Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Grade

Little Philip started first grade this week and is thrilled to have Mrs. Morse.    Our family experienced such a dramatic difference compared to last year at this time!  Last year we were in the midst of moving, preparing for surgery, and still had all of our baby teeth.   This year,  we are settled into our new home, feeling blessed with our good health prognosis, and are less two baby teeth.  First grade activities planned for this year include Upwards flag football, and our most recent addition, Scouting.  Little Philip is a proud new member of Pack 1 as a new tiger scout!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Team Moss in Great Steps for NF

We will be walking as a family in support of our son, Philip, to raise funds to find a cure for NF1. Our walk will be almost a year later from his diagnosis and while we are thankful for a positive check up this year, we know other families are facing difficult challenges in treating this genetic disorder. 

If you would like to join us in support of this effort, please visit our Team Moss fundraiser page at al

Thank you family and friends!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer 2012 Update

Insert "sorry we've not been in has been busy..." obligatory sentence here.  We are finally coming up for air after what can only be described as a horrific 2011 year.  I'll spare you the details, but in a nutshell, 2011 was physically and emotionally draining on all of us.   We have aged, and gained life experiences no one would willingly accept.   We are Christians, so we found ourselves spiritually challenged and tested as well, leading us to ask lots of "why God?" questions that you might expect.  While the darkness of that time certainly became the focus of our thoughts and prayers, Little Philip's diagnosis came just weeks after our move to a new-to-us home, a new community, and our son starting school in that new community.  Since then, I have pondered the timing of everything in 2011, prayerfully asking what God's will is for me as a mother, and for our family.

Anyone that knows me knows that I appear to have it all together.  I am very good at keeping up appearances, and now recognize that I had started to pass that same trait unintentionally along to my family.   If I ever needed help in the past, I considered it a weakness, something I needed to work through, my "cross to carry" so to speak. What much prayer, spiritual guidance, and time has taught me since 2011 is that such self-reliance is not God honoring and not at all what God's plan is for me.  God encourages us to be in a community of faith, to be encouraging to one another in the good times and the bad, to be open and vulnerable with trusted sisters and brothers in Christ,  struggling to come to terms with living in a fallen world.  In 2011, when my life was being completely turned upside down in more ways than can be shared here, God made it absolutely impossible for me to remain an island unto myself.   I looked awful, felt awful, and acted awful and there was no way to hide it this time.  Friends and family forced me to be less self-reliant, to accept help, prayer, and support.    What I came to recognize is that God's grace is freely given to me if I will accept it, and that He works all things together for good.  If I was truly accepting of His grace, I would have recognized these friends and family members as examples of Him supporting me when I finally admitted that I was a mess.  I am working on continuing to accept this grace but as a 37 year old woman who spent a lifetime building up self-reliant behaviors, this is going to take some time.

To be utterly reliant on God for peace and grace in my life means letting go of my controlling thoughts and anxiety for my family.  I am working to develop the kind of relationship and communication with my children that encourages them to be broken with me. I want them to be open about their fears, sadness, and bad decisions or behaviors with me without fear of judgment or shame.   There is nothing they can do to remove my love for them even if I disapprove of their decisions or actions now and in the future.  Their sweet innocent  hearts and minds at age 7 and 4 cannot comprehend the brokenness that they will undoubtedly experience in the world.  I cannot protect them from it all.  I want them to know that they do not have to have it all together all the time.  And so, with the joys that life offers us and the sad times that come as well, I seek to be a real mom, a real person of faith, so that my children will draw their strength from Christ rather than from anything this world has to offer them.

With Philip and I working in higher education, we mark time in academic years rather than calendar years.   We are embarking on the 2012-2013 year, ready to support our little ones as they start 4K and 1st grade.  We also look forward to welcoming our respective new students to our respective campuses where we work.  We begin this new year with a renewed perspective on faith and life that we are confident will bear spiritual fruit for both ourselves and those around us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Update on Little Philip

Happy to report that Little Philip's MRI showed no evidence of tumors in his brain! He does have some tumors in his neck, in the same place where the tumor was previously removed but Dr. Rutledge says that they are superficial and are not threatening. So, we will leave them alone since removing them just makes them grow back. We are so thankful for all the prayers and thoughts of all of our family and friends. We have really felt your love and support these past few months. So what happens now? We see Dr. Rutledge every six months from this point forward to monitor any changes in his current tumors, or any other new growth or concerns related to his Neurofibromatosis Type 1 diagnosis. He will have another MRI in another year to make sure there has been no tumor growth in his brain. Dr. Rutledge says she has about 200 pediatric clients and she can name 15 of them. All the others are routine visits with no complications other than what initially resulted in an NF1 diagnosis. So our prayer now is that we will be one of her 185 clients for the rest of our son's life. Thank you again!