Thursday, August 21, 2014

T Minus 19 Days until the Invictus Games!!!

How is it even possible that we are less than 20 days away from the Invictus Games?!? We still have a ton of Jeremiah for the Gold T-Shirts at the new discounted donation of $10 so make sure to visit this page to find out how you can order yours!!!

Now onto what you really want to hear about...Here is an update from Jeremiah!

The last training camp before Invictus and the Warrior Games was in Colorado Springs. It was beautiful, as always, and I was sad to leave. This trip was great for multiple reasons. One was being able to see the whole team together again. It is always fun and there are many laughs along the way.

During this trip we got to see what the altitude would feel like and require of us while hand cycling. I was told during the camp that I would not be swimming during the Warrior Games because of the rating I was given by the Olympic Training Committee (OTC). The lead coaches did not like this news because I would be swimming against able bodied people with leg kick ability. They decided to do this because they wanted to set me up for success and not failure. So I will just be swimming at the Invictus Games because we do not yet know how we will be rated. With that decided and out of the way I still had to swim for two days at this camp and that was fun. 

I hand cycled two days of the camp. On day one I rode 12.59 miles and day two I rode 17.89 miles at the Air Force Academy. There were such beautiful views and the track was on a mountain. It was fun and fast going down but low and slow coming up. 

We went to Fort Carson for two days and shot air rifle. On the last day we had a match and I tied for first in the match and came in second during the noise finals. It was a good group to shoot with! 

For three days I shot archery with the new competition bow I was given. It was frustrating trying to get used to a new bow and a new way of shooting. On the brighter side, Ashley and I had a camera crew following us all week long videoing and taking pictures. They even recorded my breathing while shooting air rifle and archery. They got some cool underwater pictures while I was swimming too. At the end of the week both Ashley and I were interviewed about what life has been like for us since 2009, and how these adaptive sports have aided in my recovery. 

During the week, Ashley, along with all of the other NMA's (non medical attendants) were taken on a horse back ride through the the mountains of Colorado Springs. 

There were other perks to this trip, as well. On the flight out Ashley got to experience what first class was like. We also found out that the jounalists that followed us all week had plans to come to Georgia to follow Ashley in her normal, everyday ventures of being a disabled veterans wife, as well as a mother. Needless to say she was not sure about doing this at first but after talking about it and seeing how many more people we may be able to reach for Christ, she said yes. 

We had one really excited 5 year-old when we got home and he was excited to see what we got for him while we were gone.

Thank you so much for all your support! I can't wait to represent everyone at the Invictus and Warrior Games!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

T-Shirts On SALE!!!

Alright everyone!!! We have a TON of t-shirts left after that second order we made...well maybe not exactly 2,000 but probably around 200 and with only a month left before the Invictus Games the t-shirts are going ON SALE!

All adult size t-shirts are now $10 and children sizes are $5. BUT for every adult size you buy you will get a free child size, while sizes last.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to find out how to order yours.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blessings and Opportunities

I have been remiss! So much has happened in the last month so grab a snack, settle in and read about it all from Jeremiah himself!

Don't forget about Jeremiah for the Gold T-Shirt Day next Sunday, July 27th in honor of Jeremiah's 29th birthday! If you don't have yours yet you can get it here

The Lord has given me many blessings and opportunities these past few weeks to bring Him Glory. On July 8th I had a chance to speak to the Columbus Exchange Club at the Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Georgia. There, I was able to tell my story, as well as tell the group what I believe the Lord is doing in and through my life. 

July 9th I was on the Dee Armstrong show where I was interviewed on live TV by Dee herself to share my story. After we finished the segment, all the staff gathered and told me how I have such an inspirational story and outlook on life. I was truly humbled and was then free to tell them that none of this would be possible if it was not for Jesus Christ and what He is doing in my life. (Link to the videos of the interview will be at the end of this post. The volume cuts out of the first video in the middle. You can finish watching the interview with the second.)

On July 11th Ashley, Gabe, and I drove to Wetumpka, Alabama to get a lift installed on my truck to make it easier to get my wheel chair down. We were also able to get my electric wheelchair which Gabe was impressed with. He certainly approves of the chair. We will have to go back soon to get my seat, the proper arm, as well as hand controls installed. 

So for now it's back to training. We will be leaving in August to head to Colorado for our last training event at the Air Force Academy before we leave for London! To all, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. 

I hope this update finds you all doing well... The life and motto of the Means Family is not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward...With God on our side anything is possible.


Part One

Part Two

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Update from Jeremiah on T-shirt Day!

It is exactly 3 months until the Invictus Games (sorry if that stresses you out, Jeremiah)! Yay for our first T-shirt Day!

In other is an update from Jeremiah! 

The last few weeks have come and gone so fast! You've already seen pictures of the Valor Games and then I went on to the Blaze Military Sports Camp in Warm Springs, Georgia. 

Both events were great. Both events gave me the opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ with other wounded warriors. All I can say is, hopefully some seeds were planted. 

Blaze introduced me to an Olympic archery coach who said, "Means, I want to see you with a competition bow in your hands. Put that hunting bow down and you will go places."

Well back to normal at home. 

Gabe is growing into a fine young boy. All he wants to do is go for a ride. A few days ago he asked, "Dad, you wants to get on your hand cycle and ride around the neighborhood? I will help get you and it out of the garage!" 

And he did just that. He turned my cycle around and backed it out of the garage just like he has seen his mother do and then he said, "Okay Dad, I will help you get down on it." I love that little man. I sat down and he went straight for my legs to pick them up and put them into the leg stirrups. Again, just like he has seen his mommy help me. 

We went for the ride and he said, "Dad, keep an ear out for me!" Watching him learn to ride and venture to trying bigger and better things with his bike is a joy. All the training and events that have been going on has really taken its toll on the time I have been able to spend with just me and Gabe. I truly love how he stepped out and made it happen all on his own. That's my son, and in him I am well pleased. 

Last week was the World Cup and I was able to meet Bob Foth, the Paralympic shooting coach. It was cool to meet him but I had no range time last week to practice so it was great to be able to go and shoot yesterday.

After my time on the range I went and swam a little. When I got home my lovely wife says, "Don't you think you need to cycle tonight?"


So we went for a 12 mile ride down Rails to Trails. My times were 6 miles in 23:15, 9 miles in 40:45, and 12 miles in 54:23. Not that bad if you ask me! I was pleased, not to mention all of the roads you have to stop at along the way. 

God is good and He continues to reveal Himself to us each and every day. I had a good talk with a few folks at the archery range on Sunday. They said I was an encouragement just being there so even in the little things God gets the glory. 

This weekend my dad and I worked on a box to be able to put my hand cycle in on some of the up and coming events that will require me to fly. The weight limit for the box was 100 pounds. Dad and I did everything we could to keep the box within that requirement. Yesterday we took the complete box to Dad's work to have it weighed on the scale there...and it was 112 pounds. We were over! 

We went to the airport to see what they had to say about it. Well, they said we needed to lose the extra 12 pounds and then we would be good. They did give us a number to call to see if they would be able to make an exception just this once since Ashley will be leaving for New York soon, to compete in the Army Trials at West Point. We found out today that like the Air Force Trials this will be kind of a big deal. They are taking us into New York City for the Army's 239th Birthday and we will have the opportunity to visit Ground Zero. Words can't express the excitement my wife has and I am looking forward to it as well. That is all for now!

Thanks for everything,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Willa Says...

Willa says, "Don't forget to wear your Jeremiah for the Gold 
t-shirts tomorrow!!! And share, share, share!"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Exactly Where I Was

I remember exactly where I was when Jeremiah called to tell me he had been invited to compete in the Warrior Games and the Invictus Games. I was standing in my kitchen looking at a sink full of dirty dishes that should have been washed the day before but when I heard the word London they no longer existed.

It was a short conversation that mainly involved a lot of excited screaming on my end and my brother's even toned, matter of fact, sharing of the facts. Two important competitions in less than a month of each other.

For several days all I could think about was could I get there...was there enough time to save enough money? I vacillated between the thoughts, "I HAVE to go" and "It's ridiculous to think I could go". Besides, I had another trip partially paid for already that was around the same time and I couldn't get enough time off work to go to both. probably just took me a day and a half but eventually, I settled on I HAVE to go. So I cancelled the other trip and my brain started kicking into gear. At every turn and idea I knew the Lord was fueling my creativity.

Fundraisers, t-shirts, this blog. I wanted to help my brother tell his story; our family's story.

In all honesty the fundraiser part of it started out so I could go to London. Is that wrong? Sure, Jeremiah would be competing in Colorado Springs as well but I wanted to go to LONDON!

Turns out I didn't have to worry about how I was going to get over the pond because Jeremiah and Ashley had an extra, paid in full, ticket, which they offered me and I gleefully accepted! All of a sudden the pressure was off but I had already set this fundraising thing in motion so, apart from helping get some family to Colorado, what were we raising money for again?

Then Ashley filled me in on the fact that not all of Jeremiah's training and travel expenses would be covered.

So what started out as an admittedly, partially selfish endeavor has turned into us being able to write them a $300 check for a travel case for his archery gear. And I tell you what, last night when I told Ashley we would have a check for them today, a joy seeped into my chest that I almost didn't recognize.

So, I guess I just wanted to say thank you. You guys are the ones who made that possible.

There is a lot being said lately about Jeremiah and rightly so but this really is a celebration of Ashley as well. She would be the first one to say that the last 4 1/2 years have not been easy, but in the face of all the loss and all the tragedy she has loved my brother well. She stayed when a lesser woman would have left.

She won't be competing in these games. There won't be the potential for her to win a gold medal in London or Colorado Springs this September but as far as I am concerned her treasures are stacking up in Heaven.

So, Ashley, I guess I just wanted to publicly say thank you. Thank you for staying and loving my baby brother well.

I remember exactly where I was when I found out Jeremiah had his first MRI 4 1/2 years ago. I was on the traction table at my chiropractor's office in Columbus, Georgia checking Facebook.

I remember exactly where I was when Ashley called to tell me they were taking Jeremiah to the hospital. I was in my car driving to my Growth Group.

I remember exactly where I was a lot during that first year of Jeremiah's illness, so remembering exactly where I was during all the exciting times of this season is just another blessing of the Lord. Restoring sorrow with joy, tears with laughter, regrets with excitement.

That is what He's who He is.

My favorite thing about this season so far are all of the smiles I am seeing on my brother's face. Even in pictures he looks like a man with purpose.

God is a God of restoration, friends.

I think I had forgotten that in the last several years of my life. Not like forgotten like I didn't know it intellectually any more, but more like my heart had forgotten.

Let Jeremiah's story, our family's story, remind you of the things in your life that need restoring that maybe you have stopped believing God for. I know I have. It can be painful to look back on forgotten dreams and a little scary to begin to hope again.

And then I decided to spend some time looking up verses with the word hope in them. There are a lot of good ones but I landed in the book of Lamentations. Seriously, the whole third chapter resonates. I can't speak for Jeremiah and the rest of our family but it sure resonates with me.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Help Us Have the Mother of All Garage Sales!!!

Since we don't have enough to do before the games...HA!...we have decided to have an EPIC yard sale in Columbus, GA in an effort to help us raise a good portion of our need.

That is where you come in! If you are in the Columbus, GA or Franklin, TN area and have some things you would like to donate for the sale, please e-mail Jeremiah's sister, Kathryn at and we will coordinate a time and place for delivery or pick up.

The yard sale will be sometime in July so stay tuned for more details! We would love to see you and help you turn someone else's junk into your treasure!

Now, go clean out those closets!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Season of Restoration

These are exciting days for Jeremiah's family...busy days full of phone calls and making travel arrangements, filling out paperwork and training. Busy, but exciting days!

One of the things I can't get out of my mind is this is what it looks like when God restores the years that the locusts have stolen. This is what beauty from ashes looks like. 

Because of that, this season of restoration and purpose has me thinking about that scary season 4 1/2 years ago. So I have been going through some old journal entries from that time. I instinctively knew that God would not waste Jeremiah's illness...but seriously, who could have guessed at what the Lord had planned?
November 26, 2009
I wish I could pretend it is just another day; just a regular day, but it isn’t. Today marks the 17th day my sweet, strong brother has been in the hospital. Today he had a set back and we aren’t entirely sure what caused it.

Today is Thanksgiving Day.

As my family, minus my brother and nephew, sat around our makeshift Thanksgiving lunch there were tears, worries, and an unspoken, “Why us? Why now?”

Plans of who would leave tomorrow and who would stay were made. No one wants to stay and at the same time no one wants to leave…how can a family be so conflicted? Right now I’m watching my daddy eat pecan pie from the pie plate as he looks out the window overlooking the parking lot. I can guess what he is thinking and while his stance would communicate nonchalance and peace, his thoughts are far from either.

This morning I was reading in Hebrews 5 and verse eight hasn’t left me.

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered”

At night, as I have a hard time getting to sleep, the one truth that helps me get there is the truth that my brother is God’s son. A son who God loves immeasurably. As we weep, He weeps with us and as we walk into the darkness of the unknown He is the Light who guides us.

Although he was a son…

Jesus is God’s Son.

…he learned obedience from what he suffered.

If God the Father did not withhold suffering from Jesus then why should we expect He would withhold suffering from us? And if Jesus, who was with God the Father before the foundation of the earth was laid, learned obedience from His suffering, then surely there is something for us to learn in our suffering.

As I was sharing this with my brother this morning I saw a spark in his eyes. Knowing instantly that he was in there and he was following me I forged ahead, trying desperately to commuincate the love of the Father to a tired and broken son.

Out of the corner of his eye came a tear. Out of both of my eyes came several.

He moved his mouth as if to say something but it causes him supreme effort to talk today so I stopped him. I told him, and myself, that there would be plenty of time to talk about all the things he wanted to say, all the things he was thinking during these days. He blinked his agreement. Later as I was leaving his room for a bit I blew him a kiss only for him to blow one back at me.

Oh, Lord, how I love that man!

I was reminded of the old hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” today and I have been humming it off and on ever since.

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not (Even when our circumstances scream that You have); As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be (You are the God who heals, who restores what was lost and stolen, now and always).

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness, to Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love (We join in with the seasons and the celestial beings and all the earth to declare the goodness of the Lord).

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide (When forgiveness of sins would have been enough You are so good You didn’t stop there. You gave us Your Holy Spirit); Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.” 

So this Thanksgiving I look not to the circumstances surrounding me but the faithfulness of my God. I look not to the man in the hospital bed but the Father who loves His son even more than this daughter does. I look not to the worry and fear that beckons me to travel a bridge I am not graced to travel but the Light that beckons me to stay on the bridge of healing we have been graced to travel.

December 13, 2009
...God is a God of process.

...If I’m being completely honest I would tell you that I really wish God was using another process to teach me what He wants to at this point of my life. A process that didn’t include my brother hooked up to machines that are cleaning his blood out of his own antibodies that just one day decided to attack his brain. A process that didn’t include my family being separated from one another this holiday season. A process that didn’t include wringing me out in all ways possible where I am left to fight the enemy of my soul from stealing anything else that the Lord has deposited in me during this season.

But He is God and I am not.

I wouldn’t have chosen His process of bringing Salvation to the world either and then where would we be…

So what will be the end of this process for us?

I have no idea, but this is what I am believing for…

Jeremiah will be restored to full health...

Untold numbers of people will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus in and through the life and healing of my brother.

A marriage that will be a light and a testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness for my brother and sister-in-law. He will honor and uphold her for her devotion and commitment to her husband!

Knowing what I know now I am left in awe at the strategic ways God has used Jeremiah and Ashley for His Kingdom and they haven't even made it to the games yet! Like the t-shirt says, "We share in his sufferings so that we can share in his glory." 

The main thing we want you to take from this whole "Jeremiah for the Gold" thing is this...God is faithful, He has a plan for your life that is good and for His glory, and anything Jeremiah accomplishes in this season of restoration is the power of the Lord in him.

To God be all the glory!

Monday, May 26, 2014

In Honor of Memorial Day...

....we are hosting our first T-Shirt Giveaway!

In order to enter for a chance to win a free t-shirt...

1. Leave an encouraging comment for Jeremiah and the family on this post.

2. Share a link to this site on your social media sites so your friends can be introduced to Jeremiah and his story.

If you know Jeremiah, he hates being the center of attention, but one good thing about his story is it sings of God’s faithfulness, provision, and healing power. That is why we want you to share his story. Fundraising is a far second!

I'll be announcing the winner of the t-shirt tonight at 8:30pm CST. So GO! You have 12 hours!

Update From Ashley!

Some of you may have already seen through Instagram and Facebook that Jeremiah had the opportunity to participate in the Valor Games Southeast last week. This was not an event we had been planning on attending but rather one we found out about two weeks before it started. Since it was fairly close and it should be completely paid for, we thought it would be good for Jeremiah to have the competition practice. 

Last Sunday we were still debating on whether we wanted to go because we found out earlier in the week we would have to pay for our hotel room, and we did not know if we would be paying for our food as well, since I was going with Jeremiah. 

We decided to go and headed out on Monday to drive up to Durham, North Carolina. Gabe went with us to the event and it was great for him to take part in it. One thing we learned though from having him go with us is that Gabe won't be going with us to the Warrior Games in Colorado. The days were too long and after the first little bit of watching Jeremiah, he lost interest. Any takers for Gabe sitting this fall?? :) 

When we arrived, the hotel staff said that our room had actually been covered! They gave us tickets for breakfast all three mornings and passed out warm cookies. The room being paid for was a big, unexpected blessing! The Valor Games staff was also super helpful and went above and beyond to make the athletes feel special. They also ended up having lunch for all of us each day and the hotel had a delicious dinner for us each night. 

Day one of the Valor Games had the competition at the University of North Carolina in the basketball arena. That arena was HUGE! They had sitting volleyball, boccia ball and air rifle going on all day. Jeremiah competed in air rifle shooting on Tuesday morning. He did a great job and felt like he really improved his score from when he shot at the Air Force trials in April. It was a different competition than the trials because they did not have classifications or categories and because it was in the arena with the rest of the events. For those who don’t know, during air rifle competitions, the room must be quiet with little to no sound. Even the clap is supposed to be a polite, golf type clap and you can only clap for a quick second after each competitor’s score for the round that is called out. But like I said, Jeremiah did a great job even with all the noise and distractions. 

 The second day of competition was in archery, indoor rowing and table tennis. These events took place at Duke University. The part of the campus we saw was beautiful! We also had the opportunity to meet Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head coach for Duke’s basketball team and a chance to check out the Duke Athletics “Hall of Fame”. 

Competition for the indoor rowing and table tennis were held in the basketball arena and archery was right outside. Jeremiah competed in archery in the morning and indoor rowing after lunch. He shot his recurve bow, used the arrows he had fletched in Air Force blue and white and shot rounds at both 10 yards then 25 yards. Jeremiah did great in both rounds of shooting. He finished up in 3rd place at 25 yards shooting against both recurve and compound archers. For the Warrior and Invictus Games, he will only shoot against other recurve archers. After lunch, we headed into the basketball arena for Jeremiah to try out indoor rowing. In indoor rowing, you are racing against other athletes for 500 meters. He also did well in this event. We think Jeremiah’s time was 2:05 but did not see his placement against everyone else. 

The final day's events were held at a beautiful park not far from our hotel. Jeremiah competed in hand cycling against a lot of other athletes. The course was a tough 9.3 mile ride, up and down hills as well as over some man-made speed bump covers. Again, Jeremiah did pretty well, finishing up in 8th with a time of 54.35. After the race was over, a lovely black snake slithered up onto the course right next to me. No thank you! One of the men caught it to get it out of the road but Gabe kept wanting to touch it. Such a boy! Once the excitement from the snake died down and all the other events were done, we had a delicious BBQ lunch and headed home.

It was a super busy few days but I am glad we had the chance to be a part of the Valor Games this year. It was a great time for Jeremiah to train, we met more great people and learned about more resources available to Jeremiah. Another event we learned about is a training camp taking place in Warm Springs, GA this next week. When we heard about it being so close, Jeremiah jumped at the opportunity! Hopefully it will be a good time of making new friends and training. 

I am sorry we did not let anyone know about this event beforehand. I tend to be a bit paranoid to let the world, aka social media, aware that we are away from our home. Yes, we do have someone staying at our home watching all our animals, but I still do not like to say anything about being gone. And as much as we would have loved seeing friends at some point on this trip, these events keep us running the whole time and I don’t know when we could have gotten away. At this particular event, the security was a bit funny and they would not let me or Gabe in the area with the athletes on day one. I made sure to get a name badge on day two so no one would think we were hobos off the street. :) Not every event is like that so if you would like to know more about coming to watch an event or to see if we could meet up, let me know! I will call or email you with more details. We will be in West Point, NY and Colorado Springs, CO before either of the games this fall. 

Thank you so much for all the support! We are excited for all the things to come this summer! 

Ashley & Jeremiah

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days!

Through the next four months we will have several Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days! This will be a fun way to rally the troops to show support for Jeremiah.

The first T-Shirt Day will be Tuesday, June 10th. This will mark three months until the beginning of the Invictus Games. Throughout the day, while wearing your t-shirt, we hope you will post pictures of yourself with a message of encouragement to Jeremiah in the caption to Instagram and Facebook. And remember to use #jeremiahforthegold! June 10th will be here before we know it so GO BUY YOUR T-SHIRTS!

Other Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days:

Sunday, July 27th - In honor of Jeremiah's 29th birthday.

Saturday, August 16th

Wednesday, September 10th - In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Invictus Games.

Sunday, September 28th - In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Warrior Games.

Thank you for taking this journey with us!

                                                                                    Have a beautiful and intentional Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

T-shirts, Instagram, Training, Oh MY!

It's been a busy week!

The t-shirts have been ordered, we've raised over $500, and we are making lots of fun plans. But that is just the extra stuff! The most important thing is how is Jeremiah doing in training?!?

 Jeremiah reports that training is going well. He completed 14 miles on the hand cycle in 1 hour 6 minutes and 14 seconds. He has a time trial race coming up that will be 9 miles and he "wanted to see how hard he could push it."

He has been training in air rifle at a first class facility in Ft. Benning, GA with a former Olympian. His trainer has high hopes for him and he will be shooting in the Nationals Competition in June to see if he qualifies for the USA Para-Olympic Team!

Jeremiah is also having a lot of archery practice with the arrows he made himself!
Ashley says keeping up with everything Jeremiah needs, in order to get ready for the games, has officially turned into a full-time job; an exciting one, but she stays busy!

One of the most exciting things that has happened this week is the response we have had from complete strangers being touched by Jeremiah's story. Making God's name famous throughout the earth one person at a time.

We've also set up an Instagram account for Jeremiah (@jeremiahforthegold) so all you IGer's can follow his training progress before the games. Ashley has posted several great pictures already so go follow him!

Ok, so let's get down to business...After tallying everything up (gear and equipment for Jeremiah, travel expenses for Jeremiah and Ashley for training leading up to the games, and travel expenses for extended family members to the games) we are looking at $11,000***. I'll be honest, that number scares and excites me. In fact, as soon as I saw it on my calculator I took a deep breath and said out loud, "Okay, Lord...Let's see what you do."

I don't have to tell you that is a TON of t-shirts (if you haven't purchased yours yet click here to find out how), so Ashley and I have been brainstorming with some friends and what we are cooking up is pretty, stinkin' exciting! We'll have details on one of the ideas tomorrow, so stay tuned! Like I said, it's been a busy week, and Gabe thinks so to. For those who don't know us, this is my awesome nephew, Gabe and even though he is a big 5 year-old, today's training with Daddy was exhausting!
From our family to yours, have a beautiful and intentional weekend!

***UPDATE*** Most of you know that in order to take donations electronically via PayPal or GoFundMe these sites charge a fee which is a percentage of the amount raised. For our $11,000 total need this ends up being just shy of $1,000 so we are editing our amount to raise to $12,000. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

There Once Was a Boy

There once was a boy who loved the Lord and prayed to receive Him as his Lord and Savior. He had a sweet spirit and forgave others quickly. He made others laugh with his witty sense of humor.

There once was a boy who grew into a teenager, always looking for an adventure. He was dedicated to those he loved. He had a servant’s heart and he worked hard for everything he got. He loved the outdoors.

There once was a boy who wanted to help sick people get better so he went to school and got a job at a hospital. He was good at what he did and everyone respected the boy.

There once was a boy who grew in his love for the Lord. He mentored other boys younger than him and those boys grew in their love for the Lord as well. He memorized entire books of the Bible at a time and his family was proud of the man he was becoming.

There once was a boy who met a girl and fell in love. He pursued her and won her and on a night in September, on a farm, with a rainbow painted across the sky, he married her.

That first year was full of changes. The boy decided he wanted to follow in his daddy’s footsteps…in his uncles’ footsteps…in his granddaddys’ footsteps, so he joined the Air Force to fight for and defend the country he loves.

The girl was sad to be away from the boy for so long but she was proud of her husband and she supported him in her gentle and quiet way.

There once was a boy who became a father to his own little boy and all was right in the world.

There once was a boy who went to work one weekend and four days later an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. He was miserable with a headache and wasn’t acting like himself. It turns out that when he was on the base he received orders for several vaccines that made his brain sick. The doctors didn’t know how to keep the sickness from spreading so they put the boy who loved adventure into a helicopter and sent him to a hospital three hours away that was one of the best for sickness of the brain.

The boy was sick for a long time. Some of the time he slept and never woke up but the girl rarely left his side. She was torn between being with her husband and being with her son, who was three hours away, and she lived this way for 54 days.  

When the boy finally woke up he couldn’t hear anything and he couldn’t do a lot of the things he used to be able to. The boy fought, he fought, and he fought. He was finally able to walk again, write his name again…he was able to do a lot of things again but he still couldn’t hear.

There once was a man who fought his way back to work. It wasn’t the same kind of work but he was a proud man and he wanted to provide for the woman and their son. But then the man got sick again. The doctors changed his treatment and he got better a lot faster the second time.

The man couldn’t walk the same after that and he still couldn’t hear. It was hard for the man to live in a world where he couldn’t hear so he had surgery.  That surgery changed things for the man. He could communicate with the world now and he started to look happier.

The man got back in the wood working shop with his dad. He started talking about going back to school. He went on vacation with his wife and son. Life was different but it was his life and he was thankful to the Lord that he still had one to live.

There once was a man who came to terms with his illness, who looked forward to getting his wheelchair, and who decided to go back to school to finish up his Bachelor’s degree so he could go to Seminary. You see, the man knew the Lord would use his illness if he let Him…so he did.

Sometimes in government there is a lot of red tape to go through so finally after a long time the man was medically retired from the Air Force and began receiving all the benefits he needed to take care of his family. So the man and the woman got to buy a house with a great back yard for their son; a back yard with a creek that would be great for any little boy who likes adventure.

There once was a man who refused to let his new life in a wheel chair mean that he couldn’t do all of the things that he loved and he was invited to compete in the Air Force Wounded Warrior trial games. He trained hard and he did well. After medaling in several events, with the woman right by his side, he was told he won a spot on the Air Force team for the WarriorGames.

But that is not all…

There once was a man who was invited to go to London to meet a prince and finally fight for his country…in the Invictus Games. The man would be one of 300 competitors from 13 countries who would swim, cycle, run, throw, shoot, and most importantly heal.

There once was a man who knew this was his chance to bring the message of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness to the world stage. He was excited to train harder than ever before so he would be able to fight harder than ever before.

There once was a family who wanted desperately to support the boy who loved the Lord, made them laugh, made them proud, and taught them all how to fight. There once was a family who wanted to be in the stands to cheer the man on to share in the amazing, once in a lifetime chance that the man had been given. This would be a chance for the family to heal too.

There once was a community of Believers who had seen the man and the family through four and a half years of tragedy and loss. Who had given of their time and prayers and money to support them. Now the man’s oldest sister is asking that community to give again, but this time through a season of life, joy, and restoration.
There once was God…who promised to work everything…everything out for the good of His children. Even through all the tragedy of the last 4 ½ years He remained faithful…remains faithful.

There once was God, who made the boy a promise…and the boy believed Him.


Hi, I'm Kathryn, Jeremiah's oldest sister. I'm so glad you stopped by today! If you are unfamiliar with my brother's story or if you need a refresher I hope you will take several minutes to read about it here.

We are now in full fundraising and support mode! If you are interested in pre-ordering a t-shirt in support of Jeremiah you can find out how here.

I hope you will come back often to hear how Jeremiah is doing in training and all he is learning through the process.

Have a beautiful and intentional Saturday!