The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Day 3

Before 7am, God taught me a lesson.

We took off this morning at 6am, like normal, but this morning someone wanted a biscuit from Hardee's so we stopped. I ran in to use the bathroom and then hopped in line to get another cup of such thing as too much coffee on this trip!

While we were waiting in line, I mistook a girl in line behind us for someone we met yesterday at the school. She was with her mom and her brother, and as we continued talking to them and about our trip, the son told us how he had changed his life around. How he had been saved in January, and it was a good thing because six months later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He and his mom talked about surgeries and treatment and how his cancer had come back, and more treatments and now he was doing great....

I couldn't breathe...

I fell apart for a second, I couldn't look at him and some jealous thoughts ran through my brain. I turned towards Richard and just started crying, thankfully Pastor Mike and Liesa were standing right there to carry on that conversation.  I pulled it back together, and was gonna just walk away with my coffee, but God said "no" and turned me around to share about Ellie with this complete stranger. I told her how happy I was for them and how awesome it was that God knew exactly what her son needed to fight that battle with cancer. The mom and I continued on to have a sweet conversation about how we wouldn't change a thing about our journeys and how grateful we were that God had our children's future in his hands. We left, and they were on their way to the doctor for more check ups.  I was grateful to God for opening up my heart to hear what I needed to hear. The grief journey is one that you can easily cover up with a happy face, put the wall up and just keep trucking on. Pretending and sometimes really believing that all is okay. Living with that wall up and happy face, sometimes makes me numb though to life's experiences.  Things that others would probably love to revel in for hours, I tend to try to rush through because the emotion is just too much....and I don't always realize I do it. God totally knocked my walls down this morning, to wake me up and realize there was so much emotion going on in what I was doing in Kentucky and I needed to slow down and experience it.

Our school that day was quick, we were having to move quick, talk quick, hand out boxes quick...and I was grateful for a moment that I got to steal away and go visit some of the special needs classrooms. Such a change of scenery from the loud gym with music blasting!  Smaller classrooms with sweet kids working hard...and a little music playing! I may have whipped and nay nayed and sang some Elsa 😉

During our group of 5th graders, I went and sat with some of the "wigglier" boys...thinking that's where I was meant to sit, God was putting me there for those boys! As I sat there, the girls in front of me were talking, and I heard one say she was scared. I scooted down to talk to her and to figure out what she was afraid of. She told me she wanted to ask for prayer, but she was scared to raise her hand.  So I told her she could tell me and I'd make sure I wrote it down for her so the group could pray for her. She told me her mom and dad were both in prison and she was living with her older sister. She didn't know when they were getting out or how long they were staying with her sister.

As Pastor Mike went to pray, I placed my hand on her shoulder, and prayed for her.  I wanted her to feel that love I feel all the time from my church family. When Pastor Mike asked if any of the kids would like to accept Jesus into their hearts, I felt her arm move, I peeked, and there was her hand lifted high. I couldn't help but cry and be completely humbled that he choose me for that moment. That God has helped me come completely out of my comfort zone and share Him!  When they were done praying, she turned to look at me and the relief and peace on that girl's face was amazing!

Back at Calvary Campus, after dinner each night, we have a time of sharing.  We had two teams with us, so we don't always know what happens with the other team.  After having my walls knocked down by God early in the morning, my heart was raw with emotion, and ready to open up a little bit more to this group of people I'd been with all week.  So for the first time, I shared out loud to the whole group about Ellie, some knew, but many didn't. I told them about the brain cancer boy at Hardee's and how God just completely broke me that morning to be open hearted. To be so in tune with him for the day, and that's how I heard him tell me to place my head on that girl's shoulder to pray with her.

After devotion time, a new team member that had just joined us that day came up to me with his daughter (who gave the most incredible hugs).  He and his work had sent care packages to us when Ellie was first diagnosed.  Our family picture is still on their refrigerator.  Had I not shared that night, he wouldn't have figured out who we were, and that sweet moment would have been missed,  talk about incredibly broken roads!  His daughter was so sweet and I think had radar for my tears...for the next day, she found me every time I was crying and had an amazing hug for me!

Today I learned about I was obedient and was able to see the reward of my obedience....but I also had a tad bit of a gut check when thinking about all those times I was not obedient, those times I heard God tell me to do something and I ignored him because I didn't want to feel weird or go out of my way.  How many moments and blessings I have missed because I wasn't obedient?  I'm grateful for today's lesson....had I not learned this today....I may have missed out on meeting the one girl I came to Kentucky for, the next day.

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Our Graduate

I looked back at last year's post around this time. I was feeling some stuff that I was almost certain I'd felt last year, and sure enough, there it was. The tough feelings associated with my birthday and mother's day. I wasn't overwhelmed with tears or despair....just kind of that numb feeling that I associate with holidays or important events. I love watching my kids and family enjoy them, but there's just a part of me that can't all the way be there.

This past weekend added another pretty exciting and emotional event for our family. Richard graduated from Liberty University on Saturday!  In April, after Ellie passed away, Richard felt like God was calling him to do something more, he wasn't sure what, but he knew there was more. So he enrolled at Liberty and decided to take all online classes.  With the help of our Preacher, Richard choose a major that he felt could lead to many different paths. For the past 2.5 years Richard has worked so hard, staying up late, doing his Old Navy job, his Daddy job and then his school work. He graduated with honors and I couldn't be more proud!  He would never toot his horn and a lot of people didn't even know he was graduating!

He decided he wanted to walk at graduation, so we set off on our graduation adventure on Saturday.

We only took Noah, since the predicted attendance was over 50,000 people due to President Trump being the Keynote Speaker.  After over an hour of graduates walking into the stadium...I finally spotted my guy! Can you find him?? (Hint he's waving and has no hat on!)
This was the first time that many emotions (besides anxiety) started welling up inside. I wanted to cry, but I'm so good at pushing those feelings aside! We listened to Trump and thought it was pretty cool to hear our President talking about the need of following God and not being afraid to be different! I hope Noah was listening!

We left the massive stadium and headed to his smaller ceremony with just his college.  This was where we would see him walk across the stage and hear his name.  I felt tears about 2 seconds away the entire time I waited for his turn.  I was just so overwhelmed with pride and amazement.  I couldn't help but feel like Richard going to school, had something to do with Ellie's passing, and to see this schooling completed just did something to me.
I finally cracked, as he stood there waiting for his name to be called, I lost it. I tried to holler for him when they called his name, but I was crying (thank goodness for family that can yell loud!)

I was so glad we went!  It was so touching to see the men and women that went to school online, who worked so hard through jobs and kids and grandkids. I got to watch husbands and wives graduate together, a little girl get carried by her daddy across the stage, and hear kids yelling "go mommy" from the crowd, what a touching day!  I realize how easy I had it going to school "way back then" and how extra hard these folks have worked!

We have no idea what the next step is in our lives, or what this degree will be used for, but this part is done, and Richard was obedient, I have full confidence that God has the next steps all planned out! Now we wait....some more....I'm getting so much better at waiting!

I promise I haven't forgotten about the rest of our mission trip. Day 3 and 4 are pretty special, and we get to share at our church this upcoming Sunday night about our I'm saving those stories for that night, and then I will share them on here.  You could always come and listen in person if you'd like! Zion Baptist Church, Orange VA, 6:30pm.

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5

Prayers, Praise and Pink