17 June 2012

New Website, Same Old Blog

This blog has now moved to http://farragogrey.wordpress.com

While I love my blog here, everything else I do is at wordpress, and so in an effort to streamline, I have moved.  Come check it out though, it's awesome, like me.  ;)

08 June 2012


Last fall, right around the time the air was growing crisp and getting thinner and we were somewhere between stuffing our faces with turkey, we felt it. We were going to church every Sunday, feeling the presence of God, and knowing that something was happening. We already "know" that God has a calling for us. But at that point, we KNEW it. God wanted us to GO somewhere and do something. We went to an informational meeting, in which we were the only couple to show up, about a church planting mission. A somewhat long term mission overseas. Exciting, scary...we had absolutely no idea how on earth it could even happen. But we know that with God, not just anything is possible. These silly obstacles that seem so intimidating and impossible to us are NOTHING when God has something planned. Well, we kind of lost touch. I think that we were really onto something, that we were on the right track, but were weren't vigilant and we definitely weren't aware of what was happening. We let life get in the way in a major way, and we didn't even go to church for a good three months. We fell back into BLAH. But we have been getting back there again. And with that, comes the reason for this post. God spoke to Jon. He audibly told him, "Go." We have no specifics. We don't know if missions, or a move is in order....if God wants Jon to go do something tomorrow, or our family to make a huge life change. The only thing we know is that it is right, and that we need to pursue this, pray on it, and tell people about it. God's way will be revealed. And now I am having this sneaking suspicion that we are really at a crucial juncture. Not something that seems obvious to us, except we are under some major attack right now. Which is backfiring, because it is making me more aware of God, my need for him, our need to seek him together, and pray pray pray. I used to fly by the seat of my pants. I loved to be spontaneous and just do something. I have become someone who now finds comfort and safety in knowing what is going to happen. I don't think that is who I am, I think that is a comfort thing, we have become too comfortable here. Making rules for our lives and time is flying by without anything really happening. It is time for that to stop. I can't think of my little walls I've created as being an actual ok thing...they are obstacles to God's will. These walls are protection, but they won't really protect me from anything. They are illusion. The only real safety and protection is in Christ. Looking back from this place I am in now, I can see a theme emerging. When I graduated from high school, God told me to GO. Although I almost did, I chickened out and took the safe road. A year later, He was saying it again, but I was farther away...and couldn't hear Him clearly. I managed to make the biggst move of my life, I went to Grace University in Omaha. It is here that I made the most fulfilling relationships, had an amazing year, and learned about God in new ways. And I met Jon. We got married, and throughout our marriage, we have struggled with what to do. A little bit aimlessly we sought God in our own feeble ways, and just kind of drifted for awhile. We did a few different things. Took care of my grandparents, started school, quit school, played in a band, played in a handful of worship bands, almost finished a four year degree, had a couple babies....and started a photography business. All I know is that I have these skills inside me that are CRYING OUT to be used for God. All I want is to use them for His glory. That is the message that I get. Find a way! Jon hears the voice of God. I feel overwhelmed, totally and completely sure in a moment in time that I should be doing this. But again, no hows, no wheres. I think that in time, this post will be interesting. To see where our emotions, our hearts were in this intersection of our lives. Where we could do a thousand things, or not do anything, which I think would be worse. God is telling us to GO now and we are going to go. We are going. We are moving in the right direction, even though we don't know what direction that is. And he is going to reveal an awesome plan for us, for our family, and we are going to have an adventure for God. To live a life of meaning, and that meaning is all about His glory and other people.

07 June 2012

Into Marvelous Light

I love that song.  Into marvelous light I'm running.  Out of darkness and out of shame.  What a great song to come on while I am running the last part of my run today!

Something happens when I am running.  I can see more colors, more definition.  I can feel the breeze with every skin cell.  My mind goes into deep currents, flowing into thoughts that seem profound and I feel enlightened.  But when I get home, much of that is lost.  Like a dream.  Some of it stays, some of it stays with me deeply, and I am more whole, closer to God, and more content than I knew possible.

Running gives me energy, gives me life, and gives me a chance to have a quiet time to think and communicate with my God.  It is a truly awesome thing!

And by the way, I am on week four of Couch 2 5K.  I am just starting to run more than walk, and interval running is amazing.  I cannot wait until I can run and run and seemingly not grow weary....ok so I know I will grow weary.  But I see where I am going, I have clear goals.  I am running a 3K race in two days....I am actually doing this!  It's scary, amazing, rejuvinating....I love everything about it.  Even the soreness, the mornings when I feel like I can't, the heat, the rain, the cool sweet morning light and the new air...it feels new to me.  That is my favorite thing.

17 April 2012

An Update on E

Last year we had a caring bridge website for E.  With all his issues, we had plenty to share on a regular basis, but I stopped doing it when he seemed to be getting better.  Well, here we are, almost exactly a year after his first trip to the hospital, and I have a new update.  He hasn't been gaining weight again.  It has now been over a month with no weight gain.  He had climbed very slowly from the 3% to almost 15% in about 6 months time.  Now he is back down to 7%.  He's still 20lbs, and I am just hoping he doesn't drop below that because I had this whole ceremonious event where I threw out his crappy infant carseat and graduated him to a convertible one......lol.  It isn't unheard of for a 13 month old to not gain or even lose as they become more active.  His activity level really hasn't changed much in the past two months.  He takes a couple steps, he stands, he crawls mostly.  He plays with C.  His development seems normal, except for maybe his speech, but it's really early to tell for that.

We decided to switch GI doctors...ours were not being helpful, our appointments were three months apart and always lasted at least 2-3 hours.  But no tests were ever done to check his progress, severity of the reflux, not allergy tests...nothing.  At the very first appointment, when I told him E had MSPI, he told me he didn't believe food intolerances existed.  At that point, I didn't know enough to question what he was saying.  Instead, I was humiliated and intimidated.  At our last appointment in March, the doctor told us, word for word, that E would never grow big and strong unless he was eating soy and dairy.  I felt like he was saying that I wouldn't have a big tough football player unless I fed my kid crap.  Because, seriously, you don't need soy and dairy anyway.  E's food issues have taken our entire family on an incredible road to eating whole, healthy, and happy diets.  Happy in that I don't get bloated, I don't have indigestion or stomach pains, and we are losing weight.  It's a wonderful thing...but I digress.....(to read more about that, click here)

So anyway, we got a referral from our pedi and were able to get an appointment in just two weeks (unheard of in the GERD world), and saw the new doctor Monday.  He was wonderful!  He was kind, he listened, we actually talked to him and not some random other ten people first.  After asking us questions (and by the way, he got E's info from Children's before our appointment and knew what was going on), he decided E should have an upper endoscopy with biopsies of his esophagus, stomach, and upper intestines, and a lower flex-sigmoidoscopy to check for damage in the lower tract.  And we are scheduled for April 27th.  It's crazy how fast...after how slow.....it's just overwhelming.  In a good way.  So in the week and a half between, we are giving E little bits of dairy, soy, and wheat.  If eosinophils (cells your body releases to fight allergies) show up in the biopsies, we know his food intolerances are actually allergies.  And the reflux would then be a product of that.  Either way, that question should be answered for us.  Any course of action that would take E off the waaay too high of a dose of prevacid he needs to fight the reflux would be wonderful.  Especially since now we are only able to get the name brand, and it costs so much.  It is totally worth it to have him able to sleep and eat, but if there's a better way to control it all, especially if medication wasn't needed...wow that would be amazing.  Pipe dream?  Maybe...but who cares!  It's a good dream to have.

I know a lot of people followed his progress last year, and I am so grateful for it.  Any prayers or encouragement is so welcome.  Thank you friends!

15 April 2012

The Little Moments

A good friend mentioned to me today that she has been having a lot of little moments, where you relish the good things in life, and have this overwhelming feeling of being content.  She said it makes her more relaxed.  I thought I'd share one of these moments I had recently, and reflect on it a bit, since I could use a little relaxation these days.

Jon and I had gone on a road trip recently, about half a day's drive.  We were so tired that by the time we got to the in-laws to pick up E, it was late and we had been on the road and neither of us could barely keep our eyes open.  We still had an hour drive home, and had to stop and get C and the dogs at my mom's, get home and get the kids back to bed, and unload the car.  That feeling of having so much to do when you are so tired....it's not a good feeling.  On the interstate, Jon and I sat in the glow of the radio light and had tidbits of quiet conversation, and little E sat in his carseat, where he usually sleeps, and quietly babbled and readjusted, restless and uncomfortable.  Being jolted awake from a dead sleep can make it very hard to get back to sleep again.  So I leaned back from the passenger seat and held his hand.  And he held mine.  I felt his little body slowly relax, and the feeling of that tiny warm hand completely enclosed by my hand was overwhelming.  My heart grew that day.  The grinch has nothing on a parent, who's heart swells every time their baby makes strong eye contact, every time their child says I love you too or gives hugs and kisses freely, and every time their son, who unlike his sister loves to be reassured by touch, holds on long after your back starts cramping and the seat belt is digging into your hip. It is an amazing thing, and I am so grateful for just that little thing.

09 April 2012

I Heard It This Time

Sometimes I am just confuddled beyond belief about God.  What an enigma, and complete source of love and justice....how does it all balance into perfection?  I read this this morning: Psalms 31:7-8 -  "I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have no delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place."  He is not rejoicing because he has been rescued, brought out of his affliction.  He is rejoicing because he has not been ruined, not delivered.  Delivered?  God did not take him to his enemies and hand him over.  But instead, gave him a safe and wide road to walk on.  Sometimes that road gets pretty narrow, but God will not push you off, will not allow you to fall into the depths of despair.  You cling to him, and he will never let you go.  The wording here..."you have known the distress of my soul"...known means that God has experienced it, that he feels it and knows EXACTLY what you are going through.  And so much more.  I am just resting in this today.  Feeling complete and peaceful, being in Iowa City in the spring.  It is so pretty here.  The river, the hills, and the rolling countryside.  While the interstate drive leaves something to be desired, the beauty I experience here in my soul is well worth the drive.  Maybe it is being with an old friend that makes everything shine, but I am happy nonetheless.  And I am reflecting on his sacrifice, his utter despair and pain, and realizing that I have nothing to complain about and nothing to worry about.  I am but a sparrow, loved and adored, and completely safe and taken care of.  Even if I don't see it.  I know it to be true. 

But Who Am I Really

I never ran again.  I twisted my knee, then I got sick...and it all faded.  Maybe I will again.  Seems like there's always a reason not to, which means it is probably worth doing.  It is as big struggle for me, because I really don't enjoy it like a lot of people seem to.  I would much rather be swimming, but that costs money and takes a lot more time.  We just moved, and there is a great park and bike path half a block away.  So really...no excuses. 

But beyond that...this blog is for writing.  Yes that is a part of it, if it is a part of what I'm doing, but it isn't who I am.  I've never been a runner, and I'm not sure I ever will be.  I am all creativity.  I feel it coursing through my veins, and it makes my heart pump so hard I feel like it is going to explode a lot of the time.  Like it needs to get out, and splatter everything around me.  Touch it, make it something that is mine, and beautiful, and stark, and unique.  Something that can touch the soul of another.