Rainbows and Brainstorms by Chrissy Whitten

Book Three

Friends, if you’ve been following author Chrissy Whitten’s story through her Journals from a Warrior’s Mother series, book three will blow your mind. Pun intended. After losing their firstborn daughter, God blessed Chrissy and Michael with another baby, but shortly after that, they discovered Chrissy had a brain tumor. She went into surgery, not knowing if she would wake up again.

This part of her story is incredible because on top of that, she was dealing with clinical depression, a common symptom of her condition. But in Rainbows and Brainstorms, Chrissy quite literally captures every rebellious thought in her journal and makes them “obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Read the book and observe her process! As in books one and two, she shares Bible verses and songs that spoke to her. But new to book three are key takeaways and videos that Chrissy recorded during this time period.


If you or someone you know struggles with depression, I urge you to read this book. And if you’re a believer but battle depression, take heart. You aren’t alone. Remember we live in a fallen world and have an enemy who is subtle (Genesis 3:1). Jesus is standing by to take your hand and shepherd you through it. “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

If you’re not familiar with Chrissy’s backstory, I’ve written summaries of book one and book two. But don’t feel you have to read those books before you read this one. Each one speaks to different difficulties. Book one is about loss and book two is about healing incrementally after a loss. Rainbows and Brainstorms is about facing a life-or-death surgery and navigating through depression.

Design Details

This book is available in three formats: a black and white paperback, a color paperback, and a Kindle eBook. As the formatter, I created the files Chrissy used to publish her book. This is our third collaboration with editor Staci Mauney and illustrator Tammy Edwards. New to the team for book three are junior illustrators Piper Whitten and Daphne Whitten—Chrissy’s daughters! The original sea-themed art in this book is beautiful and heart-warming. Combined with family photos, videos, pull quotes, and memory verses, there’s no shortage of things to look at while reading. In Rainbows and Brainstorms, the Whittens are represented by a family of colorful seahorses. The legend in the back of the book explains the significance and meaning behind the gorgeous art.

At 462 pages, Rainbows and Brainstorms is the largest book I’ve designed to date. It contains 107,895 words and 135 images. We kept the same journal entry format, with each chapter head containing the date Chrissy originally posted it, the CaringBridge entry number, and a title. Book three opens with thirty-two more entries from Lilian’s CaringBridge before switching to Chrissy’s CaringBridge. This is when Chrissy tells her friends and family that she has a large tumor in her brain and asks them for prayer. You can see in the table of contents when the book switches from Lilian’s CaringBridge journal to Chrissy’s. The entries are in chronological order.

When I first read Chrissy’s edited manuscript, I was struck by certain statements she made. I felt it was important to highlight those so readers wouldn’t miss these hidden gems. So we added simple pull quotes throughout the book that are set apart by larger italicized text and border lines above and below.

Also new to book three are links to video messages Chrissy posted on YouTube after her surgery. This is so cool. Instead of reading her update, you can watch it! It’s like hopping back in time into her story. I love it! Like we’ve been doing with memory verses, we denote each video prior to the text of that video with a small icon (a video camera). In the eBook, you can click on the link to watch the video. The eBook also links directly to the Spotify list each time Chrissy recommends a song.

Per Staci’s suggestions, we set apart certain excerpts with stylized text boxes to signal attachments or information Chrissy originally added to her CaringBridge updates. For example, a journal entry Chrissy wrote in the past.

The back matter includes a note from the author, the book cover legend, a summary of all the memory verses, a summary of all the music with a link to the Spotify list, and the author’s bio. We also included short blurbs about the first two books in the series and an invitation for readers to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Blurb

How do you mentally prepare for a surgery you might not survive? Is it possible to be at peace in the face of impending death? Are you battling depression that stems from a heartbreaking loss or a physical affliction? In Rainbows and Brainstorms, Chrissy Whitten journals her way through all of it on top of having two rainbow babies in 2011 and 2015.

She describes the difficulty of being torn between the spiritual world (after losing her firstborn daughter) and being present with her second baby, how her faith in Jesus helped her face a life-or-death brain surgery, and how she navigated through headaches and clinical depression following the operation.

Chrissy Whitten is living proof that a personal relationship with God can help you overcome physical and psychological storms through journaling, gratitude, Scripture, and a good playlist! With video messages, memory verses, symbolic art, and music included, Rainbows and Brainstorms is a rich resource for anyone in need of a lighthouse. Readers will receive wind in their sails and hope for the future, no matter their situation.

Rainbows and Brainstorms is book three in the series Journals from a Warrior’s Mother about a family’s faith journey through extraordinary circumstances.

Coming Soon

Chrissy’s next release will be a personal study guide for book one The Fight. This is something she felt God calling her to write in 2022 so readers can apply the same scriptural truths to their circumstances. In the introduction, Chrissy writes, “I pray this study guide will challenge, renew, strengthen, and inspire you along your own journey. We all battle hard things. Don’t compare your life to others’. Own your story. Flip your mindset from victim to victor. Hoping the bad will simply go away is a mistake we all make. Lean on Jesus. He will shepherd you through the valleys and strengthen you along the way.”

Each day will align with chapters of The Fight and offer questions for reflection and Scripture for meditation. She also includes fun, calming activities based on the icon art in the book. We’re hoping this will be available for you to purchase by the 2024 holiday season! It will be therapeutic for anyone who has experienced loss. The Fight is now available on Audible too.

Book four is also in the works and will be released in 2025!

About the Author

Chrissy L. Whitten holds a bachelor of science in leisure service management and a master of interdisciplinary studies in educational psychology, REMS, and leisure service management from Oklahoma State University. She has over thirty years’ experience working in youth programming and teaching fitness. She grew up in the Cushing and Stillwater, Oklahoma communities before marrying her husband, Michael, in December 2003. They lived in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, for fourteen years, where Chrissy was a 4-H extension educator. She founded the Warrior Princess Foundation after Lilian passed away and ran it for five years to raise money for trisomy 13 and 18 children. She now lives in Tuttle, Oklahoma with Michael and their two children (on earth), Piper and Daphne. Chrissy facilitates Calm Waters Grief student support groups for area schools.

Follow Chrissy for updates on the first study guide, book four, and future projects. She’s also dreaming up a children’s series!

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Hi, I'm Danelle!

I specialize in Christian non-fiction editing and help new authors design and self-publish their books. I live in Kentucky with my husband Kevin and our two young boys. We love to read, play outdoors, and travel. 

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