Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dare read this ONLY if you're a womanly woman interested in the many facets of womanhood. Things like...estrogen levels

There. I hope I effectively scared off any persons of the guy pursuasion who might have been tempted to view this post. ;op

Ladies, I thought some of you might find helpful some of the women's health resources I've discovered over the past few months. A little background: I've always had irregular monthly cycles. This is somehow related, I believe, to hormonal imbalances that have occured from time to time, causing (mostly mild, but still not fun) bouts of depression, irritability...some of you may know what I'm talking about! I never really did much about it or had many tests done.

For almost the first two years of my marriage, I was on hormonal birth control (the pill), which caused my natural cycle to be replaced with an artificial hormone-induced one. Thank God, I finally became aware of the harmfulness of chemical birth control methods and stopped using it! I've written more on this here.

Once I went off the pill, my cycle returned to it's natural irregularity. I decided I needed to find out if there's something wrong and how it might be corrected. Several months ago, I finally started charting my cycles on a calendar to get more of an idea as to what's really going on. To my surprise, I found that though my cycles ARE irregular, they're not as bad as I thought. Over the past eight cycles they've stayed within 28-39 days, with one exception of a 50-day cycle. (Still have no idea what that one was about!)

I'm now stepping it up a little more by charting my temperatures as well. I purchased a digital basal thermometer from this site. (which also has great prices on pregnancy tests and other women's health items, btw). Charting temperatures not only helps you to know if and when you're ovulating, it gives indicators of other health problems that might be occuring, like thyroid issues. This site gives tons of information on how to chart, how to interpret your chart, how to recognize problems, and offers free online charting software. Though geared towards women trying to conceive, it might be helpful to anyone who has questions or concerns about their cycle or reproductive health. Having detailed records of your cycles, temperatures, etc., would be very helpful to have if you're planning to go to the doctor for any type of women's health issue.

The next thing on my list is to do more research into which vitamins and diets contribute to hormonal balance and healthy cycles. Oh...and I really do need to start exercising more!:op I may also schedule a doctor appointment at some point for some bloodwork or something, but since this isn't an emergency matter (I've lived with it for years!) I want to gather as much information as I can on my own so that I can be as informed as possible.

The more I find out, the more fascinated I am to discover how uniquely and wonderfully we are made! Does anybody else have any helpful websites, articles, etc., to offer dealing specifically with women's health issues? Has anyone experienced problems for which you've found natural solutions? (I'm not against medical solutions, but just prefer to use them as a last resort. I'd rather correct problems and imbalances by correcting lifestyle or diet deficiencies than by taking some pill;o)

Monday, December 18, 2006

What's it all about?

This is the most excellent explanation I've ever read concerning what the purpose of our blogs as Christian women should be. Written by Mrs. Chancey about her site Ladies Against Feminism (which I recommend), it wonderfully lays out "the background" behind a biblical view of womanhood (including scripture references), allays common misconceptions about that biblical view, and (though perhaps indirectly) provides encouragement to other bloggers and writers as to how to view our mission as witnesses of Christ both online and offline.

As many Christian women have experienced, it can become wearying to be constantly mischaracterized in our beliefs. Thank you, Mrs. Chancey, for giving such an honest and substantive glimpse of what we're really (or should be) all about!

Read here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Ok, Zan...I'll write something already! But I'm afraid it won't be anything very profound this cloudy-brained evening:op So, stream-of-consciousness post it is.

I just switched over the beta-blogger, so now have to try to figure out how the post labels (categories) work. I'm hoping I'll be able to go back and retroactively label my old posts! But then again...we're talking about 1 1/2 yrs' worth of posts, and some of them aren't exactly worthy of being more easily accessible. We'll see.

Today I'm celebrating because for the first time EVER in my entire life, I've almost entirely finished Christmas shopping AND wrapping with eight days to spare! If you want my secret, here it is: harness the power of internet commerce:o) This was the first year that I bought a large portion of my gifts online. I spent a matter of hours ordering everything, and then these nice people came and just left it all on my front porch. I tried to wrap things as they arrived. No malls (except by choice, because malls happen to be the only place to walk when it's raining outside) and no staying up 'till 4am on Christmas eve trying to affix red plastic "jewels" onto gift tags with a hot-glue gun (half of which, incidentally, fall off without provocation by the time you get them under the tree). Ahem...that was 2004. If I remember correctly, 2005's gifts didn't feature gift tags at all. This year's gift recipients will get to enjoy finely-crafted squares of white cardstock with sensible and easy-to-read writing in black ink.

Though we still bought some gifts and gift supplies at actual brick and mortar stores this year, they were specific items that we went out planning to purchase. I certainly haven't missed the shopping method of years past: Go desperately from store to store searching for something to that "will work" for so-and-so whilst staying within budget. (and of course, finding absolutely NOTHING within budget so resorting to gift-cards...again!) I'm still not domestically perfect enough to hand-make all my gifts, but at least I know improvement is possible;o)

We've seen improvement in another area this week, as well. Micah and I are on a new "schedule" (though quite loose as schedules go) designed to help us stay more focused on some of our priorities. All my previous attempts at more detailed schedules had failed, probably mostly because I tend to be far too one-track-minded. Detailed schedules make me overwhelmed, so that I crash and burn before the day even gets started. So here's the new schedule (my part of it, anyway:o):

8:00 am- wake up. We may make this earlier in the future, but right now this 8:00 am wake-up time is enough of an "improvement!" Have I mentioned I'm not a morning person? So far over the past week we've managed to move our go-to-bed time back from about 2-3am to somewhere in the range of 12-1am.

Morning- shower, dress, house. Right now I'm not even naming specific days to do specific house tasks. I'm just starting with the kitchen every morning, and then moving on to whatever else needs the most attention. I'm also trying to get meals for the day underway (including dinner) before lunchtime. The main rules I've set for myself is that it has to be homemaking/cleaning work (no computer time, because that's too much of a temptation to get side-tracked and waste time:op), and that I have to keep moving. "Just do the next thing" as Elisabeth Elliot says. It's working wonderfully so far! The kitchen's staying (mostly) clean, we have clean laundry, the dog's bathed for the first time in almost a month, the mail is staying sorted, and I even roasted my chickens the day after I bought them instead of letting them go bad and having to throw them away! (I won't mention HOW MANY times I've done this in the past few months!:op)

Afternoon: Business work. Micah and I are recently recommitted and remotivated to expanding and refining our business endeavors. So my responsibility is to sit down after lunch and give it a few good focused hours. Late afternoon, we've been going out for a walk/talk time, and then we come back and get dinner on.

That's it! After a good week, I'm loving it, because it allows for spontoneity within a basic structure (necessary to keep priorities straight). I'm feeling more efficient than I have in a long time.

Well, I'll call it a post for this evening. My apologies to the three readers who are anxiously awaiting a continuation of the series on abortion. I do have one more post on that topic in my head, I just can't find it right now:o) Have a wonderful Monday, all of you!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More posts soon...hopefully

I've got several posts in my head (including some more thoughts on the abortion topic) but have been very busy lately! I can't even think of why. I've just been living life, and it's been taking all my time:op But the compulsion to write never eludes me for long, and I'm sure I will have to sit down very soon and get something new typed up.

Until then, here's a question that presented itself to me as I read through some of Dooce's posts last evening: What is it that makes her so funny??? For those who have never read her blog, a warning: She's not a Christian, she's irreverent, and she uses foul language constantly. And yet she's hilarious. Tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people read her personal blog, causing advertisers to pay thousands of dollars a month for space on her site. I believe that her blogging income is in the six figures.

I like serious writing. In fact, I do too much of it. But humor is a balm for the spirit, and I would really like to see more "Christian Dooces". (One lovely lady who often cloaks truth in humor is Amy.) How does she do it? How do we engage humor without resorting to "too-much-information" or vulgarity? Just some random thoughts from my ever-questioning mind!:o)