Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Walk on the Water"

(by Britt Nicole) Walk On the Water - The Lost Get Found





I saw the above PSA while watching a show on ION one day. It caught my attention at first because I like the song. When I saw what the commercial was about, I thought it'd be great for this week! I got the following information from the 4 Every Girl website:

4 Every Girl strives to create a media environment where young girls feel valued and are defined by healthy images of themselves.

4 Every Girl envisions a time in the very near future when all forms of media - broadcast, written, entertainment and advertising - will honor the natural value of every girl.

4 Every Girl is a national campaign sending a powerful message to today's media industry leaders to present healthy images that honor and reflect the true value of every girl.

I know that there are factors other than the media that affect how girls see themselves, but a change in the media could certainly help! Wouldn't it be super if every girl could see their true value? ♥

Amy

Monday, February 25, 2013

"You're Lovely"

(by Abby Baker) You're Lovely - What I Call Beautiful - EP




It's that time of year again... 
This is my fourth year to join NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) in NEDAwareness Week, which is an effort to raise awareness and education about eating disorders for effective recognition, early intervention, and direction to care. According to NEDA, raising awareness about eating disorders and the resources available to those suffering has resulted in an increased number of people who actively seek out help for their illnesses.

Though I don't have a very large platform, I want to do what I can to raise awareness & offer hope to people who are struggling with eating disorders. So I'll be posting a few things along those lines this week. For today, I'd like to share NEDA'S infographic, which provides some key facts about women and eating disorders:









Amy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Don't Forget His Love (Psalm 108)"

(by Ellie Holcomb) Don't Forget His Love (Psalm 108) - Magnolia





First, I'd like to thank everyone who has prayed for Julie &/or me after reading my last post. That evening didn't go as well as the week before. The lady who came with Julie was more argumentative than the previous lady. She has only been here one other time, which is why I feel like she was so defensive. For those of you who know me, you know that I'm not an aggressive person. In fact, I could stand to be more assertive (& I'm working on that). Unfortunately, this lady doesn't know me as well as the other ladies and certainly doesn't know my heart. She probably felt like I was attacking her and was not receptive to the truth at all. Any continued prayers would be appreciated! Also, in case you wondered & didn't see my answer to Messy Mom's question in the comments, I have been using the Interlinear Bible (pictured in the post) that I borrowed from a friend who used to teach World Religions. She referred me to the following sights: 4Truth.net and Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM). There have been a few other websites that I've read bits & pieces of, but those two are the main ones that have been very helpful to me.

My week has mainly consisted of work & hanging out with my sweet boy. He had a fever virus for most of the week, so he only went to school on Friday. He felt completely fine, but his temperature would spike every night. He was bored out of his mind, so we had a Survivor marathon. We recorded last season but had only watched a few episodes, so we watched the rest of the season during one of the days that I didn't work.

I'm officially halfway through with my 5K training! I'm not looking forward to this week at all, though. Up until now, the C25K program has had me doing walking/jogging intervals. The most that I've had to run in one stretch is 5 minutes. But by the end of the week, I have to run a straight 20 minutes or two miles with no walking intervals. As I mentioned when I first told y'all about the 5K, I haven't done this in over 20 years. So this should be interesting. {Brooke, do you have a good app for tracking distance?}

In other news...I got three pairs of dress pants for a total of $13 while shopping with my baby girl today! One of them still had the tags on & was originally $60. How 'bout that?! And it gets better...none of them require ironing! Score!

Posts with pictures are way more fun, but there hasn't been much picture-worthy stuff going on this week. I took all of two pictures: a bit of the trail ride that I happened to see while running one day...

...and my boots on Friday (Go Texan Day).

Can you tell it's Rodeo time?

And lastly, I'd like to thank Marcie for introducing me to Ellie Holcomb. I don't know where I've been, but I hadn't heard her stuff. I've heard of her husband's band (Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors) & have some of their music. She even sings alongside him in the band, but somehow I hadn't heard of her solo stuff. And now I am in love. I hope you like today's song (though it's actually from Psalm 103, not 108 as the title states). If so, be sure to check out her other stuff! Also, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors will be the special guests on NEEDTOBREATHE's "Drive All Night Tour", and their new album came out on Tuesday. Totally worth checking out!

Alrighty, I better finish up the laundry & get to bed! I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend!! ♥

Amy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"The B-I-B-L-E"

(by Wee Sing) The B-I-B-L-E - Wee Sing Bible Songs

The B-I-B-L-E by Wee Sing on Grooveshark

I hadn't really planned on doing another one of these, but figured I could post about this & possibly get a little prayer coverage from y'all. This is what I'm reading today:


I don't think I've told y'all about the young lady of a different religion who visits me on a regular basis. Julie has been coming by for almost as long as I've lived in this house. At first it was only once a month or so. She'd stop by and read a verse from the Bible, and that was all. In the last six to nine months, she has come by every week to read through a book about what the Bible teaches (that her religion has published). She always brings one other person with her; though the other person varies each week (usually one of four or five ladies that sorta rotate, if that makes sense).

I have known all along that there are some pretty big differences in what we believe, but I didn't feel God prompting me to say anything until recently. At times, I have felt like maybe I was chickening out or not relying on the Holy Spirit to speak through me. But honestly, up until this past month or so, she hasn't said (or read) anything that I disagree with. In hindsight, I don't feel like I've chickened out at all; I think that God was allowing me to build a relationship in order for me to be able to speak truth that she will actually receive.

Since coming up on things I don't believe over the last few weeks, I have been doing quite a bit of research into her religion and the translation of the Bible that they use. In a very non-confrontational way, I have been able to share what I believe the Bible says about a couple of issues that their Bible mistranslates. And I have been able to express my concern about the accuracy of their Bible translation. Julie and her friend both thanked me for sharing my beliefs last week, and they are continuing to come back.

I have read ahead in the book that we're reading, and I know that today we will read about a huge difference in our beliefs. I have talked with friends who know Greek, and I have studied other places in the Bible that use the same words. I am confident that traditional Christianity, and the versions of the Bible that I read, interpret these verses accurately. If you happen to read this post before 4:00-4:30(ish) CST, will you please pray for me? I want to speak the truth in love, and I know that God has brought sweet Julie into my life for a reason. If you read this after she has visited, will you please join me in praying that God opens her eyes to the truth?

Thank you, friends! ♥

Amy

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Devil's Been Talkin'"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Devil's Been Talkin' - The Reckoning



Once again, today's song isn't what I listened to the most. They posted the video this week, so I thought I'd share it. Since there seem to be so many of these, I asked Mister Christopher to alter my Scrobbled Saturday graphic for days like this:



My scrobbled songs are a little wonky this week for several reasons:
  1. I played one song numerous times while trying to re-upload it to Google Play {because it would only play 20 seconds of it} :/
  2. I don't think I should count my "Workout" playlist, because it's random & not necessarily what I want to listen to {the songs are incredibly random, but they're a good pace for running}
  3. Sadly, my iPod won't charge anymore. I've been listening to the radio more than usual, because at times it's too complicated to plug my phone in & pull up the music app, especially if I'm only going to Kroger. It's sorta pointless to go through all of that for a 3-mile round trip drive.
Speaking of Kroger, I think I have a problem:

These are the only receipts in my wallet. And that's only been since Tuesday. Cody says I'm addicted to Kroger...I think he's right! ;)

So Christopher made fun of me for having a LinkedIn profile. Probably because I have no skills other than typing. Unfortunately, nobody cares how talented I am at injuring myself, spilling coffee, over-explaining, or running into people I know in strange places. But I think the real reason he made fun of me is because I only work 10-12 hours a week, which doesn't really make me a professional. So I have a little confession to make: I only joined because Ryan Moats invited me. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I just thought I'd admit it.

On to other randomness...high school friends from my little town were on TV this week! Their five minutes of fame were for both good and bad reasons, and we'll start with the bad: Some of them were on that cruise ship & somehow ended up being interviewed on GMA {the girl in the middle was one of my besties!} The good was that my friends Dwayne & Tara were on Wheel of Fortune! Tara was my classmate, and she married one of my closest friends & neighbors {I mentioned visiting his parents while in town for a funeral awhile back} Here they are, right before she realized that  they would've won if only she had said "L" {there were three of them, as opposed to the one "W" that she guessed}...


I'm on the tail end of Disciple Now weekend, and I've had a house full of junior high boys. Their loud squeals kept me up way too late last night this morning, and I'm not real hopeful that tonight will be any better. {I'm so thankful that Monday is a school holiday so I can sleep in a little!} From all that I've seen, though, the weekend has been super! So it's totally worth a little less sleep! I've heard the strangest things with all of these boys around...my favorite went something like this, "Can I lick your elbow? You can't lick your own elbow, so you'll never know how it feels!" What?! The thought has never crossed my mind to wonder how that feels! {ftr, the silly boy did let his friend lick his elbow!} I was a failure at taking pictures, and they're in the middle of a small group session {which means I'm hiding away in my room!} But I took this picture of the junior high girls before they went inside the food bank for their service project:


There are probably other things that occurred this week, but the only other thing that comes to mind is our little Valentine's tradition. This time we brought both of Brian & Jana's kiddos. They're super cute, and I wish I had thought to take a picture! :/ I suppose that's all for now! Please disregard any typos! I hope y'all are having a super great weekend! ♥

Amy

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Back Ache Blues"

(by Derek J Holak) Backache Blues - A Sample Collection - EP



We began a bit of a new adventure for my baby girl this week: treatment for scoliosis. This is something I had somewhat anticipated, but I had hoped we wouldn't have to deal with it. I think I've only mentioned my scoliosis a couple of times, but I don't guess I've given you much background. So in keeping with my randomness lately, I'll tell you all about it in a little:


{ha ha! I just noticed two things in what I've posted so far: "back"ground & flash"back"! <~ did I just prove how weird I am with that?!}

It all began at least a generation back, but I'd venture to say that it began even further back than that. {I just don't have any records to prove it!} Both of my dad's older siblings have severe and debilitating scoliosis, which causes me to believe that there was an inherited tendency toward it. They're both in their 70's, and their spine deformities have both become even more pronounced due to osteoporosis. And when I see what they have to go through, I thank God for the ability to improve my future and my children's. But I'm getting ahead of myself a little bit...

My journey with scoliosis began when I was in elementary school, though I wouldn't realize it for about 20 years! I started having migraines that we now know were related to scoliosis. At that point, the scoliosis was probably mild enough that it wasn't really noticeable just by looking at me. This is nothing that my family ever looked into, and I wasn't running around without clothes at that age! But the best educated guess from two doctors, a physical therapist, and my chiropractor is that I had some degree of curvature by age 9. And based on genetics (including my kids' experiences), it probably began by age 6 or 7, if not sooner.

As with a lot of scoliosis cases, it progressed during the growth spurts that took place during puberty. I noticed my deformity for the first time when I was 15. {I will never forget the day, because it turned out the be the day that Stephanie died. Am I the only one that has a strange memory like that??} Anyways, that particular morning, I was at my friend Stacey's house. I had slept over there the night before, and we were getting dressed in the morning. She had changed in the restroom, & I got dressed in her room. Due to my issues with ED, I never looked at myself without clothes on. But Stacey had a full length mirror in her room, and I happened to dress in front of it that day. And I happened to notice that one side of my body had more curves than the other. I remember thinking that I could hold babies on the side that actually had a hip, as opposed to the side that was straight! ;)

For whatever reason, I never mentioned this to a doctor, and it was never detected during my annual physicals for athletics. The Adams test [that most doctors perform for those types of physicals] only detects a hump when the person bends forward. My curve is sideways, so it sorta straightens out when I bend forward. So since I didn't really know anything about scoliosis, & the doctor never saw it, I never suspected it. I did notice that I always had one pant leg longer than the other, and I blamed it on my one curvy side. At some point, I started wearing boy jeans. With a lower waist, I didn't have to deal with the bigger hip/shorter pant leg situation. And I was one happy girl when they started making lower rise jeans for girls!

Anyways...fast forward about 10 years, and I was pregnant with my baby boy. My back hurt very early on in my pregnancy, and it hurt in a different way than it had during my pregnancy with Elizabeth. I frequently complained about it to my doctor, and he would just pat my back sympathetically & say that it was part of being pregnant. After I had Cody, the pain didn't go away. I kept attributing the pain to having recently been pregnant until one day I realized that it had been over two years since I had given birth, & it hadn't gotten any better! By that point, it had affected my sciatic nerve so badly that it was difficult to go to sleep. It took forever to get comfortable enough to even relax my back when I would lie down. I could only roll over on my right side (and that act required many deep breaths & psyching myself into just doing it & getting it over with). If I was sitting and wanted to cross my left leg over my right, I would literally have to pick it up & put it on top of the other one (to avoid pain).

So I finally went to the doctor about it when I was 27 years old. I described my pain to him, and he took an x-ray. When he came back into the exam room, he had the most confused look on his face and said, "Well, you know you have scoliosis, right?"

It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I said, "No, but that explains a lot!"

Apparently, joint laxity is more pronounced in subsequent pregnancies. So that, combined with the scoliosis, proved to be a little too much for this little body of mine. {& it probably didn't help that I had 52 pounds to lose after having Cody...!} The doctor sent me to physical therapy, and I was amazed at how quickly I started feeling better! There are a lot of great stretches that ease the pain, and core strength is essential to improving lower back pain.

A little over 5 years ago, I started going to a chiropractor. Some people don't believe in chiropractic care, but Kevin has changed my life. And I'm not exaggerating! Originally, I took Elizabeth to see him because she was experiencing a little back pain. While there, I saw a pamphlet on migraine relief through chiropractic care. At that point, I was having frequent migraines, and I'd had one for 7 of the previous 10 days. I didn't want to take a migraine prevention pill every day, especially when they tend to have some crazy side effects. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to try the chiropractor route. In the first couple of months, my migraines decreased to one a month {Stupid hormones! I schedule my adjustments right before Aunt Flow visits, which at least prevents me from having migraines during her entire visit. But I still tend to get one before or after. Sorry if that's tmi!} When Chris was first diagnosed with cancer (about a year after I started seeing Kevin), my migraines increased because of the stress. But they have mostly tapered back to the one or two days a month now, which is much better than the 4 to 20 days a month that they occurred for most of my life prior to chiropractic care!

Due to my scoliosis & family history, I went ahead and had both of my kids x-rayed. Cody was only 6 at the time and already had 11 degrees of curvature. After a year of treatments (starting at three times a week & tapering down to once a month), his spine was completely straight & has remained straight as we continue to go once a month. My curve improved slightly for awhile (from 35 to 32 degrees), but it has progressed to 39 degrees over the last couple of years. I'm not sure how much of that relates to my lack of exercise and stretching, but I know it affects my pain level. {And I've had more pain lately, so I know I need to be more disciplined with that!} As for my girl, we've been watching her back during this stage of life, getting x-rays every couple of years, & hoping that it would remain straight. Alas, it was not meant to be. Stupid scoliosis genes! Her x-rays last week showed 12 degrees of curvature, so she began her thrice-weekly adjustments on Monday. Kevin anticipates a one degree improvement per month, which is how it worked with Cody.

I sorta wish I was brave enough to show you a picture of my back, but there's no way! Whether I'm brave or not is irrelevant, because I wouldn't expose that much of myself for the world to see. But I will show you this x-ray of my back, which I guess technically exposes even more of myself:

My brother asked if I was standing up straight, so I thought I'd clarify (just in case you wondered): YES, I am standing up straight. Kinda crazy, huh? I know it could be so much worse, though. And I'm so thankful for the ability to get my kids treated so they'll never know the pain that they're avoiding!

Amy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Paperback Writer"

(by The Beatles) Paperback Writer - The Beatles Box Set

Brooke does a little thing called "What I'm Reading Wednesdays", and I thought I'd join her today. She probably links up with someone, and I should probably check on that. But I don't have time right now & want to be better at posting more. So I'm just going to go ahead show y'all what I've been reading lately...

This shelf contains my eclectic mix of bath time reading/nerd games...


  1. I bought a Woman's Day magazine subscription from my niece's fundraiser last year, but I never have time to read magazines. These are June & July 2012.
  2. Dad found Morris Goes to School (one of my favorite childhood books) when he moved. I hadn't read it in years, but I did read this in the bathtub on the night that he brought it to me! :)
  3. I have a bit of an obsession with Sudoku puzzles. I do at least one of them every night, though bath time/bedtime probably isn't the best time to play brain games.
  4. Uncle Dan sent A Thousand Splendid Suns home with me a looooong time ago, but I haven't started it. I'm not really sure what it's about.
  5. I actually finished Captivating awhile back. I marked some things in there that I like to go back & remind myself from time to time.
  6. Two Minute Mysteries books are technically for kids. But seeing as I enjoyed solving them in elementary school GT, I'd also classify them as nerd games.
  7. My British friend Rosemarie sent me Identity awhile back. Like #5, I have finished it but like to go back sometimes & remind myself of the things that I've marked.
  8. Baby girl read The Giver for school & thinks I'll like it. I think it will make me sad, so I haven't started it, either.
  9. I have not read One Thousand Gifts. {I'm sorry, Sara! I know that I said I'd read it when you gave it to me, but I just haven't yet!} That probably goes against the rules of posting the gifts, but I already confessed to being a rebel when I started that series (though I'm generally quite the rule follower). Maybe one day I'll actually read the book?
I have books on other shelves that I may show y'all later. I guess that's all for now... ü

Amy

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Abide"

(by Jenny & Tyler) Abide - Open Your Doors



As I mentioned on Saturday, my baby girl & I went to a Jenny & Tyler House Show!!


There were maybe 40 of us gathered in the living room & kitchen of some nice people who offered us coffee and IZZEs. I didn't crop the following photo to show you how chill the environment was! :)


It was really neat to be part of such an intimate concert. They began & ended with a couple of my favorites, "Song For You" & "This is Just So Beautiful" {which I actually posted twice!} They did one sweet new song about a little something they had just announced at a concert the night before. I haven't seen an official announcement via social networking, though, so I'll just let you look closely at the picture below to see if you can figure it out... ;) ~> I just received an official email announcement, so I think it's OK to say it: they're expecting their first baby in July!!


They're singing today's song in the following picture:


How fitting that the homeowners had that verse {one of my favorites} on the wall! And it gets better...Elly & I met Jenny & Tyler after the show, and we asked them to sign a couple of things. Elly had a random piece of paper in her pocket, and I asked if they'd sign one of their lyric cards. I didn't look at my card until later, when Elly asked if I had read what they wrote. Her message said, "Many blessings to you," and mine said:

How cool is that?! In case you have forgotten, those are words from the song I used for my 2012 recap!  {& coincidentally, I posted a song of theirs for 2011 as well!} So because of the multiple references to abiding, I thought this was the best song to post for the show. ü

Amy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

"Anchored in Love"

(by Jenny & Tyler) Anchored In Love - Faint Not





Well, it's late, so I'll try to make this quick & just give the highlights of my week...

I got this text from my baby brother when I was on my way to pick him up the other day:

:)

We spent a few hours with this little guy yesterday:

It has been a few years since we've had a stray dog, and I forgot how fun {& nerve wracking} it can be! Not having a clue whether he was house trained or not, we somewhat anxiously watched his every move. He was real good, though! He didn't have any accidents, & he obeyed even when it was obvious that he didn't want to! But there was the little issue of my crazy dog (who doesn't along well with others). Then there was the little issue of...well...let's just say that he really liked her. {And we really didn't want our baby puppy to be violated!} About half an hour after I posted the little guy's picture on facebook, our neighbor Bill called about him. His owners had knocked on Bill's door looking for their sweet dog, and Bill knew the general vicinity of their house. So we hopped in Bill's truck & went looking for them. We made a little girl extremely happy to have her dog back! And I got an "I love you" and an incredibly long & awkward hug from her dad {who's a giant, by the way!} Ya. Anyways...

We celebrated my little friend's 2nd birthday today!


Then baby girl & I went to a Jenny & Tyler House Show!!


Speaking of...I've listened to one of their songs the most this week! This is another one of those older hymns that I'm liking these days. The whole thing is super, but I especially like this part:

His love shall control me through life and in death
Completely I’ll trust to the end
I’ll praise Him forever and with my last breath
I’ll sing of my soul’s best friend

Alrighty, I better get to bed! I'll post more about the show next week! ♥

Amy

Friday, February 8, 2013

"I'm a Little Teapot"

(by Countdown Kids) I'm a Little Teapot - 30 Toddler Songs, Vol. 2

I'm A Little Teapot by The Countdown Kids on Grooveshark

I was minding my own business as Aaron was beginning the youth service on Sunday morning, when one of the students got my attention & gestured for me to look behind me. To my surprise, my small group girls were standing there with balloons on a bracelet and a poster-sized card!

Aaron noticed & said, "Oh! There's a birthday in the house!"

To which I replied, "NO! It's not my birthday!"

He either didn't hear me or chose to ignore my reply, insisting that I get up on stage. I continued trying to explain that it wasn't my birthday. And he finally said, "It's not your birthday?" I told him that it was recently my half birthday, which he thought was close enough to warrant me standing on stage and doing the motions to today's song! :/

What most of the students didn't know was the background to Sunday's happenings, which I had shared with my small group the previous Sunday. And I'll share it with you today in a little:


During my school years, it really stunk to have a summer birthday. I suppose if you didn't like attention, it was a good thing. But for someone who doesn't mind a bit of attention every now & then, it saddened me that I didn't get to celebrate my birthday during the school year.

In middle school, birthdays were extra special because friends would hang birthday posters all over school! They'd also tie some balloons to a bracelet that you got to wear around school all day. It was super cool (or as we said back then like, totally rad) to walk around school all day with people giving birthday greetings. Again, though, as someone with a summer birthday, I was destined to not have that experience. Or so I thought...

Early one January morning, I received a phone call from a friend. In a disguised voice, she simply said, "Happy birthday" and hung up. I was confused until I got to school, where my friends greeted me with balloons on a bracelet and a poster-sized birthday card (that had a cute birthday cake on it with 13 1/2 candles)! ü They had also hung birthday posters all over school! I spent the first half of the day explaining that it wasn't my birthday to everyone who offered me birthday wishes! That got old, though, so I finally just started saying, "Thank you!" ;)

So...do you understand what it's like to have a summer birthday, or did you have one during the school year? Did y'all get to do anything special at school for birthdays? Did you like the attention or prefer to stay under the radar? I'd love to hear your stories!

Amy

P.S. Did you notice how they got creative with the balloons?! 3,7, & 5 for 37.5 years! ü

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"I Love U-kuleles"

(by Bryant Oden) I Love U-kuleles - The Songdrops Collection, Vol. 2

I had this random text exchange with my sweet boy the other day:


I thought it was funny, but I had no idea what he meant until I showed it to my baby girl. She laughed and showed me the following video:

:)

I have a few bits of randomness that I plan to post soon. I don't know if you agree, but I figure randomness is better than nothing at all...maybe?

Amy

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Mystery"

(by Charlie Hall) Mystery - The Bright Sadness





This has been a good week! We had Overflow (a night of worship & teaching for the women of my church) on Tuesday night. It's always a refreshing evening, and I enjoy being a part of it. On Thursday night, I helped Laurien, Julie, & their friend Michelle lead worship at a Celebrate Recovery in Houston. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but I ran into a man I know! {& yes, it still surprises me every time!} Laurien & I made an impromptu decision to go to The Chocolate Bar afterward! {Of course that was a delicious decision!} Baby girl & I went to the mall today! :) I love that she's old enough to want to go, and I really love that she wants me to go with her!

Today's song is one of the songs we did at CR on Thursday. I've listened to it a few times, because I needed to learn a different harmony for it. Michelle played the djembe on most of the songs, but she joined Julie & me for a couple of songs that didn't need the djembe. I enjoyed singing them with her, because I love the sound of the additional harmony. Today's song is my favorite of the ones we did. I just love Charlie Hall. Maybe this is weird, but I'd like to sing with him one day. Not that it would ever happen, but he's one of a few people I feel that way about. Maybe I'll tell you about the rest of them one day...

Alrighty, I'm going to try to get in bed by 10:30. Let's see if I can make it happen...

I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! ♥

Amy