Saturday, December 31, 2011


“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46

I'll just go ahead and state up front that if I had been able to look into the future and see what 2011 was going to hold for me, I would have been  pleading with God, "No, no, no!!!!!!"  There would have been no, "Yes, Lord" from me.  That's just one of the many reasons that I am glad that I can't see all that God sees.  What I do know without a doubt is that God was not surprised by anything that happened in 2011!

When I look back on my journals from 2011, it often feels like I am reading about someone else's life.  Yet, so much of it seems like it just happened a few minutes ago as well.  I'm putting pictures of Miss D from throughout the year in this blog of remembering.  It's not that I have forgotten that I have two other children; it just that for me (and this is my blog after all) I see 2011 reflected in her eyes.....sometimes with great happiness,  sometimes with great pain, but always with a smile that is only the result of the joy of the Lord.  Miss D has taught me over and over this year exactly how to say, "Yes, Lord."
December 2010.....1 month before life changed forever.

This first picture was taken in December of 2010...........back when our schedule was full of all sorts of 'good' things.  I was a master of saying , "Yes".

Just 4 days before diagnosis.
Then we have the picture from just a few short days before cancer entered our worlds.  I remember loving those days because we had a ton of snow on the ground (for the Southeast at least), the world was pretty quiet, and I was 'forced' to stay home and enjoy being with my kids.  We decided to build an igloo.......Miss D really just wanted to stay in and sit on the couch.  I wouldn't let her.   How could I have know that a beast was quickly invading her body and trying to snuff our her life?  I've scoured the pictures for any signs that I missed; I've asked friends who saw us during these days if they suspected anything; I've cried more than a few tears.  But God in His loving care, has shown me that He was all too aware and had every moment covered with His Hand.

Then my perfect little world, with my happy little family and my filled to the brim schedule shattered at the moment the words were uttered........."Your daughter has a blood cancer called leukemia.  I've called the pediatric oncologist, and he is on his way."  This is what I wrote about it at the time......
Then she stood there looking at me; I can only imagine the emotions running across my face. My world was shaken to its very foundation. I remember her asking if I was okay. My response came from deep within my soul…….”God is still the same God today that He was yesterday, and He’ll still be the same tomorrow. I need to call my husband and get back to my little girl.” I know she thought I was losing it, but I wasn’t. I had just found rock bottom and knew that it was solid ground.
4 days post diagnosis
Do you know what happens when your life is altered so?  Everything, and I mean everything, suddenly finds its proper place on the priorty list.  This is the gift that cancer gave me from the very beginning.  My schedule was very suddenly cleared of everything that didn't truly matter.  Yes, Lord.  Your schedule is by far superior to mine!

February 2011
I remember this day like it was yesterday.  It was Valentine's Day.  It was a clinic day for D.  She had 4 chemos injected into her body that morning.  Then we came home to the most glorious day.  She and I sat outside on the porch swing and talked about Heaven.  We took tons of pictures of each other and together.

March 2011
 The days, the weeks, and the months passed by........sometimes fast, but more often they were slow.

April 2011
May 2011
These moments taught me a lot about living and loving.  I sadly said goodbye to some friendships that couldn't handle this disease and what it brought to our lives.  But I also discovered some very sweet friendships of the eternal variety.  The friends that God sends to walk through the valley with you are the best.  Some of them I knew on the mountain top before, and some of them I met in the valley with me.  They are all precious........they are the gifts that God brought to me in this time and this place to have for eternity.

June 2011
The summer brought scheduled hosptial time.......which God so graciously took and made special time with each of my children.  My boys took turns staying with D and I in the hospital.  Our family relationships were completely changed and enriched by the experience.

July 2011
August 2011 Happy birthdday sweet girl!
Miss D and Mr. M also had birthdays in the summer.  It was a sweet time of celebrating life.  It was also one of the hardest days for me emotionally.  God and I had several heart wrenching conversations during those weeks.

September 2011
October 2011
Fall arrived with it's own blessings for our family.  New experiences, one on one travels, and so much more.  This time also allowed us to begin to add things back into our things like sports, clubs, and classes.  Only this time, they were each added with perspective and placed appropriately on the priority list.

November 2011
December 2011
We finished out our year celebrating life.......Jesus's birthday and the gift of eternity with Him.  As you can see, we enjoyed a few gifts.  But the greatest gift of all was being able to spend the day loving and living with all of our family together.  Even in all the hub-bub of the season, we didn't lose site of the things that really matter.

I began 2011 living in what I thought was the Light.......turns out in was definitely in the shadows.......only to be plunged into the darkness where I really found the Light.  I will remember 2011 as the year that I really started to learn what it would mean to say, "Yes, Lord".  God is good all the fact, He's so much more than good.  Sometimes you have to go into the dark to truly appreciate the light.  I will tell you that in my darkest moments, the Light shone more brilliantly than I had ever seen.  This year is one that taught me to let go of a lot of things....some bad things, but more good things.  Saying "Yes, Lord" will always mean saying "No." to something else.  I wouldn't trade this year of letting go of the world and clinging ever more closely to God for anything.

Now go ahead and look back through these pictures.  Cancer takes so much from the patient and their families.  But look again, can you see what cancer can never touch?  Cancer can't even get close to snuffing out Life...........He lives and loves and brings joy.  Now I know from experience, that no matter what the road the God leads me to, no matter the pain involved........I can say "Yes, Lord" with joy in my heart and anticipation of His blessings along the way.  Thank you Lord!

I'll close with my facebook status from tonight.....
If I took a snap shot of my 2011, I would probably just want to burn it. But that would be a real shame!!! In all the ways that really matter, 2011 really was one of the best years of my life........I've loved more deeply, lived more intentionally, and discovered just how peaceful it is to be held in the arms of the Almighty God. Tonight I reflect with a heart full of gratitude.
Happy New Year blog world!  May 2012 be a year of drawing closer to God with every 'Yes'.



  1. Amy,
    Thank you for letting me take this journey with you. I do want to be one of those people who REALLY wants to know how you are doing. No glossing over. I also want to be practical help if possible, but I have no idea what kind of needs you have at this point. Please know I stand as a prayer warrior for you and Danielle. If you EVER need specific requests, shoot me an email. I will get it quickly and be on the case. We love your family!

    God bless,

  2. "But God in His loving care, has shown me that He was all too aware and had every moment covered with His Hand." I needed your words today and accept them as words from the Lord straight to my heart. As I continue to learn to yield to His work in me there are times when I need that reminder. He truly does have "every moment covered with His Hand".

    See? You have such a GIFT with words...All of the journaling you've done has nurtured this precious gift within you. I'm grateful for YOU!