Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dangeous Emotions v/s Contentment

The long holiday weekend taught me something about myself - quiet time to myself is a dangerous thing. It gives me time to think and that leads to tears, not the quiet, healing kind (those haven't existed in my life for the better part of a year now), but the exhausting, soul-wrenching, body-heaving, hysterical kind.

I counted the weekend pretty much a success because I only had three emotional melt-downs, one of them semi-deserved, over two days. I managed to make it through the whole day Monday without melting down! I probably only bears humor to someone with a living child, after loss, but our 6-year-old said something during of of my tear-fests that really made me giggle when I was telling my husband later. I will hopefully post more about that on my InfertilityMom blog in the next fews days.

It is week 3 of the computer-enhanced classical music I am listening to for 20 weeks, to retrain my brain. The Listening Program (part of my speech therapy) is sometimes challenging to fit into my day, but overall it seem to be enjoyable and I hope also productive in the end. My ear doctor is also pleased with the program, as I recover from surgery.

I have graduated from apple sauce, through yogurt, and am now drinking pudding through a fat, short straw.  I think I will go to a longer milkshake (fat) straw soon, then down to a standard one, and ultimately hope to strengthen my facial muscles enough to sip pudding through a coffee stirrer. I have no idea how long that will take. I just know that my speech therapist and I booked dates through the end of 2012 today, tentatively looked at dates through next June, and talked about ongoing needs (and probable therapy) beyond that.

When I woke up in the hospital last fall, it is good that I had no idea what lay ahead. When my husband challenged me to "fight" during my third stroke, I wouldn't have fought if I knew all that really lay ahead.  I naively thought then that the hospital season was bound to be the hardest part. Little did I know...

My kids are jealous that I "get" to drink pudding every day and also use a silly straw to drink everything else (also facial strengthen exercise as part of speech therapy). Our daughter also feels gypped that I get to go "swimming" (water therapy) tomorrow morning. If only it were half as fun as they seem to sometimes think it is. Our youngest had to be banned (again) from any of my medical equipment today, because some items make great toys in his mind. I wish I could face this all with the same child-like wonder. Of course, for them, without the same limitations I'm faced with, it is fun.

Before I forget, I wanted to let my fiends with any kind of chronic health issue (cancer, heart, immunity illnesses, etc.) know about a free upcoming resource! Next week is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (NCIIAW). Rest Ministries is sponsoring the event and hosting a bunch of free online web seminars on a variety of topics all week long. If you can't tune in live, I believe the sessions are typically recorded and either available to order (for small cost) or eventually archived and again made available online.  If you, or anyone you know, is fighting a hidden health monster, you won't want to miss this! This is the 12th year of the event and it is always a blessing.

I was reading a poem by famed hymn-writer Fanny Crosby today. She was only 8 years old when she penned these words. Rather than my regular Scripture, I leave you with this.Two lines were very convicting to me to make a concious change of attitude, to be resolved to contentment:
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be!


  1. Oh Jenny, I am praying for you. It is a hard thing to go into that place of, "soul-wrenching, body-heaving" tears. Although it does not at all feel healing, it is a time when God can reach into the deepest and ugliest parts of us to heal and clean out those things we have pushed down so deep. It is a process that truly can bring us to that place where we feel, "I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be."

  2. Jenni - you.are.amazing!! I can't even imagine how hard your days are, but God will keep giving you the strength to get through one more struggle and one more. Know that you have many people praying for you and that you are an inspiration to many. What a blessing that you are here and making progress (no matter how small it may seem to you)! May God give you courage to continue the long hard battle. Hugs!