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


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!