Friday, July 31, 2009

A Poem Brian Smith found and shared with us...


I was not aware of the moment
when I first crossed the threshold of this life.

What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery
like a bud in the forest at midnight!

When in the morning I looked upon the light
I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world,
that the inscrutable without name and form
had taken me in its arms in the form of my own mother.

Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me.
And because I love this life,
I know I shall love death as well.

The child cries out
when from the right breast the mother takes it away,
in the very next moment to find in the left one its consolation.

by Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Drake went home today!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Drake Update

From Tammy's Facebook: I get to room in tonight to see how Drake's glucose levels hold/fall/stabilize with just the breast milk! It will take 24 hours and I will not have a computer to put updates on but I will have my phone with me. Pray that his levels stay up and then he will be able to come home!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tammy & Drake update

Tammy was able to breastfeed Drake for the first time today, he's 11 days old today. She says he latched on like a champ and the feeding went really well!!! This is fantastic after 11 days of being tube/bottle fed!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Drake is 6lbs 3.2ozs today, and they took out the belly artery catheter so all the people got to hold him , both the Tammy and the David and Tammy's mom and David's dad!!! They say it was AMAZING!!!
He gets to leave the NICU when he can drink 2 ounces of milk on his own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sean Is Flying to Texas today...

This is the furthest he has ever been from both of us at the same time. 2,025 miles from Mom and Dad. He's a little nervous about flying, as it's his first time since he was really little, and he's going alone. But I know he is going to have a great time, and will come home full of fantastic stories, all tan and looking taller. HAVE A BLAST SEAN MASTERS!!! We are, of course, going to miss your shiny presence, but we will get over it.

Tammy & Drake Update

OK, called David today. Tammy is out of the hospital. They think the heart thing was anxiety over leaving Drake behind in the NICU. They are still going to be watching her gall bladder though.

Drake is 6lbs 1.2ozs and taking the breast milk well. They are going to try to wean him off the glucose today and see how his glucose levels hold.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Drake & Tammy Update 8:23AM PST

Posted by David on facebook: Drake is 5lbs 15.2oz. 86 glucose.

Tammy is going to get a sonagram on her heart.

Will let you know when we have the results.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tammy & Drake update

Tammy (the baby's mother) is back in the hospital. either a gall bladder attack or a heart issue, they were in the ER all day and her personal doctor finally admitted her. She also has a raging breast inflammation. So she's back in the same hospital as Drake BUT CANNOT SEE HIM as she isn't allowed to walk around and he isn't allowed out of the NICU.

On the upside: Drake is almost 6 pounds now. They expect the hole in his heart to heal on it's own. They believe the hypoglycemia will resolve as he gets "older", that it's related to his prematurity. So a bright spot on the horizon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My son was able to hold his son today...

David Lehman is pondering how something so small could steal his heart, enrage his anger, and drop all 30 years of wall within seconds of holding him. Holding my son for this first time is like seeing myself through Gods eyes. In a second I was happy, sad, and angry. Happy because I got to hold the greatest gift from God. Sad because I cant take him home. Angry at the fact that it took so many tries to get the iv in him.

So whats it like to hold my son? I cant explain it. 77 plus hours and I was speechless. How could God give me this little angel to protect? Or am I the angel for Drake to protect?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Drake Update

Drake has Patent Ductus Arteriosus (aka PDA).

Figure A shows the interior of a normal heart and normal blood flow. Figure B shows a heart with patent ductus arteriosus. The defect connects the aorta with the pulmonary artery. This allows oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood in the pulmonary artery.

What Is Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart problem that occurs soon after birth in some babies. In PDA, abnormal blood flow occurs between two of the major arteries connected to the heart.

Before birth, the two major arteries—the aorta and the pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) artery—are connected by a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. This vessel is an essential part of fetal blood circulation.

Within minutes or up to a few days after birth, the vessel is supposed to close as part of the normal changes occurring in the baby's circulation.

In some babies, however, the ductus arteriosus remains open (patent). This opening allows oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery. This can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries.


A PDA is a type of congenital heart defect. A congenital heart defect is any type of heart problem that’s present at birth.

If your baby has a PDA but an otherwise normal heart, the PDA may shrink and go away. Some children need treatment to close their PDAs.

If your baby is born with another heart defect (in addition to PDA) that decreases blood flow from the heart to the lungs or that decreases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body, medicine may be given to keep the ductus arteriosus open.

This helps maintain blood flow and oxygen levels until doctors can do corrective surgery for the heart defect.


PDA is a relatively common congenital heart defect in the United States. The condition occurs more often in premature infants (on average, occurring in about 8 of every 1,000 births). However, PDA also occurs in full-term infants (on average, occurring in about 2 of every 1,000 births).

Premature babies who have PDA are more vulnerable to its effects. PDA is twice as common in girls as it is in boys.

Revised June 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Drake Update

Drake is hypoglycemic. And there may be a heart issue, murmur or something. Awaiting tests. I will update as I am given information.

Announcing Drake Lyles Lehman

Yesterday, my oldest son, David, and his SO, Tammy, went to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, TX to give birth to their first son, Drake. She thought her water had broken, and it was confirmed that it had, so she was admitted and they all settled in for the long (or short) labor process...

About 6 hours in, contractions were still really weak and dilation was still at about 1cm, and baby Drake was having issues during each of those weak contractions, with a heart rate all over the place, so the doctors decided to do a C-section.

Drake Lyles Lehman was born at 7:11PM (CST) on July 15th. He weighed 5 pounds, 12.6 ounces and was 18 inches long. While checking him out and cleaning him up, it was discovered that his blood-glucose level was way low, so he was given a glucose water bottle. That helped but only a little, so he was moved to the NICU.

Somewhere between his birth and about 10PM that evening, the doctors came to the conclusion that although he was only 9 days from his estimated due date, the dates must have been wrong and he is premature. Because of this he will be spending more time than we expected in the NICU. As of this morning, this is all the information I have.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Grandbaby News

My first grandchild is about to be born. Her water broke early today and she is having very weak contractions after 6 hours and the baby's heart rate is all over the place and so they have decided to to a C-section and are moving her into there right now (4:45PM PST) and there are concerns. My son's name is David, his SO is Tammy, and the grandson will be Drake.

From a List I am on...

Unusual Prayer of St. Francis

The most well-known prayer of St. Francis is; "Make me a channel of your peace etc., etc". But below is one that not many have heard. If it is authentic, it gives us a glimpse of the more rough-edged humanness of Francis. It seems he may not have been always the docile, meek, complacent, and child-like servant portrayed for our edification and imitation by the institution, but having a more genuine Christ-like image that they would just as soon keep under the rug.

"May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God Bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and share their joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can continue to do what others claim cannot be done".

(Francis of Assisi, as published in IPM, Publications, CONNECTIONS Newsletter, Jan.-June 2009, p-5)

From Common Ground

Reposted from 6/25/06

"It's like in the great stories, Master Frodo -- the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

"But in the end it's only a passing thing. This shadow, even darkness, must pass. A new day will come and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.

"Those are the stories that stay with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.

"But I think I do understand. I know now, that folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back but they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something."

(Frodo: "What is it?")

"It's that theres some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Great Blog From My Friend, Dena

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What About God's Will...?

God's will ... what is God's will? Both in general, and specifically?

What have you learned over the years about God's will? Here's how I was previously taught to view it - your mileage may vary:

- There is only one good and right way to do a thing (any thing) - I must find and do God's will - or else!

- If I do not find and do God's will, I will face dire consequences (in the temporal, that means God will have to punish me to teach me a lesson; in the eternal, that may mean that God will have no choice but to send me to the endless torment/separation of "hell").

- Of course, the problem is that God's will is elusive ... there are seeming contradictions within Scripture (not to mention within Christianity!), which can lead me in various "biblical" directions -- and I have to figure out what God's will is for me, now -- and there's always a looming deadline (at some arbitrary point, when God runs out of patience and long-sufferingness, that it is *too late*..!).

- If I miss God's will, then I'm doomed to living a life of "Plan B" ... being regarded by God, and all those folks who successfully discovered (whether by cleverness or accident) God's will, as a spiritually second-class person. Being continually reminded by God (& all those God's-will-finders) that I *failed*... enduring their looks of pity and judgment for having "missed God's will."

- Since God's will is so hard to find, I'd better listen to "spiritual authorities" and do what they say, in order to be "safe" (i.e., fear will serve to keep me safe).

- God's will is something that I can thwart, either by commission or omission, to my detriment, devastation and even destruction.

LIES!!! (she says, with gleeful conviction!)

Changing from that perspective into the perspective I now have, was a process. No momentary theophany, nor sudden revelation, but a slow series of encounters with the Real God - replacing the god I had created in my own image (yeah, we keep doing that -- the Bible is *full* of examples of humans doing that, which we then turn into "doctrine"!).

I remember reading a little booklet put out by Frank Viola, about rediscovering the will of God ... he said that most of us had the notion that God's will was akin to "finding the right parking space" ... but that God wanted us to know that HE owns the entire parking lot, and He delights to allow us to choose to park where we desire. Even to change parking spaces, at will. In other words, it's all His -- we can move freely within those very-broad boundaries.

That was a new and startling concept to me ... it began to unravel the fear-knot I had about God & His will ... it began the process of seeing God through new and astonished eyes.

Much has happened since I read that ... many experiential encounters with the Living God which have shown me who He really is, and thus who I really am (more connected than I had ever dared to fathom!). To me, life is more about being connected (Spirit), than about being correct (ego).

Here's where I am now, with regards to God's will:

I see God's will and my will as one and the same.

Yep - I said that. Does it strike you as blasphemous..? ;)

(all truths, I notice, first appear to be blasphemies ...)

I see God's will being about lavish freedom -- rather than God saying, "you'd better figure out what I want," I experience God asking, "what do *you* want?" I hear Him saying, "I am in you, and you are in Me -- we are One -- I have given you and all of humanity this wonderful gift called life, to be lived out on this glorious planet. In this context of relativity, you may freely explore ... you may discover, through the gift of trial-and-error, what works, what doesn't work so well ... what defines you and what no longer does ... what is helpful and what is harmful ... what draws you closer to Me and others, and what causes you to *feel* separation (even though you will eventually realize that there is no separation from Omnipresence, nor from everyone to whom you are connected as One) ... the point being for you to learn from your choices and the naturally-occurring law of consequences (as real as the law of gravity) ... to dive headlong into live, and live - really live - (trusting-through-experiential-discovery that I really *have* put My/your very desires within you!) ... to discover the Abundant Life that I've provided for you, here and now, in My Presence, here in My Kingdom, which, while you may not *observe* it, is far more real than anything tangible you can physically see ... to realize that I am with you, that nothing can separate you from Me (including yourself!), that the outcome (union with Me) is assured ... that you have nothing to fear but your own delusional fears ... that life is not about win/lose, pass/fail, heaven/hell (except in your perceived experience - for have I not said, "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds " and have I not called you to renew your minds, replacing your perspective with My own?) ... that you can move out of the egoic-duality of your thinking (derived from the tree of the knowledge of "good" and "evil" - each determined by your own illusions & judgements) into the liberating mystery of Divine Dichotomy, wherein all things are good from My ultimate perspective ... and merely need to be worked out in your own unfolding journey, as I continue to show you just how VERY much you are made in My own image ..."

(OK, so maybe you hear Him differently, but I've discovered that God speaks through my feelings, thoughts and circumstances ... and so too is His/my will revealed ... AS I live my life, AS it unfolds before me, AS I hear and respond to the inner Voice which leads me, as me, the REAL me, which is spirit/Spirit, and not my ego, which is only masquerading as me, sneaky 'lil thing that it is ...!)

I've learned that God's will is revealed in what *IS*. God comes to me, cleverly disguised as my own life.

And so, I do not any longer experience His will as something elusively-beyond me, something to seek, find and lay hold of (& force myself to *do*), but that which will emerge, because of what I experience with Him (& not because of any concepts/doctrines I have studied). The former is on the Spirit level - the latter is on the egoic level.

I experience the will of God as the very air I breathe, the very life I live, the very steps I take ... for in Him I live and move and have my being. He is nearer than breath, closer than hands and feet ... He is HERE, NOW ...!

Breathe Him ... taste Him ... hear Him ... see Him ... experience Him -- all around and within you.

Shalom, Dena

P.S. Word-of-the-Day (composed by my main-squeeze, Mark):

Oppor-unity - The potential for people, with differing perspectives, to enjoy the experience of Oneness, anyway.