It has been a crazy week since my last health update.  I am thankful for your prayers and concerns and kindnesses towards us.  We have been well loved and feel that deeply.

Health Update: Since my appointments with the doctors on Thursday my health took at turn for the worse.  I developed a new cough, more shortness of breath and wheezing. I contacted my doctors this morning to see what should be done and since I was scheduled to go down for bloodwork on Tuesday anyways, my Nurse suggested that I come by the clinic to be seen.  I am happy with this action plan and of course, so thankful again for my health team and the care that they give to me.  Once I know more, I’ll write more.

Family Update:  Many of you know that Jeff and I have had a number of people come and live in our home over the last 9.5 years of our marriage.  Each person for a different reason, season and time and all of us have learned a lot about what it means to live in community.  We don’t have a separate apartment, entrance or kitchen for those who come and stay.  We have a home and we’re happy to share it.  My favourite comment of all is from a dear friend who came to live with us for 6 months (prior to her getting married) just 1 year after Jeff and I were married… she said it was the best marriage counselling she could have ever had!  She says this, of course with a smile on her face.  We all learned a lot that year.

When Jeff and I purchased our house 9 years ago we knew that this was God’s House and that we were responsible for managing it in a way that was/is honouring to Him.  Having others come and stay with us has been a part of the unique tasks that God has called us to over the years. We see this as more than just Hospitality, although that is a big part of having others living in our home, sharing our meals, laundry… Life.  We often call it Familying. It’s hard for me to put it into words but this really is the best description that I can offer.

I also look back at when Jeff and I were hoping to have a child.  At times it seemed like an impossibility because of my health. Every time we talked with the doctor about a baby, he countered back with chemotherapy.  Jeff and I both came to the realization that families come in all shapes and sizes  and from a variety of ways.  When Nathan was born 4.5 years ago it was a huge delight to us (and of course he continues to bring such joy to our lives) but we had to come to a place to recognize that my/our childbearing years were over and that we would be a single child family.  For me, this was difficult to surrender to God but I continue to trust in His plan for our lives.

And yet, as I’ve said before, families come in all shapes and sizes.  Our family is growing again.  We have invited Gemma, Jeff’s cousin from Ireland to come and stay with us.  She is here on a working visa and will be arriving tonight.  And since we already have someone living here with us in community, our family will be growing to 5.  We are excited to have Gemma come and stay with us, to help her find work (anyone nearby hiring?) and to pour our lives into her.

Even though our house is already filled to the max we believe that this is what God is asking of us and we are ready to respond in obedience.  Even since making this decision on Friday, God has confirmed our decision and provided in some pretty fantastic ways to make room in our home and our hearts for her to arrive.  Over the weekend we were able to purchase a brand new twin-over-double bunk bed (under our pre-determined cash only budget,  and with a discount for picking it up ourselves…!) in Nathan’s room where he and Gemma will share for now.  Through www.thecommmon.org, a website used by our church we were able to furnish (for free) the room with a dresser and night table, were given a mattress for the top bunk and a kitchen table that will fit us all.   We are thankful to God for His Provision of these items. We are overwhelmed and excited about what the next few days, weeks, months will hold for our family. We would value your prayers as we add Gemma to our family.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what it means to live in community with others but I know that I’ve still got a lot to learn. Sometimes the learning is easy.  Sometimes the learning is hard. Always, the learning is worth it.

With overwhelming joy,

Heather

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