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Friday, May 2, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Spouses, Savior & "Normal"

We started this a week ago but never posted it. So, here is our Thankful Thursday post from last week for this week's Thankful Thursday post that we haven't done in a very long time! (Whew! That was a mouthful)

It's been awhile since we've done a Thankful Thursday post! There's always something to be thankful for. Even in the midst of a storm, there's something. The past 5 weeks have been extremely rough on us. It's been the most challenging time we've had. I've had some of the scariest moments I've had to date related to my health. For Monica, I know it has been especially rough. For the first couple weeks after surgery, I was pretty much out of commission. She had to do pretty much everything around the house and with the boys. It wasn't just the physical toll it took on her, but the emotional as well. Watching me go through some very tough moments with my health was hard for her. It brought on all kinds of feelings of worry and fear for both of us. Thoughts of what the future will hold and how with CF although there are plenty of times of good health, the overall trend will go downwards. This was nothing compared to what a lung transplant will entail, and it has opened our eyes to the struggles we will face someday.  I've always said though, CF is hardest on those who are closest to the person with CF (in most cases their spouse). I truly believe my having CF is harder on Monica than it is on me. Thankfully we know who holds tomorrow and trust Him completely. That being said, we are past the worst of it. My PFT's are coming back up toward normal and I'm very close to being back to my usual state of physical health. I've taken on the task of all the house work (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.) and twin duties for the past few weeks, since I'm still out from work. Mr. Mom ain't so bad, lol. :)

Right now it's Thankful Thursday! As I said there are always things to be thankful for! Here's our lists:

Monica's List:

I am thankful for my husband. Can I just be real here? Can I just say that sometimes I'm not always positive? And sometimes being a CF wife is hard. I mean if I'm being real, I can admit that even though I try to always be the girl with a positive smile, that's not always the girl inside. To be honest, in the hard times I do have moments that I wish that Jeremy and I had a "normal" life. I guess when we think normal it'd be a life where he didn't have CF and the trials it brings? But  you know what? There's a lot of people in this world who would love to have our life. There's people that have so much bigger problems than we do. And they might would look at our life and say, "Man, I wish I had a "normal" life like Jeremy and Monica." People who are: starving in other countries, in the middle of war, sold in trafficking, orphans, persecuted for their faith, physically disabled. They'd love for the chance at our "normal." God forgive me for not being thankful for my "normal" life. It has been perfectly crafted by you and I am thankful for it! And thank you to my husband for loving me when I'm not so lovable! I'd marry you again Pookiebear!

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I tell Jeremy all the time that I don't know how people go on with out the faith we have. We all have our own burdens and trials. It is so encouraging to know that Jesus said in Matthew 11: 28-30, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

For those who ask me how I know Jesus is real and alive... I will say. "You ask me how I know he lives, He lives within my heart!" I have absolutely felt His touch so real in my life. All I have to do is whisper His name ,and in my darkest hours he has proved to me that He sees me, loves me, and cares about every aspect of my life! Wow, that's pretty Awesome! I can tell you right now, there's something precious about needing God. We all need God every day. Sometimes we don't realize it though because everything is going so "perfect", and what do we really actually "need" Him for? I know my walk with God wouldn't be as strong as it is without my constant need for Him. God has used CF in my life to draw me closer to His side. It is so neat how he works! Praise God!!! I'm about to start preaching!!! :)

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for speaking opportunities. I was able to travel and speak at another RT conference this week about CF. It is always fun! I enjoy the traveling process. Seeing different airports, flying, it's all fun in a childlike way to me, lol. I also really enjoy speaking. It's become a true love of mine. I'm not a super outgoing guy and tend to keep to myself when I'm traveling or around people I don't know. When I get on stage and am able to talk about something I'm passionate about (CF), somehow it just comes second nature. It's easy and I really enjoy it. I like the questions I get afterwards. I can tell people are learning and are inquisitive. It's awesome! I always get to meet at least a couple parents of CFers as well. It's always nice to encourage them and answer any of their questions. I really enjoy it!

I'm thankful for CFit and Ronnie Sharpe. As most of you know, I am in a program called CFit. It's a fitness/nutrition program for people with CF. I was one of ten very lucky individuals to get picked to participate. When you have abdominal surgery and a 9 inch incision running vertically down your stomach, you can't lift weights or run, lol. The surgery brought the CFit program to a complete halt. I thought it was done and over. After all, I couldn't run 3 days or lift 3 days a week like I was. No lifting anything over 10 pounds for 6 weeks and running would be far too painful. In my mind I was thinking what's the point of continuing. I can't do anything. Ronnie told me he was with me for the long haul and wanted to help me get back to and beyond the shape I was in. If it hadn't been for him, I know I would not have pushed myself as hard to recover like I have. He's stuck with me, continuing to do our weekly phone calls and giving me weekly goal sheets. The goal sheets now are super wimpy compared to what they were, but it's progress. :) I'm thankful for his dedication to me. He owes me nothing and is doing it simply because he's a great guy! Thanks Coach!

I'm thankful for my wife. I've never loved someone the way I love her and didn't know it was possible. She has brought a joy into my life that I didn't know a spouse could bring. Life is so much more fun when you have someone to share it with. It's even better when you don't want to spend a minute away from that person. It's not easy being married to someone with this disease. There's a lot of sacrifices and struggles that only those married to someone with CF will know or understand. I'm thankful she hasn't split like pea soup ;) Kidding of course. I love my wife!!

P.S. I'm back to work now, but will be out again starting Monday for a "tune-up." Lungs still aren't in tip top shape. It's not going to be fun at all going back in The Hole 7 weeks after I got out from having a major surgery. Also, I hope this post didn't sound too negative in the intro. After re-reading it, I almost changed a few things but opted to leave it as written the first time, when I was going through it. 


  1. We Love you both and are very proud of both of you! You are both two amazing parents to our Grandchildren! As your dad son, I wasn't always sure how to help you understand how important all of your treatments and exercise were to your overall health. I couldn't me more proud of the way you've taken charge and ownership of your health! I used to coach any sport you wanted to play so I could make sure you were doing something. I was also rewarded with getting to be with you! You love your wife and family the way I love your mother and all of you! In a lot of ways you even do it better, and that is what any parent wants for their children! Monica you are an amazing wife, mother, and woman of God! It seems We couldn't Love You or be more proud of you than we are! Then you do something to make us feel all of those emotions even stronger! We hope you both know how much we Love You & that you both are making us better people every day! We thank God every day for every moment we can be with you & there for you! Love You Both! Mom & Dad Parks!

  2. It's my pleasure sir :) Can't wait to see you get back up to speed.

  3. I just stumbled on your blog and I love the Thankful Thursday idea! I just started a blog of my own. Monica, I love your honesty. I have CF and I know it's hard on my husband. Thankfully we both have Jesus in our hearts too:) Prayers for you both!