Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Taking a step in authority

"You have authority over your child, even in the womb."

I was talking with a dear friend just the other day. She is pregnant and has the normal momma worries... I have explained a few times that I have been praying over her sweet little man. I always pray that he will be a peaceful, calm, good sleeping, good eating, obedient, strong little boy with a huge servants heart, made in God's image. 

Can I just tell you Joelle's story? That beautiful little girl in the picture is my sweet Joelle. We call her JoJo. She is the most energetic, loving, serving, helpful, persistent, faithful, obedient little girl. Things looked pretty rough for her, before she even entered this world. 

It was a normal doctors appointment. (although it wasn't a normal situation... most people don't have a doctor that is an elder at your church. Awkward. But amazing all in one.) I always looked forward to sonogram day! Seeing that sweet alien looking blob on the screen always gives a momma a sense of peace and excitement. A little back track, just for fun- Months before this, we were at a church service with a dear friend. Dave Duell was a mighty man of God with a big gift of prophecy. We had planned on Joelle's gender and name being a surprise. We had a boy and girl name picked out...but had not told a soul. Dave came to us in the church service and held my hand, saying "You want to know the gender of this precious baby, don't you?" YES!! I was so beyond ready to know. After all, nesting is for real! Jeremiah was set on not finding Dave whispered, "Joelle Elizabeth will be full of music." My mouth dropped open. And in the microphone, I exclaimed "HOLY CRAP!!" (hey, it could have been worse. Lol!) 
Anyways, back to sonogram day. The sweet lady preforming the sonogram was explaining what the blurry blobs were... the profile, arms, little hand, tiny fingers, legs, itty bitty toes. And then silence. She clicked. She measured. She clicked more. Our oooing and awwing over my sweet little baby stopped. I asked a few times "What's wrong?" but she couldn't answer. The room quickly filled with doctors. Its like they were speaking a foreign language. None of them were explaining... and then those words that no parent wants to hear- "Jessica, it looks like there is a problem with your baby's feet."
Joelle's right foot was clubbed. It was a normal case of clubbed foot, correctable by surgery and a series of casts. The left foot was a different story. The sonogram showed that her left foot was completely upside down. Her heel was connected where her ankle was supposed to be. This would require surgery to completely rebuild her ankle and heel. When we connected with the Scottish Rite hospital, it was explained that the process would take about 3-6 years. YEARS. Joelle would not be able to walk or even start to learn to crawl/walk until she was 3 years old. She would have a series of casts from hip to toe, with the first surgery at 3 weeks old.  My sweet baby. She wasn't even here, and she already had a mountain to face. My heart.
Fast forward a few weeks. We were still trying to process this. We had not even explained to all of our family, we just needed some time. Jeremiah's dad (a pastor) had a yearly revival. We went, but my mind was preoccupied. There was another pastor that kept saying, "We need to pray for someones feet. They need to be set straight." I refused to raise my hand, and was really not ready to say it out loud  yet... Finally on the last night of the revival, I agreed with Jeremiah that we would put pride and fear aside and go up for prayer. That pastor said it again, so we went up. Now, here's the not-so-awkward part of having an elder from your church as your doctor. He was at the revival. When we went forward for prayer, our Doctor came with us. He took the microphone and put his hand on Jeremiah's shoulder. He said "Jeremiah, God has given you authority over your daughter, even in the womb. Speak to your little girl, tell her feet to line up with the word of God." As they began to pray, my stomach started to burn...But, the next sonogram didn't show any change. In fact, all of the rest of the sonograms from that point on looked exactly the same. We continued with the steps to set up specialists and surgery. And we continued to pray... 
On to delivery day. I was induced, and we were prepared for what the sonograms showed. Our doctor prayed with us again, and explained that he would take her immediately to do a thorough evaluation. He caught her, and zipped off to check her out. He's a pretty solum guy. Even-keeled. But can I just tell you, the man can JUMP. He came back to us JUMPING up and down, yelling "SHE'S PERFECT!!!" 
Tears. Uncontrollable tears. Even almost 10 years later as I type this.
She was perfect. The feet that the devil tried to harm, will take her to the nations to share the gospel. 

"The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet. His grace will be with you." Romans 16:20

Whatever it is that you are facing, take authority over it. The one who created the universe has given you the authority and power. 

Monday, July 10, 2017



It's time to refocus on the correct vision. That has been our goal for the past several weeks. 

Have you ever been so engulfed in your current situation that you look up to realize that over 2 years has flown by and it was all a blur? It almost seems like it didn't happen. That's where we are.
Homeschool is my heart, but because of commitments, we put homeschool on the back burner and enrolled our youngest 3 in public school... we put our family, our marriage, and our time second to a vision that belonged to someone else. So now, we FOCUS on the vision that God has placed on our hearts. 
Back to homeschool and learning together! Back to the vision that God has given our family...and we couldn't be happier. Stress has lifted, and peace has overwhelmed us. We are grateful for some of the relationships that were made and the lessons that were learned.

Through it all, our eyes are on God. That hasn't wavered. I read this today on Facebook, but it captured my attention-
Don't let your emotional attachment hinder your spiritual assignment.

Also, we sought counsel from a dear pastor. One of the things that he challenged us with was this-
sure, we were surrounded with favor in that place, but the truth is, God's favor is on you as individuals. God sets your steps before you. His vision is it. He is your one and only spiritual father. 
That's when peace sets in. 
So we move forward with God's joy as our strength! 

We will be traveling quite a bit within the next month, but we are looking forward to the schedule and accountability of a homeschool routine. Jaela starts high school. (God help me...) Jonah will be starting 7th grade. (while thinking he is everyone's math teacher) Joelle will start 5th grade. (reading more books that I can count! My little bookworm.) Jesse-Ava is starting 4th grade. (with hopes of catching up to her brothers math level!) I am so proud of these kiddos. 
Family has proven to be our constant. These people (Jeremiah's oldest brother and his wife) have been our best friends for many years, but it is amazing to see the strength that we pull from each other in times of stress. They listen, encourage, correct, ask the tough questions, and mostly- the love us through every situation. Grateful doesn't even begin to scratch the feelings surface. 

And they make the best vacation buddies! Colorado camping...Mohr Cruise 2017! Can't wait!

We took a few family mini-staycations. We booked a hotel and explored Houston. We love this area! We spent a lot of time in the pool, walking, more walking, and more walking, eating a lot, and finding cool graffiti! It was exactly what we needed. 

I thought I would end this with an update on my epilepsy journey.
At this time last year, I was in the middle of my position as the Children's Director and acting as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Brazos River Flood Relief. My stress level (one of my number one seizure triggers) was through the roof! I had a seizure at our pool that landed me in the hospital. Things are much better now! I have had minimal seizures over the past couple of months, and I have huge hopes that it stays that way.