Caravan Sonnet: November 2014

11/25/14

Praying Through Lyme Disease (Ranking)

Y'all I am so humbled and excited to share that I received word this morning that out of 8 MILLION paper back books, "Praying through Lyme Disease" is currently ranked 198,432 on Amazon!!! It is unbelievable to me that for such a little book it is ranked so high!!!! I was speechless when I found this out that after only 10 days of being on the market (and for being such a "niche" book) it was ranked this high! THANK YOU so much for spreading the word on this book, for purchasing it, and for being so supportive of this journey! My prayer is that every person reading this book will be drawn closer to the heart of God. Would you join me in that prayer?

Thank you again! If you are looking to purchase the book you can buy it where books are sold and find it on Amazon HERE

Thank you again! Happy Tuesday Friends!

11/23/14

Notes from the Porch (Twenty-Eight): a November update

It seems impossible that it has only been about five weeks since my last "Notes from the Porch" update! I think because it has been some of the more difficult months in this journey time seems to be passing incredibly slowly. So many of you have emailed, texted, called, etc. and wondered how things are going and I do apologize for the lack of response. It has honestly just been very difficult and a lot of time spent in bed due to pain and illness. 

I was so thankful that I was able to go THIRTEEN weeks on intense medication (which I started in August). It was a blessing as I am doing an integrative route and this was one of the first times in this journey that my body was able to handle such intensive treatment (on the antibiotic side). It was a daily, hourly, minutely prayer request that the medicine would not cause huge issues in my digestive system and thankfully I was able to go THIRTEEN weeks for the first round! PRAISE THE LORD!! (I also want to share another HUGE PRAISE!! Since starting at my new doctors office in March this is the first time in YEARS that I have gone more than 6 months without traveling to the ER/Hospital once a week (or sometimes twice a week!!)!! I am going on ten months y'all without seeing the ER/Hospitals for emergency situations!! PRAISE GOD!!!! I am so thankful for my medical team!!)

Unfortunately, around week ten of the antibiotic routine I started to experience difficulty with the medications I was taking. I tried as hard as possible to keep pushing through but at thirteen weeks and 1 day I was unable to keep any water or food in me (as I mentioned here on instagram) so my medical team made the decision to stop all of my oral antibiotics for several days. During that time I doubled my already extremely high dosage of probiotics and the hope was that by the end of the week I would be able to resume antibiotics but unfortunately a week and a half later and I am still not able to. Would you please pray that my body adjusts and that I am able to heal quickly from either (a) my body deciding that it has had enough antibiotics for now (which would mean we might be looking at non-oral options including a PICC line/port, etc.) or (b) some infection that I might have. Thank you!! 

During this time I am still following my daily schedule (which you can read about HERE) but instead of all of the medications I am taking extra supplements, oils, and some other things. 

Another prayer request is for my upcoming doctor's appointment (on December 1st) where I will be finding out some of the next steps that I will be taking. For anyone who is seriously ill you understand that these appointments are always filled with anticipation and some anxiousness as you wait to find out what your life will look like for the upcoming weeks and months. I am so incredibly thankful for a kind and compassionate team of doctors and a wonderful medical office and I know without a doubt that the Lord led me to them in this journey. Although it seems slow, I know that I am slowly healing and am resting in the Lord for these next steps and plans. 

As I mentioned in my last notes from the porch update, I had some tests done to due concern over my thyroid function. At this point I would just ask for continued prayers as we are looking into some different things. As I mentioned last time, this is not a complete shock to us but they have found some things and we are praying that there is no additional issues that would complicate my treatment. 

I continue to ask for healing on my back. It seems to be slowly healing but I would definitely ask for continued prayer for the relief of pain from that area! 

I am so excited to share (in case you missed it) that my first book, "Praying through Lyme Disease" was published last week! My prayer is that it will be an encouragement to those fighting this disease and for their loved ones on the journey as well. It is the first book of its kind on prayer and Lyme Disease and I am praying that it will bless everyone who picks it up! (You can read the PRESS RELEASE about it HERE if you are interested!) We are working hard to get the word out about the book and I am in the process of setting up different author appearances and signings for this. If you know anyone  you think might be interested in hearing a little bit about my story, the power of prayer, and Lyme Disease I would be honored to talk with you about setting up something to speak to a group/Bible Study/Support Group about these topics! I prayerfully consider each request and only take a limited number of appearances due to my health so I would love to talk with you if this is something you are interested in! (You can shoot me an email here)!

Thank you so much friends for ALL of your prayers on my behalf. There are so many different moments throughout the day where I can see the Lord answering in a thousand different ways the different prayers that are given. I appreciate you and all of the time that you have brought me before the Lord. Your prayers are DEFINITELY NOT in vain!

I will conclude with a final prayer request that is most urgent and that is for financial provision. In September I was given a very generous donation (from St. Nicolas Anglican Mission) and an unexpected series of anonymous donations  (I still don't know who these were from but THANK YOU!!) throughout the month of October. These were SUCH a blessing and every penny has been carefully guarded and spent. In addition I have had an increase and several orders from my shop which has been such a blessing. Each penny has been used for everything related to my health. Unfortunately though this past week (after treatments, medical bills, medical appointments, medication costs, supplement costs, etc.) I have depleted those funds and am now at the end of my financial resources. At this point I am not able to continue with certain treatments or purchase certain supplements without the provision of additional resources and obviously this is of extreme concern (especially without being able to take oral antibiotics).  (Just to give a "rough estimate" it costs about $5000 for me each month (including what insurance covers) to meet each of the medical needs that I have. You can read more of the "breakdown" here.) And with the savings that I had almost completed depleted this is one of the more precarious financial times in this journey. I am so grateful for each of you that have supported me throughout the years and for each of you that continue to do so. You have been used by the Lord and I could never repay your kindness. The Lord has NEVER failed at providing every single thing I have needed for this journey and I appreciate your prayers for provision once again. ANY donations can be done through the "Go Fund Me Page" that is set up for my treatment which is found HERE:



As I have spent alot of time in bed resting and healing I have spent more and more time in different passages of scripture and each one has touched my heart in different ways. I shared on instagram about the way the Lord comforted me through birds that visit outside my window the other day and yesterday as I felt a little stronger to ride in the car to the grocery store I thought about all of the Lord's blessings. I have also thought though the last couple of weeks about all of y'all who spend time praying for me. Words can't express how blessed I am by your love, support, and all of your prayers. I think often of the sick man that was lowered through the roof to Jesus because he was to sick to get through the crowds. The love and support of his friends put him right at the feet of Jesus and that is EXACTLY what each of you do with your prayers. Thank you so much for taking me to the feet of Jesus and for taking all of my concerns before Him. What a mighty God we serve and one that never fails us in our times of distress and trouble. 

Thank you dear friends. With lots of love, 

Petit Collage Book Review

With everything going on recently it has taken me a tad bit longer to write the review for the book, "Petit Collage" than I had anticipated! BUT I am so excited to share with y'all my thoughts on it today!

Petite Collage's descirption overview reads as follows: "From the beloved design brand for nurseries, playrooms, and every space in between, Petit Collage shows you how to make 25 of their bestselling paper and wooden accessories for your home. Customize toy chests, create cheerful name plaques, build bunny clocks, and more, with artist and owner Lorena Siminovich. Breaking down each project with simple, illustrated step-by-step instructions, Siminovich presents easy tips on how to personalize the Petit Collage signature style with your child’s favorite colors and patterns. All you need are rubber stamps, paper, scissors, and the provided project templates to create a contemporary space filled with bright and distinctive d├ęcor. Whether you’re looking for unique paper toys or vibrant namesake prints, Petit Collage’s whimsical craft projects will inspire your children to put their little touch and big imagination into your family home. " (description found here)

I would definitely say that the description is exactly what is described. The crafts that are shown throughout the book are easy and simple to follow and the tips that are presented help the reader have the opportunity to personalize the craft for themselves. I would highly recommend this book and believe that it will be a delightful craft book that you would definitely enjoy!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

11/22/14

Christmas Cards

The rest of the "premade Christmas Cards" went into the shop this morning. Here are a few snippets of a few of the cards! Don't forget that you can purchase a custom Christmas card order with or without postage!





These and more cards can be found at the shop by clicking HERE!

11/20/14

PRESS RELEASE - PRAYING THROUGH LYME DISEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: November 20, 2014
Contact: Rebecca VanDeMark
                rebeccavandemark@gmail.com



First book on Prayer and Lyme Disease released

Praying Through Lyme Disease, by: Rebecca VanDeMark, MPA

At a recent Lyme Disease conference it was stated that “Lyme Disease is the growing epidemic and health crisis of the 21st century”. While not well known and maybe not well handled there are hundreds of thousands of Lyme Warriors that struggle each day just to live. Many of them cannot get out of bed due to extreme and debilitating fatigue and pain. Many are lying in hospital beds with doctors who don’t know what to do. Many others are struggling emotionally under the weight of loss. Many others feel completely isolated and forsaken. In the midst of all of this there is a voice and a helper that calls through the dark night and says that He will never abandon or forsaken us. But in the midst of sickness and pain it is hard to sometimes know how to pray through the scriptures of the Bible. 

“Praying Through Lyme Disease”, written by Rebecca VanDeMark, is a thirty-one topic prayer devotional for those fighting Lyme Disease and their loved ones. Spoken from a heart of compassion and understanding, Rebecca understands the Lyme Disease journey well as she saw over 273 medical practitioners before being correctly diagnosed with Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease.

Rebecca states in her introduction, “The book that you hold in your hand has been written from my heart. I found out I had Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease the day after my 33rd birthday. For the previous six years prior to that day I had experienced a myriad of intricate and confusing health symptoms that never made sense to any doctor. I had spent hundreds of hours traveling across the United States talking and consulting with some of the best in the country. No answers came and I was eventually told that either (a) this was “in my head”, (b) I had a very “complex case” of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (for which I had been diagnosed for) or (c) “stress was contributing to these issues”. Finally, after seeing 273 doctors in one year, seven years of searching, hundreds of invasive and painful tests, and thousands of prayers, I was correctly and accurately diagnosed with Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease. While my family and I rejoiced that there was finally an answer, I also experienced a range of emotions as I was furious with the medical community and overwhelmed with where to go from that point on.”

“Praying Through Lyme Disease” can be purchased where books are sold, including Amazon. "Praying through Lyme Disease" (ISBN: 978-0692299340) is an 82 page prayer devotional. Rebecca VanDeMark can be found at her website: www.rebeccavandemark.com, her blog: www.caravansonnet.com, and on social media. Rebecca is also the founder of SEEN Gathering, a chronic illness ministry, which can be found at: www.seengathering.org.

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11/18/14

New Items Listed in the Shop!!

It has been such an exciting and busy time for me with my little shop!! December Caravan has been seeing such an increase in orders every single day and I am so thankful to each of you who have been supporting my shop with your orders! What a blessing you are!! 
Today I wanted to share with a few of the items that I have listed recently. This is not a complete listing of items so head on over to the shop to see them all but here are a few of my favorites! 
One of my favorite new editions to the shop are Storybook Mini Albums!! These albums are precious and use vintage and non vintage book covers that bring a "childlike" feel in remembering favorite stories and discovering new ones.
 Each album comes embellished with sweet and vintage ribbon, pretty scrapbook paper, washi tape and cuteness that you will quickly fall in love with. Simply insert your pictures and write your precious memories to remember the season or event for years to come!
There are several Christmas Storybook Mini Albums listed with more to come (including non Christmas Storybook Mini Albums)! Check out a couple of those listed below:
(There are actually a couple of different copies of The Night Before Christmas Storybook Album in the shop! You can find one HERE and another HERE!) 

I have also started to add some of the Christmas Bunting to the shop! (Some it has already started to sell!!) Here are a couple of the Christmas buntings listed with lots more to come!


P.S. Don't forget to check back DAILY to my shop as I am continuously listing new items each day! Thank you again for your sweet support friends! Happy Tuesday!

11/17/14

The Twinery & CardMaker Magazine Hop

Happy Monday y'all! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend!
Welcome to all y'all who are hopping on over from Mae's blog!!!! If you haven't checked out her amazing (and creative blog!) y'all definitely should!

So today I am so excited to share with y'all this blog hop that is going on! Y'all know how much I love The Twinery because it is talked about so much here on the blog and all of the time on my instagram! Well today I am so excited to be apart of this blog hop that showcases both The Twinery and CardMaker Magazine (one of my absolute favorite magazines!)!!

 I love all of the colors from The Twinery and that is why I am SO thrilled that they are giving away FOUR spools of twine (Solid Mandarin, Gold Shimmer, Copper Shimmer, and Solid Maraschino) to a lucky winner! (Simply head to The Twinery Blog to find out how to enter!!) These spools are wonderful and I know that one of you is going to absolutely love them! I LOVE my twine and use it EVERY single day!

For today's hop we were to contribute a thanksgiving card. This card that I have made is truly one of my favorites that I have ever created!
And did you see that I used the "Gold Shimmer" twine in this card? It is one of my favorite twine colors!! I use it all of the time!!
I just love the extra "little something" that twine can give your projects! Don't you?
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading today friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful November and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Continue the Blog Hop by heading on over to Tifany's blog! Click HERE!
Happy Monday y'all!

11/14/14

Praying Through Lyme Disease...the book... RELEASED!!!

Even as I am sitting here writing this I am humbly thanking the Lord for His strength in helping me complete this project. This was a book that resonated deep in my heart and was written out of a love for those struggling with Lyme Disease and this journey of walking this difficult and painful path. I started writing this book over a year and a half ago ... writing on slips of paper, napkins, medication bags, etc... and in a variety of different places... in hospitals, doctors offices, the hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions, etc. Finally after several months of writing out those snippets of prayers and precious Bible verses I combined everything into a book that is a heartbeat and passion of mine throughout this illness... praying through Lyme Disease.

This little book is designed with 31 topics that Lyme Disease patients struggle with and verses to meditate on and pray through in times of difficulty and in good days. This book is meant to be a companion and an encouragement to all who are struggling with Lyme Disease and the intensity of their fight!

Well I am SO excited to announce that it is OFFICIALLY released as of TODAY!! You can purchase it in book form or on Kindle and you can click HERE to purchase it! 

Thank you so much to ALL of you that have been walking this journey with me in prayer! TRULY you are a blessing!!

With Love, 

11/12/14

Custom Altered Journal (Red, Ivory, and Brown)

I love the opportunity to create and I am so thankful for all of orders that I receive. Each and every single order is a gift to me!
One of those that I received a couple of weeks ago was from a friend who wanted to have me create an a custom altered journal for a family member. 
Jen was so sweet in giving me a lot of "freedom" in coming up with the color scheme and based on the situation the gift revolved around I loved the idea of a "warm and welcoming" journal. The rich color tones accomplished that purpose and I was thrilled with the final results!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to create this for you Jen! 
If you are interested in a altered journal or a custom order feel free to check out my shop or email me for details! 
Happy Wednesday friends! I hope you have a wonderful day!

11/11/14

Veterans Day


To all of the Veterans and their families, I want to say a BIG, humble, and grateful thank you to your service and sacrifice for our country! Thank you for ensuring freedom for our country and for consistently sacrificing so much for us! May you be blessed today and everyday. We as a country are so grateful for you!



Happy Veterans Day!

11/6/14

Scripture Bunting

Back in August one of my favorite additions to the shop was to announce that I was offering scripture bunting in addition to storybook bunting. This had been a dream of mine for quite a while and I am so excited to offer it! 
One of the reasons that I started offering this in my shop was I wanted a practical way to offer the opportunity to live out Deuteronomy 11:20 which states, "Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates..". (As a side note Deuteronomy 6:9 also has similar wording and Deuteronomy 6 goes into more detail of writing scripture on our hearts and in our homes.) 
In my life I have made it a point to display scripture all around me - including in my home, my bedroom and bathroom, in my car, and when I was teaching I had scripture up around the room.  I continue this now (even though I live at home with my parents) and mediate on scripture everyday. This is truly a simple way to "write scripture on our hearts". 
These verses are never "dry" but always speak to my heart and offer hope or answers to issues that I am struggling with or where I find rest and encouragement in. My hope in the scripture bunting comes from these scriptures and the way that I have seen the Lord transform my life again and again with scripture. 
Over the last several months I have added in various scripture bunting options to the shop and will continue to do so. Recently I offered a line of fall/thanksgiving scripture buntings and at the end of next week will offer a line of Christmas scripture buntings. 
But I am also so excited to announce a new project! For EVERY scripture bunting that is purchased I will now donate a FREE scripture bunting to the CRATE 526 program with SEEN Gathering. As most of you know I already do this with my altered journals and am so excited to offer this now too! I am so excited to do this and to help the CRATE 526 program a little more! (If you want to find out more about CRATE 526 you can click HERE!)
Dear friends, lets write scripture on our hearts and deep in our souls so that we can know the truth of God's word deeply and unequivocally. Truly He is good!

Happy Thursday friends!

11/5/14

Writing... Editing... Writing... Cover Design... Illustrations... and more Writing

Do y'all remember when I shared last month about finishing the final few edits for my first book (and finishing the rough draft on book two)? I was so incredibly grateful for ALL of the kind words, encouragement, and prayers that y'all have prayed for these projects! 

It is still so amazing to me to see how the Lord has continually guided this entire process of writing and having my first book published through Tate Publishing! It is amazing to look back at this process and think back to when the Lord starting opening up a season of new dreams for me in 2013 and then to have been offered a book contract was an amazing experience and such a gift from the Lord! 

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for this process! This is an incredibly busy month with certain deadlines to meet but I am excited to share that with Book #1 ALL of the final edits are finished!! PRAISE THE LORD! I am now in the cover design/illustration phase and it has been an exciting time! This little book contains my heart in so many different ways and my prayer is that those who are hurting and brokenhearted will find hope in Jesus as they read it!

With Book #2 I am excited to share that the rough draft is FINISHED and it is now in the editing/final rough draft phase! This little project with book #2 (dealing with prayer) has been such a blessing to me and I am praying that it would encourage the hearts of those who read it! 

And I am excited to share that I am working on my first fiction book! Yikes!!! It has been quite the learning process and yet I see the Lord's hand guiding this book and am excited to be in the early stages of writing it. Due to treatment, some commitments for my education (I am currently taking this semester off due to treatment but plan to be heading back in the Spring), my Etsy shop, and some other commitments I have made it my goal to finish the entire rough draft for this book here in the month of November. (Yes, even typing this out sounds a little insane. *hahaha*) Because of this I decided to sign up for the first time for the National Novel Writing Month. I have known several friends who have done this before and have always been impressed with their dedication and let me tell you it is not easy! BUT I am loving it!!

Writing is a ton of hard work and thousands of hours and it has been the Lord's grace and goodness each step of the way to see all of these projects coming to fruition. Would you pray for me as I work through the various phases of these different books? This month I have been  specifically praying the words of the Psalmist:

"My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer."
-Psalm 45:one-

Would you pray this for me too? My heart is stirred to encourage the hearts of those who are hurting and to write in such a way that people would be drawn to the heart of the Father. Thank you so much sweet friends! I hope that you have a wonderful Wednesday!

11/4/14

Advent Calendar and Advent Mini Album

I am so excited to share that the Advent Calendar and the Advent Mini Album  are now available in the shop! This gorgeous handmade advent calendar will be a family treasure that you can keep for years to come!
The Advent Calendar is attached to a beautifully framed "JOY" print that looks lovely no matter the day you are on and comes with all of the pieces so that you can easily assemble this item throughout the month of December. 
The Advent Calendar includes the following:

*1 JOY Advent Calendar framed picture with six vintage large clothespins and red burlap twine (all previously assembled and attached to the frame)
*25 number tags (as shown above) to attach to the red burlap twine on the specified date
*20 kraft colored mini-clothespins and 5 red mini-clothespins to attach the numbered tags to the red burlap twine
You can purchase the Advent Calendar alone or you have the option of purchasing the Advent mini-book with the advent calendar! (Hurry though for the Advent Calendar as supplies are limited!)

If you are interested in purchasing the Advent Calendar with the Advent Mini Album you will receive all of the above PLUS the Advent Mini Album !
This Advent Mini Album is a sweet and unique mini scrapbook (size is approximately 3 x4) with lovely journal tags, unique embellishments, and 25 unique pages that provides a lovely opportunity to remember and easily celebrate the true meaning of Christmas of love and family. 
This Advent Mini Album can be purchased as a "stand alone" or could be bought together (for a discount) with the Advent Calendar!
This Advent Mini Album comes with tags that have 25 scripture references and 25 Christmas activities to help you celebrate the season.
Each scripture reference and Christmas activity is handwritten and as with all of the products in my shop things each component of this is handmade (including the custom journal tags and library pockets).
This Advent Mini Album comes embellished with ribbon, twine, pretty scrapbook paper, glitter, and cuteness that you will quickly fall in love with. 
This Advent Mini Album will last you for years to come and will quickly become part of your Christmas traditions. 
Interested in purchasing the Advent Calendar? Click HERE! Or for the Advent Mini Album click HERE! Thank you again for your sweet support of my little shop!
Happy Tuesday friends!