Here are some recent pictures I thought I’d share.
My husband took my daughter hiking in East Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. They had so much fun! I was a little nervous about the trip and not being with them. It was originally planned as a family trip, but I could not walk when the time came, and my son decided he would stay with me and take part in school and church activities that were planned for that weekend.
These are the kinds of pictures they sent to scare me throughout the weekend:
warning sign for bears!
looks like she’s falling off the mountain!
They emailed this with a caption “Look what we saw” – it was actually a picture they took from a book!
But they actually had a great time!
on a hike
horseback riding where they actually DID see a bear!
Moving on to other things…
My sister-in-law (pictured below) brought me these last week. I thought they were cheery, and they smelled so pretty.
I have a 14-year old! My mom gave the party since it was only 3 days after my surgery. I hope he felt celebrated! I’m thankful for our sweet families (my mom, my husband’s parents, and his brother’s family are all local) who have been so supportive and helpful.
I’m also thankful for my sweet neighbors and friends who have prayed for me and brought us dinner, giving my mom a break. What an unexpected gift!
This also reminds me how wonderful everyone at work has been to support me through this last month. They have all been so kind and helpful. I’ll never forget my friend getting the church wheelchair to get me to my car one day when things were so rough! 🙂 We will surely laugh of that again in years to come!
I started this post just looking for a few recent pictures to share, but am ending it full of gratefulness for God’s provision of loving friends who have called, emailed, sent cards, and prayed over the last month. What a blessing and encouragement! And I’m grateful for His protection and care over my family as they traveled. Thank you, Lord!
On Thursday I had arthroscopic knee surgery to try to resolve the issues I’ve had this month with pain in my knee, swelling, and not being able to walk well. The x-ray had shown what looked like a loose bone fragment, though the orthopedist seemed skeptical.
During surgery, he discovered that there was no bone fragment; rather, I have degenerative arthritis that has been causing the problems. He was able to smooth off the bones (if I understood correctly) to try to bring some relief.
I don’t really know much more at this point. I will go for my post-op visit on October 9 and find out more, I guess. It took me by surprise. I had hoped the surgery would be an easy fix to my problem, but it really only identified the real problem which may not be so easily fixed.
There’s no way to know how quickly this will progress. I am young to have it, and they don’t know what causes it. He told me some of the treatments, none of which I want. I’m hoping the surgery will help stabilize my knee and give me some time to try some different easier things.
Since this started on September 1st, I’ve been meditating on James 1, and I recited it over and over the day of surgery. “Consider it all joy, my beloved brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Can I consider this unexpected trial a joy as it might produce in me endurance and a maturing of faith? The post yesterday about who I am listening to is timely for me because I must speak truth to this situation, and not listen to any other voice (not even my own) but His.
Already I sense the Lord’s nearness to me. I’ve shared before how God uses music and specific songs in my life. When we got in the car to drive home from the surgery, I turned on the radio, and this song (at the end of this post) was just starting. I’m not saying in this case this was a specific word from the Lord to me through this song, but it did make tears start to stream down my face. At the same time, my husband shouted out, “Do you hear this? Do you hear the words to this song? It’s your song for this!”
Then I came home and ran across this post by a friend of ours. Not only did he mention my life verse of 2 Cor. 12:9 and speak such beautiful truth about joy in times of difficulty or darkness, but one of the people who commented wrote out the verses I had been reciting all day from James 1.
I’ve seen God work miracles and healing in our lives. I don’t doubt His ability to heal me and help me in this or just slow the progression. But I know he doesn’t always choose to do that. With whatever the days ahead hold, the things I can be certain of are that He is with me, that He has a plan, that He has good for me, that He loves me, that He is in control, that my life is His, that He will be near to me, and that all things are possible with Him. I pray I keep my eyes fixed on Him and hear His Word and trust in Him alone.
School ended today with what has become a tradition — field day followed by lots of food in the classrooms before noon dismissal, then the conclusion of parent teacher conferences. It’s a great conclusion to the year!
For those of us who work at the school, it’s a sentimental day, as well, as we realize some of us will now be parting ways, perhaps never to see one another again. It’s a day full of reflection on the past year and emotion in seeing what God has done in our children, in our school, the beauty of what He has brought together, and the hope that He will continue it despite change, which is unavoidable and even necessary.
Today reminded me of God’s faithfulness as I looked back to one year ago at this time. We finished field day, and I took my son to the orthopedist for a follow up visit to see how his wrist was healing. It had been broken 2 weeks before, but was not displaced and looked to be a simple matter. However, we learned at this visit that his wrist had become displaced in the cast and he would need surgery the next morning to try to correct it as soon as possible. The hope was he wouldn’t need an incision or pins, but those were feasible options.
Two days prior, at our teachers’ chapel where we shared Scripture and exhortations with the students, I had shared a special verse to me: Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah, Lord God, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched hand and there is nothing too hard for You.” That was the first verse I had learned in Kindergarten, and God had used it in my life as I had prayed for this school.
I shared with the children the power of God… that we sat where we were, had the teachers we did, had been blessed with this school because God was and is powerful. I encouraged them to trust Him and not put “God in a box” but instead believe that He can do great things.
So as I sat at the orthopedist’s office hearing his words “we need to do surgery, right away, tomorrow, ….. pins, incisions,” I could also hear in my head the words I had spoken in chapel, “God is powerful, trust Him…” I knew this was a chance for my son’s faith to grow, that God had allowed this for good.
My son was naturally nervous about the surgery. My husband had left town that morning on a 6 hour trip, and had turned right around to come back home. We went to dinner while we waited on his return. A song played on the way: “Your grace is enough, Heaven reaching down to us, Your grace is enough for me; God, I see your grace is enough, I’m covered in your love, Your grace is enough for me; remember Your people; remember Your children; remember Your promise, O God. Your grace is enough. Your grace is enough. Your grace is enough for me.”
It was just a good song to remind my son that God loved him and is gracious. I told him to lay out his arm before God and ask Him to heal it. The sunroof was open and the sun was pouring in down on his casted arm as he held out his arm to God and gave it to Him. It did seem like “heaven was reaching down to us.” I loved seeing my son’s faith that He was willing to lay it before God. Before bed, my son told me he wanted to read Job “because it was about a man who suffered.” It was sweet to see him seek the Lord.
The surgery the next day went fine, and we were thankful to find the surgeon could shove the bones really hard back into place and did not need pins and incisions. However, he ended up with a much larger cast and sling for the next few weeks and we canceled summer camps and plans. But we saw in the midst of it again God’s goodness and grace.
Opportunities to trust Him. Steps in our journey. Stops along the way where we see God actively in our lives so that we can look back and remember what great things He has done and move forward with confident expectation that the God who has done great things can and does act on behalf of His people.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7