Thursday, January 31, 2008

Psalm 90: 14-17

I prayed with a very wise woman today.

14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your kindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

This Psalm was our guide. As we prayed through these words, specifically for Harper, I was struck with several thoughts:

Mornings are the most difficult for her. Thus, vs. 14 is a very appropriate and powerful scripture to pray for her - that she would be satified in the morning with God's unfailing love, and that she may not only feel joy, but that she would also communicate joy and gladness.

Affliction. Harper does indeed have an affliction. This affliction may disappear at some point. Or, it may not. And while all the words that flow from my mouth in an attempt to help her seem to bounce back without making an impact, it is GOD who can reach a depth within her which I can not. And it is therefore GOD who can make her glad in proportion to the affliction for which she experiences. In other words, simply put: I can't fix this. I can be a part of the healing process, but I can not ultimately fix this. I am not the GIVER of joy. I can make a choice as to whether I will bless or curse the situation, and I can make a choice as to how I will love, support, encourage, defend, build up, nuture, and raise Harper, but ultimately, GOD IS THE GIVER OF HER JOY!

Verse 15 says "Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us". Do I believe that God has afflicted Harper? Well, He did create her. However, I refuse to look at affliction, whether physical or emotional, as something that is less than God's best - otherwise, we would be discounting the worth of many, many people! Harper's affliction, while difficult right now, as we don't have all the coping strategies in place, has also developed within her a very sensitive spirit towards others. She cares deeply for other people. If this is one of the ways in which her "affliction" manifests itself, then there is good within her affliction.

Verse 17 is more of a prayer for me and George - that God would confirm for us the work of our hands that we are doing her behalf. I pray that God would lead us on a straight path to find help for Harper.

These are just a few thoughts. I left my time of prayer feeling so very supported and so very thankful for scripture, a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

I left convicted about my response to situations that arise . . . do I bless or curse?

Gotta go chew on all of this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A New First

"Look! I drew a boy!"

Zane couldn't have been more excited about this drawing. It was almost as if he surprised himself! Thank goodness I was home tonight to capture the event - especially since it was done on a magnadoodle and could be erased at any moment. The one on the orange magnadoodle is the first. The blue one? Insurance.

The remainder of our evening was spent reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to the kids. We couldn't stop reading. Chapter after chapter after chapter. We had to pull ourselves away at chapter seven since it was now 8:45. A great read.

Even Zane is following it.

And to think - I was scheduled to be out tonight.

Thank you Chicago blizzard (after a day that started in the 40's) . . . for sometimes, the crazy, ever changing Chicago weather is just what a family needs.

Harper: The Lighter Side

This is Flamethrower. A superhero. She stands for justice. With a flame (or an electric candle from Mom's Mary Kay sales dinner) and protective goggles (so firstborn responsible of her) she will take down villains with heat and great poses.

Her sidekick: Zane the Sprayer (no photo, sorry) who apparently, sprays water on people through his hands.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we'll hear back from the Justice League. Not sure if they're hiring.


Conversation between George and Harper while stopped at a light in front of Lover's Lane, the Walgreen's of LUV.

So I've been told . . .

Harper: Who goes in that hottie store?


A conversation over Thanksgiving Dinner about cable stations (I know, that was in November - give me a break) brought out this interesting piece of information from Harper.

Harper: Will (a classmate) told me that channel 400 something is the booby channel.


Day two of the early to bed, early to rise quest.

And what happens? Zane has a massive digestive explosion (sorry folks - this is my world) from about 10 pm until 2 in the morning. Why? Who knows. He did go on one of his pistachio nut benders yesterday.

We did get to bed pretty early, with Zane sleeping ever so cockeyed between us and on top of us, and we did manage to rise early. At 2:00 am. To change yet another explosion.

The second rise was at 7:00 - a bit off from our goal of rising before the kids, but even so, all went smoothly. I wasn't about to let the circumstances beat me.

American Gladiators - you may be physically strong and oh so stealth, but try to wrap your head around MY day. You want gymnastics - I'll give you gymnastics!

To assist Harper with a positive jump start to her day, we've increased her caloric intake during breakfast. No more bagels and cream cheese. It's sausage, banana, milk, AND the bagel and cream cheese. We're experimenting with her diet as we attempt to flush out the range of emotions she's been displaying. The emotions are nothing new - you can go back to the posts about Kindergarten to read the concerns we've had and the red flags we've been furiously waving regarding bouts of anxiety, tantrums, moodiness, etc. While we wait to see an MD about these issues, we've been playing around with the diet.

Her teacher is so on board that she is now checking Harper's lunch box after lunch to see if she's eaten. If there is food left over she is allowing her to eat it in the classroom during lunch. The girl is hungry!!!!!!!!!! We've replaced all the snacks, read it, ALL OF THEM with healthy choices. Yesterday, she comes home from school, says she's hungry and proceeds to eat an entire Clif bar, banana, mini oatbran muffin, and cup of milk. At night, we give her a full glass of milk and a snack before bed - to assist in drifting off - as doing so has been difficult. Couple that with nightmares she's had on and off and she is no doubt exhausted and grouchy by morning. I don't have any other way of helping her right now, so I'm filling her stomach with nutritious fuel, as she is so obviously famished.

To help us flush out the social anxiety, moodiness, jumpiness and focus, we will be seeing a Ped. Psych in the next few weeks. Our main question is whether there is something chemical happening in that petite body of hers. Something that is robbing her of peace and calm, robbing her of being able to clear her "nocturnal" brain at night (her words), and robbing her of the ability to try new things and to continue in those activities which once gave her joy, and yet now have been abandoned due to fear.

Sometimes, when I look in her huge blue eyes I see a hollowness and a vacant gaze.

I have found, however, that upping the calories and getting creative with meals has helped - even if just a little. It's my contribution. During a time when I've felt aimless as to how I can help Harper, my little Susie Mealmaker plan is having a positive affect on her and is also helping to settle the mental pinball game bouncing around in my head.

Just get me an apron and stand back.

One that reads:

"Mother: the true American Gladiator"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Seek Ye First

The day has only continued on as smoothly as it began when I posted this morning. I'm delighted. And glad that I do not believe in jinxes, or I'd be up a creek right now.At bible study this morning I was relieved to learn that Kim Klamm a mother of 8 at our church and a fellow cropper will be leading a study on Practical Christian Living for Moms. In years past, I have RUN from bible studies geared towards mothers. Since Zane's birth, however, I have grown very fond of connecting with other mom's through the Word and have even found that this has been the ultimate place to find support and healing with regard to Harper's situation (which I've yet to blog about . . .). The group, currently titled MomsRus, should be called, Moms: Thank God. It's Not Just Me.

Some highlights from today . . .

I want to read What Happens When Women Pray. This book has been brought to my attention countless times and I can't ignore it any longer. Perhaps now is the time.

Mothers don't really have a "sanctuary". I do find that when I'm singing I find myself in a "sanctuary" of sorts, but indeed, in my home, I am the problem solver, the "go to" gal, the one who is constantly responding to a yell of "Mom? MOM???!!!". So, sanctuary doesn't really fit the description of my home. HOWEVER, God is indeed within me. So, part of our study will be in finding ways to locate and rest in the inner sanctuary that is God - who loves and breathes in me. Deep.

I so need to pray first, pray regularly, and pray with others.

Transformation does not bring about immediate comfort.

Sometimes, giving God my "firsts" can mean giving God my BEST. I can't always meet with God first thing in the morning and must wait until the best time of my day to do so - Zane's nap time. If I only think of giving God my "firsts" as first thing in the morning, I will get frustrated with myself every time.

Matthew 6:33 (The Message) Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provision. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Early To Bed, Early To Rise

We did it.

Today was one of the first days that George and I didn't wake completely exhausted. We were both up and he was out to the gym and I was on the elliptical by 6:00. I'm not certain as to why. Perhaps it was all the fabuloso chili from the church's Chili Cookoff yesterday. I don't know. Not gonna try to figure it out or overthink it. What's done is done and it was GOOD!

So, welcome to our new blogspot. The old website was getting hard to keep up with (making changes and such, since I am far from a cyber wiz) so, once again, those faithful friends from our glorious condo dwelling years, The Bernstein's, came to the rescue. It was nice to have them here last night, Julie on the computer moving my site off of a different webhoster to blogger, Andrew playing with Zane and somehow getting Z to call him "the dude", and Allie and Harper playing, and then not playing, and then playing, and then saying they were bored, and then playing, and then not playing, and so on and so forth. And voila! This morning I have a new blog. Ok, sure it looks exactly like my link to The Accidental Vegan (Melody's site), but you can talk to blogger about that. The choices for designs are limited and this one fit my personality. No, I'm not a vegan. Give me ribs and give them to me NOW.

Speaking of meat . . . oh, wait. Were we? Why not? I was up at 6:00!

Harper dug the chili yesterday. Chili. CHILI! In fact she even commented on Doug Hood's chili (winner of first place in the Heartiest category and Best of Show) saying, "I could eat Doug Hood's chili everyday!" Doug? Please give me that recipe.It was a wonder to see how her mood and energy level were lifted by chili. Hmmm. Protein, perhaps? Anyway, welcome once again to my blog. Know that all posts for Harper, Zane, myself, the family will all be here. You can read old posts on the kids by clicking the sidebar links. George has also started a blog - see the sidebar: My George.I'll update later today with some great Harper and Zaneism's, plus I CAN NOW POST PHOTOS!

Looking foward to keeping you updated.

Thanks for your patience!