My Girl Abbey

My Girl Abbey
Mother's Day 2015

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I love horses more than you (and a reference to Phil Roberston a la mode)

Despite the fact that Abbey is a "non-verbal" child..she can still get her point across. The other night at dinner she started to throw a MASSIVE temper tantrum (I know it's hard to believe it, but I'm talking full on kicking, yelling, pulling hair, ect) because  Ryan was going to feed her dinner instead of me. So we put her in her room for a time out and to calm down. After really going at it for a while in her room, Ryan has to leave and so he goes into the doorway and signs "I love you" to which abbey starts to yell again, leans toward him, and signs back "I love horses!"  Now Ryan and I are both literally cracking up! SO FUNNY! How about that for a pre-teen response to a dad she's mad at?? HILARIOUS She wasn't sure how not to say "I love you" back, and so she settled for telling him she loved horses more.

Of course, you know how a good Abbey story always gets me thinking. Aren't we just like that when God wants us to do something we don't want to do?  How about when he wants us to STOP doing something that we shouldn't be doing?  Don't we just sort of throw an adult temper tantrum at God and in effect sign back, "I love _____ more than you!"  I know I do...sometimes I love socializing more than hearing God's Word at church.  Sometimes I love reading a good book more than reading God's word.  Sometimes I love sin more than doing what God's Word says to do.  I probably wouldn't lay down on the ground and kick and scream, but  I can ignore God all together and pretend I don't know the truth.  There are about a million ways to get my point across to God without ever saying a single word.  He knows my heart, he knows my "signs."

Hey, riding horses is a great thing for Abbey.  Ask anyone who knows anything about horses and they'll probably talk your ear off about it!  I want Abbey to love horses...I even love that she loves them.  But they should never take the place of her father who adores her, knows what's best for her, and sometimes disciplines her out of that love. So, even a good thing can become an idol.

Horses can also be very dangerous.  There is a reason you have to find the exact temperament of horse to put a disabled child on.  They're huge, they're heavy, and one swift kick to the wrong place can literally kill you. So, sometimes the things we love can also be extremely dangerous if we do not take caution and do them the way God wants them to be done.  

So the question is, what do I love more than God right now?  What do you love?  Are we being selfish, and stubborn, and throwing an "inside" adult temper tantrum at God because we don't like what his Word has to say?  The thing is, it's not funny.  It's not something to joke and laugh about because we know better...we have the mind to understand and a will to obey.  

I don't know, maybe because it's almost Christmas, but I keep thinking God gave it all up for me.   All heaven's glory and perfection in exchange for blood and dirt and sweat and tears. For me. For you.  Out of  lavish and costly love he came an obeyed the Father.  This is what I pursue...the acceptance of that kind of lavish love, and to respond likewise.  Out of great love for him, to do my best to know Him who died for me and follow him in obedience.  It's not a popular choice in America today to follow Jesus with your whole life.  It's much more acceptable to occasionally go to church and do your best not to speak his name socially.  (Certainly don't take a stance on anything controversial, Phil Roberston!) Or better yet, believe in God and be a good person but never once submit your life to Christ.  Those are perfectly good alternatives. 

Well to me, that's just loving the world too much.  He created it to be enjoyed, to be lived in, to be a part of...but not to worship.

Joshua 24:15 "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worth Laughing About!

I have to say, one of the best things about being Abbey’s mom is getting to see her sense of humor.   The things that make her laugh are so out of the ordinary.  She has THE BEST belly laugh! It's this low toned rumble, and she has a dimple on her left cheek that comes out when she smiles really big or laughs. Here are some of the things about her that make US laugh.

For as long as I can remember, Abbey has laughed at “mishaps.” My husband and I like to call it her “death and peril” humor.  We were turning the TV channel once and there was a person hanging onto the edge of a cliff with their feet dangling and screaming…I thought she was going to pass out from laughing so hard.  We quickly discovered that The Three Stooges is one of her favorite shows.  Anytime someone gets bonked upside the head with a 2x4 she’s practically sliding off the couch in hysterics.  If you are in danger, she is laughing about it. 

At some point in the early years, our youth group kids discovered that pretending to knock each other over would set her off.   They quickly made a point of doing it on purpose just to get her to laugh.  Then she figured out that she could walk up to them and barely touch them and they would pretend to fall backward.  Such power!  Such fun!  It was all well and good until she started grabbing other children by the clothes to pull them down, and then proceeded to crack up while they were crying.  We put a quick stop to that one. 

Or there’s the back slapping.  Sometimes in the middle of church she will get excited and start slapping Ryan (or perhaps the people in the pew in front of us) on the back.  Only Abbey doesn’t know how to do “gentle” or “quiet” so it’s extremely loud and rough.  The commotion of getting her to stop makes her laugh.  Speaking of church, she thinks passing the offering plate and communion are hilarious also.  When the elders line up at the back of the church to come forward, she starts winding up for a laugh.  Sometimes when they pass the communion plate she tries to stand up or sneak in a “hi” wave to one of the elders….I like to think of it as celebrating the joy of taking communion.  We should all have such joy to give our money and remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us!!  If you live here and get a chance, try to sit behind us one Sunday and watch her during the “meet and greet” time, or the praise and worship.  Seriously,  it is so precious…

She thinks being a big sister is great.  Once when our youngest was a baby I couldn’t find her in the house (never, EVER a good sign) and when I did, I also found Desitin smeared all over the walls of my bedroom, the bed, the diaper changing table, the bassinet, a doll she had placed inside the bassinet, and herself! 

 She’s always getting into trouble trying to do things she shouldn’t do like that…like putting my keys in the food processor, her hearing aids in the trash, walking off with something I was working on, or hiding in the corner of her room with our electronics and pushing buttons.  She managed to switch our answering machine into Spanish once, and it stayed that way for almost a month.  All the instructions came out in Spanish and I couldn’t find the book!  Why, oh why did I take French in High School!!??  Don’t let her near your i-phone…she is not as innocent as she looks!

Abbey also loves loud noises.  Perhaps it’s the hearing loss? When we got a new DVD player it came with a volume knob instead of a button.  She likes to practice “drive by” volume control.  Very casually she walks past and then sneaks a hand out to turn the volume on the TV to its highest setting.  Of course this gets quite a reaction out of us, so she’s laughing at us running to turn it down. She even thinks a screaming baby is hysterical.  If you are in the grocery store with a child throwing a temper tantrum, you are Abbey’s best friend.  She will find you, she will laugh at your child, and she will probably sit down on the floor while doing it because when she laughs that hard she can’t stand up anymore.  

If all of that isn’t funny enough, now that she’s a big girl she likes to grab people’s phones and purses.  It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know you.  If you’re not looking, she’ll take your purse and walk off with it over her shoulder.  As soon as we catch her, she makes this face and throws it back at you.  She even takes things OUT of people’s purses!  It has finally gotten to the point where I just make a joke out of it to keep from being embarrassed.  I tell people, “Oh, I taught her how to do that..she’s pretty good huh?” 

I.LOVE. THIS. KID.  She reminds me to loosen up, and that sometimes it’s just worth laughing about!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Part 3: Greater Glory

Whoa, hello there!  I’m completely embarrassed by how long it’s been, and this promised “Part 3” that’s been sitting on my chest for months.  I’ll keep it short by saying some difficult “life” has happened over the last few months.  Our little family is doing fantastic, but lives around me seem to be spinning out of control.  I’m a person who wrestles in the Spirit on the behalf of those I love…so I guess you could say my spiritual, mental, and emotional energy has been poured out on my knees. Probably most difficult was recently watching a friend loose her daughter with special has made it hard for me to think or write about these things. But I got up tonight; I got my knees off of my kitchen floor (quite literally) and sat down at the computer.  So here I am, just me at my weakest.  Praying that Part 3: A Greater Glory will resound in your spirit like it does in mine.  

I love music, adore it, sing it all the time.  When no one is around, I belt my lungs out! Haha  Our dog is probably my biggest fan. LOL  Seriously, he’s the only one who has ever heard me lay it all out vocally.  I don’t have the nerve to do that in front of people.  I can give a pretty good church performance, but there isn’t anything like raw worship when it’s just you and God.  And that’s what His glory is all about…laying it all out there and just giving your heart over to Him.  It’s about what kind of worship goes on inside of you when no one else is around and listening. 

This message is EXTREMELY counter-culture.  I’ll probably get hate mail!  That’s probably the reason I’ve been procrastinating saying this.  Hear me now, as the parent of a broken child who would give just about anything fathomable to have my child healed.   She is to His greater glory as she is.  He is quite a capable God, people!  He could have stepped in at any moment and spared us this road.  He could use a new medicine, a radical treatment, the laying on of hands, or the desperate prayers of a mother over her sleeping child….but He didn’t, and He hasn’t.  So, I have to look at this situation and deduce that even though it’s not what I want, something about who Abbey is on this earth screams His name out louder than anything else could.  Maybe it’s her smile, her unconditional love, her determination, her grace, her innocence, her beauty?  I don’t know, I have no idea.  But, I believe with every fiber in my being that Abbey reflects the character and presence of our God more accurately, more to His great glory, exactly as she is. 

So, I have a choice.  I can resent that or I can surrender to it.  Let me tell you, it hasn’t been an easy road coming to a place of surrender.  It’s against my nature to say, “Whatever God…Whatever you have for me, I will worship you!”  Wowzers, that’s some tough stuff to swallow.  If you’re not a believer, it will sound like total insanity.   But if you are, just let it hover on your mind.  God’s glory…not ours. Not our happiness, not our wealth, not our health. NOT. OUR. GLORY.  

This has everything and nothing to do with whether or not you have a child with special needs that you want to be healed.  This is about you. It’s about letting go of control and surrendering your life to something that in the eyes of this world makes absolutely no sense at all.  And, it’s about me. It’s about finding a song of worship deep in my soul and singing the heck out of it at the top of my lungs.  Despite it all…and because of it all.  It’s about making a choice to trust that God has it figured out, and that our disabled children display the very splendor and majesty of God by being exactly who they are.  And we can display that too, when we choose to surrender to His plan for our lives.  I have to do this over and over and over again.  I don’t always get it right, but I keep trying.  I keep letting it go, and when I do I’m so overwhelmed by God’s gentleness and mercy over my life that I can hardly contain it.

Here’s a song that Ryan and I have been listening to a lot lately.  One of the singers in the group lost his father unexpectedly…this song came out of that loss. It’s a song about giving God glory no matter what happens in this life, because of our hope in Him for eternity, and quite frankly..because He deserves it.   Very powerful stuff! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Get to be your Mom

I felt it was time for some poetry...and Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity to take a break from such serious things. :)

a loose strand of hair on your cheek all the time
freckles on your nose
the way you still make us carry you to bed even though you're eleven

hysterics and breath holding
bibs in your mouth when you get over excited
the way you lay down on the ground and laugh with your feet in the air

an unexpected slap on the back during prayer
Raised hands in worship are your voice
the way you anticipate the passing of communion

your broken walk and turned toes
your left hand
the way you keep surprising  us all and how you try to run

unfiltered attention and affection
beauty in everyone
the way you love

little brother, I didn't forget you
with your great hair
the way you call that spot on your forehead my favorite freckle

a willing spirit
tender compassion for the unseen and underappreciated
the way you help your sister

hand raised high to answer a question
silly silly silly boy
the way you look when you know I'm proud of you

sports in every season, your lefty golf swing
love for your friends
the way you pray and the depth of the questions you ask us

Baby Boy, my number three
Angles are your playmates
the way you made me a better person, and strengthened my character

Little tot, my mini coop
just a diaper half the time
the way you say your consonants and the sound of your voice

Occasionally stubborn and always smiling
music all the time
the way you sing steppy time, steppy time

joy and laughter
sweet and generous hugs and kisses
the way your eyelashes practically hit your eyebrows

it's always snack time
perfect peace while you nap
the way you want to be held and tickled and tucked in

"Fank you Jesus for Toopa!"
pitter patter of little feet
the way you say you missed me

Four carefully chosen names
my college sweetheart
the way God brought us all together


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

If Jesus is a Healer, then why is my child still disabled? Part 2: A Greater Healing

I joke with Ryan sometimes about going to what I affectionately call “crazy town.” Sometimes these topics send me there just thinking about them!  We laugh about my varying degrees of visitation there…am I renting a room for a few nights or building my own condo?  Should I hire a decorator for my new place in crazy town? But in all seriousness, the events at the Boston marathon yesterday got my wheels cranking.  And you know, I just can’t rest them until I write!

The bleeding woman.  I can't wait to meet her in heaven!  I really want to know what she felt like after Jesus said these words to her found in Mark 5:34, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” What did it feel like to look into the eyes of God and find compassion and mercy in a world where she was oppressed by judgment and criticism?  Trapped in her broken physical body and bound by chains of isolation, this woman was beyond desperate.  

If you are not familiar with Old Testament Law, her bleeding condition made her unclean in the eyes of God and her people. According to Leviticus 15:25-30, anything this woman touched was considered unclean, and anyone who touched her was considered unclean.  For twelve years, this woman had not been to the temple or been touched by another human being. I’m a girl who needs to be in church for a lot of reasons. I’m also a big hugger…no church, no girlfriends, no hugs for twelve years?  NO WAY!  I can’t begin to unpack this story in a blog, it could be a lengthy sermon series in any church.  The point is, yes he healed her physical situation, but even more significant is the fact that he restored her spiritually to himself and to her community.

I know, in my circumstance, it’s difficult to wrap my mind around anything that would be more amazing than seeing Abbey running around and chatting-me-up like a typical eleven year old girl. But her body, and this life, is not the end-all for her or for me!  James 4:14 reminds us of our life’s timeline with words that are all too familiar for anyone touched by tragedy or loss, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  

If that makes you sad…I challenge you to dig a little deeper into the quiet spaces of your soul and ask yourself why?  Why should you be sad that our lives on earth are just a tiny fragment of a speck of time compared to eternity?  Don’t you see the great hope?  Do you hear God whispering to you, that if you belong to Him (BELONG…not if you’re a good person, not if you’re a great person, if you BELONG to Him) that the glories of heaven will unfold themselves more magnificently before you than the most beautiful scene you’ve ever witnessed on earth?   Greater than the thrill of crossing a finish line after miles of physical exertion, greater than landing the biggest account your company has ever had, greater than the birth of your first child, is knowing the one who holds the future in His hands and being fully restored to Him.  He who stretched out the heavens and marked its dimensions in space, who keeps storehouses of snow, and wove the fabric of your DNA together in your mother’s womb loves you intimately and wants you to know and love Him intimately. There is great peace in knowing that healing in this life and these bodies is simply incomparable to spiritual wholeness and rightness before a Holy God.  Christ’s work on the cross was meant to give life.  He came for the spiritually sick and broken. His healing hand upon the weary and disabled was meant to give just a glimpse of his mighty power that could, and would, defeat death once and for all!  

When I really began to understand it, this woman’s story went from making me feel sad to giving me hope and peace about our situation.  Of course I yearn for Abbey to be fully healed.  But, I’m so,  so grateful that he has a different kind of healing in mind for her and for all who call Him Lord and Master of their life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to this greater healing.

I love to peak at The Message from time to time.  Listen to Peterson’s explanation of 2 Corinthians 5:1-5. “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.”

I was driving Jayden home from school the other day and out of the blue he asks me what our bodies will look like in heaven.  I wanted to say, “Well, mine will be smokin’ hot!” haha!!! But, since that was completely inappropriate, I managed to come up with, “I don’t know buddy…but the Bible says they will be perfect.”  To which he replied, “Man….I can’t wait to see Abbey’s new body in heaven.” Me either Jay, me either.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

If Jesus is a Healer, Why is My Child Still Disabled? Part 1

Mmmmmmm, it's Holy week!  My favorite few days out of the year, and a perfect time to post about the relationship that Jesus had with the disabled because he spent so much time in the three years of his public ministry healing the lame and crippled. Understanding Jesus as Healer has been such a tumultuous road for me...if ever there was an example of the "working out of your salvation," for me this is it!  This entire topic has tested my faith at so many levels, so many different times over the last ten years, and has taught me so many lessons about the character and kindness of my God. I'd love to share just a few with you.

Let's set the stage.  The streets are spilling over with people. I don't know why, and I've never been there, but I imagine a thickness hanging in the air. Amidst the smell of sweat and spices, man and beast, is a woman without a name. Jesus and his disciples are working their way through the streets when all the sudden Christ stops and says, "Who touched me?"  As my teenagers would say, "Um, is he for real?" Because everyone is touching everyone!  Not that kind of touch, he knows that holy power has left him. Read for yourself from Luke 8:42b-48.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

You're probably wondering why on earth I would start with this particular account of Jesus' miracles.  Well, for me this portion of Scripture was the beginning of my own healing. You see, I had this baby girl.  She was undeniably beautiful (and still is!), and so very precious to so many people.  But here I was at twenty two, a month shy of being married two years, and with a two month old baby who had therapy four days a week.  I was completely overwhelmed and under-educated.  But I knew Jesus could heal her.

There was not a nap or bedtime in the first few years of her life that I didn't sneak into her room after she fell asleep and lay my hands on her tiny head to ask God to heal her. I remember one particular afternoon that I finished praying for her and found myself flat on my face in the living room crying out to God.  "Jesus, ooh Jesus, I'm the woman in the crowd...if only you were here, I would push my way through the crowd to touch the edge of your cloak. But I have you inside of me Lord, I believe you can heal her." I'm talking, full on hysterical.  Heartbreaking, right?

For whatever reason, despite all the many prayers I've prayed over these last ten years, that particular one so full of faith and desperation has anchored itself in my memory. It begs the question of why she isn't healed the way I want her to be.  First, it's important that I am clear about the fact that I'm not God and I would never dare to presume to understand His ways.  Listen to His words in Isaiah 55:8-9:

"8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Still, I think Scripture creates a beautiful picture for us about how Jesus feels about the disabled.  There are priceless treasures of hope and purpose buried inside our toughest questions for God! Proverbs 2:3-5 says,

"3  yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God."

Hear more about my hidden treasures in Parts 2 and 3!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Taylor Lake gave me: Ben, and the importance of getting past the muck!'s thick, gooey, and disgusting.  Imagine thinking you were about to dig your toes between the sand only to find what is commonly described as "decaying organic matter." GROSS! When I was a teenager, I spent several summers life-guarding at Taylor University's lake. For me, it was kind of a big deal to take the job because I literally hated that lake! I hated the fact that to get out to a certain point of the lake, you had to walk through muck.( I could also spend an entire paragraph on the biting fish, but that is not the point! haha)  Did you know that lakes with a layer of muck are also prone to becoming a breeding ground for leeches?  UGH!

I took the job because when you're sixteen, the idea of getting a tan AND being with some of your best friends all day is pretty great.  I was sitting at the end of a dock on that lake when my love for children with disabilities walked up to me.  He couldn't swim, but he loved the water.  I always kept one eye on the lake, and one eye on Ben. He liked me better when I wore my black swimsuit, so I bought two and wore one everyday.  I didn't even know what autism was back then, but despite all his quirks and occasional outbursts, I had this unexplainable affection for him.  I genuinely loved him...and sincerely wanted to be among his favorite people.

I always went to great lengths to talk to him, even though he couldn't talk, and to get his attention.  Then one day it happened...I was sitting at the edge of the dock and he walked up to me and put his hand on my back. He stood there with me for a long time.  I looked up to see his mom crying.  Apparently, this was a big deal?  I had no idea what had just happened.  What had just happened was my life changing, that's what.

His mom explained that any form of physical contact like that was almost unheard of, and then asked if I would be their babysitter sometime.  I was so excited!  We formed a beautiful relationship that lasted the next few years.  I learned a lot about autism, a lot about Ben, and a lot about what it meant to parent a child with special needs.  I often think back to that time and how it was  a part of the preparation I would need to be Abbey's mom.  It's a tender and beautiful memory for me. I think about the lake, I think about how I was just going to keep my job at Ivanhoe's Restaurant and not take on a second one because of some muck.

Muck. Decaying matter.  It's pretty gross.  You know what, sometimes I still need to get through the muck in my life to come into God's best for me.  That lake had a pretty thick layer covering the bottom.  I can't help but think about how much more attractive  it would have been if they had done something about it. It's not any different for me.  My life has layers of muck that blanket the floor of my mind and heart.  Decaying matter....things that are breaking down and represent death just piling up. If I were to pick it up with my hands, I think it would have that same slimy feel and nasty would seep through the spaces of my fingers and sink right back down to the bottom.  A breeding ground for things that want to suck the life right out of me, and fill me with all kinds of spiritual diseases.

I know God's best for me doesn't include muck. It has to be dredged up and cleaned out, because left alone it destroys the beauty my life was meant to display. I'm thankful that I  don't have to do that on my own.  Listen to what Jesus says in John 10:10-11, "10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."  I don't know about you, but I don't want to be held back by one who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy me.  I want to be in the safety of Christ, who came to free me from sin and muck, and to give me life "to the full."  

Do you want to hear something crazy?  I have a dream sometimes that I'm with my dear friend Christopher who passed away.  As teenagers, we were lifeguards together at that lake.  He asks me if I want to take a swim and we dive in.  The bottom of the lake is covered with gems, jewels, and diamonds. I just remembered that while I was typing...seriously! I don't think the analogy will be lost on you, it's amazing what God has for us if only we surrender our whole life to him. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My reaction to her

So, it's been a rough couple of weeks for miss Abbey.  What started out as just a fever for four days, eventually turned into pneumonia, which then landed us in the ER with her covered in hives and cartoon-sized lips.

 When I took her to her pediatrician last Tuesday, I was not expecting the diagnosis of pneumonia.  In my mind, this has been hiding under a rock labeled "One of Kimberly's Biggest Fears."  I looked at our doctor and said, "I want you to know I'll be fine, but I'm probably going to freak out here for a minute or two....sorry for crying." haha  Lucky for me, I saw the female in the practice because she took it like a champ and handed me a box of tissues and laughed with me.  The men in this office would not have been as....compassionate.

When she woke up on Friday morning with giant plastic looking lips, I thought, okay now this is more than I can handle!  We took her down to the hospital, and were thrilled with not only the speed of care, but the patience and kindness of the staff as they got a chest x-ray.  We added and changed meds, and then went straight to the allergist.  This is not the first time that this has happened to Abbey, and I was relieve to find out that it is not uncommon for fair skinned (particularly with blond hair and blue eyes) people to have this kind of reaction to a virus.  Apparently, the virus can damage the histamine cells. The damaged cells release the histamines out to the skin and you see the hives.  My fears were completely put to rest when he explained that this is not the same kind of reaction as a food allergy or drug allergy where you would be concerned about her airway.  This is strictly a skin-response.   He graciously said, "Next time this happens don't go to the ER...we'll talk you through it and she'll be just fine. You have our cell numbers and we'll answer any day or night." ahhhhhhhh, such a sweet consolation!  How wonderful to know that he is just a few push buttons away if I need him, and that I don't need to freak out if she's sick and wakes up covered in hives.

I would LOVE to tell you, that when someone in my house is sick (particularly Abbey) that I have a faith-filled response.  That I'm the strong, secure woman I want to be. Reality could not be farther from the truth.  I will borrow a phrase from one of my best friends that could describe me, "She's a hot mess!" lol  Seriously, my poor husband and family.  The good news is, I eventually calm down and see things as they are.  I send my unshared fears away (hopefully for good, but sometimes they just go back under that rock I was telling you about), find my way back to appropriate and reasonable reactions, and start sleeping through the night again.

I have to tell you, I didn't know where this post was going when I first started typing....but I think it's no accident that I have been repeating Psalms 121:4 over and over in my mind at night. "indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."  What a life changer it would be, if I could just get this truth to settle in my heart and not just in my mind! If I want a sweet consolation, here it is:  I don't need to loose sleep, he is THE GREAT PHYSICIAN and is on call every moment of everyday.  I don't have to wait in line, I don't have to pay to see him, I don't have to worry that he'll think I'm a neurotic mother, I don't have to hope he'll be able to figure out what's going on, and I certainly don't need to freak out!

Abbey's still sick.  She still has pneumonia, she still has hives, and we're waiting this thing out. We see the pediatrician on Monday morning for a check of her progress and lungs...hopefully, I will keep this in mind if things don't go the way I want them to.  Or, I may need you to remind me that my God is pretty big, that he can handle my hot mess, and that he doesn't sleep so that I can.

Lots of love to you friends! Thanks for all your prayers, meals, and messages.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Abbey,and an American Girl Doll

In 1986, a new doll was released to the public.  It was probably a few years later before I knew about them, but American girl dolls are pretty much the doll you want to play with if your into dolls.  I never had one, but when we found out we were having a girl, it was on my list of things I couldn't wait to do with my daughter.  A few years ago, I decided that it wasn't really a practical investment since Abbey wouldn't be able to play with or take care of the doll properly.  They sell for almost $100, not including clothes and accessories! 

Some time ago, we started getting the catalog in the mail.  When the first one came, I just threw it out like I do the letters that say, "you're daughter is in 4th grade, perhaps she would like to represent NJ in  Washington D.C. with her chosen peers."  When the next one came I decided to look through it and for some reason it just made me so, so sad! A reminder of an yet another experience I wanted to have with her, but wouldn't. (Self-pity is so attractive isn't it? lol) I decided Abbey would be my American Girl Doll. Her story is  completely inspiring, and she loves to be dressed up and accessorized!

But, Abbey is always surprising me...always.  This year has been especially exciting with her new school (PG Chambers School for the Disabled) because they are really opening me up to so many new "feats" for Abbey. 

I got an e-mail from her speech therapist this morning.  They added a new category to her i-pad speech program for clothing.  Here's part of the e-mail from her therapist.  "In speech, Abbey and I worked on identifying icons on her iPad and initiating more sign language. I added a “clothing” folder to Abbey’s iPad. When learning the new icons, we played “dress-up” with dolls.Abbey got VERY excited during this activity. I would tell her we need to pick out a specific article of clothing and she would find it on her iPad. If Abbey needed help putting on the piece of clothing I would try to prompt her to sign “help” and then find the icon on the iPad (i.e. “help (with) shirt”). This activity was motivating for Abbey and I was happy to see her progression throughout the session. "

At the end of the e-mail she included these pictures, and look at the doll she is holding.  You guessed it, an American Girl Doll! 

There are a thousand dolls they could have used and taken a picture of, but they used the one doll that opened up a tender spot in my heart.  It's like the Lord was whispering over me this morning, "it matters to me."   It just got me thinking how we never know what God is up to.  Perhaps there is a dream you gave up on, a goal you never reached or grew tired of striving after? Maybe you've been struggling through something for so long that you just accepted it would never change.  I don't know about you, but for me, this was just a little reminder of  Matthew 19:26 "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"  

 Hope you enjoyed Abbey's little success with me! I'll borrow a little letter closing from the apostle Paul.
"20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21