Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fibromylgia What? How?

TODAY IS HEALTH DAY! I decided to talk about a subject that seems to be on a lot of people's lips. In fact, I deal with it every day because I have "it."

You hear all this talk about Fibromylgia and it seems that everybody has it or knows someone that does. You ask questions like, what is it?  OR do I have it? Maybe you do know that you have it. How do you handle it? Following is some information that I think might help you out.

The follow info was taken from U.S National Library of Medicine...

So, what is it?

Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.
Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause is unknown. Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:
  • Physical or emotional trauma
  • Abnormal pain response - areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified
Fibromyalgia is most common among women aged 20 to 50.
The following conditions may be seen with fibromyalgia or mimic its symptoms:
  • Chronic neck or back pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Lyme disease
  • Sleep disorders


Pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia. It may be mild to severe.
  • Painful areas are called tender points. Tender points are found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees. The pain then spreads out from these areas.
  • The pain may feel like a deep ache, or a shooting, burning pain.
  • The joints are not affected, although the pain may feel like it is coming from the joints.
People with fibromyalgia tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some patients, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Some patients have pain all day long.
Pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.
Fatigue, depressed mood, and sleep problems are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia. Many say that they can't get to sleep or stay asleep, and they feel tired when they wake up.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Palpitations
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Tension or migraine headaches

I have it...How do I deal with it?

I  know there are drugs for this disease, however, I always use that as a last resort. I have dealt with "Fibro" for nearly 10 years and these alternative things were suggested to me. I have used them and THEY WORK! 

1. Massage! This is huge!!! If you click the link, it will tell you all the why's of massage working. The Cliff Notes: massage gets oxygen to your starving cells and gets the blood flowing, thus it helps and heals your soreness.

2. SLEEP.  This is extremely hard if you have children, especially babies, but crucial for your survival. You need at least 8-10 hours a night. This too will really make a difference in your pain level

3. Healthy Eating. The biggest difference is SUGAR. I was told to cut out all sugars and I did and it worked. In fact I can usually see a HUGE difference in my pain level when I eat something that has any type of sugar in it. This also includes carbs like wheat.

Soooooooooooo, you can take a drug to help the pain, with whatever side effects that comes with, OR you can try to change your lifestyle. If nothing else, GIVE IT A TRY! I praise the Lord that he gives us HOPE, in so many ways! - rejoicing in the present!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fav's 9-28

Favorite Blessing

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Fall and I got a delicious candle and adorable dish set. Thank you Soul Sister! YAY! I was blessed!

Favorite Verse

Galatians 4:6 "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Favorite Blog of the Week (most viewed) - Do It YOURSELF - Jeans into Skirt

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DIY Jeans-Skirt

  Since the baby was born, I have lost a lot of weight. In fact, I am skinner then before I got married. This is an exciting time, yet frustrating, because my clothes are just not fitting. With that, I have been having a hard time finding a cute jean skirt that fits.  So I decided to make one. I've done this before so it wasn't hard for me to do. I'm going to give you the quick version, the "cliff notes", on how to make a jean skirt out of old jeans. Don't forget to trim the strings and tailor it to yourself.
What you need...
1. Old Jeans
2. Scissors
3. Seam ripper
4. Thread
5. Pins
6. Sewing Machine
What to do... 
1. First, you need to split the center seams of the jeans open. Rip open the 2 seams that are facing each other
2. Next you want to take seams on the front and pin them together. Pretty sides "kissing" each other. Use the sewing machine to sew the seams together.
3. Turn the jeans right side out to make sure that it was sewn correctly. Check for openings (areas that were not sewn closed)
4. For the back, cut of some of the bottom material and place it inside the gape. Pin the edges under and sew it down. Make sure you don't sew the front and back together. :-) Check again for any holes or gaps.
5. Cut the bottom off as evenly as you can and hem the skirt
6. Cut the extra strings off, wash, iron and wear.
If you know your way around a sewing machine, it's fairly simple. Hope this can be a help to you. - rejoicing in the present.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ashley Caudill from Soul Sparkle

Hey Friends! I am very excited to introduce to you one of my college BFFs. Ashley Caudill was at Crown College for a short time, but during that time, she blessed my soul. Yes, Ashley and I were partners in crime and, no, you may not ask her for any crazy stories. She is a sweetheart and I dearly miss her. Love ya girl!

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of Joy’s awesome blog with a guest post today. My name is Ashley Caudill and I am married to my best friend, Jimmy; we have two beautiful daughters Grace (3) and Lily (6 weeks). Jimmy and I travel and minister to churches through music and we are so excited about serving Him.

 I have always had a burden for teen girls so I decided to begin a blog called “Soul Sparkle”. It’s a work in progress but I eventually hope to make it a well-rounded blog with a little bit of everything for young wives and mothers. But, for now, you’ll mostly find a devotional on my blog. Thank you for taking time to read.  A huge thanks to Joy again!

I know you have all heard the phrase “Diamonds are a girl's best friend”. Now, I wouldn’t know because I am not someone who is dripping in them, but if someone wanted to give me a nice diamond ring, I wouldn’t protest. Let men keep dogs as their best friends; I will take a diamond any day.
I’m sure if I had a beautiful gemstone, I would treasure it. Perhaps some of you might have an heirloom piece of jewelry you like to wear on special occasions. I know that you probably take great care with it. You probably have a certain spot for it in your jewelry box and ensure it’s kept safe so it won’t become scratched or damaged. I think as Christian women, our lives can be compared to that of a diamond. Christ treasures us because we are something very special that He “bought with a price”. Because we are His prized possessions, He is going to put time and effort into refining us and shining us up for Him. He wants to make us an adornment in His crown jewels so we will shine brightly for Him.

 I did a little research and found out that, in the world of mining, there are companies whose sole job is the grading and certifying of diamonds based on the four Cs. Once they have been graded, they are traded on the market based on the value of each C.

 Let’s look at these four C’s and how they are applicable to our lives as “His jewels”:

The first C stands for Carat - The carat is the measurement used to determine the weight and mass of a diamond. I don’t know about you but I want to have some weight in this world…and I don’t mean body weight. I want to make an impact for Him. I want to be a diamond in the tools of the Lord and I desire that He use me for His work.

 The second C is Color - The diamonds that have the finest quality in regards to color grading are totally colorless, meaning it is absolutely free from any color. When I see this I think of the lesson taught in John 3:30 “He must increase, I must decrease". I have to often ask the Lord to look into my heart and point out the places where He isn’t preeminent. Too often, I can allow “things” to come in and take over. They aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves, but when they become more important than Christ, they become a hindrance.

 Thirdly, we have Cut - The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been “shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions”. An uncut diamond does not show its “prized optical properties”. First, Christ saved me, but after all that sin and dirt was washed away, I still needed some work, so Christ began to cut. He has to cut away to fashion our lives so they reflect the most optimal light for Him. Sometimes, we go through hard times and we wonder “why”. Sometimes, it is the Lord using His chisel on our lives. Let’s be honest, sometimes the polishing is uncomfortable, sometimes His tools hurt. But when we go through those times of polishing and shaping and cutting, the Master is working on us because He wants to use us. When the Lord starts cutting in your life, rejoice! Why he wants to use me, I couldn’t tell you but I’m so thankful He does.

 Which leads me to the last C: Clarity - Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. In my life, there are a lot of inclusions. There are a lot of internal defects that He has to continue to laser out.  What’s awesome is that the more clarity a diamond has to it, the more it will shine and give off a brilliant luster once the light shines through it.

 Let me ask you this:  When is a diamond most valuable? When does it have the most beauty? If I held a diamond in a dark room, you couldn’t see it. What has to take place to make it sparkle? Light must pass through it!

 The Lord has to cut away that rough stone exterior; He has to continue to clarify so that when His light passes through us, others won’t see us, they will see the Light of the Lord. Even the jewels that adorn Heaven would be useless without the light of Jesus.

 What pattern does God use when he is cutting and polishing away at our lives? When I was reading about diamonds I found out that one of largest diamonds in the world is without flaw and inclusions. It is said to be whiter than white. It is known as a paragon. I looked up what that word meant and here is the definition: A paragon is a perfect diamond — flawless and without inclusions. Paragon -  noun; a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence: a paragon of virtue.

God uses His own Son as the pattern! Jesus is the Paragon that our life is being fashioned after. Even though we will never be perfect in this life, one day, the Master will lay down His tools and bring home His jewels to forever reflect the light of that perfect, flawless One.

 So, in closing, keep letting your light shine for Him. Let Christ use your life and light to reflect God’s Son! You are His prized possession and He loves to see “Soul Sparklers”!


Thanks again Ashley! You're a blessing. Check out her blog, Soul Sparkle.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Organization Tip#2 To-Do List...

To-Do's are a GREAT way to stay organized! In fact this is the ONLY way I am able to function during any special events or even on a daily basis. If you are a Stay-At-Home Mom or you work outside the home, you are normally just keeping your head above water. So I would suggest to keep a pad on the frig, one next to the door and also a printable monthly calender on your frig.

On your calendar, write ANY and ALL events that are coming up that month. Include all times that are outside your house OR if you are having someone from outside your house come in. That way your family can track what is going on and you can track your family. Also this prevents over-booking. At your door, make a list of anything you need to do when you are out (Example: pick up the __________, go to ________, find a _____) This way you can easily skim the list and remember to do important things when you are out.  On the Frig. write all the items you need to pick up (example: milk, bread, paper, glass cleaner and so...) So whenever you have something to buy, something to find or an event to attend, you will be able to write it down and keep track. DON'T forget to review the lists daily.

God leaves us a really neat to-do list through one of his writers, Paul.  In  1 Thessalonians 5, he gives a good to-do list that I think we could all use:

1 Thessalonians 5:12-23
1. Hold up and encourage the people who work in the ministry.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.
2. Get along with other people
And be at peace among yourselves.
3. Give warning to those who are disobedient or will not listen to authority
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly,
4. Comfort and help those who are down spiritually, physically or mentally
 comfort the feebleminded, support the weak,
5. Have Patience
be patient toward all men.
6. Do not return evil for evil (turn the other cheek) - Luke 6:29
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
7. Have joy in EVERY situation (the literal meaning is "every when")
16 Rejoice evermore.
8. Keep the door of communication with God open at all times. Always be in a spirit of prayer.
17 Pray without ceasing.
9. Give thanks in EVERY situation
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
10. Don't shut out the Spirit by clouding your life up with sin (Keep your life fresh and clean and the door open to the Spirit)
19 Quench not the Spirit.
11. Don't look down on the prophesying
20 Despise not prophesyings.
12. Test and discern every situation--don't just believe whatever you are told. Test it against the Bible and then hold on to it. Remember what is good and right and don't let go of it.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
13. Don't even look like you are sinning.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

God not only calls us but he enables us!!! 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


Monday, September 24, 2012

3 Faithful Men

 I was reading the story of 3 faithful men in the book of Daniel and was reminded of a few truths.

In the 3rd chapter of Daniel, we learn about some friends of Daniel. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The Setting of this story takes place in Dura, a province of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar had make a huge idol and expected all his subjects to bow down to it.

4-5 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

So when the music played everyone bowed down.....everyone except these 3 men.
9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

So Nebuchadnezzar got MAD and commanded that they bring these men before him. He told them that they would have one more chance but if they wouldn't bow down he would CAST THEM into the FIRE

The wise men answered the king in this manner...
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king,18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
...Our God can deliver us but even if He doesn't we will still not worship a golden image. THESE men had only the faith of God's Word, but they were faithful to trust in Him. Furthermore they spoke their faith and lived it.

Nebuchadnezzar was MAD and "full of fury." In fact he commanded that they heat the furnace seven times HOTTER and he called for the most mighty men to bind them and throw them into this furnace. The furnace WAS sooooooooooooo hot that the men that threw them in were killed by the flames.

When Nebuchadnezzar looked closely he was BLOWN AWAY...
 Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

These are the truths that I want you to get...
1.God comes into the fire with you.
2.When you are in the fire, you see God more than at other times
3. Others get the chance to see God helping you through the fire.

In the end God was glorified and Nebuchadnezzar realized that he was nothing but a pawn in God's hand.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Midwifery? Why? Part 3

Today we have one last midwifery testimony. Krystal was a friend from college and when I was exploring different options, she gave me some great advice about her experience. I asked her to give you her testimony. Here it is...
AdamandKrystal HonMy experience with Midwifery has been an amazing one. My husband and I decided to go with a homebirth with our first child after many hours of praying and talking to people who had had a homebirth. I admit I was nervous about the whole idea thinking that nobody, especially in my generation, did this anymore! But, I was surprised to find out that, in fact, it's getting more and more popular with girls my age. It wasn't until after meeting with a homebirth midwife when I was about 15 weeks along, that we decided this was for us. Our meeting/consultation with her was just what we needed to help us decide. I think the key to having a successful homebirth is most definitely the midwife, herself. She was so experienced and confident about helping me give birth that it put me at ease and I knew I could trust her.

   One of the things I loved most about my monthly appointments with her was that they were an hour long and we were able to get to know her personally, which helped our trust of her to safely deliver our baby and more importantly to know if we needed to go to the hospital in case of an emergency. I also love the fact that a homebirth midwife is "all natural" and lets your body do what it was made to do. There are no synthetic drugs involved and you have to stay on a healthy diet plan because that is the cause of many complications in this day and time.

  As for the birth, I had a (very) healthy 10lb baby girl!:) I had two midwives at our daughters birth because it was my first time and I cant say enough about how awesome it was to see them work together. My labor and delivery was about 16 hours long. I can say without a doubt, if I would have been in a hospital I would have had to have a c-section because hospitals do not like long deliveries. But, because my midwives were full of natural ideas and were determined (there being no stress or problems with the baby) I was able to deliver naturally.

I know that homebirths are not for everyone, but I had a very good experience with mine and just love my midwife. We are expecting our 2nd child now and will most definitely have a homebirth again.
Thanks Again Krystal! If you would like to read the other testimonies, click the following links: Midwifery? Why? Part 2 AND Midwifery? Why? Part 1 Remember friends, you have options. Explore them. - rejoicing in the present

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favs 9-21

Favorite Craft of the Week: Fall Candles


Favorite Money Maker: CRAIGSLIST

This website is an online garage sale. Instead of waiting in the heat, you can list an item and wait for the peeps to get back to you. I've already sold an item and have a few more to go.

Favorite Verse

 Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." - THE ALL POWERFUL Sufficiency of God dwelling in us!

Favorite Followers Blog Post: Make Your Own Household Cleaning Products


Thursday, September 20, 2012

EASY Fall Craft:

I love Fall and I love to take what I have and jazz it up! Here is something I did.   I had some older candles and made them a bit more "fall"ish. It only took a few minutes to do. Here is what you do...
What you need...
1. Candles (3 different heights if possible)
2. Fabric
3. Hot Glue
4. Beaded Wire
5. Scissors
What you do...
1. Cut strips of fabric that fit around your candle
2. Wrap the candle with the fabric (tucking the ends in) and hot glue the ends.
3. Wrap the beaded wire around the bottom, cut and secure.
Voila - Easy! :-) It takes just a few minutes but it adds a little spice to your fall. - Rejoicing in the present

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Link -Up

Thank you Darlene (Time Warp Wife) for a beautiful reminder.
Linking up with Women Living Well

Check out these 2 websites! Both are great blogs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MYO Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener

Here are some really neat make-your-own household products. EnJOY...

Homemade Fabric Softener

What you need...
6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner
Mix these ingredients together. When you are ready to use this product, use 1/2 cup in your rinse cycle or spray it on a towel and put it in your dryer load.

Thanks to pinterest for the awesome idea.

Homemade disinfectant spray

Cut up citrus fruit and place in container. (You can eat the fruit and leave the rinds.) Pour the vinegar over the rinds and leave for about 3 weeks. When you are ready to use, take out the rind, strain the juice and use. It's great for sanitizing, deodorizing, cutting grease and much more.  Citrus cuts the vinegar smell and gives a fresh scent.

Thanks to Trenches of Mommyhood for the idea.

Homemade Stain remover

-a drop of hydrogen peroxide -a pinch of baking soda
Mix together and put on stain. Let this set for about 15-30 minutes.
Thanks to Rebekah Alfaya for the idea.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 Bar of Handmade Cold Process Soap
1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
 For extra cleaning power on heavily soiled linens, you may add 1/4 Cup Oxi-Clean or generic alternative to your wash cycle.

What to do:
First grate your soup. Then mix the other products together and place in a large tub or plastic bag. You use 2 Tablespoons per load of laundry. For liquid laundry soup, click on the link attached

A Tip from It's So Very Cheri: front-load washers require “special soap” for one reason alone – low suds. Because they use less water, they require soap that is less sudsy. The good news is, this homemade detergent is VERY low suds. The ”special” HE detergent is just another advertising mechanism to push consumers to buy “special soap” for unnecessarily high prices. Regardless of your washer type, you can make your own with confidence

Hope you enjoy these tips. - rejoicing in the present

Monday, September 17, 2012

Prayer and Praise

 In the ministry, in life and around every corner are hardships, drama and pain. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed. There are mornings that I feel like I can't get of bed. There are phone calls that I just don't want to answer. There are moments that I wish I could erase and there are people with whom I would rather not deal. As the wise "theologian" Alexander once said there are just Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days. 

Of course my days always look worse when I look around at my surroundings and see all the issues. My problem is a visual one. I need to get my eyes in the right place. Instead of looking out and around, I need to LOOK UP.

I have never been one of those morning-devos people. I have a hard time getting up, let alone reading, in the morning. However, something that has helped me tremendously is having a prayer and praise session in the morning. After I have started my day, taken a shower and dressed, I try to have my P&P time, either during breakfast or during Avery's morning feeding. I read a Psalm and then praise God for everything I have been reminded about Him in the Psalms. (Example: He is our fortress, our strong tower, our lamp and deliverer...that He is a great God but also a good God...) Whatever I read I praise Him for it. Then I spend a little time in prayer for wisdom for my day, my husband and family and other requests. I leave my problems and needs in His hands.

This helps so much because it gets me off my issues and looking up at the God who can handle them. It helps me to leave my problems at the cross. Later in the day I do my actual devotional time-- this is just a quick booster for the beginning of my day. This has helped me so much and you can always tell when I haven't done it. I hope this idea will be a help to you. Leave your burdens at the cross and He's the only one that can do anything about them. Then go further and praise Him. Stop looking at all your drama and praise Him for what is He is doing in your life. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him, just because. - rejoicing in the present.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Midwifery? Why? Part 2

My journey into having an at-home birth started a little differently. To be able to understand this all, I need to give you a little background.
Between the ages of 14-18 I had 4 major back surgeries, so it is very important for me to have insurance. Our church provides insurance through individual plans. We find a plan and they reimburse us for it. This is A HUGE BLESSING and we are very grateful to be taken care of.  Before Jeremy found our plan, his pastor and my dad talked to him about the importance of making sure we had pregnancy coverage. So when Jer was talking to his agent, he mentioned it and the guy reassured him that we were covered. Trusting that we were, we never checked.
After I found out I was with child, I called my insurance company and asked them about my co-pays. "Co-pays?" They said. "You aren't even covered."  I was shocked. She went on to say that they did not even offer pregnancy coverage to individual insurance carriers. We were only covered in the case of emergencies and, then, only for the delivery itself, not the hospital stay, or anything else. I went to the finance office and saw that I was looking at a $30,000 bill.
Also because of my back surgeries, I knew I would not be able to have an epidural or any other spinal treatment. I always have  preferred  natural ways, as well--I usually take a vitamin before I take a drug. So all of these facts put together seemed to scream MIDWIFE. We decided to look into using one.

My first experience was amazing. I met this dear sweet lady and she was at my house for over 2 hours going over all our questions and concerns. When she left I knew I wanted to have an at-home birth, but when she quoted $5,000 I decided to keep looking around. I decided to visit a OBGYN. I was in the waiting room for an hour and in her office for about 10 minutes. I thought "something about this is not right." This was my first visit and all they did was hand me a bag full of samples and tell me to write my questions on a sheet of paper and come back next time. It felt so cold.

I went back and forth. I kept hearing negative comments about midwifes (of course from people that had never used one) and I was afraid that with my back problems, I might need hospital care.

I still didn't understand why it was so "expensive" to have a home birth. ...BUT when talking to my midwife I realized that, that $5,000 had to go a looooooooooong way. What I didn't realize was that it had to cover EVERYTHING. The midwives did ALL the care plus paid for labs pre-labor, labor and postpartum care and for an assistant to the midwife. They are the nurse, doctor, lab assistant, caregiver, birthing educator, coach, and MUCH MORE. Technically they are underpaid.
So when I was 5 months along, we finally decided to have an at-home birth. I  decided to go back to the dear lady.  By the time I did, she was totally booked up. She referred me to Christine and the fun began. Christine was awesome. In fact, a lot of times we got in trouble with our husbands for talking too much. She became like trusted family.  When you are pushing your baby out, you need someone you can trust.

During labor we hit a few rough spots, but Christine handled it all professionally but yet in a gentle, familiar sort of way.  All mothers know that labor is not easy, (hence the word labor) BUT it was wonderful to be in an safe, familiar environment, with people I know and with whom I am comfortable. It was at home so after Avery was born, I took a shower and cuddled up in my warm soft bed with my baby and hubby.

SIDE NOTE: Doctors are great for emergencies but the majority of labors are not emergencies. God designed our bodies to be able to have and deliver these precious vessels. I'm thankful that if I needed to go to the hospital, it was only about 10 minutes away. Christine has had to transfer patients before and has known when to do that. She has a good head on her shoulders. Yet, I am thankful that God gave me strength to do this without the extra medical intervention.

We never had to drive home from the hospital. In fact, Avery's first car ride was to the pediatrician's office a few days after he was born. 

Due to the lack of drugs in my body, he arrived very alert. In fact, right after he was born, (in the midst of his screaming) he lifting his head on his own and looked at Christine. We were all like "DID YOU SEE THAT" "Did he just do what I think he did?"   What a strong baby!

It was a wonderful experience and I pray that I can continue to give birth to any future children at home.
One last note: if  you are expecting and have a low risk pregnancy, please take the time to research and check out home birth. A good movie about this all is The Business of Being Born.  The movie shows a few births and doesn't cover any body parts, so I don't recommend men watching this movie.
If you are in the Brevard area, I highly recommend Chrysalis Midwifery. Check her out.

If you have had a homebirth please leave a comment and share your experience below. Thanks - rejoicing in the present.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favs 9-14

Tommee Tippee: I love this bottle. Avery was getting to the point where he would rather starve than drink from a bottle. It was making it impossible for me to leave him with Jer. Finally Brandy suggested I check out a few other bottles. I tried this one and HE LOVES IT. YAY! It's more nature-like..

The Followers Favorite Post of the week: Midwifery? Why?

Favorite Verse for the Week: Ps. 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Organization Idea #1- Entryway shelf

I HAD A PROBLEM...Ok, So I had my purse, diaper bag, coupon bag, "take to the church" bag and tutoring bag all nicely hanging out by the  front door --and it was just getting to be toooooo much. I also had 2 baskets that I was using to store Avery's diapers, my pump and other necessaries. They were all nicely sitting there but it just seemed too cluttered. THEN I got an idea...
I bought a 3 shelf shelving unit at Walmart for $16.00 and since I already had the wall shelf hanging in the entryway, I just placed my floor unit underneath. I placed the wicker baskets on the top two shelves. I put my purse and diaper bag on the second and placed the rest of the bags underneath. It turned out well. Since I LOVE fall I placed a few decorations on top and VOILA! - Hope you like. :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Midwifery? Why? Part 1

We have 2 guest bloggers today and they are going to be talking about why they had home-births. The second guest, Christine, actually became a midwife and was the one that delivered my son Avery.

Angela Smith Starr:

I am so excited to share what a blessing midwifery has been to myself and my family! I am a mother of 5 children.  I have had three with OBGYN's and 2 home births. The experiences of hospital and home births are so vastly different. In the hospital setting, you seem to be just a number and are expected to fit in a box with a time and setting that is created by others, not you.  If your body decides not to adhere to their settings, intervention can be expected, whether you like it or not. Your freedoms seem to be taken away and the options that you would like to have need to be fought for, when having a baby. On the other hand is the experience with a midwife and a home birth. This is a beautiful experience, filled with empowerment and spiritual depth. The care you receive from start to finish is a wonderful journey that strengthens the soul. It also allows for your spouse and family to take part in the experience in a depth that would never be welcomed in a hospital setting. The midwife allows your body to do the "labor" for which it was intended, on its own schedule with minimal interference, but yet, great help and encouragement. I am so thankful for the ministry and the calling of the midwife and would greatly recommend this option for a mother-to-be.

Christine Simonetta - Chrysalis Midwifery:

My first exposure to midwifery was one that was sought out of necessity. When I became pregnant with my daughter I started my care with an OB practice. I attended two visits. During those visits I would wait and wait with anticipation for my turn to see the doctor. When I finally made it into the examination room the visits were brief, rushed, disconnected and clinical. I left those visits disheartened. I felt like I was not being seen or interacted with as a unique person. This was not the care that I wanted for myself, my family or my growing baby. I wanted the person that I chose to attend me during my pregnancy and birth to interact with me, know me and care for me as an individual.
I knew that being pregnant and giving birth were natural, normal processes. Normal processes that would not only transform me, but also my husband and our growing family. Processes that I wanted to be educated about and supported in by the person who cared for me. I found a care provider that exceeded my needs, a licensed midwife. She facilitated my pregnancy, birth and postpartum education, heard me, saw me, informed me and made me an integral part of my care. My pregnancy and birth were very fulfilling and empowering. The experience changed me forever. This was my journey into the art of midwifery. Since then I have been working toward giving similar care to the mothers and families that have chosen me to serve them.

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your stories. If you live in the Brevard, FL area and are expecting, check out Christine's website Chrysalis Midwifery. She is an amazing midwife and was a HUGE blessing to our little family. I will be sharing my story this Saturday. Stay tuned for how I got involved in home birth and midwifery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall Crafts: Stain Glass Leaves

What do you need:
  1. Clear Contact Paper
  2. Colored Tissue Paper
What do you do?

1. Cut the pieces of tissue paper into small squares

2. Next lay out a piece of contact paper

3. Place different colors of the square tissue paper on the contact paper. Make sure that the whole piece is covered

4. Place another piece of contact paper on top of the other piece

5. Cut out the shape of a leaf.

6. Finally, hang your leaf/leaves in the window and enjoy.

Here is another neat idea: You can actually make your windows look like they are Autumn Leaf Stain-Glass Windows. Check out this link for instructions.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Kinsmen Redeemer

In the Bible book of Ruth is a beautiful story of love and sacrifice. I love the parallel to the ultimate Kinsmen Redeemer, Jesus Christ. There are many lessons we can learn in this story...

Let me give you a little history about the book of Ruth.

The story starts off by telling us about a family. The father's name was Elimelech, the mother's name was Naomi and the 2 sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They had left Bethlehem-Judah (their hometown) and had gone to live in Moab because, as a family, they needed food. During the time they were in Moab, Elimelech died and the two sons got older and married. Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. About 10 years later, the 2 boys died and, since the famine in Bethlehem-Judah seemed to be over, Naomi decided to go home. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to go to the homes of their upbringing.  Orpah decided to do so, but Ruth refused. Here is her beautiful reply to her mother in law.
 Ruth 1:16-17 "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."

So Naomi and Ruth traveled back to Bethlehem-Judah. They traveled almost 100 miles over mile-high mountains and they arrived during Harvest Season. They didn't have the "welfare system" at that time, so you would think these 2 widowed woman would be without. However,there was a special rule that the poor could go through the field after the harvesters and pick up the extra pieces of corn that were dropped.

#1 God loves and cares for the poor and widowed
In fact Leviticus 19:9-10 talks about the specific guidlines that God had for these people.
Leviticus 19:9-10 " And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God."

#2 You reap what you sow...
So Ruth worked in her cousin's field and Boaz (her cousin) heard that she was there and told his reapers to give her a little extra. Ruth 2:15-16 "Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not."

When Ruth thanked Boaz and asked him why he was so kind to her, he gave a touching response...
Ruth 2:10-12 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

#3 The Kinsmen Redeemer...
Ruth had ALOT of corn that day to use to make food but that would have only lasted so long. However, the Lord had a greater reward for her sacrifice and love. Ruth's mother-in-law was a wise matchmaker and she helped Ruth see and find the man she needed (Boaz).
Now to be a Kindsmen Redeemer, there were 3 requirements: 1. Relationship, 2. Financial Ability, and 3. Willingness. Boaz wasn't the closest relative but after that was worked out (Chapters 3-4) Boaz willingly stepped in and married Ruth.
I love the comparison of this story to Jesus. We were lost and without hope but Jesus stepped in. He came as a man, while he was fully God, paid the price with His blood and willingly redeemed His people. Therefore He fulfilled the 3 requirements... relationship, financial ability and williness. How beautiful-- and all for sinners that didn't know or care. What an amazing God we have!

#4 God uses poor needy sinners for a bigger cause...
Because Ruth and Boaz were willing to sacrifice their needs and wants for the cause of the Lord, they got to be a part of a special lineage.
Ruth 4:17"And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David." Yes Ruth was the great-grandmother of Jesus. What an honor and blessing!

Ask yourself? Do you care about the poor and needy?  Have you ever trusted the Redeemer?Are you willing to be used? Remember, you will reap what you sow. - rejoicing in the present.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

RejoicinginthePresent Blogging Schedule

Hey everyone! So far on ReJOYcing I have just given you thoughts and ideas of things that were brought to my attention. There has been no real schedule. However, starting next week I wanted to give you an idea of what you can expect:

Mondays: Devotional Thought (To help you start off your week)

Tuesdays: DIYs/ Craft/Educational Tips/Freebies

Wednesdays: Guest Posts/ a link to a blog/website or company I really like

Thursdays: DIYs/Craft/Educational Tips/Freebies

Fridays: Friday Favorites

Saturdays: Yummy Ideas/ Health Tips

Sunday: REST. That is a big day full of worship/church!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Guest Post: Niki Waldschmidt

This little adorable girl is my niece Niki and today she is going to teach you all how to make a flower out of a pipe cleaner.

Please watch the video first and then I will write out directions.

What you need: Pipe Cleaners
What do you do?
1. Take the pipe cleaner and twist the top into a loop
2. Then thread the pipe cleaner through that hole making another loop
3. Keep doing this until you get the number of pedals you want
4. Leave the extra as a stem.

Thank you Niki! You did an excellent job!!! - rejoicing in the present

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY: Family Portraits, Christmas Card Pics and More

Unless you get a package deal (which usually only includes 1 shot)  at an inexpensive portrait studio, family pictures can be quite expensive. I wanted to encourage you to do your own photo shoots.
You don't even need an expensive camera. In fact, many cell phones take excellent pictures now.

One of our friends took our pictures and then we took theirs. I came up with some ideas and they came up with others.

You can make it a fun double date or have an extended family member take them. In fact I took my sister's Christmas-card portrait for a few years.

The beach pictures are our Christmas pictures from last year. We were expecting baby Avery and so we had a lot of "belly" pics.

Here are some Tips
1. Look online for tips: Google: Family Pictures (images)  It will give you some good ideas. If you do have an idea, it probably has already been done by somebody else and looking will help you put together your idea.

2. I would also recommend using a good photo editor like Picasa that you can add text, change the color and touch up the pictures. In fact Picasa is A LOT of fun.

3. Enjoy and snap. You will be surprised how random pictures become your favorites and how much your photo editor helps your pictures look professional.

4. Here is a random tip. Tilt the camera a bit. It gives the pictures a different perspective

All of these pictures have been taken on my camera or our friends (above). Hope you enjoy them.