Wow! Has it really been almost a month since we last updated everyone? That’s crazy! I am SO ready for fall now. It’s my favorite season, and I am always longing for it by this time each year. Here are a few updates for you:
First of all, our managing to pull off a vacation turned out to be an even bigger challenge than we thought in our last post, but God was gracious, and our time was very blessed. In spite of some financial challenges, more medical issues, and some book publication issues that lingered more days than we would’ve liked, we laughed, played, rested, had some really good family discussions and fun family game times, and swam tons! We had amazing weather the whole time, and were so thankful for that after a summer full of so many days not conducive to swimming.
Scott did some of his famous kid-tossing. Even our adult kids remember being tossed, and I think it’s pretty impressive that he’s still doing this. 😄
We also went to the zoo on one of the cooler days.
Nolan has continued processing steadily, with occasional days of minor regression. Acclimation still requires lots of time and energy and focus from us, but the steady progress is a beautiful thing to watch. We are currently in quarantine mode here as we prepare for Jaden’s next upcoming spine surgery (September 28), and last Sunday, as we were doing our home worship service, we were discussing how we sometimes wait a very long time for God to answer prayers. We were sharing about people or things we are still praying for, and things we prayed about that took many years for answers to come — 12 years of praying for a bigger house, etc. I mentioned that I had prayed 10 years for a “little black boy.” I wasn’t sure how much the littlest ones were taking in, but Nolan suddenly piped up, his face glowing with joy, and exclaimed loudly, “The little black boy came!!!” It was a precious moment.
We do still long to know that we are being prayed for. Lately, we have been feeling particularly overwhelmed by life. We have been feeling this since Roslyn and Jaden came home, and then Lilyan came right after we were just beginning to catch our breath. And although Nolan hasn’t had all of the medical challenges the others have had, as we’ve said multiple times now, he requires much. Please don’t hear this wrong because we love, love, love our life. There is nothing as exhilarating as waking up each day, knowing you are doing exactly what God created you to do. This feeling remains even in the midst of exhaustion, but this life can sometimes be hard. This current feeling of being overwhelmed is due to several things:
- We have so many follow-up appointments due with the kids’ specialists that we haven’t even managed to count them all — much less schedule them. Just getting those appointments on the calendar will take me at least one whole afternoon.
- We are well into getting school underway again, which is something that I love doing, but that doesn’t make it easy.
- Our book is about to move from the editing phase to the production phase, and that will require some more work on our part.
- It’s time for the seasonal clothing switch-out. (Oh, how I HATE that chore!)
- We have a continual stream of home repairs (like everyone does) that we can’t seem to get to
- Some new medical issues have surfaced with a couple of the children (as if we weren’t already trying to juggle enough of these).
- Nathan’s leg continues to be huge, huge problem for him. He has gone a full year now, barely able to wear his prosthesis for more than a couple of hours at a time, and now for the past two to three months, he hasn’t been able to wear it at all. Having to spend the day on crutches for so long now has led to almost constant back and hip pain for him. Diagnostic testing has painted a very bleak picture as we all keep looking for any answers and a direction to take. At the moment, there are no answers, and not even any hints about a direction we should go. He will have a new MRI in the next week or so, and then see a new specialist again in October. We aren’t seeing any light at the end of this very long tunnel, and while Nathan is handling this all so much better than I would, he is weary of the pain and the incredible limitations to his mobility and, consequently, his life. He has stated confidently that he knows he wouldn’t be here unless God had a reason to keep him here. He says he remembers us teaching this to him from the time he was a child, but that he now has this opportunity to learn it personally. Please pray for us as we search for answers. Please pray for wisdom, energy, and discernment for all of us, his prosthetist, and the doctors involved. And pray that we will all keep sight of this truth our son seems to be holding onto so well. God has His reasons for everything, and His plans, and His reason for those plans, are always good and perfect and full of love. We don’t want to miss learning anything that He has in this for us.
God, as He always does, has remained faithfully present through these things. One friend recently wrote out of nowhere to ask about even more help with meals, which was an answer to prayer. She is working on a plan now. And another friend wrote and offered to occasionally run some errands for us. Neither of these friends even knew we were struggling right now. These offers for practical help are salve to our tired hearts and bodies and reminders of God’s promises to care for us as we obey His calling. We are so grateful.
Last thing. We had a fun photo shoot to try and get a new family photo that includes Nolan (he can’t wait to see it on the family room wall!), and to get an author photo for the book. I’ll end with some pictures from that day.
Thank you all for your love, prayers, and continued creative ways to show support for our family and our work.
So good to get another update! It’s always a good reminder to KEEP PRAYING, which I appreciate.
I’m especially glad to hear about the folks that offered some practical help. That and financial provision are things I often ask God to send your way.
I loved the pictures,too, & look forward to reading your book when it comes out. You have a wonderful gift for writing, but I’m amazed that you can ever squeeze in the time to actually do it.
May God continue to bless you richly and provide for every need for you and your whole family.
In Him, Robin Ellis
We are so thankful for your prayers for our family, Robin. Thank you!