Thursday, January 30, 2014

Testing


Ok I survived the testing today:)   I was diagnosed with some issues but nothing life threatening.  Evidently I have reflux, that has caused esophagitis, and irregular Z line (what the heck), a hiatus hernia and possibly H. pylori  ..... so as I'm reading the irregular Z line can be linked to Barret's which can lead to cancer.  However H. pylori  fights that cancer...LOL  it's crazy reading all the stuff on the internet.  The doctor told me everything is manageable, put me on a daily medication and I'll see him in 2 weeks....

I also did the bladder ultrasound and I learned I successfully empty my bladder, that is always a good thing:)   I still have the bladder scope on Monday and I'm a bit stressed but going in the procedure area today and talking with the really nice nurses did put me at ease.  The med they gave me to put me to sleep was really really really nice....wish they could prescribe that to me daily LOL! 

Thanks for your prayers and please keep them coming so I can get all of this behind me.  I feel a bit betrayed by my body to have all those things going on and not even know it!  I don't really have any symptoms of reflux.  The reason I had the test (was supposed to have had in Sept 2012 right after my colonoscopy) was because I have that crazy side pain that doesn't go away, a family history of colon cancer, my own personal precancerous polyps  and anemia.  But I didn't ever think I had stomach issues.  I feeling old!


Here are some funny pictures of the kittens watching Bill O'Reily on Fox news last night:)  These cats crack us up! 

 
 

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The above link is a very good one that explains things in Ukraine quite well.  It is an interesting read. 
 
Again thanks for the prayers and well wishes...we are off to eat out tonight!  I am just not up to cooking:)  I can definably use this as an excuse!  
 
I was told by our nurse that while I was gone we had the daily Thursday crew at our house and that everyone was having to take turns with the kids.  We had PT, OT and VT so it got crowded but the little ones like having their teachers there so their day went on as normal!
 
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baby it's cold outside


It's in the 40's with rain outside.  An unusual day for Florida.  There is snow in the Panhandle and most of the northern counties have closed school for the day!  We usually only close school for hurricanes LOL  that is what we are used to not snow and ice!  I'm doing a quick blog and drinking hot chocolate.  I actually love bad weather LOL I'm such a weirdo but it makes everything so cozy.

Shad got his report card, all A's.  he is only in 4th grade but is finished with all the 4th grade work and is in 5th grade work in all his classes.  If he keeps going like this (his teacher is requiring him to make a 93 or above in each test to continue at this rate) he will be in 6th grade work before the end of the year.  I'm very happy with his progress.  I'd love to see him finish high school early and start college early.  I told Steve he'd better hurry up and get through college or Shad will be right there with him!  LOL

Well tomorrow is the big day for the scope down my throat and the bladder scan.  I'm so a wimp about medical things.   So I'm getting all these phone calls about the three medical procedures I'm having in the next couple of days. The people aren't concerned, they all say everything is "minor".....it's like our nurse says "everything happening to You is minor....everything happening to me is MAJOR!!!!" LOL Tomorrow I have the Upper GI scope and the bladder scan... Monday I have the bladder scope....I need some prayers:) I get very uptight about stuff like this! I hate being put under but I'm too much a wimp to stay awake for this junk (except for the scan) and I'm so scared of getting bad news! 

Well not much on the agenda here but to curl up with a good book and some hot tea or chocolate  I need to get motivated to do paperwork and finish my closet but it is just not going to happen today!



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

CHIC

Great day, one of my closest friends and her family are moving to our area and I got a chance to meet her for lunch today and hang out for awhile.  I could just pinch myself I'm so excited for her to be get moved here!!!!!!!  Good times ahead!  It's amazing to me that we will have time together again, we've known each other for many years and even lived together at one point:)  Then we married and moved all over the place....but now we'll be back together:)  Watch out Florida!

I got all my bloodwork done today, can't wait to hear my cholesterol scores.  I've not been exercising like I used to so I have a feeling that will be over the limit! 

Last night I read a book about reorganizing your closest and dressing chic.  Ok I admit to loving stuff like that.  So today when I got home I made myself go thru parts of my closet again.  It's awful how we all wear about 20% of our clothes.  There are STILL things in my closet that I've not worn in years and I'm a purger!  I will admit there are two shirts I've bought in the past year that I have never worn.  They looked great in the store but once home.....NO!  And I am absolutely terrible at keeping receipts so I can't take them back.  I also bought a "dickey"  that is a fake turtle neck.  I had always wanted one LOL  it didn't work with the shirt I was buying for it to go under.  I tried to exchange it but with no receipt the store would only give me 75 cents....so it goes in the bag.  Oh well I FINALLY got one and found out I didn't want it!

Isn't that how life is, sometimes you long for something but once you get it, you find it it's not what you wanted in the first place.

I think of that in relation to marriage/divorce....  I see folks who are married who long for their freedom, once they get that freedom, they long then for the commitment of marriage.  It's sad....  I was like that at one point, I thought I could really be happy if I were single again.  Thank God, I had too much restraint in my life to follow through on that thought. 

There is even a scripture where Paul tells you if you are single, stay single, if married stayed married...if I weren't so tired from trying on clothes, I 'd look it up!!!    But it is in there!

Anyhow tomorrow I plan on finishing up in there.  Once my closest is organized and I only have clothes in there that I like and that fit me right....I will be CHIC!   Ok you can quit laughing now!


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I've had several people ask for an update on Baby Sabrina.  She is home and doing good day to day.  However she is having tests run, there are concerns about a genetic disorder that is very serious.  The doctors have also said she is deaf in one ear.  Please pray for this sweet little one and her family.

Also the Burman family is still in Ukraine, there have been a lot of twists and turns in their adoption that I will share once they get home but they have court coming up soon so pray that all goes well.  She has been there now since early December.....it's the end of January....the country is in chaos.....
Actually you can get an update here http://gracehavenhome.com/families/burman-family/ and you can give through them too.  They only need about $4000 to be fully funded now!

Thank you all for all your prayers for me and my family.  It really encourages me to get emails and comments from you all!!!!!!







Monday, January 27, 2014

Adoption

Often it is hard to "come up" with a blog post almost daily, but today I've been thinking about adoption, one of my favorite subjects. 

People adopt for various motives.  In the adoption world I've seen it all and it's not always been good.  I see people who adopt and it seems almost like a Lay's potato chip commercial "You can't eat just one"  or you "can't adopt just one"  I've read attitudes of adoptive moms that were really strange.  they didn't seem like mommas to the kids, more like they were nicer caretakers.  (a friend came up with that term and it fits!)   I've read of moms who were so stressed by adoption and unhappy.  Some adopt because they can't have biological children.  Some adopt because it is now the new cool Christian thing to do. 

There are some amazing families out there  the Rosenow family just blows me away
http://kmrosenow.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/when-is-enough/  not because they have so many kids but that those kids have such love from their parents.  I love their heart, I've "known" them for over 8 years, they had Shad on their website The Shepherd's Crook  http://www.theshepherdscrook.org/ and I see their REAL heart for God and for following Him and it encourages me.

We have some friends who we went to church with years ago who have adopted aging out teens....we used to have time to visit them more and I LOVED the spirit in their home.  16 different kids from different countries, orphanages and backgrounds and there was a sweet peace in their home. 


For us,  we adopted Shad because we overwhelming felt God was leading us to do so.  The girls it was the same way, we were NOT looking to adopt or even thinking about it at all until we saw their faces....then it was all over:)

For us, we do feel like we rescued them   That is a huge feeling for us but we didn't adopt to get that feeling if you follow me.  Some adoption blogs will sternly say "do not adopt to rescue a child"  well....  I don't quite agree with that statement. 

To me I feel like they were our children, just somehow NOT with us and we had to go rescue or get them to bring them home.  I can truly say they are no different than my biological kids.  They are as much of a Clanton as anyone else is in our family.   They are not a job to me or a "ministry"  they are my kids.  I'm their mom....that's the bottom line. 

Just like God "adopted" us into His family, He rescued us....  To me adoption is such a picture of God's redemption.  How can you not feel you are rescuing a child when you walk out of those orphanage doors?  NOW that is a rush:)  

So when I sit with my daughter Sarah on my lap (which is where she wants to be all the time) and watch tv and see footage of the fighting in Ukraine (that I strongly support)  I can't help but feel like we rescued Sarah and Selah from all of that.  Not just from the institution, which was beyond bleak but from the instability of the country at this time.  I'm so thankful they are here, a world away from all of that.  The orphans already have a very hard time in Ukraine, it will probably get harder for them during this time .  I'm glad my girls don't have to go through that and I pray for the children left behind.  The vulnerable always suffer the most! 

I worry about the orphans in Ukraine as I try and get news daily from there.  Adoptions are still going on but who knows for how much longer? Each family has to go to the SDA/DAP in Kiev to get their referrals and it is right near where the main government buildings are located. The staff in the SDA/DAP aren't the easiest to work with anyhow so it's not like they are going to be pushing to stay open unless they are made to do so. And now with the unrest spreading, it will be harder and harder to get court dates. 
I support the protests but I'm afraid that whoever comes out on top, it will delay or maybe even stop international adoptions there altogether.   I fear the days of adoption in Ukraine maybe winding down....I REALLY REALLY hope I am totally wrong but that is my fear. 

So I ask you to pray for God's will to be done in Ukraine and that the people will one day be free of  the past and that in that freedom, there will come a compassion for the "least of these".........


***  I am still raising money for the girl we sponsor in Ukraine.  And for a boy from China.  Despite me saying little about it as we are trying to get links put up for them, we are still getting contributions!  thanks!  I'm pretty sure each have close to $1000 now!   Hopefully she will be put up soon on Grace haven's site and the young man we are still trying to help get his paperwork correct and to an agency.  Several folks are helping with that!  Please pray we can get both of them up on a site and raise their ransom and that a family will come for them. 

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I had a doctor's appointment today and another scan.  The doctor was "different" at first I didn't like her, but after talking for awhile I think she was good.  She did her own scan and almost severed my windpipe LOL   She certainly made sure she saw everything in there!   She told me my thyroid was "interesting and misshappened"   She said it will be very hard to do a biopsy but she thinks I should have one done (very hard probably means very painful)   She feels like it is probably not cancer and may not have grown, because it is really hard to scan it.  But she still feels it has some possibility  of it being cancer but is not overly concerned.   So I can't get the biopsy until March...  I'm more relieved than before even tho I'm still in limbo world here. 

Thursday I have an upper GI and a bladder scan for two different issues....I am very nervous about both of them!  Prayers are appreciated!  I can not believe I am doing both the same day!!!


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After all of that....  I have a funny story to tell!

Sam and Sarah have "co-existed" now for almost 2 years....the "co-existing" is starting to go out the window.  We have much sibling rivalry.  It is adorable to us.  It started when the therapist and teachers started coming in.  Sam would get upset when Sarah would have someone working with her IF he didn't have someone working with him.  But the fighting has escalated from there!

Then they would both climb up in the big chair with me or Jon at night and that was so cute to be stuck holding each of them and making sure no one got pinched or kicked.

Then last night, Sarah only likes a hand held vibrating toy.  We have many toys but that is the one she likes.  Well Sam was sitting in Jon's lap and Sarah was on the floor with her toy.  Sam hopped down, grabbed the toy and hopped up.  She turned around and crawled to Jon crying and hitting his leg for attention.  Jon got the toy back and gave it to her and she calmed right down.  This happened about 4 times and while we don't want her upset....  It shows she knew to go to Daddy to get him to "fix it" for her!!!!   That is HUGE!  We love it!  It's a real development step for her.

Earlier Jon had asked Sarah "Sarah want to come sit with daddy on the big blue couch" and before she could crawl over, Sam came running from his rom to sit down with daddy.  It is really cute to see the two of them try and get our attention!  

I call them my twins, they look so much alike and they are now about the same size since Sarah has more than caught up.  She is a big girl for a child with Peter's anomaly despite her years of malnourishment she is not that tiny.  She still wears mainly a size 5 although I'm not buying anything less than a size 6 for her.  She's 7 yrs old now.  Sam will be10 in a couple of weeks and he is just now wearing a size 5 and it is usually a bit too big on him. 

Selah is back to her normal self, some days she is just a little "off" and it is worrisome to me!  I love days when she is doing things like we are used to.   She did wonderful in PT this morning and was as "loose as a goose"  I like when she doesn't tighten up. 

Thanks for all your prayers for our family.  We really appreciate them

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pictures "A walk in the woods"

 First I'll start with some more kitten pictures that were on my camera.  Aren't they adorable ??
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Pre beard shaving LOL
 




 
 
 

 
Yesterday we took the family to one of Jon's walking places.
 
 

 
This is the REAL Florida!
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
Jon walking ahead...

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
Hanging moss

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
it was dark by the time we got back to the parking area. 
 
We love to go walking out in the woods.  We have so many hiking trails near our house.  It's very peaceful. 
 
 
Today I was apart of our worship team singing some of the older "revival time" hymns that I grew up singing.  Some of the old songs have such meaning to me.  We sang  a melody of "The Unclouded Day"  "Won't it be wonderful there"  "In the Sweet by & by" and "Just over in the the Gloryland" 
Sometimes I have to type out the words for our media system and the words just blow me away at times.  It's easy at times to sing them and NOT to listen or think about what we are singing.  But when I take the time to look up and type them, or go in and change them about, it really can speak to me.  Sometimes in singing the older songs, we don't' sing all the verses but sometimes when I'm typing them out, I beg our music pastor to sing more of the verses LOL  They are just so good!
  Here are the words to the song
 
 
In the Sweet By & By
 
There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

Refrain
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
 
 
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

Refrain
 
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days

 
The last verse just grabbed me!  The song has a slight Celtic feeling to it when it's done right. 

here's a youtube link for one of my favorite preacher Tommy Bates  This is how our Sunday nights were when I was growing up.  I love Tommy Bates and his singing and preaching reminds me of my childhood. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69c6DbsUOZk 


Hope you enjoy it on this Sunday night. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Time

Whew!  When I write a blog that makes me feel vulnerable , I am almost afraid to open my email and see the responses.   I was blessed by the responses I got from my last blog, thanks!  I'm glad I'm not the only non perfect Christian out there!

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Life is a journey.

When I was a child we lived near the train tracks and I can remember listening to the train whistle late at night, wondering where it was going,  I'd look at cars and think the same thing.  I wanted to GO I wasn't happy in the "moment".  Now I've had plenty of "go" and can be happy in the moment!  Now I hear a train's whistle and I'm just glad I'm not on it or stuck waiting for it to pass!!

Have there been times in your life you wish you could just stop life and never let things change? Like in the movie "Groundhog Day" where every day is the same.   I do have those times.  We sang a song in my High School chorus group "If the hands of time, were hands that I could hold, I'd keep them safe and in my hands they'd not turn cold"  The song went on to recount the moments that should be held..... "the summer from the top of a swing" etc.....   I can't remember it all now cause it gets messed up in my mind with "Time in a bottle" but when I was young, I didn't want the hands of time to be held, I wanted time to pass swiftly so I could grow up!

NOW I'd love to grab and hold onto those "hands of time"  

Time goes so swift.  Every week flies by at break neck speed!  The months go by and the years.....
If I could go back to any time, I'd go back to the summer of 2012 and live that summer again before the accident.  Of course if I could go back, I'd make sure nothing ever happened bad!

Actually I WISH I could go back to my college days and enjoy them again too:)   I loved college and the friendships I made.  However I'd love to have my 48 year old wisdom back then LOL That would be real fun.  Actually that might be really weird! 

Well Time only marches forward and we go with it. 

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This morning I wasted time, I slept till 10:30 am.  Don't know when I've done that and it was great!
Selah is a bit "off", not too much but her heart rate is up some, for no real reason that we can find.  We are hoping there is nothing going on with her. 

We are all debating what we should do today, everything is done for church tomorrow.  A part of me just wants to go take a nap but I don't want to sleep away my time!  I get on to people for taking naps I usually feel it is a waste of time and it will mess up nightly sleep patterns and then we will have to hear about your insomnia!  LOL

Hope you have a good weekend.  Please pray for Ukraine,  and Selah this weekend.  Thank you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Free Falling Friday


You know I blog about what I think about, well some of what I think about at least.  Some days my mind is very fixed on certain goals and other days I'm just free falling....today is a free falling day...:)And I promise that Florida is a NON marijuana state LOL ( I tend to ramble)

When I opened my FB today one of my dearest friends from my college days had sent me a friend request, I could have cried!  We had lost touch and gone separate ways so it was great to hear from him and to know he is serving God.  Catching up, he asked about some mutual friends, one had passed away, some were divorced, some were doing ok.   I started thinking of LIFE and how it flows on through the years.  Looking back there were so many different people in my life that have had different outcomes than what maybe they thought they would have when they were younger.  Actually very few have gone on a straight path to "success".  I know we haven't gone on a straight path to whatever we are at either LOL.  Very few people go on a straight path in their lives.  The older I get the more I realize even the people who seem to have it so all together, really aren't any different than me or anyone else.

Sometimes in writing this blog, I have been afraid that I come across too "put together" or as a "perfect little Christian wifey"   Please know I am so not!  I yell at my kids, well the two bigger boys, with the little ones, I have an amazing level of patience.  I fuss at my husband, I've been known to shoot birds too (and I don't mean with my 22 either LOL)  Seldom a day goes by that I don't say something I shouldn't....probably only an hour goes by without me saying something I shouldn't LOL  I'm being honest here.   I get annoyed that the fridge is a mess, that there are dirty dishes in the sink, that the garden needs weeding.  I get tired of doing laundry, tired of answering the phone to yet another missionary or needy person who wants some slice of me.  Some mornings I don't want to get up to face my life, I hate (although I am thankful for) having a nurse in my home 24 hours a day, I hate (although I'm thankful for ) all the different teachers and therapists that come into my home .  Sometimes I don't want to be bothered by anyone and pretty much hate the whole world.  I said HATE 3x for anyone that is counting. 

I'm not perfect by any means and I recognize that fact.  I have fears & failures that are quite embarrassing to me. 

BUT I keep pressing on to that mark, the high calling in Jesus.....  I'm not going to turn back, there is nothing to go to.  When I think of myself spiritually I think of a tomboy in dirty overalls, no shoes on, hair up like Pippi  Longstockings, mud all over me.... that's what I see.  I certainly don't see a beautiful bride of Christ in a snow white dress.  But I press on, past my doubts, my failures, I hold fast to that which I know....that there is a God.  A God that sent His son....a God who redeemed and redeems my life daily.  A God that has walked through the fires of my life with me. 

I admit to loving theology- theology simply means "man's study of God"  In some ways theology is a kind of philosophy.  I enjoy debates & learning.  There is so much of God I don't understand.  There are certain things in the bible that are non debatable to me the basic Christian tenets of faith like the creation & fall of man. etc    But there are other things......like Calvinism vs Armeniansm  (Calvinists basically believes that God is in complete control and Armenianlists believe in man's free will to chose.

I like to think I'm balanced, somewhere in the middle and the Bible seems to show God has a balance too.   For ever scripture on predestination there is, there seems to be a corresponding verse on man's free will.  It's funny to me!  There are definably things that there is no debate in my mind at all like holiness and sin.

When you study the bible, you are told to take the WHOLE counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation  and not to base anything on just one scripture. Sometimes I think God could have made things easier if He'd just spelled them all out for us, but He did do that in the Old Testament.    In the OT, there were plenty of laws to follow outwardly but the New Testament makes it harder as you are required to follow with your heart.   I'd been a good Old Testament Christian!  I could have had my list, marked it all off and been fine!  It's this new Testament where my heart has to be right in my actions that make it hard!!!!  

Getting that heart right is the hardest thing to do!  I've known many people who lived a lie, they looked good but they really weren't inside.  Those "card houses" always fell apart and then the person was exposed.  I don't want to be like that....I want to make it in, victoriously!   I don't want my marriage, or my family to fall apart and be seen as nothing.....  I don't want to "play" around with God or with Life.  I want to be real and honest.

But I don't want anyone to think they have to be a certain way or perfect for God to love or use them.

One of the funniest yet holiest things that has ever happened to me is when the woman came up to me at the mall and gave me a world from God.  ONLY I would get a word from God in a mall.  Most people "get words" from some swanky evangelist at a church service with the music playing softly in the background....well not me...I'm in the food court of a mall with rock music blaring and I get the most important word from God that I have ever gotten before   "do NOT Fear"   It still blows me away that God would prepare me before such an ordeal..... 

*******if you don't know the story and are new to my blog********

About a month after we'd adopted the girls, I was at a Tampa Mall with a good friend (who is not really the most spiritual friend I have, I don't mean that disparaging but it wasn't like we were there having a bible study ok!) and all the kids. A lady comes up to me in the bathroom as I am getting ready to change Selah & Sam.   She said that God told her to share something with me.  As you can imagine I get people coming up to me all the time living in the bible belt....lots of folks want to bother me and pray for the kids and most of the time it is very inappropriate.  THIS time it was different, something was different about this woman.  She prayed for Sam and then for Selah, she spent a lot of time praying for Selah.  I was really thinking, Selah has the least issues of all three I wonder why this lady is praying so hard for her.  She then came and met the rest of the kids and perhaps she prayed for Sarah, I'm not 100% sure. She then told me three things...
Something big is ahead for your family
Many will see
Do NOT be afraid
That was the gist of it.  I did say to her, that we wanted to adopt again, maybe that was what God was saying...and I remember she shook her head no and said she didn't think it had anything to do with adoption. WHEN the accident happened, I remember this word.....I held onto it so tightly.  I don't know why IF God knew (which of course He did) that He didn't prevent it BUT regardless I have held onto the Do no be afraid   I've repeated that over and over again to myself and it's been a comfort.  I'm afraid being the skeptic that I am, I didn't listen as hard as I should have, we talked for awhile.  Maybe God spoke more things into my life than what I can remember .....I don't know but I know I didn't give that encounter the attention it would get NOW if I could go back!

Now in the day to day walking out of my life, I feel like the brown grass and leaves outside my window.  I'm dry.  It's been hard. BUT I'm going to keep holding on.  That was the last word I heard and I will trust if God wants to give me anything else He will but for now, I'm not to be afraid!  It's been hard at times not to have FEAR rise up in my heart.  I so understand why God told me not to be afraid.  I'm a fearful person in some ways.  There are some crazy things I might do rather fearlessly but I fear the unknown and sometimes the known things of life.  I feel like I've had too much experience and I know what CAN happen, so therefore I fear and worry at times.  That word has helped me face things that most of you haven't had to face without completely going to pieces. 

So I don't know where you are in life but know there is no one who is perfect, no one who is put together but there is a God who can right your life, a God who is the Prince of Peace and a God who forgives!  He can change you from this time forward.  I know God is perfecting me, although I have a long way to go LOL! 


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Today Jon went to visit his dad and stopped by his best friend's house to see his mom too.  Mrs Buckner has started painting.  she gave us this first picture a few years ago and it is perfect in our living room  Sorry this isn't the best picture of the picture but we have enjoyed it


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Today she gave Jon this one for me.  I had admired it before.  It really looks like it looks behind my house.  I love this!!!  Yes I know I should get both of them framed and that is my new goal. 
 
 
 
Sam & Sarah had their speech therapist start today.  In spite of the wait, it seems to have been worth it.  Both kids took to the teacher quite well.  We really all worked together and she is starting Sam on a communication system that he seems to understand the rudimentary session today.  The session today focused on him handing me a card with a raised picture on it whenever he wanted a piece of popcorn.   He did enjoy it and seemed to have gotten it:)   Sarah worked well with the teacher also and didn't have some of the clingy behaviors she's had some, with all the new teachers. 
 
Well I'll finish my ramblings for tonight!   My last few weeks of blogs have been short, guess I had to make up for them!
 
 








Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trusting

Today I got the results back from the first urology test.  No cancer cells were found:)   I still have two more tests to go in that area and the one is awful!   Thanks for your continued prayers.  Next week, I have 3 appointments! So gynecology testing is done and everything is fine, cyst is gone and now this test is good!  I'm hooping everything else will be ok too.

I've had lots of thought swirling around in my head for a blog (besides the boring fact filled blogs that I've been writing)  Having all these tests (and the need to have them done) is rather sobering.  I have faced some fears.  Most of the time, I push it down cuz "Aint' Nobody got time for that!"  I try to think there is a time to worry BUT at least wait until I have something REAL to worry about before I worry LOL!   God has really helped me to NOT focus on the tests and the "what-if's"  It's been very unlike me NOT to be totally freaking out, although that could change at any moment!  LOL  But again, I've seen that GOD is our very present Help in times of trouble. 

I don't like unknowns, I like a nice tidy well ordered life.  I've never had it BUT I like it!  My dream is to have a nice tidy well ordered life...... 

There's a joke that ministers say "I love the ministry, it's the people that make it hard"  LOL well I love LIFE but life tends to be hard!  You can never be safe enough or have the right plans for every situation.   I HATE being out of control.....so you can imagine how much I've had to learn about leaning into God and trusting Him. 

Everyone has the ONE thing (or perhaps more than one) they have to find Victory over....mine has been learning to trust God.   I like to be in control!   I'm good at planning, I can plan my life AND your life and I'd probably do good with it.  Sometimes I can just look at things, and know how things could work for a person.  I'm one of those people who help others connect, I've always been like that.  But it is hard for me to take my life and the lives of my family and lay them down at the feet of Jesus....  It's hard for me to say "not my will but Thine be done"  That is so very hard for me. 

You see I had to order my life, I had to plan it and be in control from early on so I don't trust other people's decisions, intentions or their skill at making decisions for me.  That is good in one way but not when it transitions over to God!   In reality, having that skill has protected me and my family from a lot of heartache and trouble.  Believe me there are very few people I trust, very few.  not that I necessarily am hostile to anyone, I just won't allow anyone close until I really know I can.  My husband always kids me about my friendships, he swears a person isn't considered a friend until I've known them 20 years or so.  But even with my deepest, long term, close, seen me at my worst, friends, I still hold back some.  I hold back some with my husband,  sometimes I hate that I'm like that but it's a self preservation skill I learned a long time ago. 

So even with the God of this universe, I hold back.  I'll think something like "well God took care of us last time BUT will He do it again next time?"    It's silly of me I know!  I think things like that all the time.  Now I know God will take care of us everytime, I know it in my mind, but sometimes it's not so clear in my emotions.  "Well God walked with us through THAT but will HE through THIS?"

Tell me you don't think the same sometime.....  Maybe by the time I'm 90 years old, I will have licked this battle and be full of faith everytime. 

I love that old song "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus"   it is sweet...nothing is sweeter but it's not always easy to do!

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Update on Ukraine.....

Please pray!

http://wideawakefamily.com/2014/01/23/so-we-stand/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog
a good blog a friend posted today

http://cardinaldolan.org/index.php/supporting-the-euro-maiden-movement-in-ukraine/ 
this is a FB page to like and follow that will tell you what is going on in Ukraine.  It's the official group for the movement

My heart is just sad to see the pictures on tv of this conflict but I pray for Ukraine that God will use this to bring them a freedom they've never had.  Ukraine is a wonderful country, they've had such a hard history.   It's time for them to have freedom.  I pray that the sacrifice the protesters are making will be seen.

I've heard the American embassy was surrounded today by pro-governmental protesters .   They are accusing the US of funding the pro freedom protestors.  Please pray that adopting families will be able to get out as you have to go to the embassy to have your child's paperwork done to come into the US! 

So much going on......




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pray for Ukraine!


My poor Canadian friends....I'm getting your comments and feeling guilty!  I wouldn't know what to do in below zero weather.  This below freezing (for a few hours) is bad enough LOL  But it's cold for Florida.  I MADE myself go walking today and it was in the 50's and I was freezing.  What a wimp I am!

We lived in NYC in the 90's and must have had really mild winters.  There was one huge snow storm BUT we were on vacation in Florida so we missed it except for the pictures they took.   The last year we lived up there, we had moved over to New Jersey to live in the 'burbs and we got 26 inches of snow on April 1st!  That was wild and our one big snow storm:)  I actually was about 28 before I saw snow, other than one little flurry in 1977 (that we ALL still talk about LOL!  I know where I was when it happened and I ran outside in flip flops LOL)   So cold weather and snow are a novelty to us, kind of like hurricanes are to Canadians. 

Tonight I cooked pork chops, yellow rice, mac& cheese, homemade cornbread.....for supper.  Yep a carb feast!  Well we have grapes for dessert! My house is smelling good, while we are waiting on Jon to get home.  We really do try to eat together nightly.

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My heart is troubled for Ukraine as I see news reports of the government's crackdown.  We are getting conflicting reports of how many have been killed.  First I heard 3, now I'm hearing 2,  wondering if they mean 2 more have been killed?   As I've said before, I love Ukraine like it was my homeland.  I can not explain why I love it so much.  We were there long enough for the reality of the lives of the regular Ukraine people to be seen by us.  It is a harsh way of life.  But I loved it.  We honestly entertained thoughts of moving there and working as missionaries and in the orphanages.   I've been to other countries, I've never felt the pull like I feel even still from Ukraine. 

Right now I've got several friends in Ukraine still working on adoptions.  I pray that  the unrest does not affect adoptions, but how can it not evidently? 

Ukraine's history is so sad, I pray that God will allow more freedom in their country and that there will be more religious freedom and hunger for God.  Ukraine is a rather hopeless place in some ways.  Many families say they feel a spiritual heaviness in Ukraine, we did not but we were surrounded by some amazing God fearing people.  Within hours of landing in Ukraine, we found a church from our denomination  to attend in Kiev and went to the Sunday service.  Once we were in Torez, we found a Pentecostal church that we attended and fellowshipped with the believers.  We had a wonderful facilator who was very interested in spiritual things.  We saw a lot of sad things, but on the other hand we saw many wonderful things. 

When I think of the conflict, I think of how it could affect our dear friends and the orphans.  It could mean some very hard times for all of them!

Please pray for Ukraine! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mom's medical update

Ok I'm back from my break:)

Yesterday I had another doctor's appointment.  I have like 4 unrelated issues and I'm getting them resolved so I don't have worry in the back of my mind anymore!  So yesterday was the urologist....I have bladder spasms or something painful.  I've decided to have all the testing done, I can deal with the infrequent pain as long as I know there is nothing serious going on.    I could cry cause I've had the scope test before...asleep .... like I will this time and had so much pain afterwards....  UGH!  But I feel like I have lots of people depending on me and I need to make sure there is nothing serious causing the problem.  It's scheduled for February. 

The funny thing is he looked at my med's list.  I only take one pill infrequently for panic attacks.  He told me the pill has been used to deal with the kind of spasms I have!  I take it so rarely, that I've not seen a change but he asked me to take it for a week solid and see if the pains go away.  It was also used as an allergy pill too .....SO it MUST be a wonder drug!  It can take away panic attacks, dry up your nose and make your bladder quit having spasms   LOL   the only down side is it makes me sleepy and feel "woolen headed" LOL   I hate that feeling!  But it seems after I eat, I feel better.... so I'll be happy and fat taking this pill!

Everyone is doing good Selah has had no issues except she continues to need to be suctioned more often.  I think it is tied to her having her Toby meds going. 

We are supposed to have "winter" for a week, there is a cold front coming in.  I went to the library and got myself a ton of books....I'm ready LOL!  I'm jealous of all the snow most of the US is getting.  I've only been in a real snowstorm ONCE and it was fun.  We just stayed in and everything was so cozy!  Steve was a one year old and such a cutey!   How did he grow up so quick?

Hope you all stay warm & safe!






Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sundays


Sundays are great but they can be exhausting for a pastor & his family.  We had another great Sunday with a special singer, Gloria Elliott.  But now I'm in my fleeced PJ's checking my emails, fb and doing a quick update on my blog.  By the end of Sunday, there is always a sign of relief that it is over to be honest....I don't think there is any pastor who would not agree with me (unless they were trying to prove how "spiritual" they were....I'm not ....LOL) 

One of the nicest things was we welcomed two new members into our church!  Joe & Caroline joined this morning:)   Eight new members in 2 weeks!  Love it!!!!!  And love them, two of the sweetest people:)

Tomorrow Jon & Shad have off...yeah!  I have a doctor's appointment in the morning but the rest of the day is free!

Last night I found the report from my last thyroid ultrasound almost 4 years ago and it made me feel much better.  Back then the cyst in question was 1cm....now it is only 1.2 cm....  meaning it grew just 2mm in 4 years....WHEW!  After reading that last report it encouraged me.  I somewhat feel like the medical group I am going to tends to send patients to specialists for everything as the group has their own specialists, therefore it makes them more money to refer someone.  Not that this shouldn't be checked out but the language on the report is so different (in an alarmist way) than the other reports I have going back 7 years.  Anyhow....I'm calming down a bit!

Well it is cold here in Florida!  Sometimes it is cold in the norming, and you dress accordingly THEN by lunch time you are dying of heat exhaustion!   Not so today!  I wore a sweater dress all day and was quite comfortable:) 

We are going to sit and watch a movie tonight and eat popcorm:)  Hope you have a good night and a nice day off tomorrow (if you have the day off!)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Keep Trusting!



Quiet day for us here.  Jon did a funeral for a former inmate's mom and Shad went with him.  When they were leaving I was talking to Shad and reminding him to stay right with his dad and behave.  I thanked him for wanting to go to the funeral and asked him why he thought it was important to go.  He said  "so they can see how good I am"  AFTER I finished laughing....I told him the importance of going to a funeral was to show support for the person's family.  He came home and told me all about it.  Jon said that Shad solemnly shook hands with everyone:)   Who knows if Shad doesn't become a preacher:)

My friend Christy laid her husband to rest today.  My mind was on her all day and I prayed for her throughout the day.  I want to share her FB  post

Though my heart is broken, I look toward the future with hope. Hope in Savior who hears me when I cry. Hope in the Christ who forgives all my sin. Hope in life eternal. And, hope in hearing the voice of my Steve as he yells my name when I near the end of my race on earth and cross that finish line into pearly gates of Heaven and walk on the streets of gold as together, we proclaim the only name that matters.....JESUS!

What an incredible faith filled post!   That post encourages me more than anything I've read lately!  Here she is facing a day in which she is to bury her husband, the father of her 5 children and yet she can write this......  she has had to walk through fire this week but yet she is holding onto to Jesus.  She has chosen (and believe me it is a choice) not to charge God foolishly but rather to hold onto Him tightly.  We will all face something like this in our life.  We have the choice to hold to God through it or to lash out at God bitterly....  I've done both and I've learned there is nothing like the Everlasting Arms of our Savior wrapping around you at the moment you think you can't even breath any longer....

God is a good good God, life can be and will be hard at times but God is still good.  I've tested Him and found it is true.  He's a God you can trust even when your heart is breaking!  I know He is and so does Christy.....how about you?  Learn to trust God with your life.  It's not always the easiest thing but nothing in this world is like the peace of God.

Christy sung at the funeral (she and Steve have always been musical)  I saw the ending of her song, I hope someone posts the whole song.  That was amazing to me!  I'm so proud to have a friend who is clinging so close to the Lord at a time like this in her life!   She encourages me to hold onto God tighter and to not give up.....  I'm not really talking about not giving up about a miracle for Selah.  I'm talking about not giving up my faith because we haven't had a miracle.  She didn't get the miracle I'm sure they prayed for BUT she is still trusting God.  She hasn't left God, she hasn't turned her back on Him just because He didn't hear her cry and restore her husband....she is looking forward to THAT day when all will be made right...all will be restored.  That kind of faith, encourages my faith and I hope yours too!

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some pictures......

Little sisters:)  these kittens are so sweet & good.  We are enjoying having them!
 

 
 
some more love....Sam and daddy!
 
 



 
 
 
Baby it's cold outside but Shad was pushing Sarah who was loving it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
this picture was taken last night.  I bet they'll all be snuggled up together soon.  Brownie is such a sweet dog, she loves her cat friends.  there are a couple she sleeps with outside.  the little babies didn't know what to think of her at first but they are seeing she ignores them but she loves to snuggle so I bet I'll walk back there and see them sleeping together.
 
 
 
 
some of you may have seen the CNN article above, it mentions Selah!  she obviously did not improve as much as some of the patients who had had a traumatic brain injury to a specific part of the brain BUT she has a marked improvement from day 1 on the fish oil. ( TMIs that do not include the WHOLE brain are much easier to recover from  Selah had a whole brain injury)    she is still on it now over a year later.  Some of her doctors feel it has contributed to her good muscle/skeleton tone.  As well as neurologically helping her.  I love when I'm told OVER & OVER again that she is so much better than anyone would expect from a child who was without a heart beat for 45 minutes.  I LOVE going to a new doctor who has her record....and then they see her and are shocked at how good is doing.   I know she still has a long long way to go but compared to how most people in her situation would be....she is far far far from that!  Thank God and I'm thankful for Dr Sears and his research.   We and everyone involved in her care feel the fish oil has made a huge difference in the quality of her life in every area.
 
She got a bath today and did not appreciate it LOL  she was very awake and not happy with us but the nurse and I both took an end and got it done asap so she wouldn't be too mad.  It was a bit cool today!
 
 
Please pray for Christy and her dear family, Selah, me (I'm really trying to trust God) and a family I just read about today who has been following our story also.  Their son is very ill, he is adopted from Ukraine. 
 
 
 



Friday, January 17, 2014

Southeastern University!

 
 
Today was Southeastern Day for Steve.  We took him and had some seminars, tours lunch and appointments. Above is the dorm I lived in my first year of college (30 years ago this Fall)
 
 
 
 
Surprise!  A friend Steve used to go to school with sat right in front of us and shared lunch with us.
 
 

 
SEC friends do you remember Sammy?  He used to hang out at SEC and still does!  Time is moving on tho and Sammy is now grey.  I couldn't believe it when I saw him, right in front of the snack bar just like years ago!





The Chapel where we spent a lot of time:)


 
Love this picture of Jon and Steve
 
 

 
Me and my baby (with no beard)
 
 
 

 
Bye Bye  (sniff sniff)




 
I took a picture here on the back dock years ago so we walked out there today.  It's where the old trailer park used to be but now SEU has bought all of that area and turned it into a parking lot. 
 
We had a great day hanging out with Steve, getting more info about the university and planning:)
 
 
the little ones had some friend of ours keep them and they had a good day.  Selah has had a great day too. 
 
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Some cute animal pictures from last night.
 
 
Brownie was happy on her bed

 
 
 Baby kittens were happy in their bed.  They are getting used to the dog.  It was so funny to watch them at first, they'd fluff up and Brownie just ignored them.

 
this is not staged....shad falls asleep really easily.  He was having such a good time playing with the cats that he fell asleep with his head in the cat box.  He loves his kittens! 
 
 
 
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thank you for all your kind words and messages.  I did get my doctor's appointment moved up to the end of January.  I'm fighting "terror" at times but trying to stay positive.  I don't do good with medical stuff for myself at all!!!