In the Waiting Moments...

Last night we went as a family to a nightglow airballoon festival. The balloons were going to be blown up in the dark. Unfortunately it was too windy and only one could be blown up. We were parked in a paddock with tons of other cars. We were in the far corner of the paddock. When we went to leave, a lot of other people left too. So many cars trying to leave the paddock at once resulted in a traffic jam. For a good forty minutes we sat in the same place, only seeing the cars around us, wondering what the hold up was. Why was it taking so long? Were there actually cars going out the gate? Were any cars moving anywhere? After forty minutes of sitting still it felt like we were no closer to getting home. We were surrounded by cars, and were trapped. After an hour of waiting, we finally managed to get out!
Sitting in the car, trying to wait patiently and feeling trapped, I felt like I was back in hospital with Lydia again. Thankfully with Lydia, we never had much fear that she wouldn't make it. The worst thing was the waiting. Waiting for her to grow so she could have her heart surgery. Waiting for the next appointment with the doctors  at the end of the month only to be told that we need to keep waiting for Lydia to grow more. She was too little to have her heart operation, but too fragile to leave the NICU. We were thankful she was going to be ok--it wasn't like she was going to die, but oh, the waiting! It seemed like forever!
Then at six months old, after her heart operation she got a complication. It was the same thing again. She would get better, but it would take time in hospital for her to heal. Waiting again. I remember after 6 weeks feeling like we were no closer to going home. Of course we were six weeks closer, but because of the uncertainties, it felt like we were no closer.
But both of those long hospital stays did end.
And last night, we did get out of that traffic jam.
Trials do end. Waiting times do come to an end. Although some seem to last too long, they don't last forever. Some difficulties/challenges may last a life time (Lydia will always have Down Syndrome.) But most waiting moments will pass.

If you are going through a waiting time in your life, don't despair. Ask God for patience and make the most of these moments. Do what you can while you wait.  Have faith that God is working even though it may look like nothing is happening. Waiting moments are not wasted moments.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 27:14



I'm a person who loves to share things I find helpful!
These are some of my favorite places to get inspiration or encouragement. ( I don't necessary like everything there, but they're worth sharing.) I won't share the exact links but if you google the names or look them up on Youtube you'll find them.

For my house: I get overwhelmed very easily by too much of anything and yet I find it hard sometimes to let things go. So I find these three people very helpful. They help motivate me to keep things simple and uncluttered.
The Minimal Mom (Youtube Channel. She shares lots of tips on simplifying.)
Ali Cassazza (She has a website all about keeping life simple and uncluttered.)
Josh Becker  (He also has a website and a Youtube Channel along the same lines as the other two.)

Tiny Notes from Home  ( Youtube Channel. A vlog about a family who have a music ministry)
Sounds Like Reign (Youtube Channel. The same family's music.)
George Beverly Shea (Youtube. I love his music. I find it really relaxing. There are a few of his albums on youtube. I like to listen to them when I'm doing jobs.)
Ron Hamilton Songs (Ron Hamilton is a song writer and there are lots of his songs on Youtube. I listened to them a lot through my last miscarriage. )
Streams in the Desert (Devotional Book. This is my favourite devotional. I have often shared pieces from it on this blog. So many times it is relevant for what I am going through)
The Daily Light (Book. A morning and a night reading made up of  Bible verses from all over the Bible, put together to bring across a theme. Growing up my dad read this to us before meals, and my husband and I now read the night reading before we go to sleep.)
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes (Facebook Page. It seems nearly every quote I read is really helpful to me.)
Counting On ( Youtube. I like watching the Duggars on youtube whenever there is a new episode.)
Embassy Media (Website. My mum told me about this website . There are all different kinds of sermons and videos here. You have to pay to subscribe, but you can get one free month and see if you like it or not. I have found the sermons I listened to so helpful and just what I needed. So for me it's worth the subscription fee. Some favourites on here so far are Ron Dunn, Jim Schettler, Ann Conway and Gil Bates' sermons about God providing.)
The Pineapple Story Series (I have a cd series of these that I often listen to in the car on longish trips. But you can listen to them on Embassy Media and on Youtube. Otto Koning shares what he learnt as a missionary to tribal headhunters. He is a bit of a comedian, but the lessons he shares were really helpful to me when Lydia was born and we had to give up normal life for a time.)

I've probably forgotten some and there are many more I could share. But these are the ones I can think of that have helped me the most recently. I hope they may be helpful to you and if you have any favorites that are different to mine, I would love to know.


One Step at a Time

Today Lydia had an appointment with an ear, throat and nose specialist. The man had just been reading Lydia's notes when we were called in. He made a comment about Lydia's long medical history. I remember another time somebody else who had just looked at Lydia's notes said, "That's a LOT of paperwork for a little girl!" The hospital has thick books with all her records in it. When Lydia was about 18 months, her pediatrician told me I could write a book about the last 18 months!
Today the specialist's comment got me thinking about all the challenges we've had with her. The list is very long--from her complicated heart to reflux, from hearing problems to runny eyes, from thyroid problems to not being able to drink and so on. On top of that, there have been other big challenges in our lives. 
Sometimes you get overwhelmed thinking of your future, but sometimes you get overwhelmed just thinking about the past! And I thought, how did we ever get through all that?
But the answer is: one day at a time. One appointment at a time. One problem (or five!) at a time. 
If you're climbing a mountain, it looks overwhelming from the bottom. The only way to get up is one step at a time.You can't make it up in a few giant leaps.
Life has mountains too. Mountains that can completely overwhelm us. But God gives more grace. More grace for each new step. More grace for today's challenges, and tomorrow He will give grace for tomorrow's challenges.
This gives me hope for the future! I only have to take one day at a time. One step at a time. Walking with God each step of the way.


When Life Gets Steeper...

I read this devotion tonight and it was just the encouragement I needed. Our lives have changed in a good way and I am still adjusting to it all. I hope it's an encouragement to you,too.

The Lord will guide you always. Isaiah 58:11
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19 

Advance into each new experience on your knees. Faith does not concern itself with the entire journey. That first step is all that is needed. Breathe a prayer for courage to fill your legs as well as your heart as you face the unknown, the unexpected. Put your hand into the hand of God. He gives the calmness and serenity of heart and soul. As He endures, you too can endure the climb over sharp rocks and crags. Climb with Him to the end--yea, even to the end of life's trail. "The peak that is nearest the storm cloud is nearer the stars of light." He gives the courage for which you pray to rise above the valley. Heed the Masters's voice and press bravely on to the fulfillment of your task. You have a whole lifetime to scale.

A Voice said, "CLIMB." And he said, "How shall I climb?
The mountains are so steep that I cannot climb."
The Voice said, "CLIMB or DIE."
He said, "But how? I see no way up those steep ascents.
This that is asked of me is too hard for me."
The Voice said, "CLIMB or PERISH, soul and body of thee, mind and spirit of thee. There is no second choice for any son of man. CLIMB or DIE."

Some of the bravest mountaineers have related incredible tales concerning their climbs up the hills of earth. Sometimes they were aware of the presence of a Companion who was not among the earthly party of climbers on the mountains.
How much more positive is the presence of the Heavenly Guide as God's mountaineers climb the high places of the Spirit!
God's mountain climbers are created to walk in precarious places, not on the easy levels of life.
Do not limit the Limitless God! With Him face the new trail and follow on unafraid, for you walk not alone!


Just Like Lily May

This morning at breakfast I read our children a story called Lily May's "Good Time." It was a character building story about a little girl who got sick of being told what to do by her mother. She thought she would enjoy life much more if she could do whatever she wanted. So her mother decided that for a whole day she could as she pleased. Lily May was delighted. But she discovered pretty quickly it was not quite as much fun as she had expected. When her mum tucked her in bed that night, Lily May gave her a hug and said, "I think it was good of God to give little girls mothers to take care of them, for they know so much more than children."
One of our children is like Lily May was. She does not like being told what to do or when to do it! So I thought it would be a good story for her.
Later on after our girls were at school, it dawned on me that I am also like Lily May! One of my biggest struggles since Lydia has been born has been all the appointments etc. I get told what to do and when to do it. I have been told at times that I need to stay in hospital with Lydia for another month or so. Or I've been sent appointment letters saying that I need to go to this appointment or I need to go to Wellington for a heart checkup for Lydia on this day at this time. You need to do this, you need to do that. And I think, 'I don't want to have to do this or have to go here. I want to choose! I want to go out because I want to go out, not because I have to!'
I am like Lily May! I want to choose what I do. I don't want to be told what to do. It was a little humbling to realize this!
But Lily May found out that when she could choose everything she would do, it was actually very unfulfilling and boring. She didn't like it at all after awhile.
Although I am an adult, I am still under authority. Somebody cares for me. I belong to God, and He is my heavenly Father. He is over me and He has the right to tell me what to do. He has the right to fill in my time and my days with what He wants me to do. He is taking care of me, and He knows what is best for me. He knows better than I do what I need, just like a mother knows better than her little children.
I can choose to fight it and be miserable, or I can be thankful that God knows what is best for me. I can choose to obey with a cheerful heart, because He doesn't put on my plate what is not good for me.
What about you? Do you also dislike having to do this or having to do that? I hope this story gives you a fresh perspective as it has for me.


Why are Ye Fearful?

This is something I wrote down in my journal instead of on my blog last November when I was pregnant (before I miscarried), but no one knew yet so I couldn't share it. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is Jesus and the storm (Matthew 8:23-27). I often feel that I can relate to those disciples! So what I wrote then often comes back to me in different situations.

10/Nov 2018
Being pregnant, I find it extra difficult to cope.
I am afraid of not being able to cope in pregnancy and with a new baby. I feel like it's too hard--that it's over my limit. I am afraid.
This verse came to me today when I was feeling afraid and overwhelmed.

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

WHY am I afraid?

*Because I don't believe that I can cope with more than I already have.
*Because after Lydia, I am aware of all the difficulties a new baby could bring.
*Because I feel like I am drowning-that I will perish in the waves of appointment, shopping lists, demands, to do lists, challenges that come with Lydia, housework, cooking, etc. while I have a body that feels tired and unwell.

WHY should I NOT be afraid?

*Jesus is in my 'boat'.
  Even if I'm alone, I'm not really alone. God is always with me. "Fear not: for I am with thee." Isaiah 41:10

*God is my helper.
I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not: I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13

*God understands.
He knows how we feel (sick, tired, etc.) He knows every difficulty.

*God cares.
"Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7

*God is in control.
At times it may feel like God is not there, but He is. And He is in control no matter how bad the storm gets.

*God hears our cries for help.

*God has the power to calm the storm.
Even the winds and sea obey Him. God can help us in our circumstances-whether it's helping the children get along, have long sleeps, or to give us new energy.

* I will NOT drown.
"When thou passest through the water, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: Isaiah 43:2
No matter how full with water my boat may be, with God to help, I will NOT drown.

What are your fears? Have you ever asked yourself the question, Why am I fearful?
If you know God, the One who controls the wind and the waves is in your boat! Why are you afraid?


An Award for Enjoyment

Yesterday Lydia went horseriding at Riding for Disabled. We weren't able to make it to the end of year Christmas Party, so she got her present yesterday instead. I was surprised when she was awarded a trophy. It was a trophy for enjoyment---what Lydia does best! 
I couldn't help but think--if mother's were awarded trophies, would it be possible for me to win an award for enjoyment?
Or would I win an award for complaining, self pity etc?
Do I enjoy all the lovely things in my life, or am I too focused on the challenges?
Do I enjoy my children, my home, my marriage, friendships, sunshine, flowers, food, and all the other blessings I have?
1 Timothy 6:17 says to trust in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
This is a little lesson I can learn from my sweet little girl! She can't do a whole lot, but she is great at enjoying things!