Curveball?

Just a quick update and request for prayers…

The movers were supposed to be here today, and the plan was for us to pull out of Fraser tomorrow.  However, the purchase of the house that we were supposed to close on this week has fallen through.  This past Wednesday night we found out that there were major problems during the home inspection.  As you can imagine, being thrown a curveball like that within a few days of moving was quite emotional.  Yet at the same time, there are no surprises or curveballs for God.  He knows, and He knows what we need, and He cares for us.  He has also saved us from a house that had mold and would NOT have been good for us!  There are lots of emotions going on around here, and a lot of uncertainty for the kids especially, but we are actively choosing to trust God in the middle of these unknowns and what feels like a lot of limbo.

So….this morning, AJ and Betsy and I are flying back to CA for “House Hunting Take 2.”  The boys will be staying here with one of the camp interns (thank you Cole!) until we return.

Dear friends, would you please pray for the following?

  • God’s perfect choice of a house for us and the provision we need in every way to make the purchase happen….wisdom with finances, a great price, great interest rates, quick closing date, and anything else you can think of!  We are praying that He will show us exactly where He wants us to be in His perfect timing.

 

  • Strength and energy for the trip.  Betsy is coming along for the sunshine and oxygen, and we are praying the lower elevation will ease her suffering.  She has really been struggling even more than usual lately.  Also, Betsy and I both especially need energy and lots of good sleep.

 

Thanks for your prayers – we’ll keep you posted!  Love, Kathy & AJ

Lots of News…

Well, in case some of you haven’t heard….there are lots of changes happening around here!  (On the flip side, lots of things are still the same.) The big news is that we are moving to Young Life’s Oakbridge outside of San Diego, CA.  We will be living in Ramona (off camp) and are hoping to be there by the end of April or beginning of May.  AJ will be the Camp Manager there. We have realized over the last year or so that the elevation here in Fraser really has an impact on how we feel, and we have been praying for quite some time that the Lord would provide an opportunity for us to live in a place where we have a better chance of good health.  We have waited on the Lord as job possibilities have come and gone, and now we both have a real peace that this is where He is leading us.  We love Grand County, our community of people here, the mountains, and of course Crooked Creek Ranch, so we are very sad to leave, but also grateful for our time here and the many blessings we have experienced even in the midst of hard times.  At the same time, we are also grateful for this new opportunity to live at a lower elevation in a very different but also beautiful place.  So this is a bittersweet event for us with a full range of emotions from sadness to excitement.

Our health situation continues to be difficult, and we continue to struggle in many ways, so there are LOTS of prayer requests.  Here’s a brief update on each member of our family, along with things to pray for:

AJ – Sad to leave but wanting the best for our family as always.  Excited and at peace about the new opportunity as well.  Please pray for wisdom and endurance and strength.  The last few years have been pretty overwhelming for him as he has tried valiantly to keep up with all the needs on the home and work front.  Pray that God will give AJ all the help he needs to lead our family through this transition, and also for God to give AJ fresh strength for the new job ahead. AJ is so faithful and I could not be more grateful for who God has made him to be and how he loves us all so well.

KATHY – I am so tired there are no words to describe it.  My body is very weak and weary.  I am totally at peace that this move is the right thing, but also a little overwhelmed at the physical process of moving and starting over.  One day at a time.  Often, one moment at a time.  Jesus is giving me what I need as I need it, and I am so grateful for His love and provision and presence.  He is very good and life is very hard all at the same time!  Please pray for strength and energy and healing and endurance physically and emotionally as we make this move and try to help our kids through this tough change.  Lots of emotions to navigate around here!

AUGIE – Junior at Cal Poly and doing great.  He loves his school, his classes, his friends, being a YL leader….life is pretty great for him at this point! He also has another internship this summer with a company in SLO that he’s pretty excited about.  We are all excited to be living in the same state again (SLO is about 6 1/2 hours from Ramona) and that we will be able to see each other more often.  Pray for Augie to continue to grow in his love for Jesus and for his protection.

BETSY – Completely thrilled to be moving to a lower elevation in a location with no moose. Please pray for healing and strength and energy for her.  She has been very sick and is currently not doing well at all physically.  Our hope and prayer for Betsy is that she will love and trust Jesus no matter what comes her way, and that He will rescue her and bind up her wounds.  We also hope and pray that the lower elevation will help her to heal, and that by fall 2018 she will be ready to pursue her dream of attending the Royal School of Needlework in London.

SAM – Poor Sam was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and told about the move all in the same week!  That’s a lot for a 16 year old to digest and a lot of emotions to manage.  He is very sad about the move (and the Celiac!) and doesn’t want to go.  He struggles with nausea, reflux, stomach issues, fatigue, and has a lot of anxiety about an unknown future as well.  Please pray for Sam to be able to love and trust God in the midst of so many conflicting and difficult emotions.  Pray that Sam would know that God is for him and never against him, and that Sam would experience the peace and trust that only Jesus can bring.  Also, please pray for healing, for wisdom in school choices in Ramona, and for good new friends for him.

MAX – Also very unhappy about the move and not wanting to leave.  He is very sad about leaving friends behind and starting over.  In addition, he has been feeling pretty bad lately physically.  Please pray for him to also be able to love and trust God in the midst of these changes and all the hard things our family has experienced over the last few years.  Our situation has affected each one of us in different ways, and we pray that Max would know that Jesus loves him and is completely trustworthy and worthy of his worship.  Also, pray for healing, wisdom in school choices in Ramona, and good new friends for him.

GENERAL – We found out that the house on camp that we were going to live in at Oakbridge has had some flooding problems.  That can mean mold, which for us is an impossibility.  Mold is not good for anyone, but it is devastating for someone with Lyme.  So, we now find ourselves suddenly in the position of having to buy a house in Southern California! Yikes!  Please pray that God would provide exactly what we need.  AJ and I are leaving on Saturday to go house hunting and look at one house in particular that we’re interested in.  We need lots of wisdom in this process as it’s a pretty big deal for us!

Thanks for your prayers, and for your love and care for our family.  Recently, we’ve had friends bringing us meals, shopping for our groceries, giving rides to doctor appointments, rides from the airport, staying with the kids and I while AJ was out of town, volunteering to help us pack, and even having a prayer and worship night for our family.  Words cannot express our gratitude to God for the people in our lives that are serving as His hands and feet to us in so many ways.  Though we are sorrowful, yet we are always rejoicing. (2 Corinthians 6:10)

Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.  Isaiah 50:10

Please pray for us

It’s time once again for an update…

Friends, we need your prayers.

Since I last posted, there has been a lot going on in our lives.  This past spring, we had mold testing done on our home, based on our doctor’s suspicions that mold could be a factor in our battle with illness and lack of progress in recovering.  The tests confirmed the presence of mold in our home due to some previous water leaks, and blood work confirmed mold toxicity/illness in our bodies.  Mold is obviously not good for anyone’s health, but it is especially devastating if you have chronic illness.  As a result, we had mold remediation done on our home this summer.  The kids and I spent an extended period of time with family in Michigan during the remediation process.  Hopefully, having the mold issue taken care of will make a difference.

We saw our Lyme doctor at the end of the summer, and had some good news and bad news.  The bad news:  Betsy and I are getting worse.  Our doctor said the Lyme was making a comeback in Betsy’s brain, causing continued neurological issues.  For me, the Lyme continued to attack my spine and the doctor prescribed a month of intramuscular injections since the oral medications were not effective.  Basically, AJ had to give me a shot in the rear end 3 x week for a month.  So much fun, let me tell you.  Now, for the good news:  Sam has been declared Lyme free!  The doctor feels that Lyme has been eradicated from his body, and we are so grateful!

Since then, however, things have gotten worse.  Betsy continues to struggle, and the neurological effects are very difficult at this point.  She is really having a hard time.  The intramuscular injections prescribed for me did not work, and my pain levels are increasing.  In addition, lab work showed that my adrenal glands are shot and my cortisol levels are dangerously low.  This explains the extreme fatigue and other symptoms I’ve been having.  However, the typical treatment for this involves hydrocortisone, which is a steroid that I cannot take because of Lyme.  Also, Sam is going to the doctor today because he is continuing to have issues with nausea and fatigue  and we’re not sure what’s going on.  Max is about the same – he started school recently, and seems to be doing okay so far, but we are uncertain as to whether or not he can keep this up long term.  The Lyme seems to flare up unexpectedly for him, and we never know what we’re going to get.

I saw our Lyme doctor again last week for follow up on the injections, and he basically told me that we’re running out of options.  He said that Betsy and I are very tough cases.  As a result, we are heading to Texas next week for appointments with a new doctor that we hope will be able to help us.

Would you please pray for us?  We are honestly frequently at the end of our rope.  This has been such a long journey (over 3 years now) and we are weary.  We are so grateful that God is in this battle with us (I would’ve lost it a long time ago were it not for His faithfulness) and we know that He loves us and is in control, but we regularly come to a place of brokenness.  Sometimes daily, sometimes more than that.  God always sees us through as we cry out to Him, but there’s no sugar-coating the fact that this is HARD and PAINFUL.  Each one of us has our own unique struggles in keeping up and managing in daily life.  AJ has to keep working and providing for our family in the midst of taking care of all of us.  I have to keep trying to be a wife and mother and be there for suffering kids while suffering myself.  The kids have to try to keep up with school and life in the midst of not feeling well.  It’s tough.  And yet, there’s the unfathomable, undeserved love of God.  What else could possibly give us courage and confidence and hope in the midst of suffering?

“The thought of my suffering and hopelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!  By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.”  Lamentations 3:13, 19-22

Here are some specific things you can pray for:

  • Healing
  • Our doctor appointments in Texas next week
  • Wisdom in finding out what’s going on with Sam’s health issues
  • Practical provision – things like rides home from school, easy meals, rides to doctor’s appointments, help with homework, etc.  It’s hard for us to manage and keep up.
  • For each of us to keep our eyes on Jesus and to trust Him, lean on Him, and honor Him in the midst of this battle
  • Hope and encouragement

Thanks for reading this.  I know it’s long!  We appreciate your love and prayers.

 

 

 

How it’s going…

Hi friends!  The last time I updated, AJ had just begun his time off.  As you may remember, he was given 2 months off of work in order to process and heal and spend time with our family.  I am so incredibly grateful for the time he was given, as it turned out to be an invaluable blessing for us all.  We knew that the time off would be helpful, but we had no idea how much we really needed it until we got into it!  Having the time and the space to face up to the challenges and issues in our lives was so important and a true gift.

The first month was really tough as we began to work through all that happened last summer, and really over the last few years.  There were lots of tears and hard conversations – between us and with God!  We had been living in crisis mode for a long time, trying to keep going and get through to the other side.  However, while coping mechanisms developed in crisis are good and necessary at the time, they don’t serve you well long term.  It was good for us to recognize how we had been living in crisis mode and what we needed to do differently.  Instead of trying to just get by and make it through to the other side, we were able to come to terms with our situation in a healthier way.  After all the tears of the first month, we then began to figure out where to go next and how to live in the new “normal.”

We continue to hope and pray that God will heal us completely, but until that time, we want to live well within the limitations and challenges that we face.  During AJ’s second month off, we came up with a lot of practical solutions to help make life work, such as hiring someone to clean and getting help with things like grocery shopping and rides home from school. Also, God directed us to many helpful guidelines and tools for staying connected to each other and to Him as we walk through the daily ups and downs of life with teenagers and chronic illness.

AJ went back to work on February 1st, and I’m happy to say that we are in a much better place than we were before his time off.  Life is still challenging, and can feel overwhelming at times, but we are SO grateful for all that He has done in our hearts and minds.  We also truly appreciate the friends that God has blessed us with, and those who help us in so many practical ways.  AJ is enjoying his job again, and is living with better boundaries and more margin for rest.  I am also in a healthier place emotionally and spiritually, and God has given me an immense gratitude for his His goodness and faithfulness to us.  While I wish that lots things were different in our lives, I am awed by all that He has blessed us with.  He certainly doesn’t promise to keep us from suffering on this earth, but He is a God who has known more suffering than we ever could, and it is such a joy that He walks with us and comforts us in all our sorrows.  Not to mention, someday we get to live in a place with no sorrow or suffering – hallelujah!!!  While I don’t understand all that He does or allows, He continues to remind me that He is completely good, completely faithful, and completely trustworthy.  Whatever He does towards us, He does in love.

Going forward, we continue to covet your prayers on our behalf.  Also, another summer of YL camping is coming up soon, and we are praying that this summer will be much better than the last one!  AJ is working with the team at Crooked Creek to develop some new prayer strategies, and we would love your prayers for camp and for our staff as well as for our family.  By the way, if you haven’t read John Eldredge’s newest book “Moving Mountains,” we highly recommend it!  I didn’t think I would be interested in his writing, but it’s an excellent book on prayer.

So, here are some specific requests:

AJ – Continued hope and encouragement.  Keeping his eyes on Jesus when difficulties arise.  Rest and margin and exercise – taking care of himself so that he can care for others.  Wisdom in leading the team at CCR.  Holy Spirit filled praying!

Kathy – Healing.  Hope.  Trust.  Rest.  Continued confidence in God’s goodness and faithfulness.  Intimacy with Him.  Strength and energy to care for my family and love them well.  Also that He will give me a ministry and a message out of these circumstances that will bring Him glory.

Augie – Wisdom at school and in relationships and life choices.  Favor in his ministry to high school kids through Young Life.  Intimacy with Jesus – that spending time alone with God each day would be his highest priority in the midst of all that fun he’s having! 🙂

Betsy – Healing physically and emotionally.  She is still very traumatized from the moose attack and is afraid to go outside.  Pray that God will come and rescue her and bind up her wounds and set her free from fear.  Strength and ability to focus and get school work done. Ability to trust God with all of the hard things in her life – to see and know His goodness and His love for her.

Sam – Continued healing – Sam has made a lot of progress but we want him all the way better!  Hope and confidence in God.  That God would be the desire of his heart, and that he would seek God and get his questions about faith answered.

Max – Healing.  He is now the same age as Sam was when he had to drop out of school, and hitting puberty has caused the Lyme to flare up.  Max has really gone downhill health-wise, and we are hoping and praying that he will be able to stay in school.  Right now he’s very up and down and is missing a lot of school.  Pray for hope and encouragement and trust in God as well.

Thanks, friends, for loving us and praying for us.  We recognize that we are most certainly not the only ones with hardships and suffering in life – we know many who are struggling and facing major heartaches.  We would love to pray for you as well, so feel free to share your prayer requests and we can lift each other up!  God is so good to listen to us and to bear our burdens for us.

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

 

 

Trusting

Once again, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve updated this blog.  So much has happened, and I was honestly too overwhelmed to write anything for awhile.  Life in the Doebling home has been pretty challenging for several years now, and this summer things became even more difficult.

As you know, Betsy has continued to struggle with Lyme, and her young life has included a lot of suffering.  Two of her greatest joys (besides sewing and crafts) have been nature and our Bernese Mountain Dogs. No matter how bad she felt, she would try to get out each day and take them for a short walk.  Walking them was one of the few things that she could still do, and it brought her so much pleasure.  She was doing exactly that this past June when she was attacked by a moose behind our home.  AJ and I heard the attack and her screams from our bedroom window, and although we did not know it was her at the time, we knew someone was in serious trouble and went running to help.  We found her in the road and took off for the ER.  The moose trampled her as she tried to run away, kicking her in the head, face, and back.  She had corneal abrasions to her left eye, multiple fractures around her eye, a concussion, lacerations…not to mention a lot of physical pain and emotional trauma.  The moose tried to circle around and get her a second time, but she fell down the hill into some bushes, and our dogs chased the moose off.  It actually jumped right over the top of her as it ran away.  I can’t even imagine if that moose had been able to get to her a second time, and as awful as the attack was, we are grateful, knowing that it could’ve been much worse.  Over time, Betsy’s physical injuries have slowly healed; however, the emotional trauma of the attack is still significant.  She is afraid to go outside, and no longer wants to walk the dogs.  Nature is now a source of fear for her instead of enjoyment.  I’m not sure there are words to describe how that makes me feel as her mom…I’ve had to wrestle with God through quite a lot of emotions including grief, fear, anger, helplessness, and more.  In the end, although I don’t understand, He has reminded me of His goodness and trustworthiness.  I don’t know what He’s doing, but I do know who He is, and He is our faithful, loving, and always good God who has good plans for each of us, including Betsy.

The rest of the summer continued to be difficult, with AJ having the hardest summer he’s ever had in Young Life camping.  It was that way for many YL camps, and for all of our staff at Crooked Creek.  There were multiple issues and situations all summer long that were draining, exhausting, challenging, and all-consuming.  Before camp started, AJ and I had discussed the need for him to set some boundaries and try to be at home as much as possible given all that’s going on with our family. However, it turned out that we saw less of him than we have during any other YL summer.  He went at least 6 weeks without a single day off, and was rarely home – not for lack of wanting to be, but because of the things that happened and because that is what he needed to do.  So, we were all limping across the finish line this summer…and then on the last day of camp, a 15 year old camper snuck out of his cabin at night and died in a freak accident.  Again, there are no words to describe the situation, but it was awful.  AJ was at the helm, and he led well, but it obviously took a huge toll on him and everyone at CCR.

Fall brought the sadness of Augie going back to college, although we are so incredibly happy for him and the life that he’s getting to live.  He is leading Young Life at Paso Robles High School, having fun going to school at the beach, enjoying his classes, and generally loving life!  Cal Poly has been great for him.  Also, we decided to put Sam back in school, which felt like a big gamble, but has turned out to be a blessing.  He still has Lyme, and definite struggles along with that, but he has made a lot of progress!  School is physically and academically challenging for him, and he is one exhausted boy, but we are celebrating what he’s been able to do in returning to school.  It’s a challenge for him, but still a victory.

However, at home we continue to struggle through the daily challenges and relational dynamics of chronic illness.  Betsy and I are still in a pretty tough place physically.  Add to that the emotional stress resulting from all that occurred this summer (really the last few years), and it makes for a pretty difficult situation for all of us.  Consequently, the leadership of Young Life has given AJ a paid leave of absence for a few months in order for him and our family to circle the wagons, spend time together, process all that’s happened, seek healing, and try to figure out a new normal.  We are incredibly grateful for this gift.  To know that they value his leadership and want to do all that they can to help us is a blessing beyond words.

AJ’s time off began on December 1st.  This past week, he spent 5 days in Buena Vista on a counseling intensive/retreat.  I went on this same intensive in September, and he saw the same counselor that I did.  The time was a blessing for both of us.  It’s really hard and really good to process all of these things, and to connect with the Lord is obviously essential in the midst of our grieving.  Also, in January we are going on a retreat together at The Potter’s Inn, which is in Divide, Colorado.  We have opted not to go to the YL All Staff Celebration in January as well.  As much as we are sad to miss it (seriously!), we know that it’s the right thing to do. We want to do everything we can to take advantage of the time off that AJ’s been given, and to be intentional during the time so that we can make the most of it.

So….there’s a long update on the Doeblings.  A Scripture that really sums up where we’re at is this:

I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness.  Misery has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.  BUT I AM TRUSTING YOU, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!”  My future is in Your hands.  -Psalm 31:10, 14-15

Life is hard and God is good!  We continue to covet your prayers for us, especially during these next few months.  Thanks for loving us and praying for us.  May He bless you richly with His faithful Presence.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

AJ – Wisdom in leading our family and knowing how take care of himself while balancing all that God has given him to do at work and at home.  It’s a heavy load!  Comfort and rest and emotional healing – he misses me being “me” and having a wife that can do things with him.  Pray that God would lead his time off and show AJ what He desires.  Pray for AJ and I to love each other well and be each other’s biggest fans in the midst of the struggles.

KATHY – Physical healing.  Wisdom.  Strength to surrender to God each day and choose to trust Him.  I want to focus on what is true and eternal in the face of heartache and confusion.  Joni Eareckson Tada says “Suffering is the last frontier that the enemy exploits to smear God’s trustworthiness.”  I want to trust Him no matter what, but it’s a daily choice.  He proved His love for me at the cross.  That is who He is, and I want to always remember that!

AUGIE – School, leading YL, friendships…his own love relationship with Jesus.  He comes home TOMORROW for Christmas break!  Pray for our time – we are all so excited to see him!

BETSY – Physical healing.  Emotional healing, especially from moose attack.  She is afraid to go outside.  Hope and encouragement.  Sometimes she feels like God’s given up on her.  Pray for strength/willingness to seek counseling and try to deal with her emotions in the midst of not feeling well.  Pray that God will come and rescue her and bind up her wounds.  Also, she is having her wisdom teeth out on 12/29.  Because of her Lyme issues, I’m pretty nervous about that.  Please pray for her protection and that whole process.

SAM – Continued physical healing.  Sleep at night.  Energy and strength, especially for school.  He is pretty fried and really ready for Christmas break.  Especially pray for his relationship with God.  I am asking God to reveal Himself to Sam in significant ways, so that Sam can trust and hope in Him.  There’s a lot of confusion there.

MAX – Physical healing.  As Max goes through puberty (he’s 13) the Lyme may get worse.  We’re praying that’s not the case, and that he will be able to continue to function fairly normally and stay in school.  Pray for emotional healing and ability to trust God as well.  There’s a lot of sadness and frustration in his heart underneath that crazy, fun exterior.

 

 

 

 

Those who wait…

Well, once again it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Since I last shared, we’ve had treatments in Florida and have also begun some new treatments at home.  A lot has happened, and yet not much has changed.  We are still waiting.  Waiting for circumstances to alter, for medications to work, for symptoms to improve…for healing.  But mostly, we are waiting on God.

This is pretty personal, but I’d like to share a page from my journal with you about waiting.  Maybe you will find encouragement to be real with God in your own struggles, and to find hope in the areas where you may be waiting on Him for your own needs.  Or, maybe you’ll just know better how to pray for us:

Waiting

Isaiah 40:27-29

Why, O [Kathy], do you say, and declare, O [Kathy], My way and my lot are hidden from the Lord, and my right is passed over without regard from my God? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].

Lord, it is easy in this time to feel that my way is hidden from You, to wonder if You really see what is going on and how we are struggling. I sometimes feel that I am passed over without regard from You. I KNOW that this is NOT true, but although my spirit is willing…my flesh is so weak. It’s hard not to let emotions rule me. They speak loudly, especially when my kids are suffering. This is hard. I want so much for it to be over. I want so much to participate in life again, to feel well, and to see my children do the same. There is so much that I miss, and long for…and so much heartbreak. I’m just sad…really, really sad. So what do I do? I am grateful that You don’t faint or grow weary like I do, and that You understand all the things that don’t make any sense to me. And, You say that You give power to the faint and weary, and You increase strength to him who has no might… that’s me, Lord. I am faint, weary, and I have no might. I need YOUR might, and I ask You to fulfill Your promise and cause strength to multiply in me and make it to abound. Not my strength, but Your strength in Me. I need You desperately.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; BUT those who WAIT for the Lord [who EXPECT, LOOK FOR, and HOPE IN HIM] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Well, God, the youths in my home are weary and exhausted from this long illness, and so am I. And here is the answer that I need. You don’t give power and strength to just anyone, but to those who WAIT for You. O Father, help me to wait for You. I recognize that there are different ways to wait…I can easily wait impatiently, with an attitude that thinks I deserve what I want from You, with grumbling and complaining, with anger that I’m still waiting, with self-pity and believing that I am forgotten or passed over by You. Yes, there are many ways to wait, and I’ve chosen them all at times. Yet You say that I am to EXPECT You. I am to LOOK FOR You. I am to HOPE IN You. YOU! That is the kind of waiting that I want to do. Have mercy on me and help me to expect You to show up each day and never leave us or forsake us. Help me to look for You in our daily struggles to faithfully supply our every need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. And help me to hope in You always. I don’t know what You have planned for us in this life, but I do know that Christ in me is my hope of glory. I have hard things now, as we all do, that will be forgotten when the sting of suffering and death is swallowed up in Victory. I have the hope of heaven with You as a sure and steadfast anchor for my soul. It cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it. Jesus, You are my hope forever. HELP ME to wait for You, to wait well, in a way that honors You and confidently trusts in You. You have proven Your love for me immeasurably, and You are worth the wait. And as I wait, may I mount up close to You in renewed strength and power because of Your faithful goodness to me. I love You. Please have your way in me.

So, there is a raw and honest look at my heart in the middle of this long wait.  Join me in praying that each of us will faithfully wait on God and look to Him in this journey.  Pray that our eyes will be fixed on Jesus and that our hope will continually be in Him.  Pray for healing, and that He will be glorified through our circumstances in whatever way He desires.  Pray for our children to trust God even in illness.  And pray for this mama’s heart to daily surrender myself and my children to our gracious God.

Thanks for not forgetting us in this long haul…and for standing with us in prayer!  We are grateful.

Updates and Prayer Requests

Well, it’s been some time since I’ve written an update.  Honestly, there hasn’t been a whole lot of news to share.  Even more honestly, I didn’t want to write for a while because I was wrestling with discouragement.

Our move went well, thanks to wonderful friends and family who helped us in so many ways. We were blessed with help packing and unpacking, meals, and more.  We are so grateful to all those who came alongside us during that crazy time.  It was tough physically, but now that we’re in and settled, we are greatly enjoying our new home.

Augie came home for Christmas, which was a source of much joy for us all.  It was so wonderful to see him and spend time with him, and so fun to see the kids interact.  His siblings really missed him! Augie loves Cal Poly, and is doing well there.  It’s fun to see him enjoying this new adventure.

In my last post, I wrote about a new treatment option in Florida that we were praying about. We know someone who has had great success there, and we ended up going for treatments a few months ago.  Since then, Sam has made some improvement, for which we are very grateful.  I also improved for a while, and then got worse again (hence the discouragement). Betsy, though, has not shown any improvement (also obviously discouraging).  Life has been pretty challenging for her. However, the longer you’ve been sick, and the sicker you are, the more likely it is that you will need a few sessions of treatment.  So, to make a long story short, Betsy and I are leaving TODAY for a follow up visit.  We have prayed for wisdom, trusting that God will lead us, and continued to ask Him to show us the next thing to do.  We believe that this is our next step, and ask that you would join us in praying for this time.

Also, as far as the discouragement goes…well, sometimes life is just hard, isn’t it?  I have wrestled with weariness in this battle, and at times it feels like more than I can bear.  The truth is, though, that it IS more than I can bear…but NOT more than HE can bear!  I have been continually reminded of Psalm 68:19:

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

I am so grateful that every time I feel overwhelmed, I can go to Him with every care, fear and concern. When my heart is heavy with burdens, He truly does bear them when I release them into His loving care.  He is the only one who can bring peace in the midst of the storm.  He is also the only one who can use those storms to accomplish His purposes, for His glory and our good.  He will bring something out of this that will be worth it for eternity.  Also, Psalm 37:5 says:

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.

I have learned that the Hebrew word for commit is “throw.”  Literally, throw the problem at God, trust in Him because of who He is, and believe that He will act.  His promises are trustworthy, and I am learning to “throw” my problems to Him in new ways.  It’s so much better when I let him carry and hold on to things.  He is good!

Finally, our prayer requests:

AJ – Strength for the journey, rest, wisdom in leading our family, encouragement, and energy to fulfill his many responsibilities at work and home

KATHY – Healing, continuing to trust in God and let Him bear my burdens

AUGIE – For him to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength as he continues on his new adventure

BETSY – Healing, trust in God, encouragement, hope, friendships, and a sense of purpose in her daily life

SAM – Continued healing, sleep, energy, and for him to hunger and thirst for God

MAX – Healing, trust in God, and encouragement

OTHER – Please pray for our trip to Florida today, for God to do something in our circumstances that will bring the maximum glory to His Name, for healing and hope for us all

Thank you for standing with us in prayer!  We appreciate your love and friendship.  🙂