Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is it September Already?!?

I honestly cannot believe that 2009 is already 3/4 of the way over! I always remember when I was little and would complain about time going by too slowly. My dad would laugh and say, "You just wait until you get older! You'll wish it would slow down! You blink and another year's gone by!" Well, he was right!
In the time since my last blog, JD and Cora have both had birthdays (I can't believe they are 8 and 7 now! Talk about time flying!), they have started 3rd and 2nd grade, respectively, Jake's gotten a job offer from Miami, I've had some health concerns and much, much more...I'll try to address all of these and more in this blog.
I had actually considered creating several different blogs to cover each different "happening", but decided I would be lazy and just do one. I'm apologizing now for the length and for what I'm sure will be many many pictures.
JD and Cora's birthday party had to be postponed because of our rushed trip back to AR in late July due to the death of Jake's paternal grandmother. Jake was honored to perform the ceremony at her funeral.
We decided to take a little extra time on the drive home from Arkansas and spent a day at the Grand Canyon. Even though it's less than 5 hours from Vegas, we had never been. The kids had a blast exploring. I would HIGHLY recommend you make an effort to go if you've never been. It is so beautiful. I sat on the edge of one of the bluffs and the only thing that kept running through my head was, "The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty, let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice!" (I posted to Facebook that I had the urge to burst into song and wondered if anyone around would mind). How can anyone see things in nature like that and not acknowledge the Creator? It blows my mind!
I've posted just a few pictures from the day. The rest are on my FB page, if you're interested.

Neither of them had any fear of going right up to the edges! I, however, did not like them being so close! This is them peering over one of the cliffs.
We were able to reschedule the birthday party for the following week. The kids had chosen to have their party at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum downtown. It is a hands-on museum with tons of science experiments and objects to explore and learn. All of the kids had a really good time.
Cora got chosen to be a helper during one of the science experiments!

JD and Cora blowing out their candles (JD blew out first, then Cora)

The boys (Clockwise from JD): JD, Alex, Ethan and JR

The girls (clockwise from Cora): Cora,Abby, Haven, Kailey and Nataly
The end of August meant the start of the new school year. JD and Cora were both excited about the new year...well, JD more so than Cora. He actually got upset on Labor Day because there was no school! Jake called him a nerd.

JD, 1st day of 3rd grade
Cora, 1st day of 2nd grade
Getting the van after a great 1st day of school
We were able to request JD's teacher from last year for Cora. Mrs. Krzmarzick ("Mrs. K", as everyone calls her) was such a wonderful teacher for JD and we are so pleased to have her this year for Cora. JD's teacher this year is Mrs. Davidson, and so far we are very pleased with her as well. Bilbray Elementary has such a wonderful staff, from the principal down, and high parent-involvement. We have been truly blessed to be at this school!

As I mentioned in my last blog, Jake's job with Fontainebleau has been up in the air. The company declared bankruptcy earlier this year and began laying people off. Jake's job was fairly secure, but recently we discovered that he would no longer have a job after September 30. Fontainebleau, Miami wanted him to come on with them, and even asked what it would take to get us to move there. We figure, since we didn't move to Las Vegas for Fontainebleau, we wouldn't move to Miami for it either...unless God leads us otherwise, for now He has us serving here, in "Sin City".
I appreciate those of you who have been diligently praying for this job situation. This week Jake received and accepted an offer from Fontainebleau, Miami to work for them remotely, from our home. He will have to travel to Miami occasionally (1st time being for 10 days in October), but this is such a blessing for us. Not only will he be able to work from our home, which will save on gas, and help me as I deal with my health issues (to be discussed later), but he also got a raise! As many of you know, he had to take a mandatory pay cut a few months back when the company went bankrupt. It has been a struggle, but God has been faithful. This raise will help us pay off some debt we accumulated from last year when we had 2 house payments as well as build up some savings and pay for some upcoming mission-trip opportunities we are praying about. God is good, all the time!
While I am on the topic of money, I want to thank those of you who give to Fulfilling the Mission at FBC, Rogers. Part of that money goes to help fund missionaries around the world. Each month the money we receive from FTM helps pay for 1/2 of our house payment. This is a true blessing to us. When you give to FTM, you are blessing missionaries world-wide. You get to be a part of the great commission by writing that check each month. Thank you.

Okay, so on to me. I hate talking about me. I'd much rather tell you about Jake or the kids or the church. But, many people have been calling and emailing to inquire about what is going on with here goes:
Earlier this summer I began getting a pain in my upper-right abdomen. I could feel some sort of growth under the skin, but didn't think much about it. By the time we got back from our trip to AR the pain had gotten much more severe and began to interrupt my day-to-day living. Me, being the stubborn person I am, just kept ignoring the pain. Jake finally insisted I make an appointment with a doctor. Since that 1st appointment I have had 3 or 4 different sets of blood tests run, a CT Scan of my upper and lower abdomen, an ultrasound of my gallbladder and liver, x-rays and have an appointment scheduled for a MRCP (MRI of my pancreas). Some of my liver stats are slightly elevated, but apparently not enough to be concerned. So far they have yet to find what is causing the pain. It has gotten so bad that I am sleeping a good part of the day (up to 18 hours some days) just to deal with the pain. My mom flew out a week and 1/2 ago to help out. She is staying indefinitely, until we are able to figure all this out. It has been a real blessing to have her here to help with housework and with the kids. I am so thankful to have a mom who is willing and able to come and give up her own life to help with mine.
Last night Jake had to take me to the ER because my pain level was so high the pain medication they have me on wasn't doing anything.
The growths under my skin are growing. So far the medical people are not listening to me when I say that is what is causing the pain. That is where the pain started. Jake is going with me to my appointment on Monday and is going to request that I be admitted into the hospital to get the pain under control and figure out what is going on.
Please be praying for me, that God will perform a miracle and take away whatever is causing this pain. I serve a God who is still in the business of miracles and I believe that if it is His will, He can remove this from me. If it is not in His will at this time, please pray I am able to deal with the pain. Please also pray for Jake and the kids during this time. It has been especially hard on JD and Cora. We tried to keep it from them, so they wouldn't worry, but they were able to figure it out on their own. My mom said that JD prayed very long for me last night while I was "at the doctor".

I guess that pretty much catches you up on the life of the Bridges. (I know you're thinking "whew...well, it's about time!" lol)
Northstar continues to grow. We have started 3 small groups that will meet out of members' houses during the week. Please pray for these as we try to get them built up and as we grow the relationships within them.

Oh, in the last blog I mentioned our awesome Celebration Service. Jake baptized a mom and 3 of her children that day. You may remember me mentioning the Children's Service we held after our Kid's Camp ended. All 4 of these baptisms are due to that service. The mom indicated on her information card that she had accepted Christ and one of the boys in the family raised his hand at the end of the service, indicating he wanted more information on becoming a Christian. Jake went to his home to talk to him and he and his brother and sister all ended up accepting Christ that night. The mom requested Jake baptize them all. He was honored to do so.
Let me end with pictures of the baptisms. (Thank you, Wilson, for taking these)


MiaJennifer (the mom)


cindysig said...

Thanks, Elaine. For all the updates on that blog. I'm so sorry you are having pain issues. Praying that the docs will figure it out and get it taken care of soon. Greetings to your mom, btw!

I love cora's "1st day of school" tie! That's great. Glad they're enjoying it.

Great news on your funding.

keep us posted as you find out more.

Amy said...

Praying for you...