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Archive for the ‘Prayer Requests’ Category

Guinevere 1

In June of 2011 we began praying for our friends, Jared and Jen King, whose daughter Guinevere was born at 27 weeks gestation. They spent months in the hospital, and we kept everyone updated on their Caring Bridge website. She was able to go home ahead of schedule and their life has been a wild ride since then. Every milestone has been celebrated, and she’s quite the little cutie. Jared and Jen are fabulous parents and continue to fight for Guinevere and the challenges she faces, which brings us to this post.

Guinevere

Jared called me a few days ago to tell me that Guinevere needed to be hospitalized again. I’ll let his update speak for itself, but I want to ask you to join me in prayers for healing, answers, rest, and provision for my friends and their beautiful little girl. Thank you!

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Sorry for the long silence, but, up until today, there hasn’t been much to update.

Guinevere is in the hospital because she has long had issues surrounding eating and feeding. They are, indeed, medical, not behavioral, issues. I haven’t mentioned this much to many because I get sick of explaining it long form and half the time still have people confusing it for her just being a picky eater or obstinate, and the other half still barely gripping the concept but getting that there’s “something” going on.

The bottom line has been: she hasn’t been eating well. We’ve structured our entire lives around getting her to eat. It was consuming the vast majority of our days. There were no “days off” from dealing with this. Occasionally, she’d have a good day, but she would only be able to consume about half of the calories she needed to survive on her best days. And those were about 1 in every 10. We had been jumping up and down, screaming for help for her since July of last year with little success. Her care team, including numerous specialists, could all see that there was something going on, but it was nearly impossible to get an appointment with the therapists and specialists that she needed to see because they were under such high demand.

So, last Thursday, Jen took Guinevere in to see her pediatrician. She explained everything, again, and in more detail, about all we were doing to feed her with such little success. Guinevere had actually lost weight since her last visit, and hadn’t gained any, overall, since November. She was only up 2 lbs since her birthday. The pediatrician could see that there was no other way to get the assistance we needed, so she ordered Guinevere hospitalized under the diagnosis “failure to thrive.” In the hospital, there is access to all of the specialists we need.

So, for the first 48 hours, we were visited and observed and recorded, etc. They were measuring her caloric intake, as well as everything that “went out.” That has continued.

Yesterday, they decided that they were going to place a nasal gastric/NG tube (a tube that goes down her throat into her stomach through her nose, and has a snap enclosure that hangs down at the end of excess tube that hangs over her ear and down her back) and give her 400 calories of liquid nutrition over 10 hours as she slept. By their count, she’s taking about that much in orally during the day, and she needs 800 calories a day to be healthy and grow.

The placement of the NG tube was a difficult experience, but she has shown no proclivity to yank it out, which is pretty amazing. She’s such a trooper in that.

Last night, they gave her the first supplemental feeding. Today, she was a completely different person.

I had the best day of my life today. I’m not using excessive hyperbole. It was. It beats the day I got married. It beats the day that we found out she was coming. It beats the day that we brought her home from the NICU in August of 2011. Today, for the very first time, I saw my girl chew food. She has never chewed before. Ever. This morning, we were giving her little bites of blueberry muffin, which she would generally just mash around her mouth with her tongue before swallowing. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I saw her jaw moving up and down. For the first time. Ever. With food. In her mouth. She ate about the same as one of her best days without the tube assistance, but feedings were much faster, and she was more participatory.

She held her soy milk container herself. Before today, we wouldn’t have let her hold it for fear she would drop it. She would not have had the strength or coordination/fine motor skills.

She climbed up on an ottoman and onto the couch in her hospital room. She never would have had the strength to do that before. It blew me away. At home, we always had to help her onto the couch or chair she wanted into.

She went over to another little girl, a good 25 feet from us, and she engaged her to play with the same thing. She would have never gotten 5 feet from Jen or dared engage another child socially without our provocation. A week ago, I would’ve told you that you were stupid and didn’t know my daughter if you tried to convince me I would witness that today.

There are other things, and I could go on and on. But, we had a really good day today. We have a long way to go. Do not get me wrong. We are no where near the finish line and my tough little person has so much work to do. But, today, instead of acting like a cautious 9 month old, my daughter acted like a confident 21 month old. And she chewed her food. It was the best day of my life, thus far.

 

 

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Update on Eddie

Sorry for the delay in an update, but I wanted to actually have new info. for you.

Benny has been to see Eddie twice, and he is SO discouraged and worried about his future. He is in Boulder County Jail and being held without bond due to the serious nature of the charges. Everything was confiscated as evidence, so we took him some reading glasses today. We’re having a Bible shipped to him tomorrow as it has to come directly from a bookseller. I’m learning all of the restrictions, and they are many. Benny is the only person that has been to see Eddie since his arrest, which is depressing. The good news is that he can receive mail. He needs all the love and encouragement he can get, so if you’re interested in sending him a card or note, please email me (nikinowell at gmail dot com) and I’ll give you the address. We’ve promised him we won’t forget about him, so we’d love some help keeping his spirits up.

The Daily Camera (the Boulder paper I don’t like) posted a new article today about him. You can read it here:

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_19247680?source=most_viewed

Everyone who knows Eddie is giving the same story: he’s a decent guy, non-violent, and pretty trustworthy. But, the road ahead is a long one. And though our judicial system is supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”, it appears to be just the opposite. Eddie is going to have to prove self-defense. Please pray for him and his family.

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Yesterday I got a text from a friend who had heard about a stabbing in Boulder involving 3 homeless men. She wanted to know if we knew them. I read the article and looked at the thumbnail picture of the suspect and was thankful that no, I didn’t recognize the face or the name. But one of our other street friends posted something on Facebook today that made us investigate further and we were shocked to find out that the suspect was in fact our friend Eddie. I hadn’t recognized him because he wears his hair differently than the picture and because you couldn’t enlarge it to see it better.

Eddie, who plays the guitar left-handed on the mall. Eddie, who has 2 sweet little girls that live with their mom. Eddie, who Tanner met when he was here for Spring Break and reconnected with this summer while he was here interning with us. Eddie, who visited church with us and wept through the service. Eddie, who is grateful for everything he has. Eddie, who I happily introduced my parents to last Sunday. Eddie, my friend.

Benny is doing his best to get in to see Eddie, but we have heard, and the newspaper has now run this as well, that he claims it was self-defense. He is not a violent guy and the other street people know this too. Many have given that statement to the police. It is still under investigation, and I would appreciate it if you’d pray for my friend. Even if it wasn’t self-defense – and I believe in my gut that it was – I would stand by Eddie through this process.

Being homeless isn’t easy, and it’s not a choice for everyone. I’ll end this now before getting on that particular soapbox. I’ll update this when I know more. Thanks for praying.

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I just got home from the class I’m taking on Thursday nights and was preparing to post here when Karen, my best friend here in Denver, texted to say she’s at the hospital with her dad. I don’t have any information to give about him, but I love my friend and I’m going to be with her. I’ll be back tomorrow with blog stuff. Please pray for him – God knows the details. Thanks!

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In two weeks I’m headed to the beautiful YMCA of the Rockies for my first ever writer’s conference.  As I prepare for that few days away from my family, I am filled with excitement and a little apprehension. My friend Kristi and I will be staying in her cabin in Estes Park, and I will know a few people at the conference, but I’m intimidated by all that I don’t know. We talked about conference preparedness at one of my writer’s groups last week, which helped, but I’m feeling a strong need to be myself even if I might do things a little differently than some of the more experienced attendees. I want to fit in and yet stick with what works for me, you know?

The 4 day conference will be filled with making friends, general sessions led by phenomenal speakers, and what I’m most excited about, attending a variety of workshops.  There are so many to choose from! I started marking off  those I’m most interested in, and quickly realized I’m totally on the non-fiction track. I think that suits me. I’m looking forward to soaking up the knowledge the speakers have to share with me.  Here are a few of the workshops I’m planning on attending: Writing Compelling True Stories (Creative Nonfiction), Writing in the Niches: How to Identify, Connect With, and Maximize Your Audience, Map to Magazine Writing, and The Literature of Personal Disaster.

So where does the apprehension come in? Being asked, “So what do you write?” and not knowing how to answer. Do I say I’m a blogger? An anthology contributor? I know what I am NOT, and I’m still figuring out what I AM. Is it a good thing to be clearly defined? It is in the writing world, and I’m not there yet. I’m hoping this conference will give me some direction and confidence about where I’m headed. I’m going to do my best to leave my expectations at home.

All the talk I’ve heard about “selling yourself” makes me nervous too. I hear this is one of the more relaxed conferences where jeans aren’t totally frowned upon, which is good since that’s what I’m most comfortable wearing. I can dress jeans up a little with a cute shirt, so I’m going to dress like me and not worry about looking “professional” this time around. I’m not planning any meetings with Agents or Editors, so no business suits, but no pink fuzzy slippers either. 🙂

“Write His Answer” is the theme this year. The website says, “If you long for your words to make a difference in the lives of your readers, if your heart’s desire is to be encouraged and equipped to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives…”  Yes! That’s me!  Please pray that God will give me His direction in how to accomplish that goal like only I can.

http://writehisanswer.com/Colorado/

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The past few weeks have been rough for our family. Our friend and neighbor, Terry, committed suicide two weeks ago.  We spent a week doing our best to hold up his wife, make phone calls for her, and attend memorial services.  It was with sadness that Benny spoke at Terry’s memorial service in the same place he had performed their wedding last April.  Please pray for Nell as she deals with this major loss.  She feels responsible though we keep telling her she’s not.  😦  The one good thing coming from this terrible situation is that we’re getting to know Nell’s son James and his wife Cris, who are our age.  This week our friends and neighbors on the other side of us told us that they are splitting up.  They have 3 little boys ages 4 and under.  Our neighborhood is a mess.  Once again we find ourselves right where we’re supposed to be, but sometimes it’s difficult not to be discouraged. Our family has also dealt with several bouts of illness and dental issues.  Please pray for us too.

We had a group from San Antonio bless our socks off a few weeks ago.  (Which is o.k. They brought us 750 pairs of new ones.)  Read about it on the SEVENS blog when you’re finished browsing here.

I just finished reading the Harry Potter books.  I’ve seen all of the movies up to this point, but reading the books gave me the richness of the tale that I didn’t realize was missing.  As far as children’s and young adult fantasy fiction is concerned, I loved them.  Especially the themes of love, loyalty, courage, and perseverance.  Max has been asking about the movies for quite awhile now, so a few weeks ago we borrowed the DVD’s from the library and watched them.  After each one we had really good discussions about the themes, good vs. evil, who represented which side, how the characters treated each other and the adults in the story, and a whole host of other things.  We also agreed that a “room of requirement” would be quite handy to have in our house. 🙂  I know the Harry Potter series  and other fantasy books can be controversial in Christian circles.  I’m making a statement of opinion and do not wish to debate this with believers who have opposing ideas about these books.  I respectfully ask that if you want to talk about how evil they are, please do it on your own blog. 🙂

I was finally able to order a few extra copies of the anthology book my story was published in.  I’ll be holding a drawing for a chance to win a copy beginning Monday. Be sure to stop back for more details.

Speaking of writing, I attended a one day conference in Colorado Springs last Saturday.  One of the speakers, Donita K. Paul, whom I’ll be blogging about soon, challenged us with homework.  I took a story idea that’s been floating around in my head for months, and actually put the skeleton outline down on paper.  There are other stories in there too, but this one won’t leave me alone.  I guess that means I’ve officially begun writing my first novel.  I find that both exhilarating and terrifying. lol

I’m blogging on yet another blog now.  As a board member of a Colorado Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, I’m required to post on the last Friday of the month on our blog, The Inkwell.  Please come and check it out.  There are lots of great writing tips, thoughts from Colorado authors, and links to great stuff on there.  Maybe I need to require myself to post here at least once a week.  My writing friend Donna recently kicked my butt when she said if we’re going to call ourselves writers we should act like it.  Writers write.  Novel idea, huh? lol


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I’m on my way out the door for a long awaited 3 day renewal in the mountains.  Just me.  I have a feeling this will be my own little version of “The Shack”…maybe not quite so intense, but just as healing and sweet.  See you all back here next week. 🙂

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