• Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Pure Joy is an Option {Day 16}

    {Day 16} “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-4 NLT Full confession. I used to crinkle my nose at this verse when things weren’t going my way. How can the comparison between two conflicting adjectives like “trials” and “joy” even be in the same sentence when we face cancer? Or heart failure? Or some other debilitating disease? During the darker days of my illnesses, I needed further explanation to help me wrap my head…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Perfect Peace {Day 15}

    {Day 15} “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” ~ Isaiah 26:3 NLT “Dabney…how much money is two quarters and a dime,” my cardiologist asked me each day he visited my hospital room after my open-heart surgery. Eyes wide, I stared at my husband, silently begging him for the answer, then slowly shrugged. “How old are your kids?” I shot another look to Jason, my brain searching for the answer. Another shrug. “Dabney, what year is it?” Excited, I said,“1995!” The doctor crossed his arms, then walked Jason out of the room like he had done so many days before. Of…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Fix Your Eyes {Day 14}

    {Picture from 2010. They grow up so fast!} {Day 14} “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17&18 (italics added)   {Modified blog post before my heart surgery in 2015}   I have to believe that in this situation I’m walking through right now that God wants to give me the desires of my heart. Unlike a broken house, I’m afraid this broken body has a healthy fear of…

  • man with wings standing on brown mountain peak
    Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Ack. And, {Day 13}.

    Back in November, each blog (well, devotional) I posted no longer magically appeared in your inbox. Ack. Somehow I accidently did something that deleted this handy-dandy feature. Well. I think I’m back. And I will be posting (again) my devos to bring you up to speed. My prayer is that these messages are helping someone. God bless you guys! Warmly, Dabney ~~~ Jesus Did What? {Day 13}

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Stay Alert! {Day 18}

    {Day 18} “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” ~ 1 Peter 5:8 NLT   It started with a whisper. Do you feel that? That pinch in your upper chest, near your heart. My hand tapped the area. There it was again. If felt like someone had threaded my vein with a needle and left the pointy metal lodged inside. A couple of years prior, a stent, or small tube was placed in my Superior Vena Cava (SVC), and I had read that sometimes stents slide and need to be sutured back in place. Many…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Everything? {Day 17}

    {Day 17} “Do everything without complaining and arguing,” ~ Philippians 2:14 NLT It turns out, my breathing problems, extreme fatigue, and upper body swelling after open-heart surgery were caused by a blocked vein called the Superior Vena Cava (SVC). Basically, my blood flow was restricted from my heart to the rest of my body from scar tissue where my port (internal IV connected to main artery) was placed 14 years prior from my chemotherapy treatment. This type of scar tissue is not normal, and typically does not affect other patients. Yet, we had hit another hiccup, one that drove me into a rather laughable despair considering the crazy medical journey…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Pure Joy Is An Option {Day 16}

    {Day 16} “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-4 NLT Full confession. I used to crinkle my nose at this verse when things weren’t going my way. How can the comparison between two conflicting adjectives like “trials” and “joy” even be in the same sentence when we face cancer? Or heart failure? Or some other debilitating disease? During the darker days of my illnesses, I needed further explanation to help me wrap my head…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Perfect Peace {Day 15}

    {Day 15} “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” ~ Isaiah 26:3 NLT “Dabney…how much money is two quarters and a dime,” my cardiologist asked me each day he visited my hospital room after my open-heart surgery.   Eyes wide, I stared at my husband, silently begging him for the answer, then slowly shrugged. “How old are your kids?” I shot another look to Jason, my brain searching for the answer. Another shrug. “Dabney, what year is it?” Excited, I said,“1995!” The doctor crossed his arms, then walked Jason out of the room like he had done so many days before.…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Fix Your Eyes {Day 14}

    {Day 14} “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17&18 (italics added) {Modified blog post before my heart surgery in 2015} I have to believe that in this situation I’m walking through right now that God wants to give me the desires of my heart. Unlike a broken house, I’m afraid this broken body has a healthy fear of the operating table. And since my organs don’t always like…

  • man with wings standing on brown mountain peak
    Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Jesus Did What? {Day 13}

    “He…knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” ~ Luke 22:41-44 NLT It happened during my morning jog. Gripping my cell phone, I headed out the door in my best attempt to exercise. I used to run regularly, albeit I was super slow. Knowing the benefits of my routine often pushed me to keep up the habit, especially…

  • man in white shirt and black pants sitting on rock near lake
    Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear,  Uncategorized

    Then {Day 12}

    “Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble,  and he delivered them out of their distresses. ~ Psalm 107:6 KJV I remember the day Erin Brockovich, the well-known environmental activist, visited our town in 2009 and alleged what our community had feared: We were living in a cancer-cluster and water contamination was to blame. Each bath, hand-washed dish, or dip in our above-ground pool my family of six encountered meant cancer-causing elements were slowly absorbing into our system. Given my pervious cancer battles, never before had we wanted to move so quickly, yet with this unsettling news the housing prices in our area had plummeted. As a result, we owed…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    {Day 9} Bad to Worse?

    {Day 9} Bad to Worse? “Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in My name, there I am with them.” ~ Matthew 18:19&20 NLT   Four years after my stem cell transplant, we struggled with infertility because all of the chemotherapy had thrown my body into premature menopause. The good news is that my closed womb opened our hearts toward adopting a precious baby girl from China right after my 31st birthday. Overjoyed with our newest addition, I now felt…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    {Day 8}

    {Day 8} “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” ~ Proverbs 30:5 NLT   I clutched my red journal a sweet friend had given me before I started my stem cell transplant. Each time Scripture spoke to my soul, I jotted the words down along the hand-pressed pages like they were my personal shield that stopped Satan’s arrows from penetrating my heart. I’ve kept this notebook all these years later and flip through these reminders from time to time. Interestingly, what I recall most about this season of my life was how God spoke to me during my darkest moments,…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    {Day 7}

    {Day 7} “As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the [enemy]…”  ~ 2 Chronicles 20:22a I laid on my couch at home, exhausted for the umpteenth time weeks after finishing my stem cell transplant, and surviving the near-death ordeal because of a blood clot. (Just so you know, resting is always allowable when we’re sick). But you’d think after overcoming all of this, I’d feel pretty pleased to put this mess behind me. And I was. But do you know what one sentence crept in from time to time when I felt an itch, or extra tired, or perceived any discomfort? That maybe my cancer journey wasn’t…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    {Day 6}

    “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26 NLT   On the third night of my stem cell transplant, I sat up in my hospital bed, gasping like someone was dunking my head underwater. Hitting the nurses’ call button, I stammered out, “I can’t breathe.” With shaky hands, I dialed my husband around midnight for prayer. Jason called our pastor and then followed by calling our family and friends, all the while my nurses injected some type of medicine into my IV. My eyelids slid shut, and I fell asleep upright slumped over my knees. When I…