Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!  May Christ fill your heart with love, joy and peace this Christmas season and throughout the New Year!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:8-14

Go In Peace

Another sweet baby will spend her Christmas in the arms of the Master. Completely whole and completely loved.

And with your final heartbeat, kiss this world goodbye. Go in peace and laugh on Glory’s side. And fly to Jesus! Fly to Jesus! Fly to Jesus and live.

Finding Our Way Home

I recently read Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Ann Baumbich.  This was the first time I had read one of her books, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the story overall.  Finding Our Way Home tells the story of a principal ballerina, Sasha, who is sidelined as a result of an injury, and who has to overcome her grief over the loss of her career and life as she knew it, to find a new purpose for her life.  Along the way, she meets Evelyn, a bubbly and capable nineteen-year-old ball of energy who challenges her to the very core.  It’s the story of love lost, love found again, and overcoming what seem like insurmountable obstacles.

I was surprised at how little the author referenced God, and that she never referenced Christ since this is marketed as “Christian fiction”.  On the flip side, however, it is a book that non-believers might also enjoy and could be a good conversation starter.  It’s a nice, easy read, well written, and has a happy ending—so I give it 4.5 stars!

You can pre order a copy (not available until March) at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.  You can even check out the first chapter here!  I received a copy of this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books program through WaterBrook Multnomah.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Start Something That Matters

My little sister was the first person that I knew to own a pair of TOMS shoes.  I thought were cute, but not cute enough to warrant a $40+ pricetag.  So for several years I haven’t really paid any attention to the company.  But then I read Blake Mycoskie’s book, Start Something That Matters.  Now, I have completely bought into the TOMS vision.

Start Something That Matters is Mycoskie’s way of helping to inspire others to do something great.  Whether that be through starting a new company, a non-profit, or just revolutionizing your existing workplace, it doesn’t really matter—the insight that he offers pretty much applies across the board.  And while I’m not looking to start a new company or non-profit, I do want to change my workplace for the better.  My favorite chapter in this book was the “Build Trust” chapter.  Mycoskie included in it some great ways to inspire trust in your employees as well as with your customers, and some of these things are definitely implementable on my unit. Though I’m not the boss (nor do I ever want to be!), it only takes one person to make a difference and to be a catalyst for positive change, so I’m going to keep some of his ideas stored up and ready to go.

Start Something That Matters probably won’t revolutionize your life, but hopefully it will inspire you to create positive change around you.  I know that it helped me when I was feeling frustrated.  So if you want to pick up a copy (or just sample the first chapter), head over to Amazon.com, or just read the following.  You can win a free copy right here!  Just leave a comment saying what you could start/change (be it big or small) that matters.  For an additional entry, promote this contest on your blog and leave a comment telling me that you did.  For a third entry, tell your friends on Facebook and then leave a comment telling me that you did.  This contest will end Wednesday, December 21 at 11:59 pm and the winner will be announced soon thereafter.  Good luck!  And tell your friends!

*UPDATE* Changing the rules a little bit to boost entries… just leave any comment for an entry.  Same rules for additional entries.

I received this book (and the book I’m giving away) for free as a part of the Books for Bloggers Program, all opinions are 100% mine.

The Christmas Singing

Remember when I wrote this post about The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall?  Well, the publishers just sent me a message saying that they have just released a 30% off promo code (plus free shipping!!!) for The Christmas Singing   and any other title on their website.  The code expires on December 20, so you’ll have to get shopping soon!

You can check out the first chapter of The Christmas Singing by clicking here.  Like I said in my review, it’s a very sweet book and a quick read—perfect for Christmas.  Hope that you enjoy it!

Thankful for Today

Today I went back to the oncologist for my semi-annual checkup, and for once, I was really looking forward to it.  Now don’t get me wrong, I really like my oncologist, he’s a very nice man and a good physician, but I usually just don’t see a need to go in since I didn’t actually have cancer and the odds of my tumor coming back are miniscule.

Yesterday I was in a day long class when I started noticing some pain my leg that made me a little bit anxious.  Giant cell tumors are much more common in the long bones of the arms and legs (not in the thoracic part of the spine where mine was), so I automatically got to thinking that I had a tumor in my leg.  Yes, that’s how I think.

When I saw the doctor he reassured me that there was only the tiniest sliver of a chance that that kind of tumor could move to a different part of the body, but didn’t even blink before asking if I wanted a scan just to be safe.  I told him that I was sure it was nothing, but that I had started to psych myself out last night, so 5 minutes later I was in the scanner (and he didn’t charge me!!!!!!!!!!).  Five minutes after that he saw the scan and told me that it revealed one thing: “IBF”.  Itty bitty feet.  Ha!

HDL

The day before Thanksgiving I had some labs drawn as part of a healthy living promotion that my health insurance does—get some labs and get $10 off your premium per month.  Well, I got the results in the mail yesterday and I was very pleased with my HgA1C (a measure of how well controlled your blood sugar is), since I had previously failed my fasting blood glucose with my primary care physician.  My total cholesterol and triglycerides were good, too; but on taking a closer look I saw that my HDL (good cholesterol) is low.  Boo!

Having low HDL puts you at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as considerably higher risk for heart disease.  Now, my lipid panel looks almost exactly like my dad’s, so I know that it’s hereditary, but that doesn’t mean that there are not things that I can do to improve.  So I immediately did a quick google search to see what I could do to improve my numbers, and the first link I clicked on was from the Mayo Clinic.

When I opened it up and got to the part about action I could take, I thought it was slightly comical that I was advised to

Don’t smoke… Lose weight… Drink alcohol only in moderation

I don’t smoke, my BMI is perfect, and I rarely consume alcohol.  So “Ha!” Mayo Clinic!  But, I can follow their other tidbits of advice and consume healthier fats (i.e. resume taking my fish oil supplements) and get more exercise.  Hopefully my numbers will improve by February, which is when I’m due for a physical.