Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Returning To Health


Our sweet little Miss Mei-Ling grows stronger every day.  Tomorrow will mark two weeks since her surgery and she is doing wonderful.  Today she has a test done to see if there are any leaks in her new bladder.  She came for a visit on Monday and we picked potatoes together and played  dolls.  She is remarkable in how she just refuses to let any of what she has gone through, hold her back.  When it was time for her to go home, she gave me a big hug and told me, "You are my best friend Grammie".  Now, as you can imagine that simply melted my heart !

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bohemian Weekend








After having such a stressful month, we decided to have a Bohemian sort of free spirit weekend.   No clocks to dictate the rules.  Sleep when we wanted, wake up when we wanted.  Eat when and what we wanted.   It was a warm, summer like weekend, perfect for sleeping on the porch and picnicking under the trees, which is exactly what we did.   We read Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" together out under our make-shift tent under the trees.   Perfect weekend in every way.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Life, A Little Back To Normal











Time spent in the garden, picking potatoes and corn.  Sunflowers looking for the sun, and early morning clouds burning off.  Emery cutting kindling for next winters fires.  Apricot trees blown over in a high wind, brittle from last summers drought.   It has been an easy sort of morning.   The clock is not dictating my every move, nor are their things that have to be done right this second.  I could just sit and watch the clouds pass by, if I so chose to. 
Miss Mei-Ling is recovering at the speed of sound.  Hard to imagine it was just a week ago that her surgery took place since she is now playing and getting around as if nothing had happened.  Childhood is remarkable, and the prayers of so many have been heard.  God, in His infinite mercy has covered this dear child with healing.  More tests for her this coming week to see if all is well, for certain.
For me, the last few days have been ones for quiet time and recovery from the kind of stress that drains you.  Time spent in quiet, observing the wonders of nature, and in playing with the grand-blessings.  Hugs and kisses, soaked up as if my soul had been in a time of extreme drought.  Little hands, fragile now, but still with a strength that many adults do not possess, grab hold of mine as we walk up the driveway.  Healing the weeks of worry that filled me.  
The morning feels comfortable and normal today, just the way I like it.  
Psalm 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
May we seek !

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prayers Answered

Mei-Ling did great today.  They were able to repair the small leak and do a couple other things that will make her life easier.   It was about 5 hours of surgery and she was able to go to her regular room without any PICU stay.  If all goes well, she should be able to go home early next week.  Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes.   God is good !
"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."  Is 59:1

Another Surgery

Mei Ling will have another big surgery at 1 today. When they did the VCG today, the dye went everywhere. Two pediatric surgeons and two urologists will perform the operation. It will take between 5-9 hours. More prayers needed. They won't know for sure what all  they will do until they get inside. One thing they know for sure, there is a leak from the first operation.
Many prayers needed as her little body has been through so much in the last month. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

For Ruth, A Repost on Thankfulness To God





Last night Emery and I sat out on the porch watching a storm in the east. Although the storm never arrived at our place we did get a good light show from the lightening and we were blessed by a cool breeze which gave way to thoughts about the first family to live in this house, imagining them on such a night. We imagined that they would have gone to bed with a prayer of thankfulness on their lips for a breeze. We have lost something in this modern time, true dependence on God for all our needs. Oh yes, we still need Him, but mostly to give us strength to endure the stress of modern life or perhaps to fix the fragmented relationships that we have become part of. Most of us have no reason to ask God to provide us with food, or rain for our crops, or for a cool breeze so we can get some sleep. When Emery and I were first married, we were poor as church mice and there were times we did have to pray for the basics, and our faith was strong and there was never any doubt that God existed, we KNEW He did. In the land of plenty, for many it seems you go through the motions when saying Grace at meal time. You thank God for your food, but you never gave it a thought when you went to the store, took out the money and paid for all those bags of groceries. You may pray at night and thank God for a good day, but two minutes later, your mind is racing with thoughts of that show you watched on TV or that new gadget you just purchased. So many have found themselves in a situation where it seems like all the good stuff in their life comes from the stores, and problems solved in relationships has come from self help books or what you heard on an afternoon television show, not from dependence on God. Perhaps that's why there is such a huge following to the idea that we are not only formed in God's image, but we are all God-Like and we create by our thoughts and our actions. God gets less and less attention unless of course we are in some sort of serious mess and then, like my father was fond of saying...."there are no atheists in a foxhole." 
I can't help but wonder if the times we are living in, isn't full of the tree we should not be eating from, just like Adam and Eve. Too much ease of living, too much of the "doing it myself" mindset that leaves us less thankful to God and less in need of Him for the most basic of things. I know I am guilty of this. I was pretty taken with the concept of the "Law of Attraction" and now to be honest, I am pretty sure this is just one more ploy to take us away from the need of God in our lives. I want to be more thankful to God for everything, not just for what hits the top ten scale in miraculous. I want to be thankful for cool breezes on a hot summer night, not just say, "ah, isn't that nice", and then just walk through the door into my air conditioned house without one bit of sincere, mindful gratitude. 
I see now that we have a hardship in this life, to realize that God is still at the helm, and to have thankful hearts to Him for all we have and for all that we no longer even have to think about.
There are still many who do understand and are thankful for all things from God, but for many today, we just accept so many good things as just part of modern living and go day to day without feeling deeply in our hearts, the watchcare of God in our lives.
http://morningramble.blogspot.com/2010/08/thankful-hearts.html

How much I have to be thankful for each and every day of life.  Thankful to God for making clear to Emery and I, which road to take through the years and for giving us such great love for one another, our children and grandchildren and for all the love God has put in our lives.  We are blessed.  

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur's Inspirational Transformation!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday..."Consider It Pure Joy"

For decades I have always said that James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  is my favorite verse.   I have known trials of many kinds and knew without a doubt that God would work some good from it.  I always knew in my heart that God never caused the hard things in my life, they were just the results of living in an imperfect world.  Yet, I also understood I could learn from them.   It never was that God was a hard taskmaster, pushing lessons on us just for the sake of teaching us something, but He was always there beside me, gently comforting me, and like any good parent, hoping I would take the hardship and see a lesson of life in it.   This past month with Mei-Ling so sick, no more answers today then there were a couple of weeks ago.  Its beyond heart breaking to see a beautiful innocent child wracked with pain and discomfort.   Its simply impossible to find joy in this situation, even if it tests my faith to the umpteenth degree.   I know God has the ability to raise the dead, create worlds, do anything He wants to.  I know He can and could make Mei well.  He could and can show the Doctors what is causing the problem.   What I don't understand is why he hasn't yet done so.  He loves her more than I do, which is impossible to grasp, since I love her so much, like grandmothers love the children of their children.  Yes, I know, we are not privy to Gods thoughts and actions.  I get that, but I don't like that He is allowing this to happen to a kind, sweet, loving little 5 year old.  I am not loosing faith, don't worry about that.  I am not looking for spiritual guidance in this matter, I am simply saying how I feel.  My emotions feel raw and on the surface.  I have been here before with my own daughter when she was 7.  At the time I felt just like this.  Its a repeat of sorts, a repeat of a nightmare.  What I have learned though, is its not all about me.  The picture is much bigger.  There is a war going on and sometimes I forget that.  A war between good and evil.  A battle where the enemy plays with no rules, nothing seems off limits to him.  Job found that out.  
The joy may just be found in knowing that although the battle is a nasty one, the outcome is known.  We know who the winner is...just wishing there were no hostages taken.


Mei is out of PICU and doing better, but we are praying that they find out how to stop this from happening again.  Her little body is worn out.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

ICU

Mei-Ling was rushed by ambulance to the hospital again.  Too much ammonia in her blood again.   Just got word she is in critical condition in ICU.   Prayers and good thoughts are most welcome !
I simply feel sick with worry.   I hope the Doctors find the reason for this and find a way to stop it from happening again.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dr Quantum - Double Slit Experiment

Morning Ramble





Sometimes its good to just sit and think.   This morning was one of those mornings.  Random thoughts, entertained for a bit as they entered my brain.  Did  this wonderful King of the Universe, plan each and every detail of what I am seeing from my back porch ?   How amazing.   I have trouble figuring out all the possible outcomes of my plans for a vacation !   Is there some reason we have different blood types among us humans ?    Are Edgar and his buddies discussing the days plans with all their chatter each morning ?  Crows are that smart it seems.   Why did God choose Ravens to feed Elijah ?  Were they the only bird smart enough for the job ?   Its strange how one thought reaches out to another thought, not always on the same theme, but connected by something deeper in our brains.  If we lay in the sun, exposing a fatty area of our body, does that fat melt ?  Half of the questions I know the answer to, but I wonder about them all the same, and the other half, there really are no answers for.   I wonder about so many things each day.  Never about the "why did that happen? " sort of thing, because I know there is a master plan that I am not privy to and that's fine with me.  I am the fly by the seat of my pants sort of person anyway and knowing the hows and whys of life don't matter much to me.  I care more about my reaction to situations.   I don't get how the Double split experiment works, but I do love that we haven't a clue to so many things when it comes to quantum physics/mechanics.  I like that we have such a superior being in charge of us.   This morning on the porch I wondered if there are different time dimensions ?  Why not ?  God can do anything He wants.   I guess this morning my wandering mind didn't want to put any limits on what God can do and does.   I thought about something this morning that gave me great peace.....for years I believed I needed to dress a certain way, plain, Mennonite fashion, in order for God to know I loved Him.   I discovered this month that God meant what He said in 1 Samuel 16:But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”    God heard my pleas and didn't care one bit about how I was dressed.  He knows my heart.  You can so easily hide behind a covering of righteousness  in how you dress, look righteous, but be hiding secrets in your heart that no one would ever guess you had.  God sees through that and checks the heart out.  Man, well, we are so one dimensional, we, look at the appearance because that is what we can see in others the most readily.  Actions take time to decipher.  In an hours time on the porch alone, except for the wonder of nature surrounding me, I thought many thoughts.  Free time, time for gratitude too.  The way the sunshine enhanced the yellow of the little sunflowers that we have purposely take over a spot of the yard.  They are food for many little creatures, they are sunshine gatherers that delight the eye, once you decide they are not really weeds, but misplaced flowers.  Once you give them a place, they are suddenly full of purpose and beauty.  Maybe it should be that way in our minds with the folks that walk on the fringes of society.  Everyone has a purpose, but some folks just have lost their way and walk paths that never allow them to be seen as having value and by the worlds standards, that is what we all see or is it that we don't see.  
Life is a puzzle at times.  Remembering to not be frustrated when we can't find the right piece is key in actually key in getting it done in the end.  

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tea Time




Mei-Ling was feeling good enough to want to come over to Grammies house for tea party.  
She set the table for her "babies" too.  It was so nice to have her here, laughing and being silly.
What a joy to have things a bit like normal once again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mei Ling is Home




Mei-Ling is home from the hospital !  No more trips back and forth, the worry is much less, and there was time to sit on the back porch this morning and enjoy the cool, damp morning.   The coolness felt so good.  Refreshing, invigorating.   Edgar brought a couple friends to join him for his morning meal.  I sat watching them "talk" back and forth from the cotton wood tree before they landed on the ground to eat.  It seemed as if they were making plans as to who was going to knock the bowl off the stand since that is exactly what they did.   There is not enough room on the Rubbermaid container for them at the same time, so they knocked the bowl off it and then ate the food that spilled to the ground.  I try to keep the food away from the ducks and chickens, which is why I put the Crows food up a bit.  Tonight, Emery is going to build a feeding station for Edgar and his pals.  Two of them now.  Allen and Poe of course.   
I sat watching the birds while getting some spinning done.  Stopping to sip some coffee once and a while.  No phone, no man made noise, apart from the sound of an occasional car going down our road.  
I needed a quiet, do nothing but fun things, kind of morning.  I never bothered to put on shoes or comb my hair.  I dressed comfortably, and threw my shawl to stay cozy and warm.  My feet got cold but it felt good in an "know summer heat is not far ahead of us" sort of way.  You learn to treasure cool weather after a hot dry summer like last years.  You don't want to forget what it feels like to have to pull the covers up, or have your feet cold.  
This morning as I sat on the porch, time to think, time to talk to God as if He was sitting next to me, in a very informal sort of way.  Asking questions I already knew the answer to and really didn't need to ask.   I knew that living this simple life, the kind where it doesn't matter to me if we have all the newest and finest material goods, where time with people matters more than things.  A life that is built on freedom to take time to just watch crows eat from a bowl in my yard, or pick roses and linger over the beauty of them.    A life where stress is not common and not a ruling factor in my life.  A life where I know how food grows and where milk comes from.
A life where the world at large sometimes feels so far away from my daily existence, in a good way.   A life where I feel connected to God and to my children and grandchildren.  A life where there is time to laugh with my husband and know for certain that our love grows each and every moment.  A simple life, uncomplicated even when things are difficult and hard.   Its a good life and I know it and I am ever grateful to live it.  It isn't luck or some toss of the dice that has given us this life, it was a plan, hard work and a desire to march to our own drumbeat.  Its worked !

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Miracles Do Still Happen


A week ago, pictures told a totally different story.  A child, so small and frail looking, laying flat in a bed, hooked to more tubes and wires than I had ever seen, breathing tube attached.  Monitors showing nearly every body function.  All of us, in a state of shock, all feeling the same dreaded feelings, all having the same unspoken fear.  Teams of Doctors coming and going, consulting constantly with one another.   Her nurse with no other patients to care for, always by Mei-Lings side.  No one certain what caused such high ammonia levels in her body...there have been other rare cases of this happening after the same surgery she had the first part of April.  Prayer and more prayer.  Desperate pleas, even promising God that we would do anything He wants us to, just to keep her with us.   Tiny step by tiny step, there were signs of improvement.  An eye open.  Fingers that wiggled.  A nod.  She began to need the help of the breathing machine less.  She went 12 hours without a seizure, then 24 hours.  One seizure medication stopped, but there was delirium and confusion.  Her tiny hand chasing away monsters and her little raspy voice calling to an unseen Kai Lan.   Her brain so tired.  
Each day, more improvement, baby steps.   Anointing for healing, more prayer.  Begging God for a miracle, and one came.   It looks like today, she will be coming home from the hospital.  Prayer works.  Faith is real.  God is real.  Hardships come for whatever reason...and we just have to accept not understanding certain things in life.  But, God never leaves us alone.  
Your prayers worked.  There are once again smiles and giggles.  Talk of tea parties and Princesses.  There are dolls to be played with and kisses and hugs to give and receive.
Thank you all for your prayers !

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Progress

At this point in time we are thankful for any progress, even if it seems like tiny baby steps.
There have been no seizures in the past 24 hours.  Mei-Lings blood work was all normal today.  She was a bit confused and a bit delusional but they are thinking perhaps it was from all the medications she has been on and a serious lack of sleep in the past 24 hours.   Late this afternoon she slept for over an hour, after being anointed by Fr Duncan from the church we attend.  That was proof that prayer works as she had not be able to sleep !  She woke and asked for a hamburger and french fries !  Her confusion seemed to lessen after her nap.  They are still monitoring her very closely and she has a slew of Doctors seeing her.   She is so weak that even holding her head up for more than a few seconds is just not possible.  No more feeding tube or breathing tube.   What a miracle her progress has been !  Thank you all for the prayers and good thoughts, and we still need them for her and for her parents.  They are worn out, but you would never know it by the way they tirelessly care for Mei around the clock.