A Heart of Gratitude💗

IIt’s been awhile since I’ve sat down to write.  I have contemplated probably 5 or more times to blog with updates and then life and Little’s require something different 💜.  To say God is at work in our home and life is an understatement.  We are humbled at the gracious and loving hand of our Savior who has not left our side one moment in the last 3 1/2 months.

After God graciously spared the life of Matt (if you are curious about that, you can read my last blog post), he spent two months behind a desk as his body fought hard to recoup and regain strength and blood 😉.  He went back on the road the end of April and he feels amazing!  Thank you for all your prayers for healing and restoration.  I jokingly have told him that was God sparing his life for a second time, so he better watch himself 😂😂. Between cancer and that episode it is evident to me that God is still writing His story in the life of my husband (& our family), and is not quite finished yet.

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Many are curious about the new addition to our home ☺️  Greta is Gods favor on our crazy lives!!  When I say she is a good baby, I’m being modest💗.  I tell people everyday that she couldn’t be any better behaved, sweeter, or more of a blessing.  She has won the hearts of every single person in our home, including her two big brothers who adore her… she’s even won the hearts of her cousins especially Her cousin Collins😍.  We are thankful that   God saw fit to give us all such a wonderful gift!  She sleeps through the night, smiles, laughs,  nurses like a champ and rarely cries.  They say that the third child turns your world upside down and I tend to disagree.  She has completed our little family unit and brought calmness and peace to our crazy world 💗.

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Now about our boys 😊  Lincoln finally after 10 months of waiting got in to see a geneticist.  He has referred us to Bascom Palmer Eye institute where Lincoln will undergo some testing.  It’s the same test that he had done at Emory two years ago that traumatized him for life.  I’m honestly not looking forward to it.  They have said they may be able to sedate him for the test and I have teased that if they don’t sedate him they will have to sedate me 🤣🤣.  They also have said it is imperative that we get genetic testing done.  Lincoln has 1 of 400 different types of retinal distrophy.  In order to find out the exact one, we have to have to have the genetic tests run.  Our insurance company has really been giving us a hard time about lots of things lately and have said that we have to come up with $2000 up front for the testing.  Please pray with us as we seek to give Lincoln the same opportunities we have given Hudson.  As with everything else, we know our God owns it all and money is never an obsticle for him as it seems to be so often for us.  Once we are able to diagnose Lincolns eye condition, we will know exactly at what rate he is losing eye sight, whether it’s just rods/cones or more, and we will then be able to find out if there is any treatment available to him.  There are lots of clinical trials out there, but he would have to qualify so we have to know exactly what he has.  We will also be watching Greta in the upcoming years.  We know that Hudson does not have this, but since it is genetics, it is possible that Greta could be affected also.  Please pray that she will be spared from this and that we can quickly get Lincoln the help he needs.

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So many of you follow Hudson on Facebook and at church!  If you have seen his posts or watched him get around you will see how far he has come!  Vicky and I were talking just yesterday about how 2 years ago he was almost completely wheelchair bound😳.  To think about where he was and were he has come makes this mommy emotional and thankful.  He has come so far because so many have sacrificed to see him succeed.  Our trip to St. Louis was eye opening and helped us to look toward the next year.  Our goals have shifted, not because we were doing anything wrong, but because he has met and exceeded so many goals we have had for him.  We are attempting to transition to crutches from the walker and are trying to focus on getting his calf muscles developed.  His orthopedic Doctor was extremely pleased with his range of motion and hips.  He said no surgery this year and he will see us next year 💗.  It is always our goal to keep the surgeries as few as possible as well as to keep him progressing!  It was so nice to have the assurance that we are doing the right things.  Hudson has developed and matured in so many ways this year.  Watching him graduate from VPK and looking back at where he was when he started makes me very emotional.  If he continues to excel like he has his year, the sky is the limit!  I watched him to a chin up the other day and thought…. man what I would give to have those arms and that strength 😉.  He has and I pray always will be a fighter.  There are hard days.  The older he gets and the more things he misses out on doing with his friends (& he’s starting to realize it and make comments)  reminds me that raising this litttle boy has never been and will never be a walk in the park.  Giving him encouragement and understanding as well as support and direction will be an everyday job that he may require a little more than the normal kid.

So here we are. This mommy and wife’s  heart has been ripped  out of my chest more in the last 3 months than it has in years.  I have watched all three of my guys go through hard days, most times unable to fix what is happening and I realize my complete and utter dependence on my Savior.  I have been broken and poured out more times than I would like, but I find great joy in knowing once again God would choose me to walk through the hard stuff so he might be praised.  So many paint a picture of the perfect family and the perfect life.  Ours are far from it.  However our family is exactly what God has created and ordained.  So many have said countless times they think we’ve gone through enough and wish we could have a break.  I’ve even teased that I have begged God for a chapter on Boring in our book 🤣.  The truth is as much as I long for that, I know that if He is most glorified in the trials, then He alone will give myself, Matt and our kids the strength to walk through each one without waivering in our faith or wondering why.

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God is at work!! There are so many exciting things around the corner and I don’t want to miss out on any of it!    There is an old song a group I loved used to sing, the words “where You lead, I will follow, no turning round, no looking back, my heart is on a one way track. Where you lead I will follow. My life is in your hands, i will follow You.” This words pop in my head at least once a day as a reminder that I am running a race!  It has an ending,  but until I reach the end my eyes are set on the prize and getting distracted by things along the way will only cause me to lose focus.  What does this season have in store for us?  What will happen with Lincoln ?  How far will Hudson progress?  What if Greta has the same thing Lincoln does? Lots of legitimate questions, but my desire is not to get distracted by the questions and rather trust in God’s time, with his provisions and by His hand He will take care of us💗 Until those moments he works out all the details, we will remain Grateful for all He has already done!

 

 

 

Resting In God’s Embrace

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
  Your sovereign hand
  Will be my guide
  Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
  You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”

The depth of those words speak volumes to my heart tonight as begin to prepare to share our story.  I find myself back on the floor of the hospital crying out to God to not take Matt, over and over.  His promises and the truths of who He is are the only peace that we can rely on when our world seems to be falling apart.  So many have asked what happened and how Matt is, and so many have reached out. I find it fitting that in time of great heartache God would use us to share His truths and His goodness.

Many of you know that baby Greta was born 5 weeks early!  Of course after a crazy week of attempting to heal from major surgery and traveling to the NICU everyday, I was so excited that she would be joining us at home last Saturday. NO MORE TRAVELING!!!! Now I could heal and rest!  She was meeting all her goals and had been BradyCardia free for 5 days.  In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, she decided to have a Brady and her heart rate went down to 50.  She didn’t lose color or even appear to be in distress, but per regulation, her home going from the NICU was postponed.  To say that we were all sad is an understatement.  As a family we got up Saturday and were preparing to bring her home!!  It was an exciting day in the Mitchell house.  When we called to see what time we could get her and they shared the news, we were devastated.  Our much anticipated day was now just another day.  I couldn’t imagine what God was doing and why He would choose to keep her there and not allow her home, and even though my flesh questioned, my Spirit said there is always a reason.

We went about our day, visited her in the NICU and had lunch with my brother-in-law.  During lunch Matt looked like he wasn’t feeling well.  He started to break out in cold sweats and was pale.  He kept saying he felt like his heart was racing.  That evening I was to return to the hospital and they had set up for me to stay overnight with Greta, I was very excited!  Those plans quickly changed as Matt expressed with much urgency that he wasn’t feeling well and really thought he needed to go to the ER.  We quickly packed up, dropped the kids of with my brother and sister-in-law, and headed to ER.  As we drove I prayed that whatever was wrong was an easy fix and we would be home before the morning.   When we got there Matt’s heart was in tachycardia beating up to 159 beats per minute.  They tried everything, even giving him a medicine that would stop his heart quickly and start it again to try to get his rate down.  It worked for about 10 seconds.  After admitting us and running a thousand test, they began a slow drip heart medicine trying to keep his heart rate down.  It didn’t work.  When he was laying flat on his back it was at 120, if he tried to sit 130-140 and standing …. well it wasn’t good.  After 24 hours in the hospital we had no more answers.  As Sunday evening approached, the nurse came in to do one more round of BP’s before calling it a night.  Matt was sitting up in the bed, white as a ghost.  He kept saying he didn’t feel good and was going to pass out.  The nurse encouraged him to lean over.  About that time, he feel backwards on the bed.  I kept saying, “Matt are you ok?”  Then the next moment he began vomiting massive amounts of blood and blood clots all over him, the room, everywhere and he was not responsive.  I ran to him, setting him up because I didn’t want him to aspirate on his blood and I heard the nurse yell “Code Blue”…. “I need help”, “please come help”, “Code Blue”…… as doctors and nurses began to pile in the room I ran out.  It was as if my world in one moment was crumbling before my eyes.  I don’t remember exactly the next moments.  I called my daddy and with emotions that I feel to this moment, I told him I didn’t know if Matt was going to make it, I told him everything that happened, and then as he promised he was on his way, I crumpled onto the floor and began to sob.  I didn’t have words really, all I could say was “Please don’t take Him God”.  I said those words over and over and over again.  The thoughts that ran through my head where a simple plea to not take away my husband, my children’s father, the love of my life.  I couldn’t verbally say anything, but when we are left speechless, the bible says that the Spirit makes intercession on our behalf.   I have no idea how long I sat there, but a hand on my shoulder kindly told me that they where able to get him back and he was responding.  She told me to give them some time to get him stable and cleaned up and I could go in.  The next hours where a blur, the rushed us to ICU and called in GI, who worked overnight trying to find the cause of such an episode.  After doing an endoscopy, the doctor came out to talk to me, my dad and mom.  Matt had thrown up 500 cc of blood and the doctor sucked another 600 cc of blood out of his stomach. The vein that runs directly from the heart to the stomach had punctured the lining of his stomach and was pumping blood directly from the heart to his stomach. My strong husband who had tirelessly provided and taken care of my over the last several weeks, had been bleeding to death internally.  The doctor informed us that he couldn’t find any active bleeding, but that they would go in again Monday and look.  Matt received 4 units of blood that night, and the God of all creation showed mercy on us.  The next days were long and tiring.  When they went back in Monday there was nothing activity bleeding and by all appearances it had clotted on its own.  The doctor informed us that it was something called a “Dielafoy Lesion” and there was no explanation of why or how it happens.  They decided to keep Matt another 48 hours and watch him.  On Wednesday morning, the day we were supposed to be released, Matt’s hemoglobin levels dropped again and they decided they needed to take another look.  When they went back in the found that it had punctured the lining of the stomach wall again and was starting to bleed. This time, because they could see it, they were able to do surgery and cauterize it and clip it!!  Another 2 units of blood and he was set up!  When the doctor came out of surgery he told me that we were lucky (though I’m not a believer of luck 😉 ).  Matt had received almost a complete blood transfusion from head to toe.  They wouldn’t give him anymore blood and his levels are still very low, but tonight he is on the road to recovery!  Tonight we are home as a family of 5 and grateful to be together!

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Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your Sovereign Hand will be my guide…. every word of that rings truth to my Spirit.  Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, you’ve never failed and you won’t start now….. when I sat on that floor in the hospital, despite my heart breaking in a million pieces, I felt the hand of God, the presence of my Savior all around me.  His Spirit never left my side, He was with me in that moment as He has been in so many moments of my life!  His word active and alive began to speak to my heart…. Peace I leave you, my Peace I give you….. Trust in the Lord with all your heart….. there is no place your feet will go, I have not already gone…. Perfect love casts out fear….. over and over again, verses that I had memorized over the years flooded my mind…… and through His word, the Peace of God that surpasses all understanding guarded me.

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To say that it’s been a crazy couple weeks in our house would be an understatement 😉  The doctors and nurses at the hospital know us well…. as I would walk from the ICU to the NICU, they would stop and ask me how the baby was and how Matt was.  The staff at Baptist South cared so much for us with compassion in these last weeks. Nurses had prayer meetings for our family and compassionately loved on this momma who didn’t know if I was coming or going.  When I look back I see how God ordained every step that led to today.  I understand clearly why Greta came early and had to stay longer in the NICU.  I see how God orchestrated events in love to simply show me that He cares, He is concerned and He is compassionate.  I didn’t have to choose between my new-born and my husband, for 5 days we all stayed in the hospital together!  While some of the best nurses in the world took care of my baby in the NICU, I was by the side of my husband who needed me.  My mom and dad who have given so much to us in these last weeks and months have poured themselves into our boys with love and compassion.  My brother and sister-in-law have given of themselves in however we have needed.  The truth is that there are more people than I can name who have stepped up to love us, take care of us, pray for us and provide for us!  Once again, as I have found myself on so many occasions in the last 5 1/2 years, I cannot express my thankfulness to our family, church family and friends for their love and sacrifice.  I am speechless at the love that has been poured out for our family!  Please continue to pray for Matt as he recovers, me as I heal, and our poor children who have two parents who aren’t 100% 😉  Please pray for my mom and dad who have sacrificed so much to take care of our boys and us over these last weeks and are still doing it!  From our family to yours we humbly say thank you once again for being the hands and feet of Jesus in some very difficult days for our family!!! We love you!!

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As I was sitting in the ICU Monday morning, God brought these verses to my heart!  No matter what you are facing, His promises are true!! If we abide in Him, He will abide within us!!!   Psalm 91:1-2 says “He that dwelt in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of Jehovah, he is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust.”

The Anchor Holds

mommy-and-gretaI was sitting in the hospital bed this morning and that old song “The Anchor Holds” came to my mind.  I thought about the significance of Christ as my anchor, I thought about the words of the song and how they speak truth on so many levels, I thought about the fact that despite what life throws at us, He holds us in the palm of his hands.  Our stories never go as we plan, nor do our lives mirror exactly what we purpose for them.  I am grateful for the unplanned, unexpected detours God gives us during our life.

“The Anchor holds, though this ship is battered”, “The Anchor holds though the sails are torn”.  I had to laugh this morning at the simplicity of what that said to my spirit.  I got up to use the bathroom at 4 this morning and I could barely get out of bed.  I didn’t want to wake Matt, he is exhausted, so I was trying to be super woman and make it to the bathroom quietly and by myself.  (If you have ever had a C-section, you know the pain associated with it after all the spinal block has worn off, there really aren’t words.)  I was thinking the entire time, as silly as it seems, ok God I am battered and torn right now, be my anchor and get me to that bathroom.  I know it seems a bit silly, but the truth is that sometimes life throws us extremely difficult days where we are spiritually, emotionally, mentally battered and torn and then there are days like today where my body is physically battered and torn and I need his strength just to get to the toilet 🙂

So may  people have asked how we are doing, what happened and what the plan is that I wanted to give an update on what is next on this little road we call life 🙂  I woke up in the Friday morning at 2 am with consistent and extremely intense contractions.  After contracting for over two weeks I wasn’t sure what that meant.  After a very restless night and trying to convince myself it was ok to call the doctor, even thought I’d already been there twice and in the hospital once this week, I finally picked up the phone and called.  They asked me to go ahead and come in.  When I got there it was evident that something had happened overnight and I went from 1 cm to 3 cm.  Dr. New (the doctor on call) suggested heading to the hospital and checking again in a couple of hours to see what the progress was.  After checking in triage for the 7th time this pregnancy, it was pretty evident to those around that baby Greta would make her entrance.  Dr. New came in at noon to check me again and I was at about 5 cm.  From that point on things got busy and this mommy got extremely nervous.  I mean it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, but all of a sudden reality set in (I still technically had 5 weeks left before she was due).  They spent the next hour prepping and preparing me for surgery.  The last two deliveries were both different and difficult on many levels and I didn’t have the same doctor who had walked by my side for both of those, nor my friend Allison who had held my hand and been a steady rock.  To say nerves where present is an understatement.  I didn’t know what to expect, nor what the next hours would look like.  My parents patiently waited in the waiting room and my husband at my side, God present in each moment.  From the OR nurse who did my intake, the anesthesiologist, the support staff, all the way to Dr. New, God divinely orchestrated each moment and each person to remind me that He is always in control.  The operating room was buzzing with laughter and excitement.  Dr. New was detailed and caring, taking time to take care of me, the anesthesiologist staff talked to Matt and I, asking lots of questions, the support staff seemed relaxed and eager to meet our little girl.  My nerves, though present, seemed to diminish as the surgery progressed. Greta came out screaming and beautiful 🙂  I was able to see her and watch as they accessed her.   After about 5 or so minutes of assessing her, it was decided that she needed some extra TLC in the NICU so they bundled her up, I got to kiss her sweet face and grab a picture and they took her away while Dr. New and his team finished up surgery.

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After surgery was over and they wheeled me to recovery I started not to feel very well.  Right before delivery my BP’s had hit their all-time high of 158/95, or course when you’re in pain that happens, but what was not known was that my body was going into preeclampsia.  I am grateful that God had his hands on each moment and kept it at bay until after Greta was born.  It made surgery smooth, her delivery unforgettable and her health no more compromised than necessary.  As assessments go they started checking me and realized that after giving me three different BP meds trying to get my 175/105 BP back to normal, that my body was experiencing preeclampsia.  Most of the rest of that day is a blur to me.  I didn’t get to see Greta, but honestly I felt so bad it didn’t matter.  My doctor and nurses diligently worked to get me stable and take care of me.  I was reminded in moments of weakness that God places people in our lives for the purpose of helping heal our bodies and I am grateful to Dr. New and the amazing staff in the L&D at Baptist South for caring for me with compassion and love.  I am much better now!  I will be on meds for probably 6 weeks after surgery and we will pray that there is nothing more needed.  I am beyond exhausted and can barely move (because of surgery), but I am grateful that my health is on the mend and that in time, I’ll be back to chasing my boys around the house, tending a baby girl, running errands, and busy about life as normal.

Greta is doing as good as to be expected!  I was able to see her yesterday for the first time!  Last night Matt and I spent about 1 hour with her.  I fed her and sang to her.  She is surprisingly calm 🙂  We are just praying that stays!  Matt got to feed her this morning as we spent some time loving on her.   We are uncertain how long she will remain in the NICU, it could be a week or she could be here till her due date.  Her lungs are just not quite developed yet and so we will patiently wait until her body is ready to come home.  My motto with Hudson is the same with her, I want her home, but not as much as I want her healthy, so until the time her little body is ready being in our home we trust these amazing men and women to care for her with compassion and love!   If nothing changes I will be discharged tomorrow and we will go home while she stays put in her comfy bed here.  It’s never easy to pull away and leave your baby, but she will be home before you know it 🙂

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Thank you once again for all the prayers and support that you show our family!  The next 6 weeks of recovery will be difficult for our family.  I am not allowed to lift anything more than the baby, so please pray for Matt, my mom, dad and all those who will be stepping in to help around our house with Hudson.  Please continue to pray for both Greta and I as we recovery and our bodies fight hard to get in good working shape 🙂  Thank you for those who have willingly made/sent/or given gift cards for dinners!  What a blessing that is to our family!  We want you to know that we love you and we are grateful for each person who has impacted our lives!!  If you are reading this, chances are you have sacrificed in some way for our family!!  We could never adequately express our appreciation and love to you!!

M”The Anchor Holds”.  Today it may be my physical body that feels the weight of that truth (as silly as it may seem), tomorrow as I drive away  and leave my baby girl,it may be my emotions, in days to come it may be a spiritual or mental battle that I face but the truth is that He holds all things and controls all things.  The same is true for you!  The Anchor, the one thing that is constant in our life Christ, He holds when we are battered, torn, or the waves seem so big around us!  Allow the Sovereign Creator of this Universe to be for you all He promised He would!

 

 

Time is passing by….

So many have asked for an update on Hudson, Lincoln and the new little life that God is growing at this moment (Greta 🙂 ).  The last several months have been a whirl wind of school, therapy, doctors appointments, sickness, & full on crazy mode 🙂  I am grateful for my partner in this life.  He has more than taken care of me and the boys in a season that has been difficult on many levels. This week last year, Hudson and I were preparing to come back home.  After being separated for over 5 months, the thought of being reunited as a family was more than I could bear.  We reflect on our time in St. Louis at least once a week.  We talk about our friends, our memories & the things that we accomplished in our time there.  Hudson is adamant that the only way he’s going back is with his daddy and brother 😉  I never realized during that season how much he missed them, but I am so grateful for God’s continual presence while we were there.

Hudson is doing wonderful.  The time is passing by quickly and its hard to believe its been 1 year and 5 months since his surgery.  So where is he you may ask, how is he doing and what is he accomplishing?  I will tell you that while his progress is slow, it is steady!  He daily amazes me with new independent skills and determination.  He doesn’t let anything stop him!  He goes EVERYWHERE on his walker, more determined every day to be able to do things he could never do.  Surgery has given him more mobility that I ever thought possible a few years ago.  With every passing day he grows in ways that I never dreamed.  He can now get in the van all on his own and get in his seat.  He walks all the way into the house with his walker and up the ramp and then steps.  He is like a speed demon on his walker and he prefers to walk over crawling anymore.  He is learning how to put on his own shirt and pants.  His writing skills have exploded over the last several months, and he can independently write his name!! He knows all his numbers and letters, as well as the sounds each letter makes.  He tries daily to spell words by sounding them out.  I am overwhelmed at how bright he is and how much he yearns to learn.  Several people have asked me if the surgery was worth it?  I would say that not only was it worth it, but even though he is not yet walking independantly (he will), knowing all that I know now and going through all we have, I would do it again tomorrow!  The quality of life that has been given to him is something that was worth a million dollars!!  We will be going back to St. Louis as a family the end of April for a week for doctors appointments and evaluations.

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Lincoln is doing wonderful this year!  I am so grateful for his teacher and those who work with him.  His eyes have not gotten any better since our last update, but as far as I can tell it has not gotten any worse!  (which we are praising the Lord for)  We have an appointment with a specialist in May, which was the earliest they could get us in.  We will be at that point begin testing to find out the extent of the damage to his retina’s, what his prognosis is, what the effects long-term and short-term will look like, and a clearer direction on his future.  He has excelled so much this year in school that I have caught myself on occasion tearful.  He really has an amazing teacher who he loves so much!  She has made learning and school so much fun for him that he looks forward to it every day!  His heart for Jesus has grown so much in just the last several months that I can’t help but get teary eyed as he prays at night, talks about the love of Jesus, inquires to know more about the God we serve, and humbly loves those who are hurting in a real way .  Tonight we were talking in our bible time about talents the Lord gives us.  We asked him what he was good at (which was leading to talents God has given us), his response “Praising the Lord.” 🙂  We explained that isn’t a talent but an overflow of our love for God, but as his mom I couldn’t agree more with his statement.  He loves to Praise to Lord!

Matt and I are doing wonderful!  Matt is now on 4 years cancer free and of course my heart rejoices every time we get results back from tests and they are clear.  I have had a rough pregnancy.  If you ask Matt he will attempt to be kind, but I know me and I am not a good pregnant lady.  After Hudson was born I was told I could only have one more child and i had to wait at least 2 years.  After that, Matt got cancer and we were told we wouldn’t be able to have anymore and that was ok!  Of course God is always working and this was most defiantly a part of His plan.  As horrible as I feel and as many little things that have plagued me, I couldn’t be more excited about Greta and the life God is growing at this moment.  She has given me a run for my money 🙂  I was in a car accident last Thursday on the interstate.  I will tell you it is the grace of God alone that I am typing this update today and with not even one bruise on my body!  God is so faithful to protect His children.  We are also watching very closely for Pre-eclampsia as I have had several difficult weeks of symptoms that look to be heading that way.  I am grateful that God sees the big picture and even in our uncertain moments He gently guides us, protects us, and calms our spirits.   His promises never cease to amaze me and HIs love never ceases to overwhelm me 🙂  We are praying that Greta will stay put and that any symptoms I am experiencing will not get worse.  I would do the NICU again tomorrow if that is the path God chose for us, but I will say with sincerity that I am fervently praying that is not the case!  27 weeks today!!!  In a little under two weeks Hudson would have made his surprise entrance into this world.  As that day approaches I am ever mindful that had he not come when he did, he would not be here today.  With that being at the forefront of my mind I am also confident that whenever God chooses to bring Greta into this world will be His perfect time.

So yes, life and time is passing by ever so quickly.  We couldn’t be more exhausted, or more thrilled at all God is doing in our home, with our children and in our lives.  As you think about us, please continue to pray for the many areas you have been praying for us over the last year and add baby Greta to that list 😉  As I reflect on the word of God, I am reminded that there is a time and a purpose for everything under heaven.  Ecclesiastes chapter 3 does a wonderful job of reminding us to give thanks in every season of life and that God makes everything beautiful in His time!!  I LOVE that thought!!!! Even when we can’t see how he is at work, and we only see the mess or struggle, He is diligently working to create a Beautiful Masterpiece from the ashes!!

 

We were not meant to walk alone…..

It has been a couple months since I last updated everyone and shared some thoughts.  To be honest, I usually blog at night, but I’ve been so sick with the new baby that I’m in bed as soon as Matt gets home from work. ( For those who many not know, I am pregnant 🙂 )  I am blessed that God gave me a very thoughtful, gracious, hardworking, patient and loving husband.  He has worked 12 hour shifts, come home and fixed dinner, fed the boys, bathed the boys, done our night-time bible and prayer as well as put them in bed…. all to wake up at 4:30 the next morning and head out to protect and serve our community for twelve hours before coming home and doing it all over.  He has been the definition of a servant over these last weeks and I am thankful to be married to such a man 🙂  I am now 13 weeks pregnant and I am hoping that the sickness will soon go away so that I can feel like a normal human again.   We are so excited about this new little life that God is in the process of creating and designing for His Glory!  Many have asked what we want and I’m completely ok with whatever God chooses to give us.  I think our entire church family is praying for a little girl 🙂  With 6 grandsons, they are hoping my parents will finally get a granddaughter :).

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Hudson is doing well!  He is in school and loves to be there!  He is continuing to get therapy 5 days a week as well as work hard during his school day.  He is beyond exhausted at the end of the day.  The first week of school he was up at 6:45 every morning ready to go.  However, as the weeks go on, I find myself having to pry him out of bed at 7:30 still asleep to set him at the table (with his eyes still closed 🙂 ) to eat his breakfast. He looks forward to everyday, but he is definitely worn out!  There are many decisions that we are in the process of making daily for Hudson, please be in prayer that God would continue to direct our paths as we strive to give him the absolute best for him and for his success.  There are days that are more difficult than others but He is always working to get stronger and be successful!  My prayer remains that His life would continue to shine the Glory of God no matter what he may face, and that we would be faithful to guide Him no matter what is required!  Being a parent of a child with special needs is not without heartache, frustration, or worry, but it is one of the most rewarding roads that I believe we could walk!   When I am discouraged or downtrodden, God quickly brings to my mind Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

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Lincoln is also loving school!!  He absolutely adores his teacher and I am thankful that she is kind and compassionate to him daily!  I’d like to tell you everything is going wonderful with him and that our worries over his eyes are over!  That would not be the truth.  Please pray for him and our family during a season of the unknown.  We took him last week to the pediatric optomologist and we are so excited that his vision has improved!  He went from 20/60 & 20/70 to 20/25 &20/35!!!  That is due to lots of work on his part and ours.  Our goal is to strengthen his eyes as best we can!!  While the news of vision was encouraging, the doctor stated that after observing him for a year she was now comfortable saying there was definitely something wrong with his Retina’s.  What that means we don’t know.  We will be finding a pediatric geneticist to have testing done and determine what is diagnosis and prognosis is.  From that point we will be able to determine the best plan of care for his eyes.  Our prayer is that God would  of course heal him, but that we desperately want to be able to hold on to his vision as long as possible!  We will continue to do our part to make his eyes as strong as we possibly can, and we will trust that no matter what the doctors say, that even in this God will be Glorified!  There is nothing more heart wrenching as a mother than knowing that there is nothing you can physically do to protect your children from difficulty.  However there is nothing more rewarding as a child of the King than giving your children to His care.  I am finding in each storm we face that my trust in Him and my reliance on His strength are at the forefront of my everyday.  I am also aware that without His continual presence in my life, that these situations would be overwhelming.  There is nothing more humbling that coming to the realization that apart from Him, I could not do this!  His strength is perfect when our strength is gone!  I’ve heard people say over and over again…. “Please don’t say God won’t give me more than I can handle”.  I would say, that at the heart of that phrase is the realization that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle if we are fully relying on His strength.  If you rely on yourself and what you can muster up to face difficulties, than chance are your circumstances will become more than you can handle.  However when you realize that all things are working for His good and you see that His plan is not to harm you, but give you a hope and future; it is then you can confidently say that “As I walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, there is nothing He places before me that I cannot walk victoriously through.”  There is much to be said about the mercy and grace of a Father who would love us so much that not only would he send His Son to die in our place, then three days later rise, but that He would leave His Spirit in the lives of those who would receive it so that we may walk in joy, victory and strength no matter what life may lay before us.

” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities no powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height no depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

I am convinced after 34 years of life that we were never meant to walk this road alone, nor in our own power.  I am also convinced as the writer of Hebrews was, that when we walk by Faith, trusting in the hand of a Sovereign Savior even when he leads us to a place that we don’t understand, the testimony that we display will show those around us the goodness of Him who loves us.

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12 months ago….

IMG_8097I have had a mixture of emotions over the last several days.  My time hop keeps popping up with pictures of our journey to St. Louis, doctors appointments, and pre-op.  Tomorrow I will open it up and will for a moment, relive the day we placed our little guy into the hands of the best medical team in the country as they performed his SDR.  They say that time flies and I will tell you that this year has flown by faster than I ever imagined.  I remember the way I felt that day like it was yesterday. I had utmost trust that God had placed us exactly where He desired and that He would take care of Hudson.  Watching them roll him away to surgery was a very difficult moment, for in that moment I had to physically let go and let God.  This year has been one of the most difficult and yet one of the most blessed that I have ever experienced. I think back to the 5 months we were separated as a family and how God walked with us each day.  I am grateful for every moment we had in St. Louis.  I am grateful for the strength Hudson gained, the courage God instilled in us, the friends that He allowed to love us and in return us to love them, the church at home that fervently prayed and supported us at every turn, the church in St. Louis He allowed us to become apart of, and the memories that we made.  I am grateful for the hard days and the lonely days.  I am grateful for the many tears and struggles as well as the many laughs and joys we experienced.  Today I am overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness that I could never describe.

A year ago I dreamed about writing this blog and including a video of Hudson walking, and I would love to tell you that a year was all it took and we are on our way.  The truth is, as I have said in other posts, this journey is taking longer than we anticipated.    With that comes a mixture of fear and uncertainty.  Sometimes God has to remind us of our past so that we can be confident in the future.  Many times over the last several weeks I have asked God how we will make it through another year of this.  I find myself seeking the answers to many questions that seem to be unanswered, trying in my own power to figure out how we are going to do it.  Then God, as He always does, simply reminds me of all that He has done for us in this year and how He has taken care of every detail.  He reminds me of a verse I learned years ago found in 1 Chronicles 29, 11-12 that “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory.  The victory and the majesty;  For ALL that is in heaven and on the earth is Yours;  Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And you are exalted and in control over all.  Both riches and honor come from you alone, and you reign over all.  In Your hand is power and might and at your discretion men are made great and given strength.”  He reminds me through these words that He owns it all, He sees it all, and He is in control.  We do our part, and trust Him to do His. Hudson would never be where he is had we not had surgery, and we are confident that every moment of everyday He is becoming stronger, even if it is taking longer than expected.

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I was thinking today if we hadn’t been able to come home when we did that we would probably be moving home this week.  I am so glad that He opened the door for us to come home when we did!  We LOVE St. Louis 🙂  We couldn’t have been more content being where we needed to be, but man the moments we have had as a family over the last 6 months have been such a blessing and could never be replaced.  As I reflect on this last year, I see God’s hand in every detail as he teaches me, encourages me, refines me, and loves me.  I am overwhelmed by His goodness, kindness and sacrifice.  I am speechless at His provision, protection, and power.  I am thankful for His patience and mercy, and I am humbled by His grace!  As I write with tears flowing down my face I can honestly say that though the future is unknown and often scary, I am resting in the arms of the one who has walked so closely with me these last 12 months.

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So where are we today?  What does life look like a year later?  Hudson will start VPK this fall!  We are so excited about this and grateful that He will be able to attend Turning Point Christian Academy for VPK!  He will have 3 hours a day learning with others his age, as well as learning how to work his body in a school setting.  He is also going to continue to receive intense rehab 5 days a week from his therapists and 6 days a week from his mommy.  I would say that I probably won’t have to rock him to sleep after his days are finished! 🙂  He is very excited about going to school and we hope that this will be another catalyst to push him forward even more!  He is confidently walking everywhere with his walker and almost just as confident on his canes (though I’m not quite ready to let him go on those, I don’t want any hospital visits 🙂 ).  He has on two separate occasions taken a step unassisted, he can stand up on his own and remain that way for sometimes up to 45 seconds.  He is completely potty trained, seriously even to the point where I hear him crawling down the hall at 2 in the morning saying “mommy, I need to go potty”.  🙂  His legs are stronger than they have ever been and he is becoming more confident with new possibilities everyday ! He continues to have some hip flexor/core strength issues, but they were so masked by all the spasticity he had before surgery that we had no idea how weak his little body really was, hence it taking a little longer than originally prescribed.  He has always been a fighter and I don’t see that changing anytime soon 🙂

We are blessed to have so many walking this journey with us.  Please continue to pray for strength, provision, growth, and patience for our family over this next year as you think about us.  God has brought us this far and I am confident that He is not finished yet!  We love you each and are grateful for the way in which you continually impact our lives!

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A Quick Look

It is hard to believe that tomorrow will be July 1st!  It seems as if this summer is just flying by right before my eyes.  We have been enjoying summer so much, although after speaking with a friend of mine today, neither of us can figure out why we are more busy now than during the year :).  We are quickly approaching the anniversary of Hudson’s surgery and I get a little teary eyed when I think about it.  The blessings of God never cease to amaze me.  A year ago we were preparing for one of the biggest journey’s of our lives, trusting God’s guidance.  I have had every emotion known to man during this year 😉 , but He has always been there to gently calm my Spirit.  God gave this exact journey to me and he gave your journey to you.  In it, our one desire should be to  #makemuchofHim with every ounce of our beings and run with our eyes on the prize, which is Christ.     I love Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:16 – 21 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of HIS glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power hat works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”  The power of these words have become more real to me over the last years, as I have walked the road of life.  I love that we don’t walk alone or in our own power!

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Matt and I were so blessed in June to be able to have about 9 days away by ourselves.  A couple from our church sent us on a 7 day all-inclusive cruise to Alaska.  It was beautiful, fun, unexpected, exciting, refreshing and relaxing.  We made memories, drank coffee, played games, hiked, explored, slept (just a little, we didn’t want to miss a thing 🙂 ), talked, laughed, prayed and fellowshipped, with others and by ourselves.  We made memories, saw amazing sights and enjoyed our time together.  It was the trip of a lifetime and one we are daily grateful we had the blessing of experiencing.  When we got home life went right back to CRAZY 😉  I’m not sure I expected anything different but I thought we might at least get a week to unwind (not sure why I thought that 🙂 ).  We came back, and the next day Matt ended up having surgery on his knee, and it hasn’t let up since.  I just finished unpacking two days ago ;)!!!

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Hudson is doing well.  As I posted in my last update, things are a little slower than we had originally thought, so it looks like we will be doing another year of intensive rehab.  I say that with hesitation because I don’t want anyone to think that he hasn’t come far, or that the surgery wasn’t successful.  He has come farther that I could have ever imagined, and he is working harder than anyone could ever understand, he is exactly where he needs to be.  The surgery did exactly what it was created to do and each child is so different that there isn’t a mold they all fit.  His body is different and his issues are different, therefore his timeline, plan of care, goals, and outcomes aren’t identical to anyone else’s.  It’s not a sprint, there is no time limit, we are just running with consistency and perseverance with our eyes on the prize.  On Monday at the ranch he took one full step completely unassisted!  It was so awesome to see!!  I wish I could have gotten it on video, but i keep playing it over and over again in my mind!!   His core is getting stronger daily, as you can see from this picture below, he is learning how to balance himself on a ball.  He has been having cramps in his feet a lot lately, so I have started to give those little legs and feet a massage when I think about it.  I guess it’s become so much a part of our life (working out), that i don’t think about how exhausted or sore he might be.  He never complains (about hurting or being sore), so its hard for me to know when he may be uncomfortable.  He has made some incredible leaps over the last several weeks and we are looking forward to seeing him meet some of his goals this next month 🙂

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I want everyone to know how much we appreciate and love you!  This season is taking a little longer than expected and your prayers, kindness, and generosity are what are giving us the strength to finish this season well! ( and maybe a little silly 🙂 ) I have had many people ask over the last several weeks how we are and what the needs are… we are great!!  The needs remain the same as they have from the beginning  at this time 🙂  Please pray with us as we seek God’s guidance and direction in many areas over the next months.  We love you, we appreciate you, we would not be here without you!!  Thank you for continuing to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our family!!! IMG_3973

 

 

A Change of Plans, Part 2…

IMG_7271I seem to remember writing a blog with this title almost a year ago.  It seems that our plans are not always what God has in mind.  Last year, he changed our plans and directed us to stay in St. Louis for Hudson’s rehab. (as opposed to go to Tampa, which was our initial plan)   It was a hard decision to make because we hated to be so far from our family.  However, God’s ways always, I mean always come out better than ours.  The 5 months we spent in St. Louis were some of the greatest moments of my life.  God brought me to my knees in many areas and grew me personally in ways that I would have never imagined.  He blessed Hudson and I with a church family which I still miss to this day, brothers and sisters in Christ who loved us generously & graciously.  He gave me friendships that I believe I will have for a lifetime.  He taught me at an even deeper level the importance of Him being my all.  I also had an incredible time with people who came to visit us.  One on one time, as I grew in a relationship with my Uncle Ted and Aunt Betty, my baby sister (who also Facetimed me every single day 🙂 ), my grandma Betty and mom, Vicky & Momma Two.  See each time these people came to visit, they served Hudson and I, loved on us, took care of us and invested extra time in us; for all of those moments I am forever grateful!!

When our finances began to look like we couldn’t make it the entire year, we began to ask the questions one asks.  God are you leading us home 6 months before planned?  Are you asking us to trust you here? What is your plan for Hudson’s rehab?  What if we can’t make it? We prayed a lot and decided that we would ask the doctors and therapists if they could release us to go home.  For those of you who may be unaware, our insurance company denied all benefits for Hudson post surgery.  We have fought, appealed and had doctors send letters.  Unfortunately every bit of rehab (therapy 5 days a week for 1-2 years) from the surgery has fallen into our laps.  I cried a little thinking that going home was a lack of trust that he would provide, but I also knew that if doctors approved it, that it was His way of relieving some of the financial stress off our family. Even though therapy would continue to not be covered, we could relieve the burden of living in two seperate places and recieve better rates for therapy at home.  When they informed us that we could go as long as we promised to continue our same plan of care, I felt relief and fear.  In St. Louis my sole duty was Hudson, at home, I don’t have a sole duty :).  I didn’t know how I would be able to handle it and focus on Hudson.  I believe God always knows the bigger plan and I believe that He knew that at even a year in St. Louise, Hudson would not be walking on his own. I also believe he knew that Lincoln and Matt needed us just as much as we needed them.  Doctors told us a year, but we firmly believe its going to look more like two years of intensive rehab.  I believe that would have been the case no matter where we were and I also firmly believe that in knowing that, God brought us home to our family.  Hudson is growing by leaps and bounds.  He’s walking with canes more confidently, he’s moving his legs and getting around much easier, he’s potty trained, he’s like a speed demon on his walker.  He is not the same kids he was a year ago, and I can’t wait to see what he will be in another year.

In my last blog post I stated that I had come to a place where I wasn’t putting a time limit on when Hudson would walk.  I strongly and firmly believe that God is teaching me much through unmet expectations.  I expected many things in this year, many of which I have seen God miraculously perform.  But those things that I expected that haven’t happened are not a reflection of the character of my Savior, yet a reminder that His timing isn’t always our timing and His ways are not always our ways.  More than ever we are having to trust Him to be our provider, sustainer and the lifter of our heads.  I see Him perfecting an eternal weight of glory in our lives through each circumstance and unmet expectation.  Hudson will not be walking unassisted in July.  My hope was that he would run down the aisle at church and show everyone all that God had done.  However I believe that He will walk/run down that aisle one day, but it will be in God’s time, with our continuous effort and hard work.  God doesn’t change because our personal expectations go unmet; God hasn’t rewritten Hudson’s story, this was in His design and plan all along.  Hudson was formed by the hand of a mighty Creator, perfect in every way, yet in need of a Savior.  We will steadfastly and fervently give him all he needs physically and work hard to give him mobility and independence no matter the sacrifice, but at the end of the day I want him to have Jesus.  I want His heart and mind to be wrapped around the plan of a mighty Savior who saved  he and his mommy 4 1/2 years ago in preparation for what He had planned for both of us.

So we’ve had a change in plans, intensive rehab will take 2 years, not 1 🙂  God’s plans, if you read my blog from a year ago you will see I say the same things, they haven’t changed.    We have many decisions to make in the next year regarding Hudson and are asking that you join us in prayer as we seek to give Him the best we can and push him to be all he was created to be.  Here are several ways you can be praying for our family.

  1. God would give the financial provision we need due to our insurance company’s lack of willingness to assist in his rehab.
  2. God would prepare our hearts, minds and bodies to continue in a steadfast mindset as we seek to make Hudson mobile.
  3. Our story would reach a people who are hurting and in need of encouragement.
  4. God would continue to open doors for me to speak and share not just our journey but the word of God with women across this county.
  5. Matt would get surgery and heal quickly (He tore his meniscus in two places at work and will be having surgery in about three weeks, and then be out of work for 3-6 weeks)
  6. Lincoln would continue to improve in his vision and when we head back in August that they would be able to remove the bifocals he has right now.

Thank you for patiently walking this journey with us in love, support and prayers!  We are blessed to have the body of Christ from all over remaining steadfast in prayers and support!  We love you!!

“For I know the plans I have for you declare the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you a Hope and a Future.” Jeremiah 29:11

When Brokenness becomes ok….

Our home runs a little different from most homes.   Though we attempt every effort to allow our boys the joys of being boys (getting dirty, playing, rough housing, ect.), the fact is that many activities are limited due to the nature of Hudson’s limitations.   Lincoln and Hudson can’t just go outside by themselves and play alone, or run around and build forts and climb trees, or compete together in sports. Our home is different, mainly because Hudson is unable to do the many outside things that boys do together. With that being said, our boys are not at all deprived of fun or bonding time, they just do it in different ways than many children. They both have imaginations that exceed the norm. They play with super hero’s and toys in the house and spend hours together in their room, making up stories, sharing laughs, drawing, reading together and talking…. They do A LOT of talking and laughing :).   For Lincoln’s birthday this year he was blessed to receive a basketball goal. He has really started to love playing basketball!! His eyes have been such an issue when it comes to sports, but this one sport he seems to get a little easier, and so we are encouraging him to do it, working with him and playing! Last night we went outside as a family to play a little 2 on 1 (Matt and Lincoln against me!!! NOT FAIR 🙂 ). Since Hudson is unable to participate he sat in a chair watching us play. My heart sank, we always attempt to do things to incorporate him, but this was one time that it was just not possible. I thought he would be upset, mad, get sad, some type of negative attitude. I kept my eye on him and what I saw was something I never thought I would experience, a smile! He was excited about what he could do, cheer his family on! He didn’t complain one minute about not getting to play, he just sat, smiled and cheered us on! (Actually he cheered Matt and Lincoln on…. I seem to be the odd man out in our family 🙂 )

And then this thought came to me….. To often we try to “accommodate” people in their brokenness or around their brokenness, instead of allowing their brokenness to become that which makes them strong. We never allow them the opportunity to “Sit this one out” for fear that they will break. We spiritually coddle people until we become enablers and eventually instead of them learning to relying on the power of God, we become their God. I went to bed with this thought on my mind. Don’t get me wrong, we will always work around Hudson’s physical brokenness and give him every opportunity for success, that’s not really the point. Rather the thought that we are in a war and we have no soldiers to fight because we have made them weak and anemic, always “fixing” their problems with worldly wisdom, tiptoeing around their issues instead of allowing them to just face brokenness and dealing with what that looks like.

The bible says that “In our weakness, He is made strong”. Hudson is a physical example of this. He is broken (as we all are in some way :), though he is perfectly formed by the hand of our Savior and made whole in Christ ), but in his physical brokenness has come great strength!! He can do a plank at 4 years old 🙂  His upper body is so incredibly strong that we have to remind him to be careful when wrestling with us because he doesn’t  know his own strength. His mind is so sharp and brilliant. His physical brokenness has made his little body work harder in other areas to accommodate his weakness, and thus we have a very strong little boy. But what if because of his brokenness we had coddled and done everything for him? What if we didn’t allow him the chance to get frustrated or upset? What if we didn’t allow him the opportunity to fight his own battle, one that honestly we can’t do for him? We would create a child that would be dependent on us for the rest of his life. Please hear my heart, there are children with disabilities that require care from their families forever, that is not the point! The point is, Hudson is able and will be on his own one day, but if because of His CP we didn’t allow him to struggle we nor he, would ever know the extent of what he is capable of!!!   What if we allowed our family and friends the opportunity to be broken in attempt to allow them to see the extent their abilities in Christ! What if we stopped trying to fix every area of their life and allowed them the chance to turn to God as their strength? When they fall down, we help them up and encourage them to try again. When they get frustrated we encourage them to try a different way. When they fail, we remind them that failure is a reminder of our need for a Savior.  We love, encourage, and guide, but we also in love allow them to experience their own brokenness so that in return they can learn the simple truths of God’s word, that in their weakness, He is strong.

Hudson taught me something last night! He showed me that he knows he is loved, he is aware of his limitations, and that his brokenness isn’t a means by which he escapes the world, rather a means by which he learns a different way to interact in the world. For him last night, that was being ok with sitting back and cheering his family on. He showed me that my worries about Him fitting in and succeeding in life are best left in the lap of the Savior who is creating and equipping Hudson for something far greater than I can imagine. He also showed me that sometimes though I feel as if we live in a state of “tough love” all the time, that it is part of what makes him strong. He didn’t open his mouth and verbally share any of these thoughts with me (he’s only 4 after all 🙂 ), but his quiet confidence in the moment and his smile spoke a million words to my heart!  IMG_7302.JPG

 

Where is your strength?

This month has been a slight bit crazy!   There is much going on in our little family, as well as our extended family and the results across the board are sheer exhaustion from many of us.  I believe it’s just life in general and in a world that is so fast pace, sitting and breaking rarely seem to be an option.  But the more that I find myself busy about life and tired, the more I realize that the resilience of my soul, spirit and body isn’t based on how much sleep I get, or a vacation, but on my time in the word of God. (Not that sleep or a vacation would be bad, but it’s not what’s most important 😉 ).   So often we think if we could just have more of this or that, be it sleep, money, time off, rest, etc.  that we would find ourselves in the exact spot that we need to be, rested and ready to go.  The fact is that our bodies get tired, and our spirits get weary.  Maybe it’s because we need to change our priorities, but I think more than anything, it’s a sweet and simple reminder from our Savior that we weren’t made to walk this journey of life alone, nor were our bodies designed to live forever.  We are here for but a season, and with that season comes great responsibility to share the love of Christ with a world that is in search of hope, meaning, and true love.

In this month of crazy, God has been at work in my heart in ways that I may never be able to adequately express in words.  He’s been teaching me the importance of fasting and praying on a regular basis;  teaching me the importance of listening to Him and not always talking; teaching me the importance of letting His Spirit which indwells me guide me; teaching me that I am but His vessel and He will use me how He chooses;  and teaching me that I am here for one purpose and that is His Glory.  Sometimes I don’t feel up to the challenge, but in those moments I am grateful that He reminds me that He created me for the challenge with the power of His Holy Spirit, as Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me Strength.”  We so often throw that verse out there, but to actually think about the meaning and what its says means that our complaining’s  cease, our excuses become invalid and  we walk in the Power of the God who created and left us here.  It is my prayer for myself and many that I have come in contact with over the last several months that those words would become truth to our spirits and not just rhetoric we repeat to make ourselves feel better.  The truth is if we walk in our power we will be tired, aggravated easily, exhausted, weak, and hopeless on many occasions.  BUT…. if we actually walk in His power, though maybe legitimately tired, we can walk in patience, restoration, strength and love!!

So our crazy journey, one that I would never change has had some exciting news in the last several weeks.  Lincoln’s eyes seem to be improving with patch therapy and several exercises we do daily at home!  While the doctor is still concerned there may be some rod/cone dystrophy going on (his eyes don’t adjust at  night and he can’t see, and the daytime he’s very sensitive as well as depth perception issues), his vision during the day for tasks such as reading are improving tremendously!  All Glory be to God for that!  We couldn’t be more excited and watching him receive the A/B honor roll this 9 weeks was such a blessing!!IMG_7175

Last week Matt went to the oncologist for his 3 year appointment and wouldn’t you know that we are now at year 3 of remission!  Our God is so gracious to us, giving us what we don’t deserve.  I am thankful for His earthly healing in Matt’s life as I speak of so often.  I have several friends who are walking through cancer this moment.  I was reunited with my college roommate from 15 years ago, and was reminded that God doesn’t always choose earthly healing.  Her husband passed away last year from Lymphoma.  I look at my dear friend who is dying of breast cancer and I am yet again reminded that our ways are not always God’s ways.  I am also blessed by the strength of her husband and two young boys in such a difficult time.  And then I have a precious friend who just finished up her battle with breast cancer to turn around and find out her husband has cancer and will be starting chemo on Monday.  You see what I mean about being tired.  I imagine each of these friends are exhausted beyond their capabilities and yet they each walk with grace and love and strength that is only explained by the power of God.

Hudson is doing well.  We again are still in that “slow and steady wins the race” stage.  There are days we are both exhausted and then there are days where we both have energy.  He is getting much stronger day by day.  His therapist all seem to be happy with his progress.  People say to me often they see his strength growing and though it is hard for me to see because I am with him day in and day out, I know that He is daily getting stronger.  When I think that 1 year ago today we were waiting to hear if he would be eligible for surgery, I am reminded that God wrote this story long before me and He will see it come about in His time, with our hard work!  Someone asked me if Hudson would be walking in July and I have to honestly say I don’t know.  I believe that he will walk, but I stopped putting a time on it several months ago when I realized that as long as He is progressing and gaining strength we will persevere whether it takes him 1 year or 2.  My dream would be that he could at least take several steps by his 5th birthday, but I’m gonna leave that up to the one who created him and just continue to walk steadfast as his biggest supporter, encourager, trainer and mommy :).  I promise when he takes his first step everyone will know!!!IMG_7136

Thank you for your continual prayers and support for our family.  God has been opening doors for me to share God’s story through His word and our journey.  Please join me in adding that to your prayer list, that as He opens doors I will be faithful to walk through them and sensitive to His Spirit!  We Love you all!