So, Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness?

Hey there,

I’m really glad you’re reading this. Thank you for taking an interest in your friend and being willing to learn more about the crippling effects of chronic illness on their life.

There’s so much your friend wants you to know but probably won’t tell you. It could be because it’s awkward. How do you tell someone that you experience extreme pain every day, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, and not seem like you’re just complaining or wanting attention.

So, Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness?

Being chronically ill, I have experienced many years of being unable to explain myself. For most of that time, I had no idea what was going on. And, honestly, the pre-diagnosis years of suffering were full of unexplainable highs and lows that left me blaming myself. I thought that I must have been doing something wrong to feel the way I did.

Once my condition became bad enough that I realized a better sleep schedule, some exercise, and a healthy diet wouldn’t fix it, I had to start digging to get to the bottom of what had been causing such grief. Finding out I had chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections was actually a blessing because then I could begin a treatment regimen. It also gave me an explanation to share with others, because previously I had just thought I was crazy.

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Being Thankful in the Most Difficult Times

Being Thankful during hard times

It’s Thanksgiving morning.

I’m sitting alone in my apartment.

I’m propped up in bed with a heating pad on my back and my Bible and journal sitting to my left. Multiple blankets cover the lower half of my body and my laptop sits atop them as I type.

I wasn’t planning to write on the blog today. I opened my journal to begin pouring out some thoughts, but after some prayer and scripture reading I felt like I needed to get this into a blog post. So, here I am. Raw and real.

Being Thanksgiving and all, I know that I should be reflecting on what I’m thankful for right now. So, I’m thinking through some things – a lot of things.

I truly am thankful for the way God has worked in my life. He has provided during some of my weakest times.

I know God is good. I really do. But, at the same time I often find my mind dwelling on all that’s wrong in my life right now. I’m grieving the loss of how I thought my life would look.

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Some Advice for the Dating Girl: Just Enjoy Him!

Advice for the Dating Girl

To the Dating Girl:

I know you quite well.

You’re me.

Well, kind of.

I know we aren’t all exactly the same, but we probably have a lot of the same hangups when it comes to relationships. It’s how girls are wired. We crave connection and desire to be loved. We each want the man we love to pursue us well and show us that he cares.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to desire true connection. It’s how God made us.

But what happens in a dating relationship when things don’t go exactly as we hope, dream, and plan? Some of us girls tend to get discouraged. That discouragement can then bring out the worst qualities in us. The awful qualities that show how much we want to control.

Ehh… Just thinking about what happens when I don’t get my way makes me feel icky inside because, honestly, I don’t want to be someone who insists on everything going my way. I want to be easy-going and fun. I want to be faithful and patient as I trust God’s timing for things in my life.

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What My Dad Taught Me

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This week was a big week for my family.

It was a time of celebration. It was where a year and a half of hard work for my dad, mom, sister Maggie, and countless other family members and volunteers was put to the test. They had laid the ground work for a successful campaign, but at the end of the day it was up to the voters to cast their opinions for the future of Iowa Senate District 46.

My dad previously served two terms in the Iowa House of Representatives and was ready for a new challenge in the Senate. I have a great liking for the Senate because one of my first jobs was being a clerk in the State Senate. After getting 56.8 percent of the vote to his incumbent opponent’s 43 percent, my dad is now going to be serving under the Golden Dome in the Senate, and I could not be more proud of him!

Do you want to know the secret of my dad’s successful campaign?

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When Your Dreams Aren’t Coming True

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The Year 2016 has gone nothing like I thought it would.

I had high hopes.

I always have high hopes.

That’s how things go when you’re a dreamer – when you’re someone who won’t settle for just okay, but wants to live a life that’s real and full of purpose.

Dreams

I spent my New Year’s Day encouraged. This was going to be the year that things would fall into place.

I had finished college and had spent the prior couple of years working a number of different jobs, including living overseas teaching in China. All of the transitions were a lot of fun, but I was ready for some stability. I craved stability. I finally had a full-time job in communications and had my own apartment with new furniture that I had picked out myself. I felt accomplished, like I was on the right track.

It wasn’t just about the material things, though. My goal was to budget and plan so that I could give more away. After reading David Platt’s Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, I was excited about living out my faith by being a good steward of all God had given me.

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