Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thankfulness and Fear

I think it's so easy to focus on the bad or hard things and pray for those, and forget or neglect to say thanks for the good things or little blessings God gives. It always makes me sad when I realized I've done that. Two days ago (I think...the days really run together here in the hospital) I went to sleep on the couch in Danny's room perfectly happy. Danny's parents had brought some clean clothes and we were out of the ICU and back into a room with a shower...So, all in the same day, I had a shower, Gardenia flavored body wash and lotion, a comfy couch (almost), and a sleeping husband. I went to sleep more peacefully than I had in a long time. It was wonderful and I am so thankful for how the Lord knows each and every need we have and not only does He love to meet them, but He is faithful to do so as well.

I'm so thankful for how well Danny is recovering...he is extremely tired and weak still, but the staff still says he is doing amazingly well so we believe them! When I look at how many hits we've had on this blog I am completely humbled and overwhelmed. If even a tiny fraction of those people who are reading this pray, it's still unbelievable. All too often I underestimate what God can do and what can be accomplished when God's people are faithful to pray and then have enough faith to obey Him. There's just not a limit to God's love for us and his goodness. I think about how much I love Danny and the kids and just can't fathom a love stronger than that. Yet, the kind of love people feel is just a drop in the bucket compared to the fullness and deepness of God's love. So if we know He is faithful and true to His word and the promises He gives us, and we have a little glimpse of His love, then how can we not trust Him with every need, desire, hope, fear, joy, praise, etc...

This is a (true) story I think about all the time a pastor I know and love told us once in church after Hurricane Katrina. There was a group of people who were in the parsonage next to their church. In this group was the pastor and his wife I believe, but also some other church members who had a strong faith in the Lord. The flood waters began to rise in the house until eventually the group was trapped in the attic. They were trying to make a hole through the roof for escape. There was one lady who, despite having a strong relationship with the Lord, started getting out of control with her fear--basically she just freaked out. The other people in the group began singing praise songs--you know, putting into action praising God even through trials--and from what I remember, helped the woman relax a bit. That's not really the point. The point that I think about so much is what kind of person am I? Am I one who freaks out in hard times and basically forgets about blindly trusting the Lord? Or, am I one who raises my hands in praise to the Lord regardless of how scary things are. That's hard...if I'm honest then I can say I'm some of both. People easily forget how much we need the Lord and unfortunately it often takes a real crisis to remind us of our need for Him. I want to be a person whose automatic response to trial or fear or pain or whatever is to raise my hands and sing praises to the Lord. The bottom line is that God is worthy of our praise regardless of the situation in our lives. He IS worthy...I know well the burden and responsibility I have in setting the tone in my home. My attitude and actions can make my home a happy feeling place, or a miserable one. If I live my life in such a way that praises the Lord regardless...then the mood in my home will be pleasant!!

So, this is hard stuff...Danny's hooked up to 2 pretty large batteries right now, and later today he will switch over to AC power. I don't care how knowledgeable or trained we are, that's still scary! He has a hole in his abdomen that I am responsible for properly cleaning with a sterile technique daily because if not properly cared for, infection can follow that drive line (power cord) straight to his heart. Again, that's scary no matter how prepared I am. Being away from the hospital where immediate emergency care can be administered is scary. The thought of living without Danny literally makes me nauseated...but still...I have a choice here. I could easily be stressed out and worried OR I can choose to give all that stress and worry right over to the Lord and rest in His faithfulness and love. It's just a choice. I want to teach Maggie and Charlie that by example. I don't want the spiritual aspect of this experience to be wasted for any of us. God uses hard things to teach us...He uses things that aren't necessarily hard too, it's just that we don't typically stop to learn the lessons when things are going smoothly.

Father God please help us to learn from you and grow closer to you through this experience. Make us teachable and moldable.
Create in me a clean heart, O God
 And renew a right spirit within me
As the deer panteth oer the water
so my soul longeth after thee.
You alone are my heart's desire
and I long to worship thee.
You alone are my strength my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart's desire
and I long to worship you.
These are some really neat pictures, but they may not be for those who get grossed out with medical stuff!!

Danny's so tired after he had to learn how to bathe (wash cloth bath) and dress himself. That process took almost 2 hours...I'd be tired too I think!

This is an LVAD pump... called a HeartMate II
Danny said it was really weird to hold a pump like the one attached to his heart.

This is the driveline portal. The driveline is the white cord that runs from the pump that's attached to his heart to the controller (computer) that he carries all the time. The driveline hole is what I will do sterile dressing changes on daily. The other tube is a chest tube. It's there since surgery to allow excess fluid to drain out of the heart area. The square to the right is where the other chest tube was pulled out the other day.

Notice the blood clots in the chest tube. What I found interesting is that even with those clots, that tube always drained more than the other one!

Looking good and clean!!

Remember the blood clots in the chest tube?? This is a blood clot that came out of his chest after the chest tube was pulled (end of this clot was stuck to end of tube). The surgeon said "OK, here comes the snake" and I had no idea what to expect. No wonder it looked clogged on the end!! I know that may seem gross...the kids would be seriously grossed out, but I think it's really amazing!! I've never seen a blood clot that looks like a snake.

Thanks for your support and prayers...It's so encouraging!!



  1. He reminds me so much of Grandpa Sauer in that last picture (facial features & determined expression, not saying he looks old :P)! Love you all & will keep praying :).

  2. I think he looks like Grandpa too...especially from the back while wearing khaki pants. Their ears are the same! :) tks

  3. hi. im a nursing student from singapore. I fall upon your blog when google on the internet. I saw your pictures post LVAD insertion. Can I ask for your permission to use your picture? strictly for education purpose. To share with my classmates on LVAD. I pray for your good health and never give up.... Thank you. Hope you can get back to me.