What Are You Doing Here?

We are a 9 days post op and Levi is officially back to his normal, rambunctious self.

Whenever they clean his lungs his body registers something foreign and tries to fight it off. It is common to run fevers and feel a bit puny after a bronchoscopy as the body tries to figure out what is happening. Other parts of the procedure tend to irritate his airway and cause him to vomit for several days post op. This go around he had three days of vomiting by leveled back out by mid week.

Malachi met with the gastroenterologist this week to talk about his tummy aches; they spark his seizures so keeping them at bay is a big priority right now. We were given an emergency med for the tummy aches last time but this time we decided to go ahead and make it a routine, daily med. Administering meds has become such a routine part of our world that I feel confident I could do it in my sleep. But it definitely is a lot of to keep track of. Malachi takes 6 meds in the morning and 6 in the evening and Levi takes 2 each night and a water flush.

We spent some time with family this week at the bowling alley. Malachi was in a cranky mood so we weren’t sure that it was going to go smoothly. Once I started narrating the game to Malachi, frame by frame and pin by pin he was hooked and his attitude turned right around.

When Malachi bowls we place the ball and he pushes his arm up to knock it down the ramp.

He is very invested in it each time he rolls it. He waits expectantly for the crash of the pins and for us to tell him how many he knocked down. He so desperately wanted a strike but didn’t get it this time. He ended up in 2nd place and was legitimately mad about it, telling me that he was sad. He is si competitive- it cracks me up.

Then there was Levi, who was way more excited about getting to wear bowling shoes than actually bowling.

I haven’t mentioned the dogs on here lately, so I thought it was time for a quick update on them. They are just shy of 6 months and 60 pounds each! They don’t look like puppies anymore but they sure do act like puppies. They are sweet to the boys and very tolerant but don’t realize how big they have gotten!They have retained most of their training and are very well behaved, but still have to be watched closely as they are starting to try to chew on things. We are trying to train them to stay within the property lines and they are doing really well with the concept. And since they have been at the house we have not had a single bear come up to the porch like they used to! Our neighborhood camera have been picking up a lot of bears but none are making it to our front door.

This week we will be heading to South Carolina with 47 teens/chaperones from our youth group! Jake stays with the campers and I rent a house a few miles down the road each year and commute. It is a week we all four look forward to and we treat it as our family summer vacation. It is always such a blessing to be able to connect with the teens and help them grow closer in their walk with Christ. Yes, it is an insane amount of prep work, fundraising, and stress but it is so worth it.

For the last few years I have had two very sweet nurse friends come along to help with Malachi and Levi. I wouldn’t be able to manage going without their support!

Each year I spend time in prayer about the direction we need to go with the group. We like to give them a challenge for the week spiritually and on the final night we meet and all discuss the things God showed us throughout the week. We start around midnight and usually wrap up at 3am- something Malachi has prepared me for. Oddly enough I am usually the most wide eyed for these thanks to my years of training haha.

This year God led me to 1 Kings 19. If you haven’t read it, I want to encourage you to look it up. This chapter in itself is a devotional on so many levels and has so many relatable moments for me. But the things I am about to share with the teens are also so applicable for me as well, so I thought I would share them with you. This morning at church the pastor preached from this very chunk of scripture which made me smile in a God-moment type way.

In 1 Kings 19 we see Elijah going through a valley moment. He is running from an evil woman and he loses sight of his faith. God speaks to him and asks him one simply question: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

God already knows the answer, so why did He ask the question?

Elijah, in his moments of weakness, had focused inward. This is something all of us tend to do in stressful moments. We forget all of our previous successes and focus on the current failure. We mourn over it, dwell on it, and put our eyes on our circumstance instead of the One who can draw us out of it.

When God spoke that question to Elijah I think it was meant to snap him out of his pity party. It was meant to refocus him on God’s plan and will for his life, and help him remember that even in our darkest days we have a Light that can never be extinguished.

Even in our valley moments God is working on something beautiful.

And like the faithful Father that He is, God took the time to remind Elijah of His presence. He took him on a mountain and we read in 1 Kings 19:11-13:

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”

So many times we wait on God to get our attention with the grandiose things in our lives- the wind (change), the earthquake (tragedy), the fire (loss). How many times do we miss His voice because we aren’t listening for the whisper?

Listening for the whispers of God keeps us close to Him. With the help of the Spirit we develop an ear for His voice. But so often in our moments of intense listening we catch other noisy things that draw our focus away from Him.

In my life I need the moments where God whispers “What are you doing here, Leah?”

I need Him to call me out of my pity parties and refocus my ear on His voice. Watching God work is a learned skill. It is something you have to train your eyes for, and when you start to master it you see His hand in EVERYTHING! And when you see Him at work, with the ease of a gentle whisper, your faith is transformed.

This week I am challenging my teens to listen for the whisper moments of God. I want to challenge you (and myself) to do the same. Please pray for us this week and I am hoping to have some great updates to share with you next week!

Much love,

Leah

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