Monday, July 5, 2010

Thoughts on Freedom

I love the 4th of July! During the 1990s when Americana anything and everything was the big rage, I was all over it. I had flag t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, skirts, Converse shoes (I still have those!), hats, swimsuits, shorts, hair accessories, earrings, bedding, I hung a giant flag in my college bedroom, and had keepsake boxes with flags on my dresser. I think I've painted an appropriate picture.

I didn't put up a single decoration this year. I managed to remember to hang our flag around 4 pm. I didn't even wear Red, White, and Blue clothing to church. I typically do at least that and I have some fabulous red high heels that I love. I totally spaced it.

But I did do something meaningful. I reflected on the blessings in my life that freedom has provided. Religious freedom was one of the founding principles of our country. I sat in church feeling very grateful to be able to worship God according to my beliefs. Those beliefs are the source of strength that I find myself drawing on each day as our family navigates through our sea of trials at the moment.

On the first Sunday of each month, members of the church in congregations throughout the world, join together in fasting by abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals for the purpose of drawing closer to God. Fasting is often done with a specific purpose in mind and accompanied by sincere prayer. Also, during the church service, people in the congregation have the opportunity to stand and share their testimony. Yesterday, I fasted for the health of my son, William, and strength to face adversity. I also shared a portion of my testimony and ways that it has been strengthened these past several weeks.

One benefit of blogging is the ability to organize and edit thoughts, so here are some thoughts and parts of my testimony that I would like to share.

Our family has been the recipient of countless prayers from people all over the world, many from people we don't even know. We are truly grateful and want to express our thanks. I believe in the power of prayer. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I want to share with everyone that we have felt increased amounts of peace and comfort during some of our most difficult days. I know this is a result of your many prayers offered in our behalf.

I have also thought a great deal about faith and hope. I have faith that the Lord is aware of our family and that whatever we will have to face in our path, we can learn and grow from it. I hope that things will work out the way I want them to, but I have faith that whatever happens will be for our good. Faith is powerful and faith can work miracles. I know that we are all here on earth to learn and grow and because of Jesus Christ and his teachings, our family is eternal.

The past three days, William has been doing remarkably well. He has been more willing to eat, had no nausea, limited pain, and been quite talkative. Other than his balding head and skeletal frame, he seems almost like the old William. In fact, last night he commented, "I haven't got all my appetite back, but aren't you glad I got my talking back?" Ryan and I looked at each other and just laughed and agreed. William is a talker!

William was thrilled to buy Fireworks on Saturday and counted down until dark on Sunday. He had a blast watching and lighting fireworks. Yes, lighting. I don't know what kind of parents we have become! He was supposed to sit and just watch since his blood counts are dropping. But no, he was scrambling all over the street lighting fireworks, getting dirty, laughing and having a blast. Sometimes it just seems right to let him be a kid. And not having four other boys to follow his example probably made us ease up a bit.

William sees the doctor tomorrow and will get his blood tested. If this cycle is anything like the last one, he will already be neutropenic and at his nadir. (Do you all remember your "N" vocabulary lesson?) He may need a blood transfusion, but his coloring and energy level seem good, so I'm hoping that won't be the case. I just want to be in and out quickly for a change.


  1. Loved your testimony! You are such an amazing friend!

    PS. I know exactly which shoes you are talking about and they ARE fabulous!! :)

    -Karyn Johnson

  2. What a day brightener!!! William's "got his talking back!" That is a true Will-ism :-)
    Sending hugs and healing thoughts your way.

  3. jules, you totaly were the ultimate in american flag fashion! i thought you were so cool at asilomar all those years! LOL! so glad he's getting his talking and apetite back. we are always praying for him and you and joining you in fasting.
    love you tons cous.

  4. We were fasting for Will, too, and I'm so glad you had a good weekend and that William is acting more like himself. Wish we could've seen your fireworks show!

    Hope you all have a smooth and easy week.

    Love and hugs,

  5. We fasted for Will, and I bore testimony too of all the strength felt from everyone's prayers. Our Luteran neighbor ( backdoor) wanted to know Will's name when I got home so their family could pray for him, as well as our other cul-de-sac neighbor (Catholic), besides many of our co-workers and neighbors. I know everyone's prayers give strength to us, but it is because of Jesus that we feel peace and love. I know trials are bother personal and relative. They are personal because we love Will so much, and don't want him to go through this. They are relative when we think of how many people have also suffered, and that the Savior took them upon Himself for all of us. That was my insight on the 4th of July! I also asked my neighbor with a naked 30 foot flagpole to please put up his flag for me. He did, and it was a windy Idaho day--it was an inspiring sight. Love you all--Mom

  6. Beautiful post and testimony...thanks for sharing it with all of us. We have been continually praying for William and all of your family (and fasted for you as well). Like you said, prayer is truly an amazing thing, no matter whose mouth it comes from. It can create miracles!

    Thanks for the updates and keeping up on the blog. Keep it going!! XOXOX

  7. We will keep praying for you. I think of you guys EVERY day. I'm glad William got to enjoy the fireworks. Thank you for your thoughts and your testimony. You words strengthen others testimonies everyday. You are truly an inspiration.

  8. Julie Bennion - I love you!! You and I did have a special affinity for Americana ;).
    Oh Julie, how I love and admire you. Your strength, faith, patience, peace, and understanding. Thank you for sharing Will's journey with us you are in our prayers daily.