Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sam Hears The Promise

On the 22nd of December Sam opened a gift from his Great Grandma, it was a card and money.  He was so excited.  Both of the boys chatted excitedly about their gifts.

Then Sam raised his arm up and shouted, 'My heart can come upon me!'

I asked him to repeat what he said and he repeated, "My heart can come upon me.'

His face was radiant and I marveled at the word 'upon' in his speech.

I asked, 'Who told you this?' He replied,'Desus did!  Desus said my heart can come upon me now.'

I cried out to Don and Sam repeated everything he had just told me.  In that moment I felt like I had received an early Christmas present, a renewed promise, fresh hope, a token of lavish love to remind us that God has not forgotten His promise of Sam's restored heart. And more than that, he had revealed it to Sam, not me, or Don, or Jack.  He has shown Sam that he has big plans for his life.

To have God confirm his promise of Sam's new heart in this way is nothing short of astonishing for me.  And I am thankful that it has been revealed to Sam in this way.  I had nothing to do with it.  And so Sam knows what he heard in his heart was real and a special message for him to tell us. More than that we have prayed for both Jack and Sam for years, in particular for Sam's heart and body.  In recent times our prayers had become more general, and lacking in zeal as we approach yet another hospital stay.  And so there was no prompting for his declaration, in fact we were busy packing the car to go away for Christmas.  I will remember this day and we will celebrate and praise God while we wait for his promise to be fulfilled.

A Warm Christmas

Christmas was warm in more ways than one this year.

Warmth came from visiting our family in Mount Isa.  My heart was warmed to see them after so many years and when we met two of their beautiful children whom we had never met.  And to laugh and chat and have fun together. 

Warmth came from the intense heat of the weather and we sought relief and fun in many ways including water sliding, the river and air conditioning. 

We found warmth in smiles, cuddles and new found relationships with cousins who are now friends after so many years of simply speaking on the phone.  The boys now feel linked to their cousins in  new and special way.

Warmth came from watching my children enjoy the Christmas season hearts filled with excitement, giving and receiving gifts and learning new things. Making memories to keep close forever. These memories will serve us well and we shall pack them into our luggage when Sam has to go to hospital in February.

Maybe that is part of why Christmas was such a special time for me. I wanted to leave all of what is going to happen in this new year with Sam's surgery behind and enjoy our time together.  Each moment is precious, the smiles, the hugs, the squeals of excitement, because I do not and cannot hold time too tightly in my fist.  Not one of us know how much time we have here and so our family has learned not to take any of those moments for granted.  This is amplified due to Sam's upcoming surgery. People tell me not to worry, and they are right.  They tell me 'Sam is strong' and he will do great, and he may.  But in essence we have no control over these things.  The only things that is sure to me and never changes is God.  And so I cling to Him and His promises.  And I thank God for each of you, that He has given me each of you to love, encourage ad pray.

So I hope you had an exceptionally warm Christmas, so that when cold, grey days some, the light of that warmth will glow strong in your heart.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More About the Catheter and Pending Surgery

Today I was contacted by the Care Coordinator from the the Catheter Lab at the Mater Hospital.  As the call progressed I felt the nausea rise up inside and threaten to form a lump in my throat.  The facts:

Sam's diagnostic (pressures and sematics), and possible interventive (stent in pulmonary artery) catheter is scheduled for Wednesday the 20th February.

We will probably fly out on Sunday the 17th February and arrive in Brisbane and have to find some way to the hospital staying in Ronald McDonald House overnight.

Instead of pre-admission Sam will be admitted directly two days prior on the Monday by lunchtime.  This is due to him being on warfarin and he may need to be put on a Heparin drip leading up to the procedure.  I will be staying with him on the ward.

After the catheter he will need to be in hospital another 1-2 days to reinstate his INR levels.

In essence what is supposed to be a day procedure or sometimes an overnight experience will be more like a week in hospital. In this time I will be with him on the ward.

Following that the results from the catheter will be taken to surgical conference and whether Sam is a candidate for the Fontan will be established.

Surgery may be possible within one to two weeks following this conference.

This means we may be able to stay down on the coast until the Fontan is done and dusted (insert more nausea here).

Don and Jack will come to Brisbane for Sam's surgery after the Catheter.  Jack will have a few weeks off school and hopefully can take some work with him to do.  Don will take leave without pay, because we have not been here long enough for Don to have accrued sufficient leave after the mandatory Christmas holidays (insert more nausea and silent prayer here). Rent, bills, ability to eat and provide for family-only God knows. 

In between the catheter and surgery we are hoping to escape to the Sunshine Coast for a week or so (staying with family), to break the hospital time, recover and rest.

I would be lying through my teeth if I told you I wasn't worried.  I have no idea how it will all work, how I will go leaving half of my family here and being strong enough to support Sam in what I know he will hate.  I hate it, how can I expect anymore from him?  And yet, I will fight the tight knot in my throat that has formed this afternoon form one phone call and bury the thoughts focusing on Christmas to come.  A time or fun celebration and hope.  We can always use more hope. 

God is bigger than any giants we have to face.
God is bigger than any giants we have to face.
God is bigger than any giants we have to face.

I whisper it over and over again to calm the anxiety in my heart.

On a lighter note, the local day care has  a Kindergarten program and has been very supportive in allowing Sam to commence Kindergarten mid year, next year.  He has been looking forward to Kindy all year, and although it will be delayed it will be worth the wait. I know he will be thrilled with that and I can use it to encourage him as they put in cannulas and take his blood.   You might think that sound harsh but they are my true thoughts and what I think about ahead of time to help my little boy.

For those who follow this blog and pray for us, thank you.  I know you read even though you don't leave a comment (thought they would be nice at times).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Am His and He Is Mine

Mush alert:  Do not read this if you are not into love filled sentiment.

I hear many people tell me that there are few good men left in the world.  I beg to differ, because I am married to the best of them. For twelve years today I have been blessed to be married to my husband and the more years we spend together the more I come to realise that what we have is a precious gift which must be cherished.

Before we were married, 1999. (19 years old, we were married at 20)

When I reflect on our twelve years, it astounds me to see where we have been and it gives me much hope for the future.  Here are the top twelve things I love about my husband:

When he looks at me in 'that' way, my heart still skips a beat.

When he smiles, you simply must join in and when he laughs you know that it is him (no one else has that laugh).

He makes me coffee every morning and delivers it with love.

He can massage like a professional. (But only me of course)

He is never afraid to show that he loves in in private or public.

He is the best father and works hard to keep our family.

He loves God and this just makes me love him more.

When his arms are wrapped around me, I know everything is just going to be OK.

He knows how to have fun and how to relax, and helps me to do both.

He loves to read and we can sit together and do so for hours on end.

He will offer to do something to help me, even when he has no idea how to do it.

He tells me he loves me many times a day.

I love you Don, may the next 12 years be filled and overflowing with what we already have and more. xx

32 years old and more in love than the day we married. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Put Your Words Away

Some days my skin is thicker than some.  Other days the barbed words hurt more than I should allow. I have a mother's heart after all.  The word darts are unintentional, offered in passing by often with a smile. 

This morning at swimming the bullet words came again from a lovely mother with her own beautiful healthy children. 

'Your legs are blue aren't they little guy' and then, 'He runs funny, doesn't he?'

She then looks to me like I should be getting Sam out of the water in the 37C heat, because he is 'obviously' cold.

I grin and then continue to talk to Sam.  She goes on her way.  Some days the barbs sink deeper than they should. 

So in response to that dear lady and the countless others that mean well, this is what I would like to say in hind sight.

'You miss the point entirely.  Sam RUNS, he SWIMS, he PLAYS, and can CONVERSE better than many kids his age.  Sam can LAUGH like no-one business and when you are down or hurt he is COMPASSIONATE and will PRAY for you.  Before he was born I was told he would do none of these things.

You look and see his blue legs, and lips and make a judgement based on what you know, so I will forgive you and I will smile and trust that in the future you will guard your lips, as the words that tumble from them without thought have the intention to not only hurt others but make you look like an idiot.'

"You never fail until you stop trying.”
Albert Einstein

Friday, December 7, 2012

What a Year!

As the year draws to a close it helps me to reflect upon why I feel so weary and yet so exhilarated at the same time.  That is why keeping this blog is such a blessing, it not only allows me to sort out my heart and head but also gives me a year long history of what we have done. So let's recap:

This year we have lived in three towns and two different states.

Don finished up study and recommenced work first at Gippsaero and now Longreach Aircraft Maintenance.

Jack has finally completed Prep at his third school this year, and has done an amazing job of being so positive and trying his best wherever he has been, no matter the people, no matter the climate.  His enthusiasm is boundless.  Jack is no handwriting star and his writing is short and sweet.  But he can tell a story like no one else and his knowledge of rocks, fossils, plants, animals, space and dinosaurs surpasses most people I know.

Sam has been at two Kindy's and then had to stop on moving back to QLD, where he has enjoyed helping Mummy with her new business and going to playgroup, as well as helping out at school now and then.

I have packed up and moved house twice this year.  I have spoken at churches and conferences, sold books, written a novel and started a new Avon business.  I have made many new friends and try to keep in touch with many old ones.  And of course I have loved my family and supported them, cooked, cleaned and played with them each and every day.  I have been a wife and Mum, like many other ladies I know.

In retrospect I can see how I may be a little weary and I am thankful that today was Jack's final day of Prep.  School holidays bring a more relaxed approach to each day. Already we have been given a glimpse of what the year ahead holds for us, and I know that we will need our batteries charged.  Though with God's enabling and His daily strength and mercy I know I can do it, one day at a time.

This is how the kids cool down in the 40C heat. The Firebrigade came to do a talk and then stayed for some fun.  Water fight-Longreach style.

Jack is over near the window in the green striped shirt.  This is the Prep class in free dress singing the parents a Christmas song at their Christmas party break up party.

Jack being presented with a certificate and gift from Miss Ross, his teacher.

Party food time :)  You can see in this photo how tall Jack is compared to some of his class mates.

And of course Sam joined in too.

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