Saturday, May 2, 2015

Think FAST

FAST stands for Facial droop, Arm inability to hold both out front without one drifting down, Speech slurred or garbled, Time to call 911 and report a suspected stroke if any of those three quick stroke assessments aren't passed!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Beautiful Community

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. So single or married, infertile or empty nester, professional Mommy or fitting professional life around motherhood, military, struggling with anything from depression to cancer, wanting to hone the craft of writing, 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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Theme colors.

I already missed my first Thursday I was scheduled to post for Thrifty Thursdays. Sorry I was so sick and not up to posting. You are welcome to explore the budget wedding collection I have assembled this past couple of weeks, all for well under $200, total (for full vow renewal, including cake and wedding party atire)! Hopefully I'll get back on track and into a posting rhythm soon.

I need boots for the support, in order to walk better, but they had to be cute!
My big splurge at $20 on eBay, with free shipping.

Some of the language choices here hurt my heart because I know they dishonor God, but the overall letter, from an adult daughter, to her own mother, also referencing the author's 3-year-old and grandmother, is so eye-opening! I'm planning to share a portion of this with my 11-year-old this afternoon, to give her insight into how the truth we know about beauty in childhood can be so shaped and manipulated by life!
Edible butterfly cake decorations.

---- Update : Had that special time with my daughter before I ever got to post this. I will update by saying THIS is another reason infertility hurt so bad, one of those "Mommy moments" I so yearned for and truly enjoyed! If you are facing infertility or pregnancy loss, please know you are in my prayers today! ----

For all moms of pre-teen or early teen daughters (around 10-14 years), I must highly recommend Queen Esther's Secrets of Womanhood by my friend Ginger Garrett. My daughter and I started her Esther Year this month and I am SO excited!!!

For lack of a better descriptive on my part, I guess it is sort of a devotional leader's guide for you and your daughter. It take's the story of Esther and unfolds 12 monthly "dates" for a mother and daughter, fun little beauty splurges (yesterday's was just a basic skin care lesson, but since we had already done that and both needed hair cuts, we got our hair cut together, then sat and talked at Starbucks) that are really just spring boards to talk about deeper heart issues and what God has to say on the topic of beauty. It is a few years old, so if your local Christian bookstore can't order it try Amazon, or even eBay. So glad to have this book I've hung on to since my "baby" was little!

For lack of a better descriptive on my part, I guess it is sort of a devotional leader's guide for you and your daughter. It take's the story of Esther and unfolds 12 monthly "dates" for a mother and daughter, fun little beauty splurges our first was intended to be just a basic skin care lesson, but since we had already done that and both needed hair cuts, we got our hair cut together, then sat and talked at Starbucks) that are really just spring boards to talk about deeper heart issues and what God has to say on the topic of beauty.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thrifty Thursdays

Yes, I know it is only a Wednesday! ;) I'm just too excited to launch this new theme (meme?) and had to get it kick off a day early:

You know that affordable, trendy, jewelry I mentioned in the video? Well, I just happen to be giving away a pair of earrings at Stroke Of Grace this week! Please sign up to follow my stroke blog, then leave me a comment telling me you did. Easy, peasy entry! :)

Here is more information from my friend, if you are interested:

At Paparazzi Accessories, we offer fun and fashionable accessories at affordable prices. All accessories are available for under $5. Paparazzi made it to where it is today as a direct sales company because their designs are unique and fashion-forward. All Paparazzi Accessories are also of superior quality so you don’t have to worry about having to compromise quality for affordability, as we offer the best of both worlds. It is these very same qualities that made the company and its products appeal to me personally.

As an Independent Paparazzi Consultant, Paparazzi Accessories certainly offers a very rewarding business opportunity that is unlike any other. Also, accessories are made of steel and aluminum. In some cases, wood and leather. No nickel, no lead. My company website is My store website is

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Eyes of the Lord Are Upon Me

I really haven't forgotten you, dear Readers! It has been a pretty crazy past couple of years (I had 6 strokes, a little over two years ago, in case you hadn't heard) and my focus has been on caring for myself, therapy, getting back on track in my relationship with God, my other blogs (especially Stroke Of Grace) and some new book projects. But I haven't totally abandoned you here!

When I was trying to decide where today's post should fit, this seemed the ideal place. Since the strokes (or maybe it is just being 41, already, or some combination!) I have developed perpetual, deep circles under my eyes that I can't hide and just won't go away.

The camera actually doesn't do these monster justice, as they are puffy and much darker than the camera picked up. This gives you a little idea of what my concerns are.

So I started researching natural dark circle remedies today. I have read a ton of articles (none I have had time to implement yet) and here are a few ideas I repeatedly have read.

- Drink LOTS of water / stay hydrated! (I'm already pushing water like crazy, so not a lot of room for personal improvement there.)

- Plenty of rest. One page stated this was that lack of proper sleep was the "number one cause" of under eye circles, while another stated that this was a major misnomer and that while prolonged restlessness might contribute to bags, exacerbating a condition you are already prone to, lack of sleep is actually a rather mild factor in under eye circles. (I sleep more hours than I am awake in almost any given day, so if sleep is an issue for me, it would be tied to quality not quantity!)

- Crushed mint or chilled tea bag over closed eyes for 20 minutes a day.

- Resting with cucumber slices (one page suggested soaked in lemon juice for 3-5 minutes first) over your eyes each day.

- Rubbing potato juice gently into under eye skin.

- Oral and/or topical use of more vitamins, specifically A, C, E, and K.

- Avocado and/oil almond oils applied gently to under-eyes.

- Cotton ball, dipped in milk, rubbed under the eyes.

Of course there are many more suggestions out there, but these were the most common. I haven't decided what I will try yet. Do you have any tips or suggestions to share?

For reference, these were my eyes (one paralyzed into a crossed position) December, 2011.
Minimal eye circles, and not dark, even though I had just experienced excessive brain trauma a few weeks prior!

Today, on the Hope for the Broken Hearted's Facebook page, she posted,
"When you are worn down by people that will never be happy or satisfied with you because of their own issues...when you compare yourself with others...when you believe the lies that the enemy whispers in your ear that "you aren't this or you... aren't that", or "you'll never" need to realign your heart and your sense of self-worth with this undeniable truth...God loves you just the way you are...there is nothing you can do or not do, that could make Him love you more or less than He does right this minute and His love will be the same throughout eternity. Listen to His voice and no other...if God is for you...and He is... then it doesn't matter who is against you! Choose to let His love wash over you and heal your hurts so you see yourself through His eyes of love." along with this great picture reminder:


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Let's Get Rolling Again

People are continuing to find me through various sources and surprised that they didn't know it was "me" all those different places. So to help everyone find me, I want to list the projects and places I currently remain active so you can easily find me. (Technically, I'm registered for over 30 blogs, but some I don't keep current anymore, some I per-registered for names of probable future book projects, some are titles I know people to search for me by and just redirect to other active blogs, etc.)

From Facebook - I do this a lot!
So here's where to currently find me actively writing, cup of tea on the side table next to me (picture from around my home to mentally picture the process):

Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss (book published by NavPress, 2005, ISBN-10: 1576836541; ISBN-13: 978-1576836545) . Hannah's Hope blog and Pintrest pages on infertility, miscarriage / loss, adoption. Facbook at

InfertilityMom, blog on motherhood after infertility and loss. My motherhood pin board (along with those just listed above) probably best fits this audience. Homemaking too. :)

My current book project, a harvest-themed devotional study on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially in the face of trying times, working title Harvesting Hope from Heartache and the accompanying Harvesting Hope blog and Harvesting Hope, fruit of the Spirit , gardening, roses, and spiritual warfare Pintrest pages. Facebook at

Of course, Stroke Of Grace, my unfolding stroke recovery journey blog. I hope to write an accompanying book if future years. On Pintrest, there are several specifically related pages: stroke-related pictures and thoughts, why I'm homesick for Heaven, therapy and exercise, my struggle to find purpose, thoughts on grace and glory and a great collection of brain images. Facbook at

From Facebook
A future book project, currently titled Given Me a Thorn,a study on the life of the Apostle Paul as comfort, encouragement and resources for living with chronic pain and/or illness. Pintrest pages at Natural Health and Chronic Illness, Gluten Free, Latex Free, and Given Me a Thorn. Facbook at

A page I have let fall fallow since the strokes, I hope to revive again, InnerBeautyGirlz, tips and tricks (and even some give-aways) for outward beauty, but with an intention focus on the heart and soul.  I have, however, really been building my Pintest page on this beauty this year, a reflection of my own struggles both physically and emotionally/mentally, to accept God's perspective on me in my brokenness. Facbook at

Find me on Twitter at @InfertilityMom. I would love to invite you to follow all my Pintrest boards (several more, not listed here, like Social Media, various holidays/seasons, Japan (special board on Koi fish), Tips and Tricks, romantic bicycles like the ones above and below,  my heroesJust Because... and much more) at /InfertilityMom.

From Facebook
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. - Psalm 51:17