Everything I have.

I’m just sick with worry. It’s my dog. A pet. But I feel like someone in my family is hurting and I can’t fix it. I’m a fixer, y’all. I find a problem, I fix it. I can use a power drill. I can take weak brands and make them STRONG. I can kiss a boo-boo and apply a band-aid like nobody’s business. But I can’t cure cancer. And I can’t fix giant infections. Whichever we’re facing.

I called the vet a few hours ago and they told me Briggs’ results are in and that a doctor would call me. How on earth do people go through this with children. With their parents, their spouses or THEMSELVES. 

And yet, God is working. Y’all, he is MOVING in my life. I think I’m a busy person. I have a house, a business, a husband and a child. Yet, you… my friends, some who I don’t even know in person, have prayed for us. For our DOG. Our sweet 150lb Briggs. Thank you. Sincerely. We still don’t know what’s wrong. But I’m grasping my phone in one hand and typing with the other. My friend, Natalie Norton, who is far, far busier than I and has been through far, far, FAR more painful experiences with her sweet baby Gavin has been text messaging me over the past few days. Every time I think… how do you have time to love on me right now. It’s my dog for crying out loud. You lost a CHILD. And yet, her words have been perfect.

See, I lost my grandmother a few years ago. She taught me God. She was a beautiful woman. She’s in heaven and she always finds a way to send me her favorite verse exactly when I need it. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)


“It’s a horrible way to have to learn this lesson, but there truly is opposition in all things… if we didn’t know deep pain, fear and loss, we could never adequately feel and recognize JOY, MIRACLES AND GOD’S UNFAILING HAND IN OUR LIVES… I wish there were another way… and yet, just keep reminding your soul to be still and know that He is there.”

Thank you sweet Natalie. Over the past few days, this thought has been heavy on my heart. All I want is all I have. Everything I need is everything I have. I’ve WANTED so much the past few years and months. A new entertainment center. A new office. A second baby. And yet, here I am with all I need.

Sometimes a giant dose of perspective is enough to set peace in your heart and joy in your soul. Thanks friends for praying for Briggs. We’ll know more soon. But whatever the outcome, God is good and Briggs is a good, good boy. And you friends mean the world to me.



Thanks for your prayers friends. We found out that Briggs has advanced lymphoma. Prayers for our family over the next few days are greatly, greatly appreciated.


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  1. Shannon commented:

    I’ll definitely send some prayers up for Briggs today, and for you! As someone with two dogs (and no kiddos yet), I know how much space those guys take up in their mamas hearts. Thinking of you today, and thank you for this wonderful reminder to keep things in perspective. (:

  2. Brittany Sweat commented:

    What a sweet reminder.. thank you Emily for sharing your heart. I cannot even imagine your pain & fear for Briggs. My dogs are my children and I know I would be a wreck. This is good reminder for me to put God first in my life in all things and to remember he already knows whats going to happen and its in His hands. love you!

  3. Ashley Shelly commented:

    Hi Emily, I am praying for your sweet Briggs up here in Jacksonville! I have never met you but you and Lara and your constant inspiration have been a huge part of my life and I love you ladies! You have an impact on SO many lives. I hope you get some news that puts your heart at peace again. God has a better plan than we could make for ourselves. Bless you and your family and your sweet pup!

  4. Cyn commented:

    Amazingly sweet, genuine post, Emily. Prayers and love to you and your family.

  5. Melissa Manzione commented:

    So sad for you, Emily. Thinking about you, B and B here in MD. Prayers for Briggs!

  6. Mary commented:

    My heart hurts for you, Emily. The unknown is harder than knowing what you don’t want to. Does that make sense? Once you know the outcome of something, it’s (sometimes) a little easier to navigate through emotions and what your next move will be. Like you said, God is good. All the time, He is good.

  7. Heather Gardner commented:

    He is more than a dog and you love him. Very much.

    Love is love is love, no matter the form it takes.

    Prayers being sent for your sweet boy Briggs, and family.

  8. Liz commented:

    Hi Emily:
    I’m not going to get into massive detail and the important meaning I gleaned from this experience, but as a young child I saw my first dog hit by a car and sadly killed. How she came to be in our family and what she did before she left, have stuck with me throughout my life. My husband and I just got a rescue dog and now having that connection as an adult, means even more. Have been thinking about you all the last couple of days. Thank you for showing your dog so much love and compassion and for letting him know how much you care. My core belief is that they know more than we think they do and appreciate it in heartfelt way. Probably sounds silly, but . . . anyway.

  9. Melissa Oholendt commented:

    I love you so much.

  10. Lara commented:

    I love you so much. Prayers upon prayers.

  11. Melissa W. commented:

    Hi Emily,

    Your family & Briggs have been in my prayers & will continue to be! So sorry to hear he has cancer. Pets have a special place in families. Praying for God’s wisdom & comfort for each one of you.

    I enjoy reading your blog; especially the posts on family & God :) Please keep sharing. God’s blessings

  12. Andrea Worley commented:

    prayers for your pet. even though they aren’t people they become such apart of our lives, I totally get your worry about it.

  13. Whitney commented:

    Emily, I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through with Briggs. Pups are part of our family and I can only imagine the pain you’re feeling. Please know that I will be praying for you all.

  14. Lindsay Ann commented:

    Emily, I’m so sorry. I just wanted to tell you my heart was so saddened, and I don’t even know you personally. You have been a real source of inspiration to me in the recent months. I just love how you allow your faith to shine so brightly and you make God the center of your goals in life! Plus, dogs are a real soft spot for me. Dogs become part of our families, as I’m sure you know. I know its not going to be easy and I just prayed for comfort and wisdom for y’all during this time. Also, I wanted to tell you that I just love your new site.

  15. Nicole commented:

    Hi Emily, you and your blog are constant inspiration to me to live, love and grow with more purpose each day. Thank you.

    As soon as I read your heartfelt post about your sweet dog Briggs, I felt compelled to write and send a little love your way. As a pet owner myself I understand that need to ‘fix’ them if something is wrong, as so often they ‘fix’ us with their unconditional love, trust, and companionship.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family xx

  16. Natalie Norton commented:

    Em, The love and sincerity of this post made me cry. I love your heart, and you have my every prayer.

  17. Lindsey McClennahan commented:

    Thank you for sharing Emily, thank you for being personal, and being real. It gives you the ability to share God to others who might be going through the same thing. : )

  18. Amy Romano commented:

    Again my friend you always find the most perfect words for the task/situation at hand. Most importantly you have a knack for always finding the light in darkness….for that Briggs, Byan, Brady, your family and friends are so lucky to have you in their lives. Stay strong friend. Can’t wait to give you a hug tomorrow! xoxo

  19. Lilly's Mom commented:

    When our cat had cancer, I gave her fish oil and it really perked her up and made her feel better. (We could tell by her activity level and mood.) I just opened a fish oil capsule and put the oil on a spoon and let her lick as much as she wanted, twice a day.

    Good luck! When I saw the picture of Brady “riding” Briggs, I knew he was a wonderful dog!:)

  20. Angela commented:

    I need to remember this!!!