On the Homefront
Lossing Children Update - Christmas 2009 2009-12-12 07:37:34.0

Jonathan (9) continues to enjoy life to the fullest.  He is an avid reader, and loves all the typical boy things like sports, Star Wars, and Kung Fu Panda.  He loves spending time with his best friend, Marlon, and is a great helper around the house.  He also is a wonderful brother to his two sisters and thinks the best part of homeschool is “not having to wait in carpool.”  Jonathan continues to be blessed by God with good health; he currently has no complications from his heart condition.  He even played soccer this year with a community youth league.  This boy can kick!

 

Mia (6) is a gem!  She has a heart ten times bigger than she is, and she shows it in so many ways.  She loves to give hugs and hates to say good-bye to any friends or family.  She will gladly sit in a lap and have books read to her by the stack.  Only now, she is longer content with being read to.  Now she is the one doing the reading!  Mia still loves princess stories, but is growing into a real Princess of The King.  She is a devoted follower of the Lord and is always putting things in a spiritual perspective way beyond her years.  After a relapse with her kidney disease this year, the Lord miraculously put her back into remission within 2 short weeks of starting a new experimental medicine and she is stable again.  Thank You Lord!

 

Sophie (5) is non-stop activity.  She is a precious and smart little girl who runs at 100 miles per hour no matter what she is doing.  She recently proclaimed that composer/orchestra study is her favorite part of homeschool.  Sophie is also a great helper to Mommy and Daddy around the house and continues to make progress with her sensory, speech, and anxiety/trust issues through consistent love and therapy.  For the first time in her life, she is learning that she has value and that she can assert herself.  She is usually the first to pray in the most innocent or casual situation and the first to lend a hand to help out a friend of family member.  Sophie’s big news this past year – she lost her first tooth!

Faith-Growing Season 2009-10-12 05:01:35.0

Well, life has been "on hold" and so has our website.  We started the process of moving to NC when we put our home in VA on the market in Nov 2007, and here we are still waiting to finally get settled.  We are actually enjoying the simplicity of apartment living and have renewed our lease for another 3 months while we wait to get into a home.  Our new construction in Cary is still on the market and so is our cabin in Fancy Gap.  We have assumed that once the cabin sells, we could get into the new home, but we haven't had a lot of activity on the cabin since it's such a unique place, not to mention our current agent had a heart attack/heart trouble and has been out of commission for a while.  In the meantime, Toll Brothers has told us they are actively marketing our new home to the public and are keeping our deposit.  Since all other reserves were drained long ago, it is starting to look like we should get comfortable in the apartment for a very long time. BUT GOD!!!  

After a very convicting sermon we heard at our church yesterday, I was reminded to say to the LORD, "I believe.  Please help my unbelief!"  In other words.  " I have faith.  Please give me greater faith!"  I have no doubt that this has been a season of refinement, faith-growing, and even discipline for our family.  We believe the LORD clearly told us to build this house, even while John was unemployed, but, it hasn't easily fallen into place.  The longer we go without resolution, the more it makes us tend to second-guess, doubt, long to change plans, just for closure's sake!  Makes me think of Abraham who had to wait so long for his promise of a son to be fulfilled that he and his wife Sarah came up with Plan B and Hagar had Ishmael.  I am not content with Plan B in our lives.  LORD, help us understand Your will.  We don't want to do anything apart from You!

Mia's kidney disease relapsed recently after about 6 months of no medication.  This was history repeating itself -- the same thing happened the last time we weaned her off her medication just prior to our trip to go get Jonathan.  This time, UNC quickly put her on a new medicine that would take up to 6 months to be effective, if at all.  God answered the prayers of many and put her back into remission after only 2 short weeks of being on the medicine.  Seriously a miracle!  All glory to God!!

Homeschooling is going much better than expected, again a testimony of God's faithfulness!  Will write more on that later. 

 

A Surgery "Without Event" 2008-09-10 04:09:27.0
Thank you for all your prayers for Jonathan's surgery.  We prayed that it would be "without event" and it literally was.  :-)  The doctors were unable to fix Jonathan's ear.  It ended up being "exploratory surgery" to discover that his ear bone (the stapes) that they intended to remove and replace with a prosthesis was so malformed that it was difficult to find.  This was also true of the "oval window" which is the depression under that bone where they would punch a hole to attach the prosthesis.  So we had all the emotional and physical stress of surgery with no result.  We are so disappointed, but we trust this is the Lord's plan and our hope is in Him. 

We came home from the hospital yesterday by noon and we've been recovering since then.  I (Beth) needed a "mental health day" and Jonathan finally got over the after-effects of anesthesia by dinner time.  Thank You Lord that the anesthesia didn't compromise his heart in any way!  We now have 3 weeks of recovery (limited activity) and then we will be discussing options with Jonathan's ear doctor, including the possible use of a hearing aid.  Jonathan's spirits are good and he doesn't seem to be bothered that his ear isn't fixed.  He hasn't known it any other way.  It is his mom (me) that is more bothered: we may soon have our first visible special need in our family and I think the Lord is working on my vanity and need for others' approval through this!  Thanks for praying us through this.  We love you all!

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."  -Romans 5:1-2
One Year Ago . . . & A Prayer Request 2008-09-04 11:41:17.0
Was it really only a year ago that we were at Inova Fairfax hospital getting ready for Jonathan's open heart surgery?  I look at this picture and am still amazed that he was smiling after all he'd been through.  We hardly knew him then and he has never stopped smiling since!  What a love!  Please keep him in your prayers next Tuesday September 9 as we are on to the next surgery: a stapedectomy.  We have confirmed since moving to NC that Jonathan has significant conductive hearing loss in his right ear -- probably a congenital defect unrelated to the heart.  They will remove one of his middle ear bones: the stapes (more commonly known as the stirrup) and replace it with a prosthetic piece (that looks like a Captain Hook arm) and his hearing should be permanently restored.  One overnight stay, if there are no complications -- they are bringing in a special anesthesiologist due to his special circulation/heart issues.  We pray that it will be without event -- will you join us?  Thanks so much!
A Light at the End of the Tunnel 2008-08-12 17:18:27.0
It's about time we give you the full debrief of the past 9 months of our life.  I have been putting it off because there is so much to process and share  . . . so bear with me as I think out loud about all we've experienced.

First, let me back up and give the high level overview for those of you who may not know us or are hearing this for the first time.  Our family has been making some really crazy, illogical, countercultural decisions of late.  In a nutshell:

1)  John prayerfully quit a well-paying job in Northern VA at the end of November with no other immediate prospects in sight. 

2)  We immediately put our home in Sterling, VA on the market at not such a great time to be trying to sell a house.

3)  We spent the next 6 months living under the stress of keeping a "show-ready" house with 3 young children.  On MANY occasions, we would get 10 minutes' notice for a showing right after the kids went down for naps!

4)  During this time, we took a week-long trip to the Raleigh/Durham area and heard the Lord tell us that this area is where we were to move, and, not only that, He showed us a specific new home lot in Cary we were to build on.  More details on that later.

4)  Right when we were about to give up hope and conclude that maybe the Lord didn't tell us we were moving to North Carolina, the Lord sold our house.  All glory to Him! (We had been dreaming of moving to a more affordable, family-friendly area and had been considering NC for a few years before this time).

5)  We had 3 weeks to pack up our house and move out, but where?

6)  We jumped on Craig's List and found a handful of home rentals in Cary and North Raleigh and took a trip down that weekend.  We unanimously agreed on our favorite, but would the landlord approve our rental agreement without any income?  Yes!  Thank You Lord!

7)  On May 5, we signed a sales contract to build the new home in Cary, NC.  Are you kidding me?!  They approved us with no income!  And, no we are not independently wealthy.  We are following the Lord's lead and tentatively stepping out by faith.  By sight, this is about the most stupid stress-inducing decision we could have made at this point.  But it's all in the Lord's hands, right?  (If only I could leave it there and not get an ulcer over it!  HA!)

8)  We left Northern VA on May 9.  Our new lease in Cary didn't start until the beginning of June.  The movers took away the bulk of our things and we moved to our cabin Bluebird Hill for the month.

9)  Still no job prospects and the wait lengthens: our lease start-date was delayed a week.  We move to Cary on Sunday, June 8.  (Did I mention we had to find a pediatrician in Fancy Gap on that Friday before the move and go through a battery of tests with Sophie to find out she had possible pneumonia and strep?  This meant that Jonathan was also getting strep and throwing up by the time the moving truck arrived Monday morning.  As if moving day isn't stressful enough!)

10)  We are in Cary and still no interviews or job prospects.  Week 1 goes by.  Week 2 goes by.  Week 3 . . . Lord, please?!  Week 4, 5 . . . are we going to completely drain the 401K?  Week 6 . . . maybe we made a mistake?  Lord, are we in Your will?  Did we hear you correctly?  Week 7 . . . an interview . . . and another one!  The ATM decides to tire of giving us money . . . The builder is calling us to get an employment update. . .  they say, "give us an update by Friday, August 1."

11)  The Lord's timing is perfect.  On Friday, August 1, John gets a job offer from Biocryst Pharmaceuticals in Cary to be their Director of Accounting -- Government Services.  Praise the Lord!!!  Our wait is coming to an end.  He starts his new job on August 18.

We are relieved and thankful that there will be income soon.  We were weary in the wait, the stress, the transition to a new state and yet the Lord has always been faithful to provide for our every need as He promises to.  It certainly hasn't been as easy as we had hoped.  Reflecting on our struggle, I think we get to a point in our Christian journey that we start to rely on a formula: we step out by faith; the Lord blesses quickly to affirm our decision to honor Him.  That's not what happened here.  The past 9 months have had me doubting, second-guessing, not sensing the Lord's clear will at different times, wondering how long we would be in such tiresome circumstances.  All I want is to be in Your will Lord.  Why isn't the end of this in sight?!  Your provision through John's 401K isn't exactly what I had in mind.  Where will that leave us at the end of the day?  Where is our savings, our security? 

In the end, this part of our journey has strengthened our faith and put the spotlight on areas where we place our faith in things other than God.  I can say my identity is in Christ and I trust Him for all things.  But where is my heart and attitude when the rubber meets the road?  When the security of my husband's job is gone and there are bills to pay, do I trust Him?  I wish I could say my husband survived this journey unscathed my by struggle to give up the financial reins (and occasional panic about where God had us).  What I CAN say is that I respect to an even greater degree my husband's tenacity in pursuing employment, his patience in the wait, his complete surrender to the Lord's timing and plans for our life, and, at the end of the day, I know I am a blessed woman to have John Edward Lossing as my husband.  Thank You Lord for the gift of this amazing man in my life!  I love you John!

I am signing off for now.  More processing later! :-)