Monday, November 26, 2012

Celebrating Life

Paul and I have been wanting to start our family so it was wonderful news when my doctor told me I was pregnant. The timing of finding out immediately before we left for Wilderness North, Minnesota for 40 days was a little abrupt. However, I was not sure about living my first trimester among all the mosquitos and out houses, but I was determined to give it a try. Paul teased that I was a really big fan of “multi-tasking”—learning leadership skills and growing a baby at the same time. 

Being together for 40 days since Paul took off work for the Daniel Institute, turned out to be a real blessing in itself. He was able to be there for me, during our baby’s earliest development and lend a hand through my bouts of morning sickness and fatigue. Luckily, those symptoms ended with the first trimester and I was able to get my energy back.

We are so excited about this new little life! In September, the doctors determined we would be having a little boy, so if they are correct, we are getting ready for a rambunctious bundle of joy. We have been busy converting my home office into a nursery, counting the amount of protein in the foods I eat daily to make sure the baby and I are getting proper nutrition and are attending Bradley-Birthing Classes on Sunday nights.

You may be already aware that I normally maintain a very full schedule. With our baby being due in early February, we are about to experience changes and needs like never before. While I still plan to be active in ministry, new decisions must be made about how that will exactly look. Please pray for us as we enter this new, exciting stage of life. We desire to honor God as we balance parenting with ministry activities. Your prayers and financial support will be critical during this new season of our lives. 

We have been blessed by your partnership in our ministry over the years. We cannot thank you enough!

A Heritage of Faith

After we arrived home from our long trip, my father was admitted to the hospital. He had a stubborn infection which settled in his knee and would not clear up. For the last two years, he had complained about joint pain, but being in his 80’s we all thought it was arthritis. Though the doctors ran many tests, the root of the problem was not found. During his three-week hospital stay, they had to give him blood transfusions and realized that his bone marrow was not producing new replacement cells. Finally, they realized he was battling a form of Leukemia called, mylofibrosis. This type of Leukemia apparently can lie dormant in the body, which is why it was discovered so late. Not only was there the painful infection in his knee, which didn’t heal, but his heart went into a-fibrillation and tachycardia. As his condition worsened, he was admitted to intensive care and scheduled to go into Hospice as soon as he stabilized. 
He was officially on Hospice only one day when he passed away, which was a shock. My Step-mom and Aunt were by his side in the hospital every day. My sister, Susan, my brother-in-law, Bob, Paul and I were making frequent trips to the hospital in Mission Viejo to visit him. 
I got to share with him that we were expecting and he asked me when I was due, just before entering the ICU. I could tell he was calculating being able to stick around until early February when the baby arrived. He would have loved to have met his first grandson.

The Memorial Service was a special time of closure for us. I had a special part in the service by singing the “Old Rugged Cross” and accompanying myself on the guitar. Both Susan and I got to share treasured memories with the family and friends in attendance. It was a beautiful ceremony where we remembered the best of what Dad gave to us. I reminisced about how he had taught us the great hymns of our faith, singing to us from the time we were small. He also taught us much about Protestant-Evangelical Theology. It was important to him that we had a well developed Christian education which is why he paid dearly for us to attend Christian schools and chose our church home with deliberation. I was greatly influenced by my father’s faith which is a main reason I went into full-time ministry and was ordained as a Children’s Evangelist. Dad grew up in the youth group of Henrietta Mears at Hollywood Presbyterian Church where above the door was written, “To know Christ and to make Him known.” Today I accomplish that through my evangelistic clowning ministry and sharing the gospel in Bible Clubs with children whenever I get the opportunity. The heritage of faith which I have received continues to live on. It will be a priority to pass on to the next generation as well.