Sunday, September 14, 2008

Getting Ready For Another Week

Let me back up just a little. August 30 - September 1st we were in Switzerland. Lately, our family has experienced so many moments where we exclaim, "Hey! That's a picture of God's glory!" As we were driving through the Swiss Alps, visiting with people at L'Abri, a community set high in the Alps in the village of Huemoz, (I'll tell you more about that later), visiting with our friend, Katja, and sightseeing in Bern, there were countless times when we were in awe as we reflected, "That's God's glory!"

Tuesday, September 2nd, we settled back into real life -- LeRoy returned to work, Israel went back to German school, and me and the 3 boys settled back into home schooling. Well, at least that's what we were supposed to do. Our weekend in Switzerland was so dreamy... so... magical, that "settling" in didn't feel possible. My engines felt like they stalled out.

After puttering around all day, ignoring a mountain of laundry, letting the boys have "recess" for like 5 hours, and wondering what in the world was wrong with me, I decided to settle it with some (more) spontaneity. LeRoy called at his usual time, (right before coming home from work to check the "emotional climate" at home), and I prepared him -- a little. At least I told him I had dinner packed in the trunk of the van and that we were going for a drive as soon as he could change into play clothes.

We drove 10 minutes north of our house to the village of Meerfeld... and one of the crater lakes in this area. I regret that I didn't have our camera as we ate our dinner sitting on the lake's edge and then walked around the perimeter. The sun was taking it's sweet time setting and the reflection across the lake, the deep greens along the surrounding hills, the quaint village, me and LeRoy walking hand in hand with our children running, laughing, and pretending yet more adventures -- no doubt out of "Lord of the Rings," put us back into that whole surely-I-must-be-dreaming mode. A breath-taking picture of God's glory. We just can't get over how extraordinarily gorgeous it is here! And this is 10 minutes from our house!

(I'm going back to get pictures!)

Well, we got back into the groove of things. Okay, I got back on track. Home schooling is... intense. We're enjoying ourselves... mostly. I love it, but I'm exhausted at the end of each day. All last week I went to bed between 8 and 8:30 every night... and fell asleep shortly after laying down, hardly able to keep my eyes open to read a few paragraphs out of a book. We're still studying Ancient Egypt. (Of course, we're thinking it would make for a grand field trip to go on a cruise on the Nile or visit the pyramids in Cairo or something along those lines... smile. The APPLE culture is still very much a part of our mindset when it comes to experiencing life instead of simply reading it out of a textbook!)

Then on Friday at around 4 AM, LeRoy awoke in severe pain. (Now, some of you know that I'm not the most compassionate person in the world; But I've tried to learn my lesson over the years and I think I'm finally starting to get it.) By 7:30 he knew he wasn't going in to work and by 9 AM, he said that something was "very wrong" and he needed to go to the hospital. All the way there, we laughed -- yes, even LeRoy -- at how maddening, crazy, even ludicrous, my lack of compassion was in past incidents. Okay, they mostly laughed because I'm the crazy lady... I laughed, sort of, to hide how incredibly guilty I felt.

As we neared the hospital I prayed for LeRoy and asked God to work a miracle, "let us see Your signs and wonders, Lord," and secretly hoped that somewhere along the way I would mature and become more kind. We drove through Bitburg, found the Krankenhaus (hospital), and pulled into one of those European parking garages made for Smart cars where we literally wedged our chunky Toyota van into a spot. (All the while I thanked the Lord for the opportunity to have driven the embarrassing family Suburban during my high school years.) LeRoy got out and then just as I was preparing to climb over the console into the back so that I could get out the sliding door (the driver's door was about an inch and a half from the wall), he turned around and said, "The pain's gone! I think we can go home now!" What?

I said, "Are you sure? We just came all this way... Don't you want to go in anyway?"

But he said, "Hey, you're the one who prayed for 'signs and wonders,' you know, 'miracles...' I say if God wants to show up and take away the pain, we ought to let Him!" One moment my husband is practically crawling out of his skin in his efforts to cope with the pain, the next he is smiling and acting like it's a day like every day. I felt reluctant to drive away from the Krankenhaus. (Lord? Are You there? Is this You revealing Your glory again? Cuz' I've heard about those weird cults that don't believe in medical intervention... Just checking. Oh, and thank You.)

Back at home LeRoy went back to bed, the children played, and I got on the internet trying to figure out what just happened to LeRoy. Judging from the location of the pain and the symptoms, we're pretty sure he has kidney stones. The rest of Friday was pain-free until that night when he had another episode. I found a home remedy for the pain: 2 ounces of lemon juice mixed with 2 ounces of olive oil. He drinks it when he feels an attack coming on and within about 15 or 20 minutes he feels much better. He's had about 3 more attacks since Friday. I read that it takes about two to three days to pass a kidney stone(s). We're praying this is the case. ...I also read that the pain caused from kidney stones is the most intense pain the human body can endure...

So there's a little update on the most current news happening here. And now you know how to pray specifically for LeRoy at this time. (And how to pray for me in my lapse of character!)

Tomorrow morning starts early. We are finally getting a great routine down that works well for us.

Much love to you,

PS -- Would the person named Babs who left a comment recently please send another comment with your email address so that I can get in touch with you? Thank you. I look forward to talking with you.

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow! Life on the edge, or what?

    My body produces kidney stones like healthy people produce insulin, so I can more than imagine Leroy's pain. I'll deny this to any man, but I swear it's worse than giving birth!

    Keep an eye on him, I've had stones that are too big to pass, and he'll be in some trouble if his ureter gets blocked.

    p.s. Olive oil and lemon juice??? I have a permanent prescription for Vicodin, and that just barely takes the edge off..