A sweet Mother’s Day video from a child’s perspective.
A sweet Mother’s Day video from a child’s perspective.
This picture can serve as a good representation of my life as a mother. Chaos!
I’m not even sure who took the picture. Maybe the store manager to warn his employees not to let us back into the store.
My oldest child, Tommy, is obviously mad at something. Rachael is out of control flying her cart into who knows what and in the process taking out whatever is in her path. Leah looks like she’s trying to be on her best behavior, and then Steven is MIA. Chaos. Not at all what I pictured our quick stop at the grocery store to look like!
When we walked into the store the girls asked if they could have a cart. In my head I had the image of a nice, calm, shopping adventure in which they wanted to help out. How cute! In the end I’m very surprised we didn’t hear an announcement on the loud speaker asking us to leave the store.
This photograph can also help to sum up my days of Motherhood.
My kids and I were sitting down enjoying a wonderful breakfast together, when all of a sudden, out of the blue, the table collapsed, fell apart, and that was the end of breakfast.
I’ve made plans. I’ve had dreams. I’ve had visions of how my life as a mother would play out. Only to realize that sometimes, no matter how hard I try, life can get very chaotic, and the best of schedules can give way, crumble, and leave me wondering if I’m really doing things right!
I’ve missed appointments, even though I have them written down on the calendar AND in my phone. I’ve forgotten about early dismissal days at school. I’ve locked my keys in the car way too many times to count. In fact, the last time I did that, the guy arrived to help me out and I realized it was the same guy from the time before. After a few minutes he did a double take and said, “Hey! Didn’t I help you out about two weeks ago on the opposite side of the street?” I was hoping he wouldn’t remember me!
I’ve closed the door to the house only to realize I just locked everybody out. I’ve sent my oldest to school with a brown paper bag full of onions instead of a brown paper bag full of lunch (I’ll explain that in another post!) I’ve run over bicycles left in the driveway. I’ve gotten lost on my way to gymnastic meets and basketball games more times then I’d like to admit. The list could go on and on. But, needless to say, I don’t have it all together! I’m always rushing from one place to the next wondering how I’m going to get it all done. I’m constantly trying to make sure Tommy, Steven, Leah, and Rachael have what they need and get to where they need to go. My house is always loud with children talking, yelling, laughing, fighting. And if that isn’t enough there’s always friends, nieces, nephews, and babies that need care.
Chaos! But, I’m learning to love it. Because one day I know the Chaos will turn to quiet . There won’t be clothes on the floor, hand prints on the walls, dishes piled in the sink, homework to finish, and lunches to be made. The house will be too quiet and too clean and I’ll be left wondering, “how did they grow up so fast?”
So in the time being, in the chaos, I smile, I embrace it, I thank God for it. I look for the magnificent in the mess and the splendor in the silliness.
And it’s in the morning, when I walk into my child’s room to wake her up, that I find her artwork,
And for the moment, the mistakes I’ve made and will make as a mother vanish, and I get that small glimmer of hope that I just might be doing things right. And I thank Christ for the privilege of being a mother and I realize that He truly can “make the chaos a chorus.”
I don’t even know where to start? All I know is that it’s been confusing and frustrating! I went from having my best year in 2011 only to follow it up with my worst year ever!? I went from setting new PR’s in every distance, to pretty much setting new, slowest race PR’s in every distance. How does one follow up their best year with their worst year?
Well, to make a very long story just semi-long, my body needed a break in 2012. I had worked hard in 2010-2011 trying to get to the Olympic Trials (which I missed). I figured, I had just had my best year ever so why not make 2012 even better. I should have known to back off, that my body needed a rest, (it’s always so much easier to tell other runner’s to back off – but never take the advice myself). I continued, with lots of miles and hard workouts, but this time never hitting the times I wanted. The dreadful plateau and the question, “Why am I not improving?” reared its ugly head. Then the next question comes, “Is it that I’m not working hard enough, or am I working too hard.” I always assume the first, (which usually isn’t right!) and I try to force my body to work harder, but it won’t comply, because what I really need is REST! And then instead of improving my times, they start to decline. Over-training… maybe?! Yep! Dreading each run because my body won’t do what I want it to do. The war taking place between my body and my mind. My mind telling me to “run faster, run harder!” and my legs screaming back, “Stop! We can’t! You must let us rest!”
However, I really wanted to make it to the December 2012th Memphis Marathon! I had just run a very relaxed, stress-free, felt good the entire time, 2:58 training run at the Chicago marathon in October, and I wanted Memphis to be my best marathon yet. But, no matter what I wanted, my workouts felt hard, my body felt tired, my mind was telling me “I don’t want to run,” and my legs felt like lead weights. I figured I just needed to hit the taper time 2 weeks before the marathon and I’d recover and be fresh and ready to run a new marathon PR!
Well, that didn’t happen. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through the marathon. I was done at 13.1. Actually, I knew as early as the 3rd mile, (with tired quads) that my legs and body were going to have a tough time hitting 2:46-2:48, let alone finish. Stopping at the half-way point was probably the worst feeling I’ve ever had.
When I was trying to make it to the trials, I dropped out of Chicago, but, in my mind, I had good reason – I knew I wasn’t going to hit 2:46 and I wanted to save it for another day. My goal wasn’t to JUST finish – I wanted to finish in a qualifying time and I didn’t want to put the extra mileage on my (getting older) body if I wasn’t going to hit my ultimate goal. And, at mile 21-22 I dropped from the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis because of a damaged calf muscle. There was no reason for me to cross the finish line not making it to the trails and walking away injured and done for the rest of the year.
But, in Memphis I just stopped. I quit without a legitimate reason, except that I was tired and I couldn’t possibly imagine doing the death shuffle from mile 9 to mile 26.2. I quit. My mind told my body that I couldn’t do it and obviously, my body agreed, and gave in. Worst feeling ever! How embarrassing! I’m a runner and runner’s don’t quit, they work through the pain, they crawl to the finish if they have to, but they never ever give up. But, I did!
It was hard to process what happened. All I know, is that I was having a very difficult time hitting my goal pace the first three miles, and then by mile 10, I was struggling to maintain what should have been a very easy pace for me. It felt like something was terribly wrong, but the only thing I could say was, “I was just too tired!”
Immediately, after getting home from Memphis I scheduled a doctor’s appointment. I knew my fatigue wasn’t normal, and sure enough my blood work came back showing anemia. Maybe that would help to soften the blow of NOT finishing, but it didn’t. And then, I went to the Orthopedic doctor, who told me I had achilles tendonitis/micro tears. BUT still, I QUIT! How frustrating!
Thankfully, (hopefully) there will be other races, and now that I know the awful, upsetting, feeling of quitting that won’t happen again. I WILL crawl to the finish line if I have to, but I will never allow my mind to convince my body to quit!
As of now, concerning my injury, I had an MRI a couple of weeks ago and it showed that my achilles is free of any micro-tearing. However, it does show that I have calcaneous bursitis, basically swelling and fluid in the bursa sac that sits at the attachment of the achilles tendon. It’s quiet painful, but I’ve been cleared to run, with the philosophy, “less is more!” And I now must face a fact, that I’ve known about, but have been able to ignore since I was about 16 years old. My left leg is 1/2 an inch or more shorter than my right leg. A fact that would be good in reference to the question, “Tell us something unique/weird about you?” I have a short leg! Ha. Well, not so funny now, because as I’m getting older, the discrepancy in length seems to be getting worse and it’s messing up my running mechanics, causing me to swing my right foot out just enough to land wrong, twisting my achilles, and irritating my heel and tendons. In fact, my right leg and hip have stopped doing their job, leaving that leg, almost, completely useless and making my left leg do all the work. This is where a three-legged dog comes to mind. Ha. He’s missing a leg so the other legs take up the slack. My right leg/hip isn’t working properly so my left leg is doing the best it can to take over for both legs.
Thankfully, I have a great Physical Therapist and we are determined to find a solution. It may be as simple as strengthening my right hip or getting orthotics. So, while I’m glad my achilles is healed I still must face my messed up body-mechanics! However, I’m thankful I’ve been able to run off and on since December, and I’m determined to be racing later this year…with both legs! ( ;
This year has gone by way too fast. When Thanksgiving rolled around, I was still trying to get used to the fact that we weren’t spending our days at the pool anymore. And now, Christmas is right around the corner. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop the clock and the deadlines in the business of this season and think about all the events that were taking place so many years ago…
Crimson shades of tattered white, a moonless night yet all is bright.
An ordinary man who had a dream, of impossible things, or so it seemed.
A child bride, a mere servant girl, carrying a baby that would change the world.
Two relatives startling an unborn Son, only to prove what had actually begun.
A cousin, set apart to lead the King’s way, to turn back hearts that have gone astray.
An order to travel to one’s own town, a difficult journey with a belly so round.
They could stay in the stable or so they were told, each innkeeper said all the rooms had been sold.
Shepherds and wise man each brought a gift, to lay at His feet our sins He would lift.
The King of all kings was born in a manger, humbled and quiet did his parents realize the danger?
A king afraid of losing reign, a baby born to carry the pain.
A spirit of death upon the earth, what Man has come with second birth?
A Godly man holds The Christ, warning Mary that there will be a price.
A prophetess sees God’s Salvation, and spreads the hope to a desperate nation.
A mother pondering all things in her heart, God’s Son would bring joy, but first torn apart.
His life lived for only one reason, He’s why we celebrate this Christmas season.
A baby born, to live to die, it’s tempting to ask the question why?
His story doesn’t stop at His birth, He died on the cross to give our lives worth.
But our story doesn’t end at His grave, He’s risen again our souls He can save.
So let us bow down our lives to give, we need to die to fully live.
Ruth Bell Graham says it well, “This is Christmas – the real meaning of it. God loving, searching; giving Himself – to us. Man needing; receiving, giving himself – to God. Redemption’s glorious exchange of gifts! Without which we cannot live; Without which we cannot give to those we love anything of lasting value. This is the meaning of Christmas – the wonder and the glory of it.”
“After things pondered…
the dreams of a child,
the realities of an adult,
one thing remains…
I’ve grown old enough to know that fairies don’t have tails
that good men often suffer while evil men prevail.
I’ve tried to find that white frame house with matching picket fences
but found instead black picket signs and hatred’s thorny fences.
I’ve lived enough of life to see the innocent maligned
and I’ve concluded fairness is a rarity to find.
I’ve seen the noble dreams of man be in an instant shattered
I sigh to see another woman used and bruised and battered.
I’ve seen shots of tiny orphans as rulers rise and fall
I’ve stood by stricken parents and caskets way too small.
I’ve abandoned childish notions that life is like pretend
I’ve tossed paper to the ground and sobbed, “When will this madness end?”
But I’ve never grown up quite enough to leave my hope behind
I’ll think I’ve turned my back on hope then bump into the kind
Of Gentle Traveler sent to bind my wounded faith with love
Who sets my feet upon a Rock and mind on things above.
Then I find myself still hoping old folks won’t be left alone
And can’t seem to quit believing Daddies still might move back home.
And that an orphan might just find a reason to survive
And parents of the missing might just find their son alive.
No, “I’ve never grown up quite enough to scorn sweet signs of Spring
Nor can I help but think a tree is happy with a swing.
And you must pardon if I hope The Pearl of Heaven’s Gate
Is the treasure I’ve adored and longed to celebrate.
I hope to hug the ones I’ve Loved and jump on cotton clouds
Where angels sing His holiness and saints can laugh out loud.
Some bedtime tales are worth the tell – May one be quickly due
Let Gabriel groom that great white horse and board Faithful and True.
So let this world’s prince mock and scorn My hope is NOT ashamed
For in the King of Kingdom’s grand My hope has found a Name.”
Faith – Knowing He can whether or not He does.
Hope – Knowing He will whether or not He has.
Love – Knowing He died whether or now we live.
(Beth Moore – Things Pondered)
This was the first thing I read this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Connecticut. There are NO words that can express the heartbreak.
When I signed up for Chicago it never crossed my mind that I might run it as a training run. First of all, it’s hard for me to run any race, no matter the distance, as JUST a training run. If I’m scheduled to run a race, I want to race! Second of all, when it comes to the marathon the longest training run I’ve done has been 24 miles and I often wondered if that was too long! I’ve never considered running a marathon inside of marathon training.
However, two weeks ago the thought did occur to me so I decided to bring it up to my coach, Carla Hastert. My email to her went something like this, “Would it be a good or bad idea to actually run chicago w/no expectations but just as a training run for CIM? I feel like chicago is my nemisis. But, maybe its not smart to run it even as a part of training. Just a thought though.”
After a couple of days she decided it would be okay. Our only concern was that I had to stick to our “race plan.” If I ended up pushing too hard and trying to “race,” I would blow it for CIM and not be able to recover in time.
This is how she wanted me to run; miles 1-3 were to be at a 7 minute pace, 4-20 she wanted me to run a 6:45 pace, and then the last 10k I would ease back down to 7-7:05 pace. Carla, told me if I ran the marathon according to plan I’d finish in 3 hours or just under.
This was one of the most relaxed marathons I have ever run. In fact, I didn’t feel any of the normal race jitters or anxiety I usually have before a big race. In my mind, Chicago was just my weekend long run. The other nice thing was not having the Olympic Trial time of 2:46 breathing down my back. My goal was simply to run the paces I had been told to run and cross the finish line. And that’s just what I did. I crossed the finish line in 2:58:21. I think my first 1/2 and second 1/2 would have been pretty equal. However, around mile 3, I started to have some stomach issues and by mile 15 I decided to stop. I felt pretty good from 16-19, but then at mile 20 I had to stop again. This would have been devastating if it was my goal race but since it wasn’t, the fact that I had to make 2 stops in the 2nd half wasn’t that big of a deal.
All in all I felt like I ran relaxed, didn’t “push” myself, and stuck the workout. 2 weeks before Chicago I was at 94 miles, the week before Chicago I ran 100 miles (including a long run of 22 miles the Sunday before the marathon). So, being able to run on semi-tired legs and hit the paces I needed to do has helped to build my confidence for CIM when I intend to RACE the marathon.
My Dad’s advice after hearing I ran such high mileage and didn’t taper for the marathon…”Now Suzanne, you should really back off two weeks before CIM, don’t run that much. It wouldn’t be smart and you don’t want your legs to be tired.” Thanks Dad! Planning on doing just that.
My friend’s comment (you know who you are) “I thought you were done with marathons and sticking with 5 and 10ks?!”
My Mom’s comment, “Now Suzanne, is it really that smart to run a marathon in October and then run another one in December. In fact, I thought you said you were done running the marathon?” Mom, once a mileage junkie…always a mileage junkie!
10 miles with 10 x 20 second strides. Finished…until tomorrow!
The alarm goes off at 5:30 and I don’t even give it a second thought. There’s NO way I’m getting up and going for a run that early. I’ll wait, set the alarm for 6am and get up then. 6am comes too soon. I’m too tired. I’ll try 6:15. Nope, that’s not going to work either. Now, after hitting the snooze button for the third time, I’m awake enough to think about my day. I decide I’d rather sleep! After all, I am pretty tired, and I only have 8 miles on my training schedule. I’ll certainly be able to carve out an hour later in the day to get it done.
However, also at this point, I’m tossing and turning, feeling kind of guilty for not getting up early and realizing how busy NOT running, (before the kids wake up) is going to make my day. Well, now it’s 7:02, I might as well get up, make coffee, and get the day started. And, then I realize I just don’t have an hour of running today, I also have an hour of strength training. Hmmm…great, this is now going to be more of a challenge than I thought.
By 8:15 I have my two girls up, showered, dressed and ready to go. My 3 year old niece slept-over so she is also up and ready to go home. My boys, moving a bit slower, are at least up and fed. I really need to leave the house at 8:30 so I can be at my first store visit (for Saucony) by 9:00…
So here’s how the rest of the day goes…
8:37 – Left the house
9:02 – Dropped Emma off at my Brother’s house in Wheaton.
9:20 – Arrive at Dick’s Sporting Goods Store in Lombard – store visit complete. Drive to DSG store in Oswego – complete. Drive to DSG store in Yorkville – complete. Drive to DSG store in Geneva – complete.
12:12 – Racing home in order to get Tommy to an orthodontist appointment in Wheaton at 12:30. Never going to make it on time! Why did I think a 12:30 appointment would fit into our schedule today?
12:35 – Arrive at the orthodontist, ONLY 5 minutes late. Man, I’m good! (I’ve always prided myself on being an “on-time” person. Even with three kids I never arrived late to anything! However, after having my 4th child, my thoughts of “on-time” meant that I had a buffer of 5-10 minutes.) It’s so hard to get anywhere “on-time” anymore.
12:36 – Walking to the door of the office, wondering why all the lights are off!? Hmmm….odd. Turning the door handle to the office and finding it LOCKED!? Are you kidding me!? I know his appointment was today.
12:37 – Oh well, I’ll get in the car, call the office, re-schedule the appointment. Now, time has just opened up for me to get my run in when I get home! Sweet! ( :
12:39 – In the car, cell phone rings, it’s the orthodontist asking if I’m bringing Tommy in for his appointment today? What!? I was just at your office and YOU’RE not there. Oh, that’s because the Dr. is working out of the Woodridge office today!? I didn’t realize there were two offices. How far is it from the Wheaton office? “15 minutes.” Ok, I can probably do that, but I have to get my daughter to gymnastics by 2:30. “That’s no problem, once you get here it will only take a few minutes.” Ok, we’ll be there by 1!
1:05 – Arrive at orthodontist…
1:25 – Still at orthodontist
1:44 – Waiting…..at orthodontist
1:57 – STILL waiting at orthodontist…I guess I have a different concept of exactly what a FEW minutes means. UGH!
2:00 – REALLY TRYING HARD TO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE! Finally, I have to give in and call Chris and ask him if he can get Leah to gymnastics.
2:03 – Receive phone call from Leah. She is crying. Why? Well of course, her gymnastics’ bag and grips are in the trunk of my car. “I promise you, honey, I will have it to practice before you are done warming-up!”
2:18 – FINALLY, leave the orthodontist office. Next appointment is scheduled for this Thursday at 2pm – I was told it will take an hour. Hmmmm…..
2:44 – Arrive home, Chris kindly offers to drive Leah’s bag to gymnastics for me. Thank you!! Feed the kids a quick lunch! Yes, I know it’s a little past the traditional lunch hour…my bad!
2:49 – I have 61 minutes to complete a 60 minute strength workout. No problem.
3:45 – Drive Rachael to gymnastics – arrive ON-TIME! (Although, I’m still wearing workout clothes and sweating from the strength workout…haha)
4:15 – Again 65 minutes to squeeze in a 60 minute run – Yep, No problem!
5:20 – Get boys ready for football practice, arrive at practice ON-TIME! Amazing!
6:00 – Pick up Leah from gymnastics…wait until 6:15 when Rachael’s finished with practice.
6:30 – Back to football practice – to actually watch the boys on their first night to see how it goes.
8:00 – Home, dinner, get kids ready for bed.
8:55 – Thinking tomorrow will be more of the same. However, this time when the alarm goes off, there is No question that I’m swinging my tired legs out of bed and getting my workout done early!
People always wonder how I run when I have four kids. Well, I guess this is how a mother of four, trying to train and race at her best gets it done.
Last night I was able to see Lydia for the first time. She is a trooper, that’s for sure! She is hooked up to so many machines and is on a lot of medication for only being 4 days old! It was heart-breaking to see her cry. Her little body would tense and tears rolled down her face, but because of the breathing tube, no sound came out. It has to be so frustrating for Andrew and Jena to not be able to pick her up and comfort her.
At 6:30 the Doctor came in to check on her and said that, “She was forcing his hand,” to remove the ventilator and take out the breathing tube. She was at the point where she was doing most of her breathing on her own and keeping the ventilator in would be (almost) over-protecting her. He said he was going to come back in an hour and make a decision then.
It wasn’t until 11pm, last night, that I got a text from Jena saying that the ventilator was turned off and they were going to remove the breathing tube. At midnight, she sent another text saying that everything went great. Lydia was sleeping and the next hour would be a good indicator of her progress.
This morning, Jena said, the dopamine, anitbiotics, and fentanyl would be given to Lydia as needed. She is being weaned off of the steriod she was on and they have discontinued all other drugs! They will take the artrial catheter out today and then hopefully, Jena and Andrew will be able to finally hold her! AND, Lydia is breathing 100% on her own without any problems. Please continue to pray that there will not be a set-back in progress!
The nurse said that Lydia has dumb-founded the staff at Children’s. She was transferred there because they were going to do a possible ECMO. In ECMO is basically a life-saving technique that mimics the natural function of the heart and lungs, allowing an infant to rest while healing takes place. The procedure involves channeling the patient’s blood into a roller pump that serves as the child’s heart throughout treatment. The pump sends the blood through an oxygenator, which serves an as artificial lung, infusing the blood with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and returning it to the patient. However, within 30 minutes of being at Children’s, Lydia started to show improvement. So much improvement, in fact, that the ECMO did not have to be implemented. The progress and recovery has been incredible! Of course, while the Nurses say they are dumb-founded we know that credit must be given where credit belongs. How great it is to know the mercy-giving, healing-hand of God.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for Jena, Andrew, and Lydia. Please continue to pray for the journey ahead. We do not know how long Lydia will remain at Children’s and we pray that she will continue to improve and stay healthy beyond anyone’s comprehension!
(This is the most recent picture of Lydia after all of the machines, etc have been removed.)
“I have unanswered prayers, I have trouble I wish wasn’t there, And I have asked a thousand ways, That you would take my pain away. I am trying to understand, How to walk this weary land, Make straight the paths that crooked lie, Oh Lord, before these feet of mine. When my world is shaking, heaven stands, When my heart is breaking I never leave your hands…”
Jena, my sister, was R.E.A.D.Y. to have her baby! So, when the Doctors decided that they would induce her on Wednesday, July 25th she (we) couldn’t be more excited. We already knew she was having a girl. In fact, Jena and Andrew had already picked out the perfect name for her, Lydia Grace. Now all that was left to do, was for Jena to HAVE the baby so we could finally meet her face to face.
I actually had left on Monday evening to take my kids to our cabin in Wisconsin. I figured, Jena would have Lydia sometime on Wednesday and be in the hospital until Friday, surrounded by enough family who wanted to see and hold the baby. So, I decided it would be better for me to wait until she was home and then take my kids to her house to introduce them to their new cousin. My plans were pretty much cemented when Andrew sent me the first couple pictures of Lydia, telling us that “All was well!” I couldn’t wait to meet this sweet, little, precious bundle of joy!
And then the storm hit. What should have been two very peaceful days in the hospital, for Andrew and Jena, snuggling and bonding with their newborn daughter, turned into a tailspin of horrifying news and events.
The nurse came into the room to get Lydia in order to check her vitals and give her a bath. She was suppose to be gone for approximately one hour. She was gone for a lot longer than 60 minutes and they were left in the dark for quite a while as to what was happening with their baby. It was so hard for them to get answers. And, when they finally received information they were told that Lydia was experiencing Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension.
On Thursday evening, Lydia went into surgery to have a breathing tube inserted. Thankfully, the surgery went well and she was put on a ventilator. However, unbeknownst, to Andrew and Jena, Lydia struggled throughout the night. On Friday, she was taken off the original ventilator and put on a new one. It was set to provide her with 100% oxygen. Without the machines Lydia would not have been able to survive. However, she wasn’t responding well and was in very critical condition. The Doctor decided it was time to transfer her to Children’s Memorial Hospital.
As of today, Lydia is in stable condition. Her heart rate, which went up to 218, is at 118 and they have been able to decrease the oxygen from 100% to 22% this morning. That is good news. She is definitely not “out of the woods” yet but is in a better place both, physically and hospital-wise, for which we are thankful!
Jena and Andrew have a better understanding after being at Children’s and are in a much better state of mind. They have told Jena and encouraged her to touch Lydia. She will be able to hold her, hopefully later today! Jena texted my mom yesterday and said, “Remember, we have a direct line to the Blessed Controller of all things!” It has been overwhelming and amazing to see the out-pouring of prayer concerning Lydia. We are so glad that we believe in a God who hears our prayers and meets us where we are. The last two days have been full of non-stop prayer. I hope that not only in our “valleys” but also on the “summits” we “pour out our heart like water to the Lord.” It reminds me of the song “Cry out to Jesus,” by Third Day.
“There is hope for the helpless, Rest for the weary, Love for the broken heart, There is grace and forgiveness, Mercy and healing, He’ll meet you wherever you are, Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus”
Lastly, what came as a surprise to us was never a surprise to our Heavenly Father. Life, in this situation, as it often times does, did not play out how we expected. What was a total shock and turn of events for us did not take Christ off guard. He was and is in control. He knew exactly what Lydia would face and is still facing. He knew that we would be balancing between life and death, releasing and placing Lydia in His ever-faithful hands. What a privilege it is to know that He was and is in control of this situation, trusting that He is a good God and He does NOT change. No matter the outcome of any situation He remains good. And our response in good times and in bad times should be…
Oh Praise Him, Oh Praise Him, He is Holy”