The First Step Method

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Even if we fail Him daily, God’s love for us NEVER FAILS . His love endures forever.
Time flies by and it is again a long time since my last post. Many things happened since then, Josua didn’t have the surgery yet because he was sick but we just had one week of therapy with an instructor from First step Tel Aviv .
God never fails and he shows us this every day. It amazes me every time, how He sends the right information , at the right time, through the right people. I never reserched about this therapy for Josua, I dind’t even know this kind of therapy existed until God gently revealed His presence and His plan.
At that time we were in a place where our life with Josua was good, we had our routine that worked good for us, but we realised that he didn’t make any progress for a long time so we thought why not try it. From there, all doors opened surprisingly quick.  This was the confirmation for us, that this is the right path to go.
What is First Step ?
The first two years of the child’s life are one of the most important stages in his development. The First Step method was developed by Shai Silbebusch, in order to provide parental guidance and development accompaniment for children in this stage.
At First Step, they help you create the right developmental environment so your baby develops fully and properly.
The First Step method also offers an intensive program for families who have children with developmental delays and other special needs. It is an intensive, daylong process. Their goal is to offer a different family agenda, one that will help the child to learn and develop through most of the hours of the day.
They offer therapy for children with genetic syndromes, brain injuries, autism and communication disorders, motor delays and disorders, low muscle tone, epilepsy, severe eating disorders, and ADHD.
Even if born disabled, a child doesn’t necessarily remain restricted for lifetime. When given the right stimuli, the brain responds and can reorganise the network of its connections.
For those of you who are  intrested to find out more about this method, here is the link :
Our first week of therapy took place in Germany, in our home. Sarit was an amazing instructor ,very patient, understanding and very friendly .
It was a very intense, but amazing week . We learned a lot of new things , how to handle Josua in our daily life and how to encourage him to do things alone , how to hold him so that we encourage him to hold his head .We learned how to take him out from his own world so that he can connect to his sourroundings. Sarit showed us how to calm him down if we are in a crowded place and he is getting nervous. We learned to let him do things alone and only intervene if he gets frustrated .
Just after a few days, Josua was already controlling his head movement better . He is now eating alone his snacks like biscuits, puffs etc. He really enjoys every bite and is so
happy , that he can eat alone . He communicates better with us and lets us know if something bothers him . We now see Josua from another perspective and understand his behavior better . So many positive changes after just a short time and we hope to see much more from him.
We are looking forward for our next session that is already planned and will take place in Tel Aviv.
LOVE never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures trough every circumstance. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

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Cherish every moment

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Long time has passed since my last post so I wanted to let you all know that we are ok. Josua is feeling good and has been healthy for a long time now and we are praying that he remains that way. We are also good, I can finally say that our hearts healed.
Our neurologist prescribed Josua melatonin. Melatonin supplements are  used to treat jet lag or sleep problems (insomnia). Since we started giving him melatonin, he sleeps very well and his day night rythmus is normal .
The doctor also prescriped infatrini, wich is a high caloric milk and he gets a bottle each day, wich helped him gain some weight.
From rolling over occasionally , he now rolls over all day long. We are so happy because this is another milestone ! Another new thing he does is that he can take his foot to his mounth.
We were on vacation in Romania for 3 weeks . The kids and especially Josua liked it there very much .Romania was good for all of us  because we got out from our daily routine. We did physiotherapy 3 times a week , that helped him a lot and I realised that he has a lot of  potential and needs to be stimulated the right way. That is why I want to do everything in my power to make sure he can reach his maximum potential.
God demonstrated again how He takes care of his children because when I needed it the most, He sent the right people in my life to pray with me ! Thank you to all that are praying for us and with us for Josua .
The next appointment we have, is on September 18th,  where a belly MRI is scheduled.
In the last few weeks I received news about many people who are sick or people that had died. This made me think about our life ,how it can change  so drastically from one moment to another and how we never know wich day could be our last. We often fall in the  routine of daily life and forget to live in such a way as if it were our last day. Don’t wait for your next vacation or any other goal you have. Live here and now In such way that you will not to regret it.
What do you leave behind when you are gone ? What can people say about your life  when you are gone ? How will your children remember you ? Have you spent enough time with them, cuddled them enough and told them that you loved them often enough? What is the last thing you tell your loved one before you go to bed or to work ? Do you make every moment count ? Are you always thankful  for what you have or do you spend precious time complaining for what you don’t have ?
Life is more than food, clothes, money etc . Let us make treasures in heaven , for where your treasure is,  your heart will be also . We always need to be ready, because we never know when God plans to call us home.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12 

When double trouble remains just a dream

For more photos follow us on instagram @michaelabertalan

He has made everything beautiful in its time

It has been two weeks since my last post and since Lucas and Abel went to Romania to their grandparents on vacation.  In this time Josua had days were he was really good and days were his mucus and cough was so bad, that he couldn’t breathe through the nose and again would not eat and drink. Unfortunately this has become the new normal since he was sick with influenza.There are moments when I must feed him with the syringe , and 10 minutes after he vomites all out from his cough. We try to make the best of it, but sometimes I could explode.These are the moments where all the bad thoughts and all the negative stuff comes into my mind. Since Josua was born, I am tied to the house, the moments where me and my husband get to get out, just the two of us,  are rare.  Sometimes I just wish I can have a normal life, where we can go like a normal family to the zoo, swimming or other trips. Sometimes I wish he could sit, hold his head up and crawl. I want to go on vacation without worrying where the next hospital is, if he gets sick, or how we manage the flight and car ride because the most comfortable way for him is laying down. There are times when reality hits you, and you begin to focus on the bad things instead of the good.We started bringing him out more often, short trips to the store, with the car, church, so he gets used to it.
like I said before in my posts, I choose to stay positive, I choose to believe that Josua will be healed, I choose to hope,but you see…it isn’t enough to make this decision once, we need to make this decision every day, in every circumstance, evrytime you lose hope.
I was reading in the bible about the people of Israel… God led them out of Egypt but they were always ungrateful and always saw the bad things.They wanted to go back over and over again every time they faced a problem. They didn’t see the good things God did for them. He gave them manna  and water and meat, but this wasn’t enough for them.  Now as I read the story I see how often we are exactly the same. God kept his promise and brought them to the promised land, but the people lost their hope on the way.
If you are reading this, I know that you have times when you go through the same thing. You don’t have my problems but some other kind of problems. Take your time to feel sad and to cry, it is ok. But don’t forget to look up again and to see the bright side and the good things. Remember all the miracles He has done and strengthen your faith ! Focus on the Word of God because he never lets you fight the fight alone. Fill your heart with His word, because spending time with Him gives you the strength to overcome any problem.
In all the bad times, I always saw God’s presence all along, He gives each one of us the ability to go forward. Let’s try to be grateful whatever our circumstance is. Don’t give up and don’t lose hope. Sometimes we don’t recognize our blessing from the beginning and while we wait for God to fulfill His promise , we often lose our hope and are discouraged.
How beautiful it says in Ecclesiastes 3 : There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time for war and a time for peace.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ups and downs as a part of our journey

“Let God direct your steps ” Proverbs 3:6
Since my last post, Josua got sick again, he has fever, cough and a lot of mucus he can’t handle. But this time, things were different. This time it was a victory because instead of running to the doctor, I remained in His peace. Two months ago, I would run straight to the doctor worrying about the fever and oxygen levels. Now His peace guided my actions. It’s like I could hear Him say : Don’t worry, don’t go…nothing will happen, he is in my hands, you can handle this, just believe and trust me. After a couple of days we had an appointment in the hospital for some tests that needed to be done and because of his congestion and oxygen levels they wanted to keep us there. I refused because I knew he would be ok. I looked at Josua and told them I can handle this and if it gets worse I can come back. A week passed since then and Josua was feeling better.
But I don’t want to share just the victories with you, but the mistake that followed. Wednesday the fever came back, this time higher then before and he refused again any food and liquids. Lucas was at the time on antibiotics for a strep infection. After spending time with God, He again told me : Don’t let fear blind your eyes ! Do not be terrified, do not be afraid, I go before you, I will fight for you and carry you.  
And what do I do ? Thousands of thoughts bump into my head. Lucas has strep, what if Josua got it from him ? What if his throat hurts and that’s why he isn’t eating ? Weekend is coming, what if the fever doesn’t go away ? It is a long time until Monday.
Even tough He spoke so clearly, fear blinded my eyes ! So we went to the doctor. Of course he has no strep and no bacterial infection just another virus ! So we go home, without any other treatment. Oh if I had just listened !
” teach me to do your will, for you are my God!Let your good spirit lead me on level ground ” Psalm 143:10
But life is a journey and nobody is perfect. We will all fall at some point. The important thing is that we see our mistake and do better next time. Yes, I made a mistake, but every time I learn from it and it gets better and better. God wants to bless us, to guide us and to flourish because He has a beautiful future for us.
Jesus heals ! He healed so many when we look trough the bible and there are so many people today that have healing testimonies. He can do it , He is able to ! But the same questions remains : Will He ? Is it His plan? I know that I don’t want to loose my hope that He will. So we continue to pray and speak life and healing over him, Healing over the little things like flu and viruses and healing over the bigger issues like head circumference, that he can hold his head up, sit, talk, walk and see.
Lord help me stay positive and continue to fill my heart with your peace, guide my thinking and help me walk in obedience to do what You want me to do. I trust you that you will do great things in our lives. We lift our prayers to you, of healing Josua , and want to watch you answer them for our delight and Your glory ! Let your glory be seen through Josuas healing ! In Jesus Name. Amen
” Where God guides, He provides ” Isaiah 58:11
For more photos of Josua and our journey, follow us on instagram @michaelabertalan 

Trust in the Lord

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways submit to him and He will make your paths straight “
proverbs 3:5-6
It’s been two weeks since Josua started feeling well  again and I must say I am really enjoying it. After so much time being sick, I enjoy the nights I can sleep and the joy and peace he is spreading around him when he is feeling well.
We are finally back to eating two solid meals a day and 4 bottles of milk
and I can see that he is gaining weight.
We reached another milestone in the last 2 weeks: Josua said so beautifully “mama ” . My heart exploded when I first heard him !
I really reached my limits in the last month,but when I look back, I can see now that this was a good thing. In that moment I felt so down, powerless, sad and bitter. I hated the feeling and it consumed me, so I reached the point where I could no longer bear the situation and I finally decided to give Him everything, every worry, every fear and I must say, I never felt so free. I realized that even if I don’t like the situation, that doesn’t change God’s plan for me, so instead of resisting, I should accept it, enjoy it and grow in it.Since that moment a peace and joy filled our house, He filled me with His strenght and carried me through the situation. He is my helper, my refugee , my strenght, my defense and my salvation.
Whatever may come I know that God walks with us and that sometimes I can’t do anything more than love Josua and care for him.
Living a life in faith doesn’t mean all things are good, that we will never  face trials or hardships. The truth is, God shapes our hearts and character in our trials, it is in our hardships that we turn our face to fully see Him. His hand is over our family and He has the power to do anything. Just because He allows us to go through a trial, it doesn’t mean we forget all the other good things He has done for us.
Be courageos, because you can always rely on His promises for every season of your life.
Life is tough, but our God is tougher !
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Your Will be done

I actually wanted to put this post up on Josua’s birthday, but because we were all sick, I have not had the time.
Josua ,
you are 1 year old, our little miracle, our fighter, you brought so much love to our family and through you our family grew stronger than ever before. You spread joy and peace around you, and your hair…well..everyone is impressed by your hair !
God is using you so beautifully to work on us and the ones around us. When life is full of chaos, you remind me of what is trully important.
May God bless you and heal you, and may your life and ours as a family bear fruit.
Ps 91:11″For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways ” 
We will love you always and forever Josua !
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I can not imagine going through this season of our lives without God.
Psalm 119:105 ” Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” 
I know You know the desire of my heart, but I also know that your timing is perfect and that you always prepare us for the upcoming season.It is easy to trust God when everything is ok, but where is that trust in the trials of our life ? Where is our faith ? Jesus tells us again and again ” Don’t be afraid ; just belive “.
 It’s easy to talk, but I see how every time in the first moments, I fall back into the same trap… I panic and have thousands of thoughts, but I can not stay still to hear His voice…to let go and let Him fill me with His peace, His presence.

The perfect example is last week, when we spent 5 days in the hospital with Josua. He had influenza virus and needed oxygen,its the 3rd week we are sick and for the longest time I haven’t felt so weak emotionally and physically. I must admit that when Josua is sick, it is very hard and very difficult and exhausting to care for him. He always has a lot of mucus and its hard for him to deal with it.Life with Josua can be hard sometimes but also beautifull.

We are still sick, me and Josua are coughing and he has a fever again.This time i hope it is from teething ! It’s his 3rd tooth in 9 days !
He already lost 1 kg wich for him is a lot because he was already on the skinnier side.At the moment he does not want to eat or drink anything more than a little bit of milk wich is not enough. If his condition doesn’t improve, we need to go back to the hospital and maybe put in an ng feeding tube.
 
I am amazed to see how many people think and pray for us, Thank you all for your prayers and support !
God…help me find rest in You ! Help me trust You trough the valleys and guide my steps and keep me walking. I pray that you speak life and healing over Josua but who am I to question your will ?
You have given me this child and I put him in your hand, your will be done in his life. I am powerless but you are powerfull and whatever you decide help me be brave and give me the strenght to accept your will.
Isaiah 40:31 ” but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ” But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
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Pray continually

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” Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

” Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

 

Joy, patience, prayer, thanksgiving … I thought a lot about these two verses the last few weeks … and what I learnt last year over and over again was that it is better to pray  for every little thing than to be overwhelmed with worries.

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We are very happy that Joshua has been eating  2 meals a day for 2 weeks now and that he has made progress with the support of his head. He still can`t hold his head up on his own, but he now controls the movements much better, the doctor says that he has made great progress. We consider any progress, no matter how small , a victory. Of coure the sad moments do not disappear completely either. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I automatically think of how life would be if Joshua was healthy. At one year old he should be much more independent than he is now. He would sit, crawl, etc. These thoughts come,  but every time they do, God touches me with His love and peace. It is important that we stop seeing what we lost and begin to look forward to what is coming, no matter how it comes.

The biggest change that Joshua did was in our hearts and I noticed that in the moments of weakness, in the moments of doubt, they come more and more rarely now.

Patience, patience, patience … since Joshua was born, we really learnt what patience means. We need patience in all things … with Joshua’s eating, with the progress that comes very slowly, sometimes with the sleepless nights,the diagnoses … nothing is concrete in his case … in all areas we need patience to see how it will evolve.

We have many prayer requests for Joshua and we are grateful for every person who prays with us. Last week an EEG was made, according to the doctor the left side of the brain shows irregular waves , but he can’t say what that  means exactly.  He does not have any visible seizures ( seizures can be a side effect of microcephaly ) and we pray that this remains the same. The next EEG will be done in 3 Months. An area where God changed me in the past year has been that I am not concerened when I am given such news  and he gives me his peace and comfort. I can not change anything anyway but what I can do is pray for him that God preserves him from epilepsy.

 

img_3757If someone has it in their hearts to pray for Joshua, here are a few prayer requests :

– that his head grows

– that he can hold his head, at the moment it still falls backwards

– that his muscles develop

– his brain develops properly so that he can understand and speak

 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

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~ When God touches your heart ~

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” Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.”  Psalm 55:22 

” Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday.A thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand,but it will not come near you.” Psalm 91:1-7

I would like to start with a good news, Joshua’s head has grown 1.5 cm and has now reached the circumference of 43 cm. The head circumference of a 10 month old baby should be between 45-47 cm. Although it is still too small, we are currently looking forward to the fact that it has grown at all.
Unfortunately, he has not progressed with his motor skills but he is always trying to say new syllables and can reach a toy just by hearing it. We have also noticed that he can distinguish with one eye,  strong light .
We have not yet received any news from human genetics. Joshua is a very good, happy, and satisfied baby which is a great relief in everyday life and activities.
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Our journey with Joshua began 10 months ago, time flies so fast and in a couple of days he will celebrate his first Christmas. Since Joshua was born, God has made us more sensitive to His voice and His presence.
There are so many moments where God makes me aware of His presence, whether  through other people, through preaching, through worship, or through reading the Bible. I am always impressed how well the words in a song or certain Bible verse fits perfectly to my situation and my feelings!
I pray every day that God strengthens our faith so that we can learn to put aside the fear of the unknown in every area of our lives and  walk the steps of faith He wants us to take. Everyone is afraid or concerned about change … maybe a new job, a new situation, a new home? In life, we are much too often confronted with such situations. Sometimes God requires us to do things that do not make sense to us at the moment and we are left questioning ourselves : do we go a step forward in such situations? If we were to make a decision that God liked, though perhaps all the others are against it, do we go for it, although we do not know what is coming ahead ?
We as a family decided to do so. We do not know how our future will be, but we know that God has a much bigger plan. We know that as long as we remain in His will, everything will be good. It is such a relief when someone decides to give God all their worries, He gives you a sense of peace, a sense of freedom.
I challenge you to be more sensitive and more aware this Christmas of His love, His voice, His will for your life. Be courageous, take a leap of faith and take that step forward! Doing so you will let God fulfill the plan He has in store for you and you will see the miraculous ways He will work in your life.
Here is a link with a song through which God touched my heart in the first months with Joshua ! Miracles – Jesus Culture
“Miracles”
(feat. Chris Quilala)

The One who made the blind to see
Is moving here in front of me, moving here in front of me
The One who made the deaf to hear
Is silencing my every fear, silencing my every fear

I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles

The One who does impossible is
Reaching out to make me whole
Reaching out to make me whole
The One who put death in its place
His life is flowing through my veins
His life is flowing through my veins

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Christ before me, Christ behind me

Romans 8:35-39 New International Version (NIV)

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the past few weeks, God reminded me of an important lesson. Actually, we all know how to live our lives and how we should react in certain situations, but often it is difficult to act properly.

Joshua had a cold for the last five weeks. Sometimes I had the impression that he is getting better and then the whole thing started happening all over again. So in the past weeks there where many moments when I felt frustrated, without strenght and without patience.

From my own experience, I know that in such situations, we have the need to talk to someone, to someone who understands us. We panic, call our friends or family, listen to other opinions, search for information on the Internet … the feeling of fear overwhelms us … until God says STOP! just breathe, give me all your problems and come to rest… Do not worry, I’ve got everything under control! The fear does not come from God and God wants us to go straight to Him with our problems and struggles and not to other people, because no one can give you peace like God.

Three important things that God has put into my heart in the last few weeks:

– we are chosen, God loves us and is mercyful

– We have a purpose, Christ is before us and behind us on our journey no matter what comes ahead

– Nothing separates us from his love and he never lets us down.

 

It all depends on the decisions we make in life. Do we choose faith or choose to bury ourselves in uncertainty, fear or courage,to be sad or happy and grateful for what we have! Let us not say “I can not” , instead say “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength”! Let us go directly to God …. and choose to grow , not stay in our daily comfort. Let’s decide to put our problems at his feet and not panic for every little thing.

Life with Joshua is a new beginning for us, a beginning in which God teaches us to grow spiritually every day, with every decision and in every situation.

I pray that God gives us the strength, to fully trust Him in the situations where fear and panic comes.

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going ,both now and forevermore.

 

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