"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bullet Post Update

::With 32 days left before we leave to go back to Uganda, we are beginning to ramp up preparations.  We can take 22 suitcases with us...full of clothes, school books, and a variety of things that are either difficult to find in country or very very expensive in country.  The kids are, for the most part, excited to go home.  For some of them, they are probably tempted to count minutes till we leave.  For some of them, they are still cherishing every minute left with cousins.

::I appreciate everyone's prayers for my health.  The doctors at Duke settled on a diagnosis of Primary Adrenal Insufficiency (AI) because of a form of non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia. (CAH)  I was likely born missing a partial enzyme that helps the adrenal glands produce the cortisol they are supposed to.  AI is a fairly rare disease and non classical CAH is a rare form of AI.  Many doctors haven't even heard of it...sometimes it's even featured on TV series that deal with rare diseases.  Often times people are surprised to hear that there is a group of people walking this planet that need daily steroids to stay alive.  AI is also a bit of difficult beast to work with, because your body doesn't produce the exact same amount of cortisol every day.  So I can't just take one pill every day and call it good.  If you are under job stress, a super busy day, have a difficult conversation, get in a car accident, or have surgery your body requires differing levels of cortisol for differing levels of stress.  Most stress is unpredictable...we know not what a day will bring...so more often than not, AI patients who loose the "fight or flight" hormone will have a few more sick days (for me that means lots of pain, fevers, stomach aches, nausea, racing heart, horrid brain fog, and lack of sleep) as we work in retrospect to gain back (cortisol) what God originally intended the body to do in tandem with life.  I carry a shot kit of steroid in case I were to ever find myself in a situation of sudden severe stress since patients with AI can easily and quickly go into shock. That is called an Adrenal Crisis and it can quickly lead to death if not stopped by a heavy dose of steroid. The positive news though is that most patients with CAH (me included) don't loose their ability to produce another hormone called aldosterone.  This offers me a level of protection (though not complete protection) from an adrenal crisis and I'm very thankful for that! (That's been the great news of the past couple weeks!)

I've known for quite a few years that this is my reality.  But it never fully set in until the doctor told me that it would likely be like this for the rest of my life.  Somehow I had always held out hope that if my life were to calm down enough (like maybe after Eric retires and the kids fly the nest? ha!) that I would someday be able to come off the steroids.  Well, that doesn't seem to be the case.  Seems like this is my "thorn" that God has given me to carry for his glory.  I do wonder sometimes at the idea that my life calling (homeschooling nine kids on the mission field?) doesn't seem to match with my diagnosis (take meds and do what you can to avoid stress. hmmm...)  I was convicted the other day though, that while I might not be able to do as much in life as I want, what I am able to do, I want to do well for the glory of God.  If I am able to do another activity with the kids or in the ministry, I want to do it for the glory of God.  If I am only able to sit on the couch for the day, well...that too should be done to the best of my ability for the glory of God.  Andree Seu says something like, "If the king asks you to conquer the hinter lands one day and shoe his horse the next, you do them both without slacking...for he is the king."  This is the cross that the King of Glory has called me to bear, so may I do it without slacking for his glory.

::We have several (about 10 plus) more churches to speak at through Michigan and Ontario, one more flight out to Oregon for our previous church's 25th anniversary, then a week of visitors, and then a week to pack.  Pray that we will find some rest, some time to pack, and a few more precious memories in it all.


  1. This is just such a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Yes, prayers for these weeks ahead and the travel home!

  3. Your attitude and perspective bring glory to the Lord and impact your family in great ways!! Well done, sister-friend!!

  4. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he faced a lot of pressure, but he refused to be distracted away from his conviction. He refused to be busy doing stuff God didn't ask him to do. Eventually, he made it to the other side of the in between, but I'm sure it wasn't easy.

    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    3 For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

  5. I pray God will give you times of rest.

  6. I'm so glad that you all have had such a blessed time stateside! Praying for you as you finish your time "home" . . . before heading home.

    Yes, God has called you to the life of homeschooling a large family on the mission field. He will give you what you need to do it, and to do it well (though it is not always easy, especially with a physical condition such as yours). I, too, have a thorn in my flesh, a physical condition that can be oh so aggravating. I, too, was called to the life of homeschooling an extra large family. I have found that through every age and every stage, God provides what I need to do His task at hand. My older 10 children have all flown the nest; I only have two teens left at home; I no longer homeschool (after 24 years). Yet . . . life is still CRAZY BUSY, doing all that He has called me to do. It is a new age and a new stage with new tasks and new responsibilities; but the Lord continues to give me the strength and the wisdom to face each new day. I know that He will do the same for you!

    Blessings to you all as you pack and begin your travels.