This week a chicken nugget led me into a God moment. Yes, that is a sentence I never thought I would write, but here we are.
On Saturday we overcommitted ourselves tremendously and tried to divide and conquer. Jake drove 20 high school boys to a soccer play day that lasted most of the day. I had both kids and had to orchestrate our children’s soccer ministry for 95 kids at the church from 8:30-2. Whenever God calls me to do something He is always faithful to supply the energy needed to do it, and Saturday was no exception. God also sent help my way with our boys which was such a needed blessing.
Malachi and Levi were troopers as they waited patiently for me to finish at the church but their tolerance for the chaos was dwindling by the minute. I had to get them up extra early and they both were very tired and Levi was getting cranky. I decided to go through a drive through and grab him some food to eat so he would have a full belly and nap when we got home.
Levi is still relatively new to eating full meals and we still rely on his g-tube for two daytime feeds and continuous feeds overnight. In his lifetime I think he has only had three happy meals from McDonalds, so it is definitely a special treat for him!
He was so excited about his chicken nuggets and when I pulled them out of the bag to hand him one they were way too hot to eat, so I started blowing on it to cool it down. In a stroke of ingenuity (or maybe just a healthy dose of common sense) I rolled down the window and held the chicken nugget out into the cool breeze. As I drove with that chicken nugget in my outstretched arm I looked at that shriveled, fried chunk of processed meat and got hit with an unexpected wave of thankfulness.
I thought back to the moment the doctor looked into my eyes and told me that Levi’s vocal cords were paralyzed and he wouldn’t be able to breathe or eat without devices/support. I thought back to that day I signed the consent for surgery to place his g-tube, and that feeling of defeat that overcame me. I thought about the hours of feeding therapies, and how God led us to one that took on the risk of treating Levi despite his airway anatomy.
I could almost feel the tension and anxiety from each time I sat in a waiting room as they looked at Levi’s lungs in the operating room to see if he had aspirated his food or water. I thought back to the swallow studies and the discouraging surgeon updates. 27 surgeries and 27 anxiety filled meetings with doctors after.
As I stared at that nugget I saw the faithfulness of God in our journey. It represented Him moving mountains in the path of my son and giving us a miracle. The surgeons in Cincinnati are continually amazed by his ability to learn how to eat food and divert it away from his lungs (his vocal cords do not close to protect the opening when he swallows). They said they have seen adults be able to learn how to do this, but for a child his age to do that is truly astounding. What a gift we have been given by God. Not to mention that beautiful voice that sings praises to God….something doctors told us we would never get to hear.
There is a story in 2 Kings about the prophet, Elisha and his servant. Early that morning the servant awoke and went outside to find the city being circled by horses and chariots specifically there to capture Elisha. The servant said to Elisha, ”Alas, my master! What shall we do?” and Elisha replied ”Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
2 Kings 2:17 continues: ”Then Elisha prayed and said, ’O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the hard things that surround us. It is easy to allow those unknowns to create panic and actions that we often later regret. But we have to remember that our God is for us, and He is behind the scenes surrounding us with His protection and provisions. We may not always get to witness our angel armies, but part of faith is believing that He goes before us.
This week a chicken nugget reminded me of God’s faithfulness to our family, and it also served as a needed reminder to me that I need to continue to cultivate a life of faithfulness to our God (Psalm 37:3).
I pray that God allows me to become more like Elisha and less like his servant, requiring the glimpses of the unseen in order to fuel the trust.
I know this is an unconventional update but that is where God has led me this evening. I hope that God uses these words to speak to your heart tonight!
But before I go, let’s talk about this sweet moment with Malachi as he listened to a man on America’s Got Talent do some amazing jumps in his wheelchair. His excitement was contagious as he listened to the crowd cheer the man on. The older he gets the more representation matters to him.
This week we knocked out some hard things and some fun things. The boys both had appointments with the cerebral palsy clinic so we loaded up to head to the local children’s hospital, which is about an hour away. Levi needed to have bloodwork done without seizure medications in his system so we headed there a bit early to go ahead and get his sodium levels checked for the neurologist.
As you know, Levi has major medical PTSD and I knew the doctor visit alone would be difficult for him, not to mention the blood draw. We have tried every method we can think of to help him through these hard times but every route we attempt has its flaws. This go around I went with the element of surprise and told him about the blood draw about 5 minutes before we arrive, explaining that today ”We are going to have to do hard things, but we CAN DO hard things!” We have been practicing blood draws at home with his doctor’s kit so he knows the routine and terminology.
Thankfully he didn’t put up too much of a fight and put on such a brave face through the tears. And we are still waiting for the sodium levels to come back. After the trip to the lab we headed up to our appointment and we were able to get official orders to get a technician to correct Malachi’s wheelchair. They did look at it for me and definitely agree that it needs to be rebuilt and re-centered. We have an appointment in a week. And Malachi now has a giant green bruise on his forehead from where he hit the floor last week. I wasn’t confident if he had hit his head, but the bruise tells me he most definitely did, poor buddy.
Traveling to appointments with the boys has always been a challenge, and each new season of life with them has introduced more things to work through. When Levi was on oxygen and g-tube 24/7 for those few years I thought we had it rough. But now we have a mobile toddler who is 99% potty trained….but that 1% chance keeps me on my toes. And not all bathrooms were built for wheelchairs, mommas, and toddlers. Not to mention the germ factor with a four year old in a public restroom. I find myself praying a lot of impromptu bathroom prayers these days.
We had therapies this week and other appointments but I feel like those updates can get so monotonous. So instead let’s talk about the fun!
If you are new to the blog, God laid it on my heart a few months ago to start a kids soccer ministry in our community. My goal was 50 kids and we ended up with nearly 100 (ages 4-11). They all practice on Tuesdays and play on Saturday mornings in shifts and coordinating that many little ones has been a challenge, but a wonderfully fun one.
Levi is “playing”- I put that in quotes because he is mostly just wandering around. But he is having a blast doing it so I guess we are good. I have a few pictures a friend snapped for us, as Jake is refereeing one little crew and I am refereeing the other. We are a bit distracted haha.
Malachi is one of the coaches and comes to every game and practice with his coach shirt on. He absolutely loves it.
At the middle of each practice and game for each age group we sit the kids down and do a time of devotion with them. This has been such an affirming thing for me as God has been SO CLEAR each week on exactly what needs to be talked about. My administrative nature wants to plan out the lessons for the whole season, but God has been challenging me to be still and quiet and let Him guide me towards the topic each day.
On Wednesday night Levi started singing a new worship song that I knew I didn’t teach him. I asked him where he learned it and he said ”Ms. Stephanie” (the music director). She had come into his Wednesday night class to teach the kids a song to help lead on Sunday morning. Levi sang the chorus hundreds of times over and over, and then Malachi started joining in. His excitement about singing grew each day and he couldn’t fall and stay asleep last night, just thinking about getting to sing at church.
And they both actually did sing it!! Every time I hear their voices I can’t help but feel like I am witnessing the after ripples of a miracle. I think about the healings in the Bible, and we get to see the actual moment but never get the follow up. I think about the moms and dads of the many people that received healings in the Bible and can’t help but wonder if their faith was kindled by seeing the miracles the way it has re-kindled mine.
My boys still have their struggles. They have their diagnoses and they have their specialists. But they are both living a drastically different life than the ones that the medical professionals predicted in their first few weeks of life. God has been so gracious to our family.
While I am witnessing the goodness of God in my family, I also can’t help but spend time imagining what is still yet to come with my boys.
Psalm 27:13-14 ”I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Read that again and picture me saying it, because those words could have easily come from my mouth. There are so many moments where I have been on the verge of despair.
Waiting on the Lord is something I used to struggle greatly with. And there are days that I still do. But I have learned to look for His goodness hidden in the details and in the mundane. And I know they are just a fraction of what is yet to come.
I love the words in verse 14 ”Be strong and let your heart take courage…” Isn’t is so true that we have to LET our hearts take courage. It isn’t something that comes naturally, it is something we have to allow. It requires us allowing vulnerability to overtake our guarded nature.
So this week I am focusing on finding contentment while I am waiting on the Lord.
One final laughable moment. I was taking some photos of a sweet Malachi smile when Levi walked behind him and let a poot go. I was able to capture the sequence on camera and if this doesn’t show you his silly little 9 year old heart I don’t know what will.
May God bless each of you this week and my prayer is that you all experience Him this week. A true and legit God encounter that strengthens your faith!
We have officially entered the Carroll busy season as we juggle lots of responsibilities and ministry projects. This time each year sparks memories of the ”old Leah”. Old Leah thrived on busy, desiring to fill every free minute with something productive. New Leah has to channel all that energy into motherhood and keeping children alive.
Speaking of those sweet boys…we had a scary moment this week at an appointment. Malachi’s new wheelchair doesn’t ride the same way as his old one, with the center of gravity feeling a little off. It also doesn’t absorb shock as well as we go over rough terrains, something Jake and I have been concerned about.
On Wednesday the boys both had appointments with their GI doctor so I had Malachi loaded up in his wheelchair and Levi in the foot box on the front of the chair; Levi has always been in this spot since he was a baby and we have never had issues. As the elevator doors opened I started to wheel out of the elevator and the chair tires got caught on the gap between the elevator and the 2nd floor and abruptly flipped the chair straight forward, dumping BOTH boys out on the floor. I lost my ever-loving mind, screaming as I scooped Malachi off the floor. It went so fast I had to replay the scene in my mind trying to sort out exactly what had happened.
Levi had a big red mark on the middle of his forehead for a few minutes but seemed totally fine. He looked at Malachi and smiled saying ”Look mom, me and Malachi are on the floor.” Completely unfazed by how Malachi got there. Bless his little 4 year old mind. I watched him closely for signs of a concussion but he seemed to be in the clear.
Malachi ended up on his side on the floor, and thankfully I did get to see part of the fall. When the chair flipped forward Malachi’s upper body followed but landed on Levi’s back before they ended up on the floor. Essentially he ”rode” Levi to the ground and then rolled off, which likely saved him from serious injury. He was still very upset and rattled, which I totally understand. When I got him calmed down I went through each body part, checking for injury and asking him what hurt. He didn’t communicate anything was hurting and he acted normal the rest of the evening.
I, however, was mortified and very upset. At first I was angry at the wheelchair (somewhat justified), then at the elevator (maybe a bit justified), and finally at the doctors office (completely unjustified, which I recognized pretty quickly and toned back). In all reality, the situation was easily preventable by me. I should have strapped him into the chair, something we have never done since he is immobile. And Levi won’t be sitting on the front foot-box again when on uneven surfaces, although I truly feel like it helps weigh down the chair’s center of gravity. I think it was just a freak accident and that the two floors were a tad uneven, leading to a ledge for the chair to try to go over and a gap for the front wheels to drop into.
I watched Malachi like a hawk, literally checking him every hour for his breathing and going through every body part to make sure there wasn’t pain. He ran a brain fever for about 7 hours that evening which had me concerned. For those of you that don’t know, Malachi randomly runs fevers without sickness. They manifest differently, with his arms and legs losing their warmth and his back getting blazing hot. We are told the part of the brain which manages his temperature regulation is damaged, so these mysterious fevers pop up and disappear just a few hours later.
But by morning Malachi was completely back to normal and acting fine. Yesterday his seizures ramped up with him having over a dozen in 12 hours. In the back of my mind I couldn’t help but wonder if it was related to his fall, but today he is back to his normal, perky self after a good night’s rest. I think our seizure issues were due to a lack of sleep the night before, which leads to my next story.
But to wrap up this story really quickly…
I called the wheelchair company (in our world they are DMEs, or Durable Medical Equipment Providers) and explained that we needed to talk to a technician about a way to make the chair safer, making it more stable and absorbing the shock of terrain or ledges better. They told me that they couldn’t send a technician without a doctors prescription for changes to be made on the chair. I explained that we JUST received this chair in December and assumed if things weren’t right on it and it was a safety issue that they would help make it right for Malachi. She reiterated that they couldn’t even schedule that appointment without a doctors note. I was floored by this and so disappointed that my son’s safety in his wheelchair wasn’t a priority. It took us 6 months to get the chair to begin with, so there is no telling how long the process for the repairs could take. It was such a reminder to me that so many things in the special needs world are driven by dollar signs instead of having the child’s best interest as the driving force behind decisions.
So on to the Friday night sleeping story. Saturday morning was the official game kickoff for our new soccer ministry. We launched practices with the kids on Tuesday evening, cycling 100 kids through practices in under three hours. My brain was fried by Tuesday evening, but my heart was full knowing we had been able to talk about Jesus with that many children in our community.
Malachi has been staying up until 3am and sleeping until 10-11. I told both boys that they needed to go to bed early Friday night and they needed to get up early in order to go to soccer. Malachi truly made a concerted effort to fall asleep early but his body wouldn’t let him, waking him up several times before finally committing to sleep at his normal 3am. But sweet Malachi was so excited about ”coaching” Levi’s soccer team that he woke himself up at 6:30 to make sure he didn’t miss the game. He was so excited as I got him out of bed, knowing that he didn’t sleep through it. These glimpses of his sheer excitement for something are so precious to me.
We geared him up in his coach shirt and headed over to kick off the 4/5 year old age group, which is essentially like trying to herd cats. But it was highly entertaining and truly so much fun. I was a bit too distracted to get pictures of the boys but will try to snap a few this weekend.
Levi has been growing so much lately and eating everything he can get ahold of. We spent so many years trying to get him to eat real food and now he eats so much! What a blessing.
Tonight we all gathered in the living room to watch the Super Bowl. If you don’t know, Jake and I are from the Cincinnati area so he was very invested in the outcome of this game. His anxiousness kicked into gear Saturday evening and by the time kick off happened he was a mess, pacing the house and shouting with excitement each time the Bengals had a success.
The dogs assumed he was angry when they sensed all of his bottled up emotions and hid in the bedroom. Malachi giggled uncontrollably at his dad, and Levi joined into the excitement, cheering like his daddy but clueless as to what was going on. He kept asking if they were ”beating the bad guys”.
Over the last few weeks I have been spiritually sharpened in so many wonderful ways. Sometimes that sharpening brings pain, as I have callouses of sin that I try to ignore that God desires to cut off.
One of those callouses is my people pleasing nature. Can any of you relate to that?
Lately I find myself filtering my decisions through the question of ”What will _____ think?” To the point where it has become a sin.
Yes, people pleasing can be as well intentioned as possible but still cross the line into the sin category. In my effort to ”golden rule” everyone I found myself bypassing the things God was calling me very directly to do.
In Galatians 1 Paul reminds us: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
In context, this verse was a chastisement towards the Galatians for how quickly they were accepting a skewed gospel they were being presented with that was contrary to true gospel of Christ. He was clearly frustrated with them and calling them out. I can imagine he ruffled lots of feathers with this bold call out but Paul remembered the assignment was to be a servant of Christ.
Christianity can seem so complicated…in some verses you read about treating others are better than yourself. Then you read about loving your brother and laying down your life for a friend. We read about the Good Samaritan, putting the needs of a complete stranger above his own.
We are called time and time again to be selfless, deny our wants and desires and living to bring others to Christ.
But we have to remember that all of those efforts are supposed to be done with the heart of Christ, as we channel Him working THROUGH us. These actions towards others are a byproduct of Christ working through us as His willing instruments. Yes these moments can be manufactured by us…but they can also be completely void of God. And can even become distractions as they steal our focus away from the works that God has prepared for us to do.
As we have been embarking on new ministries I have caught myself worrying more with the details and pleasing others than simply walking in obedience and letting God work those things out.
We can strip the faith from our “step out in faith” moments pretty quickly if we aren’t careful.
This week God has been refining me in some big ways to remind me that His opinion is the only one that truly matters. If I would spend the time I give to people pleasing and exchange it for prayer time with God my faith would blossom so much more.
All of this to say, if you are a people pleaser like me, maybe you too are in a situation where you have allowed the voice of people to drown out the voice of God. People pleasing is more rewarding in the moment, but God calls us to a life of perservering towards a goal we won’t ever grasp on this side of heaven. I am going to end with a chunk of scripture that I feel led to share with you tonight from Philippians.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for taking the time to check in on our family, and please continue to pray for health and a hedge of protection from all medical emergencies!
Malachi is simply amazing. We consider ourselves incredibly blessed to have such a smart and personable boy. He can communicate so much to us without saying a word, which speaks to his intelligence. His sense of humor is one of his best features and he gets tickled by the most random things. His memory for people and voices is mind blowing. We play a game when we turn on a movie and he has to sign yes as soon as he knows what movie it is. He will listen so intently and can get it in under 3 seconds after the first note of the intro song. Every time, without fail.
He has favorites. Favorite songs, favorite colors, favorite people. He loves chocolate anything and grape slushees. He loves secrets and does a great job keeping them, although he gloats when he knows one that Levi wants to know. This week we kept birthday secrets from him and the anticipation about did him in, giggling uncontrollably each time we mentioned surprises.
He is so incredibly forgiving and gives me more grace each day than I deserve. He is patient, but has his limits and will let you know when he feels overlooked. He is a jokester and plays pranks on people…like pretending to be sad to get sympathy but then breaking character and giggling uncontrollably. He acts out intense fight scenes in movies, which is one of my favorite things to watch. He has a superhero face he can make, blocking out his chin to look extra tough and flexing his muscles.
It is very easy to hurt Malachi’s feelings as he is extremely sensitive. He knows when he isn’t being included and yes, it does hurt his feelings so we try to not take him to environments and places that those opportunities to feel excluded can happen. He is the biblical definition of ”pure in heart” and his authentic nature is so refreshing.
Malachi is full of opinions. Lots and lots of opinions. And he likes getting to choose from a list. This year for his birthday he chose to go see a movie with mom and dad. Then he chose a chocolate milkshake as his dessert.
Malachi is a wonder. He truly is. And having such a unique son has turned out to be the greatest gift that God has ever given me.
We could have missed this. We could have lost him the night he was born. We could have not made it to the hospital in time. We could have had a doctor that didn’t attempt CPR on his 1 pound 12 ounce body. We could have told them to stop lifesaving measures in that meeting at 3 days old when doctors presented the option. Our story could have turned out so differently. But God had bigger plans for Malachi.
I remember the fear that night as we raced to the operating room. The verse that God put on my heart was from Job “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” In my heart I thought he was preparing me for losing my son. But now that I look back I can see that God was preparing to for the death of my plans and ambitions, knowing that the story He had written for our family was more beautiful than anything I could ever muster up.
When people look into our lives from the outside they look through eyes of pity. They say things like “I can’t even imagine…” But the truth is that we are the lucky ones. God gave us a child that has brought the Bible to life for us. He gave us a child that ignited our faith from a candle to a bonfire. He gave us a gift in Malachi, allowing us to see what is truly important to Him. It isn’t our achievements or our footprints on this earth that matter to God. Instead it is about reflecting Him into this world. And oh boy, how Malachi reflects the heart of our Creator.
Malachi was born at 12:19am. I am not quite sure if this is when his heart started officially beating, or when he came out of my womb on the operating table…there was a 15 minute difference between the two. But Friday morning we armed ourselves with noisemakers and when the clock struck 12:19am we celebrated the way the angels celebrated the night he was born.
I told the boys Malachi’s birth story and they each listened with such excitement. In true little brother fashion Levi then wanted me to tell about his birth so we did that too. Then he cried hysterically because he wanted to be 9 like Malachi, which made Malachi explode with big brother laughter. The jealousy game is so strong right now.
Buying Malachi presents is something I dread. Finding age appropriate toys that he can play with independently is getting more difficult as he gets older. He knows when something is a baby toy and is offended by it so we really have to brainstorm. This year he loved every single present and it was such a mom boost to me to be able to buy presents in his age range.
His favorite gift is a motion controlled drone that reacts to his movements and lights up. The added noise it makes was icing on the cake.
He also got a pair of LED gloves to wear and these have brought us all the most laughter. He has corticol visual impairment and is legally blind so he cannot see much at all unless it is right up by his eye. Watching him bring these close to his eye then karate chop has made us laugh until we cry and made him so so happy.
He got his very own shaved ice machine to make slushees at home, one of the only things he can take by mouth right now. And he got a bat mobile that fits over his home chair. We happened to find this by a register a few weeks ago at a sporting goods store and bought it hoping it would fit…it is perfect, like it was made for his chair.
After the movies we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel. He can’t eat the food but he likes the noise there and really enjoys listening to all the people.
Overall it really was a great day, and I would venture to say it was his best birthday yet. He was very much into the day, anticipating it all week and squealing with joy when he woke up on the official day.
Each year when his birthday rolls around my mind visits those memories from that night that have tucked their way into the recesses of my brain. It was the hardest day of my life yet yielded a blessing I could have never imagined. Every year I remember a few more little details from the night he was born and it has been so encouraging to see all the ways God worked that night. He most definitely goes before us as the Bible says.
Malachi’s life has taught me so many invaluable lessons I could share with you tonight. But I feel led a very specific direction so we will go with that one and hope it speaks to you and any difficult situations you may find yourself in as you read this.
In Exodus 14 the Bible starts the story of Moses and the Red Sea. The Pharoh has finally agreed to allow Moses to lead the Israelites, God’s chosen people, out of captivity in Egypt. The first chunk I want to talk about comes from verse 4: “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
This verse has always caused so much curiosity for me, but as I read it tonight I can’t help but feel affirmation that sometimes God allows the unplanned things to come after us. The diagnoses, the unexpected, the disappointments. He allows these things to happen in our life for one sole purpose…because he sees so much potential within these hard things for it to be an opportunity for us to honor Him. Sometimes we need the drama and the chaos in order for us to activate and sharpen our faith. And faith in the face of adversity brings such honor to God.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, the Pharoh and his army go out after the Israelites and as they hear them approaching they begin to complain to Moses, specifically saying things like (verse 12) ”For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!”
Have you ever looked at the hard things chasing you in your life and said words similar to these? Your imagination starts to envision what is about to happen and regret sets in, replacing your faith with resentment for what you believe is about to happen. You look to blame, often pointing that finger at God when you can’t find anyone else for it to rest towards. You desire to go back and undo the moment to avoid the discomfort you now face. But following God often leads to moments of discomfort…why do we continue to be surprised by them?
But Moses’ response is so powerful (verse 13-14) ”Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
So often we forget that the Lord is for us. And when He calls us to these hard paths in life He is fully aware of our inadequacies in them. He knows we can’t do them on our own, and He fights for us. We need to remember that the hard things in life are meant to bring HIM honor, not us. If we could do them well on our own, who would that glorify? Sometimes we just need to be still and let the Lord display his power through our testimonies.
Back on February 4th, 2013 God led our family to the shore of the Red Sea. As we looked at the turbulent waters that were in front of us we felt anxious and helpless. We felt the pressure of the army of death racing at us, trying to steal our son. When we envisioned this journey we pictured beautiful meadows and easy paths. But here we were, facing raging waters and God telling us to step into it, trusting Him that we would be stepping on dry land.
We are very much still that water tunnel, crossing on dry land by the grace of God. It is easy to grow anxious as I see the potential for destruction to the left and right of me, but it is also easy for my faith to grow as I recognize that God continues to hold the waters back for my family.
9 years. We have been in the water tunnel long enough now that it feels known. It feels normal. When others look in they panic, but from where we are standing life is pretty amazing. Every day is a reminder that God is present and working. And life in this river has become so normal that I can no longer envision life safe on a river bank. We have accepted that we weren’t made for an ordinary journey in life.
The army of death continues to follow us in this tunnel, but my nerves have calmed as I realize Malachi’s timeline rests comfortably in the hands of a God that is able to part the waters and lead us on dry land. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Malachi will be on this earth until he has completed all of the things God has prepared for him to do. And our job as his parents is to be still and allow God to work through our son. And in doing so we find ourselves becoming new creations in Christ as our faith is refined.
So here is to another year in the middle of the Red Sea. May God continue to use this journey of ours to bring Him glory. And may God continue to cultivate our hearts and our faith as we learn to accept the good and the challenging moments.
Job 2:10 “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
P.S. It feels so odd to have an entry that doesn’t include a lot about Levi as well. So to squash my mom guilt I am including some cute photos of him in his new soccer jerseys. His season starts this week and he is so excited!