Getting Away

What a joy to get away for a couple of days with just our family! Highlights were the hike that everyone kept up on:) and the laughing after 12th Night at the Shakespeare Festival. Our family is forever changed by Max’s burns. We are still finding our way to being a family now. Sam & Max don’t fight anymore. Ben is still finding out how to be friends with Max again. Abi is back to loving and pouncing on Max most anytime. Talmage & Eliza just love. Andy & I are learning to be grateful even with the disappointments. My highlight today was a Sunday nap and chance to lay down next to Max and hold his hand and talk about life at 15 and continuing to be courageous.
I choose to believe when I turn and see his skin far from perfect next to a perfect white shirt. I choose to believe when I see the graphs on his arms that were never supposed to be there, but surprised us when his bandages were first removed from the operating room. I choose to believe when I see him light & happy especially when he’s off of any pain meds for the time being & thoroughly himself! Grateful for health, for believing, for remembering…. Grateful for today.


I love Sundays.
A break from the cares of the typical day.
Today Max talked to Mason and I could tell he felt so loved as he reached out to help his little brothers and sisters and just moved quickly around the house to help prepare meals or serve. It was such a joy to be a part of. Even when he snuck away to scare his siblings it felt so good to have him just being his self and they would get scared and then just giggle together. It’s amazing how the love of one person can make such a difference and I’m so grateful for so many that show love to Max especially in the season of stretching for him.
Feels like additional surgery or surgeries will be necessary, but for today we are just grateful to be a family and be learning and growing together and hopefully becoming more of who we really are and doing more of what we came to do. That one thing is enough today:)
– Nat

God and Suffering

In an earlier post, I made the statement: I’m so thankful to a loving Father who honors us by letting us suffer.

A thoughtful reader responded:
“There is no one that could prevent me from trying to rescue my children. NO ONE. I don’t know what this means – I’m so thankful to a loving Father who honors us by letting us suffer. This statement baffles me.”

My response to her was:
“Thank you for your thoughtful question. I hope you know that I, like you, will do anything in my power to prevent my children from suffering. I’ve also learned a great deal from this talk by Kevin J. Worthen:

[To quote C.S. Lewis,] “The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach trivial meaning to the word ‘love.” Too often we confuse God’s love with human kindness. We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven—a senile benevolence who, as they say, ‘liked to see young people enjoying themselves’ and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of the day, ‘a good time was had by all.’”

But that is not God’s plan for us. He wants us to become like Him. He wants us to experience the fullness of joy He enjoys—eternal joy, not merely temporary contentedness. And He loves us enough that He will do whatever it takes for us to reach that goal, including allowing us to experience things that are difficult and soul-stretching. And He does it not because He doesn’t love us, but precisely because He does.

But even when we have to learn things from our extremities in order to fulfill God’s plan for us, His love will be there to sustain us… especially when we need His love the most. …So let us not sell God’s love short by confusing it with mere human kindness. His love is much deeper than that. (Kevin J. Worthen, “It Was as If a Blanket of Love Was Flowing Over Me”, May 2, 2013, BYU Women’s Conference)

What are your thoughts?