Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday's Song: Jesus Messiah

He became sin, who knew no sin 
That we might become His righteousness 
He humbled himself and carried the cross 

Love so amazing, love so amazing 

Jesus Messiah, name above all names 
Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel 
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven 
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all 

His body the bread, his blood the wine 
Broken and poured out all for love 
The whole earth trembled, and the veil was torn 

Love so amazing, love so amazing, yeah 

Jesus Messiah, name above all names 
Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel 
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven 
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all 

All I hope is in You, all I hope is in You 
All the glory to You, God, the light of the world 

Jesus Messiah, name above all names 
Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel 
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven 
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all

He rescued me. He paid my ransom. And I give him all the glory!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Type of Respite

This week, my older kids have been on spring break. A couple months ago, I was gifted with passes for the West Edmonton Mall World Water Park from a family member. I had saved them for this week because I knew most other schools were back in session, having had their break already. Last year, we did it and we took Sarah. I don't think it was good or bad, just different and a little tougher. She is overwhelmed by the noises and chaos and gets cold quickly. It also meant that someone had to be with her at all times so either myself, Joshua or Andrea ended up in the shallow end or kiddie pools. Sarah also doesn't like her head or face wet which proved to be difficult in a water park setting as well. When this week rolled around, after a lot of thought and consideration, I knew it would be in her best interest if she didn't come. Instead, she spent five busy hours playing with Grandma!

It really tugged at my heart that it was best that she didn't come. So often, I look forward to introducing things like this to my kids and I desire full inclusion, especially as a homeschooler. I wanted her to come. I wanted to share the experience with her and I wanted her to enjoy it. But in the very same breath, I wanted my older three kids to have as much fun as possible and that couldn't happen when one of us had to watch Sarah.

When we arrived, I'll admit it took me a while to fully enjoy myself. Once the kids and I were up to our necks in waves and enjoying each other immensely, I knew I made the right decision. Joshua and I went on a few slides together and the connections with each other that I saw in my older three kids filled my heart with joy. Andrea and Joshua kept a close eye on Arianna and made sure no one bowled her over with a tube. We shared some snacks and drinks together and we ended our time with Joshua and I taking a ride on the zip line!

I am so blessed by Doug's mom who shared an entire afternoon with Sarah, playing in puddles, eating snacks and watching preschool cartoons. I think if she came, it would have been alright but probably not as carefree feeling as it was. It allowed me to fully embrace my older three, and giving them the opportunity to do something without being held back by Sarah and her needs. I know how important it is to do things like this once in a while so that they can enjoy being who they are.

 ** Picture courtesy of Grandma**
"Sarah splashed in grandmas puddle for about ten minutes ...
till the boots overflowed, and she announced she was now cold!"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Christ the Lord is Risen Today (UPBEAT)

Happy Easter! Christ has risen, he has risen indeed! Hallelujah!

  1. Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
    Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
    Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
    Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
  2. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
    Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
    Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
    Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
  3. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
    Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
    Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
    Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
  4. Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
    Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
    Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
    Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Andrea's Testimony

*This was typed out by myself but the words are all Andrea's. I corrected spelling and grammar but other than that, the writing is her own.*

Andrea’s Testimony
April 6, 2014

Since grade five, I have been determined to grow out my hair past my knees. I had set a goal and was working towards it. In grade six, I had gone to get a trim. Just an inch off then ends to clean the split ends. The hair dresser got talking to my mum and by the end, had layered it and cut it to about my shoulder blades. I was really disappointed and sad.

Later, when my ends were splitting again, I cut it myself. I braided it and trimmed the ends because I was so addicted to my hair and couldn’t trust a hair dresser. 

It was on a Wednesday (March 26), that I decided to cut it and not just a trim or even a couple of inches. I needed to get rid of it. It became an idol in a way. I was obsessed with growing it and caring for it. There was also the fact that it wasn’t manageable anymore. I hated showering because it took forever and brushing it was a pain. Plus, it was beginning to hurt my neck and scalp. 

I cried for an hour on Thursday night and then I prayed. I begged God to give me an answer, I needed Him to tell me what to do. After praying from 1:00 am till 2:00 am, I opened my Bible and read the ten commandments because I thought it might help. And it did. I read over it twice and then asked God to tell me what to do. I was especially drawn to verses 3 to 6 which read: 

“3. You shall have no other gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6. but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20: 3-6)

My hair had become an idol to me and I felt that God was telling me He wanted to be more important in my life than my hair. The next day, I cut it to the length it is now which is about 20 inches shorter! And I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m really happy with it and I know God helped me chose the right thing to do. I feel like like I have been released of a burden that had a firm hold of me and God has helped me grow in Him. 

Thankful Thursday

  • It's been almost two weeks since Sarah's dental work and I am so happy to report that she is healing nicely.  She's finally allowed me to put a toothbrush in, but she is still hesitant and I can't brush for long. Her eating habits are back to normal (for her) and she's eating pretty much all her favorites again. A new food that she loves now is oatmeal, or as she calls it "rice". We will go for a follow up in six months to see how things are looking. 
  • Today is the day before my kids' spring break. They've been working really hard, especially Joshua as all his online teachers are beginning PAT prep. I am looking forward to taking the next 10 days off!
  • I am thankful for a small prayer group that I am part of which includes myself and three other ladies. It is a time of prayer, sharing and spiritual growth. It has been such a blessing to watch our faith and relationships grow in Christ as we encourage one another.
  • Philippians 4:6-8 <--- link="">

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Song: The River

To the river I am going bringing sins I cannot bear 
Come and cleanse me, come forgive me Lord I need to meet you there 

In these waters, healing mercy flows with freedom from despair 
I am going, to that river Lord I need to meet you there 

Precious Jesus, I am ready to surrender every care 
Take my hand now, lead me closer Lord I need to meet you there 

Come and join us, in the river Come find life beyond compare 
He is calling, He is waiting Jesus longs to meet you there 
He is calling, He is waiting Jesus longs to meet you there 

Precious Jesus, I am ready to surrender every care 
Take my hand now, lead me closer Lord I need to meet you there 
Take my hand now, lead me closer Lord I need to meet you there

I took the line: "He is calling, He is waiting Jesus longs to meet you there" and I changed the word "you" to "me".  

"He is calling, He is waiting Jesus longs to meet ME there" 

That is my personal invitation from Him. He is waiting for me. He is longing to meet me. I am so thankful that God is patient. Even in times of sadness, discouragement and worry, when we can tend to fall away from Him, he waits. Patiently. The week leading up to Sarah's surgery was terrible. One day I might get into detail on how I grew from it but not today. 

His hand is always open to take. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sunday's Song (on Tuesday): Hungry

On Sunday, Andrea led worship at church which included an awesome testimony of hers. One of the songs she chose spoke some very powerful and honest words to me, especially after last week which was just a rough one all around. Once again, I'm grateful for the talented musicians and artists who can put into song what my heart is saying. 

Hungry, I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You
So I wait for You

I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart 
Is living for

Broken, I run to You 
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know
Your touch restores my life


I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart 
Is living for

Hungry, I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry

Saturday, April 5, 2014

24 Hours Later...

If you missed yesterday's post, you can find it HERE.

The morning dawned bright and early as Sarah's IV induced "nap" yesterday made her think that 3:30am was a good time to get up. I managed to stall her off for an hour but when she started to make her way downstairs, I figured I better follow. I sleepily made a coffee for me and a bowl of oatmeal for Sarah. We snuggled on the couch watching Netflix movies for the next hour.

Thankfully, she agreed with me that we could watch the same movie on my iPad in the bed. I dozed off and on till 6:30 when she decided that was enough and we made our way back downstairs, this time for good. During the morning, she was busy playing with her toys and acting very normal, although she hadn't had much to drink. She had extreme moments in the morning which consisted of either super playful or snuggling in my arms and consequently, crashed mid afternoon. We had a worship practice here this afternoon and during the music playing, she actually fell asleep in my arms.

It has been a very long time since I've had the feeling of a sleeping little person in my arms and it was pure joy.

When she woke up, she was insistent on a peanut butter sandwich and after checking with my sister in law, decided that it would be alright for her to have it. It was as if that was the boost she needed to get through the afternoon. She downed a couple cups of iced tea (whatever works!) and has been both playing and watching movies for the remainder of the day. I think she's recovering nicely although she's insisting on me being near her all the time. I think she's suffering from a slight case of post traumatic stress, which in her case is completely understandable. I am thankful that each day will arrive with a little more healing and she'll continue to feel better.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dental Update

Our appointment for today was slated for sometime between 11:00 & 12:00. We arrived on time (no snowstorm today) and were quickly admitted into pre-op. She was given a wrist band and as you can see in the picture below, and that hand was rendered useless until we left for home. Moments later, we headed to the back room and Sarah started to get very suspicious and began to cry. They weighed and measured her, then ushered us to curtained room so she could change into hospital pyjamas, have her blood pressure taken and get a temperature reading. They also applied a numbing cream to her feet for the IV. Once that was all done, Sarah and I headed back to wait some more with Doug. I brought my iPad and she brought the comforts of her choice: a pink puppy, a kitty from Danielle, "small puppy" from Miss. Lesa and a blanket.

A big part of what makes an event like this so hard is that Sarah doesn't understand what is going on. Even when we told her (minutes before going into the OR) that a special doctor was going to fix her teeth, she didn't comprehend it. It doesn't make sense to her and she can't understand why her desperate pleas of "I wan' to go home" remain unanswered. I could only respond with "soon" and "later" and she wasn't very impressed with my noncommittal answer.

Over all, this waiting part went fairly smoothly. She was happy enough to watch "Frozen" or the other cartoons on the wall mounted TV. Around 11:35, we were called back again, this time for the real deal. Her cries became more pronounced and she was so very unhappy. Right away, we met with the nurse, anesthesiologist and the dentist; all who would be working with Sarah. I was gowned and capped up so that I could be with Sarah until she was asleep. The mask was placed over her and within a few seconds, the fighting and tears subsided as she slipped into dreamland. The dentist escorted me back to Doug where I finally fell apart. I had wanted to be so strong for Sarah and let her know that it would all be okay, and I did. We headed to the cafeteria to get some lunch but it wasn't long before I needed to go back to the waiting room. I loved how Doug said "I know you well enough, I know where you want to be." The pager went off around 1:00 and we met with Dr. K to discuss what procedures had taken place. My sister in law (who is a nurse) popped in to visit just as the dentist came into the room. 

Sarah's dental work was quite extensive. She received six caps, one filling and two extractions. Her poor baby molars were such a mess. I had no idea they were that bad, nor did I expect to receive news like that. As the dentist walked away, I broke down again with the combination of the shock of the news, being tired and not having eaten much. A fierce part of me needed to be with Sarah so very badly.  I didn't know if anyone knew her needs or her level of comprehension. Since she was still in immediate recovery, we had to wait another 10 minutes or so before we could see her. 

Sleeping in my arms (her face is covered so there is no picture of how rough she looked)

Finally, when we arrived in the room, it took most of my will power not to climb over the rail into bed with her. Once the guard was down, I climbed on the bed and held her close. She was so very sad and looked like she had been through a boxing match. It was awful. Her whole mouth was swollen, her mouth was droopy, her voice was croaky from the intubation and she looked really rough. Dr. K had given Sarah an early discharge, so once she had a few sips of water and another dose of Tylenol, we were given the go ahead to leave. The lovely nurse let us out a back door so we wouldn't have to walk through the waiting room past other patients. 

The ride home was uneventful. She dozed off and on for the 30 minute drive which was a relief for me. Being at home consisted of movies for the afternoon. Her speech was really thick sounding as she still had some freezing in her cheeks and tongue. She was also VERY unbalanced. It didn't take long before she wanted to eat and quickly downed a couple bowls of oatmeal. A friend of mine came by shortly after 5:00 with a delicious meal to feed us which was such a blessing... not having to make a supper after this kind of day was a real gift. I am so grateful!

By 8:00, Sarah was snuggled in bed with me (I'm keeping her close tonight) and ready to sleep. I received a call from the dentist this evening, as she just wanted to check up on us and see how things were going. She seemed pleased with Sarah eating and drinking and left her cell number in case we needed her. She also reminded me that kids are very resilient and she would recover just fine. 

As I type this, she's curled up against me, deep in slumber-land. I'm praying that tonight is peaceful and uneventful.

I am so thankful for those who covered Doug, Sarah and I in prayers today. I could feel the peace of Jesus over me, even when it was really hard. I appreciate the encouraging texts and I hope you all know how special you are to our family. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Quick Update

Since I took a big Facebook break last winter, I've been posting considerably less than what I used to in the past. I update with my blog, an occasional picture and an update once in a while. I thought that I'd give an update on Sarah for those of you who enjoy my blog and would like to know how things are.

Last fall, Sarah saw a dentist for some concerns that I had. Upon a quick examination, it was clear that there was some work to be done but due to her lack of cooperation, we determined that IV sedation would be the only way to get her teeth fixed. In December we received a call saying that her appointment would be on April 4. That date seemed so far away at the time. All of winter, Christmas, my birthday... and now here we are two days before and the appointment is approaching very fast.

I hate having to do things for Sarah that will be extremely stressful on her, even though I know it's in her best interest. So much will happen to her on Friday and I will be powerless to save or rescue her. The numbing cream on her hands, the funny hospital pyjamas, the overall strange smells and sounds of a hospital... all these things that will put her already ultra sensitive sensory issues into overload. I think unless you've been there, you may not even be able to understand the scope of how hard it can be. She begs me to take her home with tears rolling down her face and I feel like I betray her because I can't simply save her. She trusts me for everything in her life. For food, water, safety and protection. That's my job; to protect and advocate for her. I'm not going to deny her the opportunity to have her teeth fixed even though it will just be one of those very hard days. I am SO thankful that Doug's work has been able to get our insurance sorted out early (before him being there for three full months) so that this procedure will be covered in part. I am also very grateful that he works in a place that it sensitive to family issues and can allow him the day off to spend with Sarah and I.

Tomorrow between 1:00 & 2:00, I have to call the hospital for my Friday appointment time. That's the soonest that I'll know more. Because she won't be able to eat after mid-night, I am really hoping for an early morning slot. It would be so nice to be done as soon as possible and come home to recover.


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