Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4, 2014 -- Happy Independence Day from the USA!!!

Hello dear ones!  I am writing this from Dallas, Oregon. . . let me fill you in on the last couple of days. . . 

Coming home on Monday without surgery was emotionally draining.  We were relieved on many fronts and yet anxious about what next!  We were hopeful as to if this meant God had a different plan than surgery. . . could healing still be in His plan for Hope. . . how wonderful!  And yet the reality that Hope could still be having surgery in just a few short weeks, left us feeling exhausted and unable to go through it all again. . . the lead up to that surgery day was difficult for all of us.

In the face of all these emotions and feelings, I was honest with you, dear ones, to share that my heart was struggling between anger, frustration, and fear of what was next. . . how could this be best for Hope?  Hope has been complaining of a lot of back and rib pain lately and delaying surgery was strictly warned against by the surgeon that her spine would become increasingly rigid and the amount of correction achievable by surgery would become less and less with time.  It would also mean more complicated and risky surgery.  We have some very special events coming up towards the end of the summer, especially Hope and Gabi's Uncle Justin getting married with both girls being in the wedding party.  Depending on the date of the rescheduled surgery, Hope would not be able to go and would be so heart-broken by this.  We had a great plan for school this fall set up and missing a couple months would set her back in all the progress she had made academically this year.  It was hard to think of any positives to having the surgery a month or two later. . . in my understanding. . .

. . . I'm so thankful that God's ways and thoughts are so much higher than mine, and I do not need to understand life. . . I just need to trust and obey Him!  Isaiah 55:8-9 and Proverbs 3:5-6  I'm so thankful that God is good whether my circumstances are good or not . . . so I can praise and thank Him always!  Psalm 34  And I'm so thankful that God gave me such an awesome husband who shepherds, encourages and challenges me to live by truth and not by feelings!  As I poured out my frustrations to Trev earlier this week, Trevor said this, "Honey, we do not know the mind of God or His plans, but we know that we can trust Him.  What if Jesus was to return tonight?  Would you regret that Hope had missed going through this very difficult surgery?  Of course not, you'd be thankful that He spared her that suffering.  He loves her most.  He knows best.  You can't try to understand this; you can only trust Him and take one day at a time moving forward from here." 

His words were what I needed to hear and it led me to repentance of my wrong focus and lack of trust in God's goodness.  I turned to Matthew 6:34 . . .

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

One day at a time, Lord. . . and today we don't have to worry about surgery and it's summer vacation and that's what we're going to focus on with the kids!  On Tuesday, we enjoyed the last of our visits with family before they left.  Then in the evening, we made another one of Hope's favorite meals (pumpkin chili and buttermilk cornbread) and then worked outside potting our herb and vegetable plants, cleaning and organizing the back deck, and weeding our dirt backyard.  It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed our time as a family as well as the joy of God's creation and accomplishing a much needed project at home!  It felt good all around and we were thankful for the blessings of this day that God had given us.  Late that night we talked about our plans for the next few weeks now that our surgery recovery schedule had just been cleared.  Our compassionate church elders had already arranged an alternate to preach this upcoming weekend.  So by Wednesday morning we had a plan, and thanks to a lot of work and help from the girl's Uncle Cody, we were able to pull off a VERY fast spontaneous SURPRISE trip to visit Auntie Christy and Uncle Cody in Dallas, Oregon!  

We have three family birthdays in July over a couple weeks. . . my mom, my sister (Christy), and our Gabi girl!  And we were able to surprise all three!  We left early Thursday (yesterday) morning to make an all day (17 hour) drive straight there.  Grandma Meese arrived after the girls went to bed, and was waiting in the van with Hope, who was in on the secret plan and bursting with excitement to surprise her little sister.  The van was all packed to go, when daddy carried out a sleeping Gabi to the van, ready to leave on our last minute surprise trip.  Here is a video of her big surprise "wake up and go" . . .

She was so cute, trying to figure out what was going on, and doing it half asleep!  With a very alert and excited Hope sitting next to her, giving clues and hints as to what was going on!  : )

Hope even spent the first few hours of the drive in the back seat with Grandma and Gabs until her back started to hurt too bad and she started feeling car sick.  Here's a picture of the three back seat musketeers. . . 

Here is a video of the surprise when we showed up on the doorstep at Auntie's house (it starts off black until the front porch light comes on) . . .

Uncle Cody had surprised Auntie by even having the garage cleaned out and set up as a guest room for the girls and Grandma, including a couch with TV/VCR/DVD set up for movies!  They were simply thrilled!  And Auntie was floored that he pulled all this off right under her nose!  Here's a picture. . . 

So we thoroughly enjoyed our first day here puzzling, playing games, watching independence day fireworks, watching movies and visiting with our family!  We haven't been here for almost 3 years. . . our last visit here was just a few months prior to Hope's brain injury.  It was always one of their favorite places to come visit and will be a great way to spend the rest of what was supposed to be Hope's week in the hospital!  

The Lord's timing was perfect as always. . . Trev will be preaching here tomorrow evening at Christy and Cody's church, as Cody's father (the pastor) was suddenly not well on Wednesday.  Please pray for him as they pursue treatment options.  This church body has been so faithful in their prayer support of Hope and our family, and it will be a huge joy to meet/see them, and especially for them to meet/see Hope!  Uncle Cody even arranged a couple days off for Auntie Christy from work next week as an additional surprise.

One day at a time. . . we are still waiting for a phone call that will give us more direction as to what the Lord plans to do with Hope's back surgery.

One day at a time. . . we are so blessed to have this special time with family in a place that has a lot of special memories, celebrating three very special birthday girls!

One day at a time. . . Hope is having a lot of back pain.  We are limiting the amount of time that she spends in her wheelchair as it is the worst for her.  Auntie brought out a reclining gravity chair today and that was a huge blessing for a more comfortable position for her, but she needs to be moved often to keep her back and ribs from hurting too bad.

One day at a time. . . we are entrusting Hope's future to the Lord.  Our hearts are crying out to Him for strength, for patience, for right focus, for wisdom, and for submission to His plan in Hope's life.  We are enjoying each day as a gift with our precious girlies!  We are amazed at how God intervened to prevent this surgery. . . does this mean He is going to heal her back?  We don't know, but we're praying and hoping so!  Does He know something that we don't?  For sure!  What is it?  We have no idea. . . we just trust that as a dear prayer warrior wrote on Hope's page, 

"We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future!"

Will Hope still have the back surgery?  Will it be as successful in straightening her back?  Will her back get worse?  Will she miss the wedding?  Will she be miraculously healed?  We don't know. . . one day at a time. . .

Dear ones, I am thankful to be walking this journey with you!  Your love for us is so humbling!  Your prayers for us are so faithful!  Your compassion for us is so comforting!  Your encouragement of us is so uplifting!  We are blessed beyond compare to be covered in the amazing grace of our Saviour, surrounded by people God uses to care for us and minister to us, constantly held in the perfect love of our Heavenly Father!  So as I go to bed tonight, whatever tomorrow holds, we will be better than okay. . . we will rejoice as Psalm 118:24 says,

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Praise God for heart changes. . . by His grace and power at work in me, and all to His glory, I have had a heart change just like Psalm 13 talks about (not surprisingly one of favorite Psalms. . . oh that my heart would not be so stubborn!),

"How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?  Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because He has dealt bountifully with me."

One day at a time. . . rejoicing because I know who holds the future, and we are so blessed to be His!!!  You are loved and precious to us, dear ones!!!


  1. So happy family that you got to spend time with your family for Gab's birthday. Happy birthday Gabi!! I hope you guys had a wonderful 4th and I pray for Hopes back pain. I have to admitt, I was a little scared when I heard about what happened the day of Hopes planned surgery and went into hyper prayer moded, but as someone who is following your journey I had to repent to. Praying for that child who took Hopes spot on the surgery table, and asking the Lord to forgive me for thinking my prayers could do the immpossible apart from God's will. God is changing me as he is changing your family, and my heart also cries out to God to heal Hopes back, but what I am learning is patience, as we all wait for God's next step in your precious families life. God is able. Praying for Hope.

  2. What an amazing surprise for everyone!!!! God bless you all as you enjoy these special days with loved ones. May God receive all the glory that this trip will bring!! Praying that Hope is as comfortable as possible in all circumstances, and that the Birthday Girls enjoy their special day!!