Monday, November 26, 2012

pallet wood christmas trees

Here are the trees that my wonderful hubby has created from old pallet wood!!  We are going to have all different sizes (any height can be made)...and the proceeds will help chip away at my lyme medical debt.  If you are interested in getting one of Chris's creations, send me an e-mail ($25 per tree.  We will have some ready to go this Wednesday!  Thanks for helping us out!!  We love y'all.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"We're Gonna Make It" - Thank You Anonymous

Many of you may know this, but the phrase that Lindsey and I often repeat to one another is "We're Gonna Make It."  When one of us seems to have lost hope the other will repeat this little refrain as a lighthearted reminder of our ultimate hope.  On days when it's unusually dark we ask one another "Are We Gonna Make It?" to which the reply is, YES - We're Gonna Make It. All that to say that TODAY this card came in the mail from an anonymous prayer warrior with "You Can Make It" on the cover...this is not random.

Inside this card was a letter - a full page typed letter of prayer and encouragement from a total stranger. She has been reading this blog for quite some time now - aching with our heart aches, crying for us, and interceding on our behalf. In her letter she states that when she read my post about Cash, Coffee and Sausage she wanted to "get in on the fun" so she sent $250 in cash IN THE MAIL! I'm including a picture so you know I'm not just making this up!
Praise GOD! Glory to God! I'm so touched by this woman who obeyed the impulse God put on her heart and literally mailed us cash. Perhaps even more moving to me is that people we don't know are reading our story and praying for us - getting our back and standing with us. We so need that. We so need to not be alone in this. Today was a reminder that we are not. I'm once again stunned. God is once again clearly declaring - I GOT YOU.

We needed this especially today. Why today? Because today we've felt worried and terrified.
Today Eliana had more seizures. She hasn't had seizures for many months but this morning they occurred on and off for about 15 minutes. We both just feel sick about it.

Also the last three nights Eliana has been waking up in the middle of the night with restless legs that she says "itch". She literally writhes in bed trying to get comfortable. Two of the three nights she's been unable to go back to sleep - which means her day has been starting around 3:00 or 4:00AM.

On Friday we have Eliana's follow up MRI - I'm glad we have it already on the calender for this week. PLEASE PRAY for God's mercy over that whole process. Pray that they find nothing new or abnormal in her precious little brain.

Clearly God is mysteriously at work in all of our lives...and has been making Himself more and more obvious in the Wheeler home lately.

To the anonymous woman - thank you. Thank you for writing. Thank you for reading our blog. Thank you for taking action and sending us cash. We needed that. Thank you most for praying over us. Thank you for hoping for us. Thank you for your tears. Thank you for allowing God to use you. Thank you for your love. By the way I so respect you for not telling us who you are - that's so cool. You stated in your letter that you want God to get the glory - so here goes...

Thank you God for being YOU. Thank you God for showing up right when we need you. Thank you for taking such intimate care of our little lives. Thank you that you know our deepest needs and meet them in such beautiful ways. Thank you for leading this woman to represent you today! Thank you that you've got us and the "whole world in your hands."

I leave you all with the verse that the woman included in her letter of hope. They are the right words - so fitting for us today...

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

Grace and Peace
- Chris 

PS Eliana is still as precious and funny as ever...lately she's been walking into her school using her lady bug umbrella as a cane, wearing rain boots to her knees with her sequined purse slung cross body style. Ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How HOPE came through Cash Coffee and Sausage

This post is about seeing more this pic of Eliana wearing my glasses seemed fitting.

Today God showed up. Yes - He's always here - I know that and I believe that. But today was huge for me. As many of you know, there are days and especially nights that our world feels pretty bleak. There are moments when Lindsey and I both feel like we're just about to we just literally can't take it any more.  Last night was especially rough and it felt like Hope was just about gone. Today God sent us message after message to declare - "I'm still here and I've got this." I'm writing to give God Glory tonight...

Today was one of those days where I had to take the afternoon off from work in order to allow Lindsey to rest. Lately Eliana has been exceptionally anxious and in the red as we say.  It's typically better if we can get Eliana out of the house. Often a change in location can help to reset her. So Eliana and I went to my current favorite store on earth, Home Depot. In Home Depot she was basically running all over the place - climbing on or getting in every display she could. She had to go potty twice. I grabbed the Sawzall blades I needed and we checked out. 

As I was strapping Eliana back into her car seat I noticed  some cash on my passenger seat. I don't really carry cash and I certainly don't leave it laying around my car. I quickly scanned the interior and realized there was $100 in twenties scattered about the seat and floorboards. What! How? I had left the windows cracked to give Polly Esther the Pomeranian some air.  You may know that Polly travels with us a lot these days as Eliana is obsessed with our dog and "needs" to have her with us at all times. At any rate someone slipped 5 twenty dollar bills in through my window. Side note, I'm sure Polly must have been barking her head off while this went down. I quickly scanned the parking lot to see if I noticed anyone or any familiar cars but nothing. It occurred to me that I may not even know the person who gave the money. The bottom line was that in that moment I knew it was God appointing someone to send us a message - that He has not forgotten us.  I prayed a huge prayer of gratitude and slowly pulled out of the parking lot to continue going about our errands.

Later this afternoon I decided to pull through a Starbucks drive through. I ordered at Venti Americano.  As I ordered it I thought how it was slightly more expensive than the brewed coffee I normally order but that perhaps it was ok since we'd just been given the money at Home Depot. As I pulled forward to the pick up window the Starbucks lady told me that the sweet lady in the vehicle in front of me had already paid for my drink! I quickly looked up to see an unidentifiable SUV/Van type vehicle take off from the parking lot. At that point I told the Starbucks lady - well Praise God! As I pulled forward I grabbed my hair and just strarted yelling my Praise to God. I had to park the car I was so excited. I was shouting Praise God thank you - thank you! Eliana got excited too and together we were shouting out thank yous whooping and hollering! Eliana didn't quite get it but I told her God had given us money at Home Depot and that God had given me my coffee for free! We both just got tickeled and she thought it was so fun that I was so lit up!

Talk about living expectantly! On both of these occasions today I Tweeted and Facebooked my gratitude to the anonymous messengers of God's love. I almost posted my next location just in case someone else wanted to join the trend! Instead I drove home just happy.

Back at home Eliana and I were playing in the front yard. A neighbor friend drove up to surprise us with food! She showed up with our favorite snack - a block of cheddar cheese, Ritz crackers and summer sausage (pretty country I know)! She also brought a bottle of orange juice - Eliana's beverage of choice! This too was just because...

This morning I remember asking God to show up - to bring us new hope. Wow. I'm speechless. I'm stunned. I feel such peace inside in this moment. Today was a message of far greater worth than the actual value of the cash, coffee and sausage. Today God spoke. Today God reminded us.

Thank you God. Thank you that I took the afternoon off. Thank you that I went to Home Depot and took Polly so that the windows would be cracked. Thank you that you show up in the ordinary details like Starbucks lines. Thank you for folks that are praying for us. Thank you that just this afternoon a friend of ours, Millie Snook in Washington state told me that she'd be doing 1 Thessalonians 5:17 for us - praying without ceasing!

You never know what a day will bring. I'm reminded of Matthew 6:25-34 and especially verse 34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." It seems that lately our days are filled with trouble. Lindsey has felt horrible for longer than I can remember. Eliana seems to be in a near constant state of fear & anxiety. I feel stretched thin and worn. But God keeps showing up. He keeps giving us just what we need when we feel that we our slipping from sanity. Moral of the story... if God prompts you to GIVE or GO, you should do it! If you don't know the person, do it anyway! If it's give anonymously to the Wheeler's - go for it and we'll write about it...just kidding...sort of. Glory to God.

Grace and Peace,


Monday, November 5, 2012


Here are a few things I know about hope.  The dictionary says hope means to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.  Hope is Eliana's middle name...Eliana Hope Wheeler.  To hope against hope means to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment (a lot of what I'm doing now).  Hope is something I am trying not to lose on a daily basis.  Hope is engraved on a lot of my jewelry.  I'm finding that with hope comes peace...and without hope, life is chaotic.  So, why is it so difficult to remember this? What if my circumstances don't change drastically...I'm not promised an easy life.  This morning I woke up and specifically started praying for the Lord to give me peace and hope.  I knew I would have to repeat this prayer over and over throughout the day.  About three huge rages/panic attacks later plus a hard conversation with Chris about E's progress/future plans and I'm left in a mess again.  Thank the Lord for His grace that covers my doubting heart.  We are battling for our daughter's health and peace...and we are begging God for healing of my disease.  I've never been so aware of my weakness and frailty.  I am nothing.  I can't magically make this all better.  No one can fix us. I know people want to feel like they can.  No change of my diet, or new exercise routine, or new special brain book for Eliana will bring the Hope I need...only Jesus.  Only I believe that??  I'm trying to friends.  

Love y'all,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

warning: this post is not pretty

I am about to have a full-fledged melt down, so I thought it was time for a post/vent.  We need prayer.  Really, we need miracles.  We need Jesus.  And can I just tell you that He feels a million miles away right now.  I know in my head that He is not, but I feel like we keep getting the crap kicked out of us (wanted to use a stronger word).  Not sure where to begin...but we will start with Eliana.  Oh my word, the girl is cute and tender-hearted and funny.  And I think that's why I'm so angry watching her slowly fall back into intense anxiety/rages/panic attacks/attachment issues/OCD....the list could go on and on.  Each day is getting worse than the last.  THIS IS NOT HER FAULT!!  I'm not sure who I'm mad at...her brain, the trauma she endured, the questions that will never be answered about neglect, her doctors (I know it's not their fault)...but I'm crazy mad tonight.  I want to yell at someone and have absolutely no one to yell at.  I've watched other kids have normal tantrums and actually been jealous.  Why can't Eliana just have normal tantrums??  These aren't her fault.  You can't punish her for things that are so out of her control.  But, it is so not fun having to defend yourself against getting hurt or her hurting herself.  It's actually the most heartbreaking thing I think I've ever dealt with.  I want to take her pain from her.  I want to endure the anxiety, so she can be a "normal" 5 year old little girl.  I'm not obsessed with Halloween, but I was so sad she could not dress up and walk around.  Just one shopping trip to Walgreens a few weeks ago set her over the edge.  She saw a scary mask (no offense to those that wore scary masks...but why do we need those) and CAVED.  She keeps crying about the mask's eyes and split down the face.  She now permanently has that in her little memory.  I had to stay away from every single store that carried any Halloween decorations.  Praise God we are moving on to Thanksgiving!  Today, I took Eliana to her psychiatrist appointment and it could not have come on a better day.  Sweet girl fell asleep in the car, so I picked her up and carried her inside.  She woke up in the psych office and started raging immediately.  Our psychiatrist is amazing and is so good with her.  But, 3 of us could not help her calm down.  Her doctor was getting food out of her purse because Eliana was screaming at the top of her lungs for food.  She was kicking me with every bit of force she could muster.  And, I say it was a good visit because the doctor got to witness what few people do.  Y'all get to see her sweet face in pictures (she is the prettiest little thing ever)...and I promise you would not believe it's the same girl.  Again, not her fault.  Oh, I'm so sad for her.  So many nights I just cry going to sleep.  I promise, I wanted to drive myself one block over to the adult Vanderbilt psychiatry center and check myself in after this appointment.  But, we made it.  There is good in with the bad.  She had fun jumping on the trampoline with some of her sweet neighbor friends. So thankful for that.  Y'all...I am just begging you to pray like you never have before for a child.  She needs it!!  We need it. 

All of this does not aid in my healing/treatments for my Lyme disease.  I am supposed to get a lot of healthy...try not to stress.  HA!!  It really does make me laugh.  I am exhausted beyond belief.  I am going to treatments that I pray are working because they are costing us way more than our mortgage each month.  People want me to be better.  Does that make sense??  It's not any one's fault, but I don't feel like I'm getting better at all.  I am trying my darnedest to trust that God is putting me exactly where He wants me and in the right doctor's hands.  But, if I think about it too hard or too long...I get scared.  Scared that I am always going to feel this way.  I feel like I'm a prisoner in my body (from the weight gain and pain)...I tried to explain to someone that when your brain has constant pressure on it, you literally just feel out of your body most of the day.  There are a few sweet Lyme friends that get it (thank you Lord for connections and facebook)'s the loneliest place.  You want to be around people and go places...but going out makes you feel a thousand times worse the next day.  It seems like a lose-lose.  I know that all of this seems very pessimistic...and I don't want to live that way!  I really try to stay strong for Eliana and for Chris (WHERE WOULD I BE WITHOUT CHRIS)...but there are nights like tonight where I just need to be honest and real.  Please pray for continued financial provision and for healing in my treatments.  Pray for Eliana's anxiety when I have to go to treatment (sometimes it's 6 hours in one day).  Tonight I am so thankful for neighbors and bible study girls (of which I can't even make it to usually) that have made us meals, watched Eliana and asked how they can help.  This journey would be next to impossible without y'all. 

Love you all,

P.S.  Chris is a rock star husband and dad...but y'all already know that!  He serves us endlessly...right now he is cleaning the house at 10 pm, so it will be less stressful for me tomorrow.  Love him so much.

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