Welcome to my musings...

After a 3 year hiatus from blogging (too busy parenting teens to have time to write about it!), I have decided to revive my blog. I look forward to sharing my perspective on mothering as I am at the tail end of my child-raising journey. Nothing could be more beautiful, more full of joy and pain and anguish, than the divine calling of motherhood. I pray my musings will bless you on your own journey, and that you will feel encouraged and equipped!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In the Hands of God

Three nights ago, I had a terrifying experience. My son had complained of a migraine, so I decided to keep him home from church. My husband and daughters left for church, and I sent Noah to bed with an icepack for his pounding head. About fifteen minutes later, he stumbles into my room, gasping for breath and crying, “Mom, something’s wrong…I can’t breathe!” I looked up from my laptop and saw a terrible sight—my son, with his eyes swollen almost shut, his nose twice the size of normal, clutching his chest and panicking as he tried to draw a breath. I jumped up and raced to help him, praying silently in my soul for God to rescue us. I calmed him down, as his panic was making the asthma attack worse, grabbed his inhalers and a Benadryl pill and helped him get the medicine down a throat that was almost swollen shut. I quickly made a decision to get him in the car and race to the nearest ER after determining that the inhalers had eased his breathing enough to buy us the time to get to the hospital for help. We raced down the road, pushing the speed limit—I figured if I got pulled over, the policeman could help us get to the hospital faster. We arrived at the Emergency Room, walked in and when the triage desk took one look at my son, they immediately grabbed a wheelchair and took him to the back, in front of several other waiting patients. That, more than anything, scared me.

As the nurses got my son hooked up to a pulse oximeter (which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood), I could see that his oxygen levels were very low. He was now covered from head to toe in angry red hives, and his hands were swollen to the point of being unusable. A doctor came in almost immediately (another ER first for us!) and ordered an epinephrine shot and some prednisone to reduce the swelling. Within minutes of the shot, Noah’s breathing eased dramatically and he relaxed against the pillows.

The doctor, who was wonderful with Noah (the best we’ve ever had in an emergency room situation), believed that his reaction was probably due to something airborne, but was unable to determine what that might be. He decided to observe Noah for 2-3 hours before releasing us, to make sure he was stable. He warned me that when reactions come on this fast, it is very dangerous. He gave us a prescription for an Epi-pen (which delivers an emergency dose of epinephrine), so we can be prepared for next time. “Next time?!” my anxious heart silently cried, “I don’t ever want to experience this again!” We spent the next 3-1/2 hours waiting for his symptoms to subside so we could go home. Noah and I had some great conversations, watched a little TV, and I watched with relief as my boy’s hives faded and his swelling subsided. Inside, I prayed fervently to the God who made my little boy to protect him and to help us through this terrible ordeal.

I know that God was with us during those dark hours as I watched my son suffer. I felt His hand on me as I was able to calm Noah with soothing words and a calm demeanor, even though inside I was panicking, too. Both my husband and my son later commented on how unruffled I was throughout the whole ordeal…I know it was only because God provided what I needed to help save my son’s life. Noah and I also believe that God provided for us through Noah’s headache, as strange as that may sound. If he had felt well, and we had gone to church, I would not have had the tools to save his life. I was no longer carrying his inhalers with me, as his asthma had improved so much in recent years that it seemed unnecessary. I wouldn’t have had Benadryl, either, which helped to counteract the allergic reaction. Another provision that made the whole experience much more bearable is that from home, we were only about 7 minutes from our brand new hospital, with a terrific emergency room team. If we had been at church, we would have had to go to a different hospital, where we have had horrendous emergency room experiences. Looking back, it is so easy to see how we were held safely in God’s hands. Even though I was alone dealing with this crisis, I never felt alone, knowing that God was with us every step of the way.

Two days later, Noah and my husband were scheduled to go to the mountains for a father-son retreat. My heart was filled with fear at the thought of my son being outdoors, with all those possible allergens, and having another attack in a remote place without a hospital nearby. I did everything possible to ensure his safety—locating the nearest ambulance service, writing out detailed instructions for my husband for Noah’s medications, suggesting that my husband find the nearest landline in case his cell phone didn’t work, etc. Finally, though, I had to release control of the situation…it was out of my hands. I had to watch my husband and son drive away, knowing there was nothing I could do to protect him for the next couple of days.

Ultimately, it comes down to this…do I really believe that Noah belongs to God and is in His care? Am I willing to trust Him that whatever comes, He loves Noah best and has a perfect plan for his life? Why is it so hard to let go, and trust, and realize that I can’t keep him safe in this world? Sometimes I believe that God gave me Noah just to teach me these lessons in surrender. Those of you who know his whole life story know that God has saved this boy over and over again. He is a miracle many times over, and God has faithfully watched over this precious young man, working His will in Noah’s life. And I will rest in the peace that comes from knowing this: Noah is safe in God’s hands.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

In God We Trust

Today is a special day, a day for reflecting, for rejoicing, for thankfulness. Two hundred and thirty-three years ago today, America was born. It was conceived in the hearts of men who dreamed of something better: a land governed by the principles set forth by God in his holy Word. They dreamed of a place where all could live in peace, working hard together, worshiping together and raising children in a land of freedom. This freedom did not come without a price--these men fought, bled and died to establish this land that they loved. They suffered, they persevered and they were victorious. With God’s blessing, they began a new nation and they prospered.

Today, most Americans will have barbeques, watch fireworks, play sports and drink beer. At best, maybe they will hang out an American flag and give a passing thought to the founders of our country. Most likely, however, today will be about having a party, being with friends and eating lots of food.

What will we teach our children today? Will we tell them of the honorable men who fought and suffered to give them the freedoms they now enjoy? Will we read them quotes from the founding fathers, showing how devoted they were to their Creator? Will we explain the flag we fly, and what it stands for? Will we get down on our knees and thank the Lord for giving us such freedoms, and beg him to restore our nation to one that reveres Him? Or…will we just grill hot dogs, and shoot off firecrackers and go on blithely about our day?

I feel sad today. I see our nation on a downhill slide, away from all that is good and moral. Every time I open the newspaper, I am shocked by what goes on every day in the country that I love. I read about murders, assaults, abuse and abortion. I see families torn apart by drugs and alcohol and unfaithfulness. But most of all, I see a people who are entertaining themselves to death. It burdens my heart that this country, which I love, has turned its back on God and all that we were created to be. And I fear for what must become of us. Thomas Jefferson, the signer and principal author of our Declaration of Independence said this: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

George Washington, first President of the United States, agreed. He said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” Our founding fathers were convinced of one thing: that God was the ruler of this nation, and that all men must bow to His authority. Another early President and signer of the Constitution, James Madison declared, “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”

Recently, I heard our nation referred to as a “post-Christian” nation. That phrase made my blood run cold. America the Beautiful, founded on the blood of men who believed whole-heartedly in God’s rule, is now considered to be past all that “religious nonsense”. And we have stood by and done nothing while this has happened to our beloved country. We said nothing when abortion became legal, we said nothing when prayer was removed from our public schools, we remained silent as we watched the traditional family unravel.

Today, as we contemplate our freedoms and all that we hold dear, let us remember this: the Bible teaches us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) God also promises us that “if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Today, while we are enjoying time with our families and friends, may we remember, and repent, and ask God to heal our land and return our country to one that reveres Him and follows His ways. May God bless the United States of America.