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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



As a parent when a child is born we all look forward to watching them grow knowing that over the years they will face many challenges and we hope that they will always be able to overcome those challenges. For so many of us we are fortunate to be able to see our children grow up with the most traumatic situation being a skinned knee or perhaps some sort of drama with teen friends. Anytime you as a parent face an illness with a child it can be a very stressful and trying time, but when the illness comes suddenly and when the child is still young it comes as an extra shock.

This past week I’ve been struggling with sadness and taking one special little four-year old to God in prayer. Mara Nevins is a cute, smiling, red-haired bundle of giggles who abounds with energy and loves chicken strips. The third of four children, I’ve known Mara’s mom since she was a little girl and through the years as we’ve lost touch and gone our own ways, it was a chance meeting when my oldest daughter became friends with Mara’s big sister that we laughed about how close Hannah and Cora were to being cousins. Mara’s siblings, her mom Brandi and her Grandpa are all special people to my family so when we received the news last week, we felt their struggle and sadness.

For the past few weeks Mara hasn’t been feeling well and after a few trips to the doctor’s office she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and rushed to Iowa City where she will be undergoing surgery this week before the paper goes to the printer. This delicate surgery isn’t without its dangers and the road to recovery after will be a long one. Such a terrible thing for any child to go through, but especially at this time of the year when the only wonder should be what will be under the tree on Christmas morning.

I’m sure Mara’s story isn’t unique and there are probably thousands or millions of families going through similar worries this time of year. When something like this comes along we wonder how we can help. It is quite normal to want to be of some use in a time when you feel so useless. I’m today asking my readers and friends to take time to do one of the following thing at this time. First, remember Mara, her family and all the other families going through similar situations in this time in your prayers. Secondly, I’ve been thinking about all the money I spend on Christmas every year and that sometimes I feel like I spend money on things that the people on my list don’t really need. I am going to take a bit of that money and donate it to Maras GoFundMe page and also write a check to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital while I’m at it. If you would like to visit Mara’s page and make a donation to the family you can visit the page at .

Thank you all for continuing to following me in these pages and also for remembering that “we’re all in this together”.