Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mom's Journal - Entry #1

Friends, my Dad stumbled upon this little journal of Mom's sometime last week. None of us knew it existed or that she has written in it. It appears she cracked it open the summer of 2004, following a surgery that brought some dscouraging news. While she went into the surgery with doctors assuming this could be the end of all cancer for her, they ended up sewing her back up removing nothing at all: the cancer had spread all through out her abdomen. Except for a miracle, it was only a matter of time befor the cancer would take her life.

These five little journal entries are Mom's response to some seemingly horrific news. It's incredible. I guess will never know why she wrote this or who she intended to read it. I'm thanking the Soveriegn Lord for providing such rich words from my can hear her speaking as you read it. This gives you a glimpse of what a godly woman she was. I will post all five entries eventually (they are even more amazing all together), but for now here is the first. I only wish I could post it in her own handwriting. Be encouraged...

"5/29/04...I wanted to share some of the things God has taught me in the past 5 years of having cancer.
1. The most important thing I've learned: Salvation & the gift of spending eternity in Heaven is the most important gift I will ever recieve. When you face death the only important thing is where you will spend eternity. Thank you Lord for dying for me and taking my wrath & punishment on the cross. Therefore, because I have confessed my sins and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, forever I can look forward to Heaven. Tis effects my daily life because I want to live my life today and throughout eternity to glorify God. When you focus on the cross the cares of life don't seem so overwhelming. An eternal perspective puts everything in the right perspective. I don't ever want to take my salvation for granted- no matter how great I feel and wonderful all my circumstances are. My salvation is of first and greatest importance."

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Aunt Julie"

She's pretty much the most amazing girl you'll ever meet. I mean that seriously. I've told her before that she is one of my Heroes. My sister Julie loves the Lord with an amazing passion. She has trusted the Lord through these past eight years of Mom's battle with cancer, and even in her death. She has never once complained, never shaken her fist at God and has only continued to REJOICE in the midst of her own pain. She displays the most genuine Joy I have ever seen in a person (genuine because it is rooted in the Lord, not circumstances). She also is completly others focused.

With all this said, she is not only one amazing sister, but an absolutely incredible Aunt. I'll let this picture speak for itself.

I sure do love you, Goober!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Alathea...our bundle of Joy...she's really walking now!

Alathea is our little bundle of Joy. Even at my saddest times of missing my Mom its hard to stay that way long with her around. She is walking 100% of the time now! Her first steps were almost 2 months ago and it took her until this past two weeks to really get the hang of walking. She's just recently gone "cold turkey" on crawling...all while she still isn't a superb walker...which has led to multiple bumps and bruises! Today we were out on our "Family Fun Day" at the mall and she decided to "jump" out if the stroller head first! (Yes, we do normally strap her in!). This is a small example of how "on the go" our little girl is.

I am trying to post a short video of her walking...will do if I can figure it out! (Also, how do I flip these pictures :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ft. Myers Beach

As you can see we had an AMAZING trip with my family & extended family to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida the week after Christmas. It was a wonderful time to have fun with the family, especially after such a difficult year of Mom's illness and death. God blessed every aspect of it- even the weather was beautiful. We enjoyed many days on the beach (Alathea LOVES the beach!), jetskiing, bike riding, riding mopeds, eating seafood, watching fireworks on New Years Eve, lots of walks on the beach and enjoying quality time together as a family. Along with my Dad, Rocky & Julie, my Uncle Billy, Aunt Jeanie, Cousins Grace & Isaiah, Aunt Mary Beth, Cousin Ryan, Aunt Pat & Uncle Bill Ivins were all there as well. Fun times! A very special thanks to my wonderful Daddy who blessed us by paying for our complete trip! He is the most generous man I know!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!!

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas & a blessed New Year already! It's hard to believe that it is 2007! Wow, time sure flies. Just one year ago Joe & I hadn't had Alathea yet and my mom was still living. A lot can change in a year. While reflecting on this past year I realize the Lord has taught me so much... the biggest lesson of all be that He is Soverign, Good & All-Wise. In short, I've learned to trust Him more than ever before. Like the song says, "He gives and He takes away, and I will say 'blessed be your name".

Sorry to take so long to post, we've been "on the road, AGAIN!". No surprise really. Alathea & I enjoyed a week in MD with family and friends in Mid December. We drove up with my great friend, Rebecca Swan, after her baby shower here in NC. We celebrated my amazing sister, Julie's, 17th birthday. It was a blast. I LOVE being with Julie! (actually, everyone LOVES being with her...she really is amazing). We enjoyed a fun dinner out at a fancy chinese retsaraunt with Julie's "inner circle" of friends (which was over 35!). We also celebrated Christmas with my family while we were up there. I had a wonderful time taking lots of walks and going shopping almost daily with my daddy. We had lots of special time together. I also was able to see my brother Rocky, who is at U MD and some extended family. I have to thank my amazingly wonderful husband for not only releasing me to go to MD, but encouraging me to go. He is so sensitive to how difficult the Christmas was with out my mom and wanted me to see my family as much as possible. I love you so much, baby!

Once back in Charlotte, there was less than one week until Christmas! We enjoyed wonderful family time just the three of us! We drove to see Christmas lights and started new family traditions. Joe's grandmother, Mere, and Aunt Mimi came in town the week of Christmas. We spent at least part of everyday visiting with them and the rest of the Lechners. There was lots of food and lots of roudy games of domino's. It was fun spending so much time together. Alathea especially enjoyed her cousin Andrew, who is only 3 months younger than her. We enjoyed all of the Christmas party's and festivities until Joe got the nasty somach flu the day before Christmas Eve and we had to miss both services that day :( Paise God is was only 24 hours of sickness and the Lord protected the baby and I!

Christmas day was a special day- Alathea's 1st Christmas. She LOVES opening presents and enjoying her new toys :)

December 27th we flew to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida to enjoy a special vacation with my family! (Dad, Rocky, Julie, Uncle Billy, Aunt Pat & Uncle Bill, Aunt Jeanie & Grace & Isaiah, and Aunt Mary Beth with baby Ryan). My Aunt Pat owns a house on the beach and 4 of my mom's siblings and children all met there for a little family vacation. My Dad, being as AMAZINGLY generous as he is, paid for Joe & I completely as a Christmas gift. What a blessing! We were in Florida for an entire week...from Dec 277-Jan 3rd. We just flew in last night! I'll post more on this wonderful trip soon. For now, Happy New Year!