Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update 12/17/09 Day 39

Dear friends,

On the 39th day, Stephen sat in his own living room. Granted, it was a test run, but he was here, and he was happy. He made his way around the house with effort, but it was pure joy. Figures it was the coldest day of the year getting in and out of the car. That part was a bit tricky. It's very hard for him to maneuver that right leg with the big ugly fixator on it. He can only bend that knee so far, so it takes some finesse to get him in to the front seat. Plus he can't bear any weight on that leg, so it's all up to his left side to do the work. It's going to be some cause for celebration when he can put that right foot down and lean into it. Did you ever in your life think you would be happy about applying pressure to a foot? What a world!

Thankfully the talented big boys are building me a ramp this weekend. (Can you believe how good you all are to me? I am just as stunned by the whole thing as I was almost 6 weeks ago. Love is powerful!) The portables were just too hard to use with the large man and the smaller woman pushing. The new ramp will take me right into my kitchen without even a bump to overcome. Can anyone build a ramp for life? Imagine gliding over all your bumps?
2 Corinthians 4:17 says "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." Perhaps they don't feel light or momentary, but all the rocks on the pilgrim road are achieving something. It's just not something that can be seen with the natural eye.

By the way, do you know I haven't made a meal since the accident happened? I have had more delicious food than a restaurant critic, and I haven't lifted a finger to make any of it. Thank you all for the gift of a satisfied tummy. It has helped me tremendously to take those trips to Sunnyview every day (WOW) without the concern of making a dinner. When Stephen gets home, we can certainly stop or drastically reduce the number of meals coming in. But I really did want you to know how much it has helped. It's been another link in the chain of my sanity.

My boys are itching for Christmas break, and their sister can't wait to go back to school. I, too am looking forward to having all my kids at home for a week. I have always enjoyed their vacations, and I think this next one will be the best yet. After all the time I missed with Joseph and David, and all the time Hannah has missed due to post trauma recovery, it will be wonderful to simply be at home with them, and hopefully very soon with Stephen as well. I want to sleep late a couple of days, with no alarm and no pressure to go and do. Of course we will have some follow up doctor appointments, but mostly in the afternoon.

I really wish I had the time or energy to do what Stephen has always faithfully done: send out Christmas cards. He always takes the time to hand write a little something on the cards. He is so great about that kind of stuff! This year, the best I can do is a Christmas post, with a photo, which I'm hoping to put up on the 23rd. So if you know anyone I know, and they don't have the blog address, please pass it on for the "Christmas Card".

Ok, since I just put my head down on the desk for I-don't-know-how-long, I think I better wrap it up and go to bed. It's been another 24 hours of God's faithfulness and grace. No doubt there's another 24 around the bend as well. For me. For you too. I'll of course look in on you tomorrow, and share the stories of the day. (I'm amazed and delighted that you're still listening). Between now and then I give you the song I sing to my kids on many nights:

"The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And give you peace, and give you peace,
And give you peace forever.

The Lord be gracious to you,
The Lord make His light to warm you,
And give you peace, and give you peace,
And give you peace forever."


Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Anonymous said...

Hannah got her 4 front teeth for Christmas - actually before - and Steve got to sit in his own living room before Christmas.

Isn't it wonderful that the best Christmas present that everyone has ever received was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago? Sadly, He's a gift that some people will never open.

And What a gift He is!:
A God Who loves us no matter how bad we mess up,
A God Who died to pay the penalty for our sins,
A God Who wants us to talk to Him every day and spend time with Him,
A God Who wants to talk to us and spend time with us every day,
A God Who supplies all of our needs,
A God who promised He would never leave us or abandon us,
A God Who wants to make us whole - spirit, mind, soul, and body,
A God Who wants us to tell everyone how wonderful He is, how much He loves them, and how much He wants to be their friend and spend time with them each day.
Jesus is all that - and so much more!

Have a blessed Christmas and our prayer is that you will all spend this Christmas together in your wonderful home - a home that is filled with your love and the love of God.

We love you and continue to pray for complete restoration for your entire family.

Lorraine & Ernie

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
We continue to be blessed by your posts. To see the church being Jesus with skin on is tremendous!!

Hey, I was looking through some short Christmas stories today and came across one that you shared on a Christmas Eve while we were pastoring there.

Do you remember it:
For the Man Who Hated Christmas
By Nancy W. Gavin
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it – overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma – the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids – all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.
Mike's smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition – one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas and on and on.
The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children – ignoring their new toys – would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.
The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.
Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

I am going to use it again this Christmas Eve. Thanks!

What a wonderful blessing your own story is this Christmas season. I am glad for your ending.....or should I say, new beginning.

Because of Jesus,
Pastor Gordy