Tuesday, January 31, 2017

JESUS GIRL


Look at the beautiful verses written to us Jesus girls tucked around Romans 8:26 … 


“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1, NIV). 


“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit …” (Romans 8:9a, NIV). 


“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b, NIV). 


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NIV).



Thursday, January 26, 2017

MAYBE IT'S OUR JOB TO REMIND PEOPLE...






"IT'S SO EASY TO FORGET WE ARE LOVED WHEN WE EXPERIENCE DISAPPOINTMENT. IS THERE ANYONE LEFT TO REMIND US SOMEONE CARES? DOES ANYONE STILL LOVE US?

MAYBE IT'S OUR JOB TO REMIND PEOPLE OF THAT."

***

I felt such an urgency after reading this to post here. Like someone needed a reminder. Something to calm their heart. So here I am, to remind you that someone cares. That you are loved beyond measure. That you matter. That you mean something special to someone. That you bring a smile to someone's face. That you have made a difference. That you bring something so very good to the world and the people that surround you. That kind word you said the other day? That small, but selfless, thing you did? That compassionate look you gave? That changed someone, and it was carried and passed on to the next person, and the next, and the next. Like a small burst of light. You did that.

I know you are tired. I know you are discouraged, afraid, overwhelmed, weary, burnt out, drained, homesick, heartsick, hurting, bruised, lonely. You feel unworthy. Not good enough. Like nothing you ever do will truly matter.

But it does. It matters so much.

Despite all those feelings, despite beating yourself up every single day, please hold onto the hope that someone out there is rooting for you. That someone wants you to succeed and to feel joy. That someone wants you to see your own worth. To see what they see. Hold onto that. Tightly. And keep going.

You will be okay. You will.

I believe in you.

*The quote at the beginning of this post is from An Anthology of Madness, by Max Andrew Dubinsky. This book. It's a super quick-read, but such a powerful one. It's honest, painful, authentic, and moving. It makes you feel about 27 different emotions - sadness, hurt, anger, all of them. I felt defensive, I felt uncomfortable, I felt compassion and empathy. And I felt hope. This book grabbed my heart and took it for ride - and, in some small way I can't quite describe, it also started a healing. A healing of wounds that I had pushed to the very back of my heart - that deep, dark place where my most painful experiences live, that I ignore most of the time. I was going to say that this book brought a light to that place... but instead, it felt like someone came and sat in that darkness with me and simply said, "I understand. I'm screwed up, too. It's okay, you're not alone." Thanks, Max, for sharing your world, and your words, with us. May we all help others - may we all truly see and love others - in such a genuine, honest way. 

SHARE YOUR STORY







This past week was a doozy, to put it lightly. As I mindlessly scrolled through Instagram, I thought about what I would honestly say about my day. I didn’t have anything pretty to offer, anything beautiful to add to a filtered feed. But the captions I connect with the most are the ones written in the thick of it, the ones searching for a message to share in the middle of the mess.

And do you know what happened? People responded. They got it. They saw their own lives reflected in the unfiltered story that wasn’t wrapped up with a bow.

Going past pretty and sharing real takes effort but it’s so worth it.

Your honest telling of your real story is an invitation for others to enter in and find that they aren’t alone.

And so, maybe? Maybe it’s time to share your story.

I suppose it comes with the territory, but when the message you convey is “every story matters,” you’re bound to connect with many, right where they are. And I am so for that. You feel called to write a blog? Write it. You feel something prompting you inside to get the words out, tugging at your heart to write them down and let them loose into the world, trusting God will take them where they need to go? Girl, do it. Write it, speak it, preach it. Do your thing, make your art, share your story.

Monday, January 23, 2017

TRUTH






Know your truth. Stay strong. Be brave.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

KEEP GOING






I know that there are some of you who feel left behind.

Like something hasn't clicked yet.

It feels like you're running in place.

Isn't that the pits? 

You're doing everything you possibly can, but it feels like you're just not moving forward. It feels like the world is zooming by, and you're stuck. Stuck in life, in business. You have a million dreams. So much you want to do and see. But as hard as you try, it's all out there, beyond your grasp. However far you run or leap or reach, you come up empty-handed. 

When will things change?

I know. I know these feelings, exactly. It's so discouraging and exhausting.  Not too terribly long ago, I was experiencing all of these feelings and emotions. Even though I knew, deep down, everything would be fine, I also felt trapped. Although I could see the light at the end of that ridiculous tunnel, it felt like I would never get there. Do you ever have those dreams where you're trying to run, but you're moving in slow motion instead? That's what it felt like. And when you're in those times of struggle and pain, you have moments when it feels like things will never, ever change. 

But, I want to tell you: things do change. I made it out of, what felt like a deep, dark, scary valley this last year. Though I still have a few more surgeries, I beat cancer. And made some big, intentional decisions. And my business is consistently growing. And super rad, exciting things are happening. And that stuck feeling is starting to fade away. So, listen to me when I say: don't give up. Please don't. Whatever it is that you're trying to do: jumping a scary hurdle in life, or making a dream a reality - keep going. You won't always feel this way. There will come a time when everything will align exactly how they're supposed to, you'll find your path, and all that hard work will pay off. Sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye, sometimes it's a slow and steady burn. But it'll happen. So keep creating, learning, and healing. Take small steps to achieve the life you want. They don't always need to be giant leaps. Small steps, and small actions, are just as important. 

Keep going.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

GRADUATION







I rang the bell today in celebration of my graduation, and an unexpected emotion poured over me. Not that I'm sad that chemo is over. Rather, just the opposite. It's just that gratitude doesn't articulate the depth of that which my husband and I have experienced in this journey.

A cancer diagnosis never affects just the person afflicted with the disease. The doctor might as well have told my husband, family, colleagues, clinical staff, friends even strangers, that they have cancer as well as I have never spent a day feeling as though I was fighting this battle alone. 


My diagnosis has refocused my life and has shined light on what matters most. Spending time with family, friends, and the ones we love. Sharing laughter, stories, and pleasant memories. Giving more of ourselves through time and energy. Taking moments out of our day to bless others. Living in a spirit of gratitude and happiness. Truly choosing joy above and beyond what we may be facing.

And though we are guaranteed to struggle in this world, we are equally guaranteed a God so powerful that He overcomes our hurdles. Though our circumstances are impossible for us, with Him the possibilities are infinite. He shatters statistics, derails diagnoses, triumphs over tribulations, and overcomes obstacles. Our hope should not lie in our circumstances but in the One who rises above them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHAT WE EAT AND WHAT WE SHOULD EAT





Adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and the diet of your children, is one of the most common things I hear of. There is only so much room in our bellies and on our plates to get the daily nutrients we need to maintain a healthy body. Trying to help our kids bodies grow and develop in a healthy manner requires the amazing mineral, vitamins and nutrients found in real, from the earth produce. I can buy fruit juice with some veggies in it. Some pasta sauce that has a tiny bit of vegetables blended in. But how much are they really getting in their bodies?
So few Americans consume sufficient portions of produce, Juice Plus might be one of few appropriate alternatives for people who lack adequate fruits and vegetables in their diets. According to the CDC, only half of the total U.S. population consumed more than a cup of vegetables and one and a half cups of fruit daily, whereas the USDA suggests consuming double those amounts. The World Health Organization estimates that 6.7 million people worldwide have died due to lack daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Regularly eating fruits and vegetables has overwhelming benefits. It can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, types of cancer, and stroke. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, healthy portions of vegetables can enhance vision and gastrointestinal health. That’s where Juice Plus’s success comes in, 
Juice Plus isn’t intended to be a substitute for real meals. You would be very hungry if you ate the capsules instead of real food. Juice Plus simply bridges the gap between what we DO eat and what we SHOULD eat. It’s also for people who dislike the taste of fruits and vegetables and need to get their recommended dosage of nutrients. According to multiple studies and consumer reviews, people who take Juice Plus supplements get sick less and experience other physical benefits like improved skin or lowered cholesterol.

If you want to increase your key antioxidants, reduce oxidative stress, support a healthy immune system, skin and gums as well as protect your DNA – then you are need to try Juice Plus+  read more here

Juice Plus not just a vitamin. This is because Juice Plus+ provides whole food based nutrition. There are 20 fruits and vegetables in their convenient and tasty gummies (adults consume 4 gummies daily; children consume 2 gummies daily). Juice Plus+ uses real, actual fruits and vegetables and in their products. They begin with the highest quality, farm fresh produce grown by some of the best farmers in the world. Once a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to decrease in nutritional value. They solved the issue of reducing that valuable decrease time by locating juicing and drying facilities as close to their partner farms as possible. When there is not a facility close enough they use a process called Individual Quick Freezing, to ensure the freshness of every single vegetable and fruit used in their products. They constantly test their soil where the produce is grown to make sure it is in perfect condition of optimal health.


The Study provides Juice Plus+® Orchard Blend and Juice Plus+® Garden Blend FREE to your child between the ages of 4-18 or full-time undergraduate college student for up to four years, so long as you continue to take Juice Plus+®, too.

Juice Plus+ is the approved by the NSF and is the most thoroughly researched brand-name nutritional product on the market today.

There have been over 30 published clinic studies done to confirm the amazing benefits of Juice Plus+. Even the famous Dr Sears recommends children to take Juice Plus+. I was blown away by how many medical professionals are standing behind Juice Plus+, internal medicine, sports medicine, cardiology, biochemists, glaucoma specialists, pediatrics, dentistry, infectious diseases…the list goes on! To hear some of these medical professionals talk about Juice Plus+ click here.
 “let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

Sunday, January 1, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR, DEAR FRIENDS



The new year always brings a certain hope, and I am holding on to that hope as tightly as I can. I believe in hope. And I believe in optimism. Even when it's the hardest in the world to do, having the smallest amount of optimism can change everything. I believe that there is always a Light at the end of the tunnel. You might not see it now, but it's there. I promise you. I believe that some years are tough. Real tough. But I believe that these tough years are for a reason. Reasons far beyond our comprehension. Reasons that we might never fully know or understand. Some years, you will feel stuck. Like your feet are made of cement. Like the world is zooming past you and you're way behind, not knowing which direction to choose and feeling beyond overwhelmed.

But I also believe that these years will shape you, and will make you more grateful than ever for the beautiful and simple things in life.


Even though these years can break you down... try not to lose sight of your dreams. Dreams are important. They matter.


I'm going into this new year with only one expectation. Scratch that. Anticipation is a better word. I'm anticipating this one thing...


I hope 2017 is an exciting and extraordinary adventure. Whatever that means. That's all I want.

And I wish that for you, too. I hope you have a truly extraordinary 2017. I'm so glad you're part of my life. Thank you for being here. You mean so much to me.

Happy New Year, dear friends. Be safe! xo.





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