I’m thankful for music and Anne’s ability to sing along.
In the days after the accident, a new song by Josh Wilson entitled, Before the Morning, was released on the radio. This song ministered the most deeply to me in those early days. After one of my most discouraging days, I was driving home from the hospital just crying and praying. After much talking with God, I meekly asked, “God, would you just let me hear that Josh Wilson song…” So I turned on the radio, and his song was playing…
Would you dare, would you dare to believe,
That you still have a reason to sing,
That the pain that you’ve been feeling
Can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light.
Press on and just fight the good fight,
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling,
Is just the dark before the morning.
Now Anne knows all the lyrics and sings along in the car. That’s a stark contrast to the dark days in the hospital, and a poignant gift from God…
I miss the freedom of having healthy, independent, well-behaved children. I’ve been so sad lately. so. very. sad.
Next week is spring break. Last year during spring break, I took the kids to Anniston, AL to visit my cousin. It was my very first road trip alone with the kids… since they were all potty trained and old enough to buckle themselves into their car seats by themselves, I thought this would be the beginning of lots of road trips. We had a blast in Anniston. My cousin lives in a big, old house. We spent hours playing hide-n-seek and sardines. Here’s a (blurry) pic of my cousin and us “squished” in a shower while we’re playing sardines :-)
Playing Sardines 4-10-10
Back when my kids were younger, I used to dream of the day when they were all at least 4 years old. Four = independence and much more freedom to do things like… fun road trips!
Three days after we got home from Anniston, the accident happened… and then Kate turned four. We had her birthday party at the hospital.
Lost dreams are just that… dreams. God has different plans for our family. I believe that I’ll be able to take fun road trips with my kids – I’ll just have to wait a little bit longer :-)
Anne’s new seizure medication seems to be helping her seizures. She hasn’t had a seizure in over a week! But the medication is making her tired – like she’s in a haze. Her eyes are droopy and she wants to be in her bed all the time. The side effects could go away as Anne’s body adjusts to the medication, but if not, we’ll be looking for another seizure med. It’s just too discouraging to see her so droopy all the time…
She still stutters, but I noticed a significant drop over the weekend when she was able to get more rest. Her speech therapist thinks we should take the “wait and see” approach. Typically stuttering in children takes care of itself without any therapeutic intervention. I’m praying that’s the case for Anne!
We’re so grateful for your prayers. It’s a constant source of encouragement for our whole family!
Here is Canon’s 3rd installment in his “Rabbit & Squirrel Story Series.” If you haven’t yet, check out his first and second stories too :-)
Rabbit Finally Wins!
The animals are going through an industrial revolution (like the humans did).
Rabbit: Hey Squirrel, I just bought the best building machine ever!!!!
Squirrel: I bought a machine too.
Rabbit: How about we program our building machines to build a robot. Then our friends can vote on which robot has the best function, looks the best and has the best manners.
Squirrel: Okay, but it has to be fair. Our friends cannot know who built which robot, so they will vote for the best robot, NOT the best animal.
Rabbit: Okay, good add-on. Let’s do it!
Rabbit and squirrel both program their machines to build a robot. After about 1 animal month (which equals one day to humans), rabbit comes to squirrel.
Rabbit: Okay Squirrel, I’m finished!
Squirrel: Good, I’ve been waiting two weeks for you. Watch what my robot can do…
Squirrel snaps his fingers, and the robot appears with two cups of hot cocoa in his two metal, claw-like hands.
Rabbit (wide-eyed): WOW! But my robot’s better (and it looks better too!)
Rabbit whistles and his robot shows up, with a TV on his chest. So rabbit and squirrel sit down with their hot cocoa and watch television.
Squirrel: Oh, we were having so much fun that we forgot to invite our friends to vote on the best robot!
Rabbit: Robot, phone please.
His robot hands rabbit the phone. Rabbit calls all of his friends, and kindly lets squirrel use his phone so squirrel could call his friends too. All of the friends gather, and squirrel addresses the crowd of friends…
Squirrel: These are the rules of the vote. You will not know who built each robot. You must vote for the robot that you like the most. There will be two boxes over here by this tree with the picture of each robot on the front. We will give out cards. You will write your name on the card and then place it in the box of the robot you like best. There are pencils between the boxes. LET THE COMPETITION BEGIN!
The robots perform for the friends, and the friends vote. After the votes are counted, Rabbit’s robot wins.
Squirrel: Well you won. I guess it’s fair, since I won the flying competition, and you did say that you would win next time.
Rabbit: Well thanks. I only won by one vote.
Squirrel: I guess animals like television more than hot cocoa!
Rabbit: Well television lasts longer and doesn’t get cold.
Anne is still having seizures. She actually had a video EEG a few weeks ago. She had a seizure during that time, which was great from a diagnostic perspective. She is having mild clonic-atonic seizures which originate from her left temporal lobe and both frontal lobes. They are considered mild because she remains conscious and lucid throughout the seizure. She is on her 2nd medication. The first did nothing but make her tired – it had no affect on her seizures. Most of the time, her seizures are mild and don’t last very long – but every now and then, she’ll have an intense one that lasts too long for comfort.
On a different front, Anne has started stuttering. It gets worse as she gets tired. We’re hoping this is just one of those “one step backwards” before she takes a few steps forward :-)
So please pray:
- that we find the best medication to prevent the seizures from doing additional damage to her brain, and
- that her stuttering would disappear.
Thank you! -kathryn
Here’s the 2nd installment in Canon’s “Rabbit & Squirrel” Series. This one might be better than the first. Check it out:
How Flying Squirrels Came To Be
The animals are all trying to make flying machines like the humans did 100 years ago….
Rabbit: I bet I can make the best flying machine.
Squirrel: Bet you can’t. Let’s have a “Build-Off.”
Rabbit: I’m in!
Squirrel: I’m going to tell you the rules:
1. You have a budget of $100. You can’t hire more than two helpers.
2. It has to be your idea. That’s it.
Rabbit: Okay. How long will the “Build-Off” be?
Squirrel: It will be exactly two months (that’s two days in human time).
Rabbit: Starting when?
They both scurry off in different directions. Squirrel gathers a bird and a mole (to gather things for him), while Rabbit gets just two other of his rabbit buddies.
…Two days later, Rabbit and Squirrel meet together in the forest.
Rabbit: I’ve got the best flying machine that’s ever been built!! …but I don’t know if it will fly yet.
Squirrel: Well, my flying machine might not look so good, but it will be the future for all squirrels!
Rabbit: Let’s see how both of our machines do in a contest.
Squirrel: You’re on!
Rabbit goes first. After two or three tries, he finally climbs a tree, straps himself into his wooden flying glider and jumps off. He drops like a rock. Thankfully, squirrel had placed a mattress underneath the tree, so rabbit wasn’t harmed.
Then Squirrel climbs up into the tree (with a lot easier time than rabbit had). Squirrel straps two leather wings from front paw to back paw on both sides of his body. He then jumps with his four legs spread as wide apart as possible. Because of his leather wings, he glides 100 yards (more or less).
Rabbit: Well… You fairly won my friend.
Squirrel: Thank you. Yours did pretty well too. (He had to be nice, didn’t he?)
Rabbit: Well… I’ll win next time!!!
Part of me feels silly writing about suffering – what do I really know about suffering? …But as I’ve been (lightly) studying suffering in the bible, I am flattened by the extent of suffering I find there – the pinnacle being the crucifixion of Christ. Isaiah calls him the “suffering Servant” for good reason.
I have so many thoughts about suffering, but for now… I’d like to focus on Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1. Paul was intimately familiar with suffering. And somehow he is able to link comfort to suffering in a most provocative way. He actually tells the people of Corinth that the way to experience comfort is to suffer. Seriously?
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. …If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer (2 Corinthians 1:5-6).
What kind of comfort is Paul talking about here? Knowing a tiny bit about Paul’s character, I don’t think it’s a sweet, warm & fuzzy feeling, but rather comfort in the truth that suffering is not in vain. Paul points to sharing in the sufferings of Christ. Christ’s sufferings accomplished the ultimate good – salvation from sin and death. And God brings good from Paul’s sufferings too. Paul argues throughout 2 Corinthians that his sufferings help him bring comfort to others and serve as a means to make Christ known to the world. The world notices when a “suffering servant” remains faithful to Him. It is the way of the Kingdom of God… death brings life… and suffering combined with surrender …brings comfort.
Both Anne’s teacher and PT at school read this journal. Typically, after I post an entry expressing my discouragement, they will try to encourage me the next day with all the progress she is making. I’m always touched by their thoughtfulness.
Well, this past Monday, the school PT went one step further and invited me to observe Anne’s next PT session. I guess she figured that if I saw Anne’s progress with my own eyes, I might start believing it :-)
I went today, and Anne really is doing well. Her focus is better. Her trunk strength and balance have improved tremendously, and her walking has improved. I really believe that in a few years, Anne might be able to walk independently with a cane. Wouldn’t that be amazing!
Her OT is also very positive about Anne’s progress. She is making active movements with her left arm. Again, her concentration and effort are improving, as well as her stamina.
Lastly, her classroom teacher has shown me most of Anne’s classroom work from the last few months. She’s more purposeful in her coloring. In other words, it’s not pure scribble scrabble, but you can see that she is making an effort to color a specific object.
Now, if I can learn to stay encouraged based on God’s faithfulness and character instead of Anne’s progress, well then I might receive a good progress report too!
Thank you for your continued prayers.
A couple of months ago, Canon had a composition assignment to write a dialogue between a rabbit and a squirrel. He had so much fun, he decided he wanted to start a series of stories about Rabbit and Squirrel. Well, he’s gone crazy lately. He’s written five stories, and he has ideas for 3 more. They’re actually pretty funny. Here’s his introduction to Rabbit and Squirrel…
Why Rabbit Makes Squirrel Run
A rabbit and a squirrel see what looks like a UFO in the sky. As they are backing away, they bump into each other.
Rabbit: What in the world is that?
Squirrel: I have no idea. I guess it could be one of those flying plates that you see humans reading about in their comic books.
Rabbit: You mean with those “so-called aliens” and stuff?
They run as fast as they can, a ½ mile or so.
Squirrel (while panting): Do you think we ran far enough?
Rabbit: Tell me if it’s right behind us.
Squirrel (while panting): OK, I’m telling you. IT’S RIGHT BEHIND US!!!!
Because squirrel is tired, they run ¼ mile this time.
Squirrel (while panting): Now is it gone?
Rabbit: Yes, it’s gone. It might have been a rain cloud.
Squirrel (while panting): You mean we did all that running for nothing!!!
Rabbit: No, I’m just saying that it MIGHT have been a rain cloud.
Squirrel (while panting): OK, I’m tired. I’m going home now.
Rabbit: I’m not tired – just hungry. I think I’ll run over to the farmer’s house and steal some cabbage and carrots.
P.S. It really was a rain cloud.
Squirrel (while panting): I can’t believe that rabbit made me run so far – FOR A RAIN CLOUD. I’m gonna go beat him up.
…Anne was practicing cheerleading moves in our living room. We had battled through food sensitivity issues, anger and behavior issues and hyper-sensitivity issues. Everyone outside our family could not believe that Anne was anything but the quiet, perfect little angel she showed to the outside world. But Anne had turned the corner on all of her “issues.” She was becoming that perfect little angel at home too. She would obey with a good attitude. She loved to help me with all of the household chores – especially cleaning and cooking. She was intelligent, artistic and sensitive – and a bit bossy. But hey, nobody’s perfect :-)
Now, I am dealing with all of those old issues. Her seizure medication is making her tired and irritable. She gets so angry when she doesn’t get her way – especially at me. She bites, hits, pulls my hair and likes to call me “stupid mommy” for the sole reason that we don’t allow the “s” word in our house. She is making progress, but it’s oh so slow. At night, my mind races through strategy after strategy to help Anne. Be it nutrition, or therapy goals or reading strategies, I have tons of ideas, but not enough time to implement them. It all leads me to feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
And God just seems hidden. It’s scriptural for God to be hidden sometimes. He’s hidden through most of Job. And when He reveals himself, Job is left shaken and repentant. Even though He’s hidden, that doesn’t mean He’s absent or aloof. I choose to believe that He has a plan for Anne and our family. We might be in a dark part of the journey, but it won’t be dark forever. He’ll give us light, just when we need it the most. In the interim, we must wait and take each step by faith. Faith in God’s good character. Faith in God’s sovereign hand. Faith in God’s tender mercies. Faith in His love for each one of us, and for Anne.
The days leading up to 4/13 will be difficult for me. One side of me hates that day. I hate what it’s done to Anne and our family. But the other side of me knows that God intends good to come out of it. God’s word demonstrates repetitively how He brings good out of the broken. I pray He does that for Anne …and for me.
- That we will find the right medication to control Anne’s seizures – without negative side effects;
- That we would not feel overwhelmed or discouraged and find comfort in God despite our circumstances, and
- That God would help Anne to make progress in her walking, reading & writing.
Thank you! -kathryn