Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Loving on Shawna

My status on Facebook last night was this: My day went something like this: 1. no internet in the morning. 2. no electricity when I got back from the gym 3. no shower 4 wrong bus so it took 3 hours instead of the regular 1 1/2 hours 5 bird poops down my back as I am waiting for the light to change at the corner - no change of clothes with me 6. It was raining.
BUT the day wasn't bad - you can't have a whole bad day!

And really the whole day was not bad.
There were things that at the time
didn't feel so fun but that I could end up laughing about
and just recognize that all in all life is good.
And it makes for good stories. I love good stories!

What I didn't share on Facebook was that the day began
with something even worse.
Something that made my heart feel heavy all day.
Something that caused me to ask God "why?".

When the internet finally came on
(and before it went back off again!)
I saw a post and learned Shawna had cancer.
Stage IV.

I don't know Shawna that well myself
but I know more about her then just to say I know "of" her.
She was Kellie's maid of honor.
(I think she has played that role in a lot of weddings
because she is the kind that becomes a friend to all.)
She's been at my home a few times.
I was blessed to get to hear her teach the woman at our church
several times with an amazing ability to share her love for Christ.
I know about some terrible, beyond what anyone
should have to go through,
kinds of things that this young woman has already endured
and came through shining for Jesus.

I guess you would say I admire her from a distance.

And now she, along with her new husband and children,
are about to begin another hard battle.
Literally a fight for her life.

God does not answer my question of why.
I don't know why
but I have a feeling that He
is going to shine brightly in her life during this time.

Please join us in prayer as we hold her up
to the one who knows the answer to my question.
The one who loves Shawna more than any of us.

It makes bird poop on my shoulder and down my back pretty laughable.

If you would like to follow Shawna's fight against cancer
this is the link:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Dental Experience in Brazil

Yesterday I had a wisdom tooth removed by a dentist here in Brazil. I had prayed and asked God for a dentist because the tooth had broke while I was in the states and the dentist there had told me it would have to be surgically removed. He suggested I do it in Brazil because of the cost and our finances :). I didn't do it last year because of the knee problems I was having so I knew I couldn't put it off any longer. Anyway, I prayed and one day when I was at the gym here at the condo, I met a lady working out that was very helpful and wanted to talk "English" with me. Turned out she was a dentist! She gave me all the information (phone number, e-mail, etc) and at some point stated that she wanted a recipe for cookies (they are well known here!). That weekend I made some and decided to take some to them . They ended up having us (with the rest of her family) for Easter dinner! This past weekend we made arrangement for dental work.

She picked us up at our apartment building (we're in the same complex but different buildings) and planned to take us to work with her the whole day. She said she had a few other appointments (her own father being her last) but most of the day she had reserved for us. BUT first we needed to stop at her parents house as she didn't have water in her apartment to take a shower that morning after working out in the gym!

Wow! Her parents house was amazing! Custom built for them about 13 years ago in this wonderful (expensive) neighborhood that we had no idea you would even find in Rio. The details put into their house was, for me, so fun to see.

BUT I am way off the subject, am I not?!!!

They took their time showing us around, gave us breakfast and made us feel at home while our dentist, Marianna, took her shower. Her mother was trying to learn English so we had fun with that as we did a mixture of Portuguese and English to “try” and carry conversations with her.

Then off to the office – We got there and she had a few other appointments so we just sat in the waiting room and waited. Then she got to me. I had also told her that at some point we would like our teeth cleaned and checked for cavities, etc so she did that first for me.

No cavities!!!!!

No, she doesn't quite use the same techniques as the dentists in the states but all was good. Then it was time to pull the tooth.

She did an x-ray. Then she numbed up the mouth. She had to do that several times before the job was done because that tooth didn't want to come out!!!! She did have to do the surgery, just as the doctor in the states had told me. It didn't hurt. It was just a lot of pressure and being uncomfortable as she twisted and lifted on it. (She had to go underneath since there wasn't enough on the top to grab).

Finally it was out!!!! She stitched it up, cleaned me up and I went back to wait while she worked on her dad and Warren. I must add that while she was pulling the tooth her father took Warren out to lunch!!! They are a great family!

Warren didn't have any cavities either!!! And it always feels good to have your teeth newly cleaned!

We were done. It was time to pay. She wouldn't take anything although she would like a package of some of her favorite things from the states. I asked for a list. She is being kind. It will be one great box when I get done with it! She also handed me a bag of fruit and yogurt to take home so I would have something she thought I could eat last night. I couldn't but I'll explain why coming up.

Then we headed for home. It's a long ways. And first she needed to stop and pick up her son, stop at the store (she came with a bag for us, again, of fresh bread, and icecream for me!) Then we headed to the pharmacy to get pills for me. Lots of pills. I'm not sure what they were all for but by the time we got home I couldn't wait for the pain pill. The numbness had started to wear off and I was hurting. Bad. And not because of the missing tooth but because of my tongue. She had told me afterwards to be very careful not to bite my tongue and I thought I was BUT I have this huge sore on the side of it where I either bit it or got it caught in my partial.

Still, today, I can barely eat and it hurts so bad to talk because it rubs on my teeth. Warren said it looks like ground beef!!!! The mouth does heal fast though, right?!

I did eat a little breakfast of oatmeal this morning (so I could take the pills) but I won't be talking much today. A good thing Warren is going to Alex's for the day to work on his cabinets again.

Marianna has invited us to a birthday party this weekend and her father wants to take us sightseeing on Sunday morning (church is in the evening). We also have plans for me to teach her how to make cookies :) and with all the other things she said she would like us to do before we leave, well, there just won't be time.

I know that God answered my prayer for a dentist. I was just asking for a good one. One to do the work, at a good price, with expertess. He did that. But then, we always ask too little of God.

He also gave us a family of friends.

(I went to take pictures and my battery was dead. Bummer.)