Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Holy Ghost

Away in the province of Shansi, and in the station of Ho-tsin, I met two men, one a scholar, and the other a farmer.

There was a great contrast in their appearance and in their whole bearing; the scholar, a thorough gentleman, the older farmer, just a rough countryman.

I travelled with them both along the road for two or three days together, so that I had a fair opportunity of seeing them.

When the old farmer preaches he has very little to say, whereas the scholar is really a beautiful preacher; but it is that old farmer who has been the means of leading most of those who are now members of the church at Ho-tsin to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I was told that he had got practically only one prayer, and every time he prayed he repeated it. His prayer is always, "Oh, that the power of the Holy Ghost may be with us."

This is his prayer; and the power of the Holy Ghost is always with that simple old man.

Taken from the book "A Threefold Cord", compiled by Helena Garratt, Pg 278

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nine Days? REALLY???

Just what in tarnations is my problem?

NINE DAYS since my last post???

Can anyone tell me where this week went to?

I know that part of the problem is the head cold I've been suffering with. Jon passed it on to me, and as of Monday Jared has acquired it. There are a LOT of ill people right now, including many of the students at school.

Jared said that his school is full of kids not feeling well. I am hoping that is not the case with Blake in New Brunswick! That boy does NOT need any more illness, for sure!

I thought perhaps with school starting, I might have some extra time and find myself developing "a new routine". But nay-nay. That is not happening.

With the beginning of school also comes a bag of other things.... school sports, such as soccer, which Jared is currently in. After soccer he starts basketball. Then this Sunday is the formations in House League Hockey. So in a couple of weeks, we'll be in the cold arena with our hands wrapped around some nice hot cups of coffee or hot chocolate.

Then add Youth Groups to the mix. Youth Group at our church begins this Friday. Jared is also attending a Youth Group that meets Tuesday nights in Bloomfield.

Add some events that I, myself, am involved in. I am singing at The Shed in Milford this Sunday with The Shirt Tail Cuz'ns. It's a local annual fundraiser, and I am always pleased as punch to be included. I will be singing "The Log Driver's Waltz" as well as a song by The Isaacs called, "There's a Little Bit of Heaven".

On October 16th, I'm also singing with a group of 20+ women at another fundraiser. We had our first rehearsal on Sunday and the harmonies were divine! Trinity is emceeing the evening, and I'm excited to participate with such a talented trio. I will likely be singing two songs by The Isaacs: "There's a Little Bit of Heaven" as well as "If That Don't Make Ya Wanna Go". It's hard to know exactly what to sing, but both of these songs are quite peppy, so I'm sure they'll be crowd pleasers.

I'm sure I've mentioned in a previous post that our government has FINALLY given approval for Blake to receive the extremely expensive medication he needs for his Crohn's Disease. He also is authorized to receive the meds in New Brunswick, as long as the medication is shipped from Ontario. We are thrilled with this long-awaited positive news. I have already spoken with our Remicade Co-ordinator in New Brunswick, and she and Blake have set the date for October 26th. She is very accommodating in trying to work with Blake's school schedule. Between her and our Remicade Co-ordinator in Ontario, I don't think I've met two nicer ladies. They certainly make a difficult situation easier to bear. Hats off to you, Krista & Simona!

Blake's studies are proving to be jam-packed. He finds the work fairly easy; however, the amount of books he needs to read is time consuming. He also must fit in eight hours per week at the library. The food that is served at the school is NOT to Blake's benefit. He said it actually makes him feel terrible, and we cannot risk him getting ill; so he is making his own breakfasts and suppers. He has purchased the food program that allows him to choose one meal per day from the cafeteria (either lunch or supper). He will feel better with consuming his own prepared meals, but will likely take advantage of getting one meal per day from the cafeteria, especially if he has a heavy-scheduled day. This is, unfortunately, time consuming for him to cook his own meals with an already busy schedule, but he's been utilizing a slow-cooker that Grandma Fraser bought for him, so hopefully once he gets his routine down, things will hopefully flow along at a good pace.

His health seems to be pretty good aside from busyness; but please keep him in your prayers. He can still be prone to flare-ups even on the Remicade. We are also in the process of getting him a family doctor in Sussex as well as a Gastroenterologist in Saint John. These two doctors both have excellent reviews, so I'm excited to get Blake under their care. Blake will continue to keep his current Gastroenterologist in Kingston. The doctors will work as a team (which thrills me!). We are thankful for the Lord's mercy extended to Blake through this battle, so I'm confident God will continue to keep him under the shelter of His wing.

Jake is still busy working at the landscaping business in Georgetown. Because the weather conditions limit his employer's ability to do landscaping through the winter, Jake has decided he might like to go trucking with his Dad for the winter. I am OK with that as long as Jake promises me that trucking doesn't become his full-time career! haha. It will be good for Jon to have Jake travel with him. They'll be chums! [hahaha.... that's referencing our late Nanny Saunders' comment from many years ago!]

I miss Jake being home. Even though we lock horns sometimes, I still miss him. It will be nice to know he's with Jon and that I'll get a chance to see him a little more often through the winter months.

Jon is, of course, busy in the trucking department. Things are picking up again in the economy.... it's always a bit slow in August and early September, but by the end of September, things get rockin' for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can't believe another year has almost passed by. If it keeps going this fast in the future, there'll be no time at all for anything!

I am pleased to see Jon feeling healthier and happier. We have learned a lot over the last few years..... we've learned how fragile life can be; we've learned how much we appreciate and love one another; we've learned how precious our marriage is, and how precious our boys are to us; we've learned that a few people are hurtful, but we've also learned that some people are the kindest, most compassionate folks you'll ever meet; we've learned that everyone sooner or later faces a battle; and we've learned that God has a plan for each of us. And I know that the trials we experience happen for a reason. Though I'm not necessarily sure of the reasons, I know down the road that the experience will prove to be beneficial, for me or for someone else. That's reassuring.

And now the time has come that I must get ready for Jared's soccer game. I hope the above brings you up to date with the Found household. Once again I promise to try and keep things updated a little more regularly. I am extremely excited that a new Bible Study series begins this Friday morning at our church, so I'll likely be sharing with you as I go through those lessons. It's another study by Beth Moore, so I'm quite excited to get the ball rolling.

Until next time, folks, remember where your help comes from --- your help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

God bless.

Here's a pic of me with the boys back in August 2010. Jon was on the road; that's why he's not in the photo... we didn't kick him out or anything like that. haha.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jacob And His Tighty Whities

If your child is comfortable wearing his underwear out in public, does that mean you've done a GOOD job in raising him? or a POOR job?

Under the circumstances, I'm going to say I've done a SUPER job in raising him.

On June 11, 2010 Jake and some friends participated in a local fundraiser, Relay For Life For Cancer. Their team was called The Tighty Whities!

Here is Jake with two good friends, Brandon (on the left) and Joel (on the right).

[Brandon, are you wearing flip-flops? And are those SOCKS??? Socks with FLIP-FLOPS????? CrAzY!!!!!]

Introducing The Tighty Whities Team! Way to go, guys and gals!

Many folks in the community and surrounding areas took time to walk, run, or jog for the whole night to raise money for Cancer. The event took place just behind our local Community Centre in Picton. Many teams dressed up for the event, and that's why this crazy bunch are out in public with their "gaunchies".

I think Jake inherited his muscles from his Momma!!! [wink]

Again, members of The Tighty Whities. Brandon asked me who I thought he was "supposed to be". I answered "Edward Scissorhands???" He disappointingly informed me I was incorrect. I think he said he was "The Wolverine" or something like that.

I was wondering...... why Jake..... would be putting..........

a flashlight.... in such.... a safe..... area......

..... until I realized that it may have been helping him to see in the dark!
What a kook!

We're very proud of Jake and The Tighty Whities for their contribution to the all-night walk-a-thon to raise money for Cancer. Thank you to everyone for their unselfishness and lack of sleep!

"The End!"
(BAHHHHH-hahahahahahaaaaaaa.... sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Your Faithfulness

Through the trials we've experienced the last few years, we naturally have many questions as we go through them. We don't like the trials and tribulations because they can bring us pain physically, mentally, emotionally.....

But in going through these difficult times, I have learned what others have said about going through trials... that you come out stronger and closer to God. And when I say stronger, I refer to relying on God's strength. You sure don't feel strong in the middle of your trial, but if you continue to reach out to God and rely on Him to help sustain you through those tough times, He gives you the strength to get through them and you come out stronger in the end.

The battles that we face don't just usually have an affect on one person, but on anyone surrounding the one(s) going through their war. Take Blake, for example. He is the one battling the Crohn's Disease. It's his body that hurts and aches and suffers in a physical sense. It also wreaks havoc on him mentally and emotionally as well. But his battle with Crohn's also affects others: me, his Mom; and Jon, his Dad. It affects his brothers, Jake & Jared. It affects our homelife and the way we try and lead our lives. It affects the grandparents and the aunts and uncles and cousins. It has reached out it's long arms and affected Blake's friends, co-workers, church family, school mates, teachers, community folk.........

The one thing that remains constant through the trials is God's faithfulness. He is always with Blake.... always..... even times when the rest of us can't be there for him. God has His plan for Blake's life, and for our lives. We don't know what tomorrow brings for us. Realistically, we don't know what is going to happen an hour from now.

But God does.

And it is up to us to reach out to Him and fully rely on Him whole-heartedly.... to know that HE.IS.FAITHFUL no matter what tomorrow holds.

On August 22, 2010 Blake took his spindly little body up to the platform at church, grabbed his guitar, and played and sang a song as a testimony that is possibly one of the most beautiful songs I've heard.

I want to share that song with you.

Unfortunately, I do not have a video camera that I could tape Blake singing it. But I did get some photos of him. In the video below, you will hear the voice of Brian Doerksen singing the song "Your Faithfulness". I have posted the words under the video, which I encourage you to follow along while Brian sings. There are no pictures in the video, only sound.

Blake.... you don't think you can play the guitar very well, and you don't think that you can sing very well (and we all disagree with you!); but I will tell you that the Holy Spirit moved in you that morning and blessed many many people. I can't listen to this song without shedding tears as I think about the struggles you have been through. I am thankful that at such a young age you are able to rely on Jesus to help you through your battles. I've said this before, and you've heard it in The Isaacs' lyrics: "there's not a battle that I cannot win, we've already won the war". Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. We're so proud of you.

[Please scroll to the bottom of the blog page and hit PAUSE on the blog music before starting the video.]

Sung by Brian Doerksen

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing or filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts and storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Off To College!

Our bird has flown the coop. He is in his new nest waaaaaaay faaaaaaar awaaaaaaaaay from here.

But only in miles.

Or rather kilometers.....

...... because he is always near to us in our hearts and minds.

We struck out for New Brunswick on Saturday morning and experienced excellent weather conditions all the way. We anticipated rain and wind from Hurricane Earl, but Earl decided to show some mercy and did not really affect many areas of the east. At one point we ran into a bit of misty rain, turning the windshield wipers on only a couple of times, at their lowest speed. The sun shone magnificently with big beautiful white fluffy clouds layering sections of the sky. Perfect travelling conditions.

My brother-in-law, Brent, accompanied Blake and me, and we arrived late Saturday evening and headed to our hotel. After a great sleep we spent Sunday unloading the van and getting Blake settled into his dorm. Then we headed to Wal-Mart to purchase a few things that Blake needed.

Sunday evening we attended the "welcoming service" at Bethany Bible College's gorgeous sanctuary. What an amazing church. And what an amazing service. My friend, Renie, and I understood one another's tears. She was leaving her oldest son behind in New Brunswick, so her eyes were glossy periodically throughout the day. By the end of the church service, my eyes were just continually spilling over with tears. The Holy Spirit just filled the sanctuary and our hearts during our worship time.

Earlier that morning at the hotel's breakfast nook, I spoke with two other moms who were dropping off their sons. We all talked about the tears we shed at these times, and I indicated that we're the moms... we're allowed to cry... it's our job. haha. But God understands our tears. He knows we are leaving pieces of ourselves at the college when we hesitantly climb into our cars and strike out for our homes.... that are many many many miles away from our baby birds.

It was wonderful for me to hear Blake laugh as he greeted friends he hadn't seen since last Spring. Being in the boys' dorm, we were surrounded by young men. Brent chuckled at the sight of so many males actually hugging each other and not embarrassed to do so. I know from Blake's health situation last Spring that so many of these boys care about one another. They're watching out for one another, and that really brings comfort to a mother's heart and gives some peace of mind!

Blake's first official day of school was yesterday, Wednesday. I texted him last night and asked how things went. He indicated that he feels it will be a busier and fuller semester than the last one. I told him that he should not sacrifice his health over ANYTHING, including school. He can always take an extra semester for any course that he struggles with, but he cannot play around with his health. It's hard for me to let go, but I know I have to.... to a certain degree. :o)

Speaking of Blake's health, I spoke with our Remicade co-ordinator for Ontario on Tuesday. She called me to confirm the address of the clinic where Blake's medication would be sent in late October......


I said, "The specialist's secretary told me that it was illegal for you to send it out there, despite me telling her what I'd been told in the past [that the meds could be shipped from Ontario to New Brunswick]." The co-ordinator said, "There is absolutely no problem in sending this medication out to New Brunswick to Blake, and it will be fully covered under Trillium's Drug Plan."

I just shook my head. I thought, "Would it have been THAT hard for the specialist's secretary to say to me last Friday, 'Michelle, I'm sorry; I was misinformed, you were correct in what people told you.' " Instead I was led to believe that other strings had been pulled in order for Blake to get his meds.

In the long run, it doesn't really matter. The fact is that the kid is receiving the meds he needs. But it just is so frustrating that I am constantly being told something different from every person I talk to.

But I will tell you that I am soooooo happy to deal with our Remicade co-ordinator here in Ontario as well as the co-ordinator in New Brunswick. They are both delightfully kind women and I wish everyone in the world could be even half as terrific as these two ladies.

So the bottom line is that Blake will receive a dose around the end of October and then his next dose will be about a week before Christmas. I am thrilled. I am doin' the happy dance. hahhaa.

Well, Jon is eagerly anticipating his time on the computer, so I need to stop typing. I want to close with a few pictures of Blake in New Brunswick. Please pray for him as he comes to your mind.

Blake in his dorm room

Blake's desk area

Storage space under his bed

Closet (not much room for clothing once we put the fridge in there, but there wasn't room anywhere else for the fridge.)

Blake giving his girlfriend the tour of his room via Skype (sorry it's blurry)

Blake chatting with his Brasilian sweetheart, Anelyse via Skype. (Hi Anelyse!)

l-r: Sydney (Blake's cousin); Andrew (Blake's roommate); Christoph (Blake's friend); Blake

Did I mention that I miss him already? ;o)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stamp of Approval - Blake Health Update 2010/09/03

It is with great pleasure.....

for me to officially announce......

that Mr. Blake Found......

after approximately 11 months of numerous phone calls, paperwork, prayer, and even the odd time of some hair-pulling........

has received.......

word from his Specialist's secretary......

at 8:55am......

on September 3, 2010......

that funding for his miracle-drug Remicade......



[hold onto your seat....]

We have been notified that, not only will Blake's cost of Remicade be covered but, he is also able to receive his medications when he is out-of-province while attending college in New Brunswick. This means we do not have to cart him back to Ontario every eight weeks for his infusions.

Today, I am one extremely happy Momma.

Just yesterday morning I had a conversation with the Specialist's secretary. She explained to me that I had been misinformed by a few people with regards to Blake's situation. For almost a year now, I seem to get a different story from absolutely everyone I talk to regarding Blake's situation.

I had been told that Blake could, once approved, receive his meds in New Brunswick as long as it was shipped from Ontario to New Brunswick. I spoke to TWO different gentlemen from the Trillium group on TWO different dates who both confirmed it was no problem. I also spoke with a special pharmacy who deals in dispensing Remicade, and they confirmed that it could be shipped in a special refrigerated package and that it must be used within three days.

Our Specialist's secretary said she called Trillium and the pharmacy and was told that it was illegal to ship the meds from Ontario to New Brunswick. She also said she was told that it could not be shipped because it needed to be refrigerated and that it needed to be used within 24 hours.

I don't understand why we are being told completely different stories.

Then the secretary said that Blake would likely have to change his province of residence to New Brunswick and then apply for health coverage there.


Ummmm.... how about NO!

It all sounded very suspicious to me.

Anyways, she called this morning at 8:55am to announce that coverage for this medication will be provided to Blake and that he may receive his infusions while attending college in New Brunswick. They will call him with the date and time of his infusions.

She confirmed we are covered for one year, and at that time she will fill out paperwork to renew the Section 8 coverage and that I am to continue to renew the Trillium coverage.

Yes. I can do that!

Just yesterday, after my phone call with the secretary where we discussed all these contradictory statements given to me, I was frustrated because I had worked so hard on my phone calls and keeping good records of conversations, etc. I had spoken to so many people, including politicians offices who were, by the way, of no help to me. I felt like I had beaten my head against the wall. I had gone out later that day to cut the lawns and I could feel myself getting somewhat angry for all these delays and road blocks.

Then it was like a light bulb came on.

...."praise God anyways".

So I pushed out the negative thoughts and said, "Lord, I'm gonna praise you anyways. YOU know the situation and You have a plan. It's not going well here, but You have a reason why. I'm just gonna praise You anyways".

I continued to cut the lawns, row after row, and then the angry thoughts would creep their way back into my thinking. Then, I would hear, "praise God anyways".... and so I'd starting praising Him all over again. I kept pushing out the angry thoughts, allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work.

"Thank You, Lord. You're watching over us."

"Thank You, Father. Your Word says you'll never leave us nor forsake us."

"Thank You, Lord. You have a plan for this situation. You're in control."

"God, You are good. You are so good."

"I will praise Him, I will praise Him, praise the Lamb for sinners slain. Give Him glory all ye people, for His blood can wash away each stain."

And then, 18 hours later, I get the call.

And just how amazing is THAT!?


I've had my "God moment" for today.


So tomorrow we leave to take my little boy back to New Brunswick. He's gained almost thirty pounds back since June. He's feeling better, looking better, sounding better. Like The Six Million Dollar man, he's stronger... better... faster. Well, OK, I might be stretching it on the "faster" part, but you get my drift.


He has spent the day packing, running last-minute errands, and tonight is relaxing with his best bud Billy. They are downstairs now attacking the XBox360. It gives my heart happiness to hear them laughing and hollering at one another down there.


Please remember us in prayer as we travel all day Saturday. My brother-in-law, Brent, is able to go with me, and I'm very appreciative of that. The van is almost all loaded up and we strike out early morning.


Also remember in your prayers to thank our Lord for His many blessings. What a trial these last few years have been; but we come out victorious because we go through our battles in the name of the Lord.


There's not a battle we cannot win; we've already won the war! Hallelujah!

As a footnote, I'd like to include this video. It was posted on another blog that I follow. The lady with the hat in the video passed away this week to be with Jesus after a battle with cancer. I thought this was a beautiful song, sung in a "round"; it's message seems to fit what I was just writing about. Enjoy.

[Remember to pause my music at the bottom of this page.]

Hearts Uplifted

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blake Health Update 2010/09/01

We are home from hospital.
Blake received his infusion of Remicade this afternoon.
He is thrilled.
I am thrilled.
Our family and friends are thrilled.
God is Good!!!
Blake should be good for 8 weeks now.
Next infusion date is around end of October 2010.
I am going to bed now.
I am tired.
I have slept in a geri-chair for five nights in a row.
Tonight I get a real bed.
A flat bed.
My body aches.
The humidity and the geri-chair are causing me great discomfort in my joints.
But my boy has his meds, so I won't complain.
I am one VERY happy Momma tonight.
God is good.
All the time.
All the time, God is good.
Good night!