Multiple Sclerosis

It's almost mind-bogling that it's been three years. 
3 years full of their own challenges, trials, and heartache.

Three very long and yet oh-so-fast years since the line of demarcation in my life.

the line that almost visibly marked itself
 - before multiple sclerosis, after multiple sclerosis.


I try hard not to talk about multiple sclerosis - 
*not* because I'm not okay with it, because only through the grace of God, 
I am very, very okay with MS.
 I can discuss symptoms, challenges, problems 
without any of the shock-and-awe I had three years ago.

however, I never want to be one of those people
 that goes on and on and on about health issues or my personal problems.  I know everyone has their own {hard} that's equally challenging and faith-building, and I never diminish that.
 MS is just my own personal journey. 

But Psalm 107 says 
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.

Oh, how the Lord has redeemed me! so much grace, so much mercy, so much redemption -
How can I NOT talk about it?

So, as I become so very, very close to the day that three years ago sent us into
 a whirlwind of medical tests, deep, deep emotions, 
and a season of our hearts crying out to Him more intensely than ever before,
I'm saying so.

Saying how He has been so very, very faithful.  
Through His sovereign plan,
He has allowed me to walk this journey of MS.
He met me so deeply, so personally amidst the pain,
that now, looking back on my diagnosis, it was one of the sweetest, richest times of my spiritual life than ever before.  I could almost feel the presence of the Lord in my life. so many mornings with coffee and tear-stained pages, verses like
{they loved not their lives, even unto death} 
touched my heart in such powerful ways, 
they kept me from racing ahead with the overwhelming fear and anxiety that a progressive neurological disease brought.

Over the next few days, I will continue to write.  Write about what He's taught me through MS, what He's done in my heart, and how every single day my tingling, numbness, weakness, only provides such a tangible reminder of His grace, and How I need Him desperately - as we all so do.

Lord, How we need you!

I write not for anything I've done -
ALL for what HE has done.
for our All-Sovereign, All-Powerful Lord has done so very, very much.

Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so.


When your child-bearing years end...

like grains of sand in the palm of my hand,
I can almost feel the time slipping through my fingers.

it's slipping so hard and so fast that the tighter I squeeze the faster it goes.
it goes and goes and goes, 
and my heart cries and tears come.

the time goes.
 the last few months of having my baby-girl be a semblance of {baby}.
she turns 6 in a few short months, and from our oldest son,
i know that 5-to-6, Kindergarten-to-first-grade
makes them grow up. a lot.  from little kid to {big kid}.

a sweet throwback to 3-year-old gracie, the age she is in my heart.

it's a heartache I know all parents know,
but my heart aches even more,
as I never knew she'd be our last one.

until last July 14, when the hard and fast adoption laws sealed our fate,
and ended my dreams of a larger family.

 it's a new reality,
and I'm trusting in the Lord's sovereignty more than ever before.

I'm trying to embrace the qualities of having slightly-older-kiddos.
qualities like sleep. a slightly more picked-up house. the ability to drink my coffee while it's {mostly} still warm.  seeing them develop a sibling relationship.
being able to do fun, fun kid activities and have them actually enjoy them and me not just be exhausted from the effort of *getting there*.

but my heart hurts for the days of littler kids, days that I didn't know would be our last until too late.
my heart aches for shopping in the toddler department, signing up for preschool classes, playing in sensory bins, and rocking sweet babies to sleep in fuzzy, footed jammies.

I'd like to think I would have cherished those days a bit more had I known they'd be our last.
in my heart of hearts, I thought Miles would be in our family.

but now that our decision of being a family of 4 has been made for us,
the Lord's soveriengty rules my heart more than ever before.

although I think my heart will always ache,
I trust in truth.

truth as in
...the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places... good thing does He withold from those whose walk is blameless...
...all things work for good...

so, perhaps we'll be able to minister to families that also have their child-bearing years end on a "bad" note. perhaps someone, somewhere, will be encouraged to be radical with their faith and orphans, no matter what the journey will hold.  perhaps my MS will progress rapidly in the years to come, and it will be a blessing in disguise that we have {only} 2 children to care for.

There are reasons in the heartache, reasons we will never see.
as a dear mentor told me recently,
nothing happens for nothing.
so, I'm trusting that He, in a way that only our All-Sovereign, All-Mighty Savior can do,
will work my heartache for good.
and For His Glory.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday Favorites

This week has been a little out-of-the-ordinary with our 5-year-old's recovery from her tonsils/adenoids/throat surgery.

Some of my favorite bloggers do a Friday Favorites - linking up with them this week. 

My favorite things from this week?
 a husband that loves me enough to re-paint our bedroom.
totally love this paint color!
and my husband. ;-)

my 8-year-old's first devotional book.
We showed him how to use it, how to look up verses in his Bible and underline them as he likes them...and the very first morning he came downstairs and sat with me at the table to read while I finished up my Bible reading. 
I totally choked back tears! sweet boy.

Cheetah jammies on a 5-year-old.
{she asked if the doctors would recognize her, or if they'd just see a cheetah. and then said, 'oh, well, they'll see my face." like, for sure that's the only way they'd know she's not a cheetah. :-)}

a hopsital that's amazing with children!

great necklaces at good prices!

toy organization.
my 5-year-old gets her OCD honestly. ;-)

Happy Weekend!