Home Christmas Family Updates & a Merry Christmas to You!

Family Updates & a Merry Christmas to You!

by Kelly Crawford

NoneFor those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, I recently told you about my husband’s back/neck injury and wanted to give a quick update that he did have surgery yesterday. The doctor really made an amazing call. He knew from a previous MRI that Aaron had bone spurs inside the vertebrae pressing on the spinal cord in one particular spot. But he also had some loss of his arm muscle which was specific to another area of the vertebrae. So the doctor ordered a myelinated CAT scan to see if there was something else he needed to repair during surgery.

The CAT scan didn’t reveal any additional damage so they scheduled him for the removal of bone spurs and consequently removal of that disc and fusion of those vertebrae.

However right before surgery the doctor came in, sat on the edge of the bed and said, “I’m not comfortable yet. There has got to be something else going on causing the loss of the use of that arm. We’re going to do another MRI.” That test revealed a herniated disc in the next set of vertebrae below the one he was already going to operate on. After surgery, in fact, the doctor (he’s in his 60’s) said in all his years of surgery, he had never seen a disc bulging out so far, and was confident that was the main culprit of most of his pain. Of course he had to fuse that set too.

Praising the Lord for intuition, His great mercy, and incredible technology that allows our brokenness to be repaired! Another praise is that we were concerned that Aaron would lose some range of motion in his neck. Concerned, because he has an eye disease that is deteriorating his peripheral vision and he depends on his neck to overcompensate while driving. We were especially concerned to find out there would be 2 fusions. But the doctor told us he wouldn’t notice any loss of range. We are so, so grateful for that!

And let me just say…

to those of you who came shopping in my Etsy shop to help us along in this time of unemployment–I cannot thank you enough! I was literally swamped with orders the next few days (I’ve worked constantly to get them out to you, so if you’re still waiting on your order, it will be there in the next day or two I PROMISE!) There is still time to order if you did not receive my newsletter and are just learning about my new shop. I am taking orders until the 15th! (Here’s the link.)

The Lord has been so very faithful to us and I’m so glad to belong to His Body. He has answered above and beyond what we hope or imagine.

You probably notice I don’t blog very often these days. Life is busy like yours, and I am a full time mother and wife and (currently) business owner. But I wanted to drop in and share a bit with you because this place is so special to me. YOU are special to me. I can’t tell you how many deep and wonderful friendships I’ve made through this blog over the years that are priceless to me!

I pray your Christmas is a wonderful time of reflecting on the unfathomable depth of God’s mercies–the flesh-wrapped gift that changed the world forever. Read Why I Love Christmas if you are pondering the question of whether or not to celebrate and care to read my opinion.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours. Praying for all of you, even as I write this, that God would show Himself mighty in your lives, where you are hurting or needing Him the most.


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Lori Alexander December 10, 2016 - 5:42 pm

You are blessed, Kelly! I had my neck fusion about 6 years ago and it didn’t help at all. In fact, I was bedridden in pain for a year after that until I found out about icing my neck. I bought some bags of frozen corn and began icing my neck a ton and within a month it was so much better. Sometimes at night, it will flare up with nerve pain that runs throughout my body and prescription lidocaine patches do the trick of taking the pain away. (I get the at Walmart pharmacy with the GoodRx app and it saves me a ton of money.) If I had to do it all over again, I would begin icing right away to get the inflammation out which causes the pain. I will pray he has a quick recovery. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

6 arrows December 10, 2016 - 7:28 pm

Merry Christmas to you and the family, Kelly. Aaron (and all of you) will continue to be in my prayers.

Rachel maples December 16, 2016 - 10:03 am

I will be praying for your family. My husband had bone pressing on spinal cord and had surgery as well.. He didn’t have fusion tho but removal of discs .. He isn’t the type to sit around so while he was off he did laundry , dishes etc. I had to get a fulltime job for 6 months… However – we didn’t realize he was not supposed to be BENDING OR TWISTING not even to tie a shoe!
The surgery area was weak and it caused the disc below to bulge . So he had to have a second surgery… So please follow all the rules and remember not to bend or twist. Slip on shoes only…..
I want to praise God because my husband has a full release back to work now and I am not working outside the home fulltime:)
I believe with fusion you must wear the brace, so hopefully your husband will follow all the rules.
My husband is doing much better and I hope that give you encouragement 🙂

Kelly Crawford December 16, 2016 - 10:53 pm

Thank you so much, Rachel–that is encouraging!

Dawn December 27, 2016 - 2:03 pm

Just discovered your blog. WOW! What an encouragement. Each word ministers to me. Your grace to answer the not-so-kind responses is such an inspiration. I am thankful for your husband’s wise Dr’s attention to detail. It reminded me of a picture I recently saw in the OBGYN’s office. The surgeon was bent over his patient and Jesus stood there directing his every move. It made me cry (probably because I’m pregnant with #10) to think of all those times I’ve prayed for the Lord to guide the hands of the Dr’s and then to actually see it represented was just beautiful.

Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember Jesus’ love and choice to suffer for us. As I’ve read your other posts about your issues over being made to feel weird for naturally bearing children I knew you would “get” my pain. My mother-in-law commented to me while we were visiting for Christams that I had too many children and that I couldn’t take care of them all. Her comment came because I had left my 12 yr old, 4 yr old and 2 yr old in the tub for a bath (all boys). After they were done I had gone in and cleaned up the mess and returned her bathroom to its prior state of pristine beauty. Later in the evening her bathrooms began filling with sewage and she was convinced it was due to one of my children flushing a toy and blocking her pipes. They were so angry with us and said “Well, someone has to tell you that you can’t take care of your children! You let them run around and do who knows what!” It hurt so bad. The plumber later found out the clog was actually due to her practice of pouring grease down her sinks and showed her the big ball of hardened grease. While she admitted to being wrong about the toy assumption she never said she was sorry for how she treated me or the children. God had warned me to be willing and ready to never hear those words of apology so I was at least prepared! Please help advise on how to share our “too many” children with someone who doesn’t think we should have them. Like really!?! Which one(s) should we give back??? Is it wise to take them back where they are continually treated with anger and frustration for things like not eating every bite of food or playing ‘too loud’? Have you ever faced such a situation?

I know you’re busy so don’t feel pressured to answer. Maybe just a link or something to a place you have spoke about this topic before???
Thank you for giving women like me hope and encouragement.

6 arrows December 27, 2016 - 7:19 pm

Hi Dawn,

While I know you directed your questions to Kelly, may I offer my two-cents-worth? 😉 My comments, of course, are from the perspective of an outsider looking in on a situation involving people I don’t know, so feel free to take or leave anything I say.

First, I’m sorry your mother-in-law told you you have too many children. I don’t know whether she is a Christian, but, whether she is or not, I would approach it from a perspective that speaks of love — God’s love for children, first and foremost, and then love that can be shown between humans, especially those related to each other (children, parents, grandparents, etc.).

If she doesn’t already know, explain to her that you see children as a gift from our loving God, and you want your children to understand that God loves them, and has blessed them with people on this earth who also love them. That might be a good time to mention to your mother-in-law specific examples you’ve seen from her of how she has demonstrated love for your children in the past. (If she has indeed shown herself to be a loving grandmother to them on occasion.)

Thank her for those tangible examples of love she’s exhibited (if applicable), and gently explain that when she says “You have too many children,” she is sending conflicting messages to the grandchildren about her love for them.

And because children often have an easier time understanding God’s great love for them when they are surrounded by significant adults in their lives (which parents and grandparents certainly are) whom the children also know love them, explain that you desire for your children to clearly understand that those adults love them dearly. The truth of an unseen, loving God can become more real to them when the adults in their lives show without a doubt that they love them.

In other words, appeal to her loving side. (If she does not appear to have one, or especially if she is antagonistic to the faith, then you will have to seriously consider cutting off communication with her, for the sake of your children and their budding walks of faith.)

Assuming you don’t have to resort to extreme measures like that, though, you may consider asking her at a neutral time how she would be more comfortable when your family comes to visit. Ask her for what she believes are solutions to the “playing ‘too loud'” problem, for example. It may also help to explain to the children something like, “Grandma is used to living in a quiet home. Let’s think about how we can use quieter voices at her house than we do here at home.” Or something like that. It can be a good lesson in teaching respect for one’s elders, a biblical concept, and in using extra self-control in circumstances different from the usual.

Also, being proactive can sometimes yield better results and avoid heat-of-the-moment reactions — like the frustration and anger it sounds like your mother-in-law frequently exhibits — in someone prone to them.

I think relationship dynamics can be different, too, depending on in whose home a family meet-up occurs. The “my home, my rules” concept, if you will. I could elaborate on that, but my comment is probably long enough now, and I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying. 🙂

Anyway, I’m not sure if any of what I said helps, but you are wise to ask the question you did above, which started, “Is it wise to take them back where they are continually treated with anger and frustration…”. There are warnings in the Bible about keeping company with angry individuals. If they have legitimate reasons for their anger and don’t express them in destructive ways, that’s one thing, but a perpetually angry man (or woman) in situations that don’t warrant righteous anger should, IMO, be avoided.

God’s blessings to you, Dawn, as you raise your children in Him.

Kelly Crawford December 28, 2016 - 11:01 am


Thank you for stopping in and sharing your words of encouragement with me! I love hearing how the articles help moms like you.

When I finally got a chance to sit down and reply, I read over 6 arrows comment first and it was strikingly similar to what I had in mind to say. So I won’t repeat what she has wisely offered you.

I would have my husband initiate the talk with her with both of you present. You could input where you see fit. I would be long suffering. I would appeal to her honestly, several times if necessary. I would tell her how much you desire to have her involved in your lives and the lives of your children but that you are responsible for their growth and well-being first, and that if any point you feel like her criticism is damaging to them, and she isn’t willing to change it, you will be forced to severely restrict contact with her. I would remind her that her anger/resentment doesn’t change the number of children you have and only hurts all the relationships involved. And I would bathe it all in fervent prayer.

This is an excruciating ordeal to go through and I am so sorry you are dealing with it.

Dawn December 28, 2016 - 4:24 pm

Thank you Kelli & 6 arrows! I printed your replies and will read over them several times and pray for the Lord to illuminate His wisdom to me through them. I truly am grateful for your input. God has already spoke to me that if we cut off all contact then we greatly limit the opportunity of God to use our family to minister to them the grace of the Lord. How else can we make the salvation of the Lord something they would want to accept themselves? Right now, they are not believers (well, she says she is a 1/2 christian) and have told us we talk about God too much. We need to remember God’s ability to use our family and not just our hurt feelings!! 🙂 Balancing that with the safety of our children’s hearts will be a challenge at best!! Thank you again! To God be the glory!!!

6 arrows December 28, 2016 - 7:44 pm

A 1/2 Christian. Hmmm…that is one I have not heard before!

I am glad you found something useful in my comment, enough to print it. 🙂 Thank you for the feedback!

Just prayed for you and your family, Dawn. May the Lord bless your efforts as you proclaim His holy name to your in-laws.

And blessings to you with the new baby you are carrying! I pray your pregnancy and labor go well. Such a marvel, the miracle of birth!

Dawn December 31, 2016 - 8:41 pm

Thank you for your prayers!

Clara December 28, 2016 - 3:42 pm

Kelly, I am so glad your husband’s surgery went well! What a gift from God that surgeon is!! Praise the Lord! I will pray for your husbsnd’s healing after the surgery. How do I sign up for your newsletter?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kelly Crawford December 28, 2016 - 4:30 pm

If you’ll look under this post, the blue and white box, you can sign up there. Or every few days there is a pop up when you come to the site–that’s also a sign up form. OR, in the navigation menu at the top, there is a “subscribe” tab.


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