Sometimes there are things I don't say on here.  Some for obvious privacy reasons, and some because I'm not sure they're my things to tell.

I mentioned in my 'Happy New Year' post that 2012 kinda sucked.  Which is true.  But only circumstantially. In reality, 2012 felt no different (and maybe even felt a little better) than other years.

And, honestly, that is completely, 100%, truly because of Jesus. And He continues to heal and bless us every day of 2013.

Divorce (and the threat of divorce) hit our family hard last year. Several family members ended relationships in one way or another. There is still the threat of it on my side of the family...my parents. (it took me over 30 minutes to type that out.) I won't go into detail because it is very very painful. But this alone could have knocked me on my face a few years ago (and did a few times over the last 18 months). But thanks be to God that I continue to wake up every morning with hope for what is to come.  God can (and I believe He will) heal my parents' relationship and heal us as a family.

In early summer, my Grandma's health started to deteriorate pretty rapidly. The doctor's recommended she stop driving and said that she shouldn't be living alone anymore.  But she's a stubborn lady.  She refused to do anything the doctor's or the family said. She continued to drive, and we prayed she wouldn't hit anyone and/or burn her house down with her inside.

In mid-summer, Brad's mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer.  

I know this sounds like a total Debbie-Downer post, but I'm actually telling you these things to talk about how great God has been to us.

Praise #1:  Baby Girl.  I honestly thought it could take us months and months to get pregnant.  We had several friends around us who were pregnant or trying and the average wait was about 6 months.  Which is pretty normal for our age. I was totally prepared to be patient.  And then, after that first month, we got a positive pregnancy test. I was shocked.  Brad strutted.

Praise #2: Today my grandma moves into an assisted living facility here in town. With very little resistance, and maybe even some excitement (bingo 4 nights a week!!). We were able to get her car away. And the biggest thing of all she makes enough money through her pension and retirement to afford her care.

Praise #3: My mother-in-law had two surgeries at the end of the summer.  The one that led to the discovery of the cancer, and another to remove all signs of cancer from  her body. And then the doctor's, of course, recommended chemo. Chemotherapy is what would have made her look and feel sick.  Even after two surgeries she seemed completely normal; no signs of illness.  After much discussion and research amongst the 5 of us immediate family members, she decided not to go with the doctor's recommendations, and to find an alternate route.  From September through today, she has eaten the healthiest of diets known to man. She's lost weight, and is back to what she weighed at age 25 (which is what the doctor said you want to be). And as of her last doctor's appointment, the cancer is GONE. Her blood levels are normal, and on the CT scan the tumors she had in summer have not grown back.  She is the healthiest she's been ever.  The doctor's here will continue to monitor her every few months just to make sure.

Praise #4: This might seem small in comparison, but this was a huge deal to me this weekend (and always).  I pretty much bawled my way through Sunday morning church service...in the best way possible. There were baptisms on Sunday morning, which is not abnormal.  I watched a man walk down into the water, and noticed that he seemed really tall next to the pastor performing the baptisms. Our head pastor said his name and asked the man if he has been a believer long.  The man said, yes his whole life.  And my husband turned around to me in shock and said, "Did you know about this!?" I looked at him confused, and said, "What?"  When I looked back down at the stage, I realized the man in the water was my Dad. He is 58 years old and though he grew up in a family of faith, he had never been baptized before.

There is healing happening.

These items that I've listed above may seem like insignificant details; just things that happen in life.  But I assure you, not one of these is coincidental.  

He is THE Healer.

As we wait for our precious Baby Girl to make her arrival, I could not have more hope for what is to come. And I trust in Him, that no matter what happens, all will be as it should be. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6


  1. goosebumps everywhere. thank you so much for sharing.

    i truly also believe that this is not a coincidence. He is just so good.

  2. OH MY GOODNESS CARLEE!! this is so awesome. God is SO Good. I love you!

  3. Thank you for sharing. And let's talk, if you want. I can relate to this entire thing. First, my parents divorced when I was 16 and I recently held my husband's hand through his parent's divorce. It's hard to see people you love going through tough times and I am confident that, if it is what a couple wants, anything is possible to work through. I will pray for your family.

    And then on the grandparent front... Fortunately I have all 4 still but it's hard. My grandfather has dementia and went through the same exact road your grandma is going through now last year. They took away his car, my grandma couldn't take care of him, into an assisted living home he went. It's hard. It's the same assisted living home as my other set of grandparents and whenever we visit, it feels so different. And I am so happy to hear that she'll be able to afford it. Those finances can get muddy.

    And, lastly, my mother had ovarian cancer. And cervical cancer. So I know how painful it is for a woman to go through. It nearly killed my mom the day before they went in to do surgery. It's scary. My mom ALSO didn't do chemo (she wasn't as far along, but it's still a big deal) and she changed her lifestyle, eating habits, spirituality and she has been cancer free for 6 years this March.

    In other news, I can't wait to see baby girl... whenever she arrives! :) Hang in there!

  4. this is such a beautiful post, carlee! i am crying!!! you know, through my parents split and divorce, my mom's faith has morphed from a casual, church goer to a desperate lover of Jesus and I am so thankful for that. even though my dad broke her heart, she has grown so close to the Lord and knows she is loved by Him.

  5. I absolutely love this blog. It's wonderfully written and heartfelt.
    I know we talked about some of this over ice cream, but I know it was more lighthearted at the time. I can't imagine what it'd be like having parents divorce at this age, but I can empathize. My parents divorced when I was only six months. I do hope that they do "heal" and find one another again. There are just too many years, history and effort to let it go.

    I meant to ask about Brad's mom the other night. SO glad to hear that she overcame the cancer, and naturally too! Simply amazing.

    Also, your blog definitely made me realize how far I've gotten from God, and that I really need to become close with Him again. Maybe Nick and I will join you at church one of these Sundays when he's not out of town.

    What a spectacularly, blessed future that will be bestowed unto the Smith family. We love you guys.

  6. I agree with Faith...goosebumps everywhere! I'm Brad's cousin (and Hannah's mom) from Alabama. I haven't met you yet, but I have been loving your posts over the past months. It makes me feel a part of your lives to be able to read about you, Brad, and Baby Smith. You have all of the special qualities that will make you a great mom...compassion, humor, a tender heart, and a godly love for others. You and Brad will be awesome parents; he is a great guy, and I know he must have married a very special person to be the mom of this child!

    Cindy Stephens


Thanks for following along with me! I love your encouragement and feedback!