She Decided to Do Something

This is my oldest.


She reads all the time.

In the grocery store.


In the middle of the day on a Saturday.

I’ve even found her in the kitchen reading cook books.


The summer of 2013, Kayla had asked for a very expensive doll. We made a plan for her to be able to earn the doll. The plan was that if she would read twenty chapter books, our family would take a day trip to purchase the doll she had been wanting. It was the perfect plan and Kayla executed it with style!

Looking forward to this summer, we knew it was going to be a big one for our family. My younger daughter would have major surgery and we would be home most of the summer. We are an on-the-go tribe and this new home-all-day-every-day would not be easy. A new plan for Kayla’s summer reading goal was brewing.


Read the rest of this post over at Middle Places where I tell them all about our grand summer adventure.

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I Love Who She’s Becoming

I did not heed the warnings.

I blinked.


I was not ready for this.


This comparison took me totally by surprise.

I do have to say that I loved two year old Kayla. She was quirky and spunky. Loved her sunglasses, school teachers, and pets. She said hilarious things like “listen to me play my impajimp” and “Don’t go anywhere, I be bight back.”

But, nine year old Kayla is amazing. She’ll still hold my hand but we can have great conversations about things that matter in this world and in eternity. She has concern for people around her in a real way. She has a wide and fanciful imagination and often invites me in to enjoy it.

While I am sad that time has passed so quickly, this changing and becoming that I am a witness to is such a beautiful transformation, that I just can’t be sad about it.

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August ’07

Wasn’t this just yesterday?

I can’t even begin to say what this does to my heart.


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Kindergarten Beginnings


I dropped Bekah off today for the first day of Kindergarten in her new classroom at Shelton. (You all know I cried, right?!?!) But just look at that picture! There is love there already between Bekah and her new teacher. I just makes my heart feel so good!

As we pulled into the school drive and sat in car line, I remembered something I used to do with Kayla in preschool car line (UGH! Kayla is starting 4th grade this year. 4th grade!). I would use that little bit of time to pray with Kayla about her morning in school. It really became a sweet time for me and as Kayla got older, she would add a short prayer too. I want to encourage you to pray with your babies. Let them hear you call out to God on their behalf. Thank the Lord for loving your child even more than you love him. Praise the Lord for people who love to work with little ones. Ask for protection over their day. Ask sweet blessings on good choices, new friends, and lunch bunch. You will not regret this investment of just a few minutes in your child’s and your very own spiritual growth.

Rebekah’s teachers are amazing–Completely confident and reassuring. I love the way the Lord directs our path. Looking back over my mothering years, I see a pattern forming. I tend to dig my heels in and buck as hard as I can with each change that comes. With His sweet comfort and continued pouring-out of goodness I am learning to trust what comes. He has always been good to us and taken care of us; and He won’t stop now. This summer we claimed Isaiah 43:2

When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.

Bekah’s new school is a bit of a drive from our house. It takes a full 20 minutes to get there. I was a little nervous to be so far away for the morning hours of her first day. I would say Rebekah is fully attached to mom, but that wouldn’t tell the whole truth. I am completely attached to this girl too!

Not wanting to go to far from the school, Kayla and I hung out down at the corner Starbucks for about an hour. Before we left the house, I hollered for Kayla to pack a few books in case we stopped somewhere for coffee (Who was I kidding? I knew we were stopping.). We sipped our drinks (her a warm chocolate and me an iced coffee) and talked for a little

I had brought some books along and told her I was going to do a little reading. Kayla had brought her bags of books to the table as well. My heart swelled as she dragged out a devotion book to read. I am so grateful for the talks we get to have and the sweet times we get to spend together learning about God and talking with Him. What a privilege.


Here’s the book Kayla chose to read from today. It’s one I bought long ago when I was teaching children’s lessons at church. It’s a great book with actual Bible passages in it for the children to read. A short prayer and a verse to highlight are also shared each day. You can still find this one and so many great books for kids devotion time on

I’d love to hear what you are using for your children to dig into God’s word. Also, what are you reading now for your own growth?

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The Measure of your Worth


I’ve seen this quiz going around Facebook. You’ve seen it too. You answer ten or so short questions and voila–your IQ is tabulated. There is even a handy “share” button right at the end of the quiz so you you can tell all your FB peeps just how bright you are. Each one one of my friends that share their quiz results seems to be a genius. Every one of them! How can this be? Do I just keep the company of the elite, the super-brained, the above average?

I don’t think so.

A while back a friend cautioned “Facebook is where you compare everyone else’s highlight reel to your own behind-the-senes.” We see the highlights, the successes, the big moments that every shares. We sit here with our not-so-impressive vacation pics, what was just fine home decor before we saw so-and-so’s new living room transformation, or last years purse and feel “less than.”

I am taking this moment to remind you and myself that the things you see on Facebook (or whatever other social media outlet you use to connect) is not the measurement of your worth. God has so much to say about your worth! Check out Luke 12:7, I Peter 3:4, and Proverbs 31:10 to see how God measures worth.

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Feed My Sheep


One month ago we let a nurse wheel Rebekah back to the operating room. The days that have followed have been the hardest days yet. You can read about her surgery and recovery here.

While Rebekah is making a great recovery, she has only moved out of the hospital bed in our living room for bed sheet changes, one trip to the doctor’s office, and one trip to the chiropractor. This girl has completed four weeks confined to her bed and has two weeks to go (12 days to be exact — we have a countdown going!). This has been a journey of endurance for the whole family, for sure. We have seen the full range of emotions in our home. Some of those emotions have not been pretty! During this time we have relied heavily on our faith in an unchanging God and on friends and family who have so faithfully been the hands and feet of God.

I have been so humbled and grateful for those of you who have served us. You’ve picked up Kayla for events, you’ve sent texts and emails for updates and to send encouragement, you’ve sat by Bekah’s bedside so we could sip a cup of coffee in the dining room, you’ve brought meal after meal (some of you multiple times), Chris’s mom and my sisters have traveled from out of state to help, and a lot of you have prayed unending prayers.

We could not have travelled this leg of the journey if we had looked ahead and seen it. It would have been too big. Thank you for entering this time with us and coming along side of us and holding us up. You have been so faithful.

Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd, he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those that have young.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG) All praise to God the Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort — we get a full measure of that, too.

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Two Week Osteotomy Check Up

We had today’s date in our minds since before Bekah’s surgery. May 28th would be our first check with the doctors since the surgery and would let us know if things were headed in the right direction. We were all very excited to pile in the van.


Bekah was watching out the window and babbling a little bit. It even seemed as though she was excited to be out of the house. She has had amazing stamina. For two weeks, she has been in the hospital bed in our living room. Two or three times moved to our lap while we changed the sheets on her bed. This was an amazing day of freedom!

Ok, so we were all feeling the freedom a little bit. Kayla and I had some fun with the camera. Love this girl and her spirit!


Bekah rode into the office in our loaner wheelchair. It only has a simple lap belt, so we used an exercise band across her chest to keep her feeling secure.


Can’t you just hear her saying “Dad, you’re the best!” We have to take the bar out of her casts to fit her into the wheelchair. This one has special leg supports that lift straight out for her legs to rest on.


Yes, did I say, we’ve been cooped up in the house for two weeks?!?


The doctor checked Bekah’s wounds. All the incisions look just like they are supposed to look. She told us “This is exactly what we are hoping for when we see someone at a two week check.” Yay! What a relief to Chris and me. She said to keep up doing exactly what we’ve been doing!

Since there has been a dramatic decrease in the swelling of Bekah’s legs, her knee immobilizers were starting to shift. I think they may have been causing some bruising in her groin and most certainly some discomfort. The doctor repositioned the immobilizers for us so that the next four weeks will be more comfortable for Bekah. Rebekah was such a trooper with all this movement even after having put up with an x-ray also! She is so strong!



Here is the heart on Bekah’s right leg. It’s been covered by the immobilizer and this was the first we’ve seen it completely. Adorable!


While we only drove across town, had our appointment, and drove straight back (with a very brief stop in the Starbucks drive thru), Bekah sure was tired out. We are praying for a great night’s sleep!

So the plan from here is that we keep doing our very best to keep the wounds clean and healthy. The knee immobilizers and casts stay on for four more weeks. We have our next appointment on June 26th to see the doctor and have her casts removed. From there, we start range of motion therapy to regain strength and mobility in her hips, knees, and ankles.

Please pray for:

  • our family to keep good attitudes while not on our normal go-go-go routine.
  • Chris’s mom and my two sisters that have been and will be helping us care for Rebekah during this time. Many extra blessing to these three please!
  • Rebekah’s bones to heal and grow together properly. Also the tendons that were worked on to heal.
  • big sister Kayla.
  • Bekah’s ministry to spread the love and goodness of our God. We are so thankful for the opportunities that are presented almost daily to tell someone about the care and goodness of Jesus.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.”

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Rebekah – Two weeks post osteotomy

I can’t believe we are one-third through our six weeks of Bekah’s casting!

Thank you all so much for prayers, meals, texts, home visits, emails, phone calls, and sweet gifts. God’s love has been blanketed over our family by the hands of His people. Our family, friends, and church families have been the hands and feet of Jesus over and over again to us.

We were at the hospital from Tuesday morning when we went in for her surgery through Saturday late afternoon. The days spent at the hospital we uncomfortable, emotionally wrecking, and spent digesting a slew of medical knowledge.

Since being home, we have had better rest and some time to better understand the reality of what Rebekah has gone through. We feel so sad that her routines have been upended and that we aren’t able to scoop her out of the hospital bed and hold her while she is crying (her casts limit her movement, but we have practically crawled up in the bed with her!). We do know that this surgery was the best decision for her and that in the long run, she’ll be better off because of it.

When we went to the hospital on May 13th we had some idea of what was about to happen. We had read blogs and pinned pins about cast care and the realities of a spica cast. While talking to Bekah’s surgeon on Tuesday morning, he told us that he decided a spica cast (from a person’s toes to the top of their chest) would not be most beneficial for Rebekah. He wanted to do short leg casts (from her toes to just below her knee) and then knee immobilizers (from her ankle to the tops of her thighs) on top of the casts. We were a little shocked and a little leery of the capabilities of the short leg casts verses the spica cast which would immobilizer her completely. Because of her involuntary movements and limited understanding of her situation, Dr. De was concerned about Rebekah’s skin integrity inside a spica cast. She could potentially rub sores inside the cast. We agreed that we trusted his judgment and knew that we had hundreds of people praying for our girl. Switching gears in our minds was not easy. Chris and I are both planners and like to see the way ahead. Dr. De left us with a plan of care sheet full of his recommendations for follow up and therapy that will be needed once the casts come off.

We had some time with the anesthesiologist who explained Rebekah’s epidural to control pain in the days to come (boy, were we thankful for this!), and the nurse who would be in charge of Rebekah’s care inside the operating room.


Just before she was set to take Rebekah back, we stopped to pray with Bekah. Chris and I each grabbed a hand and the nurse grabbed her leg. Through tears, Chris talked to God about Rebekah and asked for His covering of protection. The nurse prayed with us and reassured us with a big “AMEN!” That sure does good for a mama’s heart!

The waiting was very hard


and there was lots of coffee.


We knew that the surgery itself would take two to three hours. They would also need time for the anesthesia team to work with Bekah before and after. There would be time for the casting. Time for clean up. Time for recovery. Hours and hours of waiting. We saw families in the waiting room come and go. The day surgery waiting area was full for a long time. Slowly, the families all left — they would get a phone call to come back to see their little one or to meet them in their new room. We finally got a call to meet with Dr. De to hear about how Rebekah’s day went. He was so happy about how the surgery went and the outcome for Rebekah. We got to see X-rays of his work and were amazed at the difference. Things were not over for Bekah; he had to go back to begin casting her legs. At 4:00pm the day surgery desk attendant when home. The phones were forwarded to the waiting area and we still waited. Finally, our call came! We hustled over to the fourth floor.

Kayla made a beautiful sign for Bekah’s door!


And I made some scriptures for the wall.



After a little while, they brought Rebekah and we all got settled in for the next few days.


Our girl was very swollen with fluids and still very sleepy. She still had the leads from the monitors in surgery, the blood pressure cuff (stinking thing never works on her!!), her pulse ox monitor, IV, epidural, and catheter.


Rebekah had some wonderful nurses who took such good care of her while we were in the hospital. With loving care, they took care of her little body and our aching hearts. They all knew that she had been with Dr. De because of the special work he did on her casts. What a sweet thing he does for all his patients!


Every day, someone from the pain team came to see Rebekah and asses how she was doing with her medications and make recommendations for her care. Rebekah’s IV had to be moved to her right hand because the left side was getting puffy. She was so mad about losing her right hand. She even got the IV tangled in her piggy tails so we had to put an elbow brace on her arm to keep her from pulling the IV out.


Someone from Dr. De’s office came by each day as well. If you wanted to talk with any of these doctors, you had to be awake and alert very early in the morning! These guys get to work early! I recommend writing down any questions or observations you have so that you are ready when they get there. Kayla came to see us two days after surgery. Rebekah couldn’t even muster a smile for sister that day. So sad to miss the smiles!


We took some extra days in the hospital because Rebekah was still needing pain meds pretty regularly and was having loose stools. We wanted to be sure that we were comfortable with diapering her, moving her and transferring her from place to place.

Sweet drugged up baby girl.


We had also talked with the doctor about having a hospital bed at home for Rebekah. He said that he felt that was a good idea and would make a prescription for the bed. We talked with our nurse and she seemed to discourage us from getting our hopes up. She said that many families have tried but insurance companies simply won’t pay for beds at home. We asked her to talk to the case worker anyway and ask her to file the order. Soon, the case worker called Chris to tell him that she put the order in but that we probably wouldn’t receive the bed. About thirty minutes after that call the hospital room phone rang. It was the medical supply company! They had a bed that they needed to deliver to our home. They needed to know when we wanted them there! Praise the Lord! Chris said “That’s what you get when you have God on your side!” Thank you for those that prayed specifically for this request! We also had a loaner wheelchair with leg props for Bekah and a loaner car seat with low sides so that her legs could remain spread with the bar. Finally, on Saturday afternoon we were ready to go home. Chris loaded up the van (it took a few trips) and we all headed down with the nurse.


Chris made a platform with pillows for Rebekah’s legs so that she could ride home as comfortably as possible. She was a trooper on the way home, only crying a little bit.


We’ve now been home for a little over a week. Thankfully Chris has been able to work from home so that we can all get into a new routine. We’ve been setting our phone alarms and writing everything down so that we won’t miss a dose of medicine or a diaper change. We’ve figured out that Bekah doesn’t especially like valium and have had to cut the dose back a little.


She is in super spirits for what all she has been through. We are trying to keep the toys rotating through and the pillows fluffy and comfy. Several people have been bringing us meals and sweet gifts. We’ve just been amazed at the love we’ve been shown.

Kayla is a super sister and has climbed right up in bed with Bekah. They read together and watch shows together. Kayla has even performed a puppet show for Rebekah off the end of the hospital bed for her. I love the way God has knit these two together! Melts me!


Chris is heading back to work on Tuesday, May 27th but my sister Liana is here to help me hold down the fort and bring some sister therapy. Chris’s mom is coming when Liana leaves and then my sister Amy will come after that. We are so very thankful for family who can take time out to help us during this leg of the journey. God is so good to us.

Please pray for Wednesday, May 28th and our recheck with the doctor. They’ll check her wounds and might take some new X-rays. From there, I am guessing we’ll get a date for when Rebekah can have her casts off. Rebekah will be needing range of motion physical therapy several times a week for a few weeks and then once a week for a good part of the fall. We’d love some visitors and appreciate you who are helping to take care of us! Thank you for praying for our family!

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My Paper Brain – Staying Organized in the Hospital

My sister Amy gave me some really good advice a few years ago. She has battled ovarian cancer, (And won! All praise to Jesus!) all the while going to countless doctor appointments and hospital visits. When we began discovering that our visits with Rebekah to the doctors were ramping up and endless questions were swirling around in our conversations, my sister’s advice to me was to write everything down. Carry a notebook at all times and write everything down. I have had a small notebook that will fit in my bag with me every day since. Each year, I’ll get a new one and begin fresh for the year. I have lots of handy things in there like doctor’s numbers and medication information.

My friend Kelly gave me this super cute notebook for valentines day. She knows my obsession with office supplies and feeds it! It even came with a super cute chunky pen.


I decided that this notebook would be my paper brain for Bekah’s osteotomy and recovery time. I began loading it up. I included everything I knew the nurses would be asking me for and survival items for myself.

  • doctor’s names, specialty, office number
  • medication names, dosages, and frequency


  • phone numbers of friends who have offered to help when needed
  • pre-op information (waiting for this call seems like an eternity)
  • notes and verses given to me by my girlfriends. I knew I would need these when my spirits were low. I asked a select few to write out their favorites for me. One of my friends was even kind enough to give me 3×5 cards that she has used on days when she needed extra reminders of God’s care an provision. I taped a zippered baggie in the notebook so that I could carry these with me without permanently fixing the cards to the notebook.



Once we were in the hospital we began filling it with information we knew we’d need to keep track of.

  • new medication to keep track of (seriously, how can a 33 pound five year old be on so much medication?!


  • Questions and observations for the doctors. Do you know that the doctors round for their patients at 7am or earlier? There’s no way to remember all the questions you want to ask the doctor when you’ve been up trying to comfort your crying baby through the night. Then when you do get her to sleep, nurses and techs come in multiple times all through the night checking vitals and giving meds. Write your questions and observations down! Observations are important. You know your child and the nurses are only getting a very brief snapshot of your life. Speak up and advocate about changes, good and bad, that you are noticing.
  • I took some space to actually journal how I was feeling. Putting my feelings down sometimes helps me understand them better. Also, you can get these thoughts and feelings out and not have to carry them while you are caring for someone else.

It’s good for me to look back through these books from the past few years. I can see the hand of the Lord moving for our family. I see growth in myself and my husband. I see deeper understanding of my daughters. I see how big my God is becoming in my life. I see Rebekah’s ministry developing before my very eyes. While this journey is very hard and nearly impossible to describe to someone else, it is a privilege to walk this road with Rebekah. We get to see, upclose, the change she is making in people’s lives, though she is still very small. I hope this helps as you plan for a leg of your journey. In what other ways do you keep yourself organized and on task in high stress times?

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Bekah is headed in to see the surgeon on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014.

Last summer, we began seeing an Orthopedic doctor. As they watched her hips, it became clear to them that surgery would be necessary for our girl. This was not news we wanted to hear! The way Bekah’s muscles are pulling, they are actually causing her hips to come out of the joint. From what the orthopedic doctor tells us and what we have read on-line, this can be a very painful condition.

This is Bekah’s x-ray. Her left hip is the worst. It was 50% dislocated at Christmas time. You can see the pen mark that the doctor made showing the ball of the femur and how far it is out of the socket.

The surgeon will be doing a double osteotomy (both hips) and a de-rotation of the femurs. He will take bone from the femur and repair the hip joint. Then, he will rotate the femurs so that the leg muscles will pull the bone into the socket instead of out of socket.

We know very little about Bekah’s recovery. She will be in a spica cast (chest to toes with a bar separating her legs) for 6-8 weeks — depending on how she heals. We will go for a check up after two weeks so that the doctors can track her progress. I am thinking since we will be smack in the middle of Georgia summer, we will mostly be at home and inside. I’ve already made several friends promise that they will come keep me company! Once Bekah is home and on the mend, we will know more about her needs and what the weeks will hold for her and our family.

Thank you so much for all your generous offers of help and support. We know that Bekah’s ministry is expanding and that God has her in the palm of His mighty hand. Would you pray with us through this part of the journey?

I would ask you to pray for:

  • her surgeon and nursing staff in the hospital.
  • Bekahs body to stay clear of infection.
  • Kayla’s heart as a big sister and chief playmate.
  • Chris and me to stay healthy and strong.
  • swift recovery and good results from the surgery.

If anyone is wanting more information, I found this really great brochure by Children’s Hospital Boston. Lots of info there! We’ll be checking in here and on Facebook often and appreciate the support system the Lord has given us!

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