Monday, February 24, 2014

~ God At Work ~

Home... 

We have been home for a little over 1 month now. 

Some days it seems shorter, but other days- it seems like forever. 

This post has been in the making for, well- the past month now... 

I have had a difficult time trying to put words to our experience... 

How do you explain the Awesomeness of God? 

How do you put into words His presence?

How do words convey His healing? 

How do words capture His love? 


What I can say is that:

We are so humbled to be on this journey.

We are so humbled that God has prepared, and continues to prepare our hearts and lives for the miracles He has set forth before us.


We are in awe by His timing, His graciousness, and His plan. 

Although many have not seen His miraculous hand in our daughters lives- I am here tonight to tell you a few of the miracles that have transpired thus far: 

Firstly- you have to understand the nature of the disease we are dealing with... 

SMA- Spinal Muscular Atrophy. 

Google it, and you do not have to look very far to see the darkness that comes along with it. 

Bottom line and the easiest way to explain it:
It is a slowly paralyzing disease.  


okay- so with that in mind- I will go on... 

The disease affects all the muscles in the body- 

Your digestion system is a muscle group, therefore- digestion issues are a HUGE problem for SMA babies and children...

At 3 months old, constipation shows up in a fully breast fed baby. (both Denalli and Ryka)

Medicine and whatever we have to do is done, to keep the babies "normal". Soiled diapers were always a fight and always a struggle. 

UNTIL... Miracle #1

In El Salvador God moved within Ryka and fixed her digestion issues. He said it would be fixed and since then- she has had a "normal" bowel movement EVERY DAY....

PRAISE THE LORD for dirty diapers!
(Trust me- you are not thankful for them, until you have to fight for them... then once they come- they become a blessing in your day. :) )  


YAY GOD! 

So now, Rykas digestion issues are in the rear-view mirror. Onto to the next item of business: 

Bone Strength... 

On our way back home from El Salvador, we had to make a stop in Salt Lake City. Ryka had her 12 month check up for the SMA Study she is involved in. (Since she was 1 1/2 months old, we have been flying her out every 3 months to participate in an SMA Study to help further the research on SMA. )

At every check, they do different tests and follow the progression of SMA.

One of the tests is a bone density scan. 

Before I tell you MIRACLE #2, 
Let me give you a few more historical facts... 

1- Ryka has never crawled
2- Ryka can not stand up or bear her weight for more than a 10 seconds at a time
3- She has never sat up by her self
4- She has a hard time going from a sitting position to laying on the floor
5- She has never rolled over, sat up or stood up in her crib. 

Basically- she sits on the floor, or we carry her around... 

(don't get me wrong-We do work with her on a daily basis, trying to get her to do all the things listed above, but she is unable to do them on her own.) 

Okay- Just keep this all in mind- (Also, note that moving and muscle strength builds bone mass.) 

So- normally, when the bone density scan is done, the bone mass only increases at a minimal rate, or sometimes it decreases. 

When the scan was done at the check up- it had INCREASED SIXTY FIVE PERCENT. 

Say what?!? 

Yes- 65% 

Can you believe that? 

Even the lady that does the bone density scans on every SMA child that passes through the hospital at the University of Utah could not believe it. She said, " I have rarely seen this ever happen in a child with SMA". 

While going through the test results and getting the paperwork ready- She questioned me several different times on what we were doing with Ryka to make the test results so outstanding... 

I simply told her over and over again: 

"We are praying over our daughter and God is healing her." 



PRAISE. GOD.  


Isn't that SO EXCITING?!? 

Bone mass increasing at an unexplainable rate... 

Digestion issues are no longer an issue... 

Can I get an AMEN?!? 

:)

oh, What about Denalli?! 

Is that what you are wondering now? 

Well- let me walk you through the miracles happening in her life!!! 

History: Denalli hardly eats. 

True fact: I can probably count the number of times she has asked for a snack and finished the entire snack. 

She is never hungry....

She hardly EVER finishes her plate of small portioned food. 

She basically has survived because of the G-tube that pumps her nutrition into her every night. 

So- In El Salvador, the Lord moved within her digestive system and gave her an APPETITE! 

Silly is what you might think...

 BUT- take a child that has never felt hunger pains in the 6+ years of existence...

 Then have that same child complain of a "hurting tummy"- only to be fixed by a full plate of food... 

What is that called?!?

A MIRACLE!! 


:)

Today, she eats everything we put in-front of her. 

She ASKS for snacks!?!? 

She eats SECONDS!?!?!? 



WOW- GOD IS GOOD! 



Ready for the next one?!? 


MIRACLE # 2 for Denalli...

oh wait- I have to tell you the History first! :) 

Okay- so, lung capacity in SMA children... 

It's bad. 

Low tone of muscle makes the chest cavity sink in and become smaller than normal. (One of the MANY reasons why simple winter colds are so devastating to our SMA babies.) 

 To say the least- Denalli's chest cavity was sunken in. 

It was smaller and deformed. 

Yes- it "WAS"... 

Today- it IS NOT. 

Today- her chest cavity looks just like Talla's and DallieJo's and Grayett's... 

God has restored her lungs and her lung cavity...

THANK YOU JESUS! 


God is so Gracious... 



You see- this healing journey we are on- it is a JOURNEY. 

I fully believe the Lord could pull Denalli up out of her wheel-chair and let her walk... but the healing goes so much deeper than "just walking". 

The scars on our hears, the scars on our minds, all scars and internal problems do not go un-noticed by the Lord-

 He is healing in every moment we live, every breath the girls take, HIS healing is happening. 


The miracles that we have seen so far... 




This is just the beginning... 



Thank you for sharing in our Praise. 


Thank you for sharing in our Journey. 


The Lord is GOOD. 


Seek Him. 


Know Him. 



I pray everything at we do and say will point back to our Heavenly Father above. 


He gets the glory for all of this. 



He has given us this faith, and He has given us this journey. 


We are but humble vessels to share His light...




















Monday, December 30, 2013

~*~ El Salvador ~*~



We are HERE! 



We flew into El Salvador on Christmas day. 
It didn't didn't seem like Christmas at all really... 
Hot weather, green grass and ocean air... 
defiantly not like any Christmas we have had before! 





After arriving at the airport we made it through all the paperwork, then we loaded up a van and settled in for the 2+ hour ride ahead. 

The sights are so different...

The bugs are few... 
The temperature is perfect... 
The oranges are plentiful...
The poverty is heartbreaking....
The way of live is casual and leisurely... 
The people are friendly... 
 The Roads are narrow... 
Everything is SO GREEN... 
The Spaghetti is Spicy.. 
The Sugar Cane is at least 13 foot tall...
The food is good, (but I am really starting to miss my kitchen)... 

Here are a few pics from the adventures we have had over the past few days. If you would like to see more, please Click here




Enjoy!! 






Bananas still on the stem...




A woman cooking in her kitchen... 




The Kitchen sink...




A delicious plate of food... 




A ginormous tree that was SO beautiful. 





The family that is being BLESSED by God's miracles... 




A crab that is found under the rocks of the main land... they say it tastes REALLY GOOD... gonna have to take their word on this one... 




A beautiful Waterfall. 



Ryka sleeping in a hammock. 




A wonderful friend that ate a red jolly rancher... I think it affected her purse, hair and tongue!! 





A step back in time. 




My beautiful little princess. 




Throughly enjoying some FRESH coconuts! 






After we drank all the juice out of the coconuts, the guy with the machete split the coconut for us so we could scrape the flesh right out and eat it too. SO YUMMY! 







A pineapple BUSH... Who knew?!? 




The spectacular View




Farming on the side of a VERY steep hill... I honestly don't know how they do it!! 



A friendly Cow... Horns are a good thing in this country!?! 




The collection of things found on our hike... Left to right: coconut, yellow flowers, pink flowers, red flowers, more flowers, small orange and a bigger (green) orange... 




An orange tree loaded with GREEN oranges! 




Casey and Denalli playing in the ocean...




Footprints in the sand...



 the cutest baby EVER... 




 more of the Cutest Baby EVER... 




Denalli and Ryka feeling a wave for the first time... 




Casey splashing in the ocean...




Denalli quickly wrote her name in the sand before the waves could wash it away.. 




AMEN! 




My wonderful man! 




Denalli stuck in the mud! 





 Casey and Ryka. 




Mommie and Ryka.




Denalli and Ryka playing in the pool at the ocean... the pool water was easier on their eyes compared to the salty ocean water... 




Splashing away!




Mom and babies chillaxin on the beach... 




 Perfect moment... 




Casey and his main squeeze... 




Enjoying the waves and water...





the waves...




Here they come! 




Looking out across the waves...




a sea creature coming out of its shell! 




My babe, all tuckered out... 




LOVE the hammocks! We are gonna be bringing one home! 




A beautiful sunset for a beautiful day... 


God is hard at work. 
We are experiencing things on all different levels that we have never experienced before. 
We feel Him here. 
We KNOW He is here. 
We see Him at work! 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! 

Stay tuned for the next "wave" of pictures and blessings!


*HUGS*
~ One BLESSED mommie~ 


Saturday, December 21, 2013

48 Hours and Counting down....

A little over 48 hours to be together as a family...

48 hours to soak up all the 
hugs,
 kisses,
 giggles,
smiles,
 tears, 
snuggles,
love,
and moments
 of my three precious children that will be left behind.....

The suitcases are filling up... 

Our hearts are bursting with tons of emotions... 

The reality of the ENORMOUS journey we are about to embark on, is staring us in the face... 


Accepting the call to go to El Salvador, booking the air line tickets, getting passports in the mail, setting dates, arranging schedules, and organizing life details has all been like a dream.... 

Now that the suitcases are on the bed, clothes are being sorted out, folded and carefully packed... the reality of this trip is slowly seeping into my soul....

My eyes seem to fill up with tears at the thought of not holding my children for such an extended period of time.... 


This is the time of year families are supposed to gather close together... 

But in our case, we will be spread father apart than we ever been...


We will leave early Christmas Eve morning and head to the air-port, where we will say good-bye to our three middle children. 

My-self, Denalli and Ryka will be separated from Grayett, DallieJo and Talla Kaye for 22 days.... 

Daddy will be separated from them for 13 days... 

They will be in the good care of family and friends. 

I pray that they understand... 

I pray they do not get anxious or home sick... 

I pray they have the comfort and love they need to be sustained throughout this separation..... 


After our bitter sweet goodbye, we will fly from Rapid City to Denver, then onto Houstan, Tx, where we will be grounded for 9 hours, then we will fly into San Salvador on Christmas day. 

Once we get to San Salvador, we will meet up with a relative of the family we are traveling with, and he will take us onto our hotel. 

I am praying for peace and comfort as we step into a world that none of us have ever experienced before....

The day after Christmas we will meet up with our "family" and head to the church, to begin crying out to God... 


Naturally, I have had several questions about this Journey ahead of us, so I will try and go over a few more details: 


Q:  Money: are we paying to have our daughters prayed over, or is there any money involved in taking them to the church?

A:  
NO. Please understand that the church we are taking them to is of Godly-Christian based beliefs. It is a church where people are being healed by the word of God. A church where an anointed individual lays hands on people and prays over them. A church where an offering in accepted, but not required in any shape or form. (Think of traveling to a different town and attending a new church. You are not expected to give any money, but if you feel led to do so as the offering plate passes by- go ahead and give. ) 
To a church where miracles and healing are an everyday event. A church that prays over people 6 out of 7 days of the week- year around. They seek God with ALL they have. They do not solicit for money. They do not have any sort of web-site or advertisement of any sort. The only reason we know of this church, is due to a family that God brought into our lives a few years ago. 

It is a church that calls on Gods healing and EXPECTS it. 

(The only "money" involved is normal expenses like- plane tickets, hotel fees, rental car, food, traveling expenses, ect. )



Q: How can I/We pray?

A:  Ultimately we are going to seek God's healing for Denalli and Ryka. We are going and EXPECTING God's healing hand to work within their bodies.... 
Pray that God is Glorified in all things. 
 Pray He ultimately heals Denalli and Ryka.
Pray that our faith remains strong. 
Pray God reveals Himself. 
Pray for safety. 



Q: Where will you be staying?

A: We will be staying in a "nice hotel" in the city of Auhuachapan. I am told that the word "nice" means that the hotel has guards on the outside protecting it.... This is where the Prayers for safety come in!! :) 



Q: Is this a missions trip?

A: Well, yes and no. Honestly we probably would have gotten a better response/more support if we would have called it a missions trip... (right now, the general population just thinks we are plain crazy!)  But this is not a typical "missions trip"..... it is more. We are going to El Salvador to meet God where He is and stand on His truths of healing and restoration. We are on a personal mission to seek healing for our daughters. It is indeed a "missions trip" for us. We taking
 clothes for the El Salvadorian people, that have been rounded from our community.  The majority of us will be there for almost 3 weeks, and we will do whatever we can to "shine our light" wherever we go....




Q: Will you have access to internet/phone, ect? 

A: YES!! We will have internet in our hotel lobby, so please send your questions/thoughts/comments if you have any! We will more than likely have a phone also... I have some things set up, but will have to wait and see if they work when we get there...



Q: Why in the world are you going to El Salvador?

A: This is a loaded question... 
Point blank: we are going to seek God's healing.
 He has called us to go there and ultimately made a way for us to be there. (getting my husband to leave the country is a miracle in its-self, let alone everything else that has transpired up to this point!) We are going to El Salvador, because we know God is working there and healing there. We fully understand He could heal our daughters here within the states, but basically- WHY NOT go where HE is at? In the bible, when the Lord preformed "miracles", there were a few instances that the people were healed on the spot. When most of the miracles happened- the people seeking them had to "take action"- for example: Jesus spit into the dirt, made some mud, rubbed it on the blind mans' eyes, then told the blind man to go wash the mud off. After the mud was washed off, the blind man could see! Action. Something physically was done. Jesus smeared mud on a blind man's face, had the blind man rinse it off, and this caused him to see! (Is that weird at all to you?) There was also time and waiting involved in some of the miracles. Some of the miracles Jesus preformed instantaneously, but others He waited for time to pass to bring "more glory to God". When he raised Lazarus from the dead, 4 days had passed since Lazarus died. After Lazarus was good and dead, Jesus prayed and told him to come out of the tomb. Lazarus came out with his body wrapped in the burial cloth. Why did he wait? To bring "more glory to God". John 11:1-6


I fully understand that Jesus could miraculously heal my daughters here. I also understand that it could take time to see His work... 

But once again: He is healing there, has called us to go, so WE GO! 

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

 God is God, and I am me... 
I will not try to figure out anything beyond that! 

Well, if you have ANY questions/thoughts/comments: PLEASE ASK!! Although, I may not have all the answers... I will tell you what I know! 


In ending, I wanted to offer you a chance at some 
El Salvadorian Coffee! We have the opportunity to bring it back and share it with you! 
The coffee available is AMAZING!

Think premium coffee grown on the mountains of El Salvador, picked this month which is out drying in the sun as I type. When we go down this month it will be roasted over an open fire and brought back to your waiting coffee mugs.- This coffee is TO DIE FOR!! It is smooth and sweet. I can drink it without ANY creamer OR sugar- which should SPEAK VOLUMES!!! 

Please comment or shoot me an e-mail if you are interested: 

Coffee is $12/lb or $50/5lbs

Cacao Beans are also available: $15/lb- 
(you can choose raw or roasted)

Ps. I checked other "premium" coffee prices in the area and found that most everything was higher priced than the coffee I will bring back... Just saying- Extremely good and fresh coffee for a good price!! ;) Also- not gonna lie: sales of the coffee are helping fund this journey! :) 


Thanks for reading my thoughts! 

Thanks for your support!

~THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS~ 


Romans 15:13



I'll talk to ya in when we are in warmer weather!!
~One BLESSED mommie