meet the sojourners..


Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Football and Cirque Du Soleil and other stuff


So... Darren's crazy schedule is over, his car (that a deer took out) is fixed, we're waiting to hear back from Omni Pod - they're running diagnostic tests on the pod that malfunctioned and sent Aidan to the hospital at the end of October. Asher's speech therapy is finished. We're halfway through the school year which is hard to believe. We had to resend our Visa application, but hopefully will be getting our passports and Visa's back shortly. We are now members of the church we've been attending for the last year, what a wonderful feeling to have a place to call home, and friends to call family! We're going to Florida for Thanksgiving, Aidan plays football through the middle of January, he also has several singing commitments around Christmas being in the children's choir at church. Darren's mom is flying out January 11th, the Monday before we leave for Russia, it's all right around the corner.

I could write forever now that I have a bit of normalcy and a schedule back to my day, but won't because I need to sleep. So for now, yes, I'm alive, just busy... and blessed.

Enjoy some pictures from our recent "doings" and if I don't post again beforehand, Happy Thanksgiving!


First game, November 14, 2009. Go Eagles!!!

Asher and his "Ooh ah" cheering for bubbie on the sidelines.



Second game. November 21, 2009. What a difference a week made, Aidan did so much better focusing on the ball and understanding the concept of the game (follow the guy with the ball).
Even though it was FREEZING!!!

Told ya it was COLD!!!
(Okay, so the snow is photo-shopped, but it was really really COLD)

Silly Asher. This photo cracks me up - does a good job of portraying his personality.


We took the boys to Cirque Du Soleil (I may eventually get around to blogging about this) it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! Asher sat still for the majority of the 2 hour show. He laughed at the clowns and was in awe of the high bar guys during the finale! We had a wonderful time and hope that Cir comes through South Carolina again soon!
Darren and the boys in front of the Cirque trailer.

Me and the boys in front of the Cirque trailer.

The end.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Aidan's football clinic

Yep... my boy is growing up. Something incredibly hard about seeing your first born become more independent. When exactly did this happen? And can I make it stop, or at the very least slow it down? I think what makes seeing Aidan grow up especially difficult is the reminder that I missed all these stages with V, we are far past the era of V ever "needing" his mommy. In fact, we're probably far past the age where he'd even call me mommy. That hurts, and I find it rather stinky.
But back to the topic at hand. Vlad may be the oldest, but Aidan was the first "born" which makes for a different sort of dynamic but it works for us... and I think there is always something extra special between a mama and her first born, especially if it's a son. And so when Aidan started choir in September and was dismissed from the congregation after the children's sermon (when all the kids gather at the front of the sanctuary to be taught by one of the pastors for 5-10 minutes) and was to walk from the sanctuary to another building by himself (with the other kids and choir directors) and started crying, LOUDLY as he walked down the middle isle all the way out... and I raced from the balcony to my little boys rescue to see what was the matter I was met with the sweetest words ever "I was scared mommy, I needed you, I want you to come with me". Okay, yes, it was just a tad embarrassing to have him make a small scene as he walked out, but I quickly forgot about that as my heart swelled hearing him say he needed me! YES!!! He's still my little boy. The following week, I told him to let me know BEFORE heading downstairs for the children's sermon if he needed me to go with him again. He said nothing before leaving, so I assumed he was fine. As soon as the sermon was over and the kids were dismissed, Aidan looked up at the balcony and yelled, YES YELLED "I don't need you mom"....
Have you ever been to a Presbyterian church? You don't make noise. No one says "Amen" or "preach it brother" and while the evening service, the one we attend is a bit more relaxed then morning worship, the congregation remains quiet (as I think they should) because they are there to learn.... so uh, let's just say Aidan broke the mold that evening, though it did elicit a few chuckles and a couple of sympathy glances from other mom's. But more then that... OUCH!!! In just a weeks time he went from being frantic and tearful without me, to completely confident and ready to announce to the world that he doesn't need me... It hurt... and it got me to thinking... they're are other days coming, that will be seemingly ordinary to begin with yet will end up with, "mommy, I don't want to hold your hand anymore, is that ok?" or "mommy, please don't kiss me anymore" or when I'm told I can't call him by his nickname anymore... All these days are coming much too quickly I fear...

But for now, he still calls me mommy, he still loves to hold my hand, he still asks for kisses... repeatedly. He's still my chubber buggie and I'm still his. He still tells me I'm his best friend, and he still climbs into bed and snuggles Darren and I almost every morning, well, that's when Darren's here anyway. And so I treasure these moments... all too quickly they'll be gone. Reminds me of one of my favorite books (notice I said MY favorite, not the kids favorite) by my favorite author, Karen Kingsbury. It's titled Let me hold you longer.

And though Darren doesn't ever mention it I think the rate at which the kids grow gets to him too, especially when he's so busy with work, like he is now. He hates being gone so much, that's why days like today are so special. He got to spend all morning just with Aidan at the YMCA football clinic. Put on by the Y and run by Clemson's Woody Danztler. Pretty cool! Aidan was so excited when he left with his daddy (a.k.a his buckaroo) this morning. And when he came home, he was excited to tell me about what they did!

I love my kids! sooooo much! I wish V was home to have special days like today with his dad too... I don't want him to have to continue to wait, he should be home. now.

Pictures from the day to follow.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reformation Day 2009

A quote from my earlier post today: "Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing".
Well, I think we've accomplished the separate issue, but what about the mercy part? Mercy in the sense that we don't judge those who participate. But what about being more proactive? Is there a way to accomplish that while still being separate and not celebrating? This will be an issue that Darren and I discuss for next year's "reformation day".

What I loved about today, was the fact that we weren't just doing an "alternative" to halloween, but that October 31, 1517 is thought to be THE DAY Luther nailed the theses to the door, which really IS something to celebrate.

And as always we put up the tree. This year we will be doing Christmas much different then we have in the past, scaling back on decorations, not sure how or if we are handling gifts. We really want the boys to not just "know" but really UNDERSTAND what Christmas is about. It's our opinion that even in the majority of Christian homes Christmas has become all too comercialised. It's about decorations, food and gifts, santa clause, flying reindeer and magical talking snowmen. It's about red, white and green, candy canes, milk and cookies and stockings on the fireplace. It has very little to do with God sending His Son Jesus Christ, born of a virigin, taking human form for the express purpose of dying on a cross for the salvation of those who repent and believe on Him.

So tonight, as we put up the tree (as has been our tradition for the last 8 years) we discarded things that were distracting, such as the stockings, and the entire Rudolph the red nose reindeer cast... And as the tree went up we tried to incorporate Scripture so that the message of Christ was reinforced through the tree.

Here's how we did it:

The tree serves as a reminder of the Cross, the reason Jesus was born.
The lights serve as a reminder of the "heavenly hosts" or angels that appeared to the shepherds the night Jesus was born.
The star of course reminds us of the wise men who traveled to worship the Christ child as they were directed by God through following the star.
Here are some pictures from our day.

Aidan with the 95 theses
"nailing the theses to the door"


Getting the tree put together. Lots of discussion about the Cross and the purpose of Jesus' birth.

Sweet moment with my baby boy

"What is a cross made out of?" "Wood" "Where does wood come from?" "Trees" "So everytime we look at the tree we should be thinking about the Cross."

Reading to the boys about the "heavenly hosts" (or angels) that appeared to the sheperds in the fields the night Jesus was born.




The lights should remind us of the angels praising God for sending a Savior!
Pluging in the lights.

Frosting the brownies

Star to remind us of God guiding the wise men to worship the Christ child.

Another sweet moment with my baby boy

Adding ornaments - we used the ornaments to symbolize how each year God adds members to the body of Christ, the church (works well as each year the boys get a new ornament, so each year the tree becomes fuller).

Aidan and Asher adding their new ornaments

The boys putting V's new ornament on the tree. Aidan stopped and said a prayer that next year V will be home to put on his own ornament.

Fun shot of the boys

Enjoying our brownies and ice cream =)

And that was our 2009 celebration of Reformation day!

Halloween?

Nope, not at our house.

Christians and Halloween

Colossians 2:15, 1 Peter 5:8, Hebrews 10:27 and Romans 2:14-16


Halloween October 31Halloween. It's a time of year when the air gets crisper, the days get shorter, and for many young Americans the excitement grows in anticipation of the darkest, spookiest holiday of the year. Retailers also rejoice as they warm up their cash registers to receive an average of $41.77 per household in decorations, costumes, candy, and greeting cards. Halloween will bring in approximately $3.3 billion this year.
It's a good bet retailers won't entertain high expectations of getting $41.77 per household from the Christian market. Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children. But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church.
The question is, How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season--are they overreacting?
The Pagan Origin of Halloween


The name "Halloween" comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. "All Hallows Eve" was eventually contracted to "Hallow-e'en," which became "Halloween."
As Christianity moved through Europe it collided with indigenous pagan cultures and confronted established customs. Pagan holidays and festivals were so entrenched that new converts found them to be a stumbling block to their faith. To deal with the problem, the organized church would commonly move a distinctively Christian holiday to a spot on the calendar that would directly challenge a pagan holiday. The intent was to counter pagan influences and provide a Christian alternative. But most often the church only succeeded in "Christianizing" a pagan ritual--the ritual was still pagan, but mixed with Christian symbolism. That's what happened to All Saints Eve--it was the original Halloween alternative!
The Celtic people of Europe and Britain were pagan Druids whose major celebrations were marked by the seasons. At the end of the year in northern Europe, people made preparations to ensure winter survival by harvesting the crops and culling the herds, slaughtering animals that wouldn't make it. Life slowed down as winter brought darkness (shortened days and longer nights), fallow ground, and death. The imagery of death, symbolized by skeletons, skulls, and the color black, remains prominent in today's Halloween celebrations.
The pagan Samhain festival (pronounced "sow" "en") celebrated the final harvest, death, and the onset of winter, for three days--October 31 to November 2. The Celts believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead lifted during Samhain to allow the spirits of the dead to walk among the living--ghosts haunting the earth.
Some embraced the season of haunting by engaging in occult practices such as divination and communication with the dead.Some embraced the season of haunting by engaging in occult practices such as divination and communication with the dead. They sought "divine" spirits (demons) and the spirits of their ancestors regarding weather forecasts for the coming year, crop expectations, and even romantic prospects. Bobbing for apples was one practice the pagans used to divine the spiritual world's "blessings" on a couple's romance.
For others the focus on death, occultism, divination, and the thought of spirits returning to haunt the living, fueled ignorant superstitions and fears. They believed spirits were earthbound until they received a proper sendoff with treats--possessions, wealth, food, and drink. Spirits who were not suitably "treated" would "trick" those who had neglected them. The fear of haunting only multiplied if that spirit had been offended during its natural lifetime.
Trick-bent spirits were believed to assume grotesque appearances. Some traditions developed, which believed wearing a costume to look like a spirit would fool the wandering spirits. Others believed the spirits could be warded off by carving a grotesque face into a gourd or root vegetable (the Scottish used turnips) and setting a candle inside it--the jack-o-lantern.
Into that dark, superstitious, pagan world, God mercifully shined the light of the gospel. Newly converted Christians armed themselves with the truth and no longer feared a haunting from departed spirits returning to earth. In fact, they denounced their former pagan spiritism in accord with Deuteronomy 18
There shall not be found among you anyone...who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord (vv. 10-13).
Nonetheless, Christian converts found family and cultural influence hard to withstand; they were tempted to rejoin the pagan festivals, especially Samhain. Pope Gregory IV reacted to the pagan challenge by moving the celebration of All Saints Day in the ninth century--he set the date at November 1, right in the middle of Samhain.
As the centuries passed, Samhain and All Hallows Eve mixed together. On the one hand, pagan superstitions gave way to "Christianized" superstitions and provided more fodder for fear. People began to understand that the pagan ancestral spirits were demons and the diviners were practicing witchcraft and necromancy. On the other hand, the festival time provided greater opportunity for revelry. Trick-or-treat became a time when roving bands of young hooligans would go house-to-house gathering food and drink for their parties. Stingy householders ran the risk of a "trick" being played on their property from drunken young people.
Halloween didn't become an American holiday until the immigration of the working classes from the British Isles in the late nineteenth century. While early immigrants may have believed the superstitious traditions, it was the mischievous aspects of the holiday that attracted American young people. Younger generations borrowed or adapted many customs without reference to their pagan origins.
Hollywood has added to the "fun" a wide assortment of fictional characters--demons, monsters, vampires, werewolves, mummies, and psychopaths. That certainly isn't improving the American mind, but it sure is making someone a lot of money.
The Christian Response to Halloween


Today Halloween is almost exclusively an American secular holiday, but many who celebrate have no concept of its religious origins or pagan heritage. That's not to say Halloween has become more wholesome. Children dress up in entertaining costumes, wander the neighborhood in search of candy, and tell each other scary ghost stories; but adults often engage in shameful acts of drunkenness and debauchery.
So, how should Christians respond?
First, Christians should not respond to Halloween like superstitious pagans. Pagans are superstitious; Christians are enlightened by the truth of God's Word. Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year; in fact, any day is a good day for Satan to prowl about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). God has forever "disarmed principalities and powers" through the cross Christ and "made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through [Christ]" (Colossians 2:15).
Second, Christians should respond to Halloween with cautionary wisdom. Some people fear the activity of Satanists or pagan witches, but the actual incidents of satanic-associated crime are very low. The real threat on Halloween is from the social problems that attend sinful behavior--drunk driving, pranksters and vandals, and unsupervised children.
Christians should exercise caution as wise stewards of their possessions and protectors of their families.Like any other day of the year, Christians should exercise caution as wise stewards of their possessions and protectors of their families. Christian young people should stay away from secular Halloween parties since those are breeding grounds for trouble. Christian parents can protect their children by keeping them well-supervised and restricting treat consumption to those goodies received from trusted sources.
Third, Christians should respond to Halloween with gospel compassion. The unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world lives in perpetual fear of death. It isn't just the experience of death, but rather what the Bible calls "a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume [God's] adversaries" (Hebrews 10:27). Witches, ghosts, and evil spirits are not terrifying; God's wrath unleashed on the unforgiven sinner--now that is truly terrifying.
Christians should use Halloween and all that it brings to the imagination--death imagery, superstition, expressions of debauched revelry--as an opportunity to engage the unbelieving world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given everyone a conscience that responds to His truth (Romans 2:14-16), and the conscience is the Christian's ally in the evangelistic enterprise. Christians should take time to inform the consciences of friends and family with biblical truth regarding God, the Bible, sin, Christ, future judgment, and the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ for the repentant sinner.
There are several different ways Christians will engage in Halloween evangelism. Some will adopt a "No Participation" policy. As Christian parents, they don't want their kids participating in spiritually compromising activities--listening to ghost stories and coloring pictures of witches. They don't want their kids to dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating or even attending Halloween alternatives.
That response naturally raises eyebrows and provides a good opportunity to share the gospel to those who ask. It's also important that parents explain their stand to their children and prepare them to face the teasing or ridicule of their peers and the disapproval or scorn of their teachers.
Other Christians will opt for Halloween alternatives called "Harvest Festivals" or "Reformation Festivals"--the kids dress up as farmers, Bible characters, or Reformation heroes. It's ironic when you consider Halloween's beginning as an alternative, but it can be an effective means of reaching out to neighborhood families with the gospel. Some churches leave the church building behind and take acts of mercy into their community, "treating" needy families with food baskets, gift cards, and the gospel message.
Those are good alternatives; there are others that are not so good. Some churches are using "Hell House" evangelism to shock young people and scare them into becoming Christians. They walk people through rooms patterned after carnival-style haunted houses and put sin on display--women undergoing abortions, people sacrificed in a satanic ritual, consequences of premarital sex, dangers of rave parties, demon possession, and other tragedies.
Here's the problem with so-called Hell House evangelism: To shock an unshockable culture, you have to get pretty graphic. Graphic exhibits of sin and its consequences are unnecessary--unbelieving minds are already full of such images. What they need to see is a life truly transformed by the power of God, and what they need to hear is the truth of God in an accurate presentation of the gospel. Cheap gimmickry is unfitting for Christ's ambassadors.Candy
There's another option open to Christians: limited, non-compromising participation in Halloween. There's nothing inherently evil about candy, costumes, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. In fact, all of that can provide a unique gospel opportunity with neighbors. Even handing out candy to neighborhood children--provided you're not stingy--can improve your reputation among the kids. As long as the costumes are innocent and the behavior does not dishonor Christ, trick-or-treating can be used to further gospel interests.
Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it's a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?


So what do you do on this day, October 31st?

Our tradition, even before the kids were born was to use this day to put up our Christmas tree, and focus our attention on things that are heavenly. This year, after doing more studying and discovering more about the reformation we discovered that October 31st is thought to be the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the church door in Wittenberg Germany. So Aidan will be dressed as a monk and nail, er... tape the 95 theses to the front door. Then we will fill up our 3 operation Christmas child boxes as we do each year and put up our Christmas tree. We'll round out the night reading about Luther and discussing why our family doesn't "celebrate" the way most others do... and why that's okay.

So no matter how you choose to spend the day, have fun, be safe, exercise sound judgment and spend the day in a way that would honor Jesus!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update on Aidan - We're home

So what happened?

Well, some of this may be a repeat, but follow along.

Saturday morning around 4am Aidan crawled into bed with me, this isn't all that abnormal as none of us sleep as well with Darren not here. Roughly an hour later Aidan turned over looked at me and informed me he was going to be sick, so in my sleepy stupor I picked him up and carried him to the bathroom, where he spent the next 30 minutes hugging the toilet.

After that I laid blankets on the floor right next to the bathroom for him, and from then on he would make a trip to the bathroom to vomit about once an hour. He is VERY used to being told to drink fluids, as that is a very important part of keeping him healthy and flushing unwanted sugar from his body and he does very well when told to drink. Saturday was no exception, after doing calculations at the end of the day he took in over 1/2 a gallon of fluids. Unfortunately as soon as he'd put anything in his belly it would come right back up.

One of the hardest parts of dealing with a child with diabetes is trying to determine if a sickness is just a sickness, or if a sickness is due to the disease. Generally if Aidan has a consistently high blood sugar or if he gets mulitple ketone readings showing moderate to large ketones in his urine, we know something is up and it's related to the disease. Saturday was different though, he maintained blood sugars in the 200 range, which is somewhat elevated, but that is typical for a diabetic who is "ill". In addition he had 0-trace ketones so I wasn't overly concerned. But as the day wore on and he just laid in the hallway he began to look worse and worse, so we called the hospital where his endocrinologist is based in Charleston and spoke with the oncall Dr. there. It was his recommendation that if Aidan wasn't able to eat and keep something down in the next 2 hours to take him to the ER, or if we thought he was getting worse to just trust our gut and get him to the hospital.

Probably 30 minutes after that call Aidan spent a very violent 20 minutes in the bathroom with dry heaves... poor baby had nothing left to throw up, and in the midst of all of this he had started screaming OW OW, complaining of "something poking him hard" in his tummy.

So Darren packed Aidan up with a trash can and took him to the Emery Care facility, who then transported him to the ER via Ambulance. Once admitted to the ER he was put into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and remained there for 2 days.

Little trooper, the nurse would wake him up every hour to check his vitals and blood sugar, but she also had to ensure he was FULLY awake so she could ask him questions and get him to respond. This is because when CO2 levels drop significantly it can affect stuff with your brain (can't remember the technical term). I think this was taken right after the 4am round of questions.

Sunday morning talking to Bubba and Daddy on the phone.

Painting an Alligator in the PICU... feeling better.

Darren and Asher Sunday afternoon at the JDRF Walk for the Cure.

So what the heck??? Well, apparently Aidan's pod had a kink in it. Now this is INCREDIBLY frustrating as it's supposed to alarm if something like this happens, and when I say it was kinked, it was KINKED. The cannula (tubing) looked like a straw that a kid has chewed on. However, the way that the pod is made you can't really see whether the tube is kinked (even though there is a view window) all you can see is if the tube has an occlusion or if the area is turning red. However when we removed his pod at the hospital, we, to our horror discovered that this was likely the culprit. So what happened was, Aidan wasn't receiving any insulin, his body could compensate for a little while, which is why his sugars weren't through the roof, but it affected his body in other ways (the vomiting). His moderately elevated sugar levels, trace-moderate ketones in addition to the consistant vomiting lead to the reduction in Aidan's CO2 levels. When CO2 drops it is called diabetic ketoacidosis. The blood becomes very acidic and side effects can cause a lot of permanent damage, in the worst cases it can/is fatal.

Normal CO2 levels are 22-26, when Aidan was admitted he was a 7-8. Anything below a 6 is considered SEVERE, so he was pretty close. Because of his low level we were told to expect him to stay in the PICU for probably at least 3 days. That posed a problem as Darren is in the middle of the outage and is working 12 hour days, 6 days a week and Asher was not allowed in the PICU. So it was either let Aidan spend the days alone in the hospital or ask Yaya if she could come out to keep Asher. Of course Yaya got on a plane early Sunday morning.

However, by Sunday lunchtime Aidan's CO2 levels were already back to normal, with a reading of 23. PRAISE THE LORD! And they said they expected us to be moved to the regular floor by the end of the day. His nurse told me that in all of her 14 years at the hospital she's 1. Never seen a child more "in the know" about their diabetes 2. Never had a more bright, friendly and polite patient and 3. rarely ever seen CO2 levels recover as quickly as Aidan's did, especially in someone so young. All of which was really encouraging to hear.

They did move Aidan to the "regular" floor right after dinner on Sunday. There was some MAJOR issues with the nurses on that floor, but I won't get into that... let's just say it wasn't good and our stay Sunday night was pointless. Aidan's pediatrician stopped by the hospital Monday morning and asked how everything was going... after I figured out who this man was, why he looked familiar and acted like I knew him, he asked how things were going, so I told him some of the problems we had had the night before... he was just as baffled by some of the things that had gone on, like why they used A GINORMOUS needle and shoved it into Aidan's stomach rather then the cathiter in his arm, or why on earth they would dilute insulin with saline... He said he would "take over" and personally call Aidan's endocrinologist in Charleston to get a plan in place for us, and as soon as he had that he would insist that Aidan's discharge papers be written as there was no need for us to still be at the hospital.

YAY! Out of the PICU, CO2 levels restored and feeling more like himself. Aidan and I had lots of fun watching a Cake Boss marathon on the hospital television.

Not 30 minutes after he left, I had the Pharmacist, Nurse Manager and Chief Nurse in the room apologizing for the previous nights events... Interesting. Then the resident Dr. came by to let me know that Dr. T (Aidan's pediatrician) would be handling everything. Once Mr. resident man left the room, the phone rang and it was Dr. T, he was calling to let me know he had spoken with Dr. B (endocrin) and gave me the game plan and said I should have discharge papers within an hour.

Well, alrighty then. So... we were home before dinner on Monday. The last few days we've kept it pretty low key, we still had some issues with high blood sugars and ketones Monday-Wednesday. But after staying in daily contact with his endocrinologist, Dr. B and changing his basal (constant) rate of insulin he had a near perfect DAY today, with only one high. THIS IS A HUGE improvement!

Yaya is here through early Saturday morning, the boys are really enjoying having her around and tomorrow we are taking her to our favorite pizza place, the Mellow Mushroom, and then maybe walk around downtown for awhile.








Enjoying time with Yaya.


We have been so blessed and encouraged by everyone's thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement this last week. Thanks so much! Sorry it took so long to get an update written and posted, but as you can imagine we're still recovering and trying to get things regulated here.
Just know we love and appreciate you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday @ 2pm

Hi all. Just wanted to update you on Aidan.


He came off the insulin drip and IV's this morning between 10am and 11am.


I made it to the hospital shortly before 1am this morning and spent an hour chatting with his nurse really trying to understand what was going on. Apparently we were initially given some wrong information from the first ER that Aidan was admitted to.


DKA can (and in Aidan's case did) cause an elevated white blood cell count. Typically, in a NON diabetic an infection would be the likely cause of elevated counts, but when dealing with diabetics I guess it's a whole different ballgame.


With Aidan, yesterday was caused by low CO2 levels in his blood. The lower the reading the more acidic the blood. Normal is 22-26, when Aidan was admitted his CO2 level was at an 8. I was so worried we had done something "wrong" but felt a tiny bit better when his nurse said there is NO way to check CO2 levels at home. She said professionals or parents over time can sometimes learn to notice a difference in the child's breathing.. The only thing we could have done differently is made a call sooner. But even doing that can be difficult as he's been sick with stomach bugs before and has had much MUCH higher blood sugar readings then he did yesterday (mid 200's) and has been just fine. So... I guess we error on the side of caution in the future, even if it means being the "annoying paranoid" parents who call EVERYTIME their child is sick.


Anyway as I said I got to the hospital around 1am, chatted with his nurse until around 2am, then tried to get some sleep, although it was difficult as the lights here are VERY bright and they came every hour to check his vitals and blood sugar levels. They also needed to wake him up completely from his sleep to "check on his brain functioning". Apparently when CO2 levels drop as significantly as Aidan's did, one of the reasons it is so dangerous is because it can affect neurological functioning and abilities. So his nurse would wake him up, ask him his middle name, how many brothers and sisters he has, his phone number etc... What a trooper he was, he DOES not like being woken up.


This morning I had to leave between 7-8am as no parents or visitors are allowed during shift changes. I went down to the cafeteria for breakfast as I am not allowed to bring ANY outside food or drink into the PICU... you can probably guess this was one of few mornings I did not have my egg whites and oatmeal. I settled for a lowfat yogurt and "whole wheat" bagel and of course a LARGE cup of coffee.


I returned to the room and Aidan was already starting on breakfast, about halfway through he started screaming, which quite honestly freaked me out. One minute he was fine and the next it was drama city. So I quickly poked my head out the door looking for his nurse. She came in right away and we were able to get Aidan calmed down enough to explain what the problem was. His throat hurt. When the nurse took a look she said "oh yea, it's very red, and very inflamed" which of course was caused by all of the vomiting yesterday. So he cried his way through the remainder of breakfast... poor little guy.


Around 11am his nurse came in and disconnected all his IV's. There were 4 of them, One was an insulin drip, one sugar water to balance the insulin, one regular fluid and I can't remember the fourth. He is still hooked up to the heart monitor, blood pressure machine and one other thing I can't figure out and always forget to ask about.


Around 11:15 I was told to go ahead and start him back on his Omnipod. Upon removing the old one that was deactivated yesterday I discovered there was a HORRIBLE kink in the cannula, or tube that gets inserted under his skin. However looking through the view window this kink was not visible, but once the pod was removed it was more then apparent. This was really frustrating as about a month ago we had FIVE pods give off false alarms for "occlusions detected" and yet there wasn't a thing wrong with those five pods. This time something WAS wrong and no alarm.

And now my baby is in the hospital suffering from something that can be life threatening. Needless to say Darren will be calling the manufacturing company tomorrow morning. Aidan's Dr. said that definitely could be what instigated this whole thing... and what set the DKA in motion.


Around 1130 I checked Aidan's blood sugar and it was high, mid 300's but I expected this as he did not get insulin for breakfast because of the switch from the insulin drip back to his pod. Within 30 minutes he was down to 250 and it was time for lunch. Turkey sandwich and chips. He got through half the sandwich and started screaming again, just about made me cry, his throat hurts so bad.


Darren came and picked me up for lunch, of course we had limited options around downtown and so Mexican was the verdict. My treadmill is going to cringe when it sees me again. On the way back to the hospital Asher unbuckled his car seat and stood up in it. but that's another story. On the way back we got a call from the hospital that Aidan's sugar's had spiked and he was sitting at 460. UGH! However upon further investigation we found out they checked him immediately after he ate, which quite frankly is kinda dumb.


Anyway he played and we watched a bit of TV and he is now sleeping. He does still have large ketones in his urine, so they'll be keeping him here in PICU a bit longer. We probably won't get him down to the regular floor until bedtime.


Darren and Asher dropped me off and headed to the JDRF walk for the cure. We were able to raise almost 2x what we did from our 1st walk in march, so that's pretty good.


Thanks for all your prayers and we'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tomorrow is our 2nd annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

so how fitting that tonight Aidan was admitted to the ER for DKA. Or Diabetic Ketoacidosis? Just a reminder to Darren and I how serious this disease is, and how blessed we are that we have the means to get Aidan the care that he needs. It also reminds me how much I hope there will one day be a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Which is why I will go walk tomorrow, alone, likely in the rain, while Darren stays with the boys. I can't not go, and not support the single greatest contributor to finding a cure for my little boy. Or Darren will go while I stay with the boys.


For those of you wondering, DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis is: an acute metabolic complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, and metabolic acidosis. DKA occurs mostly in type 1 diabetes. It causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can progress to cerebral edema, coma, and death. DKA is diagnosed by detection of hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis in the presence of hyperglycemia. Treatment involves volume expansion, insulin replacement, and prevention of hypokalemia.


Now in English: There are many complications that can occur with diabetes. One serious complication is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It most commonly occurs with Type 1 diabetes and is often the first symptom of Type 1, because it can often strike without warning. DKA is caused when the body has little or no insulin to use. The blood glucose level keeps rising to dangerous levels. This is called hyperglycemia.


If the blood glucose continues to increase, the body goes into an "energy crisis" and starts to break down stored fat as an alternate energy source. This produces ketones in the blood as the fat is burned for energy. As the ketone levels rise, the blood becomes more and more acidic.


DKA progresses from hyperglycemia to ketosis, which is a build-up of ketones in the body. Ketosis can lead to acidosis, which is a condition in which the blood has too much acid. When this happens it is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately by medical professionals.


UPDATE: Darren just called. Test results are in and Aidan is suffering from DKA. His tests also came back showing an elevated white blood cell count, which means that he has some type of infection, but they are unsure of what exactly it is. This infection is what caused his sickness today and the onset of the DKA. The Dr's at the ER spoke with Aidan's specialist in Charleston and agreed he needs to be moved to a different hospital here in Columbia. They are sending a transport team for him now, it is my understanding that he will have several tests run tonight to determine the cause of the elevated white count and the type of infection. Once the transport team arrives for Aidan, Darren will be coming home to stay with Asher and I will be heading to the hospital to spend the remainder of the evening with Aidan.


Thank you in advance for you prayers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shack Part 3


Today we will tackle three more theological headings. Forgiveness, Scripture and Revelation, and Salavation. All of today's material comes directly from Tim Challis review that can be found here in it's entirety. Tomorrow or Sunday I will share Tim's conclusion and some additional thought I have on the matter... that is providing my children cooperate.



Forgiveness


Much of the story focuses on forgiveness. Mack has to learn to forgive first God (or at least to come to an intellectual understanding of why God was unable to intervene to save Missy) and then, at the book’s culmination, to forgive the murderer. I am adamantly opposed to the idea that we would ever need to forgive God for anything. However, because this teaching is seen only vaguely in the novel, I will pass over it for now and turn to another area of forgiveness—that of unconditional forgiveness.
Nowhere in Scripture will we find the idea that we can or should forgive an unrepentant person for this kind of crime. Rather, Scripture makes it clear that repentance must precede forgiveness. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness. This is true of God’s offer of forgiveness to us and, as we are to model this in our human relationships, must be true of how we offer forgiveness to others. So when, at the book’s climax, Mack cries out “I forgive you” to the murderer (who is not present and has not sought forgiveness) he cannot offer true forgiveness. Neither can true forgiveness exist where Mack is unable to pursue reconciliation with this man. Forgiveness makes no sense and means nothing if we require it in this way. It may make a person feel better about himself, but it cannot bring about true forgiveness and true reconciliation. And so Young teaches a therapeutic, inadequate and unbiblical understanding of forgiveness.


Scripture and Revelation


There are few doctrines more important to Christian living than this one—understanding how it is that God chooses to communicate with human beings. Though the Bible teaches that Scripture is the “norming norm,” many Christians give precedence to other supposed forms of revelation, and particularly promptings, leadings and “still, small voices.” Sure enough, such an emphasis is seen clearly in The Shack. How will we hear from God in day-to-day life (away from the miraculous shack)? “You will learn to hear my thoughts in yours,” says Sarayu. “Of course you will make mistakes; everybody makes mistakes, but you will begin to better recognize my voice as we continue to grow our relationship.” And where will we find the Spirit? “You might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in Creation, or in your joy and sorrow. My ability to communicate is limitless, living and transforming, and it will always be tuned to Papa’s goodness and love. And you will hear and see me in the Bible in fresh ways. Just don’t look for rules and principles; look for relationship—a way of coming to be with us.”
Beyond looking for new revelation, The Shack says little about how God has communicated or will continue to communicate with us in Scripture. There are a couple of times that it mentions the Bible, but never does it point to Scripture as a real authority or as the sufficient Word of God. “In seminary [Mac] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects… Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” Here we see Young pointing away from Scripture rather than towards it. Through Mack he scoffs at the idea that God has spoken authoritatively and sufficiently through the Bible. And if he points away from Scripture he points towards subjective promptings and leadings.
Though common, such teaching is dangerous and directly detracts from the sufficiency of Scripture. When we admit that God has not, in the Bible, said all that He needs to say to us, we open the doors for all manner of new revelation, much of which may contradict the Bible. What authority is there if not the Bible? Ultimately the issue of revelation is an issue of authority and too many Christians are willing to trust their own authority over the Bible’s. What authority does Young rely on as he brings teaching here in The Shack? Does he look to a higher authority or does he look mostly to himself? The reader can have no confidence that Young loves and respects God’s Word has He chose to give it to us in Scripture.


Salvation


The book contains surprisingly little teaching about salvation. When Young does discuss conversion, he places it firmly in the camp of relationship but also uses the stereotypical phrases such as “this is not a religion” and “Jesus isn’t a Christian.” Jesus apparently loves all people in exactly the same way, having judged them worthy of his love. Young also wades dangerously close to universalism saying that Jesus has no interest in making people into Christians. Rather, no matter what faith they come from, he wishes to “join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa.” He denies that all roads lead to him (since most roads lead nowhere) but says instead, “I will travel any road to find you.” Whether Young holds to universalism or not, and whether he believes that all faiths can lead a person to God, the book neither affirms nor refutes.

Shack Part 2


Today we will tackle three theological headings. The Trinity, Submission and Free Will. All of today's material comes directly from Tim Challis review that can be found here in it's entirety.



The Trinity


Young teaches that the Trinity exists entirely without hierarchy and that any kind of hierarchy is the result of sin. The Trinity, he says, “are in a circle of relationship, not a chain of command or ‘great chain of being’… Hierarchy would make no sense among us.” Now it’s possible that he is referring to a kind of dominance or grade or command structure that may well be foreign to the godhead. But a reading of the Bible will prove that hierarchy does, indeed, exist even where there is no sin. After all, the angels exist in a hierarchy and have done so since before the Fall. Also, in heaven there will be degrees of reward and there will be some who are appointed to special positions (such as the Apostles). And the Bible makes it clear that there is some kind of hierarchy even within the Trinity. The Spirit and the Son have submitted themselves to the Father. The task of the Spirit is to lead people to the Son who in turn brings glory to the Father. Never do we find the Father submitting to the Spirit or to the Son. Their hierarchy is perfect—without anger or malice or envy, but it is a hierarchy nonetheless.
There are other teachings about the Trinity that concerned me. For example, Papa says “I am truly human, in Jesus.” This simply cannot be true. God [the Father—a term that the author avoids] is not fully human in Jesus. This melds the two persons of God in a way that is simply unbiblical. Some of what Young teaches is novel and even possible, but without Scriptural support. For example, he teaches that the triune nature of God was an absolute necessity since without it God would be incapable of love. His reasoning is not perfectly clear but seems to be that if God did not have such a relationship “within himself” he would be unable to love. But this is not taught in the Bible.
Overall, I had to conclude that Young has an inadequate and often-unbiblical understanding of the Trinity. While granting that the Trinity is a very difficult topic to understand and one that we cannot know fully, there are several indications that he often blurs the distinct persons of the Trinity along with their roles and their unique attributes. Combined with his novel but unsupported conjectures, this is a serious concern.



Submission


Young uses the discussion about the Trinity as a bridge to a the subject of submission. Here he teaches that each member of the Trinity submits to the other. Jesus says, “That’s the beauty you see in my relationship with Abba and Sarayu. We are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and will always be. Papa is as much submitted to me as I to him, or Sarayu to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way.” Why would the God of the universe seek to be submitted to mere humans? “Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship.” Genuine relationships, according to the author, must be marked by mutual submission. “As the crowning glory of Creation, you were made in our image, unencumbered by structure and free to simply ‘be’ in relationship with me and one another. If you had truly learned to regard each other’s concerns as significant as your own, there would be no need for hierarchy.” Submission, according to this book, must be mutual, so that husbands submit to wives while wives submit to husbands, and parents submit to children while children submit to parents. While the Bible does teach that we are to submit to one another, it also teaches that God has ordained some kinds of hierarchy. While a husband is to submit his desires to his wife, even to the point of sacrificing his life for her, he is never called to submit to her in an authoritative sense. Wives, though, are commanded to submit to their husbands, acknowledging that the husband is the head of the family. Similarly, all people are to submit to the God-given authorities and every person is responsible to submit to God.
This understanding of absolute equality not just in value (which the Bible affirms) but also in role and function (which the Bible does not affirm), leads to a strange idea about why God created Eve out of Adam. He teaches that it was crucial for man be created before woman, but with woman hidden inside man. Had this not happened, there could not have been a proper circle of relationship since otherwise man would always come from woman (through childbirth), allowing her to claim a dominant position. She came out of him and now all men come out of her. This allows total, absolute equality, says Young. I can think of absolutely no biblical proof for this and neither does the author offer any.
And so we see that Young uses The Shack to teach an unbiblical understanding of submission. And he uses this topic to bridge to another.



Free Will


Young’s understanding of free will seems to follow from submission. “I don’t want slaves to do my will,” says Jesus. “I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.” Speaking in veiled terms about conversion or something like it, Jesus says, “We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But, we will never force that union with you. If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side.” God, it seems, has already forgiven all humans for their sin and has willingly submitted himself to them, though only some people will choose relationship. He is fully reconciled to all human beings and simply waits for them to do their part. Never does Young clearly discuss the consequences that will face those who refuse to accept this offer of union.
Overall, Young presents a God who is unable or unwilling to break into history in any consequential way. He is sovereign at times, but certainly not so in conversion (a topic that receives only scant attention) and is limited by the free will choices of human beings. Scant attention is paid to God’s fore-ordination, the understanding that nothing happens without it somehow being part of His decree (even while God cannot be accused of being the author of evil). Papa explains to Mack, “There was no way to create freedom without a cost.” But nowhere in the Bible do we find that God is somehow made captive by human free will and that He has to allow things to proceed in order to maintain His own integrity as Creator. Always God is sovereign, even over the free will choices of men. Our inability to understand how this can be does not preclude us from the responsibility of believing it.

Shack Part 1

I am not out to make friends and at the same time I am not out to create division among TRUE believers. What then is my goal? THE TRUTH!!! There are so many people I know, family, friends and acquaintances who are caught up in the best-selling book, The Shack. I realize that my stance is not the popular one, but the book fly's in the face of everything the Bible teaches, and the Bible is the standard for absolute truth. You can disagree with me as much as you like, but please know this post and the subsequent posts come from a heart that is concerned for her family and friends and wants to shed light on a topic that I have kept in the dark for far too long  in order to "keep the peace" and "not ruffle feathers". I will be posting portions from Tim Challis blog for the next few days until the entire review is available on my blog. The majority of the work is NOT mine, but I agree with what Mr. Challis has written. I would love to have the time to set down and write my own review however seeing as how I have two young children, one of whom I am homeschooling and the other is two years old (no explanation needed) plus being in the midst of an international adoption just doesn't lend me a lot of spare time. However, even if I had gobs of time to spare there would be no need to write a review from my own hand because it's like Mr. Challis got inside my brain and picked apart (with a lot more grace and gentleness and a lot less sarcasm then I would have) the problems I have with the Shack. So, take it or leave it, but for your consideration here's day one...

The Shack by William P. Young. I am certain that there is no other book I’ve (Tim Challis) been asked to review more times than William P. Young’s The Shack, a book that is currently well within the top-100 best-selling titles at Amazon. The book, it seems, is becoming a hit and especially so among students and among those who are part of the Emergent Church. In the past few weeks many concerned readers have written to ask if I would be willing to read it and to provide a review. Because I am always interested in books that are popular among Christians, I was glad to comply.  The Amazon reader reviews for The Shack are remarkable. With 102 reviews already posted, it is maintaining a five-star rating with fully ninety three of the reviewers awarding five stars. Only two have offered one star. A search of blogs and websites turns up near-unanimous enthusiastic (and almost unbridled) praise for the book. “This book is a life-changer, a transformer.” “[The Shack] has become a favorite book OF ALL TIME.” “I am changed. I pray indelibly. My oh my!” This book, which was released in May but which has already gone into its fourth printing, is making a major impact. It has obviously struck a chord with Christians.  I’ll warn in advance that this review is going to be long. My major focus will be the book’s content though I’ll pause to glance fleetingly at the book’s style as well. Because I’ve received so many questions and because the author covers so much ground in the book (and sometimes in a way that is somewhat unclear) I am going to proceed carefully and with many quotes.  There are two things I would like to note about this type of book—theological fiction. First, because of the limitations of the genre, it is sometimes difficult to really know what an author means by what he says. There is often some question as to what comes from the author and what comes from the characters. The author cannot always adequately explain himself; nor can he provide footnotes or references to Scripture. It can be challenging, then, to turn to the Bible to ensure that what he teaches is true. This makes the task of discernment doubly difficult, for one must first interpret the fiction to understand what is being said and then seek to compare that to the Bible. We will do well to keep this in mind as we proceed.  Second, we must also realize that, because of the emotional impact of reading good fiction, it can be easy to allow it to become manipulative and to allow the emotion of a moment to bypass our ability to discern what is true and what is not. This is another thing the reader must keep in mind. We cannot trust our laughter or our tears but must allow our powers of discernment to be trained to distinguish good from evil (see Hebrews 5:14). Discernment is primarily a Spirit-empowered discipline of the mind rather than an emotional response.  So let’s look at this book together, doing the task God requires of us when he tells us to be men and women of discernment—Christians who heed God’s admonition to “test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” We’ll simply compare what Young teaches to the Bible. 



The Book as a Book

First, a word about the book as it is written. William Young shows himself to be a capable writer, though I would not have believed it through the first couple of chapters. The book began with far too many awkward sentences and awkward sentence constructs (e.g. “One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview”). But as it went on and as the story took over the book became easier to read. The story itself is interesting enough, though certainly it lacks originality. The last chapter should have been left on the editing room floor and the final paragraph (before the “After Words”) was a ridiculously terse attempt to provide closure to remaining plot lines. But on the whole the book is readable and enjoyable. Never does it become boring, even after long pages of nothing but dialog.  But Young did not write this book for the story. This book is all about the content and about the teaching it contains. The book’s reviews focus not on the quality of the story but on its spiritual or emotional impact. Eugene Peterson grasps this, saying in his glowing endorsement, “When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of “The Shack.” This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” did for his. It’s that good!” Could it really be that good? Is it good enough to warrant positive comparison to the English-language book that has been read more widely than any other save the Bible? Let’s turn to the book’s content and find out. What Is The Shack?  The Shack revolves around Mack (Mackenzie) Philips. Four years before this story begins, Mack’s young daughter, Missy, was abducted during a family vacation. Though her body was never found, the police did find evidence in an abandoned shack to prove that she had been brutally murdered by a notorious serial killer who preyed on young girls. As the story begins, Mack, who has been living in the shadow of his Great Sadness, receives a strange note that is apparently from God. God invites Mack to return to this shack for a get together. Though uncertain, Mack visits the scene of the crime and there has a weekend-long encounter with God, or, more properly, with the godhead.      What should you do when you come to the door of a house, or cabin in this case, where God might be? Should you knock? Presumably God already knew that Mack was there. Maybe he ought to simply walk in and introduce himself, but that seemed equally absurd. And how should he address him? Should he call him Father, or Almighty One, or perhaps Mr. God, and would it be best if he fell down and worshipped, not that he was really in the mood.      As he tried to establish some inner mental balance, the anger that he thought had so recently died inside him began to emerge. No longer concerned or caring about what to call God and energized by his ire, he walked up to the door. Mack decided to bang loudly and see what happened, but just as he raised his fist to do so, the door flew open, and he was looking directly into the face of a large beaming African-American woman.  This large and oh-so-stereotypical matronly African-American woman is God (or at least an anthropomorphism of God she chose to take on in order to communicate with Mack). Throughout the story she is known as Papa. Near the end, because Mack requires a father figure, she turns into a pony-tailed, grey-haired man, but otherwise God is this woman. Jesus is a young to middle-aged man of Middle-Eastern (i.e. Jewish) descent with a big nose and rather plain looks while the Holy Spirit is played by Sarayu, a small, delicate and eclectic woman of Asian descent. By this point many people will choose to close the book and be done with it. But for the purposes of this review, let’s just assume you are able to get past seeing God and the Holy Spirit portrayed in this way and let’s press on.  There is very little action in The Shack and the bulk of the book is dialog, mostly as the members of the Trinity communicate with Mack, though occasionally we see glimpses into their relationship with one another. The banter between the members of the Trinity, most of which is geared towards helping us understand the love that exists between them, leads to some rather bizarre dialog. Take this as a typical example:      Mack was shocked at the scene in front of him. It appeared that Jesus had dropped a large bowl of some sort of batter or sauce on the floor, and it was everywhere. It must have landed close to Papa because the lower portion of her skirt and bare feet were covered in the gooey mess. All three were laughing so hard that Mack didn’t think they were breathing. Sarayu said something about humans being clumsy and all three started roaring again. Finally, Jesus brushed past Mack and returned a minute later with a large basin of water and towels. Sarayu had already started wiping the goop from the floor and cupboards, but Jesus went straight to Papa and, kneeling at her feet, began to wipe off the front of her clothes. He worked down to her feet and gently lifted one foot at a time, which he directed into the basin where he cleaned and massaged it.      “Ooooh, that feels soooo good!” exclaimed Papa, as she continued her tasks at the counter.  Young covers a wide variety of theological topics in this book, each of which is relevant to the theme of Mack’s suffering and his inability to trust in a God who could let his daughter be treated in such a horrifying way. The author is unafraid to tackle subjects of deep theological import—a courageous thing to do in so difficult a genre as fiction. The reader will find himself diving into deep waters as he reads this book.  Much of what Young writes is good and even helpful (again, assuming that the reader can see past the human personifications of God). He affirms the absolute nature of what is good and teaches that evil exists only in relation to what is good; he challenges the reader to understand that God is inherently good and that we can only truly trust God if we believe Him to be good; he acknowledges the human tendency to create our image of God by looking at human qualities and assuming that God is simply the same but more so; he attempts to portray the loving relationships within the Trinity; and so on. For these areas I am grateful as they provided helpful correctives to many false understandings of God.  But the book also raised several concerns. Young covers many topics and time would fail me to discuss each of them. Instead, I will look at concerns with some of the book’s broader themes and will do so under several theological headings.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just for fun

In the last 2 weeks 2 friends have had baby girls, another has found out she is having her second baby girl (due in February) and since October of last year 3 other friends have delivered daughters as well. There are also a gajillion women at church who are pregnant, all I assume with girls.

This got me to thinking.... about names. If Aidan had been a girl he would have been Jonah Abagail. Uh... loved it then, not so much now. If Asher had been a girl he would have been either Ava Grace, or Avery Joy. Still like both of those names, but don't think we'd use 'em now.

Other names we've tossed around in the event of a girl joining the family.
Aaralyn
Alivia
Brazen (Darren vitoed)
Charlize (Charlie)
Chesnie
Courtney
Davinee
Elliana
Faith
Grace
Hope
Johanna
Katie
Lydia
Malen
Nevaeh
Reagen
Shay
and
Sophia


I didn't however include my all time favorites. Cuz well, I don't want anyone to steal 'em. Who knows we may need them... 10 years down the road. ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not so..



for those of you who think I've really got this "motherhood thing" figured out... refer to post title and then read the following comic strip my wonderful mother in law sent me. I roared... you know one of those deep hearty laughs from your stomach...


Yep... this is my life. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! But man does it make me appreciate my husband when he comes home!