Again

Our family is WAY too acquainted with Emergency Rooms, ambulances, hospitals, and medical tests! This is the third immediate family, overnight hospitalization, of 2018.

We were back in the ER Sunday night, after 3 closely-related medical crises in less than 24 hours, for one of our children. (If you know us personally, please don’t ask details or name names publicly, as kids get tired of being featured in my blog posts! Contact me privately if you have questions, please. I’m happy to talk details one-on-one.)

As we were being discharged after one o’clock Monday morning, the issue repeated, so discharge papers were changed to transfer papers and we took an ambulance ride across town, from our smaller satellite hospital, to the children’s hospital at our big, main branch (where I lived after my strokes).

There was serious talk of ambulance transport to the huge medical school children’s hospital hours away, but in the end, we came home late on Tuesday instead. We now have three local specialists lined up for appointments in the next week or two.

We started new medication Wednesday morning, and have now gone 44 hours without another event (7 major, and 3 more mild crises between Saturday night and Wednesday afternoon). We are praying this new medication prevents further events.

Three specific prayer requests are:

  1. Significant reduction in the severe nausea this medication is causing. (Side effect lists indicate it could resolve as we adjust to taking it.)
  2. Profound increase in thirst and ability to tolerate hydration. (Nausea is making it very hard to take in fluids.)
  3. Resolution of symptoms, allowing a safe return to school and outside activities, and ability to quickly get fully caught up with all missed assignments. (Missed this entire school week. As our kids, jr. high, high school, college, are getting older, a solid week of missed school, plus the additional classes that will be missed for follow-up care, is a pretty big deal.)

Our church has been beyond amazing. Several friends showed up in ER, bearing hugs and gifts. Then the next day of admission across town was a fairly steady stream of encouraging visitors. We feel loved and very blessed!

This child could hardly fit in the hospital bed that was so piled with cuddly comfort items. Even the nurses were amazed! I was awed by the boldness and maturity this kid exhibited in seizing the platform to boldly share Jesus with lots of hospital staff.

I am a tired Mommy.

God is good, all the time!

One Night…

What Does It Take?

One of my favorite things about writing a blog is that people introduce me to all kind of cool products. They do so in hopes that I’ll share them with you. Mind you, I am very picky about things I’ll actually share here.

I get way more  review requests, than hours have available to review. So, right out of the starting gate, I’m quite selective about offers I’m even willing to try. If I say I’m going to honestly review something, I’m going to commit the time to really exploring that product. My first consideration is deciding if it is something I feel meets my needs and could bless my readers.

If you are taking time to read what I write, you are placing a certain level of trust in the validity of my opinion. I value your trust! I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I never wish to compromise or minimize the confidence you place in my words.  Please know that I have your interests at heart, am treating you as a personal friend, when I tell you about something that makes me own life happier.

I ask myself if I feel a product world be worth spending my money on, in order to have it in my life or not? Encouraging you to get something that I’ve talked about here, will typically involve expense on your part, and I don’t take that idea lightly. (So, yes, I’m telling you about a product that has been supplied to me for free, in exchange for my honest reaction.)

This kind of careful evaluation takes time, so something has to really interest me to begin with, in order for me to be willing to invest that time.

What Do I Want To Share With You Today?

I signed up to review the ONE NIGHT advent story calendar for two reasons:

1. I love  entire season surrounding the celebration of Jesus coming to earth. #Christmas

2. I’m trying to cut way back on sweets. Is it even possible to replace the cheep cardboard countdowns I buy each year, with something that offers anything better than candy behind each door, while still keeping my kids excited?

(For the record, my young-adult son thinks ONE NIGHT is far superior to any advent calendar we have ever used, but suggests that I also buy giant chocolate bars and hand out individual squares to each person to enjoy while we are exploring that night’s continuation of the month-long story.)

Why?

We had passed the first test. I liked the premise of the product enough to want an in-person look.

Then a HUGE flat box showed up at my door. I wish I had thought to take a picture. Instead, I was too curious about the contents of this box to think to grab my camera. We excitedly opened our mystery parcel and were blown away by what we saw. No tiny, cheep cardboard with plastic windows here! 

Did I mention this thing is really big? Here it is pictured next to a pair of my shoes and a big Bible study dictionary. Oh, and that guy holding it in the first picture is about to turn 13. He’s on the rather larger side of the growth chart, for a boy his age range.

Better than candy, these flaps hold the greatest Story ever told. The Story progresses over 24 days, facts told through the fictionalized perspective of two shepherds who were watching sheep the night angels interrupted their evening to announce the birth of the King. Beautiful black and white, hand-drawn images lead the imagination through a detailed journey of wonder that holds true to time and culture.

I’m Impressed.

Solidly designed to last, this new part of our family’s Christmas tradition reminds me of a picture book. Here, let me give you a close-up of the book-like binding construction:

The Book of Luke (2:8-20) says that on the night of the first Christmas angels visited shepherds tending their flocks and told them to visit their newborn savior.  ONE NIGHT reimagines the story through the eyes of one of the shepherds.  

Set against the turbulent backdrop of ancient Judea under Roman rule, ONE NIGHT follows the shepherd as he risks his flock to journey through the countryside in search of the baby Messiah — and the elusive promises of worldly and spiritual redemption.

There is a long and diverse artistic tradition of imagining the story of the shepherds.  In our telling, we have tried to capture what it would have really been like to be there the night Jesus was born, and how a regular person might have tried to make sense of that extraordinary event.  The story is intense, exciting — and even a little spooky.  

It’s a feeling that’s echoed in the stunning visual art.  Rendered in the style of a classical draftsman, ONE NIGHT feels like an ancient document, full of timeless drama and mystery.

Whether you know the Bible inside out, or you haven’t read it since you were a kid, we hope ONE NIGHT will surprise and move you with its riveting portrayal of its characters’ search for goodness and a better world.

How YOU Can Help:

This exciting tool is NOT available to the general population for purchase YET. The author and artist want to produce them for distribution soon. YOU can help bring that mission into reality. Check out this video from their Kickstarter campaign.

Any pledge, even just $1, will help fund production! A gift of $30 or more will also earn YOU your own beautiful keepsake story calendar ($40 retail value) in time for use THIS December, 2018. (As  long as they get all the funding they need over the next month, as I suspect they likely will since they are well on their way and this is a worthy investment.)

Recap:

ONE NIGHT tells a story in 24 parts.  Each part of the story is hidden behind a numbered door (1 through 24) that you open to reveal an illustration and text.  You can open one door each day, from December 1 through December 24, counting down to Christmas.  Or you can binge-watch, by reading all 24 parts in one sitting, like an illustrated book.  

Printed on heavy-weight paper wrapped around millboard, ONE NIGHT is a sturdy, free-standing triptych that you can place on a mantle, table or windowsill as an amazing Christmas decoration.  You can also close the triptych and keep ONE NIGHT on your bookshelf or coffee table.   

 

Feet

I just got brave and bought my first pair of “heals” (look, the wedge is tall enough to pass the first joint of my index finger!) and I’ve actually managed to wear them twice, with orthotics to help maintain balance.

They are “doable” now, at least for the short term, but I’m honestly very anxious wearing them as know I’m not making an overly safe decision. They will have to be saved for very special occasions, worn only on indoor, smooth floors and for limited stretches of time. Using my cane is a must when I attempt to wear these very daring sandals!

Shoes must be very flat, very balanced, either designed with great arch support and a little cupping of the heal for my foot to sit down into, or the proper width to accommodate my orthotics, and hold onto my foot in at least three key places: behind my ankle, across my toes, and strapped across the front of my ankle. Slip ons, like Mary Janes that come only half or 3/4 up the foot, are a no go.

Flip flops, or any style of shoe without a back, or without support around the front of the ankle, are out too. Even if the lack of angle grip were not an issue, I’ve learned that I can’t wear anything designed with a piece that comes up between my toes, since this is too painful to my wonkey nerves now, so those flip-flops have another strike against them.

Dawgs

I’ve lived the summer in these Dawgs that supportively cradle my foot without inserts. They have served me for everything from pool water therapy to a couple of weddings! I probably feel safer in these shoes than in any other pair I own.

Snugly-fitting, lace-up tennis shoes are a good choice for me. Many kind of boots (as long as there is NO added heal height) work too. 

 I see the podiatrist in three weeks. Surgery may or may not be an option right now, for a bone spur at the base of my right toe. (I have pretty much ignored the pain for about four months, but my new flower heals highlighted the problem, so I finally got in to see my primary care doctor and got x-rayed this week.)

I have an “imbalanced muscular-skeletal system” thanks to the strokes. In other words, I put far more pressure on my less-stoked right side than on the left. I’ve started arthritis in the joints on the right. Unless God chooses to intervene, this will be an ongoing, progressive issue, and the entire right side is susceptible. 

Lord Jesus, I present my request to you, asking that, if to Your highest glory, You will to reverse this course. Please bring healing to my joints and entire system of balance. 

Life

My strokes happened 6 years, 10 months ago, during a chiropractic neck manipulation, in Reno, Nevada, USA. On October 25, 2018, we will hit my 7-year “re-birthday” or stroke-a-versary.

I initially started my “Stroke of Grace” blog with the several-times-per week, weary detailing of the early years of my catastrophic stroke recovery journey. As I’ve gotten farther and farther away from the moment-by-moment shock and anguish of being plunged from able-bodied, into instantly trying to survive while being considered medically too fragile to sustain life, my blogging has become more infrequent, but has progressively focused less on stroke realities and more on the great grace God has been unveiling through the process. I’ve moved from primarily focusing on physical deficits, to my own name-based domain where I share many aspects of life, in anticipation of future book projects.

This week it occurs to me that I haven’t given my physical therapists, nurses, doctors, other stroke survivors, and families of Strokies, a very recent look into post-stroke realities. This post isn’t meant as a “downer,” but is an intentional attempt to contextualize the Grace aspect of my posts, against the ongoing physical struggle of post-stroke life. For those looking to hear about weight, hair, pain, eyes, ears, walking, exercise / therapy, emotions, family, ongoing upkeep, and a sample week, here you go!

Weight:

In 2010 and 2011 (pre-stroke) I was intentionally working hard at loosing the 40 pounds I weighed heavier than my medically prescribed “ideal” for height /age / gender. While I have faced a, sometimes highly debilitating, chronic illness since my teens, I did NOT smoke, drink, do drugs, take birth control pills, or engage in any behavior that put me at risk for heart attack or stroke. Those 40 pounds were my biggest health enemy, so I was safely and steadily whittling them away. As a late 39th birthday gift to myself, I bought a lovely leather jacket in my ideal size. I had been eyeing it for months, but waited to make the investment in celebration of that accomplished weight loss goal.

I had little time, a week I think, to enjoy the jacket while it fit properly. I soon was on a feeding tube and RAPIDLY loosing weight. It was estimated that my body was initially burning about 5,000 calories a day, just to sustain life in the face of such massive brain injury. As we transitioned to oral food, my regular meals were supplemented with 6 Boost-laden, full-fat, ice cream shakes per day. By the time I left the hospital around Christmas, I was about 20-pounds UNDER weight and the new leather jacket hung limply on my skeletal frame. (Since I couldn’t coax my left arm into a coat sleeve anyway, I wasn’t initially very aware of this loss.)

Gradually brain function stabilized and caloric requirements reduced. Since I had so much ground to regain, I keep those early eating patterns the hospital had trained me to develop. I gained back that lost 20 and kept right on going, also regaining my hard-fought 40 pound loss. Since my energies went to sleep and therapy, I focus little on the “vanity” of numbers on a scale.

Around 2014 – 2016, I began to put some thought back into food choices and prevented further gain, even whittling away at the excess weight again. By early July, 2017, I was nearing my goal range of 125-133. I was at 134 one week, and one a dime, GAINED 15 pounds within 10 days.

Since we were traveling, and I was indulging in soda (not part of my normal diet), I thought this sudden jump must be a combination of fluid retention from air flight, and short-lived poor eating choices that would soon reverse. However, within about 13 months, I pack on a total of 45 pounds, breaking my all-time highest weight record (far heavier than my highest pregnancy weight).

This brings us within a few weeks of today. After seeing my primary care provider, specialists in several different fields, and running huge batteries of tests, the conclusion is that my thyroid and other functions seem fairly stable. A nutritionist and bariatric (weight) doctor are now coaching me. The current working theory is that I had still been taking in between 2,000 – 3,000 calories on an average day. Most individual food choices were of excellent quality, I was just so messed up in my perception of hunger and intake verses calorie expense, that, upon aging (I turned 45 the month I started rapidly gaining), and with continued brain connection improvement reducing energy fuel needs, that something flipped in my body’s inability to cope with so much extra nutrition.

I’m now keeping a food log of every single thing I eat or drink, measuring portions and recoding everything. (MyFitnessPal, an app I tried to understand a few years back but still couldn’t quite grasp yet, has been the best tool in this round of this fight!) Without factoring in my twice-a-week water therapy, my body seems to burn around 1,400 – 1,450 calories per day right now, so my current daily goal range is to consume between 1,200 – 1,400 calories daily. I have already lost a little weight even during these first couple highly stressful weeks I’ve been starting to pay attention to these numbers. (My plan is to start logging in earnest next week, when my schedule becomes more predictable again.)

I have no significantly changed my fluid intake pattern, but by charting everything we have discovered that I typically drink two to three times the average daily recommended 64 ounces. My doctor says that for many people this would be a problem, throwing off electrolytes and dangerously diluting various needed elements in the body, but that my levels are exactly where they need to be, so I should keep listen to my body’s accurate fluid demands.

Fun Facts: Altoids Arctic mints are 5 calories. A stalk of celery is 6 calories, and your body uses 1 calorie to digest it, for a net gain of 5 calories.

This Week:

The past week has been pretty intense.

A week ago Thursday, found me at the eye doctor with a sudden onset of a painfully crusty infection that required two different kinds of antibiotic drops and gel, treatments 5 times a day, through Tuesday. I guess this is the result of all the massive west coast wildfires and how my eye, with a still profoundly effected tear duct, reacted to the prolonged on slot of smoke allergies.

The swelling and eye infection wasn’t clearing up quite as fast as it should have been, but I started mega doses of steroids on Monday (in preparation for my year MRI and CT scans on Wednesday) and the eye infection responded beautifully to the steroids and was totally clear by Tuesday!

Wednesday I took 167 mg (starting dose is 4 mg) of Prednisone and mythelPredniSolone within 13 hours, YUCK!!! Plus 50 mg Benadryl. I then went and did the tests and got “fun” contrast dye pumped into my veins. I think the CT tech thought I was being over dramatic when I winced and cried out as he pushed the dye, but I felt a little validated when that particular vein was visibly bruised on Thursday, showing clear evidence that the IV push had actually been as painful as I had acted!

I had planned on a much longer post tonight, but I will need to hit topics of family, emotions, therapy, walking, eyes, ears, hair, business, writing, and pain, in another post, along with pictures. I’m currently on Benadryl again and too brain-exhausted to type clearly. Tonight, yes, more than 78 hours after testing (but also 14 hours after my final step-down lowest dose of steroids) I went and welted out in hives. *sigh*

Since hubby is out of town, both our adult son and my parents are on stand-by to take me into ER overnight, if needed. I’m praying that Benadryl will kick in, I’ll soon be asleep, and there will be no further need for medical intervention!!!

Yesterday I posted to facebook:

I haven’t slept much since Monday. Tomorrow is last dose of steroids. 
TIRED. OH-SO-EXHAUSTED!

This morning I posted this praise update.

Life:

I was asked Thursday, “If you got offered the reset button for your life, would you push it?”.
My firm reply was simply, “NOPE!”

Later I added, “If you had asked me 2, 3, or 5 years ago, the answer likely might have been different, but now I realize I’m living the best “reset” God perfectly planned for me and I’m so very thankful, now, that I wasn’t given that option then!”

Tired

I just took my final 4 mg dose on methylPredniSolone! I can’t say how glad I am to be DONE with these six days of mega steroids (Wednesday was 167 mg within 13 hours)! 
Yesterday was rough. Water therapy consisted on sitting on the pool steps for 45 minutes and struggling just to stay upright and not throw up, in the buffeting waves produced by 20 ladies doing the water aerobics I typically fully participate in. 
I was EXHAUSTED all day yesterday and was in bed for the night by 7:30. I got close to 10 hours of pretty solid sleep (awake several times, but usually just long enough to pray for my husband on his men’s retreat, then roll back over and quickly fall back asleep, as opposed to many several-hour stretches of wakefulness this week) and since I’ve not slept more than a very few hours in any 24 since Monday, this was an AMAZING gift! I’m still far from feeling 100% today, but SO MUCH BETTER this morning than yesterday!

The Glasses

It’s been nearly 7 years now. When will the startling “firsts” and painful reminders stop catching us by surprise?

Does ANYONE know the name, artist, or source of this picture, pretty please??? I found the picture on Facebook, do not own copyright, but am risking posting it here because the image moves me and I want to track down the person to credit!

We attended a wedding on Saturday. The couple met just weeks before I stroked. My mind had the hardest time reconciling between their reality of the past almost seven years, and ours!

I cleaned my husband’s dresser yesterday. Not only did I find my old medication list and dosage schedule from the rehab hospital, but I also found something that really took me for an unexpected turn.

I gathered a few pair of glasses, my husband’s old prescriptions and some sun glasses, and put them together in a basket. When I showed him one of the two cases I had put with them, I commented that the soft case had a pair of glasses inside.

“That’s weird,” he replied, unzipping the pouch.

We both froze as he pulled out the pair of glasses I had worn to the chiropractor on the morning of October 25, 2011.

Until that moment, neither of us had thought any more of the hospital’s name emblazoned on that little black caddy, than as advertising swag. As if on fire, the case instantly burned our minds and hearts with the realization that the hospital had placed my glasses in that case when the ambulance deposited me in the emergency room.

Just last week I had wondered what ever happened to those glasses. Little did I know that I slept within eight feet of their resting place each night!

No, the prescription no longer offers me any benefit. Yes, it was time for new glasses anyway. These frames are still in great shape (after all, they have been well persevered in a dark, padded bag for nearly seven years!), and since they were fairly new when I entered the hospital, I think I’ll take them to my eye exam and try to get new lenses in them.

On the topic of stroke reality, here’s my pretty foot after a little boy dropped a soda can on it over a week ago.

Yes, a soda can. 

I don’t have proper circulation anymore. Blood likes to pool in my stroked foot.

 

Giveaway Link and Movie Review – Paul: Apostle Of Christ

I  wanted to see Paul: Apostle Of Christ, the movie, in theaters, when it released in May. I’m glad I waited to view the DVD.

Why am I glad I waited? I’m an ugly crier. I made it almost to the end, before I was a blubbering mess. Then I had to go back and watch the closing two scenes I had been crying too hard to fully appreciate the first time. You can’t do that in the theater.

 

Paul: Apostle of Christ is presented in my very favorite genera. It is based on known solid facts and accounts of real people, and researched cultural realities of time and place, woven together with “could-have-been” fictional people and plot lines. This film’s retelling of the final years of Paul’s life, and Dr, Luke’s endeavor to write an account on the Acts of the apostles, seems faithful to the historical and Biblical realities that marked this significant period of early church history.

Paul (Faulkner), who goes from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ’s most influential apostle, is spending his last days in a dark and bleak prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero. Luke(Caviezel), his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit him. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius (Martinez), the prison’s prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul’s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.

Kudos to the entire team responsible for lifting this story from the black and white pages of Scripture, and challenging our minds to move beyond the cobweb corners of dusty history books, in order to better grasp the lives of the first generation that was called to live for Christ without ever having see Him in flesh. While this movie is fantastic for any adult interested in history and/or the Bible, I believe it could especially benefit (older) middle school, high school, and college students, who are seeking an emotional understanding of this period of history. Please be aware that the PG13 rating is well merited. While the majority of the goriest depictions, such as Christians fed to wild beasts in Nero’s circus, or the beheading of Paul, are only alluded to, while visual portrayal is left to the imagination, there are some rather gruesome scenes.

The movie opens  (and similar scenes continue throughout the movie), by portraying the horror of “Roman candles,” human beings doused in oil and mounted to stakes to be burned alive, as light for the streets. Another potentially stomach-lurching sight, illustrates injuries Paul obtains via flogging. There are several instances of verbal abuse and physical violence played out. The directors did an admirable job of balancing enough details to let viewers begin to understand, without showing more than needed to convey the idea, but this is absolutely not a movie suitable for young children!

The story-lines are intricate and detailed. Especially with many scene set in dark environments like a dungeon, and less-than-optimal hearing capability on my part, I had to watch the film twice to start grasping some of the nuances. Being well-versed in the Scriptural side of the story, and relatively familial with the historical context, many cultural and fictional elements of the script took three plays before I felt I had a good grasp on story line. I do not see this as a fault of the movie-maker, rather I mention to let you know that this isn’t a light movie to be played in the background while your focus is divided. It is a real thinker’s movie. I expect to discover missed details and glean deeper understanding every time I watch it again.

Movie stats:

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY:Andrew Hyatt

PRODUCED BY:T.J. Berden and David Zelon

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:Eric Groth, Rick Jackson, Harrison Powell and Jim Caviezel

STARRING:Jim Caviezel, James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley and John Lynch

Follow along at:

facebook.com/paulmovie and

instagrman.com/paulmovie.

 

I did receive my DVD copy for free, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Enjoy a free digital download with DVD or Blue Ray purchase.

Fill out this form to be entered for a chance to win a copy of the #PaulMovie of your own. (Odds of winning depend on number of entries competing for the five copies being given away.)

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Breaking Up With Bed

On this date of July, 2010, I wrote this resignation letter:

Dear Bed,
You are a faithful friend. We spend many more hours together than most. I know you well and am thankful for your comfort. But may I be honest and say I really would prefer to spend much less time together from here on out? It’s not you, it’s me. I really would like to move on from this dependent relationship!

Today, I wrote this prayer:

Lord, thank You that chronic illness is in a more manageable season for me right now. Thank You that You did grant the desire of my heart to need less hours in bed that year, blessing my kids and husband to get to know a fairly normal-energied mom/wife for several months. Thank you that every day I’m gaining a little more ground from the strokes that put me down harder than I’d ever been before, less than 16 months after this day of desperation. God, You are good! You are faithful!

What’s New

It’s 95% sure…

…that I do NOT have thyroid cancer. I do have multiple thyroid nodules that are likely benign. The very fact that there are multiple, points to a greater likelihood that we are dealing with auto-immune thyroid issues. Finding only one nodule would have slightly upped the cancer concerns.

I haven’t intentionally left you on this cliff hanger. My primary care doctor left her practice quite unexpectedly, before I could even see her to follow up on the test. I’ve been working hard to find a new provider for continuation of care. I see my new PCP about a week and a half into July, followed by a new endocrinologist in August.

Are you in Northern Nevada?

5:30. Please contact me to join our information and announcement group if you want local group attendance details.

If so, I would really like to meet you, in person, early tomorrow evening!

I’ll be facilitating the new Life Writer group in Midtown Reno. We so hope you can come!

Redeeming Heartache, Restoring Hope

Ongoing Heartache:

We’ve taken six trips to an out-of-state children’s hospital, in seven months. Our daughter has been under general anesthesia three times in the past five months. She has had two major surgeries, each followed by several days of inpatient recovery.

I’m in the midst of medical testing for something that probably is not a HUGE deal. Yet it “could be” as serious as cancer. I’ve gained 40 pounds in 10 months, all while trying to eat fairly carefully. As a result, nearly my entire closet is painfully uncomfortable or simply doesn’t fit at all.

I’ve been justifying many concerning symptoms to myself, all year. It currently seems likely that thyroid gland that is aging out of happiness (thanks doc, I feel old now). The more stroked side, but only that left side, at the base of my throat, has become a large lump.  We drew a bunch of blood work this week. (I should have received digital results yesterday, if normal, but did not. The office confirms that they have received the results. So now I wait for the doctor to call.) I will have an ultrasound of my thyroid and the lymph nodes in my neck, next week.

Life is Hard, but God is good!

I know this is only a season. It’s been a long season indeed. Chronic illness, infertility, business loss, failed adoptions, miscarriages, financial struggles, another’s incompetence leading to my injury and strokes, marriage difficulty, church family losses, grueling years or therapy and rehabilitation, family health disasters, job struggles, coming face-to-face with childhood pain, and the list goes on…

Yet, in the midst of the trials, there has been much blessing. The gifts of living children added to our family, amazing friends, God’s constant provision with never a day lacking food on our table or a roof over our heads, a published book, access to quality medical care when needed (not always when wanted, nor how desired, but always according to God’s riches), restored marriage, a wide assortment of wise Bible teachers who have spoken into our lives, and this list also continues much longer than a single blog post could ever allow.

We have never been aware of God’s presence more than we are right now!

Yes, there are trials, but compared to where our family was emotionally, even a year ago, we are healing and growing. God is carrying us through!

If you followed my old InfertilityMom blog, you may remember our flood damage saga. It took a little over 14 months, but we finally have a floor, wall, and mantel again!

Restoration

We still have a few details to finish up as we restore our damaged house, but I’m actually in no hurry to clean up the last few projects. Now that the BIG messes and losses are gone, the little things actually make me smile. They are a visible reminder that God’s still working on me, bringing hope, healing, and deliverance to my family. Seeing the huge hurdles get overcome, has left me confident that the loose ends will eventually be put to right too, in our physical home, and in our family!

 

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