Friday, October 30, 2009

Thank You for the Cough Drops


After a sudden plummet in counts last week and a complete halt on all chemotherapy and other medications, CJ's had his blood counts done today and they are finally back up. Praise God! They shot up high enough for us to restart all meds again and continue with his chemotherapy schedule. They are actually higher now than they should be for this stage of his treatments so we will begin to try and get them back down to the correct ranges.

What a relief after worrying that every cough or sneeze would infect him. What a blessing after having been bottled up in this house for two weeks that he is free to go! He is hoping to at least be able to play his last game with his team this week! That will be one happy third baseman let me tell you.

Thankfully, we made it through the low counts without CJ getting sick and only one visit to the Emergency Room because of a fever. I was at youth group with Allie on Sunday night when Chris called and to let me know that CJ had a fever and I should head home. After everything that had happened the previous week, I thought he must be joking. He wasn't! After hanging up I remember just feeling frozen in time as I wondered what more could possibly happen.

Chris took him in late that night fully expecting an overnight stay. CJ did surprisingly well. He did not complain or question anything when we told him he had to go to the hospital. I think he has learned to roll with the punches, for lack of a better expression. Or maybe he was where I was by that point....to weak, broken, and sad to even put up a fight or shed a tear.

Once there, they immediately accessed his port and withdrew some blood for testing. After administering some strong antibiotic through the port, the fever had subsided and they allowed him to come home. This was a blessing considering most fevers require a 3 day minimum hospital stay. So we were grateful for the outcome.

As Chris and CJ were getting ready to go to the hospital that evening, the worry coming off of Chris was palpitating which only served to increase my anxiety. I contemplated where God was in all of this. It seemed like life was spiraling out of control. And I am not referring to my control mind you! I relinquished control of my life to the Lord a long time ago and prefer it much better that way. But these past two weeks I began to wonder whose control it was under. Was it under the control of the Lord who is close to the brokenhearted and who has numbered every hair on my head? The God I love and serve who will not leave me or forsake me and is interested in every detail of my life? Or was it under the control of the far off God who the world teaches is out there somewhere but doesn't come too close? As they were packing to leave for the hospital my mind replayed the last two weeks....

....First my dad and his wife found dead; then CJ's counts plummeted to almost nothing; then I became sick with a terrible throat infection at the worst possible time with CJ at high risk; then my daughter's cat was found outside all torn up from a neighborhood animal; then we received news about another death of a cancer child, and another relapse, and yet another one going home on hospice, and now......CJ has a fever and has to go to the hospital. I just stood there feeling defeated and exhausted, asking....God, are you in all this? Do you care? What more can we handle right now?
Even as I stood there thinking it, I had this sudden urge to check my email. It was almost like autopilot. It was almost 10pm, my husband and son are getting ready to leave for the hospital, CJ is getting his port numbing creme on, Corey is wanting to be put down to sleep, and I sit down and check my email....strange! Within seconds I knew why I had checked it. God answered my question and calmed my anxious heart before the thought could take up residence in my mind. Yes, God sends emails my friend! (But just so you know, he makes no promises or threats whether or not you forward them or not to 15 people so don't confuse His with those.)

I sat down and there was only one email. It was from my friend Becky who had served me a meal that week. I had emailed her earlier to thank her for the great meal and to thank her for the cough drops she dropped off with the dinner. You see, I had a nasty sore throat on Thursday night and could not sleep. I asked Chris to look for some cough drops but we did not have any. We always have cough drops! Not this time. Nothing! I was hurting but took some medicine and went to bed. Then Friday I had to handle some banking issues for my fathers estate. I wanted to stop at some point while I was out to get some cough drops but my emotions were still so raw that I could not bring myself to enter a store and face a cashier in fear that I may burst out crying right there in line. So instead I did the banking and went home.

When I walked in the door that evening, the dinner my sweet friend delivered was on the counter and right next to it was a bag of cough drops. I saw them and immediately said, "Cough drops!" as if I had spotted gold. Chris said they were dropped off with the food, to which I replied, "How did she know I needed cough drops?" Chris answered, "I thought you told her."

As I sat down to read the email from my friend, my heart soared as she explained how the cough drops were actually for her husband. She stopped to pick them up for him but had "accidentally" left them in the bag when she dropped off the food at my home. After realizing what she had done, she was too embarrassed to come back for the cough drops so she had to stop again and buy more for her husband. She had NO CLUE I had a sore throat and was desperate for cough drops. It was that word I don't believe in....coincidence. Amazing that just when I was asking God if he cared about all these disasters happening in our life, he answered by saying..."My sweet child, I care! I care about every detail. I even care about your sore throat! I sent you cough drops. And if I care about your sore throat, then I certainly care about your son's fever, your daughter's cat, your dad's death, and your families broken hearts."

Thank you Lord that although I accuse you of being far off and for lack of faith I question your Sovereignty, you still come near to me anyway. Thank you that you don't treat me as my sins deserve. Thank you that you protected CJ from getting sick while his counts were down. Thank you that his counts are back up. And thank you for the cough drops!

Thank you all for your prayers for CJ and our family. Keep praying! Please pray that we will get CJ back on the correct dosages of all his meds so he can complete this last year of chemotherapy on schedule and according to his treatment plan. Please pray fervently that this cancer never comes back. Please also pray for all the kids battling this deadly disease. Brave 9 year old Truman who just had his leg amputated in an attempt to save his life from this disease, and barve Sam who is recovering from his amputation, and Amanda who is now home on hospice, and Ji whose bone marrow transplant failed and is still fighting for his life, the 5 families we know of who already said goodbye to their precious children this month because of this cruel disease, and so many many more. You know, I am really starting to hate this disease. I never used to give it even that much emotion because I did not want it to have any piece of me but I REALLY, REALLY HATE Cancer, and I am becoming thoroughly convinced it is authored by Satan. It is just like him...deceptive, destructive, and deadly.

If you have not already registered our website www.childrenbattlingcancer.com please do so today and please take a moment to join the facebook page at www.facebook.com/childrenbattlingcancer
Please share it with all your friends and join us in the battle against this disease on behalf of these children.




Friday, October 23, 2009

CJ's Blood Count Results

When CJ had his counts retested today he was even lower than last week. He is now down to a .1 ANC (absolute neutrophil count).

At this time they are stopping all medications he receives, not only the chemo meds. The doctors think the Bactrim (an antibiotic he has taken since day one) may be the culprit and hope by stopping this drug he may rebound. On the bright side, the doctors felt there is a good possibility due to the indication of other numbers in his counts that he may already be on the rebound. I don't understand it all but what I do know is he is lower this week than last, so if he is going up now, it must have happened very recently.

I copied this from a website to help you understand the importance of the ANC:

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of 1000-1800: Most patients will be given chemotherapy in this range. Risk of infection is considered low. (Mild neutropenia)

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of 500-1000: Carries with it a moderate risk of infection.

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of less than 500: Severe neutropenia - high risk of infection.

CJ was somewhere around 269 last week and now is at 189 this week. Therefore, he falls in the Severe neutropenia category and is at high risk for infection. To top all that off, I am sick! I have a severe throat infection that is very painful. I do not like that he stopped the antibiotic while I am sick and in such close contact with him. Having the added concern that CJ is at risk while I am sick has caused me to consider possibly staying away from the home until I get better. We have not made that decision as of yet. As of now we are isolating me from him as much as possible within the house. Please pray I don't infect my child!

As CJ has basically no ability to fight against infection we are grateful to serve a God who has every ability to fight against infection on his behalf. We are completely dependent on Him as we are stripped of dependence on any other means. So let's storm the throne of grace once again and beg for mercy in our time of need.

When Chris called from the hospital this morning to tell me the news of CJ's counts, I went into hyper-disinfect and clean mode before they could get home. All the instructions we received back at week one of diagnosis warning us of all the risks of neutropenia and infection ran through my mind. In many ways, these results put us back to those first days of isolation and separation that we thought were far behind us.

Cancer is really such a cruel and deceitful disease! It teases you by letting you make progress only to regroup, reappear and attack all over again. We recently lost two little girls (both CJ's age) that both went into maintenance and were "cancer free" at one time before this monster pounced again. At the same time, our sweet friend Ji (also CJ's age), who was making progress towards recovery, now faces the set back of a second bone marrow transplant.

I realize CJ's counts plummeting don't qualify as comparable to these situations in any way, but it all demonstrates the cruelty of this disease that lets you think the worst is behind you and then betrays you.

But even as we are surrounded by the effects of this cruel disease we give thanks to God that His word assures us he is unchanging, cannot lie and no deceit is found in Him!

"...(we have) a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time..." Titus 1:2


In regards to my dad, today was a rough day. I dealt mostly with anger and frustration for the massive mess he left us by leaving us this way. So much is unsettled for us emotionally because of the way he died, and then having to deal with so much unsettled legally, is just an added burden. Burden...that really is the key word here. We had appointments with the bank today and emotions are still so raw that it is difficult to 'do business". But it must be done! As we were trying to make sense of the mess, I could not help but think we should not be there and it is all some big mistake. Surely there was an explanation for all of this somewhere. I kept half expecting my dad to walk in and straighten the whole mess out for us.

Based on our experience this past week and especially today, my advice to all of you is to express your wishes to a loved one before they have to make these very personal decisions on your behalf. Write them down and by all means necessary get your will and estate planning in order NOW! The kinds of decisions we are having to make and the disaster we have inherited is not necessary for anyone to go through. We inherited a burden of grief and a burden of legal matters. There are so many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from this. I realize, it is never pleasant to talk about these matters, but one thing I can guarantee every one reading this is that you WILL die one day, and it WILL be painful for those left behind no matter the circumstances, and the least we can do is make it as easy as possible by settling these issues now. In light of all we have experienced, Chris and I have talked to each of our parents and plan to revisit our estate planning.

Of more importance, please hear me when I say the state of your soul is of the utmost importance in planning your death. Settle that account first my friend! Kneel before your maker and humble yourself and surrender your life to His sovereign control and accept the payment already submitted on your behalf.

Humor me for a moment.....If you broke a law and went to pay the fine, (which you could never cover anyway), only to discover someone already paid it on your behalf, the only thing that can keep you from accepting it is PRIDE. Foolish pride! Humble yourself and accept His payment on your behalf. You could never pay it anyway. And once again, only pride makes you think you can.

After you have settled that account first, then take care of your other matters. Your kids, your home, your investments. Get good advice. Know the facts and the differences between wills, trusts, beneficiaries, etc. You will not only have peace of mind but you will not leave a burden to your loved ones at an already difficult time.

Forgive me for being so forward and I apologize for all my venting on this matter. I realize our circumstances are unique and they bring added emotion and legalities compared to most deaths. But like I said, we will all die one day and leave behind the details to our loved ones in one way or another. Choose the better way! However unwelcome, this tragedy has afforded me the rare opportunity to experience these delicate and difficult matters first hand. If me sharing about our mess can save one family from going through this, then so be it.


As I end this post, I once again reiterate our plea for prayer for our precious CJ. We pray for his physical protection as a matter of high importance, but we also pray for his Spiritual protection as he deals with the outcome of his low blood counts. We see his struggle in submitting to our authority and trusting our decisions whether he likes them or not. He "feels" good so it is difficult for him to wear a mask and be told he can not participate in his playoff games after a long and hard season with his team. He misses them and he misses playing. We understand but we can not change the facts.


Thank you for bearing our burdens once again, and in so doing, fulfilling the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Humbly yet boldly,

Dawn



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our Final Goodbye

(CJ drawing for his Poppa)


Thank you for your outpouring of love and support through this blog. This is the second time the comments have helped our family through an unexpected trial. We do not know what to say or how to adequately express our sincere gratefulness in words. The comments, the meals, the cards, the love, have all been received as if you were handing us air to breathe and sustain us. It has kept us going forward moment by moment. Thank you!

It has been one week since we found my father and his wife dead in their home from a tragic murder suicide. The funeral services are over. I can not believe one week can bring this much change. One week and it is all over and life keeps barreling forward.

After discovering my father's body last Wednesday morning it seemed like nothing stopped. The pain never ceased and the tears only dried for brief moments as we found ourselves in a flurry of activity having to plan and attend the funeral service.

Then, I woke up this morning and everything was still. There was nothing to plan, nowhere to go, family members had left, and friends went back to work. I just laid there wondering how this could happen. How in 6 short days, my father could die, be buried and it's over.

There are so many questions swirling around in my head and so many emotions fighting for position in my heart. After 6 days of grief and unrelenting pain, that duo finally gave way to anger. As anger won out for position, I let that emotion rule the roost for a little while. It felt good. Anger did not hurt as much as grief did when it was ruling my heart. Anger introduced me to blame. I liked blame but I did not trust blame. Although anger and blame soothed me in a medicinal sort of way, deep down I knew they were no true friends. Like a drink that goes down smooth, they would be sure to betray me in the end.

A new emotion greeted me this morning. I awoke to the fog of confusion. I liked confusion. Confusion slowed things down. I could not see clearly. I liked the blindness offered by the fog of confusion. A good excuse for ignorance of what is really right in front of you. Blame got lost in confusion and anger was nowhere to be seen. But I felt lost in the fog. I did not want to stay there.

Finally, the cloud began lifting with grief vying for control again. Grief gave way to the tears that seem to have a limitless reservoir. Anger still sits in its corner offering distraction and blame, while confusion promises no need for answers. I am sure they will continue to battle for position and maybe even take up residency a time or two, but I will only surrender my heart to One. He already owns it anyway. And like the grand orchestra director...He will make sense of the noise and mess going on there.


CJ and his sister Allie seem to spend their spare time journaling and drawing. I believe it is therapeutic for them and they feel close to Poppa Jerry when they sketch because he loved to draw and sketch as well. As I read what CJ is writing in his journal about his Poppa's death I am saddened and stunned that a child so young should have to contemplate things so tragic. First the realities of cancer and now this.

As far as the realities of cancer, in the past couple weeks, three children we have been following lost their battle against this unkind disease. Or maybe they won it...I am never really sure which way that goes. Either way, they are no longer in it. Then last night we find out that another little boy, who we have come to dearly love, his bone marrow transplant failed and he faces another risky surgery this week. There are no words...only prayers.

As a mother, I am heartbroken for CJ, and the rest of my children, for all they have had to experience, know, and contemplate at such young ages. These are my first real exposures with any sort of tragedies of this magnitude and I am 35 years old. As a child, I certainly never heard of kids dying of cancer, murder-suicides, or half of the tragic things my kids have seen. But just maybe, in some odd way, they are the blessed and fortunate ones. Once again, I am never really sure which way it goes. Regardless, they are learning at an early age to "consider it a pure joy when they face trials of many kinds because the testing of their faith is developing perseverance."

We still do not know anything about CJ's counts yet. We will have his blood redrawn Friday and go from there. In the meantime we have held back all his chemo he takes daily at home to help boost his strength. So far he seems infection free, Praise God, because he did not want nor did he cooperate with wearing a mask at the funeral services. We have limited our exposure otherwise and praying for a strong comeback in his blood counts.


I would like end this post by sharing a little about Poppa Jerry with all of you to honor his memory. I shared this at his funeral and my husband has asked me to post the words that I spoke here. Click here: Poppa Jerry to learn about the legacy of this wonderful man who God redeemed and restored through forgiveness. It will remain our final goodbye until we meet again in glory. For those of you with estranged loved ones... I pray this blesses you and increases your faith in the miracles God can perform in a willing heart.

Thank you for letting me share my father with all of you in this small way.

As the sun rises on Thursday morning....I want to be the first to say, Happy Birthday Dad! Although I am desperate for you here and my heart is aching from your absence....I am sure you are experiencing a much better birthday in heaven than earth could ever offer.


My Father and I at Passover Seder 2009


Friday, October 16, 2009

Desperate for Prayer


Please pray fervently for CJ and our family! We are in a whirlwind of confusion and grief.

CJ's poppa Jerry (my father) was found dead this week in his home in a tragic and unexpected death.

We were very concerned because my dad was not answering calls all day Tuesday. By Wednesday morning we headed to his home in Davie to see what was wrong. My husband and my sister's husband are the ones who found him. Although they are both policemen, they said nothing could have prepared them for what they found and what they felt upon finding their father in law like this. Unfortunately, my sister and I and our children were all waiting outside at the time and could not be shielded from the tragedy of the situation.

Our family is struggling to accept and deal with this devastating news. We are grieving sorely and deeply and yet we are clinging with all our might to our faith and hope in the resurrection. Even in our sorrow, we are deeply grateful that my father was a believer in the Messiah as his Savior and only hope. Our only comfort in this tragedy is that we are certain that he is resting peacefully in the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord. Unfortunately, the pain and confusion he left behind is overwhelming beyond belief for all of us. It felt like a bomb dropped on our world and we have been on our hands and knees trying our best to pick up the shattered pieces.

Today my children felt they needed to see their Poppa's home one last time. I took them there to see if it would help them in their grieving. CJ sat and wrote him a picture that said, "Poppa Jerry, we will be together again," and laid it on his Poppa's favorite chair. My daughter sat and stared confused and heartbroken, cherishing every little piece of her Poppa still there, whether it was in his sheet music, his poetry, his drawings, or his pictures. Brett hugged me tight, too young to fully grasp anything except that his Poppa is gone and in heaven. I sat in the floor in the spot my father died and I grieved for all my children lost in this tragedy. I stared at the stains that will never be able to be removed from the tile and realized this tragedy has stained my heart in a way that will never be removed as well. I just don't know how you move forward and yet somehow I got up and we left the home to head to the funeral home to drop off my father's clothes.

As we were grieving together in the car, another bomb fell unexpectedly. CJ had blood counts done earlier this morning and I received a call that his ANC (the important number in his blood counts) came back extremely low. In fact, they are lower than they have ever been. He is at an extremely high risk for infection which can be very dangerous for him. I thought it must be a mistake. We are in a state of double shock and wondering what God is trying to do and why He is allowing us to be stretched to this extreme. CJ took the news very hard and started crying and asking God "why, why, why, now?" He will only be able to attend his grandpa's funeral in a mask and none of us can understand why? He needs the comfort and presence of his friends as we all do at this time.

As we have been planning the funeral these past couple of days and family and friends have come to our home to support us, we realize we have already exposed CJ at a high level. We are torn as we desperately need to be with our loved ones at this time and work through this grieving process and yet we have to protect our child's life faithfully.

Stunned from the additional news to an already overwhelming situation, I came home immediately and scrambled to disinfect and clean the house . I was feeling an awful sense of urgency. I remember feeling disoriented that I was scrubbing toilets just a few short hours after desperately trying to get through the process of writing my fathers obituary and sitting in the spot he died.

As a result of CJ's blood counts, the doctor ordered us to immediately stop all of CJ's chemo and watch him closely for fever upon which we would have to head to the hospital immediately. I can not even imagine sitting in a hospital room right now. It is hard enough being separated from our extended family and friends during this time at home. Please pray that we will make the right decisions for him at this time while walking through the process of my father's death. Please pray, pray, pray that CJ will be free from infection and God will supernaturally protect him. Please pray we will be able to get him back on his protocol and up to his accurate dosing. He was already down to a 50% dosage level due to low blood counts. This is just all so unbelievable.

































Dad,
I love you and miss you desperately. I pray and trust you are in perfect peace and rest in the presence of our Lord. God, help me cling to that truth and rest in the hope of heaven and in Jesus' finished work on the cross as we try to work through our confusion and grief. Dad, I am so thankful for your life, your words, your wisdom, your wit. You have blessed my life in so many ways. I miss you terribly. I will do everything in my power so that your death will not be in vain.
Oh God help us please. Send your spirit tenfold into our lives.
Your daughter and your daughter,
Dawn

_______________________________________________

Funeral Arrangements for Poppa Jerry are this Sunday October 17th beginning with a family reception and viewing at 2pm at the Vista Memorial in Miami Lakes, Florida 14200 NW 57 Avenue. Service will begin at 4pm. The internment will be the following morning, Monday October 18th, at 11am at the same location with a reception immediately following at the home of Colleen and John George 8121 NW 186 Terrace Miami, Fl 33015.



Please note: As a result of this tragedy some upcoming events for CBC (Children Battling Cancer) have had to be canceled or postponed. Please see the website for updates www.childrenbattlingcancer.com

Monday, October 5, 2009


I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But I am also convinced those things will try like hell to anyway.

As CJ lies in the next room struggling with his stomach, after having thrown up, I sit here struggling with guarding my heart and mind and clinging to the peace that passes all understanding.

We were doing his school work this morning when the routine we face almost everyday began..."My stomach hurts, mom." As part of the routine and for lack of knowing what else to do, I typically send him off to the bathroom. Usually this will solve the problem and we will continue through our day with minor complaints of stomach problems on and off. Some days are better than others. I confess, this creates an uneasy sense of Deja Vu for me as I flashback to last September just before he was diagnosed. School time was full of bathroom breaks, stomach aches, and bowel issues. I remember sitting at the table one morning, unable to complete a lesson because he was on his third trip to the bathroom and demanding, 'This is not normal'.

Today, as usual, I found myself half way through a math lesson when he declared his stomach hurt and off to the bathroom he went. When he returned, we continued our lesson. As I taught him I was fighting conflicting thoughts and emotions the entire time. They go like this.....

"What difference does any of this make? He has a problem, Dawn. Who cares about math and memorizing the prepositions or Latin 1st and 2nd declensions. Let him enjoy whatever time God has given him. It is limited."

Then my rational side reasons, "All our time is limited, yet we must work and live. Besides, he may very well live a long and healthy life. He will need to know how to do math."

Then the other side follows up with, "Imagine how you will feel if he relapses again, or worse, he is not here a year from now and you wasted all this time doing school while he wasn't feeling well."

Rational side, "Imagine how you will feel, if he lives a long healthy life and you did not teach him how to conjugate a verb. Besides, what is the alternative? Sit around and play all day, or live in Disney World?"

Mind you, this all took place in my head in the small amount of time it takes to teach a lesson on measurement equations. All the while, I could see the sour look on his face and the obvious discomfort mounting. As his physical discomfort increased, my spiritual battle escalated.

Finally, I surrendered to the compassionate side that wants to throw all this school work out the window anyway and suggested, "CJ why don't you go lay down for a bit and when you feel better come back out and we will continue." Then I secretly asked God if I was doing the right thing? He answered as CJ threw up all over the bathroom.

Once again, the dialogue begins, "It is just a stomach bug, Dawn. Don't jump to conclusions".....
"No, there's something wrong with this child. Demand answers! You are his mother, be aggressive and find out what is going on."

So I sit here and share all of this with all of you not to admit I am crazy . That is undeniable. Instead, I boldly ask for prayer for CJ. I honestly struggle to do this because I am aware of so many other children in desperate need of prayer who are battling this monster called cancer. Yet, I realize God has provided all of you as CJ's prayer team and I humbly and gratefully accept.

Tomorrow he will see a neurologist and I just ask that the Lord will provide her with wisdom and exceptional insight into his little body. Please pray that we will articulate his struggles clearly and that some light will be shed on his struggles. My heart says that they are all interconnected somehow. His speech issues, his walking issues, his shakiness. They are all signs of a lack of muscle control which lead me to suspect the control center, which is the brain. I have the same desperate feeling in this area that I had before he was diagnosed and I knew there was something more wrong with this child than anxiety and back pain.

Thursday he has chemotherapy, a spinal tap, and intrathecal (chemo injected directly into the spine). Please pray that this stomach issue will be resolved before then and will not interfere with his chemo. Pray that I will articulate clearly to the doctors the struggles I am seeing in him.

Thank you is not enough, yet it is all I have. Thank you for your prayers for this child; my child, God's child.

__________________________________________________

On a lighter note....CJ performed in a talent show this Sunday evening. He was an actor in a dramatic skit set to the Casting Crowns songs, Here I go Again. This song is about fear. Specifically, fear in witnessing to our friends. It talks about how we allow fear to hold us back as we dance around the truth, knowing time is not their friend.

This skit holds a special place in our hearts and was a blessing to see complete and performed by CJ, his little brother, big sister, and friends, because CJ and I wrote this skit on the way to chemotherapy last year. We were discussing fear and this song came on. It seemed like God just gave us the skit. When the skit originated in our minds, we had fun discussing it and talking about all the characters, but I honestly did not even know if CJ would be here to perform it. I thought maybe it was just meant to be a distraction for the fear of chemo. It sat on the shelf of our hearts for a while until the opportunity of the talent show came up and we started practicing. What a joy to see it come to fruition. Even more so, to hear CJ pray yesterday that he wants be more bold with his friends on his baseball team just like in his skit. I know I personally experienced conviction as I watched it performed and the Lord brought specific people to mind that I have danced around the truth with.

Thank you again for allowing us to share our lives with you this way. Please pray for the above requests. I will try to post the video of the skit here or attach a link to it.