Monday, March 02, 2015

March "GLADNESS" here at Grace Abounding Farm because God says: "Serve Me with gladness: come before My presence with singing!~ Psalm 100:2

Doen't this photo just EXUDE such gladness??

Been thinkin' a lot these days about March, and Spring, and planting my garden...starting seeds indoors and all manner of things that happen in March around here. But this March....this month...brings even more blessings, and even more opportunities for growth and strength. You see this week, the first week of March,  JoyAnna begins her physical therapy. We go on Wednesday to meet her physical therapist and be evaluated! We are soooooo excited that she has reached this point and will be able to progress.

Just yesterday at church, Glenn gave the message. It was titled:  Standing firm, Standing strong, even if you are standing ALL alone!. It was an amazing message given by my hubby. Such an encouragement and such a blessing. In it he referenced JoyAnna, and her progress that she is making. Here is an excerpt:

                               "We’ve been talking a lot in our family about standing strong when it comes to JoyAnna, too. You all know that she is in the process of the Dr’s trying to undo all of the damage done to her feet and legs by being tied to her crib for 7 years. She’s endured months and months of a casting process to slowly make it so that her feet are at the right angle so that she can some day stand and maybe some day even walk.

Let’s take a look at this…because I truly feel there is a real illustration here regarding our walk with the Lord as a believer! Let’s look at JoyAnna’s right foot. This was the first cast on her right foot. Believe it or not, this was progress, GREAT progress, but not enough to stand. Could she stand after this casting? No..and you know what…looking at it, you may even think it hardly made a difference, BUT, it did! 

I feel that this is the same way with looking to God’s word to help shore us up and stand strong for Him. When we stand on His promises, and commit our lives to Him daily, we’ll have progress, it may be very slow at first, but don’t lose heart!! It does make a difference!

Look at JoyAnna’s 2nd casts on her right foot. Can you see the progress? This was in only 2 weeks time! But she still couldn’t stand at that angle, right?

Now, something to consider is this…the casting was replaced every two weeks right away…NO time in between! This reminds me of putting on the armor of God daily…and not leaving any part of it out!! Right? Otherwise we will lose progress! The enemy is always looking for a foothold in our lives, right?

And so look at this…her 3rd cast on her right foot They got a right angle! After only 6 weeks they got the perfect angle for standing! Look at that!!

BUT….this progress, did not come without GREAT pain and suffering on her part. During that 2 week period she cried and cried. She lived on pain reliever, and she didn’t sleep much and neither did we! You see that is when she got a huge pressure sore on the back of her heal. This sore was from the inside out and when that cast came off, the sore burst and it left a hole in her heal. It served as a reminder to me that standing firm and standing alone for God is not easy, and it can be painful for us. We aren’t promised that we will have an easy road, are we? Straight is the road and narrow is the gate, and it’s not an easy road! But look at the progress that this 2 week period made for JoyAnna! Incredible! And so due to the sore, they did another casting process  to allow it to heal more.

Then, once those casts came off, she was fitted for the leg brace that she’s wearing today on her left leg. And we had to wait another month before her heel was healed enough to have a brace made for her right leg. 

And so that brace is now made. She doesn’t have it on today, because we give her Sundays off from wearing it. It’s still very hard for her. Some days she can wear it only an hour, and some days she can wear it all day. We never know. She still has the sore on her heal, but it’s a scab now, but it still hurts her. 

Let me tell you something….one of the hardest things for me to endure each day is hearing JoyAnna’s cries of pain when her braces are being put on for the day. These are sobs of pain and agony…because her feet want so much to go back to “what they know”…and their old position…but when Mary or Grace work her ankles and massage them and get them into her braces, once they are in and secure, she calms right down. All of this so that one day she will be able to stand, and then maybe bear her weight, and then maybe, Lord willing to walk. 
Page Three

I know God has great plans for this little girl…I just know it. This leg braces…solid and firm standing alone, are really a perfect picture of what God will do in and through us if we let Him. If we will chose to stand firm, and stand alone each and every day! 
Sometimes our children complain about this and that…jobs that they need to do around the house, or the cold temperatures, or something like that. I am always reminding them of JoyAnna. Truly…she had NO reason at ALL to have Joy and yet she does…and has…even in the midst of all that she’s been through to try and get her to be able to stand some day!"

And so it's this message that I'm reflecting on today as we prepare to go to JoyAnna's first physical therapy appointment. First of many! That's for sure! We sure would covet your prayers! I know it's going to be tough. Just today, she could only wear her braces for the morning, that's it. It's sooooo hard some days. She's getting some skin break down on her left ankle now, too, which is so painful for her!

Then, on the 17th of this month, Glenn and I and JoyAnna will be headed to our local equipment center for JoyAnna to be fitted with whatever equipment she'll need here at home to help her. A stander, a special bed, a bath seat, a seat/stroller/high chair combination, etc. In the 6 months she's been home, we've just used whatever we've had on hand and made due. This is going to be awesome!! We are praising the Lord for the provision as well!

So you see here at our we prepare for the gladness of March  (including celebrating Jerry's 11th birthday on Saturday and then Jon's 12th birthday a few weeks later!) we look to the Lord and thank Him for our many blessings!

Over much of the country you'll hear and see celebrations of March Madness:

Not even really sure what that is....I think maybe college basketball. But here...we are full out celebrating March Gladness with the Joy of the Lord as our strength!

Sure do love each one of you and would LOVE to hear from you! Send us a note...we LOVE comments on our blog...or emails...or phone calls...or better yet...even visits!!

PS...can I share a little secret with you, too. This is another reason for gladness...another excerpt from Glenn's message yesterday:

"I know what God says in His word, and I know that this (adoption) is our mission field. As a matter of fact, we are seeking God’s will and His timing as to when to add to our family again! I promise to keep you posted on this! Please pray for me on this as well as it will be another test of standing alone…especially with my own family, and also with my fears about money and provision. I know these fears are from the enemy and NOT from the Lord!"

And so I promise to keep you posted on that regard as well!  (BIG SMILES!)


Maureen Huizinga said...

Love it!

Maureen Huizinga said...

Love it! And a beautiful illustration.

Mamas Hands said...

Oh, we are a serial casting family as well and I can so feel her pain (literal and figurative). Blessings to your family and your sweet daughter!