Sunday, May 11, 2014


I've been trying to get back into running because it is hard to beat the fact that it's free, you can walk out of your door and be exercising (versus having to drive to the gym and be tied to specific times that they offer classes), and above all it provides precious quiet time to spend with the Lord, either praying or listening to a sermon.  It seems like every sermon that I've heard on my runs lately, as well as the lessons that I've taught through during children's ministry at church, relate to suffering.  We've learned a good bit about suffering/trials over the past 2 years and one thing I'm certain about is that our new "normal" consists of varying degrees of crazy (with joy and pain sweetly sprinkled throughout:-).  There is no such thing as "comfortable" in the Ross Family anymore because we have seen first hand how life can change in the blink of an eye, which has served as an invaluable lesson as to how to prepare for the next trial and how to treasure and celebrate every moment in-between .  We have learned to lean into Christ when life is overwhelming and even unbearable (choose to trust not doubt) and in preparation for the next level of crazy (trial) we must do frequent heart checks to make sure that we aren't placing greater value in anything over Christ (from our kids health, possessions, profession, hobbies, the opinion of others, etc).  We've learned (and continue to learn) that God, through Paul (in the bible), provides priceless insight in that - the only way to experience true freedom and joy in all circumstances (especially the crazy), we must count everything as loss compared to the gain found in knowing Christ intimately and spending eternity wit Him.  I guess the reason this is on my heart is because Grace has a cardiology appointment on Monday and my natural reaction anytime we have a big appointment coming up is to fear that, while Grace may look well on the outside, things may not be well on the inside.  My flesh sees Abigail hustling like nobodies business on the soccer field and then being winded at the end of the half, I have to beg God for perspective because my mind immediately goes to fearing that something is wrong with her heart, rather than considering that she just ran her booty off and has earned the right to be winded.  Andrew is obviously prone to injuring himself (often times resulting in stitches or staples) and Grace... is Grace, so every time David calls me at a random time of the day, I fear that he's going to tell me that Andrew has seriously hurt himself or that he's headed to the hospital with Grace because she isn't doing well.  It is a conscious daily choice to (in God's strength) make war with the temptation to doubt or fear the "what if's" and not make my kiddos health and safety an idol.  Let go and let God!  Thanks for sticking with me thus far...  All that being said, will you please pray for nothing but good news at Grace's cardiology appointment tomorrow (Monday)?  Grace's weight gain has slowed down the past couple of months, so we are praying that it's not for heart reasons, but instead the result of the fact that she's probably burning a whole lot more calories lately, since she's always on the move and learning new skills.  Also, Grace had an endocrinology appointment this past week and we talked to her liver doctor because her TSH (she has hypothyroidism) and ALT (a liver enzyme) were high, so they want us to retest to make sure that the numbers are correct before adjusting her medication, etc.  Will you please pray that when they recheck her labs, everything is back within normal range?  THANK YOU, SWEET VILLAGE!!!

Here are a few exciting updates from last week...

This little girl has started pulling up!

At 20 months, Grace is playing the same "oh no, I lost it" game that Abby use to play when she was 18 months old (minus all of the talking that Abby did when she use to play that game, but Grace sure gets her point across with her signs and expressions :-).  
Grace will hide what ever is close by...  in this case it was some of Andrew's pj's (she thought they were Abby's, that's why she is saying "tither, tither, tither!!!").

Unfortunately, I don't have a video of this one, but Grace's PT has learned that trying to motivate her with this dancing and singing duck that we have may not be the best strategy because the second she hears the music she stops what she's doing to dance until the song is over.  It's hilarious!  She is obviously meant to be a Ross because we can never pass up a good dance party.

David posted this picture of Grace on Facebook (keep in mind he hardly ever posts anything, especially a picture on Facebook).  I think this was his way to try to put his stake in the ground that Grace is a Cubs fan first.  I have this love for all things Boston as of the past year and a half, which unfortunately for David includes the Red Sox (after all they won the World Series while David and Grace were there).  For the sake of my marriage though, I'm working hard to remain loyal to the Cubs and I'm glad that Grace is doing her part to make David feel secure in our allegiance :-). 

Andrew had his last Pre School Mother's Day Picnic!  I can't believe that he's going into kindergarten!  LOVE THIS BOY!!!

And... I can't believe that this little sweetheart is going to be 7 years old in less than two weeks!

Abby's soccer team tied this week.  She had one assist, and played some serious defense.  So proud of her and the whole Bumblebee team!

I had a simple and blessed Mother's Day today.  We went to church, watched a movie, and then went on our first long family bike ride.  Nothing fancy, just a bike ride, but it was some sweet to this momma for some reason.  I was also so touched that Abby and Andrew were looking for any opportunity to bless me today, so I received endless crafts, songs, and snuggles.  I didn't get to see 2 out of 3 of my amazing Mom's today, but there is no question that they have been on my heart and in my mind all day.  Here are the pictures of my momma's that I posted on Facebook and the reason I chose these pictures is because they in some way describe these amazing woman.

My Mom, has loved me unconditionally, been my biggest cheerleader, and made (and continues to make) tremendous sacrifices to bless me (and my family).  This picture was at Disney on Ice last time she was here.  It reminds me of her heart to see me (and my family) smile, so she's always spoiling us.  In fact she sent ME a Mother's Day card with a gift.  So sweet!

My Mother-in-love has also demonstrated sacrificial love to me and our family over the past 16 years.  While it may seem random, I love this picture of her because it depicts her heart.  She is always serving behind the scenes with a smile on her face.  She does the stuff that could easily go unnoticed by others, but without her servant's heart and attention to detail, not only could the wheel fall off, but life just would't be as sweet.

My Step Mom has made me feel loved since the day that I met her.  This picture depicts how much fun she can have (especially with our kiddos).  We come to pick them up after she has been watching them and they are all in costumes playing some sort of silly game that the kids came up with.

For those that yearn to be mother's, have lost a child, have lost their mother, have a strained relationship with their mother, etc, you too have been heavy on my heart today. Please know that I've been praying for you.

Have a blessed week, sweet Village!  GRACIE STRONG (in God's strength)

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