Caravan Sonnet: September 2016

9/30/16

Pinstripe Midi Skater Dress with Crossback on Disney Ferry

 
 
 
ASOS Oversized 70s sunglasses
Vintage White Earrings (Similar here)
ASOS White Watch
Ann Taylor black Sandals (Similar here)

When we were in Disney, we had the delightful opportunity to ride the Disney Ferry back to catch the Epcot Monorail. It was absolutely gorgeous, relaxing (there was only about 10 people on the entire ferry!), and fun to see the resort and park area from the water.

Y'all know I love wearing dresses and skirts and this pinstripe midi skater dress was extremely comfortable but cute and pretty for our day at the parks. I love the detail of the high neck front with the crossback! I also love that it can also easily transition into fall with a light sweater too! Do y'all have a dress that you are loving right now?

Happy Friday friends!

9/29/16

asking for prayer

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters...my God turns my darkness into light." 
-Psalm 18-

As some of you may have seen on my intstagram page, I shared on Wednesday that I have been struggling with extreme pain everyday that seems to have started with a treatment that I began in the beginning of August. Over the past seven weeks I have had numerous testing done to determine the cause of the pain and at this point things are a bit of a mystery. Unfortunately in this journey with Lyme these things can happen, and sometimes a determined treatment plan brings these detours and yet I am humbly coming before you, my dear prayer warriors and friends to ask for God's mercy and healing in this area. The pain is extreme, none of my typical "pain remedies" have helped, it has kept me from getting much needed rest and sleep, has delayed further treatment plans, is quite nerve-racking and can become more and less intense throughout the day without a known trigger or warning. I admit that there has been a lot of tears. 

I asked for prayer as I was talking with several of my medical team members were trying to work on some solutions.
 I was so grateful to each of you that have been praying, sent sweet messages, and left such compassionate comments on my post on IG. Most of all thank you for your prayers. I spoke with my main medical doctor yesterday who sweetly called to discuss a few things. 

At this point the decision has been made to halt some of the main treatments that I have been doing, delay the upcoming treatment round, do some additional testing, and add in a few different things to try to help calm down the extreme pain that I have been experiencing. I so appreciate my main medical team who is always working so hard, the way that they listen and discuss my treatment plan along with my heart, and the encouragement that they are in this very long journey. 

I also so appreciate your continued prayers for many different things, including a decrease in pain. My treatment plan for the next month has now radically changed and this delay is very discouraging and disappointing to my little heart. As with other times in this Lyme journey the tears of frustration flow freely. 

So last night as I watched the way the seasons are gently changing I am reminded that the God who controls the seasons is still in control of even this. And tonight I humbly rest on God's unchanging grace and the beautiful promise from Isaiah 25:9:

 "On that day it will be said, Look, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."

9/28/16

What's Up Wednesday (September 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! If you would like to join in and have a blog, just answer the questions above!

What We're Eating this Week... 
With fall officially starting this past week I have been looking at more fall fruits and veggies. While I eat a variety of fruits and veggies throughout the year I love to try and eat "in season" and the apple trees this time of year are abundant. Do you remember the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Well I was shocked to research and learn how many health benefits that there are of apples! You can read my post about 15 benefits of eating apples by clicking HERE about just a few of the amazing benefits from this food!

What I'm Reminiscing About... 
The entire week of fun and excitement of spending time with friends at the Magic Kingdom and my sister on the Disney Cruise. I recapped yesterday the beautiful day at the Magic Kingdom with my dear friends Kori and Ali and can't wait to share more from this trip in the upcoming weeks!

What I'm Loving... 
Cozy warm fires and the start of autumn at the cabin. I am trying to grasp every single moment that we have left here before we leave camp. 

What I've Been Up To...
August was such a whirlwind of activity with the December Caravan Book ReleaseI have truly been so overwhelmed and blown away by the incredibly kind support and words about this book. Thank you so much for all of your love about this project! (If you are interested in purchasing December Caravan you can find it where books are sold and on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. If you are interested in bulk/group discount orders you can find out more information HERE.) I am also really excited to share about a new book project that will be releasing soon! I will be updating more about this on the blog in the upcoming weeks!

What I'm Dreading... 
I shared on instagram yesterday that I have been struggling with a lot of pain these past seven weeks... and let's be honest... this treatment round that I am starting this week will be extremely intense! 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? As I mentioned before this treatment round is extremely expensive (about $30,000 a month) and we are trusting the Lord for His provision. If you are interested in helping out financially you can find my "go fund me pageHERE

What I'm Working on... 
I have just finished up a bunch of orders that have come through in the shop (thank you!) and we are now in the process of packing up the cabin and the shop to move up to my grandmother's house. As you can imagine this is a ton of work. We would covet prayers as we transition! 

What I'm Excited About... 
While I love summer and have been dreading the end of this one for a lot of different reasons, I truly love the fall. Fall in upstate NY is one of my favorite things! If you are in the Lake Champlain region and are looking for suggestions of what to do this fall you can check out my post Fall Activities on Lake Champlain by clicking HERE.

What I'm Watching/Reading... 
I have been spending an increasing amount of time in Scripture. With the increase of pain and the discouragement of the length of this journey, I have found myself needing more and more truth that refreshes my heart and soul. 


What I'm Listening to... 
I shared this last month, but it is still the same. A couple of years ago this song was on repeat every morning and I have had it back listening to it again almost every morning and evening. I definitely have used this as the prayer of my heart these past few weeks and this summer and plan to as we enter this fall. If you are tired and weary or feel like you have been forgotten by the Lord this song is for you. 

What I'm Wearing... 
Lots and lots of scarves and these comfy red boots as the weather has turned cooler. I love scarves and the changing temperature gives me an extra excuse to use them! *smiles*

What I'm looking Forward to Next Month... 
The beautiful weather, the opportunity to speak at Indie Author Day, the opportunity to spend more time with my grandmother, cherishing the love  of family, and some exciting behind-the-scene projects I can't wait to share about.

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

9/27/16

Magic Kingdom with Friends


Looking back on spending a day at the Magic Kingdom two weeks ago with two dear friends fills me with incredible gratitude. It was a magical day filled with tons of laughter, constant talking about life, hilarious moments, and the precious gift of spending time with those whom I am honored to call "friend".
The day started bright and early where our original plan had been to meet up for breakfast before heading to the park. Unfortunately not knowing Florida remotely well (*smiles*) and a GPS that didn't want to cooperate led us to meeting at the park. Kori was exceptionally gracious with the change of plans as we attempted to connect. We finally and happily connected at the park!
The park actually ended up opening a few minutes early and we were so excited to be there after dreaming about the day for a few months!
The first thing that we did was find a place to eat breakfast and as we were eating Kori shared about how to use the MyDisneyExperienceApp which was awesome! We chose our fastpasses and prepared to head out for the day. Ironically the very first ride that we did of the day was the Haunted Mansion which I am still giggling about as I write this. I don't think that I had ever been on it but we giggled all the way through. I am not sure if it is always like this or not but it was so dark that we could hardly see anything which made us laugh harder. 
We then headed over to one of my favorite lands, Fantasyland where we rode the Little Mermaid. Y'all it was adorable
Growing up I have to admit that while I loved the music from the Little Mermaid, it was never one of my favorite movies. It's funny how at different times in our lives we can relate differently to different things. As Ariel sang her infamous song about wanting to be up where the people are I literally got tears on the ride. I relate so much as a young woman who is fighting for her health with wanting more. Wanting to be with people, wanting to be in a different season, wanting more

And perhaps... just perhaps... that is the beautiful thing about visiting Disney. It removes you from your life for a time- no matter how brief (in this case one day) and gives you a bit of magic and laughter to take back. It gives a reminder that dream can come true. All beautiful things that my little heart needed... and experiencing it was gracious and kind friends who never rushed me, took extra time to rest again and again throughout the day, and continuously surrounded me with love was the most beautiful gift of all. And perhaps... that is the greatest take away from the day... that love and grace are the biggest miracles... reminding us to constantly dream.
Hahaha and we even looked a bit scared and serious on some rides!
After spending the morning riding rides we went to grab food at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. Kori had mentioned it and it was so fun to go and try. Y'all it was yummy and we all agreed that the toppings from the sides bar were the best. For my gluten free friends you could make the most delicious salad and using the toppings (including guacomole- yum!) made a delicious meal! My favorite part of the meal though was the opportunity to just sit and talk with these amazing ladies. We had a lovely time just sitting and catching up on life and all that God is doing in our lives.
After lunch Ali and Kori went to go ride Splash Mountain!
We so enjoyed the day, spending time even meeting some princesses!
During our Princess meet and greet we even had some "serious" conversations. I was asked by Cinderella if I had met my Prince Charming and I said I was still searching. She said she understood.  *smiles*
And of course there was tons of laughter and giggles.
I truly couldn't have asked for a more perfect day at the Magic Kingdom with these dear friends. Thank you Kori and Ali for such a beautiful and perfect day that was so precious and one that I will treasure for a lifetime. Thank you for the gift of laughter, the hilarious moments and jokes including lost nails and all of the rides that stopped (hahaha!) and getting soaked in the rain as we said goodbye (hahahaha!!), for precious gifts and for grace and kindness that permeated the day when I had to take things slow and rest. It was truly a magical day.

** Some of the beautiful photos taken in this post were taken by both of these talented friends who are both photographers. You can find out more about Ali's photography business HERE, and Kori's blog and contact info HERE.**

9/26/16

Active Waiting in the Single Journey


“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for morning…O Israel put your hope in the Lord for with the Lord is unfailing love…”
-Psalm 130:5-7-

One of the real aspects of the Single Journey is the unplanned (and probably unchosen) length of learning how to wait. "Wait" till the timing is right. "Wait" on the Lord's timing for the man He has chosen for me. "Wait" for the "appropriate time" to buy wedding magazines and have a Pinterest wedding board. "Wait" to share all of the exciting details of setting up a home with someone. "Wait" to start planning a family with another person. "Wait"... for that season that we ache to have start... actually begin. 

Like other seasons of life, this waiting season in the Single Journey can test the hearts of the most resolved. It can be tempting to settle for less than God's best during the waiting. It can be tempting to revel in the disappointments of this single journey. The waiting seasons are tough. There is no other words to describe these seasons. They are just brutally difficult and tough. But as I face the waiting... if I have courage to ask the tough questions I do find that there is not only hurt but hope in the waiting season.

As I spend time in God's word the Lord reminds me that we don’t wait aimlessly. We actively wait, as we trust in Him, spending more and more time in His word, and loving those whom He has placed in front of us for today. That energy and love that we long to pour out on to a husband can be poured out right now to the ones that He has surrounded us with. This time is a beautiful preparation for learning to love like Christ loves us. 

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup, you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
-Psalm 16:5-6-

 Let us focus on the Lord, seek wisdom from Him, and run full strength into our waiting season... not try to run away from it. I have no fear in the waiting because I am not waiting on a person but on the Lord's perfect timing. 

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for morning…O Israel put your hope in the Lord for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” 
-Psalm 130:5-7-

With the Lord there is unfailing love. It is in Him that we will focus on and actively follow where He is leading. This is not wasted time. There is never wasted time with the Lord.

“I keep my eyes always on you Lord, with you at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” 
-Psalm 16:8-

9/24/16

Indie Author Day-October 8th

I am so excited to share that I will be participating in Indie Author Day at Tivoli Free Library on October 8th in Tivoli, NY! I will be giving a presentation for this event and will be part of a meet and greet as well. I will be speaking about marketing and promotion for indie authors and am excited to meet up with other indie authors! 

Are you an indie author or an aspiring indie author? Check out the Indie Author Website HERE for more information on events happening across the country (and some around the world)! 

Thank you so much to Tivoli Free Library and Veronica Stork for arranging this and having me! I hope to see y'all there!

(Please note that this event has been post-poned until October 15th)

9/20/16

Home

Thank you so much for all your prayers for this past week and this beautiful adventure that I have been on. I arrived home safely after almost 20 hours of traveling. I saw so many times and ways that God's grace showed up in practical and amazing ways and I can't wait to share more in the upcoming days and weeks. What a beautiful time this has been! 


I am returning to the cooler north with a heart full of precious memories, lots of love and laughter, and the joy of this lovely week ready to take on another round of treatment. Thank you again for all your prayers friends, you are a blessing!