Daughter of the King above all else

I’m having all my **feelings** again. My sister has had some great progress the last few weeks. She got her trach out. I could write a whole post about that! We were told several months ago that it wouldn’t happen. Crushed vocal chords and no lung strength and God intervened.

Then a few days ago she WROTE “love”. Then “Vera”. (Vera was sitting with her, coloring). It’s crazy because there are SO many things she can’t do. If I asked her to scratch her chin she couldn’t. BUT SHES WRITING. 

The most shocking thing is during a massage the other day she said “no” out loud when a particularly sensitive muscle was being worked on. Eleven months without a word and then all of the sudden, she spoke!

I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I almost felt myself praying “God this is so cool it’s worth not having the instant miraculous healing. We get to be along for the ride.” A small percentage of myself may believe that if this was in a vacuum. But it’s not! She’s a mommy. Sob.

The hardest part of the last 11 months has been her absence in that role. Her children ache for her restoration. We talk about it daily, then we pray together for it, then we share memories and ask questions and we miss her together. I can try my hardest to be a stand in but I know kate and she is torn apart being away. Her kids and husband are devastated by her absence in the day to day. 

She’s still a mom. She’s a mom because two years ago she sat me down and made me promise to watch her babies if anything ever happened to her. She’s a mom when she holds it together while they visit. She’s a mom as she prays in her head for them.  She was a mom when the first word she ever wrote again was “love” in the presence of her squishy two-year-old girl baby.

Mother’s Day brings mixed emotions for most. As I get older I have so many friends that have miscarried, others are single moms, still others are having trouble conceiving. We’ve all had a picture of how life was supposed to be when we grew up and I don’t know anyone who is living it out. It’s not as easy as the pictures we drew as kids. 

If there is one thing I’m thankful for in the past eleven months it’s a shift in focus. Somehow God keeps reminding me to walk through this life with my eyes on eternity. 

I was reading Psalm 91:9-14 tonight.

“9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10 no harm will overtake you,no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[a] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Now I am no theologian but when I read this through the lense of last years frame of reference I was pissed. I could cross it out and write in a big sharpie, “WHAT ABOUT KATIE???”.

Thankfully I’m this years Ashley. “No harm overtaking” read through the lense of eternity is quite different. Nobody can take forever in a redeemed body away from her. Period. She’s promised a forever. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”. When I read that in light of eternity I think of Katie’s mind, her hope, her faith being guarded. The list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. I pray daily for katie to be redeemed and restored now. I beg God to miraculously heal her as I sit next to her. It hasn’t happened yet. I truly believe she will continue healing but even if it all stopped today it’s not the end of her story. Mom may be one of her favorite roles on earth but it will continue to pale in comparison to Daughter of the King. 

This holiday can bring a world of hurt, it has caused some serious tears the last several days as I continue to mourn the last eleven months and all Katie is missing. But we don’t have to focus on today and what was supposed to be and isn’t. We can focus on what is and what will be. 
Photo cred: Arpasi Photography

The World Gets Small

I’ve been crying all day. A holiday is coming this weekend and it brings so many emotions. I love holidays; we always do holidays big with family and friends and celebrating. As I’ve said before celebrating in the midst of sorrow sometimes knocks the wind out of you.

This week my sister had an operation and each time she sees another doctor we are given a more clear picture of current pain she has. Again, the wind gets knocked out. 

This weekend is Lillian’s fourth birthday and all I can think about is Katie carrying Lillian around my house on her third birthday party last year. I’m reminded of my kids loss as they miss their Aunt Katie, who they’re used to talking to every day. I think of how she knows baby Judah but not toddler Judah. Again, the wind gets knocked right out of me.

Then I think of Easter. I was sitting in my sunroom this morning with a sore throat watching the littles play. I started thinking, ‘if only I could have Jesus AND normal Katie’. That sounded ridiculous in my head. Then I was reminded of a dear friend mourning the loss of her baby. So I thought, ‘okay maybe Jesus, normal katie, and Lucas”. Before I knew it, everyone I know whose hurting was added to the list and the world somehow got smaller. A neighbor, two cousins fighting for their lives with cancer, racism ending, child sex slavery being abolished, nobody in the world in lack of food, shelter, and safety’. The breath kept getting knocked out of me as the world got smaller and smaller. We may not know anyone with the same diagnosis as Kate but we are in the middle of a world ravaged with suffering. 

I very quickly saw the entire list fade away as I was reminded of Easter. I get to have all of the things I want because of Easter. I was reminded that my timing is just that, my timing. I was reminded of eternity with restored bodies, fulfilled needs, holy relationships, and unity. I was reminded of Easter because it means that  we get to have it all forever and ever. That this life will pass and we get to live in restoration. 

Lillian was telling me the Easter story this week and I asked her if she wanted God to live in her heart. She said “yes!” So I suggested she ask God to live in her heart. “God, get in my heart, amen”. It was hysterical and bossy and oh, so, Lillian but it reminded me of the power we have as Christians. It’s not always in ways  we want it but it’s in good ways. Our lives here are short. They are filled with suffering and joy, glimpses of the miraculous, and breath being knocked out of us.  We have the power to help bring Heaven to earth now but we also get to long for Heaven, with full restoration. That in itself is a joy and even more, is enough. Jesus. Period. Nothing else. He’s enough.

8 Things I’m loving!

Ok friends, I have a new round of some things I’ve been enjoying this winter!

  1. I had a never ending cold this fall and I found this tea while paruzing the aisles of Moms Organic Market ALONE on Christmas Eve. It’s Yogi’s Decaf green tea kambucha. It’s super yummy and refreshing and it’s supposed to help with digestion.
  2. Along those same lines I started taking Elderberry syrup. You can get it all over the internet as well as Moms Organic Market. Kind of tastes like grape jelly but it’s supposed to help with your immune system. I always enjoy taking it after breakfast. It doesn’t show up on their website so here is the exact one I take. 
  3. Trader Joe’s has these yummy   “Moral Fiber” Blueberry Bran muffins a friend suggested. Let me start off by saying I am downright offended by a serving suggestion implying that I can only have half of something. I am equally a rule follower so I only eat half of the muffin. They’re yummy and they have lots of fiber! Lillian and Judah like them too! Notice I left one persons name out who said “they’re branny!”. Insert eye roll.
  4. While I’m on Trader Joe’s, I’m all about this salad I tried a few weeks ago. Our Trader Joe’s has a terrible parking lot and I swear it is always raining there. So when I get the nerve up to visit, I like to get myself a little treat. Enter: the Mexicali Salad! it is SO yummy. It’s less than $5 for a delicious lunch with lots of different and crunchy ingredients. I don’t use anywhere near all of the dressing so I don’t consider the nutrition facts accurate. Check it out next time you’re there!
  5. *Target, my Target. It’s just SO good to me. A friend bought this runner for her kitchen and I immediately wanted it for our upstairs hallway. Our rug up there is seven years old with some pulling and doesn’t stay still. It’s constantly lopsided and the kids trip and faceplant weekly. SO I used a gift card and a coupon code and got this beauty for $75! $50 after the gift card and we just got our tax refund. My children each chose an end last week to EXPLODE from and mama needed to be affirmed for keeping her crap together both literally and figuratively. Enter: the rug! 
  6. Ghostbed. If you know me at all just skip over this. We bought a ghostbed about a month ago and we LOVE IT. It gets delivered to your home in a box, then you just unwrap it and it expands to a normal size. It’s heavenly! Use this link for $50 off!
  7. Along those same lines, I had no idea how affordable bedding is at Costco! When we bought the ghostbed, we thought the bedding would be super expensive since we upgraded to a King size. I bought a bunch of stuff at Target and Homegoods and ended up returning it all! We got sheets for $19.99! And a king size blanket for $14.99! Insane. I don’t know how to explain the prices online because they are SO much cheaper in store. Give it a shot!
  8. My mother in law gave me this awesome tunic extender. I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it and wear it constantly. It makes any tunic a few inches longer which is great for a tall woman like myself but it also makes you feel a little fancy! Leggings are a go-to in my life and this helps me wear them with more tops I already own. Here’s the one I have!
  9. And 10. Ok So the last few months I’ve been on a hunt for a natural face lotion with spf in it. Skin cancer runs in my family and I want my face and neck covered daily. This is a pipe dream. Each natural moisturizer is either smelly, a weird consistency, is not helping my dry skin, or doesn’t have spf. I was at my moms house the other day and washed my face there for some reason. Who knows why, I have kids I probably just needed a moment. My entire childhood i saw her put on Clinique moisturizer. You know, the yellowish one? I put it on and my face felt so nice the rest of the day. The only problem is there is no spf. So I went on their website and saw this, Super City Block. It’s a moisturizer with 40spf. They happened to be having one of their specials, buy $28 worth of products and get a bag of makeup free. So I bought it! And a travel moisturizer for an upcoming trip. It comes out looking tinted but it really just evens your skin. So in the free makeup kit they had this little gem, Clinique Moisture Surge. Ahem. It’s magic. My nose is peely at the end and I don’t know why. I’ve put this on for two days and it’s perfect. Fixed. I probably will not buy it in the future because it’s $52 but now I know the type of thing I need. Extra moisture on the nose and the Super City Block. Now if anyone with peely skin has a face spf that they love it would help me to not lather up in chemicals every morning but for now my skin is so soft and downright glowing!

Thanks for reading! What things are you loving??

* contains affiliate links. If you purchase this item I will get a small cut. This in no way influences my decision to suggest it.

Katie Lynn-Lent part 4

I’ve missed a week or so of prayer requests but I am ready to catch up. If you’d like to read lent part 3, click here!

1-Kate has had some great trach progress! She has moved onto a cap vs her normal speaking valve. When she’s capped it means she is breathing just like you or I! In recent months she has totally panicked when the cap was placed on her but miraculously she is thriving! She’s up to two hours already! Please pray for MORE!

2-Her precious babies. They are just 2 and 5 and they miss their Mommy desperately. Like all of us they are hurting and confused, impatient and hopeful. They need peace! Please pray for the Lord to be near to them while they’re apart. They are so precious and the hardest thing in the world is watching them ache knowing there isn’t much I can do to help.

3-Kate has a procedure next Wednesday the 12th. Please pray for it to be successful and pain and stress free. We are always quick to tell any new clinicians around kate that she hears and understands them but we still worry about what she may overhear.

4-As always we pray most for Katie to be restored and in the meantime to have hope and a clear vision of her future. For complete protection from here on out and for divine intervention daily.

Thank you so much for your prayers!!

Lent for Kate Week 3

If you need to catch up, here is last weeks Lenten prayer requests.

Kate had a good week this week. There was a family and staff meeting last Friday and they seem to be super encouraged by her progress and set their sights on way more!

Here are some prayer requests for this week!

  1. Speaking valve continues to go well! Kate is up to 8 hours on it a day and is doing wonderfully! Her speech therapist is starting to give her ice chips this week to see what her mouth does in response. Please pray that it does what it should! We want Kate to be able to eat again one day!
  2. Kate is getting a massage this week to try to help her relieve some tension especially on the right side of her neck. Please pray that this helps! She is in a good bit of pain when she’s on her right side and we desperately want her to have full range of motion.
  3. Kate has to be transported to a few doctors appointments in the coming month. Please pray for safety for her while she travels and peace for her spirit. 

Thank you so much for your continued prayers! We fully believe that they are healing Katie.

Lent for Kate: Week 2

I’m back! Ready for week two. If you didn’t read week one, here it is! Thank you SO much for focusing some prayer time for Katie and her family this year. It means a ton. Here are some specific things you can pray for:

  1. We keep getting sick. All of us just pass around stomach viruses and colds etc. and when we do we can’t visit Kate. We are SO thankful (PRAISE GOD!) that Katie has not gotten sick once in the last nine months. Not a cold, not a bug, nothing. But it’s still hard. We don’t want kate to be lonely and we miss her when we can’t visit! So please pray for overall wellness, especially for my mom who is on week three of barely getting to see Kate.
  2. Katie has started giving a thumbs up! This has meant a great deal to us as she answers questions, agrees in conversations and just continues to show how “with us” she really is! We ask God for more! More communication, more connection, more of katie being able to participate in her relationships. MORE, GOD!
  3. The staff at her facility has mostly been great! Please join us in praying that her nurses and therapists are vigilant, caring, kind, affirming, and work their tails off for Katie. It is hard that we can’t be there 24/7 and we beg that God would send the perfect staff that will aid in her full restoration and recovery. 
  4. For God to totally surround Kate as she heals. This is hard stuff. She misses her family and her life! We pray that Jesus is so near to her, that angels surround her and that they give Kate hope for her future through visions and words. Kate needs hope in order to heal!
  5. Again, for Katie’s total and complete restoration. Ever cell of her body complete and healthy, lacking nothing. 

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Lent for Kate

Some of our dear friends have been absolute prayer warriors for Kate over the last 9 months and they’ve decided to take a day a week to pray and fast for her healing over the next 40 days. Would you consider joining us? 

I’m going to put out some prayer ideas weekly. Please feel free to fast something  besides food if your life or a medical condition prohibits it. 

Week one: 

  1. Full and complete healing of the channels between her brain and her body. Kate’s mind and memory seem to be in tact but when her brain tells her body to do something, in many cases it doesn’t.
  2. Freedom from pain. Specifically in her neck and shoulder region. Kate is favoring her left side and we are working on getting that healed.
  3. Progress with her trach removal. We want it gone! Please pray that in the coming months Katie would CONTINUE to move forward. She’s made leaps and bounds in this area! She is currently at six hours of a speaking valve per day!
  4. Thanksgiving. The Lord has been faithful. Breakthroughs when we lose hope, comforting words when we need them most, and the most astounding is continued progress further than her initial doctors thought possible. 
  5. Katie’s immediate family. Her husband, her babies, her parents and siblings. The last nine months have brought great sorrow above what we even thought possible. Katie is DEEPLY missed every minute of the day and we each take turns totally losing it. Please continue to pray for our hope in the Lord as we support Katie and each other.

Thank you so much! I’ll post again next week with more ideas!