Monday, December 17, 2012

This may be a lengthier blog entry, but it will be the last one for quite awhile -  possibly until spring, 2013.  Life for us on the farm, follows the seasons.  Winter is often a season of quiet, and rest, as we withdraw, and "hibernate" a bit.  Our lives have been racing at hyper-speed since summer, and while we are grateful for the miraculous progress that Lydia is making, we are looking to regain our sense of family life.  We have been so blessed to share this journey with you, and to feel upheld by your prayers, and your practical care for us.  Thank you for your generous hearts, for your many encouragements of us and Lydia, and your faith in our amazing God.
Rest assured, if something very noteworthy should occur, we will certainly share it with you.  But as we walk this journey, our lives are becoming more predictable, and it feels some days, like we have found our new stride of "normal" - normal life with a child with special needs.  We are thankful to be at a stage where Lydia is progressing, and daily routines are possible.  We are also mindful many times, that our journey could have been different, and we could be mourning our first Christmas as the Herrle4.  Thanks be to God that Lydia is with us, recovering, and that we are all together, at home, to celebrate Christmas.  May you gather with your family and friends, and be filled with wonder, that God's love for us caused Him to enter our world as a baby.  Emanual.  God with us.  What a gift to celebrate!  And may your new year, 2013, like ours, be filled with hope. 

In some ways, every day has moments that are noteworthy, to be grasped, and treasured, but we will hold them in our hearts, rather than share them in the blog.  We had the pleasure of attending a Steve Bell concert this past weekend.  Steve spoke about his Mom's health challenges .His words "to not look longingly to the past to find the beauty that was, because you will miss the beauty of this present moment", seemed especially poignant for us.  Our new life is demanding, and challenging, and is stretching us to see different beauties than we would have expected, or experienced, had out path not been altered.  But there are such moments of beauty as we trust God, and seek His plans and His pace for our lives.  We are grateful to God for His divine work of re-forming Lydia, and each of us.   

We had a team meeting last week, with Lydia's therapists, teachers and case managers, to discuss Lydia's progress in the past two months that she has been home, and to chart a path for the next several months.  Her home therapy and school schedule is working well, and will continue unchanged for months to come.  Lydia has an excellent team to care for her and guide her through her therapy and recovery.  We thank God for these professionals in our lives.

Continuing, significant rest is  important for Lydia, as her brain recovers and rewires.  She often has three or four rests during the day.  Lydia works so hard, every day, to get better.  Mostly, she is determined and strong, but some days, she is weak, and discouraged.  Your ongoing prayers for her recovery, and her peace amidst her limitations, would be appreciated.  We regularly remember the words of Liz Murray at WE Day in November to not "let what you can't do interfere with what you can do".  We focus on what Lydia can do now.

Many of her "when I am fourteen" goals that she set for herself in October, she has realized.  She is able to brush her hair and put it up.  (She wants to learn how to braid again.)  She is able to walk through the house unassisted, with the exception of up or down stairs, dress herself, go to the bathroom, and brush her teeth.  She calls when she needs us.  Lydia is able to do all of these activities independently, but they fatigue her, so often we assist her with them to conserve her energy for more important learning or therapy. 
A most fitting end to our regular blogging journey would be to worship our loving, faithful and great God for the things that He has done.  He has provided for us and sustained us -  often through you.  (Do you know that we still regularly receive meals each week?  What a practical and wonderful help to us.).  He has met us and cared for us,  as we have sought Him and hidden ourselves in Him.  We have known the peace that passes all understanding.  He has loved us tenderly and given us grace for each moment.  We praise Him for His healing.   We worship Him in every season of our lives.  He is here.  He is with us  always. Never once have we ever walked alone.  To Him be the glory in Christ Jesus.


Monday, December 10, 2012

We have had a good week.  Lydia had several days where she was happy and rested.  (We appreciate your prayers for restful sleep during the night, and would ask that they continue.)
Lydia enjoyed a short visit with another grade 8 class at Baden Public School, and she has one more class to visit with next week, and then she will have seen her former classmates and peers at school.  Lydia's list of people she would like to see, and places to visit far exceeds her capacity!  Inch by inch, we progress along.

On Saturday, the Herrle family participated in the St. Agatha Christmas parade. Lydia's cousins carried a banner that read "Thank you for praying for Lydia".  An uncle drove the golf cart that Lydia and some cousins sat on for most of the lengthy parade that winds through St. Agatha, and Lydia walked the home stretch.  Aunts and siblings helped us to share cookies with those gathered along the parade route.  There were moments of tears and cheers, as folks cheered for Lydia.

As we enter the Christmas season, we will attend some Christmas concerts, and family dinners, but this season will be quieter, and low key this year.  Lydia will keep working on playing Joy to the World on the piano, and to exercise her singing voice with Away in A Manger, and Silent Night.  Jesus will continue to shine as the brightest light in our lives, and we will quietly celebrate His gift to us, in entering our dark world 2000 years ago.  We will remember and be grateful for His deep and abundant love for us.  We have hidden ourselves in Him often, and found serenity and security in the shelter of His wings.  The future is uncertain, but His love is steadfast.  We rest in Him.
May you do the same, this Christmas.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Music by Rowland H. Pritchard / Lyric by Charles Wesley
Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every loving heart

Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last night, Lydia and some friends, along with our family, entered a "Thank you for praying for Lydia" float in the New Hamburg Christmas parade.  It was fun, festive and frantic!  Lydia began writing her memoir about it today, so I don't want to give any details away.  It had comical and heart warming moments for us all. 
This Saturday, we plan to participate in the St. Agatha Christmas parade.  Events like these, take a lot out of Lydia, so she has to rest for most of the day.
We are settlilng into our new normal - routines of therapy, rest and school for Lydia; and as a family, learning how our together time needs to be shaped in order to accommodate Lydia's special needs. 
We are grateful for the incredible prayer support we have received.  We would appreciate your continued prayers, specifically for rest for Lydia.  Some days, she is tired, but can't find sleep or the quiet space of rest.  Her brain is over processing, and analyzing; buzzing with thoughts, but not rest.  Like any of us, when we are over tired, she then struggles to do her therapy, to concentrate when it is required, and to feel well.  We pray for rest and renewal.