"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:5-8

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gift of Hope

Hi again, life is going well here in the Luton household. girls are happy and doing well. Haddyn started walking just shy of 10 months! so it's pretty busy around this place. she just toddles around the house following her big sisters. it's pretty stinking cute. Anyway, I had been reflecting on some of the things the Lord has brought us through and felt like sharing one of my lows with you all in hopes that it might encourage someone out there who might be in a low right now.

Last July when Hallie was in the hospital with a brain bleed I had a glimpse into something I don't ever want to experience again; for a brief moment i lost my hope.
You see she had just gotten out of the hospital at the end of june for two brain bleeds that were caused by a head bump and then here we are a few weeks later when she is showing similar signs of a brain bleed. So in the middle of the night we rushed to the ER and they tell us she has another brain bleed, she had not hit her head this time and doctors were pretty much just thinking she had some condition where she was just going to have spontaneous bleeds in her brain now. (This thankfully ends up not being the case but we didn't know this until days later when we did an MRI which showed that she had two small strokes that bled versus just a spontaneous bleed.) Strokes we had dealt with before, but spontaneous brain bleeding scared the hope right out of me. Strokes are scary enough. So before i knew we were dealing with a stroke, the doctors pretty much took my hope away and were coming in saying there wasn't much to do, just make her comfortable so she wouldn't bleed more. I was in the room alone with her because we couldn't bring the baby into the ICU, so adam was in the waiting room with Haddyn. So i was listening to these doctors and became so overwhelmed because they had no idea what to do or why this was happening. One doctor even went as far as to say that he had operated on a patient with vasculitis (they thought hallie had this) before and that it was so bad that she died! i mean, what??? don't tell a mom that, seriously. i sat there and looked at my sleeping girl, and i just bawled like a baby. i lost my hope. it was a desolate place to be. adam wasn't in there to comfort me, hallie was on sleeping medicine. i was alone. or so i thought anyway. That's the thing about God, He's there even when we don't see Him. I knew I had to do something, i could not fight for my child's life from the bottom of a pit, i needed to be in a place of faith in order to get her through this. so i picked up my phone and through my tears i called my friend lindsey and said, "pray...i need you to pray for me, i am struggling...choke choke." so she hit me hard with some uplifting words and i started to feel like i could do this. Praise God for prayer warrior friends and family right? then a short while later, or at least i think it was a short while later, it might've been a day later, i can't remember. but the chaplain came into pray with me over hallie and she said someting during her prayer that switched my light back on. She said the word hope. I don't even remember the context of what she said, i just heard the word hope and felt such a peace flood my body. I knew in that moment that if i embraced the Hope that Jesus Christ so freely gives us, that all would be okay, no matter what the outcome was. This was a major turning point for Hallie and me. I began to pray from a place of hope rather than a place of fear. I knew Jesus was there and that He was in control. Hope is the gift God gave us to enable us to endure this life on earth. we live in a fallen world where there unfortunately is sin, sickness, and disease. however, we know the ending....victory through Jesus. "in this world you will have trouble,but take heart, i have overcome the world!"John 16:33. Hope is believing that God can and will make your circumstances better, whether He completely changes the circumstances or gives you the grace to walk through them. all things are possible with God. So Hallie began to show signs of improvement right away, i mean the surgeon even said, "the prayers must've worked". he had the OR booked and everything and hallie ended up not NEEDING ANY SURGERY this time. Praise the Lord! So she recovered and we brought our baby home again, we also brought home with us such a strong appreciation of the hope that God gives us through His Son; hope that Hallie will be completely healed, hope that in this world despite the trouble we might have, we can overcome the world with His help, Hope that He has our children in His hands, and that that's actually the safest place for them to be. So if anyone is in a place of hopelessness i would encourage you to hand your situation over to the Lord and give Him the reigns. Don't give up hope, believe that He can and will deliver you from or through your current circumstance. Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrew 10:23

ok, hopefully soon i will upload some pics of my little monkeys, in the meantime thanks for letting me share my story with you!
Happy day to you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Small Parable, Big Meaning

Hi there. So during my quiet time the other morning as I was flipping threw my Bible heading towards Ephesians, I happened across these words, The Peristent Widow. This quickly caught my eye and I felt drawn to read on. And thankfully I did, because this parable gave me so much hope, so much encouragement, and above all, an overwhelming sense of comfort in knowing that our God still speaks to us through His Word TODAY. Here's the parable from the Book of Luke, Chapter 18
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

WOW. I had chills when i read it because I felt like the Lord was directly speaking to me, telling me not to give up but to keep praying and that He would bring Hallie her justice; her healing. There have been times when fear comes in and I lose hope, but now I have this parable to remind me of God's promise that He brings justice to the persistent. So this day I choose to be "the persistent mother" who keeps bothering the judge to 'grant Hallie justice against her adversary'.
So if you are struggling with something or feeling discouraged, know that the Lord is calling you to press on and cry out to him and He will reward your persistence. Put your faith in Him and believe that He hears you and will bring forth your justice in due time. Let Him find faith on the earth.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jesse Tree...you can do it!

To all you parents of young'uns out there....this is a fun holiday activity for the family that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas...a Jesse tree! You can find more about it here http://tiredneedsleep.blogspot.com/2010/11/advent-2010-printable-ornaments-and.html There are free printables for the ornaments, etc. We started last night, so it's not too late for you all to start. just catch up tonight. You print out the ornament, have your little one color it and then hang it on the tree that evening as you or your hubs reads the suggested scripture reading for the night. Each day builds on the previous night leading up to the birth of Jesus. In a world where the focus becomes quite blurry at Christmas, let's give our kiddos the joy of knowing the true meaning of Christmas and what that means for them eternally. Have a great day!
P.S. I tried to insert the ornament printable link up there, but it didn't quite work, so just copy and paste it and it should take you there.