Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Early this summer, Jason came home and asked for a Fedora. I didn't even know what a Fedora was!!! Luckily he has a dad and brother who are clued in. Here he is climbing a rock at the beach in his fedora. Who wears a fedora while climbing??? He loves it, and he wears it pretty well. This is classic Jason. I understand that these are becoming more popular, but I can tell you that I've never seen one of Jason's friends wearing one. He is such an individual. It poses it's challenges, but it is also a great characteristic. He continues to grow in his beliefs and has very strong convictions; we are working with him on grace and less judgment. Life is black and white, and for the most part he wants nothing to do with anything he thinks is morally wrong.
However, he is also quicker than his older brother to push the rules Brent and I set for him, especially if he doesn't agree with them. He is a good friend and will stand up for the underdog, which is something I am very proud of in him. He's a great conversationalist. I was on the phone with a friend the other day, and she said something about really enjoying conversations with Jason. She said she is around other kids his age, and they can't carry on a conversation with adults, but she finds it easy to talk to him. It's true; he's so social and has very good social skills with kids of all ages. He is good to babysit and play with his younger siblings, but he is equally great in adult conversations.
He loves to take pictures and talks now of being a photographer one day. This summer he and some of his friends got into making "stop motions". They took hundreds of pictures of lego guys and put those pictures into video form. He had a blast doing this and it occupied lots of time. I still can't seem to add a link, but Normal Joe Productions is the name of their youtube channel, and the address is It's pretty entertaining!!!!
I look forward to see where his creativity takes him.
when James and Jason were little guys, maybe 3 and 6, Grandpa Colaw used to say that when they grow up, they should have a company together. James could be the brains behind the whole thing, and Jason could charm their way into everyone's life. Not that James can't be charming and Jason isn't smart, but this continues to summarize our two oldest boys very well. Grandpa had incredible insight even when they were so young.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"I'm sure you know this already, but man James is an awesome kid. :-)"

This was written on my Facebook wall the other day by a friend who also attends our church. I can't tell you how proud that made me. He really is an awesome kid!!! We have so many things that we love about him, so many funny stories. He's a hard worker. His boss calls him the robot because he works so hard without stopping. He's funny and makes us laugh all the time, most of the time intentionally. He's creative. He can draw and design and edit video and does it all with excellence. He is a great writer. I love finding his notes in my Bible. He writes little notes to us that mean so much. We love talking to him after church on Sunday to hear what he learned from the teaching and his critique of his dad. Brent says that if he wants to know the truth, he asks James. His critiques are normally very helpful!!! He loves the Lord and he loves people. He is a servant. One of my favorite recent memories was at a Gone for Good when we went to feed the homeless. Brent was not with us, and he's usually the one who draws all the people together and uses his hospitality gifts as easily in the homeless park as he does in our living room. I was busy serving with some of the other adults in our small group while other adults were watching the kids who were with us, so the people were not being drawn into conversation and rather than sitting with us, they were getting their food and going to sit under a tree. I looked up and saw James and Jason walking over to sit with them. They sat down on the ground right next to them and were striking up a conversation. After I finished serving, I went over to see what was being discussed. They were discussing the Vietnam war. The two man they were talking to at that moment had both served in Vietnam. James continued talking to them for probably over an hour. When we were driving home, I told him how proud I was of him for taking initiative and going over there. He said, "I just wish I was more like dad." I asked what that meant. He said he has to force conversations with them. He wished it came as naturally as it does for Brent. I almost laughed at his expectations for himself. Not only is he only 16 and speaking to homeless people, but he's 16 and speaking to 50-60 year old men and feeling bad for his conversational skills when obviously those men felt perfectly comfortable to talk to him for so long. He's just incredible with people. Many 16 year olds would have been mad at their mom and dad for making them go to the park and would never have considered going and sitting on the ground to be part of the conversation. Not James.

He had a really interesting/scary experience about a week ago. He was out on his skateboard at about 9:00 a week and a half ago on a Friday night with his friend, Jake. They were on their way home from grabbing a bite to eat. It had been a rough week, and I was wiped out, so I was laying in bed watching a movie. Brent was beside me when the phone rang. It was a very odd conversation that I could not understand but it seemed obvious that I should jump up and get ready to walk out the door. James was down the street, by the elementary school that David and Sarah attend, with Jake and the police. He and Jake were riding down the road when they realized a car was driving slowly beside them with about five guys in it. They decided to make a turn and go into a neighborhood to get away from the car. They were punching in the code to open the gate when the car pulled up and two guys jumped out of the car. Jake realized what they were doing and rolled his skateboard to them then ran into light and called the police (FLIGHT). James, on the other hand, responded by shoving the first guy out of the way and running after the second (FIGHT). When he ran after the second, the first got up and used a taser on James's abdomen. They then grabbed his board and ran. It turned out that James and Jake were maybe the third victims of the evening, and another boy was attacked after them. (This fight or flight story is a perfect example of James and Jake's friendship. They are as opposite as can be, but incredible for each other.)

It was super scary for all of us . . . the boys and their parents. We've all recovered, though I still think I may be a little overprotective for a while. James works at a skate and surf shop, so the next day when he went into work, his boss gave him a skateboard, and James bought Jake a new board also. That night we took James over to Jake's house, and both boys were back on their new boards. The police caught the criminals and they (at least some of them) are in juvenile hall. Some, if not all, of the items have been recovered. Brent was on the news as was the back of James while on his board. I was nervous about the news involvement, but I guess it's all okay. I can't seem to upload the link to the news story, but it is, if you want to cut and paste it.

This has been another moment in my life as a parent where I realize just how precious life is and how I need to be careful not to take things for granted. We are so thankful they had a taser and not a knife or gun. It could have been so much worse. As we talked to Jake's parent the following and watched the boys on their boards playing and having fun, I think we were all incredibly grateful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

trying a new thing . . .

I've been terrible about this blogging thing. Seems like I'm so busy, but I really like looking back on what I've written and being reminded of various things, including how God was working in my life at different times. So I was trying to think of what I might like to blog about, something that might make me excited to write.

I'm going to try to start with writing something about Brent and I, something about our relationship, how God is using us, whatever. If I can stay disciplined, I will do one day about us, one about each of the kids and one about work or something like that.

I must tell you that ministry has been beyond stressful lately. Actually, just life in general has been. There have been all sorts of stress: finances, relationships, time management, work related stuff for me, you name it. We can sense God really using us in different ways, but it also takes a toll. (I'm not one to blame everything on spiritual warfare, but looking back on our year, I can't help but wonder if Satan is trying to drag us down. I'm tired of picking up the phone to call home with another catastrophe.) We've had some friends going through a rough time in their marriage. We love being there for them, but it also brings up garbage in your own marriage, so we have had to talk through some stuff, which is not really all that fun. But in the process of watching Brent handle difficult situations, I have been so proud and so thankful for the man God gave to me. He has been so reliant on God. This particular situation is so much more than we know what to do with, but we know that we were called into the middle of it for a reason, and we want to be where God wants us to be and to be used by Him. I have watched Brent sit quietly praying for the next step and then listened to him as he acted on what he felt God leading him to do or say. It has been exciting to watch lives transforming because Brent has allowed himself to be used by God, even when he felt totally incapable. Truly amazing!!!!

I was "telling my story" at small group the other night. I've done this so many times before, beginning back when we were in Kyle Unruh's small group in Bartlesville, but it's always a little different and I always teach myself something (or remind myself of something) as I tell my own story. The thing I realized as I told my story last week is that God puts us through circumstances and gives us opportunities for a reason. If we are willing to be his tool, he will use us in really big ways. I've been watching my husband be taken out of his comfort zone to be God's tool, and he has been doing an amazing job.

I would just ask any of you who happen to read this to be praying for us. We had all the physical injuries last year with all six of us being in urgent care at one time or another (and David in on three occasions). There is an earlier post about that, I think. Recently, it has seemed more relational and emotional. James was mugged a little over a week ago. I will tell that story another time. I had to make a decision in effort to protect James's emotions in another situation and force him (and Jason) to delete one of our "friends" from Facebook because of hateful, sarcastic comments, which has caused even more relational turmoil for Brent and me, and as much as I play "tough", I don't like people not liking me, and Brent hates it when people are not happy with him. He wants to be loved by everyone. So it's been a tough couple weeks, and we could use your prayers for protection and for wisdom.

Here's the most recent family picture I have from our vacation to Yosemite last month. We went on our first ever camping trip. I will have to blog about that soon. Not the best picture. We were being swarmed by mosquitos, but the lake was beautiful and we hiked 3.5 miles one way to see it, so we had to get a picture.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

18 Years

It's 10:00 my time, so midnight Oklahoma time. 18 years ago right now, I was still out with my bridesmaids and other close friends being silly in Tulsa. They made me look ridiculous, took me to Albertsons (only I'm sure it was not Albertson's at the time . . . that store' been so many different things over the years . . . Food Pyramid now, I believe) and embarrassed me, then drove me to Tulsa to TGI Fridays and embarrassed me some more. We had fun giggling and enjoying each other, then got to bed far too late. I was up early the next morning to get ready for the day.

I loved my wedding day! It was perfect with the exception of not being able to be at much of our reception because of pictures . . . and the simplicity of the reception. It was beautiful, even the teal bridesmaid's dresses, which Brent looks back on and doesn't like (but I think that's all part of it)!!! They were a beautiful color then!!! Our wedding was a little long probably, but we loved it, and it was OUR wedding!! We had a lot of songs. Our parents sang. Brent wrote me a song with Larry Dearman's help with music, and Terri sang it. My roommate sang a song, and Larry also sang another song!!! Then we had all the other traditional things of the time . . . unity candle, communion, vows, a prayer with all of our parents.

Brent had beautiful bouquets of flowers made, one for Joyce and one for Vinita (his biological mother). I knew nothing about it until the wedding day. I knew how thoughtful he was, but those flowers coupled with the song he wrote for me so confirmed to me the heart of the man I was marrying. He continues to be equally amazing to this day!!!

I shed lots of tears that day . . . tears of happiness (I think I cried most of the way through the wedding) and tears of sadness, saying goodbye to my parents who would be long gone from Bartlesville by the time we returned home. The next time I saw them things would be just a little different since I now had a husband and was no longer just their little girl, and that was a little hard even though I was so excited. We also had lots of laughs that day. During the wedding, Grandpa Colaw referred to me as the husband or Brent as the wife (I can't remember which). I thought he said it wrong, but I was nervous and uncertain, so I corrected him, but with some hesitation. I remember everyone laughing behind me. But the funnier thing (funnier now than then) is that when we got to Tulsa after the wedding and went to check into our hotel room, they asked Brent for ID. You had to be 21 to rent a room, and we were not. They almost didn't give us our room, and did, in fact, ask Brent to call his parents to drive to Tulsa to rent the room for us. Yes, talk about an awkward moment. Brent refused and ultimately the poor lady let us check in.

I can hardly believe it has been 18 years since that amazing day! No day will ever be the same. Sometimes I wish we could go back in time and relive certain moments. This is one of them. I loved that day, everything about it. I can't be honest and say that I have loved every day since then, but I can say that I do love the journey that we have had together and will continue to have. Brent is the best husband and best friend I could ask for. God knew what he was doing when he brought us together. I cannot imagine where my life would be without him. Marriage is not always easy . . . in fact most of the time it isn't easy. When it seems to be easy, I think I better watch out because Satan will probably be attacking. But marriage is incredible. I am so thankful for the things God teaches me through Brent and our relationship. I am blessed as I look back over the last 18 years of my life with Brent . . . so many little memories pop into my mind, and I smile. Thanks, God, for the most amazing husband in the world!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Whirlwind . . .

I wanted to title this "In a Nut Shell" but there is no way I can type all that's been going on in what people would consider a "Nut Shell", so I'm not even going to try or lead whoever may read this to believe otherwise.

First of all, I want to say that we are really doing well!!! I have repeated the verse, "Count it all joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds," James 1:2. And I have been remembering that while things may seem difficult in our lives in some ways, there are so many worse things going on all around us. With that said, I thought I would share things that have been going on with us . . . good and bad.

Today, Friday April 15th (just in case it takes some time to get this posted), James was officially diagnosed with epilepsy. Wow! That was harder to type than I thought. First of all, let me tell you that he has been such an incredible testimony, and I am one proud mama!!!! He got pretty sick with a virus in early March and was in bed for six days running a fever. It would go up and down, but never really went away until the final day. Even after he returned to school, he was exhausted and came home after school and went almost immediately to bed . . . after a snack, or should I say first dinner because he doesn't really have snacks anymore. The kid can eat!!! After about a week of this, I decided it must have become a habit, and I needed to put an end to it, and started making him stay awake after school. Sometime during that second week, he started complaining of very short lapses of time. You would think that having a seizure disorder myself, my mind would have gone straight there, but I guess I was living contentedly in a world of denial. I kept thinking it must have been related to being sick and that it would go away. It wasn't affecting him significantly because they lasted for such a short time, but one night he came into our room and said he really wanted to go to the doctor. At that moment Brent said he wondered if James was having seizures. With that now in my mind, I acted quickly and got him a doctor's appointment immediately. That was about a month ago. He has continued to have anywhere from 3-5 of these little "lapses" every day. The lapses are followed by short spells of either a headache, tight muscles in his stomach, some anxiety or depressed feelings or a combination. He has had an EEG and an MRI. We were happy to learn today that the MRI was normal, ruling out a brain tumor. The EEG was also normal, but that has little meaning. It just means they didn't catch any seizure activity during the 20 minutes he was hooked up to the machine. I've had many normal EEGs in my life but have also had many abnormal ones and have had seizures anyway. With the normal EEG, I must say that I was hesitant to begin medication, but the truth of the matter is that the doctor identified the issues he was having as seizure activity a couple weeks ago and wanted to start medication then. James hates having these little seizures, which at this point are just more of an inconvenience than anything, but which at any moment could lead to a grand mal seizure, which could be very dangerous for him. So tonight, in about an hour, he will take his first dose of anti-seizure medication.

This is the culmination of a year of incredible medical problems, mostly just injuries, but medical problems none the less. It's been rough, and I have had moments of frustration with God (If I am to be open and honest). The moments have been brief accompanied by tears and then me trying to seek and trust God with everything, but they have happened. I have been watching my kids and learning lessons from them, and they have learned lessons from us. The financial impact of all these medical issues has been one the the greatest difficulties in all of this. We are so thankful to our parents and a few dear friends who have helped us through a couple of tight spots. I don't know what we would have done. I tend to steer away from giving Satan too much credit for the personal sin that we as humans have, but I must tell you that in this case, I feel Satan has been attacking. In a very small way, I have felt like Job with all of us experiencing significant medical issues this year. James had been the one free and clear of Urgent Care/Emergency Room visits, (He actually still is because we never took him to either of those places!!!) and I was happy that at least one of us had not had some medical crisis, but that did not last. His crisis is likely the worst due to longevity issues.

In addition to all of the medical issues, there have been a few other things that have happened that have been difficult and challenging. At first I was going to mention it, but I don't think I will now. Seems pointless and complaining. What I will say is that these challenges are molding me more and more into the person God wants me to be. If I can look at them in that light, they don't seem quite so bad!!!

And in fact as I type, so many blessings come to mind. A couple weeks ago, we enjoyed an amazing weekend of fellowship and service with our small group and church, enjoying each other's company on Saturday night, and taking lunches to the homeless on Sunday. This past Sunday, Brent had the opportunity to dedicate a beautiful baby girl in our church, and afterward we enjoyed a great time with her family and their friends. Today that sweet baby had her adoption by this family finalized. It's such an incredible testimony of how God adopts us. We sat down with our small group on Tuesday night and just had an incredible time with this group of people who we love and who have become incredible friends and encouragers. God used them that night to really encourage us in so many ways. We love them. We are currently in the process of doing pre-marital counseling with an amazing couple who attends Kaleo, and we are loving the friendship we are building with them. And I love listening to Brent talk to them about marriage. We're both learning and growing in this process as well, and I realize more and more what an incredible husband I have!!! On Wednesday we met some friends for coffee and closed the place down laughing and sharing life with them. They are at a HUGE crossroads in their life and wanted to bounce some stuff off of us. We were able to share our story of how we ended up here . . . the good and the bad and in the process, remind ourselves of how GREAT our God is. Things may not go our way, but He is sovereign and He works things out for good according to His plan. We are so privileged to be a part of that plan. We were able to laugh with them and share the tough stuff with them and use our story to remind them that God has a plan for them. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what that is or when/how it should take place, but God will provide direction in His time. We have certainly learned that as we have walked the path that we have been walking. There are so many other great things. I could write and write a list of things that I could thank God for right now, things He just did or showed us in the past week even.

In addition to all this greatness, we have our kids. What a blessing they are!!! It makes me want to cry as I think about this. They can be frustrating and they need discipline and correction . . . sometimes a lot, but they are amazing, and their hearts are turned toward Jesus, and I am thankful. As we have dealt with all this stuff with James, there have been a couple things that have stood out in my mind. We were to have a CT Scan one day a couple weeks ago. I took James down to the radiology place. He was a little anxious as this test was to rule out a tumor, which his pediatrician mentioned in front of him, so he was a little worried. It ended up being a HUGE mess. I was expecting to pay them my normal co-pay, but they wanted half of the total cost of the CT. We did not have the money for that so they would not do the CT. I was initially in total shock, but ultimately asked to speak to someone in the billing department thinking there had to be some way to set up a payment plan. Even after talking to all of them, they would not budge. We had to write a check for half of the total cost or he could not be seen. I did not even have a credit card, so there was nothing that could be done. In this whole process I had gotten pretty upset and was crying a lot. James put his arm around me and had to remind me that it would be okay and that God was in control. Even in his anxiety, that was clear to him. It wasn't so much to me. We went to the neurologist a couple days later. He asked if we had gotten the CT scan. When Brent said no, he said he was glad because really James needed an MRI. We would have paid all that money for nothing. God was totally in control. It was that morning that the neurologist said he was pretty sure James had epilepsy. When the appointment was over, I asked him how he was doing and what he thought about what the doctor said. His response was simply, "I'm fine. We knew something was wrong. We might as well have a name for it." He was so calm and collected, and that has pretty much been the case today as well. I so appreciate his faith. I have not heard a complaint out of his mouth about any of this.

In the midst of al of this, God has crossed our paths with many people experiencing much greater difficulty than us and some of them do not have faith in a God who loves them and who they can trust. I have had many moments of reminding myself to keep perspective!! We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we continue walking down this road with James and just the road God has us on in general. Pray that we would remember to "count it all joy!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

James . . . 16

Last Thursday James turned 16. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I remember crying the night before his 8th birthday because we were half way to 16 . . . that also seems like yesterday. And here we are four days past his 16th birthday. He's going to be 32 before I know it (okay, that's a little extreme, but you get the point)! It's so hard to believe that time has passed so quickly.

I must say, however, that I like 16 so much better than 13!!! James is growing up to be such a great guy, and I am so proud of him. I know church planting and attending a small church has been tough on him. We don't really have a youth group or a leader who really invests in him. Brent and I have pretty much been the only people locally who have done that. My greatest sense of loss when we left was what James was losing by not having Jeff Berg as his youth leader and not having his amazing group of friends in his youth group. That was a tremendous loss for him, but there was HUGE gain in that loss, for us as his parents, for him as a son and for him as a friend and evangelist. We have watched as he has reached out to friends, inviting them to hang out at our house, hear about Jesus, hopefully see Jesus in us and James, and have little seeds of truth planted in them. We have watched as he hurts some through not having a lot of friends (which, by the way, is terribly hard for a mother and father), but has a few very close friends here and a couple very close friends in Bartlesville, who have remained true, even across the miles. James is a loyal friend, which makes me happy. When he took his 8th grade trip to Magic Mountain, his closest friend did not want to ride roller coasters. James, who loves roller coasters, sat out to hang with Jake. It almost made me cry at the time. I don't think I would have made the right decision at that time in my life.

As I think back on his life, I just smile. We were so young when he was born. I'm so glad that God chose us to raise him. I'm not always sure why He thought that was a good idea, but I'm thankful that we follow His plans and not our own. I remember holding him for the first time. I remember looking into his perfect (yet imperfect) face and being so thankful that God gave him to us. He was beautiful. I remember releasing him to the anesthesiologist on the morning of his first cleft surgery. I remember how anxiety provoking that was and yet how God filled us with peace as we waited for the results in the waiting room. I remember when he first walked while we were at Brent's parents' house. I remember how much he talked from what seemed like day one. We used to listen to him talk to himself until late into the night. He had all sorts of imaginary friends and he would tell them stories, sometimes even until 1 in the morning. Sometimes he would fall asleep, then wake up in the middle of the night to talk some more. Our room in that house touched his room. We could hear him from our bed, and it made us laugh and laugh.

James has never had a good grasp of his age. He has always interacted with adults in such a way that made you wonder if he really got that he was a kid. Sometimes it has been a fun thing to watch; sometimes it has caused me to cringe. One time we were sitting at dinner at Grace Community Church with a friend, Mark. Mark is a great man, but a bit intimidating to most people, at least I think so, definitely intimidating to me on some level, though I think he's great. Mark was teasing James and having fun with him. James was in early grade school. He looked up at Mark and said, "You want a piece of me?" I didn't know whether to laugh or scold him. It was hilarious on the one hand, but on the other, it was quite obvious that he was not recognizing the generational gap. That's how he has always been with adults. It's not usually intended to be disrespectful. It definitely wasn't in that case. He was just trying to be funny in response to Mark's teasing. I don't remember anymore what I did. I wonder if Mark does?

We reminisced tonight with friends about how he used to say, "If I live to be ten . . . " and follow that with something. It used to freak us out, and we were so glad when he did turn ten, but he never understood why we found it so strange. He used to say, "I want to be with God." He had no fear and such a sweet, simple faith. That has not changed really. I remember how amazed Brent and I were, when he was young, of his understanding of Scripture. His teachers used to say that to us as well. I remember having to call Brent on the phone at night when he was at work because once again James was asking a question about the Bible that I could not explain. I remember one Family Sunday in church at Grace when Rod was closing with a question for us to contemplate, and James yelled out (yes yelled) the answer. I was just so thankful that he had the right answer. He was only six or seven, but he "got" it.

I remember so many funny things he used to say and do, and I remember his raspy little voice. I miss it!!! I remember all of my later pregnancies and how excited he was when we told him a baby was coming. He always wanted a girl. I remember the day we found out Sarah was a girl and going up to American Christian School, pulling the boys (James and Jason) out of class to tell them. The look on his face was priceless. Recently he asked me if we were going to adopt a baby. In his youthful mind, it only makes sense that we would. After all, I'm a social worker and I see children all the time who need homes. We talked about it a bit because I don't necessarily think we will (I never rule anything out anymore . . . not since I said we would NEVER move to California). In the conversation he said that if we were going to adopt a baby he needs to know so he can stay close to home when he graduates. He doesn't want a sibling who he doesn't know. Again, I had tears. I am so grateful for his priorities. I know being the oldest is tough (I am the oldest). I watch him with his brothers and sister and sometimes he gets frustrated and is bothered by them, but he loves them and wants to be a part of their lives. I am so thankful for that.

I think of the sweet notes he has written me over the years, expressing his love and appreciation. I hope that continues for years to come. The notes melt my heart. He does the same for Brent and for Jason, David and Sarah. It's so incredible! I could go on and on about him. But the bottom line is that I am so thankful that God gave him to us. He is such a treasure, such a blessing, and I am so excited to continue to watch him grow into the man God wants him to be. I could go on and on about my sweet young man. We certainly enjoyed celebrating his birthday. He wanted Brent and I to have a cook-off, each of us making a separate four course meal and him determining which was better. We both think he just wanted the extra food. We didn't do that, but we did cook some of his favorite things: filet mignon, twice baked potatoes, a salad, bread and chocolate creme pie for dessert. He was pretty happy! We spent the evening enjoying him and being thankful for his life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A New Theme

In the Christmas/New Years letter that I never sent, I was going to mention how we were glad it was a New Year with a clean slate that we hoped would not include anymore trips to the ER, Urgent Care or Hospital. Well, as usual I was late getting it done, and no longer can I say that I hope 2011 will not include such emergencies/inconveniences.

Yesterday, while playing with some friends, sliding down hills on cardboard boxes, David decided he could get momentum by jumping. I saw him doing it once and as I was saying, "You need to stop before you break your tailbone," he jumped again and got a spiral fracture in his right lower leg. We were approximately an hour out of town (an hour and a half when a child's leg is broken because of how slow Brent had to drive down the dirt roads). David was in excruciating pain. Initially, I wasn't sure if he was exaggerating some, but he wasn't calming down much at all. After the x-rays were taken, and we were given a diagnosis (along with a discussion from the doctor about how these kind of fractures are the most painful), I knew the pain was very much as he was reacting to it.

It was a horrible situation in so many ways. In addition to the pain, it's always much worse to have an accident happen on someone else's property. I felt horrible for them because they felt so bad that it happened. I can relate because we had friends here just about 11 months ago and Jake fell out of Jason's bed and broke his wrist. It just feels rotten, so I could relate to how they were feeling. In addition to that, these friends (whose house we were at yesterday) lost a friend to a heart attack last night after David's injury.

To be very raw, I was really down yesterday. I'm tired of having all these emergencies. Starting last May, we have been to the emergency room/Urgent care eight times for injuries, and in addition, James had cleft lip repair surgery. That coming to a head with a spiral fracture does not look good. Let's face it, I have investigated child abuse for many years, it's suspicious. There are emotions surrounding that. There are emotions surrounding the fact that it's hard to care for injured kids in many different ways. Quick example, it hurts David to move, so he doesn't want to go to the bathroom. I just walked into the other room to check on him and there was a funny odor. He had tinkled in Sarah's apple juice cup to avoid having to get up. He made a minimal mess, but anyone could have picked that up and taken a drink. I think that may be laughable in a couple days, but not right now. There are emotions surrounding the fact that I am physically and emotionally tired. There are emotions around the fact that I have to watch my child hurt like he does without being able to take away the pain. The list goes on and on.

However, I am having to remind myself and needing to receive reminders from Brent. This is not so bad. There are people out there whose lives are forever changing because of different things . . . someone being diagnosed with cancer or other life threatening illness, someone dying suddenly of a heart attack, someone's marriage falling apart. I have seen so much pain in the lives of others. My situation is an inconvenience for sure, but it is not going to change the whole course of our lives. I write this as a reminder to myself when I am feeling overwhelmed or burdened.

In the midst of all of this, David has sweetly and unintentionally reminded me and turned my eyes toward the fact that Scripture says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord . . . " A week or so ago, David and I were at Target shopping with his Christmas money. We ran into his teacher. It's always fun for kids to see their teachers out in public, at least when they like their teachers. Anyway, as we were walking away, David said, "I didn't know we were going to see my teacher . . . but God did. He knows everything." Again yesterday, in not such a happy tone, David said, "Why did this happen? Why did I jump? God knew this was going to happen." While he was upset, it took me back to the conversation in Target. What a difference in the way it was said but what truth. God knows the good and the bad, and He has a plan for it all. It made for a good quick conversation about God's plans with David yesterday.

I don't know why it's necessary for us to experience so many visits to the doctor. I don't know why our friends had to experience two difficult situations yesterday. I don't know why marriages end and children and adults have to live with that for the rest of their lives. I don't know why people are diagnosed with cancer. And while I think sin plays a role in some of these things, and God is sad about many of them and sad about the choices we make often, I also know sometimes what happens is out of our control and something God allows for some purpose in our lives. Sometimes we see the purpose right away; sometimes we don't. It's tough; it's a battle out there. Right now I just want to drown in self-pity, but then what Glory would God get? My purpose is to live a life that glorifies God. So, I continue to pray that I will do so. If you are reading this, please pray these "inconveniences" won't get the best of me. Yesterday I felt it might.

Here's my sweet boy at the end of the day yesterday.