Category Archives: ReadGoodBooks

To Be Fully Satisfied

My hearing loss has been impacting my life in a big way recently, as it gradually gets worse. Over the last 2 years I went from scoring a 52% on a word discrimination test, WITH the help of my hearing aids, to just a few weeks ago scoring a 38%. What that means is… communication is HARD, and getting harder. Without hearing aids I’m almost completely deaf, and with them, the strongest available, I still only hear about 38% of what people are saying. I rely on body language, facial expressions, lip reading, and it’s a great deal of work. Some days I feel defeated and end up in tears, exhausted by the effort of trying to decipher the day’s sounds.

But some days… I sit in sweet fellowship with my God and tell him thank you. Thank you for the silence. Because He speaks in the silence, and I love to hear His voice. When all the other voices are fading around me, His whisper has become louder in my life. His words clearer. He has drawn me in closer and revealed himself to me in ways that I may never have known without the experience of my loss. My commitment to him has grown deeper because of it. My dependence on him in even the most average of moments keeps showing me clearly how faithful and good He is. He keeps showing up and showing himself strong for me.

“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to give strong support to those whose hearts are committed to him.” 2Chronicles 16:9

He truly does seek opportunity to support us when we sincerely desire the strength of his presence. He is faithfully by our side in the midst of every moment, extraordinary, difficult, or mundane. He will never leave us.

One of the hardships of hearing loss is the extreme loneliness that can be felt. Even with hundreds of people surrounding you, and so many conversations in your midst, it is normal with hearing loss to feel alone in the middle of it all. To sit in the midst of family and friends and desperately wish you could be part of their conversation, but no matter how hard you try you just can’t hear enough to figure out what is being said, can be the loneliest feeling. But God whispers loud in those moments and reminds me He is there. I pray for those who I can’t hear, and God’s peace settles over me. The prayer life that God has grown in me is one of the sweet blessings that cause me to thank him for my loss. When I start to feel alone, but turn to him, I find that his presence fully satisfies.

A precious friend recommended a wonderful book to me called He Speaks In The Silence, by Diane Comer. She shares her story of hearing loss, and how through her loss she finds greater intimacy with God. The first half of the book is her unique story, but the second half is both of ours, because it’s mostly about how God shows up, and He is good. Reading her book blessed me! Or rather, reminded me of how I’m blessed!

“The word translated as blessing in the New Testament is derived from the Greek word, makarismos, which means “to be indwelt by God through the Holy Spirit and, therefore, because of His indwelling to be fully satisfied in spite of the afflictions of life.” (Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament) To be blessed actually means to be fully satisfied. To thrive on the inside even if life is falling apart on the outside. To be so filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit within, that we are able to endure and taste the sweetness of His love even in the midst of bitter reality. Even when it hurts, even when we do not understand.” ~from He Speaks In The Silence, chapter 6.

God is good. ALL the time.

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

Guess How Much I Love You

It’s good to be home. It’s SO good to have Dz home with us! Our time in L@tvi@ was a blessed-struggle, and a difficult-joy. I haven’t been able to find the words.

Later perhaps.

But today I want to share… today… a moment now tucked into my heart forever.

A few weeks ago…
We celebrated Dz’s 16th birthday with him in L@tvi@. In my mind our day was simple, but it started with a birthday banner hung near his bed and a candle in his breakfast cinnamon roll brought to him as we sang. And even before the gifts were given, he told me, “I’ve never had such a good birthday”. (Yes, that kind of difficult joy.)

We gave him this book as a gift. When he held the book in his hand he just looked at me with a smile and said “English”. Yes. But I assured him he would understand it soon and I would read it to him. “Thank you”. Now don’t worry friends, this simple book was also appropriately balanced with a technological teenage boy kind of gift, which got a much more exuberant thank you… As I expected. I have 3 more teenage sons after all. 😉 But he did recognize the words “I Love You”, and that was my hope.

 

Then today…

The birthday book was brought out again. His understanding of English is growing quickly and he’s determined to know it upside down and backwards before we can blink. So at one week home, I read to him, this favorite story that I’ve read time and again to all of my kids…

 

Using simple synonyms and familiar explanations, pointing to pictures and motioning with my hands, he understood the whole story. Even more, he understood the message… that he could never guess high enough.
As we finished the book, with his sweet smile he pointed to himself, then to me, saying “I love you. To moon. And back.” The sweetest words. Praising God for another precious moment.

And praising God for the blessing of your prayers. Thank you friends! His faithfulness to answer is far beyond my ability to write of it.

Morning Wisdom

My husband is an early riser and usually the first one up in the mornings. He starts the coffee and sits down to read his Bible. When I wake up in the mornings I’m often greeted with a warm cup of coffee and I stay in bed to start my day by also spending time with the Lord in His Word, while my husband tends to the morning needs of any early risers. I rather like this routine. I am spoiled. But before you decide that I am too spoiled, you should know that it hasn’t always been this way. In fact most of my married life my husband has had to work odd hours. Either swings; bringing him home in the middle of the night and sleeping late into the day, or graveyards; bringing him home in the early morning and sleeping through the day. So that meant that I was the one slipping out of the room to make the coffee and tend to the morning needs of the kids. Those of you who know me, know that I am NOT a morning person.   Not.  At.  All.   I am simply not a normal functioning human until I have had an entire pot of coffee and time to acclimate to the bizarre idea of daytime.

So having a regular, meaningful time of morning devotions has often been a struggle for me.

I know the necessity of “meeting with the Master in the morning” as a dear friend always calls it. And my desire is to do so. When my three oldest boys were younger I would often drag myself out of bed, pour my coffee, sit down with my Bible and try to focus my eyes as I was waking up. But just about the time I felt coherent enough to really communicate with Jesus, in walked a little boy or two or three, wanting my attention. Some mornings I just wasn’t ready for that yet. I hadn’t had enough time to absorb the Word of God, to prepare my heart, to change the irritable, grumpy me, into a gentle, patient mom. Can you relate? But by God’s grace He has helped me to grow in this area. . I began (and continue) to ask Him to grow a deeper desire within me for our time together in the mornings, so that I would not have to drag myself out of bed, but rather I would get up excited to spend time with Him. He is faithful…Waking me earlier, blessing a shorter time with greater richness, helping me to teach my children to respect my quiet time with Jesus when they awoke. Sometimes they would crawl up into my lap and lay quietly until I was ready. Those moments of early interruptions have become fewer and fewer, leading all the way up to this point, where most mornings I am now blessed to have uninterrupted time with Him before I even leave my bed. I am certainly thankful, but the Lord showed me today that those early interruptions are never wasted moments. It wasn’t, and isn’t, about me. Sometimes it is for our children. My two youngest boys often wake up to find their daddy sitting on the sofa reading his Bible, and they too are learning to respect his quiet time, sometimes crawling up on his lap to wait until he is ready. This morning he needed to go to work earlier than usual so it was me who was sitting on the sofa when my youngest came in. He crawled onto my lap and said “What are you doing?”
” I am praying.”
“What are you praying about?”
I recently pulled a wonderful book off my shelf that I read long ago and started it again called The Power of A Praying Wife. I showed him the book, “I am praying for Daddy.”
He wanted to know more so I began to tell him all the things I was praying for his daddy… his job, his mind, his purpose, etc.  Eventually I said “I am praying that daddy will make wise choices.”
With complete confidence he replied “Oh, he will definitely do that!”
“Do you think so?”
“Yes!”
“Yes, I think so too. Do you know why he is able to make wise choices?”
And with wisdom well beyond his young age he replied, “Because he prays to God and reads his Bible.”
Amen!

Where has this month gone?

A good visit from Nana and Papa, Dallas Aquarium, fishing, Ancient Greece, degrees of angles. hooked on phonics, building snowmen, organizing books, cleaning house, The Children’s Homer, bicycle rides, trips to the library, Bible study, playing at the park, history scrapbooks, self-portraits for art, legos legos everywhere, Dr. Seuss, algebraic equations, youth group, growing bacteria for science, beginning addition, playing with friends, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, studying the hydrosphere, driving, Valentine crafts, watching the Olympics, dollar theater, Winter Jam concert, video games, reading more books, church, dinners with friends, playdough, outgrowing clothes, prayer meetings, Music Ace, spelling tests, brick wars, nerf guns, tessellations, recitations, shopping, cooking, watching the birds, photography, coloring books, playing fetch with the dogs, cuddling, laughing, ocassionally sleeping…….