Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas 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 (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

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 equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

one word
I've been doing some thinking and praying on my focus word for 2014. I started with the "one word" idea before I even knew it was trendy, mostly just noticing patterns of themes God seemed to be teaching me each year, reflected in my blogging. A few years ago, I stumbled across a bunch of articles about intentionally choosing new focus words each year, and became more purposeful in themed, year-long word pursuits. My past words are listed on the left sidebar at my InfertilityMom blog, under "Jenni Chats About...Theme Words God works in my life:" (perfect, peace, joy, hope, waiting), but my 2013 word, restore, was just recapped at on Christmas Eve at Stroke of Grace.

I like what Ann Voskamp wrote on Facebook yesterday, "Hey Soul. I know -- it's Monday. Right on the cusp of a brand new year. Can be... intimidating. There will be resolutions &plans &words for the year. Needed one...s, good ones, life-changing ones. And just maybe... the Cliff Notes version of everything boils down to one plan, one word, one commitment, just to keep whispering this over & over again: Jesus. Time with Him, keeping company with Him, walking with Him, resting in Him, living in Him, growing in Him, changing in Him, becoming like Him. It's okay... deep breath. You don't have to get overwhelmed: you only have to hold on to one thing: JESUS. And the grace of it is? *He's already holding on to you.* New Year, New You: Just Jesus.... "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 ‪#‎PreachingGospeltoMyself" - great "how to" if you like this idea and are wondering how to get started, very simply

Yes, Jesus need to ultimately needs to be all of our "one word" this year. But in thinking of how He would like to direct my life this year, I've focused down onto the seemingly odd word choice of "context" for next year. Why? Several reasons, actually.

First, and foremost, it has always been my prayer to be "rightly dividing the Word of Truth," especially when I write. My dad teaches "context, context, context!" when reviewing any given verse/passage of Scripture. It has always been my goal to explore God's Word in light of the historical, cultural, linguistic and full contextual intent and experience of each human author in each specific time and place in which they have recorded God's message. And yet, two different trusted friends have called me on use of various verses apart from intended context within just a few recent weeks! I am guessing this is another new aspect of stroke brain. But whatever the reason, now that I am aware, I can't ignore the issue, especially since I'm striving to write books! This is a wake up call for me to be terribly careful. I guess I should start with the context behind all these verses:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. - Genesis 1:14-15



  1. Love your word for the coming year! Mine is "perspective", and I think it's closely tied to what you were saying. It's so difficult to recognize that life needs to be viewed in the context of brain injury now, and it's hard not to feel diminished and frustrated because that is not always something I recognize. And then when I do realize it, it's kinda takes me back a little each time. Will be working on that this year, right along with you. May our "re-framings" be God-led. Happy New Year, Sweet Friend! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  2. My word: walk

    My phrase: Life's to a little!

    1. So many meanings, my friend. The obvious, surface meaning and so very many deeper ramifications as well. (hug)