Hebrews 12:1-3

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Game Changer …. May 13, 2012

Another year has passed. Our home is complete and we are enjoying it. Its home. I’m able to get around to every crook and cranny. The space and location has worked out better than expected. We have a new Puppy, “Stanley”. He has been the center of our attention, he is adorable. Julia is graduating this year and is heading to Carleton University in the Fall. Thankful she is staying home. Emily will be moving on to grade 11. Watch out on the roads, she’ll be hitting them in just a few weeks. She is very excited. I continue to work 3 days a week, physiotherapy and acupuncture twice a week. From the beginning, Mike has prayed that I would see continued progress. Things are moving along slowly, but I do continue to get stronger and I’m getting back some ability that I didn’t have last year. Mike continues to be an amazing support to me. The man doesn’t complain I don’t know what I would do without him. He is always checking in with me, making sure I’m ok. Takes time off to come to my appointments, and tries to come to as many physiotherapy sessions as possible to support me. Not to mention the work around the home he does. Life is very different, but we have seemed to have settled and gotten into a routine.

It’s funny that this blog is called “In the Grip of Grace” What does that Mean?
This year has been a difficult one for me. Struggling, wondering where is God in all of this? I pray for complete healing every day. That His name would be glorified in this, what does that even mean? “God wouldn’t it be amazing if I was to just get up and walk? This would truly be a miracle from You.” No matter how hard I work, no matter how many doctors I see, the only way I will walk again on this earth would be because God allowed it. Why won’t He allow it? Why won’t He allow my day to day life to be just a little easier? Why won’t He take the pain away even for just a day or a moment here and there? It’s hard to let it go when it affects every moment, thought and feeling that you have every day. There is no break from it. You have to plan every move and sometimes that move is not possible. I mourn all the things that I can’t do with Mike and the kids. So, I sit and I pray. “God, ultimately I want to glorify you. If that means Your name will be glorified more with me standing and walking, I’ll take it. However, if it means that your name will be more glorified with me sitting in this chair, then I ask for your Grace. Lots of it!” What does grace even look like?

When you break down the word grace, it actually means a blessing, a gift, good will, love, kindness, favor. So when God gives grace, He gives all of that even though we’re not deserving. While I was in the ICU, a good friend told me to write down all the blessings in my life, because one day I will want or need to look back on them. Many times I have needed to look at that book. God has done so much for me and I have deserved nothing. He has chosen and given to me an amazing husband, my girls, family and friends. I know there is so much that I can still do. I am thankful that I can brush my own teeth, and hair, feed myself, cook, drive, and work. What I have and who I am is because of God’s Grace. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV

It is only by God’s grace that I am here, and that I have been saved, and that I can get up every morning and live. While I’m doing that, He is pouring His Grace on me while I am trying to live out what God intended me to be. The Holy Spirit helps me as God is molding me more into His likeness. I pray that I’ll be able to pass on that grace to anyone who comes in contact with me. That the fruit of the spirit is evident and that they will see His glory.

I am truly in HIS Grip every moment.

P.S. I will be doing my updates on Facebook from now on so please send a friend request!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Day That Changed My Life!

May 12, 2012 – Mother's Day

A day that changed my life for ever. Three years have passed. One way it feels like forever and another I still cant believe that its happened. Needless to say I have had ups and downs along the way. Wrestling with God but knowing He is faithful. I know many of you continue to pray, I am so blessed and thankful that God has placed everyone of you into my life. I keep saying to myself that God has a perfect plan, He uses all things for good and for His glory, in His time not Mine and He will never leave me. He has given us so many promises to cling to. He gives me everything I need when I need it. It's hard to understand but I need to remain faithful. Easier said than done that's for sure. You all know what I'm talking about. What separates us is not what we're going through because everyone of us will have a trail. The great divider is how we handle the trials when they come. What brings me comfort is that God can use this to help others and that through this He will be glorified. Does that make it easy, No. Do I understand why God has chosen not to heal me yet,No. Do I struggle daily, Yes. Do I have a hope in Him, Yes. Does God give me what I need to face each day, Yes. Do I questions God, all the time. In spit of me and my downfalls, He is faithful and full of grace.

What have we've been up to.....
In our new home and unpacked – cooking again
Landscaping has started- I can't wait for grass
We have a new puppy – Stanley!
Julia will soon be on the roads all by her self – She and Emily are planning a road trip this summer.

I continue to do physio 2 days a week as well as acupuncture. One of those days Mike and I head off to the pool for therapy. We have seen some progress but as I have said before progress is slow, VERY slow.

So I pray for faith and I am learning to meditate on His truth. Romans 10:17” So, then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” The only way this happens is if I spend time in His word. I'm working on that to. Romans 8:28 “for those who love God all things work together for good” This isn't to remind or tell us that all things in our lives work for our good. God isn't working to make us happy but to fulfil His purpose. I pray daily that I will leave all things to Him and trust in His word.

Thanks to all of you that continue to lift me in prayer, yes I am still praying for complete healing I know He is capable.

Big Hug


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Has it really been nine months?

I have been delinquent in keeping all my prayer warriors up to date. I have run into a few of you over the past several months and all of you have encouraged me to write a post. Thank you for loving me so much and wanting to be apart of my life in this way. I appreciate every one of you and thank God that He continues to be in control of all and send you as burst of love my way.  So sit down, grab a coffee we have a lot of up dating…..

Over the winter months Mike and I worked closely with our builders Rodger and Heather and came up with a design. We looked for property, which proved to be a little more challenging than we though but yet again God provided a beautiful property in a older neighborhood, Fallowfield Village.  One that was very familiar with Rodger, as he has built several homes here. We started the build of our new home May 2014. The hole was dug and the footprint was laid. It wasn’t long and the foundation was placed the framing was going up. We could start to see the drawing become a reality. Working with Roger and Heather was amazing. Definitely a God sent. They were so organized and on top of everything, we all had our tasks with timelines. There was no time to worry about a thing, not that we had to. It was a challenging yet a fun experience we would do it again. They made it easy!

Mike was excited from the get go. The girls and I took a little longer as we were sad to leave our home on Finrod. The memories of the past and the dreams of the future there were hard to give up. I know, we will make new traditions, new memories and have a new future but I didn’t want to. God had a different plan. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” From the beginning God was in control and it was so obvious. We don’t always get what we want but God always provides what we need.

The weeks went by quickly as we were making decision after decisions. Preparing our current home to be put up for sale and trying to have some family time with the girls during there summer holidays. There was a lot of running around … Mike did most of that.  We were able to sneak away every weekend to enjoy the cottage and managed to get away to P.E.I. for a week with 3 other families. Which was the highlight of summer for sure.

Our house went up for sale before we left for P.E.I. it was sold just 3 weeks. Did I say God was in control? No conditions and the closing date we were hoping for November 3rd.  Now the packing begins, giving us a great opportunity to purge.
By now the new home is closed in and we are able to see changes daily, it amazed us as to how quickly it was moving along. Before we knew it, it was moving day. Ready for another God thing… We booked moves for October 22nd; I was confirmed with contract in hand. 8am came and no movers now it was 9am and I may have started to worry just a little. I asked Mike what are we going to do? “No big deal, we can just get a room at the Brookstreet Hotel tonight and book a mover for tomorrow” “We’ll figure it out” I’m not to sure what ruffles his feathers yet! Needles to say I got on the phone with moving companies and God provided again “2 Men and a Truck” There was actually 3 men a truck that showed up to our home at 10:30 and started the move. Everything was unloaded at the new house by 7pm. They were amazing they couldn’t do enough for us.

The unpacking begins. Friends and family were busy making beds, setting up the kitchen getting my things ready for me so that I would be comfortable and prepared. The hardest part for me was watching it all happen and not being able to get my hands dirty. Its probably one of the biggest struggles I face, I’m not a very good spectator. 

It wasn’t long and we were pretty much unpacked. I am able to get to every part of the new house. I can tuck the girls into bed again. The kitchen and the modifications we have made have enabled me to cook again. I’m not sure who is happier about that, the girls or Mike. I have a new bathtub that allows me to have my tubbies again. I loved having a warm bath before bed and it’s been a long time. My legs float so it’s been a little challenging figuring out what would work best for me. With a little bit of weight around my ankle we are good to go. Although the home is amazing it still takes energy to do some of the littlest of tasks that would have been nothing for me to do before. I’ve had to really look and prioritize as to what is important. Waiting on someone to do it for me, or just letting it be. Christmas is just around the corner. Decorations needed to go up! Mike waiting for no one, out they came and they were up the last weekend in November I don’t think we ever had them up that early. We celebrated our Saviors birth in our new home with lots of family and friends around us. We had lots of room for everyone to enjoy. As per tradition we spent the new years up at the cottage with friends. Which we love.

During all of this both Mike and I kept up with work. I am still in therapy. I have been keeping up with my schedule of working Monday, Wednesday and Thursday keeping Tuesday and Friday mornings for Physiotherapy and my acupuncture appointments. During my two-hour sessions of therapy I am working hard at keeping my core strong, by doing a lot of balancing and weight lifting. I have been doing sit to stand exercise. This is when I lock my knees against my therapists and pull my self up using her shoulders to a stand. We are working on me trying to lock my knees myself and having the endurance of being able to hold myself in this position while moving my hips side-to-side or squatting up and down.  I have continued to use the body weight support to allow me to work on the treadmill as well as walk in the parallel bars. Progress is extremely slow and it has been taking so much energy. Challenging to say the least both physically and mentally. I struggle and understanding the plan that God has me in right now and I continue to search the scripture to help me to have the peace, hope and ability to rest in the Lord.
In a few weeks I will be starting pool therapy, which I am looking forward to seeing what will happen. My therapist says that there are a lot of people that are able to move their legs in the water since it’s zero gravity.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. 

Winter is a challenge as the snow makes it difficult to wheel through the parking lots. Your hands freeze even with gloves on; you need thin gloves to get a good grip. The sides of your legs get wet from the snow coming up on the tires and who’s kidding who I just didn’t enjoy winter that much before. I always looked forward to the summer.

I am struggling to know God’s plan in all this. I know that God is always trying to build endurance, perseverance and steadfastness. I cling to His promises but it still seems to very difficult at times. I question Him as to why and I may never know why. James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of like” I know He is taking me to a new level of dependence on Him. One of the biggest things I have begun to learn is that Joy doesn’t = happiness and God doesn’t promise us happiness but we can choose joy. James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”
 Joy only comes from God. “Consider it all Joy” Joy in trials is saying that I’m going to find away to trust Him even though I’m not seeing Him and His plan. Considering why am I here, what life is really about, glorify Him in all things and where I’ll be is the only way I consider joy in my trial. When trials come we want to jump ship but staying put is the very thing God wants to teach us most of all.

There is a closeness with the Lord that comes though trials that doesn’t come any other way. I rejoice in the opportunity, OK not always but that’s my goal.

Thank you to all of you for supporting us through prayer. So many of you have reminded me that you are praying daily for me and my family. We wouldn’t be able to go through this with out it. I pray God’s blessing on you and your families this year. I pray that He will continue to be a strong presence and that you will cling to Him daily.

Big Hug Sandra 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

MRI follow up

So Sandra had a follow up  appointment from her MRI results, the pocket of fluid in her spine has not changed for better or worse between the November and January MRI's. The better is the fluid goes away the worse is the fluid moves up the spinal cord and effects other signals i.e. Arms and hands.
The doctor is reluctant to drain the fluid since it is in her spinal cord, and going in could effect some of the progress she has made.
We are ready for a positive Dr appointment, one that they are encouraged by the progress. We have had several appointments where we are told Sandra has a very thin and fragile spinal cord (really thanks for telling us) and not to expect more recovery. This beats you down after a while and is difficult for her to stay motivated as her therapy is a lot of hard work.
It is difficult to see a loved one in constant pain and struggle to do all the things we previously took for granted like getting in and out of the car, getting dressed, picking up a few groceries, the list goes on and on.
On the positive side our new house plans are coming along well, we hope to be in by the fall. Lots to do between now and then. This will make some things easier for Sandra and she will have access to the entire home.
Sandra still is improving, working on her sit to stands, as well as her body weight support walking. The progress is painfully slow but we remain thankful that there is progress. We just want the progress to speed up a little( ok a lot).
I will attach a video of Sandra and her trainer working on her her sit to stands. Sandra has her knees blocked but she is gaining control of her hips.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brrrrr Is winter over yet?

January has come and gone. Now if only the snow would go.  Thankfully I’ve been able to escape the cold. My sister and I were able to go and visit Mom and Dad in Florida for 10days. While Mike and the girls, took 4 days with friends in Tremblant skiing.

People ask me how my weeks are, well on the most part busy. I work Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Physiotherapy every Tuesday and Friday morning with acupuncture in the afternoon. I’m still doing my bike 3 to 4 times a week and than I find myself climbing into bed at 9pm. Physiotherapy is still a lot of work. I’m mostly doing body weight support activities. We are working on trying to get my knees to lock so that I can pull myself up to stand, holding long enough to be able to transfer more easily.

Mike and I have been praying about what would be best for us in the way of housing. We have had two assessment on our current home and we feel that it would be best to build a new bungalow that would be adapted to suit all my needs for living. We have been looking for property for the last 6 months, which has been more difficult than we thought. We were just able to acquire a new lot in Followfield Village, our new address will be 6 Goodfellow Court. We are so thankful and praise God for His provision over us.  Now even the harder part starts, the design. We need to make sure to include everything that will work for our family. Please be in prayer as we go through this process that we make the right decisions. We are hoping to start in the spring and be in by the fall.

Thank you to all of you for your continued love, support and mostly your prayers. Its going to be a busy summer but and exciting one.  HUGS Sandra 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, boy how time flyes!

On November 28th I had my first MRI done. Now that was an experience. I never thought I was claustrophobic but that was on a whole other level and boy is it loud. I found myself praying to the rhythm of the banging and clanging just to keep myself calm. I’ve been looking forward to meeting with Dr. Tsai to hear the results. In the meantime, I had an appointment already made with my rehab doctor. During that appointment she mentioned that she got a copy of the results. She mentioned that I have a pocket of fluid, which is called an Srynix located below my level of injury. This can be both negative and or positive because it can affect motor function. If it was to move and go above my level of injury it could affect my arms so…. Does that mean it’s affect my legs? We have so many questions. We know that this can be drained but don’t know the pros and cons, yet. We just found out that I need to have another MRI done. The first one was done incorrectly; Dr. Tsai needs it to be done using a certain process for her to be able to gather the correct information for the trial. I’m a little frustrated and a little impatient as I was hoping to have some information and answers but we are in a holding pattern. Please be in prayer that I will be able to have this done soon although I’m not looking forward to it.

For the last 8 weeks I’ve been having acupuncture therapy twice a week. I can’t say for sure but it seems since I’ve started my function has increased weekly during my physiotherapy appointments. Every week I seem to be getting stronger. To which I am very grateful for.  I continue to pray that one day when I wake up God will have healed me completely and I will be able to just sit up and throw my legs to the side of the bed and stand.

The last few weeks have been difficult, as we have embarked on this Christmas season. I think of all the things that I was able to do with such ease. Now I’m fortunate if I can do them at all. I need help with most things. Shopping is a challenge, I can’t carry anything and push myself at the same time, getting through a parking lot with the snow is nearly impossible without someone pushing me through the piles. Nothing is simple or quick. Everything has to be thought out and planned. I have to keep thinking about the plan and purpose that God has for me.

God had a plan to have His son come to this earth as a baby, live on this earth and than give His life as a living sacrifice for us. Giving us the hope and choice to live eternally with Him.  During our trial we don’t know why or what He’s up to. Mary couldn’t have known the implications and impact that was going to happen while she was being effected by the trial that she was going through but she choose to be obedient in it and because of that God was able to use her in a way we could never have imagined. I know that God is working in and on me through this trial; I pray daily that I will stay strong and choose to be obedient to Him in it. It’s not easy and I find this time for some reason harder than others. I find myself getting tired dealing with life and what it brings.
A dear friend shared these verses with me just a few days ago.
 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
It makes you realize that we have zero control over everything and anything but she reminded me that we know the one that does ….Jesus.

So, I am thankful for these Christmas season that we have the privilege that we can celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ and that He has given us that choice to follow Him and He is all we need.
Merry Christmas to all of you and may you feel God’s work in your lives and the many blessings He has for you in the New Year.

HUGS Sandra

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When Life is Hard!

That is the title of a book a dear friend gave me. James MacDonald, one of my favorite authors, writes it. He begins by saying “What separates us is not what we’re going through, because into every life tribulation comes. The great divider is, how we handle the times when life is hard.”

This trial has been a hard one and yes, it makes life hard, but I am so thankful for the many promises that God has given me to cling to. Jeremiah 29:11 “He knows the plans He has for you, plans to give you a future and a hope” Job 23:10 “When He has tried me, I shall come out as gold” God’s plans are far greater than my immediate problem or trial. I know that something good will come of this. He has brought me to a new level of dependence on Him. One that I never thought I needed. Boy was I wrong.

I take one day at a time. Struggling, frustrated and tired of being in this chair has been hard. Dealing with discomfort daily that’s hard. Everything takes so much more effort. Holidays... that’s hard when you can’t participate they way you did before. Watching everyone around you doing what you used to enjoy doing. It’s hard!

Another dear friend, shortly after my accident, encouraged me to write down all my blessings. That wasn't so hard. I didn't have tolook too far to see the many blessings that God provided for me leading up to this accident and after. I continue to be showered with them daily. God is taking care of my every need.

Some exciting news is that I have continued to increase my ability to move my feet on the treadmill. I have attached a video for you to take a look. I am still in a sling, but as you can see I am able to move my feet forward without any assistance. I am thankful and continue to pray that God will make me stronger and stronger.  Every week I seem to be getting stronger and I am able to do more than the week before. I pray that God will continue to give me a positive spirit and that I will be able to be used by Him in and through this trial.

“My grace is sufficient for you .” James MacDonald said “ The grace of Jesus is not fully seen until weakness is fully experienced.” I can’t get through this without grace from God.  “Exactly what I need to do is exactly what God wills for me to do – that’s the grace. It’s wisdom, It’s strength. It’s perseverance. It’s discernment. It’s faith. It’s courage. It’s confidence. It’s comfort it’s conviction. Good things always come as grace from God” He is the Grace.

Thank you to all of you that continue to pray, encourage and help me in practical ways. You are all on my blessing list and I know that God placed each and everyone of you in my life for a reason and He has an amazing plan for all of this.
BIG Hug Sandra