Friday, October 24, 2008

BIG News!!!!!!!!!!!!

Josh had his interview at 2:00 yesterday, and I think it went really well.  So well, in fact, that they offered him the position!!  We are so relieved, so thankful for this offer, and so appreciative to each of you for your prayers and support. 
As of November 3, Josh will be employed with MedjetAssist (, which is a company that is based in Birmingham that does medical evacuations from anywhere around the world. This is the first company he interviewed with (three days after his "departure" from his previous job), and it was his first choice of companies with which to work.

A couple of really neat things have come about during this process, but I want to share one in particular with you. We had been praying that God would open the door for us to have immediate insurance coverage upon starting a job...that we would be able to completely avoid paying for COBRA. Well, to make a long story short, the CEO of the company has offered to make Josh's effective start date November 1 (which is a Saturday) to allow for his full medical benefits to kick in early. We will have no waiting period, no lapse in coverage, no COBRA!! And as Josh has joked, he gets his first two days off from work. :-)

God has really taken care of us!!!

We're in Marietta right now for my sweet sister-in-law's baby shower and photo session. I know that many of you know Rebekah, so I'll try to post a couple of pictures next week.

Again, thank you for the tremendous amount of support you have given to our family. Between the blog, e-mails and phone calls, we knew of well over 100 people that were praying for us during this time. There should be no doubt that God heard the prayers of His people!! I've got a post in the works on "giving" and what we have learned about it through this experience. Check back soon!

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our New "Normal" Day

Although this journey has had its fair share of bumps and bruises, we're so thankful that God has chosen to lead us down this path. Through the acts of receiving from those who have been so kind and generous to us, we have learned an enormous lesson about giving. God has brought sermons, conversations with others and Scripture before us to teach us about some changes He wants us to make in our lives. I could write a short book on this, but I'll save it for another day. Don't will come!

Another reason we're thankful for this journey is that we've drawn closer to God and to one another in this storm. Several people recently have said things like this:

"I'm so impressed with your strength through this."

"You are handling this so well."

"You have amazing peace considering all that's going on."

And while I greatly appreciate the affirmation of my personal character (ha-ha), I am keenly aware of how undeserved it is. And I want to make sure you realize the same. Nothing good in me or Josh comes from ourselves. Romans 3:23 says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So if you see anything "glorious" in us, it certainly belongs to Christ. We are taking Him fully at His word in 1 Peter 5:7, and we are handing all of our anxieties over to Him because we know that He cares about us.

He loves us.

He wants to make the best out of the circumstances of our lives (Romans 8:28).

Did you hear that last one? Did you breeze past it or did you really hear it?

He wants to make the best out of the circumstances of our lives. As Christians, I think we throw this verse around a little too easily. "Working all things together for good" doesn't necessarily mean that God will give us what we want. He isn't bound by earthly or secular definitions of "good". I don't think any of us would say that it is "good" for a small child to be bombarded with one illness after another. And none of us believes that it is "good" for a hard-working, ethical, and honest man to lose his job because of the mistake of another, but I can testify that even in the midst of this difficult journey, God has and will continue to love us, provide for us, and bring good from it. And He is the ONLY ONE who deserves any glory in that.

Whew...sorry about that little tangent. Now for pictures...

As I mentioned, one of the more pleasant parts of Josh's being "temporarily unemployed" is that we have been able to spend a ton of time together (did I just insult your intelligence by pointing that out?!?) But seriously, we really do love being together as a family. Here's a little rundown on our daily schedule:

We wake up and eat breakfast:

We do some arts and crafts:

We do a little yardwork:

We play a few rounds of hide-and-seek:

We work on designing new Christmas cards for Allison Lewis Photography (WARNING: this is a shameless plug):

We enjoy a little light reading before bed:

And then we hit the hay :-)

Here's the update on the little ones and Josh's job: Abigail is pretty much back to normal. Her throat still looks a little yucky, but she's feeling like a million bucks compared to this past weekend. Jack and Isabel are still completely healthy (what a tremendous answered prayer!), and Josh and I are doing great. Josh has a follow-up interview with a company he's really interested in tomorrow at 2:00. Please pray for him during that time. As always, thank you to the prayer warriors out there. We love you all.



No, I'm not getting a facelift. But I did feel like I needed some updating in my I gave the blog a makeover. I'm in love with this gorgeous season, and I wanted to bring a little of that beauty to the blog (that's hokey, isn't it?!?)

I'm in the middle of editing a couple of sessions I had this weekend, but I promise to try to get back to the updates later today.


Monday, October 20, 2008


Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

Question: Who is feeling 1000% better today?
Answer: It's Abby!
Question: Who is still showing no signs of illness?
Answer: It's Jack (and Izzy)!

It's so neat to see God's answers to our prayers in action.

I have a quick favor to ask each of you. We've been teaching Abigail about prayer and about God's movement in our lives, and we've been talking to her about how many people (some who don't even know us!) have been praying for our family. She asked who all had been praying for God to work in our family's life, but we have a feeling that it's even more people than we know!

So if you have been praying for us, would you please leave a comment on the blog to let us know?

You can simply leave your name in the comment box if you would like, or you can even post as "anonymous"...we would just love to have a visual representation of the requests that our family and friends have been praying on our behalf. And we would love to be praying for you as well!
As always, thank you so much for lifting us up in prayer. Please continue to pray for the little ones to get/stay healthy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scarlet Fever?!?

As Josh mentioned in his last post, I do love a deal. I absolutely love knowing that I got the most for my money! But squeezing one last late night doctor's office run out of our insurance isn't my idea of fun...especially when it involves one of my children!
I was pretty sure Abigail had developed strep throat when she started complaining of a sore throat and was running a fever with no other symptoms. She rarely complains of not feeling well, so when she does, it's definitely worth noting. So when the doctor said that the rapid strep test had come back positive, I was nodding affirmatively (as if to say If only I could write my own prescriptions...), but when she announced the bit about scarlet fever, I must have looked at her like she had three heads and a beak.
Seriously? Scarlet fever?
I vaguely remember reading something about that in my middle school history books, but I've never heard of a person in the 21st century having it. Regardless, Abby has scarlet fever, and she's feeling pretty rotten. Her fever hung above 103 degrees all morning, but this evening it dropped down a good bit, and she's feeling much better. I'll spare you the details of what her poor throat looks like, but trust me, it's not pretty. She's been as sweet as an angel today, though, and she's enjoyed some good cuddle time with Mommy and Daddy.

Needless to say, we're worried about Jack being the next one to get this. The doctor said last night that he's probably "too young to get strep," but last year he had (all at once!) the flu, bilateral ear infections, and strep (when he was "way too young to get strep"). And part of his condition is related not only to how often he gets sick, but also to how severe his illnesses are when he gets them. When all three of the little ones had the stomach bug (that was a treat!), the girls felt pretty rotten, but he was almost hospitalized.

Please pray with us that Abigail will have a huge turn-around tomorrow and especially that Jack and Izzy will be protected from getting any of this. I think God really delights in having His children come to Him in prayer...especially when we all do it together!

Thank you and good night,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Turn

For those of you who know my wife, you know that she is quite possibly the most frugal young lady in the great state of Alabama...possibly the world. She'll go to one grocery over the other to save $.10 on milk. She'll pass a gas station to get to another one that is $.03 cheaper. In our sweet minivan, that saves us a rockin' $.54 on the fill up. Her logic: "Imagine if we did that all year! That stuff adds up!!"

Where am I headed with this? Oh yes, so as Allison mentioned in a previous post, today is "D-Day" for our insurance. No mas! As of midnight tonight, we are at the mercy of COBRA. Snakes are Satan's little hand puppets...COBRA is the insurance company's. So today, I loaded up on some contacts and burned the last bit of benefits I had. But this afternoon, we could see things getting a little uneasy. Abby started complaining of her throat hurting. But good went away...she feels fine. Wait! Bad news. When we got back from the park, it hurt again...and this time she had a fever of 102.1. Fabulous. Now what?

Not willing to back down from the challenge, Allison packs her up and takes her to the after-hours clinic to get her checked out. Because if we wait, this will be a lot more expensive than a $25 co-pay and a prescription!! GO GET 'EM AL! So after a couple hours at the late night doc, the diagnosis is in: Strep Throat and Scarlet Fever. Yes, I said Scarlet Fever. I think I remember hearing about that going around during the colonial period, but not recently, and not in Birmingham. What in the world?? So they headed to Walgreen's to put in the prescription, wait, wait, wait, and then pick it up and come home. And it all had to be done before midnight. That's my girl. Got the job done.

Now we can head into our "limbo period" with some fresh drugs for Abs (sorry Kevin and Bok), and hopefully a clean slate...all thanks to my precious little penny pincher. God love her.

While I've "got the mic," let me say a few more words to those faithful readers and prayer warriors out there.

Thank you.

Your prayers have been felt every step along the way. While this pales in comparison to what millions of other people are going through, this has been a tough time for our family. The kids are oblivious. Dad is just on vacation. It won't get tough for them until I go back to work. But for Allison and me, this has meant a lot of growing. And your thoughts, notes, and prayers have meant more than you could realize as we push forward. I'm convinced that the progress we have seen in this first week is in direct proportion to the number of prayers being said on our behalf. So again, thank you.

Finally, let me brag a little. I don't do it much, so when I do it is okay (I checked with God...he's cool with it). I have quite possibly the most remarkable woman for a wife. I did a pretty darn good job of finding someone with such love, faith, and passion for her family. Everyone has heard of the Proverbs 31 woman, and I'm pretty sure I've got one. There are a few spots that are a little sketchy like verse 13 ("she gets up while it is still dark") and verse 22 ("she is clothed in fine linen and purple"). Allison and mornings don't really mesh -- although I will say that she is Johnny on the spot with her mommy ears. And unless Kohl's is considered fine linen, we may missed the mark. But I can certainly overlook those. Let me finish this novel off with what it says in verses 25 thru 29:

"She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'"

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Right now, we need good health amongst the entire house (that may require extra prayer for little Jack), and we need movement and progress with the job search.

Good night. God Bless.


P.S. -- Go Sox!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A New Song

This has been a very emotional and difficult time for our family. But we're trying to take seriously what James 1:2-3 says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. We are also working hard to choose joy over sorrow in the midst of this uncertain time. One of the ways we're doing this is by making sure we're still laughing and playing everyday...and with our kiddos, there's no shortage of things to laugh at! Here's one of my most recent favorites:

Do you remember the little Sunday school song "Be Careful?" It goes like this:

Oh, be careful little feet where you go,
Oh, be careful little feet where you go,
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
So be careful little feet where you go.

It has several verses covering a range of things to "Be Careful" about. Be careful little hands what you do. Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little mouth what you say.
You get the picture.
Well a few days ago, I could hear Abby outside singing this song, but I couldn't quite make out the lyrics. So I crept up to her to see which verse she was on, and I heard one that must have just missed publication in the Sunday school song book:

Oh, be careful little nose what you smell!

And in a house with two little ones in diapers, no truer words have ever been spoken!

Josh had a phone interview today with a company that is based in Nashville. The call ended up lasting close to two hours, and the last words the gentleman spoke to Josh were "I think we might have finally found our guy!" Apparently the company has been looking for someone to oversee the operations at their Birmingham facility for several months, but they haven't settled on a candidate until possibly now. We don't know some of the logistics yet, but Josh has a follow-up interview next week. He will either go up to Nashville, or the CEO will come down to Birmingham to meet with him. Either way, we're encouraged with the progress!

Tomorrow is D-day for our insurance (and by "D", I mean "Done"). We are still waiting on the paperwork regarding COBRA coverage, so we're not yet exactly sure of the logistics of it. We are hoping Josh will be offered a job soon with little to no waiting period for insurance coverage so that we won't have to rely on COBRA for long. That's a big prayer request right now!

Have a happy weekend, and we'll keep you posted on any developments.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why We Love Him

Josh had a phone interview this afternoon, so he went out on the deck to take the call (for some reason, he thought it might be too loud in the house with a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 9-month-old). After 30 minutes or so, I looked out the window to get the thumbs-up or -down, and this is what I saw...

In case you missed the best part of this photo, let me give you a different angle...

This is a perfect picture of what makes Josh so special (no, it's not that he plays with plastic animal toys!) He loves God first, and he loves his family next. Seeing this today reminded me that we are the reason that he works so hard. We are the reason that he's so determined to find a job that provides for us. If his life was only about him, he would probably be at Fenway Stadium at the crack of dawn every morning begging for just one shot at being on the team.

Josh ended up canceling one of his interviews today. After researching the company, he realized that it was more of a career counseling firm. His phone interview this afternoon went well, but he decided it wasn't a direction he needed to go at this time. The job is straight commission-based, which is a scary thought in today's economy. We would also be fully responsible for our various insurances as well as all business-related expenses. Yikes!

Got to run...some of our sweet, sweet friends brought a movie over tonight to break us away from the job-hunt for a couple of hours. So we're going to go enjoy some fellowship and milkshakes! :-)

Please pray for Josh's next interview tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Good night,


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pressing On

Josh had a productive day today. He had an interview (it went well, and he is deciding whether or not it's an avenue he would like to pursue), and he scheduled two more interviews for tomorrow and one for Friday. I had a session this morning with my dear friend, Jill, and her's a little sneak peek.

I'm sorry for the brief post, but Josh just informed me that I have hit my "computer curfew" for the night! I'm a bit sleep-deprived, and he is intent on getting me to hit the hay earlier tonight. :-)
For tomorrow, please pray that we will begin to feel some forward momentum in the job search. The interviews are nice, but job offers are nicer!


The Face

When I saw Jack for the first time this morning, the very first thing he did was point to his arm and make pouty lips. So, without further ado, I give you "THE FACE."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Doc

I wish I had a lot of great news to share, but we really don't know much more than we did before Jack's appointment with the immunologist. After an extensive history and physical, Dr. Atkinson said we were probably headed down the path of the "do-nothing" approach. He said that Jack would probably spend the next couple of years as sickly as he has been over the past year (27 illnesses and infections in case you forgot!) He said that around the age of four years old, the other parts of the immune system begin to compensate for the weakened IgG component. But when he saw in his history that Jack actually contracted chicken pox from the chicken pox vaccine, his demeanor changed a bit. We still don't know exactly what the cause for concern is, though. It sounds like that signals a potential additional problem or a greater severity of problem than what we originally thought. He ordered 8 additional sets of tests to be completed, and we go back in one month (November 11) to talk with him about the results of those tests.
The visit to the lab for Jack's blood draw was really rough. There were lots of tears shed, and it took two sticks (one in his hand and one in his arm) to get enough blood. Actually, the nurse said she drew the maximum amount allowed for Jack's weight and still didn't have enough for all the tests that were being run on it...she said the lab will have to learn to share!
Jack "talked" about his boo-boos for a little while after we got home, but then he learned that he got bigger reactions when he added a super-sad face to the story. We would ask him if he had to get "shots" today, and he would make a little pouty face and nod "yes." Then we would ask him if it hurt, and he would kick up the pitiful-factor and nod "yes" again (but with more of a dramatic flair!) Then he would break into a big, huge smile!! He knew he was being cute. As you can tell from this picture from dinner tonight, though, he's feeling just fine now.

Thank you for all the phone calls and e-mails today to check on Jack. Please forgive us if we didn't get back to you...we have a lot of balls in the air right now, but we really appreciate your thinking of us and praying for Jack's appointment. Josh has another interview tomorrow at 4:00, so please pray for him during that time.



Monday, October 13, 2008


Today has definitely been a day of good progress. Josh had his "informal meeting," which ended up turning into a full-fledged interview with the CEO, COO and the VP of Sales for the company. To sum it up, he liked them, and they liked him. Hooray! And he heard from HR of his former company, and we got some great news there. First of all, they are going to pay him throughout the end of the month (full salary plus commission), and they are going to buy back all of his unused vacation days. But one of the best pieces of news was that COBRA is going to cost right at half of what we had originally thought. That's a tremendous blessing!! The only "downer" is that our regular insurance coverage ends on Saturday. That wasn't good to hear, but we have so many other bits of great news to be thankful for! Thank you for praying for today's events.

Jack has his appointment with the immunologist tomorrow morning. We're meeting him at 8:00 at UAB in downtown Birmingham. We don't know exactly what to expect there...more testing? treatment options? dietary information? Please pray for that time in the morning. We want our sweet little guy to be OK.
Thank you and good night!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This Began a Long Time Ago...

I have to share a little secret.
I didn't know what was coming, but I did know that it was coming. I'm a bit low on sleep now, so instead of writing a long update, I'm just going to post a journal entry I wrote on August 27. God always prepares the way. :-)

August 27, 2008

Well here I am.

I don’t know why God has called me here or even exactly what He wants me to do, but here I am. I’ve avoided beginning this journal for some time now, but I keep feeling like God is asking me to do it. I’ve always wanted to be an avid pen-and-paper journaler, but God chose to make me left-handed and painfully slow at writing, so I guess I’ll have to settle for being a typer.

Now back to business.

Like I mentioned, I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to accomplish with this journal other than to share what God is doing in my life right now. And that is precisely why I have avoided beginning it…

Josh and I heard a sermon recently on the relationship between God and suffering. The pastor explained how painful experiences that occur in our lives fit into the picture of a God who is loving, merciful and wants only the best for His children. When we left that night, I confessed to Josh that I had been feeling like God was preparing me for something painful to come. And his response was this:

“I’ve been feeling the exact same way.”

That brings me to today and my resistance to write these words. In my wavering human nature, I spend one minute trusting in God’s perfect plan (Jeremiah 29:11) and the next minute fearing it. Somehow I have felt that if I put this down on paper, I would be ushering in a terrible event. Like I was “jinxing” myself or my family. But in my heart, I know this isn’t Truth. God has not only allowed, but He has ordained every moment in the script of my life. And despite the way I think my life should go, it is God who determines my steps (Proverbs 16:9), and He uses them all for His glory.

It goes without saying that, in my flesh, I absolutely don’t want myself or my family to face tragedy or difficulty. But 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells me that God’s grace is enough for me to cope with anything He gives me. That passage also tells me something even more important: “[God’s] power is made perfect in my weakness.” So I am trusting that God knows what is best and that He will give me strength and grace to travel through even the roughest paths.

The storm we find ourselves in now may be as rough as it gets. Or this could simply be a light sprinkle in preparation for a hurricane. But regardless of what comes, "I am trusting that God knows what is best and that He will give me strength and grace to travel through even the roughest paths."

Josh has an informal meeting (interview?) with a company at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon, so please pray that. As for tomorrow morning? He's going to see his sweet little girl dance in ballet class. :-)

Good night,


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Roller Coaster

I've never been a big fan of roller coasters. I've ridden my fair share of them, but I can think of probably 275 things I would rather do than hop on a roller coaster at this point in my life. Contrary to my "in-a-perfect-world" wishes, though, I now find myself on a roller coaster of pretty large proportions. The fact that we have no income now (other than the big bucks rolling in from Allison Lewis Photography!) is not itself the roller's the up-and-down emotions I find myself dealing with that have my head spinning.
Now don't get me wrong. I believe, no I know, that every single word of Scripture is true. I know that God is sovereign and that He only wants His best (not mine) for His children. I know that God ordained this event to happen in our lives. I know that He will provide for every one of our needs. But in my fickle human nature, I let fear and doubt creep into my mind, and I begin to worry (that's the nausea-inducing plummet part of the ride). Then I pray and ask God to forgive my doubts and to fill me once again with His peace (now I'm slowly climbing back up to a nice view of the world around me). Then I nose-dive back into get the picture.
I realize that this isn't a rosy picture of someone who has her life all together. Someone who never fears or worries. But this is my reality right now, and I don't think God is offended by it. He never asks me to be perfect...He just asks me to trust Him. I know God is at work and that He has every step of this journey already mapped out for us.

I'm just having a hard time feeling that tonight.

I mentioned my photography business and joked about the "big bucks" it's bringing in. We certainly couldn't live off of it, but it really is neat to see how God opened that door at just the right time to provide us with at least a little income during this trial. October sessions filled up back in early September, so I'm thankful for the "more-than-nothing" we'll have coming in this month. I actually had a session today with a family I used to work with back in my special ed. teaching days. They were a wonderful part of my life then, and it was great to reconnect with them today.

My precious sister-in-law told me that it helps her when I list specific things to pray for, so here is tonight's little list: pray that God will comfort us and fill us to the brim with peace, pray that He will show us a clear direction in regards to Josh's next job, and pray that that next job will come available very quickly!! And thank Him that little Izzy is OK...what a blessing! :-)

This post has been a bit "all over the place," so forgive me for rambling. I think getting my thoughts out here is good for me, and it helps me gain perspective on everything. For all I know, I may be the only one reading our blog, but even so, it's a good meeting place for my thoughts, my prayers, and my struggles.

Good night to all (or no one!) :-)


Friday, October 10, 2008

My daily "therapy" :-)

Today's update? In a sentence: Today started out badly, but it ended great. Josh and I were both able to get some sleep last night (granted, I fell asleep in a puddle of tears in Josh's arms), and I woke up feeling a comforting peace. When I came downstairs, though, Josh was in a very different place. It's so neat how God uses us in different ways at different times. I crumbled late last night, and Josh reminded me of the truths we know...that God loves us and will protect us through this storm. And as I mentioned, Josh was struggling this morning, and I had the joy of holding him as I prayed for God to strengthen him, give him wisdom, and fill him with a peace that made no sense amidst this turmoil. My greater joy, though, was watching God visibly answer that prayer more and more every minute throughout this day.
And can I please say a bit about the amazing character of my precious husband?
To do so, I need to explain a little about the circumstances of his "departure" from Enterprise. Josh and I are choosing not to go into the actual details of what happened because that could lay the groundwork for bitterness and resentment to creep in. But what I will say is that Josh devoted close to seven years to the company as a leader who worked every day with honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, though, his job loss was collateral damage that came from a poor choice one of his employees made several weeks ago. That employee was also fired from the company, but rather than allow him to feel responsible for our family's current situation, Josh called the man today and assured him that he was in no way angry or upset with him. Josh also took that opportunity to share with him that God was in control of our lives, that He cares for us, and that He has a plan in all of this. Do you see why I'm so proud of him? :-)

I've been sitting here staring at the computer screen trying to find the words to express our immense gratitude at the outpour of love we have experienced today. Obviously, nothing exceptionally special or eloquent came to mind, so to those of you who have called, sent cards, fed us :-), and loved us in many other ways, THANK YOU! We have said over and over today that we are so humbled in seeing this overwhelming show of love for our family. We are so thankful for each of you.

I think the big prayer requests for tonight would be continued peace throughout the weekend (we find a lot of peace in "doing", so I can see the tendency to struggle with a feeling of insecurity and helplessness as we wait for businesses to wake back up Monday morning) and a good outcome to Josh's meeting with the VP this morning (that was a good time for Josh, by the way). Josh was told that he could receive full benefits and partial pay until the end of the month...that would be a tremendous blessing (especially in light of the appointments we have next week with the pediatric immunologist for Jack).
Good night to all and thank you for praying,

Wow, what a night

Last night was somehow a wonderful and terrible time all at once. For some reason, I couldn't shake the image of Josh's coming home from my mind, and I was so saddened by what I saw. Josh used to have a company car, but of course, that stayed back at his office, so he was driven home by his former boss. The kids and I went outside to wait for him, and when he drove up, he looked so dejected. So insecure. He stepped out, and we just grabbed him to hug him (all crying, of course) and tell him how immensely proud we were of him. And this next part is heart-wrenching for me...he opened the back door and began removing everything that used to be in his office. It just seemed so humiliating. Here he was just unloading it all into our front yard...and I just kept whispering "We love you. We're proud of you."

God says He "despises the proud but gives grace to the humble" (Prov. 3:34). Well we are definitely humble today. Josh is at the admin office right now asking the vice president for some type of severence pay. He is filling out "termination forms" for his file. He's asking a representative from HR about when our insurance will cut off. My prayer over and over this morning has been for God to protect Josh's heart from defeat. He desires for us to be humble, but He in no way desires for us to be defeated. There's a drastic difference between the two! Isaiah 40:31 says "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." This is a picture of freedom and strength.

Not of defeat.

As I prayed this morning, we have no idea what direction God is leading us, but we know that He is here. We know that He is guiding our steps. I told my mom last night that my desire is to see every single step of this journey right now. All at once. But God doesn't promise me that. He promises to guide my very next step. So we are praying today not that God will show us the whole path, but that He will hold our hands tightly as He leads us to the next step.

Please pray for a "peace that passes understanding" to guard our hearts today (Phil. 4:7). Especially for Josh. And pray for a good result from Josh's meeting this morning. Thank you for holding us up in prayer during this time.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

There's more...

In case I left someone off the e-mail list, here's the latest with our family:

My heart is so very heavy as I'm writing this message. As I was pushing "POST" on the last blog entry about Isabel's good doctor's report, my phone rang. I knew what had happened the second I heard his voice...Josh lost his job tonight. But we know without any doubt that God is the same "good and gracious Lord" that He was two hours ago when I wrote that wonderful message. It would be dishonest of me, though, to tell you that we are teeming over with confidence, security and peace. In reality, we are battling fear, uncertainty and confusion. The one thing we are confident about, though, is that God loves us, and He is sovereign over everything that happens in our lives. Our desperate plea now is for Him to fill us with peace (Phil. 4:7), wisdom, joy in the midst of this trial, and protection against the doubts and frustrations that tend to creep into our lives at a time like this. I flipped open my Bible this afternoon as we were waiting for the results of Izzy's test, and I immediately came to James 1:2-5: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." As I'm writing this and praying over what I say, I can feel the burden lifting from my heart. God is reminding me even now that we have so, so much to be thankful for and that joy is in no way tied to my circumstances. Happiness is wholly dependent on what is happening to me and around me; however, joy comes from within my heart. I know that God loves us, I know that He will provide for us, and I know that this will serve to glorify Him if we will let it. Please pray that we'll step aside for that to happen.
Thank you for letting me "talk this through". I think I gain clarity from that weird? (Angel, you'll appreciate that one!)
We love you all,

They finally called...

and SHE'S FINE!! Praise our good and gracious Lord! Absolutely no abnormalities showed up on the CT tumors, no excess fluid, no abnormal structures, nothing. She has "benign macrocephaly," meaning God gave her a big head. :-) We are so relieved and so thankful for a great result. I know I've said it before, but we have been (and continue to be) comforted in knowing that others are joining us in prayer. And this is one we can all mark off the list!! Check out the picture below to see what Isabel thought of the good news...

Just passing the time...

We called at 3:00 like the tech at the hospital told us to, but we haven't been able to find out any results yet. And for those of you who know me well, waiting patiently isn't one of my strongest qualities. So I am praying and "photographing" my way through this waiting period. Anyway, here are some pictures of Abigail I took in an effort to get a fun shot for the invitation I'm designing for hers and Brayden's dual birthday party. She keeps us laughing! :-)

Update on Izzy

We're already home from the hospital! Our sweet friend, Kerry, kept Abigail and Jack while we took Isabel for her CT scan. We got there a little before 1:00 to fill out paperwork, they called us back right at 1:00, we walked back out at 1:03, and we were at Kerry's at 1:15 to pick the kids up! They strapped Isabel into quite a contraption to keep her head still (we were so thankful she didn't have to be sedated), and the actual scan itself lasted less than one minute. As my sister said, that minute probably felt like an hour to Izzy because she was screaming the whole time, but to us, it was worth hearing every cry and seeing every tear roll down her face to not have to watch her lying there asleep from sedation! God has already answered many of our prayers about this procedure, so we're continuing to pray for the results this afternoon. Thank you so, so much for all of the encouraging phone calls and messages and prayers. We are so comforted in knowing that a whole host of family, friends and even strangers are praying for our sweet baby. I'll write more when we know more.

Prayers for our family

Josh and I would like to ask for you to pray for our family right now. As many of you know, Jack has been sick so much over the last year (27 illnesses and infections, to be exact), and after an immunoglobulin workup two weeks ago, we finally got a diagnosis of IGG deficiency. What we do know is that his body doesn't produce enough of this type of antibody, so he's unable to fight off a large percentage of illnesses. What we don't know, though, is exactly how this will affect him over the coming years. We meet with a pediatric immunologist on Oct. 14 at UAB, and we should know a lot more then. The treatment plan ranges from the "do nothing" approach (in which we just deal with each illness as it comes and prepare for just as many in the coming years) to daily doses of antibiotics to IV infusions of antibodies. None of these is particularly appealing to us, so we are praying that God will protect his little body and help him to finally hit a healthy stretch.
Our next prayer is for Isabel. She had her 9-month checkup today, and although she has an ear infection and four teeth coming in at once (which is making her pretty pitiful!), it was a fairly uneventful visit until the doctor plotted her growth on the growth chart. Her head has always been "up there" on the chart, but it has always been right in line with her height, so there has never been a cause for concern. Today, however, her height had dropped to the 75th %ile while her head circumference had gone significantly off the chart. The pediatrician asked me a series of questions related to family history, the other kids' head sizes, etc. and after much discussion, he referred Izzy to Children's Hospital for a head CT tomorrow afternoon. He said he doesn't expect a problem, but because her growth pattern is definitely abnormal, he is concerned. We're unsure about whether or not she'll be put to sleep, so that's our first worry, and then of course, we're anxious to get the results of the scan. Please pray for an uneventful procedure and for a negative test result. He said the best case scenario is "benign macrocephaly"...or plain old "big head". :-)
Now the other thing going on right now related to Josh's work. I won't go into details here, but we are in desperate need of provision and direction. We will hopefully know more tomorrow, but at this point, we are unsure of whether or not he will still be employed with his company after this week (due to no wrongful action on his part). As you can see from the paragraphs above, this is not a good time for us to be without health insurance...and have you checked out the COBRA rates recently?!? :-)
We KNOW that God cares for us, and we are casting all of this on Him (1 Peter 5:7), but we are also asking you to join with our whole family as we pray for these issues. We are feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. We are asking for healing for our children, strength to face what may come (Isaiah 40:31), provision for our needs (Matthew 6:25-26), wisdom (Jeremiah 33:3), but most importantly, that we will honor God and bring Him glory. Of course we want all of this to just go away and to have a wonderful job that provides for our perfectly healthy children, but if that is not the path that God leads us down, we want to be prepared and armed with grace...because His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9)!!
Thank you for reading this crazy long e-mail and for joining us in prayer. We know God is listening! :-)
allison (and josh and ab and jack and iz)