Friday, November 28, 2008

unhappy thanksgiving

Just a few short hours after my thanksgiving post (below), we had a major accident happen in our little family. My husband was trying to open a jar of pickles when all of a sudden the glass shattered and sliced his hand wide open. I'd never seen anything like it before in real life. The cut was quite deep and he needed a trip to the Emergency Room right away. This all took place around 10:00 Thanksgiving day morning. His parents were able to stay with him in the ER until I could get my parents situated to take care of Ethan and then I was able to go up there to the hospital and be with him. He ended up cutting one of the arteries in his hand and the laceration went all the way down to the bone. The laceration goes from the end of his index finger all the way down to his thumb. The initial ER doctor thought that the artery had clotted itself, so he didn't want to tamper with it until a hand surgeon could take a look at it - however, no hand surgeons are available until Monday. So he did a light stitching to keep the wound/skin closed and sent us on our way back home around 3:00 that afternoon. Within an hour of us being home, the wound ruptured again and Adam was bleeding profusely.

Back to the ER we had to go.

They took out the stitches and decided to tie off some of the veins that were bleeding and ended up re-stitching him in a much more detailed fashion. We were finally able to go back home around 8:30 that night. Needless to say, it was not a fun day. And my poor husband... he's on quite a heavy dose of pain medications and his left hand/arm is not at all functional at this point. So he's not able to do a lot of basic things right now. He has an appointment with a hand surgeon Monday afternoon, however, I will be going to Boston for Ethan's follow up appointment. His parents will be able to take him (he's not allowed to drive right now) and I'm very sad I won't be able to be with him.

Please pray that the appointment goes well and that the doctor will be thorough and have wisdom for next steps. We're not sure the severity of the damage or how long the recovery will be, or whether or not he will need surgery to repair the artery, etc. Please also pray for Adam's pain to decrease over the next several days and that God's favor and blessing would be with Adam's overall healing. The immediate prayer need is that the wound remains stable over the weekend until he is seen by the specialist on Monday.

Things are a bit challenging for us right now, as he's not able to help with Ethan (pick him up, hold him, feed him, change diapers, etc.) and he's not able to do some basic things for himself or around the house. He's in good spirits, but he's very anxious to see what lies ahead in the coming weeks/months after talking to the specialist on Monday. We would greatly appreciate your prayers over this situation, in addition to Ethan's on-going needs (rash still on his face & slightly worse today).

Thank you in advance for your prayers.... we appreciate them and you.

Trusting the Lord... day by day.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

counting my blessings

Finding the exact words to share in this particular post on this particular day - Thanksgiving - well, let's just say there is simply so much to say. I'm at loss for words (hard to believe, for those that know me, but it's true) as I sit and contemplate everything, every thing in my life that I'm thankful for.
There is a section of a Bible verse in the 23rd Psalm that I think I've only now begun to understand its beautiful illustration.... "my cup runneth over". If I think about how I'd sum up all that I have to be thankful for, truly, my cup runneth over.

This week I've not been able to help but think about every good and perfect gift that God has given me. I think about the love and support of my parents. The loyalty and friendship between me and my sister. I think about the beautiful hearts of my friends, new and old. I think about my husband and the absolute treasure that he is. Then of course, I think about my baby boy. And immediately tears stream down my face. Because I can't think about my son without thinking about all we've been through with him in his first year of life. And I can't think about all we've been through with him, without really letting the tears fall, in praise to the Lord my God for how far He's allowed us to come.

How do you say "thank you" for a miracle?

How do you properly express to the Lord how thankful you are for His tender mercy. His power. His protection. His grace. His comfort. Himself.

I sit here amazed. That's all I can say. Amazed and ever so thankful. So very, very thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm counting my blessings. Over and over. For every thing in my life - and every one in it. Thankful for each of you, who have many times carried us with your prayers, cards, gifts and encouragement... when we were too weak to carry ourselves.

Psalm 136:1-4
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
to Him who alone does great wonders,
for His mercy endures forever...

Thank You, Lord.... my words fail to express.... my cup runneth over.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ethan update

Thank you so much for praying for Ethan yesterday! They did the transfusion slowly and his body seemed to tolerate it quite well. We were there for 6 hours, but we had a private room and were able to be relatively comfortable. Due to the length of his transfusion, they had us up on the "in-patient" floor, where Ethan received a lot of his care when he was first diagnosed. It had been a while since we were up there, (normally he is in the outpatient area) so it was nice to see some familiar faces of those who took care of him months ago. They were excited to see how much our cutie pie has grown! All in all, it was a fairly easy day and time went by fast. Last night, Ethan showed no negative reactions and I believe that after today he should be in the clear for any reactions popping up.

He does have a little bit of a cold/congestion, but nothing too serious and it's not accompanied by a fever so that's wonderful! We think this could be why he all of a sudden started vomiting again. He'll start coughing, then gag, then vomit. So hopefully that will subside soon. His rash is also looking soooo much better on his arms and legs. His face/head are still a small issue, but the rest of his body is looking great.

I honestly can't thank you enough for praying for us all the time.

I wish I could explain the peace and comfort I feel after I post a particular request here... I simply rest after I type out our needs, knowing that you will join with us in prayer, and that God will remain faithful. I do not take this form of communication I'm able to have with you lightly. I never have. I'm thankful for this outlet and for your willingness to keep reading... and praying. With all the blessing we've encountered through answered prayers for Ethan... I want to remind you that you have been an answered prayer of mine.
As promised... here are some updated pics of our 10 month old little lad just chillin' at home. I have a few more, but I'll save them for Thanksgiving (they're more festive!).

Monday, November 24, 2008

just a reminder

Please be in prayer for Ethan today as we head to the hospital this morning. As I noted in my last post, he will be getting a heavy duty transfusion today (see previous post for more detail) and I'd appreciate your prayers for him and for protection this week against any possible side effects.

On a side note, his vomiting has returned, and the rash is still spreading on his face, though not terribly inflamed right now. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us today & the days following this transfusion.

Oh yeah... I almost forgot to tell you... our little man turned 10 months old yesterday. I'll post pics soon!

Friday, November 21, 2008

prayer requests and updates

I have an update for you regarding the 18 month old foster child of a dear family we know. Remember me telling you about Kevelyn and the Feliciano family? Well, I have a praise report... she has finally be added to the transplant list for her much needed liver and small bowel transplant. The prayer now is that she won't have to wait long for the transplant itself. This family and this child have a very long road ahead of them... prayers for strength for this family, God's perfect timing, details with the state (as she is a foster baby), and Kevelyn's overall healing are still much needed.

I also have a prayer request for Ethan. His rash. Still an issue. It's slightly better on his arms and legs, however, it has made it's way to his face & head. And since it's on his face, it will be much more tricky to treat, since any topical medication would be in danger of getting into his mouth and eyes. He still doesn't seem to be too irritated by this annoying rash (going on 3 weeks now), but my main concern right now is that the rash is around his eyes (both underneath and above on the eye lids). Small red dots and slightly inflamed skin. It's also on his cheeks, chin, forehead, and on his head behind his ears, but for some reason, I am more focused on his eyes. I really don't like the idea of this becoming a major eye irritant. I imagine swollen eyes or something along those lines and I'm not a fan of those possibilities... so I'm praying, and asking you to pray that this rash clears up once and for all. And that his eyes do not get worse (the skin around the eyes) and that we can get to the bottom of the cause.

Please also be in prayer for our hospital visit on Monday (in Connecticut). A particular area of Ethan's immune system that they measure via his blood work has come back pretty low. For this reason, he will need a certain transfusion on Monday that will take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours (due to the side effects and pre-medication he will need, this transfusion must go through his system very slowly). I'm more concerned with the side effects than I am actually having to be at the hospital so long. Fever, and a list of other problems could result after this transfusion, and I really don't want any issues over the Thanksgiving holiday that would put us back into the hospital (like a fever would!). God has been extremely gracious and faithful with Ethan not having to be re-admitted thus far, (not even a teething fever has developed!), and I just ask for your help in praying that continues and that we experience no complications with this new medicine transfusion he will get on Monday.

I close with a sweet blessing... Ethan has started eating from his spoon! You may recall that was a necessary thing his nutritionist had told us he needed to do upon our discharge from his transplant. And he fought me for weeks and weeks. Not at all interested in food other than his bottle. Well, this week, he all of a sudden opened his mouth and took the food. My mouth opened too, but out of shock and gratitude! I know it's a small thing, but it's a big blessing to this mommy, to see him open-wide for the spoon headed his way, and not cry or scream and turn his head in opposition. I literally let small tears of thankfulness fall to the Lord this week for such an encouragement to my heart. Oh, and another big blessing is that his daily vomitting has subsided this week. You can't imagine the glee of not having to change his and my clothes 3 times a day.

Thank you for your prayers over these things and for your smiles when they are answered.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

food for thought

One week from today we will be celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday, and it's been heavy on my mind (this year in particular) to be both thankful for what we have and to show kindness to others. Money is tight for everyone these days, and it only makes sense that we as families & individuals focus on "necessary" spending. But, I think it's also necessary to take care of those around us at the same time. Whether they be strangers, family or friends... take the time to be kind. I think it's one of the most lovely of things for someone to receive random acts of kindness from someone else. I know our hearts have been touched by such deeds from many people over the past 7-8 months with our situation with Ethan. Search your heart. Maybe you donate a toy for Christmas, maybe you donate food to a food bank, maybe you donate your time to rake leaves. Whatever it is, know it will be a blessing to someone else. Like I said, I know money is tight. But just think about how many canned veggies a $10 bill could buy. Or how many 2 liters of soda a $5 bill could buy.

You can contact your town hall, your local church, or even google your search... there are needs everywhere. Our family knows what it is like to be blind-sighted by a situation. And though, we have so many blessings in our life, I can never take for granted that we all will have great needs at some point in our lives. Today is one thing... but tomorrow could be a different story... for all of us. We are all at the mercy of God's grace... and our neighbor's helping hand.

Just a thought.

I encourage you to be a blessing to someone over these next several weeks. And thank you for the blessing you each continue to be to us!

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another... Romans 12:10

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

just a small thought for the day

Earlier this month, Adam and I took Ethan to his first soccer game. It was a nice time for the three of us to get out and do something together - which is extremely rare since Ethan can't be in public places, however he can be outside! So we bundled him up (it's chilly up here in the north east! And we had a good time watching him, watch all that was going on around him! Oh and yes... that is a Boston Red Sox hat he's wearing. Gotta start 'em young!
That's not all I wanted to share with you today, though. As I was thinking more this morning about how there are so many of us who struggle and suffer in a variety of ways, for a variety of reasons, I noticed this Scripture verse happened to be on my calendar for today...
2 Corinthians 4:17 - For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory...
And I don't believe that the words "light affliction" are intended to downplay the difficulty of the weight we sometimes have to bear in this life. I take it to mean that, in the end, what we've had to endure will be considered worth it. We will come to a point where we can honestly say... my affliction was "light", compared to the abundance of the Lord's graciousness. Our affliction isn't without purpose. And in due time, God will bring us into incredible blessing and restoration. Either this side of Heaven, or once we get there. Or maybe...both.
Don't lose hope.

Monday, November 17, 2008

from my heart to yours

Over the past many months, I've been fortunate enough to hear from many who have been called to walk this same rocky road Adam and I have come to know. It's not a path you'd ever choose to take. In fact, if there was a warning sign somewhere along the way, providing you with the details you'd soon encounter, I'm quite sure we'd all turn around and walk... run... the other way. But we don't get that opportunity. However, the opportunity we do have is that we can decide how we will walk down that road.

Many of you have shared your own burdens with me. Some reading right now have a very sick child - with odds stacked against him/her. Whether by cancer or some other dreadful disease that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy, let alone your son or daughter. I never, in all my life, thought I would know what that felt like. But I do.

Some reading right now face your own illness. A broken relationship with your spouse. Or even the death of someone you love. Anything that threatens to steal your dreams... your quality of life... can spark the kind of tears that come from deep down in your soul. The kind of tears that actually cause your body to tremble and leave you physically exhausted after the last one falls. I never thought that I would know such crying. But I do.

Some reading right now have questions. Why me? When will this be over? What will life look like when it is? Is this really what my life is supposed to be about? What if I never get the opportunity to (fill in the blank)? What do I do now? Where do I go from here? I never thought that I'd have to examine such questions with the level of detail in which I've had to face. But I have.

I know I've heard from some. And I want you to know that I've been blessed by your trust in sharing your own journey with me. But in case your reading this, and we've never "met", I want you to know this is for you, too. This is for everyone who cries for loss... for those who ask the questions that are sometimes impossible to answer... for anyone walking down a road of their own that seems to have more pot-holes than pavement. I understand. In ways only explainable from one broken heart to another. But I also know and understand that whatever has been broken, can be mended. And just as you have been walking this journey with me, I want you to know I'm likewise walking with you. Not physically, though I would if I could! But prayerfully. This week especially. As I praise God with tears of thanksgiving for His mercy, I give those same tears over for you, praying that if you know Him - you'll cling to Him... and if you don't know Him - that you'll find Him.

How you will be able to walk down the path of your life depends on Who is walking beside you. We don't get the smooth road every time. But we do get Him - His comfort, His rest, His strength, His peace, His purpose... and only He can make our paths straight. All we have to do is ask. Then believe.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly does His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
(hymn excerpt - words Edgar Stites, music Ira Sankey)

Friday, November 14, 2008

some encouragement for the weekend



We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot. Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain... Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall; but God's always ready, to answer your call... He knows every heart ache, sees every tear, a word from His lips, can calm every fear... Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, but suddenly vanish, by dawn's early light... The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, to give you His grace, and send you His love.

I received this beautiful illustration via email and just had to post it here. Hopefully it encouraged your heart, just as it did mine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

fun... fun... fun...

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! My mom and I had a really great time in NYC yesterday. It was a little chilly outside, but the experience of being a part of a live studio audience was pretty great. Once we got inside the ABC studio, we were surprised to see how small the set actually is. I guess it's true... everything you see on TV isn't what it seems. But, it was so interesting to see how everything works behind the scenes.... and during commercial breaks. Very systematic, but very casual at the same time. Overall... very cool! We even stayed for a taping that will air during the Christmas holidays. It was so funny, because after the show was over, they asked us to stick around for a Christmas segment they needed to tape. All of a sudden Christmas trees are being rolled in, garland and lights added to the walls. Pretty funny! We didn't "meet" Regis or Kelly, but they walked over to where were sitting (2nd row) and chatted with the audience. And, we did actually make it on TV! Though we were pretty hard to see. We were in the darkened background of the audience shot they did during the musical performance (twice!). We also watched them do several commercials and show promos. Regis kept messing up and they'd have to re-do it. It was so funny! After everything ended, we got to walk onto the stage and so my mom and I had our picture taken with the Christmas setting behind us. Oh, and we topped off the trip with lunch at Trump Tower. And my hubby had Cheesecake Factory waiting for me back at home for dinner. Awesome birthday!

Ethan's rash is still an issue, so we appreciate your continued prayers for him. And his red cells are taking their sweet time to start growing in number so that is still a prayer request as well.
Okay, it's time for a bottle for a little someone and some leftover cheesecake for someone else!

Monday, November 10, 2008

happy birthday to... uh... me!

Cheesy title, I know. I mean, how often do you say "happy birthday" to yourself, but I thought in the setting of this blog, "typing" it was less goofy for the purpose of this post and made more sense than if I was actually going around saying it out loud, randomly, to people. My birthday is actually tomorrow, November 11th, but more importantly, informing you of my birthday allows me the opportunity to appropriately brag on my husband's thoughtfulness.

It's safe to say that my 27th year of life proved to have quite a few challenges. Most of which, you all are quite aware of. And in the hopes to make my 28th year (yes, I'm turning 28 tomorrow - I don't mind quenching the curious minds out there) start off with a bang, my hubby worked out a surprise... and then God put the icing on the cake, but I'll get to that part in a minute.

In order to fully appreciate this surprise, you need to be aware of two things.

1) I love going to New York City, but haven't been able to go in over a year and a half (it's less than a 2 hour drive from where we live) because of being uncomfortably pregnant last year and taking care of Ethan & his illness this year.

2) And I always watch the 'Live with Regis & Kelly' show in the mornings. (disclaimer: Now, I'm not endorsing the show, because sure enough, as soon as I did, you'd all tune in and that would be the one morning they had a guest on that did or said something slightly inappropriate and I'd be the chick that told you to watch the show that left a horrible taste in your mouth, thus making you believe that I had no credibility with anything that I say to you. Just like I'd never tell you to eat Frosted Mini-Wheats. I mean, I love them. I think they taste great. But if you were to try them based solely on my recommendation, then hated them or they made you physically ill, you'd not be able to help but blame me and think I was nuts for liking them so much. Or what if I told you that my favorite perfume is Burberry - which it is - and so you went out to purchase it for yourself. You then find out that you actually think it stinks AND it gives you headaches every time you put it on. You then become angry that you spent so much money on perfume that I suggested, which then makes you angry at me. So you see... I want to avoid all of that. I watch the show. You don't have to. Unless you want to. But not because I told you to. Okay. Have a beaten a dead horse at this point? Good. Let's move on...)

Anyway, my dear husband wrote to the Regis and Kelly show and told them about what all we've had to endure this year and how he wanted to surprise me with tickets to their show on my birthday. Tickets are free, but you have to write to them and make your plea. And he did. Unbeknownst to me. And they sent him two tickets to their live show on my birthday! We got a letter in the mail from the show and I couldn't believe it! Adam is taking the day off to stay with Ethan, and my mom and I are heading to NYC to be in the live studio audience of Regis & Kelly on Tuesday, November 11th! MY BIRTHDAY!! I'm so excited - in fact, I just let out a woo-hoo that startled little Ethan.

Now, for the part in which I said the Lord was so sweet to add some delicious "icing" to this already delicious surprise.

As we were trying to figure out our plan for my mom and I's trip to NYC, we realized that we'd have to leave Connecticut extremely early in the morning in order to make it to their studio by 6:45 AM on Tuesday (tickets are guaranteed, but the seats are first come first serve. They let people in at 7:45, so we were told to get there an hour before that in order to get a good seat... but I digress....) Anyway, as we were talking more about it, Adam suggested I look online for a hotel room near the train station in White Plains, NY that we take into Grand Central Station. The hotel I'm familiar with in that area and one that I've stayed at several times when my girlfriends and I have had a "girls weekend" in years past, was $225 a night!? I guess when you're dividing a room up by 4 people, you don't realize how expensive it is, but my goodness, I was not about to pay $225 for me and my mom!

So, I went to one of those discount websites. I put in a price for a hotel in that area, knowing that even if it did get accepted (they don't tell you the name of the hotel until afterwards), it wouldn't be the hotel I was familiar with, because there is no way they'd give me that hotel at that low of a price. Anyway, when the price I put in was accepted, the only information they gave me was that the hotel that accepted that price was with 5 miles of the train station. Knowing that there was NO WAY it was my favorite hotel in that area, but also knowing that we'd be saving $145 on the more discounted choice, I clicked the button to "purchase" the room for Monday night, so that my mom and I could drive to White Plains the night before (actually, tonight!) and get up "kind of" early and hit the train that was 5 miles away from the hotel instead of getting up "insanely" early and make a 2 hour drive from Connecticut all on Tuesday morning. I was just hoping it was at least a hotel that was clean!

I about fell out of my chair when I saw the hotel details pop up after I clicked "purchase" - remember, on the discounted, name-your-own-price websites, they don't tell you the name of the hotel until after you agree to buy it. I screamed and ran downstairs to tell Adam that the hotel that agreed to the severely discounted price WAS THE HOTEL I WANTED ORIGINALLY!! I couldn't believe it. All I could think of was how sweet the Lord is to grant us even the silliest of desires in our hearts... knowing that they are even somewhat important to us. -

So there you have it. My sweet birthday surprise from my husband and an added blessing from my Lord. And not that I'm telling you to, but if you happen to be watching TV tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 9:00 EST, and you see two women in the audience of Regis & Kelly going crazy if/when the camera pans the crowd, it might just be me and my mom. And if we are successful in making our television debut - even for only 2 seconds - I'll just go ahead and say now that the camera adds ten pounds.

Oh and yes, we are taping it! Because you better believe, when I get home, I'm gonna be watching it - in slow motion! - from start to finish to see if I see either of us. I'll probably only see like the corner of my leg or something, for about a split second... but that's okay. I'll know it was me!
And just for fun, here's a picture of me and my mom taken on this day last year, at my baby shower. Little Ethan was just kickin' around inside!

So here's to year number 28.
I'm both thankful and hopeful.
Thankful for the path the Lord has led me so far...
and hopeful about the road ahead.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Thank you for your prayers over the things I mentioned earlier this week, I know the Lord hears them all as we still wait for His answers. Ethan's rash does not appear to be helped by this new cream yet, and almost appears to be slightly more worse. I have a call into Boston already this morning. And his vomiting continues daily... which is not pleasant. His irritability continues as well, but I continue to ask God for guidance. My knee pain has flared up again pretty bad, and Adam caught the cold I had recently. Whew! Lots going on in the Krawiec house that make for some exhausting days.... but that's why I'm so grateful to you, and your prayers for us!

Psalm 92: 1-4 (NKJV)
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, On an instrument of ten strings, on the lute, and on the harp, with harmonious sound. For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I had a follow-up phone call with Ethan's doctor in Boston and she decided to prescribe topical medication for his new "body rash". She believes it is a sort of GVHD, but not a serious concern since Ethan's doing so well overall. Anyway, Ethan and I just went to the drive-thru at CVS to get this new cream and all I have to say is that let's just pray this $60 cream (which is normally $393.72 without insurance!) does the trick over the next few days... otherwise this could become an expensive game of "trial and error".

wonderfully made. wonderfully flawed.

I came upstairs this morning with a thought in mind - actually, several thoughts to share, but one particular theme. And as I booted up the computer, I noticed that the daily verse calendar on our desk was still on November 1st. I flipped the pages to the current date, and I couldn't believe that the verse for today was the EXACT theme I was planning to write about today. I thought to myself: The Lord really is sweet to us... we just need to stop and pay attention.

But anyway, I've talked about this before, but Scripture tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and as I thought about that again this past Monday afternoon on our way home from Ethan's appointment in Boston, I was thinking about that both in relation to Ethan's life and also my own. And as I was thinking, I thought about how wonderfully flawed I am as well. Not because God "messed up" when He created me, but because I mess up His creation quite frequently. And that train of thought took me to the thought about our experiences with continued answered prayer over Ethan diagnosis/treatment/recovery and how it has left me time and time again feeling so undeserving of His goodness towards us. And yet, regardless of myself, His goodness and mercy are abundant.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man
that trusteth in Him.
Psalm 34:8 (KJV)

It's such a wonder to wrap your mind around just how good the Lord is... even when or especially when... we are so undeserving. In the small things and in the large. I certainly recognize that there are times in which prayers aren't answered in the way we thought they should or hoped that they would. But I can honestly say that looking back over my life, prayers I so desperately wanted answered a certain way, that weren't... ended up giving way to greater blessings in the end. But how sweet it is, when a prayer is answered immediately. When protection is given instantly. When healing is given continually. When a surprise is waiting for you to experience right away. When you can see, at that very moment, the work of the Lord.

It's the most touching experience I can think of.

And I don't understand it all, but I'm so very thankful that in spite of my wonderfully flawed self, Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.

And He loves you, too.

Oh and In case you're wondering what may have initiated this lovely train of thought, well, when we went to Boston on Monday I was fully anticipating he'd need a blood transfusion. I packed a lunch (3 diet dr. peppers!), tons of toys, DVD's etc. planning to be there all day. Within a half hour of them drawing his blood, the doctor came in saying that his red cells had gone up. I tried to hold back the tears that were forming. Because you will recall that over the past 2 weeks or more, his red cells have been decreasing in number, slowly but surely. And last Thursday he was right on the borderline of needing a transfusion, and I said that unless the Lord saw fit to jump start Ethan's cells over the weekend, he'd need a transfusion on Monday. Well, He saw fit. Even with my mustard seed-sized faith when I typed that last week... He saw fit. Ethan's cells went up 2 points, instead of down. No blood transfusion needed.

Again, I don't always understand God's goodness towards us, but with tears streaming down my face on Monday afternoon, I thanked Him once again for sweet, sweet gift of answered prayer.

We are at the point in Ethan's recovery when he only has to go to the hospital once a week - instead of twice. And we will be able to take turns between Connecticut and Boston. So next Monday, we can go to our local hospital, and the following Monday we will go to Boston (and so on). Ethan has also stopped taking his steroid medications, and two others. He's been slowly weaned off the steroids, but it's still possible his body will have a reaction to stopping these 3 medications (He is still on 2 others). Please be in prayer for this transition. He's extremely cranky and irritable most days, but that could be for any number of reasons. He's also started throwing up again. We're not sure why, but it happens almost daily. AND, another rash has started to develop on his legs, arms and face/head. It's fairly prominent on his legs, yet only slightly so on his arms and face, but we're not yet sure of the cause (his other rash in his diaper area is now gone). Please be in prayer that this does not have anything to do with graft-versus-host-disease, and that the rash does not get any worse. It could be anything at this point, but I'm praying it simply goes away. Since he's only being seen once a week now, I have to keep an even closer eye on changes within him, so I'm always praying for wisdom and insight.

I'll close with the verse for today I mentioned earlier that is on my desk calendar...

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
As always, and not nearly said enough, thank you for your prayers for us. I honestly believe we could not be at the point we are at, without the prayers of faith said by so many on our behalf.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

i'm coming

Have you ever had to wait on someone? I'm mean really wait on someone? I remember the first time I came to Connecticut to visit Adam for the weekend. This was back in the Spring of 2004, and like I said, it was my first time to visit Adam in Connecticut... actually, it was my first time to ever visit Connecticut... and my first time to meet his family. His parents have several spare bedrooms and I ended up occupying one of them that weekend. Well, I arrived from Dallas late in the evening and Adam and I had plans to spend the next day in NYC. As it became time for me to settle in for the night, I set the alarm clock that was in the room I was staying in, for the time I needed to get up the next morning in order to have enough time to get ready for our day in New York. The next morning, the alarm clock goes off and I start my day & felt very very rested! I'm making excellent time, so I spend some extra time on the "details". Anyway, as I'm getting ready in my borrowed room, I hear Adam come into the house downstairs. Of course, I look at the clock and see that I have plenty of time... like 45 minutes (!) before I was expecting him to pick me up. I remember thinking how cute it was that he was so early, but at the same time, I remember thinking that I needed time to finish the "details", so I wasn't in a rush. I mean he was 45 to 50 minutes early mind you!!

So la-tee-dah... taking my time... make up? check! curling iron? check! adorable outfit? check! perfume? check! fancy high heel boots that were a ridiculous choice for walking around NYC? CHECK! And man, even with checking and double checking all the details, I was still downstairs 10 minutes before we had planned to leave. Pretty good, I'd say!

So there we are, driving down the highway, on our way to NYC and I look at Adam's clock in the car. I was extremely confused because it was about an hour later than we had planned on leaving. Oh wait, did I fail to mention that this happened to be around the time of year after which the time change had taken place - ya know, "spring forward"? Oh, and did I fail to mention that since the spare bedroom I had stayed in hadn't been used in quite a while, the clock near the bedside wasn't changed? And did I fail to mention that I didn't notice this on my own the night before because I had just come in from Dallas and Dallas is an hour behind Connecticut anyway, and I never thought about that fact when I looked at the clock on my cell phone and the clock on the table! Of course you see where this is going. Adam wasn't 45 or 50 minutes early. I was 30 to 45 minutes late!! And the funny thing is - I didn't even know it! He's wondering what was taking me so long and I thought I was early! He's such a sweetheart though, because he didn't even say anything about it. He was content to leave when we did and wasn't going to mention anything about how long he was waiting for me. In fact, we may have never ended up knowing what happened if I hadn't noticed the "correct" time in the car. After we figured out all of the missing links, we all had quite a laugh. (However, it was not funny how bad my feet were hurting in those boots at the end of the day).

I've thought about that whole episode again tonight. Over the last two weeks, there has been a consistent message that I continue to encounter. It's the thought that God is waiting for me. Being on the other side of Ethan's illness now, I've stumbled along trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to do with everything the Lord has given us. Everything He's allowed us to see. When you stand along side and witness such a dramatic miracle, and small miracles every step of the way... you come to a point where, in the midst of awe and speechless gratitude, you pause and take a moment to let it all hit you. And there comes a time in the mental process of trying to understand everything that just happened in your life, that you realize you can't understand everything that just happened in your life. And oddly enough, you are all of a sudden both sure and unsure of so many different things.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that is where I've been lately.

And to be honest, aside from the obvious responsibilities as wife and mom, I really haven't been sure of what to do... what I'm supposed to do... what God is going to do with my life as a result of what He's done in my life. So I've been waiting. Waiting to hear from Him that I have the green light. Waiting for assurance that our miracle is complete and there's nothing left to fear. Waiting for the Lord to restore the parts of our lives that have been lost or put on hold over the past 7 months. I've been waiting on God. But I've realized, slowly (because I'm quite the stubborn one), & through His patient love, that He may very well simply be waiting on me.

I've been waiting for proof of the promises He's already given us. He is not holding me back from accepting and rejoicing in all that we've been given... I am. Faith rewarded, to Him, is a "done deal". And instead of moving forward, I find myself stepping back and asking, "Are You sure You haven't changed Your mind?!?". "Am I sure of all that has taken place?!"

Exodus 14:13-16
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

You can read the whole story in context if you wish, but the bottom line is that the Israelites had just been deliverd by God from Egyptian slavery, encountered some fear, and weren't sure what to do. Moses told them to wait on the Lord - which isn't bad - except that wasn't what God wanted them to do at that point in time. God interjects with a "what are you waiting for? I've given you full deliverance! Don't worry. Let's go! It's time to move... time to come with me... not wait." (that is of course my own personal translation of the text, however I think it expresses the point quite well!)

See, I've been spending too much time waiting for some sort of confirmation. While failing to realize that the confirmation has been revealed to us time and time again. In extremely specific ways. So then why the need to continue "waiting" on the Lord? Exactly! This particular period of waiting is over. The "need" to wait started happening in our lives - in my life - at 11:00 pm on April 8, 2008. And the Lord's desire through each step was for us to be still and trust Him. His desire is still for us - for me - to trust Him. But the change is that He's now waiting for me. Waiting for me to move into the next phase of His ever-unfolding plan. And just like the story I shared of Adam's patience in waiting for me, God would never through it in my face that it has taken me a while to "get ready". In fact, I thought I was doing the right thing. But I'm understanding that what I called "waiting on the Lord", became a security blanket for my fear.

Lord, Your patience brings me to tears... thank You for waiting for me as I've spent extra time on unnecessary details... but I see You... down the road... waiting for me to join You.

And I want You to know...

I'm coming.


Oh, and just to reiterate one small thing with regard to my earlier story, let's all remember that as far as I knew, I was early!