God’s Naked Masterpiece

March 7, 2019 | Danielle | Faith, Parenting | 0

In honor of International Women’s Day, this is for all of my sisters out there. My daughter danced into my room as a way to say “good morning.” I looked over expecting to see the same sight I do most days, an 8-year-old with disheveled pajamas and crazy hair. But that’s not what I saw…

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Mama Needs a Nap – A Devotional

March 4, 2019 | Danielle | Devotionals, Parenting | 2

I couldn’t help but feel guilty. “Mommy, play with me!” my daughter insisted as a Barbie made its way into my tired hands. I so badly wanted to enter her pretend world and enjoy the moment as plastic Princesses Belle and Jasmine climbed up my leg, the make-believe mountain. I quickly recited a few lines…

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Getting out of a funk (Bible verses about hope)

February 27, 2019 | Danielle | Faith | 0

I’ve had a rough week, and what’s really frustrating is I can’t pinpoint why. Anyone else experience this? Nothing major has struck me, I just feel like I’m in a funk. This morning as I processed and prayed through the heaviness in my heart, I reflected on a verse my friend Doc and I discussed,…

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Look forward – A devotional

February 25, 2019 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

“Find something you can look forward to – something in the future that gets you excited – and plan on it.” I’ve offered this advice for more than 18 years. It’s usually what I say to people when they ask how I made it through colon cancer as a teenager and other hard times. Out…

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We painted the room purple – A Devotional

February 18, 2019 | Danielle | A Post About Mike, Devotionals | 2

Several years ago, before our loft was littered with Barbie houses and LOL dolls, Mike and I decided to paint over the dark, aqua-green walls we inherited upon the house sale. A mixture of wanting to put our own personal, newlywed touches on our house and covering up a color neither one of us preferred,…

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Holy Tantrums – A Devotional

January 7, 2019 | Danielle | Devotionals, Parenting | 2

Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. –Psalm 44:23-24 (NIV) The sting of my toddler’s harsh words sparked tears I held back until exiting her bedroom. Her frustration from not getting her way resulted in a tantrum where she declared, “I don’t like you, I don’t love you,…

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Christmas is for everyone

December 24, 2018 | Danielle | Faith | 1

The lights went dim as small feet tapped up the stage stairs so girls dressed in white dresses and homemade gold halos, and boys holding plastic swords, could take their places. The thump of a bass drum moving out of the way set the tone. Each kid crammed in one by one and found his…

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This is 35

December 14, 2018 | Danielle | Cancer, Faith | 0

“How does it feel to turn 35 years old!?” friends asked me across a conference room table earlier this week. They’re new friends, people I’ve met over the past year through work. People who’ve not lived the past 18 years by my side as I’ve survived colon cancer (although people who would have undoubtedly rushed…

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How To Resist Temptation | A Devotional

July 18, 2018 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

My stomach let out another loud, embarrassing growl. “How did Jesus do this for 40 days?” I wondered to myself. Although not accustomed to fasting for spiritual reasons, I couldn’t help but think of his desert experience. I hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours and the pains of hunger were starting to set in –…

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Me – A Racist? | A Devotional

June 27, 2018 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

“I think you’re racist….” It didn’t matter that he was a stranger. And just because the accusation came through a Facebook message, it didn’t make it any easier to receive. An assumption had been made based on our profile pictures. He didn’t realize someone else had spoken for the free giveaway I listed in the…

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From Good to Great | A Devotional

June 20, 2018 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

“I’m good.” It only took a second to say, but as soon as the words rolled off my tongue, conviction hit my heart. I quickly shifted around in the Panera booth to get more comfortable, gripped my coffee cup and corrected myself. “No- you know what? I’m great.” My friends looked back at me, their…

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It’s OK to Love | A Devotional

June 13, 2018 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

You know the neighbor who won’t mow their yard – or the one who lets their dog poop in yours? It’s OK to love them. (Even if the other neighbors gripe.) You know the people who smoke, drink and curse just a little too much? Yep, it’s OK to love them too. How about the…

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How I started to look beyond the pain of infertility

April 25, 2018 | Danielle | Faith, Health | 1

I deeply struggled to accept the pain of infertility – zero chance of becoming pregnant – after my hysterectomy. Not quite 30 years old, I’d elected to go under the knife. Two cases of colorectal cancer were enough, and I didn’t want a third. Although I hadn’t received the “official” diagnosis yet, doctors suspected I had…

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One More Day – Day 44

March 29, 2018 | Danielle | Faith, Health | 0

Well friends – time flies when you’re flying around the country and not eating sugar. I am excited tomorrow is the last day of my sugar fast! I plan to eat m&ms first (of course). I’ll probably drink a Jack & Coke during the day. I’ve strangely missed pop a lot. Ice cream will definitely…

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Perfectly Imperfect – Day 13

February 26, 2018 | Danielle | Faith, Health | 0

For all of the type As out there – I am sorry. I skipped a day. There was no Day 12 post yesterday. I was too tired to write last night. A fun, but full, weekend had me under the covers before 10 p.m. and my eyelids were so heavy, I could hardly make it…

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Who Are the Joneses Anyway? – Day 10

February 23, 2018 | Danielle | Faith, Health | 0

Have I mentioned I’m in the throes of writing a memoir? (I know – there’s a lot happening in my world right now.) As I write and reflect on the stories of my life, there’s a constant theme I keep running into:  comparison. I’ve taken big humbling gulps as I’ve uncovered the massive amount of…

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Open Arms Open Wider | An Adoption Devotional

November 8, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 2

My armpits were sweating to the point I felt the seam of my shirt begin to stick to my side each time I maneuvered the car seat around the big oval table under the judge’s chair. It wasn’t exactly the image I’d dreamed up as a child about the day I’d adopt a baby and…

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Two Languages | A Devotional

November 1, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

It’s National Adoption Month! To celebrate, I’ll be posting stories and devotionals that carry the heart of adoption all month long. Having a spirit of adoption goes beyond the literal adopting of a child. Adoption is a mindset and attitude. Adoption means you open your heart to a new definition of family – one that…

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Birth Order | A Devotional

October 25, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

It’s less than 13 months, but the way I treat my “baby” brother sometimes, you’d think I was at least several years older than him. For over 30 years now, I’ve gladly taken on the role as firstborn in our family. As a child, I volunteered as Mom’s helper – who needs fake dolls when…

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If You Care | A Devotional

September 20, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 1

If you care, then…  you will sign this petition. Or call your lawmaker. Run this race. Or bring me dinner.  If you care, you would have called me. You would have known what I needed. I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do. If only you cared. Sound familiar? When we’re in low places,…

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Preparation | A Devotional

September 6, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

Instant. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s often how I want most things in my life. Ramen noodles soft within minutes. Information that would fill thousands of encyclopedias just a few clicks away. Access to a camera, video camera, calendar and people all over the world in just one swipe. Cancer to…

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Not Giving Up

September 3, 2017 | Danielle | Faith | 0

The highlight of my week is that after 3 years of trying… our garden grew green beans! I’m not just talking about a handful – I had pounds of them. They filled the whole skillet! I’m not sure if it’s because we moved the location of their planting, or if the chicken poop fertilizer did…

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Writer’s Rejection | A Devotional

August 30, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

As I scooted out my chair and walked away from the round table, it became increasingly difficult to hide my disappointment and contain the stream of tears about to drop down my face. Becoming the next 20-something bestselling author was not in my near future. The editor I’d requested to review my writing samples during…

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Fitbit | A Devotional

August 2, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with my Fitbit activity tracker. I was excited about it at first, but after many weeks, which turned into months, I didn’t hit my goal. My step count was dismal, no stars appeared next to my days. After awhile, it was easier to stop wearing the tracker than…

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One Year Later: Facing my fear of birds

July 30, 2017 | Danielle | Faith | 0

One year ago today, I faced one of my deepest fears – one I’ve held for most of my life. I fed the birds inside the Kansas City Zoo’s Lorikeet Encounters. Memories of the cold, eerie touch of bird’s feet wrapped around my finger and the soreness in my core after leaving the cage are…

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Piles | A Devotional

July 26, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

I prefer a clean house. I like to see our stuff organized. Stacked containers with coordinated lids is a small paradise. Books neatly lined up on a shelf feels like a treat. Sometimes life affords me the time and energy to clean, sort and organize. My house glows, and subsequently, I do too. I love…

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Stairs | A Devotional

July 19, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

There really weren’t that many stairs. I’d run up and down them many times; the carpet threads were worn from years of foot traffic. Climbing to the second floor was nothing I hadn’t done before. Yet my fresh incision and doctors orders told a different story. I was to take it easy. Scaling the steps…

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Out of the Box – A Devotional

July 12, 2017 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

One day, it hit me. I was living most of my life looking at or through a box. Not literally, of course. But my eyes and ears were mostly focused on messages with four lines surrounding them. Sometimes, it was the TV box. Other times, the boxes were of computer screens, calendar dates or pages…

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My Arrow Tattoo

June 20, 2017 | Danielle | Faith | 1

Eight years ago, I swore I would never get another tattoo. Don’t get me wrong – it was a very thoughtful gift from my husband. He wanted me to celebrate my “cancer free” anniversary in a big way.  So on a snowy, January night, I handed Whispering Danny, one of Kansas City’s beloved tattoo artists…

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Getting Angry at God

June 9, 2017 | Danielle | Cancer, Faith | 6

Today I’ve been “cancer free” for 8 years… again. On June 9, 2009 my second occurrence was found, breaking my 8-year “no evidence of disease” streak. Part of me wanted to sit in a puddle of worry today – what if the streak breaks again? Another part of me, a much smaller part, wanted to…

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The Winding Vines of Self Doubt

April 25, 2017 | Danielle | Faith, Relationships & Coping | 0

It’s hard to write. That’s one explanation for why I seem to only crank out blog posts when people die lately. Writing’s how I process grief. Life logistics are a big excuse too. And there’s some truth to that. My rear sits in a cushy roller chair across a glowing computer screen most of the…

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This is 33

December 14, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 0

I opened my eyes only for a second before I wrapped up tighter in the the 11-year old quilt that my grandparents gave us for our wedding. My husband’s winter beard scratched my face as he leaned in to whisper. “Happy Birthday.” I closed my eyes again and tried to drift back to sleep. Of…

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Following Orders | A Devotional

November 16, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

The only thing missing was padding on each square foot of the white room. It didn’t matter that my seclusion was due to low white blood cell counts and my high risk for serious infection. It felt like I’d done something wrong. As I laid still in the hospital bed after yet another surgery, I…

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Trusting God To Provide | A Devotional

November 9, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 2

We couldn’t afford it. His middle school math teacher salary and the income I brought in from my small business paid our bills but didn’t leave wiggle room for much of anything else – especially an adoption. “When you accept the call to adopt, God will provide… trust us.“ Our friends who’d adopted their son…

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From Scanxiety to Hopeful | A Devotional

October 26, 2016 | Danielle | Cancer, Devotionals | 2

The words were about to roll off the keyboard like drizzling butter over freshly popped popcorn when I stopped myself. No – the days of basking in scanxiety were over. Instead of writing about the trauma and pain of cancer, or the nervousness about my upcoming scans, I felt an invisible nudge to focus on…

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My Biggest Aha! from the Writer’s Conference

October 25, 2016 | Danielle | Communications, Faith | 5

Attended a writer’s conference over the weekend. Writer’s conference selfie. Learning how to tell better stories and offer hope to this broken world. A photo posted by Danielle Ripley-Burgess (@danielleisb) on Oct 21, 2016 at 7:59am PDT I learned I have maybe 60 seconds to convey my message right now so I’ll make it brief.…

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Love the Poor | A Devotional

October 12, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals, Faith | 1

  And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”…

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Finding God in a Crappy Week

October 6, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 2

To be blunt, it’s been a crappy week around here. No pretty, easy, or nice way to say it. We unexpectedly entered a season that’s familiar to many others but new to us:  unemployment. Unexpected dissolution of my husband’s job last week came at a surprise. Thankfully I am employed – a huge blessing I…

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In the Club | A Devotional

September 21, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

My bouncing, bubbly kindergartner stepped off the bus with a smirk on her face. I expected to hear the same thing I’d heard for three weeks – news of a playground crush and elementary marriage proposals. But her news of the day came unexpected: “I’m in the club! I’m with a bunch of other girls…

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Fly Away: Facing my fear of birds

July 30, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 2

I freely walked into a bird cage at the zoo today and faced my fear of birds. With my body shaking, I stretched out my arm and let a lorikeet perch on my finger and drink nectar from a small cup in my hand. At one point, two birds rested on me. But one flew…

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Today I went to a black church.

July 17, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 16

No, I didn’t have an agenda. It wasn’t for work. There wasn’t a rally to attend or any special invitation (other than the one from my friend Rene who’d been praying for the African American community and felt told to go). I went to listen and pray alongside brothers and sisters in Christ who happen…

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Of Course I’m Jealous | A Devotional

July 12, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 2

I’m facing a dilemma at the moment. I can’t decide if I’m going to hide the gray hairs popping up all over my head at my next hair appointment or if I’m going to let them be. On one end, I want to hide them because I don’t love them. Nothing wrong with that. On…

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Why Ask Why? | A Devotional

July 5, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

The day we stop asking “Why?” is a very dangerous day. It’s a day draped in a mask of maturity but really it’s not. “Immature children are the ones who won’t stop asking questions,” we think. Us adults are the ones who don’t get it. We shouldn’t ask for a map only when we’re lost…

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Pray for Orlando – especially if you’re “religious”

June 12, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 0

A rainbow-colored hashtag caught my eye this morning as I scrolled through Twitter. Another shooting… sadly I’ve grown somewhat desensitized. But a “massacre”… that was new. The shooter’s religion… burden that once again a faith system would be put to blame. An attack on a gay community… now that’s downright ugly. My stomach turned in…

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From Hotel to Motel

May 23, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

Poof. I expected a larger cloud of dust to billow out from the faded mustard bedspread as I plopped down to scan the motel room. It was much different than the 4-star hotel I checked out of just hours earlier. Amidst a busy week and chaotic work schedule, details of my travel plans fell through…

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Making Peace with Eve

May 8, 2016 | Danielle | Faith, Relationships & Coping | 0

Each year Mother’s Day can bring a mix of emotions in all of us. For years this sweet holiday intended for good brought difficult feelings for me. I couldn’t look to the past, present or future without pain. The blessing of adoption brought a joyful child into my life, but what I’ve learned (especially this…

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Learning to accept my mission field

May 6, 2016 | Danielle | Faith | 1

The tables were lined with colorful runners, authentically stitched by (what I imagined to be) elderly Guatemalan women with long braided hair sitting in the marketplace talking to travelers. Handmade noisemakers and dolls made the perfect centerpieces. Postcards with a photo of my friend’s beautiful family served as a “program” and explained her ministry and…

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Summoned By Name

April 18, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

My eyebrows frowned with disdain, and not because I was “so over” being the only teenager in the oncology waiting room. With no say or input of my own, I’d been put on a plane and flown to a world-renowned cancer center to have the country’s leading experts review my rare colon cancer case. Missing…

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How to Trust God When My Friends Are Dying

February 23, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

“How could you…? Why didn’t you…? “Where were you…?” I struggled to find the strength to complete my prayerful sentences. I didn’t want to pray my honest prayers. And it wasn’t because I was scared to hurt God’s feelings; I’d moved past that months ago. The memories of dearly loved friends who went all too…

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I Want More – A Devotional

January 18, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 1

“Mama, for my birthday can I have…” And then suddenly her cute little preschool voice trailed off into a vortex as my consciousness slipped off into the land of “mom guilt.” “She hasn’t even played with all of the new toys from Christmas two weeks ago! We’ve failed as parents of an only child. She’s ungrateful for…

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This is the post for Belle.

January 8, 2016 | Danielle | Cancer, Faith | 4

This is the post for Belle. The one she asked me to write — more than once. The one she said people needed. The one she said people were asking about. The one she said would help. The one she said she couldn’t do, but the one she knew I could. I like to think…

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Dwell – A Devotional

January 1, 2016 | Danielle | Devotionals | 0

When we dwell, we find beauty in what was previously overlooked. Peace in the midst of growth and change. Rest, grace and patience to keep us company. Calmness and compassion in the midst of all that’s wrong. When we dwell, we exhale. We say the hard stuff. We say everything. Yet at the same time,…

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