1. I'm thankful that we booked our flights to visit my parents in Hawaii this May. Can't wait to see them! I am already feeling the aloha spirit!
2. I'm thankful that Mike found some new music for us to enjoy via a friend at church. We are loving Brooke Fraser's song Shadowfeet.
3. I'm thankful that Marcus' energy level has picked up this week finally. It took him another week to be himself again after the nasty bug he had and his teachers and therapists have noticed that the real Marcus is back in action now. Praising God for that.
4. I'm thankful that we got to meet a super encouraging family from Faith Bible Church of South County from our leader's retreat last weekend. Thank you, Anne & Ephraim, for blessing us through the short time we had together, and for the latest email you sent. A true encouragement from above.
5. I'm thankful for my marriage. Despite ourselves, God has grown us and this week, we feel more keenly our love for one another.
6. I'm thankful that the final season of Lost has started. After I write this, I'm enforcing some cuddle time with the hubster while we watch the latest episode together. Actually, it's getting late. Maybe tomorrow night.
7. I'm thankful that our casemeeting last week with Marcus' teacher and therapists went well. They each told us of his progress, where he stands in his development, and what his new goals are for the next few months. He still has profound delays in his motor skills and speech, but he's made much progress. The most encouraging part was hearing that they consider Marcus to be cognitively on track or even advanced. I guess he even scored in the 48-month level for a few of the cognitive evaluations. The thing is that Marcus knows he's a smartypants and gets cocky about it sometimes...that rascal.
8. I'm thankful for some of Marcus' new milestones.
Gross-motor-wise, he's crawling on all fours a lot, pulling to stand a lot, and cruising furniture. The best part is that he's doing all these things on his own now without us having to prompt him to do it.
In terms of his speech, he's vocalizing more and uses his "words" a lot which are mostly just vowel sounds. It gets tricky because he uses the same "word" for several things. For example, eat, cheese, and please sound the same. So do blue, juice, and you. He is continuing to learn new signs (although I have to keep up with all the new signs he wants/needs to learn) and he is really using many of them spontaneously on his own now. He does get very frustrated when he can't communicate what he wants, but we're hopeful and prayerful that he will be able to express himself adequately when God allows. I can't wait to hear what is on his heart!
His fine motor skills are really improving a lot. Right now, he is really enjoying coloring with Audrey and doing puzzles. This boy could sit and do desk stuff all day, if I let him. Several times a day, he crawls to Audrey's little table so he can sit there with her and work on his stuff. It's neat to see.
Another thing he's been doing a lot of recently is imitating. When he watches shows on TV, he wants to do what he sees the other kids doing. In one episode of his favorite show "Charlie and Lola", Lola rides her bike so of course, he wants to get on his.
Then, she plays an instrument and so he asks for his recorder.
Then, she reads a book, so he orders me to grab one for him too. (Have I told you how bossy this kid is?)
I love it all. Seeing him grow and develop (at his own pace) has been a joy. Each new milestone is a true encouragement from God.
9. I'm thankful that Marcus' twitching has lessened quite a bit ever since he recovered from his illness. He still has them, but they aren't as severe and as noticeable. We will be seeing a neurologist on Monday to ask about them. He is a doctor in San Diego who has done much research on the genetics of Joubert Syndrome, so it will be good to talk with him. We aren't too sure that he'll have the answers to Marcus' issues, but we consider it a good opportunity to be connected with him.
10. I'm most thankful this week for seeing more rotten sin in my heart. I've found that sometimes, my selfishness and ungratefulness is so dominant in my soul, that the Gospel seems so far away. I get mad that I can't have what I want, or I compare my lot to the seemingly easy and gratifying lives of others and I get bitter and discontent. I ask, "Why can't I have what that person has? Why do they get everything they want and why am I left with a gaping whole in my heart?" I convince myself that Jesus isn't better than my earthly desires and I start to concentrate on the missing puzzle piece in my life, rather than the full riches I have in Christ. But then I realize that all this ugliness is so good for me to see because it shows me that I've been forgiven of much more than I thought. The more selfishness, discontentment, and ungratefulness I see in myself, the more I marvel at God's unmerited love for me....and that melts my hardened heart. I'm thankful for that.
Psalm 73: 25,26,28
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.