Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Looking Back in 2010

It is that time of year to reflect on what God has done in our lives during this past year. 2010 was thankfully a much calmer year than 2009. The biggest change and the greatest blessing was with the birth of our beautiful baby girl, Claire. Children our most definitely a gift from God and we cherish the time that He has given us with them. Last year as I recapped 2009, we were still undecided on a church home and we were just recovering from Cooper being in the hospital for 10 days. In January we decided on a church home, Christian Fellowship Church. This is actually Travis' home church he grew up in. When we first moved down here we had some hesitations about going to church there, but we separately prayed about it and both felt like that was where God was leading us. This past year I have been able to get more involved with volunteering in the nursery and with other projects going on within the church. Honestly, I still miss our old church like crazy, but I'm thankful God showed us where we needed to be at this point in our lives.

In early 2010 we began to get all the crazy hospital bills from Cooper's stay in Tyler and in Dallas. We weren't concerned about the actual hospital stay, but if the insurance was going to cover the $17,000 bill from the 45 minute helicopter ride from Tyler to Dallas. In our insurance literature it states that helicopter transportation is covered as long as it was pre-approved. Well, he was taken on Thanksgiving day and we didn't pre-approve anything! We had contacted the insurance at some point to let them know what was going on, but I'm pretty sure it was once we were in Dallas. When we got home from that whole fiasco, we immediately started praying over that bill that we knew would be coming since we weren't sure if it would be covered. I knew I didn't have that kind of money and God was the only one who was going to be able to take care of it. I was keeping track of all the claims online and one day I noticed that the helicopter claim had a big DENIED next to it. I immediately got on the phone with the insurance company to see what was going on and they said that they were requesting more information from the hospital regarding the flight. So it was still a possibility that the bill would be paid. We continued to pray about it and lo and behold one day in February it was APPROVED!!! We were so relieved and thankful God had generously provided. I think in the end we paid a $25 co-pay for the helicopter flight!

In April, just two weeks before Claire was born, we received a bill from the hospital in Tyler with a balance of over $13,000. I thought it was a huge mistake since we had already paid our required co-pay for both of the hospitals. I got on the phone immediately to find out what the deal was. They were stating that our insurance plan was not in contract with their hospital and that they were legally allowed to bill us for the remaining balance on our account. Since I was a hormonal mess at 9 months pregnant I lost it! I'm sure I called Travis crying and asking him how in the world we were going to take care of this. We later talked to the insurance company and they confirmed that the hospital was allowed to do this. I began talking to them about our options, because again I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to plop down for medical bills. They said we could file an appeal, and so of course we began that process. Once again we knew the only person who could help us out was God. We began pleading for a miracle (and getting more money out of an insurance company is a miracle! HA!) and praying for God to move on our behalf. During the time we were waiting on the appeal with the insurance company to be reviewed, we began filling out paperwork with the hospital for assistance or a settlement amount that would be less than the actual bill. Once again God provided and our appeal was approved and a check for the entire amount of the bill was sent to the hospital in June. The insurance company said a mistake had been made when they originally filed the claim and because it was an emergency situation everything should be covered. We were so grateful once again!

This year we have kept busy as we have joined several different groups in the community. We joined the Algodon Board, I joined the Junior League, and Travis was involved with Harlingen Family Entertainment's first production. This has allowed us to meet many different people and be active in the community. Our community is very unique in many different ways. We live in one of the poorest counties in the entire United States. There are definitely huge needs in our area for basic items many people, including me, take for granted. Travis and I have had conversations regarding the needs of these people and we want to make a difference in these people's lives. I'm not sure what God has planned for us in regards to this, but I feel like there is a bigger reason why we were put here.

In regards to Travis' career path we are still in a waiting period. Travis is doing a fabulous job at work and we really love the people he works with. I can't say enough about his boss and the amazing person he is. He has been a huge blessing to our entire family. This past year has been a little bit confusing for us in regards to Travis' future. We are praying about different things regarding his future and waiting on God to show us His way. We want to do things His way, because we know His plans are far greater than anything we could plan out for ourselves. Hopefully God will begin to shed light on our situation in 2011!

Another thing I praying for in 2011 is for my health to improve. It is absolutely nothing serious, but affects my day to day living. I have hypothyroidism and I have had it since I was pregnant with Cooper. There are many symptoms, but my biggest symptom is fatigue. My thyroid starting acting up again after I had Claire probably due to all of the crazy hormones that come along with pregnancy and child-birth. My doctor has been adjusting my medication, but it takes some time to get it just right. With three kids, I don't have time to be tired. Especially since the boys have pretty much given up naps.

We have so much to be thankful for and I hope you will take the time to remember what God has done for you this year. "Receiving a gift from God is just the first step in a two step process. The second step is asking, 'How can I turn this personal blessing into a way to bless someone else'. " - Gary Thomas


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