Lord, help me!

There seems to be at least one moment of every single day that I cry out, “Lord! I just don’t know if I can do all of this another day! This is SO hard!”

Usually my next thought is, “How have we even made it this far??!  Gracious! Judah will be five years old next month! Amazing!

Caring for a child with special needs isn’t a cake-walk. It’s a full time job. And when you have 6 other children looking to you for care as well….it’s…just…a…LOT!

 The other night, Judah was awake for almost 4 hours in the night. Brain spasms woke him up and he felt disoriented and wouldn’t go back to sleep.😦
In the last 12 months we can count on one hand how many nights Judah has had a full night of rest without the interruption of seizures.  These seizures are discouraging.  The medical world doesn’t have answers or solutions. We are crying out for a miracle and divine direction from our Father.
It’s hard. It’s hard wondering what Judah would be like had this not happened. It’s a mental discipline to not allow myself to stay stuck in the what-if’s but instead celebrate the small victories and say, “ok God, what NOW?”

 

BUT it’s brought light and understanding to 2 Corinthians 12:10 – So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

I didn’t care for that verse.  At all.  I mean, it’s really not a warm cozy, feel-good verse.  My flesh doesn’t always feel like “counting it all joy” when my son is throwing a tantrum and unable to communicate his needs to us.  I don’t want to feel “well pleased” with my weakness when I am spoon-feeding my almost 5-yr-old each and every day.  BUT, I am learning how to fall back into my Father’s lap and draw strength.  I’m learning more and more how to daily be dependent on HIS strength rather than my own. And I’m learning to take it one day at at time instead of being overwhelmed and consumed with the big picture.  His mercies really are new every morning.  He’s working.  I know He has a plan.  And my job is to simply trust Him.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” ~James 1:2

In the darkness of night

Between Judah and Malachi we never quite know what our nights will be like.  Two nights ago was Malachi’s turn to wake in the night.  And apparently last night was Judah’s turn.

For almost 4 years Judah was a perfect sleeper – often 11-12 hours each night. But when these seizures started in May they greatly affected his sleep. For awhile we had the seizures under control but a few weeks ago he began waking again in the night – agitated and having irregular brain activity, sometimes seizures.

Last night was no exception. By 1:00am Judah was awake…and continued to remain awake and quite unhappy til 5:45 this morning.

But in the middle of the night while holding Judah in my arms I had a sweet time with the Lord. Simply chatting with Him about the fact that a miracle is what I’m believing for…Picturing myself seeing Jesus face to face and setting Judah in His lap.  Sharing with Him that it seems the ONLY way we’ll see victory in this is from a supernatural touch. We’re doing all we can in the natural – he has a 24 hours EEG on Monday. Doctors are doing what they can to solve this. But even the smartest doctor cannot repair the damage in Judah’s brain.

But God can! I began to replay the miracles we’ve all read about. The man near the pool of Bethesda. He had dealt with his infirmity for THIRTY-EIGHT years! Much longer than Judah, but that wasn’t too hard for our God!

How about when Peter and John saw a man begging by the temple? He had been lame since birth! Much longer than our Judah! Yet he rose up and went walking and leaping and praising God!

How about the blind men? Their vision was far worse than Judah’s yet they received sight!

None of these things intimidated Jesus. None were too hard for Him. And neither is my Judah! Over and over these stories played in my mind. Over and over I replayed the many times He’s already done amazing works in Judah.  When the doctors told us he may not live – he lived.  When they told us he’ll be brain-dead, blind and deaf he exceeded their expectations.  When these seizures did begin to occur, the neurologist said he was more amazed that Judah hadn’t been having them all along.  Given the amount of damage in Judah’s brain any doctor would have assumed he had been having them for years.  The miracle of Judah’s speech – that his favorite words are Jesus, Hallelujah, Holy, Glory!  How alive his spirit is! That songs of praise and worship rise up out of his little spirit on a daily basis…

…And the confidence grew…and continues to grow….that truly, all it takes is one touch — Just one touch from my Jesus.

With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. ~Acts 3:8

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White Addictions

You know what a “white lie” is, right? It’s still a lie, yet we justify it as being “ok.” …Right?

How about a “white addiction?” I made it up, but bear with me here a minute…

If I was to say that I’ve been an addict much of my life, what would your mind gravitate towards? Would you immediately picture drugs and alcohol? I would. But I’ve never smoked or sipped alcohol…yet I have a pattern of years worth of addictions…

Are there addictions in life that we justify? ….and that even in our Christian circles we consider to be OK and safe and even normal? A “white addiction?”

An addiction to chocolate, or candy, or sugar in general….

An addiction to comfort foods…

An addiction to soda, especially Diet Coke…

An addiction to video games…

An addiction to Facebook… (Gasp!), or Pinterest!

An addiction to television shows, Netflix, movies…

A coffee addiction…

An addiction to the approval of others…

I could go on, but go ahead and insert here what you, yourself, have been addicted to. I’ve been addicted to each and every one of these ….no, wait, I haven’t… ha! not video games!! But the rest? Definitely, and I’m sure I could name some more.

And looking back I see a pattern – the height of these addictions was always during seasons I was not happy….seasons I was experiencing pain…seasons I was trying to avoid my present life…seasons I was running away. Sure I never left physically…but I ran away mentally and emotionally many times.

I was reflecting this evening on just how different my life feels right now….on the outside it probably doesn’t look much different… I still have 7 kids…I still homeschool…I still live in the same home, drive the same cars…. But I feel different. Yes my health has made a drastic turnaround, but more than that. “White addictions seem to be dropping off more and more….” Why? What is causing them to fall to the wayside one by one? It’s that I have purpose again…passion again…dreams again…mental clarity again…balance…

I don’t know why I have all this on my heart to share with you. But if my transparency will bless one person, it’s worth it.

Are you addicted? What are the “white addictions” in your life? Are you hooked on watching TV to live vicariously through what you see on the screen rather than live out your dreams in real life? Are you addicted to comfort foods? When experiencing pain do you run to the fridge? What are you running from? What are you trying to escape from?

There’s more to life than what you are currently experiencing. God has a plan, a great plan! A life for you that you will enjoy living. A life full of dreams and possibilities. A life you will not need to run away from. It may not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Messenger of Love

I’d like to think God intentionally formed Malachi’s hair in the shape of a heart.  I did ask Him for the blonde curls like Isaac had as a baby – but the heart is an added bonus.
The attack on Judah’s health didn’t just hurt Judah – it hurt our family….emotionally, physically, mentally and SPIRITUALLY! Biggest of all, my struggle came in the form of finding it difficult to trust my Father and trust His love for me.
When I found out I was pregnant with Malachi I was initially very angry….and later downright afraid. And when I found out we were having a boy it caused even more fear as I knew this would be more of a trigger for me and the PTSD that I was struggling with. But God in His sovereignty named him Malachi David.
Malachi means “my messenger” or “my angel.”  And David means “beloved.” Once He named our baby boy, I began referring to Mac as our messenger of love – and that is truly what he’s been. On a daily basis Malachi’s joy, and life, and health reminds me of God’s love and faithfulness toward our family.
And the heart? It’s like the frosting on the cake or one extra little kiss from heaven.

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“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

my eyes vs. my heart

He turns 4 tomorrow….. FOUR years old??! Seems like I made this 1st birthday slide show yesterday…😦

These birthdays are bittersweet. We have so much to celebrate, yet they also are a reminder of skills that are lacking.

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To be real with you, at the time of his brain injury or even his first birthday, if I would have pictured him at age four I would have pictured him a little further along…like at least be able to sit up alone and crawl. But I was believing for more than that.
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And I certainly would not have ever considered the possibility of such a setback before his 4th birthday as the one we recently encountered. I wouldn’t have deemed it a possibility that seizures would suddenly return. And would have thought it impossible he’d lose the words and praises that we had waited so long to hear and had celebrated and rejoiced over time and time again.
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BUT God!! I know so many have been praying these past couple of months. Over Judah. And over us…
 
Because I do see with my eyes that he’s back on the medication we once celebrated coming off of. And I see with my eyes that he isn’t communicating like he once did. And I see with my eyes his sadness when he hears a song he recognizes and loves and isn’t able to sing along.  I see with my eyes that we have a ways to go.  I see with my eyes that my life didn’t go quite as I had planned or pictured…  
 
But with my heart I see Judah and feel a love for him unlike other loves.
And in my heart I see victory. In my heart I see my miracle.  In my heart I see breakthroughs.
And in my heart I see God is turning things around.
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Happy Birthday, my sweet miracle boy ~ Judah Forrest James Dearey

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“I’ll put muscle in the people of Judah; I know their pain and will make them good as new. They’ll get a fresh start, as if nothing had ever happened. And why? Because I am their very own God, I’ll do what needs to be done for them.” ~Zechariah 10:6

 

Fake Diamonds

Judah had 10 seizures last night……. 10!!

…we’ve had two hospital stays….tons of tests…tons of doctors….medicine with plenty of nasty side effects….and yet still, he had TEN!  … in ONE night!
Know what?!  It made me mad.  And sad.  But mainly mad…
I don’t like feeling like we took 10 steps back. I don’t like seeing my sweet boy go through this. I don’t like that we’ve spent so much time and energy and emotion in search for answers yet have none.  I don’t like seeing Judah hurt, seeing Chad hurt, seeing my kids hurt…and I don’t like hurting myself quite frankly.

After throwing a pity party for far too long today I finally snuck away for some alone time with the Lord…Didn’t even know where to start but grabbed my Bible, plopped onto the bed, and opened it up.  Out fell some loose papers I’ve saved over the years.  They’re filled with prayers that have been prayed over us, promises spoken, notes I’ve saved, etc.  What caught my eye was a page of ripped out notebook paper with my scribbled handwriting from 3 years ago.

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“I want to hear the heart of God – know His thoughts toward me. I must obey His correction in my life.  No running. No talking the talk. I want to be the real deal – heart burning for Him more than anything or anyone else.  Fear of Him bigger than fear of any man! Desire for Him bigger than any desire for His benefits. I want to be addicted Him, His love, His friendship, His presence, His praise, his voice, His Word. Over-flowing out of the abundance of Jesus inside of me….”

You know what I was longing for??  Jesus.  Just Him.  His heart.  His thoughts… Him…But these past couple weeks I’ve been longing for answers…longing for results….longing for a quick fix, as quickly as possible, like fix it yesterday already, God!  And not finding the results. Not finding the answers.  Coming up short, hurting, frustrated…trying so hard to simply trust like a little child again, yet really struggling.

I was reminded of an embarrassing fiasco from a couple months ago when I spent TWO weeks searching for my wedding ring.  It consumed me. I was thinking about it constantly and looking for it everywhere.  I knew I had lost it in our home so I tore our place apart looking for it.  Every drawer, every cupboard, every couch cushion and it was nowhere to be found.  And you know what is so embarrassing about this?  IT’S NOT EVEN REAL!!!  Good gravy!!  I gave my real wedding ring away years ago!  So here I was wasting my thoughts, energy, and time on a ring that holds no nostalgia, no precious memories, and certainly no eternal value…nothing! I could hop online and order another fake one for under fifty bucks. ha! Come on now, Krista. Get you act together!
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”  Well, embarrassing as it is, I certainly know what it looks like to search for something with all of my heart…but have I really searched for Jesus with all of my heart?  Or only His benefits? Or only his promises? Or only his healing for my boy?

My flesh wants to retreat.  Wants to check out.  Wants to say, “I’m done. It’s too hard.  I don’t know how to stand any more, God! It’s taking SO long!”  But today, my heart is longing to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1) and do a search… not for a ring…not a google search for every remedy under the sun or every cause of seizures known to man.  But a treasure hunt for something more…to begin anew with a search for just Jesus.  Only Him.  Nothing more, nothing less.  With the confidence of Matthew 6:33 – “but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

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“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3

We Dance

Every so often I would catch a glimpse.  It was only a brief moment.  Sometimes during worship.  Other times during prayer.  Often, however, it came right in the midst of chaos as I’d frantically sprint through my daily duties of wiping bottoms, comforting tears, feeding babies, schooling big kids, cooking, cleaning, brushing, bathing…..

Freedom.

Me.  Free.

Dancing.  Smiling.  Arms wide open twirling and laughing and singing as I worshiped my Heavenly Father.

He was right there with me.

Smiling. Laughing. Loving….

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…Last Fall, I was home alone with Judah and Malachi on a Wednesday evening while the rest of my family was at church.  It wasn’t an easy night by any stretch of the imagination.  Judah was crying in pain from gas in his tummy.  Malachi was crying, wanting to be fed and held.  I was crying throwing my own pity party wishing I was at church like everyone else.  Wishing I could interact with people.  Wishing I could serve in the church alongside my husband like I once did.   Wishing we could be a “normal” family that could all attend church together without such a struggle.  More than anything, wishing I could be in the presence of the Lord at the 7:30 prayer meeting…my favorite service.

I stepped away for a brief moment to grab a tissue and I cried out, “Lord!! When will I be free?!!  This is too hard!!  I can’t do this anymore!”

In my heart He gently whispered these words, “You don’t have to depend on seeing Judah’s complete healing to experience that kind of freedom.”

I stood motionless and processed those words, suddenly realizing I had inadvertently assumed that the joy and freedom I so desperately desired would only come if my circumstances were perfect.  But that’s not how it works!  The beauty of the victory we have in Christ is that we can experience joy and freedom despite our circumstances.  When circumstances pound on us like a thunderstorm we can dance in the rain!

The Lord continued to work, using many things to bring me to that place of freedom.  He led me to supplements my body desperately needed to restore balance to my hormones, thyroid, and adrenals.

And He spoke His word over my life and confirmed the vision I had seen by using my husband and a dear friend.

In December, while Chad was praying for me, the Lord gave him these words for me:

“In the midst of the chaos, sickness, and challenges- know that I am with you. Know that My love exudes and penetrates out of every smile and twinkle in your children’s eyes. Don’t live for “when”, live for now, live in the moment.
Have you forgotten your first love? Your first cheer? The love and commitment that you held so dear? Have you pushed My hand away without looking to see that which I give? In the past, every moment and every encounter was an opportunity to share my kindness, warmth, joy, and peace. You didn’t hold back, you didn’t hesitate. But life can make things dim. Life has a way of stealing the joy and kindness that I once gave, that came so freely to you. Why wouldn’t he want to steal that? Why wouldn’t he corrupt and confuse the innocence that you thoroughly enjoyed with Me? Draw near to Me, I have never been far from you. I have never left you. I want to receive your pain but yet you hold onto it. You feel like it yours and yours to carry. I loose those chains now. I release freedom and peace into you. Yes, right now as you read these words it is possible to feel that peace, and anointing that will break the lies of the deceiver. Now come back, yes come running back. I will restore the years that the locusts have stolen from you and Me. Not just the health, money, homes and all of those things that your mind immediately gravitates towards. I am talking about something so much more precious and important to Me Krista, it’s your heart. Your passion. Your boldness. Your treasure. That is what I am restoring to you right now. That is what I am passionate about. The other things will be restored. Has it not been written? Did I not say that those were yours? Trust my child. Trust again. Let me mend your broken heart and heal your deepest wounds. 
There.. that’s it. Crawl back into my lap for there is protection there. 
I forgive you, yes of course I forgive you. I am sorry for what he has done to you. I am sorry for the pain. I hate to see it. 
Why? Why has this happened?
For you live in a broken world. For you live in constant attack. For there is constant pressure that you do not see waiting to take and steal your very life.
I restore, I redeem, I recover. I will unfold the path and the steps will be made clear. In this moment, in this now, enjoy Me. Enjoy Me Krista. Enjoy My love. Enjoy the warmth. Enjoy the restoration. Enjoy the protection. Enjoy the peace. Enjoy the freedom. 
To hell I send torment. To hell I send fear.  To hell I send sickness. To hell I send anxiety. To hell I send every broken and bruised thing that is not of Me. To hell is where all of this belongs. 
Now, do your part. Stand. Stand in agreement with Me. Yes I see it now, I see you twirling and dancing like a little girl. Cheer from ear to ear. Holding me tightly as if to squeeze out My very last breath. Don’t hesitate. Don’t be reluctant. Let it all go. Let it all go. This is real. This is you and Me. This is the conversation that you have desired for, for so long. Now you come. Now you come to Me and My throne for I have been waiting for you like a loving Father would for any child. Dance before Me. Dance before your King. 
I don’t just put things back together. I make things better. For all things now will be better. All will be stronger. All will be forgiven. All will be restored. For My love runs deep for you.”

A few days passed before I heard from a friend, who knew nothing of my dream, who knew nothing of the word God spoke through Chad.  She sent me this song that she had been singing over me: We Dance.

 

I look back to who I was just a short time ago and I hardly recognize myself.   I had been bound by anxiety.  Bound by flashbacks to Judah’s injury.  Bound by fear.  Bound with questions.  I was constantly hurting inside over what happened to our life, to Judah’s life…

BUT GOD!!!!!  Today, it is with thankfulness, grateful tears, and a heart full of joy and freedom that I can proclaim to you now –

WE DANCE!!

My Father and I dance…

I twirl.  He smiles.

Are my circumstances perfect?  No.🙂 But He healed my heart.  Sealed it with His love.

There are still some storms in our lives, but now I dance in the rain…

My prayer for 2014.  Last year, my heart's cry was, "GOD, HEAL MY HEART!"  He used many things over the course of the year...it wasn't overnight, but He answered my cry. :)

My prayer for 2014. Last year, my heart’s cry was, “GOD, HEAL MY HEART!” He used many things over the course of the year…it wasn’t overnight, but He answered my cry.🙂

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

I Run 4 Siblings

What a weekend!!!

Two weekends ago, our runner through I Run 4 Siblings flew in from Rhode Island to surprise my children.

I remember driving to the airport that Friday afternoon thinking that this was either the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, or the craziest!  After all, who invites a complete stranger into their home to spend the weekend with their children?  The Deareys! That’s who!

Brooke didn’t feel like a stranger.  For months we’ve been in contact through Facebook.  We immediately had a connection and it’s been an easy adventure.  She’s posted pictures and videos for my children to see.  She’s honored them for the sacrifice they’ve made for their brother, Judah.  And my children have enjoyed writing back to her as well. But to have her here in person felt completely surreal.  Days later, it’s still soaking in.

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Our weekend was precious.  The kids seemed to do a million things with “Ms. Brooke” – they played games, bounced on the trampoline, read stories, played basketball, went swimming.  It was non-stop action here at our home.🙂

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That Saturday she ran the half marathon at Holloway Park here in town.  Before crossing the finish line she grabbed my children by the hand so they could cross with her.  It’s a moment I will NEVER forget!!

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Brooke may have arrived as a stranger, but she left as family.  We love you, Mrs. Brooke!  Thank you for impacting our family in such a profound way!

Matthew 25:40  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

Testimony Time

As you can see by the lack of posts on the blog, the past 6 months since Malachi’s arrival have been extremely busy.  :) Chad and I both came to the realization that we were totally experiencing Caregiver Burnout and needed to find help.  We weren’t sure what kind of help we needed or what it would look like, but we began praying God would send it.  We especially desired help on Sundays and Wednesdays so we could attend church together.  In the past month two precious ladies have offered to help us.  One offered to push Judah in his stroller on Sunday mornings so Chad and I can be together in the service.  Another, who doesn’t even attend our church, offered to do the same thing on Wednesday evenings so I can come to church and attend the prayer meetings (I’ve only been able to attend 2 Wednesday night services in the past 6 months).  It’s extremely out of my comfort zone to accept help like this; but at the same time it ministers to my heart and has been such a beautiful expression of God’s love to us.🙂 Thank you, Father, for hearing and answering our prayers.  And thank you, dear friends, for the many ways you all have been the hands and feet of Jesus to our family. We are grateful!

And in case I’m not back on this blog before the end of the year, the Dearey family wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Love

“Lord, I LOVE him!  I absolutely LOVE him!!  I recognize that others may see an imperfect shell and see ‘disabilities’ but I don’t care about any of it.  I just love him.  I don’t need him to be perfect in order for me to feel love towards him.  I really really love him…so much!”

…and in the quietness of my heart the Lord whispered back…

“And I LOVE YOU!  I don’t need you to be perfect.  I don’t see your disabilities.  There’s nothing you can change to affect how much I love you.  I just really really love you!”

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“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.”  I John 3:1

I See You…

Dearey children, you are the most precious gifts ever given to me.  When I was a girl, a teenager, a young adult dreaming about my future I never could have dreamt I’d have children as amazing as you….and certainly didn’t know I’d be blessed with so many.😉  You are more than I ever desired or hoped for!  I know that God didn’t go out of His way to bring your mom and dad together from Minnesota and Washington just to give us a great marriage, but because he had seven children in mind that were destined to be born for such a time as this.  The callings on your lives are great!  His plans far exceed your expectations!

2.5 years ago our lives sure changed, didn’t they?  Our family dynamics changed.  Our relationships changed.  Our faith was tested.  Our priorities shifted.  Today I want you to know that no matter how busy I may be or how crazy life may get, I see you…

I saw you when Judah was in the hospital.  I saw your confusion. I heard your questions. And I appreciated your patience to let Mommy and Daddy wait until the right time to give you details.

I see you lay hands on Judah and speak healing over his body. I see you lay hands on his blanket, turning it into a prayer cloth. My heart swells with pride.

Isaac praying over Judah

I see your compassion when Judah is crying.  You stop what you are doing to run and find a pacifier, blanket or toy.

I see you patiently waiting for help on your school while I finish feeding Judah.

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I see you coming out of your room at night asking to share your heart.  We need that one-on-one time, sometimes, don’t we? It’s important you continue to share and ask questions.

I see your tears when you see other children Judah’s age and realize how much Judah needs to learn to “catch up.”

I see your servant hearts when you help us with Judah’s therapy, hyperbaric dives, feeding Judah, and filling his diaper bag for outings.  I’m so thankful for your help!

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I see you in church asking others for agreement in prayer for Judah’s complete healing.

I see your concern that something may happen to Malachi.  He’ll be healthy and strong.  No need to fear – trust the Lord!  Malachi is a restoration gift from heaven.

I see you worship. I see you studying the Word. I see you praying. I know God is strengthening you.

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I see you stand up for other children with special needs when those around you are uncomfortable or unkind.  Way to go!  I’m proud of you!

I see you enjoying your brother…laughing when he’s silly, teaching him new words, snuggling him when he’s sleepy.

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I see your tears when daddy or I leave for a weekend away in Gainesville.  Our home isn’t the same when any of us are away.

I see you run Judah’s stinky diapers out for me with a happy attitude. You’ve never complained.🙂


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Ellianna and Judah

Josiah and Judah

I see your sadness and frustration when it’s harder for us to plan outings, or field trips, or play dates because of Judah’s needs.  I miss how easy it used to be to go out for lunch after church, or spend an afternoon at a park.  We’ll be able to do all these things again soon.  It’ll get easier.

I see you stay calm when mom and dad feel frazzled.   You’ve forgiven us each of the many times we’ve asked for forgiveness for losing our patience and peace.

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I see you out of the corner of my eye, listening and observing as Mommy shares her heart and sometimes tears with close friends and mentors…thank you for not interrupting.  Mommy is getting stronger. I promise.🙂

And kids, not only does Mommy see you and Daddy see you; but your heavenly Father sure sees you.  He reminded me of this at our recent fundraiser.  Each of you asked if you could participate in the raffle.  I was hesitant at first, but then felt that it was important for you to feel a part of the special night.  I was absolutely astonished when I saw each of you win the exact item you had your heart set on.  All evening I pondered the fact that not only did God remind your Daddy and I that He sees us, He sees Judah, He sees our needs…but He definitely sees each of you as well and He blessed you with the desires of your heart that evening.  I know He is so proud of each of you.  You have already stored many treasures in heaven.🙂

Josiah, Isaac, Ellianna, Rhema, Adonai, Judah and little Malachi in my tummy… I love you!  It’s an honor to be your Mom!

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Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Thank YOU!

Our hearts are so overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of you who made Judah’s BBQ FUNdraiser possible!

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Friday night was so special to our entire family!

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 We feel honored by the number of people that arrived to support our little Judah.   What a wonderful treat to spend an evening chatting and playing with so many friends.

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Planning a fundraiser for my own child is something that 10 years ago I never would have pictured would be in my future.  It’s completely out of my comfort zone and a very humbling experience.  Robin, Tracy, and Judy there is no way I could have planned this fundraiser alone.  I’m in awe of the way you took my small idea of a family bbq picnic and created something big and exciting.  All-Stars 4-H – YOU ARE AWESOME!  They helped prepare ahead of time, helped set-up, helped serve, and helped clean-up.  One of the families sold and delivered “to-go” meals to their neighbors – if I remember correctly it was close to 30 meals they delivered!  

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 And to all of you who volunteered your time, donated raffle items, and donated food and other necessities – THANK YOU!  This was not possible without you!

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Because of the donations that came in we are able to continue needed therapies for Judah.  The money from Judah’s account covers many things for Judah.  Here are a few examples.

* Anat Baniel Method – we are so thankful we found Josie Davenport in Gainesville, FL.  It wasn’t until we began visits with her that Judah began showing much interest in movement.  When we are consistent in our monthly visits we see the most results.  The difficulty has come in being consistent.  The cost is simply too high for us to pay out of pocket.  Our goal is 5 days each month.  That cost is therapy is $600 plus gas, hotel and food.

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* Ophthalmology – The best way to monitor whether Judah’s shunt is working is to check his optic nerves on a yearly basis.  We were referred to a great doctor, but he is not covered by our insurance.

* Optometry – Judah’s vision is checked every 6 months at a wonderful clinic in Tampa.  Their practice is not covered by insurance.  Nor the cost of glasses and replacement lenses.

* Pediatrician – Our favorite pediatrician is also in Tampa and not covered by insurance.  He’s been a tremendous encouragement to us.  First, he explored deeper into what may have caused the brain bleed instead of focusing his attention only on what may have prevented it.  Through genetic testing he did find Judah has a double chromosome linked to bleeds.  He also started Judah on nutritional supplements, b12 shots, and BIGGEST OF ALL -the hyperbaric chamber!!  We LOVE our hyperbaric chamber!

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On a more personal level this doctor’s son also had a brain bleed as an infant.  Because of that he’s able to relate to us differently and is understanding of my emotional moments.🙂  We’ve only been able to visit him a few times as the cost is over $300 a visit.  But we are excited to see him again soon, hopefully before little Malachi arrives.🙂

Because of your generosity $2,472 was given Friday evening at the event.  More donations came during the weekend bringing the grand total to $2822!!!  Wow!  We are in awe!!

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Thank you!  From the bottom of our hearts!  THANK YOU!

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40