Day 83-31 – Handmade by Heroes

#TeamJustus I want to tell you right away about the picture. Notice two things especially. First I love that his shirt says “brave”. Second I want you to pay particular attention to the wristband on his right wrist. One of the common threads throughout this journey is the number of people who have been affected and have been a part of #TeamJustus. Some have done so in big ways, others in small ways. All of it is appreciated and all of it is what has made this trip so fulfilling, as hard as it’s been. I don’t know how many times some of you have brought tears to my eyes sharing your story or writing a word of encouragement to Justus and his family. I remember early on one of the hashtags we considered using was #JustusStrong. There were things about it that felt really encouraging and in many ways said exactly the message we wanted it to say! Well after we chose to go the #TeamJustus route, I made the comment to my daughter Caroline (married to my son Tavita) that maybe we should have used the other option. She immediately reminded me of how important and accurate having the word “Team” in the hashtag! Don’t you hate it when your kids are smarter than you?

The point of course is, she was right and #TeamJustus is exactly what we were meant to have. The team that has assembled near and far, praying and supporting our little warrior has been overwhelming. What is so breathtaking about #TeamJustus is it wasn’t just a quick viral one night sensation. In fact it did take on a little of that effect somewhere in the early days. Around the time of President Bush joining #TeamJustus the numbers seemed to peak and I fully expected everything to just quickly begin to wane. If you remember I even asked for prayer about what I should do with all of this writing. By the way as best as I can tell I’ve now written around 120 posts… meaning we’re well over 120,000 words… just to put that in perspective novels typically run between 70,000 and 120,000 words… a 180,000 word novel is about 650 paperback pages! So if you’ve been reading since the beginning (Original Post), you’ve literally read a novel! My thought was when people stopped reading and it ceased to really serve anyone, then it would feel right to simply stop. But it just sort of leveled out and has actually grown a little over time.

Wow, that was a long way to say the people and entities that have been a part of #TeamJustus have been wide and varied; family and friends flying in from Nashville and California, Phoenix and Hawaii. One team member that lives in Lakewood, Vikki took it upon herself to contact “Handmade by Heroes” to order a bracelet for Justus. When she told them his story they too became a part of #TeamJustus and wanted to give him his bracelet. Like I said, people have been overwhelming! At any rate, I want to encourage you to check out “Handmade by Heroes” website ( They make cool stuff, but it is such a great cause, helping out veterans.

Please keep our little guy’s surgery in your prayer… this Tuesday we’ll be going back to Doernbecher. Our prayer is that it will be a very short stay before returning to Randall. Would you also please remember my daughter and son in your prayers. They’ve know at some point someone was going to have to return to work and that day is rapidly approaching. Please pray for a smooth transition into that, for the logistics to be figured out, for an enormous amount of grace for my daughter, and for wisdom as they discuss and work out all the details. And would you please go to #TeamJustus Prayer requests and make it a point to pray for a few of the requests on there. And may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace. We love you!