Thursday, July 22, 2010

God Speaks To Me Through Isaac

I've been a mother now for a little over 9.5 years. I have been a stay at home mom since Isaac was born; well before that actually. We moved to Georgia when I was just barely pregnant (as if there is such a thing) and I have been home ever since. I began thinking rather deep thoughts during pregnancy. The first one I remember having was:
"I bet the reason God allows us to bear children is to see how proud He is of His creation." I mean, here was this one, tiny person being created within me---made of Eric and I but totally different and unique---and I was (am) just as proud as I could be. How much more proud is our Father who has made EVERYTHING? He gives me a tiny glimpse of this feeling through the making of our children.

I remember patting Isaac in his crib as he went to sleep. He had hold of my hand with his left hand. And I got all choked up thinking about the wedding band that would one day be on that finger. I just loved him so much, how could ever I let him go? Then this thought came:
"I love him so much, but God loves him that much more." Right after that God said," And I love you that much more too." Sometimes I think of how much God loves others and forget how much He loves me. I am more precious to Him than my kids are to me. How amazing is that?

When Isaac was 3 or so I remember he was pestering me about getting him something and telling me over and over what he wanted and I said to him:
"I know what you need, Son. Let me get it for you." I stopped right there and thought about how many times has God wanted me to hear this. He knows what I need. He has promised to make sure I have it. Why don't I rest in His provision?

When Isaac was little I took great comfort in his perfect innocence. I felt like if something were to happen to him, he would go straight back to the Father's arms and I would follow later on. Then the thought came:
"How will I cope when I know he has sin in his life but hasn't made a commitment to follow Christ?" This time, the answer came from my sister in law. "Remember that God made this baby and that he is His first and He loves Isaac more than you do. He will enable you to teach him and give you strength to cover him in prayer as he makes that decision."

Isaac has always tended to be a fearful, worrying personality. This has become a definite challenge as he has gotten older. I see it as a lack of trust in me and Eric (which may or may not be accurate). I mean, how could he think we would let anything bad happen to him (like drowning in the pool when he wouldn't let go of his floats, or burn down in the house after he'd had a fire safety unit at school)? I have wondered if his fears are a lesson to me as well. I feel like I am generally a very trustful person. Most of my hurts have come from trusting that other people will be nice and loving and honest and then have that thrown in my face when it turns out that some people just aren't like that. And while Isaac has been God's mouth piece to me lots of times, maybe this is one way I can speak on God's behalf to him. I think that I tend to not be fearful is because I believe with everything I am that God is going to do what He has said. And so in light of the very worst thing I can imagine, I still know that I will live in heaven because I have claimed Jesus as my Savior. Isaac is coming to this place in his development. And I hear my sister in laws voice again, "He loves Isaac more than you do. He will enable you..."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We started a fun little tradition with Isaac in the form of a Kindergarten celebration trip. The summer after he finished kindergarten, Eric and I took him (just him, Ethan and Jaylie stayed with my parents) camping. We went to a state park here in MS and stayed in a cabin and fished and played poker and monopoly and all that stuff for 2 days. We thought this was a good way to celebrate Isaac's completion of his first year in school. So a few weeks ago, we carried on the tradition with Ethan.

Now that we've been here for a while, I kinda know about a lot more things to do than when we were planning this trip for Isaac. Ethan is not as content to play poker or monopoly or fish so I thought we should go for a different sort of trip. We settled on an Amtrak ride down to New Orleans and back. I booked our hotel on and got a fabulous rate for our 2 nights there. We stayed at the Ambassador hotel and this is what our room looked like:

The hotel was actually a coffee warehouse during the Civil War (or the 'War of Northern Aggression' if you're from around here!) It was converted into this cool hotel and you can see that the original brick walls and some exposed beams are visible. It's definitely not like a chain hotel, although I doubt there's a right angle in the place. It was fun.

The train ride was quite an experience as well. I traveled on trains a lot when I was little and we lived in Europe but haven't been on one since then. Eric had never been on one and neither had Ethan. It was fun. There is lots more leg room than on an airplane. There is a dining car that you can walk to and have a sit down meal at which was fun. My favorite place on the train was the lounge car which was full of windows so you could see the landscape rush by.

There were, of course, frequent blowings of the train whistle, and several stops between here and NOLA but all in all, it was a relaxed way to travel and it cost about the same as what we would have spent in gasoline.

Traveling to a place by train, however, means you don't have a car when you get there. So we walked...a lot. It was all good though. We had a map and Eric's phone for GPS purposes and I really don't think we walked more than a mile in any one spell. Ethan wasn't a fan of the walking. Once we were into the French Quarter, though, this wasn't really a problem because whenever he began whining too much, we'd stop and have an icee or duck into a fudge shop. Problem solved :)

We got there Monday evening, got checked in and settled. Then we headed out to look for supper. We wound up walking a lot and then settling on a super good restaurant called Gordon Biersch Brewery. Very nice, very yummy, very expensive. On Tuesday the plan was to walk over to the Audubon park where the Aquarium is located and see an IMAX movie about dinosaurs. This was OK. Not great. We had brought our umbrella which was fortunate because after the movie was over, it was raining, only a little. We wanted to walk over to St. Louis Cathedral and take a look at that. As we walked, the rain got stronger and stronger. We sheltered in a gazebo on the Riverwalk with some friendly homeless people. When it let up a bit, we ran a little way further to a big pavilion where folks were boarding a steamboat cruise. WE were there about 30 minutes. Here's what that was like:

notice the icee

We braved the rain again to head to a mall just to get out of the weather and maybe get a snack or something. We wound up browsing a bit and having some fries while the storm made it's way through. We came out of the mall and could see the cathedral.

Our actual destination was the Louisiana Children's Museum and this was probably our longest hike. But the rain had cooled things off and there was a small breeze. Walking through the French Quarter is really interesting. The architecture is so different than anything around here.

After a stop at a candy shop to get a chocolate alligator (of all things) we completed our hike to the museum. This was the highlight for Ethan. He had a ball.

Here he is raising himself on a pulley And making a giant bubble
And seeing through a bug's eyes
We had supper after the museum and headed back to the hotel to relax. It was a full day. The next morning we had breakfast in the hotel and then relaxed and watched soccer until it was time to go to the train station. We walked there. Had lunch then Eric and Ethan played in the station (it's nice to have a bouncy ball from time to time. You never know when you'll need one.)

We arrived home, met Mom, Dad and the kids at the Jackson Station. We went to church then home to BED! Who knows where we'll take Jaylie. Isaac is already asking if he'll get a 4th grade trip next year...I said maybe a 'finishing Middle School trip'!

Hope everyone is having a good summer!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1 2004

We had, at long last, come home to TX after 6 years of enlistment in the Air Force. Ethan was born May 9th and we headed back to San Antonio about 6 weeks later, at the end of June. The plan was to move in with Mom and Dad until Eric found a job in the private sector. Eric's parents lived in Missouri at the time and wanted us to come to a 4th of July family get together. We hadn't yet committed because we had just driven from GA to TX and Ethan cried the whole way. (I'm not really exaggerating about that either) Anyway, we decided not to go and told the family up there. They totally understood. But after a day or two, we changed our minds and decided to surprise everyone instead.

So, on July 1st Daddy and Eric began loading our van to head to Missouri. As they headed up the steps in the garage, Dad suddenly lost his balance and had to hang on to the wall to keep from falling. Eric helped him to the couch in the living room and Daddy shut his eyes. He kept them closed for the next 24 hours or so. He said the room was spinning. His head hurt terribly. Mom got him a bucket in case he was sick and just kept trying to talk to him and get him to give her some more information. All he said, mostly, was that the room was spinning and he felt sick and his head hurt. I told Eric, after 30 minutes of this or so, that I didn't think we should leave right then. "If mom needs to take him to the hospital, she can't get him to the car by herself.", I said. Eric said,"If he can't help us, the 3 of us couldn't get him to the car." Dad is a big man and his balance was so far gone that he couldn't help support his weight and move at the same time. So a little while later, Mom and Eric tried to get him up and to the car. He made it about 10 feet before getting sick. We laid him on the floor and Mother told me to call 911.

The EMT guys got there really quickly. They hooked him up to oxygen and a heart monitor. His heart was doing something crazy. Daddy was never unconscious and could answer questions but he wouldn't open his eyes. They took him to the hospital and there he stayed for about 3 weeks. It was determined through testing that he had suffered a stroke right in the back of his head, where balance lives, apparently. He had no memory loss, no gross motor skill loss, really. He was just terribly dizzy. Once the blood flow to his head was normalized, the headache went away. He had to do therapy to get his sense of balance back. After he was home, he would get dizzy if he was at church and lots of people were moving past him. He would kinda lean against a wall to keep steady.

Now, most people here don't even know he's had a stroke. Mother still doesn't want him up on ladders or on the roof, which makes it nice that we live close and Eric can do that stuff, but for the most part, he is absolutely fine. It could have been another story entirely and we are so, so glad that he recovered so well. Obviously, we didn't go to Missouri for the 4th of July picnic, we waited til much later to go. It was such a provision of God that we were there. If the stroke had struck just an hour or 2 later, Mother would have been on her own to get him to the hospital. If we had been far away, Eric wouldn't have been there to take care of the house while Daddy was in the hospital.

God does know what He is doing...all the time. And He is good...all the time.