Lea had another good day today, with only a couple of little bumps in the road. She was able to do twelve hours of breathing on her own today, from six this morning until six this evening. She was very tired by this evening, and needed to go back on rest mode with full ventilator support. She had a difficult time starting out this morning. They tried to start her at the same level she quit yesterday, but she couldn’t handle it. So, they increased the ventilator support, and reduced it a little at a time, until she was able to reach yesterday’s level and then work that level for a number of hours.

As the day wore on, she began to labor at the pace, but didn’t show signs of quitting, at all. She started running a low-grade temperature mid-afternoon, and I started swabbing her with damp cloths on her limbs, and placed a damp cloth on her brow. She was still feeling hot about a half hour after she was put on rest mode, and her blood pressure kept fluctuating, so Adam gave her some albumen to boost her fluid levels.

Today’s dressing change didn’t happen until seven this evening. Since it was scheduled for mid- Day, we kept waiting for that to happen so we could put her in the cardiac chair. But, by seven in the evening, it’s too late to put her in the chair. We may get her out of bed twice tomorrow; morning and afternoon, to do some fairly short stints in the chair. We’ll see how she feels.

I received a wonderful note from one of Lea’s pray-ers a while back, just letting us know how this experience has been a blessing to her, and I wanted to share it with you. I have stripped the names, out of respect for their privacy, but otherwise have not changed the content.

“I live in Silver Spring, Maryland. My aunt sends me your emails every day. They are the first things I look for whenever I open my email.

My husband and I are newly married (about 4 months), and I’m one of the many who have been touched by you both in terms of thinking about what marriage can truly mean. In the depth and generosity of your email communications, Larry, I’ve really learned a lot, some of which I think will take years to truly unfold.

These words sound so pale on the written page, so perhaps you’ll understand the depth to which I feel them if I tell you that I have tears in my eyes as I write them. We cannot choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we meet those circumstances, and as I witness the path you’ve chosen through your present difficulties, I really feel that you and Lea have become teachers for me. The proof, I think, will be in how well I live out those lessons (at first I mistyped, love out those lessons, which may be the more accurate statement after all).

I have a prayer buddy; he lives in Alexandria, VA, so you can add him to your spreadsheet too), and we are praying for Lea every day. We know which outcome we would prefer – and we know that, whatever the outcome, your words and actions are making a difference for people every day, even people you have never met, in terms of the living witness to your faith that you are providing. Bless you both. We think of you every day. Much love.”

Wow! That is so powerful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. You have given us a blessing back just by letting us know that we have been able to help your relationship with each other, and with God. Glory to the Father, who is using us to reach others for Him.

I was asked by a young man today what the secret is to the happiness Lea and I share after all these years together. A lot of our relationship is based in our common belief in God, and our commitment to our marriage vows. We knew when we married that we were making a lifetime commitment, and we took that commitment seriously. Much of our philosophy toward each other can be found in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, as corny as it may sound today. Lea and I believe it.

And, there was also a very big impact made on me early during our marriage when I read an article about creating a lasting relationship with the woman you love. It made a lot of sense to me at the time, and it has affected how I came to think about our marriage being a partnership created to benefit both of us. I’m certainly no expert, but this is how I would think it might be described:

1) Respect her. She is half of the whole.
2) Be faithful to her. Nothing is more flattering.
3) Tell her every day that you love her. She wonders.
4) Never go to sleep angry. Settle it before bedtime.
5) Find common interests. Do things together.
6) Live the faith you practice. It will bless your marriage.
7) Love her. Truly love her. You deserve what you’ll get back.

You know what? It works! I can honestly tell Lea that I have loved loving her, and I have told her that many times. I have been able to call her my best buddy, my best friend, my partner, and my lover. We love to do things together, because we love being together. It just doesn’t get any better than that. If you can’t make that level of commitment to a marriage, I wonder if you should make the commitment at all. I’m not saying it’s easy, but your faith will always be there to boost you.

Thank you, Lord, for the many, many blessings you have showered my family with over the years! We have such wonderful memories! Good night, baby, I love you! I hope you can think sweetly of me!

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