Day 81-29 – An All Girls Day with Alyse

Today was a special day for our daughter Alyse. She stayed home last night with Amaya, her Auntie Kathi (my sister from Nashville) and me, Kelli, her mom. We ate dinner Sunday night with Justus still at home and then Jason and Uncle Niko left for the hospital to take him back (he turned into a pumpkin at 8pm). Papa left for Tacoma with our three youngest kids, which left just us girls!

So we had a girl’s night! We put together a sewing machine so Alyse could sew some special scarfs for Justus. We talked about what a good father Jason was for offering to take Justus back so we could be together. Then we tried to again recap the story of Justus, which once again made Alyse emotional. As she again recalled all the things she is so grateful for, she finds herself still just plain missing Justus… his voice, his laughter, his questions and the snuggling that was so much a part of their lives. Any parent reading this would have an understanding of what it is she misses. Of course if you’ve suffered the loss of a child, then you know better than all of us, what it means to miss those simple things about your little one.

Today, we let Alyse sleep in. The two sisters made the coffee run (we’re in the northwest, you can’t start your day without coffee!). Amaya got to wake up with her mommy at home and be with her all day. She loved that! We spent the rest of the day just doing “routine” things that needed to get done. These were mundane things by any other metric, but for Alyse it was a special day… which of course made it special for me.

I don’t know if you happened to read a super kind post from Sara Jean McIntosh. She wrote it on the Pray for Justus page on Facebook. At any rate, Sara was a barista at the Doernbecher’s Starbucks. She remembered #TeamJustus and has been a big part of #TeamJustus for a while. Alyse beautifully wrapped a gift for her baby boy, born a little early. He will be in the hospital a little longer to grow stronger and bigger. Please pray for Forest Donald.

Finally we got to the hospital with dinner and to relieve the boys. Justus was able to join us in the cafeteria as we all enjoyed dinner together. We are praying for a full night of sleep for all of us. This day has reminded me again of all the normal, mundane, and routine days that I have taken for granted. Especially I am thinking about the pressure of getting things done and the never-ending to do list of my life that can consume me. I am re-thinking not only the way I take these days for granted, but I am trying to be more thankful for the days with no crisis, no traumas and nothing out of the ordinary.

I am challenging you today, to enjoy the rhythm of your lives. Engage with the people God puts in your car, in your house or in your way. Remember to be aware of God’s “walk in business” that may not be on your “to do” list. And lastly, generously be thankful and appreciative of those around you… be a “Journalist for Jesus”… and show gratitude… it changes the heart of your home and family when we are thankful to God and toward each other.

Would you please begin praying for Justus’ surgery? We felt like October 27 was millions of days away and now we are 8 days out. As much as we try to feel confident and trust in God’s sovereignty, we are beginning to feel anxious, about things like Justus’ body not accepting the flap when it is put back, the pain meds, the intubation tube and the list goes on. They say it is routine, but that word now scars us because Justus has been the exception on this journey. We are asking for prayer covering even now as we prepare our hearts and minds as well as for Justus… once again, that he would sense Jesus with him, that he would not have terrible pain and that God would be present in that operating room. His surgery is at 9:10am on October 27. We will drive him over on that same morning and the plan now is that he will be back at Randall as soon as possible.

Also, please keep praying for the list on #TeamJustus. The needs are sincere, serious and tug at our hearts every time we fold our hands to pray. God has put so many of these lives on our prayer list now. We are counting on Him to meet people in real and powerful ways.

In closing, I am thankful for so much tonight: For my husband who has been so faithful to these posts, to #TeamJustus, to God and to his family. I love and respect you. Thank you to my family for letting me be here with Justus. I know that comes at a cost. I am so thankful for Justus’ parents who love God and have taught Justus about Him. Thank you to all of you who stay with us and read and pray for all that we post. Thank you for the many ways you have loved and supported us. I am so grateful for our church family, who even today, came to visit and see Justus. I am thankful for those gifted in the medical profession. I could never do what they do. I am thankful to God, for His love and mercy toward us, for His son Jesus, for Heaven, for answered prayers, for His peace and comfort and for miracles.

I pray you are richly blessed in your routine, unremarkable, not much out of the ordinary, and wonderful day tomorrow.