Welcome Note

Thank you for visiting Kaitlin's blog. Please use this site for the latest updates, information on ways to help, and thoughts from John and Katilin as well as the Rice and Wanberg Families. We will be actively making updates to keep everyone up to speed and communicate as effectively as possible. You can also subscribe so you will never miss a new post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thump... thump.  Thump... thump.  This morning as my alarm buzzed after a third round of snoozing, I came to my senses quickly when I heard a strange thumping sound.

"What is that?"

Kaitlin just mumbled groggily - typical.  Waking up in the morning is not a particular talent of hers.  Like a dutiful husband, I hopped out of bed to go explore the strange noise without bothering to put on pants.  Step, step... my bare feet plod down the six stairs, through the construction-zone that is our half formed kitchen - and gingerly I stand on my tip toes to look out the tiny window on our back door.

Wind. Well, that and the bookshelf-like "candy rock garden" that I took out from our entry way the other day (dubbed "candy rock garden" because this little half wall was filled with white rock as some sort of decorative flair - we filled it with candy because we thought it was ugly... and hilarious).  I had set this 1950's antique on the back porch, and the wind was gusting strong enough to tip it over into the wall, making the gentle thumping sound I had heard upstairs. 

Oh well, time for another day.  It feels good to say that.  For so long, Kaitlin and I have been living in a state of constant change.  We have moved ourselves and family members into and out of our house almost a dozen times in the past year, and we crave normality and routine.  During the past month, we took out our old kitchen, which is gradually being reconstructed into a more open, handicapped accessible area.  In the midst of this latest project, we are tired.  We are ready to be done, ready to have a home, ready to be "normal."  There are certain aspects of our life from which we will never get a break - but luckily construction is not one of them. 

I head back upstairs, test my blood sugar, and give myself a shot - that is new.  Then I help Kaitlin swing her legs out of bed and she transfers herself into her chair - that is new.  We walk-and-roll over to our lovely bathroom (also new), that was paid for by the kindness of our loving community, and begin the day.  

Even though so much has changed for us, I don't think we are alone in feeling like we don't truly have a "place" here.  Over the past month so many friends and family have been going through difficult, heavy stuff.  It seems like it never ends.  Kaitlin said to me the other day - "I just want a break from being paralyzed..." but there is no rest. 

After my shower I sat looking out the back window at the blustering flurries in our backyard, reading my Bible.  In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says "come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  That is all I want... rest.  But it can't just stop there, with some coffee-cup Christian-ese statement about coming to Jesus.  Later on, Jesus goes on to say "I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.  And if you had known what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.  For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."  In this moment, when I need rest - it comes from an acknowledgement of authority, not from the reduction of my to-do list.  God controls my life.  I do not need to perform well for him, because I am forgiven through Jesus, and through his sacrifice God delights in me, regardless of my "success" in life. 

Perhaps we don't feel like we are home because we will never feel that way on this earth.  There is always another thing to do, something new to accomplish, and plenty of reasons why our lives feel out of control.  This week I am working to understand what it means to heed God's authority... and for his grace and mercy to provide me rest. 

 - John

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back to Work! {A post by Kait}

Many of you know that I went back to work last week. Being in the classroom with my kids again is a huge blessing. They are some of the sweetest and most understanding people I have ever met, and they are only 14! I teach 3 periods per day instead of the 5 that I was teaching at the beginning of the year, and I don’t need to arrive at work until about 10am which has made my mornings manageable. 

Through returning to work, the Lord has continued to teach me more and more about the incredible scope of His wisdom and knowledge. It seems He has been orchestrating my work situation for almost a year, working to open and close doors and to lead me where He wants me. Whenever I’ve been confused or frustrated or nervous about work, He has been in control. He has led me here, and I am consistently getting glimpses of the fact that his purpose and plan is unimaginably greater than my own understanding.

I am blessed to be back at work, and I look forward to the Lord’s creativity being revealed as I continue to pursue this career.  Thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Fundraiser FULL!

Thank you all so very much for your reservations & willingness to join us for such a special evening benefiting John & Kaitlin. I am so excited to announce that our reservations are completely full!

Once again, stay tuned for this fundraiser again in another couple of months!

All my love,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Only 5 seats left!

Friends & Family-
If you'd still like a spot at the Amerigo fundraiser on Sunday, January 26th--e-mail me as soon as possible!
I have 4 seats open for the 5-7 seating and 1 seat open for the 7:30-9 seating. $50 a plate (not including tax). ALL proceeds go to John & Kaitlin directly!
I am once again amazed at how quickly we have filled up the reservations. We are literally surrounded by the most generous people in the world. THANK YOU!
All my love-

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Healing {A post by Kaitlin}

John and I were recently prayed over by a pastor who has been given the gift of healing. He has traveled the world and allowed The Lord to work miracles through this gift. Blind eyes have seen, crippled legs have walked, deaf ears have heard...and much much more. 

Our meeting with him was casual and comfortable. It felt very Spirit-led as he prayed for healing in each of our bodies. He asked for my legs to work again...for Johns pancreas to regain function...even for the metal in my back to be dissolved. Crazy? Not according to the Bible. 

Scripture is full of miraculous healings performed by Jesus as well as his followers. If we are followers of Jesus, what restricts us from being blessed through the Spirit with this ability? 

Since the prayer session, John and I have continued to pray into the healing process. No, I did not just stand up and walk out of my wheelchair...no, John didn't feel his pancreas kick in and take action immediately. Although it can work that way, healing can also take time and patience. 

And really when I think about it, healing can take so many different forms. When physical ailments are at the forefront, that's what we ask God to heal. But is that really what needs healing the most? 

In scripture The Lord often announces healing by saying " your sins are forgiven". Internal healing of our souls and hearts through an understanding of forgiveness and grace seems to be what is most important in the Lord's eyes. Outward healing of ailments shows his power and glory to the earth...but inward healing is of great value as well.

In this season, we want to trust that The Lord is healing John and I according  to his will. Whether inward, outward, or both...God is taking care of us and healing what needs it most. So if I don't walk, or if John's pancreas still doesn't work, we are still in the hands of a great God who is binding up our hearts and souls as we learn how to live this new kind of life.

We serve and give glory to the ultimate healer. Please pray that his will would be continually carried out in John and my body and soul so that He is glorified above all. 

"And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.'" Matt 9:2

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Amerigo Fundraiser Round 2!

We would be honored if you would consider joining our family at our very favorite restaurant at the end of this month to raise support that will continue to help John & Kaitlin with their long term needs. The generosity we have experienced from you all in the last 4 months has been absolutely surreal...we are BEYOND thankful! Thank you for keeping our spirits high & our faith strong. We are so excited to be with you again on January 26th! Please know that even if you attended the last dinner, you are welcome again! We appreciate any & all support.

E-mail carolynwanberg@gmail.com as soon as possible for your RSVP! Please include your preference (if you have one) of who you'd like to sit with...I will be assigning tables before the event in order to help things run smoothly.

All my love,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Practicing the Present Tense

My friend Josh put into words what our family has been trying to do- practicing the present tense. Cognitively it’s so easy to say that I’m not going to dwell in the past or fixate on the future, but then I try to put it into my daily routine and I realize it is a much harder task. Yet I know that life can be so amazing when I live the short game, enjoy the moment, be present now, and see the joy at hand.

Our puppy Jax is the master of the short game, of living in the moment. One of my favorite times of the day revolves around letting him out of his kennel in the laundry room first thing in the morning. As he hears my steps approaching his tail begins thumping with anticipation. As his gate swings open he runs circles around my legs with total and complete joy. As he bolts into the backyard his ears flapping and feet flying he circles the yard sniffing for rabbits and squirrels. Jax loves life; every moment is in the now, no seeming memory of the past or fear of the future- just pure living in the moment at hand.

As I ponder my faith journey in over the last four months, it seems like my ability to live in the moment with peace and joy is entirely dependent on my ability to accept by faith that God is in control, and that He has my best interest at heart. Do I really believe what the Bible says and can I apply it in my life? Hebrews 13:5 says “…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” – then continues in verse 15 with “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

There really is no partial surrender to the Lord in a time of testing.

Happy New Year from our family to yours-