Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Speed Bump

As I type this, Katy has gotten herself to the bathroom but is in a great deal of pain. She has the deep bone pain that has returned since last night, and is planning to soak in a hot tub. We were hoping to ring in the new year tonight with fireworks, but Paul Burton said he would see how Katy feels and if she isn’t up to it we will set them off another night. I will call the hematologist first thing in the morning to check on Katy’s platelet count. We are praying her through this night, hoping for a change by morning. For the past couple of weeks Katy has had the bone pain from time to time but it diminished and she was able to carry on a normal day. Today, however, the pain has kept her confined to bed, and we’ve had to keep up her break-through pain medication faithfully in order to keep her comfortable. This has been so discouraging for her, yet she has voiced her thanks to God for the many wonderful memories we made over the holidays. She was able to do so many things that were dreams come true for her. Paul and I are thankful that we are rested and ready to meet this new challenge. The new year is upon us and we are looking forward to all the adventures in store for us. We pray that you will have a wonderful year, too.

  1. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Dear Katy,
    I’m sorry you’ve hit this speed bump. I know, though, that the Lord will bring you through it and you’ll be even stronger because of it. :-)
    I pray that the New Year will be a blessing for you!!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  2. Aleah Yunger Says:

    Happy New Year, Katy & family! :)
    Katy, I am deeply sorrowed about your pain. I am voicing your name to the Heavens tonight, beautiful one, and I know the Lord of Lords will hear my cry. Praying for all those ill and in need tonight, we remember them before our Great Healer. I love you so much! Dawn & Paul, so glad you can be home to comfort your daughter and that you are tanked up from a great get-away’s rest! I will be around to visit sometime soon :)
    Prayers for you always,

  3. Doris Harriff Says:

    Prayers for you always. Dawn, I can only imagine how discouraging it is for you as well as Katy when these setbacks occur. I am so glad you and Paul got your mini-vacation in. And may you have another 33 years of marital bliss!

    Aunt Doris

  4. Sarah Meador Says:


    Praying that this pain will cease, that full comfort will return, and that you will be back on your feet again very soon. Being with you again on Wednesday night was so refreshing and such a sweet time of fellowship. I love you and continue to daily lift you before the throne of grace.

    With love,

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sabbath Rain

The sky was heavy with rainclouds, therefore today’s Sunday afternoon nap was perfect. There was a steady rain on the roof lulling us to sleep, and even the dog settled in quietly. The darkness is closing in fast this afternoon, and we are all beginning to stir and wake from one of those satisfying, long winter’s naps. The lamps are lit early, and the rain continues, but now we are getting ready to have a Christmas celebration with Dan and Julie and their family tonight. The homemade rolls are sending the scent of fresh baked bread to the rooms of the stragglers. I imagine everyone will end up in the kitchen soon.

We were able to attend church together this morning, which is something we have not been able to do for a long time. It was great to experience the day together. The problems of yesterday and for the past year seemed far behind us, and we worshiped the One Who hears all of our prayers. After lunch I got a call from one of Katy’s doctors; a faithful blog reader. He read yesterday’s account of the pain medication withdrawal, and discussed a tapering plan with me. The plan will take several weeks to accomplish, but it is a conservative taper that her system should adjust to without shocking it. I am grateful for that information, and for her doctor who makes house calls. He, like all of us, longs to see her living her dreams.

One of the hymns sung in church this morning particularly touched my heart as I looked down the row and saw Katy singing. My tears are good on these occasions. They express my joy when words fail. I’ll close with the words to the hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.”

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller, be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I can not close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be.

Friday Night

Just a short blog update to let you know that everything is going well. I talk with Mom over the phone at least twice every day and, each time, I can tell she is grinning from ear to ear. Our conversations are always filled with vivid and wonderful details of the sights and sounds she’s experiencing. Mom and Dad will return home tomorrow, ready to enter 2007 with a refreshed spirit and new memories. Meanwhile, I spent four days visiting with friends, reading, shopping, catching up on paperwork, and making my own memories with Paul Burton.

I think the only “creature” who has not enjoyed this week was Ellie (our dog)! I tried to play with her, but she just stared out the windows and moped around the house. Well, Lord willing, she’ll be able to sniff Mom and Dad all she wants to tomorrow. I’m also looking forward to seeing my parents again, although I promise not to sniff them. Instead, we’ll share together memories, pictures, and answered prayers of a week the Lord has blessed.

To my parents, I want to say, “Thank you for being faithful to each other for thirty-three years…what clear evidence it is that the Lord does live in and through you. Happy Anniversary!” And to the family that made it possible for my parents to celebrate their anniversary, I’d like to say, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you have refreshed the hearts of the saints (Philemon 1:7). Thank you!”


  1. Bob, Amy, Emily, Meredith and Abby Says:

    You have such a sweet spirit, Katy!! Just like your mom. :0) Love you all!

    Amy and family

  2. Karen Tillman Says:

    Dear Katy,

    Wasn’t it just wonderful to let your parents finally get away just to relax and be together. I know that with our kind of illness we often feel guilty about how much time we take from the people we love and cherish. I thank God that you and your family are finally comfortable enough to have your away time so to speak. Give Elle a pet on the head, and tell your folks CONGRATULATIONS from me.
    Love Always
    Karen Tillman

  3. Aleah Yunger Says:

    Katy, what a lovely entry! I love your sense of humor :) I know I just got back from spending time with you, but I just wanted to thank you for the blessing you are. Your parents certainly have something to celebrate - in their 33 years together, they guided three amazing individuals into Godly lives. It was wonderful spending time with you & Paul! Hope you have a blessed evening with your parents :) Love you!!

  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    Katy, I only met your mother once (when Colin was 3 years old), but I feel I have learned to know her through these pages, just as I have learned to know you. I’m in complete agreement with Aleah, too, about the way they have guided their family. It all says a lot about your grandparents, too.

    That comment from Amy about you having the same sweet spirit as your mother, reminds me of a young lady I once knew who was adopted, how completely she became her adopted parents’ child - she looked like her Dad, and sang like her Mom (and she sang beautifully). You, too, have become completely your parents’ child even though you were not born to them.

  5. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Hey Katy!
    Nice to see you posting. Grin! And I’m glad you’ve also had a wonderful “normal” few days just doing the things we all need to do in life. I hope you have a wonderful new year!!!

  6. Sandy Says:

    Hi Katy,

    I was so glad to see this update and know things are going fine with you. I’m glad your parents were able to get away and celebrate their anniversary! Enjoy the hope and expectation of the new year! And take good care.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Abundant Life

The house is clean, the refrigerator is stocked, the laundry is done, our bags are being packed, and Paul and I are almost ready to leave for a three-day vacation. Just after Katy was diagnosed with HPS, our Pastor came to visit us and told us that someone had offered to send us somewhere so Paul and I could get away for a rest. We don’t know who it is or if they read the blog but I just want them to know how much this means to us, especially because it is our anniversary. There were so many nights we spent apart, and so many times the stress was hard to bear. During some of those times, I would think about that offer and know that one day the time would come that we could enjoy each other and make some new memories. I wondered if they have been through a similar trial and knew how badly a marriage needs a time of joy after hardship. We will honor your gift, enjoy every minute, and have already prayed several times that the blessing you have given us would come back to you ten-fold.

In my study of scripture I have found that there is a misquoted verse that I have used before, until I learned the truth. The phrase, “God will not give you more than you can handle,” is not in the Bible. The verse reads as follows, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under temptation.” (1 Corinthians 10:13b). When I learned that the verse was about temptation and not about unbearable situations, I suddenly was free to feel all the emotions of sorrow, fear, and grief, without guilt.

I actually felt God’s pleasure the day I read 1 Corinthians 1:8-11 and found out that the Apostle Paul admitted himself that he felt overwhelmed, just as we did when we understood the seriousness of Katy’s condition. The Apostle Paul said, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but God, who raises from the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us in the future. On Him we have set our hope, that He will continue to deliver us, as you help by your prayers.” So beloved friends, anytime you are going through unbearable times, we hope you will rely on the comfort of your Heavenly Father. He may have someone come alongside of you, to pray with you, to weep with you, and to give you comfort, so that you will know that it’s normal when you feel you cannot bear the pressure one more day. He can, and promises to carry our burdens for us. “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). That’s what the abundant life is all about.

  1. Laura Griffith Says:

    I would like to know where you are going but then again it seems more like a honeymoon if kept in suspense. I pray you have a wonderful time.

    Happy New Year!!!

  2. Jess Lankford Says:

    Dawn and Paul!
    We are praying that you have a wonderful time as well!! That your hearts, bodies and souls would be refreshed and reunited after these long hard months!

    Thank you for your post this morning! It is so encouraging - like having an older sister whispering in my ear that it’s all ‘ok’ and that God is in control!


  3. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    I’m so glad you all are getting a chance to get away for a while. How wonderful! As for the guilt, I’m so glad you were able to let some of that go. It’s a pretty common emotion among the HPS’ers I talk with every day and their families as well. But, it’s something we’ve just got to let go of - easier said than done sometimes though.

  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    Have a very good mini-vacation! You know, Dawn, I’ve often had that verse misquoted to me when I was carrying a burden that seemed to heavy to bear. I’ve even pointed out that it says tempted, only to be told, well, it means both.

    Aunt Doris

  5. Ib & Patricia Says:

    Happy 32nd….and have a really great, yet restful time.
    Just returned from Linda’s father’s funeral. Bunches of people in P’burg say “hi” as we were there Wed/Thurs.
    So glad that Katy is doing so well so that you are able to accept this gift.
    Peace, Love and Joy,
    Ib & Patricia

  6. Julie Says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time. We love you!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present

Firstly, hello. My name is Paul Burton and I am Katy’s older brother by two years. This is the first time that I have tickled the keyboard on Katysblog and I wanted to take a moment to thank each one of you for the kind and considerate support that you have given to us over the last many months. I have been overwhelmed by the goodness of God in health, illness, strength, weakness, and all the other stations of life in which our family has found ourselves. Many of you have been instrumental in ministering that goodness, and for that, may I breathe a hardy “thank you.”

As I sit in front of the computer screen thinking about Christmas, I cannot help but remember back to a time when Katy was still a fresh addition to our family. I remember that first Christmas well, partly because we borrowed a video camera from a friend and recorded it, and partly because I still wasn’t sure how I felt about this whole, “sister” thing. As far as I was concerned, she was a bit weird. I remember her taking food from the table at mealtimes and hiding it in her room. Mom explained to me that this was because in India, she didn’t know if she would get to the table in time to eat the next meal before the others took the food. I thought this was odd.

To top off the enigma of this new sister, I remember mom telling her the Christmas story with a nativity set that we still own. I thought it strange that the story which I had understood for half of my young life had never been told to this girl.

Fast forward…

Christmas, 2006. As I sit here having just enjoyed a family movie night, I cannot help but feel incredibly blessed just to be here. To have had the opportunity to know such a girl as my sister is more than I could have comprehended at the tender age of six. I am thankful that God has given me the time to get to know her over the last eighteen years. What a wonder. The girl who knew not the Gospel, now ministers the Gospel to countless people by the God given path she walks. I suppose the irony of the whole situation is just how much my “little” sister has taught me about being big.

God has been merciful for the sake of His Name. Although she has had a hard couple of days, she is trying to stay active. She’s still going strong as I am typing this evening, busying herself by writing thank-you notes and chatting with Colin on the phone. Praise the Lord for family. Praise the Lord for Christmas.

~Paul Burton

  1. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    And Merry Christmas to all of ya’ll!!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  2. Doris Harriff Says:

    Paul Burton, thank you for giving us additional insight to Katy’s early life. I would never have thought of it, but certainly it is not surprising considering the background she came from. As Colin said in the “About Katy” post, I am convinced that there are many more things about Katy that need to be written down “to the glory of God.” I have been working with the 2 entries in “Heavenly Encouragement” trying to format them into a tract, but I’m have a bit of a problem with getting it to match on both sides of the paper (problems with margins not behaving as they should). Encourage your Mom to write; with her writing abilities, she should be able to come up with a wonderful account.

    Aunt Doris

  3. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Dawn, Wasn’t Katy’s first Christmas with you the one that Tony and I were first with you? For Thanksgiving. I remember it snowed the day after we got there and it
    was Katy’s first experience of snow. A frail little waif, sledding down the hump in the back yard with her brothers. Love, Aunt Lil

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Celebrating Moments

I set the dinner table last night with dishes I received from a dear friend before she passed away. She told me that she wanted me to enjoy them, and I do. The table was set and all was prepared. Everyone arrived and it was very Norman Rockwell-ish, with the head of our home at the head of the table. Before we ate, Paul suggested we sing, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…” and it sounded beautiful. It was beautiful. Paul prayed and we sat down to Christmas dinner by candlelight. The gratitude I feel for the gift of a family can’t really be captured with words. To look around the table and see the faces of people God gave me to love, and who love me, is more than I think I deserve. But I gratefully and humbly accept it. Little Annelise was in her cradle near the table, close enough for Paul to put his foot on the rocker of the cradle and gently rock it while he ate his dinner.

This year has hammered home to me the reality that the person at the table to the right of me or to the left could be taken home to heaven in a moment. It has changed the casual way I expect everyone to always be here. I am appreciating not just events, but moments. They are caught in my mind like a photograph to be studied later. There were Mom and Dad playing instruments in the library after dinner. I looked in on them loving their music and enjoying each other. I came down the stairs and rounded the corner to see Jenn standing near the table enjoying an appetizer looking radiant and lovely with the glow of motherhood. Dan and Julie arrived for dessert carrying a large basket piled high with bags of the famous Wensley kettle corn. When I opened the back door to let them in, they were grinning from ear to ear. Katy and Paul Burton made me laugh when they explained how they wrapped one of my gifts with a special ribbon technique to make it look less like a tombstone. There was a moment when Colin and Jenn were leaving with little Annelise safely strapped into her car seat that made me so proud to see them being their own little family now, with Colin taking care of his girls. Katy and Whitney chatted through dinner and every once in a while I heard Katy say, “This tastes so good!” Danae and Katy had a chance to talk, catch up, and exchange gifts. We had devotions at the table during dessert and Paul Burton led us in singing a couple of well loved Christmas hymns. All of these moments are treasures.

I love how scripture tells us that as Mary watched her boy grow up, “she pondered these things in her heart.” Mothers do ponder these things. They are the gifts of motherhood. The kids and their families may not always make it home for Christmas. The table may not always be full. Those are the times I hope to bring out the memories that are stored like photographs in my mind and ponder them, being thankful that for a season in my life, it felt like being in a Norman Rockwell painting.


  1. Sarah Meador Says:

    What a special celebration you all enjoyed!! Thanks for sharing the pictures and the memories!

    Merry Christmas, dear friends. :-)

    With love,

  2. Kristin Dunker Says:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to “catch up” here on the blog. What a delight to hear all about your Christmas goings-on! I hope you have a wonderfully blessed weekend of celebration! Merry Christmas to all the Campbell Clan~
    With Love,
    Kristin & Jesse Dunker

  3. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Katy, Dawn and all, What a blessing to be a little part of your Family Christmas dinner, reading about and seeing people so dear to me! Paul and Lucile playing their instruments is special! And you and Katy and the new little Annelise!

    We had a little candlelight supper here tonight. Neither was very hungry and I’d been making a big pot of green pea soup all afternoon. (Not that kind they served us at the college cafeteria - tasted like dish-water gone bad!) But with ham hocks and minced, sauteed onion and garlic and just a bit of fine-diced tomato, simmered to a thick sauce. I served that with small rounds of French bread toast spread with cream cheese, with capers and smoked salmon added. Yum! We’d had an egg-nog/7-up appetizer earlier. A white cloth on the table with Noel place mats… a round cut-class dish with a slender crystal vase in the middle holding pine, red and white carnations, baby breath, and the dish filled with peppermints…two little round candles lighting us on either side, and Christmas carols playing. Piles of Christmas cards around the kitchen and standing open on the counters. And the joy of celebrating Jesus’ birth with feasting and quiet content.

    Tomorrow will be a special Sunday, with the Am and PM services - and I’m going downtown with Pei-ti in the afternoon to see the lights for the first time since 1985 when Tony and I were married! Pei-ti keeps saying “You’re like a little kid!” Because I get all excited over such simple things. Sunday, Christmas Eve is a Candlelighting service with communion at church - always special. Next Saturday will be our big Family gettogether…

    His Name is Immanuel! And He is with us! Love you all so much! Aunt Lil

  4. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Those pictures are beautiful, and truly worth a thousand words. Thank you for sharing!!
    Merry Christmas!!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  5. Julie Wensley Says:

    Merry Christmas! We love you!

  6. Julie Wensley Says:

    For unto us a Child is born! Unto us a Son is given!

    Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Baking Day

There was flour, sugar, butter, and more, spread out all over the kitchen today. It was baking day. It is always amazing to me how many delicious ways there are to pack on the pounds at Christmas! And Katy is doing her share. After baking, she settled at the table with raspberry chocolate milk served piping hot with a cookie and other snacks. That was only an hour ago and she just asked what we are having for dinner. We are so happy for her. Words really can’t express how great is is to see Katy enjoying food again.

We are working on a few more things this evening to be ready for our family Christmas. Tomorrow night we will have our parents and family gather here for dinner, music, laughter, good conversation, and dessert. I feel like a kid at heart. I’ve been telling Katy stories from my childhood as we cook and clean and it has been a great time for both of us. I was telling her about a time when I was about four years old and singing in church with the rest of the congregation. Girls always remember what they were wearing and I was wearing a puffy dress and those fold-over white socks with lace at the top. I also had those little black shoes that squeaked when you rub them together. So there I was, singing at the top of my lungs, “Oh what joy fills my soul I can see pillows roll!” Well if you know the hymn the words are, “Oh what joy fills my soul, like the sea billows roll.” That was one of my favorite songs, so I really belted it out. Somewhere along my journey I learned to read and discovered I had been singing the wrong words. But hey, joy is like that, you just can’t contain it. It sweeps over your heart and soul and you just want to sing out. It isn’t so much the words, it’s the feeling that your soul is filled with music, laughter, and joy, and it is looking for a way to express itself. Katy is here at home, her body is recovering, and we’re finding ways to express that joy. Tomorrow night, Lord willing, we will be doing just that.

  1. Julie Wensley Says:

    I love baking, especially at Christmas! The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg - Ummmm! I am so thankful that Katy is not only home and not only eating, but really enjoying eating and able to be involved in all the fun activities. Can you imagine being in the hospital right now? No never mind, don\’t do that. Just continue to enjoy every minute as you are now. We love you!

    ~Aunt Julie

  2. Danae Says:

    Can you make me some raspbery choccolate milk, please! It sounds delicious!!

  3. The Williams Family Says:

    Hey Katy!!! I wanted to let you know I got your sweet invitation for the Jane Austen movie night. She is an absolute favorite of mine. You were so thoughtful to think of me. I am looking forward to Tuesday with great expectation! I hope you and your dear family have a blessed Christmas. We all have so much to be thankful for this year. Merry Christmas! ~Love, Effie

  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    Mike and I are baking today; I just made a batch of cookies, and since I brought home some reduced-for-quick-sale bananas, Mike is going to make some banana bread. And tomorrow he will be making chocolate chip cookies. (I made hermits, spicy cookies with nuts and raisins).

    It’s good to see Katy doing so well, and eating without difficulty.

    Have a great Christmas, everyone!

  5. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    I just can’t help but be awestruck at seeing what the Lord has done through you!! It is so incredible to read these posts now, after reading the posts from a couple months ago–and it’s the same girl!! God is good!! :-)
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Cheerleader

I woke up this morning feeling rested and refreshed. I had been sleeping downstairs and staying away from my computer in order to stay away from Katy. But this morning, after a full night of sleep, it was time to get back to Katy, Spurgeon, and morning prayer. This has become a routine since our stay at the hospital. We absolutely treasure it. There is something about sharing that time together at the beginning of the day that sets the tone for the rest of the day. We had our own quiet time, and still do, but until Katy got sick, we didn't share that time together unless we were in a Bible study group. This morning we read about the everlasting love that God has for His people. We just can't relax in His love with a better thought than that!

After we got up this morning we were making breakfast and suddenly Katy said, "Mom, I want you to open a Christmas gift from me while it is just the two of us here." I stopped what I was doing. It was just a little request but it seemed like a moment to put everything else aside. I opened the little box she handed me and found that Katy had bought me a little charm for my charm bracelet. It was a miniature cheer leader with arms raised to the heavens with little pom-poms on the ends of each hand. I got all girly and teary because it is a symbol that represents our relationship these days and our "holy moments." I just hugged her and wept. Those moments of triumph with our arms raised to the heavens meant as much to her as they do to me. And now I have a little symbol to remind me that the best cheering is the cheering we do before the throne of grace in high praise to our great God.

  1. Julie Says:

    What a great charm! That was very sweet, Katy. And your mom has always been your best cheerleader, so it sure is appropriate. What a great way to remember your “hallelujah moments.”

  2. Grandma & Granddad Says:

    Katy and Dawn, We check the messages that you send every day. We are so thankful that you are healing, and we pray for a complete miraculous healing for you, Katy. Love, Granddad

  3. Sarah Meador Says:

    What a special gift to signify the glorious holy moments! Katy, you are such a dear and wonderful daughter. :-) By the way, I love the new banner. So festive, and you look so great! Look forward to see you very soon. Much love, Sarah

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Pajama Day

Katy and I look pretty much the same as when we went to bed last night. I even wore a trench coat over my pajamas to put a letter out in the mailbox this afternoon. That was funny because we had another “bonus day” here in the south with temperatures in the low seventies. The coat looked way out of place, but then so would my pajamas. I have been blowing my nose and staying in bed, drinking lots of water and taking vitamins, so any moment now I should experience a burst of new energy. Katy had a good nap day too.

We’ve started the process of contacting and sending records to the University of North Carolina Hospital in Durham. After the doctor there reviews Katy’s records we will get a call with an appointment. On the one hand we wish it could all go away. Then there is the reality. We have to continue pursuing the right medical treatment for Katy if she is going to move forward.

Today when I read the comments my heart was so moved by the things that are going on in some of your lives. I think about Heather at NIH, going through medical testing on her own body in the hopes of finding a cure for the lung problems associated with HPS. I wish we could be there. We can ask the Lord to make His presence very real to you tonight. And my friend, Linda, who has had some losses in life that broke our hearts, was driving along in the darkness of early morning, to say goodbye to her father, after caring for him so faithfully all these years. You all are dear to me, and isn’t it great that through prayer, we can lift each other up and ask God for the comfort that only He can give.

For all of our friends reading this blog, and even for the single girls who shared from their hearts the other day, this is a prayer for all of you.

Father God, there are so many people tonight who need to know that You are near and that You love them. Help them to remember the times in their past that You showed Yourself to them in wonderful ways, then give them the faith that You will do it again. In Jesus’ name. Amen

  1. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Awe, Dawn, you’re so sweet. I’m actually doing very well tonight. Normally before my pulmonary function tests I’m a mess, and you’d think I’d be all stressed out since I’m coughing so much - but actually I’ve really enjoyed the evening. It’s been kind of a blessing to be able to get some rest guilt free! Grin!

  2. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Hi Katy,
    I hope your mom feels better soon!! I’ll be praying you don’t pick any of that up either. Thank you, Dawn, for so faithfully keeping us updated, even when you’re not feeling well!!
    With love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  3. Jess Lankford Says:

    Hey Dawn -
    Thank you for this post. Something has popped up and I spent yesterday evening in tears - so the prayer to “feel God’s nearness” was much needed and appreciated! I’m thinking I need a pajama day myself!

    Love ya’ll!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Church

I woke up during the night with my throat on fire. It was like I had swallowed a hot coal. My first thought was of Katy! I prayed that this would not be a cold that would be passed around the family. I am keeping my distance and I have been trying to stay out of the kitchen and away from food preparation in order to lessen the chance of speading germs.

Since I am chief cook and out of commission, tonight we sat down to a brief dinner of scrambled eggs. Paul blessed them as though it was a great dinner which I thought was sweet. My stuffy nose and sore throat kept us from going to our small group Christmas dinner tonight, where some really good things were going to be served, and our friends were going to be there laughing and having a good time. We ate our eggs and then I curled up on the couch for a movie. About 8:30 tonight someone pulled into the driveway. One of the couples in our group stopped in on their way home from the Christmas party and brought us a whole dinner. It was an amazing meal. There was ham, potatoes, fruit, broccoli salad, cranberries, deviled eggs, rolls and dessert! We looked at the clock and decided it wasn’t too late for a second dinner. (Second breakfast is done in Hobbiton all the time.) We set the table and had a fantastic dinner. Our friends even included festive Christmas dinner napkins and a gift for Katy and me.

I’m probably embarrassing them by blogging about this, but it is a picture of “the church” that is sometimes overlooked. It is good for others to see your light. When a church family is in need, or a need in the community is brought to the church’s attention, a healthy church will reach out as Jesus would. I’m thankful for our church members being channels of blessing upon blessing to us. By doing this they are demonstrating to others the love of God as found in a church family. Blog readers, if you have not experienced what this is like, a New Year’s resolution may be to seek it and I promise you will find it. We have always been on the giving end until these past several months. Now that we understand what it feels like to be cared for by the church, it strengthens our resolve to get back up, dust ourselves off, and give some more.

  1. Laura Griffith Says:

    I’m glad to be a part of the “church” with you. Sorry you are down with the cold and I do pray that you heal quickly and the rest of the family stay healthy. I hope you get to be in the kitchen during Christmas.

  2. Candice & Crystal Sipe Says:

    Hi Dawn! We hope and pray you are feeling better today.
    There is so much sickness going around these days. We are trying hard to stay away from big crowds right now. At the same time it’s hard to escape the colds and sickness, with the business of the Christmas season. That was so wonderful of your church members to bring you dinner and everything. What a blessing! All the food sounded really yummy. We love potatoes!! Talk to you soon. Love, Candice & Crystal

  3. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Hey there! Just thought I’d say hello from NIH!!!! Don’t do a Heather and wait too long to get that cold taken care of…..grin! I’ve STILL got mine. Praying you get over it soon!

  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    It is great to hear stories about the church being “The Church,” that is, what the Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be. And it’s very good when the church reaches to the community outside the church, but the Bible makes it clear that the first priority is to the “Household of Faith.”

    “Behold, how they love one another!”

  5. LInda Burk Says:

    HI..I received the phone call at 4am.. my dad was I went .. I had the new fabulous Harp Christmas CD in my car. As I traveled to say goodbye to my dad I could only think of the angels singing, welcoming my dad into heaven. I talked to Jackie and my mom and said be ready DAd wants to come home for Christmas..well I stayed with DAd until 7pm..he is still with us..maybe tomorrow will be the day..but I am blessed with this beautiful music ,truly heavenly music, to ease my pain as I say goodbye to another family member.thank you for sharing this music at just the right time…….they say there are no coincidences???????????????? love to all, Linda

  6. Karen Tillman Says:

    Dear Dawn,

    I agree with everything you said wholeheartedly. Many times the world views the church as just a place where a bunch of old fogies hang out. People who are just not with it. It isn’t until we talk about what our church has done for us that can even pique their interest. I know that over the years I don’t know where my family would be without some of the finest folks from Westover. Anyway, I just had to chime in as I don’t think your small group should be embarrassed at all. I think they will probably see this as an opportunity for the world to see your light via Katy’s Blog, and know that it is the real deal. Take care and tell everyone that I said, “Hello”
    Love Always
    Karen Tillman

  7. Lori Wentworth Says:

    Dawn and Paul,

    Phil and I will also celebrate our anniversary on Dec 29 - 16 years. You are both such an encouragement to us. We pray that our marriage will be as strong as yours.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time with Paul

For the past five months, neither one of us mentioned it too much, but Paul and I have really missed each other. While we were taking care of Katy we were pulling together. We researched and prayed a lot together staying focused on the job at hand, which was to provide for Katy. Now it seems we have some time to enjoy going out again as a couple.

Friday afternoon I called Paul at the office and asked if he’d like to go out on a date. He said, “Yes, I sure would.” I put him through the ultimate test and asked if he would mind taking me shopping. He still said yes! We drove to Lynchburg and had a lovely evening, visiting several stores and finally ending up browsing through Barnes and Noble. We would start out browsing together and get distracted by another table of books and find ourselves drifting further away from each other. We would look up from time to time, spot each other, and make our way back together. It was nothing super romantic, but it sure is good to look across a room and see the one you love standing there. The one that laughs with you, cries with you, and holds your hand through thick and thin. We have shared the last thirty-two years together and will celebrate another anniversary on December twenty-ninth. These past five months have been the hardest we’ve had in our married life, mainly because the storm of Katy’s illness was so fierce. But through it all, the steadiness of a faithful spouse was a real gift from God.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. So for all the single people out there reading this blog praying for a spouse like that, keep praying, and stay faithful. You never know what surprises God has in store for you.

  1. Sandy Says:

    Dear Katy’s Mom,

    Thank you for this post (and every post you write actually!). These are treasures and reminders of the need for honoring family and being faithful. I am so glad that you and Paul shared that evening together. What a special time. I am one of those singles out there who prays for that kind of relationship in my future, and I am joyful thinking that God has a special surprise in store for me.

    Prayers continue for your family, and I hope your Christmas is filled with blessings.

  2. Deana Says:

    Dawn - you spoke to my heart! I am still reading your blog and am delighted to read how wonderful you are all doing. Have a blessed Christmas!


Friday, December 15, 2006

We had one goal for today. It was to get our Christmas packages out to some special people we had been wanting to see for a while. We had to drive over by the hospital to do it. We were giddy thinking about delivering our packages to a couple of physicians who hadn’t seen Katy since she was released from Roanoke Memorial Hospital. A lot of good things have happened since then. The first one saw her, laughed, and jumped up on her toes. “Katy, I can’t believe it! You look so great!” she exclaimed. That was followed by about four “Oh my gosh!” exclamations. It was so much fun. The second doctor visit was just as marvelous. This time Katy went into the office a picture of good health. During all the delightful chatter and smiles, God was being glorified for all the marvelous healing that has taken place in Katy and we all could feel His pleasure. What a tre

Whoever came up with the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

  1. Trisha Ferris Says:

    Love your hairdo! You look gorgeous. Praise the Lord for all He’s done in & through you.

  2. Aleah Yunger Says:

    Your hair!! It looks so good :D these pictures are gorgeous! So glad you were feeling well enough to do it - I know it was a blessing to everyone you visited.

  3. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Hey there!
    Katy, I just sent you an e-mail and my comptuer crashed just as it was sending - so if you didn’t get it let me know! I definately need a new computer! Grin!!!

  4. Julie Wensley Says:

    Gorgeous Dahling! Love your hair, your healthy look and your smile. I know your spread lots of Christmas cheer today!

  5. Doris Harriff Says:

    Katy, it’s so good to see you up and about, and looking so good. And indeed, your hairdo is great!

    Aunt Doris

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Trouble

We were in our home tonight working on various projects and everything was calm. Suddenly there was big excitement in our neighborhood. From a distance we could hear sirens and commotion. “What could be wrong,” I wondered. Soon we saw flashing red lights and I ran to the front of the house to see what the trouble was.

There was no trouble. It was Santa seated on top of a big red firetruck waving to all the neighbors. With a bright floodlight shining on him, his suit glowed neon red against the night sky. I shouted, “Hey everybody, it’s Santa!” I ran to the upper porch, threw open the door, and started waving to him like mad. I jumped up and down and shouted Merry Christmas! Then I looked behind me and saw that Katy was on her computer and hadn’t even turned around to check things out. My husband was watching me from the doorway with a silly grin on his face, shaking his head.

Well, what can I say? I’m excited about life these days. I’m excited that after darkness there is light. After rain there is a rainbow. After weeping there is joy. After despair there is hope. After sickness there is health. After mourning there is dancing. So the next time I hear sirens or think that trials are all I see, Lord, help me to expect something good to come of it. James 1:2,3 says it so much better. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

  1. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Wow! That’s pretty neat. It’s a great illustration, too, of how good always comes from what seems to be bad when you have the Lord in your life! :-)
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  2. Crystal La Brie Says:

    Dawn, I know exactly what you mean! I have felt that same way when I have had my own trials. I also have reacted the same way when Santa comes on that truck in our neighborhood. I get goosebumps! Isn’t it great that our Father allows us moments like this? It is such a freeing feeling. When I was reading your post I could see you waving to Santa, eyes wide open and a big smile on your face. I wish I could express myself as eloquently as you do. Pray for that for me will you? smile wink wink! Have a blessed day and enjoy those moments.

  3. Davey Says:

    On their Christmas album from last year, Point of Grace recorded a Michael W. Smith song entitled “All Is Well.” I simply love the lyrics and the melody:

    All is well, all is well, angels and man rejoice,
    For tonight darkness fell into the dawn of love’s light,
    Sing Alleluia!

    All is well, all is well, let there be peace on earth,
    Christ is come, go and tell that He is in the manger,
    Sing Alleluia!

    All is well, all is well, lift up your voice and sing,
    Born is now Emmanuel, born is our Lord and Savior,
    Sing Alleluia!

    I’ll be singing this at my church on Christmas Eve. Many events that have happened this past year have given me reason to pause and reflect on my proclamation that “all is well.” When I sing on Christmas Eve, and even as a practice, I will think of you.

    Because ALL IS WELL!

  4. Adam Thompson Says:

    Yeh, I can totally picture that scene. :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stories at Christmas

I have thought about writing a book as some of you have suggested. My husband has hinted at that several times, but I thought he was just interested in my writing because he knows me and loves me. I do enjoy sitting down for a few minutes each day to put my reflections into words. I’ve always liked watching and listening to people. I find the things I relate to best are the ordinary things in life. Somehow I take in all the details, think about it, and write it down. It must strike a familiar cord with readers because Katy and I saw someone today in the store that said, “I read about soup day on your blog and wanted to come and have some with you!” And we would love that, too.

Everyone has a story to tell. I hope many of you will have the time to sit around your Christmas tree this year and tell them. I’ve been just as moved by some of the stories and writings in the comments of this blog. There was one not too long ago written about another little girl named Katie, whose parents are overcomers, and their dependency on God and His goodness has to be evident to those around them. Those stories go on every day in every home, and that is one of the things that makes life so special. The times we’ve had to live by faith and not by sight we must remember to tell to our children and grandchildren. Our stories will give them a way of looking at life that will help them soar when it is their time to be more than conquerors. We can not know what the future holds in these uncertain days, but we can look at life through God’s eyes and help our children see with eyes of faith. What a privilege it is to tell them stories from His word. What a privilege it is to live our lives before them in such a way to show them that we believe those Ancient Words.

  1. Jess Lankford Says:

    Dawn -
    I have to say that I totally agree with Paul! You would write a WONDERFUL book!!! I have been so encouraged by you and your family and I know there are so many other young moms out there that need your little bits of wisdom sprinkled throughout their days as well…because your wisdom comes from God…walking with Him daily for years! It’s such an inspiration! You also have such a talented way phrasing things, it really lets others glimpse into your family…and the amazing thing is what you read is really the way it is! There is no show or front…which is SO rare!

    We love the Jesse tree. Last night we called Josh and put him on speaker phone so he could be with us for our devotional on the Prince of Peace. Tonight Lydia tryied to eat the town of Bethleham…Noah was not very happy with her! *GRIN* I’ve mentioned it to two other moms and they love the idea - so I think a craft night might be in order!!

    I’m so glad that things are normal for you guys right now! It’s such a blessing!

    We love ya’ll!

  2. Cynthia McMullen Says:

    Dawn, hey, just a quick note. I guess great minds think alike! About the time I was sending a comment about my mom wanting to call you, you called her! Obviously I didn’t know that — I hadn’t talked to her in a couple of days — but believe me, it meant a lot to her that you called. She also is looking forward big time to meeting the baby. :)

    I am so thrilled Katy got to sign the Freedom Tower beam, even if in absentia. I would’ve LOVED to do that myself. I’ve written about the Twin Towers a few times since 9/11, and I’m so happy they’re finally making progress toward filling that horrid hole in the ground.

    And how cool is it that you have a GOOD 9/11 to commemorate?! If I still had my column, I’d probably have written about that (with your permission, I mean).

    Even though you’re in Roanoke, my column covered a lot of territory. I’m sorry I can’t; it would’ve made a nice juxtaposition, as you point out.

    Glad to hear all’s still improving! Best regards to all.


  3. Marcie Long Says:

    Hi Katy and Dawn and family,
    I’m one of the people who read often but never post!! So I wanted to let you know we’re out here and have been praying for Katy and you all.
    We have some news in our family that I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear. We are adopting a baby girl from Guatemala. She was born on Sept. 14. We can’t wait to go and visit her on Jan. 25 for a week, and then bring her home whenever we get approval in Guatemala- hopefully in the Spring. You can see Karina’s pictures on our website
    Also, my sister Sharon and her husband Tom are coming to Roanoke next week, bringing their 4 new children whom they are in the process of adopting through the US Foster care system. We can’t wait to meet them- 3 boys and a girl, ages 5 to 9. Paul and Sarah are both married and Sarah is expecting a baby next summer.

    Take care and continue to enjoy your Christmas.
    We love you.
    Marcie and family

  4. Aleah Yunger Says:

    I haven’t commented lately, but I’ve been reading. It is such a blessing to hear the stories of joy that have come after such trials. It hurts to think how unappreciative we might be of the joys in our life if it weren’t for the trials we endure.

    I had a dear friend stop by my room the other day to drop off a Christmas gift for my roommate and I: Scripture tea! We are avid tea-drinkers down here and my friend (also Katie) said that she just had to buy us this tea when she saw it. Each bag has a scripture verse on the little tab :) how neat! Tonight, my verse was Proverbs 1:33 and I just had to share: “But all who listen to Me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.” ~ Dawn and Katy, you are both a picture of that to me. You have listened to your Father and He has brought you peace, safety, and fearlessness.

    Hope you are having a blessed evening! You are continually in my thoughts… can’t wait to spend some girl time together over break :D

  5. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Hi Katy,
    Glad you’re doing so well!!! I think a book, or even a compliation of certain posts, would be great. You have such a great story to tell Katy!!
    Looking forward to some girl time with you. :-)
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  6. Julie Wensley Says:

    Dawn, You’ve been a great writer and teacher for so many years. My girls and I have talked about how you can take a very simple ordinary thought or situation and use it as an illustration of something wonderful! You see God’s beauty and workmanship in things most people overlook. I’ve always loved that about you. I often find myself being more thankful for ordinary things after I’ve spent time with you. The thing is, you are also very relational, so this blog seems to be the perfect outlet for you. You can actually have a conversation with people. The best of both worlds! Thank you for taking the time to share your heart and for alway pointing us to the Father.

    I love you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday Night

Katy and I went out to the Mall today to have a look around. There were a couple of gifts Katy wanted to pick up and while we were there we met a few special people that we haven’t seen in a long time. Their broad smiles and big hugs were so encouraging. But what is really funny is that I have been finding out how many old friends and new have discovered this blog and know all the details of everyday life at the Campbells’. It’s fun to hear them say things like, “It was great that you got to shop with your dad,” or “I’m glad you are having so much fun with Christmas crafts.” They usually end the sentence with, “I read it on the blog.”

Readers of Katysblog, we love you and appreciate you. You know who you are even if you have never left a comment on this site. Your kindness in praying for us and helping us through such a tough time has been a great gift to us. Many times we felt helpless but knew you all were praying us through. Those of you who have left messages have encouraged us to keep going, and it was so helpful to read them to Katy. So we thank God for you everyday. You are loved. You read it here on the blog!

  1. Candice & Crystal Sipe Says:

    Dear Dawn and Katy,

    Thank you for keeping us updated on Katy’s health and for sharing the wonderful moments that happen in your lives. Getting to know you all these past few months has been a true blessing for us and our parents. We love you and pray for you continuously. Merry Christmas! Candice & Crystal

  2. Patricia Says:

    4:20 a.m. in Kansas City…don’t know why I just checked the blog…it lifted my spirits!
    Dawn, when is your anniversary this month?

  3. Martha Harrison Says:

    Good morning, Katy and Dawn!

    Thank you for the special messages posted each day on Katysblog. You have encouraged and warmed my heart. Dawn I hope you will prayerfully consider putting your writings into a book. I truly believe God has and will continue to help many struggling souls in their faith walk because you have been willing to share your heart with us.

    It makes me so happy to hear that Katy has been feeling well enough to enjoy some of the “fun things” with you and Paul as you prepare for this wonderful Christmas season! There’s VICTORY in JESUS!! PRAISE HIM!!


  4. Doris Harriff Says:

    Dawn, I absolutely agree with Martha about putting your writings in a book. I have been thinking myself that the posts in “Heavenly Encouragement” would make a good tract.

    Katy, it’s great to hear about you being able to go shopping with your Dad & Mom.

    God bless you!

    Aunt Doris

  5. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Katy, did you and your Dad find the printer he needed and especially that special gift for MOM? Uncle Tony and I have been doing the mall lately, too, just have a couple special request Gift cards to get for grandsons yet. Isn’t Christmas wonderful! I have a few gifts to wrap this afternoon. Tomorrow is our “Royal Heirs” Christmas potluck and pink elephant gift exchange. It’s always a lot of laughter and fun! And for part of the program I will be reading my “Celebrating Jesus with my Christmas Tree” I’ve added a bit more since I sent it to you! Forgot the angels with shepherds! So that’s in it now, and a couple of other lines.

    I hope you don’t wear yourself our with shopping and that the celebrating of God becoming Man is filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit’s presence. How I LOVE this season of praise and blessing! Uncle Tony says “Katy, we’re praying that you get better and hope you will have a marvelous Christmas!” Much love, Aunt Lil, for Uncle Tony, too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Shopping with Dad

Paul called from the office early this morning and gave Katy an assignment. She was to research printers because the one at the office gave out after thirteen years. We use it for printing drawings everyday so we needed to replace it immediately. From that discussion they decided to go and buy one tonight and do some Christmas shopping too.

Katy got herself all ready then fell asleep just before Paul got home from work tonight. After a good rest they were off. They are also on a hunt for the perfect gift for me. How can I tell them that the perfect gift is happening right now? Katy is on her feet with lipstick on. Paul is treating her to an evening out and I’m sure he is making her feel like a princess. You just can’t beat a gift like that. Hooray for dads everywhere taking their kids out to find a perfect gift for mom. Her quiet evening at home, knowing you are making precious memories for your children, is the perfect gift! Thanks Paul. You’re the best. When I open your gift at Christmas I’ll be remembering your shopping trip with Katy tonight.

  1. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Hey Campbells,
    I’m so glad Katy got to go out shopping!! You go girl (as usual)!!!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon,
    (with love and prayers)
    Jen :-)

  2. Laura Griffith Says:

    How exciting to hear all the good news. I pray ya’ll will have a joyous holiday season.

    Merry Christmas,

  3. Jennifer Wellington Says:

    Thank you for continuing to remind me of the small, precious gifts that God showers upon us each and every day.

  4. Gene & Shirley Murphy Says:


    So glad to see that you are up and around. God’s doing a wonderful thing in your life, and we look with great anticipation as to what He’s going to do in the future. How timely your activity is, especially this time of year. We continue to think of you, and pray for you.

    Love in Christ,
    Shirley & Gene

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Katy was not feeling well enough to make it to church today but we are having our small group from church over tonight for devotions and fellowship. We’re hoping Katy will feel up to joining us. She’s big on having company.

Yesterday in Lynchburg, the steel company making the new beams for the Freedom Tower (where the Twin Towers once stood) invited the public to come and sign the first new beams before they left for New York. The company, Banker Steel, made the original beams for the Twin Towers when they were built. Katy wanted to go to sign a beam. She wasn’t up for the hour-long drive but my friend, Linda, went with her grand-daughters for a family outing. Around four o’clock eleven-year-old Lindsey and nine-year-old Haley called Katy by cell phone to tell her the news that the girls had signed her name for her! It made Katy’s day. The girls were excited to do it for her and beside the name “Katy” I asked them to write 9/11/91. That date is significant to Katy as it was the day we drove her to Washington DC to the Immigration and Naturalization Service building, where she became an American citizen. While our family celebrates 9/11 for the freedoms Katy now enjoys, we also have a country remembering that date every year. It made us all aware that freedom is a precious gift that is bought with a price.

Thank you to the men and women and their families serving our country today, and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can continue to enjoy peace and freedom this Christmas. God bless your Christmastime celebrations with His very presence whether in your home or in Iraq or Afghanistan. We celebrate the freedom that Christ came to give us, freedom from all our sin and shame.

  1. Tiffany Allen Says:

    Hi Katy,

    Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I pray for you and think of you often. I love reading the blogs and hearing about the good days that you have been having. You are an amazingly strong person to have been through all that you have!! The Lord doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas season filled with family and friends. God Bless you always.

    Your cousin,


  2. Karen Tillman Says:

    All I can say to that is Amen!!! My stepson just returned from Iraq, and we are very happy that he is home. And please tell Katy that I hope she is feeling better soon.
    Love In Him
    Karen Tillman

  3. Rich Kochendarfer Says:

    Katy and Dawn,
    I just returned home from being with my oldest son Kurt. He is a pilot in an F16 squadron stationed at Luke Air Force Base. Kurt is in the D.C. area through tomorrow to help with the military funeral of a friend and squadron member who was shot down north of Baghdad about two weeks ago. Major Troy Gilbert, was a professing Christian, strong and outspoken in his love for Christ and the gospel message. After being with Kurt and about 40 other members of the group who have come for the burial, I was amazed at the number of believing men and women who are remembering the blessing of having known this young man; those who learned from his example and loved the heart of Christ that He displayed. Troy leaves behind his wife Ginger and five children (9, 7, three year old twins and a newborn). Ginger’s testimony to God’s faithfulness has been strong but we know there are many difficult days ahead. Thank you both for remembering the men and women who serve us through their calling to the military. I, like Karen Tillman, am thankful my son is back from Iraq this holiday. But many are not returning. May the light of the gospel go forth into our own land as well as this dark part of the world; for only when Christ is preeminent will there be peace to men of good will. Katy, Rich was so happy to spend time with you and your folks at small group meeting last night! We delight in your days at home with family and continue in prayer for your health and thanksgiving for your successes.
    Mrs. K

  4. Jennifer :-) Says:

    Hi Katy,
    I’m sorry I couldn’t talk longer last night. It was nice to talk to you though!! I’m sorry you didn’t get to go to church yesterday and I hope that you get to feeling better soon. Get some sleep and I’ll talk to you later!!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  5. Jen L. Says:


    I got the package you left with my mom. THANKS!! =) Annika will love having her own Gideon lamb. I’ll make sure she knows it was from you.

    Sorry you and your mom couldn’t come to the shower. I can’t wait for you to meet Annika.

    Hugs and prayers!

  6. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    Hope your feeling better today! I’ll echo the prayers for our service men and women (I grew up in a military family) and add a few more to it. Also pray for the many, many civilians serving overseas supporting our military. Many are civil service employees, but many others are contractors and often they don’t have the same kind of medical/emotional support to heal the wounds of war whether they be physical or psycological. Also, please pray for all the foreign correspondents covering the war. The top tier usually work for major news outlets and have some training about working in war zones as well as medical plans etc. But, covering a war is the fastest way to launch a career in journalism and thus there are many, many very young and very green journalists that take off for Iraq completely on their own. They work freelance for media outlets around the world. They don’t make a lot of money and they have no health insurance or benefits package etc. if anything happens to them. Yet, they’re adding an element of competition that keeps the coverage honest.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Joy

We have been having a wonderful day. Katy and I have been working on Christmas crafts and having a great time doing it. Fairlight came over last night and made a little project with Katy and that set the tone for today. We have been enjoying all aspects of Christmas this year, but especially the festive decorations and Christmas CDs. We turn on the Christmas music first thing in the morning, and we’ve actually turned on all the lights in the middle of the day just for the fun of it. It makes us feel so good to be at home, with all the familiar things. Julie’s comment from yesterday reminded us that while we are glad there is a hospital in Roanoke, we are grateful that we are not in it. There is no place like home.

We are happy to report tonight that Katy has had a healthy day. While she still needs a lot of sleep, she was going strong by noon and at 10pm she is still emailing friends. I’d like to thank those of you with experience with steroid tapering for advising us. It is very helpful. If there is anything you can recommend for the face and feet swelling please write with suggestions.

We are looking forward to being in church tomorrow. There are so many wonderful things to celebrate. Many Sunday School classes have prayed for Katy, sent cards, and kept up with her progress. We are happy to be rejoicing with you over so many answers to prayer.

  1. Sarah Meador Says:


    Aww, there is truly no place like home! So glad to hear that you have had a good day. :-) It warms my heart to hear of the little ways you all are finding much joy in this holiday season. I love crafts! What a fun past time. You’ll have to post some pictures of some of your creations. :-) Let’s do try to get together over Christmas. I would love to spend time fellowshiping and just being with you. My exams are finished on the 15th, so anytime after that is great! You are such a gift from God to so many of us. Have a blessed Sabath day tomorrow.

    I love you,

  2. Karen Tillman Says:

    Dear Dawn,

    I hate to say it, but I am afraid Katy will be stuck with what we call a moonface for awhile til she comes off the steroids. Not one of the more attractive or comfortable side effects to say the least, but quite common with steroids. As for the feet, she probably has fluid, and they make them hurt and feel heavy. I was in a wheelchair for several months b/c of the swelling in my legs and feet. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me before now. The only thing you can do without medication is to keep them rested upward. Also not a very productive way to be, but it works long enough that you can get up and start doing things for a little while before the swelling and pain starts all over again. The medicine that is sometimes used, I’d be concerned about for Katy, as she has had enough problems with electrolytes and stuff, and she doesn’t need to lose any weight I’d imagine. That med is what is commonly known as fluid pills (furosomide) The bad thing about fluid pills is that it can deplete your body of potassium, and right now, unless the swelling is just completely something you can’t live with until the steroid taper comes down some more, I wouldn’t highly recommend them. Unless your doctor is comfortable with it. If that is something they decide to do insist on a potassium supplement. And then again, it may not be fluid, but if I were a betting man, and her being on steroids, that would be my thoughts. Like I said try keeping your feet up for an hour or so, then see if that helps. Other than that, I am truly glad that you are enjoying Christmas so much. It is truly a wonderful and blessed time of year.
    Love always
    Karen Tillman

  3. LInda Burk Says:

    HI…Great news…so glad everyone can enjoy the holiday preparations. Our children will come today to decorate the tree. My students will begin work on the gifts for their parents this week. We visited old friends Friday night at their annual Christmas party.
    We are all blessed. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!
    Love, LInda