So many blessings to tell about---I don't know where to start!
Back at the beginning of the summer, we all visited the dentist's office. After Dale's checkup and cleaning, the dentist informed me that Dale had a small cavity between two of his back molars, but that we could wait until the one molar fell out before fixing the cavity. The dentist also said that the adult tooth waiting to grow in had turned sideways and would probably need oral surgery to right it. Sure enough, about a month ago, Dale lost that loose molar, and we could see immediately that the dentist was correct---the adult tooth was already visible and turned completely on its side so that the points of the crown were pointing toward his cheek instead of straight up. Since Chad and I do not happen to have several hundred dollars (or maybe thousands!) lying around for dental surgery, I began praying that God would correct the position of Dale's tooth so that there would be no need to worry about possible dental problems later in life. To be honest, I prayed, giving God the burden and meaning my words sincerely........and then promptly forgot about it! Not because I'm some great prayer warrior whose faith in God is so strong, but because there were so many other things to think about with school starting and all.
Fast forward about four weeks: Dale told me last week at the table that he had lost a tooth at school that day. When I checked his teeth, the gaping hole was obviously visible. The tooth had come cleanly out, and there was a nice gap for the adult tooth to come through. I was somewhat confused, feeling a sense of deja vu, because Dale had a row of perfectly formed teeth down his left jaw and a gap in the row of teeth down his right jaw. I thought, "Didn't he just lose a tooth recently? If so, where is the hole? Surely the new tooth didn't grow in so quickly---AND WASN'T THAT TOOTH COMING IN SIDEWAYS?!!!" Dale laughed and confirmed that the tooth he just lost was exactly opposite of the one he had lost a month earlier. I looked again, thinking my eyes were deceiving me. Can you believe that the adult tooth, now fully grown in, had turned right side up and come in perfectly straight?! Ain't God good? I was concerned about a problem; I prayed for God to take care of it; and then I was surprised when He did! (Now there's real faith for you! :-/) I was so excited!!! I told each of the kids and showed them Dale's mouth (he was willing to show off his missing tooth; I wanted them to see the tooth grown in properly!); I ran and told Chad so he could (1) rejoice in the answered prayer and (2) know that he would not have to stress over possible dental surgery. Chad told people at church; his spirits were uplifted by God's hand visibly at work in our family. And now I get to share this blessing with you! Praise be to God.
A second blessing: I am FINALLY getting my classroom put to rights since our move a few weeks ago. Mrs. O'Connor had put such work into getting everything arranged just so and fitting everything for two classes into one room, only to have third grade uproot and move all the way down the gym. I spent the first week in our new classroom trying to find things, including the top of my desk. I spent the second week attempting to establish some kind of schedule and routine for us to follow so the students (and I) wouldn't go crazy. Now, I am actually organizing my files---I have files!; I have the walls decorated, including the class calendar and bulletin board; the back of the door has student job assignments (this makes them happy, feeling important); and I found my desk! Turns out, it's brown, just like the rest of it. LOL Thank God I haven't lost my sanity yet..........I think!
Chad has been holding church services at a local nursing home for a couple of months now. There are between two and five people who come each week. Usually one or another of our family gets to go with him. Two weeks ago, I had to stay home with Emily, so I missed my opportunity to go, and Chad wound up going by himself. This turned out to be good because there were ten people who came! What a turnout! Chad's father, who comes when he can, had to stand and give up his seat to someone else. Chad told us when he got home that it was a good thing no one else of our family had gone because there wouldn't have been any more seats anyway! I'm so glad the old folks there get to hear good Bible preaching once a week now. They are such dear people, sharing stories of their lives and singing along with the hymns. It is our privilege to serve God and them each week.
God is so good each and every day. He showers blessings on us, whether we acknowledge them or not, whether we are grateful for His blessings or not. Please don't misunderstand---I try in this blog to point out the goodness of God and His wonderful works. That's not to say that nothing bad ever happens to us. I mean, if that were true, there would be no need for a blog in the first place, right? And who wants to read a blog where the blogger just whines and complains all the time? We are a normal family with abnormal kids---just kidding! We have our problems and struggle with sin and wrestle with doubt like everyone else. But something that Chad and I have always tried to do and especially tried to teach our children is to look for God's blessings and His guiding hand. Sometimes He's easy to see; the way is smooth, the grass green, and the air sweet. Sometimes it seems we wander through fog, wondering where in the world God is hiding.......and why. But the song holds true: "Bow the knee/Trust the heart of your Father when the answer lies beyond what you can see/Bow the knee/Turn your eyes toward Heaven and believe the One Who holds eternity." If I can't see God's hand, I can still trust His heart. I know God knows what is best for me and my family. If the way ahead seems dark and unknown, I can trust that God chose this way for me because it is best. I honestly don't know how I'll handle the days and years ahead if Dale never gets to the point where he can live independently, if there is never a time when he can walk on his own, if he always needs help getting in/out of the tub, if he needs special help just to finish high school. I don't know how to handle years ahead; I can barely handle hours ahead sometimes. But I can choose to trust God. I can give God my fears and my faith, my tears and my trust, my anger and my acceptance, my lament and my love. He is able to handle all this for me, if only I let Him. And who better to take care of my life and my cares than the very God Who cradles me in the palm of His hand? I rest, secure.
Romans 8: 28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Really.