Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blessings!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) The surgery went well for Kevin.  They had to do another fusion and make a tunnel in his bone in order to attach the two sets of eight wires to each side of his back.  The Spinal Nerve Stimulator has been implanted!  Now we wait for the next doctor's appointment so they can turn it on.  We are hopeful this will do the trick.  If it doesn't then we will be back to the hospital for another quick back surgery to remove the stimulator because it could cause more damage if it stays in if we find that it doesn't work.  (We don't want that to happen!). Then after all is said and done, Kevin will work with his pain specialist to be weened off of all the pain medicines he is currently on.  I tease that my husband will now have an on and off switch, but I cannot wait to have my husband back!  It's been so hard these past few years trying to do everything on my own.  I've remained somewhat numb and closed off to all of the emotions, stress, and heartache I have that seems to be creeping back as I type this post today.  Everyone has asked me over and over again, "how are you holding up?" Or  they will say, "I just don't know how you are dealing with all of this on your own?"  Honestly, I know exactly how I have been able to do this.  I know it has been a blessing from my Heavenly Father and his tender mercies that have made it possible for me to make it to this point and nothing else.  My life has truly been blessed throughout all of this heartaches, sacrifice, and work.  I hope I never forget the strength, help, guidance, direction and love I have felt from my Heavenly Father that I have received and continue to receive. I would never wish these trials on myself or my family, but I can honestly say that without them I never would have gained the knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and relationship I have now with my Father in Heaven.  That is the sweetest part of these experiences and I would not trade them for the world because of the closeness I feel with my Heavenly Father.  I have come to appreciate more than ever the statement that with God ALL things are possible more and more each day.  While it has truly been a journey, I know we are coming to the end of this.  As some of you may know the Lord is with you every step of the way as you go through the Refiners Fire, and this I know without any doubt to be true!  I love the Lord more and more with each day.  I can say that having experienced these things that I do not understand how anyone can say there is no God, for I know that statement to be completely false.  He is there for ALL mankind and all you have to do is Come unto Him and he will give thee rest.  And so much more if you will let Him.

2) Kevin is finally home, but resting.  He has never come home this quickly after a fusion.  Usually he gets a week long stay at the hospital before coming home.  He just wanted to be home.  I love that man!

Goals for the Day:
1) Make sure Kyle gets out the door for his Police Physical tryouts and Written test.
2) Let the dog out and lock the doors after he comes back in.
3) Get ready to go pick up Kevin
4) Cleaning
5) Dinner
6) Get things ready for church tomorrow
7) Maybe even PAINT my project!! 
8) Take a nap!
9) Watch a movie

From the Camera:

I love sitting on this porch now.  I can't wait for the weather to cool off so we can sit out and watch the rain or even fireworks from the porch on New Years or something.  Love it!



From the Heart:
In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea.

Take out the trash without being asked. Sometimes the smallest and easiest tasks are the most meaningful.
Taking out the trash is one of those “dirty” jobs that no one really likes to do.  The task usually falls on one person who regularly empties the can, takes it outside, and replaces a fresh bag.  Taking the initiative and doing the chore without being asked is a kind gesture and surprise to the rest of the people in your household. Even though it is a small act and takes just a few minutes, it makes a big impact on someone else’s day.

Benefits:

Doing an undesirable chore without being asked is a delightful surprise to the people you live with. By helping others, you strengthen relationships and create a happier home environment. It also keeps the house clean and odor free.

Step It Up:

Collect trash from all other areas of the house including bathrooms, bedrooms, and living areas and take it all out at the same time. You could also clean out the inside of the can with soap and hot water. Don’t forget to replace a clean bag!

Keep It Simple:

Take out the trash after a big dinner or party, it will give the host one less task.
From the Kitchen:
Texas Road House Honey Butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
Add everything in the order listed, whipping well. Oh Yum!
We know to use this on rolls and bread but it also tastes great on:
oatmeal
pancakes
French toast
hot rice cereal
pumpkin bread
zucchini bread

From the Spirit:
This is part of an email a friend sent this week:  “I had an interesting insight today into Paul’s statement in Hebrews 12:1, Wherefore brethren, seeing we are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  

Even though these trees are laden with an extra burden right now, and some branches may break, they will survive to stand straight again as they patiently wait for warmth to melt the weight away.
This insightful friend sends many inspired reflections through emails.  Most of the discussions are about specific challenges and trials of an extremely difficult nature.  It is cause for celebration when my friend succeeds, even to a small degree, to conquer elements of  “the race” that requires so much inner strength, faith, energy, perseverance, and diligence.  Failures to “run” as well as desired are acknowledged, but there is no giving up or giving in.  That is why I pray so hard for my friend’s ultimate success in that personal race.  That is why we pray for one another, isn’t it?  We are cheering each other on.  What a  blessing to have others in our lives who will root for us as we strive and nudge us to get up when we fall. 
Our lesson in Relief Society today was also about the difficulties we often face in our lives and there was a lively discussion amongst the sisters about how they face their trials, where they receive strength, and the different ways people cope.  It is clear that we don’t run the “race that is set before us” very well alone.  We need to let people in when we suffer. “Thee lift me, and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together” (Quaker proverb), is a beautifully condensed version of Christ’s great commandment to love our neighbor. 
Yes, each of us CAN take one step in our personal race and be patient as we struggle up the hill of life, reaching for a hand when we need it.  Remember to always seek the help from God each day through prayer, then be watchful for who he puts in our path to answer our prayers.
From the Schmidt's:

All kinds of church hymns and Primary songs are running wild in my mind this afternoon.  Songs like, 

My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav'n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God's light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God's plan for me,
Holding fast to His word and His love,
I will work, and I will pray;
I will always walk in His way.
then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.

 Then there is also this song....
 (Chorus).
 I need thee ev'ry hour,
most gracious Lord.
No tender voice like thine
Can peace afford.
I need thee, oh, I need thee;
Ev'ry hour I need thee!
    Oh, bless me now, my Savior;
    I come to thee!
     I need thee ev'ry hour;
    Stay thou nearby.
      Temptations lose their pow'r
      When thou art nigh.
      I need thee ev'ry hour,
      In joy or pain.
        Come quickly and abide,
        Or life is vain.
        I need thee ev'ry hour,
        Most holy One.
          Oh, make me thine indeed,
          Thou blessed Son!
          Text: Annie S. Hawks, 1835-1918
          Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

          And this one too...

          1. 1. Nearer, my God, to thee,
            Nearer to thee!
            E'en though it be a cross
            That raiseth me.
            Still all my song shall be
          2. (Chorus)
            Nearer, my God, to thee,
            Nearer, my God, to thee,
            Nearer to thee!
          3. 2. Though like the wanderer,
            The sun gone down,
            Darkness be over me,
            My rest a stone,
            Yet in my dreams I'd be
          4. 3. There let the way appear,
            Steps unto heav'n;
            All that thou sendest me,
            In mercy giv'n;
            Angels to beckon me
          5. 4. Then with my waking thoughts
            Bright with thy praise,
            Out of my stony griefs
            Bethel I'll raise;
            So by my woes to be
          6. 5. Or if, on joyful wing
            Cleaving the sky,
            Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
            Upward I fly,
            Still all my song shall be
          The hospital.  See the top floor, that's where Kevin was.



          My heart is full!  Honestly, I was scared for Kevin to have this surgery.  I had it in my mind that he was not going to make it through this one for some reason.  The past month I have been rehearsing in my mind what I would say if I had to make that call to tell him Mom and brothers that we lost him.  I have never been more scared in all my life!  It was hard.  I am so glad I didn't have to be at the hospital alone.  I'm so glad Danielle had the day off to go with me because I don't know what I would have done if I my fears would have been confirmed and I had to make those calls.

          Thankfully, that was not the Lord's plan for us and I never had to make those calls.  I think the adversary has been working on me double time to try and get me to talk Kevin out of this whole thing.  I really think he would prefer for Kevin to remain in the state he is in.  On pain medicine and in bed away from his family and friends.  Knowing that, I had to push forward with the only clear path through this was a straight line, right on through this new trial.  

          I spent many many mornings, afternoons, evenings, nights in prayer to my Heavenly Father who did hear my prayers.  I felt that peace that I know my Father in Heaven sent each and every time I prayed.  Then later in the day that peaceful feeling would disappear and fear would come swooping back in.  Most times, when I wasn't at work, I would immediately pray and the peace would come again.

          I had dreams about Kevin dying on the operating table.  When this happened and those dreams woke me up in the middle of the night, I would pray and my Heavenly Father would send peace again and again.  Each and every time I prayed that peace would come.  It was only when I tried to go a little longer without a prayer that that fear would come back.  So, I found myself praying every morning, every morning break at work, at lunch, at my afternoon break, then as soon as I stepped into my car for the ride home.  Then again whenever I stepped into our bathroom at home.  My kids thought I was nuts for spending so much time in the bathroom, but that was the one place I could be alone and just pray.  

          That peaceful feeling lingered and stayed with me as soon as Kevin received his blessing on Thursday night.  What an awesome feeling that is!   Words cannot describe that feeling, but I loved it!  And that fear has not come back since that Thursday night.

          I couldn't tell anyone about my fears until now.  I didn't want to worry Kevin or my kids.  So, I kept that to myself.  I had been wondering why I kept breaking out in hives over and over again these past few weeks.  And I finally figured it out!  It was that fear.
          The hives were ever present at the hospital while Kevin was in surgery.  I was so itchy.  Not fun when you are in public.  Thankfully I had some allergy medicine with me to stop the itch, and now that Kevin is home the hives are going away.  Stress will do that to you, you know!  I'm just glad we are at this point in the process.  We still have a lot of work to do to get Kevin where he need to be, but we are over the last surgical hurdle.  The next step, turn on the spinal nerve stimulator, make any adjustments, and then start the process to get Kevin off as much medication as possible!  I am hoping for a pain free, medication free husband again.  I need my husband back.

          Yesterday as we were sitting in the waiting room Danielle was searching a few websites for a wedding dress.  We think she has found "the dress"  It's beautiful!  In fact, as I looked at it with her, I got that feeling every mother must feel when they see the dress their daughter will wear, even though this dress will not be her actual Temple Dress.  It had an effect on me.  Did you know there are very few modest bridal shops in the valley?  We know of three right near our home.  Other than that, you have to go to Utah for a dress with sleeves on it or make it yourself, and we are not up for that.  We might be able to convince my Mom to sew for us, but that is a lot of work and frankly, we want to use her talents in other ways instead.
          My Mom has made beaded gowns, sewing on each and every small bead, for my sister several times, so I know she could do it if we needed her to.  The shop we found the dress at is in Utah.  If we can't find the dress down here, we may need to make a trip to Utah in the near future.  

          BUT first, we (they) need to get officially engaged.  We know Danielle and Chance are going to get married, it just a matter of the future groom popping the question.  He is going to surprise Danielle sometime in the near future.  Should I be excited or scared to start this whole wedding planning thing?  Let the fun begin!

          Kyle had an early morning today.  He was up by 5 a.m. and went with his girlfriend down to the police station.  Morgan has to get to work, and Kyle was testing for the department.  He did the physical and the written portion.  He has three other cities to apply for.  He is determined to become a police officer.  Go Kyle!  I just hope it doesn't end up being for Phoenix Police.  I'd rather have him working in Mesa.  Just sayin'.

          Well, everyone is napping, including the dog, and I am so ready for a long nap too.  It's been a busy couple of days.  

          I hope your weekend has not been as crazy as mine, and that you are enjoying yourself.  It rained here in Arizona this morning.  Now we have 107 degree weather with humidity.  That only happens when we get rain.  No fun.  BUT, it was a nice cool down for a little while at least.

          You take care now, and we will talk again soon.

          From the Missionary:

          Another Blessing!  Another son who has been through the temple!
          Next step, sealing.  After a mission, of course! 

          Quote of the Day:

           photo ae61ba47-7d78-4151-a87a-fbdf53851081_zps246d8efb.png
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