This holiday season has been exceptionally hard. The normal stress that is induced by trying to purchase perfect gifts for practically every person you know, chasing down local Santas for one quick picture, and decorating the house just enough to foster a ‘magical environment’ for your child was exponentially multiplied by more serious factors that paid no attention to the short timeline of ‘Christmas’. Theodore’s medication changes to counteract newfound delirium, the threat of re-intubation for a few days, and a surprise visit to the operating room are just some of the items that immediately jumped to the top of my “holiday to-do list”; items that took immediate precedence and easily put a damper on any lingering ‘holiday cheer’…
BUT throughout these past couple weeks of December, I randomly kept coming back to the classic Christmas tune:
“AWAY IN A MANGER, NO CRIB FOR A BED…”
If you stop to think, you’ll realize that the underlying cause to the majority of our stress comes from wanting to GIVE the very best to the people you love most; and in my case, that is MacKenna and Theodore. But what happens when you’re unable to GIVE your loved ones what you want ? I can’t help but think that Mary, as a new mother, wanted to give much better to her newborn son, Jesus. Mary was forced to lay Him in a smelly dirty feeding trough; she was unable to give her baby what she wanted because “there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). She didn’t have a choice. She did her best. She simply loved Him.
Just as there is no way to glamorize the first bed for the Son of God into anything other than a feeding trough that held scraps for slobbering animals, Theodore’s ‘nursery’ for the past four months has been less than ideal according to the standard of motherhood nowadays. I’ve done my best with the circumstances at hand by trading hospital blankets for jersey knit swaddle sets and bringing touches of home to decorate the plain white sterile ICU room, but my mother’s heart still wants to give him more; give him better. It’s intertwined within a mother’s DNA to constantly want to give the best to her children; to sometimes want to give what is not even possible. I can just picture Mary placing her pregnant swollen hand on the inside of her garment and using it as a rag to clean all visible leftover debris out of the manger; without a doubt I can see Mary trembling from exhaustion on her hands and knees, searching for the most premium lumps of ‘hay’ that had not already been soiled or half-chewed in order to provide a “bed” with as much “padding” as possible. I think about how much her mother’s heart must have ached wanting to do ‘better’ for her son …she could not even give Jesus the most basic essential: …“no crib for a bed”. Yet Theodore, even though I yearn for him to have so much better right now, has a crib for a bed… Teddy was still laid in a crib, far more superior to what his Savior, Jesus Christ, ever received as a newborn; not because my son deserved it but because God’s Grace abounds (2 Corinthians 9:8).
So, what happens when you’re unable to GIVE your loved ones what you want ? You don’t. It’s not about YOU and what YOU want to give, it’s about them and what they NEED to receive; and the greatest need is always ‘love’. I’m no ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus’, but I am learning that when the circumstances are out of my hands and the luxury of ‘choice’ is gone, I will simply do my best and give my love.
-️ Momma Bear, Praying Isaiah 53:5
~ TEDDY BEAR PRAYER ~
Dear God –
We praise You; we praise You God that even through it all, Theodore has “a crib for a bed”! Although I want to give Theodore so much more at this point in time, please continue to give me the patience and perspective I need in order to see that there is much more to this hard journey than my natural eyes can see right now. Please comfort my mother’s heart to know that “my best” is good enough.
Thank you, God. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for ALL of the people in our lives who have adopted a “mother’s heart” for our baby Theodore and our entire family! You have angels on this earth who have taken some of the burden from us, and we are eternally grateful for them! Thank you for every last person who has given donations towards the #TeamTeddy830 project that was initiated by two of the busiest and most selfless mothers I know. I pray that not only Danielle & Bethany be richly blessed for their generous hearts, but that every last person who has supported this project sees an increase in their own lives! Thank you God for your overwhelming love that has been shown through every single person who cooks us meals, helps watch MacKenna, (anonymously) blesses us with donations, and surprises us with care packages that support us on this journey. I especially thank you God for every last person who agrees with me in prayer; for those that pray on my behalf when I no longer can find the words to pray myself; for those who spend hours interceding for the finite daily details that lead to Theodore’s overall success! Thank you for allowing the perfect people to cross my path before and during this process; You know God, that every person who has taken the time to give me a kind word of encouragement has helped bring me through one more hard day at a time… Thank you that my 4-year old is such a good sport, so healthy, and so compassionate towards her baby brother. I’m eternally grateful for the family and husband you have given me; they are my stronghold that I love dearly.
Lord, I pray that Theodore continues to make his “slow and steady progress”. I pray that he continues to shock all the doctors by overcoming these next hurdles in his path:
- In Jesus Name Theodore will begin to use his pacifier properly. He will activate and develop every muscle in his mouth in preparation for bottle feeding one day! Nothing will stand in his way because Your will is to see him eat by mouth. We pray against the need for a G-tube and believe that all of Theodore’s nutrients will be properly absorbed within his digestive track. When the hospital begins his breastmilk drip feed on January 1st, Theodore will only thrive and chylothorax will continue to be nonexistent! Theodore will not have any aversions to my milk, and sooner than later my milk will be enjoyed in his stomach, and not only his intestines. Thank you that Teddy will advance to “full feeds” much sooner than we think!
- In Jesus Name Theodore’s MRI scheduled for this Tuesday will show no signs of new strokes. I pray that his brain is functioning as it should and specifically that the occipital lobe is in perfect condition and that Teddy will enjoy 20/20 vision in his future. Nothing is impossible for you, God! The nystagmus that Theodore currently endures will be GONE in Jesus Name; your timing is perfect and we trust YOU. I declare that all the muscles around Theodore’s eyes will become stronger, and pray that any past neurological problem that may have caused the nystagmus in the first place will be 100% healed!
- In Jesus Name Theodore’s right ventricle pressures will drastically improve. Next time they are checked, the Doctors will find the pressure to be under 10 mmHg. His right ventricle is NOT getting tired and only getting stronger every single day. The heart transplant team will not even have to evaluate Teddy because his heart is being made new with every beat.
I will forever proclaim that it is already finished; God, You will restore Theodore’s health and heal Theodore’s wounds (Jeremiah 30:17). My son will be coming home with his own whole heart in Jesus Name ️
… AMEN & AMEN !