Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reflections

Today I sit with my dad at Northwestern Memorial hospital in Chicago as my mom has surgery. Its an interesting place for me as I know that this hospital is one of the best in the world and my mother is in really good hands, yet this is the same hospital where for a year Andrew and I came with so much hope and anticipation.

It has been about a year and half since our last attempt at IVF. I am trying to heal still and admit that the wound is possibly deeper now then when I was first told of our infertility issues. I guess its because reality has begun to settle in that Andrew and I may not have children naturally. Additionally, the reality of adoption seems so far off right now for us as well. I feel betrayed by my body, my emotions, societal expectations, anticipations, and the dream of having a family.

I will admit that since being laid off back in December of 2010 I have been emotionally stunted and have tried to cover up everything that I am feeling. I have tried to invest in other people and ignore all of the things which I should be healing in myself.

I have searched for a job to no avail, but I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of confidence that I have in myself. I didn't realize that getting laid off and not being able to have a baby would take such an extreme toll on my body and emotional well being. I specifically didn't realize that it would drain me of my confidence and strength to be a productive member of society.

On the outside I look like I have defeated the black hole, but on the inside I am stuck in its perpetual circular motion. I don't know who I am, I don't know what I want, and I lack the confidence to be proud in what I have done and the strength to be able to do more and/or move forward.

I want to be significant, not in a narcissistic way, but knowing that I have in some way changed the world around me for the better. I don't want to loose the naivety that I could truly still make a difference in this world, my community, my city, and a life.

Where is my voice...

  • Is it in my travels, I have lived around the world, and completed global projects
  • Is it in my education, I have two masters degrees, two graduate certificates, and two undergrad degree majors (yeah its a bit overkill)
  • Is it in my professional experiences, I have been the director of international relations, the manager of training and employee relations, the managing director of operations, and currently the director of operations for The Marin Foundation...

Or is my voice in something else,

  • The pain of infertility, the loss of not being able to have children (at least currently - I still believe and am faithful to God who does miracles)
  • Being a female who is fighting for reconciliation and recognition of women in the church
  • Challenging the seemingly one demension that is fed by our media and society to our young girls and boys as to what and who women are
  • A wife who is trying to learn to be a solid partner and work alongside her husband to show what it means to love authentically as we have been asked to do
  • A friend who is willing to step outside of her comfort zone in order to be uncomfortable and live in the tension
  • A person who loves her neighbor and those perceived to be the "enemy" with unconditional love and devotion. To be a living representation of what it means to love with out expectation or outcome. To truly believe in a relationship that goes the journey and dignify all stories.

I know my voice is the combination of all aspects and one day I will find how to merge it all... Until then I will continue to fight to get out of my perpetual black hole and find my voice...

A perfectly tarnished child of God :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Can we finally be over the Kardashians

Okay I know this post is random, but in light of the recent Kardashian divorce taking over all news outlets I wanted to express some thoughts...

First, what is the fascination with this family:

I think it comes down to a desire for those of us in the general population to simply want to find an outlet for the realities of our own lives. I will admit that I bought into the consumption only family, The Kardashians, in their first season on E!. I enjoyed it and it was an escape to watch this dysfunctional family live in all of their opulence. However, by the second season, I personally had become quite board and disheartened when I realized they really did simply consume consume consume and you never saw any of them give back this great wealth which was pretty much given to them be adoring fans of the general population. I felt a bit stupid that I even gave them one season as I realized they bring absolutely no value other then to help boost the economy with regards to their spending habits. They have accomplished very little other then being Hollywood royalty with fame based on their looks alone and a sex tape with a some-what famous person. I guess Bruce Jenner and their late father are the ones which introduced the Kardashians to famous people, but why they actually are famous I think a lot of people are now wondering.

All that to say I understand their draw for most people. You can watch this family who gets everything they want in the world, who don't have to make sacrifices or care about tomorrow. They are completely selfish. But that was a release for most of us. A dream of what if that was us. What if we were like the Kardashians. That is why I think so many people liked their show. It frankly has very little to do with the characters involved, but more that it provided a fantasy for all of us to escape to.

Second, point of contention in my random post, can we as a public claim to be betrayed by Kim's "wedding":

Personally, I think the entire thing was a sham. Perhaps there were some feelings, but if I were a betting person I would say that the main reason for the entire production was simply that a production, which netted a lot of people quite a lot of money and publicity. I do believe the Kardashian family made a quite a bit of money off the two huge special episodes which aired Kim's "wedding." But can we as a public claim to feel betrayed. I guess it comes down to two thoughts. If their fame and fortune has been tied to the generosity of the public then perhaps the public owns a part of these "reality" stars and therefore the public should be given an apology and they have been betrayed, but if we as the public are dumb enough to continue to support these people then perhaps they can continue to spew out crap as long as someone is willing to watch and therefore they owe the public nothing.

Third point: Yes, I do think this pathetic wedding/marriage is a slap to marriage traditionalists:

In the heat of the marriage debate the continuation of heterosexuals screwing it up big time definitely takes away some of the "thunder" and "ammunition" used to deter the general public from supporting gay marriage. If some Christians (which the Kardashians at lease claim to be spiritual and pray) are fighting so hard to stop gay marriage then why are they not setting an incredible example of what "marriage" is supposed to look like. Why is divorce in the church at the same rate as in the general public? Why is adultery common within the church walls yet a blind eye is always turned? What do you think hurts children more the destruction of their parents marriage in divorce and the betrayal of adultery or the marriage between two consenting adults?

Just my thoughts...

A perfectly tarnished child of God

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am unapologeticly a follower of Jesus

Lately, I have had some people question my faith and devotion to Jesus. So I am making a very public statement about unapologeticly loving and following Jesus... There question no more...

But then I began to wonder why was this question even being raised. Was I not portraying a life reflective of Jesus? Was I not living a life which was so counter-cultural to today's norm that others notice a difference?

So I asked some of my "so-called" accusers and most of their responses had something to do with a specific denomination or in my case the lack of an affiliation with a specific denomination. Other responses had to do with my more progressive views on women and their ability to lead within the church and Christian faith...

So in this short but sweet post I want to say that no I am not a pretty package all tied up neatly with a perfect bow. I do like to rock the boat, go against the grain, and push boundaries. I want to live a life that is different, authentic and transparent. I want people to see Jesus in me in everything that I do... even as a woman :)

So no I am not officially affiliated with any denomination nor do I choose to be. I was raised evangelical and I do appreciate the vulnerability and rawness of emotion they have when praising Jesus, but I don't know if I am fully "evangelical" anymore...

I guess all I am saying is that I love Jesus. I want to follow the example which has been set out for me to follow. I know I will fail. I know I have many short comings which will get in the way of my journey to be like Jesus, but I will not be defined by a denominations legalistic rules and regulations and I most certainly will rise above whatever traditional roles you believe as a female Christian I am supposed to play...

Love,
A perfectly tarnished child of God

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interesting Article in Today's Online Chicago Tribune - About Infertility

www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-trice-dupe-110810-column,0,619925.column


chicagotribune.com

For infertile couples, help and support

During trying times, hopefuls will hear success stories and talk to clinics and doctors at conference

Dawn Turner Trice

August 10, 2011

Katie Davis, 24, lost her ovaries to cancer when she was 12. Doctors told her that if she wanted to have a baby one day, she would have to use donor eggs and undergo in vitro fertilization. She has been trying to have a baby since September 2010, but so far no luck.

Davis said infertile women sometimes feel like members of a "silent sorority."

"Women are quiet about infertility because they're so ashamed," said Davis, of Bolingbrook. "If you want to have children and you can't do that, you may feel your womanhood has been taken away."

On Saturday, Davis and her husband will share their story at a free conference on infertility and adoption, called A Family of My Own, in Glenview.

Conference organizers say the event will be an opportunity for people to learn from a variety of experts who run in vitro fertilization centers, surrogacy programs and adoption agencies; who teach couples how to raise money for the costly procedures; and who explain how scientific advances are enhancing a couple's ability to conceive.

For more information on the conference and to register, go to afamilyofmyown.com.

Dr. Angeline Beltsos, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, is medical director of the Chicago-based Fertility Centers of Illinois. She said that couples navigating infertility need a strong support network because the process is often taxing physically and emotionally.

"When they're going through treatment, they have to come in for ultrasounds, blood tests and even surgery," said Beltsos, who will be speaking at the conference. "They have busy lives. But what tries them the most is the anguish when all their work doesn't produce a baby.

"When they find a safe place to share their stories, it gives people hope that (they can have a baby) one way or another. We can help them."

But help is often quite expensive. Beltsos said a round of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, costs about $15,000 to $17,000 without use of donor eggs; surrogacy can range from $50,000 to $100,000; and, adoption starts near $40,000.

In Illinois, companies that have at least 25 employees and provide insurance that covers pregnancy-related benefits must also cover all or some fertility treatments. Although there are exemptions, the state is one of the few in the country to require companies to do so.

But costs related to surrogacy remain a large hurdle for some parents-to-be.

Katie O'Brien, 32, of Wadsworth, learned she had uterine fibroids in August 2005. Doctors told her that conceiving a child would be difficult, despite five surgeries to help correct the problem. She and her husband tried to conceive via IVF for two years before deciding to use a surrogate.

"When we found out how expensive surrogacy was, I cried the whole way home," said O'Brien, a patient at Fertility Centers of Illinois. "If you don't have insurance, you can find grants to help you pay for fertility treatment or adoption. But we couldn't find anything for surrogacy. A lot of costs related to surrogacy are similar to adoption."

She said she came across the Facebook page of the nonprofit Birdies for Babies, an annual golf outing that allows couples to raise money to pay for infertility treatments. With the help of family and friends, O'Brien, an elementary school teacher, and her husband, an accountant, raised $30,000 toward their costs of roughly $60,000.

"We found a surrogate whose insurance should cover the pregnancy," said O'Brien, whose blog is at prayingforbabyobrien.blogspot.com. "That's keeping us on the low end of the price range. We'll pay for the rest with savings and help from family and begin trying in September."

One of the conference sponsors is the Broken Brown Egg (thebrokenbrownegg.org), a nonprofit started by Regina Townsend, 29, an Oak Park resident, who aims to destigmatize infertility in the black community.

Townsend, who is black, said that when she and her husband were having difficulty getting pregnant, she found very few resources directed toward women of color.

"When we talk about reproductive health and black women, it's always about contraception and prevention, abortion and (sexually transmitted diseases)," said Townsend. "It's always everything before fertility."

She said there's a misconception that blacks don't have problems conceiving, don't adopt and can't afford the treatments.

"Until I started talking about infertility, I couldn't find one member of even my own family who would admit this was something our family has dealt with before," Townsend said. "You want to feel you're not alone, but you want information. You want to be proactive."

Beltsos said conferences such as A Family of My Own help make couples aware of what's available to them. That includes the breakthroughs in the science of fertility treatments.

For example, the advances in the technology for freezing eggs have taken off dramatically over the last decade thanks in part to work done in Italy, Japan and Korea. She said such advancements have had a profound effect on women diagnosed with cancer.

"We will pull eggs out and have them preserved for when the woman's done with chemo," Beltsos said. "Women can come back once they're cured from cancer and use their own biological eggs. No one would question that the most important thing is saving her life, but afterward it shifts the focus from surviving cancer to living one's life."

Davis said that when she was diagnosed with cancer at 12, her cancer was too aggressive to consider taking time to save her eggs.

"From the beginning, I knew I would have to go the IVF route," said Davis. "There's no guarantee it's going to work. We ran out of eggs the first time and now we're starting back at square one."

Davis, who also had a fundraiser through Birdies for Babies, said she believes it's important to share her story. She said a woman her husband knew in high school read about their ordeal on her blog (at katieandpatsivfjourney.blogspot.com) and offered to donate her eggs.

"It's amazing that things like this happen," said Davis. "At first, we were both not sure whether we should talk about (the infertility). But just by being so open with our story and speaking at events, we believe we're also helping others.

"I've been in remission for 11 years. I'm cancer-free. The last thing is this, and once I have a baby, I'll know cancer didn't take anything away from me."

dtrice@tribune.com

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lessons on Adoption - Good or Bad these are my feelings

Its incredibly difficult and quite emotional to write this post. Many have asked where Andrew and I are at with regards to our decision to adopt. I guess you could say that I naively or prematurely wrote my very excited blog about moving forward with adoption.

We had done some investigation into adoption, but we had not done all of our homework. As I stated in a previous blog, part of my healing at least for the time being in the place that I am currently at, I would like to adopt a baby, a newborn. Andrew and I don't have any preference on the gender of the child, and have thought very hard about race. For the purposes of too many opinions I will leave the descriptions of our thoughts surrounding race as a non-factor and something I don't feel needs to be discussed in an open forum. If you want to speak to me further then I don't mind in a private setting. Perhaps over coffee :)

Anyway, in our beginning steps we discovered the absolutely disgusting and dark side of adoption. Now here is where race does play a part, but played little in our decision with regards to adoption (hopefully that made sense). Depending on the race of a child depended on the cost and the availability of a baby. If you desired a Caucasian baby where both biological parents were both "white" then it would cost you between $32,000 to $42,000. That cost covers... actually I don't know what exactly, considering if you would like to adopt an African American baby the cost is from $12,000 to $15,000. These costs were fairly consistent whether we chose to go through an adoption agency or through a private adoption attorney.

So I began to ask myself where does the money go... And if its to cover administrative costs, medical costs, and counseling costs for both before and after care of the biological mother how then is the cost between one race so much more then another? My understanding is that paperwork is blind to color, medical costs are blind to color, counseling is blind to color...

In the midst of being in a very dark and painful place of not being able to have children on my own (unless God does a miracle - here is to believing still in miracles!) I am angered, annoyed, frustrated, and hurt by the cost of adoption and the idea that its free to make a baby but requires that only the wealthy can afford to adopt. I guess I realized why so many adopt much later in life, its simply when they could afford to do so.

Now some may say, Brenda, there is a tax break and I would say yes there is and its around $13,000 assuming the adoption goes through you can file the adoption costs on your tax and receive the credit. However, that does not in anyway cover the costs associated with adopting a child who is not African-American nor does it cover the costs if the adoption does not go through...

Oh yes, and that leads me to the other devastating news we received as we moved into the adoption world. You may pay your $12,000 to $42,000 and it may not result in you receiving a child. Sadly there is little recourse for you in receiving any of your money back. This may sound heartless on my end, but when you barely have enough money for yourself right now you can't imagine potentially letting go of a significant amount without any guarantee... Plus I know what it already means to give a significant amount of cash away for no guarantee with three failed IVF attempts.

So I have no update other then Andrew and I are childless we may be for a very long time or for the rest of our lives. I have cried out to our Lord and asked for a miracle, but I have also come to understand that some times the miracle we are asking for is not in God's ultimate plan no matter how much I don't understand. We can not afford to adopt at this point in our life so any movement forward in pursuing adoption has come to a screeching and very painful stop. Perhaps one day when we are at a different time we will begin to pursue adoption again.

I have been on an extreme emotional roller coaster with so many slammed doors that I am desperately trying to learn how to pick myself up amongst this deep disappointment. I am angry with my body, I am angry with the system, I am angry that I believe adoption has become a profit centered service which preys on those with deep wounds. I believe they have put a "legal" spin on baby selling and it sickens me to my core...

That is it that is all I have to say... I am going to take a break from writing anything with regards to our struggles to have or adopt children because I have no momentum forward in our story with regards to this subject.

A perfectly tarnished child of God

Friday, June 24, 2011

Article: Which Gender Do American's Prefer...

Americans Like Baby Boys Best (article)


Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
LiveScience.com Stephanie Pappas, Livescience Senior Writer
livescience.com
Fri Jun 24, 10:20 am ET

If they were only allowed to have one child, more Americans would prefer it be a boy rather than a girl, a new survey finds.


Despite the intervening woman's movement, the results are very similar to those found when the same question was asked of Americans in 1941.


The Gallup polling agency asked a random sample of 1,020 American adults whether they'd prefer to have a girl or a boy if they could only chose one. Forty percent said they'd pick a boy, 28 percent said they would want a girl, and the rest didn't mind either way or weren't sure.


In 1941, Americans asked a similar question responded with 38 percent preferring a boy, 24 percent preferring a girl, and the rest with no preference. The question has been asked eight other times in the intervening years, with the numbers remaining fairly constant.


The preference for boys over girls is driven by men, 49 percent of whom said they'd want a son. Only 22 percent said they'd prefer a daughter. Women, in contrast, showed no significant preference, with 31 percent preferring a boy and 32 percent preferring a girl. [Boy or Girl: Which Gender Baby Would You Pick?]


Americans younger than 30 are the most likely to say they'd prefer a boy, with 54 percent making that choice, and 27 percent preferring a baby girl. The gap then declines steadily with age. Education also plays a role: People with a postgraduate education break even in their preferences, while 44 percent of those with a high-school education or less prefer boys, compared with 25 percent who prefer girls.


It's not known how many parents in the United States have the opportunity to select what sex they'd like their baby to be, but sex-selective abortions in other countries have skewed the gender balance. Normally, 105 baby boys are born for every 100 girls. According to China's census, 118 baby boys were born for every 100 girls in 2010. Kits that promise to reveal the sex of a baby at just a few weeks' gestation have raised fears of similar sex-selective abortion in Western countries, Gallup officials said.


It is so vital that we as women continue to voice the purpose of equality and give positive examples to young women in all aspects of life. This will not only change the way women and young girls view themselves, but also the way men and young boys view us.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Adoption Update

Andrew and I have finally begun some of the steps forward in our adoption journey. I want to share a bit of where we are at and some of the choices that we are making within the adoption world.

First, I think its important to share where I am at in my own healing process. This August will be a year after our final and third attempt at IVF. Andrew and I went through clomid, an IUI and three failed IVF attempts. If you have not been through infertility treatments it is not easy to explain all of the treatments, medications, shots, tests, and very personal questions and interviews. The procedures are long and painful, but I think most women would choose to go through it if they thought they could conceive. It wasn't so much the pain of the shots and procedures, but the agony felt emotionally when the attempts failed. I don't know what it means to have a miscarriage but after four attempts of truly believing and hoping you were pregnant and getting the very cold phone call that the procedure did not take there is considerable loss and pain. In order to go through the long invasive procedures you have to have hope that everything was going to work and I will admit that I truly felt pregnant during the two week waiting period every time. Its devastating and quite lonely.

It has taken me almost a year to be able to heal and truly come to terms with the fact that I am going to be a wonderful mother, and that we, Andrew and I are going to make great parents! In the year of healing I told many people that I was of course thinking about adoption, but I knew those were just words and had no meaning behind them it was just the appropriate answer to give when people talked to me about infertility and adoption. Most people who spoke to me had never been through infertility and I will admit there were times I was so angry with them as they talked about adoption. I know their intentions were pure, but it tore my heart a part and I continued to hear in my head the old saying "easier said then done..."

Before I could move forward in adopting I had to know within myself that adoption was not a plan B it was not a second choice. I dedicated a lot of time healing. The bottom line is that I will always have a scar, but that scar has healed and its visible, but the pain is less and I am reminded of the journey I have been on and the exciting new journey I am about to begin.

Bringing us back to our adoption journey...

We have connected with the appropriate people and are staring to review our finances and apply for grants. Andrew and I utilized a majority of our personal funds for IVF and well in all honesty do not have the funds at this time to pursue adoption. However, it is important to start somewhere :) In these first few stages we are creating an adoption plan and discussing what options are available to us. At this time Andrew and I have decided to try for a domestic adoption. Part of my personal healing is that I would like to have a newborn. If I can't have babies of my own I would like the opportunity to have a newborn and experience everything I can in their lives. This may change, but as of today this is the starting point of our adoption plan. We are open to what is called a private adoption, semi-private, and open adoption. The differences are pretty much explained in the names but briefly a private means the adoption is closed, a semi-private means that there is exchange of very basic demographic, biological, and historical information and finally open means there is exchange of information on a more consistent basis and the two families are both involved on some level within the child's life.

According to the people we are working with domestic adoption runs from $10,000 to $40,000 with the average unfortunately being closer to the $40,000. Andrew and I of course don't even have the $10,000 at this time, but we are faithful that the Lord will provide and knows our hearts and desire to be parents.

In the next few weeks we will be discussing how we can do fund raisers, apply for as many grants as possible, look for loans, and figure out if we have any savings that we don't know about :).

I will be posting an application on my blog if you would like to help donate to our adoption. Additionally, I will be updating on this blog where we are at in the process.

Please pray with us for the following:

1. Direction in finances
2. Patience in the process
3. To not be discouraged
4. Prayer for the baby which will one day be with Andrew and I
5. Prayer for the mother who will carry her baby for 9 months and still choose adoption
6. Prayer for the father who will also make a huge decision to give up his baby for adoption
7. Prayer for continued healing emotionally

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sorry I have been away for a bit

Hi all

I apologize that I have been away for quite a bit of time. Andrew and I have been on some amazing and long travels. We were in DC in the early part of April to be with very good and dear friends. I was even able to celebrate my birthday with them. We then arrived home did a massive amount of laundry and turned around for a month long trip to the UK. We spent the last three weeks speaking at Spring Harvest (yes both speaking).

We are currently in Eastbourne staying with some wonderful friends. In a couple of days we will be heading for Scotland where Andrew is speaking at a couple of universities including St Andrews. We then head to London and in about a week fly home.

I can't wait to share and write more. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

A perfectly tarnished child of God

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Officially Speaking with The Marin Foundation

Hi all:

Well as I have been on a very bumpy ride within my life so far I have also been asked on occasion to share my story. I have fallen in love with speaking to groups on a variety of topics. The audiences have been different and the subject matters wide, but I have loved it.

So I want to officially announce that I am available through The Marin Foundation to speak. If you would like to have me come and share or you know of a group and would like to suggest for me to share I would be delighted. Please check out my brief bio under the staff page and also check out my speakers bio under the resources tab. You can inquire about having me speak at your event by emailing speaking@themarinfoundation.org.

My journey in this life is far from finished, but I want to give voice to those areas which I have been emotionally and physically wrestling through. I don't have all the answers, but I do have a very compassionate heart which has had to go through some bumps and bruises. Being stripped from all identity and finding my solace in the Lord is humbling and empowering.

My professional, educational, and personal experiences make for some interesting conversations and talks. I hope you would agree!!!

I look forward to being at one of your events!

A perfectly tarnished child of God

Monday, March 21, 2011

Was my identity really in Christ...we are looking to adopt...

This may be one of the most difficult posts I will write. I have not shared in a while where Andrew and I are at in the journey of our infertility. Maybe its because so many things have changed in my life that set me into a bit of a tail spin. Being laid off, trying to figure out my next steps, discovering who I am as a professional, and as a woman. I have been learning that although I state that my identity has been in Christ the reality is that my identity really was wrapped up in so many other areas. Now that so much of my identity has been stripped away I know my security was in the things which defined who I was; my career, my family, my ability to have a baby, my education, and my dreams/aspirations.

It is so easy to state that your trust and identity is fully in Christ when everything seems to line up perfectly within the expectations of your cultural norms. In my case that means having a great education, being on the fast track for my career, and of course one day being the super mommy which produces the perfect 2.1 kids (is that the statistic for the States?...still not sure about the .1%). I so arrogantly stated that of course I trust in God and his call on my life. Of course I listen to the Voice of God and the calling placed upon me. How proud I was when I spoke into others lives about challenging them to have the same faith which I possessed. The same "God connection" which I had.

I am sorry...Not only for being so arrogant in my faith and declaration of having a Christ centered life, but that it took being so stripped from everything which I felt was my security in defining who I was and my success as a person (which was quite far from a Christ-centered measurement). It is a humbling place to have to look in the mirror and realize that you no longer are the person you thought you were or were going to be. That you no longer have all of the accolades which gave you a buffer from the realities of this world. People ask me all the time, what do you do, how many children do you have, when are you going to have children? I used to have very confident "Christ-woman-centered-perfect" answers for these questions. Now I stumble and struggle to give an answer to any of the above questions...

But, thankfully we serve a God who allows us to learn in all circumstances. Whose Grace is greater then anything which I gave to myself and in many cases those around me. I am a work in progress. I am learning to be a Christ centered person...I am trying.

I have no answers other then that I am a broken woman, a perfect and tarnished child of God. I can't have children (at least not right now-I do believe in a God of great miracles too). We are considering adopting. I will write more about our process to adoption in posts to come...

I will end with this quickly... We are looking to adopt. This has been a long road and a very painful process. I had to become fully whole again as a person and especially as a woman before I could come to a place where adoption was a wonderful and natural choice for me to make. Andrew was already and always on board, but I was not. My heart is full, not healed, but full and whole. We can't wait to love a child and become the most awesome parents.

I want to encourage young women who find themselves in a situation where keeping their baby may not be the best option, I say this with the deepest and most compassionate heart, please consider adoption. There are many people in this world like Andrew and I who would love to adopt a baby. Who will care for your child as if it was their own. Who have come a long way to understand the gift a baby is and the miracle for which that baby comes. Most importantly we understand the sacrifice and the many paths this life journey takes each of us.

A recovering broken soul :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is it possible that we also can be our own enemies (at least not our worst)

I came across this article in the NY Times. It was located within the opinion section of the paper and it was written in response to International Women's Day. The question from the article and within the title is "Do Women Leaders Matter?" You can read the article here.

A quick synopsis of the article is simply that in some countries, which are more or less male dominated by nature, who have female leaders even at the top most level, the women seem to do less for other females within their respective countries. However, the article does highlight that when women are among the general leadership constructs of the country and/or organization that women seem to assist other women in moving female concepts forward.

The article intrigued me because I personally have found myself at the hands of a very unwilling female executive who in her struggle to maintain her position within our very male dominated company refused to assist other females in moving forward or up the "corporate ladder." She would pour her knowledge and expertise into male subordinates and neglect the female ones. She shared with me once her journey and how hard it was to get to her position and she was doing everything in her power to stay there as it was her fight and life's goal to be a VP. I asked if she felt as a female if she should be in her position and her answered surprised me. (Lesson learned don't ask a question you already think you know the answer to... it may surprise you and knock you off your game for a bit). She said no. She did not believe a female should necessary be at her level, but that she was special and had given up so much, studied that much harder, received much more accreditations, certifications, etc. The female VP told me that she needed to protect her spot and would not let just anyone come up the executive ladder especially other women. Her thought was simply that if there were other women then maybe she would loose the control/power/specialness over her position.

I also wondered if she felt that other women were not working as hard or giving up as much as she did and therefore they did not deserve to be at the level she had made it to. She did tell me that she was not a pioneer and did not pave any way for others to follow. Yet, she continued to mentor male employees.

I no longer work for that company, but I will tell you that her attitude toward women leadership caused a great deal of hardship in trying to convince the executive levels of the talents which I as a female brought to the table and could contribute to this organization. The female executive had such a hold on the other executives and had created this impossible expectation for other female employees. She, the female VP had more degrees, accreditations, certifications, and recognitions then any of the other executives combined and yet she would not relinquish her hold on being the one and only female executive...

So I ask can we as women hurt each other, do we hurt each other...

This new trend of "mean girls" in school... what does that represent...

Are there so few positions at the top for women that when one makes it she holds on to it so tightly to not let anyone else in. Especially other women which may take away from the accomplishment....

Thoughts

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finally, Happy Feminist Coming Out Day...

Please check out this article if you would like to discover more about Feminist Coming Out Day and what Feminist and Feminism looks like, linked here.

Another Article in honor of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Please check out some of the statistics highlighted in the below article, linked here. Please note the below article references some photographs. As I didn't know how to transfer them over please click on the link to see them.

Tabby Biddle.Writer/Reporter dedicated to the empowerment of women

Posted: March 8, 2011 03:32 PM BIO Become a Fan Get Email Alerts Bloggers' Index .International Women's Day: Celebrating Women Who Forge Democracy In Liberia

Read More: International Women's Day , Liberia , Michelle Bachelet , President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Hillary Clinton , Un Women , United Nations , Women Leaders , Women's Empowerment , Women's Rights , Impact News

There are 192 countries that are recognized members of the United Nations. Women have the right to vote in only 67 of them. That means in 65 percent of the world's nations, women's voices are silenced in the creation of the laws and policies that govern them (and their children). Most of us know that women make up more than half of the world's population. So does something feel off balance to you?

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. One hundred years ago, women could vote in only two countries (Australia and New Zealand). So we could say we've come a long way in 100 years -- and we have -- but we all must must recognize that we've got a ways to go.

To mark this 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current Executive Director of UN Women, joined Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - the first democratically elected woman President in Africa -- in Liberia to highlight the importance of women's leadership in forging strong democracies, economies and re-building societies after conflict.

"I am very pleased to celebrate this milestone in Liberia, a country where women's influence in forging peace and recovery offers lessons for all countries committed to advancing gender equality and women's human rights," said Ms. Bachelet in a press briefing.

Female United Nations peacekeepers yesterday with Kathy Calvin, CEO U.N. Foundation, left, and Executive Director of U.N. Women and former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet after visiting a Peace Hut, a forum for community justice, in rural Liberia. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for the United Nations Foundation.

Liberia is not only the first country in Africa to democratically elect a woman as president, but the home to one of the first female peacekeeping units. "This is a country that has stood up and has been able to build a stable democracy for five years after more than 10 years of conflict," said Ms. Bachelet. "I believe women are essential agents of peace. They are always trying to find the consensus."

It turns out that today women make up less than 8 percent of peace teams around the world, and of those eight percent, no women are at the head.

If we look at heads of state, the disparity is similar. Out of 192 countries around the world, only 19 women are heads of state. Remember, we are more than 50 percent of the population.

Teen girls meet with the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Campaign over the weekend to talk about the challenges women face in post-conflict Liberia. The girls are part of a special program at the THINK empowerment center in Liberia's capital Monrovia. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for the United Nations Foundation

It can seem like we have come so far in 100 years, and we have. But it's also obvious that there is so much more work to do.

Today let's celebrate being women and give thanks to the courageous women before us who have spoken out for women's rights and risked their lives for the sake of all women. Let's honor the women in Liberia who have been confronted with devastating violence and are re-building their country and boldly setting an example of what is possible with women as agents of peace.

Let's continue to celebrate how far we've come, and with this, deepen our commitment to speaking up for ourselves and for the rights and respect of all women and girls around the world. I am convinced this will be a win-win for everyone.

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Below is an article which was tweeted by Emerging Mummy. I love the article so much that I wanted to post for others to read. Here is the link.

Let us be Women who Love


ShareEditor’s note: Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. We LOVE this day, to celebrate the journey of womanhood, to look at what still needs to be done on earth and to gather our hearts together and walk together for freedom and equality. Please join us in this journey that requires great Love.

Let us be women who LOVE

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.



Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb for Life to grow.

Let us be women who Love.



Let us RISE to the questions of our time.

Let us SPEAK to the injustices in our world.

Let us MOVE the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us SHOUT down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us FILL the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.



Let us LISTEN for those who have been silenced.

Let us HONOR those who have been devalued.

Let us SAY ENOUGH with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is FREE and EQUAL.

Let us be women who Love.



Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say YES to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.



Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A slight departure... Cupcakes

Today I went to Whole Foods in Lincoln Park, which is huge and rumor has it that its one of the largest if not the largest Whole Foods in the country. Lets just say you would need a few days to navigate through the entire grocery store to make sure you have viewed and examined all of the possibilities.

Anyway I chose to have lunch at this Whole Foods as I was out and about running some errands. In attempt to be healthier because I was inspired being at the Whole Foods I chose a combination of veggies and toppings from the salad bar. I then got a small cup of soup. Yummy...

Toward the back of the store above where all of the ready to eat food options is a small eating and gathering place. It has tables which seat from 2 to 6 people through out the space. After paying for my healthy lunch I walked up the stairs and began to eat. Now I have to tell you this location is a people watchers dream because you can see almost everyone sifting through all of the grocery goodness which Whole Foods offers... Its a mixture of people today. Young and old, male and female, some with children and of course some without. I spent much of my time gazing at the people go about their day purchasing whatever they needed and I am sure purchasing plenty of things they didn't need.

I began to think after looking at this vast store with all of its food and from what we have bought into a healthier version on food. Wow we are blessed in this country. I don't even know how to grow anything. I wouldn't know where to begin what it meant to plant or cultivate anything. I would be terrified to butcher any animal for meat and if I even worked up some guts (no pun intended) to do it. I wouldn't even have a clue to begin to know where to start.

Perhaps we have forgotten what it means to build things, grow things, and consume things in a proper way. We have so much and feel we deserve more. We believe we should be entitled to certain things as if they are rights and not privileges. Now don't get me wrong we should all have access to food, shelter, clothing, and love... but beyond that... is it a right or a privilege. When do you stop working for something and begin to think you deserve it... Watching these people in Whole Foods I wondered do they believe they deserve this grocery store with all of its organic healthy options or do they recognize how lucky we are to have this privilege...

All that to say I must admit I am guilty of buying more then I needed and indulging in all things convenient... I am lucky I guess to have the privilege to enjoy my cupcake...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Article from yahoo.com highlighting an Awesome New Book - Women of course are better :)

Why women really are better at almost everything: Q&A with author Dan Abrams editor


by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Tue Mar 1, 2011 8:41am PST 1088 Comments Post a Comment Read More from This Author » Report Abuse ShareretweetEmailPrint Contrary to jokes and one-liners, women are better drivers than men. They’re also better at getting the joke. And better with hammers. And video games. And social networking. And did we mention, they get dressed faster than guys? This isn’t opinion, it’s fact, and Dan Abrams can prove it.

In his new book, Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else, Abrams collects research from leading studies over the past few years to make the case for the ‘fairer’ sex. A legal analyst for ABC News and former lawyer, he approached the topic as a defense attorney, using evidence that already exists to debunk popular myths about women.

“In nearly every field, statistics and studies show that women are better collaborators, are more cautious and more adept at navigating treacherous terrain,” writes Abrams in his book’s opening statement. “I am not convinced that women as a group play basketball or read maps better than men. The evidence here will show, however, that women are living longer and evolving better than men.” It takes a lot for a man to admit his own weaknesses (there’s a chapter on how women tolerate pain better), so we wondered why Abrams would make the case for women. Turns out, it’s a man’s job.

Shine: How did you decide to do this book?

Dan Abrams: I was hired to write a light article for a magazine about certain areas that women are better in than men. Some of the evidence surprised me, so I went and looked into the underlying research. Most of it was true, some was exaggerated, some anecdotal. But I kept finding more and more real studies and the evidence is compelling when you look at it all together. I couldn’t believe there’s been no major book about it.

Shine: Why now?

D.A.: There’s a lot more evidence now. A lot of the studies from the book are from the last three years. It’s only been in the last twenty or so years, that women have been on a relatively even playing field in terms of work to do many of these studies. We weren’t able to make fair comparisons before, because women were a fraction of the working world. Now we’re see women taking over the majority in many professions. But only recently has there been enough time to look back to compare men versus women and only recently has there been real interest.

Shine: Which gender is leading these studies?

D.A.: Of the studies I looked at, a vast majority of lead researchers are men, but the broad trend trackers are women.

Shine: What finding surprised you the most?

D.A.: I was most surprised at how conclusive the evidence was for the fact that women tolerate pain better. They endure more pain throughout their lives, in more bodily areas and with greater frequency, according to researchers at the University of Bath. According to the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, women have an average of 34 more nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin, while men have an average of 17. New research is suggesting the fact that women tend to endure pain more makes them more immune to it. It’s the old aphorism, “That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

Shine: Are women really better at tasting beer?

D.A.: The evidence is clear that women have a better sense of smell. In one study, researchers questioned whether men or women be better able to smell sweat behind fragrances, and women were fooled far less. But also they have a better sense of taste, and can apply it to just about anything. Taste is based on smell, as well as the number of taste buds a person has, and women are more likely to have a greater number of more-sensitive taste buds. And it’s not just beer that they’re better at tasting, but wine as well.

Shine: What about sports—men are better at sports, right?

D.A.: There’s no question that men have larger muscles, so they tend to be better at most sports. But there are certain areas—particularly endurance sports—where women are better. Studies show that estrogen is a disadvantage for muscle development but an advantage when it comes to endurance. Another advantage for women is that their bodies more efficiently process oxygen. When it comes to ultra-marathons—say, a 135 mile race without sleep—women can beat men. It’s reflective of something we see throughout the book— when it comes to race of life, women won’t sprint but they'll run longer. In baseball terms, men may hit the home run but women hit the singles and doubles more often and end up with a better average. This is true in financial fields as well: women are better long-term investors.

Shine: It makes sense that women are hard-wired for endurance, considering another chapter in the book entitled, “Women Live Longer.”

D.A.: Women live an average of five years longer than men. The reasons for this are both genetic and behavior-based. First of all, women have stronger immune systems, again due to estrogen which aids the fight against disease-inducing enzymes. But women are also less likely to engage in risky behavior. For example, I found that women are hit by lightning less often than men. That’s because the guy may not get off the roof when there’s a thunderstorm coming.

Shine: Does the same theory apply to women being safer drivers?

D.A.: Men are more likely to engage in reckless behavior, like driving drunk. One study found male drivers have 77 percent higher risk of dying in a car accident than women. It’s translated to insurance rates, women have 7 percent lower rates on the whole because they’re less careless drivers. In Australia, they actually petitioned to have more women bus drivers, because they found they’re more likely to treat buses better and have fewer accidents.

Shine: Bus drivers aren’t the only jobs women excel at, according to your research. What other jobs are women better at than men?

D.A.: Women were found to be less corruptible as cops. In both Lima, Peru and Volgograd, Russia where police corruption was a major issue, the governments campaigned to hire more women cops. There’s another study that women are more effective as political leaders than men. It suggests, we’d be a better country if there were more women in the highest echelons of politics.

Shine: In the field of medicine, the findings are also in favor of women.

D.A.: One of the most definitive studies in the book was done in 2009 by the British government. They collected a database of information on all the investigations of medical misconduct or incompetence over a period of eight years. It was the largest study of medical performance ever. They found that while forty percent of doctors were women, 80 percent of those under investigation were men. In the U.S., there were similar findings. Male physicians were twice as likely to be sued as women.

Shine: With all this counter-evidence, why are women still subjected to the same old stereotypes?

D.A.: Women weren’t allowed to vote in this country 100 years ago. We’re still in the period of catch up. We still haven’t had a female president, or that many women running Fortune 500 companies. When we get to point of seeing just as many women in the top levels of every profession, that's when we'll see a sea change at lower levels.

Shine: How is the internet giving women more of an advantage?

D.A.: One of the clich├ęs about women is that they’re more communicative—those who want to demean women say they like to gossip more. That’s a pejorative way of commenting on the fact that women are more involved in social media. A 2010 study found women were six percent more exposed to social networking sites and spent more time on them. Other research found women were less likely to be victims of internet fraud.

Shine: Are you worried about backlash from men?

D.A.: I already had one men’s rights group send a petition to get me fired from my job. They wrote, “Dan Abrams is penning a sexist book claiming male inferiority.” But this book is not about my musings or opinions. This is me approaching the topic like a lawyer. Is there some hyperbole in the headline? Sure, but the reality is the trends here are significant and important. The goal of this book is not be viewed as a feminist book but an objective book. Someone with no bias is examining the evidence and coming forth to say it’s compelling. I’ll get mocked by many men, but a woman who made the same findings would be discounted for writing this book because of her bias.

Shine: You've provided a lot of evidence that women are better at some of life's most important tasks. What are men better at?

D.A.: Men are better at parking, they’re better dieters, they have better distance vision, they read maps better. One study suggests they even treat their friends better. But my next book won’t be about making the case for men. Overall I found that men’s biggest problem is that they’re too confident and women’s biggest problem is that they’re not confident enough. Truth is, I think the evidence is overwhelming in favor of women.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still

It has been awhile since I have made any contributions to my blog. I am still in a place of healing and discovery so I have felt very little in the form of sharing or writing. However, during this time I have really relied on the above verse. This is where I am at currently. I am trying to learn to be still in my spirit. The calm my busy body personality and really reflect on what the Lord has for me in this next chapter of my life.

Awhile back I was asked for a list of books that I am going through. This is my list. I have read some of these, I am working through others, and still others are on my bedside table waiting for me to get to them. These books are listed in no particular order, but these are the books I am getting through during this time. I have a few more and will update the list later:

1. "Taking Back God: American Woman Rising up for Religious Equality" by Leora Tanenbaum
2. "If You have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You" by Kelly Cutrone
3. "The Feminine Mystique" Betty Friedan
4. "The Well of Loneliness: A 1920s Classic of Lesbian Fiction" by Radclyffe Hall
5. "Slaves, Women & Homosexuals" by William J. Webb
6. "More Than Serving Tea" by Claire S. Chow
7. "Men and Women in the Church" by Sarah Sumner
8. "Discovering Biblical Eqaulity" by Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis
9. "All the Women of the Bible" by M.L. del Mastro
10. "All the Men of the Bible & All the Women of the Bible" by Herbert Lockyer
11. "Narrative of Sojourner Truth" Introduction and Notes by Imani Perry
12. "Living on the Boundaries" by Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Christine D. Pohl
13. "The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women and the Real Gender Gap" by Susan Pinker
14. "Shepherding Women in Pain" by Bev Hislop
15. "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women: by Susan Faludi
16. "Shortchanged: Why Women have Less Wealth and What Can be Done About It" by Mariko Lin Chang
17. "Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Creat Difference" by Cordelia Fine

I have a few more books which I have left in my car. Once I have those I will add them to the list. I hope some of the books are helpful and help each of you discover what it means to be a child of God a Women of God.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Resume... Anybody... Thoughts... Not sure I want a corporate job anymore...

Below is a snap shot of my professional life. I guess it kind of defines who I am and what I can do... but on this journey of really figuring out what the Lord has in store for me I am trying to figure out what all of the experiences of my past mean to my future. I don't believe I want another corporate job. I enjoy teaching, training, problem solving, consulting, and strategy. I view the world holistically and approach it in a linear fashion. Who am I... where am I going... I do know that what I want to do eventually will have a bigger goal and purpose then simply making money...

OBJECTIVE:



To continue a career directed toward constant growth with a focus on organizational evolution with a direct correlation to the organization’s strategic initiatives.


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


Covenant Services Worldwide January 2006 – December 2010
Bolingbrook, IL
Manager of Business Operations (March 2008 – Present)
Promoted within the organization: Managed all aspects of the Special Projects, Training and International Divisions. Assisted in the strategic development of business opportunities, managed continuous communication and relationship enhancement, guided process flow of business leads, contractual requirements, and follow through. Served as the liaison to the centralized support staff and provided compliance control with existing contracts as the centralized support for multiple decentralized operations.


• Increased revenue by 41.51% from 2008 to 2009 by establishing and managing a streamlined process flow


of documentation from the business lead to the finished project creating a more effective and efficient


method in utilizing the centralized office support and reducing significant waste in personnel time for both domestic and international initiatives.


• Improved turnaround time and project efficiency by 150% by developing precise domestic and global


market focused contractual documents which streamlined the communications with the customer and effectively provided constant information and direction to the back office centralized support throughout the entire process by the elimination of process excess.


• Analyzed and provided calculated recommendations of contractual agreements with over $400,000 in domestic contracts and $2,000,000 in international contract revenue between new customers, teaming agreements, and consultants.


• Continuously communicated with department leads to conceptualize organizational goals, leads,


business development, budgets, and short and long term initiatives.


• Lead the Special Projects, Training, and International divisions in development, procurement, costing, and


writing of proposal documents. Coordinated the expertise and knowledge base of the centralized office


and combined the efforts into a concise document.


• Aided in the strategic development of a comprehensive transition team during the acquisition of new


contracts encouraging the open communication, development, and engagement of the newly acquired employees utilizing a variety of organizational development theories.


• Worked closely with strategic planning teams to create smooth transition and flow into a global market –


both organizationally and competitively.


• Provided internal and external marketing support dealing primarily with press releases, tradeshows, quarterly news letters, and internal communications.


Manager of Employee Relations & Training (January 2006 – March 2008)
Managed and partnered with four divisions of an affiliate of companies on a variety of different projects and programs including company wide organizational development, employee relations, training and development, industry trends, communications, and employee enhancement with a direct relation to the overall strategy.


• Established and wrote an Organizational Development and Effectiveness Department for Covenant Services Worldwide and the four affiliate companies.


• Developed and designed a program for employees, managers, and leadership centered on learning and training entitled “Covenant University” – fulfilling a company goal of creating knowledgeable and trained leaders throughout the company and its affiliates.


• Directed training and coaching initiatives as established by the needs of Covenant and its family of affiliates concentrating on an environment of continual sustainable learning.


• Led the employee relations initiatives which focused on learning, investigations, employee involvement, culture understanding, organizational growth, and legal responses gauging our progress through surveys, focus groups, and interviews.


• Managed organization wide EEOC investigations and charges, labor relation responses, and union grievances.


• Supported the Human Resources efforts with recruitment and turnaround strategies when new contracts were awarded.


THE CITY OF NAPERVILLE September 2005 – January 2006
Naperville, IL
Temporary Contract – HR/ORE
Supported the daily activities performed by the HR professional team to the director of HR/ORE. Aided in all projects, events, research, and analysis of ongoing and special assignments.


CALVARY CHURCH NAPERVILLE January 2005 – September 2005
Naperville, IL
Project Development Assistant
Created smooth transition from one occurrence to the next, understanding the before, during and after of each project, presentation, meeting and event allowing for positive and productive outcomes.


PARKER TRANSNATIONAL INDUSTRIES, LLC (PTI) July 2003 – January 2005
Niger, Africa & Chicago, IL
Managing Director of Non-Profit Initiatives – Africa
Direct liaison to the Niger Governmental Heads of State implementing private and governmental contracts to develop non-profit projects for the creation of economic growth in Niger and the Northwest Region of Africa.


• Directed an international team on a $3 mil. contract for start-up of Job and Cultural Awareness programs.


• Managed the implementation team of a $5 mil. contract for the acquisition of a sewing factory compound.


• Participated in ongoing negotiations for Niger Dam Projects and Auto Plant Project for the purpose of building an educational system and relocation of 20,000 people.


• Sold investors on the Non-Profit Initiative Programs through planning and organizing fund raising events.


• Managed the implementation and development of the Niger development Trust, LLC (NDT), the Non-Profit subsidiary of PTI.


• Managed and directed target marketing and culture research regarding the impact of Parker Transnational Industries and Niger Development Trust on the country of Niger.


EDUCATION


Benedictine University Lisle, IL June 2005 – June 2007
Dual Graduate Program
MBA: Masters in Business Administration
Concentration: International Business
MS MOB: Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior
Concentration: Organizational Development
Graduate Certificate: Training and Development
Graduate Certificate: Business Administration


Drake University Des Moines, IA August 1998 – December 2002
BSBA
Dual Majors: International Business and Marketing
Drake University Academic and Achievement Scholarship for four consecutive years


University of Stellenbosch Stellenbosch, South Africa January 2001 – July 2001
Concentration: Sub-Saharan Region of Africa


COMPUTER SKILLS


Proficient with Microsoft Word, Office, Excel, Power Point, Microsoft Windows, Publisher and the Internet


LANGUAGES


English (primary), German (basic conversational/written skills), Afrikaans (basic conversational)





Saturday, January 22, 2011

Food for Thought

I am currently trying to get through a few books during my soul searching time. One of those books is called "Living on the Boundaries, Evangelical Women, Feminism, and The Theological Academy," by Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Christine D. Pohl.

A quote in the book has had me thinking and I am wondering what your thoughts are as well...

"Mainstream evangelicalism is at odds with - and is often hostile to - the fullest emotional, spiritual, and psychological development of gifted women. It is, in essence, a dysfunctional world which scapegoats intellectual women as "the other." Women who stay "inside" wind up making tremendous compromises in each of those areas often to the detriment to their own health and life satisfaction." pg. 32

Monday, January 17, 2011

I will be back

Hi all. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and that this new year is going well. I am in a time of major transition. I was laid off from my position right before Christmas. I have been taking some time off to figure out who I am and especially what God wants for my life. Additionally, I have been traveling and spending time with Andrew.

I promise I will start to write again after I have taken some time to really listen to God and my soul. I would however, love to hear what each of you are hoping for in 2011!!!