Monthly Archives: September 2013



We had an amazing time visiting my family in Kansas. Laynie & Gideon got to meet their newest cousin Brooke! It was such a sweet time, so naturally I was a little sad when we left my cousin’s house early this morning. But we have another destination to reach..

There is a small stretch of highway from Kansas to Nebraska that is beautiful. There is literally nothing but valleys and hills as far as the eye can see- truly untouched by man. We had just come to the top of a hill and as we looked down, the valley below had a long, winding road that disappeared from sight. However if you looked way off in the distance, you could see where the road would continue to the top of the next hill.

I’ve bragged on my husband many times because, to put it plainly, he’s awesome. But as we silently drove through this beautiful scenery, he amazed me yet again with his conversation starter. He pointed out the landscape to me as he questioned, “How easy would it be to go through life’s valleys if we could just see the top of the next hill?” As I listened to my profoundly wise spouse, I fixed my eyes on that next hill and thought about how right he was…and with a smile on my face I replied, “I guess that’s where faith comes in.”

As we drive to Omaha we are praying. Not just for safe travels, but for God to increase our faith (Luke 17:5). You see, there are decisions that need to be made regarding our son Gideon. He’s been accepted to be a part of a research project in Omaha and we are going to meet the doctor who is leading the study. The details are insignificant right now because I’m honestly not educated enough at this point to adequately share details. All we really know is that it’s a drug study and it is not a cure. After we meet with this doctor I will be able to share more about what it all entails and whether or not Gideon will be participating.

But the drive through these valleys to get to our destination has been tough. If you’ve taken a road trip with children (especially young children) then you know what I’m talking about. Every few minutes Gideon cries and Laynie asks, “Are we there yet?” They can’t possibly comprehend that our destination is close, though to them, it seems so far.

As my husband and I were talking about the valleys of life and our faith, I wondered if God thinks I sound a lot like my children. How many times have I come before The Lord with tears and cried, “Are we there yet? Is my time in this valley almost over?? I can’t see the final destination!!”

Unfortunately there are just times when we can’t see top of the next hill. That’s where our faith in God comes in. We have to trust that HE is the one in the drivers seat. He knows where we are and He can see the destination even though we cannot. That’s why 2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we live by faith, not by sight.” And Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” And while the valley may be a dark & difficult journey, we know we are not traveling alone. (Matthew 28:20)

I’m not sure what highway you’re on during this season of your life. Maybe you’re like us and you find yourself in a valley with big decisions to make. Have you let God take the drivers seat? Maybe you have, but you’re like me and you’re a terrible side seat driver (Kevin just silently “Amen-ed” that). Would you let God navigate? He doesn’t need you to read the map…He laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4). So we can be confident that “He’s got this.”

Omaha is close for us. Its not our final destination, just our destination for today. So please pray for us today and tomorrow as we make some big decisions for our little guy. No matter what we decide we are confident that God knows the final outcome and He has the final say.

Wednesday our final destination will be home. And for that I’m glad. Trips are great, but home is best. As I look forward to being home, I can’t help but think, shouldn’t our final destination always be Home?

Lord, carry us through these valleys and increase our faith! Set eternity on our hearts (Eccl 3:11) and never let us forget You are coming again. (Rev 22:12) Home with You has always been our final destination. Amen.






So the Jolicoeurs are taking a road trip. It’s our first as a family of four and as we prepared to leave this morning, I was looking at the back of our suburban and thinking to myself, “What an overabundance of crap!”

Seriously though, how much of this stuff do we actually need??? I realize its been a while since I’ve had to pack for an infant, but this is kind of ridiculous. We have 2 adult size suitcases (only one of which is for adults), 3 duffle bags, 2 strollers, 2 back packs, 2 gallon jugs of water, a pack-n-play, a breast pump, a bouncer, a bumbo, a case of diapers, a diaper bag, and a sack of snacks. Did I mention we are a family of only 4??? Yet somehow I managed to pack for four families!!

I think the madness started when my husband got the idea that we should borrow his parents suburban instead of taking my cramped jeep compass. Once that decision was made I think I subconsciously figured, “Well we got more room…might as well take more stuff!!” But in the grand scheme of things, how much of this overabundance is necessity? And how much is just wasted excess?

I have an overabundance of stuff in my life…if you can’t tell from the back of our suburban, then just come visit our house and look in our closets! So much stuff is packed into our 1667 square foot house.. stuff I don’t even see most days. Am I the only one who groans at the thought of moving/traveling simply because there is SO much to box up/pack?

I knew a missionary one time who literally could pack up and move in a blink of eye because she owned so little in regards to “stuff.” She truly had just the necessities. Looking at her life, you would not think she had an overabundance of anything. But you know what? She did have an overabundance! Her excess was found in God’s love and His forgiveness! She had an overabundance of His mercy and grace! And because she freely accepted those, she also had an overabundance of faith.

You know the best part of that kind of overabundance? It doesn’t cost anything!! It’s also clutter-free and easy to carry with you!! Do you remember that old saying, “You can’t take it with you when you go!” Well, that kind of abundance is what we do get to take with us when we go! Thank goodness we can’t take material things with us when we die. Can you imagine? Heaven would be the most extreme episode of Hoarders!!

Now please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying its wrong to own a lot of stuff…as long as your stuff doesn’t own you. Here’s what I mean by that- If you lost everything you owned, could you still choose to be happy? Or would the destruction of your possessions destroy you? And lets be honest, if we have more than one change of clothes, a bed to sleep in and food in our stomaches, then we ALL have an overabundance…. especially when compared to the rest of the world.

At the end of the day, I want the suburban of my life to be packed more of Him and less of the things of this world. It has been my experience that’s the only kind of overabundance that will truly satisfy.

Stay tuned as our first family road trip unfolds…





Last night I did something that I decided (early on) that I would never do often… I visited my reality. (Tissue alert.)

I am blessed to be a part of a family support group on Facebook that is strictly for families with children who have PBD (peroxisomal biogenesis disorder). These are some of the most brave and amazing people you will ever meet.  They are also the group of people that you would not trade places with even if they paid you billions of dollars. You see, these people are part of an elite group that have the unfortunate reality of watching their children slowly digress until their inevitable death.

This group has been so helpful with everything we’ve experienced thus far with Gideon. They’ve answered questions about his hearing aids and many people have messaged me personally to offer support. However, I have a confession to make.. When I see a post come up where a parent is calling on the angel parents (parents who have laid their children to rest), I steer clear. I refuse to read them. It’s TOO much for me right now.

But on this rare occasion, I had been feeling sorry for myself because my son hasn’t slept since he was born, so I decided to read the post….and the comments that followed. My gut is still in knots and the tears are still fresh on my face…and shirt…and table. This one brave mother posted that her son has begun to experience discomfort and he’s on oxygen for 24 hours because if not, his fingers turn blue; he’s also not able to cough because he’s losing muscle tone….Basically she was calling on the angel moms to ask how she should be preparing for the end… The comments that followed were heart crushing stories and words of love and support. Are you crying with me for this mom?? Please pray for her. She reached out to the support group because her dreaded reality is now; and it’s the reality that we “newbie parents” (newly diagnosed) fear the most.

I know my posts are usually more positive, but right now I need the world to know this is still hard for us. With tears in our eyes, my husband and I were discussing which is worse… watching our son die a slow death or trying to explain the situation to Laynie when that time comes? Now I know what you’re all thinking, You’re not there yet! Don’t borrow sorrow from tomorrow! And praise God we’re not living that hell just yet. So why would I even go there? I still feel a need to visit that reality from time to time for two reasons. Reason #1: It keeps me out of denial; Reason #2: It keeps everything in proper perspective.

I feel as though we’ve been handling our situation very well. I speak for me and my husband when I say we truly feel the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and God’s grace has been sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). But I need to confess it’s easy to handle a situation like this when my son is progressing. He doesn’t have a feeding tube, he’s not blind and (completely) deaf, he’s not on oxygen, he’s not having seizures, and doesn’t require suction. But those are just some of the realities for PBD kids. And unfortunately, there will come a day when my son’s progression plateaus. And then he will digress…he may have a few or all of the problems I just listed… And then it will be our turn to call on these brave parents who’ve gone before us.

You see, I realized last night that one day this group will encourage us as we watch our son slowly die. And after Gideon’s gone to be with Jesus, we will walk beside other families as they navigate this unfair, unthinkable, and ugly road.

Please forgive me. I know this is probably the most depressing blog post you’ve ever read. And if I’ve made you cry I apologize. I couldn’t help myself…I needed to vent. And I have to confess, my recent reality check has left me with a whole new perspective on my lack of sleep. As I sobbed and rocked my baby boy to sleep last night, I couldn’t help but think of all those angel moms who would give their right arm for one  more chance to be sleep deprived, rocking their angel.

As I sat down at my computer to write, the Bible Gateway website was up and go figure, the verse of the day was Romans 5:3-4

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

To put it plainly, I feel like the Lord was reminding me that our hope is in Christ alone. (I honestly don’t know how else we would survive this without Jesus!) And I can’t help but believe that someone needs to know about that hope. I like to think that my mighty warrior’s story is bringing people back to God. Has his story touched your heart? I hope so. If it has would you share it with someone? Nothing makes the reality of this genetic disorder any easier, but knowing that his life has offered someone hope, brings joy to my heart…to Kevin’s heart…and someday, hopefully to Laynie’s heart.

Visiting my reality has given me a proper perspective. Casting Crowns, Already There song says it best-

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You’re already there
You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You’re already there
You’re already there

And because He’s already there, I don’t have to live in fear. He’s waiting for my little man, just like He’s waiting for me.

The reality is that you and I woke up this morning by the grace of God. He’s given you and me this precious gift of a new day. I don’t know about you, but I intend to make the most of every opportunity.

I hope you’ll do the same.