Caravan Sonnet: March 2014

3/28/14

Cruising 2014: a final thank you

"He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me!"
 - Psalm 18: nineteen-
As I conclude with this final post about the precious cruise in February, I am overwhelmed by all that God did. I was so incredibly fearful about the trip due to my health and ended up having one of the best weeks in years which was an amazing answer to hundreds of prayers! I wanted to take this time to thank the many precious people who made this experience!
To my precious family- my mom & dad, and amazing sister~ Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and your support in taking this adventure. You truly gave me a gift for a lifetime....I love y'all so much !
To the precious friends who desire to remain anonymous who helped make this financially possible ~ Words can not describe the gratefulness that I have for you. Your foresight to see that this would be emotionally a blessing in this journey was a gift from the Lord. I appreciate more than words can express your love and support, your gracious financial gift, and your love not only for my physical well-being but also for my heart. 
To Michelle ~ From the moment that we connected in Miami you were the absolute model of grace. Thank you so much my dear friend for your constant support and love, your encouragement to my little heart, your understanding and selfless nature that constantly put me first on this trip, your encouragement as I was in tears in several times throughout the trip, for your compassionate heart that put me completely first, the laughter and understanding that you extended when I didn't have enough energy to "go go go" all day long, and your ability to bring joy to each person that encounters you. I am so thankful to the Lord for your beautiful friendship! Thank you so much for a WONDERFUL week!! 
To Zoey, Monica, Jen, Kaara, Katie and Tammy~ Thank you so much for your prayers for the trip, your incredibly gracious words, and your prayers for a week "away" from all things "sick world related". Thank you for praying for EVERYTHING that I mentioned (and knowing my heart well enough to pray for things that I didn't mention! *smiles*). Your prayers were answered in so many beautiful ways.
To the lovely Wissmann family ~ The minute that I read that you were going on the cruise the Lord stirred up a dream to go and to meet y'all "in person". Thank you for your incredibly gracious hearts, your lovely example and love for the Lord that shines through your lives, and your generosity of opening up your hearts to all who encounter you. Thank you for your music that has touched so many lives for the Lord (including mine!) You are such a blessing! (Gloria- Thank you for your beautiful kind words that truly touched my heart. What an amazing blessing you are!) 
To Rachel, Abi, Hannah, Ruth, and Kori ~ Thank you so much for the time that you took in your sweet conversations to include us, your sweet and gracious joy that truly touched my heart, and your kindness. Hannah, thank you for taking the time to invite us to join y'all many times. Your joy touched so many lives (including mine)! Abi- Thank you for your heart that included us from the moment we met you and your gracious understanding of my little heart. Y'all are simply wonderful. What a blessing to have gotten the privilege to get to know you some and to be able to connect with you. The Lord truly has used y'all to touch my life. (Umm... Ruth and Kori - how did we not get a picture with y'all??)
To Rachel (and Alan) ~ Since I first dropped you a facebook message over a year ago - you have been a blessing to get to know a little bit through "internet world". Thank you for sharing your story of singleness and the love story that God wrote on your blog. You have truly touched my life through that story and your writing of the blog that I have read numerous times during difficult nights. The Lord has truly used you to remind me of the tender heart of our precious Savior. Thank you for welcoming us with your gentle and inviting spirit on the cruise into your life and for making us feel so welcome. Also, I know that I mentioned this to you... but ... I still well up with tears at how the Lord used you and Alan as you were sharing your story to encourage me in this journey. Thank you so much. 
To Ali ~ What a blessing you (and your sweet mama) have been to my heart! I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to get to know you some on the cruise and for a delightful day in Coco Cay talking about our lives and our precious Savior. Thank you so much for your open heart that encircles all who come in contact with you!
To my precious friends~ Thank you so much for ALL of your prayers throughout the week, the incredibly kind messages that I received before and after the trip, and the joy of reminiscing through these posts. Thank you so much for ALL of your prayers for me. 
To my delightful "Lymie Tribe" and "Cancer gals" ~ Thank you for saying "go"! You understand on a completely different level the terror and fear that comes with these illnesses and are a blessing in fighting that dragon! 
To our delightful Cruise "table" friends ~ Thank you so much for your fun hearts that brought so much laughter and fun throughout each dinner meal. What a blessing to my life !
To Anna~ What a delight it is to see how the Lord connects peoples lives again and again!How fun to have the opportunity to "meet you" again four years later! It was delightful to hear of your passion for children and writing! I look forward to seeing how the Lord connects our lives again!
To James ~ Thank you so much for a conversation that encouraged me on this journey. It is crazy to think how many factors went into having that conversation come to be and TRULY it was a blessing from the Lord. 
To all who were apart of the Sing & Sail Cruise ~ Thank you so much for your hard work to make it such a wonderful cruise! You truly touched so many lives, including mine! "God be with you till we meet again"...

To the countless kind strangers, angels, and people that helped me on the cruise I am so incredibly grateful. Thank you again friends, so much for covering this amazing trip in prayer. TRULY the Lord answered beyond all expectations an amazing trip!! Thank you!

3/26/14

Notes from the Porch {Seventeen}: Good News!


If we are connected on instagram, twitter, or are friends on Facebook then this information is going to be a tad bit old since I was just to excited to wait to get near a computer and post! Yesterday I received a phone call from my new Lyme doctors office and was told wonderful news! 
As I posted on instagram, twitter, and Facebook we are crying happy tears, smiling HUGE smiles, and rejoicing in GOOD news!! For the first time in over TWO years I received test results that are heading in a GOOD direction! While I know there is still a very very long journey ahead, I am humbled and grateful for your countless prayers and support on this journey. Thank you for rejoicing with my family and I and thank you for continuing to lift me up in your prayers again and again and again. Please don't stop! TRULY the Lord is answering!! 
 "This is the day the LORD acted; we will rejoice & celebrate in it!" 
-Psalm 118:twenty-four-

3/25/14

"God is Just Not Fair" Book Review

Photo taken from Jennifer Rothschild website

A sweet friend in bloggy world invited me to review a book that her mother-in-law just released TODAY!! I was honored to be asked (and lets be honest we know that I love reading!) and was more than happy to say "yes"! Before I received the book I thought that the author's name  (Jennifer Rothschild) seemed familiar but with the business of the cruise, tons of travel, the trip to California & a new treatment plan, and then heading to New York to receive treatment and visit my precious grandmother I honestly didn't take the time to investigate. I was SO surprised to realize that when the book arrived and I read the back cover that this was the same author who wrote "Lessons I learned in the Dark", a book that I have read countless times throughout this journey. If you are not familiar with Jennifer than you can find out more information on her website or by clicking on this video that introduces her! I guarantee that you will be inspired!

I think for me personally this new book, "God's Just Not Fair" was something that began to have an impact the moment that I saw the cover. Whether it is a pride issue or whether this is something that I am theologically working through, I don't think that I have allowed myself to personally examine whether or not I have thought that "God's Just Not Fair" in my own life. I have had countless friends and family members say this about the struggles and trials in my life these past eight years but for some reason I have never stopped to examine this. When I received the book and saw the cover I didn't even have to open the book to begin to think and wrestle through this concept. I think that anyone who is going through a time of suffering can relate to me on this point. 

For me personally as I read through the book I felt that Jennifer spoke with a profoundly simple and humble encouragement as she shared her heart and expressed things that I have been struggling with down deep. I know that I briefly mentioned in the "Notes from the Porch Ten" blog post that while this journey is physically difficult it is also extremely emotionally difficult too. I went from being a very active lady who loved loved loved loved her job teaching high school students, felt fulfilled teaching about History and a 12th grade girls Bible class, was loving her friendships, loved traveling, enjoyed ballroom dancing so much that I was beginning to compete, loved swimming and water-skiing, was pursuing my PhD, becoming fluent in sign-language, loved laughter and late night movies, loved dreaming about getting married and having kids, and loved having days that did not revolve around words like blood counts, Cancer, and Lyme. To go from a very active life that was incredibly full to where life is today has been incredibly difficult. Year one of this journey was difficult but now fully into year two (of living at home and needing help) or year eight (of a very long line) of health issues and tragedy has forced me to surrender daily to the Lord ALL of my hopes and dreams that lay shattered on the floor. I thought I knew what surrender was before this journey but I have learned I had no idea. 

And learning to surrender in this way that is all-consuming (beyond the simple hymn of "I Surrender All"), I sometimes have wondered... "Is God Fair"?

While Jennifer addresses the topic of questioning whether God exists was not something that I have questioned but I have laid awake at night and wondered "why is God not answering" my prayers? Are the friends that have walked away in this journey (who have accused me of not having enough faith to be healed) right? Is God like the friends who have walked away and just wants me "to have more faith"? And most of all does my pain even matter?

This book for me was like sitting down to grab coffee with a modern-day disciple who knows and loves her precious Lord, has walked with Him for years, and has humbly paved a beautiful heroes path for others of us in suffering.

For me there have been countless times throughout the last eight years as "one thing after another" happened (broken engagement, ex-fiance' leaving me with all of the bills from the wedding, the diagnosis of heart issues to the diagnosis of Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease and then the diagnosis of Cancer, being forced to lose all of my independence when I couldn't even walk last year, to the fight for proper care and treatment this year, to the humility of asking people for money for this journey, to wondering if people really understood how hard it is to ask for the money and how scary finances are when you are desperately sick because there is no more savings, wondering if you will ever see your deepest dream of getting married and having kids (when you have had three guys tell you that it is just "too much"), the difficulty of physical pain that is to tremendous to put into words, questions of impact and "am I really doing anything for you Lord?" and the list goes on and on and on) where I have sometimes wondered if God is aware of my desperate prayers to Him? 

Before reading this book I was coming to a place of realizing that the questions that I have listed above I can either keep asking or I can simply say "I don't understand" and accept with dignity and trust in my precious Lord that loves me. I loved how Jennifer said in her blog post about why she wrote this book: "I wrote this book because I'm convinced that God is just- not fair. He is just... right in all His ways. He is good, caring, present, and knows how we feel when we hurt."

Beautiful. Absolutely Beautiful. God is just. He is very much aware of His children who are suffering and hurting and is right there with us. This brought tears to my eyes and encouragement to my little heart.

If you are like me and have had a very very rough and difficult season of trials and behind the scenes have been throwing yourself at Jesus' feet and yet hoping for some encouragement I really do believe that you will find this book very encouraging. As Jennifer says many times (in a variety of different ways) in the book: "your pain matters".Sometimes that is all you need to hear.

If you are struggling (or know someone who is) this book is written from a compassionate and wise heart and will encourage you on your journey. This book might even voice the questions that you have been feeling or thinking! Hold on sweet friends. God is just. And while it may appear that He is not fair, His love for you is perfect. If you would like to purchase the book you can go to Jennifer's website or you can visit her store. Jennifer is also offering some lovely "bonus gifts" deals for a short amount of time with this book and some of her other resources that you might want to check out!

Thank you for the lovely opportunity to review this book Jennifer! It was an honor!

While I received a free book to review for this post the views expressed in this post and on my blog are your completely my own. I also do want to say that I did disagree with a sentence that is written at the end of the book (if you feel that you need to "forgive God" than do that). I do not theologically or personally agree with this statement at all. I did not sense this tone or concept in other areas of the book which is why I did not mention this in any other part of my review. For me personally and theologically we go to the Lord for our forgiveness and He and His ways are perfect. 

Heroes of the Faith: Brother Yun

Do y'all know who Brother Yun is? Honestly I really didn't until a couple of weeks ago and if you haven't heard of him I definitely recommend researching and reading about his life. I will not do it any credit here but in brief he is a Chinese Pastor who was exiled, imprisoned, and then tortured for his faith. Despite all of this he continued his ministry in prison - challenging and encouraging those not only in China but across the world. Eventually he escaped from prison by literally walking out the front doors of the heavily guarded maximum security prison where no one had ever escaped before. He stated in his two books and in many of His speeches that He simply obeyed the Lord and followed his guidance. Absolutely a miracle. 

Truly I yearn to know my precious God so well that I would be willing to follow Him anywhere ... even in front of hundreds of guards who would shoot me as I walked by... no matter where He leads... 

There is no place safer than in the will of God. 

I find it so encouraging to read of Christians who have not only "survived" their trials but thrived under their trials due to the Lord's grace and mercy. Last April I shared about one of my favorite books that has truly influenced my life, "Evidence Not Seen" by Darlene Diebler Rose. If you haven't read it I can not recommend the book enough. I probably read it at least five or six times a year. It always encourages my heart back to scripture and to the heart of God. If you want to read the review that I did about the book you can click HERE

A couple of days ago a friend of mine posted this quote that Brother Yun said and it was such an encouragement to me during some difficult days that I wanted to share it with y'all today. 

I hope that it encourages you! Happy Tuesday! Who are your heroes of the faith? I would love to know! 

3/24/14

this amazing woman...

...has her birthday today! 
We have celebrated in the most simple of ways... BIG hugs, happy (off-key) birthday songs (sung by my beautiful sis & I), bringing a favorite Starbucks drink & a pretty pot of daffadoils to her school, and thanking the Lord for her countless times throughout today everyday. She is my best friend and the woman who inspires me every single day to keep fighting, keep trusting in our precious Lord, and to find the joy in each day. Thank you Lord so much for this amazing woman!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

3/22/14

Bite Back Bracelets

Hi y'all! Thank you so much for your patience as we continue to work to mail out ALL of the AMAZING orders of the "Bite Back" bracelets! We are so grateful for ALL of your support! For those of you that ordered in early march the last of those orders will go out Monday! Thank you so much for your patience!! 

Did you want to order one and haven't yet? Each bracelet is only $3.00 & ALL proceeds are going to treatment and medical bills! You can read more about these bracelets by HERE or simply click on the "buy now" button below!   


THANK YOU again so much for your kind support, your sweet love, and all of your faithful prayers throughout this journey! 

3/21/14

Cruising 2014: day four {Key West part two}

I know that I said this in my last cruising post but honestly it is so hard to believe that I am coming to the end of the posts about the trip. It's hard to explain how much this trip truly impacted my life and how the Lord used it to really encourage my heart during these difficult days. 

But today I wanted to show you the second half of the Key West pictures that I took. Honestly for both Michelle and I we found this day of our cruise to be incredibly relaxing. I had the best time spending the whole day with one of my best and dearest friends and it was such a precious time! After we had seen some of Key West and walked around we decided to walk back to the boat (since we were told that it wasn't that far). As we were walking we saw the boat and decided to "detour" a little bit from the directions that we were given and we were SO happy that we did! Because we detoured we were able to see some beautiful views, catch up with some people that we had met on the boat, sit and relax, and spend a little more time "stretching" the time out. 
What a blessing this amazing friend is to my life!! She has spent hours and hours and hours on her knees for me, has financially & emotionally supported me during these difficult days, and continues to encourage me each and everyday! SUCH a blessing!
As we walked to the water we had a beautiful view of our ship!
 These seagulls reminded me of camp! 
The water here in Key West was so beautiful! I was struck again by the colors of the water since we were still close to the Caribbean!
 This pelican made me smile. 
 One of the neat parts of the cruise was getting to know so many different people! This amazing lady (AMAZING voice y'all!!) has her own band and I can't wait to see where the Lord leads them! Vicki was so sweet to pose for a picture with Michelle and I!! 
 As we slowly walked back to the boat Michelle and I ran into a couple that we had met on the first day of the cruise. It was so fun to hear how their week had been and they sweetly snapped a picture of Michelle and I in front of the ship!
 As we got in line to go through security "check in" for the last time I was overcome with tears at how good the Lord had been. It had been a wonderful wonderful week FULL of incredible blessings, sweet new friendships, and AMAZING laughter and fun. I had been so so worried about this trip with my health and the Lord blessed and answered hundreds of y'alls prayers in amazing ways beyond anything I could have thought or imagine. As we stood in line Psalm 136 kept running through my mind... 

"His love endures forever...."
Thank you so much for joyfully walking these cruising posts with me! I have received so many sweet emails of encouragement, joy, and support and your love and sweet rejoicing with me that this trip was a blessing has touched my little heart. Thank you for being so patient as I am working to return so many sweet emails and facebook messages. Time has been incredibly busy between the cruise, traveling to California, doctors appointments, treatment, days spent sick in bed, and traveling up to New York for this past week and preparing to head home to the south tomorrow. I promise that I am working to return all of these messages and appreciate your patience! I am so thankful for y'all and I hope that y'all have a wonderful wonderful Friday and weekend. 

3/20/14

Thursday Health Thoughts: The Benefits of Drinking Water

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}
Happy first day of Spring y'all! Last year y'all might remember that I wrote a Smitten Post on SmartWater because I drink SO much water. Somehow though I have never done a "Benefits of Drinking Water" Thursday Health Thoughts so today I wanted to share with y'all ALL of the benefits of drinking water. Those of you that know me know that I only drink water with an occasional bit of juice (for taking certain medicines due to taste). 

So why should you be drinking water? Read on to find out all of these amazing benefits! 

1. Water helps the body function properly. Water helps the body carry nutrients to proper organs, helps with digestion, absorption of proper vitamins and minerals and also helps regulate body temperature! 

2. Are you wanting to look younger naturally and have radiant skin? Water helps the skin stay fresh and helps moisturize it naturally without spending lots of money on expensive creams that may be filled with different toxins. In addition to this drinking water can also help heal dry skin, lessen the look of wrinkles, and help with a variety of skin disorders. 

3. Drinking water helps you increase energy and fight fatigue. If you are not drinking the proper amount of water daily then your energy levels will drop because your muscles do not have the proper amount of liquids to help them function at their best! 

4. Are you a student? Drinking water helps you think more clearly so drink lots of water the day before and the day of tests!

5. Are you looking to lose weight? Drinking water (zero calories!) helps you to "fill up". And guess what? MANY times that you feel hungry you might in fact only be thirsty so grab a glass of water before eating a bunch of junk food!

6. Drinking proper amounts of water might reduce your risk of having a heart attack! A study that was done at Loma Linda University (California) showed that those that drank proper amounts of water were less likely to have a heart attack than those that did not. WOW!

7. Y'all know that I am all about getting rid of toxins and guess what? Water is one of the best and easiest ways to get rid of those toxins! 

8. (Along with number 3) Drinking water Helps your muscles function properly. If you exercise regularly make sure that you are getting enough fluids. The American College of Sports Medicine guidelines states that you should have approximately 17 ounces of fluids before and during physical activity.

9. Drinking water boosts your immune system. 

10. Do you suffer from headaches? Drinking the proper amounts of water can help you prevent headaches. While it is true that there are a number of reasons that you may get headaches the NIH (National Institute of Health) states that dehydration is the number one reason. 

11. Do you have kidney stones? Doctors are now saying that proper amounts of water (along with lemon) can help prevent kidney stones

12. Y'all have heard me talk about keeping your PH levels balanced and drinking water is one of the easiest ways to do this! 

13. Looking to save money? Drinking water is cheaper (and healthier) than purchasing other drinks. You can drink water for free or if you prefer you can buy bottled water (which can be purchased cheaply with just a little bit of research). p.s.- did you know that you can take bottled water into most theme parks now? When I was a chaperon for the senior trips to Disney World I would fill my huge purse with at least three or four bottles of water (see the picture below) and happily sip throughout the day instead of paying the $3 or $4 dollars for a small bottle. So definitely keep this in mind if you are traveling! 
14. Drinking proper amounts of water will help your hair be shinier! 

15. Drinking water helps your joints. There is research that is currently being conducted to suggest that drinking proper amounts of water will help prevent arthritis!

Don't love the taste of water only like I do? Try increasing the amount of water that you drink over time and making sure that you drink more water than another drink you love!
Are you interested in reading more "Thursday Health Thoughts: The Benefits of Posts"? Click HERE! Stay tuned next Thursday for more Thursday Health Thoughts

3/18/14

Notes from the Porch {sixteen}: California Appointment Update & Plan


Dear friends, I so appreciate y'alls patience and kindness as I have worked on getting an update together from my trip to California last week. I do not take it lightly that there are so many of you that have prayed numerous prayers, spent hours upon hours laboring on your knees for me, or that you daily are begging the Lord for complete healing. You are SUCH a blessing in this long journey. I appreciate more than words can express your kind patience as I worked through the doctors appointment and the plan for the next few months. Thank you for your gracious patience during this "processing time".

As I am sure that you can imagine (especially those of you that know me well) I was apprehensive about this trip solely because I wasn't sure what to expect. I was hoping and praying that this trip would provide some additional answers, tools for the future, and a plan and am SO thankful that the Lord answered this in full. 

Over this journey there have been numerous doctors (too many to list here!) that have played a role in this healing journey and I am incredibly grateful to them and to the team of current doctors that I have. As I mentioned in my last "Notes from the Porch" update it had become necessary to find a new doctor due to the complexity of my case.  

 {Please forgive my camera phone pictures! They are definitely not the best at all!)
I arrived in San Francisco early Sunday afternoon (March 9th) and drove by Dr. Harris' office, Pacific Frontier Medical Group, just to get a "feel" of the place and to spend time prayer walking around it. 
After I did this I went to check-in at the hotel, grab some food at Whole Foods, and drove around Redwood City and San Fran a little and then went back to the hotel for an early sleep. I was incredibly hopeful/anxious/nervous about the appointment on Monday morning and was happy that it started early in the morning. 

Without going through all of the different things that we talked about, the hours spent at the office, and the blood work that was done I would just like to share a few things about what my current plan looks like. (For security and privacy reasons I know that y'all understand why I am not sharing specifics about different medications, etc.)

(one)- One of the first things that was decided was that I needed to be tested to see if I have methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase (or the "MTHFR" gene). If this is the case, which my doctor is pretty convinced of - then this is affecting my ability to properly "release" toxins out of the body instead of just sending them back through my bloodstream.  From what I am learning and have read,  having the "MTHFR" gene mutation is very common with those that have Lyme or Cancer, and obviously I have both. This is very crucial as methylation is the core process that occurs within our cells to help the body make its necessary chemical conversions. If you have the "MTHFR" mutation then you have a harder time getting rid of all toxins and being able to fight serious illness as the methylation process helps the body detoxify, creative a healthy immune response, and help the cells repair. I should have these results back soon and I will proceed in one of two ways. If I do have "MTHFR" I will be going through a "methylation block break" in order to correct this patter in my body. If I don't have this then I will be proceeding with antibiotics sooner.  

Some of you may be wondering why this was never tested before from previous doctors and believe me my family and I have similar questions. It is always frustrating on this journey to realize that you "should have been doing this" or you "should have gotten this test" or you "should have..." so on and so forth. One thing that I have constantly have to do is surrender this to the Lord. While I may view this as "days wasted or lost" on this journey none of this is a surprise to the Lord and what I may see as "lost days or time" He is using for His glory. I can either trust that the Lord was wrong and is in fact not God and not sovereign, or I can trust, like Joseph in the prison, Daniel in the Lions Den, Ruth in the desert following her mother-in-law, and Job in His shattered life that there is a purpose or I am choosing to state that God is in fact not sovereign and His ways are not perfect. I say to myself often when I feel discouraged with "lost days"... God is either Sovereign or He is not and I will never doubt that He is not Sovereign.

He is good dear friends. 

All of the time... even when we are heartbroken and our dreams lay at His feet in threads. 

Trust Him. 

He is Sovereign.

(two)- Due to the complexity mentioned above and my severe digestive issues my body is not ready to handle alot of antibiotics and the plan is to hopefully start IM (intramusculor shots) of an antibiotic for Lyme in approximately 4-6 weeks and to stay on that for a couple of months.  After this the next step is to travel back out to California in early September to to have a PICC Line inserted and to begin IV antibiotics. Both of these decisions are based on the knowledge that my digestive system is completely shot and can not handle any type of oral antibiotics. The hope is that after a couple of months of IV antibiotics then I would be able to start oral antibiotics. (For this trip to get the PICC Line inserted my mom would be coming out with me to California and we would be staying a week so that I can "try" different IV antibiotics and be watched to make sure that I do not have a severe allergic reaction- as I do to most drugs.) And before I receive any emails let me just say what we are all thinking- no, this does not appeal to me at all. 

(three)- The doctor was happy with all of the "little" things that I have been doing and I will be keeping up all of these things and adding in a couple of additional compounded medicines and supplements to hopefully help my gut heal as much as possible before we start any antibiotics. It is a really tough balance as we know that the Lyme is causing these issues yet it also prevents us from moving forward quickly as I would like!
(four)- In addition to the supplements and medicines I also will be adding in a couple of homeopathic items that will be helping to address my poor circulation and the adrenal failure (mentioned in Notes from the Porch {twelve}) that my body is experiencing.  I started with one of them yesterday and thankfully there is no severe reaction. 

(five)- Due to the fact that my body has become so severely sensitive to anything new my doctor has put me on a couple of medicines to try and not only heal the gut area but also "stabilize" the out of control reactions. (This is very common in Lyme Disease just so y'all are aware!) 
(six)- Along with running blood work on Lyme Disease co-infections, my doctors are also running tests on finding out if I have any mold in my body, several virus', and a variety of other things. Hopefully these tests will give us as much knowledge as possible in how to proceed for right now and in the future. Depending on these tests results I might need to fly back out to California for a check up in about a month or two. At this point we are just trying to take this one day at a time! 

(seven)- I am confident that my time at Whitaker Wellness Center last year saved my life. There is not a doubt in my mind, but at the same time as I have mentioned before it was time to get more aggressive and move forward with totally obliterating this awful disease. I am so grateful that the Lord led me to Dr. Harris and the people at Frontier Medical. It is a delight to work with a staff and a team that are experts on Lyme. 

As we wait for additional answers from the blood work and move forward with the treatment plan laid out for this next month I am reminded once again how grateful I am for a God who never abandons us and who has EVERY single step in our lives planned out for His purpose. (Psalm 138:8) This journey that seems to be lasting so long in my mind is all apart of His plan. And I pray that everyday I learn how to be a "good soldier" for the Lord in this arena. The Lord has never failed us and the Lord will never forsake us. His mercies are new every morning and in new ways I see His grace and mercy in abundance. 

An area that is very awkward for me to talk about on this blog (because I never thought I would be in this position) is on the issue of money. It has created a ton of stress for me and my family and we would beg you to continue to pray that the Lord would meet all of our needs and my medical bills and treatment costs and needs asap. I stepped out in faith for going to California and I know that this was the best decision for me health wise but because not all of the funds were there (I have only raised approximately 28% of what I needed for this trip) we are literally without any resources for the coming days. Would you please pray about this for us and pray that ALL of the financing for this past trip, current medical costs, current medical treatment, medical bills, and upcoming supplement costs and needs will be met in miraculous ways? Thank you so much. And to each of you that have given so generously and graciously throughout the last couple of years I can't express my gratitude enough to you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. You have been an answer to prayer and a blessing to my family and to me.