Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Story of Jacob's Bus

As you know I have been dreaming about and looking at wheelchair accessible minibuses for over a year.  Not that I like to put God in a box, but I really never thought we would be able to get one.  I know better than to tell God what he can't do.  Here is our awesome story . . .


Our church does this thing call the "dollar club".  Watch the video below.



The Dollar Club from Southland Christian Church on Vimeo.


I received a phone call back in April from someone at our church saying they would like our family to be the recipients of the Dollar Club on Easter Sunday.  You are not going to believe what God did!!!  Our church had a record attendance on Easter Sunday.  Our family was blessed with a little over $20,000 for our bus.  SERIOUSLY???  Only God could do that!!

I started researching and talking to bus companies.  One of them just stuck out to me.  Not sure what it was, I just felt good about them.  After much searching and talking we decided the best option would be to order a new bus that would meet all our needs.  A $65,580 bus!!!  We knew we would have to take out a loan so I said "give me the best deal you can".   He came back with a pretty good discount, basically giving it to us at wholesale value.  Of course still out of our price range, but we had our van to trade in or sale.  We asked him what he could give us on our van as a trade in.   He was a little skeptical and said probably not as much as you would like.  We sent pictures and he looked around and surprisingly gave us exactly what we were asking.  Yes, God was working big time behind the scenes!!! 


Oh but it gets better!!




We ended up purchasing that $65,580 bus for exactly $19,850!!!!   SERIOUSLY!!!  Only God could do that!!!

Thursday we traveled to Nashville to pick up Jacob's bus.  What a great day!  We stopped by the Show Hope office for a visit before heading over to pick up the bus. 


Gabriel standing under his picture in the Show Hope office.




When we got to the bus dealer several of the staff came out to introduce themselves to the kids.  AGAIN ONLY GOD!!!  As the kids were telling their names the guy starting talking to them about the Biblical origin of their names.  In their office they had pictures of Israel and Jerusalem.   Several of the staff said they had been to Israel several times.  It was very obvious that the owners and many of the staff were Bible believing Christ followers.  GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

Thank you Southland Christian Church and Carpenter Bus for blessing our family with this amazing gift!!




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Buddy

I remember it like yesterday.  Nine years ago I was pacing the floors at our house.  I had worked a full day, even making home visits, all while going through early labor pains.  I remember sitting in a meeting and every once in a while I would have to stop talking and take a deep breath.  My supervisor kept asking me if I was ok.  If I remember correctly I went home a little early that day.  Of course Ethan wasn't due for two more weeks so I thought it was Braxton Hicks contractions. 

I fed Darren & Miranda dinner and got Miranda to bed.  I remember not being able to sit down all evening.  I was just pacing back and forth breathing.  I decided this was the real deal, I was actually in labor. After Miranda & Darren went to bed I spent the next few hours going from shower, to bath, to my exercise ball.  Finally around 3:30a.m. I woke up Darren and said it was time to go to the hospital.  I called the midwife and she said "make sure you don't wait too long".  I called my parents to come sit with Miranda.  Around 4:00a.m. we were finally off to the hospital.  The drive there was interesting.  I was very uncomfortable sitting down and I kept thinking can't you go any faster.  I knew we were running out of time. 

We got to the hospital and they insisted that I sit in a wheelchair.  I remembering yelling at them that I did NOT want to sit down.  We got upstairs and they started doing the paperwork and checked me out.  The midwife came in and immediately asked if they had checked to see how far I was.  The nurse said they had just checked me.  The midwife could tell by the look on my face and said you might want to check her again.  Yep I was ready!!  We didn't even get all the paperwork filled out. 

Ethan started having a hard time and his blood pressure dropped.  I remember going to the bathroom and hearing the nurse talking to Darren.  They put oxygen on me and said we need to get him out.  It only took a couple of pushes and a very blue little boy came flying out at 5:09a.m. weighing 5lbs 5oz and 19 inches long.  I was later told that they were only giving me a few more minutes before they had to do an emergency C-section. Again, after the fact, my mom said as soon as I saw him I walked out of the room and called your dad and told him to start praying.  Ethan had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he had a bowl movement.  His temperature was really low and so was his blood sugar. They took him to the nursery for observation for a couple of hours before I could have him back.  Amazingly he did great and we went home after only 24 hours. 



Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Health Journey - What you won't see if in a before/after picture!


I found this picture on my iphone.  Before I started this health journey I had one of the girls take a quick picture of me. 

SERIOUSLY, did I really look that tired? 

This picture was taken on an ordinary evening around 8:00p.m. right after getting the kids to bed.  I had spent years taking care of everyone except myself and it was finally getting to me.  You see six months ago I was passing out on the couch as soon as I got the kids to bed.  I was exhausted. 
Here is what you can’t see in this picture.  Not only was I exhausted but I felt like crap.  My autoimmune disease was in a flare up.  I had intestinal issues and reflux I had been silently dealing with for years.  I was suffering with frequent headaches and severe allergies.  I was not sleeping well.  All of these were affecting my temperament.  I was much grumpier and had very little patients with the kids. 
 
*   *   *  FAST FORWARD  *  *  *
 
This picture was taken three months later, also around 8:00 p.m.  Every time I see a before/after picture I am always skeptical and think the pictures are staged or altered.  I can assure you these are not.  They were both taken with my cell phone. I purposefully did not smile in the second picture because I was not smiling in the first picture. They are a true representation of how I was feeling at that time.
 


Here is what you may not be able to tell in this picture.  Well, first I have tons of energy and I am sleeping much better.   Let's look back at my before list . . .
 
Reflux - GONE
Autoimmune Disease - 75% IMPROVED
Headaches - GONE
Allergies - GONE except some itchy eyes
Intestinal Issues - GONE
 
Added bonuses. . . my skin is softer and clearer than it's ever been.  I am an overall happier person.  Amazing how your mood improves when you don't feel like crap all the time. 
 
Shoot me an email if you want more information about what I did to turn my health and energy around. I would love to share more with you!  maasfamily1@gmail.com
 
 
 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Car Dancing

I have had several people say they would love to see what it's like every day in our house.  Well, here is an example of a typical car ride with us.  I did not even notice until I went back to watch the video that Gabriel was asleep in the back seat during all this noise.


 



 
 




 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Growing Pains & Hidden Disabilities

For the last year I've been having this internal struggling between keeping my children's lives as normal as possible and at the same time keeping them safe.  I am particularly struggling as my children move into their pre-teen years and their hidden disabilities become more evident. 

I have a daughter who for those looking from the outside see a typically developing 11 year old.  However, if you get to know her a little more you will discover that her social and play skills are that of a 6-7 year old.  Her cognitive skills are at the same level but her decision making skills are even further behind.

Last year it was easy to hold her back a year in the children's program at church.  Our church also has a great program for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Here is where I struggle.  Do I place her in the group for individuals with disabilities or send her to the middle school group with peers her age?

We have always taught our children to treat their siblings and others with respect and dignity.  Our children are taught to help those that need help.  They are taught that God created all people and each one has gifts and talents to share. (sometimes I need to listen to my own lesson)

Here is what I LOVE about my children.  They really do care about each other and want to see each other succeed.  My 12 year old daughter knows that my 11 year old really wants to do what everyone else is doing.  She overheard a conversation between my husband and I and she volunteered to help her sister out if she goes up to middle school. 

So in the fall I will take a big leap of faith and send her to the middle school group knowing she will have the wonderful church staff and a watchful big sister looking after her.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Healing My Body Little by Little

I am not going to post any new pictures of my skin just yet but I couldn't wait to share.  When I was getting ready for church this morning I just about cried.  I continue to see more and more improvement in my skin.  The lesions are getting smaller and lighter.  Some of them are completely gone!  The following is my very personal story of my fight to control my auto-immune skin disease.

Now I feel I need to clarify something at this point. None of the products I am using make the claim to cure or heal any diseases or illnesses.  That being said I am giving personal testimony that I have had significant improvement in my auto-immune disease since beginning to use Isagenix. 

Up to this point I have been vague about my skin disease, except to say that it is a skin disease called Psoriasis.  For those who don't know much about Psoriasis let me tell you a little more.  Many people may know Psoriasis as just a skin disease which creates lesions on your skin.  There are several different types of lesions from small pimple like bumps to large patches of scaly skin.  It causes painful itching and in some people arthritis of the joints affected. Psoriasis is NOT a skin irritation that can simply be cured by a topical treatment. Psoriasis is actually an auto-immune disease which affects the body's largest organ "the skin".

I have had Psoriasis since I was 10 years old but never equated it to an auto-immune disease. Maybe because as a child those terms where beyond my comprehension and as an adult I just followed along with the treatment set as a child and never did my own research.  When I was first diagnosed my body was 90% covered by these nasty lesions.  No one knew what it was.  My skin would crack and bleed.  My parents spent hours each day with regiments of ointments, oil baths, sun lamps, and making me into a mummy with saran wrap. My parents finally traveled with me to Nashville to see a specialist who diagnosed me with Psoriasis.  He had developed a skin ointment that had made improvement in the lesions with other patients. This was no cure but did ease the pain, itching, and even put me into remission for a short time. However it was a time consuming task, spending hours putting ointment on each and every lesion on my skin.  I used this ointment for years until one day it was no longer affective.  I have since tried several different types of drugs.  During a recent flare up I decided to start investigating alternative treatment and that is when the term "auto immune disease" really started to click with  me.  This is something that needs to be treated from the inside out, not just treatment of my external skin.

Auto-immune disease in simple terms -  Basically your body thinks something is wrong with a part of your body but there is really nothing wrong, in my case it is the skin.  So your body sends "help" to that part of the body.  Your body is trying to "repair" or "fix" something when there is nothing wrong.  In Psoriasis the body thinks there is something wrong with the skin so it sends a message to make more skin cells.  In a healthy body when you get a scrape or injury to the skin your body heals itself and produces more skin cells to replace the ones that were damaged. In Psoriasis since there is not anything actually wrong with the skin cells already there, it just piles up skin cells making lesions.  That is basically Psoriasis 101.  Auto-immune diseases are not curable but can be managed and at times go into remission for a period of time.

After taking in the term auto-immune disease I started to do research on more natural ways to manage my disease.  I read all about vitamins and eating natural foods.  The most recommended was eating a Gluten-free diet.  This seemed like a daunting task but I started a gluten-free diet. I also switched to using all natural products on my skin.  I was a week into the diet but really wasn't feeling any better.  I was a little frustrated and getting desperate for some relief.  I had been seeing a few friends talk about Isagenix on social media so I inquired.  Within 2 DAYS of beginning Isagenix products some other medical issues I had been dealing with completely RESOLVED!!  Two weeks after starting Isagenix I began to see improvement in my skin.   Now almost 3 weeks using the products and I am beginning to see signs of the lesions disappearing. I think of Isagenix this way.  Isagenix helps get nasty toxins out of our bodies and good nutrition back in our bodies, which then allows our bodies to do what God created them to do.

I could go on and on but I won't.  If you have additional questions about Psoriasis, auto-immune disease, or Isagenix please feel free to email me @ maasfamily1@gmail.com Thanks for letting me share with you!

This is a comparison picture I made last week.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Update on Getting Healthy

So yesterday was day 11 using Isagenix products.  They ask that you weigh and measure yourself on day 1, day 11, and day 30.  I could not believe it when I looked at my measurements.  I had lost 5 pounds but the most exciting part was the inches released.  I released 3 1/2 inches from my tummy!!  So excited!  Now my goal is to maintain good nutrition by consuming 1 Isagenix shake a day and cleansing one day a week.  Plus eating healthy foods and NO GLUTEN.   I will also be adding exercise and Isagenix vitamins. 

I am excited about the weight and inches lost but I got real excited when I went back and looked at a picture of my skin and compared. Also notice that the fat wrinkles are gone!


I used NO chemicals, NO medications!!  All I did was get the TOXINS out of my body and replenish my body with NUTRIENTS with Isagenix products. I also switched to all natural skin care products. I was blown away!!

Isagenix works!  Isagenix does not cure medical conditions but it does promote good nutrition in your body which helps your body to heal itself.  If you want more information check out my website. http://rebeccamaas.isagenix.com