Thursday, January 7, 2010


"..And all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory..."
How He Loves
The David Crowder Band

If you have not yet heard this song, I would highly recommend listening to it. Everytime I hear this line, it sticks out to me. I long for our afflictions to be so covered by the glory of the Lord, that we are unaware of them. I know this is possible, but my flesh is just so weak. It will only be accomplished through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, my last post wasn't too much of a downer, but I have to be honest through all of this. I can not share the victories without also sharing the defeats. For the past couple of weeks, I have just had such a daily struggle to push through the pain. I have been relying entirely too much on myself and focusing entirely too much on our circumstances. I was reminded last night of Peter and Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33). Whenever Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused in on the wind crashing around him, he started sinking. But, when his eyes were fixed on Jesus.. he walked on water. This is a perfect example of where my heart has been the past couple of weeks and thankfully, the Lord just yanked me out of it last night with this passage of scripture. I am Ansley's mother, and when I look at the facts of microcephaly, I WILL SINK EVERY SINGLE TIME. If I keep my eyes glued on my King, I will walk on the water. I will be unaware of the afflictions around me. I know it is a possibility that Ansley's brain could just stop growing at any time. I know it is a possibility that her face could become deformed as she grows. Those thoughts are devastating to my heart as her mother, but those thoughts are just fear of the possibilities. She will never be limited to what doctors say is possible for her, because she belongs to a God who's power knows no limitations!!!!!

Numbers 11:23
"Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether my Word will come true for you or not."

Ansley had her first physical therapy appt yesterday and it didn't exactly go amazingly well. Honestly, if you asked the therapist, I am most confident he would say it went great, but when you watch your child not respond to things the way you know 'developmentally' they should, its not exactly awesome. Walking out to the car, I knew I had two very clear choices and I wanted to cling to the good that came out of it. At her initial evaluation two months ago, she was incredibly stiff in her limbs, wasn't crossing her midline (reaching across her body- right hand to left side), wasn't grabbing her toes and really didn't make an incredible amount of eye contact. (The eye contact thing wasn't neccessarily the PT part, I just threw it in there anyway) Now, she is sitting propped (her hands on knees or floor to support herself) and independently for extended periods of time.

(The Boppy isn't touching or supporting her, it's just there to cushion her in case she tips over)She has not only been grabbing her toes for quite some time, but also putting them in her mouth. She crosses her midline as she should and locks in on any face that is talking to her. She also started responding to her name a lot about a month ago. As far as what is actually going on inside her brain.. her corpus collosum is thinner than it should be, and her cerebral cortex has underdeveloped gyri and sulci lines/patterns. The cerbral cortex, among other things, is responsible for automatic responses. I notice her doing things constantly that she should be doing. She catches herself with her arms when shes falling, leans back when Zachary comes flying in for a kiss, jumps at loud noises, looks for objects that have fallen and etc. I knew coming out of the appt, that no matter how tempting it was to focus on the negative, that I HAD to focus on the positive. I prayed on the drive home and was just telling God that I knew I shouldn't just be seeking Him for my comfort all the time, but that this was what He had written for my day, and I needed Him to give me some peace. I'll admit.. there may have been a touch of frustration in my tone, : ), but I was desperate for Him to give comfort for the trials He was allowing. The words had barely escaped my lips when I heard him speak. He very simply and very clearly said, "I am God." Welp, yea that did it. Immediate peace, immediate comfort, immediate submission. Just three simple words, but there really isn't anything else to say and I could not have possibly imagined a better response. There was no piece of information that I needed to know other than the fact that He is in control of everything that happens in every moment of humanity, and He had the day under control. I stopped whining after that.

Now, I know this will surprise you, but I have a quote from Spurgeon to share with you. Actually, two. Here is the first:

"O child of suffering, be patient; God has not passed you over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows will also furnish you with what you need. Do not sit in despair; hope on, hope ever. ..His heart beats with pity for your woe, and His omnipotent hand shall bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy.."

Our faith cannot be grounded on how Ansley is developing, or any other trial that may come our way in this life. It must be grounded on the gospel of truth. It must be grounded on the Son of the Living God! He will never pass us over in His providence. Could there be any greater comfort?

Rob bookmarked the evening of April 25th for me to read this morning. The verse for the day is Revelation 3:20. It says.. "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him." Spurgeon goes on to say that.."There is no treasure-house of God that will not open and yield up all its wealth to the soul that lives near to Jesus... Fling wide..the portals of your soul..and..He will come with that love that you long to feel; He will come with that joy into which you cannot work your poor depressed spirit; He will bring the peace that now you do not have; He will come with His flagons of wine and sweet apples of love and will cheer you until you have no other sickness but the overpowering, divine love..

And speaking of love.. though not the divine kind. Here is one of it's most beautiful forms:

Zachary's mind is such a sponge. He soaks up everything we say and do and then repeats it himself. He loves to teach Ansley things, show her colors and shapes and be such a sweet big brother. You can't see the other box in his hand, but he was saying, "Answee gwurl, (thats how it sounds when he says girl and it is adorrrrable) do you see this box? This is little, (switches hands) this is BIIIIIIIIG." At which point, the shout scared her and she started crying, but it was precious up until that point. Haha!

We are still having some issues with Ansley's eating, but literally since Rob posted the prayer request, there has been a significant improvement. No doubt, the power of the body of Christ in prayer for her!

Rob is an incredibly gifted songwriter, and several months ago, he wrote a song for Ansley. He hasn't recorded it yet, but whenever he does, we'll put it up on the blog for you to hear. It doesn't quite do it justice without hearing it, but the words are still beautiful nonetheless.

"Dare to Believe"
The older I get, the more that I find
that people don't want to be wrong
They'd rather play it safe
than walk a hard line
and risk losing it all
But playing it safe, is no way to win a war
Itll barely get you out the door
I got to be honest, life aint worth living
'less you got something your fighting for

We're the ones who dare to believe
There's more to this life than you can see
We're the ones who dare to dream
And living means wearing you heart - on your sleeve

Narrow is the way and few enter in
Wide is the path to sin
Lord, I believe, help my unbelief
I know you died for me
But you didnt just die on Calvary's tree
You rose to set sinners free
So O God my father, I give you my daughter
Wont you please set her free

Set her free

We're the ones who dare to believe
There's more to this life than you can see
We're the ones who dare to dream
Living means wearing you heart - on your sleeve

He said something at our anniversary dinner that I loved. In his writer-esque ways, he said, "The author of the laws of nature has the power to bend them." I immediately text it to my phone so I wouldn't forget it. Haha! That reminds me, we were anonymously provided a wonderful dinner out and movie specifically for our anniversary by someone in the "Count it All Joy" movement and we are SOOOOO grateful to whomever it was. If you are reading this, thank you! We appreciated it so much! And again another thank you to everyone who was a part of that. If I knew who all did it, I would say thank you a million times over, but if you're reading this.. thank you again! You blessed us more than you could ever know!

We are so thankful for your prayers and ask you to continue to boldly go before the Lord asking for mercy and healing for Ansley.

-Praise for no seizures and continued prayer that none ever happen
-Praise that her awareness is improving drastically
-Praise that she is sitting up and hitting every milestone, though there are some noticeable things at times, it could be so much worse and we are so thankful for how gracious God has been to her
-Prayer for her feeding. Pray that she will always get what she needs. (Her evaluation tomorrow may be cancelled because of the snow)

Here are a few of the 'outakes' so to speak of all of my recent Zachary/Ansley photo sessions.

Sweet kisses from brother

I think it looks like she is laughing at whatever he is whispering to her.
Ephesians 6:18 "Praying at all times."

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