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Philippians 1:6

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate!

Praise God, Alli is celebrating her 4th birthday! Join me:
Praise God from whom all Blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above the heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, A-----men.

Don't know if anybody other than Baptists do that one, but it's a regular around the southern baptist churches. And that song rings in my heart tonight as I think about the journey that has brought us to where we are now- celebrating Alli's 4th birthday. As anyone who's followed this blog knows, we almost lost the opportunity to ever celebrate another birthday with Alli when she fell from our 2nd story balcony October 9, 2008. We went through 6 months of treatment and recovery, and ultimately received an amazing Holy touch from the Master's Hand upon her little body. Alli has been healed through the fervent prayers of God's people by the loving, merciful touch of my Savior's Hand. I know that He is the ONLY reason we are able to celebrate this precious birthday. I know that without Him, I would have lost my baby girl the night of that tragic accident. I know that it is no coincidence that Alli became fully conscious & alert for the first time on a Sunday morning, just a few minutes after 11, when churches from New York to Florida were united in prayer for her provision. And I know that every hurdle we climbed from that night through the next 6 months, were Victories in Jesus. And I know that I know that I know that He carried me through a time in which I could not walk...
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and Is, and Is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything, and I will adore you...


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grace, Grace, God's Grace...

God uses our struggles so many times to "wake us up" and show us His splendor that was right under our nose all along. Through our struggle with Alli's accident, as well as my own physical trials & now Mimi's, I have seen God's mighty Hand right there in our midst time and time again, from the very moment that it all happened. And I'm sure you have as well in this season in your life if you just look around and think of where you've been...
I've told others that for whatever reason God has allowed our trials this past year to be of the physical nature, and sometimes I've just wanted to scream out, "My name is not Job!" And sometimes I've even thought we should trace the family tree just to be sure we're not direct descendants!
But after the laughter, I know that I have never felt the presence of my Jesus more strongly than through this storm of life. And if that's what it takes to keep me close, then bring on the rains...His grace is truly sufficient.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mimi's testing

So first round of allergy testing on Mimi is over. How ya like this list so far!

Skin prick testing

Defined reactions
lima bean
Borderline reactions:
Environmental reactions confirmed:
Alternaria- mold from decaying vegetation (means no composting or gardening for her. Also have to keep closer ck on my house plants)
Northern pasture grass- orchard grass, fescue (typical pasture grasses)

The foods will be further tested the with patch testing to confirm those above and to also check for some others more closely that prick testing could have missed. The doctor said,"So far chicken is in the clear, we'll keep routing!" For now, we're not supposed to eliminate any foods yet. They want to complete her testing first. They'll do more in depth testing on her than most because you can't use the food elimination diet as a test on EE patients. Eosinophilic Esophagitis doesn't always react to allergic foods instantly. Sometimes it's not until it's digested and in the blood stream, showing up a day or two later. That makes it harder to trace. So the pricking, patching, bloodwork, and other in-office tests will be the way to go for her.
Continuing in His Faith,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I was reminded I haven't told you all how Mimi's testing/endoscopy results came back. She is 100% cancer free, praise God! What they discovered Mimi actually has was not GERD, but eosinophillic esophagitis (food allergy causing constant reflux). Untreated, it could have eventually developed into cancer just like any untreated acid reflux could over enough time period. She still has sores in her esophagus after 5 years of treatment. They said eosinophil levels of 20 are a food allergy that needs to be tracked down for safety. Mimi's are 60! So whatever it is, is a very normal part of our diet (oh joy). So next is to begin allergy testing. She'll have 3 allergy testing appts, then go back for the nutrition counseling, then a month later have another scope (endoscopy) to see if she's improving.
As many of you know, Mimi didn't feel well and was very weepy for days after the scope. The day the GI called with the results, Mimi confessed to me that she had overheard the medical staff talking of cancer biopsies while she was in the OR (mind you, I had tried very hard to keep her from knowing that part of things). She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Momma, I really thought I had it." My heart just broke, along with my composure, as I realized she had been walking around for days thinking she had cancer and that I didn't know it. I could have been talking with her, praying with her and encouraging her if I had only known. I guess, just as I was trying to protect her, she was doing the same for us. I say next time, we just be upfront and cry together!
Thanks you guys for all your prayers. I seem to be saying that a lot this school year...You know, everyone has trials of some sort, whether financial, marital, family, friends, some easy to see, some never seen on the surface. And for whatever reason, God has allowed our struggles to be that of the physical nature. I know one thing. I've never felt closer than during these physical trials. And if that's what it takes for us to stay close to Him and remain in His will, then I'm all in.
So don't ever feel sorry for us, though sometimes I may need one of you to shake me in a temporary moment of insanity where I feel sorry for myself. God knows where we are. Hmm, He knew before the foundations of the earth of the horrific struggle that would befall us last October with Alli's accident. And I promise you, He was there. He carried me when I could not walk. And I assure you, I am nothing without Him.
So as before, He walks with me. And He's answered prayer once again. And He'll walk us down this new journey of food allergies with Mimi. I just had to laugh when the doctor and I were on the phone that day as she referred me to one of my high allergy student's doctor! I said, A year ago my boss put every allergy child in our age group in my room, and I must confess, I was a little frustrated. Reading labels constantly, epipen training...And now I know God was preparing me for the road that lie ahead. Because of my place in LE's ministry, I can embarq on this course without fear, with knowledge of food labels, the FAAN network, proper epipen procedures, and a circle of support from fellow parents dealing with this. If I would quit being so stubborn, wow, what God could do in me!
I love all of you guys dearly. Get ready to read labels with me. We hope it's not chicken! (remember, my hubby)
Only through Him am I,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on our clan

Okay, finally the update many have been waiting on.
Alli's testing all came back beautifully and she's been given the "all clear" from The Children's Hospital. Her little issues now have been determined as post traumatic stress that should work itself out over time.
MeMe's checkup with her Gastro intestinal doc wasn't quite as pleasant. It seems she has become PPI dependant (can't get off of reflux meds) and also struggles terribly with allergies. Because at her last endoscopy she had esophagitis and white cells hanging out in her esophagus, they want to do another endoscopy on Monday (Apr. 6), check her stomach, do some esophageal biopsies (checking those white cell counts), and check for eosinophilic esophagitis (to see if her reflux was caused by allergies). She's pretty nervous and I must say this wasn't how I planned on spending my birthday either. But rest assured, God has not left us, and will see us through this too.
I've often joked saying, "No, my name is not Job", but seriously, God has been amazing to us. For whatever reason God has allowed the twists and turns on our path to be that of physical issues. I don't know why, but He does. And He has used these medical issues our family has had to gather people in His Name, to cause folks to pray in unity from NY to FL, to draw our families and friends closer, to open doors to new people in our lives, to have others witness to and encourage us in our time of need, to allow our walk to be a testimony of Him for others to see.
So now with each bump in the road, I don't cry out "woe is me" or "what are we gonna do". Instead I feel butterflies of excitement anticipating, "God is about to show up on the scene!"
I promise you I have experienced the presence of the Almighty. I have felt the Hand of the Comforter. I have seen the work of The Great Physician. I truly know now what it means to feel peace in the valley, in that place where you don't even ask for miracles because you finally realize that every moment you have lived has been just that- a miracle. That place where you feel so blessed to be, that you can't imagine asking for more.
I told you before, and many don't understand this, but I never asked God to "fix" Alli (though I know many of you were face to floor begging for complete restoration and I thank you). But all I asked that horrific night was that He let her stay with me a while longer, just to please give me more time to be with her and love on her, no matter the condition. Her own neurosurgeon said himself that most doctors believed this would have required surgery, but bless be to God, we were surrounded by Christian doctors who joined us in prayer, confident that God had a plan for her. And as you all know, He has given exceedingly far more abundant than I could have ever asked. My sweet little girl is a walking, breathing, fully functioning beam of sunshine today because of the personal touch of the Savior. And she'll tell you that herself. The doctors themselves said, "This just doesn't happen on its own."
How could anyone doubt that He lives? How could anyone question His existance? If only everyone could feel the powerful presence of God that we felt in those days surrounding her accident, though I pray you never have to go through such a traumatic time.
But truly,
I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today
I know that He is living, whatever men may say
I see His Hand od mercy, I hear His Voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him, He's always near

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

message for papaw

Scroll through the songs (click the left arrow) and there are some different ones i found.
To everyone else: I'll update on how our dr visists went soon. I hurt my back Friday and am out of comission. Soon as I can, I'll put on the update, but we're okay. Don't worry. If this doesn't make sense, it's the meds talking!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Remember us...

Please be in prayer for me tomorrow afternoon as I go to meet with a financial counselor at the hospital. Please pray for God's provisions over us.
Also please pray for Alli's sleep deprived EEG on Thursday 3-19. They said she cannot nap on the ride up this time (1 1/2 hr trip). This is going to be a great challenge. Last time nothing worked to keep her awake as we traveled. It's hard to take a little one who's already been sleep deprived and then ride her in a car for an hour and a half. I wish they could admit her the night before, but it looks like a hotel room would be the only way to do that.
Alli has become very restless in her sleep lately, and as a result is very tired the next morning. She's tossed and turned, talked in her sleep, made jerky movements, wet the bed, and had nightmares about a fox (I have no idea!). Anyone know why they'd want to run more tests!?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More prayer needed

Our neurologist appt last week went well; however they would like to do another EEG to check for seizure activity in her sleep. She's had a few quirks during the time of her blessed healing transformation, and they won't to check to see if there's anything causing these quirks or if it's typical post trauma effects. Also, Alli has been having nightmares for the past few weeks.
Our need for prayer comes with today's visit to the doctor. She developed some congestion and a right ear infection, the same side as the accident injury. Right now they think it's unrelated, although she has had fluid there since the accident. I may contact our ENT friend and ask his opinion. This evening, Alli's developed fever and it's climbed to 102.5 with 3 meds in her. We're going to watch her carefully and pray this doesn't progress into anything worse. They did a flu swab on her (which praise God was negative) because the flu has recently hit our small town. We waited over an hour before we were seen due to their business. Also pray for a lady who left there in an ambulance just as we were called back. I don't know her personal state, but know her leaving the doctor's office in an ambulance should call us to prayer on her behalf.
Thank you all for the abundance of prayers you've risen up on our behalf these past months. Now please pray us through another one.
Oh, one more thing. My cousin is going through treatment for breast cancer. She's a young mom (younger than me) and needs our prayers both physically and financially. Those of you who are local and would like to help, I can email you a flyer of the benefit coming up for her.
Love you guys! Remember prayer works. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.
Emmanuel, GOD WITH US...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Renewed Beginnings (Alli update)

Today marked the start of renewed beginnings for Alli, her first day back at recess.
She was so excited I just had to share some images with you. Thanks again for all your prayers!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Alli's update

Wed. we went for Alli's CT scan. The doctor had informed us that we weren't looking for a healed head. With the extent of her fractures, that was asking too much. They started by showing me the 3D imaging of her CT scan back whem she fell. I had not seen these images before and was not prepared for what I saw. Alli's fractures had been far worse than I had understood. Alli's fractures had actually went all the way down to the base of her head at her neck and all the way forward to the front, just before the forehead. Then above the right ear was where the fractures had separated and the skull had caved in in that area. It was heart breaking to see. Then the doctor proceeded to pull up the current scan and started searching through the layers, twisting, turning, flipping, scanning...hmm..."what is it?" I inquire. "That's just it," he responds, "It's not".
Huh? "Mrs. , most doctors would have sent her straight to surgery when she fell, and no one would expect to see this. Look here. This is where the damage is supposed to be." I don't see anything but not wanting to look stupid, I continue to pretend to study the images. Finally, he sits back and reports, "I just can't find it. You should be able to see a line or something, but there's nothing. Even the caved in section has risen up and smoothed over, and that just doesn't happen on its on with this level of severity."
That's right. It doesn't happen on its own. But through the combined prayers of all who read this blog and the mercy of a loving Father, it has happened.
The doctor plays with Alli a few minutes showing her her eye ball sockets on the computer and stuff, then sits back and says, "There's nothing left for me to do. It's all been done." The Great Physician has taken care of His patient, restored her to health, and left me shouting hallelujah praises amidst my blubbering tears of joy.I still cry at every song on the radio, even some random song on a pharmacy radio that mentions a little girl. That's right. I'm the lady you see blubbering on the cold med isle. Speaking of which, keep me in your prayers. I was feeling rough all week and finally went to the doctor today to find out I have bronchitis and am now sucking down antibiotics and have been assigned bed rest until Monday. What fun! (please note the sarcasm in my voice)
Greater is He that is in me. Greater is He that is in me. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.
We just had to stand still and let God move because "He ain't never done me nothing, done me nothing but good!" (Excuse the poor grammar, just quoting the song!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Taking a wrong turn in life...

Sorry to get off track of Alli updates, but I just had to share something. I had an amazing opportunity to go to The Billy Graham Training Center (The Cove) in Asheville, NC this past weekend. First I will say that is one place I think everyone should go at least once in their life. But this post isn't so much about The Cove. It was about the journey to get there.
My old woman friend (a whole 'nother story of silly phrases my 6 yr old has spread through her school) and I set out to travel to The Cove. We had our directions and felt good about where we were going. My sweet "left us for FL friend" over at mudpiestodragonflies called just as we were boarding the interstate. Mind you, E's driving and I'm holding the directions. Do you see a problem arising? No? I'll continue. Being excited since we haven't talked in months, I happily begin trying to talk to this long distance friend. I say "trying" because I have always had trouble understanding this friend on the phone, even when she lived locally. The low talker... Anyway, as usual, after a bit, our call is disconnected and I resume to navigating. This is when dear sweet E who had been saying, "Oh yeah, I know that place" and "I've been through here" amidst my challenging phone conversation, then reported, "This doesn't feel right." I look up to see, "Charlotte next 5 exits". "Umm, E, what road are we on?" "I-85" "E, we were never supposed to be on I-85". That's right friends, we had been riding for hours on the wrong interstate! Aren't we precious?
As you see, we did later reach our destination and honestly had some great times on the way, including stopping for gas in a town that obviously didn't know that The Dukes of Hazzard is not a reality show. This is what memories are made of! And you know, the same is true in life. Sometimes we travel along on unexpected paths. But rest assured, wherever we are, God is, and we've been put right where we are because God is going to use it to do something amazing, if we'll just let Him.
God Bless and happy traveling! We're closer than ever and blame no one (cough cough FL friend cough cough).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow in the South? (& Alli update)

First an apology-I've had some sweet friends remind me that I've been slacking in keeping you all updated. So, I'm sorry. The good news is that, for the most part, no news has been good news. Alli has not had a seizure since the end of November, praise be to God! And for the month of December, Alli did remarkably well with only 1 or 2 headaches and no other noticed side effects. But for the past two weeks, she has started a few things that have made me start taking notes again for the neurosurgeon and neurologist. Just within the past 2 weeks, Alli has started the following:
-potty accidents (both ways, although she's been potty trained a yr or more)
-severe clingyness
-baby talk (some mornings she will awake and baby talk every word for an entire day until bedtime, no pattern noticed)
-headaches returning, keeps bumping head on things/falling down
We return to The Children's Hospital Feb 4th for an updated CT scan and to visit the neurosurgeon. They'll be looking for some indication of the open fractures growing toward each other in efforts of eventually closing. If no noted positive change (there was none in Nov's test), then we'll start entertaining her options (possible surgery).
I humbly ask that you join us in prayer for God's will to be done in our lives. I do not ask for miraculous healing, though I know He can. My prayer for her was answered the night of the accident. I told My Lord that night that I didn't care how it left her or what difficult path would lie ahead for us, if He would just let me keep her for a while longer. He heard my prayer and He saved her life that night. So now I humbly pray for peace in whatever road lies ahead for us. If surgery is her chosen path, then we pray for strength and provision. I'm reminded of the words my pastor had told me who dedicated her to the Lord. "Remember, she's a loaner," he said. "We get the high honor being a part of their journey. But they belong to Him." That's so true, but not easy for a momma to swallow. The best I can do is love her while she's mine, and pray God's idea was a LONG TERM LEASE! I have high soaring dreams of this time in her life being an amazing testimony for her later in life. Faith has been our song, and I trust and know it has not been in vain...
Now on to the snow before I turn slushy myself! Yes that's right my friends, there was white stuff amongst us the 20th. Nothing big, though around here folks ran for their milk and bread (tho I've never gotten that- why go buy the two things that are going to spoil the fastest?), delayed schools, and all the other winter warning things that make the northerners laugh at us (I know you do!). But though short lived, we enjoyed our wintery dusting land all the same!
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