Saturday, December 01, 2012

PS I'm Here & I've Always been

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
--Psalm 28:7, NLT

It's AMAZING to me that God knows & cares about my needs, wants, wishes DESPITE how faithful I am.

These past few weeks have certainly been evidence of that! At times I'm not ready to acknowledge His ever faithful hand interwoven into my life, but when I stop and really think about it, it's so apparent it could slap me in the face. its as if He's saying.... PS I'm Here & I've Always been.

Here are some of the many examples of the recent weeks....

When I first got home from the hospital, I remember talking with Darren about the loss of a dream verses the alteration of perception. One example was how my health issues would affect our families future vacations. We had always dreamt of taking the boys to Hawaii and all the adventures that we'd have playing at the beach, para sailing, goofing off, having yummy food, spending time together. This dream seemed shattered when I first came home from the hospital, never did we think this would ever happen. It looked as if we ever planned a vacation, we would be bringing an entourage along with us just to fill in the missing gaps my illness left. In the weeks, months, and years, God has revealed that dream crushing is not His business! Praise be to that and Him! A few months after I was released, we ventured away to Kasilof with the boys & some friends/family. Sure I had some extra equipment, extra anxiety & fears, and my friends/family had some extra work in helping entertain the boys, but We DID IT! Thanks to the Kragts & Campbell's for this first load of confidence. I've now realized, the picture may not have been what I wanted, but it was part of this journey I'm on and no less important. A few months later, Darren & I took our first trip sans boys to OHSU for an initial visit & treatment. Before everything happened, the thought of traveling without my boys created such an angst for me. God saw this & worked it into the plan. Let me just say it still isn't easy leaving my babies, but God is allowing me to learn to trust Him & the Grandma's. Having this comfort allowed Darren & I to travel again to OHSU for another treatment and then after I was eating again for a victory trip to Hawaii. It was weird leaving the boys home for our Hawaii trip, but it was necessary. Darren and I needed some time together to somewhat grasp what we'd gone through & to talk. Having two active little boys definitely would have put a damper on our freedom to just be. We planned that our next trip back to Hawaii would be with the boys & if it looked a little different from our dream, that was okay. God continued to work on this situation by having us schedule a family trip around a surgery I would need at OHSU. We did drag my Mom along for assistance with the boys as not to stress Darren & I out. It was great, we were able to enjoy time in Portland & squeezed in my surgery & night in the hospital without the bat of an eye. God certainly had His hand in that. The boys were well behaved, the surgery & recovery went fabulously without any complications, and we were able to do it all together as a family. Yes! VICTORY! Another step closer. I won't kid myself, we dragged my Mom to Hawaii before I got sick & before we had Kadin, so Oregon wasn't too far from that. This month we gained another foothold. We traveled to California without any help, unless you count two iPads & snacks. And yes, we were going to Grandma & Papa's house in California, but I can't help but think if we'd done it alone, we'd have been fine. Sure, the Grandparents provided distraction, but I think we would have managed without them. It was great to have them there because the boys just absolutely love them and its fun to share their wild & crazy moments. We even trekked through Disneyland & California Adventure, 7 hours each day. One step closer. Thank you God for protecting & nourishing our dream. As I continue to get stronger, the boys learn to swim, I feel Hawaii getting closer. Victory!!!!!

Another reminder....
5 year old bully? Really? Yep. The past few days, Zach's been coming home from preschool upset. He has been talking about a classmate that has been rude to him. We listened and tried to give him helpful things to say, but the situation is beyond upsetting. I wasn't ready for watching how another's behavior could deflate my child's normally exuberant personality, but it did. Darren and I both talked to him about the situation, how we should behave, and what we can do. Going on vacation apparently encouraged Zach's best friend to find another playmate when he was gone & upon his return, this new 'friend' didn't like Zach's 'intrusion'. Each time Zach would try to play or sit next to his best friend, this new little boy was quick to point out that he didn't want him there. This crushed Zach and the past few days of school have been rough. I was Parent Helper in the classroom this week and Zach clung to me, which he normally doesn't. One day this week, this little boy missed school and Zach was free again to play with his best friend, what a difference! He came home talkative, laughing & playful. I didn't realize how much this interaction was bothering him until the next day when the little boy was back with his rude behaviors. Again Zach came home sad, withdrawn and crushed. He did talk to us and we again encouraged him to stand up for himself and if the little boy said anything to him that he should tell him that's not nice and if that didn't work to tell his teacher. Darren dropped him off at school & while Zach waited in line to go outside and play, Darren signed him in. Enter bully.... He walks up to Zach who is standing by his best friend.  Zach's best friend says to the bully, you better be nice to Zach today or I won't play with you. The bully nudged Zach out of the way and stepped between the two boys. Darren got outside and called me. I'm upset & Momma bear springs into action. I listen to Darren recounting the story and the wheels start turning. Should I go in & talk to his teacher, should I send off an email to the director pointing out my frustration (safe haven cause I'm still paranoid about my speech), should I try & chat with the Mom of this kid after class or should I have words with the kid? I settle on email or teacher discussion. Again God challenges me to step outside my box & have a teacher conference (their website & email was down). While waiting to pick Zach up, I strike up a conversation with Zach's best friends Mom to confirm a movie date for the boys this weekend (another step outside my comfort zone). I had planned to talk to her about the bullying this weekend, but she brought it up. Apparently, it isn't just affecting Zach, but also his best friend, which I now know why he said what he said. She told me what her son was doing & reacting to this situation & then the boys arrived. We agreed we'd talk more this weekend and I headed off to find Zach's teacher. After a quick summary, she said she'd noticed some of the dynamic, but hadn't seen the behavior, but reassured me that she & the other teachers would be watching for it. Hopefully by nipping this behavior in the bud, it'll solve the problem. We will see come next week. I'm sure God will provide me with more opportunities to grow:) I'm so thankful God continued to challenge me.  To the 'normal' person, they probably wouldn't give any of this a second thought, they'd just react, but I analyze everything and the possible impression I may make.  Things like a parent conference or meeting friends for a kids date to the movies doesn't usually create anxiety for most but I have to worry about my speech & balance and how it may respond.  Always challenged :) good & bad.


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