Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall 2012 family update

It has been a while since I have written, so I figured I would give everyone a little update on how things are going. The kids started school this week and are doing very well so far. Zack is a sophomore at HdG High School and playing varsity football this year, so he has practices everyday and has games on Friday nights. He doesn’t always enjoy the practices, but I think it is a good experience for him. He was hired by the dance studio to teach a few classes a week on top of his two classes he takes and will be adding up to 6 more after football is over. He was also contacted to choreograph a flash mob in October, which he is really excited about. Zack is also taking 4 honors classes again this year. BUSY KID!! Jadeyn is in 5th grade this year and is doing extremely well in Math. She tested well above average on the MSA and shows a great interest in the subject. She really likes her new class and seems to be adjusting very well. She is excited because one of her classmates moved in across the street and she finally has a friend in the neighborhood. Jadeyn is also back to her busy dance schedule with 6 classes, 4 days/week. She decided to take 2 ballet classes so that she can perform with the Junior Dance Troupe and work more diligently on her technique. Cheer and gymnastics has been put on hold temporarily, although I don’t think for long. She attended a Christian camp over the summer and was awarded “Camper of the Week” for her acts of kindness and overall good morale. I am very proud of them both! I have enrolled at the community college to take 5 classes this semester, majoring in Business Administration with a certificate in Accounting. I know it is a heavy course load, but I am confident that I can handle it. I am also excited about registering for a 15K obstacle mud run on October 20. I started training almost 2 months ago and I am slowly, but surely getting prepared to run with a friend and Zack. It will be such a great sense of accomplishment for me, as this has been on my bucket list for years. I am still dating Damon, although we feel like we have very little time together, we enjoy the time that we do get. I help out babysitting his 3 month old daughter, Ashtyn, throughout the week so that they can both parents can work. It has been working out well for all of us. Mike’s parents have been extremely supportive to me and the kids. Being together has brought a lot of healing to each one of us and I couldn’t thank them enough for all that they do for us. Please pray for special blessings and increase to come to them. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than they do! Overall, I feel good about where things are at this point in my life. I am still not 100% with the circumstances that brought me here, and I may never be, but I am learning to accept that this is my new life and I need to make the most of it. I have resolved to not just exist, but to live and feel alive in every way that I can. I am finding things that stir and awaken the dormant passions in my life and that is helping me to put pieces together, one day at a time. I am still so grateful for all of the prayers and letters of encouragement that come our way. Some days are easier or harder than others, but I feel God’s hand and presence guarding me and keeping me through it all. I hope that all is well with each one of you! God bless!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

In Loving Memory of Mike:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

After recently visiting the “happiest place on Earth” and now celebrating “the most wonderful time of the year”, I have been in much thought about what brings true happiness. How can it be the happiest place on Earth when the ones you love the most are nowhere in sight and how can it be the most wonderful time of the year without the warm embraces we had last season? For a while, happiness only led to guilt and then sadness for what has been lost and taken away from my family. I have been so careful to not allow things or people to fill the voids, as I think it is necessary to allow myself to feel the pain of the loss and grieve through it fully. Although, being surrounded by so many loving friends and family, I see how people do help to fill the voids, and where one steps away, God sends another to step in. Our eyes will see what we choose to focus on. We can either become bitter and angry because of the pain or we can embrace the new and unexpected adventures that await us. And although there is an empty seat at our table this season, there is no gifts under the tree for him and my children will not feel their dad’s arms around them Christmas morning, there is no emptiness in our hearts, gifts still abound and my kids have the embrace of a loving Heavenly Father that will never let them go. I figured my greatest gift to Mike this year will be to open myself up to allow myself to be truly happy again and take with me every wonderful thing he inspired me to be. I know deep down that this is what he would have wanted. In reflection of all that has happened this year and all that I have learned, I choose to celebrate this holiday season with joy and still great expectations for a coming new year. And although 2012 may bring its own ups and downs and things may not always go as planned, I know that there is a purpose and a plan beyond anything I can figure out or understand and I know that it will all work together for good. My wish for each of you this year is that you will recognize your true source of happiness. Appreciate your loved ones for all they mean to you and all that they have brought to your life. Embrace them, enjoy them and thank them for all that they are, because without them, happiness would not be real. None are promised tomorrow. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that I made the absolute most of the time I had with Mike while I could. I hope that you will do the same with your loved ones this holiday season and all throughout the year. Be blessed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

coming home :)

Hello everyone!

I know it has been a while since out last update, so I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know how we are doing.

Zack has started high school and played JV football on top of taking 4 honors classes & continuing his rigorous dance schedule. His football team is going to the championship game this week and if they win, they will be first place in the west side of our district (which includes every team they have played against this season). He has been extremely busy and devoted to all he has going on!

Jadeyn started cheerleading this year and has absolutely loved it. She has done one competition and has another upcoming this weekend and a cheer-off the following weekend. She has also continued with her dance schedule and has adjusted very well at school.

I have been doing well. I have my moments that I miss Mike so terribly, but I grow stronger every day. I do not completely understand why things have happened this way, but I trust that there is a plan for our lives and that it is GOOD! I look forward to what is ahead for each of us and how our experiences can influence and build up others around us. We approach each new day with a positive attitude from the perspective of remaining thankful for all of the many wonderful blessings that still surround us.

So here is the latest:

I have decided to move back to MD with the kids. It was given much consideration and we are all in agreement that this is what Mike would have wanted and it is what is best for each of us and as a family. It has been very emotional just processing all of the changes in my mind and preparing to pack up the house where Mike and I shared so many moments. After a run of certain events, we feel the best time to move will be at Christmas; yes, THIS Christmas. We have 7 weeks to sort, organize, prepare, pack and go. We will be moving in with Mike’s parents and the kids will attend HdG public schools. I will be looking for a job, hopefully in the same field that I am experienced, so if anyone knows of a company that is hiring around ~$42,000+ salary, please consider recommending me. I will also be looking for a good dance studio to enroll the kids. It will be extremely hard to find a studio to compare with our KDA family here, but I am open to suggestions. We will be driving up the week before Christmas and then I am going to fly back mid-January to move our furniture and put it in storage. This has been a HUGE decision and was not taken lightly. I have really had to take so many things into consideration, but once I made it final, I felt so peaceful. I am very confident that this is the best thing for us. It is hard to close a chapter of my life and let go of some things, but in many respects, I feel that it is time to move on. I am excited about what is ahead for me and the kids and the future that awaits us. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we know that we are going to see Mike again and eventually, we will rejoice with him for all eternity. For now, I am going to enjoy what is left of my time here on Earth and do my best to honor the legacy he has left behind. Mike inspired so many beautiful things in me and I will live to fulfill each one of them as he would have wanted me to; as I hope each one of you do also. Please continue to keep us in prayer as we make this transition and if there is any way you would like to help, please see our requests below. As always, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your continual love, support & encouragement!! I love you ALL!!!

Lots of people are asking how they can help, so here are our needs:

FL friends:
Sorting, packing, cleaning, runs to Goodwill, etc from now thru Dec
As many people as possible to help load the moving truck mid-January
Someone to check my mail after we move and forward items to me
Help running the kids to dance classes so I can pack!
LOTS of love and support!!!

MD friends:
Help finding a reputable/competition dance studio
Help finding a job (Exp. is Executive Asst)
Help look for local storage in HdG and compare pricing
A crew to help unload the moving truck and load storage mid-Jan (NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER IS LIKE!!) ;-)

Winter clothes and jackets/boots/accessories for the kids (Jade - size 12, Zack – mens medium)
Gas cards for our moving trip(s) – we have to bring up 2 cars and a moving truck
Restaurant gift cards to help transition (pizza is great on the run!)
Southwest airfare credits to fly back & forth during transition
If you know anyone with moving truck discounts, please forward them along. I will probably need at least a 26’ truck

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In writing a letter to a friend trying to explain how I get through each day, this is a little piece of what came out; and I felt led to share it, just in case there is someone else out there who needs to know or needs to hear this:

When I was 12, I was led to ask Jesus into my heart to be my personal Lord and Savior. From that moment, my whole life changed. I dove into the Bible like a sponge, soaking up everything I could find that was relevant to my life and all I had been through. I remember very clearly coming across Romans 8 where it talks about the things we go through in life that are difficult, but in verse 37 it says that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. I also reflected on verses like Philipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” and John 16:33 where Jesus says “in this world you may have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world”. Even as a victim of sexual abuse, God opened me up to a new approach at looking at my life. I did not have to stay a victim. I decided that I was not going to allow my circumstances to determine my attitude and who I would become. At 12 years old, I knew that Christ died for me to give me life and every good thing I could imagine. I refused to feel sorry for myself and determined to keep a positive perspective on everything that would ever come my way. I think often of David who was only a boy, yet ran full on at a giant (Goliath) and he was unafraid because, all along, he saw the giant from God’s perspective. That giant was no match for the God on David’s side and David knew that God would give him victory. I guess that is how I have walked through my life- trying to see everything from God’s perspective. My situation and circumstances may not always be what I want or what I feel is fair, but I will not allow any of it to steal my joy. In my eyes, if I allow things to get me down or depressed, I have lost. I refuse to lose. I am not saying that I never have weak moments, or that I have not screamed at God in anger – I definitely have. But God knows my heart. I can be real with Him. I can tell him everything about how I am feeling, what I am angry and upset about. And in those moments, He swoops right in to comfort me and give me peace. I tell Him that I don’t understand and I don’t see how any of this could ever work out for good – but I will still trust Him. I will not turn my back on Him, because if I do, I will lose everything that gives me peace. If I will just seek him with all of my heart, He reveals Himself to me every time. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I trust that God holds my life in His hands. He knows what is coming and he wants good for me. I choose to receive that. I believe that words have creative power and I speak positive things over my life. I speak scripture and I really believe in what I am saying. I am determined to be and over-comer. I may not always like how things are going in my life but I will yet praise Him and continue to believe that things are getting better every day. I know that this life is so temporary compared to eternity and I want to be everything God gave me the opportunity to be while I was here on the Earth.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

THANK YOU ALL & Easter Greeting

I hope that everyone enjoyed a very blessed Easter Sunday!

I want to take a moment and just thank EVERYONE who has helped to make things so much easier for my family throughout this difficult time. Many have contributed in so many ways, it would be impossible to name and thank each one individually. God knows who you all are and I pray one-hundred fold blessings upon you and yours. Your prayers have been such a constant for us and I know that they will continue to be. I appreciate them ALL more than you will ever know!

For everyone who attended Mike’s memorial services, you know that it was his one desire to see people grow closer to God. In fact, he had said that if his journey inspired even one person to open their heart to Christ, that all of his suffering would have been worth it. For the many who received salvation along this road, I know that Mike is rejoicing in heaven!! I have tried very hard to show that our walk with God is real and not to come off “preachy” but I would be remiss if I did not extend the invitation for salvation through these messages. I know that many who have been following Mike’s story could not attend the services and I just want to share with you, briefly, what it was REALLY all about.

Mike and I believe that God created the world and everything in it. He created man and woman and gave us free will to choose whether we want to be obedient to Him, or not. Mankind chose their freedom to sin over obedience to God. The only way to redeem mankind was to send a perfect sacrifice on our behalf. God sent Jesus to be that sacrifice for all, but it is still our own individual choice to accept it or reject it. The Bible says that if we confess Jesus as our Lord before men, that Jesus will confess us to be his before his Father at the Judgment. There is only one way to heaven and it is through accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made on your behalf to save you from hell. I want to give you the opportunity to say the prayer that will save your soul. If you want to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, just pray this prayer sincerely from your heart – out loud, if you are comfortable:
“Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner in need of grace. I know that I cannot get to heaven without accepting what you have done for me, so I accept it right now. I confess that you are my personal Lord and Savior and I want to live my life to honor you. Help me Lord, change my life and make me whole. Open my spiritual eyes to see things fresh and new. Thank you for forgiving me and setting me free.”

If you prayed that prayer for the first time, you are likely feeling a peace that comes from the Holy Spirit. Tell someone about your decision and consider finding a good church to connect with and get baptized! Rejoice – you will see Mike again!!!

As I mentioned, I am not trying to be preachy – but this is what Mike and I have lived for. Whether it was his memorial service, or mine, the message would be the same. There is so much more to life than we realize!!! I have so enjoyed sharing this journey with everyone. I know that it is not over – in many ways, it is JUST beginning! I am going to keep the FB group page open for anyone who would like to honor Mike’s memory or leave messages for our family. From time to time, I may send updates just to let everyone know how we are doing. I cannot thank you enough for all of the love and support we have received!! WE LOVE YOU ALL!!! God bless!!! “Before The Morning” by Josh Wilson – This song has been a tremendous encouragement to us and I just wanted to share it with you guys! <3

Monday, March 28, 2011

It is in God's hands

Just a quick update to let everyone know what is going on:

Mike was released from the hospital on Friday to come home. The doctors have done all they can do and everything is in God’s hands. He will not be returning to Moffitt. We have the option to set up hospice if we would like to.

I feel a fire building on the inside of me – more intense each day. I cannot explain it or understand it completely, I am only confident that God is about to do something really big. When I heard the doctor’s report I was torn. I know God’s Word over our lives, but I also know that sometimes His Word is misunderstood, and His plan and thoughts are not our plan and thoughts. I wanted to stand in faith in my spirit but I was physically & emotionally devastated. I cried all night. By the morning, my faith had been renewed. I know it came from all of the prayers going up for us. Each day that has gone by I have felt stronger and more convinced that this is not the end for Mike. Some people may call it denial or a coping mechanism – but I know exactly what it is; it is the faith in the unseen. These are the kinds of moments that define true faith and I refuse to fail. Mike has determined in his mind that he is going to declare the Word of God over his life everyday and not give in to sickness. I am so proud of him. I know how hard it is for me to stand and keep believing, but how much more for him whose body has been trying to convince him daily otherwise. I am so honored to stand beside him during this time. For anyone that may be worried that I am not facing “reality”, I want you to know that I have accepted that God’s plan may be different from what I am expecting. I have full confidence that God will carry me and my family, no matter what and I will continue to praise Him for all that He is. Please do not mourn for us. Stand with us, agreeing that God is the author of life – He counts every breath and nothing can come to us unless it has passed through His hands first.

We love you all and are so thankful for your prayers and support. Now, more than ever, pray for God’s will to be done and for His glory to be revealed. It takes faith – and all of us coming together in agreement. (Matthew 21:21-22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”)

Mike’s declaration:

I declare that I am a child of God, co-heir with Christ and I have been given all power and authority over the enemy. (Luke 10:19) I am clothed in the righteousness and the spiritual armor of God. (Eph 6) My struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. I stand firm with my mind covered with the helmet of salvation and I will receive only thoughts that honor and glorify God. I tighten the belt of truth around my waist that I will not receive lies, but God’s truth alone. I have the breastplate of righteousness fitted firmly against my chest, protecting me from the arrow that flies by day and the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, and the plague that destroys at midday. (Psalm 91) A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me. My feet are prepared with the peace of knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the readiness to share it with all who will hear and receive. I am holding up my shield of faith as the assurance of everything I am hoping for. I am not moved by what I see and feel physically. Everything that will be seen in my life will not be made from anything that is visible. My faith is stronger than my circumstances and everything that is physical, logical & tangible. (Heb 11) I take up the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. It is life to my bones and health to all of my flesh. (Prov 4:22) The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of my soul and spirit and of my joints and marrow. (Heb 4:12) I get all of my energy from His Word. I will use it to defeat the enemy, conquer him and show him powerless against the children of God. (Col 2:15) I will dwell in the shadow of the Most High and rest under the shadow of His wings, making the Most High my dwelling place. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Because I love Him, He promised He will rescue me; He will protect me, because I acknowledge His name. I will call on Him, and He will answer me; He will be with me in trouble, will deliver me and honor me. With long life He will satisfy me and show me His salvation. I will pray without ceasing, alert and persistent in my prayers for all believers everywhere. I boldly declare that I will live and not die and proclaim the works of the Lord! (Ps 118:17) So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11) He is the LORD, the God of all flesh. There is nothing too hard for Him!! (Jer 32:27)