Gideon’s 2nd Visit to the ER

So yesterday was kind of crazy. Gideon was pretty sick 2 weekends ago and we felt fortunate because it did not land us in the hospital like last October. Thanks to his prescribed solu-cortef, he seemed to get over what ever virus caused him a 104 fever; and within 2 days he perked up and was back to his usual self-stemming, like nothing had ever happened.

We did notice around Tuesday of last week he was struggling with some congestion, but it was clear and I figured it was probably just allergies (poor kids take after their mom in this regard). Unfortunately, the congestion seemed only to get worse and by yesterday morning, I was concerned by his cough. I sought counsel from a friend who is a nurse and after talking with her, I decided to page Gideon’s pediatrician and his endocrinologist. They suggested we visit the ER. And so we did.

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We were down one vehicle because Kevin’s (ahem..old) car was still at the auto repair shop. So while I was waiting for him to get home in my car, I decided to go ahead and pack some overnight essentials complete with pillows… just in case.

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After an IV, blood work, and a chest x-ray, they determined that he has an upper respiratory infection as well as an ear infection. Thankfully none of this required an overnight stay in the hospital! We were more than happy to come home.

The funny part about all this is that Kevin and I were scheduled to give our testimony at a church in Allen yesterday at 4 pm. We left Medical City Dallas at 3:30 pm, met my parents in the parking lot of Home Depot off Hwy 75, exchanged our car for theirs (so they could take the kids back to our house), and we pulled into that church parking lot on two wheels with 1 minute to spare.

Thankfully they had worship before we went on, so we had time to catch our breath and praise the Lord that Gideon’s 2nd visit to the ER was not near as bad as his first.

 

Apparently I Struggle with Pride

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Earlier this week, I was rocking Gideon in preparation for his afternoon nap. It had been a stressful day and my mind had begun to wander off into future events. When this happens, it’s never a good thing.

If it’s about my daughter, the future events are always positive- sports, school, marriage… but with Gideon, there is this impending doom that takes over and all I can think about is the suffering that is to come- more doctors appointments, hospital stays, painful tests,  challenges, hospice and the slow painful death that comes with his diagnosis.

As I laid him down and stood over his crib, I read the verse we placed above it before he was ever born..

“The Lord is with you Mighty Warrior.” Judges 6:12

Normally I read that verse as if it’s only for Gideon.  But that day I read it as if God was speaking to me. And in that moment my heart was convicted that lately I’ve been more of a mighty worrier than a mighty warrior.

How does this happen???

I’m certain it’s by no coincidence that my devotionals this week have all been in 1 Peter, where the key theme is suffering. This morning as I sat down to read chapter 5, these familiar passages came with fresh reassurance.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

I couldn’t help but shake my head in frustration. I wait soooooooo long to bring my cares before the Lord. I’m sure I’m not the only one. But why do we do this? The commentary in my Bible shed some new light for me. Regarding these verses it says, “Worry is a form of pride because it involves taking concerns upon oneself instead of entrusting them to God.” 

Ummm…Ouch.

I would like to think I have conquered this area of my life, but apparently I struggle with pride. But after all these years, it makes sense now why that verse begins with humble yourself. Humility is the opposite of pride. And if there’s a commanded in the Bible to do something, then that’s a pretty good indicator that it doesn’t come natural to us.

It’s tough to swallow that I’m being prideful when I worry, but that’s just what it is. My pride says, I can do this, I can handle this, I am strong enough… But when we try and “handle” things on our own it eventually turns us into worriers, not warriors. And when we worry, we are choosing to forgo the grace, peace, and freedom that comes with knowing Jesus.

If I said I was not prepared to have a son with a terminal genetic disorder, I’d by lying. The truth is, when I look back on my life I can see all the ways that God has been preparing my heart for Gideon, as well as the suffering that is to come. Scripture is clear, it’s not a matter of if but when we will suffer.  But no matter how long or intense our suffering is, in light of eternity, it’s short. And God has proven time and time again that He is faithful to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (vs 10) when we experience suffering for His sake.

That’s why in all circumstances, we can give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

But we will never reach that place of thanksgiving… until we humble ourselves.

 

 

Squeeze Your Cheeks

Gideon’s big sister has always provided us with laughter…whether she intends to or not. I’m convinced her God given purpose in life is to make others smile.

Today I opened my Timehop app to find a very precious memory from 3 years ago.

We were driving home from Frisco when Laynie (age 2 at the time) announced that she needed to “poo-poo.” Successful potty training had recently happened a few weeks prior, so she was still new to her “big girl” panties.

I asked if she could hold it until we got home, but that option was quickly shot down by big fearful eyes accompanied by the dramatic head shake, saying no!  So I told her to squeeze her cheeks until we could pull over and find a bathroom….a few seconds later I glanced in my rear-view mirror and this is what I saw…

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I almost ran us off the road because I was laughing so hard. I’m still not sure why I was surprised by her literal interpretation of the phrase squeeze your cheeks.

We pulled into the first gas station we saw, only to find their bathroom was out of order. Thankfully we were a block away from Central Market, so we headed straight for it. Kevin dropped us off at the front door and as it turned out, we safely made it to the bathroom without an accident. However, in the moments that followed, I was a bit frustrated with my daughter. I spent a good 60 seconds disinfecting their toilet that day so she could sit on it like a big girl…. only to pass gas.  

Yup, it was a false alarm. I made her sit there and try for a good five minutes though; because mama doesn’t clean other places toilets for false alarms, sweetie. 

But I did that day… You’re welcome Central Market.

Oh and in case you were wondering, Laynie now knows which cheeks to squeeze.

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Timely Encouragement

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Yesterday I had a really bad day. In fact, I haven’t been in a funk like that since Gideon was in the hospital (which was back in October)!

Nothing major happened, Gideon was just being stubborn when it came time to eat. He was holding food in his mouth for 5-7 minutes at a time. He hasn’t quite learned how to spit it out yet, but yesterday he found that if he just relaxes his lips, everything will just slip out. To make matters worse, he was doing this with his favorite meals!! You know, the ones I MAKE! One feeding took 90 minutes, and he still didn’t finish the jar!! Talk about frustrating!

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I guess he’s gearing up for the terrible-twos??

As I sat there, repeating “swallow” over and over again, I remembered the day I bargained with God over his feedings. Gideon was almost a year old and he wasn’t eating at all. In my desperation, I prayed something like this- “God I don’t care how long each meal takes, if you’ll just allow him to eat by mouth so he doesn’t have to have a feeding tube, I’ll sit here for hours!”

Hmmmmm….

Obviously I’ve gotten spoiled to the fact that Gideon can finish his 4 oz meal in 30 minutes or less. And when that doesn’t happen, I throw a 31 year old tantrum and tell God, It’s not fair! 

Seriously??

Needless to say, God had a message waiting for me when we got home late last night…25 of them to be exact. There was an unexpected package in our mailbox from Ms. Watlington’s class. And it was timely encouragement.

A little over a week ago, I spoke to a class at Eastfield College.  The class was made up of female, high school seniors who were taking this course for dual credit.  I was asked to speak about Gideon and teaching exceptional children; so I put some information into a power point and to make it more real, I decided to take both my kids along with me.

The girls in this class had some very insightful questions and were incredibly compassionate. However, I was still surprised to receive individual notes of thanks & encouragement last night (along with a gift card to Salt Grass…date night, here we come!). Each & every one of these notes reminded me that I am privileged to be Gideon’s mother. They all encouraged me to stay strong and to remember what a blessing Gideon is not only to our family but to them as well.

Through their words, God was reminding me that there’s a purpose for all this. That nothing is wasted!  One student referenced Romans 8:18 “..what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later..” And another student paraphrased it- “no temporary pain on earth will amount to the eternal glory and peace I am sure you will receive.”  

So thank you, Mrs. Watlington’s class. I hope you know what timely encouragement your letters were for me. They pulled me out of the funk I was in yesterday and I’m so grateful. I love you all and wish I could hug each and every one of you… thanks again. :)