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“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”

1 Corinthians 10:31

Have you ever really considered this verse?  Whatever means what?  Everything?  Perhaps.

That is how I am thinking of it.  Everything I do, I should do it all for God’s glory.  Before I left Costa Rica a young lady friend asked me, “Do you only listen to Christian music?”  And I replied yes.  I began to think on that.  And my reasons behind that.  Then thinking on my life…. Do I do all things as if I am trying to do it to bring God glory?  Quite a challenge.  I worship through music for His glory.  I assist others for His glory.  I live in Costa Rica and serve the Ticos, teams and my family for His glory….. but what about other things?  Little things?  Quite a challenge and I would extend that challenge to you as well.  Just to think about this mandate from Scripture.

That brings me to this weekend.  As many of you know, this time last year I was barely able to walk across a room.  When I walked, I walked very slowly and more of a waddle.  Last March we took the kids to CharlesTowne Landing and I had to have my kids and Jacob push me in a wheelchair to make it through the park.  When the Cooper River Bridge Run came around last year, I realized it was something I had heard of my whole life.  I always thought, “I am going to do it one day.”  And I wondered, “Is it too late?  Will I ever be able to walk like that again?”  My next appointment with Dr. Gary Gilkeson I asked him if he thought I would ever be able to do something like that again.  It was hard to even get the question out of my mouth and I was on the verge of tears anticipating his answer.  At that time, I was in physical therapy 3 times a week and I was relearning balance…. relearning to put my pants on without sitting down and lifting my legs up with my hands….. relearning and regaining strength in my legs, shoulders and arms.  When he replied that he thought I would be able to do that, I was relieved and shocked.  I hoped…. I dreamed…. but never would I have imagined that only 1 year later……

Cooper River Bridge

Cooper River Bridge

This past weekend was a major milestone for me….  Over this past year I have followed all instructions given to me by my doctors and taken all medicines prescribed.  And I walked and walked our driveway in Costa Rica.  But bigger than that, I had God encouraging me and lifting me and gradually taking my pain away.  There is no cure for dermatomyositis and interstitial lung disease.  Some people live with these diseases without ever being fully out of pain.  I had given my body to the Lord.  Followed instructions.  Left my progress and pain relief in His hands and His timing.    In God’s good timing and plan, He has used my doctors and modern medicine and really worked wonders in my body.  A couple of weeks after the last chemo infusion that I received on October 31st, I woke up one morning and realized I had NO pain.  I was in shock and praising God.  I was breathing easier and able to get around and do all of my everyday tasks so much easier.  God was so good and is so good to me!!

As we got closer to spring, I remembered my question to Dr. Gilkeson last year about the Cooper River Bridge race and realized that we were going to be in SC during the race and I knew immediately that I wanted to get in good enough shape to do it for God!!  I let my friends and family know my plans and asked if any wanted to join me.  Sure enough, my mom, sister Monica and friend Donna Porter wanted to join me.  We trained and practiced and all met up Friday to get set up for Saturday.  Saturday morning came and our goal was to finish the 10K in 2 hours.  We got up early and drove over to Mt. Pleasant.  We got into place and the race started.  As we finally got going, a little ways past the start line we saw a man on the side of the road having pacemaker problems and I thought, “Can I really do this?”  But pushed the doubt aside and pushed forward.  We walked and walked and walked.  Before I knew it, we were on the Charleston side of the bridge and the crowds were there cheering everyone on saying the finishline was right around the corner.  And then, there it was…. right there!!  The finishline!!  10K behind me!!  And not only did I finish, but faster than my goal of 2 hours.  We finished in 1 hour 49 minutes!!  Thank you Donna, Momma and Monica for doing this with me!  Many people were praying for me and us and I truly appreciate it.  God was honored and answered our prayers!!

I can honestly say that me doing that walk was not about me.  It was not about dermatomyositis and interstitial lung disease.  It was about God.  He is so amazing.  He has taken me from extreme pain and hardly mobile to no pain and able to walk 6.2 miles!  And even when I was in major pain over this past year and a half, He carried me.  He gave me grace to endure and persevere.  And He gave me the umph I needed to push through the pain and continue to workout and restrengthen my muscles and praise Him all the way.  He was the one that I wanted to walk for and do to bring Him glory so that others would see what an awesome God He is.

So that brings us back to our verse.  And my challenge to you and to myself is to do all the things we do daily for the glory of God….. making breakfast, washing clothes, disciplining children, being a serving/loving/helping spouse, employee, …….watching the sports game, shopping, spending money, giving money away….. all for His glory.  Tougher than it sounds.  What a big challenge in such a few words.

Here are some pictures from my big, glorious day walking the Cooper River Bridge for God’s glory 🙂

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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Uncategorized


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New Videos!!

We just made a new tab for videos of the work here!!  There are 4 new ones!!  Check them out and enjoy!!

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Posted by on September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Panama 2010!!

So as most of you know we have just arrived back from Panama to get Jacob and the kids’ passports stamped.  We were blessed to find out 2 weeks ago that a group from ILE (the language school that we attended last year) was leaving this past weekend for Panama and we could join them.  The trip would cost us $115 per person, except Sophia, she was free!  It included a private bus trip, hotel stay and breakfast.  That was by far the cheapest and safest route for us.  The problem was that it was to Bocas del Toro – the place that we went in 2008 for this same process and, to put it nicely, was probably the worst trip we have ever been on.  This was the last place we wanted to go and yet it seemed that this was the answer to our prayers, so we agreed to go with the ILE group.

We woke up at 4am and set off at 4:30 to be at the bus by 5:30am and also drop the car off at the Leckie’s house.  Francisco stayed at our house while we were gone to keep Zorro and be a body in the house, so he had come the night before.  As we were walking to the bus and turned the corner to the street it was on and saw the bus – it was this beautiful, private bus!!  We were starting off on a fantastic foot!  We set off through San Jose and on our way towards Limon we went through beautiful rainforest.  We stopped for breakfast which the tour guide from ILE decided to pay $3 towards the cost of each person and again she arranged for Sophia to be free, so we had breakfast for $3 each!  What a blessing.  Then we were back in the bus for the remainder of the trip.  We arrived at the border and all got off the bus to have our passports stamped – we were praying the whole time that we would not have any problems – Jacob and the kids’ passports were 3 days past the 90 day limit!!  Well, I guess because we were in such a big group, the guy at the border did not even glance at our entrance stamps!!  Praise the Lord!  Now, with that over, we had the dreaded walk across the 100 year old bridge!  Jacob, Kelsey and I each had one child and started off.  Well, to our surprise it seems that they have worked on the bridge since we crossed it in 2008 and there was actually enough boards to walk a straight path without feeling like one of the kids were going to plummet into the raging river below!  As we made it across it seems the temperature went up about a billion degrees!!  It is hot in Panama!!  We are used to it rarely getting about 70 at our house in Boqueron and it must have been at least 100 in Panama!  The kids did great though and we were definitely happy to have our stamps on the Panama side and to be back on the air-conditioned luxury bus!!  So we were then off to the water taxi place.  We had to ride through some pretty poor places in Panama.  It is always sad to see the living conditions of some people and here we were in this awesome bus and we had no rooms for complaints.  It is in these times that we certainly see God’s blessing and realize we have no room for any complaints.  We all loaded up in the water taxis, which by the way are no more than speed boats with rows of seats, and took off toward the island of Bocas del Torro.  Again, we passed people living on the edge of the water whose living conditions just broke your heart.  After we were hurled towards Bocas for about 40 minutes, we arrived and walked to the hotel.  We were hot and sweaty, ready to get to our room and get to supper.  When we got to the room we were assigned, it was a single bed and a double bed.  Clearly 6 adults and 3 children were not going to fit in this room.  So I went to talk to Nina – the group leader – and the only other room available was next door and it was just a double.  So we agreed to make that work.  Jacob and I in one room and Kelsey braved the other room with all of the kids 🙂  What a trooper she is by the way!!  We were so thankful that she went along with us for this adventure!!  We then headed off for supper and then came back and went to sleep by like 7:30!!

We woke up on Saturday with no expectations for the day except to be hot!  Well, while we were eating breakfast, Nina came and said that she had arranged a tour for the whole group.  We were thinking we could not do a tour because they are normally $20 per person and now we are being told that we are going to be getting back in the boats and going to see dolphins, swim on a private beach and then go to another private beach where we can see a ton of starfish!  And all of that was going to be paid for by the money that was collected to pay for the trip!  It was quite a surprise and we were so excited!  We had a fantastic time and were so amazed at God’s provision for our family.  The kids got to see dolphins and starfish and play in a safe quiet beach.  The tour lasted from 9:30am to 4:30pm!  It was such an unexpected treat!

We woke up Sunday to another great breakfast and then had a worship service together on the dock/restaurant on the water connected to the hotel!  Then headed back towards the border and Costa Rica around 11:45am.  We went through the Panama border easily and then I had Benja, Kelsey carried Sophia on her back and Jacob had Lizzie and we crossed the bridge.  On a funny note, our bus decided to cross the bridge after we had started across and after our “adventure” doing this in 2008, we were not about to try to move over to the side and let him pass us.  Jacob looked back and he said that it was like the ball chasing Indiana Jones!  I refused to look back and just kept going.  Once we got over to the CR side I stepped off and looked back at Jacob and Kelsey and it was kind of funny to see this huge tour bus looming over their shoulders!!  Back at the CR side we again were praying that nothing would happen with our stamps and guess what….when they guy went to pick up Jacob’s the phone rang…it distracted him and he again did not hardly look at anything and just kept stamping away!!  Praise the Lord!!  So we got back on the bus and headed back to San Jose/San Francisco.  We arrived back at our house around 8:30 or so.

I cannot say enough what a blessing it was to go with the group from ILE.  They welcomed us and loved our kids.  On another funny note, we got to see Sophia (our 4 year old) come out of her own little shell and into her personality more.  She has always been friendly with most people and loves to make new friends.  But she had to have met and had a conversation with everyone that she met from the ILE group.  They might not have known our names, but they knew we were Sophia’s parents!  She said at one point, “Mommy, all of these people are my friends.  They like me and talk to me and want to be my friend.”  Who cannot love Sophia or Lizzie or Benja?  All three were such troopers and did wonderfully the whole time!  God has blessed us with such amazing children!!  And we are also so thankful for Kelsey!  She was such a blessing to have along as well!   I asked her, if we ever have to do this again, would she please fly down and go with us?  LOL!  🙂  We are also so thankful for your prayers!  God was so wonderful to us throughout this trip!  Here are some pictures!  Enjoy!

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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Surgery Update!!! Yay all involved!!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are home and I am doing great!!!  Fabulous Patricia (the PA) was able to take some pictures, so I will share at some point those for those of you interested 🙂  For me, I am excited about seeing them!!  On a funny note…..apparently under anesthesia, I realized that there was a nurse that spoke Spanish.  The doctor was about 50 late, so for that time apparently I carried on a conversation with the OR nurse in Spanish.  Don’t recall any of it!!  But I am excited that I was able to do it 🙂  All I know is that I have the rest of the staff laughing at the sight of it all 🙂  I cannot say enough about how wonderful the entire staff at MUSC has been.  Today the stars of the show were Dr. Varma (neurosurgeon), Patricia (his PA), anestesia (rocked because I woke up very easily and happy as a lark) and all of the nurses who took care of me (even the wheel chair out to the car lady who made a stop to help me use the restroom on the way to the car)!!!!  I was home by 10am.  And I even walked up my parents 17 steps to my perch on their couch in front of HGTV and FoodNetwork!  Thanks for everyone’s prayers!!!  I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful I feel.  My right thigh is sore, but I am only taking Ibuprophen and feel great!!!  Comparatively it is nothing, I can handle this!!!!!  God is so good!!  I know He is my Great Physician who guided everyone through my surgery!!!  We hope to know something in 5 to 7 days.  So lets all keep praying for the testing that is going on my little 1 inch square of thigh muscle tissue!!  Go pathology people whoever you are!!!

Love, Love, Love,

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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Uncategorized


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She was really “Pooped”

Yesterday we went to see the house we will be house sitting and the Graef’s have 3 kids that all line up in age to our three!!  They all got along wonderfully and we are praying that we will find a house close to this house so that they can be long term friends.  Anyway, there was some hard playing going on!  They were having a great time.  Well, last night, Jacob went to the bathroom and turned on the light and found this scene!!  All I can think is that it was a quiet place to take a rest!!  LOL!!  Sweet Sophia!!


Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Flying back to Costa Rica!!

Here are some pictures of us waiting in Charlotte to fly back to Costa Rica!!  We did great with the weight of our luggage!  Everything was between 49 and 50 lbs!  I had to wear 3 shirts to get my clothes all back, but it is worth it!!

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Posted by on November 28, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Fun at Monkey Joe’s

This past week has been a tough one for our family.  My brother in law, Geoffrey, his mother passed away last week unexpectedly.  With our busy schedule we were not able to be there for them for the funeral, but our hearts and prayers were definately with them.  So Monday we got to spend the day at Monkey Joe’s in Spartanburg for some family fun with her kids!  My mom treated us all to the time there and it was good for the kids to have something to get their minds off of their loss for a little while.  This always gets me thinking about how the Bible tells us that we are not promised tomorrow, or for that matter, the next hour.  We all need to make sure that we are living our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God.  That is only possible with His Son Jesus’ blood covering our sins.  All we have to do is admit that we are sinners, ask for forgiveness from our sins through Jesus Christ and give our lives over to Him to reign. When tragedy comes, we can have Him to turn to and our families and friends.  If you have not already given your life to Christ, I pray that you do so even right now!

Back to Monkey Joe’s, it was a great time.  We are still here as a matter of fact and I am loading these pictures and posting this because they have free wifi here.  The kids are having fun and we are relaxing.  Here is a picture of the kids!

The kids at Monkey Joe's

The kids at Monkey Joe's

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Posted by on October 26, 2009 in Uncategorized


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