Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet baby browns

Caroline's eyes are beautiful. They are a dark, chocolately brown and big and she has the longest, most luscious eyelashes a girl could want for. They are straight from her Daddy and thank goodness she inherited them because they would certainly be wasted on a boy. Something else our middle gal inherited from someone, somewhere is her lazy eye and misallingmnet. We noticed this when Caroline was just a little baby, not even nine months old. We freaked out because for about 48 hours we were very worried that our girl could maybe have something worse than a lazy eye.
Caroline has been wearing glasses since she was 10 months old. They are definitely a part of her. When she awakens in the morning she almost immediately asks, "Where are my glasses?!" Even in the midst of the fiercest temper tantrums, the kind that end with Caroline exhausted and asleep in her bed, there you will find her glasses, folded and neatly placed next to her weary head. We've been seeing a pediatric opthomologist in Grand Rapids from the beginning. Although his personality can be strange, I have felt that we've been in good hands. He is conservative and certainly doesn't rush to surgery. But after yesterdays apt, in which I sensed a bit of alarm in the lack of control we have over amblyopia, I have decided to seek a second opinion. For those of you who don't know what amblyopia and strabismus are here is some information:

Amblyopia occurs when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood. This occurs because the abnormal eye sends a blurred image or the wrong image to the brain.

This confuses the brain, and the brain may learn to ignore the image from the weaker eye.

Strabismus is the most common cause of amblyopia. There is often a family history of this condition.

The term "lazy eye" refers to amblyopia, which often occurs along with strabismus. However, amblyopia can occur without strabismus and people can have strabismus without amblyopia.

Caroline has both amblyopia in her left eye and strabismus in both eyes. Yesterday's screening alarmingly showed that we do not have good control of the amblyopia in her left eye. Her vision, even with correction, is not good. So in April we will go to Ann Arbor and get opinion from another expert. We want to cover all our bases. We want Caroline to have the best possible eyesight. Bonus is there a Trader Joe's in Ann Arbor! You know me, always able to find the silver lining in any eye crisis:)!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ho hum

I don't really feel like writing about the fast. But here is where I am...
1. No pop
2. Had one cup of coffee, felt wretched and am seriously considering giving up coffee for good.
3. Praying every morning and did my devotional three days but still not in the Bible every day!
4. Doing a great job of drinking lots of water each day
5. Eating a ton more veggies and lean meats and overall healthier
6. Still falling victim to the occasional cookie or two.

God is working on me in many ways right now. I went back to my old church today and am most likely going to stay there for awhile. I am focusing on all the great things and people that our church has to offer and praying about and for the things I don't care much for and people I could go without dealing with. I met with Nicole this Friday night and we had a great talk about praying for people who have hurt you or that you just plain don't like. GULP! I will totally admit that I am not a fan of thinking nice things about people that have hurt me. But guess what, God does and He does care if I sow bitterness in my heart and soul. So, as Nicole said so eloquently, I am going to "fake it till I make it!"
Goals for this week,
1. No coffee or pop
2. Devotional, prayer and Bible reading time EVERY day!
3. Make a list of who I need to be praying for that has hurt me.
God is Good...Have a Blessed week and for the love..comment! I need some comment loving people!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A week in..

A week into the fast a few things have become evident to me..
1. I have barely any willpower
2. I can still offer my first fruits.
Are you like, "What? What is a first fruit?" Basically its giving God your BEST not your half hearted attempt. A few days into the fast I realized that I should probably add some more proteins into the mix due to my gastric bypass and inability to absorb all the nutrients I eat. I have remained very strong in my resolve to not have pop or coffee. I also have been strict about the candy. I have had some treats but an overall eating healthy at every meal and not snacking. The devotionals from the Daniel Fast have been good but sadly I am STILL not doing DAILY devotionals. The new plan is to set my alarm for 6 a.m. every morning and do it. This has been my goal MANY, MANY, MANY times before. I hope that the difference is that through this past week, I have learned that there is time and there is a DIFFERENCE when I start my day with God.
Not having any willpower has sucked in a variety of ways. Namely, that I think its influenced my modifications. I simply can't hack a strict eating regime right now. It is hard enough to have three or four things on my "No-no" list. My attempts at modifications feel a bit like if you fall off the side of a cliff and you find yourself hanging on with two hands to the side. You're just glad both your hands are hanging on! I feel like if I added something it would the straw that broke the camels back and there I would tumble..down, down the side of the cliff into a big lake of "coffee, pop, oreos and hershey kisses."
One could certainly argue that modifying a fast isn't fasting at all. I argue not and here is where the first fruits part comes into play. The Daniel Fast devotional talks, on the first day, about how God is pleased when we offer him our best. There are plenty of examples of how when people in the Bible offer their shabby seconds God pretty much takes GREAT offense. There is certainly something to be said about that. After all HE offered His only SON that whoever believes in HIM shall have ETERNAL life. That is what I think is the main point of doing a fast, recognizing that I don't offer my BEST, everyday to God. I almost always go with the second fruit, and that is being generous. I will begin this week with adding back the resolution not to have any sweets like candy, cookies, cake, etc. I can do that. There is no reason why not and anything less would certainly not be a first fruit offering.
Also, I am determined to get myself on a daily quiet time regime. I think the first week has given me the incentive needed to make this a reality.
I think that God respects that I have at least started to live a more disciplined and spiritual life but I know he wants more of me. I have learned this week that I am ill equipped spiritually to handle pretty much anything. That is a frightening feeling and the catalyst I need to change and become well equipped spiritually.
So, the goals for this week are to
1. GET up at 6am every morning and spend 20 minutes at least with God
2. Continue with the fasting I have been doing.
3. Not eat any sweets...
One week at a time, baby!

Saturday, January 07, 2012


We're all headed back to school on Monday. This semester should be a little less hectic than last for a few reasons. One, I only have three classes. Two, I don't have a psychotic professor like I did last semester. I have never been so happy to be out of a class! I headed back to my internship last week after a two week break and it felt good to be back. Matthew and Caroline are less than enthusiastic about going back to school. I have mixed emotions. I miss my school friends but am not excited for homework and never ending lists of things to do. I am ready to have a routine again.
In other big news, I am starting the Daniel Fast tomorrow. It is a 21 day fast where no meats, processed foods, coffee or tea or dairy is allowed. I bought the book and went to the grocery store to buy all the stuff one needs to eat properly. Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically but Godronically, yes that is my very own made up word, I tried a new church today that talked specifically about goal making and setting. I went with Caroline and Ellie b/c Jeff and Matthew had hockey. Don't even get me started on that! I really felt it was an affirmation of how God feels about me embarking on this goal and in this journey of trying to get my FAITH and SPIRITUAL life in order. It is my ONLY goal for 2012. For when you are right with God, you are right with everything else, well everything that matters anyways.
I know some of the next 21 days are going to suck. I mean the thought alone of 21 days without coffee want to make me cry. I wish that the thought of not opening my Bible in much longer than 21 days made me cry because it should. It should bring me to my knees. I KNOW that being without coffee will bring me to my knees and I guess that is the point. I will blog more regularly during this so follow along or JOIN me!!:) Happy Fasting!