Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This is Daniel with a post. I haven't really been posting too much because I am intimidated by the writing skills of my father (LA times-published multiple times) and my sister (minored in writing and naturally-gifted). So while I may not have their skillful way with words I can at least say something that has been on my heart recently.

Less than a week ago my mom thought she was experiencing bad stomach pain from a virus or something, and now she has already undergone surgery for ovarian cancer. The speed at which this has all happened is overwhelming. No one expects things like this to happen, it is something we hear about happening, but never really imagine happening to us. Like my dad said at one point, it was as if you were just dipping your toes in the ocean (my stomach hurts), to being hurled into a stormy sea (stage 3 ovarian cancer). But this is not the end of the story. You see, as Christians, we are never actually alone, and God has promised that He will always be with us.

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." <--- one of many verses on the subject of God being with us

Knowing that God is with us is the most wonderful, comforting feeling. I can't really describe it, but all I can say is that God is light, and when we draw near to Him He can fill us so full of light that there is no room for darkness. My mom has been so incredibly brave during this journey. She doesn't complain or say a cross word, she is kind and loving and just as selfless as ever. She feels God's presence with her during this difficult time, and that makes such a difference. 

One of our long-time family friends gifted my mom a devotional a few days ago called “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young. (P.S. my mom loves reading on her Kindle, so if you feel like sending her something to keep her busy during chemo, a little Amazon giftcard would be much-loved J ). We read each day’s devotional together (whichever family member is with her at the time), and today’s brought so much comfort to our souls. Young writes, (from the perspective of Jesus talking to us) “You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face to Face with Me, your Peace. As long as you focus on Me, you are safe. If you gaze too long at the myriad problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens. When you start to sink, simply call out “Help me, Jesus!” and I will lift you up”

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 14:30
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ “

My mom may feel like Pete right now, sinking down in the water, but she has deep, wonderful faith and she continually calls to Jesus, and He raises her up. I am so grateful for the peace that the Holy Spirit has given me these last few days. It is weird to have gone from totally freaking out (that was my first reaction), to an overwhelming since of peace (how I feel now). And I know that this dramatic shift I’ve experienced is a gift from God, His Holy Spirit that brings me peace that passes all understanding.

And I would just like to add that we have felt all the prayers from everyone who loves Gabrielle, or even people who stumble across this blog but don't know her. We have felt enveloped by love and support from family, friends, coworkers, and hospital staff her at Northwest. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Please continue to pray for her. :-) 


  1. Well said, Daniel. Keep writing your honest heart - you did a great job! It is in these times that we realize our peace comes from Jesus, not from ourselves, since we are "freaking out" in our own strength, and yet there is a calm which we can tap into, and a settling which we are fully aware is not our own. Thank you for putting it into words so well. - Christine

  2. I love you auntie Gabby and i'm so thankful to hear that you are doing well. I really wish I was home so that I could come see you and hug you and tell in person what an amazing woman you are. Know that I am thinking about you and praying for you, your faith in this time continues to inspire me as it has all throughout my life and relationship with you. Steve, Renee, and Daniel; thank you so much for creating this blog to keep us all updated, Daniel this one was particularly powerful for me so thank you. I love you all and look forward to seeing you all soon.


  3. Daniel - your words are inspiring & comforting. I'm thinking "wow- this is from my young nephew? OMIGOSH! He's SO got it goin' on!" You have encouraged ME. I love you much, Danny Boy, as I always have.

  4. Daniel, what a great blog post! Thank you for sharing your words and thoughts. To me, this blog seems like a daily devotional- personal testaments about how loving, gracious, merciful, and powerful God is. Please tell your mom that she is an inspiration to me. Her unabounding love for others and love for God even in the midst of cancer demonstrates a strong woman of faith. What a great example for us all! I continue to pray for your mom and family. Love to you!

  5. oh tears galore. :) thanks for sharing that Daniel! :) xoxo