Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deidra, Don't Call the National Guard!

One of my sweet colleagues and dear friends sent me a message on FaceBook indicating that if I didn't send a flare up to let everyone know we're okay she was going to do something drastic. Yes, we're still here. We're without Internet and that has been a trying experience for me. Not a day goes by that God doesn't speak to me through everyday events in my life and the life of my family. I want to share what He's showing us and how He's loving us even through this difficult time. It will be awhile before we have Internet set up, so I will try to post as often as I can.

I want to share with you something that happened last week. Those of you following the blog are aware that Nathanael sustained a pretty bad injury to his arm back in March and had to be taken to the ER and then admitted for surgery. The experience was frightening because although we have three boys, they've managed to stay in one piece up until this point.

But to be honest, there was one thing about that experience that truly set me on edge. We didn't have health insurance for Nathanael at the time. When the ER doctor told us that he was transferring Nathanael over to the pediatric hospital for surgery, I had a melt down. I figured we could, in time, cover the ER bill paying a little bit every month, but the thought of what a hospital stay and surgery would cost floored me. I prayed and tried to trust that God would see us through.

Then the bill came.

$27,000 !

And then my trust was shaken. I wasn't sure how we could possibly cover that. Robert is in construction and his work has not been consistent because of the economy and to have this added to our financial burden was almost too much.

We have family devotional together daily. There are seven of us and so each person has claimed a day to lead in prayer and open God's Word in devotion for the family. Robert is Saturday, I'm Sunday, Samuel is Monday, and so on. Last Sunday I read the first two verses from Psalm 127:

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

I shared with the children that work is good and God created us to work, but that we must remember that God is the source of our provision. That last verse stood out to me and there seemed to be something there that I couldn't put my finger on: God provides for us even in our sleep.

The next day I sent Nathanael to check the mail and he returned with the usual parcels. Among the envelopes I found one with the hospital's return address and my heart sunk. I was frightened to open it, but I knew I would have to eventually. I unfolded the letter and read it. And then I re-read it. And then I read it again. The letter indicated that the balance of our bill was $0. I was sure it must be a mistake, so I called the hospital . The woman in the billing department pulled up our account and confirmed that indeed the balance was $0. Her exact words were: the debt has been forgiven. I wept as the poor woman attempted to comfort me through the phone line.

The night before I had brooded in my heart over our situation. I shared those verses from Psalm 127 for myself as much as for my family. I needed to be reminded that He is the Great Provider. But even as I slept Sunday night, God had already provided. Even in my sleep.

How gracious my God is. Even in my doubt, He shows Himself as a loving Father. I will cling to this reminder in the days to come and as we face the hardships ahead, I will pray that God will bring this to my mind over and over again that I may praise Him for his infinite goodness and mercy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Few Miscellaneous Funny Sayings of Late

I have been working on structuring the kids reading time, i.e. taking out the junk food and replacing it with a little more sustenance. Kristina is now walking around with my large American Heritage Dictionary. I hope I haven't over done it. Samuel was assigned The Foxes Book of Martyrs. He came to me after having gotten a few chapters under his belt and said, "Dad this book is a bit depressing. Everybody that I have read about so far has died." So much for my previous introductory lesson on what a martyr is.

Leslie and I were having a discussion on something I read by Augustine on consecrated virgins and Joshua walking by said, "By the way who was that person called Attila the 'Nun?'

As we were talking about our lunch options Kristina, still struggling a little with the language a bit, suggested that we eat at a favorite Mexican place of ours Tijuana Flats. She accidentally said "Marijuana Flats"!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Let the Games Begin

We made it to the pool yesterday to cool down from the Florida sun. I settled into a chair riveted by Melissa Faye Green's There is No Me Without You. The typical swim races between Robert and the kids took place and eventually I heard Kristina's protest coming from the shallow end. I looked up to see Kristina standing about midway between Sam and Nathanael who were playing polar opposites.
"What's the problem?" I called over the top of my book.
"Mom, the boys aren't being fair. They won't let me play," Kristina informed me. I saw a drenched tennis ball arc high over her head and be caught by Samuel as Kristina attempted to intercept it.
"Well, what are you playing?" I asked.
"Keep away," Nathanael informed me. I laughed at Kristina's obvious frustration as she hopped back and forth between her older brothers.
"Honey, that's the point of the game. They're trying to keep you from getting the ball. You know - 'keep away'?'
She stopped and stared at me, water dripping from her face, "Well what kind of game is that???"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Call for Prayer

The governing body of Ukraine is set to vote on a bill tomorrow (June 2nd) that will forever change the face of orphan ministry in that country. If passed, there will be a moratorium placed on international adoptions. In other words, no more adoptions. The bill would also limit contact with orphans in orphanages to ONLY those who are official workers and other governmental officials. Please pray for the officials considering this bill, the children it would affect, and the families in the process of adopting.

UPDATE: The law was taken off today's agenda and was not voted on. Speculation remains whether it will resurface in July, but there is mixed information coming from facilitators at this point. Please continue to pray for those families in country and those who are planning on traveling soon.