Happy New Year

We made it through another sickness y’all! I am overjoyed at the way their immune systems have been handling germs. Don’t get me wrong- those days of sickness are things nightmares are made of, but we have been able to stay away from the hospital and are so thankful. We had lots and lots of baths this week as we dealt with drainage induced vomiting.


Our Christmas was a casual and relaxed one with us all staying in PJs most of the day. Malachi and Levi got to open a few presents each- Malachi’s favorite was a switch adapted alligator and Levi’s was a Solo cup that we wrapped up.

Just look at that smile!


We went over to the church that evening and set up an obstacle course for Malachi to drive his Wild Raptor through. Jake and I are insanely competitive so we took turns driving him through the course seeing who could do it the fastest. Malachi loved every minute of it!

Here is a sweet video of Malachi’s joy on Christmas morning:

I know it seems silly, but one of the highlights of the week for me was actually being able to cook meals. On typical weeks we are so go go go with appointments that spending an hour prepping a meal is just not logistically possible. It felt good to cook again!

On Wednesday everyone was feeling well enough for us to go on a little adventure. Malachi loves to go bowling and thinks it is fun to push the ball down the metal ball ramp so we headed to the alley for a quick game. He is still working on the concept of taking turns and signed “more” every time it was Jake or I’s turn to bowl. And Levi was a supportive cheerleader for us all, squealing with joy each time we walked back towards him.

We had some family come down from Ohio for a quick visit at the end of the week!




Then came Friday. Oh Friday. We usually do a lock-in for our youth group on New Year’s Eve and this year I decided to shake things up a bit by renting the trampoline jump park in Chattanooga. Jake and I rock, paper, scissored to see who would have Carroll kid duty (Jake) and who would have church kid duty (Leah). We ended up with 75 teenagers and it was a wonderful time, but nothing will wipe out your energy faster than a lock in! I am still trying to catch up on some much needed sleep before Jake has to go back to work this week.

We have brought Malachi’s CBD dose almost to where the epileptologist wants it to be. He is still very lethargic as he adjusts to the increases but it is most definitely helping his seizures as well as his sleep. He is only having about 2 seizures a day and they are very slight. I am curious to see if the full dose will completely eliminate those.

We are back into medical land this week but thoroughly enjoyed the nice break the holidays brought us. Tomorrow we will see the physical therapist for both boys and then head down to Chattanooga to see Levi’s pulmonologist. Malachi has to be back at Vanderbilt on Wednesday so we have decided that all four of us will make the drive this time. We are planning to go up the night before so we can take Malachi to a restaurant called “Aquarium”. It is a restaurant that is completely surrounded by giant fish tanks and has very low light for Malachi. We usually take him to the Rainforest Cafe but we don’t think Levi can handle that one at this age haha.

I had the opportunity to do a devotion with each of the age groups represented at the lock in and thought I might share those thoughts with you all too!

There is a story that many of you probably remember from Sunday School about Jesus washing the disciples feet. It is found in John 13 and is a beautiful reminder that Christ did not come to be served but rather came to serve. But there is more meat to the story than just that wonderful lesson.

3 “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 

This scene takes place the night before Jesus was crucified and they were at the Last Supper. The disciples didn’t know that this would be the last night they would spend with Jesus in his pre-resurrected body. I can just feel the awkward tension in the room as they witnessed this man, the promised Messiah, bend down and wash their feet. What a humbling moment that must have been. 

Then the silence is broken by Peter. The conversation that Jesus has with Peter is such a rich one and took me reading the verses several times before I truly felt I had grasped its meaning. 

“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

When Peter hears Jesus say this his reply seems dramatic as he tells Jesus to wash all of him, desperately wanting to be connected to Jesus! But it is Jesus’ reply that really made my mind go into overtime:

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.” 

Process that sentence for a minute. What does it mean?

Who are “those who have had a bath”? That represents people who have a personal relationship with God. When you ask Christ into your heart you are washed by the blood of the lamb and are made white as snow. In Isaiah we read: 

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”

Salvation washes us, but because of our sinful nature we continue to get dirt on our feet. We trudge through things we shouldn’t, each step coating us with things that are not of God. 

That night Jesus was trying to teach His disciples that even though they have been washed they must make a concerted effort to remember to wash their feet- not just once but over and over and over again. We continually need to recognize the dirt that we pick up on our walk through life and spend time with Christ, allowing him to wash it from us. We need to acknowledge our sin and the marks it is leaving on us and repent, asking him to remove those struggles from us. 

So many times I hear comments that cite the phrase “those ‘perfect’ Christians”, when in reality we are just as flawed as the ones that don’t know Christ. We all have dirty feet. But what separates us is the ability to recognize the filth in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit and the desire to be made clean, knowing that the dirt is hindering and distracting us from our relationship with God. 

When was the last time you asked Christ to wash your feet? When was the last time you went to Him, acknowledging your need and desire to be washed and made white as snow yet again? 

If you get time and need a great devotional I want to encourage you to read John 13! It is getting late and my brain is getting fuzzy but there are more thought provoking things in that chapter.

Please pray for traveling mercies for our family this week as we head to Nashville. Please also pray for our transition as a family as Jake heads back to work. It is always such a nice break to have him home with us all day every day and going back to solo days with the boys is always a challenge for me. 

2018 was a year of challenges for our little family, but it was also rich with blessings from God. We are praying that 2019 is a year of miracles and healings for both of our boys.

Much love,


2 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. So glad you’re all healthy and Christmas was a hit with both the boys. That devotion made a lot of sense and I think God washes our feet sometimes before we realize what’s happening. Happened to me recently, and I’ll explain sometime in person. Always praying for you all. Much love.


  2. Thanking God for the gift of no hospital stays for Christmas 2018!! A true blessing I’m sure to be able to be home, in your pjs and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Praying that 2019 is full of good health and healing. Thank you so much for sharing each week; I am blessed every week by not only your updates but also by the words and thoughts God shares with you. Sending you much love, Steph ❤


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