Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Writing Crunch

Oh Fuller...

These days are filled with a lot of
<---This and not so much of --------->

It's finals week, and we are plenty busy with writing papers and taking exams. It's amazing how much work can actually get done when you're shut up in the library for 10 hours at a time. We should look into doing that on a more regular basis...we'd be so much more productive! Nah...then we'd officially be nerds, and we can only stand that term if we know 'it's just a joke' (don't tell us it's true...even if you think so).

We're flying home on Saturday to good ole South Carolina:

Home of sweet tea (that means you put sugar in it), collard greens, country roads without traffic

And especially those we love...

Praise report! Mom has made it home from the hospital, and is now recovering nicely, it seems. We will be at home for the next week or so helping out with that recovery, providing much needed help to Dad with some of the 'nurse's duties' (aka...giving him a break) and hopefully bringing God's love and encouragement to them.

Pray for us as we finish this sememster, that we would finish well and be prepared to serve my family back at home during their time of need.


Nicole and Brandon

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Body Working Together

This week has seen its ups and downs. My mom is still sick. This week she has been in the Intensive Care Unit at MUSC in Charleston, SC. She had an allergic reaction to some medicine she was taking, and after that got under control, the doctors found a sac of fluid on her heart and that her kidneys were not working properly. They took her into surgery, and were able to stablilize her by draining the fluid. She spent the rest of that day and night in the Cardiac Care Unit, and is now going to get her own private room (aka...doesn't need extra special care to keep her alive), and hopefully will be going home soon.

As this week has been a rollercoaster of emotions, let me just share some of the ways that God has brought peace to my heart through the Body of Christ...his REAL church.

Friends from Fuller, church and all over have been praying for my parents and us. They have continued to ask me about Mom's conditions and have been faithful to pray for her healing and for peace for Brandon and I as we have two weeks left before spring break. (Of course, if need be, we'd be on a plane at any minute, but at this point there's nothing we can do there, so we feel like we're supposed to finish this semester as best we can and then go home.)

Speaking of going home...we are. On March 18th, the day after school ends, we'll be on a plane flying back east. Dad is supposed to have a hip replacement, and if he does, we want to be there to help both him and mom around the house. Even if he doesn't have the surgery yet, we'll be around for moral support and to relieve him of the stress of being the main caretaker for a little bit.

How are we affording to go home on such short notice? God provides, y'all. We have had three friends offer to contribute to our plane tickets, and were able to find some at somewhat reasonable prices. Plus, the Dream Center/Angelus Temple have been gracious enough to let us go home--Brandon for a week, Nicole a week and a half.

My mentor, Leesa Northrup, who lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC has been a God-send to my family. In a time when my heart aches to be there and I'm not able to, she and her family have stepped up. I called Dad yesterday just as they were taking Mom into surgery. He seemed shaken because he hadn't expected this downturn of events. But who should walk into the waiting room, but Leesa and her husband Dave...with flowers and all. They were there with him during most of the surgery, encouraging him and praying for him. Then they wrote out directions to their home, gave him a key and invited him to stay with them as long as he needed to (he had been sleeping in the hospital or going 2 hours home to Columbia).

This afternoon my dad called me and I could just jump up and down at the change in his voice. He had a great night's sleep the night before at the Northrups. Then, this morning, Leesa cooked everyone breakfast, and he thorougly enjoyed spending time with her loving family.

They also suggested a good place to eat downtown, Five Loaves Cafe, and when my parents' best friends drove down from Columbia today, they were able to enjoy a lunch on a beautiful Saturday afternoon...I'm sure that beats hospital cafeteria food by himself.

It's great to know that God's arms stretch far. When we can't reach someone, He often sends angels by way of others. Thanks to those of you who have been that to and for us...whether her in California or in South Carolina. It is nice to be a part of the family of God.