Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grieving The Loss of A Friend

My heart is hurting deeply tonight... tears have clouded my eyes most of the day after I got word that Mike Carey passed away.  Mike was a patient at Spaulding who was fighting brain cancer and I have blogged about him before.  Mike lost his battle with brain cancer this morning and while I am grieving the loss of a friend and hurting for his sweet wife Liz, I am rejoicing that he is no longer suffering, that he is no longer in pain, but that his body has been restored.

While I haven't had the pleasure of knowing Mike all that long, he taught me a great deal about how to enjoy life and laugh through life's most difficult moments.  He ALWAYS had a smile on his face and consistently was laughing, often he was laughing at himself... he was a man full of joy and his joy would fill a room.  Even through his suffering he was joyful, I can only pray for that kind of a spirit. 

Mike was not only a man of courage, but a man who knew how to encourage others.  So many times he would cheer Adam along and encourage Adam to never stop fighting to get better.  What a gift he was to us and what an honor to know such an amazing man.  Please join me in praying for his wife Liz and their two sons Jeffery and Ross.
Liz and Mike

Revelation 21:4-5  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

I can't write any more tonight... my heart is aching and I am at a loss for words.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Birthday Love

Psalm 118:24  The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Today was a day of reflecting on how blessed I am!  A year ago today I celebrated my birthday in the ICU at UNC and today I was able to celebrate my birthday with my man and my girl!  What a blessing this was!  I loved every minute of my day today!

Mackenzie and I started our morning by joining Adam on a bowling trip.  Adam went bowling with a couple other participants and a couple therapists.  He really enjoyed himself and had such a great time.  Mackenzie and I had a blast just watching him bowl.  When we returned NeuroRestorative had a cookout for all the participants, Mackenzie and I were able to join them in their cookout and after that we joined in on games and hanging out.  Towards the end of the evening Mackenzie surprised me when Adam, myself, some participants, and staff members were all sitting outside and she brought over a present she had for me as well as a present she worked with Adam on that he gave me.  Then they all sang me happy birthday, it was so sweet!  Adam has always made a big deal out of my birthdays it was so sweet to once again see Mackenzie help him out to make the day special!

Thank you to so many of you for the birthday wishes they meant so much! I have so much to be thankful for.  Today I am rejoicing and glad in today!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Holding Onto the Promise That God Never Lets Go

You Never Let Go By: Matthew Redman

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back
I know you are near
And I will fear no evil

For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Ever just hear a song and no matter how many times you hear it, you can't help but be moved to the point of tears?  Every time I hear the song above over the last year, I can't help be moved to tears, knowing the truth of the words.  As this song was sung in worship this morning in church I found myself barely able to sing and just sobbing through this whole song.  Over the last year I am a living testimony that God never lets go, through the calm and through the storm, He has never left... His presence has only continued to get stronger.  In every high and every low, I know He has commanded each and every one of them.  When I reflected on how He has never let go and the true words of this song, the tears would not stop running down my face.  I know that whatever is to come that I am not alone, that God's word tells me that He will never leave me and I continue to hold onto His promises for me and for my family.  There is so much to be thankful for and I will continue to praise God every moment of this journey. 

No matter what you are facing whether it's a high or a low, know that God is with you... praise Him through all your moments, He is so worthy!

I have loved getting back into attending church on a regular basis, Sundays are my favorite day of the week!  Unfortunately Adam was too agitated this morning to attend church with us... so hopefully next week he will be able to return. 

By the time Mackenzie and I returned to NeuroRestorative Adam had calmed down enough to be able to fulfill our plans for the day.  I wanted to take Adam on a mini road trip (a couple hours each way) to see how he would handle being in the car in hopes that a weekend trip home to North Carolina will be a possibility soon.  I also didn't want to do this alone so I purposefully planned it when I knew Dan would be working... however, Dan is agency staff and not a NeuroRestorative staff member and NeuroRestorative has cut all their agency staff so Dan is no longer working at NeuroRestorative... I am crushed and I am trying to do everything I can to get him back at NeuroRestorative.  Dan being the stand up guy that he is knew that I had already made these plans and he wanted to help fulfill them so on his day off he volunteered his time to do a mini road trip with us!  Can you believe that?!!! 

We drove down to West Palm Beach stopped for a bit and came back home... Adam did great!  Not sure we'll make it to North Carolina just yet, but for a short trip he did pretty well!  It sure was fun getting out as a family and creating new memories.

If you could please pray that Dan would be reassigned to Adam... Adam does so amazing with Dan and when Dan has Adam it gives me the piece of mind I need.  It's not just the piece of mind, it's Adam loosing a guy friend... Dan has played one of Adam's favorite games Risk with him, he takes him for walks and hangs out with him like a buddy.  The nights Dan usually works, I tend to step away so that Adam can have a guys night... I would hate to see this end.  Please join me in praying that Dan will be allowed to stay on even though he is a contractor.

 Mackenzie and I
Mackenzie and Dan

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Relaxing Saturday

I loved how normal it seemed to just be at home spending time together as a family. I am rejoicing that God is a God of restoration and He is restoring our family one day at a time. Today I am praising Him for He is worthy of all my praise, He has given me such joy and contentment. Psalm 68:3 3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.


I am hoping to make most Saturdays like the one we shared today!  Adam, Mackenzie, and I shared the afternoon with Adam's parents Jack and Cookie before they left to return back to Oregon.  Then we spent the rest of the day at home, watching a movie, doing a puzzle, and just relaxing... it was exactly what we all needed! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's About Time For A Game of Halo!

Thank you to so many of you who commented on last night's post, your comments, facebook messages, and emails were so encouraging.  Like I said last night, we couldn't do this without all of you.

Today has been a long day and I am extremely exhausted.  So I'm not going to do a full update, but I want to hit the highlights...

This morning when I went over to help Adam get ready for his day... I couldn't believe how much improvement he has made this week.  He got himself ready with only verbal ques... he's amazing!!!  Today in physical therapy Jim worked with Adam on transfers and balance... I was stunned as I watched Adam get himself on and off the therapy mat in standing position with no assistance!  Amazing!!!  But the real highlight today came this evening... we were hanging out at home and Adam was mildly agitated and I was trying to move him to the next task, so I put Halo in the Xbox and handed him the controller, sat back and watched him play Halo!!!  This is the first time he has attempted at playing an Xbox game and it was awesome!  And in my not so professional opinion he did great!!!

Adam had a few episodes of agitation today and if you all could be praying for both of us in those moments that would be great.  Pray that both of us remain safe.  Adam is so strong and he forgets that he needs assistance and then gets frustrated and sometimes to restrain him to keep him safe takes a huge toll physically, so please pray for my strength and for this agitation phase to pass quickly.

I can't help but to believe that this phase of agitation is going to propel Adam forward and towards his FULL restoration!  I continue to believe that God will FULLY restore Adam, I'm not saying for one minute that I believe Adam will be the same person, but I do believe he will be restored. Jeremiah 31:13 I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. He also promises me rest, which I am thankful for so with my comfort and joy that God has given me in the day, I am going to go rest in His arms.  Good Night!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God's Power To Sustain

As I watch Adam battle through each day and persevere with every passing hour, I am in awe of God's power and ability to sustain us. Adam has truly been an incredible example of God's power and I believe Adam will continue to be an example for many of what a mighty God we serve. Adam has had to battle through challenges that most of us will never have to face, challenges so difficult that you and I would have been trampled by them... and while I know my man is strong (the strongest man I know), I know it is truly only by the strength of God and His grace that Adam is where he is this hour. It's by God's grace that my man hugs and kisses me every day, it's by God's grace and power that my man tells me he loves me (with his words, not just actions!!!), it's by God's grace that my man is striving for his indendance to walk so that we will one day walk hand in hand with no one else! It's by God's grace that my man is still here fighting every day to show so many people what a mighty God we serve!!! 

I have seen God's strength imerse Adam in his weakest moments, and that same strength that God has given Adam, He is holding it open for you to take from His hands,  He wants to be your strength for whatever it is you are facing.  Go to Him, submit to Him, ask Him for His hand, He will give it to you and carry you through your darkest hour, your weakest moment, and He is there when you feel like you can't go any further... He will carry you.  Isaiah 46:4  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Adam is truly doing amazing and I can't wait to share all the new and exciting things that he's been doing in the last week.  Today's highlight comes from his time with Lily in speech... he connected the dots on a piece of paper!  At one point when he was working on connecting one of the dots, he over shot it and said "well that's not going to work" and he retried and corrected it!  GO ADAM!!!  Then in their last few minutes, Lily gave him a piece of paper and asked him to write out the alaphabet... he was able to get all the way to the letter F and then their time ran out.  This was amazing!  GO ADAM!!!  This week and last Lily has been working with Adam on recognizing opposites like, hot/cold, on/off, open/closed, ect... Adam has been getting these 80% of the time!  It's amazing to see how far he has come.

This afternoon after walking on the treadmill with very little assistance and walking around the entire facility, Adam decided he didn't want to be in the facility anymore.  He started to get agitated and said to me, I just want to go, I want to go home and be apart of the world again.  I loved how clearly he stated what he wanted and I can't wait till we can bring him home for good... but right now the best I was able to do was bringing him home for the afternoon.  We hung out and had dinner at home with Adam's parents.  It was such a relaxing evening and so nice to be home.  I just love hanging out at home with my man!

Your prayers are amazing and God is answering them, please never give up praying for my man. Please, please never stop praying for him... his time of healing is critical right now and he's making significnat gains, we need your prayers now as much as we needed them in the beginning of this journey. I know many of you don't read every day anymore, but I encourage you to please pray every day, please. We really cannot do this joureny without all of you, and we are so thankful and blessed that you all have been praying for us and encouraging us for the last year. Although these words are used often, I mean it from the deepest part of my soul... thank you!

Footprints In The Sand: Author Unknown

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Updated Prayer List

Today was a day of anticipation... Adam and I waited in anticipation for his parents arrival.  I was so excited for them to come and see how far Adam has come in the short time since their last visits.  Jack and Cookie arrived late this afternoon and took Adam, Mackenzie, and I out for dinner.  It was so wonderful to visit with them and with Adam outside of a facility.  After dinner we took them to our apartment where visited until Adam was tired and ready for bed.

Updated prayer list:
  1. Adam's cognitive abilities to improve
  2. Adam's memory to begin clicking back
  3. That the quality of Adam's walk will improve so that he will be safe and have a higher chance of walking without a walker
  4. Pray for Adam's vision, we know that he has impairments, but until he is able to cognitively be able to respond to complex questioning we can't get his vision tested.
  5. Pray for him to continue to gain strength so that he can continue to do more things independently
  6. Pray for encouragement, that he will be able to remain encouraged while he's working so hard to recover
  7. Pray that he gets a peaceful and restful night sleep
  8. Continue to pray for advancements in his ability to communicate his needs
  9. Pray for his ability to become continent
  10. Pray for each and every person who cares for Adam during the day.
  11. Continue to pray for Adam's FULL restoration
Thank you that I can come to you all for specific prayer needs and I know that they are getting covered.   We couldn't do this without all of you and your support, what a blessing you all are to our family.  Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dan and Adam

Tonight is a quick update night...

Today seemed like a very busy day, just a constant go, go, go kind of day... and it's leaving me quite tired so I apologize that this will not really be much of an update... just me sharing my favorite moment from the day.

I mentioned a few days ago about Dan... Dan is Adam's favorite aide that is assigned to Adam when he's working at NeuroRestorative.  Dan has been an answer to prayer and a huge blessing for me... anytime Dan is working I can just relax and enjoy myself and I know Adam is well cared for in Dan's hands.  On the days Dan works, he has become part of the family.  We schedule most of our outings when Dan is on so that he can come with us and help with Adam's needs, like helping Adam to a public men's restroom (something that I am just not able to do).  Tonight was one of Dan's nights, so as soon as he got to NeuroRestortative we took off.  We walked to the park and watched Mackenzie play and tossed the ball around.  It was such a nice evening and I just love getting Adam outdoors.

Dan is currently a nursing student and is amazing and passionate at all that he does.  Working with this patient population can be challenging, but I am convinced that Dan has found his calling.  I know God has brought Dan to us for such a time as this... he doesn't just treat Adam like someone he is giving care to, he treats him as a friend and gives Adam the upmost respect... treating my man like the man that he is, what a blessing! With every participant at NeuroRestorative I have seen Dan reach out and encourage them... I have seen him give 110% every time he has been on the job, no matter who he's working with, whether it's Adam or another participant.  We are so blessed to have Dan and I pray that he will continue to be able to work with Adam.  Thank you Dan for all you do.

Dan, Stacy, and myself

I love God's forsight, and that He is always taking care of our needs.  Throughout this journey our needs have grown and changed, and yet through it all God has provided and continues to provide all that we need... including staff like Dan.  Philippians 4:19  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Praise the Lord for His provisions, and that He is all knowing! 



Monday, May 23, 2011

Reflection Moments

One of the participants here at NeuroRestorative became very ill and was sent to the ICU at a local hospital last week, I went up to visit with him and pray with him since I know he doesn't have any family in the area.  As I walked through the ICU and into this person's room, it flooded me with the memories of so much of our journey in the ICU at UNC, it made me just surrender it all and give God the glory and thanks for how far we have made it and I just paused for a moment and prayed for the many nurses in the ICU that took care of Adam. 

When I take the moments to reflect on how far God has brought Adam and continues to bring Adam everyday I too am amazed.  We worship a God who specializes in the impossible, Amen?!!!  Praise the Lord that it is only by His hand that Adam is where he is and it is only by His power that Adam has made such significant and amazing gains in the last couple of weeks.  What a mighty God we serve.  I was reading out of Matthew 10 and in the section of the chapter where Jesus is talking about how much more valuable we are than the sparrows and yet they are provided for so how much more God cares about you and I than the sparrows.  I just loved what my footnote said and I wanted to share it... "You are so valuable that God sent his only Son to die for you.  Because God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats or difficult trials.  These can't shake God's love or dislodge his Spirit from with you.  This doesn't mean however, that God will take away all your troubles.  The real test of value is how well something holds up under the wear, tear, and abuse of every day life.  Those who stand up for Christ in spite of their troubles truly have lasting value"  I am giving God thanks for seeing value in us and in my man, for giving Adam the strength he needs to be able to live for Him during this difficult trail that he is facing.  I pray that Adam will continue to hold on to all that God has for him and to know without a doubt in his mind that God is with him, walking with him, that He takes value in him, and that He is preparing the way of great things to come!
Tonight was small group night!  I was looking forward to small group all day.  Adam and I join our small group in North Carolina via the computer and the wonderful world of technology.  After dinner, we were able to log on and see everyone.  I love this time of fellowship and sense of normalcy.  Adam and I are blessed to be apart of such an amazing and wonderful small group and we are continually blessed by all that they do to make us still feel so much apart of them even when we're hundreds of miles away. 

Overall Adam's day was very low key, he didn't that much therapy today and for a Monday, life seemed pretty slow.  Therapy dogs came by NeuroRestorative this afternoon and Adam seemed to enjoy having a dog around, even if for only a short time.  Adam had a long break between therapies so Stacy, Adam, and myself played a game of Carcassone.  Carcassone is one of Adam's favorite games, it's a simple game of strategy.  I love when I have moments to play a game with Adam and I praise God for the gift of being able to play games with Adam.  We weren't able to finish the game because Adam had to move along in his schedule... but next time we'll for sure finish and I'll let you know who wins!

Mackenzie and I are so sad that we are to say goodbye to Stacy in the morning. She's heading back to North Carolina... we're going to miss her so much.  Pray for her travels tomorrow.  It's been so fun having her here and creating such wonderful memories with her.  One of my favorite memories is...  Her husband Scott is Adam's best friend and Scott is currently in Iraq... tonight Scott called us using a video chat over the computer and we sat the computer at the kitchen table and the 5 of sat down and had dinner together, well as best we could anyway... again, I just love technology!  This will be a memory that I will hold onto for a long time... if only I would have thought to take a picture of it, oh well.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Such A Wonderful Sunday!

I am so proud of my man!!!  This morning, Adam, Mackenzie, Stacy, and myself loaded up and headed to church.  We went back to CrossWay which is the first church Mackenzie and I visited here, we met up with Larry and Carol Schatz, this is the couple that we met last time we were there and they also came to visit Adam at NeuroRestorative.  I was amazed by how well Adam did, so many people came up to him and introduced themselves to him and he shook their hands, and introduced himself, and even help conversations!  I was amazed and blessed that he didn't get overwhelmed or even overstimulated, he seemed to enjoy himself and those around him!  What a blessing it was to attend a church that is so welcoming, that has amazing worship, and both times I have left feeling challenged and blessed by the messages!  I love being around the body of Christ, I feel so blessed!

The message today that Pastor Kolb spoke was so great, he spoke on James 2:14-24.  The message was about faith and faith without deed.  Faith is one of the most crucial terms in the entire Bible – it denotes the trust one has in another – but it also conveys the idea of the trustworthiness or reliability of someone. Faith is not a passive resignation to life like fate; rather, it is a confidence that God will fulfill His promises and as a result causes people to act upon those commands that lead to the promises. Faith means both to believe and to be faithful to the belief.  I left feeling challenged and wanting to live by faith and truly have a life marked by trusting in God and living by faith believing in all His promises!

Our Sunday only continued to get better!  After church we brought Adam home to our apartment and proceeded to have a wonderful, lazy day!  Adam made himself comfy on the couch and we all curled up to watch one of Adam's favorite movies... the Princess Bride.  After the movie Adam took a nice nap on the couch before dinner.  Then after dinner we went to the pool, Adam and I watched as Stacy and Mackenzie swam and played in the water.
A snap shot from the day, Mackenzie and Stacy playing in the pool.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trusting In God In Good Moments and in Difficult Moments

Today we were blessed enough to be cleared for an outing!!!  We were going able to create some wonderful family memories outside of a facility!  So out of the facility we went... Adam, Mackenzie, Stacy, myself, and Dan (he's a CNA and is Adam's favorite one on one that he assigned to, so Dan came to help us out for the day).  Our day started at Starbucks, just like so many of Saturdays before Adam's accident.  We brought my laptop so we could browse our options for the day, for Adam's sake we knew we needed to be indoors today because it was very hot and we didn't want to big of a crowd.  We picked the Titanic museum, Adam and I have seen several documentaries on the Titanic so I felt confident that he would enjoy it too!  It was a pretty cool exhibit, very interactive and we all enjoyed ourselves.  It was so awesome spending time with Adam out and about and creating some wonderful memories!  Adam did amazing the whole time we were out, I was amazed to see him interact and enjoy himself.

After we arrived back at NeuroRestorative Adam decided he wasn't happy about being back and that complied with a shift change so quickly (meaning Dan was off), it through Adam into severe agitation.  For the next 3 hours Adam put himself in constant danger trying to get up on his own and even tried to walk on his own... Adam is still a little unstable and is at huge risk for falls that for his safety he isn't allowed such freedoms just yet.  He knows he's capable, and therefore gets even more aggravated when he's being confronted with a deficit.  I did my best to explain to Adam that NeuroRestorative is the best place for him to be right now, and that everyones goal is for him to come home.  I explained how far he has come and that it's only a matter of time before he will get there.  He asked me several times if we could just go home... I can't wait till the day when I can say "YES!!!"

Jeremiah 17:5-8  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”  Please pray for Adam and his agitation, pray that it's not confusing or scary for him.  One blessing that comes from the agitation is when he's had severe agitation it has produced significant gains and progress... please pray that we will see continued progress in the weeks to come.  I believe this season of agitation is serving a huge and great purpose in Adam's recovery.  I continue to place Adam moment by moment in the hands of our Healer, we know it is by God's hands that Adam has come this far, and we know that whatever progress is coming is also at the hands of His great and mighty hands.  Praise God that He has heard the cries of my heart and is healing Adam day by day,  I praise Him for this season of agitation, I do believe He is healing Adam in a huge way through these difficult moments.  I believe in Him and trust in Him and His mighty plans He has for Adam, His mighty warrior!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Am My Husband's Girlfriend!

"The people and circumstances around me do not MAKE me what I am, they REVEAL who I am."  Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
 
For the last 10 years I have enjoyed listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger... she helped me to be proud to be feminine and not have to fall into the feminist ways of our society.  If you aren't familiar with her radio program she often teaches the value of being "my husband's girlfriend".  Adam and often listened to her program together and I strongly recommend to the wives that are reading this, to read Dr. Laura's book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands".  She taught me the importance of treating Adam like the man he deserves to be treated like as well as to adopt the concept of being my man's girlfriend even after we were married.  Think about this concept, what were you like when you were dating your husband?  Did you flirt with him?  Say sweet things to him often?  Go out of your way for him?  Do you still do these things?

I would often tell Adam that I never wanted to stop being his girlfriend.  I want to love him more and differently, but I also want to make sure I am doing the sweet things that I did when we were dating.  Making him feel as special as he is.

Tonight I was laying with Adam in bed and we were laughing, talking, and joking together... I teasingly said  "What I am going to do with you Adam Root" and he replied  "be my girlfriend".  I just loved this response!  I am proud to be my husband's girlfriend, and I am honored that he asked me tonight.  What a blessing it is and honor to be my man's wife and to be his loving girlfriend... I just love, love, love my man!

Adam is doing so great, I just love that his personality is returning and especially his sense of humor.  This afternoon we were hanging out with Adam and I asked if I could sit on his lap and he said no, so I started to make my way towards the chair in the room... when he responded, "where are you going... I was JOKING" then he proceeded to open his arms up and pull me on his lap!  I just loved this moment of him messing with me. 

He did very well today in therapy sessions, the highlight of the day today was in speech therapy, Lily said she worked with Adam on opposites and he was able to get 85% accurate!  Way to go Adam!

This evening, Stacy, Mackenzie and I made the 40 minute drive to the ocean, it was wonderful.  As I sat in the sand watching Mackenzie play in the water I was reflecting on the last time I was at the ocean watching Mackenzie play in the water... it was back in September when we went with Scott and Stacy and Scott's family... it was right after I found the program at Spaulding but Adam hadn't been accepted yet, and WakeMed  had just told me that the best place for Adam was a nursing home (which I refused to believe).  How much has changed since then... I couldn't help but sit in silence and just offer up thanksgiving and praise to God for all He has done.  I just marveled at the works and miracles God has done in Adam's recovery, He is truly worthy of all our thanksgiving and praise... and no better place to marvel at his works than at the ocean!  We have so much to be thankful for!

Psalm 8:3-9 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:  all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Enjoying Friends!

Isaiah 41:18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

Praise the Lord that He is turning our desert into springs, and pools of water and no longer a wasteland.  God continues to show us daily that He is bigger than Adam's brain injury, I am praising Him for all that He has done in Adam's recovery and I will continue to praise Him for all that is yet to come in Adam's recovery.  I stand amazed and in awe of our redeemer, the God of restoration!!!  What a mighty God we serve!

Adam has had another full day here at NeuroRestorative, he had a morning fully packed with therapies.  The highlight was in occupational therapy today, Terri gave Adam picture cards that was a sequence of events and he had to place them in order, which he did perfectly!!!  Go Adam!!!Then he had a nice break this afternoon because there was a staff meeting that allowed all the participants to have the afternoon break.  His afternoon break was perfect because this evening we were blessed to have Adam's coworker Adam Barr and his family come visit for the evening!  Adam came and visited us while we were in Boston and then he and his family are vacationing here this week and called to ask if they could stop by.  It was so great to see them and I loved that Adam was able to see Adam and how far he has come even since we been in Boston!

When the Barr family got to NeuroRestorative we got Adam ready and walked a few blocks to a park.  It was so fun to let the kids run around, and get Adam out for a bit!  What a blessing it was!

The Barr family visiting with us

Me and Stacy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Healing With Humor

I can't believe I forgot to mention yesterday that we had another milestone other than the ones I listed... Adam had his last tube removed, his stomach tube was removed yesterday because he is doing so well eating, drinking, and taking his medications!!!  This is huge and very exciting to see him with no external tubes for the first time since his accident.  Praise the Lord and the glory be His for all of Adam's progress!

Adam has loved reading your letters and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write them and send them to him.  Adam is enjoying the letters so much, but he's not the only one, they have ministered to me too.  Thank you.  I can't wait to finish the scrapbook so that it will be permanently in his room.  It's not too late to send your letter in, if you haven't sent one in yet please send the letter via mail to the address on the left of the screen by May 30th so that it will make it in the scrapbook!

It was another busy day for Adam in therapies and he continues to give it his all and work hard.  In speech, Adam counted to 27 without assistance, he was able to name all the days of week without help, and he finally told Lily the correct year for the first time!  Way to go Adam, it's coming and you're doing amazing!  Terri worked with Collum today in occupational therapy (Collum has been working with Adam the last couple of weeks while Lisa has been out), they put Adam on a large exercise ball where Adam did over an hour of exercises and stretches.  I can't believe how awesome his balance is.  At one point, Adam was leaning too far back and Terri asked Adam if he's falling backwards what does he need to do to correct it and Adam told her, I need to come forward and he scooted forward!  This was so great!

Tonight, Stacy and I were hanging out with Adam and he was joking around with us and laughing with us.  It has been such a blessing and an answer to prayer to see his sense of humor start to return.  Everyone of Adam's therapists all say that seeing his sense of humor is an incredible sign of healing!  Praise the Lord for humor, because being able to enjoy it such a gift.  Stacy was able to walk home with Mackenzie while I was able to spend a few moments with Adam by myself... these moment are so rare for us and I cherish each and everyone of them.  During the day all the therapists are around and Adam's day is jammed packed and in the afternoon and evenings Mackenzie is always with us, so tonight after she and Stacy went home I was able to talk with Adam, to play a game with him, and get him ready for bed by myself!  It was wonderful.  After I got him all tucked in and we prayed, he nudged me and told me to go on, he said "go on, you need to go to bed too... go get some rest".  This is the first time he tried taking care of me, what a sweet man I married.  I am so honored to be his wife, I just love my man!

My prayer tonight comes from Psalm 25:5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  What an amazing scripture to pray over ourselves... take a moment and pray this over yourself, and then put your hope in Him ALL day, see what God will do when you put your hope in Him, I guarantee you won't be the same!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Miracles Continue

Hebrews 12:1-2  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

And that is exactly what Adam has done and continues to do!  Today he practically ran, in physical therapy his therapist had him walking so fast that he was at a slight jog!  It was incredible, the faster he went the less Adam relied on his therapist.  Adam was doing so much of the work himself, all his therapist kept saying was "I can't wait to see where he'll be in a month".  Adam has had a brace on his right leg for the last 4 months because that side has been weaker and unable to make the correct muscle movements to walk properly, but with the events of the day today, the therapist working with him doesn't believe he needs it anymore!  It's incredible to think that Adam has only been at NeuroRestorative for a month tomorrow and he has made an enormous amount of progress, it's amazing! 

When Adam first arrived and for the first 2 weeks it took Adam an average of 2 hours to get ready for his day, and he was needing quite a bit of ques to stay in the task of getting himself ready... today he was able to get himself ready in 55 minutes!!!  He did most of the work himself and didn't need ques... my man is amazing!!! 

Another amazing victory today happened with Terri in occupational therapy, she tried giving Adam this comprehensive skills test a couple weeks ago and he wasn't able to even engage in the test and therefore wasn't able to participate in the test... today he passed the test!  Again, my man is amazing, I am so proud of him!   Adam had such a packed day, he was in therapy from 7:30am to 4:15pm with only a break at lunch... what amazing endurance he has!  I can't wait to see all that God has planned for Adam... it's going to be incredible!  I continue to tell Adam daily, how blessed I am that he chose me to be his wife, what a gift he is to me.  I love my man and I am so proud of him and how far he has come!

Adam's biggest prayer need is for his cognitive abilities, please pray for his memory, and for all the cognition skills to start to click into place. Thank you for your prayers, God hears them and we are seeing the results!  What a mighty God we serve!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blessed By Friends

Psalm 27:4  One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

I never want to grow weary of seeking my Lord, being intentional about my relationship with Him.  I want more of Him.  I want to know Him more.  I believe one way that God allows us to know Him more is through our friendships.  It's through our friendships that we can see God's heart, at least this is how I feel about my friends, but I am blessed to have the most incredible friends.

One special friend is not just a friend, she is so much more.  I have had the amazing privilege of being apart of a woman's bible study through my church, that is made up of some incredible ladies who have stood by my side through this whole journey, faithfully walking it with me and my family. Theses ladies have done so much for our family and I am forever blessed to have been apart of such an incredible bible study and group of ladies.  Debby, who leads the study, has also become a mentor and closer to me than a friend... she has always been there for me to listen when I needed, to pass along a hug when needed the most, and through this journey has faithfully written me and Adam encouraging us weekly. 

Debby set the example and taught me what it meant to lead a group.  It's through her example that I was able to carry this over and help lead a high school small group.  I feel honored to know her and to have her apart of my life. 

This last week Debby made the journey down to Florida from North Carolina to help me move in and unpack my apartment... I don't know how I could have ever be able to get it done if it weren't for her and her husband Glen who also helped do all the guy things, like hanging pictures, and setting up all the electronic things. I will never be able to thank Glen and Debby enough for all that they have done for my family... I love them so much.  Debby stopped by today on her way back to North Carolina... it was a tearful goodbye, I can't wait till we are reunited again. 
Glen, me, and Debby

Glen, Mackenzie, and Debby
Debby and I

As I mentioned a couple of days ago I would update you all on what's been going on, really Debby and I worked hard at unpacking and getting settled for most of the week.  We were also blessed to have had another good family friend come visit.  Bill LaPiana was down here in Florida on business and was able to pop in for a visit!  Bill was out at the track with us, riding with Adam the day of his accident, Bill helped Adam stay alive until the paramedics got there.  We haven't seen Bill since we left North Carolina back in October, so it was so great to see him and to listen to Adam carry on a conversation with Bill.  Bill, Mackenzie, Adam, and I played a game of Monopoly.  It was so much fun getting to see him and for him to see how far Adam has come!
Bill, Mackenzie, and I

Many of you know my dear friend Stacy, I have mentioned her countless times and I'm sure you've seen her picture on my blog too... she is coming into town tomorrow and staying with me for a week.  I can't wait to see her and spend a week with her.  Stacy is married to Adam's best friend Scott and before Adam's accident Scott left for Iraq to do some civilian work and he's been over there since April of last year... but before that, the 5 us could be found regularly together on the weekends.   I look forward to the day the 5 of us will all be reunited again, for good!  I truly do have the most amazing friends ever.

As for Adam's day today, he was better than yesterday... a tad less agitated today.  It's amazing to see so much breakthrough with him.  To minimize distractions I don't watch too many of Adam's therapy sessions, especially speech...  so when he came out of speech today, Lily came up to me and told me it was the best speech session ever!  She said that he named all his body parts when she asked him, and he didn't need any help.  She said that he did a stack of flash cards with 80% accuracy!  He communicated all his needs and continued to keep his sense of humor throughout their session.  He also walked again today with the assistance of Jim and no walker, his walk is getting stronger and stronger every day and he looks so natural walking.  I love getting up next to him when he's standing towering over me, he wraps his arms around me, hugs me, kisses my forehead and says "I love you".  I love my man!  These are moments I will forever cherish and never once take for granted, I am one blessed girl! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Year Later and Stonger

My heart over pours with thanksgiving as I sit here and ponder our last year.  I feel like the most blessed person ever...  look at all that God has done for us in the last year...
  1. Kept Adam alive and here with me, I'm pretty sure this means God has HUGE plans for Adam!
  2. Equipped Adam to be a mighty warrior for Him, how else do you survive 13 major operations?!
  3. Has allowed Adam to defy all odds stacked against him
  4. Allowed Adam to overcome his neurological storms
  5. Has given Adam movements in all 4 extremities
  6. Allowed Adam to have a voice, but not only that, He has given Adam the ability to speak and speak intelligibly!
  7. Strengthened Adam and has given him the ability to learn how to walk again
  8. He has given Adam a strong swallow to be able to eat a normal diet again!
  9. Healing him moment by moment of everyday allowing Adam to start to take care of himself rather than having someone do things for him, such as feeding himself, dressing himself, getting himself ready for the day!
  10. God has sustained us every moment of this journey, He has provided all we have needed
  11. We have been blessed by so many of your stories of how God has transformed your life through walking this journey with us.  These stories have meant so much and will forever be cherished in our hearts
  12. God has shown us the power of the LIVING Word and has shown us His countless promises, and that He is who He says He is, amen?!!!
  13. God has given us all of you, who have faithfully prayed for Adam and for our family, provided the needs of our family, and you all have faithfully walked a year with us... how do we ever thank you all enough. 
This is just a short condensed list of all that has taken place over a year.  When I see how far God has brought Adam in a year, it makes to ecstatic to see what this next year in Adam's recovery will bring! 
We will continue to stand in awe of all that God is doing in Adam's recovery, we continue to praise Him through this storm, because we have seen what a mighty God we serve!  Psalm 103:2-5  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Your letters have been amazing... I read many of them today to Adam.  Adam was having a very difficult day of agitation, and it was amazing to see the effects your letters had on him... he would instantly calm down when I began to read.  It was incredible to see that so many of you wrote about how God has great and mighty plans for Adam, that He has only just begun a good work in Adam.  I stand in agreement with those statements!  Adam and I have had the privilege of serving as high school youth group leaders at our church in North Carolina and one of the students who attended our small group wrote in his letter "When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, you know what I'm gonna say? 'I'm gonna be Adam Root 2.0, a computer programmer, Godly man, loving husband, fantastic father, a fun person, and a man's man'".  I just loved this, I love that Adam is such an amazing guy that a younger generation looks up to him and wants to be the man of God that my man is!  Amazing!

You all have played such a pivotal role in our journey, we could not have done this without you all, so many of you have remained anonymous and I just want to thank everyone who has helped make this last year possible for our family!  God will repay what we cannot, I do pray that you all will be blessed beyond what you have blessed us.

One thing this journey continues to teach me is the choices we have to make... every day we are faced with choices to choose God or the world's way.  I pray that daily I will choose to hold onto God and His promises.  I pray that I will choose to wait patiently on Him.  I pray that I will choose to be intentional about my relationship with my Savior. I pray that I will choose to use my time wisely.  Most of all I pray that I will choose Him no matter the circumstance... I will choose to give thanks under all circumstances because that is what His word commands of me.  I give Him thanks for this journey, thanks that He has entrusted Adam, Mackenzie, and myself with a mighty task of being His vessels.  Thanks for how far He has brought Adam... To God be the glory!

I started this journey with a heart that was completely shattered and broken before the Lord... from one of the first posts I posted I shared the lyrics from Mandisa's song Broken Hallelujah.  As time is passing I have felt as though God is picking up the shattered pieces of my heart and making the 3 of us a new creations. Adam, Mackenzie, and I are completely different, we are all stronger. Mandisa has a new song out called Stronger... it's been the new song on my heart!

Stronger By: Mandisa
Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain't right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you're asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you Stronger

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
In time it's gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

I am excited to see what this new year will bring forth, I encourage you all to please continue to join me, approaching the throne of grace with boldness and confidence asking for God's hand in Adam's FULL recovery as He rebuilds Adam one cell, one axon, one neuron at a time.  Please NEVER cease in praying!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Letters Please (Deadline extended)

We are up and running again on the internet!  Thank you for your patience as we have been in transition and moving. 

As many of you know, tomorrow will mark the 1 year mark since Adam's accident, and I asked you all to help me with a project.  Adam could use some encouragement... If you didn't read the post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you! Thank you to those of you who have already sent your letters, we have been so touched by your faithfulness!

If you haven't sent in a letter yet, it's okay... it's not too late.  I asked them to be sent by tomorrow, but with my moving this week I am pushing back the deadline to May 30th so that those who haven't been able to write a letter still can make it into Adam's scrapbook.

I am lifting my hands up high and praising Him once again for continuing to rebuild Adam from the inside out... we have been rejoicing in some pretty incredible milestones this week, and I know they are only possible because God has His hands all over Adam.  Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  He is so worthy of all our praise!

Tonight I am going to just give a quick update on Adam and then tomorrow will fill you all in on Mackenzie and I and the blessings God has continued to pour out on us, as well as what we have been up to in the last week.

In the words of most of the staff here at NeuroRestorative... "Adam has turned a corner!"  He is doing absolutely amazing here.  He is doing so much for himself, it's honestly prayers being answered... please never stop praying for my man, I'm telling you, your prayers are being heard in a mighty way and being answered by a mighty God who continues to show us daily that He is bigger than this brain injury!  Adam's walk is improving everyday, the last several days Adam has walked without his walker and with assistance of only one other person!!!!  We have noticed that he walks better on his own than he does with his walker!  For those of you who are blessed to know Adam, this will not come as a surprise to you... he is and always has been one determined man and this is proving to be an amazing attribute in his journey to recovery. 

My man is amazing... I have witnessed Adam dressing himself this week, I only helped hand him the clothes in a manner that made it easy for him to put on, but he truly dressed himself, including socks and shoes... this is amazing, my man is amazing!  He has also been able to take care of most of his personal hygiene activities with very little or no assistance at all!  He also participated in a field trip to the zoo this week... it's been a good week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Please Don't Forget To Send Your Letters

We still need your help to encourage Adam... If you didn't read Tuesday's post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you!  Thank you to those of you who have already sent your letters, we have been so touched by your faithfulness!

I am very tired this evening and it's been a busy day so this will just be a quick update...

I am so thankful and grateful for Dr. Chae... after consulting with him yesterday he was able to make some suggestions on Adam's medications that will hopefully help with his agitation!  Adam had a great day, his agitation was much less today and he seemed so much more relaxed.  He did great in all his therapies today, I was so proud of him and how hard he worked today.  Lily told me that even during his speech therapy session with her, he was making jokes and easier going.  I love that his personality today really was shinning.  I love that God is a God of restoration and He is restoring Adam and his personality.  I continue to pray Psalm 55:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  I am amazed that daily I get to see God's strength in Adam, God is truly upholding Adam, because I am amazed by all that Adam endures each and every day and he is so compliant.  That's how all his therapists would describe him, they have all made comments about Adam being compliant... it's only by God upholding Adam.  Praise the Lord that he has given Adam the willing spirit to keep fighting to recover from his brain injury... God is rebuilding Adam and he will be rebuilt!

Mackenzie and I were so excited as we awaited the arrival of my very dear friend Debby Coulter... she will be helping me with my move tomorrow, helping us unpack and settle in... I am so blessed that she would come and do that for us!  I just loved having her company today, and I'm excited to spend a few days with her.

Just wanted to give the heads up that I will most likely be without the internet the next couple of days, so I will update as soon as I am able.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Still Giving Thanks

I have more to say on the marriage topic that I started last week, but it may have to wait till next week before it all comes out.  This week is insanely busy for us... Mackenzie and I get to move into our apartment on Wednesday and I can't wait to finally set up a home!  We have been staying in the corporate unit until our apartment opens up, Mackenzie and I have been sharing a bed for way too long and I am so excited for us both to get our own rooms and our own beds... I can't wait to sleep in my own bed, I haven't slept in my own bed since October, the count down is on!!! 

Adam's agitation has been very severe the last few days and he has become physical with some of the staff as well as myself... he can't help it, it's just part of his injury and this is a normal phase in the healing process.  This too shall pass.  In the meantime I am working with his doctor here to find the right medication that will help with his agitation as well as not have any adverse effects on his progress.  I have consulted with Dr. Chae in Boston to hear what his input will be as well.  Please be praying for decisions that will be made over his medications, Adam is so sensitive to medication changes, so I ask you to please pray for no adverse side effects.  Please pray for Adam's memory to start improving, this will help greatly with his agitation.  

At one point today, Adam was very agitated and worked up... the staff member assigned had a difficult time dealing with him and I was at home trying to eat dinner with Mackenzie when I hear her shouting my name from outside (my screen door was open and she knew where we live).  I came running outside immediately and was able to talk with Adam and get him to calm down.  I love that he knows me and even though he's frustrated and may fight me, he eventually is able to calm down.  Tonight I was just quoting the scripture verses that God has given to me throughout this journey.  I explained to him how far he has come and that God has big and mighty plans for him... I told him that God gave him a voice and words to speak so that he will be able to testify of God's great work, he has allowed Adam to walk again so that he will be able to spread the word that God is still a God who preforms many and great miracles...  I told him that God has made Adam His mighty warrior so that he will be able to touch many lives through the experiences God has given him... I believe God has only just begun a great work in Adam... I'm so excited to see all that He has planned!  When I was done I asked Adam if he wanted to pray and he said yes... we went into prayer and Adam was able to calm down... I was able to get him into bed and washed up and tucked in.  Pray that he will have a peaceful night's sleep tonight... he needs it!

Psalm 75:1 "We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds." 

Despite how difficult and exhausting this season may beI am so thankful and grateful for this season of Adam's recovery.  There were many times last year that I prayed to see anything, even if it meant the extreme agitation phase I read so much about.  Any time Adam has been agitated the last week, I have cried out saying "thank you God, thank you... I prayed for this... thank you!"  I am so thankful that healing is still taking place!  Praise the Lord that daily we are seeing His mighty hand at work in Adam.  We are so blessed, and I am so thankful for the progress and healing that has taken place.  What a mighty God we serve and to Him be all the glory.  Psalm 118:21 "I will give you thanks, for you answered me;"

If you didn't read Tuesday's post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you!  Thank you to those of you who have already sent your letters, we have been so touched by your faithfulness!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's!  A special Happy Mother's Day to my mom who has been there through and through for both Adam and I over this last year.  My mom has really shown me what it means to have a servant's heart for Jesus!  I love you mom!  Thanks for all you have done for me!

I consider myself blessed that God has chosen me to be Mackenzie's mom.  Adam has always taken Mackenzie out before Mother's Day and planned something really special for me.  Last Mother's Day Adam made me the most amazing garden bed that sat on our deck, he and Mackenzie both worked hard on making it.  Then he bought me the most beautiful orchid plant and took me out for sushi and a movie.  Memories I have treasured over this last year, because that was really our last date night before his accident.  Mackenzie surprised me and carried on the tradition... we went to Hallmark earlier this week to get Mother's day cards for my mom and Adam's mom, Mackenzie asked if she could have several dollars... I put two and two together and figured she was going to buy me a Mother's Day card, but she did more than I imagined.  She surprised by getting a card for me from Adam... here's what the card said...  "For the woman I cherish, Loving you is so much a part of me that sometimes I forget to tell you how much I appreciate you... and how my life is filled with blessings because of you.  So it's nice to have a special day just to honor you, and to thank God for giving me such an amazing, wonderful wife!"  She gave Adam a pen and he tried to write his name on my card.  It's so special.  Then she did even more... Terri, Adam's OT helped Mackenzie get a few supplies and Mackenzie and Adam decorated a pot and planted rosemary in it.  What an amazing, thoughtful, and precious child God has given me.  Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

After church today, we spent the rest of the day with Adam at our apartment.  It was so awesome getting to be at home together.  Adam decided to take a Sunday snooze on the couch and I just loved seeing him rest there and how normal it seemed.  Adam called his mom and wished her a Happy Mother's Day.  We watched Dispicable Me, he kept me company while I made dinner and dessert for us... and then after dinner when Mackenzie and I stood up from the table to clear it, Adam decided he didn't want his wheelchair anymore and wanted to stand and walk too.  This led to quite a bit of frustration and agitation for him, so much so that when I couldn't convince him to stay in his chair for safety... thankfully we live so close, that I just sent Mackenzie over to have one of the therapy assitants to help.  The therapy assistant did great, she gave Adam the time he needed to succeed at the task he was working on and stood by as Adam was finally able to push himself into standing position on his own, but that wasn't good enough for him... he wanted to walk too, thankfully Suzette was there and trained to do all of this (I am still healing from surgery and haven't been cleared yet to assist Adam).  So they took a few steps towards the closet so Adam could check it out and then got back to his chair.  I am so proud of Adam, his determination, persistance, and perseverance are all qualties that I admire in him.  I love watching him succeed after being so determined to do something on his own.  I am so poud of you Adam!

Please continue to pray for Adam as he continues to become more aware of his surroundings, he also becomes aware of his deficits, and he has a difficult time understanding.  Please pray that he will be able to understand quickly so that he won't become so agitiated.  Also pray againist any discouragement that could be a result from understanding his deficits... none of them are lifelong deficits praise the Lord... just ones he needs to work through.  Pray for his strength and understanding as he works through them all... And please, please never give up praying for FULL healing, healing above and beyond what we can imagine or comprehend... our God is bigger, and what a mighty God we serve!  To Him be the glory for the healing that has already taken place!

If you didn't read Tuesday's post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you!  Thank you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Being Flexible

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers today as we geared up for our Kentucky Derby party.  I have learned over the last 12 months, that nothing about brain injuries is predictable.  So even though we planned a party... if the injured persons aren't up for it, you just go with the flow.  We weren't able to do the craft planned because too many of the participants just weren't up for it... but we did enjoy a great dinner, and just about everyone picked a horse they wanted to win as well as cheered for their horse as we watched the races.  In the end it seemed as though everyone enjoyed themselves and we all had a story to tell about our favorite horse!  None of us picked the winning horse, we all got a good laugh out that.  (I know I will probably get asked, so I will just write this in advance... I am not allowed to post pictures of the events here since so many of them are unable to give proper consent for me to do so and no family members are present for me to ask.)

Mackenzie had her first playdate in a very long time today... it's been so long since she has had a day of fun with friends her age... I was just so happy for her!  I am rejoicing that she was able to get out and be a kid for a day!  It was nice for the both of us to get a little break from eachother... such a blessing.  Thank you all for praying for her to make friends, your prayers are being answered! 

I read this today and just love it so I want to share it with you all:
"The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him."   J. Stowell.  Just a really neat thought to ponder... my prayer is that the flame ignited in me will never fade... even in moments of discouragement and hardship, may the flame only be brighter for Him knowing that He is refining me to be more like Him... that is my prayer tonight.  1 Corinthians 15:57  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Good Night

I just wanted to write a very brief update... I fell asleep with Adam tonight a few hours ago and I am very tired.

Adam, Mackenzie, and I have had many moments to rejoice in today, I am so thankful that God richly blesses us everyday.  A huge victory moment for Adam today was that he was able to tie his right shoe all by himself!!!  GO ADAM!!! 

A memory God has blessed me with today is the 3 of us cuddled up and sleeping for several hours just holding onto one another.  I just love my family, and I am so blessed that God has given me an amazing husband, and an incredible kiddo.  My heart rejoices tonight in my blessings.

Psalm 127 :1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. 

Good Night!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Did You Plan A Wedding or A Marriage?

Just go with me here, and be honest... when you were planning your wedding how much did it consume your thoughts, your free time, your conversations... your life for that season? 

Now how much did you plan for your marriage?  Maybe one hour a week for six weeks as you attended marriage counseling. 

The most important day of our marriage isn't our wedding day (I know this may shock you), it's the last day of our marriage when we stand before our Maker.  How much do we plan for the last day of our marriage?  What are you doing today to prepare for that day?  Are you loving Jesus, loving your spouse, loving your kids... in that order? 

The most important aspect of all that the wedding represents, is too often neglected ahead of time. The wedding ceremony commemorates the first day of a life-long journey that needs to be diligently prepared for in advance. This is to insure that the love and honor the couple that is getting married is pledging a covenant vow with one another and with God, gets the most optimal start in marriage. From that day forward, and for the rest of their lives, a new life together as husband and wife begins—set forth as a team, with God and for God. For the act of marriage is ALL ABOUT GOD. It’s not about us—we get that so twisted around. It’s all about God. We miss the “mission of marriage.”

God designed marriage to draw us closer to Him and to make us more like him.  One of my favorite books I have read on marriage is "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas, he writes... "What if God didn't design marriage to be 'easier'? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"

So I ask you again, what are you doing today to plan for your last day of marriage, for your journey to make you holy... are you seeking God for guidance?  Are you first and foremost seeking him first?  There is one foolproof way you can plan for the most important day of your marriage, and that is pray together.  I love the quote "a couple that prays together, stays together"  Statistics have shown that less that 1% of couples you pray together everyday end up separating.... It's like insurance for marriage. 

FamilyLife® has surveyed of thousands of Christian couples and found that less than 8% pray together on regular basis.  So I challenge you to whether in the morning before you rush out the door or in the evening after the kids are in bed, spend time with your spouse in prayer.  It may fell awkward at first and maybe even uncomfortable, but God will bless it and it will become the most intimate time you spend together... don't believe me, try it... I dare you.  Guys, if I could just speak to you for one moment, praying with your wife, for your wife, and over your wife... this will forever change her.  This will provide intimacy for her in ways you will never be able to understand.  When you pray with her, it will make her feel so loved.  Please make this a habit in your marriage... prepare for that last day of your marriage. 

Adam and I set time aside everyday prior to his accident for a cup of coffee, a devotion, and time in prayer... and I am so glad we did... through his prayers for me and with me, I could hear the heart of my husband... I was able to see into his soul... what a gift he has given me.  We have continued this practice of praying together even through this journey, when Adam has been unable to pray I pray, but we still pray together.  I feel honored and cherished by my man in the moments we spend praying together.  Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

If you didn't read Tuesday's post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you!

Thank you all so much for your prayers for Adam as he is going through a very difficult stage in his recovery... the confusion and agitation, while it's a good sign of healing and the brain making new connections as well as a sign that Adam is coming out of the fog he has been in for so long... it's also very hard to watch Adam suffer from his confusion.  I ask you all to please continue to keep my man in your prayers, you all have been so faithful and we are so blessed.

Adam had a great day of therapies, he spends close to two hours a day walking with the assistance of a therapist and his walker... and everyday he is growing stronger and more independent in his walk, it truly is amazing!  He has handled all his transfers with minimal assistance, he is amazing at how strong he is!  In speech today, Lily worked with Adam on writing his name, the ABC's, and more.  This afternoon Adam and I began to plan for the Kentucky Derby we are hosting here at NeuroRestorative on Saturday.  Adam's family is in the horse racing business and the Derby is an exciting event, so we are participating by hosting a party!

Then this evening we spent time together outside creating such wonderful memories!  Mackenzie brought over bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a Frisbee and we stayed up and out way too late... but we shared some very special moments and lots of great laughs.  I just love my family!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What My Bible Says About Marriage

Did you ever notice that Adam and Eve weren't even attacked until God joined them in marriage and God put a call on their lives for ministry of marriage.  Marriage is a huge threat to the enemy, because two are always far greater than one.  Two can accomplish so much more for His kingdom when working together.  Two can encourage eachother, can build eachother, accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.  When two gather in prayer in His name, we know He is there with them.  Two is a dangerous number to the enemy, and a happily married two, WOW... the torment it must put the enemy through.  I don't know about you, but I love the thought of tormenting the enemy, don't you?!!!  So how do we get there?  How do we become happily married?

First, I want to start by saying, I don't speak because I have this all figured out, or I'm some expert... actually it's the complete opposite.  I speak because I too am learning, my spirit it open to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit to the highest calling God has put on my life yet... and that's my marriage, it's being my husband's girlfriend, and my man's wife.  I want to start by praying, because truly, I want this message to be spirit led. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I just love you.  I thank you Lord for the gift of my husband, I thank you Lord for help and resource God that Your Word is when it comes to my role as a wife.  Lord, I thank you that you continue to teach me every moment of every day how to be Adam's wife.  The wife that he needs me to be and that you wanted for him since the day you created him.  Lord I pray for those whose marriages are falling apart, marriages that are being neglected, I pray for the marriages that need Your help to be strengthened and enriched.  I pray that we will all continue to learn how to nourish our marriages.  For wives and husbands who have lost hope for a happy marriage, I pray that You show them that You have never left them and You want to help them.  Where hope is lost Lord, I pray for revival in these marriages, I pray for new beginnings, I pray for the power of Your Holy Spirit to come and fill these marriages with your love.  Lord for all those that read this I pray for eyes to be opened to see You and Your love for marriage, I pray for You to light a fire for You in each of these hearts, because we know that as we seek You first we will become closer to our spouse, because that is Your desire.  We leave this in Your mighty and willing hands, it's in Your Holy name I pray... Amen

How do we obtain the marriages our hearts crave and long for?  This will be a blog series, and I'm not sure yet how many posts.  As God was revealing this to me this evening, I couldn't write in my notebook fast enough.  Tonight I just want to start by pointing out what the Bible says about marriage, here's what my Bible says about marriage:
Genesis 2:18-24  Marriage is God's idea
Genesis 24:58-60  Commitment is essential to a successful marriage
Genesis 29:10-11  Romance is important
Leviticus 18:22  Marriage is between man and woman
Jeremiah 7:34  Marriage holds times of great joy
Malachi 2:14-15  Marriage creates the best environment for raising children
Matthew 5:32  Unfaithfulness breaks the bond of trust, the foundation of all relationships
Matthew 19:6  Marriage is permanent
Romans 7:2-3  Ideally, only death should dissolve marriage
Ephesians 5:21-33  Marriage is based on the principled practice of love (a verb), not feelings
Ephesians 5:23, 32  Marriage is a living symbol of Christ and the church
Hebrews 13:4  Marriage is good and honorable

Please take the time to read these scriptures, pick one a day and meditate on it... ask God to reveal to You His purpose for your marriage.  Submit to Him and His plans for your marriage and watch as He not only transforms you as a person, but transforms your marriage into one that thrives!  I'm praying for you all and for your marriages.

If you didn't read last night's post (CLICK HERE), please read it, please consider sending in a letter of encouragement to Adam, we know we can't do this journey without all of you!

Adam had a very mellow day today, he had mostly group therapies and participated in them all! I love watching him as he follows the instructions of lifting weights, and exercises.  I am just so proud of how hard he works every day... God has truly made Adam a mighty warrior.  Adam and I were able to have a lot of time together today, and I took advantage of the mellow day and worked with Adam.  He completed a wooden puzzle by himself with no help!  He also practiced writing his name!  I started the A and then just helped him keep the pen on the paper, he did the rest!  Praise the Lord for today's miracles!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

PLEASE HELP US

We need your help once again... As you are aware, the one year anniversary since Adam's accident is approaching way too quickly, I need your help... As I mentioned and shared with you yesterday Adam is in state that he is coming out of the fog he has been in for so long, he is so much more aware of what's going on and that life is not what it once was.  With this he has experienced quite a bit of frustration.  So many of you have been so faithful in sharing with me how our journey has blessed you, but know I plead with you to please send Adam a letter sharing with him specifically how his journey has shaped you, changed you, or even challenged you.  Share with him what God has done for you.  If you have nothing to share, then please send in a word of encouragement for him.

I would like to get all the letters before the one year mark of May 15th.  I want to compile them into a scrapbook and be able to share your words with him so that he's hearing from you all that his journey has purpose.  Please send your letters to the address on the sidebar.  Please, please take the time to share with us.  Please try to keep your letter to an 8.5X11 size so that it will fit into the scrapbook that I have already begun making him, I too am writing him a letter, because his journey has forever changed me.  Please take the time to help us out, the deadline is fast approaching... we thank you all in advance for taking the time to share with us, what a blessing you all are!

Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Thank you advance for the encouragement that you will be sending through your letters. 

Well, we have had another miraculous day, praise the Lord that He is the same God yesterday that He is today!!!  Adam transferred himself from his chair to the therapy mat in the gym and back to his chair, as well as from his chair to the shower chair in the shower and back to his chair... amazing strength!  Amazing! My man is amazing!

Wait there's even more!!!  Lily, Adam's speech therapist put an Excel sheet up on her computer and asked Adam to help her with it... he put in a formula into one of the cells, then appropriately used the keys on keyboard when asked...  Lily asked what he would do if he made a mistake and he went and pushed the backspace button, then asked how he would change tabs and he pushed the tab button... he continued to this for a little while, it was amazing!  My man is amazing!

All day today Adam has been fighting to stand and walk and as long as there was a trained therapist near by he was able to.  He continued to fight for his independence throughout the day and evening, it's amazing to see that he knows he can walk and doesn't belong in a wheelchair, pray for his endurance to increase and for him to be aware of how to be safe when he's walking so that he will be able to walk more soon.  Pray specifically for his right side weakness to resolve itself so that he will be able to be strong enough to walk on his own.  We know through Christ strengthening Adam it will only be a matter of time before he's walking on his own... all things... ALL things are possible through Christ who strengthens us! 

Mackenzie and I were honored tonight to receive an invite to have dinner with all the participants at NeuroRestorative... one of the participants made dinner for everyone and asked us to join him and all the others for dinner.  He is Jamaican and made the most amazing authentic Jamaican food I have ever had!  I told him that next time he made dinner I needed to be invited into the kitchen so that he can teach me to cook Jamaican style!  Yummy! 

It has been an honor to get to know all the other participants and to be included in their journeys as well.  In the two weeks we have been there I have only seen one other family member one time, so since Mackenzie and I are throughout the day every day we have become family to many of the participants... helping them, encouraging them , praying with them, and just being there to listen to them.  It's neat to see how they all encourage and reach out to Adam in return, truly blessings that just go around full circle!  The last couple of days I have been able to participate in all of Adam's group therapy sessions, and yoga classes...  I love that I get to be included as a participant too, as if they see Adam and I as one, because that's just what we are!  I just love my man!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mixed Blessings

So I have lightly mentioned over the last week that Adam has entered a new stage in the healing process... it's known as the agitation phase.  I have known that this stage was coming and after being around all different levels of brain injuries over the last 11 months, I can see this stage of agitation as a blessing in spite of how difficult it is to watch Adam go through it.  All this to say, please be praying for Adam, as he becomes more aware with every new stage, he also becomes more aware of some deficits (nothing that can't be overcome, especially when we know God is in control!)... it's just going to take some time to overcome these deficits and relearn some life skills.  Please pray for my man, continue to pray that God will emerge Adam in His peace.  We know the power that prayer has, Adam is living proof that there is such a thing as modern day miracles!  Praise the Lord!  Thank you all for your prayers.

Throughout this journey I have experienced many sleepless nights, and last night was definitely one of those sleepless nights.  I spent the night and wee hours of the morning, laying my heart to God, sharing with Him my fears, my desires, my sadness, my joys... and thanking Him for it all!  Several of my sleepless nights have been intense time with the Lord as if He uses that time to grab hold of my heart, to encourages me, reminding me that this journey is all apart of His plans for us.  God has given me so many sweet promises to hold onto.  After laying it all out and having some intense prayer and tears... I just chose to continue to trust Him.  When I walked in the therapy gym this morning I received a loud and clear message from God... look what the therapy board read...
Can you believe this!  It was like God was saying Himself to me that He is preparing Adam for a great task through this great trial!  He has so gently reminded me of this when I have needed it the most...  Adam is truly God's mighty warrior, and He has equipped Adam for the battles he faces everyday!  Tears filled my eyes as I brought Adam over to see the board and share with him one more time that God has mighty plans for him.  1 Peter 5:10 (ESV) And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  AMEN!!!!  He is truly worthy of all my adoration, all my praise, all that I have to offer... oh how I love my Savior!

In spite of Adam's agitated day, this morning he had some awesome therapy sessions... in physical therapy he officially walked the farthest yet, not sure what to compare it to so that you would have an idea, so you'll just have to rejoice with me in the farthest walk yet!  When he was half way through Jim, one of the physical therapists) asked Adam if he needed or wanted a break and Adam said no, he wanted to keep walking!  GO ADAM.  When they finished their walk, Jim took Adam into the therapy gym and had Adam lifting weights, Adam lifted quite a bit of weight and from what it looked like, had an incredible workout!  I can't even begin to tell you how strong he is!  He has gained so much muscle in the short 2 weeks we have been here at NeuroRestorative. 

I can't wait to see all that God is going to do to heal Adam from the inside out in our time here.  We know it is God and God alone working in Adam as their is no onsite doctors... God is the only physician working daily with Adam!  To Him be the glory!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Church As A Family, What A Blessing!

This morning after getting ready for church, I walked over and aksed Adam if he wanted to join us for church, he said of course he does.  I was so excited at the thought of going to church once again as a family!  So we walked the 3 blocks to church and for the first time in a year, the three of us attended church together, as a family!

Church was amazing, Adam sang along during worship, which was an answer to my prayers, because I thought worship might have been a little too stimulating with the the loud music... but he joined right in.  It was amazing to watch him sing along with the song "His Love Endures Forever".  I am so thankful that God placed us in a community where we can easily access everything around us just by walking!  Praise the Lord!

His Love Endures Forever

Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that's been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever
Forever

From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever
By the grace of God
We will carry on
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

I am praising God today that He is forever faithful, forever He is strong, and forever He is with us.

Isaiah 41:10  'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

God is so stong and nothing is too big for Him, He is always with us, and with Him we will be able to make it through whatever it is that life throws at us.

Specific prayer requests for the week...

As Adam becomes more and more aware, he is also becoming more and more confused and agitated, this is a stage in the healing process and I am thankful to see a new stage in healing.  Please pray for Adam to have clearity, and that his memory will click back quickly.

Pray that Adam will remain postive and will not become discouraged.

Pray also for Adam to continue to progress forward with every passing day.

Please continue to pray for Adam's full restoration.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support... we couldn't do this jouney without all of you!  Thank you to those who have helped financially supporting our family and making each day a blessing and possible for me to be by my man's side and to be my kiddo's mom... words will never express the true gratitude of my heart.

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