Wednesday, May 30, 2012

carpe diem

photo source
I found this sign at this shop on etsy. I laughed at the play on words and how it exactly captured where my mind has been lately.

Ever since we left the cottage last year, we've been anticipating our return. For added fun, the three older kids are now at an age where they remember too, and have begun to make their own plans. (Luke thought we should bring a snow shovel "just in case." I assured him that although God can make anything happen, I thought we'd be safe leaving that kind of equipment at home. ;) )

And in this anticipation, I started to wonder why we look forward to this vacation so much.

What I decided, was that for me, the cottage represents one week in the year where things slow down and our daily tasks consist primarily of waking up, eating, dressing, eating, swimming, resting, eating and sitting around a campfire with the occasional DVD thrown in there. Our choices are slimmed down to choosing the beach, the cottage or a trip into town. It's also a week where we live in community, an echo of the Way.

But why do we pin much of our excitement on one week out of the entire 52 God bestows upon us? Should it not be something we anticipate now? Could we not "sea's the day" every day?

So I've begun a little experiment to see if I can live cottage-style now. To slow down and tame the tyrant urgent. To be intentional and focus on relationships, not on stuff or stuff to do. And to do this in spite of laundry piles, a house and yard to maintain and living in a culture which heaps on choice upon choice. I've also begun to pray God would raise up cottage-style community for us, because I think that is the anchor of a sea's-worthy living.

And I wonder if you might need to sea's the day too? If so, leave a comment and perhaps we can sail the seas together.

Linking with:

Friday, May 25, 2012

laundry list

You know you're behind in laundry when...most of the clothes you need to put away are for cool weather and it's been shorts and t-shirt weather for more than a week.

That's just one of the things I'm crossing off my list this weekend. That and other household chores. Actually, I hope we can get most of it done tonight so we can enjoy other things like:
  • reading
  • hiking
  • sewing (me!)
  • and just plain kicking back and relaxing
 What's on your list for this weekend?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

welcome to summer

If you've been visiting here for awhile, you'll notice I changed the blog header. By the calendar it's a little early, but the nudges in my spirit tell me to embrace the lengthier, leisurely days. Now. Because living by the rules of calendar and earthly time can be stiffing. Not always. But, at times.

So welcome to summer at Whispers in the Silence where things may be a little quieter than usual to leave room for the trills of early birds and the crickets evening song. For the next several months I'm freeing myself of my self-imposed obligations to this blog and other things e-related. Because when I spend more time here, I miss what's going on out there. Like this...
And this...

And this is one space which usually stays tidy even I'm not attending to it. My house? Not so much.

Will I post at all? I hope so because I do love to write. But I think I leave the time and place up to the Lord. At the very least it will be interesting to see what He has in store.

And Reap to Sow? Well..."Grace for the Good Girl," by Emily Freeman was the winner in our poll. But, as God would have it, Courtney and I also found out through a good friend that Emily herself is leading a summer book discussion on "Grace" and really who could top that? So, if you were looking forward to doing "Grace for the Good Girl" with us, we hope that instead you will enjoy going through the book with Emily (stay tuned to her blog for discussion details). I think this is God's grace for Courtney and I - He's spoken to both of us about stepping back from online life. So we will look to the fall again for the next Reap to Sow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

recipe: for the trail bar

If this is your first time visiting, you might want to see this post for a little background on why I'm choosing to eat this way. I would also really encourage you to read "Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, "The Engine Two Diet" by Rip Esselstyn and/or watch "Forks Over Knives" (available on And then, if you are a believer, weigh what you learn against Scripture and prayerfully ask God how He would have you apply this information, if at all, to your life. I've been praying through Romans 14 lately, if you too want to check it out.

My biggest challenge this past week is adding enough flavor to recipes without increasing the salt. Harder still is adjusting recipes I used to love but now lack the same flavor because I'm decreasing the sodium content. Not that I'd make things salty to begin with, but I'm realizing eating is as much about habit and familiarity as it is about taste. I think I may have hit on the solution by doubling the seasonings and maybe adding a few more in there, but this will continue to be an ever evolving process.

I'm also looking into the raw style of eating since I rarely feel the need to add anything to raw fruits and veggies (although a little salt on a garden fresh tomato is pretty tasty ;) )

So here's one recipe in the raw line of cooking - it's a recipe my mom discovered years ago in a British cookbook and I remember having a hard time not eating the whole pan in one sitting. It also makes a great energy bar and is really simple to prepare... whether you're on the trail or not.

For the Trail Bar
3/4 c. dried, pitted dates (organic if possible)
2/3 c. raisins (organic if possible)
2/3 c. dried apricots, mangos or apples* (organic if possible)
1/2 c  almonds, cashews or hazelnuts* (organic if possible)
1-2 tsp honey or agave
2-3 tsp orange juice (organic if possible)
approximately 1/2 c. quick oats

*or any combination of these

In a food processor, grind dates, raisins, dried fruits and nuts until smooth. Add sweetener and juice until the mixture begins to bind together. Add just enough oats to give a firm texture. Spread into a 8x8 square glass dish and keep refrigerated.

I discovered that using dried mangos gives the bar slightly sweeter taste. Apricots provide more tang.

Keeping it in perspective:  When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn't drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders. Psalm 119: 59-60 MSG

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

my handsome littlest man

I couldn't resist snapping these pics of Ben on Sunday. Dave dressed him and he looks so much like a mini version of Dave. I sometimes call him "mini D2" (Luke is mini D1). But don't let those sweet, innocent brown eyes and long lashes fool you, Ben has a fierce sense of fun and determination which leads to much joy and much mess to clean up after. ;)

(BTW...Ben was totally up for posing for these pics - he even picked the location. Well actually, it was his second choice for a photo shoot locale. He wanted it by the car but realized the sun was in his eyes. So standing next to dirt (future spot for a hosta) and a garden hose was the next best thing.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

take a moment

I'm going to slap dash this post together because the outside beckons and bellies need feeding as the dinner hour approaches...

First up, if you love books and are looking for a summer read, would take a second to answer the poll in the right hand column (or leave a comment here) to help Courtney and I decide which book to choose for the summer edition of Reap to Sow? We'll be starting in June and would love your feedback. :)

Next, if you are shopping, especially comparison shopping, for something...anything really...would you take a moment to Google whether you can buy a fair-trade version of that item? It takes just an extra minute or two if you're already using the Internet to scout deals on products and the simple act of buying fair trade means you are actively working to give a hand up to people in poverty.

Delicate Fortress Creations (for which I am an ambassador*) has a lovely selection of products.

And just this afternoon, I found these beautiful fair trade bike baskets, one of which I hope to purchase as an early birthday gift for Brie. All I did was google, "fair trade bicycle baskets." Simple. All it takes is a moment to help someone in need. :)

As a disclaimer, DFC offers its ambassadors free gifts and a small percentage of any sales generated through their unique ambassador link. So, in a sense, I will be compensated for sharing on this issue. But I would do this even if I received nothing in return because this issue is to important for me to keep silent.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

3 gifts on Thursday: what are you doing this summer? edition

With summer vacation fast approaching, I'm beginning to anticipate a couple of activities we'll be doing during the summer months and thought it would be fun to share it. And then give you a turn to share what you'll be doing this summer too.

For previous 3 Gifts installments, click here. If you would like to have a "gift" featured in this series, please see the bottom of this post for details.

1. the gift of keeping active
One thing I've loved about putting Brianna and Reese back into school is the daily routine of walking their and back and it's something I want to try doing most days during vacation. One idea I've come up with to help us meet this goal is forming a Moms & Kids Hiking Club. Here's the idea: invite a bunch of moms with kids we know to meet us once a week at local spots to go for a hike with the occasional picnic lunch thrown in for good measure. I've decided we'll try for the same day of the week, but will be flexible in case of rain. We'll also visit hiking locations with varying degrees of difficulty so we can increase our endurance. For example, the first spot I'm planning on is a super easy trail with a playground nearby so we'll have plenty of time for everyone to get to know one another. I'm also thinking a celebration picnic/party at the end might be fun. Like the idea? I'd love to know if you try it out and how it goes. :)

2. the gift of a kids-in-tow Bible study
I'm really looking forward to our Moms & Kids Bible study which will start again in June. I started this a few years ago when I found it hard to find a Bible study that either didn't offer childcare or occurred at a time that didn't work for us. This summer, we have one friend who will host on the days when the weather allows us to be outside and another friend to host on the indoor days.  During the study, the kids play together while we talk. Yes, it's chaotic and we get interruptions aplenty, but the kids enjoy playing with one another and we enjoy the fellowship. This summer, we're doing a Kay Arthur study from her New Inductive Study Series. I love this approach because it really encourages you to meet with God over His Word. She has other studies too which you can check out here.

3. the gift of sharing
Your turn now. :) What are one or two fun free/cheap things you're going to try this summer? What summer gifts do you hope God has in store for you?

If you have a "gift" you'd like me to consider wrapping into a 3 Gifts on Thursday package, please email me the details. It can be anything you are hosting or have heard about: from a giveaways to service projects, household/parenting tips, resources, promotions/coupon codes, items such as books, music, movies, etc (ones available for purchase online). If I choose to incorporate your gift suggestion into a 3 Gifts post, I will email you to let you know when it will be featured.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

pleasing different palettes: veggie pasta night

If this is your first time visiting, you might want to see this post for a little background on why I'm choosing to eat this way. I would also really encourage you to read "Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, "The Engine Two Diet" by Rip Esselstyn and/or watch "Forks Over Knives" (available on And then, if you are a believer, weigh what you learn against Scripture and prayerfully ask God how He would have you apply this information, if at all, to your life. I've been praying through Romans 14 lately, if you too want to check it out.

I've fluctuated between loving the focus of this new way of eating and being really challenged by it. Especially with how not excited the kids are with some of the meals I serve. :) Thankfully, I've gradually incorporated more veggie dinners into our weekly repertoire over the past couple of years, but it's a challenge to get the kids, especially all four kids, to like the same things.

Cheese was always an equalizer...rarely did any of them turn up a dish when cheese was involved. So without this standby, I'm on a mission to find the "new" cheese. (FYI...if you've never tried soy cheese before, it's not a product I'd recommend. For me at least, it just doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to approximating the taste of dairy cheese. And you'd need to closely scan the ingredients to be sure it doesn't contain a milk byproduct).

If you have children, I'm going to guess that you same the face dilemma: finding good recipes that the majority of your family will enjoy.

Here's something I tried last week which seemed to be a success:

A Very Veggie Pasta Salad Night

It's so simple...all you need to do is:
  • Cook some 100% whole grain pasta (make sure the ingredients say "whole") and let it cool slightly
  • Tear up some lettuce into bowls (if you have a child that will fight you on the lettuce part, you can always leave it out)
  • Cut up an assortment of veggies in to bite-sized pieces. Consider incorporating one or two new ones every so often to build your child's veggie bank. Here's what I used: cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, carrots, green pepper, kale and corn.
  • Place diced veggies on a plate or in several bowls and set in the middle of the table.
  • Spoon cooled pasta onto the lettuce and place on the table
  • Let everyone mix up their own salad and conveniently have adapted a meal to suit everyone's taste without cooking more than one dish!

A word on dressings:
If you're having a hard time getting the kids to eat their made-to-order salads because it's a new thing for them, try finding a dressing they like. If they don't like the plant-strong dressings (no added oils or dairy), maybe start out with small amount (to let the veggie flavors shine through) of "regular" dressing, but one that's lower in fat, salt and sugar.

The other night, I let Brianna use a regular dressing we still have on hand because it was the only way she would finish the salad. Small victories are important. Over time, I'm hoping to find a dressing she does like that doesn't have the oil in it.

And here's a recipe for dressing I modified from The Engine 2 Diet. If you like strong, tangy flavors, give this one a try (and I'd love to hear what you think if you do!). I was skeptical at first with some of the ingredients, but found it to be really enjoyable...especially on steamed kale.
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T prepared mustard
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T agave (or honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 T wheat germ
Mix everything together and add water to achieve desired consistency (to your personal taste).

Keeping it in perspective: Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. (Psalm 34:8 NIV 1984)

Monday, May 14, 2012

well...did you? and agape love

If you read this post, you might be wondering if I got what I asked for.

Not exactly. :) But even better was the gift God chose to give me through this heart at peace so I was not bothered by the arguingyellingcrying that I guess comes with the territory of having children. And is there anything better than a gift of being at peace in a storm?

And His second gift to me came in yesterday's sermon at church...

Lately, and especially when the arguingyellingcryingdisobeying wave crashes, I find it hard to feel very loving toward my children. Much of the time I just want to leave. Or hide under the covers. Or shut myself in the one sanctuary in our home with a lock...the bathroom. I'm thinking of posting a sign on the door that says "prayer closet."

And when I feel this way, I think in my head that I'm a horrible mother and I wonder if I really do love my children and what is love, really?

I think I got the answer yesterday.

Our rector (horrible title for a priest, but that's just what they're called where we go), tried to get us to understand what Jesus meant when he used the word "love," in John 15:9-17. He said the English language has no equivalent word for agape; the closest we can get might be "sacrificial regard." :) Not exactly the same thing as the romantic, make-my-heart-quicken, overwhelming warm, tender feelings I usually equate with love.

The part that really resonated with me, was when he said agape love starts where the warm, fuzzy feelings end.


Now that kind of love I do understand.

And perhaps that's what real mother-love is all about...hanging in there when every fiber screams for flight. Being willing to fight through the messiness and hanging in there to hold out for holiness.

This I get.

And if any of the warm heart flutters stick around? Well, I guess that's just a bonus.

Sharing with:

(on Tuesday)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

just one of life's little lessons

Today Ben discovered something...apparently unpopped and partially popped popcorn kernels are the perfect size for sticking up a nose. And putting one up each nostril is okay, but when you try to stick a second kernel where one already is present, then it starts to become a little uncomfortable.

And when you let your parents know there's something up there that's bothersome and doesn't belong there, they're going to do their best to get it out. Even if it means holding you down while you thrash to get loose and then using tweezers to dislodge the partially popped kernel jammed the furthest up there.

And today Dave and I learned that although 75% of our children have made it past the age of five (and maybe the start of reason?) without sticking anything up their nose (other than their fingers...ahem), we can't assume the fourth quarter of our quartet will follow suit. And that it's best to monitor all popcorn eating. And that having medical tweezers on hand just might be a staple in any home with children.

Just one of life's little lessons. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

3 gifts on thursday

For previous 3 Gifts installments, click here. If you would like to have a "gift" featured in this series, please see the bottom of this post for details.

1. the gift of entering to win
I read about this Healthy Kids Sweepstakes in Delicious Living magazine. A prize pack of healthy items...yes, please! All you need to do is go here and fill out your info. Easy Peasy. Don't wait too are picked the first week of June, and you know how time flies...

2. the gift of DIY blog buttons
Ever since Courtney and I did the first Reap to Sow series, I wanted to figure out how to do a blog button. Why I didn't google how back in the Fall I'll chalk up to sheer procrastinating. But now that Courtney and I are gearing up for the next R2S installment...details coming next week...I thought it high time to move that pot to the front burner. So I googled and found this ehow article on how to do your own blog button. As you can now see on the right side of my blog, I created a button for the new "going plant strong" series I'm doing on Wednesdays. Happy button creating!

3. the gift of a good magazine
I love Organic Gardening Magazine. I've both subscribed and borrowed copies from the library. It's always full of great tips, beautiful pictures and fun articles and I'm hoping to try out this tutorial for a raised bed garden.

If you have a "gift" you'd like me to consider wrapping into a 3 Gifts on Thursday package, please email me the details. It can be anything you are hosting or have heard about: from a giveaways to service projects, household/parenting tips, resources, promotions/coupon codes, items such as books, music, movies, etc (ones available for purchase online). If I choose to incorporate your gift suggestion into a 3 Gifts post, I will email you to let you know when it will be featured.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

what? go vegan?

Two weeks ago if you had told me I would no longer voluntarily be eating dairy, meat or added oils (e.g. olive oil, soy butter, vegetable oil), I probably would not have believed you.

Yet that is exactly what has happened.

After learning that my dad has significant blockages in his right carotid artery and his heart, I began reading
 "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn. It's a book that outlines the importance of a "plant-strong diet" for lowering cholesterol levels and fighting the leading causes of death for Americans in the modern era...heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Here's a link to the CDC if you want to verify the numbers.

Although Rip is not a doctor, his father is and the Engine 2 Diet is based upon Dr. Esselstyn's long-term and ongoing study and findings that a plant-based diet void of any meats, dairy, added oils (and for patients with heart disease, no nuts, avocados, coconut, simple sugars) can not only prevent heart disease, it can even reverse it. Dr. Esselstyn captured this evidence in his book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease."

The evidence is so compelling, my dad currently is praying about whether he undergoes the schedule multiple bypass surgery or treats the blockages through this diet. My mom spoke with Dr. Esselstyn who confirmed that it would be possible for my dad to do this - we just have to wait on what path God would have him follow. :) Regardless, my dad is on this diet's a reality for him if he wants to prevent further blockages from occurring.

At first, I thought I would also go on this diet as a way of supporting my dad, especially since we live close by and often share meals as a larger family. But after reading "The Engine 2 Diet," and learning exactly what meat and dairy especially do to your body, I'm kind of disgusted at the thought of eating it.

And I thought I would share this journey with you. Because I think many of us have false information about what "healthy' really is. I certainly did. But the only way you can know for yourself is to read the books. :)

Now that butter and butter-like products are off the menu, here's a recipe I came up with for croutons:

Though it's obviously much faster to buy a box and throw them on a salad, it's much cheaper and so simple to make your own. Plus I'm not sure there are many, or any, croutons on the market with no added oils, little salt and on 100% whole wheat bread. If there is, please let me know. :)

Here's what you need:
  • 100% whole grain bread (gluten-free if need be)
  • Hummus (oil & tahini free - Sahara Cuisine makes some or you could make your own)
  • Seasonings such as parsley, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
  • An oven, a baking sheet and a knife

Here's what you do:
  • Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of hummus and then sprinkle on your seasonings to your personal taste.
  • Turn the slices over and do the same on the other side
  • Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under the broiler in your oven. Setting the timer helps so you won't forget to check them (something I've done way too often). I start with 2 minutes, then go in one-minute increments for the first side until it's nicely toasted, then flip it over and the same for the other side.
  • Once finished, slice up into bite-sized pieces and serve with soups, salads or as a snack
Keeping it in perspective:
  •  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
  • Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NIV)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

all i want for mother's day

Randomly, about a month ago, I began to think about how I would answer the kids if they asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day. Even now I don't really know what caused me to think about it as it's not a day where I expect anything from Dave or the kids (as opposed to my birthday where I would definitely be bummed out if it wasn't marked in some special way). I thought about that question I decided the only thing I want is a day free from arguments (and, in shooting for the moon lets throw in no yelling, disobeying or crying...unless its happy crying). It's one area that's been grating on me lately - the refereeing of arguments, the mental debate as to when I step in and when to let them "work" it out. A day filled with peace and joy and free from strife sounds just about right.

Will it happen? I'm praying it does, because if we can have that one day, than there is hope that one would become two and two become four and so on.

And I wonder...what are you hoping for this Mother's Day?

Sharing with

Friday, May 4, 2012

3 gifts on thursday (on Friday)

Ever since we found out my Dad has multiple blockages in his heart and one in his neck, our family's been taking stock of our health. After all, this discovery was a complete shock since my Dad was not experiencing any symptoms. Yes, there is a history of high cholesterol and high blood pressure in his family, but still, he's paid much more attention to healthy eating and exercising in the past eight years.

Which makes me think, we can never assume good health based on life style and lack of obvious symptoms.

Though I may post more extensively about this in the future, for now I want to share three gifts with you that may provide food for thought (no pun intended) on these food-and-your-health related gifts.

For previous 3 Gifts installments, click here. If you would like to have a "gift" featured in this series, please see the bottom of this post for details.

1. the gift of preventing and reversing heart disease
My mom learned of this resource a couple years ago. In my pride I couldn't understand why she would think we needed to pay attention to the information in the book or follow the diet - after all none of us was exhibiting signs of heart disease. Boy, was I wrong and the Lord placed a huge slice of humble pie on my plate. If you or someone you know has a history of heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you may wish to check out "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

2. the gift of a plant strong diet
Related to gift number one, the Engine Number 2 diet was developed by the Dr. Esselstyn's son to help a fellow fire fighter lower his dangerously high cholesterol levels. I think men may struggle the most with a plant-based diet - I know my husband equates it to rabbit food, and as he points out, "rabbits only live a couple years." :) So perhaps knowing that firefighters took this on will eliminate some of the resistance to the idea of going on this type of diet. Great, great resources on this site including PDFs of foods to eliminate, where/what to buy, recipes and they encourage parents of "plant strong families" to write in too to show it is possible to adapt this eating style.

Note: This diet eliminates refined sugars but does allow for sugar sources such as molasses, honey, maple syrup, agave. When my mom spoke with Dr. Esselstyn this week (they want to consult with him on my dad's health), he said the latest research indicates even these sugars can cause health problems and recommends cutting out all sugar sources except those naturally occurring in the fruits and veggies. I'd be curious to know his thoughts on stevia since it's an herb, though.

3. the gift of picking your own
If you're going on this type of diet, you may want to explore where you can get local sources of fresh fruits and veggies.  Visit to learn about farms near you. The best part (for me) is easily identifying which farms use organic practices.

If you have a "gift" you'd like me to consider wrapping into a 3 Gifts on Thursday package, please email me the details. It can be anything you are hosting or have heard about: from a giveaways to service projects, household/parenting tips, resources, promotions/coupon codes, items such as books, music, movies, etc (ones available for purchase online). If I choose to incorporate your gift suggestion into a 3 Gifts post, I will email you to let you know when it will be featured.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

uprooted uplifted

We found out today my Dad needs heart bypass surgery - most likely multiple bypasses. Plus surgery on his neck to take care of the significant blockage in the right carotid artery. Now there's something coming out of left field.

My brain is working frantically to wrap itself around that fact, to grasp the weightiness of what we face. I struggle to leave this place:
It's the Nile River on a map. You know, "de nile." (I give all credit to this groaner to my husband. ;) ) I think humor, especially bad humor, is a trademark of this place.

Quite frankly, it feels much safer to put down roots in the Land of Denial. If I can shrug something off as no big deal, than if I lose, the cut doesn't go as deep and the hurt is just a sting. Because living from the heart is a gamble and what happens when your heart breaks? What is left?

But God.

But God will not leave me to live this lie. He is exposing the truth I buried at my heart's first wound. That the cuts do go deep and the scars are there and the scar tissue builds and strangles and suppresses life. Life He came to give us to the full through His scars.

And to praise Him.

Praise Him for:
  • Being the strength of my Dad's heart (Ps 73:26)
  • Allowing my Dad to remain symptom free, surprising given the amount and extent of the blockages
  • Prodding my Dad to take advantage of a company-sponsored physical which led to this discovery
  • Placing my Dad at a company which offers this type of physical
  • Choosing to have him live close to a hospital that is a world leader in cardiac care
  • The decades of work and refinement poured into heart bypass surgery
  • Having my grandfather (his dad) live for decades after his bypass surgery - one that was done when these types of surgery were in their infancy
  • Leading my mom to discover a book on reversing the effects of heart disease through a plant-based diet - something that may help my dad keep his hereditary-high cholesterol levels low and perhaps without medication (believing Him for this one!)
  • Prayers offered on my Dad's behalf
  • The timing
  • Not leaving me in the land of denial
  • The strength and wisdom He is revealing in my youngest sister through this
  • My husband and his compassion and concern
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