Over the last few weeks, I’ve had to remind myself to have grace in gratitude in the most unlikely moments. Thank goodness for God’s Word and helpful tools like the Grace and Gratitude series to encourage me to open my Bible.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Unfortunate Event #1

It all started on Tuesday when my head started to pound. Ugh. I don’t get sick much, but when I do, it’s a doozy. I finished my workday, crockpotted some chicken for the family, and locked myself in my bedroom.

Grace and Gratitude. Thank you Lord for the ability to take care of me today.

Unfortunate Event #2

I was sicker on Wednesday, and I added a trip to the emergency vet on top of it all…

Bull dog foaming at mouth

I was knocked out due to the cold medicine I was taking and my fur baby became really anxious at around 1 PM. I patted her on her head and told her to lay down, but she wouldn’t. I rolled out of bed to check her water. Plenty of water. Checked her food. She wasn’t having it. I figured she was nervous about the construction that’s happening in the back of my house. Side note – they’re building a freeway right in back of my house and my house has been vibrating and shaking for months now.

At about 1:30 Ruby came in to greet me again except this time she was slobbering excessively. Not normal. Soooo not normal. I knew there was something wrong. Slobber is normal for an English bulldog, but not this kind of slobber. So I called her vet who told me to immediately get her to the emergency room. Within 5 minutes I was dressed, on the phone with her dad’s voicemail, and on the road. Did I mention that I threw out my back while trying to carry her to my car?

The first seizure came within 2 minutes of getting in the car. Ruby couldn’t breathe. I held her with my right hand to comfort her. The second seizure came about 2 minutes after that. She jumped behind my seat shoving me into the steering wheel while I was driving down the freeway at around 65 mph. I pulled to the side of the freeway. Pulled her from behind my seat and placed her into the passenger seat. Whoops – there goes my rotary cuff. Ouch. Nevermind my arm. Ruby is panicking and trying to get out of the car. The third seizure came, and she’s about gone, poop everywhere, and I’m praying that I make it in time.Grace and Gratitude Bible Journaling KitIMG_0078

I get to the emergency vet hospital and there’s no parking. I find a spot on the side of the road, grab baby girl, and start hobbling to the entrance. Did I mention that I’m due for a knee replacement soon? I didn’t grab my brace before I left because the only thing on my mind was getting baby girl to the doctor. I’m holding her just like I did my boys when they were toddlers when all of a sudden warm liquid starts flowing down my shirt. She’s losing all of her functions now. Tears begin to fall as I realize she’s leaving me. Oh…my baby girl is dying…and I can’t help her. One of the doctors opens the door, and I rush in and start asking (panicking-yelling is a better description) anyone to please help her.

The technician grabbed Ruby from me and took her to the back intensive care unit. I’m not sure she was supposed to do that because I heard someone scold her. They began to work on Ruby who’s temperature had risen to 107.9 by then, and I waited in the room, soaked in pee and poo, with tears falling to the floor.

Grace and Gratitude Bible Journaling KitHope. That’s the only thing that was going through my head. Please God save Ruby. I have hope, but I’m scared and sad that she might be leaving me.

After they stabilized her, they ran a series of test. They placed the estimate in front of me. I glanced at it and lost my breath for a moment: $1,967 to $2,763. They asked me to select whether or not I would authorize resuscitation if needed under their care. By checking that box I agreed to pay an additional $700-$850. Gulp. Yes. We’ll figure it out. We save for emergencies. This is an emergency.

Grace and Gratitude.  If you can save her, please do. Thank you, God for the grace you give me every single day.

After a few hours, I left her to rest in the care of the veterinarians. They would watch her around the clock and call me the next day. I asked my family and friends to pray for her and so many of you did. Thank you. God heard you.

On Thursday the vet called and said she could go home later that day. She hadn’t seized all night. What an unexpected miracle. When we arrived to pick her up, the vet explained that their diagnosis was epilepsy since the other tests came back normal. They gave us a prescription and sent us home. As we’re leaving Ruby had a seizure, which the vet said was normal. She had two when we got home and stopped drinking water. Her temperature was rising again. Oh no. Come on baby girl. Try some ice. Oh whew, ice worked.

We called the emergency vet who wanted to give us another prescription. But, luckily for us, her normal vet had an opening later that day so we drove across town to see her. She knows Ruby better than the ER vet. Again, I didn’t think Ruby would come home.

Grace and Gratitude. Lord, please help our Ruby. I don’t know what to do.

Our vet was so kind. She spent over 30 minutes explaining how to care for Ruby. She told us how to tilt her head when she seizes, how to catch her if she’s falling, as well as other things I won’t go into detail about because they make me sad thinking about them.  During the visit, Ruby decided to pee on dad and then again on the floor. This was not normal for her. She was so sick and exhausted from it all.

We came home with Ruby and two more prescriptions. She had one more seizure that night. After that, the medications started kicking in and she hasn’t had one since. The good news is that she’s returning to her normal self. Every day she seems a little more like Ruby.

Grace and Gratitude. I am so thankful for lessons of the past that taught me to prepare for emergencies. Ruby has pet medical insurance and some of the emergency visits might be covered. We’ll see how the paperwork goes!

Unfortunate Event #3

These things come in threes in my life. Do they come in threes for you as well?

On Friday many of my extended family went missing as tens of thousands of people evacuated Paradise Valley California due the to Camp Fire

The last time I visited Paradise was last year. Here’s a picture of me and my uncle July 6, 2017 outside of his dream home in the forest. He worked his entire life to retire to Magalia, California and the family and I drove over 15 hours to celebrate with him. We stayed for a few days, walked the paths, and breathed the fresh air. Paradise was indeed paradise. His paradise here on earth won’t be the same after this, but he knows one day he will see the real paradise in Heaven.

I spend many hours on Friday trying to get a hold of family, but it was rough due to the cell phone towers being burned down. Most of my family who had homes in that area are completely wiped out. Some of them are still waiting to find out what the status of their home is. Most of them are exhausted, devastated, and sad.

I will do what I can to help my family and those affected by the horrible fires that are consuming California. Right now my job is to help my family members remember that God is in control. My sister had her house burn down, my cousin’s burned down this year, and my dad’s home was one of the few that survived in the Willow fire of 2011. We know…one day restoration will come.

Grace and Gratitude. Lord thank you for saving so many people from the rush of a fire that moved as fast as a football field every second.

Grace and Gratitude

Catch Me When I Fall

All of these events happened in the span of four days. It was quite the week!

So today I decided to take a break from it all and spend some time Bible journaling. When I feel like the World is spinning out of control, it’s time to ground myself and come back to the one who controls all things. When I feel like I’m falling into the darkness that seems to come out from nowhere I have two choices.

1) Fall into the darkness.

2) Allow God to catch me when I fall.

Today I chose option #2.

I grab theGrace and Gratitude Devotional Journal, Grace and Gratitude Kit, and my Illustrating Bible and sit down for some much needed quiet time. If you’d like to see my video review, please click the video below. When I spend time in the Word I get a sense of peace and joy as I’m reminded about the love and grace of God.

Grace and Gratitude Kit

Grace and Gratitude Bible Journaling Kit #2Here’s what’s Included in the Grace and Gratitude Bible Journaling Kit. To purchase this kit click here:

  • Thankful prompt cards on a key ring (24 cards)
  • 1 sheet of Christmas stickers
  • Buffalo check washi tape
  • 4×6 clear stamp set
  • Die cuts (tabs and wordfetti)
  • Grace & Gratitude sticker
  • Felt-fetti
  • Thank you card from Shanna
  • Packaged in a box with mustard gold tissue and sticker

Grace and Gratitude Kit Review

Grace and Gratitude Kit Sneak Peek

A Long Journey Ahead

I suspect my illness will be gone in the next week or two. But there are more challenges ahead as I prepare for my upcoming surgery. Ruby will get better and I will do my best to help her if and when her body shakes. My family in California will rebuild and eventually, many of their things will be restored. How do I know this? Because this is the journey, and God is in control.

The journey in life is a long one. It’s filled with days and weeks that are hard and difficult to endure. But, for every moment of difficulty, there are countless moments of joy, peace, and love. I just need to recognize them, let them into my life, and share them with others.

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