2 years

Today is the same Tuesday that we took Ian to the hospital two years ago. I have such mixed emotions. I remember that day clearly. As I type this I am remembering the exact thing I was doing; around 1pm we were waiting for the ambulance that would transfer Ian from the small emergency room to Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. We knew that he was in septic shock by this time, but we had no idea what that meant. We had no idea what was coming.

As I reflect upon this time, I can’t help but smile when I see how far we’ve come. I can’t help the tears welling in my eyes either. Life is not how I ever imagined that it would be, but I am still grateful. I am happy.

God has carried us through this journey. We would not be where we are without him. God has been so good!

Ian had an appointment with Dr. Pederson this morning. For the first time since meeting him, Ian did not schedule a follow up appointment because there are no future plans for surgery. We have reached a point where we have done all we can and we’ve clearly reached our “new normal.”

So now we move on with life. We press on because that’s what we are called to do. I am reminded of this verse in Philippians.

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:14 NLT)

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! We are forever grateful!

Love,
Denisse

facing PPP.

Last week I posted a question on Facebook. My son will be 5 this month and I don’t want to have his birthday party at our house. The idea of many 5 year old boys and girls at my house and having to entertain them stresses me out. So, I asked him where he would like to have his party. “If we can’t have it at home, then I want it at Peter Piper Pizza.”  Hmm.

There is nothing wrong with PPP, its just that it is the same place where he had his 3rd birthday party two years ago. I can clearly remember Ian telling me that he didn’t feel well while we were there. Although I know that he did not contract whatever got him sick there, I have some weird negative feelings about that place. My sweet friends started to offer suggestions.

“Try another pizza place,” said one.

“What about a jumping place?” said another.

My friends were protecting me from facing that fear. Oh, how I love them all.

This weekend I decided that Emma should try to sell her Girl Scout cookies to our neighbors. The orders are due the 18th, so she doesn’t have much time left. As we were getting ready to go, Emma looked at me, terrified, and looked like she was about to cry.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I can’t, Mommy. I don’t think I can do this,” she said.

“Is it because you are too shy?” I asked.

“Mm-hmmm. I wish I wasn’t shy, but I am.” My heart broke for her. I believed her. This was going to be WAY out of her comfort zone.

“All you have to say is: ‘Hi my name is Emma and I am selling Girl Scout cookies. Would you like to buy some?’ We are only going to the neighbors that we know. They love you. They will buy cookies from you for sure.” I tried to encourage her.

It didn’t help. Let’s just say that we canceled our little outing and ended up having a talk at the kitchen table.

“There are things that we are all afraid of. I totally understand that you are afraid of talking to people. I was, too, at your age. But, you know what? The only way that will ever get better is if you face that fear. If you practice talking to people you will get better at it. Before you know it, you won’t be so shy.” She nodded her head. “Let’s be done for today. Do you want to try again tomorrow?” She nodded again.

So, back to Jack’s party. I feel like a hypocrite encouraging Emma to face her fear when I am not doing that myself. It is so silly to feel negative/mad/upset at PPP. It makes no sense whatsoever. Still, it is something that I didn’t want to do.

I did book Jack’s birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza. Hopefully he and his friends will have a blast. I will be glad to put those negative feelings behind me. I continue to grow a little more each day, and for that, I am thankful.

 

Aha! moment.

There are some verses in the book of Romans that I have always struggled with. For as long as I can remember, any time I heard a sermon that addressed them my mind just turned off. I knew that I wouldn’t understand because they had never made sense to me.  I had tried to understand, really, I had. A few mornings ago, however, I had an Aha! moment. I had prayed for God to show me something through my reading as I always do. I came across these verses on my own, and guess what? They made sense! I was so excited that I went to find Ian to tell him.

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Get ready for the explanation. Hear me out. I know its hard to understand. 🙂 So, we are all sinners, right? Right. Sin lives inside of us. So when we sin, knowing full well that we don’t want to sin, it is not really us doing it. It is the sin inside us doing it. These are two completely different things. I am one and sin is the other. However, there is no way to separate us from the sin that is permanently inside us. It continues to live inside us and causes us to sin.

Let me offer an analogy. Pretend you are the water in a glass. Pretend that sugar is our sinful nature. When you add the sugar to the water it is permanently joined and cannot be separated. They are one. There is no way to separate the sugar from the water. We have sin inside us for good. That is why even though we want to do good, we end up doing bad. It is the sinful nature that does it. We can’t help it.

This is where Jesus comes in. God sent Jesus as a sacrifice for our sin. This sacrifice has freed us from the power of sin, that would have led to death. God declared an end to sin’s control over our lives. By accepting Christ, we receive the Spirit of God. We are now controlled by the Spirit of God that is living in us, and makes us right with God. Read it for yourself. And tell me if I’m not understanding correctly. I want to learn!

 

Romans 8

1.So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children  of God.

Tell me what you think!
Denisse

 

11 years ago.

 

wedding

Dear Ian,

Eleven years ago I said “I do.” I promised I’d spend the rest of my life with you. I promised to love you and cherish you all the days of my life. I promised that I would be by your side in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Eleven years ago you and I became our own family.

Today I would still make those promises to you. I promise to spend the rest of my life with you. I promise to continue to love and cherish you. I promise to always be by your side, no matter what comes our way, till one of us meets Jesus. I’m grateful for you everyday. I’m thankful for the three amazing children that we have been blessed with. Life has turned out differently than we expected, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t have it without you.

wedding2

Thank you for eleven amazing years. Thank you for the memories, the ups and downs, and most of all, the love you have for me. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

I look forward to our future. I’m anxious for the fun we will have, the memories we will make with our children and grandchildren, and growing old together. Happy anniversary, my love.

Love you always,

denisse

A different kind of resolution.

Every year I decide to make some changes when January 1st arrives.  This year I’m going to exercise more, I say. This year I’m going to read my Bible more, I say. This year I’m going to be a better person, I say. I don’t understand why we assume we have to change something about ourselves. Not that much will be different because the calendar has a new year on it, right?

My friend Sarah does something that I think is truly amazing. Sarah doesn’t have a resolution each new year. Instead, she chooses one word to focus on that year. She learns more about it, practices it, and lives it out. Last year her word was RESPONSIBILITY.  She decided to be intentional about being responsible in her 1. finances, 2. health, 3. rest, 4.relationships. How awesome is that??? When the year came to an end she could look back and see how she had grown in all of these areas. She still has room to improve, but it was amazing to watch her be intentional and learn to be more responsible.

This year I plan to follow Sarah’s example. I want to choose a word to focus on this year, too. 2014 will be my year to SERVE. I want to serve God, serve my family, serve my family and friends, and serve my community and the world around me. I want to learn what it means to truly serve. I want to experience serving others.

 

I looked up ‘serve’ on Webster’s dictionary online. Here is the origin of the word: Middle English, from Anglo-French servir, from Latin servireto be a slave, serve, from servus slave, servant. I had no idea there were so many definitions. Here are some of the relevant ones:

: to give food or drink to (someone)

:  to be a servant to (attend to)

: to give the service and respect due to (a superior)

:  to comply with the commands or demands of

:  to give military or naval service to

:  to perform the duties of (an office or post)

I plan to search the Bible to see what Jesus said about SERVING others. I’ll let you know what I find. 🙂
I’m excited for the new year! I’m anxious to learn about more ways that I can impact the lives of those I SERVE.
What about you? What are your resolutions??
Happy 2014, friends!!!
love,
denisse