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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beyond Circumstances

My children often remind me of what's really important.  Like giving thanks and breaking bread.  Here with their impromptu hamburger bun communion on the porch.

Yesterday Esther had a seizure.

Then today Antonio had the worst one of his life and ended up in the hospital.  (and contrary to what some people in Uganda believe, I promise seizures are NOT contagious!  I think this was just a stupid enemy trick that will no doubt be used against him.)

And I am thankful Esther's seizure happened in a bed surrounded by family and not in an orphanage crib all alone.

And while I really appreciated God providing a friend to act as an "ambulance" driver for Esther in Uganda, it was nice to have paramedics here who have oxygen and IVs and what not.

And God had my back as the big boys were home from work today and were able to hold down the fort until Grandpa came.  Gabriel knows how to remain calm in medical situations, probably from delivering so many goat babies at his friend's farm, or maybe from an early childhood experience when his big brother got pinned under a fence and he told Gabriel, "There is no need to get upset.  If I die I will just go to heaven and you will get all my legos."  

And Princess was the one who discovered both Esther and Antonio having their seizures first, which she said scared her initially but then when she saw that we weren't afraid she realized she didn't need to be either.  She has taken Esther under her wing and I can totally see her working with special needs children in the future.  

One of my favorite children that had some special needs died in Uganda this week.  JoJo was a precious little boy who may have been a "least of these" in the eyes of the world but was very significant in the Kingdom.  A friend in Texas had her children do a fundraiser to purchase a special needs stroller like Esther's for Ekisa.  

To me he is the face of Project Hopeful, who advocates for children with HIV and Down Syndrome (JoJo had both) and other special needs who need families.  After getting home from the hospital I took the little girls to the splash pad and I was admiring this beautiful mom's tattoos when she came up to me and said, "I'm not a stalker or anything...." (LOVE that intro!) "but I think I know you.  I work for Project Hopeful..."  She was from New Jersey! And she knew all about Esther.  And just so happened to be at a park a few blocks from our house in Iowa.  I think it was a kiss from Jesus to me to remind me that He had called me to this place, this time, I am in His will...and His peace destroys all chaos.

Blessing got to attend one of her favorite nurse's wedding.  She was so happy to see her hospital friends NOT in pajamas or hooked up to anything and her nurses in formal wear.  Blessing reminds us to be grateful for food and the ability to swallow and digest it.  And for God's ability to make all things new.

Esther's homeschool looks likes a lot of swinging and spinning at this point.  The next couple months are appointment packed and then I think we will back off some, content with being the "good enough" parent and letting God fill in the gaps.  There can be a fine line between trying to find the best resources for our children and striving to "fix" them and the difference feels like peace versus stress.  

Solomon is our man of peace.  He refuses to let "real life interfere with my imagination."  Faith requires us to see beyond "real" life to the unseen spiritual realities going on all around us. It takes the imaginative mind of Christ to see possibilities instead of just problems.  It's never just about cleaning up after people (what so many moms think their life consists of) or seizures or the mundane/insane circumstances we encounter each day.  There is a bigger story, Christ being formed in us, Christ in the eyes of the least of these we encounter each day, Christ filling all things in all ways.  

So we can be at peace and at rest.

And let His love destroy every shred of fear.  (Esther used to be terrified of water, she now splashes and plays in the bathtub!)

More than a preconceived idea of how my life should look, I want to know Him.  The power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His suffering.  I want to be love like He is, and I typically get stuck right at "love is patient, love is kind." (I obviously needed extra practice so God gave me more than the average number of children)  Praying you will see Him, broken and poured out, then risen and victorious.  His patient, loving-kindness is yours! 

I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord  Isaiah 66:9 NCV


Sherrie said...

Tears reading this so much joy and oh that little JOJO what a precious little boy!

MamaPPod said...

Jenny, I loved your photos of JoJo. My duaghter spent a year in Jinja, and fell head over heels in love with that little guy, and would have adopted him in a heartbeat if she had been older than the 18 she was at the time. Obviously JoJo spent his time on earth causing everyone who met him to fall in love with him. I'm gonna pass on your pictures to her to add to her collection of JoJo photos.

Smilen Champ said...

Hi Esther, Antonio, their siblings and their family,

My name is Jenna. Esther and Antonio, You are a brave courageous fighter. All of you kids are a special miracle from god, a gift from above, earthly angel,and Esther and Antonio you are a smilen hero. All of You kids are full of happiness, life, smiles, joy, fun,love, and spunk.

I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and have 14 other medical conditions, and developmental delays.

I wrote this poem
Each of us are Special
Each of us different,
No one is the same
Each of are us are unique in our own way,
Those of us who have challenges, we smile through our day.
Those who of us who have challenges, we smile through our day.
It doesn't matter what others say
we are special anyway.
What is forty feet and sings? the school chior

TnL said...

I have been following your story since you went to pick up Esther. Your family is so beautiful. I just had to post because I was laughing at the picture and story about impromptu communion. I can remember as a child we would constantly be playing "communion" with bread, candies, iced tea, lol anything we could get our hands and take turns whos turn it was to be the eucharistic minister. We would all line up and make a processional and keep going round and round for hours. Your kiddos brought up a wonderful memory I hadn't thought about in a long time. LOL Thanks for bringing a smile to my day. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Each day I check to see if you have posted... and it doesn't matter whether you have or not, because each day I lift you to Father God and pray His protection and peace for your home, for healing and for joy... Blessings!! Renee

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

beautiful words and beautiful faces.