hope

When you don’t have the answers, but your mind is flooding with thoughts, the best thing to do is just write.  That’s where I find myself today.

Yesterday marked the 8th school shooting since 2018 began – only 45 days ago. First thing’s first – I do not have all of the answers.  I have thoughts…  opinions…  ideas…  hopes…  and of course, fears…

I dropped my 3 children off at school, kissed their little faces before they went in and prayed for their day, as I do every day.  That sounded perfect, didn’t it?  Ok so actually, the ride to elementary school this morning was filled with some yelling, as my little one was a bit peeved that I threw away the ‘Air Heads’ and ‘Fun Dip’ that he got yesterday during the Valentine exchange (that has now turned into another version of Halloween…  but I digress).  But hey, taffy is bad for your teeth and pure sugar is just evil and that’s just how I feel about those candies. So yes, our ride to elementary school at 7:15am contained some yelling, some frustration, and then some apologies, as I sat thinking about letting my kids out of the van without them knowing that I love them.  Some kids yesterday maybe got out of their cars after arguing with their mom and didn’t hear those words before they entered the school – and the didn’t come out alive.  SO….  Here we are.  This is what we think of now when we drop our kids off at school.  Do they know I love them in case they don’t make it home today?

This is not normal.

This is painful.

This is just nonsense, if you ask me.  Maybe you aren’t asking me, and if so, you don’t have to read anything else.  Because like I said, I do not have all of the answers.  Just some thoughts.

Our view of the world comes from within the four walls of our home.  The things we are taught begin with our parents and grandparents and from those teachings come the core of our being – our values, morals, character.  Next, come our own life experiences. This is the window in which we see the world.  With so many different ways of being taught and so many different life experiences, we all see things in a little bit of a different way.  You know the funny thing is – if we are open to learning from others and understanding WHY they see things the way they do – even if we don’t quite see it the same way – we practice empathy and understanding.  We grow this way.  Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, it’s rather difficult for our society to believe that someone else’s belief may be the right one.  We are so driven by the need to be right that we are blinded to learning and to hearing.  Do you feel it’s possible that two people can actually be right?  That there could be a middle ground?  That one person’s perspective could actually shift your own?  We aren’t listening to one another.  We’re just spouting.  Sometimes we are spouting blame.  And sometimes we are just spouting our stuff.  But we are spouting and not listening – and that is Issue #1.

Next, we come to the sad state of mental health in our country, which honestly, I do not feel educated enough about to even begin a deep discussion – except to say – it is as real as high blood pressure or diabetes.  I know it’s real because I live it.  I know it’s real because I also have a child that lives it.  I have other family members that live it.  Likely, you probably do as well.  Here’s what I see when it comes to conversations of mental health – fear and shame.  Shame from others, stigma from the community, fear of being judged.  All of it.  Personally, I allowed my own fear of being judged to alter how I was treating my own mental illness.  It took two doctors and a counselor to talk me out of the mindset that medication was the wrong path and a cop out.  It took some therapy for me to get the voice out of my head that said, ‘people that take anti-depressants just can’t cope with motherhood.’  GARBAGE.  But I bought into the lie and sacrificed my own quality of life and my family’s quality of life.  I put that fear, or my own ego, before taking care of them.  All this to say, if you have mental illness in your home, you are not alone.  You shouldn’t ever feel alone.  If you have a child suffering from it, even the mildest form of anxiety, it is as real as that broken bone they may have gotten last week.  And it’s up to us, in the four walls of our homes, to take care of it, to take care of them.  It is not shameful.  In the instances of the millions out there that perhaps don’t have a safe four walls they call home, that don’t have a confidant, a mentor, a teacher to help them…  It’s our duty to recognize these individuals and reach out.  Show them love.  Be a friend. We can’t stay silent.

Another topic I don’t know enough about to talk in an educated fashion is gun reform.  Except to say that it is possible to believe in a right to bear arms and gun ownership and NOT believe that we should be able to access assault rifles.  I know there’s big money and a lot of other stuff I don’t understand that is leading the lack of regulation.  And we are all suffering because of it.  It’s a middle road way of thinking and I don’t care, it’s just how I see it.  At the highest levels of this country, people were elected to protect our citizens.  They are paid to do this job.  And with it, seems a huge responsibility.  Please act on your responsibility, whoever you are out there that is not.  This is not blame.  I am not saying that this sole issue lies in lawmakers hands alone.  But I am saying that they can choose to be part of a solution because they have a responsibility to be part of it.  They represent us all.

Deep at the heart of all of this is the growing lack of faith in this country.  I’ve read numerous articles about Christians leaving the faith in ‘DROVES’.  It is my belief that without a relationship with Jesus, without following Him, we are becoming immune to love.  Care for each other, for humanity, is dwindling.  Truly knowing the call to love others as Jesus calls us to love would not result in these mass murders.  It just wouldn’t.  Andy Stanley says it best when he says, “Following Jesus will make your life better and make you better at life.”  I believe that with all of my being.

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Finally, we all have a voice. We all have a way to act and be heard.  And for each of us, our way is different.  But if you are one that is called to love others like Jesus did, let’s stop accepting this ‘problem’ and let’s focus on changing it.  I’m not 100% sure how this looks for me personally, but I know that God wants to use my gifts to bring about change.  As I pray for those, I ask you to do the same.  How can He use you?  It’s going to look different for us all.  Acceptance of this way of life is not the answer, so let’s stop accepting it.  This is not normal.  WE are better than this.

Examine what’s in your heart.  Examine what’s in your four walls.  Look deeply at your people.  Pray over them and pray WITH them.  Teach them to be difference makers.  Educate them on what this world looks like so they can be equipped to go out and make change themselves.  Recognize when things just don’t seem right and have the courage as a parent to step in the direction of help.  You are not powerless.  You mothers, you fathers, you sisters, you brothers.  YOU are not powerless.  And you are certainly not alone, regardless of how you may feel.

Let’s also realize that prayer is powerful.  The privilege of prayer is amazing.  God wants to hear your prayers. God also wants you to act in love.  To believe in Jesus is to believe in that call.  We are really really good at saying the words, but not following through on the action.

The child out there sitting alone, needs love, not shame.  The kids that cheat, they need love, not shame.  The kids that lie, they need love, not shame.  The kids that steal, they need love, not shame. The kids that have mental illness, they need love, not shame.

Oh how I wish we could snap our fingers and change our world.  Lord, can you please make all of this pain and suffering go away?  I believe the tears of Jesus are real today. He told us –

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

We live in a broken world.  We have never been promised perfection.  We have never been promised fairness.  But we have been given hope.  So that is where I’ll rest today. The Air Heads and the Fun Dip are still staying in the garbage, but my boys just walked in safely from the bus stop, and gave me a kiss, so I’ll say ‘Thank you’ for this day.

 

Love FOR Self

This day, Valentine’s Day, has me thinking about love.  Not the romantic love that is conveyed in the ‘Hallmark Holiday’ creation, but love for self.

What does it look like to love who you are? Not only to look in the mirror and love what you see on the outside, but to know that the person on the inside is good?

What about loving the journey you’re on? Taking some time to stop over-thinking, over-reacting, judging, hoping, yearning and always expecting more or perhaps better?

This year, I’ve focused on the word contentment.  That word can mean many different things to many people, and perhaps it does for me as well.  More than anything, I knew that as 2018 began, I desired to find a level of contentment that I had not found in prior years. The contentment I was searching for had to begin within me – with loving who I am and loving the journey that I’m on.

First, I desired a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father.  The essence of that relationship is what is allowing me to begin to see and find some of the missing pieces.  It is my belief that He leads us all on the journeys that we find ourselves walking – the large jigsaw puzzle of life, the map of all the winding roads, mountains & valleys.  He directs us, nudges us, guides us and certainly sends people to cross our paths that guide, advise and carry us to the next stop.  Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes we really just think we know better (how dare we even say it) than what His plans may be.   That’s simply love OF self.  Selfishness.  Ego.  Pride.  We have our plans.  We know our walk.  We know which step to take to bring us to that next big ME moment.  LOVING the ME that other people SEE.  The ‘all important’ me.

I’m sure many of you can relate, but there have been times in my life that I wanted to be seen. When you get the taste of a stage, it’s hard to step off of it.  When you get a sniff of other’s envy, it can get a bit addicting.  Privilege & status (in big and large circles) and all of that crap just gets in your head in a bad way.  Luckily for me, God allowed me to see – He literally opened my eyes to some of these things growing in me and around me.  And He has helped me continue to walk the jagged road of love OF self to love FOR self.  Not easy, I’ll tell you!  But worth it on the other side.

As I thought about contentment and what that looks like for me, I thought about the things in my life that bring me joy today and have brought me joy in the past.  I thought about the things that stole my joy.  And somewhere in the middle of that, I’ve struggled with discernment of things that both brought me joy and also stole it.  Could it be possible that certain things in my life could do both?  And how did the Lord want me to move forward with those things?

I’m not sure I have all of the answers yet, but I do know that I pray and I try to follow the Lord’s nudges.  There has been one little nudge in that ‘somewhere in the middle’ zone that has been pushing me to write again, despite knowing that my eagerness to spread my opinions and believe that I have the answers to all of the world’s problems puts love OF self before love FOR self.  But then again, does it?  Am I overthinking that? Does God want to use me to speak words that others need to hear?  It’s that in-between that I’m trying to figure out.

If you’re searching for contentment, maybe this can be your guide too.  Identifying your joy givers and your joy stealers is the first step towards contentment.

First – JOY Givers:

  • FAMILY – I’ve concluded that THESE people, these 4 others that I share this lovely home with, are my people.  Nothing else should get in the way of loving them and putting them first ALWAYS, but more particularly, at this very moment.
  • CHURCH/BIBLE STUDY – God wants to do good things in all of us, and finding Him, learning about Him, and leading others to Him is part of the plan. Woodstock City Church continues to bless us on that path.
  • BOOKS – I love to read.  In this push to greatness, I allowed lies like ‘there’s no time for books or TV on the journey to the top.  When you get there, you’ll have all the time in the world for that.’  OK LISTEN.  THAT IS TOTAL AND COMPLETE BS AND I AM PRAYING TO GET OVER THE ANGER FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE OVER THE LAST 9 YEARS THAT PUT THAT IDEA INTO MY HEAD.  Without time for you, time to escape to the land of novels and amazing television shows like ‘This is Us’ or ‘The Crown’.  PLEASE PEOPLE.  Climbing to the top can surely allow you to miss some great stuff if you let it.  I was letting it.  So, back to books. I’m on my 15th for the year so far and I’m super proud of that one.
  • DOG – Have you seen my dog?  He’s the best.  He’s my favorite companion.  He lays next to me while I read and wraps his paws around my arm.  We will forget about all of the not so good things he does.  He loves me unconditionally.  And I love him.

Second – JOY Stealers:

  • FACEBOOK – Dearest Facebook, you stole my joy for at least the last 5 years.  You, like a drug, kept me on a News Feed repeat, always needing more, never seeing enough, saying enough, sharing enough, friending enough.  Although I love being connected to many of you and I really do miss that connection, what I find in the scrolling of Facebook is ENVY and COVETING.  Also a lot of eye rolling.  My eyes just honestly were hurting.  Some of us have a really really big LOVE OF SELF around these parts (not to exclude myself).
  • SHAMERS – I no longer have time in my life for people that shame others.  Until I read Brene Brown’s books, I didn’t recognize shame like I do today.  I’m grateful I see it now and I’m thankful when the little ‘ping’ goes off that allows me to recognize it.  There is no place for shamers in Sandora Land.
  • USERS – Dear ones that are great friends when they need you and when their kids love your kids, but quickly forget about you, in fact, even turn on you, when they no  longer need you, nor do their children.  Done, ok?  Just done with all of that.  The road to friendship along with giving my heart to someone, is going to be a lot more careful and cautious going forward.

Finally – JOY Givers and Stealers:

  • FOOD – Dearest Food, you are an addiction.  You are the greatest thing and also the worst.  You provide me so much joy, but the results of too much of you steal my joy.  So for the time being, I’m taking all of the knowledge on whole food nutrition that I have learned since 2009 and I’ve started eating plant based.  Mind you, it’s been 2 weeks.  But 2 weeks is something.  Is it forever?  This I do not know.  It’s for now.
  • WRITING – I am going to figure you out.

Just making these determinations has given me more contentment.  Acting on them, has brought even more.  I realize that the one who clears my paths, who opens and closes my doors, is also the one that calls me worthy.  He wants the best life for me.  I want to give my best to Him by paying attention, prayerfully and patiently.

Contentment can not be found in love OF self.  Never ever.  The only place true contentment can be found is in Christ.  Finding that relationship, strengthening it, brings you to love FOR self.

Psalm 34:10 Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

2 Cor. 12:9-10 “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Much love – and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Lost

LOST is the one word I can use to describe where I feel we are as a society.

I’ve spent time reflecting on the events of the past weekend. The behaviors of our President.  The reactions and the greater reactions from those watching.  Confused?  I am.  This tweet of an image by Aaron Niequist summed it up for me:

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Our current reality is that this weekend, our President called a protestor a ‘son of a bitch’ during a speech.  I can not even fathom that this is our world, first and foremost, or how that name calling made those men feel.

My father is a United States Marine.  So is my cousin.  My cousin Craig fought in multiple wars and is a hero in his own right (with a Purple Heart to prove it).  To think I wouldn’t stand for them?  Would I?  Of course. Would you?  Most likely, yes!

What those men fought for was our freedom.  Our freedom to live, love, share, care, speak, be AND protest – non-violently. Do I believe the NFL players are protesting in the right way, in the right forum, for the issues at hand?

Does it really matter what I think?

We all have the right. We don’t have to like how other people that have the same right, exercise it – as long as it is peaceful.

We do not know the hearts of men.  We have no place to judge the decisions they make because we do not know their reality.  We don’t know their pain.  We don’t know their upbringing.  We don’t know their experiences. We don’t know the depths of their beliefs.  What it means to to them to stand for a flag, for an anthem.  What it means to come together as a team and make a decision as one. WE DO NOT KNOW.

Do we know what we would do?  Yes.  Why can’t we stick to that?  Why can’t we focus on our own hearts?  Why do we choose to continue to tear down people, organizations & groups of people for the choices they make?

I know this truth – when you lead with love and grace and respect, you gain the love, grace and respect of your followers.  When you lead with anger, hurtful words, finger pointing & blame, you lose your followers.

Today I spoke to a member of my team, an African American woman, whose husband proudly represents our US military at a high level. She is hurt & scared.  Do we know her heart or her pain?  Do we have the right to even think we know how she feels in this current society? We can not even imagine it. Her husband is a HERO.  Yet she stands against the adversity of this divided nation, wanting to remain united under one GOD.

God has pulled on my heart to share this.  I want to dive into what he’s placing there.  I realize you may not like it.  But it’s not your approval I’m after.  To me, being a Christian means that I love as Jesus loved.  He pulled up a chair with the lowest of the low.  He searched their hearts. He asked hard questions. Maybe we would learn a little something if we tried the same.

I’m braving the wilderness by writing this.  I DO #standfortheanthem, but I also #takeTWOknees (in prayer).  Because there is middle ground.  This is not an ‘all or nothing’ world we live in.  That is a false dichotomy.  I can stand for and believe in the American flag with my whole heart and believe in the freedom of peaceful protest. They can absolutely co-exist.

Let’s get out there and ask some hard questions and break down these walls, one person at a time.

 

Becoming New

September 1…  The beginning of a new month is a huge blessing.  It’s my favorite season of the year.  I love feeling the cooler temps, watching the leaves begin to change, shedding themselves in the hopes of becoming new again in the Spring.  Fall brings with it some simple, but powerful life lessons.

We all have the power to become new again.  Parts of us may crumble and shed, but we can re-emerge better than ever in the Spring.

I’ve thought a lot about this process recently, as the puzzle pieces of my life are coming back together.  Two years ago I decided to explore some different passions in my heart and to let some of the dead leaves fall.  It was a tough time for me at the beginning, and it required a lot of prayer, stillness and hope.  Hope for Spring to come again.  Hope for the Lord to continue to place His call and His hand on my heart and on my life.

I felt so much shame at the beginning of that period. I realized that the shame that was circling in my heart, I was pushing down to others.  I was part of the cycle. What an ugly way to live.  I’ve dug deeply into Dr. Brene Brown’s work on shame over these months. She describes shame this way,

“Shame is that warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed, and never good enough.  Shame is basically the fear of being unloveable.”

Well, I had just about had enough of that.

I watched the transformation – from hurt, sadness and confusion – to peace, acceptance, love – to excitement and joy.  These past couple of years, I was able to find me again.  The me that was lost in all of the other stuff – the drive to move forward, the comparisons, the acceptance…  I found my way back to love.  God placed me right where He wanted me in this last year, and despite the fact that I was not meant to permanently put my foot in the cement, the love I was shown and the growth I experienced, I would not trade for the world.

It’s been so neat to see how every step in this journey has been for good in our lives.  Every day was not easy, but most of the days were fun and joyful.  There are days that I feel sadness over some things that were lost during my transition, specifically friendships, but then I rejoice at the God-loving individuals that He placed in my path to show me what truth in friendship really is.  Lord, you always know better than we do!

So September…  Here we are again…  Waiting for those crisp evenings, sweatshirts, pumpkins and fires…  Waiting to rake the leaves into big piles in the yard & jump in.

I’m throwing up the leaves of old at the same time I’m watching the buds form into something new.  I’m anxious to have freedom in my days and more time with my kids.  I’m ready to be fully present into the passion that God placed on my heart over 8 years ago.  Spreading the message of prevention is a huge deal to me and I don’t take the call lightly.

I’ve also picked this blog back up – to share and spread hope with you.

I hope you can find wisdom where you question what to let fall with the leaves this September.  I hope you can find hope in Jesus, knowing that His plans for you are great. The journey is not perfect.  The days can be hard.

You have to search for the joy and let the leaves fall.

 

 

you and me

I haven’t written in awhile.  There even have been times I’ve considered deleting this blog altogether, but something inside held me back.  Some of the entries I wrote in the past were raw and emotional.  Honestly, it’s scary to show yourself to the people that think they know you.  Critics caused me to doubt myself over past months. That little voice showed up and told me that my story doesn’t matter, that I’m hurting people by sharing it.  I hate that voice.  Let me be clear that I don’t hate the critics, I actually love them deeply. They don’t mean to hurt, they’re just scared.  What I hate is that I’ve allowed their fear to become a part of me and become bigger to me than the good that my writing can do. They are scared because maybe my truth shows a little bit of their truth. Something messy in me might also be in them. Weakness.  Imperfection.  Failure.  Fear. Words we don’t like to say.  Things we don’t like to feel.  Emotions we try to bury and hide.

In recent months, I’ve spent a bunch of time wrapped inside of Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton’s work.  These ladies have given me the courage to keep writing. I’ve learned a whole bunch about vulnerability and truth and owning your story. Much of what they teach resonates with me because I’m an emotional being.  I’ve actually been called sensitive my entire life and I’ve grown, even in my adulthood, to see it as a weakness.  But the work I’ve been doing on me has allowed me to turn that perceived weakness into a strength. Truth can be covered up under a warm blanket by the word ‘sensitive’. The word itself is just an excuse.  Something to blame.  A cover up.

I need to continue writing because honesty frees people. It frees the people out there willing to admit and own the fact that they are also imperfect. I don’t claim to know it all. I don’t claim to be right.  But it’s my hope that as I write, you’ll see a little bit of you in me. You may begin to see sensitivity and vulnerability as a strength.  Maybe you’ll have that little ‘ahhh, me TOO.’

You and me – we aren’t as different as you think.

My Whole 30 Journey, Take 2

A few years ago, the Whole 30 was recommended to me as a way to clean up my diet and make healthy changes.  I started by reading the book, “It Starts With Food,” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the creators of the Whole 30 program.  I knew after finishing the last page, this would be a journey I would take.  I remember the first time doing the program, it was challenging.  But I did it and felt so good on the inside and outside!

Fast forward three years later, a friend was doing this same challenge and inspired me to go for it once again.  I knew it was time to make changes in my diet.  The first reason, I have been working out in my yoga studio many hours during the week, but those few pounds that I had gained were not coming off, no matter how much sweat came off of me in the hot room.  And the reason for that was 100% about what I was putting in my mouth.  The second reason is that I’ve been on the wellness journey, passionately sharing disease prevention for many years, yet here I was making choices that I knew were not benefiting my health or my body.  You know how the saying goes, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.  You can’t.  I had a sugar and cheese addiction, along with REALLY loving our weekends of eating out at restaurants.  Something had to give.

The second time around, the decision to do this was easier and the actual 30 days was easier.  It was likely because I knew I could do it.  I’d done it before!  And I was also following my friend who was a bit ahead of me in the process and she continued to inspire me every day.  Everything is always better and easier with a buddy! Since completing these last 30 days, I have had many people ask more about what this entails.  My goal is to outline and share my experience.  Is this something for you?  Only you can make that decision.  No ONE thing is right for every person.  But here is what I do know.  If you tell yourself this is hard, it WILL be hard.  If you believe you can’t do it, you WON’T.  If you complain the entire month, it will make it so much worse.  I love what they say on the Whole 30 website –

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.” 

Way to tell it EXACTLY like it is.  Puts things in perspective, huh?

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So what does this entail?  Cleaning up your diet.  Taking out the bad and putting in the good.  For 30 days you avoid sugar of any kind (real or artificial), dairy, grains, legumes, soy, alcohol, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.  Nothing processed.  Nothing artificial.  You consume real food.

What do you eat?  Meat, eggs, seafood, tons of vegetables, some fruit, healthy fats from fruits, oils, nuts & seeds.

And you may wonder… HOW is this possible? What will I eat?

I assure you, it is possible and for me, I eat more on this program that I do NOT on this program.  The wonderful thing is that there are so many recipe ideas out there (even a Whole 30 cookbook) and bunch of products that are approved under Whole 30.  You just have to take the time to research and plan ahead before beginning.  You can make your own mayonnaise or salad dressings or purchase the right ones from some amazing companies committed to putting the right ingredients in their products.  Two of the companies that I love the most – Tessamae’s & Primal Kitchen.  Check them out!

I believe that the main thing that this program helps you to do is identify your behaviors around food.  I grew up in a family that loves food.  My great grandparents and grandparents immigrated from Italy.  Food was the center of my childhood.  Cheese, pasta, 3 course meals, dessert…  Truly, I LOVE FOOD.  It is nostalgic for me.  It is often times difficult for me to separate that love of food, or the pictures in my unconscious mind surrounding food, from what I know to be true about what we should consume to keep us healthy.

The great news is that after these past 30 days, I feel as though I’ve gotten a handle on that behavior.  I don’t want to go back to the way I was eating.  I don’t want to feel the way I was feeling.   I want to feed my body what it needs to heal on the inside.  The truth is, none of us can feel prevention, just like we can not feel disease until it is too late.  We have no idea what’s going on behind the curtain.  If I understand from what I read and hear, sugar feeds cancer.  Then why, just by knowing that fact, do we continue to eat ridiculous amounts of sugar (real or artificial)?  How can I understand but not do what I need to do prevent?  This is something we all struggle with because none of us are perfect people.  Food is many times joyous and fun.  It is something we should experience in this one life that we have.  What I feel is that these 30 days have given me perspective.  I needed to change my thinking around food.  And I have.

My results: better sleep, glowing skin, zero stomach aches or cramps, very little cravings, more energy & 7 pounds lost.  I know many could read this and think that because I was a fairly healthy weight, WHY would I need something like this?  First of all, it’s not a diet.  Second of all, just because I appear healthy does not mean that I am.  Third, if I don’t feel comfortable in my clothes, I have the right to make the changes that I need to be comfortable.  Let the judgments slide and focus on what you need for YOUR journey, not what you think that I may need for mine.

Give this a try if you want to give your body what it needs.  First start by reading the book.  The best results for your life always begin with an understanding as to why you’re doing this in the first place.

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I will continue on with this way of eating.  Since my 30 days has ended, I have added back my Juice Plus+ Complete smoothie, which has been a lifeline for me for many years.  I’m happy to say that my body had no reaction.  Yippee!  So the Whole 30 life will continue on, with Complete being a part of it.

Best of luck on your journey.  You do what’s right for you.  If this is something you think you should try, take the time to understand it and then go for it.  You will never know how good your body is designed to feel unless you give it what it needs and take away from it, the things that it doesn’t.

Here’s to your health!

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I’m sick and tired of the six letter word.

For the past seven years, I’ve considered myself a ‘Mom on a Mission’.  I first learned about a life changing product called Juice Plus+ back in 2009.  I was searching for something to take, as I began my own health journey.  Different paths and questions all converged into one answer:  Juice Plus+.  It was as easy as this, it made sense.  I knew my family did not eat enough fruits and vegetables, so this could definitely help.  And it did. As the months passed, changes occurred within our family.  The first thing that we noticed was that we weren’t tired anymore! What? You mean the right foods in your bloodstream could give you energy?  Over the first year, we noticed many changes in our family that we still notice today.  Let me sum them up for you:  more energy, less illness and infection, quicker recovery when ill, decrease in allergy symptoms, better food choices.  Our family changed.  I noticed bigger things. My LDL cholesterol decreased, as HDL increased – and this has been across the board in my entire family.  My husband’s stomach and heartburn issues became non-existent.  My vision has IMPROVED (that really stumps an eye doctor). My gum health has IMPROVED.  A heart arrhythmia condition that I had, no longer appears on my routine EKG’s.  ‘We see no sign of this, are you sure you had it?’  Um, yes.

But here’s something we never talk about.  That terrible, ugly six-letter word.  The one we all dread, the one that makes us cringe when we hear it.  The one that brings us to tears and down on our knees.  You know the word.  But you know what?  Not many people think about that word until they actually hear it spoken.  No one thinks it will happen to them, until it does.  Not many people think about what they are putting in and on their bodies that may actually prevent and not cause it to occur.  It just seems that people would rather ignore the possibility than think about solutions.  

My story is that I watched my Aunt Debbie pass away from Multiple Myeloma in her early 40’s.  She had two bouts with the disease, the second took her life.  She was an active, healthy, lovely, beautiful and kind woman.  She loved playing tennis and walking her dog. She loved her two children.  The ugly word took her from us.

 

My maternal grandfather is one of 13 siblings.  Almost every one of his female siblings had it and many were taken because of it, as was his mother.

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This is my Pappy (seated in the center) with 9 of his 11 siblings.

It’s in my genes, folks.  Likely, it’s in yours too.

So here I look at these pretty red, purple and green capsules.  They contain powders that contain powerful antioxidants that go directly into the bloodstream.  Powerful antioxidants that stop the growth of bad cells.  Kill them.  Fight them.  We all have the cells.  But what are we doing to stop their multiplication?

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You see, you may not choose to think about it.  Just pretend like it won’t happen.  It may not.  And I’m not saying that swallowing these capsules every day means it won’t happen. But what I do know (because it has been researched numerous times) is that it’s doing good things in my body to prevent it from happening. Do I have a number? 10% less chance, 25% less chance, 75% less chance of it occurring?  Here’s what I know, a 0.1% less chance of it occurring is more than enough for me.  And I think it’s safe to say, without making claims, that it’s well more than that.

Yes, my eyesight improving is great.  Energy during the day is great.  Less virus and infection is great.  But the greatest benefit, the one that fuels my passion, is what I CAN NOT FEEL.  

My friends, far and wide, know my passion around this product.  Those that know me well, know that it’s because I truly care about keeping anyone I know healthy. Because we are NOT perfect people.  We eat terribly.  We don’t exercise as much as we should.  We don’t get enough sleep.  We are stressed.  We may have perfect days, weeks or months.  But it’s not every day, week or month.  But guess what, I swallow 6-12 capsules every day, week, month and year.  I don’t skip a day, like I may skip that salad or that workout or that night’s sleep.

Why don’t we care more about taking care of ourselves?  This keeps me up at night, folks! Over the past 7 years, I’ve had to learn how to accept the fact that many people just don’t want to face this.  They don’t want a solution. They aren’t open to hearing or learning or trying to understand.  They analyze, dissect and question the simplicity.  It’s one of those things that is so simple, that people want to complicate it.  Perhaps they see me as a ‘sales person’, out for myself, in one of ‘those’ types of businesses.  And I’ve had to grow strong, pray, and fight on.  Because yes, I am a sales person.  I am in one of those businesses.  And many don’t understand the beauty of all of that, which is a story for another day.

I will leave you with this.  I’m writing this today because I am tired of hearing that word. You probably are too.  I am tired of people not caring.  Maybe you are too.  I am tired of people not taking their health into their own hands, as our health care system (if you can even call it that) in the United States is an absolute mess.  

I don’t want to join another group on Facebook of another young mom fighting for her life. I don’t want to hear another story about another 12 year old girl passing away far too soon after a fight no 12 year old should never have to make.  

It’s time for solutions.  It’s time for prevention.  And if you’re suffering with ANYTHING, it’s time for healing.  God gave us foods to heal us.  We don’t eat enough of them.  But we have access and we have this simple solution that comes in capsules.  And because I’ve seen it with literally hundreds of people, and I’ve read the research and I’ve listened to the Doctors, they heal.

I hope this story somehow resonates with you.  I’d be open to discussion with absolutely anyone that would be open to listening or learning.  That’s my only goal. I am not a Doctor or a medical professional, but I know that my Company has hundreds of the best Doctors from around the world backing the product and the research that I represent.  I don’t understand it all, but I know there are people that do.  And I trust them.  I ask that you trust me.  

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Me and my daughter with Dr. Bill Sears, America’s Pediatrician (www.askdrsears.com)

It’s time to take your health into your hands.  If you’re looking for a sign, THIS IS IT.

Don’t let that word hit you like a ton of bricks, when you have a shot at stopping it before you have to fight it.

Here’s to good health,

Your Mom on a Mission

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