Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An uplifting reflection

John emailed this to me today. I'm not sure where he got it from but wow does it ever speak to me right now. We're living a lot of stuff right now with our oldest child Zach who is 16 and really struggling with life right now. So I just thought maybe someone might read our blog and need to be uplifted as well. Here you go.

Charles Spurgeon reading

"The trial of your faith."—1 Peter 1:7.

FAITH untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Night

We have come to the end of our first full week at home. We have found a routine so there is a little predictability now for everyone. Hannah has made three trips to the orthodontis since we got home. Her "wedge" has broken twice but we found a very nice ortho who has been able to make a modification that seems to have solved the design limitations of the customization that was done to the wedge in NYC. It seems that you start with the ideal and then grind away until it fits. The challenge is then managing the mechanical limitations that arise from the initial design. We hope that the wedge will last until the end of December when it will be replaced with a different appliance post distractor removal. We continue to clean the site where the pin for the appliace comes out of her skin. It is an amazing process the body goes through when there is a foreign body implanted. It oozes "gunk" that turns into a scab like substance when it to the skin. We have to remove most of the stuff and keep the pin site open so that no infection can take root. So far everything is staying clean and we are infection free. Of course Hannah hates the cleaning. I honestly think it hurts to have this stuff removed, but what can I do? It has to be continously attended to and she is having to put on a brave face. Which of course she does to the nines. Hannah is so resilient.

We heard today that the provincial government is negotiating with the hospital so there don't appear to be any barriers to us returning to NYC in Dec. Yeah, we will have New Years in the Big Apple.

Hannah is pressed at school these days as she is behind and having to work hard to catch up. She is thrilled to be back and hanging out with her Vancouver friends. She got to go to our churches "pastorate" last night. Pastorate is a home group where 20 or so people get together, share a meal, praise God and for us move through a study of a book called "Renovation of the Heart" by Dallas Willard and Randy Frazee. While the grown ups talk Hannah and the other kids play and have a great time together. Unfortunately, I have not being able to attend since I got home as work has consumed a lot of my time while I get back into the swing of things. Hannah loves school and pastorate but by Friday night she is totally fagged. OMG is she tired. Oh well, she can sleep in tomorrow as we have a free day.

We are now solidly into the rainy season in Vancouver. The sky is overcast most days and we are having rain almost daily right now. Tonight the forcast calls for 40 mm of rain. That is almost 2 inches for those who measure life in miles, gallons and feet. We should have this kind of weather for weeks/months to come. The cost of living on the West Coast of Canada. Let's hope we'll see more the the sun and have fewer weather changes so Judy has fewer headaches.

I hope you're well and thanks for visiting.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall is Such a Great Season

We have been home for 4 days and life looks like it's getting back to a regular routine. Wednesday and Thursday were a total blur for both Hannah and I. Hannah stayed home from school and I went to work on Wednesday. We both managed the day okay, tired but on an even keel. Thursday came with the edge of jet lag cutting deep. On top of both of us feeling terribly, Hannah's "wedge" (the piece of acrylic that fills in the gap between her teeth on the left side) broke. One of the anchors that hold the wedge in place snapped off at school and left Hannah with her wedge hanging in her mouth attached to one side only. Hannah's orthodontist is currently on vacation so we had to find another orthodontist with an on site lab who would be willing to take the wedge out and try and fix it. I talked to 3 different offices and finally ended up locating one really close to home. So I picked Hannah up and we went and got the wedge fixed, albeit a short term fix, until our Dr Pocock is back from vacation and he can make the necessary alterations to ensure this problem does not happen again.

Hannah said to me just before we got on the plane Tuesday afternoon, that she didn't want to leave New York. She and I both came to really love living there. The city is a great place and living at Ronald McDonald House was the best. The place was great but the people were what made it home. We are both community minded people so it is no wonder why it was so hard to leave. Hannah has had a hard time adjusting to coming back to the family and not being the total centre of attention. There have being a few situations where she has lost her mind because life would not give her exactly what she wanted and in the way she decided it needed to be delivered. This is more than the ego centric 6 year old personality. It will take her a while to adjust to life with two parents and three siblings.

Work was full on the moment I walked through the door. I certainly arrived back with a fresh perspective on my work and those people who I work with. With Hannah's surgery now behind us and our next trip to NYC in December only a week long, I can now really focus and prepare to lead my team into a major change that is expected in the early spring of next year. It should make for an exciting winter.

I have spent time reading on other blogs the progress of our friends, but to be honest I really miss them. I met some of the world's best kids and parents at the house in NYC and hope and pray for each of them that God would bring healing to each child. I pray that as the healing comes, God would grant peace and patience to everyone.

We will have our first Sunday back to our church and will have lots to share with our friends and family there about our time in New York. We saw Judy's brother and sister in law today and will see my mom after church tomorrow. So we are almost reconnected to our network in Vancouver. Next, we have to reconnect to our peeps (friends) in Victoria.

Hannah and John