Our Journey to Healing December 28th

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Philippians 3:20-21

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

As we are currently going through Christmas detox, I wanted to catch you all up on a few things and decisions that have taken place since we last talked. *If you are reading our blog, I consider it to be talking, so thanks for wanting to talk with us today!

Christmas came and went and has left us feeling very encouraged. We had such a great December catching up with friends, seeing all the long lost family members, and getting to watch our niece crawl for the first time. We also hosted a few overnight guests, watched 4 Christmas movies, put up a tree, didn't turn on the tree lights because it was starting to burn the tree. and then proceeded to take the tree down. We managed his wheelchair in our first ice storm, came to the conclusion that cocktail parties and paraplegia to not mix well, and we have eaten a piece of chocolate every.single.night.

Overall, things have been moving in a positive direction. Regarding Derek's health, we spoke with our spinal cord doctor 2 weeks ago and have decided to discontinue blood thinners at the end of January. As you many recall, we were really torn with the pros and cons of lifelong blood thinner medication. After consulting Dr. Park, she highly encouraged us to stop taking the blood thinners once we hit our 6 month mark and just continue on with our lives. She said the chances of Derek getting a blood clot again are very slim, which is encouraging!

We also met with our dentist which is our first step in getting Derek's teeth fixed. To give you an idea of how the appointment went, my favorite quote was, "This one tooth looks salvageable". If he didn't lose it, he broke it. Our next step is meeting with the oral surgeon in February. This is the same group of doctors that performed his jaw surgery, so we were excited to get an appointment! After the doctors appointment, we will be given a time frame and run down of the plan. According to the dentist, this whole process from start to finish could take 1.5-2 years, depending on how the gums and implants heal. I should also add that Derek HATES going to the dentist, so this next stage of recovery should be an interesting one! In the mean time, Derek has been enjoying lots of soft foods such as crock-pot meals, soups, cut up hamburgers, and peanut butter toast.

Derek has another month of therapy sessions but these have slowed down to 2x per week. He is gradually adjusting back to work and has been going in a couple times per week. At this time, his focus is working part time and regaining more energy. I have excitedly accepted a position with MudLove (the wonderful company which sold our Goat/ Moxie mugs for a fundraiser) and will be the Director of the Fundraiser Marketplace. I will be helping other families and organizations raise support for their cause! I am also able to work from home which is perfect for our current situation.  I have been blow away how God has so clearly opened and closed doors for us these past months.

In closing, I want to shamelessly plug NorthWestern Mutual for all their work on our behalf. Here is a God thing for you: We had been meeting with a financial planner for a year, but mainly just to pick his brain on investment ideas and how we should be saving our money. In May, Derek decided we should at least purchase something, so he went ahead and bought Supplemental Disability insurance policy. The cost was inexpensive ($20 per month) but would help us if anything ever happened to Derek. I remember him telling me he purchased the policy and I actually got a little upset because he did not run the decision by me first. Well, fast forward 3 weeks later, and I am calling up our adviser to explain the situation and see if the policy will work under the circumstances. That policy has been and will be an incredible blessing to us as we work through the lifelong costs of paraplegia. I am by no means a financial guru, but I would highly encourage you all to meet with an adviser and get your ducks in a row. We do not know what tomorrow holds. Plus, they are all usually very nice and they give you free coffee/ water during your meetings!

For prayer, please continue to pray for Derek's heart rate and blood pressure. Also, we have started to mental process of "next steps" for a home. We do not know what this means yet, but we do not want to rent forever! Lord willing, we would like to either purchase or build an accessible home within the next year or two. Please join us in prayer over that decision.

Have a wonderful New Year!!

With Love,

The Lavenders