Friday, October 17, 2008


Yesterday was my grandson’s first birthday.

What a year it’s been.

Although we’re planning a party for him next week, of course we had to have a little family celebration on the actual day. He smeared cupcake icing all over his face like a good little boy so that his Daddy’s daddy and his Mommy’s mommy could take lots of silly pictures. Then we put him on a blanket in the back yard to open presents, which were stuffed animals he didn’t love and clothes he was bored with. After that, he got fussy. (He’s got a bad cold.)

While his aunt Sarah and his granddaddy tried to entertain him, James’ mother and I sat in the backyard swing and watched as the sun illuminated the mountains on its way out. We rocked gently in the blessedly cool twilight, letting Jay clean up the mess. Katherine was quiet, exhausted and hoarse from fighting to be understood all day. I knew she was sad about having to be an observer rather than an active participant in the proceedings. As a tear dripped out of her left eye, she whispered to me, “This isn’t how I planned it, Mom.”

No kidding.

Katherine is a planner. A MAJOR planner. As an adult, it has frustrated her that I am not. She has things mapped out a year in advance, unlike her mother, who usually flies by the seat of her pants.

I reached over and hugged her head. “I know,” I said, “But God has a plan.” It felt weak and trite coming out, as so many condoling words do. I followed it by reminding her of all the good that’s coming out of her so many people are being encouraged by her story...yada, yada, yada. “Yes, but what about James?” she asked. I understood her completely without her having to spell it out. As compassionate and caring as Katherine innately is, her love and concern for her own firstborn child trump every other consideration. I know that she is honored that God is using her circumstances in mysterious ways as a blessing for others...BUT WHAT ABOUT HER BABY???

I know how I’d feel if I were her. I’m not nearly as selfless as Katherine is. I’d probably be having a fit. I’d be screaming and crying to God, “Well, it’s great that all these people are being blessed, but does it have to be at my child’s expense??? A child needs his mother to hold his hands while he’s trying to walk! A child needs his mother to pick him up when he’s crying! A little boy needs his mother to get down on the floor and play with him! What about my baby??? Is he going to be okay with all of this? Is he going to be scarred for life?”

We looked up and saw James silhouetted against the silver sky, sitting high on the shoulders of his grandfather. “He’s doing great, Katherine,” I said. “Just look at him.” She sniffed and nodded and made the “Ouuuuh...Cute” face. “He is,” she agreed. I started carefully wiping her tears away. “They only come out of my left eye,” she reminded me. “The right one doesn’t work.” But as I leaned over, I saw a little one dangling off her right eyelashes, sparkling in the dark.


Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11)

In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1:11)

...and best of all,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


Megan Carson said...

"Miss" Kim---I read this blog regularly and keep thinking that I'll leave a comment telling you how much ya'll are on my mind and how deep my compassion and love for Katty are, but I never feel like my words can do my emotions or your situation justice. However, on this day, your post "Plans" was heavily working on my heart. It got me thinking about the planning that I do and my heart began to desire more and more only one plan...His Plan.

I've been praying for ya'll since April and especially meditating on Katty's specific requests this week. Give her a squeeze from me.

Constant love and powerful prayer!
Megan "McNeill" Carson
(Samford ZTA and Georgia Girl!)

truth4nothing said...

It's going to be OK. My husband DIED and left me to raise our 2 alone. We are flourishing, thanks be to the holy name of Jesus. He really is all you need. He will fill in the gaps. I am a witness. He is trustworthy. It may look like you can't see how, but he rewards us when we trust him. It's actually counted towards us as righteousness. James will be better for this, not worse. He will be awesome.

mollyswan said...

Your beautifully written blog reminds us that ALL PLANNING can become unravelled in a moment's yours have done since April..We who are mere strangers have had our lives touched more than you could ever know by your oupouring of words that reflects your enormous courage in the midst of such heartache..We have all been praying each day as Katherine has written us for miracles to occur with her requests..It is a privilege to be a part of this Journey towards Healing..God Bless each of you on this Fall Day...We are praying our hearts out for each of you..

Ginny Evans said...

Tears rolled from my eyes as I read your blog this morning and I am praying daily for all of you as I think half the world is!! What came to my mind is a song I love to sing and one of the phrases in it is "When you can't see HIS hand, trust HIS heart".....I know that is what all of you are doing, especially Katherine and Jay..Love and prayers.......

Lara said...

Tears are rolling down my face! I can relate to Katherine about being a planner and having everything mapped out. It got me thinking about how I need to follow God's plan for my life and trust that He is always good!
I am praying for you all and my heart aches, but at the same time I have such a peace and hope for Katherine.
Lara "Hawley" Schubert
(Samford Univ.)

Ashley said...

This last post has moved me to tears. I pray for your sweet daughter all the time - she and I are very alike. Sons the same age, she and I are the same age and have similar physical characteristics, and now I know that our personalities are also similar. I am a planner too. My heart breaks for the sorrow she feels over her sweet baby James and the plans she had for/with him, and I cannot imagine enduring the constant breaking that she is gracefully enduring. As someone on the sidelines who is being blessed by her and your testimony, I feel a strong desire and obligation to continue to pray for her healing so that she can have both - a testimony that blesses others and a vibrant, active life with her husband and son.

You have a beautiful way with words. Please continue to share your story with us all.

Rebecca said...

I've been thinking about you everyday since I learned of Katherine's AVM (just recently). I've read her own words and suddenly found myself wondering if anyone has suggested hippotherapy? That fell out of the sky into my head and I thought I'd pass it on.

Julia said...

Moms come in all different shapes and sizes, abilities and deficits. Moms can be a real mom, or an adopted mom. Some people have lots of different "moms." Some have no one to call "Mom."

The most important thing is to have a Mom who loves you and shows that love unconditionally life long. James has all that & more in Katherine, her disability is a small limitation at best considering her huge heart and her commitment to loving and caring for him.

And she has you. You are all truly blessed.

PS God is a great "Mom" too. Sometimes we think of him as a Father, but He is also able to meet needs our own "Mother" can't. God will step in and cover what needs covering. He's awesome like that.

luvnmykiddos said...

Hi Kim,
I have been a faithful follower of your blog (although I just had to get caught up on the last few :) I have wanted to comment so many times, as there are so many times I feel as though you are reading my mind. My latest baby was born last year with a severe heart condition. We have watched her fight for her life and recover from 2 open heart surgeries in her short life (she 'ironically' was born on Valentine's Day). I too can feel Katherine's pain as she asks 'What about MY baby?' SO many people have commented on how our situation has helped them and how she is being used to reach so many, but I have also asked the same question...'what about her? why does she have to suffer so others can benefit?' I, too, am a planner and her words just hit home.. I had it all planned out, I always wanted four children and when we found out we were pregnant it was just as we 'planned'. But for reasons I will probably never know this side of Heaven...God had different plans for my little girl, and our whole family for that matter. It is a long road and life is never the same, but we get through and we learn to appreciate so much more from life. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I 'envy' people who can write it all out for everyone to see:) So many times you have brought comfort in just knowing that I am not alone in my feelings. Thank you!

The B's said...

I read this blog and all the blogs andd sites that update us on Katherine, daily. My family and I have been praying from the beginning and are in awe at the miracle that God is working in Katherine. We love your blog and the honesty that you bring. You are doing just what you need to do. I was watching Oprah today and there was a Neuroanatomist on there that was speaking about her debilitating stroke. I thought her remarkable turn around might be extra encouragement and that it just might be interesting to see how she healed. She has written a book also but I'm not sure the title of it. Anyways, try to watch it (somehow) if you can.

Oh...Katherine and I were on the same hall our Freshman year (if you were wondering). Keep th updates coming and please be encouraged. We love you all.
Lacey (Martin) Branum

tatiana said...

A PLAN....


You say: 'It's impossible'
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: 'I'm too tired'
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
God says: I love you
(John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: 'I can't go on'
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: 'I can't do it'
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says: It will be worth it
(Roman 8:28 )

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: 'I can't manage'
God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: 'I'm afraid'
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: 'I feel all alone'
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
(Hebrews 13:5)

u all will prevail!

Alisa said...

My dear Kim--I'm ashamed to say, I haven't been faithfully reading your blog lately, but I do remember you and Katherine often in my prayers. I'm pregnant again. :-) So I know if I try to read I won't be able to finish b/c I'll be in tears of emotion by the 2nd sentence. LOL As a mom myself, my heart breaks for Katherine as she has to take a back seat watching sweet James grow. Someday he will understand and only love her more. Because there are many praying for him too.

I also wanted you to know that Ms. Felicia Miles is with the Lord now. She was a precious woman (she was the school sec'y where Scott used to teach). Please pray for her family--especially her boys.

truth4nothing said...

WRITE!!! I miss it.