Thursday, February 21, 2008

Health update on Sarah Beth

Sarah B. went back for a re-check today, for the doctor to look at her ears. She finally saw our regular pediatrian, who gave her lots of kisses while she was there. He thinks she's adorable just like we do, and we think he's the best Ped ever!

Because the antiboties from her vaccinations are not reading high enough, she will have to have all of her vaccinations over again, except for the Polio one, which seems to be fine. Dr. Bill has started her on a "catch up" schedule for her vaccinations. She received the first 4 shots yesterday, which of course was no fun for her. She has run a low grade fever off an on the last 24 hours from that, and I'm sure her little thighs are still sore.

As for her ears, they are NOT currently infected. Hallelujah, that is a huge answer to prayer!! She's had 4 infections in the 2 months she's been home. (2 in each ear) However, he did a meter reading with a special gadget that reads how well the eustation tubes are functioning. (I know the name of it, but won't even try to spell it here!) :O) The results were not good, it indicated that her own eustation tubes are not working properly to drain the fluid. He has placed her on a low dose antibiotic, once a day for 4 weeks, to see if her own tubes will work themselves back to normal, while preventing further infections - which would of course slow the process of healing. She will be seen again in 4 weeks for the next round of shots (whoopee) and her ears will be reevaluated again then. Of course the reason for all of this is that we are trying to prevent needing tubes.

Please join us in praying that this will all work itself out, without the need for tubes.

Hope you all are doing well. We continue to think about and pray for those of you who still have children waiting in Guatemala for you. I met a lady at Target today with a five year old little boy, Wyatt, who's from Guatemala. She stopped and asked, "How long has she been home?" Then she asked where she was from. Sarah Beth was showing interest in her little boy when they approached and the mom noticed, so she said, "She just knew" (that we hadn't been home long), because of Sarah's reaction to her little boy. Looks familiar to her. She seems to really enjoy eating at our favorite Mexican restaurants as well, and they just make a huge deal over her every time we come in, and always speak some Spanish to her. One guy, that we have come to know, just took her out of my arms one day and hugged her so tight, smiling real big and letting out a stream of Spanish that I have no idea what he said. I thought it was so funny. They all go on about how cute they think she is.

Big blessings to all of you,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spiritual Warfare???

Spiritual Warfare, the very words evoke emotions that most people don't want to have - skepticism, anxiety, worry, fear, disbelief. Is there really such a thing anyway? Our charismatic brothers and sisters in Christ certainly think so - some taking it maybe a little too far. But then there are others of us, who try to bury our heads in the sand and just pretend it doesn't exist.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm reading Kay Arthur's books Lord Is it Warfare? Teach Me to Stand. I wanted to share with you what I learned today from God's precious Word! Now, keep in mind - this portion of scripture is nothing new to me, I've read it countless times, but oh how often we "read" without meditating on God's Words to us. In my reading for today, Kay Arthur says, "Ignorance of the enemy and of warfare will not keep you out of the battle. Instead, it makes you extremely vulnerable."..... "We need to know why there's a struggle, why there's a conflict, and then we need to know how we're to live in the light of it."

The Biblical text for today comes from Ephesians 6, where we learn in vs. 12 that we struggle, or wrestle in this battle. We DO, not we might, perhaps we will, or whatever, but we DO struggle! And, the struggle for you today may be clothed in flesh and blood, but it is not against flesh and blood! Do you have a struggle with someONE right now? It is not someONE(s), my precious friend, it is someTHING, and that someTHING is SPIRITUAL!

But, praise be to our God, He has not left us defenseless!

Here's what I learned today from Eph. 6:10-18. We have the ability to be strong and to stand against all wickedness, powers and evil rulers because of the strength and mighty power of Christ! It is not because I have a "big enough faith", or I can think positive thoughts and use positive affirmations, or that there's something I can muster up within myself, it is all because of HIM! He is all power and all strength, and God the Father has given me access to that in and through my relationship with the SON! He has provided me with all of the "tools" of battle that I will ever need!

1) HIS Strength - all power belongs to Him!
2) TRUTH - which covers us about our waist.
3) RIGHTEOUSNESS - which is a breastplate to protect our hearts.
4) THE GOSPEL OF PEACE - which is to cover our feet! (Do your feet rush to be part of bringing the gospel of peace, or do you rush to sow discord among your brothers and sisters in Christ? God help us to see how badly you hate - the wickedness of those feet that rush to bring anything but peace!)
5) FAITH - we receive Christ by the faith that He gives us and it is a shield to protect us. We cannot lose our faith, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
6) SALVATION - this is a helmet to protect our heads, our minds, our thoughts, and our bodies from any mortal wound. We are saved in and through the faith of Christ, and once we are saved, we are protected from any and all wounds that would be "fatal" to us spiritually. (You can not lose your salvation!)
7) THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD - We have been given the very Words of God, words that we must read and meditate upon daily, that we must teach to our children - that they might also be protected and come to know Christ in His fullness, that we might speak to and against the evil of this world. This is the very sword with which Christ battled the enemy in the wilderness. (Actually, He was that sword in the flesh.)
8) PRAYER - what a precious part of our "tools" this is. We have direct communication with THE "Commander in Chief".

With all of these tools at our disposal, we are then to be ALERT and are called to persevere and to petition on behalf of all the saints, and to go boldly about making known the mystery of the gospel. (vs. 19)

I hope that you will take the time to look up this passage and read it and see what the Lord shows you today. (Then, I hope that you will take the time to post in the comments section of this blog anything you learned that the Lord might want you to share with the rest of us.)

Today, brothers and sisters in Christ, I petition our God, on your behalf. I pray that you will do the same for me!

God's richest blessings - now wake up - we're at war!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Just wanted to post a little something. I feel as though I'm not keeping you all up to date well enough these days. Things have been so busy around here - gee I wonder why???

Sarah Beth went back to the Int. Adop. Med Clinic today. She has gained 2 and a half pounds! We can go front facing on the car seat, so I'm doing a little happy dance about that! Both ears are also clear of infection now. We had a hearing screening that went very well today. She will have to be revacinated for many of the things we thought were already done because she doesn't have enough of the antibodies according to her blood work, so we'll be having shots done again soon. Whoopee, that's always fun.

We also received some additional information regarding the birthmother today. I am so thankful to have gotten a few more pieces of the puzzle for Sarah for later in her life, and am very grateful to our agency and social worker who worked dilligently to get this for us. There were however some very difficult things in there to learn that I am trying to process right now. Please pray for me, as I deal with some grief over this mother's loss, while also feeling much joy for our great gain.

Recently, we've been visiting another church, and feeling really lead to attend there. Please pray with us as we sort through this decision, God's plan for us in serving Him through a local body, and the adjustment to new things. I don't much care for changes of that sort. We've been in our current church around 9 years, so leaving close friends and other believers that you love dearly is a difficult decision. Our family feels led as a family in a very particular direction at this point in our lives, and that is what has brought about these changes, among other things.

My current reads (You know I'm always reading something!) are: Kay Arthur's - Lord, is it warfare? Teach me to stand. This is my morning devotion time. Then at night, I'm closing out the day with another of her books Lord, I need Grace to Make it Today. Maybe I should flip flop which one I read at which time of the day, but I figured the Warfare one was a good pick for "girding up me loins" first thing in the morning. I feel a large amount of spiritual warfare is afoot right now in the lives of many people I know personally, in the life of our current church body as a whole, and in my own life in some ways as well. I don't believe that studying this brings on additional attacks or schemes that weren't headed my way already, so I certainly feel no fear in that respect, but I do hope I can be dilligent to my study time.

Homeschooling is going smoothly at the present time, check back with me next week and I may feel differently :O)! All you homeschool momma's know what I mean by that. That's the reason why I'm reading the book about Grace. One of the chapters is titled - "My Sin is Ever Before Me". I can not tell you how many times I've said those exact words to my husband at the end of a long day. Homeschooling does have the tendency to put a microscope over our sins and those of our children (many of which they have often learned from us - argh!). Do any of these sound familiar? Impatience. Becoming easily angered or frustrated. Not trusting God to provide for our educational, physical, spiritual, etc... needs on a daily basis. A lack of peace. Nothing that even resembles a "quiet and gentle spirit". Oh, and there's more I'm not about to tell you about! :O)

All of these are the fruits of the Spirit! The Spirit lives in me, I should be making every effort to bear out these fruits in my life - at all times. That's where the warfare comes in. Now you see why I'm reading two books at once! The Lord's trying to teach me something.

Oh, one other thing... with all of the things that have happened lately and all of the talk that's gone on since the death of the Burgess's baby boy, I've done a lot of thinking and remembering what those days were like for me. So, for any of you who have ever heard me say that when Kathryn died, for days I felt as if I was walking around on the outside of my body watching myself go through all of that, I must have said that at least a hundred times. I want to clarify something about that. The Lord very clearly spoke to me the other day (almost 13 years now since she died) and told me that the reason I felt that way was because it WASN'T me at all, but Christ in me, that lived through those days. In my weakness, He was so strong that I believe He literally lived those painful days in me, through me and for me. WOW! Christ in me, the hope of glory!

Love to you all, and blessings to you and your families,