Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
– Lee Greenwood

For love of country they accepted death…
— James A. Garfield

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
— Joseph Campbell

Thursday, May 27, 2010

EVERY good and perfect gift is from above!

I will say it again...EVERY good and perfect gift is from above! (James 1:17)

I am still feeling so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for his healing touch on our Abby. Yesterday, we had the 6-week follow-up, which included a set of x-rays. I had been praying for this day for the past several weeks, not missing more than 2 or 3 days, and praying specifically that the scans would be clear and there would be no trace of the pneumonia or effusion.

I could tell that Abby was doing better and was back to herself (well, maybe a bit more rotten due to the additional attention), was not favoring her left side any longer, wasn't asking for Motrin for pain, and was sleeping through the night on a consistent basis.

The doctor entered the room and asked me some questions. Basically, he wanted to know what we were observing at home, so I described Abby as I did in the paragraph above. He, in turn, looked at me with a grin from ear to ear and said, "Well I have some great news!" He went on to say the x-ray was clear and beautiful and there was not a single trace of the pneumonia or the effusion!

We serve a mighty and loving God and the tears welled up as soon as I got into the parking lot yesterday, so grateful that He not only answered our prayers for healing but even to the very specific way I had been praying.

This has been a long journey and I have learned that I have one tough little girl. The doctor said she had probably been sick for a while before we actually began to see the symptoms, which was basically a high fever that hit very suddenly. He was careful in his word selection (as he actually said so out loud), but again reminded us that Abby's case of pneumonia was a very bad and serious case. The doctors were thrilled to see how things turned out in the end and will be using her scans in teaching students and residents in their facility.

Of course, I'm not amazed in the same way as the doctors...I know Who and How this happened...I am amazed that sometimes I have so little faith in what my God can do.

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1-5

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our Intro to Clean Eating...

A friend recently told me about "Clean Eating" magazine. I just received my first issue and it's packed with recipes. Last night, we tried the first "Clean Eating" recipe. This appears in the May/June 2010 issue. All five of us loved it, which if you have children, know this is an accomplishment! I just added some homemade guacamole, a spoonful of salsa on the side and a few (less than 10) organic blue corn chips to go with the guac/salsa...yum, yum! Enjoy!

Black Bean Tostadas
with chipotles and corn

1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp chipotle pepper, minced
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp chile powder
2 tsp fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 multigrain sandwich thin or round (both halves), toasted
1 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup frisee, washed, dried and torn (I used green leaf lettuce)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1. In a food processor or medium bowl, puree or mash beans. Add chipotle, cumin, chile powder and 1 tsp lime juice, and mix well. Add bean mixture to a small pan and warm gently, stirring, over medium-low heat.

2. Warm corn in another small pan over medium-low heat.

3. Divide bean mixture between 2 halves of sandwich thin, spreading evenly. Place halves, bean-side-up, on a plate. Top with cheese and corn, dividing evenly. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp lime juice over frisee (or lettuce), then scatter evenly over halves. Garnish with tomatoes and serve immediately.

You will not be disappointed and will add this
to your list of go-to recipes!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Does your life ever get so busy that you don't have the time to organize your own thoughts? It seems that way in our household lately. It's been a while since my last post, but I've had many thoughts bouncing around in my head, just not enough time to organize them into something of substance.

I have spent a great deal of time reflecting over the events of the past several weeks. Sometimes hindsight is 20/20 and sometimes, it's just plain unbelievable. I have to say that I have gained a greater compassion for those who have children suffering with an illness or challenge of some sort. I also have had a small sample of what it tastes like to have a healthy child in one moment and a very sick child in the next moment without any warning. (Although, maybe a warning really wouldn't be a good thing...with events like this, sometimes, being "surprised" gets you to the place you need to be to make it through.)

Looking back to the time that Abby began to be sick, I cannot help but offer full and overwhelming praise to the Lord for his provision, his healing, and the mere fact that He carried us through to the other side. He brought us through in an amazing way and there's no other person or place to give the glory. Abby's case of pneumonia coupled with an effusion (never heard that word until a few weeks ago) have amazed her doctors, both in Tennessee and here in Ohio. I am grateful that the doctors in Tennessee were conservative in their approach to surgery and allowed her body to begin to heal on its own. I am grateful that the doctors here in Ohio were comfortable with the previous decisions and continued with the healing process. We have been told that Abby's case of pneumonia and the presence of her effusion was a very serious case. One doctor even commented that this was the worst case she had seen. Our doctor here has said that every patient he has had with this amount of pneumonia and fluid has either been on IV antibiotics at home or had a chest tube surgically placed.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the healing the Lord has done with our sweet Abby, even to the point of not needing any invasive medical treatment. We have one more x-ray next week and I've been praying daily that the scans will be clear and any trace of pneumonia or fluid is gone and she will not have any lifelong effects (i.e., asthma, etc.).

I have to say, however, I feel as if my reflections over the past few weeks have been concentrated more on what it would be like to have a child who is sick, who is constantly in and out of the hospital, who is more familiar with doctors than with other children his/her own age. I have only tasted 7 days of what it would be like to live this way, the stress and emotions that immediately escalate every time the door opens and a doctor walks in.

I have been following the blog of a beautiful little girl who is fighting a battle with cancer. You can read all about her on her family's website here. Please be will fall in love with her big, beautiful blue eyes. Her parents are believers and the sharing of their faith is incredible. I have often wondered and even said aloud, "I don't know how people can get through this life without faith in Jesus Christ". This world can be so difficult and so painful. We all need a Savior to carry us through the difficult times.

One thing I learned during this time is that a simple gesture of kindness goes a long way. Emails, voice mails, comments on my Facebook, etc. were what I looked forward to during that week. Those messages and prayers gave me the encouragement and the boost I needed to keep going and to be reminded that God was/is in control. Knowing that others were sharing my burden and praying to our Father on my behalf was like food to my soul. If you know someone in your life who is going through a difficult time, don't miss the opportunity to be the love of Christ to them. A simple card or email will go a long way (even if they don't reply). It may be the very thing at the very right moment in time that gives them the confidence that was fleeing.

I am just as baffled as anyone and can get just as angry as anyone when I know or hear of a sick child. It doesn't seem fair to me, it doesn't seem right. I came across this verse in Ecclesiastes this week: "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." ~Ecclesiastes 11:5 This is so true! I cannot understand the work of Him, but I can understand and believe that He is the Maker of all things. I know that He loves His creation because I've read it in the Bible. I also know that children are adored and loved by Him. Mark 10:16 says "And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." I will never understand the suffering of children, but I do understand that their Maker loves them even more than a mother's love.

This post has been so random, I know. I just want to encourage you to reach out to those around you who may be going through a difficult time. Don't be afraid and don't let the opportunity pass. Pray for the children who are sick, like sweet Kate. One day, our eyes will be opened, one day our understanding will be deeper. For now, I will continue to question, but my answer for this life will be faith.

What will you choose?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feeling Saucy?

This is a brand new company that just opened this past weekend. Check out their website...a huge selection of sauces, marinades, peanut butters, jellies, salsas, cooking oils and more! And, know that 10% of the company's profit is given to charity and you can have a say in which charity your purchase will support. My order is on it's way and I can't wait to try the Mango Key Lime Marinade. The word on the street is that this is divine...will have to add it to my next order!