Today started as most Mondays do. Jake got up and left for work. The boys and I wake and stir. I believe I have a chiropractic appointment. I make our morning NeoLife Shakes.... and on it goes.
Well, I discovered I didn't have a chiropractic appointment (I hadn't set them up for May). This was a blessing because a dear cancer mom needed to talk with me. And talk we did. For an hour. You see, her sweet little girl has relapsed with a rather aggressive cancer. Conventional treatment worked the first time but with remission lasting only a year. This is heart-breaking news. Heart-breaking! No parent should ever have to choose between quantity of life and quality of life for their child. They should never feel pressed between a rock and a hard place when deciding the medical path for their baby. They should certainly never be coerced into anything either.
I hope I was a good, solid sounding board for this mom (and dad for a few minutes). She said I was, so I will trust her. What am I supposed to tell a mother who is staring at two options that are so awful I can't even use the typical phrase "lesser of two evils". I pray that my interaction, input, and ideas were a blessing to this family and in no way a burden.
Then, the boys and I took Saoirse (Seer-Shuh) to a local dog park. There I was almost instantly connected to this sweet, bright soul named Katie. She was there with her companion to observe the dogs. Katie likes dogs. I waved to Katie and she immediately pointed back at me and walked her companion over to me. She took my hand and guided me around the dog portion of this park. Katie is non-verbal and has Angelman's Syndrome (I was told it was Angel's Syndrome but I couldn't find that exact syndrome, so I assume the companion meant Angelman's Syndrome). Katie reminded me of a person with Cerebral Palsy and a lower functionality. Her smile was big and bright. Her demeanor happy and excited to be around dogs. Her companion said Katie loves to be outside. So, they spend time visiting dog parks and even animal shelters where Katie will walk up and down the rows or sit and enjoy the presence of a canine once in awhile. I tried not to talk around her, because I know she can hear and understand me. Yet, when I did ask a question about her I was intentional about using her name so she would know I was acknowledging her presence.
You could tell she is this vibrant soul trapped in a broken body. Her physical being has betrayed her, one symptom of a fallen world. However, her spirit shone all the brighter because of the shaded shell she embodies. Her eyes speak for her mouth that has been silenced by a genetic deficit. Her physical touch and connection conveys a message of love and gratitude that her fingers could never write. The way she would smile at me, reach for my arm, or hold my hand... I felt loved. I don't know why she chose me, but I am grateful that she did.
As if this wasn't enough gifting from God, I received a message asking to chat if I was available. It was from a friend whose family is in a sticky situation due to all the vaccination hysteria. They simply needed to feel heard and understood. It also helped that I was able to tell them they are, in fact, not crazy. I told them I was just gonna fill them with so much Truth that their armor would just magnetize to their body (or something like that) so they will be completely protected as this unnecessary war rages.
It is a wonderful thing to be a conduit for the Lord as he seeks to reach his children. So many people are unsure of themselves or feel ill-equipped for everyday life. Why can't we just come alongside each other, listen to each other, allow our opinions to be flexible, and realize our beliefs are not devalued simply because someone doesn't share them. We are all smart. We are all capable. We all have value and purpose. Let's work to SEE people and HEAR people. Each person has a story that is worth listening to and imagining ourself in. #walkamileinmyshoes
Oh, friends... I wish I could accurately convey what this certificate means to me. Saying it was an honor to be part of this ground-breaking group & program is a gross understatement. The founders of MaxLove Project (MLP) have done it again... they are continuing to blow through the glass ceilings the cancer world has had in place for far too long.
There is a huge chasm between the medical world and cancer family support. MLP has created this brand new program for cancer mommas to bridge that chasm by giving them tools for their self-care, thrivorship toolbox AND a community with which to give and take support.
I am honored to be a ripple of blessing in the lake of HOPE for cancer mommas (and by extension cancer pappas and kiddos)!
Please, if you know a mother, or parent of a child with cancer, connect them with MaxLove Project (or me) so that they can begin to tap in to resources they need and probably don't know about. MaxLove will be having bootcamps for them to join (21 days) throughout the year, so if they miss the current one, there will be another one coming in the future. While they wait, they can still benefit from the resources MaxLove has to offer. The community alone is priceless and we are working to expand that community across the nation... and eventually the world.
Well, Jake just headed off to work. Yep, you read that right, "work".
I couldn't be more proud of him or more grateful to him for all that he has endured with me over the passed 9-10 months. He agreed to sell our house and move on faith, leaving everything we knew behind, in order to help Dempsey the best we knew how. It wasn't to only help Dempsey, but to help me as well. A cancer journey changes people.
Jake will be working Mon-Fri with full time hours. Day one is all about HR and getting legally settled. The following days and perhaps weeks will be about learning the ropes, training, and settling into his new role - which the company is still trying to flesh out. I think this will be a wonderful fit for Jake. It's techy enough and physical enough to keep his time and energies balanced. I look forward to having this new topic infused into our conversations and life. I'm so proud of him. The best part? He will still be with us on Sundays for church. It has been awesome having him by my side to worship our Lord for the last 8 months. I am thankful to God for providing a job that keeps this facet going. It's so important to me.
So, while Jake goes off to work I am assuming the majority of home responsibilities once again. I would be lying if I said it wasn't a bit overwhelming. It has been so wonderful being able to share these responsibilities with Jake for the last 8 months. He took on so much with the boys. It was heart-warming to watch and the boys really enjoyed having Daddy so involved.
Change is hard. I used to embrace change with open arms... but a cancer journey changes a person. Time to dig into the Word, hit my knees, and allow God's strength to be perfected through my utter weakness.
I quit my part time job and feel good about that. Now, I just need to really lean into my other businesses. I would really love to take on some cancer clients so that I can educate, encourage, and empower them through their journey. Reimagine Healing is all about providing a big picture view of health and healing. I do not prescribe treatments or provide healing - I am not a doctor and don't pretend to be on on the internet. I am a counselor. Someone who has been there and needed what I now offer to others. I had to research and stumble my way through some of the alternative modalities we employed and that I share. I know that I can help make someone's journey easier and that warms my heart.
We are confident that we are in line with God's will for our family/ life and we eagerly await the blessing of His economy. We are praying for guidance and clarity about our new budget. We know the Lord is capable of things beyond our comprehension, so naturally that is where we will place our trust. When things don't add up to us they certainly multiply under God's blessing.
Thank you to those of you who have been praying us through this journey. Many of you prayed us into this journey as well. I want you to know that we are grateful for your participation in this marathon. May God bless you with 10x the blessing you have blessed us with.
It's been almost six months since we moved to the Treasure Valley. We have been blessed, richly, in so many ways. Let me give you some highlights...
#1 and #3 bring with them a plethora of emotions. Why, when I should be celebrating like it's Mardi Gras, am I in a pit? This pit is strange. In here I cannot connect thoughts to form decisions. I cannot will myself to be interested in things that I ought to be interested in. Things that I enjoyed a few weeks ago now seem dull and boring with no replacement in sight.
This faith journey is getting harder, folks. I expected it to get easier. I expected that ending Dempsey's treatment would alleviate some of the weight I've been carrying like a lousy ball and chain since he was diagnosed. It is getting hard to continually knock on doors only to not have them open. It is hard for me to invest deeply into a community that I am not sure I will remain a part of... not because I don't love these people but because I don't want to grieve friends and relationships. We don't have our current rental forever... probably not even for a full three months more. Yet, the Lord hasn't opened any employment doors so there is no way we will be in a home of our own by the time we need to move. I trust that the Lord and my husband have a plan... but not seeing how it will play out is hard.
Idahome is such a beautiful thing. It's full of faith, trials, provision, unearthing sin struggles, miracles, sanctification, love, loneliness, friendship... such a paradox. I don't regret this journey one bit! I just need people to know this faith journey is getting hard. This journey is messy. If you are interested in being messy with me please reach out and let me know. Social media doesn't have to know we've connected in the realm of messy... but I know there are many who are closet messy people in need of a safe place to acknowledge the mess. So, if you are currently messy and in the closet about it, please reach out and let me show you that you are valued, loved, and there is grace and acceptance to cover even the messiest of us.
Keep it real.
Since Halloween, we traveled to CA and back for a wedding and visiting with family. We snuck some fun and friends in, as well. We were not in town long enough to see everyone who matters to us and we managed what we could.
A 16-hour drive there, Knott's Berry Farm, a wedding, precious time with Great Grandparents, a day with Grandparents, and another 16-hour drive.
After that trip, we felt that we will not be making a trip back to CA this year. So, we worked to craft plans for our first holiday season in Idaho. Thanksgiving turned out to be a day for our family to begin new traditions and make something totally tailored to our own enjoyment. We made crepes ("big pancakes"), a cheater's version of a traditional meal (turkey breast, potatoes, green veggies, stuffing, gravy, some apple or pumpkin or pecan dessert), some time spent in a conversation of reflection and gratitude.
Thanksgiving also brought an unexpected loss of a loved one. Jake's grandmother and grandfather were in a bad car accident the day we were driving home (a Tuesday). A week later his grandmother met Jesus face to face. The details of her last week on earth, as shared with us by Jake's mother, were divided... to say it best. She was in pain due to the accident and, sadly, that was never managed well enough to give her much relief. Despite that element, she was able to have a last chat with each of her children and their spouses, and each of her grandchildren. That was a priceless reality and I kept telling my mother in law "...in true Grandma fashion, she just wrapped it all up in a beautiful bow." Tears of sadness for our loss are greeted with tears of joy as we celebrate Grandma's legacy and how she's with Jesus in glory. We will see her again, praise God.
Christmas planning and execution has proven interesting. Jake's parents were just here for a quick visit, so we gobbled up as much time with them as we could. My folks are heading up next week for a few days and we will gobble up time with them, too. Simplistic doesn't even begin to describe our decorating/ planning and shopping practices, you guys. No tree. We just don't have a place for it. The single logical place in our rental is taken up by Soairse's crate. *frumpy face* So, we will dream and plan for next Christmas... in our own home, with our own stuff, and our new traditions. God willing... For now, we have stockings hanging from the mantle over the fireplace we can't use (flue issues). *sniffle* Jake bought a tiny, glittery, red Christmas tree and a short string of lights to further adorn the mantle. He can be so cute, y'all. He got creative when his folks were here for our Christmas time by running the yule log on his ipad and placing the ipad in the fireplace, resting on the actual logs we can't use.
Friends, can I just say how hard it is to not be living with your own stuff? We are beyond grateful for the blessing of our fully-furnished rental. It's been a saving grace because our stuff is still in storage and we don't have to unpack everything for the short term and pack back up only to unpack again. Yet, I want MY things. Not having our own items keeps the settled feeling away. I look forward to God bringing us to our next home where we can revisit our belongings and begin establishing deeper roots.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, Merriest Tidings...
The Kenagys do Halloween Idaho style.
Our church did a Harvest Carnival int he parking lot. We manned the Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling booth. Right between the popcorn stand and the Bean Bag Toss.
It was a smooth, laid back event. The busiest times of the event would be considered slow or empty by CA standards... and that is okay. The multi-generational element at our church is wonderful. Everyone played an important part in making the event function.
We are slowly making connections at the church and enjoy the biblical teaching in both the Sunday School class and the sermons. We look forward to experiencing this church in each season of the year and hopefully a few seasons of life as well. I personally love the fact that the church purposely does not over program the congregation. There are not events happening every night of the week. Instead, there are people who take on tasks for the community and congregation that are dear to them. One woman, who apparently loves to be busy serving, is collecting items or money to provide Christmas baskets for shut-ins, those in the hospital, or those who have been moved to a care facility. What a beautiful heart and ministry. I am eager to hear more about the hearts and service within this precious congregation as time marches on. Admittedly, it is a tad hard to be an extrovert in a church that has so many rich relationships already in the works. Yet, God is gracious in his leading of conversations and his provision of new connections that will hopefully become friends.
After Halloween came the roasting of pumpkin seeds. We used three different Wildtree seasonings for culinary experimentation.
Which do you think you would have voted for?
Our sweet boy has his first procedure with St Luke's tomorrow (10.25.18). He's mentioned the word "scared" for the first time in a very long time. I believe he's still excited and the "scared" is just referring to the new experience and a new place with a new crew. I will try to report back post-procedure tomorrow sometime. We are set to go to the hospital at 8:30am and then visit Chick fil-A for lunch, as is our custom on procedure days. Please keep our boy in your prayers and thoughts.
Amid our season of Sabbath we had a whirlwind of excitement these last two weeks.
First, my folks came to visit.
What a joy it was to see the boys enjoy the time with my parents. Lets not forget how much Saoirse-girl loves her Granddad, too. Catching up, playing wii, Chick fil-A, Jake and I had a date, church, Black Bear Diner, swimming, etc. It was such a blessing for us when my parents took the boys for a few hours so Jake and I could have a date. Since leavning CA that doesn't happen regularly anymore, so it's a treat when it does happen. Of course the boys were elated... who wouldn't be happy with the combo of grandparents, Chick fil-A, swimming, and wii, all in one afternoon?
It was nice to see my parents again. Bless their hearts, they've been up to visit twice since we moved. We get to return the favor, sort of, in November except they won't be where we will be. We'll be glad to see them at my cousin's wedding.
Then, my friend Monica and I went to the dōTERRA Post Convention Tour in town on the Wednesday. It was a low-key event packed with information! We got to hear about the 15 new products dōTERRA launched this summer (I already had the kit and sampled all the things). The speaker shared about the company's Healing Hands Foundation. What an incredible organization! We also go to see some of the powerpoint presentation slides used at the Convention. One slide is a skeletal timeline that shows the following:
2008 - dōTERRA was born
2009 - first $1 Million month
2014 - new campus
2015 - $1 Billion in sales
2018 - 5,000,000 WA & WC (combined Wellness Advocates and Wholesale Customers)
The future is bright for this young company who seems to be doing it all right. I am so honored to be connected with this company and that Dempsey (and our whole family) is THRIVING, in part, because of it. I currently have 76 people on my team and I am always looking to have it grow. Let me know if you are interested in the essential oil lifestyle and/or running your own business in partnership with this amazing company. #shamelessplug
Next, Jake's folks came to visit. They were here for just three days... but it was a fun-filled three days. Swimming at the YMCA, a birthday dinner, the Zoo Boise, looking at property, an ice cream date, homemade meals, Boise Fry Co for lunch, a park visit, a puzzle, laughter, etc. This was the first time Gram and Grampa have visited Boise. We're sure it made such a lovely impression on them that they will visit again soon. The boys were so excited to share about their life here in Idaho and even more excited to visit the YMCA and play on a water slide and such. Dempsey was actually able to show them his ocelot at the Zoo Boise... granted, he still hasn't designed his plaque to be displayed on the exhibit. Sharing Boise Fry Co was a treat as well. This is the boys' favorite burger joint up here... but it's pricey, so we don't frequent the establishment often. Locally sourced ingredients, organic when possible. Our party of six went to Fork (a restaurant in downtown) for Gram's birthday dinner before they departed. Another yummy experience.
We are so thankful both sets of grandparents were here in such a short span of time.
Finally, we met a family in the middle of their own faith journey. My cousin, Kallie, connected me a woman named Rachel. She is an author, speaker, and life coach. We were able to go visit her co-owned 60 acre ranch a bit north of us and meet her energetic family. What a lovely experience. Getting to ride in the bed of a truck while bouncing over hills and spotting deer was a highlight for our boys. We shared a meal, they shared their trampoline, we shared our story, they shared their story... all beautiful. The Lord has both families on faith journeys right now... theirs just seems to be a bit more glamorous on the outside. See, they are in the process of funding a HUGE renovation of a ranch from rundown to renewed event center (think retreats, weddings, corporate events, etc). The are calling this place Seven Springs Ranch. We can't wait to watch as this property and dream unfold into reality. What's even crazier is that I looked at that property last year on Realtor.com and would dream about the possibilities. Now, I get to watch God use it in ways similar to what I envisioned.
Who doesn't love a good food post to bring on all the insane munchies and comparison issues? I know, right?! So, in the spirit of being a good socialmediaist, here are some food shots from Kenagyville - Idaho edition.
Still no jobs. While that gives us some moments of concern, we are happy to be able to share so much uninterrupted time together as a family unit. We know that most families never have this opportunity and we are soaking it up. Despite not having Mon-Fri jobs, we are still earning an income. How? Through NeoLife and doTERRA. Did you know that those are two business we are a part of? No, I don't have to actively sell items (neither do my teammates). We are earning money simply because people have prioritized their family's health in such a way that incorporates whole food nutritionals and essential oils. As they purchase the products for their family's consumption and enjoyment, we earn a commission. It's such a beautiful thing... residual income. If you are ready to join my team of wise, health-conscious folks, please reach out to me or visit the links above.
Visits to Manitou Park
Jake's assembled birthday present: Lego Saturn V
The boys and I got Jake the Lego Saturn V for his birthday this year. I think he's been talking about it for a few years now, so we felt it was time. Not to mention we had plenty of time to dedicate to building it. The boys worked on it in stages. It was enjoyable for all three of them. The best part? Jake set up time with each boy to play with it. What a good daddy!
Me, Kamatz, and Morning Tea
Military Reserve sunrise, Storey Park play, Foundation Training
As you can see, there is plenty happening. Lots of park visits, including dog parks (not shown because it's hard to get pics while making sure Saoirse behaves herself and remains safe. Saoirse loves being outside and going for walks. She thoroughly enjoys the dog park experience and is typically asleep before we get home (very much like a child). Dempsey, like Saoirse, requires ample opportunity to release his energy stores. We've noticed he does better, overall, on days he gets to go to a park and be active. It's different in Idaho because we don't have access to our trampoline, which is what he would use daily to burn energy, build muslces, and blow off steam.
Morning tea is vital for my psyche. Chai Rooibos from Yogi is my favorite right now. Add to it some raw honey and a little milk (I still need to find a new raw milk supplier) and I'm good to go. Jake has been enjoying an orange flavored tea.
Kamatz still resides in our bedroom most hours of the day. He emerges at night to eat and go potty. Why? Our best guess is that he smells the landlord's dog and cat around the house and he believes they're still here - which they are not. Not to mention that he isn't really fond of Saoirse. At night, when she's in her crate, he feels safe enough to handle his basic natural needs. Now, when anyone is in the bedroom longer than 3 seconds, he appears and is quite meowthy until you give him love/ attention. He purrs louder and drools more here. I think he is just so desperate for affection he can't contain himself. Idiot doesn't realize we are available all day long outside the bedroom.
Foundation Training was awesome. It has some similarities to yoga as it only uses your body and focuses on stretching. My chiropractor, Dr John Hickey, is the only certified Foundation Training Instructor in Idaho. He is passionate about helping people take care of their whole self... not merely get adjusted and go on their way. Know what else is fun about Dr John? He's letting me help him with his website... I'm working behind the scenes right now, so none of my work is published for you to see yet.
The air continues to crisp up and we enjoyed some rain a few days ago. I've always loved the smell of rain and it is no different here. Jake and I both walk Saoirse is the dark morning hours in our turn. The main difference is I walk her to Dutch Bros where she gets a treat and I get caffeinated. Jake walks her around the streets in the hood and often takes her to the military reserve (that awesome sunrise photo). Yesterday, Saturday, I took Saoirse to Dutch Bros and then to a dog park. It was still dark when we arrived at Morris Hill Dog Park at 7am. Around 7:30am another pair showed up. A woman and her pup, Jules. The woman and I had a lovely chat. The kind of lovely chat you have when the person you're talking to is of the same mindset you are. It was such an enoyable connection that we exchanged phone numbers and are making plans to meet at the dog park again or for coffee, at the very least. It is so much easier to meet people here. Why? Because people TALK TO YOU here. They genuinely care about your story and they are quick to share their story as well. It's beautiful and this extrovert loves it!
We have missed church for two Sundays now due to head colds. When we are sick we stay home. We want to make friends, not enemies, and keeping people not sick is a good way to do that. The hard part is the church we have enjoyed attending (twice) doesn't stream online or record their sermons. Thankfully we have other churches nationwide that do.
Dempsey has had two appointments at St Luke's thus far and his third is coming up the end of this month. This one will be his first procedure day at St Luke's. I think Jake and I are a little nervous, with it being a new place, new routine and all, but Dempsey is excited, of course. We are beyond grateful for Dempsey's positive outlook on this whole journey. I still hope and pray we get to end his treatment early (for a myriad of reasons) but, if we can't, then I am being blessed by Dempsey's success and attitude about it all. It is incredible how he just owns his journey, never complains, and trusts us even when it's hard. He is a walking miracle. We are deeply thankful for your continued support, presence, and prayers over our marathon with cancer.
By the way, the cancer thing doesn't end when his treatment does. He will not hear the term cure until he is just shy of 13 yrs old (EOT 8/5/19; 13th birthday 8/17/24) . Then, we will always have that fear living in our biology, if not the forefront of our minds. He will always have to be more diligent than the average person. Any little physical blip and those fears will come flooding back. So, the marathon doesn't end when treatment does and we don't fool ourselves into thinking any different. God is good. He is faithful. He is IN IT WITH US. He is for us. He is orchestrating a tapestry that is larger and more glorious than we can imagine and we are honored to be woven into it.