It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."   John 15:12

It was approximately sixteen years ago when my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although he has been very blessed with a slow progression form of MS, the doctor gave two immediate pieces of advice at his initial diagnosis. The first suggestion was to take up swimming, as swimming utilizes the most muscles during one workout. In addition, due to his unpredictable instability, the second piece of advice the doctor shared was "stay off tall ladders". Two jobs that Ken quickly became ineligible to accomplish were painting the outside of our house and hanging Christmas lights.
Having two brothers that are professional painters helped to resolve the first problem...

God is So Good! Update on Braedon Breeding's Liver Transplant

Last week, after all of the news and prayers regarding Braedon had begun, our school received a very sweet compliment from a mom who is new to St. Matthew this year. She said to me, "What a special community this is, Mrs. Palka!"

And indeed, her perception is correct! When Jesus is in the center of relationships... powerful things happen! During this past week, it's like we have been watching a modern day version of the Book of Acts unfold, as a community of believers gathered together to love, support, and earnestly pray for Braedon.
I can't even begin to tell you how endearing it is being frequently asked by students and parents, "How is Braedon doing?"
Listed below is the Facebook update that Braedon's mom posted and has given me permission to share:...

Walk 3.7 Miles in their Shoes!

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto Me." Matthew 25:40

Funniest comment from last week in the lunchroom... "Mrs. Palka, Guess what? I'm coming to the "Aggressive Dinner!"
The good news is that the only aggressiveness that will be present during this Friday night's Progressive Dinner is our passion to help children in need of clean water!
Listed below are a few details that will assist with the enjoyment of the evening:...

Yes, Jesus Loves Us!

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

After the cliffhanger of last week's newsletter  "Waiting For Baby"... it is now time for "the rest of the story!" I am thrilled to announce the arrival of Maxwell Joshua Palka, born on 9-19-19!
However, a few complications during his delivery caused his entrance into the world to be a little traumatic, and, as a result, he spent his first three days in the Neonatal ICU unit at Mott Children's Hospital.
During the thirty years that I have been a parent, I've noticed that my mother's heart breaks every time my children go through difficulties...

Waiting Patiently!

"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:25

Have you ever had to patiently wait for something? Perhaps it's a child getting ready for school in the morning, or a furniture delivery that was scheduled between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sometimes, it may be waiting to hear about a job, or trying to call your Internet provider and being placed on hold. For many of us living in the Walled Lake area, it could be waiting for construction to end and the intersection of Novi Road and Twelve Mile finally opening!
For the past nine months, the Palka's have been patiently waiting for the arrival of our new grandson, otherwise known as "Baby Brother" by his two-year-old big sister.
This time, my role has changed from the anxious cheerleader in the hospital waiting room to now taking care of Emilia while mommy and daddy go to the hospital to get this baby brother everyone keeps talking about...

Walk 3.7 Miles in their Shoes!

'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.'  Matthew 25:40

Are you a walker or a runner? Ever since I purchased my first Fitbit, I have found that I really enjoy going for walks. Even more... I like seeing how many steps I can obtain during each journey. So last fall, when our travel agent was providing us with a list of potential excursions for our June 2019 trip to Alaska, I was very excited to see "hiking" listed as an option...

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Have you ever been so tired that you missed a few very important details? A few weeks ago, after "Meet The Teacher", I had to stay at school until 8:30 p.m.  Realizing that it would take at least another 45 minutes for the raw chicken in our refrigerator to miraculously turn into dinner, I decided to wave the white flag and let Lu Lu's Carry Out make dinner that night.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I was a little surprised at how busy they were despite how late it was.  Delighted that our order was already waiting for me, I exchanged pleasantries with the owner while paying for our meals and then headed out the door on my way home.

When I got back inside the car, I immediately saw the car's spare key fob sitting inside the drink holder, which is evidence of a very bad habit my husband continues to have when he moves or drives my car...

Welcome Back! Meet Our St. Matthew Super Heroes!

The Avengers claim to be earth's mightiest heroes... but as Christians, we know that Jesus is the True Defender of the Universe, and as His followers, our job is to tell others about Him! This year, we are so excited to announce that the theme for this school year is "Let the Whole World See the Greatness of Our God!", based off of the popular song by the musical group, The Newsboys. Last spring, our current 7th grade worked with me in designing the logo. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Ron Harper for taking the student sketches and turning them into this awesome visual reminder that our responsibility as Christians is to actively "GO and TELL" others around the whole world about our awesome God!...

With God, All Things Are Possible! ~ Mark 10:27

We began this school year with the motto of "Dream Small And Watch God Work In Big Ways", based off the Scripture verse "With God, all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

Throughout this school year, we have been in awe of the tremendous and BIG blessings that the Lord has showered upon us and the opportunities that He has presented for us to do great things in His name.

As I sat and reflected with a group of students and teachers, we came up with the following list of memorable 2018/2019 blessings:

Whose Idea Was This?

"He who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4

Have you ever experienced a situation that sounded like a great idea in the beginning, but midway through... you start to question your judgment?
Visiting Alaska has always been a dream, and at the end of this June, Ken and I are extremely blessed that the Lord is opening this door and enabling us to go. However, one major part of the itinerary for this trip is numerous days of hiking.
Last Monday, Ken in his wisdom announced his grand idea! He felt that we really need to get our new hiking boots broken in... so what better way than to walk the 8 mile path around Kensington Park!
If you recall, Monday was a magnificent day! The sun was shining and the temperature was absolutely perfect for walking. However, the only uncooperative factor was the brand new boots!
For the first two miles, everything was great! My legs were noticing the hills but nothing that caused a problem. However, somewhere along mile four, things began to dramatically change...


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