It’s About Who You Know

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It’s not about the physical, it’s not about what you know, it’s about WHO you know. It’s about the spiritual. A heart and soul that sees the LOVE and beauty of the SAVIOR and therefore KNOWS this Savior, and experiences a transformation, THAT is a miracle of God! I introduce him to the Savior daily, and He does the miracle! We’ve been through anguish. God’s WORD and Love and prayer (and a hair dryer for levels of emotions and must NOT own one with only two settings- LOL!!, and….on and…). He knows. He knows he’s been changed. He remembers, and he sees it and feels it.

And then…. RECENTLY…. again. The neurologist tested and showed how his left side is weaker. “the brain isn’t efficiently sending signals to the body”. How can this be? Son, do you notice you run down the basketball court and your legs work back and forth to make you go fast? Well if you are weaker, how can this be? Here’s how. God says: “MY grace is sufficient for you, MY power is made perfect in weakness”. “when I am weak, THEN I am strong”. 2 Cor. 12: 9 & 10. He sees. Again it’s evident he sees!!  He beams, beams, beams!!  

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When I asked the neuro psychologist 2 1/2 years ago if I should EVEN try using these right brain multiplication flash cards (special cards with pictures and stories behind the numbers), he said, “it wouldn’t hurt to try. That side isn’t completely gone” (his stroke was on the right in two places). While this method showed a bit more progress, even still it was difficult.

And then… RECENTLY, AGAIN… we flew through every fact one day and all the sudden every answer came flying out of his mouth…and another and another, and it was flying… and again.. he saw!! He saw big! He saw something AMAZING was happening inside of him. His face beamed. He felt it!!!!  It wasn’t the what he knew that was amazing, 9 x 4 = 36. That wasn’t the amazing thing at all… it was the evidence of WHO is at work making all this happen inside of him – inside his every part of his being, inside his very soul! Pointing him again to the Savior.

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What I want to say to YOU….

PRAY, EMBRACE THE WORD OF GOD, EMBRACE THE LOVING SACRIFICE OF THE SAVIOR, AND NEVER GIVE UP…

Pure Love With No Words

First Time Holding Isaac - 5 Days Old
First Time Holding Isaac – 5 Days Old

I shared this picture with other mother’s of Pediatric Stroke Survivors recently.   I received a lot of response.

Isaac is 12-L. Hemiplegia/Cerebral Palsy- He  works hard to process life – some physically, but even more mentally, emotionally.  He was born after suffering a stroke just before birth, and I wasn’t able to hold him until 5 days old because he was on a ventilator and didn’t know if he would live.

See how he looks at me? He still looks at me the same way all these years later. IT is surreal.  When we sit together, often during our  reading time but also  happens other times I am talking to him, he GETS as close as he can squished by me and he looks with head cricked to the side and STRAIGHT UP eye to eye with me-almost in my face. It hits me so profoundly for it is the same look as he gave me the first time I was able to hold him for a short time before placing him back in the NICU for more rest.

While words are not an easy thing for him to share nor getting out emotions of the heart (making great strides), extending typical ways of communicating feelings, God has shown me how to TREASURE the way in which he does show his love for me.  His obedience, his desire to help, to please, as well as this look!

This look says to me I LOVE YOU!  Like another mom of a pediatric stroke survivor said:  “It’s the look of PURE LOVE with NO words”

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Having a special blessing like this one, can teach us so much about love.  “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart” 1 Sam. 16:7.   What man sees on the outside is not always what is on the inside.  I praise God for revealing the hidden parts in special gifts from above.

More Precious than Gold

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Our 2 year anniversary he blessed me with a beautiful diamond ring.  Shortly thereafter I was blessed with another beautiful ring, just because he loves me.  6 year anniversary we we celebrated in Newport at a little restaurant by the bay.  I was blessed with a beautiful diamond and ruby ring.  All rings that I wear to this very day.

After graciously receiving that beautiful ring for our 6 year, my response went something like this: “thank you with all my heart.  I want you to know, I have all the jewels I could possibly desire.  What my heart of hearts yearns for is to be a mama.  I could live without never receiving another jewel, but my heart aches for the blessed gift of motherhood.”  He received those words, in love. And as we talked more and I prayed a lot, God did a miracle…

Two and half years later, we were blessed beyond blessed and  in for the ride of our lives with our first born son Isaac.   A stroke before he was born, 3 weeks in the NICU and many challenges ahead – as well as many blessings greater.

Just shy of 2 years later, our precious, blessed gift of Maximus was born – who has brought great blessing and joy to our lives.  Two very special boys.  Through sleepless nights, every detail of motherhood-from the extremely emotional, rough, rugged, dry and wandering dessert times,  and fun and joyous times, and sweet memories made-to see God work and sustain and provide and do the impossible is a testimony of God’s great love and faithfulness.

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Last month we celebrated 21 years of marriage.  15 years after our 6 years anniversary! Two children later. And a load of blessings more precious than gold.  Our life became refined as we cut out much in order to keep where my heart wanted to be serving the Lord at home sweet home in the ministry of wife and mothering, discipling, schooling, and more..   our life was refined over and over again.  Grueling and yet oh sooooo beautiful.

As we sat at dinner that evening, my husband handed me a box.  A little box that took me by great surprise.  For I hadn’t received any jewels since that one 15 years ago.  Oh I have received much. His steadfast and unconditional love, and the gift of motherhood and blessing beyond…

I opened that box never expecting such a gift.  A beautiful necklace with a small gem in purple.  My favorite color.  I cried.   I can look back on all that we have been through in 21 years.  The blessings and the great struggles.  And this gem reminds me of every answered prayer, every cry of my heart, every step we have taken and God has never left our side.  We came together as two very imperfect people.  With not much to go on but a simple seed of faith in the Savior- and time, God’s time as He says HE makes things beautiful, we had His WORD and prayer.

What has God done? Given me beautiful gems that have come through a process of the refiners fire.   A diamond in the ruff has been our lives, and yet the Lord continues in His faithfulness to refine us more and more and it’s amazing to see.  I am thankful He is not finished with us yet, and He is faithful to complete His work.

This necklace is precious to me, and not because of what it is, but what it represents.  It ‘s about God’s faithfulness!!!!  I am reminded continually of LOVE.  God’s great love to persevere on our behalf.  The love of my husband and I, that has not died but grown stronger through the process of God’s perfect refining work.

Purple has been my favorite color since childhood.  It then became more precious to me as the color to represent Pediatric Stroke Survivors.  And as I read in Proverbs 31:22 – I love it the best because it says:  “her clothing is fine linen and purple” .  And in those days back then to wear purple was evidence of God’s blessings to her.  I’ve experienced the blessings of God, but I’ve also experienced much pain in the process-it’s all apart of His plan, part of the blessing.

Because as a diamond’s  beauty and worth comes from the extreme pressure under which they are formed and the harsh process of cutting and polishing that are used to reveal their inner beauty and value-thus is our life.  If we can try to imagine the extreme temperature and pressure under which diamonds are formed, it brings to mind the fiery trials which children of God must undergo to develop true godly character.

1 Peter 1:6-7 describes the beautiful outcome of being tested by God’s fire:

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Is God finished with me yet?  No. I won’t be complete until I see Him face to face.  How many refining fires must I go through?  Only God knows the future.

When we go through the painful processes of life, the extreme pressures a diamond must endure to become beautiful, may we remember how much God loves us.  That in the extreme heat of trial, His word stands true and though we be tested by fired, may be found to praise and glory at the blessed revelation of Jesus when we see Him face to face.

 We…. SIMPLY… and TRUTHFULLY… put….. could not do this life without HIM!

A Prayer for Our Sons

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Our world needs men.  Real men.  Men with hearts to follow God.  Sold out and radical men.  Our boys need Jesus!  In an ever increasing evil world.  Boys need Jesus more than anything – they need eternal life as well as life abundantly until that day.  How do boys find Jesus and come to rise up in the world to be real men?  The word of God.  In a world with messages at every turn contrary to God, the devil is on the prowl seeking who he may devour.  I’ve taken my boys to the library, grocery store, pediatrician’s office, and a children’s science museum in the past month and seen the lies right in front of our noses waiting to penetrate minds and snatch out souls.  What a beauty to walk side by side with God’s word to declare truth and teach discernment, in a crooked and perverse generation.

We can teach our children math, language arts and so much more but what about the wisest man that ever lived?  Solomon, what did he say at the end of his life?

“And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”  Eccl 12:12-13

God used this same man in Proverbs to say these words for our sons:  “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;  For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.”  Prov 1:8-9

We need God’s Word – not a little – A LOT.    We need to believe it is for us.  That it is indeed ALL that pertains to ALL of life and godliness.  We need to believe it is HIS WORDS for each of us.  It is His word to help us with everything that pertains to life in raising our sons!  We need to believe it, and not listen to the messages of fads, books, statistics and more!!  Our God is magnificent, the ONLY ONE that deserves the title AWESOME!  He is all knowing, all loving, all caring, all wise, and MORE THAN ENOUGH.  We must listen, trust, believe, obey and refuse any other message.  The devil wants our sons.  He wants to convince us through the systems of this world that Christian parents are not enough.

Our boys need prayer.  Oh yes, God’s words says so!  So pray without ceasing.  But let us never forsake HIS WORD and allow the enemy to steer us elsewhere.  Remain in the ONLY truth.  IN a world that wants NO absolutes to exist and no truth.

Our children’s first important and crucial instruction in their lives is to obey and honor their parents, with promises for good.  May we never slack in our responsibility to believe this is crucial to the well being of our son’s soul. And when we do, may His kindness lead us to repentance quickly and may we rejoice in the Savior whose love will cover a multitude of sin.  Train them up, teach them and talk with them night and day (Deut. 6), discipline them for their good, do not grow weary in doing good and believe a harvest is coming, press on as good soldiers, die to self and live for Christ.

We have two sons.  Two VERY different boys.  Each with their own challenges and abilities.  I am determined to fight on for their souls, through prayer and the WORD-.  I am determined that each time I die to my flesh (cause there has been much – ouch!! – yes praise him too!) through this process of parenting is bringing resurrection power as Christ died and rose victoriously lives in me.  Take up the cross,  follow HIM, in order to keep raising my sons to know the need of the SAVIOR and His great love.

Parenting isn’t JUST about our children.  It’s about our families.  The enemy wants us to believe that children belong everywhere else but under the loving Shepherding Christian parents. God created families!  Through moms and dads and children we all are refined, disciplined, and grown for His glory and kingdom purposes.  We are the body of Christ right in our own homes in our families.  With God given abilities to serve and bless one another.

How far will I go?  I have one son who does not comprehend like others do. But he does… in the way God made him.  Break it down, draw, act out, and SO much more has been the aim!!!!!  As Christians we want to get to the heart of our children. And yes, ultimately it is the Spirit’s work. And He works through HIS word to penetrate hearts, minds and souls. How FAR DID PAUL GO? “to the WEAK I became AS WEAK, I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I DO for the GOSPEL’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” 1 Cor. 9:22-23 ~Paul ! Transformed from wretched sinner to gratitude so great for the Savior’s work, he devoted his life to the most important cause. He stooped to make the gospel clear at the lower level of comprehension.

What happens when neurology and the Word of God agree (true story)… to sum up the recommendations for how to proceed in gigantic report 3 years ago (“keep doing what you are doing”): be near, and walk, talk, show, through every detail of life the way and repeat! “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” Deut. 6:6-9. ~our verse from day 1. God’s confirmation. He means what He says. He is true. Take His word and go extreme. Jesus went to extremes all for love.  And to Him the VICTORY!!  

Two very different boys, neurological challenges, anxieties, strong will, sensory, ADHD, could be their names, and more.. there are many books written today on my boys.  But I have a book GREATER and RIGHT and TRUE – GOD’s PERFECT HOLY WORD that says nothing is impossible. The creator and the One to meet the need.  Taking every thought captive of mine and my children’s to the obedience of Christ.  I choose ABOVE all to listen to God who created them.  We must pray for wisdom,and He promises to give it, for  how to reach our children.  What is neurological, what is sin nature and more???  He is faithful!!

Is it tough?  yes.  Painful?  yes. And is it beautiful?  YES, YES and YES!!  God’s work is beautiful beyond description. Christian parents are soldiers pressing on in the battlefield.  We are not complete until we meet Jesus.  He is working out our salvation, sanctifying our own souls as He is simultaneously working on the souls of our sons.  That’s the beauty of the gift of children.  Consider each day training grounds.  What a privilege we have been given to be entrusted for a short time to preach the gospel to our sons, showing them they way, and leading them to Jesus.

Nothing is impossible with God!

So let us pray and cling to God’s WORD and believe in the the power of JESUS – the WORD that became flesh, lived among us, showed what real love means, and has given us the blessed gift of everlasting life.

(Based on General Douglas MacArthur’s Prayer for His Son)
Build us some men, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when they are weak; and brave enough to face anything when they are afraid; men who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat and humble and gentle in victory.
Build us some men whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; men who know You, Father, and Jesus Christ the foundation stone of everything Good.
Lead them, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here let them learn to stand up in the storm; here let them learn compassion for those who fail.
Build us some men whose hearts will be clear, whose goals will be high, men who will master themselves before they seek to master other men, men who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And as these men all grow, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that they may always be serious, yet never take themselves too seriously. Give them humility, so that they may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the meekness of true strength, and to cry out for true wisdom.
Then we dads and moms will dare to whisper, “We have not labored in vain!”

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Growing In Jesus

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On Christ the Solid Rock We Stand

I started so small now I’m 4 ft. 5 in. tall (Isaac-age 12) 4 ft. tall (Maximus-10).

I am growing, I can see.  God has a plan for me.

Not just for my body to grow, but to save my soul.

With sin, a perfect heaven I could not enter in.

Sin means death, and Jesus died for me,

Showed He is God by rising again.

I don’t like my sin,

I’m so thankful for Him.

He loves me so much,

He made me with his special touch.

He loves me, forgives me.

This God above – oh what love.

His Holy Spirit lives within,

Sets my soul free from sin.

When I leave this earth, I will be living forever with Him.