The highlight of our week was Malachi getting his new “boots”! These boots are called ankle-foot orthotics and are specially molded to his foot to help keep them in the correct position and fight his spasticity. Without them, Malachi’s brain would miscommunicate to his muscles telling them to pull his feet up.
Jake and I had to make the hard decision many years ago to focus all of our decisions on quality of life over quantity of life for Malachi. We will continue to fight in every way possible to increase both of those things, but sometimes we have to choose. Malachi’s legs and hips are a very good example of that decision. Both of his hips have been pulled out of socket for years and are floating out of position. We could surgically repair these but statistically his brain would continue to tell those hip ligaments to keep pulling and they would likely slide out of socket again.
At this point his hips are not causing him pain, and aside from not being able to bear weight on his legs he is not affected. So we continue to not pursue the corrective surgery as it is a very extensive one and hard on medically complex children. Because Malachi is non weight bearing his feet have always been shaped a bit differently and everything has to be extremely customized. We lovingly call them his marshmallow feet. Right now insurance allows a new pair of AFOs every year or so.
Malachi was so excited with anticipation to get his new shoes. He picked Spider-Man themed at the fitting and he giggled the whole drive to pick them up. I dressed him in full out Spider-Man so he would be all coordinated for the big day.
After lots of modifying and final touches we rolled out with these beautiful boots. I put them alongside one of his first pairs from 1 year old Malachi for reference.
Seeing him get excited about new things is one of the biggest joys in my week. The unknown of what he is getting for Christmas is driving him crazy, and of course I keep bringing it up to help build the excitement. Malachi joy is such a blessing to me.
Levi has been embracing his new bedtime routine with lots of emotions, but we are making progress.
One thing he is always sure to prioritize is our “Levotions” (family devotions) each evening. He is a sponge for the things we have been talking about. We cleaned out the playroom this week and he re-discovered some musical books with children Bible songs in them. He has locked in on “Jesus Love the Little Children” and I am not exaggerating when I tell you we have listened to it hundreds of times this week. He even snuck it into the car when I wasn’t looking so he could serenade me on our hours long car ride. But in all honesty, is really is sweet to hear his little voice belting it out.
This weekend has been a challenging one as we have packed in lots of things on the calendar.
Saturday was the high school girls soccer banquet. I think this is our 11th season of coaching at the school, and each season I am even more grateful for the unique gift of coaching together.
Then tonight we had the youth over for their Christmas party. We still try to have them over for dinner and Bible study once or twice a month. We had several boxes of leftover graham crackers from our last event that were expiring so we came up with a fun challenge for them to create a Bible story with the supplies we gave them (leftover candy from our fall event) and we would vote for a champion. The finished products were actually pretty impressive. And I definitely underestimated the mess.
This one is the story of the young men lowering their friend down through the roof of the home Jesus was teaching at.
And this one is Moses parting the Red Sea, being chased by Pharaoh and his army.
Truthfully, we overextended this weekend. And even though I am very aware that I am the one who overbooked the schedule I tend to develop an eye of bitterness. The devil starts to plant thoughts of resentment in my head for the added responsibilities these types of weekends can bring.
This morning I was getting ready for church and I felt that bitterness creep in thinking about the to-do list for the day. And then I let the internal dialogue continue to fuel the fire.
It wasn’t long before I successfully turned myself from creator to victim of this tough schedule.
And in turn I successfully turned myself from servant to consumer, “deserving” things rather that simply serving.
And as I finished getting ready God placed a very specific phrase from a verse on my hear: “He emptied Himself.”
As the words played in my mind and heart I knew it was a gentle nudge from God to open up my Bible and read.
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.
And as I read I was overcome with such a feeling of love for Christ and the gift He is. He set aside His privileges as King to come and serve. And when He served He did so in full humility, emptying Himself as an act of love to others and bringing glory to the Father.
Sometimes we needlessly empty ourselves on fruitless, worldly efforts. But other times we have beautiful opportunities to empty ourselves for others, knowing that our sacrifice is bringing glory to God. My world is full of those moments to empty myself for my children, and while that is a blessing it also introduces more opportunities for the devil to try to refocus my eyes on “me”. What a great challenge in self control for my heart to practice.