Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

July 28, 2012

Time to stop.



Yesterday, as you can see in my previous post was... discouraging to say the least. I was unable to write exactly what happened because I had to sit with the news for a little bit. However, after several emails I felt an explanation was in order.

As you know, I have been waiting for our speech assessment with Bloorview to begin therapy for Josh. Yesterday I got a call from Bloorview. It seems that the referral was denied. Josh will not even be assessed. I am not fully sure why, I do know that the therapy they offer is for kids with CP or they have another programme for kids who suffered brain injuries after 6 months of age (Josh was three months old when his occurred and apparently they present differently). So, our only OHIP option here in Toronto has slipped through our fingers. We were told to go to Toronto Preschool speech and language, which is sadly where we are about to be discharged from. I was told that when Josh enters Senior Kindergarten there will be an option through the School board, but that is a whole year away.

Last week I recieved email after email, all from services that Josh doesn't qualify for because either he doesn't fit due to age, or because his speech is too bad, or too good, or he hasn't got the right diagnosis. All of it has left us feeling, (searching for the right word...) lost, hopeless, frustrated, discouraged... the list goes on.

I realized, or at least I am in the process of realizing that there is nothing left for me to do. I have contacted my MPP and signed consent for them to fight on Josh's behalf but other than that we are literally out of options. This is where I have to give up the reigns and just let God work. He knows, He knows the next step. Even now he's working, of that I have no doubt. It's time to let go, it's time to step back and watch. It's time to just accept how Josh is, to hope for more, to hope for healing, but to allow God to do his work and in the end to be able to give Him the glory because when all is said and done... it will not be through my power or Tim's power, or any doctor or programmes' power that Josh's brain is healed. In the end, there will be no doubt that God did it. Maybe that's what he's been waiting for?

July 27, 2012

Dear God

Dear God,

I know without doubt that you are there, I know that you care about all the little things in my life and all the big things. I know that you can do the impossible and I know that without you all hope is lost. That being said... I am so frustrated! I have been trying everything I can think of to get Josh the therapy he needs, to see him whole and every door I knock on is being slammed in my face. I don't get it?! The thing is, I believe you are working and I am trying really hard not to lose hope. I am fighting this discouragement with all that I am but  you must know... I am hopelessly tired.

In my life it has always been at the moment that there is no way humanly to do something that you show up and show me that you are GOD. I think we are at that point now and it's the only hope I have left. I need you. I really need you to step in here and help us.

Every tear, every fear, every shout have left me drained of all energy, I am tired all the time and I can't think of what the next step is. I can't seem to figure this one out. You have given me a brain that doesn't do details and this whole mess is leaving me having to stretch myself, I hate nagging people and this has forced me to be the squeeky wheel but it's all for naught.

We live in a place where we are blessed to have government funded health care, for that I am truly blessed. Josh wouldn't be here otherwise and I thank you for that. However, that same system has holes. No system is perfect, I understand that but who is left to suffer? The kids like Josh. Kids whose parents are not poor enough to get funding, not rich enough to cover the costs, kids who don't have the 'right' diagnosis for publicly funded therapy, kids who weren't at the right age when they suffered their injuries, kids who in the end are falling through the cracks. How many kids are out there God who so badly need help but aren't getting it?

I know that you are up there... I honestly do, You know I do. You can see my heart and you know my mind. I just can't seem to see you working. All I see is the doors that have been slammed shut and I am begging you to help him. Please. I have asked alot in life, I know that. I am not perfect and yet you have loved me, shown me grace, protected me and brought me blessings that far out number the stars. Please, show Josh that same love and grace? Please, God. Heal my son. If the therapy can't be secured then can you be his therapist? Can you heal him? Will you step in where I have failed and knit his brain back together? Will you please help us?

I will never stop loving you, frustrated or not. I would just really like to see you in this...

I am left to wonder, the big question. What if Josh is not supposed to be healed? I won't love him less, that is one sure thing. He is a gift of such magnitude that I can't begin to describe my love for him, or my thankfulness to you for his life. Will I turn from you? No. I know that in all things you are God, no matter what your reasons. If this is not to be, if Josh is not supposed to be healed... can you please just give me peace with that. I need some peace.  You are not a God of chaos, I know that and yet all I feel is chaos. Please help us.

L

July 25, 2012

Good thing they are cute

I have decided that the kids actually enjoy waking me up, think my pre caffeinated growls are funny, that my stumbles down the stairs are all for their enjoyment. They enjoy it so much that they are waiting less and less time to do it... (insert growl)

This is how Kaleb made this mornings really early wake up up to me... He 'made and served' Josh his breakfast while I did everything I could (short of injecting) to get caffeine into my foggy morning brain.

While I grumble about how early this whole was, I have to admit that watching Kaleb cook and season his brothers food, hearing him tell Josh to blow on it because it was hot and then when Josh was done watching Kaleb clear up the dishes, and then offer more... Well, early or not it was pretty cute.

July 23, 2012

air

I have been watching Kaleb sprout from toddler to young boy this week, he plays differently now, eats differently and somehow he looks at me differently. His eyes slightly older, more independant, more sure of himself. He has surpassed his brother in both speech and understanding and that breaks my heart, but at the very same time it's so beautiful to hear him playing and talking and just knowing what he's thinking about.

I have been here for 8 days, his breathing is so much better, no wheezing, no coughing, no deep dark circles under his eyes. His is tanned, taller and a little bit blonder thanks to the sun. He looks truly healthy and it makes me wonder what we will see over the next 5 weeks up here. If only the city had air like here! If only good air could fix Josh's problems too.

As I have mentioned, the internet here is sketchy so I will keep this update short and bitter sweet.

July 20, 2012

Daddy's here!

Internet has been dodgy here, I miss actually blogging!! However, some pics for you from our day yesterday. It was a little too cool for the beach so we found ourselves playing in the backyard!

Daddy arrived in time for dinner and as a family we went go karting! The boys are thrilled to have their Dad for the weekend, Josh was so happy that he was up at Six!

July 19, 2012

Cottage Life

Pinecone soup

I love watching the boys discovering their imagination! Better still is watching them play the same games that my sister and I played when we were kids, and my mother before us!

July 17, 2012

Constant waters

At age four my mother started swimming in these waters, my sister an d I spent hours playing in this same stretch of shoreline, and now I have the pleasure of watching my boys learning to swim in the bay we all know so well.

We have moved as a family countless times... I myself have moved more times than I can count. This beach, the cottage, even with all it's changes has been a constant in my life.

This is generation three children growing up here... They are so happy! Holidays are such blessings!

July 14, 2012

Eden redeemed



The madness of prepping for 4 weeks at the cottage has begun! I can't believe how much stuff it requires for three people to go two hours north for 4 weeks. Insanity! Add to that all the things that need finishing up, cleaning up or sorting out and it's been a full week. Now, as I write I can pretty much say I am down to that last few things and it feels good. So I blog! :)

Yesterday I was in the garden, not cleaning the weeds out or anything, just observing the flowers, the bugs and enjoying the sun. My neighbor started to talk to me about the bugs, telling me all their characteristics that made them unique. The ants, and how they work with one brain, each doing their job and all that they can accomplish together as a colony. The bees, working just as hard at their jobs. Then he said that he wondered what we as humans could create if we all were a little more like bugs.

An interesting question, one that I can honestly say I have never pondered. Me? A bug? :s YUCK. However, it begged the question, what would we be like? I didn't bother getting into the whole 'fall' issue with him, he's not a believer at all and some topics are still of limits, but you know... I bet the whole purpose before the fall would have been a lot like we see in creation. All of us, with our special talents and gifts, all of us working in harmony, doing what needs to be done. No sin. Can you even imagine that?

Then I started to wonder about what it would be like when Eden has been redeemed, when we have been raised and restored and once again at one with our creator. Each of us, working our own special jobs, doing what we are best at, what we are passionate about, doing what pleases God. Can you even imagine that?

I enjoyed my time in the garden yesterday... even the bugs of all things! I still can't say I enjoy flies, bees or ants but I can appreciate them a little bit more now.

July 12, 2012

a share

It is rare for me to share things from the internet... I prefer to write my own stuff or share my own things. However, I came across this creative video today and it was so in tune with yesterday's post that I had to share. I love the foresight that it took for this guy... how creative is this? I loved it. It doesn't say a whole lot... no words of wisdom and a few naughty... sorry about that... words. However, it was cute. Enjoy.

July 11, 2012

Dear Me



Dear Me at 15:

You might feel like the world is screwed up, that life is unfair and that you deserve more. You are right. The world is screwed up and no, life isn't fair. You deserve more but you need to work for it. It's not supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter, you are supposed to want it badly enough to be willing to use sweat and tears to get it. That boy that doesn't treat you well... He does NOT deserve you. Wait for the guy who will love you and respect you. It's not as long a wait as you think. One day, the right guy will walk into your life and pursue you, study you, learn about you, not because he wants something from you but because he loves what he sees in you and wants to get to know you better. That boy that everyone thinks is so popular now, the one that all the girls are fighting for, the guy that treats girls like nothing because he can have any one of them... that guy is not worth your angst. The guy in the corner, the one that you don't notice everyday, the one who works hard, he's the one that will be worth your time in getting to know. If you get hurt, bounce back. It's not as bad as you think right now. Bigger struggles face you in the future and if you learn now how to bounce back you will be learning the greatest lesson there is for your tomorrows. Those parents, who make 'stupid' rules, who give you a curfew, who make you clean your room before you go out, who want to spend family time with you, the same people who put up with your teenage throws of dramatic tears and angry outbursts are the same people who in the years to come will stand by you no matter what. They are the ones who will hold your hand when life throws a curve ball, they are the ones who will offer help when no one else will, they are the ones who will go anywhere, any distance, pay any cost, to get to where you are in your hour of need. They are the ones who will NEVER stop loving you. Remember that, and show them the love and respect THEY deserve.

Do not be afraid to fail. You can not succeed if you do not try. Life is series of lessons and sometimes you learn the most when you fail. 

Stop seeing life as something out to get you, start to see it as a beautiful chance to learn and grow. Stop seeing the world through a lens of what it owes you, and instead do your best to give to it, encourage those around you, offer help to those in need, love those around you the way that you want to be loved.

When it comes to choosing... choose well. Choose to laugh, A LOT, choose to smile when you want to frown, choose to hope when you want to give up, choose to fight when the time comes that it's necessary, choose your friends wisely, they will help you to become who you will one day turn out to be. Choose to believe in something bigger than yourself, and then, when you hit the rough patches you wil find you have given yourself a firm foundation.

Most importantly, enjoy who you are right now. You are strong, beautiful and worthy of being loved. Enjoy the catastrophes that you face today because in the years to come you will regret the wasted tears. Those things that seem so big now are drops in the bucket. Learn from them, and then dust yourself off and move on. Don't cling to the past, but enjoy the present, hope for the future and work hard not just at the things that will make you a success in the world, but at the things that will make you a treasure in heaven.

Stand apart, stand strong, you are loved... learn that. Learn early to love who you are and who you are becoming. Learn that your body is a shell, that to stress over the bumps or lumps is to put your worth and value in something that doesn't last. Instead, learn to love the YOU that you are. The person inside that shell. Enjoy her, get to know her well. She was created in God's own image and she's beautiful.

I love you,

L

(*I saw a facebook photo today that made me think of all the things I wished I could have had my older self tell my younger self, things that would have served me well in the years between 15 and now. So I decided to write some of them down to share with you.)

July 10, 2012

We did it!

What a fun learning experience this has been! Thank you to all of you who so faithfully checked in a voted for this Blog! I have to admit... I am glad it's over! However, I learned a lot about myself so I can honestly say it was worth it. Thanks again!! L

the power of AND



Sleep is not over rated. It gives fresh perspective and new life, there have been times that I have gone so long without sleep that I can't think straight and don't really know what's up or down. ( I have even sported bruises after walking into walls)I find if I get bad news, frustrating news or just 'non' news (like a good 'wait and see') I need a day or two to recover from the emotional drain it leaves in it's wake. Today, faster than usual I have woken up feeling a little better. Yesterday, Josh expressed a desire for apple juice (this is a common refrain from him) but yesterday the difference was that he added a word that most of us use without thought, a word we all use in 90% of our daily language, a word difficult to teach, a word that connects things to each other. Yesterday, Josh used the word AND. He wanted Apple Juice AND cookies. Sounds simple right? Yet, the word AND is not something I have taught Joshua. It's a hard concept to learn and I have been so focused on teaching him words and pronouns that the word AND just didn't factor in. This morning, the first thing Josh said to me was 'Josh AND Kaper stay home today'. I asked if he wanted to go out and do something and he no. Funny isn't it? How a simple, everyday word like AND can not just connect words in a sentence but can connect an epiphany to my non caffeinated brain?

Listening to Josh talk about things, to hear him use a connector word that I haven't taught him made me realize that even though he's not getting the therapy he needs right now, he IS still making strides, he's still learning new words and now, now he is learning the beginning words that connect a sentence. Whatever pathways in his little brain that have been damaged from the stroke are slowly being knitted back together by the hand of God.

I have read a lot about the plasticity of the brain, I have heard some pretty amazing stories of kids and adults who have suffered severe brain damage and still come out as if nothing at all happened to them. My prayer for Josh is that he is on that road as well.


Last night, as I racked my brain for new things to try for Josh, Tim looked at me with a true kindness and said 'you've done everything you can, you need to let it percolate for awhile and see what happens, see what your contacts come up with'. That frustrated me and I expressed that to him and his response was this 'you need patience'. Yes, I am once again introducing that heinous character trait that I lack, the one that God has been telling me for two weeks now that I need to strengthen.

I was sitting there yesterday dealing with a few things, the camp rejection, a letter from the Cardiologist about what we need to raise awareness about in regards to CHD awareness (another day, for another post) and then I recieved a letter from the rehab hospital where I was asked to allow Josh to be put on the list for the Canadian registry for kids with Cerebral Palsy and I felt like screaming?! All this work, all that I have been fighting for for the past 4.5 years and they don't even have his diagnosis? He hasn't got CP so why would we get a letter about the registry. It made me wonder if they had put his chart in the wrong pile, it made me question if he was on the list for speech after all. As I read the letter from our Cardiologist I began to see these mountains that need to be climbed in the way that we handle CHD adults, or just simply how desperately we need to be graduating students to be specialists in CHD. Its' a lot. There is a lot to do. Teaching Josh to speak, getting him to school and helping him to be successful there. Navigating the system to ensure that Josh is getting all the help he might need both now and later. Yesterday I allowed discouragement to worm it's way into my heart, to feed my doubts and question my ability as his Mum to do all of this. I questioned if I should just give up. I questioned if maybe I wasn't the right person to be helping to raise awareness for CHD, I questioned my ability to teach him to talk, I questioned my ability to properly parent my son.

I was a terrible student... I mean really!! I hated school!! I would rather DO than learn about doing. I would rather practice than study theory. I would rather create a photo with my camera than read a book about creating that same image. So when it comes to Josh I feel sufficiently inadequate.

However, hearing Josh say 'AND' yesterday and again today has made me realize that my job is not for him to learn... it's for me to do my best at teaching. If he learns, it's not because I did it... but because HE did.

The main thing I am realizing? AGAIN... is that this is NOT ABOUT ME. This is about Josh, it's about his healing, it's about his fight, it's about what God is doing in and through his life. I am simply here to guide, play taxi and pray. I think every morning I need to start the day reminding myself that God has this. Disappointments come in life, they happen. There are kids out there right now that are dealing with worse. There are parents who have more on their plate, we ourselves have had to deal with worse, we have had to sit beside and pray for his life while he was blue and lifeless, and if God can bring him from there to here, then my guess is that he can bring him a lot further and that Tim is right. I need to be patient.

July 9, 2012

What is the point??



Ever wonder what the heck God is doing? When you think you have an answer to prayer and then it's taken away from you? The answers change? Or, you just wonder what was the point? This morning I made the short trip to Ryerson to have Josh's base line assessment for the language camp that just last week seemed like a true answer to prayer.

It seems that Josh is not advanced enough to be able to participate in the camp.

To say that I am discouraged is an understatement. Last week I was so full of hope, so reassured that there was actually help out there for kids like Josh. Instead, today I discovered that for kids like Josh... the system sucks. Intensive therapy... nope, he's probably too good for that. Language camp? Not good enough. What happens to these kids then? Do they get lost in the cracks? How and Where does someone come in and say "I will help him"? When does the government say 'These kids need more help"?

On the drive home, fighting tears and anger I had to concede that God knows what he's doing. Somewhere out there, there are answers and God knows what those answers are. I just wish I did too. I wish I hadn't wasted an entire morning of our time, needing to keep Kaleb entertained in an office with nothing but three stuffed animals, and I can't understand what the purpose was? When it all seemed like such a wonderful answer to prayer... I am trying, really trying to see good in this. I am trying to see that maybe I don't know all the things that this process has meant or put into action for Josh but right now? Right now I just feel let down. Not angry anymore, just really confused and discouraged.

This little guy has been through hell and back, he's fought hard for life, he's fought hard for the skills he does have... he needs someone to cut him some slack!

Signed,

One frustrated Mummy

July 5, 2012

Not enough



Wait... Be still... Be patient... Follow me... ARGH. Ever feel like you just want to say 'Get on with it!!' to God. This is one of those days for me. Last week I started a journey to read my Bible, to seek to hear what God was saying to me. What have I gotten all week... WAIT... BE STILL... BE PATIENT... FOLLOW ME... (insert quiet sigh here). My question... wait for what?!?! Be still? With two kids running around me all day?? Be patient? Do you know me at all? Follow me? Where?

Part of me is laughing at myself right now... you can't hear it or see it but as I write this post I am actually smiling. It's good to hear something from God, even if it's not something I understand or even want. Hearing his voice in my life is refreshing. Not knowing the answers is pushing me to dig in, to keep reading, to keep seeking answers and the results are that I am actually learning things like... wait for it... patience! :)

I guess my big question is... when will I ever achieve the sort of patience that God is seeking? Every time I think I have learned enough to get by I find that it's not really what God had intended. He doesn't want part of me... he wants ALL of me. That's the hard part. Until I leave this earth I am going to be pushed to grow deeper, to learn more, to seek him further, and it will never really be enough. I will never be patient enough or wise enough or strong enough. I will always be pushed to be more. I will always be on a journey to be a person of better moral character. I am not a loaf of bread in an oven that will one day be finished and ready to enjoy. I will never be able to sit back on the couch and say... whew, that was hard, glad it's over. I am a work of art and I won't reach my full worth until I am standing in the throne room of our creator.

Last week... well, let's be honest, last week this would have frustrated me to no end! I would have just sat down (like Kaleb has a tendency to do) and folded my arms over my chest and screamed "NO" in the most insolent two year old tone I could muster. However, this week through the love and support of friends, through the word of God, and through the still small voice that has been whispering love songs to me all week I am in a new place.

I want to keep learning. I want to let go and allow HIM to change me. I want to be better, and I don't want to settle for 'enough'. I want more, not just for me, not just for my husband, not just for my kids but for the God I serve who, in the end will sign his signature on my heart and show me off as one of his masterpieces.

A Great Night!

 I should have totally brought my camera... iPhones are fantastic but in low light... not the greatest for quick shots. However, this is what our night looked like. Good times were had by all!







Last night Tim and I had babysitters (in the form of Tim's parents) and hopped on the motorbike (it's been ages since we were able to ride that thing together since we usually have kids with us. However, last night, in all that heat we were able to get on ride through the night air to our destination of Bay and King (area) for a FANTASTIC meal with friends at Rodney's on Bay. It's an Oyster bar (and if you know me you know I don't really do seafood) but with an option for some turf rather than surf I was able to partake in the amazing fare! What a meal!

However, the best part of the night?! Being with good friends, enjoying laughter, catch up time and just simply.... a night with NO kids! What a gift! On the way out of the restaurant Tim and I tried to think back to the last time we were able to go out with friends and enjoy a night in the city with friends. We thought and thought... and what we came up with? Josh was a baby!! He was a tiny little person who was still young enough to sleep through a meal and allow us time to enjoy friends in an adult restaurant!  Normally, when we have a sitter it's for an event, or it's for some precious 'marriage' time. What we realized last night was how much we love just being able to enjoy time with friends, outside of our home.

It's funny how kids take over your life and the simple things like going out with people becomes a rare treat. It made me wonder why as parents we seem to just not take time for ourselves. Do we as parents not need to refresh? Do we not need time to just be individuals? Babysitting is certainly part of it I guess... (This will date me but I don't care) when I was a kid, of babysitting age, I used to earn 2 bucks an hour! One family that had five kids used to give me three bucks an hour and I used to LOVE it when they asked me to watch their kids for them because it meant more cash! Now, the price of babysitting is 10 - 15 bucks an hour! Talk about inflation! With our kids having so many health issues we find that a normal teenager just isn't going to cut it, so then we have the added issue of finding people that are older. The result. We wait until our parents can take the kids, or one of our friends. So, when those times come we become selfish about what we do with that precious 'kid free' time and often make it a date.

I think the tides of change are coming. Last night gave me a taste for the fun that can be had with a group of like minded people. The gift of laughter, companionship, community has renewed my extroverted soul and revived my lagging spirits.

So, for the parents out there. Make a date with friends. Suck up the sitting costs, or ask for help, and give up a date night. There is nothing more wonderful than being with the spouse you love, and enjoying them enjoy their friends.


July 4, 2012

Blessings


Blessings - Laura Story from onamustardseedpath on GodTube.


 I created this video a while ago, but last night I came across it again online. It was so on target, so what I needed to hear. Yesterday I posted a call for help and I have to tell you I have been overwhelmed by the amounts of emails and facebook messages I have received! I have some exciting news to share, news that has God answered prayer all over it so I just had to share!

A woman in Texas, who has helped me out before and been a true warrior on behalf of people she's never met (Your rock R), sent me a link to an organization in Ontario for kids and families dealing wit communication disorders. I phoned them and chatted with the woman working there for quite a while. She gave some good advice and showed me what my next steps should be and gave me some key names for people at the School Board etc. Then she told me about a summer camp for kids with language impairment. She gave me the name of the Dr. who is running the programme and I phoned. As it turns out, the summer camp is being run through Ryerson, it's a research project which means that it's FREE! How amazing is GOD?!?!? A woman in Texas reads my cry for help, she sends me to a woman in the 519 area code and somehow Josh lands in a summer camp perfectly designed for him and his needs (right in our price range) that is literally a 5 minute drive from my door!

Blessings... yeah, sometimes they come with raindrops. The point? They come.


July 3, 2012

We need your help...



So the appointment is done and this post is a shout out for help, advice or maybe just a place to vent my current frustrations. The wait list for speech therapy is 6 - 8 months which takes Josh to 5 years old before he is seen for an 'assessment'. It seems we are always getting assessments and no help. This is frustrating to say the least, but more frustrating is that the speech pathologist may not recommend him for therapy through Bloorview. This means that he will wait all this time just to be told that he can't get the therapy we need through them. The main problem? Bloorview is covered by OHIP, and if we can't get him in there then we need to find a way to come up with the cash for a private therapist. Do you have any idea what a private therapist costs? A LOT. Let me tell you!!

So, how can you help?? You can pray! Pray that the wait list is pushed along and expedited, pray that the pathologist sees that Josh needs this help and that they are willing to help him. Pray that we can find ways to help him in the time in between! He needs help, we all  know that. My biggest concern is that I don't know how to help him anymore.

Also, if any of you out there is a speech therapist or pathologist and know how to help a kid with a brain injury please, please contact me!! I need advice!

Third, if anyone out there knows of a way to get OHIP covered care please, contact me!

This little man needs help and this Mummy is fresh out of ideas on how to get him that help!

Thanks,
L

I'm not going anywhere

I am learning (as Josh becomes more vocal) that his fears run deep and he knows more of his situation than he lets on. Today we have the big assessment at Bloorview. Our hopes are that it will result in the much needed speech therapy for Josh.

When I put Josh in the car this morning I wanted to be sure he knew where we were going, to spare any unpleasant surprises when we arrived at yet another hospital. I explained that we would be seeing a doctor who would help him find a way to learn to talk. Josh looked up at me with an impatient look and 'No! No more talk!' and I have admit part of me smiled. This kid is fed up with it all, annoyed and totally impatient. Another part of me sympathized. When we were walking up to the doors of the hospital Josh was dragging his feet so I asked him if he was impatient with me. He looked up me with big unshed tears in his eyes and pointed to the hospital 'scary' he said. I got low, face to face. I explained that nothing that happened today would hurt him and that he would be home by later today. His teary eyes still looked unsure so I kissed his forehead and said 'we are in this together buddy, I'm not going anywhere.' he looked at and grabbed my hand and made the steps forward that led him closer to his fear.

As I write this (while in the hospital) I am struck by two things. One, how much Josh internalizes his fears and worries, and yet how far he has come in being able to share those inner fears with me. When I think back to February when he first shared a fear with me ( see the post Dragon Slayer) and I see him now I am amazed and blessed! What a gift this blog is, to see the giant leaps he is making over the passage of time. It's not always as clear in the day to day thick of things, but if I look back months I can see the changes.

The second thing that woke me up this morning better than any coffee could was that when we are scared, when we have to make a scary step forward, Jesus gets down low, he looks at us face to face and his heart aches to see our unshed tears, and as he kisses our foreheads he whispers in our ear 'we are in this together, I'm not going anywhere' and then he stands up and takes our hand as we make that scary step forward.

I am always amazed at the parallels that God shows me about His character through my boys.


An art sculpture outside the hospital that served to distract him for a brief moment

July 1, 2012

Real stories. Changing Lives.



What is your story? What is the story of those around you? Ever asked? I bet you would be surprised by the faces in your life that have been found by grace and given new life. I know that I have been on many occasions. The people I thought would never understand my faith are the ones that turn out to share it. This book 'I am second', tells the stories of people in our world, some of them we know because they have achieved fame, others we may not know but we know the story, we have someone in our life that is just like them. No one escapes this earth without a story, without suffering, without pain. What is great about this book is that it tells the side of the story of how God found them where they were at, shared with them His infinite love, and changed their lives and in turn used them to change the lives of others. The book even throws in some miracles for those of you who long for hope of great magnitude.

If you are a believer, this is a family story. Your brother's and sister's and how God is using them, and what they are doing now. Almost like a family news letter. If you are not yet a believer, this is a powerful tale of God's great love for you. How he can meet your deepest need, how he longs for you, pursues you, and how all you have to do is say 'yes'.

This book taught me about being second. As you know from an earlier post this week I got caught up in being first, I realized that there is a part of me, that doesn't want to wait on God to move, to work, to use me. I want to control the when, the how, the ways and the time. Allowing God to come first will take sacrifice, suffering, and work, but it pays dividends of peace, joy and fulfillment.

Reading about the lives and struggles and ultimate successes of these real people has encouraged me, helped me and reminded me of that great love, that pursuing love, that God has for me. It has reminded me that I too have a story that has been redeemed through Christ. It has reminded me that all that I do is and should be in glory to HIM who is first.

My name is Laurie Haughton and I am second.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson". 

Canada



The other night we had good friends come for dinner, as we chatted late into the night we started to talk about some of the terrible things going on in the world. Stories of nations that are struggling under the rule of persecution, nations torn apart by war, nations that know no peace, no freedom, and whose people long for hope. Nations whose children are being torn apart by violence, war, and men and women bent on destroying them. It's hard to talk about those things and not see this nation, my nation, Canada, as a place brimming with hope, brimming with possibilities, a nation poised on a foundation of freedom, a nation that does not know war. A place where we can raise our children in security and safety, a place where we can speak freely, share our opinions even when they differ from those around us. I walk through a city daily that houses people from all nations, all religions, all levels of wealth and I can not feel anything but blessed.

From East to West we are nation filled with beauty that defies description, forests, lakes, mountains, cities, the plains and farmers fields. We have a government based on democracy and we count on them to bring us into the future safely. As a people we are proud, as a nation we are proud, even if we do not come from here originally, even if we are born to a war torn nation, a poverty stricken nation, a nation on the brink of collapse. We are now Canadian and we are free, we are proud.

Today, Toronto is celebrating Gay pride. A parade of mammoth proportions will begin at Bloor and Jarvis and will make its way through out city. In my heart I am saddened that it's not a Canadian Pride parade that we celebrate today.  What a beautiful parade that would be, with the red and white flags and the faces of every colour brimming with that beautiful pride. As the world cup winds down those nations flags that adorn the cars of almost all the vehicles here will now be joined by the Maple Leaf. People will unite under one flag today and we will know pride, we will understand our blessings, we will know peace.

Happy Canadian pride day my friends, may we always know the peace we have today and may we never take it for granted. May we celebrate our freedom today and know that not all nations are granted the same. May we remember the men and women who have fought, bled and died so that today we can wave our flags and say we are Canadians.

L