Because He Lives

This week we successfully did tele-medicine sessions for the cardiologist, the neurologist, physical therapy, hippotherapy, and speech therapy for both boys. It is so much more efficient than loading up the kids and driving them to the children’s hospital! I don’t know if the new ways will continue once the virus threats have passed but I am really hoping so.

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Quick Leah health update- the cardiologist said there is a possibility that I have an abnormal EKG (I have inverted t-waves for any of you medical nerds) but it isn’t a health crisis yet, which has put my mind at ease. We are still working to get an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test scheduled to rule out any major issues.

The boys have been keeping us busy this week. We have done tube changes, hair cuts, and Levi has had at least a dozen showers from all the messes he gets into. But no worries, he loves them! He could spend hours in there.

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We are still doing nightly walks and spending as much time outside as we can.

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As you can see in the above picture, we are still working on getting the pool ready. We will have electric done by Tuesday and are hoping to do the back-filling and leveling this week. We filled it up today and are hoping to have the first swim in it next week. I will definitely try to get photos of the inaugural swim.

The boys have been bickering a lot lately which is pretty entertaining. Levi can get a bit rough with Malachi (sometimes intentionally and sometimes not) but this week Malachi has been fighting back, bopping Levi enough times to put a healthy fear into him. They are also both very opinionated about sharing with each other.

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But don’t worry, they still love each other deeply! Their sweet moments outweigh their time-out worthy ones ten to one.

We did go on one adventure this week, and it was so refreshing (yet exhausting) to all four of us. Before the virus hit we had big plans for our annual youth group egg hunt all over town. Since we weren’t able to make that happen safely for the kids Jake and I decided to “egg” each youth members house. We drove all across our county hiding two golden eggs in the yard of each teen. Inside each egg was a stack of raffle tickets.

We messaged them before we came by so we wouldn’t get bit by a dog, shot by a dad, or interacted with. Then we texted them after letting them know they had been egged and to start hunting. They had about 24 hours to find the eggs and we did a raffle drawing at 8pm on Saturday and gave away several prizes and electronic gift cards.

The adventure took us over 5 hours to tackle but was absolutely worth it. The teens were texting us all afternoon for hints and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of trying to find their eggs. We were in a menacing mood and hid them in really hard to find places. Not to mention the fact that we are out in the country and some of our youth have over 10 acres. Needless to say, we had to give lots and lots of hints. But they all really enjoyed the break from the quarantine norm.

Today is Easter Sunday and I have been emotional all day. I don’t think I even know why…

When I reflect on the things Christ endured for us it breaks my heart. I am so thankful that I didn’t witness his horrific death on the cross. But I am also so jealous that I didn’t get to witness his resurrection!

If you aren’t familiar with the Bible, there are several books in the New Testament that cover the same stories, but from different author’s perspectives. They are called the synoptic (same) gospels. It is always so fun for me to read through all four accounts of the same story and see the similarities and differences. If you want to give it a try, the resurrection of Jesus is a great one to tackle. You can read about it in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.

Today we sat down as a family and read the “Jesus Storybook Bible” with the boys. We started with Christ’s death on the cross and read all the way through his ascension into heaven. Levi ran around eating crackers and throwing legos but Malachi clung to every word. He especially liked it when we got to the part that talked about the angels. There is not a doubt in my mind that he knows exactly what that encounter was like as he too has spent time in the presence of angels.

Seeing Malachi’s excitement as we read the story took my mind to the moment he will get to meet Jesus. I think about the smile on Malachi’s face as he runs towards Jesus. And I think about those open arms and grin on the face of Christ as He embraces my sweet boy. What a beautiful moment that will be.

In Utah there is a very special tombstone for a little boy named Matthew. Matthew was very similar to Malachi and passed away at 11 years old. His father wanted his grave to be a place of happiness rather than sadness and designed this tombstone.

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When I look at this picture I get emotional.

My prayer is that both of my boys learn to not fear death. I pray that they always look up, expectantly waiting for the day they get to see Christ face to face. And I pray that God gives me the knowledge and grace to teach them about Him.

So this Easter Sunday I am overwhelmingly grateful for that empty tomb. That empty tomb reminds me that nothing is impossible with God. That empty tomb reminds me that this world is temporary. And the empty tomb re-ignites my excitement for the pain free life that Malachi (and we all) have to look forward to.

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I want to end this entry with the words from the song “Because He Lives”. Easter 2013 was an extra difficult one for me as we were still living in the Ronald McDonald House in Chattanooga. Malachi was 9 weeks old and had made it through some very difficult days. Jake and I wanted to worship with our church family on Easter Sunday but I didn’t want to leave Malachi’s side. I remember how hard it was to make the 1 hour drive to our small town for the service.

As the worship started I was doing my best to keep my heart focused on God and not on the fact that Malachi was in the unit without his mommy. When we started to sing this song I couldn’t hold back the tears! The song has some beautiful reminders for all of us.

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Much love,

Leah

 

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