Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God Is All I Need... ALL I Need

Many of you have wondered why I haven't been blogging that much over the last week and a half... well, the truth... it's been a hard week.  This journey never gets easier... just longer.  This last week has been especially difficult because Thanksgiving weekend has held some of my most favorite moments with my man, Thanksgiving has always been our favorite family holiday.  This last week was a  consistent reminder of how different our lives are and will be from now on... we are all forever changed, and sometimes I hate that.

Blogging has just seemed like an impossible task with such a heavy burdened heart... I have needed the hours I have poured into seeking God the last few days.  I needed the reminder that I had taken my eyes from Jesus and looked at the circumstances around me, I was sinking as I looked at the circumstances... I have confessed my heart and refocused my gaze onto the Lord and I am reminded that He is ALL I need.  God stands ready to be the strength in our weakness, the wealth in our poverty, the health in our sickness, the deliverance of our captivity, and the comfort in our despair.  From beginning to end, He is our hope.

I am missing my man so much that the pain from my heartache is physical.  The tears from my sorrow have been falling when I have not warranted them to.  I feel completely raw on the inside, bleeding with pain.  I am still learning, even after 18 months to consistently take it all to Him.  There are times when I just fall at His feet and feel as though I am unable to carry on, but He so graciously picks me up and reminds me of how faithful He has been and is in this moment.  He whispers His never ending, never failing love for me in my ear.  He reminds me that I am His beloved.  And when I grab hold of His love, it gives me the strength to keep going, to endure a little more, to persevere when I feel as though I can't go any further... He is all I need, and He is enough.  John 14:27 (NSAB) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

No matter how long the journey does feel, and no matter the pain that is experienced... there is so much to be thankful for, so much that God has done to bless us, and so much joy even in the midst of the pain and sorrow.  He has carried us this far and I know this very moment, He is still carrying us in the palm of His great and mighty hands.  He is ALL I need. 

Please, please continue to believe and pray for Adam's FULL recovery, do not loose heart praying for my man, I beg you... He's come so far and we have been so blessed by your prayers, please keep believing and praying for miracles to continue to take place in this journey.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Heart Is Thankful For The Blessings That Come In This Moment

Where does all the time go?  I can't believe I haven't posted since Monday, it's sign we've been enjoying life the last few days.  We were able to bring Adam home on Wednesday and he doesn't have to be checked back in until Monday!!!  So we have been soaking it up, hanging out with family mostly.  Christina and her family came down from Virginia and so we spent most of the week and weekend at Bob & Connie's enjoying family time!  I love that God provides us with all we need, even though both my family and Adam's family is on the west coast, God has provided us an amazing North Carolina family, and I was and continue to give thanks for His provisions.

I have to share my devotion from yesterday because it was so good and it's one that I want to consistently be reminded of... This is from Jesus Calling "Thank me frequently as you journey through today.  This practice makes it possible to pray without ceasing, as the apostle Paul taught.  If you are serious about learning to pray continually, the best approach is to thank Me in every situation.  These thankful prayers provide a solid foundation on which you can build all other prayers.  Moreover a grateful heart makes it easier for you to communicate with Me.  When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining.  If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will grow weaker and weaker.  Draw near to me with a grateful heart, and My presence will fill you with joy and peace."  (It gives the Bible verses 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, James 4:8, Romans 15:13)\

Isn't this amazing, my heart has been heavy lately with so much to think about, and today instead of letting all my concerns burden me I began to give thanks for all that God has provided and all He continues to bless us with each moment we get to share together as a family.  I have so much to be thankful for and heart is overflowing now as I focus on this moment and what the Lord has provided and blessed me with in this moment.  He is so faithful and so good and I am thankful for His mercy.  I am thankful for the forgiveness He has bestowed upon me for the worry frenzy I got myself into this last week.  The Lord has blessed me today and that is where I need to keep my focus, not on what's to come and all the uncertainty that the future holds... it's not for me to worry about and I have wasted enough energy on worrying about what is completely out of my control.  Praise the Lord He is in control!

Adjusting to life in a facility has not been easy for any of us, but we will continue to make the best of it why we have to.  Adam is continuing to make gains daily and for the last couple of weeks now has known and recognized that we are married and I am his wife!!!  He's even started calling me Amy again, I have to be honest, while I am so grateful he knows my name, I loved when he would call me "his pretty little lady".  He's walking long distances now, we have been able to go up to a little over a mile!!!  He still needs prayers about bringing down his right heal so that he can learn to walk heal to toe instead of on his tip toes.  This is also such a fun time of the year since all the Christmas music is playing now, I have been able to hear Adam sing regularly, he has such a good voice.   Please continue to pray for Adam's memory and for his cognition to expand.  Continue to pray for his muscle tone that he fights daily especially on the right side of his body.  Please continue to pray for his strength to persevere through this journey... actually please pray this for all three of us.  Thank you for your prayers for Mackenzie, this was a much better week!!!  I love seeing and watching the Lord answer prayers... He is so good and so faithful.

I know on my last post I said I was going to try to upload pictures, but tonight I just needed to post what was on my heart and now I have to get my family into bed.  Pictures of the last week will be coming soon. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honoring My Man and My Marriage

I'm not sure if it's the holidays fast approaching or if it's just part of the course of this journey but I have been missing my man and it seems every where I turn I am reminded how different our relationship is... not bad, just different.

Usually when I get into one of these moods or funks I find myself really focusing my time in the Word of God around marriage and my role as my husband's wife (or as Dr. Laura says: being my husband's girlfriend).  Hebrews 13:4 says "Marriage should be honored by all".  My footnote for this verse says  "Givnig honor to marriage will require the utmost in Chirstian conviction and sensitivity.  Modern social therory may redefine the family and the new definitions may be far from its biblical foundation.  What can you do? Witness to the depth of God's love for you by keeping your marriage happy and strong.  Remain faithful, in body and mind.  Pray for your spouse.  Honor biblical marriage (consenting man-woman unions) by prefences.  Teach children the biblical meaning of marriage.  Pray early for their own for their own eventual spouses and families.  Make marriage enrichment the goal of your small group discussions and study.  Encourage the marriages around you to stay strong as well."

I love the NLT version of Hebrews 13:4 it says "Give honor to marriage".  To honor means: a special privilege that is cherished.  It is a privilege that we were chosen for the ministry of marriage, and an even greater privilege that God picked our spouse for us for such an opportunity. 

When I was studying honor in marriage and what it means and looks like to honor, not just my husband, but our marriage I came across this article on MannaExpress Online... I loved their tips they gave so I want to share them with you.  To create honor (esteem, regard, consideration) in your marriage, begin with small, productive steps in the right direction. Here are some suggestions to help you start the process.  (if it seems overwhelming start by implementing at least one this week)


1. To change you have to become aware of how you do things now and what the new goal is. If you want to love and honor differently, ask yourself how you love and honor now, and how you would like your approach to change.

2. Get free from old, destructive patterns of behavior. Identify the dynamics that affect your behavior. You could have: (a) Learned behavior from your family of origin -- behavior generally modeled by the same-sex parent; (b) Internalized, unresolved anger that spills out onto others, allowing you to vent your pain but never resolve the

conflict; (c) Feelings of inadequacy that cause you to put other people down so you can feel good about yourself; (d) Passive guilt that you use to manipulate other's decisions and actions; (e) Fear of intimacy or emotional closeness, especially if your love has been rejected in the past. If any of these patterns apply to you, ask God

to deliver you and help you relate to your spouse according to His principles of love and respect.

3. Create an atmosphere of "approval" in your marriage. Undergird and support each other and your mutual destiny. Build each other up with your words and actions. Find areas of agreement and build on them.

Show your spouse how valuable and important he is to you and thank God for him.

4. Search for ways to build a firm foundation of trust, creating ways to instill security from the toxins of the world - poison-proof your marriage! Ask yourself what you can do to add security to the marriage: find accountability partners, seek professional counseling, learn how to communicate better, be more accountable with your time and money (be truthful, repent, forgive, get your mate's opinions before making a final decision), tell your partner you are with him for life, speak of your love for him every day.

5. Learn to love yourself so you can stop being distracted by your low self-assessment and can focus your attention on loving your mate and others (see Lev. 19:18).

6. Learn that the "WE" is greater than the "I." What one spouse does affects the other. Ask yourself how your decisions and actions may affect your spouse.

7. Have some fun; get out of ruts (not included in "ruts" are the rituals you both enjoy together). Be creative in finding things to do together. Be intentional in planning fun activities.

8. Pray for your spouse in his hearing. If you don't feel judged by your mate, this will be easy. Ask your mate for specific issues you can pray about for him.

9. Fast. Fasting develops humility (see Ezra 8:21), and humility comes before honor (see Prov. 15:33).

10. Repent to God and to your mate for any wrong you have done. I don't mean simply apologize; I mean be truly sorry for your behavior. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and change! (See 2 Cor. 7:10.)

11. Forgive. Forgiveness heals past hurts and wounds and brings reconciliation into the relationship.

12. Express love with words of endearment and godly actions even if you don't "feel" like it. Honoring God with your vow to love your spouse pleases Him.

13. Criticism equals rejection, but love equals acceptance. The whole world is looking for unconditional love and acceptance. A godly marriage provides both.

14. Ask your spouse how you can honor him more effectively. There are things that are generally honoring to all (for example, not embarrassing the person in public, not interrupting when he is speaking), and then there are things that are personally honoring or dishonoring to your mate.

15. Be serious about your relationship. Don't take it for granted, as if you don't have to work at it. You worked hard to win this person, so keep it up -- stay the course -- be persistent -- run the race until you finish it: "till death do you part!"

Come on wives, I challenge you to join me in honoring your man and your marriage... by doing this it honors God.  I am learning that even when I am struggling with missing my man or whatever my struggle may be, I can still show honor to my man, treat him with honor, and honor my marriage... it's a choice to choose to honor.  You can waste hours on a hundred different things, but you’ll never waste one minute putting honor into practice in your marriage.


PS:  I have some fun pictures from our weekend, but I'm just wiped out tonight so I will try to post them and share about our weekend tomorrow.






Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Beginnings

Wednesday Adam became a resident at Learning Services.  Adam seems to really be enjoying being back in therapy and in a familiar setting with a team that has quickly become family and friends.   was The last few days have been exhausting, after meeting with the case manager for Adam at Learning Services, a 2 hour conference with the state licensing office, and time on the phone spent with Gloria (insurance case manager) trying to talk through some things... all in all based off of the information I gathered it looks like Adam will have to be a resident till around Feb.  So we'll make the most of it.  We have already begun making the most of it.  Mackenzie played Monopoly with some of the participants, she and a participant also made paper snow flakes and decorated the windows.  We have been able to have dinner with Adam every night and stay to tuck him in.

The transition for Adam seems to be going better than expected and I am so thankful to all of you for praying for him.  Please pray for Mackenzie and I, this transition is not going well for us and Mackenzie's attitude towards me has been more defiant than normal.  She never handles transitions well and that was to be expected with this transition, but she is expressing a lot of anger towards our circumstances and the last 18 months of our upside down lives.  Please be praying for both of us, but especially Mackenzie. 

Tonight Adam is back to laying next to me and I am loving it... we get to bring Adam home on the weekends and just tickles me.  I couldn't wait to check him out today.  After we checked out we went for a routine check up with Adam's regular primary care physician Dr. Hart... we went over the lab results from blood work he recently had done... his blood work was PERFECT!!!  Amazing!!!  His liver, his cholesterol, his vitamin levels... everything!  This may have been our first perfect score for blood work!  We celebrated by taking Adam to get his haircut... well maybe this wasn't a celebration, more like an item on the to do list... but I wanted to share for those of you who live in the Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina area... we went to Holly Springs Barber Shop, it was amazing!  We all had fun, Mackenzie and I played air hockey while Adam was getting his haircut and we visited with both of the stylists.  It was really enjoyable.  http://www.hollyspringsbarbershop.com/index.html 

This evening I was finally having some quiet time, while do some research I decided to check the website of a church Mackenzie and I attended for a little while in Seattle... it's Mars Hill Church.  Pastor Mark Driscoll's messages often encourage me and I love listening to his sermons online.  I came across this very powerful video and I want to share it with you.  It is well worth the 8 minutes this plays. 


 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Excited For God's Perfect Plans

We have had the most incredible weather the last 2 days and I have been so thankful and grateful that I am right here in the beautiful state.  I am so grateful for the amazing fall day we have had.

Adam had his first piano lesson today, Jan taught Adam how to play the beginning part of Joy To The World, and he did awesome!  Jan said she will take Adam a keyboard he can use while he's at Learning Services and she'll come work with him.

We hit another victory this evening... in a conversation where I could tell Adam was thinking clearly, he tried to tell me he forgot his truck.  He said he needed to get his truck.  I asked him what color his truck is and he said red (which is was)!  I explained to him that he had an accident and has been working hard to get better.  I explained that I had to sell his truck so that we could buy a house, when I asked if that was okay, he said he thought was a good choice.  This is really the first time he was asking questions about anything before his injury... I just got so tickled that I keep seeing him slowly, but surely coming out of the fog he's been living in for so long.

Tonight Mackenzie and I attended our first brain injury support group.  We have been very active with the brain injury association of North Carolina... but this is the first time we have attended the support group.  I am so thankful for such a great community that we live in and for the amazing resources we have available to us.  Please consider joining the brain injury association of North Carolina http://www.bianc.net/index.html this helps provide families like us with much needed resources and information to better understand and take care of our loved ones.

Tomorrow Adam gets admitted to Learning Services as a full time resident.  He will be living there until their licensing comes through... I spent most of the weekend being pretty pitiful, but yesterday the Lord grabbed hold of my sorry self and asked if I was going to get in the way of His greater plans and His greater purpose.  Then I started to think... there must be someone he has for us to meet that we wouldn't otherwise get to.  I am now excited to see what the Lord has in store for us, I am excited to see His continued hand healing Adam and I am excited to see how He will be using Adam's stay at Learning Services to continue to win hearts for Him and to progress Adam along further.  God's plans are perfect and I am surrendering to His will and to His great purpose.  God is so good, He is so faithful, and He is so mighty. 

I am excited to see what God is going to do, and I am continuing to pray for wisdom and peace as we take the next step in this journey.  I am praying that the Lord's will, will be done.  I know this too shall pass, and that Adam's time as a resident will be temporary, but I am still going to miss his arms wrapped around me every night, I am going to miss spending normal family time with him... please be praying as we reenter the life of living in a facility.  This is a very challenging way to live and a way of life we never thought we would have had to go back to... but God has other plans and we are going forward in obedience.  Pray for the caregivers to be diligent in their work as they care for my man.  Tonight I am not leaning on my understanding, but I am trusting in the Lord with all my heart.  I know His hand prints are all over my man and I know they will continue to be so.

I am praising the Lord for all the healing that has taken place, the healing that is happening in this moment, and the healing that is still yet to come.  He is so good.  Ezra 3:11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prayers Will Always Be Our Greatest Need

We have had a wonderful weekend even inspite of our heavy hearts.  We had such a wonderful weekend visiting and hanging out with friends. 

Friday we grilled out and had a campfire with the John and Debbie and Glen and Karen.
John and Adam grilling chicken for teriyaki chicken burgers... mmmm!

Hanging around the campfire

Adam and I right after we roasted marshmallows for smores!

Saturday we had a lazy day hanging around the house and just relaxing, we even were blessed to to enjoy a Lewis family get together
Jan was showing Adam how to plant flowers for the winter

Adam planting pansies for the winter

After dinner we gathered around the piano and as Jan played the piano we sang Christmas carols.  Adam even joined in singing almost every song with us and even laughing along the way, he seemed to really enjoy it!

After carols we had a group therapy session for Adam as we played tennis on the Wii with him.  William and Adam made a pretty good team!

Today we spent the day with Scott and Stacy, we went to church, walked around a mall for therapy and just happened to stop in the Lego store.
We decided to get a small box and see if Adam would be able to follow the directions and assemble it himself... he was quite successful!  I am so proud of my man and how hard he works!

There are more pictures below, but I wanted to share a few prayer requests first.  I just want to say thank you to all of you who are silently walking our journey with us through your prayers.  It is amazing how many people we get to share this journey with, I just feel so blessed.  Thank for not giving up on us and continuing to pray for my man's FULL recovery.
  1. Please always remember to pray for Adam's FULL restoration
  2. Please pray that as Adam transitions this week, he will not be discouraged but instead be propelled to keep moving forward
  3. Pray for Adam to have clarity and that the confusion he has been experiencing will diminish
  4. Please pray for Mackenzie as we will be adjusting to life back in a facility
  5. Pray that Learning Services will receive their proper licenses quickly so that we will be able to bring Adam back home sooner than later.
  6. Please pray for our broken hearts that we are unable to be together the way we want to be, pray that we will be obedient to the Holy Spirit's guiding.
  7. Please pray for staff that will be taking care of my man.  Pray that God will give them the strength and ability to do their job well.
  8. Please pray for Adam's therapists as they return to working with Adam, that they would have wisdom on what direction to take Adam next in therapy.
  9. Pray for us to be a light to those around us, pray that Christ's love will shine through us.
  10. Please continue to pray for healing to the damage caused to my nerves from my back injury.  The sciatica I experience is sometimes unbearable. 
Prayer continues to be our greatest need, thank you for providing our greatest need.  The Lord is faithful and we know He has brought so much healing through the power of prayer already.  I believe healing is taking place this very minute as Adam is sleeping beside me, and I am so excited to see the healing that will come as a result from all our prayers.  Please join together and pray for my man's healing and restoration.  Matthew 18:19-20 says “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”



Here are a few pictures from our week that I wanted to share...

This is how we spent homework time just about every day last week.  We sat around Debbie's driveway after school as the kids worked on homework... have I mentioned how much I love living in North Carolina!

I mentioned in an earlier blog this week that we attended an art show at Mackenzie's school where she had a piece of work in the exhibit... here is her wonderful art photo

Adding Dr. Kavanaugh to Adam's team is going to be awesome!  We are so blessed that Adam is under such good care!  It will be worth the drive to Seven Lakes, NC to see Dr.K.

Seven Lakes is near Pinehurst and so we stopped in on Scott's family to say hello.  We hadn't seen them since we went to the beach with them last year.  It was so wonderful having an afternoon with them. 

Swinging helps to establish balance and strengthen the core, since we had extra man power and 2 physical therapists we gave it a whirl (both Scott's sister and brother in law are PT's)

Daniel was so sweet with Adam, first he showed Adam all his special toys then as he asked questions about Adam and learned more, he wanted to give Adam his special things and help Adam get better... so sweet.  He is so tender hearted.

Katie (left bottom) brought Adam the grass hopper he is holding, isn't that cute.

While I was with Mackenzie one day Jan had Adam playing the piano and the Dulcimer... he was doing awesome!  It's amazing how quickly he picks things up.



I just wanted to take a second and thank Triangle Dairy Queen http://www.triangledq.com/ for their letter of encouragement and for the treats we get to share!  Thank you!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Trusting When It Doesn't Make Sense

I am so sorry I didn't write last night, but these last few days have felt like I am living in a nightmare having to be faced with such a difficult decision.  When making decisions before in Adam's care it has always been decisions I knew were going to be coming, ones that I had time to process, they usually resulted in Adam moving to the next level of healing... but this just doesn't seem on the same level of decisions we have made in the past.  And it's not. 

After spending hours on my knees in prayer, and a sleepless night spent in the arms of my sweet Jesus, I didn't feel traveling out of state would be good for our family at all since we just returned and have settled nicely being back in our North Carolina family and friends.  Continuity and consistency in Adam's therapists is vital right now as Adam has been progressing very quickly these last few weeks.  It's with a broken heart that I let all of you know that Adam will become a resident at Learning Services this week.  We don't know how long he will be there, but I am praying and ask all of you to join me in praying that the licensing will come through sooner than later and he will be able to return home with Mackenzie and I.

At first it was really hard for me to not see this as a step backwards, then I was reminded that with God in control there are no steps backwards.  Every step is a step toward His greater purpose.  This is all part of His plan and I am holding on with white knuckles to His promises that He will work this together for His good.  John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Tonight I am taking hold of God's peace and trusting Him with every fiber of my being... praying that He will give me the faith and trust I need to make it through this difficult season of our journey.  There's nothing about this that seems to make sense, other than the simple truth that God is in control... and He sees the whole picture... so tonight I submit to Him and to His plans for our family.  I am completely dependent on Him and that is where I want to stay.  He has been, will continue to be, and is SO FAITHFUL.

Tomorrow I will be sharing our weekend in photos and an updated prayer request list.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Surrendering It All... Again

Before I go into the details of the day today, let me start with yesterday since so many of you were praying for our neuro optomitrist appointment.  Thank you for your prayers, we were blessed to have met Dr. Kavanaugh, a man who really loves the Lord. I love the doctors that God continues to choose for our journey.  Dr. Kavanaugh will an awesome addition to Adam's team.

From the exams performed, it is clear at this time, that Adam is unable to see out of the right side of his right eye and the right side of his left eye. (there is a fancy diagnosis term for this, but I forgot it).  It also appears that there has been damage done to both the optic nerves.  The good news is Adam has overcome so much as it is, that with the help of this doctor and his plan of care it looks like Adam will be able to gain quite a bit from a visual stand point.  Dr. Kavanaugh treated Adam from a very holistic approach and had several suggestions based off of his experience from brain injury.  He is strongly encouraging Adam to go dairy free and gluten free (something I am praying about).  We will go back and see Dr. Kavanaugh next month to begin visual therapy.  Please be praying about this, we do not have vision coverage other than eye exams, so please pray that we will be able to proceed forward with this treatment.

Since we are discussing appointments, Adam has another neuropsychiatry appointment tomorrow, so if you all could keep that in prayer.  This appointments are very exhausting and Adam usually goes under quite a bit of testing which is very challenging. 

Sometimes life just doesn't make any sense... sometimes what we go through doesn't seem to look like it could be for good.  Today was one of those days, instead of focusing on why or how this doesn't make sense, I am choosing to surrender it all for God's greater purpose and for His glory... trusting that He will work this all together for good.  I am not going to go into all the details, but will give a brief overview.  Basically the state of NC launched an investigation on the events that took place with Adam's adventure last week.  In the process there were some complications and for a little while they are unable to have a day treatment program.  They can and are still operating the residential program.  This means Adam cannot go back to the program he was in until they fix what needs to be fixed which could take anywhere between a few weeks and months.

After hearing this I called Gloria (our insurance case manager) and started to pick her brain to see what our options are... there aren't many.  We need to keep Adam receiving the same level of services that he is now and there seems to be no comparable programs here in NC so we could potentially go out of state again for a program.  This just doesn't seem like the right thing to do, it would just be too hard on Mackenzie.  Our only other option is to put Adam in as a resident into Learning Services for the short while until they can offer their day treatment program again (this means Adam will have to live there).  UGH.  This seems like a loose/loose situation which is why I am really having to surrender it all to Jesus, knowing that His plans are perfect.  I can't see how this is going forward, it seems like such a step backwards for us.  Everything we have worked for since Adam's injury was to bring him home and be a family... and after leaving in hospitals and facilities for 16 months the last thing I want to do is go back to that way of life... but right now it seems inevitable.

I have been sick to my stomach all day today about this, my heart has once more broken into a million pieces.  The thought of being separated again is just sickening.  I need to make a decision by tomorrow as to how I am going to proceed, so please be praying for us.  Please pray that as Adam's helpmate I will make the right decision as what's best not just for right this minute, but what's best for the greater picture.

All I can do is fall on my face, throw my hands up and surrender it all... again.  I know God is in control and I know He has carried us this far, there is no way He's going to let us go now.  Lord, I trust you, help me to be obedient to your calling and your voice.  Give me the strength and faith to keep trusting you.  I love you and I know you are in control, so I surrender it all to you.  Give me the courage I need to leave it here at the cross and trust you in the steps ahead.  I just love you Jesus.  It's in your name I pray and ask these things, Amen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Appreciating God, Even When LIfe Is Challenging

I cherish our mornings and our devotion times.  Before Adam's injury every morning we had our prayer and devotion time and we have carried this on ever since his injury (it's not always in the mornings).  This morning we had an just a wonderful time with the Lord and in the Word of God.  Adam and I usually read a passage accompanied by a devotion.

Before we got started I asked Adam to open our time together in prayer, and it's with his permission that I share his prayer with you all.  "Dear Lord, I love you so much.  I want you to know how much I appreciate all you are.  I hope you know.  In your name, Amen."  The amazing thing was right aft er this I opened Jesus Calling, the devotion book we chose for this morning.  Today's entry... (this is written as if God is speaking to you)

"Learn to appreciate difficult days.  Be stimulated by the challenges you encounter along your way.  As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything.  This knowledge is comprised of three parts: Your relationship with Me, promises in the Bible, and past experiences of coping successfully in hard times. 

Look back on your life, and see how I have helped you through difficult days.  If you are tempted to think 'Yes, but that was then and this is now' remember who I am!  Although you and your circumstances may change dramatically, I am remain the same throughout time and through eternity.  This is the basis of your confidence.  In my presence you live, move, and have your being."

I thought it was so incredible to hear Adam's prayer before this, knowing he has suffered and continues to suffer a great deal, and yet he appreciates not only his Savior, but the journey.  I love the example and witness my man is to me every day.  He challenges me in my thinking, in simplifying my life, in slowing down to just love my Jesus.  God is teaching me so much through my man's love for Him.  I truly feel so blessed to be my man's wife.

The last few days Adam and I have tried to take it easy, today we spent time with friends, went to an art show at Mackenzie's school (I tried posting a picture of Mackenzie's entry, but my computer is not cooperating this evening), and Adam attended his Tuesday night men's Bible study.  Overall a peaceful and relaxing day.  Please pray for Adam and I as we will be traveling tomorrow to see the neuro optometrist for the first time.  Pray that Adam will be able to effectively communicate with this doctor so that Adam can receive the help he so badly needs with his vision.  Please also pray for his stamina during this 2-3 hour appointment.  Thank you so much for partnering with us in prayer for this journey.  Words will never be able to capture the gratitude we have for each of you.  God will repay what we cannot.  Thank you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Healing Power of Forgiveness

We had our family meeting today at Learning Services where Adam receives therapy.  Before I go any further I just want to say there is healing that takes place as we forgive.  We have all needed forgiveness, we have made mistakes and I know that as I journey through life when I can extend the grace given to me and forgive as the Lord has forgiven me, it has set me free.  Psalm 103:1-5  Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O 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.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, Adam's disappearance on Thursday was just as traumatic for the staff who are his caregivers as it was for us as his family.  We all work together (caregivers, therapists, and our family) daily as a  big family to aide Adam in his recovery.  It truly takes a community to recover from a brain injury and they play a large roll in Adam's recovery process.  Learning Services needs the community support to forgive them for what has happened as we Adam's family has forgiven them.

My North Carolina parents Bob and Connie came with me today as we had our family meeting at Learning Services.  We listened as they gave us their heartfelt apologies.... we also listened to what plans are going into place and how this incident will help them to improve the way the do their jobs as well as the facility to ensure that this doesn't happen again.  I feel very comfortable with the plan in place and the days ahead will prove that they really did learn from this. Adam's care has not been neglected before and his best interests has always been catered to, this truly was an accident and could have happened at home right out our front door.  Please join me in offering forgiveness for this accident. Adam will resume therapy later this week.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Sometimes forgiveness is very difficult and can seem impossible to extend, but Christ living inside of us strengthens us to forgive beyond what we are humanly capable of doing on our own.  I pray that each of you will seek forgiveness where is necessary and to forgive where is necessary... you will be set free from bitterness and will begin to live a life of joy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Obedience and Butterflies

We are so blessed.  So blessed by the many of you who have stopped us sharing with us your stories, blessings and words of encouragement.  It's been so nice to be running every day errands and getting the privilege to share our journey with so many of you as so many of you have so kindly stopped us to share.  We have loved being able to meet so many brothers and sisters in Christ.  


Adam and I enjoying a very simple cup of solace

Many of you who have been following our blog for awhile or know me personally know how much I enjoy butterflies and the meaning behind them.  I want to take just a moment to explain the meaning and importance of butterflies in my life.  Shortly after I started walking with Jesus Christ, everywhere I went I would see so many butterflies everywhere I would go.  In Seattle (where I was living at the time) in late fall they would be everywhere... not a normal time to see them.  Butterflies symbolize new beginnings and transformation.

Then just 2 weeks before Adam's injury, I was hiking with Debbie in Boone, NC and throughout the hike we were swarmed with butterflies.  At one point we were sitting at the bottom of a waterfall surrounded by butterflies, I laid on a rock at the bottom of the waterfall journeling, in my journal I wrote to God submitting to whatever plans he had coming.  Then just two weeks later, our lives were turned upside down and inside out.  I had to hold on knowing that God was in control and that new beginnings were on the horizon.

Then just two weeks ago we were on the beach in South Carolina we were amazed to see so many butterflies on the beach.  I knew God was preparing me, preparing us once again for His plans... and this morning when I was getting ready it hit me... the butterflies on the beach were explained.  God was preparing us for this last week.  I know God is always going before us, preparing the way at the same time, guiding us each and every step of the way.  Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. 

I pray that Adam and I will continue to walk in obedience.  My prayer has been and will continue to be for obedience to God's calling on our lives and on our marriage.  Today in church Pastor Chad gave a sermon titled "Falling Short Of Your Destiny"  He gave 3 reasons that will prevent us from our God ordained destiny: 1. disobedience  2. complacency  3.  fear.  He also gave 3 things to do to fulfill your divine destiny  1.  We must live in absolute obedience  2. Risk great things for God  3. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.  Please pray for Adam and I to live in absolute obedience and to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus every step of the way. 

We have been living with our really good friends Wayne and Jan Lewis and every day I feel as if I am at the most amazing summer camp/bed and breakfast.  This afternoon we spent the day outside for some relaxation and time together as a family.  Below are some pictures from hanging

Adam and I watched as Jan was teaching Mackenzie how to plant flowers for the winter... have I mentioned how much I LOVE MY MAN!!!

This is the view Adam and I as we sat together, talked and just enjoyed each other's company. 

Mackenzie and I getting the horses ready for a ride

Adam took this picture of me getting ready to go for a ride with Quila

Pretty awesome way to spend a Sunday.  Adam stood at the fence, he watched and took a couple of pictures of us.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Joining God's Search and Rescue Team

I am so touched by the comments that so many of you have taken the time to write.  We feel so touched and blessed to be able to share our journey with all of you.  May God continue to be glorified every step of the way.  We are where we are today because of God's grace and mercy.

Yesterday after processing so much of what happened Thursday and just taking the time to praise the Lord for returning my man safely into my arms, I felt the Lord press upon my heart and whisper...  as a follower of Jesus you have a responsibility to join My search and rescue team.  God is pursuing lost souls everyday and how many times have I missed the mark to share of God's love, of His grace... of His mercy.  I am so thankful that God relentlessly pursued me, that He sent a search and rescue team for me (the Lord knew it would take a team).  I am thankful that He truly loves me with an everlasting, never ending love (Jeremiah 31:1-3).

I know now on such a personal level the importance of a search and rescue team.  And knowing how much I love my man and wanted him to be found... God feels that way  all the time about each one of us.  I challenge each one of you that knows you are a follower of Jesus Christ to join me in God's search and rescue team, let's show the lost God's love through us.  Romans 10:9&10 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Again, I just want to thank all those who were there on Thursday to help aide us in the search for my man.  Thank you also to those who were in prayer for us and for those who continue to pray for my man's FULL restoration.  All in His timing. 

I was so touched when I was told that WRAL had posted a 20 minute video of our interview.  Again, both the reporters, Adam Owens and Renee Chou for their kindness and all that they have done for our family.  The video below is 20 minutes long, but wanted to share it with all of you.

Walking In Truth

I will update and post in awhile, but wanted to share a story that the local news ran last night on our jounry.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Take God At His Word

Thank you all for your prayers, the body of Christ is a powerful and wonderful tool used by God!  Adam and I have both been saved by the saving power of Jesus Christ's blood that was spilled on the cross for us and He is so worthy to be praised.  To Him be ALL the glory for that He has done, all that He is doing this moment and all that is still yet to come.

The Word of God says in 2 Corinthians 1 that He is our comfort, in Philippians 4 it says... And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  John 14:27  says Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  Colossians 3:15 calls us to Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.  Philippians 4:19 says And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God is so faithful to all those promises and over the last 18 months we have seen this to be true.  He is so faithful and what He promises, He delivers to all who believe in Him.  If you do not know that you have a Savior, a Savior who wants to rescue you from your broken heart, from lifestyles that you may feel trapped in... He is ready with open arms to receive you, He loves you so much that He wants to spend eternity wtih you and fights for you every day to see that it will come to pass.  We all need to be saved from our sin and God's son Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross so that we could be rescued from a debt that was ours to pay.  If you haven't received Christ, but want to, you want to experience His promises for yourself , then ask Jesus to forgive you and all Him to fill you with His presence.  He loves you so much, and He wants to lavish you with His love... please let Him.

God is so good, He is so good.  I love Jesus my sweet Savior.  All I need is Him. 

I am and will continue to praise God that He delivered Adam to us safely this evening.  As I was looking for him this evening, I had to remind myself that I prayed for this.  I didn't pray that he would wonder off and get lost, but I prayed for initiation and endurance.  I prayed that God would use Adam and I today as His vessels to tell of His great and mighty power.   I prayed and will continue to pray that the name of Jesus will be glorified through Adam's journey.

We took Adam to UNC tonight to have him checked out and examined by doctors.  Praise the Lord, other than a few scrapes and bruises, and some exhaustion, he seems fine!!!

It's also heavy on my heart to let you all know that Adam's facility is an amazing facility.  We are so blessed by the care he has received there and what happened this afternoon was not the normal for the care that he usually receives.  Accidents happen, mistakes get made, and forgiveness needs to take place.  I deeply love each of Adam's therapists, I am grateful for the staff who were out looking for my man... and I ask you all to pray for them too.  This was very hard on them too, we all experienced trauma, not just our family, but the staff as well.    Please join me in praying for the staff and for the facility as well.

I wanted to share the video that aired tonight from a local news station...  I am thankful to the reporter Adam Owens who did an amazing job at delivering the whole story and that prayer does make a difference.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PRAISE THE LORD, THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER

My man and I reunited after a long 5 hours of Adam missing today  (this picture was courtesy of WRAL news)

There is never a dull moment in this journey and I am thankful that Adam continues to teach me that through it all, all I need is Jesus. 

Before I write anything I just want to say, to God be the Glory for Adam's recovery, He is amazing, and He continues to be with us EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!!!

This afternoon when I went to Adam's facility to pick him up from a day of therapy, he was nowhere to be found.  I quickly ran through the facility looking in rooms and around to quickly realize he was not in the facility.  Mackenzie and I sat in the parking lot prayed and then as fast as we could we got in the car and started looking for Adam, talking to many neighbors who aided in the search party looking for my man.  After about 2 hours had passed, a silver alert went out which allowed every available officer out looking for my man.  Several more hours and a couple hundred people looking for him, he was found!!!  We were in a HUGE circle of prayer with so many people who had come to help with the search efforts, we were praying before we were going to be take by the police to that last sight they had the bloodhounds pick up Adam's scent.  Right after we came out of prayer and before we were all in vehicles, we received the call that Adam had been found and seemed okay!!!

THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER, AMEN?!!!!!

I want to thank the hundreds of Raleigh police officers and North Carolina state troopers that were out on foot, in car, and in the air looking for my love.  I want to thank the neighbors who helped us print photos, drove their cars and got out on foot before others were able to arrive.  From the bottom of my heart and with tears in my eyes I want to thank our friends who drove quite aways to help in the search efforts and to Adam's UNC nurses who were quick to want to help.  I want to thank Triangle Community Church for all those who were able to come out to help, and also to Raleigh First Assembly.  To our family who were across the country on their knees in prayer for Adam, thank you.  Thank you to the media who was able to get the word spread quickly allowing us to increase our search party by the droves.  I want to thank all of Adam's therapist and the staff at Adam's facility who had left for the day, but came back to aide in the search efforts and to the staff on the clock who were quick to get in the cars and on foot looking for him.

Currently we are at UNC medical center in the emergency room getting Adam looked over.  He did suffer a fall and is complaining of back pain and pain in his right side.  Please be praying that it's nothing more than just being sore.  I will update when I can. 

The entire time Adam was missing, a song with the chorus that says "take it all, take it all, just give me Jesus, just give me Jesus.  As I sang, I was praying these words... take it all, take it all, all the worry, all the anxiety, all the fear...just give me JESUS, and He did.  I know the Lord was walking with me.  ALL I NEED, ALL I HAVE EVER NEEDED, and ALL THAT I WILL EVER NEED IS JESUS!!!!

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