmas concert.  We cheered from home as we watched!!!  Thank you Jesus for modern technology and Mrs. Teske who streamed the concert.  The next morning Dad said, “You look worse than Lydia.”  I was a little off guard by the comment.  The next day he said, “Veridee, you look tired.  Lydia had more energy than you.”  Honestly, part of me was relieved.  I didn’t know what he was talking about when he said I looked worse than Lydia.  But I still couldn’t pay the price of airline tickets.  I know money had been raised to help take care of Abigail and Josiah, but it just seemed like the jacked up prices were NOT the wise thing to do.  However, my Dad is extremely perceptive and I didn’t know if he was picking up on something.  Maybe, I was not capable of making this trip without Scott like I had done several other times. But I couldn’t pay the price of the airplane tickets.  I would plan my week and make sure I slept well the night before the all night drive to St. Louis.  Besides it was only a 12 hour drive compared to a 19 hour drive to my parents.  God had been my co-pilot before and He would have to be it again or make another way. I would sleep one night in St. Louis and then drive back.  Thankfully on the drive back, Abigail and Josiah would be with me so I would have someone to talk with most of the night.

Plans were set for me to drive to St. Louis and meet my Dad.  But I had a thought, you know those thoughts, that only come from God, “Check with the other major airlines.”  Well, I put it off a day.  I looked up the numbers and wrote them in my planner but I couldn’t make the calls.

Maybe it was to build my faith,

Maybe I needed a break from the plans changing again in less than 24 hours,

Maybe it was to make sure I had a level head and not making a decision on impulse,

Maybe I needed to wait for God to put the right people in the right place.

Maybe I just didn’t want the disappointment.

Maybe I just needed to focus on what was in front of me and see Lydia through this appointment.

Thursday, Lydia had a great appointment.  They are tapering her off of the med that prevents graft verses host.  They started last week and she checked out great this week.  Blood levels were really good.  Lost a 1/2 pound but the doctors were pleased with everything else.  Oddly she has been eating more but still lost the 1/2 pound.  It was time to access her port and check the line.  That went well!  Came out of there within 3 hours!!!  Thankful again!  Therefore, I could take her to her art lesson.  I was feeling great and thanking God.

While she was at her art lesson that voice urged me to call USAir.  I love it when God says, “now!” every so quietly! 🙂  I was just a tad testy from listening to the automated man tell me I would be charged an extra $25 per ticket because I wasn’t booking over the internet.  Trust me, if I could, I would.  When Sue came on the line, I took a silent deep breath and began by addressing the $25 fee because I didn’t want her to tell me that too.  I told her I understood the charge but by their own rules I “had” to call to book the tickets because their system would not allow me to book the tickets on-line.  Then I explained what I needed.  She said, “We do not fly out of Cedar Rapids Non-stop to Atlanta.  That is Delta.”  I told her the children could fly from Des Moines and into Charlotte if that helped but I didn’t want my children flying with connecting flights.  She said, “We won’t fly children on connecting flights only non-stop.”

Even though it was a long call, she found a flight for Abigail and Josiah from Des Moines to Charlotte non-stop.  The price was cheaper than the flight from Cedar Rapids to Atlanta from the website price, we drive 2 1/2 hours to pick up the children rather than 4 hours (one way), and Sue ended the call with their seat assignment…FIRST CLASS!!!  Oh yeah, that is my God working on our behalf!!!

I love me some Jesus!

And to top the day off, as if you could out-do God, it was so good to be celebrating Christmas at the Cornerstone staff Christmas party.  So good to be around people we love!  God has truly blessed us with a supportive church family who have become our friends!  Lydia, Selah and I have missed being able to go to church and love on our peeps!  Thankful for modern technology to keep us connected to the Sunday services and wait expectantly for when the doctors say Lydia can go back to church.

We are praying for perfect health for all in our household and those we will come in contact with over the Christmas holiday to keep Lydia safe as her body begins to build her immune system, for her to continue eating, and for her body to absorb the food she eats.

God works all things out for our good!!!  Praising Jesus!

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