12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Health, Ministry, Peace, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Support…Truly A Gift

Dan and I have longed to have our big equipment be covered as the expense of these machines aren’t cheap so taking care of them is much needed. Over the past year, we have been praying about how this could happen and where. It dawned on me one day our hay shelter has room either side to add a lean-to. So I asked Dan about it. He looked at it and just like that…we had an idea to use this space to “hide” and protect much of this loose equipment. Next hurdle…money. We continued to pray…

And as Dan was sharing how he would build this he asked a friend who is experienced in building some suggestions. This man jumped at not only building it but paying for it ALLLLLL as well! Only JESUS provides like this! Truly…a gift!

Men at work for the Lord

I made a fun lunch for them using my homemade hummus. A little worried they wouldn’t like the healthy eating…but gave it a shot. They loved it! Plus a full mason jar full of Truvy Heart and Hydration drink which is full of electrolytes, like drinking Gatorade but MUCH better for you. You can try the variety pack here.

Here is the recipe for the wrap and hummus.

If you are an energy drinker, ask me how to improve your health by getting the boost, but not bad caffeine. Truvy has a wonderful NEW product that TRULY is wonderful especially for those early mornings or jobs which you need a boost. Here is the product if you want to check it out. Comes in 3 flavors. I highlighted the Cucumber/Mint, but feel free to add what you like. SOOOO delicious! And hydrates as well! What energy drink does that? NONE!

Another 4 legged friend

Our little Tigger has not been back from her adventures in the wild for over 2 weeks so we decided to add another little one to help keep Mousy company. Meet Moon…a female rescue…

Sorry for the poor image…she’s a skittish one.

More to come

They guys are still at work finishing this project as rain and sessions delayed them. One thing which is hard doing big projects in the summer is our heavy schedule of kids and IS our priority no matter what else is important to get done. Working around the sessions is a must. I will post the finished look soon, I hope!

God’s blessings upon you…

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life

November 22, 2020

I have only been muskie fishing once, at least on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I love to fish, just like some action. Compared to Canada where you catch a fish almost every cast… You will for sure need patience if muskie fishing is a sport you wish to take up. I have heard it can be exciting. Was not for me. 6 hours in a boat swirling your rod around in the water every now and then. Nothing, no excitement, not even a weed. Definitely challenges your patience. Ahh that word again patience.

James 1:2-8

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. …

I think of the word “Perseverance”. It is to keep on going even when it sometimes does not make sense, like trying to catch a muskie all day long. Allowing perseverance to finish its work is the part where we must be patient, just like today. Patients is sometimes taking in a deep breath and looking at the beauty all around you.

Looks like we are in a waiting game. Patience. The days all seem to be blended together. Losing track of time and missing my wife! Like Lee said last Friday we passed like 2 ships in the night… Today we hear that numbers are stable so no blood transfusion! PRAISE. Still need to get the muscle mass up and hit that 1700 calorie number so he can get the tube out. We may see him moved to the rehab facility yet this week. Could even be Thanksgiving day. We will keep you posted. Mitch has been trying to connect on facebook and catching up on emails. This is a good sign as he is trying to reach out and get a sense of normalcy.

This is fishin’

November 22, 2020

A special week it is…a week to celebrate Thanksgiving…THANKFULNESS and GIVING…I believe a time we should all be celebrating every day!

Today, even as I type… marks 3 weeks with Mitch’s journey of life. I hope one day I won’t come upon a Sunday and keep doing this where I count the weeks but instead switch to not looking back but forward.

Dan and I had our morning devotional (on the phone) and one thing that hit us is how the Lord is always on our side. “He guides our way, and He gets the say. When we fail, He loves us still. When we’re unfaithful, He remains faithful.” Suzie Larson devotional. (link)

The doctors came in saying, ” some days will be two steps forward and one step back.” We have seen that played out daily for sure and seeming more steps back in the earlier weeks.

The steps reminded me of the poem many know of the Lord Footprints. Walking in the snow this morning down at the ranch and looking at Nuggets hoof print and mine facing one direction and then of course when I turned around he followed me going the other way, I was reminded the Lord is with us each step of the way. Taking the steps forward and even backward He is with us. His prints are in mine walking in together. Not over mine not even next to me, but right within me, totally with me.

Together with Christ we get through the backward days.

Dan and I are so thrilled to see such a difference in Mitch! The doctor’s only concern is his loss of muscle and how thin he is. They are trying to get him to eat today every 2 hours and to walk even more. He asks questions to the doctors now vs. just lying there nodding. Mitch is defiantly having a forward foot day!

So with the good news, we also know there will be backward foot days but we will STILL GIVE OUR LORD PRAISE! I love this hymn from the Gaither family and hope it blesses all of you as you celebrate EVERY DAY in gratitude! Life…second chances…some third chances…for all of us to know we have a God who loves us and is with us if we choose HIS path to follow in HIS footsteps. Praise Jesus!

November 21, 2020

3:30pm..from Lee as Dan is gallivanting in the cities I guess Christmas shopping for me! Update on Mitch’s tests both x ray show the feeding tube is in the right place and the ultrasound this morning showed the blood flow is good too and no sign of clotting. Mitch has been experiencing constant need to get sick so they wanted to make sure no underlining issues existed. He walked a lot today and the pain is more under control. He even got his hair washed and looks dashing! Another brighter day…off to do chores and come back to talk to him before he rests for the night. SOOO amazing he is doing well now! Pray for continued healing!

Got on this morning and Mitch is doing much better. We sure are blessed to be able to have this technological connection. I can kinda tell he is on the mend as he ordered PIZZA! Mind you now this is not his favorite “Rafferty’s Finest W/Bacon”. Wouldn’t that be neat to have a Rafferty’s in the hospital! Will have to talk to Mark about that one. Mitch has had a unit of blood every day as his body tries to catch up. The feeding tube is still in place to help with his malnourishment issues. He is scheduled for another ultrasound to make sure he does not have another hematoma. We sure don’t want another emergency surgery. Please pray for clear results. Should find out a bit later today and will update.

Mitch’s new puppy is getting older! Kinzey gave her Mitch’s jacket and she just cuddled right up and laid on it. If she can’t have her master in person, she got the next best thing…his smell!

We got moved into the apartment and it sure is nice. 2 separate bedrooms, nice living room, big kitchen and a much needed freezer for any meals we might get. When Mitch gets out of rehab we can have a separate room for him away from the noise. I never thought I would be getting an apartment in the cities! Those that no me know just how much I like the city life… Anyway we are blessed and the timing is of course God’s perfect timing.

God’s never early, never late, but always on time. … God’s perfect timing does two things: It grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in God and it makes certain that HE, and HE alone, gets the glory and praise for pulling us through. “My times are in Your hands …” Psalm 31:15

November 20, 2020

For all law enforcement skip the next few sentences…

I was so joyful to see Mitch waking up energized, talkative, and heading to the restroom a little easier after all this time! Today began a brighter day for all of us!  What a change even in 2 days! I now felt secure in knowing he is on his way to healing that I could feel good about heading home.  Defiantly a better timing!  Heading down 94, KTIS blaring with the song RISE UP, tears flowing, and glancing at the speedometer reading 80…I was praising the Lord for all He has done! Your timing is always perfect Lord! ( I did slow down by the way back to the speed limit just so you know)Dan and I literally were 2 ships passing in the wind as he was arriving in the cities to meet with the gal for the housing and I were headed out. So sad we won’t see each other for another week but for the sake of the Covid, we want to make sure we are both healthy and clear when the little dude gets the  OK to come home.  So taking all precautions we sacrifice being with each other for a bit longer. 

I arrived at a clean home with Kinzey taking a big part in making sure the sheets were washed and the house filled with essential oil smell and a dog kind of excited to see me. Cruz is a bit confused and unsure of what is going on. Most border collies do not like change so he is adjusting to the routine and me once again.  Of course, it was also time to be heading to the ranch to get my sniff and fuzz fix. Cruz loved that and it made both of our days! Oh, the clean fresh air of the woods and animals over the city is SO refreshing! It lifted my spirits for sure. I just feel a little sad Mitch is facing at least another 2 weeks. But timing is key. HIS timing, not ours. 

Think about all the right timing since this whole journey began. The timing of the transplant. The liver available just for Mitch. The many needed surgeries. Many, many, friends and family praying us through. How I almost left when yet another surgery was needed and of course the housing coming at just the perfect time…ONLY GOD can do all that! ONLY HIM!  

A sunset paddle boarding adventure with Mitch and Kinzey…a special time together.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

It is hard to wait. I wanted so desperately for us all to be together by now, but looking back at all that has taken place I know the Lord has the perfect time for his arrival back home. For now, Dan and I enjoy the breaks and rest we need to prepare for the next steps and even though we are all apart we hang onto the love poured out from others and our daily time with Jesus.  Time with Jesus…it is…what gives us peace and JOY in the worst of times and the best of times! 

I am looking at a beautiful sunset with no buildings or distractions and in awe of it all. There is no perfect time like the present to embrace such a gift as accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Take it from this girl who has gone down this road without Him…I lost out on a lot of precious time of peace and joy. One never knows when your time is up. So don’t wait…your time may be now. 

November 19, 2020

The stress we feel on a daily basis has been more than I think I have ever gone through. I think it’s due to not having ANY control over this situation, how Mitch is feeling, and the ins and outs of balancing his pain and medications. Oh, and we can’t be with him during the most stressful time of our son’s life. STRESSSSSSS!

Every day the nurses are awesome listing the multiple meds before giving them and even reminding him what their purpose is. Mitch is still dealing with pain and now nausea. His feeding tube is causing issues on many levels but the doctors are stating the importance of keeping it in place because he needs to gain some weight. The stress of the forever balancing act of meds and issues is exhausting. As I type this he is on a PT walk trying to build up his muscle mass which is close to dangerous. He came back with some excitement in his voice, “I did some stairs!” The stress level immediately went down for me as I watched him walk in. Just hearing his voice be perkier and of course, doing more than he’s done in almost 3 weeks. WHEW…a sigh of relief…are we getting to the other side of all this? I sure am praying and knowing again, the Lord has this!

“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Psalm 119:143

Dan and I have been apart for a week now which adds to my stress. Not having him around especially two days ago when Mitch had the emergency surgery. Stress can defiantly overtake my mind so I often will turn on worship music to help me change my focus. It works…every time!

Praise the Lord for all He has done!

We just got a call the apartments set up for long care families has an opening. We were 6th on the list on Monday and now #1. Things happen so unexpectedly we can really never plan ahead. I guess a reminder, “not to worry about tomorrow today has enough of its own.” holds true as only our Lord knows. Dan will come down to help with the move and I will, GOD WILLING head home for some much-needed rest in my own bed and get my animal fix including Kinzey. (which could fit into the animal category) Just the thought of digging my nose in the horse’s necks relieves my stressful thoughts! Someone should come up with a horse smelling essential oil. I know many horse friends who would wear them, especially under stress.

A roller coaster of emotions and stress will be never-ending with this journey or any journey the Lord allows. It’s all in how we handle it when it hits. Do we make it worse by worrying or do we stop and pray? Will we choose to recognize our thoughts and turn to thoughts of praise and thanksgiving or cave and go into a downward spiral of despair? Dan knows full well from the latter! Stress is one of the key reasons for many illnesses’ in our world and truly I believe as Dan and I face this one daily, sometimes by moment, we MUST turn our minds towards Christ. He is always with us and promises to take it away. What a difference it has made for both of us when we do.

Thank you all for praying us through…Mitch is doing so great today! I finally feel a little stressed FREE!

PRAISE AND GLORY AND THANKSGIVING to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!!!!!

November 18, 2020

Getting out and shopped for Mitch’s transition to rehab, getting a different view outside of the campus and hospital area as well as this hotel room just felt so refreshing and hopeful. Mitch had such a great morning of progress until it all hit …his incision area was expanding causing unbearable pain. As Dan and I watched on the video our son in pain, not being able to hold his hand only with our voices be able to tell him, “we are here and are praying you through.”

“I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child.” Isaiah 66:13

The Lord comforts us in many ways. He hears us, He demonstrates His presence through others, He shows us in His word or song, He breaths hope when we are still and praise Him. 

Our new way of connection…so awesome!

This passage spoke to me as we can not comfort Mitch the way we want. Even watching the staff make his bed this morning as they took him to ultrasound because his liver #’s are up, I wanted so badly to replace her and do that for him. But it’s not now. Both Dan and I have another job given to us. Pray, seek, and continue to trust in HIS plan. What some may think, even me, that not being with him physically really stinks it is what the Lord allowed for a purpose we don’t understand. Yet comforted knowing Jesus is with Mitch and He is protecting Him. Truly this does comfort me. The staff is amazing. Dan got up in the middle of the night listening to the nurse being so sweet to Mitch he started to cry knowing Mitch is being comforted by others. We can’t be with him always, but Jesus is!. Talk about letting go…this is it!

November 17, 2020

6:30pm Mitch is out…Praise the Lord they caught the bleed. It was over the mesh and because he is on blood thinners and still holding a lot of inflammation due to still healing they do see this. This surgeon has had 2. Mitch still could face this until he heals completely we will pray for NOT! Dan was on his way…made in only 5 miles when I got the call. So he is back home. I was planning on heading home tomorrow but now decided to stay until Mitch is on his way to rehab or a day from it. He was doing SO well this morning. Just waiting to see him on the new video Dan set up. Hoping he will be back on the floor and not in ICU. It’s a mess down there now with covid…THANK YOU ALL for praying and holding him up and us.

EMERGENCY SURGERY

05:05pm As I write this I see Mitch lying in bed in 9+ pain. They can’t get it under control and he has a bulge in his scare area with leaking fluids. They are concerned he has a bleed and or colon disconnect. PLEASE PRAY. There is an army of doctors and nurses getting him ready. Unfortunately they will have to open him back up. Thank you warriors.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Dan-Expected arrival 16:55

So I was on the way back home to the cities having to leave Lee to tend to Mitch. Everyone knows just how much I like the cities… Turning my trusty GPS on to navigate through the landmine of traffic, lake size potholes, thousands of orange cones, sign that keeps saying “End Road Work” and ohhhhh happy drivers. Of course the drivers pay entire attention to the road in front of them as they somewhat blindly rocket through traffic. (pretty sure I saw someone putting on makeup). Thinking we need to work on vehicle control vs 2nd amendment control. Some people don’t realize they are driving a weapon of potential mass destruction out of control. Just think how many of those vehicles are unregistered, just sayin’

Anyways, back to driving. So I get past the Rogers area and the GPS which is tracking me from a geosynchronous orbit 22000 miles or so above the earth wants to reroute me. In an effort to really want to get home I felt frustrated as I have made this trip many times and wanted to go the fastest way I knew. I wanted to trust in myself, not wanting to trust the GPS. Then I saw a bright sign, crash ahead… expect delays… With a flash I had a nudge (HOLY SPIRIT) to exit NOW and follow the GPS. Expected arrival 16:53.

Arrived safely. 16:47 (For those not math orientated looks like I saved 8 minutes)

Then I heard the news. The following is a snippet from the Star Tribune:

Semitrailer truck that stopped on freeway may have spawned last week’s 29-vehicle pileup on Interstate 94 in Monticello

“The State Patrol continues to look for the truck and its driver, and is asking for help from anyone who was on the scene. “

Trusting the GPS saved me about 4 hours not 8 minutes. So I got to thinking… What else could GPS stand for? God Promises Salvation for those who trust in him. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

See, following the lead of the HOLY SPIRIT kept my path straight. (Even though I felt I was getting the runaround with the GPS)

I think of Mitch right now as we are faced with the decision of the hospital to not accept visitors. Our plea was to let Lee in with an “exception”. Today realizing we are not “entitled”, our thinking got clearer. Thinking our plea should have been, Lord let Your Will be done and have it be the best decision for all. While Mitch was in ICU I had asked if they had an iPad so we could communicate with him and they said no, we don’t provide that type of thing.. We received multiple offers from my sister, an old customer and also a good friend Matt who just happened to be on his way to the area of the U with an iPad. Mitch got moved to the 7th floor and after speaking to the nurse manager pleading to have Lee get this exception she said she did not feel very confident the director would approve an exception. Just then she said we do have dedicated iPads for you to log into. WOW. I jumped on that project. We had a few technical issues but got things going as of this morning! Lee & I can both be on at the same time. What a relief. 

We have a great sense of peace that God has protected and placed up a mighty shield not only for Mitch and Lee but all the other patients in the hospital and we rest in this:

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

We are resting assured… HE IS IN CONTROL.

November 16, 2020

It all finally caught up to me! Yesterday at 3pm I just couldn’t stay for my shift…I was exhausted and feeling I just wanted to go to bed. The good old word of REST which has been a word I have pondered, prayed for, and encouraged others to embrace for over 2 years has kicked hard. Because I didn’t rest enough and not embracing it myself, I had a restless night.

When I needed to leave, PT came in at the same time which was perfect in giving him another focus. He is still struggling with pain and discerning all that is being said to him with the many who engage in his day. Between therapy, nurses, doctors, social workers, it really is too much at times. The good news is he improves every day even though he doesn’t think so. He walks more and is being pushed to walk even more. His muscle mass is down so the doctor got on him today via video chat as yes, I am sitting in the hotel room taking a day off. He is on his own for the first time since we’ve been here and I know he will do well as he has quite the cheerleaders on 7A.

It’s amazing how many liver transplants they have done since we arrived. Just 5 alone last week. Many over 60 yrs old plus. Each one of them walks speedily by his door and I tell him, “that will be you soon.” He asked me the question, “when did they get their’s?” I told him, “a week ago but remember you had complications and 5 other surgeries so you have an excuse not to be where they are.” Every time people walk the staff cheers them on. Saying their name and rooting for them. It’s so cool. I will miss that today and guess what…it looks like I won’t be able to go back!

The hospital announced today is the last day for visitors. He wants me to come at least for the day, but here’s the thing…rest…I need to rest. If I don’t, I could jeopardize the weeks ahead. I told him to call me as much as he wants and to focus on the goal of walking. The days will go quickly. Dan is working on getting me to be with him during rehab or in on some of the aftercare info so we are hopeful I will see him soon.

“On the seventh day God rested from all the work He had been doing.” Genesis 2:2

The sacrifice is great choosing rest over being with our son during such a difficult time, but I believe the consequences of not resting is even greater. The Lord gave us a command to take a day of rest (just so happened it was Sunday too) because the Lord knows our bodies and minds need rest. I need to trust the staff is taking care of Mitch and he will be ok without me there. God is faithful and gracious in all the details so I will rest IN HIS presence and knowing Mitch is getting rest from his mom, which is also a good thing.

Taking some time today to journal in my bible

Pray for Mitch to have peace without me there and for him to use this as an “carrot” to get out of jail! Motivated to be onto the next step…rehab. And pray somehow I can be with him in the next step allowing time for me to continue to get my energy back and time of rest. Thank you!!!!!

November 15, 2020

08:30am-Dan

Anxiousness, we all have it. Where does it come from? The real root of anxiousness I think is a form of worry. Lee and I, two weeks ago to the hour, for a period of time, were extremely anxious, worried and scared. We just were not ready for the news we just got. Then we prayed. Our sense of peace to let Mitch potentially go to be with the Lord in those next 2 hours came from knowing we knew, without a shadow of a doubt that he knew HIS Lord and Savior. Then we rejoiced even though it was painful! 

Our Lord tells us what to do with anxiousness. 

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How do you rejoice in a serious situation? When everything seems to be coming down on you or going the wrong way? How do you stop worrying? The key is in the last part of 8 below and then re-reading 8. The verse tells us what to “think” about.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

11:12am Surgeons just came in and Mitch is doing better. PRAISE. Trying to walk to the bathroom by himself. PRAISE. Taking the catheter out. PRAISE. May need another unit of blood. PRAY. Very short of breath. PRAY. Wanting to get up and walk which will get him on the road to faster recovery. PRAISE.

So it’s what we choose to “think” about. Not saying that grieving is a bad thing, but how much time we spend there vs all the great and wondrous things around us to be so grateful for. I even look outside now as the snow is swirling around with the wind, it is like the breath of God. That same breath put life into us. What a thing to be grateful for! Thanks for praying. Thank you JESUS!

November 14, 2020

7:38

Guiding us along an unfamiliar path…unfamiliar…when you think of walking in an unfamiliar path what crosses your mind? I use similar ideas when doing sessions at the ranch asking kids to be blindfolded as they ride and ask questions like how they feel, are they worried and what is that worry. Or give them a trial and they have to try and lead the horse either riding or on the ground not knowing what’s around the corner that may spook them or the horse. Unfamiliar just by speaking or thinking the word can give one anxious thought and fear can creep in. But being in an unfamiliar situation is what the Lord allows in our lives to draw us back to HIM. Asking Jesus to lead us, help us stop fears and anxiousness and lead us to wisdom, clarity, and peace in this unfamiliar trail. We don’t know what lies ahead but we can trust in the One who does! His ways are clear and perfect and when a person chooses to be lead by Him instead of taking the rein yourself, the unfamiliar becomes calming. This unfamiliar trail ride isn’t what I would choose for anyone, but if the Lord allows it, it’s because HE has something amazing in-store and so I am willing to continue in the unfamiliar because He promises us…I will BRIGHTEN the darkness…SMOOTH out the road AHEAD…and with that promise, we all can hang on for the ride! I think we will name one of our trails at the ranch…UNFAMILIAR…what do you think?

“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along the unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them.” Isaiah 42:16

THE BUTTON!

Mitch has loved this button for the past week! It is his pain control button. He loves it so much his hand has shaped into the form of this button. He presses it often. Even before the light turns green he pushes it. I asked the doctors if they know when he pushes it before the green button lights up. They nodded yes. So I encouraged Mitch to wait for the green light to go on first then press it. The next day I encouraged him to look at the green light and decide if he really needed to push it or if he could wait even 5 more minutes or longer. And he did pretty well with each transition. Good thing because guess what today was? THEY TOOK IT AWAY!  I wish I could have taken his picture!  They were gracious to allow a slow and easy transition with other meds but going down this unfamiliar, no controlled way caused much anxiety on Mitch. Even long before they took it. We talked through it convincing him the importance of getting rid of each line to better transition out of the hospital and with the unfamiliar there WILL BE a promise of brighter days! He wasn’t convinced and when I left him…in pain…I kissed his forehead saying I love you and it will get better the Lord promises so. You will have many more unfamiliar roads but the Lord is with you and so am I.

  He walked some…pain being such an issue again he didn’t have the strength to do much. His #’s in both liver and kidney are doing better, PRAISE THE LORD…still praying for him to do some “other things” on his own and he did have another unit of blood today which he has had almost daily. Overall…a good day…tomorrow will be more unfamiliar territory but the Lord is with us and so are you all praying us through!

 

November 13, 2020

6:45pm…Nothing like kissing our son on the forehead and he says, “don’t leave mom I want you to stay.” I can never leave him without a tear or two and wanting such a different life for him. I walked back of course alone in the dark, cold and with all these students walking in black hoodies, my guard is up as city walking is much different than when I lived here over 30 years ago. I walked to the front desk checking in my key as we had to add more days knowing Mitch will be here awhile when the young man looked up with a smile saying, “welcome home.” I smiled back and responded thank you but turned around choking up all over again. This day was better, probably the best day since we started this journey 2 weeks ago and my tears are because the Lord answered me. He answered our prayers spoken out loud. He answered them through all of you and He answered the unspoken ones.

We received cards for Dan and me as well as Mitch and of course tears of answered prayer through encouraging words of love. The Lord supplied all of our needs and continues to hear our cries. He indeed HEARS me!

Mitch is on a new floor! He is smiling a bit more, hard due to his feeding tube. He is up and walking more and is inspired to walk vs. wanting to just lay down due to so much fatigue. He shakes a lot due to high # in liver but the doctor reassured me this will get better as well as his intense itching so bad he cause scars. Mitch lost one of those bubbles which was awesome and the catheter which was even more awesome. Feeling a bit more normal helps him get more spunky. He also was able to call the kitchen to order what he needed. His list was long…ice tea, apple juice, and chocolate milk. His face was so funny when the person said, “the juice and tea will be right up but you can’t have milk.” He held the phone to me with a frustrated look saying “they won’t give me milk.” I told him the orders from the doctor go alllll the way down to the kitchen. SO, you can’t order what you want without permission. Oh, I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard! The surgeon who did the surgery I just love. The other one who assisted her has a personality of authority and firmness. He isn’t very fun like she is so I receiver her info much better. PLUS she is MUCH more positive which is huge! He came in with you need to walk 12 times today (never will happen with short staff so sets anxiousness for both of us), drink lots of liquid, and be nice to the staff. (he looked at me, I talked to him after about that one) The other surgeon comes into the room with a smile and looks at Mitch and said, “man dude you look amazing and you will be running the halls tomorrow you’re doing so well!” She kids around, going him a hard time as well as encourages him so well. Just love her! She also isn’t worried that his kidney #’s are up. She just is positive all will turn around! SO…hopeful we both felt! Mitch is doing wonderful…PRAISE JESUS as HE hears and HE answered! Tears of joy and hope as we head into the weekend!

“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and He answered me.

I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me.”

Jonah 2:1b-2

We may not be a man who is sitting in a belly of a whale crying out to the Lord, but during this journey, I know trials can seem like one is in a dark, cold, and stinky place. But when we pray, He responds. Not always the way we want, but He responds what is best. I am thankful today…just plain ol’ thankful!

November 12,2020

6:30…my man went back home…came back to the dorm room with emptiness and a hard day…tears filled this tiny room but THANKFUL!

Patience is one Fruit of the Spirit I am totally bad at! Especially when it comes to my family’s needs and in crisis! Just letting you all know this momma isn’t putting up with rudeness, handling rough, shortness, or snotty attitudes from either staff or our son (even though he is dealing with so much and grace is given).  The last two days have been a challenge in the area of staff and frustrating for me as I am tired of course but trying to discern every detail, and take care of Mitch’s every need has set my patience on high.  Staff can be rude, arrogant, and snappy which I find not ok in a nursing situation. I do expect kindness and gentleness when handling him. I expect them to treat him with respect and telling him what’s going on. One can’t hide their attitudes under masks. I can read eyes and expressions well when the mouth is hidden. When Mitch is in need NOW and told he will have to wait and no one can help him I got ticked! 

 Yep, one young man no longer can have the privilege of serving our son. He got the boot!

 Yes, there is a lot going on with him still. The kidney’s numbers are increasing causing a chance that he may need dialysis. This scared me half to death (on the inside as I hold it all together around staff and Mitch). The liver is still being treated for rejection for another 3 days and with those meds, it causes kidney’s to struggle. Like the moment he got on the table on Nov. 1 it has been a balancing act with the medications. The liver is their priority to get going, healthy, and stable. They can’t replace a liver and everything else they say, “they will handle one day at a time.” Patience is just that phrase that makes me nuts because it’s true but hard not to think about future outcomes.  Seriously…who comes up with these phrases we are to be convicted about? Deep sigh…yep one day at a time and better yet, bring it all to prayer every detail. I am not to worry; the Lord Jesus has it all! Funny how God’s words are much more comforting and easier for me to incorporate than human cliché’s! 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 1:11

Mitch is in an isolated situation since he came off the table because he has MRCA. No big deal most of us have it they say, but the staff has to be in gowns every time they enter the room so not to spread it to their other patients. ICU is private rooms and it’s been kinda nice not having another patient in the room. It can be rather annoying. So I was curious about what will happen when he moves to a floor. (7A) Hoping he would get a private room. The hospital is full because of the Covid thing I heard anyway so I kinda gave up hoping for the private room. BUT…remembered he was in isolation so asked the charge nurse…she confirmed his room will be private. I walked away from the desk with hip hip hoorah and smile, which no one could see because of my mask.

It’s almost 5:00pm, my work for the day is almost done and he may not be moved before I leave. I will wait patiently as this day has been long!  Mitch is up, walking some, things are moving in that tummy, and he is getting out of ICU before his 2-week mark.., progress takes patience…that’s what we are hanging onto! Thank you all for praying…Jesus is rockin’ this! 

November 11, 2020

11/11-06:05am-Dan FREEDOM

The ICU nurse said he had a rough night last night. Still need to get the bowels moving so they can see that the colon is functioning. If not, a need for another surgery would be called and he would have to have the bag outside his body. Also not flowing liquids so had to have the catheter put in every 8 hours overnight to relieve the pressure. Liver biopsy results came in and his numbers are trending down, PRAISE. Mitch would really like to get “free” from the tubes and all the mechanical things that are hooked up to his body. To get “free” you have to work at it, so he needs to get up and move to help things get going. It is tough to do and you have to work through the pain. 10:50am-Just in-Radiology is coming in to do a study on the colon. He is starting to have kidney issues and the doctors are going to start to deal with that today. Pray for him today to continue to have strength to work through that pain, the colon and kidneys. Definitely feel like we are on the front line again today…

Today we lift up all the men, women and their families who are fighting now and who fought for our country to give us freedom. But, freedom comes with a cost… Freedom is not FREE. Many lives have been lost over the years to help preserve the freedom we have in our country. Thank you Veterans!

We as believers in Christ  have a different kind of “freedom”. The freedom to know and follow Jesus Christ and believe in HIM as our Lord and Savior. Knowing that the battles on this earth are continuous, but we rest in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ who wins the WAR. HIS was the ultimate sacrifice and he has set us FREE.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

November 10, 2020

Wanting a perfect surgery, doctor, nurse, room, or outcome is something we just can not have on this side of heaven.

Deuteronomy 32
New International Version
32 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.

3 I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

We want it so badly right now as Mitch is facing such a hard journey.  As I listened in on the floor team doing their rounds (they invite me daily to join them, not always I do) going on and on about what he is taking, what his numbers are showing, and what he needs to improve. I had Dan on video too so he could hear. One doctor stated his rejection is moderate to severe. Man…as much as I want to bypass the imperfection of this transplant the reality of it, it’s not. Mitch’s body came onto the table imperfect and the donor’s liver wasn’t perfect either so the outcome will have its bumps. Rejection is part of it. They will be doing a 6-day drug treatment and will do a test on Thursday to see how it’s doing as well as do another biopsy after the 6 days.  They are also keeping a close eye on this colon as his tummy feels pretty tight and need that to not get stressed. Praying for both these issues to simply improve or at least be on the way would sure rest our minds. 

Mitch is up, sitting in a chair, and even began walking today…twice even! Such praise!!! He wants to too and even said, “that felt amazing!” So great for his morals and keeping him motivated to see the first hand he is getting better and to keep trying every day.  It helps that the PT and OT are young-looking gals and very sweet to him. That is motivation just in of itself! 

We want perfection! We desire a perfect world with no pain, no tears, no trials. But the Lord says there will be all of that due to the fall of man. We can’t gain perfection until heaven where there will be no pain, tears, or trouble.  I believe this is why believers long for heaven so much to have this perfection and be with the Author of Perfection, Jesus. I can’t wait! So until then, we wait and pray, and live a life pleasing to God and give grace to all the imperfections in this world. 

Story of the nurse: Such a bummer today, this young man was not working so I could not chat with him more. But as he worked with Mitch yesterday being very compassionate, detailed in letting Mitch know all he was doing and what was happening I noticed several cutting scars on both wrists, up to his arm as well. I asked him as soft as I could, “it looks like you have had some pain as Mitch has”. He responded looking down, yes, and got quiet. I watched him move around so insecure about himself even though he was great at his job. He wasn’t the best at cleaning up after the artery IV was taken out, or organizing his IV pole which drove anyone working with Mitch nuts. Another nurse came in and took care of all those details as well as I did some because all the blood on the chair and floor were really disturbing. Later when he had to hold that vein for 10 minutes or longer it seemed, I said, “Mitch and I love to pray for people especially if they are dealing with something hard. How can we pray for you?” He responded, “I am not a religious person but appreciate people who care and do “that”. He went on,  “you can pray for my drive home.” I asked, “are you worried about something?” He said, “there is a lot of traffic and accidents and I want to be safe.” There it was. Safe…He feels unsafe I could read it in his face. Mitch and I prayed for him, what he asked for, and for the deeper pain, he is experiencing. We don’t know the details, but Jesus does. We don’t have to know but have the privilege of bringing this man before the throne.  When I got back to the hotel and told Dan about it I felt really uneasy with his character of not being clean, talked unnecessary at times, and really his insecurity made me feel like he didn’t know what he was doing. I wanted a “better” nurse but instantly felt convicted that Jesus has a different plan, we need to trust in the situation and give grace to this young man. He needs healing. He needs HOPE, He needs Jesus…and if the Lord provides…I will make sure he looks into my eyes and hears…HE IS LOVED!

Sorry no picture yet…working on him allowing this vulnerable time.

November 9, 2020

7:04pm
I just got off work and am sitting in our second home which we call a dorm room. Makes us feel young! Dan walks me to work and picks me up and even carries my backpack…ohhh the old times of high school years. Dan has been amazing making sure I am taken care of bringing my lunch and having dinner prepared with soda and peanuts and last night…he toasted the bread and put cheese on the mini pieces making a beautiful appetizer display! This toaster oven ROCKS! Thanks, McCall’s End of another day with a bit of relief.


The day was long due to getting a handle on Mitch’s pain. He was up most of the night and the nurse said they never did get ahead of it. So going in this morning he was one hurting unit. Besides all the doctor, surgeon, and nurses talk, the constant residents and rounds and really orders sounding like there are many bosses, I was ready to blow up. But Mitch did instead if you could imagine! He said to the nurse, “you all need to get on the same page and not have all these chiefs,” Yeah Mitch! One doctor would say one thing and another says something totally different. The bottom line, pain is an issue but he needs to move to get the bowels working which is a big need. All-day…nothing in that department. The pain was better but he will have some as that’s part of the process. So he got a backrub, with wonderful lotion given to us, ice sponge, and working on that tube thing to get you breathing deeper. It has #’s on it and for his breaths to reach a certain point.  Because he was on psalm 34 for a week his lungs are weak.  I love caring for him and pray for him out loud as well as to myself. Chris Tomlin singing away and trying to fill his room with Jesus as much as we can!  Another thing…his new liver is in rejection. I took a deep breath and was instantly told it is to be expected and they are giving him what he needs to get all things rolling normally. He also needed more blood. He has had a blood transfusion almost every day he’s been in ICU. Hemoglobin is down. Don’t ask me any #’s I don’t care…I just pray instead and leave the details to the Lord and the doctors. Honestly, they talk to you like you understand! But I do the nod and act like I understand so I guess I am just as bad. 
I was going to put a picture of Mitch in the chair but didn’t ask him if it was ok as his pain thing was too much. So I will wait and see what he says. We are really careful to respect him on this journey and try and meet that need too. 

Until tomorrow, pray for rejection to heal. Pray for bowel movements. (I know funny thing to pray for but important) and pray for continued pain management as the goal is for him to walk. 
Lastly, I was told…he might be in the hospital here for 2 weeks and another 2 in rehab. Here just over the river and through 35W. Another doc didn’t think it would be that long…she is day to day kind of gal and doesn’t like time given. Like that better! 
I will have another story about the nurse to share tomorrow. Special really…a guy who says he isn’t religious but had wounds I know so well on his wrist told me he needed prayer. God is good…and has a WHOLE lot more for us than Mitch!  Plus relief for a young man in need of healing himself!
Love you all!!!! 





JESUS, JESUS, how I trust thee…

Waiting for surgery. November 8

Ezra 9:8
“But now for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant in giving us a firm place in HIS sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage”

What WE feel like a relief. Mitch not so much. After Mitch got into his ICU room he was fast asleep. Peaceful. As the doctors and nurses did their jobs hooking up tubes, talking about taking out the respirator, going over stats, and what he will need in the next 24 hours, I sat in awe. (stomach a bit turning from blood and bubbles on his tummy) Relieved he was out, closed, fixed again with the whole artery thing, and colon lookin’ awesome. Just relieved and looking forward to the next step of recovery. One week ago it all started and relief for a new liver but anxious about the quality of life was at stake.

Not what I would call bubbles of joy

Yet Mitch woke up, hurting big time. The pain was so great he was pounding the covers. Gasping, tears, so much for a momma to watch. I told him to hang onto my hand and squeeze it as hard as he likes. As long as it hurts to just keep squeezing. I’m not gonna lie. I was thinking about labor. How Dan must have felt. How you just want to take the pain away from the one you love. But the pain didn’t subside. After they took “34” off of him, they gave him a bit more but said “he will experience pain. They can’t take it totally away.” Relief is all he wanted even just a little bit. I kept asking him, “do you have a little relief?” NO, and a squeeze… a few minutes later asked again…NO, more squeezing. It wasn’t until just before I had to leave did he have SOME relief.

Dan called this morning; our routine at 6am…he was up all night with still a ton of pain. They are trying hard to get ahead of it. He faced timed us right after we talked to the nurse and he is still experiencing some but just tired. Of course, he was up all night the nurse said. She also stated he tried FaceTiming us at 11pm but we didn’t answer. Well…I will chat with him about that. Give a child a means to communicate whenever and he took advantage of that! HA! We do need to rest. I am sure he wanted to tell us he was hurting. But what was cool was he SPOKE…HI! We haven’t heard his voice for a week. We missed it! Much deeper and raspy…but he spoke…and relief of thankfulness poured over all of us!

Today’s prayer…more relief of pain or pain management , some movement in that bowel so he can get some nourishment, overall feeling for himself to experience relief his healing is on the way. To stay strong.

November 8, 2020

01:48pm-Dan

We received a call from the doctor and PRAISE! The surgery went well. They were able to close him, but had to use a mesh as to not put compression on the liver. It’s ok, just not ideal. He now has a feeding tube and they did repair the colon with no bag but if he shows signs of a problem they will have to go back in. We need to pray for total healing! Lee is waiting for him to show up to his room from OR.

Address below to send encouragement to Mitch

08:30am-Dan-When things on earth just don’t make sense…

It was a week ago today, almost to the hour we had to make a tough decision about Mitch, no warning really just these are your choices and you need to make it now to either stop and have us sew him back up with 30 days or less to live or continue with a very high probability he will die on the table. I was already highly emotional and not thinking quite right. I thought the new liver was the one with issues. In a matter of seconds we both looked at each other and said CONTINUE. The Lord provided a healthy liver and we both felt we could not stand in the way of HIS purpose. I know we did not “sacrifice” him, but we, in faith knew God had a plan and these verses shows us what faith looks like:

Genesis 22 1-18

New International Version
Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

I now know what Abraham felt like as we were at peace and ready to say goodby, at least for now.

Just as I was writing this we read a post from Shelley, a blessed friend.

“I would have pulled Joseph out. Out of that pit. Out of that prison. Out of that pain. And I would have cheated nations out of the one God would use to deliver them from famine.

I would have pulled David out. Out of Saul’s spear-throwing presence. Out of the caves he hid away in. Out of the pain of rejection. And I would have cheated Israel out of a God-hearted king.

I would have pulled Esther out. Out of being snatched from her only family. Out of being placed in a position she never asked for. Out of the path of a vicious, power-hungry foe. And I would have cheated a people out of the woman God would use to save their very lives.

And I would have pulled Jesus off. Off of the cross. Off of the road that led to suffering and pain. Off of the path that would mean nakedness and beatings, nails and thorns. And I would have cheated the entire world out of a Savior. Out of salvation. Out of an eternity filled with no more suffering and no more pain.

And oh friend. I want to pull you out. I want to change your path. I want to stop your pain. But right now I know I would be wrong. I would be out of line. I would be cheating you and cheating the world out of so much good. Because God knows. He knows the good this pain will produce. He knows the beauty this hard will grow. He’s watching over you and keeping you even in the midst of this. And He’s promising you that you can trust Him. Even when it all feels like more than you can bear.

So instead of trying to pull you out, I’m lifting you up. I’m kneeling before the Father and I’m asking Him to give you strength. To give you hope. I’m asking Him to protect you and to move you when the time is right. I’m asking Him to help you stay prayerful and discerning. I’m asking Him how I can best love you and be a help to you. And I’m believing He’s going to use your life in powerful and beautiful ways. Ways that will leave your heart grateful and humbly thankful for this road you’ve been on.”

– Unknown

Pray and let our Jesus do HIS thing! Thank you prayer warriors for being in this battle with us.

06:45-Lee

Surgery at 8am this morning…my sister lights a candle for every surgery…pretty soon she may have to take a loan out to buy more…praying NOT!

Psalm 18 :39

“You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me

Yesterday was a sweet day with friends, Denise, and Scott coming to visit, encourage, and pray and yes give HUGE hugs that we so needed! They filled us with some things we needed and even some we didn’t request but brought smiles and joy to our little home away from home. Nothing like family and friends rallying in times of need! Dan had put out there a need for Mitch to communicate through an Ipad and within a matter of moments we had many offers! One was our friends Lori and Matt. Matt was close by the hospital and was actually on his way to meet Dan to pray and had an Ipad. When Dan connected with him and I brought it up to Mitch he just beamed! Really…just lit up! Mitch was so thrilled he started typing right away asking how we got it. Just warm a mom and dad’s heart when a hurting child is smiling! He right away wanted Matt’s #…it’s the little things of love! 

Standing in the gap in this battle is what all of you reading this are doing! You are praying and seeking the Lord for this young man to healed! 

We know this battle has been won with our Lord Jesus who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Another friend, Teri sent this song via email and it spoke to my troubled heart today. Listen to the words of hope and truths that pour from it.  So powerful! Sing it for Mitch today as he faces another surgery God willing, his last one.

PRAY the surgery is a success and they can close him without the mesh. With a fever the mesh isn’t the best option and could cause further complications so pray for easy close.

PRAY for strength for Mitch…he is looking rather thin and in much pain from laying so long on his back

PRAY the tube can be removed today and he be on his way to recovery.

PRAY for continued peace to fill his mind and soul! The new iPad allows for music which he plays while he sleeps and plays on it…so cool and of course a great witness!

YOU WIN EVERY BATTLE NOTHING CAN STAND IN HIS WAY! HE GOES BEFORE US!!! You got this Jesus…you got this!!!! Fight on your knees friends and family! We love you!

November 7, 2020

11:02am-Dan

The surgeon is putting off the surgery till tomorrow morning @ 07:30am because they want 24 hours of normal temperature before going in again. PRAISE as he has a normal temperature! Mitch is getting anxious so pray for peace as the days and nights are long.

06:15am-Dan

We called ICU this morning and PRAISE JESUS, his fever is GONE! His nurse had not heard yet if his surgery was on for 7am or not. Lee is getting ready for work, packing all her hats and will still go in at 8am as usual.

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Just after the call we got a facetime from Mitch. You can tell in his face he has lost some fluids and he seemed very peppy! We will update as we hear more. Thank you prayer warriors.

ADDRESS TO SEND MITCH ENCOURAGEMENT!

University Hospital Fairview

 Att. Mitch Shelstad

500  west Harvard Street Minneapolis, MN 55455

November 6, 2020

6:51pm-Lee

Hats…I have become a cop, security guard, house cleaner, nurse, answering service, and best of all…mom!

It has been a day again filled with wishy-washy, up and down, and not sure moments. Mitch is still battling a fever. All night he had 103 temps and when I left it did come down to 100.1. PRAISE OUR LORD! Besides his physical needs, I have had to tell someone she needs to improve her bedside manner and she will not have the privilege of working with my son again unless she changes her attitude. She did say she was sorry and I told her that is all he needed to hear! I also am short with the security guard who is a wannabe cop at the front entrance. This whole covid thing is going to make me nuts! I love cleaning up after Mitch and being his moment to moment caregiver. He gets annoyed at my hands on his forehead pulling his oily hair away but I sneak one in now and then.

Every time I try to pray with him, or play music I tear up and can’t finish. Even reading him some of the messages from all of you, I just can’t get through them. I tell him, “you’re just going to have to read all this when your better and you WILL get better.” He looks at me and signs, I love you! Warms my heart! Signing is out thing and love being able to know what he is saying…most of the time.

The surgeon came in to chat about what is next. She thinks they may try and go in tomorrow and for sure do another wash out to get rid of the infection that seems to be hovering in there and if he continues to get the fluid out enough so they can close him. They are giving him a drug to pee to get the fluid rolling. He has so much of it retaining in his legs and feet. His whole body was but slowly is subsiding. If all looks good, again they may close him but not if his body is showing any signs of infection. She did state the longer it takes to close him it gives time for the colon to repair as well so he won’t have to have a bag on the outside of his body.

So tomorrow early morning by 7am but it could change. We will update!

Thanks so much, everyone for your gift of love and encouragement!!! WE LOVE YOU!!! We gotta have a party when this is over!!!! Until tomorrow, sleep tight!

WHAT IS MITCHY SAYING?

04:26pm-Dan

FRIENDS continued… So we were told Mitch was not able to really communicate and just look how our Jesus works. Mitch can not only communicate but is responsive and very aware of his surroundings. Yesterday we gave him his phone and he has used the notepad app to type his feelings and requests so the nurses can respond accurately. The doctors and nurses are bewildered. New ones and old ones stop in just to see a glimpse of him. He is the rumor on the floor from the liver from before. He was wondering and praying for a purpose before the liver transplant, just less than a week ago and you can see his prayers are being answered. Our boy is a living miracle thanks to our great and mighty Jesus and prayer warriors. He was having issues with trying to really see the keys on his phone as his temp is 103F+ with eyes so swollen he can hardly see, so we decided to try again to get the social worker to provide an iPad or tablet with bigger text. No luck, not something they do. That was the answer. We were hoping that with someone with a seeing impaired issue would have access to something like this. We reached out for a tablet of some sorts and received multiple offers from friends & family to provide a temporary iPad or tablet for Mitch. The iPad along with a special gift for Lee and my favorite “Popeyes” arrived. Another friend and another blessing. I dropped off the iPad for Mitch and after a day of being rather lethargic and sad his eyes popped open wide as he could now SEE the keys and continue to communicate. Prayers and technology really at work. Just see how Jesus is at work…

Thank you Jesus. Thank you prayer warriors. Please pray for us for tomorrow that the next washout will be a success and they can close Mitches belly so he can start to heal. Pray also for the family of the donor as I am sure they are wondering about the outcome.

Isaiah 58:10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

FRIENDS. Last night a real good friend of mine came to pray and give support along with providing some meals and a place to put them (Refrigerator). What a blessing it is to have a REAL friend! If you have one, take care of them as they can be a relishment and refreshment in times of need and provide the additional strength on this side of heaven as we continue HIS work with this battle on earth.

06:14 We continue to pray for strength as yesterday was a rough and exhausting day for Lee. So much so that Lee is trusting in me to write the post this morning. We so wish we could switch off in ICU. We can’t! Pray for strength!

Ever wonder why a passage shows up more than once in scripture? I think it is because of our humanness as we sometimes have a hard time listening, hearing, and understanding as to what Jesus has to say…

2 Samuel 22:33
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

AGAIN

Psalm 18:32
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

We called ICU this morning and they said Mitch did ok through the night, but still has a high fever 103. He is packed in ice and cooling blankets to help keep this under control. They are unsure as to why the high fever and the cultures they tested are coming back as not growing which is a good sign.

The team is coming in this morning to give us a plan. Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers!

November 5, 2020

Oh, your prayers are continuing to minister to our souls! This battle is difficult but we continue to wait for every detail to unfold.

Mitch is out of surgery. They got him cleaned out and his blood pressure immediately stabilized showing the need to get any bacteria out. They were not able to close him so back he goes once again sometime this weekend. They will wait until more fluid is out of the body which they are giving him meds to help.

I am heading back to go see him. (pray for me he will not be happy about another 2 days maybe 3 for that tube). His fever is still there but they feel that will subside now as well.

OUR JESUS IS RULER OVER ALL THIS!!!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29



It is 11:40 and Mitch is going in at 1 for sure. It was iffy for a bit as they wanted to wait for the swelling to go down so they could close him as well as do the “wash out”. BUT his labs are showing signs of bacteria in the belly and they need to proceed even if they can’t close him. His fever is still high 102 bounces to 101 but is… bottom line… not good. The doctor is not an optimist about the closing. This frustrated Mitch and he did get agitated as can be expected. This is a long time to be awake and incubated. The nurse said it is unusual for a patient to be this alert but he is being good and not pulling at it. Praise the Lord! Thank you again for praying. We are praying he loses so much fluid between now and the surgery that they can confidently close him so he doesn’t have another day with this uncomfortableness. He is down today not responding to me much. His unhappiness breaks my heart. I just want him all better!

1:00 to day Mitch will go in for round 3! Man what a fighter he is!

He still is holding a temperature of 101 but did do better last night with pain and sleeping. He had a rough night the night before mostly due to “feeling unsafe” as he shared via text with me. Having his phone to communicate has been a blessing for sure. I thought he would be more under sedated as they say, but as long as he is ok and not needing it they would prefer him to be alert if he can stand it. If the pain gets worse, they increase his med for pain which does knock him out. There were moments yesterday I was hoping for that choice.

The surgery will be important today. PRAY, THEY CAN CLOSE that his belly shrinks enough for them to do so. That his colon issue is restored and his liver remains strong and working! PRAY he can get off this machine and out of ICU! Seeing other patience going for walks in the great weather and loved ones together breaking my heart Dan can’t be a part of this. If he was stable we could do the same. Love you all…your encouragement is SO AWESOME!!!

4:10pm..

Finally, Mitch is more stable! It took all morning and into the afternoon to get him calm, fever down…get this…101!!!! And the meds are holding whatever infection is going on is showing signs of working.

Mitch will have to go in tomorrow again…for wash out of the whole liver area making sure there is no infections, and hopefully close. The surgeon was not optimistic about closing him which would mean a possible waiting until MONDAY…this stinks! He is so frustrated at this machine and being incubated. He is sore, uncomfortable and really frustrated he can’t talk. He now texts me what he wants and his needs which has helped. (game of what is Mitchy saying may be a wash now) Nothing worse than when you can’t express how you are feeling!

PRAY his new liver shrinks and #’s stabilize. His fever continues to go down. He has a funky cold blanket on him ( I told him I want it afterwards he shook his head no and texted NO WAY) to help with the fever. The colon issue really is able to be fixed. She again was not real optimistic about that either but she said it’s an easy surgery months down the road when he is past all this other hump. So if it isn’t it’s the least of her concerns.

We continue to praise the Lord for how well he is doing in all this even the downward spiral we were on today. He’s here! He is in this with us! He is in control of every detail, each tube, connection, breathing, blood flow…liver…HE IS ALL POWERFUL and is the Great Physician. Jesus gets all the credit!!! ALL OF IT! SO thankful for such a different place of faith this round compared to 24 years ago. Praise the Lord for salvation in HIM! It’s what gets us through!

Tomorrow will be another day of life and trials. Dan and I pour our tears out as we read your encouraging words, songs, and scripture. They just pour over us. I try and have Mitch listen too but it is hard for him to hear and he gives me eyes of frustration so I keep trying. I know the music helps and the Bible passages help him. Keep ’em coming! If you have ever been too tired to pray, you know how great this is to have others help this along! Until tomorrow…Mitch is saying “goodnight sun”.

10:40am…Nov. 4

It’s been a difficult morning. Mitch is having a hard time breathing fighting the venerator. His fever is causing other issues and waiting on results for infection. His liver is struggling today maybe because of the surgery yesterday connecting the bile duct but they are working hard on every detail. There have been non-stopping people in here doing many different things from labs, pain management, ultrasound, the noise of beeping is not music for sure…but the sounds are showing life!

HANG ON MITCH!!!! You have come this far by the grace of a BIG GOD who sits on the THONE…there is NOTHING too hard for HIM!!! HANG ON SON!!!

November 4, 2020

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4

“The angels of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and HE DELIVERS THEM.” 34:7

Dan and I are pressing into this chapter this morning! All of Psalm 34 is amazing and fits perfectly with what is happening and yes what lies ahead. Funny…his breathing machine has a # on it…34. I will do something special with that today.

Calling ICU this morning the nurse stated he did well after the surgery but he is running a 103 temperature and has all night. His body is fighting!

They were able to hook up the bile duct but could still not close him. As well as not work on the colon issue. So…back he will go later this week. I am exhausted just typing those few words. Every day is such a journey. As we pray we seek something so much bigger than ourselves. Many things happen in our lives every day how often each day is spent on someone else? I am sure you hear this many times from others that when the Lord puts on your heart to call, send a card, text…anything to that person…DO IT…because guess what? You may not get another chance.

Hearing the music in worship this morning…Precious Lord Lead Me Home.

Friend’s time is so precious. We don’t know we are loved unless someone tells us, reaches out, expresses love in some way. Doing nothing isn’t love. Thinking about someone is not love or may I say a prayer. “Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts”.

We feel it so powerfully through the long wall in the personal messages on FB, texts, email messages…we need that right now. Even if we don’t respond…know you are heard and it’s embraced with HOPE for Mitch!

Fun Game…What is Mitch Saying?

Comment below if you like…

Hard times still call for laughter among it all. We try and communicate and this is what has worked best when the signing is a wash. Today he wants me to bring his phone to text. I pray he is well enough so that can happen! We have family sending us videos of his puppy Sky and anything that will boost his moral. PRAYER is still the most powerful way we can encourage him and us as well. Thank you! Pray for a reduced fever! His swollen belly to decrease so they can close him and for this colon issue to be fixed. We need a turn around Lord…we need you desperately!!!!

November 3, 2020

Do you ever snuggle under your covers so that no light, no sound can interrupt you? Fully covered and deep in sleep when I awoke to remove the comfy bedding I heard in my ears like polka dance music ringing rather loudly. I opened my eyes trying to figure out where I was realizing in this very dark, unfamiliar room I was not at a polka dance nor was I home. The reality hit…we are heading into day 3.

I am thankful the days of this journey fall on the dates exactly as I need all the help I can get in keeping things in order.

Yesterday was a much better day! PRAISE JESUS! I was told Mitch would be under totally until after the next surgery and remain on the ventilator until his body was more rested. I surely did not expect to see and experience what was such a joy as yesterday. He was opening his eyes, giving thumbs-up, and even trying to communicate. This was rather funny yet hard to see him frustrated too. He tried signing to me what his needs were but his hands were so puffy plus weakness I couldn’t make out much. I can’t was all I got until the nurse came up with him writing what he wanted. WELL… again I was blown away he could even do this! Remember, I was told he would be totally under for at least 3 days! So she gave him a whiteboard and she figured out it read he couldn’t breathe. Trying to tell him the tube is hard to breathe through and this was a sign they needed to up his med to be quieter and to move him a bit. They were able to make him more comfortable. His eye expressions and movements I could really tell he was frustrated and tears came as well. Which of course made me cry.

As I talked with, kissing his puffy fingers and hands, and stroking his head I praised the Lord for another day with him. We got Dan on video chat and tears flowed again for all of us. SO hard Dan can’t be in the room and hold him! We all need him for sure! I put the phone up to his ear for music that different friends sent telling him who sent them and he has a LOAD of folks praying for him.

The day brought joy as he continued to show improvement. His blood pressure med was reduced to almost nothing and signs of the liver working were stronger as the day went on. Every hour there was someone in his room, from doctors to radiology, to surgeons. Everyone was pleased with how well he is doing especially with how close this came to a different outcome. The ones in the operating room just overjoyed themselves he pulled through! So cool to see how much they care!

Dan was having trouble trying to get into Mitch’s phone needing his password. He asked if Mitch could help give the #’s. Mitch’s eyes got quite large like he didn’t want us to go into it. I don’t know maybe thinking he was in normal wellness and didn’t need us to intervene in his personal life. BUT, he does have things that needed attention right away. SO back to the whiteboard. I told him, “this is kinda fun, like a little game!” He rolled his eyes. HA…some sense of humor going on. So we tried, but no way was it working. If you can make it out, let me know. Maybe we can get you a prize!

I took a small break with Dan and we went to get groceries. It was nice to get out as 40 degrees feels this time of year. So weird everyone wearing masks as they are walking around campus. The feel here compared to the north is definitely different. When I returned, the surgeon came in to talk about the next surgery. They do hope to get him in today. Tuesday. Most likely will be afternoon as the main surgeon has another transplant in the morning. I know this is funny to think but how can she do more than one a day and be alert? Not for me to judge, but it flashed through me a bit.

The surgery will work on connecting the bile duct to the new liver, colon issue, and closing him. His belly is really big and they couldn’t close him so they hope the swelling will go down so they can do so. If not, it will require a mesh and another surgery. The less is best so pray for this all to go well and smoothly today.

Dan and I are still at the Graduate hotel. Nice, but pricy. So we hope to find housing today. The social worker is so helpful and working on details.

We read every text, email, post on FB, listen to every song sent, read every scripture stated, and are SO thankful the Lord sent each of you to us for strength. The days are long but go by so sweet with your love and prayers.

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

We ended the night by Dan surprising me with a dinner out at Red Lobster for my birthday. He was so cute as he went all the way there to get a lobster soup and biscuit just in case I was too tired to go out. But I wanted to make sure we celebrate the good times as much as we can! One thing we didn’t do the last time around! It was a special night indeed with Kinzey and Dan singing happy birthday and a special gift of crafting tool I hope to use as soon as we return home! GOD IS GOOD!

Will continue to update later today to share how the surgery went. JESUS IS INDEED ON THE THRONE holding our boy! Love you all!

November 2, 2020

A new day…yesterday will forever be etched into our minds. I believe with my whole being the Lord allows times like this to use it to glorify HIM…make HIM known…show to believers and unbelievers HE IS REAL! HE IS HERE! HE IS WITH US!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and in all ways acknowledge HIM.: Proverbs 3

After we got the news there was a high chance Mitch would die on the table Dan and I broke down. We cried uncontrollably holding onto each other and crying out to Jesus for comfort. Dan went into the restroom and I walked to the big window we have in our room. The SON was shinning in and stood with my face towards the beam of warmth and closed my eyes. I spoke to the Lord” Jesus you are with Mitch right now. Are you speaking to him? Are you asking him if he is ready to be with you? Are you holding him?” Within the time I was speaking I saw an amazing bright orange and red light. I am telling you it was so intense. Flashes of thought it was Mitch bleeding out of control. But it was a warm feeling, peaceful. My tears stopped. My nose dried up. I suddenly was quiet and still before a HOLY God who is comforting all of us. Within a second the color changed to white and it was cool. I opened my eyes and simply knew no matter what we all were going to be ok. I didn’t know what that looked like or would be like but really it didn’t matter. PEACE JESUS peace was all over the room and deep in my heart.

I shared this with Dan last night when I returned from seeing Mitch briefly when they brought him into ICU. Of course, Dan wept all over again and said you need to write that down!

Back to ICU visit, Mitch looked horrible. (I may have to take this out when he wakes up so he can’t read this) but really…he didn’t look like Mitch. I had to stop and double-check and even looked at the staff and asked it this was Mitch Shelstad. She nodded with tears in her eyes. The staff even got close to Mitch during this time. She said she was with him the whole time and it was really scary there for a while. She told me how sweet he is and thankful he is alive! I cried all over again.

I whispered into him I loved him. To hang on. I couldn’t speak anymore. The room was full of staff all talking and the room was super bright. I felt I was in the way and it was way past visiting hours. I usually don’t care about rules but didn’t feel it was good for me even though all the staff stood back and waited for me to be with him. Which made me REALLY uncomfortable! So…I left.

Now today…Dan wanted to call ICU as soon as we woke up. The nurse on the other end shared, “Mitch did great all night! I was able to reduce his blood pressure meds significantly and he even opened his eyes. I asked him how he was doing and he put a thumbs up. (tears flowing) She asked him to wiggle his toes…HE DID.” I told her I would be over as soon as visiting hours open. Which is a half hour…so off I go…KEEP PRAYING! They hope to do the second surgery tomorrow.

New Liver Day…Trusting Jesus Even When It’s Hard

2:24…nurse called said THE BLOOD IS FLOWING IN THE NEW LIVER! The remaining to go is to hook up the bile duct. Tears FLOWING along with this joy. From the early call when the doctors videoed us they gave us the horrible news…1 Mitch’s scaring was extremely poor and the liver was very sick plus his thin blood was causing excessive bleeding. They asked us what we wanted to do. Either stop and he would surely die within 2 months or continue with a very high chance he would bleed out and die on the table. Dan was not getting the whole thing as he was crying uncontrollably. Incredible how the Lord stopped me and got my head together to listen and help sort out what we were being told. I shared with Dan they need to keep going and do the best they can. Now both of us crying hard we told the doctors to continue and may the LORD BE WITH YOU>>>we hung up and sank to the floor in prayer and worship. It’s been a very hard day…we wait patiently for him to be done and to see him even if it’s only for a few minutes. We’ll see. With stricken rules only one of us and with ICU more stringent. But…trusting and waiting is what we seem to be doing most these days. KEEP PRAYING…Mitch has a long road ahead!

11:35… surgical nurse called…they were able to get the bleeding subsided and proceeded with transplant…WE PRAISED THE LORD ALMIGHTY for HIS GRACE and HANDS on Mitch! Keep praying…we have a long road ahead!

9:45am…doctors video called us Mitch is NOT doing well…lots of bleeding please pray he pulls through and God’s will be done!

November 1, 2020

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head overall. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule overall, and in Your hand is power and might, and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. 1 Chronicle 29:11-12

WE GIVE GLORY TO A GOD WHO REIGNS OVER ALL!!!!

Mitchy loves bobcat time!

Another day getting caught up for winterizing as we are so thankful for a warm day to do so. Dan spent the day Friday helping Mitch get ready to shut his house down for the “just in case” day.

Well, all snug in a bug in our bed with hugs to Mitch saying good night and it wasn’t even a half-hour into our rem sleep Mitch came into our room. “A liver is ready and I am to leave NOW.” Hearts pounding, and having the coordinates on the phone telling us what is going to happen with our minds trying to wrap around “is this the real deal?’ As we were listening I texted Kinzey to get to the house to coordinate dog care while we packed the car. The coordinator had a southern accent stating the liver is from a young adult who was in prison. The liver would need to be transported by plane and would arrive around the time Mitch would be ready to be on the table. She was gracious in letting us know what I am sure every receiver wants to know. Is it healthy? She gave details the donor was indeed healthy and they test extensively for HIV, alcoholism, drugs, and a host of other tests to make sure it is transplantable.

I started to get a bit anxious as dogs were barking with the movement, wind howling about a million miles an hour, and yes a full moon. It seemed really like a dream. After she wished us “good luck” as I can’t stand that statement but responded, “thank you Jesus and He’s got us.” We sure don’t believe in luck or this is all CHANCE as many would say…we know…without a shadow of a doubt…this is Jesus and all a part of His perfect plan for Mitch!

On our way to the cities, it was so windy and it seemed like tumbleweeds blowing by but they were cornstalks. Scary as it was like wood coming at you! It just fit with the night and what was happening. Mitch being pretty talkative and sharing his worries did feel peace and responded, “I just want this to be over.” If you don’t know Mitch, he is a quiet guy. Simple life, humble in most ways, and has a heart of gold. One thing he doesn’t like is attention on himself. So I try and remember to ask him what he wants me to share and pictures…for sure he doesn’t like it. SO, I won’t be putting up any of him in the hospital. Sorry. Out of respect that is his wish.

We arrived at midnight of course… the stroke of midnight I guess I needed to hear a wolf howl, but we are now in Minneapolis U and all we heard were sirens. Kinda the same. Both make my heart jump.

Dan was about an hour behind us but he wasn’t allowed in. We had worked out that I would be the primary which is going to be extremely difficult not having my man by my side in all this. But at least he can be close by. It didn’t take long for them to get blood work, Covid test (which caused a major nose bleed for him), and ultrasound done as well as the Fellow (doctor under the surgeon) to come and give the details of the procedure.

Mitch is now in surgery for 6- 12 hours. He also is at high risk for bleeding with his INR so high so he did state Mitch may get out of the initial surgery and within 24-48 hours be back on the table to finish to help his body recover a bit and not lose so much blood.

With all that said, Dan and I sit, SON shining at 8am, now in the waiting game. We have a beautiful room for now hoping to find housing for the next 2-3 weeks. Our journey and home away from home. The social worker helping us is the same one we had 24 years ago the first time around. The nurse said it’s by chance…NOT…God’s in charge! SO COOL! Mitch is strong. He loves Jesus. He knows the chances and risks and is at peace with it all. We wait upon the Lord as OUR GREAT PHYSICIAN is at work! Praying for the donor family today and a new life given…GOD IS GOOD!!! AND FAITHFUL!

October 26, 2020

What a weekend! On Saturday I spent time with a friend painting her new room and delighted in getting out with a friend for the day. The last few days Kinzey and I have been busy crafting making some fun shirts for our family journey. I had no idea the shirts would be in “active duty” so quickly. As I just had come in the door Mitch gets a call a liver is available! A deep breath in all of us!

Made with the Cricut Explorer and infused ink

The gal on the phone spoke of the donor who is brain dead and is waiting to give the organs to recipients. Mitch is second in line so they needed to confirm he wanted the liver in case the one who is first declines it. Also, they had to make sure that all things were ready and prepped so it would be 10pm before we knew any more details or if we would be on our way to the U. After Mitch hung up the phone, we prayed. Tears flowing from each of us as we put all this in HIS holy hands. Trusting in what’s ahead. Here we go!

Kinzey came over for dinner and time to regroup, plan, making sure all was in place if indeed we would go. It really was a fun night! Yes, anticipation was at a peak but we enjoyed sharing stories and laughing a ton! We even put our new shirts on and rejoiced in all HE HAS DONE for us!

Goofy Shelstad’s…FAITH OVER FEAR!

10:30…we called her…we couldn’t wait…still didn’t have info to confirm so we wait and laugh some more…12:30am…I am dying of tiredness and finally, she called. They still did not know but said no matter what it wouldn’t happen until morning…so to bed we all piled in and at 8:30am she calls to share the liver is not healthy enough for transplant. I felt a bit of relief and disappointment all at the same time. It came so fast I was not prepared. I was uncomfortable about the age of the liver (60+ yr. old) yet they assured livers don’t age. Mitch is really doing well not super sick so it would be perfect timing so we don’t see him suffer more. Just so much emotion! Here’s the thing…Jesus knows what is going to happen. He has the perfect liver, plan, and timing. I will trust in that! And most important, I am SO glad I have Jesus in my heart to help me every step of the way!

Here’s the other thing…Jesus is coming back. SOON! Are you ready to meet HIM face to face? Are you prepared with knowing Jesus as your Savior or are you living still thinking you are your own savior? Do you live a life honoring Jesus? He paid a BIG price for you and me dying on a cross, rising again, and HE will return in judgment for all! Believers will be judged for how they lived for Him. Non-believers will face eternal darkness. Are you ready? Are you fully packed knowing without a doubt you will spend eternity with HIM? Are you wondering about being part of what the world teaches and what the Bible says? If you do have Jesus in your heart, have you shared your faith with others so they too can have the gift of eternal life? It’s real! JESUS is real! The Bible is true! I know the importance of this truth as we face every day being ready to embrace whatever the Lord chooses for Mitch. No matter what…Mitch wins! And so do we because we know without a shadow of a doubt we will be together again! THAT is what keeps us rejoicing and living in peace!

October 22, 2020

As Kinzey and I are preparing for a weekend of baking and crafting, I get a call from Mitch that the transplant coordinator contacted him. He received news that is challenging for us all, but we continue to embrace our Jesus as we knew with time things will worsen.

Mitch’s INR reached 32 and as doctors are great at giving timelines which for the record I hate, they are saying he has 3 months to receive a new liver. SO…what does that mean…PRAY a new liver is available, it’s a perfect match, and he will NOT reject it. Lots to bring before the Throne and trusting our Lord hears our prayers. We love you, and THANK YOU for lifting him up! God is faithful and we give Him all the glory as we walk together in HIS goodness!

October 16, 2020

Because of our trip to Branson, we will not be able to see Mitch for 2 weeks. He and Mackinzey took care of the homestead while we were away so it was great for him to be at our house to watch over it. BUT, because we were out of state and in so many places we decided as a family it was best for us to be apart for a time of quarantine to be safe. As a result, Mitch did get a flu bug and Kinzey a cold so it was a good choice overall. Dan and I, so far nothing…must be the daily intake of elderberry! HA! Anyway, he is doing better as of today from the bug, and continue to pray for a liver to be available soon or better yet…total healing! AMEN Right?

Pup cup coffee date…lots of attention today! Pups are a chick magnet!

September 20, 2020

Mitch”s INR is on the rise. It continues to show the transplant team his liver is worsening. He did get results back from and MRI which showed nothing new. His moral is amazing! He is getting out dirt biking with his sister and dad too…occasionally, but mostly spending his days keeping his house and enjoying Sky. He also starts puppy class which again will keep him busy training. Sky will be the best dog ever with all the time her master has for her!

The kids enjoyed making Dan and I a beautiful meal one Saturday night. Mitch did an amazing job on the steak and Kinzey is enjoying her skills at pie baking. MAN, we were all stuffed and enjoyed some great family time together! We also spent a day in Park Rapids for Dan’s birthday. Memory lane for Dan and I as we use to live there and owned a restaurant. Horrible time other than we had Kinzey there.

Wonderful meal by the kids! Every bite was full of flavor!

We are loving our extra time with the kids. It has been too many years apart for sure! I guess we are making up for it!

Dan’s special day!

September 13, 2020

Mitch continues to hang in there. Amazing really. Waiting for the day to receive a call for a new liver makes us all on edge, but especially Mitch. Every time the phone rings, planning on a get away, or simply filling up a day when you can no longer work. It is a difficult time for sure and we are thankful the Lord provides financial needs and of course this new little girl, Sky. She is defiantly filling his day as only a puppy can!

September 5, 2020

Mitch’s new girl…Sky

This last week has been a whirl wind as Mitch needed to go in for an MRI due to his blood work showing some signs of something going on. On Thursday he did so along with a new set of blood samples and he received a call from his transplant coordinator that his INR has risen to 28. She stated his INR is rising more rapidly now and to make sure his phone is on and be ready for a call at anytime if a new liver is available.

What to think? Really? We all sat down as a family excited yet anxious as news like this means so much. We pray daily for healing, comfort, and strength and truly we feel it. The Lord is working in all these areas of our hearts, minds, and soul. We will continue to update as we know things, keep you posted, and of course…PLEASE pray. We believe in only the submission of leaning on our Jesus through prayer. HE IS IN CHARGE! Thank you!

August 10, 2020

We have been celebrating each day we can have with this guy! I tell ya…enjoying family get away’s one day with seeing Llamas (we are thinking about getting some for the ranch one day), going out to eat, and a special evening going to Adult and Teen Challenge fundraiser for dinner. Why was it so special? Well, as always being with these guys brings us joy seeing them and hearing their testimonies, but also Sam came over and prayed over Mitch’s liver. Holding his hand over his liver and his other over his shoulder claiming healing and renewal brought Dan and I to tears. NEVER is prayer more powerful when it is spoken out loud RIGHT when you need it!!!! SO awesome! We are so thankful everyday!!

Mitch’s #’s are rising, 24 was his last test and the yellowing is stronger. But, I think he has a gorgeous tan! He’s hanging in there…thank you for praying and encouraging him. He needs it!

Day fishing with some friends

July 6, 2020

Our Lord is faithful and true and gives us hope everyday!

As we continue to wait for the liver to be available, Mitch continues to do well. He is staying active even got out wave running on the lake over the 4th! SO awesome! He also is able to take a hydration drink which is an herbal product I now sell because of what it does! Incredible really! Instead of the Gatorade and other products out there that do NOTHING for your health AND what it did for Mitch, I was sold! It hydrates your body NOW as soon as you drink it, tastes fabulous with all the herbs I love (Elderberry no less), and because of the electrolytes in the product it stops Mitch’s headaches. AMAZING! If you have a hard time drinking your daily dose of water…this will help! Just email me, I would be happy to share more! (homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com)

When Mitch has his headaches he gets really sick. So much so he vomits and is down for the day or more. So I am so happy we found a product that works!

If you want to connect with Mitch and give him an encouraging word, please email him. He would love it! You can email me on the above address and I will forward you his addy. Truly, will help him through this time of waiting! THANK YOU!!!!

June 12, 2020

A Happy Birthday for our little beaner, Mackinzey celebrating 27 years and not celebrating her birthday for 7 years…WOW! So fun to have her home!

With that, Mitch got busy in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for her and helping with appetizers and her cake! It was such a fun evening. Also…fun to have him happy and enjoying what he loves so much.

He is now LISTED with the liver transplant nationwide! His test made it so he could officially be listed. Loving life he is for sure and living everyday he is feeling well as best as he can. KEEP praying!!! He needs them!

We also paid a visit to a local assisted living facility and Mitch did all the pictures. We even got in the paper! Here are some of his shots! Great job Mitchy MO!

May 25, 2020

Today Mitch is doing great! Isn’t it wonderful we can be in the midst of a trial but have total peace in what is to come or even happening right now but totally ok with it? I love that about our faith! Just trust and obey and see what He gives us!

Mitch has a team of many people who call him weekly to check-in, make sure he is up to date on paperwork, labs, and so on as well as check on his mental health. He really feels special we can tell! He smiles a lot and has more energy since his symptoms and reactions from meds is under control.

He stays with us a few days at the beginning of the week so we can do home church together and have a family meal or two or three or…the kids hang out for more often. He then will head back to his home to take care of things there. We know there will be a day he will have to totally live here for a period of time so we encouraged him to take what he can get now and live his life as best as he can. He loves that!

He does miss his work at camp but he is hoping when they open he can lend a hand in volunteering on his good days. What a gift he can give during his time of waiting.

Mitch surprised me on Mother’s Day! He made a great meal too!

May 28, 2020

Mitch and I are headed to the cities for some tests he needs. This will give an accurate reading for the team and transplant coordinators to have him listed. He is at 18 INR now and when it reaches 30+ is when things will get more serious. OR if he has more trouble like he did last fall with his bile duct or anything else that will cause him to be listed higher. Until the tests come back I will update this again and of course, we trust in our Jesus for it all. PLEASE pray for Mitch and his strength, his faith, and most of all his morale. With Jesus there is NOTHING to fear!

God’s blessings upon you ALL!

Lee and Dan

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Bible Journaling, Empower, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Trusting the door

Last November our daughter and son both faced some big trials. “Trial Doors” as we call them. Door number one for our son Mitch as he had to go through 4 months of dealing with a bile duct blockage and have a tube inserted. After the 4th month, he got the tube removed but with news, his liver is in trouble and may need another transplant. Hard news and many sad days of facing “what next?” and what doors the Lord will provide.

Our daughter desperately needed to move home over a year ago but the Lord didn’t provide ANY doors for that to happen It was a hard year for her as well until November when the news of Mitch illness arose. She felt with her whole heart it was time to look into taking the steps to get licensed in MN, (she is a cop in Virginia). My husband and I felt the same way it was indeed time for her to take the test and get the ball rolling! The Lord provided the doors…one wasn’t a good one with hard health news but I believe it was the door for Kinzey to walk through a door she hadn’t pursued during the course of a whole year. So we all trusted…

Being aware of the door

Kinzey failed the first attempt of the test in November which was clear she needed more studying and help. I found out about a class specific to recruits to help pass the test. Remember, she is VA and the class is here in MN. But, she said, “if that is what will help me pass then I will do what it takes!” The Lord once again provided (door 1) the ONLY class in December and even just before Christmas (door 2) so we could have a family celebration at the same time. (We hadn’t celebrated Christmas together for 5 years) She found the class very informative and learned tools (door 3) to help her study better. Come January the Lord provided another… door 4, the date for the test in her state became available. The only date for several months! She passed! (door 5) As soon as she took the test she applied for her dream job back in MN where she interned. They had 2 openings which just became available! (door 6) Can you believe this so far? Seriously as I type this it amazes me!

Dedicated for over 5 years!

Door 7 she gets the email she has been accepted for the several phases including interviews, more tests, and background. One door shut along the way. She applied for another job which opened up in December but when she mailed it, certified even, the department got it late. So, she never did hear from them probably due to it arriving past the due date.

When you recognize the Lord has provided a door for you to walk through it is only by faith we do so. It may not turn out the way we planned but the Lord would not have provided if He didn’t feel you needed to. It is also important to praise the Lord for each step even if a door closes. Each door provides the character He is building in you.

Move By Faith

Yep, that is indeed what the Lord desires from His children. To step out and trust in HIM! With our daughter she will not hear from the department for several weeks due to all the phases they have to hire but we prayed together and trusted if the Lord orchestrated all these details then we shall move on them. We headed out east, packed her up and left her with an empty, echoey house as she waits for the phases to complete and see what is next. It was the first time in 7 years I didn’t cry because I wouldn’t see her for many months, but I did cry as we thanked the Lord for paving the way and the reality she will be home again soon.

Look at the tongue weight!

Jesus IS the Door

One of the many adventures Kinzey and I took was stopping at the Ark Encounter. Truly a trip y’all need to take! AMAZING! Anyway, the most powerful part of being on the exact replica of the ark was… the DOOR!

What do you see?

I wept. I simply stood in front of that door and wept! To think about how God would use this simple wood structure as a metaphor to HIS son awestruck me. The many scriptures signifying Jesus Christ as the Door and how the door had to be tall and wide enough for each animal and other needs to fit through.

“I am the Door. Whoever enters through it will be saved.”

John 10:9

This verse and the analogies we use like”walking through a door”, “when the Lord provides a door”, or “when He shuts a door” are all too significant to the truths our God provided from way back in Genesis. BUT we must as believers be very careful to line up what is in front of us as a door and go before Him in prayer. With every step, it will build our character! It may be a hard door to go through, but if He opens it, there is a reason. It may be a door we are not sure if the Lord is in it. Character building again.

No matter what…every door is a faith walk. We do not know what is on the other side. But the ones who try you can be assured our Jesus is holding your hand!

Unity Stamp Company…such a great stamp!

May the doors are wide open and clear and if not, PRAY and seek HIS wisdom! Enjoy the ride as every door is an adventure!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Peace, Ranch Life

We had a great day celebrating his liver birthday on the 24th and going back to camp to volunteer. It was wonderful to see him working but he told me he is dealing with some pain. He has an appointment to do a round of blood work and a CT scan to see if indeed something is going on.

Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge HIM and He will keep your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We continue to pray for healing and trusting in the HEALER’s timing! Keeping you posted as we know the next steps.

Thank you for joining us in this trial!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

April 6, 2020 Surgeon confirms…

Mitch is indeed going to need a liver transplant sometime this year. The thing about transplants is, unfortunately, a patient has to get pretty sick.

Mitch is put on a waiting list and in the months ahead he will undergo tests and many visits with the doctors. The virus going on right now does not allow for those visits so again we wait. Mitch was laid off of his job and of course, time will tell the steps in his future there. For now, we trust in the Lord and will continue to pray for healing.

We will update when there is info but really only necessary especially for prayer. Please keep him lifted up. This is a hard time for anyone, especially when you’re young.

God’s blessings as we pour our hearts out to our Savior and Healer!

In Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

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Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life

What muscle to target

Using essential oils to customize your own special blend is not only the most healthy way to treat a sore muscle but also the key to working a particular issue. Working from head to toe focusing on the tight areas for a longer period of time. Once the area is loose move along to the next area again working downward. What I love about massage is it benefits the giver as well as the receiver! As you work the muscle area you absorb the essential oils in your own skin as well as infused. Getting those sore muscles worked and boosting the senses is what makes massage with essential oils so unique.

Blending For A Warm Massage

To create a warming and invigorating massage experience combine essential oils such as Black Pepper, Copaiba Balsam Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ginger, Turmeric, and Nutmeg. The oils create an uplifting atmosphere and warm the muscles as well as cleans the skin. The carrier oils to blend with Fractionated Coconut oil or Jojoba. Fill half of a dark squeeze bottle with your choice of carrier oil along with your top 3-4 essential oils. The dropper amber bottles makes it easy to apply without waste.

Soothing Massage

To create a soothing massage experience use essential oils like Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Geranium, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang, and Blend of Sandalwood (amazing oil). These oils along with any of the carrier oils will create a relaxing, calming atmosphere as well as sooth those stiff muscles. NOTE: Some essential oils are expensive and excluding them from your blend will be just fine.

Quick Tip Recipes

A gentle, clarifying massage: 5-8 drops Patchouli, 8 drops Lavender, 4 drops Clary Sage, 3 drops Rosemary, 2 drops Bergamot along with 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

A grounding, calming massage: 5 drops Cedarwood, 8 drops Bergamot, 10 drops of Juniper Berry, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil.

Foot massage: 8 drops Tea Tree, 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Cypress, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil

Hand and foot massage: 6 drops Ginger, 8 drops of Orange, 4 drops Clove Bud, and 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

HERE is another recipe and step by step

Workout massage: 10 drops Juniper Berry, 10 drops Lavandin, 5 drops Peppermint, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Bark, 3 fl oz Almond and 1 fl oz Jojoba carrier oil ( I use one of the carrier oil bottles for this massage oil)

  • With each of these massage oils use the dark amber bottles to keep the oils from going rancid and in a dark cabinet.

TIP:

Before you do any massage for yourself or a loved one add a spray midst to the linens. Just setting the stage for a wonderful experience!

Pucker up pillow mist recipe here

Comment and share

I would love to hear what massage oil blends worked best as well as what you personally came up with! It is so fun to create your own blends especially if you are dealing with a particular issue. Explore and enjoy it!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, live naturally,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Peace, Ranch Life

March 10, 2020

Mitch is starting to show more signs of the liver in trouble. He is weak and having major itching which is causing sores all over his body. Of course, it makes him extremely agitated as well. His skin tone is yellowing too but in conversation with the transplant team, they will remain to ask for labs and adding some meds to help with his itching. We pray the change in meds will help. Mitch leaves for Oregon next week for a fun getaway with kitchen staff from camp. Please pray for him to enjoy a wonderful time and just to getaway. When he comes home it will be his 25th birthday! WOW! We will celebrate our little man well! Thank you for praying!

February 21, 2020, we got a call from the transplant center that Mitch’s MRI looks GOOD…in fact GREAT! She stated the bile duct looks better than when they first saw it back in the fall and everything seems to be going well. PRAISE THE LORD!!! Oh, we rejoiced in the news! BUT, that doesn’t mean he is out of the woods. He still has an appointment in early April with his doctors. One is the GI doc the other is the surgeon but we WALK BY FAITH God’s got this! Keep prayin’! We hope NO transplant is needed!

No tube…more freedom

For some of you who are specifically on a mailing, we update as soon as we have news on our son Mitch. He recently had his tube taken out and today he is doing amazing! Of course, we have to keep praying as in early April, day after Easter, he sees his doctors. One for GI and one a surgeon. Life is a journey and how unique this life of Mitch has been, struggles and joys all for a purpose we can not see. That my friend is faith.

Praying for the Miricle

On the appointment day, we find out if he is still in need of a liver transplant OR if his liver is working normally and not failing. We continue to daily lift this young man up hoping the Lord will totally heal this liver which has been functioning for…get this…23 years this January 24th!!!!

Happy Liver Birthday

I hope to be sharing some pictures as we surprise him this week celebrating and praying for him. YES, he does not know what we are up to, but we are excited to let him know this is a day of encouragement as we see all the Lord has done in 23 years and praising and giving thanks for all HE WILL DO for the next! It is within the trials our faith can go either way. Grow. Or sink. We continue to rejoice and in the praising, our faith is strengthened. I will add pictures to this post when the big day happens. Only a few days away. want to be an encouragement?

Being An Encourager

I find this piece so huge to ones facing trials. We just don’t know what the Lord is up to and if we could see the other side of it we wouldn’t grow. Jesus preaches for us to be encouragers of one another. Lifting one another up in prayer and thanksgiving. We appreciate all of you who tune in and are be obedient by praying us through! Jesus is ALWAYS faithful!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and family

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Healing, Living Naturally

Today brings joy

On Christmas eve we celebrated our Lord Jesus’ birthday thanking HIM for coming from a perfect place in the heavens to save us! It was almost 22 years ago we understood what being “saved” meant for the first time. It took a tragedy. It took almost losing our son to wake us up to the truth Jesus came to SAVE us from our sin not to celebrate the day of gifts and hoopla.

We ended the evening with Mitch being anointed with a prayer from the church family. Laying hands on our boy people prayed for a special gift for Mitch. A gift of a miracle.

Essential Oils Used For Healing

In case you think I’m crazy, look up in the bible all the times essential oils were used for healing, cleaning, perfumes, sacrifice, and even at the cross! (references below)  I think this is why I love them so much. There is something special when you pour an oil on a sick persons head or on the area of pain and can feel, smell, and simply enjoy the blessing of bringing your request to the Lord. The oil naturally formulated from an herb or plant which comes only from HIM being poured onto the area of pain.  It’s worship in the most beautiful way!

My favorite oils I use on Mitch as each one has a special job:

Orange
Frankincense
Myrrh
Peppermint 

Waiting Game

As we are in the stage of waiting to see and hear what the doctors will do next, we do simply pray. Each day he fights pain but moves on with his day. I continue to bring my concerns to the Lord as soon as my mind wanders into areas it should not. Being in God’s word helps tremendously as I need strength and assurance. In the wait, Jesus is near and hanging on to all of us!

Until we have more, keep praying! Our Jesus has our Mitch!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

The list below is a SHORT list!

CEDARWOOD Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52
CINNAMON Exodus 30:23Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 4:14Revelation 18:13
FRANKINCENSE Exodus 30:34Leviticus 2:1, 2, 15, 16, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7Numbers 5:151Chronicles 9:29Nehemiah 13:5Song of Solomon 3:6, 4:6, 14Matthew 2:11Revelation 18:13
MYRRH Genesis 37:25, 43:11Exodus 30:23Esther 2:12Psalm 45:8Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, 14, 5:1, 5, 13Matthew 2:11Mark 15:23John 19:39
CORINDER
Exodus 16:31Numbers 11:17
HYSSOP Exodus 12:22Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51,52Numbers 19:6, 181Kings 4:33Psalm 51:7John 19:29Hebrew 9:19
JUNIPER
Job 30:4
MYRTLE Nehemiah 8:15Isaiah 41:19, 55:13
SPIKENARD Song of Solomon 1:12, 4:13, 14Mark 14:3John 12:3
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Healing, Hope, Ranch Life

Bye Bye 2019

Yes, 2019 was defiantly a year I am ready to say goodbye to, yet the Lord Jesus did So much in the midst of the bad it really outweighed the horrible days. So how can I really be so excited to see it go? Mainly because I am sitting in a hospital room right now for our son Mitch and we just received some very difficult news. Today we relive what 1996 was like ironically the same month just before Christmas. Our son is facing a tough 2020.

Looking at tough times with 2020 vision

Mitch and our whole family have had some difficult trails but we faced them together with the love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first time we dealt with Mitch he was only 19 months old when we were told he was in liver failure. Now he is 24. He has done so well with his new liver given by his dad but today it isn’t doing so well. This liver is struggling to operate to its fullest potential and needs some renewal. For now, this is what we see. This is what we have before us. But I know my Jesus SEES Mitch in a much more different way. He sees AND has a plan we can not see and are not meant to see. Oh how I wish we could, but then…we wouldn’t need a GOD who shows us HIS mighty hand and HIS ultimate plan.

Mitch waiting to go into Unit 2 at the UOM with his gnome given by a dear friend. His little support of JOY! 11/25/19

What does Jesus need to see?

I believe the Lord needs me to step it up. He allowed this trial for ALL of us. Me, my husband, Mitch, and his sister Mackinzey. WHY? We again can’t see His plan but just need to keep HIM in the center of everything we say and do as well as shape us ever so much closer to HIM. To bring our relationship with Him deeper. Pressing so intimately to HIM that we never have before. He allowed this trial because we need to make a change. In the midst of this new year, we will face the need for wisdom, decerning daily decisions, meeting new people, listening to things we may or may not want to hear. But most importantly giving credit to the ONE who deserves ALLLL of the glory within each of those decisions, and new relationships. As I sit in this room, there are people facing saying good-bye to their loved one. For new parents holding newborns who desperately desire memories and a future with. And so many others dealing with tougher health issues. But I have a Promise keeper. A Hopedealer. A Peacemaker. A Miricleworker. A Healer. In turn…makes facing this a WHOLE lot more peaceful!

“I WILL praise you, Lord with all myheart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with JOY because of You. I will seing praises to Your name, O Mos High.” Psalms 9 :1-2

To Whom will I Trust?

Today I will choose to trust in my Savior, Jesus Christ! It wasn’t easy news. In fact, it was horrible, heartbreaking! I was hoping for a wonderful fresh 2020 with NO problems. But Jesus gave me and all of us a new plan. Every day we can choose to face trials on our own. Some face trials not knowing there is ONE who loves them deeper knows exactly what they are facing and CAN AND WILL give them peace! Instead of peace and joy within the trial, their pain brings hopelessness and despair. How do I know this…because 22 years ago…I was one of them. Yep, no Savior…yep I knew of God, even would tell you I believed…but I didn’t. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. It was traditional. It was simply a religion. TODAY I face the same trial but with a better outlook because I have HOPE!

Fix our eyes on Jesus…keep our focus on HIS trail, not our own. A lesson this day. Who knew how real this would become? 5/10/19

Because of a choice…

Jesus met me in a hospital room on January 12, 1997. I felt Him. I opened my Bible blowing the dust off of it and came upon a passage that spoke directly to me at that moment our 20-month-old son was dying.

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but You. Psalm 5:1-2

You see the Lord had a vision. A purpose for “such a time is this” Ester 4:13 He saved BOTH Dan and me during this trial. Without Mitch facing this then, we wouldn’t have had the past 22 years of amazing growing faith! We wouldn’t have had the convictions of raising our children to behave the same saving faith and to live life with a purpose for others vs. themselves. As young adults who chose to live sacrificially to serve others. To have a vision for a ministry to serve kids at risk using horses which I always wanted to have and be GIVEN the privilege to have True North Ranch come true. And the list really is endless because of submission Jesus and dying to self. It truly has been an amazing ride!

A trip to MOA after a day at the UOM. (red dots not sure what they were up too) 8/1999

So what is happening today?

We decided as a family to use this blog which is connected to our ministry website as a platform to share what is happening with Mitch’s new adventure. We SEE the Lord working every day in this trial and we thank HIM daily for it! The vision is clear folks…Jesus HAS MITCH and all of us in the Palm of HIS HOLY HANDS! We wait and SEE that what HE does is always GOOD! Mitch is dealing with fluid in his tummy, legs, and feet and is having to go through weekly appointments to have them drain it. He also is facing some bad acne and is going through treatment for that as well as continuing to have an external tube that has been in him since October 14, 2019. These issues have caused more stress on his liver and scaring has become more as well. He is with us for a few days until he regains strength and will go back to his home when he is feeling stronger. Christmas will be early this year for our family as our daughter Mackinzey is returning home for a few days but has to get back before Dec. 23rd. We will be capturing as much family time as we can!

Our tree is decorated with only the names of Jesus…Each day I ask Mitch to choose one he feels is fitting for the day…FREE was his choice today. 12/12/19

How can you pray?

  • for comfort and relief of pressure from the fluid in his body
  • for travel for Mac and Dan as they drive from VA. to MN next Monday
  • for the test, labs, and all treatments to continue to show improvement and for Mitch’s liver to function on its own with NO transplant needed!!!
  • for the Lord to provide all of Mitch’s extra expenses coming from co-pays on meds, appointments, and hospital treatments
  • for the family to enjoy some peaceful times together with Mitch in little to no pain to embrace this time together in celebrating our Jesus’ birth!

THANK YOU for PRAYING…

Feel free to share as you need as this platform of the blog is to glorify and edify our Lord Jesus Christ who WAS, IS, and always WILL BE the King of Kings!

Updates will come weekly as best as we can. We are believing Jesus for a miracle of his liver fully returning to normal on its own and trusting if HE chooses otherwise our palms will be raised…whatever Your Will Father!

We love you!

Peace in Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

Praise song for the week: I will praise Him in the Storm by Casting Crowns

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Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Battle of worry

Worry really is a daily thing for most of us. I can try and try to not let something bother me, but it creeps up and becomes a place I shouldn’t be.

Around the ranch, it happens just by having all these critters to care for. YES, as a believer we are called to give all our worries to the Lord and if we do worry we are doubting the Lord. That troubles me to know I am doubting the Lord power over my troubles so I repent often. I desire to put my worry behind me but it is a battle.

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is a sin.” Romans 14:23

The kitten climbed to the tippy top of a pine tree…oh my…worry I did!

Worry when it is in Jesus’ hands

The last month in preparing for winter I threw myself into a tizzy over the kitten’s water getting frozen. I shared with my hubby Dan and he assured me, “the Lord provided these two He will take care of them, plus they are outdoor cats and know how to find what they need.” Oh sure, ok…well of course! They found the horse water which is automatic and keeps at 45 degrees all year round. (The assurance of me SEEING them drink helped revive me as well)

They found this I am sure many months ago…

What to do?

I think the first thing is to make sure one is really talking to the Lord about their concerns. I know I need to open my mind to praying for peace, thanking the Lord for all He has done and WILL do despite the concerns of daily life on this side of heaven. If we are not aware we worry more than we should or over things that truly are no big deal to Jesus, that is an area of the heart. Worry is doubt. Just like His word teaches us.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … Matthew 6: 25-34

No worries here…Nugget is as calm as a clam…He loves Mousy!

Relax and Rest in Jesus

After chores, this boy knows how to rest!

Resting in the ONE who can give you peace is the ultimate worry breaker! When I choose to rest instead of worry my days go so much smoother. If something arises, I stop, pray, listen, and do what the Lord request, TRUST in HIM…for every worry in the world…He has it!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Last 2 months our son facing health issues and will be for at least one more month.

Simply put…

Jesus doesn’t want us to worry because He created us knowing it is bad for our physical and mental health. When we choose to give our concerns over to Jesus we are releasing our minds to focus on things from Above. Trust me on this one, I have seen people with worry not able to sleep and fight other health issues to myself experiencing what it’s like to be overwhelmed with worry to laying it all at the feet of Jesus. The latter is SO peaceful and a much better place for my mind and body.

A friend of mine gave me a gnome when we visited her before our son had to go into another treatment for his liver. As we laughed at how cute he is as a little comforter for Mitch, I couldn’t help but look at this picture. The gnome hat points up. When we are overwhelmed by the everyday trials, look up child, LOOK UP!

“Give all your worries and cares to god, for He cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give it all to Jesus,

Lee

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Crafts, Healing, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Letting Go…Let it Ride

Facing situations with people that are just plain annoying can really eat at your thoughts. Recently I was in a meeting where one gal was pretty dominating. We had much planning to do to organize and set up for an event and I am sure you have experienced this once or twice, but you have an idea and instantly it is shot down. Ok…well me too. I continued to share ideas “letting it ride” that one of the ideas didn’t go over, but then there was another, then another, and another. “Letting it ride” was not going so well! So I became quiet. Not sharing anymore. Becoming…not Christian-like.

Let it Ride set (find here)
Letters Die Cut by Honey Bee (find here)
I used Gelatos (find here) for my colors translucent and brights,  or here blending with an aqua painter pen (find here) 
(LOVE using watercolor when using open stamps)
The blending pens from SU! are good too, I just don’t like them as well.
The wood paper (find here)
Mounting tape for 3D effect (find here)

Gotta get a barn door look!

It’s a matter of the heart

Simply put our hearts are jealous, rebellious, full of sin. When I felt like I wasn’t heard and thinking my ideas weren’t worth importance, it wasn’t the gal’s fault for putting the ideas down or the others in the room who didn’t jump in and say, “awesome idea Lee!” What I was feeling was unimportant. I forgot life isn’t about me. The event is an important agenda. Jesus is the focus and center of it all. Not my ideas, not my goals, not anything!

“The Lord looks at the heart”. Samuel 16:7b Jesus know my heart. What I am thinking. Thoughts which don’t belong to a follower of Him.

Let it ride brings peace

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

True verse! If I choose to focus on the needs of my feelings of self-worth I set myself up to be bucked off! Peace only comes when I choose to “let it ride”, let the Lord lead. Give my concerns to Jesus and He will sort them all out. If someone has wronged me, by praying and seeking the Lord on the issue to “let it ride” and pray for them, or address it with love, He will lead the way!

Coloring in the horse giving a silhouette look

Love to hear your comments

Please let me know what you think of the cards. Not that I need affirmation or compliments, but it is fun to see fellow crafters give ideas and tips too.

God’s blessings upon you and

ENJOY THE RIDE HOME,

Lee


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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A weekend celebrating…REST

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you REST.” Matt. 11:28

On March 22 our ranch and 3 others are SPURRING other ranches and folks in ministry to come for a weekend of rest. A time to fellowship with other like-minded ministries and take some time to learn, worship, and enjoy all the Lord has blessed us with.

Goofy SPUR team

We are also very excited to have Troy Meeder from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch come to speak and lead worship. Troy and his wife Kim have written many books. Average Joe is Troy’s book focusing on men and living a life for Christ. Troy is an adventurous guy, to say the least, and if you have a man in your life let me tell you they will be blessed BIG TIME with this read! My hubby Dan loved it and really learned much from his words. Even a little convicted too, which for any of us is a good thing.

We can’t wait to see how both men and women will be blessed by his speaking God’s word and giving us all a boost to get through yet another year of ministry serving kids at risk, trauma kids and adults, and others in need of hope and healing.

Troy’s wife Kim

Kim has written several books. Her story will truly grab you by the gut! Her childhood trauma left her with Hope…Yes, Jesus was truly her rescuer during a horrible situation no child should have to go through. The book Hope Rising will leave your heart full! Full of how truly our amazing Jesus is in the midst of such trials of life…all from a back of a horse. Another one of her books I highly recommend is Bridges Called Hope.

 

Kim’s style of writing is inspiring and as she paints a picture with each word you feel like you are right there. Kim and Troy have been gifted to express their journey and help others by embracing God’s truths. In the midst of very difficult situations, they have a God who loves them and will never let go! You will be blessed as you embrace each story. 

How Ranch Ministry Began

Troy and Kim started their ranch over 25 years ago. All from their love of horses, their personal journey in life with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gift of the beautiful property overlooking the sisters, the Cascade Mountains which the Lord had a perfect ministry platform for. Their story became a vision and boost for other ranches like us to carry out the call using our horses to serve our communities.

Just Answer the Call

It’s not easy when the Lord asks us to step out and do the uncomfortable or what may seem like the impossible. But when you do, it is absolutely the most amazing ride you will personally ever be on!

For More Information…

Be A Blessing

If you do choose to purchase one or all those books above, you will be a blessing to our ranch ministry as well as Chrystal Peaks. In advance, thank you! Every little bit helps us meet the needs of so many in need of healing and hope!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Ministry

Do you have someone who is hard to love? Is there someone who you think just doesn’t like you or is hard to communicate with? Has there been someone who has hurt you in some way and your relationship isn’t quite the same? Well…let’s work on that!

12 gifts for the hard to love
Gift of love

We all have one…

I have all the above. I think if we’re honest we do too. This month is gift giving season, typically. But if your reading this and it isn’t December…than all the better! Because for this relationship which is somehow not right to be ok again… this concept needs to happen no matter what time of year.

Let’s first look at our own heart. The Lord says, “People judge by the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 

Isn’t this passage so true? Looking at this person who is hard to love. WHY? Why are they hard to love? How they act or speak to others? To us? How they choose to live? I am sure we can think of 12 ways one person has wronged us. This passage holds to this very thing. We are looking at the outside appearances, their life versus God created them and loves them and so must we. No matter what. So now the need to find 12 ways back to love instead of wronged.

Why try?

The same thing holds true to the one who hurt you.  The one who continues to ignore you or include you in their gatherings.  If we are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to love…no matter what.  Remembering His 2 greatest commandments. “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength…AND love your neighbor as yourself.”

SO…ready for an idea…one that may not work exactly the way you think but I guarantee will please the Lord. 

12 gift Ideas

12 gifts. You can do the 12 anyway you choose. Maybe it will be over a year, one gift a month, or all in 12 consecutive days. It doesn’t matter. Just commit to 12 gifts to this person.  Get your calendar, planner, or whatever you use and look at daily or weekly opportunities to mail or drop your gift.  Next write down 12 gifts this person may love. Food like those cute jars filled with something they can make. I love this because if they choose to make the item it will remind them of you and your relationship. Other ideas can be a card, bookmark, favorite DVD, CD, or movie tickets. Gardening seeds, teas or coffee, hot cocoa, lotions, and gift cards are wonderful little gestures of love. 

gifts for the hard to love
Do you need a great editing program for you pictures….I love this one!
12 gifts for the hard to love
Gingerbread Spiced Syrup…recipe below

In addition to every gift, include a note. You will need to go before the Lord and ask for wisdom to your wording. You want to be sensitive to whatever your relationship has been in the past as well as to why it is a-strange in the present.  Make it special. Fill your heart with love for them by asking the Lord to help you with your hurt or harden feelings. He loves prayers like this, because relationships are VERY important to Him.

Easy boxes filled with Elderberry syrup

What about after…

Lastly, after the 12 days and gifts have been given, if something has not already been sparked by the first one or two, again pray. “Why Lord has this person not responded? What do I need to do next? Help me to continue to love them and bring them to mind to lift to you.” I know from doing this very thing…God has healed. Whether it was during the gift giving time, or just in this prayer time. He answered. A hint of advice, don’t call them or if you see them don’t say ,”Hey did you get anything from me? Did you get the gifts I sent?” Why? Because by asking you are looking for something in return. Keep humble.

Broken relationships bring us to sinful actions. Gossip, talking bad about this person, rudeness, and unforgiveness.  Which all of these separates us from our Lord. If we want unity, if we call ourselves a loving person, than we must do our best to be Christ-like and reach out. If that person doesn’t respond, we pray for them and move on. 

Joy

 One thing can stand out when you do this activity. You can experience joy in the gift giving process making it special for this child of God and it provides an opportunity to pray for them.  There is nothing more joyful in our daily lives than bringing joy into another. We just never know what is going on in the hearts of others. But the Lord does. 

Let me know what happened

Let me know if you tried this. By your comments you could help another. I will be VERY anxious to see how it goes. In both situations so far I have done, it was misunderstandings in one and the other was facing a strong addiction. By reaching out helped heal and brought forgiveness in others in their personal lives. Amazing!

Share away!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

Gingerbread Spiced Syrup recipe:

All products below I get from Starwest link on blog…

2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces                12 cloves

3 tbsp fresh ginger root                                    1 tsp whole peppercorns

2 cups honey                                                       2 cups water

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Directions:

Place the cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, peppercorns in a double thick cheese cloth and tie a knot to hold it all together. In a large sauce pan, add water and honey and bring to a boil. Add nutmeg and stir. Now put cheesecloth into the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes watching closely. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat. Take cheesecloth and squeeze out any juice collected using the back of a spoon. Serve some immediately and any remaining let cool and transfer into nice GLASS containers. Make a wonderful gift anytime of year! Keeps for one month in refrigerator.


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Bible Journaling, Empower, Hope, The Boys

We sure get ourselves into a rut when we focus on the worst part of ourselves. We can even try to hide from connecting with God because we have deep feelings of shame or guilt. The best gift we can give ourselves is who we are to Whom knows are deepest soul.

Do you ever find yourself pretending to be someone else? Hiding from the world who you really are? I can tell you from experience this can be exhausting.  But there is Hope.

Being in the presence of Jesus with all of our junk with our guilt, shame, naked before Him we come into the very presence of grace, love, and forgiveness. Only if we are willing to choose. Only if we are willing to come before this Throne of Grace will we experience the Hope.

In a similar way to our Jesus, horses bring out our true selves. Horses don’t pretend and are not self-conscious. They don’t worry about how their hair looks, if they are too fat or too thin. Horses show up exactly how they are full of grace and pure honesty. They are not ashamed to be afraid or to show contentment.  

The Gift of Being True To Self

When I am in the presence of our horses, I can take a deep breath and release the pressures of the things I am holding in. By gazing into their beautiful brown eyes, these giants who have reason to fear me, brings me peace. Just like Jesus. 

“Do you give the horse his strength, or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” Job 39:19  The Lord does this and yet the horse contents to gentle this strength to befriend us. They can help bring us into a closer, deeper relationship with our Creator God by simply experiencing the picture of who we are and Who He is.

Often we can be such a klutz in how we approach our Lord.  Just like the horses, He is available offering us the greatest gift EVER…Himself and just as we are. 

We can choose to overcome any false truth about ourselves when we experience the Bigness of our God!

May each of you find the Truth and open the Gift! Unwrap whatever you feel is keeping you in the box. Trust this truth… He is worth it and so are you!

God’s blessing upon you all.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or even just get anxious when something important is coming up on your calendar? I have bouts of this…nothing serious but when I need a dose of calming, I will take a soak in a lavender bath with chamomile tea or if it’s during the day I will make a tall pitcher lavender lemonade. This is just downright refreshing and incredibly delightful! Plus…it helps you calm right down. Lavender Lemonade Try a batch and see if it works for you. If it does, make sure to comment below. I love hearing how the recipes work in the lives of the readers. Ingredients: 1 cup of raw honey 5 cups of pure water 1/4 cup dried culinary lavender 6  organic lemons, squeezed Lavender sprigs for garnish Elderberry syrup for color Directions: 1. Pour half of the water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. 2.  Add honey and dried lavender and let steep for 20 minutes. 3.  Strain mixture and pour into a large container. 4.  Add the lemon juice and remaining water and stir. Add a little Elderberry syrup to make it purple plus add a powerful immune boost! 5. Refrigerate Lavender Lemondade For an anxiety soak bath: (highlights are affiliate links which help our ministry) Mix 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil into your bath of hot water. Add your sea salt  (affiliate link) and swirl into your bath. Add apple cider vinegar (affiliate link) for a detox bath. UTI For during the day: Diffuse 10-12 drops of Lavender essential oil into the air during your workday for a natural stress reliever. Lavender is my go-to essential oil for insect bites and burns as well. Enjoy every sip, soak, and aroma with this wonderful herb! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life
What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take?  Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just plain ol’ stuck? Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect. About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name!   Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up led wrong or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway. In our sessions this year, pathways are our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before. I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences. Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be free from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one! At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and at that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work! In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead.  I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, belief, and ultimately obey. By obedience, I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas, not mine. Simply, surrendering my will. One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5-   HE does…every time I am obedient. My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105  By READING the bible every day, not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus. Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draw you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him. Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ! So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you? Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway! Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Peace, Ranch Life
Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today? Why is it some days seem like bad things keep piling up? A phone call, a text, news, prayer chain, things breaking down, on and on. The feeling of powerlessness and simply… overwhelmed by it all! Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today? “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her warfare is ended, her iniquity is pardoned,  she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:11 After reading this passage with a weight as heavy as the spring snow, comes another overwhelming feeling…peace. You see, by taking time in my bible reading and listening to what the Lord is saying takes the overwhelming negative stuff and turns it all into overwhelming peace. Why? God’s got this! He has the bad news, illness of others, death of a loved one, house or car falling apart, bills to paid. The Lord has all these worldly struggles but we so often carry the weight of the snow ourselves. So dumb! However, each time the bad comes we have a choice. Look at the first two words. Comfort He even repeats it, COMFORT. The Lord God is comforting His children by speaking tenderly. Our God is so personal demonstrating with a word that instantly brings peace. COMFORT! I love this! How does our God bring comfort? First through His word by reading it, accepting, and receiving every word as true. By a phone call from an encourager and someone who will pray your problem through. Simply waiting, crying out to God, and asking for peace in the struggle brings upon a little more peace. What have you heard or dealt with in just the last few days? What struggle? What did you do when you heard it or came upon it? Did you call a friend? How about going to your phone or computer and facebooking your problem? Maybe just wept and kept  it to yourself. All of these things are not bad but did they help? Did you carry this struggle throughout your day, week, or longer? I would say NOT, as I have done all the above! Rather than going to self gratifying answers, may I suggest once again turning to your Lord and Savior. Trust me, He has the answers. He says “the warfare is ended” it’s done! He has it taken care of. Our sins our even pardoned as the verse continues and even received double! Amazing good news! Do you see that? We need to look up when a struggle happens so the bad news can be turned to good by trusting in HIS ways and HIS timing. The Lord does not want us in an overwhelmed state feeling like we are stuck or up to our necks with problems we can’t escape. He wants us to experience freedom even in the tough times. The longer we stay in the struggle the less we can do for Him. If I am holding onto a problem, I can’t do the tasks of this ministry. My focus is on the problem vs. getting to His call on my life. When I am in a session with a child who is facing a major struggle, I am not able to be a good example of living in freedom with Christ. Therefore, when I am sharing Christ it isn’t as powerful as when I have prayed and given the problem to the Lord. overwhelmed cowboy Looking at his picture do you see a cowboy up to his neck with snow? Or do you see a cowboy enjoying looking over the top and seeing the LIGHT and being thankful it’s not over his head. It’s like the glass half full thing.  How do we deal with  life issues and what is given to us? Here’s a thought. Next time you experience an overwhelmed situation, look up. Get in the Word. Pray, talk to God letting Him know your pain and struggle. God doesn’t want you to carry the load He already has. He can melt that snow! Maybe not same day, or season even. But He will melt it! So call on Him, get rid of it so you can get back to HIS purpose for your day and life. Trust your God can bring an overwhelmed circumstances to overcoming! May you find the peace that passes all understanding, listen to his tender words, and embrace the word COMFORT in the world of overwhelming problems. Give it to Him and Get to work! Ultimately, He is given all the glory because you gave your struggle to Him and trusted Jesus to take care of your worries. We are getting into the Easter season…FREEDOM is celebrated! If you give  baskets to love ones, think about a basket of Hope, Freedom, and His Love! Giving HIS word, a bible, or a simple message of Hope in a card! Love deeper, talk sweeter, enjoy some quiet time with Jesus, Lee (new diffusers for your essential oils and other good things)
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Hope, Ministry, Overcome, Ranch Life
My word for 2018 is rest. Am I doing a good job going into month three? Resting in Jesus is not easy because doubts creep in. I am in the Book of John 1:29-34. John the disciple and John the Baptist are both so open. Their hearts are genuine and real. They LOVE the Lord! Sitting in my warm home looking out at the sunshine and fresh fallin’ snow, I imagine what it would have been like to be John the Baptist.  To be watching his cousin approaching him as he was baptizing others and to have the LAMB OF GOD walk into the waters. Oh my! My Big Things What are your big things in life right now? Health issues, children, marriage, job, financial problems? Have you asked yourself “how can I really rest in__________? Your blank is whatever the unrest is. My big things (notice the S) is our season coming up in ministry. Meeting financial obligations. Being strong in my walk with the Lord to be able to help others. Events coming up and the planning it takes. Keeping the animals and ranch in good care. My list could go on! Doubt creeps in! Resting in Jesus within this HUGE responsibility of life is hard! What I need to remember? Let’s take a look at what happens once Jesus is placed under water. “John the Baptist testified, ‘I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Him’. Do you see that? John witnessed the Holy Spirit resting on Jesus. Our friend John goes on, verse 33 “I didn’t know He was the One, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, “the One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” Can you just imagine this scene? Well, folks, we do need to picture this especially when we are facing life issues! If we have confessed our sins, and claim Jesus as Lord, we too have the Holy Spirit RESTING on our shoulders. NOT the problems of the world…the Holy Spirit Who gives us courage, strength, and hope to carry on! What a gift we have! Resting in the ONE…Jesus! Resting in knowing, without doubt, the Holy Spirit will give you the power to overcome! HOW IN THE WORLD do I do this? Simple…get in the Word of God. Memorize His promises. Post them on your mirror in the morning. Say out loud “Lord I confess I have doubted you in____________ (name it) and I know you will repair, fix, or have it in the palm of your hand!” Resting in the Big Things is resting in Jesus! Trust me, The Lamb of God has the BIG and little things in your life! Now go rest, pray, and rejoice in His power! God’s blessings upon you! Love deeper, Talk sweeter, Lee Some great new bible journaling items from Day Spring I think you will love! A whole collection on the Fruit of the spirit! NEW TOO! (affiliate link and purchase goes to help our ministry) Fruit of the Spirit sheets Fruit of the Spirit card stock and stickers Fruit of the Spirit Wasabi Tape
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Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
I came across this word at just the right time! Hygge…what in the world? But it fits! It fit the day. It fit my mood. It just plain fit! And now, I am creating Hygge Day! I think I will even make a card and give to friends in need of a Hygge day. Do you need a Hygge day? Hygge is a Scandinavian word for coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment. Do you feel Hygge? Do you feel your well and content? If not, what can you do to get you there? Here is a tip for the physical Hygge…get well. Get on the bandwagon and get your gut healthy first and start making some choices that improve your day to day life. First, simplify. Next, REST more take time to enjoy the Lord and HIS goodness. Lastly, make a plan to make wellness choices like a great Probiotic. (Click the Plexus link to learn more) Get RID OF BOXED FOOD! Make homemade from scratch and of course… get some exercise.  An emotional Hygge tip… How about a spa bath with your favorite essential oils? Oh, and some tea of course! It says in Wikipedia that the Danish and Norwegian’s see this as another word for HUG and getting together with others. So there ya go. HUG and invite friends to Hygge with ya! Never the less, Hygge is a word reminder to have cozy time relaxing and enjoying life. Which really is the foundation of wellness. Less stress, focus on others, love more! I JUST LOVE this word! It’s fun to get creative and have a HYGGE DAY! Make a special meal… invite a friend over for some hot tea and warm conversation… Enjoy being creative and implementing a Hygge Lifestyle! Try it! It’s fun! God’s blessings’ and Happy Hygge Day! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Overcome, Peace, Ranch Life
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Luke 2:14 I have been pondering and journaling this verse all week and one word just poured over me. Peace overstress. Is it possible? Well, I believe yes! No, I CHOOSE to believe yes. Imagine, being pregnant, or your wife is. You have to travel at the worst time because the government has an order. You get to your destination and they lost your reservation and to top it off, you go into labor so you find the next best place, a barn. (I think this would be kinda cool, but still scary) Have you ever had so much stress in a day, a week, a month, or year? Does it ever seem like there is no hope in your situation? The thing is, the angels on that day declared Peace on earth. God had a plan. His plan? For peace to be in people’s hearts. Yet here’s the thing, it will only impact ones who sincerely get the reality that a baby Who’s name is Jesus, came into the world for them, YOU and ME! And to accept it. Peace only comes to ones who want to see AND experience the peace from the pressures of this world. Just like in the Christmas story with Mary, Joseph, and their new baby we see stress. Stress happens, it builds and it seems like the struggle will never stop! However, when we choose to have peace in the One who is Peace, He can bring calm within the storm. Flowing rapidly within your heart! It won’t matter to you what the doctor tells you, what a person says bad about you, what is happening in the world. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phill. 4:7 I personally experience this peace when I hear bad news. Having cancer. Losing my dad. My oldest deciding and becoming a police officer AND moving 1600 miles away. Plus a ton more! Stress happens daily. But it is always in the CHOICE of how we choose to deal with that stress. How would you love to embrace a peace that nothing can pierce through? How is that possible? First, it’s through acceptance. Accepting you are a sinner, that every day won’t be a wonderful, peachy day but you will trust God through it. Next… and this is a tough one…do not waste time thinking things over and over in your mind. Worrying, repeating the situation in your mind, instead, choose to set “your affection on things above.” Colossians 3:2 Lastly, give thanks in every moment you can. Set your mind to bring everything to prayer instead of fretting over things you can not fix. Phill. 4:6 “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God.” Have you Thanked GOD for a problem, situation, relationship issue, or any bad news? YES, this verse is saying IN EVERYTHING be prayerful and thankful! It’s hard, but I did this for the first time several years ago when our son almost died. I THANKED God. Why? Because within thanking Him for the 19 months I had with Mitch, I was giving him back to Jesus. God knows and HE is in control. There is SO much Peace in receiving that one truth! God will turn all things to good…He promises! So this season, think of the First Holy Family, starting out stressful, in a corrupt world, yet finding the peace that this new child is the born King Who is called, Prince of Peace! May your season this year and next be filled with HIS Peace that ONLY HE CAN GIVE! In Jesus Name! LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Hope, Ministry
As Advent is now approaching this word just fills my soul! Promises. It is a word that when you hear it you either feel a sense of hope, or you immediately remember a promise that was broken and the sound of the word makes you upset, angry, or maybe abandon. Your trust for that person or group of people has left you with a permanent mark. As a result of either experience, let’s look at the promises fulfilled and bring us to a place of trusting once again in Someone Who never forgets a promise. Advent is a time of recalling the promises of God. Promises to remember what God had told His people long ago would happen. The whole Old Testament is filled with the promises of God. A promise to Abraham he would Father as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Genesis 15. A promise to the Israelites they will be taken out of slavery and see the promised land. Exodus 12 A promise to HIS people He will send a Counselor, Peacemaker, a King, a Savior. Isaiah 9 In the New Testament, we begin with a Promise fulfilled in the birth of a Child, Who has come to save the world. God sends the Perfect Promise. Jesus. Yes our God keeps His promises and it truly is what gives me hope every day! I put tabs on my bible with the words PROMISE so on those down days, I can quickly go to them. Humans not so much. Humans simply cannot do what God can do. We promise breakers. WHY? Because of our selfish ways, our own agenda, or simply life in general. We cannot fulfill all the promises that our family and friends would love for us to do. In ministry, working with teens especially, making promises is a NO NO! First, they most likely already came from a place of abandonment. Consequently telling them I will do something or give them something when I am not sure, just leaves an open door for lack of trust. Instead, I trained myself to respond, “I will try” or simply “that will not work for me I won’t be able to that.” Being honest and open breeds trust and a stronger relationship in the future. This goes for any relationship. Young or old…do not make a promise we simply do not have the capability like God to see the future. With our Lord Jesus coming as a baby, God’s promise and plan was being fulfilled. Imagine all the people in the Old Testament that heard about this prophecy of a Savior coming, but it didn’t happen in their lifetime. Some lost hope in the wait. Some even left the faith altogether. But for the ones who hung on, without sight, without the story of a baby in a manger Who is called King of Kings and Light of the World, those individuals are rejoicing in heaven with HIM. They may not see Jesus or read about Him in the what we call the Bible now, but they are experiencing the same Hope we will soon have. We too have not seen the Lord Jesus in the flesh, but we have this side of the cross where we know what happened and what will happen due to His Holy Word. We have the story. We have the facts. We have the proof. We have Jesus, who came as a baby, walked the earth as a man, and died on a cross to save us from our sins. We are on this side of the cross with the WHOLE picture. I know there are folks who have had promise after promise broken and they have given up hope…TRUST. I get that. I have had people do the same to me. But…they are human. Jesus is not. He is God our Savior who paid a price. The price of dying a horrible death for my sins. Every time I get angry, or gossip, or hurt someone I picture Jesus being beaten. His painful death. I know there are folks out there that don’t think they sin. They feel they are good people. I don’t think anyone who says that understands when they hurt someone by words or actions that is a sin. Or when they have told a “white lie” it is still a lie. There is not one human being who can say they have held the 10 commandments perfectly. Not one. We are not perfect and without sin. Hence we need of a Savior. A promise kept that has everlasting, eternal rewards. I can’t wait to meet my Promise Keeper! Can you? This advent season whether you are alone, or have a family, take this time to research all the promises in the bible. I can make one promise because it has come true for me and thousands of others. You will not be disappointed or feel abandoned. Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismay, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand. **If you’re pondering a gift idea for your child or grandchild, think about the gift of HIS Word. Dayspring has many fun ways to open the child or teen into God’s love for them. Ideas to inspire daily reading and prayer! I encourage you to check it out! Links are on our blog. (which help our ministry) Living on the Promises of God today and every day! In Jesus name, Love deeper, talk sweeter and walk-in HOPE, Lee **The picture in this post is of a young teen who was building trust with the horse. She was understanding through the horse’s response how trust in a relationship begins with herself. She must be consistent, patient, kind, and be a partner, not a boss. This teen 3 years later experienced a trial of a loss so huge! To get through such a trial took trust and faith in Jesus Christ, promising her Hope!
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