Friday, February 26, 2010

Man, is God messing with me

Wow. I'm not sure of the spark that started the fire in my heart- but I've been so driven to seek the Lord lately. I'm grateful for a passion that is returning. Makes me feel like 'me' again. I feel like I'm fleeing something to get more of God today. Part of me thinks I should never turn on the TV again. It can be such a stumbling block for me. Or a trip wire. Or a buried land mine...

I'm just so hungry to hear the Lord clearly. I'm so earnestly eager to be in His presence. I sat at lunch today and prayed for the people around me. Even that was a battle though. It was such a good lesson for me and a good practice to eat alone in a restaurant and deal with the silence around me, mixed with the intense volume of my own thoughts. I felt like I was constantly telling my mind to shut up so that my spirit could do what it was supposed to do (if that makes much sense). I had to actively stay focused. It was like spirit-filled people watching. Asking the Lord to tell me their needs, so that I could pray for God to meet them specifically where they need Him.

I guess I've 'cultivated desperation' as my pastor talked about on Ash Wednesday. He talked about when we live so focused on ourselves and our own agenda, we have less 'need' of the Lord. But when we instead focus on Him, and what He says in the word, and what the word says about us; we realize we need Him desperately. I think for a season I've been ignoring the fruit of my life. Instead of God's spirit flowing through me gracefully, it has only flowed through in sputters. Occasionally something would be produced that is useful and worth giving to someone else, but mostly stuff that would better be thrown in the trash because it was fruit of my own labor; fruit of idleness, discontent, and disregard.

This video brought me to tears tonight. This song (and Galeana by Waterdeep) is such a cry of my heart. It is a wonderful challenge for me. Ever since we moved back from India, I've felt challenged from the Lord to take up the torch of prophetic intercession. Honestly, it scares me. The accountability of it, the intensity of it- the self-sacrifice necessary to remain in that place. You can pray for me in that area if you think about me. I've resisted (childishly) for a while (well, we've been back for 6 years- so more than a while) mostly because I prepared for so long, and prayed for so long about being IN a foreign country. And, although I'm back here in the US, I am called to pray for those who are where I would love to go... and because I've seen and experienced some of the depth of pain, the poverty, the difference in cultures, lifestyle, way of thinking, etc. I can pray with more perspective. And for that, I'm grateful...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The season of Lent- how I need to position my heart

Looking at the season of Lent this morning,
I'm making these songs my soundtrack for Lent. :)

I've been thinking and praying about what I can give up for Lent, as a symbol of my utter dependence upon God... and to get rid of some 'junk' in my life that is cluttering my heart and mind. So, Steve and I are both giving up TV, and I'm also going to not eat sweets. I'm already having heart palpitations about giving up TV... but I know it will be good for not only my spirit man, but also for many other areas of my life that often get neglected because of my propensity to de-stress nightly in front of something mindless/spiritless/fruitless...

I'm looking forward to awesome worship for our Ash Wednesday service with Darrell Evans at my church tonight, btw, if you want to come!:) Starts at 7:00. It has been years since I've celebrated Lent, and I'm really excited to be doing it with my new church that has such a beautiful spirit of freedom.

Like a Tree- Justin Rizzo
This is such a beautiful chorus to get on my face and sing to the Lord. Ahh, such depth is to be found in you, Lord.

Everything is Different by Shane and Shane

(Start it 2:40 into the video... they're just talking at the beginning)
Who am I to know Your glory
Who am I to recognize Your voice
Calling out

How could I be in Your story
God who was and is, and is to come
Who has won

I was dead in my sin
You came in, yeah

Chorus: You made a way when there was no way
You covered heaviness with garments of praise
You wrote a song and you're singing it over me
I feel a dead heart beating now
This revelation makes me want to shout
That Jesus has been sent
And everything is different
Oh yes it is

You turn ashes into beauty
You are for me not against me now
You found me somehow

You turned mourning into dancing
You turned weeping into joyful noise
Oh rejoice

I was dead in my sin
You came in, yeah


What matter of love
That You would call us sons and daughters
We call Abba Father
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
I will never be the same

Friday, February 05, 2010

We're Pumping! :)

I think it's strange that I find myself most contemplative and verbose on the blog when I'm tired (starting on the insulin pump is like bringing a newborn into the house- i.e. steep learning curve, less sleep, constant attention/changes that you don't understand...)- but when things are exciting (like when we got the grant a few weeks ago) I type about three sentences worth of exclamation points and I'm done. :) I can be such a spaz when caffeinated or well-rested, and yet so deep and reflective if lacking sleep. :)

Anyway- first site change with the pump occurred today. I tried to plan it so that I would be able to send A to school and then change the infusion set when he got home from school. That way I wouldn't be rushed to do it this morning when I was trying to get both boys ready for school. His blood sugar was high all morning because of the adjustments the doc has been making to try and fine tune the amount of insulin he gets through the pump. Because of that, his pump was running low on insulin by lunch and I had to do my first official site change in a fancy closet of the nurse's office at school. love it. It actually went really well. I'm slow but effective. I think I just need to remember the feeling I had while doing it for the first time- so that when my mom and mom-in-law do it for the first time I'll be that much more sympathetic toward them.

If you're curious, or want to watch my kids for any period of time, here's my mental breakdown of the list of things to do (this is for you, Mom). If this is completely mundane, scroll to the bottom and see the photo of this 'amazing, almost artificial pancreas' type of thing... :)

  1. Select the insertion spot, rotating sides of his bottom each 3 days, and doing a small W pattern, so that the needle is in a different spot every time you rotate sites. Clean the site with an alcohol swab.
  2. You don't need to suspend action/function on the pump because the site change will take only about 20 minutes (I'm sure we'll get faster at it when we have more experience).

  3. Put a small grape sized amount of lidocaine cream on the spot you're going to use on his bum, cover with press and seal so that it numbs the spot and doesn't get all over.

  4. Detach pump from the kid and take off extra tubing, remove reservoir from pump by turning a 1/2 turn counterclockwise.

  5. Use detachol/adhesive remover to try and take off the stickers/covers off of his skin.

  6. After gently pulling off the big IV dressing sticker from the insertion site, peel up the edges of the sticker around the needle.

  7. Grab the wings off the insertion/needle and pull straight back to remove it.

  8. Clean the sticky gunk off the site. :)

  9. Open a new reservoir from the sterile packaging.

  10. Clean the top of the insulin vial off with an alcohol swab.

  11. Push the blue reservoir mount thing (hold onto the blue part while you do this) on top of the vial until it clicks.

  12. With the vial on a table, and the air/reservoir on top, push the 100 units of air from the reservoir into the vial.

  13. Flip the vial and reservoir combo over while holding the plugger in and let it pull a little insulin in by it's own pressure, then pull it to 100 units.

  14. Tap any bubbles to the top. Push them back into the vial gently using the plugger.

  15. Unhook the reservoir from the blue holder thing with a 1/2 twist counterclockwise.

  16. Attach the tubing/infusion set with a 1/2 twist onto the same end.

  17. Check for remaining bubbles. Remove all bubbles by tapping and making them go up the tubing. When all bubbles are up the tubing (you can push a little bit of insulin up to push them out) then go to next step.

  18. With all bubbles out of the vial, unscrew the plugger and discard.

  19. Hit Act on the pump, go down on the menu to Prime and select 'Rewind.' Follow the instructions it gives to rewind the pump.

  20. After rewound, insert the reservoir and turn a 1/2 turn clockwise to tighten/lock in place.

  21. Make sure both sections of the tubing are connected (but also make sure that you're keeping the needle end sterile).

  22. Hit Act on the pump again and select 'Prime'- select Manual prime. When you're ready, hold down the act button until a droplet of insulin comes out the end of the needle. You'll want to remove the clear needle protector first so that you can easily see it come out.

  23. Check the tubing for ANY small bubbles. If there are bubbles present, do the manual prime again or the auto prime and select a few units of insulin so that the insulin pushes the bubbles completely out of the tubing.

  24. After you're sure there are no bubbles in the tubing, set the primed pump and infusion set down on a clean surface, making sure to keep the needle sterile/facing up.

  25. Remove the press and seal wrap from his bum, wipe off the lidocaine cream (30 minutes time is ideal for the numbing to occur). The lidocaine makes his skin kind of white where it's numb, so be sure to aim for the white spot for insertion.

  26. Clean the white spot with an alcohol swab, starting in the center and spiraling outward to cover the surface where the sticker will attach.

  27. Pinch/hold the wings of the needle patch and get ready to insert. Peel the stickers off the back of the needle piece.

  28. Make sure that the tubing is aimed toward the upper outside hip where the pump pack will be so there isn't a lot of extra tubing pulling on the site.

  29. With the wings pinched, insert the needle straight into the numbed/cleaned area and press down lightly on the stickers to keep it in place.

  30. Prepare to mount the other sticker up above where the waist band of his pants hit. Leave a little tubing slack between the insertion site and the other mounted sticker so it doesn't pull when he moves or pulls down his pants.

  31. Use the large IV dressing sticker and place it over the infusion site/needle site and a bit of the tubing. After pressed in place, remove the hard plastic cover so that only the 'skin' of the sticker remains.

  32. You can lock the pump (if you want) and then place it back in the pump pack, carefully tucking in any extra tubing.
  33. The pump is fully set up and functional!!! You did it!!

I'll probably come back and edit this once I get it down pat, so that I can make sure to include any other helpful hints. :) Here's a photo of the pump, tubing, pump pack (that he keeps it in on a belt around his waist) and the two stickers. The one above the belt is a connector piece where he can disconnect the pump so that he can take a bath. The on one his hip down lower has the needle in it that stays under his skin all the time. :)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Before and After

I posted a comment on a friend's blog yesterday that got me thinking (and the switch to an insulin pump on Wednesday started the contemplation process as well). My comment was more of a confession; that my heart breaks every time I look at old pictures of my 6 year old. I actually get sad looking at them, knowing that the photos taken before Feb 19th, 2008 were the blissful days before Diabetes. A turning point when I felt our lives were turned upside down. I weep for the burden of his future with this disease. I grieve the loss of 'easy' days of life with a healthy child. I long for the things we once thought were difficult.

I see this picture on Valentine's day 2 years ago and see how pale and thin he looked. He just looks sick. The picture on the right is after about two months of receiving the daily insulin shots.

I've stated so many times how the Lord's arm has sustained me through the difficulty of this disease. I recognize that the Lord (and the hand of excellent doctors and researchers who have furthered treatment of this disease) sustained Andy's life. I also realize that although my prayers for Andy's complete healing have not been answered, God has sustained our family to proceed THROUGH this disease. This psalm is the cry of my heart through this pain:

Psalm 116: 1-13
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the LORD :
"O LORD, save me!"
The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living...

How can I repay the LORD
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
Any of you 'theologians' out there know what 'lifting up the cup of salvation' means? I don't know exactly what it means, but I can in my limited perspective, imagine standing at the head of a banquet table (my life) and offering up a toast. I toast the Almighty. Your goodness is unparalleled. Your mercy is never ending. Your strength is the source of my life. And although the cup our family drinks from is sometimes bitter, it is nothing compared to the sacrifice you made on our behalf. I drink to Your faithfulness, Lord, and Your willingness to stay by my side even when I turn my back on You, when I chose foolishness over wisdom.

I was challenged at Bible study this week, to daily, actually, get on my face before the Lord. It causes me to reflect on things (like this post), but it also humbles me sooo much to stay in that kind of posture for any length of time. Thanks, Jesus, for humbling yourself to be in the midst of the mess of humanity.

Does this look like a bitter life? Not a chance. My cup overflows...