Friday, March 16, 2018

The Raging Storm

Hey everyone!
  So I finally have a surgery date--April 5th.  I saw my lung doc on Wednesday and she said I would need a two week "tune up" for my lungs prior to surgery so that means I'll be admitted to the ICU for desensitization to either Cefepime or Zosyn next Thursday, April 22nd.  There is a LOT going on in my personal life in losing someone VERY close to me to cancer.  I've prayed so much about the timing of this surgery and I asked my ENT who referred me to the "super ENT" if I could safely wait to have the surgery until May and he said, "I THINK the answer is yes." I literally left his office and got a call from the "super ENT's" office and said they had found a date to schedule my surgery for and that he was rescheduling an entire clinic day just so he could do it for me.  Well that was a resounding "No!" from God if I ever heard one.  Dr. Jacob, the "super ENT" or otoneurologist for all you medical peeps ONLY takes referrals from other ENT's so this a HUGE deal for him to reschedule clinic for me--talk about humbling.  I literally have ZERO choice in the matter but I prayed and this is God's answer, as hard as it may be to accept the timing of it all.

  Some prayer requests:

I'm having a ton of autoimmune symptoms--can't type much longer cause it's killing my fingers and elbows...even my cuticles are swollen so pray doctors can figure this one out--autoimmune anything is going to be extremely difficult to treat in me because I can't take steroids or similar medications and that is the treatment of choice for inflammation.

Pray for His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard Jord and I's heart through this entire difficult process and that we would glorify God in all our hours--especially the most difficult ones.

Pray for my witness in the hospital--that I would shine the light on Jesus in me--that in and of myself I am nothing--weak and frail but with Christ in me, the hope of glory, I can do ALL things through HIS strength and that "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is perfected in weakness.  Therefore I would rather boast of my infirmities because when I am weak then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10....I've been listening to all of John MacArthur's sermons on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 to shepherd my heart.

Lastly, here is some cute quotables from Hunter who was Aunt Shel's hands and feet yesterday since I hurt so bad:

"Aunt Shel, I want to pick up all the dog poop for you!"
"Aunt Shel! I love you SO much!"
Me: Do you want to go through our toys and find some toys to give away to kids that don't have toys?
H: Yes!!!! Oh let me find some RIGHT NOW!! Oh this one is for a little kid I want to help a little kid.
*Finds teething ring* "Aunt Shel! You could use this on your back!"
*Walking the dogs* "Aunt Shel, don't let them pull on you cause that will hurt you."

Talk about melting my heart!!! Love this little man to infinity and beyond and to the moon and back! Sister, it is SUCH  joy to share in loving your kiddos!

Gotta run--hurts to type but thank you prayer warriors!

In His Mighty Grip!
Rachelle (and Jordan)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Long Time No See! Doc update 3.1.18

Hello all! It has been eons since I've written and I've been meaning to write for a couple months but life has been insanely busy.  I'm going to keep this post (somewhat) short and to the point as it's how I'm updating family and friends on the latest with my ears. 

Looooonnnnnngggg story short, I have a choleasteatoma in my right ear, or a benign tumor for my non-medical friends.  It is near the sigmoid sinus which is a blood vessel that begins the jugular.  There is a chance it may not "fully" be a choleasteatoma but just infection etc, but we can't tell from the CT scan and because of where its at so far back in the mastoid cavity they can't see it from looking in my ear.  So I had two choices: wait and watch it, or go ahead with surgery and at the very least he can revise my ear anatomy a bit to make the opening bigger and easier to clean which would be beneficial and if it IS a choleasteatoma, remove it.  Jord and I both felt confident in Dr. Jacob and the decision to proceed with surgery because we don't want to risk it growing and causing damage to the blood vessel and I have been having symptoms and ear pain since last May.

Where it gets complicated and I would love tons of prayer is my lungs and the fact that this doctor DOES have privileges at UMC still but he works at TMC and has no "OR block time" meaning he can't get a specific time for surgery which means then he can't have the scrub nurses and people that know what they are doing with ear surgeries in the OR so we are trying to see if UMC will give him a start time or if my sinus ENT who works there would be able to donate some of his OR time to me.  If that doesn't work out, then worst case scenario, I would have to have the surgery and be admitted at TMC then transferred to UMC to be watched by my lung doc.  Although this sounds simple, it very quickly gets complicated, especially when you throw insurance into the mix and then the two hospitals and their rules and policies so we are hoping and praying that UMC will give him a start time and that the scrub nurses that are familiar with ear surgeries would be there because that will minimize surgery time, which is crucial because I need to be intubated for as short a time as possible because the longer I'm under, the harder it is on my lungs. 

I will also likely have to be desensitized to whatever IV antibiotic we chose so our ideal scenario would be to be admitted to UMC ICU to be desensitized, have the surgery, and remain there for however long my lung doc thinks my lungs need IV antibiotics to recover.  Please pray for God's favor in all of this and for it to happen quickly and smoothly and for insurance to see the need for admission to a typically outpatient surgery. 

Also, I won't go into details, but a dear family friend, Mark Voss, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Prostate cancer and he is in his early 40's with a wife and two young kids.  They were missionaries in Columbia and Jord grew up with his wife, Monica.  There is also several other people very close to me that are dealing with life threatening health issues so it has been a VERY rough week emotionally for me.  I'm thankful I serve a big God and He is mighty and in complete control and reigning on His throne even though we don't understand His plans for our lives this side of heaven, but we can trust that "as for God, His way is perfect" (Psalm 18) and "I have a good portion and inheritance from the Lord.  You maintain my lot, the boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places." (Psalm 16) This world is full of sorrow and suffering and diseases because of sin, but thanks be to God that Jesus Christ conquered that sin on the cross and 3 days later rose from the grave and now sits at the Father's right hand and intercedes for those who repent and place their trust in Him! What precious truths and promises to cling to in the midst of difficult trials. 

Thank you for your prayers and I promise I will write more "fun" stuff soon and give you lots of picture updates!

In His Mighty Grip,
Rachelle :)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother's Day Musings

     Hey's been has been crazy since getting out of the hospital.  Lots has been happening--all good things, but time consuming things.  My brother got engaged so we were in full on engagement party planning mode and I did a DVD slideshow of him and Brandi growing up and then them together which was a lot of fun to do.  Then he graduated from the Golder Ranch Fire Academy and officially became a fire fighter! So proud!  I've also been seeing lots of my sister and Hunter and Gunner and my best friend Jenn, had her miracle girl, Lilyana Joy on May 1st.  They've adopted/fostered 3 boys and after 8-9 years of infertility got pregnant with Lily and she is precious!  The great thing is that I've had the energy to help my friends and family since getting out of the hospital!  I'm trying to work on that balance and not over do it which is always hard, but so far, so good.

     Mother's Day is coming up and while a blessing and fun day for many, it can be a very difficult day for some.  Those that are walking through infertility, lost a child, lost a Mom, or have a bad relationship with your Mom can all pose difficult emotions come Sunday morning.  Expectations of getting some "me" time like all the ads would lead you to believe but you wake up with a sick little one who is clingy and whiny and just wants Momma all day.  Emotions can run the gamut and pleasing family or running between different houses to celebrate all the Mom's in your life can be exhausting instead of the refreshing day you were hoping to have.  We never know what people are dealing with or walking through, so take some time this Mother's Day and reach out to someone you know who may be struggling and encourage them.  Pray for them and remind them of Christ's love for them in all their messiness of life and that He died for them and loves them endlessly as only God can.  For those who repent of their sin and place their trust in Jesus, He will bear those burdens that feel oh so heavy--because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

     I've had a bit of an emotional week as it's that time of month--Mom and Dad suggested I use a different pan to cook tortillas and I started crying--you can pretty much guarantee that's hormones talking when that happens!  My poor hubby--he got the brunt of my "cry" day--praise God he knows me well and just held me and let me cry and when we started trying to talk about serious stuff late at night, he wisely suggested we hold off talking until we both got some rest.  I started writing a poem that night and I just finished it this afternoon.  I've been listening to the audiobook "Adorned" by Nancy Demoss Wolgumuth (HIGHLY recommend it--seriously in my top 5 books ever!) and she brought up Psalm 113:9 "He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!"  For some reason, I had never remembered that verse but the Spirit had it leap out at me.  While He has not given me my own children, He has made me a joyful spiritual Mom to many nieces and nephews that I adore.  I'm going to pick a wall and put that verse on it and then get pictures of all my nieces and nephews and put them around the verse.  Not only will it be awesome, but it will be a good reminder for me when I do have my moments when I still long for a child of my own.  Here is the poem that kind of speaks to my journey of infertility and where God has brought me today.  Enjoy...and to all my Momma friends Happy Mommy's Day--I'm so blessed to come alongside you and help you in this thing called Motherhood!

Always Dreaming

Young and so alive,
Reaching for the stars,
Endless dreams flowing,
The world at her fingertips,
Direction oh so clear.

Knowing HIS plans for her,
He sent her a special man,
She didn’t have to wait,
For the one to love her so…
‘Like a spring day or a summer night,
Your beauty is a wonder to my sight’
Wonder and awe at this feeling,
Reeling deep inside,
Oh so happy,
As they walk side by side.

The wedding comes and goes,
New wonders to behold,
Discovering life together,
Experiencing wedded bliss.

Challenges come their way,
They take it day by day,
Her dreams for little ones continue,
Then the months go by…
Months turn to years…
Waiting, waiting, waiting some more…
Oh Lord, so hard, just one, please…
She pleads through streaming tears.

Prayers become groaning too deep for words,
She’d think she was content and “ok”, 
But in the depths of her soul,
Oh so far away…
“My tears have been my food day and night”
Pray with hope as long as the desire remains,
How do you hope without the desire consuming you??

Surrounded by friends with precious little ones galore,
Oh so cute and as an Auntie she adored…
Each beautiful masterpiece sent by Him,
A precious gift from above,
“Rejoice with those who rejoice…
Weep with those who weep”
She would rejoice and laugh and smile,
And they would hold her close as tears came pouring down,
Sobs racking her body,
Oh Lord, I rejoice, but this is O so hard. 

The years continue to go by,
Hallucinations, medications, so much pain,
Moving here and there and everywhere,
Every time she’s treated,
Her head begins to spin,
Then spiraling down into the deep dark pit of despair…

BUT God…through all of this,
This journey called life,
The broken dreams like broken cisterns that hold no water,
Underneath the facade is anger,
Oh so surprised because “that wasn’t the Christian thing to do”…
But alas, she is only human,
And emotions send her reeling,
BUT God…He catches me every time…
Holds me close,
Wraps me in His everlasting arms,
Secures my future for all eternity,
When in the blink of an eye,
This miserable flesh will disappear…
Replaced, redeemed, and millennia spent with One so dear.

Who am I that I should be so blessed??
My broken cisterns pieced together,
Still marred, but whole once more…
My dreams still alive…just different…
Trusting God and His BEST plans for my life…
Still not easy,
The tears still come,
But He truly has given this barren woman a home,
And made her the joyful Mother of children…
While not borne through her body,
Or even adopted into her home,
These wonderful gifts given to friends and family,
Nieces and Nephews, oh so precious,
Fearfully and wonderfully made by Him,
To love me with sticky hands…
Excited “Auntie Shel is here!!”,
Great big hugs,
Itchy fingers galore,
Our Jesus song fixes our hurts and owies,
And He’s always there when we are scared,
We talk to Him on our purple phone,
Lots of snuggles, hugs, and kisses,
But most wonderful of all,
The love they pour out of their hearts…
A healing balm of gilead to this wounded soul.

Rachelle Thomas 

*I am connected to slow wifi right now so I can't upload more pictures, but will add more pics of my nieces and nephews when I get a better connection.* :) 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

HOME!!! :)

Just a quick note to say I was discharged yesterday!!!  So enjoying being home with my hubby and puppies!  Thankful for the care I received on my home away from home, guys are seriously the BEST!!!  I'll do a longer update but today was filled with phone calls to the home health company that didn't get my medication to me, case managers, a doctors appointment, and lots more so I'm definitely tired tonight.  Thankful I can go to sleep before 10 if I want to here!  :) Which I definitely plan on doing!

So enjoying puppy snuggles!

They were happy to see me!

Morning stroll :) 

Morning stroll :) 

More snuggles!

Nephew loves!

Hunter keeps telling me, "I am SO excited you are home!" Melts my heart!

Briefly got to see Buddy on the way home :) 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Joy and Blessings in the Midst of Sorrow and Suffering

     Being in the hospital for almost a month, suffering is all around you.  You see lived out what 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says:

"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

"...though our outer man is decaying..." I see this truth all around me and feel it inside me on a daily basis.  It could very easily sadden my spirit and send me spiraling into depression.  My room is close to the helicopter landing pad...I start praying when I hear them coming in--to be life-flighted you have to be in critical condition--thinking of the family and friends that are getting that call that changes their lives forever and they will never forget...praying for the medics, nurses, doctors, RT's, and all who will be working fervently in the ER to save that life--and most of all praying that God would draw not only the potentially dying person to Himself but their family and friends to Himself as well.  The door to eternity is closer than we all like to think about, but critical patients are all around me.  As I walk around the hospital I see the lost looks, the frantic looks, the shock, the tears, the sorrow, the sighing and my heart just cries out, "How long O Lord?! Come quickly and set this world aright! Come back and forever free those in You from the presence of sin!  This is hard Lord...I'm tired, weary, downtrodden...Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" 

     If we focused on the first part of that verse, all hope would seem to be lost as our physical bodies daily remind us of the curse of sin that is upon this world.  However, we can move onto have glorious HOPE, because of what Jesus has done on the cross as we remember that these "momentary, light afflictions, (Lord, this doesn't feel light! Help me to keep on!) are producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison."  Ok Lord, I CAN do this in YOUR strength...I am weak, but You are strong...I am tired, my body hurts, I long for home, to sleep next to my hubby, to love on my puppies, to hug my horse, be with friends and family, but this is where You have me so this is right and good and Your will--help me to keep focused on You and girded up with Your Word.  I don't have the energy to smile and talk and encourage those around me, but Lord, You do--You can give me the grace to encourage those around me--so many hurting without the hope that I have--Lord, let me give them a smile, nod hello, help them to know that someone truly cares about them--from the people that clean my rooms, to my doctors, to the people I encounter in the hallways.  They all need You and the hope that only You can give them.  Lord, let me be Your messenger of HOPE...this body may be failing me, not cooperating, but Lord Jesus, I have YOU, and that is enough.  You saved me from the hell I deserve--anything else is pure mercy and grace!  I'm so thankful for the grace Jesus has poured out upon my life!  He is so good and merciful!

     The doctors God have provided for me have truly been an incredible blessing and an answer to many prayers.  Dr. Tammy Ojo is my pulmonologist (lung doc) and she is absolutely incredible.  She's compassionate, yet firm with what treatment she believes is best.  She listens and genuinely cares about what you say and what's going on in your life and the people in your life.  She purposely looks at my family and friends that have been here when she's come in and addresses them and asks them if they have any questions about my treatment and care.  I am confident in her knowledge of PCD (which is a first for me to have outside of the docs at UNC!) and trust her medical knowledge and advice implicitly.  She has everything so organized it's wonderful and a blessing I do not take lightly.  

     My surgeon and ENT Dr. Le is also incredible.  Although the initial post-op recovery was incredibly difficult as we knew it would be, sinus wise, things are going well.  Bleeding has slowed significantly today so I'm hopeful I can get away from using my oh so lovely "mustache" of gauze wrapped around a mask soon. (And by the way...whoever thought of wrapping gauze around a mask instead of using tape is a genius--my 4 other surgeries chapped my cheeks so badly from all the tape I had to use--it's the "little things" that make such a big difference!)  The surgery itself was a lot longer than I or my family anticipated.  Apparently the first hour, they gave me an albuterol treatment and oxygenated my lungs and tried to get them as ready as possible for surgery.  My anesthesiologist was amazing--because of my issues of nausea with anesthesia and my inability to tolerate any anti-nausea drugs, she used propofol which is usually only used for shorter surgeries but they made some adjustments for me and I didn't have a nausea reaction to the anesthetic which was truly a gift.  I remember briefly waking up in recovery and before the bleeding started being able to breathe through my nose for the first time in a very long time.  I'm looking forward to things healing up and doing that again!  After getting my lungs ready, the actual surgery was around 2 1/2 hours.  He said my frontal sinuses didn't look like they had ever really been touched--he opened up the cavities and then cleaned them all out.  Not all surgeons are comfortable getting close to the brain to clean stuff out, but he did and said that the amount of mucus and thick green junk he got out of my sinuses was incredible.  He said he was able to open everything up so it should gravity drain when I do my rinses--since my cilia can't move stuff out, he is hopeful that my daily sinus rinses will act as a replacement now that the rinse can actually GET to where it needs to go to flush the mucus out before it gets so bad.  

     Then came the hard part of sinus surgery--I started throwing up the blood that had drained into my stomach after surgery (even though they pumped my stomach in the OR) around 5pm...this starts the vicious cycle of my nose bleeding even more, blood draining down into my stomach, throwing up etc et 7 I called Jord and he came down to help Mom help me.  He was here from 7-11:30 when we thought I was slowing down on the throwing up but it turned out to be a short relief.  I continued throwing up until 1AM, when I finally stopped and was able to get a few hours of sleep, which I desperately needed.  I don't know what I would do without Jord and my Mom--their unconditional love for me was poured out as they helped me through the night--heaving with me at times, exchanging the basins full of bloody throw up, changing my gauze pad every few minutes, plugging my nose to try and help stop the bleeding, rubbing my back, putting cool wash cloths on my neck and forehead and so many other "little things" that demonstrate true love.  It's in these moments that Jord demonstrates his commitment, time and time again, to love me not only in the easy times, but in the difficult ones--God has truly blessed me with a husband that sacrificially loves me so well.  He got home late and still went to work early that morning and worked all week.  Mom continues to show her love for me as her little girl--no parent wants to see their child suffer, but she is there for me when I need her and has sacrificed sleep to stay overnight with me in the hospital.  Thank you for your love, Momma.  

     I truly am one blessed woman.  Not only do I have an incredible husband who loves me sacrificially, but two families that love me--not just my family, but Jord's family truly loves me as their own.  As if that wasn't enough, He has given me not one, but multiple treasured friends that love and encourage me.  On top of that, I know so many extended friends, family, and even people I barely know, don't know, etc, pray for not only me, but Jord, and my family and friends.  I think of a portion of the book, "A Gospel Primer" which I'm paraphrasing but says, "To be handed an empty cup would be an incredible blessing from God but the fact that I'm not just given an empty cup but a cup that overflows with blessing is a miracle of miracles from our gracious God..."  To God be the glory, great things He hath done!   

Dr. Ojo and company :)

Dr. Le and I 

     As much as we prepared my lungs for surgery, they didn't like it very much.  My mucus is back to being thick and green, even on the antibiotics.  On the day of surgery, we stopped one of the IV antibiotics, IV Colistin--I had been on it for 14 days and it can be very hard on your kidneys so they don't want me to be on it longer than necessary.  My mucus had gone to a pale yellow and I was feeling really good.  Obviously, surgery was extremely difficult on my body.  I have lost 10 pounds over the course of the last 19 days and since surgery, my appetite has not returned.  I'm thinking my body took the energy that it was using to fight my lung infection and turned to healing from surgery and it simply doesn't have the energy for anything else.  Following surgery, Dr. Ojo added oral Cipro so I was still on two antibiotics to fight the pseudomonas.  When she came and saw me yesterday, she took one look at my mucus and told the pulmonary resident and fellow that was with her that we needed to add inhaled colistin.  She looked at me and said, "You really needed that 7 days of antibiotics after surgery."  That means I'm currently on 3 different antibiotics--IV Cefepime, inhaled Colistin, and oral Cipro.  She is going to come by tomorrow and see how I'm doing and plan on sending me home on the inhaled Colistin and oral Cipro.  I'm praying I WILL get to go home, but also trying to hold that loosely, knowing my body and the fact that I would rather stay and get well completely before going home so that I don't go downhill and have to come back and start all over.  Remembering Proverbs 16:9 "Many are the plans in a mans heart, but the Lord directs his steps."  

     So I am counting down the days until Tuesday morning, which at this point is a mere T-minus 2 1/2 days, but at the same time looking for continued opportunities to encourage those around me--both those who care for me and those I meet in the hallways.  Jord and I truly appreciate all the love, prayers, and support we receive from all of you--we couldn't walk this journey without Jesus and all of you!  

In His Mighty Grip,

Mom was holding the doors for the transport people...

So she posed cause I had my phone! 

We had a fun trip down to pre-op!

Fun pre-op people make such a difference!

Mom, Snuffy, and I ready for surgery...lots of these pics! Snuffy is 31!!

Being goofy

Snuffy and me

In recovery before I started bleeding when I could breathe through my nose!

1AM the night of surgery...finally stopped throwing up after 8 hours...was NOT fun.

Turning the corner!

Turtle day today :) 

Although tired, got outside to get some vitamin D and keep moving to help my lungs recover :) 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Surgery Update

Just a quick post--Here are my facebook updates:

It's been a really rough recovery so far...they pumped my stomach in the OR but there was still blood draining down so I've spent the day throwing up, causing my sinuses to bleed more, then being nauseous and throwing up more blood and thus we went round and round even with the highest dose of Zofran they could give me. I'm on morphine and I called Jord around 7 in tears and although vomit is the one thing he can't stand he has been by my side all night...he just left a little bit ago and is planning on going to work in a few hours...pray for him fervently my friends! I'm blessed beyond measure to have my hubby and my Mom by my side through this rough day and night...a dear friend texted me this article on lamenting vs being angry with good! I took a screen shot of some of the things that encouraged me and moved me to tears. God is so faithful to sustain us and be so very near us in this valley! I'm snuggled up between Waddles and Snuffy 😊

Doing much better this morning! Only using half the morphine for pain, bleeding is minimal, and vomiting stopped around 1AM. Docs came at 630 so didn't get much rest but resting now...if you want a good ab workout just throw up every few minutes for several hours...effective but I don't recommend it lol. Gotta start sinus rinses twice a day and there will be pain but we are past the worst part, praise the Lord!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sinus Surgery 4.3.17

     Just a quick update before I head to bed tonight.  I did end up getting a time for my surgery tomorrow so it will be tomorrow at noon, AZ time.  I'm as prepared as I can to spend the weekend with my was good and hard all at the same time.  He was teasing me today that I always cry when he's here so he wasn't going to come anymore cause I do better when he's not here lol.  It's hard to explain--when he's not here I miss him but I don't get as emotional but when he's here, it's like this flood of emotions hits me, especially when it comes time to say goodbye.  My nurse was super sweet after he left and came and just talked to me in my room and gave me a big hug.  Her husband is in Iraq right now so I was like, "Now I feel silly for crying for being apart from my husband for a mere 21 days compared to how long you are apart from your husband!"  She then told me that she thinks I have it harder because of being sick and all that I go through.  Tonight, I'm reminded that God gives each one of us the circumstances He chooses that are best for us to make us more like Christ and that will bring Him the most glory.  Sometimes those circumstances are incredibly difficult and sometimes we look at other's lives and think they have it easier or that you could never possibly walk through what someone else is going through.  The truth of the matter is that God doesn't give us grace for our imaginations or worries or what someone else is going through--He gives us grace for the race He has put before us and as hard as it is, the Bible reminds us that we need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ--the Author and Finisher of our faith and not compare ourselves with others.

     I was also very encouraged as I watched Matt and Cameron Dodd's testimony of how God has sustained a dying man...I was reminded that I will never suffer as much as my Savior suffered for me.  What a precious truth to remember!  The last 14 days have been hard as will the next 7 or body doesn't heal fast because it's always fighting so many things so while the goal is to go home by the 10th, my recovery won't be over at that point, but hopefully the worst of it will be over.

     Thank you once again for all your prayers, love, and support.  My sister will update my facebook page tomorrow and I'll see about having someone update here for those of you that don't have facebook, or aren't friends with me on there.

     May you all have a great night and remember these verses:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss [c]in view of the surpassing value of [d]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [e]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and[f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 [g]in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I doforgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 Ipress on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:7-14~

Me and Waddles snuggling :) 

Jord sort of playing my picture game ;) 

Mountains are so pretty out my window!

Love that my camera will focus on the outside picture!