Monday, June 30, 2008

Just some random stuff

Deeper Still was absolutely incredible this past weekend. Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore were wonderful as usual and Kay Arthur blew my mind. She brought it! She wasn't playing around. There were crushed toes everywhere I'm sure :-) But we all left with our spirits uplifted.
Janet, Tiffany and I had some good girlfriend time. Janet and I don't get to see each other much anymore, so we love it when we can get together. Mandisa and Travis Cottrell were awesome and the praise and worship was so good. And I ate too much from the concession stands. There is something about concession food that I can't resist. I had popcorn, m&m's, some of Janet's nachos and pretzel, chicken and fries (with cheese no less), a Snicker's bar at midnight when we got back to the room and the breakfast buffet at the hotel. Not only did my spirit get filled up completely to overflowing, my tummy did too. I'm sure I gained 5 pounds :) We got to talk to Travis Friday night too. He is so awesome!
I will post some more about the messages soon, but in the meantime, you can check out BooMama's recap at the AllAccess Blog. There is a great video of Beth, Kay and Priscilla "gettin down" to Shackles. You have to check it out :-)
There are a few things I've been meaning to post for while, so I am going to throw them all together in a hodge podge of updates.

First, thank you all for your prayers, emails and encouragement during the last two weeks. Spencer is doing better and we have started the "count up" again. Tomorrow will make a week seizure free. We are still adjusting to meds, so please continue to pray for him.

I was especially moved by an email I received today from Michelle at Delightful Evidence. In it she gave me this verse: Here I am with the children the Lord has given me to be signs and wonders from the Lord of Hosts who dwells on Mount Zion Isaiah 8:18 I just loved this verse.
Also thanks to Carol who spent all day at the hospital with us last Tuesday.

We leave for Science camp at RMSC on Thursday and then to Canine Assistants for training on our new seizure dog the next weekend until July 25th. I'm sure I will be posting lots of new pictures of the new member of our family soon.

Spencer got glasses about 2 weeks ago and he looks absolutely handsome in them.Mary Lyndsey had her dance recital about 3 weeks ago and she was absolutely precious. She danced her little heart out. Pretty in pink doesn't even begin to describe her.
We also received Yard of the Month in our neighborhood for June which is really quite comical considering in our last neighborhood we used to get letters from our Home Owner's Association threatening us because we needed to cut the grass, trim the hedges and weed the borders. And we are even busier now (since we moved here) than we were then (when we lived there).
I must admit the work has mostly (read completely) been done by Greg. I told you girls he was my own Mr. Incredible. When I returned from She Speaks last weekend he had cleaned the ceiling fans, washed all the sheets and made the beds, unloaded the dishwasher, vacuumed the entire house, did all the laundry, cleaned out my car and filled it with gas, and bought groceries.

He's got me singing "What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man!" (BTW... his primary love language is words of affirmation... I'm not bragging, just gotta fill up his love tank)

But lest you think my house is perfect... let me show you what my beloved little angel Mary Lyndsey's room looks like right now.
And doesn't she look completely innocent in this picture.

The kids got a swing set last weekend and they have been having a ball. Every kid in the cul de sac now wants to hang out at our house and that is a good thing. I'm preparing for the teenage years when we will want them all here so we know what's going on instead of somewhere else:-)

OK... I think that is all the updates for now. I still have a lesson I learned from Niagara Falls bouncing around in my head. Maybe I will get it posted soon.

Hope you all have a blessed week!!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - God Speaking

I'm posting "Then Sings My Soul" a little early this weekend because I'm heading out to Deeper Still with Janet. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us. Here's a little Mandisa as a warm up. Pray for Greg to have a good weekend with the kids while I am gone... AGAIN. (What a good husband I have.)

I've posted this song before but I love it. It's worth sharing again. And I am going fully expecting God to speak.

Back to the Fields Part 2

We spent the entire day in the hospital on Tuesday. I know it is hard to believe you could be in an emergency room one moment and go get ice cream the next, but that is truly what living with epilepsy is like.

You can have a serious, status seizure that can be life threatening but once the seizure is over and the after effects or post ictal state is gone, you go on with life as usual. It’s kind of weird.

The neurologist has always told us to let Spencer do whatever he felt like he could do as soon as possible after a seizure. We don’t want him to live his life with the attitude of a victim. Having epilepsy or a seizure shouldn’t keep him from doing anything that anyone else does (for the most part). It shouldn’t keep him from doing what he wants to do.

That is one of the reasons I allowed him to travel to Tennessee after his last status seizure. After we left the emergency room on Tuesday, he wanted ice cream. So we went to Scoops, a new ice cream place that recently opened near our home. It is truly what Heaven must be like, but that is a post for another day.

I have to side track for a moment and tell you some information we received from the neurologist on Monday at our appointment. We were told that statistically if you failed to gain seizure control on more than three medications, it usually means you need to begin to explore other options to try to control your epilepsy… i.e. brain surgery.

There is a good chance if the part of Spencer’s brain that was damaged at birth from his stroke (which is where they are pretty sure his seizures originate from) could be removed, he could possibly achieve seizure freedom, a big “if” with a lot of possible side effects from the surgery.

We have never considered brain surgery because we didn’t feel Spencer’s seizures were out of control or disruptive to our lives. However, if the current seizures he is having could possibly cause further brain damage, then perhaps we need to consider surgery as an option, a lot of information to digest.

So back to our trip to the ice cream store. We were in the car discussing the seizure. This is when he confirmed he had been looking for me and couldn’t call out to me. He didn’t realize I was at the computer and went upstairs looking for me.

He is pretty passionate and emotional anyway, but even more so after a seizure. He said he wished he could just remove the seizure part of his brain and stomp on it. I ached with him and felt his frustration.

Seeing an opportunity to explore how he might feel about surgery I threw out the information we had received on Monday. I’d like to share our conversation with you.

“Spencer, did you know there is a surgery available that could remove the seizure part of your brain. You could actually have that part taken out.”


“Yes. They would take the part of your brain that was injured when you had your stroke at birth out and it might possibly stop you from having seizures.”

“Would it hurt?”

“No, the actual surgery wouldn’t hurt because you would be put to sleep, but it would probably be a long recovery and you would be in the hospital for some time. You know two of our friends (not named here) who are Epilepsy Advocates had brain surgery and they don’t have seizures anymore.”

He sat in thought staring out the window for quite some time. I knew the wheels were turning in that complicated little brain of his. Then he said this:

“Mom, if I had surgery and didn’t have seizures anymore, could I still talk to people who had epilepsy to help them, so they wouldn’t feel so alone?”

Words cannot express to you how this mama’s heart could be so proud and hurt so much at the same time. The realization that my child would even consider continuing to have seizures rather than be prevented from helping someone else going through the same thing was almost too much for me. Especially after the confirmation I felt I received this past weekend at She Speaks. I really feel called to a ministry that involves my entire family helping others learn how to “seize every opportunity.” To learn how they can take the obstacles and bad things that happen in their lives and use them for good.

God truly has something special planned for this young man and I don’t just say that because he is my child. I just hope I am a good enough mama to prepare him for what is in store.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back to the Fields

“Spencer,” I called to my son to see if he would answer. It is a ritual at my house. About every 10 minutes I call out and he answers. Usually he replies “Yeah.” I always reply “just checking.” I know if he answers, everything is OK.

“Spencer,” I called again. No answer. Panic rose in my throat. Sometimes when he doesn’t answer, it is because he is too engrossed in whatever TV program he is watching or whatever book he is reading. Maybe that’s why he isn’t answering, I thought.

When I checked on him earlier, he was sitting in a chair in the living room watching TV, but now he wasn’t there. I was working on the computer, not completely aware of how much time had actually passed. The office in our home is located near the front door, so I knew he couldn’t have passed by to go outside without my noticing. I knew if he wasn’t outside and he wasn’t answering, something was wrong. I was afraid to walk over beyond the couch to my blind spot for fear I would find him lying there.

“Spencer,” I called a third time, a little louder with more fear and urgency in my voice. I heard stumbling around upstairs. I made my way to the bottom of the stairs and saw him standing at the top. He was trying to speak but was unable to make any noise come out.

He started to take a step towards me and I rushed up the stairs, unsure of how my feet were moving so fast. I caught him just as he began to stumble, which would have surely led to a fall. A surge of adrenaline helped me to carry him to the bottom of the stairs where I laid him on the floor.

He was seizing. The right side of his face and right arm were jerking. He could not respond when I talked to him. I knew he had probably somehow made it up the stairs looking for me since he could not call out for help, a fact he later confirmed. Mary Lyndsey quickly said, “I can help Mommy. I’ll get a pillow and a cloth.” And she raced off. She’s been through this many times and is old enough now to respond by offering help.

I wasn’t sure how long he had been seizing prior to me finding him, so I grabbed my phone and started the timer. At the four and a half minute mark, I grabbed the rescue medication and prepared to use it.

I began to pray out loud. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a thousand words went through my mind in the time it would take to snap a picture. Those few minutes seemed like an eternity. I wondered, should I use this rescue medication? Is my faith not strong enough? Will the seizure stop? Surely God would not allow anything to happen to hurt my child in a test of my faith? Then I remembered Abraham and Isaac. I was so confused. Then the incontinence happened. I cleaned up as best I could and administered the medication.

Normally a seizure will stop within a couple of minutes after giving the medication. As the timer kept running approaching 12 minutes, his breathing became a little labored. The seizure was not stopping. I picked up the phone and called emergency services for the second time in about a week. We just experienced a 17 minute seizure not many days ago.

Finally the seizure stopped. Normally he is responsive for at least a few moments before the medication takes full effect and he goes to sleep. This time he was not.

As EMS arrived, my neighbor came over and offered to take Mary Lyndsey. I climbed into the back of the ambulance with my son and headed to the hospital. He finally began to try to talk, but his speech was so slurred the emergency worker asked if he was deaf.

We arrived at the hospital where we spent the entire day waiting for the medication to wear off so we could make sure everything was OK. He’s fine now, just very tired from the seizure, the rescue medication, and an increase in dosage of his regular meds.

What a welcome home from She Speaks. I have often heard it said that our enemy comes at us the hardest when we finally figure out what God is calling us to do. And usually he strikes at our greatest point of weakness.

I must tell you this past weekend at the conference was huge for me. I experienced a fresh word from God, a clear direction. A path I feel includes not only me, but my son. Clearly, we are under attack.

At the conference this past weekend, Lysa shared from stage about how after David was anointed as King by Samuel, he didn't immediately go to the throne. He first had to go back to the fields to prepare for what God was calling him to do. Carol posted today on what Lysa shared from stage. I can't help but feel like God is preparing us.

Last year, 3 days after returning from She Speaks, Spencer had a 4 hour status seizure. We were airlifted from one hospital to another and spent 4 days in the Intensive Care Unit. I lost focus and became distracted.

This year, I am resolved to move forward, even more so after a conversation with Spencer on the way home from the hospital. A conversation I will share tomorrow.

Please continue to be in prayer for Spencer and for our entire family. And thanks to those of you who have already emailed me and prayed.

Blessings to you,

Monday, June 23, 2008

He Speaks, She Listens

Here are a few pictures from this past weekend.

This was my speaker evaluation group. They are from left to right on back row: Kristy Buescher, Kara Akins, Leslie Bond, Karen Ehman, Erin Bunting, Nicole Greer, Marla Taviano, Me Front Row: Dianne Applewhite, Michelle Weber, Amy Brooke, and Susan Belisle.

Me and Lysa

Micca, Me and Rachel

Me and Karen

What an incredible weekend! The She Speaks Conference was fabulous. I had such a good time and learned so much. The conference sessions I attended were full of information. The women I met, especially my blogging buddies, were so filled with Jesus they were sloshing him out everywhere. I was especially moved by Renee Swope's session on Saturday night. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through her.

My speaker evaluation group was awesome too. What a gifted group of women. I know they will all use their speaking and writing ministries to further the Kingdom. And thanks to Karen Ehman for facilitating our group. If you think about it lift up a prayer for her this weekend as she has closed on her house and is moving.

I have to say that I have been struggling with some things for quite some time but I heard God loud and clear this weekend. As Carol said, He was definitely speaking and I was finally listening. Please pray for me to stay resolved to doing what I clearly heard God tell me this weekend.

I had so much fun meeting so many of my blogging friends in person too. The conference was so busy though I didn't have as much time to spend with many of them as I would have liked. And, I kept forgetting my camera so I didn't get pictures with everyone... so if you have a picture of us please email me... I would love to have it.

Thanks to everyone who participated in TSMS this weekend too. I haven't had an opportunity yet to read all of your post, but plan to.

I hope you all have a blessed week!


Faith Lifts

I'm over here today at Faith Lifts. Come join me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

To the Right, To the Left

Oh ladies... I have to tell you that being at She Speaks this weekend has given a whole new meaning to "I wish you were here." I really do wish you were here to experience how awesome God is and how powerfully He is moving in the lives of so many women.

I don't have much time to post as it is currently 1:30AM and I have to get some sleep for tomorrow but just let me share one verse with you.

Isaiah 30:21 says Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

God will always be right beside us telling us what step to take next.

This week's song is a fun little reminder of this. Instead of Mr.C... just listen to Mr. G.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Midweek Motivation


Come join me here today for Midweek Motivation.

And please be in prayer for all the ladies (including me) that will be attending She Speaks this weekend! Carol and Iare leaving tomorrow, so pray for our husbands and kids too!

Blessings to you,


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daddy Land

Dear Faithful Bloggy Friends,

Sorry I haven't posted much this week nor been able to read all of your TSMS post from yesterday. This week has been especially busy with Vacation Bible Camp and Epilepsy Advocate Trips tacked on both weekends. Spencer and I are off today to another event in TN to speak at an Epilepsy Camp. Please pray for safe travels and for a seizure free trip. 

We actually had a pretty significant seizure last night lasting 17 minutes and requiring Diastat and a call to 911. (Which is why I haven't had a chance to read TSMS). Spencer bounces back pretty quickly and still wants to make the trip, so we are heading out today until Wednesday.

Mary Lyndsey had her first dance recital yesterday and she was just darling. I promise to post pictures when I return. In the meantime, I'd like to share a post I wrote a while back but never published. It's in honor of Father's Day also. It was written the week we went to Chicago for the press conference about receiving the seizure dog.

Saturday morning, my wonderful husband let me sleep in. We were all pretty exhausted after such a long, busy week. A quick trip to Chicago right in the middle made it especially crazy. The kids however, still managed to wake up by 6:30am. They don't normally even get up that early during the week... so why I ask you, on Saturday morning, when it was raining and still dark and overcast outside, would they decide to wake up this early? I have no idea. It was perfect sleeping weather.

They both were up and at em' early. Greg got up with them and let me stay in bed. When I finally woke up around 10am, he came into our bedroom and we just laid in bed talking. This is a magnet for our kids. As soon as they figured out where we were... they came running. They both hopped in and we proceeded to make a tent out of the sheets. We all got under the "tent" and snuggled and laughed and talked about our week.

After playing for awhile, Greg and I wanted to finish our conversation, so we sent the kids out of our room to read or watch TV. It was then that Greg did something that amazed me. He proclaimed our bedroom "Daddy Land." His conversation with the kids went something like this:

"Hear ye, Hear ye... this room has now been proclaimed Daddy Land. All children should vacate immediately or they will suffer the consequences. You must vacate the room by the time I reach 0. 10, 9, 8, 7... " This was of course delivered in a loud, thunderous voice with just a hint of play in it.

You have never seen two kids scramble so fast in your life. They were both out of the bed and the room by the time he reached 6. I couldn't believe it. When I tell them to do something... let's just say they don't move that fast. It usually requires several requests, lots of whining, and my voice being raised (without any play in it) before I get any action. Do all kids react this differently to moms than they do to dads?

Anyway, I asked Greg about it and he said this is something they do when I am not here and he is keeping the kids. If he needs peace and quiet to have a phone conversation or get something completed... he just proclaims "Daddy Land" and sends them to another room until he is finished. And they comply. Unbelievable.

OK... here is the cutest part that I really wanted to share with you. After they left the room, Mary Lyndsey was the first to come back. She came into the room holding a bowl from her tea set full of money. Pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters were overflowing. She came to the side of the bed and in her sweetest voice said... "Daddy, can I pay you to enter 'Daddy Land'? I have lots of money... I promise I will clean my room today... how about a kiss. What if I give you a kiss... will that get me into 'Daddy Land'?"

Greg, always being a kidder, told her he would take the money and the kiss. She quickly placed the money on the bedside table, kissed her daddy on the cheek and ran from the room to get her brother. I could hear her calling to him "Spencer, quick get your money. You need to pay Daddy and give him a kiss then you can get into 'Daddy Land'. Hurry."

Of course we were both rolling laughing by now. Spencer went to his baseball bank, retrieved some money and came trailing back into the room behind his sister. Greg took their money (just temporarily of course) and they climbed back into the bed under the "tent" where we once again began to play, giggle and receive lots of kisses.

As we were snuggling and talking, I began to think how much we are like Mary Lyndsey at times. We want to be near our heavenly Father. We want to be in His kingdom - "Daddy Land." 

Some think we can buy our way in, so we pay tithes or give to the poor. Some think we can earn favor by deeds... so we work really hard in lots of service areas. Some think just saying we love God and sending some affection His way will take care of everything.

While these things worked for Mary Lyndsey and Spencer to gain admission into "Daddy Land" at our house, they don't work with God. The only way to gain admission to His Kingdom is to believe on the name of His son Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and was raised to life on the third day."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

When we believe, the tables are turned. We are freely welcomed into "Daddy Land" We are the ones who receive riches untold (much more than a tea set bowl full of money). We are taken care of and God is thrilled to do so many things for us. And we receive more love than we could ever imagine.

Don't you want to secure your spot in "Daddy Land" today?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Father's Day Edition

Sorry I haven't been around much this week. Our crazy summer has started. We have an extremely busy schedule this summer with camps and trips and doctor's appointments etc.  

There are several weekends Greg will have the kids while I am traveling. One of those weekends is coming up soon... She Speaks. I'm excited I'm going to have the opportunity to meet so many of my bloggy friends there!

Since Greg is always such a team player, and he is not only the greatest husband I could ever ask for, but the greatest father my children could ever ask for, I am dedicating this edition of Then Sings My Soul to him in honor of Father's Day. 

I guess I am going to show my country side again this week with another song by George Strait. He is one of my favorite country singers. I took my mom and grandma to one of his concerts a few years ago, and at the time he had 50 number 1 hits. I was just informed by my grandma tonight that he now has 56 number 1 hits. 

I like this song because it not only talks about the love of an earthly father, but the love of our heavenly Father as well. It truly is Love without End, Amen.

If you are interested in checking out other songs related to Father's Day, click here or here.

Be sure you link your TSMS post to Mr. Linky and not just your blogspot address. Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm away for a few days

I hope to post this week, but it is Vacation Bible Camp week... need I say more?
Have a blessed week!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Taking the Hit - Faith Lifts

God reveals Himself to us through everyday life events. I'm a firm believer in this. When our hearts and minds focus on Him and we ask God to show himself, He does. I had one of those moments not long ago when sitting in carline...

To read the rest of this devotion, come join me here today at Faith Lifts.

I will be back tomorrow to post about our trip to California!
Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - God is in Control

We made it to California safely! Thanks for all of your prayers. The flight was long, but I love how God is always in the details. The entire airplane was full except for one empty seat... guess where? Next to me. So Spencer got to stretch out over two seats and take a nap. We had lots of room which was great.

Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we share our story at the Epilepsy Advocate event tomorrow morning and as we fly home on Sunday.

This song has epecially spoken to me this week. I have had to remind myself of this several times.

God is in Control.

Don't forget to link to your TSMS post, not your blogspot. Have a great weekend!

Blessings to you!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hot as Hades

Ever heard the expression "as hot as Hades?" Well that is about what it is in our upstairs right now. Our air conditioner went out and we can't get an answer from the repair people for when they will be here to fix it. The thermometer is registering 98 degrees upstairs.

We all slept downstairs last night - the kids in the guest room, and Greg and I taking turns with them or on the couch - not a good night's rest. I'm trying to do laundry (washer and dryer are upstairs btw) and pack for California. It is going very slowly. I put a load in, then come downstairs. Then take a load out, then come downstairs. It's going to be a long day.

Spencer is having lots of seizure activity this week so I'm a little stressed about flying with him tomorrow. They called me to pick him up from school today. I spoke to our neurologist and tried to get a back up plan for if he has a seizure on the plane tomorrow. I have a rescue med, but if he happens to have a seizure and the rescue med doesn't stop it (as has happened in the past), then they would possibly have to land the plane. Please pray that we have a safe, seizure free trip!!!

He and I are headed for San Jose to speak at an Epilepsy Advocate event. Greg will be here in the heat holding down the fort. He has to take Mary Lyndsey to have dance recital pictures on Saturday. Of course they are scheduled for when I am out of town. I already have an appointment with the salon for her. Daddy will take her to get her hair done. Somehow I can't see him putting her hair in a bun with ringlets. As awesome and talented as he is, I don't think he's that good :) Pray for him too as he deals with makeup, hair, tap shoes, ballet shoes and tutus. 

My computer is upstairs, so forgive the short post. I'm melting :) We fly out early tomorrow, but I promise to come back with TSMS on Saturday. Hopefully I can get internet connection while on my trip. I'll post Part 2 of Niagara Falls next week. I know you are all in suspense :)

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Did It When You Weren't Looking

I do have a part 2 to the Niagara story (Notice Niagara is spelled correctly today. Thanks Linda. I didn't realize I had originally spelled it very similar to another word I won't mention that starts with a V. I hope it wasn't a Freudian slip LOL). I will share part 2 tomorrow. I'm waiting to get some pictures we took with the waterproof camera back before I post.

In the meantime, I want to tell you about a conversation with Mary Lyndsey this morning.

Miss Priss pranced to the top of the stairs and yelled for me to come look at her. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. You never know. I wasn't sure if she had gotten into my makeup, cut her hair or Lord only knows what.

Thankfully, she had only dressed up and wanted me to see the fruits of her labor. She had on a Happy Birthday crown, about a hundred pairs of colorful beads, two different high heel shoes, a Tinkerbell satin gown with a cape, and slappy bracelets (one cheetah print and the other pink and green shag). A sight to see I tell ya.

She began to describe each thing she had on and why she was wearing it. Then she asked if I knew where she had gotten all of these items from. She had gotten them from her treasure box - where she hides all of the stuff she doesn't want anyone to find.

Hmmm... interesting.

"What other things do you have in there you don't want anyone to find Mary Lyndsey?"

"I have those dental floss sticks so I can floss my teeth when you aren't looking. You said you didn't want me to do it without your help but I hid them, and I did it anyway when you weren't looking."

Would someone please tell me how I am supposed to respond to this?!

I really wanted to laugh because the scene that came to mind first was from the movie Pretty Woman. You know the one where Julia Roberts is flossing her teeth, and she hides the dental floss behind her back because she doesn't want Richard Gere to see what she's doing.

Then I was glad she even wants to floss her teeth in the first place. My kids love to brush their teeth, but flossing has been quite a battle. They don't like for me to do it, and they can't quite do it themselves yet. So, I bought some of those fluorescent floss sticks to try to help them. I'm still afraid they will do it too hard though and cut their gums, so I told them they can't do it by themselves.

Then the reality set in. Apparently the lure of doing something I told her not to do was just too much for Mary Lyndsey. She did something I told her not to - when I wasn't looking. And she hid it from me.

Part of me wants to punish her, but I'm not sure she would completely understand. She thinks she did something good... flossing her teeth. I did talk to her about the fact she should never hide anything from me. And she should always obey Mommy. I explained to her even if I'm not looking, God always sees.

Isn't that our human sin nature. We all think we can get away with things. We think we can hide the stuff we don't want anyone to find out about. We can do things when others aren't looking and it won't matter. Sometimes we even think those things are "good things." But God is always looking. He always sees. There is no place we can go to hide "our stuff" from Him.

Thankfully, when we do finally tell him about whatever it is we thought we were hiding, He is always ready and willing to forgive.

Psalm 139:7-9
Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lessons from our Niagara Trip Part 1 - Promises

The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. Psalm 145:13

Well, we are finally home. I'm having some re-entry problems. It's always difficult for me to get back into the swing of things when I've been away a few days. I keep wishing I were there (the place I've been) instead of here. But when I'm away, I sometimes wish I were here instead of there. Does that even make any sense?

Anyway, I want to share some pictures and tell you a few lessons learned or thoughts pondered while on my trip. Niagara Falls was absolutely beautiful. We really did have a wonderful time. We had several uninterrupted meals and conversations which rarely happens around our house.

I won't get to everything in this post, so there will be a part 2 and maybe even a part 3, so hang with me. I'm still processing myself.

As you know, we were celebrating our anniversary on this trip. A celebration of a promise Greg and I made to each other 15 years ago. Before we even left for the trip, I was thinking of promises and what they mean. One particular definition of promise I like is "that which causes hope, expectation, or assurance." God's promises to us certainly are a cause for hope, expectation and assurance.

In case you can't tell from my TSMS posts, I really love music. I connect events from my life to certain songs. I usually have a song running in my head all the time. Certain words or memories often make me think of a particular song. When I think of promises, the song that comes to mind is... "Standing on the Promises of God."

I sang this song in my small town church a lot growing up. It was one of those songs the hymnal opened up to automatically because the pages were worn. I've known the words for a long time. It's only been in the last 8 to 10 years I have truly come to understand what they mean.

Verse 2 says
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.
Verse 4 says
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord, Overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword, Standing on the promises of God.

As I think of these words now, I fully understand that the Word of God, the Spirit's sword, God's written promises are how we prevail. They are the way we daily overcome the attacks of the enemy.

Here is the view from our hotel room.

Notice the rainbow on the left side. I was so reminded of God's promises and His provision through the entire weekend.

On Saturday night near the end of our trip, we received a phone call. Spencer had a seizure and my mom and grandmother called to tell me. Fear immediately gripped me. I so wished I were home instead of there in Niagra Falls. And I couldn't get home. We checked on flights and there were none available until our scheduled flight out at 7am the next morning.

Thankfully, the seizure was mild and did not require the use of his rescue medication. But still...
it had been 9 weeks since his last one. We had debated even leaving the kids and going that far away from them in the first place. I felt defeat. I felt like like saying "here we go again." I felt like screaming "we take one step forward and two steps back." I felt a thousand different emotions.

So I sat in a hotel room, separated by almost 1000 miles from my son, waiting for another phone call. I was afraid he would have another seizure. Maybe the next one wouldn't stop. What if he ended up in the hospital and I wasn't there.

All I could do was pray. And pray I did. And as I prayed, God's promises came to me.

"Do not be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward. " Genesis 15:1

"Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there". Genesis 21:17

"Do not be afraid; the LORD your God himself will fight for you". Deuteronomy 3:22

"News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them." Matthew 4:24

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". Romans 8:28

"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

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

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

I prayed off and on the entire night and as I prayed, the fear subsided. We caught a flight the next morning and came home to find Spencer totally fine. Thankfully, no more seizures. We are back up to 2 days. The count starts over. We may not fully be free of seizures until we reach heaven some day. But until then, I will stand on God's promise to be with me no matter what comes my way.

Check out more of God's promises here.