This week- I’ve sat on some news. It took me a while to soak it in. Have you ever found yourself sensing God calling you into His presence? Whether it be the sunshine on your face on a beautiful Spring day, listening to worship music on Spotify (seriously just invested in this- why didn’t I get it sooner?), soaking in God’s Word through reading & preaching, or beautifully hearing the Spirit speak who resides deep in your heart- it’s just a breath of fresh air to dwell in God’s presence and meet Him there.
This week- my precious Kiley (ok..Cole’s precious Kiley, but I’ll always claim her too) had her latest MRI. Honestly we were all expecting progression because of increased fatigue, some emotional challenges, nausea and headaches, but God has been gently whispering...Staci, do you trust me? I know prayers for mercy have been lifted on behalf of Kiley and our family. What a gift of mercy God displayed in that there was NO GROWTH and her tumor decreased! Does she still have brain cancer? Yes. But we’ll take the encouraging report and praise God.
This week- after further discussion with the neurologist and neuro oncologist, the few episodes Kiley had experienced this year were deemed not seizure activity, but rather a response to stress (surely there’s no stress in our home :-). The doctor asked: so you are conscious and can think in your brain, can feel the episode coming on, and your body doesn’t cooperate with your brain? Yes! That’s not a seizure.
This week- It was determined that Kiley has not experienced a seizure since June 2020 which was the result of her golf-ball sized tumor. Since that cause was removed in July 2020, and because the MRI imaging was encouraging, she was released to drive! You should have seen her face! Talk about a big weight being lifted off her shoulders..and to gain her independence back is such a blessing! She’s been with friends, to the dog park daily with Angel, and has taken her sisters out. This week was also her no-chemo week. She’s on a 21 day cycle and then off for a week. So, between the good MRI report, driving & no chemo- she felt soooo much better! For the past few days, life has felt a bit more normal. Thanking the Lord for that blessing.
This week- God showed His mercy within Kiley's body knowing that as we honored Mike on what would have been his 49th birthday on Wednesday, April 28, a very heavy emotional day, we needed that reminder that in our weakness, God’s strength is made perfect.
I’ll ask it again like this: Have you found yourself dwelling in God’s presence? The girls and I connected with God as we strolled the beach of Maui in mid April. We took in His sunset on the top of Haleakala, drove in awe through the rain forest on the road to Hana, walked along the black sand beaches, observed dolphins and whales swim along the catamaran as we cruised the shores, snorkeled in the Pacific ocean holding each other’s hands at times. Such a bitter sweet time as I took in the wobbly steps of Kiley and phrases she used such as “before I was dying…” or the tender photo opportunity as the girls gathered around her and we captured the moment in the gazing sunset. So grateful to take the time to slow down and breathe, to get away from the demands of a busy home as we quieted our lives to be able to hear from the Lord.
We often hear you say to us, “I don’t know how you do it.” Author Lysa Terkeurst summarized it like this:
“But when my brain begs me to doubt God- as it most certainly does - I find relief for my unbelief by laying down my human assessments and assumptions. I turn from the tree of knowledge and fix my gaze on the tree of life. I let my soul be cradled by God’s divine assurance. His Son. Who completely understands. And who will walk me through every step of this if I keep my focus on Him. That’s how I survive the 86,400 seconds called today.”
You don’t need to fly to Hawaii to dwell in His presence...meet Him where you are and trust Him as He carries you on your journey. Life is a beautiful adventure when the Lord is leading you. As I wrap this up, praising the Lord for mercy that is new each morning, I pray: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust in Him.” Romans 15:13
Staci, Kiley & Cole, Samantha, Avery, Addison & Mackenna
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