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, May 21, 2016

On Paperwork and Clutter: (Dis)Organization

I get so frustrated with how my brain works (or doesn’t work) some days!

Here’s my small, "easy" mess. It is just the papers that have stacked up in my living room this spring. Among the clutter, a fundraising letter from a nephew from 2 ½ months ago, I found today under the couch, an assortment of 20 some pages for one child’s camp, another 5 forms to fill out for another (already lost one set and had to call for replacements, that were due yesterday, that I’m just getting filled out today, AND they still need to be notarized!), along with yet a third stack of camp paperwork I haven’t even looked at yet.

This just for two kids. There have also been field trip forms (that I can’t even get correctly copied to a calendar, sent my son to school on Thursday, expecting a field trip, and he disappointedly spent the day in year-end testing instead, field trip is NEXT Thursday!) and dental form packets for all five of us (new dentist and new insurance) that need to be filled out before the holiday weekend. I feel like it’s more than I can juggle, yet there’s not a single responsibility here I would willingly give up! I just wish my brain worked better!

And did I mention our oldest will be interning at a major university for the summer? Leaves the very next day after we get home from the long weekend. Thankfully Rick has juggled almost all those arrangements.

I’m just tired. And frustrated. I try not to spend too much time "looking backwards," yet reality can  be so starkly different now, that some days I feel nearly crippled by the need to explain the contrast. 

I saw those past due dates and wanted to cry! Rick pays the bills now, and I am so thankful.

I try so hard to stay on top of things. Paperwork overwhelm and intimidates me. My perception of time is such a mess – something I truly think is just a few days, can actually be weeks, if not months, like how long all these applications have been stacking up with the intent to care for them soon.

Try to write a book with this brain. It is quite painful at times, with sections I’m “sure” I’ve already written that either don’t exist at all or make no sense if they do. The whole book outline thing, striving to make order out of chaos and fill in any gaps. It feels so daunting some days!

Let’s not even talk about my office, the stacks of paperwork: medical, old household bills, taxes, school-related, etc., that have accumulated since my strokes. Kathy is going to try to get in there and help me file this week.  I am beyond even knowing where to start, much less having the ability to follow through.

For every fundraiser we never respond to, birthday we miss, form we turn in past due, please know we love you and truly care! Please be gracious. My calendar is usually PACKED with therapy and other appointments. Even in the early days of 2 to 3 medical appointments per day, I managed to only miss about two appointments fully, and (thanks to my very prompt Mom) was rarely late to anything. The more of my own calendar management I’ve taken on, the less reliable I feel I’ve become.

Before the strokes, I was organized.  I think I had one (barely) late bill in 20 years. I'm TRYING to reclaim that reorganization (the pictures of folded and organized drawers and cabinets in this post are what I've accomplished this week, but for every victory, I have dozens of other massive messes I need to get back on organizational control of my home).

Now, I do good now (seriously!) to remember how to spell my own name (or occasionally even WHAT is my own name) when I go to sign it. Due dates aren’t terribly meaningful when I often have to stop and really think to come up with the MONTH we are living in. (It took me about 3 years, but my brain finally caught with tracking the fact that we are no longer living in 2011, the year it was when I stroked, my brain got stuck there.)



  1. Jenni, does Kathy come Wednesday? I can help fill out forms.

  2. This scene is somewhat like in my place. Since I am busy doing such paperwork, I have no time to clean and organize all my stuffs. Maybe sometime I will have the chance for this because there is more important than doing chores. In fact, I can just hire someone to clean all this up.