Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hittin the Road!!!!

Wow...is this day finally here? Suitcases packed around us, staff coming to tell us good bye...some great and wonderful people have been brought into our lives. I have made some long term friends here both staff, patients and families, that I am sure God will utilize in the future. As I sit here writing my blog, our two favorite techs are getting him bathed and dressed....we are all screaming in laughter....they are absolutely killing me. They were with us the day we went to surgery, and are with us on the day we are leaving. How cool.

We did have a bit of a scare yesterday with his hand. It got somewhat over manipulated during therapy, so it was twice its normal size and bruising. Not really uncommon stuff for as tight as his hand has been, but we were afraid it was broken. Luckily, many were praying and it turned out to have some torn ligaments. Stabilizing it to give it a rest for a while.

Sunday Tim was asked to be the speaker at the chapel service for the hospital. He donned red plaid pajama pants, a Superman ball cap, and a black tshirt that said "Rep the King!" Gospel singers, "Floetry" speaker and Tim led the worship for over an hour, where we were surrounded by patients, volunteers, staff and family of about 50 people that prayed and worshipped together. Some of the patients with airways attached to ventilators, some pushing their own chairs.....everyone who was able stood to applaud Tim after his message on freedom....the beginning of new life. It was 24 years to the day of the day he became paralyzed.

We got a pass to leave that evening and went to Benihana's Japanese Steakhouse for dinner...a much needed evening out to say the least...lol. I never imagined Tim going to a nice restraunt in jammies and a ballcap, but is certainly one to put in the memory banks.

We are so glad to be headed home. We also know there are some struggles ahead. Driving will be an issue and it will still be many weeks before he can tolerate being up for extended periods like he is accustomed to. Gotta put some weight back on him....wish I had that problem! Please continue to lift us up as we tread on ground we have never had to go before. We are so thankful for the support you have all given us. I will continue the blog and updates every few days. He is up in his chair about 4 hours at a time...sometimes once a day, sometimes twice a day, depending on how well his skin looks after the first time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Light At the End of The Tunnel

Well, five days and counting! This week has been filled with much progress. The original "up in chair" date for Monday was postponed until Tuesday. He got up for the first time for thirty minutes and they have added thirty minutes a day since then, so today I believe it might be one and a half hours. He is tolerating being up well....there is usually a huge blood pressure drop that can occur that will cause him to pass out, but that was not the case, so that was a good thing. We have been concerned about upper body strength loss but he said he could brush his teeth and didn't need a nap afterwards! I will be returning to Atlanta on Sunday. He has been asked to preach at chapel that day so I will accompany him to that. There are a lot of restrictions placed on him in that environment so I am anxious to see what he comes up with....I am sure it will be effective no matter what. The plan is to pack up and head home on Tuesday!!! We are very excited that this phase will be over. It did so much good for Landon to see him on Sunday for Valentine's Day. He sang all the way home, "My daddy's gonna be okay...." Pretty funny.

After we get home there will still be work to be done. His left hand is still very contracted and it will hinder him from driving for a while. Planning for some thick air in the household as I pull absolute rank on him over that one...lol. Tim does wear the pants in the family....I just put them on him. :) He will be up for short periods during the day and will have to be turned every three hours through the night. At least I will have my bed to sleep in rather than the expand-a-rock at the hospital!

I am out of my funk I do believe. Thanks to so many who have called, written, etc as they picked up on my downward spiral last week. I told everyone in the beginning when they asked what they could do to give me a call at week 3....I just know my sanity all too well. Back in the word....prayer coming easily again. Another angel helped me to see I don't need all the answers I am looking for. I just need to trust God. Pretty simple stuff. It's working.

Psalm 139:17-18 and 23-24

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number thant the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."

Great to know He loves me waking and sleeping, when I am anxious, knowing my every thought even though for some reason I think that they will escape Him. Good news....that goes for you as well!
Be Contagious For Christ!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Far From God

I was shocked this morning. I worked all night and got home to go to bed. Cup of coffee, (yes...before bed..lol. Just don't even try to understand me) brush the teeth..skip washing the face. I settled into my sheets unaware of any noise around me and began to pray...like I always do...just before I went to sleep. And then I panicked. I couldn't pray. I was at a loss for words. Have I ever been unable to pray? To just have a conversation with God? I am not sure I remember a time like that. But this morning...it happened. So out of control. Wanting answers to things I don't have answers for. Sleep came quickly. Without prayer.

My phone blew up all day. I have to keep it on in case the school or hospital call, so I am typically disrupted multiple times during the day. It's not hard to fall back to sleep. Each time I was awakened in a fog...as I read random emails and messages that came across my blackberry from FaceBook. As I read each one, I wept. To know that in my weakness I was able to encourage others. For people to tell me how strong I am to even admit this life is a difficult one and put away the fascade that I am not perfect, or unbreakable, or human. God speaking to me through it all. Telling me I do not hear Him because I am not listening. Which is true. A phone call from an amazing man came. I don't typically pick up the phone while I am post-all-nighter, but I did this time even though the number was only somewhat familiar. He told me he needed to see if I was okay. He said he wanted to pray with me over the phone. God sent an angel to me this morning at 11:30. To pray for me because I could not find the strength to pray for myself. More messages of encouragement, then cards in the mailbox from the unexpected. God sending me gifts in the mail even when I have stopped seeking Him. Wow. I am being broken.

I've realized this has stopped being about Tim and is becoming about me. When my life has become so incredibly preoccupied with the life we must lead, a parent, a caregiver, a wife, a worker, and an encouragement to others.....I don't know where I fit in when it has all taken an abrupt stop. Slowing down....in the way that I have....the break in the routine, per say, has left me questioning what there is beneath the surface of it all. I don't want to be left with nothing if God were to take Tim home. That's where my mind has drifted these last couple of weeks. It's Satan...I know that...but the fact remains those things have surfaced. I have dealt with them on my own. Don't try that at home....very dangerous...lol.

Ecclesiastes 8:8-10 (New International Version)

8 No man has power over the wind to contain it;
so no one has power over the day of his death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

Getting my MOJO back I hope. Don't think that your encouragement is not needed or read even though I do not respond. And while I am at it, if you would, help me do what I have been best at doing. If I cannot pray for myself right now, how can I pray for you? I would love to start there. Perhaps by interceding on your behalf I will hear Him loud and clear. And ask yourself a question. What have you done today to make a difference in somebody's life? Someone made an enormous difference in mine this morning. I look forward to seeing what I can do in return for someone else. Challenge yourself today.


Are We There Yet????

I've known better than to ask myself that for quite some time now....even after this is all said and done. I've had Bloggers Block for about a week now. I'll explain shortly, but first allow me to update on Tim's progress...or at least what he has been able to form words for over the phone! His staples came out last Friday, and incision has been looking good. They attempted to start stretching him also, so I am assuming that is goin okay as well. So far the plan is for him to get up in his char on Monday the 15th for about 30 minutes, a few times a day. That will increase slowly until he is up for four hours at a time. His left hand had contracted all the way down to his forearm, therefore bought himself a cast last week as well. The good news is that seems to be making a huge difference in his hand. The big news came today when he confired February 23rd circled on the calendar in his room for his date to return home.

Yes, we are very excited to know there is somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel. It will be some time before it gets back to normal around the Evatt home. In and out of bed 2-3 times a day. Turning every three hours throughout the night. It will still be a lot to do at that time, but I will be glad that he is not in another state.

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. I suppose that is why I have been reluctant to post anything for fear of the negativity showing through me. For all of those who support us right now I cannot bear to do that here....even though I know everyone knows I am only human. The sedation he has been on for so long now has had its effects on our conversations and I have been mucho sleep deprived from working nights. I have also not been spending time in God's word like I am accustomed to doing. All the while during a time that I needed Him the most I have found myself spending less and less time with Him in studying and in prayer. It's been hard to admit that. It's been even harder to realize it was happening. I know that I have a gift for inspiring others.....I don't always possess the same gift for inspiring myself.

I'm working on it, friends. That is all I can say. I am grateful for the friends that have been and will continue to carry me and us through this. Workin on finding a strength I have not had to ever have before. I know I am not the only one.

No scriptures....no cute and hilarious stories. Just keeping things real here tonight. Thanks for your prayers. I'm sure I will have plenty to talk about after Landon and I spend Valentines Day in Atlanta! Might even youtube some of that one...lol.

God Bless You

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Boot Straps

A few weeks ago...before all of this got so bad, Tim asked me one night as we were talking about the cool "80's" what brand of tennis shoes I wore. I think it was a question on one of those facebook quizzes or something. Kaepa's, Reebok's, Chuck Taylors...I just laughed as I thought about it. I told him I didn't wear tennis shoes in high school...I wore boots every day. Justin Ropers to be exact....the ONLY real boots. The other night, after an absolutely crazy amazing 6pm worship service, and date night with the kids before I headed to Atlanta again for a few days, I realized that while everyone was holding me, loving me, lifting me up at church that night that when anyone would ask how I was doing, I would tell them without even thinking about it, that I was pulling up my bootstraps and walkin through. That night as I laid in bed it hit me....
...boots are awesome. Tennis shoes keep coming untied, the water seeps through them in the rain and you cannot wear them if they get all muddy. They have to be replaced often cause they don't look good anymore. Boots last forever. They are durable, they can trudge though any terrain and provide protection from the thorns, snakes, mud. The more you wear them the more comfortable they are. Their character comes with age. It suddenly occurred to me why I was subconsciously saying that. My God is protecting me, keeping me safe as I travel, blessing me with the embrace of great friends and family, providing for us while we go through this.

It's been a good few days in Atlanta. We have actually just rested a lot and that is something we both needed. Incision looks great...I think on Friday they will take the staples out. If it does okay then the stretching will begin slowly. He still has one of the drains in, antibiotics through the central line...and we were very excited (and proud of him) that he has gained about 10 pounds back! Yes, some of that might be fluid, but he is definitely eating well and steadily throughout the day...and we make him drink Ensure....which is hysterical...

I head back home tonight. This will be a hard stretch for us because I am working more. I will bring Landon up on Valentines Day, then will come for another four day stretch the following weekend. 10 days this time. I am gonna wear my boots :).

This week I have had two opportunities to reconcile broken relationships from my past. Tough conversations. And total forgiveness. I had brought myself to believe over the years that I had let go of everything in my past that was holding me down emotionally. Guilt, sadness, regret. I am so glad God gave me the opportunity to make these relationships right. They are two completely different types of situations. Both very valuable parts of my life. Thank you to both of them.

2Corinthians 5:18-19
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Let us reconcile our differences among us. The peace is amazing. God has committed us to do it.
Be Contagious For Christ!