Water, Water Everywhere

A miracle: It's been raining now for a full seven months, and we haven't drowned yet.

Friends and family sometimes look at Sara, and remark upon how much she has grown since they last saw her. They cannot believe that she is almost 9 months old. They say, "It flies by so quickly!" I smile and nod, but I always feel a little disoriented when I consider the recent passage of time. So much life has been lived that it seems impossible to fit it all into nine brief months, yet it has gone by in such a blur that when I access the memories, it is as if I'm viewing them underwater with muffled sound and obscured clarity. Fitting in this flood, don't you think?

Sara's birth and the following complications come back to me in flashes--pain, blood, gasps, sweat, tears, and euphoria. I slept so little during Sara's first few weeks of life that I am grasping to remember them at all. I am not sure Christmas happened in 2011. Photos are the only evidence. On January 6, 2012, we were told that our children had RSV. Micah was well within a couple of days. Sara was very sick for two months. She has had ear infections almost continually since, and finally had a successful tube surgery last Thursday. In January, I dreamed a prophetic dream in which Death promised to come for me over and over again; also in which God promised to protect me every time it came. Since then, I have survived six cases of anaphylaxsis, too many new food allergies to count, two complete shut downs of my digestive system, dehydration, and pain explained and unexplained all over my body. Over the course of the last three months, I have seen my general practitioner, a naturopathic doctor, an immunologist, a rheumatologist, a gastrointerologist, and a physical therapist. Brandon has suffered as well. It turns out that every superman has his own version of kryptonite. Brandon's is gluten, and he is now on a gluten-free diet. (I am exceedingly proud of his good attitude.) And then there is my Micah Man, who has gotten a little lost in the chaos, a fact that brings wistful tears to my eyes. Tears don't help our water problem.

Medical bills sit in neat, little piles waiting to be paid. I have never known another time in my life when there were so many medical bills. On the table they sit, opened and read, from the emergency room, urgent care, Sara's ENT, a medical laboratory, and our pediatrician's office. Bills from Sara's recent surgery and my upcoming endoscopy will find a resting place in our bed of intimidating mail. Maybe the waves will carry them away.

In addition to our concerns about health, family dynamics and finances, change has come in with the tide. I can only mention one major change at the moment--we're moving! To answer the first question we are always asked upon that announcement--we aren't moving far. Our new residence will be about 10 miles southeast of our current homestead in a small community called Crossroads, located just north of Rocky Branch."Why?" you may ask, "would anyone who needs to reduce stress choose to move?"

I will tell you--at first, I was against it. We had attempted a move back in the Spring, and it fell through. I felt like God had prevented us from moving because He knew that I would become ill and that we wouldn't be able to physically or financially sustain a larger, two-story home requiring renovations. Little did I know that He had something better for us up His sleeve. It is difficult to imagine anything being better than the charming country house, updated to our taste and specifications on eight acres of timber property, but the word"better" doesn't always mean what we think it means. For us, "better" means selling our nice, newly renovated home of two years, downsizing to a used, single-wide trailer, selling several newly acquired possessions, and settling on the property my parents recently purchased to which they will be moving, along with my sister, this fall. Sometime over the course of the next several months, we will begin a farm at this new location, complete with chickens, goats, a large vegetable garden, and the Lord only knows what else.

Our decision to move went something like this: A couple of months ago, Brandon went with my dad to explore my parents' new property. When he came home that afternoon, he asked me, "Babe, how would you feel about getting a trailer, and moving out to your parents' place?"

Stunned for a moment, I said, "I would need a really good reason to move anywhere right now."

Brandon replied, "Okay. How about being debt free in two years?"

I gulped. "That would be a very good reason." And I promised to consider the idea.

I wondered what it would be like to live beside my parents. I didn't know for sure, but I was already very sick and realized that I may need to live close to them. Once upon a time, I was upset to be moving out of their home. It could really be fun to live close to them again! I wondered how my relationship with my sister might change if we were neighbors. Since I moved out of my parents' home, our relationship has been pretty good. Some people need a little distance to have healthy relationships, and I have always thought of us as some of those people. But Hannah is becoming a different person these days. Our relationships with the Lord have changed us both, and given us much more in common. It could be a wonderful, beautiful thing to have my sister close by and watch our children grow up together. The idea touches my heart so profoundly that I can't think about it without tears gathering in my eyes.

 I could clearly see the practicality of the move. Brandon and I have desired to live in financial freedom for years. We want to be able to buy what we want to buy, do what we want to do, and give what we want to give without having to worry whether or not our finances will allow it. Debt free living would have come in handy this year considering all of the medical bills flowing in. We also had discussed starting a farm in a few years. It would be extremely beneficial to learn first hand how to care for the animals and tend the vegetables before starting a place for ourselves. Micah would soon be able to be a real help to my dad, and would receive a valuable, practical education in return. I am currently planning to homeschool my kids. Living on the farm, they would have access to real life learning situations, and benefit from three highly knowledgeable and skilled teachers of various subjects while living there. The only con to the situation I could see is that it would take us 10 miles further away from Ruston and away from our church. My conclusion was that our church is worth 10 extra miles. In less than 24 hours of thought and prayer, I told Brandon that I was fully supportive of this move.

Within a few days of the decision, we found a gently-used, single-wide trailer with a great layout for $20,000. Brandon decided to mortgage the mobile home, and thought to take out a home equity loan to pay for our expenses--preparing the property for housing, moving and medical bills. It seems that we are creating more debt, but a plan is in place to eliminate it. It appears as if we creating more stress, but the idea is to simplify. This decision reminds me of organizing a closet--in order to create order, there must first be chaos.

Every part of our lives, massive and miniscule, has been torn out of their respective places and thrown into a messy pile. A neurotic, OCD personality like myself could easily become overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed, but I came to the end of myself a long time ago. There is no way I could handle all of this craziness on my own. I would drown in it! I am actually handling it all like a child--with blind trust. I blindly trust that the Lord is working this out. It seems to be the sort of thing He does. It feels right--not in a sense it feels right because I want it to be right, but in a sense that I know it is right to my very core. God has initiated all of these changes. They have quite literally happened to us. The only decision we have made is to say "yes" to the move. What God initiates, He executes. I believe that I will have enough good days to do what I must. I believe that every hiccup in the process is according to plan. I believe that every dollar saved in preparations is a gift. I believe that we will have all of the help we will need to see it through.

So bring on the rain, and let the waves come. I will not worry. My Lifeguard walks on water.


Sara's surgery went very well. I was a typical nervous mommy, but I held it together without embarrassing myself or my husband. The first half hour after surgery was bad, but months of colic prepared us for the inconsolable crying. By the time we arrived at the house, she was happy and ready to play.

I had my first physical therapy session on Monday. My therapist believes my PGD can be corrected if I will be faithful to my exercises and stretches. I will be faithful, but my word, they hurt! I will go back on Monday, August 20 to be re-evaluated and learn some core strengthening exercises that should help my PGD to remain corrected.

I continue to have good days and bad days. The last few have been bad days. Today, I am suffering from widespread pain throughout my body, a migraine, fatigue and nausea. Our Honey came today. She took care of the kiddos while I took a nap. The Lord always provides what is needed. My bad days came after an entire week of good days. I was even able to clean my own house last week. It took several days, but it was the first time I was physically able to clean since I became ill!

I have an endoscopy scheduled for Thursday, August 16. My stomach continues to be very angry, and my new gastroenterologist intends to find out why. I have to have an IV for the procedure. I'm a baby when it comes to needles, so say a prayer for me if I come to mind.

I plan to put off the GAPS diet until after we are settled in our new home. I can't imagine another change right now any more than I can imagine drinking hot bone broths in this heat. I will begin my allergy cure therapy when I begin the diet.

Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement! May God bless you all ten-fold!