Monday, April 27, 2009


No, I didn't let Luke type this post's title, "dabaq" is actually the Hebrew word for "hold fast", or "cling to". This word appears seven times in the book of Deuteronomy.

I think I've mentioned before that I am in a bible study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and that this year we are studying the life of Moses.

The Book of Deuteronomy is 34 chapters, most of which is Moses speaking to the Israelites as they are about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan after 40 years wandering in the desert. But not just speaking for the purpose of hearing himself speak. When you read these chapters, you can hear Moses' passion to encourage the Israelites to never forget what God had done for them. You can hear him reminding the Israelites how dear they are to the Lord, dear and chosen. "Because he loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by His Presence and great strength..." (4:37)

And peppered throughout these chapters, you can hear him beseech the people to hold fast to God's commands, even more so to hold fast to God Himself.
"It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." (13:4)

"Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him." (30:20)

Moses knew he was not long for this world. In fact, God had told him directly that he would die before entering the Promised Land. At 120 years old, Moses didn't figure he deserved a bit of a rest and find a nice oasis to retire beside. He worked and served and exhorted until his last day. He knew what the Israelites faced when they crossed the Jordan River: War, fear, temptation, battles. He also knew the blessings that would be poured out on them if they chose to cling to God. You could say Moses' last task was maybe his most important — etching on the minds and hearts of his people the importance of dabaq.

Dabaq can also be translated to the following phrases:
  • to cling

  • to stick

  • keep close

  • follow closely

  • to pursue closely

Two young boys I follow through their blogs underwent the Fontan last week. I think this has magnified my fear of Luke's future surgery in my brain. If I think about it too long, I do exactly what God (through Moses) tells the Israelites not to do as they prepare for battle: "... Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic ..."

One of the beautiful characteristics of God is that He doesn't leave us with just the negative ("do not", etc). In this case, the antidote for "do not be afraid" or "give way to panic" is to "hold fast to Him".

The only way to counteract my fainthearted-ness and terror is to cling to what I know about God: He is sovereign and He is good. Our thinking about God can teeter-totter and waver, but God is still sovereign and good. In my day-to-day thinking about the Fontan, that means that God already knows the date, already knows the outcome and is already preparing to use it for good in our lives.

I also choose to cling to the fact that God is unchanging. The same God Who was faithful to walk with us through Luke's first two years, the surgeries, the uncertainties, the E.R. visits, the 60-some days in the hospital, will walk with us through the next year.

The same God who has brought Luke from this:

to this:

will continue His Good story through Luke's heart journey.

I don't think God expects me to feel happy that my son has to undergo a third open-heart surgery. I don't think He would tell us to cling to Him if we were able to muster up our own happiness about the trials in our lives. What I do believe God expects, nay, commands from me is to hold fast to Him so that His Goodness can be seen through our family's circumstances.

I will take a lesson from Luke today. He has had a tough week as Rog and I decided he was ready to go without his "mimi" (pacifier) except for nap and bedtime. Like most two-year-olds, when times get tough, Luke wants his mama. I have been clung to, stuck to, and pursued closely more than usual this week. Today, when I hear "uppa, mama" and "mama carry you", I will choose to say the same to my Father.

And by the way, if I did let Luke type the title of this post, I'm pretty sure it would read, "Tell my mama to give me back my mimi!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On my reading list

I'm sure many of you are wondering what's on my reading list this spring. I'm sure of it. You're wondering, did she just pick up "ALWAYS LOOKING UP", by Michael J. Fox? Or the latest in the Twilight series? Or maybe "THE READER", by Bernhard Schlink?

Guess again. Guess bigger, better, more engaging and even more thought-provoking...

Here is what I picked up at Borders last week:

Oh dear, wish us luck.

Monday, April 6, 2009

We cry homey

It is a beautiful day here in western Washington, so Luke and I headed to a nearby park to play (in our shorts and t-shirts, I add giddily). Luke was drawn to a little boy and his dad playing baseball, so we watched for a few minutes until his two-year-old mind moved on to follow a boy on a scooter.

In those moments, I felt myself going down the road of worry that Luke may not be able to enjoy sports the way this boy at the park could. His dad was talking to another man and said, "You should see him hit a golf ball!" It wasn't boastful, just normal parental pride.

I've thought a lot about why it causes me sadness to think about Luke being limited in sports. I think it boils down to the fact that I don't want Luke to face any limitations he doesn't place on himself. This feels like he's got two strikes against him even before he gets up to bat. (Baseball at the park, opening day of Mariners' season ... my baseball analogy couldn't be helped!)

It's funny. A majority of the time, I am able to reconcile this possible limitation with the fact that Luke is here and healthy and happy. But there are those moments ...

So what did God do?

As we were driving home from the park, Luke asked for a particular song on my iPod by Jimmy Needham. The song title is "Regardless" but the chorus includes a line that says, "We cry holy, we cry holy."

From the backseat I hear, "Play music. We cry homey!"

Instantly my pity party dissolved. Here I have this son who wants to listen to praise music, who makes me laugh, who refocuses my thoughts away from myself and onto the Goodness of God.

And we cried "homey" all the way home.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Could it be?

Could it be that we have turned the corner into spring? Could it be that we may be able to break out the t-shirts and actually wash our cars without fleece jackets?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Break: A Conversation

Me: I'm so glad you have a week off, hon. You work so hard, you deserve the break.

Roger: Thanks, hon.

Me: So, can I go to the gym?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday nights

Every Monday night during the school year, Roger takes Luke out to eat at Shilla Teriyaki. If you remember this post, you remember how our Lukey loves his "chicken and rice."

While I'm at the gym and then on my way to Bible Study Fellowship, I love picturing hubby and son having their boys' night out. It's a small restaurant, so of course, the owners have come to know and love our sweet boy, giving him orange slices before the meal and an extra fortune cookie afterwards.

This past Monday, as Rog picked sticky rice from the carpet before leaving (he would vacuum if there was one available. Really, he would!) the owner approached the table and quietly said, "I pray for your son every night."


This woman, who knows Luke only as a young boy who loves his teriyaki and has a special heart, has committed to lift him up to our Lord daily.

I know this woman didn't share this to receive praise or admiration for her prayer life. I think she shared because she believes in the power of prayer — by the thousands or by the one. James reminds of us Elijah, a common man whose prayers were able to stop and start the rain (James 5:17-18).

Many in the blogger world are following the story of baby Stellan. He even made the local Minneapolis news yesterday:

"Thousands of people around the world are saying prayers for an infant from Mound fighting a potentially deadly heart condition.

His following is extraordinary and it began online. ...

Stellan is a special five-month-old child. His name has been written in the sands of the west African desert, on cardboard next to the Eiffel Tower, and surrounded by hearts in front of an Argentinean sunset."

I am thankful so many people are praying for Stellan's healing. I am one of them. I am thankful Jennifer is using her blog to point to God. I am glad that God can use anything — even the internet! — to make Himself known.

Most of all, I am thankful that no prayer from God's people goes unheard, petitioned by thousands or by one.