Tuesday, August 20

Seeing and Celebrating

I am a firm believer in the promise that God will replace or restore what has been lost. Time. Strength. Love. Relationships. Purpose. Family. Friends. Joy.
I love the Scripture, "I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten." (Joel 2:25)
A close second, "what the enemy intended for harm, God has meant for my good." (Genesis 50:20)

At the moment I'm sitting here drinking iced coffee, watching a little HGTV and skimming Martha Stewart Living mag on my lap (the June issue, because I'm that behind, haha), and listening to my girl chatter away to her dollies through the baby monitor. Rare Momma recharge moment, and I love all of it- including and especially the full day we've had leading up to this little respite. Because it's still new to me after months and months of being too weak or sick to do this? Probably! But mostly because, for weeks now, I'm overwhelmed with the fact that that it's such a gift to have work to do, and strength to do it.
You don't realize how sick you were until you finally catch up from nine months of survival mode and realize: "I'm not a terrible cleaner, or home owner, or pack rat- I was just conserving energy that I needed to fight and survive!" :)
Grace for the self: so important.

Victory turns two on Friday. TWO! Where does the time go? Well, I know where most of this year went. Since last October (ten months ago) I've been in some crazy health circumstances. Thankfully, miraculously, wonderfully, the ITP crisis has been quiet - in remission as the doctors would say- hopefully completely Healed, I say- for weeks!
Now (because if it's too quiet, we'd be bored?) I'm facing a different kind of health issue. Urgent, but not critical. My liver enzymes have been elevated for weeks, and there's talk of rejection, biopsy, ruling things out, confirming other things... a bit frustrating in how cryptic and unavailable the Drs have been, and I haven't been able to speak with my actual hepatologist in weeks. August = vacay month it seems :)
I should be hearing the plan by tomorrow though, and it will be good to know what it is.

Despite this new challenge, I am overwhelmed with satisfaction at how well our little family not only survived the past ten months, but we thrived. And we are determined to keep thriving, no matter what we face in the weeks and years ahead.

Victory is turning two on Friday and I don't feel like I've missed one thing. God is so good. And my little girl is such a blessing. Earlier today she climbed up on a kitchen stool, turned on the faucet, and started rinsing dishes. I asked, "do you want to hand me those, you rinse and I'll load the dishwasher?" An emphatic, "Yeah!" was her response, and together we loaded the dishwasher. Pretty soon the sink was empty. This is her norm. Watching us do things around the house, and wanting to join in or take over and help. The joy she brings to our family is immeasurable.
My 23 month old is speaking in short sentences already. She jumps and dances and laughs, and has an incredible sense of humor. She sings. She lifts her hands sometimes during worship when we livestream church.
She is brilliant, watching something once and imitating it immediately, or days later, with attention to detail, and determination.
By the way... This is not a mommy brag post. This is not meant to make you think I have it all together. Oh boy am I still a work in progress. This is a brag post I intend to be pointing up to my amazing God. Every good thing, every gift, I just smile and look up...

I just marvel at how so many blessings can be wrapped up in one tiny person.

However: do not be mistaken. My girl is of course about to turn two, and showing all those parent-character-testing qualities as well.
[In fact I had to remind my girl at least three times while working on this post, that this is indeed naptime... she finally fell asleep... and now a quick twenty minutes later she's up. Win some, lose some :) ]

I look for the teachable moments- for her and for me- and smile at the end of each day. What a gift it is to be a mom. Especially after losing a baby four years ago, and when this little one was just two months old, being told the liver disease that ruined my first liver has returned. And this year of absolute craziness where in June my Hubs - the always believing for healing, never expressing worry, rock of our home- said (after I was out of the CCU and home from the hospital) he thought he was going to lose me.

Recently, many of my friends and acquaintances have been either announcing first pregnancies, or a second or third little one on the way. It can be easy to get sucked into a poor me, no fair mindset. We could not even think about trying to get pregnant again this year, as the implications of a pregnancy combined with ITP could have been devastating for me and a baby. We have to do such a balancing act of faith vs practical. Especially because I'm a big faith, "but God!" person.

I may never be able to get pregnant again. Or possibly, I shouldn't ever get pregnant again. If my liver doesn't shape up, the doctors will start telling me things like it is unwise and dangerous to be pregnant.
Where some couples only need to decide how many children they would like to have and how to space apart the pregnancies, we have to talk about things like, "is my body even capable of carrying another pregnancy? What if the ITP returned? Will colitis flare again like last time? What's my liver going to do? How will these meds affect the baby?" And that horrible question I learned to stop asking some time ago, but I'm sure some of you wonder if we do, "What if a baby survived but not me?"

I'm not trying to be a downer. I am normally pretty positive here [she chooses joy isn't just a title, it's my life!], and truly that is how my thoughts are most of the time. I've done quite a bit of work on my thought life the past four years. Today I just wanted to shine a little light on my very real world, not all rainbows and cotton candy clouds, and show you (though I'm not sure I'm doing a good job sticking to the point Lol!) that even with seemingly unfair or frightening circumstances, you really can thrive! I hope I am sharing how it is possible to walk through life with serious circumstances, and at the same time have complete faith in a God that does the impossible every day.

Victory is a double blessing of a baby in one little girl, and not a day goes by that I don't see that and thank God for that.

Zechariah 9:12 in The Message says, "This very day I'm declaring a double bonus- everything you lost returned twice-over!"

My heart rests because, while I dream of having a bigger family one day and I believe God can and will heal me, and may make that dream happen, my heart is full being a mother to my one wonderful Victory.

What if God has already fulfilled a promise to you, and you just haven't noticed it yet? You looked, but didnt see?

We need to look for and see the good in what we have, before jumping on a train of thought comparing our life to another's, or whining at how unfair we think life is. If I spent all my time only wishing I could be pregnant again, or have more babies, or that we had the resources to adopt instead of paying medical bills, I would be robbing myself and my family of being fully aware and grateful for all I have in the present.
I missed a lot of days and nights with my girl this year, in the hospital, the infusion center, the clinic, my bed. I had to trust that she was going to be just fine, and so was I. I had no choice on my physical location, and the way I saw it, no choice in my thoughts either. I had to fight to trust!

And here we are.
Celebrating TWO, celebrating my platelets recovering, celebrating our faithful God!
Instead of looking at what I miss, I choose to see the restoration, the full replacement and overflowing beyond, of what was lost.
And celebrate, celebrate, celebrate,
rejoice, and thank God!  :)