My Mended Heart

Life of a Congenital Heart Defect Survivor

Pumped Full of Joy

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” – 1 Peter 1:8

Can I tell you that lately I have been feeling amazing?!!  Really!  I feel the best I have in my entire life.  I have been in the gym like a BEAST.  Like a real girl, with a whole heart!  God is so good.  Joy is pumping in my veins and my spirit like a rush of adrinaline right before you drop in a roller coaster ride.  I am on fire and I can’t say enough happy things.

Friday Night

This is me after back and shoulders at the gym tonight.  My pacemaker is saying hello right there next to my abs.  I do wear a shirt during my workout, however, this is me.  I have been through a few battles.  Can you tell that I am winning the war?! And they said I would never be an athlete… Ha!  Guess what guys, I am a full time working girl, part time gym rat and all athlete. You know why?  Someone told me once that I couldn’t… today I am.  Bottom line.

It has taken a lot of hard work to get here.  My body has endured 5 heart surgeries, recovery, therapy (both mental and physical), not to mention endless hours of prayer and my friends lifting me up day after day.  Gena is going to show herself and the world just how much a CHD woman can do.  It is part of my pupose in this life and I am so happy that I am finally walking through it.

This is just a short little post to let you know that I am back… I will write again soon.  You can follow me on my journey as I grow into my best self.  This is what God can do, what we can do together!  I have a feeling I am just getting a glimpse of what is to come and I am so pumped!

My Bipolar Mom

Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar. ~ Erica Jong

This is going to take some courage for me to share. But I am hopeful it will be helpful for others. That is the only reason that I am sharing. To help others. Whether it be my family or some daughter or son on the other side of the world reading this post at 3am in a few months or years from now.

For many years I have been struggling to have some semblance of a relationship with my mother. A mother whom through my life has been different characters. Loving and kind, off the wall, a friend and an enemy. When I was a child she was betty homemaker and a room mother, and I loved being her doll. Watching her get ready, “helping her make dinner”, putting puzzles together, etc. She also had a wild side and a very dark side that I wouldn’t know until my dad left. But she has always loved me and my brother the very best way she knew how. She loves us dearly and I have no doubt that she would do anything she could for us. It hasn’t been until very recently that I have come to realize this. For a while over the past few years I thought she was flat out crazy. Often I have thought she was a bad mother, and other times I have considered the fact that she disliked me somewhere deep inside.



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It Is Awesome To Be In the Fire!

“How great are His signs, how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation.” ~ Daniel 4:3


Every time I write something on this blog I feel like I am in some sort of place of crisis or of learning. And when I thought about writing over the past year I felt as if everyone was tired of the same old song and dance. Woe is me. . . Now I am better! So I stopped writing. My life is a roller coaster. And I didn’t feel as though this blog was contributing to much more than stroking my ego, licking my wounds, a place for me to hear nice things from people. Is that right. . .

Last week I suppose my doctor read my blog because she said I should start writing again. Funny!?! I didn’t even know she read my blog. My first response to her was, I am not writing because I am focusing on my book. It wasn’t untrue. I am doing that. And I just wasn’t writing my blog anymore. But the thing is, maybe now I have more to say. Maybe now is the time to start writing again in every way.

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Tears In My Eyes

Verse of the Day:
“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

This last month and a half has kicked me in the gut.  Period.  But the last week has really been the most daunting, yet beautiful.  Funny how that works out sometimes.   The week following Easter I am finding joy in all my sorrow.

For those of you closest to me you know I have been dealing with a personal battle, one that I won’t share… but now I am facing another physical battle.  I went to the cardiologist last week… these dang appointments… I should just stop going.  I have been saying it for years.  Haha! I went because I feel like crap again… well I mean my heart feels like someone is squeezing all the juice out of it every 10 it 15 minutes.  And then I am fine… and then it happens again…  This my dear friends is called a PVC, or my pacemaker is pacing my ventricle.  I only have one so it’s that one… LOL! Basically it feels awful and I want to rip the thing right out of my body, but I can’t because my atrium no longer beats at all without it… I mean at all… nothin’… GREAT!! Read more…

Aches and Pains

Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5

Today has been a tough day. I am exhausted, my body is sore and I can’t seem to shake this dizziness and headache. No to mention an out of control cough and chest pain I can’t seem to kick, and this weird heart beat… Blah, blah, blah… poor me, right?! That’s what I think! I mean working moms probably feel this way everyday… jeez, get over it already!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

Verse of the Day:
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10


Normally I would not share such a scandalous dorky silly picture of myself with the Internet world… however the WordPress Weekly Photo topic intrigued me. In this picture I am wearing my husband Ryan’s pajama pants. We were in a hotel room in Rochester, MN. Read more…

Paleo Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


So today I was super hungry, but my fridge was empty… But my freezer was hiding a treasure. Buffalo meat sauce that I made the month! Sweet! My next thought was… What am I going to do with this sauce? Looking around the kitchen what do my little eyes spy… A spaghetti squash! Oh yeah baby… I am having spaghetti with meat sauce for lunch! All I had to do was heat up the sauce on the stove and cook the squash in the oven… Easy. Read more…

Dear Diary – I am getting a shiny new valve

Verse of the Day:
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desire, but rather for the will of God.” – 1 Peter 4:1-2

This post is an entry from my diary. It is ramblings of how I was feeling 24 hours before my heart surgery and the weeks following. I am sharing this because I have been emailed by several people recently who are facing similar surgeries. It is not an easy path. It is scary, a very difficult. I hope it helps to hear my point of view. May God bless those going through tough times.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

Verse of the Day:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13


This is a photo of Ramsey Ranch ranch. It is no longer in our family, but being there always brought me a sense of peace. I love being outside and enjoying the beauty of nature because I feel closer to God somehow. Whether on a ranch or on the ocean my spirit always sores with joy and relaxation. The ranch brought so much fun, happiness, and love to our lives. It will always have a place in my heart.

Ratatouille Stew – The Paleo Way


I love Ratatouille! Fresh veggies cooked into a stew… Oh it is so yummy… It warms me up! Body and soul! When making this dish I used all organic produce and products, right down to the herbs. This stew is very good for winter weather and the ingredients are in season right now. I picked up all my produce from my local Co-Op Rawfully Organic. Read more…

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