Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Calm and Collected

Dear Prayer Warriors,
After communicating the 6 pages of discharge directions to our overnight nurse, Lindsey looks at me with a bit of fatigue showing and says "its been a blessed day." I certainly agreed. From the plans coming to fruition to the tortilla soup in the cafeteria, all of it was one peaceful step in front of another. Everything was completed an hour ahead of schedule and Anna woke up without needing any extra oxygen. Lindsey thought to bring the blankets from home for added comfort and by 6:30 we were home. Simon greeted us with an outstanding welcome, he had a blast with Aunt Christina.
With these full days the Spirit has been showing me what it means to press onward. In difficult situations when emotions can run high, I'm reminded of my access to Jesus' peace and how unique it is. "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid" John 14:27. We can only walk and deal with the things before us. Faith for today is not enough faith when our trials come quicker. We need that peace moment by moment. Jesus' peace is always available, alleluia. It is anchored deeper on something deeper than emotions and its not circumstantial like this shifting world, its been sturdy since eternity past. Its the kind of peace that is often accompanied by a biblical promise, a blessed dream or a verse that is perfect through our storms.
Praise God:
-For the replies of encouragement we received from you and daring faith you place in Christ. Your intercessions edify our steps. 
-For a great Bronchoscopy that showed a normal amount of saliva and no aspiration. Her condition of Tracheomalacia was improved to a less than 50% collapse when coughing. God is strengthening her lungs. Pray for healing because we suspect she has chronic partial Atelectasis.
-The endoscopy showed damage to the esophagus, he shared the images with us and we could clearly see how at the bottom the lively pink color was a dull matte pink. Pray for wisdom to treat this problem. We are waiting to change thing until the biopsy come through.
-The dental stuff went well, the tooth came out easily and clotted. they cleaned and found no other dental issues.
-The botox injections will take effect in the salivary glands in the next two days. Botox who knew.
The journey continues but we are grateful we have your prayers interceding to a limitless God.
Nic, Lindsey, Anna, Simon

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Surrendering Surgery to the Savior

Dear Prayer Warriors,
As we draw near to the Lord in a time of need I am reminded that diligence in seeking Him is sweeter still! Thank you for your faithfulness in following Jesus, in reading and lifting our family up.

Praise God that Anna is in good health allowing the medical plans of the last two months to be at hand. Anna is scheduled for her eye surgery, a tooth pull, Bronchospy, endoscopy, and Botox injection into her saliva glands. She will be under general anesthesia tomorrow starting at 12 and lasting close to 4 hours.

I know from experience and from other special needs families that the only way to have a good night’s sleep leading up to surgery days is to surrender it all to Jesus. So here we are, it’s time to let go, to hold our thoughts and imaginations captive… Can you help us commit tomorrow to the Lord?

One of the heaviest things is the fact that this is most likely a complete surprise to Anna. Then she will wake up feeling quite different, may the Lord restore sweet Anna quick. These surgeries make me count on the omnipresence of our loving Faithful Father in a unique way, He is the holder and encourager of Anna because we can’t be in the OR. Lindsey and I feel a bit under prayed lately so tomorrow will be a chance for us to be united in prayer for an extended time while Anna is under. Auntie Christina will be with Simon the whole day!

Please Pray:
-For the effective removal of the remainder of her tooth (remember the crown she swallowed because it was not anchored enough on the stump).
-For grace, focus, love, and ability to the eye surgeon Dr. Steele and the various others doing the procedures.  
-For Jesus’ perfect peace to calm each nerve, accept what He gives us as results, and anchor our emotions in talking with the medical people.
-For the waiting to be faith building, like all good waiting on God should be.
-For Anna to increase her vision particularly her ability to track objects.
-For the reduction of saliva to cause her to have no upper respiratory illnesses this winter.
- For a good endoscopy report, showing supernatural healing and preservation of anna’s esophagus from all the acid reflux.  
-For Anna’s lungs to be free from aspiration evidence be it reflux, saliva or medicine.  
-That we go in God’s strength because He is always giving of His power amid our weakness.
-For aunt Christina to bond and bless Simon as she serves us! 
-For one of Anna’s dearest prayer warriors who became present with the Lord but absent from the body today. Praise God for Paul who completed his mission, and his dear wife Helen who is still missioning here with us. God’s Word and Jesus’ work comforts us as we miss him. What a godly brother, a giving saint. 

May we in all ways be a blessing unto the Lord,

Nic, Lindsey, Anna, and Simon

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thanksgiving for Many Things

Dear Praying Warriors, 

Anna’s 9 inch long G/J tube (feeding) came out today. I came home a little early from work to take her to the hospital. The procedure to replace it is so quick and I am so thankful for the skill that those doctors have in interventional radiology to thread that tube back through as they watch an x-ray video of it happening. Seriously less than three minutes. Anna cried but it was brief. I once again I am reminded of the quality of care offered to us and the coverage of two insurances to not devastate us financially. What providence that the Lord has orchestrated over Anna and all her needs.

Another answer to prayer regarding our night struggles at home is that we have a new night nurse! We went from having two nights covered a week to five! Do pray for her as she is new to nursing and the world of special needs children. This nurse has Anna’s approval I can tell by the coos and smiles. I’m starting to realize how important it is to Anna that someone dialogs with her. She loves being talked to.

A grace we have been witnessing is Simon’s actions towards Anna. Sometimes in haste Lindsey or I will set Anna down on the living room floor and forget to bring something for her to engage with. So she is just lying there kicking up her legs and chewing her hands. Then the next thing I see is Simon trying to hoist a chime rack above her so she can hit it and play. Often when we are outside we put Anna in her stander so she can enjoy her surroundings as she works in it. After a sifting through rocks a little while Simon will grab his favorite rocks and place them on Anna’s tray for her approval. What a little bro! His newest thing is to kiss her good night. If we forget to let him he will remind us.

We are at two new beginnings for Anna’s therapy. We are all set to do horseback therapy once a week which is great for core muscle strengthening. We are also in a speech therapy once a week that focuses on communicative devices to help Anna choose by button hitting -may the Lord use that greatly to help Anna express her cognition and needs to us. Another new group we joined is Hope Kids, they are a group for families with special needs kids that have life threatening hardships. They have dozens of free events each month for the entire family or just part of the family to go to like the Symphony, a movie, a service project, or a basketball game.

Please Pray:
-We also praise God for three weeks of ongoing health. She has been coughing a good deal tonight; please pray for it to pass over without knocking her out for weeks.

-For Anna to stop hand chewing so much, she has torn skin and sores that we are treating but can’t seem to get back to wellness.

-For her upcoming surgery at the end of the month on the muscle of her eye. Those little tiny muscles also get tone and spasticity. Her eye doctor is convinced that it would help her vision to do this minor surgery. Pray that we could also do an endoscopy to see the condition of her esophagus for the reflux battles. This would prevent another general anesthesia date.

-For our ramp van application to Medicaid. They will pay for the conversion of a vehicle up to a certain amount we are trusting for all our needs to be met regarding the many complications to correctly qualify for coverage. The car portion we pay for ourselves. We thank God His continued provision of means through savings and gifts. I thought my first $50,000 car would be a sports car, Lord willing it’s gonna be a minivan with a ramp in it.

-For this new “language” of hitting buttons and the time it takes to build up intentionality behind each click so we can have her choose activities to do or what to wear. And eventually learn to tell us “yes” or “no”.

Thanks for praying and believing in the good that God has for us,

Nic, Lindsey, Anna, and Simon

Friday, October 20, 2017

My Inheritance

Prayer Teammates,
I have been going through the book of Psalms taking a close look at God's declared works and attributes. "The lifter of my head" was one such quality. The other that has been striking to me is the declaration that "God is My Inheritance."
That sentiment aligns so well with how Anna is doing, how i am doing. The very night i sent out the last e-mail of our enduring: anna's latest sickness, my fatigue and wishing to never suction again, God has taken over. Anna hasn't needed suctioning since that night. In fact she is well and needing minimal nightly intervention for the last four nights. Our wednesday night nurse was bored having finished her book ahead of pace because Anna has been such a good sleeper.
The Holy Spirit has been addressing my sin issues of pride and selfishness at work, i have found myself apologizing for my frustrations and rerouting my relationships in the Light of Christ's path. I have been repeating "in this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer for i have overcome the world." -Jesus.
I didn't want my last e-mail to linger in your minds without an accounting for all the answers to prayer we have been seeing. Following Jesus with Anna amid a world of able children might seem like how the Levites felt when God split up the Promised Land among the twelve tribes and then saying to them: I will be your inheritance no land is set apart for you. we don't get what everyone got, we didn't get what we hoped to get when we first set out to become parents. God in His Sovereignty saw it fit for us raise Anna, ours is a hope in the returning of our Lord and Savior knowing that Anna will be full healed today, in the days to come, or on On that Day.

Whatever Christians go through: in need, wanting, or in plenty we have a life that depends on God for all eternity. We can do nothing on our own.
Thanks for waiting with us, for this in Chirst Jesus our Inheritance is Glorious  Him

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Lifter of My Head

Dependable Prayer Warriors,

Praise God honor His worth behind the things that seem grievous and fruitless. I don’t want the struggles I face; I don’t feel affirmed in faith. But I know His Sovereignty and Mastery over me is awesome grace! I trust it as I know it is Jesus’ work and not mine that counts most in my life. Although I don’t see God’s big picture I do feel He has given me more trials of late still I will praise Him. Satan is trying me at junctions of past victories. That was then, Christ is now!

I have spent a string of days just working, sneaking in a nap, serving the family and sleeping again with little effort for Spiritual things, recreation and fruitfulness. I choose see Christ as the Lifter of my head amid the fiery arrows of a tired mind and body. Meeting with Jesus in the morning is better than coffee! As much as I wish upon in my best intentions and optimism to “turn things around” I become emotionally unavailable due to overload during storms. I’m mentally working to find the cure or a quick fix to the problems.  I can’t self-help, self-care, self-esteem. Nothing for myself, done in my power will work. Even at work I have failed at my witness recently by taking the reins and succeeding at being a jerk. Humility, peace, relenting, forgiveness -Christ-confidence is the way for me. I mess things up on my own; it takes faith and grace to remember that I am born of the Spirit still even now.

 This is our third month with Anna being sick for at least a week. It remains a battle of prayer not just for Anna’s healing but for my loving caregiving. It is so hard to wake to the sound of her coughing, knowing I can’t ignore it. I go to her room half asleep suction and reposition her. Her cries of discomfort and spastic quadriplegic stiffness climaxes as she fights to clear her airway after my abrupt but necessary intervention, I don’t want this for her, I don’t want this for me. It must become well with my soul because I have been entrusted with Anna, I love her, and she has it so much harder than me.

In times of sickness We have the unique vantage-point of knowing how miraculous blowing your nose actually is. Anna’s saliva increases so much from post nasal drip and her self-soothing “hand to mouth” chewing becomes insatiable. Her chewed knuckles are splitting at the pleats, bumpy red buttons appear from constant moisture and irritation. Anna’s face turns rash-red where her hands and jaw rub. Praise God that Lindsey has devised a chewing glove that has become a barrier. We need constant adjustments to Anna’s needs. Only God can steady our course and keep our hearts soft. By His grace and intervention we are not growing callus to her needs.

I realize that Jesus is the only person who can actually do anything for us in these trials. It’s a good thing He’s got the time, comfort, and a caring persona to help. My kids need me anchored on dependable-Christ, May the Holy Spirit remind me to talk to Anna during those throat clearing sessions, to comfort her before, during, and after. My wife needs me proclaiming God’s Truth in our home to invite the Lord and be alert of what spiritual thing are coming and going.

I am sharing not to moan about me or to shed light on the demands of a special needs sweetheart but to point to the Savior. He is the Good News amid my weakness! God is working and His strength is upholding me even though I may look “a hot mess”. Jesus is reeling me in and healing Anna.

Please Pray:
-For times of refreshing: "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
-For faith in the storms: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
-For spiritual refreshing: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
-For the binding of Satan’s accusations and schemes: “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head.”
-That we would always have a praise for the things that are going well with Anna.
-To be increasingly other’s centered: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Bless you ,

Nic Lindsey, Anna, Simon

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Treasured Up All These Things

Prayer Warriors,

Lindsey convinced me to fill our quiet, plan-free evening with a trip to the park. We were out on the playground as the sun was setting over the Rockies; Simon made a mess of those chow mien noodles we brought to eat at the park’s shelter. We had the place to ourselves for a while; I caught myself grumbling when the after-dinner-rush of kids showed up. They come with those random shouts and exaggerated screams as they go about their play. All of which can startle Anna. By God’s grace, I focused instead on our play, we jumped right in and got busy having fun. Simon was delighting so much he even let out a couple of squeals of laughter brimming over. Lindsey and I took turns rolling Anna around in circles, over the bridges, and down the corridors of the play structures.

There were these two boys maybe 7 years old that stopped to tell Lindsey something as they observed her running around with Anna. Sweet Anna pie couldn’t hide her smiles, drool, and her very unique sounds of laughter. Those boys told Lindsey: “I can tell she’s having fun!” That comment made a good night golden as we treasured it up into our hearts.

Those were kind words, words of perspective to us parents that try so often to please and comfort our daughter. We are often tempted to think either that our efforts are never enough, or that our efforts are too much. But those kids let us know that that night everything was just right.

There are many lessons and guides in the Bible about parenting. One that is most dear to me is a simple detail in Jesus’ birth narrative about a parent’s heart. In Luke 2:18 and similarly again in verse 51, Mary is “Treasuring all these things in her heart and meditating on them.” Contextually in verse 18 Mary was treasuring comments that the Shepherds made when they ran from the hillside after seeing the heavenly hosts of angels announcing the Savior’s birth and how “the glory of the Lord shone”. In verse 51 what Mary was treasuring up in her heart is a bit broader. Like the experience of parenting itself was of great worth to recall and to store in her heart. I read a comment about this verse speculating that Luke may not only have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it, but that he may have gotten the chance to talk to Mary and hear her account. So potentially those were Mary’s words to describe her rich joy through her Son. Phew, what gracious and challenging point of view to see your kid from.

So what am I treasuring up in my heart about Anna? It is when people speak life about her, when people offer a godly perspective about her condition, or perhaps a prophetic word, or a benediction. Or in this case its two young boys saying “I can tell she’s having fun.”  This aspect of parenting has become a vital source of joy overriding many hardships.

Please Pray:
-Tomorrow, (Wednesday) Anna has her sleep study. We have never done this before because she used to sleep through the night. Two of her specialists anticipate seeing sleep apnea. Regardless its no surprise to God who we trust in and lean on. We ask God for an accurate test, for good health going into the test, for Lindsey to aid Anna to rest. Anna will sleep in a room hooked up to a bunch of monitors. 

-We had a pre-surgery meeting with the GI surgeon to talk about the Nissin Fundoplication surgery. It reminds us of our stem cells crossroads. The door is open, but is it what God wants for her. We have found a huge reduction in reflux by doing continuous feeds into the intestine. But that means she is hooked up all day. It seems to be a quality of life thing, but the side effects of the surgery still spook. We are waiting, and need guidance and wisdom. 

-We have been looking into ramp vans that can anchor Anna in her wheel chair. They are complicated and more expensive. This is not an immediate need but it could make things so much easier in winter.  We are trying to decide what is the best for our family. It is a huge financial mountain as we still want to keep ourselves from debt. Please pray for creative solutions and a plan.  
-Pray for Anna’s schooling. We have decided to take her out of her school because of her persistent illnesses. We can reenroll anytime. The school will send a teacher once a week to our home. We enrolled Anna in a communication device program through Children’s hospital also to replace some of what she was doing at the school. We are looking for more social stuff too. We are shifting from a vision priority to a speech/communication priority in her learning.

Thankful to God for you! Y’all are MVP’s in the spirit world!

Nic, Lindsey, Anna, and Simon

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Kingdom of His Beloved Son

Blessings and Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ, Dear Prayer Warrior,

The content of these prayer emails ought to be God-glorifying and meaty in faith. However, it seems that my emotion can often overwhelm my words and deemphasize the Truth that anchors us in exchange for feelers. So now, I want to honestly display the full spectrum of God’s works in our lives as much as grace can reveal it to me. It will always include emotion but they are not leading they are following behind our faith.

As an unbeliever, I felt so alienated, alone, and misunderstood. Art was the only way to explain my inner content outwardly, but I remained prideful in my aloneness. In truth am never alone and never unloved. Anna’s needs have humbled me time and again to more clearly latch onto God. She has helped me discover just how interventionist and interested God was/is in all our lives. Praise Him that He is. The God of the Bible’s supreme intervening love and interest with us all came in the person of Jesus Christ in life, death, and resurrection, even though many reject Him.

One of my favorite verses of assurance is Colossians 1:13 “He (God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” I cling to the verb tense here! We are talking spiritual victory in Jesus no matter to situation. You see, Anna is sick again with a fever, stuffy nose, constant cough, and a thrush infection. We had to break out the suction machine, humidifiers and remember just how hard it is to see Anna go through this and how demanding it is on us. The domain of darkness still tempts me to think that life sucks, that pity parties are justified, and complaining actually gets me somewhere.  Or darker still, that Anna’s needs will tear apart my marriage, that I don’t have what it takes to father Anna, or that she might not see her next birthday. There is legitimate possibility to all of that. But I reject those paths because they are in the domain of darkness. I have faith in Jesus, He is living through me. I no longer live with current problems that give way to future fears. I have a High Priest that I look to for answers. Living in “the kingdom of His beloved Son” makes me focus on Him instead of myself for the answers and provision. I stand solution-focused on Jesus instead of problem-focused on me. It takes faith and grace to see things His way that is why clinging to the promises of the Bible is so helpful.  

God is so good because in the weeks leading up to this current sickness He has brought Lindsey and me in unified hot pursuit of Him. We are having much renewal by simply focusing on Jesus, experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit, and praying our lives out to Him in utter dependence. Our medical discussions about Anna are more supportive and open to each other. We are always encouraging one another in the faith. Lindsey has been so intentional to talk about what our day has been like abiding in Jesus. We discuss the spiritual strongholds Satan has been using to wedge into our relationship, then we go onward in prayer and in the Scriptures to find the biblical too needed to enter into battle equipped as a soldier of Light. We are finding obedience to be fruitful in things like fasting and prayer together. So this intensity of Anna’s new illness does challenge our sleep and new found gracious harmony.  

God will make a way and show up as we stand our ground and fight for the faith!

Please Pray:
-For Anna’s full recovery from this illness, ASAP. that God will keep her airway clear.
-For patience in enduring because none of this is without a purpose, may we glorify God through this.
-For more reminders in our everyday that we have been taken from the domain of darkness and placed into the kingdom of the beloved Son. May we ponder richly the implications of this as we go about living for Jesus.
-For continued unity in our marriage, household needs, and mutual diligence in seeking the Lord.  
Thank you,

Nic, Lindsey, Anna, and Simon