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Book Review & Giveaway: The Study Bible for Women

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Stop stressing out looking at the Macy’s catalogue and don’t even consider getting another vacuum this year. This may be the VERY gift you’re looking for this year for Mother’s Day – whether it’s to give or receive. Yes, I was given this book to review; and yes, that’s what I’m doing. BUT! You guys know I’m always honest. If I disagree with the doctrine, if I just plain think it’s cheap,…whatever! I’m 100% honest with you guys, and I’m honestly telling you I’m keeping the one they sent me. Sorry. You’ll have to get your own from the giveaway below or from the store or HINT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON that you want it for Mother’s Day. (Hint: You don’t actually have to be a mother to celebrate Mother’s Day. There’s all kinds of ways around this)

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Tell me, GO AHEAD, tell me that you’ve seen a more beautiful Bible. I won’t believe you. It’ll have to be hand-painted by an angel from Heaven, descending from on high simply to place in your hands the one Bible above all others. This thing, while not stitched together by Gabriel, is GORGEOUS! I mean… are you looking at these pictures?! Granted, I’m not the best photographer but this Bible is inspiring in artistry and beauty. The colors are soothing and feminine while not choking you like a department store perfume….a perfume of which would NOT be as good a gift for Mother’s Day as THIS BIBLE!

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Okay…my melodramatics and quirky sense of humor aside, I really do dig this Bible. First off, I love that it’s hardback. I beat the TAR out of a Bible, y’all. True story. Eventually, the leather starts flaking off everywhere. It’s like Bible dandruff in Church and it’s embarrassing. This thing is sturdy; and, I don’t know about you, but if there’s something I need to be sturdy in my life it’s the Word. Just sayin’.

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Now, for those of you who prefer a specific translation. I get it. I do. This Bible is translated in Christian Standard Bible (CSB). This is a modern English Bible translation from Holman Bible Publishers and is considered Protestant. The first of this translation was published back in “99, I believe, and that was the New Testament. It’s been received very well, over the years, as a great “everyday” translation. I would agree with that. While I prefer to study in New King James, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down with an easy read of the Bible.

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Another great thing about this Bible is that new Christians and young Christians find it to be a great Bible translation to be introduced to. So, if you’re looking to gift a Bible to a new Christian, this may be the one you should take a look at. Additionally, this would make an outstanding graduation gift to any young woman.

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What sets this Bible apart, though, has actually little to do with the translation and more to do with the way this Bible is put together. Hear me out:

I’m this strange kind of hybrid… Christian… human thing… that likes to read her physical Bible, read a Bible app, and read and study in several translations. I also like to have commentary, reference back to the Talmud, Hebrew translation, and all that your mind can conceive at my fingertips. So, one of the most cool things about this Bible is the extensive commentary notes, doctrinal notes, maps, charts, and timelines that are right there on the page they relate to. In other words: if I want to know where else a specific verse is mirrored, it’ll most likely be right there at the bottom of that page I’m on. Further, if I can’t wrap my mind around where all of the “ites” are located, I can start picturing it in my mind with the help of a provided map.

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This Bible also has things like word studies, answers to hard questions, character profiles (I especially love this), “Written on My Heart” applications, book introductions (which are especially helpful to keep you between the navigational beacons or help a new Christian), presentation pages, a concordance that includes ALL the women of the Bible, and more!

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Look, I know it sounds like I’m trying to sell you on this. I am. But, not for the reason you may think. If you’ll recall: I’m not monetized. One of the reasons for that is because God was very clear when He showed me that I would begin stressing about helping my family with money and would get distracted from simply sharing His word. There are lots of bloggers out there that can balance both. Right now, I’m not one of them. Another reason however is so that you always know that when I’m excited about something – I’M REALLY, GENUINELY, EXCITED ABOUT IT!

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Can you imagine what would happen in this world we live in if every woman…. let’s say 12 and older…. was given this Bible as a gift? Women are world-changers. Look at Ruth: because she was selfless she gave birth to the lineage of King David. Look at Esther: she saved God’s people by being courageous. When King Josiah had questions, who did he go to? Huldah, that’s who! I could go on and on. With a Bible in the hands of every woman on this planet, lives would be saved and nations would turn their eyes toward God. How do I know this?

It’s like Maria said in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the neck any way she wants.”

We need good women, women after God, turning the necks around us to see God! I hope you’ll consider this Bible, this year. I hope you’ll consider it for yourself, for a friend, a family member, your daughter, or maybe you just want to gift a complete stranger a life-changing book. If so, there are several places you can purchase this book and you can find out more here: CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE OR LEARN MORE. (Hint: Look at all of the links because some are a little less than others!)

If you’re getting this as a gift, go ahead and buy it now. If you want to try and win a copy for yourself, click below!

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family, Fertility, god, health, Holy Spirit, Infertility, jesus, Life, Marriage, Miscarriage, Parenting, Reproductive Health, Uncategorized

Adenomyosis: A Diagnosis w/a Side Order of Miracle

🗣WARNING⚠️ : This is not my usual type of posts. Other than peripheral mentions of God, because He’s always a part of my life, this posting pertains to a diagnosis that is still not well-known and I would like to get the word out. This is not what I would call a Bible posting. Also, this is about female reproductive health. Unless you’re concerned about problems your wife is having or you are a woman, you may not be interested in this post. This will not become a habit of mine. It’s simply something I feel like needs to be out there so more people know.

Adenomyosis. What the heck is that? That was my first thought. I mean…being 39, at this point, I feel like most of us have heard of endometriosis. But…adenomyosis?

After having horrible cycles since I was 11 that included them being both embarrassingly heavy and unbelievably painful,

I had no idea until about a year ago that something was wrong. I just thought that I had it worse than others. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Every year, since its inception, my cycle has become progressively worse in every respect. By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was a single mom but on birth control to help with the aforementioned problems. Still, once a month, I would be nearly debilitated for at least one day. So, I couldn’t fathom what my life would be like if I were not on the pills. At one point my doctor eliminated the diagnosis of endometriosis. At that point, I sort of reserved myself to the fact that this was simply my lot in life – to have an excruciatingly painful cycle. I would go to work and sit at my desk with a heating pad on my belly, , a heating pad on my back, and taking hydrocodone for at least two days every month.

I should add here that I actually have an extremely high threshold for pain. I had my daughter naturally. After her birth, of course, many told me that my cycle would get better.

As you can tell, that clearly was not the case. And having a lot of medical providers in my family – everyone from surgeons to EMTs – I understand the pain scale better than most. With that many medical providers in my family, I don’t have the luxury of being overdramatic.

I generally operated between a 6 and a 7 at least one or two days every month.

Then my body went through a lot when I was remarried and we ventured out into trying to get pregnant. I immediately came off the pill and knew that all signs pointed to both of us being healthy. Yet… Even though I was 28, 29 years old, I couldn’t get pregnant. This went on for several years. I had a miscarriage. I was taking hormones. My husband was administering injections.

Long story short – because that’s for another post – I knew that God had promised me a son. So, in the midst of raging hormones and feeling defeated, I came off of everything. I stopped taking hormones, injections. I fell to my knees and prayed Hannah’s prayer and then told God that I was letting it go and leaving it with him. I went to work on a film and several months later realized I was pregnant. It was evident to all of us that God wanted me to know that it was Him and not the work of any kind of medication or medical assistance that gave my beautiful son to me. We will circle back around to this.

But…God gave me my son in the midst of this.

Again, I was told that my cycle would probably settle down a little bit after now having two children. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

My cycle proceeded to get worse and worse until I was operating between levels 7 and 9 two days every month. Hydrocodone, Tramadol, because, heating pads, the works.

After my mother witnessed this several times, and my husband became increasingly more concerned, my husband scheduled me for an appointment with the doctor who delivered my son – one of the best OB/GYN’s in the Southeast.

Shoutout!

Yes, they found that I had some fibroids. Yes, they determined that some cysts had burst. Beyond all of this, though, she looked at me contemplatively and simply stated, “I believe you have adenomyosis.”

My response, of course, was “What the heck is that?” Thankfully, she went on to explain it.

I could never do justice to explaining it as well as she can. I will try to do my best here with the help of websites. The one thing that I should point out, though, (allow me to just throw this spoiler out there) is that the only “cure” to this disease at this time is a hysterectomy.

Mayo Clinic says, “Adenomyosis occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle. An enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods can result.”

The cause is invasive tissue growth. Imagine the endometrial tissue is kudzu or English ivy (depending on where you live, respectfully) and it’s taking over. Every place a vine or leaf extends will still die and slough off every month…no matter…where…it’s shoved itself.

Instead of the endometrial tissue tucking up into the ovarian tubes as would happen would endometriosis, it’s invaded the actual muscle that forms the uterine walls.

If that doesn’t give you a picture in your mind of the climbing, excruciating, pain that I and many women have endured monthly… I’m not sure what will. When you add to that the muscle spasms and back pain that already a company just monthly curse, it’s not uncommon to be completely debilitated.

Unfortunately, there’s another couple of nasty side effects to adenomyosis that is not stuck within a timeframe. Those are anemia and pain. I have a rather constant dull ache all the time. It seems to be worse on my left side but it’s not something that only comes for a few days a month and then it goes away and I get to breathe easy. Also, I’m constantly battling anemia. If you’re not sure what anemia is, the easiest way to put it is that it is low iron and you feel like crap all the time. You are too tired to do laundry, you are winded from getting the mail, and you overall just feel like garbage all the time. For this, you obviously take an iron supplement and hope for the best. At worst, you get a blood transfusion.

So, (and believe me when I say I’m leaving out a lot to make this post more readable) if the pill or an IUD doesn’t work to help you bear it long enough to wait for menopause, you’re only option for a normal life is a hysterectomy at this point.

So…I’m scheduled for one. Now, I could leave this article right here. I could leave it with the emotional ups and downs that I’m going through knowing that my baby-maker will be closed for business…for good. I could tell you about the tears that I’ve cried, the frustration that I’ve endured because I have no control over this situation. I won’t though. I’m going to leave you with this:

Remember when I said, “We will circle back around to this”? Consider yourself circled back around.

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As Attain Fertility puts it, “About 1 in 100 women will have adenomyosis in their lifetime. Women in their 30s and 40s who have had one or more children are most at risk for adenomyosis and infertility…your uterus may become two or three times larger than normal. In addition, adenomyosis can cause problems with infertility. ”

IVF1 spells it out like this, “There are several reasons to suspect that adenomyosis could be a cause for infertility. The first has to do with uterine contractions. Some uterine contractions are good. There are uterus and fallopian tube contractions that help sperm to reach the egg in the fallopian tube. It seems that adenomyosis disrupts these good contraction. Later, at the time of embryo implantation, too many uterine contractions are bad. Adenomyosis may actually increase these bad contractions. The final reason is very complex. Whatever factors are responsible for the development of adenomyosis may simply make the uterus less able to allow embryos to implant.”

So, guess what? I discovered, through all of this, that my “miracle child” is even more of a miracle than I had ever imagined. Not only did God follow through on His promise to give me a son, not only did He wait until my body was cleared out of all medical intervention and medicine, but my body was literally creating a minefield environment that would never be considered even fallow at best – a body that would deter an egg from coming forth and adhering…. BUT GOD!

God said, “I will send you a husband and father to your daughter.”

God said, “Your daughter will have a brother.”

God said, “I will give you a son so prepare.”

Two people in my church cane to me and told me that they dreamt that I had a son.

I finally let go, prayed Hannah’s prayer

…and let it be. I stopped tugging on my Father’s coattails demanding, “Right now!”

My body fought it, my heart tried to whither, my mind tried to reject it, but my Spirit would not cave.

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And God came through! As He always does! Yes, I may be about to have a hysterectomy; BUT GOD made a way when there was no way without medical intervention! He said, “Let there be life!” and my son was conceived in a hostile environment that would have otherwise rejected him. God said it and that settled it!

And now, as promised by God and prophesied by man though the cards were dealt firmly against me (just the way God likes it), here he is…

Bible, Life, Ministry, Uncategorized

Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible can be challenging at best and discouraging at the worst. It’s frustrating when you want to know more about God, be a better person, have a better life, and yet you can’t understand the manual. If you feel that way – or know someone that may feel that way – this post is for you!

First off, don’t feel like a freak. Everyone – at some point in their journey – has read the Word and gone, “Huh?”

Most people simply don’t announce that but it’s common place. Even myself, even the elders that I know, sometimes spend days or weeks on one passage trying to understand it by delving through concordances and Hebrew translations.

Reading the Bible is truly a journey. You’ll read a passage and it will mean one thing to you. Many years later, it will be more complex and mean something even deeper to you. That’s one of the most amazing things about the Word of God to me – that the Word never changes yet somehow it always adapts and becomes what you need in your very personal season because it’s alive.

Secondly, God wants you to understand and know Him so He wouldn’t give you a book that you couldn’t understand. He loves you and He want you to succeed.

So, here’s a sort of game plan for you…

1️⃣ Call on God

Don’t just open up the Word and expect it to make perfect sense to you. Don’t open up the Word and expect it to pertain to your moment. Instead of expecting the word of God to apply to what you think you need, go to God and ask him to open your heart and open your mind to what he would have that passage teach you no matter what’s going on in your life right now.

2️⃣Never give up

Often times, when something is difficult, we just want to give up. Reading the Bible is one of those things that, once you get going, you can’t seem to put it down. Unfortunately common too often, it’s that “once you get going” part that’s the challenge. As crazy as this may sound, the devil doesn’t want you to read the Bible. If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil. He knows that if you read the word of God you will become stronger and you will be armed for battle. So, you will find that distractions will occur, confusion will happen, exhaustion will come against you,… and it’s your job to stick to it and not give up.

3️⃣Trust God

You may feel like, “What does this have anything to do with?” when you are reading the Bible. That’s OK. Just trust God. Usually you will find that the information that you’re receiving, that your etching upon your heart, will be there when you need it though that time may not be right now.

4️⃣Not sure? Test it!

Don’t know if that passage was for you? Test it!

Ask your elders that are more wise than you, those that God has placed in your life!

5️⃣You were meant to understand His Word

As insulting as this may sound to some of you, the Word was written even for the most simplest of minds. Christ spoke in parables so that anyone and everyone could understand. We do not teach children in Sunday School for no reason. If they are capable of understanding the word of God so is any adult that so desires!

6️⃣Understand that you may understand His words, but may not understand all

Sometimes God reveals His words to us just when we need to understand them the most. Sometimes we hide a word in our hearts and at just the right moment the Holy Spirit reminds us of that word and it all suddenly makes sense. Then there are other things such as the idea that God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit… How can one God be three entities yet one God? If we could all answer these questions, we would have no need for God. All of these things will be understood once we’re with Him. Until then, we have to come to terms with the fact that on this plane we will not understand it all.

7️⃣ Taste and see…

Challenge yourself. Give yourself a deadline. Test Him. Say to yourself, “I’m going to try this Bible reading thing for one year.” In my life, and all the people that I’ve met from around the world, I have yet to meet a person that has told me that the Bible returned void.

8️⃣ Testify

When you see that the Word is good and that it has changed your life for the better, remember where you were before the Word touched your life. Don’t just bury that. Go out and share your testimony so that someone else can have their life changed.

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Review: Bible Answers for Curious Kids & GIVEAWAY

I was not paid for this book review but was given the book for my honest opinion.

Do your inquisitive children drive you nuts with questions? Do they ask you questions that would never even pop in your mind when you were their age? Do you find that it gets even more frustrating and stressful when their questions are about extremely important things such as God? This may very well be the book for you!

365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids Is an amazing book by Kathryn Slattery that helps in those insane moments when you’re just trying to do the laundry, pay the bills, or have a moment of peace and your child comes up to you and asks, “Since Jesus was God’s son, did Jesus know ahead of time that he was going to die?” Believe it or not, that exact question is answered on page 78 of this book!

Questions such as that and many more like “What does it mean that I’m created in the ‘image of God’?” and “Why couldn’t Jesus just stay on earth forever?” are just some of the questions that are addressed in this book.

With 365 answers, you literally have an answer for everyday of the year. You may find that this book is one of your greatest books of reference as a parent. You may find that it becomes a daily devotional for you and your child.

If you’re wondering if this is the book for your child, based on age, I can only tell you that my six-year-old has been bouncing up-and-down ready to delve into this book. Further, I have found it interesting as a 39-year-old woman. If your children are younger than six, I would still consider buying this book. You can treat this book as a frame of reference for how you respond to your children in their own language. As they get older, you’ll find them seeking out the answers, on their own, in this book. That is an amazing way to train them to transfer that self-motivated searching from this book to the Bible itself!

You can purchase 365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids through Amazon and get it before Christmas (and even take a look inside)!

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/enter-to-win-365-bible-answers.html