Reflections

Just this week I was driving down the road and marveling in my head about how healthy our little family has remained lately! The germ army heard that as a challenge and excitedly accepted.

A nasty cold bug hit me this weekend, and it seems that it might be transitioning to Malachi. When Jake gets sick he wears a mask around the house as a precaution. Malachi and I share the same bubble for 90% of our day so if I get sick it is inevitable that it will pass to him as well.

His seizures have already picked up in frequency and he has started coughing up some mucus, which he then gags on causing him to vomit. We are just covering him in prayer and hoping that it will be a short lived and easy healing. One of the biggest concerns with children like Malachi is their ability to move mucus out of their lungs. The more it sits the higher the chance it could turn into pneumonia, which can be life or death for our boy. The last round landed us in the ICU.

But fortunately our week was uneventful and easy. Soccer season ended freeing up our evenings leaving Jake and I completely lost as to how to fill the time. I was able to complete a full cart of grocery shopping and cook a healthy meal almost every night this week!

We even brought the youth group out to our rental house property for a little Wednesday night fun. The rental is surrounded by open acreage and has a pond out front so we thought we would create some Olympic events for them, like water balloon launching and kayak challenges. Jake ended up slipping in cow feces by the end of the evening sending the kids into fits of laughter.

Malachi’s therapies were successful and he worked extra hard this week! I snapped a picture of his face during his physical therapy session- when he is really enjoying something he almost goes cross eyed with joy. It cracks me up every time…

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The house has made amazing progress this week. We have spent almost every evening out there seeing our vision become a reality! I took some pictures to share with you all.

The first few days of the week looked like this:

And amazingly this evening, the house looks like this:

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The picture above shows the front of the house. It is a 1600 square foot house with a walk-out basement, and the tall ceilings make it look massive. The overhang on the front will be a large concrete front porch which will have a concrete ramp for us to get Malachi in and out. The van will be parked where Jake is walking in the picture, and all other parking will be to the right.

When you walk in the front door you will immediately be in the kitchen/dining/living room combo room. It is one giant room with no walls separating the different areas. Our favorite part about that room is the high ceiling!

We watched one sunset and knew we needed to add more windows on the back wall! It is beautiful!

Off the main area to the right is Malachi’s bedroom, bath, and spare bedroom. Off the main area to the right is his therapy room and our master bedroom/bath. There is also a stairwell leading to the basement, which will remain unfinished for now. We have made the staircase wide enough to add a lift in the future.

Super simple layout, and super Malachi friendly! One of the biggest “must haves” for is quick access to Malachi when he wakes up having a seizure. We will just have to run about 16 feet to get to him, which is great…we also liked the idea of him having his own side of the house for noise reasons. We can’t flush the toilet at night without that nosy little boy waking up to see what the commotion is all about.

IMG_2542 This is the back of the house with Jake and Malachi in there for reference. The small window upstairs is his therapy room, and the large opening beneath it is for tool/mower storage for Jake. There will also be a deck on that section only (for now). The middle section of the basement shows the walk-out part with a door and window.

Amazing progress this week! It has been so much fun to watch!

Malachi and I have several added appointments this week, so I am really hoping we can both heal enough to attend them. Many of them have been scheduled for over 4 months so rescheduling them will be incredibly difficult.

Malachi’s sleeping schedule is still pretty wacky, and we spend most nights up around 3:00 and back down between 5:00-6:00. He is always so full of joy in those morning hours. I filmed him on Friday so Jake could hear his belly laugh firsthand…he will only laugh this heartily in the mornings.

I saw this picture on Facebook recently and it really caught my mind.

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When I was little we would sing songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and I never really understood where this “light” came from. I knew as Christians we were called to be different and we should proudly shine for Jesus, but never fully understood it.

But the truth is simple: we can’t create this light…we can only reflect it. Our church does children’s church for kids up to first grade. Once a month I pull out the rest of the kids (1st grade through youth) and do a kid centered sermon in the choir room. We call it the Narrow Road, and it is a great challenge for me each month to listen to what the Lord wants me to share with them.

One of the criteria that I have set is to now allow myself to go the route of Bible stories with them. While stories are important, they are getting that in other classes and I want to make the most of my 45 minutes with them and really challenge them. As I prayed about the lesson this month, this light concept just kept coming to the surface.

As much as I would like to tell you that my lessons are for them, they really help me in my walk as well. They require me to spend time in research, Bible study, and most importantly prayer so that God’s words are spoken through me.

So as I studied for this lesson I found characters in the Bible that amazingly physically shined with the light from God. Of course we see it with Jesus during his transfiguration. We see it with Moses when he spent time with God on the mountain. The Bible tells us that the people were terrified of him when he came down from the mountain because his face was shining so brightly. We see it with Stephen as he stood before his accusers and continued to witness to them about Christ.

There is nothing I want more than to have God’s glory reflect from me- not because I want to have the reputation of being a good Christian, or want people to notice me- but simply because it means that I am spending SO MUCH time in His presence that I am literally shining with His light.

And while we may not get the heavenly glow that the characters in the Bible had, my prayer is that our faith is so evident without a single word spoken that others know that there is something different about us.

I am processing some pretty big thoughts right now about faith, but I am not quite ready to share them with you. The phrase “Faith Over Fear” has been in my mind and I am finding myself needing to be reminded that faith can move mountains.

Keep us in your prayers this week as we deal with germs and exhaustion. Being sick is exponentially harder with a sick child, so pray specifically that Malachi is able to fight this before it even takes over his little body.

May God bless you this week in a very special way,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi

 

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