Thursday, August 16, 2012

Join Me on My New Blog!

Hello readers, I am excited to announce the launching of my new blog. I've decided to switch over to WordPress. You can find me at I hope you will join me there!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Story of Scoliosis

Today I am going to share a story with you-my story. Even though it's mostly a story about physical problems, if you look closely, it is also a story about God's provision and grace.
When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with idiopathic juvenile scoliosis. Basically, I was growing so fast that my spine couldn't keep up, and as a result it was ending up curved instead of straight. Obviously, this can cause some pretty serious problems if not treated. My parents decided to have my treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, even though it was a 2-1/2-hour drive. (By the way, I loved Mayo Clinic.)
At my first appointment, we found out from the x-rays that I had a 27 degree curve. The doctor recommended bracing me. He normally wouldn't recommend that on the first visit, but my scoliosis was already progressed enough that bracing was needed immediately. So I was fitted for my first back brace. I wore a back brace for the next 4 years. It was not easy! I had to wear the brace for 20-23 hours a day, taking it off for bathing or sports, and/or an hour or so break a day. I was able to take it off myself, but had to have someone to help me put it on.
Having a brace was hard. I could do normal things when it was off, but after having it off for too long, my back got extremely sore. It was hard for me to go to sleepovers or summer camp. And because of the design of my brace, my posture was always crooked with 1 shoulder higher than the other-something that didn't look very nice in pictures.
Wearing the brace was sometimes painful, especially during the adjustment period. There was an initial adjustment period, when I adjusted to wearing the brace. There were also 2 other adjustment periods when I had to adjust to a new brace after outgrowing the one I was in. Even though a long undershirt is worn under the brace, sometimes sores can still develop on the skin. So we had rub my skin with rubbing alcohol to toughen it up. We were told that the first 2 weeks would probably be the worst-because of the adjustment period. Remarkably, those first 2 weeks were really not bad at all. I know it is because I had so many people praying for me. My diagnosis was quite a surprise to my family, so our church family was remembering us in prayer.
The hardest time for me was adjusting from my first to my second brace. It was extremely painful. That second brace continued to give me problems-it had not been formed right, so it ended up applying pressure to the wrong spots, creating some bad sore spots. Eventually we had to have a third brace that was formed correctly, but I was left with 2 scars (a small one on my upper back, and a much larger and worse one on my lower back) that I still have to this day.
But in the end, God worked it all out to his glory. You will remember my original x-ray showed a curve of 27 degrees. Now, bracing is not meant to correct a curve, only to keep it from getting worse. A very good brace wearer may, at best, correct their curve by 1 or 2 degrees. But after 4 years, my final x-rays showed a curve of only 11 degrees! I know that through so many people's prayers, God had decided to work a miracle. He had basically healed my scoliosis, as a curve is not even considered scoliosis unless it is higher than 10 degrees. The doctors were amazed and pleased.
After I was done wearing the brace I still had some things to work through. My back was weak after so many years of being supported by a brace. I had some physical therapy exercises to strengthen it. But through exercises, my karate classes, and God's healing, I now do not have those problems.
Today, even though it was extremely painful and difficult, I am so thankful that God gave me scoliosis and used me to show how he can do anything. Don't ever doubt Him! I am a living testimony that He answers prayers.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Losing, Forgiving, and Car Radios

I never listen to the radio.

No really. Whenever I'm driving in my car, I listen to my favorite CDs. But would you believe that one day God made a bunch of different things happen so that I would listen to the radio?

I was going through a very difficult conflict with a close friend. Hurtful words had been slung; I was frustrated, angry, and beyond hurt. On this particular day, I had to go into town to teach a few piano lessons. But my car was at the shop getting some new tires. So I had to drive my mom's car. Since I was in her car, I decided to just listen to the radio. Which I rarely ever do.

As I was driving, a song came on I had never heard before. It was "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North. (If you haven't heard it yet, go listen to it. Right now.) As I listened to the words of that song, I started to cry. It was as if the writer had written it specifically for me and the situation I was going through. As the tears came, I realized that God had sent me that song right then because it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Slowly, I went through the journey of finding forgiveness towards the friend that had hurt me so. It was not easy. But I firmly believe that song was one of the biggest factors in helping me move towards forgiveness. I listened to it over and over again over the next few weeks. But looking back, I cannot help but be amazed in God's provision, and how He worked everything out just right. First of all, the day my car was going to be in the shop had been picked weeks before, before anything had even happened between me and my friend. Then I had decided to drive my mom's car, then I had decided to listen to that particular station at that particular time. Then that song had just happened to come on at the moment I needed it most.

God always knows exactly what we need. And He always gives us just what we need just when we need it. He loves you so much He will rearrange things to give you the comfort, peace, and provision you need! 

Even if it takes making your car go to the shop so you'll listen to the radio.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Keep Pressing On

Hello readers. I hope this post finds you all doing well. I just want to bring you a reminder today. If you are going through a storm right now, please don't lose hope. If life keeps throwing you one problem after another, and it feels like it will never end, keep pressing on. If the road is rough and the end is nowhere in sight, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know how difficult things can be. But we serve a Mighty God, who knows our every need. He will not let us fall. He will give us strength and peace and comfort and rest. He will sustain us. A wise man once said, "God would never give us something to do that we could not carry out."
Remember, this is not the end. You have a goal bigger than this life - a goal of heaven. Do not despair - give your worries to God and leave it in His capable hands.
"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." -Isaiah 40:31
Be encouraged friends!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Visionary Womanhood: A SAHD Link for You

Hello dearest readers. Lately a couple of posts about stay-at-home-daughterhood have sparked a LOT of feedback, both good and bad. I'm sharing with you a link to a wonderful, amazing post on the subject. It expresses absolutely everything I feel about SAHDs. It talks about the exact things that I strive to do.
Also, if you are truly interested in the SAHD movement, I suggest Joyfully at Home by Jasmine Baucham. It is by far the best resource on the subject.

Visionary Womanhood: Taking Dominion by Washing Feet

Enjoy! =)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Being a Stay-at-Home Daughter Means...

Being a Stay-at-Home Daughter Means:

Doing laundry. Lots of laundry. In fact, doing more laundry than you thought 4 people could generate.

Sometimes trying to help with the cooking. Even if it does take you twice as long as your mother, and you make even a bigger mess than your father.

Cleaning: Vacuuming, polishing, and dusting. And trying not to break anything in the process.

Driving your brother around when your parents can't.

Spending time writing that story that you just know will be a national bestseller someday. ;)

Teaching lots of piano lessons. And realizing the interesting ways God answers your prayers for patience.

Babysitting & nannying for church families. Getting invaluable experience for when the kids you spend time with are your own. : )

Playing the piano for an hour at a time...just because you can and you love it.

Getting to know Jesus more and more every day.

Realizing that God's plan and timing are PERFECT.

Making new friends and cherishing old ones.

Realizing that no family is perfect, not even yours, but yours is pretty amazing anyway.

Diving deeper into God's word.

Communicating with God daily through prayer.

Realizing that as great as your dreams and plans are, it's not about you. It's about bringing glory to God.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Second Best to Barefoot

My five fingers. 
Recently I have been getting a lot of attention when we go into town. Because of my shoes. ;) I have five fingers - which are my absolute favorite! But many people have still not heard of them. Many times when I mention them I get, "Five fingers?? What are those?"
Five fingers are absolutely great. They are great for running, biking, walking, and just everyday activities. I have many friends who run in them regularly, but I am not a runner so I can't speak about that personally. I love them because I really prefer to be barefoot. Well five fingers are really the next best thing. They are so comfortable. Studies have actually been done that show being barefoot is the best thing for your foot, and five fingers mimic this.

To answer a few of the most common questions I hear:

"Are they really comfortable?" - Yes!!! They are extremely comfortable. It takes a couple of weeks to "break them in," but once you do they are wonderful.
"Do you like them?" -Absolutely!! I love my five fingers and during the summer almost wear none of my other shoes.
"Where can you get them?" -Any store that sells sporting equipment will probably have them. Otherwise you can always order them online. They come in many different styles and colors.

Now you know about five fingers! :)