Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I've often said to people who are new to our church congregation that I wish I had time to tell them all the wonderful things I know about the other ladies in our congregation, of their service, of their accomplishments, of their talents. It would take weeks, I'm sure. I feel the same about all of my friends. I wish I could tell you of each of my friend's talents, service, and accomplishments.

Today though I want to tell you about my friend, Michelle. Michelle is one of my favorite people. Michelle holds a very dear place in my heart.

I remember the first time I met her. I sat next to her at church and she has a LONG last name. When she first said it, I thought, "I'll never be able to say that or remember it." Then she broke it down into 3 syllables. It was easy and I've never had a problems with it since. I also discovered that day that she and I had a few things in common. One of which is that we both enjoy teaching our children at home, at least most days we enjoy it. :)

If I were asked to describe her I would probably whisper to you that she has ballroom dance skills, and a Master's Degree in education. Those are the things that might take you a while to learn ... like they did me. I would then also tell you that she is: an amazing mother, a strong woman, and a faithful daughter of God. She is also funny, loving, gentle, compassionate, giving, devoted, hard working, brave, adventurous, fit, beautiful, humble, trustworthy, non-judgmental, gracious, easy to laugh with, easy to cry with. She is my friend.

She is also my friend who came over with clippers, a razor and shaving cream to help me make the transition from long hair to very little hair. This was such a blessing to me. I asked Michelle for several reasons. One was because she had asked what she could do to help me. Another was because I knew she had experience shaving her husband's head. But, the main reason I asked her was because I knew it would be okay if I did break down and cry. You probably remember that I thought I was going to be okay with the process of losing my hair, but I wasn't entirely sure. I knew that if Michelle was there with me it would be just fine.

And, it was. She was so gentle and encouraging. We laughed a lot and had a conversation that I'm confident I would not have had with any other person. :)

Michelle, my dear friend, please always remember how much I appreciate and love you! No matter where you move or how long you are gone, you will always have a place in my heart and in my home. Thank you for being my friend! Oh, and happy birthday!!

Neurologist Update

Ryan and I went to see Dr. Seals today. He was wonderful as usual!

We discussed the effects of the change in medications. We're still seeing several seizures a day. So, he upped Ryan's medicines again. He is now taking Trileptal and Lamictal. Hopefully, the combination will work.

I also asked if Ryan might grow out of the seizures, as I've heard some children have done. He said that some children do, but it depends on the cause of the seizures. The bottom line is there is not much of a chance of Ryan out growing them. However, we are blessed that he is responsive to medicine. There is a chance that if with medicine we can get him to the point where is having no seizures that his brain may decide that it's supposed to behave that way. If that happens, we may be able to back off some of the medicine without him starting to seize. (I hope I explained that right.)

He was encouraged with Ryan's vocals and especially enjoyed Ryan's smile.

Oh, and since we had discussed my cancer at the last appointment, today I gave him my good news. (I stated it as being in "remission" so that I wouldn't stress yet another doctor with the terminology of "cancer free.") I loved that he celebrated with me the joy of being in remission. I could see it in his eyes and his staff's eyes that they were truly happy for me and glad to hear the news. Isn't that wonderful? Sometimes people think of doctors as money-hungry, greedy people. I'm sure there are some out there like that, but my experience has been very opposite of that. They are kind, self-sacrificing people. Can you imagine the years of sacrifice that not only the doctor put into becoming a doctor, but also his family? We have been blessed with a team of good-hearted, wise, knowledgeable doctors. What a blessing!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This morning I did the normal Sunday morning rush to get the children ready for church. Yet it seemed that no one was ready on time and no one seemed to be concerned that we were running behind. We finally managed to have everyone ready but Ryan (and me). I was feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated that I just sent them all out the door to church with Grandma Mann and even thought about just staying home. But, as I put dinner in the crockpot, I realized that I was allowing myself to feel discouraged. I started to wonder why.

Why would I feel discouraged now? After all, the cancer is in remission. Ryan is not having as many seizures. We don't have as many doctors appointments. I am very blessed. Why would I feel discouraged?

As I thought about it, I realized that for the past few months of intense times, I have focused on the things of most value and allowed other things to fall to the back of the list. I have focused on family, scriptures, prayers, faith, gratitude, etc. Now that the intense times have lightened, I have started to worry about the nit-picky stuff with the house, and my weight, etc. Not to say that those things aren't important, but they are NOT the most important things.

Just realizing it took the power away from those things to discourage me. I am still concerned about getting this extra weight off me. It doesn't feel good to be out of shape and I am more out of shape than I have ever been in my life. I'll be 42 soon and I want to be fit and forty, not fat and forty. So, I'll work on it, but not before I do the other things and not with more effort than I'll give the more important things.

So, I return to the approach of "Let us CHEERFULLY do all things that lie in our power" with a renewed zeal and the knowledge that "we may then stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed."

I *know* without a doubt that God will bless and has blessed our lives. I look forward to sharing more of those great blessings with each of you.