It was one of those God taps that I wanted to ignore. Late last year I felt I was supposed to write a devotional using the surrender themes explored in my contemporary romance series, Surrendering Time. Not only that, but write it from the characters point of view. I’d never heard of such a thing, and by obeying, I knew I was delaying book 3, ENGAGED, even more.
But obey I did. It took longer than I thought with unexpected travel and child sickness, but it’s done.
FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional, features short readings on surrendering fear, loss, change, regret, and the future. If you’ve read ENTRUSTED or ENTANGLED, you will visit with beloved characters like Ben, Jenna, Carla, Will, Sara, and more. If the series is new to you, no worries. The devotional will introduce you to the characters without spoilers. Then, once ENGAGED is released this spring, you will be ready to jump in.
It’s in eBook format, so download the free Kindle app and you can read on your phone, tablet, desktop, laptop, and of course, Kindle. It’s only available on Amazon.
I’d love for you to spread the word. Early feedback showed that many of the readings were exactly what readers were struggling with at that time. That’s God, and I’m grateful He allows me to write for Him.
Take a look!
January is Thyroid Awareness month and I missed the designated week this year due to unexpected travel and catch up. However, I didn’t want the month to go by without sharing how such a tiny gland has such a big impact on our family.
According to nahypothyroidism.org, there are 300 symptoms associated with a thyroid dysfunction.
The most common are:
- Cold hands/feet (hypothyroidism)
- Dry skin (hypothyroidism)
- Unexplained weight gain (hypothyroidism)
- Unexplained weight loss (hyperthyroidism)
- Loose bowels/diarrhea (hyperthyroidism)
- Vision issues (Graves’ disease)
- Difficulty swallowing (goiter/thyroid nodules)
From the American Thyroid Association, ATA:
Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disease
More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.
- An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
- Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
- Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
- One woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
- Most thyroid cancers respond to treatment, although a small percentage can be very aggressive.
- The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown.
- Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility.
- Pregnant women with undiagnosed or inadequately treated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.
- Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention.
Facts about the Thyroid Gland and Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affects critical body functions, such as energy level and heart rate.
- The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the lower neck.
- Although the thyroid gland is relatively small, it produces a hormone that influences every cell, tissue and organ in the body.
- Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and some weight gain.
- Hyperthyroidism, another form of thyroid disease, is a condition causing the gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems and eye irritation.
- Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism; it is an autoimmune disorder that is genetic and estimated to affect one percent of the population.
We are dealing with congenital hypothyroidism and Hashimotos in our home. When our daughter was born, she was slightly jaundiced, a sign of hypothyroidism no one told us about. A month later we learned she “failed” her newborn test because of her thyroid, so we were told to re test because it was most likely a false positive. We of course went that same day.
We waited two weeks for the results, and then I ended up calling. The receptionist read the results, something she was not authorized to do. Weeks later we learned at our daughter’s 2 month check that the receptionist not only read the wrong levels, in her own mailbox was a prescription she was to have called us on for proper thyroid meds. We never got that call.
When Early Intervention stepped in, the first thing they told me was to prepare us for mental retardation. That is how important a functioning thyroid is, and we missed 8 critical weeks of medications. The praise is our daughter is not that diagnosis. There are delays that include short term memory, sequencing and comprehension. This year especially has been tough as we see that play out. She is tired all the time.
When we talked to the doctor overseeing endocrinology in our state back in the day, he did a great job explaining what hypothyroidism meant. He told us to think of the thyroid like a furnace. It kicks on or off depending on what needs to happen. For our daughter, it doesn’t kick on without help. The whole “house” gets cold, even with her meds. Every system in her is slowed. Every. On the flip, a hyperthyroid person would have the furnace running all the time. That helped me a lot.
It boggles my mind such a tiny gland does so much and I grieve how it wreaks such havoc on our child. But we are determined as a family this is just part of who she is—I monitor her health, meds, lab work and advocate for her in school and with doctors. But, she is so much more than that. She’s bling, dance, song, jokes, scarves, pink, romantic, joy, compassionate and crafty.
I hope this gives you a glimpse about the thyroid and why it’s important to be aware of what it does.