Monday, November 30, 2009

Pray for a Miracle

Jennifer and Pete Vanderlinden

It's definitely the season for miracles as we remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the blessing and miracle His life was and is for each of us. My dear friend, Jennifer and her husband, Pete are in need of a miracle. I know miracles still happen and at the same time I know the Lord has His own will when it comes to our lives. With all the hope, faith, love, and prayer I can muster up, I'm praying for a miracle for the Vanderlinden family. I invite each of you whether you know them or not to do the same.

Vanderlinden Family

Pete, suffered a major cardiac arrest 24 hours ago and has a 2-5% chance of surviving. You can read about what happened here. It sounds like it all happened so fast yet Jennifer was right there where she needed to be to start CPR and get the paramedics there. I don't know anything else other than to pray. I've been the benefactor of many prayers in my life from people I know and don't know. I ask that you remember this sweet family in your prayers. I believe in miracles.

I know with all of my heart that God lives and He loves each of us. I pray for us to unite in prayer with the hopes of saving this young dear father and husband. No matter what happens, I pray for strength to abide with the Vanderlinden family--a strength that comes from no where else but our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Can Do Hard Things

This has become our new mantra both individually and as a couple. It was inspired by Stephanie Nielson who in August of 2008 was in a fiery plane crash along with her husband and a dear friend (their friend passed away from the accident). She has faced countless challenges of recovery including helping her children to adapt to the phsyically "new" mother they didn't recognize when seeing her for the first time months after her accident. To watch an interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show and see how she is doing now, watch this video:

Stephanie's mantra, "I can do hard things" has been inspiring and empowering to me. Personally, it's the line in my head that is now repeated over and over again as I face my own personal struggles. Moments where I feel so alone without my parents, I remind myself, I can get through this...I can still feel their love and influence guiding my life. In the last couple of months I set out on a pretty ambitious goal that I'm not quite ready to talk about with all of blog land or the facebook world. But each day when I work on it, I remind myself, "I can do hard things!"

When David is up to his ears in classes to prepare, papers to write, projects to complete, assignments to grade, and post-graduate documents to create and perfect he reminds himself that he can do hard things. Together we have found this to be such an empowering mantra that as we work to support each other, we find ourselves reminding each other of it--more often than not.

Stephanie's challenges and pain along with my own have reminded me and catapaulted me into a path of personal progress I've only ever dreamed of. The ironic thing is that it's the result of doing and going through really hard things.

The Lord has a way of teaching, comforting, and strengthening us that when we stop and recognize His power and trust Him and ourselves, we find we can do hard things. I'm so grateful for my trials and sorrows and even more so, I'm grateful for my own triumphs over the tragedies I've had to endure. Tragedy and challenges will not erode my faith and they will not erode yours.

May each of you experience your personal strength increase as you unite with the Lord while you pass through your own challenges and triumphs.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Staleys.