Sunday, March 30, 2014


I recently had a very personal lesson in forgiveness. I had done wrong to someone and hurt them. After a short time, I apologized and they quickly forgave me. It seemed simple enough except that the guilt that clung to my heart was agonizing. Thinking about what I did would immediately bring me to tears. I spent the week feeling terrible. I read my Bible, I prayed but it seemed like I could not let go of the pain and lay it at Jesus' feet. I think I knew that if I would just release it, then my heart would feel free again. It was such an incredible burden to cling on to and was as if I were chained down.

After sharing this experience with someone, they texted me this verse from 1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." There is no doubt in my mind that I love this person and I alway will. Could I let myself believe that once they forgave me, love would blanket my sin? Psalm 55:22 also reminded me, "Give your worries to the Lordand he will take care of you." 

Colossions 3:13 says "Forgive, as the Lord forgave you." This means we need to forgive ourselves and often that is just as hard as forgiving someone. During this struggle I read online, "Failing to forgive yourself will put blinders on your spiritual eyesight quickly. It will cause you to see things through the eyes of guilt, shame and condemnation. It will ruin your faith, and cause you to go blind spiritually." (cited from HERE) That got me to the core. I have been wanting a grander relationship with Jesus and I had recently made huge strides in my walk with Him and here I was holding on to this guilt that was blinding me spiritually. I knew something had to change.

This event consumed my thoughts for four whole days. It was eating me up. Although, I don't recall the turning point, I can remember physically opening my hands and letting the pain of guilt be taken away. It was almost immediately that I felt a lifting of a weight off my chest and shoulders. This negative feeling had taken such a hold on me and I finally felt relieved and free. What a joy to be released from the chains of guilt and I am so thankful that my God is patient and loving and has taught me to forgive.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cerebral Palsy Awareness 2014

Today is Cerebral Palsy awareness day. Something I knew very little about up until a few years ago.

November 24, 2011. Sarah received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which was likely caused by oxygen deprivation early on in my pregnancy. Up until this point, I'd only heard of that term and on that day, it became personal. Medically speaking, Sarah's "corpus callosum" is slightly thinned.  This means that the connection between the two halves of the brain is not as thick as it should be, therefore causing the delays. In Doug's not so medical terms, he confirmed that Sarah's brain is simply wired differently.  Not wrong or bad, just different. They also found that there is "periventricular white matter", consistent with "periventricular gliosis", WHICH as I understood, was the cause of her balance issues. Over the past few years, Sarah's balance has become more stable, although she is much more "stumblier" than other kids her age. We still tend to wince as she runs around corners or walks past the corner of the counter top. 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). Cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, and speech problems, and learning disabilities.

CP is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before or during a child's birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child's life. There is no cure for CP, but treatment, therapy, and special equipment can help a child who is living with the condition.  Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements like standing still are difficult. Other vital functions that also involve motor skills and muscles such as breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and learning may also be affected when a child has CP. Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time. (Cited from here)

What is Cerebral Palsy?

- While cerebral palsy is a blanket term commonly referred to as CP and described by loss or impairment of motor function, cerebral palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. 
- Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.
- Current research suggests the majority of cerebral palsy cases result from abnormal brain development or brain injury prior to birth or during labor and delivery.
- An individual with cerebral palsy will likely show signs of physical impairment. However, the type of movement disorder, the location and number of limbs involved, as well as the extent of impairment, will vary from one individual to another. It can affect arms, legs, and even the face; it can affect one limb, several, or all.
- Cerebral palsy affects muscles and a person’s ability to control them. Muscles can contract too much, too little, or all at the same time. Limbs can be stiff and forced into painful, awkward positions. Fluctuating muscle contractions can make limbs tremble, shake, or writhe.
- Balance, posture, and coordination can also be affected by cerebral palsy. Tasks such as walking, sitting, or tying shoes may be difficult for some, while others might have difficulty grasping objects.
- Other complications, such as intellectual impairment, seizures, and vision or hearing impairment also commonly accompany cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is non-life-threatening: With the exception of children born with a severe case, cerebral palsy is considered to be a non-life-threatening condition. Most children with cerebral palsy are expected to live well into adulthood.
Cerebral palsy is incurable: Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that cannot currently be fixed. Treatment and therapy help manage effects on the body.
Cerebral palsy is non-progressive: The brain lesion is the result of a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain.
Cerebral palsy is permanent: The injury and damage to the brain is permanent. The brain does not heal as other parts of the body might. Because of this, the cerebral palsy itself will not change for better or worse during a person’s lifetime. On the other hand, associative conditions may improve or worsen over time.
Cerebral palsy is not contagious; it is not communicable: In the majority of cases, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain. Brain damage is not spread through human contact. However, a person can intentionally or unintentionally increase the likelihood a child will develop cerebral palsy through abuse, accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, or the spread of a bacterial or viral infection.
Cerebral palsy is manageable: The impairment caused by cerebral palsy is manageable. In other words, treatment, therapy, surgery, medications and assistive technology can help maximize independence, reduce barriers, increase inclusion and thus lead to an enhanced quality-of-life.
Cerebral palsy is chronic: The effects of cerebral palsy are long-term, not temporary. An individual diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have the condition for their entire life.

**All information on this post was taken directly from MY CHILD.  I do not claim any part of this is as my own** 

There are many different degrees of cerebral palsy, with a large spectrum. Sarah falls on the mild end. Most of her delays are caused by the severe microcephaly while the CP causes her balance to be off a bit. I think it is also the cause of her weaker muscle tone in her legs and why she drags her toes when she walks. 

I have gone through a lot of moments of grief and sadness over the past two years. Some days, I'm still really sad that she will never catch up to her peers, and rather the gap will continue to increase. They will get further and further ahead and while Sarah will develop, it will be at a much slower pace than them. I am sad for what opportunities she may not have and I worry about how others treat her, especially since she acts so much younger than five.

It only takes a glimpse of her and her amazingly contagious smile to see what a blessing she is to me. She is almost always joyful. She shines with happiness and frequently checks in with her family with a "Are you happy?" She is easy to please and loves life. As long as there is Curious George, her baby, bananas and pink cheerios, then that's all that matters in her little world. I am blessed!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday's Song: I Need Thee Every Hour

Lately I've been thinking and singing these words so passionately. How desperately I need Him all the time. He is my strength, He is my comfort, He is my shelter. This weekend, I am thankful for his forgiveness and his wonderful mercies. 

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

Happy Birthday Mom

When a person passes away, there are no more pictures and no new memories made. When I look back over the years that I've been blogging, I think I write about my mom 3-4 times a year. On her birthday, Mother's Day and the day she passed away. I have to use the same picture every time because there are no new ones. The beautiful smiling face below is the one that is forever etched in my mind. It will never get older, her hair will never get greyer. Her face will always shine with a glorious beauty that will never change. Today marks what would have been her 59th birthday. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her, wonder what her thoughts are on how I'm doing with my kids or wish I could ask her opinion of something. On special occasion days, such as this, I miss her just a little bit more. 

Happy Birthday Mom, you are loved and still so very missed.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday's Song - How Marvelous

I'm so thankful for the talented men and women who can take words, put them into music and have it mean so much to me. I think the promising words of this classic song are so powerful! His love for me is marvellous and wonderful!!

Happy Sunday!

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Saviour’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed: Not My will, but Thine.
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Because He Lives

Over the past two days I read through the book of John in my Bible and the amazing stories that are found in it. I've been "reading" my Bible for many years now, at least since I learned to read and it was as if I read it for the very first time. So many wonderful accounts of Jesus' life were brought to such clarity for me and even the glorious ending when he visits his disciples after he rose from the dead. This got me to thinking about how wonderful it will be when all His people are reunited in Heaven and we will get to be with those who have gone before us. When I think of this kind of thing, my mind often thinks of music...

I was reminded of my junior high years... I had befriended an old man named Leonard who also attended the church I grew up in. It's been many years since he has gone to be with the Lord now but the memories I shared with him are still really clear. There was just something warm and welcoming in his eyes and we spent many hours visiting. Some of these hours included me visiting him and his wife in their house with music. I would play my flute, his wife would play piano and he would sing. I'd bring my family's old hymnal and play whatever he wanted. This particular song was one of my (and actually one of his) favorites and it was played on a weekly basis. When I think of the power the lyrics hold, I am moved to tears that Christ loves me SO much. He lived, He died, He bought my pardon! What a gift! And then the joyous end... "I'll see the lights of GLORY and I'll know He lives." I don't need to fear, I can deal with tomorrows, my future is in His hands! 

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives! 


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives! 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives! 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday's Song: I Surrender All

This week I did a prayer exercise which meant taking time to surrender everything to God. He is my only Lord and at His feet I can lay everything down; my emotions, my fears, my relationships, my family, my health, my successes and failures. As I did this, the words of the familiar song "I Surrender All" kept pouring out of me and I've been doing this almost daily.

  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.
    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  5. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

I was especially caught up with the simple word "ALL". I surrender ALL to Jesus. I believe amazing and wonderful things will happen in a relationship with Christ once we have surrendered ALL to Him. 

May you be blessed this Sunday morning.

Image from HERE

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Mornings

Oh little girl of mine, you should not be up so early. My first thought as Sarah greeted me with her chirpy "Good morning Mum!" was not entirely happy. I was quickly frustrated knowing that my quiet time was likely not going to happen. Yet, almost instantly a voice in my head said, "Choose Joy." Feeling slightly reprimanded, I picked up my soft, fuzzy five year old and we headed down to the main floor. I turned on the Keurig and got Sarah a bowl of her "pink Cheerios". Once she was settled down with a movie and something to eat, and I with my coffee, I sat down and opened my Bible. My time with God did not need to be non existent because Sarah was around, it would just be different. 

I opened my Bible to the Psalms and read in chapter 143, verses 8 & 10. 

8) Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,  for to you I entrust my life.
10) Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

I love how this begins with "Let the morning...". I am that morning person and it's like it was a personal note from God when I got up that he was up with me as well. What a wonderful way to begin a day with a little message from him!

"Show me the way I should go...". Parenting, homeschooling, teenagers, special needs and the list goes on. 

I need his guidance as I live my day to day life and every day I surrender my life, my family and my choices to God. As I do this, I know that I am filled with the Holy Spirit and His everlasting love. He is unfailing, he is all that I need, he is life and he is my God. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pediatrician Appointment {03.04.14}

Why does it not surprise me that the night before an appointment, the snow would blow in? Once again (like last time), the usual 35 minute drive to the doctor's office took me nearly 90 minutes. The roads were really slippery and SO busy.

Her regular doctor was away so we saw the other pediatrician in the office. I wasn't overly impressed as she was very business-like and it seemed like all she was there to do was fill out the required paper work. Sarah needed a pre-op done for her dental work which is in a month... Yikes! We've waited for this appointment since December and I can't believe it's this close already. Although Sarah was unhappy at the doctor's office, she wasn't nearly as frantic as she has been in the past. I believe that people were praying for me and I could feel the calming peace of Jesus as I sat there. I'm so thankful for friends who care so very much.

After all was said and done, she has gained a couple pounds and her head size has stayed the same. 

The majority of her afternoon was spent cuddling me and shedding many tears and that was mostly because I wouldn't take her to a friend's house. I needed to get a few things from the store and so I grudgingly packed up all four kids and headed out. This is what Sarah does when we go to a larger, busier shopping center (like Wal Mart). I really think I should just stop bringing her and stressing her out. One day I'll learn!

I was exhausted after all that. It was a stressful drive in, an appointment, complete with the usual tears and an afternoon that was full of more crying. I think she was more than happy to have her bath and go to bed. Hopefully after a good night's sleep, she'll be doing much better today!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday's Song: How Great Thou Art

I grew up in a time when the classic hymns were sung on a weekly basis at church and over time the more modern worship songs were slowly introduced. Lately I've found a few albums on iTunes that still have the hymns but with a bit of added modernisms :) . One morning I was playing them and this song came on. Both Joshua and Arianna said how much they love this particular song. Part of me was so excited that I have been able to instil a love of these timeless songs into my children!

How Great Thou Art

Verse 1:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


Verse 3:
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.


Verse 4:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Happy Sunday! And if you live near me, stay warm, it's cold out there!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Welcome March

Well, it seems like this month is coming in like a raging lion. Woke up to the furnace running for all it's worth and when I checked the weather online, this is what I saw:

I'm not even going to convert that to Fahrenheit for my US friends because once temperatures look like that, it doesn't matter. Here's hoping this is the last cold snap and that spring is on the way...


Related Posts with Thumbnails