Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daily Armor...Brighter Days

"Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occassions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Ephesians 6: 10-18
This is such a powerful and practical section of scripture. It's the "Armor of God" and here lately I try to pray it over myself, Spencer, our marriage, friends, family, etc. daily. I pray it out loud, claim it out loud, and visualize it over who or what I am praying for. I've read and prayed through asking God to speak, and he has shown me the power and need for it...especially in these past few weeks.
We have been home a few weeks now...yea! As I mentioned in an earlier post, it has gotten better :). We are tired but as I understand...welcome to parenthood :). We have gotten more of a routine and that helps. Selah seems to be adjusting well and it is truly a blessing to have her here at home! There are still moments though that I wish for us to be able to get out of the house together or to be able to go and do how we used to. There are moments where I wish things were "easier" for Selah now and in the future. This is not a complaint by any means...just human nature I think...but I am truly thankful for this experience. It has been adjustment though. Due to hormones, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and more, the first week or so was pretty rough. Things have gotten a little more settled and less "intense" too...emotionally that is. My "bestie," Jill, has been fabulous at talking me through some of the emotions and feelings and has really helped in reminding me that I am "normal"...thank you friend, love you! I know that we have been covered in prayer also and we can truly say thank you and that it makes a difference. The calls, texts, meals, visits also show your support and have been a blessing...thank you!
Despite the abudance of love and support though, darkness has tried to take over, and I am sure as we journey on, will try again. What I mean by darkness is feelings of isolation, loneliness, fear, anxiety, selfishness, jealousy, sadness...despair. Now these feelings may all be justified and normal but none of them are of our Heavenly Father...especially when they're prolonged and consistent. They have been battling for my mind, heart, and spirit though...and it's a fierce battle. I can only say I have been less than pleasant to live with...just ask Spencer :). Anyway, as I have try to "deal" with all these feelings and "darkness," I continue to fail...trying to win this battle on my own is just not working. As I've taken time to seek God and listen and look for him, he has yet again led me away from "my ways and thinking" to his. He has been teaching me the importance of this "battle" and clothing myself or equipping myself with his armor, his truth, his power, his strength...making my thoughts "captive to him." He has taught me that although these feelings are normal, they are not healthy and not of him. He has led me to daily, throughout the day, pray and claim his armor over myself, my mind, my entire being. My thoughts, behavior, reactions, desires become transformed and as I have responded to his leading, a lightness has began to fill me and his joy and hope and peace have begun to fill me again...leading to brighter days. This "battle" is something he is using to teach me that I cannot combat the feelings, the circumstances, or anything else solo...only in his power and strength...suited up in his mighty armor.
Now praying the armor and visualizing during prayer may seem like a strange concept but there is power in it. Praying it out loud and claiming it out loud has power that Satan cannot defeat. It is something that I often forget, but God has been reminding me, that the treasures in my life are "worth" it...my mind, my spirit, my marriage, my family, my friends. As this has been occurring, the tension has lessened between Spencer and I, there is true joy in looking into Selah's beautiful eyes as I care for her, there is hope where things seemed so hopless, there is joy where there is sadness, there is an awareness again of the amazing blessings and support surrounding us....his Spirit is working on transforming the "dark" into "light" in me...only by me yielding to him.
...On another note...:)
Selah's jaw distraction surgery is set for July 25th. Anxious, worried, sad...are only a few of the emotions battling for my mind and thoughts when I think of this surgery and the ones to come. She is home, settled, growing, doing "good" with her trach...so why "mess" with this...going through my mind. The thought of her being in the hospital and hurting breaks my heart. But it is recommended to proceed with the procedure in hopes that it will open up her airway. So it is something I am truly trying to give to God...don't even know the words to pray about it...just silently come before him and lift her up.
We also have a "loaner" hearing aid she is wearing temporarily...yes she's rockin an aid on a soft pink headband that has "demo" on it...we're truly thankful for the opportunity to borrow it!!! :)We are not sure the extent of her hearing loss so we are not certain what hearing aid and methods will benefit her best. As she grows and further testing is done, we hope to find out more. So, for now we're letting her wear this aid and trying to see how she responds.
So that's about it for now. We still go to some doctor visits and just hang out at home...keeping her out of that "unsterile" public, lol! We are truly thankful to be home!
Thank you for your love, prayers and support!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We are now home in Hattiesburg...yea! We've been here going on two weeks now...I think. We are so thankful to be home. Selah seems to be adjusting to her new environment. She is still gaining weight and growing. She is doing well with her trach and g tube also. We are going to Jackson a lot for follow up doctor visits. Our days consist of caring for Selah and going to doctor appointments. She has different equipment set up here at the house that is necessary for her to have daily. Spencer has gotten creative and figured out ways to make all the euipment more "portable" so we can move it around the house with her. This has helped...to be able to leave her room. We are still trying to figure out a routine and schedule...not sure if you ever get one just right. She is sleeping pretty good. Her days and nights may be mixed up a little. We have her in our room at night set up with her equipment and we are playing around with not taking sleep "shifts." We are just trying to figure out what is safest and will work...it is nice to lie down beside Spencer at night rather than just passing by him as we take our "shift." So, we are good, just trying to take it day by day.
The first week was emotional, sleep deprived, exhausting...shall I go on :). We are feeling a little better though and things seems less "intense." We are truly thankful to have this precious baby here with us and we just have to remember that in the "moment." We've had so much support from our family and friends and we are truly thankful!
The next "step" for Selah is the jaw distraction surgery. We are looking at having this done in July. It is a hard decision...to think of putting her through more surgeries, hospital stays, etc. We are just getting her home and settled and to think of taking her right back is hard for me. But, we want to do what is best for her. The doctors recommend going ahead now, July, and proceeding with the surgery. The hopes are that it will extend her lower jaw out enough to open up her airway. If her airway is opened up enough then we can possibly look at the trach coming out (eventually) and having her breathe on "her own." If this was successful then we hope that she'd also be able to feed on "her own" and be able to have the g tube taken out. So, this first surgery is to try to accomplish that. It will be a gradual process.
She will have to have further surgeries as she grows and develops. Her jaw is underdeveloped and they say will not grow as she does. This will have to be corrected as well as if her teeth are affected. So, really this will just be addressed as she grows. For right now we are looking at trying to open up the airway.
We will also meet with the doctor about her hands and the options for that. She doesn't have a thumb on either hand. We will look at the best optons to handle this and the timeline. We are waiting on getting financial approval through Mediacaid for Disabled Child Living at Home. This program is based on the child's disability and will help pick up the financial bills/expenses that insurance doesn't cover. She has to be ruled eligible to receive it though. We have applied and are waiting to see about that. We hope and pray she will be eligible and we can go ahead in ordering her hearing aids and taking care of other needs.
So right now I think that is where we are at. We look at pictures of Selah when she was first delivered and how far she has come already. We hold her now and look at her beautiful blue eyes and are truly blessed. When the moments of uncertainty or "why" hit, I try to remember all the blessings in where we are at right now. God has been reminding me not to miss out on all the "sweet moments" along this journey. I read this morning about Abraham and his story. I concluded reading about how despite the unanswered questions and unseen pieces of the puzzle, he had faith and he was blessed. I pray that in this part of our story and Selah's that we like Abraham walk in faith and continue to cling to God's promises and hope.
"Yet he did not waver in unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:20-21

We truly value your support and prayers...thank you, we love ya!!!

PS The "boys" are home...Stud and BB...and thankfully that is going well...answered prayers! :)