Posted by: Linda | August 4, 2010

Book Review – “Fearless”

I just finished reading a book by Max Lucado titled “Fearless”.  When I first read the title I thought of it as one word – Fearless – someone without fear – this tends to have a negative connotation in our society but I was pleasantly surprised as I started reading the book.  It actually means we are to trust God.

Mr. Lucado draws from scenarios in everyday living as he brings the point to bear.  He them relates it back to a situation in the Bible to really bring the point home.  He starts small and works his way up to the transfiguration of Christ and how the disciples were afraid when then heard the voice of God.

For me this book came at a time when I was in need of reminders to trust God and not be fearful of some of the situations happening in my life at the time.  I found the “Fearless” to be enjoyable, easy to read and understand.  In my experience books dealing with the subject of God can be very intense but Mr. Lucado was able to get his point across without making your head spin.

“Fearless” is a great book to read when you are wondering why all these bad things are happening to you and you are scared.  It will help you trust God to get through the current situation and get ready for the next one because it will come.

I received this book from booksneeze.com for the purpose of reading and reviewing it.  The opinions expressed are strictly mine.

Posted by: Linda | August 2, 2010

giveaway at Dollar Store Crafts

Dollar Store Crafts is giving away a Silhouette Cutter.  This machine can be used to cut vinyl using dies.  read more about the cutter here. You can enter the giveaway here.

Posted by: Linda | July 14, 2010

Sleep and Hypothyroidism

If you read my last entry, you know how my sleeping has been messed up with me sleeping 15 hours one day and then being up for 24 hours.  I didn’t like that anymore than the 12 hour sleep days but things are changing again.  Sunday night I slept 8 hours and was up at 8:30 am.  I liked that!

Although I was afraid I’d fall asleep in the evening but was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t and went to bed a little after 11:00 pm.  Yea!  I was even able to do a little reading before falling asleep!

Okay now for the bad part, I woke up a little after 6 this morning and wasn’t able to get back to sleep so here I sit.  Now I’m wondering how long till I get so tired that I can’t stay awake.  It’s Wednesday and that means prayer meeting at church tonight.  I want to go which means I will have to take hubby to work so I can have the car to get there then pick him up from work @ 11:30 pm.  I wouldn’t mind so much if I knew I could get a little nap before church and make sure I get up in time to get ready.

I guess I’ll let the day unveil and see what it brings!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | July 12, 2010

Changes in Sleep Pattern

OK, so I’m not sleeping 12 hours a day now but this isn’t much better.  For over a week, I’ve been sleeping 15 or more hours one day and then staying up for 24 hours, then repeat.  I would love to change this because it is as frustrating as the 12 hours per day.  Saturday was one of those days that I was up for 24 hours and actually got some things done.  I went for groceries in the morning and in the evening my hubby and I went to a concert and then an outdoor movie showing.  It was a good day but then Sunday I slept and slept and slept; missed church and time that I could have spent with my hubby.

Now here I am again up all night and not tired; looking at being up till sometime tonight and then sleeping way to long on Tuesday.  I can’t figure out how to change this; since I’m not working, I don’t have to be up for a job so I guess part of me figures if I’m tired I might as well sleep.

I don’t like feeling this way; I long for the days when 6-8 hours of sleep was all I needed and I had energy to work a full day, even cleaning the house.  I feel useless, lazy, and worthless.  From my research on hypothyroidism, these are not uncommon emotions to experience.  I don’t feel this way all the time but certainly more often then I should.

Fortunately, I have a savior who wants me to pray to Him for help and I do that.  I also have friends and family who pray for me.  I truly do not know how people without the Lord handle things like this.  I am so thankful for a loving God!

Til next time!

Linda

Posted by: Linda | July 12, 2010

Win a $50.00 Gift certificate

Menopausal new Mom is hosting a give-away for a $50.00 gift certificate to The Vintage Pearl.    Head over to her blog to enter!  You could get some beautiful sterling silver one-of-a-kind jewelry!

Posted by: Linda | July 5, 2010

Celebrating the 4th!

Saturday the hubby and I celebrated the 4th.  I guess that’s what you would call it.  We had a picnic at Shawnee Park.  Why I hesitate to call it a celebration is because it was just the 2 of us.  You see, this is the first time we haven’t been with at least some family for a picnic for the 4th of July…since we started dating 30 years ago.  Hubby’s aunt always had a picnic with lots of family until 3 years ago and we always looked forwards to going and getting to sit and talk with everyone.  The past two years we were with at least some family but not this year.

Is it a bad thing to have spent the day together – just the two of us?  No I’m not saying that, it was just different.  Of course, if we lived closer to our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, I’m sure it would have been different, but we aren’t able to change that situation at this time and besides things are in God’s hands.

I don’t mean to sound a little day about it all; guess I’m just missing family.  The past few months I’ve wanted to reunite with family.  I think God has been speaking to me about the importance of family.  Unfortunately, due to my mental and physical health, our relationship with family has suffered somewhat.  Also as nieces and nephews grow, everyone seems to be busier.

We are living a somewhat simpler life these days and I like it.  It puts things in perspective and you really start to see that money and things aren’t important.  Love and family are!

Til next time!

Linda

PS Discussion:  What did you do to celebrate the 4th?

Posted by: Linda | July 2, 2010

Effexor XR Withdrawal Update and Miracles

It’s been awhile since I updated regarding my plan to get off the Effexor XR, so I thought I would do that today.

I have been off of it for 2½ weeks.  I know, I know, the plan was to take much longer weaning the dosage down but I ran out of them and decided I did not want to take the money to get it refilled.  I felt poorly for about a week with hot flashes and achiness as though I was getting the flu, along with being very emotional and a little irritable.  I was pleased that the irritability was not as severe as previously.  About a week into it, I noticed that physically I wasn’t feeling as bad as before.  The achiness was gone!  Yea!  This was a big improvement from other attempts to get off of it!

I am still emotional and tend to cry easily but overall, I am pleased with my progress.  The irritability still exists but it’s not as severe and I think I have been able to keep it in check pretty good. (Don’t ask hubby, he may not agree!)

The knee and joint pains have not been as bad as before and in fact I am not taking as much ibuprofen now.  This is an unexpected benefit of getting off the Effexor XR – maybe I won’t need my cane one of these days soon!

I give God the glory for helping me to get through this; I could never do it on my own.  He is so gracious to help us and all we have to do is ask!  Others tell me they are praying for me and that is such a blessing (here come the tears again!). Yesterday we received a card in the mail from a couple at church, just to let us know they are praying for us, God’s people are so good!  Thank-you to all who are praying; those prayers are felt and much appreciated.

Maybe as I recover from the Effexor XR, my thyroid just might straighten out some!  That would be wonderful!

I am going to remember all those who prayed for us and pay it forward by praying for others and encouraging them as they move through their journey of life.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

PS Discussion: My son and daughter-in-law had a wonderful experience with Earthly Angels, you can read about it here.   I have experienced miracles before and know God still performs them.  Have you experienced a miracle or the gift of an earthly angel?  Comment below and share it with us!

Posted by: Linda | July 1, 2010

Depending on God

Had a great time Saturday; went to a family reunion and a grad party for my niece.  She just graduated from Slippery Rock University.  Congrats Beth!  We love you!

The family reunion was for my mom’s side of the family.  It was so good to see aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in a few years.  (We hadn’t been to a reunion in a few years due to one reason or another.)  I was fortunate to have some great conversations with some cousins.

One was especially meaningful to me.  My cousin J was telling me how he came about getting his current job.

He had placed an application with one company and really wanted the job.  It was a better job, more money and better hours.  He had prayed about it but didn’t get the job.  This made him angry with God and he told God he was upset.  God then turned it around so that J could see it from God’s point of view (I’m paraphrasing here).  All of this made J realize he needed to keep trusting and depending on God to provide what J needed.  A year or so later, J applied for the same job with a different company.  He had an interview and was told he would hear something by Friday.  Monday came and he still hadn’t heard anything yet.   He said he had made up his mind to trust God and if God didn’t want this job for him, that was okay with him.

Turns out he got the job… he said he felt God was testing him to see if he would really trust God.  He also stated if he had gotten the original job, he would have been out of a job a year later.  God knows what is best for us.

This got me to thinking about my situation; no job even though I have applied and had interviews.  Maybe God wants me to learn to wait on Him and depend fully on Him.  He does promise in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Sometimes what we consider a need is really a want and that is why we never get it.

I’m going to work hard on depending on God for my needs.  It’s not going to be easy; I tend to be too independent-as my hubby puts it-I give things to the Lord then take them back. I need to break the habit

I have an Aunt who once told me that she prays about everything – even something as simple as what to have for lunch and super each day.  That is total trust and faith in God.  I pray to reach that point one day; I’m going to start now…won’t you come along on my journey?

Til next time!

Linda

P.S. Discussion time: Do you depend on God for your needs? Comment below…

Posted by: Linda | June 20, 2010

Father’s Day Memories

One of my best father’s day memories doesn’t involve my father but by husband and son.  It was June 16th 1991 and 2 days before I had a total abdominal hysterectomy for uterine cancer, so I spent Father’s Day in the hospital and was not able to plan anything special for hubby.  No worries because Jacob, at the age of 6, took matters into his own hands.  He planned a “party” for his dad with the help of his Grammy A.  He asked her to get some crackers and drinks and invited people to their place after church that night for a celebration.  If memory serves me correctly, they had pizza with the crackers.  The memory of this still brings tears to my eyes.

After the party they came up to the hospital to visit me; it was after visiting hours but at the time I worked there and was able to take a few liberties.

I would love to be able to do that with my grandson someday.

What is your favorite memory from Father’s Day?

Til next time,

Linda<3

Posted by: Linda | June 16, 2010

Winning with Swagbucks

Yesterday, I wrote a post about swagbucks and promised one today on tips and tricks for increasing your winnings so here it is.  First you can earn at least 4 swagbucks each day (I know that doesn’t sound like much but multiply that by 30 days each month and they add up) by doing the following:

  1. Download and install the swagbucks toolbar.  You can search right from the toolbar the first time you use it for the day, you will receive a swagbuck.
  2. On the swagbucks home page, click on the daily polls.  Answer the daily poll and you will receive another swagbuck or if you are really lucky you might win up to 3.
  3. Also on the home page, click on the special offers.  Go through the special offers, clicking on skip and after 1 or more, you will receive another swagbuck or two.
  4. Lastly, on the home page, click on “Trusted Surveys”.  You will receive 1 swagbuck just for checking the survey page and you can get more if you qualify for one of the surveys and complete it

There you go, at least 4 swagbucks for just a few minutes of your time

Now about searching the internet; not every search will yield you swagbucks but I have found some things that seem to have increased my earnings.  Do searches at different times of the day, essentially morning, afternoon, and evening.  I will do a couple of different searches if I don’t get the swagbucks on the first one.  I will also do a couple searches from my phone and this has increased my earnings.  Now I’m not sure just what it is that increases the odds of winning, it might be that I am simply doing more searches than I use to.

There are also Swagcodes where you can win swagbucks for simply entering the code on the home page.  The number and amounts of these codes vary, so it is best to follow swagbucks on twitter and/or facebook.  I have the updates from both sent to my phone so I don’t miss a code.

There is a swidget you can download from the home page, which you can use to check for codes.

You can send in a suggestion for a poll and if it is used, you earn 100 swagbucks.

Trade in your old cell phone and video games for swagbucks.

You can earn swagbucks by shopping online using the links from the home page.

Take a picture of yourself with your prize and send it to swagbucks will earn you more swagbucks.

And refer your friends!  As they earn swagbucks, you earn the same up to 1000 swagbucks!

There you have it!  Now go join swagbucks by clicking here.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 15, 2010

The Little Extras!

It has been a while since we have had money for any extras; you know things that one doesn’t absolutely have to have.  For me that means books; I know I could get them from the library but sometimes there are books I would like for my own library so I can refer to them at other times.  During the past year and a half I have been able to get a few books by 1). Buying used books from amazon.com.  I have had very good success with these books, most of them look brand new yet I pay a fraction of the price. 2). I earn amazon.com gift cards from Swagbucks.com.  In the past 18 months I have earned 20 $5.00 gift cards for amazon.com.  That’s $100.00 free and clear!  All I had to do is search the internet using the swagbucks search engine.

The swagbucks search engine is just like using google.com, in fact, swagbucks uses google.com and ask.com for it’s search results.  As you search, you win swagbucks which are then redeemed for prizes.  I prefer the amazon.com gift cards but there are many other prizes you can get.  Some include gift cards for other shops, sports and movie prizes.

You don’t win swagbucks for each search so don’t get discouraged when you don’t see them each time.  There are some tips and tricks and other ways to get swagbucks which I will include in a post tomorrow.  Here is a link to use to sign up http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/theladyinblack3 .  (Disclaimer: This link includes a referral link and I earn swagbucks as you earn when you use this link to sign up.)

Try it and earn some free items, in this economy every little bit helps!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 14, 2010

Pray Without Ceasing

I’m having a rough day today.  Financial things are getting to me, even though I keep praying for God to help me.  It’s not His fault because I keep taking back the problems after giving them to Him.  Why is it that we do that?  I guess it’s part of human nature but it frustrates me also.  That is probably human nature too.

I pray asking for His help and guidance in what I should do.  Then in a little bit, I’m on line looking for work and it’s hard to know what isn’t a scam and that results in more frustration.  How do I get past this frustration?  I guess it means I need to be praying more.  I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.”  that’s what I need to do and I really don’t know why it’s so hard.  Is it a lack of faith?  Anyone know?

God promises to help us and just wants us to ask for His help.  The Isaacs sing a song called “In God’s Hands” that speaks of placing our problems in His hands and He will take care of us.  I believe this and will continue praying and giving my problems to Him and each time I take it back, I will turn around and give it back to Him.

What is the thing that you give to God and then take back?  Let me know in the comments and I will pray for you too.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 13, 2010

Family Reunion and Sleep

Last week I posted about how much I was sleeping but the past few days have seen a change in this.  Thursday night I slept 8 hours and felt fairly good upon rising for the day and was able to stay awake till about 10:45 pm then I dozed for 20 minutes and thankfully that was all because I had to go pick up hubby from work, he gets off at 11:30 pm.  I stayed up till about 1:00 am then fell asleep around 2.

Saturday we had a family reunion to attend; it was with my Dad’s family.  Most of them I only see once a year but last year our nephew got married on the same day as the reunion so it’s been two years.  These are my cousins whom I played with growing up and some are the ones I babysat for years.  Yes that means you Jeff and Sandy!

I got up at 9:00 am because I had to finish my food preparation.  It was good to see aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids and grandkids.  There are so many little ones that I don’t know their names nor who they belong to but it was fun to watch them.  I even got to hold one of the three babies there and I thoroughly enjoyed that!  I’m glad we were able to go and have marked the date for next year already.

Back to my sleep situation; as soon as I got home, sat down in my comfy chair and relaxed I fell asleep, it was around 8:00 pm!  I kept trying to wake up because I had homework to do but I could not keep my eyes open.  Finally some time after midnight I got awake enough that I could get on the computer and complete my homework.  It had to be posted before 5:00 am EST in order to be considered on time and not have points deducted for being late.  I have been able to maintain an A average in all my classes so far and didn’t want to risk losing that.

I finally got to bed and to sleep around 4:00 am, the bad part was that meant I couldn’t wake up enough for getting to church this morning.  That frustrates me.  This hypothyroidism is the pits sometimes.  Or I just haven’t figured out how to make it work for me.  I guess I will have to keep working on that!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 11, 2010

Stewardship and gifts

I came across an article on stewardship while surfing the web one day and it really struck a chord with me.  I’m unable to remember where it was so please if it seems familiar to you let me know so I can give proper credit.

When I mention stewardship, most people think of tithing but it is actually more than that. It involves money but also material things and talents that God has given us.  One definition is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially, the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”  Who has entrusted us with the things we have whether it be money, a home, a car, or a talent?  All these things come from God.  He entrusts us with them and in turn we are to take care of them and use them for His honor and glory.

I have not been a good steward of the things God has given me for many years.  I am not proud of this and only share it because God has laid it upon my heart to do so.  During the past 16 months, I have had to rely on God for many things.  Oh in the past I would pray and trust Him and have even served Him but then that would slip to the wayside.  I have never given up on Him and He has never given up on me.  Like the parable of the prodigal son, he takes me back into the fold and not only that but rejoices that I have returned.  Oh praise His holy name for that!  During these months when I have not been working and therefore not bringing in any money, God had been good.
he has shown me how I wasted what He entrusted me with.  I am ashamed of that and am praying for His guidance in being a good steward of what he is now giving us.  We have less money, but my faith has grown and as they say that is priceless.  I still struggle but remember to pray and place it in His hands, sometimes I take it back and have to pray again giving it back to him over and over again.  He is faithful and waits for me to come to Him.  He wants us to depend on Him; He has promised to supply all our needs.  What a great God we serve!  Please pray with me as I work o this are of my life.  Thanks!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 4, 2010

I like my Sleep but this is Ridiculous!

I cannot remember the last time I felt rested after 8 hours of sleep.  I currently sleep about 12 hours a “night” and do not feel rested when I get up.  It’s not every night anymore but still more than I would like.  One of my goals of hypothyroidism treatment is to get awake in the morning after 8 hours of sleep and have energy to get work done.

I have a difficult time dealing with the sleeping thing; before my hysterectomy, I slept 6 hours a night and felt good when I got up.  I actually long for those days!  Now I spend more time sleeping than doing anything else and it seems like such a waste.

My doctor wants to do a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea but I don’t want to do that yet.  I want to get off the Effexor XR and get the thyroid levels to where I have some energy and then if I am still sleeping so much I’ll do the sleep study.  I think he’s a little perturbed with me but I really don’t care at this time.

I’ve been reading Mary Shomon’s book the thyroid diet and am starting to think I need to change my diet not so much to lose weight but to see if there are certain foods that enhance the effect of the hypothyroidism.  A little back, I started drinking spring water to see if the fluoride in the tap water may be affecting me negatively, I continue to do that and have noticed a little increase in energy so will continue to do that.

I get frustrated with how I feel physically and need to do two things frequently; 1.  Remember that hypothyroidism isn’t a condition that is going to go away; I will have to live with it the rest of my life and 2. Pray for God’s help and guidance in dealing with it.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | June 1, 2010

A New Body!

As I was lying in bed early this morning, awake because my knees were aching and the ibuprofen and Tylenol were not helping the discomfort, I was listening to the Isaacs.  One of their songs talks about heaven, the streets of gold and the mansion we will each have, all the wonderful things we will have.  These things God is going to give us, but the “only thing that matters” is seeing Jesus’ face and falling on our knees to praise Him!  When I am there I will be able to fall on my knees because they will no longer hurt!  Praise the Lord!  He can and will take away the pain – I will have a new body!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | May 27, 2010

So Far, So Good!

Hi Everyone!  Sorry for the lack of posts recently; I have had to spend extra time on my schoolwork because of an inability to concentrate; more about that later.

In my last post, I told you that I was starting the every other day dosing of Effexor XR and I have.  It hasn’t been as bad as previously when I went off of it all together which I am grateful for.  It has been two weeks now and these are the symptoms I am having: 1. Inability to concentrate but not as severe, I just have to work a little harder at my schoolwork and take short frequent breaks. 2.  The knee/joint pains that I experienced before are present but once again, not as severe.  I am actually able to walk without my cane for short distances and not have pain in my knees, just a little discomfort.  I have also started doing some very simple exercise to strengthen my knees and as long as I only do them 3 times a week, the discomfort is tolerable.  3.  The emotional mood swings and crying are minimal compared to before.  I do find I am teary eyed at times; the irritability has not been present this time.

Overall I am pleased with how things are going, and am eager to get off the medication.  I don’t plan another decrease until I’ve been taking this dose for at least a month, that’s the plan right now anyway.  Thanks for the prayers that have gone up on my behalf; I appreciate each and every one of them.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | May 13, 2010

Withdrawal Update

I have posted previously about my withdrawal from the anti-depressant Effexor XR and the symptoms I was having.  I saw my family doctor on April 27th and discussed the withdrawal with him.  We decided I would go back on the lowest dose and take even longer to wean off of it.  At the time, we decided I would take 6 months, two months on that dose daily, then two months at every other day and finally two months at every third day.  I hated the idea of going back on it but I was having difficulty concentrating on my school projects so much so that I was late with a couple of projects.  I can’t have that and so here I am taking the Effexor XR again.

Once again I was amazed at how I felt so much better after only two doses.  This stuff is powerful and I really want to get rid of it so hopefully this time weaning off more slowly will work.

As of today I have decided to start the every other day dosing of the Effexor and see how it goes.  I’m hopeful that I won’t be able to tell a difference with this change.  Time will tell – tomorrow will be the first skipped day.  Prayer helps so I will accept all prayers that are offered up on my behalf.

Til next time!

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | May 12, 2010

How was your Mother’s Day?

Mine was great! Hubby took me out to dinner, something we do not do very often these days.  It was a good time with good food that I didn’t have to prepare.

My son called from Florida and we had a nice conversation and I got to “talk” to my grandson briefly, he’s only 13 ½ months old so isn’t really into the talking thing much yet.  I found out how they celebrated the day to make his wife feel special.

The best part of the day was being in church.  We have not been attending faithfully for quite some time.  When I was working, I spent much of the weekend sleeping and well, that has continued since being off. I know I’ve missed many blessings by not being there and I cannot change that but I can go o from here.  It was such a blessing to hear Pastor preach about Hannah and her son Samuel.

Hannah was a godly mother and raised Samuel to fear and love the Lord God.  Pastor pointed out how Samuel came to be a godly man even though he lived most of his life in a home where much ungodliness was happening.  You see Hannah promised God that if He gave her a child she would give that child back to Him. She only raised Samuel to the age of 4 or 5 then he lived in the temple with the priest whose sons were wicked.  How did Samuel become so godly in this ungodly environment?  It was because of his upbringing and the things in him by his mother in those few short years; read I Samuel chapters 1 & 2.

What can we take away from this?  Those first years of a child’s life are so important and impact their entire future.  As Moms we need to be sure we are teaching them the ways of God during that time.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Pastor did point out that if we did not do this then we need to start now.

I am thankful that even though we have not been faithfully attending church now, when Jacob was little we did go and he was trained in the things of the Lord.

Til next time,

Linda ❤

Posted by: Linda | May 10, 2010

No Energy Again!

I am very frustrated with my hypothyroidism.  I felt so good two weeks ago and was sleeping much less and actually had energy but now this past week I’ve been very tired again, hence the frustration.

I’ve been trying to figure out what was different between then and now.  Here’s what I came up with: I was eating more salads, at least one every day and the other thing is that I was drinking more root beer and less water.  Now none of that made much sense to me until I read a recent post on this blog.  She mentions fluoride and the link between it and hypothyroidism and how those of us with hypothyroidism should stay away from foods, etc. that have fluoride in them.

Well, that means tap water because as most of us know, they have been adding fluoride to the local water supplies for many years.  Now, I’m seeing a link to explain how I have been feeling and the difference between how I felt two weeks ago and now.  I’ve been trying to drink 80 ounces of water each day and that water is tap water.

I think I may try an experiment and drink spring water instead of tap water and see how I feel after a week or so.  It can’t hurt to give it a try and the results may mean more energy!  That would be wonderful!

I’ll keep you posted!

Til next time!

Linda ❤

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