Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prayer for Lungs

Earlier in the week, I prayed about what I should blog this week. I felt I should share the verses and a prayer I have been saying for my daughter, Jaycee, concerning her lungs. In the past few months, I have focused prayers for her lungs since her asthma and obstructive sleep apnea have really impacted her health. Here are two verses I pray regularly:

As the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4
             Lord, just as you formed Adam and gave him life, breathe into my child. Give her strong breath all night and all day. Keep her lungs open and working perfectly as you intended them to be. God, you are the source of all life and your breath sustains my child. I don't have to fear asthma or sleep apnea because ultimately her breath comes from you. These things are not more powerful than you God. Let my daughter's airway stay open and let her breath come easily. Amen.

It's funny how God lines things up, preparing the way for our lives without us knowing it. I started working on this blog entry just before Jaycee had a severe asthma attack Tuesday night. She went into the "red zone" on her asthma action plan (blue fingers and toes, low oxygen saturation levels). We stabilized her at home before taking her to the hospital. She was in the hospital less than 48 hours, which is the shortest time she's ever had in the hospital for a breathing issue (pneumonia this time).

A hospital trip always does a number on me mentally. Fear tries to invade my mind and doubt tries to creep in. It tells me to give up, not to pray, to worry about Jaycee's health and future, and on and on. As I tried to go to sleep last night in Jaycee's hospital room, my mind started trying to give me a dozen reasons to be afraid when Jaycee goes home with her breathing still not perfect. I often let these fears take over and leave me spiritually immobilized. But I heard God tell me, "Stop. Stay focused. You can't risk being distracted by fear."

I thought about this blog entry I was going to write. It was a confirmation from God to keep praying and pressing no matter what the circumstances around me are. This is me trying to be obedient and staying focused minute by minute and hour by hour.

For more like this, read More Prayers for Lungs.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ripping up Pictures

My pastor talked about something at church Sunday that I'm still pondering. He talked about the pictures we create about a subject and how that leads us to pray a certain way. He gave the example of revival. Ten different people have 10 different pictures of what revival looks like. Some may think it's when dozens get saved, some view it as happening when big miracles take place, and others will picture revival as long wild services that last hours. He said that people will pray for whatever their vision of revival is instead of praying for what God wants to do. Then people will judge whether or not revival has come based upon those pictures we have. So he went on to talk about how we should rip up some pictures we have in our minds that prevent us from seeing God and praying the right way.

I started thinking about some pictures I have had to mentally rip up over the years. I had to rip these pictures up so I wouldn't be upset and bitter. I had to rip up the picture I had of a healthy baby that I prayed for during my pregnancy. If I hung on to that picture, I'd still be upset. I had to rip up the picture of the house I  thought I'd be living in. This may sound really trivial but when we got our house we thought it was our starter house. Yet 10 years later, we are still here with no thoughts of leaving. Jaycee's medical expenses have erased plans for something different. Our house isn't terrible but it's small. Every drawer, corner, and both closets are packed full. I'm not a collector or hoarder but it feels like it in this house! For awhile I got really agitated when I would put laundry away and would have to cram it in the drawers. I just got upset because reality was not matching up with my picture. Somewhere along the way, I ripped that picture up and became content with where I was. I don't have a picture of a different house now. If it happens, it happens; if not, that's fine.

This week I was thinking about the picture I have of Jaycee's health. I pray often for her lungs (asthma and sleep apnea) to be strong and have good breathing. This week God started dealing with me about my picture of her health. I have this fantasy picture that Jaycee's "good" health would mean there's no bi-pap needed for her apnea and there's no more inhalers for her asthma. My picture of a healthy Jaycee hasn't happened yet because she still needs meds and a machine to help her breathe well. There's still oxygen in her room for when she's having an attack. I look around and see she's not "healthy." But God has showed me that my picture is wrong. I'll never be thankful and grateful if that's the picture I've set for her. It's not that I can't prayer for her to be medicine and machine free one day but I can't let that prevent me from seeing what's happening now. Jaycee has had 2 colds this year and it never went to her lungs. That is highly unusual. I can always count on a cold to turn into more than just a cold. She has been hospital free for almost 10 months. That's the longest stretch she's had in 2 years. God is answering my prayer for her lungs to be strong and for her to be healthy. I just couldn't acknowledge God working because my picture wouldn't allow it. 

So I encourage you to think about those mental pictures you have and decide if you need to rip them up so you can see God moving in your life.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saying "Dada"

Jaycee never babbled much as a baby. That was the first sign to me that something was wrong with her speech. She did babble "dada" around 10 months. We were so excited at first. But then she stopped and not much happened verbally after that.

She was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech when she was 4.5 years old. She wasn't able to speak, couldn't imitate lip or tongue movements, and couldn't imitate most speech sounds by themselves (example: s-s-s-s-s). Childhood apraxia of speech makes it difficult for children/toddlers to move their mouth to produce sounds like you and I do. Children with this desire to talk but they can't. Sometimes, they lose words. They might say a word once and never again. This has happened to Jaycee. She said "dada" a few years ago and then lost the word. It was never an easy word for her to say, so it wasn't surprising to me that she lost it. We have rarely heard it in the past few years.

Jaycee's verbal speech is slow to come. She relies on signs and her communication device to communicate.

Jaycee can say sounds produced by the lips well (m, p, b). That is why she can say "mama," "papa," and "bubba". All other consonant sounds are difficult for her. We frequently ask her to say dad but she signs it. She has given up trying to say it.

But on Sat., we asked her to say dad and she did!!!  "Dada," she said.  My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. I immediately had her say it again and again. I wanted her brain and her tongue to remember how she said it. I didn't want her to lose the word. And so far, she hasn't. She's been great!

It's the perfect Father's Day gift to her daddy!!
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Truth about "Bearing"

In the past 7 years, I don't know how many times I've had well meaning Christians tell me that God never gives us more than we can bear. I have heard it while standing in church asking for prayer. I have heard it in casual conversations. They say it with a smile and attitude of---well if you are struggling, you shouldn't be because God doesn't give you more than you can handle.

Every time, I heard that I wanted to roll my eyes and slap the person. I never did it of course and it's not a very Christian feeling I know. But, it's how I felt! I didn't know how to take that scripture reference and what to do with it. 

Come to find out.....The verse reference is actually 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it doesn't really say what people quote. It says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (NKJV)

As you see, this talks about temptation and not really about trials or burdens. I believe this is one of the most misrepresented scriptures out there. When it's misquoted to try to "help" someone in a crisis, it may have the opposite effect.

Looking at this scripture though, God is the way of escape. Here's how I view most things: Satan comes to kill, steal, & destroy. Jesus gives life more abundantly. (John 10:10) When I'm feeling overwhelmed in a situation, it is the enemy coming against me but God can be there to provide life to the situation.

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