Reflecting on 2013

Speechless.  As I reflect over this last year, I can’t think of a time in my life that I’ve been at such a loss for words.  This year began with devastating news.  My precious 33 year old brother-in-law (my baby sister’s hubby) was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.  Despite many amazing blessings in 2013 for my little family of five – a beautiful new house, a sweet little town, fabulous neighbors, schools that have a like-minded philosophy, three beautiful babies that keep laughter a constant in our home – my heart is distracted by Mark’s fight against cancer and the long-suffering road they have endured for a year now, with the end nowhere in sight.

Sojourn Community Church, Louisville 2

My family of five traveled fourteen long hours in a small sedan to Louisville, Kentucky last week to share Christmas with their family.  After watching from a distance, a year of surgeries, chemo, extreme highs and painful lows, I was given fresh perspective.  When we arrived at Sojourn Community Church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service, I ran around the building to take some exterior shots of the beautiful, former Roman Catholic church.  Built in 1884, St. Vincent de Paul church was, at one time, a vibrant catholic cathedral.  “The ceiling was crumbling, the plaster on the walls was crumbling. There was hardly any light coming through from the dirt and buildup over the years. So it was very much a beautiful space but it looked like a tired space,” said Sojourn’s Connect Director Jonah Sage.  Combining the old with the new this church is now an amazing blend of character and purpose.

Sojourn Community Church, Louisville

After taking a few pictures, I ran to catch up with my family already in the building.  As I looked up, I saw in the distance my brother-in-law standing at the door.  He and Anna regularly worship at a tiny like-minded church that didn’t host a Christmas Eve service this year.  Mark was new to this church, but as he held the door open for his family to enter the building, others streamed in and he counted it his honor to serve.  No one passing by knew that that he had made breakfast for his family, my parents, and my family that morning, that two days before he had been given chemo intravenously, or that words were a challenge for him because the tumors were fighting to control his sensory processing.  They saw a man that smiles from his core.  A man that genuinely loves serving others.

Sojourn Community Church, Louisville 3

Mark is speechless a lot these days, but his heart speaks volumes.  1 Thessalonians 4:11, ‘Make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands.’   This Christmas I saw a great example of a man living quietly and peacefully, minding his own affairs, and working with his hands – the perfect illustration of simplicity – my focus for 2014.  (I’ll elaborate more soon).

1 Thessalonians 4, Live Simple @ItsOverflowing

Free 8 x 10 Print – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (here)

How was your Christmas!?!  I hope it was filled with special moments with your family, too.  Read more about Anna and Mark’s story here.

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  1. Thank you so much sweet friends! Your prayers have been such a blessing for our family!!! XO, Aimee

  2. My heart cries with yours Aimee. I’m so glad that you were able to spend Christmas with Mark and the family. Those moments will be treasured forever. Trusting with you for God’s healing. May His grace sustain you today and each tomorrow. [hugs] ~Diane

  3. I’m so sorry and think of you all so often, even though I’m a stranger to you all please know there are lots of people praying for you all.

  4. Such a beautiful yet sad story. I’m sorry for the struggle and hope this year brings happiness for all.


  5. Aimee thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  6. Diana says:

    Aimee I’m so happy that you gave us an update on Mark. Throughout the year I have wondered how he was doing and I’m sorry to hear things have not turned around. Faith has great power to heal in numerous ways. I hope 2014 brings great joy and peace to everyone.

  7. Nancy says:

    my prayers are with you.

  8. Missie C says:

    Aimee, It is such a privilege to follow their story, thank you for sharing an update. I am so inspired by Mark and Anna’s remarkable, unshakable faith. Please know that I have prayed too, for all of you.

  9. Sandy says:

    I have read the links to your sister and BIL page. My heart breaks for this young couple as I pray for Mark’s healing. He is my son’s age, and I cannot imagine going through something this difficult. I praise God that he is a God of hope, healing and redemption!

  10. So sorry to hear of this struggle for your brother-in-law and your entire family. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

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