When Life Gets Crazy and We Want to Know the "Why"


The first of November my daughter came down with a fever. We had no idea on that evening this would be anything more than just a typical kid illness. After several trips to our amazing pediatrician over the next week we landed in the hospital for another week. At the end of it all we are left with very few answers, but very grateful hearts that she is steadily healing. 

Time and time again the pediatric team and the numerous specialists we met with over the course of the week told us just how very sick she was, but how amazed they were she wasn’t worse, crediting our regular pediatrician for sending us to the hospital as well as the emergency room doctors for assessing the need for very specific tests which led to her early diagnosis. They began treatment with their working diagnosis before it was fully proven and within 12 hours we saw dramatic improvement. While we greatly value the wisdom and knowledge of every doctor we encountered, we credit Jesus our Healer for the speed with which she was diagnosed and treated. 

Our human nature wants to know why things happen. Most of the time I come to the conclusion it is simply a result of a fallen world. While I rarely can see more behind the why of our trials, I know the Lord uses these things to deepen my faith. I have never physically felt the prayers of the saints in the way I did during our hospital stay. I felt emotionally calmed, physically strengthened, and a peace I cannot explain. We asked the doctors specifically what to ask people to pray for and they gladly told us. When we were given good reports we immediately gave praise to the Lord.

I learned so much about how to support and encourage those who are walking in difficulties physically. Bringing those who are supporting the one who is sick meals in the hospital is something I never considered. Specifically praying for certain aspects of hospital life is another one. I also was greatly encouraged by the many verses of Scripture sent to me via text. One of my dear friends who spent a lot of time with her son in the hospital sent me verses and told me she knew I may not be up to finding them on my own and she just wanted to encourage me. Wow! She was so right and every verse sent to me was exactly what I needed in the moment. 

I also learned the need for rest and giving myself a space to cry. It was appropriate that I did not break down in front of my already frightened girl. We barely understood what we were being told and those big medical terms can be terrifying for children! The trauma of four IVs and 2-3 lab draws per day for testing left its mark, but I had to be calm and confident for her as we held her through all of that. When I needed to cry, I went to a place I could cry without interference. Getting that emotion out left me space to be what I needed to for her. I also took the advice of my husband and friend after the initial 24 hours of being awake and went home to sleep soundly. It was hard to go home, but it was what I needed to be sustained for the following days.

I have two very specific moments which I will forever remember. The first was when one of the doctors finished answering our questions after a very lengthy very medical explanation of some complicated and pretty scary things. After we said we didn’t have any more questions she looked at me and said, “You are taking this really well. Are you sure you are okay?” We smiled and told her we were trusting the Lord and while it was hard, yes, we were okay.

The second moment came just a few hours before we were sent home. One of the nursing assistants was chatting with me and asked what my husband did for a living. When I told her he was a pastor she broke into a huge smile and said, “I thought you were believers! I’m not aloud to ask, but I wanted to that first time I met you.” We had a wonderful chat at my daughter’s bedside and an opportunity to pray together before she left the room.

Those moments were very small in the scheme of my sweet girl and our search for answers as to what was attacking her little body, but they were moments of hope which gave me an assurance that when I am weak Christ is my strength. 

Honestly, I think it may be the grace of God that we do not know Why? In my human nature there is no Why? which I feel should justify the suffering of my sweet daughter or makes it okay that she now begins to panic at the thought of a needle. So, I’m not asking. I don’t need to know. I just need to press on and trust.

We have been home a week. My girl may wear out a little faster than normal, but other than that she appears very healthy. She is eating well, running into leaf piles, and bickering with her sisters over trivial things. All of these are normal and I welcome them! We may never fully know what was behind all of this as we continue seeing specialists and receive test results. She may never be sick again, but we are also prepared this may be an onset of an autoimmune disorder. In the midst of all the uncertainty we see His hand and are choosing to say, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”

Credit: Medic: Bundle by Dream Big Designs

No Easy Jesus: A Tyndlae Blog Network Review

 I have a guest post review today! My husband was very excited to read and review No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell for Tyndale Blog Network. Here are his thoughts about this book.

As a pastor I am always looking for ways to help people in their walk with the Lord. I love to read books that will teach me something and encourage me in my pursuit of godliness. That is why I was excited about No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life.
Too often we are taught that when we begin a relationship with Jesus that our life will be better and that is true to some degree. But if by better we mean easy, then we are greatly mistaken. Life is full of tough choices and being a Christian can sometimes make those choices even harder.
Have you ever watched other Christians living fulfilled lives and think to yourself, “Why can’t I have what they have?” Sometimes we think that being fulfilled in the Christian life is only for a few elite Christians. The truth is Jesus wants you to live the greatest life possible.
One of the things I love about this book is the author’s openness and transparency. I felt I could relate to him. He talks about his struggles in life and how he has found that the secret to living the greatest life possible is a willingness to make the tough choices to follow Jesus each day. In the book, Jason Mitchell says, “It’s a clarion challenge to wake up each day and choose Jesus all over again; to make the tough, gritty choices that align your way with His and lead to true fullness of life. Because when you decided to follow Jesus, you didn’t sign up for what was easiest―you signed up for what was best.”
No Easy Jesus will challenge you to make the tough choices so that you can experience the best life possible. If you desire a deeper walk with Jesus than this book is a must read for you.
Disclaimer: I received this title in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. I was not required to write a positive review. 

2014 Art Show

My girls attend classes at a local learning center for homeschoolers where I also teach junior high literature. It is different from a co-op in that it is run more like a private school along with a board, director, hired teachers and tuition. It is a blessing and a beautiful thing for my girls to be in a nurturing environment once or twice a week outside our regular homeschooling.

Each year the girls will have artwork as part of the art show. Here are some of their submissions…

Rose has mosaic art featuring gears, one of many simple machines she studied this year!

Rose also wrote a sweet poem about a bee and made a nice illustration as well.

Here is Beth’s version of Sunflowers by van Gogh. So beautiful!

Beth also had a collaborative story telling project which she then illustrated with Aboriginal art. She loved this project and has talked about it almost constantly since working on it!

Grace is too little to participate in the classes offered, but she wanted her picture taken by some artwork like her sisters. These masks were some of her favorites!

This manatee was another collaborative piece done by Beth’s entire class. She said it was neat to work on it together.

This is also something very cool. An amazingly talented group of 7th and 8th graders created a radio drama for their contribution to the art show for their literature class. They also wrote some pretty hilarious commercials as well. Click here or on the picture to listen to the full drama. 
(pssst….These are all my students!!!!!!! Aren’t they amazing?!?!)

Rose also just had a poem accepted for publication in a Creative Communications poetry contest! This is her second piece accepted which is really cool. Anyone can enter and homeschoolers are welcomed into the competition. I recently had an article published with this group because one of my 7th and 8th grade literature students was a finalist and won a prize in the essay contest! You can click here to read the article. 

If anyone tells you homeschoolers don’t have the same opportunities as traditional schoolers, don’t listen to them. You  may have to make an effort to provide those opportunities, but they are out there! If anything, the opportunities are more open because time is not a limitation. I love opening the world wide for my girls to explore and experience the creativity God has blessed them with!