Tired.

Can I just admit something? Can I say it out loud?? I am tired. I’m so tired of this. I am tired of having to keep it together. I am tired of telling everyone the story of what happened to Ian. I am tired of hearing what amazing people we are. I’m tired of surgeries. I’m just tired…of everything.

I’m laying in my bed with Ian sleeping next to me. He had a hard evening. He was lightheaded, in pain, and nauseated. I despise seeing him so miserable. Enough already! Hasn’t he been through enough? The poor guy almost died, had surgeries to amputate his fingers and legs, and has dealt with pain from his prosthetics, among many other things. He’s been through things that most of us will never experience in our lifetime..and he is still not done. To make matters worse tonight, I have to be mean and force him to eat and take his medicines when I know he doesn’t want to. “If I throw up, it’s going to be your fault,” he said to me. “For making me take these.” Great. Yes, I want you to take this antibiotic and pain pill so that you can throw them back up in a few minutes… Because I really want to clean up your throw up.. And I don’t want to see you get better. That’s it. Yeah, right.

He did take his medicines and hasn’t thrown up yet. So far so good. Let’s pray that he will keep them down.

I feel like I need a good cry. But I’m afraid that if I start I won’t be able to stop. And I’m not sure what that would accomplish. Anything??

Please pray for Ian. Pray that he can rest and wake up feeling better. Pray for his hand to heal quickly with no infection… Lastly, and most importantly, pray that the result of this surgery would exceed any expectation that he had. I feel so much better when Ian is well. I really don’t like seeing him like this.

We are so grateful for his life, for wonderful doctors and their wisdom, and for the support of our friends and family. God continues to take care of us. He teaches me that when I am weak, he is strong through me and for me. Thanks for continuing to pray for us. We are so thankful!!!

Love,
Denisse

Ian’s surgery Monday.

Hello everyone! Its been a while since I have given an update about Ian.  He is doing fantastic, practically back to normal.  He is slowly getting back to work (after 20 months of being away,) working on his own projects, and even coaching Jack’s soccer team.  Last weekend he went up in our attic to get our fall decorations and I just about lost it.  I’m so impressed by what he is able to do every single day.

We have known that Ian will need to have a few more surgeries on his hands to make them more functional.  We’ve decided to have these done by the end of this calendar year.  He met with his hand surgeon this week and the first of these surgeries will be this coming Monday.  The surgery will open up the web space between Ian’s short thumb and index finger on his right hand, which will help him grab things better. They will take a skin graft from his hip again to close the area. His right hand is currently his better hand, so we want to make sure that any surgery will not worsen his ability.  Please pray for that.  His hand will have to be in a cast for three weeks after that.

A second surgery will likely happen soon after that.  This one will be more complicated.  The surgeon will take an unused tendon from Ian’s left palm and attach it to the small thumb he made Ian back in February.  Again, this will help him grab things better and give him more strength to hold things.  This time his left hand will be in a cast for six weeks.  There may be a second surgery for his left hand after that one.  We will know more as we go.

We are surgery pros now.  We will show up for surgery and get to go home later that day.  Pray for the surgery to go smoothly and for no pain for Ian.  Last time he felt the most pain on his hip since the skin graft had been taken from there.  Also pray that I can find a sitter for my boys.  Ian says he can drive himself, but I really want to go with him.

Thanks for continuing to read our updates.  We appreciate you!

love,

denisse

fear.

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fear is defined by Merriam-Webster as the following:

-to be afraid of (something or someone)

-to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)

-to be afraid and worried

Wikipedia says

Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger.

 

While I was away this weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Acuff.  He was a great guy, standing in line for a couple of hours after the conference to sign books and meet people.  I was in that long line.  When it was my turn, he asked me about myself, signed my copy of Start, and posed for a quick photo.  I was excited!  I immediately looked at my phone to find the pic.  I wanted to post it on #instagram for Ian to see.  I wished I had one with @derekwebb from the night before, too.  Oh well.

When I looked at the photo I was a little shocked.  The person in the photo was a strange version of me.  It was me, alright, but something was off.  My smile was crooked.  It was as if the left side of my face didn’t look right. I decided not to post the pic after all.  A girl always likes to look her best, right?

I had dinner with a sweet friend and headed to my hotel afterward.  For the next hour I looked at myself in the mirror, making all kids of silly faces.  I tried to raise my eyebrows and squint my eyes to see if both sides of my face were the same.  I smiled as big as I could to see if I could un-do the crooked smile.  I just couldn’t figure it out.

Knowing what a worrier Ian is, I decided not to tell him until I was home.  In true Ian fashion, he googled my symptoms and took off with possible diagnoses.  Why was one side of my face paralyzed? Could I have had a stroke? Did I have a brain tumor?  He asked me to please make an appointment to see our family doc. I called and my appointment was this morning.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed I looked over at Ian and said, “Man, if I do have a brain tumor, I better finish writing this dang book!”  He didn’t think that was funny. My thought was that if God wants me to go through that, then bring it on.

I realized something about myself last night. I was not afraid of the outcome of this appointment.  I knew something wasn’t right with my face, and yet I was not fearful. I did consider that it could be a tumor, but I decided that if it was, everything would be ok. After what we’ve been through I know that God is in complete control of everything in our lives.  I used to be afraid of something happening to me and leaving my children. I used to think that I was the only one who could care for them.  I still remember the day that I saw our babysitter, Dana, driving away with them on a rainy day when Ian was first admitted to the hospital.  I had to let them go.  I had to trust her with my treasures. That was my first lesson in giving up my fears. And, guess what? My kids were ok then and for the months that followed while they were taken care of by people other than me.

I also remember how I used to be afraid of being home alone.  When Ian had been out of town in years past, I would sleep with my light on and listened frightfully for any sound outside.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I was alone- wouldn’t that be an invitation for an intruder?  After being a single mommy with my three kids home alone while Ian was in the hospital and rehab for many months, I am no longer afraid.

SO, I decided that, if I did have a brain tumor, I would not be afraid of that either.  What a freeing feeling!  Its amazing to live life joyfully, without trying to predict what is going to happen or trying to figure out what you can do about it.  Lesson learned.  Trust me.

My appointment was this morning.  I DO NOT have a brain tumor.  I have something called Bell’s Palsy, and a slight case of it at that.  I have to take some medicine for 10 days and it should improve… hopefully.   If the worst thing in my life is having a crooked smile, that’s ok with me. Thank God, right?  I’m not sure how we would have dealt with another challenge.  Wait- I DO know.  Only with God’s help.  How can anyone get through anything without Him???

 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  2Timothy 1:7

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

 

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

denisse

I AM a writer!

I am now comfortable saying that I am a writer.  I AM A WRITER! Whew. There, I said it… and it feels good.

I am aware that I am not a great writer (yet) so I plan on practicing the craft as much as I can. The Start Conference in Nashville was excellent. The ideas presented can be applicable to anyone, so I plan to share some of these ideas here.  One of the biggest ideas that I took away from the conference is the following.

Words come from a life lived well. -Jeff Goins, goinswriter.com

 

My life is oh so full.  It is full of love, laughter, and fun.  My husband and children bring me joy daily.  God has been faithful to me and continues to show himself daily. I am blessed beyond measure.

My life has also been full of hardship and suffering.  There have been days that made me long for heaven so much that taking another breath seemed impossible.

After this weekend I have decided that I want to share more of my stories.  I want to write my story my way.  I’d like to inspire and reach people.

I am living life as well as I can and I have plenty of words to share. 🙂

 

denisse

 

Start!

I am beyond excited for this weekend! I will be going to the Start Conference in Nashville Friday. It will be my first time in a LONG time to be away by myself. Woo hoo!!!

I am there to get pumped up to write my book. There will be great speakers there and helpful information about writing and speaking. I LOVE to learn, so this will be so fun for me. I’m ready to soak it all in. Please pray for me to meet some helpful people and get some useful resources for my writing. Also pray for Ian who will be home with the kids!!!

Routine.

School has started again! I think we were ALL ready. Even though we had a wonderful summer, it was obvious that we were running out of steam (and fun.) I’ll admit that we watched a few too many episodes of Martha Speaks and Wild Kratts in the last several weeks. It’s funny how I was so glad to be without it back in June, but now I say thank God for tv!!

Emma is back at her school and the boys and I are back at our preschool as of today. This year I will be teaching music, which is much more fast paced and will keep me on my toes. The great thing is that I get to know ALL the kiddos there since all the classes go to chapel and music. It will also require more planning to have appropriate activities for all the ages. So far, so good. I really enjoyed today (despite the fact that both of my boys decided to test me during their classes.) Being back on a routine will be great for all of us. 🙂

Ian is working on an application to get a grant for running legs. There is an organization out of San Diego called the Challenged Athletes Foundation that helps people with disabilities get the equipment they need for athletics. Their calendar year just started September 1st so we are going to submit the application asap before they run out of funds. Pray that this works out for us. We’d love to have Ian in his blades very soon!

I’m still working on writing my memoir. It’s been a long process. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked over the summer. The thought of writing the story overwhelms me and I find that I’ve been procrastinating a bit (ok, a lot.) Ian has been great at encouraging me to write often, but there is always a good excuse to postpone it. Three excuses, actually… their names are Emma, Jack, and Luke. However, this new routine has given me a fresh, new dose of motivation. I’m hoping that a consistent schedule will mean that I can plan the time for writing.

I came across this quote a couple of weeks ago and it has helped me reflect on my writing. I thought I’d share it in case someone else is procrastinating or fearful about taking a big step. Its short and sweet.

A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.

Love,
denisse