Category Archives: General

TE Day 3&4

We’re just an old married couple laying in bed reading tonight ;)

Not too much to report for the last two days. Jack finished his written tests for the maintenance program and is now on the hands on portion. I tried to get him to write a guest blog with all his fancy airplane words but it’s not his thing. For those of you who want to know… he says he did a 500 hour magneto inspection, reassembled the magneto, installed the mag and timed it on a test engine and then he had to start it and show them that he knew how to run the engine. See, I have no idea what any of those things mean but I baked cookies today so there’s that. Haha!

We did learn that they have Chapel every Wednesday morning as a company and then Thursday mornings the guys in the hangar all do a bible study together as they start the day. Next Wednesday they have their bi-annual half day of prayer. We will still be here for that so I’m looking forward to see how that is run. Very cool!

We have had a few dinners at some MAF staff homes this week. Everyone is so nice and it is so neat hearing all of their stories and getting to know people on a personal level.

I’m heading to sleep now because I have a 5:30am flight back to Chicago in the morning. Emma is going to prom tomorrow night and I can’t miss it! I will be flying back to Idaho Saturday evening. Whirlwind trip but so worth it for my girl (and God provided some travel vouchers for me).

Have a great night and thanks for praying for us!


TE Day 2

Today we got to spend the whole day together! I love my husband! Not only do I love him but I really like him too. One of the best things about this opportunity will be that we will be working together again and this time in ministry which is just so beyond my wildest dreams it’s crazy. Of course we still don’t know for sure and of course if this happens there are so many sad aspects as well but for today the fact that I got to spend the day with Jack working towards this goal makes me all :)

Today we had to drive in to Boise for our psychological evaluation. MAF really cares about the mental health of their partners and how best to be able to serve them so everyone does an evaluation and an appointment with a counselor. This is right now and also every time anyone comes home on furlough or if they need it on the field as well. So important and again so amazing how they take care of their people.

We each had to take a 570 question evaluation. Yep, no typo, 570 questions…. Then we had a break for lunch and then went back for our counseling appointment. We loved our counselor and she was very impressed with the steps we have taken to strive toward mental health, especially through everything with Laila. She will give a report to the candidate committee and that will be another piece of the puzzle for them to figure out whether or not we are a good fit.

Can I tell you how proud I am of my husband? SO PROUD! Through this whole process he has been leading the way for us and I’m following him as he facilitates conversations and we get to know everyone. He speaks an Aviation language that I don’t understand but even I can understand how brilliant he is at this. He has a God given talent in this area and he is striving to use it all for Christ’s glory. Girls, find a guy like that and cling to him for dear life!

This evening a couple from MAF had us over to dinner for steak and THE best Idaho potatoes I have ever had! What they say is no joke! I told her that she has the potatoes and we’ll bring the corn from Indiana next time! ;)

Have a great night and please keep praying for us!


TE Day 1

TE stands for technical evaluation. That’s the lingo they use around here and I figure if we’re gonna go through this process I’m gonna write about what it’s like for those that may go through this and find my blog one day. I always appreciate reading other people’s blogs and knowing their experience so I try to share mine as well.

So… today we stepped out the door of our apartment and walked across the street to what could be the beginning of a whole new life for our family. Yikes!!

We were greeted in the foyer by Ron who is the head of mobilization for MAF. We have had phone conversations and tons of emails with him and it was really nice to finally meet him in person. Right in the foyer is a display honoring Nate Saint and the other four MAF pilots that lost their lives in the jungle of Ecuador. It is a truly amazing story and the movie of it called End of the Spear is on Amazon Prime if anyone wants to check it out. The first book RJ and I read together when he started unschooling was about Nate and I had no idea he was even an MAF pilot. The movie doesn’t name MAF as the mission that he worked for. Now RJ is obsessed with Nate Saint and was so excited when I sent him a picture of the airplane that is on display here that Nate flew. The VP of personnel even gave us a rock from the beach where Nate and his buddies were in Ecuador to bring home to the kids :)

We took a tour of the facility and it is absolutely amazing. A beautiful campus that shows how much they care for their members and how intentional they are in every decision and aspect of the ministry. It is truly remarkable. Jack was very excited to visit the hangar where he will be working and doing all his technical evaluation for the next week.

Next Jack took his first written test and I spent some time in the chapel praying and journaling. Jack said that first test was a basic knowledge test of where he is at with the physics of the airplanes.

Then we went into our interview with the candidate committee. This group of people have read all of the paperwork we have been doing for the past six months and have spent time in prayer and discussion over our family. The interview was mostly about who we are in Christ, how we got where we are and how we feel called to MAF. This was an amazing time of them showing how much they care for the people they bring in and how engaged they are in knowing us as people, not just workers.

At the end of the meeting two individuals, including one of the VPs, met with us to go over anything confidential we may want to discuss with them about past or current struggles we have. They have a member care team designed fully to make sure the needs of the mission workers are met and that we are taken care of mentally and spiritually. Again, this was an amazing testament to how long they have been doing this and how they have learned and become very intentional to take care of their workers. I felt able to be honest with them about my anxiety and our grieving the loss of Laila without any fear of judgement or hesitation from them. I had been experiencing some anxiety about telling them about my anxiety! Ha! And that was all gone today :)

In the afternoon Jack took another test that included writing essays about what he would do in different maintenance situations and he said that was sort of difficult but he did his best. And he started on another written exam that he will finish on Wednesday.

I spent the afternoon meeting with two different women working for MAF. One works in Member Care and one in Ministry Partnership. We just shared our stories and got to know each other and that was nice. Then I came back to the apartment and almost immediately got called back over by the VP because he wanted to introduce me to a new adoptive mom who recently adopted a 15 yr old girl. It was a great conversation of “me toos” and “I understands” and I felt like I was with my group of adoptive mommas back home :) I thought it was neat that he thought to introduce us to each other.

Tomorrow we will be heading into Boise for an appointment they have set up for us with a clinical psychologist that they have everyone see when they are thinking of joining the program. That should be interesting.

So the impressions I have so far:

They REALLY need maintenance specialists! When anyone would ask what we were here for and find out it was for Jack to possibly be a maintenance specialist and not a pilot, they would high five Jack and tell him every country is going to be fighting over him.

I’m impressed with their process and member care (if you couldn’t tell).

I miss my kids already.

I’m interested what God is gonna do with us…


The TE journey

What a whirlwind the last few months have been and even especially the last week. Celebrating and mourning birthdays and then hopping a plane to Idaho early this morning for our Technical Evaluation and interview with Mission Aviation Fellowship.

A volunteer picked us up in Boise this morning and drove us the 20 mins to Nampa to MAF headquarters. We were on the flight with a very sweet man who works for MAF and is visiting for some training and will be heading to Surname for a new assignment soon. He was picked up with us by our local volunteer and then we all had lunch with another couple that is based in Papua New Guinea but here on furlough.

Tomorrow starts meetings and information for us on the program and Jack will see the hanger and find out where he will be doing maintenance while we are here. My schedule is a little more loose so I’m hoping to update via the blog as much as I can.

We FaceTimed the kids and showed them the amazing housing they have for staff who are visiting and people here for interviews like us. If we get invited to this program we and the kids will be here for 5 weeks this summer and the accommodations are pretty great.

Just wanted to tell you all that we made it, we’re exhausted and we thank you for your prayers.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back a few entries and read Giant Leap of Faith ;)


Get Out of Bed

This morning was one of those mornings where I just could’ve slept all day.  My alarm went off for my devotion and prayer journaling time and I just turned it off.  The time kept creeping along and I did this internal fight with myself on whether or not everyone would understand if I stayed in bed and didn’t get up.  And they would.  But I know that is not the right choice for me.

“You have three other kids.”  I heard that inaudibly whispered to me over and over as I laid in bed this morning.  I believe those of you that texted that you are praying for me brought that voice.  Thank you.  So I got up for the other kids.  I got their breakfast on the table like usual and let Jack pray over me like usual.  But I had no words for anyone.  I couldn’t pray over Jack out loud or over Emma as I dropped her off to choir this morning or Jackson when I dropped him off or RJ as we began our school day.  I can pray internally but out loud doesn’t work today, and that’s OK

I have no words today that I can say out loud without crying.  So I’m typing out my feelings because it is a release for me.  A healthy outlet.

My precious girl would’ve been 10 today.  She loved birthdays and any celebration and was so full of joy and life.  And yes, I know she is more full of life now than ever….but I’m gonna be honest and tell you that today that makes me roll my eyes and all I hear is “blah, blah, blah.”  My head always knows it but heart isn’t on board with that today.  Some days it is but not today.  I want her here.  I want her laugh.  I want to watch her kick her feet out in excitement and arch her crazy back and have absolutely no muscle control because she is so happy to see her decorations that she might just jump out of her wheelchair.

I want her here.

I’m gonna try to be grateful that God gave me insight that last year would be her last birthday and how special it was made by so many amazing people.  You can join me by reading about it here.   I’m gonna drink coffee and breathe.  Those are my only goals for the next few minutes.  I’m taking today one minute at a time.

Thank you for always being so loving on days like today when I just need to write and get it out and be honest.  I love God more than Laila and I know you all know that but the reality of Christianity isn’t always rainbows and sunshine.  Sometimes the reality of Christianity is that I tell God I hate his plans and I don’t understand and I don’t think it’s fair and then cling to Him for dear life because He is the only constant that I will ever have.


The Giant Leap of Faith

Four weeks from today Jack and I will be on an airplane to Idaho for an interview and evaluation…… to become cross-cultural mission workers.

We have been taking classes and doing extensive paperwork for six months with an organization called Mission Aviation Fellowship or MAF.  We have been praying so much about this and asking God to open doors wide open or slam them shut and so far He has been swinging them open.

If we work with MAF we would pick up our life here and possibly move to their headquarters in Idaho but more likely we will be moving overseas.  Where?  We have no idea.  The Congo, Indonesia, or Haiti are three places that we have researched and know are possibilities.  Jack would be working on small aircraft that would be able to provide food, bibles, medical care and other things to remote places that can’t be reached easily by other forms of transportation.  He has been to Haiti twice and seen how poor their infrastructure is and how much quicker things can be done by airplane.   They also use the planes to help with other projects in their regions to help build a bridge between the mission community and the local governments which opens more doors to help people in the name of Christ.

What about the kids?  The kids are my first priority, and yes they are all three coming with us if this happens.  MAF provides actual schools or at least small school groups with a paid teacher for their workers in every country or I can choose to homeschool them.  No matter what they will live with us, I have made this very clear to everyone involved.  I will definitely school RJ myself though.  That has been going SO WELL!!

What about me?  Again, my first priority is the kids and MAF knows that and encourages that but then I could possibly lead bible studies (maybe Celebrate Recovery overseas!!) and/or use my accounting skills to help the airport.

This is something Jack and I have been talking about our whole marriage but God never opened the doors.  When I met Jack I was enrolled to go to Johnson Bible college in the fall but then fell in love and followed the gift that God gave me in my husband.  We thought fostering and adopting were fulfilling that call to missions on our heart.  And it did.  I thought running the Celebrate Recovery ministry was fulfilling my call to missions and it is.  This was a surprise and we are excited and terrified to see if God is actually going to ask us to take this giant leap of faith.

All of the kids are excited but also hesitant.  Emma is the most hesitant.  Being a teenager and thinking about uprooting her entire life is hard.  We’ve had LOTS and LOTS of conversations and God has even provided a woman for Emma to talk to who has gone through this exact experience as a teenager.  We make all of our decisions as a family and this has been no exception.

So we will find out on May 15 if we are invited to start our training (in July) and if our whole life will be turned upside down….again.

Please, please pray for us.  Feel free to share and ask everyone you know to pray for us.  We need prayer!  Can you tell we’re a little freaked out??

To find out more about MAF click here

 

 

*If we are invited to training this July, we would be back home in DeMotte in August for 12-14 months while we raise support.  You’re not getting rid of us just yet ;)

 


Leap of Faith #1

There are some big things going on over here.  major changes and God asking of us big things and it’s exciting and scary.  Sometimes I wonder what He sees when He looks at us because He definitely sees more potential than I do!

I’m ready to share the first leap with you after getting a few details ironed out….. this is going to be RJ’s last week of traditional school.  Eeeeekkkk!!

A year ago I felt called to really pray about my relationship with him.  Adopting an older child comes with a lot of challenges and one of them is attachment.  Kids who have had so much loss and so little stability in their lives for so many years before joining a family find it hard to bond.  Think about all the time people spend with their babies looking into their eyes, their skin touching yours and building emotional bonds and connections.  We never got that.  This has brought a struggle to our whole family for the past five years.  We all want to bond but it just isn’t happening.

As I prayed I asked God to show me if I’m doing everything I can.  Is there anything left that I can do to try to bond with him?  Can I say I’ve tried everything and just accept that this is all I get?  I thought about homeschooling because that would give us more time together but I had tried that when he first came home from India and he begged me to be able to go to school like the other kids.  So I let him.

Recently RJ and I started reading back through my blog from when we first met him in India and into the months that followed.  I could see the fade.  He used to hug and kiss us and be his happy go lucky self here at home and then something changed.  It could have been that the honeymoon was over or it could have been that he was spending more time away from us than with us, or both.  Either way I saw a tremendous shift and for the first time I realized it.

So, after a lot of prayer and guidance and prompting from the Holy Spirit we are taking the plunge.  I know the timing seems weird but leap of faith #2 will make that make a little more sense when I share about that.  I want to know I did everything I could to bond with my son.  I wanted to get the joyful little bubbly guy that the teachers all talk about.  Ask anyone who lives in this house, we don’t get that kid.  We see glimpses every now and then but not often.

And how does RJ feel…. ready.  He is excited that I want to spend more time with him and excited to have school not be as challenging.  He will miss his friends but most of all his teachers.  Leaving his teachers is the hardest of all for him, and rightly so… they’re fantastic.  But, next year he would be at a whole new school and miss them anyway.  Having a new teacher has always been hard for him every year as well.  He has a lot of anxiety and grief over the bonds he forms with his teachers and then has to leave every year and even sometimes every semester.   Making and breaking bonds continually is not good for him I have finally figured out.  It’s OK for typical kids every year because they feel stable but for him it is not.

Now I want to be clear, I think sending him to school was the best thing for all of us at the time even though the consequences of it are showing.  He has loved both schools he has been at and has been loved on beyond my expectations.  It was what was needed at the time.  I was honestly not mentally in a place to have him home with me and all the challenges that go along with that, nor did I have the time and mental capacity while trying to care for Laila.  But times have changed.  I committed my whole last step study of Celebrate Recovery (12 months) to studying myself and my behaviors and trying to find room for more patience and love for RJ.  I’m really throwing myself out there today….  phew, be kind.  It’s just the honest truth that sometimes these kids are really tough.  And it’s hard for others to understand it when they get all of his kind energy during the day at school or at a play date but then his family who loves him unconditionally gets the left overs which are either unkind or not engaged at all.  It is very hard to want to engage and be loving towards someone who doesn’t feel that way towards you, for close to five years….

So, I ask that you would pray for us as we start this new adventure.  Pray that God would help me to see when I need to let things go.  That I would just love on my son and then let everything else fall into place.  That I would be careful with my time and making the most of it and not fill up my days that are not priority right now.  That I will balance work, ministry and homeschooling well and let RJ learn through all of those things alongside me instead of saying things like “I’m busy, it’ll have to wait a minute.”

I’m selfishly loving my son, and I’m OK with that :)

Stay tuned for leap #2….


Birthdays

The birthday season has begun here at the Hamstra household.  Jack’s was Tuesday, mine is today and soon it will be RJ, Laila and Jackson’s.  We have SO much to be thankful for.  God is leading our family in ways I never thought possible.  We are SO blessed by these three amazing kids that grow us and teach us every day.  Our whole family is thriving and I’m very, very thankful.

But, dang it.  I miss one little girl so badly today that I just can’t help but sit here and cry.  I want the squealing giggle telling me happy birthday.  And the funny thing is that our birthdays have been, by human standards, kinda yucky the past several years.  We were usually sitting in the hospital with Laila.  This was always a rough time of year for her.  I found myself being so resentful over that these past few years as Jack and I would tell each other happy birthday while eating take-out Qdoba sitting around a hospital bed.

What I wouldn’t give to be sitting in a hospital today.

Even if your circumstances seem so hard for you today can I just challenge you to look at them differently.  The adoption retreat I went to had a theme of perspective.  “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  I wish I could’ve got something like that through my head back then.  Being thankful that even though we were sitting in a hospital with our daughter on our birthdays, at least we still had that daughter.

I could use your prayers today.  And I hope you hug your babies tight and find joy today.

This picture was two years ago today.  #1 my hubby is so handsome!  #2 He is my rock, smiling even through sitting in isolation in the ICU to surprise me for my birthday that day.


He Was There

Bit by bit I’m learning and changing and giving myself grace and understanding when I think about Laila’s death.  Every now and again the enemy tries to come in and plant doubt or guilt and I battle that with God’s word and the Truth.  I’d like to share a recent experience that helped….

I was sitting in church a few weeks ago and happened to sit next to a friend who also recently lost her daughter.  She noticed my struggle through worship and uncontrollable crying, even though I try to hide it.  A few days later I received a message with information regarding a therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  I had a few other friends who had done this kind of therapy but I didn’t really understand what it was or how it helped.  I’d like to explain my experience to you.

I arrived at Rose Wierzba counseling and was met with a smile from a familiar friend who knows the pain that I have been through.  She knows the pain all too well.  She knows what it is like to care for a child with an illness and then to eventually lose that precious child.  I’m not thankful for our circumstances but I’m so thankful for someone I felt comfortable to share this hurt with.

Rose and I talked for a few minutes about the trauma that I have been through and a few scenarios in particular that still cause me anxiety and pain.  I decided I was ready to process the night Laila died and let her help me with the intense memories that were still haunting me.  She explained to me that I would be holding these little buzzing handles in each hand and that would help to stimulate my left and right brain to work better together and create new connections.  Though that might seem weird to someone else, this made perfect sense to me.  I have learned so much about the brain through fostering and adopting and having two special needs children.  It is truly incredible the way God made our bodies and all their parts work so closely together.  When stimulating the nerves in the hands with the vibration, it stimulates the brain.  So very cool.

The point I couldn’t get past when thinking about the night Laila died was when I panicked when I realized she was actually gone.  Even just thinking or talking about it I would feel my chest tighten and a small amount of the panic returning.  I also struggle with the guilt of how I scared Jackson and made him go through watching me like that.  I did write about it here if you would like to know more about that night…

Rose had me hold the buzzers and go back in my memory to the part that I was struggling the most with and step by step let the Holy Spirit remind me of each thing…..

I’m laying in bed with Laila and watching the oximeter rapidly decline as her heart and lungs were stopping

I stare at Laila in the longest instant of unbelief that she was not going to take another breath

I hyperventilate and scream and beg her to breathe again

I see Jackson’s panicked face, he is also begging me to take a breath

I rip out all of the tubes that are connected to Laila and scoop her up into my arms

I won’t let anyone take her from me

………..Rose has me take a pause, take a breath and tell her where I am in my memory because all of this is being done in silence as I process my memories privately.  But then after a break we begin again…….. (this happens several times throughout our session)

I realize that I am literally sweating from holding Laila and the high fever she had right before she died.  I find the strength to scoot off the bed and hand her body to Jack.  He is sitting in the recliner.  I cover them with a bright white sheet and watch Jack hold his baby girl.

Jack holds her awhile and then the funeral director arrives.  I take her from Jack and lay her back in her bed

……We stop again.  I tell Rose “I did that.  I actually got up and handed her to Jack and then I laid her back in her bed.  I did that.  I had the strength to do that.”  I was beginning to see more than just my panic from that night……

We left Laila in her bed and came to the table to talk funeral arrangements for awhile

When it was time for them to take her, Andy offered to carry her to the stretcher but I said “no, I can do it.”

I carried her to the stretcher and laid her down one last time

I stood behind each kid as they leaned over and said goodbye to their sister

…….We stop.  “I was able to to that.  I was able to be the one to carry her and lay her down.  I was able to be strong for my big kids as they said goodbye…..”

As she was being wheeled away, I couldn’t watch.  I couldn’t handle it so I went to my room for a moment alone.

When I came out Tammy and the hospice nurse were disposing of all of the medicines and cleaning things up in Laila’s room.  I didn’t help them.

…….We stop “I did what I need to do to take care of myself that night and that is good.  I finally found the balance of mother/therapist/nurse/doctor and was able to just be me…”

That night when I laid down in bed I sobbed and worried that I might never sleep

Jack put his arm around me and we slept the whole night.

……. this was the end of my memory of that night.  I was able to see so much strength I had that night that I had forgotten about and not just what I had done wrong and what had scared me for so long….. but now is where the good part comes in……

Rose then asked me where I thought Jesus was through all of it.  She asked me to go back through all those memories of that night again slowly and picture Jesus in them.  Everyone always says things like “Jesus is with you” or “He was giving you strength” but I had never physically pictured Him there.  So she gave me some time and when I was ready, I went back through the whole thing again and I would like to share it over again with you.  I know that this is getting long but believe me, it’s worth it.

 

I’m laying in bed with Laila and watching the oximeter rapidly decline as her heart and lungs were stoppingJesus was standing next to Laila on the opposite side as me.  He touched her chest as she took her last breath as if to stop her heart and put her at peace.

I stare at Laila in the longest instant of unbelief that she was not going to take another breath

I hyperventilate and scream and beg her to breathe again Jesus is standing next to Jackson looking at me with him, His arm around Jackson

I see Jackson’s panicked face, he is also begging me to take a breath

I rip out all of the tubes that are connected to Laila and scoop her up into my arms Jesus is still standing next to the edge of the bed looking at me and waiting.

I won’t let anyone take her from me

I realize that I am literally sweating from holding Laila and the high fever she had right before she died.  I find the strength to scoot off the bed and hand her body to Jack.  He is sitting in the recliner.  I cover them with a bright white sheet and watch Jack hold his baby. Jesus places His hands under Laila and cradles her with me as I scoot off the bed and hand her to Jack.  Carrying her weight with me

After Jack holds her awhile and then the funeral director arrives.  I take her from Jack and lay her back in her bed As Jack holds her, Jesus has His arm around the back of the recliner, leaning in and staring at them both.  Then He holds her weight with me again as transfer her from Jack to the bed again.

We left Laila in her bed and came to the table to talk funeral arrangements for awhile As I sit at the table talking, I have my hands folded in front of me and Jesus has His hands cupped around mine like a friend sitting and quietly supporting me.

When it was time for them to take her, Andy offered to carry her to the stretcher but I said “no, I can do it.”

I carried her to the stretcher and laid her down one last time Again He carried her with me

I stood behind each kid as they leaned over and said goodbye to their sister As each child leaned over and kissed their sister goodbye, Jesus gently stroked their hair back in comfort

As she was being wheeled away, I couldn’t watch.  I couldn’t handle it so I went to my room for a moment alone. Jesus stood there with me, watching me gather strength

When I came out Tammy and the hospice nurse were disposing of all of the medicines and cleaning things up in Laila’s room.  I didn’t help them.

That night when I laid down in bed I sobbed and worried that I might never sleep

Jack put his arm around me and we slept the whole night. As I laid crying I watched Jesus pick up Jack’s arm and wrap it around me.

 

My memory has changed.  I can never again picture the night Laila died without picturing where Jesus was in those very difficult moments.  It’s simply beautiful to me that in my mind He touched us each in different ways.  Why don’t we do that?  Why do we just talk about Him but not picture him?  And the EMDR was stimulating my brain connections that whole time so that this is the memory that my mind will hold onto and overpower the old memory.  Was it still a traumatic event, yes.  Does it haunt me anymore, no.  I’m in awe of the fact that in a one hour session, God was able to change so much in me.  I’m so beyond grateful.

Thank you Rose.

 

Thanks for letting me share.


Wait for the Alcohol to Work

How’s that for a title!?!  But it’s not what you would think ;)

I’ve been reading in the old testament through the kings.  I don’t know about you but that is a tough read for me.  “This king took over, he reigned blah blah years, he did evil and he died……that king took over, he reigned blah blah years…..and so on.”  Most of the kings were evil, worshiping idols and following in the footsteps of the king before them.  But every once in a while there would be a king who would want to do good and the bible would even say that he did “what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”  Most of those kings however had that statement follow by something to the effect that they tried but they did not remove all the idols or they followed God but not fully.   They did not follow through and do ALL of the work, just most.

This got me thinking about another boring passage in the bible (in my opinion) where there are a bunch of rules concern cleanliness and such and they tell you how to get mold out of your house.  Yep it’s in there, people!  The bible has EVERYTHING!  Anyway, they talk about cleaning but then shutting the house up for something like seven days and then opening it back up and checking and if it wasn’t gone then try again and if it still isn’t gone then tear the house down because it will never be clean.  Doing the work until the end and then possibly having to start fresh.


And then that got me thinking about alcohol swabs.  You’re welcome for taking you on this crazy journey of how my mind works!  Haha!  We used many, many alcohol swabs in caring for Laila and they definitely did at the hospital as well.  During one of Laila’s last hospital stays I was talking with one of our nurses about her protocol.  She was one of the only ones that would wipe the line clean with an alcohol swab and then stare at the clock to wait at least 15 seconds before reattaching it.  I always remembered her staring at the clock, and the other nurses would clean it quickly and then just immediately reattach the line.  She told me that they did a training one time where they cleaned something with the alcohol swab and then immediately looked at it under the microscope and there was still a ton of bacteria but then they looked again 15-30 seconds later and most of it was gone.

Waiting for the alcohol to dry and do it’s job was what killed the bacteria, not just the simple act of wiping it…….

And that rabbit trail comes around to me relating that to my grief and my life in general.  I want this grief process to be over.  I want to do the things I need to do and I want to do them quickly and I want to feel better.  I don’t want to wait for the process.

I want to figure out there is a sin in my life and I want to deal with it and I want to feel better and never be tempted again and move on.  Could life just be perfect and could that come quickly and not involve a lot of work, please?!?!?  Yeah…. that’s not really how it works, huh.

I need to realize things take time.  People grieve, people mess up, people sin and I need to do the work on my part but then I have to be patient and wait for God to work His.  And that is not always quick.  Sometimes it’s a lifetime.

I think about how dangerous not waiting on that alcohol on Laila’s line to dry could be to her system and I’m thankful that reveals in my mind that being too quick to process something in my life could be harmful as well.  I may think it’s all well and good but there may be something waiting under the surface that I haven’t let process and heal.  I want true, lasting, healing from whatever it may be that I’m struggling with in this life.  I want a quick fix….. but then again I don’t.

This world is tough, Amen?!?!  I’m thankful we have a loving Father in heaven who sympathizes with us because He was here.  He knows.  He lived it and died so that we could live with Him one day, away from all this mess and heart ache.

Is there something you want a quick fix on, to just feel better?  I’m praying with you on that today.  Praying we can all be patient for God’s timing and healing and that we see Him clearly in the process.