Handling Disappointment in a Way that Won’t Damage Us Further

I used to think I did fine at handling disappointment. You just kind of roll with the punches and realize life isn’t fair, and “move on.” But what if you’re stuck in the dead of winter with no signs of spring to blossom forth from the snow? The...
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Communicating with Your Spouse When You Don’t Know Where to Start

I’m a stuffer.   Not a hoarder stuffer, but a conflict and communication in general stuffer. There’s usually one person in a relationship who stifles communication, not able to openly talk with their spouse because they don’t even know where to start. My husband...
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Why Pain Pills Are Sometimes Necessary: Especially If You Hate Them

Let me first start by saying I never thought I would be writing a defense for pain pills. Sure, I first began treatment with pain pills at the young age of thirteen after getting my first (and most painful) kidney stone, but I hated them for years thereafter.   A...
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10 Faith Filled Books for the Chronically Ill

  When you’re in the deepest of trenches, sometimes you just need the right book to offer itself in your life and commiserate with you. Enter in our list of books of Faith Filled Books for the Chronically Ill. Faith is the main backbone of all these books....
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8 Reasons Why Millennials Aren’t Getting Married

I just wrote a personal take on millennials and our fear of marriage here. But right now, I wanted to take the time to discuss why millennials aren’t getting married. This is in no way an extensive list; I can think of a few more points of why marriage...
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A Letter to Wives, You Were Once a Girlfriend Before You Became a Mrs.

  “You know, you’ll always be my boyfriend.” I turned to my then new fiance’ to say those words, then looked into his face to see the look of repulsion etched on his face as if I just called him “terd-face.”   “But I don’t want to be your boyfriend. It...
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When Your Goals Seem Out of Reach Because of Your Struggles: How Do You Dream for Tomorrow?

    The piping hot coffee coupled with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked cookies was presented in front of the men and women I was positioned in front of. Their wrinkled faces peered at me, waiting for me to speak on the topic at hand: New Year’s...
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The Light of Messy Hope

We didn’t know when we first created “Inkblots” that my health would demand my body to stay in a pitch-black room or else intense neuro issues would strike. We were literally and figuratively in the dark. It was at that time where my husband...
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Lord, Teach Us to Pray

  I looked out the car window as palm tree lined medians became a blur matching my own blurred thoughts. I then looked at my husband, Michael, who was driving when the words came, “My mind feels so numb that I just don’t know what to pray anymore.”   It was...
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Using the Serenity Prayer in Our Everyday Life

If you’re anything like me, you may think of the word serenity and immediately remember Frank Costanza, George Costanza’s zany father from Seinfeld going through a fictional self-help material based on the very real faddish trend of DIY self-help psychology in the...
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To the Millennial Who Is Afraid of Marriage

“And would you wipe her butt if she became really sick?” “Wait, what kind of question is that?” I can almost picture my husband’s quizzical expression. After a moment of thought he finished with, “Yes, if it came down to it, I would.” ”Well, if you would be...
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You’re Not Alone In Your Suffering

    Can I confess something? I’m still puzzled about the events that have taken place in my life since I married Michael several years ago. The strange abnormalities that sent me to numerous doctors with one proclaiming they had only seen a case like...
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Chuck Norris’ Autobiography, Against All Odds

Chuck Norris’ autobiography, Against All Odds was so epic, that it wrote itself. That is the line most of us in the Chuck Norris Legendary-Fandom world would have used to describe this personal memoir of Chuck Norris.’ If you’re unfamiliar with this line of joking,...
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Great Gift Ideas For Hope & Health

Whenever we embark on a season of giving, I think of the piles of well-intentioned gifts that are now buried in closets never to see the light of day because the gift didn’t hold a purpose. We decided to formulate an intentional gift giving list for gift ideas...
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What to do When You Can’t Write Because of Brain Fog

Brain Fog. It’s the nebulous foe of anyone with a chronic illness who enjoys writing…or you know, thinking. You stare at the screen, but the cursor just seems to blink repetitiously among a blank sea of nothingness. Meanwhile, your brain feels like...
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#Thankful

Thankfulness took on a different meaning for us over the past several Thanksgivings. For some unknown reason, this is when Sarah has had some of her worst episodes… On Thanksgiving day 2013, just months before we were married, Sarah began to have her episodes...
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Grieving Your Chronic Illness

  “You know you don’t have to cry. Look on the positive side.” I don’t remember my husband, Michael’s exact words those many months ago, but they were along those lines. I was sitting on the bed and glanced over at our wedding photos...
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Your Message Will Be Attacked

  Whatever message you have on your heart will be attacked. If you feel called to be a crusader of hope, you will come to doubt hope’s very existence. If your mission is to rehabilitate the homeless, you’ll eventually come to wonder if they even want...
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15 Picture Quotes: A Journey in Need of Light

  We know many who could use a little light  now to illuminate their path in a journey in need of light. Some are gravely concerned over the fate of our country. Others have personal problems tucked closely to them. Whatever the case, we are a people in need of...
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And Even Still, God Is Good

  I had tears filling my eyes over an ampersand sign embellished on a tee. Yes, you heard me correctly, one of those squiggly “and” signs. To save my dignity slightly, they were the type of tears that were stopped before they threatened to spill onto...
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When My Invisible Illness Became Visible

  I was posed this simple yet thought provoking question from my husband the other day. “What do you think is worse- having an invisible illness or visible?”  The question took my aback. I didn’t know the dividing line between invisible and...
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A Letter to the Caregiver

  Dear Caregiver, You’ve been the strength for someone physically ailing, but you’re left out of the spotlight. It’s not that you want accolades- you just want people to understand what you are undergoing is more than a full-time job. Caregiving...
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Jesus Redefines Our Success

I was talking with someone on the phone a couple years back about the feeling of purposelessness that’s linked with chronic illness. They too, had a health condition that greatly restricted their livelihood, yet I couldn’t help but hear a positive lilt to...
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The Story We Never Would Have Wanted to Be Ours

If you had given us several scenarios of where we would be at in the next five years at the beginning of our relationship when we  were freshly dreaming of married life, this circumstance we now are in would be immediately dismissed. This is not the story we would...
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The Story We Never Wanted to Be Ours 2

Michael: I‘m thankful so many people still care to ask about how Sarah is doing. Unfortunately, that leaves me fishing for an answer that’s hard to describe. The truth of the matter is: she has improved steadily since the end of ’14, but since she...
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Why We Celebrate the Day We Met

  September 23rd. It’s just a day on the calendar to most, and quite honestly, it could have been for us as well. I mean, it’s not our wedding anniversary.  It was the day we met five years ago, and we decided to make it special by celebrating the day...
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The Oak Tree Revisited

  A seed scatters across the winds, full of potential although some throw them into trash bins. Some fall in streams carried to places unknown. Could they have sprouted? Could they have grown? Some were swallowed by the birds of the air. But for this seed...
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15 Quotes for When You Need A Spot of Hope

  If one of the central messages of Inkblots of an Idealist is hope, then we felt it had to be a must to offer you 15 quotes in the form of photo messages that revolve around hope. If there is a quote (or quotes) you feel should have made the list, let us know in...
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Rethinking Our Thinking: You’re Not Your Bad Days

  Our lives are arranged into a mosaic of good moments and bad. Yet those bad moments tend to cobweb our thinking into redefining an entire situation as utterly detestable. The days where I am literally crying out in pain seem to muddle my thinking and can...
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Is There Ever a Purpose for Sin pt. 2: David’s Story

If you haven’t read part one of this series yet, click here so you can get the scope of the story in full context.   We all know the story. Instead of going out to battle as kings were meant to, (1 Samuel 11:1) King David refrained from the battleground to...
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Is There Ever a Purpose for Sin? Part 1: Joseph’s Side

  Living in a world fettered by sin, we have all fallen short of God’s glory, and we have all disobeyed God by feeding our fleshly desires. But is there a purpose for this- is there a purpose for the pain someone else’s sin has inflicted upon us? Is there a...
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A Letter to the Person Facing Chronic Illness

  To My Dear Friend Facing Chronic Illness: I’ve seen you coming out from the doctor’s office. You come back soon after with orange cylindrical bottles that have newly hit the market, promising change. Or you have your armful of supplements lined up neatly on the...
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15 More Quotes on Love

  We previously did 15 quotes on Love and Marriage  here. With so many great quotes on the subject, we decided to continue with a part two. We love to dig for the best quotes in the classics (Dickens, Jane Austen, etc.) but we also love the contemporaries as...
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15 Picture Quotes on Love & Marriage

  We thought we would bring to you some photo messages on one of our favorite subjects: Love & Marriage. We found so may quotes we love that we’re splitting this into two parts. We really hope you guys love them and find at least one quotes that really...
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7 Things I Wish I had Known in College

    It’s almost school time. Dorm decor is hitting the Bed, Bath, & Beyond circulars, mini fridges are being shoved onto the back of a truck in preparation of fitting its tiny structure into another tiny structure- the dorm room. I can’t...
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Love So Deep

  Visible monuments of love can easily be googled and gazed at in the form of images and corresponding calculations. We were both waking up with tea in hand when the topic of underwater exploration and mountains somehow arose. The question soon came:  what is the...
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Lecrae – Unashamed

  The intro of the much anticipated 2016 released book Unashamed gives us a brief glance of Lecrae attending the Grammy’s and his appearance at Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Roc Nation Party. Since most of us will never touch foot on the carpet rolled out to be...
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To the Woman Who Told Me to Die

    “If I were her, I would have euthanasia done.” Those were the words typed by a woman in response to seeing a video showing my neurological impairments. My husband and others were graciously trying to garner funds to improve my condition. To give a chance...
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15 Picture Quotes on People & Growth

  There are so many quotes that could fit this category. We may add 100 more months later, but right now we have 15 quotes on people and growth. Some are quotes on getting “unstuck,” and moving forward, others warn against toxic people that could...
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My Boxing Gloves With This Battle Song

    I keep pushing hard in the ring I’m fighting till my last breath. The nightmares I face are a disgrace while my hearts in a race in depth. You see I see the suffering before me and the pain she endures is my enemy. Life flipped 180 from the goals...
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Take Heart

      The world is bombarded with information and as the saying goes “knowledge is power” but what kind of power? Words do have power. Whether in written form, verbal, television, the internet, the radio, songs and so on. We need to have a...
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Over the Edge

Over the Edge is my first book by Brandilyn Collins and it didn’t let me down. I had a small social media chat with Tosca Lee (a favorite author of mine) who recommended this book to me after hearing the personal impact Lyme had in our own household. A year plus...
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10 Picture Quotes- When Life Becomes Difficult

    Life is difficult. It hurts to be human. We can’t take away your pain whatsoever, but we at least wanted to offer you some quotes. Some are encouraging; some simply are here to give you an allowance to grieve. You’ll notice when you hover...
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In Need of Mending

  People have kindly prodded us to tell our story. Most of what we reveal concerning our situation hasn’t been too in depth. Sometimes it’s easier to write about books (hence our book reviews) than the daily realities laced with vulnerabilities. Even still,...
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A Reflection on Letting Go of Perfect

      Just like the dandelion in this picture, we are fragile. A gust of wind could easily blow at any moment, revealing our imperfections. Now we’re left to resemble a misshapen weed. Can we be okay with being less than perfect? Amy Spiegel, wife of...
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Reflection On What You Need to Know About Healing

Christian healing is one of my favorite topics and one of my least favorite. When I see a book under the  Christian category with the subject matter of healing, I become hesitant. Will this book I’m picking up tell me I will be guaranteed healing if I do x,y,z? Or...
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Steadfast Love

  A sudden thud to the ground during Thanksgiving season in 2009 changed the Chandler’s lives forever. Matt Chandler, a prominent Evangelical Pastor had stage 3 brain cancer. This may read like a simple headline on a twitter newsfeed, but the agony it brought to...
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Spiritual Amnesia

Here’s a recycled article, sharing a story of a health battle I had undergone several years back. I’m hoping it will somehow resonate with my friends in the cyber world. It’s the article promised in Amnesia of a Different Sort. How many of us have faced times in...
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Yearning for Miracles

  Have I left you yet? Then the other words return as a whisper, just wait expectantly. The problems are so weighty. Ones we never thought we would experience. I want the parting of the sea. The waters to turbulently gush to my side left and right, fish flopping...
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Making Fun of My Illness

  There’s so many serious moments in life, especially when battling chronic illness. These past few years have seen more tears from me than my whole years prior combined. But I also know you don’t have to be out of your trial to experience joy. You are allowed to...
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Mended

  Before you do anything else, watch the book trailer at the bottom of this page. This was my first introduction to Mended the book, a video of Mrs. Angie Smith (wife of Todd Smith from Selah) passionately speaking about a pitcher she personally hammered into...
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The Love of Wisdom

What a pleasure it was to read The Love of Wisdom by Steven B. Cowen and James S. Spiegel. The Love of Wisdom is an introductory resource of philosophy from a Christian worldview. It is a more accessible read than some of its counters, yet without losing its fine...
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Dancing Through Life

Full House fans have been anticipating the new spin-off Fuller House which is to be aired this month, Friday, Feb. 26th on Netflix! Rewinding a tad, Candace Cameron Bure (a.k.a. D.J. Tanner) starred on the hit show Dancing With the Stars in 2014. The book, Dancing...
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When the Pain Would Be Worth It

  I remember saying over a year ago that everything- every pain from multiple levels would be worth it, as long as there was some sort of effective change. “Let this bring some sort of good that could only come from above into someone’s life, then it would all be...
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Eric Metaxas on Miracles

    We love to believe in miracles when we need them, but dismiss them when we are living in our everyday lives. Suddenly, we feel as if it doesn’t fit within the materialistic framework we’ve grown accustomed to. It’s to be dismissed. Only the crazies...
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Experiencing God as Author

  Through this last year, we have held onto the role of God as Author more so than we have ever before. Our choice in reading God as Author from our last post was a personal one. We wanted to saturate ourselves in seeing God as Author- the writer of our lives. ...
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A Reflection on God as Author

  We thought that there was no better time than January to begin the book God as Author. The start of the new year ahead brings to mind a fresh beginning to a new page in a the storybook of our lives. Gene C. Fant Jr.’s “God as Author” explores how viewing...
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Why I Even Wanted to Create This Blog

    Why would I create this site in the first place? To every execution of a project, there must be a “why.” Instead of bullet points that could look like a line of ants trailing on the page because there are so many reasons, I will cut to the...
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I’d Sure Hate to Break Down Here- Movin’ From One Year to the Next Without Regrets

  Warning- this post contains country music. If you aren’t into country and hold your hands to your ears every time you hear Brooks and Dunn play, this post may slightly scare you- initially- until you realize that the post only contains lyrics and, thus, no full...
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Amnesia of a Different Sort

Pensive. Pensive is the word I would describe the last month. The warm scents of cinnamon and vanilla mingling together with the smiles of merriment that ease the tension normally accompanied by the many days preceding this favorite time of year seemed so far away....
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The Day I Said ”I do” – A Gift In The Form Of A Poem

Sometimes gifts are packaged nicely under the tree. Other times, gifts come in unexpected forms, such as the form of a poem. When you go through trials, God has a way of bringing special people in your path to encourage you along the way. Emmanuel Daré Anthony is one...
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Our Top 11 Christmas Songs

            Okay, so we watched a cheesy Hallmark film about Christmas, it’s been admitted. Even though we are Floridians who look out the window to see a gust of wind flutter the palm trees instead of a gust of wind ushering a sharp cold...
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Women of the Duck Commander Review

  The men of Duck Dynasty made a statement with their rugged beards and unabashed beliefs. Their burly, Jesus lovin’ personas are almost reminiscent of John the Baptist who ate locusts and  lived as a wild man from the woods, all the while preparing the way...
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The Story of My Best of Times and the Worst of Times

  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” That’s what begins Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was...
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Married Years- Reflection on Christy and Todd

  We’ve heard it a thousand times, “and they lived happily ever after.” But what does this even mean? We know the prince and princess are now married. We imagine the lace gown, perfect three tier cake, and the quintessential Disney-esque carriage that whisks them...
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Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story

Joni and Ken An Untold Love Story unfolds the love story that confuses generations. Why would an able-bodied (Ken) fall for a severely disabled (Joni)? It would be one thing to continue loving someone through disabilities, but to choose such a lifestyle is another....
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Helping a Friend- Getting Max on Track

We do not know where Sarah would be at the moment if it were not for the loving support of offerings brought our way through crowd funding. Because of the lows we have experienced, God has grown us in compassion for people in other dire circumstances. Max Andrews is...
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8 Hope-Filled Life Hacks From the Elderly

  I have heard my fair share of advice on the most preferable stool softeners on the market, or the fights over whether or not Frank Sinatra was handsome enough to be screamed at and drooled over by the young female populous of the time. But there are a number of...
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How I Lost Another Man Card Pt. 2- How My Wife Got Me to Read Chick-Lit

  Note: Sarah originally was trying to persuade me into reading a book mainly meant for women. She swore to me this was not just a book for females…though they need to change the covers of some of these said books otherwise men will never be caught dead...
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The Struggle

  Backstory: Sarah wrote this when everything seemed to be falling apart. Everything seemed like it just hit her health wise in November with her down-spiral, but it was much sooner. Sarah had to deal with her emotions somehow. Writing was how she did it. She...
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The Story Before The Story- Before November

A Condensed Version of our Story Before November  Many do not know that the neurological issues did not just hit Sarah in late November/December. Sarah has had multiple issues with her health including her brain and nervous system. It appears in the video many have...
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Sarah’s Diary Entry- Asking Michael on a Date

    Note from Michael: I’m not really sure when Sarah wrote this. Time has been a blur for the past year. I wanted the public to know what Sarah thought in her own words.  Also, these are not pictures we took at the park. We would rather keep where we...
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Losing My Man Card Pt. 1 (Updates)

Losing My Man Card Sarah had a present given to her that was a stuffed gray bear with the word “hope” stitched in blue on the left side of his foot and Isaiah 40:31 on the right side. He has a blue ribbon tied around his neck. I’m not an expert on describing the...
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Vows and Reflections

Our First Anniversary: Not What We Expected

I read these vows to Sarah the day we were married and on our first anniversary together. She was lying in bed with convulsions throughout the day, pain, and general misery. We tried to make the best of the bad we were in. I played a song list from our wedding and we played one of her favorite games at the time: “Remember When_____.” We would fill in the blank with something we remembered from our past in our relationship. And the second part of the game was “I look Forward to When_______.” She had no problem with the first part. The second portion was difficult for her. It was tough for her to think of future with unwritten memories.

It definitely wasn’t what we expected as our first anniversary. We were in the dark with only very dim lighting since she was so sensory sensitive. Even though it wasn’t what we expected, I plan to say these vows to her every year until one of us departs this earth.

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A Wedding Story

What importance does a wedding hold after the cake has been cut and the lights and singing fade to only a memory? Maybe as you read, you can think of your own wedding and the significance it can still hold for you, months or years after the “I do’s.”...
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How I Met the Mr.

      Setting the Stage  It was summer of 2011. I was trying to regain my health back by visiting my doctor on a weekly basis, which meant collapsing into a sterilized recliner whilst being hooked up to an IV drip. I hadn’t planned to meet a love...
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When the Promised Land Isn’t Heaven

Have You Ever…? Have you ever caught yourself saying those few little detrimental words disguised as hope. “If only _________ ?” They seem innocent. If only I had a loving spouse, life would be perfect. If only I had a brain like Karl and a face like Carla, then...
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Does God Want to Be a Kill-joy

Many of us default to perceiving God as a Divine Master of the Skies surfing clouds in search of the next soul to extract joy from. But does God have a magic straw, stronger than those Slurpee Straws at 7-11 that intentionally sucks up any happiness we may have? How...
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Why Did God Put Me On This Mission?

  It was one of those Floridian days that felt like a tropical paradise beckoned you in your very backyard. The breeze was lightly flowing, causing the palm frawns to flutter in the trees, while the glowing sun’s rays were pleasantly diffused by the foliage...
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Exalting an Empire of Dirt

I cling to what is around me, everything I have created with my own hands. I may be cloaked in the night’s darkness; I may feel the chill of the air whipping its gusts through my bare skin, but my mind is rest assured in what I have built. The soil beneath my bare...
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Inkblots From the Husband

Most of Sarah’s writings I will be posting were written in a season where Sarah was more capable of writing. It was a short season. A season I prayed for because it was so hard to see Sarah try to muster up enough energy just to do simple unenjoyable tasks, then...
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Six Things NOT to Say to Someone who is Chronically Ill

As with many of the posts, this was written in Fall ’14 by Sarah prior to her further down-spiral in health. She wrote it an attempt to educate the public on how to empathetically handle those who fight chronic illness and to provide comfort for those who face...
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Walking with God in Mordor

“That is why Scripture can seem at times so blithely and irrationally out of touch with reality, brushing back huge philosophical problems and personal agony. That is how life is when looking from the end. Perspective changes everything. What seemed so important at...
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Redefining Strength When You Battle Chronic Illness

When you battle chronic illness, strength can take on a different form. The meaning to me no longer connotes  a Xena or Hercules statuesque frame. Throw  out the nunchucks, throwing stars, and pointy javelins. ...
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Once Was Enough

  I feel weak, yet you say you are my strength. I feel engulfed in worry, yet you are the keeper of peace. I feel like I’m ‘not enough’ to stand in your glorious presence, yet you say I don’t need to be. Not by my own merit. You say...
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The Strange Dichotomy Between How I Look And What I Feel

  This was written just weeks before Sarah had outward health manifestations in the form of tics, seizures, and mobility issues. Prior, she “looked fine” but felt so far from it. – Michael I distinctly remember watching a video my husband taped...
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