Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Misc.

FB Post – Dec 10, 2017

Many of you are aware that our sweet daughter Katie has been struggling with her health over the last few months. I’m not a “share everything on fb” gal, though I do try to be real and honest. I have many times considered sharing her situation more publicly, but we honestly hoped that things would be figured out/resolved quickly and proven to be no big deal.

Well… not so much.

On Sept 6, we went in for a blood transfusion because Katie’s hemoglobin was only 6.6, and wound …up doing an iron infusion the next day because Kate had too many antibodies in her blood for it to be safe to transfuse.

In the months since, we’ve been to the hematologist, the rheumatologist, the pathologist (for a bone marrow biopsy), and spent lots of time communicating with our fantastic lead doctor. Kate has had So Much Blood drawn and tested. For So Many Things. Her puzzle is evidently one that is not easy to put together.

While we’ve been trying to figure out how things fit together, her lab work has continued to go wonky. Her platelets have dropped as low as 107k, her neutrophils to .oo, and while the various tests that have been run show that there is definitely something wrong. they are not telling us what it is.

A scare last weekend with a fever while severely neutropenic illustrated vividly how quickly things could get critical with Katie, even when it looks like she’s not faring badly for how poor her blood is.

We have decided, in agreement with Katie’s medical team, to pursue answers with a facility where doctors from various specialties can come together and look at Katie’s puzzle. Mayo Clinic was the first choice because they deal with a broader (worldwide) range of medical mysteries, that door shut very loudly with the news that they do not take our insurance.

We are thankful for God’s sovereignty and are taking that shut door as His leading toward Children’s Mercy in KC. We trust that He has all the right people in place to move forward exactly as He sees fit.

We are praying to get in at Children’s asap, and are hopeful that we will be there this week. Papa & Mama Byrd are planning to arrive from FL on Monday to help with things on the homefront while Kate & I go to KC and Jonathan continues working.

Bread and Fish

The LORD God of Heaven’s Armies has been reminding me lately of His good-gifting.

There are times when I find myself saying repeatedly, “It’s bread and fish. It’s bread and fish. No stones and serpents here. Bread and fish. Bread and fish.” (see Mt. 7.7-11)

I love verses 10 and 16 of Psalm 81 (in today’s One Year Bible reading)!
{Note – this is a literal reference for the people of Israel, but the rescue from Egypt is often used as a picture of redemption from our sin, so it draws us all in}

vs.10 – For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it ***with good things.***
vs. 16 – But I would feed you with the finest of wheat.
I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.

Verse 10 reminds me of the little rhyme from my childhood, “Open your mouth and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise!”
You never knew if it would be a good surprise or a bad surprise… whether or not you would open your mouth depended on how trustworthy your friend was, didn’t it?

God promises to give us good things. Bread, fish, finest wheat, honey… not stones and serpents. That doesn’t mean they always taste like bread, fish, and honey to us! But will we make the choice to open our mouths wide and let Him fill them, trusting that He knows what the good things are? Will we open our hearts, hands, and nod our heads an emphatic “yes!” to all that He has for us? Will we choose to believe that our God is good and does good things, even when they taste like stones and serpents?

Thoughts on Peace and Thankfulness

The other night as I was wrestling with something very painful and present, I was asking the Lord to help me be at peace. It seemed an impossible destination.

And then His still small Voice reminded me that the thanksgiving comes before the peace in these verses –
“ not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Ah, yes. Argghh! And the wrestling began.

Because I did not WANT to be thankful. This pain that makes me feel like my heart is going to fly apart and explode my body as it does? It does not seem to me a “good thing.” It does not taste like bread and fish – it tastes like stones and serpents. Sharp spikey stones and sour poisonous serpents.
And yet, He assures me that He withholds no good thing from His children.

He is wise.
He is good.
He is sovereign.

And He tells me that I should be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)

My giving thanks is not dependent on whether or not I like the gift. It is not dependent on my ability to see how in one thousand worlds it could possibly be a good gift. It is not dependent on my figuring out what benefit God is going to bring to me through the pain.

It is all about WHO He is.

Psalm 145 is just one example of this in Scripture –

A Song of Praise. Of David.
1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.]
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

And so, this great big mighty God, this God Who can handle my anger, hurt, and frustration like no one else – He let me pour it all out to Him. And He helped me to that place of surrender.

Thank You, even though I hate this thing.
Thank You that You give good gifts.
That You that You do have a plan.
But more than that?
Thank You that You are Who You are.
Thank You that You are faithful, that You never change, that Your mercies are new every morning, that Your grace covers and redeems.
Thank You that because of Who You are, I can say Thank You for this pain.
Thank You.
I surrender.

And with the thanks?
Came the peace that goes beyond my understanding.
And I slept.

Sovereignty, Goodness, and my way

I was out playing taxi driver yesterday, fretting and stewing about some upcoming timing issues, wondering how things would turn out, turning the situations over and over in my mind, trying to find some way to *make* things work out the way I want them.
Suddenly, the words on the radio broke through my worrying…
After all, You are constant  
After all, You are only good  
After all, You are sovereign  
Not for a moment will You forsake me
I’d lost sight of that.
I wrestle repeatedly with these two truths and how they fit together –
~ God is sovereign and good
~ God doesn’t always give me what I want
I love how this song reminds me of His sovereignty and His goodness in a way that checks my desire for my own way.
Thank You, patient Father. Help me to remember that You are sovereign, that You are good, that those constants never change, regardless of circumstance.  Help me to trust You as much as I long to love You…

A Word for 2013

I was deeply challenged yesterday by what Willie shared during the teaching meeting.  The main text was Colossians 3.1-17, with an emphasis on verse 16 –

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

What hit me was that to live out the Biblical injunction to encourage other believers, I *must* be letting the word of Christ dwell in me.

Willie told a story of when he worked in construction with another believer, who would daily share with him what the Lord was teaching him from the Word, and would ask what he was learning.  Willie began to not only read the Word regularly, but to meditate and think on it, in part so that he would have something to share when his friend would ask.  Gradually, he realized that this really thinking on the Word (letting it dwell in him richly) was changing his life.

So it’s a win-win, is it not?  If we are letting the Word dwell in us, we are being changed and blessed.  And if we are faithful in lifting up others with what we are learning, then they are being blessed as well.

Why is it easier for me to feel motivated to “dwell” for someone else’s benefit, even though I know that my own need is so deep?  Only the Lord knows, and He also knew that I needed this challenge and encouragement.

A few ways in which I would like to be changed by this challenge…

To regularly let the Word dwell in me richly

I began this morning by starting to re-read Matthew, and read/meditated on the first chapter.  What stood out to me was Immanuel, God with us (oh, look, another “dwelling” concept!), and that all these things happened so that what was written might be fulfilled.  Our Father has gone to such lengths to demonstrate His redemptive plan throughout history.  The Blessings and I read the second chapter of I John in our morning reading.  So much about abiding in this chapter!  Abiding in Him, letting His Word abide (dwell) in me.  This will change me (I will obey His commandments, His love will be perfected in me), will give me confidence before Him, and so much more.  I have been seeking through the day to continue to let His Word dwell in me and permeate my thoughts.

To actively seek to be an encouragement to others

I have been feeling convicted about how much time I piddle away on Facebook in particular.  In the midst of Willie’s message yesterday, the thought came to me that I should try limiting my FB time to 15 minutes per day, for at least a week, and see what effect it has on my days/life.  I also want to be more deliberate in using FB, and my blog, to be a blessing and encouragement.

To sing and share songs, hymns, and spiritual songs on a regular basis
Here is one that has been on my mind today!

To daily write down at least three gifts (thankfulness in my heart)

The habit of gratitude is a life-changer, and I have sadly let it slip.  Ann Voskamp has lovely printables for a each month of the year, to take the joy-dare with a jumping-off-point for counting gifts.  Find them here!

So, a month in, I feel that the Lord has given me a word for 2013.
Let His Word dwell in me richly.
Dwell in Him.

The Meeting of the May Day Babies

Some of you may remember me mentioning in my labor progress reports that friends of ours also had a baby on May 1st. Darling Elisabeth was born at home just after midnight and was taken to the hospital right away because she was born with spina bifida. She has the most serious type of spina bifida, but the weeks since her birth have been full of miracles, and she is doing remarkably well.

We were thrilled to get to meet Elisabeth this past Sunday at the FoMM picnic. Here are some cute pictures of our treasures together:
About the same weight, but the long and the short of it!

They’re both gazing at Jen in this one – so cute!
Jen, Elisabeth, Andrew, and I
Beautiful Blessings!

Trying out Windows Live Writer

I read a recommendation recently for using Windows Live Writer for blogging, so I’m giving it a shot.  The part that interests me is being able to use it to insert photos using Picasa or Flickr. 

The above picture I inserted using the Picasa plugin.  I don’t know how to move it or resize it, but from what I read, once I figure that out, it will save my settings and insert photos accordingly each time.

And here I’ll try one using the Flickr plugin:Pond View

That was a bit more user friendly.  Easy to find how to put it in the middle, choose a size, etc.

I’m curious how the formatting works.

And I’m looking forward to playing with this more. 

Do any of you use WLW? 

Are there other blogging tools that you find helpful?

P.S. – No major labor progress yet.  We’re at Dad and Mom Smith’s right now.  They fed us a wonderful meal of chicken alfredo and we’ve had a nice visit.