Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fragile Emotions...Part 2 Preliminary Diagnosis!

     Teachable moments........they are every second of everyday as we journey through this life parenting our God given gifts.  Some are easy moments while some are ridiculously crazy.  I have noticed on my journey with my three girls that the teachable moments subject may be the same, however they have to be taught differently.  With one child I can share scripture and explain in more detail our purpose as Christians that God has put forth for us.  With another, those teaching moments have to be short and light.  This way her attention is kept, and she retains and understands what is being taught.  My other.....well it is all of the above plus more.  It depends on what kind of day and what kind of mood she is in. The investment in teaching our children is constant and so greatly needed.  Sometimes I would like to take a break and let just one here or there slip by, because it is so tiring and draining.  However we all know that would be a disaster! 

     I have discovered something lately that in my opinion presents a whole new set of obstacles.  Seems the more our family teaches and walks by faith, the more difficult the obstacles have gotten.  I can see small pockets where evil has seeped in.  This forces those teachable moments to be in full force and makes me be on alert at all times.  The devil is good at finding those pockets BUT God is GREAT in giving us the strength, courage, and faith to rise above and come out Victorious!

     This leads me to the past few weeks.  It has been crazy...teaching moments every second of every day.  I have begun preparing Cora for her upcoming medical appointments.  Let me tell you it has been overwhelming for me in processing it all, so I have decided to scale back those teaching moments with her.  Is this the correct choice.....I have no idea!  My goal however is to keep her abreast of what is to come, but not breakdown each detail so it will create worry within her.  

      I have also had to re-evaluate my parenting.....teaching moments with her.  A few weeks back I wrote a post about fragile emotions.  Learning a child's emotional state may be frail and teetering on deeper issues that impact her daily life. Well...... it is not just frightening its unsettling.  This creates a bigger responsibility!  As her Mom I need to doing my research so I can be ready to parent my daughter as she faces these challenging and new obstacles in her life.  Though we haven't been given a firm diagnosis yet, the preliminary that I just stated above is enough at this time.....for me to do some reach and for my CHD daughter to face head on.  

     Once we wind down from our intense evaluation appointments and given a firm diagnosis I will make sure to share our findings.  Having a child with a Congenital Heart Defect doesn't stop with just the fixing of the heart.  There are constantly new arising issues these CHD children must face as they grow.  When you out the pressure of just being a kid growing up ontop of the additional concerns by doctors and obstacles to bear you can see how strong these little CHD kiddos are!  

Blessings until next time.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Pandora's Box!

     All it took was one trigger and Pandora's box was opened.  A side I usually can contain, exploded in a way I am ashamed to admit, won out at that moment. I stood in the middle of the room feeling my ears burning. I knew I was on the verge of losing it.  I gave into the anger......evil found an opening in my thoughts and snuck right in.  It took over all my emotions and sin began!

      Arms flying in the air I started. "You have no idea what it's like.  I have to prompt her 100 times a day to remember stuff that everyone else in the world doesn't even have to think about.  It just comes automatically to them, but not to her.  It is so exhausting to be her brain and mine! I recognize it isn't her fault but some days...well some days I am tired of constantly repeating myself.  I am sick of hearing my own voice.  I have become a nagger instead of a kind encourager.  I frustrate so quickly instead of being slow to anger.  I am embarrassed of the parent I am becoming.  I can feel myself lose control of the situation when it occurs and I just can't get a hold on it.  I know there has to be a way to get things to stick inside her little brain.....why can't anyone figure this out?"  By this time I am in all full blown hissy fit.  I am folding laundry with gusto, and deliberately throwing down the folded towels on my bed.

     "Honestly Lord, I am sick of being the shoulder to lean on. I can't be with her 24/7 so when she doesn't remember who is going to help her?  You know how many times she would have missed the bus or, gotten on the wrong bus without a teacher guiding her this past school year?  Maybe the anticipation of school beginning soon is adding to my stress.  But when school does start the stress will intentsfy, making the simplest of tasks down right unbearable for both of us.  I've tried so many different things to fail each time.  I am only one person.....and maybe I'm wishing for something crazy?  But miracles happen everyday, why can't a miracle break though be one for her?"  Crying like a crazy person and pacing the floor I continue. 

  "Lord what has happened to me?"  Dropping to my knees I ask for forgiveness for my selfish tyrade and the immature way I have just behaved.  Begging for forgiveness of my sins and insight on how to do better I finish by just sitting in silence.

     This is not something I am proud of by all means, but something I, as a CHD parent, goes through more than I care to admit.  My reason for sharing this to let others know, including other CHD parents, that you aren't alone in the meltdown world.  Yes if you keep things bottled up, and not pray often enough, these little things will boil over and can see what happens as I shared above.  My lesson learned is exactly as I just wrote plus........every strong person will have time of weakness.  It depends on how we handle those weak moments that make us grow stronger and closer to Our Lord!

Blessings until next time!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taking A Risk!

     I recently read a blog post by Rachel Wojnarowski that touched me so.  She wrote about following God's will when we don't understand it. The part that spoke to me was her discussion about taking a risk. She spoke about risk and how it requires the need to place all your security and faith somewhere other than thyself.   As I sat and reflected on what I had read, I could see how this applied to my own life.

     Each time I write a blog post I am taking a risk. I'm risking sharing more of myself and my personal feelings.  This is frightening for me because I have trained myself, over the years, to guard those deep emotions and feelings.  Peeling back this layer of myself I am exposing myself to all who read my work.  I am opening my heart and letting you see the real me. All my imperfections and short comings are out there for everyone to read and see.  Am I frightened you might not like my writing....absolutely!  Am I concerned that exposing myself makes me to betcha ya!  Am I frightened that I will be judged.....not so much!  Why you ask? Well because I am placing my security, love, and faith in God, who I know loves me dearly in everything I do.
     For many years I put all my deep feelings on paper.....sharing my happiness and my pain with my journals only.  Deep down feeling this urge to write and express myself but never taking the risk.  Years later here I am.  I have prayed for a long time for God to share with me my talent.  All along I thought it was just me wanting to write but not seeing it......all along it has been God.....nudging me, telling me this is my talent!  I can look back and see that my journey over the years has lead me to believe this.  Believing in God and his plan for my life, has lead me to educate people through my writing in many ways.  I have released all my insecurities.  Seeing that the talent I have been given is God working in me to fulfill his purpose.  With that my heart sings with joy and my soul feels complete.

"For it is God which workers in you both to will and to do of his good purpose." Philippians 2:13 

Blessings until next time!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fragile Emotions!

      It seems to be a reoccurring observation, by the doctors, when we go for our follow up visits.  I see it becoming more apparent but, I have convinced myself that it's due to......puberty!  It is time to face forward and pay attention.  I need to focus not just on the signs my daughter is giving me, but what multiple doctors are observing.

    You know it is never easy, even after all these years, to hear and learn that there are things going on that aren't normal for Cora.  Each time I am informed or educated about something new, it's like being hit in the gut.  It takes my breath away, it's hard to swallow, and then my mind goes crazy with random thoughts that I can't seem to organize.  The most important part of these days is making sure Cora is protected.  That is one thing I must brag about Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Their staff truly has the patients best care at heart.  When they drop their bombs on me, they do remove Cora. She usually tells me "They must like to spend time with me."  Making her feel like a million dollars every time we are there, is something I am so very grateful for!

     So as I sit down to write, I am reminded, though I am filled with sorrow and confusion, I am not alone!  I may not be ready to share the new discoveries just yet.  My emotions may be in a fragile state.  I may be struggling to process the new discoveries BUT........ Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:2.  
     Until I can organize and process all the information I have received, I must leave you to wonder.  But my friend please know, I will make sure to include you in our next phase on our journey together!

Blessings until next time!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pleasing The Heart!

     What a busy week.  Cora and I had a little Mommy Daughter Children's Hospital.  We had a follow up appointment that well....wasn't one of our best visits.  But that's for another day to share!  Today I wanted to share something so pleasing to my heart.....and Cora's.

     Let me back up for a minute.  I am so proud of my two older girls.  They are so artistic and can create some of the most beautiful pictures.  Whether they draw it or paint it they are true masterpieces.  Me on the other hand...not so much!  
     I remember when Cora was 6 she asked me to draw our family so she could take it to school for show and tell.  I did my masterpiece and gave to proud of my work.  Sweet Cora looked down at the picture, looked up at me and said, "Those aren't people they are lines."  I explained to her that was how I made people, stick figures.  She was so sweet informing me she wasn't going to take it to school.  I completely understood.  So it's safe to say they don't get their artistic-ness from me!

     Fast forward to current day.  When an opportunity to paint a heart at Children's Hospital was extended, Cora was so excited!  Cora had a beautiful white heart to paint anyway she chose.  While she was hard at work creating a masterpiece we were informed that once her heart was complete, dried, and glossed, it would be displayed in the cardiac unit.  I have to say this was one of Cora's best moments.  It was so pleasing to my heart to see how excited she was.  To see her infectious smile and hearing her little squeal as she learned it would be displayed with the famous artist, Mackenzie Thorpe, was like nothing I can explain.  I was in awe watching her paint this heart and as little hiccups arose she took them in stride....making them part of her painting.  One it is on display the hospital said they would send a picture...I will make sure to do a follow up blog when that happens....of course including pictures!!

    Below is a picture of the front of her masterpiece, stars, a cow, and the moon.  She was so inventive since they asked her to leave off her signature, she made the moon the letter C.  Such a creative and smart idea.  We are so grateful for the generosity of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and so very grateful Cora had this opportunity!  As for is pleasing to the heart to see God's work!

Blessings until next time!

Monday, July 7, 2014

If You Only Knew!

     All is quite as I check on each of my little gifts before I turn in for the night. Now that all my girls are back from camp I feel a small sense of relief.  Each had joyous times, and each are nestled safely in their own beds.  As I stop in each room I memorize their sweet childlike faces.  Coverup their little sleepy bodies, and sweetly kiss their cheek.  As I stand in the middle of the hallway as I do each night, grateful for each of them, I am drawn to Cora's room.  As I enter the doorway, I stand silently listening.  Darkness fills the room and only her breathing is heard.  Sometimes a beginning snore creeps in but, still breathing a beautiful pattern.  Standing here in the dark I must admit I do this often.  Just so I can hear her breathe! 

     Breathing is so second nature to included...that I don't even think about it, let alone give praise that I am breathing.   With that said I realized I have not one time given praise to God for breathing life into me or my children.  A simple act of breathing, and I haven't thanked God!   Sad?  Maybe...  I have taken waking up and breathing in the morning for granted my entire life.....UNTIL I had Cora.  Silly as it seems I give thanks and gratitude often for Cora's.  

     Something as simple as breathing is a wonderous gift!  As I stand in awe so often letting the darkness surround me a beam of light shines through.  The beam of my daughter's breathe is not just a glorious gift given to her but one of the many miracles we as humans have received from God!
So for me....being a parent of a CHD child means "cherishing every moment, every breath with such intensity that I feel tears come to my eyes for no apparent reason."

Blessings Until Next Time!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Evolving in Faith!

     Ever stopped and looked back at your life?  Are you proud of where you are now....from where you were years prior?  If you could write a letter to yourself and give it to your younger self...what life lessons would you pass on?  Would you suggest new routes to decisions previously made?  Hoping your younger self would stop, learn to pray, and realize those decisions made don't have to be made alone?

     Why am I writing this....well there are several reasons!  Before I accepted Jesus into my life, and heart, I thought life was all about me and my decisions.  The world could be whatever I made the decisions for it to be.  And boy did I make ALOT of bad decisions.  I knew nothing about prayer, or knowing that I could lean on The Lord during my times of confusion and stress.  Nope!!  I thought that things happened by the cosmic fate of the world.  The decisions made were because the world decided it for me.  It's ok, you can say it.....I was naive and ignorant to many things!

     When I began my faith journey I realized how much I really didn't know....not just about life, and myself, but about how my life could be different.....a good different!  I have discovered many trials and tribulations along my way but, knowing I have God's grace each and every day makes the stumbles along my way not so terrible.  I know what your thinking...really I do....what does this have to do with this blog and CHD?  Let me share with you!

     If I wouldn't have accepted Jesus into my life, I wouldn't have had the privilege to receive God's miracles!  God loves to shower us with his miracles!  He is proud to show us what he can do for us...simply because we love his son, and him!  You know, I use to spend a lot of my time being skeptical and judgmental.  Thankfully God saved me!  God took me under his wings nurturing me and educating me.  The result........... Cora!!!!!  Cora is one of God's Miracles! God gave my hubby and I many miracles.  The birth of Cora, the best surgeon to care for her during her 4 surgeries, and continuously breathing life into her weakened infant body!  Without my faith in Jesus Christ, letting go of my fears and worries I wouldn't have experienced God's blessings and miracles first hand!

     So......if I could write a letter to myself and give it to the younger me I'd write...." I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

Blessings until next time!