Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Coffee Talk Part 1


Last week’s episode struck a chord with many of you, so today I’m going to dive in a little deeper into the subject of mom life and marriage.  No matter your age, I think you’ll find some encouragement on how to walk with success in whatever stage of life you’re in.

Let’s get to it!

Welcome and thank you for joining me here again this week.  I love hearing from so many of you about how you are enjoying the podcast.  Each message and comment warms my heart.  My goal and passion is to help people discover a joy filled life - and it can be possible!  No matter how hard your situation may be, I promise that it can get better.

If this is your first time here, I hope you’ll hang around.

I received so much feedback from last week’s episode that i decided to push pause on my original plans for this week’s podcast and just take time to chat over a cup of coffee.  I meet with women all the time for coffee but since I can’t meet with each of you, let’s pretend its happening here and now.

Grab some coffee and snuggle in and we’ll have ourselves a coffee date.

In this space, we talk about everything from motherhood to marriage and God to groceries.  Maybe a little more God than groceries.  But the Bible does say that we are to do all things to the glory of God - so whether you’re wiping bums or writing books, it matters.

Do what you’re called to do with excitement, energy and gratitude.   Become a student of your calling.   If you are a teen trying to manage home life, school and friendships, enjoy those years.  Eliminate the things that steal your joy - except school.  Go on a mission trip, train for a 5k, set a health goal, write a letter to your grandma, volunteer at your church or local ministry.  Clean your room, better yet, go clean up the kitchen without being asked.  You’ll find serving others brings more joy than being served. 

If you’re a mom with young kids, be present, be intentional.  Don’t over educate yourselves on the world’s ideas of motherhood.  God gave us the tools we need and it’s built right into our DNA - it’s called common sense and the Holy Spirit.

Don’t overcomplicate it.  Keep it simple.  Have fun, be safe, show love.  If it doesn’t fall under those three areas, it’s probably unnecessary.


That’s too simple.

But it’s not.  If we’re honest, much of what we do is for the opinion of others.  I said it last week and I stand by this - motherhood is hard enough and when we add in the negative commentary coming at us like a flood in our world today, it only makes it more difficult.  A quote I heard a while back is this, “When you choose knowledge before you choose life, knowledge will kill your life.

Let that sink in.  We are inundated with knowledge and racing about trying to implement all we are told to do, living is passing us by. 

So it’s time to KISS that mindset goodbye - KISS - Keep it simple sweetie.  Get back to basics.  Take it down to the studs.  Consider what matters the most and then start rebuilding from there.

If you’re a young mom and feel overwhelmed and stressed out, reach out to me.  Let’s look at what the challenge is and make a plan.  You can connect with me at or my Instagram handle is lynette_carpenter_

Here’s the thing, I rocked my babies alongside mamas that had different opinions on the best way to raise children.  Potty training, formula vs breastfeeding, co-sleeping vs self soothers, schedule vs no schedule, ..  Those babies are all adults or teens now and guess what, I over thought things that didn’t really matter.  

My oldest was walking by 9 months which I attributed to my stellar abilities as a mother. 

Boy, was I wrong!

Looking back, I remember having a huge attitude shift as a mother when going from my first to my second child.  I wanted my oldest to be the best and the first.  The best at saying his numbers and letters, the first at being potty trained and walking and talking.  And I realized I was measuring my value as a mother on his performance and abilities.  Which is totally unfair to my child - and myself.

So then my daughter came racing into this world like a freight train..and the easy experience I had had with my laidback first born was met with the stark contrast of an adorable tornado we named Amy.  She was different from Tyler from day one.  So when she started crawling, I realized quickly that the longer I could contain her to a limited amount of real estate, the easier my life would be.  So when she started reaching the age of walking, I didn’t help her along like I did with Tyler.  And I held her off until 14 months old.  

The memory makes me laugh.  She truly got into EVERYTHING.  She climbed on the table, the counters, the stove.  I have pictures of her stripped down to just a tshirt and pulling dry goods out of the cabinets as fast as she could go. She unfolded laundry as fast as I could fold it.  She’d climb into the crib with Baby Corey so she could sneak his pacifier out of his mouth since she wasn’t allowed to have one anymore.  She cut her friend’s hair,  helped another friend smear poop on the pastor’s van at church and then  ran naked down the road that same day when our friends had come over for a barbeque. She was crazy!   

 But, we determined to direct that active, fearless, tireless mindset  into something productive and today, she is a small business owner and a happy wife to her husband, Coletin.  She married young but she was ready for it and is approaching married life with joy and passion.

Tyler is also married and one of the kindest people I know.  They approach life differently but are both wonderful young adults whom I am beyond proud of.   

But here’s the thing.  I don’t remember which one potty trained the earliest or easiest.. But I know they are.  

I don’t remember how long I let them crawl into our bed with us at night, but I can tell you they don’t anymore.  

I don’t remember which one ate the healthiest.. Actually, one ate their own poop and the other was always eating cat food so I call those both a lose lose.

But what I do know is that we were intentional.  We tried our best to be present.  We created special family experiences - from free to a little pricey at times - all special.  We taught them to work, probably were stricter than we needed to be and prayed hard for wisdom.. Because parenting is not an easy task.  

But it’s doable.  And enjoyable.  So as I said, become a student of your calling.  If it’s motherhood, find the best way to do it, but don’t overcomplicate it.

Have fun, be safe, show love.

A few questions came in from last week so I want to address those yet.  Several of you asked about my notebook schedule.  So I have used a small leather binder in the past and filled it with my own paper.  It also held my Ramsey envelopes and grocery list.

These days, my grocery list is on a shared note on my phone - that way anyone in our household can add their needs to the list as well.

I will probably go back to the leather binder someday, but lately I have been using old notebooks the kids have brought home at the end of the year.  I get a weird joy out of using them up.

I’ll share this in a blog so you can see photos and the link will be in the show notes.  This is the start to what a typical week looks like.  I fill it in as my list of things to do grows.

A couple of you asked about when I start my day.  I tend to wake up easy - lately it’s been around 5:30 or 6:00.  This is a blessing and a curse.  My recommendation is to consider what your responsibilities are and what you want to accomplish in a day.  So many things will come into play - your unique physical needs, your children and their sleep styles as well as what your schedule looks like.

For a SAHM though, I advise you to get up and get to your job even though it’s in your home.  Just my advice, no judgment if you do it a different way.  I personally found it to be helpful to get up by 7, make my bed, get dressed and put on some shoes.  Support your feet!  But there was a season where no matter how quiet I was, one of my kids (usually Amy or Kobe) would hear me and get up and join me.

Here’s the thing about seasons, they change.  None of my children come and sit on my lap while I’m trying to have my quiet time anymore - but if they listen to this, I bet they’ll try.  So if you’re in that season where you’re trying to quietly enjoy coffee and Jesus, don’t feel frustrated if your kids wake up before you’re ready.  Let them see you spending time with the Lord.  Invite them to join you in it.  Give them a journal to write or scribble in, pour a mug of chocolate milk and let them be a part of your alone time with God.

Ok, favorite question here! How can I make home a place of peace for my husband when he comes home?  And how can I help him be the best dad/husband he can be?

Oh girlfriend, you just opened up my favorite subject!  

But we’re out of time this week so I hope you’ll hit that follow button and join me back here again next week.

But before we leave, let me pray for you.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Introducing the Walking on Water Podcast!


New Podcast!

I recently released my new podcast! You can find The Walking on Water Podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms.

Let's get started!

Season 1, Episode 1

I’m excited to begin this journey of sharing hope, humor and encouragement here on Walking on Water.

I chose the name Walking on water because it is a phrase I have loved for a long time.  I even named this, my blog, after it years ago. 

It came about through some dark seasons in my life where I felt like I was drowning in a sea of fear, hurt and the demands of life..  Jesus kept reminding me of the story in Matthew 14 where He invited Peter to walk with Him on water.

I want to read the story to you.  We’ll start in verse 22.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Isn’t that an amazing story?   

If you’re like me and grew up hearing Bible stories - sometimes we lose the awe of the miracle we can find inside the story.  But let’s break this down and look a little deeper.

If you go back and read earlier in this chapter, it tells how Jesus’ cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had just been beheaded.  It’s easy to read this and not stop to consider how this news must have affected Jesus. 

This is His cousin.. His friend.  The other one who was born under miraculous circumstances.  

The two men would have grown up with a unique bond due to the miracles surrounding their births.  And they both knew they had a huge calling on their lives.

Now John’s life had ended…  Think about the emotions that Jesus must have been feeling that day.  The grief, the pain.  I know that personally, I would have wanted to be alone with my thoughts.. But though He tried to take time away, the crowds followed Him.

And even in His grief, Jesus had compassion on them and healed them.  

This gives me comfort to know the heart of Jesus.. That His love and compassion for the brokenness of humanity drove Him to put His own desires aside in order to care for the hurting.

I feel moms everywhere know how He felt in those moments!  When we JUST WANT A MOMENT TO CATCH OUR BREATH… and the crowds of children and people and things press in wanting more of our time and attention.

Jesus put His own needs aside.. But only for a time.. And then He tried again.. This time successfully.  There’s a lesson in that for us.  Take a moment.  Take time for yourself - especially when dealing with hard things.

Jesus didn’t get angry at the people for needing Him.  He wasn’t feeling sorry for Himself and slamming doors and stomping around as He cared for those in need.  He did what needed to be done and then sent them away.


What does “sending them away” look like for you?

A few months ago, I went away.. I took a week to spend time away from everything and focus on healing and my relationship with the Lord.  I hope to tell more about that at a later date.. But that experience showed me how important it is to set clear boundaries.  To have intentional time to be alone.  Silent.  Shut off the phone… listen.. Write what the Lord speaks over me..  If Jesus needed it, then you and I both know we need it too!

It’s hard to perform the day to day tasks when we are swimming in a sea of pain and grief.

This part of the story can actually be an encouragement to us when we see Jesus having to deal with the hard things we can look and see what He did about it and use that as an example for our own lives.

If Jesus needed to be purposeful and intentional about time alone with the Father, how much more do you and I?

So next - after Jesus has had time alone to pray, He sees the disciples struggling on the lake.  Restored and refreshed from His time alone with the Father, Jesus goes to His disciples -  by walking out across the water.  

Peter sees Him and is freaked out - rightfully so!  

Imagine the chaos - the rocking boat on the stormy waters.. The darkness.. The fear.. And the uncertainty of what they were seeing moving across the waters towards them!

Jesus calls out to them and says, “Don’t be afraid! It’s Me!”

I can just see Peter rubbing at His eyes in disbelief.. But then there in the chaos of the churning waters and darkness and fear, something unexpected wells up inside of Peter.. Unexpected courage causes him to cry out to Jesus.. Peter said, “Jesus, if it’s you, invite me to come to You.”

Can that be the same cry of our hearts today?  

Jesus!!  Invite me to come to You!!

Because, He will!  He’s inviting us daily to come to Him. 

But He didn’t do it alone - no, He invited Peter to join Him.

And He invites us to do the same in our lives today.  

He knows the hurt from yesterday, the demands from today and the fears for tomorrow.. And He invites us to climb out of our place of comfort and assumed safety and join Him above the crashing waves.

He reminds us to keep our eyes on Him and when we intentionally lift our eyes off of our situations, and shift our focus back to Him, it is then where we can experience peace in our heart once again.

It’s like that old song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”?  I used to sing that song over my kids when they were babies and the truth of those words took root in my heart and in my mind.

It says

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim 

In the light of His glory and grace

Such simple but profound words.

And what power we have access to - to be able to rise above our hurts, our challenges, our fears… by shifting our attention to Jesus.  To tell Him what we’re facing and receive His perspective on each situation.

It’s something that’s easier said than done.  Even as I am preparing to share this, I’m dealing with a frustrating injustice that has me wanting to go on a rant to anyone who will listen!  You know those moments?  When you find yourself typing and deleting over and over and over again because Holy Spirit says you’re not allowed to say what you REALLY want to say?  

And then you find peace.. Life goes on and SUDDENLY BAM - there it is again.. And if you don’t choose to take your thoughts captive and TELL YOUR MIND WHAT IT’S ALLOWED TO THINK ABOUT, you suddenly find yourself right back in that cycle of stinking thinking..

This too is like Peter. He took His eyes off of Jesus and suddenly he goes from walking by faith and experiencing the supernatural to returning to the common way of living - taking stock of our situations in life and then comparing them to our own abilities, resources and strength.  Which ALMOST ALWAYS comes up short and it leaves us feeling angry, overwhelmed and weak.  

Jesus didn’t leave Peter there in his moment of weakness.  No… this is when Jesus came even closer..  

Isn’t that comforting..

To know that when Peter was being swallowed up there in the chaotic darkness that was his life, Jesus reached out and pulled him back up to safety.

So what does that look like for us today?

The simple answer is to do what Peter did - cried out to Jesus.. Master!  Save me!

Jesus is the end all be all answer that I have found when life is pulling me down into that pit of despair.

At the same time, Jesus has also taught me ways to stay on course.. To train my brain to keep my thoughts centered on Him.

I want to look at that and many other subjects here in this space.

So click that subscribe button and invite a friend to join us as well.

In the coming weeks and months, I hope to encourage women, moms, wives and teens here on Walking on Water.  

You have a purpose.  Your life has value.

And one thing I know - God did not create you to  live a life of fear, depression, anxiety, anger and bitterness..  That is not the life you are called to!

Jesus said, in John 10:10 The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.

Other versions say Life to the full!

This is the life you’re called to.

What does that look like?  A full life?

For each of us, it’s different, but at the heart of it all, we can find supernatural strength, peace and joy when we turn our eyes upon Jesus for each and every moment we face.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Against All Odds - Peace (Caden & Atticus' Story)

 We never know, do we? 


We never know when we’ll step into those unprecedented moments that forever divide life into two categories.  


Before and after.   


One moment holds carefree, blessed normality… but with the ringing of a telephone or the knock on the door or a note on the table, everything changes.




Leaving us never the same as we were only a moment before.  After all, we cannot endure trauma and come out the other side unscathed.


But I am a firm believer that hidden in the agony of trauma, there is redemptive beauty to be found.  After all, it is a well-documented fact that the God we serve has been known to bring beauty from ashes.  He restores that which is lost and brings healing to that which has been shattered.


 It was September 10th, when two families stepped into one of those moments where ‘before’ meets ‘after’.


The day started off with no hint as to what lay ahead.  Caden Owsley and Atticus Klopfenstein were heading home to Indiana after a dream hunting trip out west.  As they neared the Colorado/Nebraska border, the unthinkable happened.


Though they don’t remember the event itself, a witness reported that their truck left the road and began to roll.  Caden was ejected first.  Police estimated that he was thrown approximately 300 feet - the length of a football field. 


Paramedics were on the scene in very short order and both Caden and Atticus were flown by helicopter back to Denver to receive medical attention.  In the meantime, police officers began sifting through the rubble trying to decipher what had happened, who these two guys were… and who they needed to call.


It was late evening before the phone rang in Indiana.  A call that every parent dreads.  Words that alter your plans, rob you of sleep and send cold fear coursing through your veins. 


The laundry list of injuries to both boys brought more questions than answers to their families back home.  As Caden and Atticus lay fighting for their lives in Denver, their parents rushed to book flights, pack bags and begging God to give them time to reach their sons.


What does a parent say in moments like this?  When we long for control but surrender is demanded?  How do you remain strong in the moments where panic and fear and memories and what-ifs swirl fast around you with no easy solution to right the wrong? 


And why must the night hours last so long with no choice but to live them? 


For Atticus’ parents, Jon and Erica, words were few as their minds reeled with the news they had just received about their firstborn son.  His injuries were extensive - a traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures to his cervical and thoracic spine, a broken sternum, broken ribs, lacerations and many bruised organs.  


They sat quietly on the plane wondering what he would look like. Would he ever be the same again?  Would he even survive?  


Caden’s parent’s, Russ and Shay, also sat in shock at the news remembering the words from his doctor. “Caden has a fractured C7 that is putting stress on his cervical spine and it’s causing him to be paralyzed,” he said.  The words felt like a punch in the gut.  But the doctor wasn’t finished.  “He also has bruised lungs, his spleen is bleeding, his kidney is lacerated, he has a bruised pancreas, open book pelvic fracture, rib fracture… and he has yet to wake up.”


The amount of damage to both Caden and Atticus was mind boggling leaving everyone wondering what lay ahead for both young men.


That first night was a blur of questions, fear, plans to be made and a trip to take.  As the sun peeked over the horizon that morning, both sets of parents were on an early flight out of Chicago willing to hours to pass quickly.


They arrived in Denver that afternoon.  For both parents, that first sight felt of their sons lying so still… the tubes and the wires and the machines.  It was all so much to take in.  Still so many unknowns.   


For the Klopfenstein’s, that first week was met by numerous setbacks.  Results from all of Atticus’ injuries were still coming in causing plans to change as doctors studied the situation and tried to come up with a game plan.


Surgery was scheduled for Atticus’ spine but then cancelled the morning of the surgery when it was discovered that he had multiple blood clots in his lungs.  This surgery, which was needed to stabilize his thoracic fractures was cancelled three more times – each one bringing yet another wave of disappointment.


Of great concern was the uncertainty as to the extent of the brain injury Atticus had sustained.  The best doctors could offer Jon and Erica was that they would simply have to “wait and see”.  And so the questions that had taken up residence in their minds with the ringing of the telephone that Thursday night would have to remain longer than they had anticipated.  Yet in the waiting, they would come to rely heavily on the promises of God in the coming hours and days.


He was their hope.  He was their peace.


As Jon and Erica waited at Atticus’ bedside, down the hall Russell and Shay were coming to terms with Caden’s injuries as well.


The injury to his spine was a big one.  




Russ and Shay found themselves in a world they knew little about as doctors filled them in on both the short and long term effects of Caden's condition.  They watched him sleep and asked God how they would ever be able to break the news to their son that the doctors had said he would never walk again.  The thought was unimaginable!  Caden had always been an avid outdoorsman with a passion for hunting.  How would this affect his life?


As they waited for answers, Caden would wake occasionally, confused by his surroundings, the lack of feeling in his legs and a burning question on his mind – “where are my guns?”


That question alone brought tears of joy.  The road ahead was long, uncertain and one they’d never travelled before.  But against all odds, Caden would be traveling it with them – and that was enough.  “I’d take this situation any day, Caden,” Shay once told him, “because these difficulties we’re facing now means that I get to have you here with me.  And I would take this any day over having to bury my son.” 


That first week in Colorado was filled with a multitude of God moments.  In the midst of all the fear and confusion, God continually made His presence known to both families.  Looking back now, the list stretches back before the accident even happened.


And what began as an irritation between Russell and Shay would come full circle and prove to be the hand of God a year earlier.


In 2019, Russ was also planning a hunting trip to Colorado but something wasn’t setting right in Shay’s spirit.  She couldn’t explain it, but she felt like something bad was going to happen in Colorado.  Worried at what that something might be, she decided to hold the house payment in order to have cash available if the need should arise.


The trip went according to plan so the payment was made and life went on.  Then came August 2020 when the Owsley’s had the opportunity to purchase an acre of land behind their house.  But that missed payment from the year before caused financing to fall through. 


They would have to wait. 


They were disappointed, but there was nothing more they could do but hold off until the end of the year when they would once again be eligible for a loan.   Now, with the crystal clear hindsight of 2020 vision, they could see that God had indeed spoken to Shay.  Something bad did happen in Colorado – just not when she thought it would.  

That prompting from the Lord put a hold on their finances and kept them from having a higher mortgage payment at a time when they would be needing the extra cash more than ever.


It proved once again that all things do work together for good – it’s just not always easy to see in the moment.


Back in Atticus’ room, the Klopfensteins were still waiting for his surgery, along with the questions of what, if any, lasting affects he would encounter from his brain injury.  The list of possible outcomes was long.  Many unsettling.


The right side of his brain stem had bruising on it, plus doctors had found approximately a dozen small bleeds on the brain due to axons in the brain being completely sheared off.  With these injuries, the outcome could range from mild deficits in his motor skills, memory and intellectual abilities to extreme life altering deficits and even coma leading to death.


Answers would be slow in coming, but the Klopfensteins have a personal relationship with the Great Physician so they, along with many of you, brought Atticus before God over and over as they waited for answers.


On September 24th, the long-awaited surgery on his spine finally happened.  And like the Owsley’s, the Klopfensteins could now see the reason God had them endure all those cancellations in the previous weeks. Though the waiting was difficult and disappointing in the moment, the waiting had also give Atticus’ body time to heal and strengthen itself for the surgery. Even to the point that he could sign his own release forms.


One day, Jon and Russell sat together, discussing the many ways they had seen God step into their situation.  The two fathers couldn’t help but stand in awe at the many ways, both big and small, that God had intervened on behalf of their sons.


They took into account where the accident had happened.  The road was in a remote location with very little traffic.  Yet, one person was there to witness the accident and call for help.


In spite of the desolate area, first responders arrived on the scene in short order.  Their quick response and early detection as to the seriousness of the boys’ injuries was life saving.


Though they were close to the Colorado/Nebraska border the location of the accident had EMT’s electing to air lift both Caden and Atticus to Swedish Hospital in Denver – which happens to be the only level one trauma unit in Colorado.


Erica testifies that the staff was undeniably handpicked by God.  Their knowledge, expertise and words of truth and encouragement kept them moving forward through all the trauma and uncertainty.


God also stepped in when the parents first arrived in Colorado, uncertain as to how long they would be staying.  Yet God lead Atticus’ sister, Emory (still back home in Indiana) to connect with the owner of an AirBnB near the hospital who not only gave them a discounted price for the use of the home, but also made a special shopping trip for various supplies before they arrived.  


God stepped in and provided a way to transport their vehicles from home to Colorado.  Their vehicles arrived just hours before they needed to return their rental car.  Small details, but it’s often those simple things that feel like a warm hug and reminder from God that He holds all things in His capable hands.


God stepped in through the community coming together to complete the farm work while Jon was away.

Photo Credit: Keith James

(Keith took these photos of local farmers raking hay for the Klopfensteins while they were in Colorado.  This was during the western fires which made the sunset colors more brilliant.)

He stepped in through the provision of a world class therapy facility which was located next door to Swedish Hospital.  It’s worth noting that Craig Hospital specializes in two things – spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.  God had Caden and Atticus right where they needed to be.


Because of the medical professionals and the hand of God guiding each and every situation, both boys are making miraculous recoveries.  They have shattered all expectations of time.  Even the level of recovery that they have made is remarkable.


For example, Atticus was released in early October while Caden was to remain in Colorado until February. But good news came in November that Caden would be able to go home to visit over Thanksgiving.  As they made arrangements for the trip home, doctors hoped Caden’s new wheelchair would arrive before the trip but the possibility of that seemed unlikely. 


The following day, Caden was met at the door of his therapy session by staff talking about the Thanksgiving miracle - his chair had arrived.  And it would prove to be perfect timing because suddenly COVID was shutting down the state and Caden’s outpatient therapy was transferred from Colorado to Indiana.  


He was coming home to stay – and they are both here with us today! 


As of today, Atticus’ broken sternum and ribs are fully healed.  


And the brain injury?  The one with the mild to extreme life altering possibilities?


He has none!


There is no explanation other than the fact that God, against all odds, stepped in.


A test this week did reveal that he has only had minimal to moderate healing in his vertebrae thus far but we trust that God is more than capable to step into that situation yet as well.


As for Caden, he surprised his doctors and nurses with how quickly he has progressed through rehab. Doctors at Craig were determined to help Caden become self-sufficient.  They lead him through the process of learning to do everything from getting dressed to transferring his body from a wheelchair to a vehicle to driving and even shooting his beloved guns.


Like Atticus, a majority of Caden’s injuries have completely healed.


Yes, the paralysis is still there, but things are happening.  The first was a slight sensation Caden felt on his legs while still in the hospital.  Then there was the feeling of a temperature change and the weight of a blanket.  Since arriving at home, those changes have seemed to stall, so when praying for Atticus’ vertebrae, let us pray for continued healing for Cadon as well.


In spite of his situation, Caden has a reputation with his doctors and nurses.  One nurse recently contacted Russell with this message.  “It was refreshing to have a patient who radiates gratitude.” She said, “He could be bitter and have a totally different attitude with everything he has been through, yet he still has a good attitude. Just want you to know that you have raised an amazing son.”


This past week, Caden was back out doing what he loves – hunting.  He hasn’t let the weight of his situation keep him from learning to adjust and move forward in life.

Our church family has been given a gift in knowing these two men of God and their families.  They encourage and inspire us.

This experience has taught us to pray bigger prayers even as we encounter His peace in the middle of the unknown.


Their story, along with the Brumbaughs, the Gagnes, Jack and Mary Ellen Smith and Wayne and Dawn Carter are all testimonies of the ways that God has stepped into the lives of our church family this past year.  Through them, we are reminded that God sees us in our place of desperation and comes to our rescue.  Through them we can see that He doesn’t always step in and remove the trouble we are facing, but rather He leads us through it even as He strengthens us each step of the way.


Many of us are living out stories of our own right this minute.  Will you join me as we invite the Savior of the World to come and fill our hearts with peace this Advent season.  And let us thank God, who against all the odds of 2020, has stepped into our own lives in so many wonderful ways.


Klopfenstein Family
Photo Credit: Keith James

Owsley Family