To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Time for Anniversaries

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord ~ Gen. 6:8

Going into surgery
I keep a memory box for each of the kids. In it I put whatever I think will be fun to see again when they're older. A little bit of baby things, a little bit of art, etc. The other night I was putting something in Owen's box when the boys asked me what that red one was. I took it down and showed it to them. It's Noah's memory box from his open-heart surgery. He was only 3 when he had it and next Weds. marks 3 years since he had to have it. I've never gone through this with him before and realized, now that he's reading, I should take some time and let him read all the cards and letters people sent him during this time. I pulled one email out that we had received from Pepere. I read one line and burst into tears and had to stop. You would think that something that happened so long ago would not affect me so much anymore but it still does. I keep asking myself why. I mean, he's fine now, totally fine!
Noah after surgery
When each of our babies is born, Ben and I pray and give them to God. We know that, really, they belong to Him. God has given them to us as a gift, to raise for Him, until He decides he wants them back. We are not guaranteed to have our children for the entirety of our lives...some of you know that reality all too well. It's so easy to believe you have given your child to the Lord until He brings you through something that makes you realize you really hadn't. That is what this trial did for me. God was showing me that I needed to let go and trust Him to care for my children. God had to bring me here to show me how weak and helpless I really am to protect my children. Definitely there are things He wants us as parents to be doing as far as raising these children He has given us. But ultimately, HE is in control and HE is the one who will take care of them. It was such a hard lesson to learn. To realize that I really hadn't given my kids over to God. I would give them, then take them back. The months leading up to Noah's suregery I had to get to a point where I could accept the worst. I had to be able to say, "Lord if it's your will for Noah to die that's ok. I give him to you". I had to be prepared for anything and I had to know that whatever God's will for Noah's life was, I could still love Him and trust that He only wants good for us. And what a gracious God I serve. Not only has He allowed us to keep Noah, there was so much peace the day of the surgery in my heart. Of course I was a little scared, of course I cried...I'm human after all. But God's word was so comforting. And He gave Ben and I two special friends who were there with us the whole time in the waiting room. These two people are so precious to us and they were exactly what we needed that day. God was providing for us what we didn't even realize we needed. Early on Ben claimed the verse above. And God answered...Noah did find grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Ben prays with Noah
I think the moment we saw Noah for the first time was the hardest point for me. God had one test left. Do you really trust ME. Noah was in the room straight ahead as we walked into the PICU. Normally the surgeon would meet you at the door, explain to you what to expect, how the surgery went and then bring you to your child. He was on the phone so we had no idea what to expect. All of a sudden we see him, tied to the bed, yelling out, "mommy help me, it hurts." Any parent reading this knows the pain in our hearts at that moment and even now thinking about it. Then Ben passes out! The rock that I was depending on to get me through seeing my child for the first time after the surgery had just crumbled and I was alone? No, I wasn't. God was there reminding me that HE is all I needed in that moment. HE was going to carry me through this. I had a decision to make. I could feel sorry for myself that I was alone and there wasn't anyone there to take care of me or I could turn my eyes upon Jesus and believe that HE was there to take care of me. So I left my husband on the ground (I really did) while the nurses took care of him and went to my baby. Ben quickly came to...passed out again upon seeing Noah and then was asked not to return to the PICU for a few hours! I don't say this to embarrass Ben at all. I really think God used that to show me how to rely on Him and Him alone.

Noah in better spirits!
Noah came through the surgery just fine, praise the Lord! His cardiologist said it is amazing how well the surgeon was able to repair the hole, given how large it was. She said looking at his heart now you would never know that he had ever had a problem. Only God can do that! The recovery period was incredible...he was up and playing just days after. He had limitations of course but not as long as you would expect. God was so good to Noah throughout all this and we just continue to praise Him for that and thank Him for each day he gives us with Noah.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Time for Bisquick

 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither
poverty or riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
                       ~Prov. 30:8

 Yes, you read that right, Bisquick! We have enough Bisquick in this house to last us 5 years! I'm not even a big fan of the stuff and am still not really sure how we ended up with so much of it. It definitely has something to do with my husbands recent addiction to BJ's and coupons that can be used at BJ's. I don't remember exactly, but there must have been some really good deal on Bisquick and now I'm left to try and figure out what to do with it all. There's only so many pancakes and waffles you can make. Usually when we cook pancakes or waffles we make several batches and freeze them. I'm not a fan of making pot pie with Bisquick and I never think to make biscuits with it. This morning I found myself with a lot of apples that needed to be consumed soon! I decided it was a good day for baking and since I was already making banana bread, why not one more thing. I came across a recipe for Apple Coffee Cake. As I'm reading down the ingredients I find that it calls for BISQUICK...and lots of it! It was hard to contain my excitement. It has 3 steps to it but it's really very easy and calls for common ingredients that everyone has in their pantry....except maybe the Bisquick.

Apple Coffee Cake (from Betty Crocker)
Streusel Topping (below)
2 C Original Bisquick
2/3 C milk
3 Tb. sugar
1 lg. egg
2 medium cooking apples (2 cups), peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tb. chopped nuts (I did not add)
Glaze (below)

1. Heat oven to 400. Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 9X9, with shortening.*
2. Make streusel topping; set aside.

Streusel Topping
2/3 C Original Bisquick
2/3 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 C firm butter or stick margarine
Mix Bisquick, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter, using pastry blender until mix is crumbly.

3. Stir Bisquick, milk, sugar and egg until blended; beat vigorously 30 secs. Spread half of the batter in pan. Arrange apple slices on batter; sprinkle with half of the streusel topping. Spread remaining batter over apple slices; sprinkle with remaining topping. Sprinkle with nuts.
4. Bake 20-25 mins. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 20 mins. in pan on wire rack. Drizzle with glaze.

1/2 C powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. milk

* I made a double recipe and put into a 13X9 pan and cooked for 30mins.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Time to be Reminded

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. ~Psalm 63:7

What would I do without God's word to comfort me? What would I do without good friends who bring me to God's word and remind me He is there to take care of me? There isn't anything I'm going through that God doesn't understand, even if those around me don't understand. It's hard for me to rely only on God. I seem to want so badly for those around me, particularly those in my home, to understand exactly what I'm going through and be moved to compassion. This is my self-centered nature coming out. My pride is wounded as I write this but I also think it's necessary for others to know that, though it seems like I have it all under control, I have days where I really struggle. Satan knows when I'm weak...he is after all a "roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour" is he not? The past few weeks have been challenging for me. It's that way when you have kids. Just when you think you've conquered one hurdle...another one appears. It's never ending and in our house, there isn't usually a break in between challenges!

We have two children who are really fighting nap time. I find all my kids around 2 years of age tried to do this yet I always forget its coming! One of them likes to scream at the top of his lungs and one is convinced that he doesn't need sleep-ever! So the 2hrs in the afternoon I'm used to having to get things done is being very rudely interruped!  I also have one boy who still does not stay dry at night. He pees through everything, which means a bath and sheet change each morning. My husband says its a good thing its me dealing with the bed-wetting issue and not him...I say it probably is. I'm at the point now where the only thing I can do is laugh. This is advice a good friend, who also has 5 kids, gave me. She said sometimes you just need to laugh at things, otherwise you'll always be crying! Don't get me wrong. Each morning my inner rage wants to burst out screaming...but thankfully, the Lord helps me get my emotions under control, and we press on. My husband and I were talking about this one day and he says half-joking, "oh yeah, Lord, thank you for this!" We know the Bible tells us to give thanks in all things (1Th.5:18) but sometimes this is a hard thing to practice. After giving it some thought I said, "well, I guess I am thankful that it's pee and not poop." And I am! We also have one resisting potty training like nobody's business keeping us with 3 in diapers and 2 little boys who are constantly fighting over everything! There is never a dull moment in this house and all these "little" things keep me very busy but also very weary. Someone has to train these children how to play well together, how to use the toilet, how to obey, how to be responsible,how to love God and his word, how to exhibit fruits of the spirit, etc. and that someone is me. If I forget to go to God's word for encouragement and refueling each morning then my day is going to go very badly! I need to be reminded that God loves me (1Jn 4:10) and wants to take care of me (1Pe.5:7). I need to be reminded that I am to lay my burdens at his feet and not carry the weight of them myself. (Ps 55:22) I need to be reminded that it's in His strength, not my own, I get by. (Phil 4:13). I also need to be reminded that God gave me my children as a gift and its my responsibility to do all these things. (Prov.22:6)
Recently someone said to me, "God must have made you a special kind of person to do all that you do". As nice and encouraging as that comment was to hear, I really don't think there is anything special about me. I'm human just like everyone else and most of the time I wonder what God was thinking trusting me with so much responsibility! The only thing that sustains me, the only thing that gets me by, is my faith in God. It's that simple. Yes I have an amazing husband and we make a great team. Without him I would be lost. But God ultimately is the one I need to lean on because even my amazing husband will fail me. Just like I fail him at times. So anytime you are wondering how we do it the simple answer is because of God. If ever you wonder how YOU do it...remember it's only because of God. He gets all the credit and the glory in my heart and I hope it's that way in your heart too!
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. ~ Rom.16:27