Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

2013 book list

If you are ever at a loss as to what to get me for a birthday or Christmas gift, a book is always a safe option. I love reading! (Remember, I'm kind of a nerd). This year, I kept track of the books I read in 2013. I counted school books if I had to read them all and also enjoyed them, but for the most part, this list consists of books I decided to read for fun. If you have any suggestions of books I should read in 2014, send them my way! 
2013 Reads 
Problem of Pain by CS Lewis Reason for God by Timothy Keller Don't waste your life by John Piper Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge Wild at Heart by John me Stasi Eldredge Where's my Edward? By Laura Gallier O Pioneers by Willa Cather The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien My Foreign Cities by Elizabeth Scarboro One Chance by Karen Kingsbury A year of biblical womanhood by Rachael Evans A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Spectac…

My awesome grandparents

I know that God blessed me tremendously with the family He has given me. Let's face it--my whole extended family rocks. Sure, they can be a bit strange sometimes, but hey, that adds to the fun of it. They are overwhelming full of love, funny and joyful to be around, and are just the right amount of competitive! I can't imagine spending quality family time with a better group of people. 
I especially enjoy spending time with Grammy and Paw-Paw, my mom's parents. They both love having the whole family at the house and go above and beyond to ensure that everyone is relaxed and contet. It brings my heart such happiness to spend time with these two!! 
I love watching Grammy cook for us all. Let me tell you, if you haven't tasted Grammy's cooking, you are missing out! Everything she makes is absolutely wonderful, and she puts so much love into every meal. I also enjoy being around Grammy because I see so many similarities between myself and her--I inherited the Bonem women…

Repost

The post below is one I wrote last year. The message still rings true today, a year after I wrote it. If I may, let me add just one more thing--Please, if you have an overall healthy body, don't take it for granted this holiday season. 

All I want for Christmas is to be healthy. And I mean really healthy. I mean able to run, jump, and dance kind of healthy. I mean being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I mean not having to worry about lung function, bone density, caloric intake, blood sugars, vitamin levels, liver and kidney function, and IV antibiotic scheduling. My head is swimming with so many issues and problems right now, it's a bit overwhelming.

Maybe soon, my Christmas wish will come true. After all, researchers are discovering more and more about CF and the mutations that cause it, However, I don't think I'll get to start on any ground breaking medication soon. Nor do I think I will be free from health worries for a very long time. And you know what?…

Independent, brave, and strong?

People think I'm fiercely independent. People tell me I'm brave. People praise my strength and resilience, especially when they see my accessed port hanging from my chest or see me force down multiple pills at a time. However, are these qualities that people so greatly admire actually a part of my nature, or are they characteristics I've adopted because I have no other choice? Lately, I've started to think that the answer is probably the latter. Let me explain.
I've grown up with the idea that I need to be independent. I rarely accept help from people outside my family and am wary of trusting others, afraid that if I stretch out my hand for help, people will reject me. I've had a few run-ins with people I thought were friends but in actuality turned their backs on me when I needed them most. While I've forgiven them of all the hurt they caused, those experiences drove me more toward independence. I've gotten really good at handling my own problems by mys…

Tips

I'm making it! Just a few more days and I'll be back home and starting IV antibiotics. It's probably a little sad that I'm counting down the days until I start a course of antibiotics. I mean, really? That's not normal. But hey, that's one of the costs of CF life.  
Many of you don't know what it's like to think that a routine schedule of IV antibiotics is normal. Heck, most of you have probably never been in the hospital yourself. I know that you must feel at a loss as to what to do when your friends or family members are in the hospital or are receiving IVs. Lucky for you, I have some experience. Obviously, these tips aren't useful in all cases. They are just ideas I've come up with over the years when dealing with people who want to help me but don't know how.
1. Never ever ever say you know what they're going through. Everyone's situations are different. If I hear one more person say, "I know how you feel", I might scream…

Rejoice?

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances"--Thessalonians 5:16-17. 
Today is one of those days I do not feel like rejoicing at all. To begin with, this week has been absolutely jam packed with assignments and activities. All of those things are good things, but my busy schedule has led me to feeling exhausted. Add on top of the exhaustion the freezing cold weather, which has felt pretty miserable while trekking across campus. And finally, I am struggling to breathe. My lungs started hurting yesterday, and all day today I've been gasping for air and attempting to force myself to take deep breaths. If you saw me today, you would know it has not been one of my better days--I'm a mess! How in the world am I supposed to rejoice when I feel like my physical body is falling apart? How am I to be joyful when the only thing I can concentrate on is my next breath? These are the questions I ponder now as I'm writing this blog post. Rejoicing ALW…

21st birthday musings

Today is my 21st birthday. It's weird for many reasons. 1. I'M 21?!?! I don't feel that old. 2. I'm not with my twin sister on my birthday. This is one of only 3 birthdays in the 21 years I've been alive in which Katie and I have not been together on our birthday ("age" birth because I was sent to another hospital as soon as we were born, age 16 because I was in NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my high school marching band, and this year). Today feels so bizarre celebrating without her.  3. I'M 21?!?! Oh wait, I already said that.

To commemorate the end of my 20th year and beginning of my 21st, I decided to write a list of things I learned in the past year. This list is not all-inclusive, but it's a good start to what God has been teaching me the last 365 days.

1. Stop caring so much about what other people think. People are going to form quick judgments. They're going to look at your outward achievements as a measure of suc…

Waiting

Hey blog readers! Happy Wednesday to you all.  Are any of you in the process of waiting? I know I am. I have a long list of things in my brain that I'm praying over and trying to wait patiently for. I trust God to reveal his plan for me one step at a time, but sometimes it would definitely be nice if those streps could occur without all of the pauses in between. A dear family friend of mine, Kristen writes a wonderful blog that all of you should check out if you get the chance (http://www.kristeneddleman.blogspot.com). Anyway, her blog recently was about waiting, and I felt like I should share it with you all. Enjoy!

When it Becomes Hard to Wait...
"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act...Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him" Psalm 37:5 & 7

I will never forget the whirlwind of emotions I experienced on this day. So much joy...
So.
Much.
Anticipation.
I felt a swarm of butterflies filling my stomach (you know, the good kind) and my heart…

Living with an orphan disease

Before you continue reading this post, I must warn you--it is full of sarcasm. I apologize; I'm in a sassy mood today.

The good things about having an orphan disease:

1. If you tell someone about your disease, they often look at you like you're an alien. Hey, it's cool, I can be an alien.

2. If people have only heard about CF from their biology class, they think you're going to die any second, bringing on very entertaining bouts of freak-out moments.

3. You have a pretty good excuse to get out of physical activity, if you so choose to take it. ("I can't, my lungs will explode if I run).

4.  People question if you're actually sick because you don't look like their definition of "diseased"…. But really, this is actually a plus sometimes. I don't want people to see me and automatically associate me with sickness.

5. You have to explain your orphan disease in baby steps. People can't take in new information all at once. You must go at a s…

Selfies

Below is a blog written by Susie Davis about the idea of selfies. Although I think the problem of "selfies" ultimately comes down to intent, Susie makes some great points in her letter below. If you want to check out any more of her blogs, check them out at www.susiedavis.org
dear daughters … I’m writing because I worry. I know I shouldn’t but a mother does, you know. I’ve noticed a trend lately. One that had me curious ~ and now has me truly concerned. Yep, the social media phenomenon known as #selfies. Selfies: a picture you took of yourself … and posted online. It’s not that I think publishing self portraits is necessarily wrong. In some ways, it’s an exercise in creativity. Picking a camera angle, posing, snapping the shot ~ then rummaging thru endless filter options to get the just right effect.Like this little arty number of me sitting in my robe, no make-up, etc. I took it just this morning ~ only took me a few minutes.  “An – exercise – in – creativity.” Sure. And you’re l…

Free

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angles nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."--Romans 8:38-39

Have you ever realized the magnitude of those verses? If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, NOTHING you do or situation you are in could EVER separate you from our God. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. No sin. No shame. No regret. No embarrassment. No past. No future. No present. No mistake. No earthly desire. No choice. No trial. No tribulation. Nothing. You are forgiven and loved. Romans 8:1-2 says, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."

You are free from the shame and grip of your sin.

Did you hear that?

Christ has set you free. You are no longer guilty but washed white as snow. Christ die…

A poetic Friday

I want to feel beautiful.

I want to be able to observe my disfigurations and marks and see strength.
See triumph.
See God's faithfulness.
I want to look in the mirror and see a warrior.
See a fighter.
See a determined woman.
I want to appreciate myself for who I am.
Who I've been.
Who I'm going to be.
I'm tired of comparing myself to others.
Tired of blaming CF.
Tired of seeing all the damage it has done to me.
I am precious.
Despite all of my scars, inside and out.
Despite my physical incapabilities due to CF.
I am loved.
By the God of all creation.
By amazing and encouraging friends and family.
I am unique.
With this life that constantly keeps me on my toes.
With my own personality traits, characteristics, and qualities.
I am (*learning that I am*) beautiful.





A (Major) Downside to CF

One of the biggest inconveniences of having CF is the difficulty in traveling with all of my heavy equipment. Want to road trip for a day? You have to grab at least the puffer and flutter, along with pills and water. Want to spend the night somewhere? You have to evaluate if you're healthy enough to skip doing a Vest treatment or two and just use the puffer/flutter. If you are, you have to take that breathing stuff, pills for two days, a separate pill container for the pills taken at times other than mealtimes, kleenex, juice and snacks for blood sugar and calorie purposes, insulin, and anything else one might need for an overnight trip. If you're not healthy enough to switch out a Vest treatment for a puffer/flutter, you have to also take the Vest, Vest machine, and nebulizers and machine, along with inhaled medicine. Going on a trip any longer than that and, well, you might as well sit down and write a packing list so you don't forget anything vitally important.

Usually,…

November thankfulness

Life is busy and hectic. Anyone agree? These past two weeks, I've felt like I haven't stopped moving. I've had projects, essays, tests, football games, church, connection time with friends, and to top it all off, I'm just flat-out exhausted (which is another issue in and of itself..hopefully not a medical thing, but we'll see). I haven't had the chance to take a breather and rest in the joy I have in Christ or to think about the many things I have to be thankful for. The whole month of November, I'm going to consciously set aside time to reflect on different blessings in my life. After all, this is the month of Thanksgiving--why not take the time to purposefully be thankful for something every day of the month?

Today, I am thankful for my amazing college group at my home church in Waco. These fellow believers in Christ push me to grow deeper in my relationship with God and others. Every time I go to church, I leave feeling different because I am constantly …

Goodness

People often say that God is good when things are going "their" way. Made an A on a test? God is good. A family member get a new job? God is good. A person healed of cancer or any other disease? God is good. You have lots of friends who love and support you? God is good. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not downplaying God in those situations. God is good! All of those things are great, and it's wonderful and necessary to recognize God in those situations and give Him glory. But what about when you bomb a test? What about when you get fired from a job? What about when a friend or family member isn't healed from a physical or mental disease? What about when you feel alone and isolated in the world?

God is STILL good. 
Let me repeat: God is still good. 
As a Christian, our purpose is to glorify God with our lives by loving God and loving people--no matter what. We have a very limited view of God's big picture plan. Unlike humanity, He is sovereign over everythin…

Checklists

"Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly."

Sometimes, I need a little motivation. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the same things day in and day out. It's easy to live a life based on the "checklist mentality", subconsciously (or consciously, either way) getting tasks done without much thought behind them or time spent processing your actions and beliefs. It's easy to have surface level relationships with people, to always work for another day, to ignore the blessings that exist in your life right now. However, when life is structured around a checklist like this, can you really experience full joy and contentment? Can you really live a life that you'll look back on when you're on your death bed and praise God for everything that occurred? Can you really know people, and I mean know who they are in the very fiber of their being, and develop those lasting, legacy-leaving relationships? I have …

A Reminder

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." --Hebrews 13:8

Goodness do I need to be reminded of that! So much in this world changes rapidly and unexpectedly. I can barely keep my head from spinning in circles. Imitaring the world's ways, I would fall pretty immediately from exhaustion and a chaotic existence. But I stand on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and the truth of his death and resurrection. He is the same God as the one I served yesterday. And the day before that. And the month before that. And the year before that. And, well, you get my point. He will always be the same, forever and ever and ever into eternity. My God will NEVER change. 
I am so thankful to worship such an almighty God. His love will never fail me. His grace overwhelms me. He will never leave me. He sees me in my deepest, darkest moments yet still cares for me. I don't deserve anything, yet I've been given everything, and I am certainly blessed.

Sleep

I hate not being able to sleep. And yet here I am at 3:29, trying to do something that will distract me from the anxiety cycle about not being able to sleep. Here's kind of how it goes:

I really need to sleep.
Why am I not falling asleep?
What's wrong with me?!
This is a serious problem.
What am I going to do tomorrow? I can't function without sleep.
Crud.
Wait, I need to stop thinking about this.
Don't think about not being able to sleep, don't think about not being able to sleep. 
Don't do it!!
...I really need to sleep.
It's a bad cycle to get into. If doesn't help matters that I have a cold and know that I need sleep to fight off infection or that I am coughing and sniffling, which makes it harder to sleep. Body, PLEASE cooperate with me! God, give me rest.
Because I really need sleep.

20 things

Hi friends! This is a blog post I read earlier today from Relevant Magazine. I think it has a lot of wisdom for people of all ages, even though the article itself was talking about things people in their 20s need to know how to do. Enjoy reading, and let this challenge you (I know it does me! Ex: I need to work on #4...)


First things first, most twentysomethings are too hard on themselves. It’s one of the downsides of a youth-obsessed culture. We tend to think if we haven’t published our first book, planted our first church or gotten married by the time we’re 30, then we’re on the fast track for a lonely, penniless death which will be mourned by none. Sure, some people get famous when they turn 25. Some people also swim across the English Channel. Your twenties are a prime time to explore and grow, without all the baggage that comes with settling down and making your mark. (Jesus Himself was an unknown carpenter in a reviled corner of Israel until He was 30.) That said, there are a few t…

Energy

"As I lose lung capacity, I find that fewer things are fun to do. So many things take too much energy. I like to save my energy for things that make me happy."--CF Roundtable blog
You know what is scary for me? Thinking that I may not have the energy to keep doing the things I find enjoyable. I know that eventually, this wearing down happens to everyone. You get old, your body needs sleep and rest. You can't keep up with the same pace of life as when you were young. But for most people, that doesn't happen until the later stages of life when EVERYONE is slowing down. You age gradually with your friends. CF patients, however, tend to slow down a lot quicker than average. It takes so much dang energy to breathe and for our bodies to function at all! We clearly need more sleep and rest to keep going. Our energy reserves get used up in a hurry. But right now, I'm still able to live an active life. I go to school, work, go to church activities, hang out with friends,…

Doctor Day

PFTs-60%!!! Finally back in the 69s club, woo!
Weight/appetite-Good (Two good weight checks in a row..what is this?) Symptoms-increased cough and sputum production Plan of Action- oral Bactrim for 2 weeks
Today, I went to my regular CF check-up. I am proud to say that my PFTs were slightly improved, my weight was stable, and Dr. Fullmer told me that I should write a how-to book on managing CF in college. Honestly, CF appointments always make me a little anxious. I detest being "judged" on my "performance" based on a set of numbers I do not have full control over. Maybe that's the control freak in me coming out, I don't know. I do all I can to stay healthy, but sometimes it's just not enough. When I have a bad report, I feel disappointed in myself, almost like there was something I should have/could have done better, even though I know that's not the case. CF is so unpredictable, as well! I could be feeling great and have awful lung function tests, o…

Psalm 20:7

I hope you all have enjoyed the weekend so far and are feeling rested, recuperated, and ready to start another great week on Monday. This weekend, I had the joy of babysitting for one of my favorite families at church. Christine and Nathan hosted my small group at church for two years in their home, and I grew to love them as well as their two adorable children. They always have a different verse written on a dry-erase board in their kitchen, and when I am at their house, I make a point to read it. This weekend at their house was no different. The verse was Psalm 20:7:
“Some boast in their accomplishments and others in their abilities, but I will boast in the name of the Lord, my God.”
I’m not going to lie, when I read that, it hit me square in the heart. How often do I boast in “my own” accomplishments and skills? How frequently do I forget to give glory to God for ALL things in my life? My intelligence? From God. My musical abilities? From God. My love for growing deep with people? Fr…

I Need a Nebulizer

If you are in anyway connected to the CF world, you will think the following video is absolutely hilarious. I saw it a few days ago thanks to my mom. I was pretty glad I watched the video alone in my apartment because I'm pretty sure my roommates would think I was crazy due to my excessive laughter.  Seriously though, I related to the video so much!! I just wanted to share it with all my friends so that they could understand more about my life (which I guess is why I'm posting it on this blog). I dare you to watch the video and not crack a smile--I don't think you can. :)
If you do not know much about CF or are new to the disease, you may find the video strange and maybe even a bit disturbing. Think of it this way; CF affects every part of a person's body--the lungs, the digestive system, the pancreas, iron levels in the blood, the reproductive system, the bones, the nasal passage, the chemicals in the body, etc. Pretty much every system. When you watch the video, try…

Trust, trust, trust

The older I get, the more I realize one very important fact--I don't have all the answers. Shocking, I know. I don't know understand the world we live in. I don't fully comprehend God. I don't know how technology works. I don't know why people are born with certain diseases. I don't know what my future holds. I really am pretty clueless, come to think about it. But once again, the older I get, the more I realize I am okay with this. I am comforted by the fact that even though I don't have all the answers, my God knows all things. My God is all powerful. My God is sovereign over everything. My God is worthy of all praise.

Now, I know it's easy to say that you surrender your life to Christ and trust His timing, but it's a whole different ball game when you actually live it out. What does it look like to trust God with your life instead of trying to stay afloat on your limited knowledge? In my experience, trusting is an active process. You have to cons…

Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings, I have the joy of going on early morning runs. Before the day gets going, before I have to get ready for church, before a packed (but wonderful) day, I love setting apart this time to run, think, pray, and crank up my worship music. This morning, my lungs were struggling a bit more than usual, so I walked more of my "run" than I normally do. That gave me extra time and energy to take in the beauty and creativity of my God. On my run, I saw...

A beautiful sunrise,
An absolute stillness and peace,
The president's super awesome house,
A Baylor squirrel who let me get extremely close to him,
And much needed reminders through Scripture around campus. 
Thank you God for these still and quiet moments with You on Sunday mornings. This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!