Friday, August 27, 2010

Today makes it a year...

Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. {II Corinthians 6:10}

Sorrow was beautiful, but his beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the woods. His gentle light made pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss of the forest floor. And when he sang, his song was like the low, sweet calls of the nightingale, and in his eyes was the unexpectant gaze of someone who has ceased to look for coming gladness. He could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to him.
Joy was beautiful, too, but hers was the radiant beauty of a summer morning. Her eyes still held the happy laughter of childhood, and her hair glistened with the sunshine’s kiss. When she sang, he voice soared upward like a skylark’s, and her steps were the march of a conqueror who has never known defeat. She could rejoice with anyone who rejoices, but to weep with those who week was unknown to her.
Sorrow longingly said, “We can never be united as one.” “No, never,” responded Joy, with eyes misting as she spoke, “for my path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom when I arrive, and songbirds await my coming to sing their most joyous melodies.”
“Yes, and my path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the dark forest, and moonflowers, which open only at night, will fill my hands. Yet the sweetest of all earthly songs-the love song of the night-will be mine. Say farewell, dear Joy, farewell.
Yet even as Sorrow spoke, he and Joy became aware of someone standing beside them. In spite of the dim light, they sensed a kingly Presence, and suddenly a great and holy awe overwhelmed them. They then sank to their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, ”for on His head are many crowns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great victory. And before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness. I now give myself to Him forever.”
“No Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “for I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nail prints in His hands and feet are the scars of terrible agony. I also give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him much be sweeter than any joy I have ever known!
“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “For no one but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.” Therefore they walked hand in hand into the world, to follow Him through storms and sunshine, through winter’s severe cold and the warmth of summer’s gladness, and to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing!”

Does Sorrow lay his hand upon your shoulder,
And walk with you in silence on life’s way?
While joy, your bright companion once, grown colder,
Becomes to you more distant day by day?
Run not from the companionship of Sorrow,
He is the messenger of God to thee;
And you will thank Him in His great tomorrow –
For what you do not know now, you then will see;
His is God’s angel, clothed in veils of night,
With whom “we walk by faith” and “not by sight.”
Streams In the Desert.

I found this and it confirms what I have been feeling in my heart this past year! Sorrow in so many ways but yet so much joy in all that Jesus has done for us and continues to do! It wasn’t until Joy and Sorrow were talking that they felt a presence near them! Jesus’ presence has been so near Ben and I this past year and that makes my heart be at peace!
I have learned a lot this past year and I know that I will be able to carry those learnings for the rest of my life!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for standing with us this past year in your encouragement, prayers, notes, packages and visits…keep it coming!! We have been truly blessed by you all! I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in us physically, spiritually, and emotionally and so many other things Jesus is going to do!

Katie and Ben!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prayer and Fasting...August 27-29, 2010

A Battle to Fight….
“Christ draws the enemy out, exposes him for what he is, and shames him in front of everyone! The Lord is a gentleman??? Not if you’re in the service of his enemy! God has a battle to fight, and the battle is for our freedom (and in this case Ben’s mind!”) The war horse, the stallion, embodies the fierce hear of his Maker. And so do we; every man is a “stem of that victorious stock! Jesus works with wood, commands the loyalty of dockworkers. He is the Lord of hosts, the captain of angel armies! No question about it…there is something fierce in the heart of God!” John Eldredge
God calls us to have the mind of Christ! He also calls us to be like him! So, if Jesus has proved to us that He is a fighter, He moves forward, He is courageous, He is strong, He is loving, He is passion….we need to fight to be the same! No, we cannot be God but we are called to follow Him and line our lives up to His. He also calls us to fight the battle of the mind. The enemy tries to get that too. He wants our mind and our hearts and will try everything in his power to take our minds and hearts off of Jesus Himself!

This is where I start in my prayer requests going into this fast! The battle to fight for the mind!
Ben’s mind –
Spiritual – the enemy needs to be shut down in trying to win Ben’s mind! Ben is fighting depression right now. Depression in a brain injury is both good and bad. Good in that Ben is more aware of what is going on and his surroundings. Bad in the fact that some days he is down and tired!
Pray that Ben, as a man of God, think clearly, have the mind of Christ, know that he is getting better, continue forward and be encouraged by our Jesus that He is still in the healing process.
Pray that Ben will not feel or be defeated! Pray he can say that this brain injury cannot defeat him and will not dictate his future and all that he can do!
“For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12
Physical – pray for continued healing in Ben’s physical brain! His brain injury is one of the worst that you can get! He had swelling and damage to both sides of his brain so each side cannot even help the other side out, shearing to his white and gray matter, injury deep and almost to the brain stem, and the initial swelling and bleeding early on in his recovery. This injury has left him with short-term memory issues, problem solving, speech, body movements, sleep and so MANY other things that he is fighting!
Pray for healing to his brain in the physical aspects of it. It was once told to us that the brain is like the conductor of music. It brings all the parts of the brain together so that they work as one. Ben’s brain is off tune right now but we know the TRUE conductor and that is Jesus! He is the one that is fine tuning Ben’s brain and healing it!
Emotional – Ben is unable to remember anything about the accident or how far he has come along the way. We can tell him but since he has issues with short-term memory he easily forgets what he has accomplished. To him, he has been in the hospital forever and not getting anywhere. It is frustrating to him! I can kind of compare it to someone who is trying to lose weight….you try and try and try! You try different methods, diets, work out programs and nothing works….Ben has tried them all and they are working to us because we see it and remember it. To Ben, he is stuck in it!
Pray against frustrations, complacency, giving up and losing his will to fight on!

My mind –
Spiritual – I wrestle with my mind just as much as Ben does but in a different way. Just as the there is a battle for Ben’s mind there is for mine as well. Discouragement, hopelessness, loneliness, faithlessness, unlovedness (not a word but that is what I came up with), not good enough, not strong enough, future thoughts….these all have been something that have gone through my mind and things I constantly battle. I want Jesus to be in control of my mind and my thoughts!
Physical – this area obviously is not as big as Ben’s! My physical needs for the mind would be rest and sleep! Sleep was never an issue until coming here! I am asleep, then awake, asleep, then awake! Some nights are better than others. Some of it is choices that I make but for the majority of it I don’t get good sleep!
Emotional– this subject could take up a few pages! My emotions on some days can be very calm and then other days all over the place! These mind emotions range from “Lord, what the heck are you doing,” “ I don’t get why you chose us and why You have us here”, “I want babies and a home and I cannot have that right now,” “Lord, I know you have us in Your hands,” “I am having a great day,” “I am so in love with my man,” and “the joy of the Lord is my strength!” My heart longs to have Ben back to me like he was before the accident. The way that he was able to love me and be with me all the time. The other part is that I have found a new and greater way to fall more in love with Ben. Most people do not get to experience this in a way that we have! Each day is VERY, VERY hard to live though but with Jesus and Ben it is made easier!
Another thing that I am fighting emotionally is jealousy. This is hard to fight against. So many people are living out their dreams right now of having a home, working their dream job, having babies, traveling with their men and families. I don’t have any of those things….not even a home to return to. These are all dreams and desires of my heart but things that I cannot have now! I don’t want to have a jealous heart! I don’t want it to eat away at me. Jesus tells me….for such a time as this! That simple phrase has a lot all wrapped up into it!

Ben and I as a couple –
I desire for Jesus to use us in whatever way He wants to, but of course at the same time I ask Him to hurry it on up with the healing!
Pray that Jesus continues to grow us as a couple. That our love for each other would grow deeper and deeper. Pray that I give Ben what he needs every moment that I am with him. Pray that Ben can give me what I need even if he cannot do it right now in the physical, spiritual or emotional.
Pray that we get deeper in our walk with the Lord. That I read the Bible over my man and that it not only minister to me but to Ben as well.
We said vows that said we would honor and respect each other until death do us part! That is our commitment and we will both stand by our commitment! The thought of already losing my Ben one time in the car accident breaks my heart…so yes, I will be with him forever!

Future –
I wish I could tell you what our future holds but I cannot! I thought that we had a time line but I no longer believe in time lines but goal! Obviously we are on God’s time line and what He has for us. Does it differ from what I had in mind…why yes it does! Do I believe that He has a future for us, YES!
Please pray for us in making future decisions! Some of those would be where we go next from here, when we go back to WA, what rehab facilities, where God wants us to live, where to have a home in WA, when to think about babies, when to go back to work (for both of us) and what Jesus has planned for us! WE need to seek Jesus every step of the way but decisions still need to be made and thought out!

Physical healing for Ben –
These have been mentioned before but I want to list them again! The ultimate prayer request is 100% healing for Ben’s body and brain!! This is my biggest request to Jesus and it is up to Him on how He decides to fulfill it!
Prayer Requests:
1. Memory, Ben's short term memory is most affected! Pray that he retains things and that then stick!
2. Apraxia, every brain injured enemy, is people who have it find it difficult or impossible to make certain motor movements, even though their muscles are normal. Ben's brain screams DO IT and his body will not! Pray that these connections will be made and that his body will respond to what his brain asks! This goes for his speech as well!
3. Muscle tone! This is another thing that holds Ben back from moving forward in his ability to do things and take care of himself! When he goes to do something, especially with his arms, they tighten up!
4. Speech...still has weak tongue and lip muscles. Also, pray that Ben starts to instigate and involve himself in conversations. Also able to speak and make his needs known!
5. Botox to the neck! Ben got this done on today. Please pray that it will do it't job to relax his neck muscles so that he can hold it straight and upright. Also that it will NOT affect his swallow or speech!
6. Pray against discouragement for both Ben and I! It is easy to get sucked into this and I don’t want to have it in my life or Ben’s either. It is very easy to get discouraged at things not going fast…I want to be joyful in the moment!
7. Wisdom and direction for both Ben and I to know what our next step in this journey is going to be! May Jesus open the doors that need to be opened and close shut all the others!!
8. 100% healing for Ben!

I don’t want to “float” through this journey God has put us on. I want to be taught by Jesus, I want to be open to Jesus! I want to feel the emotions of it all and not be shut down to it all and just glide on through. One of the biggest things I fear about this the most is that we get to the other side of this journey and I am the same person!

I know this is a hefty list but they are the requests that are the deepest to me. I am showing ya'll a bit more into my heart and mind through it all. Please consider fasting and praying with me!
Thank you for your prayers, fasting, support and love! Blessings to you all!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Racing the 1st Sgt...

"But you will not even need to fight! Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory. He is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem (Ben and Katie.) Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD IS WITH YOU!" II Cor. 17
This scripture was given to me the other night from some faithful prayer warriors! It came at a time when I needed it most! The words say it not discouraged, be strong, sit back and watch the Lord fight the battle and win the victory of Ben's healing! Yes, sometimes easier said then done but this journey is so much better when I do...go figure!
As I write this Ben is chilling in his chair and we are listening to some calm worship music that is on Pandora! Some people have blessed us with an ipod touch and another group a docking station for it! When a song comes on that I know Ben is familiar with I tell him, "Ben you know this song, can you sing it?" He will start to say the words, then get tired and then quietly mouth them. In church this morning we started out with a hymn and he sang out loud the first line...Take my life, let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee. He went on to mouth the lines that he knew for the remainder of the song! It was good to hear Ben worshipping his Jesus in church! He does sing Jesus Love Me all the way through and I just need to get it recorded so ya'll can hear it!
In spite of Ben constantly saying, "I shouldn't be here", "I don't want to be here", get me out of here", "I feel trapped", "I want to go home" and so on he continues to work SO SUPER HARD! He knows he needs to be here and knows that "surrender" is NOT a Ranger word so he continues to push forward and fight!

Here are a few videos/photos of Ben's latest achievments and hard work! Literally when he is done with his PT sessions he is pooped out and just wants to rest!

{Ben racing his 1st Sgt Williams for 15 min! Ben said he won!}

{Squats out of the pool! His PT was barely holding on!}

{Ben was getting his back stretched which has been painful...we told him to take deep breaths and say Rangers Lead the Way with every push his PT put on his legs!}

{testing out a motorized chair...if he were outside I don't think we could catch him}

{new position to stand today. he did pretty good!}

Prayer Requests:
1. Ben needs prayer for his mood! Please pray against discouragement, wanting to give up, the enemies lies and unbelief is how far he has come! One of the hardest things for Ben is for him to remember how far he has come!
2. Memory, Ben's short term memory is most affected! Pray that he retains things and that then stick!
3. Apraxia, every brain injured enemy, is people who have it find it difficult or impossible to make certain motor movements, even though their muscles are normal. Ben's brain screams DO IT and his body will not! Pray that these connections will be made and that his body will respond to what his brain asks! This goes for his speech as well!
4. Muscle tone! This is another thing that holds Ben back from moving forward in his ability to do things and take care of him self! When he goes to do something, especially with his arms, they tighten up!
5. Speech...still has weak tongue and lip muscles. Also, pray that Ben starts to instigate and involve himself in conversations. Also able to speak and make his needs known!
6. Botox to the neck! Ben gets this done on Tues. Please pray that it will do it't job to relax his neck muscles so that he can hold it straight and upright. Also that it will NOT affect his swallow or speech!
7. Wisdom and direction for both Ben and I to know what our next step in this journey is going to be! May Jesus open the doors that need to be opened and close shut all the others!!
8. 100% healing for Ben!

Well, Ben is resting and then we are going to my room to hang out followed by a homemade dinner by yours truly for Ben and I to enjoy where I stay! I am going to try and do this with him every Sunday for dinner!
We still love all your letters and treats that you send! Keep them coming....they are encouraging and so fun to get in the mail! Contact info on the right ---->

Fast and praying for Ben August 27-29! Specific requests to come!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fast and pray....

Next Friday, August 27 marks a year from
the night of our car accident! I am going
to be fasting and praying August 27-29!
Over this weekend I will be praying for several
specific things that the Lord has put on
my heart and also for 100% healing for Ben!
This coming weekend (starting today) I will be
praying about those specific areas and then
will share them with you. I would like to have
a few for each day that I fast.
If you are led and feel that you would like to
join with me in this time of fasting and
praying I would be honored and blessed!
More details and requests to come!
Remember: August 27-29, 2010!!

Ben's sister visits...

Written by Ben’s sister Darlene…
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
Ben is living this every day. Katie is living this every day. I got to visit Ben and Katie this past weekend! I had a great time being a part of their lives. Katie went on a camping trip with her family and WA and I stayed with Ben and got to know the other people in his life.
On Friday I got to watch him in water therapy. Awesome describes that! Later on I asked how he was and he said ok. I asked what was wrong and Ben said, “I need Katie.” I said she will be back soon! He said, “She needs to hurry up!” That’s Ben! Later that night his face lit up when he heard his brother’s voice and he also talked to Katie and said good night. We prayed together and said good night.
On Saturday we had a great morning. Ben stood on his own for over a minute and he stood so tall and strong. Later that day we went to an outdoor mall. It was great to see him soak up the sun and the smells of life. Back at the hospital he got to talk to a good friend Knute Krigger, he was so excited. Ben sang Jesus Loves Me. How simple and true these words are. When it all comes down to it and all that matters is that Jesus saves and Jesus loves.
On Sunday we had church and I loved singing with Ben. I have always loved going to church with my family and it was no different today. Ben walked in therapy and stood again on his own! God is working in Ben’s life and Ben is doing his part in the miracle process. Another blessing was to have friends come in and visit us. We have known the Schielders for many years. They are good friends of our parents. They brought Ben a squirrel that squeaks when you pet it, footballs, paper and writing stuff and some hand weights. Ben also got to talk to both sets of grandparents later on in the evening. He wants them to know that he loves them and is working very hard.
Katie, a word from our family and friends. Thank you for loving, caring, being there and everything you do. You are his rock and love. Every day he asked where’s Katie and I love her. You make it easier on us knowing that Ben is cherished by you. May God give you the strength, wisdom, love, patience, guidance and peace as you love our son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, friend and Army Ranger who loves his country. We all love you and Ben so much!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

meeting and greeting...

Oh my goodness! I just looked at the last blog I posted, which wasn't even an update, and realized that it has been over a week! So super sorry! It has been mass busy around these parts and I was also able to slip away for a long weekend to go camping with my family!
I will post more about my camping trip, Ben's sisters visit while I was away and she stayed with Ben (she wrote about it and I will post) and the many of things Ben has been doing!
This post is for all the people that we have had to priviledge to meet just in a week! It was an honor to be invited to meet them and share a bit about Ben, who he is as a man and Ranger and all the progress he has made!

I will start with last Monday, August 9th....

Coronel Sutherland, who now works out of the Pentagon, came to visit our unit. He is an advocate not only for injured soldiers but also for their families. We had a brief group sit down with him and then he went to visit the boys in their rooms!

Thursday, August 12...

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer came to see us. Ben was in therapy and was unable to meet her but I was asked to sit down with her and tell her about my stay at the Fisher House. This is the house that I have been living in since I have been here. Senator Boxer is grateful for the sacrifices made by our service men and women and their families. She has diligently worked to ensure that members of our nation’s armed forces are afforded the care and services they deserve.

Today, August 18...

First, Ben's First Sergeant Williams (has the sunglasses on) flew in from GA later last evening! He is spending a few days with us and giving Ben some Ranger tests! Making sure that he remembers all of his Ranger lingo and creed! Ben was able to verbally say the whole Ranger Creed with him last night with minimal verbal ques! It was awesome to hear!

Our second visitor was US Congressman Steve Buyer from Indiana (light blue shirt.) He has a proven record of leadership on many complex issues facing the nation including health care, energy, telecommunications, veterans and military matters. His public commitment and military service embodies his dedication to the country. Congressman Buyer continues to serve as a Colonel in the Army Reserve. In the 111th Congress, Congressman Buyer serves as the Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Thirdly...Dan Wheldon, former Indy 500 champion! Wheldon who was born in Emberton, near Olney, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom took up karting at the age of four with funding from his father, he progressed through the junior ranks of motor racing during his school years. Attending Bedford School until he completed his GCSEs at age 16, he frequently took time off to race. During his early career in open wheel racing, he developed a rivalry with Jenson Button before ultimately leaving the United Kingdom to race in America. He's the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion and Indy 500 winner, Wheldon is nicknamed "Difficult Dan" in the IRL pit lane for his choleric temperament.

As, you can see it has been busy around here! It has been really neat to meet all of the people that come to visit the facility! They do amazing things for our country and serve our military well!

I end with this...praising Jesus for all He has done, doing and WILL do in our lives....1 Chronicles 29:11-13 "Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name."

Monday, August 9, 2010

i have to believe...

I heard this song playing on Pandora today and I love it! It is my new favorite and I will be playing it for some time! Be blessed as you listen to it and read the words!

Rita Springer - I HAVE TO BELIEVE

R.A.W. TV | MySpace Video

I have to believe, he sees my darkness, I have to believe, he knows my pain
I have to lift up, my hands to Worship, Worship his name

I have to declare, that he is my refuge, I have to deny, that i am alone
I have to lift up, my eyes to the mountains, thats where my help, it comes from

He said that he's forever faithful, He said that he's forever true
He said that he can move mountains, If he can move mountains
He can move my mountain, he can move your mountain too

I have to stand tall, when he wind blows me over
I have to stand strong, when i'm weak and afraid
I have to grab hold, a hold of the garments, the garments of praise

He said that he's forever faithful, He said that he's forever true
He said that he can move mountains, If he can move mountains
He can move my mountain, he can move your mountain too

I have to sing praise, when the hour is midnight
He unlocks these chains, that bind up my soul
my sin and my shame he has forgiven, and made me whole

He said that he's forever faithful, He said that he's forever true
He said that he can move mountains, If he can move mountains
He can move my mountain, he can move your mountain too

He's got everything under control,I have to believe
Lord I believe, help my unbelief, I have to believe in you, I have to believe

Sunday, August 8, 2010

boot scootin boogie...

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from a speech therapist in WA. I have never met her before but I have been able to bounce a few things off of her. She sent me this and it has blessed me every time I read it. We are almost at a year and although I feel the Lord saying to me...just get to a year, it seems like this is a never ending thing that He has us in. I would love to know what the Lord has up His sleeve!
This is what she wrote...”Stay encouraged. Even in the slumps or what seem to be plateaus, his brain is probably cooking together everything it has been taking in and you just won't see it for a bit. Sometimes I like to think of it like a big sponge and you're dropping drops of water into it one at a time. The sponge doesn't appear wet for a long time, but it's gathering water all the time. It's only after it gets all saturated on the inside does it finally start to drip. A patient can take in therapies for a while and not show progress until the "saturation on the inside" happens. Then they show progress again and the "plateau" is over. The old thought was that whatever a person recovered a year after a TBI was all they would get. The new research blows this all apart. While that first year is critical, we now have studies that show how patients improve for years after their injury, and much of it depends on age and stamina. Ben is in great shape that way! I am sure he is going to continue progress for quite some time, God willing! I say this because I know the one-year mark is coming up soon. Don't get discouraged. There's still time for progress. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, just in case anybody out there wants to try to drag you along into the old-school thinking!”

Oh my goodness what a night we had with Trace Adkins and Toby Keith on Friday!! Ben and I spent all day Saturday and today trying to catch up from just one night out!
We left the hospital a lil after dinner time on Friday night. Got all loaded up in out huge shuttle bus and took off! We all then met up with the people who supplied the tickets for us who had the connections with Toby Keith's management. After taking a few photos we then headed into the amphitheatre. We were supposed to sit in the wheelchair section but the lift was broken. Oh bumm deal because what were they to do but put us in the BOX seats in the VIP section! Hello, were we ever super blessed! This helped with our men too because then there were not people crowding around us and gave them some space and a lil less stimulation!
First opener singer was good but of course I have already forgot his name...I was just ready for some Trace and Toby! Trace came next and he was great! Lots of cowboy hats a movin and boots a dancing!
The real show started when Toby Keith made his grand enterance! Just when he was getting started Ben tugged on my hand and said he wanted to go! I explained to him that Toby had just started singing and could we stay just a little bit longer. He was good with this and then turned his head to watch Toby on the big screen! About 5-6 songs into his show Ben pulled on my hand again and said, "get me out of here!" That was my signal that it was time to go! To my surpise it was 10pm! We made our way back to the hospital and right as Ben was laying down his eyes closed and he was out! I gave him a few kisses, told him he did amazing and that I am so proud of him!
Enjoy a few photos below!

PS...I did get my hillbilly boots....just didn't get the expensive ones at Nords!

Conversation Ben and I had last"ben, i got some ice cream and i am going to eat it all!" Ben-"that's not fair, you have to share!" Me-"what if i don't share?" Ben-"i will throw a fit!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

hillbilly boots....

{together forever}

{mary and chandler visit}

{ben standing in the parallel bars!}

Let me just start with most hilarious thing yet that just happened today! I have been prepping Ben since last week that we are going to a Toby Keith concert tomorrow night! In doing so I have been asking him to remind me what we are doing and who we are going to see. Most times Ben gets all the answers right and other times he needs a few promptings for the answers. Ben's nurse and I were getting him back to bed this afternoon for a nap and I asked him this...."Ben is it ok if I go to Nordstroms to get some western boots for the concert?" Ben-"no!" Me-"why?" Ben-"because." Me-"because why?" Ben-"because you will look like a hillbilly!" Me-"well, Ben what would you look like if you wore them?" Ben-"I would look cool!" Oh my goodness, he had me and his nurse rolling! Needless to say I did sneak away to go look for some but didn't find them at Nords...this would make Ben very happy!

Ben continues to do well. He tries so hard and continues to do do even if he doesn't always see the reward in the way that he wants! I get frustrated so I cannot even imagine how frustrated Ben gets! He has been standing for short moments on his own in the parallel bars, walking with a big walker on wheels, speaking more words (throwing in some humor as you can see), can now sing Jesus Loves Me all the way through without prompts and always giving his all! Today he was moved to a full REGULAR diet! No more mashed, diced, minced, chopped or however they want to call some of that nastiness! He can now choose what he wants to eat from his menu!

He is still on thickened liquids but they are slowy getting thinner and thinner! Ben is being challanged in neuro psych as well. His doc is doing alot of memory drills with him. She starts off by giving him at least 3 words verbally and then asks Ben to repeat them. As he remembers them and does well she has advanced up to 5 words for him to remember! She also has been doing this with numbers and has recently had Ben repeat them backwards! He can usually get 3 of them but still needs some practice with 4-5.

We have been messing with a few of his meds and this has made him a tad sleepy in the morning. As the med gets settled in his system the sleepyness is decreasing. Also lowering a muscle med to see if it helps him be more alert but also not wanting Ben's muscles to get tight! Oh the fine lines of meds. Sometime in the next few weeks they will be adding a med that will prayerfully improve Ben's memory, processing speed and cognative abilities. He was on a med like this early on but at the level he was at during that time it was not a help to him.

Like I said earlier we are going to a Toby Keith concert tomorrow night! I am super excited to take Ben! It will be us and another couple with their daughter! We are to be there an hour early and are not to "be surprised" if Toby comes to meet us!! WHOOOHOOO!!! Hopefully we can get some photos with him!

Prayer Requests: (it has been a bit!)
1. Ben's memory would increase (it is hard for him even to remember what he did an hour before)
2. His processing time would quicken
3. Ben would beging instigating his own words and not just to answering questions. Also that he would begin to verbally make his needs known at any time (i am thirsty, i want to go to bed, move me, stop, can we go for a walk....)
4. Neck muscles to relax (have to decided to botox again...lots of pros and cons)
5. Ben's body would tolerate the med changes
6. Trunk control (this is a biggie...if he can get this he will take off in walking and controling his body. one of his PT explains to Ben that he must first build a strong foundation...kind of like the concrete on a house. I like to think of building his foundation on Christ! Pray for a strong foundation!
7. Continued patience, motivation, courage and strength for both of us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

be still and know....

….that I am God. This is what I was thinking of when I was taking a shower this morning. Tears were in my eyes during this time and I have come to like crying in the shower because the tears are all washed away. I have heard this song and scripture over and over in my life. Most times it brings me peace but this time it brought questions.
I found myself asking, “Lord, how can I be still…
when my man, Your son has been in the for almost a year,
when the life that I thought I was living for You came to a halt and was turned upside down and around,
dreams to have babies are not in the picture right now,
when life feels like crap because the man you gave to me is suffering,
in everyday that Ben works so hard he doesn’t get rewarded in the way that he needs to be,
when I yearn for Ben to wrap his arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be ok,
that when I see a nurse everyday and wish that I could be back to work doing what I love,
people around disappoint and let us down,
when I am exhausted spiritually, physically and emotionally,
did I mention that Ben (and me) have been in a hospital 11 months…..

Then I go and look at the original words of this old hymn and scripture and this is what they say…
{Hymn} Be still and know that I am God, be still and know that I am God, be still and know that I am God.
I am the Lord that healeth thee, I am the Lord that healeth thee,
I am the Lord that healeth thee.
In thee, O Lord, I put my trust, In thee, O Lord,
I put my trust, In thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

“Be still and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.
Psalm 46:10
“So as your world crumbles around you, the call from Scripture is: don’t flinch in faith in God. Stand still- not because of a self-made confidence, not because you are the most composed person in the face of disaster, not because “you’ve seen it all.” Be still because of what you know about God. It is “God’s past” that provides calm for “our future.” Know that he is God! Know it, not merely intellectually, but practically, spiritually, and emotionally. He is your God. He is the ruler of kingdoms of this earth and the all-powerful Creator of the Universe. If you are the last man or woman standing, be still. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth do change” (Psalm 46:1-2a). Hallelujah!”

At times it is not easy for me to be still, to be patient, to wait it out….God has put it in me to be compassionate, to fix things, to be organized with my time, be a scheduler, humble….but be still and wait and build my faith! I try so hard but sometimes it gets the best of me! I thought I had learned patience and how to be still before the accident but oh was I ever wrong! I am learning it and in a whole new way! I do know that He is God, He controls what happens and He is where I put all of my faith and hope! Just a little look into my heart and what I have been thinking today!

Ben quote of the day (when Ben using the restroom and me checking on him), "This place sucks." Me-what place? The bathroom or the hospital? Ben-"the hospital!" can you tell this man wants to get home??