Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a coincidence? i think not...

God puts people, situations and things in our lives for some reason. Some we may find out about and others not at all. I believe that He puts all the pieces together and forms our lives paths.
One cool thing is that Ben is in room 3037 and my room has those same numbers. Back at Shepherd Center in Atl Ben's first room number was 229 which was also our house number! Might sound crazy to y'all but I take it from the Lord...He looks after us even down to the numbers!
As far as the hospital names...
Shepherd Center - The Lord is our Shepherd, we don't need anything but Him!
Good Samaratin - God used us and others to to show His love!
Palo Alto VA - ok nothing scriptural here but we talked and if we have twins in the future we were going to name then Palo and Alto...hahaha not really...just humerous!

The name of the rehab facility we are currently in has a special name it us. Kessler Rehab is not biblical but it is the last name of one amazing man who was also a good friend of Ben's! Ben was able to work along side of Jason Kessler while stationed in Ft. Lewis, WA. Not only did they work together but they also had fun and climbed Mt. Rainier in WA together. I didn't have the priviledge of meeting Jason but I heard good things about him. On Ben's last deployment in July of 2007 Ben called me and did not have alot to say. I do remember him saying, "it has been a bad night." I knew that meant injuries and death. I couldn't ask him about it due to being on the phone and security...I didn't get info until he go home. He lost a good buddy that day and it has effected him til this day! Not only was Kessler a a good friend to Ben but he loved Jesus with all of his heart! They were able to encourage each other in the physical but even better in the spiritual!!

....Cpl. Jason M. Kessler, 29, was an automatic rifleman assigned to 2 nd Battalion, 75 th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash. He was born on Oct. 21, 1977, in Long Beach, Calif. He was killed on July 30, 2007, while engaged in combat operations in northern Iraq when the tactical vehicle he was riding in was struck by a rocketpropelled grenade. This was his third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After graduating high school in Mount Vernon, Wash., Kessler attended The Masters College, Santa Clarita, Calif., and earned a bachelor of arts in biblical studies. He was continuing his education at the University of Washington, Seattle Campus with emphasis on philosophy. Kessler enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Mount Vernon in January 2005 and completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.
He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in June 2005 and was then assigned to 2 nd Bn., 75 th Ranger Regiment. He served there as an Automatic Rifleman.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal...

Ben always wanted to go back to see Kessler's parents but right when he got back from that deployment we were married and then moved to GA. When we were on our way back to WA for more rehab for Ben I wrote Kessler's mom and told her what had happened to Ben. I wanted to tell her that Ben wanted to visit and now was really unable, also that we would never forget Kessler and all that he had done for us! I have been in contact with her ever since! She is amazing and keeps tabs on us! Her text messages come when I need them and she always asks how she can pray for Ben and I! She still has a photo of Ben and Kessler on her fridge of them both on the mountain! One day soon not only will I get to meet Kessler's parents but Ben will be able see them as well!! I cannot wait!
I thought it really neat that we could go to a place that shared a very special name to us! I have explained this to Ben and he said, "that is cool!" "I miss him!" We get to add another soldier to who Ben is doing therapy for. Grider and Kessler are men in Ben's life that we will always remember and Ben will work hard for!

**We love you Kessler family and Erin!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's been a whirlwind...

These past few days have been hard to explain! Such a whirlwind of emotions for me! I am up, I am down, I am crying, I am fighting back tears and so many other things! Change is good yet it is so, so hard! I walked into Ben's room on Sat morning and said my usual good mornings and lots of kisses! I then looked into his eyes and said, "i am sad!" Him and his man response was, "to bad for you!" Of course in my mind I was like what kind of a response was that from my man! Before I could wallow in my sorrows and sadness he quickly looked into my eyes and said, "do you need a hug?" Ahhhh, that is more like it! I snuggled up next to him and let him hug away as I cried away! I love this man! We followed this hug time by reading the Bible. I read the Psalm of the day and some in Joshua. One scripture that I love and is underlined is Psalm 27:14 which says, "“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be strong and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord!” I am having Ben memorize it and me as well to remind us of what we need to do in this journey! We also had Pandora (internet radio) on some worship music and Mighty To Save from Hillsong came on. I told Ben that he knew this song and that we should sing it! He did start singing it and kept up with it! He stumbled over a few words (this might be due to the fact that I went to put my arm around him and smacked his forehead with my elbow...poor guy) but did really well keeping up! It was so good to worship a bit together!

They continue to work Ben over in therapies! They tell me he is doing great and Ben says he is being worked hard! Some things he has been doing: washing hands and face, taking on and off shirt, practicing rolling over, walking, neck stretching, practicing cutting food (he still needs help eating), trialing thin liquids, swallowing with lips closed, breathing through belly to get louder sounds, and a swallow study set up for Tues. He works so hard and gets frustrated with not making big gains in his therapies! Ben wants it here and now! I do too but I get to see how far he has come and Ben cannot remember!

Another huge struggle for Ben is that I cannot go to therapies with him! He is used to me being there with him! Sat morning he was in therapies and I was still at the hotel...they asked him if was in pain and he said yes, his heart was! They stopped therapies, put him in bed, did an EKG and gave him some heart burn meds! When Ben says his heart hurts it is not physical but emotional. It is normally because I am not with him or that he is still in a hospital setting! Oh man, I had told his resident doc about this when we were admitted but she must not have made a note on it! His therapists and doc on this weekend now know and will make a note of it! I miss being in therapies with Ben too but I understand where they are coming from! I explained to him that he has to treat this time as a job. I asked him if I got to go to work with him and he said no. Did you get to go with me to work, again no! I told him, consider this your job and assignment right now! His 1st Sgt, commander, XO and all his other bosses have ordered it for him! This is his mission and job in life right now! I told him I will be there during meals and times of no therapies. As I remind him of that and inform his therapists he is slowly catching on. He will get there! It is hard for me to let go of this! I want to sneek a peek from behind a wall and see how and what he is doing! Oh goodness...this is hard!

Today we took our Bible reading outside! They have a good sitting area and so I wanted to get Ben some fresh air. Of course Ben loved the wind whipping around! I had flip-flops on so the toes got a but fridged! (my shoes should be here tomorrow!) We stayed out for about 30 min and just soaked in the sun and the fresh air!!

Change is hard, yet change is good. The Lord promises that He will never leave us or forsake us and this helps to keep my heart together. I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in us here in the spiritual, physical and emotional levels. It is Ben and my job to keep worshipping, thanking and following Him!

“Don’t worry about anything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6, 7

A song that has been ministering to me...

and I leave you with this handsome, hardworking man...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

A Thankful Heart
A thankful heart, a thankful heart,
Lord, grow in me a thankful heart.
So many gifts You give each day!
I ask one more: a thankful heart.

A simple faith, a simple faith,
For every need, a simple faith.
Father, You hold me in Your arms,
So give Your child a simple faith.

A life of love, a life of love,
In Jesus Christ a life of love.
Lord, as I live and breathe in You,
This wealth is mine: a life of love.

A thankful heart, a simple faith,
A life of love in You each day
Till we are one and face to face
And all is joy and endless praise!

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
but I just couldn't sleep...
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned...the dark meat and white,
but I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
the thought of a snack became infatuation.
So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door
and gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
stuffing with gravy, green beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
with a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie
But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees...
Happy eating to all -- pass the cranberries, please.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2 dollars a day...

I got a decent sleep last night and that felt so good! I have a comfy bed and a dark room and that is the best combination for me! I was putting on my makeup and listening to some worship music on Pandora. I started singing and found it hard...which is not usual! I realized that I was out of practice from worshipping the Lord! Not that my heart is hard but it has been some time since I have just worshipped Him! That hurt my heart and my emotions! It was not a fun feeling and very convicting! I couldn't even get through one song! I felt very humbled by the Lord but in a tender way of His reminder of needing to consistantly worship Him!
I love reading the Psalm of the day and today was Psalm 23...so appropiate for the last evening and morning I was having. Emotional, missing our "home" in Cali, getting used to ALL new people and being tired!
A few points I love from this Psalm:
-I have all that I need in Him
-He gives me rest and peace
-He renews my strength
-He guides me on the right path and I get to honor Him in it all
-When I am in a dark spot He is close to me
-Ben and I are honored by the Lord for what I am doing
-Ben and I will be blessed
-We get to live with the Lord forever!

Today was a good first day for us! I got to Ben this morning and got him cleaned up a bit. While I was helping him he got a doppler study on his legs for clots which was negative! After that was done he was off to get some x-rays before PT. During Ben's time getting films I got to chat a bit with his new doc. We went over a bit of the accident details and questions about current meds that Ben is on now and a few slight changes that he wants to do soon. He wants to give Ben a chance to get aclimated to the new place and people before he starts pulling out the big guns! No rest for the weary here...right after the x-rays Ben was off to PT! While there he did standing, balancing and they even had him up walking with his walker! Ben showed off or course! He did so well for his first day and being tired! Lunch came next and in the middle of it he was seen by ST. He watched Ben eat and tried a small swallow eval with him! Rest time!
At 2:30pm Ben was off to OT for 1.5 hours! He stood, stacked rings, walked, did mat work, streched, balanced and lots of questions! Whoooop deee dooo...what a work over he got! It was good for him! Another rest, dinner, shower and snuggles with me! Ben was out by around 8pm!

On to the 2 dollars a day...for TV at the hospital here! My jaw dropped when I heard it! She said that is cheap because some hospitals charge $7 a day and "welcome to NJ!" I said no at first but then chatted with Ben about it and he said he would like it. In his down times he like to relax and watch an old movie or the Discovery Channel! (i was told today though that he might get it free!) No other hospital we have been to or that I have worked at has ever charged!

Here is some hard news for me today...I am not going to be allowed to be in Ben's therapy sessions! My heart about sank because I love being with him, watching and encouraging him! They said this is for other patients privacy and so that Ben can get more independent in his therapy and care! I have to start weaning myself away this week and then next week stay away!! I can come in at the end of his sessions to get an update and they will also writed down what they have done in each session. Sneaking in to get photos and videos is a must though. I know this will be good for Ben but it will for sure be an adjustment for me!! My heart is already hurting and I don't like the idea at all! I will have to find things to fill in that time...been thinking of getting a really nice camera and taking a photography class...any other ideas out there??!!

{already snuck one photo}
Ben saying of the day...I asked Ben if he liked this new hospitals food over the others and he said, "yes!" I asked him why and he said, "because I am not there anymore!" Classic!

Monday, November 22, 2010

still in one piece...

We made it! After going to bed at 11pm last night and getting up at 3am this morning I am officially pooped out! It was a long day but a good day!
The flight crew came at 4am to pick us up! We got a flight nurse that was on our other two flights...it was so good to see her and she was amazed at Ben's progress! This time she got to have an actual conversation with him!

{the only good thing going on at 0530!}

We took off into the air about 0530 and it was smooth sailing for a bit. Ben fell back asleep and then was up for almost the last 3/4. About 15 min from landing we hit some turbulance and in that lil plane it got a tad shaky! I was feeling it in the tummy and before I put my head down I asked if Ben was ok. He said he was so I got comfy with my head down! Literally about 2 seconds later I heard a noise and looked back! Poor Ben lost his breakfast...all over his shirt, on his face, blanket, floor and worst of all out flight paramedic! It came out so quick and it didn't seem to stop! We got him cleaned up as much as we could and then my head was back down! I think the only thing that saved me is that I had only had some crackers...otherwise it would not have been good! I asked Ben later in the day how his tummy was doing and he said, "it is still rough!" Poor guy!
We made it safely to the hospital were I was wisked away to do some admissions paperwork. About 15 min later I went to Ben's room and he was already in Ben and sleeping! The rest of the day went smoothly. A few people came to see Ben and get some info on him!
Overall it was a good and smooth day! Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers! We felt them today and are greatful for them!
More updates to come...now for my king sized bed...

{Ben chillin...}

{good thing "computers" fly the planes and not pilots...he covered his window!}

Thursday, November 18, 2010

on a jet plane...

....bright and early Monday morning Ben and I will be picked up at 4 am!! oh my goodness, that means I have to be up and ready to go about 3-3:30! I have not seen this hour of the day in months...unless I am rolling in bed after another sleepless night! Starbucks is not even open that early! but, we finally get to go!! Ben has already declared that is he, "happy" and "soooooooo ready to go!"
this is another short blog update but i promise there will be more to come when there is more in my noggin that is thinking straight!
and with that i leave you with a few things that Ben has been working very hard on!

{standing tall!}

{ben pushing me again}

{things came up with during his time here and who he is}

{last treadmill trial=4 min...this time 10 min!!}

{20 minutes strong after a LONG walk!}

Blessings during this Thanksgiving season!! We have alot to be grateful for!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

still here...

“Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It's all about timing.”

Short update...Yes, you read right, we are still here! I have had many mixed emotions about this! It was to be the 9th, then yesterday the 16th, hopefully then tomorrow and now hopefully Thursday. So it seems that there have been some hiccups in some paperwork, then it negotiations for money and then it was signatures...and in the mean time we wait! We are still going but it is a matter of time!
I know that it is in God's perfect timing and we know He is in control but this going back and forth stuff stinks! I was having a really hard time with it all and was super frustated until I got into Ben's bed tonight and snuggled with him. When I settled down and got close to him I felt so peaceful! I realized that peace was from Jesus and just being able to be near my man was enough for me! I am now much better!
Please pray that the paperwork, signatures, money issues and whatever else that needs to be worked out be settled soon! Also pray for Ben! He knows we are leaving and he cannot wait! His mood has been good but the more we put it off the more I can see him not very happy! Of course he continues to work so super hard on his therapies every day!

Saying from Ben...on Sunday after we got back from the game we were in the parking lot all by ourselves. I said, "Ben no one else is here we should make out!" B -"OK!" I then gave him one single normal kiss. His response while looking me straight in the eye, "you call that making out?" I laughed so hard and said to many people would see us out here!! I laughed the rest of the night and no we never made out!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

grrrr's and amazingness...

"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments." Deuteronomy 7:9

{during the game}

{after the game...Ben military face}

On the last blog post I mentioned that we were going to go to the San Francisco 49ers game! Well we did and had a ton of fun! We got there and had to unload the boys in the middle of the parking isle because there were no handicapt spaces available to park in! We made due and then squeezed the van into the tiniest place I have ever parked! I got it in and out without a scratch...to any vehicle! Good job Katie, thank you for the cheers!
We had a great time together and with the other couple we went with! Ben followed closely and would tell me what yard line they were on! Before the game I asked who he was going to root for and he said, "the Rams." I then asked who was going to win and he said, "the 49ers!" During the game Ben said BOOOOO whenever the 49'ers did something good! That little stinker! Well, San Fran did win and even though Ben was rooting for the Rams we all went home happy because Ben said that San Fran would win!
This is where the GRRRRR's come in! I get easily annoyed/upset/grizzly (get my point) when Ben and I are out and about and he is in his wheelchair! People can either be nice or very inconsiderate! Well, today was a day of inconsiderate. Yes, there were a few people that were very kind to us but for the most part people were thinking on football, beer, and fan gear! I was thinking to myself if one more person stops right in front of me, if one more person looks at us and walks right out in front of us, if one more person...(you get the point)...I will just keep going and run right over them! You got heels...I will clip them with Ben's foot rests! Whoopsy, did I just slam in to you because you stopped right in front of me??
Oh man, I was not a happy camper! I tried to look back before and remember how I was and how I treated people. Being a nurse helped because I was around it. I am sure I was not always the best but tried to be considerate and be aware of people! I at one point even asked Ben, "if one more person cuts us off do I have permission to run them over?" He in a calm voice said, "yes!" Thank you babe! I am learning this myself! So, if you see someone around you remember this blog! Let them through, open a door, watch where you are going and watch your heels...because we might get you! :)

Now to the AMAZINGNESS...if it is a word! Yesterday (Sat), in PT Ben's PT tried something new! He said he was going to ditch the walker and have Ben try and push his own wheelchair! His PT told me, "have a seat!" Who me...in Ben's chair...ok! He got Be situated holding the handle and off we went! He walked from one end of the hall to the other, took a break and did a bit more outside! Can I just say that Ben ROCKED it and did awesome!!

{Ben on his own...his PT is off to the side!!}

After his walk and us praising him for his hard work Ben got to meet a new guy....Basil! Our friends here brought Basil for a visit and Ben loved him! We for sure will be getting ourselves a pup when we get home!!

And just a few other photos on what Ben worked on this week...

Ben's saying of the day...I told Ben tonight while we were snuggling that he could tell me that he loved me at any time even if I didn't say it first. I asked him, "if you wanted to tell me that you loved me how would you do it?" Ben said, "I would walk up to you, touch your lips and say I love you!!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

we be rollin...

We have a busy weekend planned and then hopefully out of here on Tuesday! We are waiting for the go ahead to get out of here! There is one paper that insurance has to sign before the new rehab facility will give us the go ahead to come!! If the paper is signed today (Friday) or Monday then we can still go...if not another day!! Please pray that it gets signed so we can get going!!!
Saturday another wife and I are going to hit up San Francisco one more time before Ben and I leave! It will just be a fun day strolling the city! Sunday we were given tickets to the San Francisco 49ers game!! We are going to take the boys and have fun! When I gave Ben the option of a movie or a football game Ben said in a very loud voice for all to hear, "FOOTBALL GAME!" Ok, football it is!!

We were able to attend a small Veterans Day ceremony yesterday and then have lunch! The photo below was taken during the Star Spangled Banner! Ben never forgets to salute his flag and be so proud to serve still as an active duty soldier!!

I came across this video clip last night and it was so good for me to hear again of how great our God is! Enjoy and be blessed!

Last night: Me - "Ben I think my body is falling apart and I am getting old!" Ben - "You are not getting old, just older!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

in honor of those who serve...


I'm just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all business in my suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success from my head down to my boots,
I don't do it for the money, there's bills that I can't pay,
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our futures, my responsibility,
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekend's been too strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with an honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an American Soldier, an American,
Beside my Brothers and my Sisters I will proudly take a stand.
When liberty's in jeopardy I'll always do what's right.
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight.
American Soldier,
I'm an American Soldier.
Yeah, an American Soldier,
An American.
Beside my Brothers and my Sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty's in jeopardy I'll always do what's right,
I'm out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.
American Soldier,
I'm an American,
American Soldier. TK

When the security of our land is threatened,
We call on our soldier's might,
To go wherever they're needed,
To defend us day and night.
They leave their loves ones behind,
A great price our soldiers must pay.
Let us salute their courage and bravery,
May we remember them each time we pray.
Each time we spot "Old Glory"
Waving for all to see,
Let's think of all the soldiers that have
Kept it flying proud and free.
This great country is tolerant
Of cultures from other lands,
But, when they attack our precious freedom
We will punish with a heavy hand.
Our soldiers are tried and true,
Tempered like carbon steel,
Born of American Spirit;
Raised with American will.
Remember our fallen heroes that died,
So freedom may grow,
To nations around the world,
Wherever our warriors may go.

It is the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate
It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag,
Who salutes the Flag,
Whose coffin is draped by the Flag,
Who allows the protestor to burn the Flag,
It is the soldier, not the politician,
Who has given his blood, his body, his life,
Who has given us these FREEDOMS! DE


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

strong and mighty...

"God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; He strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow."
Psalm 18:32-34

"The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." Exodus 15:2

Remember that lil song that goes...
My God is so great
So strong and so mighty
There's nothing
My God cannot do!!!

Well, can I just say that although Ben is not God, God has equipped Ben to be strong and mighty! So the tune that I sang today after Ben put in a good PT session was...

My Ben is so great,
So strong and so mighty,
There's nothing,
My man cannot do!!

First Ben started at the "stairs" today! He did this for a brief moment yesterday but was a bit tuckered out! Today he was at it again and did it great! It is only four steps but for his first time Ben grabbed ahold of the bars and hiked to the top! It reminded me of him climbing Mt. Ranier in WA that he has climbed multiple times! Although it is only four steps Ben did it and it is four steps closer to getting back up on his mountain! After the stairs Ben walked with his walker and about doubled his distance! While he walked he watched my fingers and said the number that I held up to help keep his head up! Following his walking he did a sit-down treadmill for over 10 min!! All this therapy session was longer then an hour!! Ben just kept going and going strong!!

{after his walk...i love standing by his side!!}


{sitting treadmill}

This past week Ben also tried something new! PT got him on a regular treadmill! This is progress! He is harnessed in to help support his upper body (how most people start) and keep him from falling! It totally reminded me of a baby deer who is learning how to walk! At first Ben's legs were all over the place but then he got control over his legs and started walking with it and getting his legs under control!

Ben continues to have pool therapy two times a week! This has really helped him in his balance, walking, abs and stretching! There are not a ton of new things that he is doing but he is mastering what he is doing! The photo below is Ben doing sit-ups in the pool! You should try it sometime! It is hard!!

This last photo is Ben balancing in the bars and while holding on with one hand using the other to bat the balloon when it comes at him! This challanges his balancing and coordination!

One more video! This was last Thursday! Ben had some substitute PT's and they asked Ben if he wanted to walk inside or out...of course he chose outside! He did amazing!! Ben walked a very long distance and at the end he had broken a sweat!! Here is a lil clip...

Ben's quote of the day....watching the Oprah show with Ben...when Mr. Bush Sr. called his wife precious I said, "Oh that is sweet!" Later when it went to commercial Ben nudged me and said, "you are my precious!" Melt my heart...can't get any better then that!


Monday, November 8, 2010

a heart of thanksgiving...

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." 1 Chron 16:8

Although November marks the Thanksgiving holiday the Lord started dealing with me on this subject last month. When I was home I got to go to my old church and I loved it so much! PJ spoke on the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19) that Jesus had healed and only one came back to say thank you! I got to thinking about this passage a lot and went back later on and reread it. First of all these men didn’t ask for Jesus to heal them. They wanted His mercy. I think their ultimate goal was healing because they knew that He was capable of that but to have His mercy on their situation would also be a blessing! I ask for the Lord’s healing for Ben all the time! What I don’t ask for that often is the mercy of the Lord! I want the healing here and now! Even though I have not asked for the mercy (compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another) of the Lord He gives it to us every single day! Jesus gives it to us through his provision, blessings, grace, courage, healing and so many other things!
Later in the passage all the men were healed but only one came back to thank Jesus for what he had done! He was so grateful that he took the journey back to Jesus to thank Him! I again have to look at my own life and wonder if I am the man who came back to Jesus or am I the one that received the healing (Ben’s healing) and just went on with my life and never truly went back to Jesus to say thank you! Ben’s healing has not come all at the same time but it has come in portions! I have been really convicted to look inside my heart and see how thankful I really am! I want to be the one that every time the Lord does something in our lives, whether it be big or small, to return to Him and be thankful with my whole heart! It doesn’t take any longer or any more time in my day to say, “Thank you Jesus for what you have done and what you are doing!”
This last Sunday Ben and I watched a sermon online also from our church back home. The last time Ben and I did this Ben could only stay awake for about 15 min! This time he watched the whole thing and loved it! PT spoke this week and it was on being thankful. PT asked the question, “When we approach God, what do we say?” Well, let me just say that when I come to the Lord many times it is asking Him for something. Lord I need this, Lord do this, Lord give me this, Lord heal Ben 100%! I cannot remember the last time that I just came before the Lord and before asking for something just thanking Him! Again, so easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time! I think I am so concentrated on the “want” that I forgo the “thanks!” Again convicted straight at the heart!
3 points PT made that I want to apply to my life:
-give thanks obediently!
-give thanks repeatedly!
-expand our thanksgiving!
I have a lot to be grateful for outside of the situation that Ben and I are in! I don’t have enough room to write about it all! All I know is that I have never been this convicted in being thankful in my life time! I want to come before the Lord, as a humble servant, and thank Him before I ask for things. I desire to thank Him at all times and throughout my day! When He blesses us, heals Ben more and does good things for us I desire to come back and thank Him and not be apart of the 9 that just walks away and carries on with their lives!

Ben and I once again got to go to a Stanford football game this past Saturday! Stanford kicked some booty and we had fun! The last game we went to was an afternoon game and really warm, this one was an evening game and it was a bit more chilly! Ben had a new sweatshirt on that was a gift to him so he was nice and warm! Thank you Joe! Ben of course loved it and at the end of 3rd quarter and Stanford was way ahead we headed out to beat the traffic! I told Ben we needed to go (we were with a group) and he said NO!! Poor guy didn’t want to leave! We were gone for 5 hours and Ben did great!!

{on our way!}

(view from our seats}

{ben sayin whoohoo after stanford scored!}

Our date to go to NJ is November 16th!! This is the last date that I was given but it is possible that it can still change! Please pray that it doesn’t change again so that it will not put a damper on Ben’s mood! He wants out of here NOW!! I will keep you posted! Tomorrow I will be shipping boxes to NJ and home and finishing up some things to need to get done around here!
More photos and updates on Ben to come in the next few days...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

steak dinner...

Tonight we went out to dinner with another couple and our recreational therapists! We went to the Palo Alto Creamery! I made many suggestions to Ben about menu items and when he heard "New York Steak" he said in a loud voice, "steak!!" He knew what he wanted and how he wanted it cooked! This is Ben's first steak dinner in over 14 months! This has always been his favorite meal and has always told me that he picks out better ones than I do...I have to agree!

I know this is short but I am exausted beyond words! Please pray for rest and calmness for me!! I almost put the lotion that was on my finger tip in my eye yesterday thinking I was putting in my contact....if that doesn't explain my tiredness I don't know what does! Things have been a whirlwind around here and the emotions are running rampid!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the road again…

"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Is. 43:2

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut 31:6

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deut. 31:8
...For those of you who just joined in, those who came in the middle of those who have been following since the beginning but don’t know all that took place…..When we started this journey we were in the good ole state of Alabama…Ben was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA for almost 2 years. This blog was started the day of our accident by friends and family to get the word out. I don’t think that the details were ever told. I want to share a bit of what happened (obviously way more details that happened but that would take weeks to list) that night and then fill you in on our next step!
August 27, 2009 Ben called me on his way home from work and said let’s go out for a simple dinner. I accepted because the night before I had just flown in from WA where I had been in a wedding. We headed out a bit after 5pm and we had decided on Panera Bread…one of our favorite places! We were in my Honda Civic and headed out of our development. I remember pulling out of our development and that is the last thing I remembered! Literally 200 yards from there the accident happened. According to reports a Ford truck t-boned us and sent us flying into 2 more lanes of traffic that we crossed and crashed into a fence and hit a parked box truck head on! The first person on the scene happened to be a nurse! She later told me that Ben was breathing on his own, had a good heart rate but was unconscious. I on the other hand was rattling off phone numbers and not letting go of my cd’s…but totally unaware as to what was going on or what I was saying! I was convinced I guess that I would never see my cd’s again so they told me to hold tight! We were both rushed to the hospital (we love you all at Columbus Regional!) and put on high, critical care alert. As far as for the guy who hit us all I know is that he was sent to the ER and discharged that night. I “woke up” about 5-6 hours later in the hospital. I didn’t have my phone so I had no contact numbers. I was able to get a phone book and find a land line number to our good friends. Meanwhile mine and Ben’s family were being tracked down because I had given out numbers earlier. ..and tracking everyone down was from the Lord!!
I was in and out for a few days. My injuries included a broken arm and two areas of my colon were torn. Both required surgery and both were done within a few days of each other. I now have to lovely scars to remind me of how the Lord spared our lives! Ben’s injuries were a small sacral fracture and a traumatic brain injury. They don’t know if Ben even hit his head because there was barely any scrapes or abrasions to his body. I still to this day have not seen our car (I have heard it is horrid and I want to see it with Ben) and do not remember anything about the accident and the few days following. So, in a report it may sound like I had to brunt of the injuries but just because Ben didn’t require any surgeries (I have not met one brain injury patient yet that has not had surgery…thank you Lord!) his injuries to his brain were massive!
About 2 weeks after the accident Ben was transferred to Shepherds Center in Atlanta, GA. We stayed there for about 4.5 months and then transferred to WA to be closer to family. Ben and I were there for about 3 months before we then made yet another move to Palo Alto VA in CA. We have been here since the end of March….
Ben has made AMAZING progress during our stay here and for that I am grateful! One thing with TBI’s (traumatic brain injury) is that they have times of great improvement and times of plateaus. Although Ben has been making improvements the last few months he has been “plateauing.” I know it sounds weird and almost like an oxymoron but it is true. His mood has been affected and that is a hard one! It was suggested to us by Ben’s docs here that Ben would benefit from a change of scenery whether that be home or another rehab facility. Well, after much research, prayer and wisdom from those we love it I have decided (and Ben agrees) that we are going to go to another facility! Watch out you East Coasters because here we come…again! We will be going to Kessler Rehab in West Orange, NJ! This place is a top notch rehab facility that rates HIGH on the nation’s top places to go!! Insurance has been approved, Ben’s bosses have approved and so has Ben…so here we go!
Yes, it is the East Coast that takes us further from the families but I really believe in my heart that Ben needs more impatient therapies. There are not a lot of places on the West Coast that offer what he needs so we’re going to them! This facility has a few extra things to offer that I have not found at any other place. I want to take advantage of the fact that this place is available to us and go!
I have begun sorting, tossing, giving away and packing all of what either needs to be shipped home or shipped to NJ.
Please pray for us as we make this transition! It is a time of new beginnings but also scary, overwhelming, heat heavy, crazy times! Also pray that the things that they have to offer will be just what Ben needs for his healing and recovery!! Lord, I so want my man back whole and 100%!!
As of now we are hoping to leave next week! There are still a few things that need to take place between the new facility and our insurance. Please pray this happens quickly!!!
I will for sure be keeping you all up to date as to what is going on! I will try and keep up with the blog during this transition but might miss more days than usual…but then again I may surprise you all with extras!
Although our time here remains short Ben’s team of therapists, nurses and docs are all still pushing him hard!! Ben is a man of God, man of honor, integrity, strength and such a HARD WORKER! He continues to never surrender and do everything to the best of his ability!! He will get better, we will fight this and with God on our side we will win!

Monday, November 1, 2010

still working hard...

"It isn't necessary to trust God when we have full understanding and knowledge of what He is doing on our behalf... Trust is needed in those times when, for whatever reason, we are not hearing from God as clearly as we would like." JM (thanks Lindsey)

This past week Ben and I had alot going on! It was a busy week of therapies and a visit from Ben's parents! In the business of the week Ben continued to work so hard!
I know I have said it over and over but Ben is so strong, works so super hard and he AMAZES me everyday!
Some things that Ben continued to work hard on was his swimming, biking, standing, walking, balancing, building more words and so many other things!

Here are a few photos...

{this is what happens after a full days work!}

I asked Ben a few days what I could pray for him for. I asked for a few and these are what he gave me in his words:
1. Get out of here (hospital)...were working on this one...news to come!
2. Pain I am causing you (Katie)...Ben thought it was all his fault (we talked about this one!)
3. Healing!
4. God to hurry up!

Please join with me in praying for these specific requests Ben gave to me! We prayed after he gave them to me and he prayed out loud as well! So proud of him!

"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing!
You have taken my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to You and not be silent!
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!" Ps. 30:11,12