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11.24.2010

To India We Go...

Well, not me. Justin.

That's right, Jut is going with 9 other people Feb 21-March 3 to India. In short, to serve people and to experience Christ outside of the world they already know. They will be partnering for 10 days with Harvest India, a Christian organization, to help with different areas of their ministry. They will be working in a children's orphanage, leprosy colony, elder homes and dedicating water wells in villages who have never had clean drinking water. There are 10 people heading to India from several states here in the U.S. The trip is being headed up by pastor Jeff Gokee from Phoenix who is also on the board of directors for Harvest India. They are praying for a life changing experience that they can bring back to the States to share with everyone they can. Read more about this on the great website http://www.toindiawego.com/.

Harvest India from Moonshine Park on Vimeo.



The team has bios set up too. Here is what Jut wrote:

I am the late comer to the group. I was having dinner with Jay and his wife a few weeks back and he mentioned a mission trip to India. I was interested to hear more, but before he told me anything else he asked if I wanted to go. I was shocked by that question, because he knew my family situation. After about 3 days of prayer and huge support from my wife, I knew God was prompting me to go to India. This past year I have been trying a lot harder to pay attention to God’s prompts in my life.

A little over a year ago my wife and I got news that no parent ever wants to hear. My 3 year old son (Jayden) was going through some testing to find out why his speech was delayed. After meeting with a geneticist they confirmed that he had a rare, recessive genetic disorder called Sanfilippo Syndrome (MPSIIIA). Our daughter (Brooklyn) was only 3 months at the time and they told us to get her tested. Our worst fears were confirmed when her test came back positive for Sanfilippo too. We learned that it is a terminal illness, usually life ending somewhere in the second decade. The inability for the body to break down hephran sulfate progressively slows down all mental and physical abilities until the body finally shuts down. There is currently no treatment or cure. Our perfect life was instantly turned upside down.

It has been a little over a year now and we have witnessed God do amazing things in our lives. Looking back, I have been humbled and broken. I look at life through a different lens now. God has taught me so many things through this journey. I have learned there are no guarantees in this life; no guarantee for tomorrow. Every day is a gift. I cannot sit around and watch this life flash by. God has got my attention now. I want my heart to break over things that break his heart. I want to be concerned about things that concern God. I read a book recently that opened my eyes to people in need. I’ve been asking God “what can I do?”, “how can I help?” I got my answer when Jay asked me to go to India. I felt like I had been stretched to the limit when we got the diagnosis of our children, but I’m sensing God wants me to stretch a little more. I am at the point in my life where I will go wherever God wants me to go and do whatever God wants me to do. God is in control of my life, not me, and I want to give God all of me. I am learning to surrender to His will, be thankful for what I have, and listen to God when He whispers to me.

My hope is that when I return home from India my life will be changed forever again! I hope that He has huge things planned for me after India and I am up for anything. I continue to trust God with all my heart even when things look really dark. I don’t know what the future holds for my children, or for me, for that matter, but I am going to choose to follow Him where ever He leads me and right now He is leading me to India. This might be the first and the last chance I have to do this. As my children’s disease progresses they become more dependent on us, so this might be my only chance. I want to be obedient to God and make the most of this opportunity. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. God Bless.

Prayer requests:
Peace in my heart. Leaving my wife and children for 10 days is very scary for me. It is hard for me to be away from them even when I am at work. This is a huge step for me in leaving them for this long.

Both my children are very active and their behaviors can be rather difficult at times. Prayer for my wife that she can keep her sanity for 10 days.

I am nervous to see things that I am not used to seeing. I want God to break my heart for the Indian people and use me for his service in whatever way he deems necessary.

My hope is that the Indian people can see something different in us and then they ask “why?”

Prayer for the team’s safety .

For God to bring us back home to our families better people.


I am so proud of Justin for being obedient to God pressing on him he should go. It really is a stretch for him. I was thinking, selfishly, I would want to go...
For him, though, it truly isn't about "being cool" or "going because everyone else is going" or because he wants an awesome vacation like it may have been for me....

In terms of fundraising, we feel like God has blessed us so much with financial gifts towards our build with the boyces campaign, we would feel greedy asking for any more financial help.So we are trying to work it out where we can afford the entire trip ourselves. Justin is working extra scraping and we have faith that we will have what he needs to go someway or another. Please pray that we will be able to work it out because the last thing I want him to worry about is money. I also don't want him to worry about us. Truth be told, it will be difficult with him gone but we will do just fine. People are already lining up to help with the kiddos. Again, this is SOOO out of his comfort zone...
.....a place we all should be, right?!

11.23.2010

Jodelle's call to real love...

Jodelle is an amazing woman who lives out her faith in huge ways. I am blessed to know her. She is the generous friend of ours who did the "boardin' for hte boyces" event in Missouri. She is a personal trainer and a woman who truly lives a life of love.

Just had to share this devotional that she wrote:
Delle's Daily Devotion #802 - Learn to Share

Proverbs 9:9 - "Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning."

I learned so much on my last fitness training seminar. I can already see improvements in my students and clients based on what new tools I've implemented. It was not easy going through the 7 hours everyday for 6 days solid of rigorous physical training, but it was well worth it as my goal is to be the best fitness trainer/teacher/instructor I can be. But what if I had gone through all that training, and come back with all that knowledge and not implemented or used any of it? What a waste it would have been of my time, my resources, my clients time away from me, and my family's time apart if I had not used what I had learned. What if I just left that wealth of knowledge locked up inside me and kept it only for myself and my physical training, or worse, didn't even use it at all?

Alot of people live their lives this way. They have learned so much about life through parents, school, sunday school, sitting in church and bible studies, studying in college, life experiences, reading books, and researching and yet there are still so many people in need in the world, and in pain, in need of help from others, and lost. Many of us have sat and listened and know of many ways to help others, and yet are we doing it? Are we taking that knowledge we've been blessed with and sharing it with others? Or are we wasting our time here on earth just gathering knowledge yet not really sharing it with others? We've been taught to share, both in kindergarten and in the bible, but have we been sharing with the neighbor down the street who is destitute? We've learned that kindness is a better reaction than anger, but do we still slam on the horn when someone cuts us off? We watch the news and read stories of all the hungry countries in the world, and while we are piling our plates high at Thanksgiving, are we thinking about how we must have the resources to help those hungry countries or we wouldn't be able to pile our plates high - and then do we send that money or donate to charities in foreign countries or go visit them ourselves to feed the hungry? We've been taught by our parents to be polite and honest and speak only when spoken too, but are we teaching our children this, or are we just giving them whatever it is they want to avoid conflict? We've been taught that love covers a multitude of sins, and that love is the greatest thing in the world, and that God is love and all we need is love, but yet, is our day focused on how we are going to be giving that love away or is it focused on how we can achieve more love and acceptance from others? Can't we just give for the sake of giving? Can't we just share what we've learned and not be so self-absorbed that we forgo the needs of others, the needs of the lost, and the needs of those hurting and hungry? What benefit is all our life of learning if we don't share that knowledge with others? What benefit is God's love to someone who someone if they never experience it? How much of our life is wasted is we don't live out the purpose of sharing with others what our Creator has shared with us? It's not an accident that you are who are and that you've experienced and learned what you have. It's been ordained by some Creator greater than our minds can comprehend and we've been allowed to experience and learn what we have so that we may use that learned experience to help others. God has instilled so much goodness in you. We are made in His image the Bible tells us, and God is good, so we are made with goodness too. Now it's our job to share that goodness, to create more love by giving love, to be kind, compassionate, honest, and selfless. We have the ability to change lives with our Creator working in and through us in the lives of others.

As you pile your plate high this Thangsgiving, I hope you will say a prayer of thankfulness for the bounty set before you. Then I hope you will think of ways that you can be a bounty of goodness to someone else in the week to come. Ask God to reveal ways that you can share what you've learned in life, and share what resources you have, and to give all that you can give, and love more than you ever though you could, and in essence share God with whomever He enlightens you to share with. Avoid learning for the sake of hoarding knowledge, but learn for the sake of helping others by what you yourself have been blessed to learn. You have so much to offer because you've been given so much. Just take a look around you at all the things you've accumulated, the credentials behind your name, the blessings of family and friends, and see those just a drop in the bucket at what you Creator has done for you. Then try to view them as ways that you can help someone else.

Great Teacher, thank You for teaching us all that you have, and enriching our lives with knowledge that not only has helped us but that can be used to help others. I pray that you will help us view our day as a new day of new ways that we can help others and to take every oppurtunity to help those hurting, lost, different than us, hungry, and even those who deserve love the least. Thank you that we can learn to share. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

11.18.2010

Exciting "Sides"

Serving has really been a saving grace for me and Justin. Wallowing in our own self-pity would be so destructive for us. We couldn't imagine not connecting in community. And, the more we give, the more we receive. God is weird like that.

All that to say, we both are serving again at iMPACT (I get paid to be there so the actual "volunteering" comes with hanging out with teenagers on my own time...which I LOVE to do) and facilitating Vantage Point 3, a 36 week study that explores three questions, who am I? who is God? And, what does he want to do through me? I took the course 2 years ago and Jut took it last year. It has been difficult and a stretch for us to facilitate at the same time, a blessing. Balancing who leads is a constant theme in our marriage, so to co-lead a group has been interesting. Jut does a great job. I also see how God is up to something in our lives. He is shaping and testing us in this season for a reason. Why in the world would we be stretched in our leadership abilities now? We continue to see God show up in our classmates. The stories of their lives are God-breathed, so it is cool to see how they responded and continue to respond to God's shaping hand in their life for God's bigger story.

God is so cool! Although it is always a journey of me laying down parts of my life to Him as I trust Him more, the more I see the relational aspect of God. Just like I need to step down in my marriage, so Jut can step up, I must do the same with God. And, when I trust Him, it should be an easy process. When He shows Himself faithful, it just makes sense. The problem, is sometimes "faithful and trustworthy" looks much different than I want it to look like or feel like.

I also have really bought into the lifelong learning process of getting a mentor. I believe that there is value in doing life with a wise woman who is further in their faith journey, speaking truth into my life. The first year I had Christy Davis, a woman I admire very much. It was just who I needed at the season I was in. I really wanted clarity on parenting and female friendships. The second year was with Marion Medina, another wise woman, very different from Christy. She was able to journey with me through the diagnosis and first year of Sanfilippo. What another blessing! She has a gifting to enter into suffering and actually help me see the love of Christ and taught me new ways to connect to my heavenly father.

This year, I asked Justin's Aunt Jill. We have met twice, and although I feel like I am chatty Kathy, I look forward to this year and learning from her. I was telling her that I was trying to be obedient to God's prompts....you know...that pit you get in your stomach when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to go where you don't want, do what you don't want, say what you don't want....when you are stretched to die to self? I spent too much money and felt prompted to return a pair of black pants (ladies, I own no black pants AND I got them for $17!!! From the GAP!!!) . I had a pit in my stomach until the moment I walked out of the store with my money back. I have been asking that God be very clear with His prompts to me...He chose a way I dislike....an anxious pit in my stomach...to help me listen and know that it is God. It also helps me be more obedient quicker, because I hate that feeling! Anyway, I returned the pants and shared my story with Jill. Yesterday, I was at Joan's and got in my car only to find those exact pants with a note from Jill in my car. That is why I asked Jill...not because she buys me pants, but her character. WHO she is. I look forward to learning from her.

If you don't have a mentor, get one. If you have one, say thanks. God continues to stretch me and humble me. Just reading this makes me realize I will never "arrive" and how far I still need to go. Thank you, God, for your patience!

Parent Teacher Conference...Nov 3

Jayden is doing well at school. We are so happy that he is really becoming social. Jayden enjoys his teacher and his class. He has a little girlfriend, Daisy, and some other guy friends. The teacher says everyone helps Jayden. He is a bit of a bully too! He know what kids are kind of afraid of him and he "picks on" them a bit more frequently! Hard to imagine as his mom! Because he is a bit of a bulldozer, the kids know to say "be nice-be nice"! There is also a stop sign at the doors and Jayden knows to stop and not run out. All of this is new from last year.

He struggles most with sitting during the academic portion of school. They mentioned, because he learns best 1 on 1, that pulling him out for academics (calendar, shapes, colors) and putting him in a full inclusion class with 6 other children with special needs, may be best. He would do social time in Ms Rodriguez's class academics with my friend, Alex, and PT/OT and speech as normal.
I also found out that he may have to go to Kindergarten next year. We had planned on having him spend his 5th year in Preschool, not Kindergarten. It also means he would be in a Kindergarten class with other age kids on his bus. I am not quite ok with this and plan on seeing if holding him back a year is possible given his unique circumstances. I do know it happens in other school districts. Also, I know of a district that does 1/2 day kindergarten and 1/2 day preschool for some students so they go full day. That may also be an option.
It is so hard because it appears, as well intentioned the teachers are, their hands are tied. They "withhold" information and they can't "fight" as much as they would like. Schools were designed to teach, and I don't know what rushing Jayden out would do for "what is most appropriate" for Jayden. Schools do not do what is "best". It is frustrating. I see both sides, the district can't be all things to all people. What frustrates me is that I am not asking for a miracle or cure, or even for them to create options that are not already available, I am asking them to work within the system to accommodate Jayden. We will see how this all works out. I have been doing my homework and plan on working with the school. Again, everyone so far has been really great, as much as they can, but I will take this further up if needed. The hardest part is not letting my emotions get the best of me. I want to come in level headed but firm, educated but humble, kind but not a doormat.
As it is with insurance companies and Comcast, the squeaky wheel gets the oil in a school district.
The IEP meeting is Dec 17...any prayer or suggestions are welcome!

Stomach Flu...Nov 2

So, how much doest the stomach flu stink...literally!?

Whenever I get it, I am out for the count and this time was no different. It was going through the Boyce family so I had a feeling I would get it. But, lately, I have really been challenging myself to see the blessings in the little things, so here it goes:

I am thankful I have a bed and toilet...I would hate to be somewhere else or without
I am thankful that my kids didn't get it
I am thankful Justin is so WONDERFUL and just jumped right in to take the kids
I am thankful it was when my "schedule" was free and not during the halloween party
I am thankful I didn't have to go the the hospital like last time
I am thankful Justin didn't get it as bad as me.

I am thankful it is over!

Jayden wanted to type too!
jhaytdsewhn
3 00000000 -love Jayden

11.12.2010

Halloween...the Kiddos

Jayden was Handy Manny and Brooklyn was a Bee. They were so cute! Friday during school, Jayden got to dress up and they had a parade. He handed out gift bags to all his classmates and had a blast dancing to the chicken dance. Nana came in from Rockford, Ama Joan, Beeba and Mommy all went so he was SUPER excited!

On Sunday, we went trich-or-treating on Boyce Lane, and ran into cousin Lucy, the strawberry! What a fun weekend!!!





































































































Halloween...Eastwood Hills Oct 29

I have no idea how I got stuck on "Halloween" as my holiday, but, for the fourth year, I decided to do a costume party. We chose the theme every year to include our street (Eastwood) in the name of the theme. Year one was Eastwood Junior High...where folks came dressed in what they wore in JR High. Year two was Eastwood Farms, you guessed it, farm gear. The 3rd year was a week or so after our dual diagnosis of the kids, so it was a birthday/costume party in honor of Jayden's love for Bob the Builder and Handy Manny...so that was Eastwood: On the Job. This year was Eastwood Hills. (like the Hollywood hills) and everyone came dressed as a celebrity. I would like to add, by dressing as Lady Gaga or Bret Micheal's, we do not necessarily condone all the choices these celebrities have made....it was just fun to dress up as them because they are outrageous. Can I just tell you that this year tops all the previous years in the costume department!? Katie Perry WAS here as well as Kate Gosslin. AMAZING! they could be stunt doubles!

Enjoy the pics!



Joel Madden and Nicole Richie

Jon and Kate plus 8





Ron Burgandy (Anchorman and Ellen)





(Johnny and June Cash)







(Audrey Hepburn and Dexter)




(Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake...back together)







(Dwight and Angela...The Office)











(the Sham wow guy and the Sham Wow)









(Sandy and Danny...Grease)











(Madonna and Chuck Lidell -UFC)













(Katie Perry)












(Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian)













(Lady Gaga)









(Bret Micheals)





(Animal House Jon Baluchie and Flo the Progressive Insurance lady)






(Ivanna Turmp...the Donald was sick...)



























Angie Devore....Oct 23

I was inspired by all my "sisters" to write this.

Angie: today we cleaned your closet. Casa de la Angie. Can you say FUN!!!??? Organizing AND Angie?! I really had a great time wearing your orthopedic grandma shoes and velvet ku-lots. We need to do that again!

No, in all seriousness, Ang, I have had the best year with you. In the last couple months, I know you have "jumped on the grenade" many times and I want you to know how much it means to me that you feel like you are part of the family. I really feel like we are sister wives, oops, I mean sisters :) I just can't stop joking with you because I have too much fun with you....my black rapper.

Thank you for letting me be myself, faults and all. For loving my kids and being so patient with them (and me). For changing poopie diapers, or just holding the bag, grabbing a hand or leg so we can get in the car, the number of frappe's and iced coffee I owe you, whatever the situation, you step in an I love that. Even more, I love getting to know you and just do life with you.

You inspire me to be a better person. To love first, talk second. To lead by example. I am glad that you open up and we can laugh and cry together. There isn't a thing I would change about you! I am so thankful for you. VP3 has been so great with you in it. It has been fun watching how God continues to work in your life and stretch you. I admire your independance and strength through these past couple years. I know you are a private person, and I am so glad that you trust me. May we continue to laugh and love, cry and grow, and VACATION together! I love you, Ang!