Tyson Hugh Hooper

Tyson Hugh Hooper
Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.

Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Extra Grace

I heard a sermon a few months ago (I was very pregnant with Ty) that stuck with me.  The preacher talked about people that required extra grace.  He reminded us that God showed us unconditional love, forgiveness, and beautiful beautiful grace.  He spoke of people who needed a little extra grace.  The ones you want to push away or don't want to be seen with that, perhaps, need more grace instead of less.  Those that need our attention, our time, our love.  His words hit home for me.  As an educator, I first thought of students.  The really really annoying ones.  The ones that were way immature, or whined too much, or were always causing drama.  The student that wanted to stand at my desk and talk on and on and on... the random tap on the shoulder kid with important comments like, "Do you like cats?  I like cats.  I have 7 cats and one is about to have kittens..." cats. cats. cats. cats.  Crazy cat lady - kid style.  You get the idea.  I sunk a little in the pew as I realized I have too often cut those kiddos off... shushed them... prompted them to go get busy or to go play or to go talk to friends.  I have a heart for teaching and a heart for kids, but isn't there always that one that just kind of drives you crazy or gets under your skin.  The stinky kid.  The needy kid.  I thought about all those, kids and adults, that I have judged... people who dressed different or acted different or seemed to come from a different world than mine... or at least a different class.  This is real folks.  Real ugly.

I am a God fearing woman who tries to do what is right.  I try not to judge and to be kind to all those I encounter.  Do I love, though?  God is love and God is IN me, so shouldn't I be spilling that love out on to EVERYONE I meet?  Not just those that are like me or from a similar background.

The point of the message I heard was that the very people we try to avoid are the ones who likely need extra grace - more love - those who deserve eye contact, undivided attention, and some genuine listening and loving.

Jesus loved everyone.  Jesus dined with sinners.  He is our example.  He shows grace to me.  Who am I to decide not to show grace to others.  God's grace is love in action and if we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we must be love in action as well.  

Color me convicted.

A dear friend gave me a Devotional recently.  Out of the Spin Cycle, by Jen Hatmaker.  Although I received it a couple of weeks ago, today I sat down to read for the first time.  I started with the Prologue, which I would like to share here.  It make me laugh and certainly struck home on several levels.  I was most struck, I think, with her words about young mothers and what they need most is not to be judged, but to be given love, help, and advice.  I love that she says our common ground is showing our children Jesus.  And that Jesus is at Whole Foods and Wendy's.  This reminded me that in my very chaotic, laundry-filled, messy-house, sleep-deprived state, I could use a lot of grace and certainly don't need judgement.  It reminded me of all the other Moms out there probably need the same.  Then I got to thinking it's not just moms... we all need a little extra grace.  

Read for yourself and see what you think.

A (Fairly Lame) Ode to Mothers
An ode to the marvelous woman called “Mother”
Though not one of us is exactly like another.
From the second we’re born to the minute we die
Our preferences are as limitless as stars in the sky.
We might have been perfectly gracious before
But childbirth entered us in the Mommy War.
Rather than letting everyone else be
We criticize parenting that isn’t exactly like . . . me.
So once and for all let me put this to rest
None of us owns the title of “best.”
Natural childbirth does not make you a hippy
Epidurals are not just for women who want to feel trippy.
In a bathtub with a doula or in a hospital bed
We all got a baby with limbs and a head.
Nursing is great if nothing goes wrong
But some nipples turn inward and refuse to play along.
This is a choice for each mom–it’s her route
So it’s just A + B and everyone else can C their way out.
Schedules and timers do not make you cruel
Feeding on demand does not make you a fool.
In the nursery with a monitor or in the family bed
Every chick gets to pick where her baby lays his head.
If I see one more mom roll her eyes at “organic . . .”
“Partially hydrogenated” throws some of us into panic.
But neither judge Sonic burgers and fries
Some of us just want to enjoy food before we die.
Preschool, home school, public, or Montessori
Listen, my friends, and I’ll tell you a story:
Two moms differed on favorite school trends
Their kids turned out pretty much the same. The end.
If a girl gets the title of “mom” accidentally
The worst thing we can do is treat her judgmentally.
How about some love, some help, some advice?
She needs our love and we shouldn’t think twice.
Discipline through various methods will prevail
Look, we’re all just trying to keep our kids out of jail.
These things are just preferences, not right or wrong
What matters more is teaching our kids to get along–
To love and to share, to speak gently and kind,
To obey so that mom won’t go out of her mind.
Showing them Jesus is our common ground
Teaching them how he can always be found.
He’s present in public school and Waldorf (so trendy)
He’s over at Whole Foods but also at Wendy’s.
Jesus never cared about these sorts of things
It’s our hearts that he wants and the worship we bring.
It’s time for us moms to declare a truce
Regardless if we buy Capri Sun or 100 percent juice.
My way is not your way, and your way isn’t mine
But both of our kids will turn out just fine.
Rather than judging and looking down our noses
Let’s enjoy the common ground motherhood poses.
As believers, we all love the same good Lord
We all have children who tell us “I’m bored.”
We all need more sleep than these tiny five hours
Most of us struggle to find time for a shower.
We haven’t been to the bathroom alone in an age
Our mothers have all told us, “Relax, this is just a stage.”
We all love our babies so much we could die
We’d take a bullet for each one without batting an eye.
Though we are different, we’re in the same tribe
Motherhood requires a similar vibe–
Love and affection, sacrifice and grace
Laughter, which keeps the whole mechanism in place.
Though different, by the grace of God, I suspect:
ALL our children will rise up and call us … collect.
She looks well to how things go in her household. … Her children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:27—28 AMP