Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Lousy Bump in the Road

I'm in the hospital again. It's not a good thing when you know most of the nurses by name because you've been to the hospital so much. That's the story of my life right now, though. 

This all started on Thursday. I had the chills and a fever of almost 103 so I called my nurse who said to get to the ER now. I was taken back right away and then told almost immediately that I would be admitted. Then they called my infectious disease doctor who said he wanted me brought to his hospital, 2 hours away. Unfortunately, there wasn't a bed available for me so I had to wait until the next day, late in the afternoon, to be taken by ambulance to this hospital. This has been really a strange sickness and I still have no answers as of right now. I'm being pumped full of antibiotics, having tons of blood drawn and just waiting for Monday to come around when my doctor will be here. 

Please keep me in prayer...for the doctors to have wisdom and my leg to be protected. Thank you so much, dear friends. This is another horrible bump on this horrendous journey I've been on for over 7 months! 

Blessings - Julie 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Why I Do What I Do

It's been seven months since this whole thing started. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would still be trying to heal after this operation. I never dreamed that I would have a total of four surgeries in five months or that I would be giving myself IVs or have this crazy contraption of a wound vac on my leg for months. I may have never imagined this, but God knew from the beginning that this would happen. This passed through His hands before it ever came to me. 

I finished my last IV today and am so thankful! It's been three long weeks of five IVs a day, being tired and feeling ill. I'm very thankful to my vascular surgeon and my infectious disease doctor for keeping such a close watch on me and doing what needs to be done. I'm also so thankful to God who continues to take care of me and orchestrates things so I get the best care possible.

"What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalms 8:4

I think of this Scripture each time I think of this journey I've been on. Who am I that God is mindful of me? Yes, this has been a difficult situation, but it could have been so much worse! God has truly had His hand over me and all that has happened, protecting me despite what men do to me. I had a situation recently that seemed really bad as far as my healthcare, however, it was evident to me that God had put this situation in place to move me to a better place. 

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. - Genesis 50:20a

This truly was a situation like this, but God truly worked it out for my good. I can only sit in awe and realize I can never praise Him enough or thank Him enough...but I'm certainly going to try!

It's not always easy for me to have faith but I can ask God to give me more faith and He does! He will for you, too. All you have to do is ask Him. I know this sounds so simplistic, but I think sometimes we make our faith and our relationship with Jesus much more complicated than it needs to be. I also want to always encourage you when you come here. That is my main calling and if I don't encourage you, I would feel such sorrow. I pray that the Lord's promises and love always shine through all I share. He is why I write and do what I do. For me, there is no other purpose.

Many blessings to you, my dear friends!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014



In a sense, it all started with a bike, a powder-blue cruiser with chrome fenders and a wire basket. To Tsh Oxenreider, this birthday gift represented a promise made with her husband "that we'd try, with all our collective might, to make a new and better life that actually aligned with our values."

In another sense, the blue bike was simply one more milestone in a quest begun years before to live more simply,, more fully, and more purposefully. This memoir traces the family's journey from an urban high-rise in Turkey to the congested city of Austin, Texas and finally to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles false starts, changed minds, periods of chaos and boredom, doubts and dilemmas - but also moments of surprising and transcendent grace as the Oxenreiders gradually learn to live the life they have chosen.


Tsh Oxenreider is the founder of (previously Simple Mom), a community blog ddicated to the art and science of simple living. She's the author of Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time, a regular contributor to (in)courage, an advocate for Compassion International, and a top-ranked podcaster. A graduate of the University of Texas, Tsh currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with her family.

Learn more at


 I read this book in two sittings. It was a wonderful book, drawing me into Tsh's world. I really liked how honest and open she was about her successes and her failures.

Even though she lives a totally different life than I do, I was able to get a lot of great ideas from her and many of which I want to put into place in my life and in my home. We're not travelers, as she and her family are, but we have a lot in common as far as how she views the world and the longing for simplicity.

The biggest thing that I came away from the book with, and which I want to implement into our lives, is eating healthier. Eating foods that aren't full of chemicals or pesticides. When she told of how she and her family got sick eating the food here after returning from Turkey, it really opened my eyes to what these chemicals are doing to us.

I love how she talks about making small changes, a little at a time, until you're living a life of simplicity and focus on the really important things. So many times books will tell you to make huge changes all at once or it's not worthwhile, but Tsh shows how making the little changes, a little at a time, makes a huge difference over time.

This is a wonderful book that I enjoyed so much. I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Shelton Interactive


I'm so thrilled to be able to offer one copy in a giveaway! Shelton Interactive is giving a copy to one winner of this giveaway - however - it is open to US and Canadian Residents only. 


I will pick a winner for this book on Thursday, August 14th, 2014. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Counting Our Blessings

My goodness...I have been so hit and miss with my Counting Our Blessings! I'm so thankful for those of you that still continue to come by and look for my posts. I'm very grateful! I am still on the IV's so not feeling real great right now, but really wanted to write down my blessings as I truly have been blessed!

I won't be having a link up because I couldn't find any linky tools that were free. I don't have the money in my budget right now to pay for the service, so I'm hoping you'll leave a comment with the link to your blog. I do like to promote your blogs so please feel free to share in the comments section.

50.  I'm so thankful for my by-pass surgeon, my infectious disease doctor and my in-home care nurse. They are so caring and stay so on top of my health. I have been so blessed that the Lord seems to put the right people, at the right time, in charge of my care.

51. I'm really enjoying my Roku. I'm so thankful that my sister told me about this little gadget and for my friend who got it for me! I don't watch it a lot, but it's so wonderful to be able to pick a Christian show that I enjoy or one of my British shows that I like when I do feel like watching something. There have been times when I just haven't felt like doing anything and this little box has been a blessing. 

52.  I've been crocheting a lot. I am working on a granny square afghan that I'm really enjoying. I was going to take a picture of what I've done so far, but I'm just too exhausted! lol I will share a picture soon. I am so blessed that my hubby is willing to go and get a color I need. He's just been the greatest through this long process of my healing.

53.  We have had some lovely rains here! I'm so blessed to see all the land greening up and the coolness - especially at night. Is there anything nicer than sleeping with the cool breezes coming through the window and hearing the soft patter of rain on the roof?

54.  I've been so blessed to have friends that check in with me. So often, people get tired of your health issues when they go on and on. Listen, I get tired of my health issues when they go on and on! lol Anyway, I have such prayer warrior friends and they are always calling or texting me. It's hard to be home bound and easy for others to forget you. Having friends and loved ones who never do is a blessing beyond measure!

I hope you'll leave your comment and link in the comment section.

Blessings - Julie

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

As I was walking through the hospital on Friday with my son, I said to him, "If I could go back in time..." He knew what I was going to say (probably because I've said it before) and said, "I know, Mom, but things are getting better and you'll be healed soon."

I do sometimes look back at the decision to have my knee replacement surgery and wish I could just go back and not do it at all. However, things don't work like that and I know that the Lord is refining me just as He tells us in my life Scripture:

I really had to cling tight to God as I was waiting to hear if my knee replacement was infected. I was an absolute mess the first 3-4 days and then, as I prayed, I finally came to that peaceful hope that God promises us in this Scripture. I can only give God the credit for this because this was a peace that surpasses all understanding and wasn't of me at all! I am living what I've talked about: I'm suffering, but I'm having perseverance which is refining my character and finally helps me to live in a peaceful hope that isn't possible without Jesus.

Yes, I have moments where I wish I had that time machine, but for the most part, I trust God. I keep my hope in Him and trust that He will bring me through this - glorifying Him in ways that I never could have before.

He IS my rock and I'm so thankful I can cling tight to Him in these huge waves of the unknown I find myself in right now.

Blessings - Julie