• 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…

  • Uncategorized

    This Brings Life {Day 4}

    {Day 4} “The tongue has the power of life and death.” ~ Proverbs 18:21a NIV I wish someone would have warned me about what strangers might say that morning I walked into the welfare office to register for food stamps. Since our income was cut in half when I stopped working to start treatment, we had no other choice but to lean on the government to survive. I adjusted my bandana around my bald head and signed in for my appointment. When I sat, I noticed a sweet teenager wearing tattered jeans cuddling her baby. She asked a few questions about my circumstance as I lifted my infant out of…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement

    {Day 3}

    {Day 3} “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”  ~ Ephesians 3:20b NLT   I’m a planner. A finagler. A behind-the-scenes manipulator. But oftentimes, my strategy doesn’t follow His formula. In my quest to speed up my healing journey, I developed an obsession with finding methods to rid myself of the disease. Many of these tactics shifted my focus from my Creator towards His created things. Mind you, they were good things like herbs, vitamins, and detoxing, which all promised the healing I longed for. I think we can all agree…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement

    Stop. {Day 2} (And opinions, please.)

    {Jason and I eating take-out and playing cards with Shelly and George.} Hello, sweet friends. Here is Day 2 of the devotional I’m writing for the newly diagnosed. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this first: Preface and Day 1. Blessings, Dabney {Day 2} “Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?” ~ Matthew 6:27 NLT Stop. This is what I wish someone would have told me to say during my down days, to audibly utter the word, “Stop” when I sank into sadness. Here’s why. We can often get discouraged when we obsess over what’s wrong. In moments like…

  • Encouragement,  Publishing/Cut Chapters

    Opinions Needed {Day 1}

    Hello, sweet friends. I’ve been doing something for the last few years, and it’s time to let you in on my secret. Eek. I’ve started to write a devotional for the newly diagnosed, and I think I’m ready for my favorite friends to have a sneak peek (that’s you!). I am hoping to release a devo twice a month, but eventually the whole devo will be available for free as a download on my blog so you can forward this on to those who may need the encouragement. Here’s where you come in. I’d LOVE your feedback! No, really, I’m serious. I’ve looked at this devo so many times that…

  • Encouragement

    Today is Going to be a Good Day

    Today is going to be a good day! 5 years ago I had open heart surgery, and when I woke up I had amnesia. For 6 days I didn’t know where I was or even my kids’ names (I still struggle with memory issues a tad). It took months to bounce back. That’s why I start my journal entry each morning by writing, “Today is going to be a good day.” This helps me seek out the positive instead of focusing on the negative. Sweet friends, if you’re not tethered to a hospital bed, then today is already a good day. At the end of the night before you go…

  • Uncategorized

    Put Your Hands Up…

    It’s funny. I felt like God put this post on my heart to share one day after my walk, but I never did. I was too afraid of posting anything remotely positive after arriving home and reading the headlines. But you see–there’s this catchy song that says, “Put your hands up if you feel like having a good time” (It’s Good to be Alive by Meghan Trainor), and it sticks in your head and causes your toes to tap. I desperately want to have a good time. I miss my fun outings with friends. I miss singing in a live church service (and listening to the message!). I miss smiling…

  • Encouragement,  Uncategorized

    Going Corona-Crazy?

    {Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels} You’re home. Your kids are home. And now you have to motivate them to finish school, and stay sane during this unusual time. Ack. We know by now this sickness is serious, and that quarantine is the fastest way to help lessen the duration of this disease if we follow the CDC guidelines to limit contact with others. However, you may be struggling with how to temper your teen who is begging to see friends, but can’t. Here’s how to survive weeks at home with your kiddos during the Corona-crazy: (Side note. Some of my suggestions below may sound a tad radical, but I’ve homeschooled four…

  • Encouragement

    Be Her First

    {I’ll explain the “gray-shirt guy” at the end.} I woke this morning with a crazy desire to reread a funny “I see you…” card a friend had slipped me last night at a Palm Beach Women’s Network event. As I pulled it out while sipping my coffee, I giggled and began thinking of the other women at my table I wanted to send a quick text to thank them for their vulnerability last night. That’s when it hit me. I loved this feeling deep in my soul that I don’t often wake with, because I’m a mom filled with mom obligations, which I love, but I rarely make time to…

  • Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    One of the Hardest Years of My Life

    {Photo credit: Calvary Church Jupiter} 2019 was one of the hardest years of my life. This is me, just being honest. One day I will blog openly about this. Promise. It’s too crazy not to. Actually, I’ve even considered writing a novel based on some of the zany events that happened. Who knows. But what I can tell you is that in life, you have to focus on the positive (God’s Word) or you may go batty. I came close, that’s for sure. I was also able to find a few friends I could trust with the private events of my life, who I knew were praying me through the…

  • Giveaways

    I’m Back! And Free What? {Also, Take Two.}

    {This is my second time posting this blog because the first post no one received an email. Ack. I think we’ve fixed this kink, but as you’ll be able to see if you visit dabneyland.com, I’ve updated the site. Can you do me a favor? Can you let me know if you’ve received this post via email? That would be the best Christmas gift ever. I miss you guys! It’s good to be back.} I’m Back! I know. Can you believe it? I have a new fancy-schmancy website thanks to the talented @megan__james! Amazing. And guess what? For continuing your loyalty to this blog, I have a free gift just…

  • Encouragement,  Most Popular Posts,  Uncategorized

    Unstoppable

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent (unstoppable).” ~ Calvin Coolidge

  • Uncategorized

    Slog Away, Sweet Friends.

    Just walk. Or Slog (AKA: Slow jog). 1 mile. One foot in front of the other at whatever pace feels right. It will only take you 14 minutes. You’re worth that. Just do it. Today. Because if you can, consider this a gift. One day our bodies will wane. One day resting will seem more redeeming than running. So start small and don’t give up. Listen to “Light Shine Bright,” TobyMac. Or “Won’t Turn Back,” NEEDTOBREATHE. Or maybe you can reply and share your favorite get-your-blood-pumping song that motivates your fancy-pants to move. I’d love that. ; ) 24 hours, remember. Time is a gift you’ll never get back. With…

  • Encouragement,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    The Choice

    {Previously published on Palm Beach Women’s Network website} There’s something you need to know about me. I’m that sick girl. You know, the one always battling an illness. And when I say sick girl, I mean the kind who fought cancer twice by the age of 26, the first time while pregnant. The laundry list of my ailments is long—10 life-threatening illnesses, four near-death experiences over the course of 20 years—long. But my most recent medical oddity was when I grew a round knot the size of an extra-large egg out of the center of my chest. Really? I can’t make this stuff up. Praise God my hard lump was…