Consent Forms and Prayers

Yesterday I had to sign another consent form for our baby. She is having a procedure for her heart today. Over the months I have had to sign many consent forms--every time she has needed an anaesthetic. I don't have a problem signing them. My attitude towards the doctors is "Just do what you need to do." I have told them that many times. The doctors know far more than I do. Even though I know they are human and could make a mistake, I trust them to do what they know is best.
There are other people I know here who find it difficult to trust the doctors because of different reasons. I'm not like that. I don't know if its a good or a bad thing, but it sure saves me a lot of frustration and worry!
Last night I was praying about Lydia's procedure. As I thought about how to pray, it struck me that I trust the doctors more than I trust God.
I say to the doctors, "Just do whatever you need to do," because I know they will do their best for Lydia.
And yet when I pray, I am very hesitant to pray that. Instead I would rather pray for what I want, which doesn't include trials!
Shouldn't I be able to pray the same thing? "Just do whatever you have to do, Lord. You know far better than me or the doctors. You know what's best. I trust You."
I felt convicted and ashamed.
God can't make mistakes like the doctors can. His wisdom is so great. He loves us so much and has our best interests in mind.
 Why then do I find it so hard to pray that prayer? I decided that it is because I naturally want a trouble free life. I know that if I tell God to just do what is best, God's best may not be what I want. I'm really saying, "If I need troubles, give them to me. I consent." For God to do His best work in my life, there are going to be many trials. If I want God to use me, it's not going to come on a silver platter. It's going to hurt! He is going to have to make me usable!
God does want us to be specific when we pray and tell Him our desires, and He doesn't need our consent to do anything. But I'm sure He wants us to have the same attitude of trust that I have toward the doctors. "Go ahead, Lord. Do whatever You have to do. You know what's best."
I pray He will help me with that, and that you may learn the same lesson.


Feelings or Facts?

How are you feeling today?
Last night I was feeling quite depressed. I had experienced a disappointment with our sick baby during the day. Hospital life has many ups and downs. You get told something positive, but the next minute your hopes are dashed.
Before bed I was writing down my prayers, as I like to do. They were very miserable as they were full of my feelings. But then I decided to write down a list of facts to encourage myself. It worked!
Instead of "I feel like we're going to be in hospital forever," I wrote "We won't be here forever."
Instead of "I feel like we're no closer to going home than when we first arrived," I wrote "We are nearly 6 weeks closer to going home."
If you're feeling down today, maybe its because you're focusing on  your feelings.
Facts are far more encouraging!

I've shared this poem before, but I need to remember it at the moment!
Feeling, Faith and Fact
Three men were walking on a wall,
Feeling, Faith and Fact,
When Feeling got an awful fall,
And Faith was taken back.
So close was Faith to Feeling,
He stumbled and fell too,
But Fact remained,
And pulled Faith back
And Faith brought Feeling too.
~Author Unknown~


Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, dear Mums!
Being a Mum is hard, sometimes painful, and very exhausting. But it is very rewarding and the most important job on the universe. It also helps us understand God and His love for us more.
Isa. 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 

 Isa. 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 
Keep up the good work! Cherish the time you have with your children. Remember they won't be little for long. Make special memories. Be humble and ask God for His grace to help you. It's too hard to do without His help!


Why Pain?

Our baby girl has a drain in her chest at the moment as there is a lot of fluid there. But the drain leaks so her dressing needs to be changed a lot. A few days ago I was standing next to her cot while the nurses were changing her dressing. Lydia was crying as it was painful. I don't know how babies think, but if she thought like an adult I could imagine her thinking, "Mummy, are you really there? How can you stand there and watch people hurting me? Why aren't you stopping them? It hurts! Why, Mummy?"
Lydia couldn't understand the reason why. But because of my love for her, I have to let her be hurt when it means that it will help her get better. I only let people hurt her when it has to be done--when it is for her good. It hurts me to see her hurt.
As I watched her and thought about this, I learned a lesson. There are painful things in my life at the moment and I find myself asking God the same questions. "Are you really there? Why is this happening? Why are you allowing this? It hurts! Why?"
I don't understand the reason why. But because of God's love for me, He does allow things that will help change me for the good.
I can trust Him. He is in control. He doesn't like to see me in pain, but He knows what has to be done. He cares for me far more than I care for Lydia. One day I will see the big picture like God does and then I will understand the purpose of every trial.


Trust God

Do you ever struggle to trust God?
Last week it was nearly time to leave hospital. Our baby was recovering well from her heart surgery and we could go home and be reunited with our other children that I hadn't seen for two weeks. And yet fears flooded me--fears of something happening to keep us in hospital, fears of being separated from our children again etc.
I knew I needed to trust God but I also knew that sometimes what I want and what God wants are two different things! So I was finding it difficult to trust God.
Then I read a reading from the Daily Light. One of the verses was  "I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11
This spoke to me.
 I don't understand why hard things happen in my life---I don't know the reasons why. But God knows. He knows the reasons why and His thoughts are of peace and not of evil. He has a good purpose to everything He allows. He sees the big picture. I can trust Him. He is in control and He promises to work everything together for good if I love Him. He will allow hard trials to change me, teach me and make me more like Him but I can trust that He has a wise purpose for each one and He will go through it with me.

You can trust God!


Children and Mess!

This afternoon my baby was sleeping, my three other children were playing happily together outside and my husband was out. So I decided to use the moment to give our bathroom a thorough clean. I cleaned the windows and mirror, vacuumed the floor, scrubbed the shower and sink and was about to mop the floor and clean the toilet when..... in came two of my children who had been happily playing in the wet sandpit! I looked in dismay at the sand sprinkled all over the toilet, and the sand all over the floor and my little boy whose clothes were covered in wet sand! Not to mention my feet now covered in sand. I thought, "This room is now dirtier than before I started cleaning!! I wondered whether I should get out the vacuum cleaner and vacuum all over again. Or should I just try to mop up the sand? Or should I just forget about cleaning altogether??
I'm glad I read a blogpost thismorning about a lady who longs to have children to brighten up her home.
I'm also glad I read a devotion thismorning about being a joyful mum even when our children make a mess!
I'm glad I've gone through lots of hospital experience over the last half year. For one thing it's made me appreciate and enjoy my children more, as being in hospital has meant lots of separation. But its also made me appreciate housework more. Have you ever been cooped up in a little hospital room when you're not sick?? It's enough to make you long to wash dishes, clean bathrooms, vacuum or ANYTHING!
So although I groaned when I saw the sand, I was able to thank God for filling my house with children and that I am at home able to look after them!
There will come a day when I'll be able to have a spotless house (if that's possible anyway!!), and I'm sure I'll then just wish I had delightful little children again! 


Three Ways to Love Your Husband

These are three lessons I am learning that are making me a happier wife!

Focus on the positive.
I heard of a man who kept a little book and wrote his wife's faults and failures in it! Isn't that horrible? And yet, as we are naturally so self-focused, it is so easy to focus on the negative rather than on all the positives.
It's good to write down or at least think of things that you are thankful for about your husband every day. Make it a habit to notice every positive thing about him and thank God for it. It's amazing what a difference it can make to your attitude! You will probably realize you are married to the best man in the world! :)

Listen to him.
Does your husband make comments about what he does or doesn't like? Maybe foods he would like you to buy, or meals he doesn't like, or clothes you or the children wear that he doesn't like. Does he mention things that would like you to do?
Listen and pay attention to his wishes. Do your best to please him, instead of making excuses why you shouldn't. Unless, of course, his wishes are clearly wrong. It's not always possible or realistic to do what he wants, but most of the time it is, although it may call for some unselfishness on your part! But you will be happy, knowing that you are honoring the man God gave you.

Learn to appreciate his way of showing love (love language).
My husband shows his love in different ways to me. Words of affirmation are very important to me, while they don't mean a whole lot to him. Acts of service and gifts are more important to him. So there are many times I have been offended because of what he has or hasn't said to me, and yet he might have spent the afternoon making me dinner or he brought us some treats on his way home.
Its easy to feel unloved when your husband shows love in a different way to you. But it's unnecessary.
As I am learning, you can either spend your life wishing he would become more like you, or you can look for and appreciate the ways that he shows love.
I read this the other day and it made me stop and think. It was written for men and it was about marriage. She won’t always readily translate the oil change to love, though it means that.
Something like an oil change can mean the same as the words "I love you" or a box of chocolate, or a bunch of flowers, or a night out at a restaurant etc!