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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2 Years, 9 Months Give Away

During those first few months (2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, etc). I would hear of people 2 or 3 years post-stroke and just couldn't fathom surviving to that point, seeing warriors this far into the battle and having absolutely no comprehension that they could even really relate to how bad off I was for surely they had never been in my shoes, just look at them now!

And yet, her I sit, yesterday marking just another 3 months until my 3rd re-birthday. I can breath, I can eat most anything I want now. I rarely threaten to drown in my own saliva now, I can sort of sing again (about 70% accuracy of hitting the notes I'm striving for, especially if notes are in the flow of a tune and not stand-alone, or their is accompaniment music and/or other singers to rely on guiding me through a tune), I can walk pretty well with my cane, my face isn't too impacted, I have basic, large motor use of my left arm now, I can hear when there is (not what, but that) something else going on in a room with my left ear, if my right is covered (like listening into a telephone). Someone still not able to sit up on their own, still on a feeding tube or breathing tube, blurry vision and eye paralyzed into severe double vision or lack of sight all together, would never guess, probably not even be able to relate, to hearing that this is where I have come from!
I'm SLOW but I am reading on adult level again. I just finished an amazing (317 page, 68 chapter) novel by Robin Parrish (based on the Daniel Lusko film that released earlier this month). I had promised that I would tell you about this book by the 17th, but since I just finished, I couldn't really tell you my opinion before now! So what is that personal opinion? Well, the book isn't a genre I would normally read, being a murder mystery-type thriller, but I must say that it was very well written, a true page turner, I deeply connected with some characters and couldn't wait to read more each night to find out what happened next! One section even made me cry hard enough I couldn't see the book through my tears for a few minutes. (Long-time readers of this blog know that crying, without my husband around, is usually an impossibility, so that speaks highly of the quality of this story!)

I liked it so much that my 11-year-old was checking in with me daily to find out what was happening in the unfolding story and I'm now turning the book over to my teenager. I hope I'm doing this correctly (first review for this company and I know I'm a week past review deadline), but Leave a comment on this post by July, 28, along with an email address where I can contact you for mailing address (and if you aren't already following my through Friend Connect over in my right side bar, I would really appreciate that too), and I will pass one name along to contest sponsors* asking them to send you your own free copy of Persecuted!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
The premise of the book is, "The Question Is Not IF Attempts Will Be Made to Limit Religious Freedoms, But When". The story line, in brief, is that the most popular evangelist of his day, John Luther, simply wants to share the Gospel and enjoy a quiet life with his family. He never asked to be at the center of a political controversy, but an ill wind has been blowing through the halls of Congress, and supporters of a new religious-equality bill see Luther's endorsement as critical. But when Luther refuses to lend his support, he unknowingly sets in motion an explosive plan bent on destroying his reputation and undermining everything for which he stands. His once-normal life is turned upside down as he becomes a fugitive left with only one dangerous option--putting everything he holds most dear at risk while he fights to expose the truth. It is a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that could threaten the very fabric of our nation's freedoms.

Three of the four pieces of Joshua's helmet that saved his life when he was riding his bike and got hit by a car.
Speaking of sharing this book with our son, he's the update I posted to Facebook about him on Thursday: "For those asking, Joshua is doing SO well. I just can't believe this kid was hit by a car less than a week ago! Scrapes and swelling are all healing well. Only two areas still terribly bother him, elbow and hand. Concussion symptoms quickly resolving. Even whiplash is improving. Amazed at God's grace in all this!"

Another view of shattered helmet that, thankfully, was not his head!
Sharing news of our kids, Congratulations to our daughter, for placing as a semi-finalist in TWO different categories in the Take 2 Performers Studio talent search. Please come out and support her by joining us tomorrow (Thursday, 24th) night at 7PM at the The Freight House for a live audition performance of all these talented young semi-finalist as they strive to move on to the next round of each category. and then, yesterday, our daughter has advanced into the finals in the talent search contest last night, again in both disciplines (acting and singing)! She was so adorable last night and just SPARKLES on stage.  Was amazing to she her shine like that.

And this last week (the day Persecuted broke through and got my tears started), I wrote, I can usually be pretty matter-of-fact about what happened to me at my last chiropractic adjustment. Today, I've been reading other chiropractic stroke survivor stories. I'm having vivid flashbacks, am sick to my stomach and fighting tears (and crying is nearly impossible for me now, due to stroke damage, so we are talking serious emotions today to be even threatening tears. My own counselor has yet to ever see me cry!). Ugg. I so want to help bring about change. This is just so emotionally intense! If you can, with a little less emotional attachment, help out, please join us at LEAGUE FOR CHIROPRACTIC NATIONAL SAFETY~ LCNS and simply write a letter or two expressing concern (we outline them for you and even offer links to contact addresses) to our government, for the people, by the people...

Earlier this week, my sweet friend, Shelly, invited me to "blog hop" with her, from over on her beautiful blog Renewed Daily. Shelly is my (in)Courage group co-conspiratorleader and a dear friend in every way. We first connected through this very blog, have yet to ever meet in person, but are truly sisters of the heart with Christ of foremost commonality. The blog hop asks 4 questions about writing and then we each introduce 3 writers we enjoy:

1) What am I writing or working on?
My current project and their descriptions are all written out at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2013/07/books-blog-social-media.html :)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think because I not only address those who are struggling themselves, but also provide references and resources for those who love them.

3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I looked for resources and couldn't find what I needed, so I didn't want others to be stranded in the same areas.

4) How does my writing process look?
I keep both paper files and computer files of ideas and partially written topic articles and book ideas. I add to them as ideas hit. If I sit down with the intentional goal of writing, I always try to start with the prayer, "Lord, please help me to wisely handle the Word of Truth!"

And now I want to introduce you to three (OK, and a couple more) friends.

Kendra - Queen of Brussel Sprouts - my long time, pre-stroke friend, now a strokie buddy too, and lots of great and easy cooking tips.

Jeanette  - Limitless - Leader of the one and only real-life writing group I ever participated in, and fantastic author. 

Tina - Girl Meets Globe - Precious HP sister I've actually been blessed to meet in person!

Holley Gerth - Coffee for Your Heart - Another internet-only friend that I feel so blessed to know and cannot believe we have never actually met in person!

Thelma - Life As Two - HP, like just about all my dear "live-in-my-computer" friends. I love her heart and resources for couple creating a fulfilling life when God closes the door on parenthood!

Here's today's three reasons for thanks challenge I've been doing each day with my (in)Courage group this summer: 1 We finally got nice family pictures taken, four years in the making! 2 We have a low-key, relaxing family day without a ton of schedule demands today. 3 We have another week and a half of kids home for the summer before school starts back up.

About on family pictures, we successfully got them finally taken last night.  Four years since our last family pictures. One of the very last things I had done before the strokes was to but shirts for the guys and a Christmas dress for Ruth for our annual picture tradition. I remember talking about family photos in my hospital bed. Finally this part of our normal family life has been restored. We won't get our pictures back until several days into August, but if you would like a sneak peace, the preview album is posted here

Getting ready yesterday, I successfully used an iron on our clothing, another first since the strokes!


  1. That book sounds intriguing! Praise God for protecting Joshua!! Huge congratulations to Ruth for doing so well in the talent competitions....and your family pictures are beautiful! majtant@msn.com

  2. An amazing story from an amazing woman! I look for ward to reading the book!

  3. Ooh, I'm always up for a new book! Sounds like one that could be put in our church library when I'm through reading it!

  4. Crystal W. has contacted me directly to enter as her reply would not go through in comments here.

  5. Your family pictures are beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful gift!

    I rejoice with you at His protection over Joshua and am so thankful at how He's keeping your family in His care.

    Much love,

    Gina Weeks


  6. (((Hugs))) Glad you enjoyed the book.. It sounds very interesting.

  7. Oh, Jenni, you are so beautiful!

  8. #5 was randomly selected, so the winner is Crystal!