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33 Reasons to Love Her

September 23, 2013

So I am nowhere as good of a spouse as Danielle is to me. On my birthday she wrote a blog and listed 37 things you may not know about me. I thought it was super sweet and I wanted to do the same for her birthday. Well I kind of let it get by me without writing it. So I decided I would do it exactly a month after her birthday. So here goes. Today Danielle is 33 years and one month and here are 33 things you may not know about her.

1. She has always wanted to be a Mom and she must’ve practiced well because she’s amazing at it.

2. Tulips are her favorite flowers.

3. She graduated seminary with a 4.0 but apparently they don’t celebrate that in seminary.

4. She is a procrastinator.

5. She is absolutely beautiful while swimming. I had a rule while dating that if a girl was pretty while swimming with no makeup and hair slicked back they were a keeper. She looked amazing first time out of the pool..

6. First thing I noticed on our first date was her beautiful smile.

7. Her bottom lip is larger than the top, my top lip is larger than the bottom. Match made in heaven?

8. Favorite color is purple.

9. Loves The Beatles and Harry Connick Jr.

10. Favorite part of the day is taking a nap.

11. When we first got married she always made Hamburger Helper. Now she can cook anything great and I love her cooking more than anyone.

12. She is stubborn.

13. She can’t stand to lose.

14. I refuse to play tennis with her (refer to # 12 &13)

15. She may be more frugal than I am.

16. Dream car is a Lexus SUV.

17. Loves flip flops

18. Favorite place to be is on the beach.

19. She now loves to travel and wants to see all 50 states.

20. She lived in Sweden for a summer and the words she remembers are Enfart and Unfart.

21. She still makes me smile just by hearing her voice.

22. She is an incredible singer.

23. She always challenges me to be better.

24. She is so scared to sound like she is nagging she will do things herself rather than ask someone again.

25. She is amazing when it comes to teaching kids about Christ.

26. She is sentimental.

27. She loves her family and would do anything for any of them.

28. She is a sucker for a feel good story.

29. My favorite time we spend together it’s watching funny YouTube videos.

30. She snorts when she gets really tickled.

31. She is a creature of habit.

32. Red Lobster coconut shrimp is her favorite.

33. I look forward every day when I leave to when I get to see her again.

I love you Danielle. Happy late birthday.

Out of my Control

July 15, 2013

I often hear people say “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.” This is terrible theology. If he never gave us anything we couldn’t handle on our own then we would never need Him or his strength and power.

In the last few years my family has walked through being fired, breast cancer, treatments (chemo, radiation, 4 surgeries), pancreatic cancer with surgery and a 7day hospital stay and complications.

All that to say I couldn’t handle any of this on my own. Does that mean God deserted me because He gave me more than I could handle?

Absolutely not. He showed me how to rely on Him more than ever. And showed more of His love and grace that I ever knew.

There is a song that plays on Christian radio daily that states this same promise. The only problem is the promise was not made by God.

My challenge is when we are faced with things that we can’t handle on our own, the best thing we can do is seek the Lord and then hold on and watch Him make you stronger in your faith, if you trust Him.

Breast Cancer – One Year After Diagnosis

June 5, 2013

A year ago today as the surgeon was finishing my Dad’s heart surgery I got a call from myImage confirming she did have breast cancer. I was more scared than I ever had been in my life. One year, 3 surgeries (1 more to go), 6 chemo treatments, and 36 daily radiation treatments later I have realized one thing. I never knew what love was until walking this journey with Danielle. I love her so much more today than I ever thought was possible. She’s the most courageous, strong, brave woman I have ever known. I have also learned my girls are the most resilient, kind hearted, loving kids a man could have. They have been such troopers. Most importantly I have learned that my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love doesn’t change no matter the situation. At my times of greatest need He walks me through it and holds my hand the same way He does when I am on the mountaintop.

Cancer…AGAIN?? Pancreatic Style

April 2, 2013

Let me start by saying I don’t understand why God heals some on earth and heals others eternally in heaven but I have to share how God chose to heal my Mom.

As many of you know Danielle and I have been walking down this cancer path for 10 months exactly since Danielle was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. We have grown closer than I ever imagined to each other and to The Lord. Danielle has shown incredible courage and strength through this journey.

During this my Mom has been having some crazy blood pressure problems. She is on BP meds and there have been a couple of different occurrences when her BP would shoot way up. A few weeks ago she had one of these episodes. Her BP was 200/100 and my Dad called the paramedics and they came to the house. They took her vitals and told her she was fine. She insisted she wanted to be checked out.

On the way to the hospital the paramedic insisted my Mom had a gall bladder attack. As a gall bladder victim there was no reason for him to tell her that. She had no symptoms of gall bladder trouble but he insisted.

Because of that my Mom insisted the doctors check her gall bladder. The doctor told her she didn’t need it checked, but my Mom doesn’t listen to that very well. Long story short they checked her gall bladder and they found nothing wrong with the gallbladder but did find a small spot on her pancreas.

That spot turned out to be a cancerous tumor that was in the very early stages and was completely operable.

Today they removed the tumor. And the tumor had not spread.

The problem with pancreatic cancer is there are no early detection for it. Typically by the time you have symptoms it is too late. If the paramedic had not made my Mom want to have the gall bladder checked she would’ve very likely been dead within a year. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Please pray for my Mom as she begins a long recovery process.

The Best Worst Year Ever

January 1, 2013

This is Danielle’s latest blog entry. I couldn’t say it better myself.

As I stop to reflect on this past year, I can’t help but be in awe of all that has taken place. It hardly seems possible that we are beginning a new year, because in some ways it feels like 2012 just started! 2011 had been a difficult year for our family. Brian had lost his job and we found ourselves back in Georgia with no job prospects and no home. Brian’s parents graciously allowed us to move in with them until we got on our feet again. Little did they know how long that would take! God brought us through an incredibly difficult time and taught us to depend on Him like never before. As 2011 drew to a close, we looked forward to all that 2012 would bring. In January, we began the year off with excitement as Brian started a new job with a company he loves. God provided for us and after much searching were able to buy a home in April. Things seemed to be falling into place for us finally and 2012 seemed like it was going to be “our year.” Although I had found a lump under my right arm and another in my right breast, I really didn’t think it was anything to worry about. When I finally was able to see a doctor, I never dreamed that appointment on June 4th would change my life forever. For the first time I heard the word “cancer” and realized it might be a very real possibility for me. As we walked out of the doctor’s office that day I jokingly told Brian “maybe 2013 will be our year!”

The next day when the call came that confirmed I had cancer, things began to move very rapidly and the next six months felt like a complete whirlwind. I had my first surgery to insert my infiltration port for chemo on June 16th and my first chemo treatment took place on June 22nd. Though it was a difficult few months, God carried me through six rounds of chemo that ended on October 8th. That day was quite a celebration for our family! Exactly one month later on November 8th, I had a bilateral mastectomy where my surgeon removed the remaining cancer in my body that chemo didn’t take care of. I count this day as my official cancer free day! The pathology reports after surgery revealed some close margins around where the cancer was removed and all eight lymph nodes that were removed from under my arm were positive for cancer. There was also a lymph node on my collar bone that the PET scan before chemo revealed that was unable to be surgically removed. Until I had a CT scan we would not officially know that all the cancer was gone. The call came on December 26th and my radiation oncologist said the most beautiful words “there is no trace of cancer left in your body!” So now I call this date my really official no more cancer date! What a great way to end the year!

God has taught me so much this year about depending on Him. He has been so faithful to carry me through my scariest days. He has been my Prince of Peace and my Jehovah-Jirah (my provider). I’ve learned to be (more) comfortable in my own skin now that I don’t really care who sees me bald! I’ve made some wonderful friends this year who I would have never met we’re it not for breast cancer. I’ve been completely blown away by all the amazing acts of love shown to our family, including people who don’t even know me personally. My love for my family has grown even deeper as they have walked this road with me. Although, this hasn’t been an easy year by any means, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I celebrate this battle with breast cancer as a huge spiritual marker on my journey with Christ.

Although the new year will begin with 30 rounds of radiation for me as a preventive measure, I am looking forward to being done with yet another phase of this cancer journey. What a celebration it will be when I’m all done! One of the most important things God has taught me this year is just to take one day at a time and enjoy being in His presence. I have no idea what 2013 will bring, but I do know God is walking before me and beside me. When fear of the future tries to creep in I remind myself how I want to become like the woman mentioned in Proverbs 31:25
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Happy New Year! Walk with Him this year!

My Most Exciting Blog Post EVER!!

December 26, 2012

Long story short after Danielle’s latest surgery there was a possibility there were still traces of cancer in her. We would not know until they did a scan.

Last week she had to go and have a scan done before she began radiation. This way the radiation oncologist would know where to “crank up” the radiation.

The doctor just called to give Danielle the results of her scan and for the first time in 6 months we heard the words:

THERE IS NO CANCER IN YOUR BODY!!!

Praise The Lord for His blessings! So very thankful that He chose to heal her completely!

She still has to have radiation beginning in January as more of a preventative to keep the cancer from returning.

Merry Christmas to us!

Salvation in a Whole New Light

November 8, 2012

Last night we gathered around Danielle as a family to lay hands on her to pray for her, her doctors and nurses. After that the girls went to their individual beds and Danielle and I split up to do our nightly rituals.

When we were praying Danielle started crying out of joy/fear. One thing I’ve learned about our girls is Lydia internalizes her fears and concern and makes jokes of everything (wonder where that came from) and Anna Kate wants to fix it when others are sad (like her mama).

Danielle was talking to Anna Kate and Anna Kate said “Mommy I wish I had cancer so you didn’t!”

When Danielle told me it made me happy and sad at the same time. But it made me think about my salvation. Not trying to Jesus juke you but follow my thought process.

The fact that my child was willing to take the cancer to give Danielle a better life related to Christ volunteering to take my cancer (my sin) so that I may have eternal life. It truly made me see and appreciate my own salvation in a whole new way.

Jesus said “I come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest.” – John 10:10

If you have never received this full life we are promised let today be the day. Ask me how I would love to tell you my story.