"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

March 30, 2015

Update on my hubby

It is SO nice to be enjoying some 'green pastures' and 'still waters' around here now.
 Psalm 23:1-4
I heard this song yesterday and decided it is going to be my personal post-cancer anthem.
I loved lived these lyrics: 

Whenever we have to go to the cancer hospital, it feels like a victory lap of some kind! -Hubby does the driving now, interacts with the valet,  opens doors, smiles at people, he flirts with me in the hallway ; )
and does all the talking to the nurses and doctors. These are all things he wasn't able to do since early October! So, I'm still soaking it all in! I'm awed by the change.
Thinking back to the way life was back then, is an easy way to get grateful quick for how far Hubby's has come!

He is pretty thin, a bit frail looking and weak as a kitten, but he is regaining his strength, little by little. He has 9 holes in his chest and stomach from the two surgeries and is still in a lot of pain.
None of the doctors could tell us how long it would take a man of his age to recover because most men who get this type of cancer and have this surgery are 70+ years old.

We are learning to be patient with the recovery process, which is taking way longer than we ever imagined. It is REALLY hard for him not be back at work. Really hard. -He will be the happiest man alive, the second he can go back.
We are trying to rejoice in all the victories instead of getting depressed about how far he still has to go in the healing process. -Four weeks ago, we drove to church and he got out of the car, walked about 20 steps and said we needed to go back home because he felt so bad. The next week he was able to stay for the service. And yesterday, he was able to teach his Sunday School class for the first time since January! -He couldn't stand for the whole 40 minutes, but he still taught and it was awesome! 
Also, helping Zac and Tiffany with their wedding has been a really fun distraction for him. We had fun looking for venues with them last week.

So, all in all, things are getting better and he is recovering!

Always thankful that:

 "Never once did we ever walk alone, Never once did You leave us on our own,
Your are faithful God, You are faithful, God, You are faithful." 


March 25, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

This blessed me today:

"That you may love the Lord your God,
 that you may obey His voice, 
and that you may CLING to Him 
(I love that!)
(I love that too!) 
and the length of your days;" 
Deut. 30:20 


March 24, 2015

Food, fasting and a recipe!

Our church is praying and fasting for souls to be saved this Easter.
It is a day when so many visitors pop in for their once-or-twice-a-year visit to church and we are believing for God to touch their hearts through the powerful message of Jesus' death and resurrection and what that means for their lives.
Those in our church who want to, are doing the Daniel Fast.
Since Hubby needs as many calories as he can get in day, he is exempt but the kiddos and I are doing it, with a few exceptions here and there. -Sunday, we decided Daniel would totally eat veggie spring rolls from Panda Express with his rice but that probably is not the case. ; )
Today, I broke out the juicer but drinking veggies did not go over well with the kids. -Proud of them though, for giving up carbs, meat and sugar and pretty much everything else they like, to experience this spiritual discipline and pray for others!
Speaking of prayer, one of the men in our Sunday school reminded us that if we aren't praying during this time then we are just on a diet. Ouch! -Gotta step up my prayer game! : )

I heard someone say that anything that comes from the ground is OK to eat on a Daniel fast.
And so I rationalized that that made a wee bit of real maple syrup OK...
which might actually be in the same category as the spring rolls. LOL

But these little balls are YUMMY and filling. Also, sugar free, vegan and gluten-free, if you care about those things.  Whoo hoo!
Give them a try, unless maybe you are trying to eat just like Daniel. ; )

Peanut Butter Mocha Balls

1 cup of old fashioned oats
1/4 cup of flax meal
1 tsp espresso powder
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T unsweetened coconut
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 T peanut butter (or yummy with almond butter)
1/4 cup real maple syrup

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir. Put in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.Once chilled, spoon into tablespoon sized portions and roll into a ball. Can store in air tight container in fridge for up to one week but they won't last that long! : )


March 21, 2015

"Have courage and be kind"

 Hubby took his girls to this last night:

And we loved it!
 (almost like a Downton Abbey fix seeing Rose and Daisy) ; )

One of our favorite things was hearing SO many happy little girls clapping with joy when the slipper fit! So sweet! -Some came in their pjs and one girl was wearing a Cinderella costume! -So much cuteness in one place!


March 18, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

Sometimes the storms of life beat on us and threaten to sink us,
like the literal storm did when Jesus and his disciples were in the boat in Mark chapter 4. It says the "waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling." Sometimes we get beat on by some pretty big waves too.
Jesus, living on earth and being human just like the rest of us, was using his travel time to catch some much needed sleep in the stern in between ministry events. ; )
The disciples woke Him up and asked if He even cared that they were perishing. -Maybe they were being a tad bit dramatic, I don't know. I know I have been, in my storms.

When we are being beat upon by the storms of life and we ask Him if He cares, the answer is always 'Yes.'
He cared that they were and He cares that we are.
In their case, He made the storm stop immediately. It says "And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." -I can't even tell you how much I love that phrase 'a great calm!'

When I call out and ask Him if He cares, I know that He does, but I, personally, haven't seen all my storms stop on the spot like the disciples literally did. -How awesome would that be!?
They usually continue to rage,
but what I have experienced, time and again is a "great calm" that comes over me IN the storm.
It is indescribable.
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:26

And then as a bonus, He makes sure you get "to the other side of the sea" just like the discples did.



March 16, 2015

If I have to keep another secret, I will surely bust...

A proposal took place this weekend!
And how gorgeous is this ring?!?

Zac got an amazing deal on it with the help of a dear friend.
-And the trip to buy it was probably the biggest adventure of his life! One of those things that fits the saying "Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction." ; )

He planned to propose next Thursday and made all the plans/reservations and found out that Tiffany had to work that day, which never happens...
So, take two....
He decided to put all the plans into high gear and propose on Sunday. Two days away!

Friday, Hubby and I had the pleasure of hanging out with him all day on his Proposal-Day-Practice-Run to all the various locations he had planned.

We had a great time. One of the most amazing things, is that Hubby felt SO good for the whole adventure. -Such a gift from God! A very special time for the three of us!

Saturday, I went into crazy-mode to clean, shop, and decorate to host an engagement party, which was taking place THE VERY NEXT DAY!
Our kids were all a huge help. God bless them!
Among MANY other things, Joy helped by making these beautiful red velvet cupcakes.

And Andrew popped a lot of kettle corn for me!

Sunday after church, their proposal adventure began!
There was a drive to the beach,
and a boat ride to an island
and on a nature trail
he got down on one knee and proposed.
(too bad I can't add about 100 heart emoticons right here!)

Next came the boat ride back,
 then a drive to another beach where they boarded a helicopter and went for a ride at sunset!
After that, they came back to our house to celebrate and share the story!

All those secrets were well worth it because she was COMPLETELY surprised!!! Yay!

We feel very honored and blessed to be apart of Tiffany's family and to have her, join ours!

And Joy is SO glad that she is finally getting a sister!


March 13, 2015

A week of victories

1. On Tuesday, we saw the endocrinologist and found out that there is nothing wrong with Hubby's thyroid and they took him off a med that they put him on awhile ago when one test showed there might be. Yay!

2. On Wednesday, as you may have read, the cardioversion never took place! Whoo-hoo
His heart is in perfect rhythm!

3. Today, the oncologist said to ME "You've lost weight?"
And I said "I don't know about that." (meaning, 'no, but thanks'!) ; )
He said "You have! I hate you." LOL
BUT that isn't the good news,
even though I liked it. ; )
He told my Hubby:
"I'm done with you! Hopefully, you will never need me again." And I said "Amen" and so did the doctor.
Then he said to Hubby that he "needed some good news today and you are it."  (thank you, Jesus!)
So, thankful!
~And bless his heart, it can't be easy to be an oncologist! There were many visits to see to him when Hubby was really bad off. I had to push him in a wheel chair because he was too weak to walk and I had to speak to the nurses on his behalf because he could barely speak at all!

The words to this hymn come to mind:
'To God be the glory, great things He has done!'


March 12, 2015

Best hospital trip ever!

Yesterday, we got to the (heart) hospital at 7:00 AM for the cardioversion and found out that they didn't have any of the paperwork with approvals by doctors or the insurance company even STARTED yet.
So, we were in for a LONG wait, as in 3 1/2 hours long...

But, one of the dear pastors from our church, and his wife had come to sit with me during the procedure and the 4 of us ended up having such fun in the waiting area that the time passed pretty quickly.
 (they visited us so many times during Hubby's other hospital stays and came to the other two surgeries. Love them!)

Eventually, they took us back to a room, had Hubby put on a gown and then they took his heart rate. It was only 67!
 (the day before it had been 101) The sweet nurses thought that was pretty strange and then they did an EKG and said that his heart was in perfect rhythm! PTL!
Then they had someone else come in and do another EKG, and still perfect!
Those sweet nurses were so confused!
I said it was all the prayers that people had been praying for Hubby and one of them agreed. But they joked that it was the 3 hour wait in the lobby that had fixed everything. -Not!
Then they had to text the doctor...
A few minutes later, we were free to go.
Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Jesus!
From there Hubby decided to DRIVE me home. -He hasn't had the strength to drive in months!
He is feeling better and it is glorious!
Thank you, Jesus!


March 7, 2015

Update on Hubby

To add to the rough recovery process, Hubby had the stomach flu last week. Poor thing!
Not to mention we have a big enough challenge each day trying to make sure he eats enough calories now that his 'stomach' is so small. So, that was pretty horrible.
A trip to the cancer hospital earlier this week assured us that all the pain he was in over the weekend was from throwing up and not some new problem. Hooray! -Fluid has not built up around his heart again or in his lungs.
They did find that his heart is in a-fib (or really a-flutter) again and that his heart rate is high. (another reason why he hasn't been feeling well)
So, on Wednesday, they are going to do a cardioversion and shock his heart back into rhythm. Lord willing, it will stay that way forever (AMEN) and a month from now, he will be able to get off all the heart meds which keep him feeling so tired. He is dying to be able to get his strength back and go back to work.
The cardiologist still believes this is all due to the surgery since the heart is so close to the esophagus. He said that it isn't a big deal and that Hubby should view it as 'just a blip on the screen' compared to all that he's been through. : ) Hooray for something that is only a blip, right about now because, wow, has he been through a lot!
Tuesday, they want to see if anything is wrong with his thyroid,
Wednesday is the cardioversion and on Friday, we meet with the oncologist.

Prayers appreciated!


March 5, 2015

Party planning and plumbing

Our kids are giving a party for one of their friends this weekend.
This friend has never been thrown a party before and Joy has been so excited to make this happen. -Love her heart for others!
 Zac is on spring break and he and Hubby got involved in the party plans today and now the night is going to include some epic game of dodge ball. ;)
( -Funny, how there seems to have been a party to give at all the hard parts of this healing journey. At least the planning always succeeds in getting our minds off of what we are going through and focused on others. Maybe I should write a book someday on the therapy of party throwing  LOL)
So, it has been a full week of school, cleaning and yard work and...more yard work.
Then, I played plumber and made things WAY more exciting by dropping the lid of the tank of the toilet, inside the tank and cracked it. This caused water to pour out all over the boys' bathroom floor. Ugh! For about thirty seconds, I thought Zac and I could run to Home Depot and fix it ourselves without bothering my Hubby. (how funny is that?!)
But, our dear friend, Carlos, heard about it (knew Zac and I were in WAY over our heads) and insisted on coming over to install the new tank. Such a sweet friend! Love him!
A few more errands...and then we will be ready to celebrate a sweet girl's 20th!

And then...spring break! Yahoo!!!!


March 4, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

My read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan,
has me in 2 Chronicles, where I found these two gems:

"Thus you shall act in the fear of the Lord,
faithfully and with a loyal heart."

"Behave courageously
and the Lord will be with the good."

: ) Amen!


March 3, 2015

Just for fun, Girls

I'm not a huge Parks and Rec fan.  -Some seasons were cute, clean and hilarious and others, not so much...We always had a '3 strikes and you are out' rule when watching it. (if it reached 3, we would shut it off)
But I like this article on life lessons from Leslie Knope
I love waffles
and I think #6 is awesome for girls to remember! : )



March 2, 2015

Finale fun

My hubby had a rough weekend and for a little while yesterday, I thought we were in for
 ER trip #3.
Praise the Lord, he started feeling better last night.
So, snuggling up on the cough to watch the season finale of Downton Abbey did happen! Yay!!!

And we had a raspberry tart, English toffee, scones and peach tea for the occasion.

(spoiler alert)

Best part: No tragic deaths! ; )

Thank you for the flowers, Zac!
Thank you for baking, Joy!

Prayers appreciated for my Hubby. -The road to recovery seems to be a long one!