Thursday, August 22, 2013

Despite all odds, Braden is STILL doing NEW things!!

Those who have followed our journey, know that I don't take something as "fact" for Braden when it comes to doing something that requires cognative ability... until it's been witnessed more than 3 times. Then I can rule out coincidence, because he is proving he can do it more than by happenstance or accident.

Braden has had sensory issues from the get-go... he never really wanted to be moved or "messed with" - which includes things like being moved from one place to another, especially not fond of therapy, will to this day "FAKE" cry/whine when we change his shirt (although, now he stretches and bends over to one side while he's doing that), and he never has liked to have his diaper changed - he would rather be wet & dirty than clean & dry if it meant he would be "messed with".

Over the past year or so... I noticed him putting up less of a fuss or fight about changing him - which makes things easier, let me tell ya'!! In the past few years, he started making more "conversational" noise that we call talking or humming - he makes these sounds when he is having a conversation with someone, is happy, is getting his hair washed (also something he used to throw a huge fit about that now he loves), even getting oral care and of course, snuggling with mommy or daddy. He only makes these noises when he wants attention or expresses discomfort -so naturally, we always oblige and immediately pay attention to what is going on. His interactions are rare throughout the day - so it's easy to know when he wants to play or tell you something.

Well over the past month or so, he started "chatting" or making his little noises when he would want to be changed!!! A NEW SKILL!!!! I know this may sound so silly or uneventful to some parents - but a child who cannot talk who figures out a way to communicate something is a HUGE MILESTONE!!! I feel like throwing a party to celebrate. I'm so proud because I know how hard he must have worked to figure that out - IT TOOK HIM SEVEN YEARS TO DO IT!!! Praise God for every little milestone and accomplishment - especially during a season of life where the medical staff says he should be digressing. Don't get me wrong - he is when it comes to organ function... but for him to make a new milestone in the middle of digression, makes this accomplishment all the sweeter!!

I thank God for sharing his little angel with us, he brings us so much joy, and I know he does to others who know him. It's such an honor to take care of this precious little soul.

Recently, we were asked to present the offering prayer at church - and we got to share our testimony of God's love amidst trials, and our responsibility to remain faithful in giving His kingdom our time, talent & treasure. It was such an honor to be asked, and we were so grateful God used us as his mouthpiece to reach people, as a few members we didn't know came up to us after church to thank us for our testimony. Since most of you don't go to our church, I thought I'd share it here, in hopes that it may bless someone else dealing with difficult times:

Thanks to our wonderful team of Pastors & leaders who tirelessly work to make a big church feel like my small-town church. And thanks to Pastors Mike & Rachel for stewarding an atmosphere where people can be themselves - a place that makes members yearn to strengthen their spiritual walk.

(Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians) 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8 Generosity Encouraged

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (CROWD TO SAY: Cheerful giver)8 And God is able to bless you abundantly (CROWD TO SAY with enthusiasm & claim it! ABUNDANTLY), so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Brad & I raise a terminally ill & medically fragile child. When the medical bills were piling up, we got very nervous about being “generous” in our giving. But when we remained faithful in surrender to His will, God showed up. He orchestrated an entire fundraiser that met ALL of our needs that first year. When we did not lose faith and ask “HOW?”, but instead remained faithful in our trust in Him… He showed up with grace – He provided all that we needed. We are a testimony that even during times of trials, we must remain faithful in our giving – of our TIME, TALENT & TREASURE. We trusted Him with our giving, and he blessed us abundantly!!

Church – it’s because of YOUR generous giving of your TIME, TALENT & TREASURE that we stand before you on this stage today. The special needs outreach you have done with Christmas and Easter – brought our family to this place we love. You poured out love on our son in a wheelchair – and it demonstrated to us that the members of this church are not OF this world, because that is not how society responds to us always. You shared the love of Christ with our son, and you gained a family that wants to get closer to God. YOU answered the call to be cheerful givers, and look at what you multiplied.

Generous giving may not come naturally to you, especially if you feel like your trials are bigger than your God. But even in those times, and in times of peace – you can develop a cheerful heart of giving. Don’t be reluctant in giving of your TIME, TALENT or TREASURE… I challenge & encourage you to instill a daily discipline that will help you become a cheerful giver. Give a smile, give a hug, give encouragement, give a wave, give a caregiver a meal, give a person on the street-corner a granola bar, give someone who needs uplifting a personal prayer… once a week choose someone in your life to bless, and just DO IT!

Soon enough God will see your heart for the cheerful giver you have become, and He will bless you abundantly too.

Brad's prayer:
Father we love you and we thank you for the opportunity we have to come to this house and experience your presence. Father God we ask for your blessing tonight for all those that cheerfully give of their time, talents and treasure to advance your kingdom. Bless all that is received tonight and may you pour out your blessings in astonishing ways so that we are ready for anything and everything.

In your holy name we pray (and all gods people said)....Amen

thanks for keeping up with us on our journey. Your support & love means everything to us and gives us the strength & encouragement we need to keep going even during our trials. Thanks for blessing us with everything you do for us!!