Monday, September 20, 2010

Help Me to Believe

I (Kristen Baumgarten) updated our personal blog again, and decided that I would copy and past to this blog as well. There may be suggestions that I don't want to miss out on!

A new worry has plagued my mind. Well, not just one... I am also worried about GBM in the spine (once again, too much googling) but there is just one that I seriously need to address. My boys.
They are smart. They know what is going on. They understand that their dad is sick and that he has a tumor. They know that he goes to Salt Lake for medicine. They also know that sometimes people die.  Ever since Josh had his first seizure (yes, he has had another since my last post) the boys keep making comments and asking questions about if their dad is dying or going to die.
How do you answer that? I have told them that he is going to be okay, but I know that isn't good enough because all three of them keep commenting. For example:

  • Kimball was emotional tonight. He was worried that his dad would keep having seizures and that he would die before we could go on vacation. He said, "He is our very first dad, and we don't want another dad." 
  • On the day Josh had his second seizure (last Tuesday) McKay asked, "Is Dad going to die because Heavenly Father needs him like he needed Josh Graham?" (Josh Graham was a friend, our bishop, and my boss. We all loved Josh and miss him)
  • Friday after I drove Josh to work, Benson must have forgotten that we had taken Daddy to work because he was looking for him and said, "Where's Dad? Did he die?"

The truth is Josh and I both have decided that we must accept whatever the Lord's will and understand that in doing so, we will be able to find the peace and strength we need to be able to endure. Josh is better than me. I just want answers. I don't like feeling like things are up in the air. However, I KNOW that I have felt the quiet peace that comes from knowing the Lord is in charge and no matter the outcome everything will be alright.
As adults, with a life of experiences, we still struggle to understand that this life is given to us, and that we need to be okay with just letting go. So, how do you explain that to little boys? They are smart, yes. They have felt the Spirit. I know they have. I have been privileged to witness their sweet experiences. But they are still little boys. I wish that I could protect them from the harsh reality that we are facing. There are no concrete answers that we can give them. No absolutes in one direction or the other. Just that we are doing everything we can, but that ultimately it is up to Heavenly Father. Ultimately, Heavenly Father knows how their dad can best help these boys grow into righteous, stalwart, honorable men (which is something we pray for daily). Heavenly Father can work mighty miracles. He can see the big picture, and we are given so little and must extend our faith. It seems like such a hard lesson, a burden really, that doesn't seem fair to place on little boys.
So tonight, I am contemplating the best way to be honest and fair but to somehow protect them.  We have plans to discuss it for Family Home Evening. I guess I have about 16-17 hours to figure out what the Lord would have me teach them.
When I was in seminary, I had an awesome teacher. Brother Kunz wrote lots of songs and used them in his lesson plans. The songs he wrote all had stories behind them. The one going through my head tonight was about a family who had a son injured in a terrible car accident. To the best of my memory (which may not be so great, given that it is nearly 2 am), the lyrics go something like this:

Help Me to Believe
As I kneel beside his bed, I think about the blessing on his head.
They were the words my Father gave to me. Help me to believe.
I know he hears and answers prayers, when we call him he is always there.
He promised miracles would never cease. Help me to believe.
And help me to put my trust in Thee. Hear my plea, please comfort me.
And help me see-- Miracles never cease. Help me to believe.
As I see him sitting there, I know his life is in our Father's care.
In his eyes I see his faith is complete. Help me to believe.
If I knelt at Jesus feet, He could heal my son so easily.
But I know his power works through me. Help me to believe.
And help me to put my trust in Thee. Hear my plea, please comfort me.
And help me see-- Miracles never cease. Help me to believe.

SIDENOTE: Hmm... I can't remember the rest. I tried to google it to see if I could find the lyrics. (I am getting really good at googling these days.) I just found out that he is teaching at BYU-Idaho. That's awesome. It sounds like his students enjoy his style of teaching as much as I did. One of the quickest ways to invite the spirit is through music, and he did that so often in our seminary classes. Anyway, that song is from his CD, I Believe. 

Tonight, I feel like I am praying and pleading with the Lord to help me put my trust where it belongs: with Him. I am praying for comfort and faith. I am praying for the strength I need to be able to share it with my boys. I want to help them have faith, not fear. I am praying for the enabling power of the atonement to help me do something that I would not be able to do if left to my own means.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The good and the bad

I (Kristen Baumgarten) am running out of invitations to my private blog, and so I am going to try harder to update on this blog so that people know what is going on with Josh. To be honest, there really wasn't a lot going on until last Tuesday, (August 31).
Josh had a meeting to go to and was up early getting ready for it. He stepped out of the bathroom and hit the floor. He was having a seizure. There was a lot of craziness, but eventually he was taken to the ER by ambulance.
The next day we saw the nurse practitioner for Neuro-Oncology and practically had to INSIST on an MRI. Neither one of us are complacent about the situation to go a long with the suggestion to wait it out. They found that there has been tumor progression (the bad news), and possibly some cell death (the maybe good news). They decided they needed a little more time to determine what exactly was going on, and we will go back for another MRI later this month.
Please don't think that because I say this over and over that it loses it's sincerity. We HONESTLY and TRULY appreciate what everyone has done for us. We have come to draw on the strength from the prayers in our behalf on a daily basis. We still pray for blessings to be poured out upon those who have reached out their arms to support and lift us up. We recognize that those are the arms that the Lord uses to answer prayers. Those are the arms he sends as proxy to his own. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update Coming plus note about the raffle

Hey everyone! Sorry the blog has been neglected. I've noticed there are still people visiting the blog everyday and want to tell you all how wonderful your support is. I talked to Kristen Baumgarten today and she told me she'll be posting an update on here very soon.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we had to draw a new winner for the raffle necklace. I've been unable to contact the gentleman whose ticket was drawn and it is likely he was making a donation rather than buying tickets and still has no idea about the raffle in the first place. Anyway, I tried to contact him through September 1st by phone and email without any response. So following the rules we established for the raffle a new ticket was drawn on September 2nd. The winner was Michelle Allred of Vernal who was especially excited since, according to her, she NEVER wins anything! So congrats Michelle!

Just so you know the fundraisers organized have all been completed and wonderful. You can still make a donation on this website by clicking on the DONATE button in the upper right hand corner. We are so thankful for the support that has poured out from all corners of the US. If you or anyone you know are still working on a fundraiser, let us know because we would love to help and can post any information on this blog to get the word out.

THANKS! And be looking for an update coming soon.