• Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Take Two {Day 1}

    {A few months before my diagnosis in 1998, I rested while my hubby and his parents walked around the Miami Zoo.) Well, as I posted devotionals weekly for about 6 months or so, thinking my subscribers were receiving my blogs, it turns out maybe 3 sweet friends were the recipients. Ha. I’ve since updated my subscriber list to include all my favorite people who have asked to be included. Can you do me a favor? If you were receiving my blogs in the past, can you comment below and let me know? This way I’ll know if I need to make further adjustments. Because of my snafu, I’m posting my…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Say What? {Day 29}

    {Photo credit A.L. from Unsplash.com} {Day 29} “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9 NLT   I’ll never forget the day in 2019, when I pounded widely on my steering wheel, yelling out to God. Looking a tad crazy didn’t faze me anymore, even if I was sitting at a stop light. And I’m sure the cars next to me imagined this mom must have gone nuts. But I no longer cared. Truly. I know. Not the most peaceful type of action a strong believer should admit to, right? But sometimes my…

  • Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

    Stay Alert! {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

    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.…

  • 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…

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    Where Are You Focusing? {Day 11}

    {Day 11} “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” ~ Matthew 14:29-31 NLT (emphasis added) I love how the Bible showcases Peter’s boldness in one sentence, yet highlights his fear in the next. These two teeny, tiny verses starkly contradict one another. Can we just pause and praise God for this type of transparency written in His Word? Because you know what…

  • 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 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…

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    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…

  • Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    Search Me {And Surgery Update}

    I’ll never forget the day I learned my cancer had returned. Standing in the kitchen, I gripped the phone as my oncologist shared the news. My knees gave out, and I slid to the floor. Deep from within, moans I’d never heard before bellowed out. Shock, fear, and then anger set in as I shouted to God two words: “Why me?” What had I done to deserve this? Looking back, I now see that God had a plan, one which included a great deal of earthly pain on my part, but would eventually turn into back-to-back miracles on His. His plan, the best plan, would slowly unfold over the years…

  • Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    Refining Our Spiritual Reputation

    “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”—Romans 1:8 (NKJV) In this verse, the apostle Paul praises the faith-filled Christians living in Rome. At first glance, it’s easy to miss the historical significance of Paul’s admiration. Consider this: Rome was a hedonistic culture—a modern-day mixture of Vegas and Hollywood,if you will. At the time of this writing, around 56 AD, Rome’s extravagant societywas focused on self-pleasurerather than service. As a result, they marginalized the sick and elderly, and they even discarded their unwanted infants.Now imagine a group of these same selfish people believing in something deep enough…

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    Sorrow Isn't A Sin

    {Devotional For Those Walking Through Hardship} “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” ~ Jesus Matthew 26:38 One thing is certain, when I was pregnant with cancer, I felt overwhelmed with sorrow. Fear crept into my life overnight, and wrestled with my thoughts for 10 years while I battled illness after illness. Sometimes I thought I was the only one, until I read that the most perfect man who ever lived experienced sorrow to the point of death. Sorrow, then, isn’t a sin. It’s an emotion that tells us we have a beating heart when we face insurmountable despair.…

  • Most Popular Posts,  Previously Published Articles,  Uncategorized

    The One Thing I Wish I Believed Sooner

      {A recent guest post I shared over at ILoveDevotionals.com.}   I used to be fearful of a lot of things. I worried about money. I agonized over work projects and whether I was competent to perform a job well done. Seeking the approval of others was another fear. Did I offend them? Will they like me or secretly laugh at me?    It’s funny the things I let consume my thoughts; such trivial matters in comparison to reality.    Money? I could always make more. Work? I could always refine my skills. Approval? People, I’ve learned, are typically more concerned with themselves, not my little blunders.   But a life-threatening…