Tuesday, 22 February 2011

"O for Grace to Trust Him More!"

When we found out over two and half years ago that Liam had a tumour I felt blindsided.  I had no idea, there was no warning, no signs of the storm that would engulf our lives.  I had always thought that one of the hardest things during that time was to go almost instantly from our lives in calm waters to crashing waves that were overflowing our boat.

Today, I am thinking about the story in the book of Mark chapter 4, verses 36-40.  I wonder what the disciples saw when their boat was engulfed in raging seas and Jesus slept.  When was the exact moment that they knew that something wasn't quite right.  Did they see the clouds gathering?  Did they begin to prepare? Did they talk amongst themselves about what to do? And after the miracles they had witnessed and the way that Jesus cared for them and taught them why were they afraid?

The last few days I have had moments of being afraid.  I didn't want to be, but it was hard not to worry about the storm clouds that I thought were approaching.  I recently read the story about the disciples and wondered "Why would they be afraid when they had Jesus right in the boat?"  It is funny how God teaches us things when we least expect it.  I have been blessed over the past week to be able to spend some time recounting all the things that God did for our family while Liam was sick and what He continues to do.  I have been amazed by the stories once again.  Yet, knowing all that and having it fresh in my mind, there has still been a pit in my stomach the last few days.  I have let my mind ask, "What if?"  This time I was seeing clouds in the distance.  I thought a storm was gathering and yet we were unable to stop it.   I had begun to worry about the unknown of the next few days.  I have been very much like the disciples.  I know Jesus is right in my boat and I have seen Him do amazing things even in the toughest situations and yet I found myself fearful of what might happen next for Liam and for our family.   

There was something that was not normal on Liam's latest MRI scan that he had on February 6th.  When we arrived home on Saturday night from our mission trip there was a message that they wanted to move up Liam's appointment from March 8th to last Tuesday.  We obviously missed that appointment since we were out of the country.  We had to wait for the oncology clinic to open this morning (yesterday was a holiday) so that we could find out why they wanted to move up the date. The first person I got through to said that it wasn't a scheduling conflict but that the request had come from his doctor and that in itself made my heart skip a beat. My next call was to the nurse that Liam was assigned when he first started his follow-up care.  I had to leave a message and wait for her to call back.
She called this afternoon to let me know that, yes, something had showed up on Liam's MRI and that is why they wanted to see him early.  The good news is that they already think they have figured out what that something is.  The initial call was made because they thought his tumour was growing back.  This is my worst fear.  Since that time, his surgeon Dr. Singh, along with everyone else on Liam's health care team have looked at the scans and they believe what is showing up is actually a mark left on his brain from the forceps during the original surgeries.  So they are still being very cautious and they want to see him next week to do a whole physical workup and will probably do another MRI now, or in six months, instead of waiting a year  - but I can breath again.

So what have I learned?  I have learned all over again that God is gracious and faithful even when I am fearful.  I have learned that I am still able to praise Him with my whole heart even when I am unsure of what might be coming. I have learned that it is just as hard to see the storm coming and to trust God in spite of it's presence on the horizon then to be caught up in storm without warning. I have again learned more about God's character these past few days and I have learned that I still have much to learn about my own.  "O for grace to trust Him more."

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Susana is home

We returned home last night after having been out of town for a week on a visiting/mission trip.  One of the first things I did was to check the how can they hear website.   

On February 11th at 12:15pm Susana finished her race and went home to be with Jesus. 

My prayers continue for her family and those that loved her as they both celebrate her life and grieve her loss. 

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Praying for Susana and the climb up Mount Moriah

I have never meet Susana but I have joined others in praying for her for months.  Susana is four years old and for reasons that I can not begin to fully understand on this side of heaven, Susana may today be going home to meet Jesus. 

As I read her dad's latest blog post "The Climb up Mount Moriah",  I wept for the hearts of this family I that have never and will probably never meet.  My heart breaks for what must be an almost unbearable road and yet I am encouraged by their example of faithfulness, their love and ultimate trust that our almighty, merciful God is in control.  I am also encouraged today by their church family who has rallied around them and last night stood on their front lawn to worship in their brokenness.   What beautiful examples of the body of Christ. 

For those of us who are farther away we can still be part of the body for Susana and her family as we stand in the gap and continue to pray for God to be glorified through Susana's life.

"And then we think of Jesus and how glorious His death was.  God was more glorified in His death than in anything else ever…yet the pain and anguish that Jesus and others felt was the greatest that they had ever known.  For the road to crucifixion with the sins of the world upon Him was certainly more full of anguish than any of us will ever have to bear.
And so, by His grace, we continue our climb, through both heaving sobs and lifted hands…" 
- Susana's Dad

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Packing for a Road Trip

I love road trips.  I love leaving early in the morning with a Timmy's in hand and hitting the road for adventures known or unknown.  I have always loved road trips.  I like seeing new places, especially out of the way places and I like meeting new people.  For me the planning and the getting there is just as much a part of the whole journey as the destination.

Today, I am packing for a special road trip.  Jason and I leave before the sun is up on Friday morning to head south for a mission trip.  Our final destination is just outside of Memphis, Tennessee.  Can you imagine a better mission trip for two people who love music?  I am hoping that there will be just a little time to hear some local musicians.  Maybe we will even be working with some!  If you know of any great places I would love to hear about them.

Our church usually has a mission trip twice a year and this is the first time that I have been able to go (I usually stay home with the kids) so I can't wait.  I am not exactly sure what kind of serving that we will be doing down there but we will be helping to build a building at a camp!  Have I ever built a building before?  No, not even close but I am willing to do what I can.  I am not much of a handy girl but I can sing tunes as we work and I am great at cleaning up and fetching tools for people who know what they are doing!  I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store.

As I said though, today I am packing, doing lots of laundry so I have something to pack and organizing and packing some more. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Another MRI for Liam

Liam has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow morning at MacKids.  He is now on a one year protocol for his treatment so the MRI is just to make sure that there is no change to the tumour site in his brain and that the tumour is not growing back.  I have no reason to be nervous or worried that anything will be wrong and yet I can't seem to settle down tonight.   Grrrr.  I hate that.

Liam really dislikes needles now and he has to have an IV put in tomorrow.  He is nervous about that.  He has also been working at me to take him to the West End on Locke Street as they serve a triple decker grilled cheese with bacon.  Not exactly a healthy choice for lunch but he thinks it is special occasion because he has to live through another IV.  Oh he knows how to manipulate his momma.

We don't find out the results until we go back to neuro-oncology clinic which is a month from now.  I know from past experience that if we don't hear from them before the clinic date then everything is fine.  If anything is wrong they call you right away.

Say a prayer for Liam and his nervous Nelly momma, that the scan will be clear and life will continue on as normal.  Well.... as normal as it ever is around the McGibbon Zoo.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Snow Day!

I have to admit that when I first woke up this morning I was wondering what all the fuss was about.  I thought the storm had missed us and I was surprised when everything was closed.  It had snowed but it didn't look that bad and it really didn't look like it had snowed enough to be a snow day.  As the day wore on though the flakes got bigger and we had to shovel a few more times.

We actually didn't take a day off school (what a mean teacher I am!) but we did finish early enough in the afternoon to head out to the toboggan hill for some impromptu fun with friends.  It was my friend's idea to take our kids to the hill and we had a blast!  It seemed like the whole town was there!  I love that the people in our community close the schools and can't make it to work because there is too much snow but everyone can make it to the hill!
Me- All bundled up and ready to go!

Liam posing with his sled
Caroline - Ready for some fun!

Daniel showing us all up on his board

Shelly and I - Whose idea was it for us to go down the hill??

Here we go! Racing the kids!

I have not laughed so hard in a long time!  
If you got a snow day in your neck of the woods I hope you got to spend it with family and good friends and much laughter too!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The snow is already falling here in Milton, as we get prepared for a big winter storm that is heading our way.  We have a few errands to run today so that we can just curl up in our PJ's tomorrow and ride out the big snowfall from the comfort of our warm house.  The weather man is certainly making a big deal out of this storm watch so it will be interesting to see if we get as much snow as they say!  You may get to see some pictures on this blog tomorrow.

We had a great weekend and celebrated Jason's birthday by inviting some of our church family over to share homemade soups and bread and of course cake.  We then headed out with them to our new neighbourhood in Hamilton, to show them around and to prayer walk some of the streets.  As the sun shone down on our efforts I was truly thankful for these wonderful friends and family who would brave the cold to support us.  Here are a few pictures of the day.

Daniel trying to keep warm

The CFL Tiger Cats used to play games as the park before Ivor Wynn Stadium was built

Home of the Triple Decker Grilled Cheese that Liam is begging us to try.

In the summer art exhibits are help in this alley

The Cheese Shop
Even our friend Cuba needed a coat and booties!