Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hair Jewelry Sale!

I shared why I love these Flexi clips so much, how I first became, then (rather accidentally) stayed, a Stylist (consultant). Fun story over at StrokeOfGrace today. :)

Join me for at least 15%, up to 50%, off everything from our unique Flexi 8 clips, to headbands, U-pins and so much more! 

And yes, you can still earn those U-Pins even combined with this amazing sale!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 years

15 years ago we woke up to a ringing phone and images of 1 1/2 twins towers, the half billowing smoke but not yet fallen. Through the morning my long-awaited toddler played as I sobbed and watched a second tower hit, panicked people jump from windows high, then the towers fall. As the day unfolded, I relayed news of two additional plane crashes to my husband at work. For three solid days I cried and seriously wrestled with God over the issue of should we continue to bring more lives into this broken world or not.

We learned my husband's aunt was initially scheduled to have been on one of those planes and got bumped. Being on the west coast of the country, we were slightly insulated from the trauma in the sense that not every single person here knew someone who died that day, but the tragedy was massive enough that everyone here had at least one loved one they worried over until safety was confirmed. There was still enough communal loss that the churches were packed for week and flags flew abundantly and high. Rick's grandma, who lived next to the airport, lived under eerily quite sky for days.

Since that day, life has carried on. That baby is about to get his driver's licence. We have been blessed with two more living miracles here on earth. My husband has changed jobs twice. We have changed houses. We just celebrated that aunt's 70th birthday and she and her husband had another very near-miss going through the airport in Turkey just before the recent bombing there. (My husband and son were in the same airport two years prior!)

I've published my first book. My father-in-law has battled cancer epically. My mother has given us a sound hospital scare. I've survived a traitoris immune system that tried to abandon me a decade ago. I've survived a chiropractic accident leading to six strokes. A year ago today I had massive abdominal surgery for feminine pain and a renegade appendix.

The joys and griefs have been great. Today, I simply pause to remember. To lay the details of our lives before the Lord. To thank and rejoice for the blessings. To acknowledge the losses. To pray.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Writing News

My manuscript for Hannah's Hope was due to the publisher 12 years ago this month.

I had no idea then that I would even write another book at all. Once I realized that was God's call, never dreamed I wouldn't have a second manuscript to a publisher yet.
God's timing...

When I think of the current (pre-stroke) manuscript in terms of the writing profession, it is taking SO LONG and I get really sad and discouraged. (Hannah's Hope took me 10 months of active writing time. The manuscript for Harvesting Hope from Heartache has had 4 years of active writing - I started it a week before the strokes, then could not do anything with it for the next several, so it has been about 4 years since I had the single-handed typing coordination and eye-sight to get back into this project - and it is STILL not finished!) 
I think even the snails and turtles are lapping me at this point!

When I think of all I have accomplished in the past 4 1/2 years from the perspective of a brain stem stroke survivor who should not even be alive, and what I do type is through very slow thought processing and single-handed typing, I'm honestly rather blown away by what God is working through me THIS FAST!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Memories and Deals

Thinking of Noel Alexis Saake, Hannah Rose Saake, and Joel Samuel Saake, today and always.

People ask me, "What's your sign?" For years I didn't know the answer because I do not believe in the Zodiac. I've had enough people inform me over the years that I now know I'm classified as a "leo" but I would much rather claim the Lion of Judah, the Creator of all constellations, as the Answer to why I have the unique personality traits He has given me. - Jennifer Saake

By one book, get on half off at Family Christian Stores right now! 

Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss sells there for $14.99. That means you could by it for just $7.50 if you are buying any other book there!

I pretty much am a Lilla Rose hair consultant for personal purchases (tired of plastic jaw clips - wanted something that held all day and looked beautiful - very low cost business to join, only $29 in purchases and/or sales required PER YEAR to stay active!), but there's a sale going on right now that's too good NOT to share. Basically you get consultant-type discounts without even being a consultant. (And if you buy from my link, I won't object to earning a little commission check for having shared this very limited time sale with you either.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Describing What I Can't Understand

You can learn more about the latest with my kids, including our newest broken bone, over on my stroke blog, but this story needs to be highlighted here in its own post:

God did a big thing to encourage our 13-year-old's heart today. Since she was 6 or 7, Ruth has vividly described this little girl named Hazel, two years younger than Ruth, brown hair, Hazel eyes, that our family should adopt. 

She dreams, talks about, prays for, Hazel. After my strokes, we knew adoption was off the table for our family, and yet Hazel dreams live on. Ruth and I have talked about how Hazel is maybe a dream God has given her for her own adopted daughter someday. 

Yesterday, Ruth was exploring a foster care website from a state across the country and found Hazel, age 11, the face from her dream, several specifics she has told us over the years, including Hazel's name! 

Ruth knows we can't adopt, but was in sobs of joy, "I KNEW she is a real person!" Ruth is reaching out to the foster agency see if she could be allowed any form of contact such as pen pals, but whatever the answer, is committed to praying for Hazel daily and hopes to meet her after Hazel turns 18.  

Ruth just astounds me (and so does God)!

Poor Rick. He came home to Ruth's sitting on the couch sobbing. 
"What's WRONG Ruth? 

*SOB* "I found Hazel! I'm just SO HAPPY!" *SOB*

"I can tell?!"

Monday, June 27, 2016

Getting Kicked Out

I briefly mentioned this on my stroke blog last week, but here are more details I wrote up today. Enjoy!

I'm 4 years, 8 months out from my initial 2 strokes (6 strokes over 1 month -Stroke of Grace by Jennifer Saake ). I started in a wheel chair (well, STARTED totally bed bound for the first couple weeks) and even at a year was barely walking independently with a cane and my left shoulder was still painfully subluxed, taped up, and my arm unusable. The pool has been THE BEST form of physical therapy. When I started at about 10 months, I wore a flotation belt and clung to the wall. Now I can do full jumping jacks (both legs, right arm FULLY involved, left arm at about 90% participation in the exercise, I would say) out in open water with no life belt! (If I try to do a jumping jack on land, my feet get about 3 inches apart, so the water makes a HUGE difference! I still use a cane or walker outside my home, so land is more challenging than water.) 

I don't have the stamina to typically swim a full lap in the pool, but with time I've re-trained enough arm function to keep me afloat and capable of my own variant of swimming. On Friday I was doing long step walking, some jumping and stretches in the therapy lane of the pool and swam about 1/3 of the length of that lane. Another patient apparently asked me to move from that lane as it was for therapy only (I'm quite hearing impaired since the strokes, so I only nodded as I thought she was making a comment about how there were 3 of us in there doing therapy at the same time) so an actual therapist (I have never met him, so he doesn't know my story) actually asked me to move out of the therapy lane! Guy's, I GOT KICKED OUT OF THE THERAPY LANE IN THE POOL BECAUSE i LOOK TOO ABLE BODIED NOW AND WAS MISTAKEN FOR "NORMAL"!!! 

As soon as I explained my situation, the therapist and other patients were all very supportive and totally let me stay, but I was just amazed at how far I've come!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Not Impossible Afterall

Our 13-year-old has worn glasses for years. Last year her eye exam got WACKY results and the doctor, one of two optometrists in town, called me in, told me my child was emotionally disturbed, the results she was giving them had his entire staff convinced she was legally blind but he wasn't buying that because the kinds of answers she was giving were an "impossible" combination, and that she was outright lying to us and there was nothing he could do for her. Between my strokes and the intensive genetic workup (nothing found, but the workup involved many hours, nearly a dozen different doctors, 3 states, and a year and a half of stress!) she was undergoing, I figured there honestly might be an emotional element to her issues, so stuck with our previous prescription and let things ride. 

This week we went to a simple opthamologist (a step DOWN in medical training!) at our local WalMart and he got the same type of test result. When he started to tell me, I inwardly groaned, preparing for the lecture again. Instead, he gave me the bizarre results and immediately explained how rare her combination of answers were but that he though he knew what was medically going on with her eyes. He did a whole 3 more hours of unplanned work with her (for the single price of the original exam!) and by 6 last night we finally had a working prescription that corrects her eyesight to nearly 20/40 vision (yes, not 20/20, but she has apparently never been corrected to a perfect 20/20)! This will be HUGE for her! Now praying the glasses will actually preform as expected when they come in early July.

She's giddy to have a doctor who actually worked with her eyes to find a solution and I'm so relieved to both find her the needed help and not be told she is impossible again! Thank you Walmart Reno - Damonte Ranch Pkwy!