Thursday, April 2, 2009

What I know about suffering, snakes, and mothballs.

A few weeks ago, I noticed Tim was acting odd. Like there was something he didn't want to tell me. Then he would say things like, "honey, I need to go run an errand after the boys go to bed.".
Since we are practically together every minute of everyday and he is my best friend, I started getting suspicious. After he left to "run an errand", a huge smile came across my face. Awwww, he is buying me a present! I joke that my love language is gift-RECEIVING. ;) It is not Tim's love language so gifts are few and far between and it really stresses him out.
That is for sure what he is up to!! How fun!! What could it be? Something romantic? earrings? maybe this time he will even get it wrapped in beautiful paper with a huge bow? oooh... maybe its a new mini-van since ours is on its last leg, is DEFILED, and lets out a glass-shattering scream that lasts for 5 minutes while I back out of the driveway (waving to the neighbors acting like I don't hear the noise and while the boys have their fingers in their ears). That's it! He is surprising me with a new van! F-U-N! I can't wait.

He got back from his errand with no wrapped package and no van. As we were going to sleep that night I said, "honey, are you going to surprise me with a new van???". He looked at me with a keep-dreaming-smile and said, "there is something I need to tell you".
Uh-oh. Not good.
"We have a snake in the back yard. I went to get a gun."
I am TERRIFIED of snakes. The boys are allowed to say hate about two things...
They can say, "I hate SIN." or they can say "I hate snakes."
Tim and I used to love to water ski. We had a boat before we had kids. I loved wake boarding and and skiing. But sometimes we would see snakes swimming in the water. So, when I fell, I would panic. The boat seemed like it would never get back to pick me up and every time my life jacket strap would touch me, (I am not kidding) I would try to run on top of the water knowing it was a snake. I HATE THEM!!

So, the next day while Tim was at work, I went to go survey the scene and look where he told me it was. There is a creek in our back yard and often, snakes will climb up on the bank or on a rock and sit in the sun. YUCK!! So, I courageously peeked over to see if I could see a snake and YEP, there was a nasty big snake sitting a couple feet away from where my boys play. THIS MEANS WAR. I called Tim at work and told him to come home and blow its brains out with his new pellet gun (he didn't think the golfers on the hole behind our house would appreciate the shot gun I wanted him to shoot it with). While I was in the check out line to buy more snake repellent paraphernalia, the lady at Ace hardware giggled and said, "That snake may laugh at your husband, grab the pellet gun and shoot him!".
Tim got home and grabbed his 'air rifle' (that is what he calls the pellet gun- I think he feels more manly calling it that) but the snake was no where to be found.

I have always heard that moth balls are good for keeping snakes away so I bought 3 stinky boxes today and poured them all around our fence and where I have seen it lurking. If any of my neighbors are reading this, I am so sorry your back deck and back yard now smell like your grandmother's basement.

Today in homeschool, the boys and I talked about how prayer is like our 'spiritual mothballs' and that the enemy flees because of the power of Prayer and the Word of God. That God has given us weapons to protect us from danger. So we sent up some moth balls for
my health, daddy's arm (still not healing- find out soon if he has to have surgery) and for our family to shine like a sparkler in this dark world proclaiming the love of Christ.
I will keep you updated on the snake.
You may want to be cautious if you play golf in our neighborhood. You may get hit with a pellet when momma gets the gun!

This has been a BAD week for me. It is still like a bad dream that all of this is really happening.

I used to be so healthy, happy and capable. Life changed drastically July 6, 2005 when I got sick. I don't have many answers as this trial really blind-sided me. I was happy at home with my 2 baby boys, leading Bible Studies with Tim for college students on purity and marriage and just in love with the Lord and life. I had piles of energy and usually jogged every day and was working out 5 days a week. My daily struggles were like every other mom's but life was predictable and easy.

Now, almost 4 years later, it is a different story except that I am still in love with the Lord-- or no, I would say my relationship with Christ has changed too as He has taught me His Word and proven Himself faithful in the storms.

Yesterday, I was so sick, light-headed and out-of-it that when I put Lake down for a nap, I put a movie on the boys and told them I had to lay down for a few minutes. The movie ended and the boys tried to wake me up but I couldn't wake up. They watched their movie again and mommy still couldn't wake up. Something was wrong. I finally got the energy to get up and just cried to Tim that something is wrong. More than wrong... terrifyingly wrong. I don't really know what is going on. I have been on medicine strong enough to kill a horse for about 3 1/2 years now. Sometimes I think my body is just tired of everything. I came off the medicine even though the dr in NY says 'stay the course'. I just can't. I have to have a break. I won't know about my blood work for a day or so. We really don't know what to do. We have tried everything from homeopathy/herbal doctors to the best MDs in the nation for this.
But, I have learned to live with pain and God has given me many breaks from the intensity of it all.
Here are a few things that encourage me...

I love it how you can learn spiritual truths in the most mundane things.
Lately, when Lake wakes up in the mornings, he takes his jammies off and his diaper off before I know what he is doing. Most of the time, I get there before he pee pees everywhere but sometimes it is too late. The other day, I was too late. I had to take all of his favorite sleeping things out of his bed to wash them...

3 blankets, 1 Elmo, 1 Monkey and his favorite Dog Jammies.

He flipped out. He cried and screamed and boo-hoo'd as I carried all of his favorite things to the washing machine and tossed them in. I don't think I have ever seen him this upset. I kept telling him that it was ok, that I just had to wash them but he didn't understand. After I turned the washing machine on, he tried to climb into the washing machine to get his favorite things out... looking at me like "HOW COULD YOU??? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME??". I think he thought he would never seen them again or that the washing machine was a monster that I was feeding his beloved treasures to. I am not sure but I do know HE SIMPLY COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING. Tim took his picture.

This actually really ministered to my heart as I have the same tendency in my trial... to look up at God and cry, "how could you do this to me? Why are You taking things away from me that I love?". And then it hit me, I SIMPLY CAN NOT UNDERSTAND what is really happening. BUT, I know that my heavenly Father loves me and has promised GOOD things to me. So, this trial is for my good. Period.
He said it and I believe His Word. Period.

For example, the other day I was planting flowers and showing the boys their roots. I told them that they need water to grow and keep them alive. It started to rain today and Bubba disappeared. I asked Reece where Bubba was and Reece said, "Outside watching the flowers grow". He stayed out there a long time watching as the rain came down. He never saw the flowers grow but knew it was true because I told him.

I know this suffering will be used for good and God's glory even if I can't see it BECAUSE HE TOLD ME SO. I may not understand until heaven... and that is ok.

Re-united with his clean loves.

Another thing that makes me happy is this picture that Tim's mom gave me.

It makes me think of Jesus' nearness to me, how I am His little girl... who He LOVES.
"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor (*worship) him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11

Another thing that makes me happy is my group of girls on the Sunday night calls. We dig into God's Word together every week. If you put both groups together, there are about 50 of them. My heart for this group of amazing girls is based Luke 8:8...
"Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

That God would plant seeds in them during this study and then after it is over use them to produce a crop 100 times greater. I am in a constant state of shock over what God is doing in the lives of these women and how He is using them and growing them. WOW! You girls bless me so much.
I call them my Good Soil Girls because of the verse. I giggled while I was planting my Spring flowers when I looked at my potting soil. Miracle Grow Potting Soil. I think that is what some of the girls have in their hunger for God's Word and to be used by Him. It is just plain EXCITING to be a part of.
Thank you so much for letting me be a part of what God is doing in your lives.

Thank you for continuing to read, care, and pray without even really knowing me. I have been so humbled and challenged by your compassion. Who knows maybe God will heal me tonight? I don't know what is going to happen next but because I am KEPT by Christ and loved by Him, I know I will be ok... More than ok.... Adored, Held and Protected as I walk through this valley. Please keep praying for a miracle.

(Lake cracks me up. He is trying to do what Bubba does when he pulls his lips to make a crazy face for the camera. He is a smart little stinker. God has given me so much joy along side of suffering.)

"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings."

Psalm 63:7


Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

I just want to tell you what a strong "purpose" your suffering has had in my life. I stumbled upon your blog about a week ago, and you have blessed me beyond measure! I am the mother of four boys, so I already feel a connection with you. I have had a horrible year this past year, the worst of my life. It has been unbearable suffering of an emotional and spiritual kind. I have lived my life for Jesus Christ ever since I can remember. Your words on your blog remind me so much of the deep love and deep relationship I once had with the Lord. It's still there, it's just battered by the events of this past year. I've doubted God, been angry,and felt hopeless. Your blog is resurrecting hope in me. The scriptures you have posted are like medicine to my hurting heart. I have a long way to go, but please say a prayer for me. I will pray for you everyday. Bless you, bless you, bless you. And those sweet, sweet little boys!

Jill said...

Oh, I just want to hug that Traci from the previous post.

Girl, you would have died on our last camping trip. Snakes. and more snakes. You were cracking me up just thinking about you with that pellet gu. You would have crackin up so much, he would have slithered away. And oh the moth balls, and Lake's naked funny. I wish I like down the block so I could just take those boys and have some good ol creek fun...I know you have a ton of support and love, just know I stinkin' love the mess out of you Blackisons! You are His. Sometimes, that is all I can pray.

gillian said...

what a blessing you are Stephanie! reading the comment above from a sweet reader!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture of Bubba reunited with his loveys!!! You can see the joy in his eyes! and I totally feel you with the life jacket strap touching you and thinking it's a snake...eek!!!!

gillian said...

oops, i mean Lake :0

Angela said...

Oh, Steph, that was an amazingly, wonderful post. I know you are suffering, and you are TIRED. OF. IT. But God is using you so much through all of it.

Off to find some tissues....

Erica Brandon said...

I have been a Christian most of my life but you my friend have brought me closer to Jesus. You have taught me to pray feverently and to pray BELIEVING what I am praying will happen in God's time NOT our time.I hope you know what an impact you have on so many people's lives.I hope that you are feeling better soon and never quit posting on your blog, I enjoy it everytime I read! Have a great weekend!

Erin Southwell said...

Love you Steph, your post touched my heart. I am praying so hard for you. For His will and your strength and of course, a miracle. God Bless you sweet friend.

Andrew and Carter's Mom said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your health. I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you in a while. I've tried calling but no one answers. I was going to tell you about the huge sale at mini boden (that would certainly cheer you up)!! Chad and I almost ran over your poor husband Tuesday night. We got home at about 9pm from our date and didn't see Tim running in front of our driveway..Oops. Please tell him we're sorry. Andrew does the same thing with the washing machine. I wash his 3 blankies and 2 lovies after school days and he stands in the laundry room having a fit the entire time. Please know I'm thinking about you and call when you're feeling better. I'm here if you need anything (even a babysitter)!

Julie and Luke said...

Hey honey!
I'm sorry that we didn't get to talk more on the phone today about how you are feeling/the drugs etc. I would love to connect about that anytime. On a lighter note I think that you should write a book about all the funny things that mamas go through raising babies. You are such a good writer and make me laugh out loud at some of the boys stories. I love you girl. Talk to you Sunday night!! :-)

kelly said...

Hey Tim!! Go Get Steph that Mini Van!!!
Praying so hard for you Steph...I have no words, just know I don't want you to suffer anymore, and you know I love you!!!!
You are right, Life if Hard, But God is Good!!!

Amanda May said...

I love the satan/snake & prayer/mothball analogy...really good! :)

What a SWEET family you have...your boys are ADORABLE!!

I am continuing to lift you up in prayer!

Mary T said...

Steph, your words just reach out from the page and touch us! Your have such a wonderful way with words! They make me laugh, they make me cry, they inspire me. And your photographs: Priceless! Just precious!

I hope you received answers today. May The Lord bless you and keep you, Steph.. . . May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

LeslieTummel said...

I've been praying for you! :) The next time you see that snake, you can call me. I need a black snake in my backyard to eat the chipmunks that are digging too many holes! I'm deathly afraid of spiders (even the itty bitty ones), but snakes have never bothered me. Isn't that strange? :) Black snakes aren't posionous...they're way more afraid of you than you are of them. Just fyi ;)

Stephanie said...

PLEASE COME TAKE AS MANY SNAKES AS YOU WANT!!! They aren't black snakes though. Tim has seen a rattle snake on this golf course before.
He shot one of the snakes this afternoon. We don't know if it died though because it fell into the water.
Thank you for praying for me.