Posts Tagged With: my boys

Mysteries, emotional roller coasters and flickers of hope Pt. 1

Allow me to share a journey that our family has and is still travelling on at this time. A few of my friends are going through similar experiences and my heart and prayers go out to them as they work through their frustrations and emotions and faith during this time.

I should have written this last week or even three days ago, when my report would be a glowing one of a trial near past and the lessons I have learnt. I was reminded last night that we are not out of the woods yet.

For those of you who don’t know, our eldest son Elijah has been sick since at least the start of the year. He has had well days, well weeks even, but the cycle was getting smaller and he was getting sicker with every bout. At first we thought that he just had a bad run with some viruses as we live in a place where some pretty nasty viruses present.

But when they kept coming and the fatigue was not lifting in between the times of sickness, and he lost his bubbly, cheeky self saying things to his brothers like “believe me you don’t want to be 10, it’s just too tough”, we just knew we had to do something. So back in May we took Elijah to the doctors and explained what was going on. They ordered blood tests and it came back positive for Ross River Virus. At least, we thought, now we have an answer and he should improve over time.

But that was not to be the case. For a week after the test, after much prayer, Elijah felt the best he had in a long time. He even commented “Mum, I think Jesus has healed me”. And that is what appeared to have happened.

Until one night, he complained of a tummy ache and went to bed to the most violent vomiting we had seen yet. He was up for half the night and then ended up lying on the couch and fell asleep. He slept through the entire next day. Even with the other boys yelling and playing as normal in the house. I tried to rouse him a few times to get some fluids in him, but he didn’t know where he was and who I was. He couldn’t handle light. He had a temp. I was glad he was sleeping as I knew he needed it, but I was worried he was confused when he woke.

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In Alice Springs hospital

Then in the evening a rash came out first on his face and then on the whole right side of his body. We had been holding off taking him to the hospital, as they usually send us home and say if they get worse bring them back blahblahblah… But once the rash came Ben carried him (still sleeping) to the car and took him to the hospital.

And there Elijah stayed for 5 days. His eye became bright red, and he couldn’t handle any light. He looked grey and couldn’t walk. They thought at first it was maybe meningitis, but they ruled that out. Then the tests began. Multiple blood tests, specimen tests and a small skin biopsy. But nothing was showing up. We had so many people praying for us and our church family came and visited. Was a wonderful time for seeing the body at work, even if it was a terrible time in other ways.

I kept expecting to call the virus card, as doctors do when there is no answer. But the doctors were amazing and thorough and for once in my life took me seriously. He got well enough to go home even though he still had a high temp and his eye was no better the rest of the symptoms had subsided. He had to wear an eye patch and his eye was not getting better, so when we took him back for his follow-up check he was seen by an eye doctor and diagnosed with uveitis. This is a common occurrence in people with an auto-immune disease which is where the doctors were heading with their testing.

The doctors here had exhausted what they could do from here in Alice so we were sent to Adelaide to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. There Elijah went through a series of tests and they ruled out so many things that had been suggested. After 10 days in hospital there, we had come up with no answers . However he had begun to gain weight again, which is great as he had lost about 8kgs since the start of the year. We could feel the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ and were so well supported with many visiting to sit, pray and chat (not to mention bring chocolate and lollies- have I said thank you šŸ™‚ ).

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The barium swallow test

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Goolwa Beach

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Day leave from the hospital

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When his brothers arrived

 

One family in particular, who have so may of their own struggles they are facing, were so beautiful in the way they ministered sacrificial love to us. They opened their home to the boys and Ben who had driven down from Alice so they could stay near us in the hospital. The familyĀ alsoĀ offered for us to stay a few days down at their holiday home before we returned. This was a blessing and so much needed. It was the middle of winter, but we all went in the beach. What a healing place it is. I miss the beach so much even though I love our desert home. We had some lovely time with Ben’s mum and grandma as well. Which I know the boys will treasure forever. We always try to make the best out of a bad situation . We managed to have some great laughs and made some awesome memories.20140729_092655

Our ride home. .Elijah was so excited to finally be going home

Our ride home. .Elijah was so excited to finally be going home

We returned to Alice no wiser than we left, and hopeful and prayerful, that maybe he would just begin to improve as he had extended rest. He appeared so well, but that was because he was able to rest all day.

Since we have been back home, he has gained 2kgs and has had more energy than before. He had been generally well, though still feeling nauseous, and fatigued but not enough to slow him down as before.Until last night when Elijah once again began vomiting and high temp and today can’t leave the couch. He is definitely not as bad as he was before which is a plus but it is wearing to know that the battle isn’t over.

We are grateful it is not some of the diseases that the symptoms were pointing to and we have seen the hand of God in this time, but it has definitely been a struggle and has made it harder to have the same energy for the ministry we are a part of here.

We thank you for all who have, and will, pray as we continue down this journey. It continues to be a mystery. Our hope is in our God who is faithful and carries us through every circumstance. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases!

Elijah’s eye is fully recovered and the eye doctor said yesterday that it has no scarring and so good that you can not even see that he had ever had it. We are so blessed to live in Australia. We have an amazing health system.

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Tribute to Marlene

Marlene and her niece Marlene

Marlene and her niece Marlene

Marlene ready for her birthday trip to the Pizza house

Marlene ready for her birthday trip to the Pizza house

A few weeks back a lady shared with me a vision she had. I knew then, that her time was short here on earth, but that she was going to a far better place… A few of you might have read a part of this on Facebook, but let me recap:

Was just talking with a lady this evening who was on her death bed and she said she saw a large angel standing in the doorway and she was picked up by a man she recognised as Jesus. She was taken during this vision, to ICU where she saw her body lying on the bed. All around her were people singing praises. Next thing she knew she was back in her body and looking up at the doctor and nurse and said she wanted to go back to her home. She said ‘you know my heart’s no good, my kidney they no good either, and my leg and my arm, but one day it’ll be alright. I love Him, that Jesus and he love me proper good one’. I don’t think it’s long til she goes for good to see her Friend Jesus and be reunited with loved ones, I see no more fear in her… though, she could suprise us and live another 10 years… just nice Jesus gave her that glimpse of no more pain, and no more sorrow.

On the 25th December, Christmas Day, she had her last day on this earth. She had a lovely day. She was surrounded by family, her absolute delight. She had children around her (she called the sound of children ‘music’:-) ) then in the afternoon she asked to be wheeled down into the Todd River bed (dry of course) and she had a massive heart attack and passed away.

I had seen her two days before, and she was the happiest and most peaceful I had seen her in a while. She was busy practising a song to sing at church. Well she can sing it with an awful big choir now!

Marlene made a huge impact on our family’s life. She was the one that gave my youngest boy the name Maku which means white edible grub(witchetty grub)- because of his pale skin. She loved him and he adored her. He would pray for her every night “please heal Marlene’s leg”. One day when she was in hospital our second boy went in to visit her and taught her how to play the card game ‘fish’, she loved it. I think she wouldn’t have cared what he taught her, just that he was showing her special attention and laughing with her.

We took her out on her birthday and went to a restaurant and had pizza. She was so delighted. She thought everyone had forgotten her birthday.

Another family and ours went to the hostel where she spent her last days and sung Christmas Carols with her and her mother. I felt like it was one of the most important “concerts” we have ever been a part of, even if it was our smallest audience. I felt the presence of God around and renewed my sense, that this is what it’s all about- the ones, not the crowds.

She always said that my mum and I were like beautiful roses, always make her heart feel joy.

She was firey as anything and sometimes when I would come to visit it would take a while for her to calm down, but as I listened she would quieten, and then when she was finished she would ask me to put some worship music on for her. A highlight for her was when some of the Stirling team came up to meet her and sung acapella for her when she was in hospital, she sung in return to them in language.

I loved Marlene. She was a treasured friend, and she called us her family. “You mob are my family now”. I will miss her greatly, but as Zion said when we told him, “well now she will have both her legs and she will be able to run”!

Marlene loved Jesus. She had pictures up of Him all over her place, and now she gets to be with Him, all day, everyday.

Marlene knew at least five languages, had spent some of her life in Haas Bluff, Ntaria, Papunya and Alice Springs as well as other places. She had many brothers and sisters but a few of them she hasn’t seen since they were taken away when she was young she’d say “you know, they were the light skin ones hey”. Her first husband passed away in Hermansburg and then she lived in Papunya. She loved shopping and was hoping we were going to take a trip to Adelaide to shop šŸ™‚ my sort of lady! She loved to be outside, and loved music. She would sing up the front at church sometimes.

Tonight was her memorial service. We sung At Home with Thee in Pitjantjara and Ngaanytjara. It was so moving.

She will be missed. Please pray for her niece who was her carer as she is taking it quite hard. She has cared for her for a long time, was brought up by her and is her namesake.

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Faith like a child

My eldest fell sick. HeĀ had a horrible rash a headache and bad stomach cramps all of a sudden. He couldn’t get up from bed or it got worse. Zion came up and put his hand on him and started to pray. Ben didn’t know this and was talking to Josiah, so Zion said “would you be quiet and close your eyes, I am praying for Elijah” and then he continued. The prayer went something like this… “God can you heal Elijah so he can get up and play with me and so he doesn’t feel sick in his tummy or his head anymore, thank you Jesus Amen”. Well within five minutesĀ Elijah were up, temperature gone, headache gone, and stomach ache gone, and he wanted breakfast. I can hear him singing and playing in the background now as I write!

Zion is often praying. He is quick to lay hands on people he meets if he sees they are hurt or sick and he always expects God will come through for them. My little 4 year oldĀ is a reminder to me of coming to God as a little child. Not with eloquent words, but words from the heart that in turn touch His heart. Our God loves us all, but I think He has a soft spot for little ones… šŸ™‚

 

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Some more pics of our Glen Helen stay

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Glen Helen

After a busy few months we were blessed by some wonderful people who sent us away for a night to Glen Helen Resort. It was lovely to be out of mobile range and just enjoy some family time. Our boys enjoyed the much needed time to explore and have their parents to themselves. We had a fantastic time, played monopoly, cards and explored and enjoyed the terrain. I thought I would share some photos of our trip. Probably one of the greatest things I am missing about the terrain is being within easy access to a beach, so I suppose this was the next best thing. Sitting on the sand, closing my eyes, in the warmth of the sun I could (almost)šŸ™‚ feel a gentle sea breeze… and the boys got to splash in the biggest body of water we had seen in a few months… We also explored Ormiston Gorge where we got to experience a dingo up closer than Josiah would like. The cave that the boys found went a lot deeper than we first thought. Josiah wanted to live there šŸ™‚ it was nice and warm.

Look close and you can see the cave the boys climbed up to and in

Elijah and Josiah in the cave entrance

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I just can’t fix it.

I think the hardest thing about being a parent is when we see our children sad or hurt and we can’t take the pain away. This morning I read out a post by a friend from the Barossa thinking my kids would be excited for them, but they got instantly sad, and one of my boys trying to hold back tears said “I’m sorry Mum, but I just miss my friends and going to Kids Club so much”. We are over 1500kms away and yet my brain started to think of ways to get them to Kids Club this Friday. I know, a little silly, but I wanted to ease the pain in his heart. I know that pain oh too well. It takes a while to foster a friendship and they had some lovely friends back in the Barossa. I felt guilty that we had again moved our boys on just when they were beginning to feel at home.

We were pleasantly surprised with how our boys have settled in to Alice. They seemed to not be too sad that they were gone. They talked of their soccer mates and Kids Club friends and cousins, but they said “that’s ok, we’ll visit them”. When we had left Young for the Barossa it was a different story. They had forged some extremely close friendships with some boys from there and so they found that move very hard indeed. So when we came here, we braced ourselves for the same, but it didn’t come.

I think this time, one they were older, but two there were many distractions. They came in Summer, and so we could swim every day. They met a family full of kids that they were able to hang with a bit and we were exploring.
But now… the realisation that this is not just an extended holiday, but a place that we are staying has just hit home.

I held my boy in my arms (as well as I could with how big he was getting) and told him it was ok to cry. Grief is ok, if we let it out. When we don’t let it out it becomes unhealthy and we can become irrational and not really know why.

I know to some of you this post may seem a little menial. Some of my friends are going through tough times. I can’t imagineĀ how they are feeling as they are watching on, trying to comfort their son who isĀ under three as he battles leukemia, and another friend whose adult son got hit whilst riding his bike and is now in critical condition. Other friends that are doing life with children with special needs and one day it’s all good and the next it feels all has been undone. Next to these things, my boy’s pain could seem a little trivial. But I know in a stress test they liken moving to being as high on the list as a death or divorce… and from personal experience I know matters of the heart can make or break someone.

So I comforted and reassured my little fella that everything would be ok and I prayed that God would heal his broken heart and bring new friends that he could do life with. And I prayed that as a parent I would know how to nurture and foster these little men as they grow.

I am a person who likes solutions. Who likes to see things fixed. Iknowthough, that some things aren’t instantaneously fixed, problems don’t always get solved and this side of heaven, things aren’t always rosy. But as Ben always used to remind me when we were walking through what felt like the valley of the shadow… “God is still on the throne”… So glad for it.

Categories: Motherhood, My journey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mother’s Day- beauty and sadness

Mother’s Day is a beautiful day for me. My boys treat me so special and draw me wonderful pictures and give me lots of cuddles and extra long smiles…

Spending time with my mum is also special, and we had a lovely time at the Botanical gardens basking in the sun and having lattes.

Our church service was lovely too. We had two wonderful items from the children and they had made cards for the ladies there.

A couple of the ladies had also made some scrumptious damper and scones to share after the service and the ladies that I dropped home in the bus were so thankful.

It was these things that made my heart sing.

But then, at the same time there was a sadness. One young girl who comes to our church was crying because she hadn’t seen her Mum in a long time, and I watched on as she was comforted by a lovely lady from our church who tried to soothe the pain and give her hope for the future. And then the conversations with the older ladies that had not seen their families, they don’t come to visit and this day was just another reminder of that. Then there are the people I have met who are longing for children and haven’t been able to have them. There is a longing, a sadness that we can’t fix.

THeĀ double emotionsĀ I feel here sometimes is a bit overwhelming. There is so much to be thankful for and rejoice over, but there is just as much to be devastated by, to cry over, to get overwhelmed by. The needs are so great and at times there seems no way through, nothing that’ll be lasting help.

Mother’s Day reminded me of the people in my life I am thankful for. It also became a day of reflection.

It is only when I remember to cling to Father GodĀ and the hope we have in Him and His ability to heal broken hearts, bind up wounds and restore families that I see a bright future for here.

Please continue to pray and reach out for the lonely, the broken-heartedĀ and the sick and poor: this is what Jesus calls us to do.

 

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The Gruffalo

Reading a great book at the moment with the children.

Fun. Clever. Colourful.

So decided to make a craft lesson out of it….

this is what we came up with…

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Elijah

Elijah is ourĀ first born. He is eight. He likes all things lego. When he grows up he wants to be a lego designer.

He also loves swimming and riding and soccer. And reading. He reads and reads and reads. I can’t keep up with him. Yesterday he came out of his room and he says “Mum did you know that we have white cells in our bodies that fight the bad stuff in our body”. I enjoy hearing the wealth of knowledge he is obtaining willingly. He started a blog when he was 5. But had a break for a couple of years and has just picked up on it again so the link for that is here http://superelijah5.wordpress.com

He is sensitive. He likes things his own way. He tends to worry and tries very hard to “get it right” all the time.

He loves life and is loud (almost always too loud) and has the craziest laugh. He thinks out of the box and thinks things through.

He loves to devise plans and create secret maps and pretend he is a spy or an agent or a knight.

He is a great big brother but sometimes gets so frustrated with his younger brothers that he doesn’t know what to do about it, but he is protective of them. One day we were at a playground and a kid was hitting Josiah so Elijah stepped in between them and let the kid hit him instead.

This is our Elijah. We love him.

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Home school in Alice

So… I have set up our school room and the kids love it… you can’t see by the photos, but there is loads of space and they can find things that were before away in a tall cupboard. Our first day we painted what were meant to be family portraits, but (this is when I’d love to see a girl’s perspective) we got Dad holding a gun in one and my favourite, Zion said his was Dad in a storm… random 3 year old creative brain working… Love it. will take some pics so you can see the creative genius at work šŸ™‚ .Ā So after ourĀ BibleĀ morning fix weĀ go for a swim and then some phonics work (need to get back into routine where actually piano practise was first.

Very excited, this week we begin Pitjintjara lessons… although this isn’t necessarily the local language (Arrente is) but many of the people from our church come from ernabella and Amata and they speak Pitjintjara…. should be fun… See if I can get some videos uploaded at some stage for you to hear our boys once they learn some. They still remember a lot of theĀ SpanishĀ that they learnt from Carol in Young… so I look forward to see how quick hey learn this.

 

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