I used to blog almost every. single. day.
These days, I literally cannot even FATHOM how I did that!
I can barely crack open my computer now.
In a way, it’s a very good and very healthy thing, as I believe over time my blogging became an idol in my life. It developed into this thing that I craved and desired more than I desired spending time with Jesus and, I humbly admit at times, even my family.
I got way too wrapped up in my stats, slaving away trying to post the next big thing – the next stat crusher.
I let my worth and value as a person be determined by how many shares a post got.
I spent a lot of time feeling jealous and frustrated with other blogs who seemed to just know how to do it all (blogging, photography, parenting, marriage, decorating, media, making money, looking super cute), all while never allowing another part of their lives to suffer as a result.
Then in November something huge happened in our Happy Home that sort of ripped me out of my petty struggles and into a fierce battle for the things in my life that are most important.
Ironically, the things that this blog is all about.
I honestly haven’t even wanted to write because I believe the Lord had to literally REMOVE that desire in order to show me how much He wants to be FIRST in my life.
He wants to fill my soul. He wants to be the one I run to when I wake up in the morning. He wants to be the one that makes me feel better on a bad day. He wants me to be on my knees more than at a computer desk. He wants to be the one who affirms my worth with the truths of His sweet Gospel message.
And He wants me to pay a little more attention to the hearts in our home.
Precious Happy Baby woke up last Saturday with a cough that just wouldn’t stop. I noted that his breathing was faster than usual and he fell asleep in the car while we were running errands (something that immediately alerts me of an oncoming illness. #mykidsneversleepanywherebuttheirbeds).
Then the Happy Baby spiked a high fever and his breathing got worse, so after consulting with his pediatrician, I drove him down to our old stomping ground (the place where we spent his first 97 days) and checked ourselves into the ER.
After some tests and an X-Ray, the doctors confirmed that my little guy had pneumonia.
They were concerned about his breathing so they kept us overnight.
And another night, and another…
More tests concluded that the Happy Baby was not only fighting the pneumonia, but also Rhino Virus and RSV.
We were suddenly thrown back into the world of unknowns and speculations and concerns and wonderings about the Happy Baby’s health. All the doctors wanted to know why we did not pursue further genetic testing. They said his neuromuscular condition was a huge factor in his susceptibility to these illnesses, as well as to his ability to overcome them.
It was rough!
The Happy Baby was so overwhelmed by all the hospital activity and poking and prodding and nasal cannulas and nebulizer treatments and cough assists and IVs and nurses and doctors that the ONLY thing that made him feel any sense of security was if I held him.
So I did.
It was a snuggle of epic proportions.
Oh, how the Lord has matured me since the Happy Baby’s first hospital stay!
Then I was afraid and timid and anxious and easily knocked down by bad reports.
Not this time.
This time I remembered what the Lord (not the doctors) has spoken to me time and time again about the Happy Baby.
This time I truly believed (instead of just hoped) that God would deliver us.
This time I laid my life (and the Happy Baby’s) completely at His feet in surrender.
This time I had eyes to see that the heart of my Father is to bless, to love, and to work out His perfect plan for my life – for my (our) good.
We are home now and he is healing slowly.
But all this to say, our family has been in a season of trial. Especially since Thanksgiving, we have been thrown from one stressful situation to the next. I haven’t been able to spend any ‘extra’ time playing on Pinterest or blogging simply because I HAVE to be spending that time with my Lord, lest I be swallowed up in a pit of despair.
I HAVE to be digging deeper and deeper into His Word so that I can claim TRUTH when the enemy breathes lies down my neck.
I HAVE to be in prayer or else I forget the closeness of Christ in the midst of great suffering.
I HAVE to be available to my family.
I don’t know how much writing I will be able to do in the coming days, but in the meantime, I am keeping a notebook full of blog post ideas and topics that I long to share with all of you. Certainly no lack of ideas – simply lack of time!!
Maybe I should start pumping again in the middle of the night so I can actually get stuff done. Lol!!!!
Thank you to all my precious readers who have emailed with giant question marks wondering what happened to me.
Thank you for responding to the Lord’s promptings to pray for our family.
Love you all.
Prayers are being said for Happy Baby and your family. My son has Duchenne, I know all to well of the struggles you went through. I have questioned my faith a lot lately, thanks for writing this, it definitely helps steer me back in the right direction with my walk.Hopefully I will come across more faithful people like yourself to keep going in the right direction. Hope your little man is feeling better
Precious girl. The Lord is Good.
I’ve just stumbled upon this and I know nothing about your struggles but when it involves our children – it becomes EPIC! I pray for your baby – and your husband and you – and any other children you may have. LOVE – PRAYERS – HEALING – BLESSINGS….
I found your blog when I was looking for an answer that seems trivial and unimportant in the face of your current struggle. Thank you for your help in what I was searching for and may God bless you and your family in this time.
I am a respiratory therapist who specializes in peds. Rsv is the worst! Im so sorry! Hes so lucky to have you right in bed with him!
Bless you all during this special and blessed time. You will sort it all out in His due time! God bless. Praying for your whole family.
Wishing you,your little guy and your husband all the very best for a speedy recovery.
Lots of hugs from Jackie in Athens, Greece. XXX
Julie, Thoughts and prayers sent to you and your family.
Dear Julie, I know what you are going through, my two sons are. 19 months apart, they both suffered severe asthma, in & out of the hospital often, when my daughter was 12 years old she had problems, spend her 13th birthday in traction in Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, she had to have surgery for herniated discs. I’ve enjoyed & missed reading your blog, but I completely understand, I admire you & respect your decisions. Our Lord will never foresake you and your precious family needs you. I will keep all of you in my prayers.
Blessings & Love ,
This is exactly why I read your blog. The ideas for crafts and other projects are cute, but in all honesty, I delete most of them from my inbox. (And this is coming from a woman with five kids who loves her crafts! 😉 )BUT…when I see a personal post, I know I better read it, because it always speaks (or God speaks through it/you) right to my heart. Thank you again for your willingness to be transparent, and to let God use you. Praying for you and your Happy Family.
Thank you for the blog update. I stumbled across your blog and was drawn in by your honest, humble, heartfelt testimony of your love for the Lord. I am an OLD mom now (my babies are 30 and 32), but I still remember those precious early years. I think you have your priorities set just right. God bless you.
God will lead you, finding what you will need to do with the little time we have each day. Bless you and your family and little one. That is what God has intended. He has charged you with caring for his little one. Prayers that you all find more and more strength with the dawn of each new day You are missed on here, but honestly fully understand where your priorities have been. Look forward to hearing about your creative ideas when the time is right once again. Take care of yourself. God Bless you.
Praying for Happy Baby as well as you and daddy!!!
Julie we just fought and conquered a courageous battle with RSV with our 6 month old a few weeks ago….I didn’t know true love until that week…..the heart-aching love of watching the one in which you gave life to, struggle to breathe; the awe-inspiring love of my husband whom I fell for all over again as he led us with his quiet, confident strength through prayer. But most importantly I learned God’s enduring love as I FINALLY figured out how to pray and BELIEVE him for his promises of healing and peace! The word tells us that “….we are covered by his blood; and By his stripes we are healed”; and so it is with the Happy Baby. As this journey unfolds may you continue to surrender to the ONLY one who is able to sustain and keep you as you model your faithfulness to your very special boy!
Praying for strength and complete healing in the mighty name of Jesus!
praying you and your family.
Praying that things continue to mend – thank you so much for the time you do put into this blog – I find what God lays on your heart to write speaks to me and helps me see things in a new light – Thank you
God brought you and your precious little guy to my heart in a dream last night. I have been praying, but began anew this morning!
“For this reason, we kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Holy Spirit in your inner being.” Ephesians 3:14-15
I wondered what had happened. I love your posts and hearing about every little thing in your life. (My fave post was the dollar store date! I always think of that when I go to the dollar store!)
Praying for you and your family, that your struggles lessen, and that your strength in the Lord increases, that your babies are healthy and happy, and that you can find peace in the chaos.
Praying for your family. Please know that you are an inspiration to many. Your faith and devotion to your family are the reasons I follow your blog.
I have gotten so many craft ideas to use with my grandchildren from you and was worried for you and your family after the Christmas post. Said prayers for you not knowing what was going on as you had not been posting. Praying that healing will continue.
You have such a special place in my heart and prayers for you and yours are right up there with prayers for my own happy hearts. Love you!
Continuing to pray for you and your family. God bless you!
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness. My offer is still good and doesn’t expire. I love you my friend!
Thank you for sharing from your heart today. May God bless your sweet family as you put Him first, them second, and then the rest of us! 🙂
I hope your little family gets better and continues to stay healthy. We went through a similar situation last year with my 5 month old. Flue strain A, RSV, pneumonia and eventually draining the fluid around her lungs to find out she had MRSA equaled a week in the PICU and then another week in a regular room. Remember God is watching out for you even when you think he isn’t and he loves all his children. I hope you see many blessings in your future!
Thanks for a beautiful blog….love & prayers to you & yours!
Wow. I have missed you, I cannot lie. I have been praying all is well and that you just took a much needed vacation. Happy Baby has had such a fight, I am confident that our God has great things planned for him. To be honest God has already used him to show His great healing and love to all your readers. I pray that you all enjoy each and every breath together.
I will look forward to your next post like a child waiting to rip into all those beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. Just seeing you in my inbox gives me such joy and I know I am going to be blessed. XOXO
missed you-happy to hear from you! praying for you and your happy family!
I prayed for you last night on our way home from church. Realizing that God has a time for everything and with the responsibilities that you have right now your delightful blog might have lessened in importance. Either way my prayers are with you whatever decision you make. You obviously have your priorities in order: God, family and bloggers.
You are an amazing example of the faith God can place in our heart when we truly trust Him. You are an inspiration to moms. Praying for Happy Baby, you and your family. God bless Julie.
Julie, I am a new reader but your post today touched my heart. Love and prayers to you and your family. You reminded me today of what is really important in life. God Bless.
Iagree with Brandi. i read your blog for your up lifting messages. So sorry to hear about your son. My prayers are with you and your family. You have blessed me on days when I did not want to do anything. I hope these posts bless you. God bless, Jeanie
My dearest Julie,
I am truly sorry of your battles, of the Happy Baby’s tough fight, but as a Christian mom, wife, and friend I can totally understand your struggles. There’s not a single day when I don’t have to battle my own demons, but God is always there for me, as He is for you, and you know how He has helped me??? He has used you and your writing, and your family, and your struggles, and above all your FAITH to show me the way!!! You’ll never know how many times your posts have helped me faced something that’s happening in my life. I love, love, love to read you because of your faithfulness, because of the way you make me understand the Scriptures better, because you help me to apply them in my daily life, because I know that I’m not alone, because you always have a positive note for everything even in your worst!!!!
You have blessed me in so many ways, I just can’t thank you enough!!! But from now on, you and your Happy Family will be in our daily prayers. God Bless You Always.
How gracious God is to draw us to himself, even through really hard seasons. While I miss reading your posts and look forward to them again sometime in the future, I am glad that he has drawn you away from distracting things and into his arms during this really rough season. praying for you and your fmaily today.
Hello julie I love reading your blog not for al the great ideas you have about crafts or fun things to do with your kids. My kids are grown. I read your blog because of your raw emotion and description of your life. I have learned so much reading about your ceaseless love for your savior and amazing strength and love for your family. Anybody can create a blog with fun things to do but few have taught us so much above what true love and a ceaseless endurance for life love, family and à true love for christ looks like. You are so precious in his sight and all of ours. Sweet and healthy dreams tonight for your family.
Oh sweet sister, thank you for posting this, as we have also been going through our share of trials around here. I have literally “fasted” from the internet and social media, and guess what? Our happy home is finally experiencing PEACE again. I have been drenching myself in God’s Word. It is truly all we need! Love you girl! xoxo Veronica
Thankful for the update, and continuing to say a prayer for your little family!
I will be praying for you and your family. Hang in there. FYI-Your emails are my fav!
May the Lord keep his healing hands on Happy Baby and completely restore his health. May the Lord grant you peace of mind and strength of body while you care for your child as Mary cared for little Jesus. May the Lord help you find His joy in the midst of difficulty. Remembering you and your family in my prayers going up from Mississippi!?
You and your dependence on the Lord is AMAZING! Praying for you and your little one.
Prayers for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your learning experience.
Bonnie @ Mom's Lifesavers
Julie – Your blog is so inspiring to me – and this post hit VERY close to home – both my children contracted RSV as infants and under 6 months old (the have always been in competition even though they are 3 years apart!) Please know my family is praying for yours. God bless.
God Bless you and your family. You are obviously a wonderful mother and person in general. I will keep you all in my prayers.
Always keeping you and your precious family in my prayers. xxx
Dear Julie, your blog has always showed me it is possible to be a real everyday Christian. Your journey will be guided by the Lord as we pray for you and your family! Thank you for the inspiration.
Juanita in OH
Thank you so much for the update. I will continue to lift your family in prayer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ! I truly understand your situation and I can’t imagine what it is like to deal with a very ill child. Praying all the best for you and the family.
Your post reminds me of “be still and listen”.
Juanita in OH
Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. I will be praying for your family’s peace and wisdom for the doctors and of course a speedy and quick healing for the happy baby. I don’t have children of my own tbur I am have always been inspired by those who do. My sister-in-law always seems to have it together with 3 boys I never know how she gets it all done! I am so very grateful for a friend introducing me to your blog. I adore how funny you are ?. Your epic snuggle blog was an answer from God to remain in His peace and continue on a regular basis to seek Him FIRST. I have been putting my small business ahead of everything and everyone else. I know He has lee me to you and many others to get wisdom from experience but I now recognize the tremendous importance of giving my entire day to Christ. Thank you for your gracious knowledge!!!
All good wishes, to you and your family. Praying for a return to good health for happy baby. The list of people I pray for gets ever longer at the moment and I am feeling so helpless. Hopefully my prayers will be heard and good health will begin returning to each and everyone on my list, now including happy baby. Stay strong. Xxx
Thank you for sharing your heart and experience. It is a wonderful reminder to cherish time with our little ones and trust God. I pray for healing for Happy Baby and peace for mommy, daddy and big brother.
Dearest Julie, I miss you in our MOM ministry. We’ve gone from being mother of a friend when you and Stevie were in high school coming to Bible study at our home, to working alongside each other furthering His kingdom, to friends. May The Lord hold you in the palm of His hand for there you are engraved. Rest between His shoulders. “Be Brave” as my post encouraged moms last week. Habakuk says it best…stand upon your ramparts and expect to be amazed! He rejoices over you with singing. From the heart, Vickie
I have only stalked your blog until now but I just wanted to let you know I have been reading for several months– I LOVE your testimony and am praying for you and your family. I am so grateful for your beautiful example. Praying for you! Love, Caitlin
Praying for you! I love your beautiful testimony and your example of faith!