Saturday, June 25, 2011

Greater Things Are Still To Come.....

Just a brief testimony today…….

I have been out of town with our son, Ryan, for hyperbaric oxygen treatments since 6/15. In the last few days I’ve struggled with being a little tired and homesick, missing Wes and Ems.  But….

Psalm 30:5
For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts for a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

This morning on our way back to the hotel after the 1st of 2 dives today, I looked back at Ryan and realized how tall and big he looks in his car seat.  Often, due to Cerebal Palsy, he tends to curl into more of a “baby” position.  But today, he is stretched out and looking tall and strong; he is looking like an inquisitive seven year old little boy.

I was also thinking about our dive this morning.  Until today, Ryan had not had much interest in anything outside of the chamber.  But he looked up and saw Ms. Susan and did a double take.  He made eye contact, grinned at her, and watched her walk back across the room.

As I was thinking about the above two praise reports the radio was playing “There is noone like our God.”  I couldn’t help but tear up and think, “No, not one!”  Then the rest of the verse hit home to me:

Greater things are yet to come.  Greater things are still to be done in this City. 
Yep, more tears.  This is most definitely a “to be continued” blog!!  I can’t wait to report on the greater things that will be done in this city.  Thank you all for praying for us.  We will be taking tomorrow off and meeting up half way with Dad and Sis for the afternoon (Praise God!!)  But after that, 2 dives a day until 7/6/11.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't Judge a City by the Metro

Our experience with the NYC Metro System is still speaking to me. Though Emily and I never really mastered the Metro, we did get better over time with finding our way around. We basically got better at correcting our mistakes and our first mistake was a doosy.

We were going from Flushing to Coney Island, or so we thought. We pulled our map out as discreetly as possible. Maybe we were a little too discreet because even after looking at it we still didn’t realize that we were headed in the wrong direction. The kind lady sitting next to me nonchalantly asked where we were going. We proudly said, “Coney Island.” In a very low, calm voice she said, “You are going in the wrong direction. You are in the Bronx. You need to get off at the next stop, cross over, and get onto the D, D as in Delta, D.”

The man across from her wasn’t nearly as gracious and loudly bellowed several times that we were a lonnnnnnng way from Coney Island that we had about an hour’s ride back to the other end. But our gracious new friend just kept quietly and calmly saying, “D, D as in Delta, D.” We did as she instructed and made it there safely.

Throughout the rest of our trip we struggled to figure out where we were based on the dark, ugly, dirty, blazingly hot, underbelly of New York City. Just when I would start dreaming about being at home sitting on our couch, we would make our way out and find a new beautiful view of something like Central Park or Time Square.

That feels much like a metaphor for our lives lately. Sometimes it seems that things go from bad to worse and it is difficult to see where God is going with all of this. In fact, I can feel just as lost in this journey as I did in NYC. Yet there is this excited expectation of what is to come. We routinely experience beautiful moments and evidence of God’s favor but God seems to keep reinforcing that something greater is coming.

My mind keeps turning to one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, ”Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As I was finishing up this blog, I listened to a sermon by Pastor Carr at Central Church of God on “Making IT Look Easy, Joy.” His definition of Joy reinforced all that I’ve felt God was saying this week. He said,

“Joy is the habitual celebration of victory regardless of the way things appear.”

If you are facing tough times just remember that the ugly stuff around you is just a Metro System that is taking you to a beautiful place. A place filled with stronger hope and faith than you’ve ever had before.

Central Church has some excellent sermons on line at

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Follow These Commands That All May Be Well

Last week my husband graciously agreed to watch Little Man, Ryan, while I went with our daughter, Emily, to New York City to celebrate her high school graduation. Because of health concerns, Ryan comes with a long list of do’s and don’ts. As I was preparing this list for my husband, I kept thinking about Deuteronomy 12:28, “…Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee….” I suggested that he watch “Gremlins” if he felt the urge to deviate from the plan.

Ryan is on a very strict diet to control seizures and must remain in ketosis. So, even one extra spoonful of carbohydrates, or the wrong carbohydrates, can lead to a seizure, cycles of nausea, anxiety, tears, and hours of beyond crankiness for all involved. Wes used to think that I was exaggerating; however, one rough night can make you a believer in the commandments of Ryan. I must say, he followed the plan beautifully.

I missed Ryan and Wes but on the way home from our trip I began to feel this sadness at the thought of returning to all that is on my plate. Of course, that doesn’t include being mom and wife – that I love. What I didn’t enjoy returning to was my work load, financial concerns, advocating for basic human decency, dead-end research into supplements and therapies, and lots of stuff that may or may not be a part of God’s plan for me. I could feel the tears welling up so I began to remind God that He said HE came that we might have life and have it to the full. He began to remind me of John 10.

….the sheep listen to His voice….

….the sheep follow Him…..

It seems that maybe I should be the one reminded to observe His commands that it may go well with me like “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” I don’t know why it is such a struggle for me to stay on track with that daily quiet time or praying before taking on something new. Sometimes I’m like that cartoon dog trucking along saying, “Stay on the path. Stay on the path. Stay on the......CAT!!!!!!” Then I’m off track chasing after something that I haven’t taken time to pray about.

A mother's desire to see her children find fullness of life can easily lead to a mentality of leaving no stone unturned, especially in a health crisis. However, our enemy is the master deceiver who can steal, kill, and destroy our quality of life by strategically placing "stones" in our path. So, it seems that all I need to do to find life to the full is to just listen and follow Him.
John 10:3-5

The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.
Above - Ryan as we follow the plan....below Ryan when we've messed the plan up.  Time to reevaluate the plan I'm following for myself since I'm feeling a little more like the picture below.  How is your plan? Which picture best describes your level of peace?