Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back from the Windy City

Well, I’m back from Chicago! It was an amazing, exhausting week in a beautiful city. The weather cooperated, although one night there was an amazing lightning and thunderstorm, winds with gusts up to 80 mph, and hail (luckily we had made it back to our hotel room prior to the rain by about 20 seconds)! It was exciting! When I was not in meetings, we walked and walked and walked! So much to see, do, and taste in Chicago!

But the absolute highlight of the week was getting to see my sister, Jodi! She was in isolation and at her lowest point of immune suppression when we arrived, so there seemed no chance of my getting to visit her. However, mid-week her WBC numbers started going up, and on the day before I was leaving I received a phone call from my sweet brother-in-law, Ed, asking me if I’d like to visit her! I immediately started crying! He picked me up at the convention center and drove me to the hospital for a great visit! Jodi looked wonderful! She is exhausted, but healing! And the amazing news came yesterday that Jodi is home! It is miraculous! Please continue to pray for her to be strengthened and protected. She and Ed will remain in Chicago for a couple of months while she finishes up her protocol, then they will return home to Colorado. She has had a few months of tremendous upheaval, so I'm praying she will find refreshing and peace in the next season!

Molly, meanwhile, had a horrific week after her tonsillectomy! She was in great pain and her pain meds were not helping. So, she was also sleep-deprived and starving! The good news is that the doctor confirmed after surgery that her tonsils were "ugly" and really needed to come out.  Also, she noticed immediately that she is breathing better.  She and Kevin were set to leave for their vacation on Friday (turned out that they had to take the original week), but stayed home an extra day to try to get her in a better place). They are now up at Lake Nacimiento, and we are praying that she will continue to improve quickly. Yesterday she was able to eat a french fry - that was a big deal! Please pray for their safety on the lake!

Meanwhile, Frank is also showing signs of improvement. He still is bruised, but the pain has truly minimized, and the doctor thinks he’ll just need a couple of weeks more. I’m thanking God for my brother-in-law, Dave, and his wife, Nancy, who came up from San Diego daily to take care of Frank while we were gone! He is up and walking, but Frank is definitely declining in spirit, and seems to be losing the will to live, so please pray that God will give us His words of encouragement that he needs, and the opportunity to minister to him in a meaningful way as he faces eternity.

At church, yesterday, the worship team lead us in the wonderful song, Blessed Be Your Name, and I just started to cry thinking of the pain and suffering of these three special people in my life.  The verse that I love is

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Sometimes praise is a sacrifice that we choose to make when things have gone completely wrong.  This is praise that costs, and it blesses God!  It's the kind of praise that Molly and Jodi have been offering up!

So, God has been faithful - no surprise there - and has met all our needs! Thank you for your prayers!!! I’m so glad to be back home! I have truly missed meeting Him in the morning with you, and look forward to getting back into Genesis!  Jacob is about to have his life-changing and name-changing encounter with God!  I need one of those about now - how about you?


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