Yes, No & Maybe-Wendy Pope

This book is amazing! First of all, I love Wendy! She is someone who you feel as though she is your best friend. She is just so fun. This book was written for those who feel like they can’t get a grip on what is going on in our lives, a lot of hands are raising on that! She wrote this book to remind us that God can and will do immeasurably more in our lives. It just may not be in the way we expect.. Wendy is there to guide you through the book with questions to answer in spaces provided at the end of the book. She provides great real life examples and Biblical references. I recommend this book for every woman who feels lost or needs more encouragement in their lives.

(In) Courage Devotional Bible

The next product is the @incourage devotional Bible. It comes in 4 different covers and is so beautiful! I have to light blue (can look bluish-gray under certain lights) and I love it so much! The inside contains over 300 devotions by over 100 different writers. It also features specific devotional tracks and women of courage in the Bible. There is plenty of room to take notes at the bottom of each page. I seriously love it! In the very beginning of the Bible, there is a commitment page that says that you will commit to reading God’s Word and who is in your community. On the back of that page, is part 2 of the commitment to be a woman of courage and to write significant events that show how God showed up. This Bible is beautiful and for women of every age. There are devotions for every woman and they are broken up into themes. I give it 5-stars!!!!

Fake or Follower-Andi Andrew

This book is amazing. It is very convicting, real and raw. Andi meets the reader right where they are and challenges them to take a honest look at their faith. In 10 chapters, she tells the reader the difference between being a real follower of Jesus and someone who fakes it just to make themselves look and feel better. I recommend this book to the person who is seeking. To the person who wants to live a real, palpable faith and not one that is just IG ready. I received an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is not something everyone knows

I know what you all are probably thinking….she’s using this to get people to read this post.  Well you are kind of right. The reason is because this is part of my story that I want to share that may help someone.  It could also cause people to use an ugh face or something of the sort.  But like my blog is titled, This Is Me, so here we go.

I told a part of this story in my previous blog post, What I Don’t Talk About From High School, but a whole other part is about to be revealed, so my family, may want to stop reading.

I had issues with poor self esteem since I was a child.  I was very sick and spent a lot of time in the hospital under a respiratory tent.  My connection with people was very limited since any outside interference could make me sick.  Just imagine John Travolta from the movie the Boy in the Bubble and you will understand a small portion.  When I went to school, everyone assumed I was contagious and they did not want much to do with me.  When I entered middle school, I became seriously boy crazy, more than in elementary school.  I wanted to have a boyfriend like all my friends did.  The problem is that no one in my grade liked me that way.  I was the neighbor girl to one of the most popular families in our grade.  We all hung out and played basketball.  In eighth grade, I had my first kiss.  There was more after that.  In my sophomore year of high school, guys really started to pay attention to me.  I will let y’all read the other blog post for that information because I am going to move into adulthood.

As a young adult, I started to seek out attention from others.  I met my husband at age 20.  I was first exposed to porn when we went to visit one of his friend’s apartment and he had it on.  My husband immediately told him to turn it off, which he did.  Then in 2009, I got introduced to a book series that everyone was familiar with, Twilight.  I read all 4 books in one weekend and became obsessed.  This obsession turned into something much more when I began to read books that were more heavy in adult content.  Books about vampires and other supernatural creatures led to books about fictional rock stars, which eventually led to the Fifty Shades series.  Then the books got even more hard core than that series.  I was obsessed.  These books were on my kindle so it was easy to hide this addiction.  Some people knew what I was reading and even gave me suggestions of different book series to read.  This was much more than just an obsession with books, it became an obsession with sex, reading and viewing it. During this time, my life was going out of control.  I began to wish that I was living the lives of the characters in the books I read.  I know that sounds crazy, but I want to explain my mindset.  To make a really long story short, this obsession led me to do things that I though I would never do.  I became someone I did not recognize. I won’t get into that story because I don’t have the permission to do so. I almost lost everything.

Eventually, I received redemption and deliverance from this situation.  I don’t say this because I want everything to sound like it has been wrapped up in a pretty bow.  Just like every other sin that I have ever had or will ever have, it has been covered by the blood of Jesus.  To Him, sin is sin, and needs forgiven the same way.  I have difficulty when it comes to reading books for launch teams on my kindle.  I feel like I am hiding something when I am reading things where I am not holding it physically.  That is something I am continuing to work through and know that it is the enemy messing with my mind trying to remind who I once was.

Now that I have revealed something that has been on my mind to reveal for awhile, how do I feel?  I said that when I began this blog, I would be honest and transparent about my life and how I became to be the person I am today.  But when I read this, I don’t see disgust anymore.  I see a part of my redemption story.  I see Jesus.  He saved me, even if it was years later.  Genesis 50:20 goes into what Joseph said after encountering his brothers who tried to kill him and destroy him.  “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result–the survival of many people” (CSB).  This is why I am writing this and each personal blogpost.

Guest post day-My 1st one ever!!!

Today an awesome book is releasing by my guest blogger, Jennifer Dukes Lee. It is called “It’s All Under Control.” I love this book so much and believe that it can truly help people get out of their busy to get to the best. This is an excerpt from my favorite part of this book. This is a link where you can possibly win one of 50 copies of the book being given away. https://gleam.io/tOdBG/its-all-under-control-50-book-giveaway.

Why We All Need to Move from Busy to Best

The mammogram room. The one place on earth where I feel utterly out of control and, well . . . exposed. If you haven’t had one yet, don’t worry; it’s not so bad. It’s about as pleasant as you would imagine. For the uninitiated, try this to get a similar effect: Strip down in kitchen, open refrigerator door, insert one breast, allow strange woman to slam door on it, hold your breath, die a little inside. Switch sides. Repeat.

I got my yearly mammogram last month, and as usual, a familiar fidgety anxiety rose up in me. It’s not the procedure itself that bothers me the most. It’s the callback.

Every year, a nurse recommends that I return to the office for follow-up testing because my breast tissue is very dense, which makes tumor detection difficult. (I’m a little emotional over the fact that you and I have already become so close that, by paragraph three of this blog post, we can talk openly about breast density.)

Last month, I got another callback and returned for a follow-up ultrasound. The ultrasounds are typically lengthy because my breasts are not only dense but scattered with cysts. Those cysts, on first glance, can look like tumors. As you can imagine, the ultrasound appointment is pretty stressful until they check everything out and give me the all clear.

At my recent appointment, the ultrasound technician remarked about my cystic, tangled breast tissue: “My, my,” she said, waving an ultrasound wand at the screen, “you have very busy breasts.”

Yep. Busy breasts. It’s a thing. Go figure: Even my boobs are busy.

I’ve always been a busy girl. Maybe you can relate. People ask you how you’ve been, and more often than not, your answer is “busy.” You are busy from head to foot—and in my case, a couple of places in between. Busyness is the natural by-product of a responsible woman like you, whom others depend on. You never intended to hop on the hamster wheel, but once you find yourself spinning, you aren’t sure how to get off.

I needed to move from busy, so I could confidently live at my best.

One way that I moved from “busy” to “best” was by taking the advice of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Her advice is found in John 2:5: “Do whatever he tells you.”

She spoke those words in Cana, at a wedding reception.

At the reception, the servants discovered that the wine had run out. This would have been considered a major faux pas in first-century Galilee.

I totally love how Mary responded. She took decisive action, marched up to her son, and delivered the news: “They have no more wine.”

Jesus responded, “Dear woman, that’s not our problem” (John 2:3-4, NLT).

At that point, Mary could have taken matters into her own hands and headed to the market to buy the wine. But because she trusted Jesus, she spun toward the servants and said, “Do whatever he tells you” (verse 5).

Do whatever he tells you. This, my friend, is the original #FixItJesus.

Imagine what our lives would be like if we let go of our lists and did whatever Jesus told us to do.

“Do whatever he tells you.” Ask the Lord every day for your instructions.

“Do whatever he tells you.” Say yes to the invitation to partner with him.

“Do whatever he tells you.” No matter the task, the assignment, the deadline. Ask him to guide you, and then obey his commands.

“Do whatever he tells you.” Become so intimately familiar with the voice of Jesus that you can recognize it. Then say yes to the things he’s asking you to do.

Do whatever he tells you.

We need those five words to guide our daily decisions. The world is a buffet of choices: which college, which church, which job, which friends. That’s the big stuff of life.

But think of all the seemingly little decisions you make every day: which work tasks to undertake, which direction to go, which doctor to choose.

It can all feel terribly overwhelming, and I have so often been tempted to make choices that suit my interests rather than God’s.

I have spent too much time putting Jesus on my to-do list and calling it good. Let’s ask for his list instead. Let’s move from busy to best.

BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control, and a companion Bible study, are releasing today! This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.

Adapted from It’s All under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee, releasing this fall from Tyndale House Publishers.

Playing for More-Case Keenum

This book is a great depiction of what Case’s life is really all about. One of my favorite lines is, “I am not simply an athlete who happens to be a Christian. I am a Christian who happens to be an athlete” (pg. 40). There is a great mix of story telling and Jesus sharing. He backs up his thoughts about each story with Scripture. When he spoke about his relationship with his wife, you could feel his authenticity jump through the pages. I really enjoyed this book and hearing his personal testimony. I recommend this for every one who has a desire to serve God and a dream that He is calling forth.

Think, Learn, Succeed by Dr. Caroline Leaf

I love what Dr. Leaf speaks about. She believes and proves that we can change the way our brain is wired by how we think and speak about ourselves. Also in what we allow to enter into our brain through our senses. In this well-written book, she goes into 15 different mindsets that we need to consider when figuring out how to change our lives and succeed. I found it to be very informative and at sometimes over my head. I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to discover, at a molecular level, how our brains can be rewired.

Shame Off You Review-Denise Pass

“It has been said that what we think on, we are.” This is one of the many sentences that pierced my mind and heart while reading this book. Denise did an amazing job in balancing her own personal stories of shame and helping the reader to understand how to fight shame. This is a great book for anyone who has endured shame and needs to learn how to overcome it. Denise’s story is not a pretty one but her story and the scriptures she uses will inspire you to kick shame to the curb in your own life.

I love Denise and hearing her story made me respect and love her so much more! She and her family have been to hell and back and are so strong and true warriors!

Review for Imperfect Courage-Jessica Honegger

In this book, Jessica Honegger tells her story about the beginning of her company Noonday Collection. This is a beautiful story of friendship, determination and the courage that it took for everyone involved. Through reading her story, it has given me the courage I need to continue on the path I am going on. Thank you Jessica for being fearless in sharing your story with others! You are truly an inspiration!!!!

Closure

This week has been one that I have been looking forward to with anticipation and great sorrow. I am 39 years old and will never have a biological child. Even though I had the hysterectomy 4 years ago, removing my ovaries on Monday made it official. This whole process started over 27 years ago when I began to get cysts. They were quite painful at times. I was on birth control pills for 12 years to control the pain. Then they found out I. 2004 that I had a blood disorder and needed to come off of them. The pain started back up and I never became pregnant. When Matthew and I started going through infertility treatments, we found out that I had endometriosis. I also found out that I had a second blood disorder. We went through a round of clomid, injection and ultrasounds and did not get pregnant. I had numerous d&cs during this time to clean up the endometriosis. Finally in 2013, I had a uterine ablation. That controlled my pain for about 6 months. Then in April 2014, I had a partial hysterectomy. When they did the culture, they found out I had adenomysosis and that is why I was having so much pain. About a year or so ago, I began to start having severe ovarian pain. I had an ultrasound done and there turned out to be a complex cyst on my right ovary that was larger than a normal ovary. I saw my doctor and we decided that the best course of action was to have them removed. That is where Monday comes in.

I knew that I would not have any biological children after the hysterectomy because of beliefs that my husband holds. But this made it official. I will be so glad that the pain is gone. There is also a part of me that mourns what I will never get to experience. I will never get to feel what it is like to grow a child. I will never feel any of the joys and hardships of pregnancy and delivery. That is the part that really sucks. But I know that God has given me this story to help other women who may be in the same place. I can overcome this mountain. If God is for me, who can be against me.

I have seen the beautiful community that has come around me both online and in person. Please know that I thank God each and everyday for you. Let my story remind you that we all have beautiful children around us that we can be a positive influence for and that you can make it through!