Faith like a child.

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I’m sitting in my dad’s hospital room. He looks tired, weak, and fragile. It’s hard to see my Superman like this.

I’ve been sad about my dad’s health this week. He has had a series of strokes and infection that have brought him down. It seems one thing after another is slowing down his progress.

A few days ago I decided to share how I’m feeling with Emma. I’m sure my kids see that I’m sad, quieter than usual, and maybe more irritable. Being the oldest, I thought she might understand.

“I’m really sad, Lulu. Tito is really sick. He’s been in the hospital for a while now, and more little things keep making him sicker. Will you pray with me for Tito to get better?”

“Yes, Mommy,” she said. So we prayed together. We prayed for healing, for comfort, for Tita who is taking care of him, for the doctors and nurses around him, and anything else we could thing of.

“I know how you feel, Mommy,” she said all of a sudden. “My daddy was sick, too. God made him better.”

Yikes. My stomach sank. My heart started beating faster. I hadn’t thought of that! Four years ago it was her whose daddy was so sick. Emma understands what I’m going through.

“Mommy, we prayed for daddy to get better and he did. Your daddy will get better, too.”

Sweet girl. Oh, to have faith like a child.

Thank you, Lord, for this reminder through my daughter. We believe you will heal Tito. Hear our prayers.

Mark 10:13-16 says:

13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

 

Please join me in praying for my dad. God is good!

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

 

fingers gone one year ago.

One year ago today, Ian had his fingers amputated. He had developed an infection in his left wrist joint and had to have surgery for that, so Dr Pederson decided to go ahead with the amputations in the same surgery.

I remember being discouraged when Pederson came to the waiting room when he was through. Everything had gone well. “I had to get to the good tissue.. It was just mush in there… We had to cut off more than we thought.” My heart sank in my stomach. I knew I’d have to tell Ian when he woke up. He would be disappointed that his fingers would be shorter than we had hoped for.

In perfect Ian fashion, he was not discouraged. “They were no good,” he said. “I couldn’t use them anyway.” He was the one having to encourage me. The surgery was early Friday morning and his hands were bandaged until Sunday evening when the resident dr came.

We had waited so long for the big reveal. After what seemed like forever, the last bits of gauze were removed. His hands were swollen. There were many stitches. The hands were not pretty. His left hand was a puffy paddle with a tiny pinkie. I was disappointed when I saw his right hand. Before the surgery we thought his fingers would be to the length of his first knuckle. The big reveal showed that they were only halfway there. Bummer.

I always try to keep it together for Ian. Even though I was disappointed, I looked at the bright side. “God knew. Ian, God knew that this is what you would be left with. This is not a surprise to Him. You’ll get used to them and be great.”

Here we are one year later and Ian IS great. He surprises me everyday with the things he is able to do. I don’t need to help him much at all, and instead, HE helps ME with house chores and the kids more now. I’m so grateful! God is good!

making memories.

June was a good month.  I blinked and there it went.  Poof!  It was such a blessing to be able to enjoy time with my children this last month! We played games, read books, and laughed a lot.  We watched movies, dug in the dirt, and had picnic lunches. We practiced writing and blew bubbles.  We even stayed up past our bedtime!!  🙂

While I’m surprised that a month of our summer is over, I am anxious for even more time with my precious babies.  We have some fun things planned and I’m certain that they are going to have a blast!  First on the agenda: beach.  When I asked Emma what she wanted to do this summer she said, “Go to the beach!”   We have been blessed by Ian’s friend and his wife who gifted us a few nights in Port A!  Woo hoo!  Isn’t it cool how God keeps providing for us??  We are so grateful!  The kids will have a blast building in the sand and fishing. (Hopefully fishing will go well… We will be learning as we go. Tips welcome.)  It will be our first time to go to the beach since Ian lost his legs last summer.  How wonderful that one year later we will be having fun at the beach!

Next we will be going to Houston and Dallas to see family and friends.  I’m excited to finally get to hug some special people that have prayed so much for our family this last year.  No definite plans on activities yet.  My mind is full of ideas on things to do at both of these cities.  Luckily they are both close enough to drive to, and our fun shouldn’t cost much.  Anyone know anything about Great Wolf Lodge?  I’m thinking about going there for a night…  We will see.

Between the bigger trips we are also trying to squeeze in some specific activities the kids requested…  Among them are bowling, seeing a movie, the zoo, and going to Peter Piper Pizza.  I think I might have to finally get us a Sea World pass too.  Jack keeps asking to go to a water park and see some sea animals.  Just thinking about all these things to do makes me want to take a nap!

If you have children or grandchildren, I urge you to go out and have some fun with them this summer.  There is nothing better than seeing a child smile!  Life is so short and precious.  I’ve always chosen experiences and activities in life over “things.”  The memories that you make with your kids last a lifetime.  The activities that you decide to do can be as simple as going to the park or baking cookies together.  Spending time together shows kids that they are loved and makes them feel important.  So go ahead and have some fun!

 

Love,

denisse

Summer.

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Summer is my least favorite season. The days are long and hot, and for the most part, there isn’t much to do. I usually prepare myself mentally since I know it is hard for me. I really dread summer.

This summer is different! Now that Emma is in school, we relish the time we have with her at home. This summer is also a break for me from teaching, so another good reason to embrace it.

Our first week of summer break has been wonderful. Fantastic. Terrific. Amazing. Insert any other great word here.

The kids caught me in a bad mood early in the week and, without thinking, I spit out, “That’s it! No TV!! You all lost tv!” I said we wouldn’t watch tv until they were better behaved. Emma, the clever one, asked “For how long?” Still upset, I said I didn’t know. “I’ll know when.” And just like that, their consequence began.

But it wasn’t just a consequence for them, I thought it would be punishment for me, too. Tv time is when I get all my chores done. When was I going to have time to wash the dishes and do the laundry?? What did I do to myself?

Little did I know that no tv would be the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Oh how creative we’ve been!!! We’ve painted and played with play doh outside… We’ve put pictures and signs up in our “clubhouse”… We’ve built towers, bridges, and animals out of Legos… We’ve played Candyland and Go Fish more times than I can count… We’ve done puzzles and practiced writing letters and numbers… We’ve dressed up and had fashion shows while we danced… We’ve had picnic lunches in our backyard and out at the park… We’ve filled our water table and run around in the sprinklers… We’ve read single chapters of A Wrinkle In Time each night and drawn pictures about it… We’ve read more books than we did the last few months… And tonight, Jack even wrote his own story. (He said it to me and I typed it)

I have to admit that the laundry is not finished and there are a few dishes still in the sink tonight, but, I’m not that worried about it. I’ve decided to just have fun this summer. I feel like I’ve been missing out on all the fun we can have and I want to make up for it. Emma told me a couple of days ago that she thinks no tv is funner than having it because we do more fun things. Amen, girl!!

I will also admit that I have spent a lot less time on my phone. Yes. I decided to stop stealing precious time from my kids. So often these days I see parents on their phones while they are with their kids. It just hit me one day. I don’t want to miss anything my kids do. There will be time for Facebook and Instagram (and Pinterest) before they wake up or after they go to bed. They deserve my full attention.

*** I do like to post pics and statuses of the things we do from time to time. It’s sort of like a journal for me. 🙂

I feel the need to say that I love my life! I love my husband and my children! My heart is overflowing. God is so good to me and I don’t deserve it. I pray that my life will show His glory and love, and be a living sacrifice to Him who makes all things new.

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5 NASB)