Monday, January 28, 2008

Hannah's 8 Months Old!

My, my, my....I cannot believe 8 months have already flown by! Saturday, Hannah Mai celebrated her 8 month old birthday with a trip to the creation museum. Here you see her enjoying a dinosaur ride at the end of the exhibits.

So much has happened in 8 months. This blog will include some recaps and some updates.

For about four months now, Hannah has been undergoing weekly physical therapy on her neck because of her torticollis. She has responded beautifully and is doing so much better.

Regarding her food allergies, she has a specialist appointment on February 12th to determine exactly what all we're facing. Please pray for grace during that appointment. It will be about a 2 1/2 - 3 hour ordeal in which Hannah Mai will be stuck with many small needles with potential allergens. I am going to need a LOT of grace that day and I'm sure she will too.

Hannah has come so far from a "helpless" newborn. Though she is not yet crawling, she can push her stomach off of the ground and look like she's going to crawl. She does do this interesting "back" crawl. She arches her back and pushes her feet against the ground, pushing herself backwards to her desired destination. She's sitting like a champ now, though I think she is going to be very accident prone, like her mommy. She finds the most interesting ways of hurting herself (which I do on a daily basis). She's grown to love bath time and playing in the sink.

She's becoming a big talker (babbling of course) and loves to laugh. She enjoys playing games with Daddy and is very ticklish.

With age she's also learned how to throw a tantrum when she doesn't get something she wants - or - if it doesn't come fast enough. She's very much a Mommy's girl, though I'm sure she'll fall more for Daddy with time. Afterall, she has to be at home with Mommy all day long.

We were blessed this week to qualify for some financial aid to cover the cost of her formula. Praise God! Her special "allergenic" formula costs around $300-400 per month.

Overall, much has changed in the life of Hannah Mai as well as the lives of us: her parents. What a blessing it's been to have a daughter to call our own.

Take care!

Terra

Happenings in My Life

Over the last few weeks, many things have been happening. This post won't be all that theological, more of a personal update than anything. Just to give you a heads up.

In December I found out I had a golf ball sized cyst on my right ovary. It was revealed to be benign and likely no surgery necessary. You can read my previous posts for more on that. Unfortunately, for about four days now, I've had frequent and sometimes very painful stomach cramps. I've been nauseous and dizzy. It has not been fun. Please continue to pray for me there. As far as I know, my only option to cease the pain (assuming it continues) is to be on birth control - but we want to have more kids! Pray for me for wisdom.

For better news, yesterday was the kickoff of my new jewelry business! It went very well and I thank everyone who came and supported me in my new venture. May God continue to lead me there. I enjoyed spending time with the ladies and playing with jewelry in the meantime. :)

Hannah Mai turned eight months old this past Saturday. It's amazing how time flys. I will be posting an update about her on our family site. Keep your eye out there for that.

Church life has been getting busier. James and I have fallen in love with Sojourn Community Church. I'm helping in the nursery once a month with the Titus 2 Ministry. James and I have a community group at our house each Tuesday night. We've also gotten involved with the counseling ministry. It has been a true blessing.

With all the busyness, James and I have to be careful not to neglect our time with one another. We now have our Tuesday morning breakfasts and Sunday afternoon dates. James is working three different jobs right now (Meijer, Starbucks, Marketplace Chaplains) and I've just begun the jewelry business. Praise God for keeping us looking to the needs and desires of one another.

I think that's all of the updates I have for now. ;) I hope this has caught you up on some things!

In Christ,
Terra

Friday, January 25, 2008

One Great Sacrifice

Mother Delays Cancer Treatments So Baby Can Live

Expectant mother Lorraine Allard learned the devastating news that she was in the advanced stages of liver cancer when she was four months pregnant, according to the Daily Mail. She chose to delay treatment to save the baby. She died two months after her precious son was born.

I can't imagine being in this situation. What an amazing testimony this mother gave to women around the world. May God be with her family.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Praying for Celebrities?

This morning I was informed of some sad news. The actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment, potentially from suicide. It’s not that I know Heath personally or am even some extreme fan of his, it’s the incident itself that strikes me as plain sad.

Day after day the gossip columns of magazines, blogs, television and so forth are filled the latest drama going on in the lives of celebrities. People (especially women) thrive on knowing the latest. “What has Britney Spears done with her children now? Did you know Lindsey Lohan was arrested again? What’s the scoop with Brad Pitt and Angelina?” For a while now, I’ve simply tried to ignore it all. But what good am I doing there? When was the last time I prayed for any of these celebrities? Seriously. Even by name. These celebrities are people. Individual sinners like you and I. Just like the rest of us, they have one overarching need in their lives and that’s Jesus Christ.

Maybe instead of keeping up with the latest celebrity drama and gossiping about it with our girlfriends, we can stop and pray. Pray for their salvation. Pray that they may be shown how “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” - Eph 1:18-23 (ESV)

May God be with the family and friends of Heath Ledger during this difficult time.

In Christ,
Terra Santos

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Starting a Business!

Okay...so it's been a while since I've updated but I have a REALLY good excuse! I'm starting my own jewelry business! As many of you know, I have a great desire to be a stay at home mom to our daughter Hannah Mai. With our current situation, I have been contemplating getting back into the workforce. My ideal job would be enjoyable and flexible – allowing me to be at home to serve my family as often as possible. Dream on, right? Well, this month I heard about a business that I believe fits the bill for me. I am going to have my own business with a dynamic company founded on Christian principles that offers beautiful, high-quality, affordable fashion jewelry.

The official launch of my business is Sunday, January 27th at 1:00 pm! Please come by to see the jewelry and learn more. More importantly, come for the FUN, fellowship and FOOD (a potluck lunch)! There will be no sales pressure. As a matter of fact, even if you have no intention of buying anything – I still would love for you to come. I just want you to see what I am so excited about and you take it from there!

I first and foremost covet your prayers as I seek to develop this company in a way that honors the Lord. The company values people as their most important asset – I will strive to do the same.

There are many more ways you can support me and I'd love to talk with you about them in person or by phone. Because of it's desire to be personal and people-oriented, the company has an online policy that restricts me from sharing details on my blog. But please don't let that stop you from calling me!

If you are unable to attend because you live far away or are just busy that day, I would love to show you a catalog. Just give me a call or shoot me an email. Thank you in advance for your support. Please call to RSVP and I am looking forward to seeing you on the 27th!

Take Care,
Terra

----

This post was originally posted on our Family Blog.

Starting a Business!

Okay...so it's been a while since I've updated but I have a REALLY good excuse! I'm starting my own jewelry business! As many of you know, I have a great desire to be a stay at home mom to our daughter Hannah Mai. With our current situation, I have been contemplating getting back into the workforce. My ideal job would be enjoyable and flexible – allowing me to be at home to serve my family as often as possible. Dream on, right? Well, this month I heard about a business that I believe fits the bill for me. I am going to have my own business with a dynamic company founded on Christian principles that offers beautiful, high-quality, affordable fashion jewelry.

The official launch of my business is Sunday, January 27th at 1:00 pm! Please come by to see the jewelry and learn more. More importantly, come for the FUN, fellowship and FOOD (a potluck lunch)! There will be no sales pressure. As a matter of fact, even if you have no intention of buying anything – I still would love for you to come. I just want you to see what I am so excited about and you take it from there!

I first and foremost covet your prayers as I seek to develop this company in a way that honors the Lord. The company values people as their most important asset – I will strive to do the same.

There are many more ways you can support me and I'd love to talk with you about them in person or by phone. Because of it's desire to be personal and people-oriented, the company has an online policy that restricts me from sharing details on my blog. But please don't let that stop you from calling me!

If you are unable to attend because you live far away or are just busy that day, I would love to show you a catalog. Just give me a call or shoot me an email. Thank you in advance for your support. Please call to RSVP and I am looking forward to seeing you on the 27th!

Take Care,
Terra

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love Does Not...

If you are a mother, you'll more than likely be able to relate to this blog very well. Things around here have been a wee bit busy and stressful for the last few days. From what I've read, babies understand when their parents (especially their mothers) are stressed and react accordingly. For whatever reason, Hannah's been very needy for the last 3 or 4 days. It's the same thing she went through during the holidays. She wants no one but me and she wants me right then or else: blood curdling screams. And she is not even happy with me in the room if I am not holding her. Needless to say, my patience is thinning.

Hannah helped make yesterday one of those days where I just wanted to cry. She was continuing to do all of the above, all day long. About mid-morning, after failing to get her to lie down for her nap, I decided I was going to the store regardless. I had to pick up a few things if we wanted to have dinner. I thought, "Maybe she'll fall asleep in the car on the way there." False hope. "Maybe she'll fall asleep while being pushed in the shopping cart." Who was I kidding? I ended up carrying her around and pushing the stroller at the same time, off and on the entire trip. Occasionally she'd let me carry her in the sling - more often she had a fit even attached to my hip (literally, ha). She was so tired and therefore miserable. I was letting her attitude make me completely miserable (and then tired!). Half of the shoppers at the store were probably miserable having to listen to her whine/cry/scream on occasion.

Though I found myself praying the entire time, I was fighting to know what to pray for. "God give me patience?" Yeah...but anything else? I kept pondering this teaching moment as I struggled to keep from crying myself. Then a Scripture came to mind:

"...[Love] does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful." - 1 Cor 13:5 (ESV)

Neither Hannah nor I were loving one another well! The difference is that Hannah is not old enough to comprehend or understand this biblical principle. I am. I was insisting on my own way (by going shopping when she was having issues). I was being irritable (like nothing else)and I was definitely resentful (that she was not acting "normal"). When she failed to take longer than a twenty minute nap after all that drama, I was even more resentful.

God continues to mold me and remind me of my shortcomings. It is only by His grace that I can grow each day and learn from each of these moments. Praise God for patience and a new day!

In Christ,
Terra

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Ovarian Cyst

If you're interested in the latest update on my cyst, please read the latest blog posted on our family site:

http://jamesandterra.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-ovarian-cyst.html

Take care!
Terra

My Ovarian Cyst

As you know, I went to the doctor yesterday regarding an ovarian cyst that was found at my yearly check-up. Sure enough, the cyst was still there and approximately 4cm (or 1.6 in) in diameter. It is more specifically called a "Hemorrhagic" cyst and fortunately mine is benign (non-cancerous). This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Hemorrhagic cyst:


"[The] Hemorrhagic cyst, which is also called a blood cyst, hematocele, and hematocyst. It occurs when a very small blood vessel in the wall of the cyst breaks, and the blood enters the cyst. Abdominal pain on one side of the body, often the right side, may be present. The bleeding may occur quickly, and rapidly stretch the covering of the ovary, causing pain. As the blood collects within the ovary, clots form which can be seen on a sonogram. Occasionally hemorrhagic cysts can rupture, with blood entering the abdominal cavity.

"If a cyst ruptures, it is usually very painful. Hemorrhagic cysts that rupture are less common. Most hemorrhagic cysts are self-limiting; some need surgical intervention. Even if a hemorrhagic cyst ruptures, in many cases it resolves without surgery. Patients who don't require surgery will experience pain for 4 - 10 days after, and may require several days rest. Studies have found that women on tetracycline antibiotics recover 25% earlier than the majority of patients, a surprising correlation found in 2004. Sometimes surgery is necessary, such as a laparoscopy ("belly-button surgery" that uses small tools inserted through one or more tiny slits in the abdomen)."1


My cyst has begun to rupture with some bleeding. However, as bad as that sounds, that’s actually a good thing. By rupturing, it will likely take care of itself with no surgery necessary.
So there is good news and bad news. The good news: the cyst is benign and has already begun to rupture.

The bad news: this may become a problem for me in the future. My family history suggests that this cyst is only going to be one among many. They may cause scarring and could possibly make it more difficult/impossible for me to have more kids. The doc said they would typically put someone like myself on birth control to lessen the chance of the cysts. However, that clearly means I wouldn’t be having children. James and I have talked about having 5-6 kids so that’s not currently an option for us. My doc said that it is okay for me to forgo the birth control now, unless the cysts become a great problem. If they do, I will not have an option unless I want to be in regular pain. In addition to these things, I was told I may be developing a slight case of Endometriosis.

As you can imagine, I could let all this crush me OR I could let it point me to Christ. God is in complete control of my womb. Should He want me to have more kids naturally, He will. Should He not, He won’t. Pray that I will trust Him with all I have. My body is not my own, it is His. After all, I already have a blessing that many are not able to have at all: a daughter. Praise God for His grace. What a great God we serve!

In Christ,
Terra Santos

Footnote:
1 - This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ovarian Cyst.”

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Four Sheets in the Wind

Picture this:
A young woman in her mid-twenties decided to make a few projects for wedding gifts. She had two stops to make: one, to the super center to by a specific type of ribbon and the other, an office supply store to get four pieces of paper laminated.

After arriving at the super center, she goes up and down every aisle she can think of in search of the ribbon. Thinking maybe she’s just missed it, she retraces her steps in at least three of the aisles – more than once. “They have to have it,” she thinks to herself. Her baby starts to get tired and fussy and she tries to calm her, all the while looking for the needed ribbon.

Eventually, she gives up and decides she’ll have to go elsewhere. But then she remembers she needs to pick up a prescription which was called into the super store last night. She was then instructed by the pharmacy employee that it will take another 10-15 minutes since she was not yet entered in their computer system. “Great,” she thought. “Now what will I do for the next 10-15 minutes?” Since she is stuck in the store for at least a bit longer, she decides to check one more place for the ribbon – the gift wrap section. Then the lights of heaven shown down on her and there it was, in all the colors of the rainbow! “Jackpot!” She picks up her prescription, pays for her ribbon and heads to the nearest office supply store.

By this point in time, the weather had started to become gloomy. Forecasters were calling for severe thunderstorms but not for at least a few more hours. The woman pulled into the parking lot, her baby now peacefully asleep in her car seat. She got the stroller out of the trunk and put everything she needed in the carrier on it’s bottom. Lastly she got the baby seat and attached it to the stroller.

Pushing her way against the very strong winds, she brushed hair out of her face. “I’m almost done” she told herself. “Wow, this wind is blowing so hard today.” As she forces the stroller up to the sidewalk, the four pieces of paper are jostled by the wind and fly out of the stroller at rocket speed. By the time she turned around, they were on the other side of the mall sized parking lot. “You’ve GOT to be kidding me,” she pouted.

Taking a deep breath, she pushed the stroller back to her car, realizing it’s parking break was still on. “So, THAT’S why that silly thing was so hard to push. It was not just the wind!” She unloaded everything she’d just loaded, back into the car and headed home.

The End.

Well, actually, that’s not the end of the story but it is the end of this recollection. As you’ve probably realized by now, the woman was me. This true story took place two days ago. As I was leaving the office supply center I was dumbfounded. By God’s grace, I wasn’t mad – though part of me was telling myself I should be. I was simply dumbfounded. Why in the world was this day so complicated? All I wanted to do was make two God-glorifying wedding gifts. Was Satan trying to keep God’s Word from being proclaimed? I thought of that. But no…I don’t think that’s it. Was God protecting me from an accident that may have happened on my way home if I’d left later? Maybe, but that’s complete speculation. Maybe God was teaching me patience? That seems to be God’s constant lesson for me. Hmmmm....

The next day I decided to try the lamination process all over again. When I was reviewing the printouts, something awkward caught my eye. There was a glaring typo on the page. Not just something like a missed period or capital letter where it shouldn’t be. No, I had typed MY husband’s name instead of the GROOM’s name! Had I laminated the sheets the day before as I tried, I would have paid $1.50 per sheet for a gift with the wrong name on it! Praise God it didn’t happen! Ha!

Though my printer had said it was out of ink just the night before, it printed all of the pages I needed. The process was short and sweet this time and the project is now in the middle of being created.

At the time, I had no idea why I was dealing with such an obnoxious issue over something seemingly so small. Now I know. Hindsight is everything! I hope you got a good laugh out of this if nothing else. ;)

In Christ,
Terra

Dr.'s Appt and New Pics

I just wanted to remind you all that I have my ultrasound on the ovarian cyst today at 3. Please pray the Lord's will be done and I trust in Him regardless of any issues. I'll update you all later though I may not have the chance until tomorrow, we'll see.

Also, I've uploaded several new pictures. If you'd like to see them, here they are!
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=24563&l=427dc&id=607147099. Enjoy!

And I've posted a pretty humorous story on my Titus 2 blog if you're interested as well. ;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

In Sickness and In Health

For over two weeks now, I’ve been battling with the illness that just won’t go away. Every time I start to feel better, the symptoms return and strike again. Today I will finally begin a round of antibiotics and pray that they will be used by God to rid me of this pestering illness.

With the frequent onset of a runny / stuffy nose, little sleep, and some coughing / sore throat, it’s been easy to focus solely on my dilemma. I can technically use the excuse that I’m sick and therefore don’t have to clean, cook, or even read my Bible. Oh…wait…there’s the problem.

Though I haven’t done it regularly, I have let my illness become an excuse not to have my quiet times when I should. “Oh, if I just get a little more sleep, then I’ll feel better, then I can get back to normal.” Then Hannah wakes up anyway and I’m back to the starting board and annoyed to boot. Who is the only person who can relieve me from these issues? God. Who is the only person who can make me learn a lesson from these issues? God. Who is the only person who I need to seek relief from? I think you get the point.

During times of illness, God draws us nearer to Himself. When we are not relying on ourselves for strength, we learn more about God. He once again reminds us that we are not gods ourselves and our strength comes from Him alone. "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” - Jer 17:5 (ESV)

As I continue to battle with this annoying cold, I remember it is just that: a cold. Though I do have a few random things going on with my body currently, nothing extreme that I’m aware of. I will trust in the Lord and pray that I grow deeper in my relationship with Him during this time of small trials.

In Christ,
Terra

Louisville Weather

This is so unrelated to anything but I couldn't help but post it. I've been living in Louisville for nearly 10 years now and I still wonder why Louisville's weather is so nutty. I mean...technically the Ohio Valley probably has a lot to do with it but still. Look at the 10 day forecast (mainly the temperatures). So goofy!





Monday, January 7, 2008

Dadadadada

Hannah's learning to talk! ;) Too bad she has no idea what she is "saying" yet.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Food...and Hannah Mai

At 7 1/2 months old, Hannah's meal plan continues to change and grow. It has been interesting to see what types of foods she likes and dislikes, as well as those she's allergic to. In case you really care, her currently stats are as follows:

Favorites:
· Green Beans
· Green Peas
· Sweet Potatoes
· Apple, Strawberry, Banana Mix

Other Baby Food Likes:
· Chicken (if mixed with veggies)
· Rice Cereal (if mixed with apple juice)
· Carrots
· Prunes
· Applesauce
· Bananas
· Chicken and Broccoli
· Ham and Veggies
· Apple Juice

From the Dinner Table (These are things we've let her taste of ours. Don't worry, we're not giving her these things on a regular basis!)
· Tomato Soup
· Baked Beans
· Sweet Tea (hehe)

Dislikes:
· Turkey
· Peaches

Allergies:
· Dairy
· Soy (I'm developing a new theory on this one)
· Wheat/Oat/Gluten (not sure which yet)

She also never ceases to amaze me with her highchair antics. Lately, she's been trying to play two games with me. The first is called "I'm going to pretend to scare you like you do to me." She goes completely still, stares without blinking and then lunges forward at me, slapping her hand on the highchair. We do this to her to make her laugh and apparently she's learning to imitate. The second game is called "Let me laugh the entire time you are trying to feed me so half of my food drops out of my mouth." This one drives me crazy. She's laughing so I can't help but laugh also but she won't close her mouth long enough to swallow half of the time. Then the food ends up on her, her bib or the highchair - not in her stomach!

She working on using a sippy cup. She likes it okay but doesn't quite prefer it yet. She can hold her own bottle now, though she likes to play with it when she does. I still hold if for her half of the time just to make sure she eats!

It's been quite entertaining to watch her personality grow. I would say that she shows the most stubbornness at mealtimes (if it's something she does not like). She lets me know if her formula is not warm enough to her liking. She gobbles down food she likes at a pace I've never seen.

So...now that you are fully aware of Hannah and her eating habits, are you hungry? ;)

Take care,

Terra

Friday, January 4, 2008

No Music, Increased Prayer Life

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided it would be a good idea to move our computers to our finished basement. It has been good for me personally as I don’t waste nearly as much time playing around on the internet. Not that the internet is evil, just that it can become a great time-waster if I allow it to. Yet there was one thing I started to miss quickly: my music.

Typically, I have my computer was connected to an online Christian music station called Allworship.com. It’s a wonderful, free, online streaming station. It was convenient to play when my computer was in the kitchen. Our radio is usually kept in the bathroom (come on…tell me you don’t shower sing? hehe). As a result, I’m not listening to nearly as much music during the day. While music can be good for my soul, it can also drown my soul. Let me explain.

I’m not a fan of silence. It can be awkward and make me think too much. However, it can also be a great time for prayer. By not having music constantly drowning out the silence, I have grown tremendously in my prayer life. As I do the dishes, take care of Hannah Mai, and clean the house, I now find myself constantly praying. I pray for myself and my family but even more so those around me. I’m being frequently reminded of prayer requests. It has been such a blessing to pray for those around me throughout the day and truly be able to tell people I’m praying for them. If I tell you I’m praying for you, know that I mean it.

Do you find yourself always wanting a radio or T.V. on, even just for noise? Consider your motive. Maybe you’re telling yourself it’s doing more encouraging than discouraging. If that is true, than bless you. If you find as I did, that you are really just trying to cover the silence, try going without it for a bit. See where it leads you.

In Christ,
Terra

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Post-Holiday Updates

I’ve been delaying my post simply because there are a ton of updates since the last one! ;) Not to mention, Hannah and I have been sick and I’ve been slightly lazy when it comes to the internet. So…without further delay…

James has finally been granted another job. Given, it’s another part-time job but a job none-the-less. Our hopes are obviously for a better paying, full-time position with benefits. Until then, we’ll take what we can get and keep looking. His new position will be at Target. He has to pass the drug test and background check first. I can’t imagine either being a problem! He will begin as a regular employee on either the 2nd or 3rd shift (to be determined by him still). However, they have a managerial position (as we desire) which should open around the end of January or beginning of February. He has been told that he is the top candidate for the position already. Please pray, pray, pray for this! So an update on James’ current work status: Meijer 32 hrs/wk, Marketplace Chaplaincy 3-7 hrs/wk (+ drive time), and Target 20 hrs/wk. Praise God my husband is a hard worker and also desires for me to be at home with Hannah Mai.

My precious Hannah Mai has finally readjusted to post holiday life again. She was VERY out of sorts for about three days following Christmas. Then it was as if she woke up one day, completely back to normal! Then she got my cold. Rats.

Hannah and I have continued to be sick. This morning was the first in which I’ve woken up without coughing or a sore throat in a while. That was nice. I pray Hannah and I continue to get well as the Lord desires. Also, I have a whole new outlook on my rash. If you’re curious, read my post on my other blog.

All of our family Christmas gatherings are over. We enjoyed getting to spend time with both sides of the family this year. We were in Murray with my family for several days and then enjoyed the company of my in-laws in Louisville for several days after that.

New Year’s Eve was uneventful for myself. James was asked to preach at a service downtown at 10:30 pm. He was there until about 12:45 am. Considering mine and Hannah’s health concerns (and the fact that Hannah should be in bed long before 10:30), we stayed at home. My celebration was in my sleep – with no regrets!

For now, I think that is enough updates. Thank you for your patience and I hope to be on top of things again now that the holiday rush and hopefully our illnesses, are ending!

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Rash of Blessings

Yesterday morning, I was glancing at my lovely rash in the mirror. For some reason, I have this obsession with counting the spots on my body. I did it last winter as well. Last count: approximately 70 spots, 7 of which I’d consider large (about the size of a nickel). But something very interesting happened yesterday as I examined my skin condition. The Lord brought to mind several friends and family members who are having much harder times of testing right now. Suddenly, my rash seemed insignificant. So I look like a cheetah – big deal. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t itch. It’s not contagious. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even know it was there if I didn’t pay so much attention to it. Given, the larger a spot, the more potential of scarring. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I have a decent sized scar on my leg from last winter’s rash. So what! If I have a few scars on my skin, it’s better than potential scars on my ovaries (see same post just mentioned). And even if I have scars on my ovaries, it’s better than scars on my heart.

Why didn’t I think of these things before? As always, I think God teaches me lessons through daily struggles. Hannah and I are both still sick. Each day I think it’s getting better and then I wake up feeling worse. My poor baby girl can hardly breathe through her nose because of congestion but praise God! Seriously, things could be SO much harder for us right now. So we have colds and it’s uncomfortable. As far as we know, we don’t have any serious issues. My dear neighbor’s family of six has been battling with much more than we have (the list is too long to even mention). A few fellow church members have dealt with pneumonia, surgeries, marital issues, etc.

May I continue to trust that God knows what is best for me (and my family) each and every day. He will strengthen us through the fire and draw us nearer to Him during these times of testing.

I’ve thought of a new way to view my rash. Each time I see a new or larger spot appear, I’m going to count them each as a blessing. I guess that means I’m currently covered in more than 70 blessings: 7 of which are great! Wow. What a different outlook! I praise God for grace.

In Christ,
Terra