Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long lost Reuwers...

It has been months, months. I have never gone this long without an update. I feel like my heart needs to write it all out as much as all my far away friends are wondering how and what we are doing. I am not even sure where to begin. We wrapped up our time in San Antonio at the end of August. After coming home to Chicago and Wisconsin for back to back weddings. We all returned to San Antonio for a whirlwind 3weeks jam packed with surprises, appointments for Phoenix, packing and all the details of returning to our home in Wisconsin. It was crazy!

On August 10th, which is Evan's 4th Birthday, we had a reason to celebrate as we remembered his precious life. We found out I was Pregnant, I had a suspicion but with all the travelng and my always early pregnancy testing, I waited longer than usual. Surprised and even a little anxious when the lines indicating pregnant appeared.

After Phoenix, I asked God for a year before the next pregnancy and as far as we can figure, it was a week over a year, that we conceived. Love His sense of humor. We Trust that God is building our family one beautiful child at a time, but my Faith is shaken in these moments of surprise. Because I had no control, I wasn't doing everything right like I should have been. I immediately began to list these fears/ anxietys off to Mike and being the voice of steadiness and Truth in my life that he is, he reminded me that nothing is in my control. Because with Evan I did everything right and yet he was the most Fatal and with each of them I followed the Dr's. recommendations, but God knit them as they are and chose us as there parents. AMAZING!! So I had peace and Faith in God's perfect plan and not mine.

It has been bumpy at times, letting go of my anxieties and walking in peace is not always easy. But I am in the second trimester and feeling human minus the constant fatigue. This has by far been the easiest pregnancy in everyway. We had our first ultrasound at almost 10 weeks and the baby looks great. There are certain indicators that show whether there is concern for Spina Bifida and at that point things looked good. Sweet babes was moving all limbs, which was awesome to see, since we never saw that movement with Phoenix. At the 18 week ultrasound it was confirmed that all looks healthy and we are expecting a GIRL!!! For those of you who know me, know that this da has been long awaited for me!! Mike said he has not seen me that excited ever, which I can't believe as true.But I am still rejoicing in a little baby girl adn all the wonder of this desire of my heart coming to pass.

Onto other life essentials. Mike graduated from school at Ft.Sam Houston on August 24th!! He is officially a X-Ray tech and soon will be on the hunt for a job. Though, we found out the week becfore we left that he has a broken wrist and has for about 5 months. They never ordered an x-ray till it was bothering him all these months later. For may logistical reasons they did not cast him, and sent us home. We have been home a month and are just now getting the paperwork to enable him to make an appointment and get casted. Love the efficiency sometimes. It was a work related break so we are on their time frame. We are thankful for his ability to be home and help get all of our life back here sorted out, but would also love for his wrist to be taken care of, as it is bothering him more and more. (SINCE this post Mike has had a cast on and removed, will be starting physical therapy to encourage more healing)

Rowan, has turned into a quite the little boy. He is enthralled with super heros. All of them from Superman to Wolverine. Often making anything a costume and telling us what superhero he is,the bad guys ( ususally Mike and his uncle Jon) can never win against the hero of the day. Such a great communicator when it comes to his likes and dislikes, and emotionally aware as well. We are laughing a ton these days with him and at his quirky little vocabulary!! He loves to help me in the kitchen and has become a very helpful and Kind older brother. Awe, I am soo in love with my little man, we enjoy eachother so much!

Coming home to Wisconsin has been like a breath of fresh air for us all. It has felt natural and overwhelming all in the same moments. New therapists, Dr.'s, medical systems,insurance changes and lots of hoops to jump through to keep Phoenix growing. A house and all its demands. Beautiful wonderful relationships that we are still figuring out how to fit into our non-stop world. It can feel a little bit overwhelming. I come back to the basics of being thankful and taking time to Breathe. What a difference that can make. One moment at a time and extending grace to myself often.

Life looks so different for each of us. Learning to find your place and putting down roots there can be shaky. I feel that I am constantly learning who I am and how to find a place in the new life I lead. Expectations of what it should have looked like " " only lead me to feel discontent. But if I embrace the beauty of today and can learn to see the purpose in each moment, than life is FULL of pure joy and Beauty.

I will be updating more often as life is steadying out here!!

Love you all,
Monday, June 28, 2010

Today a year ago.

Today a year ago was the end of a long and emotional journey full of tons of unknowns and Faith. A miracle, a sacred gift was given to our family, Phoenix Everette Reuwer. Beautiful blue eyes, frail little 4lb. 6oz. frame and sweet as pie and full of Fight, straight out of my womb.

I remember the day vividly, the drive to the hospital at 4:45 am and then all the waiting for the C-section. All the anticipation mixed with unknowns, for me, I just wanted the pregnancy to have a conclusion in a new life. We were prepared for the long haul and we knew that Phoenix was a life that would and has reached numerous in great depths.

The heartache of that day lingers still, not being able to see him or touch him. Waiting yet again for the Dr's thoughts and next plans for his little life. We were surrounded by prayers and some of our dearest friends. What a gift that was and is!

A year already I still can't wrap my mind around it. This one little life that shines and teaches me daily.I can celebrate in all that has been restored, in all that was promised or diagnosed over him in my womb and who he really is.

Everyday he is changing, watching, growing, loving, laughing and Fighting. Fighting to be stronger, to play with Rowan, to reach for a toy, to hold his body up, to balance and to just Live Fully... Life through those Crystal blue eyes is full of trials I'll never know, but more Full of Victories this side of Earth that i will never taste, except through watching him.

No one could have told me or prepared me for what life with a child with a disability and medical hurdles would be like. To me it is the richest and most complexly draining life. It compels me towards God in ways I have never known and it takes my breath away with each new milestone he greets and embraces. I love Phoenix I love the life, joy and strength he has brought to our family. I thank God daily for miracles seen and unseen in and through his life. He leads a life worth Fighting and Celebrating, but don't we all.

Phoenix has had great strides in just these last weeks. Too many to fully get into but let me say. Prayers, yours, mine and all the angels have been answered. He is progressing daily in his strength and longevity, which is a great victory. Used to make it through ten minutes of OT and be exhausted, today he made it the whole 45 and let me tell you I left with an ear to ear smile. Food has become a part of his life, he loves it and his body is finally holding down, seriously deserves celebration as this has been a hard battle. Fists of steel have switched to loose fingers and hands that are reaching, grasping and fine motor skills developing. These are all daily occurrences for a six month old. We finally have a marker for where he is developmentally, that is wonderful. Also, we were supposed to start Cathing him to empty his bladder a month ago. Which would add a huge lifestyle change for our family and seriously by the grace of God. Both our Dr. and us agreed to wait, because currently he has none of the risks associated with not doing it. Most Spina Bifida kids, with use of there lower body are sent home from the hospital with cathing a daily routine. Laughing, smiling, babbling, all a part of consistent development are happening on a daily basis. Rowan and Jon being the greatest assets to the giggling. Leaps and Bounds!!!

We are heading into our last months here and feel grateful and ready for the completion of this season. This weekend we celebrate Rowan's third birthday and we are getting to go on a mini vacation. We have great Faith for this time together, with friends, God and each other. After this weekend there are tons of details to get sorted through from moving to establishing care for Phoenix in Wisconsin, please pray that all goes smooth and we have the grace to face any hurdles that come.

We Love you all and are so thankful for your love, support, encouragement and prayers. Life is but a breath, but so much sweeter with you all beside us!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Don't have a title for this post yet... It's been awhile again and the last time we visited, me and this computer and you. I was catching you and I up on life. It's hard for me to keep perspective, OFTEN, and I let life knock the wind out of me. If you know me at all you will not have a hard time believing that when I get overwhelmed it literally paralyzes me. I just end up curled up, or reverting to not so healthy habits, like Facebook, T.v. and mindless, aimless things. Mainly because I don't know how to deal with all the emotion that is jam packed and all the non-stop of our day to day. I wish I could put words to this battle that I feel I still have not overcome.

I know that we all face it on some level. It is the unattainable, unrealistic, goal or comparison we set up for ourselves. Most of us probably have many of them. I do. One day I hope to be able to say I have none and that I never get tripped up by them.

One of my greatest and probably the one that sends me into a downward spiral on a monthly basis, is my desire (which is right) but unrealistic picture of what it looks like to be a good wife, Mother, household manager. I could go on and on about all the reasons for feeling like a failure in the area of household management. Some of it is just my personality and most of it is not having the time. But the reasons don't matter.

The obstacle is. What Mike and I face constantly, with Phoenix, with the military, with Life in general. There is reality and it is often in stark contrast to our expectations or Hope; of what we would like it to all look like. Faith is essential in the mix. Faith to see life for what it is but Hope and believe that there will be a curve in the road soon enough that will bring more Grace and new perspective. New perspective is like fresh air to my lungs and like a cloud has lifted from over my head. I feel like I can walk and not faint, run and not grow weary.

Some days the battle of my desire to keep a clean house, or at least semi-clean, plan meals, live within our means, stay on top of the laundry, meet my boys needs and still have energy to give my heart to Mike, is enough to leave me feeling like I got socked in the stomach.

I think it goes back to when I got married, I had this unrealistic picture in my head of how I would manage our house and how I would bake and clean... how my heart so desires to be that wife and mother and how Reality interferes. The reality began with working full time and barely feeling like I had an ounce of energy to grocery shop, let alone clean. Then there was a baby, who took my breath away, but also every ounce of my attention and time was devoted to his needs, which if you knew Rowan as a baby were never ending. Then there was a move and another complex, emotional pregnancy. And now there is Phoenix, whose Dr. appointments alone are more than a part time job hours. blah, blah, blah.

I really am saying all of this because I love my life and cherish my boys, and want nothing more than this ugly expectation to die, fall away in my mind and life. That it can't take up anymore emotion or time, or steal life from me. That I would know the plan God has for me as a Mother and Wife and not fall prey to false expectations. But that Hope would fill me and teach me how to juggle it all.

What is trips you up and makes you feel overwhelmed or lacking? Let's seriously say goodbye to it together and learn to Hope in a new Reality. One that allows us to eat up every precious moment we have with the ones we love.

Well that's my heart in a nutshell. It's been a long month. However, my Momma was in town for a week. It was wonderful and busy. There was a lack of sleeping which took its toll on us all. Little Phoenix, couldn't get his bearings last week. We think it is a combination of sharing a room with my Mom, constipation and teething. I never feel like we really know. All and all we had a blast, we had a massage,pedicures, went to an amusement park, indoor play land, chick-fila and Starbucks but of course. Some things are just staples in the Reuwer house. Rowan played for hours with his Granny and is looking forward to his time with her in August. I love having her here, I get a break from laundry and other chores and deep quality time, conversation and love with such a treasure and best friend. It is amazing to watch us both grow. We are changing always and our relationship only gets stronger with that growth, i love the mystery and strength of God's plan for Mother and daughters.

Mike is doing great, anticipating coming home and all the roads ahead. Throwing around ideas about more school and all his grandiose plans for our house. I love that man and his strong heart of Hope.

Rowan is a charmer. We laugh so often at his faces and conversational skills. His two favorite sayings are, " i need something" (this is always in reference to a snack or food) he will then make his way to the pantry and tell you what it is he needs. Also, "not quiet yet" in reference to a question (ie. are you done playing with that, or eating that). So hilarious in his little way!! He is changing and amazing me all the time. love him and his little/BIG personality over and over again.

Phoenix is doing well. Slow progression lately, some growth spurts and a busy scattered schedule, make it harder for him. But I know that the tides change quickly for him. We are facing the car seat, keeping him off his back saga again. He has been having some pressure sores and flare ups there, so we need some serious wisdom. It will always be a battle for him and us to keep him off of it. We had an amazing experience with Dr's and anesthesiologists, everyone when Phoenix had his circumcision, a couple weeks back. To make a long story short, we were listened to as advocates for Phoenix and completely honored and encouraged as his parents, it was so encouraging. That is when Faith and fighting through felt worth it all. Thank God for those moments!!! In two weeks we will start cathing him, which is going to require all your prayers heading our way. Our pediatric urologist told us that he is very difficult to get the catheter in, it took him over a half hour each time. I am not discouraged just know that it will be challenging and take some time to learn. More on that later!!!

Thank you for reading and journeying with us. Keep Hoping and holding to Faith in the moments when life takes you by surprise.

ALl our love.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life at the Reuwer's

Well the last three weeks we have has at least 4 if not 5 appointments a week. In the mix, Mike got his wisdom teeth pulled and ended up getting dry socket, putting him out of commission and in pain for almost 2 weeks. Crazy!!! He is good now and life is finding a pace, kinda. Before wisdom teeth drama, Mike had been pretty much running the house. Laundry, dishes, helping with dinner, setting up weekly rental car and... for about 2 weeks, it was a much needed break. In our typical all or nothing style that fizzled out and know our home looks like a tornado hit. We are seriously always trying to figure the house managing thing out, if only I could afford someone to do it for me.

I am training for a half marathon in the fall, it has been a great experience, you can read my other blog for the crazy reasoning behind this, because if you know me, you know I HATE running. I have learned so much and am enjoying the process, as much as I can anyway. I am also sewing more and more and still involved in my internship class which has been so Amazing. I am growing daily and I love it.

Last week we had a very exciting appointment for Phoenix and some not so exciting. He got fitted for his first wheelchair, standing frame and bath seat and a specially made car seat will be when he reaches 20 lbs. Though it seems early Mike and I feel it is essential to give him the same freedoms and tools as others his age. He will be able to sit upright and be at peers level just as a child his age would be standing. Along with a million other benefits, for digestion and trunk control and independence. They have actually done studies on children as young as 6mo. with disabilities,mentally and physically using little joystick driven wheelchair/cars and the development and benefits have been phenomenal!! So needless to say after meeting with Benny our amazing equipment guy I was encouraged and so excited for Phoe to have his first set of wheels right in time for his first b-day. I can not believe how near that is!! What a miracle he is.

I know that for some reading this you may feel discouraged or numerous other emotions that Phoenix is paralyzed. But I just want to say, though there are aspects that blow my mind and bridges that I will not cross in my mind until we get there, like pumping his own gas, that one is hard for me. What a chore that will be for him. I am in Full Faith that his disability will challenge, provoke and change many of us to SEE bigger and pray differently. They are so many other areas for Phoenix that take more of my attention than this, so please just be excited with me for the freedom and advancements this day and age offer to him.

Therapy has taken its toll, going from 2 days a week to 3 days has been challenging. I am away from home much more than I would like. But I look forward to Thursday as a day of catch up and chilling out with the boys. Order comes on Thursdays in bits and pieces. Since we have been having appointments on Thursdays, this is not always the case but I have the weekends then.

Last week we had an appointment with Phoenix plastic surgeon who informed me that around toddler years, Phoe will probably have to have a new skin graph surgery because of his growth. He however said that will all depend on the plastic surgeon in Milwaukee and when/ what he feels need to be done. That was a surprise, but there is always one and I have learned to take it one day at a time and TRUST God with it all.

My prayers lately have consisted of so many hopes that Phoenix and Rowan will develop a kindred friendship and that they would both view Phoenix's life as a gift and not a curse. How to raise them this way I am not sure. But I am sure that Suffering though painful and hard offers us new perspective and deep strength and I hope that by the Grace of God Phoenix sees life through that lens. Because i have seen the stares and lack of compassion for Children and adults with wheelchairs or just special needs and know that the road can be hard.

Rowan is soo adorable as usual becoming so articulate and complimentary. He is just making us laugh all the time. Everyday he is a bit more adventurous and a ton more interested in Phoenix, which makes my heart happy. Rowans favorite things these days is to put on our shoes and walk around, he loves his cowboy hat as well.

For Mother's day the boys bought me a beautiful new bracelet and made me breakfast in bed, that was mainly Mike. It was a beautiful day of being showered with love. I love my boys and man in such a deep way and am so content in all that God has given me.

Every night lately I have had a heart FULL of thankfulness for such a rich life of people I love and who love me and a beautiful family. Thank you to you all for being a part of that thankful heart and for loving and journeying with our family.
Friday, April 23, 2010

What do you love in your life?

I have so much to say and yet words escape me. These last days have been so revealing of all that God has done in my heart and our family these last months. I feel like a blooming tree able to take in the warmth of the Sun and flourish under it. I began an internship program that focuses on writing and speaking. This has been substantially more than I imagined for my heart.

This year I have learned what I love to do. I love reading, savor it actually. Reading opens locked doors in my heart and mind and stirs me to continue becoming all that I am created to be. Food, the most delicious, juicy and savory for my soul. Also, I am dreaming of all that the future holds with very squinted eyes, because most of it is beyond my ability to see.

I also love relationships, which I knew. Being without them on a daily basis, has brought that front and center. Good conversation brings out the depths of me and the joy of loving.

I love sewing, though the time is hard to find and the ideas and projects overwhelmingly mind consuming. I have learned much about me and my make-up. Where my struggles are rooted and how to let go and overcome them.

I have learned the substance of my Faith is substantial and that God never changes even amidst challenges, heartache and emotions. That His plans and purposes are far beyond our understanding and brilliant.
I want to write all that has unraveled in my heart these past months but that would be a book. Let me just say my steps are lighter and my heart free to be me.

One of my favorite books right now is called, "Where is God when it hurts" I highly recommend it to everyone. It is the best explanation of this life and it's suffering. It has been deeply encouraging because it confirms so much that lives in my heart when it comes to God and his allowance for suffering in our life. He will use it for good, if we allow him to. Faith is Trusting that he is there in the midst and that is just beautiful.

Enough about me.

Wanted to share some pictures of all that has been going on here and let you in to a little bit of our day to day. Rowan is growing up and he rode his first pony, which he loved. Phoenix is turning a corner and becoming much more interactive and active. In turn causing Rowan to be much more interested and interactive with him. They laugh a ton at each other and there is no greater sound than that of their friendship growing in laughter.

Mike is doing great at clinicals and we are savoring his new schedule. He has been a fabulous support and help and watching the boys and him continue to develop the beauty of the Father and Son relationship has been Wonderful!!!
We got great news on Phoenix eyes this week. They are maturing well and he is seeing perfectly No sign that he'll need glasses or surgery. Which is a great relief and total miracle in light of his first diagnosis of maybe never seeing fully and optical nerve immaturity. I loved hearing this news.

We are now embarking on three days of therapy for Phoenix instead of 2 because he could not handle back to back Occupational therapy and physical therapy. This was a constant discouragement to me. As he would leave each session exhausted and frustrated and I would leave discouraged and a bit overwhelmed. So I made the decision to take on an extra day, which is a huge challenge in many ways. We have one car, so when I have appointments I have to take Mike to work and pick him up , which is a challenge with nap times and the such. Therapy sessions from start to finish invade and take about 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. with driving. So that takes a toll on my day. I am thankful for this invasion, but still learning to give my all to the boys when we get home. Rowan is so flexible and there are days and weeks I see the toll of me being away so often. This week we clocked about 12 hours at appointments and today is my only full day at home. None of this is me complaining, but me asking for your prayer, as this can take its toll on all of us, our schedules, to-do's and life in general.

We are thankful for all the progress in Phoenix and the lack of complications we've experienced int his first year. I know that this is a direct answer to prayer. Thank you all for being so Faithful.

Thank you for walking this life with us, we love you!!
Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life is but a breath.

Maybe tonight is not a good time to write. I have just came out of a week that I would rather not think about. Let alone relive for you. It has been one full of long days and draining emotion And still no conclusion.
But more than all that I can not stop thinking, aching and praying for dear friends of mine. On thursday my best friend Shannon called me to tell me that her brother and sister in law (Adam and Annie) just lost their aughter. Delia was three and like sunshine on a cloudy day. She loved life and made her family love life as well. Ann and I were pregnant together and though we have woven in and out of eachother lives on special occassions there is connection in our hearts. Mike and I have been so fond of her and Adam from the start, it was always easy and rich conversation with them. They are beautiful, strong and authentic in heart and soul. Tomorrow is the memorial and a flood of memories and emotions come.
I can't stop thinking about our first born Evan and the roads ahead for Annie and Adam. Grieving and life are long journeys, where every breath can be painfully refreshing or crushing. Some days, I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that I birthed a life that I would never get to make memories with. Other days would pass like wind and I would think of Evan and move on in hope and joy. For them, all I can think about is the ache of so much of their life that was filled with her laughter and tears. Each room and memory will lead to deep and raw emotion that will at times take there breath away.
The flood of emotions. Grief. Thankfulness. And so much more complex heart longings for us, for them, for you.
Life should be cherished with everybreath, I miss this so often.
And I pray that tonight as I remember Delia and ache for Adam and Annie and the whole family to whom we love dearly, that we would step back and cherish life and breath. Joy and pain.
And celebrate a life of beauty, though much to short.
Delia dances in heaven with flowers in her hair and a great smile on her face.
May we dance and LIVE with those we love while we can.
Monday, March 22, 2010

2 months have come and gone.

Mike's Graduation day, he surprised me with that gorgeous yellow coat I am wearing, love his ability to shop and spoil me!!
Walk with our wonderful new friends Tanner and Ashley, their Mom Chrystal and I have become fast friends and I swear she is Crazy taking her three and my two out for "FUN"!!

Rowan in Tanner's Buzz costume, he loves Toy Story, Wiggles, Sesame Street and Dora as of late.

Rowan and Phoenix hanging out eating lunch!!

Granny and Rowan, my Mom slaved her whole week here. I didn't do a load of laundry or load the dishwasher for a whole week. It was amazing, she is SUPER GRANNY and a great strength to my heart. Thank God for Mom's!!

Really, it has been 2 months, unbelievable. They have passed like waves flowing and ebbing and then beautifully crashing on the beach. We have been engulfed in the routine of Monday and Wednesday therapies, juggling one car, hosting dinner parties with Army friends, visits with Granny and Mimi, meal planning, grocery shopping, date nights, new neighbors with phenomenal kids (complete answer to prayer), sewing, creative ventures, loss of a dear dear friend, reflections on Faith, marriage and the plans of God for us...

Clearly this list just builds and builds and fully engulfs my time and thoughts, giving me life some days that are like nails on a chalkboard and others, seemingly as wonderful and refreshing as the sunshine after a dreary winter. It seems we are growing up quickly and transition has been happening for all of us.

Mike Graduated last Wednesday from the Classroom part of his time here, what should have taken only six months was stretched out to eleven. It was painstaking for him at times, but he is great about remembering that Phoenix and the time off he had was a tremendous blessing. He is such a great man, his eyes are so focused on us and he goes to great lengths daily to be the best husband, father and man for our family. I am in awe often at the load he carries and how well he does it. I am constantly reminded by his character and love, what a gift he is to me and the boys and all that know him. This week he started his clinicals which has been really fresh and enjoyable for him. His leadership at the hospital is both flexible and laid back which is a cool drink of water from the last round of higher ups. His days end so early, that we are able to spend time together as a family before the dinner time craziness ensues. Mike is most excited about coming home in five months it has been over a year for him already since he left for boot camp. We miss our friends and family and life that is Ours and not the military's. So he is eager to move into that place, but also enjoying the time we have.

Rowan, he has seriously become a little boy, no more toddler left. Talking and expressing his emotions and thoughts, brilliantly. He has learned to entertain and play alone, which has been a great relief for me. I am able to Give Phoenix and the house (sometimes) the time and attention they need. He never allows too much time to pass before I hear his famous saying, "Mama come". That is one of my favorite parts of our day and his personality. He still enjoys me and I remember to stop and enjoy him. There is so much to love about him in this age and I don't wanna miss a moment. He loves to run outside and hide in the bushes, playing with his new best friend Tanner (neighbor) upstairs, taking walks to Starbucks and lunch's at Chik-fila. Wrestling with Uncle Jon, Papa and Tanner is a consistent adventure of his days. Rowan has truly taken on his namesake in so many ways. A tree with strong/ deep roots. He draws us back to each other and him and I can always see through his nature when the balance is off or the roots are in need of refreshing.
Phoenix, is progressing. Sometimes it seems rapid and others slow and steady. His eyes are focused and strong in new ways, which is so wonderful to see. He is getting strong at holding his head up and lasting longer and longer through his therapies. We had a urologist appointment this week and have a Eurodynamics test in early April. This test will dictate a catherization schedule and all the continuation of care. He will also be getting fitted, for his first wheelchair, standing frame and new car seat (specially designed to accommodate his kyphosis). It takes a couple months for insurance and the companies to get everything sorted out and made. Phoenix will have most of it by his first birthday. Which means he'll be learning to use it all as part of his daily therapy!! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. He is sweet and content, yet strong and determined, enjoying the new amounts of personality gushing forth. In the last couple weeks he has been smiling more and more and he has the best belly laughs, deep giggles, they light up my day. Enjoying him and the pace that he graces my life with. Phoenix has soared above expectations. I find myself amazed at the way God uses Phoenix to draw me to a place of focus on God alone.
I love that each of them has opened up my heart to unfathomable riches. To imagine what there lives will become and watch them unfold as individuals is a great honor. I am overwhelmed by the blessing of all that is stored up with in this role as a Mama.
My heart is growing softer and softer daily. I feel like layers of myself are unfolding and I am learning more and more about me. Odd, I really believed I knew myself through and through. But clearly God knows me better than myself and loves to teach me more about me.

Psalm 139 is a refuge for me. I have found great strength in these words.
"For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my Mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you."

This is the core of our Faith for Phoenix and the eCheck Spellingssence of beauty and depth of God's love for us, that his thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of sand and that he formed every part of me before the beginnings of the earth. Brilliant he is indeed. And so kind to reveal all that he sees and knows me to be.

Our journey is full of new adventures and fresh ability to walk in liberation as promised for this year!! Thank you all for sharing in this with us and loving us. We cherish you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year...New LIBERATION!!

AHHHH. Picture me taking a huge exhale, in utter amazement of the whirlwind of winding rough roads this past year has been. I could write a book on this year alone and all the Seasons of change, heartache, refreshing and love we have experienced, along with a million other adjectives that would hold their own chapters. But here we are standing at the other end embracing a NEW YEAR, full of many new surprises and challenges I am sure.
So the last month has been the craziest of all, we spent 16 days in Chicago and Wisconsin and it was bursting with time with people we love and full of the many kindness' of God. We returned on January 1st and moved to a new apartment on the 2nd, which was insane, but as I stare at boxes in front of me, almost three weeks later, I know that I am a changed woman. I am learning to roll with it and be ok (some days anyway) to allow my life to be the chaos that it is. There is always room for growth, but there is ALWAYS NEED and room for GRACE for ourselves and from God.
I flew back to Chicago on the 7th for the Phoenix Runway Hairshow and Benefit, which one of my dearest friends put together. It was on the 11th, and let me just say it was EXQUISITE, she worked tirelessly on it and it was perfect in every way. 500 guests, most of whom I did not know, came to support the hairstylists that did the amazing hair and Support us as a family. I was overwhelmed and so thankful for all the love and support we experienced. I will post pictures as soon as they are available and write more, cause this could be a chapter in itself.
I returned to San Antonio on the 12th and Phoenix and I flew to Dallas on the 13th for an orthopedic Dr. appt, this is our third Dr, that is why i went all the way to dallas. It has been a hard and strange process for me and I honestly left Dallas feeling discouraged and a little bit frustrated. But today I got to talk with Phoenix's Physical therapist and she had some great feedback and felt that all and all the Dr.'s lack of concern was Good news. The current route we are going with taping and splinting his club foot has shown great results and we will continue to go that way. He does not have to have surgery at this point, which is GREAT news!!! Hardest news to swallow is that he has no feeling from the waist down and when a Dr. confirms it, with all the long term realities of it, such as no muscle tone and or control, my heart aches deeply and I find myself reaching to God for a miracle. This always lands me in a place of deep thought, and I have to remember that we can not understand God's ways or his plans and that the best place to rest is in Hope and Faith, that God is always faithful, no matter what it looks like to our small seeing eyes.
Can't believe it is February and I am still trying to settle into the apartment, not finding the time or energy I need to get it all sorted out. Mike always reminds me that the boys are the most important. So I am trying to keep my eyes and heart set on giving to them and when I get the moment do the rest.
My sister in law Lacey told me a story about a friend who picked one word for her new year and that was the word that she focused on and asked God to make her year look like. So this year my word is Liberation, which is a strong adjective, but I feel this promise over 2010.
I have realized and discovered so many or my strengths and weakness' this year. A lot of the trials I face are within myself, my own criticizing and my great weakness of desiring to please people. I know myself pretty well and have worked on this area within myself many times. And yet have discovered at a deep level that I allow myself to carry the expections and judgements of others that are placed on me. This is one area I know I am being liberated or set free from. This time I believe it is not in I don't care way of thinking. But instead, I will be strong and confident in the road I am walking and in the decisions I have to make for our family. I desire to walk in a bold and strong stance and to not allow my fears and others judgement pull at me. This season alone has allowed me to face deeper parts of my heart and put focus and energy into changing. It has also allowed me to feel isolated and in turn be hard on myself, but that is all part of last year.
My focus has shifted and I feel lighter and able to tune out my own self- critiquing and tune into encouragement and God. I am taking babysteps toward getting a grasp on the day to day running of a household that so overwhelm me. I am finiding time and peace to enjoy each day even if it means nothing got checked off my to-do list. This is a season and life only continues to ebb and flow towards newness.
We love you all and thankful for your friendship and love in our lives. I am hoping to update again soon as there is much more to share and never enough time!!!