Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Birthdays, Bikes, and Baby Mullets

Fayetteville was taken over this week by Bikes, Blues, and Bar-B-Que. The annual motorcycle rally brought in around three hundred thousand folks to the area (you read that right). Needless to say, we are not missing the rattling windows and deep hum that pervaded our neighborhood.

Not to say that BB&B was not appreciated by the Mooney family. Eliot was spotted twice at the rally- even getting his picture made with his stroller parked up beside a row of Harleys. His parents could be seen making sure no one lit a cigarette near his oxygen. Needless to say, his baby mullet allowed him to fit right in with the crowd. We have ranked this event as the number one people-watching venue we have ever experienced.

Besides getting many "what the..." glances at the bike rally, Eliot continues to amaze. Birthday celebrations continue each and every day. We take a picture daily with the number of days present in the photo so we can keep track. Lately, we have been attempting to spice up the pics with creativity as you can see above.

Eliot continues to gain weight; this would most likely go unnoticed but for the numerous pictures we have of him in his thinner days. He will be weighed again this week, and we look forward to celebrating the verdict. His nose has been congested again. Changing his tube aggravates the situation, and we would ask you to pray, once again, for his nose to be cleared up.

Thanks again to all who have posted and prayed. We continue to be humbled by the support of others. I guess it goes without saying, but we continue to seek prayers.

Eliot has a potential girlfriend named Claire. I would ask you to say a prayer for this family as well. We have communicated with them, and celebrate the arrival of their daughter. There story is available at Claire's blog.

I wish to convey a little more of the landscape of life with Eliot. In the sake of full-disclosure and honesty, I must confess that there are many times that my prayers are that the Lord would help me believe the words I write and say. The last few months have ushered in moments of pain and joy intermingled. Ginny and I have made every effort to focus on the joy, but the hurt and bewilderment have taken up residence as well.

We have heard repeatedly how strong we are, and we can only grin sheepishly and cut eyes at each other. We know we are not strong. We each know the tears and hurt of the other.

I fully expected at the outset of all of this to be mad at have it out with Him. I've read enough of the Bible to know that He frustrates His followers and allows them to air their anger. But I am not mad. I am weary. Too dizzy to fight. I'm the boxer that does not know which corner is his own.

I doubt. I struggle. I waiver. And that's the truth.

So, if Eliot's story has power, please know it is not us. I am thankful to follow a God who does not discard the traitors.

Matt & Ginny Mooney


Anonymous said...

When life seems overwhelming and extremely painful, I'm reminded of your words about longing for heaven. We thank God that this earthly life is not "IT" and that there is SO much more to Life.

I appreciate your honesty in this post. Even in your struggles, a supernatural grace comes through in spite of your circumstances. Our prayers are still with you three.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful pictures, and even moreso, what great words. Everything in this life is a gift from God, so we can't take credit for anything we do. Your truth and honesty are a testimony to how you, beautiful Mooney family, choose to live your lives in humility to God. We celebrate the many days of life God has given to Eliot. Wes and I continue to pray for more days and more joy. We hope to talk with you and see you soon.
Wes and Kate Walker

amy said...

Only God knows our true hearts and he certainly knows yours, Matt and Ginny. I was reminded today that we all have uncertain tomorrows, some more visible than others, and that I should remember to focus on the joys of today just as you guys are trying to do. In so doing, maybe I will catch a glimpse of the piece of the big picture God is allowing me to see each day. My oh My, isn't Eliot getting "fluffy". Give him kisses for me. Love you guys,

Aunt A.

Anonymous said...

In the midst of your hurt, bewilderment, doubt, struggle, and waivering you continue to point all of us to our real strength.

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever, wisdom and power are His. Daniel 2:20

We'll keep praising Him and thanking Him for His faithfulness as demonstrated through the two of you!
I love you,
Mom (Nonna)

Kim Burton-Norman said...

Matt & Ginny--I am reminded of the poem, "Footprints in the Sand", where, when you look back and see only one set of prints in the sand, you wonder where God went,and He reminds you that that's when He was carrying you, for your strength had failed.

Your honesty is refreshing. Like David, I see a man after God's own heart; it's about relationship, not performance.

His word says, "Come to Me when you are worn down, stressed out with circumstances & burdens that are weighing you down; I will give you rest." May you find peace in knowing how often you are thought of and remembered in prayer...

As for Eliot, "He hath made everything beautiful.." Eccl. 3:11 and I love his mullet!

xxxooo Kim Burton-Norman

Becky Page said...

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." Duet. 29:29

Keep hurting, crying, and venting. And thanks for reminding me it's okay to do so as well. I think of y'all often and that's something. Love and miss y'all.

On Our Way said...

You mean you are human :) God is using all three of you mightily! Like the Coxes, what a steadfast family YOU are! And cute Eliot! Thanks for sharing. We continue to pray each Wednesday. God Bless! MaliMai

Mrs. Olivia said...

Good morning Matt, Ginny and the little Billy Ray Cyrus wannabe!I visited with your Nonna the other day and we agreed that Wednesday devotionals are a blessing to all. My favorite song is by Michael W. Smith."His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He'll carry us when we can't carry on. Raised in His power the weak become strong. His strength is perfect!" I rejoice because i know you all claim that promise. My prayer today is for renewed strength and continued peace and joy for you 3 precious ones. Love, prayers, and hugs to all! Mrs. Olivia

gram jan said...

the psalms are comforting for that reason to me - david displayed angst, fear, sadness, despair and yet closed his writings praising God. i think that is what He wants of us. eliot looks so roly poly now - in a really good way! i follow this site daily hoping for a surprise post but impatiently wait for wednesdays as well. God Bless. jan, a friend of andrea and joe mitchell

Ivey Elizabeth Sirmans said...

You have more strength than you realize. Parents of special babies are hand picked. I keep telling myself that anyways. I know your fear and reservations - once Ivey made it home, I decided to follow the advice I was given by numerous doctors and nurses. Do not look to the future because you can not predict the outcome to this story. YOU MUST WAIT, BE PATIENT, ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE TODAY!!! She made it home, which was questionable in the first weeks. We know our time is limited, but we do not know how much time we have. It is almost too hard to comprehend. I am accepting that days are normal when I replace a feeding tube, conformer in the place where an eye should be, or squeeze a mouth appliance in her tiny mouth where there is a cleft. I wanted a baby girl, I never gave God the specifics.
The weekend we roomed-in with Ivey to bring her home from the hospital, I came home for a quick shower and a moment to scream at God. It was a Sunday. I opened the newspaper and this is what I found. Trust me when I say, I was doubting everything I ever believed about him, but I realized he was carrying me, and he was carrying Ivey. Ivey is 5 months old and there are moments in each day, where life is almost unbearable...however, this is what I found in the newspaper that FAITHFUL SUNDAY.

Heaven’s Very Special Child
A meeting was held quite far from Earth
It was time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the Lord above-
“This special child will need much love.
“Her progress may be very slow
“Accomplishment she may not show.
“And she’ll require extra care
“From the folks she meets down there.
“She may not run or laugh or play
“Her thoughts may seem quite far away
“So many times she will be labeled
“’different’, ‘helpless’ and ‘disabled’.
“So, let’s be careful where she’s sent.
“We want her life to be content.
“Please, Lord, find the parents who
“Will do a special job for you.
“They will not realize right away
“The leading role they are asked to play.
“But with this child sent from above
“Comes stronger faith, and richer love.
“And soon they’ll know the privilege given
“In caring for their gift from heaven.
“Their precious charge, so meek and mild
“Is heaven’s very special child.”

Edna Massimilla

one smarmy mama said...

Don't sell yourselves short, Matt. I fully believe that God delivers us what he knows we are capable of. There are parents who would not even have the stregnth to write what you write and act how you act. God knew that when he looked at Eliot's days and decided who would be qualified to be his parents. I know you don't feel strong, but even the strong have weak moments. Those moments don't define you, though.

The first picture I saw as I was scrolling down, I thought "OH MY! He's getting so chubby!!!".

Adorable as always. SWEET baby mullet!


Kim said...

Just wanted to let you know our family is praying for you! How grateful I am of your testimony to the goodness of God...His grace is sufficent. Thank you for sharing.

Kim Wise

Kate said...

Our human nature is to fall constantly, and our God wants us to bring it all to the cross and lay it all out. He is soverign. Your honesty is so pure. I lift you all up in prayer for strength and joy in the midst of all you face. And I'll pray for Eliot's sniffles to go away fast.

Bethany said...

For this child I prayed. As long as he lives, he shall be lent to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Thank you for your honesty in your struggles. I often wonder how I would get through a situation like this and the truth is I don't know. I don't know that I could do it. But even in a situation that is bittersweet God gets us there. He provides. He guides and loves us every step of the way. I was reminded of this verse after reading this post. And I have to say that sharing your testimony has lent Eliot to the Lord by touching the hearts and lives of so many people. Thank you for sharing such a sweet baby with us. Who would have thought a baby mullet could bring joy and laughter, but man ya gotta love that mullet. 75 days is amazing. A miracle. A blessing. Once again I THANK YOU and Eliot for touching my heart and reminding me every Wednesday of how Great and Mighty is HE!

BETH said...

You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!!

beth g

Jena Griffin Baker said...

Matt, Ginny and Eliot,

I can't tell you how i look forward to checking in on Eliot on Wednesday. His chubby cheeks look GREAT!! Your honesty is refreshing and encouraging to me. We are human and we all have hard days. Always remember that God loves you all, and then pass His love onto Eliot.


Jena Griffin Baker

Emily Ryan said...

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My face was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

Happy Birthday EVERYDAY Eliot!

Anonymous said...

Rachel and Jeff Norris gave us your blog address some time back -- we've been following and praying for you guys since then. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and allowing us the privilege of lifting your family up to our Father. Our prayers are with all of you!
Kitty and Tucker Brown, Birmingham

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,

In our weakness He is made strong. He knows our hearts before we even say anything, and appreciates our honesty with Him, like any good Father does. Continue to be honest with Him, He loves it when we allow Him to be who He is- a huge God, who thankfully loves us no matter what! You are continually in our prayers.

Christy Edmondson McMurrian

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,
We are friends of Billy and Tammy's, and Eliot's "girlfriend" Claire. :) They referred us to your website, and I just want to thank you for sharing your wonderful Eliot with us. Your honesty,strength, and faith in God is an inspiration to us all, and I know that you have already helped Billy and Tammy in ways you don't even imagine. We will pray for your family along with the Cox family.
Melody and Richard Lipscomb

The Mitchells said...

May God bless your honesty. I thank God that you and Ginny have each other...and Him. It makes you realize the power of faith...bc even when it seems like you can't push forward you have a God who gives you that little nudge...even if it's a congested child who needs your help.

Monica said...

What an awesome testimony! Thank You!!!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me from Adam... I live in Texas and happened upon your blog by accident. Know that God is calling people you will never meet this side of Heaven to lift this precious life before His throne. I am honored to do so. What a handsome son you have.

seth jones said...

still praying for you guys..

The Walkie Talkie said...

Guess that means Whitlee will have to stand in line, huh? What inspirational words as always!
Hugs and love, and lots of prayers!

susie walkerkgcywew said...

Happy 3 month, Eliot-ride'em cowboy. You looked amazing in your new Roy Rogers duds. Wish I could have been there on your celebration but I heard about it from Jenny Beth. Hope you got your Razorback ducky from Kate and Wes-if your mom will let you have it!! wes's mom

Vicki said...

I was sent your site by my ex-sister-in-law who lives in Tallulah, Louisiana. I lost a Trisomy 13 son almost 5 years ago. John Thomas was born on February 13, 1992 and lived to be almost 10 years old. A little over 4 years of his life, we had him home with his father, older sister, and myself. Because of money/insurance constraints, we were forced to place John in a nursing home nearly 175 miles from home, where he spent nearly 6 years of his life. He died on December 6, 2001. John's father and I divorced in June, 2000. His sister is almost 21 years old now, but still loves to tell the story of her little brother, who forced her to grow up much faster than she should have--she was barely 6 years old when he was born.

If you want to talk, feel free to contact me. I will hold you and your entire family in my prayers. I hope my message brings some peace.