Sunday, November 30, 2008


The surgery is over. We've been home a week and 3 days. Recovery is going well.

Now it gets tough.

Juggling work, family, school and doctors appointments and therapy appointments and checking insurance claims against bills. Then add Christmas! And programs and parties.

The surgery was cake compared to what lies ahead.

Therapy is not pretty. It hurts her. It's hard to watch.

But it's essential.

A doctor once told me that he does not allow Grandparents to attend therapies or certain medical procedures because a Grandpa once cold-cocked him for causing his grandchild pain. This doctor went on to explain that a parent is willing to see their child endure pain in order to accomplish a greater good. Hence, the pain of therapy for the benefit of being more mobile. A grandparent wants to intervene and stop all pain, regardless of the benefit.

I think this is why God has no Grandchildren.

Father God is willing to let us suffer temporary pain in order to bring us into a relationship with Him. We must each have our own relationship with Him as Savior. We cannot go to Heaven on the experiences of our parents or grandparents. We cannt go to Heaven based upon the ethereal definitions of being a "good" person or being "kind". It is all about relationship.

God is longing to have a relationship with you. He wants you to know Him personally, intimately. Not just know "of" Him. The demons know "of" God. The angels in Heaven know God as creator. But only you, only a Human Being can have a relationship with Him. He will be what you need when you need it - Father to the fatherless; Husband to the husbandless; Friend to those who feel unloved. He will be your Provider. He will be your Healer. He longs to be your Father.

Won't you answer His call?

Father, I want to have a relationship with you. I want to know Father God as more than a vague reference to a disconnected diety. I want to Know you. My life has not been perfect. I am a flawed being and your perfection is sometimes intimidating. But I will take you at your word when you say you love me just as I am. I accept the gift of Salvation that you offer to me. I accept a new start for my life. I believe you are God. You are the only God. I want you to be my God; my Savior, my friend. I choose today to turn away from my own selfish ways. I choose to walk with you. Walk with my, Father. Thank you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


What have I learned about Dreams?

I believe some people are born knowing what they are going to do in life. Their dreams for the future are so much a part of them that they do not even see them as dreams but more of a destination. The pianist who begins playing at 4, the surgeon who knew anatomy when he was 10, the preacher who was sharing at age 8.

Then there are the rest of us. Those of us whose destiny sneeks up on us. Those of us who literally fall into our dream and live there for a while before we realize that, "hey, this is what I've always wanted to do, I just didn't know how to say it!"

For us, God takes our experiences and forms our destiny in small increments. We resemble a patchwork quilt that God knits together over time. Seen from up-close, it resembles a mess, but from a distance, it is a beautiful work of art.

Lord, let me see the Big Picture. My life in quilt-blocks looks chaotic. I will trust you to create a work of art.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

I am Thankful for. . .

My faith (I've said it before, but I so truly mean it)

My family

My husband - he is the best!

My home - we are safe and warm

Snow - what a beautiful blanket we are wrapped in tonight

Knowledge - my limited knowledge, the vastness in the medical profession and God's endless supply

Church - to worship, to serve, to teach, to love

Dogs - they make me smile; I love those little eyebrows and wagging, stubby tail

Happy Thanksgiving, Durango!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So almost one week since surgery. Was it really just 7 days ago?

Today I've reached the, "I need out of the house!" mode. David is off at noon tomorrow, so I'll do my grocery shopping then, if not tonight! It's hard for me to be still and quiet. Good practice, though!

The house is quiet. Ashley is watching a movie. Her laughter is back! She giggles when we transport her to the bathroom or carry her downstairs - really most things make her laugh.

God gives us a sense of humour to make it over the rough patches.

Father - thank you for my kids laughter. It's the sweetest sound in the world. I love their smiles and giggles and the way they can make each other laugh. Father, you must get the same kick out of us! That's why you gave us a sense of humour - it brings you joy to see your joy. Thank you for all you are teaching me. I amazed at the vastnessof your knowledge and that you would share it with me.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Satisfied Sunday

Thanks to Barb and Keith for the delicious dinner! Lasagna rocks! Not cooking is even better!

What a wonderful day. Ashley has only taken pain meds once - and then only a half dose. She's been awake all day, reading, writing notes and watching Star Wars with her dad.

Lord, once again I am in awe of your faithfulness. Thank you, thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I am so tired. All my adrenalin is gone and exhaustion has set it. I slept a little today and can't wait to go back to bed. I have to stay up until I can medicate Ashley again. She has done so well. What a girl!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glad to be Home

We returned home from Denver today. The trip took about 7 1/2 hours which was pretty good with a bandged, medicated child. We only stopped once for nausea and left a gift in Pueblo. Using the bathroom in Walsenburg was interesting. My back is going to be pretty strong after hefting my daughter in and out of the jeep!

Ashley's surgeon, Dr. Chang, is known for his creative casts. It's green with stars and moons - that glow in the dark! The cast is also covered in glitter and little blue stars.

I am amazed at God's grace. We ate well and slept well - in a hospital! The people were so nice and kind.

And when leaving the hospital, we met Will Smith and a picture made with him. He gave Ashley a stuffed rabbit and a copy of a movie that he signed for her. Plus, he signed her Memory Book "To Ashley, Love Will" with a big heart. She loves Independence Day and Men in Black, so it was pretty cool for her. He's a nice guy.

I'm glad to be home. Two hours after being home, the fatigue and tears came. I had sent David for dinner and was so glad to have Del Taco and not have to cook and as I retrieved a cookbook to look for a recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, the relief came. We're home and safe.

Ashley's settled on a mattress on our living room floor. Her pink and turquoise Christmas tree is lit and setting where she can see it (thanks Kayle and Cookie for doing this - she loved the movie, too!). In the rocking chair are balloons and a bear from her Gran, Nana and Papa Joe; a new Webkins from Miss Kris and Ben and her Build-a-Bear Rabbit. Chris is laying on the couch near her - he's helped move her around and stretch her leg, holding her cheek while she breathed through the discomfort. David and I are in our seats, the dogs in their bed.

And things are okay.

Father - thank you. Just, thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I almost forgot!!!

Friends who give up paychecks to travel with you to help

Friends who pray

Family who pray




Diet Coke


My Hubby. I miss you. I love you very much a d cannot wait to be home in your arms

Kids - for smiles and tears, I would not trade them in


Here we are in Childrens Hospital. Ashley did very well even when the decided to operate on both legs! They lengthened the left calf muscle and plate on her r leg to inhibit growth until the other leg catches up. Then they did Botox injections in her l arm and hand to release the muscles. An epidural was used through the night to control pain. Today she has eaten well , gone for a ride around the floor and had a sponge bath. She us watching movie number 5 now.

We have certainly seen how God has prepared our way. The doctors and staff have been great. Room is comfortable. Food has been good and we have slept well too! I am very thankful for my itouch as well that has kept me in touch with everyone!

Father, thanks fir provisions even on the roads we did not choose and do not wish to travel.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Night

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah Ps 46:10,11

The house is clean. Laundry is done. Suitcases are packed. We've done all we can do to prepare for tomorrow.

Now, we stand.

And Moses said unto the people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord," Exodus 14:13

How exciting! We get ready! Get dressed with the armor of God! And we stand! We watch Him work! Wow!Bold

"And having done all, to stand," Ephesians 6:13.

Lord, we will stand!

Friday, November 14, 2008


In - Out
In - Out

We do it without thinking. Most of the time.

Today a woman's kindness made me stop breathing. I was so overwhelmed by life and her graciousness made me acknowledge my sinking feeling and I could not breathe.

This past week has been a flurry of activity preparing our home for the next two weeks. Surgery and pain management then Thanksgiving! So, I've been buying holiday things this week so we can decorate the tree, wrap some gifts, etc.

This sweet lady, said, "Getting ready for the Holidays?" "No," I said, "my daughter is having surgery next week, it was unexpected..." and I poured out my heart. "I'm so sorry," she said, "I hope everything goes very well for her."

Then it hit me. Goes well? Of course it will. But this is really happening. And I couldn't breathe.

It's come and gone all day.

Traveling - breathe in.
Bills - breathe out.
Missed school - breathe in.
Missed work - breathe out.
My child - breathe in.
On a big table - breathe out.

Then I remembered a poem I wrote years ago:

Breathe Me
Let my arms wrap around you
Breathe Me
Let my Spirit surround you
Take time to fall upon your knees
and worship me.
Breathe Me!

And it's okay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for. . .

1. My friends who read my blog and post such encouraging words!
2. My friends who read my blog and pray for me.
3. My friends who read my blog.
4. My friends.
5. Peace.
6. Sleep.
7. A place of rest.
8. My hubby.
9. My kids.
10. Cake with buttercream icing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Surgery Date

Miss Periwinkle.
Pink and Precious.
Sister Ruth.

All the many names given to our beautiful daughter.

She was born on July 24, 1998. She was so tiny. And very blue. She did not breathe on her own right away. Her Mom got her to take her first breath. We named her Ashley Ruth Wilson Beach.

Ashley - the name her daddy gave her when he first learned I was pregnant.

Ruth - after my dear Mimi, Ester Ruth Farris.

Wilson - my maiden name.

Beach - our family name.

Ashley Ruth, as her brother Chris called her, was a great baby! She slept! She ate well! She was rarely fussy. We dressed up like a doll - somethings in 4 or 5 outfits a day just to take her pictures! She wore preemie clothes for 2 months and slept in a baydoll basket my grandmother had made for my babies.

All was quiet and peaceful until she was 6 months old. Then a roll from a bed, combined with medication she was taking, caused a tear in her carotid artery to clot and 24 hours later cause a massive ischemic infarct.

Early in the morning, we were awakened by her screams. We tumbled over each other as we rushed down the hall to see what was wrong. Hours later, the projectile vomiting began - 10 feet through the bed rails across the room and down the wall.

Most of the rest is a blur. Doctors visits. Coming home. My mom holding her as she began her first signs of seizures. My mom, her Gran, holding her when she had her first grand mal seizure. Emergency room, ct scans, admittance and the word "stroke."

Nine and a half years have passed and we are preparing for her 3rd surgery. In three months, she's gone from hiking in the woods to using a wheel chair. Her tendons have tightened. The dystonia is worse. (Dystonia is like a spasm or uncontrolled muslce movement. Think of a person with Parkinsons Disease.)

Two months ago, I was beginning papework for surgery with the Shriner's Hospital in Utah. Two weeks ago, it became apparent that she needed the procedure quicker than the Shriner's could accomodate. One weeks ago I was hoping we could have surgery within 3 weeks. Today, I have 6 days to prepare for a 3 day trip.

Super Trooper.
Great Trooper.

Those are the new titles she's been given. Every teacher who wrote me, called her a Trooper! What a great legacy! Nothing keeps her down!

So, one week from today,we will be in Denver, CO. On Wednesday, November 19 we will check into Denver Children's Hospital ( and at 2:00 pm, Ashley will go into surgery with Dr. Frank Chang for a Strayer Procedure on her soleus tendon.

I'm giving you specifics so that you can pray with specifics. David and Chris will be here. It's important each child have a parent with them. Chris is the ultimate big brother, her first physical therapist and best advocate.

Our friend Marilyn Rogers will be traveling with Ashley and me. We will leave early Tuesday morning, stay in the hospital Wednesday night and return home Thursday.

And some time on Friday, I'll breathe!

But I will rejoice! I will rejoice that God redeems the pain of this world! I will rejoice for the joy that is my daughter!

Father - hold me tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Marvelous Monday

How wonderful to awaken to fresh fallen snow. The air so still and quiet. My kids tucked in their beds sleeping peacefully. These are the mornings of which memories are made.

I'm cooking bacon and eggs and making hot cocoa to celebrate our first snow at the house. Ashley wants to make Holiday cards - a little early, I said. Chris is still sleeping - it's been a very long soccer season. He's played so well. They finished 3rd in yesterday's tournament.

Thank you Father for mornings at home. For this beautiful blanket that covers our home, tucking is in with your tender love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursdays is catching on!

Each morning, my kids and I get in the car, back out, put the garage door down and stop to pray. After prayer this morning, I announced that today was Thankful Thursday and each person (even the guy who carpools with us) had to list one thing he was thankful for. They grumbled and mumbled and Chris finally said, "Okay, drums." "My family," sis mumbled from the back. Brandon was thankful I took him to school so he didn't have to walk!

Teaching our children to have a heart of gratitude is a lost art in today's world of speed and gimmees.

Today, I am thankful for:

1. My laptop that still works so well.

2. My car that runs well and a heater that works great!

3. Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.

4. World's Finest Chocolate Melt-Aways.

5. The knowledge God has give to medical professionals.

6. The quiet in the house when everyone is just home and doing their own thing but they're still there under my roof.

7. God's financial provisions.

8. God's emotional provisions.

9. My talents and gifts adn the chance to use them for His glory!

10. New opportunities and adventures that are waiting just around the next corner!


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day of Pride

I believe. . .

* No one rules without God's consent
* It is my job to pray for our President
* Our Country is great!

In my parent's lifetime, they have seen segregated drinking fountains, and restaurants. They have heard bus drivers say, "move to the back." The "n" word used in the place of a persons name. They watched MLK march and listend to his Dream.

In my lifetime, the first woman Chief of the Cherokee tribe was elected, Wilma Mankiller. I have seen two African-American heads of state - Collin Powell and Condi Rice. I have seen women hold offices in our nation - myself included, as the youngest woman mayor in Oklahoma history; Phyllis Shlaffley, Hillary Clinton, and again Condi Rice (I like her!!!).

I've also lived through the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11/01. Our country's saddest moment - when our own attacked us; and the thinkinable - someone else attacked us on our own soil.

Though he wasn't my candidate, I still felt pride for Mr. Obama as he looked at where he can from to moving into the White House. I was proud that race could be considered an advantage and not a problem.

And I will pray. Like I always have. For God's grace and protection on this Nation. We are the most generous country. We give to each other, to other peoples, to peoples who ridicule and hate us afterwards. And we still will.

I recommend everyone read "The Light and Glory" to see what our history books leave out of the story of our country. We have been directed by God. We still are.

Father God - thank you for being at the helm. I know in whom my faith resides - You! Lord, I ask for wisdom for our leaders - turn their hearts to Your will. Bend their knees to Your presence. Silence their tongues for Your words.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oklahoma Trip

Some pics from our trip. It was not the best of reasons to go back, but it was nice to see and touch everyone!

Jacob working on his birthday gift -
Star Wars Lego set.

Addyson showing me her pretty hair.

Our Boys!

Chris, Keith and Cade

(Hear a trend? Kelli, Kim. . . . .)

At my mom's new house.
It's so nice!

Gina, Kelli and I
on our "Girl's Day."

Baby Cade. What a handsome dude!

Aunt Kim loved being with him.

Our Kids!

Erica, Chris, Ashley, Keith and Cade

Finally Fall!

Yeah! Halloween is over. I really don't like it. It's too dark.

But in our home November 1st officially begins my favorite season - Fall!

And, the countdown to my favorite Holiday! Thanksgiving!

It is the ultimate Christian holiday - time to reflect on what God has done for us. For His goodness and faithfulness and his unfailing love for us.

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for us. Wheelchairs, doctors visits and insurance calls. Then this morning, Mark and Benjie sing a song telling the story of the three men in the fiery furnance. It was a beautiful song and really challenged you to stand for what is right and flee evil.

Yet, at some point in the music, I thought, "You know God, I'm thankful that we can be in the fire and not get burned and not smell like smoke. But, I'd really like to just get out of the furnace for awhile."

I think God smiled. He knows our heart. And He knows that I know His grace will sustain us.

If we never were in the furnance, we'd not know that grace. We would not experience His love and peace. Heat brings out the gold. Pressure makes diamonds. Trails bring results like nothing else.

Okay, I'll sit in the furnance. But if anyone's reading, I could use a diet Coke and a fan!

God - I see you. The fifth man in our furnace. Thanks for being there.