Capricious Turns in Life

Wow! The past few weeks! There’s no way I can give you all of the details (even if I could remember them all), or this would be way too long, so I’ll try to summarize.

Once Roslyn and Kathryn finally got through their surgeries, we settled in at home to move through their recovery periods.

We were able to focus on some routine appointments for the kids (although lots more still hanging out there, and some of us are getting desperate for dental cleanings!), do our seasonal clothes switch-out, get some schooling done with all of them, catch up on some birthday celebrations and haircuts, continue construction on the house (which is mostly stalled for now), do Halloween, and spend time with our grandchildren — especially our grandson Keller who will be moving to Portland in a few weeks with his mommy and daddy, Allan and Nicole. We are trying hard to cram in as much time with their little family as we can before they are gone.

Also, Jaden had another surgery to lengthen the titanium rods in his back, and that went much better than expected.

In spite of these happy moments, we have continued to have some bumpy things along the way, and not nearly as much sleep as we need. Challenges have included the following:

  • Financial struggles (personal, for The Shepherd’ Crook, and for The Rosenow Home Project) continue to test our faith, although God has sent some very beautiful answers to prayer for TSC’s financial crisis, and we praise Him for those answers!
  • Kathryn is still very up and down medically.
  • The construction, while an indescribable blessing, also brings many challenges with  it, especially when it has to halt for long periods.
  • Overall stress remains very, very high just due to so many appointments and unexpected medical problems.

But we have been so thankful for the glimpses of normal mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, and for a couple of refreshing date days for the two of us. We even took a quick trip to the zoo with the whole family — our first family outing in over five months.

Among the sad events of the past few weeks was the passing of Scott’s younger brother, Brian. Brian was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme in March of 2016, as Scott was preparing to start his cancer treatments in Knoxville. He and his wife, Karen, were such beautiful examples of perseverance and trusting God’s sovereign plans as they lived life to the fullest all through the following months until Brian went home. We know we will all be together again someday, but we are sad about this temporary separation, and so very sad for the major life-changes his immediate family is facing now.

You may remember that my dad died a few months ago, and my mom, while doing so well with this unexpected change in her life, has still struggled quite a bit in some ways. We had been trying hard to find a calm period to have her here for a couple of weeks to visit and so we could try to help her figure out some things about where she goes from here.

Well, we chose what we thought was a pretty calm chunk of days and booked her flights. During her first few days here, life was actually unusually calm, and we were able to spend some good, quality time together. Sadly that changed.

We knew that we would have one crazy day during her time here. Roslyn and Kathryn were both scheduled for surgeries today, November 14 — Roslyn to finally have her abdominal drains removed, and Kathryn to have Botox injected into her bladder to help fight the spasticity there caused by her cerebral palsy. But we knew it would be just one day, and that we would be home again this evening. Wrong.

Over this past weekend, Roslyn suddenly began to run a high fever. She ended up in the ER yesterday, November 13, and after seven hours there, she was diagnosed with a pretty serious UTI and possible kidney infection, and admitted for IV antibiotics. She was devastated by this news because all she wanted was to go home and to have her surgery as planned. She knew that we had a big birthday celebration scheduled for Nolan and Carlin tomorrow night, and she wanted to spend more time with her grandmother.

Scott stayed last night with her while I went back home to the other kids so I could get Kathryn back down to the hospital early this morning for her surgery. When I got up at 4am this morning, we still didn’t know if they would be able to do Roslyn’s surgery or not, but as I was driving to the hospital, Scott called to say that they had decided it was too risky. They decided that they wanted to keep her on IV antibiotics for a few days first, and then do surgery at the end of the week.

This was a huge disappointment.  My mother is about to head home, and this trip has not gone at all like I had hoped it would. While we have managed to come close to teaching her to use her new cell phone and laptop, we still have so much more we needed to help her with, and I’ve had very little time with her just sitting and talking. Even when we’re together, I’m so tired that I can’t hold thoughts in my head. We had to cancel the family birthday party, and quiet family meals we had hoped to have together.

The lesson for these past two years seems to be, over and over again, learning to say with more grace and conviction, “not my will, but Yours.” I have failed at this so many times. I continue to pray that God will help me grow in this area and learn to celebrate even the areas of disappointment in my life, knowing fully that He is always doing something good.

As of this evening, we have a more definite plan for Roslyn. Her surgeon has tacked her on to the end of his long day of surgeries tomorrow and will do her surgery tomorrow night. It is likely to be late. He believes that we could have Roslyn home by early-to-mid afternoon on Thursday.

Now, I have finally managed to get Kathryn to sleep after getting her pain meds to work, and I will close with this quote and a lot of photos. If you’re interested, take a look. I pray that I will learn the truth of these words and that I will someday want no pattern in my life but His. Goodnight.

“Each apparently capricious turn in life’s way, all its accidents and incidents, are the appointments of Infinite Wisdom! You may work the loom — the shuttle may be in your hands — but the pattern is all His.” ~John MacDuff 1886

Blog Update #2

Seasonal clothes switch-out to Carpenters tunes in the background

Blog Update #3

Volunteers ripping out old, stinky carpet

Blog Update #4

Another volunteer addressing rotting wood in an upstairs bathroom

Blog Update #6

A group of teen girls painting a room for us


Blog Upddate #13

Working on some school

Blog Upddate #11

Our wonder dog, Godfrey, helping Kathryn with her PT

Blog Update #8

An orthodontic evaluation for Kathryn

Blog Update #5

One of many delayed birthday celebrations – Nathan’s 20th

Blog Upddate #12

Jaden’s rod-lengthening surgery

Blog Upddate #9

All 9 grands (and our kids) for a movie night

Blog update #7

A few days together with our youngest grandson

Blog Upddate #24

A morning outing with our two youngest grands

Blog Upddate #22

Cheap and relaxing date day

Blog Upddate #10

And another date day – Main Street freight trains, and bourbon infused Twinkies

Blog Upddate #14

Badly-needed family outing to the zoo

Blog Upddate #15

Happy Halloween

Blog Upddate #16

Jaden and Nolan

Blog Upddate #17

Roslyn and Lilyan

Blog Upddate #18

Sweet Kathryn

Blog Upddate #19


Blog Upddate #20

Saxon the friendly lion, and Godfrey, as Godfrey Graybeard

Blog Upddate #21

The morning after

Blog Upddate #21

Some of the kids and some of the grands

Blog update #31

My mother helping our kids with meal prep (lots of peppers to slice)

Blog update #33

Mother playing games with the kids while we were at the hospital

Blog Upddate #25

My mom with most of her great-grandchildren

Blog Upddate #27

Roslyn when they told her she had to be admitted to the hospital

Blog Upddate #28

Kathryn after her surgery this morning

Blog Upddate #30

Once Kathryn was awake, we spent some time in Roslyn’s hospital room, but Kathryn was having quite a bit of pain and took over Roslyn’s bed for awhile. Roslyn was so worried about her. So sweet…


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