mom and dad

Sleep On It

When I think of sleep, I usually envision recharging my battery or even escaping my troubles. But when Jesus slept, He was doing neither of the two.

"Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat.

But Jesus was sleeping." - Matthew 8:24

Jesus and His disciples were on a boat in the midst of a huge storm and as the disciples flipped out, they looked over and found Jesus asleep.

The storm they see doesn't match the peace they see Him resting in. They wake Him up and ask Him to do something. They look for a solution in the form of action. He surprised them all when He rose from His sleep and spoke to the storm. All the elements responded. The raging waters and fierce winds ceased and the storm was over.

Life in the Now

My favorite Bill Johnson quote is "You have no authority in a storm you cannot sleep in.”

Recently, my mom and dad were given horrible news that my sister had cancer and would need emergency surgery. They comforted her and each other, then they each went off to pray. They found a quiet place to intercede for their daughter and, with conviction, reminded God of His promise of healing. After a time, peace came over them and sleep followed. Soon after came news that the doctor could not explain. The cancer they'd seen was no longer there. "We are not sure what is going on," but the family knew. The peace that came brought rest, then healing. God first gave them rest and then the storm blew over.

Think About It

Is there a storm in your life that keeps you awake? Are you looking for a solution that is action oriented?

Talk About It

Dad, You're the source of all peace. No matter how bad the storm, You still provide all the answers, whether I see them or not. Take me to a resting place in Your presence where I can be certain that You are in control. Amen.

More of the Truth

Psalm 23, Romans 8:6

Make A Wish

  "What would you want to tell other people who had cancer?", I asked my youngest sister this week..."Hmmm, I would tell them my story and to be brave." So, here it is!

I'll never forget the phone call from my parents New Year's Eve, 2009 telling me the little 7 year old ballerina with sandy blond waves and big brown eyes had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Whilms Tumor Cancer that  had spread to her kidney, abdomen, and lungs. It just didn't fit and it certainly wasn't fair.

(feeding the ducks)

They lived in Portland, OR and I lived in Austin, TX but the night I got that phone call my husband said, "just go!". So the next day I was on a plane. Jolene quickly started her treatment with chemo, radiation, and surgeries to try to romove the largest tumors. She's got some pretty amazing battle scars! 

 

(walking with the physical therapist post-surgery)

"Having mom and dad and family nearby", is what helped when she was feeling crummy from the medication. Also, weekly visits from the "Thursday hospital cat", having a funny Dr. like Dr. Todd, laughing a lot, watching other people get their heads shaved, and painting fingernails also helped :).

(Joanna, Joel, Jolene, and Mom at the Tulip Gardens)

(Jolene and Joanna - sisters and bff's)

(Thursday cat at the hospital)

(Jolene and Dad, after he shaved his head for St. Baldrick's Day!)

(Jolene and me...making Chicken and Dumplings)

With eight brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, in-laws, cousins, aunts - uncles, and countless friends there was no shortage of prayers and support during treatment! Jolene received so many sweet cards and gifts just letting her (and the whole  family) know she was loved and not alone. One very special gift was a visit from Make A Wish Foundation!

(Learning she was selected for Make A Wish)

After tossing around a few ideas she decided on a trip to Austin, TX so the whole family could be together and go to Six Flags and Sea World! We made some incredible memories on that trip!

 

(The Clan at Six Flags :)

(Sea World)

It's been almost two years now since Jolene was diagnosed and I know my parents would say, "God is faithful!". The last several scans have come back clear and Jolene is doing great! She's back in ballet, her curls are growing back, cooking a ton, quoting "Julie and Julia", and dreaming about becoming a Scientist and traveling to Japan :).

This is her story. Be brave.

(Recital - Jolene is 2nd from the left...cute!)

(Curly day)

Sleep On It

When I think of sleep, I usually reference recharging my battery or even escaping from my troubles, but Jesus slept and he was doing neither of the two.

Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat.

But Jesus was sleeping.Matthew 8:24

Jesus and his disciples were on a boat facing a huge storm and as the disciples flipped out, they looked over and found Jesus asleep.

The storm they see does not match the peace they see Him resting in. They wake Him up ask Him to do something. They look for a solution in the form of action. He surprised them all when He rose from His sleep, spoke to the storm and all the elements responded. The raging waters and fierce winds ceased and the storm was over.

Life in the Now

My favorite Bill Johnson quote is "You have no authority in a storm you cannot sleep in.”

Recently, my Mom and Dad were given horrible news that my sister had cancer and would need emergency surgery. They comforted her and one another then each went off to pray.

They found a quiet place to intercede for their daughter and with conviction, reminded God of His promise of healing. After a time, peace came over them and sleep followed. Soon after came the news that the doctor could not explain. The cancer they had seen was no longer there. "We are not sure what is going on," but the family knew. The peace that came brought rest, then healing. God first gave them rest and then the storm blew over.

Think About It

Is there a storm in your life that keeps you awake? Are you looking for a solution that is action oriented?

Talk About It

Dad, You are the source of all peace. No matter how bad the storm, You still provide all the answers whether I see them or not. Take me to a resting place in Your presence where I can be certain that You are in control, amen.

More of the Truth

Psalm 23, Romans 8:6

What's Hot About Caring for Orphans

10 hot, invigorating ways you can change your life by changing the life of an orphan or adoptive family: 1. Spend time with a  foster kid. You may be the first individual in their lifetime that is reliable.

2. Share your academic expertise. Are you a scientist, IT specialist, occupational therapist? Share with an orphan, step by step, how you got there.

3. Take the birth child of a new adoptive family to a movie, out to eat or shopping. If their family recently adopted, their world has been shaken and you can help the whole family in a big way just by letting them know that it will all be ok.

4. Buy school backpacks for a family that grew from four to seven because they adopted three siblings.

5. Take care of the kids once a month on a designated night for one year so the adoptive or fostering Mom and Dad can have time together.

6. Tell an adoptive/foster mom who is going through tough times that she is doing a great job.

7. Offer to help a family pay for a few months of counseling for a kid who has a broken past and wounded heart.

8. Sponsor an orphan in another country for $25-$30 per month.

9. Share your vacation home with an adoptive family by offering a free week stay.

10. Take an orphaned sibling group out to buy new sneakers for school. Kids like to have shiny new things, especially for school.

So where might you find adoptive families, orphans and foster kids? Call your local social service department, local churches, or ask neighbors and friends who they know that could use your help.

Many of these ideas were developed from our own family needs, what I have learned about poverty (which is where most orphans come from), and the needs I see in the families around us who adopt older sibling groups.

Be extravagant with what you have to offer. It's hot.