Wednesday, April 30, 2008

whatsoever a man soweth...

That shall he also reap. So the vegetable garden that we have been so thrilled about is starting to pay off. This explains why I have not been available to post lately. I have my hands quite full with trying to keep up with harvesting and "putting up" everything . I don't know what non-Southerners call it...so "putting up" will have to do. Yesterday, I put up 6 quarts of collards and 5 quarts of broccoli. There are several heads of cabbage that need picking ... cutting ... whatever. haha Here are some fruits of our labor.


A few heads of broccoli ... and a sink full to the left.



John showing off one that he says is pretty.

Also, many thanks again to everyone who has been praying for Mrs. Joanna with her astrocytoma. She got her staples out recently and really is acting like herself again.

Then, a note on the youth group. Another reason that I've been out of pocket is planning back-to-back youth activities. Jeremy and I are working on a fund raiser for youth camp. Also, we're supposed to have them over Friday night for a Wii party. The girls wanted to spend the night. Really, I didn't mind them staying, but that's just going to have to wait until after school is out for the summer. Since our school week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, having a sleepover won't work until we're done with school.

I'll do my best to try to post more our happenings more often :) There is so much more to add!

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. --1 Corinthians 3:6-8

Saturday, April 12, 2008

happy day!

I consider myself a young Christian, really. I mean, I wasn't born-again yesterday, but I've only been saved for 10 years. Looking back, I see what a marvelous work God has done in me. I've grown a lot in those 10 years, but I'm nothing like some of these amazing women (like my pastor's wife) who have been saved for decades. I can recall times in my Christian life that things got harder than they typically are. To be honest, I've never had to walk through a deep valley that I can remember. In fact, I always wondered exactly what situations would be defined as a valley. Well after the past 3 weeks, I think it's just one of those things that, once you're in it, you know. It seems like enough "bad stuff" to fill a whole year has happened in the past three weeks. If you keep up with my blog, you know what most of that stuff is. One thing that I haven't mentioned is that Ethan has still been terribly sick. What I'm so happy about though is that he seemed better yesterday. No fever, no wheezing, no heavy chest. The croupy-cough is still around and all the cold related stuff. I'll tell you what though, I was really getting worried. I mean, I know not to worry in the typical sense, but I can't think of a better word to describe how I feel. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, I'm so thankful today that Ethan seems much better from his sickness. I mean, I'm really excited!

God is so amazing though, isn't He? He's just been such a Comforter through this time. What is also so incredible is that how through all the tragedy of the past 3 weeks is how God has magnified Himself. I know in my head and heart that God is Supreme. That He gives grace for any and all situations. That He won't leave me comfortless. When you have you actually live it...and you have a detailed life experience...one where you know that in yourself you are nothing but frail weakness. Then you know that God steps in and picks up the broken pieces of your life. All the things that were going wrong in man's eyes, you know that He allowed it all to happen so that we would see, and experience, His power first hand. Wow! I remember over the past while that I've felt so despondent. No hope anywhere. You just feel like nothing is ever going to get better. Then God steps in and puts His arms around me. He doesn't take away the situation, but he says, "You'll be okay. I'm here, remember? I'm all you need." Today, God is just so amazing to me. He's always been amazing, of course. Today, it's just more personal. Through the miscarriage, and the cancers, and the ongoing sickness...God's just given so much more grace to face it all.

We have a tee-ball game today at 11. The kids got up late, so school is behind. Even this late in the morning they are still eating breakfast. They went to bed so late last night because baths were so late because supper was so late. Ooooohh... because we ate greens fresh from the garden! I was so proud of my kids because they loved the collard greens. Ethan even asked for second helpings. I think we'll have to get to school after our ball game. But that's okay, it'll get done.

Happy day to everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vacation Photos, As Promised

I think the easiest way to post the vacation photos was to make a Picasa folder for them. I just noticed that on all the photos I have the date stamp set to 2007!! That is terrible. I promise it was taken this year. Silly me. If you want to see the photos bigger, just click the slideshow and you'll see it full screen. I added captions to some of the photos to explain what's being seen, but you'll have to click the little caption bubble on the toolbar. Hope you enjoy :)

Good News

Mrs. Joanna's biopsy results have come in. Bro. Robert's words were that she has a low grade malignant tumor. Translated...that's great news. Yes, it's still cancer. But it's less than a stage-1 cancer. Since it's a slow growing tumor, it's possible that she never has to have this treated again. I thank everyone who prayed from the bottom of my heart. God was the healer here. I thank him for so much that He's done. She was able to come home today. Please pray that God strengthen her and this family as she continues to recover.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

update for pastor's wife

The past 2 weeks have felt more like 2 months. It just seems like we get one punch after another. Mrs. Joanna came through her surgery well. She is recovering very well. She really is just like Mrs. Joanna always is. We still have a lot of hurdles to clear though. The sort of lesion the doctors suspected it was, it isn't. From the MRI and other tests, the doctors had thought that it was only on top of her brain. Unfortunately, part of it did go down and was not able to be removed. The doctor also believes that it is cancer. The biopsy results won't be in for a few more days. From there, they will know if the next step is chemo. Please continue to pray for this family and for our church.

One thing that truly was a blessing to my heart though this was to see our church family pull together. We are really a pretty close knit bunch, but still this has brought us closer. Almost all of our church family was there. I could probably count on 1 hand the families who didn't come that day. There were people from other area churches there. If I had to guess, I'd say that there were close to 100 people between the waiting rooms for Mrs. Joanna.

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. --1 Corinthians 12:13-14,25-26

Please continue to pray for the Barrow family, especially our pastor, Robert Barrow and their three boys. We, as a church, were praying for complete healing through this surgery. Praises to God that He knows better than we do. We ask the Lord for strength and encouragement as we travel through this valley together.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

baptism

When Ethan gets saved, I promise you he will probably try to pull something like the second kid in this video.

Friday, April 4, 2008

lots and lots of posts

Since everything has been so topsy-turvy lately, it's really hit me that I haven't posted pictures from vacation yet! I am so very busy at the moment, so I won't get to it today. Maybe tomorrow, if the Lord wills. The photos from the Creation Museum were really great.

Thanks to anyone out there who has been praying for me. I feel a bit stronger every day. My physical body is pretty much better, but my soul still groans to see my little one. I had a lady in my church who came to me Wednesday night and told me that she had lost one too. I can't remember how old this friend is, but I think she's in her 70's. So then, I conclude that I will feel the pain of losing a baby until I am united with him (her? lol) in glory. The Lord has been so gracious and His Word has been strength.

No word yet on my pastor's wife. She was to have a more detailed MRI today regarding her brain lesion. Surgery is still scheduled for Monday.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

prayer request

I'm asking prayer for my pastor's wife, Joanna Barrow. She's been having horrible trouble with migraines for several months. After a series of tests, doctors conclude that she has a lesion on her brain. Immediate surgery is urgently needed and is scheduled for Monday. The details I have at this point are sketchy, but I know the surgery is dangerous and the lesion is also life threatening.

Mrs. Joanna is 37 years old and has 3 boys, ages 16, 14 and 11. Please pray that, if the Lord will, He would bring her safely through this surgery.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thank God for Friends

Thank you, Lord, for a good day yesterday. It didn't start out as a good day. I was so upset and was a weeping, crying mess. But you brought it to memory, Lord, that Melissa said that she'd to "anything," if she could. I needed fellowship. Thank you so much for good friends who care. Thanks for friends who don't mind taking time out of their day to see how your doing. Thanks for friends who don't mind if I cry and friends who remember the pain and can cry with me. Thank you for my church who I know is praying for me. Thanks for the phone calls and well-wishes. Thanks especially for Melissa, who brought over lunch yesterday...complete with drinks and dessert. She lost a baby last year. She knows how it feels. Thanks especially for Christy too, Lord, who brought over a gift yesterday too, just to show that she was thinking about me and praying for me. She's been there too, having lost two. Most of all, Lord thanks for You! Even after the friends left, You were still there. You were there last night, when my mind started to wander. When I started to think about what may have been, You reminded me to leave it to You. Thanks for Your Word. What a strong tower it has been. There I am reminded that "He hath done all things well." What a comfort that I don't have a "high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of my infirmities." Also, Lord, I know that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." I think also of Mary, when Lazarus died. What a comfort that when Jesus saw Mary's weeping that he actually "groaned in His spirit, and was troubled" and then the next Bible verse, "Jesus wept." Through tears of pain, thank you Lord for continuing to bring me through this. I've never been through something this difficult, but as your carry me through it, I see what a mighty God you are. You truly are the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

The only other think I ask for myself is that I don't want a D&C or anything close to it. I want it all to be already taken care of. If You see fit for me to go through that, I'm really going to need You...big time. Please give me courage to face it...and lots of it. I don't like doctor-y things.

Lord, please continue to help my husband and children through this. Even the children were excited about another baby. They would tell every stranger that "Mommy has a new baby in her tummy." Ethan especially. He's just three, but he knows that God has taken his new baby to heaven. His tears are just as real as mine. I can't make him accept it. Give me wisdom as a mother to know how to deal with the situation. Jeremy, too. It's his baby just as much as mine. Help him to know what an amazing husband he is. Touch him and comfort him, just as you've done me. John also, Lord. He's been very quiet about the matter. You know his thoughts.

Every day I feel a bit better. On my own, I am weak. Only through You I can be strong. I didn't go to church Sunday because my miscarriage was not complete and I was still in a lot of pain. I feel good about going tonight. Please stay everyone from rushing up to me and giving a lot of condolences. I know they care, but it just makes it harder. I don't want to cry. But if everyone does make much of the matter, help me to be graceful and meek. Guide my thoughts and steps. Thank you for everything, Amen

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. --Proverbs 18:10

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

moving on ...

Thanks for the prayers. My maternal intuition, which I've relied on heavily through this, tells me that through another round of painful contractions, with God's help and through A LOT of prayer I finished my miscarriage last night. My emotions are all a wreck today. I feel like the whole world is just continuing around me and all I can think of is last night. But GOD IS SO GOOD. I had been asking that He would see to it that my body took care of everything on its own. I was not wanting to have a D&C and I feel pretty confident that I won't have to have one. Now I just feel really drained, physically and emotionally. Praises be to God for answering my prayers and being so near through such a difficult experience.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. --Psalm 46:1

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. --
2 Corinthians 12:10

John's been such a help. I don't really know if I'm supposed to be lifting anything, but it just seems like I shouldn't. John's been helping me lift Lydia. I want today to try to be as normal as possible. As soon as I finish this update, I'm going to start school. If I feel well enough, I'm going to do some light housework and fix something simple for dinner. I'm asking for strength today. I'm going to need it. I feel like everything is in shambles. I praise God that He's able to bring me through this. It's so amazing because when I feel like I'm just about to fall apart in tears, I can almost feel Him put his arms around me and give me just a little more strength. What a God! The One that made the cosmos cares enough to comfort me. ME! Who am I that God would take time with me?

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. --Psalm 71:3

I also have to mention the support from my church family and families sent out of our church who are in full-time service elsewhere. Thanks for the love, prayers, and support everyone. Though, of course, I'm never alone (Hebrews 13:5) I thank God that I have other women to talk to.

My husband has really been my knight in shining armor through this too. God really knew what He was doing when he put us together!