Thursday, July 28, 2005

Blessing me

God's been blessing me the past two days. My heart feels it, recognizes it... a sign of the thaw of the shock.

Yesterday I received two huge boxes of beautiful girl clothes from the Mother of Four Girls, Cheri Fox, back in Buffalo. Her friendship is steady. Her blessings are always dead-on, the exact thing that I need at the exact time. All these lovely clothes... makes me so pleased to have a little girl, perhaps two...

Yesterday Leslie called from Buffalo to ask some medical advice. It was like I had only been in her presence the day before. Beautiful, strong friend. Miles, yes, distance, no. She told me that she keeps up with me through my blog, but didn't want to intrude by leaving a comment. Sensitive to the heart-work of the move. Makes me hope that I never forget the (bitter)sweetness of the move, the eternal treasures that are emerging, the bonds of womanhood that I have been stumbling by for the past 6 months I am now beginning to grab onto...

Yesterday I talked with my friend here. And Sara told me that she thought I was very brave for moving here. And I could receive those words knowing that the light was coming at the tunnel's end. The angst and pain of wondering how I will survive each day has lessened, the ability to see the opportunities emerging is returning, the "hope of a future".

My beautiful children bless me with their soft, sweet skin, little eyes which peer into my soul. And my husband is always the jewel of my life with his kindness, humor, and handsome strength...

Just blessing after blessing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


A funny thing has happened since moving to Chicagoland's suburban sprawl. I worry about my kids' safety in ways I never have before. I worry about them being snatched out of our fenced-in backyard. I worry about people breaking into their second-story bedrooms, through locked windows, and taking them in the night. I worry about car-jackings when they're in their car seats and I'm loading groceries, or abductions from the cart when I'm not looking. It's a curious thing that I think is founded in my sense of relative isolation. Hamburg was a smaller community, we lived more country, and didn't even lock our doors at night. I lived on the cusp of farmland that could've swallowed my toddler up in moments without a sign. But I felt like I knew, and was known by, the town. It was hard to go anywhere and not see a familiar face. I had an unspoken feeling that people were watching out for me. Here I think they watch me, but wouldn't necessarily intervene. In my heart I know that's not the truth. Midwesterners are known for good-heartedness, and I would step up to help anyone I saw in need. It just must be a weak spot that the Enemy knows to hit.

One late night I was wandering around the house, and I noticed that my computer wasn't closed. As I shut the lid the streetlight from behind me illuminated an outline on the dining room wall. There was someone in my house, right in front of my eyes! Intruder! But before I screamed I figured out that it was actually MY shadow that the streetlight had created. I don't think I've ever been that spooked. I promptly went into the bathroom and threw up.

I spend a lot of time offering this issue up to God in prayer, not so much asking to feel safe as much as taking comfort that He is ever-present. If anything devastating were to occur, would I rest assured that He had not turned His back? Would I know beyond a doubt that His gaze had never left me or my children? His promises are true, I believe that now in the face of security, but would I be faithful to that in the face of devastation? I have begun to think about people in two groups: either my children are safer because of your existence, or they're more endangered because you're in the world. That's fearful thinking, not one that puts forward the truth of God's promises. Lord, help the Enemy to not prevail in this block in my heart. Help me to surrender my children to you everyday, every moment, and know fully that you are the ultimate protector.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I DID IT! Have my ACLS card! Not bad for a SAHM. Thank you to those of you who prayed and encouraged me. Endless thanks to my awesome, capable husband who took care of my little ones while I did a 12-hour day away. The house was so peaceful and pleasant when I arrived home. Thank you to Charlotte who gave me loads of free hours to study while she filled my house with the happy laughter of my children playing and having fun. I feel like a million bucks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Back to the Books

I'm spending the rest of this week studying my ACLS Provider Manual. I have about 150 pages to go. Saturday I'm taking an all day course to receive my ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification. It's the next step above CPR, intended to use while coding a patient. I've worked in ICUs all of these years, but was never thought to need it bad enough to send for training. I anticipate returning to work a few days a month around Christmas, so I wanted to have the ACLS cert. under my belt. I found a company who teaches it, paid for it myself, and am preparing to perform it. A wee bit nervous...

I was telling Matt last night that the vocabulary alone takes me back to the days when I had a career. Automaticity. Adrenergic agent. Laryngoscopy. Ah, Latin. Words that I haven't heard in forever, it seems. I love the medical terms that concisely describe a situation. One big word is sometimes worth a whole paragraph. But the deluge of words taxes my mental power. By the end of my readings I'm struggling to remember what CPR stands for. LOL

So I hope to report later that I received my ACLS without difficulty. It's a matter of professional pride at this time. I've toyed with going back to medical school... then we moved from Boston to Buffalo. I flirted with going back for a graduate degree as Nurse Practitioner... and then I started having babies. This small step is the most I can currently do to prove to myself that I'm still a good nurse with brain-power to boot. I know I'm going to need that confidence when I have to restart my career again after almost a year off in an entirely new health system and state.

This evening I am looking forward to welcoming Aunt Lo (Laura Goble) and her entourage (mom Louise and friend Amber) into our home. Lo is starting her graduate degree at Wheaton. She was my husband's administrative assistant while we lived in Buffalo, though she's actually more like family. I can't wait!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Lady Liberty stands Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Sorry for the silence. Last week I was working hard at keeping the wheels on the household as Matt was away for some recuperation from Monday to Friday. Thankfully my best babysitter from Buffalo timed her trip out here for a visit to overlap with his absence, which was to only way I survived it. THANK YOU, RACHE!! It's cute, Rache (pronounced Ray-chee) is not her real name, it's Rachel. Nor has that ever been an acceptable nick-name either, she tells me, until our family adopted it for her. But it's the only name that folks here in Chicago refer to her by. "Where's Rache?" "Did Rache come out to visit?" She's a great sport.

Matt came home looking refreshed and a bit renewed. We'd had long discussions about how to best get a vacation this year, and concluded that 1) he needed it more since his job requires a clear head, and 2) he wasn't going to get it with the three of us in tow. So we split up. I'm weary in a way that even time on vacation will not correct. Pregnancy takes it's toll, that's for sure, especially 3 in 3 years. I feel like I can go a bit longer without absolutely frying...

Next week I enter my third trimester. Baby is kicking and turning, nausea is only a problem in the afternoon, and a little Zofran corrects it. My due date is October 18th, two days after Izak's third birthday. I bet I'll go end of September, early October.

Our neighbor has started driving his Harley motorcycle to work every morning. The problem is that when he starts it, Izak automatically wakes up. So rising times have been between 530 and 6a again. Poor kid. And yes, poor me! Most mornings he awakens so loudly that it's poor Bibby too. Alas... dear God, please bring snow! Liberty is down to one nap, and Z has mostly dropped his, which isn't a big deal when rising is at 7a. But when it's so early, we're all off a bit. Today he's finally napping, and was kind enough to coordinate it with Libby and myself. Just a few precious minutes of quiet. That's my vacation!

I've noticed a funny thing since moving and becoming pregnant. Probably at least five times, people find out about our third baby on the way and say gingerly, "Congratulations or condolences?" Why can't anyone fathom that this might be a very intentionally-timed spacing of children? Why do people assume it's a mistake? Can anyone else out there see how important it is for us to stabilize our household and get the whole pack moving forward by generating the next baby now rather than later? Being a nurse I specialize in caregiving, and having 3 3 and under really works with my strengths. Diaper changes, line 'em up and let's go. Lunchtime, lock them in their seat and let's start dishing. It's kind of like rounding on an assignment of patients on a hospital floor. Be organized, have a plan, and execute that plan to the best of your ability. There are precious few people who have been genuinely encouraging. For the most part people think we're nuts. But my little brood will be sleeping through the night together sooner, able to ride the rollercoaster rides sooner, be potty trained in a shorter span of time, and big enough to carry their own backpacks when we hike sooner. In essence, the Furrs get to fun times together sooner by packing the kids together. This has always been the plan, and I feel God has been directing in the plan since the beginning. Hard work? Of course. Any type of spacing is. But intentional? You bet.

I have a lot more thoughts about adding a third baby to our family. I'll share it another time.

Need to go roll the boy out before he naps the day away and parties all night... and then gets up early again.


Monday, July 04, 2005

I Love July Fourth!

I am a closeted patriot. It seems as I get older, the country becomes more divided, rhetoric becomes more divisive, and very few people are found weeping out of thankfulness when the national anthem is played (I generally fall in that last camp year-round.). July Fourth gives us permission to actually admit that there's a remote possibility that America may be okay, if just for today. As I've said in the past, I am aware that America is not perfect, nor is she God's favorite. But she has been blessed by His hand. There are people that I've known that find great joy in beating up each administration as they lead, partisan and bitter. To this day I'm still trying to find my own response to certain administrations' weaknesses, but it doesn't mean that I throw away my love of this nation when man fails. I have to work really hard to think about political issues, maybe I fall short in reaching "proper" conclusions. I do see the subtle ways that the media seeks to destroy patriotic hearts like mine, but just because the country's occasionally (painfully) on the wrong side of the issues doesn't diminish my appreciativeness.

I tried to enlist in the service twice in high school and once during college. Unfortunately I have asthma that cannot be lied about. Five minutes in basic training and I'd be dead meat, my childhood physician told me as much, not to mention I would want to be healthy and strong in every way to serve. I have a deep admiration for men and women in uniform. I love to listen to stories from people who have been on tour during war-time. In high school I was adopted by the local vets as a bugler for their funerals and memorial services. Many times I'd be sitting in class and an elderly man in khakis and badges would peek in the door and motion me to come with him. Memorial day was a long morning full of short services all over Bay County. Between services the men and women liked to stop by a bar for a cold drink, and that's where the stories would unfold. Fighter pilots, medics, sailors, nurses would recount tale after tale for me about what they experienced. Some still cried when they talked, though well into their 70's. Some got a far away stare, others laughed nervously and sucked on their cigarettes. That was the age that I really began to grasp what had been given for my freedom. And it grew within me a thankful, humbled heart.

I hope to pass my patriotism on to my children. It may take some doing because I'm not really sure Matt and I see completely eye-to-eye on this. Can you be a true Christ-follower and be deeply patriotic? I would think that there are lessons about sacrifice and freedom that Christ embodied that would serve to undergird a love of America without eclipsing the gospel. Do I want automaton children that never question the government or the leaders? No, but I am committed to raising kids who are respectful, and I think many lessons of gratitude come from the men and women who gave, and continue to give us freedom. If your an armchair general or a wanna-be politician, don't waste your breath on me. Next to my thankfulness for the freedom I find in Christ is my love of my country. To spit in the face of a country's sacrifice... well, I can't even finish the sentence.

Liberty's namesake speaks to two of my favorite realities: the freedom of life we enjoy in a great country, and the everlasting, life-saving liberation of the soul.