As our next trip to Seattle is just around the corner, I thought I would give some insight on what has been going on in our lives. My church has done a 2 week fast these last 2 weeks, i sat in church listening to Pastor Allen speak on breakthroughs, clarity possibly happening, listening and hearing what God has to speak to you in those 2 weeks. I will be honest, I actually questioned it all. I feel pretty connected, i feel my faith is also pretty strong, what else could I learn from this, what would I hear. So here is how the last 2 weeks have been. My first day was the day we took Bentli on a tour of The College of Idaho, no big deal except they treated us to lunch. Yep, I was only having water that day. As we walked in to the biggest spread of food, Doug says, "start tomorrow", Bentli follows up with, "mom we won't tell anyone you ate!" I sat at lunch with them all and my glass of water! Sacrifice, that is what I felt I was doing. I needed to learn sacrifice in these 2 weeks, and by starting the next day, or eating and not telling anyone was not teaching myself anything. For I had lessons to learn. My 2 week fast went really well, first 3 days, water and a powder of energy food (from the wellness clinic), next 3 days only fresh juicing, with the last week eating veggies, fruits, and a little chicken. Never once did I feel starving, at one point I just wanted to chew something. I felt a clarity I had not had for a long time. It was a bit of weight lifted off me. I guess you could say a cleansing of some sort. I sat in prayer, starting off with, guide me through this, then as i sat in silence, it was more guide yourself. I believe yes God will guide us and help us, but at that moment he was telling me, guide yourself, trust yourself. I think I had lost a little of that. Regained! I regained the trust in myself. In the 2 weeks, I was reminded again, we are not in charge. God is in charge, and when our lessons here on earth are complete, we are blessed with being welcomed home. Yes, sometimes we are not ready, and we are shaken d by it. See my best friend had to say good bye to her dear dad. The band in heaven got a great bass player. I realized we think we can be prepared, and understand all reasoning, but in that moment that we thought we were prepared for, it doesn't make sense. Two days later Zack Ingersoll also went home to Jesus. A long fought out battle with this thing called cancer. This news shook Doug and myself to the core. Nicole we hold you and those boys in prayer. A little story, I got the news on Saturday night of Zack's passing, knowing that Doug does not do good with bad news in the evenings, I chose to tell him on Sunday morning. As we got to church, I told him he had passed last night. Doug began to cry, he says, "Jack crazy thing, in my dream last night I was at his funeral." We both cried. Sunday was an emotional day for Doug. I feel this fast has inspired me to continue doing my work I need to be doing, when I get strung to the end of my rope, I know I have a savior that will hold me until I climb back to the top. It has strengthen my soul, to believe we are a blessing to many and a foundation for our little ones. It has reminded me that family is always first, ALWAYS! It has shown me that I can be in control and I can do all things, with the Lord right by my side. I am grateful for these past 2 weeks, it has opened my eyes to be faithful, loving, supportive, caring, and willing to do whatever is needed by me. Doug's chemo treatments have been going really well. He seems to have no sickness, a bit of fatigue but nothing extreme. We are anxious for this next MRI, it seems the closer it gets to the appointment the quieter we both get. Doug looks real good, his numbers have been excellent, and he feels strong. He has been running open gym for softball at the High School and enjoying every minute of it. Demi got her cast off, and went right back to the court. She started shooting around with her cast on and kept up her conditioning at practices. The second she got it off she of course was ready to play. We worked her back in and she seems to be doing good. Her team and the JV team both ended up first in the season and just started districts. Both teams ended up with wins today. So dang proud of my girl and those amazing girls I coach. Quick little basketball story. Thursday night we are at the end of the game, the opposing team called a timeout with 9 seconds left. At that moment I thought that was crazy because we were beating them by 30 points. The coach checks a girl in and as we go to the court they run a play to this girl and she scores. I noticed one of our players pulled off of her so she could shoot. As our girls huddled up the one player says to me, the girl had not scored all season, so I backed off. I looked at her and said, "You are why I coach!" CHARACTER, that is what she showed me, and that is what I want these girls to get. Not just the game of basketball, but the real picture. Kaycee, you make me proud to be your coach! It seems appropriate, as we get closer to the 1 year mark, to write a letter. A letter I will share with you all. Dear Adversity, I first would like to thank you for coming into my life. I know that seems completely crazy, but because of you I have become a new person. It seems you have taught me to fight, fight like I have never fought before. Because of you I have a deeper love for life, my husband, my kids, my family and friends. I have been allowed to share my faith with many, in which has helped me to keep you in check. Having you in my life has given me strength that I did not think I had. I have been empowered by the experiences I have had in dealing with you. So Thank You. It seems you have joined our family in the last year, but with in the last month you have struck all 3 of my beauties. You really don't want to mess with this momma bear. But since you have come to them, I want you to know, YOU WILL NOT WIN! I have been by their sides guiding them through this. You have only allowed me to help them see how important Christ is in their lives. How sticking together, fighting and supporting each other has only strengthen our family bond. Each beauty has been dealt her own adversity, and I will tell you, what that has done is made them stronger than they were before. Because of you I know my beauties will be strong, confident, loving woman of faith. I would be so happy if you could give all of us a break from yourself. You have filled our lives for the last 11 months and we could use a vacation from you. Thank you, Jacki Through adversity your true colors will shine through. It is how you react to it, what we do with it, and what we learn from it; that will define our character, build our self, and make us stronger! It does not mean it won't be hard, cause us pain, or make us question things. I think the hardest thing with adversity is we need to allow God to guide us and listen to where we need to be. Understand that it may not be what we would choose, but believe he has our best interest. I am believing and standing firm in my faith that what we have traveled is just helping us to get to where we need to be. That there will be huge victories to scream about. Giving glory to God for them all. I am believing my husband is healed! Prayers are felt daily from you all. I am beyond grateful for your loving words, your continuous prayers, and your ever knowing support. Psalm 28:7-8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Love and Blessings to all!