Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Because I've Promised Him the Glory

I planned on writing this post yesterday, before the phone call at dinner. Between my tears, I had no desire to write about blessings. Then I remembered that I have committed to God a promise that through everything, I would bring Him glory. Good or bad times. So, it seems more fitting to write this now, while walking in another small valley. 

Lydia's had a rash on her face that comes and goes, and the allergist and I have been on the hunt to crack the mysterious allergen case. Lots of tests were coming back negative -yay!- but still, no leads in the puzzle. Her latest blood work rechecked foods we'd already looked at in the past. I 100% expected these results to come back normal. So much, in fact, that it even slipped my mind that she had it done. Last night while I was cooking dinner, the doctor called me with the blood results. It's never a good sign when the doc calls your house after hours. Lydia's wheat test came back positive. Wheat. One of the foods that I have been so thankful for over and over that she can actually have, because it's in her favorite foods. She would try to eat an entire loaf of homemade bread if I let her. It is possible that the test's a false positive, so we started the food challenge process today. No wheat for two weeks, then re introduce it and watch for any rash/signs of allergic reaction. 

I know that there are much worse things. I really do know that- but that thought couldn't stop the floodgate of tears all evening, for her and also for myself. If she really is allergic to wheat, that will make her seventh food allergy. Finding ways to feed her safely is not easy. Baking and cooking already consumes several hours of my day. I have no idea how to bake gluten free. Everything I make, pretty much, has flour in it. For now, I bought Enjoy Life brand cookies, crackers, etc. to get through these two weeks. Most of the other gluten free products I found in the store last night contain her other allergens. If it turns out she truly is allergic to wheat...well, I'll cross that baking bridge when we get there. 

So- onto the blessings. 

1. Food allergies.
When I first found out about her food allergies (at least two of them anaphylactic/immediately life threatening) I had no idea how this would bring any good. Looking back, I can actually see blessings. God planted a desire in my heart long before allergies cropped up to start baking and cooking from scratch. He even gave me a joy for it. I never really cared for cooking before. I didn't even know how to make mac n cheese my freshman year of college. 

              Blessing: Our family eats much healthier. Very little fast food, mostly organic, all certified non-GMO. 
             Blessing: My faith has grown exponentially. Years ago, I prayed that God would never give my children a food allergy, because it would be more than I could handle. I would be a paranoid ball of stress. Instead, He answered that prayer by saying, "No. Trust your children in My loving care. I will take care of them." He didn't cause her food allergies. He isn't the cause of our pain and anguish. He is Healer and Comforter. In His wisdom that I can't begin to understand, He allowed the allergies into her life, but with a purpose. And yes, I fully trust Him. I still cry, I still crumble under the weight at times, but He always picks me up. The sheer number of her food allergies would have broken me on my own. My anxiety would have taken control of me. It is an absolute miracle that I can be genuinely at peace and happy every day. A miracle. Praise God. 
           Blessing for Lydia: Still not sure, other than the healthy eating. She's becoming a stronger person because of it, I'm sure. We'll see the blessings in time. 

2. Epilepsy
Part of me still says, REALLY? Asthma, food allergies, ok. Epilepsy? Really?? But in reality, she has the best case scenario. Her seizures are controlled on twice- daily medication, which is so great. Sometimes it takes multiple medications or surgery to get to where she is. Recent test results made me worry so much about her cognitive development- but in the past two weeks, I discovered she can recite her ABCs, count to 10, and recognizes several colors. Her speech has taken off as well. 
              Blessings: Bigger faith, conquering more fear, easily controlled seizures.

There are so many more blessings to tell, but a bad night's sleep doesn't make a good memory. The point is- I share so much about our life because I truly feel He is working through her and wants me to talk about it. I hear a voice in my head tell me that nobody really cares, that they are sick of hearing about it, that it sounds like whining. A bigger voice, and the one I decide to listen to, says that God has a plan, and no matter what that plan is, I am to share how He is working in our family. I also do it to request prayer- because prayer works! The night Lydia had her big seizure, I literally could feel the prayer of saints covering her, and received supernatural peace.

So latest prayer request? No wheat allergy!! I'll be faithful to my God no matter the result, but am praying so hard that the food challenge reveals no wheat allergy. I realize how good it feels to know people are praying for my daughter, so in return, please let me know if you have prayer requests of your own. I pray the most while doing the laundry, and seeing that I have two baskets full upstairs to put away- I have the time on my hands. 

James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Psalm 66:1-4 Shout for joy to God, all the earth! 

Sing the glory of His name; 

    make His praise glorious. 
 Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds! 
    So great is Your power
    that Your enemies cringe before You.
 All the earth bows down to You;
    they sing praise to You,
    they sing the praises of Your name.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sewing First

I've created a few things with my sewing machine over the years, but never using a pattern. I've made a hair bow holder, sleeping bag, burp cloths, pillowcase dress, and baby blankets- but all by winging it, and never using precise measurements. Obviously I'm not a perfectionist, and sewing is a perfect example. I like to get things done- snip-snap, get it finished. I hate dilly dallying. I never have a future in quilting. The closest I ever came to sewing anything in a precise way was when I made a nursing cover at my seamstress/best friend Amy's house. She showed me how to do everything, and almost literally held my hand through every step. I wish she could move in with me. Or at least live in the same state.

Today, I made Brooke a skirt- and I actually used a pattern (download it here) and measured stuff. It's even reversible! It took me three times as long as it should have, and I"m sure that anyone who sews past a beginner level could probably tear my skills apart looking at it- but, I finished it, it fits her, and she loves it! I am so excited. She can't wait to wear it tomorrow.