A – Traditional Family http://atraditionalfamily.com Leveraging family adversity through Christ to achieve God's greatness. Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:35:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Open-Heart Surgery Date Has Been Set http://atraditionalfamily.com/open-heart-surgery-date-set/ Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:35:32 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=373 Let’s just say, life has been a bit out of whack over the past 2 weeks. I know there are many who have been waiting for an update on Noah’s status. Stephanie suggested that I send out an update. So here we go. A week ago, we were given a date for Noah’s open-heart surgery. ...

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Let’s just say, life has been a bit out of whack over the past 2 weeks. I know there are many who have been waiting for an update on Noah’s status. Stephanie suggested that I send out an update. So here we go.

A week ago, we were given a date for Noah’s open-heart surgery.

March 11th is Noah’s Open-Heart Surgery Date

On March 11th, we will head into Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for Noah’s surgery. What that fully entails in exact detail, we do not know right now. As the date gets closer, we will learn of the exact timing. We will make sure that we inform everyone of the times so we can send out the flurry of prayers for Noah. Stay tuned in for that.

How Is Noah Doing?

Noah still fought through his sickness a bit after returning from the hospital for a few days. He came home with oxygen and we had to learn not to trip over the hose running through the house, but that hose is gone now. He no longer needs oxygen.

Noah has been doing great over the past few days. He is cleared from the sickness and only minimal congestion. One of the other deals about Noah was he was vomiting a ton. That has also settle down. Praise God because this kid needs to gain weight.

When we were in the hospital, Noah weighed in at 11 lbs. 11 oz. The doctors want him at 13 lbs. for the surgery. In comparison, Stephen, our middle son was 19 lbs. at 6 months old. Noah will be 6 months old at the time of surgery. Because of Noah’s two holes in his heart, it has slowed down his weight gain. So we are praying for him to chunk up.

Well, this last week, Noah weighed in at 12 lbs. 7 oz. That is just one week out of the hospital. We do not have a feeding tube, but one very determined Mommy who is experienced with putting on weight with our babies. This was a big battle we had with Fayth before her open-heart surgery. Familiar grounds.Noah Open-Heart Surgery Date

Anticipating the Arrival of Brother and Sister

These past 2 weeks have been really quiet in the Buckley household. Anyone who really knows our family, knows how abnormal this is. As Fayth and Stephen have been in Arizona for the past 2 weeks, we have been able to focus a lot of time on Noah.

But we greatly miss our two other kids. This is not part of the journey we planned on. Shoot, we did not plan on any of this.

Well, this coming Saturday Fayth and Stephen will be flying back home. Even better, it will be on Stephen’s 2nd birthday. Super excited for this Valentine’s Day Birthday.

Thank You For Your Support

When we first went into the hospital a few weeks ago, some friends of our started a GoFundMe campaign for us. We have been beyond blessed during this adventure. We saw people coming out from all over the nation to help raise over $10,000 in just a few days. We cannot begin to explain how much this means to us. We still do not have any idea how great this will impact us with medical bills, but we have a pretty good idea. And this support will help us out tremendously.

What is even more encouraging is who came together to financially support us. In an amazing way, a buddy and teammate of mine from Newbury Park High School sent out a challenge to have Newbury Park High School support us. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Matt Amundson took the lead and gathered so many in this adventure. We are so humbled and blessed by this act of love from Matt and all the others from Newbury Park.

In addition, we saw family members and friends from all over support us. It has truly been so amazing. We love you all. Thank you.

Other Family Health Matters

In a spin of events this past week, we got a message from my brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Brigett, that their youngest was having some issues with her liver. Journey Fayth is 3 months younger than Noah and is now at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for testing.Journey Fayth

Our hearts go out to Journey and Jason, Brigett, and the rest of their kids during this time. They do not have all their answers yet, but should have more understanding Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.

For those who do not know my brother and his family, can you please pray for Journey? Pray for healing for our sweet little niece. Also pray for the peace and rest for Jason and Brigett. If you would like to follow more of their story, you can go here on their Facebook group.

What To Pray For

As you can see, our prayer list has been added to. Can I ask that you pray for Noah and his heart? Please pray for the preparation for open-heart surgery and his recovery. Please pray for his weight gain before the surgery. The heavier and stronger he is the greater recovery he will have.

Can you also pray for Fayth and Stephen? While they have been in Arizona, they both have had their fights with sickness. Right now Stephen has two ear infections. We really need our kids to be healthy by the time they get back to Utah on Saturday. Noah cannot get sick again.

Lastly, please pray for our niece Journey Fayth. Please pray for answers and the healing of her liver. We are praying for this sweet little angel to be filled with God’s grace and love during their stay in the hospital. Love you guys Jason and Brigett, Journey, and the rest of your kids.

Where We Go From Here?

I am not sure. We are traveling down a path that is somewhat familiar in open-heart surgery, but it is a new beast. With Fayth, it was a solo ride with family living around us. This time we are in Utah while family is in Arizona and California. Also, we have 2 more kids during this journey.

We are thankful for God’s peace during the past few weeks. While we do not all that the future holds, we know who holds it. Stephanie and I have had an interesting journey with Jesus during this time. I can share more about this later, but it is has been very interesting and good.

God is at work here. We are resting in His presence, His understanding, and hold on for this wild ride ahead.

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Tough Decisions NOT Desired http://atraditionalfamily.com/tough-decisions-desired/ Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:47:52 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=362 Follow Noah’s Journey Here. Last week in the midst of our stay in the PICU, Stephanie and I had many tough conversations. Discussions involving the short-term and long-term decisions that will help Noah and our family. With the first battle of RSV and pneumonia coming to a close, we are now stepping into the next ...

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UPDATE: Yesterday, Sunday, we were able to bring Noah home from the hospital. This gave Stephanie one full day before we sent Stephen and Fayth to Arizona for nearly 3 weeks. We are doing everything we can to keep Noah healthy now. It looks like Noah has another 5 weeks before open-heart surgery.

Follow Noah’s Journey Here.

Last week in the midst of our stay in the PICU, Stephanie and I had many tough conversations. Discussions involving the short-term and long-term decisions that will help Noah and our family.

With the first battle of RSV and pneumonia coming to a close, we are now stepping into the next battle.

The Preparation For Open-Heart Surgery

When Fayth went in for open-heart surgery to repair her AV Canal or AVSD 5 years ago, we had to make sure she didn’t get sick. She became a “bubble baby.” Many from Arizona remember that time for us.

Operation “Bubble Baby” Is In Full Swing

Tough Decisions Mommy Good-byeSince Noah has already gotten sick, it is now a fight to keep him from another battle of sickness. His heart can’t take another battle.

In one of the conversations last week, Stephanie and I decided it would be best to keep Stephen and Fayth away from Noah for right now.

This afternoon, I took Mimi (Steph’s mom) and Stephen and Fayth to the airport. The kids will be in Phoenix for nearly 3 weeks.

I was not fully cognitive of the length of time until I got back in my truck before leaving the airport. I was on the phone with Steph when I said to her, “It will only be for a week and a half.”

Steph corrected me, “JARED, they will be gone nearly 3 weeks.”

I started crying.

I had no idea why I thought it was such a shorter period of time.

I Am Going To Miss…

I am going to miss hearing Stephen come running to the gate when I open the front door and say, “DADDA!!”Tough Decisions Mom and Dad Good-bye

I am going to miss the strong hold of Stephen’s hugs.

I am going to miss Stephen and my boxing matches.

I am going to miss Fayth singing and dancing.

I am going to miss Fayth’s abundant joy which radiates the room.

I am going to miss Fayth waving hi at Daddy during during time.

I am going to miss making my rounds to the kids’ rooms at night before going to bed.

I am going to miss the loving touch of our two amazing kids.

STEPHANIE AND I ARE GOING TO MISS OUR TWO KIDS!

The kids will be flying back to Salt Lake City on Stephen’s 2nd birthday, Valentine’s Day.

Tough Decisions

Tough Decisions TerminalWe know how kids can pass around germs, so we made this decision to prevent that exposure from Noah. This truly feels like one of the toughest decisions we have ever had to make.

We understand there are many parents who have had to leave their kids for a period of time…

BUT.

We didn’t leave the kids.

We sent our kids away from Mom and Dad. We sent them away from home.

Did I mention for nearly 3 weeks?

Due to the already tough circumstance we are in right now, this was really tough. It was a tough decision.

Spirit Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Weak

Jesus said while praying in the garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

I am not comparing our situation with Jesus dying on the cross, but the I understand the statement.

There are times in our lives where we know the right decision in our spirit, but we are battling our flesh. The decisions that God wants us to make, we fight against. We think, “It is going to hurt. I don’t want to. But what if…” These thoughts run through our heads, but the Spirit is speaking a different message.

When the Spirit speaks to us truth, we must listen. We must be obedient and act in faith. When the tough decisions arise, how do we discern the right decision?

Deuteronomy 4:29–31 says, “29But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”

We seek God with all of our being and rest in his answers. We seek to know God and obey God. He is a merciful God and we trust him because he is faithful.

How To Have Peace In Tough Decisions

I don’t know, but Jesus knows.Tough Decisions Kids In Airplane

My flesh does not comprehend the ways of God, but God’s Spirit does. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

This is why in these moments, we are leaning into God’s love and mercy.

We who know Jesus, have the peace of God that transcends all understanding. When our flesh is confused, we press into God and he gives us peace. Peace that we are loved and comforted in our soul. For the yoke is easy and burden is light.

When has a burden ever been light?

WHEN JESUS IS THE KING, LORD, AND MASTER OF OUR LIVES!!!

Peace can come from no other source outside of Jesus.

This moment in time is not burden-less, but Jesus has made it light through his power and grace. These are still tough decisions, but we rest in the grace and mercy of God.

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Listen To Noah’s Open-Heart Surgery Story http://atraditionalfamily.com/listen-open-heart-surgery-story/ Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:26:35 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=357 After writing for the past few days, I wanted to share our story in a different way. Writing is not something that comes easy to me, but speaking on the other hand, I love. I talked to Steph and we both agreed that it might be more therapeutic for me to speak out our journey ...

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After writing for the past few days, I wanted to share our story in a different way. Writing is not something that comes easy to me, but speaking on the other hand, I love.

I talked to Steph and we both agreed that it might be more therapeutic for me to speak out our journey so far. So yesterday, I sat down behind the mic and spoke out our journey up to this point.

Listen To The Story On iTunes

For some of you, this is a much better way to follow along or at least know the whole story.

I recorded a podcast on my show Building SPECIAL Families. This was a podcast that I had been hosting weekly for almost 6 months. Then Noah came in the world and our lives got a little busy.

I used iTunes to be able to host it.

Thank you for all the continued prayers.

In addition, thank you for all of our friends who have put together the GoFundMe Campaign – Noah Buckley’s Heart. Words cannot explain enough the gratitude.

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Why I Will Not Trade Our Family Nor Battles http://atraditionalfamily.com/not-trade-our-family-battles/ Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:59:21 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=350 You can read more of Noah’s Journey here. As I was driving back to the hospital last night, Stephanie and I chatted on the phone. She was walking back from just taking a nap. It was one of the rare times one of us was not by Noah’s bed side. My parents had taken their ...

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UPDATE: Noah had a really good night. We can see him starting to turn the corner. I got to see the whites of his eyes in the early morning. We continue to pray that God strengthens Noah.

You can read more of Noah’s Journey here.

As I was driving back to the hospital last night, Stephanie and I chatted on the phone. She was walking back from just taking a nap. It was one of the rare times one of us was not by Noah’s bed side. My parents had taken their turn of watching Noah.

Steph and I got into a few more deeper conversations about this whole experience. We talked about the emotions, the events, and the future to come.

Then I had to share my deeply rooted heart in the matter.

This life and family was not up for trading.

The Trading Possibilities

Over the past 6 years, our family has gone through a lot. We have experienced so many hardships and challenges that makes my head spin.

  • Our oldest daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome prenatally. Then she was given a 60% chance to survive because of a heart defect.
  • Fayth was born on June 21, 2009. On September 21, 2009, Fayth went in for open-heart surgery.
  • A couple of months later, we sold our home for significantly less than we owed on it. We needed to get out from under it.
  • We then folded up shop and moved to Utah. We left Phoenix and family behind. This was a tough move for Stephanie.
  • On February 14, 2013, the day that should have brought us so much joy, I almost lost my wife and soon to be son. Stephen Grant Buckley was born in a dramatic style. I can’t tell you the fear I had in losing my wife that morning at 4:30am.
  • After struggling for 4 years at a church plant in Utah, we closed the doors in January of 2014.
  • We have battled the financial side of changing careers all of 2014. This has been a real battle for me as the spiritual leader of our family.
  • Then in the last portion 2014, we sought out all the reasons why Noah Dean Buckley was struggling. Much to our disapproval, no answers.
  • Well, we finally got answers. Noah Dean needs to fix his holes in his heart. He needs open-heart surgery.

Really? 2 kids with open-surgery? Who goes through this?

No Compensation Big Enough To Trade Our Family

Well, guess what? None of it is up for trade.

As I talked to Steph on the phone, I realized something. I would never in all of eternity forfeit one ounce of these battles.

My heart is in so much love for my whole entire family. It brings me to tears to see my kids. They are the most amazing kids.

My Wife Rocks

Wedding PicMy wife blows my mind. Stephanie is the most amazing wife, mom, and a friend a man could ever ask for. The fight she has in her is mind boggling.

When Steph and I first talked about getting married. There was one trait that stood out so much. Stephanie was a FIGHTER. I knew that no matter the situation or circumstance, she would FIGHT. I wanted a fighter for our marriage and for our family. If we could fight together, it would get us through the most rough times.

I never envisioned that we would need to fight together to this degree.

Well we have. And Steph is even more a FIGHTER than what I first thought.

If you want someone in your corner, Stephanie is that woman.

Our Kids Are Amazing

Fayth has so much love and compassion, it is awesome. Watching her respond to her angels daily, leaves us awe-struck. When she sings and worships Jesus, it brings me to tears. I can’t tell you the times where she has pulled me out of ruts. Whether it is a hug or her lifting up her hands to worship Jesus. All of it is so amazing.

Stephen has the spirit of a fighter. He is a rough and tough dude. I die laughing at how he shows his strength. When he wants to fight Daddy, I let him go to town. I want him to learn the attitude of being a fighter. But we will teach him to fight the right things. A fighter for the kingdom of God. A fighter for his sister. A fighter that does not back down from struggles and challenges in life.

Noah carries sense of joy with him. His smile is so contagious. I think he is just a big flirt really. He has a glow to him that is electrifying. That is honestly what I miss most about him right now. I am anticipating his smiling face to return soon.

Our 3 kids have an illuminating factor to them. But then I realize why. Our kids have had so many prayers offered up for them. Maybe the battles have all happened to bring in more prayers for the family. Maybe there is a deeper meaning to all these battles and the prayers are a big factor.

Kingdom Impacting Family

This is why I will never want to trade our family and the battles we have encountered.Down Syndrome No Trade Our Family

Because it all brings glory to God.

Steph and I have from day one said we want to bring glory to God.

“7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

2 Corinthians 4:7–12

Satan You Have No Power

So many families and marriages are struggling today. The pressures are building up and relationships are being tested.

But we have a Savior who is BIGGER.

We have a God who reigns supreme.

No matter the struggle or the fight, Jesus is still King and the GREAT I AM.

Death could not hold him down. He has risen. Risen from temptation, sin, and death.

When Jesus died, Satan thought he won. But then chapter 2 happened.

JESUS ROSE!!

Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we have RISEN.

Galatians 2:20 My life is not my own, for we have a Savior, Lord, and Master who has walked these battle grounds in front of us.

Come Lord Jesus Come.

What are we going to do with these battles?

SHARE THE EVERLASTING LOVE OF GOD!

Stephen Morning No Trade Our FamilyWhy do bad things happen? I have no clue. But I know in our situation, Jesus will get the glory.

Meaning, no matter the challenge or hardship, JESUS IS MORE. Jesus is SUPREME OVER ALL THINGS. Good and bad.

Jesus has brought us grace. Grace is the gift of God’s favor. We are in God’s favor.

WE ARE IN GOD’S FAVOR!!!!

Come on now. WE – ARE – IN – GOD’S – FAVOR !!!!!

This life and family is not up for trading!!!!

Because JESUS IS OUR KING!!!!! We already did all the trading we need. My own desires for Jesus. My own aspirations for Jesus. My own flesh for Jesus. My own struggles for Jesus. My own marriage for Jesus. My own family for Jesus.

My own life for Jesus!!!!!

End of the story. JESUS WINS!!!!

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Words Cannot Define Everything That Has Transpired http://atraditionalfamily.com/words-cannot-define-everything/ Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:03:45 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=342 You can read of Noah’s Journey here. People want updates. People want to know how sweet little baby Noah is doing. People want to know if it was a good day or bad day. People want to know if he has improved or gotten worse. I wish it was that easy to define. Attempting To ...

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UPDATE: After a full day of Noah being intubated, he got some good rest. His body really needed it. Last night was a rough night though. His lungs are still pretty weak and we hoping to get out of the woods soon here. He will be in the PICU for at least a few more days.

You can read of Noah’s Journey here.

People want updates.

People want to know how sweet little baby Noah is doing.

People want to know if it was a good day or bad day.

People want to know if he has improved or gotten worse.

I wish it was that easy to define.

Attempting To Put Words To Health

When we try to explain what is happening to Noah, we even get confused. Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and the hospital is not foreign territory to her. Medical conditions, drugs, terminology, and lingo is piece of cake for Steph. Shoot, I am not even that bad after working 2 years on an ambulance.

Even the nurses say, “You seem very comfortable in the ICU. Most parents are about to lose their minds.”

“Thanks?” Not sure if that is a compliment or not.

But when we try to explain the dilemma and condition Noah is in right now, it is hard. When the doctors, nurses, and the rest of the medical staff are struggling to understand Noah, it is hard to define his condition.

Sure, he has ASD and VSD. He has also come down with RSV, para influenza, and bacterial pneumonia. But what do you call it when you mix all this junk together?

I DON’T KNOW!!

We don’t know his current medical condition in detail. We know we have just started this journey and that is about it.

Using Words To Explain Emotions?

How are we doing?

I have no clue. I was hoping you could answer that for us.

Replay Last 4 Days

Last Thursday morning, we had 2 kids with colds in our house. 1 kid who we are trying to figure out a better education solution.

Thursday, Stephanie took Noah and Stephen to the cardiologists for Noah’s appointment. First time I have not been to a more serious doctor’s appointment.

Thursday: Noah was diagnosed with ASD and VSD. Open-heart surgery would follow in a couple of weeks.

Friday, Stephanie went to a meeting to try to resolve some issues with Fayth on the education side. Then I got the first call. Noah wasn’t doing well.

Then the second call. Noah was doing worse.

Last call that sent me out flying in my truck home. Noah had become lethargic and pale.

Friday: Noah was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital and admitted immediately. A close friend of ours took Stephen and Fayth for the rest of the day.

Saturday: Noah got worse. We pushed the medical staff to take him to ICU. Noah almost crashed on us. There were a few moments where we didn’t know what was going to happen.

Sunday: Noah developed an additional bug in bacterial pneumonia. He was intubated and is drawing too much attention from medical staff.

Using Words To Understand

I can’t even begin to explain what is happening to us emotionally and psychologically. Not to mention, what is happening to us spiritually.

Last night as I was walking with Steph I asked her, “How are your emotions? Do you need to cry?”

“Probably, but I just feel like I don’t have time to cry right now.” Steph honestly explained.

I get it. I understand Steph’s position. Remember, this is not a our first rodeo. Open-heart surgery is not new to us. I know Steph will have to let loose soon, but in due time.

However, when Fayth had open-heart surgery, she was our only child. Now we have 2 other kids.

We are spending enough time just trying to get a grasp on the current situation. Let alone looking ahead to the surgery.

It’s exhausting.

So are we doing okay? Are we handling everything well? Are we struggling?Noah and Dad in ICU

The answer to all of those questions is, YES. Well, okay, maybe NO.

If you could just tell me what today is, that would be great.

Loving The Support

Yesterday morning, Stephanie’s parents were already halfway to Salt Lake City from Phoenix. Then my parents left from Los Angeles to arrive late last night.

All day yesterday, it seemed like there was more and more support through prayers.

All we can say is that it means the world for us and for Noah.

The comments, emails, and posts have been a great breath of fresh air.

Relying On Spiritual Words To Communicate

“11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”1 Corinthians 2:11–13

We want to understand everything, but sometimes that is just not the case. However, we have a better answer.

God is sovereign and he will be victorious.

This journey is long and rough, but God has a work to be done.

Can I explain this in human terms with human understanding? No, sorry.

All I can say is please seek the Spirit who communicates in ways unknown to our flesh to pray for Noah.

We know.
We believe.
We are confident.
We are victorious.
We are more than conquerors.
We are God’s children.
We are loved.
We are accepted.
We are empowered.

This is how we would explain how we are doing. And this is how I would share with everyone how to pray for us.

Through the Spirit of God who speaks all truth in all situations beyond our understanding.

Praise Jesus that we can approach his throne with confidence.

Hope this helps.

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Why Is This Happening? http://atraditionalfamily.com/why-is-this-happening/ Sun, 18 Jan 2015 16:13:29 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=335 “God, can I just ask why?” We know we aren’t the only family who has experienced hardship or challenges. We know we aren’t alone. We know many others have had it worse. But the WHY is still there. Should I sugar coat it or cover up our emotions? Should I sit here and act like ...

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UPDATE: Although Noah’s heart surgery is not for another few weeks, he has been hit hard with RSV and a couple other viral infections. He is currently at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. He is in the PICU right now and needs many prayers. Thank you.

“God, can I just ask why?”

We know we aren’t the only family who has experienced hardship or challenges. We know we aren’t alone. We know many others have had it worse.

But the WHY is still there.

Should I sugar coat it or cover up our emotions? Should I sit here and act like we got it all together?

For now, NOPE.

Do I feel like our life is in shambles? No.

However, I have enough flesh that wants to know the reason why. Why is this happening to us? Why do we have 2 children who will have had open-heart surgery? Why does this have to happen to us?

Why, why, why?

We know we aren’t going to have the answers. I know the right answer to the question, but my soul is weak and tender to the circumstance.

Weakness In Spiritual Leadership

Why Is This Happening To Noah

Noah loves the attention in the PICU

I ache as the father of this family. Aren’t I suppose to do more for them? Why can’t I protect them better than this? What do I need to do?

To be honest, this round of having open-heart surgery is not as difficult as the first one. Nonetheless, this still sucks. In fact, to some extreme, this is harder.

From a cardiac standpoint, not as difficult. (Although, this additional sickness is making it pretty bad.) But from a leadership standpoint, really tough.

I Don’t Know How

We have two kids at home and one in the hospital right now. Two kids that are sick and being watched by friends. One kid in the hospital because of RSV and other issues. I can’t be both at home and in the hospital.

Noah needs open-heart surgery, but is not able to have it until he gets cleared from RSV. In fact, they won’t let him to go into open-surgery until 6 weeks after the RSV.

“Seriously? We have to wait now?”

“Our son’s heart needs to be fixed!!”

I want to be positive and uplifting, but I am struggling with that. I want to step in and support, protect, and provide for my family, but I feel my hands are tied.

Just Tired

I am tired. Steph is tired. To the surprise of many, this battle did NOT just start for us. It has been for 4 full months. Noah has been struggling all along. We are sleep deprived, energy deprived, and encouragement deprived.

Right now, Stephanie stays at the hospital as I come home at night with the kids. As I write this, I am not sure who is getting better sleep. Steph sleeping in the ICU in a chair and I am herding in our constantly awakening children at home. I am sitting on the couch right now, looking across the room at Stephen on the other couch. (5:30am)

I just got off the phone with Steph. We both got about 4 hours of sleep last night.

We are just tired.

Hunkering Down And Locking In

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
They comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9–10

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been give to us.” Romans 5:3–5

Taking Care Of The Why

Why? I don’t know.

Why? Because we have a Father that reigns supreme to my questions and reasoning.

Why? Because we are comforted through God’s loving grace.

Why? Because we are more conquerors through all trials and tribulations.

Why? Because we serve and glorify the one true God.

Why? Because we must become less as Jesus becomes more.

I cannot answer the questions that are rising from my flesh, but my soul is hunkering down to God’s loving grace. We constantly look for the answers, but sometimes we just need to focus on the one true constant answer.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

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Open-Heart Surgery Part 2 http://atraditionalfamily.com/open-heart-surgery-part-2/ http://atraditionalfamily.com/open-heart-surgery-part-2/#comments Sat, 17 Jan 2015 03:14:04 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=330 In 2009, when Fayth was only 3-months old, she went in for open-heart surgery. When Fayth was born, she was not only born with Down syndrome, but also with a heart defect, AVSD. Atrioventricular Septal Defect is where there is one large whole in the dividing wall of the heart. You can read more about ...

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In 2009, when Fayth was only 3-months old, she went in for open-heart surgery. When Fayth was born, she was not only born with Down syndrome, but also with a heart defect, AVSD. Atrioventricular Septal Defect is where there is one large whole in the dividing wall of the heart. You can read more about it here.

If you want to read more about Fayth’s story, you can read it here.

But for today, there is another focus.

Another Abnormal Condition

On August 30th of this year, Noah Dean Buckley was born. From very early on, Stephanie and I had just wondered if there was something not quite right with Noah. I know that sounds bad, but it is true. Baby Brother Brings Excitement

Then again, we wondered if we were just a little more sensitive because of Fayth’s history.

We kept progressing with Noah, but he struggled. He struggled with eating. He struggled with breathing. He struggled with weight. But still we weren’t sure what was happening.

In the back of our mind Stephanie and I just wondered.

Recent Issues

Over the past 3 or 4 weeks, our family has really experienced a roller-coaster of emotions and problems.

While in Arizona for Christmas, all of our kids got sick. Noah got really sick and we needed to take him into the hospital.

At the hospital, we found out that Noah had pneumonia. We were honestly relieved. We felt as long as it wasn’t RSV, we would be good with everything. But then everything turned.

The following day we were called by the ER doctor and told that Noah seemed to have an enlarged heart.

“WHAT?!!! You have got to be kidding me?”

Can we go through this again?

Another heart issue for another one of our kids?

Lord, please no.

Narrowing In On The Diagnosis

Noah Open-Heart SurgeryWe set up an appointment with Fayth’s cardiologists for Noah as soon as we got back to Utah.

Finally, on January 15th, we went into the cardiologists. And we got an answer to our wondering. Good or bad, we got an answer.

Diagnosing The Heart

With much anticipation, we heard the results of the echocardiogram.

Noah Dean Buckley has 2 holes in his heart.

One hole is in the atrial wall of the heart, ASD – Atrial Septal Defect.

The other hole which is larger is in the ventricular wall of the heart, VSD – Ventricular Septal Defect.

So what does this mean?

Noah Dean will be going into open-heart surgery soon. Soon is a couple of weeks in the surgical field. We have yet to set a date on the surgery, but are waiting in anticipation.

I know many people are asking about Noah, so I wanted to get the ball rolling hear on this blog.

If you want to follow his progress, you can just sign-up here and you will be email updates every time I post more information.

New Journey

Fayth’s journey was tough, but we were still blessed through the whole process.

Now we just simply get to tell another story. Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy for us, but we are doing well for now.

Here’s to praying for Noah Dean Buckley.

Follow Noah’s Open-Heart Surgery Journey

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How I Am Learning To Endure Hardship and See Jesus http://atraditionalfamily.com/learning-endure-hardship-see-jesus/ Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:04:13 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=318 BLOG OVERVIEW: In the midst of learning to endure hardship of work, I realized God has some amazing things to teach me during the process. Cleaning dirty windows can be brutal, seriously, HORRIBLE. Back in April this year, I launched my first business, Awfully Dirty Window Cleaning. Did I have experience? Nope. Did I know ...

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BLOG OVERVIEW: In the midst of learning to endure hardship of work, I realized God has some amazing things to teach me during the process.

Endure Hardship and See Jesus

background image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / freedigitialphotos.net

Cleaning dirty windows can be brutal, seriously, HORRIBLE. Back in April this year, I launched my first business, Awfully Dirty Window Cleaning. Did I have experience? Nope. Did I know how to start a business? Nope. Did I have any idea what I was getting into? Nope. 6 months later, I am cleaning horribly dirty windows and it is killing me.

However, during the process of cleaning these windows, I see my family and my perspective changes. My own personal annoyance of cleaning windows changes to feeling God’s blessings. I get to provide for my family. For every dirty window I clean, I get to feed my family.

The battle I encounter is flesh and spirit.

My flesh is tired and irritated at the subcontractors dirty my windows.

But my calling is to be the spiritual leader of my family and provide for my family.

Last week, this battle hit a new level of learning.

God said, “Sit In It.

The Revelation To Endure Hardship

What a revolutionary moment this was. When my flesh was crying out and complaining, the Spirit reminded me to endure hardship, sit in it. God has a plan for me and my family, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

I realized in this moment, people abandon God’s plan because they run before it is time to leave. Don’t get me wrong, I believe God does calls us away from certain situations in life, but for every one of those moments, there are many other situations where God wants us to sit in it. Do not run, but endure hardship.

Listening To Endure

The battle that I encountered is very applicable to many of us enduring hardships. We have the battle of flesh and spirit. The Spirit is speaking to us, but our flesh is just crying too loud.

So how can you hear correctly the Spirit?

Know God’s plan. Know God’s will. There is no wonder why Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? ( Expanded Edition)” was such a hit. People want to know what God’s plan is for their life. They want to know their purpose. I want to know my purpose. I want to know God’s plan for me and my family.

But I believe we over think and analyze purpose and plan.

Let me break it down. God’s plan is redemption, salvation, restoration, and JESUS. God’s purpose is for us to obey.

When we align with the purpose and plan of God, we will hear the Spirit correctly. Why? Because the Spirit will be in sync with our spirit, soul, and body.

So if you are like me and like many wanting to know God’s plan, know God’s will, and know God’s purpose.

Let me do a simple fix for you. It worked for me.

Know God’s plan or Know God? Know God’s will or Know God? Know God’s purpose or Know God?

KNOW GOD

When we Know God, we will know when we must endure and sit in our situation instead of leaving or running.

God has much to teach us through our obedience, but many of those lessons come from our endurance. While the flesh, world, or Satan is screaming for us to leave and run, God is whispering, “Sit In It.

Why do I say sit in it? The Greek translation literally translates endure to mean remaining under (the load). When you sit in a situation, you bear the load or pressure of everything piling up on your lap. This act will teach you strength, confidence, and dependance on God.

When the pressure arises, we must lean on God. We only have two options, abandon God or rest in His presence.

Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

Do not see discipline wrong here. The discipline the author of Hebrews is mentioning here is in accordance with learning. In essence, endurance is one of the greatest lessons we could ever partake in as God’s children.

When we endure hardship, we walk into a new relationship of knowing God because we must trust God. We must depend on our faith and not just use it as an extra in our Christian life. Jesus becomes central in our endurance. Jesus becomes the main message, main mission, and main mindset.

Know God and endure, you will see Jesus.

Biblical Figures Who Endured

David was anointed to be the next king of Israel, but was being chased by Saul. He sat in it and endured.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego sat in the fire and endured. They met Jesus in the fire.

Stephen did not run from his persecutors and died the first martyr death after Jesus’ resurrection. He sat in it and Saul shortly after met Jesus. (I believe this is beginning of Saul’s/Paul’s conversion)

All the apostles except for John died a martyr’s death and Jesus spread throughout the world. They sat in it and Jesus spread.

Jesus sat and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and endured. He could have ran and left everyone behind, but God is king and people needed to meet Jesus.

Endure Hardship and See Jesus Move

When you are going through the next battle or hardship, sit in it and endure. Know God and see how Jesus comes forth to show you the great things ahead for you and your family. See how Jesus wants to use you in mighty ways, but you need to do some schooling first.

The lessons, teachings, and growth is waiting around the corner from your next moment to endure hardship.

Know God, endure hardship, and see Jesus.

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Tweaking Your Misfiring Marriage Issues http://atraditionalfamily.com/tweaking-misfiring-marriage-issues/ Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:00:41 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=311 BLOG OVERVIEW: Marriage issues can cause many problems, but sometimes the fix is much more simple than we first thought. Try minor tweaks first. I am by no means a mechanic. However, bootstrapping while finances are tight, you become many things. This last week, I became a mechanic. My truck had been running really rough ...

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BLOG OVERVIEW: Marriage issues can cause many problems, but sometimes the fix is much more simple than we first thought. Try minor tweaks first.

Tweaking Your Misfiring Marriage Issues

background image courtesy of ponsulak / freedigitalphotos.net

I am by no means a mechanic. However, bootstrapping while finances are tight, you become many things. This last week, I became a mechanic.

My truck had been running really rough for the past few weeks and I couldn’t stand it anymore. After some investigating, okay mainly YouTube, I realized my truck was misfiring.

I went to the local auto shop and grabbed 6 spark wires and 6 spark plugs. I had no idea how long this would take. YouTube was saying this was a 15–20 minute job. They should put an asterisk next to those videos saying, “Amateurs, triple or quadruple the length of your job because you don’t know what you are doing ROOKIE!” Just saying.

I did the first 3 plugs and wires a couple of nights ago. 2 hours, piece of cake. The truck ran like it was a whole new truck. I was pumped. Mechanic? Check.

Yesterday I decided to finish the job. I thought it was pretty reasonable to believe after the next 3 spark plugs and spark wires changed, I would have a radically different truck.

My reasoning fell through though. Remember, ROOKIE mechanic here.

After completing the other 3 in just 90 minutes, I took my truck out for a test drive. Only problem was, the truck was worse off than the previous issue. It was misfiring horribly.

I JUST RUINED MY TRUCK.

Tempted to hit YouTube and take apart my engine, I stepped back and thought about minor issues. My truck was working fine before the second round of 3 spark plugs and wires changed, so it had to be something minor.

After a little tinkering, I talked to my neighbor. He suggested I might have crossed my wires.

I simply unplugged two wires and switched them.

BAM! The truck was fixed. Really? It was that minor? My 5 week old son could have done that.

However, this lesson popped in my head. How many times do we have misfiring in our marriages and look to have a engine rebuilt? We look to have a complete re-haul when sometimes, all it takes is a minor tweak.

Marriage Issues That Are Causing A Misfire

Think about these marriage issues and ask yourself if you just need is a simple fix or tweak.

Communication In Marriage

We will run to counselors and read all the books on communication, but ignore the issue in front of our face. Could it really be that simple? LISTEN! Many marriages fix their communication issues when they simply start applying emphatic listening. Read my other post on The Style of Listening That Will Save Your Marriage.

Trust In Marriage

Your spouse has broken your trust and it is wrecking your marriage. You want to trust them again, but you just can’t bring yourself to trust again. Look deeper into forgiveness. Trust is usually not the issue, it is your ability to forgive.

How many times should you forgive? Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18:21-22, “70 times 7,” referring to a perfectly infinite number. Keep forgiving. I know many people want to justify right now, but stop. Simply focus on forgiveness and see what happens.

Love In Marriage

The love flame has gone out. You go the extra mile to try to spark the passion once again and nothing. You feel hopeless and your love has left. SERVE. Jesus says that you will know one’s love by their sacrifice. Tweak your marriage by focusing on serving your spouse and watch the flame, passion, and love strike up again.

Marriage Issues Corrected By Minor Tweaks/Fixes

You could probably see how this concept could be applied to anything. If you have a confidence issue, don’t over think it. If you have a career/job issue, don’t over think it. (If your career or job is your issue check out 48 Days by Dan Miller, the guy rocks.) If your attitude is the issue, don’t over think it.

But let’s look at marriage issues. Many marriages begin their downward spiral because of a minor issue. They see minor issues as the world’s biggest problem. You plead with God to save your marriage, but yet He has already provided you with the answers.

Sometimes marriages being saved come from switching the wires. Seriously, unplug one wire and switch with the other. BAM! It’s fixed.

God has supplied us with His word that is perfect and holy. I know 1 Corinthians 13 is stated a lot, but the power of Paul’s written word here is AMAZING.

“4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

How are you checking out here? Are there any items where you are misfiring? Could you be running rough on patience, self-seeking, or keeping no record of wrong? Where ever you are getting hung up on, dive into that item.


Fixing your marriage is not rocket science, but it does require work.
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Yes, work. Work in marriage makes for a good marriage. However, GREAT work in marriage makes for a GREAT marriage.

Trust me, put God’s word at the foundation of your marriage and see it transform through simple tweaks.

Our goal in marriage is NOT perfection, but healed brokenness through the powerful love of Jesus Christ.

It’s time to get to GREAT work and begin tweaking to correct your misfiring of marriage issues.

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Happy Birthday To The Most Beautiful Woman http://atraditionalfamily.com/happy-birthday-beautiful-woman/ Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:42:54 +0000 http://atraditionalfamily.com/?p=305 BLOG OVERVIEW: One of the ways I can be creative in giving a gift to Stephanie is by letter. Instead of writing a letter directly to her, I am going to share my letter to you as the reader. Dear Stephanie, I am daily amazed at the woman you are and have become. I still ...

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BLOG OVERVIEW: One of the ways I can be creative in giving a gift to Stephanie is by letter. Instead of writing a letter directly to her, I am going to share my letter to you as the reader.

Happy Birthday To The Most Beautiful Woman

Dear Stephanie,

I am daily amazed at the woman you are and have become. I still can’t even believe it has already been nearly 8 years since we first met. Time flies. And shoot, look, we have 3 kids now too. Woooo…

Steph, you are the most amazing wife. I am blown away at how supportive and loving you are to your all so imperfect husband. You have always been right there next to me, encouraging me to keep fighting even when everything does not look so great. You keep encouraging.

Steph, you are truly an inspiring mom. Not only are you a mom to 3 kids, but you are also a mom to our special little girl. The amount of patience, care, and teaching you possess to our kids, BLOWS MY MIND! I continually observe how much our kids love you. They adore their mom. I also love how you share Jesus with our kids. Are we perfect in that adventure? Nope. But you keep on putting Jesus first in our home and to our kids.

Stephanie and Jared Cruise Happy BirthdaySteph, you are an amazing woman of God. Your love for Jesus pushes me to be a better disciple, man, husband, and father. You know how you have inspired me on many occasions with your walk with Jesus. The fire that you possess, is contagious. I see how other women flock to you and want to listen to your heart. The passion and drive that you possess is incredible. Women see, God sees it, and I see it.

Babe, I can’t say enough about the woman that you have become. In front of my very eyes, you have transformed into an even more amazing woman than I married nearly 7 years ago. I didn’t even know that was possible, but you did it.

Thank you for being my partner, my wife, and my best friend. You have stolen my heart and my love. Thank you for being an amazing wife, mom, and woman. Thank you for all the time you spend in the areas I never see. Thank you for the prayers that I have never heard. Thank you for choosing me as your husband.

I love you Babe and Happy Birthday.

I love you,
Jared

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