Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Strength God Gives

I am so thankful for the strength of the Lord every day. I am often reminded of the song "I Need Thee Every Hour". How true it is that we need Him every hour, and the funny thing is that the times that I dwell on that song the most is when things are going smoothly in my life. That is probably because I often think of the need to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit even in the daily cares of the home.

Annie Hawks wrote the words to the song "I need thee every hour" one day while taking care of the DAILY duties of the home. Then LATER in her life she experienced much sorrow and again realized the powerfulness of the words of the song that she had written.

One of the blessings of a victorious Christian life is knowing the closeness of our Lord in EVERY circumstance in life. Like Annie Hawks, it is so important that we develop strong spiritual lives during the peaceful hours in order that we will be able to be victorious when difficulties come -- and they surely will come to everyone at some time.

Although I can honestly say that these past three months since moving to Brazil have been the hardest in my life, I also know that compared to what others have faced I have seen no hardship at all! The Lord is using these 'tranquil' (albeit, still somewhat difficult) times to teach me to depend fully on Him, and to enjoy a great closeness of fellowship with Him. Who knows what the future may hold!?

Now on to the pictures! Last week it was discovered that I had a very bad bacterial infection. I began to feel bad two Wednesdays ago, but I really didn't think too much about it since I had been having some up and down days with my ulcerative colitis anyway. Each day got a little bit worse, but I still didn't think much about it. By the time Sunday came I was feeling pretty awful. I didn't want anything to eat and all I wanted to do was sleep all day!

We knew I was beginning to get dehydrated and thought that I had caught a regular stomach bug that had been going around. We went down to the local hospital/clinic, and they gave me an IV while I slept in the women's ward for a few hours.

I felt a little better that evening after being hydrated, but as I slept that night and the next day I sweated it all out (I also had a fever). On Wednesday morning we decided that it probably was something worse than a regular stomach bug and went to my gastroenterologist. He immediately figured out that I had gastroenteritis and put me in the hospital for two days and two nights.
(Me in the hospital--a much protested picture)
The doctor later told me that I probably contracted the infection from some food that had been left out too long or something along those lines. With the climate here in Brazil we have to be very careful to make sure what we eat is good.

It was a very interesting hospital stay. The nurses never told me to change into a hospital gown--which is the first thing they make you do in the States. Most of the time Lawanda or Jenifer Duarte stayed with me to interpret, but when it was just me and Jeremy it was pretty interesting trying to discuss medical things with the doctor and nurses.

I did get very good care and was very pleased with my hospital stay. The hospital was very clean, and we are told that it is probably the nicest one in our city.

Most of the time that I was in the hospital Jeremy was with me. He stayed the nights with me and only went home for one afternoon. The rest of the time the Duarte girls helped out with the kids. We were told that they all did very good. I am so thankful! We haven't left our kids over night with anyone except a grandma for a night or two, and I wasn't sure if they would do well at night. The girls said they all did very well, and they had no problems at all. How great is our God! If you have children then you know what a nice relief this is to a mother!

When I was finally able to come home--Allie and Bethany were so excited to show me what they had made. How sweet! I am so thankful for my sweet children and for the Duarte's and all their help during this time!
As I was sitting in bed still recuperating the next day, I heard much commotion at our gate. I heard what sounded like a motorcycle drive up, the dog barking and jumping on the gate, and then I heard Jeremy go out. This wasn't too extraordinary as I figured it was SedEx (some sort of mail delivery here) delivering a bill or something.

After a couple of minutes Jeremy came in the room holding this prettiest bouquet of roses that he had bought for me. Roses aren't quite as easy to come by here in Brazil, (you can't just go down to Wal-mart and buy a dozen) and they cost a little more here too, but oh what a special treat after such a hard week!

I'm so thankful for such a thoughtful and hard working husband. He has had to be both mommy and daddy quite a bit lately, and he does so without complaint! He's so wonderful!
Each day I am getting a little stronger and feeling a little better. Jeremy plans to begin language school again in the morning, and hopefully I will be able to at the beginning of next week sometime. Please continue to pray for us. I still have a long way to go before I am in 'perfect' health once again, but I know if God wills it then He can do it!


  1. How sweet and thoughtful of Jeremy! Made me want to cry. :) Thinking of you often with many prayers.

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes! You have been such a trooper, and I have been able to witness that! I admire your strength! I know God will greatly bless you! Thanks for sharing this! I am glad you're feeling better and still praying for you!

  3. Oh Esther! What a challenging post this was for me - kind of a rebuke! To think of your sweet, trusting attitude even with all you have been through- wow... I needed to hear the! Thanks for your godly example; I look up to you so much! My prayers are with you all.

  4. Christina JenkinsJune 23, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    been praying for you! wish I could send you some Reese's but I know they would be melted by the time they got there, plus not sure if you could eat them. Praise the Lord for your attitude! Hoping your strength and health returns quickly!

  5. We've sure been praying for you! So good to hear how the Lord has blessed you, even through these extremely difficult times!

  6. We are praying for you! So glad that you have good Christian friends close by to help out. Get well soon!

  7. Esther, we love you and appreciate you so much. We are so thankful for the godly wife that God has given to Jeremy. We know the Lord has much in store for you. We're continuing to pray for your recovery and for wisdom in dealing with the colitis. Hugs and kisses for all.