Wednesday, November 16, 2011

my 28th year.

(most things that appear bold are a link. check it out.)

yesterday we celebrated year 27 and now we enter into year 28 of my life. go ahead and check out last year's birthday HERE and HERE to see where we have come one year. it really is incredible. i am humbled and grateful to the Lord for my life. simply my life.

justin and i went out last night to celebrate (thank you kristen and queeny for watching ava). we like to reminisce a bit and talk about the past year. each month. each major event. what stood out. what we loved and what was hard. some big points (clearly cancer and cancer free!new york trip, bulgaria trip for justin, the beach and vacations, yl camp trips/assignment, and moving. along with hundreds of little moments only we share. i pray the sting of last year...where we were and where we are going never leaves. it is sometimes a sharp painful sting and other times it is simply the humbled reminder that my life is not my own. i am guaranteed nothing. so what will i choose to do with it?

it has clearly been a year of much sorrow along with much more joy. i am thankful for the joy but also the pain. because of that pain i am becoming more of who i was designed and meant to be. i like that. i like to look back and see how far we have come. how much as changed in one simple little year. but maybe...just least for us the most life changing and life altering year of our entire lives. i love the something like cancer can do that. for us it started with a cancer diagnosis and a road we hope to never walk again...but turned out to have everything to do with the Lord and what He did in us and through us with cancer. the Lord is good!

being in a new town i was a little nervous about what my birthday would be like...i pleasantly surprised. the mailbox was filled with cards. the door rang a few times with friends holding flowers and one time holding a peanut butter cup blizzard from dairy queen. my favorite. phone calls, texts, emails, and facebook messages came rolling in all day. what a gift it was. i am not always sure what to make of my birthday. make it a big deal? at like you don't really care when really you do? keep it on the down low? tell everyone? either way my birthday came and went and it was full of love, encouragement, friends, and family (both near and far).

i would like to share one email and a few texts that really stood out yesterday. thank you for writing, for reading our story, and being willing to share your heart. not everyone does that so thank you.

an email from a dear friend...Happy Birthday! I hope today is filled with many joys, time with Justin and Ava. One thing that has changed about you and your family is the gift of celebration. You have been freed from Lymphoma a celebration should occur everyday in your family. I am glad that you are celebrating today, for your birth! Jesus brought you into to this world so that he could use you to glorify himself. He loves you and wanted to you be here. And Jesus still wants you to be here, that is why you are cancer free. woo! As I am writing this I am thinking how little I celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. I have been learning to have an eternal perspective on life. It's a hard thing to learn, not very easy to grasp. But when I look at your life it reminds me, it's simple. There's nothing hard about it. Praise Jesus and love others. Live as if you are living in eternity. Celebrating Jesus and His faithfulness everyday. Thanks for being such a wonderful example to me. Your cancer changed so many people's lives and perspectives. Ava has a wonderful Mother and I can't wait for her to really know that. So Happy Birthday to a wonderful and beautiful Mother!

I read your Triple R post and just about sobbed my eyes out. It's such a blessing to hear you being a Mother to Ava and loving her. Taking the pretzels that she doesn't want, hugging her and kissing her, and loving other people in front of her. But the last part of the post really got me tearing up. i pray i never leave this place. sick or healthy i will cling to you. What a beautiful statement. I'm sure that was very hard for you to pray at the time. But even that prayer glorified Jesus. Thanks for sharing some of your prayers to Jesus. I have prayed some of your prayers before.Thanks for allowing me to be apart of your life. So thank you for spending time with me. I appreciate it more than you know. 

this text came at 11:15pm...Lib, took a ride down memory lane with your blog and even watched avas birth video Haha:) was in tears like five different times reading it. I am so grateful for you Justin And Ava. So lucky you live around the corner. Still can't believe you had cancer. Wow. Hope you are celebrating health but especially God's grace today on your birthday!

this text came at 1am...Started reading the blog from the beginning and started sobbing in the library. (embarrassing) I can't believe you had cancer. I can't believe it's gone. Holy crap Jesus is so good.


what i love is that in three different cities, three different girls were entering into our story at the same time. i am humbled and thankful for community and for friendship. although our story of cancer is not that unique. in many ways it was very uncomplicated and straightforward. but what i am reminded of daily is that it was so unique. not because of me or justin or even ava. but because the Lord wrote this story. we gave it to Him and allowed Him to move. my hope is that our story of cancer is one of joy in the midst of pain. one of choosing hope while facing death. choosing to trust the Lord and not ourselves. i want to remember this everyday but i think it will be an extra reminder every november 15th.

thank you for another year and for those who were celebrating alongside us.


this is my thanksgiving road trip thousand gifts by ann voskamp. all i hear is that this book is excellent and life changing. so i am on board with that.


  1. I have always thought that a birth day was a much bigger event in the life of the mother than in the life of the person celebrating their B-Day. And so I celebrate right along with you for so much...for you and your life (especially at age 3-you were a fabulous 3 year-old, one of my favorites), for your grace under fire when cancer threatened your very existence (and my heart), and now for your maturity and outlook as you move forward into the rest of your life. Looking forward to sharing special moments of it and watching lots of them from afar. God is faithful and I celebrate His hand in restoring you to health so that you may continue to serve Him and love Him and declare His name. Hallelujah!

    XOXO and Love,


    Can't wait to see you, Justin and AVA next week for Thankgiving. I need a personal Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

  2. One Thousand Gifts is AMAZING. Amazing, amazing, amazing!

  3. Happy Birthday again {a day late}. I just wanted to say that I have always been very obsessed with birthday's because I think that everyone should celebrate that they have lived another year! And your story is so powerful and it is truly amazing that you are here to celebrate another year with your family. So celebrate away you deserve it more than anyone!!! :) I am so glad that you had an amazing birthday with your family. That is what it is all about. And that first email made my heart ache but at the same time rejoice because God does want you here still! He is using you to touch other people's lives and you have truly touched mine. You are strong and such a beautiful momma!!

  4. happy birthday sweet sweet friend! ironically, i just started that book as well :) miss you.

  5. Libby,
    “Happy Birthday!” (belated) I have always definitely wanted my Birthday to go unnoticed and be just another day. I DO NOT like attention drawn to myself. Looking now and reflecting back over the past year though and now with what one of your friends stated gives me a new perspective. We should always celebrate our birth! After all, it is what God gave us; our lives. So I celebrate you and the unselfish gifts that you continue to give me just by being the YOU that God made you to be and sharing your heart and love for the Lord. I pray that God will help me to see that on my next Birthday (and every day) that He made me special and through that I will give Him the glory for another year of his mercies and another year of life.
    Wow, looking at the trailer on the site for “One Thousand Gifts”…breathtaking. I will have to pick that book up too. We should all dare to live life fully…scary though…hopefully the book will share on ways that we can succumb to that. Thanks for sharing the link….Blessings, donna.

  6. Sorry Libby, I never remember if the blog will post my last name. Just so you know...Blessings, from Donna Cason :)

  7. Happy birthday, Libby! I just started Ann Voskamp's book as well. I bought it for my mom and for me for her birthday, and we talk on the phone after every chapter and share our hearts. It's good to connect with her, since we're 1800 miles apart.

    Happy celebrating!


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