Sunday, April 28, 2013


Have you ever had a time in your life when you just didn't understand why?  You cry out your heart to God and pray many tears but still just don't understand.  These past couple of months have been that way for me.  It's at times like this that trust is essential.
 Do I truly believe my Heavenly Father knows best?
 Do I truly believe His way is perfect?
 Do I truly believe He has a master plan for me and loves me like no other?
 Oh Yes!  I believe that!

When my pain returned in February, our family was busily trying to reach our island for Christ.  As I slowly got weaker and more unable to do my normal family duties, our whole routine was thrown into a whirlwind.  When it became very apparent that I must come back to Florida for medical care, I had it in my head that when it would be time to return to St. Barths, I would have energy overflowing!  I was going to be ready to tackle the world and be SuperMama.  I was going to feel well.  Well, it's time for me to once again trust that God knows best for me.  I do not feel like my energy is overflowing, and tackling a load of laundry seems like it will be a mountain top.

After seeing two doctors here in Florida, we've discovered a couple of things going on with my body.  My bloodwork is still showing some unusual things. I'm very deficient in a couple of areas.  The doctor gave me a prescription that should fight these deficiencies.  He believes that perhaps once we tackle these, then my body can recover and heal.  For now, my chest pressure is still there.  For some reason, my body is not responding to anti-inflammatory medications.   It's puzzling for the doctors.  As one doctor put it, "You're just not fitting any mold."  The plan is to see how the new set of meds will help (along with a painkiller) and redo my bloodwork in 3 months.  There is also a possibility that my body is developing a Connective Tissue Vascular Disease.  But, there is nothing at the moment to do for that.  So, after much prayer, it's time I return.

I'm so excited to be headed back to see my family.  I'm arriving 2 days before my Callie's birthday.  That's an answer to prayer!  I can't miss my girls 3rd Birthday! I fly out this Friday to head back to St. Barths.

So for now, I'm reprogramming my mind.  I may not be returning well, as I had pictured.  But, I am returning.  And through Christ I can be the Momma and Wife He wants me to be.  Through this time of uncertainty, my God has been my refuge, my best friend.  He's so good to me!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sort of an Update

12 days ago I left St. Barths to start my journey back to Florida to seek some medical care.  12 days later and we are still no closer to finding the reason for my pain.

 I praise the Lord that I have had some of my energy return.  Saturday I was able to go out to eat with my parents. I love Sonny's BBQ!  I even ventured into JCPenney's for the $1 Flip Flop sale.  I only had to find a resting chair once.  (or maybe twice)  I tagged along with Micah and my Dad for a ride around the block in his Model A truck.  I beat my Mom and Sister at Ticket to Ride.  I even went to church yesterday.  So many of my church family are praying for us and  the hugs and handshakes were such a blessing to my heart.  I'm so blessed indeed!  So many faces yet to see, and so many people I still want to hug, but maybe that will happen Wednesday night, we will see.  Patrick keeps telling me not to overdo it.

This morning I had another CT scan and this afternoon I will have an ultrasound done of my legs and heart.

I'm really begging for your prayers that an answer will be found soon.  I love being with my Mom and Dad.  I'm their little girl again and they are spoiling me.  Mom tucks me in and Dad tells me I'm his favorite (he tells whatever daughter is present that, it's sort of our joke)  But, they have trained me and taught me by example that my family is my priority.  I need to return home.  My family needs me, and I need them even more.  I want to go back well, but if an answer is not found soon, I must learn to deal with this discomfort.  I'm praying for wisdom and grace.  God is in control and so good to me.  I'm so undeserving of His love, but I feel it poured on me everyday.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Still Waiting...

Warm Baths
Naps on the Couch
Hot Tea
More Warm Baths
Ice Packs
More naps on the couch....
This is pretty much what I've done since I arrived in Florida last Thursday.  Usually when I make a visit to my hometown we shop, eat out, visit with as many people as possible, enjoy being at my home church. None of that has happened this time.  I have slept enough to last me a month and the pressure in my chest is still as strong as ever.

It was a hard decision trying to figure out whether I needed to come back to Florida, but when my doctor told me he wouldn't be back from France until May 10th, we knew I needed to come back.  We had done everything we could to figure out this problem and still didn't have any answers.

 My parents have been amazing and have waited on me nonstop.  Micah has loved all of the attention, that's for sure!
As for now, we're waiting on more bloodwork to return from the doctor.  He hopes to have it back by Friday.  The good news is that some of the bloodwork has already returned and my ESRs have gone down. (these were the numbers that had the doctor concerned)
Pray for us and the doctors to have wisdom.  I need to get back to my precious family.  But, I sure would like an answer to why I'm having this pressure and pain in my chest and neck that doesn't seem to want to go away.
Your prayers for me and sweet notes have been such an encouragement to me and to my family. Thank you!
I'm so thankful that my God is the Great Physician!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sending Kami Back

We finally reached a point where we have "exhausted" all of our medical resources here on our island and Kami is doing worse with each passing day.  Her chest pressure has intensified to include chest pains and she even seems to be getting weaker.

With broken hearts, Kami and I traveled to St. Martin Wednesday night to be able to get her to the airport at 6 a.m. Thursday.  She boarded a flight with Micah and headed to Miami.   Her mom and sister met them at the airport and Kami had a doctor's appointment scheduled for 7 a.m. the next day.  

We currently do not have any time-table as to what will happen next but we do covet your prayers.  

Thank you all.
Brother Patrick

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'm going to France! (sort of)

I received the results from my CT Scan yesterday.  There are a few peculiar things going on my body,  but nothing that would cause the pressure and pain in my chest and neck.  So....the doctor is still stumped, but (Praise the Lord) he is determined to figure out what is causing my problem.

He said he wants to focus on why my ESR bloodwork was high.  He thinks if we find the cause of that, then we will find our answer.  So this morning I had more bloodwork done.  Usually the results are sent to the doctor by that afternoon.  When I asked if it would be the same, she said, "No, these tests have to be sent to France."  Wow!  My blood gets to go to France!  I've always wanted to see Europe.  I think I'm a little jealous! :o)

Thank you all for praying.  I'm so blessed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Shipment of Blessing

Not too long ago we received a great shipment from the boat....
 We have quickly ran out of our Gospel baggies (French John and Romans, Invitation to church, and a gospel tract).  Our amazing home church (Winkler Road Baptist Church) sent us enough supplies to be able to have a Gospel baggie to every home.  Yay!  We are so excited to keep spreading God's Word!  We also had our Betty Lukens Flannel Board sent.  The girls were so excited to get this in.  They are excellent Sunday School Teachers!
 And, of course, when our families heard that there was a shipment coming our way, they added a fun box to it.  Yay for fun stuff!
 Callie is like most children....the box is the best part! :o)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Bucket

 At the end of March, we went to Mama's house to see the Bucket!  There were bunches of huge sailing yachts that entered the race.

It started at Shell Beach which is right below Mama's house, so we had a perfect view of the start!
 The boats were huge and gorgeous!  It was a beautiful, sunny day!

 And, of course, when you go to Mama's, she gives you lots of goodies.  Micah loved the cookies!
 Perfect view from the top!
This boat wasn't in the race, but I couldn't help but wish we could go down that slide.  Doesn't that look like fun!
 Last year we were in Florida when it was time for the Bucket waiting for this little man to be born.  Look how he's grown!

What a gorgeous day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Only on a trip to Saint Barths

Yesterday my appointment in St. Martin to have a CAT scan done, went well.  Now, it's just wait time.  We should be able to meet with the doctor on Monday.  Should.

I loved the plane ride back to St. Barths.  If you EVER get a chance to fly into beautiful St. Barths, jump at the chance.  It's memory that you will love.

Only on a flight to St. Barths will you:

~Watch them jot down every pound you have and will carry onto the plane, then position each person accordingly.
~Pray the pilot doesn't pass out.  There is no co-pilot.
~Watch a big green Iguana run across the run-way in front of your plane.
~See a tiny gray storm cloud just off the wing and watch small drops of rain fall from it, and a rainbow gently sliding from it to the ocean below.
~See the pilots reaction to another, slightly larger and gray stormcloud.  He decided we would go over it.
~Watch as the pilot sees another stormcloud ahead.  This time we went under it!
~After 4 mins of flying, seeing a beautiful island pop out from among the gorgeous turquoise waters.  The greenish brown mountains are sprinkled with red rooftops.
~Feel your belly go to your throat as the pilot dips the plane all of a sudden.  You think you're crashing into the mountain that is climbing on both sides.  Then, you drop even lower, and skid to a landing.
~See 7 of the most beautiful people in the world waving as your plane passes the airports window.
~Realize that here in this place, with my family, is the place I get to call home.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

XRays and Hikes

I thought about maybe posting some pictures of my XRay from yesterday.  After giggling about it, I decided no, that might be a little gross.  So, how about some pictures from a fun hike we took about a month ago?

 We decided to head to Toiny and go for a little hike.  We love to enjoy the beautiful outdoors!
 There were gorgeous views everywhere we looked.
 Silas so much wants to keep up with his big brother and sisters.  Up the mountain they went....
 And he was off, too!  With Callie thinking about following them.
 Do you notice sweet Brenna turning back to help them?  She's pretty amazing!

 This picture is for my Dad.  Do you see our car?
 We thought this rock looked like a hand coming out of the ground.

 At the top of the mountain there was a small injury to a small hand.  Thank God for big brothers that can carry you down.

 My kiddos are pretty competitive like their Father.  They love to race!
 I know my Mom is going to say that they should have let Silas win! :o)

 Then we decided to head to the beach to throw some rocks in the water.  I love the crystal-clear water here!

And, of course, you have to pick out the best rock to bring home for a treasure!

As for the XRay, it came out clear.  Yay!  But, tomorrow I head to St. Martin to have a CT Scan.  Brenna wanted to know what kind of dye do they use.  Food Coloring?  Ha!  I joked with her that I hope they let me pick my favorite color!  Do they make Iodine in Aqua?  :o)

  Please pray for me to be brave! :o)  And pray for us to get this figured out.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bits and Pieces

What a month it has been.  Last night I had some more tests run at the ER and Tuesday I will have an XRay.  The doctors are still stumped.  It's a strange feeling of mixed emotions....I don't want them to find anything wrong, yet I want them to figure out what is the problem and fix it!  Those poor doctors having to deal with my crazy emotions!

 But, life still goes on, even when Momma isn't feeling 100%.  What a great family that I have!  Here's a few happenings for the month.

 Silas and Callie have fallen in love with puzzles.  Elisabeth and Brenna have been great teachers.
 We've had a goat delivered to us.  It's very tame and we had fun with it....for the first couple of days.  Now it just eats all our flowers and everything else in the yard.  It leaves its tiny droppings everywhere!
 It even watches us through the window.  I think I'm done with the whole goat idea.

 Patrick, Josh, Elisabeth and Brenna are fabulous cooks.  Beth can make a great fried chicken!
 Then Pox (the ugly chicken that has chosen our yard to be the one to live in.  She doesn't live in the coop) showed up with 12 baby chicks.  Now that was fun!
 I love hearing their little chirping throughout the day and I'm learning much from this mother chicken.  But, I'll post more on that later.

Thank you, again, to all of those that have sent sweet notes and have been praying for me.  I'm so blessed!