115- Have You Heard Of….?

115- Have You Heard of ….

September 18, 1983

Have you heard of a condition called Erythema multiforme? Writing it brings up my emotions as I remember our son’s experience.

Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute, self-limited, and sometimes recurring skin condition that is considered to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction associated with certain infections, medications, and other various triggers. Erythema multiforme may be present within a wide spectrum of severity. (from emedicine.medscape.com)

During exceptional events, life is so disorganized that journaling does not happen. My journal skips from September 18 to September 24.

Such was the case when Mark (#3 son), age 18 months, woke up one morning with alarming signs of bruising on his torso. He had not fallen, it was not an injury. We were flummoxed. We took him to the pediatrician, and she put him in the hospital. She said it was a disease that she had heard of but never dealt with.

We immediately called the church prayer chain and friends responded heroically to help us out with babysitting, meals, and every support possible.

Because of Mark’s young age, his hospital crib, which was tall enough for him to stand up in, had strong bars and looked like a cage. The bruising increased and moved around on his body. It looked like he had been severely physically abused. We got many strange looks from people.

Elders from our church and friends came to the hospital to pray.

Mark did exceptionally well in his ordeal. Friends’ prayers brought tons of grace to his spirit and he was not afraid. All of the nurses loved him.

Our friends’ prayers sustained us also.

Life happens. There is no substitute for being in a Bible-teaching church and making good friends there. You can be there for them and they will be there for you in the good times and the stressful times. We have never been more than a few weeks between churches, and in 40 years and living in several US cities we have had many excellent church experiences and only a few bad ones.

87- Me in the Way

87- Me in the Way

October 5, 1982

At the prayer meeting I found myself thinking, “perhaps this is the night I will receive a prayer language from the Lord.”

My emphasis has always been–

ON JESUS GIVING IT –

but also …

ON ME GETTING IT –

ON ME HAVING IT –

ON ME USING IT –

THAT LOOKS LIKE A LOT OF ME!

I felt I experienced a real desire to love Jesus as He would desire me to love Him. Something selfless…..something not very familiar anymore because my life is so full that I don’t make as much time for being close to Him. 

Because of my full life, I find myself looking for ways others can serve me, ways I can escape from the overwhelming fullness, rather than on presenting myself  for Jesus’ use. (Actually, I do ask to be used, but He seems to call me to such quiet, unspectacular service—exhorting my family, doing housework, diapers…)

My life is full of these wonderful people! Here, everyone is participating in Markie’s kitchen-sink bath on a sunny June afternoon.

67- Don’t Name Him Silas!

67- Don’t Name Him Silas!

Post-partum depression was not invented when I was going through it in the early 1980’s. I just thought I was a little koo-koo. Several years ago I calculated that I was pregnant or nursing for 7 ½ years except for two weeks.

I became pregnant on the third day of our honeymoon at age 32, nursed each of the boys for 6-12 months. Our 4th baby was born when I was 39 and I nursed him for 6 months. It’s not a Guinness record, but it is remarkable for me– since we seemed to be moving at warp speed in our Christian walk, and I was pretty much out of my comfort zone.

Our story about the birth of our third son is that I had a check-up scheduled with the doctor on my due date. I was very large and very uncomfortable and was determined to gather up my courage and insist that I deliver our baby THAT day. The doctor’s examination revealed that my body was ready, and he told us to meet him at the hospital and that our baby would be born that day.

Dan and I went home and I called my mom (no cell phones then). I packed for me, and Dan packed a bag for Timmy and Stephen. We dropped the boys off at Papa and Tutu’s and then made our way to the hospital.  The doctor had been waiting two hours, expecting we had been on our way to the hospital after leaving his office. He was not very happy. He got over it, and Mark made his appearance. In those days both mom and baby automatically stayed in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. I appreciated the rest and was happy to be waited on a little bit as I snuggled our little son.

We had been considering the name Silas, because Paul and Silas were such Bible heroes for rejoicing while in prison. My mom and our good friend, Lynn, were very against Silas because they both claimed it was a very odd name to saddle a kid with.

Our niece, Jeannie, Aug’s daughter, wanted us to name our baby Auguste after her dad. Auguste was a long-time family name from the French side.

Mumbo’s friend, Daisy, said she had a dream that we named our son Mark.

So we honored them all and named our son Mark Auguste.

Our friends Bruce and Diane loaned us a beautiful cradle that Bruce had made. My Mom, Grayce, aka GG, flew to Reno to cook for us, cuddle her new grandson, and to play with the boys. Timmy and Stephen were very curious about their new little brother. Hmmm, what changes were coming with this new guy joining our family?

Soon the boys realized that life would go on pretty much as usual: Mom would still take them on walks, Dad would still read lots of books, and there would still be sandbox time every day.

Mark was born in March, 1982, and in April we moved into the solar house that Dan had built. Timmy turned 3 five weeks after Mark was born, Stevie turned 2 four months after Mark was born. Yes, they were born very close together. It was God and it was GOOD.

66- The Tale of the Insurance Company Miracle

66- The Tale of the Insurance Company Miracle

I found this God-story in a stack of letters I wrote to my parents:

Jan 22, 1982 I called the hospital this week to talk ‘money’ so I could know how to fill out the forms and so I could call our insurance man for advice about filling them out. The woman said to have a well baby (no complications) is $1,600 approximately—PREPAID. I told them that was impossible, and she began to tell me the credit terms, etc. I called John, our friend and insurance man. He was out of town and returned the call to Dan the next day, saying we had no maternity coverage!! (Mom, this is another story about God, by the way!) As he and Dan talked, Dan reminded him of their conversation—vivid in Dan’s mind because the coverage for my age group was only $1.60 a month (it is much higher for the younger ladies that they expect to have babies—foiled them!) John had NO recollection of the conversation at all! Our deductible is $1,000 anyway, so I was already in our minds as a major expense. But we were disappointed to say the least. But we had victory in that we both (Dan and I) praised God FOR the situation. We know God is sovereign, we are not irresponsible, we have given our lives to Him, and we KNOW He will never leaves us in the lurch. It was wonderful to have such a heartfelt inner response. So we committed the situation to Him and left it there. That night at the baby shower I was attending, I mentioned it, and a friend said: “Don’t worry. We didn’t have insurance when our baby was born and a man came to our door with a check for $1,000! Our baby didn’t even have a T-shirt, and God provided so many clothes and every item we needed, we ended up with 2 of almost everything!” Well, we LOVE stories like this, and the people we hang around with have tons of them. I told Dan that night. The next day the insurance man called. He had called the company the day before, told them the story, and they said they’d call back, and did call back. The company decided  that if we would pay the amount of the back premiums ($11.48), they would give us the coverage!!

The 35 year old letter about God’s amazing provision~

Our friend was floored. He said not one in 2,000 companies would do that. We thank God. He is sovereign. He takes care of His children. Praise Him! PS-I was ready to just call our neighbor who’s a retired OB/GYN and ask him to come up and deliver junior for us! We’ve paid off the gynecologist almost (one more check) and we will plunk away at the hospital bill.