My Diary: hospitals and Christmas lights and how gratitude is bigger than worry

When I was putting up our Christmas decorations tonight, I smiled a little when I realized what a messy house I was decorating. Literally. We hadn’t cleaned in forever.

But also figuratively.

I smiled at how stringing up our lights felt like inviting Jesus in – pausing in the chaos and crud of sickness and anxiety and uninvited trouble and just lighting the tree and praying, “Come on in. We’re waiting for You here.


Michael and I took a trip to New York this past week. It was our intended “romantic getaway” for just the two of us.

One day into our trip, Michael fainted from nausea due to severe food poisoning. He hit his head and was knocked unconscious. I dialed 911 for an ambulance, and the Fields ended up in the NYC hospital in the middle of the night.

Can I be real, here? Awesome. I’ll be real.

I spent the better part of last week – the week we’d planned on enjoying the twinkling lights and selfie-ing with the Rockefeller tree and eating too much cheesecake and making a tally of how many Christmas lights we saw – crying on and off about the messiness and fear of finding my husband in that awful moment.

After we checked out of the hospital, I mostly remember double-checking that Michael was OK every five minutes for the remainder of the trip. I couldn’t sleep unless I could hear him breathing steadily. The shock of finding him in such a weak state, the what-ifs that circled my brain and clutched my heart, the emotions of completely changed expectations about something we’d looked forward to for so long, the shock that OMIGOODNESS I LITERALLY DIALED 911 LIKE THEY TAUGHT ME IN SECOND GRADE, the massive amounts of Gatorade we consumed in the span of 3 days, and then the relief that I still have my husband and HE REALLY IS GOING TO BE OKAY made my emotions look like the following:

FDJSAL548W58OHYGURHEW584%&TFJDSKHGFJDGFDSG??!!!!!! **chocolate break** GHFDL48WIAHURLV8T4YE!!??!!

And so, somehow at first, stringing up the Christmas lights back at home…with Michael sleeping on the couch because taking the tree down from the attic wore him out…seemed…I don’t know. Weird?

Like, instead of spreading little spurts of light joy around my house…anxiety was insisting that I worry about Michael instead. Worry about anything, really.

Instead of…spreading joy.

How opposite of our life-breathing Jesus can one thought be?!!!


It’s freedom, really, this: I can’t add even a minute to mine or Michael’s span of life by worrying (Matt 6:27). I feel like Jesus told us that as a command, but also as a freeing gift: holding it all together just flat-out isn’t up to us. We are not in control. Blessed assurance, we’re held by something greater than our own worry.

And so, in an act of defiant praise to the Author of Christmas, I continued to string up our Christmas lights. And the cats continued to rip them down. And it turned into the sweetest of times. 

Jesus keeps proving Himself to be the author of real, unyielding, hopeful sweetness.

And guess what?

The hubs is MUCH better by the time I’ve posted this! A little tired, but eating and working like a champ.

And guess what else?

Our lights are twinkling brighter than ever and I’m so glad I didn’t wait until we had it “all together” to rejoice.

Merry Christmas, and blessings and joy to you wherever you find yourself this season,


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes 5:16-18.

the thing about hope

What are you hoping for right now, dear heart?

What are you praying for?

Please don’t stop.

Don’t stop believing the best.

Don’t let fear bully you into shrinking back from your hope.

And this is not the “prosperity gospel.”

This is the freedom-giving, life-breathing, hope-multiplying command from our Savior, our Hope Anchor.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…so now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:7,13 emphasis mine).

My knee has been injured for over a year. 


After months of trying-procedures-and-them-not-working, after all the money poured into this part of my body that was preventing me from even just playing hopscotch with my favorite littles, I finally had knee surgery to fix the problem.

After surgery, I was afraid to hope for a bright outcome. My fearful knee-jerk reaction (see what I did there?!) was to wait for the other shoe to drop and…my doctor – my doctortotally called me out on it.

“Robyn,” he said.

“Yes?” I squeaked. (His authoritative, tough-love presence makes me talk in squeaks for some reason. Maybe that’s why he always leaves the room laughing.)

“You HAVE to get out of your own head. You know, worrying can actually hinder healing. It’s proven. You’ve got to believe me when I say This. Is. Working.”

My doctor even knows! Medical practices even know the truth that God has already so lovingly clued us in on:

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” (Proverbs 17:22).

Why do we accept worry and cynicism as normal? Why? When the Author of our very own hearts has given us a better, life-breathing way?

For me, it’s simply fear. Fear of the unknown, I suppose.

But by God’s grace, I will not be bullied by fear anymore.


And it’s true: I don’t know the outcome of what my knee will look like a year from now. A month from now. Tomorrow.

I don’t know.


But faith hopes for the things not seen and I know my God has told me, “Pray to Me honestly. Tell Me the desires of your heart. After all, I know them already. Don’t hide from Me.”

Father, I want to run again. I want to skip and hop and bound down the stairs, Lord. It’s what I want. I want to be hopeful and unashamed. Please heal my knee. Please fill me with Your hope and Your peace and Your Perfect Love, which casts out all my fear.

And suddenly, Jehovah Shalom comforts and quiets and yet at the same time, makes my heart fill with hope like a deer prancing upon the heights (Ps 18:33).

I don’t know what my knee will look like tomorrow. I’m not saying the lie that you can “Just picture it and it will happen!” Because that’s a big, fat lie.

But God tells us, He commands us, to hope. Not because we always get everything we want, but because hope is truly the language, the thought-pattern, the heart medicine from the Lover of our hearts Himself that balms over fear, transforming it into trust.

I will choose a cheerful heart: the heart that stares uncertainty in the face and says “My God is able. My God is Healer. And He loves me. I will not be afraid. I am in His hands.”

“Now may the God of hope fill [us] with all joy and peace as [we] trust in Him, so that [we] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13).

Grace, peace, and hope you, beloved hearts,


[work-from-homers] & [stay-at-home-moms]: wins, losses, and the ever-present question of how long is it socially acceptable to stay in one’s pajamas?!

Hey there! Lots of you know that working for yourself OR working from home OR being a stay-at-home mama is [[ a w e s o m e ]].

It will also, given enough time, drive you to having full-on convos with the cat. Or with the TV. During your lunch break. Because the judges CLEARLY “chopped” the wrong chef, and so it’s up to you to explain that to the screen with a mouth full of Cheetos.

(Oh, that’s just me? Oh….cool.)

Anyhoo, let’s just cut to the chase. I’ve divided today’s diary into 3 parts: wins, losses, and pajamas.

I’ll start with wins.

Working for Myself: Wins

  2. The ability to take breaks without people staring at me because I’m walking in place while watching re-runs of Downton Abbey just to rack up points on my fitbit.
  3. Picking my hours. If I have an errand or appointment, I can do some work at a different time and it’s totes no bigimg_0246
  4. I just flat-out love my job. I get to spend ALL DAY with characters I love. It’s the best. I feel like I have adventures all day without even leaving the desk…did I mention I’m a cat lady?
  5. Working at the library has become one of my FAVORITE THINGS. BOOKS ON BOOKS ON BOOKS.
  6. …it’s 3:21 p.m. and it’s STILL PAJAMA TIME!!!!!!!! People of the world!!! It’s 5:00 somewhere and this girl is STILL IN HER PAJAMAS!!! #winning

Working for Myself: Losses

  1. Why am I still in my pajamas? Is this socially acceptable? It’s so comfy…but seriously. Is this normal?” [commence going back-and-forth in my head while staring at my clothes, thus wasting an entire break when I could have been walking in step with Lady Mary.]
  2. Extroverted me needs people. All the people. Please?!! People?!! Hello? Bueller?
  3. Picking my hours…sometimes it’s actually really hard to stop working and turn it off when the day is over.
  4. Writer’s Block.SWHW-1000.jpg
  5. Tucker tears up the furniture when I’m not giving him enough attention. But he also tears up the furniture when I do give him attention, so maybe that one doesn’t count.
  6. When I actually forget to take breaks…and then at the end of the day I’m drained.

Working for Myself: Pajamas

People!!! When on earth are we supposed to change out of our pajamas?!!! This is the most important question of the year. Feel free to tell me your answer. I might listen. Unless you tell me to put on normal people clothes. In which case I won’t listen. And I’ll go buy more pajamas. 😉


Blessings and a productive day to you,


Recovery Diary: my knee is the size of my head, but at least I’ve watched 37 episodes of Saved by the Bell

It’s two weeks post-op! Whoop, whoop!

So I was thinking…what can I write my diary about this week? I haven’t done anything but watch Kelly and Zack go to prom and then break up and then go to prom again. (Not that I’m complaining about this.)

So…here it is!

Recovery Diary of my Saturday (a.k.a – confirmation that your weekend WAS way cooler than somebody’s 😉 )

9:00 a.m. Yay! Time to get out of bed! I love Saturdays!

9:15 a.m. But I don’t want to move. Moving is hard. Plus, I can totally watch Zack and Kelly from this very spot…

9:16 a.m. …But I can’t watch the Pioneer Woman from this spot. Darn it. Okay. I’ll move.

10:00 a.m. I’m on the couch!! I’m on the couch!! Whoop, whoop!


turns out, classic mixed veggies are the best ice pack. who knew?

1:00 p.m. I just watched three straight hours of TV! I’m winning!

1:01 p.m. No, that’s totally not true. I am literally going crazy. If I do not get out of this house right now I will never watch Saved by the Bell ever again. And I mean it!

Just kidding. Yes I will. I will always watch Saved by the Bell.

1:15 p.m. Hubby and I go on what we call “a crutch.” This is like a walk, but it’s more of a…crutch-type hobble to a pair of trees and back. It’s a grand, epic adventure, I tell you.

1:20 p.m. The trees! They’re so beautiful and red and totally worth getting off the couch for! And the air is crisp and I love the wreath on that person’s door and as annoying as recovery is…I can’t think of a better time to recover than in October. It’s the most beautiful recovery time I can imagine.

1:25 p.m. Time for physical therapy exercises. I love these. And today I’m extra excited because I bent my knee farther than 90 degrees while sitting!!! I’M WINNING! I pat myself on the back. Literally.

1:45-6:00 p.m. Couch time. Thankfully, I love Narnia. C.S. Lewis, you are brilliant and I thank you for the world you created in these books.


6:30 p.m. Extroverted me is going crazy. “I need people,” I tell Hubby.

Hubby loads me in the car to see the people.

Hubby also calls one of his people to ride with us. This person is also on crutches! We load 4 crutches in the car to go see our people. I like having another crutch buddy!


9:30 p.m. We can’t stay long with the people, because my leg still needs to be elevated at pretty much…well, all the time…until the swelling goes down. But at least I saw my people. And a crackling fire pit. And sugary treats.

Recovery in October. It really is the best. You know. Instead of like, January.


the “crutch mobile”

10:00 p.m. Time for Zack and Kelly. This is the episode where Jesse and Slater get stuck in the boiler room while everybody else is at prom. But it’s okay! Because this is also where they realize they actually love each other. (But duh. I could have told them this fact about 15 episodes ago.)

Jesse and Slater. Gosh. You guys.

You’re the best.

Now I just need Kelly and Zack to get back together.

I wonder if Saved by the Bell “College Years” is on Netflix, too…

…hmm…that will be my project for tomorrow!


*Side note: all my people who have brought me food, visited with me, driven me places, and sent me funny cat pictures…YOU ARE LITERALLY THE BEST. Love you guys!!

Surgery Diary: give me a penguin and some food, please

It’s admittedly been a loooooooooooong year with my hurt knee.

(I want to say, too, that I am so thankful for my health. I know an injured knee is way on the bottom of a list of serious problems, and I’m truly so grateful that on the whole my body and mind are healthy. I’m so thankful for that.)

But I do also love to play. I really do. When I was nannying, my favorite games with my littles were playing tag, hopscotch, hide-and-go-seek, races, running with my littles while they rode their bikes, chasing them all over the playground being the lava monster…all the games. I love them.


Basically, being active is a huge part of my heart. I love to play. And frolic. Pretty sure that’s one of God’s plans for me to enjoy in heaven: “She will frolic! I’ve made her to play and frolic and she will do this without abandon!

I miss it here, too, though. I miss running and hopping and being my fully goofy and playful self in this beautiful land of the living.

It’s time to frolic again. I pray that it is.

I’d never had surgery before yesterday, and disclaimer: when I step foot into ANY doctor’s office (even the dentist) I tend to freak out. Doctors and their weird tools and that sterile smell – so thankful for all they do!! – absolutely freak me out.

So…to process the gamut of my emotions yesterday…a Diary Entry is CLEARLY in order!

My Surgery Diary

Thursday: I’m told I will not be able to eat or drink until surgery. “Okay!” I said. “Totes fine. I’ve heard of that. When’s the surgery? 9 a.m.?”

“Nope! 2:30 p.m.”

Meh. Okay. Glad to have the surgery, regardless of the time. I want my knee back!

Saturday: Wake up at 4 a.m convinced it’s the day of my surgery. It’s not…so I read Chronicles of Narnia until I fall asleep. Because, Aslan.

Sunday: I have the best friends and church in the world. I get prayed over literally three times. My choir stops everything and prays over my knee. My small group meets early and prays over my knee. My couple’s bible study ends the night by praying for my knee. My best friends from all stages of life text and call and hug me and tell me they’re praying for me. My family is praying for me. Literally, God provides.

Monday: I wake up to a million texts from the best friends and family in the world. They’re still praying for me. God provides, friends!

-I get ready to go to the hospital, but I can’t wear makeup or drink any water or eat any food. Totes not ideal. But again, I’m thankful I could even get into surgery this week!

-Michael gulps lots of water on the way to the hospital. I go a little crazy. I am very thirsty and nervous and so hubby kindly stops gulping.

-I play candy crush. Lots of candy crush.

12:30: I go back into pre-op. I have the whole place to myself and also have a very nice nurse named Elaine. I tell her I hate needles. She essentially says, “We’ve got stuff for that. It’s called happy juice. It’s good stuff.”

I have no idea what happy juice is, but the name sounds nice so I’m on board. Totes on board.

12:45: I’m wearing a super comfy HEATED purple hospital gown with hand warmers and fuzzy socks. This is seriously not as bad as I was expecting!

12:50: Time for the IV. She has numbing spray!!! Hallelujah!! God provides, friends. Where would I be without numbing spray. I don’t know.

She gets the IV in on the first try!!! Woohoo!!! Y’all. I can do this. This is great. I’m totes great. I got this. Gosh, I’m so brave.

12:51: There is a needle in my hand. There is a needle in my hand. There is a needle in my hand. THERE IS A NEEDLE IN. MY. HAND. Why is there a needle in my hand? It looks gross. There is a needle in my hand. What if the doctor forgets to check my whole knee? I NEED TO MAKE SURE THIS GOES WELL.

Elaine listens to me. Then she says it’s probably time for the happy juice.

12:52: Hubby comes back to say hello. I get the happy juice in my IV. All of a sudden I do feel very happy and like I would really like to go on a safari.

“How big are elephants’ brains?” I ask. This is a very logical and important question right now.

Hubby doesn’t know. Why is he laughing? I like elephants. I insist he google the answer.

Turns out, elephants are very smart animals and have normal sized brains. I learn that elephants also have more muscles in their trunks than we have in our human bodies.

Huh, I think. God is very creative. I think I would like a pet penguin. Penguins are very cute animals. Tucker would like a penguin.


me on happy juice. apparently this was right after I asked for a penguin.

1:00: The doctor comes in and talks to me about the surgery. I have trouble forming a coherent sentence but I insist that he mark all over my knee the places I want to make sure he looks.

He obliges and ends up drawing a big frowny face on my knee for me. I am satisfied with this.

Sometime later: Hubby kisses me and they wheel me back to surgery. The anesthesiologist is very kind. “Time to party,” he says with a smile.

4:00: I wake up somewhere else. Mylanta. Where on earth am I? What happened to my knee? Is everything okay? My eyes focus in on a nurse.

“Am I okay?” I ask.

“Yes. You were very insistent that we give you penguins and food. But you’re okay.”

Penguins? I feel like I remember penguins. But what about my knee?

“But what about my knee?” I ask.

“The doctor took great care of you. He discovered that you had some extra tissue in your knee that had flared up and set your kneecap out of its correct position. He cleaned up the tissue and loosened it so that your kneecap will go back to its correct position. It’s all taken care of.”

I start to bawl. “But I thought it was going to be something major!” I sputter in between sobs.

The nurse goes to get hubby. He comes in and pets my head.

“This is very common,” the nurse says to my confused hubby. “When patients wake up, they usually react 1 of 2 ways. They either cry or want to punch me in the face.”

I am very confused. “But can I run again?” I ask in between tears.

“Not today. But yes. The doctor told you this, too, but you don’t remember.”

I cry harder. “But it wasn’t a torn meniscus! I thought it would be something like that! I just wanted to run again!”

“Sweetie, you will run again. It’s good that it’s not a torn meniscus. That’s why you’ll have a fast recovery time and so you can run again sooner!”

I let this sink in. It still doesn’t make sense to me, but I decide to process it later. Nothing is making sense to me right now except for the apple juice and peanut butter crackers they gave me. I like food. I want more food, I decide.

4:30: They wheel me out to the car. The nurses are very nice and make me laugh while they wheel me out. Probably to stop the tears. It works.

Hubby offers to make me chocolate chip waffles and scrambled eggs when we get home. The world starts to make a little more sense.

I still think I would like a penguin stuffed animal, though.

5:00: I’m all tucked in on the couch, responding to the sweetest friends and family in the world, and thanking God for fixing my knee.


Tuck sniffed and hugged my knee all night 🙂

I play more candy crush, drink gallons of water, and watch 8 episodes of Saved by the Bell on Netflix.

Today: I wake up so thankful for the skill of my doctors and nurses. Thankful for the hubby God gave me to stay home with me today, take care of me, and comfort me always. Thankful to God for being my Healer.

I’m thankful for the phone call from my doctor to check on me. “My goal – my expectation – is that you will have a knee you won’t even have to think about anymore. My expectation is that we will get you back to doing whatever you want without having to think about it,” he says.

(My doctor is literally amazing. If anyone needs a knee or shoulder doctor, I’ve got your guy!)

Hubby lights the first fire in our fireplace of the season. I’m excited about physical therapy tomorrow, and I’m excited for the first cup of coffee I’ve had in what feels like forever. (24 hours without coffee? What?!)

Thank You God, for caring for even our smallest needs. Thank You for caring about my knee even more than I do.

Blessings and comfort to you all (and someone let me know where I can find a penguin, please 😉 ),