Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Morning

Good morning! I'm writing from the computer in the hotel lobby. Both Qavah and I are feeling better. Qavah has not had a fever since starting her antibiotics on Thursday night. I wrapped my rib overnight and that keeps the pain manageable.

Mom and I had a splendid day at the Bridesmaid luncheon. We really felt like princesses! I sat at the "grandmothers'" table. It was a blessing to be in their presence. Last night, I rested at the hotel while everyone enjoyed a dinner and leisure evening at my grandparents' home. This morning is the wedding at 11:00 and then we're going to have a mini family reunion at a local lake. The weather is beautiful and our spirits are rejoicing. The Lord has given our family this weekend together; we are making many wonderful memories!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preparing for the Weekend

I am proceeding to pack and move forward with our plans to go to Charlottesville. I took Qavah to the doctor today and we decided it was time for an antibiotic. Her complete blood count has fallen abruptly and is now 8.3 after a transfusion only two weeks ago. Her fever was one hundred and three again last night. The antibiotic should help her if the fever is coming from bacteria growth. Time will tell.

Kathryn has been able to be up packing her things for the weekend. Her rib is not too painful today. The goal is before her and she is on a mission to succeed! Our house sitter/dog sitter is arriving tomorrow, and best of all, Tiffany cleaned the house today. After I got home from the doctor with Qavah I walked into a clean house. What a huge gift! I am so very thankful for it. We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend and hope to have many pictures and good things to report when we get back.

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God." II Corinthians 3:5

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Force of a Sneeze

Things were going very well over the weekend and Kathryn was enjoying her porch retreat (see Kathryn'sKeepsakes for details). Then yesterday afternoon about two-thirty a sneeze caught her off-guard. She said that after the force of the sneeze she felt something pop in her rib cage and then a troublesome cough started, after which she could not get a deep enough breath. Her breathing seemed labored and she could only breathe while slumped forward. Jennifer had just pulled into the driveway so we found the stethoscope and had her listen to Kathryn's lung sounds. Jennifer said there was not much movement of air in her left lung so we decided to take her to the emergency room at the hospital across town. Jennifer sat in the back seat helping with Kathryn as I drove. We had a good prayer time on the way there; praying for help to come swiftly once we arrived.

Although it was a Monday holiday, within five minutes after arriving at the hospital Kathryn was taken back to a room, put on oxygen, had an IV started, and a chest x-ray taken. She went to the front of the line when she passed out in the lobby and couldn't be roused. The ER doctor read the x-ray and said that her rib must have shifted during the sneeze causing the intense pain. The pain level caused shallow breathing, which caused her to eventually pass out. So after using oxygen for a couple of hours, and a dose of something to cut her pain level down, we started for home, stopping at the Dairy Queen for some much needed refreshment.

Because it is allergy season and Kathryn normally sneezes several times a day, Paul Burton made the decision to wrap her rib cage last night when he got home from work. I told him that it wasn't something that is normally helpful according to the articles I had read, but he said, "Kathryn's body needs to be held together and we are going to do this!" He said it so matter-of-fact, that Kathryn simply relented. He wrapped her rib and then showed me how to unwrap it for showers but instructed me to keep it on her. It actually is helping her. I don't know why all this is happening to Kathryn. She has asked that same question. She still wants to travel to her cousin's wedding this weekend, but has also started to say things like, "...if I have to stay home..."

I think if we all pray and ask the Lord for swift healing, He may say, "Yes!" I know He is able. It would be such a treat for her to get out of the house to celebrate something! Our hearts' desires are to have her with us, enjoying the family, and sharing the memory. Please pray it will be so.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday Night Skit

I went to a youth group meeting one week when I was in junior high school and saw a skit that struck me funny. So funny in fact, that I have never forgotten it. There was this sixteen year old guy lying on the floor about eight feet away from a glass of water that was also on the floor. He looked worn and very thirsty, and pulled himself across the floor as though he were dragging himself though the hottest, driest, desert. As he inched his way toward the cup, he grabbed his throat, and with a parched voice said, "Water....Water!" The closer he got to the cup everyone started to cheer him on. Thinking he was surely going to die before he closed in on the glass I watched carefully wondering how the story would end. As he finally came within reach of the glass of water he stopped, slowly reached into his back pocket, pulled out a comb, dipped it into the water, and sat up combing his hair as though he were Elvis himself. It was a surprise ending to all that drama.

According to Qavah's blood test, her white cells are attacking the bacteria in her bronchial tubes on their own. Her white count is up where it needs to be to fight. Her temperature is still a little high, but the fever is doing its job, creating a hostile environment for the bacteria. Kathryn has still been unable to get comfortable, and is once again feeling trapped by her body. She has very limited mobility because of the cracked rib. Paul and Paul Burton scrubbed the upper porch and I am trying to make her a pleasant place to sit outside. We'll have it finished by tomorrow and Kathryn will be able to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine.

Lord, it has been a long week for everyone. There were disasters and hardships this week that took us by surprise. As we inch our way through times that are as dry as the desert, help us to reach for the Living Water, and find in Him refreshment to quench our thirsty souls.

"...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Encourage One Another

When Your Hut's on Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

That little story was sent to me today by my sister-in-law, Carrie. She didn't know what kind of day it had been for us but her little story was an encouragement and a reminder that God sees everything we are going through and it is all accomplishing a purpose greater than we will probably ever know.

From the first minute I saw Qavah this morning I could tell by her eyes she was really sick again. Her fever is a hundred and three and refuses to break. I am hoping this is just another little bug, but her blood oxygen level was low enough that Qavah's pediatrician ordered chest x-rays and labs and will call me with results in the morning. While I had Qavah at the hospital, Kathryn was at home struggling every inch of this day. She is having a hard time finding any position comfortable enough to get good sleep. Although it is hard to see hardship day after day, my eyes really do scan the horizon just like a shipwrecked survivor. But I'm looking for the Rider upon a white horse whose banner reads, "Faithful and True!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


When ribs are broken, every movement seems to send a shock wave through the body. Such was the case last night when we worked until two in the morning to find a way for Kathryn to get comfortable. The chair worked for awhile, then we found a way to prop her up in bed in a position that seemed promising. By two-thirty she fell asleep and stayed that way until morning. I am expecting her to be able to use her left arm in a few days, but until then I am helping her shower and dress. I asked her if I should get home health care to help for a few days and she responded immediately that only I would do for the bathing and dressing! That's when I had the idea that it was time for a housekeeper. Her name is Tiffany and she starts next week!

During these sleepless nights we have prayed for hundreds of people. The time of prayer has been rich and filled with blessing. Kathryn is a great prayer partner and we are able to name people who just need to be prayed over. Times are tough for many, and we certainly know that when we pray with even the slightest amount of faith, God does great and mighty things. We hope many of you will see answers to prayer in your lives in the days and weeks to come. Suffering always produces something good. We've seen it too many times to doubt it this time.

Our prayers are with David and Lizi as they celebrate the life and home-going of Val in England today. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pain Mystery Solved

After searching the internet, I kept coming back to the articles on rib fractures. Kathryn's osteroporosis is so profound because of Prednisone use that it seemed like one thing to check. This morning there was significant bruising on the left side of her rib cage and the bruising extended in streaks downward toward her hip. Seeing that, my theory of internal bleeding also seemed to fit so I took Kathryn to the hematologist this afternoon hoping to solve the mystery.

As the doctor examined Kathryn he didn't hesitate to ask me what I thought. After telling him my idea he examined her side, pushed on it a little, and said, "I don't think it is a fracture but I will order an X-Ray." After the X-Ray was read he came back into the room and said, "You were right it is a spiral fracture!" Then he proceeded to tell me that he is learning to trust Kathryn and me when we have a theory. That's a secure man! His goal and mine are the same. We just want to see Kathryn's pain levels lower, and are willing to keep plugging away until there is an explanation. We'll never know what caused the fracture, but the pain began sometime late Friday afternoon as she was getting ready for her graduation recognition party.

There is nothing we can do for Kathryn but to try and make her comfortable. The hematologist told her the rib will mend over the next four to six weeks on its own but he warned her about being extremely careful until the bone has mended. That being said, I would like to ask for special prayer that God would knit Kathryn's rib back together so she can travel to her cousin's wedding in less than two weeks. She told me on the drive home from the hospital that nothing is going to stop her from being there. I would just ask for the wisdom to travel with her, and for her strength. The pain of a fractured rib is tiring for her, but she is determined, and stated emphatically that she is going no matter what!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HPS Thing

I have been waiting all weekend to write in the hope that things would be better for Kathryn by now. But I'm writing to ask for special prayer again as she battles another round with her cells. This past Friday night we attended a recognition ceremony at the Higher Education Center. Kathryn was honored along with other Mary Baldwin graduates from the Roanoke area and we had a very lovely evening although Kathryn complained a few times about a pain in her left side on her ribcage. I hoped it was just a bruise but by Saturday night she was in so much pain that the whole electrolyte problem returned and I spent the night trying to keep her pain managed and electrolytes balanced.

I now run through a series of questions when these things happen beginning with, "Did you bump yourself or feel a muscle pull?" This particular pain is new and I started to suspect internal bleeding or a cracked rib when the pain level became unbearable. I was reluctant to use Stimate because it can only be used to control bleeding a couple of times a month and I was holding off using it until I saw evidence of bleeding in the form of a bruise. Tonight she was talking with me when she looked down at what she thought was a drip on her leg, and she was bleeding heavily from three tiny holes that opened up on her shin as we were standing in the hall having a conversation. It was a shock, but at the same time we knew it was time for Stimate and gave it to her. Now we are waiting for it to begin to calm her cells down and stop the bleeding. As Kathryn says, "This is the new normal." Please pray that internal bleeding is all this is and that the Stimate will turn things around.

I'll post pictures of Kathryn in her cap and gown later. For now I just wanted to give you an update and ask for prayer. Thank you so much for checking the blog and for praying. Some time in the wee hours of the morning after many tears and prayers she said, "HPS....Human Program of Suffering!" I reminded her that she had almost five good days in a row last week, so we are getting closer to managing the symptoms as they arise. We are thankful tonight that there are drugs available to help Kathryn and they are right here in our home to be used in times like this. Thank you for praying for the specifics. We know God is hearing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blog Reader

Over the past twenty-two months, we have been encouraged by the comments left on the blog by all our readers. The days we've been at home or the hospital were bearable because we didn't ever feel alone. The visits from you, our readers, brightened our days and when we heard from you, we would get excited as though you were there with us for a visit.

One of our blog readers lived across the ocean and when she was last in America she told us that she would love to come and have another cup of afternoon tea with Kathryn and me upon her return to the states. Her daughter and husband, Lizi and David, are members of our church and that is how we first met Val. Our Pastor lovingly referred to her as the true Queen Mum.

A couple of days ago Val fell. The result of the fall left her in poor condition and David and Lizi immediately left for England. However, en route to England, they got the news that Val had quietly left this earth, and had graduated to her home in Heaven. It all happened so fast. Kathryn and I needed a good cry when we got the news this afternoon because we had made our plans for our next tea party with Val, and grieved over a dream that would not come to pass.

Val had spent most of her life without the understanding of God's redemption. She didn't know life could be filled with peace until a few years ago when she at last understood the Gospel message and believed that Jesus Christ came, lived, died, and rose again, to bring her troubled soul out of darkness into the light of life. Because of her salvation she sparkled when she spoke. She was excited about everything and her enthusiasm spilled over unto others and we'd find ourselves smiling as she expressed herself. While we cried today for our loss, and for Lizi and David, we are thrilled to think that Val finished her race and has been rewarded for her faith today. The scriptures say that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:6). Val saw our Savior today. She is free from suffering for all eternity. We'll miss Val, but we also know that we will see her again. Our tea party won't be here at the house, but will be moved to a new location.

David and Lizi, I hope you will be able to read this post soon. It is the middle of the night there in England, but many of us here in the states are praying for you. We wish we could be there with you to uphold you and meet your needs. We are happy for you that you are certain of the location of your mother's new home. She is safe in the arms of her Blessed Redeemer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pajama Day

Qavah and I had a pajama day. She is still battling a cold with a lot of congestion and didn't feel like doing too much. I had forgotten how liberating it is for a parent when kids wipe and blow their own noses; hasten the day!

Kathryn had a harp lesson this afternoon and afterwards we sat out on our front porch and worked on our Bible study together. We were discussing how it seems we are being trained for something, but we aren't sure what yet. We both know these days at home together are leading us to a new thing. We'll know it when it happens but for now we are studying, resting, and waiting for the Lord to show us what He wants us to do with ourselves.

Although there have been setbacks, Kathryn's health is improving. Her good days are getting better. Thanks be to God! We are looking forward to attending a family wedding at the end of this month in Charlottesville, Virginia. Kathryn and I are going on a trip out west in June. We are planning to go to the Grand Canyon and will visit with Candice and Crystal in Avondale, Arizona. We have so much to look forward to and pray for good health to continue.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blessings to Keep Me Going

This past Saturday evening I was about to start dinner when I pulled Qavah up onto my lap. As soon as I touched her, I knew immediately she had a fever. A call to the hematologist resulted in our taking Qavah to the ER for a blood transfusion. Her CBC was 5.6. Now that we have learned to read the signs of trouble it didn't take long to get a plan in place for the transfusion. Because things were hectic on the ER floor, we were moved to the pediatric floor around midnight. Paul and I were so hungry we asked a nurse and found out that the Blimpie shop in the cafeteria was open until two in the morning. Paul went for food while Qavah and I got settled in for the night. Qavah slept while we had dinner and because her IV site was irritated the nurse had to slow the transfusion to a four hour drip. We drove home as the sun was coming up. Qavah seemed dazed by it all.

When we arrived home Kathryn had a Mother's Day card for me on our bed that held a gift certificate for a facial and pedicure. I could close my eyes right then and just dream about how that was going to feel after the long night. As if that weren't enough, Kathryn hopped out of bed and turned on her computer. She took me over to her computer chair and sat me down so I could read the surprise message she had left for me on the blog. I was moved to tears. I admired her creativity. I thought it was significant that Kathryn thinks of my hands as "healing hands" especially when there were times she was in so much pain I felt inadequate, never knowing whether my hands could really bring comfort.

I am thankful to have the praise of my children because in many ways they have become my friends over the years, and it means a lot to me that they can remember good times even though there were plenty of struggles. They blessed me abundantly on Sunday with cards, gifts, and joyful hearts. Paul had somehow slipped out of bed and driven to the store in hopes of finding some flowers. When I woke up just before noon I found a bouquet of roses and a wonderful note from Paul on the kitchen counter. I was amazed that he had the strength to do that after being up most of the night.

Those expressions of love have stayed with me all day and fueled my desire to be a better servant. Qavah has been quite sick, and Kathryn is still struggling with the wound on her shoulder from the Hickman site. I had several loads of laundry to wash, so today I got back to doing the things that bring comfort and order to our home, and took care of the girls. I read that a mom would be worth $117,000.00 a year if she were paid for all her housework, child care, and overtime. But we mothers gladly do it all for the joy of knowing we are living out the purpose God has for us. Even in the times when children don't or won't recognize our value, God sees, and knows the intent of our hearts, and it is precious to Him.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To My Mom,

"Her children arise and call her blessed"
nd "her husband also praises her"
roverbs 31 describes many mothers, but
erhaps the greatest mom I know is...

ama, today is the day I celebrate you
ver and over again, you have given of yourself
hank you for putting your own desires aside for me
ealing hands and "faithful instructions" bless me daily
ven on this website, your love and compassion is evident
est assured, you have many jewels in your Heavenly crown
he watches over the affairs of her household" describes you.

own in my heart, I'm thankful you became my mother
"woman who fears the Lord," like you, "is to be praised"
ou are "clothed with strength and dignity" so may you "laugh in the days to come"

(August 2006)



Friday, May 09, 2008

A New Look

I am feeling so much better today. The crushing toothache of yesterday is a dull ache today, and tolerable without pain medication. We were high maintenance girls this week. I can't remember the sequence of events but somewhere during this week the time had come to pamper Kathryn. She is so delightful and honest. She has given her blessing to post the truth and while some may be shocked by this honesty, others will be blessed.

For the past several months Kathryn has been steadily losing her hair. The high-powered drugs she is taking are a contributing factor and we have yet to find out from the endocrinologist if her thyroid is functioning properly. Improper thyroid function can also be a factor in hair loss. We decided it was time to look for a wig.

We went to the store and while Kathryn sat in front of a three-way mirror, the saleswoman worked on finding a style and length that Kathryn liked. After turning down several styles the saleswoman tried one more and I could see Kathryn perk up, shake her head a few times, take a closer look at the mirror and give me a huge smile. "I feel so pretty, Mom," she said. The saleslady saw us both get teary-eyed and asked if everything was all right. Kathryn answered, "It's just that for almost two years I've been so sick...." and at that point the saleswoman reached down and held her for a long time. She told us that she had been through some health challenges herself and was in a coma for two months. "Everyone thought I would not pull through," she said. We were so moved by her response and compassion. In our brief conversation we all agreed that those trials have made us appreciate the simple pleasures in life. Kathryn has faced each challenge with grace, and we are delighted for her that we live in a time when fancy hair can be purchased.

As we were about to pay for Kathryn's purchase, Qavah looked up and pointed to a wig exclaiming, "Look Mommy there is one for me!" The sales lady took it off the shelf and put it on her head. As she looked at herself in a nearby mirror, she laughed and jumped to make her curls bounce. Other sales people and customers came to see what all the fuss was about. Their faces broke into big grins. So here is the result of a shopping trip that is sure to make you smile. God bless you and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pain Medication Rambling

I tried to post yesterday but my thoughts didn't flow very well. I have decided it is a bloomin' miracle that Kathryn wrote her senior thesis while on pain medication! I was sure that I would feel well enough to take Kathryn to her Remicade appointment today and then do something on that side of town with Qavah for four hours. But Kathryn looked at me dubiously and said, "I'm going to call Aunt Julie." The two of them worked out the plan yesterday and today I'm home by myself for several hours with my little ice pack and pain medication. I'm so glad Kathryn had the foresight to make a plan for today. I called the dentist this morning and asked, "Am I still supposed to feel like my jaw has been crushed?" The answer was, "Yes!" So here I am at home praying for swifter healing.

I told Qavah last night that Aunt Julie was going to take care of her for awhile today. She lit up and said, "I LOVE Aunt Julie!" It is precious to me that all of our family members and extended family have made such a great impression on Qavah. She loves them all, and they love her. The love Qavah has been shown the past several months from our family and friends has changed her life and brought healing to her heart.

About six months ago a young woman called me asking about our adoption of Qavah. She heard that it was quick and not costly as many foreign adoptions are. She told me that she and her husband had wanted children for years but it looked like adoption would be the right option for them. They followed the instructions to have a home-study done and then went to the same website where we found Qavah, They found two little brothers available for adoption and have been making arrangements to bring them home from another state.

The love of Christ within this young couple will play a huge part in their healing, because the little boys were badly abused and have scars over their little bodies from human bite marks. The thrill in this young woman's voice when she told me the marvelous story of the redemption of these little guys is just the beginning! They have so many joys ahead of them as the children begin to trust them. Our prayers are with this family as they live out their life purpose. I'm thankful that as awful as their start in life was, God had a plan all along for saving these brothers. There are 115,000 more children available for adoption right now in the United States. Thanks to their Heavenly Father who sees even a sparrow fall, two more children have just been found by their God-Appointed mommy and daddy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Home with the family

My instructions from the dentist tells me that ice is going to be my best friend for the next three days. I am doing well, and so thankful that my time in the dentist's chair today went well. It took two and a half hours to work on my tooth root and jaw so naturally there is some swelling and bruising. But the girls are feeling well. Kathryn has Remicade on Thursday and has not been in pain yet. Qavah needs a transfusion by the end of this week but is still going strong. I can see the sustaining power of God in the details.

Tonight we are going to sit on the sofa and watch a movie. The girls went with Paul to the library to pick out a movie for us. I used to be able to count on them bringing home something we would all enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the Care Bears in moderation, but I'm really hoping Qavah doesn't pick tonight's movie.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sabbath Day Surprise

We decided to sleep in Sunday morning until we felt rested enough to wake up. I woke up at eleven o'clock. The antibiotic I have been taking for my toothache started working and I was able to sleep through the night. Kathryn and Qavah slept as long as I did. We didn't have to be at the Roanoke Civic Center until one-thirty so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then went to hear the rehearsal of Verdi's Requiem. It was a wonderful performance ending in a prolonged silence because the audience was not supposed to applaud. On the final notes that ended the requiem, the choir sang the words, "Deliver me." The holy hush in the auditorium was so absolutely perfect. After the long silence, it was the choir that broke into applause. They sang some of the most meaningful words from scripture there are, and it was all about the salvation we have in Christ; a refuge from the wrath of God to come upon those who do not believe Him. It was stunning. Tonight the performance begins in an hour and we are planning to listen to it on our local radio station.

From that rehearsal we went to another fantastic music production at Bonsack Baptist Church. The choir and orchestra performed the same pieces that they will be singing at Carnegie Hall the first of June. The day for us was extra special because the girls were healthy and could enjoy it with us. After the concert we went to the Dairy Queen for ice cream with another family and had a lot of laughs. It was another hallelujah moment when we arrived home at the end of the day having had such a perfect time together. We slept in again this morning, too!

Today the girls and I went shopping for some special things. There are graduations, weddings, and birthdays coming up and many things are needed for celebrating. Kathryn is feeling so much better. Her last Rocephin treatment left her rather flustered. It took two nurses and seven tries to find a vein. So we really did celebrate today. There were many shopping bags in the trunk by the time we got home and both girls could hardly wait for their daddy to get home to "twirl" in their new clothes. They met him out on the driveway and I said a silent prayer that Paul would notice the girls had on something new. He did notice! They bobbed up and down with delight with his praises. It is so important to them that their daddy notices the good things.

Dear Abba Father,
My heart is bobbing up and down like a happy child tonight because YOU have been so good to give us these wonderful moments that stretched into two good days. I am grateful, Father, grateful enough to shout for joy. You see me twirling with delight in my spirit tonight! Thank you for all the bad times that have enhanced the good times by far.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Kathryn and Qavah

The girls have had their challenges this week, but they are both looking better and feeling better. Kathryn has been working diligently on the wound on her shoulder at the site of her old Hickman line and it is looking a lot better. A three hundred voice choir will be singing Verdi's Requiem tomorrow afternoon at the Roanoke Civic Center and we all want to go. Although it is the rehearsal before the Monday night performance, the goal is to sing it all the way through Sunday afternoon from two to four o'clock. Tickets are five dollars at the door with open seating. We have been praying that the Lord will give us a good night and that we will be able to attend the concert as a family tomorrow. Paul Burton is singing in the choir. It's such beautiful and heavenly music that I just want to sit and soak in the beauty of it.

The Women's Brunch was a joyful event. I have always liked to attend events like these because women pay attention to the little details. The tables were decorated with miniature rose bushes and I was given a yellow one to bring home to Kathryn. I enjoyed meeting many new people, and saw some familiar faces, too. My merciful Heavenly Father gave me strength, and I've thanked Him for that. Except for a swollen cheek I don't think anyone would have guessed how much dental work I had done yesterday.

I am turning my attention toward sundown and Sabbath Rest. Next week I have to schedule surgery for myself to correct the problems in my jaw. I don't know what all I will have to do, but that is something to think about next week. Tonight it is good to be at home, happy and content. I wish you all a wonderful day of delicious rest tomorrow. I'm sure we all need it because our Heavenly Father instructed us to take it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Interesting twists

This morning I woke up to what felt like a mule kick to the jaw. It sent shock waves through my body. I called our dentist early. It was his day off and he was already dressed for the golf course, but he carved out time to open his office to see me. After seeing me briefly at the office he called an endodontist across town and I went in for an emergency root canal. The appointment was very painful because of the angry abscess in my jaw. Realizing that I needed extra novocaine, the endodonist gave me a couple extra shots. Within minutes my heart was racing, I was passing out, and when I finally got my bearings I was in the chair with my eye taped shut, oxygen up my nose, and an elevated heart rate and pulse. The nerve that ran to my eye was deadened and I had no control over it so I couldn't blink. The endodonist was excellent. She handled everything with care and caution. She let me choose the music for the procedure and I chose the easy-listening jazz of Nora Jones. So after that things got better.

What is most interesting to me is that this past Wednesday I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. All went well and a new set of x-rays showed no sign of problems. So where did this abscess come from? With that in mind, I'm going to ask for prayer for the two hundred women who bought a ticket to this event tomorrow. There will be what I hope is a clear Gospel message. Ironically, the topic is, "God's perspective on trials and suffering."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Night

Upon reflection, today was an excellent day. We were able to join our countrymen for the National Day of Prayer. We didn't have to go anywhere or get dressed up. We were even able to sleep late. Today from the comfort of our own home we were able to be a part of something big. We felt like we were doing our part. The prayers for our nation are of the utmost importance as we are seeing the days that scripture foretold. A day when evil is called "good" and good is pronounced "evil." We didn't have a lot of energy today, but we were able to pray several times.

It is also a very good day when the Home-Health care nurse finds a vein in Kathryn's arm on the first try. We had a nurse today that did an excellent job and she's supposed to come back tomorrow. Kathryn is healing well, and although she is very tired, her body appears to be handling the battle fatigue. It was good to see her up and around for awhile this afternoon. Mom and Dad came down for a harp lesson, and Kathryn was able to join in while they were here. She even sat in on the harp lesson with Whitney and Mom.

I'm grateful for these peaceful days. The blue skies, sunshine, hint of a summer breeze, and a nation at prayer, what could be better than that?

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive sin and will heal their land. 2 Ch 7:14