Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Cathedrals --- (author unknown)

Moms, remember we are all making a difference... For those children here with us, our building is still in progress. For those already with the Lord, our task is complete.
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just got back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Carol , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to your strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don 't want my daughter to tell the friend she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
"She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."- Genesis 16:13
Lately I've been feeling a little sorry for myself. I've been feeling alone in my job as a mother. I've been feeling overwhelmed at all the responsibility I have in raising 4 boys, especially Gavin. I've been feeling unnoticed and a little worthless to the world. I find myself so consumed with taking care of my family and not having the time to help out at school, like I used to, or to be of assistance to others. Instead, I find myself making up medicine syringes, giving nebulizer treatments, changing diapers, helping with homework, driving to appointments and soccer games and practices and most of the time stuck at home to ensure that Gavin stays as healthy as possible. Most of the time I am able to stay positive about my situation, especially when I look to God in the process. But, sometimes, like this week, doing all of this leaves me feeling pitiful and restless. How many times have I been told, "You are so lucky to not have to work! You are so lucky to be able to just stay home with your children!" Not work?! Try overworked! Lucky?! Try extremely Blessed! I know that I'm blessed and I wouldn't have it any other way, but some days I need a new perspective. Today I was given this perspective by reading the above story! I am not alone and even when nobody else notices, God does! So, I should realize that all that I do should be done for the glory and honor of God! It may be monotonous at times, but I'm "building cathedrals" for the Lord! What better job could I ask for?!
"Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation." Psalm 62:1

Friday, April 18, 2008

Before, During and After.....

Gavin had a busy morning today! Unfortunately, it all entailed doing things that he doesn't really like to have done! I changed his feeding tube button that goes directly into his stomach (you should do this at least every 6 months I'm told), he got a hair cut (this is hard on both of us since he doesn't sit up on his own and I have to do it with him lying down) and he got a bath (Gavin has never been fond of this, although he is liking it better since I started doing it in the kitchen sink!) Anyway, now he's like a new little man! Here are some pictures of before, during and after:

As, you can see, he got a little worn out from it all! I think he looks really cute, but Caleb says he looks "Silly!"
Gavin is still doing well (for Gavin!) He is still seizure free and staying healthy! We got back results from the sleep study. They said he does NOT have sleep apnea---Yay! But, he does have "primary snoring." They say it could be from a number of reasons, such as, allergies. I think it's because he has a narrow airway, slightly larger tongue size and, well..., he's got it in his genes! :) So, this was great news, we won't have to put him on O2 or a machine at night!
Gavin continues to gag and spit up a lot. This worries me because he does it right after his meds are given and I'm afraid that he's spitting them up, but he's doing well, so I guess I shouldn't worry! Gavin also continues to struggle developmentally, which is probably due to the stroke that he had. We are still working with him, hoping that someday he'll at least be able to sit up on his own. Please pray that he can make some strides with this and that we can remain patient, hopeful and at peace with God's plan! Have a wonderful weekend!
"Peace be with you" John 20:19

Monday, April 14, 2008

"A Quilt Story"

Once upon a time there was a family with seven daughters. All were charming and fair and very close to their family, especially their Grandmother. She was a wise, delightful woman who had taken the time to be with each granddaughter and loved each one immensely.When the eldest daughter turned twenty, the Grandmother showed up early in the day to greet her with a beautiful package – a large box covered in white shiny paper and a sparkling gold bow. The granddaughter ripped open the package hastily and uncovered a priceless treasure. Underneath the tissue was a linen quilt hand-stitched with homemade lace, appliqué, and with her name embroidered in silk. All of the daughters were amazed and the birthday girl cried as she hugged her Grandmother who had put so much time and love into this masterpiece.As the years passed, each girl received a quilt on her 20th birthday. Most of the granddaughters cherished the gift but several took it for granted and neglected to care for it as they should. But the next to the youngest daughter, who had quite a special relationship with her Grandmother, longed for the day she turned twenty. She had spent hours dreaming of her quilt and sharing her plans with her Grandmother. She planned to save her gift for her wedding day and then to use it on her first bed. Later she would pass it on to her children and they would pass it on to the next generation.Finally the big day arrived, her 20th birthday. Sure enough the doorbell rang and in walked her beloved grandparent. But instead of a big beautiful box, she had something unexpected in her arms… two long wooden beams and a stack of material. With a warm hug, she whispered to the child, “I have something extra special for you!” The granddaughter felt her face flush and her heart sink – where was her quilt? The Grandmother explained, “I want to teach you so many things, not just about quilting but I want this time together to share with you the wisdom of my years. Let’s work on this together.” The young girl feigned appreciation, took the gift, and quickly went to her room where she sobbed uncontrollably. She was so angry and disappointed. She threw the quilt frame and scraps into the corner, covered them with an old blanket and vowed that she would never accept this.There were so many questions running through her mind. Why did her grandmother pick on her? She hadn’t made the others work for their quilt. Did she really consider this a gift? And the other sisters – ugh! It seemed they would all feel sorry for her now. Why? Why? Why? When she was the one who had taken care of her Grandmother last spring? Why, when one of her sisters had even lost her gift at college last year? Worse yet, as the days wore on, no one seemed to understand and she avoided it all – the items under the blanket in the corner and her Grandmother, who visited often asking her when they could get started …There is no ending – yet. The moral of the story is that many women receive the beautiful gift of a child and take it for granted or even abuse it. When we conceive it is natural to expect what everyone else receives, a healthy child. But for whatever reason we were chosen. You were chosen to be the mother of your child. God is offering you not only the gift of a child but also a time of intimate training, guided by His loving hand. He wants you to sit down with Him and the scraps and He’ll show you how to piece them together.

I read this on another blog and decided to post it on ours as well! I believe this story can apply to a lot of things in life. We may have been given (or not given) something, and we may not be pleased with this gift, but we should accept whatever God's plan for us is and trust Him to help us get through it. This life is never going to be just as we want it to be. So, we should always strive to do what we are called to do and do it for the glory and honor of God! "Bloom where you're planted." This is a quote I've heard many times, but it makes more sense to me now, since having Gavin. I've added this quote and several others to the sidebar. Enjoy!

"Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

God's Wonderful Creation

These are pictures from our trip to the Creation Museum this past weekend. We had a wonderful time and came home refreshed from what we saw. This museum is just outside of Cincinatti, OH and well worth our trip! It was wonderful going to a museum were everything in it had a reference to God's amazing creation! My favorite part of the museum was probably the planetarium. I sat there, amazed, and feeling smaller than I have ever felt before! I felt so humbled by what I saw, knowing that God had made it all! Yet, I felt so significant at the same time! I was literally moved to tears! It just moved me so much to see all that He created in 6 short days and that out of all that He created, He holds us as being most worthwhile! We, out of everything that He made, have been given the opportunity of life eternal, for those who believe in Him! You just HAVE to see the planetarium show to understand what I mean! We bought a DVD of it, if anyone is interested in watching it, or better yet, take a trip to see it for yourself! If you are interested in more information go to http://www.answersingenesis.org/

The museum is set up into many areas and is based on what they call the 7 C's (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation.) Basically, starting with God's creation, to our fall through sin, to Christ dying on the cross for our sins and what is yet to come, when He returns again. The place is enlightening and lots of fun! And, No, I don't earn commission by saying any of this! I just had to share it with all of you, because we enjoyed it so much! :)

There was a section that talked about how because of the fall of man, sin entered the world and things like genetic abnormalities came about. I've heard people say things like, "How could a just and loving God let something like Down syndrome happen?!", Or many other bad things that happen in this world.....Well, I know why. Because I know this, it makes dealing with it all a little easier to understand and accept. God did NOT plan for this to happen! He created Adam and Eve and everything perfectly! He gave them ALL that they ever needed or could want. There was no sickness, no war, no hurting, but they wanted the one thing that He told them to not eat of; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, because God created man with a free will, Adam and Eve chose to not obey God and ate of the tree. Did they do this because they were hungry and had nothing else to eat? No! They had everything they needed, yet they HAD to try the fruit from the ONE tree that they were told NOT to eat from! From this moment on, man has sinned and God has had to 'punish' us for our sins, or in other words, we have to suffer the consequences of our sin. It kind of reminds me of Caleb. I will be telling Nolan not to do something and inevitably, Caleb just HAS to do it to see if the same rules apply to him! Then I have to punish him as well! Thankfully for mankind, God sent His son to die on the cross for our sins and although we suffer here on earth, we have the opportunity of PERFECT life eternally with Him some day! AWESOME!!!

Gavin continues to do well! Still no seizures since January!!! He had his EEG last week, but we won't get results for awhile. He continues to stay healthy as well! I am SO happy that we have not been in the hospital with him since October! Sometimes I start to get really stressed thinking that he could have to go back in anyday! I hope and pray that we continue this streak of healthiness! I do not want to go back to those stressful days! Sometimes I think that God may have put us in that situation for so long to be able to deal with Gavin's future a little better. The fact that he is NOT in the hospital, NOT on oxygen and NOT having seizures makes the fact that he may never walk or talk, a little easier to accept. Being at home and not watching him suffer is enough for me! Gavin does continue to gag a lot and is now spitting up when he gags. This probably means that the stomach wrap, that they did when his feeding tube was placed, has come loose. This isn't a big deal, except that Gavin could aspirate what he spits up, into his lungs, which could lead to pneumonia. So, we need to really make sure that the spit-up comes out of his mouth and not down onto his lungs! We just sit him up or roll him over to do this. All in all, Gavin is doing great for Gavin! For this, We are Thankful!!!

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." Genesis 1:1 & 31

Love, Alicia and Family