Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Mirror of Love

My heart has struggled over the past many months with Noah's verbal difficulties, celiac testing, diet changes, Jillian's skin & delays, etc. And as I've walked through these things, people - lots of God's people - have come around me. with hugs. tears. prayer. emails. help. love. cups of tea. phone calls. laundry folding. Why do you all care?

The more love that has been poured out in my direction, the more I can feel the self-centerdness of my own heart. I care mostly about my children, my life, my happiness. I have cringed inside (this is going to be ugly) when I see other kids the same age as mine 'thriving'. I guess I want things to go well for others as long as it doesn't rival how well things are going for me and mine. God, forgive me! And yet You have sent women who have walked through (or are walking through currently) MUCH worse than eczema to care about and comfort ME?!

I'm working on memorizing Colossians this year (www.aholyexperience.com/) and the verses this week are: "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people" Col 1:3-4

Why do Eunhee and her mom (whom I've never met) pray daily for my family? Why do friends care to sit with me and fold laundry, wisk me away to tea, send books in the mail or respond to updates? Where does that sort of love and compassion come from? It comes from Your heart (the compassionate ONE, the God of all comfort). You have manifested Your love, compassion and comfort for me in them! Could I please be so swallowed up by Your love that I would passionately pray for and love others too?

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." I Cor 1:3-4

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sweet Jillian Update


Today was Jillian's 11.5 month follow-up doctor's appointment, and no, she is not crawling (or rolling fluently or getting to a sitting position on her own). As we got closer to the appointment, I got more and more nervous... especially because someone mentioned to me that she could be labeled "globally delayed" which I googled (bad idea), which sent my head spinning.

BUT... today the actual appointment went very well. The pediatrician evaluated Jilly on 1.) verbal development 2.) social/attachment 3.) fine motor and 4.) gross motor. She said she's right on track for a 1 year old in every area except for gross motor. So, we're being referred for physical therapy. She thinks Jillian has low-tone in one or more muscle areas but assured us that 1.) She'll grow out of it and 2.) It is not an indication that there is any mental disability. It was like she read my mommy mind and addressed the things that I was most afraid of.

Also, her doctor seems to think that the worst of Jillian's skin issues are behind us. The systemic yeast infection seems to be gone (Some remaining redness is heat rash. I need to ease up on the layers. I can do that!) She is going to finish up whatever diflucan we have at the house and then she's done with the heavy meds, blood testing, etc! :-)

And just as an additional praise/provision, Jillian's therapy will not cost us anything out of pocket because it's covered under the same family cap as Noah's speech therapy. I guess it 'pays' to be a therapy family! Tonight we let Jillian stay up late with mommy and daddy. We talked and played and laughed light-heartedly. I felt no pressure to 'make her crawl'. I'll let the experts take care of that, and I'll just enjoy my baby girl! She is SO wonderful!

Thank you God. And thank you friends. We are loved well. (Father, help me to love so well.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sweet Jillian

I am writing in a very small window of time called morning nap. It's already been in progress for awhile. Sweet Jillian. My 11 month old. Cause for mommy tears these days. Recap: born early and little; calcified placenta; mom was group b strep positive so antibiotics at birth; jaundice; then lots of eczema (had never seen it before on the boys); at 4 months - bacterial skin infection; trip to urgent care because of allergic reacion - one ear twice the size of the other; skin reactions to food; found out she had a systemic yeast infection since birth - treated with heavy meds and creams - seems to have improved; but reoccuring bouts with the eczema (like this morning, her whole face is red). And to top it all off: 11 months and not crawling - We anticipate a referal for therapy on Monday when we meet with the pediatrician.

To run along side this narrative: Sweet Jillian - we love You SO much! Precious doesn't begin to describe You. You are so beautiful (when mommy isn't freaking out about the red patches). Born into a house with 2 crazy active boys that knock you over, take your toys, and squish you. You are such a good sport. I wish I had more time to focus just on you. Could I help you crawl if I wasn't so distracted with so many things? the boys? the diet changes? myself? Mommy feels guilty a lot because of lots of things. Maybe I should have lost extra weight before your pregnancy and my blood pressure wouldn't have varied (did that affect your placenta?). Mommy wants to know terribly what it is that's bothering your skin. If I knew, I would get rid of it in a heartbeat (whether it was in your diet or mine). Oh, Jillian. I want to take away everything that ails you. Slap the red spots all over my skin.

Father, please help me to process this. We love the baby girl you have given to us. Thank you. She belongs to You. You knit her together in my womb. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. All the days ordained for her were written in Your book before one of them came to be. "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God..." Col 1:1. You know the plans that You have for this baby girl plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future. And those "plans" include the journey, including this time of infancy with distressed skin and missing milestones.

I get so worried about what I've done (or am doing) wrong... Father, if there is something else to be done, PLEASE, I beg of You... let me know what it is! Make it crystal clear and I'll be there. I'll be on it. But if now is for waiting and trusting You, then please, help me to do so. "Yes, Lord, I believe. Please help my unbelief!" Please help me to step back and trust You! YOU are the Sovereign God over Jillian. You have Your reasons. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Is 55:8-9 Yes, different thoughts. I would give Jillian porcelain perfect skin. I would have her beating all of the other babies in her milestones, not lagging behind. But Your thoughts are higher than mine. "In a man's heart, He plans His course, but the Lord determines His steps." Prov 16:9 Can I trust Your wisdom and goodness?

There are definitely trust issues. But I have pride issues also. What of this is pride? "I would do things differently, God." That sounds like pride. I want my children to be the best and have the best in all things (pride). I remember feeling so 'proud' when the boys took to their feet at 10 and 9 months. What parts of this struggle are self-exalting and need to be repented of in that way? Why is it that I don't want to admit to people who ask that Jillian is 11 months old? (she looks so little, and isn't moving on her own)

A friend of mine has challenged me with the thought that we (parents) are not responsible for how smart, good looking, talented, etc, etc our children are. That is completely up to the Lord. Rather, we are solely responsible to love them, take care of them and lead them in the ways of the Lord. I told her "I do want my children to love the Lord and be used by Him. But preferably as the president of the United States or a star NFL quarterback." "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" I Sam 16:7

The boys are in from playing in the snow. Must break to make hot cocoa.

To blog or journal, that is the question.

I've had a difficult time knowing exactly what to do with this blog. What I need is a journal. But do you know how many journals there are laying around the house that I've started and not finished? It takes too long to write. I can't find it when I need it. The kids take them and scribble throughout the pages. That's why this blog is so appealing to me. I can type quicker than I can write; I always know where it is; and as of right now, the kids don't know how to work it. But other people can read it. I guess I'll get over that part. And allow myself to be raw. Like my journal.

In the past, my journal has always been where I've turned to hear the voice of God. (and this is "listening Mom.com", right? I have bookshelves full of journals that I've written in front to back throughout college, single days, early married life, etc... where I hammered out the angst of my heart and mind... and I believe the Lord spoke to my aching soul. I would record passages of Scripture... write out what was ailing my heart... and by the time I put the journal down, I almost always felt like the Lord had brought healing.

So I decided this morning (as I stomped and dragged myself around the house because of the anxieites in my soul) that I NEED my journal. And this will be it. So if you're reading, this may bore you to pieces. It might be too raw. But it's for me right now. And one day, it'll probably be for my family too. Because they'll be able to look back and see the journey that God has taken their mom (and our family) on. So those are my apologies and thoughts up front. It's nice to get that off of my chest.