6/26/16

December Caravan Book... Releasing August 2016

I shared a few weeks ago on social media that I signed the final signature of my contract with Tate Publishing for my upcoming book, December Caravan, which will be released on August 23, 2016. This book is my most personal yet...a collection of personal short stories (from 2008 to 2013), words of encouragement, and sweet inspiration on the concept of hope and an ever-present God despite circumstances. 

It is hard to believe that it has been almost three years since I first started on this journey with this book. When I first received the contract in 2013 I was honestly stunned as it had been a dream of mine to be writing books for years, but I had always felt the Lord cautioning me to wait on His timing. Every time I would think about submitting book proposals I would hear the Lord's quite voice saying, "wait". After I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Cancer, I never imagined that this would be the timing. But as always, the Lord's timing is always perfect, and the way that He has opened up doors to write, have my books published, and have this as a ministry during this season leaves me speechless. His ways are always amazing. 

Returning to this book and having it released this year, brings a soft smile to my face. This book specifically focuses on a 5 year period of time that was incredibly difficult, intensely personal, and a sweet time of falling more in love Jesus. I also see now that those 5 years so beautifully and lovingly prepared me for this season that I have been walking since the book ended. Throughout it all I see the Lord beautiful hand of grace carrying me each and everyday. 

It is a funny thing to share your heart with the world through a book... and to be honest I probably would have removed some parts because they are so deeply personal. But I am learning in new ways how being vulnerable, showing the beautiful along with the messy, reflects the heart of Christ in ways that I could never have imagined. As we allow Jesus to step into our broken and messy pieces, He beautifully restores and redeems the things that we wish that we could forget or "erase" from our past. So returning to this time period in my life brings a soft smile to my face... and to my heart. A smile of a knowledge that comes with personally experiencing that the Lord works intricately and personally in the deepest lows and in the glorious highs... all remaining so faithful and so loving. He is so good.

As I signed the final signature a couple of weeks ago... I signed off on the final wording of the dedication page. What is ironic about this being the final signature is that these words were actually the first words I wrote for this book and only grew more precious over the years. *smiles* Words fail me on how to express how much the people in this dedication hold a significant impact of my heart.... 

"To the WCA class of 2009, thank you. Your love, your encouragement, and your selfless care for me will always be remembered with humility. You brought laughter when there would have been tears and a precious reminder that God was ever-present in the dark

...and to the WCA community who showed me what community rooted in God’s love and grace looks like… it was a piece of Heaven I will cherish forever

...and to Emily, my precious sister, who jumped on a plane and who has often held my hand in the dark lonely night of weeping, reminding me that joy comes again in the morning."

P.S. If you would like to keep up with updates specific to this book please follow along at the December Caravan Instagram page which you can find HERE! Also- I am going to be announcing the opportunity to be apart of the book launch team in a couple of weeks! If you would like to be apart of this (you don't have to be a blogger!) please leave a comment below with your contact information or send me an email and I will give you more information! Thank you!!

6/23/16

a note of thanks

‪#‎courtneytheportney‬ is in! Thank you so much for all of your prayers for my port placement surgery on Tuesday. The Lord truly answered in amazing ways which I look forward to sharing more with y'all in the future. Please know that everything went well and that the surgeon is pleased. After a very long day we finally arrived"home" and settled back into our hotel late Tuesday evening. Yesterday (Wednesday), I spent the day resting and healing from surgery.

Today I am back at the clinic having my port accessed, receiving extra fluids and IVs, and then will be spending the rest of the day resting at the hotel before our flight home (very early) tomorrow morning. Our flight will land back home in the early evening so it will be a long day of travel and we so appreciate your prayers. 

I am recovering okay but still feeling poorly. These past 9 days have been a lot of stress on my fragile body and I am so grateful for your prayers that have covered me in this journey. We received some additional test results back and this will help us moving forward. I am returning home with an updated and intense treatment plan and while I feel exhausted and sick, I am confident and peaceful for where I am now at in this journey. Month by month, day by day, and minute by minute the Lord has been so gracious in moving forward step by step and healing in this journey. 

Thank you so much again for your continued prayers. A very special thank you to my dear family and friends who have been so faithful in checking in, praying, and sending lots of notes of encouragement. Thank you so much my precious parents, Emily, Jen, Katie, and Ali. You are all such a treasure. Thank you to all of y'all who have spent so much time praying. are such a blessing!!

6/21/16

today

This weekend was a beautiful gift as I felt well enough to ride in the car and take in the gorgeous views of California. What a precious reminder of God's love and faithfulness despite difficult circumstances. 

Yesterday I went back to the medical center to finish test dosing the last of the meds that I needed to test dose before leaving and thankfully did not have any severe reactions. The meds were difficult and I was quite sick but no serious reactions which is a huge answer to prayer. 

This morning I am resting as I will be leaving to check into the hospital at 11:15am (California time) to have my port placement surgery at 1pm (California time). I am extremely nervous about this procedure as despite having several surgeries I do not like to be put to sleep and would covet prayers for peace and no fear. 

Thank you for all of your continued prayers for me, for all of your prayers while I was test dosing meds and also for peace and for a successful surgery with no complications. 

"He is the maker of Heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- He remains faithful forever."
- Psalm 146:6-

6/19/16

Happy Daddy Day!

To the amazing man who took this picture five years ago and right afterwards said, "Come home, please come home so we can help you get your life back and beat whatever health problem you are fighting" (long before we knew it was Lyme and Cancer) and who has prayed thousands of prayers for me and over me, who has wiped away tears, given countless hugs, embraced me completely, who has sat at 40 hospital visits with me, taken me to hundreds of doctors appointments and kept me smiling each time, who has brought laughter to my hurting heart, who sacrifices in hundreds of ways everyday and who has lived the definition of what it means to be a "Godly man", I love you and am so blessed to call you "daddy". Happy Father's Day my precious hero.

6/17/16

a breif update from California

I posted this on my instagram feed  last night and wanted to share a brief update from California on the blog also:


Thank you for all of your prayers for the last two days. It has been a whirlwind of appointments and information, quiet laughter and tears, tests and more appointments and adjusting to lots of different things. After consulting with my medical team and the surgeon we will be moving forward with port surgery on Tuesday and I will begin a series of test dosing different IV meds tomorrow over the next few days. I also have inherited a very intense treatment plan. As I looked out on the view back to the hotel I admit that more tears flowed freely...a quiet understanding of many things, including a new season of trust and surrender. Thank you for your thoughts, your sweet notes and phone calls, and most of all your prayers. Thank you for your patience and understanding in my delayed responses as these days are long and filled as I am adjusting. Thank you for your love and most of all prayers. You are a gift. 


"It takes courage, humiliating courage to step aside from your own sovereignty and imagined control and begin looking for the gift that comes unmerited. Yes, I’m talking about grace. Grace by my definition is the gift that comes unearned. In a world of unbelievably able bodies, where new diets are fashioned every day to keep my brand of story away, it is hard to realize you may be living in the middle of the best story ever told.

-Kara Tippetts-

6/14/16

Three Tips for a Safe and Hassle-Free Flight

picture found on internet
As an airline passenger, it’s not uncommon to have to deal with a number of changes when it comes to airport security, baggage rules, and even the kinds of items which you can and can’t take in the cabin with you when on the flight. Although rules and regulations are subject to constant change as airlines and airports update in accordance with current security threats, a lot of the common sense based suggestions for flying safely and with minimum hassle have generally stayed the same.

Fly Non-Stop

Whether you’re a nervous flyer or simply want to make sure that your trips are danger and hassle free, here are some of the things that you can do. Along with being more comfortable and convenient, flying non-stop to your destination can also put you at a lesser risk of accidents. Since most airline accidents happen during the take-off, climb and landing phases of the flight, the less separate flights that you take, the less risk you will be at. Although sometimes flying direct is not an option, you should always choose to do so whenever possible. In most cases, there will not be too much difference in price, either.

Pay Attention In-Flight

Flight attendants are fully trained in every area of airline safety, and they are the ones who know exactly what to do in the event of an incident or accident on board. Because of this, paying attention to the flight attendants both during safety demonstrations and throughout the flight is important for your own safety and the safety of others. Questioning flight attendants should never even be considered – if you are asked to switch off your cell phone or put on your seatbelt, you should do so mmediately. Remember, flight attendants are there to look after both yourself and the other passengers and your safety is their priority. If you have been in an air crash, speak to an airplane accident lawyer such as Slack & Davis.

Stay Alert and Sober

If you are a nervous flyer, it may be tempting to buy a few of the in-flight drinks in order to help steady your nerves and help you to relax. Or, you might want to take some form of medication beforehand in order to relieve any anxiety or stress regarding flying. However, staying alert and sober when flying is crucial – although airline accidents are quite rare, being involved in an accident or incident on board when you are drunk can put you at higher risk of harm. If you are nervous about flying, speak to your doctor beforehand about safe medications or even herbal remedies which can help you to relax without compromising your alertness.


For the most part, flying is one of the safest methods of transport. These three tips will help ensure that you have a safe and hassle-free flight.
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. 

6/13/16

tomorrow...

Today has dawned bright with a whole list of items to complete before we leave tomorrow to travel across the country. This past week and a half has been a whirl-wind as we have attempted to "seemlessly" move out of my grandmothers house to our cabin for the summer (about an hour away), clean out our 1901 cabin for the summer, deal with everyday issues that have come up, switch around three rooms at the cabins for practicality sake, all while continuing treatment (3 hours away) plus trying to prepare for the weeks ahead. 


There have been some tears, some quiet looks without words, silted laughter, lots of prayers, and lots of peace. My health the last five days has crashed severely ... most likely in relation to treatment and a number of different factors and so I have been taking things one second at a time. Over the weekend I mentioned to a couple of friends that it seemed like satan was attacking as lots of things kept "falling apart". Such dear friends praying against these attacks and the Lord's great and tender care and powerful mercy have kept us moving forward with incredible peace that is only from God. 


In many ways I think being sick is harder on your loved ones than it ever is on yourself. I admire these people that I love so much ... who keep on loving unconditionally... even when it hurts them, they love without abandon, continuously modeling Christ's love and I am in awe.


I (and my precious family) are so incredibly grateful for your kind words, your financial support (thank you so much to everyone who has given for this trip and some that have mentioned that they will be giving HERE!), and most of all your prayers for this week ahead. I will try to update my Instagram page while we are gone these next 10 days as I can so please feel free to follow along by clicking HERE


As we prepare to leave for another day of treatment this morning, I am considering the week ahead of me with quiet. Today I say goodbye to a wonderful nurse, whom I would count as a friend as she starts an exciting new adventure. Tomorrow, I leave for my own new adventure and next step in this journey. As I approach this week of travel across the country, lots of doctors appointments, tests, treatment, trial doses of new meds, procedures, and port surgery I am finding such beautiful hope, peace, and courage in Isaiah 33:6: "He will be the sure foundation for your times..." 


Truly no matter what shifts and changes and no matter what we face ...our God is our stability...our sure foundation that we can set our eyes and hearts upon... today and tomorrow.