Monday, October 28, 2013

Birthday Boys {day 15}

Clarence turned 80 on Tuesday, a much better birthday this year than last year. Jack turned 8 on Friday. They have often shared their birthday celebrations, including four pirate cakes. We are rejoicing that God spared Clarence's life last year and has brought him to such a place of health. Jack shares his grandpa's middle name, may he also inherit his determination, fun, integrity, and his love for family and for God.

Last year on his birthday, Clarence was in the ICU. I distinctly remember a nurse asking him if he was having a nice birthday. He shook his head vigorously 'no' because he couldn't speak due to the trach in his throat. My oldest son made him a cardboard cake. His friends from church sent him a big banner that they had all signed. One of his sons coordinated a call to him when we were there in the ICU so that we could speak on Clarence's behalf.

Clarence is so radiant in the picture from yesterday. He is a living, walking, talking miracle. He is still recouping from all that happened to him last year. Yet, we rejoice and are thankful for these days.

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare His praise? Psalm 106:1-2

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oh, how He loves us {day 14 }

When my husband found this tree root, I was so excited, not just for its shape but also because it reminded me of one of my favorite songs: Oh How He Loves by David Crowder.

In the beginning of the song he describes God's love so strong that it is bending us over like a tree in a hurricane. The words describe so much of how I felt. Bent over but then the afflictions being eclipsed by His glory and His reminders of His love for me.

In the season of 2012 of being asked to be poured out for others through emergency foster care and a long-term hospital stay, I almost felt crushed by the circumstances but God revealed Himself in ways unshakeable and obviously Him.

How could it be that I felt like breaking and also felt deeply and immensely loved deeply at the same time? 

This song describes that for me. It brings tears to my eyes as it touches the deep down soul parts of me and the work that God has been doing in my heart lately.

Here is the song.....I love this striped down version of him with a guitar in the K-Love studio if you want to skip the talking intro, the music starts one minute in.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done 
but according to His mercy, He saved us." 
Titus 3:5 KJV

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

{day 13} 'Not my will but Yours be done' Part 3 of 3

Around the bend we have come, from DNR* to morning exercises, Kip's dad had made a turn-around in the span of 24 hours. Another answered prayer. Joy came to us that morning after the night's weeping but we still didn't have all the answers.

Kip stayed at the hospital most of the day on Saturday, talking with therapists and doctors. It seemed like more than the usual amount of activity for a weekend. Yet, the family waited for the results of the biopsy and whether or not 'the game changer' had arrived.

On Sunday night at our family prayer time, I heard my husband pray, "Father, we desire Grandpa to be healed. My father is willing to submit to you, O Lord, and so I must follow in his example." A silent tear slowly crossed my daughter Meagan's cheek.

What I didn't know when I  saw that tear falling across my merciful-hearted one was that she had been a witness. Grandpa, who couldn't speak due to the trach** in his throat, had typed on his iPad during Meagan & Kip's visit earlier in the day, "I always pray 'Not my will but Yours be done.'"

It was a gift: this call to submit to God's ways. Sometimes He just acts, whether or not we like it. He doesn't ask our permission or explain His ways. But in this case, He gave us time to unclench our fists and release Clarence into His hands. He gave us time to finally pray, "Not our will but Yours be done."
I thought we were releasing him. I thought God, in His kindness, was calling Clarence home and preparing our hearts.

Yet, God's ways are not our ways. I was ready for what I thought God was doing. Instead, God was calling me to walk by faith, not by sight. The path remained the same, with its unexpected twists and turns.

Peace wasn't in smooth circumstances or a clearly defined path; it was in Him.

 That was the gift that He delivered that weekend: peace. Himself. Not a miracle. Not instant healing. Not a way out of suffering. He gave us Himself. "He Himself is our peace," Ephesians 2:14.

It is in the reflecting and recounting that I see this now -- the deep peace, the communion with Him -- was enough when the circumstances were dire.  I don't know if we recognized it then but that's okay. That day's charge was to walk the path in front of us. We did. Part of this day's charge is to remember that gift of peace when I submit fully to God. And submit this day like I did that day.

The path stayed uncertain for quite sometime. Yet, we were more okay with it. I see that now. We submitted to the Prince of Peace and received a peace that the world does not give.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
*DNR means Do Not Resuscitate **trach means tracheostomy
Click here to read Part I of The Call to Deep Submission or here for Part II
Click here to read all the posts from the beginning.

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(day 12} The Gift of Deep Submission part 2

If you missed part I, you may want to read here first.

And so, we discovered that after 51 days in the hospital, Clarence had given up and was done trying. It was too much.

The medical roller coaster is tough -- ups and downs -- unexpected twists and turns. The waiting. All along there are questions of what to do. Each of us wants to do more -- the wife, the kids, the friends. Yet, no matter what we do, we still feel powerless because what he really needs is help breathing.

It seems like you should be at the hospital more. Ask more questions. Do something. But how long can you ask the children to stay in the lobby 'trying' to do their school work? Laundry needs doing. Bills need to be paid. And honestly, we all just need a break from the hospital scenery.

But, truly, the one in the crucible -- in this story it is Clarence -- doesn't get a break. Nor does his spouse. Because they are, after all,  "one flesh" of almost 50 years.

Still, we wonder if we could do something more. Did we give permission at the right time? We knew that if he lived, the interventions were all worth it. But what if we gave permission for all these interventions, and he didn't live? Questions lingered. Hope was walking a tightrope. It hadn't fallen, yet.

But this request from Clarence to no longer be resuscitated caused the hope to wobble hard. Did he have some inner knowing sign in his body that it was time? Time to face the inevitable? 

And so on this hardest of days and nights, we asked again for prayer. We received it, just like in the beginning when we truly began to intercede and also asked others to intercede on Clarence's behalf. As soon as we asked others to pray, more peace arrived in the midst of the up and downs. There was the anointing oil and the healing prayers.

This night we needed it, especially my husband Kip because he was sent to stay with Papa. Kay spent the night with their mom. I with my children. No one was alone.

Kip had never seen his  tough, determined father this discouraged before. Kip spent time straightening out details, such as the fact that Clarence had only been in the hospital for seven weeks and not six months. He showed him how much he had improved and how much he had to live for. I don't know what else he said to him or how the conversation went down.

But I know that in the morning Kip awoke between 4 and 5 a.m. to the sound of his dad doing exercises in his bed. "Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning" was witnessed. He was such a different man that next day. So different that I felt a little crazy like I had dreamed up the drama of the day before.

 Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.

This was so true in this case. We rejoiced. We were a long ways from home, hope still felt fragile. But the sun was shining and our hearts were no longer quite as heavy as they had been the day before. The gift of deep submission was still around the bend. The best was yet to come. The path wasn't easy but it was worth it.
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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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The Hardest Day or the Gift of Deep Submission (Part I) {day 11}

It was a gift. A gift of deep submission. "Not my will but yours be done."

Now, gift & submission do not normally go together in my book. Yet, today as I went on a thirty-minute walk and reflected on our family's journey last year, specifically my father-in-law being in the hospital for 128 days when we thought he would be in & out in two days, now I saw the call to deep submission as a gift.

Not everyone is given time to submit. Sometimes the trial is thrust upon you whether you submit to it or not. Ready or not, here it comes.

The gift of submission was given to us on The Hardest Day. Well, that makes sense, doesn't it? Because submission is never easy. We had been in the trial -- on the crucible -- for quite some time.

It was late enough into the Trial of Hospital Visits that the car could've driven to the hospital by itself. I was comfortable with my way around the hospital. So much so that one day two different people asked me if I worked there.  They didn't believe me when I said no. So obviously, I looked comfortable around those parts.

When I walked into my father-in-law's room that day, there was evidence of blood in his lungs and in his urine.My mother-in-law always had the doctor's talk to one of 'us kids.' Today it was my turn.. The doctor was concerned that,  in addition to the complications of his surgery, he might also have lung cancer.

"This is a game changer." It was also Friday. The earliest we would know the results of the biopsy would be Monday. 

My mother-in-law had just sat down in the lobby. I was opening my mouth to tell her what the doctor had told me about the potential lung cancer when Clarence's nurse walked up. He told us that Clarence had repeatedly requested to not be resuscitated today. The nurse told us that he had reassured Clarence that that is exactly what he would do, but to us he said, "Clarence has a full code on his chart. Legally, I am bound to resuscitate him."

He encouraged us to have a family discussion.

My mother-in-law and I looked at one another. I told her about the potential of lung cancer. The two of us went into his room to ask the dreaded question. The bright sunshine filling the room contrasted with the heaviness we felt in our hearts.

She paced awhile. He looked like he was asleep. She spoke, "You awake?" He communicated that he was.

She paced some more. "Kathleen, I don't know how to do this."

"Tell him what the nurse told us. Ask him if it's true."

She sat down. She took his hand and finally asked him if he'd asked not to be resuscitated. He vigorously shook his head, "Yes." She collapsed her head on his chest and wailed, "Oh Clarence, how can I?"

Tears streamed down my face. I don't remember much more of what we did after she asked the question. I do know that eventually we got up, left the room, and made a game plan. She wanted to call her only daughter, Kay, and asked me to call her five sons, including my husband.

This was My Hardest Day. It would be my husband's Hardest Night. And it would eventually lead us all to the deep gift of submission and the best gift of all in the mighty sea of medical unknowns.

 "Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. "
Psalm 30:5
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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Spared from sorrow upon sorrow {day 10}

This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

God answered a prayer, just for her {day 9}

My eleven-year-old daughter wanted to see her grandpa. He had been in the ICU for 12 days. She was only eleven and had to be at least twelve to visit on that floor. He had been improving but after being off the ventilator for two days, he was now back on it.

From all that was being spoken and unspoken, she correctly discerned that Grandpa might die. No one was saying it, but she knew.

So she prayed.

She prayed not just for his healing but also that she would be able to see him.

Three days later, he had improved enough to be in a regular room. She was busying playing with her cousins that were in-town the first day so she didn't see him then. The following day, we were able to visit him after her sister's choir concert.

What a praise that she was able to see her grandpa. I remember her saying to him, "I love you, grandpa." He grunted back, "I love you, too." It made tears come to my eyes.

Shortly after this, though, she also saw them wheel him back to the ICU.We called Kip's mom to tell her the bad news. She took it really hard. We all took it really hard. I remember Kip & his brother consulting with the doctor to put him back in the ICU. I remember not being able to smile at all as we walked out of the hospital that night.

Yet, months later I discovered that this huge set-back to the rest of us was a huge faith-building moment for her. Actually because he was moved right after she saw him, she felt like the Lord had very specifically answered her prayer. He was in a regular room long enough for her prayer to be answered.

She says this caused her to feel confident that God was in-control and that no matter what happened, it would be okay. 

Okay. Wow. That day. That weekend. It was a hard weekend. In hindsight, it seemed premature for him to move and that we 'should' have known better to advocate something different for him? Yet, it has increased my daughter's faith to see the hand of God intercede so specifically on her behalf. An answered prayer, just for her.

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

A cheerful heart is good medicine {day 8}

Last Halloween, {day 48 of Clarence's hospital stay} the kids dressed up and visited Papa. It was super nice to bring some holiday cheer to him. The hospital routine -- the drive, the parking lot, the elevators --  had become our new normal. Therefore, it was quite natural to include papa in our fun.
A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22
Click here to read {day 9}
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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Seeing with new eyes {day 7}

When I was five years old, I often went to the nursing home with my mom to visit my grandmother. Strange, humped over people tried to touch me as we walked to my grandmother's room.

"Why do they do that?" I would ask.

"Because they like children," said my mom.

Her answer confused me. If they liked children, why were they doing something that frightened me? Don't they know that children don't like strangers trying to reach out and grab them? This did not make sense.

Once we arrived at my grandmother's room, I would usually talk with her roommate because grandmother just scowled and fussed. She didn't seem to know me. My mom would tell me that she didn't feel good. On the other hand, her cheerful roommate would  insisted that I take a piece of her candy. I would be excited  but it never tasted good.

"It's sugarless, diabetic candy, "  my mom would tell me. It was a strange place this nursing home.

For years, I stayed away from nursing homes. Those experiences left a bad taste in my mouth except that it cause me to admire friends who worked in them.

Last December, we toured a nursing home/rehab center. We hoped it would be a short-term stay and the last step to enable my father-in-law Clarence togo home.

Emotions flowed through me. Memories, thankfulness, and tension fought for the center stage of my heart.

I was thankful that my husband and mother-in-law were the ones making the decision. I was just with them. We were all thankful that Clarence was finally off the ventilator, laughing, talking, breathing. Yet, a transition to another facility caused us some angst. He had to leave the facility that he was at but he wasn't quite ready to come home. He was still at risk. Would this facility provide the care he needed for him to improve?

In the midst of this, the memories of those early childhood visits to the nursing home came back to me. I realized that I wasn't frightened any longer. The residents no longer seemed like strange, humped over people.

I saw them with new eyes. Even though I didn't know them, I saw them as people with stories, with history, with wisdom. They may not even be able to tell their stories anymore because they've lost the ability to communicate but I know, simply by their age, that they have walked a long path.

I knew this now because I no longer saw Clarence the same way. His outer appearance didn't truly reflect the man of integrity, determination, and faith that he is.

My children cried the first time they visited him because he didn't look like grandpa. It is hard to see a loved one suffer. But as the days wore on, and at times looked less like himself, I admired him more and more. His true character was not in his appearance.

As I walked through the halls of the nursing home last December, I realized that almost daily visits to the hospital for more than three months had changed me. I knew -- in a way that I didn't before -- that appearance does not equal character. 
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseens is eternal." II Corinthians 4: 17-18

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

He stood for the Star Spangled Banner {day 6}

He stood up for the Star Spangled Banner. I looked around. Nobody noticed. I wanted to shout and draw attention to the man who was standing for the Star Spangled Banner. Yes, everyone was standing. But there should have been a standing ovation for this man.

Something significant was happening in the midst of this concert crowd. I wanted to dance. To cry. To applaud. To point.

Instead, I simply stood.

This was his first outing in five months. After four months in the hospital and one month home. At this point, he had only been out of the house for doctor's visits. His first social outing was a choir concert of his granddaughter who was singing in the Nashville Children's Choir.

He stood up from the wheelchair in his vest and with a smile. He steadied himself on the arms of his wife and daughter. He stood. Evidence that God does answer prayer. Not the path we asked for but thankful for the mercy received.

I wonder how many times we miss the greatness in our midst. The truly heroic vicotries in the lives of people around us. What a victory for him to be standing in the midst of the crowd as just another audience member instead of the central focus of an ICU room. Instead of being center stage of a Caring Bridge website. Here he was just another proud grandparent in a sea of proud grandparents.

I wanted to mark time. I wanted to announce to the room filled with people that there they were, experiencing a miracle, an answer to prayer right here, right here in their midst.

Yet, I didn't do that. But there was One who saw. And that is what matters. I didn't need the world to see. We had needed God to see in the middle of the night when the hospital would call to say they put him back on the ventilator. Again. Or that they needed to give him blood. Or when we gathered around his bed to pray before we left the room. Or when we asked the doctor another question. The God who sees.

That is the main lesson that I've been learning this season. He is a God Who Sees in order to provide our needs. That same God who sees our needs sees a man standing up from his wheelchair, steadying himself on the arms of his wife and daughter.

And I am learning to be content that He sees. I don't need to announce it to the world. To the concert-goers around him. He is the God who Sees him stand, and sees me take note.

May the Glory all go to Him. Amen.

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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 Want to comment, but you're reading in an email? Click HERE.

Want to read other 31 Day collections? Click HERE

Want some other encouragement? Join the SDG party by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A taste of normal in a sea of unknowns {day 5}

Stuff scattered about drives me crazy. My children know this about me. My mother might be surprised to know this because she kept my bedroom door shut so that she wouldn't "have to look at that mess."

Now I will straighten up a room. It's become habit to tidy-up and to serve others.

Several weeks into this long hospital journey, I remember getting ready to leave Clarence in the ICU. I looked at his tray. A notebook, a pen, his glasses, and some newspapers were scattered about the tray. I thought, "I should straighten this up.The nurses will need some space on here later."

Yet, I distinctly remember one day that I decided not to straighten stuff. On purpose.

It caught me off-guard to prefer this scattering of stuff over neat & tidy, especially with a task that would be helpful and take less than two minutes.

Why was the urge so strong? Why did it feel more comfortable to leave a mess than to clean it up?

Because the mess felt normal.

It looked more like an end table in a cozy living room than a place to set down medicines in an ICU room.

Those scattered newspapers gave sign that life as we used to know it still existed somewhere. A mess of newspapers instead of medicine bottles.

A scattered newspapers brought hope that maybe -- just maybe -- life might resume. Yet, the questions lingered: would he return home to read the mail and bother his wife again? Would he breathe on his own again? Was all of this worth it?

We waited. A lot. That day was a quiet day. One with no visible changes.

A tiny seed was planted through a scattered newspaper that just maybe Clarence would read the newspaper at home, leave it about, and bother his wife again. Perhaps life would return to the old normal?

Was it worth it? Would he be okay:? Would he get off the ventilator eventually? I didn't know the answers to any of those questions. But I did know that that day it felt really great to leave a newspaper scattered about on a tray.

It was little taste of normal. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for is God's will for you in  Christ Jesus." II Thessalonians 5:16-18

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fun in the ICU? {day 4}

"A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." 
Proverbs 17:22

Is it possible to have fun in the ICU? When life hangs in the balance, it doesn't even seem like this should be a question. How can fun even be a part of such a somber, trying experience? Yet, laughter is is an important part of the healing journey for both the patient and the care-givers, given appropriate moments.

Laughter brings stress relief. Laughter brings perspective. Laughter bonds us together.

Laughter is good medicine.
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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
 Click HERE to read Day 1 and to link to all the posts in this series.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Clarence Chronicles: The Anointing of Oil {day 3 of 31}

"I put lotion on his forehead and that seemed to satisfy him," said the ICU nurse to my husband and I. We smiled at the news.

Peace filled the room. It was more than the low level of lighting and the slower pace of the evening shift. We felt the peace, especially from Clarence himself.

At this point in the Clarence Chronicles, it is Day 19 or 20 in the hospital. The previous Sunday, our family attended our oldest daughter's first choir concert, which was also a church service. The pastor spoke on James 5:13-16:

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up."

I felt convicted that we needed to do this. So did my youngest daughter. Even though he was improving and had finally moved from the ICU to a regular room two days ago, we felt convinced that the sermon was hand-picked for us. What we didn't know -- but God did-- is that Clarence would return to the ICU that evening, one of many deep disappointments.

Yet, even after he returned to the ICU, we pressed on and asked Clarence's pastor to come, pray, and anoint Clarence with oil. He did as we requested and brought two elders with him. The three of them anointed Clarence with oil and prayed for him.

After this, Clarence insisted that it was the 'prayer healing oil' that was helping him improve. It was what made him insist that he needed more of it and the nurse put some lotion on his forehead to satisfy him.  Peace spilled over from Clarence and into the room.

We had heard the Word of God. We had obeyed. We had asked. We had prayed. Just like any other medical crisis, we did not know upcoming twists and turns of the journey. Yet we had peace. We could see the peace in Clarence, too. What a treasure!

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Have you ever experienced the deep peace of God in an unknown circumstance that was the result of direct obedience to Scripture? I would love to hear your stories, too.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Breathing In and Breathing Out {day 2}

A perspective from a year ago in October (2012) : 
Breathing in & breathing out
Something I have often taken for granted.
Actually most every single breath of my life, I have taken for granted.
I have always assumed the next one would be there.

My father-in-law has been struggling for breath for over 6 weeks now. On & off the ventilator 5 times. As I run,  I am so thankful for my knees to be working again. In January there were days that I worried if I would walk without pain again. I worried that I may never able to run again. Now as I run again, my lungs struggle to keep up. I breathe deep. I ask God to help my father-in-law to breathe.

I run along.
Hope & pray
Three minute run.
One minute walk.
I am so glad to be walking & running & bending my knee.

Now I'm hoping he will learn to breathe on his own again
 I pray. I hope.
With each of my own breaths
I struggle, I breathe
May my father-in-law also breathe


Breathing in & breathing out on my run
Deep breaths that my father-in-law is struggling to take on his own
For more than 6 weeks now
He has struggled to breathe in various degrees

So many things I have taken for granted.
So many.
Too many.
As I run on rehabed legs, as I breathe deep into my lungs
Lord, please help Clarence breathe. Amen.

Six weeks and counting....
Breathing In & Breathing Out

"...He Himself gives everyone life and breath..." Acts 17:25

* * *
This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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Click HERE to read other 31 Dayers who are also taking the 31 Day challenge.
Click HERE to read Imperfect Prose with Emily.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Stories of Faith from the ICU {day 1)

Okay, okay, okay.... sometimes I am a dive-in, take-a-challenge sort of gal. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes that water you feel is due to my giant belly flop. Well, today I am diving into The Nester's Challenge to write for 31 days on the same topic.  For a gal that hasn't posted in a month, it seems like an unrealistic challenge-- one destined for a flop.

Yet, I feel compelled to write because the stories must be captured -- I must record the faithfulness of God to our family during our unexpected journey in & out of the Intensive Care Unit.

Last September, my father-in-law had a tumor removed from his brain stem. That began a four-month journey in three different hospitals and one rehab unit.

That time marked our family. We learned deep lessons of submission, prayer, neediness, and comfort.

I will share the comfort  that God Himself gave us -- through lasagnas, prayers, songs, costumes, annointing oil and many other ways -- to encourage you in the trial that God may have you going through for it says in II Corinthians 1:4 that He comforted us, "so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

There is comfort. There is hope. At times, there is even laughter. Every story is different. The endings are not all the same, yet there is hope for every weary heart in a trial.

May the words written posted on my blog and in the comments over the next 31 days encourage, inspire, and stir each of us to press on toward the upward call in Jesus Christ.

Come back for more stories of faith, family & fun. Bookmark this page because I'll link each post right here as it goes live to use as a handy-dandy reference guide.

{Day 1} Intro (this post) to The Clarence Chronicles
{Day 2} Breathing In & Breathing Out
{Day 3} The Anointing of Oil
{Day 4} Fun in the ICU? 
{Day 5} A taste of normal  
{Day 6} He stood for the Star Spangled Banner 
(Day 7) Seeing with new eyes
(Day 8) A cheerful heart is good medicine
{Day 9} God answered a prayer, just for her 
{Day 10} Spared from Sorrow Upon Sorrow
{Day 11} The Hardest Day or The Gift of Deep Submission 
{Day 12} The Gift of Deep Submission Part II 
{Day 13} Not my will, but Yours be done Part 3 of 3
{Day 14} Oh how He loves
{Day 15} Birthday Boys 
{Day 16} How things change in a moment
{Day 17) Is suffering worth it? 
{Day 18} Walking In the Valley of the Shadow
(Day 19} The One Thing I Miss From Crisis


Hospital gowns & gloves make a  fun picture!

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