one more surgery to go…

bknation_breast-cancer-tree-2This week, my wife will have her final surgery after a year of surgeries for breast cancer and breast reconstruction.  It has been a long journey with 5 total surgeries (2 surgeries were done in the same day).  Through it all I have been blessed to see how God has taken care of Erin and helped her through each surgery.  I’ve also been so amazed at how Erin has handled every surgery with strength, courage, and hope.  She has been through more than I can imagine, yet through it all she still praises God and has been such a Godly example to me, our children, and everyone she comes in contact with.  We both are praying that she will never have to go through cancer again and now can finally get back to normal.  Please pray with us that this surgery goes well and that she will remain cancer free!

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change of plans…

caffe_latteThis morning I was supposed to be at a meeting, but it ended up be rescheduled to tomorrow.  With such late notice about this change of plans I wasn’t able to get any meetings at my school or with potential supporters.  However, with this change of plans I was able to schedule one much needed meeting.  After dropping the kids off at school, I swung back around to my house and picked up my wife for a morning coffee date.

As I have mentioned on here, my wife is currently battling breast cancer.  And while the outlook the doctors have given her is really good, we have been so busy making plans related to surgeries and waiting for appointments and dates from doctors that we have been running around like crazy.  Add to that keeping up with all that’s going on with our kiddos it’s been one hectic mess.  So, to have the opportunity to go out this morning with no rush and no plans and just enjoy come good coffee, conversation, and even a little peach and quiet has been great.

I don’t really know what the next few months are going to hold for our family with surgeries, recovery, and still needing to get our support account full funded, but I do know how blessed I am to have my beautiful wife.  Even though she is scared and nervous her faith has been a blessing to me and those around us.  She is still plugging away being an awesome Mom to our kiddos too.  I pray that in the months ahead we will have many more changes of plans where we get to have quiet time together and maybe some good coffee too!

a couple of days away…

This past weekend, my wife and Erin and I were blessed with the opportunity to have a couple of days away to go to FCA’s Coach and Spouse Conference in Lexington, KY.  We have been able to attend this conference for the past five years and each time it has been a very refreshing time for us both in our marriage and spiritually.  This year was no different as we were challenged to grow both in our relationship with God and each other.  One of the things that we have already been more diligent about that we committed to do together this weekend, is daily spending time in prayer…together.  At the end of each day we have been making sure to spend time in prayer, praying out loud together, before we go to bed.  The opportunity to praise our God together and bring our needs and desires before Him is already making an impact.  There were many other lessons from this weekend that we are going to be applying to our marriage.  One of the things that was just very refreshing was being able to have lots of fellowship with other believing couples that we met.  It was a good reminder that we not only need time away together, but also fellowship that comes from being with other believers.  It’s one of those things that doesn’t always come easy living rurally and so it’s something we definitely want to do.  Overall, I am just so thankful for time away to grow with my beautiful wife.  Please pray for us as we seek to have a marriage where we always show the love Christ has for us to each other!

an update on Erin’s health…

Erin feeling better!

Erin feeling better!

It’s been awhile since I last posted to bring you up to date on Erin’s health.  At the end of last year we found out that she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a herniated disk.  The neurologist put her on some meds and she had been getting some much needed relief.  Last month, Erin had the opportunity to speak to a group of ladies at a missions conference we attended. When she shared some of her health struggles with them, she was approached by no less than 5 women who had similar symptoms. In every case they went gluten free and almost all of their symptoms went away.  After much prayer and searching for gluten free products and recipes Erin was able to go gluten free almost three weeks ago.  We have been amazed as this has had a amazing impact/turn around Erin’s every day life.  Her energy levels are up, almost all of her neuropathy is gone, and just feels better in general.  Yesterday, she had her neurologist check up and the doctor was very pleased with her progress.  He agreed that the gluten allergy is probably what caused her problem and told her to keep it up.  The doctor also said she could start decreasing her meds!   We are  praising God for Erin’s change in health and are excited that 2014 looks like it will be a much better year for the Owens family health wise!  Thank you for your prayers for Erin and our family!

down and out in Beattyville…

sick smileyGreetings once again from the home of the sick and in-firmed.  For what seems like the millionth time this winter my family and I have fallen prey to sickness.  We were actually starting to think that things were getting better.  We had gone almost three whole weeks with no illness and happy moods.  The family felt so well, in fact, that last weekend my wife and kids loaded up and headed to to Pittsburgh to spend time celebrating a late Christmas with all the in-laws.  While they were gone I missed them terribly and couldn’t wait for my beautiful wife and sweet kids to come home to me.  Little did I know that they would be bringing back a fun stomach virus with them.

On the way back from Pennsylvania, the bug hit Erin’s Mom and then on Tuesday hit her dad.  We kept praying that it wouldn’t hit our family, but by Tuesday evening my sweet little Maeven was running a temperature and not doing well at all.  Then on Wednesday morning Erin and Maeven were feeling the full effects of the virus.  I made a few phone calls and took the day off of work to help nurse my family back to health.  It was a rough day to say the least and I kept praying and praying they would get better and I wouldn’t get sick.  At 6 a.m. on Thursday morning it became clear that my prayers were not to be answered and I too caught the bug!

So, for the last part of this week the Owens family has been quarantined to our home where we have been battling a demon stomach virus that has totally worked us all over.  I don’t know why we keep being so susceptible to illness this winter, but I think it’s a combination of up and down temperatures outside, and also not getting enough time after an bug for our immune systems to recoup before being exposed to something else.  Whatever the case may be as we are once again starting to move towards feeling better, I am praying hard that this will be the end of it, and we  will be moving into a much healthier and happier season!

back with the fam…

IMG_2416This past week I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Moody Bible Institute’s annual missions conference.  I was able to teach a couple of seminars are various missions related topics and then also help my parents give a presentation on the various ministries of Kentucky Mountain Mission.  It was great to share with students, try to recruit them for full-time and summer staff positions, and just to catch up with old friends.  The only hard part of the week, (other than not sleeping much), was being away from my family for so long.  

Thankfully, I didn’t have to settle for just a couple of quick telephone calls.  Through the wonders of technology I was able to use FaceTime to catch up with Erin and the kids each day.  Judah didn’t quite know what to think of seeing his his daddy on the phone or iPad.  Maeven on the other hand was a totally into it.  She would get her face as close to the camera as she could so that I would be able to see her as she told me all about her day and how I needed to bring her back “Piglet” from the “Mickey Store” in Chicago.  It was also wonderful to be able to see my beautiful wife Erin and catching up with her.  While being away from family is tough, it’s also a great reminder of how many blessings God has given me.

I finally made it back to my in-laws, where my family was staying, on Friday night.  Being able to see the smiles on those little faces and give Erin a big hug and kiss was great.  I am pretty sure Judah has bee catching me up on all of his busy week, although I am not totally sure what he is saying in his little gibberish language.  Maeven has loved her “Piglet” and Erin is glad to have me back too.  I am truly thankful for the opportunity to go back to MBI, but to be honest I can’t wait till the kids are a bit older and I can take them with me!

thrilled out…

rollercoaser sickI sat down in the seat worn out from the day’s adventures.  Slowly I pulled the seat restraint across my lap and braced my self for the last ride of the day.  As we took off, little did I know that this would be the most relaxed that I had felt all day.  It was a smooth ride that left me feeling relaxed even though there were some exciting turns.   Yes,  I’m talking about the ride home from Kings Island and the driver’s seat of my mini-van!

On Monday, Erin and I took a day date to Kings Island.  Over the past year I had saved enough My Coke Rewards points to get us each a free pass into the park.  It was great to have some time alone to just talk and enjoy doing something fun away from home on our own.  We rode several rides at the park and really did have a good time doing so, but quickly realized that we have aged significantly since the days of our youth when we could ride thrill ride after thrill ride.  Our first ride of the day was the Diamondback roller coaster and Erin felt like she was going to fly out of it the whole time.  I actually did quite well on it, but after several more coasters my stomach was shot.  Even though our time together was great, we had become weak in our old age.

While, I don’t think my roller coaster days are completely over, I do feel like the speed at which I can recover has really slowed.  Erin told me that I will definitely have to be the one to ride with our kids when they get old enough for the big rides!  Once again the best art of my day, besides the ride home, was just a great day with Erin.  Getting to catch up and just enjoy each other’s company was great.  God has truly blessed me with a wonderful wife and I can’t wait to have many more thrilling days with her!