Great Weekend

We had such a blast this last weekend with our girl Z home. Well not actually home, but playing in the softball tourney at BSU. Thursday night I cooked dinner for the whole Weber State softball team and coaching staff. It was such a joy to be able to do it for them. I got to personally thank them for the amazing support they are giving Z and our family. These young ladies are learning more about life than they even know, through softball. A family, that is what they have achieved. In my eyes that is bigger than any game they will ever play in. I love those girls and their fearless leaders they call Coach. Thank you Coach Amicone for allowing us to bring in dinner and be a part of your family, I am forever grateful for all you have done for my girl. We got to see 5 games and have some family time with Z at home. Doug was extremely happy to get to see Z back in uniform. He even got to have his hat signed by his favorite Wildcat player! (see photo attached) You always hope when your kids grow up they will end up in a good place. Somewhere they will be able to grow as an individual and make life long friendships. This is exactly what Z is doing at Weber State. I could not have hand picked a better place for her to be, or better friends than she has made. It is interesting how we don't see God working until the work is almost complete. See when Z got back from her visit at Weber State, she said to me, "mom this is where I am suppose to be" I of course said sister we will see. She was like no mom you don't understand, I could feel it when I walked on the field, as I walked the campus. Even if I don't get a scholarship, this is where I am suppose to be. I brushed her off and said I am glad the visit went well, let's see what they offer you. I am now believing it was a God thing getting her to Weber State. She was offered a scholarship in the fall and the softball coach resigned at the end of the softball season.

Concerned about the new coaching staff coming in, Z still new that was where she was suppose to be. I am now convinced Z was being guided by the Lord, knowing this coaching staff would be the staff that would be able to support and help Z through this time of her journey. I am thankful she listened and thankful for the love of the amazing role models she has as coaches. God always has a plan, we just always don't know it right away.

After Z's last game on Sunday night, Doug and I took off for Seattle at 10:00pm. It was an earlier appointment for the study Doug is involved in. We had to give an update on the headband and they did an MRI. Since an MRI was being performed Dr. Benkers decided she needed to see him to go over the MRI. I am always taken back when you can actually see the Lord working right in front of you. I do believe we sometimes get to busy in our daily lives we forget to slow a bit to see him work. But on this trip it was quiet apparent he was working right in front of me.

Now remember I am not a good flier, actually I really dislike flying. As we always board I play out the landing, where ever it is. I close my eyes see us landing safely and even say in my head, ''welcome to Seattle, thanks for flying with us" then on the way home it is, "welcome to Boise, thanks for flying with us". I guess I do this trying to calm myself, maybe convincing myself we will land safely, who knows, I just know it works for me. So we take off, flight is very smooth. We get our drinks, I always know we are about there when they come by and get our trash. I began to smell a very odd smell. I leaned over to Doug and asked him if he could smell it. He said yeah, not sure what it is. My mind decided it was something that was going to poison us and put us to sleep. I could feel a complete anxiety attack approaching oh so fast. The tightness of not being able to catch my breathe, the tingling sensation down my spine, yep this was the end. I thought to myself, it was good you sent a picture to the girls and told them you loved them. I even went to the extent of pulling my sweater over my mouth and nose to help with the fumes, I even wondered why won't they drop the oxygen masks. Then as fast as the anxiety came on it was gone. I had a full on fight inside my head, the realistic Jacki won. She began to pray and could feel a complete calmness come over me. We landed safely, I heard the words "welcome to Seattle thanks for flying with us."

We got to the hotel very exhausted. It seems we hit Seattle and both of our demeanor changes a bit. Anxious, concern, wonder, all goes on. We get into bed and are watching television. To what I thought we were watching ESPN, I realize I had dozed off. As I woke on the television is Joel Osteen preaching. Wait, we had Sportscenter on I know for sure. I said to Doug did you change the channel? He said how could I do that when it is on your nightstand. I was blown away by the message Joel Osteen was talking about!

Living Content, wherever you are in life right now, there is something you can be grateful for. Learn to enjoy the season you are in. When we are discontent in where we are at we are dishonoring God, we are so focused on what we want we are taking for granted what we have. Being content doesn't mean we don't want change or give up on our dreams, it means we are not fighting everything, we are trusting God's timing! We know he is working behind the scenes and at the right time he will get us to where we need to be. Some situations won't change until we change. If God has us there we must need it, he will use it to do a work in us. You chose to enjoy the season you are in, that is passing the test, allowing God to go to work. Instead of trying to change the situation let it change you. You have to be satisfied with where God has you now.

I would encourage you to google the whole word. Joel Osteen message #613

I am not sure exactly how the television got to that channel, but I do believe it was the Lord putting it in front of me and Doug. The message spoke to both of us. We caught ourselves saying to each other, "did you hear that" "I feel like he is speaking to us" We both listened to the final word and we both fell asleep.

We headed to the hospital with MRI at 8:00am. This appointment was a bit different. We usually get MRI, go straight to labs, straight to Dr. Benkers and off to the airport with in 3 hours. We had MRI at 8:00, labs at 10:30, Dr. Benkers at 11:30 and Dr. Cobbs at 12:00. So we had time to be a bit more relaxed. So after the MRI we got a coffee and ran into Mary (clinical trial consultant) she said I will meet you at the lab in 20 minutes. So up to labs we went, Doug felt pretty important, as they walked into the lab Mary said who he was and they were like,"oh this is our study case, we will get him right in" and moved him to the front of the line. We had an hour and half before we were to see Dr. Benkers, so we went to sit in the Starbucks.

I went to get in line to get us both water. As I approached the end of the line a handsome older gentlemen says Hi how are you? As if he knew me, I responded I am well thanks. He then goes on to say, it is a beautiful day isn't it. I then said yes, the sunshine is amazing. At this point a young lady walks up and says are you both in line, he quickly says no as I was about to say yes. He glanced at me and said oh I am sorry I am not in line. I pointed for her to go ahead, we were visiting I said. Wait why am I visiting with a complete stranger, let alone I felt like I needed to stay and visit more with him. Anyways she walked in front of us, and he put is hand on my shoulder and says to me, "don't forget to always see the sunshine, where ever you may be." I said oh I know it is so nice to finally have the sun. He looks deep into my eyes and says, life is so much better when we can see the brightness even when we think it is dark. I said oh that is for sure. He then states, you are doing good and today will be fine. He tapped my shoulder again and said, I am not exactly sure why you are here, but keep being well. I at this point was in shock at what I was hearing, I told him to have a nice day and I stepped to the line. I felt drawn to still visit with him, but as I turned around to see him walk off, GONE! He was gone. I could not see him outside the door, or down the hall next to Starbucks. As I sat back down with Doug, I said I just had the most amazing encounter with a complete stranger that I felt like he knew me completely. Again, I believe it was the Lord working right in front of me. I was very anxious to get the results of Doug's MRI, and this complete strange brought me peace.

In our everyday lives we are on fast mode for the majority of the day. See in fast mode you are not going to see the simple blessings the Lord has for you. You need to slow a bit, find a moment to walk at a slower pace and see what you are missing when you are speed walking. Say hello to a complete stranger, they might have a better message for you than your pastor did for the week, but you wouldn't know it if you don't say hello. The job, the computer, the phone, the tv, the pager, the emails, will not bring you the joy like listening full hearted to your child tell you about their day. And in that conversation you just might learn a few things, that needed to be learned. That means at any age your child might be.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

At Dr. Benkers office we went back to a room and we waited for 45 minutes before she came in. 45 minutes my mind got to go to every aspect of what could be. Anxiety started to consume me, Doug seemed rather calm so I did not want to seem anxious to him. So I picked up my phone and began to text my PCA (who did not travel with us). My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing and my breathing seemed a bit shallow. Anxiety had set in. Thanks Shanan for trying to small talk me through that 45 minutes, it did help a bit. And I did giggle out loud every few minutes when she would text me, "where is that doctor!" "what is taking so long" and a couple more vulgar ones I won't share, but did make me laugh. I always think the next appointment won't be so bad, I won't have the anxiety, but I am learning I will most likely do this EVERY TIME we have an MRI. I guess I need to find a few coping skills. Much relief when Dr. Bekers came in and said MRI LOOKS GOOD! TUMOR IS STILL STABLE! Phew..... deep breath, palms seemed to dry, my heart was beating at a normal speed, and the calmness settled right in. I instantly shouted in my head Thank You Jesus! Thank You Jesus!

With every victory we reach, from the small to the great big, I am giving ALL the glory to God. It is his healing hands that are laid upon Doug doing the work. My God is a good God, for he will stand beside us, and pull us through whatever we are thrown. It is allowing ourselves to TRUST! Trust in the Lord, in his timing, in his presences, in his word, in his everlasting love. It is difficult sometimes when we are wanting things now, but we have to keep believing and always trusting in Jesus to do the work at the right time. Even if it is not on our watch. Our timing is not always the timing he has planned for us. But is keeping the trust that he will do all things at the right time.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

Dr. Cobbs and Mary came in and spoke to us about the study. They asked lots of questions and we gave them lots of information about how it was going, along with suggestions on what to change. Mary said the company has taken all of our notes and are working on changing things with the device. She said some of our notes have gone straight to the engineer that is working the case. Doug and I both feel this is a huge part of this journey we are on. Trying to find something to help not only Doug, but also help those in the future.

I ask all of you to keep us in your prayers. We are grateful for the power of prayer. Even more grateful you pray for us. Tomorrow (well it is late enough, today) is the first High School softball game of the season, and I am so excited to say DOUG WILL BE BACK ON THE FIELD! Almost a year to the date of his first surgery. We are feeling very blessed, very blessed!

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Love and Blessings to all

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