Ember was taken into the arms of Jesus on June 29, 2019. We created this site because Ember had a rare genetic bone disease called osteopetrosis. We were planning to treat this with a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant and sought your prayers for her and us. Thank you for your prayers! We prayed for her healing on Earth, but the Lord answered with healing in heaven. Our hearts are sad, but we trust in God's goodness. This passage of Scripture well summarizes our feelings. Paul writing in II Corinthians 1:8-11: "8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many."
Next Monday, June 29, will mark one year since Ember passed away. Would you pray for us over the next several days? The grief hits in a different way, even with subtle reminders like the summer weather and seeing photo reminders from this day a year ago. Can it be a year already? Is it only a year and not a lifetime? It's hard to put into words the ways our emotions flow.
I do want to add that our emotions are not only of sadness. God has given us many small blessings. Life is relatively easy and low-stress right now. We have some projects planned, and we're operating at a summer pace. Breeze and I recently had a vacation together and our whole family is taking a beach vacation soon. We thank God for these things.
There is another large blessing which many of you know about, but some may not. The Lord is giving us another child! This is a grand blessing that we did not expect, thinking that phase had passed. The baby is another girl. Indeed, there are some strange emotions, sometimes feeling like we are in a time warp. For the third time in a row, we are expecting a baby girl while we have five children at home. It's truly unusual and our minds don't always know how to process it, but we are so thankful for her. Of course, we are anxious too, and one of our concerns was whether the baby had osteopetrosis, like Ember (there was a 1 in 4 chance). We have had the test and the baby does not have the disease! Furthermore, everything looked good on the ultrasound and all the other tests came back clear. The pregnancy has gone completely smoothly so far. And so we thank God for this. The due date is September 25, we are at the beginning of the third trimester.
Finally, I have mentioned before that I was working on a book based on our experiences. I have completed that manuscript, shown it to a few friends, and recently had an editor look at it and I'm incorporating her comments. It's a brief book (roughly a hundred pages) that tells Ember's story interwoven with the lessons that God has taught me. The writing of the book happened rather quickly as the outworking of my own processing of all that had happened. The main draft was completed a number of months ago. I'm now at the point where I want to get it published, but my enthusiasm and energy for the project is not the same as it was when I was writing. Self-publishing is fairly easy these days, but marketing and promoting the book takes a lot of energy. On the other hand, trying to find a real publisher takes a lot of effort too. But I would be thrilled if God would use the book to minister to others. So I guess I'm asking for prayer for my wisdom and energy. Also, if anyone has any particular insight on the book writing/publishing process, I'd appreciate that too.