Thursday, March 10, 2011

Progress Report

     Several people have asked me recently how Heath is doing, and my response is pretty standard:  "He's doing great!  Every day that goes by without an issue is a GOOD day!!"

     It was three months ago yesterday that he had his last seizure, so that means he's three months away from driving again.  We're just praying that the next three months go as smoothly as these last three have gone.  We have so much to be thankful for:

     * He's had no other symptoms or causes for concern, which confirms in our hearts a little more each passing day that maybe the tumor is a nonissue after all.  Again, only time will tell, but as long as he doesn't experience any problems, we will just keep marching forward to the repeat MRI in December. 

     * His medications aren't causing any nasty side effects.

     * He has several people who are willing to help him with his commute to and from school. 

     * He's pulling off a 4.0 GPA, which will entitle him to 100% free tuition next year!

     * He's been putting in a lot of hours at work.

     * He has a girlfriend who adores him and has lovingly stood beside him every step of the way.

     * And may I just reiterate the fact that he has been seizure free for three months?!?!? 

     We are so incredibly grateful for all the awesome things God has been doing in not only Heath's life but in all of our lives!  All praise and glory to Him!

     Meanwhile, we've just been busy raising a house full of kids, and there is never, ever a dull moment.  I can't really call them "teenagers" because they range from 11 to almost 21, but let's just say that a TON of mental energy is exerted on a daily basis talking through all the normal teenage issues that come across our paths.  Some of them affect our kids very directly and personally, and some of them come up because their peers are dealing with them. 

Dating . . . prom . . . drinking . . . smoking . . . sex . . . STDs . . . homosexuality . . . weed . . . texting . . . movies . . . guns . . . gaming systems . . . food choices . . . sleep habits . . . homework . . . computer time . . . iPods . . . music choices . . . cussing . . . fighting . . . driving . . . friendships . . . tattoos . . . piercings . . . modesty . . . purity . . . extracurricular activities . . . time management . . . curfews . . . witnessing . . . spring break . . . senior pictures . . . graduation parties . . . college plans . . . jobs . . . coworkers . . . mission trips . . . spending habits . . . saving money . . . future careers . . . marriage. 

You name it; we've discussed it around here. 

     Someone once told me that parenting your kids when they are little is physically exhausting, but parenting your kids when they are older is mentally exhausting.  That is so incredibly true.  Just look at this sweet little innocent bunch of kids in 2001 when our biggest dilemmas were probably getting Keaton out of diapers, losing Kelsey's teeth, arranging sleepovers for Haley and her friends, and letting Heath explore the countryside on a four-wheeler with his friend . . .

     Every stage of life certainly has its own set of challenges, and I think we were just starting to turn the tide from the physically exhausting part to the mentally exhausting part when this picture was taken.  We just didn't know it.  Raising teenagers was kind of a scary concept to me then, but in all reality, I love this stage of life just as much as I loved parenting back then.  It's just an entirely different set of circumstances to deal with on a daily basis.  It's a really good thing that God gives us the grace we need for each day and warns us to not be overwhelmed with the worries of tomorrow.  Each day has enough worries of its own. 

     We just keep praying them through this season of their lives and pray for lots and lots of wisdom as we guide them.  Our kids are far from perfect, and they certainly don't have perfect parents who always have the right answers or give the right advice.  It's a learning process for all of us, and we are just so grateful for all the tremendous choices they do make on a daily basis.  The blessings we receive from parenting these kids far outweigh the challenges that we face.  We just love them so incredibly much and are so blessed to be their parents! 

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