Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What are you doing with it?

What are you doing with it?

This is the question I keep coming back to.

What are you doing with it?

The last couple of months have been sprinkled with good, meaningful conversations, discussions and events that deal with hard, hurt and trial.
That deal with life.
Because that what life is. Life is hard, life hurts, and life deals out trial like a Vegas pro.
And it is natural to want to discuss it, to hash out the details and try to find meaning and reasons.
And I think that it's good to talk about it.  I think it is healthy to find meaning... it helps us deal.

But there is something I think we neglect at times... something we do not hear soon enough... something that seems harsh in times of hurt. And that is to challenge the person who is in the trail, in the hurt, dealing with the hard to examine what's going on in their life and ask God... what are you trying to teach me?

Because that is the heart of the matter... it's not the what, or even the how...it's the why.
and most whys have a very similar answer
Because Christ wants to draw you near to Himself
to bring God glory.

So what is God trying to teach us with the hard?
Reliance on Him, prayer, humility, patience, contentment... and a million and two other answers depending on the road God has laid out for you.

But the challenge does not end there. Oh, no, friends... it gets even more...uhh... challenging.
After the lesson is dealt, after the cards are in our hands, the question still remains...
How will you play your hand?
What are you doing with what God gave you?

Umm, Cari, I thought we were talking about hurt and hard and trial... what do you mean what am I going to do with it?

What are you going to do with it? God has specifically given you something... now how will you use it? For Him?
I lost my baby girl... and I am still finding ways to use Caden and her life, and her death to glorify God. I miss a lot of them... but God is faithful and keeps bringing me opportunities to share His love, mercy and His plan...
I find because of Caden's death I am more compassionate, more comforting, more encouraging. I have learned so much about God and His character from dealing with Caden's loss. I have felt closer to God because of my pain... He has brought me close and comforted me, and in turn, I have learned how to comfort others better then I could have before.

God uses the hard to bring about the beautiful.

Everyone has hurt.
Everyone experiences hard.

What are you doing with it?

"Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later and then you still have to decide what to do."
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains."
~ C.S. Lewis ~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

and let's finish up....

This is going to be the last re-post (of the tumor...not forever, I am sure I can re-post other stuff later!)
I have (enjoyed seems the wrong word) ...(insert appropriate word here) rereading about the Captain's tumor, surgery and recovery. It helped me remember and see Gods awesome provision and comfort with fresh eyes.  It is always a good thing to remember Gods fingerprints on our lives. Remembering makes present and future circumstances easier... because we know where we have already been and what He has brought us through... and we can rest in the knowledge He is faithful... and will ALWAYS be there.

I am just going to provide links to most of the Captain's recovery posts and one link to all of April of 2009 if you care to go back and reread.

the day after surgery:

the days that followed...

This post reminds me of what I really learned that Easter....

What have you remembered about God's faithfulness this year?  I would love to read about it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a heavy day (3 years ago)

April 10th is a day that means something to me.
It is my parents wedding anniversary (36 years today!!)
And it is the anniversary of the Captain's brain surgery.

3 years ago today was Good Friday... and the day they cut open my husbands head and removed a tumor.
What follows are my original posts from that day, April 10th 2009.
I am re-posting to look back and remember some of the awesome and miraculous things God has done.
Read and be amazed with me...

there are 3 separate posts from that same day.


Andy's surgery update
Andy and I woke up this morning about 5. He slept very well, I know because I watched him. Do not worry, I will sleep later.

He is doing well, just a little nervous. I could tell because he was chattier than normal. They took him for his MRI about 7. He asked for some sedation(because he hates the MRI) they said it was too late...it would not start to work until he as almost done. So, he sucked it up became very brave and went in with no sedation. They did give him some cool goggles to wear and watch some ESPN. He said that makes it tolerable.

He was in good spirits, quite calm, which I chalk up to so much prayer. Last night we had a prayer meeting at church. About 70 -80 people showed up for over and hour of prayer specifically for Andy and they surgery today....It was so encouraging.

So they finally took him away for surgery about 9:15 or 9:30ish. They say about 3 hours or so.

Please continue to pray. For specifics scroll down to my previous post and read them there. Today will be long, but I will try to update as much as possible.

Update On Andy

Andy is out of surgery and doing well. The Dr. said the navigation system worked perfectly and they were able to remove all of the tumor. (they think) The Dr. said he would call it a gross total resection. He sent samples to IU and we should know more in a couple weeks. Andy will get his staples out in 10 -14 days as well as have a head CT in the morning an an MRI within 24 hours.

He is waking up. His left side is moving fine but his right side is a little weak. The Dr. said not to worry or panic, sometimes just working in that area stuns the brain and it will take awhile for it to catch up....maybe a couple of days. So please pray that the right side of Andy's body catches up in movement and strength so no therapy would be necessary. As well as his speech would be fine...he understands everything the Dr. is saying but is not talking himself...pray for that too.

I have not been able to see him yet, but hopefully will be able to in an hour or so. He is being prepped to be moved to ICU.
More later.

Before I fall over from exhaustion

I am tired...TIRED.

I am home, just got here and feel very guilty I am not at Andy's bedside. I know there is nothing I can do but stare at him...like that is doing any good...and I need my rest. if not for me, for Rigg. So here I am. This has been the hardest part of the day...trusting God to take care of him overnight while I am away.
Easier said than done.

Wait on the Lord...Trust.

I am trying. But I had to force myself.

It was very hard to see Andy after his surgery. He is still not shaken the "knock-out" meds. He is very groggy and when we saw him earlier he was not moving the right side of his body or talking. Since then they have given him a CT scan (came back great) and his Dr. came back to check him.

He passed with flying colors...well, sorts. He griped with his right hand, held u 2 fingers with is right hand and wiggled his right toes. He also raised his right leg and whispered his name.
It is so hard to see such a big guy, a strong guy, my superman...so weak and incoherent. I sat in his room and cried for awhile. I think it was the relief as well as the reality of it all setting in. We have hit the ground running and been living warp speed since Tuesday morning. This was the first time I have to process everything that is going on.

I want to walk into his room and have him sit up and chat with me...and it takes a lot of effort to even get him to open his eyes.



Please continue to pray...by the way, INCREDIBLY overwhelmed by the number of comments and people praying. We are so blessed....but now that I have your attention....let us continue to petition the Lord on High with requests. Let's be specific and use scripture...what God has already said, we can count as done.
Specifically you can pray that Andy's recovery would continue to progress. That he would shake the "knock-out" meds and wake up. That he would continue to gain strength in his right side and would start to speak.
That all throughout he night God would cradle Andy and watch over him.
That I would be calm and peaceful and be able to sleep, for me and the baby.
Thank you so much brothers and sisters in Christ...one day I will get to thank you face to face. But until that day, let us join together as one body and worship the Lord.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter... and remembering

As I said before, Easter now not only reminds me of Christ and His awesome work on the cross... His resurrection and my salvation through faith...
but it also hearkens me back to April of 2009 and the trial of a brain tumor.

as promised I am going to re-post about Andy.


April 9th 2009

Info and prayer

OK folks.

News, not hot off the presses, but off of them just the same.

If you already know this, just skim and pray and leave a comment if you wanna.

Andy has a brain tumor located of the left side toward the frontal lobe.
He is going to have brain surgery Friday.An MRI is scheduled for 6 am with surgery following at 9 am.
After surgery he will be in ICU for at least 24 hours.
If all goes well in ICU he will then be transferred to a normal room for another 24 hours.
If he is responding normally and doing well, he will be sent home.
Check ups in a week or 2. Then routine follow-up appointments at intervals of 3 months to 6 months.
Andy is not able to drive for the next few months (we have heard everything for 3 mo. to a year)
He will be on anti-seizure meds for 9 mo to forever...

Specific prayer requests are:
Since the tumor looks like brain matter...that they are able to get all of the tumor and none of his brain.
That they miss any close sections of brain ( a motor strip that controls the right side of his body as well as a section that controls speech.)
The Dr.'s would be well rested and alert.
The equipment would be working well ( most of the surgery depends on a computer)
The recovery would be excellent so we could go home soon. (Andy hates the hospital and says "it makes me feel like a caged rat to be here.")
There would be no need for physical therapy of any kind when we are done.
Peace of mind for me and my family(s)

If you have verses that you are applying to any of these requests I wold love to know what they are.
Thank you all for your prayers and requests to help. I love you. I am so very blessed. I am in need of nothing, but if I am I PROMISE to call one of the 12,957 people who asked to help.

more later.

 Easter!  2012

And then there was Easter 2012. It was great, with family, egg hunts, and more ham then I could dream
of. And cadbury cream eggs... I love those things!!!
and I only had a couple...
or 6
whatever... who's counting.

Rigg hunted for eggs like it was his job. Once he learned that m&m's could be hidden in the depths of a shiny plastic egg...he was on it!

Ryder just liked being outside...

So Rigg picked up Ryder's slack...

And the Captain picked up the run-away Ryder...

and even though Ryder had no idea what all the fuss was about, he enjoyed the eggs filled with goldfish.

and he will never know I ate his chocolate bunny...

Friday, April 6, 2012

What a difference a day makes

or 3 years.

3 years makes a big difference.

That is why I am so grateful, and happy... thrilled and amazed to tell you it has been three years to the day that the Captain had a massive seizure, that lead to a MRI, that discovered a large tumor.

Today 3 years ago we were scared, worried, sad, tearful, confused and extremely prayerful.

Whenever Easter comes up... in time, thought, or conversation I am always transported back to the Easter of 2009... and the tumor.
Not in a bad way.
I am just always hit with sudden memories and feelings of prayer, family, friends, caring, support... waiting on God and being floored and amazed by Him.
I remember the 2 weeks surrounding the tumor and surgery and how God taught me and grew me in awesome ways... I remember feeling His peace and His comfort.

Easter reminds me of this.

So this year I am going to re-post my entries surrounding this week or so in 2009.  So we can all read and see the mighty hand of God... and be reminded of His Glory.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The tumor
OK, so it was bad news. A brain tumor...

Shall I start at the beginning?

I woke this morning to an earthquake....well, OK, so it wasn't an earthquake, it only felt like one. My husband is a big guy. So I guess it goes to prove if a big guy goes into a seizure he will shake the wahozits (it's a word...) out of the bed. And that is just what happened. Andy was seizing and it was so intense it woke me up. I dove over him, stuck my fingers in his mouth to make sure he was not trying to swallow his tongue ( I have already been informed by a nurse not to stick my fingers in a seizing persons mouth again) when he clamped down hard on them. When I finally got my fingers out of his mouth I called 911.

EMT's and other important medical people arrived in time to help me gain composure and we loaded him up and to the hospital we went. It was a scary few min. Caden never came out of her seizure, so when Andy finally replied to my screams and prodding, I almost collapsed in relief. It took him a full half an hour to fully become the Andy we all know and love. By this time we were firmly planted in the ER...this was 6 am.

They took some blood, scheduled an MRI and whisked him away to the metal tube of doom...(he is very claustrophobic) I went out to the waiting room with all who awaited there. When he was finished with the testing, they admitted him and sent him to a private room for the remainder of his stay.

About lunch time is when we got the news. The MRI showed a very large mass at the front left part of his brain. The neurosurgeon will see us around 5.

We waited until 5...with some friends and family and all the calls to those not able to be there.

Dr. S. came in and told us the best news that can follow the worst news. A brain tumor that is (highly) probably not malignant in a very operable position. Surgery and some meds and we could have a great outcome.

Most people who get these types of tumors have one surgery and that is that...life as normal. The one tricky thing is that this type of tumor looks just like brain matter....so although the position of the tumor is good and the Dr is great...there is a risk of not getting it all. If they do not get it all, it could grow back and potentially become malignant.

PLEASE PRAY. I think we might have a couple of days at home before the surgery which is temp. scheduled for Friday. We will know a def. time and date tomorrow.

Pray that they are able to get all of the tumor.
That it is a quick and routine surgery.
For Andy' peace of mind...he hates MRI's and he has to get another one.
Pray for the Dr.'s and nurses.
For my family, peace, comfort and acceptance of Gods will.
I am sorry for the brisk and impersonal feel of this post...I wanted to get the info out...but the day has been long and I am tired. I feel like one of those people who try to balance on the logs rolling them down the river...very off kilter.

Mentally we are doing well. Andy is such an example of a Godly man...I have the most wonderful husband.
I will keep you all posted as best I can.


Lord come quickly .

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's all Ryder's fault

I really wish I didn't feel the need to apologize or explain why my posts are so few and far between...
But they are...
and I do.

Today I will blame my lack of posting, which really is a lack of free time, on Ryder.

That's right... Ryder.
This precious boy.

He is oh-so cute...and he has very recently become quite a handful.

I am not sure what is really going on... I know he is breaking in like 7 teeth, and he was sick awhile back...but he has started waking at VERY early hours, is almost constantly whining or all out screaming if not held,. and to make matters (as if not already bad enough) worse... only sleeping about an hour a day.

And it is wearing me out... Physically, I am super tired, a mess, and probably very strong due to the fact I have been carrying a 30 lb child around everywhere I go.
Mentally, I am spent.

When he does spring back into "regular Ryder" mode... he is now climbing on the chairs and up on the table, diving onto the couch from the ottoman and playing in the toilet.
And as happy as I am to not be holding him... it still doesn't seem like much of an upside.

I have been praying for more sleep... or at least some wisdom on how to tackle this phase...
2 nights ago, or I should say mornings..because it was around 5 am and I had just put Ryder back down, I finally asked God what I was supposed to be learning. I have been thinking on it and have come up with a few things. Since then, when I changed the focus of my prayers from what I wanted God to do to what God wanted from me... things have been slowly improving.  I do not know if it is really getting better, or if I have just become less stressed and panicked about how haggard my life seemed. Maybe it is just an acceptance and a peace that comes only from Him. Either way, I am thankful.
For Ryder.
For all the EXTRA cuddle time.
For God continuing to teach me and His patience in my overwhelming weakness.
For the extra sleep I got last night when Ryder slept longer then he has in 3 weeks. (!!!!)

He is learning so much. I realized the other day he really can say a few words...and it is adorable. And he and Rigg are starting to play together.
It makes me realize how big he is getting... and how fast it is happening...
and how one day he won't want to hug me in public or sit next to me on the couch and cuddle...
So right now I will try to remember to cherish all the hugs and cuddles and tears I get to kiss away, because time is fleeting,
and one day I will want what today seems taxing.

Father, give me perspective.