Friday, September 18, 2015

The fullness of life

As per usual life has been very full over the past few weeks. Victoria's calf muscle had tightened up significantly, most likely due to a growth spurt. The normal range for ankle movement (flexing your foot up) is between 10 and 15 degrees. Victoria's was sitting at zero - hence she was taking quite a few tumbles. This meant she had to have her lower leg in a cast to stretch out the calf muscle 24/7.  The photo above is Victoria blowing 'air kisses' while the casting is happening.

The good news is that after one week of having the cast on, her range increased from 0 to 6 degrees. This week, with the purple cast, it increased further to 13 degrees. Praise God the cast won't be needed for the holidays, however extra diligence is required with the daily stretching regime. 

Victoria is continuing to experience pain as the muscle continually adjusts. Please pray that the pain will ease in the coming days. The temptation is to tell her just to rest, however what she needs to do is keep moving, which of course is painful for her. It is the classic scenario of no pain, no gain. How do you lovingly explain that to a 7 year old?

Thankfully these muscle issues all happened after Victoria competed in the State Athletics carnival, which was a fabulous day. Victoria had plenty of supporters there, her siblings, grandmother and friend, and aunt. Again she competed with courage in each of her five events. This time there were two other competitors with her. It was lovely to see that connections between the girls grow through out the day. No doubt we will see them again at future events. There was a wonderful Olympic para-athlete there to ensure the girls were throwing the correct weights and jumping from the correct positions. It was a whole new world for us. We are grateful for her Sports Teacher encouraging her to give the athletics a go. It is ironic that Victoria just loves to run.

On a different note, Charlotte organised a very successful Dine at Mine fundraising dinner for Camp Quality. Fifteen of her friends came over for a three course meal. We were so proud of all the effort she put into the evening. We were grateful to her friends and their generosity, some of whom had done jobs to raise money to donate.

Victoria also did a Dine At Mine fundraising dinner for Camp Quality, ably helped by her friend Lily (pictured above in the supermarket). Eight of her school friends came and again gave generously, thank you. 

During the meal, Victoria decided to give an impromptu speech.

Watching both Charlotte and Victoria with their friends at these events bought a smile to my heart. Seeing them all talking, laughing, dancing and singing together, and at the same time helping to make a difference for other children facing huge challenges, was such a blessing.

We as a family were blessed the other week, with the opportunity to use the Harry's House Mobile Retreat. A mobile home available to families with children living with cancer, to travel anywhere within NSW, for a week or so.

It came fully equipped with all you needed, including bikes! Again people's generosity is so overwhelming. The emotional benefits of having the opportunity to get away from home, be outside, playing games with the children, sharing meals with friends cannot be underestimated. 

As this is the first time we have used it, we just went to Swansea, Lake Macquarie (15 minutes from home!). We were a little unsure how the 6 of us would go sleeping in it. We did one night okay, and then on night two Ken, Marshall and Charlotte went home to sleep and returned in the morning! We have the opportunity to use it again over Christmas, but we will take a tent with us too - Wendy's personal retreat.

So the week's have been busy, which has been good as there have been plenty of distractions to reduce the focus on Victoria's upcoming scan. But it is always there - hanging in the background.  Some days it comes to the foreground, and those are such painful days. They are the days when the tears just flow and keep flowing. I am learning more and more to let them come and seek solace in my God. I cannot for a moment imagine the pain of the mothers who have lost their children. 

The love and kindness of people continues to overwhelm me. My Mum and sister phone/email daily to check up on how I am going. A beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived from a couple of teachers at school, who when asked me how I was, witnessed my tears, as I could barely speak.  Due to complete disorganisation on my part I missed the writing critique group by a week, so three of the members had a special meeting this week, just to critique the latest extract for my book. These acts of kindness, certainly help to make the bad days better.

Thankfully, not all my days are like this. All I can do is continue to press into my God, remind myself of His faithfulness and love. Most days, around 10am, I am trying to stop and take time out to spend reading the daily devotion from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. As I read, the words minister so powerfully to me. Here is some of what today's devotion says,

Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose your way. That's why it is so important to stay in communication with Me, living in thankful awareness of My presence. You inhabit a fallen, disjoined world, where things are constantly unraveling around the edges. Only a vibrant relationship with Me can keep you from coming unraveled too.

Thank you for continuing to uphold Victoria and our family in prayer. We so need it. We are trusting God for a good outcome from this next scan on 30th September. We will get the results on 6th October. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV