Welcome

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

.update.


Long over due, as usual.... Can you believe we are finished with Delayed Intensification already? The time in Jack's treatment I dreaded most, has come to an end! And even though there was an 8 day hospital stay in the middle of it all, it was better than I thought it would be by far! Jack is such a trooper, and has endured so much. He has been full of energy on most days, which is a joy to us all. When we walked into the clinic last week to start the next round of chemo, the Dr we work with smiled and said, "You did it! You made it through the toughest part! All down hill from here!" Wow, enter an audible sigh of relief!

He began his next phase of chemo treatment last Friday, and has another dose of chemo every 10 days until the end of September. This past dose, he came down with some mouth sores and thrush, which are common side effects of the chemo he was given. After a few days, of most foods hurting his mouth, the sore healed up enough that eating was not painful, and now the thrush is almost gone too. And his energy has not diminished much at all.

Jordan and I recently were going back on all the blog posts about this time in our lives, and we have just been struck with how merciful God has been to us. Although this trial has been great, the grace we have encountered has been greater. God has protected Jack from so much, and he has just breezed through so much of this time. So many prayers have been answered, and we all value each other so much more, respect one another, and love more deeply than ever. So much fruit has been born from this trial, and we are undone at the mercy of God.



On the house front, we did get the house we had applied for, but did not have peace about moving forward. So we ended up declining that home. Then we moved on to another home, and were in the process of applying to rent it, full of faith and eagerly anticipating moving in the coming month. Well, I went down on Tuesday last week to turn in our application, take pictures, and move in in my mind! When I got home from this, Jordan had the fresh news that our insurance is dependant upon us STAYING in MD. The plan we have is a Cobra Maryland Continuation Program from his previous employer. SO,we are now NOT moving until November. Crazy times.

So I really struggled with this news. I do not think in my mind I was doubting the good plan of God. I know in my mind, that he has the best plan for us. But believeing that, truly holding fast to that was where I was struggling. I think I was wrestling with disappointment, which I know was normal, but then I started feeling sorry for myself. I was so consumed with how hard this was, that I failed to see the hand of God in it, and in turn, see it as for my good. I have been so provoked by the following line in William Cowper's Hymn, "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform."

"Judge not the lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace.
Behind a frowning providence, he hides a smiling face."

Oh how quick I am to assume I know what is best for me. That I can some how see all the variables, know what the perfect scenario is, understand the hearts of all around me. How glad my heart is to know that although I cannot claim any such knowledge, there is one that does. It took me a couple days to wrap my mind around this truth, and other ones like it. I feel certain that the Lord is bringing us through the deep waters of trial of various kinds, so that our faith is deepened, He is glorified, and we grow in our love and utter dependence on a loving Father.



I have many pictures to post, so hopefully (we shall see!) I can get some up soon. Thanks for praying with us, for asking how we are doing, and for standing with us during this time. We are so amazed at the continued love and support from so many. Grateful beyond words.

.home.

The happy news to share is that Jack is HOME! Yesterday morning, Jordan called to tell me Jack's ANC went up to 215! Although not officially discharged at the time, we knew they would be coming home. So happy. It took all day, but finally, around 4:30, they left the hospital!

We are so grateful to be all together again. Thank you friends for the many many prayers said on our behalf. We surely feel the care and are lifted up by your petitions to our Father, who hears them all. It is humbling to realize the multitude of friends praying for us, and we are just undone by your care for us.

And on the topic of homes, I am not sure who out there is reading this blog, and who knows what else is going on in our lives besides Jack... but we are looking to move soon! We have the honor to be a part of a church plant in Arlington VA with our dear friend, Eric and Lisa, Josh and Ali, Phil and Jess, and so many new friends. Jordan will be working as a pastor on staff with the church, and we are so humbled to get to build a church with these people. We are so excited to live down there and be close to the people who have already served us so much.

Which is why we have been looking for a new place to rent in Arlington, VA, and are hoping to move sometime in September. We actually have been looking for a few weeks now, and have found a few promising homes. We are actually waiting now, to see if one we both liked, will accept our offer. We will find out on Sunday or Monday.

Nothing like waiting on the Lord for big things like this. These are the times, when I realize nothing I can do can sway a mans heart(potential landlord), but only the Lord can open the doors and lead us where we are to go. The owner of the home has another applicant they are reviewing, and then we are next. Only the Lord can direct us. We want His will. And we have come to learn that the decision about where we will live is ultimately in the hands of the Lord. "The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will." Proverbs 21:1

So we wait, again, on the Lord. I think God is trying to teach me something.... hopefully I will learn sooner than later! But the Lord is patient with me, and gently teaches me to rest and wait on him. His burden is light, and his grace is sufficient. Whether is be this home or another, we are confident that the Lord will provide for all our needs. Isn't it exciting knowing that we are waiting for and will soon see the plans of the Lord for us unfold?! I will keep you posted when we find out!

.hospital again.

On Wednesday afternoon a week ago, Jack started feeling warm to me, and by the time he woke up from his afternoon nap he was just hot. He had a temperature of 101.1, so we knew we were headed into the hospital. Jordan took him in, and ended up in the ER until after midnight. They finally got admitted and into a room around 1 am. Because Jack is not 3 yet, they have a rule that the little ones have to sleep in "Cribs," which look a lot more like cages than anything else. We have faced this every time we are admitted. We have to beg and plead to get Jack a normal sized bed, and by the end of the second day, we got one.

Since then, we have been waiting each day to hear what Jack's counts were, since he was fever free and we could give him antibiotics from home, to see if we could go home or not. After the second day, they found he did have a Staph infection, and have been treating him with antibiotics since we got here, but also specific antibiotics to his infection. He seems to be feeling fine, and is adjusting to hospital life. His counts have to be 200 or greater to be released, and well, the timing of us coming was not optimal for that happening. He was still getting chemo when we were admitted, and chemo has it's fullest effect 7-10 days after is it given. The doctors have been saying they expect us to have to stay for a while... Not exactly the kind of prediction of length of stay you hope for.

In the meantime, I caught a nasty cold Saturday and have been sick since. This is somewhat problematic, when your child with whom you are supposed to be caring for has absolutely no defense against the germs you are now full of and sneezing around. So I have been a hand washing machine and wearing a mask when I am close to his face. I have been exercising as much restraint as I can to not kiss him, and my nose is raw from using paper towels as tissues! So far, he shows no signs of having caught anything from me, Praise the Lord!

Jordan and I have been doing shifts here, ranging from 12 hours, to overnight and all day... Really whatever we can do for each other to give the other rest. We have Dylan being passed around to friends who have graciously been watching him for us, and our dear friends Josh and Ali Deckard, have allowed me and Jordan and Dylan to take turns sleeping at their home pretty much since Thursday night, taking such good care of us. Jordan and my parents have been heroes and taken care of Tyler for us since last Wednesday as well, both sides playing with him, and taking him to the pool countless times. He has been well cared for, as has Dylan.

So now we just wait; wait for his ANC to go up, wait on the Lord, who controls every cell in his body, and rest in the fact that this is where God wants us to be right now. The longer we are here, the more my heart aches for the other families who are in similar, or worse situations. There is so much sorrow and grief and fear on this floor. We have such hope in the gospel, in Christ, in the Lord who is near to us even in extended trails. If we are here for this longer stay just to be an encouragement to any other family here, then it will be time well spent. I want to hug the other children here, I want to pray with the other moms. I am praying the Lord open doors to do that, but if that doesn't happen, I will be content to pray for them, knowing that it was the prayers of so many friends that brought comfort and peace to my soul many many times.

I was just thinking this morning, how I miss having my family all together, my children all with me at the same time. Something I have often taken for granted, this simple time when we are under the same roof, just being together, is what I so look forward to in a few days (we hope!). I feel so separated from my little family, Jordan and I are like ships passing by each other, we only have brief times together between the "shift changes" and even that is distracted by caring for Jack or trying to figure out the logistics of who is watching which child and where and when, ect. Thank goodness this is a short time we are now in, with an eventual end in sight. I cannot imagine this for weeks, and months; yet I know that even if that were the trial we were in, grace would abound, as it has here and now.

I think Jordan is sending me back home tonight, so I can get better. Then hopeful, I will be back here Friday, or Jack will be able to come home. I must brag about my husband for one moment. He has served our son, and me without complaint this entire time. While trying to find time to work, and yet constantly caring for Jack, sleeping here at the hospital almost every night, and being filled with faith that this is where God has us right now... Man I am a blessed woman to have such a steadfast and humble servant of a husband. He brings God much glory in the ways he has served us. I am so grateful for this man that God has given to me.

I hope the next update is one of us getting to go home! But for now, here are the stats on Jack:
WBC: 1.1
HbC: 8.4
Plt: 91
ANC: 154

Pray these numbers rise, and my cold clears up and we can pack our bags and head home!