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, June 25, 2016

4 Years, 8 Months

I don't post EVER. SINGLE. MONTH. anniversary anymore, but there's not a 25th of any month than usually goes by without me being aware. I wonder how long my heart will insist on marking each passing month?

A few quick thoughts...

Last week I wrote on Facebook, "It may be natural, but it's not easy! I've been scrubbing baked-on baking soda paste off the inside of my oven for an hour already and am only 1/3 done. I'm sure Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and low mobility due to stroke are complicating this far more than it needs to be, but now I remember why it's been a decade since I tried to clean an oven! I'm sweaty and shaking and the other 2/3 will have to wait for later. I'm glad I waited for a shower until AFTER this project!!!"

I updated a few hours later to say, "Amazing what a difference following ALL the instructions actually makes! After chiseling the first half of the oven, I noticed white vinegar sitting on the floor next to the oven. I had been trying to dissolve my baking soda cement with plain water. Once I started soaking my rag in vinegar instead, the junk literally just wiped right off, I finished the other half in well under an hour (40 minutes, maybe). I had been wondering WHY not one blogger I had read had mentioned the exhaustion of this process, then I realized that they had actually all remembered to USE their vinegar! 

Having only a semi-functional left arm and needing to do my best to use it on the left side of the oven because the oven door kept me from reaching across with my right arm, the oven still wouldn't earn any good housekeeping awards, but far better than yesterday before treatment or this morning's baking soda spackle! 

After hours of mumbling, "Never again!" I actually hit my upper oven door and floor with the same treatment, sitting now, and will wipe out this evening."

So the upper one, the one I use most because I don't have to bend over, did not come as clean (but was tons worse to start with!) and took about 5 treatments of the door, and nearly a week worth of time, before I decided I had gotten off all the gunk I could. Above is a picture of where we started though. Now it is a mostly clear piece of glass. My 13-year-old told me, "I didn't know you were supposed to be able to see into the oven!" Seriously, she wasn't teasing. That's how long it has been since I cleaned my oven!

Last weekend we got to see our 16-year-old who is living out-of-state for the summer. We took all the kids and saw Golden Gate Bridge,

toured the Disney family museum, attended a kite festival,

watched a couple boat races,

played tourist in San FranCisco's Ghirardelli Square, and mostly enjoyed just being together for a couple of days. The younger kids did not want to let their brother go when it was time to come home!

The day before yesterday I tried something I didn't do often, but COULD do easily, before the strokes. It is something that hadn't occurred to me I could not do, because I had never tried. I was caught off guard, surprised to find, even this far along, to still be discovering new losses I didn't realize I had lost!

What's funny is that I remember I was back in my bedroom, folding laundry, when I made my discovery. It wasn't a huge thing as physical tasks go, but mentally/emotionally it was rather devastating. I even spent quite some time thinking up a mental blog post on the issue, and now I can't remember what on earth this "thing," the new loss, new source of grief, even was! I guess there are benefits to short term memory loss sometimes - I can't grieve much if I can't even remember what had me so upset!

I did have two new accomplishments yesterday though.

The first was I got asked to move out of the physical therapy lane at the pool. I guess I was swimming too well and they didn't realize I was doing rehab!

Also, I used to make watermelon boats ALL the time, several per summer since I was a teen. I successfully made one last night, first time since the strokes (5 summers)!

On my birthday, next month, we (husband, kids, parents and I) will be going to a baseball game. No, I'm not a sports fan. I made this request because it is a brain injury survivor's night. I'm excited to spend my birthday in-person-meeting some local brain injury friends I know only online! I told these friends, It will be my 44th birthday. On the thought of birthdays, this is a good time to mention to everyone that I am highly allergic to latex (carry an EpiPen because I can't even breathe near a balloon nor latex gloves without risking a reaction) so NO LATEX, like standard balloons. I'm also wheat-free, so no cake. If anyone local is interested in joining us, please let me know. Survivors can get free admission and I have access to group ticket pricing otherwise.


Some of you have heard me talk about the amazing softness of LuLaRoe clothing. Recently on Facebook I shared, "Summer's already been crazy busy! I needed (and am so very thankful to be enjoying!) a me-morning, to sleep, to pray, to clean house, to generally re-group while my kids are at VBS (vacation Bible school). It is deliciously cool outside, the windows are open and I'm comfy roe'n! (Don't know the term? Check out LuLaRoe Tami Majtan Shop Page for the softest clothes ever. They aren't cheap, but you get the quality you pay for. I adore my newest butterflies and my legs, that are so texture-picky since my strokes, are utterly happy to be wrapped in such luxury!)"

Leggings are the least expensive at $25. The other items will tell you the price on the albums they are posted in on Tami's page, linked above, up to about $70 for the Sarah, long sweater. (I splurge on about one piece a quarter or every 6 months - worth the investment!) Her shipping is $6.80 for as much as you want to add to your envelope and tax of 7.725% is added to every order. My next pieces I hope to save for are the Amelia dress, an Ana dress and an Irma top. (When the albums go up, there's a picture with a detailed explanation of each design.) To keep your stuff this lusciously soft, cool wash, hang dry.

I'll be hosting a LLR boutique up at my consultant's home in Sparks on Wednesday, July 6. Let me know if you would like directions! 

Here are a fun few shots from the 3 days I had the energy to help my mom with crafts at VBS, last week.

Our beloved van got towed away this month. Praying and waiting on God's provision for our next vehicle.

At reader requests, I wish to point out that I have a GoFundMe page for those God is prompting and enabling to help with our financial needs. If God leads you to help by praying or sharing our story and that link on your social media outlets, this would greatly bless us as well.

I love this verse! Friends often ask how Jesus could be both the Son of God and God, how He could be totally man and still totally God...
1 Timothy 3:16
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.

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