Saturday, October 30, 2010

Here's what I've been thinking...

As most of you have heard, I'm sure, my mom, dad, two sisters, and two brother-in-laws went on a one week trip to Haiti. They've been back for about three weeks now, I suppose. Sadly enough life has been so incredibly crazy, I've yet to hear a single story or see a single picture. But I got to see the results of being bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito that likes to live in Haiti.
Dengue fever.
Nasty, nasty sickness.
High fevers, intense pain, inability to eat causing severe dehydration.
I spent several days sitting in hospital rooms and trying to help others who were sitting in hospital rooms. I'm sure I've never seen anyone close to me so sick.
And I was very grateful to live in America. We are so blessed to have immediate access to health care here!
My mom went to the hospital severely dehydrated with very low platelet and white blood cell counts. Her doctor was concerned that she would need a platelet infusion. The hospital in Central City had no platelets, so they rushed her to Omaha just in case.
No, "How are you going to pay for this?"
or "I'm sorry. You'll have to wait your turn on the list of patients who need these platelets."
Just, "We will use every resource in our power to save your life."
We take this setup for granted. In fact, we'd be furious if we were not to receive this kind of treatment.
But how many people in the world don't have that luxury. How many people in Haiti die from dengue fever because no one has an IV to give their body essential fluids or Tylenol to keep their temperature down? This is such basic medicine!!!
And then, the cholera outbreak. Cholera is not a hard thing to prevent or treat - If you have access to clean water and basic medical supplies.
Something I take for granted.
Don't you?
The World Health Organization's website says that as of Oct. 27th, 303 people have died in this cholera outbreak in Haiti. I'm used to big numbers, and frankly, 303 doesn't sound like that many people to me. But every one of those people is loved by God. Each one was a mommy, a sister, a daddy, a brother, a friend, a neighbor. Thousands of people are crying themselves to sleep tonight in Haiti because someone they love is gone. And it's so simple to avoid!
I'm afraid it would make me seriously question the character of God to know that my mom was dying of an easily treatable disease and that she simply lives in the wrong place at the wrong time to be privileged enough to receive that treatment.
What kind of weak faith is that?
Believers in Haiti weep for their lost loved ones and their lost livelihoods and their lost homes just as we would in their position. But they do not question their God. He is all they have. And they have peace beyond understanding and indescribable joy in Him.
I'm so thankful to God for the things He has given me. For providing for all my needs and many of my wants. For protecting and healing my family.
But I'd like to think that if He chose not to - for some unknowable reason of His own - I would still love Him. I'd stand firm on the only rock I know will never shake. Jesus Christ. And I would cling to the tiniest thread of trust and faith in Him even when my world seemed to be falling apart around me. And I'd have joy and peace flowing from me because of Him!
I find myself asking God, "I know You're big enough to do such a work in a fairly uninteresting, mostly invisible, stay at home mom in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska?"
"But do you really want to?"
"And how?"
"Why put me here with all my comforts and protections instead of across the world with absolutely nothing but You between me and daily death??"
"Surely with this privilege comes great responsibility, so what do You want from me?"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One little girl

This is really good! It makes me want to go to Haiti and bring this little girl home.
My husband is reading over my shoulder saying "Yeah right!" right now. =)
But seriously.
How many little girls are there like this in the world who just need one person to love them?
So read it. Let it touch your heart and your actions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Please don't leave the worriers behind!

Everyone's back from Haiti! Yay! I can't wait to hear all the stories and see all the pictures! I know God worked in amazing ways in Haiti. Praise Him for his unceasing work in the lives of people around the world!
While my family was in Haiti last week watching God work, He was speaking to my heart here in Nebraska, too. God reminded me of something.
I am a worrier.
Those of you who know me are saying, "duh!" right about now.
But I surprised myself. You see, we're doing Beth Moore's study of Esther for women's Biblestudy at church right now. On one week's video, Beth spent a lot of time speaking about this very thing. She challenged us to fill out this blank, "If the worst thing I can imagine happens, then ....."
Then I'll lay on the floor in a heap and want to die.
Then what?
I'll never move again.
Then what?
Well, eventually, I will move because God is faithful.
I was totally tracking with her. I thought, "I will trust God in anything because I stand on the unshakable foundation of his faithfulness."
Nice sentiment, huh?
Then four little words shook my unshakable foundation.
"Trouble with his asthma."
"What does that mean?" I panicked. He probably can't breathe - like at all. When he says he's having trouble with his asthma, it means he needs to go to the hospital and is trying to put it off for as long as possible. There's probably no hospital in Haiti. And if there is, they probably don't have the right medicine. They'll probably have to fly him to Miami. And he'll probably die of an asthma attack before he gets there. (Have I ever told you I have a big imagination?)
I'm very good at panicking.
So I freaked my sister out, and she called the "for emergencies only" cell phone to talk to her husband and find out what was really going on. Turns out my dad was not feeling great. But it had nothing to do with his asthma.
Stop panicking Melody!!!
And I felt silly.
All my confident sounding thoughts and words evaporated in that one unexpected moment.
Isn't that how life goes?
You think you have everything under control. Like you're walking with God, and He's helping you deal with your life by His Spirit. And then the unexpected happens and you completely lose it. Your sin nature pops up again when you least expect it.
I learned something valuable.
Next time, I'm going to have to go to Haiti too. No worries if I'm there and can see exactly what's going on, right?
Or, I could learn to give my worrying heart to God and let Him teach me to trust Him. With everything. All the time. Even when my eyes can't see.
Isaiah 26:3-4
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just in case I feel like laughing at this someday

This morning before 11:15 Julia (2 1/2) had:
  • Chewed a crayon and spit it all over Kylie's bed.
  • Dumped a bowl full of cereal and milk down the kitchen cabinets and all over the kitchen floor.
  • Dumped the rest of another box of cereal onto the carpet in the living room. (It's 9:00 at night and it's still there. Been a long day...)
  • Shoved an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet.
  • Ripped the cover off of a library book.
  • Crumbled foam from the fire pit box into tiny pieces all over the backyard and ate it. (I can't really blame her for the eating part. She's just taking lessons from her big sister)

Are all two year olds so destructive?

The Heavens Proclaim His Glory

The Heavens Proclaim His Glory: A Spectacular View of Creation Through the Lens of the
Hubble Telescope is a visually stunning book. I'm not usually one to be attracted to books without a plot, but the pictures on the front cover drew me to this one.
The Heavens Proclaim His Glory was compiled by Lisa Stilwell. She did an impressive job of combining mind boggling photos of the far reaches of space with quotes from a wide array of people.
One quote by Francis Chan pretty much sums up the book: "This is why we are called to worship Him. His art, His handiwork, and His creation all echo the truth that He is glorious."
I would've done one thing differently in this book. I would've made it bigger. The reality of how huge these objects actually are is impossible for me to comprehend. The prints were colorful and clear but seemed inadequately small compared to their size in reality. Of course no book could begin to be big enough to wrap my mind around how immense God's creation really is!
Our Creator God is so amazing! This is the perfect coffee table book to awe you over and over again at the majesty and glory of God.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Outside of Me

Since our pickup is totally destroyed, Caleb asked the other guy's insurance company to provide him with a rental car - a pickup, actually.
So we are the proud (albeit temporary) new drivers of a 2010, crew cab, Chevy Silverado.
Quite a step up from a 1995 pickup or even my beloved 2000 Honda Odyssey. Thinking how convenient it would be to own a pickup that nice, and then briefly wondering how we would afford to pay for a $40,000 vehicle (ha ha ha - we'd have to sell our house and live in our pickup!) made me realize that I think about myself alot.

Way too much.

I mean, how could I possibly even consider driving a brand new car because it has hole to plug my phone/mp3 player into so I can listen to my music. Countless starving children die every day around the world, but we would have dual climate control! It's amazing how easy it is for me to justify money spent on me to make my life easier. Practically every decision I make has to do with guaranteeing the comfort and security of me and my family.
That's why we live where we live, drive what we drive, eat what we eat, shop where we shop, play where we play.
I just read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and he seriously challenged my basic decision-making process. The reason I do these things should be because God has called me to glorify Him by making His mighty name known to the people living, driving, eating, shopping, and playing around me. Not because I don't want to be stranded on the side of the road with four little kids when my car dies or because I prefer not to take my kids potty in the nasty north Walmart bathrooms. Chan forced me to ask myself, "What do I deserve?"
A relatively new home in the suburbs?
To never be hungry?
To always have the right thing to wear?

Basically the thing I came away with is that I am selfish. I like to be comfortable in my air-conditioning, snacking at the first thought of hunger. I think about myself and meeting my needs ALL the time!
And then I thought: even on my blog, I blab on endlessly about all the crazy or terrible or funny or stressful or fun things that happen to me. When is the last time I blogged about someone besides myself?
So that is my challenge to me.
In general life, to get out of my narrow-minded, self centered existence and think about somebody else.
And in my blog, to share with you things God has laid on my heart for other people. Things God is passionate about and I care about too.
Hold me to it.