Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's five

554. monarch butterflies
555. garbage trucks hauling our bad smells away
556. the best result of my homemade pizza making efforts yet
557. a double date with Jeff and Darcie, our anniversary buddies and our don't-get-to-visit-with-often-enough friends
558. an older lady's generosity and the joy it brought her heart

Thursday, May 30, 2013

wonders

"Loving God motivates active contemplation of the wonders around us." Steve DeWitt

549. the comfort of a knit dress
550. a quiet moment with AG while the boys played wild
551. laughter while dodging summer showers
552. the old road that took us on an afternoon adventure
553. sunflowers showcased against fields of wheat






stingrays and trophies

543.  Your provision for a friend, right on time
544.  Your strength
545.  little hands helping with the dishes
546.  rainbow bellied Atlantic stingrays mesmerizing the kids (and me)
547.  Asher eager and willing to take a little snooze
548.  a baseball trophy in happy hands


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

summer sunshine

537.  Jesse's gentle spirit
538.  a swing and a visit at BeBe's house
539.  Zeke making AG and me giggle
540.  summer sunshine
541.  patience enough for a little person's hurt toe
542.  a tough day bending my knee again- remembering my weakness and Your strength


Monday, May 27, 2013

memorials

532. those who have paved the way for our country's freedom and their many sacrifices
533. the real life love story that is our marriage and the twelve years You've held it together for us
534. the smell of burgers grilling
535. a brief but happy (and very lucky) run-in with our dear friends the Wiggins
536. hours and hours of happy splashing
my grandfather, George Dent, in Belgium in 1944

Sunday, May 26, 2013

small and big and a surprise

527. You, my song
528. Psalm 118
529. a small thing big in our kids' eyes
530. a surprise cake decorated just for us
531. a beautiful celebratory meal



Saturday, May 25, 2013

content


520. a perfectly yellow banana
521. wind making the grass dance
522. waffle fries with Texadelphia mustard sauce
523. hand holding
524. home crafted popsicles to bring in the season
525. ending the day with a content and full heart and recognizing it for the gift it is
526. Karl and DD caring for their mother so well (comfort our Memaw as she continues to heal, Lord)

red blue and purple


515.  relentless love coming from my community-of-believers group
516.  smoothies full of health
517.  a picnic table full of sweet friends
518.  Facetime to pray and share struggles
519.  Anna Grace's heart in red blue and purple

Friday, May 24, 2013

first day of the rest of our summer


510.  a first day of summer full of possibility and anticipation
511.  kids playing school
512.  siblings delighting in each other
513.  Corinne Carroll (what a gem!)
514.  Jack's texts that make me laugh- always

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

orange and green apologies

506.  encouragement that comes with a prayer group
507.  gym buddies- a circle ever expanding (being back at the gym!)
508.  my mom's hands that create and build
509.  paint and creativity from head to toe (colors!)
510.  at the dinner table, apologies all around


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

grace

501. Anna Grace living up to her name, extending grace to her momma
502. the daring of boy hearts
503. Mrs. Walley's note about my daughter- way better than any straight A report card that will ever come home
504. safety in the storm
505. a closet cleaned

my ligament miracle

It was at the top of a mountain that it happened.  My skis went careening to the right, my body was falling to the left and my left knee was the unhappy fulcrum.  Something had to give.  So only a couple of days shy of a new year, it was my left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that took one for the team.  I'd like to tell you that I blew it out while it was shredding it on a totally gnarly run down a double black diamond, but no.  It was just good entertainment for the liftie as I fumbled off to go down a green.  

Oops. 

the scene of the crime- almost the very spot
 So life went on and we got back home and appointments were made and an MRI was scheduled and then read and- low and behold- it was just as I thought.  My doctor explained that I had significant contusions on my lateral tibia and femur and my ACL was indeed torn.  He explained my options (sort of like Miranda rights for the injured) and gave me some time to think about how elderly he made my 35 years out to be whether or not I wanted to have it repaired.  The discovery of a hernia threw another medical variable in the mix, delaying the repair significantly so that I could have one surgery date instead of two, but May 10th was finally decided upon by both my general surgeon and my orthopedic one.  I would have the ACL-hernia repair combo, please, with a side of Percocet.  

Meanwhile, I had been progressively improving.  I was running short distances and following a fairly normal workout routine.  I knew my friend Kathy was praying and praying and praying for my knee- she really didn't want me to have to have the surgery.  My worry-prone husband Jack was constantly requesting prayer for my knee and surgery and he was praying, too.  I was praying for wisdom in navigating the medical decisions but wasn't too worried about it all- ever.  There was some sort of peace that I had about the whole thing from the beginning and I knew that Jack had the worry department covered.  Come to find out, he really had the prayer department covered, too.

So May 10th came and to the surgery center we went and I woke up to some strong pain and some good news:  

No ACL repair needed.  

What happened?  It took me a week before I could get back to see the orthopedist for the full story, but that was my question for him yesterday.  

Here was his answer:

The MRI results did indicate a tear, but the bone contusions and swelling may have clouded the view of a very small part of my ACL still holding.  There is a stress-strain curve that ligaments like the ACL follow to the point of failure.  Mine may have been at the top of that curve- almost to the point of failure but not at the point of complete rupture. That was his theory.    



 
But even if that was how it happened, he explains, it is very unusual to have had it heal like it did.  "We don't usually see this,"  he said.  The picture below (IMG_006) is an arthroscopic view of my ACL.  The fibers are white with a blood supply running from the bottom left to the top right.  It is a beautiful and strong ligament and I don't know about you, but it looks like it was never even close to torn to me. 
 

He further explained that after I was under anesthesia, he checked my knee manually and scratched his head so to speak- it seemed so much more stable.  He usually takes the hamstring graft first (this is how it was going to be repaired- a piece of my hamstring would be taken to use to repair the ACL), but he held off on harvesting the tendon and instead made two incisions on either side of my knee for the scope.  Of course he saw my healed and whole ACL but he was able to smooth the back side of my patella which was torn up and rough, so the procedure had served a good and necessary purpose without a hard recovery.  

I don't know if Jack prayed for all of this specifically, but it seems like the best outcome possible- good and necessary procedures without a difficult recovery with some divine healing thrown in there.  

Psalm 29:2 exhorts us to "ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name." Having kept an online and public web log for seven years, I share a good bit of my life, but medical information is generally something I don't.  However, when you have people pray like that and the Lord moves like that, it just seems wrong to keep it to myself.  I must ascribe the glory to Him for this, my ligament miracle. 

Of course, God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  He gives and He takes away because He knows the beginning and the end.  He could have answered our prayers in a number of different ways but I think that maybe this is His kindness in action or maybe He just has plans for me and this flesh and bone vessel He has given me for now and I need to be strong and whole for what's ahead.   I don't know.  

All I know is that I'm grateful to be almost 100% again. 

So thank you, Lord, for Your hand on me through all of this.  Thank you for my friends and family and especially my husband who was so faithful to pray.  And lead and guide me and use me for what's next.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

to 500

495. the deep, strong, and visceral kind of love I have for my children even as it is different for each one
496. Kate's report of a tiny baby radius, ulna, tibia, fibula, brain plates, stomach, long fingers, and spinal cord with vertebrae as seen via ultrasound today- another nephew (or maybe a neice) is on the way!
497. a beautiful and strong ACL as seen via arthroscope (wow!)
498. a smiling orthopedic surgeon who told me the prayers over my knee worked
499. technology allowing pictures and videos and messages to connect us when we can't be together in person
500. neither death nor life being able to separate us from Your love
Kate and Patrick's big announcement!

a prayer for Oklahoma

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) 

Lord, thank you that nothing can separate us from the Your love as revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Even in the midst of great loss, we pray that the people of Oklahoma would know that love and be comforted and strengthened by that great, unstoppable, power-full love.  The spirit within groans as we don't even know how else to pray.  Come, Lord Jesus.  Amen. 

A birthday blessing in Psalm (95)

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.




The sea is his, for he made it,
    and the dry land, which his hands have formed.


O come, let us worship and bow down,
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!



Asher Adam, may you always have a thankful heart, singing with joy to the rock of your salvation.  May you know Him as Creator God who made and sustains all things.  You were made to be a part of his flock, precious and valuable in His eyes.  May you always listen for His voice.  What a joy you've been these past three years and I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for you!  Happppy birthday, Asher dude!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

stained glass and crawfish

489. stained glass windows
490. Psalm 95 (and the tune I will always hear when I read it)
491. slip-n-slide and crawfish in our neighbor's back yard and the time spent with people who aren't just like us
492. Verdis' momma- her smile and her warmth
493. Jamie's efforts and perseverance to gift us with a night just to plain worship You
494. a long day's end and the hope of a new day without any mistakes in it yet (as Anne would say)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

whew

484. a happy birthday kitchen dance party in our pajamas
485. the amazing blessing of three years with Asher
486. my brother and sister-in-law moving to Shreveport! (and within 2 miles of my house and mom's house no less)
487. bubbles and balls and the delight little kids find in such things
488. Karen and Will and a little time with Karen and Will

Friday, May 17, 2013

filled with joy


479.  children's Tylenol for a pesky neck cramp
480.  a gaggle of kindergarten kids singing a loud rendition of "Praise Ye the Lord"
481.  Zeke's big day representing his big year when he grew so much and in so many ways
482.  Friday night Pie Works, table for eight
483.  laundry detergent for a pesky stench


Thursday, May 16, 2013

beauty for ordinary places

474.  the privilege of being curator of my laundry room art gallery


475.  Zeke's hand in mine- just us for an hour
476.  Sharpie hash marks on the door frame measuring children growing
477.  pajamas after a long day
478.  Zeke's prayer request in the storm and all our friends and family's safety through it
 

tasting and seeing: the Lord is good

469. our park expedition
470. Meg and her baby bringing lunch and a side of laughter (she's always with the laughter)
471. the nervous system that gives me five different ways to experience Your world
472. doctor and nurse friends, caring and consulting
473. Jason Greer cuisine delivered (amazingly delish as usual)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Expedition

Our expedition began early- first thing in the morning.  We looked over the waters below, peering down.  There were alligators, fish food, and sharks eating fish!  Wow!  We hurried to the bridge and looked again.  There it was-  the neon green fish food.  The arrows on the pavement directed our next moves.  Hurry! We hurried.  My leader, my blonde Diego, was running fast now.  I couldn't keep up.  It's ok.  He could wait.  There was another bridge and more water and other sojourners along the way.  We were explorers, wild and free, exploring under the morning sun with great speed.  Ok, I was a little slow, but still, my leader, with a rubber band around his head and a look of fun in his eye, was quick and he was showing me a whole world full of adventure.


It was as if we had never been to Betty Virginia Park in our whole lives.  Of course, having grown up going to Betty Virginia, I'd been there hundreds if not thousands of times.  But that's the thing about kids.  They'll turn things on their heads for you if you pay attention.


As for the rubber band on the head, I don't know.  He wanted to do it and it made him happy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

deep dark praise

464.  Jonny and Amber's duets- memorial blessings over her grandfather's life
465.  a sit down chat with a neighbor
466.  an encouraging message
467.  finding just the right thing for Zeke
468.  the deep dark blue of the 8:29pm sky

"Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise."   Robert Robinson

they see it

Asher's interview

Zeke's interview

Anna Grace
One of the many things the kids brought home from school or church (I don't know which) had a quote on it from Charles Spurgeon: "Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."

This is both an inspiring thought and a terrifying one.

Inspiring because we have these blank slate hearts to encourage and mold and grow into the men and women God created them to be.  Terrifying because we have the opportunity to make a big mess of things.

So when you get report cards like this from your children that don't include all the times you've fallen short of being the "perfict" mom they think you are (God bless them), it makes you so glad.  So glad.  All the parenting advice in the world doesn't measure up to what is actually going on in the heart of your child and there is nothing like a glimpse inside of it.  So when Asher says he likes to play with me and Zeke says that he thinks that I LIKE to cook and Anna Grace describes me as "eger" to help, my heart is so encouraged.  It reminds me that this important work of motherhood is not lost on them- not at all.  Even when it seems small and unnoticed or unimportant, it is not.  And not only that.  All those times you've messed up and fallen on your face and done the wrong thing- somehow they've forgiven you and you rejoice even more because of the mercy and grace and forgiveness that has fallen over the hearts of your family. 

I don't know if you got any of this kind of stuff for Mother's Day, but if you didn't and if you're fighting the fight every day to feed your children's hearts, souls, and bodies, be encouraged.  Not only do your children see it, your Father in heaven sees it and it honors Him.

So happy belated Mother's Day especially to my own trifecta of mothers who have fed my own heart, soul, and body, for so so many years.  Love you!!!  xxoo


Kathy, my momma in Jesus

Barbara, the woman who birthed and raised my awesome husband and who loves us all so well



Camille, the woman who birthed me, changed my diapers, sacrificed so much for me, and even now holds my hand when I need her

Monday, May 13, 2013

braving it

464. food and medicine and food that works like medicine
465. the wonder of the digestive system (nuf said)
466. the look in Asher's eyes when he saw his mail
467. Marcia's homemade guacamole
468. Jack braving the baseball field despite his allergies (that's Father love)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

quiet

459. the warm sun on my skin
460. a change of clothes and a head scarf
461. church bells- I can hear them from my backyard
462. the privilege of being called mom
463. so much still and so much quiet

Saturday again

458. so many kindnesses- more than I can count

Friday, May 10, 2013

miracles and all grace

451. a miracle in my very very prayed over knee (You are so kind!)
452. Mom's hand-holding and completely devoted service to my every need (momma love sure is singular and strong)
453. Barbara's taking care of the kids when I couldn't
454. my husband braving things because he loves me
455. the spunk You gave my grandmother and how You're with her in her recovery
456. pain medicine
457. how You're always with us and You never leave us

Thursday, May 9, 2013

always for everything

"One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations."  Saint John of Avila

"...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20

441.  my grandmother's being saved from fire, burn units (help her heal, Lord)
442.  Amber's brokenhearted phone call
443.  my tripod of friendship with the Jennifers and our rejoicing over JennO's great new job
444.  a funeral-testimony of a life well lived
445.  being able to give a purple laced handkerchief (a girl should always have something pretty to cry into)
446.  Psalm 40 popping up again
447.  my own flowered handkerchief receiving tears
448.  Victory in Jesus, the hymn, and memories of my dad swinging his arm to the tune
449.  my family gathered round a table
450.  my extended family of believers, always a phone call, email, or text away, always always ready to help

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

powdered sugar or cinnamon?

436. the smell of Red River Parish's country air
437. my boys' strong arms and legs, climbing and sliding
438. French toast and funny memories about French toast
439. three shoe boxes: long-lasting kid entertainment
440. a sweet surprise in the mail just for me (what love!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

peace like a river

430.  a symphony of bird songs in the morning darkness
431.  coffee close and faithful friends sharing before the day really started
432.  Kit, the sweet little baby girl mostly sleeping today
433.  cooking comradery - four hands are better than two
434.  spinach muffins, hummus, congo bars, coconut pumpkin spaghetti squash, sweet potato kale chicken patties, and cheese crackers all homemade
435.  peace like a river for what lies ahead

Monday, May 6, 2013

encourage one another






427.  how news of death's sting sends us to our knees
428.  the life and testimony of Mr. Blair aka "Pops"
429.  Your answered prayers and Your kindness in the midst of suffering- he didn't linger long

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words."  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Sunday, May 5, 2013

alaba el señor

422. 18 singing seniors singing about standing on Your promises- even when three of them couldn't stand on their feet anymore
423. Jeff telling me not to run in church- our pastor is funny
424. eight friends around my dining room table and all the prayers and life we've shared over this past year
425. the Hispanic praise and worship band that sang over our supper- awesome!
426. Zeke's way of rising up and calling me blessed

Saturday

417. a time out for down dog and cobra pose and back bends and the like and the refreshment that came with it
418. Zeke's finger still attached and fine after a close call with pruning shears
419. red roses and hot browns and the fun we had at the Derby party
420. the tree giants in the Harper back pasture
421. all the beauty we see as just a shadow of Your beauty

Friday, May 3, 2013

waking and tasting and seeing and hearing

411. Asher's too-early wake up call (You knew I needed the extra time)
412. my children's teachers who encourage and love (and pull a mean rope)
413. field days with sister cheering on brother
414. warm toasty sandwiches- lunch with mom
415. a documentary about Australia- a window to the world in my bedroom
416. my husband's forever search for new tunes and the music he broadcasts through our lives

the thrill of victory

Field day 2013 was unexpectedly cold and unexpectedly thrilling all at the same time.

Class tug-o-war was up first.  Zeke's method was the don't-look-back method and I guess it worked out for him pretty well.  The buckaroos, his K5 class, took the blue ribbon.



The elementary students rushed the field when the lower school teachers beat the middle school teachers on their teacher pull.  It was so fun I almost cried.  I know that it's weird, but I get teary at really fun stuff like this.



AND AG came home with first place on the potato sack race.


It may have been cold, but our hearts were all warm from all the fun.

So thank you, Jesus, for field day.  We loved it.