baptized…

October 29, 2009

tonight when I was rinsing out gabrielle’s hair in the tub, you know how they lay down in the tub and then you pour water over their heads, I dunked her a little too much.  she came up quickly and exclaimed, ‘whoa!  did I just get baptized?!?!’

🙂

I just about fell over laughing. … ahh the simple pleasures a small child can bring.  and so amazing how laughter heals.

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light and momentary…

October 28, 2009

there are things that I know in my heart and yet I just can’t wrap my head around them.  paul says that the difficulties of this world are light and momentary… compared to our eternal glory.  I know this in my head… but as I pick up the ‘silly turkeys’ board book with gold crinkaly tail feathers sticking out, my troubles seem anything but light and momentary.  I should be buying this book right now!  this should be a very happy holiday season we are heading into.  all of luke’s first holidays… halloween, thanksgiving… christmas.  but instead, as I hold the book, and thumb the feathers, I get the feeling of everything zooming in on me while the ground falls away beneath my feet.  like in the movies, when the main character realizes the bad guy is on the other side of the door and there is that dizzying effect of a close up and long shot at the same time.  it doesn’t feel so light.  it feels like forever.

how do I hang on?  how do any of us hang on?  there are so many hurts and betrayals, so many losses and wrongs.

‘come to me’…

thankfully I know this ‘me’.  I know where to go.  I know where to turn.  I know the One that calls me to himself and promises rest.  I hope you know Him too.  I hope you are running to Him… the only one who will never let you down.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Therefore we do not lose heart. … For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I’m okay…

October 26, 2009

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oddly enough… I feel all right.  okay.  even pretty good.  I wouldn’t say awesome, but pretty good is pretty impressive for me.  I’m  even impressed with how pretty good I feel.

for a while now, 10 months or so, whenever someone asks, ‘how are you?’, I reply with, ‘I’m okay.’  or maybe ‘I’m all right.’.  only once has someone said, ‘how come your not great?’.  I was so caught off guard that I didn’t know what to say.  it was then that I realized I have been saying okay and all right. … ….  I’m honest… even subconsciously I guess.

anyway, for the last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty good.  I’m surprised by myself.  you’d think I’d catch on sometime.  this going through grief remains the same.  when I think I should be down I’m all right and when I expect to make it through the day, I get side swiped.  I guess that as much as there are waves of pain and anguish, there are waves of unexplainable joy and peace.

unexplainable?  really?  well, not really.  I know why.  I just can’t tell you howGod gives me these reprieves of peace.  I don’t know when they will come or how to hold on to them.  they slip through my fingers like sand.  I don’t even know I’m in the middle of this joy untill it has been happening to me for a while.  hopefully it lasts.

for today, even though I know there are many dates approaching that I would rather erase from my memory, I’m okay.  I’m not as anxious as I suspected to be.  that’s not to say I won’t fall apart tomorrow, but for now…. I’m okay.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;

let them ever sing for joy,

and spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may exult in you.

Psalm 5:11

up to date…

October 22, 2009

so here’s what is going on with all of the little situations I write about and then don’t ever really tell you what has become of them.

adoption … nothing ever  happened.  I don’t know.  it just came and went and is over I guess.  we contacted out as far as we could.  the agency, the friend of a friend… and for whatever reason it ended as quickly as it came up.  I am perfectly  fine with that.  really.  it seems to have been a bit of a cathartic (meaning- to purge.  which I did.) experience.  my immediate reaction was as overwhelming as when we left the hospital empty-handed.  I just bawled… and then… everything was okay.  maybe I just needed to see that adoption is an option and maybe… maybe…  someday we will adopt.

potty … cole has been accident free for over a week straight!  amazing.  the most amazing thing is that he was clean and dry the whole time we were gone!  he went on the potty with all of his helpers and even at someone elses house!  good job cole.

biting …  this is always ongoing.  it has been for years.  I don’t know why, but getting ready in the morning is very hard for him, which in turn, makes it hard for me.  some days are better and some are worse.  there really is no way to tell which day I’ll get until we are right in the thick of it.  I haven’t choked him yet… or dropped him.

punkin … gabrielle ended up having mono and another viral infection called CMV which is like mono.  so that is probably why she was soo tired and had the fever for soo long.  she is on the mend.  she gets worn out pretty easily and currently has contracted some other bug that is making her cough and be congested.

bsf … I went back.  I am now in a different group with my leader from last year.  this seems to  have made it easier.  the other women in the group are a little older, and no one is pregnant or nursing.  good.  having someone know my history without having to talk about it is somehow nice.  if I cry or ramble or glaze over, I don’t have to explain.  she knows.  she stumbles over saying ‘luke’ around me too (which is hard to avoid in a bible study)and that is somehow comforting as well.

dawson john …  not that there was anything going on, and there still isn’t.  he’s like brian.  my steady.  my little lover.  he’s growing like crazy in so many ways.  he saved up some money to buy a new bible (one like the big boys at church have) and he has taken it upon himself to have a little quiet time everyday!  wow!  I’m impressed… with God.  that he would stir a little heart to long for more.  it brings me great joy.

pictures … the weekend away was great.  I learned a great deal and have been thinking and figuring how I can get this thing started.  why wouldn’t I do something that I am good at, something I love to do and  get paid for it?!?!  it is still in the process though.

tripping … ummm… yeah… I’m going to have to get back to you on that one.  it is still a day-to-day thing.  a year ago today, everything was still fine.  those days are very closely numbered now.  very.

what I’m dealing with…

October 18, 2009

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as you look at this picture, keep in mind that I have no idea what brian is doing with his face… or hands for that matter.  he’s such a … ? …  I don’t even know what to call him.  this is what I’m dealing with. ; )

I love him.  so much that I can’t even explain it.  there aren’t words.  just like I can’t describe the depth of pain I know, I can’t describe the depth of love either.  he is my rock in this shaky world.   my steadfast love.  whenever I say, ‘I love you’ to him he always says, ‘I love you more’ back.  … … … sometimes I think he’s right.  it isn’t that I don’t love him, as I’ve said before, but he does love me and take care of me at such a level of ‘what can I do to make you happy’, that sometimes I wonder if I can love back as much.

……………………………………

our little adventure was great.  we fall right back into what it was like before kids.  it is so nice to go to bed when you want, get up when you want, eat when you want… the list goes on.  having kids really is a sacrifice.  it is an absolute blessing and yet a sacrifice of self needs and wants.

the countryside of door county is beautiful.  rolling hills, picturesque farms, crashing waves along the shore, little towns and autumn at its peak.  it was amazing.  to look around and see all the handiwork of God.  from the color and tiny details of leaves that cannot be duplicated or captured on film to the vastness of water, so deep and dark.  here He is all around us, in all of our everydayness.  you just have to see  it as you are looking all around.  when we were up on top of a tower in peninsula state park, there amongst the graffiti was a psalm…

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Psalm 104:3

He lays the beams of his chambers  on the waters;

he makes the clouds his chariot;

he rides on the wings of the wind;

very fitting I thought as I gazed out over waters stretching to the horizon, clouds being blown through the sky and the wind in my hair.

…………………………………………….

 

it was good to get away.  to spend some time just being us…  at one point, when we were driving by endless cottages and bed and breakfast places, all promising a romantic stay, I said, ‘we’re not really romantic’.  brian, always with an answer, said, ‘we’re passionate.’  there is a reason I call him sugarmouth.  it’s because he always has an answer that makes me smile. … and he would say that is his main goal … almost all the time.  he’s right of course. …  my hero. …  always there. …  my steady.  I love him.

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secret lovers…

October 13, 2009

I’m heading out of town tomorrow to spend a few days with my lover.  we are heading to door county, WI.  it looks fabulous.  it will be away from here and that in and of it self is fabulous.  we plan to hike around the beautiful state parks and see amazing sunsets out across lake michigan.  we are staying on a golf course on washington island thursday night.  it should be fun.  I love to drive the cart and brian loves to play so it works well for everyone.  ; )

the kids will be fine.  they will be in very capable hands with other very capable hands available if need be.  it takes a whole team of people to get us out of town.  aids for this time and that time and therapy while we are gone to help the aids get a break.  dinner plans and timelines.  medicine inventory and potty information.

being so excited to be away from the kids makes me feel a little hypocritical.  here I am always talking about how much I want my baby and yet here I am so excited to be away from my kids.  which is it?  well….  it is both.  just because luke isn’t here doesn’t mean that I need a break from the 3 that are with me and just because I need a break doesn’t mean that I don’t want luke.  I know all that, but trying to remember it wears me out.

I hope to spend the time focused on what I do have, on this wonderful lover of mine who looks after me so well.  let everything else just fall away and live very much in the present moment.  that’s my goal.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Place me like a seal over your heart,

like a seal on your arm;

for love is as strong as death,

its jealousy unyielding as the grave.

It burns like a blazing fire,

like a mighty flame.

song of songs … 8:6

trip, stumble, fall…

October 12, 2009

you know how when you see someone trip over something, you hold your breath for just a second hoping they don’t get hurt, but then as they go right back into walking you kind of laugh cause everything is fine.  just a little trip.  no big deal.  and then there are the times when you see someone stumbling and you know they are going down and it is going to hurt.  you want to look away and yet you can’t.  you just wince as it happens.  and then there are times when someone just falls.

I’m stumbling…

again I think it has to be the season and the snow and the anniversaries.  since it was so cold the last few days, I’ve had to get out my long sleeved shirts and warmer pajamas.  all I could think was, ‘the last time I wore this I was pregnant with luke’.  I almost couldn’t even wear the shirt.  I almost shut my pajama drawer and just put on my usual pjs.  I almost cried about putting on those  pants with that  shirt.

I’m feeling abit crazy.  like I’m purposely stretching things to make them seem sad.  but I’m not.  my emotions are way out ahead of my rational.  these thoughts and feelings are with me and happening to me without any conscious decision on my part.  like breathing.  like my heart beating.  it seems to be an involuntary reflex at the moment… the season.

over the summer, I would get tripped up by things.  random things that would happen here and there.  I’d trip, but I could regain my footing fairly easily.  now it seems as if I can’t get my feet under me.  I trip over this or that and just when I think I can catch myself and regain control I find myself tripping again before I was even on my feet.  I feel like I am constantly stumbling.  I’m starting to wonder if I am going to be able to pull out of it or if it might be this way for the next couple of months. 

I feel bad for people who are watching and wincing and hoping I don’t take a header into a brick wall.  I feel bad for brian who is still trying so hard to protect me from every little thing that he can… like the other day when he came in with mail and had a couple of maxi-pads on the top of the pile.  I looked at him kind of funny and he just said, ‘I was screening the mail.’  there had been a puffy envelope that he had thought was a little diaper.  he was checking so he could throw it before he came in.  what else has he spared me from?  what else has he carried on his own that I don’t know about?

I know I am being carried by many prayers from righteous friends.  I can’t imagine I would have made it this far without them.  thank you for thinking of me.  thank you for praying for me.  thank you for just being there.  thank you for letting me get things out of my head and out into the light of day so I can look at them a little more clearly.  thank you for the encouragement.  the little comments you leave for me, telling me that you’ve been encouraged by my honesty, my openness, encourage me.  thank you for listening.

continue to pray to the One who keeps me from falling…

no reason to cry…

October 11, 2009

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as I stomp off to the garage, holding back the tears, I try to figure out why I am so emotional.  why does it seem like everything is going wrong today?  I have no patience and I just want to lay in bed and sob.  I tell myself that I have no reason to be so emotional… I have no reason to cry.  no sooner than I thought that to myself, the other side of me… the honest side, said, ‘oh yes you do.’.

it seems like I am thinking about luke all the time.  all these fast approaching 1 year anniversaries feel like they could overtake me at any moment.  a year ago we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl but we were about to find out.  a year ago we thought everything was fine but we were about to find out that it wasn’t.  a year ago the kids were so excited to have a new baby in the house but now they wonder why God would take our baby straight to heaven.  a year ago I was happy… but now… I am not.

there are little reminders all around.  his blanket still gets moved from room to room.  gabrielle still talks about him like he is here.  I just took a sharps container down from on top of the refrigerator that was full of my old needles from the shots I had to take during the pregnancy.

and then there are other things.  things like getting ready to take a family picture without all of the family present.  the first snow, which came so quickly.  I wasn’t ready.  I was hoping  this would be a year of little snowfall.  I was hoping because, every single snowflake makes me think of him.  I can’t even tell you how much I dread to see the snow falling so softly from the sky.  and there are absolutely no words to explain how I fear those remarkably beautiful snowfalls where you can actually see the fine details of each individual, awe inspiring snowflake.

I will still hope that the coming months will not be as bad as I imagine.  that all those 1 year anniversaries will come and go and not drop me to my knees.  that somehow peace that transcends all understanding will carry me through.  that somehow I might find joy in the coming season…. or at least that joy will find me.

I can’t do this…

October 7, 2009

I went to bsf today.  my first real class since gabrielle has had mono for the last 2 weeks and then some.  it didn’t go so well.  I was afraid of that.

first off, it is wednesday.  40 weeks ago today, I delivered luke.  needless to say wednesdays rank 7th out of my favorite days.  I can forget it is wednesday.  I know I can.  I did, a few times over the summer.  but going back into bsf today brought the day of the week front and center.  of course it doesn’t help that a good deal of these 300 or so women know my story.   they give me ‘the look’ or pat my back or just come up and hug me.  all of which is well intended and appreciated… and yet very hard.

as I got into class, and sat down next to the women who is due in december, and welcomed the mom of a new baby and heard why the other mom of a new baby couldn’t be here, I could feel that old familiar ‘run’ sensation creeping in.  I tried to push it down and just carry on.  it wasn’t working.  even when I tried to just keep my head down and not really look or listen to all that was going on around me, it was border line.  then the final blow.  our leader asks us for our answer to, ‘what have you done lately to prove that you believe in Jesus?’.  the answer that I have written down, is about luke.  about how I couldn’t have delivered him if I didn’t believe that there is more than this… more than the here and now.  I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t know  that I will see him again.  of course, I can’t read my answer, because it is making me cry just to read it.  … … … and then the other women start giving their answers.  like, ‘when I have someone over I leave KTIS on, instead of changing the channel.’ and ‘on my FB status, under religion, I put christian and some verses.’

… … …

I can’t do this.  I am so not where they are.  those things are good.  and those things are important.  congratulations for making those steps, but … that is not where I am.  and  to listen to it all sounds so ridiculous, that I want to scream and go running from the building.

I didn’t.  I held together.  eyes full of tears.  I got upstairs to lecture as quickly as I could without talking to anyone or making eye contact and then someone hugged me. … … and then there was someone behind her waiting to hug me.  it was too much.  I broke down.

I don’t really know what to do.  I feel like I’m falling apart.  I want to be at bible study, I’ve always loved going so much and now…  I’d rather stay home.  it isn’t the study part as much as the where and when and who.  what to do, what to do. 

one of the things I read today as we were sitting in lecture was about Jesus changing simon’s name to peter.  it said that Jesus named him not for what he was but for what, by God’s grace, he would become.  that’s wonderful.  it gives me hope.  the other thing I heard was about how God uses people and circumstance to draw people to Jesus.  like andrew and philip.  this also gives me hope.  it makes it easier to accept that I am so small and just can’t understand the big broad plan that God has in mind.  by His grace I will become something, I will bring others into the fold.  that’s my prayer for now, that’s what I’m going to go with as I try to figure out my place in bible study.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen.

Jude 24,25

my God, my mechanic…

October 6, 2009

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these may sound like small things.  things of no particular consequence.  I am going to view them as little blessings in my day-to-day life.  little flakes of sweet manna that help me carry on.

first, let me tell you that I’ve been to the shop alot lately with our van.  keep in mind this is no ordinary van.  it has been outfitted to have a wheelchair drive in and out of it on a daily basis.  this makes getting around soo much easier, but adds to the list of things that can go wrong.

last week, I was reporting to brian that the van was still making that wierd sound.  a sound I knew to be coming from a wheel because it was rhythmical and disappeared the faster I went.  I also told him that when I would accelerate from a stop, all the gauges would freak out and I almost stalled.  oh, and the tires are still out of balance, even tough we just had them balanced 4 weeks ago.  ( I’m sure he loves  getting this call every morning about 9:10 while he is working)  : ) 

‘sounds like new brake pads and either a battery or an alternator problem’, he tells me.  ‘I’ll make some calls.’   of course he calls me right back and tells me to go to the parts store and have them hook it up so they can tell me what to get.  so my left hand turn turns into a very illegal 3 lane change and a right turn.

the worker guy, tim I believe, lifts up the hood to hook up the checker-thingy and says that the problem is probably just the loose connection he sees on the battery.  sure enough.  it is.  YEAH!  that was free, easy and tim didn’t treat me like a girl.  1 problem solved.  thank you God for little blessings.

now I go to goodyear so they can rebalance my tires.  the goodyear guy, I think his name is nick, tells me that their balance machine had been off so they’ll just balance them all now.  YEAH!  that was free, easy and nick didn’t treat me like a girl either.  thank you God for bits of manna.

lastly, I head to rollex, because when brian had the tires off to replace the brake pads the other day, to stop the afore mentioned rhythmical sound,  he noticed the brake line was rubbing.   becky, who never treats me like a girl, has someone look at the brake lines and discovers that they are rubbing and the van isn’t safe to drive.  she tells me to leave the van, she’ll get me a loaner and that they will cover it because it is a modification issue.  YEAH!  that was free, easy, becky is always nice to me AND I don’t have to worry about having my brakes go out when I’m off to pick up the kids later.  thank you God for keeping me safe, when I didn’t even know I was in danger. 

plus, the guy at good year said the noise was from the emergency brake and it was just because it was rusty from not being used.  he just wiggled it around a little and now, no more noise.  brian returned the brake pads.  and all is well.

if I hadn’t been complaining about the noise, brian wouldn’t have tried to replace the brake pads and he wouldn’t have noticed that the line was rubbing.  now, everything is fixed or being fixed and I don’t have to pay for any of it.  YEAH!

today I am thankful for all of these little things.  my God, my mechanic.

back to reality.

after a nice weekend to myself, where I mainly think of myself, monday comes in not so nice.  I feel like I have extra patience because of my time away.  I wake up not feeling pre-weighed-down.  and then I go to wake up cole.

usually this is one of my favorite times with him.  he’s all warm and cuddly and just like every other kid in the world.  no sense of nonworking limbs or the inability to talk when you are laying in bed, under the covers.  he usually smiles and curls up with me really tight and says, ‘so hungry’.  it’s wonderful.

 … not today.

today he is mad from the get go.  growling and whining.  throwing ‘paws’. (his little blue thermal stuffed kitty)  he doesn’t want to get up and he doesn’t want to stay laying down.  he doesn’t want to eat or to go to the bathroom.  he’s just crabby.  I try to give him some time to change his attitude.  it doesn’t work.  so I take him to the bathroom anyway.  as I am hoisting his 4 foot long, 60 pound body over my shoulder to carry him to the bathroom, he sinks his front teeth into the back of my shoulder.  not like a true bite, just his top teeth.  he’s really good at it and it hurts just as much.  I told him to stop and kind of shook my shoulder to move his head, still maintaining my patience.  then we sat on the potty where he shook his head ‘no’ at me and made his ‘butt face’ at me. (this would be his mad face.  he wrinkles up his eyes and purses his lips together really tight.)  I gently remind him he has to go in the morning like everyone else does.  I have him lean his head on my shoulder to help him relax.  he sinks his teeth in again.  I shake him loose again.  finally he pees a little.  a little.   I know there is more, but he isn’t going.

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fine.

I wrangle him out onto the couch to eat.  he doesn’t want to eat.  fine.  I tell  him to let me know when he changes his attitude.  of course 2 seconds later he calls for me but hasn’t really changed anything.  I let him wait and he calls again.  this time he seems in a better mood.  he wants to read the franklin book he checked out at school, about the hospital. 

everything seems better now.  he eats.  he wants to take his book to school and he is focused on that.  I let him sit there to watch blue’s clues and look at his franklin book while I help punkin get ready. 

now it is about 8:30 and he needs to get his shoes on and hop into his wheelchair.  I go to pick him up off the couch, which he is kind of sliding off of.  his legs are hanging over the edge so that only his butt is still on the couch.  I notice an unusual dark spot. … sigh …  he peed.  a lot.  ahhhhhh.  the bus will be here in 5 minutes.  he’s mad at me now because he has to get new clothes on… and quickly.  so I try to change him as quickly and nicely as I can.  meanwhile he is scratching and screaming at me.  flailing.  jerking his stiff arms and legs all over the place.  I’m about ready to shake him!

finally dressed.  shoes on.  into the chair we go.  of course, as I pick him up to get in he is sinking his teeth into me again.  he won’t bend to sit.  he’s making the butt face.  I seriously consider just letting go of him.  just letting him fall where he may. … I don’t.  I get him to bend at the waist enough to get his seatbelt on and try to do his other chest harness.  he’s pawing at me the whole time.  now I have to give him his medicine before he leaves and he bites the syringe so hard it almost breaks.  seriously.  this kid can drive me crazy!

the bus pulls up.  I drive him out, make a ‘choking someone’ sign to the bus driver and hand him off.  I won’t miss him.  I’m glad someone else will be helping him today.  of course, he won’t be mean to them at all.  oh no.  he is ALWAYS nice to everyone else.  that drives me nuts too.  I’d like someone else to see how mean he is sometimes… besides brian. 

hopefully it’s over.  he’ll come home happy, like noting even happened.  and maybe tomorrow when we get up and do it all over again, he’ll be ‘nice cole’.  maybe.

fear…

October 2, 2009

there is a fear creeping up in me.  one that I know and have dealt with before.  one that I had hoped to not have and yet it shows up every now and again.

why is gabrielle so sick?  why does she still have a fever?  it has been 12 days!!  umm… I thought 4 days of fever was worrisome.  I can go 3 and not blink an eye.  day 4 comes and it is time to go in and see the doctor.  I know the drill.  but this is driving me nuts!!  we’ve been in 3 times and even had an echo done for goodness sakes.  I don’t know what else they would test her for, but it seems like there should be something.  an answer.

of course my mind can go crazy.  taking me down dark paths of ‘what ifs’.  what if it is something serious and they’re just missing it.  what if by the time they figure it out there will be unrepairable damage and they will just look at me, with a sad face and say, ‘sorry.’ ?  what if she is taken form me too????

I really don’t like being at the mercy of other people.  doctors.  I expect them to know.  to figure it out.  I don’t have a lot of patience, especially as the fear grows.  I just want them to give a prescription, a good  tasting prescription, that will make it all better.

ahh, so maybe you can tell I’m feeling a little frantic tonight.  I’m having a harder time pulling my self down to reality.  it’s taking me longer to try to remember that we have excellent doctors and hospitals.  we have insurance that covers all these things.  they have done everything they can think of and they are keeping tabs on her.  as the fear gains speed, it takes more and more effort to remember WHO is in control.  WHO is not surprised about her fever tonight.  WHO holds her very breath in HIS hands.

I hear Him saying… lean in.  I got ya.  everything will be just fine.  take a couple deep breaths.  she’s okay.  she’s just got mono and it’s gonna take a little time to get better.  really.  she’ll be all right.

of course, I don’t hear Him audibly.  I’d like to.  it seems like it would be so much more reassuring to actually hear  His voice tell me that it will be okay.  but would I trust Him more just because I could hear Him?  probably not.  if I could hear Him, then I would want to see Him, then I would want to touch Him.  and the list goes on.  and this is where faith steps in.  just trust.  just rest in the knowledge of God being a good and gracious God.  know that He is detailed and organized.  know that He holds the master plan and everything will work out for His glory.  He said so. 

okay… I’m feeling a little better all ready.  I just needed to talk myself down abit. 

part of this blogging thing that I like so much is the looking up of definitions.  I like to know exactly what I am saying.  so as I was writing this I looked up fear, fearful, fearsome…  fearsome meaning, ‘causing fear’.  the part that I like was that the very next word in the dictionary was feasible.  which means, ‘possible, likely, probable’.  so, what I’ve come up with is that even though this fever is fearsome for me, the likelihood of gabrielle getting better is very feasible.  I’m going to focus on the feasible and not the fear.

thanks for listening.  especially when I ramble.  : )