Friday, May 27, 2011

Faith, part 2

~That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7~

We were at a Missions Conference at Blythewood Baptist Church, in Blythewood, SC, where the accident took place.

On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, in Elgin, SC, Tony & the boys got up & went deer hunting early that morning. They got back to the house at around 8:30 to eat breakfast & then go walking out in the woods again with the pastor before heading to the church for lunch, then later going to shoot some skeets.

As they were heading back to the house, they somehow realized that Seth's gun had a bullet in it. They stopped & had a short lesson on gun safety. Never walk with a loaded gun. Climb the tree, load the gun, shoot the deer. As they turn around to head back to the house, which they weren't that far from thank the Lord, Tony & the pastor heard the gun go off. Seth, after the safety talk, was trying to unload the gun. As he was unloading it, it went off. 


I was in the house at the time & just had got through telling the pastor's wife that "In the morning I will have me a 14 year old young man!" Then BAM! the gun went off. That is a sound that will be with me the rest of my life. Along with that will be the ride in the van to meet the ambulance & hearing my son talking to God, asking him to spare his life because he hadn't lived it to the fullest at serving the Lord. I have to say that that was a heart touching moment. Then to have a friend of the boys in the van sitting in the back praying with Seth as he is trying to deal with the fact that he had accidentally shot his brother, and then he was praying for Ethan that God would spare his life. Then another memory that will live with me forever, is when the 911 caller told the pastor to have someone apply pressure to the wound. Since I was the one closest to Ethan, I put my hand down to apply pressure, only to find, there wasn't anything there.

We got Ethan in the ambulance & Tony with him, & me following behind them in a deputy sheriff truck to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, in Columbia, SC.  I sent Seth back to the house with the pastor to be questioned by the sheriff/police & game warden. That is a lot for a young man to go through right after an event like that, but he did well & all the officers were very understanding with him & what he was going through. Once I got to the hospital, Mark Coffey met me & we went back to where Ethan was, Tony had gone to a consultation room with a chaplain, that is where I saw his leg for the first time. The only way to describe it was it looked like a fish that had been filleted.

Everything after that seems like a whirlwind. Dr. Tribble the cardiovascular surgeon looked at his arteries & found out that Ethan had one good one. Then from there he went to surgery to put on an external fixation device, that is where he lost a lot more blood from bleeders & had to have 6 units of blood. The next time we saw him he is in the sticu (surgical trauma icu). We walked in & he was doped up and on a ventilator. It is very hard to see your child lying there & there is nothing that you can do. I would have done anything to have crawled up there & have taken his place, but that couldn't be done. 

On Wednesday, we had to decide where to take him, Charlotte, NC or to Atlanta. Decision made, home here we come. So, before he leaves he has to get awake to get the tube (ventilator) out. Well, me & Tony couldn't get him awake, so I was sent out to the waiting area to get 2 active people to help wake him up. I send back Mark Coffey & Philip Bassham. Well, they needed a little help, so Tony enlisted the help of about 15 student nurses that were in the trauma icu to help sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ethan! SUCCESS!! So we took the tube out & then around 2 pm or so we were on our way home!! We have to say, even though we didn't like the circumstances of why we were at Palmetto Richland Memorial, I would highly recommend that hospital. They have EXCELLENT staff & we were really sad we had to leave.

Once we got to Atlanta Medical Center at 5:45 pm, we had to wait until about 7 pm when Ethan arrived. We finally got to go back to his room, where his nurse asked us what we were doing here. We were sort of taken a back. We were like, why are we here? Where are we suppose to be? The nurse said, "Why isn't he at the children's hospital?" Then he saw the trauma done to his leg. We were exhausted & getting frustrated because we thought that everything had been transfered & they knew what was going on. So to have to go through the story again, and have paper work to fill out again, seemed like an eternity. But now, we have been very pleased here at AMC. The nurses, doctors, and rest of the staff have been nothing but very pleasant, and taking good care of Ethan.


We made the decision for reconstructive surgery, & that was done on Monday, November 9. We prayed for the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Schlatterer & his plastic surgeon, Dr. Crispin.  That the Lord would guide their hands in this surgery & that everything goes smoothly & see everything clearly. This was going to be a long procedure that would take up to 6-8 hours.  Well, surgery day came and it wasn't as long as they thought.  Which as if any of you know, when a surgeon comes out in 5 hours instead of the 6-8, you think the worst.  Dr. Crispin could see it on our faces that we thought the worst, however, it was good. 
They had to remove about 3-4 inches of bone, not to mention what bone wasn't there because of the accident.  They also didn't have to use the lat muscle from his shoulders, because when they removed the 3-4 inches of bone it shrunk the wound so that they were able to wrap the calf muscle around and then they did a skin graft. What we thought the surgery was going to entail was totally opposite & was for the best!  Thank you Lord for your blessings!  

So after the surgery Ethan was at AMC for about a week, then they moved him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston for some therapy before he went home, 2 days before Thanksgiving!  It was challenging therapy, especially walking the halls, but Ethan was bound and determine to do.  First reason was because he didn't want a shot that was given to him for his blood if he didn't get up and walk much, and second he was ready to get home!

So we got home 2 days before Thanksgiving.  I had truly a lot to be thankful for!  It was a blessing to be home and sitting around the kitchen table with the WHOLE family.  We could have easily have had one less family member.  

The next six months were a little challenging to say the least.  I had to learn how to clean his wound and dress it.  It was a blessing though in December that Ethan was able to make his first out of town trip to Pigeon Forge, TN for the Our Generation Summit that we attend every year.  In January of 2010, he had the ilizarov, or halo as we called it ( put on.  This helped lengthen his leg back out.  He had several other surgeries after that along with therapy.  

Everything seemed to be going well, thought we were out of the woods.  So we took a trip with Tony in May to TN to a youth meeting.  As we were getting out of the van, Ethan slipped and fell.  He kept telling me, "Mom it is broke, it is broke!"  I replied back to him, "No honey it isn't broken because Dr. Devito said that your leg isn't going anywhere."  I was thinking he was talking about the halo part of his leg.  This happened on Friday, May 28th.   He couldn't walk on it at all or hardly even move his leg.  So Saturday he & I stayed at the hotel while the rest of the family went to the meeting. Of course when we got back on that Saturday I couldn't take him to the doctor because they were closed.  Monday was the 31st and Memorial day so the offices were closed again.  I called on Tuesday & explained the situation and the earliest they could see him was on Thursday.  So Camryn & I took Ethan to the doctor.  Tony had a youth camp to preach at so he, Seth & Lauryn were there.  We got to the doctor's office, and Dr. Devito wasn't there.  Of course, isn't that how it always works out?  So they did x-rays and sure enough, he had broken his femur.  Oh did I mention it was on the same leg as the one that got shot?  So, what next?  Another surgery to set the bone and put in pins.  So I called Tony to tell him, and he and Lauryn left and came home. And you want to know what else?  Six weeks in the bed.  No getting up to do ANYTHING!   He had to stay stable, no moving at all.  The only reason for leaving the house was to go to the doctor.  It wasn't an easy task getting him in and out of a car not being able to bend his leg.

So we do the six weeks in the bed.  Go in to have the pins removed and Dr. Devito was going to clean the wound while he was in there.  Surgery was only to take 30 minutes.  Guess what?  It took almost an hour and a half.  I told Tony that something wasn't right, that he should have been out by now.  Dr. Devito came in with a concern look.  As he was cleaning the scabbing area on and around the wound he found infection setting in under one of the scab sites.  Not good at all because this is where the skin grafting was at.  So, once again we thought we were in the clear, only to have to run back two times a week for two weeks to cleanse the wound.  Now everything is taken care of, leg is growing well, but needs another surgery for bone graft because where the bullet hit the bones weren't end to end, but at an angle.  Everything with that surgery went well.  January of 2011 the halo came off praise the Lord!! 

Now it is May 2011 and the Lord has truly blessed our family in and through this situation.  Ethan is up and around and doing well.  Still not up to speed to what he used to be and there are limitations to what he is able to do.

God brings us trials & challenges into our lives to mold us & to make us.  It can make us better or it can make us is all in how we handle it. I go back to a message Tony has preached on Faith out of Hebrews 11, with Moses. He mentions about how Moses' mother made the basket and placed Moses in the basket.  Like he said that doesn't impress him as much as what she did next, and that was to let that basket go.  She had to have faith in the Lord that He would protect Moses and do what was best.  I had to let go of my "basket" with Ethan in it. 
I stood in a room with Tony and Ethan after we meet with Dr. Schlatterer, his orthopedic surgeon, and heard a father speak some of the hardest words for a parent to say to a child, but oh so true of words.  These are the words that were spoken:  "Son, if you keep your leg, God is good, but if you lose your leg God is still good.  And Ethan, if God lets you live He is good, and Ethan if he chooses to take you home, He is still good."  That was not only for Ethan, that was for me as well.  We always say we want healing for whomever is sick, not realizing that the ultimate healing is death and in that the Lord is good.  In that message Tony goes back Exodus 14:11-15, to where Moses & the children of Israel are facing the Red Sea & they turn around & see the Egyptians coming up behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. Some of us would just sit down & say Lord, I have no idea what to do or where to go....I have a sea great & wide in front of me & the Egyptians behind I am just not going to do nothing but sit down. I chose not to sit and let the Egyptians over take me, I had faith in my God that He WOULD get us through this, so I went forward through the Red Sea!

This song spoke true to me.  We find it easy to thank the Lord for all the good and blessings in our lives, but how often do we thank Him for the trials & challenges that is brought our way?

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Faith, part 1

~For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7~ 

 ~Faith see the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.  Corrie Ten Boom~

  ~Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1~

We all think of Peter when he stepped out of the boat during the storm to walk to Jesus and quick to judge him because he took his eyes off of Jesus and started sinking.  How many of us call out to Christ when we are in the middle of the storm but when things get going "smoothly" again we take our eyes off of Him? No matter if we are still in stormy waters or in calm waters, we need to keep our eyes focused on Christ.

Faith isn't something to be studied, it is something to be lived.  Many say, "I have faith in God", but very few do.   Today I open up my life, invite you to sit down, and let me share how God increased my faith. 

Camryn was born December 30, 1999, in Valdosta, GA.  And let me just say, that that pregnancy was TOTALLY different from the other 3.  I know not all pregnancies are the same, but my first 3 were a little similar.  I should have known from the start that she was and continues to be special.  

We had no idea whatsoever that Camryn was sick at all.  I nursed her, just like I did with Ethan & supplemented with a bottle whenever need be.  But the one thing I couldn't get over was how much I was feeding her all the time.  Even when she started eating baby food, she would eat more than the other babies her age.  The other mothers were like, "Wow! She sure does have a good appetite!" She also had a lot of dirty diapers, but I thought, "well, all nursing babies have a lot of dirty diapers." 

I took her to the doctor one day because she had a cough and I wanted to get it taken care of before she got real sick.  Dr. Anderson walked in and said, "That sounds like a CF cough.  Has she ever been tested?"  I was quick to reply, "No."  So he prescribed some antibiotics and we went home.  The cough cleared up in 2 weeks.  

I had to take Ethan to the doctor in March of 2001 for a physical for T-ball, so I thought I would sneak a visit for Camryn in, reason being, she had a cough again.  So once again, Dr. Anderson came in the room and heard her cough and said the same thing he did 4 months ago.  "That sounds like a CF cough, has she ever been tested?"  And once again, my reply was the same, "No."  When I left there I went to the church to tell Tony what had happened.  He told me to get the doctor on the phone.  He proceeded to tell us to let her take the antibiotics for 2 weeks to see if it would clear up & if not then we would go from there.  During this time, my best friend Lisa & I started researching CF.   Tony told me not to get all worked up about it.  I really wasn't "worked up" about it, but as a mother, you just "know" when something isn't right.  I had already decided to go ahead and accept that she had it.  That way, when I was told she did it wouldn't come as a big shock and if I was told she didn't have it then I could breath a big sigh of relief.  Well, needless to say, the cough didn't clear up & the next month, April, we were sent to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL for her to have a sweat test done.  This is a test done to see if they have Cystic Fibrosis.  We went down on the 17th and the test came back positive.  When Tony told me the news, it was like I was already at peace with it.  The Lord gave me a peace that I have never had before.  She is His child, He gave me her to raise for Him, so I knew He would give me the strength to handle whatever was going to be coming with this disease.  We had to go back to Shands on the 19th to confirm the positive to make sure it wasn't a negative positive, if that makes sense.  And it came back positive.  She was 15 months old when we found out she CF.  She was behind in walking and talking and teeth coming in and hair growing, only because her body had been deprived of the vitamins she needed and the nutrition. Once she started taking her enzymes and vitamins though it wasn't too long and she was walking and running and talking!

We had a lot to learn about cystic fibrosis (, or 65 roses ( as it is called by children because cystic fibrosis is hard for them to say.

When she turned 2 years old, we had our first "problem" with her cystic fibrosis.  She had rectal prolapse.  Something that they NEVER told us that was related to people with CF.  With the Lord's help we got through that in about a year with no surgery needed.

The Lord has blessed Camryn so much that she has never had to be hospitalized as some children with CF are, and we are so very grateful for that.  The only out patient surgery that she has ever had was last year she had to have a flexible bronchoscopy to check her lungs for mucus.   Her doctor said that her lungs looked well for a child with CF.  And once again, we are so thankful to the Lord for this.

How long will she have CF?  All her life.  It is a terminal disease & there is no cure for it.

Does she get tired really easy?  Yes she does.  Even though her lungs are not as bad as some children with CF, her lungs are still working double time, and it does exhaust her.

Do you hold her back from a lot of activities?  No.  We want her to be just like any other child.  

How long will she have to continue to take medicine and do her therapy?  The rest of her life.  

Sorry that this blog post is long, well, in a way I am......Just wanted to share about my little girl & how GREAT my God is!

Friday, May 20, 2011


     ~~Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.~~ 

~Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know ye ought to answer every man.  Colossians 4:6~

I was sitting here thinking about our speech.  The Lord gave us two lips that can either edify and encourage one another, or it can tear down and destroy.

~Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and seeteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  James 3:5-6

~Death and life are in the poser of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21

We can easily find words to destroy, but it seems at times we have a hard time finding words to lift up.  We always seem to see the bad in a person and go to town on that, but have a hard time finding the good and lifting that up.  I have to say, I am very guilty of that.  I have to strive daily to find the good and compliment on that, in my husband, children, friends, and yes, even that random person.  We tend to think that we are helping them with that "certain issue," when in reality, we are hurting them.  I would rather someone punch me as hard as they could, than say something hurtful or degrading to me, because words live on, and bruises only last for a while.  Have you ever thought of some hurtful words someone has said to you?  I have.  Now, have you stop to think of the hurtful words that you have said to someone?  I have as well.  Words are something that you can never take back.

We are so quick to make comments.  The words that we say, are they uplifting?  Are you always complaining to your husband or putting him down in areas?  Are you telling your children that they are lazy, good for nothing, stupid, or telling them that they need to be more like their sibling?  What about your friends?  When they come to you about an issue do you give them encouraging words or degrade them as well? 

~The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:23-24

~Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

~A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  Proverbs 25:11

~Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  Psalms 34:13

~For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.  1 Peter 3:10

~Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians 4:29

Not only can we build or tear a person with our tongue, we are quick to spread rumors with it.  Be careful of what you repeat.  If you don't know if it is true or not, then keep your "tulips" zipped!  One way to stop the spread gossip is whoever is spreading it,  you tell them you don't want to hear it or say let's go ask them if this is true, or simply just walk away.  Those are three quick ways of ending the spread of gossip.  If you don't want rumors spread about you, then you better think before you go spreading something about someone else.

~A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Proverbs 11:13

~He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.  Proverbs 13:3

~A fool utterth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.  Proverbs 29:11

~The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.  Proverbs 15:28

Let your conversation, your speech, your words be uplifting, a sweet fragrance, not only to others, but also unto the Lord!


In Luke 12:13-20, a man comes to Jesus for him to tell his brother to share his inheritance with him. Jesus said basically who made him judge or a divider over that man? This is what he told him in v. 15, And he said unto him, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

In v. 16-20, he went on to speak of parable of a rich man that brought forth plentifully fruit. So the man thought to himself I have no where to store all the abundance that I have. Then the man said to himself, I will tear down my barns & build greater ones and store my fruit there, and this will I say to my soul. Soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, & be merry. But you know what it says in v. 20? But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be? which thou has provided?

We need to be careful of putting earthly things before heavenly things if I may say that.

What is fair in your life? What do you feel like you deserve? We deserve NOTHING in this life. What we do deserve is death in an eternal hell. Sometimes we live like we deserved to be saved. When things don't go your way or are fair, we aren't disgruntle with each other, we are disgruntled with God, because he didn't give us what we deserve or think we deserve.

What is fact? Fact is this man wanted part of his brother's inheritance. He wasn't satisfied with what was given to him, he wanted more. We are never satisfied with what the Lord has blessed us with, we always seem to what more & more things. The Bible says that the root of money isn't evil in & of itself, it is the lust of it. Jesus saw looked beyond the root & saw this man's fruit. Covetousness can sneak up on you, so we need to beware. If everything in your life was removed do you still have worth? We build our worth on the things that we have instead of seeing our self worth is having & knowing Christ. Question isn't what do you own, question is who owns you?

What is to be feared? In v. 16 it says that the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully. Question, who gave that to that rich man? The Lord did. We tend to forget Who gave us what we have today. Did we work for it? Yes, however, who gave you the job to have the money to buy the things that you have? The Lord did. People say, "I got to where I am today by pulling up my boot straps." No, they got to where they are by the Lord blessing them. Stop to think, who gave you the ability & wisdom to do things? We feel like our hard work got us where we are. Three things this man forgot: 1.) He forgot blessings came from God. 2.) He forgot he was blessed to be a blessing. If the Lord blesses you with abundance, share with others, with it be monetary or even the gospel, share what you have with others. 3.) He forgot what that laying ahead was more important than what he laid behind. Don't think of what you are going to leave behind here on this earth is more important than ahead. The kingdom of heaven is way more important than any earthly things here.

You have been blessed. You are saved and on your way to heaven. Share that blessing with someone else today, don't store it up in your barn.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So, I guess I will try this as well.........

Well, I have been posting sayings, quotes, and other things on my Facebook page and I had a dear friend of mine say B-L-O-G!!!!  So, I thought I would give it a whirl! =)
I guess I should start off by introducing my self.  My name is Stacey Howeth.  I am the wife of the most WONDERFUL husband in the world!  Sorry ladies, Mr. Wonderful is taken, and he is MINE! ;)  We have been married for 22 years, and have 4 TERRIFIC children.  

I met my husband, Tony, at Dalton Junior College, as it was called back in the day.   We started dating in November of 1987.  Our first date was at Whitfield Baptist Church.  That started our whole life in the ministry from then on.  We got married in November 1988.  He started full time youth pastor in 1991.  We were there until 1997, and then we moved to Valdosta, GA , where he was the pastor of Bemiss Road Baptist Church.  We were there until September of 2003, when he resigned the church and we went on full time deputation as missionaries going to Ecuador.  We moved to Arequipa, Peru in July of 2005, to learn the culture, and Spanish.  We weren't there long, because our daughter Camryn has cystic fibrosis, and started having some breathing problems, so we moved back in December of that same year.  We stayed in missions, as he is the Deputation Director at Macedonia World Baptist Missions.  We have lived in Cumming, GA  for 6 years now.  One thing I can say about my life is that it hasn't been boring, and there isn't one thing I would change about it!  

Now let me introduce my children:

There is Seth. He is our oldest, will be 20 years old this November!  Man, am I getting old!  He is quiet, doesn't talk much.  Loves sports, always has had a love for any type of ball.  He is very smart when it comes to figuring out how to hook up the DVD player or anything electrical.  He is giving, loving & helps out when needed.  He is living with my brother David, and working at Providence Ministries in Dalton, GA along with my parents.

Then there is Lauryn.  She will be 17 years old next week!  I am not ready for that at all!  Thirteen was hard, then sixteen!  She is very helpful, loving, kind, however she does have some sassiness to her like her Mama!  She loves babies, and does a great job at babysitting! we come to Ethan.  He will be 16 years old in November.  I was totally taken aback when I found out I was pregnant with him, Lauryn not even a year old.  He is very smart, witty, loving, tenderhearted, and a little bit of a smarty pants!  Over the last 18 months I have seen him deal with things that a 14/15 year old should never have to deal with & handled it better than any adult would have.  I will share that story later.   

Now we come to Camryn.  She will be 12 years old in December.  She is Mama & Daddy's little girl and she knows it!  She is still at the age where is loves for Mama to come in and tuck her in & kiss her good night.  Will miss those times as she gets older.  She is also very loving, always ready to lend a helping hand whether it is to rake the yard, wash the dog, change a dirty diaper or help cook!  I think she will be the next Paula Deen or the next makeup artist!

One thing I can say for all of my children is that they LOVE going to church & serving in the church.  They all have accepted Christ as their Saviour and that is the best decision that they have ever made!    Really that is the best decision ANYONE can ever make!

I thank the Lord daily for my family.  I am so undeserving of them and their love.