Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Russell and I had the humbling experience of being asked to write a devotional for our church's use. Our church is entering into a time of commitment for the payment for one of our facilities. This devotional guide is a 21 day guide written by different members of our congregation to help guide us in thoughts of prayer, God's will and giving.

We agreed to write the devotional and then we began to seek out God's guidance for what we should write. We were given the verse on which we should base our devotional.

Our devotional guide started Monday, January 21, and will run for the next 21 days. Russell and my devotional is featured on day 3, today.

"And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17

Russell and I mulled over many potential topics to write about concerning this verse from our many trips to Nicaragua to share about Jesus, the urgency of the gospel to coaching a basketball team. God directed our hearts through the process of each of these and how this verse can apply. We specifically chose to focus on prayer but even more importantly God's will for our lives.

This is what God placed on our hearts to share. May it be a blessing to many......

Having grown up in the church, we heard much about the will of God. And honestly, it seemd like a pretty simple idea to follow: you go to church, you pray, you read your Bible, and by doing so you are living in God's will. Our little world had not faced many trials until we had our second child. A little over six years ago, our second daughter was born. What joy and blessing we felt had been bestowed upon us again. A short while later our very core and beliefs would be put to the test. We would begin to question, "What was God's will? What was eternal?" Our daughter was born with a condition that has left her where she cannot walk or talk; she is basically still an infant. If we were to "survive" this, we would need to seek out God's will for us. We would need to spend time asking for a conscious awareness of what is eternal.

After much prayer and contemplation, soul-searching and tears, we feel we have begun to grasp the concept of God's perfer will and his eternal blessings. You see, if we only look at our daughtert through earthly or wordly eyes, we see her as imperfect and flawed. We could easily think that this could not be God's will for anyone. However, if we let our Holy Spirit comfort and guide us, we can see that through her life, she is bringing God glory. Her very existence is evidence of God's abiding love and His will that we be in constant and perfect union with Him.

Jesus, help us to focus on things eternal.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Answer that Changes Everything

So for a little more than 6 years, our family has been on a journey we never thought we would travel. We have learned so much about ourselves, each other and our amazing bodies and minds that God created. After having much testing done with our own neurologist and traveling to world renowned Mayo Clinic for further testing, we were still left with the unknown. There was no known cause for why Claire is like she is. There was no reason for her seizures, her delay etc. Not that we had given up hope, but we had resolved ourselves that we would not know why. We just learned to accept her as God created her to be. And what a joy and blessing she is.
So much to our suprise, in September 2012, our neurologist asked if we would be willing to consider trying this new panel of genetic testing done specifically targeted at kids like Claire who started seizures so extremely early (weeks old instead of months or years old). We said sure, what do we have to lose. This testing would involve one small vial of  blood that would then look at 38 genetic disorders. Some of these disorders we had been tested for  before and they always had come back negative. We had the testing done and then the waiting began. We actually waited so long we almost forgot we had even had this testing done.
Then on Monday, out of the blue, the Dr. calls. Sure enough, Claire tested positive for one genetic disorder. My mind is still swirling about this possibility. As the Dr. said, this gives us an answer to they question why, but there is no cure, yet.
So this is the answer that changes everything and nothing all at once. We have a reason why she has seizures, delays, trouble eating, small hands and feet and even why she crosses her legs all the time. But for now, there is no treatment.
She has been diagnosed with CDKL5. A very rare, genetic disorder. Only 200 known cases worldwide. Whew! Speaking of being fearfully and wonderfully made. This genetic mutation happened upon conception. It is not based down from the family and won't be passed down to other kids. It truly could only happen as God designed her. What an amazing idea!
We continue to hang onto hope now that some day, wonderfuly doctors will find a cure for this. Something that will treat that particular gene. But even if we never see that day, thank you God for your amazing creativity in creating Claire. Thank you for blessing our lives with her. Thank you for entrusting her to our care. Thank you for this journey you have placed us on.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Hope and I are planning on making a return trip to Nicaragua in May. We are so excited! We have decided to try and help us raise money we are going to make pillowcases to sell. Hope has already been selling her pillowcases for the past 2 semesters at ACES (homeschool coop) so now we have decided to branch out to the public.

So if you are interested in a pillowcase, here is the info you need.

Cost: $15

What you tell us: boy or girl and color preference

What you get: a home sewn, hand selected one of a kind pillowcase

Our goal for the trip is 100 pillowcases. We are also donating to a local children's hospital if you don't need the pillowcase but would like to help with the trip. Or if God is leading you, we would accept a monetary donation as well.

Of course we covet your prayers above all that He would be preparing our hearts to share and the ears and hearts of the Nicaraguan people to be open to hearing the Good News.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride

Whew! Ok I'm not a big roller coaster fan, in fact, if I had my choice I wouldn't ride one. And let's say the last time I rode one, I was scared spitless. We took Hope to Six Flags for a day of fun and we convinced her to get on the Judge Roy Scream, a smaller, but old roller coaster. She was all giggles until the first drop and then she became a puddle of tears. I wanted to join her. However, I can say in this ride we call Life, that I have come to if not enjoy at least hang on and try to go with the ups and downs.
This posts finds us over half-way through Hope's 3rd grade year of school and boy are we having fun, she has really found her stride and is able to do the majority of work on her own. We have gotten to study the human body, make architectural Russian eggs, measurement equations and story writing. She is doing great. We have also gotten to enjoy Molly start some preschool and she is like a little sponge--so fun.
Hope is also flying through her Awana book for this year, working hard to memorize all of those Bible verses. Boy, what a gift she has.
This year has also seen her continue with her private swim lessons. She is one test away from passing the level to be life guard certified (if she were only 15!) Way to go Hope! So super proud of you in how you work hard.
She has also started piano lessons and absolutely loves it. She is flying through her book. We got her a keyboard to practice on, it comes with songs/lessons pre-programmed, she is working hard to learn those too! HA! What a blessing she is as a daughter and we love to sit back and watch the many ways that God is blessing her.
Of course growing up doesn't always come easy. She is learning some hard lessons on self-control; learning to guard her tongue and learning to listen to instruction. I think we all need a lesson on that sometimes.
Now for Miss Molly----she is such a hoot! Here are some of her latest antics----big into makeup and finger nail polish. We love to wear our tutu and beanie hat when it is 40 degrees out. And in case you didn't know, we had "whale" the other night (we had a lot of hail and she had never seen it so she kept asking where the "whale" was!) And we love to give "big-like Jesus" hugs and to "sparkle like Jesus Christ our Lord!" HA! She too, is smart as a whip. She is picking up on our Spanish by just being in the room and she has fun learning her Awana verses too.
And of course, she is learning some of those hard growing up lessons too....obedience and not whining!
And what is up with Miss Claire these days. We have definitely been up and down with her. We had a rough patch early on this fall with her seizures not being under control. After another new medication we have seen some improvement, but with it has come screaming! I would have to say that the whole family could do without that. She has also begun to develop precocious puberty. Something I have not handled real well.... she is way to young---only 5! However we are getting to see a Pediatric Endocrinologist this week to try to control or slow down the process. I am quite anxious to see what they will say.
On to some exciting news for her though, we have gotten approved for her a new bed. Once it comes in I will show pictures. We have also gotten her a bath chair---whew saves my back. And we are in the hunt for a new stroller and car seat for her.
Also, she has been approved to work on some drinking again! And actually she has done quite well drinking from a big girl cup---no sippy cup! Awesome!
We are trying to get her more up-right for more hours of the day, that can include sitting in her wheelchair, standing in her stander and sitting in her tomato chair. She is doing great!
We are hoping for a fun spring and enjoyable summer, but we know to hang on, for the ride can change at any time. We have some fun things planned, a trip to Grandparents house, a trip to Houston for the King Tut exhibit, Hope and I are planning for a return trip to Nicaragua in May and then summer vacations in June and July!
We are so very blessed to have 3 awesome girls and we truly cherish their individualities. They make us smile and laugh often and occassionally bring us to tears. What a fun ride this is we are on!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Over the past several weeks I have felt a tugging in my heart for some ministry changes. Is it because we have been going non stop for a year now? Is it becasue my focus has changed? Is God truly the one tugging my heart or is it out of selfish reasons? I'll try to fill in the reasons later.....

But I do know that after 17 years of working in some role in children's ministry on Wed nights, from Mission Friends, GAs, Bible Drill, to AWANAS. I have turned in my resignation and given up working...whew! As I write this and say this, my heart beats a little faster and I begin to sweat! Really???!! Give up my beloved Children's Ministry?! What am I to do now? Am I growing up, maturing? Time to move on to "adult" ministries? hmmm?????

I do know that I feel called by God to serve beside my husband as we teach our adult Sunday School class. I feel that we have an incredible opportunity to support and fellowship and lead these other young couples.

I also feel called by God to homeschool my kids and to have home health therapy for Claire, which means 5 days a week we are busy with school and therapy---which can leave little time for other major preparations. What an incredible opportunity I have each day around my kitchen table to teach the Word of God to my kids and then impart knowledge in their hearts and minds! Wow! what an amazing responsibility.

It does seem I have moved on to some more "adult" roles....Sunday School, committee member, choir? (still considering that option....) As the door has closed for now on Children's ministry, I am excited about the new places God is leading now but holding out that in the future I can return to my beloved place among kids.....I guess only time and really finally God will be the say in that.

So to those of you struggling with ministry choices and your heart's ear to hear God and the tugging in your heart as to where He would have you serve..... may we serve with joy and gladness.....

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

Ok maybe summer didn't really fly by but it sure seems like it as we look back over the last 8 weeks. Boy have we had a fun and busy summer, from VBS, Branson vacation, basketball camp, swim team practice, Colorado Coolness....and now Russ is back to work, Hope is still swimming, and we are beginning to get our school stuff in order. Whew! And all the while we have been sweltering under 100+ days! Thank goodness for A/C!
Hope has done exceedingly well with swimming... she has almost completed level 4 of the 6 levels of she has made great progress on the swim team! You go girl! This year has been a huge year for her.....Her first overseas missions trip...her first testimony in front of 500 people...her first experience of leading kids to Christ....her first solo in a Children's choir program....the only kid in AWANAS to complete all 3 Sparks books (earning her the Sparky award). Hope, I am so proud of you!
Claire continues to make baby steps, although this year has been a tough one for her. We are still struggling to get her seizures under control which does make it harder for her to make physical progress. And to top it off, she grew 5 inches over thw winter---she is one tall girl now....
Molly is still the life of the party, our comic relief and the pusher of all limits! She is a great sister to Claire and she bugs Hope endlessly, all the while telling you how much she loves you!

Here are some of my favorite pics from the summer. May the end of summer and beginning of Fall be filled with as many blessings as we have seen this year!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


He is not here! He is Risen!

Probably one of my favorite Bible stories---the Easter story! Still takes my breath away to think about the amazing sacrifice that Christ did for us. Amazing love! Oh that I would remember daily what you have done for me and that then you conquered death and the grave and you are ALIVE today!

Ok flashback to about 5 years ago, Hope goes to Sunday School on Palm Sunday. Her lesson that week is of course about the Triumphal Entry. Her teacher asks the question, "What did Jesus ride into town on?" And Hope answers, "a donkey!" Good job, Hope!

Fastforward to this year. We are reading the Miss Pattycake Easter book. I ask Molly, "what did Jesus ride into town on?" and Molly answers, "a donkey!" Good job, Molly! And then I ask, "what did the people say when they saw Jesus?" and Molly says, "Hey Jesus! Why you riding that donkey!" Ha ha ha!

We have had a wonderful Easter time, from reading Miss Pattycake, to decorating eggs, to hunting eggs at church. Even Claire enjoyed the fun of coloring eggs and hunting them!

Thank you Jesus for Easter!

Easter Morning!

Pajama Time!

Easter Eggs!