By His Grace

Team Connor

The past year and a half since Connor was diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis has been a whirlwind!  This is an update to Connor’s Smile and Prayer Update for Connor. In spite of the severe difficulties and hardship Connor faces, he is filled with love and joy, and has the sweetest spirit. He makes people laugh and brings happiness to all who meet him!


We started IVIG, and completed 6 months of treatment. Soon after we began the IVIG treatment we immediately began seeing changes in Connor. His language skills began to improve, and he was able to attend to tasks longer. As many of you know, our insurance company refused to pay for this very expensive, life changing treatment for our son.

We have stopped Connor’s IVIG treatment stopped for a couple of months to let the medicine completely leave his system, before  we could  re-test.  We are looking for a supplemental insurance policy to cover the astronomical costs associated with treatment. We haven’t taken that test yet, because the test cost is $1,000, and if the antibody is still present, that would require additional costly IVIG treatments.


This is Connor receiving one of his weekly IVIG treatments.

In addition to IVIG, Connor’s  year consisted of Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Vision therapy and Educational therapy, several days a week. We are making good progress. Slow progress, but good progress. As Connor’s brain heals, we have to go back and fill in all the developmental gaps. In many ways Connor is a typical teenager. He loves video games, music, and movies. He great receptive language, that means he understands us talking to him, but still has a difficult time with his expressive language. However, he is learning to speak more now then ever before.


In the last year, Connor has learned to catch and throw a ball, and ride his bike. His speech and vocabulary has dramatically improved, and for the first time in his life, people can understand him speak! His coordination is improving, and he is evening learning to write, and spell his name.


On November 3rd Connor turns 18. For Connor’s birthday, we started a go fund me page to raise money for his all his therapy and medical treatment. Please help us spread the word to help our little man get the life changing treatment he needs. If our campaign reaches $500 dollars, then it will get national exposure.

Visit Connor’s Page Now

Please join us in continued  prayer for Connor’s healing! God is doing amazing things in Connor’s life, and we look forward in anticipation to lies ahead.

Importance of the Family Table

Today on the blog, I am talking about the importance of the family table, and sharing a few pictures from our Thanksgiving table 2013. Earlier this week, we heard from Michelle S Laurek on practical ways to love our neighbors, and  I told you about her new book, An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality. If you missed that post, be sure to check it out here Love Your Neighbor!

I love this description of An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality from  Amazon.

Jesus spent a chunk of his ministry eating and drinking with the “”sinners and tax collectors”” of the world. If we strive to be more like Jesus, shouldn’t we do more of what he did?

Hospitality involves more than the domesticated event we have grown accustomed to practicing. It is an embodiment of all the Christian life stands for: a gesture of love, opening up our hearts and lives, and sacrificing luxury and security for the chance to display Gods glory. To receive hospitality from others is an invitation to receive Gods transformative power to work in their lives.

Wow! Have you ever considered your family table a place of ministry? We have a huge farm table that we purchased several years ago to accommodate our growing family.  The wooden sun-bleached benches on either side of our 10 foot table are flanked by several mix-and-match black chairs with rush seats. It is reminiscent of farmhouse meets french flair, and it is located in our beautiful sunroom. The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house because it has 12 huge windows that look out into our back yard, and we have a gorgeous view of the sun rise.

The importance of the family table, and the top 3 reasons I love mine! And you should love yours too!

Fist, there is something special about choosing the perfect table linen, arranging your favorite dishes, and adding a seasonal centerpiece. I love to prepare a feast for friends and family. I am going to let you in on a little secret though, I have a dish problem. I love my dishes and love any excuse to use all of the dishes that I have collected over the years.

The table is another great place in our home to spruce up with the changing of the seasons. I love to search Pinterest for new and creative ideas for my tablescapes. I also love repurposing old things and using them in new or unexpected ways.

For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I used an old wine box, that Peter brought home twenty years ago when he worked at a hotel. I darkened the box up with a little leftover stain that I had from another project. Nestled in the box is a fairytale pumpkin, some pine bundles from our trees, Mason jars with tea lights, surrounded by pinecone candle holders with cream tapers.

Depending on the formality of the holiday or occasion, I may use chargers or place cards. When my children were young, and I wanted to make our holiday tables special, I would include them in helping me make place cards. For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I purchased these vintage goblets at an antique store for just a few dollars. This was a fun way to serve our beverages, and I didn’t have to worry about them breaking.

Second, conversations at the family table tie heartstrings to our children, family members, and friends. This is an important time of connection and communion. At the table, you can linger, talk about your day, and impart your values to your children. There is time to reflect on issues that arise in our culture, morality, religion, politics, and books. Gathered around the table is also a great place to share stories from the past, or tales of family members that have gone on to be with the Lord. This is something that Peter’s mom Gigi instilled in me early in our marriage. We spent many hours in lively conversation as a family around the table. The Thanksgiving 2013 table pictured is very special to me because this was the last meal we shared together as a family with Gigi. She was an amazing woman, who was an incredible influence on my life. Read more about this at 5 Things Gigi Taught Me.

Holiday tip when entertaining for the holidays and small children are sharing the table with us, I always put a fancy tablecloth on the table, but then cover it with clear plastic. This way the table still looks beautiful, but it is protected from the inevitable spills that are bound to happen.

Third, in this fast-paced microwave society that we live in when families are going in different directions all the time, and we eat at the drive through or on the run. To have time to sit down and eat a home-cooked meal on real plates, not paper ones, and have time to connect at the table, and enjoy a meal is priceless!

Whether you are gathered at the table for a holiday or sharing coffee with a neighbor or friend, know that your table can be a place of ministry.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1  Corinthians 10:31.

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