Saturday, December 21, 2013

I Belong on Phil's List

I know the last thing you want is to read ANOTHER post, status, article or tweet that mentions "Duck Dynasty" or "A&E." But, this is not a post debating should he have said or should they have fired.

I will do my best to keep it simple.

It seems (to me) much of the defensiveness is coming from the fact that Phil Robertson "lumped" homosexuality with a list of other sins. And, he was referring to a passage of scripture, so it was a [lose] quote of the Bible.

I have no idea if you have friends who are also appalled at these sins being named together, but if you do, I encourage you to consider carefully how you respond. 

I can't help but continually be reminded that I am there.  I am on that list.  My sins are listed there. All of my sins should be listed there.  I know my heart.  I know its wickedness. 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

I am an unrighteous human. Because of that, I would not inherit the kingdom of God. 

But, PRAISE GOD, there is good news - The Gospel. As believers, we know the Gospel is also offensive. The Gospel is offensive because the first step is realizing we are on that list. Our sinful pride makes it seem foolish that we would be on a list with someone who (fill in the blank).

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

You see, the things I loved the most - even some of the things I thought defined who I was as a human are wicked to the core. 

I am driven. Nope, greedy.

I am persuasive. Nope, a swindler.
I am just honest. No, a reviler.
And, the list could go on!

We don't fully grasp the depths of our sinfulness. And, we can't expect unbelievers to! If they did, they would realize they desperately need a Savior. 

But, my heart leaps with joy as I read the VERY NEXT verse of that passage that contains the "list".

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Praise God! Christ came and was made the perfect sacrifice. I was unrighteous, but now He is making me into something else - a new creation.  In Him we can be righteous.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

So, I encourage you: if you are chatting with someone who doesn't like the list, with humility, put yourself there and point to the Gospel. Don't be surprised; they will probably consider it foolish and be offended. Be patient and loving.

*If you would like to know more about the Gospel or just have some questions, please contact me by email

** This post is not intended to address the political issues surrounding what Phil said and A&E's response (Although, I do think they are important). My intent is to encourage us to ponder our own sinfulness, be reminded of the Gospel and to meditate on the wonder of our Savior.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Febrile Seizures

(This is a post I began back in August documenting Jude's first febrile seizure.  I did not post it then, but decided to add to and finish it, after his second febrile seizure.)

On July 30th, Jude and I came home around noon from running some errands. I noticed he acted like he wasn't feeling well. When I tried to feed him lunch, he did not want to eat (very abnormal for this kid). When I picked him up out of the high chair, he felt warm.  So, I took his temperature. It was 102.

After taking his temp, Jude began to act nauseous.  Sure enough, about 10 minutes later he began vomiting. So, I decided to do a bath to clean him up and help bring down his fever a bit.  When I took him out of the bath, he began shivering.  I dressed him and laid him in his crib so I could change my clothes.  As I was changing, I heard strange sounding whimpering. I went to him, thinking he was probably vomiting again.

When I got to the crib, I found him seizing. His whole body was shaking and he was making this little squealing sound. He stopped squealing, but was still shaking with his eyes fixed with a blank stare.

I remembered that Stephen had had febrile seizures (seizures brought on by a fever) so, at first I wasn't panicked. I just thought, "I need to get his fever down."  (I now know it is not the height of the fever that triggers the seizure, but the rapid rise of body temperature.) So, I took off his clothes and brought him into the bathroom and began running some cool water. As I was running the water and getting a washrag, I looked down at my still shaking baby.  I noticed that his skin looked grey and his lips were turning blue.  I thought that he may not be breathing (it was hard to tell because he was shaking) so, I called 911.

After about 2-2.5 minutes he stopped seizing. Then, he was in this catatonic unresponsive state. He vomited more.

Jude's first febrile seizure landed us in the
hospital when he was 9.5 months old
eShortly, the ambulance came and took us to the hospital. He was given IV Zofran and meds to control his fever (which got up to 104.5). The doctors confirmed that is was a febrile seizure. He was hospitalized over night since his fever was hard to control and his vomiting and diarrhea was so severe.

Since his first febrile seizure happened at such a young age, we were told it is more likely that he will have another. Stephen had them very frequently as a child. But, praise God, they are harmless and he should grow out of them around age 5 or 6.

Fast forward - almost 5 months later - we experienced Jude's second febrile seizure on a Sunday night after church. Thankfully, this one seemed less severe and did not last as long.

If you ever become (and I hope you don't) the parent of a child who has these, you will be told several things:

- They are harmless.
- They will outgrow them.
- There's nothing you can do to prevent them.
- There's not much you can do while your child is seizing.
- Giving your child Tylenol or Motrin at the first sign of fever hasn't been proven to prevent febrile seizures.

I KNOW all these things. But, I feel anxiety creep up every time he feels warm or gets a runny nose. And, in the midst of a seizure, all I can think is, "He's not breathing. Please breathe."  Both times he seized it appeared (to me) that he is not breathing. I have been told he is probably still taking tiny unnoticeable breaths and since most febrile seizures are less than a couple minutes this is ok.

I am not incredibly experienced at this whole parenting thing, but it seems that one of the greatest challenges must be watching your child suffer and not being able to do anything about it. That urge to protect and nurture makes being in such a situation seem absurd.

I completely acknowledge that febrile seizures are so trivial in the grand scheme of other health burdens parents must face. I in no way want to exaggerate our situation. I can't imagine what parents whose child is seriously ill must face.  My heart breaks for any parent in such a situation. Yet, the Lord is teaching me something through this. He is teaching me to relax. Teaching me to control my thoughts when emotion and panic try to take over. To trust Him with one of the things I try to control the most - my child's health and well being. Truly, I am not in control. Not even a tiny bit. None of my decisions are sovereign over my child's future. The Lord is.

I so hope I learn this lesson well. That I can have a sense of calmness and confidence in the Lord no matter what. That I can trust Him completely - even with my child's life.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Becoming an Okie

We live in Oklahoma!
Jude and me after church on November 24 - first OK snow. 

Though this sentence has been true a month, sometimes it still seems so surreal. Do I really live over 1,100 miles from family, friends, and things familiar?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Stephen accepted a position as Associate Pastor of Worship here in Edmond, Oklahoma. We are loving our church and are so blessed to be a part of a body that is dedicated to functioning as scripturally as possible! 

You would think that I would be good at moving at this point. After all, we moved from Louisiana to Florida when I was 33 weeks pregnant, then a few months later moved again with a 2 month old, and now this move less than a year after that! But, I am not good at it. Actually, I loathe almost hate it.

Moving to Oklahoma at the beginning of winter definitely created a “shock factor” for these Floridians. During our first week here we were greeted with snow and ice. Then a week later we experienced a whole week where temps didn't get above freezing! I have NEVER seen single digit temps and only seen the teens a handful of times! Let me assure you, my wardrobe is inadequate and my blood too thin for such cold! :)

Jude had a bit of a rough week our first couple weeks here – he just wasn’t his usual self. He was whiny, clingy and newly defiant. Of course, some of this is just normal one-year-old stuff.  We still have some things we are working through, but I think he is beginning to adjust.

Jude and Daddy. More Snow - Dec 5 
I was surprised at how hard it was to leave Jacksonville.  Though we were only there a year, we made some precious friendships.  I had the opportunity to pray and cheer for some sweet friends as they struggled to grow their families.  I was sad to not be able to see those babies before we left, but know I will get to meet them when we return.  We miss our church in Jacksonville, and are so blessed that they viewed this as them sending us to Oklahoma to do ministry. It was such a blessing to have them praying for and counseling us as we made this decision.

Most of all, it was hard to move away from family again. I cherished the ability to visit my parents, sisters, and in-laws.  I loved that my nephew knew who I was and that I could spend time with him!  I miss them all so much. But, am so thankful for that year.

One thing I do know, moving, especially across the country, is a huge source of sanctification. This is especially true for my husband since in the midst of all the stress and grief I become incredibly hard to bear. Oh, I am so thankful for him for bearing so patiently with my sinfulness!

My sanctification has come in the opportunities I have to fight temptation to sin. I have been tempted mostly in the areas of self-pity and to doubt God. I am tempted to self-pity when I think of the things I am missing (family, friends, events).  Doubt creeps in when I think I may never have relationships as dear as the ones we left.

I frequently see these great opportunities to trust God, then fail miserably to execute.  I seem to over-estimate my spiritual maturity. But, failure is a lesson that my own strength is not sufficient! And, I see the great growth he brings forth from these difficult seasons.

With every temptation to sin, I have the opportunity to preach to myself. I have the opportunity to remind myself that God has always been faithful to give us all that we need.  He has always provided family away from family. Friends that feel like we have known them forever. People who love our little like he's their own blood. And, though it has taken time, each place he has brought us to has become "home."

It’s funny - I remember reading the accounts of the Israelites forgetting what the Lord did for them in the past and complaining against him while in the wilderness. I arrogantly thought, “How could they forget? I mean, seas parting? Pillars of fire? How could they forget?”  But, here I am in a much more comfortable place than the wilderness and I am quick to forget that the Lord has always provided. And, he already provided everything I need in Christ.

So, I know these next few months will be all about building relationships and making this our "home." In my experience, this takes time. I am praying that by the Lord's grace he may speed up this process.  I can't wait to see who the Lord will bring into our lives to befriend, mentor, and disciple us. 

As always, we ask that you would pray that God would use us to draw people to himself!


Though my blog has been sorely neglected this past year, I hope to revive it. I have not perfected being both a mama and a blogger, but I pray that I can do a little better in order to keep family and friends who live across the country up to date on what the Lord is doing here.