Saturday, May 27, 2017

Thank you for praying

As I've read over the comments and emails, I've been so overwhelmed.  To have someone pray for me is a treasure.  Thank you so very much dear friends!

 I hesitated to even post my last blog post because so often over the last 4 years I've posted asking prayer for my health.  For us, we go through many emotions as we feel we could be getting closer to the reason for my pain.   The visit with the Pulmonologist brought back many emotions that we've faced in the past.  The look on the doctor's face of "I really don't know what's going on"  can be quite discouraging.

The new doctor was very kind, but honestly he was stumped.  He doesn't feel it's necessary to further investigate the "cystic lesion."  My lungs are functioning normal, and that was his main concern and the lesion is not inside the lungs.  We are thankful for that.  But, the pain is still there.  He would like to order another bone scan .

 My primary doctor has talked about possibly getting a second opinion at UF Shands about the lesion. She has a fear of not finding a doctor to investigate this problem.  There aren't any specialist that deal with that area between the lungs and the heart.  Since it's a holiday weekend, we are at a stand still.

 When I came home yesterday, I was quite discouraged.  Sometimes it feels as if our life is on hold waiting for answers.  Then, as I was drying my tears, my girls went to the piano.  I don't even know if they realized what they were doing for me.  But, they began to sing.  And even though my situation is the same and we aren't closer to an answer, I was reminded about the great God we serve.  I don't see the answers.  I don't have an answer of why.  But God does.   He sees our storm from the other side.

When the storm raged about them, the disciples were afraid.
For the waves were high and the ship was tossed, they could not find their way.
Then, they awoke the Master, saying, "Lord please save us now."
He rebuked the wind and the sea grew calm and they all wondered how.

Like the man on the sea did, I have called on God in prayer.
When it seemed to me all hope was gone, and in my deep despair.
I remembered what the Lord said when He calmed that troubled sea.
And I know once more how He sees the storm.  And peace floods over me.

God sees the storm from the other side.  
He knows the lessons learned and just beyond the cloud He sees clear skies.  
He speaks peace to the raging storm when peace could not be found. 
He already sees the rainbow.  When we see only clouds.

When the storm of life come crashing in and covers me, I can feel God's arms around me, and He whispers "Let it be."

And since every post needs a happy picture, I thought I would post this one of me and my 7.  My family is so supportive and amazing.

So, once again, Thank you for praying.  It means so much to me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Prayer Request

I posted last month about my health situation getting worse.  This crazy chest pain/pressure has been getting unbearable. I've had many tests since then, and my heart has been, once again, declared healthy.  I'm so thankful for that!  But there was also found a new "Cystic Lesion" on the outside of my aorta. I will see a new Pulmonologist on Friday.  Getting that appointment moved up is an answer to prayer!

 I had an appointment with my Primary Care Doctor today.  She is such a blessing to me!  She said that if this cyst lesion were anywhere but the place it is, a doctor would want to biopsy it right away.  But, this just happens to be in a special place....between the aorta and the lungs.  The Cardiologist doesn't want to biopsy it since it's not interfering with heart.  We're hoping the Pulmonologist will.  But, since it's so close to the aorta and not actually inside the lungs, they might choose not to because it's risky.  She said this particular area doesn't really have a "specialist."    She said the best option is for the Pulmonologist to choose to do it.  We need to find out exactly what this lesion is.

So, would you pray along with us?  We've seen God's hand in this journey all along the way.  His way truly is best!  We're praying specifically for Dr. Tonner, the Pulmonologist that I will be seeing on Friday afternoon.  Pray that he will have wisdom from the Great Physician to do what's best for my health.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Bee's Knees Mother Daughter Banquet

 We were very blessed to be invited to the Tri-City Baptist Church of Port Charlotte's Mother Daughter Banquet.  The Pastor's Wife, Trina Sheppard, asked if I would come and give the devotion for the ladies.  When I heard the theme was about honeybees, I knew I would have plenty of silly stories to share.  We've had quite an adventure with our beehive!
I was so glad that 3 of my girls could come along with me!
 My sweet friend, Cynthia, volunteered to drive us there.  That was a blessing to me!  We had such sweet fellowship on the way there and on the way home.  We laughed so much!  So thankful for my girls and for sweet friends!

 The food was wonderful and was decorated so cute!

 We were able to sit at a table with the Sheppard family.  What a blessing that was!  They are such an encouragement and we enjoyed visiting with them.

For the devotion, I had Brenna be the beekeeper.  Doesn't she look cute?  Then, I taught on how honey production is greatly affected by the bee's surroundings.  I used that as a jumping board for how ladies are to create an "environment" that will honor the Lord.

So thankful for sister churches that are an encouragement to us.  It was a great day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Callie's Day

 We sure do love birthdays around here! The birthday girl (or boy) is in charge and they love it!  It's amazing what they pick to do.  It's usually staying around the house, playing games and enjoying their gifts.  It's always full of giggles and memories and Callie's day was no different!

 She loves phone calls for her!

 She asked if we could go to the park that has "skin colored slides"  We had to stop for a bit and figure out which one that was!
 Even though it was the beginning of May, we had such a chilly wind!  And we had the park all to ourselves.  That's a benefit of being a homeschooler! :o)

 Then, our boys played football in the baseball field.  It was the gators vs the bulldogs.

 The girls had fun cheering them on!

 Sure do love my 7!

I'm not sure who loved Callie's gift from Josh and Tabitha more.... Callie or Josh?  Although I found my husband playing with it last night!

Then, Brenna built a hug tent and we all had chocolate cake in the tent together.  How fun!

Happy Birthday my sweet girl!  What a fun day!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday to my Callie Grace!

 Today, my sweet Callie Grace, turns 7!

What a sweet treasure she is to our family!  
She loves the Lord, loves her family, friends and church.  
And just loves life!

 Bless this girl's heart, she's sandwiched in between two rough and tumble, tough boys!  This makes her pretty patient and pretty tough!  She loves to play with her babies and loves to dress up in to a princess.  Just yesterday she had Silas and Micah be her body guards because she was a queen!

And yet, through all this girly-ness, she loves to be outside.  Loves to feed her chickens (that's her job!) and loves to get muddy!

She's almost done with 1st grade and is an excellent student!  Oh my, how she can read!  She's reading through most of the American Girl series and is so excited to get back to the library this summer!  She loves to bake, help me clean, play teacher and giggle.

We sure do love you Callie!  So thankful you are part of our family!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Summer is almost here!

 I can tell that summer break is almost here.  A couple of days ago I found Micah practicing his snorkeling skills in our living room!
June 1st starts our summer break.  I have a goals chart started and it's going to be a great summer!
Until then, there's plenty left to do!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Desires of His Heart

 It was about a year ago that Silas was given his first goat.  He sure does love his Jenna and faithfully takes care of her.  He wanted to be able to have goats milk and make cheese and fudge.  As you know, to have milk, you must have two goats!  A friend of ours needed a place to put their male goat for a while. moved Olaf!  There has been a lot of gentle explaining to our little boy about boy goats and girl goats.  Silas was quite concerned about his Jenna's safety!  But, it seems things are moving along naturally and we may have some new baby goats sometime in September!

 Then, a friend of Joshua's had two goats that he could no longer care for.  Of course, Silas wanted them!  So, we added to our little herd, Nathan and Peggy.

 It's been fun, busy, and stinky work for our Silas.  At first Olaf found ways to escape.  He's huge!  Then, Jenna would find ways. We think we have all the escape routes plugged and all 4 goats are getting along good.

Thank you Lord for granting my boys heart's desire!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Micah Baptized!

 What a great day we had at VSIBC on Sunday!!  The church was packed.  We had 80!  It was so good to have family that stayed over from Brenna's graduation.

This was also the day that Micah and two others were baptized.  So exciting!

 My sweet boy was ready to show everyone that he had made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour.  He knew that getting baptized didn't get him to heaven, he already made heaven his home when he got saved!  He understood that getting baptized was just like a wedding ring, it shows everyone who you belong to!

 My hubby was quite proud to be the one to baptize his son!

 Praise the Lord for a great day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A New Title For Me!

 A few weeks ago Joshua and Tabitha asked if they could come by after church to play some games.  Sure!  We love any time we get to spend with these 2!!
So, as they came in I said "Hey" but kept on preparing snacks for the night.  I noticed when Brenna saw Tabitha she gave her a huge hug.  They smiled at me funny, but I kept on preparing the food.  Then, about 15 minutes after arriving Joshua cleared his throat for me to look at him.  When I turned around he smiled.  Tabitha smiled.  Then, I finally noticed her "Mama Bear" shirt. AAAGH!!! I'm going to be a Grandmother!!!!
We are so excited for these 2!  This is going to be one loved baby and this precious one is going to have some amazing parents!  So happy!  Of course, I've done a little bit of shopping and have the urge to go buy more!  We've decided that I will be Lolli and Patrick will be Pops.  I love my new title! What a wonderful season of life!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Prayer for Healing

It was a little over two years ago, that I heard a message that changed my outlook on my healing.  After battling sickness for over a year (at that time) it was a message I needed to hear. 

 It was a few weeks before we had started VSIBC, so we were visiting a church in another town.  The preacher talked about "What is your aim in prayer?"  Is it to get my way?  I confess.  Sometimes when I had prayed, I gave the Lord "ideas" of how things could go.  Especially when it came to my illness.  I would pray, "Lord, let the doctor discover something on this visit.  Let it be an easy fix."  And I would always end the prayer with "Please, God, heal me!"  Is there anything wrong with healing?  Oh, my, no!  Is there anything wrong with consistently and persistently bringing our requests to the Lord?  Another, Oh, my, no!

But, it was during that sermon that I realized I was living for healing, instead of living in the midst of what God had for me.  I didn't have "Not my will, but thine" prayer attitude like Jesus did.  The preacher that night said, "If we never surrender our will, our prayer life will be frustrating."  I realized that night that God may never heal me.  But, He can use me right where He has me!  That night I surrendered the things I couldn't fix and change: my illness.  I surrendered it to the will of God.  I told God that I would quit begging Him for healing and trust that He knows what's best for me.  

Since then, I haven't been healed.  I lived in days where I didn't feel well.  And I had days I didn't feel great, but was able to accomplish much.  There is so much joy in surrender and trusting God knows what is best!

Well, for the past couple of weeks I have felt worse. My health is spiraling downward as the pressure and pain in my chest have become difficult to bear.  I have a great doctor team that I called and they saw me the next day.  They decided to reevaluate and redo many of the imaging and labs that I've had in the past. As I was scheduled for different test, I had the reminder of being completely out of control for the outcome.

Then, yesterday morning I sat down to have my devotions.  I was reading in Exodus.  I came to chapter 14, verse 14:
"The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

It was then that I realized, once again, that I knew God holds me in His hands.  And there truly is no better place to be.  What peace He gives!! And He sure does a much better job at fighting my battles than I do!

Then, I read chapter 15, at the end of verse 26:
"...for I am the LORD that healeth thee."

It was then, that I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, "It's okay to pray again Kami"  So, I did.  I asked once again for God to heal me.  But, in my prayer, I knew that even if He chose not to, He is still a good God that loves me beyond measure!

So, for now, we wait for results.  The recent tests have shown a new image that needs to be looked at.  It's off to a new Cardiologist for me.  But, in the midst, God is ever faithful.  Always right there with me.  It's a joy to serve Jesus!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Brenna's Graduation

 Saturday was the day for our Brenna's graduation!  It was such a wonderful day!

 Months ago, while visiting the beautiful O'Leno State Park, Brenna found the Rec Hall and wanted to have her graduation there.  It was very booked up, but the date, April 22nd was open, so we snagged it!  It's such a beautiful log cabin.  Very rustic, with lots of character.  Very Brenna!

Brenna set up her memory table with her favorites.  Green, turtles, piano music, coke, hershey's chocolate and her Bible.  

She also set up a memory jar for people to fill with memories.  She also had a B for them to write one word that describes Brenna. Then, we had a table with tortilla chips and lots of different salsas.  It was delicious!

Brenna decorated her hat with The Game of Life!

We are so thankful for many special people coming to share in Brenna's special day.  She sure does love her cousins Kaylie and Kiara.  So glad they could come!

So happy Denise (Grammy) could come too!

And, of course, my parents!

As it was almost time to start, Brenna had a surprise guest come.  Brenna has been friends with Joshua Hamby for many years.  They have been writing letters for about 2 1/2 years.  She had no idea he was coming all the way from Canada!

The room filled with so many family and friends.  Thank you to all who came to share in our special day!

We started by playing a game called "Guess Brenna's Age"  We had pictures from 1-17 on the board.  They had to guess how old Brenna was in each picture.  It was harder than I thought it would be!  My sister Taylin and Joshua Hamby won with getting only 10 right!  The prize?  A Hershey's Bar!  Very Brenna! :o)

Brenna really didn't want to give a speech.  So, we changed it up a bit.  We played a little game called Brenna's Game of Life.  We had a powerpoint of about 10 questions with 3 possible answers.  Everyone voted for the answer that they believed to be true, then Brenna revealed the correct answer.  We asked things like, "What is Brenna's worst fear?", "Where was Brenna saved?" and "What are Brenna's plans after graduation?"  So, even though she didn't give a speech, she talked plenty!

Then, Dr. Dean Hamby gave the "Charge" to the graduate.  What a blessing he has been to our family!  When we asked Brenna who she would like to have come for giving the charge, she said she would like to ask Bro. Hamby.  So thankful that he and Mrs. Karen could come!

After the charge, it was time to play Pomp and Circumstance (why does that song make me teary-eyed?), give Brenna her diploma, and turn her tassel!

So glad my parents, and two of my sisters, Keela and Taylin, could make it for the day!

Dr. Dean and Mrs. Karen Hamby

Sweet Emma painted her nails many colors because she wasn't sure which one Brenna would like the best.  How sweet!  Brenna has such a heart for children and sure does love the kiddos of VSIBC!

So glad Aunt Florence and Uncle Chuck could make it in, too!

Sweet friends Cynthia and Liz,

And Tricia, too!

So thankful for our girl and so proud of her!  We love you Brenna!