Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drinking from the Cup

"Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" John 18:11

I must admit, when my sinful self read this verse for my morning devotion, I was disappointed that it wasn't going to "speak" to me. HA. I just love it when God smacks me with a big "Hello?? Are you listening? This one's for YOU!"

Honestly, at first glance this verse really meant nothing to me. But then, I read on. "The cup" God has chosen to give me includes suffering. It includes raising a baby with special medical needs. It includes quitting my "dream job" to stay home. (Let it be known: Owen= best boss EVER!). It includes knowing more medical terminology, hospital cut short cuts, and medication dosages then I ever thought possible. But you know what? It includes more blessings that I ever, ever thought possible.

This is where my problem comes with "my cup". There are days, many of them that I don't want it. Not so much for me, but for my son. I don't want him to suffer. I hate it that he is just short of a year old and endured 5 surgeries. I hate it that he didn't have the joy of nursing. I hate it that he is hooked up to a machine 12 hours a day. I hate it that his body isn't "perfect". And then, God speaks to me. Owen is perfect. He is fulfilling the perfect will of the Almighty who carefully and precisely knit his body together, broken kidneys and all. He is doing more work for the Kingdom of God than I could ever have imagined.

There are days when my body literally aches for my baby. The hunger deep down inside me for him to be healed often overtakes me to break down into sobs, pleading with The One to wrap His healing hands around him. To take "this cup" away. But then I realized that I should I pray that my body would ache for "this cup". That my heart and soul would hunger and thirst for His will- not matter what the outcome. But I am selfish. I want a healed baby. But God wants me. All of me. It is a daily struggle to surrender all to Him. To daily lay Owen at the feet of Jesus and let His will prevail in his precious life.

There are also days when my body is so overcome with joy and gratitude that I break into sobs. My praise and worship is often filled with streaming tears. Tears that fall from a heart so grateful for this gift of life. Grateful for this suffering. I can't imagine how things would be different without Owen. And I can't imagine Owen being different. He has shown me the awesome power of our faithful God. I don't know what the next year of Owen's life will look like. I don't know if/when he will need a transplant. I don't know if tomorrow we will wake up to a new baby, with perfectly working kidneys. But I do know that God knows. He's known from well before Owen was conceived. And His plan and "cup" are far better than my plans.

Please continue to be in prayer for Owen. We will be returning to Cincy on August 5 for another extensive testing of his bladder. This will determine whether he should need surgery prior to transplant. We are also working through testing a few dear friends for donation. Please pray for wisdom in our doctor's decision making. Pray that God will lead their thoughts and minds as they discuss the next steps for Owen. Pray that Michael and I will remain steadfast, chasing after God each day. With a future uncertain, we can take comfort in knowing that it is perfectly planned out and we will blessed if we choose to "drink the cup the Father has given me."

Great faith is exhibited not so much in doing as in suffering.
                                                          -Charles Parkhurst

Friday, July 8, 2011


Well, it wasn't a Florida vacation, but rather a Kentucky "staycation" but we enjoyed it just the same! Michael has been doing some ridiculous amounts of studying (and unfortunately will continue for a couple of weeks until finals are over) so Owen and I decided to head back to Owensboro for some family time, pool time and relaxing!

Owen got to experience his first time in a pool. For those of you that know Owen well....you know he loathes being hot and even more so than that....the dreaded sun. They are not friends. BUT, Owen did manage to make it out to the pool a couple of times for some 20 minute swim laps. :)

Isn't he just the cutest?! He's thinking about taking up a career in plus size swimsuit modeling. :)

Owen had lots of time to visit family on both sides and of course, his favorite... nap. :) We spent the 4th of July contemplating Owen's reaction to the fireworks. Because of Owen's low muscle tone and developmental delays he goes into "sensory overload" very easily. He does not like loud clapping, screaming, jumping, running...it all sends him into a very sad crying fit. His sweet little cousins work hard not to get too excited around him! So, on to the fireworks....I was actually quite surprised! Owen laughed at the first 3 set off. I couldn't believe it! I wasn't able to really get him to look up to see the colors, which I think he would have enjoyed. Then, we made it to #4....it was one of those loud booms and then the loud crackling noises....NOT GOOD. Owen and Mommy resided inside for the rest of the night. :)

                                               Waiting for Uncle Will to start the light show!
                                             Owen and Billie Grace in the patriotic attire. :)

My favorite picture from our vacation! Owen absolutely adores his Pops and will sit and snuggle with him longer than anyone! Not to mention they look like clones of each other! :)

Owen recently celebrated his 11 month birthday! I'm almost certain I have cried at least once a day for the last week thinking about his upcoming birthday. I absolutely cannot believe it has almost been a year since I first laid eyes on my sweet boy. I cannot believe it has almost been a year that I saw with my own eyes the healing hand of God. Owen's party plans are in full swing. I don't think you can over do a first birthday for a miracle baby! We are having the party back in Owensboro so more family and friends can attend!

Our 11 month "photo shoot" has been the most difficult. That is, in keeping Owen still, smiling and looking at the camera. Although he can't walk or crawl he is busy, busy, busy. Our therapists have warned me that my time is coming...he's a going to be a wild one! Speaking of therapy- Owen is a rockstar! At least that's what his Ms. Julie calls him. :) We had our meeting last week to discuss goals Owen has met and set new ones for the next six months. In Physical Therapy Owen has met ALL HIS GOALS! Ms. Julie said that she has yet to have a kidney baby exceed so well and quickly. :) She is going to really be challenging him the next few months. He is still very hesitant to bear weight on his feet. I'm sure holding up all 22 pounds is difficult! As far as speech therapy goes, he's still far behind. Mainly because he doesn't eat by mouth. He is, however starting to make some new noises and babbling more. I was beginning to think he was going to call everything mmmmaammaa!

Oh and one other thing.....Owen has a tooth! Yes, that's right he will not be a toothless one year old. :) Owen's Nona (Michael's Mom) discovered it this past weekend. I have been checking for teeth daily. The poor baby chews, gnaws and grinds every toy he gets his hands on and has been doing so for about 5 months now and we've yet to see a tooth. For about 4 months he has had 2 bumps on his bottom gum line, where his incisor teeth are. I always felt his bottom gum for teeth, because that's where most babies get their first teeth. Well, I apparently forgot that Owen hasn't followed the "books" from birth, so why start now?

Owen has a huge, gigantic....TOP FRONT TOOTH! Poor guy, it's really big and quite sharp, too. I've checked and his gums are white and hard where his other front tooth his so I'm assuming it might be next. He was never fussy, never lost sleep or whined...such a trooper! He doesn't really like showing off his tooth seeing as he doesn't welcome our hands around his mouth...but one day I'll get a picture!

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last couple of weeks. Our sweet baby is getting so big! He has the best, most easy going personality and his smile can just light up a room! Thanks for praying for Owen. We have our big urology appointment coming up at the beginning of August. Please pray for wonderful news of a healed bladder!

                          He was doing his "push ups"....homework from PT. He's getting SO strong!
                                         I love these two boys more than words could ever say!
                                                                   Driving his race car. :)

                                            He loves playing fun games and going upside down!
Time sure is flying, and I wish it would stand still. I am constantly in awe of the great work God is doing in Owen's life. His life is a blessing and a reminder of just how faithful our God is!