Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wonder of CHRISTmas

Christmas has always been, without a doubt, my absolute favorite time of the year. The older I get and the more memories I accumulate just add to the wonder I feel and the excitement that begins building inside of me just about the time they feel the need to drowned us in ugly witch and mummy costumes. CHRISTmas is truly a season WORTH celebrating!!! I have always enjoyed the colors, the smells, the decorations, the songs, the sweets, and all of the fun traditional celebration aspects of Christmas. But the more I study God's word and the more I experience life here on this undoubtedly fallen world, I am in awe of it all. It overwhelms me to imagine an immaculately flawless creation, knowing that God created mankind to have a relationship with Him. Where HE came daily to walk with and spend time with them. Quality time is my love language so this really speaks to me. This relationship was intended. To know that, while experiencing this relationship mankind chose to jeopardize that relationship for something less that Him. In essence they said, 'You forgot or chose not to bless us with something, therefore we will bless ourselves.' It broke His heart, but He chose to restore His creation through an unthinkable process! This promise of redemption started all the way back in the garden, and all of Scripture points to it! How can I not be awestruck at the remembrance of this promise kept!! How can I make it about ANYTHING less!!!!! That wonderful night hope became reality!!! THE PROMISE was kept. I LOVE CHRISTmas. This is why I do try to transform my home during this season. I want my kids to have no doubt about my favorite season. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a very meaningful season.

P.S. it is not letting me add pictures so I will put some on facebook.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

REMEMBER

Through out Scripture you can see a common thread of God challenging His own to REMEMBER. In the Old Testament He is constantly repeating this challenge to Israel: Remember where you were, remember how I chose you, remember how I heard you, remember where I brought you from, remember how I brought you out, remember what I promised you, remember how faithful I was, remember my commandments, remember…remember…REMEMBER. He even dedicated 17 books in the Old Testament to prophesy (Isaiah through Malachi) 15 of which focus mostly on reminding Israel and the world of who God is, what He has done, how they have FORGOTTEN and what the consequences of their short memory will be! The Pharisees would know these prophesies in and out, their problem in the New Testament, was their failure to remember AND apply what they knew to be true!
We must be careful to REMEMBER who we are, what God has done for us, generally and specifically and we must ACT on our knowledge. Those of us who are believers must remember we were completely lost, helpless sinners, dead in out sin, enemies of the Living and Holy Creator of the universe (Rom3:23; 5:6-8.) God provided us redemption (Rom 6:23). He sent His only Son Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16,) who came in complete humility and obedience (Phil. 2:5-8; Heb 5:7-8,) while we were still sinners (Rom 5:9-11,) He dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14) and He lived a sinless life (Heb 4:15; I Jn. 3:5,) He died a sinner’s death (and He defeated death once and for all! (II Cor. 5:17-19) He then asked the Father to send us His Holy Spirit who teaches us all things and BRINGS TO OUR REMEMBRANCE and those things which He has done and which He has taught us (Jn. 14:26.) PRAISE GOD!
I never cease to be amazed at how quickly the Israelites forgot their 400 years of slavery and at every bump in the road, on their way to God’s long awaited promise for them, after such a miraculous delivery, they always seemed to want to return to their previous life of captivity. how could the possibly forget the things that the had SEEN!!
Today marks one year form the most physically miraculous experience of my life thus far. He saved my life physically (He saved me 24 years ago spiritually) and showed off his power and sovereignty in a very big way. I am eternally grateful for every extra day He has allowed me to be here and be a tool for Him. I am shocked though how much the clarity with which I remembered last years events has faded. I still remember, but every day it has had to become more of a conscious choice to wake up in the morning and REMEMBER that each day is a miracle, a gift. I am committed to remembering, but there have been a few days where my joy has not been what is should have. I WILL REMEMBER and I WILL TELL OF HIS MARVELOUS WORKS. I am VERY grateful for this written blog, a road map of my journey, to remind me of the details my feeble mind forgets. Thank You God, for what you did, last year, before that and since then. I love You and acknowledge that I only am who I am because of You.



October 26th, 2008 Sarah is born


December 11th, 2008 44 days since I
had held Sarah.



March 13th, 2009 My 30th Birthday



October 26th, 2009 Sarah's 1st Birthday

“Lord, make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
“Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
“Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.
Ps 39:4-6
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
Ps 40: 1-8, 16
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Ps 62:5-8

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jesus Freak Club

About two weeks ago I found Hannah working hard on something. I asked her what she was doing, and she proceeded to show me a paper that was titled

'Jesus Freak Club'
Time:9:50-10:05 Friday morning.
Place: Shelter house stage.
President: Hannah Panter
...and then there was a list of students.

So I of course asked her what this was. She said she was starting a club and that they would be singing songs, listening to stories and playing VBS games. I asked her why only some of her classmates were listed, and she said that she knew not everyone would be interested. But after I pointed out that they might not know that she was leaving them out she decided to invite everyone in both third grade classes. The next day she made out hand made invitations for the kids. One for the boys and one for the girls. She did a great job. She showed her invitations to Luke and he was so impressed. But she forgot to take them to school. That afternoon Luke told her she could make some invitations on the computer if she wanted to. She loved the idea. I helped her put it on the computer under her strict supervision, copies were made and off to school. She asked her teacher if she could pass out invitations and permission was granted. She forgot to pass them out to the other class yesterday, so she passed them out at the beginning of recess this morning. All the kids got into it...not quite 'getting' it, but willing to check it out. At the end of recess some of the kids showed their invitations to their teacher and she asked who had handed them out. Hannah raised her hand. The teacher took up all the invitations and sent Hannah to see the principal. She was told she could not start a club that was not school sponsored because it might be divisive. We understood the argument. They are not restricting her from doing anything during recess she just can't call it a club and hand out invitations to it. She was very hurt and embarrassed, but we explained to her that she was not in trouble and that she could still do her activities. We are so proud of her and pray that this hiccup does not discourage her but that she will continue to be a shining light in a group of kids who need Jesus.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Growing Up

Sarah is consistently taking four or five steps together at a time. I fully expect her to have this walking thing down in a week or so. For some reason, walking seems to be a milestone that takes babies into the toddler stage. God has made it abundantly clear that our family is complete (unless He really surprises us in the future) and therefore, for the first time in nine years I am beginning to realise that this beautiful, wonderful, irreplaceable, difficult time in our lives is on its way out. We are entering a new stage in out family, one where our children's personalities are really beginning to flourish and each one is falling into their own little niche in our family. THIS is what the Luke Panter family is going to be and look like. This is so amazing to me. To see my children becoming individuals. I am so grateful that God has blessed us with each one of them. I did not know it until now, but we are only now complete. Sarah was such a surprise, and it took me so long to get used to the idea of having five, but BOY would we have been lacking without her. She is such an amazing joy!!! She brings a smile to each one of us every time we see her. It is with a little bit of sadness that I consent that my children are growing. And it is with humble awe and expectation that I await the next chapter, and the one after that. What a wonderful book life is turning out to be. Thank You, my Loving Father, for EVERYTHING.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh Yeah!


You know it has been summer time when you all of the sudden remeber that you have a blog, but can't remember the last time you wrote on it:)

We have had a blessed summer, Hannah has turned 8, Noah has turned 7, Lily has conquered the potty, Abigail can spell her name correctly and is considerning letting me teach her...anything..., Sarah is growing way to fast for her mommy and daddy and is trying her very hardest to walk. We have so enjoyed having Luke around a little more while he takes a short but needed break from school. We have gotten to go a couple of places, have taught the kidds all kinds of new board games, and have read many a funny books this summer. Our time spent with our familiees has been priceless and even more meaningful this year. I even got to sit next to my husband during thee different church services this summer!! That was a real treat.

Summer is coming to an end now (I am so done with this heat!!) and the kids go back to school monday. I feel like we are getting this school year off to a really good start. I look forward to my kids growth this year both physical and spiritual. I think that may be the most rewarding thing about watching them grow. As they get older and can better express what they are thinking, I never cease to be amazed at how much they have already learned and figured out 'on their own' I pray that they stay n this course and that they all grow to know Jesus as their Creator and Lord and that they find ALL their value and worth in that knowledge. That they would believe, as I do, that God has created each one of them to be who they are, where they are, in the family that they are in, to live where they do, surrounded by the people that they are...for a reason...HIS GLORY; and I pray that they would daily present themselves as holy LIVIG sacrifices to Him as instruments, in His most capable hands, for HIM to use as He sees fit, knowing that that is the only way that they will truely LIVE and achieve anything.

I hope you all had wonderful summers, but if you did not...Take heart, He knows where you are, because He has been there the whole time. Whatever you are going through has a purpose...I pray that He will allow you to see the results of your faithfulness and bringg you through this time stronger and closer to Him. I also pray that we all will have a blessed year, remaining in the center of His perfect will.

Monday, June 29, 2009

For the record

I did post more pictures of Abigail than the others. That is because we didn't have a digital camera with Hannah and Lily doesn't look quite as much like Sarah. Also, Sarah is not quite as photogenic as all my other girls were...She's beautiful, but in most of her pictures don't capture her truly.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Answer Key

Good try people!!:) I think they all favor each other quite a bit...but they still have their own little looks. The answers are: A,S,A,L,A,S. Thanks for humoring me:)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Catch up for the past couple of weeks

Summer has been good so far. Busy, but good. Sarah is a fast mover now, and is working on pulling up. Lily is doing fare on our potty training endeavor and she got her ears pierced Sunday. Hannah is a HUGE help and is enjoying reading time. Noah is begging to feel the pain of being the only boy out of five children :(. Abigail is as sweet as ever. Luke doesn't know where to start with his 'free' time but has managed to have something to do every single second. But that has been good for him. I have not really figured out a good schedule yet but that will happen.

Studio go! Game Show (our VBS) went GREAT! we had a really good turn out (of mostly unchurched people) and it was so much fun.

video

Luke Set up the pool yesterday; so that also promises to be fun for the kids (if I can just keep from worrying to death).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer

Summer is here. The kids are all home and it will take a few days for all of them to get used to being together all the time again. So, they will probably be spending many days separated in their rooms. But I am looking forward to all the fun things we are going to get to do this year. Sarah is growing like a weed. She is getting her second tooth (as a matter of fact she is teething on my laptop as I write this:) She is VERY close to crawling and is sitting herself up. She has already tasted a few bites of food off my plate and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. I love my family!! I hate east Texas heat, but I think I will manage to enjoy this summer anyway.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I sit here today on this Thursday, May 28th, in the living room watching my precious and chubby seven month old Sarah bounce up and down and tackle her toys. I realize that it has been seven months today since our ordeal began; and I feel comfortable saying it has pretty much concluded and overwhelmingly well- all to God's credit.
I saw a young lady at library yesterday who I have met once or twice before and she had not seen me since. She told me she had heard my story and began asking me questions. One that she asked was if this event had changed how I see life, and I said yes. It has helped me see life in the context of eternity, and to realize that life is a precious and short experience and that we have the daily choice to make: do we let the small irritants of life suck the joy out of us, or do we live each day grateful that we are able to experience such irritants. I have a poster that I have always liked that shows a cartoon character holding an ice cream cone and looking down at the scoop of ice cream which has fallen on the floor and is melting. The caption reads something like this: "bad things happen so that we will be able to recognize the difference between them and the good things in life." If I have the ability to get irritated at something it can only mean that there must be much better things in my life that are not so irritating for me to compare them to...
...funny...I just had to pause this entry to take care of the spilled bubbles in the girls room which I had specifically hidden high and out of their reach, only to discover that Lily had just dirtied the pair of panties she had put on not five minutes ago. God has a good sense of humor doesn't He? :)...

So to review, yes, this event has changed how I see my life. But more than that, it has developed how I see God. It has helped me understand a little better the concept of His sovreignty. He is absolutely sovreign. I have come to understand His goodness, and not because of the fact that He chose to spare my life, although that helped. I have come to see a little better that the mere fact that we exist to begin with is His merciful act toward us. The fact that we continue to breathe in and out is an act of His grace every second of every day. He continues to sustain the lives of believers and unbelievers alike because He is gracious, even when it cost Him EVERYTHING. He gave up everything to redeem mankind --the ultimate show of His love and grace; and because we are all tainted by sin we know that not a one of us merited or deserved that grace. How can we say that He is unfair when some choose to deny the gift He has freely given them but that was NOT freely obtained!!! Every day that He gives us is an extension of His grace, and in the life of believers, death is our passage out of our sinful and imperfect flesh into His marvelous light--what grace!! We know His ways and His wisdom are so vastly higher than ours that it baffles me that we would seek to judge God's mercy, grace, and justice by human, imperfect, vastly limited standards. What a privilege it is to be called children of such an awesome, all loving, and all caring God. I pray that each one reading knows my God personally. I know without a doubt that the reason I am still here is to introduce as many people as possible to Him and His unbelievable grace. God bless your day-- and since you are alive enough to be reading this...I take it He has (not because of my words, but because you have just breathed another gracious breath of life.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

So hard


Did I push the potty training thig a little to hard? B-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

report

Well, I new today was going to be challenging. And it was. I now days like these come, but I still find myself being thankful. Thankful for monotony, for a healthy body that can train my children (and fail.) But I am able and I am thankful for days like today that remind me I need Him every hour of every day and that I will fail and have to stop and ask Him to take over again and do things as He sees fit. I am also grateful that He made night time :) and gives us a break from learning for a bit. Tomorrow will be a new day (if God wills it) and we will try again...thankfully.

Back to the basics

Now that I am all better (praise God!) I suppose I can no longer realistically put off the inevitable. I must get serious about potty training Lily. This will require much patience on my part since she is especially independent. She can do it, I am sure, but only does when SHE feels like it. I am rely trying to refrain from saying things out of anger or frustration that I cannot take back and I know I will regret later. My children know I love them, but because they know I care, I think it hurts them even more when my words are unnecessarily unkind. Please pray I will be firm yet loving and that Lily will see success very quickly in this next growing challenge. Thank you all for caring about even something as 'yucky" as this. Love y'all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wonderful times























This weekend was a real treat! Saturday we went to the Hyde family reunion. This is Luke's Paternal grandmother's family so there were four generations of the family there. It is always neat to see all of those folks. The kids look forward to it every year. The jumping pillow was huge! It is a great idea!

***

Sunday we baptized a new sister: Hannah Lynnae Panter


And we got to spend the day with mom, dad, and Jonathan (oma & opa.)

It was a great weekend.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

PLease pray

I would like to elicit the many prayer warriors out there to pray. Two of my dear friends from Community Bible Study (who were very involved and faithful to my family during my ordeal) both have a loved one in a health crisis. I have not gotten permission from them to share details so I will only mention their names: Katie and Mary. Please pray that they would be comforted in God's sovereign mercy and that their loved ones would get the best possible care and would heal fully and quickly. I thank God for a body that prays for each other in Jesus precious and powerful name.

Thank you for caring,
Emily

Monday, May 11, 2009

High speed!!







We have had a very big week! Monday evening Hannah decided to give her heart to Jesus and will be getting babtized Sunday the 17th. Saturday, Luke graduated with his degree in biblical studies from the Criswell College and will be taking some well deserved time off. Yesterday we celebrated a wonderful and special mothers day. And to top it all off, we got high speed internet hooked up here on Friday so I can share all of that info with you in record time :).



I will now proceed to overload you with information. You have my permission to quit any time you get tired or bored.



I wanted to share some of the Panter Funniest Home Videos with you


1. Aren't You Happy?



video


2. A-Bi-Gail, The excited big sister...



video


3. Lily and the Kitten



video


4. Modulate



video


5. I Have Eyelids


video

Thank you God for beautiful laughter!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sorry I'm so scarce

Well, we haven't signed up for high speed yet, and Verizon refuses to come out and fix our phones. So I am only around the Internet ever so often. But I wanted to write and let everyone know of my milestone. I went to my Bible study yesterday and we were studying the resurrection. I realized that it had been six months to the day from my ordeal, and I though that was pretty cool, and doubt it is a coincidence. We serve an awesome and sovereign God and I am privileged to have experienced His miraculous power in such a public way. Not a day goes by that I do not think of that day, and I am daily grateful for today, for my next breath. Praise God today that He is not finished with you yet, and that you are still useful to Him.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Report

This is Emily's mom reporting in; Emily has internet problems, and asked me to give an update. She went for another CATscan several weeks ago in Greenville, and she said it was obvious that most of the fluid and hematoma were gone, but she didn't have the official results. Luke dropped off the results in Dallas at Dr. Shat's office, and she received a letter from him last week. In it he said that everything was back to normal and then added "HAVE A GREAT LIFE!". He was always one of our favorite doctors, because he is so positive and funny. He spent a lot of time with Emily, and was so encouraging. Once again, we thank the Lord for all of the excellent care which Emily received at Baylor.
Her recovery continues to be a miracle for which we praise our Lord. I must admit concern for her, however, because, while her body has healed, for the most part, from all the surgery and trauma, she is back to being a full-time mother of 5, and that is exhausting for even the most healthy mom! I know she would appreciate your continued prayers. She assures me she is being very good about not overdoing it; she is fully aware of her limitations.
Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thank You For Life!

I was privileged last week to celebrate another year that God has given me. It was a very special birthday, and I can’t help but think that I have learned to appreciate every single day He gives me to watch my children grow a little bit bigger and to see them figuring new things out. I am so grateful for every hug I am able to enjoy from them and from Luke, my tangible rock, who had to endure so much this past year. I hope we can all realize that each day we are given is a day that we remain useful for God’s kingdom. I hope that even on those ‘bad’ days we can all still appreciate that life is beautiful. He was so wonderful to give us so many pleasures in life. What a gift it is to experience it with our senses, our thoughts, our emotions, and our memories. Let me encourage you to give someone a hug today and tell them that you are glad that they are here, and that you have the joy of knowing them.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Like father like daughter...

video

I cought Abigail preaching in the living room. I started out by just trying to get audio. I was afraid if she saw me she would quit. But she saw mw and did not. It is kind of long, but it is really cute!!

Cat Scan

I went Wednesday for a second Cat Scan for both Dr. Spak and Dr. Pearl. Considering how worried the technicians were last time, and how normal they were this time, I suposed that the results were considerably better. I have not given the disc to either Dr. Spak or, Dr. Pearl yet, but my family Dr. called me with the radiologist's results. There is still a hematoma, and there is still fluid (both of which I expected.) But they have both improved. God continues on a daily basis to give me new victories and increasing energy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Pics

Christmas at the Panter's
My cousin Anna and Sarah
The kids and Mema

The kiddos with theur PawPaw Bill, Uncle Joel and cousin Carrigan



updates

Well, I finally have something interesting to write about. This weekend was the first time I have been away from Luke or the kids overnight since everything happened. I was going into it a little apprehensive. It was a leadership conference for Community Bible Study of which I am a part. It just so happened that my first follow-up visit with the head Dr. on my case, the vascular surgeon Dr. Pearl, was right before on Friday afternoon. I was looking very forward to that. Dr. Pearl was always very nice when he came to see me and always had something to say about how amazing it was that I was still here. I was looking forward to showing him how much healing God has done so far. We had to wait an hour and a half to see him (he is sometimes delayed by surgery.) He was excited to see me and Luke both and commented on how nice it was to see me in real clothes J He explained that the night of the surgery he had looked over every main artery and vein for any other weaknesses and had not found any at the time. He is pretty sure that my situation was random and not due to a medical condition that would continue to create weak spots on my veins. He wants to see the results of the 2nd cat scan I have to get which is to see how well the liquid and the hematoma are reducing. If the size of my stomach is any indication the reduction will be substantial. Dr. Pearl said that unless he sees anything (which he does not expect) he does not have to see me again!! HE also said I was released to drive. Its amazing how many excuses you can come up with to run to Walmart J Having such a good report freed me and Luke both to have a good weeked with out any worries. God is so good. Thank you again to all of you who have continued to lift me and my family up in prayer.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mom's visit



Mom was just able to spend the past two weeks with me. It was a wonderful visit. I assume it was more like what she had expected the visit to be back in october. Thanks for coming mom! I love you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

To all whose addresses I do not have...

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so happy to finally be writing you this particular mote. It has been long overdue.
Isn’t God wonderful? I am home and doing wonderful. My strength and appetite are coming back steadily and God continues to show His goodness and mercy to our family. Neither my family nor I could have made it through this without the knowledge that prayers were being rendered on our behalf. I would just like to write this little note (which in no way comes close to expressing adequately how I feel,) to say thank you! You are amazing and your thoughts, prayers, gifts, and helpful hands have done so much to make all of this go easier and smoother. We are so grateful!

For those of you who are interested, I will keep up the blog and write some of what God continues to show me, and maybe some funny family anecdotes. I pray that God blesses you as you have blessed us.

In Him,

Emily Panter

& family

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baby Steps

Well, Luke started back to school yesterday. Because of that, and the fact that my strength is growing. I have stayed home alone with all the kids for a few hours at a time. So far no real problems have arisen. I am allowed to lift Sarah, and the older kids have been very helpful when there is a task I don't think I shoud attempt yet. I have loaded the washer and dryer, sorted clothes, cleaned the kitchen and helped the kids in their rooms some. (And I am not doind these things all of the time so don't start calling Luke to reprove him.) Luke still bears the brunt of the chores sround here, and since he is also responsible for many other things, it is not always perfect around here (as if it ever was when I was in charge!) But God seems to be using it to help me let go of the things that are not as important as I once thought they were.

It seems that daily I am still running into someone I have not seen since before the hospital, and the conversation inevitably insues about how miraculous my journey has been. I continue to agree whole-heartedly and am amazed that God brought me through something which, for all intents and purposes, I should not have survived. He has healed me very quickly. He has given me the honor of seeing so many of the blessings that have affected peoples lifes, either through their faithfulness to pray, or through the testimony of God's grace, mercy and undeniable power and soverenty. Last week the door bell rang and I got to it before Luke. I was expecting it to be the kids coming home from school, but it was the paramedic. The first one on he scene; he came back a few days after the insident to check on me and had come again to get an update.

I hope I continue to learn of God's grace the rest of my life and i pray that I am always useful to Him in His plan. I hope I never again miss an oportunity.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One of the pros of being a P.K.

This past Sunday night we had our monthy mission meeting at church. As the good Baptists that we are, we met in the fellowship hall and had food. There is a room of to the side where the kinds can play during the meeting. Noah came up to Luke while we were eating and said: "Dad, Becca is doing ....(I can't remember)." As usual, when Noah taddles od someone Luke sent him away with a "go on son." But then Luke happened to be walking by the room just as Noah went back in and he overheard Noah say: "Becca, I told the pastor!" Ha! I thought that was priceless:)

On a more serious note, please contine to pray for my kiddos, especially the older two. I got the stomach bug that has been going around this past week and I could see the concern of Hannah's face. She asked me if I was sure I would be ok, and then she apparently had a very vivid and scary dream of me screaming and the whole ordeal happening again. It has really been hardest on her to deal with. She understood the implications of what might have been. I appreciate the prayers.

I continue to get stronger, and learned this week that a plus of this whole thing is that it has helped me deal with my obsesive dread of throwing up. I can now handle it much more gracefully.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Memories

On this date back in 2000 mom and I were just a little busy. We were checking last minute arrangements, scheduling deliveries and pick-up times with the florist, dress place and the wonderful woman who made my beautiful (original) wedding cake to match my unique unity candle (I also rebelled and had red velvet instead of the traditionalJ.) Luke was I am sure just as busy making his arrangements for after the weddingJ. Tomorrow, because of God’s wonderful mercy, we will be celebrating our 9th year together. In that time we have lived in 7 different houses or apts. We have seen many end meeting jobs and have gone through 4 vehicles. We have also been honored to spend three of those years here at Bridgeview Baptist Church. Luke will be graduating in May, and we have been blessed with the addition of five amazing people to our family and this world. A lot can happen in 9 years and I pray God grants us many, many more (years not childrenJ.)

On January 4th, 2005 I was going in to see my OB and get ready for my induction on the 5th. I went in and one of the three Dr. who practiced there came in (the one I didn’t like) and said: “So you are scheduled to be induced tomorrow…” “yes” I replied with a grin from ear to ear. “Well, we are going to have to cancel that” she said flatly. I laughed thinking she was kidding, but she did not smile. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yes, we have had too many naturally started labors come up and we don’t have room for you induction.” I was crushed. I left the room and as soon as I saw Luke in the waiting room, also smiling from ear to ear, I buts into inconsolable tears. He asked me what was wrong and was furious when I finally managed to get it out. He tried to comfort me and when that didn’t work, he took me to Culvers for the best frozen custard around.

Well, we both decided we were too ready to have this baby so we went out to eat spicy Mexican (he made me eat tons of hot sauceJ) and then we went speed walking at the mall for as long as I could stand. And you know what? It worked (or I like to think so.) That night at 1am I felt the first contraction. His mom made it to the house by 2 and we were at the hospital by 3. The nurse set me up and said they would monitor me for a few hours and see if they would keep me or send me home. Well at 5 when she checked me we were admitted and the epidural was ordered. At 8:10 am our beautiful Abigail Joy was born. She weighed 7.11 and was 20 ½ inches long. I will never forget. They put her in the warmer and she stared at me for an hour. It was so special. That was 4 years ago this past Monday, and she has lived up to her name which means ‘fathers joy.’ She has a wonderful sense of humor and is always making us smile. ‘We love you Abigail!!’

I thank God, not only for the memories, but for every day He gives me to make more. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,  with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.’ James 1:17

Oh yeah! I’ve added blog sites to my blog. Best of Becky is obviously my aunt (the one who kept up this blog for so long.) Gleanings is my mom’s blog and the rest are my brother’s and his wife (the ones in full time missions in Germany.) Feel free to check them out and keep up the communications that began during this journey.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Holidays

Don’t you just love this time of year? It is by far my favorite. Starting with the beginning of fall; all of the smells and sounds associated with it and the air gets a little crisper. I love all of it. This year was a unique one. It was a fall full of lessons to be learned about the wonderful mercy, grace and power of my Holy Father. If there was one thing my parents did especially well, it was to teach us the true meaning of Christmas. Since we were on the mission field most of my growing up years, we spent most Christmases with just my immediate family, and we established many traditions. One of those traditions was to begin reading the nativity story in sections each night for the week leading up to Christmas Eve. The younger kids always got to hold the piece of the manger scene that was being told that night. And then on Christmas Eve we would read it in its entirety and then sing carols. We opened our gifts on the 24th and it always felt more authentic to me that way because I imagine the stable at night with the stars shining above. Christmas was then a family day. Luke and I are beginning to establish some our own family traditions (most of which we were unable to do this year,) but this year Christmas was a true reminder of the gift God gave the world of new life. I hope that in your precious prayers for my family this year, your Christmas was made even more special as well.

As the week went on and we approached 2009, I couldn’t help but thing of that hymn…count your many blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done!... and I began to count. God has given me a wonderful husband who loves Him more than me. He has given us a ministry to serve Him in. He has blessed us with five beautiful, unique, healthy, irreplaceable children. He has given us a roof over our heads, a car to drive, food to eat, and clothes to wear. He has provided us with wonderful friends and family members who have proven themselves to be true prayer warriors and has used them to spread the news worldwide uniting the body of Christ in one cause allowing Him to display His unlimited grace and show His loving-kindness and power to so many believers and lost alike. He was in complete control every instant of my journey these past months, He brought mom home at just the right time. He gave many doctors wisdom on just the right decisions to make (not to mention the quality of doctor care He alone provided me with.) He spared me the majority of the pain by allowing me to be unaware during those first few weeks of recovery. He watched over my family better than I ever could. I could keep going and going and going because there is no end to His goodness, but I am aware that not everyone wants to read my blog all day J so I will finish with this…HE brought me home to my family before Lily’s birthday. He gave me the gift of watching them grow a little longer and for that I am eternally grateful. And He has let me understand that nothing He does is in vain or out of cruelty. Everything He does has a purpose and He has given my family the honor of being a part of bringing Him glory. May I never forget! (fortunately I have a pretty big reminder that goes from the top of my abdomen all the way down, it’s kind of hard to missJ)

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours.

In the way of an update; I saw Dr. Spak on the 29th and he was very pleased with my progress. He still wants to see me in two months again at which time I’ll have to have another CT scan. This is just to continue monitoring the reduction of the fluid and hematoma in my abdomen. My lab work came back very good. All it showed was some borderline anemia so they have me taking iron. I know mom has already written some of this stuff. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Janis: New Year's Thanksgiving


While we were at Jason's, we put the pictures on our camera onto a disk so that we'd be sure to have room for more pictures and seeing this one of Sarah surprised me. I had taken pictures of Sarah just as soon as I got to Emily's house on October 28 and had forgotten the pictures of the kids were still on the camera. Seeing Emily holding Sarah in the picture, it brought that day back very forcefully to me. I thought, "less than an hour later, everything changed!". I thank and praise our Lord again for all that He did those closing months of 2008.
I was thankful yesterday as I talked to Emily for a long time on the phone. She said she is really sore after sitting up so much over the Christmas holidays. Food is beginning to taste "right" to her again, and she said that she has figured out that now when she feels nauseated it means she's getting hungry. Of course, feeling nauseated doesn't make you feel like eating, but she forces herself to eat a little. At her follow up visit with Dr. Spak last week, she asked him when she could drive and he said the rule is usually 3 days for every day in ICU, so she figures she might be able to drive in May!
We all know her recovery will be long and slow, but none of us mind! Our plan is for me to return to Texas sometime soon to help.
I am so thankful that we were able to visit Jason, Cheryl and their children in Germany. It was a trip of a lifetime for me!
Most of all, I am thankful that our Lord holds 2009 in His hand;nothing that happens will surprise Him or catch Him off guard. Our future is secure!