Thursday, January 31, 2013

A different kind of birthday...

This past Thursday, January 24th was my 28th birthday!  I am happy to be 28 and thankful for another year to further my faith, become more of the Breena God has created me to be, share the good news, be the blessed wife of Andrew over at and momma to my 4 sweet blessings.  God is so good!

This has been a trying year but I know God is working and will continue to and so I'll just soak Him all up, as much as I can daily. 

One thing I am reminded of and humbled by often is how much God believes in me.  I see this through how much He keeps stretching my faith in Him.  Some moms who have a child with epilepsy put their child on a grueling diet that is difficult for all who are involved in that family and they reap great reward and can soon move forward to better health for their child.  Other moms are blessed to have meds work, on a low dose and be able to take their child off after a few years and celebrate.

This has not been our story with Zeke, and that's okay.  Each of our stories are going to be unique to us.  In our story, we have exhausted so many of these options to help Zeke and eventually, they don't work as we'd like.  God keeps on saying, "I will take care of Him.  Let me get the glory."

I keep feeling like God wants Zeke's story of healing to be so big and so powerful that no one could deny that God blessed us with a miracle of healing.  I love this idea, but it takes great faith to constantly believe in such a wonderful/supernatural thing.  But, I see that God is getting a group of like-minded believers around me who feel stretched to believe this as well and it's so empowering and beautiful!

Thursday night, Andy and I planned to go out to dinner and grab dessert to celebrate.  LifePoint's children's pastor, Mark found a sitter for us, specifically one for Zeke as he has special needs...I cannot STOP singing praises of our church!  Such SERVANT'S HEARTS, they have! 

I got an email a little bit before from a friend via Facebook (yes, I took the plunge and re-joined!)who told me a beautiful story of healing and how I should check out this group of prayer warriors.  They happened to be meeting that night AND at my dentist's office!  I was like, "Yeah!  Let's take him!"

So, all dolled up for my hot date, we decided to take Zeke to this prayer meeting.  I wanted to prepare my heart so I took 10 minutes and I just cried my eyes out to God begging for him to give us the gift of healing in Zeke.  I cried telling him I believed that He could heal with just one thought or word.   I just wanted Him to hear my plea and say, "yes."

The meeting was great.  It was for sure a blessing and full of people with believing hearts who have seen miracles through healing, even with autistic kids.  They prayed over Zeke and told us this was going to be a rough journey but encouraged us in God's truth.  Reminding us that God is healer, Jesus already took our brokenness and disease at the cross and that we just needed to jump in with both feet in believing God is going to heal our sweet boy.

This is for sure a leap of faith for both Andy and I as we have always known God can heal, but we believed that God doesn't have to heal.  But, there is so much freedom in Christianity in that we don't have to worry about what God does and doesn't have to do, that's a given, but to focus on what He wants to do.  We want to focus on God's will for Zeke.  God's will is for Zeke to be healed.  It's just a journey to get there.  We have to pray believing.  Why pray for Zeke to be healed and focus on the idea that, "He probably won't".  Why cut God short?! 

So, we pray constantly for the Holy Spirit to bless Zeke with healing and ask for more faith.  I always tell God I don't have enough faith and to give me more.  So far, he hasn't told me no and it's through people, life or His word (as I read it in a new light, believing more than ever) that I gain more faith.  Asking and thankful!

After the prayer meeting, we took Zeke back home, put the kids to bed and we were sent back out for dinner. :)  It was a lovely time!  We talked about growing in our faith, all that life has thrown us and how excited we are to see how God's story, through us, will unfold.  Wherever that may be...

How has God blown you away by answering a prayer with more than you could have dreamed up yourself?  What are your thoughts or experiences in physical healing? 

The next night, we went to Toledo to celebrate with my family.  My momma made my favorite "Chinese Chicken Salad" and homemade eggrolls.  YUM!

Here are some pics to share!

 My birthday dress, via my MIL. (She doesn't know she bought it!) haha!

 My day in a nutshell.  Hot date and free Caribou Coffee!

 I wanted brownies with my momma's frosting with a older brother, Jarret had a thing or two to say about this choice ;)

 My momma and daddy hanging with Zekey.  He loves music!

Grammy Cuddles!

 Awesome gift from my FIL for the kids to play with...they love it!

Grammy cuddles :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well, I asked, didn't I?

I didn't really know what I was asking, but it is all coming together now. 

For the last 9 months, as Zeke's health has been slowly taken away, I have prayed, "May your kingdom come, on earth, in Ezekiel's body, as it is in heaven.  Because, in heaven is where we will see God's will.  Wholenss and that may be the first place I get to hear my son talk.

It all started (well not really, but the obvious prayers/answers) the other night I prayed and cried out to God asking why everything was falling apart. 

"God, you are taking away EVERYTHING!  Ember, Andy's job, Zeke's health which leads to basically no little to no quality time with any of them, our home, our friends, our new church, Andy's car.  What's next?!  Why are you letting this happen to us?  What can we do to make things right?!" 

God's response?  He ever so gently said, "But Breena, these are not your things in the first place."  Whap.  Smack. Thud.

"Oh, right...."

Then I responded, "But, you can see that all of this is bringing out the deepest sin in my life!  I'm a monster because I can't  figure out Zeke's diet, I H.A.T.E his seizure's because they rob me of this beautiful boy you've given me and they rob me of enjoying my other children.  You can clearly see that we are suffering beyond what we want to handle.  How am I supposed to be the wife and mother you want me to be, I want me to be, if everything in my life is falling apart?!  Answer me!!!!  How?!?!"

And He heard me and He answered again.  "Breena, just love."


My biggest area of sin in my life is anger.  It comes quickly when feel afraid because of a situation dealing with someone I love that I cannot control.  I hate it. 

With everything I am juggling in my life, I needed God to answer with simplicity.  I didn't know how many rules I gave myself, that I was clearly breaking all the time in the chaos of my life, but God wasn't giving me rules.  He was reminding me of a simple commandmant, to just love and that if I just let these words, His words ring in my ear, it will give much room to the Holy Spirit as my sinful self dissolves into the background.  It really is a beautiful thing.

Today was a good day.  Not because Zeke didn't have many seizures.  No, he had a lot but I didn't let his seizure's have control over how my day would go like I have

I went into Zekey's room at 5:15 a.m. and cuddled him.  I spoke softly even when he would seize and I wanted to scream and force the seizure's right out of him.  I told him I loved him, I told him I was sorry for getting angry a lot.  I told him that I knew it wasn't his fault.  I told him I just want Jesus to heal him.  I told him I was thankful God gave him to me.  And guess what?  Instead of making sounds to get out of bed and throwing a massive fit, he let me cuddle him and love on him and well, he listened. 

When I said, "Zekey, I love you so much!  Do you love mommy?!"  He replied, "EH!" as he smiled really big and then shyly looked away.  I then shared the gospel with him like I did with my other two around this age.  Not for the first time, obviously, but at this age the other two accepted Jesus in their hearts so I thought I'd just remind Zeke of all Jesus has done for him.  He said, "Jesus" in a prayer which he hasn't said in a long time...

God gave me that special moment with Zeke and it helped prove the lies in my head wrong.  Zeke doesn't need to me fight for him so hard which leads to my anger when things, daily, do not go my way.  Zeke just needs, love. 

Sure, he needs me to measure out every meal, he needs me to get his therapy straightened out, he needs me to walk him when his seizures cause him to fall down...but above all these really great things, he just needs loved.  To not feel like a burden, to not feel like a project I'm trying to perfect.

And this pours out into my other kids.  If I'm not giving room for anger, I can "just love" them, too.  I can respond lovingly when they ask me to do something for them or when they ask the same question over and over while I'm trying to measure out Zeke's food, or put him to bed, or, or, or....

While I (verbally) processed what God was telling me with Andy, I realized one more thing.  When I ask God so many times, "May Your kingdom come...", it really is.  It opened my eyes that until Jesus comes back, the way we view this temporary space we have been given in this very broken world, can be a very strong and evident way that God's kingdom comes in our world.

Think about it, in God's complete kingdom, we will not have the cares of this world.  We will not desire things more than God himself.  We will not struggle with control or  loving our children more than our relationship with God.  We'll be stripped of the evil part of these wonderful blessings God gives us and it will leave us with these gifts from God, shed in a new light.  A light that's righteous and good and with no fault.

So, as God takes away all of these things in my life I can see Him answer my prayer.  He's showing me that my house, my kids, our "security", can all be taken away but God still stands firm.  He doesn't change, He doesn't wavor.  Nothing shakes him.  And I can look up and see Him a litte bit more for who He is.  A loving Father who is showing me more of His kingdom and less of this world. 

To close, I've been asking Him how I am supposed to praise Him in all of this.  I even told Him I wasn't going to praise Him unless I really felt it.  But, I wanted to.

So, through all of this I can praise Him, not for the bad things in my life...nope.  I don't care for these things, but I can praise Him for humbling me and being involved in my prayers with actual responses as I see a bit more of Him and I get to see His kingdom coming...

Wow.  Praise You, God!  You've heard me, answered me and even loved me through all of my anger and tears, doubt and faithlessness. 

We are selling our home, which we were going to do anyway.  But now, there's not a clear destination.  We know we have a place in Toledo if needed which is beyond a blessing as not many people have a place to fall back on.  But, we have friends and a church here and we truly feel called here.  So, we wait on the Lord.  We pray for Andy to find a job but in the end, we say, "God, where you lead us, we will follow."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It was like heaven...

Today.  If I could bottle it up, I would.  I would place it in a clear jar, close the lid tight and look upon it whenever I needed a reminded of God's goodness.

Oh, here come some more tears.  Our day started off going to our "new" church.  It's funny, after attending even just 6 weeks, I feel like I don't have to say "new".  I could easily leave it at, "our church."  After Ember had to close, I feared so much having to find a church that we felt God was calling us to, preached God's word well, could handle Zeke and of course, finding a whole new community. 

As we took maybe...maybe one week off to just take in our crazy life before looking for churches, we prayed God would find us one quickly.  I just felt like he should at least do that, since it felt like the rest of our lives were crumbling to pieces.  (Seriously, ask anyone who did life with us, or read here.)

Praying that prayer and not really believing God would bless it, He totally did.  I knew He didn't owe us anything, so I didn't expect it.

The first week Andy went to a church and left knowing it wasn't the place for us.  The second, he thought, "This could be the one!"  And, the rest is history!  LifePoint Church has been so genuinely loving, helpful, and it has been a real blessing watching these pastors meet with my husband often to get to know him.  We are quickly connecting and I can leave all of my kids knowing they are not only going to have fun, as many people care so (too) much about, but truly be taught about Jesus.  So, if you are looking, please consider.  I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, but you knew that ;)

My heart is broken (in a good way) every time we attend.  God's done a lot in my heart in the few weeks we have attended and I am so thankful.  The pastors are genuine, and reach out without putting themselves at only arms length.  And if you must know, you fellow music and art snobs, the music-worship and graphics and are amazing and God=breathed.  I'm just so, so excited!

Anyway, we brought some friends with us from Ember who are dear to us.  They loved it too but I wasn't really expecting anything less ;)  We got to spend lunch with them and another dear couple-friend of ours, also from Ember.  We decided we would make this a tradition so we can all see each other like we used to, dang-it!  It was full of laughter, good conversation, catching up and honestly, my kids really love them all too.  They are that great. :)

The best part of my day?  It was after an hour into the morning and I noticed that Zeke wasn't having siezures. 

*A catch-me-up for those of you who do not know*.  Yesterday morning, Zeke had his worst seizure yet.  His ketones (He's on the ketogenic diet) were low (not good) and he ended up having a seizure.  We had to use meds to get him out of it and he quickly went back into another.  It was so discouraging.
Typically, his seizures (small ones, not large ones that he doesn't come out of) are the worst in the morning and then gradually get better throughout the day only to start from scratch again the next morning. 

So, this morning I noticed (because I watch him like a hawk), Zeke wasn't having ANY seizures.  I was in disbelief. I was racking my brain wondering what we did the day before that would be making this dream a reality.  Then, like a ton of bricks I thought, His ketones were non-existant last night (again, NOT.GOOD.), there's NO WAY he should be seizure free.  Guys.  It didn't. Make. Sense.  The only answer was God.

I got in the shower and prayed as I cried my eyes out saying, "Oh, God!  What is this?! I have done everything on my end to save Zekey but in the last 2 weeks, all I do for him, measuring out every meal, taking him to the chiropractor a half hour a way 3 x's a week, giving him meds,  these have all mysteriously fallen apart with no real reason.  Is this you?!  Is this your healing hand?!  I have tried everything, you know.  Can this  please be you because what I'm doing is just my way of not testing you.  All my efforts are not only exhausting but they cannot bring eternal healing.  But you, You oh God, you can heal him forever more.  I want this to be you, I want the only reason for Zeke's healing to be because you have poured out Your grace and healing."

This is the God I serve.  This is the God I believe in.  This God who lets me cry out to Him like a baby, informally, lacking faith.  He meets me where I am and holds me near, listening to every word I say.  He hasn't left us but His ways are higher, He is working in the hearts of people in my life as they watch in horror to all that has gone on in the last 9-10 months.

Oh, did I mention Andy lost his job.  Yes, yes he did.  The Friday after Christmas.  How kind of them. ;)  Compared to all we have gone through with our sweet, sweet Zekey boy, this was almost laughable.  Laughable because it was such an evil, unfair, untrue act but it happened all the same.  We could fight it but we won't.  We believe God is in even this. 

The verse that came to my mind immediately as Andy texted me the word, "fired" was, "Vengeance is mine!"sayeth the Lord.  And I left it at that.

So, I go to bed with fear and hope fighting each other in a cloud of smoke.  And as I type this, I remember my life verse(s). 

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7"But blessed are those
    who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord
    their hope and
8They are like trees planted
    along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep
    into the water.
Such trees are not bothered
    by the heat.

Today was a gift from God himself.  What tomorrow brings, I do not know.  But I can cling to truth.  Tomorrow is in God's hands, so is Zeke's life and all of my other sweet babe's too.  I must look at it as a reminder to be thankful while believing with God, all things are possible.  Please pray with us. #sothankful

And an insecurity P.S.~  I have little time to blog but I am reminded again and again, not with number of views but with responses from some of you on how God's using our story to help you through yours, that is why I keep doing this.  I don't have time to make it look perfect or edit it down.  I am not one to act like life is sugar-coated and all smiles and puppy dogs.  But to be able to see Jesus in the Sh*t, I believe, is to see Heaven come nearer.  May Your kingdom come, Lord Jesus.  Amen.