Thursday, May 31, 2012


For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Imagine my surprise when I opened my blog to post and I was greeted with a completely new format to Blogger! It has been so long since I have been active on any social internet website that both Blogger and FaceBook have changed formats. I know change is usually for the better, but my nature is to not like it! I actually opened both sites up a few times only to close it again simply because at this point in my life, change felt too overwhelming. But, I now decided it was time to put my big girl panties on and dive in! :-)

What a season it has been! It was a time where I needed to keep life as simple as possible and deal with each day as it arrived. I began by bucking that idea of simplicity, but as God often has to do with me, He made it clear to me that if I wouldn't simply choose simplicity...He would graciously and lovingly hit me upside the head with it!!! Since the beginning of the year, I truly could not get myself to write anything anywhere. It was if that part of my brain had shut down. Even writing simple phrases or thoughts in greeting cards was immensely challenging! So, I finally surrendered to this season of life, and simply focused on being who I needed to be each day.

The year began with my being in a car accident (my first ever with me driving) where, praise God, everyone was not seriously injured. It was merely the inconvenience of our car in the shop, dealing with insurance, etc....and the fact that the accident exaccerbated a previous back injury of mine. The same week, as my back was out, each one of us got horribly sick and I made several trips into urgent care. We had five bottles of antibiotics lined up on the counter...we each had our own special formula! At the same time, my husband's work had turned into a living nightmare of stress for him and non-stop hours. We were all sick, my back was out, the car was in the shop, and he was dragging himself through 14-hour days. Thankfully, though, at that time, Selah was doing wonderfully. She was a sick little girl with pneumonia, bronchitis, and a stomach flu (doesn't sound wonderful, I know), but she was emotionally stable!

March finally arrived and it seemed as though we had come through the dark woods and everyone was mending nicely. Bryan's work was a tad better and things looked as though they would improve. I had been praying so fervently, as were many others for Selah's emotional healing. I had the opportunity to attend a healing prayer service at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and another similar service here in Chandler. Both times I witnessed Selah go from an anxious and highly emotional state, to a peaceful, joyful calm within moments. Each time we would have about a week of an amazing transformation of peace, but then a time of severe anxiety in between.

I knew, at the time, that her teeth were really bothering her. We had waited too long to get her teeth taken care of...She had such fear for so long and wouldn't let anyone near her mouth and we were trying to handle so many other issues, that the teeth got put on the backburner. In January we were scheduled to have the work done, but then she was sick for almost six weeks so we had to keep rescheduling. We finally get in to the dentist in early March, but we made the mistake of hoping to do the work with a milder form of sedation. She would not relax one bit, though, and our very sweet dentist could not do the work. He did, though, get some better x-rays and was able to determine that her issues were worse than we thought. We rescheduled an appointment to have her under anesthesia so that all the work could be completed. It took several weeks for that date to come (since we needed clearance from her cardiologist), so I know that in the meantime, she must not have been feeling good. She never complains and still doesn't communicate to us the big pains...only the ones like a scrape on the knee. She can make a tremendous deal about an accidental bump to the elbow, but not a word about infected teeth, lungs unable to breathe, or any other huge owie! Anyway, I had started attributing a lot of her behaviors to the fact that her teeth must be hurting, Daddy was away working so much, and now Mommy was sick with kidney stones and infection (another part of this season). Things got worse and worse and worse...even after all the dental work was completed and healed. I was at my wits end because I felt like all the progress we had made was slipping away. I was feeling awful myself with the kidney issues (and some yucky female "parts" problems complicating things more), so I know that I didn't have the wherewithall to put it all together. It was so devastating...we had come so far to suddenly feel as though it were all crashing down around us.

I had been communicating with Selah's trauma therapist and psychiatrist as much as possible, but because of so many illnesses, we had missed appointments. I kept being faithful in my time with God, though. I was so frustrated, but I refused to believe that this was His plan for our sweet girl and for our family. I still believed He had great plans for Selah and it would all be a part of her testimony someday. The enemy wanted me to believe the opposite. I was fervently praying for her healing and for my resilience, patience, and  love. After the prayer services we attended, I had heard a small whisper in my soul that said..."If you believe in healing, then why aren't you taking Selah off some of her meds?" Humph...really? You see, I ABSOLUTELY believe in God's ability and desire to heal and do miracles in today's world. BUT, I am also one to believe that God gifted us with wisdom and the blessings of education and human ability. Finding the balance between faith and doing the best with all that He has given is where the challenge lies. He did not give us doctors and medicine for them to not be used! In this situation, however, I kept feeling that nudging. Initially, we took Selah off her sleep medication and to the glory of God, she has been sleeping peacefully! Gone are the nights of night terror after night terror! Gone are the nights of incessant rocking, grinding of teeth, and screaming out! We were so thankful and hopeful with this new turn of events! However, we still had the daytime behaviors that were getting increasingly worse. It felt as though we couldn't connect with Selah anymore. She was angry almost all of the time. She was getting into trouble everyday at pre-school. She was destructive and even mean spirited. It was so sad to see her joy and sweet disposition disappearing. Her psychiatrist decided to switch one of her medications to another type (but still in the same family). I went ahead with this decision, but as the weeks passed with no improvement, we decided to take her off the medication altogether. This would mean that in less than a months time, she would have gone from three medications to only one. Well...I am very happy to say, that after a few days, our little girl came back to us. The anxiety is gone. The destructive, hair twisting, finger biting, anxious behaviors were gone. Several months ago, she needed these medications to function, but now her fears had healed and her attachment grown and she no longer needed them. We had to trust that whisper. I wish it hadn't taken us so long.

We still have a long ways to go. She still doesn't want to trust us to be in charge. She still desperately tries to hold on to control and often acts in an oppositional way. She will be dishonest about things as simple as going to the potty, or putting a dirty pull-up in the garbage. I have found that as either Deborah Gray or Karen Purvis wrote in one of their books, finding the way for her behavior to have logical consequences (rather than punishments initiated by me or involving me) works best for her. She loves individual attention, whether it is positive or negative, and if she thinks you will spend even more one-on-one time with her correcting her behavior, she will do something inappropriate. When I can minimize the situation and make her gain nothing from it, the behavior is much more quickly extinguished. My struggle, though, is that it is not always easy to come up with something like that for every behavior.

On Easter, our service was a beautiful message of hope...and hope is what we keep clinging to. We remind ourselves to keep looking at each little moment and find the hope. It has been a little over a year, and there was some grief for what we had hoped would be by now, but the hope that our little girl grows to have a joy, a peace, and a love that shines up deep from within the depths of her little soul will never die. There is a season for all things big or small. My amount of time to write or focus on me is one of the small things. I am believing in faith that this has been and will continue to be Selah's season of healing. I know that this one is a big thing. Taking away the hurt that penetrates the soul of an orphan is a HUGE thing, but God says He heals those that come to Him and ask. Asking is what I am doing...and I know that I know that I know that Selah's season of healing is still in process. Her season of overflowing joy, peace, and love is right around the corner...which corner, I'm not sure, but we have hope and faith that says it WILL be around one of these corners. It won't be the corner I pick nor plan, but instead the one designed single-handedly by our Redeemer and Deliverer. And...after all the corners we have rounded the last few years, I have come to know that anything He designs is WAY better than anything I can create on my own!

Pictures tell our story better than my words! Here are a handful from the highlights of February and March! I'll post April and May sometime soon :-)

Running club...look at that face! He was either really pushing it, or he knew the camera was on him and wanted to spice up the drama :-) He did a great job, though, improving his race time and place with each competition! He has an amazing competitive drive.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Do you think my little guy just might be a little mis-matched? He doesn't let size intimidate him, though!

Zach shooting a free throw and Landon getting ready to rebound. It is so fun seeing them play together!

Happy 10th Birthday, Zachary! Double digits!

The boys decided on having a couple of friends attend a Sun's Game as their birthday parties. Zach's favorite player is Markieff Morris who was formerly a Jayhawk. Isn't that poster he made hilarious? Markieff couldn't miss him!

The boys watching the game.

The first day back in the pool this spring!

Meeting retired Harlem Globetrotter, Curly 'Boo' Johnson, at Reach Basketball Camp

Over spring break, we went to Kansas to visit family and take in the Jayhawk sights! All of my boys (the biggest one, too :-) are HUGE Jayhawk fans and have even turned Selah into one! It is kind of contagious! This pic is in Allen Fieldhouse.

Our sweet twin cousins in Kansas! It was so much fun spending time with them!

Selah with her cousin Jadyn. She is always so amazed and happy by having so many people to call "hers"! My mom, my dad, my brother, my grandma, my grandpa, my cousin...We often forget how blessed we are by the things we take most for granted.

"My aunt Lana and my uncle Kent" :-)
Happy Birthday, Grandma Erika! We love you bunches!

A fun night out for dinner with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Judy at Rustler's Roost in Phoenix. You can just see Selah thinking "mine, mine, mine...all mine" - with a great big sigh of contentment!

Blessings and smiles,

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