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Jennifer Naraki (@jennifernaraki) Instagram photos and videos
List of Instagram medias taken by Jennifer Naraki (@jennifernaraki)
About a week ago we went in to our medical provider, hoping I could get my swollen belly drained. They told us there was not enough fluid to drain, even though I looked 7 months pregnant. This week, we went back to the specialist we saw back in April. We couldn’t work with him at the time, because he needed a biopsy or fluid in order to test. I couldn’t do either at that time. Well, he took one look at me this time, and said he could work with me now, and let’s get that fluid drained. So today, we paid out of pocket- outside our normal medical provider, to get the relief + answers we have been seeking. He drained four liters of fluid from my abdomen. 4 liters!!! Hoping he can give some helpful information regarding my treatment. The yuck thing about the fluid, ascites, is that it can come back quickly, needing more drainage. Hoping that my current chemo pill keeps it at bay now. 🙏🏼 We also saw a palliative care specialist this week, to help manage my pain. It’s been a tough week. But thankful for the forward progress we made this week. Thank you all for your continued support. I may not be able to post as frequently, when I feel so yuck. But I read your comments and prayers and support, and feel so carried. Thank you!
Sweet memories. When I had long hair + he had short hair. Frolicking in our favorite lil nature haven, with glasses of wine. 🍷 This is us. We may look different now. I may not be able to enjoy wine like I used to. But the love that has grown and been refined throughout this journey, I wouldn’t trade it for all the long straight hair and glasses of wine. Walking through the fire together does that. Grateful for the shaping that has taken place. The flames rise higher, they try to consume us, but instead- they create beauty. Refiner’s fire. Don’t let it threaten you. Don’t resist it. Approach the heat in confidence + trust, and allow yourselves to be shaped.
Scripture written by little hands might be my favorite way to read Scripture. Last night began with me crawling on the floor trying to escape the pain, and wailing in bed. Tears, uncontrolled. Pain, relentless. A pain I’ve never known. And my poor boys, unable to drown out the sound of their mama suffering. Hearts crushed. My husband desperately wanting to help. To take this cup from me. He reminded me that I had pain meds, that I have yet to take. Now was the time. He called out to my dearest childhood friend, who happens to be a nurse, to come over. She checked on my stats, adjusted my meds, and calmed and soothed me, slowing my breathing down to a healthy and relaxed place. When the meds kicked in, my whole body was relaxed. Pain free. Friends! I was able to sleep the entire night, comfortably thanks to your prayers + the meds. Now, meds only work for a certain period of time, and I only needed one dose. So I’m going to go ahead and proclaim the power of prayer here. My being able to sleep through the night meant I awoke feeling significant relief. It also meant my poor husband, who has barely slept this entire journey, was able to get some good rest in as well. Though this season is incredibly difficult, we have been so supported, and we are ever grateful. To those of you who blessed our family with donations to our Go Fund me, to those who sent Postmates gift cards for meals, to my homies who have been delivering dinners to our home, to the vast tribes across the nations uplifting us in prayer, we simply cannot THANK YOU enough. We have nothing to give, and yet, you pour out unto us. A perfect portrait of grace. My friend delivered us a meal last night and went to pick up some flowers. Aren’t fresh flowers just the most glorious way to bring cheer and beauty? She got to talking about my situation with the florist, and they gifted these flowers to us! Incredible! Random acts of kindness, folks. It moves powerfully. Thank you @petalsandpopshop
Hello dear friends. I wanted to give you an update on how I’m doing. Ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve been struggling. I’ve had a few good days and hours sprinkled in. But the past several weeks, I’ve felt a steady decline in my body. My tummy is so severely swollen, I look like I’m 7 months pregnant. We’ve been trying to figure out why. At the beginning of this journey, it was ascites. Back then, I had my tummy drained twice and they took out 7 liters of poison. After that, I began chemo and it never came back. So naturally, I assumed this was the case this time around. But when I went in to get drained, they told me I didn’t have an excess amount of ascites. The next guess was severe constipation, so I went to the GI. I did an intense colon cleanse to see if the swelling in my tummy was related to that. I am officially cleared, and more swollen than ever. This means that it is not ascites or constipation leading to my swelling, but instead, the cancer itself. I feel it. I cannot eat. Cannot lay down for any length of time. Cannot sleep. Have labored breathing, making it hard to talk. And am quite uncomfortable. My oncologist said to continue with my oral chemo for a few more weeks, to see if that kicks in and begins working. If it doesn’t, we can switch to a different chemo in hopes that we can find something to fight this beast that rages within me. In the meantime, I’m continuing to fight with all that I have left. My body is just so tired. Though my body is experiencing physical pain, my heart is at peace. Cancer sucks ass. It may be able to take my body. But it can never win my soul. Again, I thank you, for continuing to walk this journey alongside us. The outpouring of love + support is God’s love + provision made visible for all to witness. And it is beautiful to behold. #ovariancancer
The boys are back at their one day a week charter school classes. Sunshine streams through my bedroom window, warming my body as I lay in bed. My sweet + spicy dog at my feet. The Main Theme from Malena streams into my heart via Spotify. And I prepare more treasures for my boys. A card for their first Halloween without me. A card telling them about where true hope comes from. A reminder of peace through the process. And a clay imprint of my thumb. So they can hold a piece of my hand whenever they need to. Oh, friends. This does not mean I am losing hope. Giving up. Or thinking negatively. It simply means I am preparing my hearts desire for my boys. Pieces of me to carry them, whenever that time comes. I encourage you to take time to do the same. Whether you have a life threatening disease or not. Write some notes. Pour out the love. Tuck them away. Cherish every day. (Tap image for resources tagged)
I bring you my cancer/chemo induced insomnia, studies of the Scriptures: He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” -Matthew 13.33. Making naturally leavened bread will never be the same after reading this. “The word "leaven" is every where else, used in a bad sense; and either designs immorality, as malice and wickedness, or false doctrine... but here it seems to be taken in a good sense, and the Gospel to be compared unto it; nor for its disagreeable qualities, but on account of its small quantity; it is a little leaven that leavens the whole lump, and may express, as the grain of mustard seed does, the small beginnings of the Gospel, and its meanness in the eyes of men; and on account of its piercing, penetrating, and spreading nature: so the Gospel reaches the conscience, pierces the heart, enlightens the understanding, informs the judgment, raises and sets the affections on right objects, subdues the will, and brings down all towering thoughts, to the obedience of Christ, in particular persons; and has penetrated and made its way, under divine influence, through towns, cities, kingdoms, and nations: also on account of its heating, swelling, and assimilating nature; so the Gospel, where it takes place, warms the affections, causes the heart to burn within, inspires with zeal for God, and Christ, and the Gospel; it swells and fills churches with such as shall be saved, and assimilates the several persons it operates in, makes them like one another, one bread, one body, having like precious faith, knowledge, and experience, though in a different degree.” -John Gill. Happy fermenting + baking, friends.
“Everything is sacred when you take time to notice.” Honored to have had our amazing film from @joyprouty along with my friend @takethecannoli_ ‘s birth film used in @jjhellermusic ‘s new music video, Big Love, Small Moments. The moving lyrics, along with the juxtaposition of Natalie + her tribe welcoming new life into this world, and me + my tribe fighting hard against death- well, it will move you to tears. Such is life, dear friends. Grab some Kleenex, click on @jjhellermusic and click on the link in her profile. You will be moved. And encouraged to see the “big magic in the mundane.”
It’s been three months since my last chemo. Thankful for the break, and for being sustained so well for that long. I remained ‘stable’ during that time, which is a miracle in itself, that there was no progression. But alas, my readings and my body now tell us it is time to begin treatment again. I will be trying a very new chemotherapy, that doesn’t look quite as dramatic as being hooked up to an IV for hours on end. I will be able to take these pills, from the comfort of my home. Will this new chemotherapy protocol work? That, we don’t know. But I fight on, showered in His perfect peace. As with all chemotherapies, there are horrible side effects. Would you join with me in praying for protection over such effects? And would you also lift up the hearts of our boys? It has been so hard for them to see me in such increasing pain the past few weeks. Cancer sucks, y’all. But God has a story to tell. A love to reveal. A hope to cling on to. A peace to pour out. He walks with me. In lament + laughter. And I will continue to share His light illuminating my darkness. L’Chaim! 💧💊 #ovariancancer
“A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants- and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!” -Road Dahl, Danny, Champion of the World. Thankful that he chose to be sparky today. Thankful that he saw I was in tremendous pain, needed a good cry, and didn’t want the boys around to see it. Thankful he took them to meet friends, in nature. Thankful for him. And all his caregiving ways. Well, most of them, anyways. 😉 And thankful for friends who take the shot and share it with you, knowing it would please you so. Because there is no way he would come home and tell me he was a SPARKY parent today. ❤️ Friends, life is too short to be stodgy. Go out and SPARK! ✨⚡️ Not only for them. For you! Because play and laughter and joy- they are a trifecta of healing!
Stars + Sky, up next in our studies. The Moon Phases by @treasuresfromjennifer and Handbook of Nature Study will be leading the way. Here is my initial brain dump for any of you who are also beginning your Stars + Sky studies: Sun- Seasons + Earth Rotation. Solar Eclipse. Sundial. Psalm 148:3. Genesis 1:1. Vitamin D! Moon- Phases. Full Moon Phenology Wheel. Lunar Eclipse. The Moon, Robert Louis Stevenson. High + Low Tides. Stars- Star of David. Star of Bethlehem. Folding paper stars. Van Gogh: Starry Night. Comet. Meteor. Stick + Stone Constellations. Planets. Galaxy. Milky Way. Aurora Borealis. Solar System + Capernicus. Griffith Observatory. What other ideas shall I add to the list? Do share...
Riding into the New Year like Paperboy. 🗞 What’s comin’ at me? 💪🏼👊🏼 (Aging myself here. Google it, all you youngsters. 😬)
Why do 9 pics of 2018 when I can do 16? Why have an app pick my best for the year, based on likes, when I can choose based on memories? Yeah. That’s me. Rebel much? 🤣🤷🏻♀️ Thankful for each of these moments in 2018 and the ones beyond these squares. Exploring our beloved Central Coast. Enjoying two Wild + Free Conferences. Moving to a new home. Walking the canals in Venice, before we moved away. Hiking with our nature group. Poisoning my body to try to stay alive. Receiving from the earth as I found my new hobby- paddle boarding. Bowling. Always bowling. More Central Coast. A trip for just my man and I. And another family trip as well. Family time at our beloved Rancho Los Alamitos, a haven for me since I was a very young girl. Allllllll the tears shed as we learned about my Ovarian Cancer recurrence and the weight that carries. Thoroughly enjoying our new neighborhood. There are so many other significant memories from the year. There were times of mourning. And times of dancing. There were times of weeping. And times of laughing. Such is life. May we always endeavor to journey through such things, steadfast in faith. Abounding in love and peace. Happy New Year, dear friends.
This morning looked like a glorious date with my man, in our old ‘hood. This afternoon looked like hanging with extended family and catching up. And then, without warning, BOOM. Pain that sent me screaming, crying, and laying in the fetal position in bed while doing my best to remember pregnancy breathing. Only, there is no baby that’s being birthed. Instead, tumors that are trying to take my life, are trying to reproduce inside me. Not the birthing I want. This is the face of cancer. A roller coaster ride. With eyes closed. Because you never know what’s coming next. One moment up. Seconds later, down. I’ve been awaiting results from a tumor biopsy to see about my next treatment options. It took three months. The thing about the waiting though, is that we knew we were supposed to wait. A God thing. So we waited. Now we have the news, and decisions need to be made. There are no absolute answers when choosing how to fight cancer. No guarantees. That makes choosing which path to take a little hard, since the choice is literally life or death. But thankfully, in all of God’s love + sovereignty, He paves the way. Especially when we have no answers of our own. Somehow, in His miraculous story weaving, He opens and closes doors and presents His way before us, in just the right time. Not our time. His time. Not our way. His way. Will His way lead to earth side healing? That we don’t know. But we walk by faith, secure in peace, submitting to Him. Come what may. (Cont 👇🏼)
Morning date, with my man, at our old local hang. Just he and I. A treat. SUCH a treat. 😭🙌🏼❤️ And then he won my heart all over again when a homeless young lady asked for money for food, and he offered to buy her a breakfast sandwich. He took her inside and then she got all 😍 at the apple pie in the case and asked for that instead of the sandwich. And he politely told her no. He wants her to eat healthy. 🤣🤣🤣❤️❤️❤️ I love my man. And a coffee on the house, for old regulars, well that just made our date that much better. Incredibly thankful for this morning.
So many of you have asked me about books to read as well as cookbooks on health + wellness. I just looked through, (sneak peek 😉) and am so excited about this new book by @dr.ashleyturner Preorders are now open for this book, soon to be released, and I HIGHLY encourage you to hop on over and check out @dr.ashleyturner ‘s gorgeous + informative feed and get your preorder on! Click the link in her profile and watch the video!!!! ❤️
Another #slowandsacredadvent has come to a close. Thank you all, for sharing your journey with us. Though the time may not have looked as you planned, I’m confident it turned out just as HE planned. The author + perfecter of our faith. May your hearts + homes be full with His love, joy, peace and hope. This season and always. If you + your family enjoyed my Advent devotional, I hope you consider joining us March 6th, Ash Wednesday, as we begin #richandrootedpassover A guide to lead families through the season of Lent, leading up to Easter. It includes personal stories, Biblical theology, and 47 days of creative, yet simple lessons and activities to focus our hearts + homes for the Risen Lamb.