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Inspiring Blogs, Podcasts, & Books

As we continue celebrating one year here at Mandy and Michele ~ Just Holding it Together, I thought we might share some reading and listening that has been inspiring us this year. Check some of them out, you may like them as well.

Our Favorite Inspiring Blogs

Tammy Mashburn – is Redefining the Wilderness this year. She is a fellow chronic pain warrior so her posts really connect with me; however, you don’t have to have chronic pain to experience wilderness life. Tammy is always an encourager to others. If you don’t have time to read, she started reading her posts aloud.

Nan Jones – Another friend who finds hope right in the middle of the wilderness. Beautiful prayers every Sunday and life lessons during the week.

Living our Days – Michele Morin is “Gaining a Heart of Wisdom” and passing it along to the rest of us. She posts a beautiful scripture lesson on Sundays. Her book reviews during the week always include a life lesson she is learning from the book. I always go away adding “yet another” must-read book to my list.

Karen “Girl” Friday – I connect with Karen because she is a pastor’s wife and is passionate about mentoring women and discipleship that helps followers of Christ live with an authentic faith in real life. Her personal and ministry vision is to know Jesus more and make Him known. As I read her blog, I am connected more and more with her.

Podcasts & Talks Shows That Inspire Us

Emily P. Freeman – I read Emily’s book Simply Tuesday a few years ago and she really resonated with me. Largely because she was a pastor’s wife who had experienced some of the same trials as myself. But she is all about taking time to breathe. This is a must. Her most recent book, The Next Right Thing, I haven’t had a chance to read just yet. However, I am enjoying her podcasts.

Better Together TV Show on TBN – There’s nothing better than women getting together just to talk about life. Check out this daily program with a variety of leading Christian women’s speakers. They discuss faith, family, friends and so much more—no topic is off-limits.

Do It Scared® with Ruth Soukup is the podcast created to help you face your fears, overcome adversity, and create a life you LOVE. She interviews

Dale Jr. Download – My husband and son are NASCAR fans which makes me a follower. I enjoy listening to Dale interview the drivers each week with the guys. (Just a note here: Ladies, learn to enjoy what your husband enjoys. It will improve your marriage.)

Inspiring Books we recommend

I’ve been obsessed with anyone named Susie or Susannah this year. Susanna Wesley has always been a role model for me. I finally got around to digging a little deeper in her life this year.

Then Ray Rhodes came out with his new book, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon. I had never read much on her or her husband but this book was highly inspiring.

Susie Larson’s Fully Alive – Probably the best self-help book I have ever read. Susie shares from her own life to show us those hidden areas in our life that keep us down. This is a must-read for everyone. I have also been following her on Facebook. She has the most inspiring Morning and Evening Blessings and FaceBook Live events.

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Dozen Most Read Posts About Fibromyalgia

As we celebrate the first year of our new blog, we don’t want to leave out all the information about fibromyalgia that Mandy and her friends have written about. This area seems to be the most favorite section of the blog. We certainly hope that you have learned much about this invisible and painful disorder.

A Dozen Most Read Fibro Posts

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Here’s a dozen our the most favorite posts. Have you read them? What have you learned? What other questions do you have that we can answer in the future? Please leave your question in the comments.

  1. What is Fibromyalgia?
  2. Is Fibromyalgia Really for Real?
  3. What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
  4. What Were Your First Signs of Fibro?
  5. What is Fibro Pain Like?
  6. Why Are You So Tired?
  7. What is Fibro Fog? Why are you Crashing?
  8. How Can You Help Someone With Chronic Pain?
  9. Supplements & Opioids: Good, Bad, Daily Decisions
  10. Simple Things I No Longer Do With Fibromyalgia
  11. Volunteer with Disabilities like Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain
  12. Ten Steps to a Restorative Rest

On A Separate Note

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Mandy finds that her faith is what helps the most in managing her pain and her life with Fibromyalgia. Here are two posts on the subject of Faith and Fibro.

  1. What Happened to your Faith? I seldom see you at Church.
  2. If God is my Healer, Why Am I Still Sick?

Yes, Fibromyalgia IS FOR REAL.

So this is the cream of the crop of Letters to Friends. if you have read these, you can understand that this disorder is definitely a real problem.

What subjects haven’t we covered? Leave a question in the comments. I’ll answer personally here, but will most likely also write a post concerning the subject in the near future.

I am toying with writing some about Rheumatoid Arthritis since I also have this rheumatic disease. These two often go hand in hand. Would that interest you?

Mandy Farmer

Have More Questions About Fibromyalgia?

Letters to Friends ~ How Are You Doing Since Your Diagnosis?

Letters to Friends ~ Why Are You So Tired?

Letters to Friends – Where Does Fibro Pain Hurt?

What is Fibro Fog? Why are you Crashing?

What Were Your First Signs of Fibro?

Is There a Cure for Fibromyalgia?

One More Thing

Please take our survey. We really want to know what you think and what you want to see in the future. We’ll send you some printable scripture cards for your trouble. Just click on the ribbon below.

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Chatting with mandy and Michele

1st Anniversary Celebration: Chatting With Mandy and Michele

Welcome to our 1st Anniversary Celebration blog edition! We have had loads of fun delivering to you our best. Be it serious or funny, we are grateful for your stopping by and reading. We’ve seen dreams and plans fulfilled and have set our sights on more. Enjoy our little chat with Mandy and Michele across the miles… stay tuned for some exciting things in 2019!

Tell us how you started writing/blogging and why you like to write?

Mandy: It’s funny because I struggled to write anything worthwhile in college. Fortunately, I had a great professor who taught me how to write. I became his “most improved writer”. That’s not to say that I was any good but I was improved. After college, I left writing in the dust. My dreams and plans did not include writing. At all.

Until that is, I conquered the fear of homeschooling my children. At one point, I actually wrote a letter to the editor… and they published it!

Wow! I kept conquering fears including founding and heading up a homeschool co-op. That gave me some leadership and teaching skills. My first blog was informative posts to my homeschool group.

After acquiring a chronic illness and my kids graduated from homeschool, I took a challenge to write every day in October. I wrote about dealing with chronic pain. That was 2015. I was given quite a bit of encouragement from other bloggers, so the trend continues.

Michele: I have wanted to write since I was 20. So, the seed was planted and like life, some things just take longer to “germinate” and here I am, a year after the blog and my writing world has begun to expand. I like to write because it gives me a chance to express myself, to walk alongside someone else and let them know they are not alone. To tickle someones funny bone or to challenge you… It’s a great way to meet folks and connect.

Mandy: It’s definitely a great way to connect. I have met some endearing friends through blogging.

How did you two start this blogging venture?

Mandy: As I mentioned earlier I took the challenge to write every day for 31 days. This led me to start a new blog which I called GGMandy. Once Michele and I got connected, I encouraged her to write some on my blog. Then we decided to take this new venture on whole-heartedly. Consequently, this blog was born.

Michele: This is a round-about way of explaining this, so here goes… My daughter had a four-wheeling accident, was med flighted, I asked for prayer, my sister-in-law Brenda was friends with Mandy’s sister Marcy and had asked Marcy to pray, Marcy told Mandy, Mandy messaged Michele and THAT is how this all started… PRAYER!

Mandy: Prayer changes things! I love that we lived only a few miles apart and have some great connections and yet, we haven’t really met. (well, you might have been at my Wisconsin wedding reception.)

What are some of your favorite blog posts?

Mandy: I am encouraged most when others are encouraged. I wrote once about my struggle with self-esteem. Believing in Who I Am brings me a smile every time someone comments about how the post has helped them. Writing about Susannah Wesley and Susie Spurgeon gave me the most excitement. I really enjoyed reading about the “saints of old”. The goal is to learn and grow from their lives. I suggest that everyone trade-in your romance novels and pick up a few biographical books to read. You might learn something. 🙂

Michele: Post are like children- you love them all. BUT… I know there are some that I especially enjoyed “rearing”. Kitchen Cat-Tastrophes– a post about a sick barn cat finding warmth and healing ontop of my brownies that were cooling on the patio table. I enjoy regaling tales of my childhood and sharing them with you.

Where do you see the blog taking you?

Mandy: I keep toying with the idea of writing a book. Maybe a 30-day devotional or an informational book about fibromyalgia. It’s still a lofty, kind of scary idea but we shall see. I’m writing for a couple of different online devotional groups at this point.

Michele: Life is changing at a rapid pace. I write for a paper, a real estate company (listings, ghostwriting and scripts) and have started on my devotional. Someday I will be writing a book about our families adoption journey. I enjoy the time it takes crafting my words and seeing them come to life in print… kinda heady 🙂

What can we look forward to that is new at mandyandmichele.com this coming 2019-20?

Mandy: I’d like to hone in and direct my writing into more specific areas. Of course, I want to keep writing about chronic pain. I think I might be drawn to do simple devotional thoughts and maybe Hymn Studies and Lessons from a Movie. This kind of thing. Take the survey below and tell us what you would like.

Michele: One word… PODCAST…

Mandy: Michele… You are making me nervous. LOL!

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Check out some of our most successful posts. Click on the image.

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Our Top Posts on Mandy & Michele

We’re Celebrating One Year

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Michele and I are amazed at how fast this first year of blogging has flown by. We hope that you have been enjoying the ride with us. Today, we take a look back and share with you some of our top posts. The first category is Keeping the Faith. That is posts that show you how to Read Your Bible, Pray, Share Your Faith. The second category is called Leaving a Legacy where we write about Marriage and Family, mentoring, and remembering others’ legacies.

Which post has been your favorite this year?

Top Keeping the Faith Posts

How to Have an Effective Bible Study

8 Benefits of Regular Bible Study

Never Despise Small Beginnings

The Great Commission ~ Who? Me? Make Disciples?

How to Improve Your Church Attendance Experience

Top Leaving a Legacy Posts

Self- Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

An Heirloom Wedding Gown

Adoption Changed My Legacy

The Greatest Legacy: A Father’s Love

From Generation to Generation

Top Posts from Recipes, A Bit of Fun and The Spice of Life

And now how about a little fun and spice? Michele has really kept me laughing this year. I hope she has for you as well. Here are the top favorites from her repertoire.

spice of life favoirte top posts
Enjoy Michele’s Humor About Life

Amish People in Rural Wisconsin

A Few of My Summer Recipes

Recipes Long Forgotten

A Recipe For Life

The Joy of Scaring My Brother

Mornings: Sunrise, Coffee, Jesus

Friday Night Fish Fry

The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

Observations and Thoughts

Many of these posts are written by guest writers. That tells me we need to continue having others write so that their followers come and find us. This summer we started a monthly link-up called Legacy Link-ups. This has been a good way to increase our traffic as well. We may continue this as well.

The top posts written by Mandy are those about chronic pain. We will share those in another post this month. Michele provides the humor on this blog. If you haven’t caught her Spice of Life posts be sure to go find them.

Tell us what you would like to see in the coming year.

I have created a quick survey. Please go take the survey and we will give you a small downloadable gift for your time.

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Return all Month for more Celebration. Plus another This and That interview with Mandy and Michele!

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