It is so vital that we choose to praise God for every thing that happens in our lives, both good and not-so-good. As human beings, we have it in our nature to look at all the negative events that will and do occur and question God as to why He allows such trouble in our lives when we are only trying to do right and live for Him. We must deliberately think with the mind of Christ and force ourselves to look at all the positive things and events. Sure, bad things happen to good people, and none of us is exempt from this. But, I believe that if we sincerely look, we will find God's fingerprints all over our lives. It's not easy; we want to think that, just because we are Christians and just because we are God's children, we will live a life of ease and never have any problems. The truth is......we are sinners living imperfect lives in an already corrupt and dying world. ANY good thing that we have comes straight from God above. James 1: 17 tells us that---but we don't always choose to believe it. We think we deserve some kind of handout from God, as if we are doing Him a favor by living right and He owes us. Our God created the entire universe; He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites walked across on dry ground; He made the sun and moon stand still; He created our bodies in such an intricate way that man still does not understand all about our own selves! And yet, He chooses to love us and care for us. He catches all our tears in a bottle. He hears us when we utter the simplest prayer. What right have we to expect anything from Him when He has done so much for us? So He doesn't give us the figure we desire; so He doesn't give us perfect health; so He doesn't give us the coveted job with the big salary; so He doesn't answer our prayer in the way we most desire. He doesn't have to explain Himself to us or do what we say. He is God, and He knows what is best. He is God, and His plans are always perfect. He is God, and that settles it.
My two older girls have been gone since Sunday night on a sports trip. The Presidents' Day Tournament has always been a BIG event that closes out our volleyball and basketball seasons. Our teams travel over the mountains to the Pasco area to play several Christian schools; they leave after the evening service on Sunday and (hopefully) return just before the evening service on Wednesday. There have been a few years when traffic or weather have prevented the teams from making the service on time, but our pastor always allows them to slip in the back and listen to whatever part of the service is left. This year, the mountain passes have already been hit with lots of snow---avalanche worry---and now there is incessant rainfall to think about as well---flooding worry. There's a whole lot of worrying going on! Not really, but we do pray for their safe return each time they are away. Our pastor has always said that, if the teams win the tournament or bring home the Christian character award, we will get a day off school. So far, that hasn't happened. :-( But there's always hope for next year! Preacher emphasized to our teams (and the coaches/chaperones) that maintaining a good testimony is of more importance than winning......but it would be nice to do both!
Dale finished up his Stanford Achievement Test yesterday afternoon. All told, it took him five days to complete the test---roughly twice as long as the rest of his class. However, it really seemed to me that he understood everything and answered the questions as well as any other 7th grader; he just had difficulty concentrating for long periods and had to take frequent breaks. We'll get the results back with the rest of the school's test results and see then how well he performed.
Yesterday morning, Dale got to do the first half of the neuro-psych evaluation testing. (He was scheduled to do the first half last week, you remember, but could not because of the seizure.) Dr. Crain seemed pleased with Dale's ability to hang in there and keep thinking. I could not be in the room during the testing as that would throw Dale off some, but, from what I could hear, Dale was relaxed and doing his best. We have another appointment next Tuesday afternoon to do the second half of the testing; I voiced concern that Dale might be more tired at that time of the day rather than the first-thing-in-the-morning appointment he had just had, and the doctor replied that, if he noticed that Dale was not performing up to par, he would scratch that session and plan another. I am trying not to attach too much importance to these tests---Stanford or neuro-psych---because I know God is the One Who is healing Dale, but I am curious to know how well Dale can do on these types of tests. Ultimately, full healing is in God's hands, and these doctor/therapy appointments are merely tools He is using to fulfill His own plan for Dale.
Speaking of therapy, this morning in PT (at the unearthly hour of 8:30 a.m.!!!), Dale walked down a whole flight of stairs. The therapist was in front of him, holding one of his hands for assistance, and I was behind, ready to support if needed. Dale was very fearful, looking at the many steps he would have to take before he was through. We encouraged him to focus on the next step, not the whole flight.......literally, take one step at a time! ;-) Down the first three steps, Dale was very shaky and had to fall/sit down on the step behind him. Across a small landing and down the next seven steps, he was shaky but stayed on his feet for the most part. Then, he started to get the hang of it! She told him, "Step down with your right leg but keep the left leg strong." Once Dale realized it was his left leg that was causing the problem, he was able to focus on keeping that leg strong while he stepped down with the other. And he did it! He made it all the way down---twenty-one steps and three landings later, we were on the next floor! Praise the Lord! This was such a confidence builder for Dale, proving to himself that, even though something is challenging or scary, he could do it. I really believe that getting past this shakiness and leg buckling is the key that will unlock the door to his future. Once he can move about freely without fear, nothing will stop him. He'll be out running up and down the basketball court before we know it! What a wonderful day that will be!
***Stinker Alert!***Yesterday, I was talking to Dale about this morning's early PT appointment. I said how I don't like having to get up earlier to get ready for school earlier to drop the girls off at a friend's house so she can take them to school on time so that we could get to PT on time. Dale didn't seem to like the early-hour appointment either because, after hearing me out, there seemed to be only one option to his mind. He began chanting to himself, "Have a seizure. Have a seizure. Have a seizure." The knucklehead!!! I almost strangled him in mock anger! :-) He, of course, was very proud of himself that he had gotten a rise out of me and continued to chuckle for the next few minutes, the silly goat.
Thank you again for your continued support and prayers. You have made this journey a little easier just by being here with us. God bless each of you every day!
Isaiah 40: 31 "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Amen and amen.