So many of you have checked up on me in recent weeks to offer prayers and well wishes. I thought it might be fun to resurrect my “Update from the Ball Chair” posts that I was doing during the pandemic to bring friends up to speed on some of the personal and professional development in my life. As I find myself regaining strength, my work has picked up and I have several exciting projects underway. Here are a few brief updates.
Health and Wellness Update
As I type this update, it’s been 231 days since my twelve-hour surgery in March. I sort of count March 29, 2023 as the official start of my cancer recovery, because that was the day when I had my double mastectomy and DIEP Flap reconstruction. For the past few months, I have been adjusting to the two very potent daily prescriptions I will take for the next several years to combat my cancer. I’ve also been battling my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. Most days, I struggle with severe stomach issues and fatigue. I’ve lost a lot of strength. But my heart and spirit are happy. I am working on adjusting to my body as it is right now, which means listening to the cues that tell me when to rest, when to cut back on stress, and when it’s ok to push myself. I’ll be honest in saying that I am not where I would like to be physically. But every day, I give thanks for my improving health. Thank you for your amazing support, which has made this journey so much easier.
Here’s a quick laundry list of recent work-related odds and ends:
- Dominican Republic Diary – In March, just before my surgery, I had the great opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with Cross Catholic Outreach to see and share their amazing work. At CatholicMom.com, I’ll be sharing a five-week series, with one post per week highlighting each of the five days of our trip. Read Day One’s journal entry here. Learn more about Cross Catholic here. If you are looking for gift ideas for loved ones, I strongly recommend the Cross Catholic Christmas Catalog is a simple way to give a gift to a family in need in another part of the world. Giving options include Bibles, health care supplies, housing, clean water, business training, and even soccer balls. Choose a simple gift given in honor of someone special in your life and bless both recipients!
- Journey to Bethlehem – In September, I flew to Nashville for a special advance screening of the newly released film Journey to Bethlehem. Our latest Catholic Momcast podcast features my interview conversation with the musical’s Director Adam Anders and his wife and creative partner Nikki. As you’ll hear if you listen to the podcast, I LOVED the movie. Some folks haven’t, and that’s absolutely fine. Movies, like any other creative project, are so personal. For me, what Adam and his team have created is something I’ll happily share as a holiday tradition in our home. Greg and I were blessed to be at the red carpet premiere in LA and I’ll share that my normally pretty picky husband (who’s also a musician) loved it too. Journey to Bethlehem takes some liberties with “the greatest story ever told”. I hope you’ll listen to my conversation with Adam and Nikki and that you’ll enjoy the film if you decide to see it.
- Book Updates – I just put the finishing touches on a manuscript that I can’t wait to share with you soon when it’s announced. Here is some additional book-related news:
- Now’s the time to ready yourself for Advent. If you celebrate, please consider using my devotional booklet 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath. It’s an affordable way to spend a few moments a day in quiet reflection.
- If you have children in your life, I’d love it if you’d consider one of my books as a gift for them. In particular, I’d love it if you’d check out I Am Earth’s Keeper or any one of my Chime Travelers Series books. You can also now listen to the Chime Travelers books and I Am Earth’s Keeper on Audible. If you are a teacher or are connected to a group that might like an author visit, please connect with me to chat about bulk discounts for schools and my virtual classroom visits.
- I’m also discerning whether I will write more books, or hang up my keyboard. I love writing, but it seems more and more that being an author is a challenging path and that perhaps I’ve said all that needs to be said. If you have thoughts on this, feel free to comment below.
- Speaking – After a year of “hiatus”, I just booked my first local speaking engagement for 2024. I’m still very uncertain about whether a return to speaking is something I’ll do moving forward. I’ve never really “marketed” my speaking. I simply go where I’m invited. We’ll see what happens with this in the new year.
Well, if you’ve read this far, thank you! I’ll leave off here for now but will leave my comments open if you have any questions or comments for me. I hope to make these updates a more regular feature as things begin to pick up. Thank you, as always, for your support and the gift of your friendship!