Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This year has been one of the best and the hardest of my life. There have been so many days that I just wanted to throw my hands up in the arm... but with each of those days there have been lessons learned. Some of those lessons were more easily seen and learned than other. Some I am still trying to figure out and learn from them.

 For weeks, months, I have been dealing with consistent exhaustion, an unusually upset stomach, changing sleeping patterns, moments of trying to grasp my thoughts or words, and even some crazy moments of blacking out. Honestly, I chalked it all up to stress. But there was more to it than that. A few weeks ago, I went in for a biopsy and another procedure. My doctor found 4 tumors. The results of the biopsy was that they were moderate, borderline severe. Thankfully, they caught them at the precancerous stage! But my doctor advised immediate, invasive treatment to remove the tumors before they cross over into the severe stage. Today will be my first treatment and I have so many thoughts and prayers going through my head.  I don't know how many times I've read this verse but "with thanksgiving" is what has recently stuck out to me. This time has held some serious lessons in faith and trust in God's provision and healing. How many times have I taken my anxiety to Him but not thanked Him ahead of time for what He is going to do with this situation? He will provide. So thank Him now. He will heal. So thank Him now. He will restore. So thank Him now.
So what am I praying for and thankful for?

I am praying for an effective treatment and that my doctor will be able to remove them in as few treatments as possible.
I am praying that my body will accept the treatments well.
I am praying for patience and endurance. For me, for JP, for ARG... all of us! With this I have been very limited in being able to pick up ARG or carry her. This is definitely something that I will NEVER take for granted again.

I am thankful for a job that is flexible and understanding. I am able to work from home when I can so that I am not completely missing out on work(which means hours and income).
I am thankful that after several weeks of JP being out of work that he has started a new job that he seems to love.
I am thankful that he is getting a LOT of overtime hours which will help tremendously in helping us catch up on bills.
I am thankful for a few close friends who are always checking on me and willing to help.
I am thankful for family. Heather came to visit for AR's first birthday and she worked for hours to put up 14 freezer meals for us(plus several for mom). JP's mom is staying in town for my first treatment and to take care of AR for the first few days afterwards.
I am thankful for early detection.
I am thankful for a Father who is a God of grace, mercy, healing and restoration.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tiny Moments

Today is a special day. Today is Ann Rainey's first birthday. This year has gone by so very quickly. It has had some good moments, some bad moments, and some downright struggles. But no matter what, getting to be this girl's momma is honestly the sweetest and most treasured blessing of my entire life.

Everyone tells you that time will fly once you become a parent. Nothing can ever prepare you for it. It feels like just yesterday when we were waiting for our Squidget to make her arrival. I remember waking up in the early AM hours being completely uncomfortable and going downstairs to watch Christmas movies. I remember my water breaking, though at the time I really didn't realize that was what was happening. Seriously though... But let me just point out that it is not at all as dramatic as the movies make it out to be. HA. That morning I went ahead and showered, waiting and timing the contractions. When JP's alarm went off at 3:30am I told him that he wouldn't be going to work today because we would be having a baby that morning. I am so glad that Ann Rainey is ours.

The last year has flown by but it has been made of tiny moments, memories that are forever ingrained in my mind. Tonight AR was exhausted and ready for bed way before her usual time because she didn't take an afternoon nap. We fought to keep her awake until 7 and she went straight into her bed and fell asleep. Less than 30 minutes later she was awake again, crying out terrified, most likely because of the bad weather we are having. I had been working in the living room so I tried to cuddle with her on the couch until she calmed down. Then we went into her room, turned on her music and enjoyed the scents from her diffuser. It is something we do nightly, something so familiar and so soothing(for her AND for me). We don't rock her to sleep anymore. Instead we read together, feed her a night time bottle, cuddle and sing for a few minutes. Then we place her in her bed and, on the nights she doesn't fall asleep quickly, she self soothes (Honestly, one of the best decisions we have ever made in this crazy thing called parenthood but that is another subject all together). But those tiny, perfect moments are what matters. There is plenty of lack of sleep, hard nights, laundry, tears with no explanation, and feeling completely helpless. But in those moments I know I am living out my purpose. I know that I am relevant and that I am making a difference, not to the world but in her world. Thankfully we have been blessed with the opportunity where work is flexible and it can wait so that I can enjoy those tiny moments. I hope I never take the little pieces of time for granted.