On being forged into a warrior mom

If I could summarize our journey from Hell to HOPEISM, it would be in my faith, which I call HOPEISM. It has been my weapon of choice to get me through each battle I have had to fight in my mission to win our war called life with autism and seizures. Vaccine injury to be more specific. It would also be in committing to heart, soul, & mind the words and motto's from Forged, NDCQ, the Lone Survivor, and Levi Lusko in his book, "Through the Eyes of a Lion." I will be forever grateful to the inspiration, encouragement, and mental fortitude found through all of them collectively. Because of that, I am not allowing this tragedy of vaccine injury that has come into our lives to be an obstacle to being used by God. I am instead turning it into an opportunity to be used like never before!

This blog is dedicated to Brandon. His life has been forged by difficulty, obstacles, & all too often because of seizures - pain, blood, broken teeth, & broken bones. Yet through all that he has shown such fortitude. The bravery, strength, & resilience of a true warrior. He taught me that having strength through adversity means that even if you lose every battle, like the Lone Survivor, you never quit fighting until you win the war. That in the words of "NDCQ," you keep "dreaming," keep "daring," & keep "doing." As Team Guppy has yet to be able to escape vaccine injury, we have no choice but to as Levi Lusko writes, "Run toward the Roar." God has indeed given us such incredible power in enduring such impossible pain.

Some days the HOPEISM in that simply takes my breath away.

February 1, 2010

A Valentine's Day Devotional

A Valentine's Day
Devotional Message from Michelle.....

For someone who doesn't like to cook - I have found myself lately watching a cooking show that comes on Saturday night. Todd is usually at the church with his prayer group, Brandon is in bed, and Matt is usually doing a school project on his computer while tying to be the next Bill Gates of power point presentations. And me, it's just me, the dog, and Iron Chef America. Each week a top chef challenges other top chef's in the nation for the title of "Iron Chef America." He, and whoever he challenges, - has one hour to make a 5 course or more meal. And these aren't your everyday meals. On one show the chef used liquid nitrogen, a drill, edible photo copy paper with the chef's picture on it, and cooking utensils that looked like they belonged in the space shuttle and not the kitchen!

The names of the dishes they make, I can't pronounce. The food they cook - I can't recognize. One hour to do that! One hour! It takes me one hour just to fix Brandon's dinner - and longer than that to even find a way to make "Sweet and Sour Chicken" taste like Sweet & Sour Chicken - without the "sweet" or "sour" parts due to his restricted diet!

Apparantely the element of surprise on the show is that for whatever meal they have planned ahead to cook - the host of the show brings out a "secret ingredient" that has to be included in their preparations - in both the savory (filling/main course) and sweet (dessert) dishes. It makes for a ridiculously over-dramatic one-hour cook-off where the host hypes up, "What will they do with that secret ingredient?" Will it make their fondue falter? Will it cause the crepe to collapse?

Who cares!?!

To me, a real Iron Chef is a mom who can make Papa John's pizza taste like Papa John's pizza to my child with the special diet, without using gluten (wheat/flour) or casein (milk/cheese)....

(And I'd like to meet her....hire her actually...)


The secret ingredient for this week's show was chocolate - in honor of Valentine's Day.

To me, chocolate is chocolate. But apparantely to those who have the time or inclination to care about such things - and especially to those on that show - chocolate is much more technical and complicated than that.

Before the show, I only knew of two kinds of chocolate: Hershey's and Nestles. But, I was duly enlightened that night. There's bittersweet chocolate that apparantely by the look on the host's face after he took a bite - is rather bitter. There's dark chocolate and then there's white chocolate, which has no chocolate in it at all, which begs the questions, "So why call it chocolate?" and "If it's not chocolate, what's it doing as a secret ingredient that's supposed to be chocolate?" And then there's semi-sweet chocolate and the exact ratios of cream and sugar and cocoa butter that need to be in place for it to even earn the name of chocolate......

(So, if semi-sweet chocolate the kind we all know and love - then is there such a thing as sweet chocolate? Is that something so delectable that we can only get it in heaven?)

The host went on and on about chocolate and how challenging it would be to use chocolate in the main dishes - how complicated and tricky that would be. Hello? Chocolate IS a main dish! Just unwrap the candy bar and slap it on the plate - and bon appetite'!

But something the host said about chocolate really impressed on me to write this and share it with you.

He said, "Life is like eating chocolate - you have to taste the bitter in order to more fully appreciate the sweet."

Being humbled by the profound statement from a goofy guy on a cable food show - I had to really stop and think about that.

Isn't that just so appropriate in light of the many challenges we or our children who have disabilities - have to face? Some situations are just plain bitter! Yuk! Bleck! Much like the look on the host's face after biting into that piece of bittersweet chocolate.

But until we have tasted the bitter-ness of any kind of situation or defeat - we can never fully appreciate just how sweet victory is.

For us, we've had to choke down our share of one pound bittersweet chocolate bars... But in looking back, even the tiniest "chocolate chip" of victory made those challenges worthwhile. Those itty bitty chocolate chip miracles meant so much more to us in light of the bitterness of what we've gone through.

When things don't go as planned - when life throws those secret ingredients at us that are so not a part of the menu we planned -- we need to not panic! We need to turn to our Heavenly Host and fight back with our own secret weapon - God, and His word, His faithfulness, and his everlasting love for us.

When those bitter secret ingredients that we didn't expect or plan for happen, - will you let them cause your faith to falter? Will you let them pelter your prayer life because you're wondering, "What's the purpose?" Will you lose your love for the Lord because of what you're going through?

I hope not.

And I hope that on this Valentine's Day - you reflect simply on God's Love for YOU. And those chocolate chip miracles he HAS done for you and WILL do for you - out of his everlasting LOVE for you!

On Valentine's Day, it shouldn't matter if you don't have the perfect spouse, child, romantic dinner, or roses...

What should matter - is that you truly know and are saved by God's perfect and everlasting love for you.

If you do know that - celebrate that this Valentine's Day!

Whether you're eating chocolates at home this Valentine's Day - or having chocolate mousse for dessert at a restaurant, ponder Psalm 34:8, and....

"Taste... and see that the Lord is good."

And loving,

and faithful,

and savory,

and sweet.

Happy Valentines Day
Michelle M. Guppy

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