Monday, February 8, 2021

Why I Stopped Using a Digital Bible in Church

 This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  Don't worry, this won't cost you any extra!

When I got my first smartphone four or five years ago, one of the first things I downloaded on it was a Bible app. I often took notes in my physical Bible, but trying to cram them in the margins and being limited in space frustrated me. I loved that having a Bible app on my phone gave me unlimited space for notes. I could also easily highlight verses without having to remember a highlighter in my Bible bag. 

Why I Stopped Using a Digital Bible in Church

I still feel the same way. Being able to easily switch between Bible versions and use Bible commentaries without having to lug around big heavy books is great. I also love that no matter where I am, I always have a Bible with me. In addition to the Bible apps I use, I also have found a variety of other apps that have helped me grow as a believer.

But a few weeks ago, I was listening to a Podcast on discipling my kids from FamilyLife and the speaker said something about preferring not to use the Bible on his phone during church because it can easily send the wrong message to our kids even when we're being responsible and not being distracted with notifications and texts. It stuck with me and I decided to make a change. I got my Bible back out of the drawer, found a small bag to carry it in (I like bags like this or this,) and added a notebook and pen (these are great pens if writing is difficult or painful for you like it is for me!)

The next time we went to church after that was for Wednesday night Bible study. 13-year-old Katie, recently graduated from the kids' program downstairs to sitting upstairs with us, settled in on the pew next to me, as we chatted about random things and waited for the pastor to start the Bible study. Then she said something that struck me to the core...

"You're just scrolling on Facebook or Instagram during church. I know that's why you have your phone out."

I was horrified that that's what she thought I'd been doing in church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night and, it definitely solidified my decision not to use my phone in church anymore.

As I tried to set her straight, I realized something. 

Using the Bible on my phone in church is not a bad thing and it's definitely not a sin, but if it's a stumbling block to someone else's faith, especially my children, than it's something I need to let go of. 

Paul specifically warns about this in several places in the Bible.


"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak."
I Corinthians 8:9

"Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister."
Romans 14:13


Now, I bring my physical Bible to church, use a notebook to take notes, transfer those notes to my Bible app when I get home, and leave my phone in my purse while I'm at church. If I want to research something further with a commentary, I write that down in my notebook and take care of it after church.

If you choose to use a digital Bible on your phone during church, it's important to be responsible with it, not just for your kids, but for others who may be watching as well. Put your phone on "do not disturb" mode to avoid being distracted by notifications and text messages, and be transparent about what you're using it for during the service. Like I said, there's nothing wrong with using the Bible on your phone at any time, but we want to be sure we're not being a stumbling block to another believer or an unbeliever by doing so. 

What kind of Bible do you use during church services? Do you prefer a physical Bible or a digital one?



Friday, January 22, 2021

January 22, 1973

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  Don't worry, this won't cost you any extra!

48 years ago today on January 22nd, 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided.

35 years after that day, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.


Today, she turns 13, a privilege that 62 million children will never get.


If you're struggling, know that there is help and hope. Please call one of these numbers or visit the website

How to observe Sanctity of Life Day:
Recognize the value of every single life at every stage. Pro-life doesn't just refer to the unborn.
Be compassionate with those who are struggling.
Volunteer at a women's shelter or pregnancy crisis center.
Donate baby items, formula, diapers, etc.
Show the love of Christ to single mothers by serving and helping as He commands us.
Pray for expecting women and moms who may be in crisis

Find more ideas and practical suggestions here.










Monday, January 18, 2021

My Story of Being High-Risk with COVID-19

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  Don't worry, this won't cost you any extra!

It finally happened. 

After 10 months of caution and feeling like it was hanging over my head the entire time, I came down with COVID-19.

My Story of Being High-Risk with COVID-19

I have severe asthma that has nearly killed me many times. I also have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Generally speaking, I pick up just about every germ that I come across, and I get pretty sick. A common cold can put me on prednisone with serious breathing difficulties. In 2018 and 2019, I came down with Influenza A and was very sick for weeks each time. My lungs have never fully recovered from the bout in 2018. When I do finally start to recover from an illness, it takes a LONG time for me to get back to my baseline which, isn't very impressive to begin with thanks to my chronic illnesses. 

Before I go any farther, here's a brief description of the conditions I mentioned above:

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS): A connective tissue disorder that can cause hypermobility of the joints (what some people refer to incorrectly as "double jointed"), stretchy, fragile skin, gastrointestinal issues, and MUCH more. Connective tissue is the glue that holds a person's body together and when that is faulty, the body literally is falling apart from the inside. People with EDS often have the "trifecta" of EDS, POTS, and MCAS.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS): POTS is a form of Dysautonomia which is a condition where the automatic functions of the body such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, digestion, etc. are essentially "out of whack" and don't operate properly.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): Mast cells are what cause allergic reactions. For most people, they behave normally, but for people with MCAS, they're out of control, reacting to everything and nothing and causing repeated mild to severe anaphylaxis symptoms. When most people hear anaphylaxis, they picture someone with their throat closing up, but anaphylaxis can cause rapid pulse, low blood pressure, itching, hives, flushing, swelling, wheezing, difficulty breathing, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. When I'm not on my treatment plan, I experience mild anaphylaxis symptoms multiple times a day, often with no known trigger, and more severe anaphylaxis several times a year. 

In addition to my asthma being a concern, my MCAS and POTS also made me think that I should really avoid catching COVID-19. Many patients who recover from COVID-19 end up with POTS-like symptoms for weeks or months after. Also, complications in COVID-19 are often attributed to the patient crashing due to a cytokine storm which involves an overreaction of mast cells (remember what I said about MCAS?). In fact, several of the medications and supplements I take regularly to help control my MCAS have been recommended for people with COVID-19.

So how did COVID-19 go for me? Overall, I would say surprising. I had heard that people with the virus have horrible coughs, sore throats, and high fevers. I had an extremely mild cough, a mild sore throat for one day, and only ran a fever twice that never got above 101 F. I did experience severe fatigue, body aches, a stuffy nose, and moderate breathing difficulties throughout the whole illness. I also intermittently experienced chills. 

On December 16th, I found out that someone I had been in contact with had tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, I started to feel sick and so the day after that, I went in to be tested. The next day (December 19), the results came back positive. I immediately quarantined myself in my room away from my family. On day four of being sick (December 20), my husband began to not feel well either. On day five (December 21), I lost my sense of taste and smell although it slowly came back 4-5 days later. My husband went in to get tested that day and the next day, his test came back positive as well and so he joined me in quarantine. Our kids are 12, 10, 8, and 6 and thankfully, were able to take care of themselves pretty well. They weren't allowed in my room and if Hubby or I left the room for any reason, we made sure that they didn't come near us. We were also very blessed that our family and friends dropped off meals for us so the kids didn't have to live on scrambled eggs, sandwiches, and macaroni and cheese the whole time. 

Hubby's fever mostly stayed above 100 for the first nine days of his illness, but thankfully let up after that. He never got as sick as me (of course. He's such a show-off) despite having a fever while I usually had none and was able to go back to work once his quarantine was up on January 1st. On December 25th, I spiked a fever during the night and felt very ill, but I think it was my body rallying and fighting the virus off as the next day, I finally started to feel like I was moving into the recovery stage after 9 days of severe body aches, fatigue so severe I could barely walk to the bathroom, a very stuffy nose, and headaches. My quarantine ended on December 27th, but I was still very weak and fatigued so I stayed in bed the rest of that week to let my body recover. Thankfully, none of the kids ever showed symptoms of being sick and after their quarantine ended on January 9th, they were able to go back to school.

Today is January 18, over a month after coming down with COVID-19, and I'm still not back to my baseline. I get fatigued very easily and my asthma is not under control as well as it normally is, but overall I'm happy with how I've recovered and the lack of complications while I was sick. Obviously, I know that not everyone's story of COVID-19 will be as good as mine. I have a number of friends and family who have also had it and several had life-threatening complications, but thankfully survived. 

Have you or someone you know had COVID-19? How did it go?





Tuesday, December 22, 2020

20 Christmas Movies to Watch with Your Family

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  Don't worry, this won't cost you any extra!

When you think of Christmas movies, I bet there are a few that immediately spring to your mind as ones that you absolutely have to watch every year. Maybe they're movies that you grew up watching with your family or maybe they're new ones that you've recently discovered and with which you've fallen in love.   

Every year, we try to watch our favorites along with a few new ones for some variety. I especially like to focus on movies that help my kids and our whole family focus on the real reason for the Christmas season, the birth of our Savior and sharing His love with others. I made a list of my family's favorites along with a few other suggestions from some other moms in a parenting group I'm a member of on Facebook.


I'll share a link to where you can purchase each of the movies on dvd, but check your streaming services too in case they're available to stream for free! I like to use the JustWatch app to find out where movies and tv shows are available to watch. FYI, if you have Hulu Live and record anything to your dvr, they won't necessarily show up on the JustWatch app so it's worth it to check that separately. 

I'm also including a link to the movie's review on Plugged In when available so you can make sure it's appropriate for your kids as well.

The Star

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We Three Kings
Plugged In review not available
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The Nativity Story
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It's a Wonderful Life
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A Charlie Brown Christmas
Plugged In review not available
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
I recommend reading the book with your kids too!
Plugged In review not available
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The Small One
Plugged In review not available
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Christmas for a Dollar
Plugged In review not available
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The Least of These
Plugged In review not available
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Saving Christmas
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Silent Night
Plugged In review not available
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Christmas Miracle
Plugged In review not available
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Christmas with a Capital C
Plugged In review not available
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Veggie Tales: The Toy That Saved Christmas
Plugged In review not available
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Christmas Manger
Plugged In review not available
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A Christian Carol
Plugged In review not available
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The Man Who Invented Christmas
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The Christmas Candle
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Veggie Tales: The Star of Christmas
Plugged In review not available
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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Plugged In review not available

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20 Christmas movies to watch with your family: https://bit.ly/2WB3OeW 
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Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!






Saturday, December 5, 2020

Holiday Gift Guide - Ehlers Danlos/Rare Disease Zebra Edition

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  Don't worry, this won't cost you any extra!

If you're looking for the perfect gift for the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or rare disease zebra in your life (or maybe for yourself), look no further! I've put together a list of gift ideas with something for every budget. Enjoy!




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Holiday Gift Guide - Ehlers Danlos/Rare Disease Zebra Edition : https://bit.ly/2JtX7IL
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Did you find anything you liked, either for a gift or for yourself? Drop a comment and let me know what your favorite item from the list is!