Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our God is AWESOME!!!

Beloved family and friends, I can barely contain the excitement I feel as I tell you of how God is moving. What an Awesome and Mighty God we serve! My dear friend, Cassidy, posted a message to an eosinophilic message board about our family's needs, and here are the responses we received...are you ready for how Powerful God is? Let me share in His wonder....

"I have some extra Neocate Junior that I can send him. You can give them my email address and they can contact me."

"I have Neocate Jr. which I would think could be mixed to his needs. I may be able to give 30 or more cans. I have to go take stock but I always keep way ahead on supply. I am willing to continue to help and share my supplies ongoing if it is helpful for them. Please let me know if this is helpful. That is sad. They cannot get insurance to pay? I will send you all the extra cans I have now and then each month I can get 4o cans, but only need to use about 30+/- so I would love to share whatever surplus I can with your husband regularly. Is he planning to drink it? Yucky . . . our is unflavored not that flavored is good. I am sure this will help him feel and be better. Does your child also take formula or are you on elimination diet? I am willing to share anything I have that would help you guys. Let me know if there are other supplies you need and I will see if I have them."

"Just wanted to let you know that I am happy to help your friend out in any way. I know that there have been multiple people offering different types of formula. Once your friend gets on a formula and can tolerate it please have them contact me and I will be happy to purchase a case or two of whatever formula works for him.Thanks."

"Hope you do not mind me emailing you off list, but I did not want to post this. My son was on an elemental formula, Neocate Jr., and got worse (EOS were the highest ever!). We opted to go with swallowed Flovent. While on the formula, I ended up with several extra boxes of the Neocate, which is not expired. I would be willing to ship it, assuming that I would be reimbursed for postage. Let me know."

Are you smiling yet? I am. Thank you for joining me at the Throne; please continue to meet with us there. I am so thankful I can share in this experience with those I love so dearly. There is nothing more empowering than the Mighty Power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! We give You ALL the glory.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pray, Pray, please Pray...

FYI: God just provided 8 cans free!!! He is working!

After much prayer and consideration, Ross has decided to do the hypoallergenic Elemental diet for the next three months. He will need to begin this by March 1 to have his 3 months in by June. This formula will help begin the healing process for his digestive system with the ultimate goal of putting him into remission. There is no risk involved with the formula and it will help with Abigail's future with EE as well; unlike the steroids. Here is where we are needing the prayers...this formula is extremely expensive! If ordered directly from the manufacturer, the cost will be minimally $1100 per month. However, I have found 24 cans on eBay for $375, BUT the bid only lasts for another 18 hours and 32 minutes! I know that it is only 24 cans, but that is 24 cans that we can get for nearly a third the price. Please be in prayer that the Lord will provide. I do not ask this lightly; I ask those reading this to join us diligently in prayer over the next 5 days. This is the part where I may very well melt down, but this formula is for my husband. The man I love and cherish will all of my heart. The man who is the best Daddy I have ever known. This is something that he NEEDS. It isn't something we want to do nor it is something we desire, but it has to be done. No amount of money should limit how we can care for those we love, but the harsh reality is that we don't have the money. We are barley scraping by as it is. We have hundreds upon hundreds of medical bills piled up on the bar that we have hardly put a dent in. Please don't see this as complaining...please see that this is coming from my aching heart. The Lord has provided for our every need, and I know He will not stop now. This is just me being very real. My husband is sick everyday. Stomach cramps, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting are among the list of daily issues he faces. I rarely hear him complain. I talk about the strength Abigail shows, but the strength this man has is equally as powerful. The true testament that strength is ageless. I want to help him to feel better and to ease his discomfort! I just desperately want to give him the treatment that will be best for him; and I don't want cost to stand in the way. God's resources are not our resources, and we have seen Him move in mighty ways. Thank you for your prayers!! Thank you, Lord, for what You have done, what You are doing, and for what is yet to come!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Hill Grands!

Aunt Belinda, this one is for you. Enjoy! Thanksgiving was a blast, let's do again soon.

The Grands (left to right)...Hannah, Caroline, Tyler, Andrew, Mary Grace, Lauren, and Abigail

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strength Comes in All Ages

Abigail recovered from pink eye just to find herself with a violent stomach bug. She was up from midnight to 5:30 throwing-up every 30 minutes to an hour. Poor baby!!! After the vomiting stopped, then started the diarrhea, and when that all ended...the fever came. (I'm sure when she is older, she will be happy to know that I am writing this for all the world to see). My child never ceases to show me but a tiny glimpse of the strength the Lord bestows upon us exactly when we need it. Oh...I have just remembered the perfect verse to back up that statement. This is taken from the Prayer Book Version, the Great Bible; published 1488-1569. Psalm 68:28, "Thy God hath sent forth strength for thee." Our loving God has already sent forth strength for us before the trial we are going to encounter even begins.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conjuntivitis...a.k.a. Pink Eye

My child of strength can smile through anything...even Pink Eye! Her poor little eyes are so pink, swollen, and oozing with green stuff. Since nothing comes easily to her, we were calling the doctor on call last night after having an allergic reaction the the eye drops. The sad thing is, I made her have a reaction twice before I really believed that she was allergic to them. Not five minutes after administering the drops, she broke out in a rash all over her stomach. Poor girl was literally clawing at herself. Mark one more down to the already growing list of antibiotics that she is allergic to. Thankfully we are able to give her Omnicef; which she is starting today to get rid of the Pink Eye. Hopefully in a few days she will be back to "normal" again. I leave you with the conversation Abigail and her daddy had...

Daddy: Well Abigail, I know why you have Pink Eye. Abigail: ....confused look.... Daddy: It is because Mommy and I argue over what color they are. Mommy says brown, daddy says green, and God says....PINK! :) Abigail: yep...

He thought he was so clever.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Testimony that God is good...ALL THE TIME!

C.S. Lewis writes, "God whispers in our pleasures and SHOUTS in our pain." I can think of no better quote as I begin this post that I have wanted to write for so long. As I have pondered over the past several days of how the Lord has provided for my family over this past year, I really marvel at His work. If I am going to start this, I should really begin at the beginning. In July of 2005, the Lord began convicting Ross and I about our tithing habits. We have always tithed, but never regularly until then. Now, I have to admit that in the beginning this was neither easy nor was it pleasurable; it was out of obedience. During this same time, Ross was being approached by a friend to start their own business together, and we were longing desperately for our third child. Ross had dreamed about starting his own company some day, but never thought it would turn into reality. After much prayer and continued obedience through our tithing, the Lord provided the opportunity for Ross and Richard to start their business, Control Services Inc., debt free in March 2006. We also found out that after trying for 14 long months we were expecting our third little bundle of joy. I am so glad that God's timing is not our own because my pregnancy wasn't an easy one; and with two small children at home already it was about to get much more difficult. I am so glad that the Lord knew that Mary Grace and Hannah needed to be a little older and a bit more independent before enduring eight weeks of total bed rest. After bed rest, multiple hospital visits and several overnight stays we had our sweet Abigail in November 2006. This sweet baby has been blessed and showered with prayer from before she was conceived until this present moment. On December 18, 2007, Ross and I took Abigail to the emergency room at Arkansas Children's Hospital out of desperation to find out why our daughter refused to eat. Much to our surprise our sweet girl was admitted for 15 days and diagnosed with dehydration, malnourishment, failure to thrive, and eosinophilic esophagitis. Eosinophilic Esophagitis...what is this rare disease and what does it mean for my daughter's future? At this point, we knew very little about EE, but what Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord who Heals" was quick to show us was this: "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it" John 11:4. He showed me this through our first and our last roommates at ACH. The night we were admitted to the hospital, Ross had to go back home to work. I prayed that we not have roommates and no sooner did the words come out of my mouth did I have to change them to whomever we share this room with, let them be sent here by You. We did share that room that night; little did we know that He would send us a christian family that we would become friends with, laugh with during some of our hardest trials, and stay in contact even now. Thank you Jesus for sending Jerry and Rita to room 4703! Our last hospital stay was very exhausting and stressful; the last thing I wanted was a crying baby (who wasn't mine) in the bed next to us, but that is exactly what God sent our way. Lying in the bed next to Abigail's bed was the most beautiful little boy named Elijah, who has Downs Syndrome. That isn't even the best part! They were a nice christian family, and even though he was screaming at 2am I didn't mind because God had reminded me that He was in control and He has a purpose for everything. He brought Elijah's family and Abigail's family together in that place at that moment for a reason. Let me also tell you that He allowed Abigail to rest even throughout the screaming. What an AWESOME God we serve!!! After leaving ACH, Jehovah-Jireh, "The Lord our Provider" pointed us to Cincinnati Children's Hospital after Ross and I completed three days of prayer and fasting. I chose His name, Jehovah-Jireh, because He and He alone is our one true Provider. He knew that we were not financially in a position to take Abigail to Cincinnati, OH for treatment, but trusted that He would provide the way. Provideth He has done and He is still doing! His provisions have not been limited to health care alone, but have radiated throughout every aspects of our lives. Our dear friends, the Harris', knew that Mary Grace did not have a winter coat nor did we have the money to buy one. So after picking Gracie up from school we returned home to find a package hanging on the door. This package contained the most beautiful, meaningful white coat I have ever seen, and a perfect fit I might add. The funny part of this story shows God's amazing sense of humor; I had previously told Mandy that the only color I would not pick for a child's coat would be WHITE; yet white is all they had! A few weeks later, Amanda sent us a Christmas package a little early. There were Christmas pajamas for each member of our family, family pictures she had taken for us, and a gift card to Ozark Natural Foods. She knew that we had no Christmas jammies to sleep in Christmas Eve night, and the gift card would help with Ross' grocery needs. I never even had to tell her we needed these things...she just knew because after a 20 year friendship, there are some things you just know. See, the reason we needed these things is because Ross has had little to no work over the past four months. Because of this, we were unable to buy any gifts for our children or any others for Christmas. Our family members showered us with love and gifts for our children this year. That was a humbling lesson, and the best Christmas we have ever had. We will never forget the enormous generosity each of you have shown. Month after month we have gotten to the point where we have told Jesus we wouldn't make it without His help. It might be the day the bill was due, but each month He has been faithful to provide. Just this week we received two letters in the mail. A reimbursement check from a doctors office and a bill to another. The check was a credit of $41.71, the bill $41.76. Coincidence? No folks, that is the Mighty God we serve! The most recent example of God's faithfulness to provide came today. Ross and I were discussing and praying about where we were going to spend our money. Do we pay the car payment or do we eat? As I was praying I really felt like He was instructing us to pay the car payment because He was taking care of the food. In the next moment, Erin called to tell us to make a "Wal-Mart list" because our Sunday school class wants to help us out by getting us groceries. Thanks Directions Class! Throughout this whole experience Ross and I have cried tears of sorrow and tears of joy; and we have been in complete awe of how many times we have seen the face of Jesus in those we love and in those we have never met. Thank you Jesus for the amazing people we would have never met if not for EE! Thank you for Cincinnati Centers for Eosinophilic Disorders, and thank you for allowing us to build a friendship with Mike, Mona, and Coner while we were there. We have gone from controlling our own assets to completely entrusting them to Jehovah-Jireh, and honoring Him with our first fruits that He has given to us. I know this has been a long post for me, but that is really who it was I hope that our testimony can be strength for those of you who are in the midst of your own trials. God is good...all the time!