Monthly Archives: January 2014

You Cannot Plan Around a Storm

I like to plan ahead so my day goes smoothly. At night, I get the lunches, diaper bag and coffee pot ready. I lay out my kids clothes the night before too. In fact, this morning, I laid out the kids jammies and got the tub area ready before we even left the house. I knew we’d be gone until late, so this was a surefire way to have the kids quickly bathed and in bed immediately upon our return.

Call me OCD or call me crazy, but I’m all about making the transitions in my life easy. However, recent events made me realize that some transitions will never be easy no matter how much planning we do.

Next Tuesday, Kevin and I will be sharing our testimony again at ReEngage. While I’m excited to share our story of redemption, I’m a little uneasy…mostly because I haven’t yet re-written our ending. You see, last time we shared our testimony it ended with us coming out of a storm and celebrating the birth of a new child. Unfortunately for us, there’s a new storm on the horizon. We’ve learned so much in this past year, that I’m having trouble putting it briefly for our audience.

What I want to convey to our ReEngage couples is that you can’t plan around the storms of life… you can only prepare to weather them. While everyone’s journey is different, the truth is that there’s always a storm coming. I’m not sure what storm you’re facing, but for us, it involves the early death of our son.

So if we can’t plan around it, how do we prepare for it?

Kevin and I are preparing the only way we know how- We are praying together, reading the Bible, and being intentional & intimate in our communication & relations. We’re placing our attention on Him. Every time we center our focus on God instead of our circumstances, we are preparing for the harsh winds of life.

All that said, I’m obviously still not looking forward for what’s to come. In fact, I’m a big “why” baby. I’ve often wondered why God would allow my son to be born with this illness. I also wonder why He would send us back into other season of darkness. It’s interesting because just today I read a devotional by Christine Caine and it addressed that very issue. This is what it said-
“God’s heart beats for every lost person every single second of every single day. That’s what he wants us to remember. We, too, were once lost, but now we are found. And because we’ve been found, he has called us to be part of his search-and-rescue team.

Are you willing to take the light God brought to you to illuminate your own rescue, to others? Carrying the light is the only reason God would send you back into the dark.”

Does that last line pierce your heart like it does mine?

I was naive to think that Kevin and I had been through the worst before our marriage. The worst is yet to come. For those who’ve gone before us, I would not dare disrespect you by saying that I know what it’s like to lose a child. I don’t. In fact, there’s a lot of pain and suffering in this world that I know nothing about.

But at the end of the day, I do know this…

There are transitions in life that will never be easy. In the blink of an eye, everything we know can change. The storms of life are coming. You can’t plan around them, so how are you preparing for them?

God doesn’t call us to live in fear of what’s to come.

He just calls us to come.


Matthew 11:28 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 







Do Over


Have you ever sat down at night and thought about how your day could have gone differently? For me, this is a regular occurrence, but this evening it was worse than usual. My mind was in over-drive, playing out hundreds of different avenues I could have chosen, but didn’t. And because I made a hasty, selfish decision, I brought home a truck load of remorse. My decision provided me convenience, but unfortunately for my son, it was costly to his health.

Today was one of those days I really, really wish I could do over.

Some kids with peroxisomal disorders choke on liquids and food because they have low tone in their neck and shoulders. Therefore my husband and I have been told that we need to get a swallow study done for Gideon. And since he’s had trouble swallowing puréed foods for the past two weeks, we decided to do the swallow study.

So we talked to our pediatrician and she ordered the test. And since Gideon was going to have to swallow barium for this study, our pediatrician advised that we also do an upper & lower gastro-intestinal (GI) exam as well. So in my mind, these two tests together would allow them to watch (using radiology) the food travel from his mouth all the way to his rectum. And because I only received one call for one appointment, I assumed both tests would happen together.

Apparently I assumed wrong.

We got to Children’s Hospital and after talking to our sweet nurse, we soon learned that both tests could not be done in one appointment given Gideon’s age. Long story short, someone from the swallow study department dropped the ball and never called me to schedule the separate swallow test…hence my confusion and thoughts that both tests would be done together.

Our appointment was at 8:45 AM and it was about 9 AM when we learned that there was going to be two separate tests. So after much frustration & confusion on our part (and Gideon’s….keep in mind he’s been fasting since 4:45 AM and he’s STARVING!!), my husband decides we are leaving and not doing the test. He says we can always come back, but the main reason we are here is for the swallow study, not the GI.

Here’s where I would like my do over.

My first instinct was to agree with my husband…after all, the only thing we are concerned with is my son’s ability to swallow. Plus Gideon has never shown any signs of GI problems. While Gideon was screaming, I debated back and forth with both my husband and the nurse. The nurse said that our doctor would want both tests done, so I figured if we were going to have to do the GI at some point anyways, we might as well do it now since we were there.

Now this may not sound like such bad reasoning; however, the issue I’m struggling with is that I chose convenience over wisdom. All I really heard from the nurse was “two separate tests” which meant, if we left, we would have to come back two more times. And I think the worst part of it all was that I never stopped to pray about my decision. Instead, I just pushed my point over my husband’s logical reasoning just so I didn’t have to make two more trips. Had I listened to my husband, we would have left and only come back for swallow study because Gideon did not need the GI test.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever made a decision based on convenience rather than wisdom? What has it cost you? What has it cost someone close to you?

Here’s what it cost Gideon.


Imagine you’re Gideon. To do so, you’ll need to close your eyes and your ears. Now imagine you’re hungry and naked and a woman who you don’t know has tied you to a board with your arms by your ears (limiting your hearing even more). Then she proceeds to shove a tube down your nose and throat to your stomach- only to then fill it with the chemical element, barium.

Now let me just clarify something. Procedures like these are necessary and I’m so glad we have the technology & doctors to do them. That being said, this test was NOT necessary for my son. He has never had any GI problems. The GI test was added by our pediatrician only because she also thought the tests were going to be done together. Had I listened to my husband today we would left and only come back for the swallow study; and Gideon would not have to be exposed to the barium & radiation twice.

My heart breaks for my sweet Gideon. I wish I could go back and do it all over. I would have listened to the wisdom of my husband. I also would have taken time to pray. I know we all make mistakes from time to time, but when those mistakes affect our kids…. ugh… it’s so hard to handle.

I cannot un-do what has been done. So I am taking today for what it is…a lesson. It was a lesson in prayer, a lesson in listening, and lesson in waiting. Funny thing is that just yesterday, I heard a profound sermon on waiting. Unfortunately, it didn’t sink in until just now…

I’m looking forward to a new day. I guess in some way, tomorrow is my do-over. I have another chance to apply what I’ve learned- it’s a fresh start. Tomorrow I’m going to seek wisdom over convenience. Tomorrow I’m going to listen more than I speak. Tomorrow, when things seem out of control, I’m going to pray & wait for the Lord.

Such actions do not lead to a burden of remorse… but rather a bounty of joy.