Meet Rachel

Hello, Friend, and welcome to Cranberry Tea Time! Thank you for coming to visit me. I’m Rachel, a wife, a mother, and a sinner saved by grace. I have dysautonomia; it is a chronic illness, and it makes life challenging. I am mostly homebound due to weakness, fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and sensory overload. I am learning to take life one day at a time, to rely on God’s strength, and to rest in His grace. Despite the difficulties I face, I am very blessed. God has given me a wonderful family and blessings beyond what I deserve.

Chronic illness began for me when I was a young, athletic teenager. My health had ups and downs during high school, and then it stabilized for a few short years. I was able to attend college, though at times it was a struggle. I graduated from Alaska Bible College with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. My husband, Will, and I met during college, and we married in December of 2002. I became disabled from chronic illness in 2004, and I have been primarily homebound ever since. God has been good and kind and faithful to me through it all.

Meet the Family

Will is a godly man, faithful husband, loving father, and Iowa Hawkeye fan. He works hard every day to provide for our family and to take care of my many needs. Will has a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Alaska Bible College, and he has an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We were in ministry for many years until God has led us down a different career path. In 2021 Will graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and he is now an attorney in the state of Minnesota.

God has entrusted four children, William, Adelaide, Stafford, and Gresham, to our care. They brighten my days while simultaneously wearing me out! I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

William is 17 years old, and he loves the Lord and loves his family. William enjoys school, reading, choir, theater, Legos, and other nerdy things. He is kind, helpful, and has a good sense of humor. He helps us daily with caring for Stafford and Gresham.

Adelaide is a 13 year old girl who loves Jesus and her family. She likes to sing, draw, make various crafts, and participate in theater at school. She is sweet and helpful. She helps us every day with caring for our Littles.

Stafford is 5 years old, and if you met him, he would tell you about his super powers! He has the sense of humor of a 12 year old, and he keeps us laughing with his quick wit. Stafford likes playing with puzzles, building with Legos, and helping me bake.

Gresham is 2 years old. He is a happy and easy-going toddler. He likes to play with toy animals, read books, and play with his best buddy, Stafford.

Cranberry Tea Time

I started a blog, Cranberry Tea Time, in 2007 partly as a way to promote dysautonomia awareness, but most importantly as a way to share the hope and joy that I have despite the difficulties of living with a chronic illness. I named my site Cranberry Tea Time because to me it is a symbol of heart to heart talks. Back in college my closest friends and I would often share cups of hot cranberry tea until the late hours of the night (or wee hours of the morning!). While sipping cranberry tea together, we would talk and talk, sharing our hearts. It was a comfortable, warm, welcoming, and enjoyable time. That is how I want you to feel when you are visiting me on this blog. I want you to feel welcomed into my world, and I want to share what is going on in my life, and the joy that I have despite life's circumstances.

On this blog you will find me chatting about my family, my health, life with a disability, and the God I love and serve. I want to share the hope and joy that I have in the midst of momentary troubles. I invite you to chat with me in the comment section if you wish. I love hearing from my blog readers!

God is the most important part of my life. In Him I find strength, hope, and grace for each day. "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:26, NIV).

Want to know more? Here are a few of my favorite posts. They will give you a glimpse into my life as a disabled wife and mother, and they will give you a taste of the hope and joy I have in the midst of life's difficulties. Most of all, I pray that they will give you a desire to know Jesus Christ and share in the hope I have in Him.


  1. I just "met" you today through (in)Courage. Sounds like we have MUCH in common. {hugs} Had to link to your blog after reading your post about "light and momentary troubles". Was just taking with a friend about these very ideas last night!

  2. I'm also just meeting you today through inCourage - and delighted to make your acquaintance! Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I'm also a a wife, mother, sinner saved by grace, love coffee, flowers, and painted toenails, but my daughter probably likes the color purple more than me. :) A life-long 'chocoholic', I'm trying to curb indulging @ the moment as it doesn't always mesh w/my weight-loss goals! I was at a ladies' conference yesterday where our speaker was encouraging us to be the 'light of the world' that Jesus wants us to be - your comments today fit right in w/that goal & I look forward to reading more. God bless! Corrine R

  3. Just meeting you today through (in)courage! I'm so encouraged to find other disabled moms who "get" the challenges involved.

    I will definitely follow!

  4. Hi Rachel, I found your blog on SITS. Looking forward to reading more of it!

  5. Found you through Jenilee's blog hop and I am so glad I did. I look forward to following along!

  6. Rachel, I just found your facebook page and it's so sweet. I now found your web page and it to is done so professionally. You are certainly doing all of us who share this disorder with you a great service, please keep up the good work.

  7. Rachel,

    Been think of you and your family.
    Hope all is going well. I try to keep up with you here and on Facebook.


  8. Oh my goodness, I was reading one of your pages and realized you live in Louisville too! I live close to the Seminary you spoke of as well. I would love to correspond with you if you're okay with that. I have been having such a hard time with this illness, i have only had it since jan. 30th and it has completely turned my life upside down! my email is cheesecake331@aol.com

  9. Hi Stephanie,

    I'm sorry that you have dysautonomia also. Unfortunately I don't live in Louisville anymore, but I'll still send you an email! There are some great online resources that I can point you toward.


  10. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for responding. I'm so sad to hear you don't live here anymore. But I'm glad to chat with you and get any resources I can.
    My symptoms have gotten more challenging and my body does different things everyday that scare me. I've been attempting to get my doctor to refer me to Vanderbilt, they have an autonomic disorder center there that is supposed to be really good. Lately, I have felt like a prisoner in my own body. I can barely think or work now and just yesterday I had weakness in my left arm. I was scared I was having a stroke but that hasn't happened yet. Everyday I am dizzy and off-balance. Functioning is hard and I don't feel like I'm in control of my body anymore. I think that is the scariest feeling. Everything is scaring me and I'm trying to pray my way through it.

  11. I'm so glad to meet you online. I'm a Christian blogger, who's also chronically ill. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, an invisible illness (very loose joints that causes a lot of pain). You have a beautiful family and testimony. I look forward to following your posts. Happy New Year and God Bless :)

  12. I've experienced the pain of isolation due to Cerebral Palsy, but I praise God because I'm discovering that as He heals those wounds, He has many wonderful things for me to do with Him and for Him! He is incredibly patient as He waits for me to give up what I want so that I can receive what he has for me. Thanks for your blog, it is an encouragement to me.


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