Monday, October 9, 2017

Kisses to Last a Lifetime


The true question which fills my heart and mind is this: 

How many more kisses will I get to give 
before Lucy takes her last breath on earth? 

How long do I have to study her face, her hands, 
those most perfect lips and movie-star eyelashes?  
When will be my last time to see and kiss on those 
 cute little earlobes and dimpled hands!

 I don't have enough time left on earth 
to give My Lucy Belle ALL of the millions of 
kisses I truly long to give her in this lifetime. 

"Time" is a true thief; it steals the most precious of things, and I know you can relate.  

I find comfort in this:  God's infallible Word,  offers Eternal Life awaiting ALL children, all of those with profound disabilities AND all of those who've surrendered their life to Christ, asking Him to the be the King and Lord of their life!  

Even in knowing Lucy will soon meet Jesus and come face to face again with Ellie Kate (can you even begin to imagine what that will be like?!), My human, broken and motherly-heart still wonders and wails in so many ways.  Even as a Believer who knows where I will spend eternity, who KNOWS where my Daughters will spend eternity and that they will be completed, perfect, whole, without any pain, without any sickness, without any fear or tears or hunger or confusion . . . even still my heart cries out . . . 

Would you give me MORE and MORE and MORE times with Lucy
and special opportunities to hold her, love on her and sing to her, 
telling her stories about Heaven?
Will you go before us and provide in supernatural ways?

Will you comfort Lucy even now, preparing her heart, body and mind - her Most Precious Spirit for what YOU have in store, Lord?  


We see the signs and know them too well.  We told Lucy we would fight for her life as long as her body told us to keep fighting but now, just as Ellie Kate's body did, Lucy's is showing us how tired it is and how incapable it is of working correctly.  Hardly any wet diapers.  
No bowel movements, even with Senna (laxative given twice daily) plus daily enemas).  Almost constant state of sleep.  Twitching and seizing and muscles moving in a bizare fashion.  Her food and medicine doesn't go through her belly well and isn't absorbed.  Still, she screams and cries, even with pain medication.  Still, she screams when she even sees me bringing a syringe of formula over to her because she's anticipating the hurt.  

How much longer, Oh Lord will the suffering endure?  
Will you take it out of our hands?  

 Truly, My HOPE is in YOU, Lord from where my Help comes from!  
You reign in Heaven and on Earth and I am so unworthy of your goodness, your mercy, your provision, 
and your gentle hand with Lucy and with the other children.  

Please continue your mercy, Most Holy God.  Please continue to pour yourself out to us in this busy time, this confusing time, 
this space in time which is hard to understand - 
a space in time which I thought would be so far away, God. 
 I don't know how it can be, but I CHOOSE to trust you.  
I CHOOSE to take your cup and drink it. 
Not MY Will but YOURS be done!

 Oh, how I want to kiss Lucy's sweet, tiny feet (which are almost as big as Bowen's)!  I want to kiss the nape of her neck a million times over, to get a little kiss and breathe in her heavenly scent.  I want to kiss every dimple in her hand and then do it again a thousand times over! 

Those perched lips - perfectly shaped and perfectly pink when all is well - I want to kiss them a trillion time over again and put Lucy's "make-up" on her again and again until the dryness is gone.

This life is full of things we just don't understand and sometimes we will never understand what happens to us, through us, because of us.  Tonight I find solace in knowing there is NOTHING God does not allow - there is nothing that can be done without Him knowing and approving, just as we've learned from Job.  


And 
Tonight, I also find solace in His Word - 
the ONLY true and trustworthy thing in this life . . . 


Isaiah 55:8-9

This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.

Isaiah 54:10-14 

10 For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won't walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won't fall apart." The God who has compassion on you says so.
11 "Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied: I'm about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise, Lay your foundations with sapphires, 
12construct your towers with rubies, Your gates with jewels, and all your walls with precious stones
13 All your children will have God for their teacher - what a mentor for your children! 

14 You'll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble - nothing to fear! far from terror - it won't even come close!

Care Calendar:  practical ways to assist our family

Helping Hands account: financial support

Monday, September 25, 2017

24 Hours




In just 24 hours, Lucy Belle McLaughlin will be SIX years old!  It's hard to believe that this Precious Little Gift-of-a-Girl was laid in my arms that long ago. Lucy is our dainty, feminine, "Beautiful Light", and I am happy to say that Our Birthday Girl is now HOME from the hospital!



We are incredibly grateful that the Lord has mercifully allowed Lucy's gut to work in this moment and that He has allowed her more time with us here on earth!  When we entered the hospital this last time, we truly did not know what would happen and even now, no one can tell us what will happen with Lucy Belle and her health or how long we will still have the joy of holding her here in our arms.


During this last hospital stay, we tried to find definite conclusions on why Lucy's seizure activity has increased so greatly, why she's had these terrible tremors, why she continually falls asleep, and why her balance is off, causing her to constantly fall from side to side.  Along with the doctors, we've tried to make sense out of Lucy's tummy issues,  searching for answers as to why, at times, she can't process her formula and medications.  We've tried to test and figure out why she's still having so many UTI's, why she's holding her urine for so long, and seems unable to void in every way.  The only conclusion we positively have is that NKH is progressing in Lucy Belle and, at this time, it's progressing much more quickly than we would like to believe.  




Lucy is home, but she isn't the same and I don't know that she ever will be.  She stays awake for only minutes at a time, then literally falls over into deep sleep. Her body tremors and twitches constantly, although it is NO where near the severity as when we last brought her to the ER.  Her actions truly remind us of those Ellie Kate's in her last days, which is strange and difficult. In fact,  looking back, Ellie Kate was struggling with many of these same things EXACTLY five years ago at this very same time, but we weren't fully aware of the short time we would have with her (less than three months).  This time, we aren't so naive and we will treasure each moment, each struggle, each day, with great value and sentiment.  We are treasuring these days, while allowing the Lord to prepare our hearts for the worst.  The physical decline is painfully evident, so we've made a few preparations for what we know will come sooner than we could ever hope. Oh, how we LOVE our LUCY!














The Body of Christ has surrounded us so beautifully, you guys and we are TRULY blown-away!  We didn't know what to expect at all, especially since we've left our Church Home of over 16 years.  Mike and I didn't expect any type of support at all during this time, really and truly - that's why the outpouring of support has been that much more encouraging!  God has lifted our spirits, renewed our hearts, and sparked our faith through the actions of His People - many of whom we don't even personally know.  It's an unimaginable treasure during a time we've needed to see Him move on our behalf - when we've felt alone and lost in so many ways.  Isn't God good to step in like He does?  It's never how WE would picture or plan and yet, it's always so much richer and more-encompassing than anything we could hope for!  Truly, I CANNOT WAIT to tell you all God has done for us through His People (but I will save that for the next post)!!

As for the Birthday Girl, since hospital stays have caused delay in celebration plans, I'm busy trying to make this sixth birthday the most happy one yet, even while on Hospice!  Lucy has finally decided on Unicorns and "My Little Pony" for the theme again, after she's fallen back in love with her ponies during this recent hospital stay.  Our plan is to try for a skating birthday party, where we can wheel Lucy around the rink in her chair.  She's pretty excited at the thought of it so far and lights up with excitement when we mention her Big Day.

We've had some questions pop-up recently concerning Lucy and our family, so I wanted to answer those clearly here on the blog . . . 

  • Care Calendar - a precious friend is heading up a calendar where you can sign up to help our family in various ways.  We are incredibly grateful for everyone who is helping us in so many ways, allowing us to focus on Lucy and catch up on homeschooling for Henry!  To help, simply go to the following: lotsa helping hands care calendar
  • Go Fund Me Page - we do NOT have such a page, nor are we interested in having one at this time, although we are grateful for the offers and suggestions of those wanting to help us financially during this time.  The best way to do this is through our Helping Hands account, where you can receive a tax write-off for your donation and can be assured that your funds go solely toward our medical needs.  With this organization, we turn in our receipts or bills directly, thus receiving the utmost accountability with your generosity.  For more information, please go to the the following:  McLaughlin Family Helping Hands Fund
  • We still have Lucy's "Life List", but apart from getting Lucy to the beach and allowing her to feel the ocean, we really just want to spend time with her here at home.  This seems to be what her little body wants as well and we are set on listening to Lucy's body during this time, as we want whatever is the very best for her and what will keep her the most happy and at peace. 


From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for loving us and serving us during this time.

Ryan





Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To Everything, There is a Season



Sitting here at Lucy's bedside while she finally finds rest and peace, even though it's through the help of medication, I am reminded of her true and natural beauty.  My Daughter is breathtakingly gorgeous - with her thick, long eye lashes and her golden curls; her perfectly-shaped lips and little dimpled hands.  Lucy turns SIX on September 26th, but there's no party planning taking place right now.  Right now, I'm glued to her side as we try to figure out what's going on inside her little body, and as we are faced with decisions no parent should have to face.

Two weeks ago today, we brought Lucy into the ER for severe tremors, vomiting and constipation.  We were admitted the following day and during the next week, many different tests were done and many different specialty teams have come on board with Lucy's care.  She seemed stable on Sunday, so we were discharged all to be brought back to the ER yesterday with that awful, horrible, constant shaking of her body.  It's hard to explain what it looks like, but it is gut-wrenching, as she can't control her body parts in any way.  She has been in so much pain and tries so hard to suck her thumb (one of her only coping mechanisms), but the shaking is too violent and her body won't let her do that.



To Everything, There is a Season - earlier this summer we welcomed my brother home from Oxford and spent some wonderful, happy times together. My Little Sister got married just two weeks ago.  Family birthdays have come and gone, school activities and the like - a Season of Celebration and happiness!  Now, it seems, that a Season of Mourning is upon us, although I truly wish that were not the case.

Mike and I have been meeting with doctors and talking about the future.  We don't know why Lucy's body is seizing, shaking, etc.  We don't know why her bowels aren't working on their own, and why she isn't absorbing her feeds and medications through her gtube.  Will it change and turn around?  Will this just be a passing phase?  Oh, we surely hope so!  But, the evidence is telling us otherwise.  Lucy's body is tired and she's been in agony - NO parent wants their child to live in agony.




I've posted several video updates from the last weeks, onto my Facebook page, and you are welcome to catch up on more details that way.  For now, we are praying for Lucy to be comforted, pain-free and at peace, whatever that might look like.  While we know so many have the best of intentions by offering us remedies, solutions, vitamins, oils, and more, we are secure in the information and treatments we have at this time.  Thank you for understanding that, what we don't need right now, are remedies to help Lucy.  We just want prayer.

A precious friend has set up a Lotsa Helping Hands Calendar for our family, and the needs posted will change as this journey changes.  If you would like to help or serve, please visit the link below and find a way that will be easy for you and for your family.

Lotsa Helping Hands care calendar


We've had several folks ask us about a "Go Fund Me" page, but that's not where the Lord is leading us at this time. YES, we have medical bills and needs we are asking the Lord to provide for and truthfully, I have no idea how we would pay for what lies ahead (it's all so ridiculously expensive), BUT we know God will provide.  He is with us now and He isn't just going to leave us by the wayside, naked and afraid, without any hope.  If you would like to contribute financially, you may visit the link below.  All donations go solely toward our medical expenses and you will receive a tax write-off for your donation.

Tax-Deductible Donations through Helping Hands Ministries



Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for your friendship, encouragement and love.  Your acts of kindness and service truly show us God's love and we are forever grateful.

Ryan

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sometimes, It Goes Downhill So Quickly (Lucy Update and More) . . .


Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.


There's much to update, especially since I haven't blogged in a while and haven't been very consistent in updating these last many months.  This has been quite intentional, as the Lord made it blatantly clear that my family needed my attention more than ever, which has recently proven itself to be true many times over.  I won't lie - today has been incredibly difficult for us all, and while I've felt a pull to post recently, I know after today's events, it is important for me to do so tonight (err - this morning).

 Please bear with me as I try to briefly but sufficiently cover several things, including Lucy's declining health, Henry's IVIG update, DC trip info and more . . . 

Lucy Belle:  Our Girl turns SIX next month, and it's so hard to believe that much time has passed since we were preparing for her arrival and even MORE hard to believe that it's been so long since Ellie left for Heaven.  I vividly remember thinking then, "if Lucy follows Ellie Kate, I at LEAST have SIX, FULL more YEARS of life with her and I will drink in every moment!".  I know that sounds twisted for some, but it is an honest picture of my mind at that moment.  Lucy has been a life-line for me in Ellie Kate's earthly death and she has saved me as I long to be a good mommy to her and to the boys, especially through all of the seasons we face.  


One of our Favorite Summer pics of LuLu - 
feminine and sweet, with her hair growing so long!

Our Sweet LuLu yesterday, snuggling with Mommy


Miss Lu Lu (aka, 'Lullie') has taken a turn for the worse, although she is stable at home tonight.  As many of you know, Lucy went on hospice a few months ago and while we knew she was declining, the main reason for choosing hospice was for palliative care, meaning we could better address Lucy's immediate issues (most definitely including her intense pain) while receiving the attention and other various benefits hospice provides.  It was at that time a few months ago, several of Lucy's doctors at OU told us they thought she was following "her sister's life-pattern" and because of that, they encouraged us to leave the regular Sooner Pediatric Clinic and thus, we are now seen outpatient at The Children's Center.  This was a HUGE decision for us, but we have not doubted it one bit (other than missing our favorite nurses and folks in the SP Clinic).  

Our new pediatrician specializes in medically-complex children and cares for many of our Hope Link friends, and he is on the Board for our current hospice service.  We've been SO blessed by Russell Murray Hospice and never could have prepare nor guessed that this same hospice, these same precious nurses, would soon be caring for FIVE of our Hope Link friends at the same time - walking with two of our dear families as their babes recently left this earth.  

In recent months, weeks and even days, we've noticed Lucy's seizure activity increasing, which we had addressed accordingly.  Right now though, her neurological state and seizure activity is changing SO quickly that we can't really keep up with it.  All along, especially in this decline and in light of what we went through with Ellie Kate (or rather, what Ellie Kate endured in her pain and suffering), our main concern has been that Lucy NOT be drugged and "out of it", but that GREAT efforts be made so that she may be at peace, her body and mind at ease and without pain. 

This week, despite some rough recent days, Lucy started school.  She even made it an entire FULL day this week and YA'LL, that's HUGE!  We are SO incredibly proud of Lucy starting kindergarten and we are forever grateful for her teacher, Jana Neisent and the staff in her classroom, who could NOT be MORE precious, sincere, intentional, kind, and even prayerful.  Though Lucy was able to attend some school, she still has experienced great pain, the source really unknown, and she's needed pain medications to keep her calm and happy.

This morning after an unusually good night with Nurse Emma, Lucy rolled over and vomited and let out a strange cry - all unusual for her.  Emma yelled out for me and once I got to the room, Lucy was completely and absolutely unresponsive in every way.  NOTHING was waking her and we noticed her breathing was labored.  She started taking some deep, strange and struggled breaths so we immediately called hospice, who joined us shortly after.  Lucy's BP has been low, her heart rate extremely high, her temp normal, but shes's chilling and shaking then sweating (unlike her completely).  Even in doing vitals, she didn't wake or stir for many hours this morning, so Mike came home and MiMi (Mike's Mom) ran over to get Henry and Bowie (Conner was at school).  Lucy stirred a couple of times throughout the day but never has been back to herself, back to "baseline".  Tonight, when she has been awake, she's been screaming hysterically with no way to comfort her, and we aren't sure if it's pain or something neurological.  


We know this much about Lucy: 
  • Lucy's issues today aren't bc of an overdose of pain meds or meds in general 
  • Lucy's gut hasn't worked well for a while; absorption and processing has been slow AND
  • We know the gut issues seem to be getting worse by the day. 
  • We know Lucy is no longer having bowel movements, even with "help".   
Our Fears for Lucy:  By far, the gut issues are the MOST frightening, as Ellie Kate's life ended when her gut eventually completely shut down, and it looked much like this.  Holding her listless body today as she was taking those labored breaths, so reminded us of Ellie Kate and her last days. Unfortunately, it does look like NKH is progressing rapidly in Little Lucy but we should soon know if new meds may play some sort of part, esp because of her metabolic issues.  Our hearts hurt and although we've known from even before we ever held our blond-haired girl, this would one day happen, it doesn't make the sting any less harsh or the thoughts any gut-wrenching.  

The Future for Lucy:  We don't know what will happen with Lucy; she could wake up tomorrow completely back to her normal, and if that's the case, we will dance up and down the streets in praise to God (I will even take video)!  But if she doesn't bounce back quickly, or if she doesn't bounce back at all, we will continue to huddle in as a family and drink in every moment.  

Our Current Feelings on Lucy's state:  Sincerely, we feel grateful in that we get a SECOND chance to walk the road of child-loss, and what I mean by that is, we already well-know what we WISH we would or could have done towards the end with Ellie Kate, but we GET the chance to do it better and accomplish all of those wishes and regrets as Lucy's NKH progresses.  Truly, Friends - we see this as a comfort and gift from God and once again, Ellie Kate's life has made Lucy's sweeter, easier, less-complicated and SO much more!  
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Adoption Finalization . . . On the last Monday in June, we officially and legally welcome our youngest into the family before the State of Oklahoma.  Bowen Jane is now a McLaughlin and we cheerfully have added, "Bowie Mac" to her list of nick-names.  We are BEYOND grateful for this unplanned, life-changing GIFT from God (which is one meaning for her name) and although the timing has been mysterious at times, we see Bowie as SUCH a healing balm to us ALL.  Watching the boys, Lucy and even both sets of grandparents enjoy such a joyful, happy, delightfully growing baby girl within our home brings us endless laughter, even during uncertain times. God's timing is ALWAYS best, even when (and especially when) we don't understand or expect it. 


Bowie Jane Mac and MiMi awaiting the finalization

It's Official!  Professional photos coming soon.

I couldn't hug him tight enough that morning, waiting for the judge to call us in.  
My heart is SO grateful for our New Baby Girl!  


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Henry's IVIG . . .The Saturday after Bowen's finalization, we flew to D.C., much to the courtesy of the Isaiah Stone Foundation here in OKC.  There was NO way we could have financially made the trip, even with Mike's excellent, steady job and paycheck (which we are beyond grateful for).  Our family spends over 20% income on healthcare each year, so a trip like this would have been difficult, especially after trying to settle and pay adoption fees.  GOD provided a way for both boys, Mike AND myself to go and we even toured the Capital a bit before and around Henry's appointments for his PANDAS.  What a GIFT!  


It's "Darryl" from The Office!  
Conner was thrilled - 
 my boys love them some Craig Robinson!  





Did you know that Albert Einstien never learned how to tie his shoes?  That's a familiar thing to Henry, so he made a cool connection!  



Henry's legs were hurting too badly to walk the museums 
(PANDAS can do this, much like Lyme Disease), 
so we used the wheelchair while "adventuring" together. 
The Air and Space Museum was a HUGE hit! 





      Tour Buses were our friend!


Sweet Boy, Taking it all in

We met with Dr. Latimer, one of the three PANS/PANDAS specialists in the U.S. (her words), and we were blown-away.  Dr. Latimer confirmed everything we felt and thought about Henry as parents and supported all of the test and blood results taken over this almost four-year adventure.  She collected ALL of Henry's info and studied each part, getting to really know him and US.  Dr. Latimer told us more about WHY Henry acts the way he does - ex: she noted Henry's chorea movements (which we barely notice), and some tics which also had not jumped out to us much.  She also physically pointed out Henry's reflexes aren't working in the normal way (he is hyper-tonic).  She read through the EEG's, as she's also a renowned Neurologist, and was able to give us insight there.  Dr. Latimer also told us more about those with PANDAS, who only get approx 3hrs of REM sleep every 24 hrs, so they are always tired in every possible way.  This gives way to extra crankiness and confusion, which can trigger the already heightened "fight or flight" response.  It's a recipe for disaster without sleep but there is no cure for that part of it, or for any of it, at this time.  

After visiting with us for several hours, Dr. Latimer suggested IVIG treatment, which is what we expected and hoped she would do.  Our doctors here in OKC have recommended it but it's rarely done here for PANDAS - that isn't the case out of state and it's an especially normal thing to do in that part of the country.  We hoped she would invite us back for the treatment sometime very soon, but to our SURPRISE, Dr. Latimer suggested we come in immediately for IVIG treatment.  Mike and I already knew this was what Henry needed.  It's the last-effort treatment, the best and most-effective treatment, for severe versions of this disorder.  It's not the quick or easy decision you hope it to be, as the cost is due in full upfront and in the clinic, was $12,500 without ANY assurance it would be covered immediately (or soon) by insurance (in hospitals it runs anywhere from 40-60K). Mike and I spoke in closed doors before leaving the doctor that day, and although we KNEW Henry needed this, there was NO way we could pay (We are still paying off some of Ellie's bills and of course the all-expensive law school (seriously ya'll, think about it before you go- tongue in cheek)).  

That night, we walked around D.C, staying out late (I admit to being somewhat down, wondering when and how God would provide, why He had given us this opportunity to just send us home, and more).  We literally, physically ran into Paul Ryan (surrounded by secret service but at least we got a smile and nod!) - of course I couldn't say a word except his name (why couldn't I have given him some friendly, special-needs momma advice the night before the big healthcare vote:)?).  Before bed, we received a text from some very dear and generous friends whom Mike had randomly filled-in about the treatment for Henry.  Ya'll, these friends offered to PAY FOR HENRY'S TREATMENT IN FREAKING FULL, with no pressure on us to pay them back in a certain amount of time, which means we can work hard with insurance and fight for coverage if needed (although we haven't yet heard from insurance).  WHAT?! WHO DOES THIS type of thing?!  I CRIED in JOY, thanksgiving and relief, amazed at God's provision yet again for our family.  He ALWAYS provides what we NEED!  I excitedly called the doctor early the next morning and made plans for the IVIG treatment to take place over the next two days, just in time for us to leave straight from the office to catch our flight home (yay for Uber!).   


Happy Henry during IVIG

Pals receiving treatment the same day!

Henry took it all on like a champ.  We didn't know what to expect, but there was another little guy receiving his second day of treatment our first day (it's a 5/6 hr treatment over two days), which provided Henry a true playmate for the entire day of treatment - we couldn't have planned it better.  It also provided solace and peace for us as parents, as we could connect and share stories and in sharing, there is HOPE.  We saw NO signs illness or reaction to the IVIG (reactions can look like that of chemo), although they loaded us with the proper meds and made sure Henry received plenty of fluids for the flight home.  It wasn't until we got back that Henry suffered set-backs and vomited with severe headaches, for over a day or so.  We know it could have been so much worse and are sincerely just grateful we could even have the chance to do it!  

The ultimate test will be in four months, about six months out from the treatment, when we should see the height of the IVIG success.  Folks have asked, but until recently, we had not seen many changes in Henry.  Now though, he is doing SO much better - making better decisions and increasingly choosing to do what he needs to each day, many times even on his OWN. It's still a daily struggle and I continue to believe this journey is much harder than dealing with feeding tubes, pumps, suction machines, seizures, and wheelchairs. We hope the benefits will be even MORE clear this coming week as Henry starts at Epic Charter schools, with a special-education teacher and principal.  OUR God has provided this trip AND this treatment so clearly, so neatly, to timely, I have NO doubt that He's actively at work on behalf of Our Son!

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Oh, Friends - thank you for staying with me throughout this long update.  I'm sure you get tired of my words and the length of the blog, but you will never know how much your endurance and friendship means to us.  


While we do face struggles 
in other areas at this time, 
our current prayer requests are listed below.  

Thank you in advance for championing 
and interceding on our behalf!  

  • Please pray for my Little Sister Rachael, who gets married later this morning (it's Sept 1st now!).  Ellie Kate died on Rach's bday and although Bowie was born on that same, precious and ordained day, it's still bittersweet for her.  While we do not believe Lucy will go to Heaven this weekend, I hate the thought that tragedy once again mars my Baby Sister's life and on one of her biggest days yet - her wedding day.  Prayers for peace, understanding, hope, and JOY are much appreciated!  
  • Please pray for provision for the IVIG medical bills so that we can reimburse our friends, who so willingly GAVE that Henry could RECEIVE (they love him dearly).  Please pray too for those insurance issues to settle easily, quickly and peacefully, all in a Divine Way. 
  • Please pray for Lucy's complete comfort and healing.  We pray she would be healed here on earth, but we want what is best for HER, always and forever, no matter what that may look like.  
  • Please pray for all of those involved in Lucy's care - hospice, home health, doctors, specialists, and more; that God would open eyes and hearts and that He would guide every decision on Lucy's behalf, especially during this time of uncertainty.
  • Please pray for us as Lucy's parents - that the Lord would UNITE me and Mike together, binding us tightly, and that He would draw us to Himself as well as to each other.  Please pray healing for us in ways God understands and we ask that He too will give us the Divine wisdom and direction we need to make every move.
  • Please pray for Henry as his IVIG still "sinks in", so to speak.  Pray for HEALING here on earth for Henry - body, soul, spirit, and mind and that God would be preparing Henry for school starting next week.  Pray that things would fall into place with school, despite what's happening at home, and that Henry will once again be able to thrive and gain confidence in that.
  • Please pray for Conner as he's started the BIG 8th grade - and we all know how difficult and scary that age can be. Please pray for Conner's heart to be engulfed by the Spirit and that the Lord would capture him even now and amidst the hardship surrounding our family.  He so often gets understandably angry and frustrated with it all and yet he carries it in ways I can't begin to understand or imagine.  We only have about four more years with Conner at home and we want those to be HAPPY, HEALING years. 
  • Please pray for our families - our parents, in particular, as they struggle and hurt when their children AND grandchildren hurt.  Pray for strength, provision and availability for them to be with us as we need them and as they want to be.  
  • As always, please pray for great peace and comfort as we face unknown days ahead - like so many of those dear to us are walking through now.  
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We BLESS you tonight, and as a united family, 
thank you and pray God's peace be upon you and your family and that He alone would meet your needs in the above ways as well.  

Psalm 34:1-4


I will extol the Lord at all times;    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.



Ryan Elizabeth


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