Quick update:   Thankyou for praying.  The surgery went very well yesterday, and his recovery has been much smoother than anticipated...so much so that we were sent home from the hospital a couple days early! Yay, for not sleeping another night in a noisy crowded pediatrics hospital room.   Little man is being as brave as can be.  


A week ago I was enjoying the citty of Seattle, the company of my sister and nephew, and absorbing  some encouraging and challenging messages from the speakers at the "Resurgence" leadership conference R13.  (click here for a highlights reel)

Here's a sampler 

It was such a great time, and there was SO much wisdom shared for those who are leading ministries, serving in various capacities, or just living their lives on mission with Jesus.  The  atmosphere of the conference was one of deep authentic humility, purpose, and unity.   I came home refreshed.  The whole conference is available free online...it's an excellent resource.  You have to sign into an online account to access it but it's totally worth the couple minutes it takes.  Also don't be deterred by the first few minutes of volume in the intro by Mark Driscoll.  The whole conference wasn't as intense as the first few minutes, but it was all really good. Mark also gives a very informative missiological lecture regarding the cultural shifts and "death of Christendom" in America.  Every speaker has his own unique style...and like one preacher stated, it takes all kinds of preachers to reach all kinds of people.  I love that each of the speakers is unique in their gifting, and style, but united in the gospel.  Rick Warren had so many helpful, and wise things to say regarding temptation, character, integrity, and humility. 

 I'm so glad I was able to go and be there in person, It was surreal to sit only a couple rows away from pastors that I've listened to online for years.  The line up this year was Matt Chandler, Rick Warren, Crawford Loritts, Greg Laurie, and Mark Driscoll.  In all honesty the preachers I appreciated the most were the ones I'd barely heard of before, like Crawford Loritts.  His message was so good.  

 It was a bit of a challenge to travel alone with crutches but where there's a will there's a way,   I've been told I have a bit of a strong will.  In fact, I learned that this strong will can actually be a bit of pride that keeps me from asking for help, even when I need it. I learned some of those lessons the hard way. 

 The Hubster and the kidlets did just fine while I was away.  The house was tidy, the kids were alive, and he even made sure to take all the kids swimming before they met me at the airport so they would be clean.  

On the agenda for this week is a lot of time spent in a hospital.  Early tomorrow morning we drop a few kids off at Grandma and Grandpas house and take Elijah in for surgery on his legs.  

 It's a fairly delicate surgery that will lengthen his tendons and ham strings.  We have been told to expect that he will be in a lot of pain, that he will be in the hospital for the rest of the week, and that he will be in leg casts for about 8 weeks after that.  The spasticity of his muscles present some extra challenges with recovery.

I praise God that my broken ankle is healing and I am able to get around a bit without crutches now and carry some weight on my foot.  That will make caring for him not only easier but logistically possible.  It kind of feels like we've been transitioning from one challenging season to another, to another this year.  I'm realizing more that each one of these challenges has better prepared us to face the next one.  None of it is wasted.

 How often are we like the little boy going through surgery?  Scared.  Doubting.  Wondering why we have to go through it.  Wondering how it is that we can be loved by our Father and still be allowed to suffer. 

We are putting our son through this because we know (or at least trust) that this will be what is best for him.  It will cause temporary affliction, pain and distress but it will have long term gain.  We know that he will struggle to even begin to comprehend this truth.  He will likely just wonder why we're allowing him to be hurt.  He may wonder why, after working so long and hard to walk, that we have taken that from him.  

How often do we respond to trials in our own lives that way?  
 As my heart breaks to know my child will endure some really rough days ahead, I know our Father is not uncaring when we endure hardship either.  

A good parent pushes their child out of what’s comfortable, and even allows some rough
 stuff, in order to have them grow and become strong…but the love remains unchanged.

Would you please pray that we would all weather this little storm well, to the glory of God. 
 Please pray for the wisdom of the surgeon (as some decisions will be made during the

 surgery depending on what they find), and for the recovery...and for patience for the entire

family as we each, in turn (or sometimes all at the same time), struggle to set aside our own

little self-kingdom, to serve and love as we have been so loved and served by Christ.

While the physical stuff is tough, another concern for him is more psychological and emotional.  We have worked so hard to help him feel secure, loved and protected this year since he joined our family, and I pray that he would feel confident in our love for him as he recovers....even as we have to push him, make him walk again, and do things that will cause him a lot of discomfort.  He is very prone to fear and anxiety when routines and locations change.

Heart wounds are slower to heal than tendons and muscles.

One thing I've had to learn this year is that my loving him has to cause some element of hurt.  Everyday I must stretch him.  I have firm orders from the orthopedic specialist, and his therapists, that this must be done.  Not doing it would be unloving negligence....but doing it hurts him.  All parents experience this to an extent because we must make our kids do stuff that that they just don't want to do, but parenting a child with CP has shown me even more how sometimes loving someone means that we must do what's best for them, and that growth means struggle.  

My son has given me such a clearer window into my own heart, and a model of so many spiritual, gospel truths that I can no longer ignore.

Thankyou my cyber friends for caring about our little family, and holding us up in prayer. 

"God may allow testing in your life not to break you but to make you stronger for the task ahead" 
 Greg Laurie  - R13

"You need to know what it feels like for the Holy Spirit to carry you, to be crushed and know Christ is sufficient."  Crawford Loritts - R13

Soli Deo Gloria, 

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