Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Birds of a Feather

I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/

Monday, May 19, 2014

Please, Won't You Join Us?



My sweet friend, Shelly, and I are co-hosting another season of the (in)Courager email / Facebook group for women with chronic illnesses. If this describes you, we would so love to have you join us this semester at (in)Hope. But if you are not looking for a small chronic illness community, please check out any of the 70 other, free, safe, amazing, women-only communities over at (in)Courage, only accepting new member this week, and asking for a participation commitment just until July 4. It is so wonderful to exchange messages and ideas and love with a small group of ladies who really "get it" about the unique challenges of your life. there is a special group just quivering with joy to welcome you into their "family" this week. Won't you please, join us! #incouragers #inHope #inCourage

I talk about my week and our daughter more at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-week.html :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Review - Heaven is For Real

We went to see Heaven is for Real yesterday. We rarely ever go to a theater, but I really wanted to see this one and not wait. I wasn't sure how I would handle it due to my own near-death experience - http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_9.html , but the movie really left me kind of deflated, thinking, "This little boy experienced the greatest thing ever and that's all they have to say about it!"

Personally, I thought the book was better. The movie was pretty good, in as far as it went, but left me feeling really sad that anyone who goes to it seeking real answers will leave with an "I'm OK, you are OK" type message without any true hope. Praying that God might use this topic as a springboard to open doors so we can share true Hope, but the movie itself doesn't give real answers AT ALL. :( As a friend said, "Hollywood had it grip on it in a few sections and one could leave there thinking the gates to Heaven are not narrow - that everyone gets through..which is very sad." As the little boy said of Heaven, my favorite line of the movie and oh so true, "It is just MORE!"

 
As one reviewer wrote on their Facebook page, "It was a great movie!! Loved every bit of it! Although they left out the most important thing...how to get to Heaven! Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." With that being said it is by faith we get to heaven not by good works...think they could have went into more detail of how to get to Heaven because that is the most important! Accepting Jesus Christ into your life is the only way to get to Heaven!"

The reason I am putting my review on this page is because the theme of miscarriage is woven throughout the whole movie. As you may know, I no longer really miss my miscarried babies very often at all now (something I never thought I would dream of saying!) but actually am rather jealous of them now. (http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2013/10/impressions.html offers  more of my personal thoughts on Heaven including input from a few of our HP sisters, and the topic of miscarriage is addressed.) Still, while I am really peaceful now about Noel, Joel and Hannah, it was hard to relive the raw emotions of actual loss experiences through this movie.

 

--- Specific plotline spoilers below ----







One of the early scenes of the movie involves the mom pulling a pink and blue box out of her bottom drawer of her dresser, opening it and sadly, lovingly looking at a little pink dress and little blue knit outfit. There are no words to tell you what's happening, but it is fairly clear she is grieving.

Later, there is a new baby girl born into their church and she gives that little girl her daughter's dress. The other mother does not know the backstory, but the evident of the emotional cost to Mrs. Burpe is evident.

There are at least two more scenes that specifically refer back to the dress later in the movie.

During one scene from Heaven, a little girl who looks remarkable like his living sister, only a little younger, walks up and embraces our main character.

A few scenes later, the little boy (it is driving me crazy that I can't remember his name right now!) is folding socks with his mom and tells her, in great detail, all about his second sister who died in her tummy (they had never known sex nor told the children about her miscarriage which had happened even before his conception).

He made a statement that she didn't have a name because they had never given her one, a fact that his parents confirmed as they had not known the sex of the child she lost. This disturbed me a bit as I believe that God will give us each a new name in Heaven anyway, so not naming a child here on earth wouldn't leave our children nameless. Then I thought about the fact that God was communicating to this 4-year-old in terms he could comprehend and his parents would grasp, so from the earthly perspective, yes it is true that she had no name.

It was at this point in the movie where the mother, who had been skeptical and thought it all a thinking her son's imagination is just over-active, is rendered to tears and really starts taking her son's account seriously.

In true Hollywood form, the closing seen of the movie is a sickly sweet pregnancy announcement where the wife takes the miscarriage memorial blue outfit and gives it to her husband, telling him they will be needing it in a few months. *gag* And yes, they did have another living son who is now a pre-teen. Very happy for them with the joy of their rainbow baby in real life, just could have done without the Hollywood spin!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AGAIN???

I shared about our Easter weekend over on my stroke blog. I'll let you catch up with the details there. In other news, it has already been an eventful Resurrection Week in our home...
 


Yesterday afternoon I posted to Facebook:
I'm just home from the emergency room. Our daughter, already in a cast and on crutches for a broken foot, fell at school first thing this morning. She landed on her wrist and either sprained in badly and/or broke it. All the medical staff to examine her today indicated their belief it was broken, but x-rays came back with no obvious break, so she is in a cast-like splint, sling, and in a wheel chair since she still can't put weight on her broken foot and can no longer manage crutches with her wrist! This is a big testing week at school but she can't even hold a pencil right now! We have another round of x-rays in a week! (I promise, I'm not that good (or crazy!) of a fiction writer, so this is real!!!)

Just since my strokes, she has had 2 confirmed breaks (feet, both times, though she has previously broken each arm and had a couple of really bad sprains as well), her foot in a walking boot for another near-break, bad sprain, and now whatever this turns out to be! *sigh* Pictures coming if I can figure out how to get them off my phone. Tomorrow will hopefully be spent caring for emergency testing intervention with the school as she only has 10 more days to make up this week's testing!

 
As a fun side note, I found 2 hats within the past couple weeks, including one on an after-Easter Target clearance today, and spent a total of $2.50 for both of them! :D


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Q and A


My friend Kendra (I don't remember if I ever knew you lived in the Philippines. Seems like new information to me! I lived there from 18 months to 3 years and I don't remember much, but is my very first memory too!) gave me a blogger award with these rules:
 
    1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and answer the questions they presented.
    2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
    3. Copy & paste the pink Liebster Award logo to your blog.
    4. Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award who have less than 3,000 followers. Create a new list of 11 questions for them.
    5. Inform them of their nomination.
    So here goes.
     The questions I answered:
     
    1- If you were a food, what would you be? - probably fajitas, maybe chow mein or cinnamon rolls
     
    2- What breed of dog do you love most, if at all? - cat person here ;)
     
    3- When pressed, what is your go-to meal? - grilled chicken
     
    4- What was the last book you read? - currently reading "Queen Esther's Secrets to Womanhood" by Ginger Garrett, last finished book, Amish novel "The Promise Box" by Tricia Goyer
     
    5- Have you ever "put a sock" on your dominant hand and tried to live a day using only your non dominant hand? - no sock, since my non-dominate hand is my primarily stroked one, so I would be totally helpless if I "socked" my "good" hand too!
     
    6- If you could take a dream vacation, where would it be? - Probably Ireland (just with hubby) or Disneyworld (with family), but I would love to make it to Israel someday too!
     
    7- What is your favorite tv show? - Was Home Makeover
     
    8- What do you think of eating Moose!? - Bet it taste good, I think the closest I've ever come is Elk
     
    9- Have you ever been to Disneyworld? - nope, Land yes, World no
     
    10- Who is your favorite cartoon character? Pooh Bear, Dorie the fish, minions
     
    11- Coffee or Tea? tea, please!
Now onto the steps, nominations and new questions:

-2 Thank you, Kendra! Her blog is http://queenofbrusselsprouts.blogspot.com/ and I just love her to pieces (and know you will love her fantastic food ideas too).
 
3-

4- 5
 
My nominations are:
Lynn at Let All Creation Sing
Andrea from Persist Without Exception (neat interview about the author here)
(Denise, you were originally on my list too, but I guess Kendra beat me to you!)
 
My questions for these ladies:
1 Favorite book (and why)?
2 Any pets?
3 Biggest blessing? Biggest challenge?
4 Favorite desert?
5 Most interesting travels?
6 Greatest dream?
7 Favorite color and why?
8 What would you change about where you live? (i.e., more mountains, closer to the beach, more rural, etc.)
9 Are you a keeper/collector/clutter gal, or is simple sweeter?
10 Favorite Bible verse(s) and why?
11 Besides Jesus, who, living or dead, that you don't usually spend time with, would you like to spend an hour talking to (and why)?
 
-----------------------
I've been pretty dizzy this week, but tonight is the last dose of the medication I think is responsible, so hopefully soon I'll become more functional again!

Last night was a rough night for the family, homework wise. Rick was at a meeting and I'm at about 2nd grade level, academically, so there at least half a dozen different times when I had a child in tears. We ended sending everyone to bed around 10 PM, two still without having finished today's assignments. For the most part, this charter school thing has really been the best option for our family this year, but days like these I feel my losses and deficits so very profoundly!

A few more current updates are at Stroke Of Grace if you care to read more news. :) 
 
 
 
One more question I have? What exactly IS a Liebster award? I'm guessing maybe it was started by a woman named Libby??? Anyone know?
(Edited to add that Lynn researched for me. This is all that was found. Basically it just sounds like a fun way to let your readers know of other great blogs you read.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

give-away time!

 
So yes, I really am asking for shares! (OK, I'll take lots of hugs too, if you insist.) If you could please pass around my Stroke Of Grace blog and help people find me, I'm really working hard to expand my audience before I start presenting book proposals to publishes again, so it would help me a ton if you click on the blue "Join This Site" button (Google Friend Connect) on the right side bar, of that page. Thanks! You might even win these earrings (pictured below) if you join my membership drive contest this week. :)
 
http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/02/28-month-giveaway.html
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

World A-spinnin' So Fast!

It's been a busy birthday month at our house. Our oldest turned 14 a few days before Christmas (my mom had a birthday and kidney stone emergency room trip a few days before that), my mom had surgery in early January (yes, I just had 3 emergency room trips and the same emergency surgery in November and earlier in December!), then our Little Bear turned 8 last week and his sister turned 11 this weekend.


Now we seem to be passing a tummy bug around the family. I just rescheduled today's MRI for Valentine's Day because I told them they don't want me bringing these germs to their office. Thankfully, this just seems to be a 12-24 hour thing, so I am hopeful that tomorrow will remain as currently scheduled. (One can dream anyway, right?) So much for my neurologist's warning to avoid illness at all costs because it might set me back so hard. :(



Looking back through the past few months of posts, the most widely read one has been my thoughts on Christian women and head coverings. Our infertility and pregnancy / adoption loss story, The Family That God Built, also has had a bit of traffic (though not as much as I expected for such an amazing, shout-it-from-the-rooftops God story)! My one word for 2014 seemed to get a few people thinking. My 2 year, 3 month stroke update has had a few reads but not many comments. I love comments! *hint - hint* ;)


The main reason I'm posting today is to tell you about an exciting Facebook group Shelly Hendricks and I get to host today through this April. We feel so blessed to have been members of various (in)courager groups (an outreach of DaySpring) over the past months (that's pretty much how we met, or at least how a brief acquaintance and casual interaction turned into deep friendship). This season we can't wait to have you join us in community and belonging and friendship as well! Come on over and be encouraged.

Whether your need is a small group of women seeking God through chronic illness. Shelly and I be thrilled to welcome you into the HOPE group, but maybe you would feel more comfortable in any of the other small families such as infertility, adoption, special needs, any stage of motherhood (including prodigal and adult children as well as brand new and all stages in between), singleness, marriage, professional, stay-at-home, structured Bible study, just hang out, teachers (at home or in a classroom), writers, artists and more! Basically, if you are a woman, with an interest in knowing God more, there is a group for you! My biggest problem was choosing just one part of my life to focus on right now, as there are so many, many amazing choices!

The online support culminates the last weekend of April with a chance (no one will twist your arm to try to make you attend, but you may realize you really want to by then!) to attend a local get together of the (in)RealLife conference, thousands of women, around the globe, gathering 2, 3, 10, 12 at a time, and getting to watch a few short videos with other local Christian woman from all walks of life. Tearing down the denominational, social and other barriers that keep us apart and simply learning to love one another.

We need the blessing of you in community with us. And even if you don't know it yet, even if you are an introverted personality and the idea of sharing in someone else's journey terrifies or intimidates you and you can't imagine (*gasp*) sharing any piece of your own heart, you need community more than you realize. Please at least give us a try. We don't bite (too hard, anyway ;) ), I promise!



Taking an abrupt turn in subject matter, may I bother you once again to ask for your support? I have been nominated as a WEGO  Health Activist (a pretty big deal, actually) and am humbled and thrilled by the initial nomination. However, they are asking for additional endorsements (think website "votes") of my nomination. You may vote daily. The highest three number of endorsements in each category are then considered for final winner selection, so any further progress I make is up to you all here. To vote, go to https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/jenni-767 then down arrow to the purple "endorse" button on the right, below my picture. Click the button. They may ask for your email address and that will be it. You may come again tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that...) if you really want to help my numbers. :) Thanks so much! You are also welcome to click on the blue button on the left side of the screen if you want to leave a comment about your reason for nomination.