Friday, July 17, 2009

Update On Clara

Hi Everyone!
We just wanted to give you all a quick update on Clara and ask you to continue to pray. We have prayed for wisdom throughout this entire process, and I believe He has given it, just as He promises in James 1.

A few weeks ago, when we went back to the neurologist, he wanted us to take Clara to a pediatric orthopedist to rule out anything "bone related" that may contribute to her problem. I was a bit unsure, as we went to a pediatric orthopedist about a year ago, and it was a total waste of time and money. I was SO pleasantly surprised! He came very highly recommended, not just by our neurologist, but also from a friend at church. When we first got there, his PA spent a lot of time with her, and had us all laughing hysterically while he examined her. She then went to have x-rays. Three suckers and two stickers later, we saw the doctor. He was so thorough with his exam and with the information he gave me, not to mention plenty of time for me to ask questions....we could not have been more pleased. That in itself, was an answer to prayer! The short of it is that she has a tibial torsion (sp?), which means that her tibia bones are turned inward, making it look as if she is bow-legged, but she is not. That will heal itself by the time she is 7 or 8 years old. As far as her muscle weakness and pain, there is nothing bone related contributing to that. Because we have now ruled out nerve problems and bone problems, it has been recommended that we proceed with the muscle biopsy. They believe her problem falls under the category of "mitochondrial" diseases because of where her weaknesses are.

This week, I have spent a large part of my time on the phone with the neurogeneticists office and the surgeons office, in addition to filling out an 11 page medical history (that also required being on the phone with MANY relatives). We are now scheduled for our consultation on August 11, and her surgery is August 12th.

Please pray for:
1) Peace for Clara and a smooth surgery.
2) Answers to our questions (it will take 3 months to get our results).
3) That she will continue to gain strength in her body.
4) Smooth travel to and from Atlanta.

God is so good and continues to be so faithful to us!!!

Thank you, friends!
Jeff and Jeannie

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ministry Comes in Many Forms

Hey Everyone!

As many of you know, we are currently raising support to join Life Action Ministries. We are still waiting on a little more support to come in, but the main thing we are waiting on is for our house to sell. Once it sells, we will be moving. It has been very challenging at times to wait patiently, knowing that God's timing is perfect, and that this was all His idea in the first place. :-) There is one song that has sort of gotten me through the waiting thus far. It is called "While I'm Waiting". I especially love the part that says, " I will worship while I'm waiting, I will love you while I'm waiting, I will serve you while I'm waiting". Those may not be exactly the words, but you get the idea. I have to remember that we are called to ministry. Period. Not ministry in Michigan...just ministry. All of us as Christians are. "Go and make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son , and the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28 :19-20. We have been praying that God will give us opportunities right here while we wait, and He has. For example, I have had a number of opportunities to speak at meetings about Godly stewardship through menu planning and grocery shopping. Jeff and I have many opportunities in our church to share in music ministry, be it with tuba, flute, or voice. Jeff comes into contact daily with people who need the Lord. He has had a chance to build relationships and this has given him many opportunities to share. This morning I had special time with just the babies, as their older sisters are their grandparents, and that, too, is ministry! I can't think of a more important ministry right now than the family God has given me to minister to. And so, we are missionaries, but not just for ministry elsewhere. We continue to pray for opportunities right here at home to share what God is doing in our lives and share His love with others.

Also, we have some prayer needs that are heavy on our hearts right now. We ask you to please pray with us:

1. For those of you who know the Hortons, her mother had quadruple by-pass surgery this morning and had to be taken back into the OR tonight. When she called, they did not know why yet, so just pray for wisdom for the doctors and a complete healing for her mother-Betty Davis.

2. Another family in our church is having a very hard time. I cannot share any details, but the Lord will know who you are praying for, and they DESPERATELY need it!

3. Clara seemed to be in more pain today than she has in months. Please continue to pray for a diagnosis for her, but also, complete healing. It would only take a tiny touch from God's magnificent hand!

4. As always, please pray for our house to sell! Here's a picture so you will have a visual:

5. We want to know YOUR prayers needs, as well. Please feel free to e-mail them to and we will lift you up in prayers, and rejoice with you when those prayers are answered!
Have a great night!

Watercolor fun!!

Well, it all started out very innocently. The babies wanted to paint, and their big sisters, being the wonderful big sisters they are, obliged. They were so excited when they first started. Megan, who was experiencing this for the first time, kept saying, "I fainting, I fainting!!". They did really well, but I guess I let it go too long. Before we knew it, the babies were painting on their hands, and in Megan's case, her face. Emilie was doing who-knows-what, but managed to make a huge mess. And Alyssa, as usual, found science in the whole thing. She discovered that if you barely dip your paint-coated brush into the water , many different designs will appear. She also experimented with different color combos and different ways to dip the brush. I know....typical homeschooler. So anyway, since there are four and not two, I am able to laugh and thought you may be able to, as well! Enjoy!

Emilie doing whatever it is Emilie does...but it's always fun!

Alyssa trying out different color combos in her rinse water.

Megan, having way too much fun painting her hands ....

...and face. At least they are non-toxic. :-)

Clara was so proud of her pretty colors!

Hope you enjoyed!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Spiritual Journey

Hi Everyone!

We had a good day today. "What romantic way did we spend our anniversary", you ask? We cleaned out the garage! :-) Romance at its finest. :-) When Emilie found out it was our anniversary today, she said, "And you spent it cleaning? Yuck!" Spoken like our truly romantic second-born with a severe dislike for cleaning. :-) However, for those of you who know us well, our garage has been an issue for us since we have owned a least 12 years! One of my friends used to tell me it was the "bane of my existence". She was right. It seems that no matter how hard we clean the rest of our house, it never feels clean, because we know that lurking at far end of our house is a really large abyss full of junk. We liked to call memories, storage, things we might need later, ...the list goes on, but over time we have realized that it is just "stuff". Stuff we hold on to that just weighs us down. It is an ever-present weight on our shoulders. It has not only affected our quality of day-to-day life, but it has affected our self-esteem....always being ashamed for anyone to see our "mess". It has been a waste of time...anytime we get ready to look for something to walk out the door, it is always "in the garage". And now, if not taken care of, it is going to cost us a lot of money when we move. And so, as we prepare for our move, the Lord has been doing a work in our heart about what we really need. When we look at something, we ask, "Do we want to pay to move this?" I can honestly tell you that the more trips we make to Goodwill and the more stuff we throw in the trash, the better we feel about ourselves and this beautiful home God has entrusted to us.

As we cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, I couldn't help but think how that garage is so much like my heart. So many times, someone has wronged me or offended me. Other times I may be jealous of someone for the way I think they have been blessed more than me. There are even good things that hold on to too tightly...memories of my children. Every single article of clothing or toy they ever touched. If I get rid of it...let it go....I might lose a piece of their childhood! Or, things that people have given me that I hold dear and near. Words people have said...whether ugly or words seeking approval. Gradually these things start to take root in my heart., taking away my dependence on God. I can go about my day, looking like all is well, while meanwhile there is bitterness, jealousy, anger....among others gnawing away at me. The amazing part is, when it happens, it is so gradual, you never really realize it until it has totally taken over and robbed you of your quality of Christian life....most importantly, your relationship with the Lord. And so, as I threw away papers and got rid of items I no longer need, I asked the Lord to reveal to me the things that have taken root in my heart that I am not aware of. Sins that I need to ask forgiveness for or relationships that need to be mended. As each dirty, yellowed piece of paper was discarded, I asked him to reveal those things that I have allowed to come between me and Him, and ask for the forgiveness Jesus made possible on that old rugged cross. And so now, my prayer is that as we continue to finish up the work we have begun in the garage (because it will take more than one day to clean up), that He would be faithful to complete the work he has started in me. He does promise that, you know!

In closing, please be in prayer for our family. Pray that our house would sell quickly...and in His time, and that we can get the most pressing of Clara's medical needs met before we go. Also, please pray for a dear friend who is in the hospital tonight. I cannot give details, but God will know who you are praying for.

Have a blessed day!!

Our First Day With Our New Blog!!

Hi Everyone!! We are so excited to FINALLY have a blog! This will be such an easy way to keep you all up-to-date with our move and our ministry. (Not to mention plenty of pictures of the girls.) :o) I would like to give my friend, Robyn, a very special "thank you" for helping me out with this!

Since it is officially July the 8th (I have been up WAY too late working on this thing), I would like to say "Happy Anniversary" to my very wonderful husband, Jeff. We are celebrating 14 years of marriage today...can't believe its been that long. I am so blessed to be married to a great man who loves the Lord with all his heart. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father to my children.

At some point, I will post our testimony and how we ended up where we are, but for tonight, I must go to bed. I am just excited that I have successfully posted on our new blog, and have also successfully changed the background about 14 times. Hope you like it. :-)