Friday, September 17, 2010


Sunday morning, 2:15 am, I feel a tap on my chest. I roll over and doze off. A couple of minutes later, I feel it again. I hear a soft whisper, "Come here, come over here". Not sure if I'm dreaming, I drift off to sleep again. Suddenly I hear moaning, a sense of urgency. I'm having a heart attack! I practically fall out of bed and run over to the other side of the bed. I flip the lights on. His chest clutched in hand, "It hurts, it hurts"! I'm gonna pass out, here I go, I'm going! Trying to reorient myself from a deep sleep, I run into the bathroom and grab the blood pressure cuff. I feel no pulse. The blood pressure will not register. I try again, and again.
Ryan loses consciousness.
I cannot think. Everything is in slow motion, yet happening so fast. All I can think of is "Not now, not like this. I need you, we need you".
I panic, yelling, begging him to talk. Do I need to call an ambulance? Tell me what you are feeling, whats happening. I palpate his carotid pulse....erratic, wild. Ryan has gone into a lethal arrhythmia.
He regains consciousness, diaphoretic and clammy. I yell and scream, "Wheres the nitro?, wheres the nitro? Nothing. The room is spinning. I can't think.
I glance in his direction as he begins to violently shake. "My chest hurts, why am I shaking''?
I grab the cell and dial 911. Nothing. I try again. Still nothing.
I run down the stairs, locate the house phone and dial 911. 1st ring....nothing. 2nd ring, 911 emergency? I spout off all I can remember as fast as I can. I run back upstairs. Ryan is disoriented. I wait for the ambulance, I beg him to talk to me. I am helpless and scared.
I look out of the window, desperately searching for ambulance lights. All is quiet and dark outside. Ryan stares into space. I run downstairs and wait. Where are they? I flip the lights on, open the door and wait. It seems like an eternity.
Finally.......they arrive. The EMT's slowly and leisurely walk across the lawn and make way to the door. We all walk upstairs.

3:00am. I follow rescue to the Emergency Room. I look up and see his head through the windows of the ambulance doors.
The tears well. This can't be happening.
Keep it together, stay strong.

The waiting is incessant. After what seemed like an eternity, I am finally allowed to go back. I walk past stretchers, past patients, past equipment. Ekg done, labs drawn. The physician and I recap the events in detail.
The question......?
Do we go home, or do we transfer and admit?
After much coercion, Ryan agrees to be admitted for further evaluation.

I find myself once again staring into the back of an ambulance. It is always somebody else braving the storms of uncertainty. Not my husband.
My heart races wildly. God thank you. Thank you for not taking my rock, the daddy of our little boys.
We arrive at the 2nd emergency room. I wait.
My eyes meet his. The tears well, my cheeks burn.
The following days would test my soul, see what I was really made of.


The hospital room was small, brightly lit, with little decorating the white walls.
After undergoing a battery of tests, we would consult with another physician specializing in electrophysiology.
Dr. Patterson sat across the room next to the window. The long white lab coat was draped across his lap as he studied the chart behind his spectacles.
His words were gentle and slow.
WPW. Sudden cardiac death.
I am suffocating. My chest was about to collapse. The tears spilled.
His quiet voice was being drowned out by the torrential downpour of thoughts pounding through my head.
Tomorrow we will continue invasive testing that will include an EP study/heart cath. We will try and isolate and ablate the extra pathway that is causing your arrhythmia. I knew this test was not without significant risks including death.
My head hurt. The walls were spinning.

Word spread like wildfire.
(How blessed we are to have prayer warriors that would stand in the gap and intercede on our behalf).
I feel like I am walking in a tunnel and living a nightmare. Family arrived.
My sister in law and I trudged through the hallways. It was cold, bright and sterile.
This was the moment I fell apart. The tears spilled violently. My knees quivered as I sobbed. We prayed and cried together.
I desperately tried not to dwell on the what-ifs, but no matter how hard I tried, images of the possibilities would flash before my very eyes.

That night I drove our big boys home from the hospital. Carson melted, his world turned upside down. In between sobs I would hear, "Daddy, I need you, daddy come home, daddy I miss you". My heart was bleeding and had been ripped out of my chest. I couldn't breathe. I held his little hand in mine and together we agonized. Was anybody else dying this slow death?
I placed the boys in the hands of my mother in law who selflessly met needs that I could not meet. I had to be with Ryan. I couldn't leave him.
For better or for worse.
I drove back to the hospital late that Monday night.
I was utterly exhausted and emotionally drained. I had had 6 hrs of sleep in 3 days. The drive seemed endless. I prayed. I cried. I tried to erase the possibilities from my mind. I could not. I can't think, can't focus. My lense had been clouded with a whirlwind of emotion, desperation, and sheer exhaustion.

7:00am the following morning I found myself in yet another cold waiting room filled with people. I decided that a warm energy restoring coffee was just what the doctor ordered. I would let the caffeine do its job and maybe somehow I would wake up from this nightmare. As I strolled back into the waiting room, I was greeted by Ryans physician. We have isolated the problem and this will be resolved in a few days.
One test down, the big one still to come. The hallways of the hospital were strangely becoming familiar, even comfortable.
That afternoon, family gathered. We visited. We cried. We broke bread and chewed on the Word, on soul food. The only food that mattered. I studied Psalm 91, "My faithfulness will be your shield and rampart". Rampart- a defensive wall. I quickly remembered God's shield of faithfulness. I remembered His wall of protection. I remembered my cries for help and pleas of mercy in the middle of the night for my precious son and my husband.
I digested this.
I let this breath of God become the oxygen that coursed through my veins.
The moment had arrived. They were on the way to pick up the love of my life for his EP study/heart cath. My heart began to race. My soul ached. My heart was pierced. I cried. We gathered around Ryan and prayed.
We followed the stretcher down the long white hallways adorned with bright lights. The sterility was penetrating. This was the image that would be permanently imprinted in my mind. I kissed Ryan goodbye and told him how much I loved him. I watched the stretcher disappear behind closed doors. I felt like the ground would give way. I precariously choked back the tears. I wanted to be back there to hold his hand. What if he was scared as his heart began to beat wildly? I was utterly helpless.


Previously, the nurse entered our room as she was returning Ryan from a procedure. Lynn was her name. This precious woman of God was sold out for Jesus. She prayed with Ryan prior to testing. She would encourage us in the Word and was interceding on our behalf. It hit me, God is completely in the middle of all of this! None of this came as a surprise to Him. The following morning I got a phone call. It was Lynn. She had started her day by praying for us and asking for wisdom for her and the physician regarding Ryans case. "My faithfulness will be your shield and rampart". She would be the nurse to sedate and care for Ryan during his ablation/EP study. What an awesome God we serve!

I stared out of the window bleary eyed unable think. I watched cars come and go, people walk by, and rescue delivering its latest victims into the hands of skilled physicians and nurses. I stood motionless, paralyzed.
For hours we waited. Lynn would call me with periodic updates. The first phone call: Ryan was doing great, we are trying to get him to go into a rapid My heart sank....could they not get it? Were they not able to find the extra pathway? We waited.
2nd update: We have done an ablation and are pulling the sheaths. We should be finished in 15 minutes. What? The procedure was supposed to be another hour and a half. "My faithfulness will be your shield and rampart".
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God.

Today is Wednesday morning. I sit in this little hospital room not sure of all that has happened. I sit here only because of Grace. Our lives are but the breath of God. I do not know what lies ahead. The recovery will be long and painful in more ways than one. I am forever indebted to my Saviour. I owe Him my life.

Ryan and I are humbled beyond words for you our friends and family who stood in the gap and interceded on our behalf when we were exhausted, overwhelmed, and emotionally drained. Grace. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

holy experience

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When You are Pressed Hard and Squeezed Tight.....

The phone rings. Its the news you have anticipated but are never fully prepared to hear.
Plans are underway, arrangements finalized.
The hurry begins and overwhelms. Only 1 day to pack for the boys, catch up on laundry, make meals, and attend prior engagements. The stench of stress is unbearable. I look into the sweet innocence of little boys faces and remember grace. Unable to leave work early, Ryan will catch a later flight and momma and babies will make this journey. We trudge through the airport, cast on foot, and begin our journey through security which would include a full body scan, bags run multiple times through the xray machine, and test strips across baby bottles. Three little guys in tow, shoes off, bags off, strollers and infant seat up, items removed from bag, items replaced in bag, tickets in hand, we finally arrive at our gate just in time to board.
We soar into the sky, baby screaming, boys squirming, and I beg, plead for His peace.
I am outnumbered and cannot possibly meet every need at once.
I wonder how in the world I can do this alone.

* * *

My precious uncle has been given the gift of eternal life.
I always wonder why death is so scary and elusive.
I stare at the shell of this avid hunter man who now rests in heaven. He was a man who loved the outdoors and realized the vastness of nature our God has so beautifully created.
I ponder... these skins we live in are but a mere pinpoint on the timeline of eternity.
Our lives are really just beginning. We have lived the title page and are just beginning the next chapter.
What am I doing to make a difference in His kingdom?
As we pass from one room and step into another, I am ever thankful for Gods palpable gift of life. I reflect on His grace. I realize my humble existence and marvel that He would surround me with loving family and friends.
How awesome it is to spend eternity with a Holy God where His mystery is unveiled. If we could just see How much our Heavenly Father loves us and longs us to walk the streets of gold with Him.

* * *

We are tired, hurriedly meeting engagements. The boys are tired, no naps, belly's are hungry. The tiny hotel room is stifling. The baby does not sleep. Meltdowns are prevalent. The little 2 become sick. The loads are full and our return flight would be delayed, day after day.
The stress consumes, the tension is palpable.... I swallow hard. The anxiety is intoxicating. My chest hurts. Does anyone else feel the ground shaking beneath? I am squeezed, pressed hard, and I am heartbroken that I have miserably let down. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Is this what is really in my heart? I see who I want to be...but how does this soul reach its full potential? How does one really make the heart change and get beyond self?
It is through a mindset of gratitude in ALL things....

Gods grace to this undeserving soul

the gift of life

time with my Saviour

His mercies


New days



His patience




the truth of His Word


As we pilot back across four states, I glance out of the window. I am captivated by the landscape. The sky is different hues of blue, the suns rays stretch across the heavens in different shades of pink, orange, and purple. I see God. I see His majestic hand in creation. I see solitude. Peace floods this soul.

holy experience

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Love Gift

I stare into his big blue eyes, those rosy cheeks and pink lips, his gaze never leaves mine. Only space between us, nothing can separate. Nestled in the warm embrace, arms tucked into my chest, he smiles big. He was a great surprise, this boy of mine. Unexpected, an unfathomable gift I wondered, I worried.

As the sun would climb, its brilliant rays stretching the spans of the earth, my 2nd born would frequent a sterile world filled with glaring lights, scan faces unrecognizable, his soft flesh poked and prodded. The loud clammer of machines and monitors, the hum drum of physicians and nurses.....this was the life he knew.

How could we be crowned with another gift? How would we pour ourselves into another precious baby? Would he live? Would he present with the same ailments as big brother? Worries that welled deep within. And so it was, we would open our hearts...... again.

Sickness enveloped, nearly claimed this being as I lay helpless, IV's infusing, my veins begging for hydration, my heart longing to be mommy and wife. That little green hospital room familiar, so familiar it became home to me on that day.... the day of little ones 2nd birthday. My soul was tested, my heart ached. I longed for birthday boy's embrace and to celebrate the miracle of his life....his life he was so laboriously fighting for. The tears flooded my face and soul. How God, is any good going to come of this? I desperately yearned to be home with my babies and be the wife I knew my husband needed. Oh if I could have seen in my desperation the work God was doing.

Yes, these boys would be just fine as they watched Daddy work and cook, and do laundry, and be mommy and take care of mommy. These boys would experience the pressure doing its work. This man of mine, fearlessly leading the bunch, would open his tender heart and a blueprint for keeping the fragile hearts of these all- too- soon - to - be men would be birthed.

Why is it so hard to accept God's gifts so freely and unreservedly? The veil covers my eyes and I see through my lens instead of His. Lord I want to see. I want to see the sacred in the everyday. I want to freely accept His unforced gifts and walk in gratitude for all He has blessed this undeserving heart. And so, I have embarked on a journey of gratitude.......

3 healthy little boys

my husband's walk with our Lord

prayers of my little boys

warm breezes

days full of sunshine

wind chimes chiming

birds singing



family devotions around the table

smiles from my blue eyed baby



good food

coke =)

smell of fresh baked cookies

innocence of children

I look over, his eyes meet mine, and laughter overtakes him. Oh what joy God has lavished on this momma.
I sit and rock this blue eyed wonder boy of mine, I am humbled that God would so graciously entrust this broken girl to a lifetime of love fulfilling, His love fulfilling.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.
1 John 3:1

holy experience

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Waiting....A Desert Experience

We beg, we plead, we bargain for God to answer our prayers. Does He really hear? Does He care? It appears there is no water in the desert, like the waiting will never end.
6 years ago.....I waited. There is no heartbeat. It was likely that I would miscarry my first baby. Scores of tests would follow.
2 1/2 years later we brought our little bundle of joy home from the hospital. He would soon have 8 specialists caring for him and undergo a battery of testing and procedures. 3 years we waited.
2 1/2 years later I was told that the tiny baby growing inside of me would not live. Again, I waited.
Why? I begged for answers. I knew God could work, "now"! Why the delay?
These were some of the most difficult times of my life. Loneliness enveloped. Fear gripped. Tears were unpredictable. Emotions wayward. My soul bled.
The uncertainty would require momentous amounts of faith. The waiting seemed endless...on all accounts.

I quickly realized how desperately I needed my Comforter. Circumstances required I lean into Him. He met me, hurting and broken. My soul laid bare as I began to know and experience trust in His Sovereignty. My how Abraham must have felt as he was about to sacrifice his precious son. Faith became a habitual practice as I claimed every scripture I could get my hands on. God knows our need to wander through the desert. Waiting is often our greatest time of growth as we rely on the One who has the answers. It is here that our relationship with our Almighty God becomes intimate.
It is during the drought that our roots begin to grow so fruit can be produced. Oftentimes, the water is right in front of us, we just have to immerse ourselves.
Perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God calls us to faith, trust, and persevere.

Perhaps these burdens were actually opportunities.
How awesome to know that our precious Lord always has our best interest at heart. His timing is always perfect, never late.
I look back at each experience and see Gods overwhelming faithfulness as He was growing and maturing my walk with Him. He walked alongside me and carried me when I could walk no more. He wiped away every tear that was shed and knew every worry before it surfaced.
I see the growth that has taken place and His soul desire that we lay our hearts at the altar and walk in obedience.
My miscarriage is now a healthy 5 1/2 year old little boy. My "sick" baby is now a healthy 3 yr old, and my baby boy that wasn't supposed to live is an exuberant 9 month old.

The waiting has come to an end. A tender appreciation for those wandering in the desert has arisen. If we could only see that God is loving us more than we could possibly imagine during painful situations, and remember to walk in gratitude as He is molding us into the likeness of His image. If we would just immerse in the water and surrender our hearts, how awesome to know that we are being made mature and complete on this journey headed home.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grace and Gratitude

A light rain falls. The leaves glisten, soft pink petals unfold, blooms wait to burst open. A brilliant ray of sunlight peers through gray clouds, each fragile flower stretching toward the warmth. I see God. I see his exquisite artistry and His desire that I soak in the warmth of His Son.

I want to see. I want to see God in the everyday, the mundane. When aggravation overtakes, sibling fights erupt, one mess follows another, then another, and the laundry piles grow never giving way to completion...I want to see. Chaos fills the atmosphere, stresses soar, and exhaustion encompasses, I must breathe the oxygen of Gods agape love. I want to speak only words that will build and let grace do its work.

I mull over the day..... have I used words today that have torn down or strengthened? Have I exercised His life giving compassion? Do my husband and little boys know and experience God's love everyday?
Selfishness exacerbates. I forget....and then I remember.... God's grace. Grace when the ugly pierces through the stains of sin scarred. Grace... the breath of life to soul.
Have I spoken grace when a harsh word surfaces, acted grace when forgiveness necessitates, and thought grace when plans come to a crossroad?

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

If I would just remember....... gratitude. Gratitude when "self" gets in the way. Gratitude in the monotony of day to day. Gratitude when I cannot muster up the strength to "keep on keeping on". It is when the blessing of everyday is stripped away that I remember the "gift" of the mundane and the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Grace extends and gratitude replaces "self".

I will choose to walk in God's grace, extend God's grace and praise Him on this journey headed home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Miracle

It was the night before our much anticipated doctors appointment. Weeks ago we were told that it was very possible our son was suffering from a rare syndrome that could seize his life. A syndrome that would cause heart failure and make our precious son a candidate for heart transplantation and extensive medical therapy. We purposely did not research this condition until......the night before our long awaited meeting.

Tears filled our eyes as we read the words that were set before us. Prognosis was poor, getting a young heart donor was a difficult and long process, and the average life span was decreased by 20 percent. These were but a few of the many conditions associated with this syndrome.

The news was overwhelming. We had been hit by a truck. Blind sighted....the information was beginning to sink in. Our lives were about to be changed....forever. We had already been on an emotional roller coaster and now this. My chest was heavy, I couldn't breathe. This is not the life I had envisioned for our son. Why my baby? How come he couldn't keep up with other kids? He is always so tired. I cried, I sobbed uncontrollably. I ran up the stairs and lay in the bed with my precious angel. I put my hand over his heart and cried out to God. I begged, pleaded, and wailed.....God PLEASE heal my baby. Please sow his heart back together. Mend him Lord, you have too. I can't live without him! I don't understand!
I heard footsteps approaching as Ryan entered our little boys room. He lay his hand over his tiny chest and together we mourned. We grieved, overcome with agony.
We left the room and sat on the porch. All was silent. We were left with anguishing thoughts that encompassed our very being. Tears filled both of our eyes.... again. The disparaging news was still sinking in. This was completely beyond our control and there was absolutely nothing we could do except trust God. Austin was after all..... His child.
Exhaustion took over and somehow sleep gave way.

The day had arrived.
We anxiously entered the brightly colored office. Our hearts beat rapidly while thoughts and fears flew wild.
The testing began. I sat beside our precious Austin, his little hand tucked in mine, staring at the images that lay before us. The tears began to well. He had been through so many specialists, tests, and procedures.
Our little man was so brave and such a "tough guy".
The battery of tests continued. We feared the absolute worst. Minutes turned into hours of waiting. What was about to be disclosed would change the course of our lives. NOTHING could have prepared us for what we were about to hear.
"We have repeated his tests and they are normal". "His heart is mildly enlarged", "There is no evidence of any risk factors for Barth syndrome". "I am not concerned, however we will continue to follow him". WHAT??? We repeated his statements over and over not sure if we heard correctly. The cardiac geneticist, unclear as to the urgency of our visit, offered reassurance that our little boy was overall healthy except for an iron deficient anemia. GOD IS AWESOME AND SO VERY FAITHFUL!!!!!

We were overjoyed and dumbfounded. Hurriedly, we walked down the street to our next appointment. Again, minutes turned into hours and hours of waiting. Once more, nothing could have prepared us for what was about to be reported.
Our son was not immunosuppressed. A simple injection would jump start the immune system. Some fine tuning was all that was needed. Again, unsure if we had heard correctly, the information was repeated. Yes, all he needs is an injection. There is no major concern and no need for medical therapy or intervention.

Emotion was rampant. As mommy and daddy looked into each others eyes, we COULD NOT believe that our God had so graciously answered our cries. He is so faithful to His promises and is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. Isn't it just like our our precious Father to give THE BEST mothers day gift? I stood and claimed Jeremiah 29:11....For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! God is true to his promise. He has given our precious little man hope and a future. There are no words to express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father. As we continue our journey through life, yet I will praise Him!

Thank you is an injustice in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have embarked on this journey with us. Those of you who have sent Scripture, meals, words of encouragement, and started prayer chains....we are deeply humbled and so very grateful. May God richly bless each and every one of you.

More blogs to follow

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



The breeze is warm, windblown hair sweeps across my face. White billowy clouds fill the sky. Baby clutched in hand, I sit and watch 2 little boys roam through grass and bushes in eager anticipation to "clip" all of the weeds. I sit back and breathe. I breathe deep. All is quiet around me except the sound of trees being gently tossed in the wind. The boys are quiet and intent, keenly pursuing weeds that do not belong.

I am here. I am present. This is what life is all about. Being still and ever present in a world where pressures mound, chaos lurks, and tempers wait to erupt.
I breathe deeply, pondering the simplicity of these moments. I sit, marveling at the transparency of God's artistic hand. I am consumed in my introspection when I hear "mamma"!....I look up and answer "Whats up buddy"?.........I love you. I am impelled to pursue a life of simplicity amidst a world of hurried to do's.

The white billowy clouds turn gray. As our day draws to an end, we gather around a window and watch the storm clouds sweep across the sky. The rain pours. We watch in amazement as a spring thunderstorm unfolds.

I reflect on the week past and the week to come. I have been stripped of "all that matters". I have experienced freedom in simplicity. As I brave the storm that lies ahead....I will remember to breathe the oxygen of these simple moments.

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalms 46:10