Monday, March 31, 2008

Discovering Who We Are

I tend to think that we live our lives in search of who we are meant to be, what is our purpose. In learning what our purpose is, we have to know who we are, what we stand for and what are deepest beliefs are.
Our purpose in life changes at times. When my children were at home, my purpose was so clear, so well defined. My purpose was, along with my husband, raise children who would be a blessing and not a curse, not only to us, but to the world at large. We didn't want them to just "not get into trouble" we wanted them to be contributing citizens, people that would make a difference in the lives around them. We wanted them to be secure, kind, thoughtful, innovative, independent yet to know that life always involves interaction with others. My purpose in life was all about helping my children become adults that would not make mistakes that would hurt them for the rest of their lives. We chose to raise them in the plain world, minimizing the influence of things we wanted to shield them from. We wanted them to value the simple things in life, and not go chasing after stuff.
Now that they are all married, and my days are so much less structured, its time for me to reflect, to seek and to find my new purpose. I will always be mom and always enjoy that part of my life, but its less demanding now. Being a grandmother is a part of my purpose now, but that too, is not all that demanding. So time is mine to explore what I really believe, look at all sides of the great picture. What I have learned in this searching is that my religious beliefs have come full circle. I am not ashamed of my searching, not ashamed that I questioned God. I think that part of me wanted something just a bit more exotic than what I have believed. Maybe I was tired of wearing a uniform of sorts and when we left the Mennonite church I wanted to look and act so different from where I had been. It tied into my seeking and searching. It all became part of my looking for my purpose and place in life now.
I can see things changing in my life, as if the cogs of a giant wheel is moving and catching me up in it, taking me towards the place where I can see my purpose unfolding. I can see that some of the things I was running from, were just my rebellion or just my casting off things so that I felt free to explore. Now, I feel more clarity, more assurance in what I do believe. I still would love to have a real life, in person conversation with Jesus to find out just what things matter to Him.

All is Well

What a blessing, the funnel clouds never reached the ground in our town. The sirens sounded and the shelter we are supposed to head to was right in the thick of the worst weather. It's not more than a mile from our house, but I had no desire to head right towards the wall cloud. I should have known things were going to get bad because all the animals retreated into their barns about 30 minutes before the storms arrived. Not a critter to be seen....always a good indicator to watch the sky.
I hopped in the car and headed in the opposite direction and went to Emery's office. On the way home after the all clear was given, I stopped along the road to take a few pictures of the Indian Paint brush in bloom. Yes, I did take my camera with me when I heard the sirens sound !
I am not sure if more storms are heading our way or not. I am hoping not.

Some additional good news, Casi heard from the unemployment office, the verdict for the hearing was in Casi's favor. There are rules that have to be followed when you are an employer. Pretty simple really. We feel so blessed....surely God has been watching over Melanie and Casi through all their hardships of late.
I was glad I made the oatmeal coconut bars, a nice warm bar was the perfect "emotional eat" after I got home.

I can't help but sing one of my favorite hymns ...

"It Is Well With My Soul"
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
- Words by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873-

Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

Tornado on the way

keep us in your prayers, tornado on the way

Oatmeal Coconut Bars

We love using Sunspire chocolate and Carob products (sounds like a commercial). They just simply taste good and are not full of ingredients you don't want in your body. I wanted something sweet for dessert tonight and these Oatmeal Coconut Bars are just perfect. I had the carob chips on hand, so that is what I used. The chocolate chips would work great too.
This is an easy treat to make...

Oatmeal Coconut Bars
1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup

I cup carob baking chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts of pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix oatmeal, maple syrup and butter or oil together thoroughly. Press mixture evenly over bottom of lightly oiled 8 inch square baking pan.
Stir together carob chips, nuts, coconut, maple syrup and vanilla. Spread evenly over oatmeal crust. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand until cool. Cut into 1 x 2 inch bars.

Recipe from back of package of Sunspire Vegan Carob Chips
photo from their web site !

Monday Gratitudes

Each and every day there is something to be grateful for, to count as a blessing.
Marci at Down On The Farm hosts a Count Your Blessings Monday, its a great way to start off the week.
this Monday I am so thankful for...
Mei-Lings restored health
A traffic free drive to Ft Worth this morning
That Emery is such a gentle man and a good father.
For Melissa's kindness
For Melanie's strength
For Stevens enthusiasm
For a new skirt that has a garden print fabric in it
For bluebonnets and indian paint brush
For flavored agave nectar in my Pero this morning
That the chicks and hens are getting along fine
Peppermint growing for meadow tea this summer
For memories
For the simplicity of my life
For iris in bloom
For music
For clouds dipped in the gold of sunset
and so much more !

chicks in the hen house
the beauty of weeds, weeds are only misplaced flowers !
The neighbors mean cat, it constantly fights my cats. He is a big cat too.
a vulture
blackberries growing under the back steps

Natures Beauty

After the long winter, God in His mercy fills the earth with beauty to profound its hard to describe. Winter has its own beauty and I for one love the purity and peacefulness of a fresh fallen snow, but spring is vibrant. It is as though the land is decorated for a great party. Pinks, blues, oranges, lavender, purple, and so many more colors dot the landscape as wild flowers fill up the prairie. Fruit trees stand out against the horizon with explosions of color.
I saw my first Indian Paint Brushes and Bluebonnets yesterday. A gift from God. Soon I will be heading off daily to my favorite wild flower spots to snap pictures of all the colors.
God is a God of love and of mercy. He gives good gifts to us and strength to handle the results of sin in the world. He carries us when our burdens seem too heavy.
I love Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Think about that, Gods nature and power understood by what has been made. Today, I know by what I have seen, that God is tender, gentle, powerful yes, but not ego powerful like what we see in man when he has power. I see love and joy in the nature of God through His creation and orderliness at times and random beauty to delight our hearts in unexpected moments.

our peach tree in bloom

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Having Dibs on God

Last week there was a comment left on my blog that made me smile and then sigh. The person refereed to Christ as if it was their Savior and not my Savior. That somehow because I quote the dalai lama etc that I can't possibly have her savior. And that my having posts that spoke of the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa or had a picture of my Quan Yin statue or prayer beads made it certain that I could not be part of her exclusive club of believers to which she claims membership. Not sure how she has seen into my heart but I suspect her particular club has a very limited number of members since we all for the most part have very individual aspects of our belief systems, even if we don't voice them in public for fear of being shunned in some way or another, in addition most have travelled a few paths that probably don't meat her criteria in all aspects, Some, not me, as you can see by my posts, have learned to keep their mouth shut regarding their wonderings, (the things we wonder about ) And then take it one step further, they just plain forget their past sins and look only at their recent "perfection" when measuring up some poor soul that is on another road. I knew a woman who had a baby just a couple months after she was married. This woman was the first to judge when it came to purity. If you didn't know better, you would have thought she was pure as the driven snow her entire life. I could care less what she did in the past, but you would think she would have a bit more compassion on the subject and a lot less condemnation.

Sort of like the women who join a plain church and condemn every single woman for not covering their head or wearing dresses only....makes you shake your head and think....would they have wanted to be treated that way when they didn't dress that way. Is it love or condemnation that makes us want to be a part of the Christian world ? Not hard to find that answer. I am not done with my spiritual journey. I certainly have not arrived as they say. My journey has been full of experiences that have taken me to where I am now. I have gone to Seventh Day Adventists schools, grades 1-12. I studied Hinduism and Buddhism. We attended a very plain Mennonite church for many years. I also spent many years a part of Chabad for which I am ever grateful for and Chassidic Judaism will always be a part of my life. Maybe a stronger influence in who I am than any other one thing.

Each one of us as a personal spiritual journey. Our steps and our choices are not the same as anyone elses. Not a one of us has stayed the exact same in our beliefs as we were 10 years ago. We refine and define things every day. Never questioning or never sinning is just not a reality, if it was, there would not be any need for the words in the Bible. Jesus came to get folks back on track, to get people to the point where they didn't bang themselves on the chest and say, "look at how good I am, look at my righteousness". Fortunately for us, what we think about another holds no power in the final decision on who goes where. I often wonder about the thief on the cross, I bet he met more than his fair share of people who said things like the comment I am referring to in the beginning of this post. The judging sort of thing...but in the end, that thief on the cross will be where ? A final moment, a final decision can change it all. We just never know. I am not perfect and far from it, content in knowing that God knows my heart, my sincerity in searching to know who He is, what He is all about. I feel incredibly blessed in my life, not cursed. I see Gods miracles worked over and over in my life. I have love all around me. Somehow I just don't feel like God has held it against me that I have been looking for Him in many places and find wisdom from a simple Buddhist monk or in a woman that served the sick in suffering in India with the compassion Christ spoke about with the Good Samaritan. I am 99 % sure my spiritual journey is not over. I have no idea what the final chapter of my life book will read like. But I do know that I will never feel that I own God and that He is mine alone for the way I believe. I just don't happen to hear Gods voice in that mentaility.

If I could accomplish one thing in my life, it would be to have people think about the benefit of showing compassion to one another simply because they are human and leave all judgement up to God.

Earth Hour, hardly noticed

Last night's Earth Hour nearly slipped by without any notice due in part to the way we live. Emery was busy with some outside chores until nearly 9 p.m. No electricity used. The days light fading in the sky but it was not dark out. It was humid, which seems to carry any light from near or far. I was cooking some eggs on the stove for a late supper, no electricity there.
The lantern light seemed very ordinary. The house was silent, except for the steady ticking of the mantle clock. Nothing out of the ordinary there. We chose long ago to walk this earth with a tender footprint for lots of reasons. Health is a big motivator for us and we feel that being surrounded by electrical current 24/7 is probably not the best for your body. We also avoid preservatives and chemicals in general in our food as much as possible simply because its been proven to not be good for you. So we opt to grow a big garden, have fruit and nut trees. And in other areas of our life, we just simply chose the simple way. Some of the reasons might even be spiritual. For us, keeping life simple allows us to walk away from the "keeping up with the Jones" mentality, since it is our goal, our intention and our belief that for us, it is best. We don't buy glossy magazines, watch the Home and Garden type shows on television, or read the blogs that are all about showing off the finery. Ignorance of what others have in comparison to what you don't have, is really bliss and helps keep the covetousness thing at bay and be content with having our needs met without putting wants first.
Then there are things like extra appliances. I don't see where the pay off to use a clothes dryer is more than the time I spend outside with the beauty of nature all around me, and the bonus is I am not using fossil fuel to dry my clothes. I have good arm muscles from stirring and mixing by hand, again no electricity used. If the electricity went out, I am not going to panic about having to make something without some gadget to get the job done. Laugh if you wish, but I don't even use a vacuum, I sweep. Of course we only have one area rug in the entire house. Carpets today are laden with chemicals in the manufacture of them, plus carpets hold dirt. No matter how much you vacuum, dirt will get into the pad under your wall to wall and then settle down onto the floor. As I type this out this morning, the computer, refrigerator and the freezer are the only electric items running .
I often hear people talking about how their children are so self absorbed. In their rooms playing games, on the computer chatting or watching television and for some, doing all those things at once. Wives complain about husbands tied to the television and husbands wish for a love note instead of credit card receipts from their wives. Its kinda pathetic that we have commercials telling us to have one meal together as a family so we can know what our children are doing. Spend more time with your kids, they really don't need more "toys" they need more time spent with parents. Conversation, interest... the things we all want and having fewer gadgets can take us to that place of personal interaction. And a life free from debts that strangle and suffocate.
Anyone who has known me for decades knows I have always been heading further down the path to simplicity from my teen years. From the moment I met Emery, I knew he would be the man to help me in this direction. From the get go, we thought about living in the country, and then when the children came along, we did the cloth diaper thing, the nursing on demand, back packs, cotton clothing, soft baby shoes when the majority were putting shoes akin to casts on their babies feet, health food, hiking, homeschooling and on and on. Hippie mentality. We have marched to our own drum beat for a very long time and in that there is freedom. It's not an electric drum that we hear, its the beating of our own hearts !
So really, its no wonder that Earth hour came and went without us having to change a lot in our lives.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Some Fun Today

I had some fun today. Sewed some on a quilt for a wee little girl and worked on a dress for that same little one. The sleeves will be puffy, just right for a little girl.

Our wild flowers are starting to bloom !

Earth Hour

Don't Forget.... Earth Hour tonight.

We will be sitting by lamplight, enjoying playing dominos.

Improving Every Day

It's so nice having Melanie and Casi live just down the street. Makes it easy to stop in for a minute or two and see how Miss Mei-Ling Fah is doing. If you didn't know, you would have no idea she had 2 surgeries this week. She was happy playing with her blocks and talking up a storm.
Melanie had a bad asthma attack at work yesterday. She was working alone, but by the grace of God, two paramedics happened to be in the store and took her right out to the ambulance. We never like to see her working alone as she is a brittle diabetic but never thought about her asthma as its never been bad like it was yesterday. It was just one more miracle that those two paramedics just happened to be there when she needed them so badly. Since our town is small and most people know one another, they were the same men that took Mei-Ling by ambulance just a few weeks ago. Melanie is fine today, thank God.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Beauty of A Quiet Walk

Even when my children were small, daily walks were common. Often times we would make them part of our science project and combine that with an English assignment. Writing about what they saw, felt, sensed and what they had learned about some item, and now, no children in tow, I still think about what my senses are experiencing on my walks or simply listen for that still small voice of God.
I am in awe of the wisteria by the chicken house, it is so fragrant and so vibrant in color. Today it was alive with bee's at work. I got right up in between the branches, bees above me, beside me and below me. If they were annoyed by my presence they never let on.
By my feet, the two ducklings enjoyed their first day of freedom and you could tell they felt a bit overwhelmed and followed me or the rooster around as if we were their parents. The barn cats were trying to decide if they were meant as a meal or not.... a few pecks from those able duck bills and they got it figured out pretty fast. The world around me today just seems quiet and simple...not a moment of stress or worry. Good smells from the oven seeping out the back door and finding me, reminding me that my walk must draw to a close. Clothes flopping in the breeze on the line as I pass by them and climb up the back door steps. The screen door slamming behind me, a sound I have grown to love.

The Birthday Present

I promised I would share with you what Emery is giving me as a birthday present....yes, its way early, over 4 months early but I am not complaining one bit.
We have a tiny creek, oh really just a trickle in the rainiest of times. Its a place you have to hop over and when you are carrying feed sacks or such, its not all that nice.
I have dreamed of having a bridge over this spot for years. There have been planks laid over it or a couple of old boards, but never a bridge.
Now that will change.... I will soon be able to sing, "over the river and through the woods" when I go out to do chores. A bit exaggerated, but none the less a fun mental picture.
Just have to wait for a rainy day to have it delivered, that way they can find where the tiny wee creek is

Ulrich Barn Builders , where my husband works, sells these wonderful bridges along with so many other wonderful things. Wonder if I can talk him into one of those nice log cabins they have for sale for a Christmas present : )

Friday Morning Ramble

The air is heavy this morning, full of humidity. The darkness of early morning is slowly giving way to light without any sunshine as the sky is covered in clouds. Crickets are singing as is some rather robust frog nearby. The early birds have joined in the chorus with an occasional solo part from our rooster. It feels almost strange that I can stay home all day today. No trip to the hospital needed, for which we are so thankful.
There is a part of me that says, "ahhhh a day in which I can do nothing" but then I think about the projects I have wanted to work on and the much needed attention to the house. I never find it easy to just sit still. The clothesline poles need a fresh coat of paint and the new line we ordered has come in, line that doesn't sag with the weight of the clothes. There are other projects as well that need some consideration, like introducing the chicks to the hens and finding something to do with the fast growing ducklings that now make quite a mess on a daily basis.
There are peppermint plants needing to be planted and a preparations to be made for an early birthday present for me, that dear Emery told me last night I was getting . My birthday isn't until August but the present will be delivered soon. I will post about that a bit later. I am very excited about this gift.
There are curtains to be sewn and a couple baby dresses to be cut out. There is baking to be done too. First though I must take my morning walk and gaze at the beauty of nature, oh yes, and feed and water the animals !
The photo doesn't show the fabric true to color. The eyelet is a pretty pink and the heart pattern fabric is a coral color. The buggy print shows up a bit darker. Lots of clothesline ready to be strung up . I have 4 lines of about 30 ft long.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Count It All Joy

My favorite passage in the Bible is James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
To consider trials joy is not a normal reaction. It seems to go against our nature, but it is not out of our reach. We can learn to understand this concept and to embrace it and hold it close to our hearts for the very truth and depth of it.

This past year has had many trials for our family, but through them all, there has been growth, and for me personally, I have come to find rest through these hard things, in what I do believe. It has been a year of questioning and searching, with the answers found in the trials of the rocky narrow path, not on the smooth and wide path. I sort of feel that for myself, I have come full circle. Ending up just about where I started from. But I sought after God with a yearning like never before. A hunger to find out just what I put my faith in. Through it all, I can say,
I do consider it all pure joy !
Tonight's sunset and my wisteria in the dark of the night

Mei-Ling Is A Happy Girl

Mei-Ling was showing just how happy she was to be going home.

Simply...Its a miracle

Mei-Ling is home. The doctor was surprised at how well she was doing when he came in to see her this morning, so he removed her catheter. He had expected to leave it in until Friday. Her lab work came back perfect and Mei-Ling reached up for him to pick her up, and she waved bye-bye to him when he left the room. He calls her the little princess. When he came back in the late afternoon, he asked if Melanie and Casi would like to take her home ! What a joyous moment for everyone, except the nurses said they were all going to miss her so much. For all that she has been through, she has the sweetest personality and never seems to be fussy. And her smile just wins everyone over.
She is one happy baby to be in her own home. Amazingly, she has been crawling, and acts as if nothing happened to her. Last night right after she got back from surgery, she had some pain medication but nothing after that first dose. She will have her stitches out Tuesday if all goes well. What a little miracle this baby is and her quick recovery is testament to all the prayers offered up for her.

Just simply...a miracle. Thank you all so much for all the prayer on her behalf and for our family.

Mei-Ling this morning
On the way home
A quick stop at Grammies house to play with her favorite doll for a few minutes

A New Day and Some Reflection

This morning I woke and heard the birds singing, and felt the breeze on my face as I went about my chores. I saw flowers in bloom and smelled their sweet fragrance. I took in a deep breath and realized that for the past couple days, I hardly felt like I was doing more than holding my breath.
Mei-Ling had pain and muscle spasms last night so they gave her morphine. Melanie sounded so worn and tired last night when I spoke to her on the phone before going to bed. I was thinking about our family through all this. Melissa finding it so hard to be so far away, we talk several times during the day. I am in deep appreciation of my cell phone and glad that last year we decided to get one. Our children have called numerous times each day, checking on the status of the baby or seeing if they could do something for Melanie and Casi. Steven and Priscilla have brought meals to Melanie and Casi, and slipped money in their hand for additional meals. Melissa as only a sister can do, has been a point of strength for Melanie. I love the way they talk to one another, the way they share a bond beyond words. Melissa is always so caring...I hear her say to me each day, "mom you sound tired, make sure you take care of yourself". I just love and miss her so much. A note from her arrived in the mail yesterday, so full of love. It was the balm for our weary souls.
On the way home from the hospital last night, Steven called to find out how things are going. I told him the news about what they discovered with Mei-Ling. His reply, "well she can adopt and you know I am all in favor of adoption, it sure worked out for me." He is our adopted son. Again balm for our weary souls. Love is profound.
Today a bit of normalcy. A trip to the post office, a few groceries to be purchased, maybe even a stop off at Goodwill to check out the bargains there. Then a trip to the hospital and I do so hope to see a smile on a tiny persons face.
If I know one thing for certain from all this, it is just this, that all the things and stuff in the world means nothing at a time of hardship like this, but the love and closeness of our family, the bond of love between us is more precious than gold. When the children were small, all the time and the commitment to raising up godly young people has paid off. The choices we made for our family,
to homeschool, to live simply on one income, even when others thought we were crazy for the way we chose, and even before all that, the choices we made as a young couple to seek God first in our lives, has made all the difference in how things have turned out for us. We are not perfect, far from it. I skipped the dusting and cleaning and strict schedules for time to hug and have long talks with the children. We taught the children the value of hard work, by working along side them. Which might have meant I spent the day clipping goat hooves instead of cooking a gourmet meal or spending time on creating a "well appointed home".
We skipped wanting things and stuff in favor of relationships and building lasting treasures elsewhere. I don't regret those choices. This week I can see that those choices have made all the difference in our lives for us. We could only do what we knew how to do, set the best example we could. For Emery and I to love each other so joyfully and with kindness to one another that our children desired to find that same sort of love and commitment when they chose a spouse. To show them we believe in prayer, and to forgive our children their mistakes with the same love that Christ shows us as we make mistakes, often for us, the same mistakes over and over, and then to face the fact that much of the time the faults our children have, is do in part, to our own faults. We fell short from time to time in how well we responded, but have come to find the value in apologizing for our shortcomings. Our life isn't a model for anyone, there is a higher model to look at, one without fault or mistakes.

I love wisteria, so have it growing in several places on our land, even up against the chicken house which gives a hint of sweetness to a place that is not always so sweet : )

Wisteria out front along the fence
Wisteria growing by the side of the house complete with a busy bee
Wisteria growing up the outside of the chicken house
and the morning sky !

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

News about Mei-Ling

The operation took a bit over 4 hours. They actually unhooked the ureter from her bladder,
re-sized it and then reconnected it. They cleaned out all the deflux material that had been used in September. They also added a stint from her kidney to the bladder that will be removed in a couple months. While they were doing the surgery they did some looking around at her reproductive system. She has only one ovary, one Fallopian tube and no uterus. We were thankful there was at least one ovary to help with the hormone situation later on in life.
By 8 tonight she was back in her room, just a couple of painful groans from this tiny one had Melanie in tears, which I fully understand. Mei-Ling is on a pain as needed order for which we are all very grateful.
She will have her catheter in until at least Friday. Not sure yet as to when she will be able to come home.
Casi had his over the phone hearing with his former employer and unemployment. We know God is in control and feel at peace about it all. It was of course incredibly difficult on Casi and Melanie to have to deal with this situation when the baby is so sick and all the preparations for Mei-Lings surgery was going on while Casi was on the phone.
We felt all your prayers today, and the Doctor was remarkable as always. Casi spent the day in a fast and only ate after the surgery was over. He is a fine young man !
Thank you all again for your prayer, your support and all your wonderful comments and emails.
When Mei-Ling is older we will show her the comments and emails so she will know how many people prayed for her.
Please continue to pray for Mei-Ling as she now recovers.


Matthew 7: 9-11 tells us....."Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him ! "
There is a lost said in these few words. God's love for us is a powerful thing and sometimes when things don't go the way we want or expect then we question if we are really loved.
Only we forget that somethings happen just because we live in a less than perfect world. When we had a goat give birth to a kid with many health issues, we never once questioned why God allowed it to happen, and we never blamed ourselves or the mother goat for the kids birth defects. We just knew "those things happen". You can see where I am going with this I am sure. With Mei-Lings health issues or even Melanie being diabetic, we don't blame God. We don't think He has served up some harsh things to teach us all a lesson, what we do know is that in a imperfect world, things happen and then it is up to us on how we react to it and if it stretches us to learn more compassion. To grow more loving and to see it all for just what it is without casting blame on God or anyone for that matter.
I fully understand God is powerful and could if He chose perform a mighty miracle and in an instant Mei-Ling could have two healthy kidneys, and have perfect health, but He chose not to and I am fine with that since He knows so much more than I do, He can see the end from the beginning. When Melanie was little and we nearly lost her to a diabetic coma, we prayed without ceasing for a might miracle of healing. We had the church elders anoint her for healing, but she was not healed. I could have said all sorts of things like, "the elders must not have had real faith" (actually I may have said that one ) I could have been mad at God for not working a miracle but you know that wouldn't accomplish anything in my heart or the hearts of my children. So instead, we accepted and thanked God for modern times and medicine that preserved her life. We don't know the full picture, it has not all unfolded, but we know God knows more than we do. Pretty simple actually.
Faith isn't just about expecting good things to happen, its also feeling assurance that God knows best, that secure feeling that it will all be o.k. even when its difficult beyond words.

I am on my way to the hospital. Still uncertain at what hour the surgery will be as it was just added to the end of the Operating Room Schedule.

It brings us all great comfort to know so many of you are praying for Mei-Ling and the family. Pray also for the Doctor, that his hand be guided during this operation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Very Long Day and not such good news

This is not the post I was wanting to write.... Mei-Ling had her surgery at 8 in the morning and it lasted for 2 hours. They were not able to insert the stint, so it was by no means a success. They did scrape out some of the deflux material that they used in the first surgery, hoping to allow more urine to flow but the Doctor was not optimistic about that helping much. It seems her body was having some sort of reaction to the material used in the deflux which is a rare thing.
They did more blood tests and they just confirmed that what was done today accomplished nothing. Tomorrow afternoon they will do a much more invasive surgery to correct the size of the ureter. They will also insert a tube from the kidney to the bladder as a sort of precautionary measure until things are back to normal for Mei-Ling. That tube will stay in for a couple of months and then have to be removed. While they are in there doing the surgery they will also check out some other misplaced organs to see whats what.
Now if all this isn't tough enough on Melanie and Casi, somehow tomorrow is the actual day there is to be a hearing of sorts over the phone regarding Casi's unemployment. Talk about bad timing. We are praying that his former boss will find it in his heart to do the kind thing and reschedule the hearing.
Melanie is also having a health issue at this time and had to be put on an antibiotic. Through it all, we know God is in control and He never ever gives us more than we can handle, although at times it sure feels like we are put pretty close to the place that seems impossible.

being brought to her room after surgery

one hour later she was all smiles, complete with the sticky part of the tape stuck to her face

Monday, March 24, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow

The Doctor just came in to see Melanie and explain the plan of action. Mei-Ling is to have surgery at 7 in the morning. They found a blockage in her ureter that is not allowing the urine to flow properly from her kidney to her bladder. Maybe some blockage from the surgery done last fall. They will put a tube from her kidney to her bladder. Poor little one was so distraught from her tests today. She fell asleep in my arms and I ended up rocking her for over 3 hours.
When she woke up she was all smiles and silliness.

She will need lots of prayer as will Melanie and Casi.

A New Year

It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...