Tuesday, February 21, 2012

oh, sorry. i thought that was mine.

i mean, life is happening over here in this household. it's just straight up, happening.

we called 911 for the first time on friday night because penelope was (awake but) unresponsive to our voice and as we put her in the bath to bring her temperature down, she seized. straight up, one minute of complete and utter loss of control as a mother. watching your baby get stiff and roll her eyes in the back of her head.
i didn't watch, but for 2 seconds. maybe.
i turned around and closed my eyes and i talked with the 911 man.
answering questions and fumbling through our address. no wait, that's my old address...

penelope's fever spiked too quickly and too high and she had a febrile seizure. which i guess is common. or is it ever common to watch your child seize?

ambulance came. yes, i waved them down like in the movies. in hot pink stretchy pants. who even cares, right?

we took her to the ER and she was back to normal in the waiting room. fever down. playing. chugged a bottle.
today her fever is up again so we'll go to the doctor tomorrow.
all that to say, i worry.
and i want to feel like life is normal again.
you know, where i could control things.

i find myself having to say, God this baby is yours. 
because for a minute there, i thought she was mine.  

i was telling someone the other day, God let's you have them for 2 weeks, or 2 years, or maybe 20. like i knew that in my heart. and then penelope has a seizure and i have this struggle with God. it felt awkward. like 2 people going for the last slice of pizza. oh..sorry...you go ahead. 
(comparing a human with food=awkward as well)

it's hard to love something so much and realize you can't control the outcome of their lives. or even their days. and you can't stop them from coloring on the couch. no, you can not.

and why does it make me sad that i can't control their lives? because i think i'm better than God. it's arrogance flashing a smile. i have been alive for 30 years and a mother for 5 years and i think i know better. laughable.

i laugh at you, self.

i just didn't know parenting would be like this. that it's just as much for me as it is for them. because i was that arrogant. like, i'll have some babies and teach 'em some stuff! man, it's gonna be good. they're really going to thank me when they're older. 
smoking drugs and calling me from jail.

but as it turns out, this is all a sanctification process. i need this mothering thing. i need my kids to teach me a few things.

those kids don't need me.
pshhhhh, ok let's not get crazy. they totally do need me. i mean, i feed them, for heaven's sake. i let them express their artistic hankerings on a khaki twill couch. and what not. (moment of silence for the sectional)
and i let them write indian with the A backwards.

and most of all, i hope i will mirror the Gospel for them.
that they will know i don't own them.

let them go.


  1. Ugh, we just experienced almost the same thing with our 2 1/2 month old two weeks ago. Same symptoms but it was a reaction to an immunization, not a seizure. Worst moments of my life for sure.
    I so needed to read this today. I can't seem to get it through my thick skull.

  2. It's so hard, this mothering gig. It would be so much easier if God were physically appearing to step in and care for our children. It is such a faith builder, having kids. And He loves them even more than we do.
    I hope your little peanut is feeling better!

  3. Sobbing and laughing and feeling really convicted as I read this. Thank you for sharing your heart! Praying for Penelope!

  4. so powerful. praying for your sweet babe.

  5. Thank you for this. I have such anxiety sometimes and struggle with letting go of some of the decision making. And even though it is so easy to say the ol' "Let go and let God" saying...it's a lot harder to practice what you preach.
    I so needed to hear that this morning!

  6. thanks for this. i really needed the reminder today. sadly, i think most times you express my thoughts better than i could!!! and also....i think i cried for your sectional. maybe it will come out?

  7. So deep, Jami.
    I found myself crying a little bit. I can't imagine going through that - I freak out when Ellie stubs her toe trying to walk! I'd like to think I wouldn't be mad at God if something serious ever happened, but I don't know. I'm sure I would, and I hope that with some time, I would understand. You've opened my eyes this morning.....

  8. My daughter Calli had a fiberal seizure, it was the most terrifiying experience. We were on the beach long story short it was just crazy. They too said oh no big thing. She will be fine. I watched her like a hawk.
    You have reminded me that our children are on loan. That we too have a lot to learn from them. Everyone wants to control life, then scary uncomfortable situations wouldnt happen. The truth is we grow most in those out if control moments and the next time you council someone about Gods loan policy ;) you have a compassion and understanding to know and relate.
    Sorry so long, I feel ya and you wrote it perfectly!

  9. I've been there and now pray that God is good to "our kids" and guides me to raise them wisely "for Him." They are a gift. Good reminder.

  10. Poor little Turtle! I pray her fever will go down SOON!

    It is so hard to agree that these babies ARE GODS. It's easy to say, but when push comes to shove, it really is hard. THey are such a gift and we FEEL likey they are ours. But they aren't. But God is so much better than us. Of course, we can say this...but to believe it is another thing.

    It's a refining process. But what comes from it....GOLD. Beautiful GOLD. Let the Lord work. He'll show you something beautiful!


  11. i teared up the moment i read the title of the post, and all the way through. having lost our baby daughter 26 years ago, to raising her 6 siblings ever since....the process watching them grow up and letting them go....i can so relate to your words. "it's hard to love something so much and realize you can't control the outcome of their lives. or even their days." amen.

  12. Seeing your children in distress and being absolutely powerless to help is the worst feeling in the world. My husband and I suddenly lost our 18-month-old daughter, Ryann, in May and the only thing that has seen us through has been hanging on to each other and our faith that we will see her again. We have good days and bad days, but have learned even more fully to bask in the good while we can. I'm so glad Penelope is okay and I'm so sorry your family had to experience something so terrifying. No one should have to go through that.


  13. It has been such a privilege to read your experiences on here. You write so beautifully and inspire me to try to be more faithful and a better mother. Prayers for your family and especially Penelope.

  14. ugh. so hard, the thought of letting God have your babies...my heart holds on so tight. i think even when i pray-- i know God knows i'm asking, asking, asking. for long lives. and health. and no accidents. and basically a perfectly perfect existence for us all. mostly for me, though. cuz i can't stomach the thought of anything less.

    thanks for a brilliant post...an honest struggle. you are surely not alone! you've encourage me hugely! and made me re-analyze my selfishness with the gifts God has given me. my babies:).

    and i hope your little one gets better SUPER fast. i would have completely freaked out. i feel badly that you guys had to got through that! but thank goodness she was okay. isn't that how it always is...they get better once they arrive at the emergency room:).

    have a lovely day...and thanks again, mama. xx


  15. poor little penelope. I hope she is feeling much better very soon.

    I often feel that way with my son with him not finding his words yet and he is nearly 2. I feel so out of control. Instead of just trusting in the Lord and waiting on his timing. Its a daily battle... but I guess thats when I should lean on the Lord even more.

  16. This post gave me chills. We've been there - our daughter was ten months old and I was scared out of my mind when she began seizing after her bath. That fear, my struggle with God, the call to 911... it's horrible and humbling at the same time! Sorry that you had to go through that, but I love your prayer for your children!

  17. absolutely praying for you guys and little Penelope.

    Do you ever call her Penny? I LOVE both names and had both on my "list" if we had another girl. Then I found out both names are kind of the same and that I could have 2 in 1 if only my husband would go for it. Basically lost my mind. Thank goodness we had a boy of husband would be getting some words.

    anyway, praying for you guys. thanks for blogging :)

  18. what you say is absolutely true, and i'm crying reading this because i feel exactly the same way. i know they aren't "mine", but i do my best to keep them as my own as often as i can. i wonder if i will ever grasp the heart of mary, watching your child endure ridicule and death threats for years only to watch him die a cruel death, but knowing it was for this purpose he was brought into this world. i pray i can be that kind of mom.

    and one other thing, with this and with your little lila, i keep thinking of this scripture "God's power is made perfect in your weakness, for when we're weak, He is strong". be encouraged in that, operating in his strength and your weakness is the best place to be. prayers to you, friend.

  19. Those are some deep and lovely realizations. I think all mothers need to read this post. Glad God let you have that piece of pizza today though. :)

  20. That is so scary and comforting at the same time. Scary when we realize we are not in control, but comforting when we recognize Who is. Man, I've been there so many times, humbly realizing just how hard it is to live out "giving them to God." Hope the little one gets well very soon.

  21. wow. you are an incredible woman.

    every post you write, i think that.

  22. Jami - I don't know exactly how you feel, but I know exactly how I felt when my 18 mo. old (at the time) experienced febrile seizures. I was standing on my front door step with him seizing in my arms while I screamed for anyone that, "he's dying, oh my God, he's dying" He had two within 24 hours - worst 24 hours of. my. life. A handful of seizures later and it still shakes me to my core when he starts getting a fever. Prayers come a flying out of my mouth without even knowing it. My son is now four and has not had a seizure in over a year. The praise is His.

    I hope little Penelope is feeling better very soon! xoxo

  23. Preach Sister!

    You're reading my mail today.

    How cruel that He gives us this overpowering love for these tiny humans yet refuses to let us mess them up?

    God is good.

    All. The. Time.

  24. Love. This. Post. Thanks for your transparency! Sounds exactly like me...

  25. As a mom of 3 I thought I should have it together too. But I so needed this reminder again. They are God's not mine! Thanks. I love your blog, thanks for being so real.

  26. Sorry to hear that you had such a scare! I can't imagine how hard that would be to watch. Praise God she is doing better.

  27. emerson had a febrile seizure about a year ago and it still haunts me. i had childhood epilepsy and all i could think was, NO GOD, NOT MY CHILD!! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO HIM TOO! but guess what emily? He can, and he would carry us through. for we are all his children and he has carried us all. I am sorry that you had to see your sweet little turtle go through that, but i'm so glad she is doing better! xoxo!

  28. praise jesus for keeping your little one.
    and for reminding, you are not in control.
    AND you reminding ME.
    grateful for you, praying for you.

  29. I'm so sorry about your little turtle. That had to have been heart-wrenching! :( So glad she's doing better.

    I'm wondering how you keep writing things that are in my heart but I can't put them into words...
    Your posts lately are ringing truth with my soul. Thank you.

  30. girl, you got a way with the words. hope penelope is feeling better!

    we're having a rough day around here with lots of sadness coming in from the outside. i'm hoping hard that through all of that, i'm still showing my kids grace and the Gospel. what else matters?

  31. oh baby penelope! that had to have been so scary.
    i have 2 newborn pics in the kitchen..pass by them and SOB. the love i have for my babies is so overwhelming. i don't want to let them go either. i have to pray that same prayer as you.
    it is so hard.

  32. good words, friend. good reminder.

  33. I've been through 2 Febrile Seizures with my daughter, and they are terrifying! And you're so right, there is literally nothing you can do in that moment but say "God, she's yours!"

  34. Thank you for this post. It's obvious God is working through you. As a first time mom to a 1 year old, I'll hold on tight to your words.

  35. So scary. Yes, they are His... The earth and everything in it. But why is that so hard to live out with our own sweet family? Love this post.

  36. I think I saw her with your husband's family on Sunday...were they are Houlihans for brunch? If not, she has a twin out there with a phillipeno family :)
    I hope she feels better. I cannot imagine the terror in your mind and heart during that 911 call...and all I can say about the hot pink stretch pants is, be glad you had pants on at all!

  37. jamie- just for you--- a real bad parenting moment in our house.... Hannnah has seizures ALL the time!!!! And by ALL the time i mean probably daily. But anyway thinking it would be good for my children to be around it instead of moving them to the other room. (Like most normal people do). My chilldren can and DO now have FAKE SEIZURES in public! How do you explain to an 18 month old it is not apporiate to do that in public with out teaching him that what Hannah does is ok.... Just think of Hannah bear.... I could tell you all kinds of stories... But I just tell them I am secureing a job for a councelor latter on in life... LOL!!!

  38. so true sister. I often feel a huge weight of responsibility for my children - what they eat, when they go to bed, their health... I become totally controlling. I recently told God, "These kids are yours." And He said, "Oh really? They used to be." I'm once again learning to let go.

  39. This totally brought me back to that moment five years ago as I sat staring at my non-responsive six-week-old son as we hurtled down the freeway in the back of an ambulance. He had bacterial menengitis and I was terrified out of my ever loving mind. I remember clearly reaching out and brushing his cheek and silently saying "he's yours, God. I put him in your hands. You know what's best. Please heal him." and this unearthly peace fell on me.
    I hate to say it, but I'd forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. They're not mine.

  40. yes! that tug of war - surrender...s/he's MINE!...surrender...s/he's MINE!
    and yes, to having kids teaching and growing the parents.
    i never realised just how selfish i was until i had a few kids. like, WOAH!

    love your honesty

  41. Such an eloquently written and poignant post. I've been a reader of your blog for some time now, and though I'm not a mom, I can only imagine how scary that must have been. Your openness about your life and faith is really inspiring. As a control freak, I definitely empathize with wanting to control every aspect of my life, but God has a way of always bringing us to our knees and reminding us that he knows better. I hope Penelope feels better soon. She is adorable.

  42. first- so glad Penelope is ok! how scary!

    i love this post. and so needed it right now. God really uses you Jami. He really does. thanks for the reminder. gah i LOVE your blog.

  43. So good today Jami. I have been so convicted about this. Especially, for some reason, in preparation for raising a son. Thanks for your encouragement.

  44. This is really one of my biggest struggles! I want to control my kids health and safety. Lewis had a choking episode a few weeks ago (911 was also called.. I too could not recall my address) and I had that same struggle with God. Him reminding me how out of control I am and how in control He is! They are His and I'm thankful for the gifts He gives us

  45. You make me laugh and you make me think and you make me appreciate this thing called "Motherhood" more. Thank you for being a blessing.

  46. hardest job ever, being a mom. yes it totally is...my brother had seizures whenever his fever got too high, freaked my mom out, he was her firstborn of 7!
    my daughter gets super high fevers, 103-105 ugh, but no seizures thankfully!
    hope P gets better soon.
    you are an AMAZING mom!
    take care of YOU too!

  47. Absolutely THE HARDEST thing to do as a parent. Again, you absolutely amaze me with your humility, realness, right-on-ness, and straight up WISDOM. Thanks for being you, and allowing us the privilege to see your (our) struggles and learn from them.

  48. if only it were that easy to say "okay, God, here ya go." i hold on to mine w/ tight, closed fists and teeth clenched, all the while smiling pretty at God like I'm tricking Him into thinking I'm okay w/ letting go. I just don't want to be FORCED into letting go....kinda like you were w/ her fever/seizure. My friends son had one a few weeks ago and we both said "why isn't THAT in the manual??" Oy! its a life long process i think. well written Jami Nato, well written.

  49. My son had the same thing, happened right in my arms. The most horrible thing I ever went through! I had no idea what a fibral seizure was... but they are very common! Glad everything's doing good over there, I hope she gets over this bug soon!

  50. You have the words that express the feelings in my heart. My third child, Maia, just had her second febrile seizure last week. Her fever was up over 106. My heart echos every word in this post. To God be the Glory for His perfect provision and goodness in these helpless times. He is faithful and in sovereign control.

  51. I think I could've written this very post. My daughter, Violet{18 mos.} has had very high fevers and those very same seizures and its scary. She was having bad uti's it turned out.
    Oh, I also have a Picasso wannabe in the house. Lovely little scribbles have I...on walls, pillows, vintage sofa. Yep, its awesome!! ;)
    Hope your daughter gets better...

  52. A friend shared this post with me. She thought it would be encouraging. She was right. See I've been a mom for 19 years and yesterday my son called me after being released from jail. He, a great man, who loves the Lord, had gotten drunk with some friends and gone for a drive. He hit a car and was arrested for dui and hit and run. Thank God he was not hurt and no one else was involved. But mostly, thank God that he is His son and not mine. It is the only way I've been able to get through this and it will be the only way he will be able to get through this. Thank you for reminding women that their children belong to the Lord. Mothers, I admonish you to remind your children that they belong to Him.

  53. Bravo and so well said. I wish I could save this in devotional lesson form. Prayers for your peanut...and your family.

  54. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I lost my 17 year old grandaughter this past August. She was perfectly healthy, had a seizure one day, then over seven months many more, until she went to be with God. we still don't have any answers even though she was treated at Mayo. I had to realize only God knows why those we love are taken from us and has a plan for us all. I truely pray for your daughter and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless!

  55. Bless that little bug and the parents who care for her.

  56. Beautiful. I had similar thoughts and feelings two years ago when my son, who was four at the time, had appendicitis. God is slowly refining me and my control issues through this crazy thing called parenting.

  57. Poor babe. I hope she's doing better.
    Jami you always get me where I need to be got. Woah! I mean I always say God gave me these boys to raise them up to love him while here on earth. But all to often I get on a my me mine trip.
    I know they are his..but do I really know it. Ahhhh!!
    Great post.

  58. yikes! i hope the fever goes down and stays down! praying for you!

  59. You hit the nail on the head. Parenting is so hard. And so refining. And we want to hold on to them so badly. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath and remember who they really belong to because I think I know it all too.
    Hoping for you that Penelope is better and you don't have to experience that again.

  60. I have been a mom for not quite 8 months. And this lesson so far in my life has been the hardest one for me to learn. I am SOOO sorry you had to experience her having a seizure! My little girl has a disease that causes her to have seizures and it is such a hard thing for a parent to watch. I wouldn't wish that on anyone! Sending prayers your way. Way to go mama on staying calm! (And pink is a great color of jump suit to be flagging down an ambulance!)

  61. Oh my goodness. Its crazy hearing more details to this story. Freaking SCARY! So glad P is better. Seriously though, I have to tell myself my children are not mine over and over again. I fear for Jia's life daily ;) and worry about all kinds of things for my boys. We have a huge job in nurturing them physically, emotionally and spiritually but every so often God has to remind us who they REALLY belong to. UGH! It's so hard to let them go!! At least we know they are in much more capable hands than our own.

    Loved the pizza slice analogy. ;)

    I want to "like" Ronning's comment up there.

  62. This post reminds me of the book Sacred Parenting. It is difficult to remember that the Lord loves our children infinitely more than we can imagine.

  63. That whole control thing. It's tricky, tricky tricky to get rid of. I'm working on it.

    Glad little turtle is okay!

    Miss your face.

  64. Thanks for your words, Jami. You have been given a gift that you are using in this blog.
    Hope your baby is better by now!
    I cringe as I look at that couch - have you tried spraying a little hairspray on it, then dabbing with a damp cloth? Try it on just a corner first - it may smear, but has often worked for me over the 25years of my mothering!

  65. Wow. There are times when I realize that it's truly ridiculous sometimes what God will use to teach us something. And then I'll think, "Seriously God? That was downright crazy! But yes, I finally hear you" (w/a sheepish smile)
    I'm so glad she's doing okay & I'll be praying!

    Love that people/food comparison :)

    Also, squirt a little NON-aerosol hairspray on that ink (if it was a ballpoint pen) & scrub out the stain. It's worked every time for me on cotton!


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