I was so happy to find this particular shirt at a local consignment show!!! Rhema’s shirt reads “Everyone is thankful for me” and it’s identical to the shirt I had for her back in 2010 when she was born. Back in 2010 however, our family never got to see her in it as she was home from the NICU, her back was still open and we could not travel. I sent photos of her wearing her then 9 month shirt, but our family never got to see her in person. I LOVE this shirt as it captures my feelings completely. I’m SOOOO thankful for my Rhema.
Shortly after Thanks Giving last year many of you know we lost our home and sold as much of our belongings as possible and moved in with family. It’s been a year this month that we’ve been home living with my folks. This brings me to the second thing I’m thankful for — my family. Our brief journey thus far with Rhema had been a difficult one: her surprise diagnosis, her extended time in the NICU, five surgeries to date and ongoing medical care and multiple, ongoing therapies. Through it all my family has been there… praying, calling, traveling back and forth and staying with us extensively while we were still in Tennessee. And then when the final blow struck i.e. loosing our home, they’ve continued to be here for us by allowing us to stay with them. My sister repainted my old high school room from the old pink to a colorful, couple-appropriate living space for me and my hubby and the closet that Rhema sleeps in, my sister painted pink and decorated it for Rhema! Now, because we are still not back on our feet financially to get our own place, the same sister is giving up her childhood room to our precious Rhema so she has a larger space to live in rather than a closet. And my folks tell us that whenever we do move out Rhema has to stay… ha ha ha! Such love and warmth on a daily basis have allowed us the time to process through all the devastation that has laid waist to our family over the last two years. This move may not have been in our exact “plans” but it’s been a good place to heal for our little family. For that I am eternally thankful.
I am eternally thankful for ALL of our medical and therapy team members! We’ve worked hard to surround Rhema with folks who are the best in their field and who have a heart to see her not only survive, but thrive. We feel good about our team, even though many of the choices we’ve made take us far away on a weekly basis; Rhema is worth every mile I drive. Next week we, as I’ve mentioned, we meet with her primary medical team to discuss next steps in Rhema’s mobility care and in her urological care. We covet your prayers next Wednesday as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and our medical team’s advice for our Rhema. We have faith that we will hear from the Lord and have peace to know exactly what next steps are needed.
Rhema and I both are VERY, eternally thankful for her daddy. He is a wonderful husband to me and is always seeking the Lord for our family. We’ve been through a lot together and some days are better than others, but in the end thankfully the Lord always help us keep our heart toward one another. Having so much loss and destruction occur in such a short period of time can destroy an individual, a marriage, a home, a Rhema…. I am thankful that even with all these battles we’ve fought side by side together we’ve never turned our swords on one another. There are days when it’s appeared the enemy would win and we would loose not only our will to fight, but we would loose each other… I’m thankful that we both have been obedient to hear that still small voice of the Lord inside encouraging us to not allow that to happen. I’m being real folks, stress and loss can destroy but we have chosen and choose daily (moment to moment) not allow ourselves and our family to be swallowed up. I am thankful to the Lord that HE is a Sure Foundation, that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that He had put His spirit into my husband to give him the fortitude to be the husband and the father our little family needs. Praise the Lord for REAL men who take up their cross daily and follow Christ! Praise the Lord I’ve been given that kind of man and daddy for my Rhema!
Lastly, I am especially thankful that to be with my oldest son this Thanks Giving. He is my step-son, but I’ve never considered him to be a “step” son– I gave him (and his baby brother) my heart irrevocably in year 2000 when I said “I do” to their father and that will never change. He is a Marine now and going to defend our nation in Afghanistan the beginning of next year and we are all proud of him for his service. Mommy’s heart is proud, yet concerned and many prayers will be lifted upon his deployment. Rhema is LOVING having her brother “Steben” here for a few days! She knows his face from a picture we have above her changing table, but to have him in person is AWESOME! Steven has chased her, rocked her, loved on her and she is having a blast! Watching the two of them together is wonderful and such a precious gift to us from the Lord. For my son Steven and for my son Matthew, I am eternally thankful.
This post is long, but as I write, I feel encouraged. It is good to stop and pause to bring clear, out of the haze of life, those things the Lord has done and given. To make evident, as an example, those folks and circumstances of which to be thankful for. Time is fleeting, like a vapor (James 4:14) or to date myself, Farris said, ” Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Yes I just quoted Farris Bueller and the Bible in the same sentence; no it’s not sac-religious so get over it! LOL! Both sources are correct my friends, so much evil is all around us, disappointments, distractions, destruction — we must choose to pause, lift our eyes and deliberately look to the good things the Lord has done, the battles won, and the omnipresence of our King Jesus. We must remind ourselves, as I do pretty much daily, “He (Jesus) has not stepped off the throne, He (Jesus) is not shocked by what just occurred, He (Jesus) holds time in His hands, He (Jesus) knows the end to the beginning because He IS the Alpha and Omega, & He (Jesus) lives in me, loves me, called me by name, saved me, redeemed me, and will be by my side for eternity no matter what comes. Pausing to be thankful for THESE things, always seem to give encourage me, up lift me and give me the drive to push onward.
I pray for all of you, our sweet friends and family who pray, that you have a blessed, safe, THANKFUL, Thanks Giving Holiday!