Friday, August 30, 2013

Christmas in August

I HATE when I go into a store and see Christmas decorations out -- in September!!!  For goodness sake, let us at least celebrate Labor Day first.  Not to mention Halloween or Thanksgiving!!!!

And yet, here I am writing a blog post titled Christmas in August.  Have I lost my mind?  Am I going bonkers?


I certainly feel like a child on Christmas morning, waking up to presents under the tree, stockings overflowing with little toys and candy, and lots of yummy food to eat.

Perhaps Coralyn knew it was going to be this kind of day when she got up this morning.  She came downstairs, all decked out in her fancy Christmas dress from last year.

Rather than make her change, I just decided to go with the flow.  She's dressed.  She's happy.

And after all, it IS kind of like Christmas in our house today!!!!

Why?  What makes today so special?  Last time you checked August 29 wasn't anything to jump up and down over?

Well, NOW it is a VERY special day in OUR house, at least!!!

Today is the day I will reach the Diamond level in It Works and earn a $10,000 bonus!!!

I can't even type that without pinching myself and rubbing my eyes and making sure I am not dreaming.

Nope, it's real.

Still can't believe it, but it's true!!!

When I joined It Works 6 months ago on February 9, my goal was to get to Diamond by the end of May and earn the $10,000 G.O.O.D. Bonus.  I wanted more than anything to get that extra $400 every month for the next 25 months.  I knew that would be HUGE to our family as we had just found out we are expecting baby #3 come November.  I started dreaming of all the ways we could turn around and bless others too.  So I worked hard to get to Diamond.

But, I fell short.  I missed the mark by 5 team members.  FIVE.
I had come so close, and yet was so far away from reaching my goal and fulfilling my dream.

I didn't quit though.  I kept on working hard and knew that eventually I would get to the Diamond level.  And when I did, the commission is great and so are some of the bonuses that come with that position, regardless of when you reach the level in the company.

Sure enough, 2 months later, I had all the team mates in place, and then some, to be Diamond.  I was so excited!  My joy turned to pure elation, though, when I was told It Works had extended the G.O.O.D. Bonus deadline.  ANYONE who was not yet Diamond could still earn the $10,000 bonus if they reached the Diamond level by the end of August.

I started to cry.

All I needed was more loyal customers.

The bonus was right there within my reach!!!  I was shocked and thrilled and more determined than ever.

I started handing out blitz cards like a mad woman.  I would walk up to complete strangers at the softball fields every Sunday while my husband played his game.  I would strike up conversations with moms at the library, the park, the playplace at Chick-fil-A.  And somehow, I would make sure we ended up talking about It Works.  I gave the grocery store cashier a blitz card every time I got groceries.  I handed them to the bank teller every time I deposited a check.  My girls even started passing out coupons to people!  They helped me deliver a "Welcome Back to School" note and blitz card to every single teacher at the school where my husband teaches.

I messaged everyone I knew to see if they would want to try It Works products -- wraps, greens, vitamins, cleanser gel.  I didn't care!!!!  We have something for everyone anyway!!!  I love the products and use them myself.  I have seen them make a difference in my life and in the lives of so many friends as well.  I can't help but share about these products with others, especially those I know and love.

I encouraged my team members to do the same, and boy did they step up to the plate!!!

Everything is falling into place -- thank You, JESUS -- and I am indeed going to be Diamond and get the $10,000 bonus!!!

Like I said, it's kind of like Christmas in our house today! :)

Speaking of Christmas....

It is only about 4 months away!

This company and this "job" is such a blessing to me, and I want to share this amazing opportunity with everyone I can.

That's our team motto.

And my personal mantra.

God has opened up this door and led me down a path I never imagined, and I am sooooo thankful His ways are not my ways.  They are much bigger, and much better.  He alone deserves all the glory and credit for my success.  I am just honored and humbled that He has chosen me to be a part of what He's doing, that I can pass this on to others so they too can be blessed as I have been.

I would LOVE to work with you and show you how this Crazy Wrap Thing can be a blessing to you and your family as well!

If you are interested in joining the team (becoming part of the family) or have questions about any of this, please, PLEASE, please let me know!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Friends

This past month, God has given me a new courage.

When I found out that the G.O.O.D. Bonus had been extended to anyone who wasn't yet at the Diamond level in the It Works company, I started to cry.  I was sooooooo close to reaching this milestone and knew that the $10,000 bonus (paid out in $400 checks for the next 25 months) would be a HUGE blessing to our family.  I determined to do everything I possibly could to earn this bonus.

I knew that meant I would have to get out of my comfort zone, though.  I would have to tell more people about It Works and our health products.  People I didn't know.  At all.

BUT, I couldn't let fear stand in the way.  I couldn't let fear keep me from accomplishing a goal, from fulfilling a dream.

And so, I started handing out "blitz cards" everywhere I went.  The grocery store cashier.  The bank teller.  Anyone sitting in the stands at any of the 5 fields where my husband played softball every Sunday evening.  Moms at the park.  Moms at Chick-fil-A watching their kids play.  Moms at the library.

I didn't just talk about It Works though, at least not if I actually had time to engage in a more lengthy conversation.  Yes, I want them to know about our products and how amazing they are and how they could potentially change their lives.  But, I also want to get to know the person, the individual.  How old are her kids?  Does she stay home or work outside of the house?  Do they attend church?  What does she enjoy doing as a hobby?  You know, LIFE stuff...

Through this process of me becoming more courageous in handing out blitz cards and spreading the word about It Works, I have been able to make some new friends.

Last week, I struck up a conversation with another mom at the library.  We probably chatted for a good half hour while our kids did puzzles, played on the computers, and "read" books.  I gave her my blitz card and got her contact information so we could set up a play date soon.

Today, I went to her house and got to hang out with her and 2 other moms.  For over an hour, I got to sit and enjoy some adult conversation while the kids played on a mansion of a swingset that the dad had made.

I got to share how Lawrence and I met and what we do in life right now.  They all have at least one child who attends the school where my husband teaches and had heard all about his backflips and gymnastics tricks he had done on the first day.  I got to learn about their families.  

Basically, I got to make new friends.

All because of It Works.

If not for It Works, I might not have struck up a conversation with this mom at the library. 

If not for It Works, I would have missed out on the opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy some mommy time.

If not for It Works, I wouldn't have the opportunity to continue to build a relationship with them, to invite them to be a part of the Moms of Prayer Group, to watch our kids become friends.

You see, It Works is so much more than a paycheck (though I have to admit that part is nice too)!  It Works is helping me become a better person -- a more courageous woman who's not afraid to get out of her comfort zone, a more well-rounded woman who is better able to make an impact on people's lives in ways she never would have been able to do before this "job."

Today, It Works was all about making new friends.  

Fitting since our motto is "Friendship, Fun, Freedom."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tim Tebow of It Works

When I think of Tim Tebow, I do think of football, but first and foremost I think of a man who loves Jesus and puts Him first in all that he does.  I think of a man who isn't ashamed to share and live out his faith.  I think of a man who takes the attention off himself and puts the spotlight on God, where it belongs.

I don't know if Tim Tebow grew up dreaming of becoming a famous NFL player.  What I do know is that he certainly used the talents and abilities God gave him as a platform to share the Good News, to show others that they can have a personal relationship with Jesus that affects every aspect of your life -- even playing football.

I want to be the Tim Tebow of It Works.  When people think of me, yeah they might think of a crazy girl who sells wraps and supplements and skin care products, but more than anything I hope they think of Jesus.
I want to use this God-given opportunity as a platform to share His love, to show others how a personal relationship with Jesus can change your life.  Any and all success that I have in this business is credited to God alone.  He's blessed my socks off since I started this journey in February, and I can only imagine what the future holds.  I am excited to see what He's going to do with this crazy wrap thing to bring honor and massive amounts of glory to His name.

Tonight, the company call featured some of our new Presidential Diamonds.
These ladies got to share their stories, explaining how this business has changed their lives.  I haven't listened to the call yet, because I was teaching a childbirth class.  BUT, it's recorded and I will be playing it tomorrow during nap time while I fold laundry, make supper, and get things done around the house.  I want to hear how a principal, photographer, restaurant owner, technical engineer, mortgage department worker, and nurse became Presidential Diamonds, making around $16,000 a month as It Works distributors.

You can listen too!
Listen live online at:

As I see the faces of these women and get ready to listen to their stories, I can't help but dream big.  It may be a long shot, but I would LOVE to be featured on a company call like this, sharing my story and telling others how It Works has changed my family's life.  Only, I want to use the opportunity as a platform to shine the spotlight on Jesus, to give Him all the credit for my success, to show how this business has allowed us to bless others in the same way He has blessed us.  When people hear my story, I do want them to have confidence in our products and in the company, but above all, I want them to know that God is at work in my life, that He can be a part of their life too.

And so tonight, as I get ready to head to bed, I dream of becoming a sort of Tim Tebow in the It Works world.

If God can use a football player, then surely He can use a crazy wrap girl too!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I feel like I've been stretched quite a bit lately.

Our family schedule has gotten kind of busy these days with the start of school, and I am feeling stretched in all different directions as we always seem to be on the go.

*During the day, I have 1-2 daycare kiddos in addition to my 2 girls.  And even when we don't leave the house, I'm still moving all the time - as there is never a dull moment when you have 4 kids under the age of 4! (I am so GRATEFUL I get to stay home and experience the "chaos" with my girls on a daily basis)

*I'm teaching childbirth classes on Monday evenings (and LOVE helping these couples prepare for their babies' births)

*Lawrence is part of the Pastor Search Team and meets once a week for that

*He is also going to be starting up the Boys to Men after-school program again in September, which gives him the opportunity to work with and mentor many of the 5th grade boys at his school

*This semester will be Lawrence's last one in grad school!!!  To finish his degree in Elementary Administration he has to put in 200 hours with his principal, and this is in addition to his regular responsibilities as a teacher!

*We are excited to begin meeting with our Ponca Bible study group again as well.  Every Sunday, we get to dig into God's Word and look at how these kids can live it out in their daily lives.

*I am also thrilled to get to be a part of the Kellybrook Moms of Prayer group that is starting this year.  We are hosting a 5K walk for the school in September and will be doing various other activities throughout the school year as we meet together to pray for the students and staff at Kellybrook.

As you can see, we are a pretty busy family these days!  You can probably relate!!!

Even as I am feeling stretched in various directions, I am thankful for all that God has placed in our lives at this time.  All the "stuff" that we are doing is good and I truly believe God is using it to grow us into the people He wants us to be.  I hope and pray, too, that He is at work in the midst of these activities, using them to bring glory and honor to His name (our ultimate goal and desire).

One area I haven't even mentioned yet, but really feel is a work of God is my It Works "business."  I continue to be blessed every day with the way He is using this opportunity to S-T-R-E-T-C-H me in several different ways:

*I am pushed to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people.  Instead of just sitting in the Chick-fil-A play place or the park or the library, I am more likely to start up a conversation with another mom who is close by.  Yes, I get to introduce them to It Works and the great products we have.  BUT, I also get to make new friends and am looking forward to some play dates in the near future!  And as I build a relationship with these moms, my ultimate goal is not to get them to buy a wrap or use greens (though that is an added bonus).  More than anything, I want Jesus to shine through in all I do and say.  As these women get to know me, I want them to get to know Jesus.

*When I go to a party or help another team mate with a party, I am pushed once again to interact with people I don't really know.  I tend to worry a lot about what other people think of me, so whether it shows or not, I am extremely nervous when I present about It Works and our products.  Will they think I am crazy?  Will they write me off as a lunatic?  Will they tune me out or hear my heart?  As I hand out my blitz cards (like a business card with a coupon) to random strangers I have known for just a few minutes (I give them to the cashier, bank teller, gas station clerk, moms, etc.), I wonder what they think about me.  BUT, in the past few weeks, I am beginning to gain more and more confidence and getting more and more comfortable talking to anyone and everyone.  And it's been kind of fun, really, as I do get to meet new people and possibly even start to develop a friendship with them.

Just this month, I did a party for someone who I didn't really know all that well and certainly didn't know any of her guests.  One of the guests got really excited about the It Works business and what it could do for her family.  A few days later, she came to one of our team meetings and got even more excited.  The next week, she joined my team, and yesterday I got to help her with her very own launch party.  I just met this woman, but I feel like I have a new friend.  Already, she has been a huge blessing to me as we share a passion for health and kids and God and helping others.

Sometimes being stretched is scary. You don't know how much more you can take, how much more you can do.  BUT, if you don't allow yourself to be stretched, you don't grow.  And then you miss out on some cool things God has planned for you.

I have no idea how someone will respond when I give them a blitz card.  I don't know what people at a wrap party will think of me.  I don't know what goes through people's head when they see my posts on facebook.  BUT, I do know that I am growing as a person, that in being S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D I am finding a sense of fulfillment and purpose and joy.

Furthermore, I am sooooo excited about what is going to happen this month.  I am working on earning a $10,000 bonus!  The timing couldn't be better as we are getting ready to welcome baby #3 to our family and my daycare income was unexpectedly cut in half.  The extra $400 a month for the next 2 years will definitely help replace my missing income and allow us to pay for the extra expense that comes with another child.  Instead of worrying about how we are going to pay for our bills, we are looking for ways to bless others.  And that fills my heart to overflowing with such joy and happiness.

To think, if I hadn't been willing to S-T-R-E-T-C-H way outside my comfort zone, I would have missed out on this HUGE blessing.  I am so thankful, yet again, that God brought It Works into my life at this time.  And I am more excited than ever to see what He is going to do with this "business" in the future and how it will play a role in my personal growth, in blessing others, and bringing massive amounts of glory to His name!

Is there an area where God is trying to S-T-R-E-T-C-H you?  Will you let Him?  You never know what might happen as He does...

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined 
what God has planned for those who love Him."
~1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

With the beginning of the school year under way, I wonder how many teachers have posed the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" as they get to know their students and work to build a community within the classroom walls.

As Pinterest peaks, I bet quite a few parents took pictures of their back-to-schoolers holding a poster or chalkboard listing their current interests and what they presently want to be when they grow up.  I think it would be fun to take a picture like this every year to see how their personalities, interests, and dreams develop over the years.  I wonder how many kindergarteners will actually grow up to be the person they drew on their "Getting to Know Me" worksheets this week?!

I, for one, did not grow up to fulfill my childhood dreams of being a missionary doctor in the African jungles.  Instead, I am a stay-at-home mom.  And I couldn't be happier.

As a mother of 2 small children (and another one on the way), I want to instill in my daughters the confidence that they can be whatever they want to be, that they can accomplish whatever goals they set for themselves.  I don't just want to tell them this though -- I want to SHOW them.  I want them to look at me and see firsthand what it looks like to see your hard work pay off, to watch your dreams come true.  I want them to KNOW that nothing is impossible, that no matter how many times you fall down you can always get back up and keep on trying, that the most important thing in life is not what you have or what you do but rather WHO YOU ARE.

As a child, I grew up signing the song, "I am a promise, with a capital P.   I am a great big bundle of potentiality..."  I may not be the best musician in the world, but I want my girls to grow up with these lyrics written on their hearts.

I was looking for pictures and quotes for this post and typed in "What do you want to be when you grow up?" in the Google search engine.  I found this quote from John Lennon and it resonated with me.

I do believe John Lennon's mother was on to something.  Like her, I want to lay a solid foundation for my children, one that is based on CHARACTER over possessions and prestige.  When I talk with my children about their hopes and dreams for the future, I will always assure them, "You can be whatever GOD wants you to be.  He has a special plan just for you, and I'm super excited to see what that is."  I want them to know I will be there to support and encourage them as they try to figure out what God has in store for them, as they use their unique gifts and abilities to do what they love, what brings Him pleasure and glory.

I laughed last night as I read a post from Kami Dempsey, the top seller for It Works.  She was reflecting on the her life and how drastically it has changed in the past 7 years since she became a distributor.  

I never grew up thinking, I want to be a wrap girl. 
I always saw myself as a Teacher and Coach. 

As a former teacher and coach, I can completely relate to Kami on that note.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever see myself as a "wrap girl."  I NEVER would have pictured myself selling body wraps that help tighten, tone, and firm.  I would NEVER have seen myself as a distributor for a direct sales company.  Granted, the "job" fits extremely well with my interests and passions -- health and wellness, equipping people to live healthy lives -- but I still never would have imagined myself doing what I am today.  Except for the stay-at-home mom part.  I have dreamed of that and prayed earnestly for this since I was in high school and college.  I remember some very late nights with my dearest friend in college, as we prayed for our future husbands and marriages and families.  We dreamed of being moms, of playing with our kids and baking with them and reading books to them.  Simple, maybe, but a dream none the less, one that stirred from a desire deep in our heart of hearts.  

I am so blessed to be living out my dream.  I may not be doing it the way I planned or expected, but as Kami shared, God's plans are always WAY better than ours.

I still have no idea what all is in store as I continue on this journey God has me on, but I am certainly excited to find out.  And as my girls watch me and see our family's story unfold, they will get to see firsthand how God works in the lives of His sons and daughters, how He weaves together each and every event in their lives, how He shapes and molds them into the people He created and designed them to BE in the first place.

And if I were to ask my girls today, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and they were to answer, "A wrap girl like you," I would be totally okay with that.  Not necessarily because they will be selling body wraps and supplements and skin care products, but rather because they will be making a difference in the world, they will be helping to change people's lives.  At least that is what I hope they see me doing and why they want to be like me when they grow up.

What about YOU?
I don't care how old you are or where you are at in life...

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Please take the time to reflect on where you are at in life right now.

Are you happy?
Are you truly fulfilling your dreams or at least working towards that?

If not, is there something you could change?  Something you SHOULD change?

I challenge to be like a little kid again.  Dare to dream big.
We do, after all, serve a VERY big God.

As He reminded me recently, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what I have planned for those who love Me." ~1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rethinking Success

This morning, I got up early to take a walk.  Success!!!

I stepped outside, only to discover rain falling.  Fail.

Not to be dismayed, I went back inside, grabbed my hand weights and did some exercises on my porch while watching the rain.  Success.

I then sat down and just prayed, enjoying the peace as I listened to the gentle patter of the rain.  I sensed God's presence and was once again overwhelmed with both His power and His tender love.  Definitely success.

Once I was showered and ready for the day ahead, I made my breakfast and sat down to check my email and facebook.  I am taking part in a daily "challenge" with some of my fellow It Works (some I know personally and many others I don't) as we seek to be successful in this crazy business.  Our assignment for today is to read the Success from Home magazine that came in our Starter Kit.  Fitting, given we each want to succeed as a distributor.

When I got my kit, back in February, I just kind of flipped through the magazine but didn't really take the time to sit down and read it cover to cover.  I figured the stories would be all about how wealthy these top-earning distributors were, how they lavishly spent their money, and things like that.  I knew that people were making outrageous salaries in this business, but I didn't really see how that directly applied to me personally.  First, I was just starting out and didn't expect to make 5 figures in a month.  Second, even if I did make that much money, I'm not the type of person to go out and buy a mansion or sports car or designer clothes/purses/etc or take exotic vacations all the time.  And so I didn't read the magazine.

I wish I would have.

Today, as I read each and every story in the magazine, I was struck by the HEART of It Works and our company's founders/leaders.  I was taken aback by their passion and drive, not to make piles of cash, but rather to CHANGE LIVES. 

Our top earner Kami Dempsey shared her "secret" to success: Enhancing your own life is good.  Focusing on enhancing others' lives leads to greatness.  

I love that!!!  I can relate to Kami -- even though she is a millionaire and I am certainly not!!!  Before she joined It Works (just a few years ago), she was a teacher and coach.  She is also a Christian and loves Jesus -- giving Him all the credit for her success.  She shared how she starts each day with prayer and time in the Word.  She isn't praying for God to bless her bank account, but rather focusing on the people on her team, asking God to bring others in their paths who need the products and opportunity It Works has to offer.

Kami wasn't the only one who was more concerned about blessing others and making a difference in their lives than she is about the paycheck she gets each month. 

I read Madra Jones' story -- which I heard in person when I met her earlier this month at a team meeting.  She was a successful businesswoman, owning 2 salons and a multi-unit complex, but she wanted more out of life.  She wanted to stay home with her kids, and so she sold her salons and business to do It Works full time.  Not only has she been able to spend more time with her family, she has "secured their future as well."  When asked what her WHY is in working for It Works, she answered, "My why is to change my children's future."

I knew about Kami and Madra, seeing as how they are the top 2 earners in this company.  As I continued to read, though, I met other great men and women who are also successful distributors.  Each story made me more and more confident in the foundation of this company, that the heart and soul is to CHANGE LIVES, to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  And that is something that resonates with me, deeply.

I can say "amen," when I read how they want to "reach into people's lives and help them succeed."

"I want to help people dream again."
"I want to be in control of our time and to teach my kids to believe they can do anything."
"It Works means HOPE -- helping other people excel."
"We realize the significance of making a difference inn people's lives."
"We want to change our family's life for generations to come."
"It's about creating a legacy not just for our family but for as many families as we can."

Wow!!!  What a different perspective that I had anticipated.  Certainly not the money-hungry lust for "stuff" I was expecting.

Yes, these people may make a lot of money, BUT their hearts are made of gold.  And that's what truly matters.  At least to me.

When I started in February, my goal was to make enough money selling It Works so that I could "just" stay home and not have to do daycare.  I want to focus more on my own kids and enjoy the precious time I have with them.  I did want to have freedom of my time, to set my own schedule, to be able to go to the park, library, zoo, or wherever else whenever I wanted.

Beyond that, though, was a deep desire to bless others, to use the additional income to give to others in ways we have never been able to do.  I realize that you can bless others in ways that do not require money, but to be honest, more often than not finances play a big role in making a difference.

I see clips from the TV show "Secret Millionaire" and dream of being on the giving end of things.

I hear how a family is going to pay for my friend's family to take a dream vacation that would be otherwise impossible for them to ever afford in this lifetime.  And in my heart, I think, I want to be able to do that for someone.

I see daily posts from baby Caleb's family and Chase's family and can't imagine the medical bills they have accumulated already.  I would love to write them each a check for $10,000 and relieve them of that financial burden, because let's face it -- they have already dealt with way too much and don't need one more thing to worry about.

Just thinking about all the opportunities to help others, to make a difference in their lives, is causing me to tear up.  Part of that is probably pregnancy hormones, but an even bigger part is my heartfelt desire to show others just how big my God is.  I want them to see how much He loves them.  When they think of me, I don't want to be know for a crazy wrap or the money I made by selling It Works.  Rather, I want them to remember me as a woman who loved Jesus with every fiber of her being and how that love spilled over into every thing she did.  I want them to experience the rich, lavish, generous love of Jesus in practical, tangible ways. 

So, yes, I do want to make money as an It Works distributor.  It is a goal. 
BUT, it is certainly not my purpose.

Just like Kami, I want to help enhance others' lives.
And the best way to do that is to introduce them to Jesus.

If it takes a crazy wrap or some greens or whatever to do that, then I am definitely game!

Right now, I do believe God has placed It Works in my life to help me make a difference in those around me and those far away too.

I am confident in our products and their ability to help people change their lives as they invest in their health and are able to live life the absolute fullest.

I am also confident in our company and the impact we can have as we provide people of all walks of life an opportunity to be successful at this business.  In turn, countless families' lives will be changed and they can give back as they help make a difference in even more people's lives.

So, today, I am thankful I was given the assignment to read a simple magazine.  As I did, I was able to rethink what success truly means.

I close with some promises from Scripture God has laid on my heart as I dare to dream big and pray for Him to use me to make Him known:

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires.
Commit everything you do the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you.
~Psalm 37:4-5

No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
No mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love Him!
~1 Corinthians 2:9 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

One thing I have learned in my 25 years of following Jesus is that He can do "FAR more than I could even begin to ask or imagine!" (Eph 3:20)

Granted, He doesn't always do exactly WHAT I ask or imagine.
He doesn't always do it exactly WHEN I ask or imagine.
And He certainly doesn't always do it HOW I ask or imagine.

Instead, He does everything FAR better, beyond what I could ever hope or even dare to dream.

God never ceases to surprise me.
So, why then, do I doubt Him?
Why do I hesitate to trust Him?
Why do I worry and stress and fret and fear?
Why do I want to put limitations on Him?
Why do I try to cram Him in a tiny, little box?
Why am I surprised when He works in amazing ways?

This past month I feel like God has been challenging me to depend completely on Him.
Total, utter reliance on Him.

That's not always the easiest or funnest (I know funnest isn't really a word) thing to do, though.

BUT, it's always the best thing!

And that's where I find myself right now.
You know what's funny (but not really funny -- more like SAD)?  I have found myself praying quite a bit more lately.  At least hard-core, earnest, from the depth of my heart prayers.

Despite the situation I am in where I have to fully rely on God to meet my needs, I have felt fuller.  I have sensed His presence more.  Maybe that's because I have stopped to spend more time WITH Him!

This morning I got up and did some weight exercises in my living room and then outside to enjoy a walk.  However, when I stepped onto my porch, I saw raindrops falling and sighed in disappointment.  Instead of going back inside, though, I sat on the chair and prayed.  As I listened to the soft rain fall, I poured my heart out to God.  Ironically enough, when I was done, the rain was too.  I was able to go on a short walk -- and continue praying as God brought friends and family members to mind.  When I returned home, I felt refreshed and energized, ready to "start" the day.

The past week has been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, and my pregnancy hormones have caused the hills to be steeper and the descents to be faster than normal.  Yet, in the midst of my racing thoughts and jumbled feelings, God has been speaking to me.  And I feel like He has been calling me to DREAM, to believe in Him like never before, to LET Him do a big work in and through me.  For that to happen, I must fully surrender to Him, letting go of my hopes and plans, trusting that His ways truly are better than mine.

As I have been reflecting and dreaming, God has been working on my heart and bringing my desires more and more in line with Him (at least I believe so).  It's taken me all week, but I have written down the dreams I feel God has laid on my heart.  And PROMISES from God's Word that He can do even MORE than I am daring to ask or imagine....

Some of these dreams may not seem all that big.
I am really rather a simple person.
To me, though, these dreams ARE big.  HUGE.
Humanly impossible in fact.
Doable only with God's help.

And that is why I am sharing them with you.
As these dreams become reality, I want everyone to know who is behind the scenes.
I want everyone to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I deserve no credit for making these dreams come true.  Nope, all the glory will go to God alone.

Yes, I will do everything I can to fulfill these dreams.
But unless God's hand is in it, even my best efforts will fall short.

What about you?
What dreams might you have that you are afraid to dream, thinking they are too big for God to accomplish?

Let's let go of our fears.  Release them like you would a balloon and watch them float up, up, and away.
Let's cling to our powerful, almighty, majestic, awesome God.
Let's trust Him to work in and through us in ways we never thought possible.
Let's believe He can do FAR more than we would ever ask or even begin to imagine.

Let's DREAM BIG....
After all, we do serve a VERY BIG God!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Unexpected Answer to Prayer

Funny how God never answers our prayers the way we expect.

Have you noticed that?  Or am I the only one?

I have been praying for God to give me opportunities to get out of the house and spend more focused time with my 2 girls.  BUT, that is hard when I do in-home daycare and have 4 daycare kids in addition to my own 2 children.  All ages 3.5 and under!!!

I didn't think I would get an answer to this prayer until next summer, when I get a break from daycare again.  Since I watch teachers' kids, I have the summers off, which is super nice as it gives me 2 months to spend with just my girls and have lots of fun with them!!!  I have soooo enjoyed June and July, and honestly have gotten quite spoiled.  Not sure I am ready to go back to work tomorrow when the teachers do.  Because when they have school training and meetings, I have their kiddos.

God is really awesome though.  He knows the desires of our hearts.  And He delights in blessing His children.  Crazy thought, but so true.  Blows my mind that the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe knows me personally -- down to the number of hairs on my head -- and genuinely cares about every detail in my life.  Can't even begin to fathom how deep and rich His love for me is.  That He WANTS to spend time with me.  That He WANTS to listen to my prayers.  That He WANTS to fill me with joy.

Which is exactly what He has done today.  I just found out that 2 of my 4 daycare kiddos won't be returning this fall, like TOMORROW.  One mom was going to be training to become an appraiser, but that fell through last minute and is going to be staying home full time.  I am excited for her, but will certainly miss her precious little boy!  One family needed more flexibility than I could provide and was able to find someone else on their street to take care of their little girl, whom I will also miss!  I am kind of in a daze as the past hour has cut my daycare income in half!!!  Nothing like throwing a wrench in your family's budget!!!

But wait, didn't I just say that God has filled me with joy, that He has heard my prayers and given me the desires of my heart.

Did I ask Him to put us in a financial pinch?  To make our lives stressful as we think about how exactly we will pay bills and buy groceries?

No, I most certainly did NOT!!!

What I did ask Him was that I would have more opportunities to focus on my girls, to spend time with just them, to get out of the house and do fun things with them -- like the park, zoo, and library.  Less daycare kiddos means more time (and energy) to be with my girls throughout the day since I won't be trying to keep 5-6 kids happy all the time.  Just 3-4.

Furthermore, He has given me 2 days a week where I only have 1 daycare kiddo.  Totally doable for me to get out and about with 3 kids.  We can go to the park, the library, and other places on those days.   Again, an answer to my exact prayers.

Come September, one of my daycare boys will be having a baby brother or sister.  While his mom is on maternity leave, I won't be watching him.  Then, our baby will be born in November.  BUT, for half of September and all of October, I won't have any daycare kiddos 2 days a week.  Again, that means I can leave the house, do fun activities with my girls, and focus ALL my time and energy on just them!!!  Total answer to prayer once more.

Granted, that means a whole lot less money coming in to our house.  Or does it?

You see, another one of my prayers has been that God would bless my It Works business and open up doors for me there.  With less kids and more free days, I will have more time to invest in that side job and continue to promote in the company.  My goal was to be Double Diamond by November when the baby came, but I am thinking I might reach that level before then because of my new situation.

Nothing is certain financially for us right now.  And that can be scary.  We have been here before, and God came through for us.  I have no doubt He will do so again.

Being totally and completely dependent on God is not easy.  It's quite frightening at times, to be honest.  BUT, it's also sooooo good and sweet.  In fact, it's right where we need to be ALL. THE. TIME.  It's exactly where God wants us.

So, today has kind of thrown me for a loop of sorts.  And while I have my fears and worries, they are absolutely nothing compared to the joy that is in my heart.  God has heard my prayers.  He has answered me.

He has given me the desires of my heart.

Just not in the way I expected at all!!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Man, I haven't blogged in a LOOOOOONG time, and boy do I miss it!!!  I have blog post ideas in my head, things that God is using in my every day life to teach me about my relationship with Him.

Like the nasty, disgusting, ANNOYING fruit flies that simply won't go away!!!  I want to scream every time I go into my kitchen.  I have tried putting out bowls of dish soap  mixed with apple cider vinegar with a piece of banana.  I have covered them with aluminum foil poked with holes.  I have left them uncovered.  I have sprayed our counters, cleaned our sink, emptied the trash.  I have put all the fruit in the fridge.  Nothing has helped!!!  I am about to go insane.  And having my 3.5 year old leave a half-eaten pear in her play desk isn't making things any better!  Nor is my 1.5 year old kindly putting half of her banana in my purse!

As I bat at these flies and scream curses at them, I am reminded that sin is the same way.  It doesn't want to just go away.  And if we leave anything in our lives at all for it to "eat" on, it will find it and lay eggs and multiply like crazy, making it all the harder to get rid of.  We may want to just give up and let the sin be, thinking there is nothing we can do about it anyway, that we will just have to get used to life with it around.  BUT, just like I am not going to give up my battle with these fruit flies until every last one of them is dead and gone from my house, I will not stop fighting against sin!

Anyway, that is just one of the things God has been teaching me.  That's not what I got on here to blog about though, so on to my "real" post:

I just got home from a monthly It Works meeting.  I always leave encouraged and inspired, motivated and blessed.  Tonight was no different.  The top earner in the company came down to share her story, give us tips, and answer questions.  Before she did though, we celebrated with those on the team who had promoted this past month.  Everyone from the "smallest" promotion to the "biggest" was recognized and congratulated, and I love that.  What really got to me, though, were the stories of 5 of the ladies who earned pretty big promotions -- Double Diamond, Presidential, and Ambassador.

Here's a chart of the "levels" in the company so you know what I am talking about:

Before I go on and share these stories, I find it absolutely crucial to point out that when I joined It Works in February, I did so for several reasons:
*I want to eventually "just" stay home with our kiddos and "just" be a mom without needing my income from daycare (but I still have to contribute to our income and needed a way to do that from home and with a "job" that doesn't prevent me from truly being able to go and do things with my kids)
*I want to help others invest in their health (a HUGE passion of mine)
*I want to be able to give and contribute to others and bless them financially, especially those who are doing God's work all around the world (from here in Liberty to overseas on other continents)

For me, this "job" isn't about getting rich, but rather using the money I earn to bless our family and countless others in a huge variety of ways.  Tonight, I sat and listened to 5 women share their stories and was inspired yet again with what this company can do for our family and in turn allow us to do for others.

*The first team member shared how has become a Double Diamond and paid off her car and an additional $17,000 in debt in the past YEAR!!

*The second team member -- as single mom and full time teacher -- told us how she reached Double Diamond in just 3 months and now makes more each month selling It Works than she does being a teacher (with 16 years of experience and a master's degree under her belt).

*The third team member shared how she went Presidential in just 4 months.  She's a photographer, mom of twin 3 year old boys, and her husband owns a restaurant.  Busy, but still has time to fit It Works into her life!  The $17,000 she makes each month and the $10,000 bonus she earned are certainly changing her family's life!!!!

*The fourth team member was actually a husband-wife team.  Last April, she was miserable at her job, so she quit to stay home with their little girl.  14 months later, she is Presidential ($17,000 a month) and her husband is Double Diamond ($6,000 a month).  Together, they have earned $45,000 in bonus money!!!  Talk about life changing!!

*The fifth team member shared how she started a little over a year ago, working 40 hours a week and taking classes to get her Master's degree in teaching. She went back to school so she could eventually spend more time with her kids!!!  Now both her and her husband are "retired" as they do It Works full time.  He is Presidential and she is Ambassador.  On top of their monthly commission (which is more than I can even begin to fathom), they have earned $170,000 in bonuses this past YEAR!

Again, it's not about the money.
It's about what that money can do.

And I'm not talking buying us a bigger, nicer house (we are soooooo blessed with what we have right now and feel we are right where God wants us, doing exactly what He has called us to do).

I'm not thinking of sports cars or designer clothes or crazy vacations to the beach every month.

Nope -- just paying off our house (and thus being completely debt free).
Taking a family vacation with my parents since we have never done that.
Saving for our girls (and baby #3 and hopefully baby #4 someday) to go to college, get married, etc.

And here's the really big one for me -- being able to give generously and freely to help others whenever a need arises (big or small).

Having the freedom and opportunity to write a check when a guest speaker shares at church about the ministry God has laid on his/her heart.  Or when we get a letter in the mail asking for help raising support.

Going and visiting friends who are living and serving overseas.

Buying Christmas presents for families who wouldn't have anything otherwise.

Paying for someone else to go on vacation (like a friend just shared with me that someone did for her family, and I thought how cool would it be to be able to totally bless someone like that).

The possibilities are endless, and that is what excites me!

So, as I share this with you, please remember that I am not about getting rich.  My heart is just so full and about to explode with the desire to be able to bless others in big ways.  Starting with my family and then expanding out to everyone we know (and don't know for that matter).

I have no idea where you are at in life or what your goals and dreams may be.  I do know that It Works has been a HUGE blessing to our family since I joined in February.  I can only imagine how it will continue to bless us in the months and years to come.  And as I dare to dream about what could happen, I can't help but think of the countless other people who could be blessed too.

That's why I share this with you.
That's why I am staying up late to write this blog post.
That's why I am in this business.
That's why I keep talking about it every single day.
That's why I want you to consider joining me as an It Works distributor.

What could an extra $500 a month do for your family?  $1,000?  $6,000?  $10,000?
Like I said before, the possibilities are endless....

I would love to share more of MY story with you and talk with you about starting your own It Works story.

Let's work together to bless others -- helping provide people with tools and resources to get healthy, sharing the financial opportunity with them, building friendships, and so much more!!!

If you are interested even in the slightest or have any questions, please contact me!!!

You can also check out my website to learn more about It Works and our natural health products!

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