Monday, August 27, 2012

another year...


"Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." Psalm 36:5
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1
Just two months shy of our 5th wedding anniversary we are living a life that we never expected to live. If it were up to Ben and I we would be living in North Carolina and Ben working with an elite military group, we would own a house, probably have a baby, I would be working part time in my dream job, in the PICU or NICU, traveling when Ben was home, doing fun things together, exploring and so many other things. This is what people so close to their 5th wedding anniversary should be and loving!
If someone had told me that we were going to be doing almost the exact opposite and also throw a brain injury into the mix I don't know if we would have believed them and we would probably never drive again!
Three years ago we almost lost our lives. We should have but God had other plans. I still wonder why and I still wonder why it wasn't me that was more seriously injured and not Ben. He did nothing to deserve this, neither did I but he is the elite soldier whom everyone respects and wanted to be. But then again when I tell him I wish I could switch places with him he reminds me that, "you would never be strong enough to do what I have to do."
Would we do it again? Um no! I don't think if you asked anyone if they would re-live a traumatic event, lost a loved one, has gone through a major illness, lost a baby and so on if they would do it again would you get a yes answer. But, we don't have a say in the happened and we then have to decide what we are going to do with it.
So, this third "alive" anniversary...we are alive and we are greatful! We have the Lord and each other. I would have thought, and have prayed alot about this, that we would be further then where we are in Ben's recovery but that is not always for me to know. At times it is disappointing because Ben and I long for it so much! We would give up alot to have it. Ben only has potential to get better, something God gave to him and we are blessed for that!
Ben refuses to give up and that is another thing that keeps me going. You would think it was the other day but he continues to be the man of the house in that way...he doesn't want to fail his wife and will keep going until he knows he has done all he can. The LORD has given him that courage and determination! I of course draw my strength from the Lord but I draw some of it from Ben as well. He really inspires me to get out of bed every morning...even if it is way to early!
I was getting  ready the other day and was overwhelmed by all the blessings God has given to us. Everything from finances, smooth transitions, situations solved, certain people in our life and so on. I realized that we have ALOT! I was asking God why He had blessed us so much in life? Yes, it is not the 100% healing in this moment but He has chosen to bless us in other ways. Why us? Why me when I have not always been the most faithful to HIM and have not always been the one thanking and praising...and sometimes just asking! He softly said to my heart that it's not always about being faithful but it is the fact that He loves us and He takes care of His children. He said, no I have not healed Ben 100%, the time has not yet come for that yet, but I can bless you in other ways. I can be near you and show you that I am here, I care and I see your heart and what you are going through.
This blessed me in a huge way. We are so undeserving but yet God still thinks we deserve!
So, the above saying in the photo...AWAKE, ALIVE, BLESSED...that is Ben and I. We woke up this morning, 3 years after a day when we could have been gone, we are very much alive and kicking, and we are truly blessed by the Lord.
Life still stinks at times and is incredibly hard but to have those three words before me brings it back to what God has done. Yes, there are days when Ben and I want to give up, were done, finished...but we have to go back to what God has done. Hard yes!! Worth remembering, yes!
We look forward to what God has for us in this new year. We pray for more healing, we pray for more blessings, we pray for more love for our God, we pray for more love for each other, we pray many people will come to know Jesus and we pray that this will just be an amazing year!
Thank you for continuing to stick with us and pray for us. That is apart of the many blessings in our lives! Prayer is powerful and it helps! We are honored to have you in our lives and are grateful for each and every one of y'all!!

"Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." JK Rowling

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

hiking and randoms...

This above saying is so true yet so hard to do! We will never know what God has for us if we just stay on the comfort of the shore. On the shore you have everything you need but if you step out into the water it may be all stripped away! But, if we don't step off the shore we may miss what God has for us across the ocean! There may be more blessings, more healing, more of Him, more relationships, more peace, more love...alot more! Just what I have been pondering a bit about...
Ok so I left y'all hanging as to Ben going on a hike. He has actually gone on a few hikes since then. This one is one that I went on with him and his OT so I snatched a few photos and video!
Ben had gone on one before this but it was a shorter one. They had time to practice before I came along! What happens is that Ben pretty much does the walking and his OT follows right close behind him and helps him with his balance. He is also there to help guide Ben in his footing and for rest breaks!
Here are a few photos...
 {working on standing on his own!}
{his OT was tying his shoes and ben took off the rail}
{gettin ready} 
 {and they're off}
{beauty of the trail} 
{love us some PNW!}
{end of the hike!}
For some reason my phone wont send the videos so we will have to skip that! Sorry folks!
Ben's new thing after the last 2 hikes he has been on is to ask the OT to drive him to a local donut place here called Heavenly Donuts! His purchase, apple fritters! He loves those things and we don't have them often so I found it hilarious of him to ask his OT to look up directions and take him there!
The randoms...
 {amazing creamy avocado bean wraps that ben said i could make again}
 {we went camping with my fam}
 {God made some amazing scenery, including my man}
{washing dishes was on his ST task list for him...did amazing!} 
side note on the dish washing. Ben's ST has given him a few tasks around the house because he said that he wanted to help me out and assist to "lift my burden!" Sweet man, yes he's mine! Anyways, one of them was to wash dishes and put them in the dishwasher. He did this at the beginning of the year and I had to stand behind him and also have his chair there in case he got tired and needed to sit. This time I saved him all the plastics to put in. He did them all and stood the whole time we me just standing by! What a miracle this is! I will always have a dishwasher in the house! Best of all is that he felt very good about his job and that he was able to help me out!
{after a hard days work!}
{marion berries that i turned into paleo bars}
 {love when the neighbors put out free veggies!}
 {don't they both look guilty?}
{we cleaned the garage a bit ago}
 {it was not crazy pants day, i was just crazy that day and put them on backwards}
I am working on a list of all the things that are going on now and that are coming up for us! My mind is in a thousand different directions and I'm being pulled in every single one of those directions. It is good though because for the most part it is all going smoothly. Once I get that list together I will share it!
One prayer for right now is sleep for both Ben and I. Ben was sleeping through the night, and so was I, for a long period of time. That is gone now! I can go through the day with no naps even if I'm exausted but to lose my sleep at night is not good. It's not good for either of us! Ben gets super restless and sits up alot in bed. I have to be careful so he doesn't get too restless and fall out of bed. That scares me because he has been close! When he sits up, everytime it wakes me up! So, please pray for rest and sleep! We need it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

boating, biking and hiking...

Well, being as I am going to be up until midnight watching the Olympics, like I have from the day they started, I figured why not put my time to good use! Not that I waste the nights away by just sitting here but I have alot of calls to make and I will only get voice mails and wouldn't get anywhere!

A few weeks ago we launched our boat! It wasn't the nicest evening but the next few days were to be somewhat decent so we thought it would be a good time to do it. We launched it on a Friday late afternoon and that evening Ben wanted to take it for a drive. After a lil work we got him in, we don't have a dock yet at my parents so it's an interesting process, but then we took off. I got it out past the bouys (sp) and then let Ben take it from there! I was interested to see how he would do compared to last year. Last year we had to help him steer and use the throttle! This year we did nothing except for a few words of direction...and he amazing! Be loved the fact that we were not telling him what to do and that he was in control!

[the beast!]

[waiting his turn to drive]

 [there he goes]

 [loving every minute!]

The following day we hit the lake again with wakeboarding and tubing in our plans! My lil brother was up visiting from AZ so it was him, his girlfriend, my other lil bro, Ben and I! It was a lil chilly but it eventually warmed up!
Ben really wanted to inner tube! Last year he went for the first time since the accident and he did well but this year he again did alot better! Last time he had a hard time holding his head up and didn't last long on the tube due to his upper body strength. This year he went around the lake quite a few times and also held his head up the whole time! During the ride Ben kept giving me the thumbs up to go faster but me being the responsible one kept it at a safe pace! He got back into the boat and was grinning but of course had to mention that "you didn't go fast enough!"

We have been out a few more times with other family members and friends. We met some new friends and took them out too. Down side for them is that they recently moved here from Hawaii and it didn't warm up to much! Can we say goose bumps! I met up with her a few days later for coffee and cupcakes, that made up for the cold boat ride!!

Another awesome adventure Ben is starting in again is biking! There is a great organization up in Seattle who offers adaptive equiptment for those who need it. Before the accident Ben was an avid road biker. He biked to work in the 25 miles one way, or whenever the weather was nice. He got me into it in GA and it was something fun for both of us together. For some time now he has been talking about gettin back on a bike again. We went to this facility a few weeks ago and trialed a bike! Ben couldn't wait to get on it! He did and he shot away from us! We had to slow him down a bit by putting him in a grass field so he could get the idea of how this new bike worked! Once he got the hang of it Ben went back on the concrete and did much better!

That Saturday Ben's OT came down and all three of us went on our first ride! I had to borrow a bike, which reminds me I need to get my road bike tuned up! We went for about an hour and a half. This ride was not about speed but about Ben controlling his speed, listening to directions and controling the bike. It took him a little bit but he did do really well. We took a bathroom break along the way and a few stops just to make sure he was doing ok. The next Tuesday Ben and his OT went out on their own and went for 2 hours and covered 12 miles!! My man rode on a bike for 12 stinkin miles! Praise Jesus!!

[getting instruction]

[getting ready]


 [beginning saturdays ride]

[back to riding together]

[our scenery]

Next step is to get in contact with the VA regarding getting Ben a bike of his own. It was good to trial it to see how it went and how Ben did and next will be tackling it. Praying that it doesn't take long and that we can get Ben moving on a bike it lifts his spirits!
Ok, now on to another adventure we went on. Ben and his OT had gone on a hike without his walker and wheelchair a few days before we went...ya know to practice so I wouldn't pass them up on the trails!

Biking and a few more pics coming computer over heated and crashed a few times while trying to get this up so I will try and finish tomorrow so it doesn't happen again...also attempting to put up a longer biking video!

To be continued...