Thursday, April 26, 2007

You're an Idiot....and so am I!!

In February Jeff and I (along with our Pastor and his wife) attended a Church Leadership conference at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, which was awesome by the way. One of the speakers approached the stage and said turn to your neighbor and say "your an idiot." The reason he explained that we are all idiots is because none of us can make it without Christ because we are idiots (or sinners) and if you don't have Christ you are also an idiot (because you are a sinner without a Savior). He went on to talk about people in ministry to be even bigger idiots...we already knew that..we are not offended! Obviously he was using slang by using the word idiot, but really he was so right.

Obviously this last month of our lives has been very strange. My mom has had major surgery, Jeff having 2 surgeries in 2 weeks, waiting on major test results for Jeff...etc., etc.
I realized that through all of this that I trusted WHOLE HEARTEDLY in the Lord...I felt as though he was all I had. I mean trust like never before, peace like never before.

This Tuesday as I am sitting in my office trying to put a large real estate deal back together (and one that I need to close) that is hanging by a thread; then I start opening medical bills and suddenly I am as my brother calls it "a ball of stress." In the meantime Jeff calls me from Sam's and says hey I am buying groceries for the Youth Concession stand and they don't take the credit card the church has they only take Discover so can we just pay for it?

As stupid and petty as this all sounds it sent me over the edge. That night when I got home Jeff asks me "what is wrong with you?" Immediately tears start to flow and I begin to tell him that I am sorry for my attitude earlier in the day but what I had realized is that when you come out of a time that you 100% trusted on the Lord and then the Lord moves and works and heals the adjustment back to everyday life is hard. You begin to coast again, you are thankful but you don't war in prayer enough, you let your guard down to let Satan back in, you begin to doubt the mundane things in life.

Obviously I do not wish to go through what we did last me..the reality checks were hard and I keep thanking the Lord that we are NOT walking through chemo, radiation and other trials should we have received a different prognosis, but what I want to stress to myself probably more than anyone is that we are idiots because we too soon forget God's power and that the trials are usually more our peaks than valleys!!

With Christ things are always subject to change!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Progress, My Soap Box and Hail!!

Today Jeff went and got the remainder of his stitches out. He said it started bleeding while she was taking them out so the pictures aren't great, but hey he doesn't have another doctor's appointment for 3 more weeks. Sadly, the last 3 weeks of our life are chronicled by which doctor's appointment on what day.

For instance, March 20th- Doctors Appointment, CT Scans MRI's, etc. March 22nd-DR's appointment, March 28th-Surgery- March 30th- Dr. Appointment, April 4th- Surgery, April 6th Doctors Appt, April 10th Dr. Appt., April 11th- Dr. appt. and Lastly, today, Arpil 13th the last appointment for 3 weeks.

As you can see our driving from Decatur to Fort Worth is going to free up a lot of time, but I could not be more thankful for the time that Jeff and I have been able to spend together. We have laughed a lot together and cried a lot together and worshipped in our home and cars together on our many road trips to and from Fort Worth. It is so evident that God will always use adversity to strengthen and refine you and your reliance on things that are not "things" is clearer than ever! Also, the evidence of God's creation of our bodies is unfathomable. When Jeff had his first part of his ear removed his equilibrium was way off (which the doctor said is common when operating on ears) but when Jeff' had his reconstruction his body immediately (even with a lot of drugs and anesthesia) lined back up. I think that it is awesome that God detailed our bodies in such a way that when something is missing we aren't straight, but by the touch of Jesus it all lines back up! I think it's amazing!!

Now for my Soapbox....

Just for the record I shamefully have always loved to tan, whether outside or in tanning beds. Sadly, I have been a regular off and on to tanning beds since I was 14! Jeff tanned the day before his mole was removed so we are not here to convict, rather just inform. If you tan in a tanning bed more than 10 times per year you ar 3 times more likely to have malignant melanoma. I know you are thinking well Jeff is fine and his ear looks pretty good, but Melanoma is the FASTEST growing cancer, PERIOD!! Sadly, the Doctor said he would much rather hear that we are out in the sun than in tanning beds, so I think I am about to invest in a Mystic Tan Membership. (spray tan)

P.S. It hailed in Decatur this is what I was seeing when I was talking to you...gotta love those Texas thunderstorms!!

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Million Dollar Baby!! Ok not quite a million.....

Today was the first day that Jeff got to see his new ear. They finally took out the stiches from the back side of his ear and from his lymphnode removal. Tommorow is the 2 week anniversary of Surgery #1, which means that is a long time to have stitches in. Today was also the first day that the doctor released Jeff to take a shower. HUGE VICTORY!!! I think Jeff was in there at least 30 minutes reacquanting himself with the shower!

Jeff goes Friday to have the other bizillion stitches removed from the inside of the ear, so we are on the downward climb to recovery!

We remain thankful for the amazing progress he has made in feeling like human being and humbled by the outpouring of love that has been shown to us!

I have attached a couple of pictures of Jeff's new ear! If you d

ouble click on the pictures you can get a bigger view!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Oh Jeff... the Blogging Promoter!!

Hey Everyone-

I just wanted to tell you a little bit about our day yesterday. Since Jeff's surgery was scheduled for 5:20 p.m. there is not a lot you can do to kill time that doesn't make you think about eating, when you can't eat before surgery so Jeff and I had decided to go buy him a new shirt for Easter and then head to the Hospital. My sweet Grandmother (Gaga) said she would meet us there because she wanted to buy Jeff something instead of flowers. We go into shop and come out and I realize I did not have my keys and we have to be at the Hospital in one hour to check in for surgery. I look in my car and it looked like the coin purse to my key chain in my purse so I called my roadside assistance, which said would be 20 minutes for arrival and ended up being 45 minutes, so my sweet in laws came and waited for the lock smith. Locksmith comes, opens car- NO KEYS IN CAR! The keys were in Old Navy the entire time. It just goes to show you what happens when life gets too crazy! We were only about 10 minutes late to the hospital but we had to wait for my in laws to arrive so that Jeff could show a picture ID. ( as if the massive ear bandage and stitches was not indicitive of Jeff being a patient waiting for ear reconstruction)

Jeff did not go into surgery until 7 p.m. and the reconstruction took a little under 2 hours. Dr. Anderson took pictures of Jeff's new ear with his digital camera to show us and it is AMAZING! It is perfect. If you read in Luke 22:49-51 Peter struck the right ear of Malchus and Jesus then touched his ear and healed him. Jeff's right ear has also been healed and brought back to perfection, or it soon will be.

Last night was very difficult for Jeff because the pain from this surgery was much more intense than his first as the Doctor said it would be, however Jeff did not get sick from the anasthesia this time so that was a blessing. Needless to say we got very little sleep last night as the pain was not being consoled by 1000 mg. of Vicodin and he has this huge plastic patch and drain tube to prevent hemmorraging that makes it hard to get comfortable. Jeff has done very well today despite the pain.

On a lighter note Jeff did not talk as crazy after surgery this time but the nurse said the instant the tube was out of his throat he told her that he "needed Natalie by his side" , but his second words to her were the address of my blog. He kept telling the nurse thus the title of this post. I am not sure why he felt the need to make the nurse aware of my blog address and adding grace to the middle of it but I think it is really funny!

Thank you for your precious calls, visits, e-mails, food and keeping us company yesterday at the hospital.

We truly feel that Jeff has touched the hem of Jesus' garment and for that we are thankful far beyond any accolades that could leave our mouth!!

P.S. A lady asked me last week why we are posting pictures of all of this and writing about it but I know in the flesh how quickly we forget what God has done and this is a sobering reminder. I know that no explanation is needed but I just wanted to put that out there!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Update on Jeff

Hey Everyone-

Most of you have heard by now but we got Jeff's path reports back today and the cancer is NOT in his lymphnodes!! Praise God!! There is a chance they will have to remove a little more of his ear tomorrow, but they will still reconstruct at 5 p.m.!

God has been so faithful to give us peace, hope and the best army of warriors to carry us and bathe us in prayer! We feel humbled and proud all at the same time that the Lord loves us so much to surround us with friends and family that love us enough to bombard our Savior on our behalf! Satan did not know who he was messing with!

Please pray for his surgery tomorrow as they will be grafting skin from his ear, which I have heard is not pleasant!

Thank you so much for your love and prayers!

God has been Glorified!
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