My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Prayer Warriors Called Into Action--Day 8

If you want to see what we are praying about go HERE.

Tonight I was looking at Emma's back while I was massaging it.  I mean really looking at it.  From the perspective of what "normal" might look like, it's just a mess.  There are so many bones out of place and a non functioning hip and leg. There's a scar across her lower back that is about 8-10" long that looks like someone could have cared less how they sewed it up. (this was her one and only surgery at 11 mo. old for her SB)
I was touching it tonight and really "feeling" it.
I know most people my steer clear of even touching it.  She is very 'boney' --
So that means you can actually see some of the bones particularly on her back almost protruding.  I wish I could share a picture with you, but that would be pretty personal for her.  Suffice it to say, I think many people have steered clear of really offering her much physical touch/affection in life because it's almost awkward to hug her because you don't really know where to wrap your arms around her boney crooked frame.  I only say this because reality is what it is.

Yet, tonight I looked at it.
I mean really looked at it.
I truly wonder what is all going on inside of there.
Not much of it seems to make sense.

But, I'll tell you what made a whole lot of sense toninght.
I kept coming back to sections of Psalm 139 in my head.
I kept thinking about how intricately God Knows Emma.
I kept thinking about how He Wove Her Together in her mother's womb and how she was fearfully and wonderfully made.
How He has had her in the palm of His hand all along.

So tonight...we pray this Psalm over Emma.
We pray the knowledge of our Heavenly Father--the Great Healer and Deliverer would be seen and known.

I know it would be a long prayer to pray this...but could you insert "Emma" in for "Me"?
(I'm not highlighting anymore because I found it hard to read)

1You have searched me, Lord
and you know me. 
2You know when I sit and when I rise; 
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
3You discern my going out and my lying down; 
you are familiar with all my ways. 
4Before a word is on my tongue 
you, Lord, know it completely. 
5You hem me in behind and before, 
and you lay your hand upon me. 
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
too lofty for me to attain. 
7Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence? 
8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
10even there your hand will guide me, 
your right hand will hold me fast. 
11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 
and the light become night around me,” 
12even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
the night will shine like the day, 
for darkness is as light to you. 
13For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well. 
15My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
16Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 
17How precious to me are your thoughts,God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
18Were I to count them, 
they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
when I awake, I am still with you. 
19If only you, God, would slay the wicked! 
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 
20They speak of you with evil intent; 
your adversaries misuse your name. 
21Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 
22I have nothing but hatred for them; 
I count them my enemies. 
23Search me, God, and know my heart; 
test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
24See if there is any offensive way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Also, just an added request-- Tonight was the first time she really expressed any anxiety over the procedure and had questions about pain, etc.  This was all before the massage.  So, she's beginning to think it all through now.  So as you get to vs. :23--please pray she is released from any "anxious" thoughts and sees Jesus is by her side.

Prayer Warriors Called Into Action-Day 7

If you want to know what we are praying about goHERE

Again my internet wasn't cooperating last night to post, but again God is on the move.
Peter and I headed out to our Community Group last night and before we left Emma was concerned because she thought she might miss out on her "massage".  I reassured her I would do it when I got home.  So even though it was late, I did it then.
Right BEFORE we started she gleefully laid on her bed looked up at me with wide open arms inviting me in for a HUGE bear hug!!
And then said, "I Love you Mom!"
That was some place to start the evening.

As I was praying over her last night "Thankfulness" rose to the surface.
Overwhelming thankfulness.

I'm thankful for all of you willing to walk this journey with us and continue to pray.
I'm thankful for Emma.
I'm thankful for God leading us to her so we could be a part of her story.
I'm thankful for wise doctors/nurses/healthcare professionals.
I'm thankful for Essential Oils.
I'm thankfurl for bonding and attachment that is emerging.
I'm thankful that Jesus did it all and has taken us from death to life.
I'm thankful for a full life that's definitely not boring.
I'm thankful for a wonderful husband.

this list could go on and on.

So take that list and pray prayers of gratidude with us today, or make your own list...

We pray prayers of THANKFULNESS!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Prayer Warriors Called Into Action--Day 6

If you want to know what we are praying about go HERE

Tonight as I put Emma to bed, I paused at the Deep Blue Essential oil and was thinking about the amazing properties of this oil and praying her body recieves it for its qualities which include relief of  discomfort and repair of damage to nerves, etc.  It is a blend of several pure Essential Oils and it's been such a blessing to our family.

Then I continued the massage and she was so relaxed she almost began snoring...=)  
But, as she was dozing off she was singing mixed up lines from various worship songs we have on in our car most of the time.  She was just worshipping Jesus while peacefully relaxing.  It was tender and sweet.

This is one of the songs we've been singing a lot lately...

I hope you can listen to it.  The lyrics are amazingly poignant for this season of our lives.

After that, I was able to pull my hands all over her back tonight without her flinching and giggling at all. Up to this point, I've been focusing primarily on going up and down her spine and across her lower back.  
But, even that sometimes causes some flinching and giggling.  
Just pure unadulterated relaxation and peace.

So I prayed over her---

Peace kept coming to mind.
Soothing Peace.
so I prayed:
"A Peace that Surpasses all understanding would guard her heart and her mind in Christ Jesus" 
As I slowly massaged the remaining oils on her back.

These words which came to my heart for her come from this verse:
(Phil 4:6-7)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

After I was done, she woke up slightly because I moved on the bed, and she asked me to pray with her.  She has NEVER done that before. NEVER.  It was about her new glasses she may get tomorrow.  But, it was pretty amazing that she made that request.  I prayed about more than new glasses, needless to say.  And was once again blown away by what God is doing.

So got it:

A Peace that surpasses all understanding would guard ALL of our hearts and our minds In Christ Jesus throughout this process.  
Simply Peace.

Prayer Warriors Called Into Action-Day 5

If you want to know the details on why we are praying go HERE and read the post.  It will give you some backround and reason for our Prayers over the next several weeks.

Tonight (9/27) we went to a Moon Festival celebration at the local Chinese school/temple up the road from us where the kids go to classes on Saturdays.  It was an interesting experience to be a part of another culture yet in America with our Chinese born kids.  This is the first time we actually went into the "temple" part of the building.  I felt a little like a fish out of water.  When we began to sing songs about their beliefs, I got a little uncomfortable.  But, really there is nothing to be afraid of.  We are covered by the Blood of Jesus whereever we go. And we are light no matter where we go. These very peaceable people just celebrating a traditional festival and they allowed us to join in.  There is privilege in that.

The saddest part for me was a line in one of the songs that talked about needing to be on the path to perfection.  And that is the way to heaven.  It was hard because I cannot imagine trying to be perfect enough to get into heaven.  I'm so grateful that Jesus made the way and broke down the barriers for us so we can call on His Name ourselves and realize He Did It All. We serve Him with our lives, yes.  But, we don't have to earn our way to heaven.  It was a free gift from God.

I explain all of that, because tonight when I was massaging the essential oils onto Emma, I came to the Frankincense and realized what should be obvious---this is a spiritual journey as well as a physical one. I'm not sure what our kids were taught about spiritual things, but I would like to boldly pray off any curses or generational junk that has followed our kids.

(frankincense comes from the tree resin of the boswallia sacra tree in Somalia)

Frankincense helped me remember this spiritual piece tonight.

It is such a powerful oil, many call it the "King" of all oils.  Think about it.  Frankincense was good enough to be given as one of the gifts to the baby Jesus.
I can only imagine why but I do know a few things:
1.  It has the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier--I won't go into details about that, but it's powerful.
2.  It helps fight against inflamation in the body.
3.  It has properties to aid the body in repair of tissue.
4.  Promotes feelings of relaxation
5.  supports healthy cellular function
6. promotes feelings of relaxation
and more.

So could you pray these things tonight? These prayers are not for the faint of heart or people afraid of tapping into some heavy stuff...=)

1.  Pray OFF any spiritual baggage that came with Emma (and Joshua if you'd like to pray for him tonight too)--generational curses, spiritual baggage, ties that bind her to something that is not Truth.
2.  Pray the BLOOD OF JESUS to cover her inside and out.  
3.  Pray for her to come to Know Jesus personally and truly understand His LOVE for her
4.  Pray the Frankincense Oil will also aid her in being open to recieving what Jesus has for her. There is something about it that I cannot fully explain that takes me deeper spiritually--and in particular feelings about "Father".  May she know the LOVE of her earthly Father as well as her heavenly Father.

to God be the Glory!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Prayer Warriors Called Into Action-Day 4

HERE is the link to the reason we are praying.

Tonight as I was putting the essential oils on Emma, I took pause as I came to the Melaleuca oil.  Some may be more familiar with the term Tea Tree Oil.  The reason I am using this oil in preparation for her surgery is to help prepare her body for healing, to help promote healthy immune function and possibly guard against other threats to her body.

(melaleuca comes from the tea tree plant)

So that led me to pray Protection over her from any outside influences or threats that could hinder her healing process. And to encourage her immune system to be prepared for whatever lies on the horizon.  Also, for protection ahead of surgery from any "threats" to her immune system, ie bladder or kidney infections, colds/flu, or any other illnesses because those things could postpone or delay the procedure as well.

As we all know hospitals are a helpful place, but they are also a place where sick people go.  REALLY sick people.  And we have been told Emma will likely be in Intensive Care for a few days if not the entire time she is there.  That means she is also going to be where the REALLY sick people could possibly be.  I'm typically not a paranoid person, so this is just a request that her body is in such good condition, that this is simply not an issue.  Even the doctor said he stops doing these surgeries from late October to March (unless completely necessary) because there simply is no reason to invite trouble.

So today's prayer request:

Emma's body would be getting prepared in every way possible for this surgery and be in the best shape possible to combat any threats to her immune system or healing process.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Prayer Warriors called into action-Day 3

 is a link to the page explaining our Prayer vigil for our sweet Emma who is heading into some major surgery on October 9 if you want to read more.

Todays Prayer

As I was massaging Emma's back tonight with Essential Oils, I couldn't help to think about all the intricate details of this surgery and how the doctor is going to have to have EYES TO SEE.

So today we Pray for Dr. Troup at Greenville Memorial Hospital. 
He is a neurosurgeon so I'm sure he is used to fine details.  But, he is also human.  

So, today we pray that DR. TROUP SEES all he can possibly see to help Emma. That his hands are guided to places he may not expect. That he is given an extra measure of wisdom and perhaps tries something he has never tried before and it is wildly successful in an unexpected way. And mostly pray he sees it all as the POWER of GOD at work.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prayer Warriors Called into Action-Day 2

If you haven't yet read what this is all about here is the reason we are praying.

Before I share the request for Day 2 let me share a precious gift God has given us.

Our sweet Emma has been one tough yet tender hearted young lady.  She is strong but also kind.  Yet, it has taken some time for her to allow us to hug and kiss her as we would any of our other kiddos.  We don't know the reasons for that other than it does require someone to be vulnerable.  We are very touchy feely people that love to give hugs.  We do not suspect anyone ever harmed her.  Yet, we have given her the necessary space she has needed over time.

Well, recently around her birthday--and approximately 3 1/2 months home, we started seeing more affection.  We're taking it slowly, but it's been such a gift to see her opening herself up and saying "I love you" without prompting, and even giving hugs.  Big brother Isaac got a REALLY big hug when he left for college the first weekend in September.  It was precious.

As a part of that whole puzzle, I attempted to do something called an "Aromatouch Massage" to her early on.  This is not truly a "massage" but it's an essential oil application technique where I apply about 8 different essential oils to the back and feet.  It takes almost an hour.  Everyone I have done it to has loved it, including both of our younger boys and friends.  Emma could NOT sit still for it. She was very tickelish, and jumpy and kept asking when it would be done. So I didn't do it to her again.

But, with the preparation for her surgery, I really wanted to get some oils integrated into her system to get it prepared for what's about to come. I want to support her immune system, her nervous system, her endocrine system, etc.  So, I asked her a few days ago if I could.  I took it slowly.  And I'm only doing it up and down her spine, very slowly and then around the base of her spine VERY slowly so she doesn't get jumpy.

For those interested in "which" oils I'm using, the brand is DoTerra oils because I trust them with my life and my kids lives--VERY pure HERE is a link to my website if interested in learning more.

But, here are the oils I've selected:

Balance, Melalueca(Tea Tree Oil), Frankincense, Deep Blue (blend), Helicrysum, and Marjoram

and last night I decided I'm going to alternate with Arborvitae, Cypress, and Juniper Berry because we want her kidneys also supported.

The first night she fidgeted a bit.  But, by nights 2 and 3 and last night, she was so relaxed she fell asleep.  This is SUCH A GIFT from the Lord.  I cannot tell you.  For her to let me just massage up and down her spine with oils and bless her and pray over her is HUGE!  I believe God is using these oils in so many ways as I look around me I'm amazed.

I'm also giving her some vitamin supplements from DoTerra, some probiotics, and something called DDR Prime which should support her cellular function.

So our prayer request today:

Emma's physical body would be getting ready to recieve what is about to happen.  That every nerve, every cell, every tissue would be getting ready so that the doctors can see clearly how to help her, and healing can come in ways we do not expect.  

please feel free to add additional prayers on getting her body ready.  we'd love to hear how God is speaking to you to pray.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Prayer Warriors called into Action-

We're calling out prayer warriors from all the corners of the earth. So if you are one or you know some, please pass this on to them. Or carry it with you...

I believe with all my heart we are about to see some miracles like no one has ever imagined or expected.

On behalf of our sweet Emma.

She entered our family through adoption, with her brother Joshua (also age 12-not biological siblings) from China just 4 months ago. She is blossoming beautifully. But as we have begun all the testing and doctor's appointments we are discovering more and more issues with her health. We knew we were in for a lot but we didn't know exactly what it would all look like.  

What I can tell you is the root of all the issues is a spinal condition which we've been told could be Spina Bifida. They may never fully know what happened, but her records from China indicate it and she had a surgery when she was almost 11 months old on her lower back. Her right leg is completely non functional with zero feeling or hip control, but her left leg is as strong as an Ox! Her upper body is "straight" and strong, but mid back on down her scoliosis curve is approximately at 70 degrees.  Along with that, there are indications that she is at a critical place with bladder and kidney damage.  

I say all of that, but honestly, not much stops her.  She plants her crutch and off she runs, scaling stairs 2-3 at a time. She plants that crutch and hauls off and kicks a soccer ball.  Honestly, this child is amazing. And SMART! Perhaps that is why I feel so compelled to make this Prayer Campaign so HUGE on her behalf. She is brave, happy, strong, a mediator and uplifts us all.  

This past week we scheduled her first surgery for October 9. There probably will be others. But, this one is possibly one of the most critical because it deals with deTethering her spinal cord.  Basically, the base of her spinal cord (which runs through the center of the spine of course) is "tethered" or "stuck".  Scar tissue or something has fused her spinal cord to another part of her lower back where the original surgery was. This is not uncommon at all with SB kids. But, that doesn't mean it is not a risky procedure. Since we have very little on her history in China, we don't know if she was born with some of this damage or it was created by years of not caring for it. We can pretty much be guaranteed that her severe scoliosis is caused by it. That doesn't mean she will suddenly have a straight back after surgery....but Hey if you feel led to pray for that I am soooo cool with that. Find your miracle and lean into it.

The timing of the surgery is important. Now seems to be the time for her.

Either way this surgery is very intricate, detailed and painstaking. Typically it lasts around 2 hours which isn't that long in the scheme of things, but the recovery means she must lay flat on her back (or in some type of prone position) for approximately a week possibly in ICU to heal. The doctor will be testing nerve responses while she is sedated. He will have to monitor closely what to release and how as he is in there.  

As the doctor spoke on Friday, all I could hear in the details was how Big our God is and How BIG He is going to show Himself in this process. There are so many many unknowns and risks with this surgery.  I'm telling you these things so you know what to pray for and against.  Because everything is related to the nerves and how and where they are attached or not attached, she could lose more function of things like her "good" leg. She could lose further function of her bowels, bladder, kidney's. There are just mutliple layers of things that "could" happen. And these are very real and unknown risks until they get in there.

How do you play a part in this?

and beyond.
We are going to post specific prayer requests each day.
Please just pray a prayer as you feel led, but know that we are also praying specific things each day so we can join forces and make our voices heard in the Heavenly Realms.  

Our God created Emma.  
And we know whatever happens will be for His Glory.  
But, we are also given permission to pray Boldly and with Confidence and that our prayers are heard in heaven.

So let's do this thing....

DAY  1
Whatever happens, God's Name would be glorified and all GLORY AND HONOR AND PRAISE would go to HIM!  When amazing things happen--which they will--we must not ever forget, He had this in His plan from the beginning of Time!  None of this is surprising Him--