Thursday, October 15, 2015

Happy FOUR YEARS Meniere's!!!!!!

I am almost speechless that it's been FOUR years since that fateful day.  As I wrote last year, I remember the minutest details of October 15, 2011.  That day things in my life became defined as pre-Meniere's and post-Meniere's.  Everything I do, every thought, every goal is all now in a context of a "broken body."  A body that is not wrecked by cancer or some other life-threatening disease, but a body that is not whole and never will be this side of heaven.  I find that I walk a tightrope... on the one hand thankful that this disease does nothing more than rob me of my plans, my security, my independence.  I know it won't take my life physically but it certainly takes its toll emotionally and mentally.  But on the other hand I am so angry that I can no longer be the wife and mom that I sometimes long to be.  The wife and mom that my friends get to be.  The wife and mom that total strangers all around me get to be.  And the most frustrating thing is that people, even close friends, that don't really understand the nature of this disease or the havoc it wreaks on my body can't really understand what all the fuss is about.

On January 1st of this year I was happy in remission and had all of my dizziness very well controlled.  I was about 75% of my old self physically but it was the new normal that I had become comfortable with.  Then one day in January I woke up to all too familiar symptoms.  Symptoms that were eerily familiar and that I wish would disappear.  They didn't disappear but they played out in a much less severe way than they did when they burst onto the scene 4 years ago.  Until September of this year, I experienced vertigo on and off, but it was much milder than before and for the most part manageable.  As I wrote about earlier this year, the symptoms out of remission didn't keep me from a FABULOUS week in Disney or a super fun summer with my family.

Then about 4 weeks ago, the really bad vertigo returned.  All of the symptoms that came and went throughout this year have settled in and not gone away for the last month.  I've had vertigo spells (not terribly horrible, but enough to buckle my knees) the last 3 days in a row.  I am once again forced to ask people to HELP me (good grief why is that SO HARD for me to do?).  I am waiting for an appointment with an ear specialist in South Louisiana.  I know there's no cure but I can't sit back and do nothing.  With all the available resources I believe God intends me to explore all options for relief.

The craziest thing is that I pretty much anticipated this would happen right about now... "How?" you may wonder.  Well... in September 2011 I was participating in a bible study developed by Priscilla Shirer entitled "One in a Million."  It was all about walking in the wilderness and how to grow through such an experience.  HAHAHA... so I guess that study paved the way for the onset of my Meniere's way back when.  So this September when I started a new study... by Priscilla Shirer,,, entitled "Armor of God".... about SPIRITUAL WARFARE.  Well, let's just say I wasn't surprised by the onslaught of the enemy to try and distract me with this renewed physical challenge.

It is critically important that Christians understand that all distractions, all setbacks, all joy-stealing is a scheme of Satan trying to steal and kill and destroy us (John 10:10).  And I am calling Satan out for the liar that he is.  His lie is that I can't function with this infirmity, that I'll be a burden to my family and friends, that I won't be able to serve God while I'm down.  All I have to do is look back over the last 4 years of my life and celebrate all of the goodness God has lavished upon me and my family.  I can choose to believe the lies that Satan is throwing out or I can claim the abundant life that Jesus died to give me (John 10:10).

I'm not always successful.  I've had some pretty angry conversations with God lately.  There have been days when I haven't wanted to talk with Him.  There have been days where I've cried with absolute desperation to get rid of these symptoms.  I've had my "this is SO NOT FAIR" tantrums.  Seriously, if Jesus died to give me abundant life... bring on the abundance!!!  But I know that's not what Jesus meant by abundance.  He didn't mean easy, perfect, harm-free or painless.  He meant resting in His sufficiency.  He meant taking every blessing He gives for what it is, regardless of how "small" we deem it to be.  We have to realize that abundant life to Jesus isn't defined by this world's standards.  His abundance comes in the form of unanswered prayers and blessings in disguise and silver linings on clouds.  Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God can do "IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE."

I'm thankful that I have 4 years of this behind me and I can count SO many blessings over these years.  I know I have many more years ahead... some with active symptoms and some without I am sure.  For now, I will try to live in the moment and take one day at a time.  And for the record, I'll probably pass on the next Priscilla Shirer bible study that comes my way!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Praise Update

27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight. What is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops. Matthew 10:27

There are many, many things God told me in the dark and whispered in my ear and now I want to shout about his goodness from the rooftops!

I felt compelled to write this update so that the many, many people who prayed so loyally for me for so long can be encouraged.  My family and I had an incredible vacation in Disney World at the end of April.  We were gone for an entire week and visited all 4 Disney theme parks.  I felt good the entire time.  In fact, my Meniere's Diseased, dizzy self rode every roller coaster in every park - some more than once!  That is a BIG DEAL!  We all LOVED the Rock & Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.  It boasts a top speed of 60 mph and does "3 thrilling inversions: 2 rollover loops and one corkscrew"!

Here we are taking off:

Jonathan and I were pleased to discover that our kids love roller coasters as much as we do!  

And during our trek to Disney we got to take the kids somewhere that I have been dying for them to see for years... the Promised Land (aka: Gainesville, home of the Florida Gators).  We drove all over, showing the kids where Jonathan and I first met, the apartments we lived in when we met and the first apartment we lived in when we were married.  Best of all we got to explore the football stadium:


After that trip, we returned to see our kids "graduate" 3rd grade with honors, turn 9 and continue to grow in size almost before our very eyes.  Then last week I lived through another reminder of God's goodness... I worked VBS at our church all week.  I don't take lightly that working at VBS in our church is an absolute gift, a joy, an honor.  I loved being up at the church with my kids.  I loved serving my church in that way.  I do not for one minute take for granted the fact that I could be there.  I wasn't just working VBS... I was living out the answer to your prayers these past few years!

Three years ago I never would have dreamed any of this was possible.  Three years ago many of you were praying for me.  I just want you to know that your prayers were heard.  It is a reminder to me that God doesn't always answer right away and His answer isn't always specifically what we ask for.  Three years ago I was naive (and desperate) and I often prayed and firmly believed God would miraculously and instantly heal me.  That wasn't God's plan.  God wanted to take the longer route so that He could get my FULL attention.  And that took time.  So what I thought were unanswered prayers at the time were just a delay in human time because God wanted to teach me more than I thought possible.  And I didn't get exactly what I asked for - complete healing.  I still have Meniere's Disease and some days I still get really dizzy and feel bad, but I am okay with that.  In fact, I'd rather it be that way.  Those times and those days remind me that I am not in control.

I hope this update encourages you... to keep praying for others and to believe that God does listen.  He may not always answer right away or give us the specific answers that we're seeking.  But there is great privilege and honor in taking our requests to Him.  Keep on praying.  Keep being faithful.

And from the bottom of my heart, I humbly thank you for thinking so much of me to pray for all those years.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ear is clear - no surgery!

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers these last few days.

I am ecstatic to report that I am not having surgery Monday!!!!

I have not had any more vertigo and in fact last Sunday I woke up and my ear was completely clear.  All the pressure and ringing were gone and my hearing was restored.  This is truly a miracle.  Aside from when I had the shunt put in the first time, my ear has never just cleared up once it was full.  This is what I prayed would happen three years ago and for whatever reason God chose the surgery route for me back then.  And so I am beside myself that this time was different!

I was doing my quiet time this morning and thinking of how different my emotions would be today if I was preparing for surgery Monday.  I am so thankful today is just a regular ol' Saturday!

Thank you again for praying.  Please lift up praise and enjoy being a prayer partner in a miracle!

1Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's Ba-a-a-a-a-ck! (Meniere's Disease)

Yep... "it" happened.  After almost 3 years in remission of Meniere's Disease (NOT chronic subjective dizziness, but true-up Meniere's Disease) last Monday it returned.  As the day wore on last Monday, the pressure and ringing mounted in my left ear (my "bad" ear).  It's been a roller-coaster ever since.  Let me try and break it down:

Monday morning - I called a travel agent to discuss booking a trip to Disney in May.  The twins will turn 9 in May and haven't been to Disney.  We intended to go in Spring of 2012, but alas our family was in the throes of vertigo and dizziness and there was no way I could have "done" Disney.  And it's taken a couple of years to really get on my feet to the point I think I could handle it.  So, when the familiar pressure and ringing started that afternoon, all I could think was, "Wow! God really doesn't want our family to go to Disney!"

Tuesday - The pressure continued to mount and my hearing started to go.  I cried and sobbed my eyes out that day telling God "I can't do this.  I am not strong enough.  I just cannot."  The kids asked me that afternoon if I would eat lunch with them Wednesday and I told them my ear was bothering me and I'd have to wait and see.

Wednesday - It was bad.  I knew the vertigo was imminent.  Friends and family kept saying, "Maybe it's an infection or just a change in weather."  But I knew... I bawled my eyes out to Jonathan.  I was inconsolable.  Lunchtime drew near and I decided to go eat with the kids.  I told Jonathan, "If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down swinging."  Lunch was tough just because of the volume in the cafeteria but I made it there and back and the kids were so happy.  At 3:00, I picked the kids up from school and the moment (the split second) I pulled into the garage, a vertigo attack started.  "Thank you, God, that it didn't happen while I was driving!"  Jonathan was home and carried me inside.  It only lasted about 30 minutes, versus when they used to last 2 hours.  Jonathan called my doctor in Jackson and was able to get an appointment for Monday - a miracle to be seen so quickly.

Thursday - Still bad.  I had a small vertigo episode in the morning, but it didn't last long.  In the midst of all this I had some other stuff going on and had to see my regular doctor that day.  Jonathan was in Memphis for work and my mom had outpatient surgery on her finger that morning, so my BFF Summer took me to the doctor.  I had to lay on Summer in the waiting room because the vertigo hit again.  But I knew it was coming so Summer and I were ready for it!

Friday & Saturday - The pressure subsided a bit.  I still wasn't up for much and certainly was not about to get behind the wheel!

Sunday - The pressure and ringing were still down and I went to church with my fam.

Monday - Pressure and ringing were still down, although present.  Jonathan and I went to Jackson.  I had a hearing test, which showed hearing in my left ear was well below the norm.  The nurse came to our room to conduct the usual information session, asking why I was there.  I told her, "My shunt quit working, so I need a new one."  She probably thought I was kidding... Indeed I was not.  The doctor came in and I told him the same thing.  He first offered/suggested that we try a cortisone shot because that is the best method to clear things up while also restoring my hearing.  I told him I didn't want the shots, they did nothing last time but prolong the process and make me feel worse.  This very conservative doctor who did not stray from protocol in 2011/2012 conceded immediately and said, "I'll get the nurse in here to schedule your surgery.  It'll be pretty much like last time."  I'm not a fan of surgery, but if it eliminates vertigo from my life, I'm all for it.  God worked out some really cool details and as of right now, I'm scheduled for Monday morning, February 2!  And it really shouldn't be as bad as the first time because there's that convenient hole in my skull that he drilled the last time (so handy to have a hole in my head) and as he reminded me yesterday, "Because of your age that bone hasn't grown back much if any.  In someone younger the bone would have already regrown."  So...
Hole in my skull - check
Advanced age at which bone will not regrow - check

Today - The pressure and ringing are almost nil.  If it stays at this level, I will cancel the surgery.

I cannot help but believe there's a reason for this speedbump.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 

Perhaps for this reason alone... to remind me that apart from God's grace, love and mercy I can do nothing.  Without God's sovereignty and might, I can do nothing.  By myself, I can do nothing.  There have been many, many moments and many, many tasks and many, many activities over the last year or so when I have forgotten this.  Not intentionally.  I just haven't been intentional enough.  Who would ever think that a part in my inner ear so teeny weeny would cause so much trouble?  When my body is working fairly well and normally its easy to think I can do things myself.  But reality is that apart from God NO BODY could function as it should.  

Please, please pray with me that God will divinely regulate the fluid in my ear.  I believe He has paved the way for the surgery but I also know that He can nullify the need for surgery in a moment.  And please pray that the lesson He has for me and my family in all this will be clear.

And for the record, I'm booking the Disney trip... with a little travel insurance  :^)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bibles for Kids

I am using my Meniere’s Disease Blog to give THANKS, but this time it’s for way more than just my healing…

Many of you know about the Kings & Queens Project (KQP).  It’s a ministry that my best friend, Summer, and I started with our kids last year.  In 2013 our big project was the Underwear Affair where we collected over 800 pairs of children’s underwear for the Wellspring, a local agency that helps homeless and abused people.

This year many of you contributed to our 2014 goal and I want to give everyone an update on how it all worked out.  But first a little backstory…

For the past few years our family has sponsored children through the local Center for Children & Families Christmas Project.  Being a sponsor merely meant we bought Christmas presents for the underprivileged children in the program.  Each year we participated, we were sure to buy the children we sponsored an age-appropriate bible.

In January this year, we began brainstorming ministry ideas for 2014.   I recalled the testimony our Governor, Bobby Jindal, had given at our church several years ago.  I can’t remember the specifics of his testimony but I seem to remember that as a boy he had a Christian friend.  One day that friend either took him to church where Governor Jindal was given a bible or the friend gave him a bible.  Again, the details are fuzzy, but what I remember Governor Jindal saying is that one day he picked up that bible and began to read it.  Someone had cared enough about Governor Jindal along the way to give him a bible.  And one day, he picked up that bible and today he is a Christian.  It dawned on me that every child needs a bible of his own.  No child should be without one.  We never know the moment that a child or person may need that bible or when he may pick it up, begin reading and his life would be forever changed.

With that in mind, I contacted the man at CASA who organizes the Christmas Project.  I talked to him on January 27 and he told me because they receive state funding, providing bibles could be a problem (you know, the whole church & state separation thing).  On February 19, I talked to him again and he said the CEO was ok with our idea.  He said in 2013, 620 kids were sponsored for the Project.  YIKES!!!!  That’s a LOT of bibles.  So we set our goal of purchasing 600 age-appropriate bibles for kids to receive in December 2014.  We figured we could get the bibles for around $5 each since we were buying in bulk, which put our goal at $3000!

In February we talked to a graphic designer and brainstormed ideas for t-shirts.  We wanted to sell t-shirts that represented KQP as one way to raise money.  In April we finalized the design for our shirts.  We took photographs of our four kids and incorporated their silhouettes into the design, so the shirts hold special meaning for us.  

We also selected a bible verse that we feel represents our calling.

Matthew 25:40
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

We got our first t-shirt order in May.  We made $154 with that order.

In April our neighborhood held its annual garage sale.  Our families, along with Summer’s brother’s family, tagged all of our items and participated in the garage sale, with 100% of the proceeds going towards our bible goal.  We made $772!

Throughout the year, Lydia tenaciously sold rainbow loom bracelets and keychains by sitting out in the front driveway.  She and Emilee (one of Summer’s daughters) sold them the day of the garage sale too.  That little entrepreneur made over $165 in rainbow loom sales by waving down cars in the neighborhood throughout the year!

We placed two more t-shirt orders and with those two made just over $1000.

We also had people make donations throughout the year that totaled just over $250.

In mid-October, the man at CASA sent me the numbers for the 2014 Christmas Project… 590 kids.  Over the next couple of days I ordered bibles for 3 different age categories:
·        Birth – 5 years
·        6 – 10 years
·        11 and older

We needed 197 for the youngest group, 216 for the middle group and 177 for the older kids.  I found the bibles from 3 different vendors and was able to get free shipping on the bibles.  The total cost for the bibles?


Funds we had raised throughout the year?


We made $42.89 OVER what we needed!!!!  I was AMAZED, but then I remembered God was involved and thanksgiving and awe were the right responses.  When we move in faith, God ALWAYS responds – and He ALWAYS exceeds expectations.
We also wanted to put stickers in each bible.  Summer created the stickers (one for each age group) and a local print shop offered to produce 600 self-stick labels for us AT NO CHARGE!

Our kids have had a blast putting stickers into each bible.  

We will finish with that this week and will deliver the 20+ cases of bibles that arrived at our house a couple of weeks ago.  

Every kid in the Christmas Project will receive his own bible.  Please pray that one day, each kid will read that bible and make a decision to follow Jesus.

This has been an awesome journey.  It’s been a fun year.  It’s exceeded my expectations in every way.  Thank you to all who supported us.  We are contemplating what KQP will take on in 2015.  Please pray we will know exactly what God wants us to do.  And don’t worry, we’ll be sure and solicit your help.  J

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy 3-year Anniversary Meniere's Disease!

I know I don't write anymore.  I guess my writing was God's way of steering me through the valley.  I think I'm finally at peace with not writing for now. But I couldn't miss an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of this journey.

October 15, 2011

I will never ever forget that date.  I remember that I ran that morning, how I felt, what I wore, what neighbor I waved to and what the weather felt like.  I remember watching the Florida game that afternoon and wishing my ear would quit ringing.  I can hardly remember what I wore yesterday or what I ate for breakfast today, but I remember October 15, 2011.  I remember the Meniere's Disease diagnosis on October 24, 2011.  I remember my first vertigo attack on November 3, 2011.  I remember every detail of that morning too.  It's good to remember those things; they are etched into my brain and woven into my thoughts and remain in the background of every day of my life.  But I also like to think about the list below.  These are all the things that have happened over the last 3 years (and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch).  In no particular order...

  • Both of my kids made professions of faith, acknowledging their sin and need for a Savior.
  • I read my bible from Genesis to Revelation in the New International Version (NIV) and just started over again with a new bible in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation.  My goal is to have two extremely worn, marked up and used bibles to leave each of my kids.
  • I co-teach a nearly/newlywed Life Group at my church, teaching for 6 weeks, then my partner teaches for 6 weeks
  • I found (and have so far managed to keep) a best friend (not just a friend, but a BEST friend)
  • My kids finished kindergarten and moved through 1st and 2nd grades.  They are now in 3rd!
  • I quit driving for about a year... and now drive pretty much every day.
  • I quit running/walking... and now pretty much run/walk every day.
  • I turned 40 
  • I help in the children's ministry at our church on Wednesday nights.
  • My best friend, her girls, my kids and I started a ministry (Kings & Queens Project).  We collected and delivered over 800 pairs of underwear to children in need in 2013.  This year we have raised over $2000 with the goal of providing around 600 underprivileged kids with bibles this Christmas.
  • Our family bought (and donated) a dog.  (Gator loves his new family in Arkansas.)
  • Our family adopted (and lost) a cat.  R.I.P. Popcorn Steve (His name was Popcorn Steve.  It's a long story...)
  • Jonathan started a new job.
  • I work in a consultant capacity for my employer of almost 10 years, allowing me to flex my professional muscles a little (but not too much!)

I have learned:

  • Saying "no" to others is okay and necessary in many situations.
  • Caring for my family IS a God-given ministry and trumps all other ministry opportunities.
  • Asking for help is a good thing... and so is accepting unsolicited offers of help.
  • Even if you can't get out of bed, there are many things to be thankful for.
  • Attending church with my family is a privilege and not a duty or burden.

Most of all I learned...
God is sovereign
His plans are always perfect
He is always in control and never ever takes His eye off the ball
He intends every hurt, every tear, every valley to be used for His glory
He loves us too much to leave us alone and let us "just be"
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." ---1 Peter 5:10

I couldn't celebrate without a Gator story... Gator was bad.  He lacked discipline.  He was hard-headed.  I am sad to say I used a choke collar on him pretty often when he took me for walks.  I see people walking their dogs in the neighborhood all the time.  They just have a regular collar and leash.  The little doggies are just happy to be out and don't need a choke collar to stay on course.  I guess in a way I am so hard-headed that God had to use a choke collar on me to get my attention and redirect my life course.  And every once in a while God has to pull tight on my choke collar again to keep me in line.  Those are the physically bad days and bad stretches of days that I still have occasionally.  God's pull on my choke collar is His way of saying, "SLOW DOWN!  Remember all the things I taught you during the journey; the important things to ME, not the things you think are important."  Honestly I'm thankful for those bad days and that familiar pull.  Because without that I'd be the old me, the pre-Meniere's me.

I like my post-October-15-2011 life much better!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Proclaim the Good Things!

"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world."  --Isaiah 12:4-5

Over the last year as I've resumed a "normal" life I've tried to be deliberate in thanking God for the ability to do "little things."  There are so many activities that I take for granted.  My entry today is my public "THANK YOU" to God for allowing a great trip this summer.

Several months ago my dad's side of the family started planning a Reavis Family Reunion.  We all decided we wanted a repeat of the 2010 reunion and decided we should meet up at my dad's house in Pueblo West, Colorado.  My dad and his wife worked for months preparing for the event.  As for my family of 4, we wavered back and forth as to whether we should all go (Jonathan would drive) or if Jonathan should hang back due to work obligations (the kids and I would fly).  Unfortunately, Jonathan didn't get to go.  This was the first time the kids had ever flown and for the record, I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to flying (although I NEVER let my kids on to this).

I took a chance and booked late flights going and returning, realizing the later the flight the more opportunity for delays.  Our outgoing trip was booked like this:
Monday 6/23
- leave Monroe at 4:10 pm CDT
- arrive DFW at 5:20 pm CDT
- leave DFW at 6:25 pm CDT
- arrive Colorado Springs at 7:10 pm MDT
- dad picks us up and we drive 1 hour to his house
(An awesome 5 hours door-to-door)

Our outgoing trip ended up like this:
- leave Monroe at 6:31 pm CDT (2 hours late)
- arrive DFW at 7:36pm CDT (missed our connecting flight, which left the gate at 7:36)
- leave DFW on alternate flight at 11:50 pm CDT (4 hours after arriving at DFW)
- arrive Colorado Springs at 1:30 am MDT (drug poor dad out in the wee hours)
- dad drives 1 hour to his house and we arrive at 2:35 am MDT (3:30 "our" time)

Welcome to flying kids!!!!!  Beau at 1:00 am in-flight:

But, you know what?!?!  I was able to endure TWELVE hours of a travel nightmare BY MYSELF with the kids in-tow!!!!  I could not have done that two years ago and probably not even last year.  THANK YOU God for this "normal" life!  I had moments of frustration and sleep-deprived tears during those 12 hours but I wasn't nearly as bent out of shape as I would have been 3 years ago.  You know why?  Because 3 years ago, this would have been just a headache and a hassle.  Now, I realize that even attempting to travel is a blessing.

We had an awesome time while we were there.  I have a small family but it's still so much fun to reunite.  And although they're all Yankees and call coke "pop" I still love them dearly.  Here are some of my favorite pics:
Sunset from my dad's back porch

This looks more Redneck Reunion than a bunch of Yankees... as we overflow the hotel hot-tub.

My cousin, Jody the artist, designed the shirts with caricatures of my dad and 2 aunts.
Love the warning at the bottom, "Approach with Caution: Armed with Devilish Good Looks and Hilarity"

Beau on top of Pike's Peak (elevation 14,000 feet) with my cousin's kids.  I sat that one out!

My step-sister, Holly, with her identical twin boys Gareth & Conall (who are 10 months younger than Beau & Lydia).  This was the first time we got to meet the boys who are ADORABLE!!!!

Viva Colorado!

My cousin's kids: Wylder (17) who is 6'4" and Haiden (15) who is 5'9" - BEAUTIFUL teens inside and out

My lovely aunt Dee & aunt Sue

My beautiful cousins' wives, Marcee and Jane

My cousins Jody & Chuck

Chuck, Marcee and baby Kyan (CUTEST, HAPPIEST baby EVER!)

Our host & hostess, "Pops & Grandma"

Our homecoming trip was booked like this:
Sunday 6/29
- leave Colorado Springs at 1:50 pm MDT
- arrive DFW at 4:35 pm CDT
- leave DFW at 7:40 pm CDT
- arrive Monroe at 8:45 pm CDT
- Jonathan picks us up

Our homecoming trip ended up like this:
- leave Colorado Springs at 1:50 pm MDT (on time)
- arrive DFW at 4:35 pm CDT (on time)
- leave DFW at 9:30 pm CDT (2 hours late and 5 hours after arriving at DFW)
- arrive Monroe at 10:30 pm CDT
- A friend is on our flight; his wife picked him and us up and drove us home (they live in our neighborhood)

The kids and I rode the monorail around DFW while waiting.  Our sad "waiting" faces:

We had an awesome trip and I often thanked God throughout the week for my health and the health of my extended family to all be together.  I am very aware that only by God's grace was this trip possible.  In fact, it's only by God's grace that every moment of every day is possible.

Maybe you're traveling this summer.  If you are, I hope that you will take time to thank God for your health and resources that allow you that opportunity.  Enjoy the moments with your family and loved ones.

In other news:
It turned out that Jonathan not going to Colorado was a huge blessing in disguise.  Right in the middle of our vacation, Jonathan's dad had heart trouble.  Serious heart trouble.  Jonathan was able to join his mom and dad in their trip to Houston for my father-in-law's unplanned, unexpected bypass surgery.  And another praise - his surgery went great and he's having a fabulous recovery so far.  Jonathan got home two days ago and his dad should be home early next week.

For those who know that I set out to read my bible from Genesis to Revelation in July 2012, I have made it to Ephesians!  Pretty exciting!!!!

Beau & Lydia and their friends are working to raise money to purchase age-appropriate bibles for abused and neglected children through the Center for Families & Children's Christmas Project.  We are selling custom-designed t-shirts to raise money.  You can check out the shirts on our Facebook page.  If you're interested in helping our cause and buying a shirt, please let me know.
Kings & Queens on Facebook