December 25, 2007
This morning was so joyous. Samantha has to get a breathing treatment as soon as she wakes up. As Dan said yesterday, "CF doesn't stop for Christmas". The treatment lasts about 15 minutes, and Timothy was completely patient while we got it done. We had a relaxing and enjoyable time opening gifts, and then the kids just played and played happily. Samantha is crashed out taking an early nap and Timothy is going to get to play his remote control car out in the cul de sac. At 1 today we are going to SEA WORLD!!! How fun is that?
December 17, 2007
This all started when I caught myself humming "Santa Claus is coming to town". It struck me like no other year that Santa's gifts are based on our actions or our ability to be good. In contrast, listen to what kind of gift Jesus gives:
Romans 6:23-For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:16-The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
How awesome is that promise. The free gift came TO those of us who are bad and on the "naughty" list! And according to Romans 3:23, that's all of us. None of us can deny it's fun to get gifts from "Santa" or anyone else at Christmas, but why stop there when we have a gift that lasts forever!
Saturday night a friend of mine hosted a cookie exchange where we got to hear what everyone does as their Christmas traditions. We are still developing ours, but I came away knowing I want to use the presents under the tree to re-emphasize the free gift of Christ. My poor children are probably going to get sick of hearing every year, "Your dad and I bought these gifts because we love you, not based on how good you are. God came down in the form of a man (initially a baby) for the same reason." My sincere prayer is that my children grasp the infinite love of their Savior, Jesus Christ, and that reality changes their lives forever.
December 10, 2007
December 3, 2007
1. "for better or for worse" how bad the "worse" days would look. They've been ugly.
2. "richer or poorer" that there would be richer days. When do those show up?
3. "in sickness and in health" that I was marrying someone who is a carrier of the exact same Cystic Fibrosis gene that I have and that we would pass it on to our daughter.
4. "to love and cherish" that there would be days I would have to will myself to love and pray hard for a desire to cherish.
5. "until death do us part" that I would die little deaths along the way so that only physical death would separate us.
I still really believed that marriage was all about me, my happiness, and happily ever after. I didn't know the beautiful things Christ was going to teach me about himself through the relationship I have with my husband. Just as James 1:2 states, joy comes from facing trials of many kinds (not being able to avoid trials). I didn't know marriage was a lot more about loving than being loved. So I am thankful I have learned that...
1. the "worse" days keep me humble and dependent on Christ. They also give the "better" days perspective. I love that each word implies that the other exists.
2. richness comes in many forms, not just monetary. And learning to live life within the means of the income we receive is a continual lesson that draws us closer together.
3. presence of disease does not determine the length of someone's life. We have a sovereign Creator who holds life and death in his hands. It is his will that we submit to.
4. Christ, in his sinless state, spent hours praying to love us to the point of death on a cross. Anything short of that would have meant eternity separated from God with no hope of ever getting to him. It is a blessing to pray to the point of loving.
5. if I had it to do over, I would do it again.
Dan, I love you.
November 21, 2007
November 19, 2007
October 26, 2007
When I got home, I quickly calculated that the cost of the 3 medications I picked up was $1519.95. That's only 3 of Sam's 5 medications, and that wasn't even a 90 day supply for all of them. If I had to pay that out of pocket, it would save me an hour, but look at what it would have cost me in dollars! And even if I had used our insurance, but gone to a civilian pharmacy, I would have spent $63. I would obviously sit for an hour at the pharmacy instead of pay $1500, but even that lesser dollar figure is crazy when you think about ongoing medical care. I would have to work an 8-hr day to even come up with $63 for meds. Today I am once again thankful for military insurance in which we don't have to pay a cent, and I am thankful that I have an hour of my time to give.
October 25, 2007
I realize it's hard for me to describe how close (or far) the fires are from us, but in general we are pretty much the least affected in the whole county. If you've seen a map of the fires, there isn't much of the county not affected, especially as the Harris fire (in the south) continues to burn. I sound like a children's song when I say that you can't go North of us and can't go East of us. You can go about 7 miles south and 5 miles west (the beach), and that's the safest part of San Diego!
Obviously, our little neck of the woods has not had to suffer much. The biggest need we have is a place for our kids to play because we can't go outside. The recommendation has been for all small children (with or without lung issues) to be indoors. Coming to our rescue is the Hebrew Day School, right outside our military housing. They have opened their air conditioned facilities (with good circulated air) to the military community to bring their kids to play. How awesome is that? I am a born again Christian, and I hope that if we had a Christian pre-school close by that we would have offered the same thing. Meeting people where their needs are. Love it!
October 22, 2007
I moved to the Philippines in 1995 (so hard to believe it's been 12 years!), and it was a particularly bad typhoon season. We had a string of typhoons, the most tragic being Typhoon Rosing (Angela), which took almost 1000 lives. This storm lasted for 6 days, and at one point both sides of it were in the ocean and covering our island at the same time. I lived about an hour inland, so I was hardly affected. We lost power for 10 days, but I just used it as an excuse to write letters by candlelight! Thousands of people were displaced from their homes.
By far the worst weather I have experienced was in Little Rock, AR, on Christmas Eve, 2004. I was hosting a party that night and ran to Walmart 7 hours before the party was supposed to start to get last minute food and supplies. While I was in the store, the ice storm descended. I was at a stand still on Cantrell for hours. The frightening part occurred, though, once I got out of that traffic. For those of you who don't know West Little Rock-it's HILLY!!!! I got a 1/2 mile from home and seeing people all over the sides of the road didn't think I could get up the last hill to our apt. I parked my car in a parking lot, and started climbing the hill, groceries in hand. With no gloves, my fingers were frozen by the time I got home. I was just happy to be alive and couldn't figure out how I hadn't crashed our car into someone.
But today has been an entirely different experience. San Diego is an awesome vacation spot because it doesn't have the things I've mentioned above. We don't have tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, or even noticeable earthquakes like CA is famous for. Sadly, we don't even get good rain, which sets us up for what we do get: Fires. Fire and Santa Ana winds are the only 2 real weather conditions San Diego gets, and they are a lethal combination. If you've seen the news, you know that San Diego is inundated with fires right now. Because wildfires are new to me, I thought I would share some things I've heard today that I've never heard before:
1) 211 - this is a non-emergency number
2) Reverse 911 - Police call your home to tell you to evacuate
3) Black screen on network television station, with this scrolled at bottom: "We have suspended televised broadcast due to fires."
4) Evening television lineup (including Heroes) will be broadcast next Sunday
5) Charger practice has been relocated to Phoenix, AZ, and 40 players have been evacuated, including LT.
6) Sea World closed due to fires.
7) "Interstate closed because of fires" on the traffic billboard.
8) Fires are referred to by names (ex: "Witch Creek Fire"). The name usually comes from the area the fire started. The fires now are commonly being compared to the 2003 Cedar Fire, but they say the Santa Ana winds in that fire had lessened by this point. They still expect another day of these winds.
9) I've never been 10 miles from a mandatory evacuation region.
10) "The fires won't make it past the ocean."
11) Spoken by a firefighter being interviewed, "If you recognize any of the following addresses, your home has burned to the ground."
12) Lay Down-this is the term used for the Santa Ana winds calming in the night. Because the winds die down, they say the fire "lays down" at night. As soon as the sun rises, the winds pick back up.
As I write this at 7am on Tuesday, these fires are mostly Zero Percent contained. One is 5% contained. They are hoping the Witch Creek Fire will not go beyond where it is right now because evidently if it does, it's got a clear path all the way to the coast. A new "finger" of the Harris Fire down south came out of no where in the middle of the night. It seriously looks like lava slowly coming down a mountain.
October 21, 2007
Timothy turned out to be quite the trooper. He listened to the dentist very well and got kuddos from everyone. As soon as he got home, however, he was glued to my hip. For those of you who really know Timothy, you know that he is rarely needy or clingy. I thought maybe since he had to push himself to his sensory limits in that appt that maybe this was his way of balancing everything out. I thought that until this morning!!!
He woke up and immediately wanted to lay on the couch with a blanket and said, "I want mommy to cuddle me". He's not emotional. He's sick! Within hours he had a fever. It's been so long since he's been sick like this, but this is the type of virus that he always gets. The only symptoms are fever and exhaustion. And boy is this fever for real. He had tylenol in him when I put him to bed tonight. When he woke up a couple of hours later, it was 103.4. (Moms: Am I right to add a degree if it's under the arm?)
Now is the part where I sound like a terrible mom. I had the nicest day today because I got to love on Timothy all day. Dan had duty today, so it was me and the kids. Thankfully, Samantha is very good at entertaining herself. I held Timothy all day unless I was feeding Samantha or going to the store. I'm usually lucky if I get to hold him for 1 minute, much less all day! And this is the 2nd day in a row! I enjoyed it very much.
October 19, 2007
So, why am I bringing all this up? We found out last night that a precious family we know has just been leveled with this awful news. He was was told this week that he will be going IA. They have 2 sons, and a beautiful 3 month old daughter. My friend waited until her husband had shore duty to have a 3rd child AND get a long-awaited degree. He will get back from Iraq 2 months before his shore duty is up, and then will go straight to sea duty. It's AWFUL. I'm sick to my stomach.
I'm sharing because 1) I want you to know that IA is happening and will probably increase & 2) that you can enter into prayer on behalf of my friend and her family. Please pray for them. Your prayers for someone you don't even know will do more good than any words any of us could speak to her.
October 10, 2007
October 7, 2007
The speaker at our particular seminar was Ted Cunningham, a pastor out of Branson, MO(http://www.woodhills.org/). At bigger conferences he co-teaches with Gary who is his mentor. He told several anecdotes that gave a picture of who Gary is as a person, and I think I would like the guy. Here is an example: Ted was going through a vicious church split a few year ago at a previous church. When he sat down with Gary to tell him the whole thing, Gary said, "That's great!!!" That's great? Gary said that the lessons Ted would learn by the pain he would experience would be more than Gary could ever teach him. How true is that! Once I started learning how much trials help me, I find myself thinking that same way. No matter how we wish we could become wise and Christlike without them, it's not possible, so why would we hope that Christians could avoid trials? How many of our prayers are some form of "trial prevention"? Okay, that's for a different blog.
The seminar was very "story-esque" in nature, so it's kind of hard to pass on the info, but there are a few things that struck me in interesting ways:
1) "Women dress according to the messages written on their heart." A huge part of this conference was about "guarding your heart" and discovering/rewriting the messages that have been put there. I have to confess, I can think pretty judgmentally about women who are scantily clad. Tonight at the mall, every time I saw a woman dressed inappropriately, I thought about the messages (lies) that have been written on her heart to make her feel like she has to dress like that. Anything that helps me love people more can't be bad!
2) Speaker says to his daughter: "You can walk down the aisle when I know "that guy" loves you as I do." What a beautiful picture.
3) Sex is not a need. Food, water, and shelter are needs. Ted said that we've taught Christians the scriptural principal that they are not to deprive eachother. This is true. Unfortunately, it has become so strongly "explained" that Christian men have been convinced that sex is something they can not live without. Not true. (That was not my commentary. It was all from Ted, and Dan agrees.)
4) Wherever you go, you are there. (Examples I'm about to use are from the speaker, so I'm not trying to point at anyone.) If you keep trying to find a job you like, if you move from relationship to relationship, or if you are frustrated by every church you go to, there really is only one common denominator-you!
5) "Fear Dance" is the biggest barrier to great communication. Let me try to boil it down. We each have buttons (or feelings) and subsequent fight or flight reactions to them. Many times our reactions actually push our spouse's buttons which creates a vicious cycle. There wasn't time at the seminar, but we were encouraged to write down our buttons and reactions on our own. Dan and I have not had time to do that yet, but we identified with the examples given. I'm sure there are hundreds more we could come up with.
Male Buttons: Feeling Controlled, Judged, or like a Failure
Male Reactions: Withdrawal, Defensiveness, Sarcasm
Female Buttons: Disconnection, Abandonment, Rejection
Female Reactions: Escalation, Negative Beliefs, Exaggeration ("You always", "You never")
6) Win/Win. Ted said that you should walk away from arguments with win/win, that if it's win/lose, really nobody wins. Even though I said outloud to Dan during this that I wanted to win (and he agreed with me), I could grasp a bit what Ted was saying. Ironically, that's what keeps sticking in my head, but I don't think I would describe it the way Ted does. I understand that I shouldn't feel like I have to "lose" an argument, but sometimes my will just has to die. Sometimes, no matter how much I hate it, I may just have to die to myself for my marriage to have new life.
September 27, 2007
Through May of this year, Samantha just nodded yes. It was one giant nod from top to bottom (never multiple nods). It was very cute, and she would practically lose her balance because it was so exaggerated. Then at the end of May/beginning of June she started nodding regularly. At the end of August she finally decided to go with "yeah", and she has almost completely phased out the head nodding with it. I know that these are silly details, but before long all the cute baby actions and words will be gone. I won't be able to get them back, and I'll want to!
Many of you know that for the first year of Samantha's life, Timothy thought if he ignored her enough she would just go away. It was literally like she was an invisible person in the room. Thankfully, all that has changed now, and they have their own unique way of playing together. He thinks his sister is pretty "funny".
That being said, they have developed their own yes/no game. Timothy thinks it's hysterical that Samantha doesn't say no, so he starts the yes/no game. The entire game is that Timothy says no and Samantha says yes. They alternate saying their respective words forever until they're both rolling from laughter. And the game is clear to them. Sam knows when Timothy says "no" for real and when he's says "no" to start the game. When it's the latter, she just jumps on in.
And I would think the whole thing was totally adorable if it didn't have the end result of teaching Samantha the word no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Counting the days before the game's "alternative #1" is Timothy saying yes and Samantha saying no!
September 25, 2007
About 2 hours before this event, I read this: "...Nothing in us can absorb sin. Nothing. Even when we are the one being sinned against, we still cannot handle sin, because sin done to us will always ignite the nature of the sin already in us. So, we give ourselves permission to act out sinfully. Twisted, isn't it? It all makes us want to scream, 'That isn't fair. I wasn't the one who started this. I wasn't the one who sinned!' And we're right. It is not fair. Sin does not play fair." I think I could have spoken those words myself!
So here I am in an honest to goodness moment where something was actually done wrong to me, and yet my brilliant solution to it is to see how many ways I can sin in reaction to it. If I don't "react", what is left to do? Admit the pain of being betrayed and unloved. Here I am admitting it. I'm too tired to do anything else.
I'm so glad that God's nature is different from mine. My sin did not ignite sin in Him because he is sinless. Instead, he sent his son to die on a cross, so that my sins might be forgiven and I might have his Spirit nature. Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." That's quite a standard! It seems that the process of forgiveness and confession go hand in hand. If I'm going to experience the pain of wrongs done to me and subsequent forgiveness for those, I might as well dive into the pain of my own unconfessed sin.
The precious thing about our Lord is that in the very moment we confess our sin and hurts, He is there speaking the truth of His love into our lives. Why do I try to pretend I'm not hurt or not sinning when I know my Lord just wants to make me whole? "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming." 1 John 2:28
September 20, 2007
- She LOVES to eat. The crunchier and chewier the better! You can see the picture I've posted of her eating broccoli. Ironically, for her, it would be better if it was smothered with cheese or butter (yes, that's straight from the doctor), but at least she's eating something with tons of nutrition! She eats broccoli from the top like she's mowing grass.
- She's our little gymnast. She's a great climber and can even balance on Dan's back when he's laying on his stomach (imagine surfing).
- Her vocabulary just exploded this week! "Tank-o" (thank you) sounds the cutest, saying it when she's supposed to and when we're supposed to.
- CF-She has been amazingly healthy lung-wise. Unfortunately, she's dropped back off the growth chart since our last doctor's visit in Dallas. She is very small, and we are working like crazy to stuff calories into her! More blogs to come on this topic.
- She is so good about sleeping. When it's bedtime, I can say, "Are you ready to go night night?". She says "yeah", puts her thumb in her mouth (which she only does when sleepy), and then walks to her room. In fact, earlier today I was "blogging" and she was being awfully quiet. Last I had seen her she was sitting on Timothy's bed reading books. I went upstairs to check on her, and she had laid herself down on Timothy's pillow and gone to sleep! It was naptime, and she knew it. I moved her to her crib, but I think it's time for a big-girl bed. Sniff sniff.
September 19, 2007
- He can identify almost every car symbol and LOVES to do it. The other day Ford and Suzuki were his favorites, but yesterday it was Scion!
- He just started identifying football teams. He knows the Eagles but not the Cowboys or Chiefs, so we have some work to do. He requests Sports Center over cartoons now, so I don't think it will take long.
- Green is his favorite color (not influenced by me, for those of you who knew me in 9th grade!)
- Preschool is from 1-5 every day. It's the same school he was at when we moved to Dallas, and I didn't think we would get back in. Not only did he get in, but he even started the first day of school, so I'm very pleased. He loves going to school to be with "all the boys and girls".
- He cherishes Samantha - Two days ago they were playing and I called him to go to school. He said, "Sorry Sam. I really, really have to go to school. See you tomorrow." Then when I picked him up from school he said, "I miss Sam." Yesterday, Dan picked him up from school, and when he came in the door he gave me a quick cursory hug, then asked where Sam was.
- He is aggressively independent, which is a continual reminder to his parents of how we act towards our Heavenly Father.
- He loves to sing and dance. He is convinced he can break dance because "that is cool". Recently, he has started making up his own lyrics to all his favorite songs. It's so fun!
Not everything is bad, though. Dan has been on “stand down” the last month which means he has only had to go to the ship about 5 times during the whole month. It’s a wonderful perk after a 7 month deployment. He goes back to work on Monday, and for a while it will be as close to a 9 to 5 schedule as the Navy gets. Before long we’ll be working up to the next deployment, but if I tell you when that is I would have to kill you.
Oh, and the most important thing is that we have central A/C. Background story: We didn’t have A/C in our last housing. That’s usually not a problem at all in San Diego, but there was a heat wave last summer. That combined with the fact that Samantha’s CF causes her to dehydrate very easily (even right now her dietician has her on Gatorade every day) caused me to be a little bit of a crazy person. If you didn’t have the privilege of hearing me freak out about it (and there can’t be many of you), feel lucky!!! One of the reasons I moved to Dallas was to be able to move back to this housing and make sure Sam wouldn’t spend another summer like that.
Return of the USS Antietam -- After 7 years with Dan, this was my first "homecoming", and it was high energy. The whole pier radiated happiness. They had a balloon maker, and Timothy & another boy had about a 10 minute sword fight with their sword-balloons. Samantha was a little scared to go to Daddy (that was fixed by the end of the day), but Timothy was in heaven. In fact, he didn’t even want to leave until he could “go on Daddy’s ship”. I was interviewed that day by the L.A. Times. It is by no means a perfect quote, but I think he got the general tone of what I was saying. Here is the link: