Feeling Out of Control – Not For Long – Isaac Shares

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Isaac started Karate 2 years ago.  It has been a blessing to his life.  I always saw the physical strength in him.  I saw how he desired to use it any way he could.  Not always practical.  I say that with humor.  A work in progress.  At 9 months, he did start walking.  He wanted to go.  His left leg definitely quivered as he went.

 

Learning to ride a bike was very difficult.  Physically and emotionally.  I was determined to find a way to help him achieve.  WE took small increments. And lots of prayer and pep talks.  Even when he achieved balance and could ride along well, in an instant his world went crashing down on him when his left leg slipped off the pedal and he physically and emotionally crashed.  Again, and again.  I’d pick him up, dust him off, speak God’s truth to him, tell him to never give up.  And so on…

 

Karate has been an outlet for Isaac to use his love of structure, hyper focus on a physical activity.  And the desire to move up for reward after reward.  Something I always saw in him was a great desire to have goals set out that he could achieve.  Knowing there would be yet another.

 

The other day Isaac began working on a new kick.  It required a LOT of control.  He was executing it well on his right-with all his might keeping himself tucked in strong with arms and hands.  I asked him to show me the left.  He hesitated, with tears in his eyes.  I knew something was up because that rarely happens.  He did not want to do the left at all.  He began to explain, how it felt so strangely, and awfully out of control.  He has never expressed this in any of his other kicks, moves to this degree.  He WAS feeling cerebral palsy in his physical in a way he hadn’t identified or recognized before.

 

We prayed.  I encouraged.  And reminded him of God’s love for him.  That even when it “feels” out of control to him, the truth is God is fully in control.  It’s okay.  Focusing on the strengths.  Reminding him the call to Believers to persevere. That difficulty produces, character, and hope that does not disappoint because the LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT INTO OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

Yesterday I was out for a bit.  I came home and in a casual conversation, Isaac brought up that he worked on his kicks.  He had a gigantic smile on his face.  He told me that he worked on the left side, and something happened.  He no longer felt out of control.  He said it was so strange because the out of control feeling that was so prominent, now was gone and this in control feeling reigned and ruled.  “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful.”  Col. 3:15

 

Whether Isaac’s kick has truly improved I am not sure.  It seems however, that God has gotten ahold of his heart, mind, and soul.  Given Isaac a special touch.  A peace knowing He is in control always, even when life doesn’t feel that.

 

What I do know, is God has a plan very special for every life.   Academics, processing information, verbally, paper, and more have been grueling for him.  Relational connections, understanding emotions of his own and others – grueling to achieve.  But nothing is impossible with God!  And He indeed does more than we could ever imagine.  He has indeed overcome much in all these areas of living daily.

 

I have to always go back to the beginning when Isaac was “dead” and placed on a ventilator at birth.  He could do nothing.  It was God’s gracious hand that chose to raise Isaac up to life.  And because of this, we have had the privilege to point he and his brother to Jesus each and every day.  Jesus whose death on the cross, and overcoming and raising to life – gives us life.

 

Not only does Isaac understand it was God who raised him to life in the NICU.  He understands it is He Who helps him everyday.  He understands his need for help.  He understands his need for a Savior to save him from his sins. He understands, this God loved him so much that He gave His only Son-Jesus to die for his sins and offer forgiveness and everlasting life.

 

He understands once again, as many other things in life have felt pretty out of control, and then one day, all of a sudden it FEELS so very different and amazing… that is GOD!  God’s power made perfect in weakness.  He understands that is awesome and that is why he told me “yes mom when I felt like I was no longer out of control I said, thank you God”.

 

And that is why Isaac has said, I can share this with you today.  He knows that sharing is pointing to Jesus.  The One Who is his help everyday, and can be yours too!

What Will He Be Able to Do? – My Pediatric Stroke Survivor

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Will he live?  Will he breathe?  Will his kidneys work?  Will his heart work?  Will he transition from tube feedings to a bottle?  Will he come home?    Will he talk?  Will he talk in a flow or always talk robotically?  Will he comprehend?  Will he connect with the world around?  Will he understand relationships?  Will he be able to write without my hand guiding his?  Will he read?  Will he be able to play sports?  Will he be able to learn his times tables to know math for equipping for life?  Will he always be filled with so much anxiety? Will he understand emotions, feelings?  Will he be able to articulate his own needs?  Will he be able to recognize and reach out to the needs of others?  Will he have relationships and a relationship with Jesus?

 

I could go on…. this is just a tiny glimpse into the things that took TIME.  Not only TIME, but most things learned in very “special” ways, out of the box,  not typical, tapping into Isaac’s way.

 

This is exciting! As we ventured into the world of drawing again this week. The great hurdles to cross in his ability to draw, aren’t just about creativity, much much more, including planning, and spatial awareness. To look at a piece of paper and “visualize” where to begin – assessing the space around in relation to what he wants to achieve, how big, in itself is a GIGANTIC challenge. As with a zillion other challenges he has faced, we have found METHODS, STRATEGIES, SYSTEMS that we formulate and drill him, and talk him through over and over until it is solidified to the point of now “seemingly a natural flow”. We are now using this strategy to help Isaac draw.

 

 

THE RULER! First we had to cross the hurdle of comprehending the bigger aspect of the ruler to the smaller pieces within and how they work together and relate. Now that he has that concept mastered (which by the way this BIG picture to smaller pieces is a part of our everyday processing in relating to life), the ruler plays a HUGE part in him being able to draw. Once he determines a line to draw. His brain cannot visualize the imaginary line and how far it should run. Without a ruler and planning out in increments ahead of time, he would draw a line that would go on continuously or until it runs off the page. Then he would look and SEE in frustration, “that’s not right”. With the ruler he can lay it down first, and SEE that line, examine, and determine how far it should run, before drawing it. This week the LORD just showed me how I need to use a system of QUESTIONS to help him prepare, plan, process. I just asked the questions. And taught him how to make dots and increment out and visualize with the ruler. Really, I only needed to get him started and he was able to draw these pictures all on his own with wonderful step by step programs I found online. (the BB8 which was circles we had to tackle on a bit different approach-but still with ruler to visualize where he was going) He then “seeing”, what to do. And he erased a lot, and persevered on.

 

 

This is SO beautiful. I am encouraged, because every single detail of his life that we have handled in a similar manner with a process, system, has brought help, order, and often eventually a natural flow and great ABILITY in places that were so very stuck. God is soooooo very good.

 

 

I consider myself so very simple, and yet, God blesses me again and again with insight and wisdom to help my boy go further.

 

God is faithful. God is Love.

 

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“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… be the glory”  Eph. 3:20

ART BY ISAAC:

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BB8

 

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The Kingdom

 

My Strength Through All Seasons

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The Light Shines in the Darkness Jn. 1:5

 

I stood outside my back door in the pouring rain this morning.  I left the door cracked to hear this song playing (below), as I worshiped the Lord, and reflected in tears of the seasons He has carried me through.

 

I am 45 3/4 years old. I’ve been in pain and deep sorrow of many kinds in my life.  I’ve been deeply afraid. Rejected. I’ve grieved losses of many kinds. I’ve walked, feeling numb, alone, scared, desperate. I’ve held onto the ONE and only hope I have ever had. I have sought, I have fought, I have fallen  again and again.   I have risen and carried on. Only by the EVERY WORD of my Commanding Officer – Jesus Christ my Lord.

 

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Cor. 4:8

 

Who has picked me up, brushed me off, told me again and again I can do this? Who has comforted my broken heart? Who has said “it’s going to be okay?”. Christ my KING!

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

I have scars.   On my chest from the emergency open heart surgery at age 1 1/2 after going into heart failure.  I have scars from two cesarean operations for the birth of our boys.  Starting with our first in an emergency to save his life as he was literally dying inside of me.  These physical scars are beautiful to me.  The Lord uses them to point to life.  I have scars of other kinds.  Remembrance of the deep emotional pain I fought so hard to be set free from. Scars that remind me of the battles. Battles I have fought hard to overcome. I am not a victim, I am a soldier. And every battle I’ve fought and every scar that remains, I rejoice in my Savior.  These scars are beautiful reminders of His amazing love and faithfulness that truly has set me free and given me beautiful life!

 

My JESUS! For it was Jesus, Who fought the greatest battle ever, who endured, pressed on with joy, to go further, no turning back, onward to the CROSS OF LOVE. Who knew the full plan… even though painful to take upon my sin, the sin of the whole world, the wrath of God the Father against sin – Jesus bore it all. In total darkness that we cannot even comprehend nor will ever experience if we choose to place our faith in Him. In truth… knowing there was a plan, a purpose, He went. Victory! He rose up! From the grave!  His perfect plan! To overcome and give life! A plan of incomprehensible humility from the HOLY LOVE of the KING OF HEAVEN.  Came  to suffer, in order to save. To rise again. To give the promise of life and victory to every one of His children.

 

His body broken, the blood poured out and He is risen! He is LORD! Thomas, when seeing Jesus for the first  time in the victorious, resurrected body – he doubted.   Jesus pointed him to the scars.  The beautiful scars that had to “be” in order  to bring LIFE!

 

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

These words to this song are a proclamation of my life.   The ROCK ON WHICH I STAND in the storms of life. The seasons of deep dark clouds and pouring rain, cold and barely to move at times… I felt the warmth of His every word to strengthen me. He sees what I am walking through, and sees the victory one day at a time I am actually walking in already… doubting sometimes like Thomas. He is gracious and reminds me “remember the scars”.  His love does not disappoint. His love is for me.

I think it is important  to remember, when we are walking on and it is so very dark, the rain keeps coming, the wind keeps blowing,  we must remember He has a full plan. Jesus walked onward to the cross, the plan was He would RISE IN VICTORY! And because of this, all who put their faith in Him, are promised this same victory.

So as we trudge along the muddy paths, may it give us greater faith to believe, “he has not forsaken us”, but we are walking through the hardship, in exercise.  Exercising our faith.  To greater faith.  As in all exercise, as well as the training involved as soldiers, it is painful.  We know however, that the pain involved is strengthening.  That applies to the physical, but also the spiritual life.  This trial, draws us to dependency on the HOLY ONE. WE need Him. We desperately need Him. Even on our greatest days, we need him. And truth be told, I realize more and more on my GREAT days when I am having those feeling of “everything seems altogether and right”, it is a reminder of how much I need Jesus. It’s so easy to go our own way, and forget how much we really need God. We might forget in a minute. How gracious is HIS LOVE He never forgets how important we are to Him.

 

“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15

 

But we must surrender. As the song goes.. “surrendering my whole life”.  Anew each day.

 

I have walked the cloudy, rainy, muddy path in many facets of life. I also walk in victory!   Every day because of what Christ did on the cross to secure my salvation. I live the victory in new seasons, as I see all the storms of this life has forced me into the arms of my God. And in these arms is STRENGTH beyond STRENGTH.  Seeing Him do more than I could have EVER truly imagined in my life and the life of my family. I have been blessed beyond measure.  I have experienced the supernatural love and peace of the Savior minute by minute, day by day.  I have reaped blessings, and joy. I have experienced days waking with feeling like I had nothing to give.  And no energy to run on.  Not knowing how I would even take a step or do anything God would call me to do.  And I have experienced the incredible truth that carries me- living and active- again and again finding myself  in awe and joy and wonder. Waking feeling so empty, and realizing each day, again and again God has done it for me.

 

He has indeed overcome in my fears, my hurt, my pain, and given me a greater life! His Words testify that my understanding of what is happening at any given moment is puny, that HIS WAYS ARE SO MUCH HIGHER THAN MINE. Isaiah 55:9

 

I pray you know the great love of the KING OF HEAVEN. May we march together as soldiers, fighting the temptation to believe the lies. May we press onward believing the ONE Who in His great love, desires only our best,  what is right, purifying, and purposeful for His children.

 

This life is to be lived with the real home in mind. With Jesus in the KINGDOM forever.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17

Let us press onward. “Not being conformed to the patterns of this world, but being transformed…” Romans 12:1-2

This is the victory!

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18

This is the song:    BIGGER THAN

You are able to provide
You are faithful in perfect time
Your goodness overwhelms
I am held

Through the fire, you’re my shield
Your protection never fails
No power can’t separate
I am saved

You are bigger than all my fears
God of love, God my love
You are bigger than all my dreams
God my hope, God my peace
Whatever will come my way
Through each day, I will say
“God I trust you, God I trust you”

You’re the treasure I desire
I surrender my whole life
For your glory, my great reward
I am yours
Use me Lord

You are the God who always sees us
Even if bare and desperate seasons
No matter what the circumstance
You are the rock on which I stand

 

Feasting At the Table of Blessing

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We’ve been studying wars in history this week. Heightening our awareness to the gratitude we have in our heart for all GOD’s TRUE blessings He has indeed bestowed upon us.

 

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Our boys made gingerbread today as we read journal entries from a nurse: “after spending the day bandaging soldiers wounds in the hospital fields, we would provide gingerbread to the soldiers as a comfort.”

 

How blessed we are to snuggle up on the couch as a family tonight, read war stories of bravery, persevering through trial, and something as simple as “gingerbread” that became a regular blessing for soldiers in the midst of the worst conditions. We know that we must always trust in GOD when times are good and when times are harsh-believing in the future HOPE he has prepared for us.

 

As we feasted on our gingerbread cake tonight, struck with tears in awe of where we are given the precious gift to sit, take our places, and FEAST one day:

 

Jesus said:

“I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the FEAST with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” Matt. 8:11

 

 

The One Who Calls you Is Faithful

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Pouring rain, hunkered in for the day, candles lit, God directing our steps on a bit different plan for schooling. Baking in the early morning, using a recipe out of our war time book from the library, slowing down the pace even more so, being still moment by moment to listen, read, abide in JESUS together and hit to greater degree of the realization of how BLESSED we truly are.

 

Soaking in WHAT GOD HAS MADE POSSIBLE! A few years back, others, yes others, told me I should quit. At this time,I was ALONE with my family and JESUS on this journey, with the challenges I faced daily. God just drew me in!!!!

 

I am thankful for MY GOOD SHEPHERD WHO CALLS ME IN to HIM, that I am His SHEEP and I DO HEAR HIS VOICE. BECAUSE THIS IS OUR STORY:

 

If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life, but it wasn’t mine
If I should speak, then let it be…
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and when mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
If I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
If I told you my story
You would hear life overcome the grave…

 

There is SO MUCH MORE GOD WANTS TO DO THAN OUR EYES CAN SEE! This is about GRACE that COVERS!!!! This is about walking by FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.

 

“I WILL lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I WILL guide them; I WILL turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I WILL do; I will not forsake them” Is. 42:6

 

 

The Voices that Overwhelm – The Voice that Brings Peace – A Mother’s Story

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As a mother, the voices around and within can overwhelm. And there are many I have heard for the answers to the stuck places of neurology. There is the heart (will), mind(brain), and soul-the VOICE OF THE LORD overcomes in all.

 

I had to rise early to just worship the LORD. In awe at what HIS VOICE has overcome in these stuck places over the years. Brutally hard stuck, locked in places -we have meditated deeply on what GOD SAYS to do in repetitive patterns over and over (emphasis added). Impulses, fear, confusion, the desperate struggle to keep the mind focused, and more… A MILLION SCRIPTURES APPLIED. Visually programming the mind to SEE on the board (repeat over and over, daily,) scenarios and “how to respond” according to GOD’s WORDS.

 

Overcoming in our Pediatric Stroke Survivor in so many varying scenarios of living daily life.  So thankful I listened to GOD’s VOICE.

 

Our youngest who is highly visual to a place that is INCREDIBLY HARD and AMAZING all in one – we have used this visual repetitive process on the board  for his specific challenged areas, with God’s EVERY WORD, to see he is experiencing tremendous VICTORY. He feels it – he is living it. Living the difficulty, and living the freedom by heeding to God’s Holy WORD.

 

Can I tell you the puddle of tears that flow from me? Those “voices” of the world all around attempting to cast doubt to the ability to achieve without “their” aids.   “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Rom. 12:2

 

Motivated to fight for a REWARD. What REWARD? One day at a time, pressing onward towards our REWARD JESUS! For Jesus! His glory!  (and a privilege to strategic pray through for wisdom for those little rewards here and now, to build momentum day by day – always pointing this is a reminder of JESUS our ultimate REWARD)

 

I said this morning: “LORD, I just want to praise YOU! Do you want me to share?” I looked down by my side and my bible lay open as it “fell” that way earlier on. I peered down to what it was opened to… yes God surely wants me to share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

THE VOICE voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.
THE VOICE of the Lord is powerful;
THE VOICE of the Lord is full of majesty.
THE VOICE of the Lord breaks the cedars,

THE VOICE of the Lord divides the flames of fire.
THE VOICE of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
THE VOICE of the Lord makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the Lord sits as King forever.

The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Ps. 29:2-11

 

 

 

I Promise

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Photograph by: Maximus Sellars – 12

 

God promises to…

Give me strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

 

It’s morning. The piles are high all around the house, the body hurts, low on energy, children to be taught. In weakness, GOD SAYS: I PROMISE! My STRENGTH is made perfect in this. This scripture becomes our morning devotions:

 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

The boys see mother carrying on in His beautiful grace oh SO beautifully sufficient. We embrace school time, and learn so much. A gorgeous flock of Starlings catch our eye for not a distraction from math, but a beautiful moment to embrace the rain, clouds, cool wind and gifts of this life in our backyard.

 

He answers our prayers as He directs my every thought and step. I experience hysterical laughter when my hubby calls on his afternoon break – whoa – that is JESUS! My children watch and smile.
I remember yesterday. I arrived home, to the delight of my 12 year old son bouncing up and down in child like wonder of the rainbow he captured in this picture. Over our neighborhood and home.

 

The most important lessons are learned today. My children seeing the power of the gospel at work – testifying to His faithfulness to His promises. Because there is no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth. And truth is we all need Christ’s power.

 

What memory they will have to see mother in weakness crying out in desperation, and seeing Jesus the ONE who is more than able to do above and beyond what we think or imagine.
As I dig through a pile of “need to get to” papers from long ago on my floor… I read these notes from the convention that ignited a purpose and passion for our family.

 

“The essence of education. The parent-child and sibling relationship. Human relationships that motivate learning. God’s beautiful design” To Him be the glory!!

 

God’s promises take us from fear to FAITH

From sorrow to JOY

from weakness to STRENGTH

from glory to greater glory….

 

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18