Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Do you recognize those letters?
Where do you usually see them together in that order?
(If you know the answer this may give you a clue to the great news I am about to share.)

Yesterday Dad had a check up appointment with his neurologist, and the neurologist was very encouraging in his assessment of Dad's progress. Dad's coming along as expected with improvements on schedule.

Before I continue, let me mention that one main casualty of Dad's stroke has been that Dad has been told to NOT drive....and this has been a very huge area of discouragement for Dad (understandably). Who of us would want to give up our freedom to drive? Dad's enjoyed being independent and on the go all his life - and now, to not be allowed to drive - well it's been stifling to say the least, and quite honestly he was not convinced that the day would ever come that he'd be cleared to drive again.

So, the real treat of the day came when Dad asked the doctor when the doctor thought he'd possibly be able to drive which the doctor replied, "You can drive now." Dad said, "You mean today?" and the doctor said, "Why not?"
Need I say more?

Dad is delighted! =) We are all delighted!

Oh what a difference a day makes....or even a moment for that matter. Yes, what a difference a moment makes. Dad definitely had a "moment" yesterday. He drove home and his passenger reported that he did great!
This is yet another answer to your prayers! Isn't God good? Truly good?!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'd thought I share some pictures and thoughts from a proud basketball mom.
Tyler has played basketball now for 5 seasons and Emily for 3.
Both Tyler and Emily are playing on Junior Varsity teams this year.

We are so fortunate to be part of an excellent homeschool basketball team, the Hudsonville Hornets, which promotes excellence, good character, and sportsmanship. Said a different way, all the kids involved have fun playing the game of basketball, good attitudes and have a very high winning record!

Hudsonville is one of the best teams in the state, and we are blessed to be a part of it.
Both Tyler's and Emily's teams played their final games of the regular season this weekend. Emily's team is undefeated, and Tyler's team has only had one league loss the entire season.

Their teams will be playing at Regional Tournaments in two weeks, and hopefully in State Tournaments the following weekend.
It's fun! =)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Give me an "S".. "P".. "E".. "E".. "C".. "H"....

....What's it spell?
Speech therapy for Dad was FINALLY approved today, gracious sakes! It's astonishing how long something simple can take when insurance is involved. But thank goodness for it.
Dad will start his first session on Monday.
Encouraging news!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Prayers Requested For Mom and Dad

Time for an update about my parents.
Everyone has bad day once in a while and this is just a "bad" day for them.
Nothing in particular, everything in general...
To tell you the truth it is a tough time of waiting for them right now. They are both tired and anxious and having a bit of difficulty with their current circumstances. So any prayers you wish to pray for encouragement, healing and protection are welcomed on their behalf!
We just learned today that Dad is scheduled for an angiogram on Wednesday, March 4th. This will test the size of the blood vessels around the aneurysm and let the doctors know if the method used to fix the aneurysm needs to be an open cut or if they can enter the site with a stent through the groin. We are hoping for it to be the latter, which would be much less instrusive and a faster healing process.
On the 10th of March, Dad will have a followup visit at his doctor's office, and get the date set for the procedure to fix the aortic aneurysm.
Thanks for your love for and interest in my parents....and thanks most of all for your prayers!


Tired of making decisions that are hard.
Weary of looking ahead to the future while trying to focus on today,
Wary, knowing that the two must somehow link together.
Wondering what must be done next.
Knowing God will continue to lead and to guide.
Leaning on His Holy Spirit for guidance.
Just needing a hand to hold.
Longing for reassurance.
Desperate for extra courage for upcoming challenges.
Finding it all as I walk by faith.
Feeling it deep within my heart....deep....way down deep.
Knowing you're here, God - helping me through this day..hour..moment.
Not alone, after all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This morning while I was in prayer with a friend of mine we both received some insight from God that I'd like to share with you!
My friend and I are both to be teachers at women's events coming up soon and we are both in preparation for those talks.

Our Goals: to deliver God's message to these women
Styles of preparation: different
Enemy's Tactics: same

My friend's style is to pour her whole self into the study of scriptures, spending lots of TIME in studying and in prayer (she does this whether she's preparing for a talk or not - she's truly a woman of the Word and a woman seeking to follow after God's own heart).

My style of preparation is more to think about it as I go, seeking out scriptures on the subject here and there, looking up those that come to mind as I ponder the subject, to wait on the Holy Spirit's nudge that this is the time to sit at my computer... and receive His direction for the talk I am going to give.

I think that there is a part of my friend that would love to trade places with me and there's a part of me that would love to trade places with her. She'd love to be able to just sit down at the suggestion of the Holy Spirit, have the inspiration and direction come upon her, and be ready to go.
I, on the other hand, would very much like to have the bolstering that comes from much time spent in God's word...spending hours on my would make me feel more ready than I feel at this point.

Yet, here we both are....
And it's not to say that she doesn't sit down and receive astounding inspiration from the Holy Spirit...
And it's also not true to say that I don't invest time studying the scriptures.
While our main source of preparation varies, I know that God will speak through us both to the women that we will be teaching.

The common factor and the main point in all of this is that the enemy's tactics are the same for both of us. Lies are his native tongue and he speaks lies, lies, always lies. He's trying to give my friend guilt that that she is trying too hard.....that she is self-seeking in all of her 'excess' prep, not relying enough on God's strength to get her through.
Guess what? The enemy tries to give me guilt by telling me that I should really spend much more time preparing; and that my talk can't possibly be as holy or as anointed as hers, since I've spent a much smaller amount of time in the Word and in preparation.
Ain't he a stinker?
What's great is that the enemy always loses... and he loses big time!
He is losing now and his destiny is to be totally defeated.
God is greater.

I am grateful for the insight this morning. I'm grateful to have a God who through His Holy Spirit draws all people to himself. He loves us deeply, each of us uniquely, is with us continually, leading and guiding all the way!

Jesus has conquered.
Satan's defeated.
The enemy is under my feet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

not worrying, but waiting.....worshipping....

A few months ago my friend Joni mentioned a concept that I have been mulling over in my mind ever since.....She said that waiting on God is a form of worshipping.
I'm coming to the point where I think I really get it and do agree with her.
But it takes a while for me to ponder this....and see how it plays out in my life.

So much of life it seems that I spend waiting on God....God doesn't usually ever move according to my timetable. Now granted, sometimes he moves very quickly... surprising me! But so often when I am waiting to see a goal, hope/dream fulfilled, there's a long wait involved. Much longer than I'd ever dream or wish for. And of course this seems to always reflect a lesson in patience. That always seems to be the lesson I think I am learning...patience.

Yet it seems so often that in the waiting, I choose to worry. Worry is my natural default....
I worry, will I ever see God's perfect plans for my life come true?
I worry, wondering if I need to be doing something different than what I'm doing now? And if so, I worry about what that might be?
I worry - that I may be missing out somehow on God's best?
I worry - about the future; concocting various (negative) scenarios in my mind that most likely will never happen anyway.
Yes.... so often in the waiting I chose to worry.

But honestly, deep down, I believe that Worship is the opposite of Worry....

So what if, in the waiting, God is hoping to teach me more about worship?
Worshipping Him - trusting that His plan is best even though it may be so much different than mine?
Worshipping Him - refusing to worry that things won't work out?
Worshipping Him - resting in Him and not stressing to do, do, do - fix, fix, fix?
Worshipping Him....all the while KNOWING that He leads each step, guides me down each path, speaks to me....Yes, He really does speak to me. What a wonderful thing!
When I'm worshipping, I'm listening.
When I'm listening, God will speak.
When I hear his voice and obey, He opens doors.
When He opens the doors, the blessings overflow!

I don't want to spend my time worrying; after all, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27)
I want to be a true worshipper - willing to wait on God, whose ways are always best!
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dad's Doctor Visit

Yesterday Dad and I visited the surgeon who performed Dad's carotid artery surgery and who in a few weeks will also repair the aneurysm on Dad's aorta.
Dad had his 15 staples from last week's surgery (painlessly) taken out.
As for the next steps, Dad is to have an angiogram in about three weeks to measure the blood vessels in the area of the aneurysm to decide which method can be used to fix the aneurysm. Then there'll be another follow up visit with the doctor, who projects that the procedure to repair the aneurysm will take sometime in March.

So Blessed

I’m flying high above the earthly terrain that is below the jet taking me from St. Petersburg to Grand Rapids. I look down from my circular window in the sky and gain fresh perspective on how God looks down from way higher above our lives, and see how things come into focus differently from this angle. As God looks down and sees us; He can see the full, big picture, not just our little corner of the world. He truly is a great big wonderful God who holds the whole world in his hands.

As I travel today I’m listening to music for KCC’s upcoming weekend services, preparing to lead a rehearsal tomorrow and to play this weekend. The songs are full of faith and reflection on God’s greatness. Lyrics from one of the songs, “He’ll Do It” by Fred Hammond are:
My faith will carry me right to my destiny.
I am sure and there is no doubt in my mind. He’ll do it!
Having your word with me, my mind to guard, my heart to lead;
I’ve decided I’m pressing on come what may. Yes, I’m determined.
Your love has set me free. Therefore, I’m free indeed.
I am persuaded my strength lies within you. In that, O Lord, my victory’s sure.
I’m pressing on, I won’t turn back. Provision’s made; there is no lack.
Through sunshine and rain He said He’d be there.
Through heartache and pain He said He’d be there.
I know that there’s so much more for me.
My heart is ready, ready to receive.
I’m standing on His promise for He said He’d see me through and I know He’ll do it.

Another song: Great Is Thy Faithfulness….such a timeless hymn, speaks to me each time I hear it; every new day, in new ways, God is faithful.

Great is thy faithfulness….Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand has provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

And one more great new song sung by Chris Tomlin, is God of This City….
You’re the God of this city,
You’re the King of these people,
You’re the Lord of this nation, you are.
You’re the light in the darkness,
You’re the hope to the hopeless,
You’re the peace to the restless, you are.
There is no one like our God!
Greater things are yet to come.
Greater things are still to be done in this city.

So I’m headed home…sort of crossing over from one ‘world’ to another: from Florida with my mom and dad, back to Michigan to my family of four and my friends and church. I’m tired and weary, but I’ll make it. I’m encouraged by reflecting on God’s faithfulness. His strength is quite literally the strength that enables me to get through each situation life is throwing my way; each current event in this day and the weeks and months ahead.
God and His faithfulness stays behind with my parents and will be their guide and hope and strength as well. And yours.
We have nothing to fear, nothing to dread or worry about. Our confidence is not in the things around us, but in God and Him alone.
As it says in Psalm 62:1-2:
“My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunny Last Day in Florida

Greetings. Here's a quick post so you'll be updated.
Dad felt quite tired at times and a bit uncomfortable over the weekend, but yesterday started feeling much better.
Yesterday afternoon was filled with business errands for all three of us and today doctor's and therapist appointments.
This morning Dad and I met his new speech therapist who'll start very soon working with him once or twice a week. We like her a lot and are encouraged that she'll be able to encourage even more positive improvements in Dad's speech and thinking abilities!
We'll leave soon for an afternoon filled with three doctor's appointments; two rather routine appointments for Mom, and one for Dad: his post-surgery follow-up. Dad will get his 15 staples out of his carotid incision, and hopefully we will learn when the next procedure to deal with Dad's aortic aneurysm will take place.
I am flying out of state early tomorrow to return home to Michigan. It's always tough to leave Mom and Dad yet also wonderful to return home to my dear family. They have been so patient and giving to carry on and allow me to be here when I need to be.
The continued improvement that I have seen in Dad this time is remarkable. He is communicating better all the time; even bringing back some one-liners and humor that I had wondered if ever would return. So, he's making it through the stroke recovery, his carotid artery surgery was very successful, and now he faces yet one more hurdle, the aortic aneurysm. Two miracles down, one to go, as someone mentioned to me recently :)....Please keep Dad in your prayers for protection during this waiting time and yet one more successful surgery. To God be the glory, great things He has done!