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She Speaks 2014

Posted by Mandy Young on August 4, 2014 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (1)

As a speaker, I love going to conferences to hear other speakers. I love to watch how they deliver, listen to their story telling, watch the audience's reactions and then their interaction with the speaker. I also love getting together with other speakers and picking their brains. Things like this only make you better. But there is one place where Christian speakers, writers, and bloggers can go to learn and be inspired; She Speaks. She Speaks was developed from the Proverbs 31 ministry. (www.proverbs31.com).

 

She speaks is a weekend conference in Concord, NC. You can choose to attend the two day conference (Friday and Saturday) or you can even start a day early with pre-conference classes. Totally not knowing what I was getting myself into, I decided to go to the two days to see what this was all about. I had had many speakers over the years tell me that I just had to go to She Speaks. This year after much prayer and feeling like it was where God told me He wanted me, I had no choice, I signed up! Luckily, Summer Saldana (www.summersaldana.com/blog) and Ruth Schwenk (www.thebettermom.com) two friends whom I virtually met during the Roo Magazine days (an online magazine that we were contributors for) but I had never met in person were going too and asked me to room with them! We were so excited about our weekend with lots of learning and laughs!

 

When I arrived at the hotel on Thursday Ruth was already there (she came a day earlier for pre conference classes). A couple of hours later after I had a little nap and Ruth had finished her classes, Summer finally arrived. Which meant "Let the slumber party begin"!! The night was filled with pizza, hair extentions and lots of laughs!

 

Friday morning started bright and early (especially for poor Summer since she lives on California time). We coasted our way downstairs, signed in, and headed to our first main session with Lysa Terkhurst! Lysa is an amazing speaker/Bible teacher. Our lesson that morning was on her new bible study "The Best Yes" it's about unrushing your life. We get caught up in our busy lives, we agree to do everything everyone asks us to do or we get caught up in the social media realm instead of focusing on what is actually happening in our lives right now. I believe this will be the next selection for my bible study group! The only problem is, it doesn't come out until Sept! After our morning teaching from Lysa we split up and went our seperate ways to our next class. My first class selection was "The art of the book proposal" taught by AJ Gregory. The class was great and filled with so much great info but if I'm being completely honest I think I was a little over whelmed. Next came lunch and then off to our second classes. My second class was "Finding something in to talk about" with Karen Ehman (whom I adore by the way). Right now when I speak I give my testimony, but I would love to be able to go back and speak at churches or places I've already been so I'm going to need more subjects and this class helped me figure out where to get more stories from. Then we had a nice little break before meeting back together and our last main session for the day which was lead by Christine Caine, teaching us how to be a God Chick! This woman is amazing! I wasn't aware of this Austrilian Jesus power house! She was awesome! If you ever have a chance to witness her teach I tell you GO!!

 

Saturday morning started bright and early with a main session with Renee Swope. Her teaching was so encouraging. I think she already knew that the devil was starting to attack a lot of us by telling us that we weren't good enough. Basically doing exactly what he does best, by attacking you every which way he can; especially when you're doing work for Jesus! She was so uplifting reminding us why we were there and that we already have what it takes to be what God wants us to be! My first class for Saturday was "Backstage pass to agenting" with Esther Fedorkevich. And by the way I love Esther too; she's a fun time! This class was great and very informative of what an agent does and doesn't do. Basically I need to get one! My second class was "Blogging basics" with Blythe Daniel. It was about how to turn your blogs into a book. This class wasn't really what I thought it was going to be but I'm pretty sure I took the most notes in this class than any other! Next came lunch where I got to meet up with my roomies! Then back to the grind with "I'm okay, but you're a little peculiar" by Lisa Allen; again this class isn't what I thought it was going to be about. I thought it was about speaking to different age groups but it was actually about when working with different personalities and making it work! Even thought it wasn't what I thought it was I really do feel like I learned a lot. From there I went to an advanced speakers class where we learned about building our websites around our personalities (which I will be working on) and learning about our wardrobe selections when speaking (which was very interesting). Next we all joined back together for a yummy dinner and our last main session which was taught by Lysa. She was so excited to share her heart with us this night and God's word. After another awesome teaching from Lysa we closed the conference with a dessert mix and mingle where all the session teachers were out to meet, greet, sign autographs and pray with you!

 

The entire She Speaks weekend was so awesome! First of all just getting to meet my Roo friends (including Summer and Ruth) in person not just over the computer. I am so blessed to have all of these ladies as a part of my life. Secondly the classes were so informative. I left feeling like I knew what I needed to do and I just have to get the ball rolling! But I also felt like my brain needed a break because there was so much information! I'll be going back to my notes for months to come! The girls and I are already planning on going back next year! I'm already excited to see where I'll be next year just from what I learned this year!

 

Have you ever been to She Speaks? What was your experience? Do you plan to go in the future? I'm excited to hear your thoughts!

Pay It Forward

Posted by Mandy Young on May 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Earlier this week I was having lunch with a co-worker at one of my favorite spots. Once we were seated I noticed a couple of tables over was a large party of teachers with disabled students. A couple of mintues later a teenage boy (I'm guessing he was around 16-18 years old) sat down by himself and occupied himself with his cell phone. My co worker and I chatted while waiting for our orders but then I became distracted. The table of teachers and students had finished and headed toward the door to their bus. The teenage boy jumped up and held open the door for the teachers and students until they were all loaded on to the bus. Once everyone was on board the boy went back to his seat and waited for his food. I just sat there in awe. Yes, over something as simple as that. A teenage boy jumping up to help someone. He wasn't asked or told, he just jumped up to help. I feel like sometimes I live in a world where people aren't taught manners or don't have common courtesy anymore. But the way this young man did something as easy as opening a door for someone, touched my heart and gave me hope that it is still being taught to our up and coming generations. So without him knowing, I paid for his meal. A good deed should be rewarded. I was going to write him a note and thank him for what he did and tell him I paid for his lunch but I wasn't going to sign it. It doesn't matter who did it (I didn't want credit for it) I just wanted him to know sometimes your actions get rewarded. But before I could write it, he asked for his check and his waitress told him it had already been taken care of. He was shocked, was sweet about it and then left. Since I wasn't able to give him the note of why I paid for his meal I hope he knows that he did something that stood out and others recognized his gesture!

Later that night mom and I road up to Charlee's gymnastics class. On the way there we noticed a little snow cone place. FYI Mom and I love us some snow cones! After class was over we stopped by for a little frozen treat for our drive home. When we pulled up there was a lady standing at the window placing her order. While standing behind her waiting my turn she struck up a conversation about flavor choices. She started telling me that she was getting the tasty treats for her three kids, mom and one for herself. Once her order was placed she grabbed two of the cups and said that she would come back for the others and headed to her empty car behind me. I told her not to worry I would grab the others for her and help her to her car. She told me I didn't have to, but I didn't feel the need of having to, I wanted to. I grabbed the other cups and handed them to her as she loaded her car. I headed back up to the window and placed my order (one cherry for mom and one cotton candy for me) and all of the sudden the girl who I had helped to the car popped back up beside of me and said I'm paying for hers. I told her she didn't have to do that and she was like no I want to and then asked for a hug....so of course I gave her a hug!

You never know who's watching or who you touch in your daily life. I wasn't planning on buying someones lunch that day just like I'm sure that girl didn't know she'd be buying me a snow cone; but we felt called to do it after an event that happened. I love the whole idea of pay it forward; and when you're feeling called to do it, DO IT! It's not about the amazing feeling that you get because you do it, it's about making someone else's day and showing them appreciation.

Have you ever paid it forward? I'd love to hear your story!

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Posted by Mandy Young on February 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

This past weekend I had the priviledge of throwing my sister a shower with her two sister in laws.  I'm sure you all know by now that I am going to be an aunt again; to another precious girl!! Kim, Tiffany and I were so excited to get to shower our future niece! Since this is my sisters second baby girl we decided to throw a diaper shower instead of the traditional baby shower.  Charlee has so much to share especially since she and her sister will be born in the same season (both spring babies). 
Trying to come up with a theme was the hardest part for me.  My sister isn't a very pink kind of girl so we didn't want to go with traditional pink, ribbions, bows and all that kind of stuff. Alex and I normally throw baby showers together and we like to do something different that others don't do and use our creative side.  Scanning through Pinterest and just brainstorming I felt like I was hitting a wall; but then it hit me....Peanut Butter and Jelly!! There were a couple of reasons of why this theme felt like THIS was our perfect theme.  1. I love all those new sayings "You're the Mac to my Cheese, You're the Moon to my Stars, you're the peanut butter to my jelly"  2. We wanted to make the shower about Charlee inviting you to the shower to celebrate her sister and that's when the saying "Sisters stick together like Peanut Butter and Jelly"  Plus this was a sisters weekend, Chad's sisters and I were throwing it for my sister and now this was for Charlee's sister!  3. When Alex was pregnant with both Charlee and now Canler she has eaten a peanut butter and jelly bagel every day for lunch!  It was fitting all the way around! 
We set up a PB&J bar for everyone to make their own favorite sandwiches!  On the bar was smooth and chunky peanut butter, apple/strawberry/grape jellies, nutella, marshmellow fluff, and honey with different kinds of bread.  Besides the bar was also had pretzels and fruit (other things Alex eats daily), purple candies, chips, little veggie cups, peanut butter chocolate ball, peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cupcakes with a dollop of jelly on top! For decorations we used purple and tan/gold themed items.  Purple pom poms to hang, purple and gold balloons, tiny purple chalkboards to label the items on the bar.  And on the fireplace my awesome friend used her Cricket and made us a name banner to hang up and then mom awesome mom made some peanut butter and jelly shirt and onesies for Charlee and Canler to wear that were hung up across the fireplace too!  And then for our party favors we had peanut butter and jelly rice krispie treats with little "sisters stick together like peanut butter and jelly" labels on them! 
It was such a blessing getting to bring all these people together that are going to love this new little one that will be joining the family soon! But also just loving my sister.  This has to be one of my favorite showers I've been apart of throwing.  What is your favorite shower or party theme that you've thrown or been to?  What made it stand out?

Everyday Confetti

Posted by Mandy Young on February 26, 2014 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

So let me tell yall about this new book I have!  It's called "Everyday Confetti" by  Karen Ehman
and Glynnis Whitwer.  I am totally in love with it! See I'm the type of person that loves to *-e-rate life in general.  So of course when a holiday rolls around I'm the cheesy friend who wants everything themed!!  I love Valentine's Day even though I'm single!    I can't watch Christmas movies except for in December because those are meant just for Christmas time.  I love coloring Easter eggs, carving pumpkins at Halloween, and eating mexican food on Cinco De Mayo!  Yes I'm totally the girl wearing red, white and blue on the 4th of July.  And if you follow me on anything you know that my birthday is like a national holiday (and maybe one day it really will be). It doesn't matter how old I get, my birthday is to be celebrated big!!  I love throwing showers with themes and going all out for them.  And I love family and friend traditions!  Seriously just as I type all of this I'm getting super excited and gitty inside! 
Okay enough about me and back to this book! My friend Karen Ehman told me she had a new book coming out and it was all about holidays and how to celebrate them.  So you can only imagine my excitement!   I HAD to have this book!! And seriously it's amazing!  I am not a reader, I wish I were but I'm not.  Just to tell you how good this thing is I read it all in 4 hours! Everyday Confetti takes you holiday by holiday  (even ones that I didn't know exsisted like Best Friend Day and Book Lover's Day).  It explains what each holiday is and then gives you ways to celebrate it and/or recipes that represent that holiday!  I mean there is no reason not to celebrate every day especially when this book shows you how to! 
One of my favorite parts of the book (which I have highlighted) is on Valentine's Day.  It talks about celebrating with your single friends.  And tells you ways to celebrate with these friends and make them special too!  I have always had a dinner with my single friends (girls and boys) on Valentines Day.  After I find out who's all coming I go out and buy one of those small box's of chocolate to give each of them at dinner.  Or I'll write in cards and tell them how special they are in my life and what they mean to me! 
Everyday Confetti is one of my new favorite books!  It teaches us to celebrate everyday and that's just I intend to do!!  Make sure to get your copy today!
http://www.everydayconfetti.org/

Saying Good-bye to 2013

Posted by Mandy Young on December 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (1)

About a month ago I decided that I wanted to write a blog about the top 5 things that happened to me this year.  So, I started plotting and here's what I've come up with.

When I look back on 2013 the most memorable thing that happened hands down has to be my parent's kidney transplant.  For y'all that might be new to my blog; my family found out toward the end of 2012 that my mom was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.  After months of testing we found out that my dad was my mom's perfect match!  So, on Feb 15th (yes the day after Valentine's Day) my parents had their transplant.  When I look back it has been a very trying medical year for the two of them.  Dad had life threatening complications with blood clots and additional surgeries and mom went into rejection, as well as had a blockage and will have a lifetime of "upkeep".   But, today, they are both doing well!  The medical roller coaster is no new ride for our family.  However, this time roles were reversed since I was the caregiver and not the patient.  And I just have to say, I think I handle the patient role a lot better haha!  It's not that I don't think I could be a caregiver, but I would rather be the one to go through the pain and struggles than others. Throughout my medical history, my parents have stayed amazing marital examples.  They have been married for 35 years and now one gave up a part of their body to keep the other alive....well I just hope that I'm blessed enough to find a husband that would do the same.  Never did dad have a doubt about giving his kidney to mom.  I thank God for my AMAZING parents!

Something cool that happened this year is that I actually "rolled" in a couple of 5k's!  I have written a blog about this before, but I'll recap a little.  At the beginning of the year a friend and my sister decided they wanted to run at least one 5k a month; well of course I had to get in on that action!  Knowing that I couldn't walk the whole thing (I mean I could, but it would just mess up my under arms and it's just not worth it) so my sister suggested that she push me in my wheelchair.  My first 5k was the "Color Run"!  My Bellas (Bible Study/Prayer group), several friends and an out of state BFF all did it together!  It was so much fun!  That one went so well we did two more!  And I'm hoping to do more in 2014!

In the world of sharing my testimony, I had the incredible honor to speak at some pretty awesome events.  First was Angela Thomas' women's conference in North Carolina.  Angela is an amazing Bible teacher who travels the world sharing the Bible and her Jesus loving heart.  She came to me earlier this year and asked if I would come and share some of my story at her "Beautiful Life" conference.  It was such an honor to be a part of the day.  And then I was blowen away when I was asked to share my testimony before a Braves game for their "Belief in Baseball" event in July?  Even though it poured rain the entire time, I stood on top of the 1st base dugout and over the loud speaker, shared my story.  How cool is that?!?!?  I was fortunate to speak at churches, youth conferences, college chapels and other awesome places this year.   I love being able to share my story with anyone and everyone that will listen!   (By the way I have dates open for 2014!  I'd love to come and share my testimony at your event!)

While scrolling through pictures I realized I got to meet some pretty awesome people this year too.  Matthew West, the guys of Sanctus Real, Willie Robertson, Jase Robertson, Miss Kay Robertson, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Tim Tebow.  A few years ago as I wrote my testimony, I listened to Matthew West's song "Something to Say" over and over again for inspiration.  And now, before I share my story, I have my private prayer time and then I listen to that song to pump me up!  So getting to meet him this year was very cool. Anytime Sanctus Real comes on the radio, I always sing along, so to get to meet them in person was super cool!  They are totally  great guys to hang out with and they have awesome Jesus loving hearts too! That's  thumbs up from me! Now, my family and I were late bloomers when it came to watching Duck Dynasty; but once we discovered it, we were hooked.  So needless to say, I was pretty pumped to meet Willie, Jase and Miss Kay.  These people are true blue.  They walk the walk and talk the talk.  The Robertson's remind me of the Camerons when it comes to the strength in their faith.  Meeting Tim Tebow.....I still promise you guys that he and I are supposed to be friends. I'm pretty sure he wanted to hang out after we met buuuuut I'm still waiting for that to happen!  haha. 

How do I pick number 5?  I start sifting through my pictures over the last year and find weddings I've attended, babies being born, 1st birthday parties, going to Chicago for the first time, a trip to Disney, 2 New Kids On The Block concerts, a Justin Timberlake concert and so much more.  But, I think it would have to be when I found out that I'm going to be an aunt again! My neice is my sunshine when skies are gray.  She just makes me happy.  So, to find out we're going to have another baby girl joining our family in April, it's just another ray of sunshine in my life!  I can't wait!

I have to say, I am one blessed girl!  Even though 2013 has been rough, I like to find the shining stars to point out!  I can't wait  to see what God has in store for 2014!

Rolling Over Fear

Posted by Mandy Young on September 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (1)

You might remember a couple of months ago I wrote about the Bellas (my Bible Study/prayer group) and I running in the Color Run 5k. We had a blast! And a couple months back my sister, dad, 2 Bellas and I ran did the Electric Run 5k which wasn't such a great experience but I'll tell you more about that in a bit. Actually maybe I need to tell you about that first!

My sister and our friend Morgane have made it their mission for 2013 to run at least one 5k a month. So a couple of months ago they were talking about the Electric Run. This 5k is a night race and basically the only light that you have guiding you is the glow sticks that you are wearing! Now there are little stops along the way with glow in the dark stations for you to take pictures at but along the trail it's just the lights that you're wearing (we didn't know this yet but thinking there would be some kind of lights through the path). I'm thinking wow that sounds like fun, I'm in too! And I'm not really sure how we roped Dad into doing it with us but he was a good sport and did. Plus our friend Blair (a fellow Bella) was all in for the fun too! So we get to the race and it's a dark and rainy GA night. The run was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (which is where the Color Run was so we are thinking we had already done this course so we kind of know what we are doing). And this right here is where we should have stopped assuming things. The course was actually a different route and where we thought the 1/4 mile of gravel that we struggled in before was bad this time it was over a mile. Luckily I had my crutches but I had to hike it over a mile while my sister carried my wheelchair through the rocky terrain. Oh and this is also where the arm of the wheel chair feel off and I told my sister to keep going I got it but when I bent down to pick it up and since it was pitch black dark out I tripped some girl with my crutch!!! Yep that happened. So we are about half way in and the rain is getting heavier and heavier but this is where we got to run on the actual track at the Speedway which was kind of cool. I had my phone out taking pictures as we trotted along. Coming off the track you head down the breezeways where the cars would come in for a race. So we are running along in the dark and all of the sudden my front wheels hit and get stuck a rain gutter and sends me flying through the air on to the pavement, the chair flips over and Alex is dumped on top. Not expecting the fall I tried to catch myself while holding on to my crutches and phone. And this is when I thought I broke my wrist!! It hurt so bad but all of these people started grabbing me trying to get me back up and make sure that I was okay and that's when I realized I had just shattered my phone (the second shattered screen in like 2 months). Alex and I tried to get ourselves back together and once we were okay I told her to just start running again and reassured her I was fine. So we are back on track running and in 100 feet it happened all over again!!! Seriously you can't make this stuff up! And this time I REALLY thought I had broken my wrist. Once we were gathered back up again I didn't want to be in the chair anymore so I walked part of the way but my wrist was hurting so bad I got back in the chair and we just walked the rest of the way. At the end of the race we all made a pact, we were happy that we did it and had the experience but we will NEVER do another night race again! And don't worry my wrist wasn't broken I couldn't really move it that night but the next day it was all good!

So I told you that whole story just to tell you Alex, Morgane, Lauren (another Bella) and I ran/rolled in another 5k this past weekend! Yaaaaaay us!! This race was a local one called the Fuzz Run! This was the second time I had been in a chair since being dumped out. The first was my family trip to Chicago and honestly I was a nervous wreck the entire time. But this was my first race since the Electric Run so I was a little nervous! And there were SOOO many people there so when Alex was trying to weave in and out of the herd of people I would freak out a little inside. I think we were both a little nervous. She doesn't want me to get dumped out (she felt so guilty for what happened at the Electric Run) and I for sure don't want to get thrown out; so finally Alex said you know what we are just going to walk this one. So we stayed back with our two friends that we went with and just chatted and strolled along and it was lovely! Plus after the race we found some other Bellas that happened to be there too! And congrats to Bella Casey for coming in 3rd place in her age divison!! Whoop Whoop, that's our girl!!!

Now I can't say that we will stroll along at the next one. Our competitive nature is going to kick in at some point and we'll be back running in no time. And even though I could have just said you know what after getting dumped out of my chair and thinking that I broke a body part I could have said nah 5K's aren't for me yall just go ahead, I didn't. I faced the fear and got back in the chair. When you fall you can't simply give up because of the fear of falling again, you gotta get up and try try again. You may become a little bruised and battered along the way. But I look at those as war wounds and everyone one of them has a story of how they have made me a stronger person. I Iike to wear them proudly.


Prayer Quilt

Posted by Mandy Young on September 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Last weekend I got the opportunity to speak at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Garden City (Savannah), GA. The pastor's wife and a group of ladies from their church saw me speak at the Beautiful Life Conference this summer. The next week they contacted me to see if I would come and share with their church which I got to do last Friday. It was great!

And I just have to share with you about one of the ministries that this church provides. After I was finished sharing my testimony I was presented with a prayer quilt that the ladies of the church made. It was so pretty! Basically the idea behind these prayer quilts is simple. As each knot is tied, a silent prayer is offered for someone in special need, who then receives the finished quilt. Cards with information about the recipients are available so that people can continue to remember them in their prayers. This type of quilt is a "lap" quilt, laced with heavy thread. These laces, or threads, are tied with a square knot by members of the quilting group and congregation. The quilts are a gift of love and prayer. They are a statement to the church's belief in prayer and their faith in God and in His power to comfort, strengthen, and healing.

When someone is sick, hurting, healing, and in the need for prayer these quilts are a wonderful comfort. It's like they are all the prayers are wrapped around you. And do you know what's awesome; these quilts are free! All you have to do is visit the churches website (http://www.wbcgc.org/Ministries/PrayerQuilts/tabid/100/Default.aspx) and fill out a form and a quilt will be sent to them! I just love this!! Feel free to visit their website and get more information.

I just loved this idea and wanted to share it with all of y'all! And if you're in the Savannah area go and visit the wonderful people of Woodlawn Baptist Church!

Really Miley??

Posted by Mandy Young on August 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (4)

I wasn't planning on writing a blog about this but honestly ever since I watched the VMA's last night I can't get the image out of my head.  I think you all know what I'm talking about and unless you haven't turned on the TV or internet in the last 24 hours I'm sure you've seen Miley Cyrus' performance by now.  Honestly I haven't watched MTV since well...high school.  And since NSYNC was performing I HAD to watch!! 
Like I said I was only planning on watching the Justin Timberlake/NSYNC part but when I saw Facebook and Twitter blowing up with Miley status' I knew I had to watch it.  I seriously sat here with my mouth wide open.  You see when I was 28 year old woman watching Hannah Montana and I owned up to it.  I'm still not ashamed of it.  I have been begging for wholesome tv and Hannah Montana seemed to be the closest thing that I could get to a T.G.I.F. Friday night family sitcom.  I had such high hopes for Miley to be a positive role model; someone who grew into their fame and who wouldn't turn into one of those child stars that we all have the "what went wrong" water cooler conversations about.  Boy was I wrong!
So as I'm sitting here with my mouth open and my heart is just breaking.  THIS is what our young girls have as a role model?  THIS is what teenagers think is okay?  Miley THIS is the kind of person that you want to be known for?  These are the type of people that we are making famous?  And all I kept thinking was we have to pray for her.  We have to pray for this generation.  I mean I'm sure this is how every generation feels about the up and coming generation but I mean REALLY?!?!  REALLY?!?!?   
The sad part is we are giving Miley what she wanted.  We are all talking about it today.  What's the saying, there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Well to me there is; because even though I'd like to buy my niece some Hannah Montana DVDs because I'm sure TV is just going to get worse and worse but after that display last night I will NEVER buy anything Miley.  No DVD's', no cd's, no songs....nothing.  But you know what I will give her?  Prayer. There is a sign that I have on my desk that says "Have you prayed about it as much as you've talked about it" and that hit so hard to my heart.  Every time the situation gets brought up or even hear her name instead of joining in the conversation I need to just stop and pray for her.  We need to pray for her and other artists out there.   The devil is all over this industry (well really everywhere) and we need to being praying for these people.  I wish they would open their eyes and see the amazing effects that they could have on this world.  Stars have this amazing platform that they could use but most of them are out for their own. They only want what's going to benefit them most.  It seriously breaks my heart.
This is why I love the Cameron family so much! Using their celebrity for good and working for the Lord.  But they are the ones who get torn apart by the media.  Going from child stars to amazing adults while staying in the industry.  They stand behind their morals/values and won't change them because the world changes.  " Do not conform to the pattern of this world" Romans 12:2 This is also why I love the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty so much.  A wonderful wholesome show, a good family and they even finish every episode with a prayer.  This is what we need more of!  We need to give the ratings to shows like this!  It's kind of like in the Field of Dreams "If you build it, they will come".  Well what ever we watch is what they are going to make.  
 "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20  I hope that you will pray with me for Miley, for Justin Beiber (that's a whole other soap box that I could get on that breaks my heart), for their parents, for the entertainment industry, and us.  Pray that we can turn away from the "guilty pleasures" that we tend to turn to so that they will stop making it.  We can change this.  Maybe not individually but together we can make a difference. 
 

Happy 6 month Kidney-versary!!!

Posted by Mandy Young on August 16, 2013 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (2)


Six months ago yesterday I was leaving Piedmont Hospital giving my parents hugs as we all mentally, emotionally and faithfully prepared for the morning to come.  The next morning Alex and I headed back to Piedmont Hospital where we would be joined by family and friends while we anxiously waited for our parent's transplant.

Last August we found out that my mom was in kidney failure and had to have a kidney transplant.  She quickly went on to the transplant list when doctors found out that her kidneys were only functioning at 16% (you normally go on to the transplant list at 20%).  Luckily here in GA we  have a year and a half waiting list; unlike California who has an 8 year list! But we didn't even have a year and a half the way doctors saw it mom only had 6 months to a year and that's if we were lucky.

 
There is a genetic kidney disease that runs on my mom's side of the family called polycystic kidney disease.  Basically it's where cysts take over your kidneys and kills them (you can Google it for more information).  We have known for years that my mother has it (she has it, my grandmother has it, my great grandmother, aunt, 2 cousins and then of course I have it).  Mom has been healthy for years and has stayed on top of it and has never had a problem until about two years ago when she thought she broke her ankle while we were in NYC - that's a whole long drawn out story - but basically after 7 doctors - 6 misdiagnosis, months down the road she found out it was gout and the doctors decided to check her kidney function and that's how they realized she was in kidney failure.

   
Even though mom went on the transplant list we had about 11 people that asked to be tested to donate their kidney.  After months of testing, on my mom's birthday last year, we found out that her perfect kidney match (50 million to 1 odds) was my dad!  He was so close of a match it was like my grandmother giving her a kidney!! *CHILLS I TELL YOU CHILLS* If God's hands aren't all over that I don't know who's are!  Dad had a couple more months of testing to undergo and once they were both cleared, the surgery was scheduled.  It just happened to be scheduled for February 15th; the day after Valentine's Day! Completely fitting I believe.  

 
The morning of the 15th Alex and I went to Piedmont to see mom and dad before they went back.  I even had a sweet friend come to the hospital to pray with them before the surgery took place.  Slowly family and friends joined us in the waiting room as the transplant took place.  Lots of prayers, laughter, nervous jitters and tons of other emotions happened for the next couple of hours. Finally dad's surgeon came out and said that dad was in recovery, everything went great and we would be able to see him soon.  That meant that mom was under now and the emotions started all over again.  Finally her surgeon came out and told us that dad gave her a great kidney, it was working!  She was headed to recovery and we could see her soon.  The rest of the day and night they both slept and slept good.  I stayed at the hospital from that point on until they were both released.  Dad was supposed to get out the next day but ended up in ICU instead with blood clots in his lungs; he ended up staying 8 days and mom was in for 5 days.   
Being in the hospital was tough, luckily they were on the same floor but they weren't in the same room.  So I floated from room to room (but would feel horrible about leaving the other one by themselves).  Alex came to the hospital every day helping me with whatever we needed or just spending time with our parents.  Plus once mom was released from the hospital Alex was on mom duty 24/7.  Once we got everyone back home it was no picnic; neither one of them were allowed to pick up anything over a half gallon of milk, but dad was constantly trying to do stuff around the house, he just couldn't sit still.  Plus there was the additional 5 days that mom was put back in the hospital for a blockage and then she went into kidney rejection and had to have chemo and antibody infusions.  Dad has had problems with his incision healing. Fortunately, he has done ok with the blood clots and the meds he takes for them.

After 6 months they are both doing great! Dad was released this week from the transplant floor and now goes to a hematologist for his blood clots and will soon start coming off of his blood clot meds!  Mom's numbers were off and has to go back next week, but then hopefully she won't have to go again for a month!

   
People ask me if I was scared since it was both of my parents going through the surgery but honestly I wasn't.  This whole situation had God's hands all over it.  And when you see Him in it and knowing He has ahold of something there is no need to fear.  I knew they were going to be just fine.  And if they were fine - I was fine.  So, happy 6 month Kidney-versary to my parents!!

My parents seriously are such an example of what marriage should be.  I am so blessed that God chose me to be their daughter.  And I thank Him for every praise and prayer that we go through because it brings us closer together as a family and definitely brings us closer to Him.

 

A speaking weekend

Posted by Mandy Young on July 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This past weeked was great!! I had the opportunity to give my testimony this weekend. Saturday I traveled to Macon,GA and spoke at an awesome new church called Overcoming Fellowship Church. They are such a great church with great people! Even said that they are going to bring me back, which I hope that they do because I just loved them! And I will for sure go back if they fix some more of that yummy fried chicken. Yummy food is my love language, haha! If you're ever in the Macon area you should go and visit my new friends!

Then Sunday mom and I packed up the car and headed to Taccoa, GA to speak at one of the Go Tell Ministries 25th anniversary camps! I have gotten to speak for Go Tell's 4G conference a little over a year ago so I was so excited when they asked me to come and share my life with another set of campers! This group was 250 middle to high school aged girls. Sometimes I get nervous speaking to teenagers. Just because I feel like they are going to be bored or not understand the medicial part of my testimony; but my goodness I had so many girls come up to me to talk, hug, take pictures with and even wanting autographs. The autograph thing cracks me up because I'm a no body. But I love to hear how much they actually did listen and how it's impacted them! It puts joy in my heart and a smile on my face!

My next speaking engagement will be a week from Saturday at Turner Field before the Braves game!!! HUGE deal and so excited!! I can't wait!! And don't worry if you aren't going to be able to be there I will for sure be facebooking, tweeting and write a blog about it!! So stay tuned!!


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