Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Happy Birthday "Super Son"!

I was busy yesterday and never got around to posting this but I just didn't want to completely miss the opportunity to say 
Happy 16th Birthday to our "Super Son", Samuel!
We have called him that since he was a little guy and it has just stuck. He truly is and always be our Super Son.  
Samuel is definitely his own man. He is quirky, hilarious, and is ALWAYS thinking...and talking! If you don't care about what he is talking about, you just need to get some ear plugs. If he cares about it, he is going to tell you about it! Very often, you have to know the things he knows to "get" his sense of humor. DON'T think you're going to convince him of something he doesn't believe or change his mind about any conviction he has. He'll be polite and might smile and nod while you're talking but he's evaluating everything you say to come up with his own thoughts on the subject. If he unsure what to think and didn't find a clear enough answer in Scripture, he doesn't hesitate to ask our opinions. Even at his age, he will come sit on our bed and talk to us for hours. He still calls his mom and dad his best friends.  
I haven't met many 16 year old young men whose hobbies are reading Scripture and reading books or commentaries by Great Preachers from every period in history. He loves Puritan writers because of their focus on applying Scripture to all of life. He likes to draw and has recently started illustrating Scripture passages or drawing a picture and finding some obscure passage that he thinks fits.  He also likes to read about History, especially George Washington. He just admires men that cared about things and did things for the Glory of God. He does love to fish and shoot and the rest of those manly things, though, and he loves to work. He can fix anything that goes wrong with our lawn mower.  
Samuel hates TV (and most movies) and video games and fried foods. He drinks strong black coffee, unsweet tea, and water. He loves ALL THINGS PIE...sweet or savory doesn't matter, fruit or nut doesn't matter...put it in a pie crust and he is in LOVE! He even loves ties and dress clothes. Samuel is a great organizer and remembers everything. If you mention a book or movie title, he can tell you if we own it and where it is located. I'm telling you this boy is the BEST possible way. I would be completely lost (and so would my books) without him.
Samuel also has the biggest, most tender heart I've ever seen. He has a deep love for babies, animals, and even his siblings. He treats Levi more like a son than a little brother and always has. He jumps to do anything the girls ask him to do. If you let him hold your baby, you may have a hard time getting baby back. ;) His goals in life are to preach, be married, and have lots of children...anything else he does are just jobs to make money. He is always ready to help anyone do anything. Samuel has never really related to people his age and always prefers to be with the men. I love that his friends range in age from their 20s to one of his best friends who is almost 95.
Now you may think that I am crazy and am convinced that we have the perfect son. The truth is that he is far from perfect and has plenty of faults. He is our child after all. BUT he is the perfect son for us and we wouldn't trade him for anything.  
The most important thing about our "Super Son" is that he loves the Lord with all his heart and is striving everyday to be the best son he can be to his Heavenly Father.

Friday, October 24, 2014

But God!

Earlier today my husband posted on my Facebook timeline and asked me to re-post the link for something I'd written on the blog back in August.  I resisted at first, but have chosen (this time) to do what he has asked me to do.  This post will make more sense after reading the one from August.  Click here to read that post first.  

Since August, much of the specific information has changed.  I have now been in a wheelchair for 6 months.  I have now seen 5 doctors for my foot/ankle. I have had CT, MRI, bone density, and 47 x-rays. I am now in an aircast rather than a hard cast.  I am still totally non-weight bearing. The testing I was going through never stopped but expanded into areas beyond allergies.  Bad test results and yucky diagnoses are still pouring in, it seems. I have more tests, procedures, and surgery every other day (literally) for the next couple of weeks.  It seems that my body just doesn't like me any more.  

While the specifics of my heath have changed, the message hasn't. Yes, I am a little more weary, "BUT GOD" still applies.  Even on the days when I am tired of it all and I don't want to go to one more doctor or look at one more test result, He is still faithful.  

HE is faithful even when I am not!  I'm so thankful that God's love for us isn't as conditional as my love is for those around me.  Does that make it FEEL all better? NO!  Do I wish I was walking?  YES!  Do I wish...?  YES!  I DO wish! Most of all I wish that each of you would know the love of Christ and His comfort and peace. It is perfect even when my imperfect faith wavers.  It is perfect when I don't see His plan or understand.  It is perfect because He is GOD!  

"BUT GOD..."Where is your road rocky leading you today?  Where do you need a "BUT GOD"?  Know right now that I am not good enough or special enough to earn "BUT GOD"  It is just as available to you in your storms as it is to me in mine. Call out to Him today.  Call out to Him right there in the middle of our trials and struggles and imperfections.  Call out to Him right there in your sin and failure.  


STILL Because of Christ,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Missions Mondays

Yes, I know it's Tuesday.  I'm a little behind.  :)  Sorry.

I have a heart for MISSIONS!!!  I LOVE Missions!  I have always prayed that God would call and send us somewhere, ANYWHERE (almost lol) as Missionaries.  He has!  He just hasn't called us to any of the places that I thought He would/should.  For now, it seems that God has called us to the people right here where we live.  I'm praying that He continues to help us to be content.  For those of you who don't know, we are currently living in the Southern US.  We always thought maybe God should send us somewhere with MUCH cooler temperatures and lots more snow!  :)  As of now, we are here and will joyfully serve Him.

Regardless of where we are living, God has called each of us to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES.  For some of us, it will mean going to foreign countries or other states.  For some of us, it will mean working in our own communities to reach out and share the love Jesus and good news of His salvation right where we are.  Regardless of where we live, Christians should view ourselves as Missionaries.

We are blessed to know several full-time Missionaries.  I am going to be rolling out a new feature on the blog called Missions Mondays. Each week I'll be introducing you to a different Missionary Family. Some will be working abroad.  Some will be working with different tribes of Native American Indians.  Others are Missionaries in ways we've never thought of before.  They'll tell us about their location (as long as it's safe), the people they work with, how they came to be on the mission field, and their family.

As I introduce the Missionaries to you, I would love for you to begin praying for their work.  They can go and work and preach, but only God can bring people to repentance and grant forgiveness. Pray that God would meet their financial needs, send friends to combat loneliness, send laborers to join the work, and allow them to see increase so that they do not grow weary.

As I'm preparing the questionnaire, I'd love to hear from you.  If you were meeting a new Missionary Family, what type of questions would you like to ask?  What would you like to know about their people, themselves, or their families?  What would you like to know about the work of a Missionary? I can't wait to see your questions.  Feel free to comment below or share on Facebook.

Only because of Christ,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Update on Me!

I realized that I haven't updated on me recently so here goes.  I am still mostly flat with foot iced and elevated and in a wheelchair when I'm up.  Monday will be 16 weeks!  FOUR (4) months.  Wow! Time flies. I am able to be up a little more and have actually been able to participate in the ministries of our church a little more.  I'm so thankful.  Our church family is such a blessing to me!

I encountered latex a few weeks ago.  Uh oh!  A week of head to toe hives resulting in spending the night in the ER due to anaphalaxis.  A steroid shot there and another in the Dr. office a few days later got me fixed up.  I now get to carry 2 epipens and 2 types of allergy meds with me all the time.  Yay me!  lol  I'm completely fine but that is never fun. I'm scheduled for full battery allergy testing in a couple of weeks just to make sure that there is nothing else triggering these episodes and that is truly is unintentional latex exposure as opposed to a new allergy.  Fun times.  Happy Birthday to my husband.  Wish I could have gotten scheduled sometime other than your birthday.  :)

Back to my foot/ankle.  I have gotten a second opinion with another surgeon and he doesn't give me hope of walking anytime soon either. He actually found another break.  We are unsure if it is original and the other surgeon missed it or if it is the result of one of my falls. So, I have a shattered sesamoid (floating ball on bottom of foot), a toe that is broken where it connects to my foot, and a hunk of bone broken off and floating around on the outside of my foot.  I also have torn ligaments on both sides of my ankle.  This newly found break and the potential for serious damage if I fall again means that I am now in a hard fiberglass cast. I got a black one on Monday while my foot was very swollen and as the swelling went down, the cast became too big. I had to have it cut off and a new one put on this morning. This time I went with HOT PINK!  I may as well have fun!  We are hoping that when the cast comes off, I will be starting to heal.  If not, we will have to consider CTs, more casting, and possibly surgery(s).  At this rate, it seems like I'm never even going to make it to physical therapy.  So far, I've had an MRI and 20 xrays.  I probably glow in the dark.  The original forecast of me walking in 9-12 (from May) still seems hopeful. Even the new doc couldn't give me anything more hopeful than that. I'm so thankful that my hope is in Christ, rather than in doctors.  He is the only source of TRUE hope.

I share all of that to update you.  Please don't feel sorry for me.  I don't!  Surprisingly, being in bed/wheelchair isn't bad at all.  Of course there are things that I want to do and can't, BUT GOD! That is one of the most amazing phrases ever written!  BUT GOD has seemingly placed me in a bubble of protection from all the self-pity, depression, anger, and all those other things you might expect from me.  If you know me at all, you know that it is not of myself because all of my righteousness is as filthy rags.  You know that it is not of me because I like things MY way.  I like to be in control.  The peace and acceptance that God has given me for the situation is something that I am just not capable of.  That doesn't make it any less real.  It just makes it more special because I know where it comes from.  God is able.  He is able! He IS ABLE!!  He is able to heal my body so that I could walk today. So far he hasn't chosen to do that.  That's ok!  I don't understand, but I trust Him.  As the hymn says, "How I've proved Him o'er and o'er".  He is trustworthy and that truly has been proven over and over in my life.  My accident surprised me, BUT GOD wasn't surprised at all. He is not in Heaven ringing His hands saying "Oh no! Oh no!  Kara hurt her foot!  What if she never walks again?!?!  That would be the worst thing that could happen!"  By His grace, neither will I!  As another hymn says, "What have I to dread, What have I to fear, Leaning on the everlasting arms; I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the everlasting arms."  By His grace alone and for His glory alone, I will continue to live, and love, and serve the God who created me, knows me and loves me anyway, and most importantly paid the price for all of my sin...whatever comes.   

You can trust Him, too, my friend.  For whatever you are going through, He is able and He is trustworthy.  Whatever circumstances are making your Road Rocky today, "BUT GOD" is where you have to place your trust and find your peace.  You can't trust in the doctors, self-help books, or any other person or teaching.  Whatever you are going through, trust in the God who created you and the finished work of Christ who died in your place.  If you don't understand what that means, message me.  I'll be happy to share with you from Scripture so that you can understand the TRUTH from God's word that brings me comfort and peace.  I want you to have that, too, friend.  

Because of Christ,

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.


Monday, October 7, 2013

A Little Boy Named Noah

There is a little boy named Noah.  He is the son of my friend, Kate Estes.  Noah is 7 years old and is completely adorable!  I am totally smitten!  I mean look that this face! 

Noah isn't like the other children.  He has Mitochondrial disease.  He is medically very fragile and this disease will shorten his life.  Noah's tools for living are different from the other boys.  Most little boys have bicycles, skate boards, and running shoes.  Noah has a power wheelchair, a hospital bed parked in the play room, multiple IV pumps, drains, tubes, and private nurse.  He even has his own full-sized refrigerator just to house his IV nutrition and his many IV medications.  Noah's digestive tract doesn't work AT ALL!  All fluids, nutrition, medication, etc MUST be given by IV.  He has tubes to drain his stomach, bladder, and bowels.  This incredible little boy is totally "with it" but nothing goes into or comes out of his body without a tube.  Noah cannot control his own body temperature, even that must be done for him.

Noah loves to have friends over to sit on his hospital bed with him watching a video or playing Legos.  Most often though, Noah's visitors include his pediatrician (who makes HOUSE CALLS!), his private nurses, his physical therapist, his speech therapist, his case manager, and the delivery person from his infusion pharmacy.  This is his every day life.

Noah loves field trips and everywhere he goes he charms the socks off of everyone he meets!  Noah loves to go to church.  He loves to go the library, art classes, the park, community events - anywhere  something is happening.  Since Noah sees all pediatric medical specialties, most of his "field trips" involve traveling over 100 miles to the nearest city for doctors' visits, blood transfusions, surgeries, tests, etc.  As you can imagine, Noah logs MANY miles on the road each month strictly out of medical necessity.  This week, he actually has to make the long trip 4 or 5 days in a row (depending on his need for a particular procedure).

Like I said, everyone that meets Noah falls instantly in love with him.  That includes his 7 brothers and sisters, his mom and dad, and his nurse.  Yep...that's right...whenever Noah is able to go on a family outing, it is Noah, 10 other people, and ALL of the equipment that I described earlier.  His family has decided that as long as God leaves Noah on this earth, he will LIVE! and live well.  This amazing family actually ventures out for fun any time Noah is up to it.  They know that making memories together is the best gift they can give to each other.

As you can imagine, traveling with Noah and his side kicks is no easy task and requires a 15 passenger para-transit wheelchair bus.  Unfortunately, the Estes' bus that they have been driving for a few years has seen better days.  When they bought it, they got the best van that they could with the funds available but, even then, the bus was over 10 years old.  Living in the super humid SE United States has wreaked havoc on the bus.  The frame (and everything else underneath) has rusted irreparably.  Parts have begun falling off the bus and the bus is even leaning and threatening to literally break!  Their mechanic has warned that the bus is quickly becoming unsafe to drive.  As a result of the rust damage, the air conditioner is no longer working and is not repairable.  That means every trip to the hospital places Noah in danger due to the extreme year round temperatures in South Carolina.  Remember that Noah's body temperature must be maintained for him.

I am asking you for help.  I am hosting an online auction to raise funds to help the Estes Family buy a used bus that will allow them to safely transport Noah.  I have created a Facebook Event page where I can share the details of the auction and keep everyone updated.  Please visit  Be sure to let me know that you are planning to "attend".  Also  use the event page to invite your friends.  Please consider posting to your wall and the wall of any groups you are a part of that allow sharing these kinds of things.  I'd also love for you share the information on your blog.

Another way you can help is to donate items for the auction.  I need to have SOMETHING for people to bid on!  I'll auction pretty much anything that is new and in good taste.  :)  Some ideas would include gift cards and electronic gift cards, books and ebooks, dvds.  People love handmade items!  Whatever you make, consider donating it - scarves, hats, aprons, candles, soaps, quilts, blankets.  If you ship your baked goods, I'll auction those, too.  Together, we can help the Estes family get a safe bus for transporting Noah!

If auctions aren't your thing, please visit the YouCaring fundraiser page set up by another friend of the Estes Family.  There you can make a donation to the Wheels for the Estes fund.

I want to be sure to disclose that this is totally a volunteer effort.  I will NOT benefit from this auction in ANY way other than knowing that I have helped a friend keep her son safe.  EVERY penny will go directly to the Estes family via YouCaring or Paypal. 

If you'd like to learn more about my friend, Noah, check out the links below.

Y'all are the best!  I'm so thankful for each of you!  I'm blessed to get to call you my friends.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Time Flies!

Where has the time gone?  It seems that this year has just begun, yet it is nearly over!  Each day has seemed to melt into the next.  I always have ideas I want to share with you.  There are always I plan to write.  Then...I go to sleep and wake up to another day.

A lot has happened this year.  We have had several friends and family members pass into eternity.  My children have grown up so much - they now range in age from 18 to 6.  I've learned a lot.  I've failed a lot.  I have laughed and cried and hurt a lot.  I have grown a lot!  I wish that I had grown more.  I am praying that I grow even more in the next year. 

Through everything that we have walked through this year - through all the loss, failure, growth, joy and pain - one truth has remained.  We serve a living and sovereign God who is not surprised by any of it.  He is faithful.  His word is true.  He truly will never leave us or forsake us. 

Thank you for your friendship.  I hope to be able to share more in the days to come.  You're all the best!

Monday, January 28, 2013

There is NO Other Name

Please pray for our dear friends of many years. Three years ago, W (accompanied by his wonderful wife/my dear friend) preached our son's funeral. Tomorrow, we will be walking with them to bury W's brother, J.  This brother was a little sick and has hospitalized for slight pneumonia and dehydration on Monday.  On Wednesday a diagnosis of stage 4 small cell lung cancer was made.  The family was told that it was inoperable and untreatable.  By Wednesday evening, J was in Renal failure and passed away on Saturday morning. 

While J's sudden passing has left this family heartbroken, they grieve with a GREAT HOPE and with GREAT JOY! They know that J's faith for living and for dying rested solely in Jesus. What about those around you? Where is their faith? Where is their hope? Where is their joy?  Do they have a faith they can live by?  More importantly, do they have a faith they can die by?  Have they experienced the saving power of the freely given forgiveness of sin that was bought by the blood of Jesus? If not, please care enough to share the good news with them today. If you don't know how to do that, please let me know.  I will help you.   If you haven't experienced this merciful love of the one and ONLY Savior yourself, I can share with you today how that forgiveness can be yours. Today is the day of Salvation.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."   Acts 4:12 KJV