Friday, July 27, 2007

We Have a Winner!!!!!!!! MamaLee will soon find herself relaxing with her renewed and refreshed surprise package!!!
I am not ready yet to reveal the contents (then it wouldn't be a surprise would it????) but I promise to let all of you know what is hiding inside in due time!

Thank you all for coming and visiting my blog. It was fun to "meet" you all and I look forward to visting with you in the future!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am taking a short break from the regularly scheduled updates on life to participate in what looks like a very fun way to get to know other bloggers as well as win cool "giveaways". I am new to blogging. I have enjoyed all the other blogs I have been discovering along the way and hope to get connected to even more blogging friends in the near future.

My friend at Without Fear posted about this grand giveaway and peaked my interest. So I visited Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer and was shocked at all the giveaways just waiting for new homes. I thought I would offer one of my own and keep my fingers crossed at winning at least one of these special gifts!!!!

One giveaway I am definitely entering is the one for $300 worth of Horizon Organic milk from 5 Minutes For Mom. Anyone of us who have children (especially when you have five children!), know how much of a blessing this giveaway would be. My children love their milk!!!

Now to my exciting giveaway... I am offering a "Refreshed and Renewed Goodie Box." I won't reveal the contents of this box entirely but I will tell you it will have plenty to make you feel refreshed and ready for each new day both physically and spiritually. One item that will be included in this giveaway is my all time favorite devotional "Streams in the Desert." God has used this devotion in many of the tired, overwhelming days to refresh me and give me a sense of purpose and focus in my suffering. I hope the person who wins my giveaway will be able to join me in saying..."No matter what comes my way...Still I will say blessed be the name of the Lord"

To enter please post a comment including your email address or blogger id...if you don't tell me how to contact you I can't send you your prize!!!! If you are new to my blog please stay awhile...I hope you will be blessed. To my daily friends thanks for visiting! Sometime Friday evening I will post the winner of the Goodie Box so make sure to comment before then!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bibleman Becomes a Reality!!!!!

I am so excited to share with you all yet another blessing sent our way today! As I mentioned before we are going to take the kids to see a Bibleman Show in Alabama on August 4th. That alone was going to be a huge surprise for the kids. Well, I was worried that we would drive all the way down there and not be able to get seats because it is a first come first served situation. I emailed the church and asked if there was anyway we could get reserved seats. Well this church, The Rock Family Worship Center, responded with way more than I could ever imagine. They have arranged for Jonathan (and the other kids) to spend time with Bibleman before the show. They are giving us the best seats in the house. And they are putting us up in a room at the Marriot close to the church.

Can you believe it?????

I am just so blown away by the things that God is providing. His blessings are in the good and the bad. I am truly learning to bless him and follow him in the bad. But sometimes it is even harder to accept and praise him for the good. How much does God do on a daily basis that we neglect to see as his hand?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Viewing life as filtered through the hands of God: The story of a miracle!

Its already way past my bedtime but there is no way I could sleep without telling you all the story of today. I am so excited to share how God worked in our lives today to show us his greatness and his love. I have titled this story "Viewing life as filtered through the hands of God" becuase I think that if we can gain that perspecitve each "trial" we endure will take on a whole new purpose. If we can begin to see the difficulties as a sign that God is working and that he is going to do something in us or through us maybe we can embrace the opportunity rather than running the opposite direction (or grumbling our way through it!)

Part of the miracle you already know. Jon's tumor is shrinking. According to the radiologist the tumor is smaller by about a milimeter on all dimensions. I acutally got to see the scans and the difference is quite noticible. Not only is it smaller, it is also less solid. It doesn't enhance the way it did three months ago. It is hoped that the tumor will continue to die and shrink away. Its funny... when Jon was in his very first surgery a dear friend was praying. She felt God had impressed upon her that this tumor was going to shrink until it just went away. That night the dr came in and said that indeed it was a tumor that would shrink away. Of course, over the next few days we found out that it was a faster growing type of a tumor that would grow not shrink....
Fast forward to this week... Just over the past few weeks in study at church and in my own time I have been reminded that when God makes promises he always fulfills them. But it is in his own time and his own way. I don't have some word from the Lord saying Jonathan will be healed... but I do have the words the Lord spoke to me the day he asked me to give him my child. Perhaps my broken child is being healed through the hope of a shrinking tumor. Perhaps my heart is being healed for this time being when God knew I needed a little glimmer of hope and direction. We will continue to pray and trust no matter the outcome.

A little more info on Jon....the dr confirmed my suspicion that the scary behavior and lethargy/ speech etc that we were seeing a few weeks ago was caused by infection not tumor growth. On Friday, Jon's white count had gone up again to 10,000 from 6,000 (which is low but is what he is running on this chemo regimen.) THis increase made me think he was getting sick again... sure enough the MRI shows a pretty yucky sinus infection. The dr is putting him on 6 weeks of antibiotics... I am hopeful this will help keep the other symptoms under control. Also, the neurologist thinks Jon is having breakthrough seizures. He has staring episodes several times a day. So we increased his seizure meds. Other than that everything is good!

Now to the other exciting miracles of the day....

First, we left the drs office this afternoon ready to head home. It was early in the afternoon...plenty of time to beat traffic and make it home in time for Shawn to go to NAshville. Sure of our plans we all climbed into the van preparing to hit the road. What is that verse about how man plans his ways but God determines his steps???? Well, after one then two then 5o or so tries we came to the realization that our van was not going to get us out of the parking garage and on towards Knoxville. OUr van was broken down and we were stranded.

I will spare you all the chaotic details of trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B with 7 people when there is not a car rental place in town with a minivan available. There was so much that could have and was going wrong. But here is the good... immediately we started talking with the kids about how sometimes God allows things to delay us so that he can protect us. I got them all together and we prayed for God to fix the van but also to protect us and to provide for what we needed. It was short and sweet but oh so life changing! A peace descended upon my normally wild children. For several hours we sat outside the drs office and they were so good. Now came the blessings:

1. A person who Shawn works with who owns a transport company and also has a child with a brain tumor (who also goes to the dr we do in Atlanta) arranged to bring a tow truck to meet us and tow the van to Carmax in Atlanta. She was not willing to take any money. So Shawn and a man from the parking lot pushed the van all the way out of the garage.

2. While we were all sitting on the sidewalk eating lunch, a sweet lady came by and stopped and said we had well behaved children. I was thinking " you just caught them at a good moment". A few minutes later she came back through the parking lot to where we were and called me over to her car. She had no idea that we were stranded there. She said I want to give you something since your children are so well behaved. Of course I was like no, you don't need to do that. She said she knew she didn't have to but wanted to. In her hands was a piece of money folded up. I couldn't see how much it was and didn't look. She handed it to me and I thanked her telling her how God was using her to bless us. I shared the situation with Jonathan and the car. She left and I looked down at my hand. In it was a $100 bill!!!!!! Ok, friends, perfect strangers just don't go up and give someone $100!!!! But this lady was used by God. Oh, what fun I had in sharing how God worked with my children. I was so excited to tell them how God does provide. How God is so happy when we are willing to go through bad times so that he is able to show himself so big. IT was so awesome... the opportunity for them to see how God answered their prayers made the 3 hours of "trial" worth it completely!!!!

3. Ok, so now you are really going to laugh. After all this we finally figured out a plan. I would stay with the kids at the hospital where they would be cool and could watch disney. Shawn went back to stand near the van. He was going to catch a ride with the tow truck when they came to take the van to Carmax. When he got over to the van, he thought he would just try one more time to start the van and.... you know how it started right up!!!! So we jumped in the car and started the long ride home!

And guess what we made it home in God's timing and his way. Along the way we saw his providence, his love, his plan, and his protection. And even better I don't have to spend the evening alone... my sweet husband who did incredibly well at holding it together during this stressful day gets to skip Nashville!!!!! Yay!!!!

I am sure there will be more to share as the week goes on... I better go to sleep now... I have to work tomorrow.... not so sure lack of sleep and needles mix too well!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007


MOre details later but Jonathan's tumor is shrinking!!!!! Yes, shrinking....Praise God!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

From the Streams in The Desert devotional for today:

Title: Trust in Spite of How it Looks
Author: Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Source: Streams in the Desert
Scripture Reference: 1 John 5:4

"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).

It is easy to love Him when the blue is in the sky, When summer winds are blowing, and we smell the roses nigh; There is little effort needed to obey His precious will When it leads through flower-decked valley, or over sun-kissed hill.

It is when the rain is falling, or the mist hangs in the air, When the road is dark and rugged, and the wind no longer fair, When the rosy dawn has settled in a shadowland of gray, That we find it hard to trust Him, and are slower to obey.

It is easy to trust Him when the singing birds have come, And their canticles are echoed in our heart and in our home; But 'tis when we miss the music, and the days are dull and drear, That we need a faith triumphant over every doubt and fear.

And our blessed Lord will give it; what we lack He will supply; Let us ask in faith believing--on His promises rely; He will ever be our Leader, whether smooth or rough the way, And will prove Himself sufficient for the needs of every day.

To trust in spite of the look of being forsaken; to keep crying out into the vast, whence comes no returning voice, and where seems no hearing; to see the machinery of the world pauselessly grinding on as if self-moved, caring for no life, nor shifting a hair-breadth for all entreaty, and yet believe that God is awake and utterly loving; to desire nothing but what comes meant for us from His hand; to wait patiently, ready to die of hunger, fearing only lest faith should fail--such is the victory that overcometh the world, such is faith indeed. --George MacDonald

This classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert. This first edition was published in 1925 and the wording is preserved as originally written. Connotations of words may have changed over the years and are not meant to be offensive.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The pictures are a little fuzzy because Mya was in my arms so I couldn't hold very still. The flash doesn't adequately show his eyes (this picture doesn't either). I took this this afternoon. Jon has had a rough time this go around with his chemo. He has not felt well today at all. He woke up very pale and his eyes are funky... Shawn said he looks like a racoon. Pray for him to feel better tonight...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jon had his chemo today. Thank you for your prayers for his iron levels. His hemoglobin has come up slightly! His tummy has started being affected by the iron pills... so pray that he will not have an upset tummy. Any kind of vomiting or diarrhea is not good for him at all.
I am so exicted about the next couple of weeks. There is a family who Shawn works with who is also going to Atlanta to see our neurologist. Their appt is actually at the same time as ours! I am always happy to get to connect with new people in similar situations as we are. So we may get to have dinner with them Monday night.
The kids don't know this yet but on Friday night we are going to a production by the Morristown Theatre Guild. They are performing High School Musical which is my children's all time favorite movie. It is going to be a huge surprise!!!!!!
Then in a couple of weeks Bibleman is going to be on tour in Alabama. We are making plans to go down there for the show. I really want Jonathan to get to go to this show. He is still so into Bibleman...still says he is going to be Bibleman when he grows up.
I guess we have no idea how long we have with Jonathan. Really none of us knows how long we have with each other here on this earth. We are choosing to live each day as fully as we can. So I am determined to have fun and capture these opportunities for great memories as they come our way!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Its official: I am now an "orientated" employee of Baptist Hospital. My orientation was this week...Shawn was out of town at a class for work. So the kids and I moved in with my mom and dad for a few days. It was such a blessing to know that my kiddos were in safe hands while I was gone. It was several long days and I was worried about leaving Mya for that long. Well she did amazingly well... it was probably good for her. This way she knows mom will always come back.

Thank you for your prayers this week. This was one of those times when I could just feel God's presence and protection and intervention. Everything just went so smoothly. I am excited... probably more than I should be. I kind of feel guilty for enjoying having another "occupation" besides mom. I know I shouldn't feel guilty. I am going to enjoy myself fully while I am gone and allow this opportunity to be the way God is going energize me for my calling as mother and wife.

Next week will be the scariest for me... I have only had pediatric patients. I only know how to use butterfly needles. I will have a full day at the hospital on Wednesday. I am nervous to say the least. But I can do this. I know I can. Give me a few weeks and I will be back to being good at it! I get to meet my new patients at 2 of the nursing homes on Thursday and Friday. One of the facilities is right across the street from where I live- how perfect is that????

In other news, Jonathan has chemo tomorrow. Hopefully, his iron level has improved. I will post what I find out. Then we leave on Monday for Atlanta. Jon has his MRI and oncology appt on Monday and then the four oldest have neurology appts on Tuesday. I am anxiously waiting to go to Atlanta. I want to know what is going on inside my child's brain.

I better run... we are off to the library, store and to take Britt to a birthday party.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Jonathan Update:
Jon had chemo today. Overall, he is still doing better than he was doing a few weeks ago. He has developed a rash next to his port site. We are not certain what it is...we are suspicious it is an allergic reaction to the needle being used to access the port. They have some new "safety" needles that have a plastic butterfly enclosure that looks very much like the outline of the rash. Pray that the rash will clear up quickly and not cause any complications.
Of greater concern is Jonathan's rapidly falling iron levels. His hemoglobin is 7.8 today. It is supposed to be at least 12. His actual iron level is very low. It is supposed to be above 49 and it is in the low teens. Please pray for his body to absorb the iron we are giving him. Pray for him to desire and eat the food that would give him iron naturally. Pray for him just to eat... he eats very little food.

This picture is from yesterday's July 4th festivities.... we had a picinic, marshmellows and fireworks at my aunts house. It was a good time for all of us. I was happy when Jon came out to join us for awhile.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I have added a new link on the right side of this page for Jonathan's official site. I thought this might be helpful to those of you who may only want the updates on his care and not every detail of our lives! =) I do hope that you will continue to visit this page as well.

To those of you who prayed for me concerning the job interview: Thank You! I got the job!!!!! I am very excited and nervous. I start Monday for orientation.

Monday, July 02, 2007

"You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry" Psalm 10:17

I don't know where to begin in sharing the way God has answered my prayers (and your prayers) these past few days. Once again I am truly amazed at how our God works. His gentleness and faithfulness to rescue his children and draw them close in his arms brings me such comfort. This verse really says what I have experienced this past week- the encouragement of God. Let me try and sum up the lessons etched on my heart this weekend:

1. Nothing that is happening to me is unique to me alone. Trials and temptations are "common" among us. I was really having a rough time emotionally this past week. Sometimes in the depths of despair I begin to think maybe there is something really wrong with me. I begin to think things are worse than they really are and tumble head first into a dungeon of despair and depression held captive by faulty perspective. This week I was reminded that I am joined in this battle to maintain God's perspective on our lives, our marriages, and our children by many others- a new friend unkowingly blessed me as she shared through her blog her struggles with the exact same thing, another friend reminded me that she too was struggling with the same thing at the same time as I was. My sister and I bonded over our same frustrations. I guess its been said "misery loves company" but in this case perhaps having company in our tough times is God's way of lifting us out of the depths of despair.

2. We are not meant to live life alone. I don't know about you but when this yuckyness comes I start withdrawing and isolating. I start thinking I am all alone. I dwell on it and become depressed. Little did I know that across town, my sister was having a rough week as well... and through both of us struggling God rescued us: we needed a break... so out loving husbands took over mommy duty for the day and we spent Saturday together shopping. It was wonderful and refreshing. Makes me think... God has given a way out. What would happen if I simply just told my husband I needed a break and took time away... and instead of feeling guilty or like I have to be supermom I just enjoyed it and viewed it as God's way of keeping me refreshed and effective as a mother and a wife... I am beginning to think that a regularly scheduled time away might be in the works!

3. As you know if you have been reading this blog for awhile, I have been really struggling with getting connected. Trying to start over in a new church has proven to be quite difficult... I know the difficulty has really been my fault. Hanging to too much hurt and scars in my heart has affected my obedience to God in this area. I hate that it has taken so long for me to work through the issues... so much time has been wasted. But I am ready now (and the time to work through stuff has given me a clearer vision) to do what God has called me to do. Pray for me please to be heart is still so "fragile" and weak when it comes to putting myself out there again.

If you have the chance listen to the two teachings by Chip Ingram entitled " You are not in this alone." You can get there by clicking on the Living on the Edge link on the right side of this page and going to the listen online section. This message was God's very loud whisper to me this past week. I know what I must do. It is so funny though- once my perspective was changed so many things became obvious to me.... I love to see God's hand in the everyday things especially when he works in an area of my heart. It was really just silly little things like being greeted by so many people at church. I know it was God. Just think the next time you say hello to someone at church you may be actually being used by God to change their day, or enabling them to boldly step forward and obey God's calling. I know those who said hello to me yesterday did more healing in my heart than they will ever know. Their simple greeting said: You are wanted here.

One last thing- I know some of you are here for updates about Jonathan....well surprise! This is all about life....Jonathan included. I hope you will stick around and come back frequently. Good news though... our prayers are being answered... I can't tell you that Jon's tumor is not could be, it might not be. But I can tell you that he appears more stable this past week. He had a sinus infection which finally got treated and seems to be doing better. So maybe he was just run down from the infection. We are keeping to original MRI date of July 16th so we will know more then. Please pray specifically for his iron level to come up. His levels keep dropping.

I have to run to the dr so this is it for now...thanks for walking this journey with me.