August 15 - Day 62

The Joy of the Lord is our strength!
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. -Psalm 40:16

During the night, Dean was storming (sweating profusely due to TBI.) He had 3 sessions of therapy from 9 am until 2:30 pm. His first session was with the Physical Therapist and she fitted him for his own wheelchair. We transferred him into the chair and he sat there for 4 hours today. When she moved his left arm he reached across with his right hand to grab his left arm to stop the movement. He also snarled his lip when she was messing with his mouth and eyes. Dean shows some resistance along with facial expressions to certain things he doesn't like. (This is definitely his personality coming forth!) Dean kept both eyes open for most of the sessions but by the end we were both exhausted so we took naps. His next session was with the Speech Therapist and she shared with me that the first step will be to give him a cuffless trach (currently he has a cuffed trach which is used with a ventilator). She was also able to pry his mouth open and give him good oral care. He seemed to enjoy it and kept his mouth open (I've never seen anyone successfully open his mouth; he tends to keep it clamped shut). We thank the Lord that his thrush is looking better! She was also pleased that he could swallow. I've seen him swallow on his own for the past few weeks. She also took a tennis ball and rolled it across the top of his right hand, asking him to get the ball. He slowly rotated his palm around until he could hold onto the ball. Everything he does will just take lots of practice. We are looking for any type of consistent response whether it is with a thumbs up, wiggle of the toes, kick, blink, etc. The last session was with the Occupational therapists and they asked him to move his right hand and he moved his right foot. He did this twice so they asked him to move his right foot and he moved his right hand. They were amazed at how much strength he has in both arms and his will to resist.They turned off his feeding at 9 am resumed it around 4:30 pm; he won't be eating while he is doing therapy. I was excited to hear that he has gained almost 5 pounds since he left York Hospital! He also has a good startle reflex as he jerked when he heard a metal chair hit the tile floor. During his nap, a fire alarm sounded and he opened his eyes wide open in response. In the evening, his nurse put a thermometer in his left ear without warning him and he turned his head away. Before going to bed, I saw him looking out the corner of his right eye towards me so I jumped out my bed and began talking to him. I'm not sure if he was dreaming and I startled him but he slowly turned his head to the right towards me with eyes wide open. It was like a blank stare but I keep talking to him because I know he hears me. 

There have been nights where I cry myself to sleep and mornings where I just weep in the shower to let the water wash my tears away. But the Lord continues to remind me of his faithfulness and love. Tonight I came across our Our Daily Bread as I was unpacking; someone had given me it while we were in York.  Every morning we have devotion time by reading Scriptures along with Streams in the Desert. The Lord never ceases to amaze me how He speaks so softly to my heart and reminds me of His promises. I enjoy weaving rugs on a large floor loom at the Cumberland Valley Relief Center to support mission work overseas. Dean surprised me by enrolling me in a class for pottery just a few days before our wedding. I love being creative with my hands, so I can easily envision the Lord as the Master Weaver and Potter. The best place is to remain in the Master's hands until He is finished!  I'd like to share how the Lord wove together a special message for me today.

Our Daily Bread about Hopes and Dreams.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. -Acts 20:24
 "When our goal is to honor the Lord, He guides and guards us each step of the way. Whatever our hopes and dreams may be, when we place them in God's hands we know that everything, including setback or success, is under His control" -David McCasland
When we give our hopes and dreams to God
And then leave them in His hand,
We can trust His love and care for us
To fulfill what He has planned.  -Sper

Streams in the Desert
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. -Acts 14:22

"The best things in life are the result of being wounded. Wheat must be crushed before becoming bread, and incense must be burned by fire before its fragrance is set free. The earth must be broken with a sharp plow before being ready to receive the seed. And it is a broken heart that pleases God. Yes, the sweetest joys of life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to make it fit to be a blessing to the world." -L.B. Cowman

In the morning, a friend sent me this verse: 
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.-Psalm 5:11
In the evening, our pastor's wife sent me this verse from Wednesday service:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. -Romans 15:13
There have been many days like today when the Lord encourages my soul through the cards you send, the words of encouragement you post or email, gifts you send, and the countless prayers you make known to the Lord. Thank you all for running this marathon with us! I don't know how many more miles are marked out, but I do know with God's power we can have victory in every stride.


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