Wednesday, July 4, 2012

PCOS in 250 Words

My entry for a contest to be the Face of PCOS, and the picture I attached.

PCOS has been my constant companion since the young age of 16.  The dark rings around my neck and at my knuckles and the hair on my chin were the outward evidence of an inward problem that would take me down roads I never even knew existed at that age.  I married an amazing man in January, 2005 who knew that having children wouldn’t be easy, but he loved me enough to not care.   On July 21st of that year, we found out that I was pregnant, but also that my PCOS had led to diabetes.   That bittersweet day changed my life.  I started taking insulin and other meds, but on August 8th, I miscarried our first child.  Since, we have had 3 other miscarriages, but in the midst of the pain, the loss, and the feeling of being “flawed”, we started doing foster care.  This path was not part of our “life plan”, but I don’t regret a single moment of it, and am even thankful for PCOS making me consider other paths to motherhood. Now, we are the very proud parents of a daughter who was adopted in 2009.  I started a sugar and grain free diet in January 2012, and since then, most of the crazy PCOS symptoms are dormant or manageable, but infertility still rears her ugly head.   I know that one day I will get pregnant and carry our child to term because I know that I have PCOS, but PCOS does not have me.

Freedom Is Never Free.

Somebody, somewhere, has always paid the price for our freedom.

Thank you for the life laid down.

Thank you for freedom!

Happy Independence Day! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Same Standard

Mike and I decided to get rid of cable/dish over a year ago and haven't really regretted it at all.  Occasionally during football season he misses it, and I think with the upcoming Olympics we will miss not being able to watch all the different events.  Because of this, I think we have lost a small amount of connection to Pop Media... we don't see commercials (unless we are watching the news in the evening, which rarely happens), we don't know what movies are out (unless we have seen a preview on a rented Red Box movie), we don't know what new shows are coming out, and I guess, maybe, we don't care anymore.

So when I started to hear about a new movie and a new book that was creating a buzz, I had to check it out.  The movie was Magic Mike, the book, Fifty Shades of Grey.  Before I go on... This is my personal opinion... if you don't agree, that is perfectly OK, its your choice.  Also... I mean no condemnation or judgement.  This is my personal decision based on my personal relationship with my Savior.  I just really felt like I wanted to share this.  I usually keep my political and personal opinions like this to myself because it is personal.... for me, my life, and marriage, my family, etc.  I also am not looking at this from a sin perspective, for me, its more than that...  I want to honor my husband and our marriage vows... not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

Side note... this is most uncomfortable blog post I have ever written and I am not sure I will ever even post it.  If I do...  its because I felt very strongly that the Lord wanted me to post it.

Magic Mike.  I haven't seen the movie and I will not be seeing it.  Why?  Because it is a movie about male strippers. I could end there.  That's enough for me not to see it, but I want to explain why.  If the movie where called Magic Melissa, I would be truly upset of my husband went to see it.  A movie about strippers is a movie glorifying sex for sale.  Its a movie about enticing women or women, stirring them sexually.  No man in the real world can live up to a movie star's airbrushed, enhanced physique.  These men spend 1,000's of dollars and hours a year keeping themselves looking perfect.  Our husbands can't live up to a false representation of a man on a screen.  In the same way the we as women will never look like a porn star.  Unless we too are spending oodles of money to do so.  A lot of women don't want their husband looking at porn, or going to strip clubs, etc because we know we wont look like that, we know we cant live up to that fantasy.  Not to mention, for me, the idea of my love looking at another women lustfully makes me feel horrible!  Jealous, unimportant, unattractive, inferior, unwanted and unloved are just of few of the things I would feel!!  So, in all honesty, how can I then turn around and go do the same thing?  If there is a standard to which I hold my husband, then I must hold myself to the same standard.

I know some people argue that men are visual creatures and they will look at a stripper lustfully, but women are not made the same way, they just enjoy the aesthetics.  Um.  Yea, OK.  That argument makes me chuckle!  I'm not even going to truly argue this... because its silly.  Women lust after men... it happens everyday all across the globe.

Fifty Shades of Grey.  I havent read this one either... and I don't plan on doing so.  Wikipedia's first line about this book are this: Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, it is the first installment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of BDSM.  I love to read and I will read almost anything... sometimes I pick up a book because I like the title and just read it.  I don't like to read the synopsis, I want to be surprised as the book progresses... this is probably not the best way to pick books at the library.  I have picked up books with an interesting title and an interesting front cover and started reading it, only to find it is a little more than a story about sex meant to stimulate the female mind.  But I am thankful I have never picked up one that would carry the label of being erotic and BDSM.  Yes, I had to look that one up.  Check Wikipedia if you are unfamiliar with that term.  

I truly believe that sex is only for marriage.  That no man but my husband should excite me.  The Bible says that if a man looks at woman lustfully, he has committed adultery.  And that goes for us ladies too.  So when I committed my life, my body, my everything to my husband, I promised to stay faithful, so if I am looking (or reading and imagining) at a man from a sexual point of view, that is the same as committing adultery.  

And from what I have read about this book, it is very "dark".  My God is the Father of lights.  He is holy and full of light and I desire to be like him.  So if I am immersing myself in darkness, I cannot be like my Daddy God... I cannot be like Christ if my mind is full of darkness and my heart is being consumed by lust.

Also, many people have commented that by the end of the third book in the trilogy, there is a "happy ending" and that the main character (female) does not judge the male who is into the BDSM and helps him deal with his messed up life and helps him turn it around.  That's all fine and dandy.  And many have said, if you can get past the sex, its a great story.  I don't want to have to get past the sex.  Those sexual images will stay in my mind and as a Christian, I am called to think on PURE things.  And if you have to get past the sex to enjoy the story... maybe it wasn't necessary?

My personal convictions, my desire for an amazing God-centered marriage, my desire to be like Jesus and follow God's will for my life make these 2 pieces of modern entertainment incompatible.

Before I end this post... I'd love to ask you for your opinions on these things.
Please also know that if you have watched/read them, I don't think you are some evil adulteress, or a sinner doomed to hell.  It was your personal choice and your personal relationship!  And if you still think they were fine, that is up to you.  I respect your right to make your own choices!!!! :o)

If you do feel convicted, please also know that Jesus has already forgiven you, there is no condemnation.  You are a beloved child of the King of Kings and He just wants to shower you with love and forgiveness... and please remember, He not only forgives, He forgets... forever.  Never to be remembered again.  Ever.

(Here is someone else's opinion of the book that I fully agree with and she just writes much better than I do!!)

Monday, July 2, 2012


Christina... an amazing singer, wonderful woman and friend.

Trev.... awesome drummer and a man who loves the Lord. 

Darcie..... Full-on, no-holds bared, inspirational woman of God. 


Whew, what a whirlwind!!

Our church had their annual Summer Fest this past Saturday.  It was an awesome day for a free family fun event, and lots of people enjoyed the day.  There was a huge yard sale, games, bounce houses, giant water slide, lots of entertainment, chicken bar b que, car show, and so so much more!

Mike and I were in charge of the Kid's Zone Games, and I had a very ambitious vision for the kids.  Our Passport to Adventure included 7 booths, one for each continent, decorated to match each continent, with a fun game to go with it.  I had a lot of awesome helpers both to make and decorate the booths, and also to run them and the registration table.  I feel so blessed to have been able to help with the games, and for being a part of such a great church family!!!

Madi also got to perform a dance that we choreographed together... she did an awesome job and I am so proud of her.  I wish I had gotten to video tape it so I could post it.... maybe next time!

Here are some photos from the day... some are ones I took, and some are from other people who were at the event.

This is Phredd, me (left) and our Senior Pastor's wife, Lisa.  Phredd is a local radio celebrity on the Christian radio station, WJTL.  He does awesome kids songs, including, My Mom is a Pirate.  Lisa and I got to be the pirates! Madi thought this was pretty awesome!!
 They had a GIANT water slide set up... Madi certainly enjoyed this!!
 Our kid's department did a Pie the Pastor fundraiser and they raised over $1,000 for the department... Mike isn't a pastor, but Madi got to pie him in the face anyways!  (Thanks to the wonderful Elaine!)
 2 of our wonderful Clowns for Jesus!
A daddy and his girl playing on our mini golf game from Europe.
Fun times with the South American Ring Toss game!  In the background, you can see our free snow cone truck, the Summer Fest Band on the stage (I'm up there singing), and our awesome registration helpers!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Dancer

Last year, after attending a ballet camp at her studio (Light of Life Performing Arts), Madi's teachers told us that she was made to be a dancer and had great potential.  They said if she wanted to, we should get her involved in dance as much as possible, and that she could make a career out of dance.  We already knew Madi loved to dance and had a true passion for it, so she very readily agreed that she wanted to devote her time to it and didn't mind not doing other things like softball or gymnastics if she could take lots of dance classes.  Of course, all this occurred around the time Mike lost his job, so we were unable to pay for classes and decided as a family to call on the Lord and pray that He would provide what He wanted for Madi.  Not even 2 days later, we were told by her dance teacher that an anonymous donor offered to pay Madi's tuition for unlimited dance classes.  This past year of classes has been amazing for our girl.  She has blossomed and become more confident and more passionate about dance.  Even in tap class we saw the biggest improvement... which was unexpected because the mechanics of tap just didn't make sense to her and the coordination to do the steps was not getting from brain to foot.  At her dance show this past weekend, we watched a confident, gorgeous girl do a full tap routine with her class and she ROCKED it!  I was so proud. I could tell her hard work and the work of her amazing teacher had truly paid off!  She also did lyrical/modern, jazz/hip hop, and ballet.  She memorized all of the pieces and smiled and sailed through them.  (With the exception of one small flub in her ballet piece... she slipped and fell, but recovered quickly and even smiled!)

Madi is in the middle group on the left side.  This is her tap piece "Choo Choo Chabogie:

A back stage look at her lyrical piece done to "I'm After Your Heart" by Kalanie Gloeckler (Jesus Culture)
My gorgeous girl in her ballet costume.  She is growing up!!

I don't know how we are going to afford next years classes, but I am praying for a full scholarship to come through for her again, or a good job for Mike!  But I know the God that has provided for the necessary and unnecessary will come through again because I believe He was very pleased with his girl dancing her heart out for her King!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shut the front door...

Day 8
After 6 months of eating virtually no carbs, working out way more than I want to, and trying so hard to lose weight, I finally did!!!!  As of this morning, I lost 7.4 pounds.  SEVEN!  I'm ecstatic!  I really expected this stuff to not work.  But it did.  I actually have to admit, I didn't exercise at all this past week.  And I didn't eat perfectly.  I ate more carbs than I usually do (though still grain and mostly sugar free).  In these last 6 months, I haven't been able to lose any weight due to my diabetes meds, and I was starting to get very discouraged.

Mike and I have decided that my weight and health is worth the expense of this stuff, so now we just need to decide if I am just going to buy it, or become a distributor.

I haven't posted my thoughts the past few days because we have been so very busy with rehearsal week for Madi's big dance show, but basically it was more of the same... although I have determined the slightly nervous feeling, or fluttery feeling my stomach is something else.  My supply of Plexus Slim was for 7 days, so today I didn't have any and I still had that feeling... not sure what it is, but its not a big deal.  I also realized that the appetite suppressants really did work in this stuff.  I was able to feel full MUCH quicker and I also didn't snack as much, which I tend to do even without thought.  The extra energy boost was also very nice and lasted a long time without a huge slump after it was over.

Mike hasn't been working at all this week.. which is a major setback financially, but I know God has it under control and He will be faithful to provide!  Im trying not to focus on the bank account and the bills and just trying to give it to the Lord and rest in Him.