Happy Independence Day! So thankful for all who have fought for our freedom as well as the freedom we have in Christ. “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~2 Corinthians 3:17
Happy Father’s Day to my amazing dad.
I am so thankful for my dad and the relationship we share. Over the years my dad has been there continually for me. He has never missed an event, show, or appointment, etc that I’ve needed him to be there for. He has always shown up, especially in the last few years.
Because of my Cerebral Palsy my parents have dealt with more than most and have sacrificed their time and money to make sure I’ve had the best healthcare, medical treatments, and therapy possible. Also, in addition to those things, when I got older, they fully supported me when I wanted to work at camps every summer and allowed and encouraged me to go on as many trips as I could. They put me through college and gave me the freedom to see many different places and meet so many people.
Instead of pulling me back, they pushed me forward even when I know it was hard for them. That is one of the best gifts they gave me as parents.
Over the years I have many wonderful memories with my dad. He has played my chauffeur many times and always drove me back and forth to college once a month, and more if I wanted to come home. Basically he drove me wherever I wanted to go wIthout making it awkward and never complained. Also, from my dad, I received my love of watching sports and one of my favorite things to do is watch football with him. Thanks, dad!
Most importantly though my dad has always been an example of Jesus in my life, especially in the last year. I know it has not been easy seeing me suffer but he has went above and beyond in caring for me. He’s spent many sleepless nights lately at the hospital and has had to take a lot of time off of work to take me to appointments or just be with me. We have always been close but this season has caused us to be closer than ever. Dad, thanks for not only being my father but for also being my best friend.
Thank you for loving Jesus and allowing His love to lead you.
Happy Memorial Day! I am so grateful for those who have sacrificed for our freedom, and continuing to do. To read my post about Memorial Day that I posted on Friday visit here.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
As I lay here in my bed not able to sleep I’m thinking about how crazy things have been. The last week or so has been a whirlwind to say the least. If you have been following my journey you know that I’ve been sick for the past year but these last few weeks have taken things to a whole new level.
First, I was transferred to Hospice care, but that is a Godsend and I’m so thankful for their services. We then spent time introducing me to the program and adjusting my meds/care as needed. Unfortunately during this process I began having more pain, nausea, and my fluid retention had worsened. When the nurse examined me on Thursday we thought my system was reacting to the new medication plan so we decided to move me to Hospice House for a few days in hopes of making me more comfortable. Though in the end it was decided that going to the ER was the best choice. After some tests, Shelby transferred me to Dr. Dobson in Charlotte due to what they thought was a bowel obstruction. Although, on further observation from Dobson, it was a sluggish bowel/chronic ileus instead. My bowel, bladder, and digestive system have always been lazy due to my Cerebral Palsy and as I get older all these areas have worsened which is the cause of the majority of medical problems I am experiencing.
In the past few months I have dealt with a lot of fluid retention, but my physicians have been unsure of the cause. However, when Dr. Dobson examined my case he said my fluid was from my system being sluggish, which made things back up. For the first four days of being hospitalized I was on a no fluid/drink regiment. Thankfully, that helped things move along better and I’m now able to tolerate solids. Although I am still experiencing pain and nausea, that is something I will continue to have from time to time. I will forever have G.I. issues and these flare ups could happen more often, but all we can do is manage the symptoms in the best way possible.
I do not expect a cure all at this point but it is very discouraging to hear that nothing can be done except what we have already been doing. This comes from the doctor who is always so optimistic and a doer. When I was in the hospital for six weeks a couple of years ago he never gave a negative prognosis even when things were terminal, which means there really is “no easy fix,” for this as Dobson stated.
Thanks be to God though that resting my system for almost a week and getting iv meds and fluids have helped. Now,mmpi pray things can be maintained with the meds I have been given. I am supposed to follow up with my G.I. doctor soon to see if he has any further recommendations.
On a brighter note, God has been giving me little gems of encouragement each day. He continues to remind me that He knows and sees me. One of those occurrences happened last Thursday. In the ambulance being transported from a Shelby to Charlotte, I prayed for God to give me an understanding and compassionate nurse — specifically a nurse I knew from previous stays at CMC-Mercy named Maime. I knew that probably wouldn’t happen because I did not know if she still worked there plus this was a large hospital with many nurses/doctors. However, after arriving and taken to my room, guess who walked in to be my nurse?? Maime. Tears filled my eyes and I immediately sent thanks and praise to Jesus, and told Maime she was an answer to prayer — literally. That was the evidence my heart needed to confirm I was where I was supposed to be and that God saw and understood me in my circumstances.
During my hospital stay lots of visitors came which no matter how bad I felt brought encouragement. Just having some of my close friends and family laughing and talking around me ministered to my soul deeply. I love being around people and even though I wasn’t able to talk much on certain days or if I fell asleep while you were there (Sorry Becky…ha!)! Also, God displayed His love to me yet again through my parents. The entire time I was there, one if not both of them were with me, and one always stayed at night. Their love and sacrifice in caring for me on a daily basis is humbling and I cannot ever thank them enough. Love you mom and dad! Y’all are my favorites and I’m so glad God gave me you as parents.
Having health issues is hard, but God has surrounded me with the right medical staff at the hospital and now at home through my Hospice nurses Jodie and Jill. I have not known them for long but they have stepped in so gracefully to do what needed to be done. The month of April and the beginning of May have been extra hard because it seemed we had hit a dead end wall, but the Lord carried me through and provided the help I needed and did so in ways I did not expect.
I want to encourage you that no matter how hard life can be God will give strength you did not know you were capable of . One of my favorite verses has always been Nehemiah 8:10 which states, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” This is a verse that I’ve often used and heard over the years, but take forgranted its meaning. However, lately God has reminded me that no matter how bad my day is or how sick I feel, I have no reason to wallow in my grief and despair.
Instead of grieving, we need to surrender each moment to the Lord and He will always give us the strength to face whatever is in front of us, and His joy will shine through.
That same joy is also how God allows me to “hope a little more” with each day that comes my way.
Thanks again for all of your prayers and encouragement. I will be posting more as I feel like it in the next week. I hope you all enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and that God gives you the refreshment you need.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend. For many, Memorial Day is just another long weekend, first weekend by the pool, or a time to get together with family and friends for a barbecue. Even though those are all good things, it is more important than those things and the reason deserves our time and respect. Memorial Day represents the bravery of men and women who died fighting for our freedom. Without their sacrifice we would not be able to have the freedoms we enjoy today. No matter what your plans are for the weekend be sure to pray and thank God for these brave souls who sacrificed their lives so that we could go about our days having freedom to live life in the way that we choose. Our days can get busy and it is easy to get caught up in our own selfish desires. However, we need to be reminded that the reason life can be easy for us now is because of the actions of others who have gone before us. The freedom I am most thankful for as an American is that I am able to worship Jesus Christ and serve Him freely. That is such a gift and privilege I too often take forgranted.
I love spending Memorial Day with family, and in normal circumstances would be so excited to have the pool open and enjoy the quality time it offers being with folks that I love. However, the pool here won’t be open for another week or so and currently I am too sick to swim. But God knew just what my heart needed most this weekend — and that is a getaway with a Him. The past few weeks for me can only be described as a whirlwind and I am just now able to see through the fog. A few days ago I thought I may be spending this weekend in the hospital but I am so thankful to now be at home.
For the past three years at the beginning of every summer the Set Apart Girl Ministry from Leslie Ludy hosts a women’s conference in Windsor, Colorado. This year the conference falls on Memorial Day Weekend. I have never been able to attend the conference in person but I am grateful they offer the option of a simulcast. It is during these times that I thank God for technology. Leslie always calls the conference “A Getaway with Jesus,” and I have never needed the conference more than I do now. The theme of the conference is about being a bravehearted woman. Earlier, I peeked at the conference notes, and I can already tell that God is going to challenge and encourage me. Lately, during my time with the Lord, He has been reminding me over and over to stand firm, take courage, and wait for Him. Therefore, yesterday when I read one of the theme verses for the conference I knew this is where the Lord wanted me. The verse is from 1 Corinthians 13:16 whigh states, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” Not only is this the theme for the weekend, but for this season of my life as well.
While some will be spending their weekend by laying on the beach or by the pool, mine will be spent relaxing in bed watching some of my favorite speakers teach. The Set Apart weekend is always one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I know this year will be no different. I always say that the Lord knows my love language better than anyone else, and this is just another example of that. Even though life has been hard recently, God continues to give me reasons to “hope a little more” with each day that comes. I hope that each of you have a wonderful and refreshing holiday weekend, and that you take some time to focus on its importance.
P.S. It is not too late to join in on the conference. It is live this weekend but all sessions will be available for streaming through August. However, it will no longer be available for purchase after June 1. These sessions would be perfect for a summer study. For more information visit here.
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all the mama’s out there. I hope you are all getting the love that you deserve!
One of my favorite writers of old is Elizabeth Prentiss and I love her quote about mothers. When I first read this I immediately thought of my mom. She states,
“On the whole, there is nobody like one’s own mother… I wonder if, after all, mothers are not the best friends there are!”
Those words could not be more perfect for celebrating this weekend. Mom, you are my hero! Thanks for sharing the love of Jesus with me daily, and continually sacrificing your own life to love and care for mine. Jesus gave me the biggest blessing ever when He chose you to be my mom. We are knit together at the heart level with an unbreakable bond.
The last two years, and especially this year has not been easy for us because of my sickness, but with each trial you have handled it with a grace and peace that can only come from the Lord. To see the way you lean on Jesus in the hardest of days is such an example to me and many others. We may have not always handled things perfectly, but the desire of our family has always been to glorify God and shine for Him no matter what comes our way. You have lived that out each day with your words and actions.
Even though we not know what the future holds, and even though our struggles may not end on this earth, we can move ahead with confidence because of the hope we have in Jesus Christ and each other. As a line from our favorite song by For King and Country says,
“So let’s dance a little, laugh a little, and hope a little more.”
P.S. The fur babies of the family — Coco, Lucy, Anne Girl, Rowdy Girl, Tebow, and Sissy love you too! They say thank you for all the wonderful dog treats, walks, and rides you take them on. They live like Kings and Queens because of you!