Birth Control & What I Wasn’t Told…

birth-control

**Please note that I am a Christian & a firm believer that if you are not married you should ABSTAIN from sex until married!!!**

This is a sensitive subject, I’m aware. I know that some people are for birth control and I know that others aren’t. My thought on that is to each is own. It’s not my place to tell you that you should or shouldn’t take birth control. However, as someone who has experienced the deceit about birth control first hand I feel like it’s something that needs to be discussed and this is my story.

It’s been a little over 1 year since I’ve had the Mirena IUD removed. 6 years ago when I had implanted the thought of not having a period was very appealing to me because mine were so harsh. Like heavy & the cramps, oh the cramps!! However, I was unaware and uniformed of the after effects the Mirena IUD could cause me later on since I had never had a child before and the nurses and doctor that I spoke with and all the information given to be regarding the Mirena did not tell me either.

My husband and I have been married since October and recently discussed trying to have a baby. We’re in no rush but I went to the doctor to get checked out since I hadn’t been having a regular period, thinking maybe I was already pregnant. All to come and find out that I’m not ovulating, why? Because my body has not recovered from the IUD that was removed over a year ago. Come to find out, it’s something that happens. What? Why was I not informed of that BEFORE I had it implanted? The only *caution* that I was told of was that it could potentially go through the uterus walls, cause pain and have to be removed or that my body could reject it and then have to be removed. Nothing about my body not being able to hormonally recover from it. As a matter of fact the pamphlet that I was given stated that “as soon as it is removed pregnancy is possible within 5 months.” Lies. Or well, half-truths.

The Mirena IUD is marketed to be 99.9% effective, worry free (since it’s implanted in your body you don’t have to remember to take a pill every day) and it last for 5 years. That was all that the doctor told me when I was inquiring about it, just then did she say that during the first few months it could possibly go through the uterine walls and have to be removed but we would know by the first check up if that was going to happen or not. She also told me that it would cause my periods to be non consistent and most likely to stop all together. Not once in our discussion about it did she say that after it being taken out I wouldn’t be able to recover from it or there was a potential risk or anything like that. She said within four-five months of it being removed I would be able to get pregnant. I know that every woman’s body is different but I’m not the only person that I know that is having a hard time recovering hormonally after having a birth control such as the IUD, Depo provera or others alike. I just feel like these are things that the doctor should be telling patients because it effects them. Even if the chance of something like this happening are 1 in 1 million there’s still a chance and it’s something the patient should be informed of.

I’m now turned completely against birth control. Just because now I’m in a place where I understand periods are something that I’m suppose to have as a woman. I’m suppose to ovulate and all that so anything that I put in my body that causes any of that to stop is not natural. Not to mention all the other things that birth control can do to your body like weight gain, blood clots, and more. But again, that’s just me! In no way am I trying to sway you one or the other by this blog post, I just don’t want anyone to go through what I’m going through just because you’re misinformed or not informed of ALL the facts regarding the birth control of your choice!

Just a few points of advice:

  1. Do your own research! Go to the doctor, get your options and their professional opinions but DO NOT make a decision based on their information alone. When I went to get the options I had for birth control at the time they said that the Mirena was exactly what would help me that not even the pill form would help lighten my period. However, my (new) regular doctor & (new) OBGYN have BOTH told me that I had no business being offered, much less given the Mirena due to the way it can affect your body and hormones if you haven’t had a child before. My OBGYN said that the Mirena IUD is ideal for women who have just had a child because their hormones are all over the place and it can help balance them, but the level of hormones the Mirena releases into your body is not meant for a woman who has never had a child.
  2. Don’t get something because you feel pressured. Don’t get or start a form of birth control without being comfortable with it. The last time I went to my previous doctor (the same one that gave me the Mirena IUD) I felt judged for turning down their offer for birth control. Like it was “wrong” that my husband and I were trying to get pregnant. And I’m not the only one that I know that’s felt pressured to get some form of birth control when offered by their doctor. There is nothing wrong with not wanting birth control or wanting to weigh out your options before comitting. Don’t let them convince you differently.
  3. Be aware of the long-term effects. This goes back to doing your own research. I mean read the fine print on EVERYTHING! When I got the Mirena IUD I was excited for the possibility of not having a period for 5 years, now that my husband and I are wanting to try to have a baby and my body is all jacked up I regret not knowing the “bigger picture” facts. If I would have known then that it could affect me in the ways it has now then I wouldn’t have got it, not only is effecting me and my body it is effecting the want my husband and I have to start a family. (Now, I’m not saying if I wouldn’t have had the Mirena IUD that us getting pregnant would be easy, but this is stress I wish we could have bypassed).

& my final tip of advice….Love your body enough to do research on the things you’ll be putting into it! ♥

 

My Husband’s Love is Like a Dog’s Love…

I know the title to this is probably making you think that I’m crazy & the fact that there is probably some truth to that is beside the point of where I’m going with this blog. 🙂

Last night in women’s Bible study, we’re currently doing Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, & one of the discussion questions was, in the last 24 hours how have you felt unloved, or rejected? Well, I brought up that my husband is some times emotionally disconnected, especially this week. It’s not his fault, he had cancer a while back and from the chemo & radiation treatments there’s scar tissue on his brain that affects his emotions and ability to express them, plus, he’s a guy-they are naturally disconnected! But this week has been really rough for reasons I won’t go into detail on but on Tuesday evening I just needed him to listen to why I was upset and just wrap his arms around me and love on me. He failed to do that. He wanted to talk about things and see how we could fix them or get ahead of the issue. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to be the fixer that he usually is, I just wanted comfort. But due to my high emotions I failed to let him know that because when my emotions are running high I’m not good at communicating what I need. Again, not my husband’s fault but I was blaming him. So therefore I felt unloved and rejected because my emotions were telling me that my husband didn’t give me what I wanted.

I know that’s not true. I know that my husband loves me. He loves me more than anything in this world. In my husband’s eyes it’s me over everything. I know that! But due to the level of stress I was feeling and the way my emotions were running rampant I let myself feel rejected because instead of my husband just listening to listen he wanted to help me feel better and wanted to fix it. That’s how the devil works. That’s how he will wedge into your marriage and relationships by making you feel unloved or rejected because in the moment you didn’t get what you wanted. 

It would have been different if I would have told Matt, “Listen, I don’t want you to fix it. I don’t want to talk about it I just want you to listen and love on me.” he would have understood and done just that. But I didn’t specify what I needed. Not even when he was talking about how to fix it or what we could do to get a head of what’s going on, I just sat there stewing in my emotions. Not helping the feeling of rejection.

That is a common mistake that I make. Sometimes my communication skills are not top-notch, more often than not. That’s something I struggle with. I just feel like Matt should know what I want without me saying it. That’s not how it works. Heck, no one can read minds (haha) so why I think my husband has that super power I have no idea.

But later on in the Bible study one of the ladies was talking about how Jesus’ love is like the love of a child. You can fuss at your child or get on to them about something and they still love you. You can turn your back on Jesus, neglect Him over and over again and He still loves you. It’s unconditional. I don’t have children but I have dogs, and a dogs love is the same way. My dog Freya, has a tendency to chew on things that aren’t hers. For example, my shoe. She chewed my shoe, I whipped her with the shoe told her she was a bad dog and then no more than 2 minutes later she was laying on the couch beside me snuggled up with her head in my lap. A dog’s love is unconditional. My husband’s love is the same way. 

On Tuesday evening I yelled, I yelled a lot for like an hour because I was so upset that he didn’t just know what I needed (again, my own fault) I got so worked up I ended up sulking and going to sleep. 2 hours later I woke up and went into the living room, Matt hugged me, asked me if I was hungry and if he could fix me dinner and he had already walked all the dogs. He never brought up my yelling and craziness from before I went to sleep it was as if it never happened. Just like a dog. I yelled, was mean and it wasn’t even anything that Matt had done to cause my attitude but I took it out on him. But instead of holding a grudge and still being angry when I woke up from the 2 hour nap he was loving and sweet.

And that is how it’s suppose to be. Unconditional. You aren’t suppose to keep score in arguments with your spouse. You should be able to blink and get over something because your marriage, your relationship it’s more important then an argument. I’m not saying that the topic of the argument isn’t important but there’s a better way to go about it. Last night, in Bible study it hit me. Matt doesn’t know what I want all the time. That’s not his “job” as my husband. Part of his job is to love me, Matt expresses his love by trying to fix things so I’m not hurt. He hates to see me hurt or upset so he wants to know how he can fix it. If I want him to go out of his nature then I need to tell him. 

In my opinion, that’s where women (myself included) mess up in relationships. We see this fluffy, cupcake love on TV and movies and we want that, we expect it in our own relationships but what we fail to see is that’s not real, it’s a script and acted out by actors. I’m a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books and the books that get turned into movies and Hallmark movies, because they’re the perfect (imaginary) love story. The guy always gets the girl, it always works out and they live on cloud 9 happily ever after. But my favorite Nicholas Sparks book/movie is probably The Notebook because it’s as close to real as it gets. Noah & Allie fight, they argue, but they still love each other. The arguments never consumed their relationship more than their love did. And to me that is real. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, or a love that’s cupcake and perfect all the time. I mean yes, love is sweet, fun and good but at times it’s also messy and chaotic. It’s just how it is.

So yes, my husband’s love is like a dog’s love and it’s a great love because no matter how crazy or messy it gets or how mean I am at times he still loves me just as much as he does when I’m all together and sweet. and most importantly…He loves me like Christ, unconditional and without keeping score of the mess ups. 

For The Love Of Coconut Oil

My love for coconut oil runs deep ya’ll! Like seriously.

POURS-COCOMUT-OIL-ON-ENTIRE-LIFE

For the past 2 days my lips have been painfully chapped. Red, dry & so sore! Carmex just wasn’t doin the trick for them! So this morning I got up & went to my kitchen cabinet (yes that’s right) & got some on my finger & rubbed it on there & by the time I left home (a little over an hour) they were feeling better already! & the kind I have is Laura Lynn brand.

I mean if you don’t know about Coconut Oil & all it can do you must be living under a rock!

A couple of years ago after I had been straightening my hair every day for a little over a year I needed sometime to revitalize it cause it was so dry! So I used coconut oil, covered my hair in it, wrapped a plastic cap around it & let it sit over night, washed it out the next day & my hair had never felt softer and it was so shiny!

You can cook with it! It’s a healthier way to saute stuff. Also, it’s a natural way to give yourself an extra boost of energy, adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your coffee can give you an extra boost of energy and replace dairy creamer. If you put your hot coffee in a blender, with the coconut oil and your favorite natural sweetener, and blend, you will be amazed at the rich creamy flavor, without adding any dairy. You can add it to smoothies to give it cholesterol fighting compounds plus it helps smooth the texture of smoothies if you have an issue with food textures. You can also use it as a healthy replacement for your non-stick cooking spray. Just use enough to coat the pan or skillet.

You can bake with it! Yes, you can bake with coconut oil. Use the same amount as butter or vegetable oil that is called for in the recipe. For biscuits, pie crusts, and other preparations where the fat is to be cold, freeze the coconut oil prior to using. Use coconut oil to grease baking sheets and cake pans, and your baked goods will simply slide right out. I honestly wish I would have known this tidbit around Christmas time whenever every pan of brownies I made stuck and were messy!

Plus the beauty uses of coconut oil is pretty much endless, I’m tellin ya’ll I love this stuff!!

You can use it as a natural skin moisturizer. After you wash your face & pat it dry take a pea size amount of coconut oil, rub it on your face & then after 5 minutes wipe what’s on the surface off. You can use it after the shower as a moisturizer. After you shower, apply coconut oil liberally all over your body. Coconut oil will hydrate dry skin, help reduce stretch marks and helps to soothe skin after shaving. As a bonus, coconut oil has a natural SPF and is great to protect your skin from sun damage, & if you happen to get sunburn you can use coconut oil as a soother. (sun protection is super important!!)

It can help reduce wrinkles. Everyone is so worried about crows feet around your eyes, rub some coconut oil around your eyes nightly and leave it while you sleep. Keeps your eyes looking refreshed!

It can be used as a natural eye make up remover. Just a small dab of coconut oil will quickly liquefy eye makeup, making it easy to wipe off. Rub coconut oil gently onto the upper lids and lower lids in a circular motion. Wipe off with a warm cloth. Way better than other eye makeup removers because it won’t sting or irritate your eyes, plus it will minimize dark circles around your eyes. 🙂

Natural lip balm. I already told ya’ll but seriously, coconut oil is better than other lip balms  because they have unhealthy (and potentially toxic) ingredients, which is particularly concerning since we put them on our lips. The healing properties of coconut oil helps to nourish the lips, provides a touch of sun protection, and most importantly, is safe to consume.

You can also use it to shave with. If razor burn, ingrown hairs, or other skin irritation is a problem after shaving, start using pure coconut oil as your shaving “cream”. Warm a dab in the palm of your hands and rub on your face, under arms, on the legs, or the bikini area and then shave. Rinse well, and pat dry. (I have honestly not tried this but heard great things about it so it’s definitely on my list of things to use coconut oil for)

There is so much more that you can use coconut oil for its insane! It will remove gum from hair or furniture-apply coconut oil to help the gum let up and easily get removed, without leaving any colors or stains, you can use it in handmade soaps, when digested regularly it can help boost your immune system, fight inflammation, digestive support, it can be a blood sugar stabilizer & hormone balancer-I mean really there’s so much this stuff can do! I love it, I really do! I bought my jar at Ingles for like $7, it’s just Laura Lynn Pure Coconut Oil!4e9c8fd0235d91f0ba9841052f3f03a7

 

 

Being Me, Not My Anxiety.

anxiety-words

anx·i·e·ty

aNGˈzīədē/
noun
 1.a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
2. a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

 That’s the basic definition of what I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Some days I’m fine other days I’m making up situations in my head of “what if” scenarios and biting my fingernails to the quick. Yes, it’s that serious.

I’ve tried different prescribed medicines but they all make me feel like a zombie & make me want to sleep ALL.THE.TIME. I had absolutely no energy so I don’t take them. I’ve also tried over the counter remedies as well but never feel “normal” on them either so I’ve learned to manage it without medication & again, some days are just better than others.

What do I define as normal? Well, on my good days I’m perky, talkative and I can go into the grocery store by myself or sit next to someone at a red light without feeling like everyone is looking at me and the world is caving in. That’s my normal. My bad? When I just feel groggy, weighed down & when I’m in the isle at Wal-Mart & more than 1 person is sharing it with me & I all the sudden can’t get enough air and start breaking a sweat and feel like I’m in quicksand.

I’ve seen a couple posts on Facebook before about “What People with Anxiety want their Friends to Know” & most of it is true, but not everyone who deals with anxiety deals with the same stuff. So this is me and what I want my friends to know about me & my anxiety.

  • I don’t want to be known as my anxiety. It’s honest to God hard to live with without medication but again, I hate feeling like a zombie so it’s something I just deal with. And my anxiety is not something I like to talk about because sometimes I feel weakened by it. I’m not fragile, so please don’t treat me as I am.
  • I’m not good with large crowds. If you know my church then you know this is a crazy statement but it’s a true statement. When walking into church I have noticed I tend to look down rather than around at the people. Again, that’s not me being stuck up its me being able to make myself a focal point so I can keep myself calm and focus on my breathing and make to a seat without having to rush outside just to feel like I’m able to breathe.
  • I sometimes create situations in my head that are nowhere near true. For example, today I text one of my girl friends to ask her if we were ok because *I’ve* felt tension between us the last few times we spoke. She said we were good & she hadn’t felt anything on her end. I knew that we were more than likely fine but due to my anxiety I was creating something that wasn’t there and working myself into a panic over it. (something that just happens from time to time)
  • I tend to feel left out even when I’m more than included. For example, last Saturday we were out with our Sunday School class, we went to dinner & bowling. I had a lot of fun but as we were leaving my husband gave me the car keys and went back inside to say goodbye to some people he missed and I was just walking behind some other people who I had already said goodbye to. They weren’t leaving me out they had just got a head start to the car, but in my mind I was left out of the conversation they were having. (again, something that just happens from time to time, it doesn’t always make sense but that’s anxiety)
  • I feel the need to be liked. I can drive myself into a panic attack if I feel that I’ve hurt someone’s feelings or if I think about someone not liking me. My husband tells me all the time that it shouldn’t matter what people think & I know he’s right but I like to be liked, my anxiety likes for me to be liked. It’s just part of the deal.
  • Some days I’m an emotional wreck. I can cry at literally anything and I mean anything. For example, a few nights ago Matt shut the refrigerator door just the right way to knock off a snowman magnet that my mom gave me & it broke in half. It’s fixable but I didn’t see that at the time, all I saw was the magnet my mom gave me in 2 pieces and I cried for twenty minutes.

Those are just some of the main things about me & my anxiety. However, I’m pretty sure the worst part about having anxiety is when I’m talking to someone who does have it & they say, “Well that’s just silly to feel left out.” or “Well maybe you should pray about it.”

It’s not silly. It’s a mental disease, it’s not something that I can just “get over”. And I do pray about it. If it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be able to handle myself as well as I do without medication. I don’t bite my nails as often as I use to, I’ve gotten better at being able to go into grocery stores or Wal-Mart alone and I’ve learned how to help myself calm down when a panic attack does hit in the middle of a public place. My biggest hope is that people will stop treating mental illness lightly just because you can’t necessarily see the effects of it. 

 

 

Unveiled.

51xvd394uwlOn January 26th I started reading the book The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith (I originally saw the add for it on Facebook & you can order it off her website for $15.99 or you can find the paperback on amazon for $9.99) the tagline of the book was “Embracing intimacy with God and your husband”. I was weirded out by the tagline at first because to me (and come to find out in the book to the author as well) intimacy meant sex. I was wrong. Intimacy is not just a sexual relationship, intimacy & what she means in the tagline is a close familiarity or friendship; closeness.

After reading this book I feel like the author and I are friends, I feel like I KNOW her on a personal level rather than just author to reader. The way she was able to open up about her story is amazing to me. The vulnerability, the strength, the courage. I absolutely enjoyed the read!

After reading the book I’ve realized there are things I can improve on in order to have a more intimate relationship with God and my husband. God is a friend like no other, we all know that. However, I realized that I’m guilty of not talking to Him as a friend. I pray to Him in formality & I don’t mean that as I pray because I “have to” or anything like that but I am guilty of forgetting that I don’t have to bow my head & close my eyes to talk to God. I forget that I can talk to Him while I’m driving down the road or sitting at my desk at work or any other place or time of the day. And that’s not how it’s suppose to be. God is someone I have direct access to as being saved and rather than only talking to Him in a formal prayer is not how it should be.

God wants us to talk to Him like He’s a friend. Even though He knows our heart I am positive that it pleases Him when we come to Him and talk to Him about what exactly is going on. The same way with our husbands. Matt is quick to read when something is going on with me, even when I try my best to tell him I’m fine, he knows better. But of all the people in my life I should WANT to talk to God and my husband. I shouldn’t try to hide what’s going on from those two. Ever. Once you began trying to hide stuff in your relationship with God and your marriage it severs intimacy and damages the relationship.

I have also realized that I tend to keep my feelings bottled up in my marriage at the fear of making sure I seem like I have it all together..even though there’s laundry piled up (in 2 places), the dining room table has become a catch-all that still hasn’t recovered from Christmas & I’ve lacked on cooking dinner the past few weeks, luckily my husband is good in that department & all the others but I keep telling him, “I’ll do it” rather than letting him help me or getting upset when he just goes ahead and does it because then I feel bad because he did it all. That’s not how it’s suppose to be. We are each others help mate. We are a team. Just because I prefer to be the one to do the laundry doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world if he does a load or two just to help. But I’m really bad at letting go of that “control”.

In this book the author talks about her husbands struggle with pornography and hers. A struggle that he was open with before they got married but a struggle that she didn’t have before they got married but curiosity as to why he was addicted tempted her and when she became addicted she kept it hidden for the first year and half of their marriage. Matt and I don’t have a struggle with pornography but we do have a struggle with sometimes paying more attention to our phones or tablets than we do each other which is why we did the week unplugged. (you can read more about that experience in my previous blog, A Week Unplugged) But even when we don’t think it’s a big deal it can be damaging our intimacy as husband and wife but as friends because we are neglecting each other. Getting on Facebook and playing the games on your tablets/phones is not a sin but can be if you start idolizing them and that’s where we were. Between the week unplugged and reading this book it opened my eyes to the fact that not only did I put those things over my husband I put them over God. Because instead of scrolling through Facebook for hours on end I could have been reading my Bible or doing a Bible study to strengthen my relationship with God. Do I still get on Facebook? Yes. But I address it in a different light. Use to I would keep it open on my computer at work all day & I felt like I had to post something, anything at least once a day-something to get “likes”. I don’t anymore. Our week unplugged ended on Sunday & I have posted a few funny things and some pictures but it didn’t bother me to not get 10+ likes or anything like that and I’m not thinking about what’s going on in the Facebook world ALL DAY. It’s unhealthy and the week unplugged and reading The Unveiled Wife helped me realize that anything over God and my husband is not only a sin against God but it’s unhealthy for my marriage.

When I finished the book last night I told Matt that my goal was to be more unveiled. Not only with God but with him as well because that’s initially what brings us closer together. I’m guilty of letting my anxieties hold me back from being completely open with him. I want to be a good wife so bad that sometimes I put myself into overdrive and act like I have it “all together” when really on the inside I feel all over the place and God as well as Matt are who I should talk to about it rather than trying to hide it so I don’t look like a “bad wife”. That is one of my biggest fears, being a “bad wife” and the devil knows that so when I’m having a bad day he plays off those fears & anxieties. I should be able to take those to God and talk about it with my husband and get through it rather than bottle it up. I should be able to release some of what I think are “wifely duties” and let Matt help me. He’s not only my husband, he’s my leader, friend, and helpmate.

“Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” 2 Corinthians 3:16

A Week Unplugged.

Everyone and everything is so connected all the time that we become consumed with technology, social media & all the garbage that comes along with it. & lately it’s just been down right mean. So my husband and I decided to try something out. Our Preacher mentioned doing a social media fast in his sermon a little while back and I even mentioned doing one to my husband during the election stuff because honestly it was out of hand, from everyone. Everyone being rude, mean, and disrespectful to others and their opinions. Not one person being innocent in the whole scheme of things and well I was just sick of it. But at the time Matt didn’t feel that it was necessary.

For Christmas I got him the Resolution for men and Courageous studies. He started with the Resolution first because it was one he had been wanting. Ever since he started it I can really see a change in him, not that I thought he needed to change and that’s why I bought the study, I bought the study because it was one he had mentioned wanting to get. But since he started that study he’s more attentive to me and the ways he can help and he’s a lot more calmer. Listens to actually hear what me or anyone else is saying rather than just listening to respond.

Last week he said that he wanted to do something different, something to help us refocus and get closer to God and each other. I was intrigued, we both attend church, he does a Bible study in his personal time and goes to Men’s Bible study every other week at church, I do a Bible study in my free time and I’m currently reading The Unveiled Wife with Uninvited on the “next” list. So I was thinking maybe he was thinking Couples Bible Study, because I’ve been reading about a few that I’d like to do in the future and I’ve mentioned them to him but he said that he wanted to take Preacher Keith’s advice, and mine and do a fast but go further than just Facebook. He wanted to unplug (aside from having our phone’s for emergencies or if our parents wanted to talk to us). He said that he wanted to do away with Social media, TV, any music not Christian and tablets when we’re at home together. He was for sure I wouldn’t be able to stand it, because I like Facebook for all the baby pictures, funny memes and stuff like that. I don’t like to discuss politics with people nor do I like to see all the news posts regarding politics, Black Lives Matter and all the other garbage they feed us. But I do like to see what my friends and family are up to. So we talked about it, prayed about it and did it.

  • No social media. That’s right. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. None of it. If it’s too much of a temptation to have the apps on your phone but not get on them then uninstall them from your phone.

  • No TV. I know it sounds extreme but at the same time, there’s so much negativity on the news, cuss words & inappropriate things in pretty much everything you watch or political garbage on every other channel. Just turn it off.

  • Only listen to Christian music. Whether it’s 106.9/91.3 on the radio or a specific band/singer channel on Pandora/Spotify/Google Play. Just Christian music.

  • Put down the electronics. When you’re at home for the evening with your spouse/family actually be with your spouse/family. Put the phones, tablets, or whatever else down. (Of course keep it turned out & volume up for emergencies but don’t have it glued to your hand.

What I got out of it:

We can actually have a good time without the TV or cell phones and tablets in our hands. On Valentine’s day he went ALL OUT, I mean ALL OUT with his culinary arts degree skills! He marinated pork chops for 4 hours, then pan fried them, he made twice baked-bake potatoes, and brownie cheesecakes-from scratch, that’s right, from scratch!! And we ate it by candle light at the dining room table not to mention he bought me roses, a new Bible & a book I’d been wanting, it was amazing! And even better, we were actually able to enjoy each other and the meal without the distraction of cell phones or tablets or any of that. It was just US & it was nice. 🙂

We’ve been able to actually have conversations. Sometimes we get so caught up in the technology in our lives we neglect the ones around us and we don’t even realize it. I can be looking at Matt, talking to Matt but if he’s looking at his phone he doesn’t fully hear me therefore causing him to miss something I’ve said. Vice versa. & whether we admit it or not it hurts our feelings and hurts our relationship. This week has taught me to pay attention to him when he’s talking so I hear EVERYTHING he’s taking the energy to say.

I don’t NEED to post my life on Facebook to feel good about my life/myself. I’m very guilty of posting things for likes. To see how many people will click “like” or “love”. But what this week of being unplugged has taught me is that I don’t need to brag about my life on Facebook, post everything I’m thinking or feeling to see if other people agree or not or post a million pictures of myself and wait for the “likes” to roll in to validate my worth. I have a husband who loves me, my mind and how I look regardless of how many likes my picture/post gets on Facebook.

Most importantly, I feel more connected with God & my husband. For the most part, social media is fun, I love the funny videos of dogs & cats and people falling, I do. I love seeing pictures of my friend’s kids and their families, I love seeing my family post stuff that I don’t get to see often. But sometimes the negativity seems to flood that out, and what goes into your mind comes out. All these hate filled posts about the President, politics, people just tend to take it too far on the idea that they’re right and it’s offensive and hurtful some times. Besides, the most important person is God and I should not feel more connected with people on Facebook then I do Him, same goes with my husband. I shouldn’t feel more connected to the people on Facebook then I do my husband. It’s should be God, Matt, Family, and so forth down the line. Not, Facebook, God, Matt. And I know I’m guilty of putting Facebook first at times but that’s what this week has really shown me. I don’t NEED it to have a good life. I don’t NEED to be so involved in people’s lives that I know what they had for dinner or that they were stuck in traffic for 2 hours that morning. It’s nice to read people’s posts and all that but another thing this week has brought to my attention is that, if you post EVERY little detail of your life on Facebook what do you have to talk about to people when you see them?

My advice to people is, disconnect from the world and what’s going on with everyone else & reconnect with your family. Matt & I have been together for almost 3 years, married since October 1st & I’ve never felt closer to him than I do right now. It’s awesome. 🙂

 

Soul Stitches & Our Mission.

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A little over a year ago I found myself unemployed after a misunderstanding (on my bosses part more so than mine, honestly). After 3 years with the same company I was sitting on the couch at home with my laptop searching for jobs. I even got so desperate I applied at retail stores in the mall. I was set to get married in less than a year & our “wedding fund” was slowly being drained by bills. I still lived with my parents and their house had never been cleaner & I had gotten a head start on spring cleaning/pre wedding move declutter in my room but I was out of work and felt useless not being able to find something. I needed a hobby. So my fiance took me to Wal-Mart bought me 2 cheap rolls of yarn & a “how to” book & video on crochet with 4 different size hooks. My mom knew how to crochet and with her help and the video & book I learned to crochet. I immediately fell in love with it because it gave me something to do. Working on a project helped me keep my mind right that God would eventually answer prayers and I’d find work.

A year later I’m working full-time as an office manager and I have a business where I sell my handmade crocheted items. (beanies, scarves, blankets, etc.) And I love it. When talking to my fiance (now husband) about wanting to start-up a little side business to sell my items I picked the name Soul Stitches because crocheting is something that comes from my soul, my love for it, my love to share it with other people, it’s all from my soul. It genuinely thrills my soul to hand make something for someone and know that it’s a one of a kind piece and stitch by stitch it was made just for them. On my business cards is my favorite verse, Proverbs 31:25, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Matt picked that for the back of the business card because of what I went through to get to where I am. I felt weak being out of work and unhappy. But crochet gave me an outlet for those bad feelings and now here I am. 🙂

When we started Soul Stitches it was because we needed the little bit of extra money to put back in savings in case something happened to one of the cars or the dogs or something. That was at the first of January this year. Now, at the beginning of February and we’ve had more orders/success than we imagined with the start-up of our little business and with the good Lord’s blessings we’re in a sound financial situation to where we honestly don’t need the money we get from Soul Stitches like we did when we first started it. It’s an amazing feeling. 🙂

My reason for telling you that is to tell you this, a few months ago our Pastor brought up to our church a town in Africa called Mozambique, it’s just outside of Malawi where we currently support a missionaries ministry. Mozambique is where God has laid on our Pastor’s heart to reach out to next. They have contacts in Malawi who have been given land and they are in the starting process of a church  building. When my Pastor and his family go in June they will have to hike into the village they are going into and tent camp because there’s really nowhere for them to stay. My Pastor wants to start a spiritual fire in Mozambique, my husband and I…we want to be a match that helps the fire burn!

For weeks now we’ve talked about how to be apart of it, we don’t feel like God has called us to be missionaries, but we both have a heart for missions and we want to help. And we have decided to use Soul Stitches to support the Mozambique ministry rather than keeping the profit for ourselves. We have prayed about it and talked about it and feel that’s what God would have us do and after talking to our Pastor yesterday we’ve confirmed our plan.

So going forward, when we sell something, we will take out the money to replace the yarn that made it and the rest of the money will go to the Mozambique ministry, we will keep none for profit. I cannot put into words how excited I am that God has allowed us to do this and I’m excited to see the work that God will do in Mozambique!

If you are interested in Soul Stitches please find us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/SoulStitchesByKendra & please pray for us as we continue on this journey!

Unborn Lives Matter.

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My feed is full of all kinds of opinions these days. Trump Haters. Trump Supporters. Women for the women’s march. Women against the women’s march. Black Lives matter. All Lives matter…in all the diversity I’m sitting here wondering, where is the outrage for the unborn lives?
1,058,490 is the number of abortions in the USA from 2013-2015, (& that’s from the CDC’s website). 1,058,490 lives that were just ended without a chance to be great. Without a chance to see the world, without a chance to be loved. 1,058,490 lives in 2 years. One of those 1,058,490 could have been the one to cure cancer. One of those 1,058,490 could have been the one to end world hunger, and so forth. But because the biological mother was selfish, we’ll never know exactly what God had in store for that unborn life that was murdered before given a chance to live outside the womb.
Murder:
        noun
the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
verb
kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.
The definition of murder is as stated above. Unlawful & premeditated. My only question is, why is it that abortion and murders definition is not the same? When you plan to have an abortion you are literally planning to kill your unborn child. To me that’s as unlawful & premeditated as it gets. An unborn child is defenseless.
Some people will argue that a baby in the womb is not a life yet so it’s not murder, my question to those people, if a baby in the womb is not a life then why when a pregnant woman is murdered is the suspect charged with two counts of murder rather than just the one?
A baby in the womb is most definitely a life. Separate from the woman carrying it. It’s a living, breathing, moving, heart beating, LIFE. It’s not a choice. You CHOOSE to partake in the act of sexual intercourse and you CHOOSE not to use any form of birth control so if you end up getting pregnant you should NOT have the choice to choose a “get out of adult responsibilities free card” by having an abortion.
“So if the child is wanted by its biological mother she should be forced to keep her anyways?”–No, absolutely not & she would not be forced to keep the child if the “option” of abortion was taken out of existence. She would have the option of adoption. There are tons of husband & wives in the world that would LOVE to have a child and have more than enough love to give a child but they are unable to conceive a child of their own that would LOVE to adopt that “unwanted” child and love it as their own.
What if the woman is raped? I understand the emotional & physical self battle of being raped. I understand the disgust you feel after the fact and the possibility of carrying a monster’s child inside of you would make it a million times worth. But at the same time-the baby, yes even the unborn baby, is not at fault. It should not have to pay for the actions of their biological parents no more than born children should. It should have a chance to be a blessing to the world. 
What if it’s a life or death situation? I’m still for the fact that both lives matter. Both lives are equally important. My husband and I are currently watching a show where the girl is pregnant and has TB. Her medication for the TB is causing complications with the pregnancy and her fiance brought up the idea of aborting the pregnancy, she was 100% against it due to her religious beliefs but his argument was he didn’t want to jeopardize her life. My opinion, aborting the pregnancy for not wanting to jeopardize the woman’s life is saying that you don’t trust God to take care of the mother and the baby. If God didn’t want the baby to be born the baby wouldn’t be born. There’s always a blessing in the struggle.
No, I am not a mother. However, I watch my friends, my sister and the people around me with their kids and I long for that one day. I’ve also watched my friends carry the heartbreak of miscarriages and not being able to conceive a child that their heart longs for. So for me to be close to those situations and know that there are women out here who are fighting for the right to kill their unborn & unwanted children makes me sick at my stomach in the worst way because I know women who pray for the right to have a child.
And why women are out here fighting for the right to kill a defenseless child is beyond me. I’m all for having rights as a woman but murder shouldn’t be one of them. And nothing/no one will ever change my view on that. I am pro-life and proud & I will fight for the unborn child’s rights for as long as I breathe. 

This Little Light of Mine.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Matthew 5:16 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible because to me it’s what being a Christian is all about. When you tell someone you’re a Christian they should be able to see it as well, actions speak louder than words. Anyone can profess to be a Christian, but who can show it?

Lately I’m afraid the batteries in my light have been dead and my light has been out. It’s not like I’ve been completely off track with my walk with God but I’ve been caught up with worldly things & worldly feelings that I’ve clouded the area around my light & let it go dim and I’ve just been letting it pass and letting is pass that now my light is completely out. No more. Today I have replaced the batteries in my life & I will let it shine! Just as the song says, “Hide it under a bushel, no…I’m gonna let it shine!”

Personally, I feel like I get so caught up with other people I get my focus off of myself. For example; well so and so doesn’t do this or that so why should I? I should because if I feel it’s something I need to do in my heart, something that God has laid on my heart to do and I ignore it then I’m basically ignoring God, or putting Him on hold and that’s not how it works. If you’re focused on other people you can’t be focused on God.

It’s no one else’s job to keep me in check but mine. No one knows my heart like God and myself and I shouldn’t, nor can I expect anyone else to keep me in check but me and me alone. Nor should anyone want to because they should be worrying about themselves as well. Now I’m not saying that if your friend, or someone who you’re use to seeing at church every time the doors are open misses 2 Sunday’s in a row or something like that, you can’t call or text them & ask them if they’re ok, that’s not what I’m saying. What I mean is that you shouldn’t be trying to keep up with others, compare yourself to others or anything like that.

Christians shouldn’t be following other Christians, they should be following Christ.

As a Christian my goal should not be to be like other people I go to church with, my goal should be to be like Christ. & that’s my new goal. I know a lot of people are thinking of New year resolutions for 2017 but I’m starting today. My prayer is not that I become more like the lady on the 3rd row in church, or to be more like the preacher’s wife. My prayer is to be more like Christ, so filled and so on fire that others want to know what has made me different. I don’t want to blend in, I want to be set apart.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” -Romans 12:2

 

 

Gossip Hurts. (& you don’t even know it)

Yesterday after church Matt & I decided to use one of the fifty coupons we got in the mail this past week & go to lunch at Arby’s. They aren’t very spacious in the new location in Enka so we sat at a multiple chaired high top table, an elderly couple joined the table on the other end. During the meal another lady walked up to them. Since they were only a couple of chairs down from us we couldn’t help but overhear the conversation.

“Church was good this morning, the choir could have been better had ______(I missed the name) not looked so miserable. I mean, she’s up there in front of the church she could at least look a little bit more joyous.”

Matt & I just laughed, we know that some of the worst gossipers are church people. I don’t know what church they were from or who they were talking about nor is it any of my business..but as the day went on I couldn’t help but think of the girl they were talking about. What was going on in her life that made her look less than satisfactory expression wise while singing in the choir that morning? Did anyone attempt to talk to her or did they just talk about her instead? My heart hurts for the mystery girl. Because rather than talk about her they could have & should have prayed for her. Maybe asked her if she was alright? But by the couple & the ladies conversation they weren’t the only ones that noticed her less than joyous attitude & they weren’t the only ones that stated how unpleasant it was to see someone up there singing about the love of Jesus but looking so unhappy.

My heart still hurts today for mystery girl because I have been in her shoes & I have known people who have been in her shoes who decided to end the fight with suicide rather than keep fighting. My heart hurts because instead of loving like Christ as Christians should they decided to talk about her behind her back rather than be concerned that she was less than joyous. Sometimes a simple question of kind concern is all that it takes to change someone’s outlook on a situation & possibly change their mindset of the solution. Because let’s be honest, people who have suicidal thoughts are not open with them. They keep them to themselves.

As I type I’m talking to myself as well. I have been guilty of gossiping about people and talking about people but it doesn’t mean that it’s ok. It’s not. It’s something I struggle with because when everyone else is doing it, it’s easy to join in. Also, as someone who has been gossiped about I try to do better.

As Christians we should love one another. Care for one another & pray for one another. Instead of talking about how much church someone misses maybe you could text them & ask em if they’re ok, instead of talking about how miserable someone looks at church maybe you could talk to them & ask how they’re doing and so forth. 1 simple act of kindness is enough to set off a domino effect of kindness and could really change someone’s mindset on things. Be the sunshine in their world of clouds.

You never know what battle someone is going through, just because they’re not open about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening on the inside. We that carry the banner “Christian” should do better to represent the Christ like love.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that yet are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35