Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Loving Others, Despite Yourself

One of my favorite verses of scripture is II Corinthians 12:15
"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."

I'm not exactly sure when that verse became so glaringly evident in it's truth and wisdom to me, but I remember it impacting my attitude so much, that I re purposed myself to 'go the extra mile' in loving others, despite myself.

At the time, I remember having put myself 'out there' for others - and oftentimes finding myself hurt or upset at the aloof nature by which I was met. It can be upsetting to have invested in others - and to not be appreciated or even received well.

And then ... this verse.

I was immediately reminded of how Christ loves. He loved us so much, that He died for us, despite our appreciation, acceptance, or ill regard for our sin. He continues to love us through our sin. He loves despite the rejection.

That was then. 

Now? I still view that verse as the same, but even more intimate.  

Recently my husband and I were both reminded of the biblical account of Hosea through this post. How Hosea was a prophet, viewed as godly and righteous. Hosea was told by God to marry Gomer, a harlot. This was to be a depiction of the nation of Israel (symbolized in Gomer) and it's relationship with God (symbolized in Hosea). As many of you know,  Gomer continued in her betrayal of Hosea with other lovers. Her choices continued to lead her down a road of trespass - and even so, Hosea loved her. He loved her, despite the shame and embarrassment she so publicly was becoming. Finally, you find Gomer on the auction block to be sold as a slave, having been used by other men who no longer wanted her.  There stood Hosea in the crowd, and we read in Hosea 3:1 
"Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine."
So Hosea bought his wife back from the shackles of slavery. Despite her choices. Despite the embarrassment. Despite the humiliation. Despite how difficult it was to love her - 
he went and sought her out because of that simple phrase God spoke:

"Go yet ..."

This love can only be of God. 

Personally speaking - loving one who does not reciprocate that love is not easy. Whether it is a child who is non-verbal, struggles with autism or attachment issues, won't make eye contact or simply pushes you away - or perhaps it's someone who flat out refuses you, and only seems to approach you when they 'want' something - whatever the case, this account of Hosea paired with the reminder to love unconditionally has been refreshing. 

It reminds me to 'Go yet' and love though the more abundantly I love, the less I be loved.

** also, an update on Mary: she received the pathology report last week - and Praise God, it is not cancerous! Thank you for praying!**

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mary Update

Just a quick update to let you know the status of Mary's surgery. I received a text at about 3pm today from her husband that said the surgery went well, and in the surgeon's words: was textbook. She was in recovery at that time. HUGE praise! Thank you for praying on her behalf. Please continue to pray for her recovery, and the biopsy report to follow. 

Thank you

Monday, June 9, 2014

Please Pray for Mary

I'll get right to the point.

Tomorrow my beautiful friend (on the right), Mary - will be having a much unexpected surgery on her brain to remove a tumor.

Prayer is much coveted.

A few weeks ago, after church services, Mary was chatting with friends in the hallway and suddenly had a seizure. Since then it was discovered that she has what was first thought to be three small tumors on her brain. Now the thinking is that they are actually one tumor with three different characteristics. 

The plan is to go in tomorrow via brain surgery, remove the tumor - and send it to be biopsied.  It is unclear as of yet, whether the tumor is cancerous or not. 

A few things to pray for:
1. That Mary would do well during the surgery, and have no complications
2. That the doctors/surgeons have clear minds, steady hands, and have had great rest for the surgery that starts at 10am
3. That the pathology report would come back showing no cancer
4. That Mary's husband and two boys are comforted and well cared for by friends & family during this time
5. That the surgery would not affect Mary's sight or any other brain function
6. That the whole tumor would be removed, thus no need for chemo/radiation treatments afterward
7. That Mary would heal swiftly
8. That Christ would be glorified in all that transpires through this process

Many will be fasting and praying tomorrow (Tuesday) on Mary's behalf. The surgery starts at 10am and will likely go through lunch. I will be sure to follow up on how she is recovering.

Thank you for praying for my sweet friend and sister in Christ. 

Mary, as is usual, is doing well. Her spirits are steady and she fully trusts in God and has peace with the outcome. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Random Ramblings


We go to Seattle usually once a week for appointments. Mostly Autism Clinic appointments for Miss. Ivanna.  I'm not complaining, since it took eight months to even get in the doors of that place. I can't believe just how rampant Autism has become, but that's a whole other topic. I truly am grateful for that place. It's a wealth of support, resources and just plain encouraging. Ivanna has had some points of regression this last year, which has prompted us to make some changes in her care to try and pinpoint the cause of it. It's an ever changing and evolving management style that requires much consistency yet - flexibility (which happens to be areas I struggle with).

I'm finding that not everything fits into the parenting mold I envisioned years ago. That's ok, just seeking to honor Christ even as we travel this particular road with Ivanna.

As I eluded to in the prior post, I hope that my girls will always have a close and special bond. The kind of relationship where they don't think twice about picking up the phone and talking about absolutely nothing while hysterically laughing at one another. Sister relationships are just unique and special. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I hope these girls always have that 'better than best friends' type thing ... forever.

My pregnancy with little Abram is chugging along, and for me it seems at mach speed. I'm not a rookie. I know that before I feel even ready, our sweet baby number 10, will be in my arms and we will be thrust into that crazy time where the newborn rules the house. I'm ok with just enjoying these last months of having Asher be my youngest, and the lazy days of summer promising sloppy watermelon kisses.

But ... there's this crazy desire I have had lately, and many of the kids share that want ...

... a puppy. We want a puppy. Something warm and furry to lay at your feet, or take to the beach and throw sticks for fetch, or go on runs with, or just laugh as your Littles play chase, etc etc.

I know. Crazy.  But true.

Other than those random things - I'll leave you with this picture of Justus pouring himself a cup of Joe.  This kid, plus Asher - keep me on my toes. They are a pair of trouble, seeking to get into whatever is off limits. I know that all too quickly they will grow out of this phase and into another, and so I try to capture even these moments (the ones that are sort of funny or cute) in a picture so I can look back on them later.

A cup of coffee ... in his Lego cup. Awesome.