Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It All Started With A Prayer

Several months ago, I prayed a dangerous prayer. I had just finished reading the book, "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I had also recently watched this short video of Francis Chan. I felt the Lord convicting me that I wasn't willing to let go of myself and all my selfish desires in order to bring Him glory. So I prayed a dangerous prayer. I prayed to the Lord and surrendered myself to Him. I asked Him to ask something big of me. Something that would cause me to sacrifice. Something that would grow me in ways I never knew before. And it was scary to pray it. I really had to psych myself up because as soon as I felt convicted to pray that prayer, I immediately started worrying about all the "big things" that might be asked of me. Was I going to face an illness? Were my children going to be hurt? Was Michael going to lose his job? But finally, through His strength, I pushed aside the worries and in obedience, I prayed the prayer. And then, nothing. For months, there was no change. Nothing was asked of me. Life went on as usual.

I still knew it was coming. I just didn't know what "it" was. So I just waited and trusted that the waiting was all a part of the growth process.

Then about a month ago, we were told that within a year, Michael was going to be transferred to a new position in his company. It would require a move on our part and it would happen sometime next summer. It would be a 2-3 year rotation that would eventually bring us back to the Houston area.

Hmmm . . . . okay. I can handle that. I've got a year to prepare. So our minds immediately started racing. We were constantly discussing the possible scenarios. There were lots of "Oooh, wouldn't this location be nice." or "I'll be happy as long as they don't send us to that location." Then came the, "Boy wouldn't it be nice if we could be there by this date." and the "If they don't move us before this date, I'll really be frustrated."

By the way, all of those statements above, were made by me. One night I was reading my Bible and the conviction came once more. Suddenly I realized that I was falling back into my selfish ways yet again. Suddenly this move was all about me and what I wanted. If this was the "something big" that God was asking of us, then He obviously has a purpose in it. Which means He knows the best place to send us AND the best timing. Who cares what I think or want? So I prayed another dangerous prayer. A prayer of surrender. I prayed, "Lord, I want this to bring you glory. So no matter WHERE you send us, I will be ready and willing to go. And no matter WHEN you send us, I will be ready and willing to go."

I kid you not, TWO DAYS LATER we got a call that a position opened up and they wanted Michael to take it. All I could think was, "Dude! This was supposed to happen NEXT SUMMER, not now!!!" Oh, and the location? Alaska. Yep. Both a location and time frame that were nowhere near our radars.

So I started to panic a bit. But just for a moment because I quickly remembered the two dangerous prayers I prayed and realized that God's hand was truly in this. I felt a peace about this move. A peace that was not from within myself. He has a plan for this move. I don't know what it is, but I know it exists. I know He will reveal it to us in His timing and in the mean time, our responsibility is to step up in faith and follow His lead. So that is what we are doing.

The current plan is to have the entire family (pets and all) in Alaska by October 3rd so that Michael can start work on the 4th. That's right. We have one month to sell our house and get going. No pressure there! Suddenly the flashes of white light in my right eye make perfect sense. The eye doctor told me that they could be caused by stress. To which I gave a hearty chuckle and nodded my agreement.

No doubt this process will be stressful, but I have been amazed by how the Lord has provided comfort for me every step of the way. For example, I was starting to really fret about the winters there. About the almost 20 hours of darkness each day. Being in the dark so long sounds horrible to me. I almost feel depressed just thinking about it. But then I was reading in Psalms the other night and found this,

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You." --Psalms 139: 11-12

As soon as I felt a peace about the darkness, I found something new to fret. I stared to mourn our house. I LOVE our house. I have lived in this house for longer than I have lived in any other house my entire life. I brought both of my babies home from the hospital to this house. How could I leave it behind? But then I was reading in Matthew and saw this,

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." --Matthew 6: 19-21

What an awesome reminder that my house should not be my treasure. Was I blessed to have it all these years? Sure! But the things that matter most:  my family, my memories, my joy and peace did not come from this house. They were gifts from the Lord and I get to take those with me!

With so much to do in such a short time, I often find myself worrying about all the details that need to be taken care of in order to get us out on time. I am learning to simply take care of what is before me in the moment and not worry about the things I can't yet control (or may never be able to control). Note that I said I am "learning". I definitely do not have that part mastered yet. But I am constantly reminded of another passage. The last one I will share (for this blog entry anyway). Again it is from Matthew,

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." --Matthew 6:27 & 34

I am so glad to have these scriptures to keep me grounded. And also to be surrounded by such loving friends and family members who encourage us daily. We are blessed indeed. And now we wait and look forward to seeing what all the Lord has in store for our little family in the frozen north!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And The Eyes Have It

What a week these past two days have been! At least that is what it feels like. We've had our share of issues in the last 24 hours and all of them are surrounding our eyes.

First there is me. I've been having weird flashes of light from my right eye for the past 3 or 4 days. They are all in the corner of my eye. It really just looks like someone is holding one of those sparklers over to my right. I can't tell you how many times I would spin my head around to see what was happening just over my shoulder. Of course nothing was there and the sparkley lights were now occurring somewhere behind my back. If I had been my dog, I would have turned my body toward the lights and ended up simply chasing my tail. But I digress.

So I went to the eye doctor yesterday. I will pause here for a brief moment to tell you how amazingly wonderful this visit started out. I took the girls over to a sweet friend's house so they could nap there while I took care of my eye. The initial wait at the doctor's office was bliss! I leisurely checked Facebook on my phone and read e-mails. Then I pulled out my book to read. All while watching the other poor parents wrestle with their babies. I was SO GLAD to not be them! So fast forward 30 minutes and I have dilating drops in my eyes and can no longer read or play on my phone. That is where the REAL waiting began. Then the fun was over.

So the doctor found some spots on my retina that indicates some sort of inflammation. Um, okay. Why are my retinas all inflamed, I ask. He says it could be either a virus, or a parasite. What? Seriously? A parasite? I am officially ooged out. He said if it is the parasite, it was likely something I came into contact with as a child. These things apparently lie dormant for years and years. Lovely. So how much rubbing alcohol can I pour directly into my eye to kill this thing?

Now I have an appointment with a retina specialist on Thursday morning to see what our next step will be. Michael's is taking off the morning to stay with the girls so I will be child free, but am no longer excited about it since I know that my eyes will likely be dilated and I won't be able to do anything but twiddle my thumbs.

This brings us to this morning.I am cutting up watermelon and look up to see Claire has awakened and meandered into the kitchen. I say, "Good morning, sunshine!!" To which Claire calmly responds, "There is something wrong with my eye." I look over and see this:

Immediately I know the problem. Yesterday, as I was buckling the girls into their car seats to take them to my friend's house for naps, I saw a mosquito just under Claire's eyebrow. I swatted it away, but it had already done its job. Within 30 minutes, she had a little red, typical mosquito bite bump. Oh well. By bed time, it looked no different to me and I had truly forgotten all about it. But apparently something happens to mosquito bites on the eyelid in the night hours. I really had to practice my Mommy Poker Face to not reveal to her just how freaked out I was.

So we go to the doctor and they said it is already starting to get infected. Good grief! So we are on antibiotics and Benadryl and hoping that does the trick. They said that if it doesn't get better quick, they will need to give her a shot to prevent the infection from getting into her eye cavity. Here is Claire happy as a lark in the doctor's office.

She obviously has no clue that a shot is even a possibility. And I plan to keep it that way.

I will say that it is incredibly hard to take a sweet girl out in public when she looks like this. I am getting strange looks from every person we pass by. I find myself wanting to hang a sign on her that says, "No, my Mommy didn't hit me, I have a mosquito bite."

So she is all medicated now and we are just waiting to see if it gets any better. She had a hard time taking the Benadryl. Apparently it tastes pretty bad. So I bought some Oreo cookies as an after medicine treat. Sarah got to partake in this part and REALLY enjoyed herself!

Now we are home and the girls are watching a movie. What is it about having a sick baby that makes me want to throw routine out the window? I feel so bad for her. I want to give her cookies and candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner and watch movies all day long. But we won't. Well . . . . maybe the movie part.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I finally decided it was time to update my Flickr badge. You know, the picture doo-hickey over there on the left? My account with Flicker filled up around when Sarah was first born. I know this because those are the last pictures on the badge. Apparently, I can only upload so many pictures without paying for a subscription. That is something I am not quite ready to do yet. So instead, I just deleted all the old photos from the site (since we have them on our computer anyway) and added new ones. Voila! 

Finally Claire and Sarah are no longer suspended in time. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why, Why, Why?

So Claire has finally entered the "Why" phase of toddlerhood. EVERYTHING we say to her is followed with a "why?" and it is exhausting at times. Here is a little exerpt from our drive home from gymnastics today:

Claire: "Mommy, I love gymnastics!!"
Me: "I am so glad, honey!"
Claire: "Why are you glad?"
Me: "Well, I like it when you are happy."
Claire: "Why am I happy, Mommy?"
Me: "Uh . . . isn't it because you love gymnastics?"
Claire: "Why did you just say "Uh"?"
Me: "Claire, let's talk about something else, okay?"
Claire: "Why do you want to talk about something else?"
Me: Big sigh
Claire: "Mommy, why did you just say (imitates a big sigh)?"
Me: "Because I am tired of answering all your "why" questions, honey. Let's just be quiet for a  minute."
Claire: "Why are we supposed to be quiet?" 
Me: "Honey, I need a break. I am not going to talk right now."
Claire: "Why do you need a break?"
Me: Silence
Claire: "Mommy, what aren't you talking to me?"
Me: Silence
Claire: "Mommy, why are you being quiet? Mommy!?"

Feel like screaming yet? Multiply that 2 minute conversation by 10 and you will get our entire ride home. Aren't you glad I shared?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Need Some Cheese To Go With All Of This Whine


Thanks for humoring me. I needed to get that out. That sums up the past week for me pretty well. Why? So glad you asked. Sarah is going through a lovely new phase. At least I think that is what it is. She has suddenly decided that the laid back approach to life is no longer acceptable. Instead, she is trying out the whole scream, yell, cry and tantrum your way through the day. And I am spent. Completely. I'm weary, I tell ya. I'll be back to blog when my sanity returns.