Greatly Blessed

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  Me & mom in ICU - Day 5

We moved the family to Nashville for my mom’s open heart surgery and recovery which took place on July 2, 2012. She had rare complications in surgery as her heart ruptured (atrioventricular dehiscence) and they could not stop the bleeding. About 30 friends and family gathered in the waiting room of Vanderbilt University Hospital and cried out to God to save mom’s life. The surgeon told us several hours later that whatever we did worked, because this has happened only 4 times out of 2,700 surgeries, and the other 3 were fatal. In his words, “The Lord sure did bless your mom!”

After 8 days in ICU, and several days in the step-down unit, we moved mom to our rented duplex in Brentwood. Day-by-day she built up strength and then we took her home to Benton. She is making lots of progress and Shafer has played a key role in her recovery. Shafer loves his mamaw so much! He has been a huge dose of medicine for her during this long, hard month.
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Night before surgery with Mamaw  
I can think of no other song to share than “Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored” (written by Larry Gatlin and made famous by the Gaither Vocal Band) as my heart overflows with gratitude for God’s goodness to extend the life of my precious mother, Wilby Ledford:
Chorus
Greatly Blessed and Highly Favored
Imperfect but forgiven child of God
Greatly Blessed and Highly Favored
Imperfect but forgiven child of God
Verse
Standing upright on God's good earth
Count my blessings, great things He has done
Fighting the good fight with the blessed assurance
That the battle is already won
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  Sweet Shafer & Shaw at the duplex in Nashville
What a paradox that last summer we lived in Nashville for Shafer’s kidney transplant, and this summer we found ourselves back again in rental housing to care for my mother. Even though I sometimes struggle with the ways of God, I never cease to be amazed at His never failing provision. There are days I really feel sorry for folks who haven’t had lots of storms and problems in their lives. What a joy to see the hand of the Almighty lifting us up to a level above what our feeble minds and bodies can comprehend. Praise the Lord that I have to live by faith…it keeps me at the foot of the cross.
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Shafer enjoys his new friend Marcus at Vanderbilt  
So many lives continue to be touched by precious Shafer. There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t hand out “prayer pictures” to new friends he meets at the grocery store, clinic, the pool, etc. (in case you are wondering what a prayer picture is, it is a beautiful photo of Shafer that has “Shafer Daves…Follow my story at COTAforShaferD.com” imprinted on it). Everywhere we go, the Lord opens up the door for Shafer to share our journey. I am stunned at the supernatural power of a sick little boy and his ability to draw people into his community of prayer warriors.
Once we moved back home, it was on to homeschool planning. Yes, we have made the decision to homeschool our children—and the kids couldn’t be more excited! I spent 2 days at the Homeschool Curriculum Fair and the Lord ordered my steps to what I believe will be a fantastic year. Even little Shafer will be getting plenty of K3 instruction, and will enjoy having 3 “big sisters” as reading buddies.
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  Cooking at Mamaw's house before surgery
If there’s one thing Shafer loves as much as Mickey Mouse, it’s horses. All day—every day—he wants to go see the horses that my dear friends, Mrs. Treva and Mr. David, took him to see while we were living in Nashville. I just wish you could see his face light up and hear him speak with such energy and animation about his horse adventures! He loves to tell everyone that horses like to be fed apples and carrots.
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Dad & the boys on the carousel at Opry Mills  
Shafer is sure he wants another horse birthday party, so we are doing an exact repeat of last year. We will celebrate our little man turning 3 at Mystery Dog Ranch with real horses, a grill out, fishing, and a hayride! Life on the ranch is Shafer’s favorite and big sister Shayli has volunteered to make horse cupcakes (“pony cakes” as Shafer calls them) for the big day coming up in October. Stay tuned for more details and photos…
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  Shafer enjoys picking & eating cucumbers from Mamaw's garden

The Lord continues to blow our minds with the opportunities He opens up for us. On July 25, I had the privilege to be a guest on American Family Radio’s flagship show “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. God used this 40-minute segment in such a meaningful way to provide hope and healing to the listeners. Some of the emails we received after the show sent goose bumps up and down my spine. What a mighty God we serve that He could use a sick little boy to touch so many lives.

Shafer’s labs are holding strong and the only medical issues we have had this month are an ear infection and a UTI (urinary tract infection), both of which required a round of antibiotics. We ask for your continued prayers for Shafer and his mamaw. Our entire family feels the warmth of your love and support.
Shafer's Mommy

 

So happy that you still have

So happy that you still have your mother. I lost my mom to a massive heart attack and she was only 54 years old. I miss her everyday. The Lord sure is working double time in your lives. Excited to get to see you again at VEC.