Sunday, December 28, 2014

A {Resolution} for 2015: Just One Chapter

remember the signs..." 
~ Aslan, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair
by C.S. Lewis

I don't know of anyone who likes staying in the hospital. Between the poke of the needle for an I.V., the uncomfortable bed, or the tests, the tests, the tests! I get no sleep. No rest.

For my last baby, Little Bit, I decided to opt for a birthing center for just that reason. 

But, as much as I don't want to make a visit to the emergency room, I've had to. 

Twice this year.

The first time, was for chest pain. Still don't know what caused it, but I'm still paying for the bill! Then, the week before Christmas, I wound up there again. 

But, thankfully, I was prepared.

Earlier this year, I was challenged to memorize all of Romans 8 for Lent. I was motivated to hide more of God's Word in my heart because I knew I needed it. I need truth. When so much of the seen world is clamoring for my attention and causing me to fear and doubt, I desperately need to know that this is not all there is.

Then, when homeschool started in the fall, I was challenged to memorize James 1 with the children. Now, I had little accountability partners. And, I discovered new ways to cement all that we were learningto make it visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

And, the Word became living and active (Hebrews 4:12) when I was tested the week before Christmas.

I was tired and feeling not quite myself, so I decided to exercise a little. Just a few stretches to help me wake up. With each stretch, my head started to hurt, so I stopped. But, not soon enough. 

I was hit with a wave of intense head pain and nausea and became short of breath. I called out to my eldest daughter to dial my husband and with much hesitation, 911 when I started gasping for air and vomiting.

"I think I'll be okay," I said to the paramedics as they checked my pulse. My stomach had settled some, and I was able to breathe again. Blood pressure was fine. Blood sugar, normal levels. I had no history of asthma or migraines. 

One paramedic said I should go to the hospital. That this episode seemed like more than a head ache. But, I decided to wait until Billy got home and save myself a trip in the ambulance.

I thought maybe it was the flu or possibly food poisoning. But, when the doctor examined me and noted all of my symptoms he said something I had not even conceived of.

"I think you may have had an aneurysm." Dr. S crossed his arms. "I am not letting you leave this hospital until you get a CT scan. But, that will probably show nothing." He paused. "I will have to give you a spinal tap to check for blood. Then we'll know for sure."

"Can't I get an MRI?" I asked. I didn't like the thought of exposing myself to all the radiation from a CT scan if I could help it.

"No." The doctor shook his head. "CT scan, then spinal tap and then MRI. And, if we find an aneurysm. Surgery."

"On my brain?" 

The doctor nodded.

I glanced at Billy. He looked at me reassuringly.

I sighed real deep. "Fine. Just do it."

I had trouble praying. Between the headache, the nausea, and overall stress, I just couldn't seem to calm my mind. 

Then I remembered.

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ...," flashed in mind.

I focused on each and every word of James 1

Through the CT scan, which showed nothing.

Then, during the spinal tap, my body reacted in weird ways. I couldn't stop shaking and my hip hurt like crazy. So, I couldn't go through with it. But, James 1 was on my mind the whole time.

The doctor wasn't happy that I told him to pull out the lumbar puncture, because it hurt, even with the local anesthesia!

"I'll have to admit you to the hospital," he said.

"Fine." I didn't care at that point. Billy said my veins were popping out on my forehead and the sweat was poring down my brow. He'd seen me birth all our babies, but he said he'd never seen me in so much pain.

Billy piled the blankets over me to stop the shaking. I put on my jacket and  pulled the hood over my head and slid a face mask on my face. Then the orderlies transported me to a shared room.

I few hours later, I was not shaking anymore, but still freezing. A nurse wrapped me up like a woman from the ancient middle east and prepared me for a trip to the MRI.

"So, have you ever had an MRI before?" asked the MRI tech. He had a thick accent and looked like he was from Southeast Asia, possibly India.

"Yes. But, not for me. For my baby. He had no kidneys." Then I shared the story of my son, Luke.

The tech was quiet after that. He helped me onto the bed in front of the MRI tube and gave me earplugs.

The last time I got a MRI, I thought of Genesis. This time, with Christmas just around the corner, I imagined Christ in all His splendor as a baby, born to a lowly maiden, a virgin in a dusty old stable. He came to rescue us from sin and death to bring many sons into glory (Romans 8:28-30). 

 "How did it go?" asked the tech.

"Oh, great," I grinned. "I thought of a story I know from the Bible. That always helps me stay calm."

He blinked at me and looked on in wonder. I remembered that I was dressed in an all-white wrap of blankets up to my neck. No telling what he thought!

The test showed nothing.

And, I went home. Still waiting for the bill!

But, I am thankful to the Lord that I'm okay. I don't know whether or not I had an aneurysm, but no matter what happens, God is good and He works all things out for good in His time (Romans 8:28-30).

With the year ending and a new one approaching, it's got me thinking. What do I want to do next year? What would I like to change?

The number one thing, more important than anything else I could think of is to remember God's Word. To memorize passages of Scripture and by the grace of God, put it into practice.

I'll be waiting and praying for the next chapter to learn, but until then, I'd like to challenge each and every person who reads this post.

Just One Chapter 

Will you learn one chapter of Scripture this year. It took me a good three months to learn James 1. But, I took it real slow. And, used a method that works for me and my children.

I call it the RVA approach: 



and, by the grace of God,


Repetition:  say one verse ten times the first day. Five times the next day to review. And, the next verse ten times. Five-old, ten-new each day until you've learned the whole chapter.

Visualization: for each verse, draw a picture. On a white board, on index cards, or a chalk board. But, keep it high and say the verse while looking at the image. You can also try hand movements that corresponds to the verse to help with memory. 

Application: Pray God's Word. Ask for His help and power to do what pleases Him. 

May 2015 be a year where the blessings of God abound in your heart!

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)