Thursday, December 25, 2014

"You Didn't Need that Too!"

Last summer, about the same time Dennis' care level increased, I seriously injured my shoulder.  It was so bad I had to ask Brooklyn to help me undress.  Whenever someone found out about my injury, I would hear, "You didn't need that too!"  Frankly, I agreed with this sentiment.

But God had a plan.  I believed and trusted that even in this circumstance that made no sense, God still had a plan.  At times it certainly seemed out of control and one more difficulty I did not need at this time.

We went forward.  I started physical therapy, learned to do lots of things with one arm and gradually started to get better.  Time passed and we saw God provide for our needs even though I was not being paid while we waited for my disability claim to be approved.  Eventually I received a denial letter for the claim.

Dennis' health continued to decline and I almost didn't appeal the disability denial because I was so busy meeting his needs, but I followed the advice of my physical therapist and filed an appeal.  Last week I learned the appeal had been sucessful and I received a check for over three months of back pay.  We were thrilled for this extra income we had not anticipated.

What we did not realize was how God was using all of this to prepare us for a need we did not know was coming.  On Tuesday, a routine furnace check revealed our old furnace needed to be replaced.  My shoulder injury and delayed disability payment was God's way of ensuring we would have the money in hand for this expense.

So even though many people said, "You didn't need that too!", and I wholeheartedly agreed, God clearly had a plan and a purpose in all of this and I did need this too!

Philippians 4:19  (NIV)  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  He just doesn't always do it the way we planned but we can rest in the assurance that His plan will always be superior to ours!

Dennis Update

Dennis is about the same as he has been for the last several months.  He is unable to get out of bed or do anything for himself other than feed himself and even that is with great difficulty.  His speech has not returned but he understands what we say and enjoys having people stop by or call him.  

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  Your prayers are the source of our strength.  

Merry Christmas from Dennis, Ellen and Brooklyn!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Born in a Stable

At this time of year, when we hear the word "stable" we tend to be reminded of the humble birth of our Savior.  Overcrowded and unwelcoming would describe Bethlehem on the day Jesus arrived. The only place available for the birth of Jesus was a humble stable surrounded by animals but announced by angels.  Wow, what a birth announcement that had to be!

We are preparing for Christmas and endeavoring to enjoy the season as much as possible.  It certainly does not resemble past Christmas' in many ways but in other ways is very much the same.  The tree is up and surrounded by gifts.  Our Bible study group helped us set it up and get it decorated.  Two friends took Brooklyn shopping and one friend went shopping for Dennis so he would have a special gift for Brooklyn and me this year. Several other friends have also done shopping for us.  We are amazed again at God's provisions through the generosity of our friends.

Brooklyn's school Christmas program was last week and her class also sang at a local mall.  I was able to video the program so Dennis could see it too.  It took me awhile to get the file converted so he could see it on the TV but it was worth it.  Dennis always did stuff like that so I am having to learn how to do it now.

My family will join us for Christmas on Christmas Eve day and of Dennis' family have been stopping in to see us in the last few weeks.  We plan on spending Christmas day at home.  Dennis' co-workers also stopped in for lunch the other day.  We had a good time caroling with our Bible study group on Sunday night.

Christmas has always been a favorite time of year for Dennis and he is appreciating the cards and notes from so many of you.  Thank you for helping make this season special for us.


Stable is also the word that can best describe how Dennis is doing.  I asked his nurse a few days ago what her opinion was as sometimes it is hard for me to tell since I am with him all of the time.  Her opinion is that there has been no change in his condition since entering hospice.  

Dennis requires total care from me and the hospice aides.  He is able to use his left hand so he can eat by himself but other than that, needs someone to assist him.  His speech has not returned so we spend a lot of time on yes and no questions when he wants something.  As you can imagine, this is frustrating for him and for us.  He spends a lot of time sleeping.  

Thanks to the generous gifts of friends, I am able to hire an aide from time-to-time so that I can attend events at school with Brooklyn or just get out for a break.  Yesterday Brooklyn completed her first school project and the students had an open house to display them.  It was fun to go and see all the hard work the students had put into their animal projects. Brooklyn's animal was the platypus.



Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  It seems like every time I turn around something else in the house is breaking down.  I'm not sure if is happening more than normal or just that I am more aware of it.  We are blessed with friends who have helped with these repairs when they are beyond my skill level to complete.  

Please pray for:
  • The people who come into our lives daily to assist Dennis.  We endeavor to point them to Christ as we interact with them.
  • Dennis.  His days can be long at times.  He does not have pain but his muscles get sore from not being used.  Hospice is trying to find a volunteer who would come and do massage therapy for him but so far have not found one.  This would be so helpful for him.  
  • Brooklyn.  This is all a lot to process for her.  Every so often it bubbles up and spills over.  
  • Ellen.  Pray for me to know the balance between caring for Dennis and being available for Brooklyn.  
  • Also, please pray that Dennis will feel good and have enough energy to enjoy Christmas day with Brooklyn and me.   
We trust all of you will have a joyous Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.