Friday, October 29, 2010

Catching Up With the Trends

Did you think I meant me?

Oh no, my friends, I’m pregnant, remember?! The good news is that I can still fit in two pairs of my own jeans thanks to the marvelous invention of added stretch. However, at some point very soon, I’m going to have to get out the maternity jeans in the name of doing less laundry. :)

So, what do I mean?

I mean on my blog.

This week I am honored to be the Featured Friend on Seeds of Faith. Their goal is to network Christian women and really offer daily ministry into the hearts ladies overextended by everyday living. When you visit their site, you will find a daily message and Bible verse. Pretty great, right?! They are also on twitter and Facebook and on Wednesday’s they do an iFellowship link up to get to know other Christian bloggers, tweeters, and facebookers.

So, Stephanie helped bring me up-to-date in the blogging world by designing my blog a button. Check it out in the upper right corner. Didn’t she do a great job?! If you desire, you can copy the code below and add my button to your blog. I’ve always wanted one of these trendy blog features but not been tech savvy enough to do it so I praise God for Stephanie’s gift!

In the name of keeping the look fresh, I’ve also changed the twitter application so my tweets are still with you but in the lower left hand corner.

I don’t know about you, but in my life this has been a week filled with newness. My morning correction all day long sickness seems to have started to dissipate. Praise God! You will see my writing with ModSquad more regularly. In fact, my bio went up today. And, I’ve started a new & different writing project with Pam that might interest those of you in CPCs, medical offices, Christian schools, etc. But, more on that later. :)

For now, I am so clearly hearing Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new…”

May God bless you all this weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Journey to Becoming an Author

People have often asked me if I’ve always planned to be a writer.

And the answer is no.

From the time that you are in middle school, people are asking you your plans for life. Your high school course work is geared towards a “track” that will give you the best opportunity to get into the college you want with the program you plan to major in. Ironically, before we are even able to vote, there is a societal expectation to know what we will do with our lives.

I was a good student, and I thought medicine was my calling. I envisioned myself as a career woman by day and wife/mother by night. And, I was confident that was “me.”

When I got into college, I was enamored by the science but I was drawn towards psychology and religion courses even more. I loved the study of relationships and the profound impact of faith lived out in the world. Even more, I found myself preferring to write a 20 page paper to a test any day.

I changed to the religion/psychology double major, thinking that it would make me a more holistic, well-rounded physician to my patients.

After graduation, I was enticed by a biomedical ethics masters degree. This would combine my love of medicine with making right choices in the human experience. And, it provided LOTS of opportunity to write. I loved every second of it.

Once I completed my course work and signed up for the MCAT, I was married and we’d had our first child. And, God was working on my heart. I wrestled with who I really was. After being home with our daughter, I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing every “first.” The person that I believed myself to be in my growing up years versus the person I actually WAS in my adult years was two different people.

At that same time, I began work with Pam Stenzel. I was writing with her from home and cherishing the balance it offered. Over time, responsibilities grew to writing curriculum to asking me to co-author a book.

Suddenly, my love of writing was manifesting itself into a career that provided the opportunity to combine my desire to stay home with my joy of penning words. It was perfect.

Shortly thereafter, I signed with Books and Such literary agency. My book with Pam will be released this coming January, and I have a wonderful literary agent, Wendy Lawton, who encourages and inspires me to set new goals and believe in future projects. I feel richly blessed.

As I look back on the “growing up” years of my life, I’m so thankful for the delayed approach to medical school. I didn’t get out of school and apply right away. For some reason, I felt called to take the “in between” medical ethics step first. During that wait, I had time to really listen to God and let Him reveal who I truly was to me before I forged ahead with a plan that was mine and not of Him. And, I gained insight into topics that could be interesting for future book writing!

God has plans for us that we cannot always know. If you feel like your life has taken odd twists and turns, creating a delay in some plan, take heart knowing that God often uses those delays to provide for your very best. During those seasons, our faith matures and we can better utilize the gifts and talents He has uniquely bestowed upon each of us.

Today I see God’s plan for me to write and co-author this first book, and I could never have dreamed that for myself. It feels too good to be true. But, it is the life God had carved out for me (using the gifts He gave)….I just needed the delay to recognize it and for the timing to be right to achieve it. This career is "me." It is in this career that I can truly flourish and be happy.

So, for those who have asked, that is how I began my writing career, and I pray God blesses it for many years to come. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010


It has been a while since my last post, but for good reason

And I think you will agree. :)

A short while back we started praying about God’s desire for our family size. Feeling very blessed with the two children we have (particularly after struggling to get pregnant with our first), we were content with where we were and yet we wondered if God wanted us to expand.

He answered QUICKLY. We hear you, Lord. Message received!

The girls are excited. Correction The girls are VERY excited. Hannah tells me, “I love our baby” approximately every three seconds and even has a diaper set out for when it arrives. Grace brought us a cross that she wants to give the baby when it is here. Every day they are bringing me rattles and asking me when it will be ready to “fall out.” (If only life were that easy, right ladies?)

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the news but I’m feeling ah well, let’s just say that I’m bonding with soda crackers and am thankful for zofran.

By the way, has the inventor of zofran won some kind of lifetime achievement award yet because he or she certainly has my vote! :)

It seems to be getting better and since I’m in my 11th week it will hopefully be gone soon. Who knows, maybe just a few days.

My husband, Charlie, is amazing. The guy has wanted to shout it from the rooftops since the day we found out (which ironically enough was Labor Day) and yet he honored my request keep quiet until we had our 9 week ultrasound.

Isn’t she or he cute? Seeing a strong heartbeat and little arms and legs kicking around at us never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. Life truly is a miracle.

In the meantime, Charlie has been awesome at getting home from work and helping me with the housework that didn’t get done during the day. He takes the girls to the park or plays games so I can relax. He’s just a great dad, and I praise God daily that God gave me the perfect man in my high school sweetheart. I wanted a guy who loved the Lord and cherished family. I got both. Did I mention that he is amazing?!

So, I haven’t been meaning to neglect all of you, but as my body has been using energy to help grow a new life I’ve been taking lots of naps (during times I may have written for this blog) and used my healthy time to spend with my family, friends, and writing for our book project and ministry needs.

Our family would appreciate your prayers as we anticipate the gift of this new life! The due date is May 5, 2011.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness

She was my doctor’s nurse. Her smile was infectious and her passion for life powerful. When she wasn’t working she was mom to three children, ranging from middle school to newly married. Life was great until a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis threatened to steal her joy. Little did the cancer know, it was dealing with the wrong person. Her fighter spirit helped her sail through a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation while her faith kept her focused on the One who shines HOPE through every situation faced. "K" won.

Prior to having children I started a new position in the newborn nursery. She helped train me into my role. It was in that same nursery that she received a phone call that she had breast cancer. Life changed. Throughout her journey with surgery, chemo, and radiation she became a community voice about the difficulties in facing cancer head on and the lessons she learned in the process. "M" won.

Despite having no risk factors, my friend went for an ultrasound only to discover that a double mastectomy would follow in short order. The aggressive treatment would rid her of the particulars her body faced and free her of chemo and radiation needs as well as future risks. At home, her husband and three children (in middle and high school) helped her through the slow recovery. Through it all, her spirit wasn’t broken and she drew closer to friends in new ways. "Y" won.

Recently, my 34 year old neighbor was doing a self exam and found a lump. This breast cancer diagnosis hit me the hardest. Not only was it a reminder that the “very young” are not exempt from this form of cancer, but it was another young mother with young children facing an unknown future. After her double mastectomy, she and her husband walked hand in hand through the neighborhood helping this beautiful woman (who previously ran, biked, and walked miles each week) regain strength and health. As her hair fell out, she was not deterred. She’d put on her hat and walk. And, this past Wednesday, she finished her final chemo treatment with her husband and two small cheering her on. "A" won.

These are snapshots of just a few women I know who have valiantly fought breast cancer. However, one in eight women in our country will be impacted by this diagnosis.

October is breast cancer awareness month and, in honor of it, I thought it fitting to take a moment to share one of the most powerful sketches I’ve ever seen on the fight by Women of Faith’s Nicole Johnson. For those of you who have lost loved ones to this illness, my heart goes out to you. And, for those who are fighting or know someone who is, may you be empowered by the video.

My prayers are with you all.
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