Another Year, More Blessings, & More Deposits

As many of you know, John’s heart re-blocked only eleven weeks after his 2013 Christmas open heart surgery. His diagnosis was Intimal Hyperplasia, which is called the ban of heart surgery.  March of 2014 was spent attempting to grasp the severity of his health situation.  We’d researched vastly already and had watched the amazing documentary,  “Forks Over Knives” before John underwent surgery.  We’d radically changed our diets after viewing that movie.  When his surgery failed, we were in shock. The Doctor’s weren’t giving us much hope either, but we continued to pray and God continued faithfully enveloping us with His Peace.

As John soaked his aching body in the tub one night,  I over heard him singing along with this Chris Tomlin song.  I was so blessed…and I think you will be too.  (It was also his Mom’s favorite song in the last days of her life.)

“There’s a peace I’ve come to know,
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

The truth of that song says it all!   As His children, we win, no matter how our future unfolds.  WE WIN! We cling daily to that truth.

In the midst of this unexpected test, another situation was also unfolding.  My mom was  loosing ground.  We were thrilled when she made it to her 100th birthday Feb 17, 2014  but we were seeing a steady decline in her memory and strength.  She was still remarkable for 100 years of age, but each time I went home to Mississippi to see her, I feared it was our last visit.  She feared she’d be bed ridden as her mom was.

In the meantime, we e-mailed Dr.  Esselstyn (one of the scientist behind that documentary) and he called us personally two or three times. We’d already cut out dairy, meat, and eggs but under Dr. Esselstyn’s guidance, we added more raw food to our diet, including six servings of kale a day.  He had us cut out nuts, as well as avocados, and fish oil tablets.   At the time we did this, John had no energy.  In fact, after he ate breakfast, the energy it took to digest the food exhausted him. But after talking with Dr. Esselstyn, we embarked on the no oil, no nuts, no processed food, mostly raw diet.   Dr. Esselstyn said he’d feel better in a few days. He was correct.  Within a few days of ‘six greens a day’ and ‘no oil,’ John felt better, much better.  It’s a tough diet to follow but we still follow it as best we can.

When traveling (Something we didn’t think we’d be able to do), we take foods in an ice chest and eat veggie delight subs at Subway or search for a salad bar or a Chipotle.  I’d say we stay on our target food 80% of the time.  Everyone who sees John tells him how wonderful he looks. : ) He is very skinny now but that makes it easier for his heart to work, so it’s a good thing.  And his Houston Dr. says “whatever you are doing, keep doing it.”  John’s chest hurts most of the time and he feels additional discomfort if he exerts more than he should or forgets to change his nitro patch but he is still enjoying life.  Often when people ask John how he is, he says, “I’m still here.”  That is what his mom said after her first stroke when asked that same question.

So here we are, John and I have made it to 2015 and it is still ‘well with our souls’.  We have added yet another new deposit to Heaven for 2014.  My mom’s Home-going occurred quickly and she entered Heaven on September 21, never having been bed ridden.  As for us, we are cautiously still enjoying life.

For each of us, as the words of the song say, “There’s a day that’s drawing near, When this darkness breaks to light, And the shadows disappear, And my faith shall be my eyes.”   In the end, for His children each passing year sees Heaven grow sweeter and sweeter.  So press on, Dear Ones.  THE BEST TRULY IS YET TO BE!

Our plant based Stuffing

Our plant based Stuffing

Our Berry Dessert

Our Berry Dessert

Our Thanksgiving Turkey!

Our Thanksgiving Turkey!

Our blessed sighting over Christmas. I had to share his Picture.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sighting seemed a gift from God.  I snapped this picture in December in Phoenix.  I love this little hummingbird.

This sighting seemed a gift from God since it was a December picture taken in Phoenix with my favorite boys.

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