Saturday, March 22, 2014

Update...Answered Prayer...New Prayer Requests...THANK YOU!!!

There has been quite a gap since I last blogged.  I have no excuse except Life.  And let’s be honest, Life is a pretty darn good excuse.  And yet while I’m busy Living, when I was recently asked what I would do if I had more "me" time, “write” was near the top of my list.   And so I did some soul searching in the form of comparing my blog history and dates, and found the clear-cut reason why I haven’t written regularly in awhile.  Ready?  The meals stopped.   Yup, that’s right.  After somewhere around 88 meals, I was left to fend for myself.  I know, right?  You’re thinking it, too.  How horrible that I had to actually begin cooking for my own family again.  The nerve!   It’s true.  The calendar confirms.  I started “slowing down” my blogging right around the time the meals stopped.  So, you know.  There’s a big learning here.  A huge bottom line: I’m clearly a low-functioning hot mess.  I mean, 88 meals.  EIGHTY EIGHT.  (approximately)  We have been loved on and provided for beyond what we deserve.  To say we are humbled is an understatement.  In October it was a pumpkin patch.  In November it was anonymous gifts signed “Jesus Loves You!”  December was a “Secret Santa.”  Every week of every month has left us drowning in God’s faithfulness.  Our children have seen thoughtfulness and generosity expressed in beautiful ways.  They will be forever changed.  We all will.  So is it with severe sarcasm that that I wrote the above?  Yes.  But am I super bummed about my lack of writing and am I really a low-functioning hot mess?  Well, yes.  That part is true.  I still have not mastered Life.  My kids need haircuts.  My laundry isn’t done.  My 14 month old still hasn't had her 12 month check up.  I haven’t found the key to carving out time to write in the midst of it all.   But I trod along.  I am here.  Today.  And I hope to be here again in a few days.  And a few more after that. 

All that to say, I have some updates and some prayer requests!!!! 
(If we are Facebook friends, you will know some of these already.  But I’ll post them here, just to make sure we all are on the same page!)

1) Jon started back at work!  He is working part time – 20 hours/week and is loving being back!  He will be the first to say that heading back to work sounded like a “treat” after being at home for so long with 4 kids.  :)  (I’m pretty sure he has a new respect for my "job" at home.)  ;)

Jon has a new role at work right now.  He is not yet able to jump back into his role as Worship Pastor because of his eye pain.  Some days (like the past 3 days in a row!), he wakes up and his eye is SO painful.  He has a hard time functioning and has to manually hold it closed etc..  If that were to happen on a Sunday morning, the church would be in a tough spot.  He couldn’t necessarily “call in sick” to the morning services.  So because his health is “unpredictable” and “unreliable” it’s not wise for him to jump back into that role.  With being permanently deaf in his right ear now, Jon also needs to be careful to preserve his one working ear.  It’s a tricky new normal.  So Jon is currently overseeing Outreach at the church.  And he is LOVING it.  If you know Jon, you know outreach is something he is passionate about and you’d agree this role is a fantastic fit.  There are times he comes home with his tank totally filled up.  And there are times he comes home absolutely exhausted.  He often comes home with his eye just worn out.  But he loves being ‘back in the game.’  :)  

I really can’t talk about Jon’s work without sharing how AMAZING they have been through this whole journey.  Jon has been on staff at Mariners Church for 4 ½ years now and he is such a different person today than the day he started there.  Mariners has provided such a beautiful place for him to grow, learn, be stretched… And through this experience, we have seen how Mariners loves.  And it has been overwhelming.  Since the day of Jon’s surgery, and for his entire 4 months off of work, the staff donated vacation days to help cover the remainder of Jon’s salary after disability.  Yes, this incredible staff gave up their most precious thing – their vacation days/the time they have off with family and friends – to provide time for Jon to stay home and heal.  What a gift!  Talk about humbling!!!  Jon and I have been blown away by this beautifully generous community we get to serve with.  Wow!

2) Jon got his drivers license back!!!  Yes, after 5 months of being his chauffer, my title has been stripped!  ;)  Jon had to jump through many hoops and tests to get it back, but he did it!!!  The other day, we picked the kids up at school and Jackson was just in shock.  “Dad!  You’re driving!” he yelled, as he approached our van.  It was a great milestone we got to celebrate as a family. 

3) ( WARNING: This one is BIG!  Ready?  Are you sitting down?  Seriously.  Sit.  OK.) 

JON’S FACE MOVED!!!!!!  Yes, the right side of his face!  The side that has been paralyzed with NO movement!!!  The side that has been without movement or any life for 5 MONTHS and 8 DAYS!  THAT side of his face moved!  This is what we have prayed about since the day of his surgery on October 3!  The doctors had said that there was a 50% chance Jon would be left with life long facial paralysis.  And they said if his face were to have movement again, it would most likely begin to happen in the first 6 months after surgery.  So you can imagine after we hit the 5 month mark, we had to fight hard to not lose hope.  We were at Jackson's baseball game last week when Jon turned to me and said he thought he felt something move on his face.  When I saw it, I almost couldn’t believe it.  We were ECSTATIC!  I immediately grabbed my phone to capture the miracle on video.  I'll post it below.   :)  Now let me warn you.  It is teeny tiny movement.  I mean, some people have watched it on a giant screen, with a magnifying glass, and still can't see it.  But trust me.  It moved.  :)  The reality is, movement is movement.  Movement means that the facial nerve IS in fact in tact!  And there IS in fact life in the nerve!  The potential is HUGE.  The possibilities are endless!  Are you squealing with excitement at God’s goodness with us?  Are you dying to see it with your own eyes??  ;)  Here’s the  video of the first sign of movement....

Did you see it????  :)  

OK.  In case you just couldn't see it in that video, I have an updated one.  Just a few days later, the movement got a little stronger and easier to see.  Ready?  This is a super quick video Jon sent from his office at work but it ROCKS!!!!

And if that weren't enough, the movement has allowed Jon to open his mouth a tad more.  Look at this incredible before/after photo!  

I will be honest, Jon was EXHAUSTED after taking that photo and doing his new "facial tricks."  He says he feels like he just did sprints after he works to make his face move.  Who knew moving teeny tiny face muscles could make you feel so physically exhausted!?!?  But it's pretty incredible!  I am SO proud of his hard work and endurance!  

So of course a HUGE, ENERGENTIC, PASSIONATE “Happy Dance” is definitely in order!!!  THANK YOU for celebrating alongside us!  Thank you for praying for us!  Thank you for believing with us!   We are grateful!   

We would love for you to continue praying with us!  Here is the biggest thing on the horizon:

*Jon’s 6 month MRI is THIS MONDAY, March 24th at 8:00pm.  (well, about 10 days shy of 6 moths.)  His neurosurgeon successfully remeoved 95-97% of Jon’s tumor.  Our prayer is that the remaining 3-5% is exactly that – still at the 3-5% size.  Better yet, let’s pray that it’s gone!  :)  What we do not want to see, is any growth.  If the tumor has grown, Jon will have to start Radiation.  Would you pray with us that Jon would not need Radiation?  Would you pray that the tumor has not grown at all?   We have an appointment with Jon’s neurosurgeon on Thursday at 2:45pm to get the results.  I will keep you posted!

Since I'm boldly asking for continued prayer, would you pray with us for a few more things?  :)

1) Please pray that Jon's face continues to heal.  Pray that his face continues to move more and more.  We are so grateful for the movement that has begun.  At the same time, we are praying for full restoration!  Would you join us?

2) Pray for our kids.  They have been such troopers during this whole process, but I know it has taken its toll on them.  Jackson internalizes.  Taylor is overly-emotional.  Jackson says everything is "fine."  Taylor says she just wants "her old daddy back."  Some days I think they need counseling.  Other days I think I should homeschool them and just love on them all day long.  Then I wake up and realize I'd be the worst home school mom ever.  So I consider the counseling route again.  ;)  Honestly, they are doing really well.  And the average person wouldn't even notice a thing.  But I know them.  And they sometimes "leak" a "neediness" that wasn't there before.  Would you pray with us for them?  That they would feel God's continued love and presence in every area of their lives?  

Thank you for continuing to walk this road with us.  You have no idea the comfort that comes in knowing we are not alone – but are surrounded by incredible men and women who love us and care enough to pray for our needs.  We love you and thank Jesus for you! 


  1. HB Mariners is still on the path of continued Prayer. Gods glory to Jon is amazing with what I just saw on video. I did see the movement. Bless all of you and we will continue to pray

    M. Goldstein

  2. Ever praying for you and your precious family, Deanna. How incredibly exciting to see movement!!! My heart goes out to you in your joy over the successes and in your pain over dealing with the 'what-if's' and the 'different'. We'll continue to lift you up to the Almighty...praying for healing, comfort, and reassurance. Love to you all.