I can’t help but get excited as we inch closer to summer and the luxury of having Jake home!
But with the entrance of summer comes the kickoff of our annual medical traveling. I have been working with Cincinnati Children’s this week to try to finalize surgery and specialist dates for Levi in June. And we already have our July dates established for Malachi to visit the orthopedic and spine surgeons at Vanderbilt. We try to utilize as many summer days as we can for the big appointments so Jake can preserve his days off from work.
In special needs families, medical equipment delivery days are like Christmas mornings! The process of getting approval and parts in is extensive, typically taking 4-6 months from start to finish. This week Malachi had a new activity chair delivered called a PPOD. We have had a smaller version of the same chair before and loved it but Malachi outgrew it and we needed the next size up. Here is a photo of the old one for reference.
The smaller version was shorter than a couch cushion so we expected the next size up to be just slightly larger. But when the new chair pulled up in the back of a pickup truck I couldn’t help but start laughing. It is absolutely ginormous. It even comes on its own push cart, complete with brakes.
The new chair sits Malachi flush with the countertops in our kitchen and he feels like royalty rolling around in it. We call it his Spiderman chair and it really is a wonderful chair. I am definitely not complaining, as insurance hasn’t ever covered these types of devices for us before. We are very grateful for the massive contraption and the comfort it provides Malachi.
Having multiple options for him to sit in is so important for positioning and pressure sores as Malachi grows.
I did have a bit of mourning creep in, remembering that the larger he gets the larger the equipment will also get. Just a reminder to me that the physical requirements of caring for growing Malachi are going to get more difficult. But I quickly pushed those thoughts out of my mind and raced him around the new track we have created in the kitchen and living room.
Levi is in a phase of life where he is also changing very quickly. His ability to speak in full sentences is so much fun. And he loves to learn new things.
He loves pretending to be a doctor and tries to do check ups on the dogs often. His doctor kit has a cast to put on broken arms which he likes to use on Malachi. A few weeks ago he went to put one on the dog, Tuck and quickly gave up, exasperated and saying ”Tuck has no arms.”
If I am being completely honest with you, this week has been a haze of monotony. Malachi’s mornings have been rough as he processes the pollen in our area, and neither boy is sleeping well. We circle our days around the same routines, each day looking a whole lot like the one before it. It is a hard phase of life, as I can’t point at my day and be proud of a lot of achievements.
On Friday I had the honor of getting to speak at the KDCCW Annual Convention, a convention for catholic women in east Tennessee that was held locally this year. I have had several months to prepare and God and I have been spending a lot of time processing exactly what I was supposed to share with them.
After the weeks of monotony we have been cycling through it has been such a good and welcomed distraction for me to dwell on over these last few months, and an excuse to immerse myself in the Word of God.
I used the framework of our testimony to drive the boat, but added in some of the major life lessons God has been writing on our hearts through the process. I thought it might be fun to share some of these with you over the next few weeks and allow God to develop them further on the blog. Many of these I have already shared with you in the past, but it never hurts to hear the scriptures again.
Lesson #1- Surrender.
Sounds basic enough, right? But surrender can be tricky. When you read that word does it strike you as a good thing or as a bad thing?
In many situations it can be a bad thing, like in the context of war. In war surrender is an admission that you are not capable of doing anything else to secure the victory. You have exhausted all other battle strategies without success and the only thing you have left to do is surrender. It is the last option.
But in a relationship with God surrender is such a beautiful thing. It is when you cloak yourself with humility and recognize that God’s power can be made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Surrender allows God to take ownership of a situation, acknowledging that we cannot do it apart from Him. It is a gift of love to God to surrender some of our most important decisions, stressors, and trials over to Him, trusting that God will carry them as He guides us.
In our walk into parenthood we have been called to surrender so many things to God…our visions, our expectations, our dreams, our timelines. We have had to surrender those things on the altar and we continue to fight the temptation to run back and snatch them up again.
The Bible is full of beautiful examples of other mothers surrendering their parenting into the hands of God.
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, placed him in a basket and trusted that God would intervene and protect her son.
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, who pleaded with God to give her a son. Hannah promised God that she would ”give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11). And when God blessed her with a son she did just that, surrendering him to the Lord to be used for His glory in the temple.
What a hard thing that must have been for Hannah. But there is a part of that story that has fascinated me this week. As hard as that must have been for Hannah, the Bible continues to walk us through that moment of surrender for her.
1 Samuel 2 takes us through her prayer after she took Samuel to the temple to stay with the priest, Eli. And it a beautiful song of thankfulness to the Lord that starts with ”My heart exults in the Lord;”
Her moment of surrender wasn’t done out of exhaustion, fear, or defeat. It was done with joy and gladness, knowing that when we place things into the hands of God that He is able to do exceedingly more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). She knew that God’s plans for Samuel would be so much greater than anything she could manufacture.
What are you needing to surrender to God today? What thing do you continue to lie to yourself about, convincing yourself that you can continue to carry it without consequence? I am sure if we self reflect we can all find one thing we have been hesitating to fully give to God. And I am sure if we think long and hard enough we can trace all of these back to an arrogance hidden within us.
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”