Saturday, December 27, 2008


Christmas flew in and it flew by! Would anyone else agree? I think the anticipation is half of the fun. We had a blessed and sweet Christmas this year. Things were very different for us...not nearly so many gifts were purchased and not one single Christmas card was sent from my family. However, we didn't die and it was still wonderful. Shep and I did something that we had never done before...we opened our gifts to each other at midnight on Christmas Eve. We just spread all the gifts out on the bed and had such fun opening them and enjoying OUR time together without the kiddos. (I will never forget that and I hope it continues to be a tradition)
We were up early and the kids had such fun with their presents. Ava was in did her living room become transformed into a Toys-R-Us??? She kind of didn't know what to do. We captured her expressions as best as we could on camera. It was bittersweet, though. Zeke, of course, is too young to care about Christmas. Caroline, on the other hand, knows what is going on but it is so hard for her to play with anything so her excitement level is hard to determine. We try not to concentrate on that and just pull her in to all that Ava was doing.

Time with our families was great too. My family seemed closer than we have been in a long time. Shep's family was definitely in the Christmas spirit as well. We are so blessed!! We are loved, prayed for, encouraged, and guarded by our amazing families (and amazing friends).
The food...........oh, I don't even have words......
Ham, turkey, dressing, breakfast casserole, fried pies, butter beans, hash-brown casserole, mac-n-cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, coconut cake, cream cheese/crescent rolls casserole, apple pizza, sausage balls, haystacks, pecans, and chocolate. I am gaining weight just typing the words.

I had several moments to pause and think of my Jesus. He was my best and favorite gift. He loved on me Christmas day just like every other day. He lets me just talk and cry and laugh with Him whenever I want. His Holy Spirit residing in me is His seal and promise....He will never leave nor forsake me.

Now- here I am two days later. Sometimes the after-Christmas blues set in. I feel so silly sometimes in my walk with the Lord. I have said before that the closer I get to Him the more I feel I have to learn...
Today I feel like my 7 month old Zeke. He reminds me about every 4 hours during the day that he needs to be fed. Just like him, I have found myself running to God every few hours (sometimes minutes) needing Him to feed me....

This is how He did------------------------------------------------------------------------

Words from Streams in the Desert
"Never run from suffering, but bear it silently, patiently,and submissively, with the assurance that it is God's way of instilling iron into your spiritual life. The world is looking for iron leaders, iron armies, iron tendons, and muscles of steel. But God is looking for IRON SAINTS, and since there is no way to impart iron into His people's moral nature except by letting them suffer, He allows them to suffer.
Are the best years of your life slipping away while you suffer enforced monotony? (Yes!!) Are you afflicted with opposition, misunderstandings, and the scorn of others? Do your afflictions seem as thick as the undergrowth confronting someone hiking through a jungle? (Uh-yeah!)
Then take heart! Your time is not wasted, for God is simply putting you through His iron regimen. Your iron crown of suffering precedes your golden crown of glory, and iron is entering your soul to make it strong and brave." F.B. Meyer
Psalm 105 was the scripture reference for this devotion. The theme of this psalm is about God's mighty deeds in bringing Israel to the promised land. Remembering his miracles encourages us to keep living close to him.
He knows exactly how to encourage me for He knit me together and knows me better than anyone.
Be still my soul and trust only in Him...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Word for my Big Girl

Last night we were all crowded around the fireplace. We had eaten dinner and now had moved on to popcorn and chocolate. Polar Express was on the television screen and it felt like you wanted it to feel at Christmas with your family...

Caroline had made it very clear with her body language that she wanted in on some of the popcorn. So, Shep had been giving her pieces of the fluffy white parts. A little while later I moved closer to her just to begin loving on her. Shep had stopped feeding her for a while to watch the movie. I leaned over her and asked her, "Do you want some more popcorn"? What I then heard was....."oppp- corn". I sat there for a second (kind of not really believing it...and thinking to myself..."I must have heard what I wanted to hear") So then I asked her, "Did you just say popcorn"? She smiled so broadly!!!
I asked her to repeat it again for me and she wasn't as great...but still the same word. Then I made Shep get down next to us and she said it again....

It was wonderful....another awesome moment!! Merry Christmas!!

This all comes on the heels of my bad day. For my close friends who know how I deal with things, this isn't a surprise. Christmastime and Caroline's birthday are the two most difficult times of the year with her. For some reason I have always assumed her healing would occur on one of these days. As you hasn't. So each year that passes with no healing tends to bring on the doubts and defeating thoughts. I can start to drown in them and act as if I have no hope. Well, this was very much one of those days...

A little after lunch, I was cleaning my kitchen. This phrase "an alter where you are" kept coming through my mind. I didn't really know what to do with it or what it meant. So I just kind of kept thinking about it. After the kitchen was cleaned I knew I needed to pray and get in the Word. My attitude was stinking up the whole house. I got my Bible and devotion book, then I began to look for paper. I didn't really know what for, except that I felt like I needed it. So, I finally found paper and sat down to study and pray. The next thing I knew...I had written "An altar where you are" at the top of the page...then I just began to write this poem.

An altar is a place of surrender
laying burdens and fears down.
Offering yourself as a vessel
As He pours peace on you like a crown.

The altar doesn't have to be in a church
with cushions, stairs, or rail.
It can take the form of any place
when you need to kneel and wail.

The altar is a meeting place
where hearts are comforted and hurts proclaimed.
Jesus promises to hear and answer
As we draw near and call on His name.

At home in my chair as many doubts invade,
my hopes and His voice seem so far.
I feel His voice call as I battle inside,
"Child, fall on the altar where you are".

Let me just say...I don't normally do this. But it really encouraged me. He did it all and happened to use me in the process.

I praise Him with all that I am!! I am in awe of You, Lord!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Precious in His sight

How sweet is this?? Ava has begun trying to pray "real" prayers. What I mean is...something more than "God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food...". Don't get me wrong, I know that He considers that as prayer too. But, what I mean is she has begun to thank Him and ask Him for things on her own. She loves to thank God for God and Jesus. She also loves to pray for Caroline's she can walk and play with her. She prays for whatever else may come to her mind. Yesterday she heard her little brother cough. She looked at me and said, "momma, I am gonna pray for Zeke to feel better". Well, pray she did! I sat and watched this little 3 year old approach the Almighty with such sweet assurance. It took my breath away. I wanted to pause time and just bask in that precious moment with her.

Oh Father, help me to guide these little ones into a real relationship with you. One that is as natural to them as breathing. I know that they watch me and all that I do and say. I want them to see me talking to you, praising you, asking you for help, and submitting to you all through out my days with them.

Bless my children. Thank you for entrusting them to me for this time.

Girl time

I don't know what I would do without my weekly accountability from the Thursday morning Bible study ladies. They are such a huge blessing to me. We like each other so much that we have been meeting for the last 3 weeks and we have been finished with our study. We just wanted to meet, review, share, and pray. It is a wonderful mixture of women ranging in age from their 60's to their 20's. I always feel better for going. My sisters in there always encourage me or God uses them to speak a strong word to me. Today was no different! Thank you Elizabeth, Deana, and Amy. There were different things that you all said today that I really needed to hear.
What I hope to remember from today's meeting:

True intimacy with Jesus breeds humility

The closer we get to Christ the more His light sheds upon our sins...(not to condemn, but to correct so we can be more like Him)

His glory on our lives can be offensive to others...especially believers who might be convicted.
(this one is hard for me...I don't like it when others aren't pleased with me...I am a pleas er by nature)

Lastly, be thankful! Be a thankful and grateful person. Deana's question, "What if God took away everything that you were not thankful for"? Yikes!!! That is tough...but good to think about!! Oh, how we have mounds and mounds to be thankful for
-friends (to list them all would take days)
-warm house
When we list it out...things suddenly seem a little brighter. My list is much longer, but time or space would not permit all that I have to be thankful.

Anyway, it was so good! It ministered to me and I needed it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Need a little sunshine...

We are in need of rain, and normally I do love the occasional rainy day...but this is killing me. I need a little sunshine. It has been rainy here all week...after a while that tends to take a toll on my attitude. I hate even admitting that about myself. But, it is true.
Alrighty, moving on....
The Lord spoke to me this morning in my devotional about "seeking holiness". I got to thinking about this word. We (I) don't say it very much. I wonder why?? The word "holiness" is kind of a heavy word. It seems to carry this weight of responsibility. I always think of my Lord as holy, but not necessarily myself. Is that because I don't think I act holy? How many times do I have to remind myself that I have been MADE HOLY by Jesus and Him alone. There is nothing I can do to ACT HOLY. It should just be who I am. My desires should be His desires...
I shouldn't want to gossip...
I shouldn't want to stretch that truth...
I shouldn't want to watch that ungodly show on t.v.

So why do I? Because I am at war everyday with a real enemy. An evil one who wants to tell me that I am order that I might just act on that thought.
Oh Father, help me to focus on what you have already done for me...I am declared holy, righteous, unblemished, pure, victorious, and without fault. Just because I might ACT differently does not change what You have declared over me.
Thank you Jesus! Thank you for giving me your holiness. Give me an attitude adjustment. Let my light shine so others might see YOU!!
Give me strength to persevere through these days with Caroline. The healing seems impossible, so distant. However, I know what you have told me. I trust you. I believe you...not how I feel.
I love you. I want more of you...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I should have known...

Yesterday morning Zeke woke me up early with an empty tummy. I fed him and then he wanted to play. I just laid there listening to my 6 month old making sweet sounds and watching him play his favorite game of grabbing his feet. I decided to get up, take my time, get a bath, and spend some time with the Lord before the girls got up. My quiet time was all about "trusting God". The title alone should have told me that I was facing a doozie of a day...but at this point I was still blissfully ignorant of what the day held for me.
Basically, things went wrong in my day. Complications and aggravations were at my every turn. Even at this point..."Trust Him"....
That seems silly. Of course we say we trust Him. But what about on the little things. Lost items, bad attitudes, and inconveniences that He allows. The truth is we don't want to trust Him on these is too easy for us to fret and soak in our own cynicism. I know God is crazy about me and He doesn't want to just be in my 10 minute devotion for the day. He wants to be the center of everything in my day. When He is...I will and can trust Him and talk to Him about rude people, those sun-glasses I lost again, and sitting on hold for many minutes waiting on someone other than an automated voice to help me with cell phone problems.
Anyway, this morning my devotion was about prayer and knowing God's will for your life. I am not good at prayer...I don't know many people who are. It is hard and takes willful effort. So, I have asked the Lord to help me today. I will probably ask Him again in an hour...then again in another hour. I have asked Him to speak to me and help me know when it is Him. I am going to trust that He will do this.
So-I have another day out before me. I want to tackle it head on. I want to do God's will for me today...whatever that is.

"However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'-but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit" 1 Corin. 2:9-10.

I love the first part of this verse. I want to see what no eye has seen, hear what no ear has heard, and conceive what my mind cannot because I do love Him...and these things are attainable. The second part of that verse says "but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit". His Spirit lives in me and therefore walks with me and talks with me.
God, help me to be still and listen to you and trust you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Momma

My momma is quite a lady. She seeks to please God in all that she does and she lives out her faith for all to see. She is one of my very best friends and strongest cheerleaders. She strives to push herself and others toward a closer relationship with Jesus.

My life growing up with her as my mama was not easy....if she was around then I got away with nothing. She was on me like white on rice. I can say, however, that her constant guard kept me out of a lot of trouble and away from a lot of temptation. I want to be that same annoying kind of parent to my children. I want to know their business...all of it. I don't want to be naive as to what they are dealing with...I want to know the war they are fighting so that I can help them. My mom talked very straight with me. She knew better than to not do it. I appreciate it so much. She influenced the kind of friends I had and the kind of boys I dated...her opinion really mattered to me and it still does.

She is a writer, a teacher, a mentor, a prophet (at times), a challenging truth-teller, a devoted wife, a dependable and loving mama, and an amazing me-mama ( as Ava calls her) to her grand-children. More than all of this, I see her spending her days full of joy, called by obedience, surrendered to His plan, and worshipping at His feet. She is always aware of her inadequacy and His sufficiency...her weakness and His strength....her frailty and His power in her life. I love her and look up to her immensely. She pushes me to be a better daughter, mother, wife, and friend. She sees the progress that Christ is making in my life when all I see are failures...I am so thankful for her in my life.

Happy Birthday momma....I loved your surprise party!!

Busy days...

I don't feel like I have had time to sit down...much less update my blog. However, every day I have had so many thoughts that I wanted and intended to post.
This past weekend was a great time! Shep, myself, and the kiddos went to my hometown in Alabama (no bama jokes required) to attend our family reunion and visit with some other family we haven't seen in some time. The whole trip was outstanding!! I really needed it. I told Shep on the ride over that I kind of felt like my life growing up in Alabama almost feels like it never happened. I think it is because we hardly ever go back and visit. I couldn't wait to just drive past my grandparent's house and visit their grave sites. Doing all of that somehow brings back the reality that my childhood really did happen....many memories of family birthdays, sleep-overs, Easter-egg hunts, and Christmas mornings come flooding back. It is amazing to me that their house used to be like my second home. Now, it is just another place. Anyway, I don't want to focus on the nostalgia of it all because we had an awesome time.

The family reunion was fun. Seeing folks I haven't seen in so long was like medicine to my soul. I am a family girl...and I didn't really realize how much I missed my extended family. Lots of hugging, squeezing, eating, laughing, talking, kissing babies, and catching up on details with was great!

Then we finished off our day by going to my aunt and uncle's to watch the Alabama-Florida game....sorry Bama!! There was more hugging, squeezing, laughing, eating, talking, and playing with the kids. It was a blast!! Sometimes we forget how much FUN just being together can be. Shep and I really didn't want to leave. We both knew how badly we needed that time to just be around people that love you and encourage you. It really just felt great to be "at home". I hope we can do it again soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Recent Photos...

These are different pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to Blakely and decorating the Christmas tree...
What can I say?? I am too proud of my family! I think they are wonderful!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving~~

We had a wonderful holiday! So sorry it had to end...this is one of the things that I look forward to in heaven. Our great days will never end!!!! We went to south Ga. with Shep's family. It was a lot of fun. The day was gorgeous and the food scrumptious! It was a whirlwind trip b/c we came home pretty quickly and then did Thanksgiving with my family. There is just something about walking into your momma's house on Thanksgiving and smelling and seeing all the foods that you have during this special time of year...then your mind is flooded with memories. :>)
Our kids behaved remarkably well to have been on the road for hours and sleeping in different beds. I know that I wanted to hug my man and my children a little closer and just be near them. These hard economic times have tremendously impacted my thankfulness for the little things I take for my man and my children.
We also put up our Christmas decorations. That is always so meaningful to me and Shep. It used to just be the two of us. We would be kind of sappy and we are singing carols, changing diapers, hanging ornaments, wiping noses, preparing snacks and sippie cups all in the midst of decorating the house. We wouldn't change a thing we get to see it all through new little eyes.
Anyway, now we are back to a Monday. School and work have intruded on us again and the choice is do we lose that joyfulness and give in to the gloom or be THANKFUL we woke up to another day. I am choosing door # 2 although the battle was on to be a grouch today.

Also, I had one really sweet moment with my Jesus this past weekend. I felt really drawn to get into His word and do a devotion because I had not spent a whole lot of time with Him during the business of our weekend of traveling. I had been battling against hopeless thoughts and feelings. So, I tried to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and see what the Lord had to say to me. I opened my stand-by devotion book "Streams in the Desert". The devotion itself was nothing really special. It was encouraging of course. It talked about the beautiful music in our lives being heard best when we are in the midst of fierce storms...this is how others see Jesus actively working in us...if we let Him. The verse for the devotion was Hebrews 12:11. I felt led to get my Bible and read the scriptures before and after that verse just to get the correct context. Chapter 12 opens up encouraging believers not to lose heart and to endure hardship as discipline. Verse 11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
-Wow! Did that ever speak to me. Yes, this time in my life is painful...financially and looking in the face of my child every day believing something that I don't see. Believing she will walk, talk, eat, run, dance, play, and sing. The part I loved was the second part of the verse...LATER ON...this hardship WILL produce a harvest. Oh Lord, how I pray earnestly to see the harvest and see it soon!! Help me to have a trainable and teachable spirit so that righteousness and peave will reign in my life and in my family.
Now, I really thought that was awesome...until I keep reading. Verses 12 and 13 say this, "Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the LAME MAY NOT BE DISABLED , BUT RATHER HEALED."
I almost came out of the bed. How sweet He is to speak directly to my situation. There He was encouraging me during these hard days and then He added icing to my cake. How cool! I didn't even know that verse was there...much less that it spoke of the lame being healed!

Praise you Lord! I choose to believe that You spoke directly to me...and not to give in to the lie that this was consequential. I believe you wanted to speak hope to my heart. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

O K!!!!!!

Caroline said another new word....o.k.! It was wonderful! Just another little snippet of what is yet to come. Yesterday I was leaning over Caroline and I said to her, "Let's call grand-daddy, o.k.?". She replied very clearly..."o.k.". Well, of course I had a little wonder moment to myself. I said to Caroline, "Did you just say o.k.?" and then she said it again. I repeated this all over again when Shep came home so that he could hear it as well. She did it and we got to hear it together. You can't imagine what it feels like to hear with your own ears and see with your own eyes the miracle you have waited so long to see!!!
It is pure elation!! It is the sweetest sound I could ever imagine. Thank you Father for these little treasured moments of revealed healing in Caroline...we KNOW more is coming. Thank you for encouraging our faith.
You are worthy of all praise and I don't want to miss an opportunity to lavish my praise upon you. Help me to stay focused on you and not her progress. I want to truly love the HEALER so that I may greater enjoy the HEALING~~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick update on the family

Ava and I have battled the tummy bug this past week. That was a ton of fun..let me tell you. On top of that, we have also had several little Ava "melt-downs". Those moments when you are frantically looking around for your parenting manual. :>) She and I are so much alike. I have said it before, but she truly is my mini-me. She pushes the same buttons of mine that I remember pushing with my mother. What is it that people always say, "you pay for your raising"? Aside from the minor "melt-downs", she is a gem. She can warm you up in an instant with her sweetness.

Little Zeke is too much. He has found his little voice and his feet. His very high pitched squeals are such fun and a common sight at our house is to see him on the floor trying to put his feet into his mouth. This is such a fun age and I am trying with everything in me to savor it because it is already going by too quickly!! He loves baby food and of course anyone can look at him and tell he doesn't miss any meals. He is our delight!!

Caroline is just rockin and rollin these days. Nothing really new to tell. She has been such a laughing girl here lately. Everything and anything has gotten her tickled. If you have ever been lucky enough to see her laughing hard with her shoulders bouncing up and down then you know the pleasure it brings to anyone watching her. She hasn't really done anything new for me lately...the little stinker. Don't let that fool you. She usually doesn't want to do what I ask her to, but that doesn't mean she isn't able to.

I am amazed to watch my floundering faith. At times I feel so full of faith and nothing in the world seems out of reach. Then, it happens. You have a period of time that just seems kind of drab. Nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing to tell, and if you are not careful the faith follows the feelings on their downward spiral. This is where the test becomes real. Hasn't God done enough? Why do I always insist on more?? At this feelings are my enemy. I have to say what I know. God is good! God knows what is best for me! God is in complete control! God is going to heal Caroline, even though that couldn't feel farther from the truth! God delights in me! I am the apple of His eye! My hope is in Him alone! He will never leave nor forsake me!

I (we) have got to recognize the difference b/w what feels real to us and what we KNOW!

Lord, forgive my doubtful and fretting moments. They are but hay and stubble to you. They are also sinful. Give me more faith and help me be completely satisfied by You!!

By the way, I didn't update on my man! He is always! He is the highlight of my day-----everyday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hard times

I hate having to grow up. However, life doesn't give us the choice. These are hard times for our family...and I know we are not the exception. There are many out there just like us. The economical strain has had a tremendous impact on my man's business and has called for BIG changes in our lives. We are looking for extra jobs to earn money and any and every way to save money. Of course I don't like this at all...but, I am finding this odd determination that is really refreshing. I know God will bless us and provide for us...however, HE also may ask us to sacrifice and be uncomfortable too.
Yesterday Ava and I were not feeling well. We stayed home from church and battled through this bug that was viciously attacking our tummies. Anyway, it was cold in our house. This has been the case for the past few weeks because we are trying to save on the power bill. Shep teases me and tells me to throw on another jacket so layering has been popular around here. Well, because I wasn't feeling well, I was pouting about not having the heat on. I wanted to be nice and toasty without having to layer my clothes inside my house.
Shep got home from church (he had to go teach Sunday school) and immediately went outside and started chopping wood. He chopped up a good bit, brought it to the deck, came in and built an awesome fire. It was beautiful. It smelled good and reminded me of the things I loved about cold weather. In no time at all we were all in the floor huddled together right in front of that fire. God prompted my heart to look around and be grateful. Had I had my way...the heat would have been on but we would not have all been huddled together. Thank you for the hard times and sweet memories.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A word from my momma...

I called my mom early Wednesday morning to share a connection that the Lord had made for me. I always tell mom about the things that I believe God is saying to me. I had read the passage from my Bible study to her and then asked her to read what I had written in "Caroline's journey" so that she could see the connection as well. The Lord had connected what I had written in my blog about "Caroline's journey" (year 3 for those of you who are reading it from the beginning) to what I was studying in my Bible study for that day. The connection was about the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho. The Lord has used this particular passage to speak to me, guide me, and encourage me on several occasions. One of these in particular, was when Shep and I stepped out in faith to get pregnant again. (read the beginning of the story for more on this)
This time was no different. He was simply using this passage to confirm what HE is already speaking to me about "being prepared" for what I am assuming is Caroline's healing.

Now that I have given this introduction I will let my mom take over...

(Nancy's story)
I went to Andrea's blog and read the "beginning" link of Caroline's story until the mention of the word "Jericho". Immediately the number 7 came to my mind. I knew that Joshua marched around the city of Jericho 7 times...once a day until the 7th day. Things began to come together in my mind regarding these last 7 years with Caroline. We have often referred to Caroline's healing as our "promised land" or our "Jericho". It occurred to me that we have been preparing and praying 7 years. We are in the 7th year of this journey with Caroline...marching around it so to speak. God commanded Joshua and the Israelites to act differently on the 7th day...they were to circle Jericho 7 times on the 7th day. I thought it was pretty interesting that God has challenged Andrea to write about these last 7 years right now. In a sense, we are doing the same thing. During this 7th year...Andrea is writing or circling all 7 years again by writing them down. Could it be that what we are living out is comparable to a modern-day Joshua and the walls of Jericho event?
As pieces came together, the connection of it all was suddenly overwhelmingly real. It wasn't a hope, a wish, a wonder, but a "yes" in my spirit. I had cried and wailed in the past 6 years many times like this from sorrow, sadness, and desperation for Caroline to be healed. The crying and wailing was the exact same this time except I was filled to overflowing with joy, amazement, and a deep sense of confirmation. I KNEW in my spirit. I was compelled to agree with the Holy Spirit's revelation that this was going to come to pass soon. The only words that I could form on my lips between tears and shouts of praise was "I know, I know"!
I no longer hope, I KNOW!!

It's back to me now...
I hope you all are encouraged by this fresh word. I have been ecstatic and overwhelmed. Since mom shared this with me, God has brought several events back to my mind where He has used people to speak the number 7 to me. Whenever these sweet people would say to me, "When I pray for Caroline I keep getting a sense of the number 7" I would get really angry. I didn't want to hear that. Our original prophecy from Melissa was that she would begin to do what others kids were doing around the age of 5 or so. I took the age of 5 and ran with it. I tried to hold God to a certain date. Could it be that He is revealing more of His plan to us...what will this year bring??

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The men in my life...

Just wanted to let everyone see my good-looking boys. I think Zeke looks just a little like his daddy. Good for him! My girls are precious and I love them so much. However, I am beginning to see the sweet connections that mommas have with their boys. I am so blessed I can't even stand it!!

More words...

This morning I was loading the kids in the car. I have the same routine every morning...Ava first, Zeke second, and then I go get Caroline. As I was walking toward the van she said, "Caaa". I said, "Caroline, did you just say "car"? She began to grin so big as if she could not be more proud of herself. I thought I would try this talking thing again so tonight I was lying in the floor next to Caroline. Ava was entertaining us as usual and Zeke was happily playing in his exersaucer. I leaned over Caroline and began to say "Linda" to her, making sure that she could see how my mouth would move so she could mimic me. To my delight, she said it. It is not perfect...but because I am watching her closely I can see her mouth and hear it at the same time. Next, I thought I would tackle the word "Mama" or "mom". She immediately began to bring her lips together and make the "ma" sound. I was yelling and laughing and she could not contain her laughter as well. She seems to be so thrilled that we can understand is a dream come true. Thank you Lord for your wonder-working power!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun at the farm

Sunday was a great day! First, worshipping my Lord with my church family and then enjoying His creation with my hubby's family at the farm. It was smiles all day long. I can't possibly communicate what being there does for me sometimes. It reminds me of how I used to feel when I would go visit my grandparents. My maw maw and paw paw loved to be do I. I have so many memories in my childhood of cramming as many people as we could get onto my grandparents front porch just so we could sit outside and talk and watch who might happen to drive past us on the road in front of their home. This doesn't sound like much fun to most people but what I would give to have just one of those times back again. No doubt I would be piled up in my maw maw's lap even at the ripe old age of 31....hopefully not getting burned by the cigarette she would be holding in her hand. ( I know she is laughing in heaven at that remark and probably wanting to spank my rear end:>)

My sweet man loves being outside. It doesn't really matter where, although some places are higher on his list. Blakely, in a deer stand, or standing in a stream fishing suits him just fine. But this past Sunday did something for my soul that I know those places do for him. It felt so free and doubt how our Lord wants us to be. Not bound up and stressed by the worries and cares of this mean world. I hope there are many more days like this past Sunday in our future. These are the days that make bookmarks for our memories.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Did she just say that??

This has been a great weekend...busy and crazy but still great! I absolutely loved halloween as a kid. Maybe because I always loved getting to be something else. It was fun and innocent, not to mention the candy that cured my sweet tooth craving. By the way, what is the deal with buckets or baskets for trick or treating? In my day, we got a pillow case and the goal was to fill it up. Anybody with me on that??
Anyway, it was fun to live through my babies and watch them. We had trunk or treat at church Friday night and it was too much fun. Seeing our friends and church family made the night. Our sweet Ms. Linda had sent the kids halloween to Zeke, one to Ava, and one to Caroline. Of course, children love mail and loved getting their cards...actually I don't think Zeke cared but his will go into an album because Ms. Linda's message was too sweet. Ava and Caroline thought it was too cool. When I read Caroline her card she just laughed and laughed. ( you would have to know her but she associates Ms. Linda and laughter...she thinks that they go together.)
When Shep got home he saw the card and asked Caroline who had sent it to her. She said "in-da". As you might imagine, Shep and I just looked at each other and stared in amazement. Did she just say what we thought she said??? So, I asked her again, "Caroline, who sent you that card?" She said, (not as well this time) "in-------dah".

Praise you Father! We are just believing that you are knitting her little mind and the injured places back together. You love delighting your children and so I want everyone to know how you delighted us. We have promised to praise You and give You all the glory for her healing. I think that also includes the little victories along the way. This was definitely a praiseworthy moment!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One great dream

For those of you who are new to my life...get ready this is just a normal thing. My mom called me this morning to tell me about a dream she had last night about our sweet Caroline. She was very excited and after hearing the dream, I understood why. (Just a side note-dreams have become a normal part of God's encouragement to us. We can't begin to count the number of people who have dreamed of Caroline being healed. way!!)

Back to the dream...

My parents were in a bedroom sitting on a king size bed with their grandchildren. Mom looks up and sees Caroline lying in the top left corner of the bed near the head board. Caroline sleeps on her tummy so this position is natural to her. Anyway, Caroline swings her feet off of the side of the bed and begins to slide down toward the floor. Mom begins panicking and yelling for someone to catch her but no one does. Caroline's feet touch the floor and she steadies herself and pushes up straight. She begins to walk in a wobbly way around the bed and toward the door of the room. With each step her walking is she gets to the doorway she turns around to face my parents and her cousins. She is grinning from ear to ear and seems so happy. She says "I love you" in sign language with her hand. Then in a very soft almost mom hears her say "I am healed". There is much excitement and then again Caroline repeats in a louder tone...."I am healed".

After my mom woke up and oriented herself, she got out her dream interpretation book. She found some pretty interesting connections....bed is symbolic of a place of rest; doorway is symbolic of the future.

I absolutely believe that our God wants to astound us...amaze us...and leave us in awe at His mercy, goodness, grace, love, and power. He is unchanging and I think He still speaks in dreams. Does this encourage me to keep believing?? Yes!! Does this inspire hope?? Yes!!

Praise you for Father for your extraordinary ways of reaching out to your children...You are so good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling Grateful

Just wanted to say how especially grateful I am. It would really take more time than I have to elaborate on all that I have to shout praises about but I do feel like I should mention of few man and main squeeze. You still make me weak in the knees. little mini-me. Being a witness to your life has made me broken and blessed. little pistol. All of my senses are thrilled to come alive through you and all that you experience. good lookin boy. My heart is all tied up by you.
Daddy, Momma, my brothers and their sweet families, Shep's family who has taken me in a loved me like an original member of the fam, my Ms. Linda, Deana, Derrick, Brandi, Jason, Little Tant:>), Mande, Jon, Kimmie, Tess, Marje, my church family, Caroline, Lizabeth, and Cole, my bible study girls...and the countless people I know and some I don't who pray for us and believe with us that Caroline will be healed.
Thank you Father for blessing me with these that I love so much......

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something sweet

How it warms my heart to look in my rear view mirror and watch my three year old sing "El Shaddai". She doesn't have a clue what it means...she just knows that something in her longs to sing it. Simple proof that we are truly made to worship. I hope my Jesus is so moved to hear her simply wrong motives, no pride as to how good she is singing it, just lost in the song. How we can learn from that purity. I pray God helps me guide her to sing unashamed to her audience of One.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The beginning

I am going to start trying this whole "blog" thing. Not really sure how to do deal. Anyway, I really feel that God has told me lately (last few months) to "Be prepared" or "get ready". Not really sure what He means or what He wants me to do. I do think that it has something to do with preparing for Caroline to be healed. She is now 6 years old and I think that lately He has wanted me to write down all that He has done for us and shown us (supernaturally) in these last 6 years. I am going to attempt to do just that. A little bit at a time I will try to write in some orderly fashion what my faith journey has been like these last years. If this blesses anyone...awesome. It is probably going to be a little jumbled and overwhelming b/c it seems like so much has happened and there is so much to say. I guess today I will start from the beginning.

June 11, 2002 (one day before her actual due date) my water broke at around 6:30 a.m. Shep came home from Bible study and we took off for the hospital. My contractions were steady and sharp...can anyone say epidural!! I was ready. I thought I would get the epidural and then feel really good and wait until someone told me to start pushing. That is what I had seen from my sister-in-law so why shouldn't it happen to me.
Well, I did get my epidural but something went wrong. Turns out, the epidural had somehow gotten into the wrong place ( my vein) and I started massively seizing and then stopped breathing. All of this happening with baby Caroline inside of my womb. They stabilized me as best as they could and did an emergency C-section to get Caroline out...then they put me into a coma so that I would not seize anymore. My poor husband and family were a mess. Can you imagine going from elation to absolute fear and panic? They were told that I may never wake up and they didn't really have a prognosis for Caroline except she was needing help to breathe at first and she did have some seizure activity as well.

I woke up the next day absolutely fine. I had no idea what had happened and every one was treating me like the china doll that could break at any moment. People tried to explain to me what had occurred but I don't think I really grasped the whole reality of it.
I was released from the hospital after one week and my Caroline stayed on for another 12 weeks. She was so beautiful...perfect in every way. Except she couldn't eat at all...and we know that she had suffered from lack of oxygen thus harming her little brain. Looking back these days were spent just waiting and hoping that she would just snap out of it and get better. That, did not happen. In fact we were faced with new issues...placing a g-tube, and dealing with unbelieveable reflux. Caroline would throw up everything she was given. It was awful.
When we finally went home I was scared out of my mind. We had amazing family support and our church and friends were the finest on earth. They had come in and cleaned my home.(we had lived with my parents for the entire summer so we could be close to the hospital) They had also prepared a meal list for us. We were well taken care of and so very loved. But, I knew that all of these people would go home and eventually they would forget about what we now faced. The enormous task of caring for a very handicapped child. I was a depressed mess. Looking back, I know God was graciously carrying me the whole time...and He was allowing me to see myself for what and where I really was. I had been saved at an early age and had loved and lived for Him. But now, when things were hard and so unfair, I blamed Him. I couldn't believe He would actually allow me to have to suffer these things. I even had thoughts of hating Him and thought in some weird way that He was punishing me. Little did I know, He was setting the stage for me to begin my greatest encounters with Him. My desperation drove me to dependency. Everything was out of my hands and I (Shep too) had no other choice than to trust Him alone.

Caroline's first year: 0-12 months

We began speech, occupational, and physical therapy shortly after bringing Caroline home. Because I was new to the "special needs" world, I had no idea that therapists in our home would be a regular part of our new lives. Each therapist would come once a week into our home and work with Caroline for one hour. This was great in some ways and depressing in others. I loved having the support of people that I could talk to and have them explain things to me. In contrast to that... I hated watching week after week the struggle Caroline had of doing the simplest tasks.

Feeding was probably my biggest concern. A mother longs to feed her child...I was no different. However, Caroline did not know how to eat. The combination of breathing, swallowing, tongue placement and all that is involved in taking bites of food were too hard for her. She had terrible reflux and threw up after every feed. Can you imagine how we felt?? Our child could not eat, could not play or manipulate a toy, was very developmentally delayed and she also threw up constantly. I had to take her to the doctor every week for weight checks. This finally resulted in having a procedure done called a fundoplication.

The Lord chose to speak to me one day when I was in tears because I had been trying to feed Caroline some baby food. Caroline had carrots or sweet potatoes all over her face and she was crying too. She was so frustrated because she did not know what to do. I was angry because she couldn't figure it out and I was angry because I wanted her to do it so badly. I began trying to clean her up and settle her down all the while trying to calm myself. Out of nowhere I heard a soft voice say to me "YOU MUST BELIEVE EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T SEE".
It was a strange sensation. I knew that my God was encouraging me. We were already believing Him to heal her and in His sweet way He was telling me not to trust what I was seeing with my natural eyes or what I was feeling with my deceitful heart.

Other issues during her first year:
-She screamed for hours on end in the car...she hated the car seat.
-Her eyes began to cross and we had to visit opthamologists and eventually had to have corrective surgery on that as well.
-Constant appointments with neurologists and gastroenterologists.
-People staring at her anytime we went out and always asking us "Is she sleepy?" ( this was due to the fact that she could not hold her head up so it always looked like she was sleepy)
-We had to feed her with a anytime we went out with her we had to have the pump attached to the stroller.

-Another issue that we faced was my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Around the time we finally got to bring Caroline home from the hospital, I began to notice some pain and stiffness in my finger. This pain and stiffness rapidly progressed and spread all over until I was no longer able to move easily or do normal daily things such as: driving a car, dressing myself, or doing chores around the house. My doctor referred me to a rheumatologist and I was undoubtedly diagnosed with this chronic disease. The only way I can describe how this feels to someone who may not understand is like this... Normally your body works for you...kind of like your car drives with power steering. It is easy to turn, maneuver, etc...Well, when Rheumatoid takes over your body it is like trying to function with no power steering. Everything that was once very easy is suddenly very difficult. Gripping, walking, opening, running, grabbing, pulling, pushing, lifting...these became extremely difficult and painful. Fortunately, I was able to begin medication that would help with the inflammation and pain. I will tell you that this too was another blow to us during this already difficult time with Caroline. I was usually sapped of energy and strength and the emotional strain was real and intense. It was hard to believe that I was 25 years old and could hardly dress myself... much less take care of a helpless child.
I tell you this just to be very honest about my state of mind during this first year. I was a mess. Depressed and dark come pretty close to describing it. I really felt like all hope was gone. This was my life; I was just going to have to deal with it.

God speaking during Caroline's first year: (0-12 months)

-reading about Faith's story in the NICU and how she was miraculously healed...then God allowing me to meet her face to face
-Jehovah Jireh providing Shep a job exactly when my teaching pay and insurance ended.
-healing service at many attended to pray and annoint my baby. I remember I even took shoes for her to wear (just in case she miraculously walked:>)
-several waitresses at different restaurants would walk up to us and ask to pray with or for Caroline and her healing
-being surrounded by a support group of family and friends who would stand unwavering with us and believe for her healing
-Shep praying with my brother and Cliff at the hospital and feeling very strongly that God wanted us to believe Him for healing for our child

Caroline's 2nd year: (1-2 years old)

Not much has changed at this point. Caroline is getting bigger. She still sees therapists weekly in our home and she still sees several doctors on a frequent basis. The fundoplication has very much helped with the constant puking and reflux. She put some weight on and began looking pretty healthy. Shep and I are still believing for healing and hoping to see signs of it every day.

-Caroline had an MRI done shortly after turning a year old. The results showed a build-up of lactate on her brain. This bothered the neurologist so he referred us to a specialist in this field of neurology. We went to see him and he wanted to do further testing. His testing required spinal fluid, blood, urine, muscle tissue, and a skin sample. He was testing her for a mitochondrial disorder. (This guy is quite literally the preeminent physician in the entire world regarding mitochondrial disorders). A few months later when we met with him again and got the results he told us that he wanted to go into "phase 2" of testing. He would not have to get anything else from her just continue a more detailed study of the specimens that he already had. He felt strongly that Caroline DID have a mitochondrial disorder he just wasn't sure which one. There are hundreds of different types and it was going to take him a year or longer to complete his testing. The mitochondrial disorder that he thought best fit Caroline's symptoms was a disease called "Leigh's disease". This was not a good prognosis. This disorder was degenerative and would most likely end in early death before the age of 13 or so. He also prescribed CoQ10 and various other supplements to aid in her cellular metabolism. These supplements would supposedly help decrease the level of lactate on her brain and hopefully give her more energy.

I remember the weirdest thing happening when we left this visit. We were shell-shocked to say the least. We were not new at this point to receiving bad news. However, this took the cake. It was one thing to know that Caroline had suffered a brain injury at birth and she was severely delayed in development. It was altogether different to lay a terrible diagnosis on top of this already terrible situation. As Shep and I left the parking lot at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, I remember hearing a still, small voice ask me, "Are you gonna believe me on this or are you gonna believe him?" My heart was breaking and my hopes were waning but despite it all my God was encouraging me through the voice of the Holy Spirit.

We got the supplements and found a pharmacy to get them to us in a form that could be used in her g-tube. We hated it! The liquid CoQ10 supplement was bright smelled bad and usually got all over, Shep and I felt strongly that she did not have a mitochondrial disorder (despite what the doctor said) and we felt a little weird giving her this supplement that probably was not helping her anyway. So we did something that we would not have normally done. We took her off of the supplements the Dr. prescribed to us without telling anyone. We didn't tell our family, friends, and certainly not the doctors.

God Speaking during her 2nd year: (1-2 years old)

-Dana had a vision of me and Caroline (in a white dress) on a stage. In the vision Caroline is perfectly whole.
-"Living Proof" event in Mobile, AL where mom and I met Joanne Skelton. She spoke a prophetic word about Caroline and said that the Holy Spirit confirmed in her spirit that indeed Caroline would be healed.
-At the National Women's Conv. God gave me a word through Beth. She said, "If God has told you that He was going to do something...stop asking Him and start believing Him and standing on what He has told you. Also on the ride home I asked God to encourage Shep and to tell us when He might heal Caroline.
-The next day Shep received a prophetic word from a lady he had just met. Her name is Melissa.  She felt that God spoke to her about Caroline. She told Shep that Caroline would begin to catch up with children and start doing the things that normal children do.  She even felt like she saw a vision of what she would look like. She looked to be around the age of 5 or so. She also said that there might be some type of experiemental medicine involved as well, but she wasn't sure.

Caroine's 3rd year (2-3 years old)

This year began with Shep and I feeling the move of God on our hearts to get pregnant again. We found ourselves very nervous about pregnancy, however, as we waited for Caroline's genetic test results . We were told in no uncertain terms that because Caroline most likely had a genetic disorder we should not have more children. God, on the other hand, was telling us otherwise.

Caroline had her annual MRI when she turned 2 years old to continue to monitor the lactate on her brain. We would not receive the results of this MRI for some time. Meanwhile, we were praying heavily about getting pregnant. I will never forget one night sitting in bed and working on my Bible study. I was doing "Believing God" at the time and this particular lesson was studying Joshua and the walls of Jericho. God had told Joshua that the city of Jericho was already his...however, He still had to go take possession of it. My mind immediately went to our situation with Caroline's healing and having another baby. What I heard in my spirit was this, "If I am going to heal Caroline, then you don't need to worry about a genetic disorder. Get pregnant...take possession of is already yours...I have told you that I will do this." The next day I spoke with our friend Melissa who had prophesied about Caroline. I asked her to pray for us concerning getting pregnant again. She told me to study two different passages of scripture. One of the passages she told me to study was Joshua and the walls of Jericho. I thought I would drop the phone. I could not believe that God had spoken so directly to me through my Bible study and then again through a person. It was unreal!!

Shep and I got to slip away and go on a vacation and after much prayer and wise counsel, we decided to start trying again to get pregnant. People in our families were somewhat excited but still guarded because of what the genetic doctors had told us. Two months later I found out the glorious news that I was pregnant. Major sickness we had decided to put our house on the market. Thankfully God sent buyers to us rather quickly and we sold the house within 3 months time. That was perfect because we had begun building a home in a subdivision across the county and we were set to move in the day after Christmas.
In October (I was 3+ months pregnant at this point) we received a call from Caroline's neurologist with the results from her latest MRI. Shep and I were each holding one of our cordless phones and listening intently to what the doctor told us. He said that the latest MRI showed no signs of lactate whatsoever. It was all gone. We were stunned! The doctor told us to continue giving Caroline the CoQ10 supplement because the MRI proved that either a) the prescriptions were working or b) she did not have the mitochondrial disorder. This was when it got really exciting. Shep then told the doctor that we had not given Caroline any of the supplements for the last 6 months. The doctor then told us (with much less excitement than we felt appropriate) that Caroline must not have a mitochondrial disorder. Shep and I were ecstatic! This meant that God had removed the lactate and results would later confirm that Caroline did not have this genetic mitochondrial disorder. On top of that, we had been obedient to step out on faith and get pregnant without waiting for any results to provide a safety net. God came through BIG TIME. We were calling everyone and praising God for the good thing He had done.
We moved to our new home in the days following Christmas. I was around 7 months pregnant. It was a special time. Shep and I were excitedly anticipating the arrival of our new baby girl. We did have one concern though- Delivery. Shep did not want me getting another epidural because of what went terribly wrong. I had to have a we were looking at a few options...general anethesia, spinal-tap, or epidural (Shep had already said no!). We met with the anethesiologists at our hospital...due to our past experience, they told us the best option would be a spinal tap. Unknown to me, Shep still needed more confirmation on this. He prayed and specifically asked God to have someone tell him what to do. That next day, I was on the phone talking to our friend Melissa. ( This is the same friend who had prophesied to Shep and to me about Joshua and the walls of Jericho) We were doing some small talk. I mentioned to her to pray for us and confirmation that we were doing the right thing regarding anethesia during my delivery. I told her that Shep was still really restless about our decision. She began to speak to me in a way that I had never heard anyone speak before. She said, "The Lord says, ...this delivery will be perfect, the spinal tap is the correct choice. There will be angels posted at your doors to protect you and guide the doctors. All will be completely calm and peaceful and what we lost at Caroline's birth will be restored at this birth."
It was awesome. Her words carried such power and authority. I knew in my spirit that God, the great I AM had spoken to me through this sweet friend. I was crying and my knees literally felt weak. I don't know when I have ever felt the presence on God so strongly. I told Shep about my conversation and he knew that God had answered his prayer for confirmation as well. The truth is--we had a choice of whether to believe that God was talking or not. We chose to believe and He proved his faithfulness.
Ava Ruth was born on March 17, 2005. It was perfect. The entire delivery was calm and peaceful. God had fulfilled his promise.

God speaking during Caroline's 3rd year:
-using the Bible study "Believing God" to speak to me repeatedly and confirm His promise of healing Caroline
-speaking to us through Melissa regarding getting pregnant and Ava's delivery (Joshua and the walls of Jericho)
-hundreds of ladies praying for Caroline's healing at the CFBC women's conference (several friends felt very led for me to bring Caroline to this conference and wrap her in a Jewish tallit, which is a prayer shawl worn by Jewish teachers) The topic of this conference was "Touching the hem of His garment"...we didn't want to just touch it...we wanted her completely wrapped in it.
Caroline's past few years: (3-6 years old)
Caroline's life has pretty much been the same these last few years. We have not seen any significant gains at all. She has been in the local school system since the age of three. It has been wonderful for her and for us. She has been exposed to all kinds of people and challenged in ways that we never could have given her from home. Her teachers and therapists have been amazing. These people are called to do what they do. They love these kids and want so badly to see them make progess.
Our home life has changed somewhat. Ava was born when Caroline was about to turn three years old. Then we added another sweetheart to the family...our baby boy, Zeke. Caroline was about to turn six when he was born.
I decided to compress these last few years simply because not much has changed regarding Caroline. Each day has given us the choice to believe what God has told us and move forward or live in defeat and dispair and listen to our enemy. I am embarassed to say that some days I have chosen the latter. But, to God's glory, I am learning to choose wisely more often. We get up everyday and repeat what we did the day before. Lift her out of bed, lay her on the floor, change her diaper, feed her with a feeding tube, dress her, load her into the car, take her to school, worry over her, pray for her, pick her up from school, wipe drool from her face, feed her again with the feeding tube, change her diaper again, dress her for bed...on and on it goes...all the while looking at her and choosing to believe that God is going to HEAL her. I wanted to go into the detail of our caring for her because this "faith" thing isn't easy at all. God has demanded that we stare at our impossibility every single day...all the while declaring in our hearts that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
God speaking these past few years: (3-6 years old)
-Brandi's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Jason's dream of Caroline's healing
-Deana's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Laura's dream of Caroline's healing
-mom's dreams of Caroline's healing
-daddy's dreams of Caroline's healing
-granny's dreams of Caroline's healing
-uncle david's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Michael's dream of Caroline's healing
-Tamara's dream of Caroline's healing
-Kay's dreams of Caroline's healing
-my dreams of Caroline's healing
-Shep's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Mandi's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Mande's dreams of Caroline's healing
-Ansley's dream of Caroline's healing
-LeAnne's dream of Caroline's healing
-Leigh Anne's dream of Caroline's healing
I feel like there are so many others that I have left out and will probably have to come back and add as I remember. But, how cool is that!! God, is His sweetness, has allowed Shep and I to be so encouraged by the dreams of others and He has given so many others ownership into this process. They have gotten a taste of what is yet to come...
-Deana and Kim's visions of Caroline healed...
-Shep and I asking God to show us examples of modern day miracles. We were losing hope and felt so discouraged so we asked Him to let us see the lame walk, the blind see, the dead raised again. That very week God brought someone across Shep's path that ended up giving him a dvd of the 700 club. We watched it and couldn't believe our eyes. There were 12 modern day miracles...and one of them was the very miracle we desperately needed to see. A girl healed of Cerebral Palsy.
-Paul's visions of Caroline healed...
-Marje (my 85 year old, full-of-faith mentor) feeling very strongly that she needed to pray over Caroline every single week at church. She felt she was supposed to touch her with her left hand and raise her right hand and pray over her. She has done this now every Sunday for the last 2 years at church. It has been and continues to be such an encouragement to me and to those who see her doing it each week.
-Jason, Brandi, Derrick, and D buying the bicycle for Caroline for Christmas. They felt that they should encourage us by buying a gift for her that she couldn't possibly use without the resurrecting power of Jesus. They were "preparing for rain".
-Derrick, Shep, and Jason going away for a 24 hour fast to pray for our little girl.
-Shep and I praying for 40 days and specifically asking God to speak to us in a clear and direct way about Caroline...if there was something we were supposed to be doing???
During this 40 days of prayer two different friends bring "cord-blood/stem-cell" therapy to our attention. They saw a clip on t.v. of a child with C.P. who had made remarkable improvements with his own cord blood transfusions. They thought that this might be something that we could do for Caroline...we had not saved her cord blood, but I was pregnant with Zeke. We have this checked out but because we did not save Caroline's own cord blood, she cannot qualify for this type of treatment. We were later directed to a doctor in San Diego, CA that does experiemental stem-cell treatment in Mexico. It was at this time that we recalled the earlier prophecy that Caroline's healing may be linked to experimental medical treatment. We were convinced that we needed to go forward with the treatment but did not know how in the world we would ever be able to pay for it. Nonetheless, we went ahead and scheduled the procedure feeling confident that God would provide the means. Provide HE did!! Two anonymous donors contributed enough money to pay for first class airfare, lodging, stem-cell treatment, and all attendant costs without any solicitation from us whatsoever.
Since the stem-cell treatment, Caroline's therapists have all noticed marked improvement in her. She has an increased desire to engage in basic activities such as eating, talking, and walking that she never seemed to have before. Additionally, she has shown significant strides in manipulating objects with her hands and an increase in her energy level.
We feel that we have done what God asked us to do. Now we wait and watch for what HE is going to do!!