Sunday, May 29, 2016

Still Waters

The house is quiet. Tim is at the ball fields with 4 kids and I have 2 sleeping here.
I have wanted to have time to journal/blog for weeks but there is no time! Our days are full from morning until night.
So I am going to type my thoughts as fast as I can!
We have had some significant things happen since I blogged!


"The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake."
Ps 23




We celebrated Lake's 9th birthday in March. I had to check myself just now because 9 just doesn't sound right! But it is!
He is 9 years old. 
I will never forget when I found out I was pregnant with him. It was the day I went in to get a PICC line put in. I had been battling Lyme Disease for about a year by then. If I would only  have been given antibiotics when it first started, it would have never turned into a chronic auto-immune illness that almost took me completely out of the game.
I was so sick. I struggled to make it through each day. My body ached all over and the fatigue made pregnancy fatigue seem like a walk in the park.
Before this, I was at a Church service where I begged God to heal me after listening to a teaching on the woman who touched the cloak of Jesus. I went up to the front and fell on my knees. I did everything I knew to do to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus' robe. If only He could get to Him, I knew He could stop this illness.
God spoke so clearly to my  heart then. He said, 
"I will heal you. It will take time but I will give you joy in the mean time".
I told Tim about the promise I believed God had given on our drive home.
The promise of joy seemed impossible.

A couple months pass and I am in the hospital having the PICC line placed (in my heart) so they can pump high doses of antibiotics into my body and try to overpower this lingering infection. The nurse said, "is there any way you could be pregnant?". I said, "no ma'am".
She said, "well, we need to be sure because we have to do an x-ray to make sure the PICC line is inserted correctly". I said, "I'll take a test just to make sure".
That pregnancy test came back BRIGHT and positive.
Tim and I couldn't believe it.
We were definitely trying NOT to get pregnant during this storm.

And, honestly, it was the worst timing ever (from a worldly perspective) to be pregnant.
My body was so weakened from illness. I still had to take these high powered antibiotics.
Yet, God had given us LIFE in the midst of trouble.
And I was SO excited.
I had a PICC line during my first trimester with him. It is awful to think back on.
I was so scared. 
The ultrasound showed 2 sacs and only one heartbeat. They called it vanishing twin although we never saw another baby. Maybe it was just an empty sac. I don't know but I grieved that loss at every ultrasound. I have to trust God with that situation because I still don't understand what happened.
But beside the empty sac, there was a beautiful little life with a healthy heartbeat.

I was months into that pregnancy when God spoke to my heart,
"the joy I promised you is this baby".
Lake Christian Blackiston was born March 8, 2007.




And God did exactly what He said He would do:
He used Lake to fill our hearts and our lives with JOY.
I wanted to name him Lake because of Tim's beautiful blue eyes that remind me of 
"still waters".
When he was a baby, we realized that he had allergies... specifically peanut allergies.
I worry it was due to the antibiotics or the fact that I was too sick to nurse him.
My pediatrician says it is genetic.
He also has severe asthma.
He had 2 very dangerous asthma attacks when he was little.
We spent so many nights in the hospital or doing breathing treatments.
I thought he was going to die.
I prayed and cried and prayed and cried.
I used to sing that old worship song,
"This is the air I breathe...Your holy presence living in me"...


I asked God to fill his lungs with HIS pneuma breath... His LIFE.
I believe God heard my desperate cry for Lake's life and health.
And I believe God filled His lungs with not only breath but also WORSHIP.
When Lake was a baby in his high chair, I remember hearing him sing.
I said, "Tim! I think the baby is SINGING".
This was way before he talked.
When Lake was hospitalized in Florida for a severe asthma attack around age 5, he sang through the whole episode. Even playing the piano and singing with an IV in his hand.
I knew it wasn't normal. That God had given him a supernatural gift.























Lake holds the bar high in our family. He is the most naturally joyful of the family. When he is gone, there is a VOID of laughter and worship. I praise God for this child.
He loves soccer and baseball. He loves to cook- I'm hoping to turn the kitchen over to him soon! He has Tim's gift with his hands and he loves to serve.
He gave his life to Christ at 5 when we shared the gospel with him on the chalkboard using the Romans Road illustration. (Hope is still confused about what EXACT sin he needed forgiveness for... I think hers was/is a little more obvious...lol) . 
His brothers call him "angel-son Cal" (from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) because he just doesn't get in much trouble.
He's just full of joy and worship. 
He leads worship at Church. I give God ALL THE GLORY for Lake's musical talent.


We took him out alone for his birthday.
He was so excited that he didn't have to share his food (lol).
We asked him the birthday questions:

1. Favorite Drink: Lemon-Lime Gatorade
2. Favorite Food: Eggs, Pancakes, Bacon
3. Favorite Candy: Kit-Kat
4. Favorite Movie: Big Hero 6 and Despicable Me 2
5. Favorite TV Show:  Clone Wars
6. Favorite Sports Team: UT Vols (football)
7. Favorite Place: Home and cousin's house
8. Bible Verse: "The JOY OF THE LORD is my strength"
9. Book: Jed Cartwright's "The Dangerous Journey"
10. Color: Blue
11. Car: New Corvette
12. Favorite School Subject: Science
13. Future profession: Singer 
14. Current Job: Animal Sitting for the neighbor
15. Favorite Board Game: Life
16. Favorite Bible Character: Daniel
17. Favorite Role Model: Chris Tomlin
18. Favorite Athlete: Tim Tebow
19. Favorite Dessert: Brownies
20. Favorite Animal: Owl
21. What do you want to accomplish before next birthday?
"Play paint ball now that I am old enough"
"learn to play the guitar"
"start making pancakes"
"take violin lessons"


************************************************************************

The older boys played middle school baseball this year. It was a big adjustment for all of us. The field is bigger. The mound is farther. The opponents have BEARDS!!!!!
Reece has pitched a lot this season. I try so hard to keep his arm strong and healthy by icing it down afterwards.
God protected protected and healed Evan from a bad hop to the face at shortstop. I was video'ing when it happened. I throw the phone down and run out on the field like a pregnant momma bear. Baseball is much more dangerous than I anticipated. This is our second head injury in a year. Reece has a scar from his last year. I played my entire life and never got injured like these two have! 







video


As much as I want to keep my kids at home wrapped in bubble wrap, we keep on keeping on.
We spend a whole lot of time at the baseball fields.
Yesterday, I almost overheated though so I am sitting this one out.
I felt like I was going to pass out after a pool party and then a baseball game.
I am 31/32 weeks, I think.
I am getting big. My varicose veins are not pretty. I have CRAZY nightmares and am exhausted most of the time. Pregnancy gets harder with age and number of babies. 
I can't think about having 7 kids or I start to panic.
We never dreamed we would have a large family. 
BUT GOD... He chooses the "least-likely-to-succeed" so they will know they have to cling to Him.
I was thankful to go away with Tim for a night recently.
When people ask me what my biggest craving in pregnancy is, I say... "Tim".
:)
I love him so much.
I've never been skydiving but our life reminds me of a tandem skydiving experience.
We are free-falling together toward Jesus. It is scary. We don't have any prior experience for what God has asked us to do. But we have each other and we have our faith in a TRUSTWORTHY God.
Tim is my real-life-prince. He isn't perfect but he is predictable. The reason is because He walks with God daily. We both do. Not because we are spiritual but because we are dependent on God's strength to make it through every day. 
I imagine us growing old together rocking in rocking chairs reminiscing about all God has done and saying, "WHAT AN ADVENTURE".




Hope had her ballet recital recently.
She was STUNNINGLY beautiful.
I never did ballet. I am learning as I go how to do the "girl-thing".











She also got baptized this morning!!!
It made me cry and cry.
She shared her testimony about when she received Christ after cutting a big chunk out of her hair and realizing she was a sinner. She has asked to be baptized for a long time. I wondered if she was too young but the verse the Lord kept laying on my heart was...

"Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matt 19:14

After all, is anybody really ever "ready" to be baptized. It is an act of obedience. We know God lives in her because we have seen Him changing her and producing fruit in her life.
She is still in process... just like we all are. 
Tim has baptized 4 of our children now. 2 in the ocean and 2 at Church. 
"I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth." 
3 John 1:4


He read this passage over her...

"since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. 
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  
so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: 
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience"
Col 1







Our Church is such a blessing.
Godly leaders at the helm.
I praise God for providing godly men and women to come alongside our children!


Rhett is full-time FUN and CRAZY...


video






He spends a lot of time STRAPPED IN or STRAPPED DOWN.. otherwise, he will kill himself!
He wears me out! He is hilariously funny. He is strong and healthy. He is busy.
He is jealous when I hold anybody or anything other than him. I am not sure he is going to be very happy about having a new baby brother.
He is talking more. He is still his older siblings pride and joy. 
I have had to get creative with taking him to baseball games. I sometimes pack everything but the kitchen sink along with his pac-n-play.
I am not as worried about having 7 kids as I am having Rhett and a baby.
That is what will be hard. He needs 24-7 supervision and training.
He also needs to be potty trained!!
Who knows when that is going to happen!
******************************
Crew is cute as a button. Excited that he is old enough to participate in Lego Camp this year!

He still loves to play ball. Any kind of ball.
He is still my little glow worm... SO SO cute.
I am teaching him to read.

Reece is almost 13. That is crazy.
We are moving into a NEW WORLD of parenting.
Thankful that God gives wisdom GENEROUSLY!!
Tim and I are excited (and nervous) as we enter into the world of middle schoolers.
We loved teaching the 6th graders at Church this past year.
Now we will have a 7th and 8th grader!


Um, what else?
Hope called ear muffs "head muffins" the other day and I promised myself I would document that because it made me laugh. 
Evan is taking classes to learn ILLUSION so he can share the gospel with the kids at Lego Camp.
The kids are finishing school for the year.
I canNOT wait for summer break.
Our new baby will be here before we know it.
No, he doesn't have a name yet. 
I am not sure Tim and I will have time to really talk and pray through that decision until we are alone at the hospital! This will be baby boy names ELEVEN AND TWELVE.
Benjamin Reece
Evan Hayes
Lake Christian
Crew Joshua
Everett Hart

I NEVER could have imagined having 6 boys.
Our life has been so blessed. 
Tragedy, trial, and heartache also beyond my imagination.
But, God has gotten us this far.
He is faithful. 
He completes the work He begins.
I am just so thankful to KNOW CHRIST and be known by Him.
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, I am begging you to open your Bible.
Ask God to reveal truth to you.
Tell Him you want to know Him.
He will manifest Himself to you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Be Blessed~
Steph
1 Cor 2:9

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

your heart and sharing and writing nourishes me and leads me, every time, to the Bible. thank you, yet again.
-beth

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for updating us on your precious family. Thank you for sharing and speaking truth into the lives of others. Erin Lynn

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. You are such an encouragement. Love the update on your family-Erin Lynn

Anonymous said...

Please oh please update soon! Wondering how you are.
Prayers,
Carrie