Much in my head, much on my heart. A Whirly Wednesday post might just be in order.

Read the parts that interest you, skip the parts that don’t. Of course, you’ll have no idea which is which until you’re already too far in. Stinks to be you.

1. I sent the check to my publisher Monday (for the order I had to pay for before they’d release my Diapers books). Woohoo! As soon as it clears, they’ll send my 1100 books, and I’ll start shipping them your way!

2. I’ve been getting lots of questions about my Zoo Book lately. Like, “Man, this is taking a long time. When’s it coming out??” Oh, how I’d love to give you a satisfying answer, but things just aren’t going all that hot. For starters, we still haven’t found a publisher who’s willing to take a risk on it . But I’ve been reworking it and giving it a little more zing, and I’m for sure not giving up hope. More next week.

3. Speaking of promises I don’t keep (at least not in a timely fashion), I have NOT forgotten about the necklaces, apron and boas for Cambodia (and Kenya). We’re just about ready to go with it.

4. And speaking of just about ready, FUN NEWS! You know my NaNoWriMo novel? The one I said Gabe was going to make a website for and I was going to sell as an e-book and give 50% of the proceeds to missions? IT LAUNCHES FRIDAY. I know! Isn’t that fun? Basically, you’ll be able to read a section of it each day for the next 10 months. If you can’t wait that long to get to the end, you can buy the whole thing at once for $80. (or $8)

5. More fun stuff! Do you know Laura Wilkinson? 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Platform Diver? Well, she’s just an amazing, godly woman, and I love her to bits. I heard her speak at a conference a few years ago, and then we struck up a Twitter/e-mail friendship a few months ago (follow her on Twitter here). We had plans to meet while I was in Texas in January, but it didn’t work out.

ANYWAY. Gabe interviewed her for his podcast today, and you can listen to it here. She’s got lots of cool stuff to share about kids and sports, the Olympics, following your dreams and taking leaps of faith. Can you believe she got kicked off her high school diving team? Her coach said she was a WASTE OF SPACE. Well.

6. Before I forget, see those ads on my sidebar? When I started my new blog last year, Gabe put ads there in case we wanted to make a little extra $. And we have. Except mostly I forget to have people pay me or I let them have an ad for free because they’re AWESOME (and/or my relative). Anyway. There’s a new one. My cousin Jonna has started her own business as an educational consultant for Discovery Toys. She’s excited about this new opportunity and you can click on her ad for more info. (I do have one more spot if anyone’s keen to buy one. It’s like $2/year or something.)

Last thing–and it’s a biggy. If you skipped the rest of this post, please start reading here. A little girl in Ava’s school was just diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor this week. Her name is Faith, and she’s in first grade. Her oncologist is giving her six months to live. My heart is breaking in two for her and her mommy and daddy and two sisters (9 and 2). I know our God is a God of miraculous healing power, and I’m praying He heals her completely. But if He chooses to take her to heaven, I’m praying He does a miraculous work here on earth in the hearts of everyone who witnesses the next few months of Faith’s life.

EDIT (8:19am): I hadn’t seen this latest post from Faith’s mom, and I can barely type through my tears. The tumor is so aggressive that doctors think it must have just started a few weeks ago. They say that in six weeks, she’ll stop breathing on her own. Oh, Lord, please be merciful to your precious child!

Will you do me a favor? Will you write a quick note to Faith (and/or her parents) in the comments? Just tell her that you’re praying for her and that God loves her (or whatever He leads you to say). I’m going to print out your comments and send them in a card (they’re collecting them at school) for sweet little Faith. And just so you can picture her while you’re praying, Ava says Faith is about “this tall” (4′ 2″ maybe?), has white skin and short, black, straight hair.

Please put your first name and city/state (totally optional) so Faith can see that she has people all over the country praying for her.

Praying blessings on your day, friends! Now, go hug someone special and tell them you love them!

74 thoughts on “much

  1. Pingback: Perfectly Ordinary | Nadia Swearingen-Friesen

  2. Carrie

    Oh, as a mommy, I can’t even imagine the depth of the pain that Faith’s parents are going through. I have been praying for Faith and her family this week – I pray Faith is not in pain, and that this time would draw her closer to her Savior, and her parents would grow in their faith as well.

  3. Kelli

    Dear Sweet Precious Faith,

    “Jesus loves you sweet, Faith, this, I know, for the bible tells me so. Oh yes Faith, Jesus loves you!”

    Faith you are the bravest little girl I know! We are praying for you in Texas! God will give you all the strength you need and I am praying for you to FEEL His arms and presence around you more than you have ever before!

    Kelli in Texas

  4. Richard

    Faith –
    I am praying for your big heart of courage. You are so brave to go through so much uncertainty. You are loved deeply by your friends and your parents and their friends. Be strong.

  5. Tiffani

    Singing always makes me feel better, Faith. I hope that you have a song to sing that makes your heart feel good too…doesn’t matter if I’m happy or sad. It just is great to sing it and get it all out.

    So here’s my song to you:

    “Over the mountains and the seas, your river runs with love for me.

    So I will open up my heart and let the HEALER set me free..

    I’m happy to be in the truth and I will daily lift my hands, for I will always sing of when Your love came down…

    I could sing of your love forever!
    I could sing of your love forever!”

    If you don’t know that about:

    “He’s got the whole world in His Hands!

    He’s got Faith and her family in His Hands!

    He’s got the whole world in His Hands!”

    Love and prayers from Georgia!


  6. Suzi

    Hi Faith,

    We are going to be praying for you and your precious family everyday. What we’ll be praying for is your complete healing and that you will feel Jesus’ presence and peace. Oh, how He loves you sweet one. He will be with you through this journey every step of the way.

    So much love from Texas,
    Fabry Family

  7. Stacy

    Praying for you, Faith, from Monroe, Ohio. My little Sparkie said this verse at AWANA tonight and I thought of you. “Be strong and of good courage! For the Lord your God is with YOU!”

  8. Bri Prall Clem

    please just know that i am in constant prayer for you and your family. i pray that our loving God puts his loving arms around you and your family. God speed.

  9. Cheryl Riggle, Houston TX

    My daughter is about the same age as you, Faith, and her name is KinLeigh. I will talk to her about you and she will be praying for you, too! We know God loves you so much, and He wants the best for you. We pray you get well soon! Huge Hugs!

  10. Kimberly

    Dear Faith and Faith’s mommy and daddy,
    I’m so very sorry sweet girl. Know that prayers are being lifted for you and your family from San Antonio.

  11. Kaye

    Praying for Faith and her entire family in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Some Scriptures that immediately came to mind were Matthew 21:22, Psalm 46:10, Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 41:10.

  12. Kathleen in Albuquerque, NM

    Faith, there is a wonderful story about Moses in the book of Exodus in the bible. He was a man who loved God very much and God loved him. God asked Moses to do some things that were hard and scary. Moses said he would do whatever God asked because he loved God, but he asked God to go with him so he wouldn’t be scared. God loved Moses so much he said not only would he go with him, but when they passed by scary places, he would put Moses safely in the cleft (space) in a rock AND he would cover Moses with his own hand. God’s hand is so big, Faith and when you are going to pass by scary things or places, God will carefully put you in a safe place and protect you with His hand too. He loves children so much because they bring Him such joy. You bring God and your family much joy. Even though you don’t know us, our family loves God and we will love to pray for you, Faith.

  13. Pete & Angela Northern

    We are praying for you all. We will be sharing this with our LifeLike group on Friday night to increase the prayer support in the Buffalo, NY area.

    Pete & Angela Northern

  14. Mary Ohio

    Dear Faith,
    God’s arms are round you and your family. Emerse yourself in his never-ending love. We are praying for you.

  15. Britt

    Hi Faith,
    We are praying for you to feel better, and for your family who is really sad that you are so sick.
    I wonder if you realize how big your Christian family is?
    Do you have a map of the U.S.A? (Or the World?)
    You could track in how many States/Countries people are praying for you!
    Prayers from Idaho,
    The Collingwood Family 🙂

  16. Mary

    Sweet precious Faith,what a beautiful name you have. I am an America but my husband is Danish so we live in Denmark,I hear that you have not been well and are in the hospital. I know they are taking very good care of you but sometimes it is hard. I want you to know that I am praying for you. and your family too. You know JESUS Loves you very much and he is right there with you,watching over you. He knows every thing about you and your family too..I love you sweetie and I will continue to pray for and your family that you all might feel the stong arms of Jesus holding you ever so tightly and know many people all over the world love you and are praying for you too. Remember you are very special and your family,is too!God Blwss you Faith and your family too,

  17. Rhonda


    I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and your whole family. I have two little boys named Ricky and Sammy who are praying for you too.

    Westport, Kentucky

  18. sarah gillard

    Sweet Faith,

    please know that you have friends that you have never met praying for you in knox, indiana. we pray complete healing over you. we pray that God will take away this tumor andleave the doctors baffled. we pray for sweet time with your family. we love you sweet girl.

    sarah, james and emma, , knox, indiana

  19. Sarah Montanye

    With tears streaming down my cheeks I am praying for this family and precious little Faith.

    Sarah, Milford, New Jersey

  20. Elaina

    Dear Faith and family,
    You are in my prayers. My favorite verse for the year
    Ephesians 3:20 Now to HIM who is able to do abundantly more than all we can ask or imagine according to HIS power at work in us. I pray that God will wrap HIS love around you.
    Elaina from the Indianapolis area.

  21. amber

    Precious Faith Angel,
    My heart aches. But I am pleading to our Jesus on your behalf. Our Jesus is big. And strong. And mighty. And He loves you more than anyone on this earth could ever imagine.
    Amber in Arkansas

  22. Swapna Vivek

    Praying for you, dear Faith… May you be completely healed by the stripes of our Lord Jesus…..God bless you, dear…Vivek family, California

  23. Jonna

    Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.

    Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

    Jesus loves me He who died, Heaven’s gates to open wide. He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.

    Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

    Jesus loves me loves me still, though I’m weak and very ill, from His shining throne on high, comes to watch me where I lie.

    Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so…………

    My family is lifting your family to the Father!

  24. Chris Yoder

    “The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you.” (Deut. 33:27). Faith, I’m praying for you and your dear family, that you will all feel God’s strong and loving arms holding you up and giving you the comfort and peace that only HE can give! He has promised to NEVER leave you or forsake you, and He NEVER goes back on His promises! He will always be there with you and never let you go! He loves you all more that you could ever know, and He WILL take care of you! Love and prayers from Cable, Ohio.

  25. Blessed Mom (Virginia)

    Dear Lord,

    I lift Faith and her family up to you now. I pray for healing for this little girl. You are the God of miracles and Lord I pray for a miracle. I pray that her condition would begin to improve and she would experience no pain. Lord, please give this family peace as they go through this and carry them Lord when they feel they can go no farther. We look forward to the amazing testimony that will come from this trial.


  26. Crissy

    Oh sweet Faith, I am praying for you and your family. Praying for peace, understanding, and that you all will feel God wrapping you in His love.

    Columbus, OH

  27. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Oh dear, sweet, beautiful Faith,

    I am praying for you and for your mommy and daddy and your sisters. I am praying that God will wrap His arms around you and comfort you and make you feel better.

    Sending so much love to you,
    The Tietz Family in Oklahoma

  28. Valerie

    Sweet Faith,
    I wanted to tell you a Bible verse that has always helped me whenever I am scared…When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose Word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3-4 God loves you so much and is always with you no matter what. The Bible also says…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 That friend is God, and it means that He sticks right by your side ALL THE TIME! No matter what is happening, He is right there with you. So, you can always talk to Him whenever you are scared or sad or hurt. I have a little girl, too, and we are praying for you to get better!!
    Valerie and Kylie in Yuma, Arizona

    Jesus loves me, this I know,
    for the Bible tells me so.
    Little ones to Him belong.
    They are weak, but He is strong!
    Yes, Jesus loves me!
    Yes, Jesus loves me!
    Yes, Jesus loves me!
    The Bible tells me so.

  29. Jen Griffin

    Dear Faith and Family-

    We are praying for you!! I am so sorry for all you are going through. I know God will give you tons of comfort and peace. Praying for a big, huge miracle!!

    Jen Griffin
    Ada, OH

  30. Rebecca


    Praying for you right this moment! May prayers and blessings abound in you and through you!

    Vancleave, MS

    Faith, you are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14

  31. Andrea

    Dear Faith and your family….

    No one will ever know why God allows things to happen to us that cause us such pain and sorrow…But he has always said that he will always give us FAITH, HOPE and PEACE. I pray that he provides you with enough as he stands beside you all during this time. May he wrap his loving arms around your daughter and heal her in his time. Love and Prayers.

  32. Omom

    Hi Faith
    I love your name. I took the letters of your name and wrote words that I think would describe you.
    F Forever
    A Almighty
    I Indescribable
    T Testiment
    H Honored

    Praying for you today.

  33. Bethany

    Dear Faith,
    Sweetheart, I am praying for you to feel better really soon. Jesus is with you as you go through the hard stuff. I know that your head hurts little girl and that it makes you cry sometimes but know that Jesus knows. He knows just how bad it does hurt you. He loves you oh so much!
    I am praying for you.
    Much love to you sweet girl!
    Bethany in California

  34. Josiah & Cheryl Wade & Family

    Dear Faith,

    Our prayers go out to you and your family. You are a special little girl and God loves you so much! God still works miracles and we will pray for one in you.

    Love & Prayers,
    The Wade Family
    West Liberty, OH

  35. Lori Haskell

    Our thoughts and prayers are going out for you sweet Faith! Praying God gives you such a huge hug during this time and that He makes your parents feel more loved then they’ve ever felt in their lives!!

    Jon, Lori, Justin, Ethan and Kayla Haskell
    Knoxville, TN

  36. Gail

    Dear Faith,

    I’ve heard that you are in the hospital. I know there are a thousand other places you’d rather be right now. I wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and your family. I’m praying for you to have some special happy things happen today. I’m praying for a fun visit from someone you love. I’m praying for smiles and joy. I’m praying that you get better, and soon! I’m praying for your sisters and your mom and dad. I want you to know you are very, very loved, even by people who have never met you! Mostly, you are loved by God. Remember that every day.

    Westport, Kentucky

  37. Christian and Rebecca in St. Andrews, Scotland

    Dear Faith,

    We are praying for you all the way from Scotland!

    Jesus loves you SO MUCH, and He knows you don’t like being sick. We will pray for you, for your family, and for your doctors.


  38. Denise

    I read the update this morning and it just makes me so so sad. I can’t imagine what they must feel. But I have to say, I am so glad that the seem to have a faith in God and trust him. I think the saddest part for me this morning was reading that she could stop breathing and need help in a matter of 6 weeks. And now for my note to them –

    Sweet Faith and Family,
    My husband, son and I are praying for you. May God bring you all peace and may you feel Him and see his will in all of this. Faith, be strong and know that you are not only dearly loved by your family and friends, but many others all over who have heard of you and your story. Be strong little one!
    Northern Family – Galloway, OH

  39. monica hartz

    West carrollton, ohio: the hartz family.
    Faith, I know you must be a big brave girl. Jesus has a special job for you. Show people jesus. I know you can do it because God chose you! Jesus is with you, don’t be afraid. Get excited for what jesus can do with you! Praying for you and your family!

  40. The Smith Family

    Dear Faith,

    We have a 1st grader in our family too!! We are thinking of you and praying you feel better soon! Heavenly Father loves little children so very much. He loves YOU and he loves your family. You are very, very special to Him. When we say our family prayers we will pray for you and your family and your doctors.

    The Smith Family
    Cedar Park, TX

  41. joyce

    Dear Family of Faith…I am praying God wraps you in His perfect peace as you walk this difficult road. I pray He performs a mighty miracle. I pray He gives you courage and strength, hope and comfort. And above all peace that surpasses all human understanding.

    Love and blessings,
    Joyce in NJ
    Joyce in NJ

  42. Mary


    You are a beautiful little girl and God has great plans for your life! We are praying for you…praying for healing, that you don’t feel anymore pain, and that you can feel God with you at all times. God and your family love you so much!!

    The Anderle Family
    Houston, TX

  43. Missy from East TN

    Sweet Faith,

    I am praying for you right now. My own little girl is also named Faith and I wish so much you didn’t have to have pain in your body or your heart. I know your mama and family want to protect you, also. I am praying that you and your family pull closer and tighter to God through the pain you are experiencing. May He give comfort and strength to you, your sisters and family. May the Dr.’s have wisdom and be willing to fight for you.

  44. Heather Harmon

    Faith, we are thinking of you, praying for you and sending the power of positive thoughts for you and your MaMa, Daddy and you sisters! The Lord works in wonderous ways! Sending < from my family to yours. Bellefontaine Ohio

  45. Deirdre

    Oh Faith, honey we are praying for you and your family. May God wrap his loving arms around you every second of every day.

    Lord protect us all from everything except your glory.

    I can’t even imagine the thoughts and feelings you and your family are going through right now, but I can tell you this – Our God is bigger than ANYTHING you are called on to face.

    praying for you from Atlanta, GA

  46. Martha

    Marla.. I haven’t been keeping up w/ blog reading like I once did. But see your updates on FB & Twitter. Today I was moved to read the blog about Faith. And now like you to tears (our Breanna is 6) You have just added hundreds if not thousands to the prayer list for her. I will ask those dear people that I’m acquainted with who are prayer warriors to pray for Faith. Miracles do happen.. and we shall not cease to approach the throne of grace believing. Love you

  47. Bethany (West Milton, OH)

    God, Please wrap your arms around precious little Faith and her family. Cover them with your grace and everlasting love and overwhelming peace that passes all understanding. We know you are all-powerful and have the power to perform miracles. You love Faith more than her mommy and daddy, do. Hold this family close to You, Father. Give them strength, hope, FAITH, endurance through this incredibly difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your FAITHfulness, God. In Jesus name, Amen.

  48. Lisa (Plain City, OH)

    Darling Faith and Family, God never promised that we would never feel pain, but he does promise that he will never leave our sides and will help us through it. Praying today that you can feel God’s presence as he carries you through this time.

  49. Kim

    Sweet Little Faith,

    We want you to know that we are praying for you and your family. We are praying that Jesus would wrap his loving and comforting arms around you and give you peace. We send hope, love and strength to you as you fight the good fight.

    In Christ’s Love,

    The Bowersox Family in Blairstown, NJ

  50. Melissa Multitasking Mama

    Faith, our family is praying for you and your family. That you may know that God loves you more than anything and that He is going to keep you in His arms and surround you with peace. Give your mama and sisters hugs from our family and make sure they give you a big hug too =)

    The Smallwood Family in Falling Waters WV

  51. Mary (Minneapolis, MN)

    I’m praying for you and your family, Faith. I know you must be scared, and I pray that God gives you hope, and fills your life with love to help you with what is happening. Most of all, I’m praying that God helps you get better!

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