Caravan Sonnet: June 2016

6/30/16

51 Scripture Verses on Health and Healing

Happy Thursday sweet friends! I am often told by very dear and well-meaning people, "I am praying for you" or "I am praying for your health" or "I am praying for your healing". 

ALL of these things are wonderful and I am so grateful and thankful for the time that people pray for me and my health. But I am also asked by those who are closest to me, "I pray for your health everyday, but sometimes I don't know what to pray anymore at this stage of the journey." I have been thinking a lot about how to respond to this recently and wanted to share with y'all 51 healing scriptures that I pray over myself every single morning and throughout the day. 

While this doesn't address everything to pray for and is definitely not a "formula" I do hope and pray that this is a good starting point for you if you are looking for verses on the topic of health and healing in the Bible. These verses bring me such comfort, joy, peace, and strength every single day during this season! I hope it encourages you today!

"If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you."
-Exodus 15:26-

"Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you."
-Exodus 23:25-

"The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but He will inflict them on people who hate you."
-Deuteronomy 7:15-

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
-Deuteronomy 30:19-

"Not one of all the Lord's good promises to Israel failed, every one was fulfilled."
-Joshua 21:45-

"I love you, Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snare of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord... I cried to my God for help... He rescued me from my powerful enemy..."
-Psalm 18:1-6, 17-

"With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."
-Psalm 91:16-

"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul and forget me all His benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all of your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
-Psalm 103:1-5-

"He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave."
-Psalm 107:20-

"I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."
-Psalm 117:17-

"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body."
-Proverbs 4:20-22-

"I will restore you to health and heal your wounds."
-Jeremiah 30:17-

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm."
-Joel 2:25-

"Let the weakling say, I am strong"
-Joel 3:10-

"...trouble will not come a second time.."
-Nahum 1:9-

"Test me in this", says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heave and pour out so much blessing that there will be room enough to store it."
-Malachi 3:10-

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "Truly I tell you if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for you."
-Mark 11:22-23-

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."
-John 10:10-

"And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His spirit who lives in you."
-Romans 8:11-

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
-2 Corinthians 10:4-5-

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."
-Galatians 3:13-14-

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realm. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
-Ephesians 6:10-17

"...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
-Philippians 2:13-

"For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline."
-2 Timothy 1:7-

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
-Hebrews 10:23-

"So do not throw away your confidence for it will be richly rewarded."
-Hebrews 10:35-

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
-Hebrews 13:8-

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed."
-I Peter 2:24-

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him."
-I John 5:14-15-

"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."
-3 John 2-

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
-Revelation 12:11-

If you would like me to email you a word copy of these verses please send me an email and I will be happy to email them to you!! Are you looking for suggestions on how to personally pray for those who are struggling with a chronic illness? Check out my post on 12 Things to Pray for Someone Struggling with a Chronic Illness Series by clicking HERE.

6/29/16

What's Up Wednesday (June Edition)

Happy Wednesday friends! I am excited to link up with MelShaeffer, and Shay for the "What's Up Wednesday" Link up! I have so enjoyed reading these ladies posts and am excited to join in! It is so fun to connect with so many other ladies who are doing this each month!

What We're Eating this Week... 
Kale. More Kale. And yes, more Kale. *smiles* So basically, as y'all know I spend every single day working to improve my immune system through the food that I eat, drinking tons of water, and the supplements that I take. I truly believe that working on building my immune system is just as important as all of the treatment I do to beat Lyme Disease. A couple of years ago I shared in my Thursday Health Thoughts post the 10 Amazing Benefits of eating Kale . I try to eat Kale all year long, but there is something about the beautiful and fresh Kale at the Market during this summer season that is absolutely yummy! Being out in California the last two weeks enhanced my love of Kale even more. *smile* 

What I'm Reminiscing About... 
With the upcoming release of my new book, December Caravan, in August I have been reminicising about signing the contract three years ago. I share on Sunday how this has been a sweet season of remincising and remembering all that God has done throughout this process. (PS-  If you are interested in f 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!!

What I'm Loving... 
Soft summer evenings at the lake now that we have moved down to the cabin for the summer. We are still getting settled in, but I am loving being here. It is a complete gift! Are you in the Lake Champlain area and looking for Summer activities to do? In my Tuesday Travel posts I shared about some summer activities to do on Lake Champlain! You can check it out HERE!

What I've Been Up To...
#courtneytheportney and I are getting adjusted to each other. *smiles* Yesterday on IG I shared that it has been a rough transition back home as the surgery and travel used up all of my energy reserves. I am so grateful for your prayers. I am learning in new ways to take things one moment at a time as I rest and heal from these past couple of weeks.

What I'm Dreading... 
Let's be honest... this treatment round is going to kick my butt! I would covet prayers for this as I am going into some of the most intense weeks and months of my life. Would you also continue to pray that all of the finances to come in for this treatment round? The trip cost us a lot of money and we are trusting the Lord for His provision. People have generously donated to my "go fund me page" but this trip was very very expensive and the next few months of treatment are going to be very very expensive and we are still praying for all of the funds to come in for it! Thank you so much friends. If you are interested in donating you can click HERE

What I'm Working on... 
Some exciting projects that are coming up in this next month! I can't wait to share with you in the weeks and days ahead!

What I'm Excited About... 
As I shared on Sunday this book releases on August 23rd! I am so excited to see this book release!

What I'm Watching/Reading... 
I shared last month how Tessa Afshar's books are always poignantly written, amazingly researched, and beautifully engaging and leads me back to scripture. She is one of the most talented writers I have ever read. Her books are truly some of my absolute favorites and I recommend them to everyone. I just finished re-reading "A Pearl in the Sand" which tells the story of Rahab and have been so encouraged again in my faith. I plan to do a complete review on her books, but in the meantime you can find out more about it HERE

What I'm Listening to... 
I shared this several months ago but if you haven't had the chance to listen to this beautiful song, "Jesus I am resting" yet, take the three minutes and do it right now. I promise you will be incredibly blessed! (Want to find out more about the Wissmann Family and check out more of their music? You can find their website HERE! And guess what?? They just announced that they are releasing a new CD soon!! YEA!)

What I'm Wearing... 
Let's be real... I have been in comfy comfy clothes most of the last few weeks with surgery and test dosing! 

What I'm looking Forward to Next Month... 
Traveling to this beautiful friend of mine's wedding!! I am already counting the days!! I can NOT wait!! (Love you dear friend!!)

I would love to know your answers to these questions friends! Share your thoughts below in the comments!! *smiles* Happy Wednesday!

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 brief 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.

6/12/16

Happy 30th Birthday Hoopster!!

My gorgeous "baby" sister (whom I affectionately refer to as "hoopster" -because she played basketball... and who calls me "pom pom" -because I was a cheerleader and yes, we have code names. Blame it on a bad break up and a marathon viewing of Alias. *smiles*) turns 30 today! I thought I would share with y'all 30 of my favorite things about her. (These are in no particular order and there are a ton more I could have mentioned. It was hard to narrow it down to just thirty!)

1. That you still thinks code names are "cool". 

2. That no matter how many years we take the twenty hour car trip to New York you still think it is fun to sneak "just one more thing" in.
3. The Rescue. Need I say more?

4. Our Memories.
5. The Spring that we lived together before I got sick.
6. How BIG your heart is.

7. That you get dressed up for dinner just because I think it is fun. 
8. The laughter that you bring to our family.
9. That we still laugh about Mary Kate and Ashley movies and that you still encourage me that we will be on the Amazing Race. "Let's run up the hill... duck... okay get in the car... this game is all about minutes."

10. Our conversations. 

11. That you think I am a good singer (hahaha) and that it is always a good time to start "air-singing" ... don't worry I will call and sing to you today!
12. ALL of your prayers for me!

13. Our Thanksgiving Starbucks tradition
14. Our late night talks- even in freezing hotel rooms.
15. Our sister days. (and trips!)

16. That you love being in charge of the lights at Christmas 
17. Your lovely understanding of the need for compassion in the world.
18. your love for our pajama tradition!
19. Your ability to bring a smile to everyone's heart that encounters you.
20. Your loyalty. 

21. Your love for Disney World (just like me!)
22. Your agreement that there is only so much of the "it's a small world song" before one goes crazy.
23. that you love toasting with Starbucks water just because I think it is fun
24. your love for scamper and my future hubby and my future children

25. your love for road trips (and for singing in the car to all of the songs we know by heart!)
26. your love for talking and planning over EVERY DETAIL for future trips to give me a distraction through treatment

27. Our silly inside jokes.
28. Your Hugs
29. Our Tubing Adventures... Just jump Emily you can do it one more time... 
30. YOU
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY Hoopster! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you this coming year! I LOVE YOU sooo much!! This is going to be the best year ever!!

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."
-Philippians 1:3-