"And now...one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise...Then the God of peace will be with you." -Phillipians 4:8-9

Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's testimony

Yesterday started like any other day, like a typical Thursday in my Lisa-life. It was a busy get-out-of-the-door, get Kenzie to pre-school, pick up blueberries before the sun scorched up the afternoon, work out with a friend, pick Kenzie back up from pre-school...the list continues on kind of day. And yet amidst the busyness of it all, there was a small voice that was calling to me.

Have you ever heard the Lord calling to you before? He speaks to me in whispers, in a voice that is so familiar and distinct, and I yearn to hear that voice every day. I don't always choose to stop and listen, but I was blessed enough yesterday to listen after the girls were put down for their nap. I stopped to be still and spend some time with the One who was calling. This encounter to be still and praise my God was meant to sustain me and, I feel, prepare me for what the rest of the day had to show.

Out of privacy and respect for my family, I will not give specific details. What we know has not been confirmed other than through family friend sources, and we cannot confirm details on what we have heard. As far as my family's past I wouldn't even know what to say on a public blog like this to even explain half of my history, but that really isn't my point today. I could share it all in a private prayer diary which would need no explanations but I really feel like I need to point to the Lord today.

What I will say is that I learned that my Dad is dead. I haven't seen him, heard from him, or known much about what he has been doing since I was 12 years old. Of course I could speculate, but I really haven't even allowed myself to do that in years either. He made horrible decisions in his life which affected every single person that he loved, and he has payed in part for those decisions through prison time and an exclusion from the lives of those in his family and his children that loved him.

The place that he could have served in my life as a supporting father, role model, friend, and grandpa to my precious children died long before he actually died because of the sins he commited. His absence left a huge black hole in my soul that ached throughout my childhood up until Kasey and I were married, and it was around that time that I made the choice to ask the Lord to fill that "daddy" hole for me.

The daddy pains were a result of the loss of all the things that he actually did right. I had mourned him for so long because of the ways that he loved me. There was one thing I could never deny, my daddy truly loved me...I could do no wrong in his eyes, he found me beautiful and always told me so. I knew he would fight for my time to see me and to be with me. He told me that I was smart, and that I was going to do great things in life. He spoke to me tenderly and called me "baby", "sweetie", "my love". He loved to laugh and he shared a love for animals with me. He loved to farm and taught me how to drive a pick-up during the summer while we baled hay. He knew what I was interested in and always let me know that he was there even when I hadn't seen him in some time...until I was 12. And from that point on I had to deal and accept the fact that this person who had been such a loving dad to me in so many ways was a dichotomy. His life was filled with evil, and Sin, and his sins tore my family apart and left scars on so many people, only the Lord knows. The enemy devoured his life, and when it all came to the surface there is not much else that can be said except tha tthe Lord was gracious to me and spared me from so many possible hurts and family sins that I was never even fully aware of until recently.

My heart today is so thankful to the Lord, and I feel so incredibly humbled. I don't know exactly how to explain it but when I look over this man's life all I can see is the Lord's hand in my own life, and how He has stepped into that special place of my heart to fill "daddy". I want to share how the Lord is so powerful, and loving beyond any words, and that He wants to be such an intimate part of our lives even more that what we can imagine. There is no denying His Divine hand and Providence that He places over the lives of those who love Him and believe in Him, and all for reasons that no person could understand.

So even as my dad was a living dichotomy, I look at all the things that I loved about him that were mixed in with shadows of endless lies, hurts, and disappointments in contrast to who the Lord has been to me as my shelter. He has lifted me up and spoon-fed me with His attentions as I have needed them and has allowed me to grow in Him ever since I asked to fill that place for me. When I stop to listen, He calls to me and He tells me how He loves me, and will always provide for me. He tenderly listens and shows me His love in the eyes of my children, in my husband, in all the beauty he has provided me in my surroundings and friends and family.

Who am I that the Lord would be so good to me? To raise me up from a life and family filled with hurts and pain, and sins, and addictions, idolotry and pathological lies? Who am I that He would take the time to pick me up and bless me with an amazing family and husband who possesses all of the qualities I absolutely loved about my dad? He took that split life and broken little girl that I was, and He made all things new for me; and it is a humbling thing. My life is not perfect, and it doesn't need to be. We are all so incredibly loved beyond what we deserve and past expectations we could ever ask for.

I am so thankful that it breaks me. I don't deserve the blessings that I have in my life. Growing up I never felt like I could control any circumstances in my life, and it made me an angry, pessimistic perfectionist of a person who hurt...and I couldn't think of ever being any other way, it seemed impossible for me. I hurt, and I wore my hurts on my sleeve. I never would have dreamed of a stable life where i felt content, consistent, and optimistic in hope. I was in counseling from the ages of 12-18, and was on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications until I was 19. I contemplated suicide when I was 13, and couldn't think of going on in this world anymore because I hurt so badly I was numb. I lost trust in people, and especially in men. I was angry that so many people seemed to have everything handed to them so easily without any hurts, and in my efforts to control something in my life I struggled with perfectionism with body images and eating disorders in a vain struggle to have a say in something in my life. I imagined at times that I would die young because I couldn't picture going on in a life that was such a disappointment, and I bought into these thoughts and hurts that the Enemy fed into my head until I truly found the Lord and asked Him into my life. The Lord delivered me...from those hurts and from the Enemy's thoughts that were so persistent in my head that kept me feeling sorry for myself and hopeless, from the anger, the bitterness, the mistrust in my heart, my need for control. My dad stands for all of these things because his prison sentence and abrupt absence from my life started a cascade of events that led me down the road to loss and hurts and depression as a child. I could have gone back to that place yesterday with the news of his probable death - but instead it just showed me how I have been delivered. Delivered.

Today I give praises to the One who sits on the throne, the One who loves, the Father that I claim and give all glory to. The one who has delivered me from a life and past filled with sin and hurts.

He makes all things new

He delivers those who call to Him

He is a refuge to the sick and the brokenhearted

He is our savior from Sin

He breaks family curses, He takes away iniquities and remembers them no more

He loves us passionately

He speaks tenderly and sweetly

And He is our Father in Heaven.

Praise God!

I believe on the day I die, that I will be able to run to my Lord. And call Him daddy. And maybe, just maybe, I will see my real daddy there; cleansed of his sins and his hurts. But I won't know until that day, and that's OK. I have a peace that what is right and just will be done, and at this point I lay it all down and choose not to pursue it anymore. We do not have confirmation of my dad's death through his body, or a birth certificate, or funeral service so I can only speculate on what we have heard and if it is true, but I choose to believe that he is gone, and will be at peace with it.

Thank you for listening. I pray that if you don't know this Lord that I speak of, that you would possibly ask Him to speak to you today. I really hope that you do. And if you know Him, how long has it been since you sat and asked Him to hear His voice. Will you do that today?

Again, I really hope that you do.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reflecting on the year

I must say that I am really looking forward to starting over a brand new year which means that 2009 will be left behind and another year will start fresh, with expectations and hopes for brighter and lighter circumstances in comparison. Overall looking back we have so much to be thankful for, and I know that the Lord has been with us the entire way paving out peace and answering our prayers in so many ways.

2009: We dealt with Kasey's cancer prognosis and 2 major surgeries and recoveries, and with God's grace he dodged chemotherapy and radiation. Every month he has 3 appointments to attend which will continue for the next 3 years which is a sobering reminder of how cancer is evil and could always be present. In the midst of Kasey's recoveries we suffered 2 miscarriages but discovered that we could trust in a promise of more children in our future. I realized this year that no matter what we go through, we are never truly alone, and when we ask for Him to show Himself, the Lord will make His presence known in ways we could never imagine. We learned that we have loving support of many friends and our families, and there is so much to be said about that. And even with some really hard experiences we had so many great laughs and new memories with our close friends and family. There is always something to laugh about, and Kasey can always find it for you! I love that even when we were hurting the most we were still able to laugh.

I have learned that I adore my husband even more than I did on the day of our wedding, and his strength and passion for our family is something that makes me so proud to be with him. We have loved watching little Kenzie grow and learn with her sparkly eyes and growing curls, and are reminded every day what a blessing babies are! The love we have for our children is such a testament to the love that our Father has for us, and I am blown away by that love every single day. With the year drawing to a close we look forward to another baby come late May, and are so thankful beyond words. After so many losses our hearts can look forward to another precious little one, and we can't wait to see Kenzie as a big sister. She has been the best little thing that has come into our lives, and she has brought so much joy with her sweet personality. I will always cherish how she radiates happiness that is infectious, and that is such a gift of the Spirit.

One of my favorite bands has been Barlow Girl for the last several years, and it seems like so much of their music speaks to my heart and helps me connect to God no matter what stage or circumstance I am going through in life. This year I have held on to a very special song which just sums it all up for my heart has felt this year, and I am just going to continue looking for that "Beautiful ending" that has been promised!!

Beautiful Ending

Oh Tragedy has taken so many
Love lost cause they all forgot who you are
And it scares me to think that I would choose my life over You
Oh my selfish heart
divides me from You, it tears us apart,

So Tell me
What is our ending?
Will it be beautiful? So beautiful?
Will my life find me by your side?
Your love is beautiful, so beautiful.

Oh, how do I let myself let go
Of hands that painted the stars and holds tears that fall?
And the pride of my heart makes me forget
It's not me but you
Who makes the heart beat, I'm lost without You
And You're dying for me

So tell me

What is our ending? Will it be beautiful? So beautiful?
Will my life find me by your side?
Your love is beautiful, so beautiful
At the end of it all...I want to be in Your arms
At the end of it all, I want to be in Your arms.
-Barlow Girl
Thank you so much to all of you who supported and loved on our family this year. We could not have made it without every single one of you, and thanks be to God who has brought us to a bright new time with celebration during this time of the year for all of the right reasons.

Merry Christmas and blessings for a very happy year 2010!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Well it has been so long that I have posted anything I don't really know where to begin! Here are some tidbits from the last 2 months:

Since we wrote last Kasey decided to go under observation and not go through chemo..his next Dr. appointment is this wednesday to monitor him again...in June I ran in the Helvetia half marathon which was such a fun experience that I want to run it every year now as my tradition...we went fishing with papa Dave and Kenzie loved being on his boat...Kenzie also went to the zoo for the first time, and her favorite part was watching the polar bears...we spent a great weekend with Becky and her family at my mom's fishing several weeks ago...we spent a very fun day with our good friends on the 4th of July for a pool party and potluck...we said goodbye to sweet Grandpa Ray as he left to go to Heaven, and his service was this friday and was absolutely amazing in that no one has a doubt where he is now...Kasey has been combining and swathing with harvest in full swing...we have been eating our weight in blueberries from a "secret" row on the farm (thanks Juan for showing us the spot :))...I am loving my biochem online courses to complete my minor in chem with just one more class to go...

We feel so blessed to enjoy every single blessing that comes with each day, and we are enjoying life together.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chemo Update For Kasey

Yesterday we met with Kasey's oncologist in Salem, and his tumor levels are normal at this time which is awesome! Dr. Pierce does not recommend that Kasey go through chemo, and would like to keep him under observation with blood work for tumor markers and CT scans periodically. He said that he shouldn't go through chemo if he doesn't need to, and that if the cancer does recur he will have the same exact odds of survival if he goes through the chemo now or later which is 96% which is pretty darn good for cancer.
I totally agreed with Dr. Pierce about Kasey not going through chemo, but Kasey still has some doubts over what the best decision is. Because of this Dr. Pierce is having us see Lance Armstrong's oncologist, Dr. Nichols at OHSU for a 2nd opinion to put another opinion on the table. Either way, we are going to wait for several months to make the decision if he does go through chemo. We are trying to get back to baseline with our emotions and stresses, and Kasey would like to go through harvest and summer without worrying about being sick. I am so incredibly thankful that the markers are normal, and I pray that God will heal Kasey completely and just take the cancer away. He has been so good to us throughout this whole time, and I am so thankful for the fact that Kasey feels well and is cancer-free right now. Thank you Lord, for that.
Every day is still up and down for me since the miscarriage; it was the last thing that just put me over emotionally and I have felt so overwhelmed by even the smallest things this last week. I go in tomorrow for bloodwork to see if my Hcg levels are down, which we are praying will go back to normal soon. The worst part is that I still feel pregnant even though I am not, and I know a lot of that has to do with the hormones. I just want so badly to get past this time but it seems like nothing ever hurries when you want it to. We had fertility testing done yesterday as well up at OHSU, so we will find out shortly if Kasey is fertile after all of the surgeries and treatments that he has gone through so far. We feel really positive about our chances of having another baby, and although this last pregnancy wasn't meant to be and I am totally grieving that loss, I have faith that we will be pregnant again soon.
Looking forward to going camping this weekend with our small group at the beach, and having some time to think about other things. I could really use a day out on the water somewhere too, but camping away will be a good start :).

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do anything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We know that things happen for a reason, and as I am writing now I feel so broken and hurt. I miscarried today, and as I think about it my heart just burns for the loss of the baby that we had our hearts so set on, the baby that was our piece of good news throughout the ups and downs throughout the last month and a half.
I had the first ultrasound yesterday, and was able to see little one and the heart beat, but started feeling ill and spotting later last night. This morning I just knew; we have gone through this before, and my heart just knew. I don't know why this has happened, and the most painful part is having to tell everyone that we were so happy to tell the news to...that there isn't any good news this time. My appointment is later today and Kasey is going in with me, so I am thankful for that and yet so sad to be hurting more than we thought was possible.

Porcelain Heart: Barlow Girl

Broken Heart one more time
Pick yourself up, why even cry
Broken pieces, in your hands
Wonder how you'll make it whole

You know, You pray
This can't be the way
You cry, you say
Something's gotta change
And mend this broken heart of mine

Someone said "A broken heart
would sting at first
then make you stronger"
You wonder why this pain remains
Were hearts made whole just to break?

You know, You say
This can't be the way
You cry, You say
Something's gotta change
And mend this porcelain heart of mine

Creator only you take brokenness
And create it into beauty once again.

That is all that we can hope for, that the Lord will continue to with us and make us feel whole again. i don't know how long it is going to be, but I do not feel like talking to anyone at this time, I am just needing some time to be with Kasey and the Lord to talk and pray and heal. Love you and thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chemo for Kasey

Hello again. Today we met with another oncologist to discuss the next option for Kasey's treatment. Dr. Pierce told us that because the node that came back cancerous was not enlarged his statistics are probably better than they would be than if he had a very large lymph node that tested positive. If he doesn't go through chemo than he has a 20% chance of having a recurrence, and he can choose to forgo chemo at this time or go through 2 rounds. If he waits and needs to go through treatment later than he will need to go through 3 rounds, whenever that may be...Kasey chose to go through 2 rounds now. In about 3-4 weeks he start his treatment which will consist of 6 weeks total. The first week will be monday through friday, then a monday, then a monday, followed by another monday through friday, monday, monday.
His treatment will include anti-nausea meds which will be extremely helpful, and Kasey was told that since he is so young and healthy the treatment will wipe him out but probably won't be as bad as he imagines. The treatments will be in salem, so it is close and we are trying to see it all as a good thing in that Kasey will be cured from this treatment...cancer and chemo are correlated with so much pain and sickness, but Kasey's odds are so incredibly good and we know after this that it will all be behind us which is going to be such a good feeling. We are praying that Kasey will do incredibly during his treatments, and he is hoping on his "off " week that he will be able to go in to work which he is really hoping for.
There is another apppointment tomorrow for Kasey's post-surgery exam, and he has been doing really well and feeling very positive despite all that he has been through. We are looking towards having the rest behind us, and feel so thankful for the many prayers and support that we have received.
More news as it comes. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oncology Appointment

Kasey's next appointment which will go over chemo options is set for this upcoming tuesday at 4:30 so by wednesday I will be sure to post what was discussed there.