Tis the season for sniffles.
I am shoving as much Emergen-C down my kids as I can.
Alex made a natural mix (I like to call it a concoction but I get in trouble for that so we'll call it a "mix" today) of fresh cut onions and garlic. She made everyone eat it before bedtime.
E is traveling and little people take advantage of the opportunity by sleeping in my room. It helps my 2:30 am nightly wake-up to be surrounded by people. Not that they can ward off the boogie man should he break in but still more comforting for some reason.
In addition to everyone chowing down on onion and garlic before bed, each was also given a baby loaf pan of the "mix" to put beside their beds. Apparently this clears the sinus cavities...AND makes the whole upstairs smells like BO.
Every time I woke up through the night someone was breathing on me. It was a horrid "mix" of garlic and onion concentrated sleep breath. Who could think of the boogie man when I was busy trying to get away from the smell that was surrounding me?
Yeah. I think cold season is going to be fun this year. I hope E makes it home safely to take part. He likes onion a whole lot more than I do...
(and as a sidenote - I tease about the onions and garlic but I LOVE that Alex does everything from scratch...everything natural!)
Here is an exerpt from a letter I wrote after my trip to Sierra Leone in March.
(as a sidenote - I had a horrible run-in with a parasite after my first trip to Africa and it took a long time and a lot of doctors to rid my body of it.)
Soon after I returned from Sierra Leone I realized I was feeling “off”. Previously having experienced an African parasite, I decided I shouldn’t let the “off” go on too long.
Long story short…I had another bug. My doctors were awesome and dug for an underlying cause.
The week before one of my tests I was praying and reading in the Word and the thought came to me that “Africa saved my life.” It sounded dramatic. I hesitated to share it with anyone.
About two weeks later, the nurse from my doctor’s office called with test results. She basically explained that I had 5 areas biopsied that were pre-cancerous. They were a type of polyp that if left in the colon would spread into the wall. This would have happened quietly and unknowingly, eventually developing into colon cancer.
At that moment I realized what the “thought” meant just a few short weeks earlier. God used Africa to “save my life”…or prevent a walk down a more difficult and challenging life path. I often feel like God has used Africa to save my spiritual life too.
After the last 6 months of sickness I am reminded that God uses circumstances we often think are yucky and painful only to prevent us from something far worse. I am thankful.
In the weeks I've laid in bed over the last 7 months I've thought about all kinds of things. Our church read that book about 30 days to live. Every movie we've rented seems to have some kind of cancer story in it.
It makes me think and reflect.
What am I doing with my life?
Yeah. I know. Eric. Jake. Alex. Beth. Lucy.
But I wasn't created for them. I was created for Someone bigger. Am I living the out the purpose I was created for?
This thought has nagged at my heart more and more over the last couple of treacherous years. A lot of life experiences and pains have occurred just in the last 3 years. Has it been discipline? Preparation? Just life?
I have no clue. But what I do know is that we were living a life of excuses.
God laid on our hearts a path and we shyed away from that path because of fear, lack of faith, sin, lies we believed that we weren't good enough (the truth is that we don't have to be...Jesus is), and our inability to create time to become equipped for the task on our hearts.
Thankfully, God didn't give up on us. We stepped off the path countless times but he rerouted it back to where He wanted it. As I sit here and go over the divine appointments over the last couple of years I realize that only God could have put the players and events in place as they are.
My next post will explain what's ahead for us.
Last weekend we celebrated the Reformation with some of our favorite families!
I am totally exhausted but I thought I'd post a few pictures tonight and then explain the whole shin dig a little further another evening...with video. :)
I sported a side pony tail for my acting debut. It was like totally 80's.
The mommas... (and we look HOT with that red wall behind us!)
Elizabeth is 11.
For her birthday she wanted a horse (she asks Papa Decker for this every birthday and Christmas), a pogo stick, cowboy boots, books and art supplies.
Her list sums her up.
She loves animals and art. She is loves being active.
She climbs any tree that remotely looks climbable.
She loves deeply.
She is an artist. Not the kind you learn to be. She is naturally talented...blow you away talented. No training, just gift. I love it.
Beth is our third child, second daughter. She cried herself to sleep for 45 minutes until she was almost a year old. Later we realized it was because she loved to be held, to be touched, to be close to people when she went to sleep. If only babies could talk.
She is quiet in obedience...and quiet in disobedience. She flies under the radar.
There are times that I realize if I don't intentionally fill her cup she won't ask for it. So I try. And I am thinking that this young woman is probably the one child who has brought me the most out of my comfort zone and into a realm of "physical touch." You can't be with her and not hug her, not snuggle with her, not giggle with her.
Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet Elizabeth.
For her birthday we opened gifts at home and then ate dinner out at The Salty Iguana.
Oh, and don't mind the wonderful background in the next picture...the roaster from the weekend, my full pantry, our island full of junk. I have an eye for catching junk in my backgrounds. :)
Jake saved up his allowance and purchased a book Beth wanted. Before you say how loving and unselfish that was you should know that he hid in his room one night last week and read it before he gave it to her. She knew it somehow.
Each of her siblings either bought her something or hand made something.
Tonight we completed the birthday celebration by having cake. Green velvet cake. Beth's favorite color is green!
Those dimples make my heart full.
Alex made the scrumptious cake. The frosting was cream cheese frosting from scratch and then she used food coloring to create swirls on top. Beth loved it.
And I rarely have to make birthday cakes anymore because I have Alex! :)
My girls Bessie turns 11 today! Wahoo!!!
Also known as Beth (Bessie is my nickname for her...came from a long ago friend who couldn't say the "th" and it stuck with me).
More to come on Beth...and our BIG Reformation weekend...and our BIG life-change that starts THIS WEEK! :)
But for now,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETH!!