Sunday, March 18, 2018

I've Moved

In Darkness Sing
It's only been a 6-year process (don't ask), but I am so very excited to unveil tonight. It's finally live!

Go enjoy. :)

Monday, February 26, 2018

In Darkness Sing

It is still very much a work in progress. I'm not sure how it is all going to pan out, but my goal is to streamline my multiple blogs into one, eventually under the domain name my husband purchased for me back at Christmas of 2012, and I'm slowly training my brain to figure out actually use, (so try that if the following link eventually stops working for you).

For tonight allow me to introduce you to my new page I've designed without any help (though it has taken me 2 full years to figure out - stroke brain is no joke!), using the WordPress platform, In Darkness Sing.

My first post is live (I think, I hope!) at Why "In Darkness Sing"? [edited to add new link 3/18/18] and I would so very greatly appreciate any and all feedback, or reports of spelling errors, typos, broken links, or other technical glitches, you can provide. Thanks!

Friday, February 23, 2018


I was moody, grumpy, generally having a bad day.

I'm sure I'm the only one, right?

I went back to flop on my bed and pout over some infraction I held against a family member.

I knew I had a review* coming due, so I mindlessly flipped on the PASSION WHOLE HEART CD as I mercilessly crushed candy on my handheld computer that also happens to be able to send and receive telephone calls.

I half listened, angrily clicking my phone.

As the words of worship began to wash over my heart, the frantic pace of my hands began to slow.

An hour later, I was freshly aware of the price Jesus had paid to buy my unearned forgiveness. My game was tossed aside and my heart was bowed before the Lord as I was convicted of the grudge I had been nursing.

I can't really give you a critical review of music preferences, because what God did in my heart through these lyrics, His Spirit refreshing my heart, was much more profound than the dissection of music style. So I'll simply post a couple of music clips and let the promoter's words speak toward answering the product details:

WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion, captured at the Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

         “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.” 

         WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

         Passion Conference 2018 was a beautiful worship experience, and the live album captures each powerful moment, allowing those who were not in attendance to experience it.
         Featuring Passion Artists: Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder.

Want a chance to win a copy? 

Leave me a meaningful comment here on my blog (along with a working method of contact so I can get your mailing address if you are the winner!) today, tomorrow, or Sunday. I'll contact one random name on Monday, February 26, 2018, to get your address for FlyBy promotions who will mail my winner a free CD in March! (Blog comments can get grumpy at times, so a comment on this post on my facebook author page will work too, although, if you have the option of leaving a blog comment, I would sure prefer that method, as that will help me track all entries in one spot.)

Please go like my author page at (or get a friend to do so) and leave me another comment here that you did so (along with the name for me to verify that I have the new like). You and your friend will both earn an additional chance to be chosen as my winner if you do.

Please help me spread the word. Share this giveaway post everywhere you can - Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, your own blog, etc. Every time you share and come back and add your share link to comments, that's another entry too.

I'm excited to see you win. This album, just releasing today, is going to bless your heart!

Want it sooner or for sure? (Or course you do!) Grab your copy today at

#PassionWholeHeart #FlyBy #Contest #Drawing #Giveaway

* Yes, I did receive a free, promotional copy of this music for my review. However, opinions expressed are fully my own.
The giveaway aspect of this post is not sponsored by any parties other than Jennifer Saake and FlyBy Promotions, so Facebook and other big corporations, you are legally off the hook for this one.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


This was fun and unexpected news to wake up to. ranked 17th in "the most comprehensive list of best Stroke blogs on the internet" ( this week! Panel selection is based on Google reputation and Google search ranking, Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites, and Quality and consistency of posts. Updates are selected weekly The rest of the list is pretty impressive, a mix of some really well-done personal stories and some professional organizations.

Monday, November 20, 2017

I Miss My House

This video is great perspective. I keep reminding myself to focus on what's really important because "God's still on the throne."

I'm frustrated.

In the midst of the mess. By Jennifer Saake, November 2017

We had flood damage last winter and we are still living the consequences.

We thought we would have our house back together by 4th of July. By Labor Day. By Thanksgiving.

Now I'm hoping for Christmas

A moldy wall was torn out in May.

The wall finally went back up just this month when insurance finally agreed to cover 1/3 of the actual repair costs (far better than the 1/4 offer they made a month prior.)

Two tiny spots of mold we saw on a wall turned into an entire wall replacement, mold abatement, fireplace damage, carpet removal, and the tiling of the removed carpet area.

Believe it or not, we realized we could do a grand fireplace wall for less than twice the price insurance gave us to replace the generic-looking fireplace mantel that was mold damaged and had to be torn out. We learned this because, direct from the manufacturer, our old set was going to cost $3,600 to replace. Insurance only granted about $1,000 for fireplace repair, so we had to go looking for options within our budget. We'll be spending close to $2,000, so far more than what insurance is willing to pay out, but far less than replacing the like item to what was lost.

We are going from this,

to something similar to this (not our picture as ours is yet-to-be-built, but here's our inspiration picture we found on Pinterest).

Since insurance has unique math, the cost of the "entire room's worth of carpet" they credited us for, in reality, paid only enough the tile a small strip (no, not because of the cost of tile, because we chose the most economical way we could to stretch the dollars granted) of one end of the living room. Our plan was to save most of that room's carpeting by designing a new traffic flow pattern through our house.

Nice thought.

In reality, when the small strip of damaged carpet was cut out, mold was found to extend far under the living room carpet thanks to a mistake by our original mold abatement folks who had sealed WET carpet under plastic for five months, actually creating a problem that wasn't there to begin with! There solution for their mistake, toss the problem back in the laps of home owner's insurance.


Since we had already be credited to "replace" all of the carpet in the living room (again, can't figure out their math on how that was remotely supposed to work), the only thing additional insurance will pay for is the cost of carpet padding there. We haven't even bothered to ask how low that extra check will be. Let's just say, we aren't even factoring it into our resources at this point.

So now, re-tiling that entire room (since the tiling process had already begun on the original strip and we need to match the rest of the floor to what's already there, but our tile installer refused to do any further work unless we would rip out all existing carpet in that room) is a nearly $3,000 un-budgeted renovation project.

Before we realized the living room was going to need so much extra help, we had already committed to, and purchased supplies for, the same tiling to flow into our kitchen that has been in dire need (torn up trip hazard) re-flooring since before my strokes.That expense was to have been all our birthday and Christmas and Valentine and what-have-you gifts to each other for at least the next three years because it was so important and it was much more cost effective to do when we were already paying for the flood repair labor anyway.

I shared yesterday on my stroke blog, about my painting adventure that wouldn't have happened were it not for our unplanned remodel. This is a reason for rejoicing.

The house WILL be beautiful when the job ever finally gets finished (our installer has been averaging three or five tile rows a day and only works half days, two or three days a week, something we did not understand when we hired him, so it is very slow going). In the meantime, we are living with all of our kitchen and living room furniture, and unpacked contents, crammed into our dinning room.

I'm very thankful that my in-laws are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. I'm praying that we have a livable house to use in time for Christmas! The kids have already requested a tree, though they know the new floor where it is to be set up will be the primary present beneath it this year!

by Jennifer Saake, October 2017
Edited to add that life got even crazier just moments after this post went live. The house is one of three major, ongoing issues our family is surviving this year (and when I say "major," the family's car getting totaled, but no lives lost last Christmas, doesn't even make this top three list, so perhaps that offers a little perspective). We could really use your prayers!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Celebrating Six

Six years since my strokes!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why Don't I Get A Baby?

I wrote a post for my stroke blog last night, What About Me?, concerning illness, physical healing, and miracles. I've thought a ton since then about how I want to expand on these principles specifically for my infertility audience. This post is intended to supplement that one, not to stand alone, so you will want to read that first. This is bonus content specifically concerning the topic of barrenness.

Perhaps I'm not the obvious choice to address this topic? I have THREE living children now! Shouldn't an "empty arms" post be authored by someone with empty arms?

I did spend a decade where you are, my friend. I write today both as hope that my story may encourage you to know that God does still work miracles and may yet have plans to bring you to the other side of barrenness, and to offer perspective on what those miracles may look like.

First, let me acknowledge what a treacherous, double-edged thing hope can be! I get it. Not allowing your heart to hope, is a self defense mechanism against being hurt. AGAIN! Being tender-hearted hurts when hopes are dashed time after time. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Decade after decade. Why set myself up to be shredded another time or ten? Once was brutal enough. We are talking thousands of fatal blows to the heart by now.

No. Thank. You!

Psalm 126 has been a theme passage in my life. (In fact, it is the key verse for my next book.) I can totally relate to weeping, planting in tears!

The part that intrigues me is the harvest of those tears, joy and singing. God doesn't say IF, but talks in absolutes.

So where does this leave me when there is no hope of a baby? I mean NO CHANCE. Like I've had a hysterectomy or my ovaries shut down at 24 and I'm 57 now - N.O. C.H.A.N.C.E. lady!

I could take the "easy" answers (that actually end up being true in many cases, but would likely offer you more discouragement than hope today), like reminding you that Sara (later Sarah, mother of Israel, wife of Abram/Abraham) was 90 years old when she conceived, long "dried up," outright laughed when her husband was told she would have a baby within the next year. Or Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) was also past expectation of motherhood when God allowed her to conceive. Or Mary, mother of Jesus, who got pregnant WHILE STILL A VIRGIN! Yeah, miracles really do happen, as I know with each and every one of my living children who each has their own amazing miracle story of why they should medically not exist, including the last who was God-sent three years after the latest I was to have had my hysterectomy!

The reason I won't default to those pat answers is because you would give me the same arguments I've given others countless times. All those miracle conceptions in the Bible were leading up to the one Child of Promise, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My Messiah has already come. I can't expect a miracle like that because He has already been born! I get that, and while miracle births still happen sometimes, why set my hopes on an obscure improbability???

I could tell you to "just adopt" (like it is that simple anyway?) and promise you that as long as you have a child to fill you arms, the ache in your heart will end. I'm sure my suggestion would be a totally new concept to you today, right? Because, dear infertile sister, you have NEVER considered, nor had adoption suggested to you, ever before, have you? (OK, sarcasm over now!) Adoption is WONDERFUL, and honestly should be prayerfully considered by anyone and everyone capable of parenting a child, fertile or not, but it is not the "cure" for infertility. Yes, it can transform a childless person into a parent, but adoption is a costly (emotionally, and often financially) process in and of itself and should not be entered into lightly or with the idea that it will put an end to infertility emotions. It might. For many it will bring much healing. Adoption is about both the child and the parent(s). It may or may not be the direction God leads you.

The same goes for foster-parenting, or step-parenting. God actually may have one of these avenues in your future. If He does, the rewards and comfort may be profound. The challenges and grief may also be beyond measure. I would encourage you neither to discount the possibilities, or to set your hopes too firmly on a plan God has not yet revealed. If that is the path He has for you, He will provide every resource you need to walk that path when He calls you to it.

What I would like to look at today is the idea that God's plans, while very possibly unfolding in the end to be one of those more common answers already mentioned, sometimes turn out very different, yet even more amazing, than anything we could ever dream up for ourselves.

Please consider two of my dear friends, beautiful women of God, to whom God answered "no" concerning children in the tradition sense, and yet their stories continue to wow me! Each story is different and yours might not be the same as these, but I wanted to share them just to remind you today that God's not done writing your story.

Joy DeKok. What an awesome example to me! Her Letter From My Heart To Women Like Me - Infertility HURTS, is powerful and profound. Some of my favorite lines read:
...We longed to fill our arms and home with red-headed and blond children. I had a secret dream of 13 children and at least as many animals. We’d live in a huge restored home, or barn, or a mill house. We’d need a big yard, an orchard, lots of bedrooms, a huge kitchen, and a big table with lots of chairs... 
Months became years. We begged God for babies, and He said no. His voice was quiet, firm, and love-filled. We had to trust Him because rebelling only made the pain worse.
Accepting His will for us meant facing the death of our dream.
As if that wasn’t enough, we endured cruel comments. These weren’t the ignorant kind spoken in an attempt to comfort us. They were mean and cut us deep. We didn’t know how to fight back and didn’t have the energy.
For years I carried those words on my heart as if they’d been branded there... 
... I did my best to remember every sin I could and re-confessed. All the way back to the day when I was four and sassed my dad. It was a really long prayer, over and over I begged Him to remove the guilt and shame from me. Even as I prayed I knew I was asking Him to forgive things He already had. But I had to be sure... 
...For reasons you and I cannot fathom this side of heaven, infertility is part of God’s plan for us. For many of you, He will say yes and children will be born from your bodies.  He will lead some of you to parent a child or children He birthed through another woman or other women. For a few of us, His will is clear: we’re to love the children in our lives already – nieces, nephews, and the kids of our friends. With God as your guide, you get to decide...  
...Still, you may be tired of baby showers, pregnancy/birth war stories, and although you love your friends dearly, their complaints about being moms scratch at your soul. And when they announce pregnancies, you’re happy for them, but their news stabs. Not because you’re jealous, you don’t want their babies – you want yours, and it’s not happening. You’re also exhausted when every month your hope is destroyed. And afraid of more disappointment when you pick your heart back up and in spite of the pain, you start hoping for next month. Your grief is deep and constant and most of the time solitary.
In all of these things and more. . .you are normal. And God understands... 
...Please don’t believe that I’m “over” my infertility. Nah. . .in fact, it’s the circumstance that keeps nagging at my soul even now. Because we were led by God to love the kids already in our lives, and those still to come, we are not parents and we are not grandparents. I celebrate each grand baby announcement, let it sting, and take more children born to others into my arms, and fall in love again. . .and again. . .and again.
Because that is part of His plan for me too. And He understands. And that is more than enough. If we let it be... 

In God Write the Best Love Stories, Holley Gerth Shares:
I watched as a single line spread across yet another pregnancy test. In that moment of silence and disappointment, that pink line felt more like a billboard with neon flashing lights declaring: “No! No! No!”
“No, you can’t be a mother.”
“No, your dreams can’t come true.”
“No, you don’t get to end this waiting game that is slowly shredding your heart.”
...As time went by, God began healing my heart and showing me that my idea of motherhood had been limited. He led me to Genesis where Eve is called “the mother of all living.”
I came to see all women are mothers because we all bring life to the world in some way.
After that realization, several different people prayed over me on different occasions and said God would bring life through my words. I began to get the picture: I was a word mama. I settled into birthing books and felt a new fullness deep within.
But one night... [Read How Our Daughter Adopted Us in Her 20s for the rest of this amazing story.]

Please come visit me on my new official author page on Facebook. I'm gearing up to publish my next book and would love your support at Please help me show potential publishers I'm serious about this book writing thing. They need to see numbers of likes well into the thousands while I'm only in the low hundreds, so far.

Check out my book Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart In The Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, & Adoption Loss on Amazon for more support.

Also, please visit my review of the eTeacherBiblical Hebrew course I'm taking this year and enter the give away for a free class for yourself. Entries are low so your chances of winning are great, but you can't win if you don't enter!