Friday, March 27, 2009

Day Sixteen...

Not that I am counting or anything...LOL. But it has been sixteen days for me here at TIRR. A wonderful, inspiring, and encouraging sixteen the same time it has been exhausting, tiring (in a good way), and a lot of hard work (but who can't use someone pushing them to their limits all day long? is good for the soul :).

Those of you who have children or who have cared for a baby animal that needs care throughout the night (and you have to wake up several times a night) can empathize with my exhaustion and tired feelings, but also at the same time you can also understand the feeling of loving something/someone so much other than yourself(as Christ has done)...that the tiredness and exhaustion doesn’t really matter because the sacrifice was so worth it! That is pretty much where I stand at the end of my day when I lay down to go to sleep every night. Even after I finish my therapies at the end of my day...I try my best to work on "my homework" that has been assigned to me by my therapists. I figure...the harder I work...the faster I will get out of I can be home with Katie...Oh how I miss her (as I sit here just typing and thinking about her...tears stream down my face)! But at the end of the day...I have to tell myself the sacrifice NOW will pay off for her, Aaron, and me later. Just as our Father God sacrificed His son for us...we have to look at how that has paid off for us...all well worth the sacrifice.

So let me update you...where we are at...On Wednesday they had what they call "rounds," basically what happens is that the group of therapists, doctors, the case manager assigned to me, and my social worker…all get together on their own and talk about my progress and what has been going on with me at TIRR (at these moments when I begin to think about all these people talking about me and the progress I have made…I have to think how weird it is being on the clientele end of the spectrum…as opposed to being the clinician). Oh how I can now empathize with the parents of the families that I work with in the school system. Okay…so now back to “the rounds…” The doctor, neuropsychologist, and social worker came by Wednesday evening to discuss with Aaron and me their thoughts and decisions. All great news…thank God for perfecting all that concerns me [Psalms 138:8] They decided to move my discharge date up to April 8th, and are still looking at sending me to the post acute therapy place that I mentioned in my last blog (it is called Mentis……but the great part of that is that instead (like I mentioned in my last blog) of having me stay the night in the facility…they would allow me to stay at home with Aaron and Katie, which I am ecstatic about! I knew God would work out things just perfectly…He always does. The only catch to that is that someone would have to drive me (thank God that my in-laws (my father-in-law arrived yesterday) are here and can drive me…by the way if I haven’t mentioned my mother-in law has been so wonderful and has taken care of both Katie and me before surgery and Katie after my surgery)…at least at first…five days a week to the facility for treatment during the day….later as I progress in my therapies…they will cut back the amount of days I have to go during the week. It looks like I will be at “they” (God always has His own plans) say until the end of June…maybe into the beginning of July, but like I said earlier…it all depends on my progress; we just have to take things day by day.

By the way…I know I mentioned last time that I was walking with assistance and having to be helped while I go to the bathroom. Well a lot can happen in six days, at least when God has anything to do with it, yesterday I was cleared to use the bathroom on my own…praise God for that…now I don’t have to wait for someone to come and take me to the bathroom…I’m sure we all can appreciate that…especially if it is first thing in the morning and you really have to go and no one comes to help for twenty-five minutes and later during the day for thirty minutes (not that I have experienced that or something…LOL…and then you make a decision to go to the bathroom on your own and decide that it IS worth getting your wrist slapped by your therapists later because you are not cleared to be on your own in the bathroom). But I want it known that I made sure that I was safe and tried to remember to use all the techniques and strategies that my therapists have shown me.

I also am able to walk a little on my own (without the use of devices)…not that I am quite walking where I used to be…because I still can’t move my ankle on my left foot (a continued prayer request)…which does hinder walking “normally”…whatever “normal” looks like. So basically I can walk short distances…of course at this point it is always a good idea to have someone close to me, for safety reasons, because I am still working on staying balanced. My balance has improved tremendously since I have gotten to rehab, but I am not quite 100%. Also when I begin to get physically tired…like when any of us gets tired…we don’t perform as well as if we were well rested…I begin to get a little clumsy and not as steady in my walking. Yesterday, we worked on walking up and down stairs…that was quite a challenge…moving my left foot in a backwards motion at this point is very difficult…most of the time…the therapist has to move my foot for me…and even though in my head I’m telling it to move…it still will not, but the great part about the therapists here is that when they move your body part that doesn’t want to move on its own…they still encourage you by saying “good job” …because they know that you are trying…or at least that I am trying and at this point I have no control over that (although that was how I began moving both my arm and leg…by telling it in my head to move and later the movement came…my brain just had to re-route itself…like it will with my ankle and my toes…whenever they decide they want to wiggle again...which will be soon in Jesus Name!)
My neurosurgeon (Dr. Youssef Comair) and his nurse practitioner (Shirley) called and spoke with me Wednesday...they are both so sweet...(and if you ever need to have brain surgery...these are the best of the best there is out there) Dr. Comair asked how I was progressing in my therapies…I shared with him all the wonderful news…he seemed pleased to hear about my foot moving and me walking. He asked when my discharge date was and at that point I didn’t know it was the 8th of April, but Aaron had spoken with Shirley a few days earlier and she mentioned that Dr. Comair wanted to see me within the next couple of weeks. Aaron made an appointment for Monday April 13th. They want to perform a follow-up MRI and want me to meet with a neuro-oncologist…which at one point…it was mentioned that I might need to get oral chemo-therapy…I supposed it all depended upon the pathology report of what my brain tumor truly consisted of…by the way…I don’t think I updated what type of tumor they actually figured out it was…it wasn’t the tumor they originally thought. It is actually called an oligodendroglioma, grade 2…now that is a mouthful. At our appointment with the neurosurgeon, we will find out what the make-up of the actual tumor is. The best way I really know how to explain all this tumor business (which I am just now understanding…so if you don’t understand…don’t feel alone in all of this J)…think of a car...maybe a Mercedes-Benz (this represents the tumor)…there are different classes (styles) of Mercedes…S, C, and E (this represents the grades of tumors)…then you come to the specialized features of the vehicle (this represents the make-up (pathology) of the tumor). I hope that helps as a visual to understand what we will find out at our appointment.

Okay well I need to get dressed for the day…so I must say good-bye for the moment. I will talk to you all later.

I love you all. Thank you all for your support, prayers, love, and encouragement!

P.S. A small prayer request...Aaron and I are going to try and get a day pass to be able to go to our Grand opening service to our new church ( our service is April 5th and I am being discharged April 8th we'll have to see if they allow us to leave for the day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

God's blessings everyday...

Well it's been a few days since I (Tina) posted and I have had a lot of progress in my therapies since being here in TIRR. Yesterday we had a family conference…which (like I said earlier if you know anything about my job)…was just like an ARD meeting…basically the gist of what we talked about was the progress that I had made so far in my therapies and what goals that they have for me…which eventually is for me to fully walk again and be able to be back to being a mom, wife, and go back to my job and be fully functional. They all said that I have made great progress so far. The speech pathologist even made comments about how someone who filled in for her one day said that I could do some of the tasks better than she could. That made me feel good, that at the least cognitively, I am still all there…whatever that really means J They also mentioned that they are tentatively looking at a discharge date of April 16th, of course all depending on my progress. And then maybe putting me into what they call a post acute therapy setting…where it is a more residential looking setting and not so hospital like. Where I would be able to come and go as I please during the day, but I would have to stay there at night. Basically, it would be like living in my own dorm room, as well as getting therapy during the day, instead of driving for outpatient therapy every day. All these things depend on my progress here and what I look like when they are ready to discharge me.

At this point, I just want what God’s will is for us…yes I want to be home already, but at the same time…I want to be able to take care of my family in the way that God would have me take care of them.

They also approved a day pass for me to go to Katie’s birthday party. Which I was so excited about! I can’t believe she is already turning one! Over the past few weeks she has gotten so big and has developed such a personality. She is getting so big right before my eyes…before I know it, she’ll be walking…she is definitely getting there.

In both physical and occupational therapy I feel like I have made so much progress in just the week and a half that I have been here. I know that Aaron has seen the little baby steps…that even though they seem little to the world out there and if I were from the outside looking in…I would probably think that they were just tiny steps, but from the inside looking out…they are HUGE steps. When I first got here…the occupational therapist had me dress myself without any help…after I finished I was so exhausted. She even had to help me put my shoes on towards the end because I was so tired. I felt like I had just sprinted five miles. I thought to myself…is it going to be like this everyday, just getting dressed? I couldn’t imagine how I would feel if I had to do anything else. Wow, I would have never thought it took this much effort, just to get dressed. But thank God that everyday since then I have improved and it has gotten much easier. My strength and endurance have enhanced and I have improved on learning how to dress myself. The neuropsychologist here mentioned that a friend of hers that is a Physical Therapist said that for everyday that you are in the hospital and aren’t moving it takes 7 days to regain the strength back for that one day. Which if that were accurate…it would take me 63 days to regain all of my strength back to where I was before. But God has helped me regain so much in so little time. I can use my left hand and lift it well now, and over the past few days I have been able to move my left leg little by little and the physical therapist has had me walking and standing on it…of course with her help and the use of some really neat assistive devices. I am able to walk from point A to point B. At first I was really slow, but now it seems like I could just get up and go on my own; even though at this point I know that without her assistance or the use of these neat little techniques and devices…I wouldn’t be able to, but I know soon that I will be walking independently…it just takes time. God has definitely shown me how I need to know my limits of how much I can do…and can’t do. He has also taught me to be obedient to my therapists…so when they say stop or do this or that…I MUST listen…and for some of you who know me well…you know that I can be stubborn and determined to be independent and do things on my own…which I think has gotten me this far in life (of course with God’s help). I know that this experience is only helping me and making me stronger. I also feel like this is humbling me, that way my children will also have a good role model for a mom and Aaron will have a wife that is obedient and submits to him as Christ submitted himself to the church.

Also, when I first arrived here at TIRR…I was totally dependent on having someone help transfer me from my bed to the wheelchair and to standing and sitting in the bathroom (which may be too much info for some of you), but right now this is my reality…a humbling one at that. Since being here, I have learned to stand on my own and position myself to transfer myself into my wheelchair and I have learned to be able to stand on my own and help stand and sit with minimal assistance in the bathroom. Which I know that for this probably sounds like no big deal, but if you really think about how many times a day you stand up and down to move around and do things…it is a HUGE deal. Even the little things like if you just need a pen across the room on the table…you’ve got to move over there to get it. Throughout this whole process I have to thank Aaron for being such a trooper and sacrificing himself to help me. He has sacrificed so much sleep and even in the times that he was so exhausted and tired and I just needed him to get one more thing for me…whether it was to rub my feet or get me fresh ice water…he was willing to do it. Aaron has been the epitome of sacrifice for me over the past three weeks and even in those moments where we were both so exhausted and tired…he continued to ask me “is there anything else you need?” and I have thought to myself…LORD I don’t deserve such a wonderful man, but God knew even before I was formed in my mother’s womb. Who he would choose to marry me…and he perfectly chose Aaron to balance me out.

Aaron seems to have learned so much about how to help me including different techniques and ways to assist me. He has even gone to several of my therapy sessions with me to learn what things they have been doing with me and what types of things I can do at home to help me strengthen myself when I leave here. I just wish he didn’t have to go back to work on Monday. I will definitely miss him when he goes back.

Before I finish up this blog for today…I wanted to say that since I am feeling much better (comparably to after surgery in the hospital)…I am welcoming visitors up here at TIRR ( if you would like to come visit.

Please call Aaron at 281-923-6524 to set up a time and day. Know that I am in therapy pretty much all throughout the day (M-F) until about 4 p.m. So early evenings or weekends would be best…visiting hours are until 9 p.m.

p.s. Please keep my family in your prayers. We just found out this past Monday that my maternal grandmother passed away.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Humbled and Honored...

Recently I was honored by a friend who purchased tickets before Christmas for me and a few other mighty women of God to attend a Christian Concert with Chris Tomlin, Israel Houghton, and Christy Nockels...needless to say it was an awesome evening. We had dinner and fun girl time, but the best part of the night was how God showed off (of course not in a pompous manner, but in a humbling way for me) Daddy God is always there...just with the perfect timing.

That was an incredible evening. Just having Israel and New Breed at the concert felt like home, (if you are reading this blog and don't know already...Israel is a worship leader at Lakewood Church...where Aaron and I called our church home for six years..until recently) it felt like I was worshiping back at Lakewood. Then came "The song" Christy Nockels recently wrote a new single that will hit stores in June 2009. If you were to have listened to the song that night...if you knew us...and all that was going would have thought it was written for Aaron and me. The lyrics say this...

"With You...I can go anywhere...I can do anything...because You are the song I breathe...with You..I can go anywhere...I can do anything... because You are the song I breathe... and with You...You are the air I breathe... because You are my everything and I am an offering...I may live and I may die either way You are glorified...bless the day I give my life let my life light up like the city lights...let it burn for You in the darkest night Lord..Let my life light up like the city lights...let it burn for You in the darkest night...oooohh..and in you...I can begin again..I am part of a bigger plan...because You are the great I AM...and in You...your life is in my veins and you've broken all my chains because You are the God who reigns...I may live and I may die either way you are glorified...bless the day I give my life away...So let my life light up like the city lights and let it burn for You in the darkest night Lord...let my life light up like the city lights... let it burn for You in the darkest life will shine on earth and my Father will be light will shine on earth and my Father with be praised...let my life light up like the city lights...and let it burn for You in the darkest night...and let my life light up like the city lights...and let it burn for You in the darkest night LORD...and let my life light up like the city lights and let it burn for You in the darkest night and my light will shine on earth for You."

God has reminded us day in and day out throughout this entire process...through the words, texts, emails, letters, blog comments, songs and just through His word that this has been to glorify my Father. I (Tina) want to be exactly what those words spoke in that song...I want my life to light up like the city lights in the darkest night and whether I live or die I want my Daddy to be glorified...I want my light to shine on earth for Him! Both Aaron and I are so humbled and honored to be used by our Father in this way...just to glorify Him. I am grateful and honored to be in this place...but as humans we do question things...and I have to ask myself the question..."why use us God?" At the end of the day however we always come back to..."Not our will, but Your will be done Father" and end up feeling humbled and honored to be used in this way.

-- Tina

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today was day two of therapy at TIRR. Last night I got more sleep here than I have in the past two weeks...of course that is all due to medications, surgery, people just checking up on me and making sure I was getting the best care in ICU and on the regular floor at St. Luke's. My care on the ICU units was phenomenal; however, if you understand ICU it is intensive care...meaning people are checking your blood pressure, drawing blood, or taking you to some MRI, CT scan or poking you with a needle for blood cultures almost every single moment you are there. It was intense to say the least and physically exhausting. So all that to say...I had such a restful night and it made my day, which was full of intense therapy, go well.

I am currently in individual Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy. As the week progresses next week I will be a part of other therapies, but those will definitely be group based. They sound like some really neat will be a pool/water therapy group. I am totally pumped about that. Another group that they mentioned was a "cognitive group" (not really sure what that means, but she did mention that there are a range of cognitive skills in the group), another group that was mentioned was a group on people re-learning to use their hands. As time goes on, I will tell you more about the details.

For all of my co-workers and those that actually understand what Aaron and I do for a living.... This experience has given me a whole new perspective on our careers and what we can do to improve ourselves, not only as clinicians, but as parents, and being on the "other side as the patient/client". It helped me not only be sympathetic, but of course be empathetic as well. God has been faithful to show me the areas of my career that I need improvement in. Being compassionate and being passionate for what I do, are two of the things that need to be added to my evaluation performance (are you taking notes Janet...she is my supervisor for those of you who don't know). The best supervisor you could ever have too!

For those of you at my guys will get a laugh out of this. Like I said earlier I am now in OT, PT, and Speech and eventually they will do cognitive testing. Of course they have to give me initial evaluations ...well they are going to eventually have to give me neuropsych tests...which they of course tried to already ask me questions about the WISC and were thinking of using the WJ and of course I had to be honest, confess, and say I knew a little something about the tests....just a LITTLE something. LOL.

I wanted to just add and give God some glory in this BLOG...I have had a phenomenal nurse here named Rosa who is a strong Christian and has been encouraging my heart to continue to strive and work hard. She has been so so sweet. Oh how good God is... all the time. Today I had the opportunity to pray with one of the nurse's assistants about her relationship with a guy that she has been with on and off for the past twenty or so years...she truly wants a stable guy and marriage. It was so humbling to be able to pray for her; she said "I really didn't know how to pray for that...thanks. " P.S. I used both of my hands to type this blog and i am making great progress on using my left hand and making leaps and bounds being able to use my left side of my body...not quite standing on my left leg, but I know that God will make it come soon...I am working really hard.

- Tina

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Battleground Number Two...and Beyond

It has obviously been a few days since I (TINA) blogged. I really can't imagine why it has been so many days:) LOL (I kinda chuckle to myself as I type this)..not that I have been through anything major (just a minor brain procedure this weekend and seemingly near death experience LOL :)

like I said earlier BUT GOD... the night my temp was so high and my vitals signs so low I thought to myself I'm not going to make it (I am just being real here) and I am not going to raise my Katie or be there for Aaron as his wife. But then GOD reminded me, "Tina, I already told you this is exactly how you would feel... but I will rescue you... because people are praying for you." oh yeah that's told me that already.

I (Aaron) am typing now (Tina was ready for bed).

Update...Tina has been stable for about 4 days now and about 2 days ago Tina started moving her entire left arm. Another Miracle! After doing some research and talking to several doctors at Saint Lukes we decided to apply at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research here in the med center. We were told by many that we may not get in at all and if we did that it might take awhile....BUT God....We were accepted and transfered to the facility within 48 hours. Another Miracle! We arrived here Wednesday night. This place is ranked as #4 in the nation for physical rehab and people come here from all over the world (Tina's roomate is a missionary from Thailand who suffered a stroke and flew across the world to come here). We both are doing great and are so, so thankful to God for this trial (I know this may sound strange, but if you could see through our eyes at all the awesome miracles that God is working through this you would understand). Interestingly enough many of the miracles are not even the physical miracles that you might expect...many of them are the individual lives that are being transformed through this (as I type this my eyes are filled with tears of joy). I love my Lord so, so much :)

From money, VISA cards, meal delivery, car rides, babysitting, groceries, flowers, hats, scarves, balloons, cards, emails, voicemails, texts, parking passes, support from our bosses and co-workers and family and friends and church, bringing our Katie to see us, encouragement, sharing our testimony with others, washing our clothes, buying personal items at the store... and the countless hours you have spent in prayer for us we want to say THANK YOU and may God return these blessings back to you 1000 fold. We are so grateful for all of you and we love you.

Stay posted for more testimonies of God's amazing grace....

p.s. Please pray and thank God in advance that Mary (Tina's roommate) will make a better than full recovery and that He will impart to her His strength and hope so that she may continue to serve Him on the mission field.


Aaron and Tina

Monday, March 9, 2009

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (Relying on God...)

Have you ever read these scripture verses before? If not, take a minute and go and read them now.

Basically Paul (an apostle of Jesus) is talking about how he was suffering and how through this suffering he learned to comfort others who were also suffering because he had been comforted by God (spiritual empathy). He also commented that he learned not to rely on himself but on God and was thankful for all of his friends prayers because he knew that lots of people would rejoice and thank God when he survived his trial.

That is exactly how we have felt over the past several days (read Tina's blog entitled 'Excited about all that God has in store' dated 3/1/09 which references this).

Here is an abbreviated version of what has been going on... Tina was stable and was released from ICU last Friday 3/6/09 and went to the Neuro floor, once there she started having back and stomach pains, her temperature sky rocketed to 103.3, her blood pressure dropped to 75/48, her heart rate was in the high 120's and she became non-responsive (kept on repeating "Katie, Katie, Katiebug..."). The nurses were having a hard time finding a vein and so both of her arms are covered with bruises and red marks. She was taken back to the ICU and was eventually stabilized (Miracle of God) and is doing much better now (the nurses here in ICU are fantastic!). When she is released from ICU (very soon) she will enter intensive in-patient rehabilitation and gain strength back in her left arm and left leg. She is now currently able to move all of her left fingers and is able to push some with her left leg...Another Miracle of God!

Tina and I have (like Paul) felt completely overwhelmed and exhausted over the past few days. BUT GOD...has given us His peace, His strength and His hope. We are not superhuman...but we do serve a SUPERNATURAL GOD who has and will continue to deliver us. We thank each of you who is praying for us because we know that this battle is already won in Jesus name and that many will continue to give thanks and praise God Almighty for the awesome things he has done through all of this. Ultimately we thank God not for what he can do for us but for who He is....our Lord and Master.

Totally and completely surrendered and in love with Jesus,

Aaron and Tina

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Modern Day Miracle

"Babe, you just witnessed a modern day miracle." These were the 1st words Tina spoke to me when I saw her in recovery after her surgery yesterday. I don't have any words to describe all the flood of emotions that rushed over me at that moment. I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so in love with Tina, my beautiful wife. Her courage, faith, and optimism humble me. Tina is impacting so many people everywhere she goes (lots of people up here at the hospital) because of her pure, childlike faith and the love of God which pours out of her to those around her.

Things that were miraculous...
1) Tina's attitude- Dr. Comair commented after surgery that "she is an amazing lady." Those of you who know Tina are not surprised by this...she is an amazing example of Jesus :)
2) Dr. Comair said that all of the tumor was removed.
3) She wasn't able to move her left hand after surgery but after much effort was able to. She is having some difficulty now...but is still trying :)

Things to pray for:
1) Tina has had several new seizures after surgery. Dr. said this was not an unusual side effect after this operation and that she should be doing much better soon.
2) Tina is unable to move her left leg or foot. Dr said this was not an unusual side effect and that she should re-gain this within a week.

Overall yesterday was an exhausting and overwhelming day in many ways... But GOD. I wonder to myself..."How could anyone do this.... without GOD." We are still confident that God has Tina in the palm on His right hand and has already won this battle for us. God has given us His peace that she will fully recover. We are planning on going dancing this weekend :)

Tina and I rested today (Wednesday).... loving on each other and our God who brought us through this.

We thank you for your continued prayers and support. If you would like to visit please call Corie (713-775-3082) or Linda (713- 315-7761) 1ST before coming for a possible visit. They will arrange visits for Thursday or later depending on how Tina is doing.

We love you all,

Aaron, Tina, and Katie

p.s. Tina wanted me to ask all of you if you have anything that we can pray for you about to please share it with us (on the blog if you feel comfortable or with us via text).

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Battlefield...spiritually, mentally, and physically

Okay so imagine (you can close your eyes if you want to...but then you might not be able to read this... :) You are recruited for an army...maybe it is the U.S. Military, the great Philistine army, or maybe you are David...just a boy and an army of one (as in the story of David and Goliath...if you haven't read the story in the bible you should's great). So when you are recruited in an have to go through bootcamp...if you've ever seen the movie (or if you haven't)...G.I. Jane is what I think of... you go through a series of taxing events...

You wake up at 4 a.m. to someone giving you commands, demands, and telling you to push soldier...keep going...faster... (then God says to you "you can do it! "It gives you a little boost in your spirit. ) It's 8 a.m. chow time... you eat for literally a few minutes wishing that you could have a little more time, but it is not allowed. (Then, God gives you a rest and even though it was seems as though you rested for hours ) 8:15 a.m. Then you are back to trekking up and down stairs, mountain sides...imagine the up hills and down really are beginning to get exhausted physically and mentally. (Then God gives you His words...I will be made strong in your weakness) It is now 2 p.m. You have been through obstacle course through obstacle course through obstacle course...and you haven't eaten...they finally say...okay chow then literally have to run and eat...your spirit, your mind, and your body just want to collapse and say "I can't do this anymore" (but then God...He says to you I have your back, I'll give you the renewal and refreshment you need...just place your trust in Me...I am here to make your yoke easy and your burden light) This gives you the energy you need and you keep going...

They tell you faster soldier...your team is counting on remember God's telling you He's got your back and it seems like He is literally and physically pulling you along. It's 6 p.m. you have been going since 4 a.m. Then they sit you in this room that is so cozy and warm, you want to snuggle up in a blanket by the fire and fall asleep to the crackling of fire...but at the same time they ask you to write a story about the Advantages and Disadvantages of Warfare in a foreign country. You can't believe that they are asking this of you...your entire self...everything in you wants to sleep, but you know that they are testing everything that you have in you (then God reminds can chew on a piece of bread that you saved from earlier to keep you awake and He tells you to remember to share with your friend next to you) You finally finish thinking...they feed you a little...then you think you are going to bed. But no it's 10 p.m. and you have to go out with your team as one and hold up a boat straight up in the air until someone quits. Your mind says no... BUT God shows up and pulls your entire team then finally, finally get to go to bed. You get in are ever so grateful for rest and sleep. You then sleep and are renewed to go back for Day 2.

Being human, you think how much more of this can I take. God says to you...I have already won the Son paid the is done!

Well to be honest with you, I hope that this picture can convey the message to you what our past few weeks have looked like...and know that it was only BOOT CAMP! Today, we enter the real battlefield...but know that God has already reminded us of our VICTORY. We don't know what that process looks like, but we know that the battle has ALREADY been Won...not by us...but by our God who is always faithful and MIGHTY TO SAVE!

We love each and every one of you sincerely. We appreciate your encouragement, prayers, support, and love....We are both now on the battlefield, prepared for battle, and at the moment we need your prayers more than anything. We both will need our rest tonight and we will welcome visitors on Wednesday.

In Christ,

Aaron, Tina and Katie

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Excited about all that God has in store

Well I am back and excited about today and all that it has in store for us! As I mentioned in our profile, we are part of a newly planted church and this morning will be our second pre-service. I can't wait to take Anna (my wonderful mother-in-law)...I just know she is going to love it! We are excited about serving today and we pray that we can touch others lives...even simply just by our smiles and physical presence. I (Tina) say that to say in a round about way...please continue to pray for our physical strength.

Speaking of strength...these next words have been a source of strength to us...

We feel led to share words of wisdom that have been spoken to us through friends...I hope that we are able to convey the heart of the message as well and as clear as the Holy Spirit has spoken it to our spirits through our beloved friends...

These scriptures come from 2 Corinthians 1: 8-11 and then 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 (New Living Translation)...You'll have to work with me here...since the order of the scriptures are reversed, but there is a purpose to it. I was first given the first verses (8-11) by a friend and then later that morning it was impressed upon my heart to read from the beginning of the 2 Corinthians chapter...and this is what was left imprinted in me...

If you see anything added to the scripture (in red) I added it to help me personalize to our situation at this moment. When my friend shared these scriptures with me and I thought of where we were at in this moment of our life...I was without words and couldn't really believe that these exact words existed in the bible. Only for the fact...that it seemed like God had just written them for us in that exact moment. So please allow us to share with you... I'll quote the scripture and my red comments and then speak my heart on what I felt the Holy Spirit was speaking to me.

..."8 I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves (Aaron and me), but on God who can raise the dead. 10 And He did deliver us from mortal danger (my surgery). And we (Aaron and me) are confident that He will continue to deliver us. 11 He will rescue us (Aaron and me) because you (family, friends, and those reading our blog) are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people's prayers (those who are praying for us) for our safety have been answered. "

Here is my heart and how I soaked in all of these words in my own way...(as I shared with Aaron and some friends and now you...). And to be totally frank with you...these words grieved both of our hearts...we shed tears (just being real), but in the end we had total peace because God had already spoken to us that "I am healed." Now what that process looks like...only God knows.

When I read the words "we were crushed and completely overwhelmed...and we expected to die and thought we would never live through it...I had to pause a moment and soak that in. God was telling me, that this is exactly how I will feel in the time to come. I thought to Lord...that is how I will feel...that left me with tears and literally feeling overwhelmed, BUT then I continued to read (after I put myself together...LOL) and it says "but we learned to not rely on ourselves but on GOD" and he delivered us from mortal danger. In my mind, mortals meaning (the neurosurgeons and their team at St. Luke's) and danger meaning (my actual surgery). (Surgery can be dangerous you know...LOL...but we know that I am in the hands of the GREAT PHYSICIAN). As I continued to read, God brought back to mind the words he spoke over us "you are healed"... and that gave me a supernatural peace in my spirit as I read the rest of the verses. As I read, "we are confident that He will continue to deliver us and rescue us because YOU are praying for us" and the rest of the verse "many will give thanks to God because so many people's prayers for our safety have been answered"... the words that resonated in my spirit were humbling... We are healed and we will be safe in times of danger BECAUSE of YOU who are praying for us. We want to thank you and we are honored to have all of you praying for us...know that God hears your prayers and will give them back to you in abundance.

The next scriptures...

"3 All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. 6 So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. "

These words spoke to my heart in a way like never I ask if you have any prayer requests we would be humbled and honored if you would share them with us so we can pray for you!

WE LOVE YOU... it is definitely time for a mental rest until next time.