meet kara

i don’t often have guest posts on the pleated poppy, but when i heard kara’s story, i knew i had to share. through the course of getting this post set up for her, her story has taken a change. but her faith remains steady, because her God is unshakable and sovereign.
 
here is her story.
 
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Lindsey and I have been close for a long time now. My dear mama friend Autumn introduced us years ago. We immediately hit it off. We had the same style, same love for Jesus, our men, our children, we just understood each other. We decorate from a place of liking what we like, and not really fitting one particular style. We love people, but we also love quiet. And this summer I learned that we both love all things Bass Lake and Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp. Lindsey has been a part of the fabric of my life for more years than I could count. She entered my life in the busy, sleepless years of small children, so the specifics of our meeting are vague. Lindsey has been a gift of grace and beauty in my life. She inspires, motivates, and uplifts my heart on a weekly basis. 
 
The unique thing about our relationship is that we have never met beyond a few comments I have posted on her blog. As a blogger now, I understand this unique relationship. I have readers connected to my heart, who love me like a close friend, but have actually never met me. These readers are precious gift to me. They are this beautiful gift of community I never expected to meet in my wildest dreams.
 
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The glue that has brought this lovely community is the story God has written for my life. Last year, after returning to my home after being evacuated because of the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado, I found a lump in my breast. That is really where my blogging life began in earnest. I’m a 37 year old mama with four young children and one excellent husband facing the challenge of my life.
 
Diagnosed with stage two breast cancer, I immediately entered chemo.
 
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I’m highly extroverted, and cancer limited my community. So I started to share the story of my heart through blogging. The heartbreak, the pain, and the grace that always showed up in abundance were my content, my heart, my life that I was happy to share on Mundane Faithfulness. Every week, Lindsey showed up on my iPad and reminded me there would be good days, great days, and days I would finally get out of my yoga pants and rejoin the world. I could hardly wait.
 
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Months of chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation, and I celebrated the end of my journey.
 
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I ran away with my family, spent the summer soaking up my family and my community, and partnered with my husband as we are planting a church on the Westside of Colorado Springs. I had one final step in my journey. Three weeks ago I met with a gifted surgeon to consult about removing my ovaries and my precious womb. It was going to be my final step in this journey. Upon examination tumors were found. Devastated is too small a word to describe what we felt. 
 
Two short weeks later, I found myself in surgery for a radical hysterectomy. They found the worst, in a few short months breast cancer had taken over my ovaries and my uterus. I’m now facing stage four metastatic cancer. There is no stage five. 
 
This month as I shop at the grocery store, watch football or enter any establishment all things have turned pink. I love the awareness it all brings, but I long to put a face to the battle. I share the story God has written for our family as honestly as possible. I long for three things in sharing my story: 1. To glorify God. 2. To encourage mamas and women to be proactive about their health. 3. And finally, to give a glimpse to the world how grace shows up in the midst of suffering. I often say suffering is not the absence of good. If you are called to a story similar to mine, grace will be present. Knowing Jesus is the greatest gift of my life. Through that lens of knowing a recklessly loving God, I have seen my extreme neediness as my greatest strength I could ever share with another.
 
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Thank you dearest Pleated Poppy readers for listening to the story of one young mama fighting to know truth on hard days. Please join me in the messy walk in faith as I face cancer. It would be my honor to have you join me. I’m so thankful Lindsey has invited me to share with you here. What a treasure she is to my heart. 
 
Fondly,
Kara
 
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all of these beautiful photos are courtesy of jen lints photography
and used with permission
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support kara
 
kara didn’t ask me to do this – in fact she didn’t even mention this fundraiser – but i’m sharing anyway.
 
her family and friends are running a fundraiser this week to raise funds for the family as they face the difficult days ahead of decisions and second opinions. if you want to help in a tangible way, you can buy a shirt here. all orders must be placed by sunday, october 27th. if you live local in colorado springs they will have a pick up day, if not they can mail your shirt to you. if you just want to donate. this is the place to do it.
 
i am inspired and grateful to kara for sharing her story. by god’s grace we aren’t all facing the same struggle.
 
we are praying, kara!
 

instafriday

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hey friends, welcome to instafriday!  i link up my weekly phone pics with my good friend jeannett every week, but this week i’m going to mix it up a bit.

have you guys met jeannett?  she’s a real life friend of mine, and she’s pretty amazing.  if you’re a regular reader of her posts, you know what i mean.  i can’t make it through any of her posts without either laughing or crying, if not both.  actually, quite often its both.  not only is she a talented, witty writer, but she has been given a story worth writing about.  you see, jeannett’s life is crazy.  besides the fact that she has 4 kids, 6 and under, one of them has serious medical issues, requiring daily attention.  among other things, little jilly has epilepsy.  on more occasions than i know, i’ve received a text saying “jilly’s in the ambulance.  please pray.”  jeannett wrote this beautiful, eye-opening post about how epilepsy is part of their lives.  go read it.  now. (i’ll wait here for you)

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social media is awesome.  its fun, inspiring, connecting, but also often negative and a waste of time.  let’s change that.  let’s use our collective power for good.  let’s spread the word about supporting team jilly.  let’s support her ourselves.  give $5.  heck, just give $1.  if we all just gave $1 we could raise thousands to fund epilepsy awareness and research.  give here.

and now back to our regularly scheduled programming… my week in phone pictures.

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we kicked off our weekend with 2 nights of a 7-kid sleepover.  may sound crazy to most people, but we swap kids with friends of ours so we can get some “mommy/daddy alone time”.  this was their weekend away.  and really, the kids all love each other and have so much fun together, it really wasn’t much work at all!  but after a couple long nights, and still needing to get some work done, this coffee with a splash of kahlua did the trick quite nicely.

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my dad hung up my new scale for me!  i immediately filled it with our dish towels.  i’m loving it!

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grace & lace sent me these adorable boot socks!  they are so soft and comfy!

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i was pretending it wasn’t over 80* and wore my boots and new socks on a lunch date with sean.  we try to get away once a week for lunch when the kids are at school. (dress is from gracie b.)

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i’ve been trying to redecorate my girls’ room for well over a year now.  here’s a small peak of one of my favorite parts.  every horse should wear pearls.

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we host our growth group at our house once a week.  its gotten easier to get the house ready:  a quick pick up, wipe off the counters, and set out lots of bowl and a glass filled with spoons.  everyone helps out with bringing food.  (bowls from anthro, glass holder form world market)

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after dinner we have a time of worship with all the kids, ages 2 to 16.  then kids get a lesson on the week’s sermon and then while they go off and play, the adults dig deeper into the word and connect.  its a highlight of my week.  these are my people.

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funny thing:  i ordered a bunch of christmas fabric a few nights ago.  and today, a package arrived.  with christmas fabric.  that i had forgotten i already ordered.  so i hope you all want to decorate your house with pleated poppy products this year, because there will be a lot of them!  and yes, it feels really wrong to be even thinking about christmas when it feels like summer and is hardly even fall yet.

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this is a picture that makes my mama heart happy.  this girl was a bit of a late reader and she struggled hard.  but now, i can’t get her to put her books down!

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some of you saw a peek of my family rules sign in a picture of my kitchen.  i made this a few years ago, and here are a few posts about it.

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oh yeah.  so stinkin’ excited about this.  scarf season is here!  wanna see the beautiful colors in this scarf?  check out my shop throughout the day to see my first batch of scarves listed.

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i try to limit the amount of excuses my kids have to delay from doing school work.  so i sharpened all the pencils.  and i liked it.

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here’s the last batch of halloween bunting, and i’ve decided to put it on sale!!!  get the last few buntings for just $20!

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here’s another of my new scarves!  i love the dot/stripe combo so much!

so how about some free shipping?  any order over $40 through saturday night gets free shipping – yay!   just use code FREESHIP40.

{only one code per order.  $40 must be before taxes.}

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and here’s my mess.  yes, its a pretty mess, but sheesh its a mess!  i don’t have any space to expand into, but i really need it.

so glad its friday – yay for the weekend!!!