"May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit."

~Romans 15:13

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Karate for ALL

Today Lilah had her first Karate lesson.

After months of her older siblings being in class....


Lilah was ready for her lesson. This is her excitedly getting in the car!
When we arrived at the Karate school Lilah was very excited to be on the mat.
She flipped around on her little legs over and over....GIGGLING!
She felt up and down her belt and was so happy to be able to do this.
Carson has been wanting to work with Lilah since I signed my kids up for Karate several months ago. Slowly I have gotten Lilah accustom to the sounds, smells, and lights of the school. She has become more comfortable with Carson as well. When we first came to the school she was timid and reluctant to smile at him, give him a high-five, etc. Little by little she has watched him with her older siblings and began smiling at him, walking freely in the school, and giving him a high-five. She began saying her "kia"...or as Lilah says, "aYa" last month...repetitively. So, I knew she was ready.


Carson asked me if I would be willing to get on the mat and help. With my little knowledge from Krav Maga Classes and from watching my kids, I tried to help . I think Lilah really enjoyed being on the mat with Alex, Sammie, and Eli too.

Carson was INCREDIBLE with Lilah. I cannot even begin to tell you how patient he was with her. Seriously. He was repetitive, slow, consistent, and cheerful.
He told me that all he really wanted to do today was to teach her to bow, get into fighting stance and try to hit him.

Lilah did much more. He took her on the "cheese mat" ( a declining mat...think ramp like) and asked her to put her head to her toes. I helped Carson as we taught Lilah to roll down the mat. She LOVED it so much that she began to trust Carson and he did it with her alone.

Carson heard me call her toes her "piggies" and he asked her the next time to "touch her piggies" and she put her head to her toes and he rolled her.

All I had was my phone because I knew I would be on the mat, so the images and video aren't the best quality, but you get the idea.

Watch this little clip of Lilah learning to "hit" Mr. Carson.
video
Isn't this awesome?


Well, the entire "class" lasted about 20 minutes. Maybe.

Carson and I agreed she only needed a few minutes at first here and there to learn the basics.

Can you believe that she did all of that in only 20 minutes? Pretty cool!


It gets better....


Carson asked me what I thought about him starting a class for Special Needs kids.


God is SO cool because I have been praying about a way to ask Carson if he would start one, see if he would be interested, and how we could make it work...I just wasn't sure how to ask or approach Carson about it

But, God had already put the desire on Carson's heart. Carson told me that when he had his first degree black belt that there was a Special Needs young man who they worked with and he eventually got his black belt. Carson said that since then he has wanted to teach others with needs.



There are a few children in his school that are "differently abled" but Carson would like to make a class, "even daily", he said, for those with challenges.

I told Carson that I would tell my friends who have children with needs and that I would call Katrina from Something Special Magazine.

My hope is that Carson will have this class and that children of all abilities will learn to respect themselves and others, gain more confidence, find better balance, learn to protect themselves, have better awareness of self, and so much more.

If you are interested and live in the Pooler/Savannah/Effingham, Ga area, click on Carson's name throughout this post to contact him.

Lilah LOVED her first lesson. Her siblings were SO excited to see her on the mat, watch her work, help her with moves, and see her confidence grow.

Watch out world we have another "Future Black Belt" in our home!

Many thanks to Carson!

But, most importantly...
Thank you, GOD, for Lilah and her consistent daily improvements.

GOD IS SO GOOD!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I love my GaGa

Saturday we went to my Mom's house to see my aunts that were visiting. While we were there, my Mom and Lilah had their own little playtime together.

My Mom, aka GaGa, has really worked hard at trying to learn to push Lilah and not "baby" her. This is not easy for her, but she really is trying to help Lilah realize her potential. My Mom played dress-up with Lilah and then they decided to go outside to slide and swing.

My Mom doesn't check this website often, but I sure hope she decides to, so she can see these images.
Look closer at Lilah's determined face..







The above image makes me realize I need to get Lilah to learn to hold on and sit up as she slides down.

Yes, that is Lilah on a BIG girl swing...loving EVERY minute!

Lilah sure does LOVE her GaGa!
I believe the feeling is mutual!

Mom,
Thank you for all of your help with the kids. Especially learning to help with Lilah's needs. I know that I can be demanding at times. I know that I can be emotional, temperamental, and sentimental. I appreciate you trying to help. I appreciate you trying hard to help me push Lilah. I love you. More than you will EVER know.
Katie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PRAYERS ANSWERED!

About an hour ago, my prayers...my openly, honest, heartfelt prayer to God was answered!



Penny,the director from Bloomingdale First Baptist Preschool, the school my older three children attended, called to tell me she was VERY sorry for not having called sooner.


She said that the school, the teachers, and the Church board talked and have prayed about it, and......



They are willing to give Lilah a chance in their school next year!


Penny and I discussed having Lilah come in , near the end of this year, for a few days and see what she is capable of now, that way we can see what she needs to work on to be class ready for September. Penny said that they prayed about it and that they would like to know what they need to do to help. Should they make the copies larger for her to read, what about the steps in the school, etc? She said that they prayed and that, "They have known Lilah since a baby, know the advancements she has made, how hard I work with her, and that I know them" and they know it is best to give her a chance.

Did you read that?!!


The school I wanted Lilah to attend, in the class with age appropriate children, with peers of "typical" function is going to give Lilah a chance!


I am also aware that if it doesn't work, that if Lilah doesn't fit well with the class, isn't learning, is too much for the other children, the teacher, etc...that we will need to find another school.


BUT...

They are willing to try!


And I have a list of things that I am going to work HARD on, and am requesting you all pray along with me that we can achieve, with Lilah before September:

  • Potty training ( this is HUGE for this school. All children MUST be potty trained by the first day of school)
  • Steadier walking
  • Verbal Communication
  • and more unspoken prayers

I know that this seems like a LONG way off...and it is. And SO much can happen in the time frame between now and September, but I am also realistic enough to know that Lilah will be challenged in this school.


That being said....

I know. Yes, I now because I have sung these words, I believe these words, I trust these words:

God is ABLE. He will NEVER fail. He is almighty God. Greater than all we see. Greater than all we ask. He has done great things!

In HIS name, we overcome...for the Lord, our GOD is ABLE!!!

God is with us, He will make a way, Far above all we know, far above all we ask. He has done GREAT things.

In HIS name, we OVERCOME...for the LORD, our GOD is ABLE!!! ( Hillsong United. God is able..google it and listen)


Thank you Jesus for this answered prayer. When I asked, when I poured my heart out in tears, YOU answered. YOU have answered me in the way that YOU knew was best for Lilah, my family, for us.

THANK YOU for sending us what we needed:

a school family that will LOVE and accept Lilah for who she is...because that is what YOU have done for us...you love us all...each and EVERY one of us FOR us...not because of what we do, our status, our money or lack there of, YOU love us because of our hearts.

Thank you for helping my un-belief. (just when I thought no one wanted her, where was she going to be loved and accepted) Thank you for showing me YOU are there. Thank you for providing in JUST the right time. Thank you for giving me HOPE....daily HOPE!

I. am. in. TEARS...massive, HUGE, puddles, of un-ending tears of GRATITUDE!


Monday, February 20, 2012

No? Not yet? When? Why?

Unfortunately, we have hit another "road block" of sorts with Lilah. I must say that this is getting to me more than I care to admit.

I spoke with someone at the church who has the "authority" to decide if Lilah can go to the school, where she will be placed(if a spot opens), and what that means.

I was told that "all 4 of the teachers" in the older 2 year old rooms expressed deep concerns about Lilah's physical limitations. Specifically on the playground, which the children go to daily for 30 minutes. Then I was told that the 3 year old class works on a reading and writing curriculum that they don't feel Lilah would be ready for. Concerns that she wouldn't "get it" and that the higher ratio of children may be "too dangerous" for Lilah.


First let me tell the truth...


  • hearing each of those things about your child...SUCKS! Sorry, but there is the truth. I had to fight back tears while I spoke to this "all business" person. (Yes, as soon as I walked away I cried. Then had to dry my tears to get back on stage to sing)
  • hearing that your child isn't ready to be in the class she is age appropriate for is HARD!
  • I am aware that Lilah has many "global" delays.
  • I am NOT asking for the school to cater to her, but I would like her to be given a chance. Especially when I see children in the school with larger "physical" demands.
  • This leads me to feeling like the ONLY option for preschool I have for Lilah in the Chatham County area is the PSI (pre-school intervention, special needs only) classroom through the county.
I am sure there are AMAZING teachers in some of the schools. But, each year it is the "luck of the draw" and I am not sure I will get the "right" teacher by just playing a lottery of sorts. (the saddest part is that my "typical" functioning children had issues)

WHERE is she "suppose" to be?

God, PLEASE tell me what to do! Give me the right place for LILAH...the place that will ACCEPT her and LOVE her.

She is the HAPPIEST, most JOYFUL human being EVER. She brings light to EVERYONE she meets.
Watch this!!!!!

She WANTS, NEEDS, DESIRES to be a part of it all. She needs to be loved and accepted, challenged, motivated, encouraged, and WANTED.

WHO will love her like I do? WHO will WANT her in their lives like I do?

God, please help me help Lilah. I am STRUGGLING with this.

I am at a LOSS right now.

The way that people negatively react to her makes me SICK...those that look at her "lack " of abilities rather than her over abundance of HUGE abilities.

What if Lilah doesn't meet the "standards" that the "authorities" need to see in 6 months? Where will she go? What will we do? Is PSI right for her? What if she is ignored? Not challenged?

Aren't we suppose to LOVE and accept all people? Their abilities, disabilities, everything?!

WHAT am I to do for her?

I. NEED. HELP!


Friday, February 17, 2012

A part of their world

Wednesday we went to tour GIS preschool and watch how Lilah would do in a classroom setting.


The director of GIS told me that right now they are fully booked, and that they are booked for next year as well.

She asked me what my goals were for Lilah and I explained that I do NOT want Lilah treated "differently." I do not want Lilah "catered" to. I want Lilah to be challenged. I am aware that Lilah will need some help in areas. She cannot see like you and I , but the more we push her the farther she will go.

Lilah spent about an hour in the class. She really enjoyed being with the other children. She was a part of their snack time and circle time.

Lucky for Lilah we toured on their "party" day. Lilah got to decorate a sugar cookie with icing.
Lilah sat in the bean table next to Sydney. We know Sydney well. I have photographed Sydney and LOVE her Mom and Grandma VERY much.

Look at these two cutie pies together
One of the most ironic or coolest things was the teachers names. Two ladies: Allison and CJ.

What a God thing I thought...one of my sisters names in Allison and her son is CJ.


Lilah had a great time.


The director did tell me that if a spot opened for next year that she didn't think Lilah was ready for the 3 year old class. The class Lilah is age appropriate for. She said that she thinks Lilah would need to be in the older 2 year old class. Even though she was very nice, she shot it to me straight. They were very welcoming and would accommodate Lilah IF a spot opened...

hearing that your child isn't ready to be in the classroom that she is "age appropriate" for....stings.


This is where I am going to be HONEST.


This part of it feels almost like "dodge ball picking." See, I called the preschool where my older children attended and asked if they would have Lilah in their school. No call back. Broke my heart! I wanted Lilah to walk across that stage in her little white graduation outfit...just like the older girls did.


They didn't call us back. Why? Yes, I know why. But, it still really hurt.


Now GIS says that IF a spot opens they want her to be in a lower grade class.

I am trying SO hard to focus on all the positives. Lilah IS improving. DAILY! Lilah may make a HUGE jump by the time the classes start in September. I mean just think of all the advances she has made in the last 2-3 months. Walking, more communication, following directions, listening skills, and more.

Then the other part of me is just sad. Sad that the "high school dramatics" are being played out at 3. "Who likes me, wants me, will appreciate me for who I am...allow me to just try. Give me a chance to show you what I CAN do?"

Lilah WANTS to be a part of it all...
This is her waiting for the door to open so she could check it all out....


Even holding my finger dancing around in circles....
video

I want what ANY parent wants...their child to be included...be a part of the world, be loved, appreciated, understood, accepted, given a shot, allowed to try, challenged.

I don't want her in a special needs ONLY class. I want her with "typical" children. The harder I push her, the farther she gets. The more I ask of her, the more she does. The more I expect her to behave like "typical" children, the more she will.

When will she given these opportunities?

Ever?

Never?


This is NOT good enough for me. I will continue to fight to get her to be involved.


Proof:

I asked the Karate instructor last night if we could begin one-on-one teaching for Lilah so she can be class ready. She starts Karate lessons next week.

Who else will allow her to be part of their world?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Prayer

A few days ago I posted (ok, at the very end of a post)that I called asking if the pre-school at our church, Growing in the Son, would be willing to accept Lilah in one of the classrooms. I have been praying that, if it be God's will, that Lilah would be accepted to the school for the remainder of this year.

This may come as some news to you all that know that I homeschool my other 3 children and those that know how protective I am of my baby cub, Lilah.

Well, it has been brought to my attention by Lilah's therapists, both public and private, and the O&M that Lilah needs more interaction with her peers than just the Wednesday and Saturday she receives at regular church services. They believe she gets a "lot" of therapy at home through her siblings, but they want her to be with children her own age more.

I want what is best for Lilah.

But, there are things that I must consider that are best for Lilah if I am to "attempt" a school environment for her. First, where will she happy, comfortable, supported, encouraged, pushed, but also loved. Second, where will she shine her light the best. Third, will she be treated like other children, allowed to be "included" or with she be kept in "Special Needs" classrooms forever.

I want my child to be in a classroom with "typical" functioning children. No, not to slow them down.... quite the opposite. I want Lilah to be in a classroom where there are children of all abilities.

Today I called back to GIS and the director told me that right now they are full, BUT...there may be a spot available at the end of the month. A family may be moving due to job change.

And, Aaron just so happens to be off tomorrow...one of the only 2 days this week the director had available for us to "tour" the school and for Lilah to "try it out"with the other children.

I believe that God is opening doors for Lilah. I believe that this is part of his plan for my sweet girl.

Lilah LOVES church. She adores everyone there. She walks in happy and smiling, and leaves just as giddy. She knows she is loved for who she is. She loves the colors on the walls, the turns and hallways. She knows that we are home when we are at SCC.

So, I am coming to you all asking for prayer for God to reveal himself to us with either a spot open as a yes, or no spot and the answer is no. If there indeed is a spot made for her, that it be a smooth transition and that Lilah learn and grow from this experience. I am asking that therapy days are easily changed( HUGE request!!) I am also asking for prayer for the family who is about to make major changes in their life to a different state up north. I am asking that they find a home there quickly and that their children adjust to the changes nicely. I know that if God has this all planned that it will all work out for everyone involved, but ...prayer always helps... all of us.

So, here I stand...on Valentine's Day ...at a possible crossroads for Lilah. ( Our "routine" of therapy days, times, etc, etc will be drastically changed...but...I must TRUST in God's plan for Lilah...in ALL things.)

My "baby" is growing up...exciting and bittersweet...all rolled into one!



Monday, February 13, 2012

Joey

For over 2 years Joey was Lilah's Ga Pines representative. For more than 2 years Joey came to our home every other Friday morning. For 2 years I had a confidant, friend, idea tosser, person to vent to, buddy, motivator, someone who REALLY listened to my issues, heard my problems with "the system", gave me thoughts on how to get what I needed, encouraged me to never give up, and...


LOVED my Lilah Bird like I cannot even begin to describe to you.



The last few months without her bi-monthly trips have been more lonely than I thought. I am doing my VERY best to get to know the new PSI teachers and therapists that come in my home, but I MISS my Joey. I miss our friendship. I miss her holding and loving on Lilah. I miss her asking me how "I" was...and she meant it. She wasn't just making small talk with the Mom of her client...she really cared for me, as much as Lilah...and I felt that.

All changes in life are hard and not seeing the Babies Can't Wait family anymore is harder on "me" than I could have ever dreamed. Those ladies were "our" family. Mine...and Lilah's. We looked forward to the days when we would see those therapists. We looked forward to each moment we spent learning from them and, even at some moments, teaching them as well.

Joey,
We love you and miss you so. Its not the same without my "wheel squeaker" pushing me to squeak my tires more and more. Its not the same without seeing your face.
Thank you for loving my girl SO much. Thank you for bending over backwards to help me and Lilah. Thank you for being the friend I needed so desperately. Thank you for the advice, the help, the kindness, the words of wisdom, the chats, the laughs, the tears, and the friendship.
YOU. are VERY missed.
Um, can we schedule a day to have coffee?!!
I need a Joey hug!
Katie

Not so sure

What the BLACK box with the white exclamation is where my images "should" be, but I am working on repairing the problem...I pray!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I. LOVE. Redeye!

Never, ever would I have imaged Lilah to request that I put her patch on every morning. NEVER would I have dreamed that she would not FIGHT me tooth and nail. But, each and every morning she points to the patch box and reminds me to put one on to start the 5-hour daily patching process. I believe that the consistency of the patching and my "never give up" mentality for Lilah's vision are two key factors in this. BUT, pray, petition, and God's healing touch are what have done this work.

I have BEGGED for prayer for Lilah since the day she was born. Begged. I have pleaded with God to heal her eyes. Begged Him to clear her eyes and give her sight without surgery. Pleaded that HE would take this "cup" from her and give it to me. I have asked God time and time and time, again, to heal her eyes. All the while He was slowly working in me. He has used this "waiting room" as a time to clear MY eyes and help me to see.

Never giving up HOPE...I have constantly prayed. Even when Devarro told us that there was no hope. I prayed. Even when we were told "at best one eye", I still prayed. At first it was asking, begging, pleading, then it changed to pure belief that He would really heal her eyes. I mean, I believe it. I have a peace now that I cannot even come to describe fully. God IS healing Lilah's eyes. Daily. Minute by minute. I don't just believe this. I know it.

Remember what I just wrote, "at best one eye" was the best case scenario. Just one was all we were ever to HOPE for..."at best."

BUT


Guess what God has done....



did you see it? No? You don't see what I see? well, look closer

that little RED spot in her right, bad, worse-of-the two, never have vision from, "it will just be cosmetically there"eye has grown from the size of pin-head to now an OBVIOUS red eye.

Yes, this picture isn't the greatest. I took it with my phone this morning. BUT, I don't care about that. I don't care that no matter how much I crop it is blurry and the picture stinks. I don't even care that, as a photographer, we are to dread "red-eye." As her Mama, as her advocate, prayer warrior, pusher, and HOPEful Mama...

I. LOVE. RED EYE!

This RED is proof positive that my prayers are being heard. This RED is proof that Jesus CAN and will do all things IF we believe in HIM. If we trust Him, obey HIM, believe HIM, and come to HIM with our greatest desire with a "pure heart." He will, He can, and He does.

The patch covers her "good" eye. Her almost clear, never had a corneal transplant eye. The right eye has never had a transplant. Her right eye wasn't suppose to have any vision. Her right eye....has RED reflex now.

Do you understand the power behind those words?

My child was born BLIND. White corneas. NO red reflexes. Promised ONLY transplants, glaucoma, and blindness by a mean doctor.

GOD said NO!

God said, "Don't believe what this world says about her. Believe me."

I do. I have. I am.

Lilah has 2 RED reflexes, 0 corneal transplants...

1 BIG miracle!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Good Girl" Lilah

Lilah LOVES church.
She adores everything about it.
So much so that THIS is how she acts when we get in the car...





You smiled, didn't you?!


God is using this little angel EACH day to spread HIS goodness and shine HIS truth.

Do you hear it?
Did you see it?
Do you feel it?

Just a few words from a sweet little girl can change your mood, your outlook, your perspective.

Just a few words, giggles, and smiles can brighten your day and help you SEE Jesus' face.


Are you blessed because Lilah is in your life?

I. SURE. AM!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our trip to Atlanta...

Started off at about 8:30 AM. We all got into the car and made our way to Meridian Mark Road. A few hours later we arrived in Atlanta.

Dr. Greenberg was very impressed with how well Lilah's eyes look. He just raved about how "straight" they look. He was so pleased with how she followed the sounds he was making and the toys he placed out. She followed the lights well and he said, "I would like to get her pressures, but since we just got them in October before the surgery, I don't want to make her mad because she is tolerating all of this so well." If you recall, Lilah's pressures were NORMAL during the EUA in October. Greenberg was happy that Lilah is doing better physically.

He said, "I think we will attempt to get her pressures and more readings at the next visit in June and then we can space the visits out more...closer to a year between visits." What a blessing THAT would be on us as a family!

With Lilah's two eye conditions, increased pressures and glaucoma are her biggest risks and we must be VERY cautious of that. Yes, I pray against glaucoma...DAILY!

All six of us made our way back to the car for the 4.5 hour drive home. It was a LONG day but we were SO glad to have the good news.


Today was Lilah's BIG therapy day. On Thursdays Lilah has OT, PT, and ST from 9-12 at Backus. Lilah did AWESOME for EACH therapist. I am just SO proud of her.

This is her today after therapy...she just HAD to stop at the purple flowers outside of the mall for a feel and a look.


And THIS is what she did this morning BEFORE therapy...


Isn't God incredible?!

So, I have put a few calls in and am waiting to hear back to see if I can get Lilah into a few days a week of a pre-k program. I am praying about it and am actually waiting to hear back from Growing in the Son at SCC for the remainder of this year. I am not sure if they will accept her, or if they can accommodate her, but I feel led to see if she could learn in a classroom setting....

She LOVES our church and is already comfortable there...this may be a great way to help her learn.

I pray that they call back and if it is God's will, that they will have a spot for her, be open to have her, will teach her, and that Lilah will blossom like crazy even from just a few short months in the remaining year.


There are NO handbooks for what to do with your child, let alone your special needs child. Trial and error, prayer and petition, love and acceptance....and I pray I am making the right choices...

Time will tell. Only God holds the blueprints...I am just his servant.
His grateful servant.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Atlanta Bound Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning we will be loading the car up with our family of six and heading to Atlanta for Lilah's appointment with Dr. Greenberg. The last appointment she had was for her post-op visit. In the few months since her Strabismus Surgery on her right eye, Lilah has improved TREMENDOUSLY!

I am at peace about the appointment and even the fact that Dr. Greenberg may recommend another surgery at a later date to correct the other muscle in her right eye. My perspective has improved as much as Lilah's walking has.

I am asking for prayers for safe travels for the Sharp Six. I am asking for God to hold Lilah close as Greenberg does all of the tests. I am requesting prayers for our children to be well-behaved as we travel the 13 hour round-trip(11 hours travel+ 2 hours appointment), during the appointment, and be understanding of the situation. I am asking that this appointment will go smoothly and if it is HIS will that Lilah needs another surgery that I will continue to trust in HIS plan for her.

Below is a video I took of Lilah this morning while she was patched. I wanted you all to see what she CAN do, what God has done, and the miracle that is Lilah Sharp.


Pretty incredible right?!

What strength, power, grace, thought-process and more. All of Lilah's therapists are SO impressed with her MANY improvements.

I believe that God isn't finished with her yet( any of us for that matter). I believe HE has great plans for her to continue to shine HIS light.

Thank you for the prayers for our family. Thank you for your support and love. Thank you for never giving up HOPE on her, us, and God's promises.

Much LOVE to you all,
Katie

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Results of my Half Marathon run for Lilah

This morning as I laced my shoes up to go run my 2nd Half Marathon for Lilah, I prayed a LOT. I actually woke up at 3 and couldn't go back to sleep. I checked on Lilah, changed her diaper, put her back to sleep and began to pray, do laundry, drink coffee...prepare.


One of the things I have started to do on my races is write the names of those I would like to pray for on my left forearm. As I look at my Garmin to keep up my pace, I look at the names listed and pray for these people by name. Some have no names, but they are prayed for.
On the back of my right leg I wrote "PHIL 4:13." Because I race because God gives me strength and I want to WHOLE world to know.

I got to Tybee extra early because I wanted to have a parking spot close to the finish and I wanted to have time to mentally prepare. As I made my way up to the start line, I ran into Nicole and Andrew Valles, my old neighbors from years ago who actually live in Atlanta. What an AMAZING surpass to see them and hug their necks.

The race began great. I paced myself pretty good since I was using this run as a training run and gauge to see how I needed to improve for the Disney Princess Half in 22 days. The course looped at a few places so I was able to high five Andrew, encourage him(he's much faster than me), and stay focused. I also high fixed a few FCA(fellowship of Christian Athletes) members along the way.

The COOLEST thing happened at mile 8. I saw the little boy I had been hearing about since I got to the race. A little boy, named Mason, 9 years old was running all of the events(26.2 miles total in 2 days) At mile 8 when I saw Mason, he was OBVIOUSLY hurting. God spoke to me. I slowed my pace, asked him his name, his age, and began to tell him stories. I asked him if he knew what my leg meant. He said , "no." I said, "It means, 'I can do ALL things through HIM who gives me strength' That means that you CAN do this because God gives you the ability." Then I told him about me, my family, and Lilah. I also asked the crowd to cheer for Mason. I said, "He is 9 years old, his name is Mason, he needs encouragement." Each time I shouted at the crowd, they would shout back, "Go Mason, you can do it!" Then at mile 11 Mason said his tummy hurt. I helped him find a bush and told him to be careful. Then I looked around at the spectators and asked a man and a wife to look out for the little boy who was going potty. "Please make sure he gets back on the course. He isn't my child, but he is some body's." I told them he wasn't my child, but God told me to look after him.
So, I kept running.
Then, all of a sudden I heard, "Go Mason" and looked back...and there he was right with me again.
He told me he likes to go super fast at the end. So, at mile 12.7 he said, "Can I go fast now?" I said, "Sure. You have about .5 of a mile. Go for it." And he took off like a lightning bolt.

See, God told me to encourage Mason. So, I obeyed. How do I know if Mason doesn't know Jesus? How do I know if Mason needed me? How do I know if "I" was the one who needed Mason?

Whatever the reason God placed him in my path I am grateful. VERY.

I turned the corner and pushed as hard as I could from 12.8-13.1.
And I did it. In 2:11. 15 minutes faster than the Disney last year. Over a min/mile faster.

THAT was a GOD thing!

Before I left Tybee I ran into Heather, Lilah's Speech Therapist from Babies Cant Wait.

We chatted and then I drove them to their car a little distance away. So great to see her and Matt. I miss her SO much and wish she could still be Lilah's ST.


On the way home from the race I got emotional about everything that had happened. I ran that race for Lilah...and myself. I ran that race encouraging others. Doing what God has told me to do. I felt a little sad because I had no one at the race to cheer me on. But, that is not what matters. When I came home THIS is what I saw....
Personalized Messages from My Mom and my kids...I LOVED IT!!

They are still on my garage, So, neighbors...and HOA...just deal with it. My babies are proud of their Mama :)



Today was a great race. Today was a great run. Today was a GOD wink...over and over.

Lilah,
I did it again for you baby. I pushed harder and faster. I worked hard and prayed for you. I am still working hard. I love you SO much. I hope you know that. We did it today. We shined HIS light. I told your story over and over. Someone needed to hear it. Someone needed to know HIM today. Maybe, just maybe the name Lilah HOPE will help lead them one step closer.
Mommy

Friday, February 3, 2012

Running for Lilah

Tomorrow morning I will be lacing my shoes up VERY early and running my 2nd Half Marathon.

This race I JUST entered into because I decided I wanted to use it as a "gauge" run before I repeat the Princess Half Marathon in 3 weeks.

Each time I run a new race, I get nervous. Even though I have run that distance many times, I still get this feeling of urgency and anxiety and some fear.

When I run races I wear the same HOPE Tank top I have worn at the others. It may be freezing, but I still wear the shirt because I run for Lilah.

Tomorrow I am using the Tybee Half Marathon as a "training" run. I am praying that I can run this race with a great consistent pace, and also as a time of deep prayer.

I will have Philippians 4:13 on the back of my leg again. " I can do all things through HIM who gives me strength."

I will also have a list of names on my left arm to pray for as I run. If you read this and respond in the comment section(generous words of HOPE) with a prayer concern I will add your name to my arm.

Prayers for my strength, determination, perseverance, no injury, and a positive experience.

My last Half Marathon I completed in 2:26. I pray to finish this one faster and more confident that that one.

This will be my first long race I run alone. The first time I will be arriving alone, stretching alone, mentally preparing alone, and praying alone the entire race...BUT....God will be with me the entire 13.1 miles. As always, HE will never leave me or forsake me.

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement.
Much Love,
Katie

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Look at her GO!

As soon as my little Lilah bug decided to walk...there is nothing that can stop her. She is determined, enjoys it, and is so full of laughter and JOY when she moves independently.

Here she is this morning as I dropped her off at Therapy.( Yes, that is Lilah's gorgeous face on the wall to your left. Thanks to the incredible Christine Hall for donating those images to Backus and for choosing us for your vision)
And here she is after 3 hours of back to back therapies: Happy, confident, great posture, and rocking her petty skirt from Mic Mac's Bows( Thanks Michele)
After therapy we met Daddy for lunch ( older three were at my good friend Rachel's house so I could go to the doctor)
Lilah decided she did NOT want to sit down while she ate. So, in true "typical" toddler form...
She had to stand on the booth instead of sit. Boy, I MUST admit how much I LOVE watching her rebellious self. These "typical" moments bring me SUCH happiness!!
...and this was from last night. Watch Alex do everything to keep her walking.

Don't you just LOVE this?!

God ROCKS!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Walking like an old pro!

Yesterday Lilah got her new braces. Her third set!

A few days before she decided that crawling wasn't really as much fun as walking....

So, when she got her new braces yesterday... this happened. With her brother in the middle of Karate and her sisters cheering on happily...(less than a minute...but SO worth each and EVERY second!)



As you can tell there a few changes with her braces. An SMO on her left leg. (This is a shorter version that gives her a little stability but makes her work harder.) And an AFO on her right. (Lilah's right foot turns in more than her left and she drags her right leg a LOT . So, the AFO is much more support to help her turn her feet more midline, get more support, and walk in a narrower pattern)

This video is such great proof that our God is a miraculous God. He can do things that are never promised in this life, but always HOPEd for.

The determination in her face, the JOY, is not only contagious, it is infectious. Lilah was sent from Heaven to help us all gain perspective... and help us remember that if we BELIEVE and have HOPE.....EVERYTHING is possible.


Thank you for your MANY continuous prayers.


I. am. BLESSED. beyond measure.