Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Please pray for my cousin Esther

Hey Friends-

I have some hard news to share. Below I copied an email from Esther's family (my cousin) about her current condition. Esther is an amazing cousin of mine, a bridesmaid in my wedding, and a close friend... she was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2007. through surgery and chemo/radiation the cancer was eradicated, but unfortunately it has returned. Please read the email below and pray when you can. You can also visit to donate funds for her treatment. The treatment she needs is only available at MD Anderson and their family insurance doesn't have coverage there.

Esther has been cancer free for more than 6 months now, but Esther had an MRI test this weekend and found out she has another tumor in her lower spine. We found out today the cancer has spread from her lower spine, to her neck, and to her brain. This time the cancer is really aggressive and did not respond to the chemotherapy the first time. They are treating her with radiation at Scott and White in Houston but the are trying to get her in at M.D. Anderson in Houston for better treatment. The cancer is too aggressive and growing rapidly. Please pray for Esther and her family at this time. Thank you so much for your love and support. I know I can trust you will pray to God on their behalf.

Below is the email from her family.

Dear family and friends,

As a family we really want to tell you how thankful we are for your tremendous prayer support for Esther during this time. God, He knows best. As you know, we received a call last Friday from Esther’s doctor that there has been a recurrence of cancer in Esther’s lower spine.

Yesterday we met with an oncologist to find out the full results of what is going on, and what we should expect. With great sadness in our hearts, we have come to find out that the cancer called Medulloblastoma which had originally formed in her brain has now formed in her lower spine where she has been feeling pain. In addition to her spine, the MRI results are showing spread to the brain, lesions in the neck area, and metastasis to her bones. The most significant concern for Esther is that this cancer has become extremely aggressive over a very short period of time, and seems to show that the cancer cells became resistant to the chemotherapy that was administered to her a few months ago. They are running more tests on her today to find out if it has gone to other places in her body, like her chest.

The doctor is trying to set up an appointment upon our request, for Esther to be treated at M.D. Anderson in Houston. We have not yet heard when that appointment will be, and we are not sure how long it will take due to high volume of requests for patient care at their facility. Until then, the doctors are trying to set Esther up for some radiation to the lower spine at Scott & White in Temple. They will try and do as much as they can, giving some new types of chemotherapy and radiation.

Overall however, her cancer has rapidly advanced to Stage 4- the highest level of metastasis (spread). The doctor said that the chances of finding a cure for her are very slim.

We TRUST in God…we will not give up hope and we will not fall into despair, because our hope alone is in Christ. This Christ, He loves her more than any of us could ever love her, and though this is not making any sense- we are trusting that He is a good God. He promises that He is always FOR us, never against us. That is what we are holding on to. Please please continue to pray for us, and continue to call us and encourage us. The truth will make us free.

With love,
The Boyalapalli Family

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Love Him More Everyday

(Picture from our honeymoon! August 2006)

I fall more in love with Tim everyday!

Thinking about my cousin getting married or even when anyone gets married, it makes me reflect on my marriage and what God is teaching me.

Marriage is a beautiful reflection of Christ loving the church. I have learned so much about God's unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness. I am a lucky girl to be married to the man of my dreams. Tim is truly selfless and is a continuous encourager and challenger in my relationship with God. If you spend one day with him, you will know he is not content with just living a life focused on worldly pleasures, but wants to share with others the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ.

Just like any other marriage starting out, we had to get used to living with the opposite sex, figuring out what our roles are, learning how to better communicate, and being completely vulnerable with one another. Now those are some adjustments!! But through talking, praying, fighting, crying, and laughing, we have learned to embrace and love our differences (and smiliarities). We really try to enjoy the simple joys in life and the gift of marriage God has given us. We know our relationship is not about us, but about glorifying God and making us holy.

(Verses read at our wedding)
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
1 John 4:7-12

Our marriage is not by any means perfect or easy all the time, but I can see God refining us through the harder times and this makes the sweet times that much sweeter.

Below are some pictures from our honeymoon in August 2006. Old pictures I know, but when I reminsice on where we were, where we are now, and where God is taking us it makes me cherish these pictures so much more.
Looking at these pictures makes me think of how much I loved him when we first got married and to how much more I love him now.
I fall more in love with him everyday!


This is us at one of our dinner reservations off the beach. yeah, it was pretty amazing!!

No, this picture does not reflect how excited we were to be married. :) Our marriage has gotten goofier and goofier through the years.

Kisses are great with me! He is such a sweetie.

Is he not the most adorable thing you have every seen!! I love that smile.

I am excited to be known as his!

I don't know how we did it, but we did a great job matching at night for our dinners. We did not coordinate or anything, it was just intuition. We were meant for each other. :)

I love him more with each passing day!

In May we are expecting our first baby girl and we are pumped!! We know the chapter of our lives of just the two of us is over and the journey of starting a family is beginning. We cannot wait to see where the Lord leads us and teaches us in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rachel's Bridal Shower

My cousin Rachel is getting married in March. I grew up with Rachel and love how our relationship has grown. We don't get to see each other very often, but when we email, talk on the phone, or do see each other it's like we were never apart.

She is a godly woman whose complete desire is to glorify the Lord in everything she does. This not a cliche thing, she really does live her life this way. You will never leave a conversation from this girl without her sharing how beautiful God is and what she is learning. Her fiance, Benjamin, sounds just the same. They both desire this for their marriage and other relationships. Great couple!

Below are a few pictures from her "Black and White" themed bridal shower. We had a blast!

The beautiful, glowing bride-to-be Rachel!

The bride to be, Rachel, with her sisters Rebecca and Esther.

My cousins and me hanging out/catching up at the shower.

My sister Shubhra was a huge organizer and decorator for the day. She definitely has a gifting for planning and organizing events. I think she has found her calling....well after the army. :)

My Mom and me chilin at the shower. We were sportin' the black and white.

I love hangin with my cousins!