Well, it's been a couple weeks since 'The Great Chocolate Massacre' and, dare I say, things are slowly getting back to normal here. Usually a disappearance in the blog posts can be sure indication that things are barely being held together on the home front. I won't lie to you, the past little bit has been rough. A very tired mama, a sick papa and four kids who...are kids!
I *may or may not have* spent a few days down in the dumps. Thankfully I was given a beautiful reminder on Wednesday which is forcing me to change my point of view. We had had quite a few dull, dreary days around here and, with the changes in the weather and all the fog, the trees, bushes and fence posts had all received a good, heavy layer of hoar frost. Early in the week I remember thinking how the poor trees looked like I felt - weary, burdened and defeated. The hoar frost was so thick and heavy it was weighing the branches down till some of them looked like they might break right off. My spirit felt the same.
However, on Wednesday, all of that changed when the sun came out...
I couldn't capture it on my camera, but the sparkle and beauty of the hoar frost on the branches was a sight to behold. The trees, which had looked so sad and heavy earlier in the week, had transformed into glorious, radiant creations. A dazzling reflection of the sunbeams. A beautiful picture of a devotion I had read earlier in the week on 2 Corinthians 5:17: 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.' As I struggled to get out of the slump I was in, the author reminded me that "The problem is that we seek changes by our own will rather than by turning our lives over in faith to the One who has given us new life. The profound testimony of Scripture is that the blood of Jesus Christ and the death of the Son of God is sufficient to completely free us...". In my own strength I was tired, frustrated and overwhelmed. And yet God promises us abundant life (John 10:10). So, like the trees which raised their branches in glorious praise and testimony to the greatness of God, we too will lift our voices in thanksgiving for the overwhelming goodness of our Father.
So, here's a little update, keeping it all in perspective...
We started out the month with three trips to London. The first two included long drives in bad weather and sitting in waiting rooms for two to three hours. I definitely complained about this to anyone who would listen to me. However, the outcome of these appointments was all so positive.
All the doctors were absolutely thrilled with Jude's progress. He's doing so well! We've begun daily dilations which, without going into detail, are awful. BUT I keep telling myself that we can be thankful Jude will never remember any of this AND that when we are done this process in a couple months, Jude will have a perfect, wonderful little bum :) It still blows my mind when I think about it. We also had an appointment with the Hand and Limb specialist. He is a wonderful, caring and compassionate man and we are so thrilled that instead of referring Jude on to a plastic surgeon, he is taking Jude's care on himself! He is the best of the best and we are so blessed to have him take Jude on.
We originally thought (and had suggested to us by other doctors) that they would just cut Jude's thumb off. So we were completely floored when we were told by the specialist of their plans for Jude. There is a procedure that entails cutting off the thumb AND the index finger. The finger is then adjusted a bit and reattached to replace the thumb. The brain will 're-wire' itself to use the finger as a thumb. This is a highly successful amputation/fusion but the criteria for undergoing this procedure is quite specific. Apparently, Jude is a perfect candidate. So, in the fall, we will return to the hospital and Jude will be the proud new owner of a 'thinger' :)
Also, yesterday marked the date that was set for Jude's third surgery to close up his colostomy. However, instead of hooked up to wires, tubes and monitors in a hospital room, right now he is snuggled up with Mr. Monkey, sleeping in his own bed, and will spend the day playing, snuggling and getting loved on by his whole family. God is SO good!
We have a shelf on our hutch that has been completely taken over by 'thank you card paraphernalia". Every time I look at it I feel overwhelmed. To date I've made, written and delivered 43 thank you cards. I have another 23 to go. I need to stop looking at it as another thing on the ever growing list of "Things I Have To Do" and look at it as a reminder of 66 things to be thankful for!! We really and truly have been completely overwhelmed by the love and support of our family, friends, neighbours and church. We are so blessed!
And lastly, for now, thankful for the glorious sunny weather and the inspiration of a wonderful Mama friend (thanks Amanda!). On Wednesday, instead of dressing the kids up and shoving them out the door, I actually went outside with them. At first I was feeling guilty because I should have been cleaning the oven and washing machine filter out while the kids were out of the house (and my hair), but it didn't take long for me to see that playing outside together was much more important. Besides, the oven and washing machine have been on the 'To Do' list for the past two months now, another day won't hurt!