Tuesday, September 30, 2014


In conjunction with the launch of the donation site at You Caring:  The Olive Press of Surrender:  Jenna´s Journey, our friend Suz has graciously offered to lend her talent, enthusiasm & time for her side job as Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails, with proceeds going to Jenna´s medical needs.

What in the world is JAMBERRY, you ask??!!

Basically they are nail wraps to spruce up your nails with fun & vibrant patterns.  They are ecological, easy to put on and take off, make you look fabulous & help you give to worthy causes!

(Guys, we know this isn´t really your thing but think about gifts for those ladies in your life!  They will appreciate this unique gift...)

The very special thing is that she designed some especially for Jenna.  We are so touched.  Shown below, they are done in periwinkle blue, the color for stomach cancer.  The ribbons obviously symbolize cancer and the sparrows represent care & hope & healing.  The ¨J¨ on the pinky is a small reminder to pray for Jenna.  Suz is amazing.  :)

You can read the basics about Jamberry Nails & place your order here:


HOW TO ORDER:  You can order ANY NAIL WRAPS YOU WANT; the proceeds will go to Jenna.  When you place your order, you will prompted to respond to which party?  Choose Jenna´s Jamberry.  To order Jenna´s special design, you need to purchase a Gift Card and then send that No. to Suz.  She will be sure that they get to you.  If you live outside the US/Canada, let Suz know; you can use a special address.

Or ask to join Suz´s fb page where you can see lots of options:  Suz´s Jamberry

Here´s some interesting info about the nail wraps:

And Jenna´s page on fb is:  Jenna´s Journey: A Jamberry of Praise.  Please ask to join if you haven´t already.  You can order the specially designed wraps for Jenna or other designs of your choice - the proceeds will still go to Jenna.  Suz has games & free giveaways you won´t want to miss, so join in the fun!

If you have questions, please write me or Suz via the fb site or email and we´ll be sure to get back to you!

And always remember:  we are SOOOOO thankful to all of you for all you have done in supporting us this year.  We wouldn´t make it without you!  So thank you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Many of you have asked about our financial medical needs since Jenna has had to switch to alternative therapies. You have been SO gracious & generous to be concerned.

Two friends, Kati & Suz, have volunteered their talent & time to set-up a site for us and make any donations possible. Just click on the widget here for ¨Jenna´s Journey¨ and you can go to the site to visit, read about the need, make a donation or leave a message.

This widget for the site is on the right hand side of the Home Page of the blog so you can access it at any time.  You can also copy this & share on Facebook if you desire (or there is a share option directly on the donation site).

Thanks to all for showing ever so much love!!


Saturday, September 20, 2014


I´m waiting for the comeback, Lord.
The moment when this match is turned around!
The play when the apparent ¨losers¨ make a choice,
put down a stake and say, ¨No more.¨

Sometimes it seems to start with a lucky break,
other times it´s a definite decision.
Sometimes the apparent winners get cocky
or distracted or careless.
That´s what I´m waiting for. 

My God is NOT on a losing team.
He doesn´t need any lucky breaks.
Even when it doesn´t look like it -
In the end, He still wins.
He always wins.
There is no stopping Him
or His acts of winning power.

His timing is calculated & perfect.
He knows when to show up.
He knows how to deliver,
how to shake things up,
and how to turn things around.

He´s already beat the losingest Loser in history
and announced it on a Sunday.
With resurrection & miracles & earthquakes.
That win was recorded for all mankind.
It marked history.
It separated time into BC and AD.
That´s whose team I´m on.
That´s whose team Jenna´s on.

So, I´m waiting for the comeback, Lord.
Waiting for this match to be turned around!
I´m confident in Your calculated move
and in Your precise strategy.
Your delivery will be impeccable
And the win will be breathtaking.
I am smiling now just imagining the cheers,
the joy, the undisputed delight of the passionate crowd.

I´m waiting, Lord.
I´m watching for Your move...

Photo by:  Globovision

Thursday, September 18, 2014


That question was running through my mind last night, keeping me awake...

Will I still love Him?

Will I still love Him if she dies?  Can my faith survive this road of suffering, this private viewing of something so terrible?

I really, really want the answer to be YES.

But I am feeling so fragile, so vulnerable, so unrestrainedly human right now.  I feel like I can´t guarantee anything, knowing how inconstant a heart can be.

It´s not that I am a stranger to pain and loss.  I have already grieved, to varying degrees and in different seasons of life, the loss of 2 brothers, my Mom and both of my in-laws.  But this does not make me an expert or a ¨grief success story¨.  God forbid!  My heart still aches and each process was - and still is - heart-wrenchingly sorrowful.

But my daughter!  The one He formed in my womb!  My firstborn!  The one who looks so much like me and who captured me completely from the first second I met her!  Can I love Him if she is taken?

Last night the silence was deafening - second only to the pounding of my heart.

So much of the time I am consumed in praying for my children - that they can love Him in spite of this painful journey, that they can believe in goodness still.  I long for their faith to survive and I dread watching their suffering if she is taken - more than walking through my own.

But last night the questions came to me, haunting me, piercing my heart. I could only pray for tenderness toward Him, for resolve, for steadfastness, for an unbelievable experience of His mercy in all of this so that I will still believe in a God of love.

I also prayed for God´s reputation.  For what will happen in the hearts of the ones watching all of this?  Will they want to love you if You take her?  Will they be able to believe in You if You can heal her but for some reason, don´t?  Would I want to follow a God who allows children to die?   Will I be able to respond with love & faith to them in my own grief?

I whisper to Him, ¨I so want the answer to be YES.¨

Theologians have been unable to resolve the tension between God´s love & goodness and His sovereignty.  Some think it comes down to a choice between the two.  To me, it really comes down to a choice of the heart:  Will I trust the sovereign God to act lovingly on my behalf even if it   doesn´t look like it at the time? 

I have a number of dear friends who live in incredibly difficult situations.  They have seen war, unbelievable pain, have seen ugliness up close and personal, have seen human devastation and injustice - all the while crying out to God for mercy, for intervention, for some sign of goodness in all of it.  Sometimes life is very, very hard.  What will we believe about God when all around us are ashes?

I´ve come to believe that if I don´t believe in a God who can bring beauty from ashes, life from death, mercy from cruelty, redemption through terror - He is not worth believing in.  The point of a God of Life is that He can deliver it in the worst of circumstances!

I love the poignant words of Peter on behalf of the 12 disciples after many other disciples left Jesus because of some of his hard-to-swallow words and teachings.  Jesus asks them,  ¨You do not want to leave too, do you?¨ Peter answers, ¨Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.¨ (John 6:67-69)

Jesus captured my heart at 16.  He has loved me through thick and thin.  He has proved Himself to me many times over. I sincerely & utterly don´t know how to live without Him.  Wouldn´t want to live without Him.

Will I still love Him?  

Trembling, I breathe out my response:  ¨YES, forever and ever.¨

Photo by:  Michael Korchia

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


When she loses her smile
something inside me just breaks.
It´s a deep emotional-physical pain unlike anything else...
It´s the pain of watching someone suffer,
The pain of watching the struggle to endure,
The pain of wanting to take it all on myself -
and being denied.

When she loses her smile
the whole household searches for ways to bring it back -
Through humor, kindnesses, prayer, physical touch
But it is in vain.
Sometimes we can coax a little half-smile out of her weary body
But sometimes whole days pass & I don´t see it...
I turn my face and cry my pain, her pain, our family´s pain -
All because of the absence of a smile.

When she loses her smile
I also think of so many other children around the world
who have lost their smile, too.
Some for reasons too terrible to mention.
Some of them may never get their smile back.
There is such unbelievable suffering in this world 
we cannot take it in or even begin to bear it.
When she loses her smile,
I pray for them, too.

Oh, Lord!  You say there is a certain fellowship in our sufferings
A holy communion with You, the God of all Comfort
You say there is purpose and good,
You say there is character and perseverance built,
You say there is a future ability to be a hope-bearer for others.
Please let her see this,
and understand it in a way only a fellow-sufferer of Yours can...
and please,
please let it bring her a smile.

Photo by:  Anton S.

Monday, September 1, 2014


A birthday for Jenna this year was different.  One, because for the last few years we have been separated at her birthday and unable to celebrate together.  Secondly, because of her health, we had NO idea how she might be feeling on August 19th and what she might feel up to doing.  But mostly, because of all we have lived this year and the uncertainty of the future, it was RIGHT to celebrate all together...friends, family and extended lovely community all around the world.  The friends who travelled far and wide to be here made it so special.  But so did all her local friends & family.  I want to remember the specialness of her Garden Party for her 23rd Birthday...

The Ambience...

SPECIAL FRIENDS & professional musicians donated their love & talent to bring live music to our patio.  The neighbors were all out listening!  GRACIAS, Carlos y Nuria, Nelson y Rocio y Dixon!  Os queremos!!


The food was amazing & Bruce braved the intense heat for hours to cook the choripanes and kebabs for everyone.  Jordan was the awesome waiter!

It took Bruce a loooong time to cook all these but they were a huge hit - as was our baked potato bar!

Baked potato bar...

Dessert bar...

Saray prepared fruit daiquiris for everyone who wanted one; they were a big hit!

The girls were all decked out:

Special gifts & special moments:

Hannah, Betty and Saray sing ¨Oceans¨ (in English & Spanish) while Vanessa does an interpretive painting... (Saray is on guitar to the left).

Beautiful Vanessa (who lives in Morocco) paints while the others sing this song which has come to mean a lot to Jenna in these months...

Oceans LIVE :)
Presented by:  Saray, Hannah and Ana
Artist:  Vanessa

Dani prepared a dance for Jenna and involved some of her friends...

We sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU in at least 5 languages!  :)

We all had a fabulous time and then towards the end, the dancing began...(until Jenna was tired and we wanted to keep peace with our neighbors!)

This may be the largest selfie ever...

 So sad to see it all end....but it was so perfect and we were all so happy.  ¨Best birthday ever!¨,  Jenna said, ¨Thanks to EVERYONE who made it possible!¨

We felt so blessed as a family to have celebrated SO WELL Jenna´s life and her 23 years.  THANK YOU all for all your best wishes, love & support at this special time.