When I last posted Malachi was struggling to maintain his oxygen levels without support but steadily seeming to improve. By mid week his progress stalled so I made an appointment with the pediatrician to have them listen to his lungs and make sure pneumonia wasn’t brewing.
I loaded up the portable oxygen concentrator and started the drive but as we drove he kept wiggling his head enough to knock the cannula out of his nose. As we drove down the highway I watched his saturation numbers drop to the low 80s and knew we would have to bypass the pediatrician and head to the Emergency Room.
Two ER visits in a week and a half with two different children…my heart was sinking pulling into that parking garage again. We were taken back quickly and sent for x-rays and did a viral panel. And everything came back perfectly clear. Confusingly clear. The ER doctor was perplexed and said they would like to admit us since he was requiring oxygen support but they were out of rooms. I explained that we had a concentrator at the house and he was comfortable with letting us go home with the promise of returning if we had to turn his oxygen up above 2 liters.
Malachi has not grown any worse, but hasn’t really improved much either. For the last few days I have been able to wean him off of oxygen by dinnertime only to have him require it again as he sleeps and an increase each morning. He is down to just .5 liters of support, which is as low as the concentrator goes but after nearly 10 days of this I still don’t quite understand why he isn’t able to come off of it completely.
Needless to say, each day this week has been spent watching him closely and not leaving the house. Not too many fun things to report. Truthfully, it was a good week for time at the house as Levi increased to his full dose of seizure medication. He handled the increase really well the first two days but the third day it hit him hard and he has been taking 2-3 hour naps every day since. History shows us it takes a child about two weeks to level out on a new seizure medication so hopefully after this week we get through that adjustment.
We had lots of family game nights and cooked a lot of old recipes. We steam cleaned carpets and organized junk drawers. We did everything we could to help the pass time and distract ourselves from worrying about Malachi. I took this video during a wild game of Mouse Trap to show you how Malachi communicates his choices to us when we offer a list.
As we enter a new year my fleshly desire is to set goals. But I am not fully convinced that goals in general are always a God honoring thing. I don’t think that when they stand alone they are an inherently bad thing. But I do think they have the potential to convince us that our successes in life are a byproduct of us.
I can point you to plenty of verses that mention goals but each of them are talking about one single goal, and that is eternity with Christ.
In my own life, setting goals has proven to lead to so many sinful moments with me. When unexpected circumstances arise (and they always do) that keep my goals from being met it brews anger, sadness, and frustration inside of me that often bleeds into my interaction with others.
So much of my life is walking step by step without really focusing on anything other than the hem of the garment of Christ as He leads me. When my eyes try to look past Him to see the blurry vision of our next destination on the path I lose my ability to look for the God moments in the ”now”. I get too busy envisioning reaching that destination and miss the blessing of the journey.
For some crazy reason this week I felt led to read the book of Habakkuk. Now before you start thinking I am a super Christian you need to know that it is only three chapters long and can easily be read in one sitting. If you have never been able to read a full chapter of the Bible today is the day!
I could spend a long time sharing the many things that stuck out to me as I read, but I want to point you to the final words in the book.
”Even if the fig does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vines, if the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food, even if the flock disappears from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like deer’s feet, and has me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
I read those words at 3am on New Year’s Day as I watched the flashing numbers on the pulse oximeter machine beside me. And as I read them I felt a warmth in my soul and a fire in my heart.
God isn’t looking for us to meet the physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual goals we set for ourselves. He is looking for relationship. He is looking for a relationship that is done from love and not from obligation, as we often do with goals we set.
It is so common in our world to focus on all the good things life can offer us. But tonight I want to remind you that there are so many hard things in this life. When I read these words in the verse I can so easily see what they represent in my life, and I challenge you to do the same with your story…
The figs don’t blossom, no fruit on the vines, the yield of olives fail, the fields don’t produce food, flocks disappear, cattle are not in the stalls…
I can pick out so many things from the last 365 that I can fit into these statements. And the devil would want us to stop reading there and dwell on the ugly parts of our lives. He would tell us we need to “overcome” these hard times. But I am not convinced that those challenging times are such a bad thing as they produce so much good in our faith.
“Yet I will triumph in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like deer’s feet, and has me walk on my high places.”
My prayer for 2022 is that God continues to have me walk on high places, using His hand to steady me.
And I really like those words: Yet I will triumph in the Lord. What a beautiful proclamation for this coming year.
Please continue to pray over both of our boys, as they each struggle with such big battles. Pray that our family can experience some rest in the coming weeks, as it feels like we have been under continual attack.