Monday, August 29, 2011

Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth,
And follow where He guideth.
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path;
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather.
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Jumping, Etc...

This week Wesley discovered the art of jumping.  His jumps are not the most graceful movements I have ever seen, but I can assure you that I have never seen anyone enjoy jumping as much as he does.  He giggles as he bends his whole body and then launches it back up off the ground.  Then he is so amused by himself that he tips his head back and laughs again with a full belly laugh.  Sometimes his delight intensifies to the point that he can contain himself no longer and he screams with glee.

In fact, screaming seems to be Wesley's new found way to express his joy in life.  He loves to run through the house while screaming and laughing, or dance and scream, or smile at himself in the mirror and scream.  While his screams reach piercing decibels, it is difficult for me to do anything but smile and shake my head as I watch my boy run around enjoying life to the fullest.  (On the other hand, I do try to curtail his older brother's encouragement of his screaming.  One boy screaming, I can tolerate.  Two boys screaming is two too many.)

Wesley is also surprising us with his receptive and expressive language skills.  He has not been adding very many new words lately, but he HAS been attempting to communicate more with us and is showing that he is increasing in his understanding of what we are saying to him.  For example, on Wednesday he cried and stormed around the house all morning while Zach was at school.  There was nothing that I or his occupational therapist could do to console him. But then when it was time to leave and pick Zach up, I said to Wesley, "It's time to go get Zach from school."  He immediately stopped crying, said "Dak", and ran for the front door.  It was such a precious moment to see both how much he adores his older brother as well as how clearly he understood what I said - even with no gestures or pictures to explain myself to him.

Wesley is also a frequent user of the word "gak" to express his desire for more coke!  In fact, "gak" is one of the few words he will use without prompting.  While I wish his tastebuds preferred water to soda, I am humored by the fact that my little guy might singlehandedly change our family's word choice for carbonated beverages.  I laugh just thinking about my husband breaking down and using the generic word coke rather than soda after nine years of mocking me (and other Texans) for using the confusing term coke.  Well hubby, welcome to the club.  You can blame your son if you want to, but I love hearing that word come out of your mouth. :)

In other news,  fine motor skills have long been a missing part of Wesley's skill set.  Of course this also has a lot to do with his short attention span.  In the past few weeks, though, he seems to be taking off in these areas, and his accomplishments are impressive.  He is now consistently using his pincer grasp to take a piece of food out of a bowl (pretzels, goldfish, etc...), although he still uses a full hand grasp to reach for things that are by themselves and do not require a more advanced grasp (such as food spread out on his tray).  He has also started maneuvering puzzle pieces so that he can not only identify where they go but also fit them into their correct spot.  It is so encouraging to watch him study a puzzle and look at each spot before selecting where to place his puzzle piece.  Wesley even surprised his developmental therapist with his ability to use use his pincer grasp to manipulate puzzle pieces with small handles.  Until two weeks ago, he had only been attempting to place puzzle pieces with large wooden handles on them.  Then today, for the first time, he played with his pegboard and successfully placed pegs both into the holes on the board as well as stacked on top of each other.  This was a huge feat for him!

Keep up the good work Wesley!  We're so proud of you, little buddy!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School


Monday was Zach's first day back in preschool.  To say he was excited would be an understatement.  He was all smiles in the morning as he came into my room at seven - already dressed and in the process of making his bed.  (He needed a bit of help, as he was concerned with how Daddy had tucked the bottom of his sheet in the night before when changing his sheets.  Of course, he wanted me to fix it.)

I was thrilled that my boy obliged me with a smile when I took his picture.  His only request was that I take a silly picture too.  Once we arrived at school, he excitedly walked in and hung his backpack up on his hook.  Then he told me he needed to use the bathroom, but he wanted me to wait outside because he could do it all by himself.  When I dropped him off at his classroom, his teacher was holding a girl who was clinging to her while also comforting other kids who were crying.  But my boy was so brave.  He gave me a kiss and a hug and then went and sat down in his seat, waiting patiently for class to start.  As I walked away, I was amazed at how much my Zachy-poo has grown up.  (Apparently this name is still permissible sometimes, as he informed me he thought it would be hilarious to introduce himself as Zachy-poo to his classmates.  He said the other kids thought he was pretty funny and laughed and laughed.) My Zach - always the entertainer.

I pray that this year will be a wonderful year of school for Zach - that he will learn to share with his classmates and respond to unkindness with kindness, that he will respect his teacher, and most of all that he will learn more about Jesus and grow in his love for God and His word.  I pray that this will be the year that Zach will place his trust in Jesus as his Savior.

I am much less concerned with his actual classwork, as evidenced by the following story:


On Sunday afternoon we were enjoying family time together in the living room before naps. Mike and I were playing with Wesley while Zach was looking at his new Big Backyard magazine, which had just come in the mail.  As we played, I suddenly looked at Mike in shock as I heard the following come out of the lips of my four year old:  "Animals move in lots of different ways.  Take a look at how they go, go, go!  A kangaroo cannot move its back legs one at a time.  So a kangaroo must hop to get from one place to another.  A kangaroo can hop forward, but not backward."  I immediately asked Mike if he had read the magazine to Zach yet, and he said no.  Apparently my son can read even better than I thought.  Wow!

God has blessed my son with a gift, and it is a joy to watch him delight in reading at such an early age.  I am so very proud of him!  But I pray that he will always know that his gifts come from the Lord.  May his boast always be in his Creator and Savior and never in himself.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The Works of God

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"  Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."  John 9:1-3
Since Wesley's birth, the verses from John 9 have grown very dear to my heart.  So it was with great anticipation that I awaited the message that our pastor preached yesterday on this passage.  As I listened to his message, I was freshly encouraged and filled with joy in my Savior. Thank you Josh Fenska for so helpfully expositing the word of God and bringing much glory to His name.

I am grateful for the reminder that Wesley's life and disability have a profound and noble purpose in God's plan.  Wesley's suffering is not meaningless or purposeless or punitive.  His life exists to point to the power of God.  And it is already evident that God's power is being marvelously displayed through Wesley's suffering and through our suffering as a family as God powerfully sustains us.

More than that, I rejoice that with the blind man I can say, "I don't know everything.  I don't know why God created Wesley with a disability.  But I do know that Jesus has changed and redeemed my life!"  I loved our pastor's reminder that while Jesus powerfully displayed the works of God by healing the blind man, the greatest gift the man received that day was not his eyesight.  He received a gift far greater than the gift of sight for the remainder of his years on earth.  When he believed in Jesus, he received the right to know God as his loving heavenly Father.  He received the precious gift of eternal life with Jesus, his Savior.

These precious gifts are mine too, and they will be Wesley's as well, if he believes in Jesus as his Savior.  Even if Wesley's suffering continues until the day that he dies, these gifts are ours for us to cherish and hold dear.  Nothing greater could ever be given to us.

So now I join with the healed man as "he said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him."


Friday, August 12, 2011

Learning


Today I decided to teach Zach how to tell time on an analog clock.  He has been telling time with a digital clock since he was two, and he loves math, so I expected him to pick it up quickly.  But I wasn't ready for him to get it right away.  I assumed we would start learning today and continue to practice over the weeks to come.  First I started by showing him how to count by fives (at the recommendation of one of my amazing babysitters!)  Once I had counted to twenty, he finished counting to one hundred by himself.  He did it two more times and then we moved on to a clock.  He already knew that an hour has sixty minutes and that the short hand tells what hour it is.  So, after counting around the clock by fives one time, he was off and running.  He correctly told me every time that I showed him.  After ten minutes of instruction and practice, my son can now tell time.

As I put Zach down to bed for his nap, it was hard to not get teary eyed as I thought of how easy learning comes to my big boy.  Over the summer his reading has improved by leaps and bounds, and this is with minimal assistance from me.  It seems that every time he hears something, his mind soaks it in and it instantly becomes part of his vast array of knowledge.

It was difficult for me to watch Zach succeed with such little effort after working for months with Wesley before seeing success even in small milestones that are building together to reach larger goals.  I am so very proud of my oldest son, and God has blessed him with an amazing mind far surpassing that of his Mama.  I love him with all my heart, and his joy in learning is contagious.  Most of the time I can't help but rejoice with him.  But today I wasn't ready for his success.  Today it was a stab to my heart as I thought of his precious younger brother.  

God has perfectly and beautifully made both of my sons, but at least when it comes to learning, they were created on opposite ends of the spectrum.  Somehow it is my job as a mother to both rejoice in and encourage Zach as he bounds from milestone to milestone while also not grieving or losing heart as I watch Wesley struggle and work so hard for each step he takes forward.  God has a perfect plan for the lives of each of my boys, and while those plans may be different, they are both good - to give them a future and a hope.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11


Thursday, August 11, 2011

100th Post


I started blogging at the recommendation of a wise woman at my church.  After sharing my struggles with her soon after Wesley's birth, she encouraged me to write down all that the Lord was teaching me so that I would not forget.  She wisely counseled me that I would one day want to look back on the difficult season I was walking through and be encouraged as I recalled God's faithfulness and grace that He was so abundantly pouring out on my life and on our family.

At first I resisted her counsel, since writing has never been something that has come easily to me.  But when I realized that I was already starting to forget things the Lord was showing me, I decided to start this blog.  I must confess I am surprised that despite my busyness and previous struggles with articulating my thoughts on paper, I have managed to maintain this blog for about a year now.  Already I am encouraged and filled anew with joy as I look back at previous posts and am reminded of God's kindness and love toward our family.

Thank you to all my readers for walking alongside me as I learn what it means to trust God and to see His steadfast love toward our family.  I pray that you too have been encouraged and that your faith has been built up when reading this blog.

"But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me."  Psalm 13:5-6


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vacation: Day 4

Celebrating our anniversary - 8 years!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011