Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bring the Rain...

I am hearing voices in my head. I'm not going crazy, but for the past few weeks I have been experiencing excessive "inner-dialogue." My subconscious keeps asking "WHY?" The conscious answer I respond with is, "It does not matter WHY."

After spending the past weekend at the hospital with Sara and looking at the possibility of her spending the next few months there, I began to feel sorry for Sara and even for myself. What did Sara do to deserve to be "locked up" inside the walls of Wilford Hall? Why am I going to have to spend the next 3 months separated from my wife? What did I do to deserve to drive an extra 90 minutes a day to and from the hospital? Then, I started to think about Job (from the Bible). Following is a passage from Job about his background and some trials he faced...

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan answered the Lord, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has in is your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Once day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
--Job 1:1-22

Job did NOTHING to deserve to lose EVERYTHING. Yet, even though he lost it all, Job still continued to PRAISE GOD! It does not matter "WHY?"

This story helps to put things into perspective for me. Yes, it stinks that Sara was diagnosed with cancer. Yes, it stinks that we had to leave our life in Japan 18 months before our planned time. Yes, it stinks that Sara is on bed rest for 3 months. But in comparison with "what could have been," we're doing just fine! It's neat to look back at the past 6 months and see how faithful God has been. It's comforting to know that God has a plan for us and has our best interest at heart. Sometimes it is hard to see HOW this is our best interest, but we continue to trust.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
--Romans 8:28

One of Sara's friends recently wrote and referenced the song called "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me. After listening to the words, I feel like this is our theme song since February 23 (date of Sara's mammogram).

If you want to hear the song, you can go to this link.

Bring the Rain
by Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I can praise you
With all that I've gone through.
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You.

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind.
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead, I draw closer through these times.

So I pray...

Bring my joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory.
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain.
But if that's what it takes to praise You

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain.
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me, what's a little rain?

So I pray...

It is easy to get so focused on our little world and forget about the millions of other people who are suffering and going through tougher times that we are. Job went through some tough times and difficult trials in his life, yet he chose to praise the name of the Lord...despite his circumstances. I believe that God felt that Sara was up to the challenge and knew that we would not curse his name and choose to praise the name of the Lord...despite the circumstances.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. --James 1:12

Sara and Chloe are both doing well. Sara had a check up at the hospital this morning and they put Chloe on the monitor for 30 minutes to check her heartbeat. She is still under no stress and is doing well. We will meet with the OB again on Tuesday and hopefully do another growth scan. Today, Sara is 28 weeks pregnant and we are praying that she won't have to deliver before 36 weeks. Please join us in that prayer.

Thank you for continuing to check up on us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back at home...

Well, this morning my doctor came in to tell me that I was going to be discharged from the hospital...praise Jesus! Because there has been no more bleeding and they have given me the steroids to develop Chloe's lungs, they said I could go home. I am on bed rest at home, but this is so much better than being in the hospital. I will get to spend the nights with my husband...I was a little sad when he had to leave last night and I was stuck there. Please pray that Chloe will continue to grow and I will have no more issues with bleeding. I will be going in twice a week for regular fetal testing. Please pray that Chloe continues to grow (she is only in the 19th percentile for her age) and stays put for the next few months.

Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A few more things...

If you want to send Sara anything, please use our home address...

Email me at if you would like our address.

Also, my brother and his wife, Jay and Therese, have started a Race for the Cure team and are raising money for breast cancer research. They have committed to raise $10,000. The race is in Dallas in late October. Please go to their site if you are interested in contributing in honor of Sara.

Team SaraSTRONG website

(If it doesn't connect directly to Team SaraSTRONG, click on RACE FOR THE CURE, and search for SaraSTRONG)


Baby Drama...

Sara and I were looking forward to a break from the hospital for a few weeks. After Sara's final round of chemo on Monday and a good OB check-up on Tuesday, we thought that Chloe had made it over her final hurdle. Our assumptions were incorrect...

While getting ready for bed on Thursday night, Sara was in the bathroom and realized that she was bleeding. We called the OB triage nurse and she recommended that we come in for a check up. We hopped in the car and drove the 40 minutes to Wilford Hall Medical Center. We thought that we would be in and out and at home in bed by midnight. Once again, our assumptions were incorrect...

After an exam with the OB/GYN, the doctor told us that she was going to admit Sara for the night for closer observation. Sara was still bleeding and they needed to figure out where it was coming from. After some labs and an ultrasound, they decided that she had a partial abruption. Basically, the placenta had started to separate (tear) away from the lining of her uterus. Many different things can cause abruptions, but the docs said that the chemo has probably damaged the placenta over the course of the past 4 treatments. My understanding is that the placenta has been a filter (blocking the chemo from getting to Chloe) and has been weakened by the chemo.

So, we went from thinking we were coming in for a quick discussing anesthesia options in the event that the docs needed to do an emergency C-section at a moments notice.

After further testing, the doctors have decided that Sara will be on bed rest until Chloe arrives. She is probably (99% chance) going to be staying on bed rest at the hospital so they can monitor her closely. The reason they want her at the hospital is because if the placenta "abrupts" completely, Chloe will be disconnected from Sara and will not be getting blood or oxygen anymore. The nurse compared this to a SCUBA diver having his air line cut when he was 100s of feet underwater. If this happens, the docs will do an emergency C-section and only have a few minutes to get Chloe out. Sara received a steroid shot on Friday afternoon to speed up the development of Chloe's lungs, just in case she arrives in the near future. Even at 3 months premature, the NICU at Wilford Hall would be able to treat our baby.

We are doing well with the recent developments and continuing to trust in the plans of the Lord. Please pray for Sara. She's not too happy about being confined to a bed for the foreseeable future. Last night, I told her I felt sorry for her because it was like she was in prison. She said, "This is worse than prison...I don't even get recreation time." We laughed. Also, pray that Chloe stays inside the womb and continues to grow strong and healthy inside Momma Sara.

For we know not what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. --Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


As I sit down to write this, the song, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" came to my mind. The verse that has been on my heart is Psalms 66:16-20.

"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”

I feel like I have so much to tell. The Lord has been so good to me that I just want to shout it out to the world. I hope that I don’t bore you with the wonderful ways the Lord has blessed me…but I just want to share some of those ways. Since I last blogged so much has happened. I know that Brady posted a few with little updates of what has happened, but I’ll share a little too.

The day after we moved into our house, some dear friends here in San Antonio gave me my first baby shower. It was a great night and I was so blessed by each of the ladies there. One of my biggest worries before leaving Japan was that I would have a harder time finding fellowship here with us moving to a place where everyone is much more spread out. How good our God is…after being here for less than two weeks, I was meeting 4 amazing ladies for lunch. This happened to be the day after my first round of chemo and I just remember leaving lunch that day and telling Brady how wonderful Jesus is. He took care of that desire for me and surrounded me with 4 sisters who have been so wonderful.

San Antonio Friends (they threw the shower)

Moms at the shower

I know Brady also mentioned all the visitors we had and I was so excited to spend time with each one of these dear friends, but he did forget that my mom and one of my best friend’s mom made the trip to San Antonio for the shower. It was a joy to have them both here as our first house guests. We did feel a little bad because after spending one night in our home, Brady and I woke up to a broken AC. By the time my mom and Rita made it here the house was 93 degrees and it was 103 degrees outside. Thankfully by the time we came home from the shower the AC was fixed and we have had no problems since.

The weekend of July 11th, Brady and I went to Austin for a wedding. One of the girls that I had the privilege of spending time with for her 4 years in high school got married. For those who don’t know, I was involved in a ministry called Young Life while in college and then went on staff for a year after I graduated. I was able to get to know a very special group of girls and walk through life with them from their freshman year until they graduated. I don’t have many Young Life memories that do not include these ladies. It’s hard to believe that they have all graduated college now and are young adults. I love these girls and thank God for the time he gave me to love them and share Jesus and my life with them.

Cori's Wedding (my YoungLife girls)

Last weekend we were back at the lake for a Woodview reunion. I lived in a house with 8 girls in college and six of us were able to get together for the first time in 3 years. Sadly two were unable to join us as Jill was in New York for a class and Meghan was with her family because her grandfather passed away. The six of us spent the weekend reminiscing over our time at Woodview and laughing as we remembered so many stories. This was truly a joy filled weekend that I am so thankful for. We decided we will not wait another 3 years…we are thinking sometime next spring.

Woodview Ladies

On Monday I had my 4th and final round of chemo until after Chloe arrives. Brady and I both decided this was the worst one yet…but not because of my health or side effects. They put me in a smaller room this time with 2 different nurses. The ladies were nice, but they weren’t our dearly loved Jan. Nurse Jan has been so good to us that we were sad not to be with her. To make matters worse, as the small room became full, Brady was kicked out. He was told that he could come in and check on me as often as he wanted, but could not stay there with me. Normally we get to hang out the whole time and talk or watch the TV game show “Cash Cab”…this time it was so different, and not a different we want to repeat. We told Jan as we were leaving that when I come back we want to make sure we are in her room because we love her. Yesterday we had a surgery follow-up. It’s been a little over 3 months since the first surgery and the surgeon here wanted to just make sure everything is healing appropriately. After that appointment we had our OB appointment to check on our precious baby girl. Chloe is done with chemo and doing well…praise our mighty Savior! We were able to see her moving and get a couple of pictures of our girl. This is always a relief after a round of chemo, and we will do another growth scan in 3 weeks.

It’s Wednesday and I am still feeling great…how good our God is. We did have a bit of an episode last night…and this is not the first. So, shortly after moving in we realize we have neighbors with a dog that likes to bark…all night long. Last week he barked for an hour from 2-3:00am and Brady finally went out to yell at the dog and hopefully get the attention of the owners. Brady saw the back light come on and figured they were bringing him in. Last night we had a similar occurrence this time Smokey decided to start barking at midnight. By 1am I was frustrated and went out with the flashlight to try and shut him up. I thought it worked, but at 2am as I was just about to fall back asleep he barked again. I was waiting for the next bark so I could go and knock on the neighbor’s door, as I was so frustrated by this point. Well, he didn’t start barking again until 3:10am, then again at 3:30am, and lastly at 3:48am (I know all these times because I am keeping a record of them all). At 3:48am I had had enough and was on my way to the house and Brady told me I couldn’t go over there in the middle of the night…so I went back outside to yell at the dog that I have come to strongly dislike. I had my flashlight and may have shined it into a window or two (there was a light on in one window) and waited outside as I saw other lights turn on and off. From the front of the house I could tell someone was coming around back with a flashlight…it is our neighbor. I have not met these neighbors yet, so I hate that this was my first encounter with the husband. After he realized it was me and not an intruder I start talking. I, in the most loving and non-confrontational way, ask him to please keep his dog inside at night. I explain that we have been up since 12am and I am pregnant and going through chemo and really need some sleep. I again say it would be so helpful if you could just keep him in at night. From this conversation I got an, “Oh, okay.” So I go back into bed now at almost 4am and I am even more annoyed that there was no apology for the dog. I had to make every effort to take each thought captive to the Lord because I can tell you my thoughts were not the purest at the moment.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -- 2 Corinthians 10:5

So today, once Brady got home we decided we would go over there together and try and talk to them at a normal hour. We spend some time praying because we really want to reflect Christ and his love, but also let them know that this situation needs to be resolved. I can tell you that after our conversation with the wife I feel even more unsettled. She told us the dog stays outside to keep the coyotes and snakes from their yard. I replied back in what I hope was a loving way that I understood the concern, but we were being kept up and unable to sleep because of his barking. She said she would talk to her husband and they would maybe work something out. Maybe they would keep him in every other night. Inside I was thinking, “Do you think that is going to change things…he will still be keeping us up every other night.” We told her we did not want to seem like bad neighbors, but we need sleep and would love it if they could work with us on this. So I continue to have to take thoughts captive to my Savior and pray that He would change their heart in the situation…because I think they are set on not changing much now. I pray that this is the end of it, but I have a feeling we have a ways to go.

Other than the dog drama we are doing well. Brady has gotten back into the rhythm of work and has been spending his time studying. He apologizes for not updating everyone more frequently. Tomorrow, Brady’s dad is coming to visit and we are excited to see him and spend some time with him. We will keep you posted on the happenings in our life and how the situation with Smokey turns out. We are so blessed and thankful for all the Lord has given to us. We pray that each of you will experience the joy and peace that comes from knowing and trusting Jesus. I started this blog (last week) with a verse from a song…I will finish it with the same song. My heart is content in where my Lord has me and this song has been on my heart.

Over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me, and I will open up my heart and let the healer set me free. I’m happy to be in the truth, and I will daily lift my hands, and I will always sing of when your love came down.

I could sing of your love forever...

I could sing of your love forever…

I could sing of your love forever…

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Sara had round 3 of chemo last week and is doing well. The doctors told us that the effects of the chemo would be cumulative and this round has made her more tired than the others.

Round 3 of Chemo

As soon as we got settled into our house, we started having visitors. The Statons and the Briggs are some of our best friends from our time spent in Asia. We were stationed with the Statons in Korea and the Briggs in Japan.

The Staton Family

The Briggs Family

We spent the holiday weekend at the lake house and had a great time with family and friends. Sara and I were shocked on Friday afternoon when one of our best friends from pilot training walked through the gate into the backyard. We were clueless that my mom had been organizing a little reunion. Hille called a few weeks ago and told my mom that he and his girlfriend, Julia, were coming to Texas (from Germany) and wanted to surprise us. We had a great time with them and are so thankful for their visit.

Sara and Hille

Hille and Julia

At the Lake

The Fam

Sara had an appointment with the OB the day after her last chemo. They did a growth scan on Chloe and she seems to be doing well. She is growing on schedule and Sara's belly is getting bigger every week.

Thanks for checking on us. Sorry for the delay between updates...we have not had internet for the past few weeks.