Friday, August 15, 2008

a bit of "un"- learning

I've been thinking, more and more, about the words of the devotion I shared with you yesterday. I actually haven't been able to escape the lesson that is so evidently intended for this time of mine and Adam's lives. If God is completely good and perfect in everything that He does, allows, and gives. Then that is always true. It's His nature in the wonderful things that happen to us and it's His same nature in the incomprehensible things that happen to us. And if everything... everything... works together for our good if we love and obey the Lord, then we have to know, fully understand, that the best of times and the worst of times are really the best for our lives at that moment. God's will. I've really been contemplating that since yesterday morning. I mean really thinking about what that means. This is what I've come up with so far...

I'm sure I'm no different than anyone else in most ways. If you see a cuter haircut than you have - you want it - even though there's someone looking at your hair wishing it was hers. You just got a brand new car. Then you're driving down the highway and you pass your same car, but in black... yours is red. You start wishing you had bought the black one. Oddly enough, the person in the black car saw your car and had second thoughts as to whether or not they should have instead purchased the red one.

This concept can be applied to almost every area of our lives if we're not careful.

Your neighbor just went on what appears to you to be a luxurious vacation. The entire time they are away, you're fuming that you either A) can't afford such a luxury, B) can't take time off of work, or C) you just got back from visiting Mount Rushmore and you're upset that you didn't think of making your vacation more "exotic" than educational.

The other side of this coin, is your neighbor.

It turns out that their "luxurious" vacation was actually a nightmare. Not only did it rain most days they were there, but each time they could actually go to the beach, jellyfish and crabs were too much to handle. They spent their time either in their hotel room, or running from store to store to avoid the rain. The icing on the cake is that the souvenirs they purchased were in the suitcase that ended up being "misplaced" by the airport... never to be found again.

They are saying to themselves, WHY DIDN'T WE GO SOMEWHERE LIKE MOUNT RUSHMORE!

This is not a foreign concept to anyone. "The grass is always greener.....". But all this rambling is meant to serve a purpose a bit deeper than the "we always want what we don't have" mindset. I explain these scenarios because they have played out in my own mind, countless times, these last few months. Not necessarily the exact examples, but I've definitely had my share of the "I want their life" temptations.

What does that have to do with God's will? Well, as I mentioned, I was thinking last night and this morning about the words I read in yesterday's Streams in the Desert excerpt.... "We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of God's will.... For God's will is the one hopeful, glad, and glorious thing in the world... and it is working for us all the time...".

All the time? Charmed lives? Really?! Life hasn't really felt so charming or glad or glorious at various times in my life - especially right now. Maybe I wasn't always in line with God's will, but I do believe we are right now. I believe that God's hand and purpose is all over our situation with Ethan. And if I believe that, and I believe God is who He says He is (which I do) then I am right where He wants me. Adam is right where He wants him. Ethan is right where He wants him. If I were in any other place right now - on vacation, on my couch, visiting the biggest mall in America! - anywhere else that I think I'd rather be, would not give me the satisfaction that I think it would. All of those places (and more) are my "greener grass" right now. But if God's will is the most glorious place to be, and I'm currently in the middle of His will, then this is the best place for me... the place I will be the most fulfilled.... as odd and as crazy as that sounds!

I'm still in the process of fully grasping hold of exactly what that means...

He can't help but be completely good because He is God. And He can't help but be completely loving, because He is Love. So it must add up that all He allows His children to endure, is out of love and goodness for their lives. If I were on a beach somewhere right now I doubt it would satisfy me as much as I think it would. I venture to say that even my own bed would not be as comfy as I think it would be. Here I am safe. Not because I'm on the 6th floor of a very protected building, but because I'm where He wants me to be. My grass, though it might need to be landscaped a little bit, is pretty green. And, if I had someone else's, I might accidentally kill it with too much fertilizer or something.


James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Acts 27:25 - Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

Ethan has done well today. He has developed a bit more saliva in his mouth, so he starts to gag and choke on it a little bit... sometimes he throws up as a result, but sometimes he doesn't. This is a sign of mucositis starting to come (mouth, throat and esophagus sores), so please continue to be in prayer for that. His hives are healing and he's not had a recurrence of fever, so this is great (though he is still on the antibiotics). His appetite is still hearty as well. He's had to have several blood and platelet transfusions, but that's very normal. Thank you so much for your prayers for our little cutie! He is certainly being protected by the Lord.

ps - Answered prayer! I have access to the blog from our hospital room, once and for all! Thank you, Boston Childrens for working so hard...

pps - And thank you, Aunt Pam & Uncle Joe for the beautiful photo (above). For some reason, when I saw it, I saw peace...

ppps - Thank you, Kara for the perfect devo you shared on my comments, I truly needed that yesterday!


Sara said...

Thank you for continuing to encourage me through your Bible study. I totally hear you on the "greener grass" problem; I have been dealing with that this past week as well... It is amazing how God uses people to encourage and reprove one another from 1500 miles away! Thank you - I needed that today :).
I will be praying for Ethan's saliva/ mouth sores issue. Enjoy you day with the cutest boy in Boston!
Love and prayers, Sara R.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have you in my life! You are truly one of God's "good gifts" from above.

Half of us wouldn't take the opportunity to grow spiritually the way you have over the last few months. We'd probably be throwing our own little pity party... balloons, cake, party hats, and all.

I'm sure there are days you'd like too, and even days you have, but you're doing a wonderful job staying focused on the Lord and His will for your life.

Praying He keeps a hedge about you, Adam and Ethan.

Anonymous said...

We pray for you all daily and trust that God will continue to send Ethan on his way to a speedy recovery

the chapdelaines

FordeFam said...

Wow!!! This spoke to me! Thanks for sharing! I have been really wanting to move to a bigger house with #4 coming this winter, but I am being reminded every day that God has me where He wants me and I need to rest in that! The last few days I have decided that downsizing our belongings is wiser right now and that I will learn to be content whatever the outcome! Praying for your little Ethan and his mouth sores to go away! Blessings to you guys!
<3 Maia

Lorri said...

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

"For good"...this means to make you more like Jesus. And that is what he is doing.

Bless you as you sit in his will and trust him even now.

With prayers, love and knowing compassion, Lorri

Judy said...

I have been following Ethan's progress toward the final day of the transplant. So good to hear he is doing well so far even with the hives. I have had those before and they are no fun. I pray for you in the hospital with Ethan and for the time to pass fast and you will soon be back home. Your devotionals are a Blessing to me and how God is leading you thru this. It is a learning process that challenges all who read your blog. Just know someone in N.C. is praying for your family and your sweet baby boy. (What a cutie) Love and prayers,

Amy said...

i just finished a book called "the shack" by william p. young. it's a fictional story that so eloquently and tangibly shows such an amazing picture of God's heart and has (for me at least) helped answer some of the questions of His will, etc.....

you communicate so incredibly, thanks for sharing not only your story but your heart with us :)

Megan said...

I really feel you and Ethan were meant to come into my life. You have taught me so much about faith and you make me want to be closer to God in all I do. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are always in our prayers. I am so thankful Ethan is doing so well considering the side effects expected. I just pray the fever stays away and the mouth sores do not show up. Thank you for what you shared with us today. It is funny since I just got done reading an article in "Focus on the family". It was about the exact same thing. You are truly a blessing to us all. Plaese give Ethan lots of hugs and kisses for us. Hope you get a good night sleep tonight.

Anonymous said...

Hey Girl! I will be praying for you and updating my Church in the morning for continued prayer! Ethan sure does have his mommy's beautiful smile!

Your sis in Him,
Jenifer Humphries
aka Jen Humps :)

littleleaps said...

Exactly what I needed to read tonight. I am sorry about the mistake in Ethan's line. I am praying for you both.

As far as mucusitis in the mouth goes, I used "magic mouthwash" which has benedryl and lidocaine in it on a swab. I swabbed Lydia's mouth 4 times a day. It worked well for her.