June 29, 2008, New Update

Tomorrow we will be awaiting a call from the doctor. Friday we found out that the plastic piece that was fitted for her head is ready and I'm hoping that we can do surgery as soon as possible.

We have questions for the doctor such as can she have a shunt put in the same time as the prosthesis? Will it make the incision heal more quickly? Will it help any future leakage? Danni hasn't fully decided if she wants one in or not but she will have to make that decision soon.

Hopefully he can answer our questions. I will keep you all up to date.

June 26, 2008, Praises Along the Way--Through the Storm

I went with my friends today to have lunch. My friend Steph had a birthday and we decided that we should celebrate. As we pulled up to the place we would dine, we chattered excitedly about the flowers and the stone shed. I especially liked the stone bunny planted in the middle of the velvety looking lilies.

I love being with my buddies, there is something about going out with these girls that makes me feel like I can face the world knowing that they are there for me. We sat in the old Victorian room admiring the vine painted ceiling and the elegant table cloth. What a perfect place to celebrate a birthday. I could just picture Victorian ladies eating finger sandwiches in the parlor where we sat.

The food was good and the dessert divine. As we talked and giggled enjoying our time together inside, the clouds were getting dark outside. We finished our meal, payed the check and went for our cars. Just past the gazebo on the horizon we could see heavy rain headed our way.

We quickly loaded ourselves in the cars and took off for home. The wind blew our car and pieces of debris swirled about us. We made it to my friend’s house where we had carpooled just as the rain began to fall. I jumped into my van and made for the road to get home to the kids.

The wind blew fiercely as I plodded along going faster then slower, dodging puddles that could throw the van into a spin. The wind continued to blow and the rain pelted the van going sideways now. All the way, I thought to myself, “I should be scared but I’m not!” I praised God singing loudly with the music, good thing I was by myself! I sang about God’s love and goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life. All the while the storm raged blowing me from one side of the road to the other throwing sheets of rain in my path and at the van. I could barely see where I was going.

Just then the thought hit me; this is just like the storms of life that we encounter. I knew I was safe in the van, just like I’m safe in him. My old reliable van took me safely home. It didn’t matter what was going on outside, I was praising Jesus inside. I held my peace. What an awesome picture of the trials of life we go through. God is there with us and if we just keep praising him, he will take us safely home.

Getting all upset and scared wouldn’t have accomplished anything, there was no one available to rescue me I had to go through it alone except, I wasn’t alone, he was there lovingly guiding me and speaking to my heart. I am blessed. We are blessed to have a God who is constantly watching out for us even when things happen that we don’t understand. He never leaves us or forsakes us even when he’s quiet. As for the storm, looking outside right now you’d never even know that a storm had passed over. That’s how storms in our lives happen as well, here a minute and then gone.

Next week will be another big week for us. Another storm to go through but I have confidence that no matter what happens, God is in control and I don’t have to get all worried and upset, it wouldn’t help anything anyways. This is another opportunity to grow in my faith and trust him more. Another opportunity to see the glory of God and for him to do another miracle because Danni won’t make it without God willing her to live another day. It’s all in his hands and I leave it there. I will hold my peace, praise him and he will take us safely through the storm.

June 26, 2008, Answered Prayer...

I woke this morning praying for Danni. "Lord, please help Danni, please bring us some word on her next surgery." I left the request with him and got up and went on about my day.

Within an hour or so I got a phone call from the doctor's nurse. She said that the prosthesis is done and that the doctor would be back on Monday. I told her that we wanted to do the surgery just as soon as possible and I asked if Danni decided to go with a shunt if they could do that at the same time.

The nurse said that she would talk to the doctor on Monday and let us know what the plan would be. I told her that we'd let her know what Danni decided on Monday when she calls us.

I am so glad to hear this good news. Danni had another headache again today and it's time we get this taken care of. Thank you thank you, God, for answering my prayer and the prayers of many. Please pray for wisdom for Danni in these next few days. Thanks again for your prayers.

June 25, 2008, Got Some Good News

Hey, I heard from Danni's dad's company today that she will be able to stay on her father's insurance! This is a big praise as we were concerned that she couldn't prove that she was a full time student anymore and would then in turn lose her ability to be insured on her dad's policy.

Once again God goes before us providing all that we need and more.

We're still waiting for the plastic head piece to come in, it's been about 4 weeks now. I assume that she'll have the surgery after the fourth sometime. Now that we know for sure that she'll be covered by insurance that takes some of the pressure off even though it was the least of our concerns.

Danni is still having headaches off and on, hopefully something can be done soon. She's a patient trooper.

June 22, 2008, A New Day

I thank you Lord, your mercies are new every morning.

I want to give a huge thank you to this extraordinary community in which I live, they really pull together when something happens to one of us. Thank you to my friend Jaime who organized the biggest, most full of love benefit for Danni. Thank you to all who gave generously of their time and effort, of their finances and food. I know that these are rough times and it was a sacrifice for many of you.

We are truly thankful, grateful, appreciative, humbled, blessed the list could go on and on and never describe the feeling completely. Thank you all. My prayer is that God would bless you ten times beyond the blessing you've poured out over our family. AMEN!

I also want to thank those of you who prayed for my back. Things are improving in that situation but I'm still taking it easy.

I also want you all to know that you were an avenue for God to show his love to us. You will never know the impact of even little things that were done at the benefit. Relationships may have been built that weren't there before, people may have been touched whose hearts are hardened to the love of God, even a smile or a hug might have made someones day.

God always has a myriad of things he's doing behind the scenes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this was more than a benefit for Danni. His purposes are so much more. He's such a good God!

One thing that blessed me was to see Danni get up from the table she was sitting at and cross a crowded place to be with her friends who had come from high school. She's so brave. It blessed my heart to see her laughing and joking and interacting with them. That was a big step for her. I was proud of her. It took a lot on her part just to go to the benefit.

Since this has happened she's held a lot of people at arms length and rightly so, shes had to work through a lot mentally as well as physically and spiritually. Cancer is a complete and life changing situation that I can't comprehend .

I also want to thank those of you who said to me, our family has been there and we've made it! What an encouragement! Thank you so much for taking the time to come and express your experiences with me. It's nice to know your not alone and there is someone who has been there and came out alive!

Again, thank you from the bottom, top and middle of our hearts. :)

June 18, 2008, Not Today....apparently

Mom down, mom down! My back is out and I won't be going anywhere for the rest of the week, at least. Danni and I are both slow moving now. I am identifing with her on a new level. This situation has made for some hillarious moments and also it's been an avenue to for the kids to gather around me and lay their hands on me in prayer.

This is a huge decision to make whether or not to go ahead or just tough it out and wait. Also, its been about four weeks since they sent the cat scan to the prosthesis company. Maybe it will be ready next week. These things I don't know for sure, it is just what I'm thinking. It's so hard to know what to do.

It seems that God threw a monkey wrench into the plan for today so, we'll just go with it for now. If we ask God to stop us if this isn't his will then we have to be ready when he does.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

I acknowledge you are in control, Lord, thy will not mine, I trust you.

June 17, 2008

Tomorrow Danni and I will be going back to the doctor for a little check up. Danni has been having headaches again under the fluid pocket and so we'll have it checked and maybe go ahead with the shunt while we're waiting for the plastic piece to be made.

We'll talk to the doctor and see what he thinks. If we decide that she should go ahead with the shunt to relieve the pressure then he will probably be able to get her in pretty quickly.

This morning I was reading again in Joshua 1 so many times in there he is told by God and then the people "Be strong and courageous..." God always brings us what we need when we need it.

Much love to all, thanks for all the prayers and love and support.

June 15, 2008, Praises Along the Way--Fresh Fruit!

Friday was a great day for us. Danni had a doctor’s appointment that went well. The doctor prescribed vitamin B6 and magnesium to help with the kidney stones. He said it may even shrink the one she has, we were pleased that he didn’t prescribe more medication and as a bonus he told us to go to Target! What a doctor! He said their vitamins are the most potent.

So, to Target we went and picked up the vitamins, then to eat lunch with Matty and on to see Prince Caspian (the movie). We had a wonderful day and it didn’t end when we got home. People called that cared for us and shared scripture with us. Then the doorbell rang and there was our neighbor with some fresh strawberry jam and beautiful strawberries picked from her garden!

As she was at the door she looked down and leaning against the side of the house was a package of perfect fresh pears and cherries, a gift from our friends in California. YUM! They were wonderful! Thank you a bunch Del and Carol!

Anyway, it made me think of Duet. 8 where Moses tells the Israelites not to forget their God in good times. He tells them in vs. 1 how to live in increase in the land they are about to enter. He reminds them to think about how God was the one who brought them to the land causing them to hunger and then he fed them with manna. He tells them they are disciplined by God like a father disciplines his son and then in vs. 6 he continues by telling them they must live by God’s ways and revere him.

Then in verses 7-9 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land –a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

These verses were what made me think about how God has brought me through so many things in my life, how when I chose to walk in his ways I was blessed and when I chose to go my own way I was not so blessed. How even in the darkest times of life, he never leaves me or forsake me and how his goodness comes shining through all the ominous clouds of circumstance.

Wow all these thoughts from fruit! No, it wasn’t so much the fruit as the acts of love and kindness of the brethren. God moved upon the hearts of these dear ones to bring his loving tenderness to us when we didn’t even think we were in need, just to say he loves us and he’s thinking of us and he sends us the very best at that! Man, what a good God we serve!

I also thought of the words of Isaiah in chapter 1 vs. 19- If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land… What an awesome promise God gives us even in the midst of sin! Here the people had sinned against him and his heart says in vs. 18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Can you feel his heart? How his kindness overflows? What love and mercy! He is the God of the universe who could squash us with just a thought and he extends his hand to us in kindness, love and mercy. Wow, I am getting blessed! His love overwhelms me!

It is with tears in my eyes that once again I plead with you whoever you are, give your life to him, go and “reason together” with him and give him full control. He is such a good God and he loves you very much.

Father, I ask that you pour out your kindness upon this generation. Thank you so much for lavishing me with your love today. Amen.

June 12, 2008, Praises Along the Way-Lucy's Celebration

Today I went to drop off all of the county records I had been accumulating every year that I worked for them. The laws have changed and because of that a portion of my job is gone. One I had faithfully done for 14 years. But, in saying all that I realize that once more God has a plan and a purpose.

Danni went along for the ride and we decided to party on the way home, mind you this was 10 o’clock in the morning. We were hoping that our beloved “Lucy’s” would be open and sure enough it was. I turned in and we went around the building to get in line.

After we got our ice cream, I know it was bad, we sat in the van watching vehicles whiz by on the road in front of us. We laughed and tried to convince ourselves that the ice cream was good for us and that it was good we were eating it so early in the day so that we could have time to burn off the calories.

Danni made her ice cream cone aerodynamic, so much so that I said, “That thing is going to fall over!” She laughed and took another lick in the same direction, that’s Danni for ya.

It’s so important to me these little insignificant moments with her. So many things I take for granted. Every day I try to spend some time with her and now that the majority of my work is over I’ll have more time, so that’s a good thing. Many times just sitting by her bed she gets me laughing so hard I’m crying. Every day with her is precious. But then again when you think about it, every day that we all have with our loved ones should be precious.

Brain cancer is only one thing that could take a life. We are a fragile lot. We may think we’re pretty strong but it’s God that gives us breath. Without his grace and mercy to us every day we’d be dust again.

Stop and think about your next few breaths……………………………...think about the fact that God is there supplying every one. How will I use these breaths today, to praise God and give him glory or to curse my fellow man, who is created in God’s image?

Lord, help me I am but dust, I need you with every breath. Thank you for these times when you make me aware of your presence and love with me. Help me to glorify you today and not take my loved ones for granted. Soften my heart and fill me to overflowing with your love. Thank you Holy Spirit for these thoughts and prayers. All glory to you.

June 11, 2008, Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday dear JJ (Our wonderful loving, sister and aunt (from Danni)) Happy Birthday to You!

Danni says Happy Birthday and thank you for coming to see us and have a good birthday!

We miss and love you much, hope you have a great day! JJ has been helping me to maintain this blog and during her last visit with us she presented me with a binder that was color coded. She had printed out everything I had written, every scripture for today and everything you have written. I was amazed to see how thick the 2" binder was, I'm pretty sure I owe her an ink cartridge and a ream of paper!

What a precious gift she gave to me and I love her very much!

J- Just want you to know how appreciated you are and how much you've blessed us! love sis

June 8, 2008, Praises Along the Way- Ten Virgins

People say to me, “I don’t know how you do it!” I say, “God! His grace is truly sufficient for me.” Yielding to his Holy Spirit living in me guiding me, comforting me, giving me life.

Many times in scripture his Holy Spirit is symbolized by oil.

Sunday we were discussing Matthew chapter 25. In the beginning of chapter 25, Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins and their OIL lamps. Five were foolish and weren’t prepared for the bridegroom (Jesus) to come and five were wise and were prepared having their wicks trimmed and their lamps full of OIL.

It was brought to my attention that these were all virgins, all Christians. They were all waiting and knew that the bridegroom was coming. Five took him at his word and were prepared and the other five for whatever reason were not.

This is a warning to me and all of us that when the Holy Spirit points his finger in an area of my life and says, “Come here, let me help you with that, or let me do this or that in your life.” I should respond to him immediately. If I want my wick trimmed and my lamp filled with oil. If I want to be wise and ready for his coming then I will allow the Holy Spirit to fill me and do the work he wants to do and not resist because of what my eyes see. There is cost involved though, I have to lay down my pride and allow him free access no matter what.

How foolish would I be to go this road I’m walking alone trying to figure things out on my own, refusing to let the Spirit lead and guide. Rebelling against his work in my life because it hurt my pride or inconvenienced me. NO WAY!! I need you Holy Spirit! Have your way and work in my life! I give you free reign so that when Jesus appears I am ready to go! Even as I’m writing this I know I will be tested in the near future!

The lie of the enemy is procrastination. There’s always tomorrow to respond to God, just kick back and relax and enjoy the day doing things your own way and what feels good, he’ll forgive you. Daily the Holy Spirit comes to the Christian and says, “Let’s work on this, let’s get rid of that, I want you to humble yourself here... " it goes on and on until we are prepared for our eternity with Him. Time is against us and the supply will not always be there readily available. Listen and yeild NOW!

Case in point, Matthew 25:10-12, the virgins go to buy the oil and by the time they get back the door is shut and the Lord says in verse 12 “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” Sure the oil was still available but they had to go somewhere and buy it, they had to have money and at that point even their money and the oil did them no good. I don’t know about you but I think I want to be on the inside at the wedding banquet and I want it to be a BIG PARTY!

Holy Spirit, help me through these light and momentary troubles right now so that I won’t have to live with an eternity of regret. Change me, shape me, mold me into whatever you have in mind for me, I’m sure I will be beautiful when you are done to the praise of your glory, AMEN!

All glory to you, Jesus, YOU are my source! YOU ARE HOW IT'S DONE!

June 8, 2008, Here's Where We Are...

I've had lots of questions about Danni in the last few days so I thought I'd better have another update. There seems to have been some confusion as to whether or not Danni is in the hospital.

Danni is at home and has been for six to seven weeks. We are waiting for the plastic piece that will fill the void in her skull to be made and it takes roughly four to six weeks to do so.

The doctor who took care of her kidney stone wants to see her next week with some new blood work. We aren't sure what that is all about except to know that her calcium and acid levels are high. We see that doctor on Friday in Ft Wayne, IN.

The fluid on the side of her head has not decreased and it doesn't cause her much discomfort. It seems to be staying the same so for now it's just a waiting game. The tumors have grown some in size in the area that the doctor couldn't remove them but where he did remove the other tumor he says it looks good.

She still has a good attitude and seems to be coping rather well considering her circumstances.

Just a note to all those lovely people who are working so hard to raise funds for Danni...thanks could not describe our gratitude. You are a beautiful group of people. The concern and support this community has shown gives me faith that there are still wonderful people in America. I thank God for this community, it's a special place I'm proud to call home!

June 4, 2008, Praises Along the Way - God's Radiation Treatment

Lately it seems as though I’ve wanted to escape the circumstances. Not physically but mentally. Seeing my daughter in the condition she’s in confronts me every day. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to help her.

I’ve been occupying my mind with a new island for my kitchen; we started to remodel before this situation came to be or new bedding or flowers for the porch. I know, guys, you can’t understand the whole shopping thing but for a woman it can be an escape. It’s a way to take a break from life and not have to deal with anything, something to take your mind off of the present condition.

Naturally, God created women as gatherers and nesters but when it consumes a person’s time to the point it eats away at time alone with God it becomes sin. An idol if you will.

It has occurred to me that this sin has been robbing me from my quality time with God and for that I had to repent. John chapter three came to mind this morning so I went there to read. Down in verses 16-21 I read of God’s love for me, a familiar passage. I read that I’m not condemned because of my belief that Christ is my savior, thank you Jesus!

Then I learned about light. How men loved darkness because their deeds were evil (vs. 19) and that everyone who does evil hates the light and won’t come into the light for fear of their evil being exposed.

The next verse hit my spirit with a burst of revelation. The word says that “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done by God.”(vs. 20)

I realized that God’s light is his radiation treatment for our souls! When we expose our sins to God and those we can trust and are truthful with ourselves and come into his light, it kills the cancerous sin on our spirit! Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space, light dispels the darkness and so it is within us when we are honest with God and someone who loves us. It completely releases us from the grip that the enemy would try to put on us. Read James 5:16 about confessing to each another. Read Eph 5:8, 1Peter 2:9, and 1John 1:5 concerning what we once were and who we are now and about God himself.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, his is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…” (2 Cor. 5:17-part of 18). We are new; God cleanses us from sin when we accept Christ as Savior. We come from darkness into the light. That’s God’s will and plan for all of humanity. That we humbly come to him through acceptance of his son into his light and are cleansed from our sin and saved from the pit of hell! What a wonderful, patient, loving God we are privileged to know!

I thank you, God, for showing me my sin so I could deal with it and come back into right relationship with you. Thank you for your kindness to me. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for keeping me close to the Father. Help us each one to endure the circumstances we’re placed in having complete confidence in you to bring us through better and stronger and more like you. Amen.

June 1, 2008, Decision Time

We went to the doctor on Friday for a consultation. He said that now a shunt is an option but it wasn't before because of the infection. The prosthesis will take four to six weeks to get because it has to be special made to get a tight fit so the shunt would possibly be done in the mean time to control the fluid.

However, because Danni is 19 she has the final say as to what will be done. In thinking it over this weekend she has come to the conclusion that she doesn't want a shunt put in at this time. The fluid pocket doesn't bother her (hard for the rest of us) but it's her decision, her body and her life. It isn't that she's afraid of surgery, she says she just doesn't have a peace about the shunt.

I reason that she has four to six weeks to wait and the doctor can get her in pretty quick if she needs one right away so if it gets bigger we could always do it then. I want her to follow peace so I will support her in this decision.

A shunt is a big decision because it could work in her situation and it could not work because of the place the fluid is located. A shunt is also a lifetime decision because it stays in for the rest of your life unless it gets infected which is also another possibility. It can also get clogged although the doctor says that they are pretty reliable.

I'm not saying that she won't ever have one but for now she's decided against it. I am so proud of her, even though she has been forced into making life decisions at a young age she is following the peace that God puts in her heart.

Thank you God for the grace you are giving her to deal with the situation she's in and help me to trust in your Spirit within her to guide her just like you do me. I know you love us so much and have plans for our good and that you will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for your faithfulness. I love you, Jesus Amen.